Sometime not too long ago, it seems, in the early 1990s, I was at a London court to help interpret for a young Nigerian who had been charged to the court for armed robbery. I was sure the young Nigeria could speak perfect, if accented, English, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided they could not understand his accent and it would be in his best interest if someone were to interpret for him.
The judge, on hearing the charges, immediately called the Crown Prosecutor to his bench and told him he was not going to hear the case because he, the Judge, personally do not believe the charges were true. This, he said, is because if the young Nigerian had been charged for fraud or credit card or drug smuggling offence, he would have believed it. But for armed robbery in the UK by a Nigerian? No way! Nigerians do not commit that kind of crime, the Honourable Judge said. And he promptly admonished the Police and the CPS and threw the case out. End of the case.
How times have changed. Now, at the very beginning of a new decade, Nigerians, or rather, the country Nigeria has now been put on a US terrorist list because of the misguided and probably orchestrated act of a single Nigerian spoilt brat.
Donâ€™t get me wrong. While we are exhibiting righteous indignation at being â€œdefamedâ€, the truth is that Nigeria has always been on one kind of infamous list or the other for a very long time. We are on a corruption list (especially official corruption); on a money laundering list; on drug smuggling list since the 1970s; on fake drugs list; on a prevalent internal religious strife list; on an internal insecurity list (warnings to Western travellers on the high incidence of armed robbery within Nigeria and in the early 2000s, the incidence of kidnappings in the Niger delta area); on a fake passport and visa list by almost all Western countries and even in some other countries. And only God knows on what other hidden lists.
Thanks to â€œMr Thunderpantsâ€ Umar Abdulmutallab (he hid his incendiary devive in his pants, stupid boy), Nigeria now ranks amongst the terrorist states of the world besides Yemen, Pakistan, Iran, etc. Now, the green passport, and most importantly, a lot of innocent, hard-working Nigerians all ovwer the world will be prime terrorist suspects anywhere they go carrying the Nigerian passport, or even if they are carrying another countryâ€™s passport, their names will give them away. I can imagine someone with my name, even on a British Passport, alighting from Arik Air at Heathrow being given the full treatment, including full body scanners, which strips you naked, exposing my already weak genitals, watched by many Immigration officers in the name of protecting against terrorism. It is not a pretty thought or sight or ordeal, I tell you. And here I am thanking God for clothes which hide the boxer shorts I have been wearing for close to 3 days.
So where are other countries on this list? Britain itself should be the No 1 suspect for terrorism, not the UK Government per se, but its very soft attitude towards terrorism. The UK is a hotbed of international terrorism. It is very soft on terror suspects, but we all know, donâ€™t we? Just go to many of the East End mosques. And we know how softly the UK government handles Islamic extremists, fearing backlashes and putting economic interests before the safety of its people.
But what is really galling is the response of the Nigerian people; mind you, not the corrupt, clueless, inept, leaderless, Nigerian Government, but ourselves. We like self-flagellation and self-blame. We indulge in self-pity and self-denigration. And there we have it. Since this Abdulmutallab incident, we, as a people, have been wallowing in self-pity and blaming ourselves and everything in sight (I must admit I was perhaps guilty of this myself initially, but recent details that have come to light has made me remorseful about that)
Our plight is not helped by the low esteem other countries have for us because of our several dubious reputation â€“ that of a corrupt, inept Government, and is further exacerbated by a sick absent President, whose whereabouts has been unknown by his people, and probably the whole world, for the past one month, while his cabinet and Party are playing hide and seek with our very existence as a nation, just because of personal selfish political interests, not for once thinking about the effect of his absence on the polity and the standing of Nigeria in the comity of nations.
That the USA itself has some hands in this incident is a foregone conclusion. We always like to listen to the CIA as if they are the only one carrying out surveillance on the world, but we tent to neglect the existence of that other great World Power, Russia and its Intelligence services. They have actually fingered the complicity and orchestration of the United States in this incident.
Recent alternative reports that I have read to rationalise the propaganda being spewed out by the United States (and it is always good to hear the other sides of stories) indicate that the United States, or rather the CIA, might never let us know the truth, to hide their complicity, if not orchestration of the whole affair. That of course does not negate the fact that a Nigerian, Umar Abdulmutallab was used as either a willing or enthusiastic tool. One thing for sure, he was fall-guy, or a decoy or victim or all of the above.
The United States, Indian and Israeli top security agencies have now been fingered as conspirators in the Christmas day attempt by Umar Faruok AbdulMutallab to detonate chemical explosives aboard Delta Airlines flight 253, from Amsterdam Schiphol to Detroit, the United States. According to Intelligence sourcesâ€™ reports gathered on Prison Planet networks and â€œForumsâ€ of Pravda, a Russian news and analysis medium, Abdulmutallabâ€™s flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was said to be a false flag operation carried out by the intelligence tripartite grouping of the United Statesâ€™ CIA, Israeliâ€™s Foreign Intelligence Agency (Mossad), and Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) of Indian Intelligence.
One theory is that the CIA is trying to embarrass the black boy in the White House, President Obama himself. Hear US Senator. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), “I am troubled by several aspects of this case, including how the suspect escaped the attention of the State Department and law enforcers when his father apparently reported concerns about his son’s extremist behaviour to the U.S. embassy in Lagos, how the suspect managed to retain a U.S. visa after such complaints, and why he was not recognized as someone who reportedly was named in the terrorist databaseâ€.
Another is that the connection of Umar with Yemen might also be preparatory to planning an invasion (openly or subtly) of Yemen by the US, under the guise of curbing terrorism, a theory reminiscent of the â€œweapons of mass destructionâ€ excuse for invading Iraq.
Please do not forget America’s foreign policy around the world and their predictable response is strategically based on self interest and self interest only. Unfortunately for Nigeria, for the past four decades we have been led (be it military or civilian) by corrupt, inept and inconsiderate leaders, who have shown a total disregard for the welfare of their own people. However, as Deen Uthman commented on Facebook, â€œthe West have all alongÂ turned a blind eye to it, one, because of the oil, and two, because the money they’ve stolen resides in their financial institutions generating big profits and propping up their economies. Just like 9/11 with the Saudi’s, it has suddenly dawned on them that there’s a possibility maybe some of that money might be tunnelled into funding terror. Unlike like the Saudi’s, apart from our (Nigeriaâ€™s) dwindling oil supplies we have absolutely nothing to offer the West. So they now categorise us has a failed state with a power void and brand the actions of one man to tag a country of 140 million plus people. With the current predicament we find our selves, believe me, humour affords us solace. We have a president gone missing and our political establishments and institutions do nothing. Why? Because they all benefit from the status quo of doing absolutely nothing. On the actions of one individual, millions of Nigerians around the world are now brandedÂ as terrorist with untold disruptions to our lives for years to come. Our leaders can’t speak on our behalf, why? Because they are either tainted by corruption or incompetence.â€
T West, on Blacklistpub.com rightly surmised this action â€œWhat we are seeing with the hypnotized Nigerian is the work of Western psyops that has been at play since the beginnings of their â€œWar On Terrorismâ€. I say itâ€™s their war on terrorism because they are the ones who created it and continue to sustain it. What we are witnessing is a massive psychological operation that is in operation outside the laboratory, feeding the engine that keeps you and virtually all of those you know transfixed on what these people want you to see. They want you to see chaos and, therefore, they create chaos, and do it while convincing you that they will bring or sustain peace, prosperity and continued democracy and even the spread of democracy. We have seen the opposite in Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Gaza, Somalia, Yemen and now Iranâ€.
Furthermore, he wrote â€œThe objective of CIA in London’s setup of Umar, the Nigerian, with bomb which they knew would never explode, was to target Obama’s determination to close down Guantanamo. A day or so prior to the Flight 253 incident, Obama Administration had released 2 prisoners to Somalia and several to Yemen. This whole situation with Flight 253 was orchestrated by the CIA of which certain elements are rogue and work in the interest of Dick Cheney and the Neocon agendaâ€.
Fellow countrymen and women let us stop all these self-flagellation. Nigeria is not guilty as charged of terrorism. I will admit that we are going to suffer a lot of inconvenience at airports all over the West for a long time, and since the US and its allies have determined that is to be, then it will be, probably until a true, fearless, focused leader appears to lead us one day.
Example of our self-flagellation include our quick and convenient excuses to point the fingers at various things in the country: the prevalent religious riots in the North; the Niger Delta militants, which some people are now calling terrorists; the rich children of the Northern elite who apparently derive their enormous wealth by merely being in government or favoured by people in government (I am not saying this not true, but is a biased consideration of all available facts), and even some people are now convinced that the country is a â€œfailed stateâ€ just because one Abdulmutallab carried a bomb in his pants. We have even lost our self-respect as a people or individual.
Having said this, this is not the first time Nigerians have committed a mid-air terrorist act; remember some young people hijacked a plane to Mali or Chad during Abachaâ€™s regime, but they were protesting against the corrupt, vile dictatorship of their own country.
So I hear the leaderless Nigerian government and legislature giving the US seven days to revoke Nigeriaâ€™s inclusion on the Terror List. I could not help but laugh. Yes, of course, they must be seen to be doing something; to be indignant, but after seven days expire, what will the Nigerian Government do? Will Nigeria not sell oil to the US anymore? Will they sever relationship with the US government? Will they tell all American companies to leave Nigeria? Or will they advise Nigerians not to travel to the US anymore for business, studies, visits to relatives, etc? Or are we going to create our own Terror List, or perhaps some other List and put the US on it?
But they are still running around like headless chicken, more concerned with their own personal survival as a result of an absent President who may never come back. Chaos and anarchy in the horizon! And you expect the great US to take us serious? The US even knows where our President is, or what has happened to him, but itâ€™s not their business to tell us.
I do not believe in self-flagellation and self-pity for a crime I and my people have not even committed.
I leave it all to your imagination, rumination and self-conclusion. For me, the truth will pan out soon.