Muhammed Buba Marwa

 

Marwa was appointed the military administrator of Lagos State by General Sani Abacha. As the MILAD, Marwa was almost assassinated by a bomb blast and he was so frustrated after the explosions that he called the security operatives useless.

Marwa in 1996.

Marwa in 1996.

Credits & References

1. TELL, September 16, 1996.

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The Use of Arabic (And Other Foreign Language(s) Inscriptions in Nigeria

 

NB: Foreign language in this context is taken to mean any non-English language as English itself is a foreign language in Nigeria but later adopted as the nation’s lingua franca. Thanks. 

The use of Arabic inscriptions by Nigerian government institutions and establishments is a reflection of history and specifically the effect of the administration of Lord Frederick Lugard, Nigeria’s Governor-General.

Arabic inscriptions have appeared in the following:

-Currency: From the very first time that paper money was used in the country, either by the colonialists or local traders, Arabic inscriptions have always been used until the inscriptions were removed later on from the naira notes. The Nigerian pound was replaced in 1973 by naira and kobo but before then, the currency in use was the old West African Board (WACB) Pound which was also called the West African Pound (WAP).

The Use of Arabic (And Other Foreign Language(s) Inscriptions in Nigeria

Arabic inscriptions on the naira notes before they were removed. Credits: Emeagwali.com

   The WAP also had Arabic inscriptions on it and it was from it that the West African countries of Ghana, the Gambia, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone derived their currencies after independence.

-Nigerian Army Crest

What is written on the crest of the Nigerian Army means: VICTORY IS FROM GOD ALONE.

What is written on the crest of the Nigerian Army means: VICTORY IS FROM GOD ALONE. The transliteration is ‘nasrimindillah’.

SO WHY WERE ARABIC INSCRIPTIONS USED IN THE FIRST PLACE INSTEAD OF ENGLISH?

At different times, Lugard was in charge of administration in Nigeria (he was the first Commander of the Royal West African Frontier Force from 1897-1899, the first High Commissioner of Northern Nigeria from 1899-1906, the Governor of the British Protectorates of Northern & Southern Nigeria from 1912 – 1914, before ultimately becoming the first Governor-General of Nigeria after amalgamation from 1914 – 1919) and he was of the opinion that Arabic inscriptions should be used as symbols, as it was the only written ‘indigenous’ language anywhere in Nigeria or in the West African subregion, particularly among the Hausa merchants found all over the region.

  Lugard did not limit the use of the Arabic inscriptions to the currencies alone. He also used it on the official badges of the Royal West African Frontier Force which later became the Nigerian Army, thus explaining the continued presence of the Arabic inscriptions on the crest and badges of the Nigerian military.

  The colonial masters decided to make use of Arabic as it was of great administrative use for them and assisting in domesticating the locals, many of whom were drafted for military service. Therefore, these inscriptions are in effect, a reflection of Nigeria’s colonial history. Please note that after independence, some other West African nations like Ghana & Sierra Leone did away with the colonial inscriptions but the Gambia and Nigeria persisted in its use.

POST-INDEPENDENCE ERA

After Nigeria’s independence, various federal establishments continued using foreign language inscriptions on their prominent symbols. These include:

-Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna, the nation’s largest university.

AHMADU-BELLO-UNIVERSITY-LOGO

-University of Ilorin

Photo credits: Logbaby.

Photo credits: Logbaby.

Nigerians from various spheres have argued on both sides that the Arabic inscriptions be removed or left to be there. There are numerous reasons given by both parties but the controversy rears its head from time to time. So what is your opinion? Should it be removed or not? What are your reasons? Let Nigeria hear from you. 

Apart from Arabic, another foreign language that is used widely in federal government establishments is Latin. An illustration of this is the motto of the unity colleges (federal government colleges) which goes thus:

Photo credits: Ladiebelle.

Photo credits: Ladiebelle.

Pro unitate (meaning ‘for unity’). 

-KING’S COLLEGE, LAGOS

Floreat collegium is the motto of the King's College, Lagos. Long standing traditions of the school include greeting fellow alumni with the words “Floreat”, meaning ‘Let it flourish” in English, always adding “yes please” as an addendum to a statement when addressing your seniors, referring to sixth form students (SSS 3) as citizens of the school and fondly referring to the school principal as PKC (short for Principal, Kings College).

Floreat collegium is the motto of the King’s College, Lagos. Long standing traditions of the school include greeting fellow alumni with the words “Floreat”, meaning ‘Let it flourish” in English, always adding “yes please” as an addendum to a statement when addressing your seniors, referring to sixth form students (SSS 3) as citizens of the school and fondly referring to the school principal as PKC (short for Principal, Kings College). “Floreat Collegium” literally means flourishing in youth. Credits: ZeitgeistAfrica

Credits & References

1. Nowa Omoigui, Reflections on Arabic Inscriptions on Nigeria’s Currency. 

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Oladipo Donaldson Diya

 

A Yoruba from the southwestern state of Ogun, Diya is a retired lieutenant-general of the Nigerian Army. He was also the Chief of General Staff (2nd in command) to the late General Sani Abacha.

Oladipupo 'Oladipo' Donaldson Diya_Naijarchives

-In 1996, before the appointment of new state military administrators, he was appointed to lead a panel that would advise the junta on how to go about the new appointments. There was grumbling from within the ranks of the military after the appointments were finally made. 16 top military officers were arrested over the matter.

As for the panel that Diya headed, he failed Abacha. The panel existed for three months and members included the service chiefs and General Officers Commanding (GOCs). The panel submitted four different reports to Abacha but he was not impressed at all. In fact, when a report was submitted to Abacha in July 1996, he was so furious that he tore it into pieces. Abacha finally decided to nominate the state military administrators all by himself. Until the list was released, not even Diya or Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni, a close confidant of Abacha knew anything about it. Abacha kept it all to himself.

Abacha was furious because he disagreed with the Diya option. Diya was of the opinion that military administrators should be selected to rule their states of origin as only a ‘local boy’ can learn the ropes fast and blend well with the people. Abacha flatly disagreed. The C-in-C knew that entrenching a Yoruba military administrator in a NADECO-active state of Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country could sound a death knell to his junta. Thus, he approved the deployment of Northern Muslim officers to very sensitive states like Lagos (Muhammed Buba Marwa), Delta and Rivers. But Abacha cloaked his agenda by saying that the new MILADs should focus on the development of their respective states. Only officers and soldiers who had shown or demonstrated extreme personal loyalty and allegiance to Abacha were selected.

A frustrated Diya was reported to have stormed out of the panel saying that Abacha or the panel should go ahead with whoever they want to choose as the military administrator for the states.

Oladipupo 'Oladipo' Donaldson Diya_Naijarchives

Diya in 1996.

Credits & References

1. TELL, September 16, 1996.

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List of The Chiefs of Army Staff of the Nigerian Army

 

What is written on the crest of the Nigerian Army means: VICTORY IS FROM GOD ALONE.

What is written on the crest of the Nigerian Army in Arabic means: VICTORY IS FROM GOD ALONE. The transliteration is ‘nasrimindillah’. On the use of Arabic inscriptions in Nigeria, click HERE.

NB: On the use of Arabic inscriptions in Nigeria, click HERE.

Nigeria gained independence from the United Kingdom on the 1st of October, 1960. The following are those who have headed the Nigerian Army, a branch of the Nigerian Armed Forces. Apart from the Nigerian President, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is the only other person who can give a direct order to any soldier in the federation. Before January 1966, the head of the army was referred to as the General Officer Commanding (GOC).

  1. Major-General Kenneth G. Exham
  2. Major-General Norman Foster (1960 – 1962)
  3. Major-General John Alexander Mackenzie (1963)
  4. Major-General Sir Christopher Welby-Everard (1963 – 1965)
  5. Major-General Johnson Thomas Aguiyi-Ironsi (February 1965 – January 1966)
  6. Lieutenant-Colonel Yakubu Cinwa Gowon (January 1966 – July 1966)
  7. Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Akahan (August 1966 – July 1967)
  8. Major-General Hassan Usman Katsina (January 1968 – January 1971)
  9. Major-General David Ejoor (January 1971 – July 1975)
  10. Lieutenant-General Theophilus Yakubu ‘TY’ Danjuma (July 1975 – September 1979)
  11. Lieutenant-General Alani Akinrinade (October 1979 – April 1980)
  12. Lieutenant-General Jibson Jalo (April 1980 – October 1981)
  13. Lieutenant-General Mohammed Inuwa Wushishi (October 1981 – December 1983)
  14. Major-General Ibrahim Babangida (January 1984 – August 1985)
  15. Lieutenant-General Sani Abacha (August 1985 – September 1990)
  16. Lieutenant-General Salihu Ibrahim (September 1990 – August 1993)
  17. Lieutenant-General Aliyu Mohammed Gusau (September 1993 – November 1993)
  18. Major-General Chris Alli (November 1993 – August 1994)
  19. Major-General Alwali Jaji Kazir (August 1994 – March 1996)
  20. Major-General Ishaya Rizi Bamaiyi (March 1996 – May 1999)
  21. Lieutenant-General Samuel Victor Leo Malu (May 1999 – April 2001)
  22. Lieutenant-General Alexander Oderuduo Ogomudia (April 2001 – June 2003)
  23. Lieutenant-General Martin Luther Agwai (June 2003 – May 2006)
  24. Lieutenant-General Owoye Andrew Azazi (June 2006 – May 2007)
  25. Lieutenant-General Luka Nyeh Yusuf (June 2007 – August 2008)
  26. Lieutenant-General Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau (August 2008 – September 2010)
  27. Lieutenant-General Onyeabor Azubuike Ihejirika (September 2010 – February 2014)
  28. Major-General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah (February 2014- )

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Alwali Jaji Kazir

 

Alwali Jaji Kazir Photo_Naijarchives

Kazir in 1996.

-He was removed from office for being ‘disloyal’ to General Sani Abacha.  He was retired as a major-general in the Nigerian Army.

-He was the 15th indigenous Chief of Army Staff and his tenure lasted from August 1994 to March 1996 when he was removed. Kazir is of the Fulani ethnicity and hails from Kwara State.

Credits & References

1. TELL, September 16, 1996.

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Olagunsoye Oyinlola

 

-A prince and former military governor of Lagos State as a colonel in the Nigerian Army, he had troubles with the Abacha regime. In 1996, he was suspected of being a mole of the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) in the Abacha junta.

Oyinlola in 1996.

Oyinlola in 1996.

-As punishment, Olagunsoye was removed from his post and transferred to the 21 Armoured Brigade in Maiduguri, Borno State. His downfall was said to be due to his poor performance as a governor and his ‘empty chest-beating’. His successor in Lagos State, Buba Marwa, was directed by the Abacha regime to open the books and look for whatever can be used to nail Olagunsoye. Unperturbed, Olagunsoye said he was ready to be probed. He was marked based on suspicion of being a strong supporter of MKO and a possible financier of the NADECO.

-When Marwa came to office in Lagos, one of the first things that he did was to freeze the account of the state government and investigate to see how much Oyinlola had donated to NADECO.

-An intelligent armoured corps officer, he saw action in Somalia when the United Nations troops battled warlord General Farah Aideed.

Credits & References

1. TELL, September 16, 1996.

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Major Hamza Al-Mustapha In Uniform

 

SEPTEMBER 1996:

Al-Mustapha in 1996.

Al-Mustapha in 1996.

Here is the former Chief Security Officer to the late General Sani Abacha. An indigene of Yobe State, he was jailed in Kirikiri Prisons over the brutal assassination of the wife of the late MKO Abiola but was later freed. Abacha’s reign was one of undiluted terror against those who opposed him or were suspected of opposing him.

In September 1996, Nigeria was just celebrating the victory clinched at the Atlanta Olympics three weeks earlier when the news went out all of a sudden that 16 top military officers had been arrested in one swoop. They included colonels and lieutenant-colonels, and the arrests were made shortly after the announcement of 27 new military administrators for the states was made on the 14th of August. Al-Mustapha was the ears and eyes of the late dictator and was responsible for identifying all possible threats to the junta of the man called the Khalifa.

Credits & References

1. TELL, September 16, 1996.

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President Jonathan Introduces New 64-Page e-Passport

 

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014:

President Jonathan launched the new e-passport shortly before the Federal Executive Council Meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said:

President Jonathan with Internal Affairs Minister Abba Moro and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

President Jonathan with Internal Affairs Minister Abba Moro and the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“The issue of the image of the country is what we will all work for, people in government, the media and the civil society.

“I always say that when people continue to paint their country with all kinds of colours, that is the way they will associate those colours with your green passport.

“I want a situation that whenever you travel to another country and you raise your green passport, people will appreciate you and not when you raise your green passport, people will begin to think that that green passport signified some suspicious character.

“We are not helping ourselves when we paint ourselves the colours that we are not supposed to bear.

“I wish to continue to appeal to all Nigerians that we must all collectively learn how we do our things, statements that we make, to paint brighter colours for our green passport.”

Reuben Abati, the Presidential Spokesperson also added:

“The new 64-pg e-passport helps frequent travelers, it’s gender friendly, forestalls identity theft, cheaper for the aged and low income earners, conforms with international best practices.”

“Cost of new e-passport for below 18yrs and 60 years and above is N8,750; change of name as a result of marriage or divorce is also N8,750

“The existing e-passport is 32pp; new one is 64pp but it is strictly for frequent travelers. Please note, it does not invalidate the 32 pp.”

The use of the passport is expected to kick off on Friday, 1st of August, 2014.

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The Story of DORA AKUNYILI, Nigeria’s NAFDAC Amazon

 

‘I believe in Nigeria almost in a fanatical manner, because this is a country that has made me who I am today…I therefore always have that strong feeling that I can never sacrifice enough for this great country.’

–Dora Nkemdilim Akunyili (1954-2014).

The Life Story Biography of Dora Akunyili Nigeria's NAFDAC Amazon 000A

Like a tigress prowling the forests, she was very fearless and intensely focused. Extremely passionate. Determined. Brilliant. Beautiful. Motherly. Caring. Devout. Incorruptible. Selfless. Patriotic. Adorable. Little wonder she was named Dora. Professor Dora Nkemdilim Akunyili. This is the gripping story of one of Nigeria’s most iconic citizens, the small Nanka village girl who rose to towering heights of global prominence. Like a wounded lioness, she put her life on the line to save her nation and her people that she loved so much and gave her all till her very last breaths. A legend she was, the type that comes once in a generation. This piece is dedicated to her and the generations yet unborn that her good deeds will continue to inspire for a thousand years.

The Life Story Biography of Dora Akunyili Nigeria's NAFDAC Amazon 000

INTRODUCTION

BIRTH AND EARLY DAYS

EDUCATION

LOVE, MARRIAGE AND FAMILY

CAREER & POSITIONS

HER DAYS IN NAFDAC AND ACHIEVEMENTS

INTERESTING THINGS ABOUT DORA AKUNYILI

HER HONOURS, AWARDS, LAURELS

HER WORDS AND WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT HER

BECOMING NIGERIA’S SPOKESPERSON

JOINING POLITICS

ILLNESS AND DEATH

 LEGACY

REFERENCES

PLEASE CLICK PAGE NUMBERS BELOW TO ENJOY HER BREATH-TAKING STORY

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