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General Buratai, The Patriot – By Nkechi Odoma 

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When General Tukur Yusufu Buratai was appointed as the 20th Chief of Army Staff by the President and Commander in Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on July 13th, 2015, the choice was hailed by all and sundry.

This was because, in the history of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Buratai remains one of the most decorated officers ever to be elevated to that enviable position. This could be gleaned from the fact that the Chief of Army Staff had equipped himself well in anticipation of this onerous task.

He belongs to an exclusive class of officers to have traversed virtually all the nooks and crannies of the Army formations before becoming the overall head of the Force. This no doubt placed him in better stead to putting up strategies aimed at revamping the Army.

Before his appointment, Nigeria had been engulfed in a crisis arising from violence orchestrated by militancy, terrorism and banditry. Nigeria was placed on the world ladder as one of the most unsafe countries to live. For instance, entire South-South Nigeria was in the pocket of the militants. Ditto to the North East which had been commandeered by the Boko Haram terrorist group. Also, the Army was highly demoralised as they were battling the insurgents with less sophisticated weapons.

It is important to note that in 2014 alone, 6,600 people were reportedly killed. In January of the succeeding year (2015), the BBC documented that no fewer than 15,000 Nigerians were annihilated by this murderous sect.

The ferocious activities of this monstrous group led to the displacement of about 2.3 million natives while about 250, 000 others were coerced to fled the country in search of safety. Also, was the infamous case of the Chibok girls that were kidnapped from their school.

This was the situation that the country found itself before the emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as the President.

It was in an attempt to eradicate this menace that a worried and concerned President Buhari after comprehensive scrutiny of officers of the Nigerian Army zeroed his search on the Biu born General as the only man capable of exterminating the quagmire with dispatch.

According to military sources, going by the visible records of all the Army Generals in the country, General Buratai was considered the most suitable. His training, experience and dexterity were heralded as most suitable for the job. And that was why his appointment was perceived not only in the military circles but in the public domain as putting a round peg in a round hole.

Like the phraseology, “in whom much is given, much is expected”, the General was instantaneously expected to turn the tide. But to do so, much needed to be done as war victory could only be achieved via the instrumentality of strategic planning and execution.

To prosecute the war effectively, Buratai who prosecute military strategies with the scientific application, first of all, embarked on confidence-building anchored on morale-boosting of his officers and men as soldiers, before they were said to be highly disillusioned, disorganized and disoriented.

To restore the prestige, pride and dignity of the Army to its previous status, General Brutai proceeded and dwelled in the battlefield with the soldiers fighting alongside with them. Unlike in the past where military chiefs remain stagnant in their offices in the Army headquarters to dish out orders without experiencing the situation, General Buratai was physically in the war zone. This no doubt endeared him to the generality of the soldiers who in their minds said, “if the Chef of Army Staff could be in the field with us fighting, then we must put in our best and prove to him that we are capable”.

By so doing, the general had either deliberately or inadvertently inculcated into the soldiers the noble spirits of patriotism and nationalism.

The strategy paid off as before sunset, most of the communities in the hands of the insurgents were liberated. Bama, Goza, Baga, Gamboru-Ngala, Kala-Balge, Dikwa, Kanamma, Geidam, Chibok, Kwajaffa, Mubi, Madagali, Marte, Gombi, Michigan and others that were hitherto in the hands of Boko Haram were liberated.

For the first time in the history of Boko Haram, they were roundly defeated and decapitated. So many of them ran to take refuge in the Lake Chad region while others fled towards the Cameron mountain when Buratai led the onslaught. But the fearless General who is solidly grounded in the arts of war turned the heat on them by chasing them to Lake and the mountains. He boiled the Lake and melted the mountains against the insurgents. Consequently, the reprieve came to Nigeria.

Normalcy was restored as places uninhabitable before the appointment of Buratai became inhabitable.

Since coming on board as Chief Of Army Staff, General Buratai has done so much by liberating the previously ravaged five states of Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Taraba and Gombe as well as other places across Nigeria from the claws of Boko Haram terrorists.

With the feat achieved by the General just a few months after his assumption of office as the Chief of Army Staff, Buratai shifted his attention to the Niger Delta with the hope of extricating the region from the grips of militancy.

The criminal activities of the various groups of militants in the Niger Delta no doubt put the Nigerian economy in jeopardy. Oil which is the major pillar of the Nigerian economy was being depredated daily therefore creating a deliberate regime of an economic adversary for the country.

After, a careful appraisal of the unfortunate situation, Buratai who is variously and fondly called the ‘Soldier’s Soldier’, the ‘Fearless General’ by his admirers, took the battle to liberate the region to the creeks of the Niger Delta. There he confronted the militants and extinguished them in no time. The few remnants took to their heels and fled to other countries when the battle became too hot for them to handle.

With the decimation of militants in the creeks, People hardly hear about these criminal elements in the country today.

Even though it is believed that a Prophet has no honour in his town, the laudable achievements of General Buratai had made nonsense of that cliche as some reputable international and national organizations have all bestowed on him several garlands.

Some of these wreaths were: Forces Service Star (FSS), Meritorious Service Star (MSS), Distinguished Service Star (DSS), Grand Service Star (GSS), Pass Staff Course Dagger (PSC(+)), Field Command Medal ( FCM), Training Support Medal (TSM), United Nations Medal for Angola, Verification Medal, etc.

Despite the above, the General no doubt deserves more appreciation from Nigerians as his numerous sacrifices for the country can not be quantified. This is because, under the leadership of  Buratai, the Nigerian Army has recorded incredible feats in the war against terror, banditry and militancy.

Odoma wrote from Abuja.

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Opinion

ICC: Understanding The Insurgency Within Insurgency – By Richard Murphy

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Nigeria has for over a decade been enmeshed in an intractable insecurity mess due to the unfortunate conspiracy against it by notable international bodies like the ICC and Amnesty International among others, and kowtowing the script of the renegade and insurgents on its soil.

This is indeed a very unfortunate and dreadful situation, as the plot of these people is to ensure a systematic breakup of the country, after it has inexplicably defied all their wicked predictions.

What is unclear or absurd to some, is how it is taking the Nigerian Armed Forces so long to totally bring the insurgents to a complete halt. Given the dare-devil and mindless mindset displayed by these faceless groups, such people are unaware of the huge obstacles strewn on the paths of the Armed Forces in curtailing internecine wars.
In the first place, the Armed Forces of every country is primarily trained and conditioned to wage wars against external aggression and defend its territorial boundaries only.

So, the Nigerian Armed Forces are saddled with a task that they were never prepared for, against their professional ethics to turn their guns against the very citizens they are supposed to protect. This is made more complex when one notes that the insurgents and terrorists are mingled with the civilian population, while the troops are in clear view of the renegades to pick out as guinea pigs.

It is indeed a very sad and miserable situation the Nigerian Armed Forces have found themselves in.
It is therefore most uncharitable for hitherto respected international bodies like the ICC and Amnesty International, to always rise up to the defense of the insurgents, any time the scale of balance is tilted against them.

It is a monumental shame for ICC that ought to know better to allege that the troops are either using excessive force or committing crimes against humanity, when routing the same insurgents that could stop at nothing and deploy any means to prosecute their macabre insidious agenda.

While it is understood that the Armed Forces are under obligation to ensure civilian casualties are minimized in the course of their operations, there is no justification for setting any standards for the Nigerian troops, unless to incapacitate them, faced with the potent danger like terrorism and insurgency.

It is absurd and lamentable that the ICC and its cohorts rather than call these deranged elements to order, or chart a path to ease the crisis, would prefer to stoke the embers of the inferno and tactically fuelling the insurgency further. Less we forget, the International Criminal Court is an international organization and as well a Tribunal that sits in The Hague, in Netherlands, is the first and only permanent International Court with jurisdiction to prosecute individuals for the international crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and the crime of aggression.

It is in every material fact intended to complement existing national judicial systems and it may therefore exercise its jurisdiction, only when National courts are unwilling or unable to prosecute such crimes.
Against this backdrop, the antics of ICC and it’s cohorts to level allegations of excess force or crimes against humanity on Nigerian troops, smacks of deep hatred for the Nigerian people and a deliberate ploy to frustrate the Government from overcoming this scourge. If the ICC is sincere in its obligation to protect humanity and human rights, what stops it from condemning the posture of the insurgents and terrorists who are bent on rubbishing Nigeria’s Sovereignty?

It is evident and crystal clear that the ICC’s claims must be aimed at discrediting the gains being recorded by the Nigerian troops, which according to the National Coordinator of the Coalition for Nigeria Movement, (CNM) Patriot Sabo Odeh, is a vivid attempt to undermine the efforts of the Armed Forces of Nigeria.

This explains why ICC and Amnesty International, always abashedly raise their voices to stop the momentum in their nefarious bid to not only prolong the insurgency war but to as well demoralize the Nigerian troops and invariably embarrass the Government.

It is in the light of these facts that the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Yusuf Buratai and the CNM boss , earlier urged the troops to discountenance ICC allegations and remain focused on the task at hand.

ICC, Amnesty international and their cohorts have no moral fabric to question how Nigeria deals with its internal security challenges, not after they have demonstrated times without court that they mean to derail our territorial integrity, rubbish our sovereignty and have openly displayed their contempt for our heterogeneous setting.

So, Nigeria needs to brace up to decisively tackle this scourge regardless of empty charades of the promoters and sympathizers of the terrorists and insurgent groups. God is always on the side of the just and would surely see Nigeria through these harrowing hard times.

It is therefore imperative to now know the enormity of the task at hand. We must all rise up to the challenge and speak with one voice, because ICC, Amnesty International and their cohorts are only exploiting our fault lines to achieve their nefarious plot against our collective wellbeing.

Since ICC has abandoned its statutory mandates and takes delight in compounding our insecurity challenges, it is inevitable to embark on concerted efforts to woo well meaning international power blocs to see reason and check-mate this evil plot.

The international community should put its searchlight on ICC and it’s co-travelers, as they have derailed, compromised and doing the bidding of face-less paymasters.
The insecurity challenges in Nigeria really appear daunting, but with resolute determination, valour and dynamism we can overcome this malady.

The agents of destabilization have perfected their inglorious plans to make a mockery of our democracy.
Nigeria can no longer afford to treat the ravaging insecurity challenges with kid gloves, since our troops understand the danger posed to our democracy by this intractable insurgency, we should rally round them and give all the support they need to check this debilitating menace.

All those either colluding or conniving with these renegade elements do not deserve any sympathy or mercy. Anyone feigning support for the insurgents and terrorists, are in all material fact enemies of our dear fatherland and should be so treated. As an international organization that courts global relevance, ICC cannot and should not be seen to be with the hunt and the hunted.

The territorial integrity of Nigeria supersedes any veiled inordinate ambition of any group, no matter the immense resources at its disposal.  There is no doubt that ICC, Amnesty international and their ilk have hidden agenda and would stop at nothing to play out their given scripts, but we must resist them stoutly, with total vehemence and bravado.

Thank God, the whole world is keenly watching and we should press for overhauling of the structures in ICC, to ensure the intendments that necessitated its existence, are duly served.
Institutions may be noble in frame work but the human angle if left unchecked, could mar, imperil and rubbish its essence.

This is the crass state the ICC has presently degenerated into; hence the UN as a family must save ICC from itself.
The leadership of ICC having derailed since, are now overwhelmed with scheming to appear playing to the gallery while in fact acting out given scripts of their paymasters to the detriment of the sacred responsibilities, they ought to be upholding.

In such a scenario, ICC stands discredited, compromised and lacks the moral fabric to question how Nigeria prosecutes this nauseating insurgency strife. It cannot be working in partnership with our enemies and yet expect us to take it seriously, this is simply because ICC is yet to come to terms with the stern stuff Nigerians are made of.
In the light of the foregoing, Nigerians must eschew tribal-religious differences and work concertedly to stamp out the insurgency threat.

As it is, Nigeria is facing the terrorists cum insurgents at the war front and in the same breath being distracted at will by ICC and Amnesty international, whenever the scale of balance tilts against the renegades.
Since the infractions of ICC and Amnesty international are getting bolder and unceasing, it is imperative to change our approach to the manner of dealing with this itch.

ICC and Amnesty international must not wish us well before we survive. Our survival is from God, who has ordained our existence and weathered all our storms, so it is high time we called the bluff of ICC and its cohorts.
Nigeria is indeed destined for greatness. To attain such a height is a matter of dint of hard work, overcoming all obstacles with total focus on the goals. The present insurgency scourge will in no time fizzle out, once our leaders summon the political will to do the needful. What is fueling the insurgency craze is ineffective planning of our affairs and now that Government is tackling the issue frontally by ascertaining who every Nigerian is, we are sure to soon get there and ICC and its cohorts can go to blazes.

Murphy is a security expert based in Calabar.

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Understanding Diaspora Activists And Irrational Demands – By Elijah Attah

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I would start this article on a high pitch because of the activities of some supposed Nigerian activists holed up somewhere outside the shores of Nigeria barely surviving and waiting for that opportunity to make a living through ignoble ways, including selling their conscience for a plate of porridge.

They call themselves all sorts of names. They arrogate certain imaginary powers to themselves all in a bid to increase their negotiation value when it is time to wreak havoc in Nigeria as this is the only business they can engage in, as most of them were societal misfits before they scampered out of the country for a breather in their quest to give their lives a new meaning.

I am sad that such a critical constituency that is meant to be worthy ambassadors of Nigeria in the Diaspora are the very ones that have allowed themselves to be used as clogs in the wheels of our progress as a country. It remains to be determined how things went so awry for us as a country that Nigerians in the Diaspora would be willing to set the country up in flames in return for a plate of porridge.

This is where I have frequently questioned the rationale for the establishment of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission. I dare to ask of what benefit is the organization to the socio-economic development of Nigeria if the activities of Nigerians in Diaspora has been most despicable and inimical to sustainable growth and development in Nigeria.

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission according to information gathered from their website provide for the engagement of Nigerians in Diaspora in the policies, projects and participation in the development of Nigeria and to utilize the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in Diaspora towards the overall socio-economic, cultural and political development of Nigeria and for related matters.

We must agree that this is indeed, strategic. If the above could be achieved, Nigeria would benefit significantly from Nigerians’ rich resource base in the Diaspora. But ironically, the reverse has been the case. I won’t state categorically that the organization has failed. However, I would say that the organization’s leadership has not come to terms with the reality on the ground. It has continued to feign ignorance to the nefarious acts perpetrated by some Nigerians in the Diaspora that aims to undermine national security in Nigeria.

Interestingly, there has been an unholy silence from those that are meant to be vocal in condemning these acts of sabotage perpetrated by some Nigerians in the Diaspora. The question thus is, could the silence an indication of complicity? Could the silence mean an endorsement? And could the silence mean that those at the helm of affairs at the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission are ignorant of the commission’s critical role? All of these questions beg for answers in the true spirit of patriotism in our quest for the Nigeria of our dreams.

We must ask critical questions as the activities of these charlatans gathers momentum daily. We must also do well to identify those amongst the lot that have turned themselves into agents of those against the peace and prosperity of our country.

They have been very vocal in making demands that serve their pockets, not minding the implication of their actions. This, in my opinion, is most despicable and should give all well-meaning Nigerians a cause to worry. We might not understand the larger consequences of these diaspora activists until they achieve their overarching aim of seeing Nigeria’s disintegration.

I consequently challenge the leadership of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission to initiate programmes and policies that would harness the potentials of Nigerians in the Diaspora towards the socio-economic well-being of Nigeria. This is not a time for grandstanding and playing to the gallery as all hands are required to be on deck.

I know for a fact that with the right template, the vast resource base of Nigerians in the Diaspora can be utilized for the benefit of Nigeria in critical sectors of our national life. And if this is not done, then we should be ready to deal with more Nigerians joining the ranks of those who have sold their conscience for a plate of porridge.

This is indeed a clarion call and an SOS to all well-meaning Nigerians to come to terms with the reality on the ground regarding the activities of those Nigerians in the Diaspora. They like to parade themselves as activists, but their activism is centred around their pockets in truth. The bigger your offer is, the louder their voices make irrational demands and ever ready to sell the country of their birth.

Nigerians indeed must be wary of these individuals as their footprints pervade the nook and crannies of Nigeria in search of the slightest opportunity to turn the heat on. Thank God for the security agencies’ efforts so far that beamed the searchlight and exposed their nefarious plots. Even as the security agencies continue to address the threats posed by these diaspora activists, we are citizens of Nigeria also have an invaluable role to play towards ensuring that Nigeria stays united and in peace. My two cents.

Attah wrote from Abuja.

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The Diaspora And It’s Negative Influence On Our Democracy – By Abubakar Gana

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We yearned and prayed passionately for democratic leadership for decades. It was not easy for a nation as famous and naturally endowed like Nigeria to face the enslavement of dictatorship for the years it was imposed on us by our Military. At last, democracy reincarnated in Nigeria in 1999. Good enough, for over two decades now, we have savored the gains and experienced the extraneous froths and thrills inured to democratic governments.

Not deterred by setback, we are still struggling to reshape democracy in Nigeria; our leaders have their eyes fixated on it. President Muhammadu Buhari is labouring unstintingly to redefine and indoctrinate in us, the ideal democratic culture in Nigeria. That’s one of the legacies he strives to bequeath to us after serving out his leadership tenures.

But there are the reneges and betrayers of the Nigerian regeneration project who have implanted multiple thorns on his path. At every turn, we notice grand plots to frustrate the refining and purification of Nigeria’s democracy by the Buhari administration from these unpatriotic subverters.

I have observed overtime, a very dangerous obsession of defilements of the land by the Nigerians in the diaspora. Ordinarily, Nigerians in the diaspora should be admirable ambassadors of our country. But in contrast, the league of Nigerians in foreign lands have insensitively constituted themselves into potently brazen forces of antipathy for any agenda on sanity and progress in their home country.

Nigerian compatriots in the diaspora have re-baptized our land with varied destructive tendencies and repulsive acts. These vampires and old fags in the diaspora have turned Nigeria into a cesspit of an uninhabitable land only evocative of the fate of the aborigines in the oasis of Bhangarh Fort, in Delhi, India. The natives deserted it because a sorcerer cursed it.

We are being dragged to a similar fate now. Nigerians in the diaspora have morphed into celebrated Luciferic reincarnates and destroyers of our beautify country with unnecessary incitements and persuasions of youngsters in the country to embrace evil at the expense of decency. They want us to desert our land gifted to us by God. The Nigerians in diaspora chant songs of war against their country when they ought to erect orchestras of merriments.

Evil has enmeshed almost all of them neck-deep and they prefer to sedulously work and see to the absolute collapse of Nigeria at the slightest chance of internal upheavals. They are usually vociferous in the condemnation imaginary “evil” in Nigeria; but operate a treacherous web with external destabilization forces against the unity, peace and security of our beloved nation. We have appropriately decoded their ungodly pretensions and demonic machinations against Nigeria.

I cannot endure their excesses this long without raising a voice of condemnation publicly. Most Nigerians in the diaspora who are the leading campaigners’ and protagonists in the perpetration of disguised evil against the country are haunted by the ghosts of their earlier disfigured lives, while they resided in the country.

It was their motivation for taking refuge abroad and the external forces against us have found worthy weapons in them to exploit against Nigeria. They are usually blind to the evil in foreign nations and countries of their domiciliary; but very vocal about an evil they have conjured and promoted against Nigeria.

The actions and conducts of Nigerians in the diaspora connote an assemblage of people on a revenge mission against their country and adroit in imposing it. They angle for Nigeria to break in smattering pieces, so, deploy all arsenals, such as blackmailing leaders, defaming and distracting the Nigerian Military; mindless and instigative utterances which promotes hatred in the citizenry and goad gullible Nigerians into destructive and regrettable actions against our country.

An Africa adage says; “he who frequently breaks the calabash is unmindful of an earlier crack on it.” Knowingly or unknowingly, these diasporan Nigerians; some of them opinion moulders and leaders in their new domains have vowed to always ensure they catapult Nigeria into a state of quandary. Some of them no longer veil their identities in executing these sinister plots. And we are also aware of those working behind the curtains.

However, it is indubitable that diaspora Nigerians have become a bad influence on their home country as emerging activists who inexplicably delights more in ruining the subsisting peace and security of the country. They are initiates of masochism, who are only excited whenever they sight blood and destructions in their home country.

These Nigerians in foreign nations are narcissistic and egoistic; they perceive themselves as embodying the finest of leadership or governance qualities; but in a realistic sense, its fake and immersed in evil. They are after the pursuit of an agenda antithetical to the people and anti-Nigeria. They have masked patrons oversees who surreptitiously bankroll their nefarious outings against Nigeria and craft the script of the sequence of actions. At best, they are spies and hired goons of anti-Nigerian interests.

Therefore, they migrate into the country, alien habits, lifestyles and non-existing governance codes against Nigeria to pacify their foreign masters at the detriment of our nation. Let’s look at a few examples from them. It is a great puzzle why the leader of outlawed IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu claims agitating for self-determination, but would ignore all lawful means in pursuing the actualization of a Biafran state?

Rather, the escapee jailbird, Kanu is more at home with bloodbath of his kinsmen and other acts of criminalities in the pretext of secession agitations. The same IPOB leader frequently ignites irresponsible violence and bloodbath at home, but effeminately runs away together with his wife and children to foreign lands when the heat is hot. He allows others to die for his troubles, whilst he escapes to secured sanctuaries abroad. He shirks from remaining behind to shepherd his minions on the cause of his convictions.

The last time, he stoked the violence, Kanu saved himself through a nocturnal escape to the United Kingdom and has remained permanently a self-exiled fugitive, but keeps hurling missiles. Had Nelson Mandela and other anti-apartheid campaigner and heroes fought independence from the black minority in South Africa with Kanu’s style, the country would still have been in chains.

The emotionally distraught and physically drenched Omoleye Sowore claimed he wants his home country Nigeria, to be a better nation. He sought a democratic means of seeking to offer leadership personally by contesting the presidential elections of 2019. It was a standard procedure of seeking to provide leadership alternatives as endorsed by democracy.

Unfortunately, Sowore was resoundingly rejected by Nigerians through the ballot. He polled a paltry 33,000 votes in a country densely populated like Nigeria. Sowore’s presidential bid was apparently financed by the same external forces of destabilization. We sensed the diabolical agenda against us and casted him off our leader ladder. But Sowore has become indefinably restless. He plotted a #RevolutionNow protests to overthrow a democratic government. But the plot could not fly.

Unrelenting, he shadowed in the first phase of the bloody #EndSARS protests, but the dream was also drooped. He flouted every bail condition granted to him by a lawful court and vainly attempted to re-introduce the second phase of the violent #EndSARS protests, but again, the agenda flopped.

For Christ’s sake, how does our conscience speak to us in solemn moments? Sowore faults and sermonizes on the “bad” leadership of President Buhari; he tells me and Nigerians that he wants a better nation and a country where the rule of law takes center-stage. But he is law breaker himself. How would anyone of use reconcile these juxtaposed traits by the self-disesteemed “activist?”

What most of us fail to decipher is that the likes of Kanu, Sowore, Deji Adeyanju and cahoots enmesh themselves in these nonsensicalities because of the pecuniary gains in the sumptuously irresistible dollars and pounds sterling offered as baits. The political buccaneers who get the funds through various channels can create any public anarchy, cause public fracas and even kill to ensure it never stops flowing into their wallet.

Therefore, for the sake of the zeal and thirst to secure these foreign funds and grants, the undertakers have donated themselves to the sponsors as merchants of bloodbath; they have pledged allegiance to foreign organizations and interests that ordinarily hates Africa as a continent. And Nigeria is topmost on their list of targeted countries. But let me assure these hired betrayers and sabs after the soul of Nigeria that with President Buhari still in Aso Rock, they stand no chance of turning Nigeria into the deserted Bhangarh Fort of Delhi.

Gana is a public affairs commentator writing from Kaduna.

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