Browsing: Viewpoint

Weeks ago both conventional and online media organizations were so much agog propagating a sponsored narrative to dent the image of Mr. Abubakar Tela Suleiman, an Assistant Payroll Personnel Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority (UBRBDA) to have used the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPS) and defrauded staffs of the organization from their salary accounts.

On Monday, 19th of September, 2023, in Abuja, there was a procession tagged “Solidarity Walk for Tinubu and his administration”. It was organised by no less a group than a coalition of christian youths across the 19 states of the Northern Nigeria and FCT. They are referred to as Association of Christian Youths in Northern Nigeria (ACYNN), under the leadership of Dominic Alancha, as its National President.

It has taken me more than a decade to make up my mind on writing this article, knowing the passion it is likely to generate, no thanks to the sensitive nature of the topic. At a point, I even played with the idea of not doing any public write up on the subject matter. However, the sheer ferocity and consistency of the misinformation being peddled around and the risk of not standing up against this deliberate falsehood against my clan (and vicariously, perhaps, against me) while I am yet alive and the greater risk of going to join my Creator at His appointed time without countering this public lie have all made me damn the consequences and send this article for publication.

The world is today treated unceasingly to horrendous pictures of African youth killed, maimed, robbed and enslaved in several North Africa and Middle Eastern countries, and also dead on the high seas, while struggling to reach Europe, in a desperate search for jobs and better lives. Yet Africa where they run away from, is ironically the world’s richest in natural resources like arable land, water and minerals. I will not dwell in statistics here as mine is not an academic paper nor is it a policy statement. Plenty of data on Africa—wrong and right—is widely available everywhere on these issues. What is missing is what should be radically done and why it hasn’t been done to curb this human suffering? That’s what I’m attempting to dissect here as an African who closely watches these matters as a science journalist and a policy advocate. If Africa is today the continent with the “highest, largest, widest, deepest, hugest, most this, most that,” in terms of wealth and potential, why should it be the poorest, to necessitate its young and most precious resource (the human being) dare the worst of conditions along the Sahara Desert, across the seas, taken advantage of and fleeced off by rackets of human smugglers, to be humiliated, degraded and enslaved by would-be employers?