Condemned Mutineers: Our Sons Must Not Die – Families

Cover-PageLast week, Nigerians expected two victories. And it was apparent that politicians would have rehearsed how to celebrate, for each one of them was worth dancing for. But whatever celebrations planned for the expected breakthroughs had to be mellowed because only one of them fell through. The World Health Organisation declared Nigeria Ebola free. It truly remains a spectacular achievement, particularly because we succeeded while some more organised nations fidget over the containment of the dangerous disease. We became for the world an envied nation, one that is a role model.

But we lost again to Boko Haram, that vicious sect, which element made nonsense of the ceasefire agreement earlier announced by the government. Thus, rather than welcoming the remaining 219 abducted Chibok girls, more abductions were made, more people driven out of their abode and more casualties were recorded in the north-eastern part of the country as the insurgents extended their captured ‘territory’.

That development put a setback to assumed peaceful and secured environment, hope for displaced persons and return of the abducted girls. It also raised questions on the possibility of the areas being safe for elections. What went wrong, why were the pains of parents and residents of the zone extended? Read the story by Tajudeen Suleiman, senior associate editor on Why The Ceasefire Failed.

While the rest of us were hoping that the ceasefire agreement would bring peace, there are some Nigerians who are too preoccupied with fallout of the war against Boko Haram that their prayers appear a little different. These are the families of soldiers condemned for mutiny, in the process of their deployment to battle the insurgents. They have therefore been pleading with the authorities to spare the boys. Suleiman had been working on the story of the soldiers when he got reports for the ceasefire story. The soldiers’ part of his efforts is entitled Condemned Mutineers: Our Sons Must Not Die – Families. That is the lead story in this edition.

Another story that competed with insecurity, Ebola and politics last week is the crisis created by the fall in oil revenue. Governors of the opposition All Progressives Congress met to serve notice of war with President Goodluck Jonathan on the revenue issue, even as the money meant for sharing among the three tiers of government fell to all-time low. What are the consequences of this development? That is what Tony Manuaka, senior associate editor, gives answers to in the story The Oil Price Burden.

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