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The Cobra-Effect of Achaba Ban In Bauchi State By Adamu Bello

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The Cobra Effect is a term in Economics. It refers to a situation when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse.

The decision to ban Achaba by Bauchi state government in an attempt to improve the security of lives and properties was well-intentioned. As Governor Bala fears, the proliferation of Yan-Achaba who are banned from other states into Bauchi State is a very big threat to our security, hence, the need for governments’ decisive action. No sane government will allow an open security threat to emanate and escalate without taking necessary measures. However, certain unintended consequences that may lead to making the problem worst must be considered before rushing into action to avoid falling into the ditch of Cobra-Effect.

The term Cobra-Effect was coined based on an incident in old colonial India. By some reasons, there were too many venomous cobra snakes in Delhi. People were dying due to snake-bites and it became scary for almost everyone to step out of their houses. The government of the day had to get into action to stop this menace and it offered a silver coin for every dead cobra. The results were great, a large number of snakes were killed for the reward.

Eventually, however, it led to some serious unwanted consequences. After a short-term decrease in cobra population, it started going up again. This was because few people began to breed cobras for the income. When the news reached the government, the reward program was scrapped, causing the cobra breeders to set the now-worthless snakes free. As a result, the cobra population further increased. The solution for the problem made the situation even worse.

This is exactly what would happen to Bauchi State if the government sticks to its decision on Achaba ban. The Achaba will eventually disappear, but the security situation would be worse in the near future, because most of the Yan-Achaba are youths with no other means to make ends meet than Achaba. They have no certificates for white-collar-job, no capital for investment and no skill for craftsmanship. Taking Achaba away from them makes them completely hopeless and idle. What do they say about idle mine? Many of them will see no option than to join criminal rackets such as stealing, burglary, banditry, kidnapping, fraud, terrorism, kidnapping, and thuggery, etc.

Many businesses such as vulcanizers, mechanics, engine oil vendors, motorcycle and spare-parts suppliers tend to suffer huge loss. When Yan-Achaba lose their jobs, the already skyrocketed unemployment in the state would increase geometrically. The ugly labor market would get fatter and uglier, and the dependency ratio on the inconsistent salary would also multiply, hence, shooting the state’s poverty rate up. This depicts the potential insecurity the state is heading into.

There are also serious unwanted consequences of Achaba ban to the governor politically. The ban is tantamount to hatching thousands of enemies amongst citizens comprising Yan-Achaba and their sympathizers. Especially with the way police officers are maltreating and extorting Yan-achaba financially under his watch. It is a sophisticated political weapon for the oppositions to use against the governor and his political party. Pundits in the state view the decision as an anti-masses and widely unpopular policy. Many are saying government should not block peoples’ source of income without providing alternative.

Talking about alternative, Bauchi state governor promised to provide 500 Keke Napep (tricycles) for Yan-Achaba as substitute to their motorcycles, meanwhile only three-fifty keke Napep are provided, whereas there are more than five thousand Yan-Achaba in the state. This shows that Bauchi state has no resources or the governor has no political-will to provide substitute for even the registered Yan-Achaba talk less of those without register.

I recommend the reversal of this unpopular decision of total ban on Achaba across Bauchi state, because the Cobra-Effect would be devastating. His Excellency should put emphasis on compulsory registration and consistent tax payment by Yan-Achaba. This would secure the state from unwanted proliferation and would create additional income for the state and at the same time keep thousands of youths occupied.

The ban should be successive, starting from the state capital with the provision of enough substitute tricycles at an affordable soft loan. After successful abolishing of the practice in the capital, the ban could then be extended to the remaining parts of the state using similar substitution procedures to avoid unwanted consequences.

This may save Bauchi state from the mysterious Cobra-Effect of Achaba ban.

By Adamu Bello Mai-bödi
Wrote from Gidado Bombiyo residence
K/kaji Azare.

Opinion

Buhari: A General That Takes His Nation to Waterloo! By Comrade Bello Ishaq

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In 2006, while perusing the writings of some classical Greek philosophers, I came across a quote by Plato which says, ‘one of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”. This quote motivated me to not only broaden my research on politics but pick a deliberate interest in it. Prior to that time, particularly when Buhari began contesting in 2003, I had nothing to do with politics due to callowness in age and political apathy I suppose.

So, I had been an ardent supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari from 2007 to 2015. During elections, I and other devotees risked our lives to keep vigil at INEC office just to protect the votes cast in favour of Buhari in compliance with his usual directive of ‘A kasa, a tsare (which could be connotatively be translated to English as ‘cast your vote and stay to protect it’). Anytime Buhari was to visit Bauchi, I trekked numerous kilometers to welcome and accompany him to all the major places he was visiting such as Emir’s Palace, among others, even though I was a nonentity but the vehement belief in what he politically preached was the only thing that had been intoxicating me to do such a voluntary herculean task. I kept following him through ANPP, CPC and APC. In my mind’s eye, I was regarding him as the Nigerian Mao Zedong and a living version of Napoleon Bonaparte.

In 2015, I authored and published two books about Buhari and translated one of them to Hausa – all in my quest to promote messiah Buhari that we were hero worshipping. I can’t recall the number of essays I drafted in support of Buhari.

A year after his ascension to the presidential throne, I realized that the General could not take us to the promised land as he had been vowing. I came to that conclusion after observing many of his actions and inactions because I was expecting him to start taking boldly developmental steps the way his counterpart in Tanzania – late John Pombe Magafuli was doing. Buhari and Magafuli came to power almost the same time as both were elected in 2015.

In 2016, my instinct revealed to me that Buhari might take us to where life will be horribly ‘solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short’, using Thomas Hobbes’ phraseology. For that, my conscience pricked me to make a decision. Consequent upon that, I totally withdrew my support for him and resigned my membership of the APC despite having a cordial relationship with some of the party leaders at some levels. I independently started pointing out the felonies and misdemeanors of the administration using the social media tools and occasionally making use of the mainstream media channels whenever the opportunities sprang up as they did from time to time.

Casting criticism on Buhari’s administration had attracted numerous antagonists to me, within and outside. Receiving insults from close ones and strangers was normal and became like a daily dose. Some ethno-religious zealots started labelling me as an enemy of the North or Islam just because I was pointing out the direction Buhari was taking us to. Some people that venerably called me ‘teacher’, as they used to come and take lessons from me, started openly challenging me and distrusting the veracity of my knowledge to the extent that some of them stopped consulting me just because I was pointing out maladies in saint Buhari’s administration. Many Buhari’s diehards doubted my sanity and they deployed unprintably insultive and pejorative terms against me. Those that were extremely kind and generous doubted my IQ and the schools I attended. At times, the insults came from people that I couldn’t reply to because I held them in high esteem. Numerous ad hominem propositions were developed against me including the one which proclaimed that I was being sponsored by the West or the enemies of Nigeria.

What kept me going then were three factors: my love for Nigeria is unquenchable and I regards it as necessary. Whenever I contemplated leaving the shores of Nigeria for safer and greener pastures, my mind would remind me that my parents, siblings and relatives are still in here. In addition, I have no any country that I could proudly call mine except this. Therefore, I could leave the country physically but I can’t leave it mentally, emotionally and psychologically. Thus, I considered it necessary to see things turn right. The second factor was that I am naturally averse to ‘herd mentality’. Just the fact that a multitude of persons do something or support something doesn’t move me to do the same as I always try my best to be moved by logic. The third factor was the letter I started reading since my secondary school days written by former U.S. President Abraham Lincoln to his son’s teacher. In the letter, Lincoln wrote, “Try to give my son the strength not to follow the crowd when everyone is getting on the band wagon. Teach him to listen to all men but teach him also to filter all he hears on a screen of truth, and take only the good that comes through. Teach him to close his ears to a howling mob and to stand and fight if he thinks he is right. Teach him to have faith in his own ideas, even if everyone tells him they are wrong.” The aforementioned factors had enabled me to sustain the tempo in the face of massive hostility, insults and threats.

Honestly, I am writing this piece to express regret for two things: first for the fact that Buhari has been proving my prognostication right even though I wanted him to prove it wrong for our collective safety and well-being. Secondly, with all the symptomatic harbingers of dangers that appeared in the Buhari’s first tenure, some Nigerians couldn’t foresee what was to come as they reelected him to carry the mediocrity-infested mess to the next level based on reasons best known to them. So sad that the region that shelters most of the voters of the next level is now the one bearing the worst brunt of the same Next Level (may God intervene).

Though Buhari has succeeded in lowering the bar and standard of leadership in Nigeria, I know I can hardly perform like him if I were to be in his shoes due to my personal shortcomings but Nigeria is adequately endowed with great men and women whom if given the opportunity can make a tremendous difference. For that, I most respectfully exhort my compatriots to always learn from the past to live in the present in order to forecast the future by not reprising the same terrible flub that we collectively did or some of us did on our behalf. We should stop recruiting leaders on the basis of primordial sentiments such as religion, region or tribe. Competence, capacity and integrity should be our yardstick.

While it remains few months for General Buhari to go and it is irrefutable that he had taken us to waterloo on all fronts, I pray another Buhari will not happen to Nigeria. May God help us elect leaders that will take us out of the woods and restore us to victory, prosperity, security, safety and peace.🙏

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Opinion

Propaganda is a weapon of itself by Aliyu Bashir Limanci

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The situation in Ukraine has reminded me of how Bauchi Radio Corporation, in the early days of the Iraq War in 2002, flooded us with a smorgasbord of propaganda, telling us America was losing the war just because a handful of American soldiers were being killed. Our support for the Taliban, Osama Bn Laden skyrocketed, and Duniya Ina Labari became one of the most listened-to programs in Bauchi. We hated America so much we were always eager to listen to news that smoothened our emotions even if it was fake. America went on to not only install a pliant government but also continue to control the country even after its withdrawal.

But this time in Ukraine, the role of spreading disinformation and made-up analyses to mislead the gullible is being taken over by the likes of BBC, CNN, The Guardian, and the New York Times. The rationality is lost and emotion has taken over.

Don’t forget Russia is so powerful that America, the UK, France, Germany, and other NATO members are trying to avoid a conflict with it because the war cannot be won. Russia is ravaging Ukraine mercilessly, seizing large swaths of Ukrainian territories and placing major cities such as Mariupol, Kharkiv, Sumy, and Kyiv, the nation’s capital under total siege. But they are telling us Russia has lost over 9000 soldiers but Ukraine has lost just 1300. They are telling us Russia will be defeated because the Ukrainians have vowed to resist the Russian invaders. They are telling you the Russian military advances are stalled because the Ukrainians have surprised Russia with their resolve. Let me tell you if you don’t know, Ukraine is bigger than Germany and France put together, and three times the size of Iraq. Ukraine has a population of 42 million people, and Iraq has 20 million. The Number of active Russian soldiers fighting in Ukraine is around 190,000 according to the CIA’s intelligence, but America and its allies had deployed over 500,000 troops and it took them 6 weeks to take Baghdad. Russia is in its week three in Ukraine, and it is encircling Kyiv, the country that has twice the population of Iraq. But according to the West, Russia is facing losing the war. Despite vowing to resist, Zelensky is now willing to make concessions to the Kremlin and, as conditions for peace, agree to recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics. It is even highly likely that Zelensky would drop his NATO ambition.

Propaganda is a weapon of itself.

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Opinion

Pantami’s FUTO Professorial Fraud and Odious Comparisons By Farooq Kperogi

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Pantami’s fraudfessorial propaganda minions have gone into an absurd rhetorical overdrive with ridiculously odious comparisons in their bid to justify the manifest fraud of his appointment as a FUTO “professor.”

But all the names of people they are bandying about who got promoted to the rank of professor while serving in government were EMPLOYED by their universities and were on SECONDMENT from their universities. That means they were technically still employees of their universities and their promotional clocks were still running.

Pantami was never employed by FUTO. Even FUTO itself was forced to clarify that he wasn’t “promoted” but “appointed” because you can’t promote someone who is not in your employ.

But let’s for now forget the fact that Pantami isn’t even minimally qualified to be a professor by FUTO’ own standards, you also can’t “appoint” a serving government minister for work he doesn’t perform. Professorship isn’t a chieftaincy title. It’s a job you actually perform.

By Nigerian federal laws, a government minister can’t take another appointment while in service. So appointing Pantami is a violation of the law for which both he and the crooked VC who appointed him should be fired if Nigeria were a functional country.

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