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Denials, confessions and apologies

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks at a news conference January 17, 2020 in Ottawa, Canada. – The conference dealt with the downing of Ukraine flight 752. (Photo by Dave Chan / AFP)

Will forgiveness follow? As they say in the Arabic speaking world: Allah yaalam, which being interpreted means Only God Almighty knows.

Right now in Nigeria, an argument is raging. The young post-graduate daughter of the president of the country used the presidential jet for a trip to complete her master’s degree fieldwork.

The commentators – free speakers, legal luminaries, and employed praise singers and self-employment protectors are speaking. Denials and confessions have been provided simultaneously. Only the president can fly the presidential jet because it carries the presidential seal. The lawyers confess there is no law permitting or prohibiting the members of the family using the presidential jet. Which means that only the personal option of the presidential choice matter here. And as far as it is known the president gave his permission for the trip. Civil rights eagles believe that this behaviour on the president must be condemned given the need of the Nigerian discus which is in decline. Plus the fact that there is an urgent need to reduce the cost of doing the governing of the country. The maintenance of the presidential fleet of planes costs billions of naira.
Well, some commentators would say that that has nothing to do with Miss Buhari and her academic progress. After all, if the naira had a beta that is better valued, the cause of maintenance would be in millions, not billions. But this kind of argument is irrelevant. The cost of maintenance in billions of naira, shikena!

Others with see with a parent who must ensure the security of his baby knowing the wretched condition of federal roads. And the fact the bad people like robbers, kidnappers and highway thieves prey on innocent passenger on these roads. This is not the place to be saying that these roads are the responsibility of the president but do children understand such complicated issues? My father has planes and he wouldn’t let me go to one of them! There the matter should end. Thank God for our circumstances, says Mrs. Buhari, our circumstances permit us to afford a mere jet for our children to go and come in this country, and beyond.

There has been no apology. And no need for forgiveness.

Another matter of denials, confessions, and apologies happened in Iran. A civilian airplane was mistaken for an American revenge missile and shot down. There were 176 souls in that plane who all lost their lives. With them went their dreams. And the dreams of their families. And the future dreams of their dreams, the dreams of the next generations, millions and billions of dreams.

For three days Iran denied that the plane went down because of mechanical problems on board. The Iranian ambassador to London denied that his country had anything to do with the crash of the Boeing 737-800 passenger plane. He accused the devil country of the United States of America for being responsible for blaming Iran for the crash of the airplane.

A handout picture provided by the office of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on January 17, 2020 shows Iranians chanting slogans during friday prayers in the capital Tehran. – The last time Khamenei led Friday prayers at Tehran’s Mosalla mosque was in February 2012, on the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution and at a time of crisis over the Iran nuclear issue. The supreme leader called the accidental downing of a Ukrainian airliner a “bitter” tragedy Friday but said it should not overshadow the “sacrifice” of a top commander killed in a US drone strike. (Photo by HO / KHAMENEI.IR / AFP)


An Iranian government employee maintained that it was scientifically impossible for a missile to bring down the plane. So, Iran could not have caused the crash and the airplane could not have crashed the way it did.

Justin Trudeau, prime minister, and son of the prime minister of Canada spoke in English and French about the fact that the airplane had been brought down by a missile, and that Iran was possibly responsible for sending up the missile that destroyed the civilian passenger airplane and killed 176 souls, 57 of them Canadians.

On the third day, the Revolutionary Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran confessed that their military was responsible for bringing down the airplane ‘mistakenly’ and they were sorry for what happened. Those responsible will be tracked down and heads will roll.

Those who had followed their government to deny the deed followed their government to confess and apologize. This included that ambassador to London who pleaded that he was merely repeating what his government was saying. The question is: “Did he know at the time of his denials that his employers were, in fact, guilty as concluded the prime minister of Canada?
As for forgiveness, nobody has said anything except the prime minister of Canada. He asked for justice, fair play and compensation for the families of the victims of the tragic crash.

Meanwhile, the millions who had turned out in the support of the government of Iran have turned out in their hundreds to protest against their government not only for destroying a civilian commercial flight but also for denying it did so, for three days. How the reputation of Iran would have soared in the committee of nations if the country had owned up to the tragic mistake.

Donald Trump, the president of the USA supported the protesters encouraging the protesters to hold their government to account for human rights violations.

And the response of the government? Instinctively they want to suppress the protests. The British ambassador was detained for one hour. He was one of the hundreds who protested on the streets of Tehran. It was a case of apologies to the international community and suppression of anti-government voices at home.

There is a third sin to which many countries of the world respond by denying its existence: climate change caused by the burning of fossil fuel. All over the earth sea levels are rising, temperatures are shooting up and world forests in America, in Brazil and Australia are being consumed by uncontrollable fires. Houses, factories, forests, human beings, and animals are being burnt alive. Yet, the political leaders of these countries continue to burn fossil fuel, are making no arrangement for cleaner renewable fuel. In the parliament in Australia a member displayed a lump of coal and sang songs of praise to the coal that had enriched generations after generations of Australians. It must be allowed to continue to enrich Australia and f***k the environment.

In South Africa where we are 80% dependent on coal, the energy minister and chairman of the ruling party Mr. Gwade Mantashe protested that protesters were asking him to shut down the stations dependent on coal. He asked if South Africans would like to breathe clean air in darkness! Is that where the argument stops?


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