ONE: Last week we reported the attack and counter attacks currently taking place in Jos. It has since escalated. Many have died, both Muslims and Christians. It is so obvious that Nigerians are oversaturated with the gory tales of the ever-constant killing sprees that the citizens of plateau state seem to revel in. It seems no one cares anymore. We remember the intense outrage expressed two years ago when the fresh attacks began. This is no longer so. We have gotten used to it. Human life is cheap in the Nigerian context; it is even cheaper in Jos. A letter written by an expatriate working in Jos can be found HERE. Norma’s letter paints a terrifying picture of the Plateau landscape dotted by cannibalism and human despair. The Governor of the state has been quiet and so is the president. We want peace, but it seems it is impossible. So the deaths will continue and no one will care. The expatriates will leave and Jos will be left to rot in manufacturing human misery.
TWO: The federal government in response to recent growth in terrorism in the country has started some interventions to eradicate vehicular terrorism. Operation velvet, the first of many, involves the security and civil defense forces conducting special traffic patrols to track potential vehicles used to commit crimes. Further, last week, President Jonathan fired his Coordinator on Counterterrorism and launched an overhaul of his administration’s security architecture. To replace the outgoing Ambassador Zakari Ibrahim, he hired Gen. Sarkin Yakin Bello. General Bello’s career is dotted by extensive experience in counter insurgency activities in the Niger Delta. There are reports that he was successful in the use of brute force in combating the insurgency in the South East. One wonders if the complete failure of governmental efforts in minimizing militancy in the Niger Delta points to General Bello’s capability in stopping a learning and dangerous organization such as Boko Haram. To end, the SSS found an alleged bomb factory in Niger state and 6 suspects were arrested and detained.
THREE: The Abia state government has decided to sack all non-Abia Nigerians employed by the state. The government cited the need to absorb repatriated Abians from the north into the state civil service and also to meet the new minimum wage requirement. We wonder when Nigerians decided to end federalism. If Lagos state was to sack all non-indigenous Lagosians from the state, what will happen to the poverty rate of Abians in Abia?
FOUR: The Federal Government has deported 115 illegal immigrants from Kano state has it begins the fight against terrorism in the Northern region of Nigeria. These alleged illegal immigrants were from 5 different neighboring West African countries. The increased terrorists attacks in the country was cited at the reason for this stricter immigration law enforcement efforts. Nigeria certainly has the right to protect its citizens from foreign terrorists but we wonder who the true victim is in this. If other countries are to retaliate to do the same to illegal Nigerians, what will happen to the Nigerian economy? The economic consequences of such moves will be great indeed.
FIVE: The Nigerian Government through the Ministry of Health has set aside $4 million to “procure contraceptives and other facilities necessary” to ensure improved maternal health in the country. Nigeria ranks as one of the few countries with the worst maternal health indicators in the world. Access to contraceptives and other methods of preventing unwanted pregnancies has long been linked to improved maternal health. This is hopeful news.
SIX: The Ministry of Finance has finally paid its 35 years outstanding debt to poorer non-oil producing Nations. The $43.3 million balance was paid last week to the OPEC fund for international development. We are curious as to when the government will pay its debt to the many Nigerians without health care and efficient education.
SEVEN: The House of Assembly of Cross River State has passed a law stating that any HIV positive individual who knowingly transmits the infection to a non-infected person will be jailed for life. The law also aims to protect infected persons by introducing strict sanctions for false accusation against them. This law has huge human rights implications especially if other states are to adopt similar measures. Let the debate start.
EIGHT: The Federal Government has presented its plan to overhaul the Agricultural sector of the country. It aims to end inefficient subsidies and to encourage self-sufficiency in the production of food crops. Here is an overview of the plan.