The Insider(10): LUXURIOUS DAY - I’i Duka Mubarak

By Salimullah I. Hassan 
(Written in 2009)

The happiest day and the happiest night,

We remained idyllic and carefree,

We feel so wild and so good, 

Just like one day we live this world,

Let us enjoy the goodness of this life. 
On the day of id we wear on our fancies,

White, green, blues and attend to the mosques,

We pray there to one God and our Lord,

Every face shines and no one is sad,

The climax of joy all we feel.

The good says “Good Day” is every where,

Cleaving the lips with smiling and laughs,

All feel so good, joyful and pleased,

Smiling is the message of the day,

Reaching the faces of the kins and friends.

The day before that day,

The night is so breezy,

Its quietness turns to noisy day,

No one could sleep for overjoy,

Chatting and chanting is the speak overnight.

The next day to Id we all clad in fancies,

Some go to play some go to visit,

Enjoying the day, no fracas no fight,

Victuals are coming to you wherever you go,

We take in the foods, meats and drinks.

The luxurious is our happiest day,

We sing and dance we laugh all the nights,

Say thanks to God say thanks to God,

Say thanks to God the worthy to serve,

The bless of Whom we long to reach.




The Insider(9) - The enduring utility of labels

Written in  January 2010 by one intellectual, but still relevant......

Concepts are useful tools that aid our understanding. Children learn new concepts through association with things familiar; adults learn through experiment and experience. Just as children learn not to put their hand in the fire because it burns, adults learn what is beneficial and what is detrimental to their interests. These are routine experiences of life.


Political life is more complicated. Not only are certain concepts used to advance a preset agenda, many concepts and ideas are deliberately distorted to achieve specific policy objectives that would otherwise not be possible.


In the contemporary age, the war on terror has become a useful tool to justify the West’s aggression against other people. It is enough to brand an individual or group as terrorist and use that as a license for every conceivable crime against them. While there is no agreed upon definition of terrorism, its vagueness itself is useful because it lends itself to different interpretations, all facilitating the same objective. Under the label of fighting terrorism, the West led by the US has launched wars in distant lands killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people. Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, - Syria-  and now Yemen and Iran readily come to mind as actual or potential theatres of war. Somalia, too, is on the list and if the US achieves military success in any, more countries will be targeted in the West’s inexorable drive to grab their resources.


Let us stay with terrorism a little longer. The dictionary defines terrorism as the “practice of using terror-inspiring methods of governing or securing political or other ends.” Based on this definition, the US and Zionist Israel qualify as leading practitioners of terrorism. The US uses extreme force and the threat of the use of force to secure compliance. In Afghanistan and Iraq, for instance, the US has used indiscriminate and disproportionate violence against civilians and bombed remote villages (in Afghanistan) under the label of fighting the Taliban. What is glossed over is that the Taliban are not in America; US forces occupy an Afghanistan that belongs to the Afghans of whom the Taliban are a part and indigenous to the land. The Taliban are resisting the foreign occupiers of their land so how can they be described as terrorists? True, their methods are primitive but that is none of America’s business. The Taliban may find — and many people in the world do — the American way of life, replete with nudity and extreme violence against women (98,000 were raped in 2008), completely unacceptable but they have not invaded America to change it. What right does the US have to invade Afghanistan thousands of miles away to impose its way of life?

Against Iran, the US is not deterred from using the same lies that were peddled to invade Iraq. Tehran is accused of being a “sponsor of terror” and of “pursuing nuclear weapons” without providing proof. None is deemed necessary. It is the label that is important. Since Zionist Israel is one of the greatest practitioners of state terrorism and its economy is underwritten by Washington, the US itself is the leading sponsor of terrorism in the world. Both the US and Israel are guilty not only of possessing nuclear weapons but also of using them. The US used nuclear weapons against Japan and depleted uranium shells in Iraq and Afghanistan. Israel possesses more than 200 nuclear weapons and has dumped nuclear waste on Palestinian lands. Israel is also guilty of war crimes during its attack on Gaza a year ago. Yet Iran is accused of sponsoring terrorism. Iran has not invaded any country in 250 years; the US has attacked other countries since 1942; Israel since 1948. So who are the terrorists?


When one considers the spate of Zionist-sponsored anti-Iran conferences in the US and Europe, it becomes clear that the Islamic Republic is being set up for an attack. Anti-Iran propaganda has been going on since the victory of the Islamic revolution; recently, it has become more strident. The label of terrorism and the allegation of acquiring nuclear weapons are useful tools in advancing this agenda. In the past, similar labels were used against the Soviets (the Red menace) and against resistance movements fighting US imperialism in Vietnam, Cuba and Nicaragua. The locales may have changed but the labels have remained and continue to endure, devoid of any link with reality.


Manipulating the public perception of reality is an integral part of the so-called war on terror.

                                                                                 by Zafar Bangash
                                                                                              (Crescent International - 2010)


California is the 6th largest economy in the world. It's economy is larger than that of France or Brazil. The little problem is that California is not a country. It is a State in the United States of America. It has little offshore oil, yet its economy is larger than States in the US that are famous for their oil reserves, like Texas. California generates much of its revenue from non-oil products. It found a way to absorb and domesticate much of the intellectual output from its premier university, Stanford University, into saleable products within its economy.

As a matter of fact, much of California's economy is built around Stanford University. So with this, Silicon valley developed. I'm sure you've heard of Silicon Valley at least once in your life. Now with Silicon Valley came companies like Apple, eBay, Cisco, Lockheed, Hewlett Packard (HP), Google, Netflix, Facebook, Oracle, Tesla...and the list goes on and on ad infinitum.These are multibillion-dollar companies. The yearly budget of any one of these companies might be larger than the entire yearly budget of, say for example, Akwa Ibom State. I'm taking about companies that are richer than countries. They are all in California. But that is just in the technology industry where the technologies and inventions spewing out of Stanford are caught midair and converted to money spinning enterprises.

But there is also the entertainment industry in California. Yes, Hollywood is in California. The US movies industry contributes about $504Billion to USA's GDP. Hollywood, as you know, contributes over 70% of that figure. Most iconic movie studios are in Hollywood. As a matter of fact, the "Big Eight" consisting of 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, MGM (Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer), Paramount Pictures, RKO Radio Pictures, United Artists, Universal Studios and Warner Bros are, or were, all in Hollywood. These again, are multi-billion dollar companies generating revenue for California.

Despite the above, California also thrives on agriculture. As at 2014, California had nothing less than 77,000 farms and ranches raking in about $55Billion in revenue yearly. It produces over 400 agricultural commodities, a large chunk of which it exports. It is the leader in producing exotic fruits in America. Its wine industry is unique. California wine is drunk with relish the world over. I used to drink some too.

This is just one State in America. You see, California actually had a choice of sitting back and striving to get a piece of the revenue generated from Texas' oil. It could have depended solely on Federal allocation to survive so that every month end, it will send its Commissioner of Finance to Washington DC to receive monthly allocation so that it can barely pay salaries of its workers and nothing more. Then San Francisco would resemble Ajegunle in Lagos. And there certainly would not be those beautiful sights and sounds that make California what it is today. But No, not California. Not America. California gives to the center and, because of its wealth, despises the idea of depending on it for survival. The Federal Government actually needs California to survive, not the other way round.

You see, America is structured in such a way that States must look inwards to exploit their wealth for the good of its citizens. There is no free lunch for the lazy States. There certainly is no commonwealth. But there is your wealth, if you can create it. Under American Federalism, you are the captain of your ship. But again, you are also the waves upon which the ship will sail. That is America. The local government, the government closest to the grassroot, is deliberately made the strongest level of government. Items like Variances (adaptation of state law to local conditions,) Public works (yes, public works!!), Contracts for public works, Licensing of public accommodations, Assessable improvements, Basic public services are all left for local county governments to handle. The State handles weightier matters like Property law, Education,Commerce laws of ownership and exchange, Banking and credit laws, Labour law and professional licensure, Insurance laws, and Electoral laws, including parties and Civil service laws. Items that the Federal Government, the center, handles affecting the States, are actually very negligible.

Nigeria on the contrary will never do well unless we restructure. We pretend to have a Federal system but we are actually operating a unique form of unitary government, and it is weighing the polity down. Can you imagine a country where the school curriculum is regulated by a national central body and states have no powers to vary or amend their curriculum? So, if the rest of the developed world is light years ahead in what they teach their children from primary schools, and our Minister of Education has absolutely no clue, the States must be burdened with antiquated school curriculum until such a time (if we are lucky, before rapture perhaps!!) that we have an Education Minister who would realise how far behind we are and bring the curriculum up to date. Just take a look at the science curriculum for grade students in advanced countries and you would cry for Nigeria. I recently read of a high school in Japan which has amended its curriculum to include robotics and drones technology. IN HIGH SCHOOL!! But our Professors here don't have a hang on Robotics even! Students are still taught the very prehistoric rudiments of physics and chemistry in our schools. And this is even in the few schools that teachers and students still meet in the classrooms! For the few public schools that are lucky to have labs, all you see are miserable nameless creatures trapped in formalin, to which nobody ever pays attention. These creatures suffer a double jeopardy having suffered the first misfortune of being caught and preserved in formalin in Nigeria, and then thereafter completely ignored, even in death! And because the control of our curriculum is central, there is nothing potentially proactive or progressive-minded States can do about this.

You would think this is not a problem until you understand that Nigerians spend over ONE TRILLION NAIRA every year to study abroad, despite there being over 100 tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Not one is deemed good enough. You see, the reason why you have Cambridge, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Oxford, etc is not only for academic excellence of the citizens of the countries which have these schools. No. They invest in their institutions so that they can earn revenue from foreign students from countries like Nigeria which has destroyed its educational system. Abroad, schools are so important to society that the economy, business and lifestyle of whole cities and even States completely depend on or revolve around schools. What would the city of cambridge be without Cambridge University. Or Cambridge, Massachusett without Harvard University. These cities depend on these universities to survive. And imagine that Nigeria had invested in its universities and was earning $1billion dollars a year from foreign students seeking to study here, who would be fighting over oil in the Niger Delta? How many car manufacturing companies would we have in Owerri near FUTO where students are constantly doing and selling their research products to burgeoning engineering and manufacturing companies? Recently, three students in Sweden conducted research and came up with a product that could improve wear and tear on tyres. The product became so successful that Volvo had to partner with these students to patent the product. Now when this product hit world stage, can you imagine how much revenue sweden would earn from these product? Do your research, most of the world-class products we buy today off the shelf, at great cost, were invented by university students. As you are reading this, do not forget that without Harvard University, there would not have been facebook, and this our interface would have been impossible.

But our students In Nigeria are not entirely without inventions. We invented the Pyrates Confraternity, the Black Axe, the Eiye, the Vikings and what not!! Students resume school with guns and bullets, rather than books and scholastic ideas, as though academic institutions were a war college. Lecturers fly colors as do students. And when the turf war begins, people die in droves. But States can do nothing about this because some of these institutions are controlled by the Federal Government. Even for the ones controlled by States, you still can't do much because the security apparatus is controlled by the Federal Government. The Federal Government will provide or withdraw security from the State, depending on whether it is happy with the sitting Governor. So every year, all sorts of characters are vomited from Nigerian Universities to take their place in Nigerian society. So you have Judges, Lawyers, Engineers, Doctors and so forth whose first and primary allegiance is to their cult group, before the Country. The multiplier effect of this, is a treatise for another day.

But suffice to say that as long as this problem persist, let's forget about Silicon Valley in Nigeria, because there will never be a Stanford University here to provide an infinite supply of ideas and prodigies to feed the invention value-chain!

Nigeria cannot wake up from its slumber today because it cannot lift its head. The entire weight of its existence is concentrated in its head. From the viewpoint of government, the weight is In Abuja. From the viewpoint of revenue source, the weight is in the Niger-Delta. We need to urgently restructure and evenly distribute this pressure points and weights to diffuse tension in Nigeria.

We need to revisit the exclusive legislative list in the constitution and systematically reduce the responsibilities of the Federal Government vis-a-vis the States. Resources have to be handed back to the States that generated them but place an obligation on each States to contribute an agreed percentage to the common federal purse to service obligations of the Federal Government. There is no reason Education, Policing, Prisons (only people convicted of federal offenses should go to federal prisons!!), Ports, Inland waterways, natural minerals, even marriage (yes, english form of marriage!!) and so many other items should be the concern of the Federal Government.We will never develop with such weight that weigh us down at the center. Nigeria can never raise its head in the comity of nations because of the sheer weight of the head.

There is more to say, but scarcely any time. But to emphasis the point i've been laboring to make, shall i say again that there is absolutely no reason or need to fight for oil in the Niger-Delta. There are so many things that can bring more revenue to States in Nigeria than oil. South Africa has no oil, but it has Gold, and is richer than Nigeria. Let us fight for a system that will promote both equality and equity. Let us restructure Nigeria.

My Name is Fidel Albert and #IStandForARestructuredNigeria!
                                                                                                  Contribution FIDEL ALBERT



The confused man can no longer be at ease.