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Satchu's Rich Wrap-Up
 
 
Tuesday 05th of October 2021
 
Morning
Africa

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In the May-December 2013 "taper tantrum," yields rose when tapering was announced. But when taper actually began, 10yr yield actually fell @RobertPBalan1
World Of Finance


In the May-December 2013 "taper tantrum," yields rose when tapering was announced. But when taper actually began, 10yr yield actually fell. Only to rise again when (Covid 19) QE4 started in March 2020. Core CPI moderates with slower QE, so actual taper should see 10yr yield fall.

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Here we go round the prickly pear The Hollow Men T.S. ELIOT
Misc.



Here we go round the prickly pear
Prickly pear prickly pear
Here we go round the prickly pear
At five o’clock in the morning.

This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper

The Hollow Men T.S Eliot 


Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow
For Thine is the Kingdom.

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''We just put information into the bloodstream to the internet and then watch it grow, give it a little push every now and again over time to watch it take shape'' Andrew Nix said
Misc.


And so this stuff infiltrates the online community and expands but with no branding – so it’s unattributable, untraceable.”So the candidate is the puppet?” the undercover reporter asked. “Always,” replied Nix.

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These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur.
Misc.



Wikipedia has an article on: halcyon days and it reads thus,

From Latin Alcyone, daughter of Aeolus and wife of Ceyx. When her husband died in a shipwreck, Alcyone threw herself into the sea whereupon the gods transformed them both into halcyon birds (kingfishers). 

When Alcyone made her nest on the beach, waves threatened to destroy it. Aeolus restrained his winds and kept themcalm during seven days in each year, so she could lay her eggs. 

These became known as the “halcyon days,” when storms do not occur. Today, the term is used to denote a past period that is being remembered for being happy and/or successfuL

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"Have you ever climbed a mountain in full armour? That's what we did, him going first the whole way up a tiny path into the clouds, with drops sheer on both sides into nothing" - Peter Shaffer, The Royal Hunt of the Sun
Misc.



“Have you ever climbed a mountain in full armour? That's what we did, him going first the whole way up a tiny path into the clouds, with drops sheer on both sides into nothing.
For hours we crept forward like blind men, the sweat freezing on our faces, lugging skittery leaking horses, and pricked all the time for the ambush that would tip us into death.
Each turn of the path it grew colder. The friendly trees of the forest dropped away, and there were only pines. Then they went too, and there just scrubby little bushes standing up in ice.
All round us the rocks began to whine the cold. And always above us, or below us, those filthy condor birds, hanging on the air with great tasselled wings....
''Four days like that; groaning, not speaking; the breath a blade in our lungs. Four days, slowly, like flies on a wall; limping flies, dying flies, up an endless wall of rock. A tiny army lost in the creases of the moon.”

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On the Gringo Trail...Popocatépetl "Smoking Mountain"; 5426m) from neighbouring Ixtaccíhuatl. The twin volcanoes overlook Mexico City. it is the mountain of Malcolm Lowry's "Under the Volcano." @NicholasCoghlan
Misc.


On the Gringo Trail...Popocatépetl "Smoking Mountain"; 5426m) from neighbouring Ixtaccíhuatl.  The twin volcanoes overlook Mexico City. Popo was first climbed by the conquistador Diego de Ordaz in 1519; it is the mountain of Malcolm Lowry's "Under the Volcano." .

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Britain is in a particularly dire place, afflicted by four decades of free market fanaticism Result: there isn’t any storage. In a cold winter, Britain warms itself from tanker to tanker. @LRB
Minerals, Oil & Energy



Britain is in a particularly dire place, afflicted by four decades of free market fanaticism that left it up to commercial companies to pay for the storage of natural gas reserves against a supply crunch or a price explosion. 

Result: there isn’t any storage. In a cold winter, Britain warms itself from tanker to tanker.
The ships will turn round and head for Japan instead of Britain if Japan bids more. 

‘The UK is not considered an attractive market for LNG traders and is often seen as a market of last resort,’ he writes

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Now Is The Winter Of Our Discontent
Law & Politics


“Now is the winter of our discontent” is the opening of a speech by William Shakespeare from Richard III.
It was also used to describe the profound industrial unrest that took place in 1978—9 in the United Kingdom.
Prime Minister Callaghan was asked by a reporter
"What is your general approach, in view of the mounting chaos in the country at the moment?" and replied:
Well, that's a judgment that you are making. I promise you that if you look at it from outside, and perhaps you're taking rather a parochial view at the moment, I don't think that other people in the world would share the view that there is mounting chaos.
The next day's edition of The Sun headlined its story "Crisis? What crisis?"

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Sept. production was still 195 Mcm/d below the record (Feb. 2021), but it does suggest we could run up against potential capacity constraits well before the winter peak if it's cold inside & outside Russia. @ira_joseph
Minerals, Oil & Energy


Sept. production was still 195 Mcm/d below the record (Feb. 2021), but it does suggest we could run up against potential capacity constraits well before the winter peak if it's cold inside & outside Russia. Production is up by a sizable 12.5% (229 Mcm/d) so far in 2021. 

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Why Brexit Britain Is Isolated, Vulnerable and Running on Fumes @business
Law & Politics


Lines of cars snake from gasoline stations. Fights break out among angry motorists trying to get fuel. Grocery staples are out of stock on store shelves. A charity warns that doubling heating bills will force a million households to rely on extra blankets to stay warm.
This was supposed to be the year the U.K. broke free of the European Union and forged ahead as a buccaneering free trader, delivering the benefits of a new, confident “Global Britain” to workers and companies at home. 

Instead, that picture of Brexit utopia is looking more like a dystopia.
As Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party gathers at its annual conference this week, the promise of self-determination has given way to a foreboding sense of economic isolation.

A confluence of crises has forced the government to deploy soldiers to drive fuel trucks, energy suppliers to go out of business and panicked households to try and fill cupboards—all while Covid-19 is still rife.

The Confederation of British Industry, the biggest business lobby, is urging Johnson to set up an emergency taskforce to deal with the supply shortages and cost of living. 

The country faces “a perfect inflationary storm” that could plunge the economy into a recession next year, according to Gavekal Research. 

Retail executives predict food prices will rise at an annual pace of 5% by the end of the year.

“The recovery is in a very fragile state,” said Karan Bilimoria, the CBI’s president. “The nightmare scenario is a ‘winter of discontent’,” he said, evoking the period in the late 1970s when strikes and shortages led to the downfall of the Labour government. 

“The basics not being available is what we’ve got to try and prevent.”
The immediate challenges facing the U.K. stem from the loss of a vital pool of labor after its transition out of the EU ended on Jan. 1

A dearth of truckers is raising fears not just about toys or turkeys for Christmas, but whether people will have enough fuel and food this winter.
The government said late on Sept. 25 it plans to issue short-term visas for truck drivers and poultry workers, though businesses say it won’t come close to filling the gap. Johnson said on Sunday the U.K. also won’t go back to relying on immigration to solve the shortage. 

There are also deficits of people across industries from agriculture and meat to hospitality.

The National Pig Association estimates 150,000 pigs are stuck on farms because of a shortage of gas to stun them and not enough people to process them.

Bloomberg Economics forecasts economic growth will slow to 1.3% in the fourth quarter from 1.6% in the previous three months.

 Although that still leaves the economy on course to expand 6.3% for the whole year, inflation is set to end the year above 3% and stay there until mid-2022.

The root of the U.K.’s outsized struggles are broader and come down to its dependence on trade, an asset before the pandemic that allowed for lean supply lines and championed by supporters of Brexit. 

That reliance now magnifies the damage from leaving the EU and Covid-19 disruption.
Exports and imports as a share of gross domestic product peaked at 63% in 2019 before slumping to 55% last year, according to World Bank figures. 

By comparison, the ratio was 46% for Australia, 35% for Japan and 24% for the U.S.
John Shirley, a U.K. freight forwarder, feels the supply shocks rattling the world—the shipping delays, the skyrocketing costs, the general fog of uncertainty blanketing the global economy. 

But he has faced another constant headache on top of the pandemic over the past nine months. “All this extra paperwork,” he says, “all this extra hassle.”

That was the predictable reality of Brexit. Hauling a truckload of refrigerators to the U.K. from Italy, for example, costs nearly 25% more than before the split from the EU

Starting in January, trucks arriving at U.K. borders will face new customs controls, and food products will be subject to onerous documentary rules beginning next July.

But what British households are also waking up to is that among the imports the U.K. relies on is natural gas for heating and electricity generation. 

Domestic gas prices have more than quadrupled this year, following a similar move for the benchmark European price in the Netherlands. 

A colder- and longer-than-average winter left Europe’s stockpiles depleted while Russia has been exporting less to the continent.

Storage in the U.K. itself is already scarce, and in the first full winter of Brexit, that reliance on imports will be tested. 

The situation could ease if a contentious new pipeline, Nord Stream 2, is opened to connect Russia to Germany via the Baltic Sea. But a last round of political wrangling still stands in the way. 

The best hope might be for the weather to be a few degrees warmer than average.



“The U.K. is not always fully aware how reliant it is on European storage,” said Marco Alvera, head of Italian energy infrastructure company Snam SpA. 

“If it gets very cold—and it is not a Brexit-related thing—even within Europe you will see countries saying, ‘I have the gas inside my borders, I am going to pass an urgent safety measure that no one can export for the next two weeks.’”

The narrative in the first half of 2021 was how the U.K.’s world-beating vaccination program allowed the government to unshackle the economy from Covid-19 restrictions in July. 

Since then, though, Britain’s vulnerabilities have become clearer, especially when it comes to maintaining supply chains.

Businesses had become too reliant on cheap foreign labor, according to Brexit advocates. 

Indeed, with fewer people to choose from, wages have already risen. 

But without access to free movement of workers within the EU, the number of drivers in the U.K. has fallen by more than a third during the pandemic, figures from the Office for National Statistics show.
Supermarkets such as Waitrose have increased pay for new haulers and are dangling bonuses to lure recruits. 

But the structural changes in the economy are proving more painful and lasting than expected.

“It doesn’t matter which way you turn, something hits you in the face,” said Neil Palmer, operations director at Norton Hydraulics, a manufacturer based in St. Albans, north of London. 

“It’s like getting slapped with a wet fish every time you turn up to work.”

Norton is facing a multitude of problems, including rising steel prices, but the driver scarcity is the most worrying. 

Palmer used to receive 20 to 30 applications for a newly posted role. 

A recent job ad for a factory production operative received only one application, from North Africa, he said. “The hard times are to come,” said Palmer.

Labor shortages are hitting every part of the food supply chain, from dairy to seafood and vegetable processing, according to James Withers, chief executive officer of Scottish Food & Drink. 

Businesses are struggling from a lack of transport for food as well as a shortage of the staff to pack it, he said. 

“There are gaps on supermarket shelves and real pressures on the hospitality supply chain.”
Across Europe there are pockets of worker shortages and the whole continent will feel the pinch of record energy prices. But Britain is also paying the price for its much-coveted exceptionalism. 

A quarter of Europe’s estimated 400,000 shortfall for truck drivers affects the U.K. That’s because tougher visa rules have meant those who left during the pandemic have struggled to return after Brexit. There are also backlogs for driving tests for new recruits.

In response, the Department for Transport pulled a U-turn, making 5,000 visas available to EU heavy-goods vehicle drivers of food and fuel for three months. It had already relaxed laws on drivers’ hours, taking the daily driving limit to 11 from nine.
The British Retail Consortium said this would only account for about a third of the drivers needed just for supermarkets alone to operate at full capacity ahead of Christmas. Ruby McGregor-Smith, president of the British Chambers of Commerce, likened the move to “throwing a thimble of water on a bonfire.”

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What happens next depends not only on vaccination, but also on how the virus might mutate. @derspiegel
Misc.



"This virus keeps surprising us," agrees Mary Bushman, a mathematician and population biologist at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health. 

"No one expected such large jumps in contagiousness.”



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Currency Markets at a Glance WSJ
World Currencies


Euro 1.1591
Dollar Index 94.03
Japan Yen 111.22
Swiss Franc 0.9270
Pound 1.3587
Aussie 0.7253
India Rupee 74.5734
South Korea Won 1186.45
Brazil Real 5.4552
Egypt Pound 15.7120
South Africa Rand 15.0850

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"We wanted to invite them not to wait for death ... this is not the intention of the defense and security forces," Nyusi said. @Reuters.
Africa


"Surrender yourself ... because you have nowhere to go ... You are running from one forest to another being endlessly chased."
A number of areas previously held by militants have been cleared, including the town of Mocimboa da Praia, more than a year after insurgents first seized it. Insurgent bases have also been destroyed, according to security forces.
While Nyusi said it was likely the leaders of the insurgency had fled, possibly even abroad, there was concern for those lower down the chain especially if they had been forced to join their ranks.
"We want our compatriots on our side, not the other side," he added.

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Ethiopia's Abiy: From peace laureate to wartime ruler @YahooNews @AFP
Africa

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power vowing sweeping reforms that earned him a Nobel Peace Prize, before becoming mired in a brutal internal conflict that threatens to destabilise the entire Horn of Africa region.
As the 45-year-old prepares for a new term following his Prosperity Party's landslide election win in June, his image as a modern peacemaker lies in tatters and the surge of hope that accompanied his initial appointment three years ago has faded, at least for his critics.
When the deeply ambitious Abiy picked up his Nobel in 2019 for Ethiopia's rapprochement with neighbouring Eritrea, he declared: "War is the epitome of hell for all involved".
But he remains defiant despite mounting international alarm over the conflict in Tigray that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed hundreds of thousands to the brink of starvation.
"It's hard to imagine a greater fall from grace than Abiy Ahmed's. From the celebrated heights of a Nobel Peace Prize to a pariah in just two years," said Cameron Hudson, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's Africa Center.
"This is certainly not the first time the West has been seduced by the promise of a next-generation leader. And it's not the first time we have been let down by that leader."
Abiy blames Tigray's former ruling party, the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), for starting the war, and there is considerable domestic support for what his government long termed a "law enforcement operation".
While visiting soldiers at the front during Ethiopian New Year celebrations last month, he declared that Tigrayan rebels were doomed to certain defeat.
"The current bandits are target practice for us... By practising on them, we will build a strong military," he said.
Before the June polls he told supporters, in his trademark folksy language, that while Ethiopia might seem riven by crises, the real problem was one of perception.
He compared the country's experience to that of a village child disoriented by riding in a car for the first time.
"When the car moves forward, the buildings and trees go backward and we become confused," said Abiy, once a village boy himself.
- Seizing the moment -
Born in the western town of Beshasha to a Muslim father and Christian mother, Abiy has described sleeping on the floor in a house with no electricity or running water.
Fascinated with technology, he joined the military as a radio operator while still a teenager.
In his Nobel speech, he recalled his time during the 1998-2000 war with Eritrea, saying his entire unit was wiped out in an artillery attack that he survived only because he'd left a foxhole to get better antenna reception.
He rose to lieutenant-colonel before becoming the first head of Ethiopia's cyber-espionage Information Network Security Agency.
Then came stints as a lawmaker and minister of science and technology.
The circumstances that lifted Abiy to high office can be traced to late 2015.
A government plan to expand Addis Ababa's administrative boundaries into the surrounding Oromia region was seen as a land grab, sparking protests led by the Oromos, Ethiopia's largest ethnic group, and the Amharas, the second-largest.
The TPLF-dominated ruling coalition imposed states of emergency and carried out mass arrests, but the protests continued.
When then-Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn abruptly resigned, coalition members chose Abiy to become the first Oromo prime minister in 2018.
He released dissidents from jail, apologised for state brutality and welcomed home exiled groups -- part of a democratic rebirth meant to culminate in the most competitive elections in Ethiopia's history.
- Road to war -
But Abiy encountered a host of obstacles, notably persistent ethnic violence including in his native Oromia.
All the while, Tigray was seething. The TPLF did not take kindly to his perceived attempts to sideline them.
When Abiy dissolved the ruling coalition and formed the Prosperity Party in 2019, the TPLF refused to go along and defied him by holding "illegal" regional elections last year.
In November, Abiy ordered troops into Tigray, a move he said came in response to TPLF attacks on federal army camps.
He promised a swift victory, but fighting has spread into neighbouring regions and there have been many reports of atrocities including massacres and mass rape.
- 'Lost child' -
Abiy has been accused of focusing his attention on beautifying the capital and mediating conflicts abroad rather than the situation at home.
Critics also say he has embraced the same authoritarianism many hoped he would end, overseeing mass arrests and abuses by security forces.
Gone are the heady early days of "Abiymania" -- now his opponents openly disrespect him.
"He started to behave as a lost child at a crossroads. Such a child cannot go back because he doesn't know from where he came, and he cannot proceed because he does not know where he's going," Merera Gudina, an opposition leader from Oromia, told AFP earlier this year.
But his supporters remain true believers.
Early on in the Tigray war, one official even suggested that, given Abiy's efforts to resolve the conflict, he might be deserving of "a second Nobel Prize".

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The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Africa


Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.

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“Zambians be careful when you elect a president next time,” warns new Zambian President @HHichilema @daddyhope
Africa


“Zambians be careful when you elect a president next time,” warns new Zambian President @HHichilema as he reveals how @EdgarCLungu bought a Gulfstream private jet looting millions as the price was frighteningly inflated.

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Cornflakes for Jihad: The Boko Haram Origin Story @DavidHundeyin
Africa



In March 2021, a 96 year-old businessman died in Rome, Italy. 

In his lifetime, Ahmed Idris Nasreddin might have amassed a personal fortune of close to half a billion dollars, but the death of NASCO Group’s multimillionaire founder barely made the news. 

At first glance, the only extraordinary thing about his life story was that it embodied the African entrepreneurship dream.
Nasreddin was an Eritrean who moved to Jos in Nigeria’s Plateau State, and grew his father’s small manufacturing business into a $460 million conglomerate involved in everything from breakfast cereal and confectionery to pharmaceuticals, real estate and energy. 

After many years of growth and success, he eventually handed his sprawling business empire over to his son Attia Nasreddin, and retired at an old, satisfied age.

In an official statement released after Nasreddin’s death in March, Plateau State governor Simon Lalong said:

“NASCO has over the years remained a major employer of labour in Plateau and continues to contribute to the economic prosperity of the State and Nigeria at large through tax revenue and corporate social responsibility.”
Well that was the cover story, anyway.
In reality, as is so often the case in Nigeria, the gap between the facts and the information released to the public is so wide as to be scarcely believable. 

What on earth could this shrewd, respectable businessman who looked like he could not hurt a fly have done, to put him in the same article as a story about the world’s deadliest terrorist organisation? 

Why would the brand he built, which to many Nigerians evokes memories of a beloved childhood breakfast staple, appear in the same sentence as Boko Haram?
To answer these questions, our story begins on another continent in 1955, some 8 years before his father would move to Nigeria and establish NASCO Group.

A Scholar From Zamfara

The year is 1955, and a 33 year-old Islamic scholar from Gummi in modern day Zamfara State has made his way to Mecca for his first Hajj pilgrimage. 

Alongside him is a certain Ahmadu Bello, who is the Premier of Northern Nigeria. 

During this trip, the scholar impresses both Ahmadu Bello and the Saudi King Sa’ud with his Arabic translation skills. He rapidly makes a big impression on many locals and clerics in Mecca.
These relationships will later become his most valuable asset following the events that take place after his subsequent return to Nigeria. 

Upon returning to Nigeria, he takes up positions teaching Arabic Studies at Islamic schools in Kano and Kaduna. 

His style of teaching focuses on educating his students about the differences between Islamic religious doctrine and local customs. 

Based on his strict Sunni understanding of the Qur’an, he teaches his students to adopt a ‘pure’ Islamic identity at the expense of practises that he considered bid’ah (roughly translated as ‘innovation’ or ‘corruption’).

He also becomes the first Islamic scholar to translate the Qur’an from Arabic into Hausa, which puts him in a uniquely influential position comparable to that of Ajayi Crowther in 19th century southwestern Nigeria. 

Using this leverage, he becomes an increasingly powerful figure in Northern Nigeria, with his essentialist views on Islamic doctrine gaining popularity. 

To him, the existing Sufi orders of Northern Nigeria are polluted with bid’ah and unfit for purpose. 

He becomes well known for attacking the Tijaniya and Qadriyya brotherhoods during his appearances on Radio Kaduna, while advocating for a ‘return’ to ‘Islamic purity.’

Following the death of his friend and benefactor Ahmadu Bello, the scholar finds himself in a precarious situation. The new Nigerian federal government led by soldiers has a motive to crack down on anyone who is outspoken and influential. 

He may be a giant in Northern Nigeria, but he is a giant with feet of clay. His solution is to seek financial, doctrinal and political help from his friends in Mecca. The Saudis, as always, are ready to help.
His Saudi backers are keen to use him to espouse the Saudi Arabian state’s official interpretation of Islam, which is based on the work of 18th century Islamic scholar Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Wahhab. 

This fundamentalist doctrine, often known as Wahabbism fits very closely with the teachings of our hero in Northern Nigeria, and he enthusiastically sets about gathering support for this new Saudi-funded project. 

In the 2009 book ‘The Wahhabi Mission and Saudi Arabia,’ historian David Commins says:
“The [Saudi-funded Muslim World] League also sent missionaries to West Africa, where it funded schools, distributed religious literature and gave scholarships to attend Saudi religious universities. 

These efforts bore fruit in Nigeria's Muslim northern region with the creation of a movement (the Izala Society) dedicated to wiping out ritual innovations. 

Essential texts for members of the Izala Society are Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab's treatise of God's unity and commentaries by his grandsons.

Reaching out to his erstwhile students across Kaduna and Kano over the course of the 1970s, the scholar-turned-politician slowly builds a coalition of strategically-aligned individuals who will someday become very powerful people in Northern Nigeria. 

In 1978, one of his prominent students, Sheikh Ismaila Idris takes charge of this increasingly powerful but somewhat unofficial movement, and calls it Jama'atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Iqamatus Sunnah (Society of Removal of Innovation and Re-establishment of the Sunnah), also known as JIBWIS.

Based in Jos and known colloquially as the Izala Movement, this organisation will go on to become the most influential Islamic body in Nigeria over the next few decades. 

Its members will become some of Nigeria’s most revered Imams and clerics. They will achieve high ranks in the Nigerian Armed Forces.

JIBWIS will come to exert a level of influence over Nigeria’s national politics and governance that is unprecedented for a religious body in Nigeria. 

Soon, it will become almost impossible to achieve power in many parts of Northern Nigeria without identifying with the Izala Movement.

Among other things, the scholar states that Muslims should never accept a non-Muslim as ruler, which can be interpreted as a call for insurrection against a Christian Nigerian president. 

He is never held to account for this statement. In any case, he no longer believes that writing books or teaching people about Islam will on their own, lead to an Islamic renaissance in Northern Nigeria. 

Now he is all about partnership and politicking. He maintains his membership in Northern Nigeria’s legacy Islamic group, Jama'atu Nasril Islam (“Group for the Victory of Islam”), but he is unmistakably the beating heart of the new Izala Movement. 

To all intents and purposes, this is the birth of modern Salafist Islam in Nigeria.
Without firing a shot or winning an election, this Islamic scholar has become one of the most powerful men in Northern Nigeria
His name?

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Cornflakes for Jihad: The Boko Haram Origin Story David Hundeyin [continued]
Africa


The Clerics, The Saudis and What Happened in Algeria

Fast forward 33 years. It is Christmas Day in 2011 and Abubakar Gumi has been dead for over 19 years. 

A bomb suddenly goes off at St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, on the outskirts of Abuja, killing 35 people and wounding a further 52.

Almost simultaneously, a series of coordinated bomb attacks and shootings take place at churches in Jos, Gadaka and Damaturu. 

An obscure Islamist group calling itself Boko Haram claims responsibility for the attacks.
During the trial of the main suspect Kabiru Umar A.K.A Kabiru Sokoto 2 years later, a masked witness claims that an Algerian Islamist group provided funding and support worth N40,000,000 ($250,000 at the time) to carry out the attacks. 

To the general public, it is unclear what the link is between Islamists in Northern Nigeria and well-funded terror groups in North Africa.

To those in the know however, the incidents of December 25, 2011 are not only expected, but are likely to intensify and become more regular. 

This is because while the Nigerian public up to this point has been fed with what amounts to a tiny percentage of the actual story behind the Boko Haram group, this group has in fact been incubating and nurtured at the highest levels of the theological, economic and political spaces in Northern Nigeria. 

Boko Haram in reality, is so much bigger than Mohammed Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau that reducing it to those 2 men serves to miss the actual story spectacularly.

To start to get some of the picture of what Boko Haram is and where it came from, let us retreat from 2011 to 2006 to read an excerpt from a letter written by the Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations, Aminu B. Wali, addressed to the Chairman of the Counter-Terrorism Committee. 

This letter is available in full here from the official repository for UN documents. Written by the Nigerian government to the UN, it lays out the measures it has taken to fight terrorism in Nigeria. Take special note of the names mentioned in bold.

A Wikileaks cable from 2002 confirms that this arrest actually did take place, only for the suspect to be released inexplicably after 27 days in detention.

For those who are not aware, Yakubu Musa Kafanchan, also known as Sheikh Yakubu Musa Katsina and Yakubu Musa Hassan is a founding member of the Izala Movement (JIBWIS), and is in fact, the current Chairman of its board of trustees and the Chairman of the Katsina State JIBWIS chapter. 

He is a widely respected Islamic cleric and a very close personal friend and public associate of - no prizes for guessing - Isa Ali Pantami. Yes, that Isa Pantami.

Apparently Mr. Kafanchan has been known to the Nigerian security forces as the leader of a terror network trying to set up terror cells in Katsina and Kano as far back as 2002. 

Keep that date in mind because it will become even more important as we unravel this further. 

According to official Nigerian government communication to the UN, this real-life Islamic terror organiser is known to have affiliations with a certain ‘GSPC’ group trying to carry out terror attacks in Nigeria, and he was even arrested for it in 2005 - 4 whole years before the world ever heard of a “Boko Haram.”

And then there is the GSPC angle. ‘GSPC’ stands for “Groupe Salafiste pour la Prédication et le Combat” (Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat). 

A full primer on the origin of the group and what it stands for is available here. Cliff notes summary: It is an illegal Salafi terrorist organisation based in Algeria which is affiliated with Al-Qaeda and the Taliban. 

It specialises in providing training, funding and support to Islamists and jihadi fighters around the world using a vast global network of smugglers, money launderers and rat lines.

Which brings us to the second name in the above letter excerpt. Alhaji Shahru Haruna, in the Nigerian government’s own words, is a GSPC agent who funds the activities of people like Kabiru Sokoto by laundering proceeds from smuggled goods. 

He too, was arrested and held on terror financing charges. Somehow he too, is not only a free man today, but a powerful one in his own right too.
It will not surprise the reader to find out that Alhaji Haruna is also a ranking member of the Izala Movement. 

According to these posts I dug up from Facebook accounts linked to the Kano State Izala Movement chapter, Alhaji Haruna is the Deputy President of the Kano State chapter of JIBWIS. 

Like Yakubu Kafanchan, this indicted terror funder not only retains his position in Nigeria’s most influential Muslim body, but is also a respected Islamic preacher with access to the Who’s Who of Nigerian politics and governance.

Even more interestingly, when I do some digging into Mr. Haruna, I discover something potentially even more alarming. 

It will be recalled that in September 2021, CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele claimed that a significant portion of dollars bought by Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in Nigeria goes into illegal importation of arms. 

Speaking at the end of the monthly Monetary Policy Committee meeting, he said:

“Whether it’s Boko Haram, kidnapping and all sorts of nefarious activities, BDCs take our country’s dollar and sell to people to go and buy arms and ammunition to come and hurt us. That’s what people want us to continue to do. We cannot do that any longer. We can’t. If you have any legal, legitimate business you want to conduct, please take your business to a bank, they will sell you forex.”
A search of Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission database for the name “Shahru Haruna” turns up a plethora of companies registered under the “Dan Diyma” name.

A man identified by the Nigerian government itself as a security threat for funding terror via money laundering was somehow allowed to own and operate a BDC, which according to the CBN governor, could well have been doing precisely that. 

A CBN circular from October 2020 confirms that at least as recently as last year, Haruna Shahru was allowed to run a BDC in Nigeria, potentially giving him access to the very funding infrastructure that he should not have under any circumstances.

A glance at one of the other “Dan Diyma” business entities shows that even the email address used to register this entity - purportedly a petroleum company, albeit one with zero identifiable corporate footprint - belongs to Dan Diyma BDC, which says everything about how important the BDC is to Haruna Shahru. The question left unanswered is “Why?”

In case the reader is wondering if this picture can get any worse, the answer is yes. It can, and it will. Take note of the name circled in red below.

From Eritrea With Love

We now rejoin our Eritrean friend in the year 2006. The Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) has recently been gazetted, and one of the first things its counter-terrorism unit does is to freeze all assets linked to NASCO Group Nigeria Limited. 

Apparently, Mr. Nasreddin has been doing some creative accounting to hide the fact that he is moving money around the world to fund Islamist terror organisations. Or at least, that was what the Nigerian government itself wrote to the UN in the same letter.

A Wikileaks cable from 2002 hints at American hesitancy on the subject of freezing NASCO’s Nigerian assets due to the economic implications for Plateau State and political implications in Nigeria.

The real proof of Nasreddin’s double life however, comes from the US Treasury Department which publishes a comprehensive account of how he launders and moves money around the world for terrorist entities. 

Want to hear the real kicker? Nasreddin has been funding and laundering money for none other than GSPC - the Algerian terrorist group which Yakubu Katsina and Shahru Haruna are also involved with at the exact same time.

The Nigerian jihadis being trained in Algerian camps in 2002 will later return to Nigeria and make up the core of what will later become known as “Boko Haram.” 

And - what a coincidence - NASCO is also based in Jos, which so happens to be the headquarters of the Izala Movement and its many North African dalliances.

Using money made from selling market-leading FMCGs to Nigerian consumers, a cross-border network of terrorism is being nurtured that will someday kill the very kids eating NASCO cornflakes every morning.
And it’s all thanks to this nice gentleman from Eritrea.

Nasreddin however, is a very rich man. Like all very rich men, he appears to have a way around problems that would ground other people. 

In 2005, Lisa Myers and Aram Roston of the NBC News Investigative Unit discover that despite his designation as a terror financier in the US, Nasreddin’s Nigerian business empire and his Italian hotel are still operating as normal. 

Quoted in the story, Victor Comras, a former terror-finance expert at the State Department says:

“This isn't a loophole, this is failure to implement the sanctions appropriately. He's been involved in terrorist financing. Let's put him out of business.”
That would prove easier said than done because just 2 years later in 2007, the LA Times publishes a story indicating that - to all intents and purposes - Nasreddin has cut some kind of deal with the US government, likely involving asset forfeitures, to get his name off the list of terror financiers. 

He has been indicted for funding terror, some of which has found its way into the lives of the Nigerian consumers who have made him fabulously wealthy, but he is off the hook.

For the people who have died in the Madalla Christmas Day Bombings facilitated by the people he funded and supported, there will be no justice. 

Nasreddin gets to hand over NASCO to his son, and he lives out the rest of his life in peace and comfort, dying at the ripe old age of 96.

Friends and Alliances in High Places
I mentioned earlier, that the date of Yakubu Katsina’s initial attempt to establish terror cells and Taliban training camps in Kano and Katsina was important. Here is why. 

Remember Abubakar Gumi’s stated position that Muslims should never accept a non-Muslim as ruler? 

It just so happens that the concerted push for Sharia Law across 12 of Northern Nigeria’s states lines up perfectly with the election of Olusegun Obasanjo as president in 1999.
Examining the eras of Shehu Shagari, Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida, Sani Abacha and Abdulsalam Abubakar as consecutive Muslim Nigerian heads of state, it is nearly impossible to establish the existence of directed and coordinated push for Islamic law in that area. 

Following Obasanjo’s entry however, Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Borno, Jigawa, Kebbi, Yobe, Kaduna, Niger and Gombe decided in quick succession to embrace a separate penal code from southern Nigeria, based on Sharia law.
Understanding the political resonance of the Izala Movement in Northern Nigeria and the power wielded by the indicted terror financiers and terrorists who still sit on its board is key to understanding 2 things about terrorism in Nigeria.
Boko Haram is a logical development growing out of the rise of political Islam in Nigeria, with its roots in Salafism, popularised by Abubakar Gumi and his ideological heirs

It is impossible to divorce Abubakar Gumi’s use of Saudi money and Wahhabi indoctrination in the 1970s, from the adoption of Sharia Law in Northern Nigeria, the rise of violent Salafists like Abubakar Shekau and Isa Pantami, and the eventual inevitable mass uprising against the Nigerian state that will take place in the north.

While the Boko Haram brand is an unattractive one, the goals of Boko Haram are by no means unattractive to those who make up the ideological core of the Izala Movement, which is Nigeria’s most influential Islamic sect. 

Aminu Daurawa who famously praised the September 11 attacks in a 2001 sermon with a quote claiming that “Allah is a suicide bomber,” would later become the inaugural chair of Kano’s Hisbah police and also remains a high ranking Izala Movement member. 

With sympathisers and collaborators up to and including President Buhari himself, the Izala Sect has no incentive or reason to fundamentally rethink or change its ideology - which is directly and provably linked to Salafist terrorism.

As long as Isa Pantami’s “Mr Zero Zero” (a reference to an ideologically pure Muslim with zero tolerance for bid’ah. i.e a hardline Salafist) retains his obvious and unapologetic sympathy for an organisation with clear and ongoing links to the enemy he claims to be fighting against as Nigeria’s president, the Izala Movement has no incentive to reinvent itself. 

There is no way that the Nigerian president is not aware of Yakubu Musa Hassan Katsina’s history as a known terrorist, as well as the Izala Movement’s extremely problematic history and current composition. 

And yet, as recently as 2018, President Buhari was pictured in Aso Rock meeting with Izala Movement president Abdullahi Bala Lau, Yakubu Musa Hassan Katsina, Kabiru Gombe and Ibrahim Jalo Jalingo.

It is either I have more access to information about his friends and associates than the Nigerian president does, with a plethora of intelligence and information gathering agencies at his disposal, or he knows all this already and he has chosen a side. 

Clearly, to the Izala Movement, this picture taken in 2018, was a statement. An Obasanjo government may have arrested Yakubu Katsina and his likes in 2005, but 13 years later, Katsina’s ideological ally is in office standing solidly next to him, as he stood solidly next to Isa Pantami. 

The Izala Movement has won and everybody else has lost.
The only other angle of high level involvement not yet addressed is that of the Jordanian government. 

Recall that Yakubu Katsina was named among the world’s 500 Most Influential Muslims by a Jordanian state-backed NGO? 

Well it turns out that the NGO in question - The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre - is itself affiliated with the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute for Islamic Thought. A visit to this institute’s website reveals something strange.
One of its publications titled ‘Report on the Inter-Religious Tensions and Crisis in Nigeria’ published in May 2012 has the following to say about ending violence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria.

This report, produced by a state-funded NGO in Jordan as far back as 2012, is prima facie evidence of a coordinated international campaign of strategic disinformation for the purpose of framing the reality of terrorism in Nigeria in a way that is completely dishonest. 

Making reference to alleged income disparity between Nigeria’s “Christian South” and “Muslim North,” the report attempts to portray the latter as the victim of economic bullying and poverty, without citing data to support this conclusion.

Very tellingly, at a time when conversations about violence related to nomadic cattle herding were not yet present in Nigeria’s political equation, a Jordanian organisation with links to Yakubu Katsina - a known Nigerian terrorist - was already recommending “grazing routes” as a solution for a problem that for the most part, did not actually exist yet.
9 years later, the question is…how did they know?

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New report shows Kenya diverted funds from a Sh80 billion loan from the IMF to pay salaries and allowances in June. @moneyacademyKE
Law & Politics


The state also used Sh18 billion from a Sh70 billion loan meant for housing and urban development departments on salaries

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by Aly Khan Satchu (www.rich.co.ke)
 
 
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October 2021
 
 
 
 
 
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