Wednesday, 31 December 2014

While we Wait for Ebola to Kill...

Much has been said of and debated about this deadly virus, both realistically and mystically. It is on record that some Africans don’t actually believe the disease itself exists, and certain healthcare workers in Liberia have been pelted with stones as people believe they brought the epidemic to them. Not to mention the other theory that it is actually a bioterrorism weapon used for certain purposes by certain world super powers; but that’s another story. The main factor is: It kills and it does so rapidly, in no time, and close to some 40 years since its first incidence no proper vaccine or treatment protocol has been put forward to counter future threats.

Drugs are not made to treat the poor, and the unfortunate victims of Ebola have been the poorest

It doesn’t really seem that lack of an Ebola vaccine is simply due to lack of ingenuity or scientific capability in this 21st century. No, the drugs are just stuck in the lab because it is an African disease, and thus borders on the pharma-economics of the drug market itself. Put it this way, no drug industry giant is going to pour dollars, lots of dollars, into the research of a certain zoonotic African disease that erupts once a while and affects the poorest of the world population.There is certainly no return in that, and the ‘Pharma-Industry’ certainly revolves only around money. Drugs are not made to treat the poor, and the unfortunate victims of Ebola have been the poorest.

More than 60 health workers have died since the latest outbreak and unfortunately all have been African nationals, as their counter-colleagues from developed nations who tested positive for the same virus were flown across the Atlantic and treated to a drug that was hitherto unknown to the world, but appeared providentially in their time of need and appears to do just the right thing. We Africans are yet again left to lament, but it’s really time to take a stand. It is indeed an African disease and we need to learn how to solve our problems and fast. It is worth noting that conditions like baldness and erectile dysfunction have received more funding than our killer-tropical disease. One may ask of the about 29 African billionaires – of which four are from Nigeria – where they are lurking while this virus ravages their fellow Africans. Is return on investment a greater priority than the lives of those lost and of those that will be lost? Where is the humanity?

A patient drinks to rehydrate himself under the scrutiny of a nurse at the MSF Treatment Centre in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Photo: Sylvain Cheraoui/Cosmos for MSF

A patient drinks to rehydrate himself under the scrutiny of a nurse at the MSF Treatment Centre in Kailahun, Sierra Leone. Photo: Sylvain Cheraoui/Cosmos for MSF

We may not have the scientific know-how of the west, not be as wealthy, but it is clear we cannot just sit-tight with folded arms waiting for a vaccine or a drug from the so called ‘World-Powers’ when we can do something to curb this menace on our own.

It is the only possible curative measure that is practicable and available in our environment

The health-care sector in the whole of the West-African sub region is dilapidated. Basic equipment and tools to help curb the spread of the disease and quarantine the unfortunate are unfortunately lacking all through the region. However, convalescent therapy has been shown to work, and that we can do ourselves.

Convalescent therapy involves receiving a blood transfusion using the blood of an Ebola survivor, after screening for HIV, typhus and other infections, and the blood incubated at high temperatures to kill other harmful organisms. This method has been used since the first outbreak of Ebola in 1976, has recently been used to successfully treat an American aid worker, and is currently being used to treat an American journalist. Despite the technicalities it involves, it is one of the only possible curative measures that is practicable and available in our environment. And despite the risks, it does seem more adventurous than constant rehydration with electrolytes as is the case now, after all patients are in hemorrhagic shock so what else could be worse. Isn’t it better to try all possible curative avenues than just rehydrating patients till the inevitable occurs? Yet at what point do we go for broke? At what point do we realize we are losing too many and decide to risk everything to achieve the goal of saving lives?

First Published on thisisafrica.me

GENERAL BUHARI: CANDID WORDS, RAUCOUS APPREHENSION

The mammoth crowd that brought the Federal Capital to a standstill was indeed a confirmatory indication of the General Muhammadu Buhari’s massive support base. The ‘Unapologetic Buharists’, young die-hards with the persistent believe that the General is Nigeria’s only current solution have taken social media circles by storm, and the viability and massive defense towards the general’s integrity has never been better in this social media age.

Buhari’s unerring popularity was also tested to the core with the recent open letter from the renowned scholar, former navy captain and medical doctor Sheikh Ahmad Gummi, son of the most renowned Grand Khadi of the Northern Region Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gummi. Open-letters have surely being a norm during this democratic dispensation, adding a positive spin to our freedom of information in the country and proving a strong showing of our democracy. However, a large hullabaloo always follows almost every open letter by any renowned personality to most specifically our politicians.

Despite our orthodox political connections, if there is one thing Nigerians can submerse and tolerate, it might as well be anything that has religious affiliation. The backlash that Sheikh Gummi’s honest letter received however, was with baptism of fire, and served as an exception to the religious rule for one simple reason: it was perceived as a disregard and denigrating towards ‘The People’s General’ and it is only Muhammadu Buhari that would command such strict deference towards his personality and credibility without dotting a drop of his ink on a paper, nor without sending any PA or SA to do damage control. Such is Buhari’s over domineering awe, that it is improbable for one not to discuss the General’s ambition, without having to do so while treading on a steadfast path, because any iota of slight towards his personality will let the powder keg below to explode.

This is not a rejoinder to the Sheikh’s letter, never, nor is it an outright defense or cleansing of General Buhari, not by any means, but just an outright opinioned analysis of events on social media that followed that well-publicised letter. So what did Sheikh Gummi did, or say exactly to cause this uproar? Well, it was an honest attempt by a religious preacher, within every ounce of his right, to correct and guide his Muslim brother and one he has utmost respect for, towards certain peculiarities. Preaching on Public Avenue’s even on social media is what Gummi never shied from, and his reputation for doing the spectacular rather controversially has been duly noted, a distinct peculiarity from his father, who always leaned soft, but one thing they did have in common was leaning towards the common truth. It is worth noting that Sheikh Gummi Snr was one of Sardauna’s closest confidante and always advised the late premier on the right path no matter what the consequences might be, and most of the time the fiery Premier will be upset but in the long run would see the right of Gummi’s comment and would indeed ring him and apologise for his furious outburst. Gummi Snr, played his part in every regime up to the time of his death, in sound advisory notes to the generals and the civilians alike, but one thing he always avoided was a public rant. He famously never agreed to start radio broadcasts of his preaching till he believed the Muslim population were united enough to avoid unnecessary interpretation of his preaching in a medium where he would not have an avenue to explain himself further, and risk irking controversies. That was Gummi Jnr’s first startling spectacular.

Having noted in the opening paragraph of his letter, that he has access to the “Humble People’s General” personally, but was trying in his capacity as a religious scholar to also educate others through this simple honest means, shows one is not to blame the Sheikh as he was doing what he does best, to the General and to the society at large, offering guidance. But one peculiarity here is what the lessons are for other Nigerian’s of Buhari’s similarity to take from the open letter. Which other Nigerian in the current political climate is like the General? Which other Nigerian political aspirant has the soft heart of the general and an excessive overburden of getting rid of corruption like the general? As Mahmud Jega, on the issues around Buhari, asserted ‘Where can you find another Army General, a former State governor, former Federal minister and a former Head of State who on top of that has a reputation for firmness and incorruptibility?’ The answer is resounding, ‘it will take several generations to breed one!’ Hence the peculiarity of Gummi’s letter is most certainly driven to the people’s general alone, and a simple visit to the General’s residence by the learned Sheikh, which undeniably wouldn’t be denied, would have sufficed, and a more general preaching to us sinners on a public podium wouldn’t be bad afterwards, we do log onto Facebook more than Buhari after all.

Another striking issue is the timing of Gummi’s wall post. That this letter is just emanating after Buhari has already bought the whopping 27.5 million Naira APC Presidential form, underscores the impact it can have on Buhari jettisoning his presidential agenda. Maybe it would have been wise if Sheikh has sounded his warning drums much earlier than Buhari’s official declaration and most certainly before he had parted with what would take him albeit 23.5 months as President of this country to recoup back if he crosses the bridge and becomes a civilian president, because I really doubt if Oyegun and co. do refunds.

What endeared me more as I read this letter however was Gummi’s brutal honesty and utmost respect for the general, and the way he persistently addressed him as ‘Your Excellency’. Candid points were indeed raised by the learned Sheikh, who grew within the tribulations of Nigeria’s botched regimes and who has had scuffles of his own being a Muslim scholar around the world, and it is from those trials that he has learnt for the good, that “good intentions are never enough”. That was a Nigerian talking, a person who knows the handiwork of our upper class, not just an Islamic Scholar, and these are lessons our next President no matter whom should take to heart. Buhari’s good intention on his first coming as President surely weren’t enough, and his miscalculated ruling with an iron-grip were not giving the chance to succeed, by antagonists who will always exist in any dispensation.

It is really ironical, that today Buhari is considered too Islamic, but here is a man who yes, practiced his religion, but was never concerned about being in the forefront of any religious agenda. Buhari was an earthly, pious General with a good heart, but not the religious chauvinist he is portrayed as today, he was a military man, and Islam was never part of his propaganda, war against indiscipline was. It was of course the same General Buhari that prevented top Islamic clerics and Christian faithful from Pilgrimages to Mecca and Jerusalem respectively, amongst whom were respected scholars like Sheikh Abubakar Gummi who had his passport also impounded, as part of the obsession with the moral cleansing of the General which Gummi Jnr constantly referred to in his letter, and one he should albeit have a firsthand knowledge of from his learned father. Buhari’s war did not segregate towards religious lines as we are made to believe, he was indeed infatuated with cleansing the gross indiscipline brought about by the civilian rule and not even religion would stand on his way. That is one thing Gummi’s open letter is afraid of, burying the coffin without the devil in it.

Gummi’s take on the age precedence was in no credence fair though. The General’s age has been a weapon that has been dangled at the electorate always. But if he is too weak because of his honesty, I doubt if age and comparison with the late Sardauna is another factor too. Sardauna was his own man, just as Muhammadu Buhari is his own person, if the Sardauna felt he had enough of the political atmosphere at his ripe 50s it doesn’t mean it should dictate Muhammadu Buhari’s decision, he should be allowed to adhere to what he believes in too, if he doesn’t think the time to retire is yet then so be it. But when do you actually retire actively from a struggle of emancipation and become a passive on-looker?

What is amazing however, is the Sheikh’s hypothesis, having admitted that the present administration has charged up the religious divide so incredibly well, and also the need as a priority for peace and stability to reign even for a few years before good governance comes into view, but yet coming up with an arbitrary unfathomable hypothesis, which I doubt is meant for next year’s general election. Indeed by no means will President Goodluck step aside for an Akpabio/Muazu/Ribadu/Shekarau potential combo in the PDP, and it is a highly improbable factor an Amaechi/Okorocha/Kwankwaso/Elrufai/Tambuwal combo might out sit President Jonathan, not impossible but highly improbable. So if to have peace and stability, this present administration has to be shelved, then surely we have to admit that the Buhari factor comes in handy as the only probable choice to oust the President together with more likely one of the Sheikh’s hypothetical combo in the APC, or the other option is to let President Jonathan finish another four year term of this transformational horror and instability for an upcoming fresh era of stability come 2019? I wonder if that’s the Sheikh’s conclusive rough mathematical calculation! 2015 is getting nearer though, and we are in the middle of the bridge and it is indeed tangling!

OUR PERSONAL BOUT WITH GUILT

“There are only two emotions; love and fear.” ~ Elisabeth Kubler Ros

It was the renowned American psychiatrist Mrs Kubler-Ros who gave the resounding statement that love and fear are our only emotions and all other emotions stem out of them. Putting this into perspective and the dire ire of the most populous black nation, our country Nigeria, and you have these two contrasting emotions - the love and the fear. Guilt is considered a negative emotion and hence stems out of fear as a factor; but what about ‘guilt’ bore of love?
Approximately 70 per cent of Nigeria’s population, representing about 105 million people, is under 30 years. So here is a country whose backbone is its youth, unfortunately a higher percentage of whom are idle, yet still fervently in love with the nation but have accepted the narrative that we are powerless to change anything that is controlled by the aristocratic older 30 per cent of our population. So there began our personal bout with guilt, one that is fought by the many millions of us inadvertently in love with our country but powerless to resist its impending denigration.
On a daily basis, mass acts of corruption and blasphemy are carried out by our political class, our so-called leaders; from tens of billions missing like a needle in a hay-sack; little girls bundled away like farm produce; villages ransacked and thrown to tatters; jets being bought colossally with our nation’s treasury; security votes diverted to God knows where – but what do we do? We sulk, we cry inwards, we storm to social media in our virtual worlds, but in the end we do not transcend from the virtual to the real world. Time passes by and we seem to forget, we do suppress and try to move on, leaving our culprit leaders to go scot-free, yet again and let us continue to fight with that guilt. Yes, we might suppress it but inadvertently it’s still innate and all we do is pretend that someday things will change. “Change is on the way”. How sad!
To suppress our guilt, we shirk our personal responsibility, constantly finding something and someone to repeatedly blame for the failure of our nation, our failures. From the colonial power houses for bringing us together, to the military for putting us in shackles and to the dispensations of democracy for looting us all away; to the councilor for being so corrupt, to the chairman for being a stooge to orders above, our governors and the president for being our tormentors-in-chief and the judiciary for letting them go scot-free? But when do we ever own up to our own “responsibility”? Or don’t we have a responsibility to our nation? Have we simply been kidnapped by the force that is the elite that all we can is o eternally fight our moral guilt and believe we are not wrong? Unfortunately, rarely do we transcend from saying we should do this to actually ‘now doing this’.
From a problem of leadership, now the cancer is spreading, it is a citizenry problem; it is a Nigerian colloquial problem. At the market, the trader transfixes rotten tomatoes in between the ripe basket of tomatoes without any aorta of fear, you stand up to him and complain, what does he tell you, “Oga, this is Nigeria oo”. You are bewildered but what do you do? You sulk and move on to fight with the guilt of not being able to do anything. You are on a queue for almost an hour, but every minute somebody just comes in and is ushered at your peril. You shout and claim it’s not fair but eventually sulk and fight with that innate guilt, that you are helpless to the situation in fear of its repercussions, the guilt of fear. The cancer indeed has spread.
Now, as you are reading this, at certain parts your brain clicks. “That is so true”. “That reminds me of the other day”. “Unfortunately, that is Nigeria of today for you”. NO! That’s your responsibility-shirking innate guilt, hostile attitude in action yet again. Why are we hiding behind our shells? Nobody is going to proffer solutions to this crestfallen nation by earning millions while shouting and debating, albeit even groggily sleeping. It is an individual effort that starts right there where you are; you either make a move now or eternally be fighting with that guilt.

PERSPECTIVES OF AMERICA'S JIHAD

The term ‘Jihad’ in the West has found commonplace to be synonymous to Tyranny, Supremacism, and Violence inter-linked to Islam. Listening to President Barack Obama labeling the purported Islamic Republic in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) as “Un-Islamic” and “far from Islamic teachings” brings out the rhetoric in America still labeling their despotic acts ‘Jihad’ and recognising the element ‘Islam’ as part of their nomenclature. With media white-wash, we all seem apologetic to this nomenclature as our local media also joins the foreign band-wagon of labeling any Extremist as “Islamic Jihadists”. It is worth noting that in Islam, Jihad has different components, such as personal struggle against vices, like adultery, fornication and struggles against addiction, being tolerant to one another and occasionally military struggle if deemed necessary in self-defense. In fact, when the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was asked which the major Jihad was, he replied, “The Jihad of the Self” in essence a personal struggle against one-self and his heart desires, he didn’t utter the violent struggle. The supposed urge by an adviser to Egypt’s Mufti seems a benevolent strategy towards demystifying and unlinking extremists to Islam. He urged the foreign media to use the words, “Qaeda Separatists in Iraq and Syria (QSIS)” instead of ISIS.

Indeed viewing Jihad through the extremists own point of view, is certainly playing into the hand of the extremists, ignorant of the core teachings of Jihad. Now, following through America and its media-backed propagandist hyping and linking of the term “Islamic Jihadists” as ‘Supremacism’, ‘Oppression’ and ‘Violence’, then along the tilt of history, there is no one guilty of this form of ‘Jihad’ than America itself if we take it through the Supremacism-Oppression-Violence point of view.

The United States has in the course of its history altered the politics and events of the Middle East to favour its overall ‘Supremacy’ for better or worse of the region until it tilts across its desired line. It is without gainsaying that the United States could end the bloodshed in Syria (a bloodshed which they effectually started as we will see in due course) but either due to cowardice or indifference, with the latter amounting the most it chooses to let Syrians die. Three million Syrian refugees are now scattered across the Middle East and another 6.5 million internally displaced summing to a little less than half the entire population of Syria. At what price? Simply, American policies are made around a single idea; everyone pays a price, but America gains.

Since the beginning of the Syrian civil war initiated to depose President Assad out of power, the Free Syrian Army has been receiving arms and ammunition from the West to fight the regime, which stubbornly failed to collapse. Now the ragged army has been left to decompose as they no longer serve a purpose to American interests, but then the ISIS sprang up amidst the artillery-laden environs and are on a mission of liberation of their own, contrary to the American-Organised FSA; basically, a lunatic group that existed but wasn’t given much concern when the prize was Assad’s head is now a full grown nemesis. A FSA commandant’s plea summarises the whole caption of the ‘American Jihad’ interest: “…the problem now is that they (ISIS) came back to fight with sophisticated weapons, weapons they stole from the Americans…we are just asking the West for some cooperation, some support to be able to fight these monsters and free our lands with our hands..” Months ago, there wouldn’t be a need for this plea from the FSA before America supplied ammunitions, sadly for the FSA and the Syrian people, they were just a pawn in the ‘Oppressive’ American policy, which certainly didn’t start now, but is embedded in American ‘Jihad’ doctrine as we shall continue to see.

Back in 1946, Syria became a republic, but in March 1949 a coup by Army Chief of Staff, Husni al-Za’im ended the initial period of civilian rule, a step stone in the long-standing Syrian violence that has seen them merge with Egypt, separate, and then engulf in a lasting terrible ‘Violence’. Za’im met at least six times with CIA operatives in the months prior to the coup to discuss his plan to seize power. Za’im requested American funding and personnel, and once in power made several key decisions to benefit the US. And ‘Oppress’ the Syrian people who are still suffering from that insult to their democracy 65 years ago.

A few years later, the ‘Oppressive Jihad’ trend continued. President Eisenhower helped overthrow Iran’s democratically elected president Mohammad Mossadegh in 1953. Mosadegh had sought to audit the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company now BP and change the terms of agreement and access to Iranian oil reserves. America’s collaboration in the coup was confirmed in August 2013 when the CIA admitted it was involved in planning and execution of the coup, by bribing Iranian politicians, security, and high ranking officials as well as pro-coup propaganda. The CIA can be quoted admitting the coup was carried out “Under CIA direction as an act of US foreign policy, conceived and approved at the highest levels of government”. Some of the most feared mobsters in Iran were hired by the CIA to conceive their “Violent Jihad” by staging Pro-Shi’ah riots in which about 800 people were killed and America continually supplied arms to the increasingly unpopular Shah and CIA trained SAVAK his repressive secret police, for the American vendetta to survive.

And the list is not exhaustive by any means. The entry of Soviet Union into Afghanistan in 1979 prompted the US to support rebels fighting against the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan by arming terrorist groups. The CIA worked closely with Pakistan in arming the groups through foreign support hence attracting other Arab extremists known as Afghan Arabs which included a certain Osama bin Laden. With the demise of the Soviet Union, American interests and motives waned as such leaving armed groups sprawling, and ensuring decades of ‘Violence’ in the region. Also after the Gulf War in the 1990s, an uprising in southern Iraq was encouraged by the CIA after airing “The Voice of Free Iraq” from a CIA operated radio station out of Saudi Arabia and in the north Kurdish leaders took Americas vow that they would support an uprising and began fighting hoping to trigger a coup d’├ętat against President Saddam. In March 2003, the ‘Violence’ in Iraq resumed as US government advised UN nuclear inspectors to leave their unfinished work and exit from Iraq. America then conducted a surprise military invasion of Iraq without declaring war leading to the capture and death of Saddam, leading the country to turmoil.

The US still refuses to take responsibility for the Libyan ‘Violence’. The military intervention in Syria was alluded to as the ‘Responsibility to Protect Policy’ of the UN. According to America’s version “the international military intervention in Libya is not about bombing for democracy or Muammar Gaddafi’s head. Legally, morally, politically and militarily it has only one justification: protecting the country’s people”. But immediately America’s ‘Jihad’ was completed and Gaddafi’s head was gotten, NATO rolled out of Libya despite pleas by the new government for an extension in order for stability to reign. Less than three years later, how are the ‘Protected People’ of Libya faring? Silvio Berlusconi of Italy who played a substantial role in NATO said, “This wasn’t a popular uprising because Gaddafi was loved by his people, as I was able to see when I went to Libya”, eventually Gaddafi had to pay, America wanted Libyan oil and he wasn’t going to stop them from getting it.

In January 2011, the Western media was awash with stories of a spur-of-the-moment, indigenous uprising sweeping across North Africa and Middle East which they dubbed ‘The Arab Spring’. Months later the media would admit the US has in fact been behind the uprising and it was anything but indigenous or spontaneous. In April 2011, an article posted by the New York Times stated: “A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms…received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute and Freedom House, a non-profit human rights organization based in Washington…they were created by congress and are financed through the national endowment for democracy…” incidentally, more than a quarter of the world’s oil is shipped through North-Africa’s Suez Canal.

Is it that America is frightened of Arab Democracies? Not in the least, but they are amply afraid of losing their role and dividends in an autonomous democracy. There were struggles in Yemen and Ivory Coast when America was attacking Libya, but their compass didn’t have much bearing there, nor does it have bearing in fighting Boko Haram where the struggle is Nigeria’s fight not theirs. Over 250 million dollars were earmarked to support moderate factions of the Syrian opposition; you will wonder what such an amount would do in catering the Syrian refugee crisis.

That the US was once popular and respected throughout the Middle East as Americans were seen as good people untainted by the selfishness and duplicity associated with the Europeans who defeated and conquered the vast Ottoman Empire and colonized the Middle East, now seems ridiculous. History tells another tale!

MEANDERING: A POEM

MEANDERING…

Early morning dew, dancing leaves
Grazing wind, grasses with dowsing lips  
Down the stony sturdy hills 
Aloft the leveled-cushioned streets
Up and down the divisive land
I moved along, meandering

My dreamy retina awoke to the mania
A tributary of buzzing hearts
Awash to the shore of the birthing day
To make solitary ending meet.
The miniscule Mairuwa,
Obscured in the mountain 
Of his yellow rickshaw
The oversized headed Lebura, 
Enveloping a loaf of bread, 
Athwart his brown dented teeth
The flabbergasted former Okada man,
An unmovable rock, at the bean-cake joint
The pot-bellied kwashiorkor-stricken child,
A stack of corn fizzing 
In his emaciated fingers
Toddling between the young girls, 
With soiled water kegs
On their colossal scrawny necks, 
Human wagons!
Straight erratically…I kept meandering

As I moved my gauzy eyes in the fogs
Up the hill across the prominence
 ‘BEWARE OF DOGS’
The big brawny sign, along the opulence 
Strewn across, over-fenced prison mansion
Barb-wired to secure the illicit issues
Another pot-bellied distraction
Patched around with adipose tissues
Galloping haggardly, across the turfy plane
Shedding excesses of over-devouring picnic
Meandering, up along the lane
A special sweeten clinic
For over-sweetened diabetic
With special dietetic

Trudging across the divisive lane
This pained heart almost shouted
But the rainy eye tasted plain
In birthing silence the horizon routed
I kept meandering!



*Mairuwa – Local water vendors in Northern Nigeria pushing water in jerry cans inside one-wheeled trucks

*Lebura – Pidgin version of Labourer especially in Northern Nigeria

*Okada – Commercial motorcycle used as vehicle for hire in Nigeria


CLASSIFIED: A Flash Story

After scouring our lanky legs in the dirt-filled pot holes of our stadium-street, we find a topic to debate, not because we are tired, but because Mai-Kosai has seized the ball after it strayed to her backyard, jumped into her bean-cake firewood pot and splashed hot oil which avoided burning her saggy skin. The usual rant was pouring today, but there was no threat of cutting our ball which spared me those ‘you-must-pay-back-our-ball’ looks. I swerved the ball over the goal-post: the wall of her house. During such half-time periods we let the rising dust rest, and the street free of car-honking and curses of motorcyclists avoiding our errant dribbles while we settle by the gutter behind the mosque. 

Tsoho always fetches the topic for discussion. They have a satellite dish in their house. I usually follow him to have a snoop into their TV. It has been days since he killed America, but Osama’s face is still on the TV, I wonder if they will ever catch him. Dikko that smokes wiwi says they won’t catch him because jihad is good. He writes OSAMA on every wall. 

We argued on who had the best clothes last Sallah, and now who had the best father; I don’t like talking about fathers, memories of the midnight fire will re-surface. Ladan was opening the mosque, so I left the gutter to help fill kettles before Maghrib. 

“Why did they burn father and mother in our house?” I asked brusquely.

“Did they refuse to work for Osama?”

He didn’t answer. He looked at me deeply, shook his head and walked away. I wonder why he looked sad; maybe he wasn’t happy the ‘American Osama’ always took the glory.