The Defence Headquarters, yesterday, in Abuja dismissed fears being expressed over the increase in terrorist attacks in the northern Nigeria and the threat to move into the Southwest, claiming that Boko Haram insurgents are fighting their last battle, as their defeat is imminent.
The new Director of Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade, gave the assurance in Abuja in his maiden meeting with Defence Correspondents. He also dismissed the purported retirement of the Chief of Defence Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim.

The recent multiple bombings in Kano, Jos and Maiduguri, and the attendant problem have been making many, including foreigners living in Nigeria, nervous as they believe the sect is getting more lethal and daring in their operations.

Revealing, however, that the reverse is the case, Brigadier-General Olukolade said: “What we are witnessing of recent from Boko Haram insurgents, I personally see as mere desperation. It is generally said that the battle is hottest when it is about to end. It is, therefore, obvious that this is the last fight by Boko Haram. From the way they have been working and the expectation from the headquarters, the fight against terrorism is coming to an end. Whatever is happening, the end of terrorism in Nigeria has come.

“Since its establishment, the JTF has identified and destroyed many IED factories, recovered large quantities of arms, ammunitions and IED materials, arrested most of their leaders and followers. They have also been able to identify and repatriate illegal immigrants from Niger, Chad, and Mali, among others.

“The efforts of the JTF have, to a large extent, made Maiduguri and its environs uncomfortable for Boko Haram. Some of the citizens who left Maiduguri at the heat of the Boko Haram insurgency are now gradually returning. In the past few weeks, there was the destruction of Boko Haram identified camps at Sambisa and Demboa games reserves.”

The assertion that Boko Haram is fighting its last battle is merely deceptive and its intent is to generate force confidence in the populace. Guerrilla warfare, especially when the strategy is being employed by Islamic fundamentalists, is never won by military might alone. That Boko Haram has moved the battle from the desert of Borno State to the streets of northern Nigeria and is now advancing towards southern Nigeria is of great concern.

The speed with which Boko Haram’s leadership is creating new generation of terrorist leaders and operatives also call for concern. Is the new Director, Defence Information, Brigadier-General Chris Olukolade aware that the main aim of Boko Haram is to establish Islamic nation or Umman supremacy in Nigeria? If he is aware, what are the security agencies doing to curtain regular supply of recruits, funds and other necessary resources to Boko Haram?

The recent Kano bus park bombing was a horrible scene to behold; and the discovery of terror cells in Lagos coupled with our porous unmanned borders and uncontrollable influx of illegal aliens from Niger, Mali, Chad, etc calls for serious action on the part of the Federal Government to guarantee safety and security of Nigerians and residents alike.

The battle ahead is a very long and endless one and should be appreciated in that regard. Boko Haram with what Wole Soyinka called “limited knowledge of Islamic education” (if he is right) have successfully targeted and attacked the process of decision-making within the Nigeria policy and is engaging the military and other security agencies in a battle for the control of the sole of Nigeria. The Nigerian leadership is today divided between the legitimacy and illegitimacy of Boko Haram’s demands as well as between amnesty and no amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents. Surprisingly, the renowned novelist and author of the popular novel, “Things Fall Apart” Professor Chinua Achebe passed away at the time things have fallen apart in Nigeria. A double tragedy, if you like.

Nigerian security agencies need a rethink. They should return to the drawing board, exploit the social dimension strategy to correct the disadvantages identified in the technical dimension. The shout of PEACE in the face of WAR makes mockery of the security profession. Peace is a quality that can be felt, and war is a phenomenon that can be experienced by all. When we move from war to peace we will all see it, feel it, experience it, enjoy it and thank God for it.

Let the new Director of Defence Information visit any of the scenes of Boko Haran atrocities and he will appreciate the fact that it is time for the Federal Government of Nigeria to sum up the POLITICAL WILL and SECURITY MUSCLE to tackle the menace. Or, permit states and local governments to establish their own security apparatus and take their fates in their hands. Boko Haram: action is needed now!



As security agencies intensify efforts to uncover those behind the funding of terrorist activities in Nigeria, investigations have moved to accounts of foreign agencies, politicians and high caliber individuals and corporate entities in the country believed to possess the financial muscle to fund terrorism. The authorities are collaborating with banks and other financial institutions in the country to unearth a possible link.

Good and reasonable as the move is, we are of the opinion that the security agencies may lose out on the real financiers of terrorists and their activities in Nigeria if they keep looking down at the expense of looking ahead above the shoulders to see where the funds are gathered from and distributed to for the sake of prosecuting a what Islam term “holy war”.

Recently, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) through its Public Relations Officer in the 19 Northern States and Abuja Mr. Sunny Oibe made a startling revelation to the effect that 90% of northern politicians are Boko Haram members. Instead of analyzing the assertion in its proper perspectives many of us dismissed it with a wave of the left hand. But has it not done on us now that there is more in the disclosure than we can imagine as Boko Haram continues to widen both the scope and impacts of its nefarious activities? Lodgments into bank accounts associated with members of the group are usually in millions of naira if news reports are facts. Recently, we were told that a politician paid substantial amount of money to the group for what he claimed to be “purchase of ram”.

The beaming of searchlights on big shorts’ accounts are good starting points as the probability that these accounts could be used to launder money and finance terrorism is relatively high.
Embassies or foreign consulate accounts also pose higher risk in terrorism funding as experience has shown. Banks and other financial institutions need to take note of accounts where large currency transactions take place, especially if they involve countries categorized as high risk, such as Iran, Pakistan, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Mauritania, Yemen, Sudan, and other nations associated with Islamic fundamentalism. It is on record that some Nigerians are involved in terror-related activities and are believed to have been trained in Pakistan, Yemen, Mauritania, Mali, and so on.

Terrorism is a capital intensive venture, involving extensive planning, organization, recruiting, training, acquisition and provision of necessary technology, mobilization and deployment of the terrorists and enticing financial compensation and convincing promise of a place in paradise. Where do these terrorists get their funding from? Who are the sponsors of Boko Haram? How do these monies get to Boko Haram? If there are foreign sponsors, who are the local links and how do they get funds transferred from abroad?

As CAN rightly reveal, 90% of northern politicians are involved in funding Boko Haram, directly or indirectly. Providing the required funds for jihad or Al Jihad bi-al-Mal, is mandated by many verses of the Qur’an, including chapter 61 verses 10-11, which says, “you, should strive for the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives”, and chapter 49 verse 15, implores, “The (true) believers are only those who… strive with their wealth and their lives for the cause of Allah”.

The legal justification for financial jihad was reiterated and popularized by a Qatar-based Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi in a lecture he delivered on May 4, 2002 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). In that lecture, he emphasized that, “collecting money for the mujahideen (jihad fighters) was not a donation or a gift but a duty necessitated by the sacrifices they made for the Muslim nation”. Shari’a financing is aimed at promoting the Ummah or “Community of the Believers” (ummaht al-mu’minin) – the Muslim world.

The basic goal of the financiers of Boko Haram is to Islamize Nigeria and this is in total agreement with the main aim of Boko Haram which sees nothing good in the Nigeria state but bent on the proclamation of Islamic nation or Umman in the territory known as Nigeria.
Shari’a finance is a weapon in the arsenal of perpetrators of a conceived Islamic nation or Umman supremacy worldwide. Both the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) which Nigeria was smuggled in as a member and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) which is also doing everything to commence operations in Nigeria operate on the principles prescribed by the Muslim Brotherhood and in accordance with the tenets of the shari’a. The primary purpose of which is to sustain “the growth and advancement of the Islamic way if life”, maintained Nasser M. Suleiman.

The secret behind all the frantic efforts made by the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mallam Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for the establishment of Islamic Banking in Nigeria is perhaps to advance shari’a financing and the coming Umman supremacy; to take over the Nigeria economy; and Islamize Nigeria.

It was Osama bin Laden who soon after the 9/11 called on Muslims all over the world to look for the pillars of the enemy’s economy. “Strike the key pillars of the enemy again and again and they will fall as one”. This instruction is today being carried out around the world by Muslim fundamentalists.

Zakat, we were made to believe, is to help the needy. But over the years Muslims have found the practice of Zakat as a channel through which to finance terrorism. According to Janine A. Clark in the book, “Islam, Charity, And Activism: Middle-Class Networks and Social Welfare in Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen”, Zakat is used to support the middle class, to strengthen its loyalty to the rulers, and to back their radical ideology.

Muslim Brotherhood spiritual leader, Yusuf al-Qaradawi also proclaims that “Declaring holy war is an Islamic duty, and fighting is the Way of Allah for which Zakat must be spent” and in his 1999 publication, Fiqh az-Zakat, al-Qaradawi he said, “The most important form of jihah today is serious, purposefully organized work to rebuild Islamic society and state and to implement the Islamic way of life in the political, cultural and economic domains. This is certainly most deserving of Zakat”.

Muslim jihadist-terror groups such as Boko Haram are indeed prominent Zakat recipients. J. Millard Burr and Robert O. Collins in their book, “Alms for Jihad: Charity and terrorism in the Islamic World”, observed that when Zakat, which is obligatory to all Muslims, is given “in the path of Allah,” it is given to fund jihad. There are seven broad categories of eligible recipients: the poor, converts, wayfarers, those in bondage or in debt, those committed to Allah for the spread and triumph of Islam, newcomers whose faith is weak, and new converts to Islam “whose hearts have been reconciled. “Moreover, Zakat may be used to support those who administer it”, (emphasis mine).

Revealing how charity funds or Zakat are used Saudi Arabia’s Secretary-General of the Official Muslim World League Koran Memorization Commission was quoted by Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen in their book, “The Cure for the Wahabbi Virus”, to have said that, “The Prophet said, ‘He who equips a fighter – it is as if he himself fought’. You lie in your bed, safe in your own home, and donate money and Allah credits you with the rewards of a fighter. What is this? A privilege.”

Today, the Islamic world is building thousands of mosques, Islamic centers, and Islamic studies programmes in universities across Nigeria to advance Umman’s power and undermine western education and legal structures and to replace them with the Shari’a and Nigerians are looking the other way. There are more mosques and Islamic centers springing up in all parts of western and eastern Nigeria now than ever before. Have you ever wondered “why”?

Many states in Nigeria today especially in the north and west have perfected state Zakat (and Sadaqat) as channels, probably, through which finances move to the jihad fighters who they believe are prosecuting the “holy war”.

Recently, the Sokoto Zakat and Endowment Committee was said to have disbursed N20 million to less privileged persons in the state. This is a welcome development that deserves commendation but for security reasons we are more concern with the sources of such funds and the end uses of the Zakat money than the moral and spiritual justifications which may both be detrimental to Nigeria as a country.

Similar public and private Zakat and or Sadaqat organizations exist in most states of the federation using one ruse name or the other, or operating as a non-governmental organization (NGO) but actually fronting the funding of terrorism in the country. Bank accounts and other monetary transactions of such bodies need to be properly scrutinized for both financial links/funding and miscellaneous supports of terrorism activities in Nigeria or elsewhere.

Cult Crisis in Ebubu: Caretaker Committee to the Rescue

Following the drastic measures adopted by the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa on the lingering cult crisis in Ebubu Clan, which has cost the area ten lives, by summoning stakeholders for crucial meeting a Caretaker Committee has been constituted to check cult crisis and bring lasting peace to the area.
The meeting which held in the instances of the Council Chairman with the chiefs, elders, youths, opinion leaders and other stakeholders of Ebubu Clan and lasted for two days made heart tootling revelations centering on lapses on the part of both the traditional rulership and youth leadership in the clan. While advising the chiefs to take their responsibilities concerning maintenance of law and order at the grassroots seriously, the meeting noted that the abandoning of strategic decisions by the chiefs at crucial periods to avert problems contributed to fuelling the cult crisis.
As a way forward, after due consultation, the Council Chairman constituted a Caretaker Committee headed by Comrade Atoseobari Ojinga (Egbalor). Other members of the committee include: Trust Nkporon (Egbalor), Charles Bebe (Agbeta) Sunday Chichi (Agbeta), John Oguru (Ejamah), William Adanta(Ejamah), James oluka (Obolo), and Dabour Levi (Obolo). The committee which has one year life span is charged with the responsibilities of:
1. Liaising with appropriate law enforcement agencies to mop up arms in youths’ possession in the clan;
2. Ensuring lasting peace among the youths in Ebubu Clan;
3. Producing a Constitution to guide youth activities in Ebubu; and
4. Plan for a credible Ebubu Youth Council election.
Meanwhile, the Ebubu Council of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders has suspended the Paramount Ruler of Ebubu Clan, His Royal Highness εmεrε Emmanuel Osaroeke Bebe and in his place appointed Chief Isaac Osaro Agbara as Chairman Ebubu Council of Traditional Rulers, Chiefs and Elders with a mandate to henceforth convene all meetings of the Council and run its affairs until normalcy returns to the area, “to avoid the repetition of Gioko experience” said כnε εh Odido VIII, Paramount Ruler of Odido Kingdom, His Royal Highness εmεrε Obarinwite Nchimonwi.
The decision which was taken at the second burial of late Chief Oluka Nwafor was subsequently ratified by His Royal Majesty King Dr. S. O. Ejire, כnε εh Eleme X, King of Elemeland.
In the meantime, the various cult groups have started to turn in their arms. According to the Chairman of the Caretaker Committee, Comrade Atoseobari Ojinga, “the various cult groups are responding to the directive to submit their weapons. On Thursday, the cult groups from Agbeta returned their weapons – guns and ammunition – while Friday saw cultists from Egbalor doing the same. The response has been very encouraging and I am happy to say that there is relative peace in Ebubu now”.
Professor N. E. S. Lale expressed confidence in the Caretaker Committee headed by Atoseobari Ojinga to deliver on the assignment, stressing that Comrade Ojinga is an experienced and tested youth leader. He also commended the Council Chairman, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa for his concern for the Ebubu crisis, observing that “Eleme people have never had it so good, with his style of leadership”.
It is now the duty of the various stakeholders in Ebubu Clan to avoid a repetition of the ugly experience of the past which led to breakdown of law and order, and work towards ensuring lasting peace in the area. This, they could do by constantly and continuously monitoring the Caretaker Committee and calling them to order whenever they are derailing. The chiefs on their part are also advised to institute an effective and efficient peer review mechanism to prevent what might be detrimental to the fragile peace in the area.
The Rivers State Government should also consider the request of the chiefs, elders and opinion leaders of Ebubu Clan concerning establishing a Police Post in the area. Considering the rapid industrialization that is taking place in the area and uncontrollable influx of people from various parts of the world and the country into Ebubu Eleme the request for a police station in the area is not out of place but a priority. Police presence is a good deterrent.
While appreciating the efforts of the Council Chairman to checkmate the menace of cultism in Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general, it is pertinent to call on all concerned stakeholders to ensure that the passion and zeal demonstrated this two days (Monday 11th and Wednesday 13th March, 2013) in the course of searching for workable solutions to the problems of cultism is not abandoned midway as that will be more disastrous.
It is also important to call on the Government to consider addressing those long term factors that gave rise to cultism in the area such as illiteracy, unemployment, and frustration in addition to the short term solutions being implemented.


The Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government, Hon. Oji N. Ngofa yesterday Monday, 11th March, 2013, convened a high level stakeholders meeting at the Eleme Legislative Chambers, Ogale Nchia Eleme to proffer solutions to rising insecurity in Ebubu Eleme. The meeting which continues tomorrow Wednesday, 13th March, 2013 is enjoined to consider the following points as it gather ideas and suggestions and garner efforts to tackle security challenges confronting Ebubu in particular and Eleme in general.

Cultists are group of persons or illegal gang that operates underworld and without public recognition that may be violent in nature against nonmembers especially when a member or group inordinate needs and demands are not met. Cultism is a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the fabric of the Nigerian society and has shattered the once serene Ebubu clan. In recent times we have recorded ten (10) painful cult related deaths. Six were shot dead while the other four died in cult associated fatal road mishap during the burial of a victim of cultists’ outburst. Of this number, six are indigenes namely: Sunday Nnam Mba – Egbalor, Amos Okereke Jnr – Egbalor, Papa Monday Aaron – Agbeta; Etכruobari Yai – Agbeta; Adama’a Ogosu – Ejamah;and Onugwewai Chuka – Ejamah; while four are not.

Of the five categories of cults in Nigeria namely: classical confraternities, mafia cults, female cults, godfathers’ cults and terrorists’ cults, two are present and operational in Ebubu. These are godfather’s cults and terrorist’s cults. Godfatherism is fast growing secret cult in Eleme, especially with the approach of elections. The godfathers lure these innocent youths with drugs and monetary inducement and further promises to shield them, give them political appointments and huge monetary rewards which usually turn out to be ruse.

The terrorists in Ebubu concern themselves with perpetuating crimes and fear of crimes by constantly terrorizing law abiding citizens, disposing them of their properties and eliminating other cult members.
The chiefs and elders’ attempt to use “Ogbe” to control arms bearing and other violent crimes have failed. The failure of “Ogbe” and the collapsed of traditional authority constitutes a clarion call to return to God and the use of intelligence and law enforcement resources to control these youths. It will be disservice to the nation, if we wait until these young boys and girls get loose, relocate to “כpε” or into the creeks and consolidate to unleash greater havoc on the masses before we act.

The problems of rising cases of cultism and insecurity in Ebubu can be traced to so many factors. Some of these factors are:

These crises encouraged the elders to procure gun and knife proof charms for majority of the youths to protect them during these wars. The cessation of hostilities did not terminate the potency or otherwise of the charms. Majority of these youths still believe that they are invisible, and guns and matches proof. The crises also exposed the youths to where they can procure these charms on their own.

Chieftaincy tussle and acrimony among the chiefs of Ebubu have assumed an alarming state. It is a cold war that many do not know it exist yet its impact is being fetched in the activities of these young boys and girls who are being misled for their sponsors’ selfish goal. Government must address the emerging time bomb in Ebubu and in other clans and communities of Eleme before it explodes and consume us all.
Government must step in to solve the problems of acrimony among the chiefs in Ebubu avoid total breakdown of law and order. The rising fire can be felt by careful observers, especially security experts who cannot claim ignorance of the danger posed by increasing chieftaincy tussle and acrimony in Ebubu.

The way and manner most of the youths bodies in Ebubu let much to be desired. In most communities that constitute Ebubu due processes were not followed. Besides, political considerations and personal interests took prominence over transparency, common sense, and community interests. The results are rising cult related killings, crimes and general fear of crimes. The government owes it a duty to check undue rivalry among the youths by ensuring that where due processes were not followed to elect and constitute a youth body, something is done to address the shortcomings so as to carry everybody along and promote the spirit of comradeship among the youths.

The general collapse of the value system, disregard for human life, lack of respect for elders and constituted authorities, absence of the once cherished spirit of communal love and peaceful coexistence, and total alienation of the youth from customs and tradition of the people of Eleme due to rapid industrialization and ill
gotten wealth are major contributory factors to the uncontrollable incidents of cult induced killings and wide spread terrorism in Ebubu that needed urgent remedy through reorientation and reawakening.

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop says a popular adage. The rate of unemployment in Ebubu is alarming. You need to take a walk around the community any afternoon and see for yourself the number of youths idling away doing nothing. Something need to be done and quickly too to address the problem of unemployment in Ebubu.

The level of illiteracy in Ebubu is very high compare to other clans of Eleme. This may sound embarrassing and unacceptable to some of us, but, we must tell ourselves the truth for once. There is urgent need for the government to device a way of getting our youths back to school. An educated mind cannot be easily convinced into carrying weapons to terminate the life of a fellow human being or destroy properties maliciously. Government should look in this direction as part of long term solutions to insecurity in Ebubu and Eleme generally.

It may seem myopic or even unspeakable, but the fact is that some desperate politicians are behind the cult crises in Ebubu either in preparation for the launch of their political ambition or to propagate their popularity. Either way, ignorantly, though, they should be told in clear terms that what they are doing tantamount to building terrorists cell and is against the law of this country especially the provisions of the Terrorism Prevention Act of 2011.

The laxity on the part of law enforcement arises from the failure of intelligence security and the gap existing between the Police, neighborhood guard and the citizens.
The State Security Service (SSS) as plain clothes force should as a matter of priority sit up to its responsibility by gathering real time intelligence that will help check these cultists. They can create a local ruse force to conduct pseudo operations among these youths.
Besides, the animosity and struggle for supremacy between the SSS and the Police in Eleme which is visible and which has robbed them the sharing of intelligence and other information over the years, must be resolved now if the security agencies must deliver on their mandates.

A walk along any street in Ebubu in particalr and Eleme in general will reveal immediately the harm hard drugs has done to our young boys and girls. There is virtually no street in Ebubu without at least three to five drinking joints and a hard drugs dispensing closet. Most cult related violence is traceable to effects of hard drugs. Security agencies must brace up to the fight against drug abuse in the area.

The proliferation of small arms in Eleme in general and Ebubu in particular is of great concern to security practitioners. Many of these arms can be traced to the Eleme and Okrika communal conflicts while others are linked to the recent Niger Delta “militants for negotiation for development” operations. Still others were purchased by the criminally minded to terrorized innocent citizens and residents and dispose them of their belongings. There is therefore urgent need for the government to put all necessary machinery into motion to mop-up these arms.

Cultism is a thorn in the flesh of the people and a clog in the wheel of progress of Ebubu Clan. To eradicate this monster, the family, school and church must accept their responsibilities of providing good basic home training, moral and spiritual orientation to the children. The government must eradicate those issues that give rise to crimes and social decay, while law enforcement should ensure that any person who falls short of the law faces the rod of the law. This will create and sustain sanity in our society.


The Bauchi Sate Police Command has began investigation into the alleged killing of seven (7) expatriates kidnapped on February 16 from a construction site of Setraco Nigeria Limited in Jama’are Local Government Area of the state to ascertain the authenticity of the claim. The seven expatriates include four Lebanese, one Briton, one Italian and one Greece.
In an online statement on Saturday, 9th March, 2013, claiming the killings, Ansaru said it killed the hostages because of attempts by Britain and Nigeria to rescue them.
Italy, Britain and Greece confirmed yesterday that the kidnapped foreign hostages in Nigeria have been killed. But, Nigeria’s defence and security officials are wary of speaking on the reported killing of the seven hostages.
The Bauchi State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Hassan Mohammed Auyo told journalists that, “Police have no evidence that the kidnapped expatriates were killed. We are still investigating the matter. We are also investigating the genuineness of the information pasted on web allegedly by the group”.
In the same vein, a top security source in Bauchi said, “We heard about the killings of the expatriates as you heard about it. We are still enquiring to get the correct information, because we did not carry out any rescue operation either jointly or separately. We are still monitoring the situation”.
The British Foreign Secretary William Hague affirmed that all the hostages were, “likely to have been killed” by their captors.
“This was an act of coldblooded murder, which I condemned in strongest terms”, he decried, stressing his determination to work with the Nigerian government “to hold the perpetrators of this heinous act to account, and to combat the terrorism which so blights the lives of people in northern Nigeria and in the wider region”.
Meanwhile, the Agence France Presse (AFP) reported that the Italian Foreign Ministry in a statement referred to it as, “a horrific act of terrorism for which there is no explanation except barbaric and blind violence”.
“No military intervention to free the hostages was ever attempted by the interested government”, the statement revealed adding that the killings were “the aberrant expression of a hateful and intolerable fanaticism”.
Also, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that the “available information suggests that the Greek citizen abducted in Nigeria alongside six nationals of other countries is dead. Based on the information we have, there was no rescue operation”.
An official of Setraco Nigeria Limited told AFP that he was aware of the report but could not confirm it.
The statement from Ansaru claiming the killings was issued in Arabic and English on March 9, 2013by SITE, Al-Qabidun Ala al-Jamr (Grippers of Embers) Media Foundation, an affiliate of the Sinam al-Islam Network. It also provided screen captures of a forthcoming video showing the dead.
In the meantime, Nigerian defence and security officials feel not to be in a position to speak as the situation is still smoggy. Presently, no one knows the location of the hostages or their bodies. If truly they are killed, this will not only be a slap on the nation’s defence and intelligence security apparatus but also a national embarrassment


Homes are great sanctuaries. In spite of providing protection, they also offer us comfort and pleasure. Home is a primary necessity and modern homes add esteem. Unfortunately careless attitude can transform the home into death traps. Accidents have extended beyond basic danger spots like kitchen and bathroom to include the sitting room, bedroom, stores and stairways. The rates at which domestic accidents happened and the costs of such occurrences have generated great concerns, which have given rise to several questions including: What is domestic accident? What are the causes of domestic accidents? Or, what is responsible for high rate of domestic accidents? Is our home turning into minefield? Or, why are domestic accidents turning fatal? What can we do to prevent domestic accidents?

Domestic accidents are those accidents in the home and on home premises occurring to occupants, guests, and trespassers. It also includes domestic servants but excludes other persons working on home premises. In this category are injuries occurring in connection with farm chores.
Empirical research and experience have shown that accident don’t just happen, they are caused. Accidents are preventable. But, unfortunately, almost all dangers to which we are exposed at home are often due to our negligence or making. We carelessly leave gas leakages undetected, faulty electric wiring un-amended, wet floor unmopped, poor housekeeping, thereby endangering our lives and causing injuries.

Children have been known to have unknowingly poisoned or injured themselves by drinking disinfectants left carelessly around. Some have even fallen off the bed and causing serious injuries to their limbs. Some have even inserted objects into their nose, eyes etc thereby causing serious harm to themselves. Many people have died while trying out their hands on “do-it-yourself” electrical or mechanical equipment. There are cases of people who have died of poison after mistakenly drinking some domestic chemical preparations instead of approved cough mixture. It is either the bottles or cans are not properly labeled or poor visibility due to power failure or haste.

Surprisingly, most accidents at home result from falls from the stairs and the common casualties are old and elderly people or children under five years old. Banana skin lying about on the staircase may cause fatal accident if trampled on. A rupture in the carpet or loosely fitted floorboard can produce the same effect. Carelessly placed objects or unclean spilled oil/water on the floor can constitute a killer trap. If you leave a bag or jacket on the stairs or forget to check that your child has left his toy-motor or teddy-bear somewhere on the lower steps, you might as well come back to find that someone has eventually slipped on it and had his/her hipbone or leg broken. A worst accident can happen if somebody forgets to wipe water or greasy substance that has spilled on the floor. A poorly lit stairs can also be a source of accident.

We believe that the frequency and severity of domestic accidents can be reduced through attention to a number of dos and don’ts. Few of these include:
1. Expose family members to basic safety education.
2. Promote good housekeeping. Items should not be left lying about on the floor, including children’s toys. Things should be properly arranged to avoid accident.
3. Enforce better control over what children can play with when unattended.
4. Avoid touching electrical switches when your hands or clothes are wet. Always employ the services of professionals and procure genuine materials for maintenance.
5. All carpets or other floor coverings should be firmly fixed so that no one slips on them.
6. Mop up immediately any liquid or grease spilled on the floor anywhere in your home.
7. Care should be taken while using electrical appliances such as heaters, cookers, electric iron, and so on.
8. Ensure that there are grip bar and sturdy handrail above the bath and on the stairs. Light is essential at night.
9. Children should always be kept out of the cooking areas as many of them are known to have sustained injuries from spilled boiling oil.
10. Make sure that all your gas appliances have metal tubing and bayonet connections.
11. Avoid using inflammable material such as petrol or paraffin to revive a dying fire.
12. Disinfectants, bleaches. Detergents, paints, and rat poisons should be kept out of the reach of children.
13. All medicines and tablets should be securely locked up in their appropriate storage places and out of the reach of children.
14. All expired drugs should be promptly disposed of.
15. Sharp objects or tools should not be left carelessly around after usage.
16. Avoid carrying out electrical and gas repairs on your own, except you are a trained electrician or gas cooker repairer. It is very dangerous to tackle gas and electricity by trial and error. The implications can be fatal.

There is no such thing as a complete list of “dos” and “don’ts”. Absolutely, a book of rules is not a substitute for thinking ahead and acting aright. Common sense and precaution are the secrets of accident prevention. They are the keys to enjoying the comforts of our homes without unpleasant incidents. We must be alert to the risks around us and always take appropriate precautions, bearing in mind that prevention is better than cure.

Nigerian Navy Helicopter NN07 Crash Report Faults Human Error

The Nigerian Navy has released the report of investigation into the cause of crash of the ill-fated helicopter NN07 which led to the death of the former Kaduna State Governor, Patrick Yakowa and the former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Owoye Azazi (rtd) and four others barely three months ago. The investigative report pinned the cause of the crash on either human error or material failure.

General Azazi and Yakowa had on December 15, 2012, boarded the unfortunate helicopter on their way to Port Harcourt from Bayelsa where they had gone to attend the final funeral rites of the father of a special adviser to President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Dr Oronto Douglas, when the tragedy occurred.

The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) that was constituted by the Nigerian Air Force at the instance of the Nigerian Navy to ascertain the cause of the fatal crash involving the Nigerian Navy’s Agusta NN07 helicopter has submitted an interim report to the Naval Headquarters.

A statement released by the Nigerian Navy and signed by its spokesman, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu said that the cause of the disaster has been traced to either human error or material failure, but it categorically ruled out sabotage as was speculated in some quarters. According to the Navy spokesperson, “The Investigation which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers – Agusta Westland — has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both.

“However, to determine the actual cause of the crash, there would be the need to tear down the engine of the helicopter in order to carry out detailed forensic analysis. This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine.

“It is important to emphasize that an independent police report has equally ruled out sabotage as a possible cause of the crash. Further information on the investigation would be made public when available,” the statement added.