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Predominance of bastards in our societies

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Children

Children

By Muhammad Ajah

I appeal to my readers for understanding and not misunderstanding of this piece. It is very petrifying the rise in number of children out of wedlock. Children from un-solemnized matrimony carry despicable identities, though divinely innocent. The act is provocative. It is becoming an accepted norm in many societies. In short, some societies especially in the far southern geopolitical zones accept that it is the only means of the assurance of the fruitfulness of the female folks. There is the traditional belief that the female are predominately married to the “marine spirits” which makes them barren in the physical world, though they bear children to their spiritual husbands. Over there, the stories of witches and wizards are quotidian.

The informal meaning of bastard is an unpleasant or despicable person. Its synonyms are scoundrel, villain, rogue, rascal, brute, animal, monster, ogre, wretch, devil, good-for-nothing, reprobate, wrongdoer, evil-doer and more. In another explanation, bastard refers to something or a person who is no longer in its pure or original form; in debased form. I am convinced that no reasonable person can bet that none of these categories of mankind is not predominant in our societies. Who can bet? But most conventional dictionaries explain bastard as an illegitimate child, an unpleasant or despicable person, a person born of parents not married to each other.

This act is inimical to orthodox religious beliefs. Even if the children from such acts are free, the act builds a faulty foundation which divinely affects the society. It is unarguably that rottenness begets nothingness. God is angry with the acts of producing bastards, having made lawful to mankind the legitimate ways to procreate. God is angry with the procreators of such species of mankind. God cannot be happy with such societies which allow such acts to prevail.

Bastards are too many in our societies. In Nigeria, it can be argued that a good percentage of the population is from questionable relationships. Premarital and post-marital illegal relationships have become as common as the alphabets the children recite daily at schools. Around our homes, on the street we pass daily, in markets and everywhere. There is frequency of rape cases across Nigeria. Induced sex on the less privileged is prevalent. Teenage pregnancy in villages is commonplace.

Infidelity amongst married couples which lead to production of illegal children is also becoming prevalent. Sexual promiscuity in schools, offices and worship places is on the rise. And stories of kidnappers and men of the underworld victimizing their female captives are also increasing.

I cannot even control the prevalence of “illegal” children in my own extended family, how much more those who do not take it to be anything. Most members of the young generations think it is a civilized way of life. Some go into relationship without any sex education only to get pregnant and give birth when abortion becomes impossible. If not, young girls in cities commit so many abortions with modern pills while those in the rural areas apply local concoctions which often damage their wombs. That is why some young men will not take their wife-to-be to the altar until they are sure of pregnancy. Alternatively, the young men would prefer to go back to their villages for a less risked life partner. That is after some of them have rubbished some girls in the cities. I will labour to explain each with possible instances.

But before then, I must confess that I have found the case of the almajiris in the northern part of Nigeria very intriguing, yet confusing. I do not want to believe that any of them is a product of illegal intercourse. But it is also difficult for one to believe that all of them are. They are too many to count. It beats imagination how legitimately born children could be left to the hard open air to survive in the name of seeking religious knowledge. I also feel that the government of states of the north are overwhelmed by their inability to give accurate census of the nomadic “knowledge” seekers. And one wonders the controversy over the proposed training of 10 million almajiris by an anti-Islamic evangelist, Reverend Matthew Kukah’s center.

An elder patriot in an argument on this matter postulated that the idea conceived by Kukah, whether altruistic or not, is a manifestation of the failure of Muslim leaders at the community, business and political levels. Recalling that 99.5% of the millions of contemporary war refugees are from Muslim countries, he said it was the Christian countries of Western Europe that accommodate them while neighbouring Muslim countries reject them. According to him, there are many Muslim billionaires but who have been indifferent to use their wealth to project Islam and Muslims of Nigeria. “Therefore, Muslims should wake up and keep their own houses in order to make it impossible for the like of Kukah of this world to poach on Muslim children for conversion to Christianity under whatever guise”, he squeaked. A Muslim analyst partly concluded that Muslims should thank Kukah for his foresight and proposal.

Sex on the less privileged, especially the female hawkers also lead to unwanted pregnancy that often produced children without fathers. Sometimes, the female hawkers willingly engage in such acts to make up for themselves or for their parents. Such stories have been recorded where female children abandoned by their parents face the hazards of lousy male grownups. Baby factories abound in many places. Once the babies produced from these factories cannot fit into the cause of its breeders, they are thrown into the streets. Motherless babies also abound in many places. But not all of the babies can make it in life, after all what is there to struggle for a child who has no body in life. With the predominance of this category of children, how many can be catered for when a population of legitimate children under their parents grasp for life. The world is really too much with us.

A story of Fulani kidnappers has been trending. A victim of kidnappers along a major federal express roads narrated what he was told by his kidnappers. According to him, they were seized from the main road and taken into the forest to face the kidnappers’ master after nearly three hour journey. Thinking death was nearby, he was praying for God’s intervention. They collected peoples’ phones, checked the numbers and if they identified any “big man” or a very known personality on the phonebook, then the ransom to be demanded will be high. They will ask for the relationship the victim has with the “big man”.

Unfortunately, the master interrogated the six victims and asked what they wanted. The narrator said that while they could not remember anything out of fear, he sought to be allowed to perform a prayer. The master of the kidnappers, surrounded by hefty armed youngsters burst in wild laughter: “So you are believers. You believe in God”. The narrator told him they were and he became very upset and bellowed: “O, why then do you people do bad; why do you perpetrate atrocities against the less-privileged?”

At the long run, the master became mild and allowed them to pray under stern watch. He ordered that the phones be handed over to the victims and asked one of his boys to take them out to a distance through a very zigzag route, so that they can find their way, a distance they had to trek for over an hour to reach the main road very far from where they were actually abducted. Before they left, he had tutored them on the wrong happenings in our societies. He handed a message to him that the level of rape and illegal children being produced in the country is a time bomb. He gave instances of Fulani female hawkers, including married ones who come from the bushes into villages, towns and cities to sell “nono” and all their local products but are subjected to daily rape. They cannot stop their females because they cannot live only on their animal produce. The master confessed that he and his men were products of such rapes because they did not have fathers and their mothers were unable to care for them.

Furthermore, the frequency of adultery and fornication is rising in our societies. Teenagers gang-rape their peers. Teenage pregnancy in villages is also on the rise. I cannot imagine the type of life children are living now. Parents are often overwhelmed when they insist on the right pattern of life for their children who describe their parents as “old school or old-fashioned”. In villages, it has become an accepted norm that a girl of ten years without a boy friend is possessed. Before maturity, girls begin to experiences sex and temper with their wombs. Some of them get spoilt and rotten and date many boys at the same time. Some give birth to children without knowing exactly who is responsible.

What about sexual promiscuity in schools, offices and worship places. Many homes have been broken from such unholy acts. Fathers have come for their “illegal children” from women who are married and living with men they call husbands. Women, on the other hand, have declared “illegal children” before their presumed husbands whenever there is serious misunderstanding. And there are really misunderstanding, misfortune and maladministration in our societies because of the predominance of the products of illegal acts from parents, from the male and from the female folks. Some of the leaders and the led find themselves from such circumstance. Is God’s anger on the parent(s) transferable to the children? What hope should be expected from any leader of that accident?

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Opinion

War with The Church, As Obi Insulted Catholic Bishops

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…Says they Lack Political Relevance

The recent media war between the former governor of Anambra state, Mr Peter Obi and the most populated Christian faithfuls in Igbo land (Catholic Church) has left many totally Flabbergasted .

Chief Peter Obi who is a running mate to Alhaji Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) on Sunday the 20th of January, 2019 described the Catholic Bishops as a group of cabal in Igbo politics yet without voting capacity and relevance and urge the highly placed / top Religious mentors to seek for an additional system that will make them move from parasitic to symbiotic animals.

Chief Obi made the statement when he met with members of the Anglican laity councils of Nigeria(ANLCN) Anambra state chapter at his Onitsha GRA quarters .

We must also realize that few days ago, it was gathered that Obi called one of the most respectful catholic Bishop in Anambra state on phone around 2am and threatened him on why the Catholic church is against his aspiration and even went to a far extent to inform the Bishop that Catholic Church can’t stop him from winning the election but they will not benefit from his government if he wins.

Unfortunately for the aggrieved Obi who spoke to the clergy man with furious language, he never that his voice was recorded by the Bishop who further played the audio in the congregation of their meeting .

Since ever then, Obi have been working very hard to discredit the enormous spiritual, moral and value development created in the entire christiadom by the Bishops and members of the Catholic church.

One of the most recent and most unbearable was Obi ‘s attempt to refer the Bishops as a group of cabals without political relevance.

Just like Martin Luther King Jr would say ” Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere ” it therefore suggest that the attack on on Bishops by Obi is an attack on the generality of the Catholic church.

It was equally gathered that Obi was forced to declare war on the Catholic church because he was reliably inform that over 70 Bishops attended the Igbo conference where it was resolved that Igbos needs a presidency in 2023 not a vice president.

The above resolution from political perspectives didn’t favour Mr. Peter Obi’s vice presidential ambition and since ever then, Obi has declared war against the church.

Joseph Nwanolu wrote from Onitsha

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2019: ORTOM MAKES MORE GAINS AHEAD OF MARCH 2

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By Nathaniel Ikyur

On the sidelines of the gubernatorial campaign rally in Gwer-West which held in Naka town, headquarters of the local council, on Saturday January 19, I met a couple of three Tyoshin men, two women and seven youngmen at a food joint. One of the woman runs the food joint. I had visited the place to fill up while the governor was meeting with the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a short distance away.

The initial discourse, as I heard why enjoying my pounded yam and pork meat delicacy was about the Gwer-West Council chairman who was caught on camera kneeling down before a group of people. They were referred to as the PDP ‘stakeholders’ of the local government who were embarassed, as I learnt from the discussion, at the actions of the chairman for shouting APC at a PDP function where the wife of the governor, Erdoo Ortom was present.

There was a unanimous position among these discussants, except one lady, that the chairman of the council deserved what he got. The middle aged woman who runs the food joint told me when I enquired why there is so much bile against their local government chairman, as translated into English; that, “the chairman never helped himself by his conduct in office. He isolated himself. The youths were not awith him as others do.”

I was interested in their discussion but was more curious to find out about what took me to Naka. So i interjected in a friendly tone. I asked what their position is/will be in the forthcoming governorship elections. It was not hard for them to know where I stand since I was decked in an #Ortom2019 branded PDP shirt. Of course I knew why I asked this. Two of the governorship candidates in the fortcoming elections are of Ihyarev extraction. Barr Emmmanuel Jime of APC but particularly, Rev Frederick Ikyaan of the Peoples Redemption Party, PRP who hails from Gaambe U Shin Council Ward/Mbatswarev in Gwer-West. And like a well rehearsed choral group, they all chorosued: Ortom.

The woman who runs the food joint told me in unequivocal terms that “Tyoshin people have always been PDP. We don’t know what happened in 2015 but thank God General Ortom is back to his roots.” The other youngman who said he was from the same council Ward with Rev Ikyaan said, “it’s not that we don’t love our brother the Rev. We don’t want to waste our votes. Even if we vote him, he won’t win so we’ll go with what the Tiv people are doing” and added with a proverb: “see, we are holding down a mad dog. We won’t lose our grip from its neck until we kill it, else it will bite us and the poison from its bite will kill us. And the person we know can do this is Gov Ortom.” The mad dog in the proverb is the marauding herdsmen who have killed and maimed the Benue populace.

Remember also that Gwer-West had a bitter bite of the anger of the military last year where a section of Naka town was razed down by the soldiers over allegations that a soldier was killed by the villagers. The scars are too fresh for the people to forget in a hurry.

As the discussion got underway, some of my fellow discussants assured me that the crowd that will come for the rally will be in excess of what I may have seen before. Of course I didn’t doubt them because we experienced similar turn out in 2015. But I asked them if mere crowds at a campaign rally coul garner in the needed votes. They spoke with some air of confidence saying, it’s a testimony of the good things that would follow. That it’s the assurance of things to come.

And true to type, the campaign ground began to swell to its brim. By the time the governor arrived the venue at about 3:25 pm with Dr Ayu in tow, the entire field was filled to capacity. Leaders of the various sections of the local government spoke with one voice. Chief Godwin Ikyereve spoke on behalf of Raav. Hon Kenneth Iyo, Engr. Felix Atume among many others who also spoke at the rally confirmed what the young man at the food joint told me. That Gwer-West is PDP. Hon Iyo who is a former member of the Benue state House of Assembly expressed deep pains over the way and manner his immediate community situated along the river Benue have become a place where there were constant attacks by the herdsmen. In one agreement, they declared that the mistake in 2015 will not be repeated. Which is why they decided to maintain one direction in the forthcoming general elections by voting PDP. Indeed, they assured they will work to ensure that this is sustained.

Gwer-East and Guma local government where the governor hails from, had also witnessed the same sort of referendum on Gov Ortom’s re-election. The turn out at the Gbajimba rally was electrifying and massive. Gradually, the wind blowing across the state is been resolute and consistent. That Ortom who many have given him an unofficial title as the civilian general be voted again to round up a second term and lead the people of the state against the invading herdsmen. It has been a clear testimony. And apart from other sections of the state, MINDA leaders have all spoken and have given hope that they will swing their votes in favour of Ortom on March 2, 2019. In the four MINDA local governments of Guma with a total registered voters of 91,141, Gwer East 93,606, Gwer west 61,411 and Makurdi with an admixture of metropolitan nature, with a whooping figure of 272,158, it will be heartwarming to see how the enthusiasm on the faces of many will be turned into victory songs and dance inspite of the familiar challenges.

From the MINDA axis alone where the invasion is high next only to Logo local government in Sankera, governor Ortom and the PDP will sure garner more than 60 percent of total vote cast, leaving the other parties to scamper with the rest. Of course respected elder statesman Prof Shima Gyoh, a renowned medical doctor had once argued that the most important thing at the moment is to join hands with Governor Ortom to fight the invaders first. After that, we’ll sit down and ask questions about other sectors of our growth and development.

Jemgbah bloc also gave their referendum in favour of Ortom. Thousands thronged the PDP campaign rallies in the three Jemgbah local governments areas of Gboko, Buruku and Tarka. They were also unanimous that Ortom be returned for a second term. They are convinced that his doggedness to repel the herdsmen whose plan to invade and take over our ancestral lands is real should not be treated with kid gloves. Dr Iyorchia Ayu, former Senate President stated this much when he spoke at all the rallies. The three Jemgbagh local governments has a combined total voter registration of 402,548. Which makes them a hot bed as a deciding factor. (Gboko: 232,132; Tarka: 49,098 while Buruku has 121,318) Before this election, there wouldn’t have been any contest in Gboko, Buruku and Tarka against the status quo. That’s not there again. And the reason is simple: there’s a growing anger against the APC and its leaders for not only turning a blind eye while the state is almost over ran by the herdsmen with traceable complicity against some tribal groups like Miyetti Allah, MACBAN and other affiliate groups but also that some Tiv leaders have allegedly gone into alliance with foreigners and were accusing the Tiv of killing themselves.

The turn of events at all these rallies points to the fact that not only are the people resolved to stand behind Gov Ortom Ortom to fight the aggressors, he will also sing a victory song. His election will affect drastically, the outcome of most elections, altering the status quo. This will see the PDP winning more seats at the National and state legislative houses in Benue state.

And for those who dont know, another gain of Governor Ortom in the forthcoming elections is the expectancy of political blocs like Jerchira, Kwande in Tiv speaking area and the Benue South district who are aiming at taking over in 2023. These three blocs are all laying claim to the coveted seat in 2023. And so one last term for Ortom in 2019 is a sure bet for them at taking a shot at the 2023 governorship seat. Which is why they will return block votes for Ortom. Except those who may want to live in denial, the odds of the 2019 governorship elections in Benue state are more in favour of Ortom than any other perceived candidate. We may argue with every emotions in us, throwing up all manner of imaginary powers elsewhere to subvert the popular will of the people, at the end of the day, Ortom will coast home to victory, dusting the ambitious, pretenders and jokers.

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Opinion

Atiku’s withdrawal from the debate is a tactical masterstroke

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By Farooq Kperogi

I’ve read commentaries that aver that Atiku’s decision to bail out of Saturday’s presidential debate in protest against Buhari’s decision not to participate in it was a tactical error. I disagree. Here is why.

The presidential debate is designed to be a match–or, if you like, a push and pull– between the defending champion, i.e., Buhari, and contenders to the title he holds, i.e., Atiku, Moghalu, Madam Oby, Sowore, and others. If the defending champion declines to thrown his hat into the ring, the entire match becomes pointlessly self-injurious to the challengers. In other words, it would have been a fatal strategic and tactical error for Atiku to partake in a potentially bruising contest with other challengers while the defending championing sits pretty somewhere unhurt.

I’ve read other people suggest that Atiku, being Buhari’s closest challenger, should have used the opportunity of the debate to sell himself to Nigerians. Well, that’s what #NgTheCandidates town hall chat is there for. You don’t sell your agenda by making yourself vulnerable to potentially deathly blows from other challengers who don’t hold the title you are fighting for.

Instead of pillorying Atiku for not taking part in the debate, we should question the other candidates for agreeing to participate in a meaningless dueling match with each other when the defending champion who holds the crown they want to grab chose to run away. Their performance in the debate would only be meaningful if it’s measured against the performance of the defending champion.

From a tactical point of view, I also don’t blame Buhari for refusing to show up for the debate. His mental and physical infirmities are now on full display and would be exposed even more in the unscripted, back-and-forth format of a debate. The cabal that minds him already deeply regrets allowing him to take part in Thursday’s town-hall chat because his cringe-worthy performance at the event dramatized his dementia and aggrandized his unfitness for the job of president. His campaign trail mishaps aren’t helping, either. Another bruise from a debate would seal his fate before Election Day.

In a tragic irony, Buhari and Atiku are less qualified for the presidency than all the other contenders are, yet it is either of them that will emerge president in February. That’s why both candidates are more guarded and strategic in their choices than the rest.

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