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Frisky Larr (M. A.)

Radio/Television Journalist/Communication Scientist, Govt. accredited Translator/Interpreter of the English language
Judicially sworn interpreter of English (Regional Court of Bochum)

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The folks on top are Nigeria’s problem. No clue on diplomacy! No clue on governance! All that matters is clinging on to power, not the monumental global embarrassment. Fingers should point inwards and identify serious problems. Its time to rise and time to react! Nigerians should learn to learn!


The Terror Watchlist: Will Nigerians ever learn?
by Frisky Larr

How sad it is to be a Nigerian in this reality of our modern day exacerbated by Yar’Adua’s own version of the Rule of Law. How sad it is to live in one’s own country and be a victim of systematic exploitation powered by high-level corruption and collapsing infrastructure. Feeding from hand to mouth and ever waiting for handouts to trickle down the lips of ever swallowing governmental gluttons. A Nigerian is 'Nobody' at home. A Nigerian has always been semi-human abroad whenever the green passport was presented. They will today, now qualify as the proverbial black monkey of the African specie in any country outside Africa thanks to the 24th of December 2009 and the lackadaisical gang of Orangutan leaders steering the engine of today’s leadership in Nigeria. Simply put, Nigerians are doomed. At home and abroad!

Painful still, we could have seen it coming. More devastating too is the fact that we seek to do nothing to take our destiny in our own hands. Whatever we do these days, we simply take ourselves farther down the bottomless pit.

Today, it has climaxed in the entry of Nigeria into the American bad book of Terror Watchlist. Reactions have not been rare. Finger-pointing too! While all fingers point to the United States and the evil motives of the Obama administration, conspiracy theorists are highlighting the role of oil and the growing influence of China in Nigeria’s oil market with its angering impact on America’s perception. In all of these though, no finger points inwards. Copycats without a clue, what independent reasoning is all about simply jump aboard the wagon of chastising the United States and chanting the embarrassing chorus of rallying together in the face of external aggression in spite of internal division.

Indeed, many such voices can be ignored because they know not what they chant! Disturbing it will become though, when voices that should know better champion the causes of ignorance and mischievous ignominy. My target is Dr. (General) Yakubu Gowon.

The title “Dr.” qualifies General Gowon as a learned dignitary and notable academician. The sort that has passed through undergraduate studies with a Bachelors degree! He has also probably passed through and has definitely surpassed graduate studies completed with a Masters degree. Before gaining the title “Dr.” however, he has surely completed a post-graduate program with a doctorate thesis that should have been well researched with all the necessary elements of scientific methodology. General Yakubu Gowon is a Political Scientist and not an honorary one! I remember the words, with which my Prof. of Political Science (Prof. Bülent Daver) opened my single-semester course of Political Science for Mass Communicators in my University days. He said “Social Scientists never have enclosed laboratories. Our laboratory is always the society at large.” A scientist of the caliber of Dr. Yakubu Gowon should indeed count among the blessings of our society for choosing to return home after his studies in Warwick University. He has lived in the Nigerian society since leaving England, for over a decade or two. He has had his laboratory at his disposal. A laboratory that I am personally far away from!

Dr Yakubu Gowon expressed anger recently, that the Americans have placed Nigeria on their terror watchlist. He disagreed with them and urged them to reverse the decision. I am absolutely sure that he is aware of the difference between the terror watchlist and the list of terrorist nations. The Americans have simply decided to watch Nigeria more closely for potential elements of wilder terrorism. President Obama has never at any time, declared Nigeria a terrorist nation.

What irks me so badly in all of this and pushed me out of the confinements of work on a personal project to write this article so hastily, is the marked silence of Dr. Gowon and his likes over several years that the seed of fanaticism was systematically being sown in the heart of the arid land of northern Nigeria.

I ask myself today, where Dr. Gowon was when the self-styled President Ibrahim Babaginda unilaterally and single-handedly launched the official drift of a secular Nigeria towards international Islamism in the name of taking loans or handouts from Muslim nations? Ibrahim Babaginda dragged Nigeria into the Islamic Conference Organization as if he was taking a homogenous Islamic state into an international organization where it belongs in reckless disregard for the multi-religious composition of the entire country. Nothing happened. No hell was let loose. But would anyone have been surprised if extremist fanatics construed this as a sign heralding the dawn of a future Islamized Nigeria? After all, the spread of Islam to infidels and non-believers (meaning “non-Muslims” in the views of fanatics) is an avowed goal interpreted from the Quran.

Where for crying out loud, was Dr. (General) Yakubu Gowon when Zamfara State launched the introduction of Sharia laws under a secular constitution that never made provision for any parallel peripheral religious constitution? It is history today that the introduction of Sharia did spread through northern states like wildfire with utter disregard for the wellbeing of non-Muslims living in those societies. Where was Dr. Gowon? Observers – scientists and laymen – noticed at the time that the sole aim of that potentially reckless and dangerous maneuver was to teach Olusegun Obasanjo a lesson that he would never forget for daring to reorganize the balance of geographical power in the political equation of governance. If Olusegun Obasanjo mobilized the military in those days to restore constitutional order in those rebellious northern states, he would perhaps have ended up being killed and Nigeria of today would probably have been no more. But does anyone wonder that these silly governors, who played the instruments of the arrogant northern oligarchy in their actions, were indeed sowing the seed of radicalism in the minds of applauding mass numbers of illiterate Muslims in their states?

Where the hell was Dr. Gowon (a qualified Political Scientist) when Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was reported to have decreed that women coming to see him henceforth in his office at Aso Rock must wear the head scarf, upon assuming office? For Muslims, there was enough to applaud while the message of "Allah Akbar” was unnecessarily being flushed into Nigeria in days, in which suicide bombers in the Middle East were busy misusing this phrase in every foolish self-destructive mission.

Where was Dr. Yakubu Gowon? Did he ever see any laboratory in the society he was dwelling in? Did he see the fertile ground that was being prepared inside out for infiltration by external Al Qaedas? Did General Gowon see the thriving growth of muslim fundamentalism through all these past years in Nigeria? Did he see countless religious violence in which churches were arbitrarily burnt in Kano and Kaduna and Christian southerners murdered at random? Did he see the strength of followership that Boko Haram enjoyed in the north and the difficulties the authorities encountered in suppressing them?

Today, Sharia laws are illegally functioning in a largely illiterate northern region, in which religious/Quran schools seem to enjoy more value than university education. While literacy rate shamefully remains low in the north, political leaders do not act to address the imbalance; rather, they seek to appeal to this sectional clientele for political gains thus elevating their value in the eyes of unsuspecting weaklings and furthering the cause of fundamentalism.

Why do we now blame the Americans? Do the Americans not have a diplomatic mission in Nigeria to observe all these developments? Have we not been aware of CIA intelligence revealing that Al Qaeda has focused increasingly on African countries for their unholy mission? Are we not all aware of the Tanzanian bombing of the American Embassy?

Why in the face of all these should it be wrong for the Americans to decide to watch Nigeria much more closely? Is that not all that the Terror Watchlist is about? The consequences are of course dire when you carry the green passport. Apart from being drug smuggling suspects, we are now terrorism suspects. No one knows outside Nigeria who is northern, muslim Nigerian and who is southern, Christian Nigerian. We are now, all Nigerians and Nigeria should be more closely watched for terror infiltration. Dr. Gowon should have seen the steady growth of fanaticism in Nigeria and speak out on this first before tongue-lashing the Americans.

There are times in which it pays to stand out for truism that is potentially harmful than toeing the populist line of harmlessness in mainstream appeasement. Otherwise, it may be better to simply remain mute.

Such is the helpless state today, of a so-called Prof. Dora Akunyili who has slowly mutated into a living embarrassment to the world of academics. In countless after countless fecal opinionated misjudgment, she is steadily reflecting the unfortunate picture of a cadre of collective disillusionment and professional disinformation. How else can we explain comments attributed to her recently in the pages of our newspapers on this burning issue? Opinions that can at best be forgiven a casual market woman. “…the Nigerian in him …” apparently hindered Abdulmuhtallab from detonating the bomb on the America-bound flight! What a qualified argument! Lord have mercy!

The folks on top are Nigeria’s problem. No clue on diplomacy! No clue on governance! All that matters is clinging on to power, not the monumental global embarrassment. Fingers should point inwards and identify serious problems. Its time to rise and time to react! Nigerians should learn to learn!




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