Binding divides

Standing on our side of the divide it’s often difficult if not impossible to see across the corner at the other side. Like when my husband decides to have his rice prepared in a certain way and I think it can be done in another way, a simple situation right? No, especially not after his said something that ticked me off and I consequently reacted in a way that got his back up. Previous words like resurrected ghosts hold court over the new situation. Sadly they never sway in the cause of mercy, they scream for a bloodletting. 

A few weeks ago I listened to a discuss on the absence or low representation of minor ethnic groups within the British movie industry. A valid discussion, one that needed to be had, we live in a world that has changed a lot over the years, it’s only reasonable that we seek to see this changes represented on our everyday media, but in so many ways the world still stays the same. That is not altogether a bad thing as a sense of familiarity has a way of maintaining our sanity, gives us a feeling of ownership and control, however, I digress. The first step to making a movie starts with picking a script or a story line, thus a writer(s) produces a script and the movie producer adapts it to the screen, picking a cast that matches the characters in the story.

 How absurd would it be to find Harrison Ford playing the role of *‘dibia anya nzu’* or Orlando Bloom the role of a poor farmer in a village deep within ‘Ijebu Ode’. Don’t get me wrong both actors are of the best stock, however, cast in a role portraying an African man and his deeply held sentiments they would fail woefully as their pale skin alone betrays the absence of a blood linked intimately with the harsh rays of the Africa sun. 

One might argue that we change the script that in itself is a quick fix. A script is more than a reflection of the writer’s mind; it’s a reflection of the society the writer finds themselves in. There is also the fact that movies need to be sensational in order to evoke an enlightening response from the viewer, except in the case of trashy or pornographic films which on some level still evoke a primal response from the viewer. This might sound offensive but in order to produce movies which showcase the minority groups in a balanced percentage of the cast we might be digging up stereotypes and cultural differences which might be subject to miss interpretation and might offend people. Is it possible to dictate the tune without paying the piper? 

Today I heard about the ban of the burkini in France, I can’t help wondering when we advocate for acceptance are we also accepting of others. Like the story in the first paragraph, we often fail to hear the other side of the story, deafened by our demand to have it our way. Europe is very accommodating in its view of people’s freedoms and rights, in other societies people are merely tolerated for the length of their visits, their views are not discussed much less accepted. Their presence is evaluated based on cash returns. This is not to say that everyone who is affected by this ban is un-accepting or rigid in their stance. Saying I am not racist isn’t enough, standing up against any injustice due to racism affirms your stance. Saying I am accepting of others isn’t enough, dissuading others from taking a heated stance is required in today’s society. Is it possible to embrace another while standing at akimbo?

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Analysing the response to Boko Haram.

flames

He walked onto the street in no haste. Unperturbed by the chaos and tension vibrating from every corner. Rising to the heaven like a pungent sacrifice, a cloud of dark smoke from the blazing inferno consuming the once majestic house.People ran in hysteria knocking into each other, clanging buckets, man-made puddles and screams for even more water filled the atmosphere.Their feeble attempt was no match for the furious flames but at least they tried stalling it till the cavalry arrives. 

The nauseating smell of burnt flesh filled the air making many gag. It was disheartening to watch.Even more gut wrenching was the sound of their cries. Save us! Help please! We need help! There was no doubt about it anyone caught in the flames had long become history: ashes to ashes.

The mansion was now a soot covered shadow of itself. The red/yellow tips of the flames  threatened to kiss the neighbours walls. It danced enticingly before the window panes indicating a wish to become one with it. At this point the neighbour rose up and threatened the flames right back. “fire for Fire.” The Cavalry had finally arrived.

This all made the man’s actions questionable(it was his house that went up in flames) but stranger still was his attempt to help his friend three streets away defuse the smoke rising from burnt eggs in his kitchen. It was no wonder nobody came to his aid. The tale of Nigeria’s leaders and Boko Haram.


Slide1Founded in 2002 its official Arabic name,is Jama’atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda’awatiwal-Jihad, which means “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.Initially focused on opposing Western education.it launched military operations in 2009 to create Islāmic state. The group has waged the most intense insurrection in Africa. It has seized several territories in Nigeria and its actions has sourly tested our integrity as a nation. According to Mr Keatinge they have an estimated annual net income of $10m. Obtained from looting banks, communities and ransom for people they abducted.Its weapons are suspected to come from Libya,but most are crudely made. It has launched attacks on Chad presumably for supporting Nigeria.


Slide2When asked about the Nigerian military Mr Dasuki Nigeria’s national security adviser said the military had issues relating to “lack of training, and a lack of commitment by some of those who join the army”.He believes many soldiers sign up because they are “looking for jobs – not because they want a military career “.It is his belief that acquiring new weaponry from Western allies like the US and the UK would help the situation.But he forgets to acknowledge the trenches of corruption in the leadership which increases the chances of said weaponry falling into the wrong hands.


Slide3“The trouble with the Nigerian government is that they want a big red button, which you can press and it will fix everything,” says James Hall, a retired colonel and former UK military attache to Nigeria. He also said training the army must proceed weapon deployment to Nigeria. In his words “It would take years of total engagement, training group after group to have any effect,” he says. “And no-one is ready to commit to that.

President Obama on a YouTube interview said “Boko Haram is a radical, violent, terrible, extremist organization in Nigeria”.“We will try to help the Nigerian government to deal with the problem,” he added. “The Nigerian [government] has not been as effective as it needs to be to stop this extremist organization from operating inside their territory.” 

On Thursday France sent military advisers to Niger’s southern border with Nigeria. Its aim was to help coördinate military action by regional powers fighting the extremist group Boko Haram said a French army official. 

The general deposition of the western world to boko haram is understandable. It is my opinion that they have not stepped in because oil production/its own citizens have not been threatened. Secondly if an offer has been made the terms of assistance were probably refuted by the Nigerian government to ensure power stays in their grasp and their affairs are not scrutinized. Finally they are better informed about the situation and the government’s ability to contain it, this third reason makes my blood boil as it emphasis the disregard for human life by our government.


Slide4When interviewed by CNN’s Christiane AmanpourBuhari affirmed that he would end the  Boko Haram insurgency through blocking corruption and other leakages. This sounds plausible based on his past records but times have changed so have people. I take his words with a pinch of salt.

Attempting to explain the president’s stance on boko haram, Ledum Mitee, a former activist from the oil-rich southern Niger Delta.said “People around the president, his closest allies, all tell him this Boko Haram is manufactured by the northerners to play politics.” “This leads him to distance himself from the affair.” This is highly unacceptable as every citizen counts regardless of political affiliations or geopolitical zones.


The African Union (AU) has authorized a force of 7,500 troops (The figure has also been placed as 8,700 by some sources) from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Benin to fight the militants. Slide5

When Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau promised that they would defeat the regional forces, Cameroon`s President Paul Biya, replied that the country would “emerge victorious” from the fight. He said “Friendly nations, countries passionate about freedom, the international community, global opinion are with us,”.

Finally the cavalry arrives.


 This piece was written to analyse the various reports on Boko Haram.

My Sources include:

BBC News, Reuters.com, Washington examiner, Information Nigeria, Zee news

#JeSuisCharlie VS #IamNigerian

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 #IamNigeria Source: nationonline.org

Before I start I know this post will not gather many positive reactions if at all any but I feel the need to say my piece.The present loss of life and general chaos created by extremist in France and Nigeria is honestly disheartening. No matter where, how or the number of lives lost such events demands that people rise up and defend the value of life, peace and co-existence. That said I take exception to Nigerians accusing the western world of not coming to its aid.

The reaction bids me ask; what have our own leaders done to address the issue? Did they take any definite actions to rescue the 200 girls missing to date? Can we honestly say that they have no idea how to tackle the situation? What have we as citizens done to show our displeasure?  Before accusing me of encouraging an insurrection, please note, a peaceful powerful action showing our anger towards the injustice this sect has inflicted nationally is what I ask. The French government’s response to the attacks was immediate, national security was tightened. Both citizens and government came out to march and show their displeasure by the attack. Presently schools and busy areas are guarded by the military till normalcy is restored.

What were the reactions of our government and national security body to our crisis? Our President is silent on it but shows solicitude with France. Our military doesn’t acknowledge the situation either by words or action, a military hailed as the strongest one in Africa. The attitude of NGOs, multinational companies and churches is questionable. I see these organizations as instruments of change in the nation, I would have expected them to unite together and lead a strong peaceful mass demonstration similar to France. Who am I kidding? How many people would show up? Funds and volunteers can also be raised by them to help victims of such calamities.

Do I blame us the Nigerian citizens?  Yes and no. No, for the following reasons: it would be foolish risking your life for a course that becomes buried once you die or become incarcerated; this has been the case with past situations. No because followers should not die for a course except the leaders have given it their best.

Yes, because even with the apparent neglect by the present government come 14TH OF February we would still let the caricature called elections to produce results we have no faith in. Yes, because as a nation we have no cohesive force, no centre of agreement simply put we not united. On a daily basis, we find it hard to come together and genuinely see a course to the end. Until we find OUR VOICE as a nation, OUR IDENTITY that demands everyone is treated as equals, I fear that even the western world would not be able to save us and we must first save ourselves. They might help, but the change, we need, must be skin deep.

#Jesuischarlie
#Jesuischarlie

Do remember that France placed a value on its citizens by its actions. It rose up to the challenge, showed initiative long before the West showed up.