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Voice of Emancipation: Lessons from Nehemiah (Pt. 2)

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By Kayode Emola

Special Credit: Dr. Bethan Emola

It is exactly one year today since “Voice of Emancipation” began publication, and I would be remiss were I not to thank all those who have made this project the huge success that it has become. I want to especially thank Bob Dee for giving me this platform, where I can share with readers of the Boss Newspapers what enormous benefits an independent Yoruba nation can offer.

I also want to thank the Boss Newspaper’s editor, Eric Elezuo, for helping to develop the concept and the idea in the early stage. And I must not forget my beloved wife, Dr. Bethan Emola, who has helped proof-read and edit every single write-up since the column’s inception. Most importantly, I want to thank you, our readers, for your immense support, your positive feedback and constructive criticism when necessary, which have shaped “Voice of Emancipation” into what it is today.

Following the last two weeks’ break, I am returning to what lessons we can learn from the Biblical story of Nehemiah. Whether you believe this to be an accurate historical account or not, whether you are religious or not, I believe there is useful information from which we may extrapolate and apply to our own struggle for an independent Yoruba nation.

To recap for those who may have missed the first part (and if you want to go back and catch up, you can find the article here: https://thebossnewspapers.com/2022/04/22/voice-of-emancipation-lessons-from-nehemiah-part-i/) and are unfamiliar with the events recounted, Nehemiah was a prophet of Israel during the time of their exile under the Persian Empire. He ultimately returned to Jerusalem and organised the rebuilding of the walls, at the same time as his contemporary, Ezra, was rebuilding the Temple.

I believe that the account of Nehemiah has relevance to the Yoruba struggle today, as there are similarities between his situation and our own. He was in a land that was not his own country, under oppression from an external state, and he was seeking to bring his people back to their own sovereign nation. This has parallels with our position as a nation of people within a larger state, where we did not choose to be, where we do not want to be, where we are oppressed, and from where we are seeking to leave and return to self-governance.

Previously, we looked at Nehemiah’s concern for his people, his humility, prudence and diplomatic approach. Today we will continue, looking at his preparatory techniques.

As we covered in Part I, Nehemiah was not the sort of person who acted before thinking. Rather, he took time to consider and prepare before he even took the first step. He spoke to King Artaxerxes – the ruler of the Persian Empire – and asked him to write letters of safe passage for his journey, and for resources.

As we proceed on our journey towards self-determination, there will be people for whom the idea of an independent Yoruba nation is deeply concerning. These people have a vested interest in Nigeria continuing in the current arrangement, who stand to lose out if Yoruba secede. They are likely to try and hamper any progress, even going as far as to use military force to preserve the status quo. How are we, as a nation, preparing for this? We must anticipate who is likely to oppose us and by what means they may do so.

Then we must identify our allies. Who are the individuals sympathetic to our cause – among our peers, among the leaders, local and national, within Nigeria; among those in positions of influence in other countries? Which countries are likely to support us, at a diplomatic level such as the United Nations, or at a military level, should it come to it? Which countries are likely to bring us opposition? Which countries are currently ambivalent, and how can we sway them toward supporting us?

Many, indeed most if not all, countries seek their own self-interests above all else, even if few state it as explicitly as the previous President of the United States, Donald Trump, did with his “America First” campaign. The Russian invasion of Ukraine has become a stark demonstration of this, with NATO’s refusal to intervene to assist Ukraine, in a bid to avoid Russia declaring war against the NATO alliance. They are, to a greater or lesser extent, leaving Ukraine to fend for themselves in order to prevent Russia turning their attack to them.

So it will not be enough to appeal to a government’s sense of altruism or justice to encourage their support for our cause. If we seek to garner support from presently ambivalent countries, we need to present to them a case for why it will be beneficial for them to ally with us; or, at the very least, why it would be detrimental for them not to assist us. This is not to say that we should be threatening action or sanctions against those countries who are unwilling to assist; rather a simple and unprejudiced statement of fact of what the global consequences will be if the Fulani are permitted to continue as they are unchecked. Every Yoruba person who lives in a local authority can do this. Write to your local governor, senator, congressperson or member of parliament explaining the situation, why it is unsustainable and what destination the current trajectory is leading us to.

Nehemiah’s preparations did not end once his journey began. He continued to assess each situation that he encountered and to put in place contingencies for every step he took. Once he arrived in Jerusalem, he took three days to analyse the damage that the walls had sustained before he even raised the issue with the officials or nobles. He made sure that he had all the information before instigating action among others.

Not only this, but when he met with the officials, he didn’t just describe the problem in clear detail. He also presented solutions. The creation of a new sovereign state requires consideration of a myriad of sectors and infrastructures. Who will govern and how? On what principles will the new nation be founded? How will new laws be reviewed and enacted? How will national income be generated? How will the economy function – what currency will be used, will there be hard currency, how will any new currencies equate to those in current circulation? How will the banking systems run? How will the nation defend itself should we come under attack? Education, health, transport, housing, social care, manufacturing, communication networks, food, agriculture, administration of justice, granting of citizenship, production of energy, international relations and trade negotiations – these all require planning down to the minute detail before any attempt to break away is initiated.

This is not a project where an ad hoc approach will suffice, where one can improvise as you go along. This is a serious undertaking where the end must be known from the beginning, and every stage in between. Not that the plans must be fixed, rigid, and unchanging even if circumstances require an alternative approach; but one where every contingency is considered and planned for, and then adapted as the situation necessitates.

I would urge every Yoruba person to fully consider the questions posed above. Yoruba nation, in contrast to present-day Nigeria, is to be a country that honours and nurtures every one of its citizens, not just the privileged few. As such, every Yoruba individual should have the right to have their say in its formation. It is only by voicing one’s needs that they can be integrated into arrangements; and it is only by carefully considering the situation that one can determine what one’s needs are and how they could be met. This is not the time to sit back and be passive, leaving the responsibility of generating solutions to someone else. This is the time to stand up, speak out, and to make sure that your voice is heard.

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LSSTF’s Balogun Tours EPAIL Facility, Commends Management for Contributions to Security

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The Executive Secretary/CEO of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF), Dr. Abdurrazaq Balogun, has paid a visit to the Equipment and Protective Applications International Limited (EPAIL) mega factory, with the Chairman/CEO of EPAIL expressing delight at the Fund’s visit while conducting his guest on a tour of the facility.

During the visit, the ES witnessed the production of security equipment such as armored hard body for vehicles, ballistic plates, helmets, vests, etc. from scratch using locally sourced materials. A test was also conducted on one of the locally made crowd dispersal water cannon and other crowd control equipment.

Speaking on the visit, Balogun said: “The security challenges in the state continue to increase as a result of the harsh economic situation in the country hence the visitation which was in furtherance of the Fund’s commitment to continue to source for and provide the required equipment and home grown state of the art security gadgets and technological solutions that meet international standards, fit for our terrain and useable by security agencies to combat crime in the State.”

The LSSTF CEO also commended EPAIL Nigeria for its outstanding work and contributions in the area of security, noting that “The importance of a strong and formidable security outfit cannot be overemphasized as it is one of the hallmarks of a thriving society.  As we approach the 2023 general elections, it is critical that we strengthen our security agencies to enable them proactively combat crime and maintain law and order in the State, therefore we call on our donors to do more by way of contributions in cash or kind to the Fund towards improved security in the State in our collective self-interest”.

Subsequently, the Chairman of EPAIL thanked the Executive Secretary of the Fund for his visit and pledged his continuous support to the Fund.

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Many Feared Killed As Explosion Rocks Kano

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Many are feared dead after an explosion on Aba Road in the Sabon Gari area of Kano State.

While details of the blast are still sketchy as of the time of filing this report, visuals from the scene showed that many buildings, one of which is suspected to house a primary school, were affected.

One of the videos that surfaced online also showed injured schoolchildren being moved from the scene of the incident.

Parents were also searching for their children.

One of them was heard shouting “my children”.

Meanwhile, the Kano State Commissioner of Police, Sama’ila Dikko, has clarified that gas and not a bomb exploded in the state on Tuesday morning. He made the clarification during his visit to the scene of the incident.

Dikko, who spoke in Hausa, also confirmed that four persons were dead.

The Punch

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News of Closure of Ogui, Trans-Ekulu Stations Fake – Enugu Police

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The Enugu State Police Command has said that the news making the rounds in the closure of Ogui and Trans-Ekulu police stations is fake, urging the public the disregard the false publication.

A statement by the Command’s PPRO, ASP Daniel Ndukwe, and made available to the National Association of Online Security News Publishers (NAOSNP), quoted the Commissioner of Police, Abubakar Lawal as describing the story as not just unfounded, and a figment of the publisher’s imagination, but also a misinformation targeted at creating panic among peace loving citizens of Enugu State.

The statement also expressed the CP’s resolve to continue to “deliver the statutory mandates of the Nigeria Police Force in the State, including ensuring that Police Stations remain opened to members of the public and maintain robust crime detection/prevention patrols and visibility policing of their assigned areas of responsibilities.”

CP Lawal therefore, urged the “general public and residents of Enugu State in particular, to disregard such untrue publications and continue to promptly report security situations and criminal activities to Police Stations nearest to them, noting that Police Stations in the State remain open to the general public on a twenty-four hour a day, seven days a week (24/7) basis.”

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