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The end of the beginning – and more in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

by Cheta Nwanze

Nigerian Soldiers 1

Yesterday, Major-General Abubakar Mohammed, General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, was shot at by troops under his command. The grievance of the troops apparently stemmed from the fact that a company of soldiers was ambushed, and killed, by militants.

Zakariya Maimalari, Brigadier, was one of Nigeria’s best officers in his time. Maimalari, who was of the Kanuri ethnic group, was a notoriously fiery disciplinarian who “would brook no insubordination”. For this reason, he “exacted unqualified discipline from all his subordinates”. He was widely respect in the army and was tipped to become a future GOC. He was an alumnus of the famous Government College in Zaria.

On the night of January 14-15 1966, Maimalari who at the time was the Commanding Officer of the 1st Brigade in Lagos, was attacked at home by mutineers led by Major Donatus Okafor. Maimalari managed to escape on foot, and began making his way to his garrison to rally the troops. Unfortunately, on his way, he saw a car, which he knew belonged to his Brigade Major, Emmanuel Ifeajuna, and flagged down the car. Unbeknown to him, Ifeajuna was one of the mutineers, and Ifeajuna promptly shot Maimalari.
Forty seven years after Maimalari’s death, the Nigerian Army, embroiled in an insurgency that is centred around Maimalari’s homestead, saw it fit to start a new division, 7 Division, headquartered in Maiduguri. Close to Maimalari’s ancestral home. Its headquarters is named after the late General. Since 7 Division started last year, it’s been commanded by Major-Generals Ethan (4 months), Bindawa (2 months) and Mohammed (2 months to date) in that order. Yesterday, Major-General Abubakar Mohammed, General Officer Commanding, 7 Division, Nigerian Army, was shot at by troops under his command. The grievance of the troops apparently stemmed from the fact that a company of soldiers was ambushed, and killed, by militants.

This, is a very sad day for Nigeria. While on the one hand I will never support a mutiny, I am duty bound to point out that one of the reasons advanced by yesterday’s mutineers strikes a strange cord with the reasons advanced by mutineers in 2009. The time, it appears, has come for us to change the nature of the conversation.

Meanwhile, in other news, the Amis have made it quite clear that intelligence they have gathered about #BokoHaram, will not be shared with the Nigerian Army. Even though the Amis aren’t saying why, the reasons should be quite clear to anyone with a discerning mind. The reasons are the same for which the Amis entered the sovereign country of Pakistan to arrange a meeting between Osama bin Laden and the Almighty a few years ago now.

Bits and Bobs

Credit where it is due, and it must be given to the men-in-black and the men-under-the-covers for quickly tracking down the chapwho plotted Nyanya I Despite the fact that it is really an emergency, our lawmakers can never be arsed to sit up all night debating. The jaw-jaw over the status of the three #BokoHaram states will resume today. We do not know however, when Nigeria will begin operating with a budget. Speaking with journos who won’t dare argue with him, the Government Parrot claimed that the lazy lawmakers had sneaked an extra N53 billions into the budget, and failed to give a time frame within which this geographical expression will actually start to run on a budget. Apparently the lion who was looking for a home (yesterday’s newsletter), did not actually see the need to vacate his current tenements. The chap who cried “Wolf” (or is it “Lion”?) is currently singing songs. After reading Exodus 22:18, the instructions from the voices in Bose Oluwole’s head rang loud and clear. “Take that paraffin and set fire to your 9-year old.” And so she did.

Right of Reply

Ehidiame Airauhi wrote,

Is it really a sense of community?…or just the usual sensationalism bereft of objectives….?the ideal community response by now…people would be mobilizing…to gather information…people would be calling in with leads on suspicious activity….Boko haram guys are not farmers…..how the y get food and other supplies to take care of over 300 people is bound to raise an eyebrow….

Chxta responds,
It is a sense of community that forces people who previously could not act in unison against a common enemy to come together. Consider this, yesterday, Kala-Balge scored another hit against #BokoHaram, bringing the number of dead insurgents to 241.

Adewale Afolabi wrote,

Sometimes I just wonder how  you still remain hopeful.

How can you require soul searching from the gods ?

Don’t you know that God’s don’t have souls ?

Please our leaders are divine , above the law and aren’t answerable to mere mortals like us.

For me I simply fail to see how our situation can improve with the same populace and rulers, I find it unbelievable that people would come out and vehemently support poor governance . It’s like common sense has finally become become extinct.

We shouldn’t even need to ask for their resignation. Anyways prophecy for the year. Though it’s late but at least you didn’t have to wait 6 months like the university students.

And Stupidity and callousness shall be the instability of thy times. For the time is now wherefore stupidity shall greatly multiply.

You shall find it in all places . WOE (Tunde Bakare explains this as WithOut Escape) to him that has even as little as an iota of common sense.

On a final note there’s a new title. And we do love titles. Grand Commander-In-Chief of Boy Scouts.

Lere Odusote wrote,

Thinking about all the high profile kidnappings in the recent past, I suspect most if not all were released after a negotiated ransom. I go further to say NONE were released as a result of diligent police work. I wonder how this government has come about it’s policy of non-negotiation. This after our fess Lady, ‘Dame P.’ came to help and publicly humiliated herself on her self-hosted TV charade (or was it a home video?) and publicly proclaimed that there has been no kidnapping of any sort. We need to rid ourselves if these Jonathan’s and charlatans.

Chxta responds,

I understand your frustrations Lere, but we are not about to rid ourselves of anyone.


Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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