I was cursed last week to have to look for the contact information for a Nigerian military installation.
I was supposed to get in touch with someone, anyone, at the Nigerian Army School of Artillery and the Nigerian Navy School of Armament Technology and ask them some touristy questions. Unfortunately, I didn’t know the phone number of anyone there or have anyone I could call who would have the information I needed.
So I was left with two options, go there in person *shudders* or look up this information online.
You might have noticed from the web addresses that the two armed forces (Army & Navy) cannot even agree on consistency. One of them is registered as a Nigerian government website (.gov.ng), while the other is registered as an organisation (.org)
The Nigerian Army website actually has a survey on the site asking:
‘How do you rate the new NA website?’
And the options are: Good, Better or Best.
10,500 people have voted since October 2007. And it is still a close tie between Better and Best.
The Navy website is even more colourful with misplaced stretched images, dead links, grammatical errors and those fancy scrolling text from the 1990s that have “This page is under construction” floating across the screen
I don’t blame the Navy or Army for these websites, they are more ignorant than incompetent, people with more money than intelligence. The incompetent people are those who built the websites and put their names boldly on it. The Navy site is actually labelled as being “Designed by Joo-copia Nigeria Limited.”
‘Designed’ is not the word I would have used, but whatever.
I looked up this Joo-copia company, expecting to find a link to a home for blind primary school students who do pro-bono work in third world countries to hone their skills. But I didn’t.
While Joo-copia Nig. Ltd. does not have a website, they have a blank facebook page and a company address on Nigeria yellow pages (they are in a suite at a shopping mall in Abuja.) I am going to swing by next time I’m in Abuja, pretend I want a website and then act shocked when I run into the Nigerian Navy page as sample of their work. I really hope they have a good excuse for that site.
But this isn’t funny, it is just sad.
What really sells it for me is that there is a group called Naija Cyber Hactivists. You can look them up on their twitter page here: http://twitter.com/naijacyberhack
Essentially, they are a group of activists hackers who are going to teach the Nigerian government a lesson (by hacking, I presume.)
They hacked the website of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) about a month ago to protest a new fee being imposed on travellers. That must have been a tough task, seeing as the website has broken images on almost every page, gives SQL errors on others and proudly claims “(c) Copyright FAAN 2006.”
I’m all for activism, I am also all for hacking, but picking on Nigerian websites is a lazy show of force, like Mike Tyson punching a baby to teach its mother a lesson.
As if it wasn’t bad enough, as I was reviewing this post and going back to check the websites, the Nigerian Army one is down (again) with an empty server response error, and the Navy one had been crashed by some other group of hackers called BADG3R (http://www.badger.comxa.com/)
NaijaCyberHack had to resort to crashing the website of the Nigeria Army Education Corps instead of the main Nigerian Army site because the main website can barely stand up by itself to be beaten down.
Imagine that before that highly unfair fight, Mike Tyson slips some pills into the baby’s feeding bottle, drugging the baby and making it unable to crawl on its own.
That is closer to what is happening here.
Edit (02/04/2013): Here is the new site of the Nigerian Navy (http://www.navy.mil.ng) Thanks to @4eyedmonk.