Dr. Yusuf Bala Usman of blessed memory was one of the leading intellectuals in this country that drew a massive dividing line between ignorance and illiteracy, knowing well how dangerous ignorant, yet academically certified individuals are to the unity and progress of Nigeria.
There is doubt that mutilation in one’s thinking is more harmful to the owner when it meets flagrant display of ignorance about a particular scenario.
In Chief Edwin Clark’s case, who recently went on the rampage on the innocent people of Kano State, the government, President Buhari and the Chief of Naval Staff, it is nothing short of excessive bias in judging those he views as “others”.
However, it is spectacularly and glaringly shameful to note that people like Chief Edwin Clark, who are quick at adorning their hats with a halo of statesmanship, could make ignorant statements on a Naval Base discussion – despite lacking in understanding of the basic requisites of and its attending peculiarities.
We deliberately gave the chief a chance of over two weeks to retract his position on the proposed Kano Naval base after visiting some literatures or making consultations with those informed. But since he has failed to do so, he deserves our explanation, however, a bitter pill for him to swallow.
At this trying time in Nigeria when innovative state governors like Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State should be commended for their timely response to the insecurity ravaging the country, it is sad that Edwin Clerk and his ilk are busy politicising the issue; and by so doing promoting disunity.
Upon hearing that the Navy highest authority has approved to establish a base in Kano State, Clark, who does not have any knowledge of the genesis of the move nor a fraction of understanding of how Naval bases across the world work, flew off the handle, perhaps out of his hatred for the Buhari administration and “others”, in this case Kano State.
Even in the most developed countries in the world, there are Naval bases land-locked yet they operate. For example the Naval Air Station (NAS), located in middle Mississippi and the US Navy Base in Great Lakes for Naval Training in North of Chicago, Illinois are for those who reflect to see.
This is obtainable, too, in China, as many could see, is home to testing nearly every significant airborne weapon system the Chinese Navy and Marine Corps developed for a long time now.
How Azerbaijan, Bolivia, Central African Republic, Kazakhstan, Laos, Paraguay, Rwanda, Serbia, Turkmenistan, and Uganda, as landlocked nations, operate their navy is left for the progenitors of this argument to explain.
It is instructive to note that, even the Chief of Naval Staff, through the Chief of Training and Operations of the Navy, Rear Admiral Abraham Adaji, explained to all the critics, particularly Chief Clark, in an elementary way, since they could not understand the basic information about Kano Naval Base, that, “The Nigerian Navy is heavily involved in the anti-insurgency, anti-terrorism and also internal security operations across the North.
“In the North East where we have Joint Task Force, the Navy has over 170 personnel that are fighting alongside the Army and the Airforce to combat the threats that we face.
“Equally in the North West where we have the Joint Task Force, the Navy has over 250 persons that are fighting the counter-banditry and all other issues of insecurity there.”
We are therefore calling on Edwin Clark and the like to know that, it is not only in Kano, that the Navy is present, where there is no water, as defined by Clark.
Comrade Musbahu Saleh wrote from Kano