Continuing with the theme of comparing Nigeria’s current President Goodluck Jonathan against his predecessors, here is a comparison of Jonathan against Nigeria’s first Prime Minister Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
GOODLUCK JONATHAN’S INTERVIEW:
ABUBAKAR TAFAWA BALEWA
President Shagari’s State Visit to the UK in 1981.
Excellent video clips of the Nigerian civil war featuring archive footage such as:
*An interview with Belgian mercenary Marc Goosens.
*An interview with Ojukwu.
*Discussion of the weapons disparity between federal troops and Biafran troops.
*An interview with a South African mercenary called Major Williams.
*The end of the war – Ojukwu’s departure, Effiong’s radio broadcast and ceremony at Dodan Barracks to end the war. I thought the sight of Effiong meeting Gowon for the first time in three years and telling Gowon he was “reporting for re-appointment and redeployment” was poignant.
*The end of war broadcast at Dodan Barracks by Gowon, in the presence of Colonel Obasanjo. I notice that Gowon very pointedly refused to call the Biafrans “rebels”, did not use words like “surrender”, and spoke of Biafran “acceptance” of one Nigeria.
A British and Italian hostage have been killed after a botched rescue attempt to free the pair from kidnappers linked to Al Qaeda today.
A British citizen (Chris McManus, aged 28) and Italian citizen (Franco Lamolinara, aged48) have been killed in Sokoto, Sokoto State in northern Nigeria after an attempt by British and Nigerian special forces to free them. McManus and Lamolinara were kidnapped and have been held since May 2011. Initial press reports (and British Prime Minister David Cameron) say they were killed by their captors during the rescue attempt by British and Nigerian troops. However a senior security source in Nigeria has told the Associated Press that the two men died in the crossfire during the rescue operation, perhaps indicating that they might have been killed accidentally by gunfire from the troops sent to rescue them.
None of the British or Nigerian troops were killed but the captors suffered casualties.
Our immediate thoughts must be with Chris and Franco’s families, and we offer them our sincerest condolences. Both families have endured a terrible ordeal, and this is a devastating moment for all of them.
The Foreign Office have been in regular contact with the McManus family since Chris’s capture. I spoke to them just before Christmas and I have spoken to them again with the news this afternoon.
I want to take this opportunity to thank the Nigerian authorities, and President Jonathan personally, for all they have done to help find Chris, and combat terrorism.
I also want to pay tribute to all those, including UK personnel, who worked so hard to try to bring Chris home safely. I am very sorry that this ended so tragically. I ask that the media respect the family’s privacy and allow them time to come to terms with their loss.
Terrorism and appalling crimes such as these are a scourge on our world. No-one should be in any doubt about our determination to fight and to defeat them.”
Great revealing interview with Ojukwu where he discusses several areas of Nigeria’s history including the January 1966 and July 1966 coups, the Awolowo -v- Akitola conflict, the Yoruba/Igbo “carpet crossing” saga, the political rivalry between Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello, Balewa, Awolowo, Akintola et al, the 1966 pogroms and the educational disparity between northern and southern Nigeria.
Ojukwu’s coffin has finally arrived in the east after travelling around the world.
One of the most emotional and harrowing films about child soldiers and the civil war in Liberia. The film’s “actors” include actual child soldiers. For those who want a realistic depiction of the brutality of Liberia’s civil war – watch this emotive film.
Very interesting interview with civil rights campaigner Shehu Sani. Sann brokered a meeting between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the brother-in-law of dead former Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf - Babakura Fugu. Fugu was shot dead three days after Obasanjo met with him.
Boko Haram draws its ideological inspiration from the 12th century Turkish Islamic scholar named Sheikh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, who died in 1328, while imprisoned in Damascus in Syria.
Contrary to their public impression of being uneducated and backward, their members who met with Obasanjo speak English and some had university degrees (including their female members).
This is a very poignant and revealing interview with Sani where he discusses his own role in trying to bring Boko Haram and the government to the negotiating table, and also during the pro-democracy activism during the military rule era:
“They don’t know my background. As a student union leader, I mobilized against the Buhari govt and I ended up in Kaduna prison. As a human rights activist I have been to many detention centers under Babangida and was even jailed for mobilizing against the annulment of the June 12 election… I mobilized protest against Abacha’s regime…
I was arrested and thrown into prison. I was in Kaduna prison, Kirikiri prison, Port Harcourt prison, Enugu prison, Owerri prison, Umuahia prison – all in the struggle to bring about democracy in Nigeria. People now speaking out..it is because we have a democracy. This democracy was not a gift. It was struggle which we have done. Many of them during the military couldn’t speak out, they couldn’t write because of fear.
I have been to police cells, I have worn handcuffs on my legs and hands, I have been to military cells, I have been to Black Maria, I have seen torture – all in the struggle to bring about democracy in Nigeria…I was in Port Harcourt prison as a political prisoner, with handcuffs when Ken Saro-Wiwa was brought in with the Ogoni 9. I watched through my own window of my cell how Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged together with 8 other Ogoni kinsmen…they all thought they were going to be taken to see a medical doctor. They were all taken one by one to be hanged…
The situation which we are in now does not call for fear and silence. We need to do something to save our country. The easiest thing I could have done was simply to issue statement and go to my house. I cannot sit down and watch violence being meted out against people..” (Shehu Sani)