Now I realised that what I learnt so far about Sakkwato Caliphate is enormous but also a challenge. I asked myself beside the very thin and narrow folkloric knowledge available to the ordinary man in the street, how many people in the current area once Sakkwato Caliphate actually know about this great Islamic revivalism? How many people realised that we in the 21st century have a lot to learn from the 1804 revolution? How many of us read the books written by the Jihad leaders? How many people can situate the re-introduction of the Shari’a legal system within a wider social-history context in northern Nigeria? Above all what does Shari’a really stands for, for the Muslim ummah? The answer without fear of contradiction is very little. Most of the published knowledge about Sakkwato Caliphate is in the English Language, thanks to the late Professor Abdullahi Smith who initiated the reconstruction of our historiography. Few of the Jihad books were publish in Hausa (Infaku and Nurul-al-bab for example) the language majority can read and appreciate, even those few books published are not in circulation.

However, the critical issues of spin, manipulation of the electorate and media are no exception. The major difference between politicians in the West and those in Africa and elsewhere in the underdeveloped world is that in the West, politicians believe to a large extent in the transparency of their systems of governance and can easily concede defeat in elections. In most African countries on the contrary, governments never lose elections and opposition parties never accept results of elections and this often creates a stalemate and invariably leads to issues of legitimacy.

What wonder that every tendency is to excess,- radical complaint, radical remedies, bitter denunciation or angry silence. Some rise, some sink. The criminal and the sensualist leave the church for the gambling hell and the brothel...the better classes segregate themselves.... form an aristocracy, cultured but pessimistic, whose bitter criticism stings while it points out no way of escape. W.E.B. Du Bois

I have seen the horror of the death penalty and the violence it propels. It is time for a global ban. I have experienced the horror of being close to an execution. Not only during the apartheid era of South Africa, when the country had one of the highest execution rates in the world, but in other countries as well. And I have witnessed the victims of the death penalty the authorities never speak of - the families of those put to death. I remember the parents of Napoleon Beazley, a young African-American man put to death in Texas after a trial tainted by racism. Their pain was evident as the killing of their son by the state to which they paid taxes approached. I can only imagine the unbearable emotional pain they went through as they said their final goodbye to their son on the day of his execution.

Europe remains Africa's biggest donor, biggest trade partner, and the biggest market for Africa's exports by some distance. But in the new scramble for Africa's resources that supremacy is being eroded at breakneck speed by Beijing's appetite for African oil and other raw materials, and its conquest of African markets by flooding them with cheap consumer goods, soft loans, and huge infrastructure projects. Unlike the EU, China's operations in Africa are unburdened by colonial hangovers or structures about human rights and good governance. Chinese trade with Africa rose 700% in the 1990s and has quadrupled to around $40bn (£20bn) since 2000, according to Chris Alden of the London School of Economics and Andy Rothman, a China analyst.

Debts are bought and sold all the time, and Western courts have awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in judgments to debt investors. Peru is the best-known example: In 2000, Elliott Associates, whose founder, Paul E. Singer, is a top Republican donor and a backer of Rudolph W. Giuliani's presidential campaign, won a $58 million judgment on debt it had bought in 1996 for $20 million. Now African countries are in the sights of debt investors. In 1979, Zambia borrowed $15 million from Romania to buy agricultural equipment. Twenty years later, the two governments agreed to settle the old debt for about $3 million. But a hedge fund, Donegal International, bought it first and sued for about $55 million. This year, a British court ruled that Zambia must pay Donegal $15 million.

The pernicious effects of this kind of theology are all too evident in Nigeria today: all manner of criminals claiming to be men of God, dangerous armed robbers, thieving governors and political leaders who have wasted our common wealth and even lives suddenly converting and clutching the bible while they wait to 'enjoy' their loot and receive more local and national honours; many millions of Nigerians who fill the churches and revival grounds believing that after a few hours of 'repentance' they will obtain the redeeming grace of God's mercy that instantly gives them the insurance cover for greater future 'risks'.

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