DOES AFRICA ALONE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO FIGHT TERRORISM?

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Photo Credit: Defence Web

PRESENTED AT JAW WAR 2015 QUARTER-FINAL ON THE 7TH OF OCTOBER, 2015.

GEORGE C. Kimble said; the darkest thing about Africa is not its black people, its black magic or even its shocking history of slavery and colonialism. The darkest thing about Africa has always been our ignorance of Africa. Many persons cannot fathom what Africa truly is, the great qualities she possesses and the magnificent things she is capable of. And so when it is asked that: can Africa fight terrorism, as a matter of reflex and inferiority complex; we tend to forget the facts and even flex the index – all in a bid to say no.

JUDGES, fellow warriors in this tournament, ladies and gentlemen: Good evening to you all. Here stands an African, Adebajo Adekunle Adefisayo, from the faculty of law proudly saying yes to the question – DOES AFRICA ALONE HAVE THE CAPACITY TO FIGHT TERRORISM?

FOR the sake of clarity, the United Nations General Assembly in 1994 described terrorism as criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes…

OUR Yoruba elders often tell us that a society without laws is a society without sins and flaws – ilu ti o ba ti sofin, ko le si ese. You see, though social scientists may not wear suits on a normal day, they do so by all means today because it is then law, the way of public speaking. Premised on this, I can confidently say that Africa’s legal weaponry is a perfect start in the fight against terrorism. This is evidenced by Article 23, Section 2, Paragraph (b) of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights which categorically provides that for the purpose of strengthening peace, solidarity and friendly relations, state parties to the present Charter shall ensure that their territories shall not be used as bases for subversive or terrorist activities.

MOVING ON, the existence and re-emergence of the Central Multi-National Force against Boko-Haram between Nigeria, Chad, Niger, Cameroon and Benin shows that Africa has the unity and solidarity necessary to fight the monsters in our territory.

MOREOVER, what could be more convincing of our capacity to fight terrorists if not the 2014 Global Terrorism Index which places as many as 10 African countries in the list of top 32 countries with least cases of terrorism.

ALSO, it is as clear as the Zik River that the social values in Africa are a nightmare for terrorism. It is these values of justice and equity that propelled the formation of the Civilian Joint Task Force which has been doing a wonderful job in North-Eastern Nigeria fighting and ousting the menace of Boko Haram.

FURTHERMORE, the great Marcus Cicero once remarked – to know nothing of what happened before you were born is to forever remain a child. Thus, the question begging to be asked is: has Africa ever fought or won any fight against terrorists? Besides, how better to judge Africa’s capacity other than through the caps in Africa’s reality? Africa has indeed won several battles against terrorism. And a good instance is the 1985 total obliteration of the Yan Tatsine. We also have the Lord’s Resistance Militancy of Uganda, the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone and the Die Boermag of South Africa ALL of which are heard of no more today. And ah, not to forget our dear Niger Delta Militants who by the way promised us a Civil War should Uncle Jonathan lose the election. Six months later, it is apparent they only had the jaw but not the means to start the war.

IF my friends from the Social Sciences claim that Africa lacks military might to fight the blight of terrorism, please tell them that according to the 2015 Global FirePower list which ranks countries by military strength, India has the fourth best military in the world. However, this does not stop the same India from being ranked number six of the most terrorised nations of the world by the Global Terrorism Index.

FINALLY ladies and gentlemen, before I leave the stage, I must warn us. I fear that my opponents will soon come here to dish out a perfectly prepared delicacy full of the red herring fallacy. I fear that they will present an irrelevant item in order to divert attention from the original problem. And so, let us remember that the topic of today’s debate is not do individual African countries have the capacity. It is – does Africa, the continental land of milk and honey, have the capacity to fight terrorism. Therefore, my answer remains yes, yes and yes! If we combine the acuity of South Africans, the practicality of Egyptians, the numerical capacity of Nigerians, the martial vitality of Kenyans and the positive peculiarities of the 50 other Africa nations, we will not only fight the terrible terrorists terrifying our terra firma, we will in fact win that fight.

‘BUT MAKE SURE YOU DON’T BLOW UP ANYBODY’

May 10, 2014 – 03:30PM

Remember the ‘old’ joke of there being no difference between Blacks and Monkeys? I believe today, it has re-surfaced in many countries, but now it talks about Muslims and Terrorists.

I was in need of internet connection earlier today, whence, I went to the Faculty of Agric. and Forestry, University of Ibadan; as the Wi-Fi service is still operational. I was about having my sit in the relaxing arena when suddenly one of the security officials, popularly known as ‘Abefele’ sitting nearby beckoned on me. This is the conversation that ensued between us.

Note: I was putting on ‘jumping trousers’; a symbol of Islam which is pants that are not long enough to cover the ankles.

Note again: I will only attempt to paraphrase the expressions used in the actual dialogue, except of course the punch line in the whole story which has stuck to my mind since the incident.

Him: Hello, why are you sitting there?

Me: Good evening sir.

Him: What are you doing here?

Me: I’m only here to make use of my P.C. sir.

Him: Can I see your school ID card?

Me: I’m not with it sir.

Him: So, how do I know you are a student of this school?

Me: I’m sorry but I don’t have any document with me for proper identification sir … but.

Him: Well, you know this is a very critical time for the nation. This Boko-Haram menace, in particular. Seven countries are even here now to render assistance.

Me: Hmmm, yes, I only know of four though.

Him: They’re seven.

Me: Okay sir.

Him: May Nigeria be rid of those terrorists o.

Me: By God’s grace.

Him: So, where’s your ID card.

Me: It’s in my schoolbag sir.

Him: Go and bring it. Where’s your bag?

Me: I actually left it inside the mosque.

Him: Can you go and bring it?

Me: But sir, can you allow me to sit under the Coca-Cola shed over there, since it seems you’re uncomfortable with me sitting behind you

Him: Hmm, okay, no problem. You can sit there.

Me: Thank you sir.

Him: ‘But make sure you don’t blow up anybody o       !

Me: [leaves faking a smile, and thinking what an idiot he is]…

THE LOST PROPERTY

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THE LOST PROPERTY.

The awareness of guilt
The state of reticence
The manacle of restraint
That has accompanied me for years
Has vanished as a bubble does in thin-air
Only its fragments remain
In places of extreme solitude

Civilisation has separated us
Technology has sundered us
Imperialism has disunited us
I have lost my conscience
I have lost my rue
I thought I had freedom
But the reverse is the case

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Take to the streets in rags
Indiscernible from a lunatic
Except that I appear less filthy

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Steal from my fellow country-men
Relegating many into poverty
Without a hint of penitence

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Defiant to mother nature
Longing for repulsive coupling
With another who is gender-equal

Your dearth, it is, that makes me
Commit crimes against humanity
Slaying my man-kind en masse
Only to satisfy my egomania

Your absence is killing me
But I know not
Your lack is bestialising me
But I fear not
Reality is only a lid away
It is more than a big shame
That not anymore can I find shame