Kano Naval Base and Misadventure of Ignorant HerdsJournalists, By Dr Uche Diala
POLITICS DIGEST- Some people have thrown a viral video from Arise Television ‘The Morning Show’ at me where the program anchors delved into the Naval Base proposed to be sited in Kano, asking me what I have to say about it in a can-you-see-what-we-are-talking-about manner.
However, it is not my intention neither is it my duty to rationalize or explain the government’s reason(s) for the establishment and siting of the Naval Base in Kano. The reason for that decision was made public by the Nigerian naval authorities and that should suffice. I live in a real world; not in a world of conspiracy theories, propaganda and lies.
My intent with this piece is to expose the sheer ignorance of people who straddle the journalism profession in Nigeria and the serious risk they pose by arrogantly spreading ignorance, misleading people and endangering the nation.
The conduct of the three Arise Television Anchors in that program is totally shameful, disgusting and downright dangerous. Their shameless display of arrogant ignorance in what I refer to as ‘fancy suit, cosmetic, fake accent-with-no-brain journalism’ perfectly highlights and exemplifies the epidemic of ignorance and irresponsible journalism in Nigeria.
First, let me accurately transcribe and present the folly of these anchors from that program.
In that viral video, ’cosmetic-with-no-brain journalist’ anchor starts by saying “… some Nigerians reacting to the news have registered concerns as to why a Naval Base would be established in the hinterland of the nation .. ”. She continued arrogantly with that trademark line; “I mean only in Nigeria would this happen”.
Next, ‘fake accent-with-no-brain journalist’, Tundu takes over in that characteristic being-to attitude thus: “.. . We might as well at this point move the ports to Kano, if we are moving a naval base to Kano because what is a naval base? It’s supposed to be a sea port where the naval ships are kept when they are not at sea. I don’t know; if they need to be maintained or what have you or just, you know housed somewhere.”
“In the UK, I’m very sure about the UK, the naval bases are in Portsmouth, Clyde and Davenport.” America I think has maybe has 10, 15, quite a few but they are all in coastal areas, I just don’t remember exactly where. I know eem Maryland, eem Connecticut. I know a few but in the UK I’m 100% certain. It has to be by the sea because it’s the Navy and I really hate to sort of repeat or parrot the speculation but this is exactly what some people mean, the more paranoid amongst us have been shouting themselves hoarse about the fulanization agenda. Rather than the government taking; going to great lengths to sort of douse that kind of talk, they fan those flames by this kind of incomprehensible move quite frankly”.
Then ‘fancy suite-with-no-brain journalist’, Rufai jumps in like a comedian; “will they go and dig up water in Kano now to form naval base all of a sudden or it’s going to be built close to river rana or what is it? You see places in the Niger Delta to site naval base, you can’t site it there”.
Now, while this might seem like wow!! to the uninformed, gullible and impressionable and funny to the informed person who can decipher their folly, it is actually tragic. One wonders why these individuals would delve into a matter they are ignorant about or make no effort to educate themselves on the matter before going to discuss it publicly especially such a sensitive topic.
It is tragic that some supposedly educated and professional journalists would sit on national television to make a fool of themselves and spread blatant falsehood and monumental ignorance feeding into and feeding a baseless and dumb conspiracy theory of a so called “fulanization agenda” which is capable of further destabilizing the nation. Based on lies and morbid ignorance these Arise Television anchors essentially concluded and submitted that the government’s decision to site a Naval base in Kano is part of a “Fulanization Agenda’’? Wow!!!
Shockingly, no one in the broadcasting regulating circles, Arise Television as an Organization or the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has taken note and taken action against these ‘fancy suit, cosmetic, fake accent-with-no-brain journalists’ for such shameful and dangerous misconduct
Let me start from somewhere to educate these unpatriotic fellows at arise television pro bono. I hope someone who knows these three individuals and Arise Television will bring this to their notice.
First, the notion that naval bases can only be or are only sited in riverine areas or areas with direct access to water or sea or “has to be by the sea because it’s the navy” as suggested by one of the anchors is totally false and misleading.
It is indeed shameful that the anchors do not even understand the term “NAVY”. A Navy need not be military. It can even be a commercial fleet in which case it is called Merchant Navy. That is one of the reasons some landlocked countries have a Navy.
Equally, their submissions totally expose their ignorance of the duties and scope of the Navy. They obviously believe the Navy only sails hence the dumb question by fancy suit-with-no-brain journalist’, Rufai; “will they go and dig up water in Kano now to form naval base all of a sudden?” He is clearly ignorant of the fact that not every naval task needs a ship or ocean access. Indeed there is something called NAVAL AVIATION for example.
Let us further x-ray this notion that a Naval Base “has to be by the sea” as propounded by ‘fake accent-with-no-brain journalist’, Tundu by answering some questions and citing some real examples from the same United States she referenced. By the way she should be educated that Naval Bases are not “supposed to be a sea port where the naval ships are kept when they are not at sea”. How preposterous!! Naval Bases are much more than that.
CAN A NATION HAVE NAVAL BASES IN LANDLOCKED AREAS?
DO NATIONS HAVE NAVAL BASES IN LANDLOCKED AREAS?
The Answer To Both Is YES.
So the submission by one of the anchors to the effect “that only in Nigeria would this happen” is flat out wrong and totally ignorant. That is how we emotionally blackmail our nation and mislead the uninformed.
The United States of America for instance has over 75 Naval Bases, not “10, 15” or “quite a few” and they are not “all in coastal areas” as erroneously posited by ‘fake accent-with-no-brain journalist’, Tundu. Indeed not all of the naval bases and stations owned by the United States Navy are situated in riverine areas with direct access to the Sea.
The United States also has Naval Bases and Stations in landlocked areas and that is for a number of actually simple reasons:
1. Not every Naval task needs a ship or ocean access.
2. Not every Naval facility deals directly with ships or naval aircraft.
SOME US NAVAL BASES AND STATIONS IN LANDLOCKED AREAS
? Naval Air Station (NAS), located in middle Mississippi.
? The US Navy Base in Great Lakes for Naval Training.
Location: North of Chicago, Illinois.
It is technically land locked from an ocean although it is on the banks of Lake Michigan and is home to their Recruit Training Command.
? Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS), China Lake is a large military installation in California that supports the research, testing and evaluation programs of the U.S. Navy. It is part of Navy Region Southwest under Commander, Navy Installations Command, and was originally known as Naval Ordnance Test Station.
NAWS, China Lake is the high desert home of the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, where the Navy and Marine Corps have developed or tested nearly every significant airborne weapon system in the past five decades. Missiles such as Sidewinder, Shrike and Walleye are just a few of the many products at China Lake, which have been developed for the fleet.
? Naval Air Station (NAS), Millington, Tennessee.
? Naval Air Station (NAS), Fallon in the middle of Nevada.
? The Navy station at Crane, Indiana is 98 sq. miles in area. It was originally, primarily involved in ordinance. The primary function today involves research of electronic engineering for and engineering of surface warfare systems.
In addition there are or were landlocked Naval installations in Meridian, Mississippi; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Glenview, Illinois; Olathe, Kansas; Millington, Tennessee; Dallas, Texas; Albany, Georgia; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Yuma, Arizona; El Centro, California; Lemoore, California; Warner Springs, California; Louisville, Kentucky; and Kingsville, Texas.
FOR FURTHER GENERAL ENLIGHTENMENT
Here are 10 landlocked nations with Navies: Azerbaijan, Bolivia. Central African Republic, Kazakhstan. Laos, Paraguay, Rwanda, Serbia, Turkmenistan, and Uganda.
ON THE DECISION TO SITE A NAVAL BASE IN KANO
From the foregoing, there is absolutely nothing wrong, unusual, extraordinary or novel about the decision. We must not see every issue from a tribalistic, sectional and suspicious perspective. That is anti-progress and anti-developmental.
In addition, as Is’haq Modibbo Kawu pointed out, “Kano is the location of some of the most important bodies of water in Nigeria. The Hadejia-Jama’are River, the Yobe, the Komadougou; that comprise the Lake Chad Inland Drainage system, are part of the riverine landscape of Kano.
These he adds “are areas of banditry and insurgency. The area also contains ungoverned spaces, such as the Falgore Forest Reserve, that is becoming a major security flashpoint in recent years.” He Concludes: “The naval presence on the waters would help with the country’s security architecture” and I totally agree with him.
It is rather unfortunate and totally unacceptable for supposed journalists and the Media to use their platforms to mislead and misinform the public, especially on sensitive national issues. Only people with the requisite character, intellectual capacity and broad knowledge and more importantly people who are willing to educate themselves and be fair, balanced and responsible should be recruited as journalists and program anchors.
Otherwise, if we do not take time and necessary action, the herdsmedia will set Nigeria on fire.