Dysfunction in Nigeria

by craig on May 7, 2014 1:37 pm in Uncategorized

I have fond memories of Borno state, camping beside my LandRover in the cold, crisp early mornings, steam rising from a cup of tea, then the thermometer climbing visibly as the sun got to work.  Fulani herdsmen crossing the horizon under conical hats with their angular cattle, women walking behind, slim and with beautiful posture, swaying as they walked.  The neat homesteads surrounded by fences of beautifully woven millet stalk.  Meals of roasted corn and suya.  I remember the farmer who offered me a drink, then took a tin cup and brought milk straight from the cow, still very warm. The people there are grave and hospitable.

I never one felt in the slightest danger, thirty years ago.  I am taken aback that places I went round then without a care for the British High Commission (I had the agriculture brief, which was an amazing license to roam) are now no-go areas.  The region is mostly dry savannah: the forest area stretching into Cameroon, incidentally, is by no means impenetrable, though it is true the canopy would be a barrier to aerial surveillance.  Very little of it is primary forest any more.

The media now have a new cartoon figure of hate in the bearded, bobble-hatted leader of Boko Haram, and in truth he is a very bad person.  But armed rebellions of thousands of people do not just happen.  It is not a simple and spontaneous outbreak of evil, still less a sign that we must wage Tony Blair’s war on Muslims everywhere.

Nigeria is a country with governance and corruption as bad as anywhere in the world.  A country of billionaires and of near starving sufferers.  A country of pollution and exploitation by big oil, and a happily complicit and deeply corrupt political class.  Nobody disagrees with that, and very few would disagree that there lies the root cause of Boko Haram’s ability to gather support.

If the Nigerian government were to have sent in the army en masse to try to recover the kidnapped schoolgirls, the first result would undoubtedly have been, on all previous experience of the Nigerian army, that hundreds more women would have been raped, this time by soldiers.  Villages would have been looted and people arrested, tortured and killed, more on the basis of extorting money than of looking for suspects.

To be fair to President Goodluck Jonathan he knows this, and he had made the extremely brave decision a year ago to try to deal with Boko Haram by dialogue and negotiation, and call off the military campaign which was making matters far worse.  He drew much criticism for it at the time, particularly from neo-cons, and will be blamed now.  The problem is that things have gone too far to be easily remedied, and to negotiate with the crazed is not simple.

Were I trying to get back the girls, I would operate through the agency of traditional society.  Nigeria’s indigenous institutions are much degraded, but offer more hope than any Western style interventions.  I am not precisely sure which is the appropriate traditional ruler, but I suspect that it is the Lamido of Adamawa, whose immediate predecessor I took tea with on several occasions.  Information on the girl’s whereabouts will definitely be obtainable through the networks of subsidiary chiefs and elders, which still exist, even though their political and administrative power had passed.  It is particularly helpful that in this region these traditional allegiances are linked to Islamic authority.  Adamawa’s territory extends into the Cameroon, and even Chad.

The fact of the old state of Adamawa extending into Cameroon and Chad brings us to the heart of the problem.  Nigeria is an entirely artificial, colonial construct created by the British Empire (and bounded by the French Empire).  Its boundaries bear no relation to internal national entities, and it is huge.  The strange thing is that these totally artificial colonial constructs of states generate a genuine and fierce patriotism among their citizens.  After just my first year of living in Nigeria I had formed a firm view that it would be much better for the country to be split into at least three states, and that Britain’s attitude in the Biafran war, that colonial state boundaries must be inviolable, had been wrong.

Many patriotic Nigerians will be very angry with me for suggesting their country should split up.  It is also worth observing that, not only in Nigeria, many Africans who are, with justice, most vocal in their denouncing of colonialism, are at the same time most patriotic about their entirely artificial nationality, created by the colonial power.





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  1. Certainly makes more sense than Obama – you know, that stand-up American comic – sending in troops to do the job.

  2. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 May, 2014 - 2:48 pm


    I see that you mention Nigerian troops in your lead-in post, but surely there is no intention of using US troops as Trowbridge seems to be saying? Or am I behind the news curve?

  3. Right, Craig, tell our most slow learner that it – the most stupid thing Africans have ever done – isn’t so!

    I cannot think of anything which is a bigger boost for the terrorists.

  4. I must say that this is a most simplistic assessment of the Nigerian situation. By the same measure, based on of the traditional political, social and religious bent and texture of American state one could also suggest that the US would be “better off” splitting into at least two separate countries (i.e. liberal north and northeast versus conservative south and southwest) — historically at loggerheads since the civil war, and even more recently (since the advent of Obama, ironically) more polarized and polarizing than ever in US history. In reality, however, U.S. citizens would ultimately revolt against such suggestions due to their patriotic spirit. I’m not so sure suggesting nations would be better off split up is a sensible assessment. Nor would it necessarily lead to stability — as more and more ethnic groupings (Nigeria has 250) might themselves wish to ‘secede’ thereby creating chaos. The key is good governance not the number of states or statelets we can divvy up a nation into (for our own interests, mostly)…

  5. Kevin,

    Your argument ignores the fact that the Nigerian state as at present constituted plainly does not work, for the large majority of its citizens. The BBC just gave a statistic – which strikes me as probably correct – that of the 50 million children in the world who get no schooling at all, 10 million are Nigerian. Yet that state has vast oil wealth.

    Actually splitting the United States into smaller components is not an axiomatically bad idea, as you seem to think.

  6. Reports so far describe the people the US are sending as “experts” although what they’re expert in isn’t specified. I can see how special forces might be useful in tracking the kidnappers back to their base and maybe some of these specialist police negotiators have been sent out. No doubt time will tell. I see the Nigerian government has at last put up a reward which might loosen tongues.

    Incidentally Craig I don’t recognise Nigeria from your idyllic description. A friend who spent seven years working in and around the Delta area at about the same time descibed it as a hell on earth, mired in corruption and in the grip of a epidemic of armed robberies. He himself saw six Nigerians gunned down in the course of a multiple car-jacking on the Port Harcourt Road because one driver was foolish enough to try and reason with the robbers. Certainly a guy my company sent out in the early 90’s returned after a fortnight (he was supposed to have been out there for 3 months) with just the clothes he stood up in having been held up at gunpoint four times.

    I agree though that the whole map of Africa needs to be re-drawn. The colonial boundaries, those straight lines on the map, make no concession to tribal territories but as you suggest it might be too late now.

  7. I plead ignorance over Boko Haram and have therefore taken a look using bi-polar analyses. The first is the standard MSM analysis of where we are coming from via West Point, which makes Boko Haram sound like it might be the west’s next Al Qaeda.


    The second is from an Islamic point of view. It over-preaches with quotes from the Koran. There is some in it I cannot agree with together with a few English or typing errors, and I am not really sure what it is trying to say except Islam does not believe in killing. I am posting it because it is the only article I can find which purports to be an Islamic perspective on boko haram. So if anybody can find me a better article I should like to see it.


  8. Craig, all I’m saying is that once we start advocating the splitting up of nations because, in our estimation, they “don’t work” we are walking down a very dangerous path… Textbook analyses are good for the textbooks, but may not work out the way we anticipate in real life. Tony Blair, George Bush, Donald Rumsfeld, Richard Pearl and Paul Wolfowitz had a grand theory of how ‘successful’ and ‘easy’ it would be to invade Iraq, how they would be welcomed (as liberators) and how the middle east would be thereby begin a process of “transformation” into the image of the West, etc. The reality is a horror we have lived through sincxe 2003 and are still witnessing today… Maybe Nigeria (and the U.S. — and the UK for that matter: we hear the Scots are considering something along those lines) would be better off split… Time will tell..

  9. never been to Nigeria or western Africa. This interesting read, have not inquired who’s view it is yet, looks like a fairly good present indicator as to what Goodluck Johnathan has to tackle, tribal gang violence seems part and parcel of these changed times.


  10. I should add that like everyone else on this blog I would like to see the schoolgirls home with their families. I am just trying to work out the mindset of a group that would abduct children and brag about it.

  11. Splittist majority

    7 May, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Kevin, of course the US would be better off splitting into two (or better yet, 3, or 9, or 11) separate countries. There’s no America, there’s just a state that’s got its hooks in different peoples. And they are very different peoples, historically and culturally: look at Albion’s Seed or the Nine Nations or the 11 http://www.tufts.edu/alumni/magazine/fall2013/features/up-in-arms.html

    The world would be much safer because the out-of-control US national-security parasites would have to shrink with their hosts. Governance is important, as you suggest, but with a terminally corrupt federal state, governance is more readily secured internationally through rights and rule of law.


    7 May, 2014 - 3:59 pm

    Violence is part of the scenery in Nigeria. I had a work associate who used his vacation time to travel to his farm every year. His family tended to duties in his absence. In 2009 he was murdered while in Country. Communications with his family were simple.

    “We don’t know why, and there was no investigation because the police are too busy”

  13. Splittist Majority

    7 May, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Besides, when your state goes crazy you have to leave. Slovenia escaped civil war that way. Slovakia escaped neoliberal austerity. Crimea and Donestsk can escape both. And Scotland now has the opportunity to leave a criminal regime and pursue peace and development, as the law requires.

  14. Kempe

    There was indeed violence in the Delta thirty years ago. there was also terrible violence in Lagos – I had three friends murdered in separate incidents. But in the countryside, outwith the Delta, you were perfectly safe.


    7 May, 2014 - 4:11 pm

    Incidentally; This anecdote-Sylvester, or ‘Sly’ as we called him used to come up to me and say ‘Give me a cigarette!’. On the second occasion he did the same and I said; “Do you say ‘give me’ instead of asking politely because you would appear ‘weak’?



    7 May, 2014 - 4:12 pm

    BTW; Sylvester was ‘Christian’.


    7 May, 2014 - 4:33 pm

    “On Sunday, three weeks after the kidnapping, President Jonathan publicly acknowledged the abductions for the first time, and admitted he had no idea where the girls might be. On Tuesday, he finally accepted the offer of U.S. help.”


    Afghanistan comes to mind and surely jonathan was reluctant to allow the US access for Imperial reasons. Objections to females getting an education seems to have been aggravated by US presence.

  18. An enlightening read Craig, particularly as virtually all of us commenting here would likely have no direct experience of northern Nigeria.

    If a benign split into 3 or more states (essentially Ibo, Hausa, Fulani ?)could be agreed, and given western encouragement, the outlook for the country would surely be better than it is now. Isn’t part of the problem that, at the time of the Biafran War, secession was rejected by all major powers (except De Gaulle, for obvious reasons)but was supported by the bad boys of Africa (back then, Colonialist Portugal & Apartheid South Africa). As a result, ever since, the idea has been tainted in the eyes of the Great and Good.

  19. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 May, 2014 - 5:56 pm

    “Objections to females getting an education seems to have been aggravated by US presence.”

    Is there anything which – if you “look” hard enough – you cannot blame on the Americans? Or any thread into which you cannot insert your anti-American narrative?

    It’s sad.

  20. The strange thing is that these totally artificial colonial constructs of states generate a genuine and fierce patriotism among their citizens.

    This is an interesting observation.
    I wonder if the fervour for these
    synthetic post-colonial nations is stronger in the urban
    areas and weaker in rural ones where older tribal allegiances
    still persist.
    There’s probably a good PhD thesis in that for someone.

  21. You don’t have to look too hard to see American and European involvement in Nigeria.

    Craig, in advocating the splitting of Nigeria, is following the neocon policy line of weakening Nigeria, a strong regional player, the better to implement the West’s objectives in Africa.

    Boko Haram is as much a creature of Western policy objectives as the Syrian terrorists and all the West’s other proxies.

  22. I wonder what would have happened in India, if Pakistan had not been separated into a separate state on independence? It was a difficult separation, but staying together might have been worse.

  23. Interesting backgrounder from a Nigerian perspective here:

    “But how did a ragtag collection of largely half literate unsophisticated persons operating mostly on Okada transform literally overnight to being able to design, manufacture and deploy bombs in buildings and in vehicles costing in excess of a million naira and carry out attacks in several locations around the country?”

    WARNING: There are a number of disturbing images contained within.


    Here we go again….

  24. Habbabkuk, for starters in your education, you know that there is a difference between the US government and its people, the Americans.

    The only complaint I have with the Americans is their continuing to support their rambo government whose nearly daily dark actions I shall continue to discuss as soon as I spot them, like sending is top advisers to coordinate, and do with the kidnappers what the Nigerian government should be doing. It’s just another example of Washington’s neocolonialism to suit its interests..

  25. The same Bandar mindset John that commandeered and controlled the ‘nineteen’ ghost cutouts on September 11th 2001 that implanted fear into the weakened minds and sufficient souls of ordinary Americans to sustain religious terrorism as a precursor for illegal onslaught, regime change, control and necessary massacre.

    Adebolajo and Adebowale were part of the same psychodynamics exploited by the West to advance a collective whose ego parallels that of a serial torturer.

  26. The 19 were hijackers, not cutouts, but when they turned out to be suicide bombers, the Americans had no alternative but to go along with the neocon crackpots who had made the convenient cockup since 3,000 of the fellow citizens had been murdered in the process,

  27. “How Nigerian police also detained women and children as weapon of war”

    Before Boko Haram started routinely kidnapping girls in northern Nigeria, more than 100 relatives of militants were held by authorities. Their leader vowed to retaliate


  28. Herbie

    Actually the West is very keen to keep Nigeria together. It works rather well for it. Just ask Big Oil.

    I just did a google search on the Lamido of Adamawa. The comments on this Nigerian newspaper site after the article are really interesting. The possibility of separation has gained a lot of traction with ordinary Nigerian people.

  29. Craig

    The possibility of Nigerian breakup has gained a lot of traction recently because a CIA boss was predicting the final breakup by 2015.

    Some Nigerians have certainly expressed the opinion that they’d be stronger, separated into areas comprising the major tribal groups. A bit fanciful.

    I’d agree that there will be differences of opinion within Western power centres, and Big Oil, which is itself divided, isn’t the only player. Individual players will of course always be loathe to forfeit cosy relationships which have been built up over time, but we’ve seen them forfeit these again and again as the grand strategy trumps individual desires.

    From a grand strategic perspective, the West’s more general long term interest lies in a much weakened Nigeria, and that’s why Boko Haram is useful to them.

  30. Tea over an African sunrise. Nothing like it. A randy old colonialist gentleman could gallivant freely to and fro. I was only there to help don’t you know. Agriculture stuff. Ruddy queer farmers. Drank milk without freezing it don’t you know. Damn fine postures on the native lassies though. It’s all changed now. Bloody peculiar show. I was only there to help don’t you know…

  31. Mark Golding, I am sure you’re right about the mindset having read some of the Wikileaks-released information supplied by Herbie at 6.38 pm. I would trust Wikileaks before I would trust West Point.

  32. Can I say off topic well done to Craig for his e-mail to One World Media. It did the trick.

    Ian Pannell and the BBC did not win the award in the categories for International Journalist of the Year and News with their Syrian Chemical School Attack lies.

    International Journalist of the Year Award
    WINNER: Guillermo Galdos – Channel 4 News

    Ian Pannell – BBC News at Ten, BBC One
    Katrina Manson – Financial Times

    News Award
    WINNER: Raped, plundered, ignored: central Africa state where only killers thrive – Mark Townsend for The Observer

    Central African Republic: Rape Victims – Sky News
    Chemical School Attack – BBC News at Ten


    Details below.

    Ian Pannell & ‘Chemical School Attack’ report up for awards this evening
    Posted by Robert on May 6, 2014, 5:57 pm

    The One World Media awards hosted by Jon Snow will be livestreamed from Kings Place this evening at 8pm here

    Ian Pannell (not sure if he’s in the country at present) is up for International Journalist of the Year and his ‘Chemical School Attack’ ‘report’ is up for News Award.

    My thoughts on his reporting – which I have been sharing with the relevant jury panellists and others via Twitter – are here.

    Craig Murray’s communication with the organisers is here.

    More on the ‘Chemical School Attack’ & previous awards lavished on Pannell & co here:

    Also worthy of dishonourable mention is Matthew Vandyke’s “Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution” in the Short Film category. Some background on the participants here:

    http://members5.boardhost.com/medialens/msg/1399395467.html links within



  33. “From a grand strategic perspective, the West’s more general long term interest lies in a much weakened Nigeria, and that’s why Boko Haram is useful to them.”

    And not just a much-weakened Nigeria, but Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt. The trouble is with the US its economy is on the blink, hanging on by the skin if its teeth. Why? Because, like NAZI Germany, with the mighty Krupps armaments factories it built up a huge arsenal of superior weapons, and in the end felt it was time to grow its empire. Unlike Nazi Germany the US, with its parallel concentration camps and military bases all over the globe, and increasing number of prisons has learnt the lesson, with its allies, Israel, Europe and the good old UK, it is better to weaken all these countries first before marching its jackboots in. So it has a policy of creating failed states where different factions are fighting people they previously got along with reasonably well.

    The world has seen it all before. As John Betjeman said “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough . . . ” not knowing that two or three years later they would be falling not a hundred miles away. The world will be getting the US payload before too long because the alternative is war and torture trials when the economy pops. I don’t know how to avoid this, but the only sensible senators appear to be Rand Paul and another who voted against supporting the illegal fascist government in the Ukraine with their worthless dollars.

    Sorry, I’m depressed about what the future has in store. You should be worried too. There were few spoke out against NAZI Germany. As few as there are now speaking out against US foreign policy.

  34. BBC cf Sky News coverage

    BBC low key and at bottom of home page.

    Nigeria abductions: UK to send team
    The UK is to send a small team of experts to Nigeria to help efforts to find 200 schoolgirls abducted by Islamist militants.

    Sky News top billing and OTT.

    Sam Kiley on video on how to go about the rescue

    Video: How Will The Nigeria Rescue Work?
    Sky’s Sam Kiley explains the geography of the area where the girls were taken
    Sky’s Sam Kiley explains how the international operation to rescue kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls might work, given the challenging geography of the region.


    Boko Haram ‘Kill Hundreds’ In Nigeria Attack
    A new attack in Nigeria’s north kills up to 300 as the UK sends a team of experts to help the hunt for 276 abducted schoolgirls.


    Jungle-Based Boko Haram Strikes With Impunity
    The extremist group is committed to establishing an Islamic state in Nigeria and plagues the very city where it first began.

  35. No surprises to see a rather thoughtful piece by Craig hijacked by the “It’s all the fault of the West” crowd*, topped off by Phil above with his weak attempt at portraying Craig as some sort of neo-colonial throwback for merely working in Nigeria and enjoying the life and culture he saw there.

    *I suppose it’s a sort of inverted racism in a way – Africans unable to do anything without Western agency.

  36. The price of oil and the cost to the still beautiful planet.

    Shell’s false claims on Niger Delta oil spills exposed
    7 November 2013


  37. Come on anon, it’s not racism, inverted or otherwise. None of you chumps has any agency, where the World’s Only Superpower is concerned! We westerners do it to the Eurotrash too. We do it to the Brits most of all! Poor sods can’t wipe their ass without US permission.

  38. Primer –

    I wonder why some ideas like Nazism are *wholly* objectionable while other ideas like Islam are perfectly acceptable. I know that not all Muslims participate in violent crimes just as we all know that not all Nazis engaged in violence either. Puzzling, really.

    If the crimes committed by Muslims *IN THE NAME OF ISLAM* over the last 100 years were instead committed by Christians or Scientologists in the name of their beliefs, surely we would be witnessing a completely different narrative about these incidents on this blog.

    It is therefore a reasonable question to ask, why aren’t gangs of Buddhists, Christians, Falun Gong followers, Philatelists, Soccer players, Tap Dancers, Mimes or any other groups engaging in acts of political violence similar in method, frequency and scale to that of Muslims? What is it *EXACTLY* that inspires some Muslims to behave in this way? Or are these reports just an elaborate lie perpetrated by the sophisticated propaganda machines of the US, UK and Israel?

  39. I thought Phil’s parody was hilarious. I guess I do sound a bit like that sometimes. I did consider including in the posting the time I caught typhoid. I was driven three hundred miles in the Land Rover unconscious most of the way, and declared dead shortly after I reached the hospital in Kaduna. That night, I was awoken by a cockroach nibbling the inside of my nostril. I was naked on a trolley in a corridor in pitch blackness – there was a power cut and the generator wasn’t working. There were no staff around. Three other trolleys with corpses were jammed against mine.

    When they buried bodies at sea in the navy, they sewed them up in sailcloth and put the last stitch through the nose to be certain they were dead. At least they did in Nelson’s time. Apparently a cut inside the nose is the best way to wake up someone who seems dead. Don’t know if the Navy still do that – or if they still bury at sea. See – amazing what you learn on this blog! Thought I would write something for Phil that’s beyond parody

  40. Jemand asks:

    “What is it *EXACTLY* that inspires some Muslims to behave in this way?”

    The Americans.

    Same as those Christians who raped, murdered, maimed and destroyed livelihoods as they installed fascist juntas across Latin America.

    Trained in the School of the Americas.

    A key feature of the training is horrific means of torture and merciless and extreme displays of violence, thereby causing much fear in the general population.

    You can see it being used to great effect today by Mexican drug gangs. That keeps Ameria’s Ukraine nicely destabilsed.

  41. ““What is it *EXACTLY* that inspires some Muslims to behave in this way?””

    The Americans.”

    I’m almost sure Herbie is parodying himself here.

  42. technicolour

    7 May, 2014 - 10:32 pm

    Grand piece, thanks. Have spread. Follow-up enviable too :)

  43. I just googled for news of Malala and this was the first item.


    She is still in Birmingham.

    Amanpour was speaking to BLiar enabling him to give another of his anti Islam rants 5.

  44. s/be Amanpour was speaking to BLiar enabling him to give another of his short anti-Islam rants.


    posted May 2nd 2014

    He refers to his bloody wars on Iraq and Afghanistan as ‘engagements’!

  45. Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    7 May, 2014 - 11:49 pm


    “…like sending is top advisers to coordinate, and do with the kidnappers what the Nigerian government should be doing.”

    If “x” is what the Nigerian govt “should be doing” (but isn’t) then what is the problem with American advisers doing that “x”?


    8 May, 2014 - 12:28 am

    Hab; I notice you are more tentative on the Lead thread here and at Squonk. Why not cut loose and let everyone know how you feel?

    Or, do you fear the ‘Lash’? Have the ‘couragee’ of your ‘convictions’ for goodness sake.

  47. I have been saying for years that Abu Hamza was an MI5 agent.

    I also have stated that Abu Qatada was ‘deported’ to Jordan to cheer on the British Jihadists as they crossed the border into Syria.

    I have stated that Boko Haram was created by Western intelligence agencies right after 9/11, along with at least two dozen other ‘terrorist’ organisations.

    I have stated that Malala Yousafzai is a contrived media caricature who is handled by her father, who again works for British intelligence.

    Pure emotional manipulation on a grand scale. They are vile, they are your ‘government’.

  48. doug scorgie

    8 May, 2014 - 7:45 am

    7 May, 2014 – 10:28 pm
    ““What is it *EXACTLY* that inspires some Muslims to behave in this way?””

    The Americans.”

    “I’m almost sure Herbie is parodying himself here.”

    Anon, don’t use words (like parody) which you know the meaning of not.

  49. Dysfunction indeed. The graphic with five categories – Wealth Ethnic Health Literacy Oil – says it all.



    Ajuba is in lockdown as the World Economic Forum on Africa meeting opens.

    Seeing what else is up for grabs no doubt.

  50. BLiar has a recent piece on Nigeria from a Council for Foreign Relations stooge on his FF website. No irony. CFR=Albright, Powell, Rubin etc.


    Mrs BLiar is empowering the Nigerian women ‘entrepreneurs’. So kind and totally altruistic of course.

    ‘In partnership with Visa, my foundation aims to address this gap, with a focus on Nigeria. Our project will result in 2,500 women becoming agents in the retail network of a leading financial services provider. As retail agents, they will bring branchless banking and mobile financial services to tens of thousands more women in Nigeria. Alongside the retail agent opportunities, the women involved will also benefit from training and capacity building support.

    Our primary aim is to enable a greater number of women entrepreneurs to enter the electronic payment value chain in Nigeria – a sector that is set to grow tremendously in the coming months and years.’


  51. first, explain how come AP reported this (carried by Guardian & others as well). this is the same group of schoolgirls:

    17 April: Australian: AP: SCORES of female students kidnapped by Islamic militants from a north-eastern Nigerian school are free, Nigeria’s military says.
    Only eight of more than 100 students are unaccounted for, Major General Chris Olukolade said in a statement that gave no details.
    “The others have been freed this evening,” he said…
    Mr Shettima told reporters that the insurgents arrived at Chibok government Secondary School for Girls wearing military fatigues and posing as soldiers – a common tactic used by the insurgents…

    also in the following: “The envoy added that the US had had a long-term security relationship with Nigeria, focused on Boko Haram. The relationship, he said, would continue after the girls are found and returned to their parents.”

    8 May: ThisDayLive: US, Nigeria Iron out Modalities on Rescue of Chibok Schoolgirls
    President Goodluck Jonathan
    •America may use drones as China, France offer to help
    •Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie, Malala join other celebrities to condemn kidnapping…
    However, despite the global outcry over the kidnapping and attempts to reunite the girls with their families, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) played the blame game yesterday, when it accused the Borno State Governor, Kashim Shettima, of conspiracy and colluding with his state Commissioner for Education and the Chibok school authorities to set the country on the path of deception…
    CAN Accuses Shettima of Conspiracy
    However, a new twist to the abduction saga was introduced yesterday, when CAN pointedly accused the Borno State governor of conspiracy and colluding with his Commissioner for Education and the school authorities to cause confusion.
    In a statement issued by the northern chapter of CAN, the body alleged that the abduction of the students by the Boko Haram sect was a premeditated plan orchestrated by the state government in continuation of its intimidation of Christians of northern Nigeria.
    The statement, which was signed by its Secretary General, Prof. Daniel Babayi, and Public Relations Officer, Sunday Oibe, said: “Since the abduction of some female students in Chibok Local Government Area of Borno State, northern CAN has decided to be silent for some reasons. We decided that we will make statements when we have all the facts of the matter.”
    CAN, however, alleged that the “smooth” abduction of the high number of pupils without any hindrance suggested some degree of conspiracy and culpability on the part of the state government, thus requiring it to provide some salient answers to the barbaric abduction of the innocent girls.
    “It may interest Nigerians to know that we have fundamental questions which demand one million answers. Since the abduction of these girls over three weeks ago, has Borno State Governor, Alhaji Kashim Shettima, constituted any panel of investigation with a view to making its report public? Also, how did the 353 female students disappear from the school into the thin air?” the body demanded to know.
    CAN also expressed concern over the state government’s decision to deliberately ignore several warnings by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) that Chibok was not secure for the conduct of examinations.
    “Why did the Borno State Commissioner for Education, school principal, vice-principal and chief security officer, all Muslims, ignore the valid advice of WAEC on the security implication of writing exams in the school and the need to have a centre where the children’s lives would have been secure?
    “How did Boko Haram carry over 200 students and their food stolen by these criminals from the school? Was it carried with a trailer? Why is it that since this issue came up, no single photograph of the abducted children has been made public by the school authorities?
    “After all, they were preparing for exams and may have submitted their photographs. Where were the daughters of the principal, vice-principal and chief security officer when the abduction took place?” CAN asked.
    CAN went further to express hope that this was not a political gimmick to carry out a political conspiracy against these daughters of Nigerians, future mothers of Nigeria and citizens who are leaders of tomorrow.
    “These are the questions. We have done our investigations, we are begging the international community, we are begging the Federal Government of Nigeria and the press to ask these legitimate questions from the governor, Commissioner for Education, principal and CSO of the school, because Chibok is a predominantly Christian area…
    Proffering a solution to the current nightmare, CAN said the governor and government of Borno State should and must, as a matter of urgency, stop playing politics with the lives of the children of other people, adding “They should produce those children without delay because they know their whereabouts.”
    As a condition, the body demanded an explanation from the governor, Commissioner for Education, principal and CSO of the school on what they did and what they did not do that led to the ferrying away of the girls, who had gone to sit for their examination?
    “How come that the parents of these children have not been able to come out to say anything? Are they saying that these children are orphans and do not have parents? We demand an explanation because from our investigations, the parents of these children are facing intimidation and threats from the government of Borno State.
    “That is why they have not come out to speak. They are nursing their pains in silence,” CAN stated.
    “We also reject a situation where they will turn our daughters to sex slaves of these criminals called Boko Haram. We have it on good authority that some of these children are being physically assaulted. Some of these children are being compelled to be wives of these criminals. If you want to marry somebody’s daughter, you must seek the consent of her parents and not to ferry under-age children and perpetrate a lot of havoc on them.
    “The abduction of these girls seems to be a resurrection of what the Christian communities in northern Nigeria have been suffering for centuries in the hands of the emirs and imams regarding the forcible conversion and abduction of Christian girls.
    “The Borno State government should be reminded that the fundamental human rights of these people should be respected and protected,” it stressed, insisting that the governor should provide an immediate explanation on what has happened to the girls.
    CAN added that there is a limit to which Christians can tolerate all these abnormalities, alleging, “We suspect a conspiracy among all of these characters, including the governor, Commissioner for Education, principal and CSO, since none of the daughters of the teachers and principal was abducted.”
    It said there was more to the abduction than meets the eye, maintaining that this was its position on the tragic incident…

  52. Mary –

    One World Media Awards May 6 London – Winners
    (BOTTOM) Special Award
    WINNER: Premium Times – Nigeria

    16 April: Premium Times: UNESCO appoints PREMIUM TIMES editor, (Musikilu) Mojeed, judge for World Press Freedom Award
    Mr. Mojeed will serve on the 12-member Jury for an initial term of three years (2014 – 2016) and the appointment is renewable only once…
    The members of the Jury also have assisted UNESCO in matters relating to media legislation, media ethics and the assessment of media in various countries.
    A multiple award-winning journalist, Mr. Mojeed is a recent John S. Knight Fellow at Stanford University. Before then, he was a Ford Foundation Fellow at The City University of New York’s [CUNY] Graduate School of Journalism where he obtained a Masters in Journalism.

    BBC World Service interviewed Mojeed yesterday, yet have documented nothing. however, i heard the interview and Mojeed was basically suggesting a Govt conspiracy in the kidnapping, due to the overwhelming corruption of the State, the military, etc.

  53. I noticed that the Chinese premier is at the WEF meeting in Nigeria. That must rankle with the Western crims.

    Li Keqiang Premier of the People’s Republic of China

    Also the Diamond Geezer ex Barclays now Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Atlas Merchant Capital, USA


    Paul Polman Unilever

    Shari Berenbach President and Chief Executive Officer, United States African Development Foundation (USADF), USA

    Mark Suzman President, Global Policy and Advocacy, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA

    plus representatives from Accenture, McKinsey, World Trade Organisation, in the list. And not forgetting Gordon Brown in his capacity as ‘Chair, World Economic Forum Global Strategic Infrastructure Initiative; UN Special Envoy for Global Education’. No mention of his writing the cheques for BLiar’s wars or of his own war mongering.

  54. More on Diamond. See how it’s done.

    April 8, 2014

    Bob Diamond raids Barclays for new Africa banking chief
    By Andy Sharman

    Bob Diamond, the ousted former Barclays chief executive, has raided the ranks of his former employer by poaching an ex-US marine to run his Africa-focused banking venture.

    Atlas Mara on Tuesday appointed John Vitalo, Barclays’ head of the Middle East and north Africa, as chief executive, just two days after the London-listed cash shell clinched a controlling stake in the Development Bank of Rwanda.

    A week earlier, Atlas agreed to buy Botswana-based lender BancABC and its controlling shareholder, ADC African Development Corporation, for $265m in cash and shares.

    That deal, Mr Diamond’s first since being leaving Barclays under a cloud in 2012, marked a comeback for the divisive American investment banker. His reign as Barclays chief executive ended in an abrupt exit engineered by Bank of England governor Lord King, after Barclays was fined for manipulating the Libor interbank lending rate.

    Atlas Mara, which listed last December, is hoping to tap the potential of sub-Saharan Africa, where only a quarter of the region’s 1bn or so people have bank accounts. Mr Diamond’s partner in the venture is Ashish Thakkar, the 32-year-old head of Mara Group, a $1bn conglomerate with business in 19 African countries.

    “It has been an exciting few weeks for Atlas Mara,” said Mr Thakkar.
    Mr Diamond said of Mr Vitalo: “I couldn’t imagine a better leader for this group.”

    He added: “I have worked with him over many years. He is a business builder, deeply knowledgeable in the critical areas of technology and risk and he is trusted by his colleagues and clients.”

    Mr Vitalo joins Atlas Mara after a five-year stint as Middle East and north Africa chief executive of Barclays. Before that, he was based in Johannesburg and ran Absa Capital, a Barclays-controlled pan-African investment bank.

    He joined Barclays in 2002 from Credit Suisse First Boston, where Mr Diamond had been vice-chairman and head of global fixed income and foreign exchange. Mr Vitalo has also served in the US marine corps.


  55. Premium Times itself has no mention of winning the One World Media Award. it’s articles have very few comments, so it’s hardly a popular website, as BBC made out yesterday. however, some interesting stuff in this piece, & some equally interesting comments.

    7 May – Premium Times: Ola’ Audu: Security officials confirm ‘over 100 people’ killed by Boko Haram in Gamboru, Borno
    “We want Zannah, who hardly visits Borno State, talk more of his constituency to make sure he backs his spurious claims with facts.”
    Top security officials in Borno State on Wednesday confirmed that over 100 civilians were killed by suspected members of the Boko Haram in Gamboru, Borno State.
    The terrorists stormed the area, a border community between Nigeria and Cameroon, on Monday night using improvised explosive devices, IEDs, armoured personnel carriers, rocket propelled grenades, and other dangerous weapons.
    The senator representing the area in the National Assembly, Ahmed Zannah, had on Tuesday told the BBC Hausa Service that over 300 people were killed in the attacks…
    However, top security officials in Borno State, who confirmed the attack, disputed the figures quoted by Mr. Zannah.
    The security officials said the actual casualty figure was “over a hundred’, and accused the senator of celebrating Boko Haram attacks and killings in his constituency.
    A top security official who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES in Maiduguri said Mr. Zannah’s disposition towards the activities of the Boko Haram is gradually becoming questionable “and we in the security circle are beginning to get uncomfortable with his stance”…
    “We want Zannah who hardly visits Borno State, talk more of his constituency to make sure he backs his spurious claims with fact, because these are human lives we are dealing with here, for God sake,” the official said.
    The official suggested that Mr. Zannah was complicit in the attack by claiming to have been contacted by his constituents even if the attack took place in areas where telecom network was non-functional.
    “The figure we have at hand presently is over a hundred and here we have someone who is in Abuja granting interviews on international media over an incident that took place barely five hours and quoting figures,” he said.
    The official also accused the senator of not cooperating with security officials in tackling the Boko Haram insurgency…
    “Why is the senator always the first to raise alarm on attacks?” quizzed the senior security source. “Every time he comes up with claims, he would quote outrageous figures, even before the aid workers and security operatives on ground get the correct casualty figures. It is his kinsmen that are perpetrating these killings and instead of him coming out as a patriot to assist us with credible information that would end this problem, all he does is running to the media and quoting figures, as though it was the soldiers or the police that were are attacking, killing people”.
    Mr. Zannah and security officials in Borno have a history as regards the Boko Haram.
    In October 2012, the then Joint Task Force, JTF, in Borno said it arrested a major Boko Haram leader, Shuaibu Bama, at a senator’s house in Damboa Road, Maiduguri.
    The senator turned out, as reported by PREMIUM TIMES, to be Mr. Zannah; with the suspect described as his cousin.
    A few days later, the senator was questioned for over 9 hours by the security agencies for his alleged link to the Boko Haram.
    He had then claimed that he was being persecuted for accusing the military of extrajudicial killings…
    COMMENT: The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) presidential candidate in the 2011 election, Maj-Gen. Mohammadu Buhari, has described the war against the Boko Haram sect as injustice against the North.
    Buhari spoke as “Guest of the Week” on Hausa programme of Liberty Radio, Kaduna.
    He said special treatments were given to the Niger Delta militants by the Federal Government, while the Boko Haram members were being killed daily and their houses demolished.
    The former Head of State said he was not in support of the emergency rule declared in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa states because President Goodluck Jonathan failed from the onset in addressing the nation’s insecurity.
    Buhari said the security challenges confronting the country started in the Niger Delta where he alleged that politicians desperate to retain their positions recruited youths and armed them to win elections by force.
    He said: “What is responsible for the security situation in the country is caused by the activities of Niger Delta militants.

    COMMENT: Until the security services weeds out spies in their midst who give out preempt informations to Boko Haram, the total destruction of these bunch of mentally retarded will remain elusive.

    COMMENT: Security operatives should stop chasing shadows.Their Duty is to protect lives property.In a situation where a whole town is under attack for hours without counter response from the military is questionable!

    COMMENT: The reality and fact is Shekau and his Boys exist, are killing people, and are located in a particular region of the country. Lets deal with that first in a decisive manner, then we can talk about the other conspiracies. I am sure by the time we get rid of Shekau and his boys, the support behind the whole thing will be exposed.

    COMMENT: Zannah and Ndume belong to the same category of rats spilling the blood of their people by covertly supporting terrorism by night, and playing the victim by day to the international community. Goodluck may be incompetent and corrupt, but northern elders need to ask themselves some soul searching questions about the monsters in their assembly causing mayhem in Nigeria because of their brand of politics.

    COMMENT: let northern CAN explain firt to Nigerians why their leader Jerry Gana released Mohammed Yusuf from SSS Detention first. Not once but twice.


    btw not only do we have US, UK, France & China offering to help but we Aussies are claiming we need to help too.

    balkanise Nigeria? why not. that seems to be the general plan, except for EU/NATO?

  56. O/T Patrick Haseldine has created a petition urging Ban Ki Moon to investigate the deaths (murders?) of two important UN representatives, Dag Hammarskjöld and Bernt Carlsson. If the good men in the UN are allowed to die without questioning the circumstances the world will end up being run by a bunch of gun-slinging cowboys. Please sign and spread.


  57. Thanks Oddie. One wonders where all the high tech weaponry described there is coming from and who the suppliers are.


    The credentials of Premium Times.


  58. O/T Get quite tired of people cherry-picking which assassinated UN Representatives to investigate the murders of.

    Former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was appointed Kurt Waldheim’s Special Representative on November 11, 1980 to help bring about a settlement to the growing Iraq-Iean War, thanks to Security Council Resolution 478, and he was assassinated on February 28, 1986 by the Anglo-American Iran-Contra plotters for doing so.

    It was a consequence of this unnecessary, and counter-productive murder that Carlsson was murdered by the plotters when the cover-up of the Stockholm murder was unraveling by disputes among the plotters.

    In short, Washington and London should be required to investigate these murders because they caused them rather than just calling upon their current stooge at the UN to investigate just bits and pieces of them.

  59. Wall Street connected western multi-national oil corporations have been practicing the policy of ‘divide and rule’ among Nigeria’s Muslim north (51%) and Christian south (42%) for decades. In the past, the western vultures have assassinated Muslim government leaders to bring pro-West military regime changes. Last month, Nigerian went into ethnic frenzy; killing each other and burning mosques and churches.

    However, something strange happened on January 1, 2012 – when country’s Christian President Goodluck Jonathan lifted fuel subsidies as demanded by the IMF, leading to doubling of petrol prices overnight. As result mass protests began immediately, uniting both Muslim and Christian communities. On Friday, Muslims held 1 Million March Occupy Ojota for Friday prayers.

    Nigerians have viewed the fuel subsidies as their only benefit from the nation’s vast oil wealth, and many people lack any real trust in the government after years of deeply rooted corruption. Most of Nigeria’s 160 million people live on less than $2 a day.


  60. Oh its all the American’s fault – as is all evil in this world.

    I wondered how long it would take some of the residents to reach that conclusion.

    Should I be blaming the weeds on my lawn on the US?

  61. Oddie I have been following the One World Media awards since I read that Ian Pannell and the BBC were listed for their Syrian reports. Robert Stuart has taken the reports apart. Craig also intervened with an e-mail to One World Media.


    In the original on medialens, clicking on the word ‘here’ takes you to the documents.

  62. Sure, if they are resistant to Agent Orange.

  63. Craig,

    Nigeria has form concerning attempts to split up along the lines you suggest –

    1)At independence in 1960 Nigeria had a handful of states or administrative divisions – now she has 36. The growth in the number of states was driven partly by the need to appease ethnic regional interests.

    At what point does the country stop sub-dividing (whether into separate states or sovereign nations)?

    Nigeria has over 250 ethnic groups and a population of over 160 million.

    2)From ’67-’70 a brutal civil war (remember Biafra?) was fought as a result of ethnic/religious tensions between northern Muslim Hausa-Fulani and south-eastern Igbos who were resident in the North. The Igbos were the predominant tribe/ethnic group within Biafra but not the only one. Other tribes would probably not have gone along with the idea of a sovereign Biafra dominated by Igbos. Although I’m Igbo myself, I can quite understand that – not all tribes are as patient as the Scots.

    3)In the 90s, a military officer from the Middle Belt (a region arguably more culturally aligned to the South), Gideon Orkar, led an abortive coup calling for all southerners and middle-belters resident in the North to return south, as a precursor for national dialogue on the direction of Nigeria. The idea was generally regarded as absurd.

    4)The Boko Haram episode, unless swiftly resolved, will result in the complete destabilisation of Nigeria along the lines of Egypt, Syria, Ukraine, etc. Certain parties (Nigerian or otherwise) with vested interests in such a scenario will gain, and Nigerians, as usual, will lose.

  64. I am a Nigerian of Igbo ethnicity. Having grown up listening to horrific stories of my parents, grandparents and extended family suffering during the unjust destruction of Biafra, I do recognise the yoke of ethnic conflict in my country. But I feel that with more and more new generations of Nigerians these ethnic divisions will wither away as they have done to a large extent in my own generation. In fact I consider myself more Nigerian than I am Igbo. My thinking is this: Yes, Nigeria is a colonial artificial construct, essentially a business deal by the British Royal Niger Company; but nations are rarely formed out of natural ethnic boundaries. I am religious and I feel there has been a divine purpose for bringing us different ethnic peoples together even though it was done in the most tragic of circumstances of European racial chauvinist imperialism. Unity is a fait accompli and we must live with it having built our institutions and networks of life (albeit very weak they are)around the basis of a united Nigeria. Other initially artificial nations have faced these pressures to break up along natural ethnic lines whether it is Britain, the USA, Russia you name it and they have all overcome various kinds of religious, linguistic, cultural and ethnic conflict. As a student of the history of civilisation, I know Nigeria can do so also but it will take time. The process of nation building will happen eventually but strong leadership will make that inevitable process come to a quicker end. We currently lack that strong leadership and it is wholly dissapointing. In the end I think Nigeria needs a new generation of leaders. If you hark back to the early history of an independent Nigeria you will find out that we did have these effective, inspirational iconic leaders like Nnamdi Azikiwe (the co-father of African nationalism along with Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana ). But sadly following a series of destabilising military coups our whole foundation of a democratic political system and culture was lost. So as we have flirted with democracy again and again we only produced a kleptocratic nightmare due to the usurpation of power by a different post-independence generation of ignorant incompetent leaders who hijacked the whole system initially created by our founding fathers. Nigeria will get there in time.

  65. Nothing changes.


    ‘It was, however, evidently impossible for a chartered company to hold its own against the state-supported protectorates of France and Germany, and in consequence its charter was revoked in 1899 and, on 1 January 1900, the Royal Niger Company transferred its territories to the British Government for the sum of £865,000. The ceded territory together with the small Niger Coast Protectorate, already under imperial control, was formed into the two protectorates of northern and southern Nigeria.

    The company changed its name to The Niger Company Ltd and in 1929 became part of the United Africa Company. The United Africa Company came under the control of Unilever in the 1930s and continued to exist as a subsidiary of Unilever until 1987, when it was absorbed into the parent company.’

    We return to Unilever, currently attending the World Economic Forum for Africa in Ajuba. My comment above refers.


    8 May, 2014 - 4:02 pm

    ” In the end I think Nigeria needs a new generation of leaders.”

    OEM; Respectfully, can you tell me how this can happen in light of the environment? I am American, and I have the same conclusions for my country.

    ” Other initially artificial nations have faced these pressures to break up along natural ethnic lines whether it is Britain, the USA, Russia you name it and they have all overcome various kinds of religious, linguistic, cultural and ethnic conflict”

    Indeed. There are special interests, however, who have their own vision of growth objectives, and they can manipulate with resources resembling a ‘carrot’ or ‘stick’. I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. Many times persons with good ideas have to go to venture capitalists (Bankers) in order to launch their business. Those VC’s have a lock on the outcome, and it is very self-serving. How to address that for your country?

  67. Ba'al Zevul ( :- ) )

    8 May, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    “strong leadership…”
    Look at recent European history, and be careful what you wish for. And the best of genuine luck!

  68. Oh please. CIA sponsor Boko Haram just like they do Al Qaeda. How else are we going to get that oil and justify the war on terror.

  69. Of course, the timing of the increased activities of Boko Haram and the World Economic Forum in Nigeria are purely coincidental…

  70. Craig,

    Sadly committing a body to ‘The Deep’ from a Navy warship is not an entitlement for sailors serving or not. Committal of ashes from a fleet tender is possible (expensive) yet with some influence a sea salt casket containing ashes can be committed from a Naval warship.

    A jolly good day out at sea for everyone (limited to six) and no children under 14 years.

  71. Solid argument. If they can find tribal intermediaries to negotiate a release they should. I’m wondering if, in a country as corrupt as Nigeria, some police or government officials might be taking a cut for the sale of the girls? Or is hatred between Boko Haram and government employees strong enough to rule that out? Are the girls being sold or is that a rumour?

  72. Craig, I sent this link to an African friend who covers Nigeria as an analyst and is following the situation closely — this was her reply. I thought it was interesting and worth posting.

    It’s a good (brave) piece – he rightly points out that his statements, especially the suggestion of partition, will draw the ire of Nigerians.

    Reaching out to the Lamido/traditional hierarchy would be an effective strategy for intel gathering, but disagree that elders would have much traction with BH for potential negotiations/hostage release. BH has threatened members of the Borno royal family, the Caliph in Sokoto and other Emirs with targeted attacks, accusing them of colluding with the deeply corrupt gov’t. Also, the group’s Salafist leaning undermines these traditional power structures, so the northern and Islamic aristocracy are very concerned about any increase in BH’s sphere of influence.

    Select northern ‘big men’ have been pushing for a negotiated settlement to BH crisis but some Nigeria media reports have pointed to these figures as being the alleged patrons of the group and a pursuing self-serving agenda. None of this has been confirmed, but it’s very probable that BH has supporters within the military and government. Last month, Cameroon accused Nigerian governmnet officials in the north-east of paying bribes to BH, but this is likely to include many cases of extortion. To secure the safe release of the girls, BH would probably expect a hefty ransom and the release of its fighters in custody. As much as the group touts its jihadist ideology, it still bound by its practical needs, such as paying fighters or buying wheelbarrows for surrounding communities to secure allegiance. The military pressure on the group only makes BH’s ability to dole out patronage more important.

  73. O’Al-Qaeda, where I find thee?

    How did al-Qaida, a tiny anti-Communist group in Afghanistan that had no more than 200 active members in 2001 become a supposed worldwide threat?

    How can al-Qaida be all over the Mideast, North Africa, and now much of black Africa? This after the US spent over $1 trillion trying to stamp out al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    The answer is simple. As an organization and threat, al-Qaida barely exists. But as a name, al-Qaida and “terrorism” have become the west’s handy universal term for armed groups fighting western influence, corruption or repression in Asia and Africa. Al-Qaida is nowhere – but everywhere.

    If you’re a rebel group seeking publicity, the fastest way is by pledging allegiance to the shadowy, nowhere al-Qaida.


  74. looking forward to purchasing a copy, assume you recovered what you once lost?

  75. Abdullahi v. Pfizer, Inc.

    In 1996, an outbreak of measles, cholera, and bacterial meningitis occurred in Nigeria. Pfizer representatives traveled to Kano, Nigeria to administer an experimental antibiotic, trovafloxacin, to approximately 200 children. Local Kano officials report that more than 50 children died in the experiment, while many others developed mental and physical deformities. The nature and frequency of both fatalities and other adverse outcomes were similar to those historically found among pediatric patients treated for meningitis in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2001, families of the children, as well as the governments of Kano and Nigeria, filed lawsuits regarding the treatment. Representing the government is Babatunde Irukera. According to news reports, “[r]esearchers did not obtain signed consent forms, and medical personnel said Pfizer did not tell parents their children were getting the experimental drug.” The lawsuits also accuse Pfizer of using the outbreak to perform unapproved human testing, as well as allegedly under-dosing a control group being treated with traditional antibiotics in order to skew the results of the trial in favor of Trovan. Pfizer denied these claims, and subsequently produced an approval letter for testing from the Nigerian Ethics Committee. The Nigerian government insisted that it was a fake and a panel of Nigerian medical experts agreed that the letter had been concocted and backdated by the company’s lead researcher in Kano. They went on to conclude that Pfizer never obtained authorization from the Nigerian government to give the unproven drug to children and infants.

    In 2007, Pfizer published a Statement of Defense letter. The letter makes several claims, including that Pfizer donated 18 million in Nigerian Naira (NGN) (about $216,000 in 1996 US dollars (USD)), that the drug’s oral form was presented as safer and easier to administer, that the administration of Trovan saved lives, and that no unusual side effects, unrelated to meningitis, were observed after 4 weeks.

    In June 2010, the US Supreme Court rejected Pfizer’s appeal against a ruling allowing lawsuits by the Nigerian families to proceed.

    In December 2010, WikiLeaks released US diplomatic cables, which indicate that Pfizer had “used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout”. The company had hired investigators to find evidence of corruption against the Nigerian attorney general to persuade him to drop legal action. Washington Post reporter Joe Stephens, who helped break the story in 2000, called these actions “dangerously close to blackmail.” In response, the company has released a press statement describing the allegations as “preposterous” and stating that they acted in good faith.


    They make Viagra, the money spinner. Other uses too! :)
    I think a Wiki contributor is having us on.

    Cut flowers – Israeli and Australian researchers discovered that 1 mg of the drug dissolved in a vase of water can extend the shelf life of cut flowers, making them stand up straight for up to a week beyond their natural life span.

  76. Ba'al Zevul (Elämä on hyvä!)

    9 May, 2014 - 2:05 pm

    Olof Palme…

    Trowbridge, 8 May 2014:

    Former Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was appointed Kurt Waldheim’s Special Representative on November 11, 1980 to help bring about a settlement to the growing Iraq-Iean War, thanks to Security Council Resolution 478, and he was assassinated on February 28, 1986 by the Anglo-American Iran-Contra plotters for doing so.

    Trowbridge, 29/11/03:
    Gordievsky’s counter measures, though, especially the shooting of Swedish statsminister Olof Palme to trigger a showdown at sea with the Soviets, did not prove all that successful despite assistance from Younger at the MoD, thanks to the spying by Soviet double-agents Aldrich “Rick” Ames at CIA, Robert Hanssen at the Bureau, and Vitali Yurchenko back in Moscow. They closed down American double agents Sergei Motorin, Valeri Martynov, Boris Yuzhin, and others who conspired in the USSR to make Soviet nuclear submarines on station sitting ducks, ready for slaughter by US Navy attack submarines in the Barents Sea, when they reacted to the surprise. Only Palme bit the dust, thanks to an assassin’s bullet from, it seems, Guards Captain Simon Hayward’s .357 Magnum revolver. Then American Atlantic Fleet Commander Carlisle Trost refused to commit his carrier battle groups to Navy Secretary John Lehman’s plan to attack the Kola peninsula across Norway, obliging SOD Younger to cancel NATO’s Anchor Express Exercise, in which 16 Norwegian engineers had already been killed because of avalanches, in support of the absent American Task Force Eagle. (Information Clearing House -‘The Secret Government, How It Led To Political Suicide of Thatcher’)

    (Sorry about the length of the second extract, but I wanted to know how it finished -BZ)

  77. BREAKING NEWS:Nigeria information minister promises investigation of Amnesty report that army had advance warning of school attack

  78. The British divided India, and consider the result. I am not certain that dividing Nigeria would be a good idea.

  79. Global Research: Nile Bowie: CIA Covert Ops in Nigeria: Fertile Ground for US Sponsored Balkanization
    This incisive article by Nile Bowie was first publish two years ago by GR in April 2012 sheds light on recent events.

  80. Feldman who did the Israel’s Drone Dealers film (linked again below) has an extraordinary new film showing on Aljaz this week. depressing to say the least:

    Aljazeera – Witness – The Lab: by Yotam Feldman: A unique insight into
    the world of Israeli arms dealers selling weapons and experience around the
    Armies and police around the world are interested in the latest Israeli
    weapons and their military tactics, which have been refined by fighting in
    the occupied territories.

    The Lab can be seen from Wednesday, May 7 at the following times GMT:
    Wednesday: 2000; Thursday: 1200; Friday: 0100; Saturday: 0600.

    Aljazeera: Israel’s Drone Dealers by Yotam Feldman
    People & Power investigates how Israeli drone technology – first tried and
    tested in Gaza – came to be used by the US and its allies in Afghanistan and

  81. should have said Aljaz’s The Lab is not yet on youtube, so it would need to be watched on Aljaz this week. not to be missed.

  82. Oh, Hab, want to know why not let the USA deal with the Nigeria problem? Have you forgotten how we got into this mess in the first place in Afghanistan?

    The Taliban was willing to hand over Osama if Washington provided the evidence that he was a leading international terrorist.

    At the time, he wasn’t, so the USA had to make him look like one by letting the 19 followers on the planes, and do their anticipated hijacking.

    The only trouble was that they were suicide bombers, and the murder and mayhem has been with us ever since.

    Thanks, Ba’al Zevul, big improvement.

    The big things to think about now is making it look like someone else did it after Stig Bergling was prevented from being set up as the assassin – what led to the troubles of Christer Pettersson, the murder of Viktor Gunnersson, the set of of policeman L. C. Underwood, the murder of Catherine Miller to make it stick, and Underwood going to prison for life – like all the spies who prevented the world from going up in nuclear smoke.

    The mas men run the globe.

  83. Good comment on Medialens exposing Obomber’s wife’s hypocrisy.

    Grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls provokes outrage ………………
    Posted by Curtis on May 10, 2014, 2:46 pm

    and heartbreak in Michelle Obama while the actual snuffing out of the lives of young girls in Afghanistan by her husband provokes, well, silence.

    Obamas ‘outraged and heartbroken’ over Nigeria girls

    US First Lady Michelle Obama has said her family is “outraged and heartbroken” following the mass abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls.

    In an unusual move, Mrs Obama delivered her husband’s weekly radio address to condemn the kidnapping as, “grown men attempting to snuff out the aspirations of young girls”.

    Islamist militant group Boko Haram says it carried out the attack in north-eastern Borno state.


    Nato airstrike ‘kills eight women and girls’ in Afghanistan

    Seven victims in hospital as villagers take bodies to provincial governor’s office after women gathering firewood are hit


  84. Sky News carry it too.

    Nigeria Kidnappings: Michelle Obama ‘Outraged’
    The US First Lady, delivering her husband’s weekly radio address, calls the Nigeria kidnappings an “unconscionable act”.


  85. Another comment on Medialens.

    Guru-Murthy’s “Snowmail” on Michelle Obama and the Nigerian schoolgirls…short email…
    Posted by Ed on May 10, 2014, 7:30 pm

    Hat tip to Zemblan for the links to US atrocities.

    Mr Guru-Murthy,
    In reference to tonight’s “Snowmail”(1) and the “Michelle Obama calls for return of Nigerian schoolgirls”(2) piece you link to.

    I would like to ask if you or your colleagues experience any moral qualms at all about praising Michelle Obama for her selective concern for one group of children, when on the other hand her husband happily and frequently orders drone attacks that mutilate and incinerate children in Afghanistan and elsewhere and the US military on the ground commit their own atrocities, exterminating any number of children and civilians with virtual impunity.(3)

    Actually, when I say “moral qualms”, what I really mean is how can you keep your goat’s cheese roulade down when reporting such nauseating hypocrisy and opportunism as caring and sincere.

    Ed Murray.

    Michelle Obama calls for return of Nigerian schoolgirls
    “In these girls we see our own daughters”, said Michelle Obama, speaking about the kidnapped Nigerian schoolgirls. In a speech replacing her husband’s weekly presidential address, she said the couple were “outraged and heartbroken” and that America would help in the hunt.
    Meanwhile, in Nigeria’s capital Abuja families have held another demonstration calling on the government to step up efforts to find their daughters after yesterday’s allegations that the military were alerted hours before the attack. Our Foreign Affairs Correspondent Jonathan Miller is in Nigeria tonight.

    (2)Michelle Obama calls for return of Nigerian schoolgirls







  86. Craig,

    You say this:-

    ” Many patriotic Nigerians will be very angry with me for suggesting their country should split up. It is also worth observing that, not only in Nigeria, many Africans who are, with justice, most vocal in their denouncing of colonialism, are at the same time most patriotic about their entirely artificial nationality, created by the colonial power.”

    So – in practical terms does a post-colonial power:-

    A. Revert to religious and/or geographical pre-colonial boundaries; or

    B. Pragmatically hold together what exists.

    I opt for the latter.


  87. Eric Zeusse – Videos and Photos of the Odessan Massacre, and Why It Was Done

    Eric Zeusse – America Has Switched Sides: Now Backs Al Qaeda and Nazis

  88. totally ridiculous…

    12 May – CS Monitor – Boko Haram leader Shekau is dead say Nigeria officials, as nation rolls its eyes (+video)
    Three weeks after hundreds of teenage girls were abducted while taking exams, it remains unclear how many girls were taken, who they are, who did it, at what time, and exactly how.

  89. Israel to the rescue. The saviours of the civilized world!

    ‘Anti-terrorism experts from Israel are set to join the ongoing hunt for the Nigerian school girls abducted by the Islamist Boko Haram outfit.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan his country would send a team of specialists following a discussion on progress in the hunt to trace the girls.

    Anti-terrorism experts from Tel Aviv will collaborate with the teams from the US and the UK. France, Canada and China have also offered to help Nigeria in the battle against Boko Haram.’


    Obomber’s surveillance auircraft are deployed too.


    Saw this in the margin. Excellent news.

    Bahraini Activist Hails Ruling on HMRC Over Spyware Export
    By Sho Murakoshi , May 12, 2014

    This morning a British court ruled that the HM Revenue & Customs unlawfully concealed information into the status of an investigation into the export of surveillance technology to repressive regimes.

    IBTimes UK spoke with Ala’a Shehabi, a British-Bahraini human rights activist who was targeted by spyware FinFisher, distributed by British company Gamma International

  90. First there was Kerry’s “It’s really 19th century behavior in the 21st century, you just don’t invade another country on phony pretexts in order to assert your interests.” ( “Meet the Press”, 2nd March 2014.)

    Now there is this gem:

    US Government Official, Robert Jackson, urging the Nigerian government to reform its approach to Boko Haram:

    “When soldiers destroy towns, kill civilians and detain innocent people with impunity, mistrust takes root.” (Quoted in the Independent, 16th May 2014.)

    Breathtaking, eh?

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