Friday, December 17, 2010

James Ibori As A case Study

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The British police have finally secured a victory in their quest to extradite the former governor of Delta state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori to Britain to answer to charges bordering on corruption. The police were given the nod by the Dubai appeal court which ruled in their favour that the former governor has a case to answer in Britain and could be extradited.

This development has brought an end to the drama that has been unfolding since the former Delta state number one citizen was first charged to court in Nigeria on grounds of corruption. The case was manipulated to the consternation of the average Nigerian citizen who watched as the case was politically influenced and eventually the governor was let off the hook since there were no conclusive evidences to nail him.

The new case of corruption against him came up after he finished his tenure as the governor of the state. He was declared wanted by the EFCC and the police to come and answer to charges of corruption levelled against him. He escaped through the back door as he was said to have used to services of some militants to prevent the EFCC from arresting him. He eventually escaped to Dubai where he has been taking solace.

He was said to have stolen several Billions of naira as the first citizen of Delta state; he was also alleged to have converted several millions of shares the state owned in Oceanic bank to his personal use. His wife Nkoyo Ibori was also alleged to have acted as a medium for him to use the stolen money to buy houses outside the shores of Nigeria. She has already been sentenced to a 5-year jail term by the British court.

When Ibori’s case first came up in Nigeria, Nigerians expected him to be easily nailed by the anti-graft agency; but as the days went by it became clear that he had used his political influence to his advantage. First a man surfaced from nowhere to declare that he was James Onanefe Ibori and that he was the person who committed the crime for which Ibori was being tried. The coincidence of names was too much for any right thinking person to accept – same first, middle and last name.

Secondly, his files could not be properly traced; his name was either entered into the log book of the court but missing from the judgment book or present in the log book but missing from the judgment book in the various courts he was formerly tried.

Besides, all the people who handled his case were said to have died and so there was no way to put the records straight. He thought he had played a smart one Nigerian who believed that one day justice would come from God.

The world is watching again to see if his files would be mysteriously missing this time around or if the principal witnesses would be all dead by the time his trial in the British court comes up after he might have been extradited. Bob Marley once said that “You can fool some people some of the times, but you can’t fool all the people all the time”.

Ibori’s case should serve as a warning to those in power who are feeding fat on public funds that they will give an account to the people one day. This should also make politicians realize that they can’t enjoy parliamentary immunity for ever.

Kudos to the British government for taking the bulls by the horns to help curb the excesses of Nigerian politicians who feel they could loot public treasuries without being questioned. Since the Nigerian government has refused to make elected leaders answerable to the electorates, the foreign countries are beginning to teach them how to do so.

Nigeria is blessed with crude oil and several solid mineral resources; but after over 50 years of oil exploration the country still ranks among the poorest in the world in terms of infrastructural development. The leaders have plundered the wealth of the country, leaving the majority of the people struggling to take care of their three square meals daily.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adieu Pa Anthony Enahoro

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Nigeria has lost one of her foremost nationalists, Pa Anthony Enahoro (C.F.R, D.Sc Hon), who passed on at the ripe age of 87. He believed so much in Nigeria and was ready to keep the country from oppressive and repressive leadership.

Chief Anthony Enahoro would ever be remembered for his great achievements for his father land. He was the one who moved the Crisis Motion in Federal Parliament for Nigeria’s Self-government in 1953 at the age of 30.

The “Adolor of Uromi” was born on 22nd July, 1923 at Uromi, in present Edo state of Nigeria. He had his primary and secondary education in Nigeria before furthering his course abroad – Great Britain, Ireland, U.S.A, etc. where he had various degrees and certificates in different spheres.

He became the youngest Nigerian Newspaper editor ever at the age of 21 as the editor of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s newspaper, ‘The Southern Defender’ in 1944. Apart from being a publisher, he was also a Politician, Activist and Company director.

He was fearless as an activist; he challenged authoritarian government and was jailed trice for daring to speak against the government of the day. As the editor of the Daily Comet newspaper, he was jailed for nine months in 1946 for sedition; for daring to speak against the British Colonial government.

Few months after he regained his freedom, he was again jailed for 8 months in 1947 for condemning Police violence. He got another jail term in 1949 for chairing a lecture for the Zikist Movement. In the face of intimidation and victimization he never looked back: he refused to be cowed by the powers that be. He remained a dogged, determined and irrepressible voice.

He was once again jailed alongside others in 1964 after the subversion of the Western Regional Government. He remained fearless; he continued to defend the defenseless and timid masses. He continued to demand for the restoration of the inalienable rights of the citizenry of the country.

Anthony Enahoro held several Local, State and Federal positions before his death. He was former Information and Home affairs Minister of the Western Regional government led by the Late Chief Obafemi Awolowo; a founding member of the University of Ife (Now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife); Former Minister of Information, and Leader Nigerian Delegation to the United nations General Assembly.

Several honours were bestowed on him as well – D.Sc (Honoris Causa), Political Science, University of Benin, 1973; Grand Officer of the Order of Merit, Central African Republic 1973; Commander of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (C.F.R) 1982; Grand Star of the Nation, Senegal; First Class Officer of the Order of the Two Niles, Sudan, and several others too numerous to mention.

The Elder statesman once again rose to the challenges of the tyrannical government of the Late General Sani Abacha, who emasculated several human right activists and proscribed several newspapers in an attempt to hold on tenaciously to the reins of power. He organized the National Democratic Coalition (NADECO) that continually challenged the excesses of the military junta.

However, when the spate of sporadic assassination of opposition became too much, the Esan Chief was forced into self-exile in 1996. He returned back to Nigeria after the death of General Sani Abacha.

With the demise of Enahoro, Nigeria is now left with only a few pockets of human right activist that can truly stand their ground in the face of intimidation. The other activists like Chief Gani Fawehimi, Beko Ransome Kuti, Ken Saro-Wiwa, etc have all gone the way of all mortals.

Chief Anthony Enahoro was truly a voice for the helpless masses; a defender of the rights of the down-trodden and a patriot to the core. Adieu Pa Anthony Enahoro.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Julian Assange - What Lessons Does His Arrest Teach?

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Wikileaks founder, Julian Paul Assange was finally nabbed by the metropolitan police in London today after being declared wanted by the Interpol several days ago for alleged sex offence committed in Sweden.

He has been wanted by the police in connection with the said sex offence as well as for reasons of publishing highly sensitive documents best regarded as security risk. His website has been publishing documents related to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He has also published documentaries on extra-judicial killings in Kenya amongst other issues.

If tried by the law court and found guilty what happens next? Is he going to be jailed, pardoned or what actually happens? Maybe the opinion of the world would be sought or the law of Sweden would be applied.

The 39 year old Assange is an Australian national, journalist, internet activist, publisher, Mathematician and computer programmer. He is Amnesty International Media Award winner 2009 and Sam Adams award winner 2010. Now the question is if Julian Assange holds all these credentials why would he stoop low to commit a sex offence?

Was the offence real or cooked up? Who is actually guilty or would eventually be guilty, America, Sweden or Julian? He is a man shrouded in controversy at the moment; and God would tell us the truth.

If it is true that he was involved in sex crime, the law should be allowed to take its course. Women’s rights must be protected to reduce their vulnerability. Julian Assange is alleged to have had sex with his partner with a punctured condom which he failed to disclose to her.

What if she has been infected with a deadly STD (that is if he has one anyway)? What if it turns out to be the incurable HIV, how much would be used to compensate her? Men owe themselves the duty to be faithful/honest to women at least for their reputation.

The world is watching as the drama unfolds. Those who preach against injustice, human rights violation and oppression should never indulge in it otherwise their preaching would become hypocritical.

Assange has not been tried; but since his case has become so controversial, it would be wise to try him under public glare so that no other controversy would arise from it. The world should be convinced he is guilty of the said offence otherwise the world powers would be portrayed in bad light.

What do you think about Assange's case? Air your opinion.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Top 10 US Presidents - Does Your Favorite Make The List?

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America has had several presidents; including those who did something worthy of note as to be considered among the greatest and best leaders the country ever had. Those who offered exceptional self sacrifice and helped in reshaping the history of the country make the list of the top 10.

1. George Washington: President George Washington is arguably the first on this list. He was born in 1732 in Virginia; he became the pioneer president of America on 30th April, 1789. He was elected president after successfully leading a constitutional convention in Philadelphia in 1787. He maintained a neutral position during the French-British war. He was a great defender of the American people’s rights.

2. Thomas Jefferson: He was the second president of “God’s own state” and was a great voice against tyranny. He was born in Albemarle County, Virginia in 1743. He was a lawyer by profession.
Notable among his achievements was the drafting of the declaration for independence at the age of 33 as a ‘silent member’ of the congress. He also wrote the bill establishing religious freedom, which was enacted in 1786. He was able to reduce the national debt during his time by a third.

3. James Madison: He was born in 1751 in Orange County, Virginia. He was popularly referred to as ‘Father of the Constitution’ because of the roles he played in bringing major changes to the American constitution. He was a lawyer by profession; he helped to frame the Bill of Rights and enact the first Revenue legislation when he was in congress.

He eventually became America’s 4th president in 1808. He resisted the oppression by the British government, which eventually led to war between the two nations.

4. John Quincy Adams: Became the first son of a president to rule America as a president himself in 1824. He was a lawyer and the son of President John Adams. As a president he started the move for the construction of Canals and highways to link the various sections, and also the development and conservation of the public domain, using funds from the sale of public lands.

5. Theodore Roosevelt: At 43, he became 26th president and the youngest person to rule the US by 1901. He was born in New York City in 1858 and became governor of the state in 1898. He brought the US into world political limelight and believed the president as the steward of the people should take whatever action was necessary for the public good.

He constructed the Panama Canal, conserved American forests, forested great lands and reserved lands for public use. He won a Nobel Peace Prize for the role he played in bringing an end to the Russo-Japanese war. He was popular for his proverb “Speak softly and carry a big stick…”

6. Woodrow Wilson: A professor of Political Science; and born in 1856 in Virginia, Woodrow Wilson went ahead to become America’s 28th president in 1912, after first being governor of New Jersey in 1910. He fought for the rights of individuals and states; and helped to push for the enactment of several legislations, including the ‘Underwood Act’, antitrust legislation, amongst others. He also engineered the law prohibiting child labour.

He made the Germans and the French sign the Versailles Treaty, which contained the covenant of the League of Nations.

7. Franklin D. Roosevelt: He was born at Hyde Park, New York in 1882 and elected 32nd president in 1932 after serving as governor of New York in 1928.
Arguably one of the most influential presidents to have led America, Franklin Roosevelt helped to give hope to the American people during the great depression. He was such a great mind; he had poliomyelitis at the age of 39 but was able to regain the use of his legs through swimming exercises.

He dreamt of a ‘United Nations’ that would help bring about world peace, but he died before the dream materialized. He was the longest serving American president (he served for four terms)

8. Dwight D. Eisenhower: Born in 1890 in Texas, he became the 34th US Head of State in 1952. He’s notable for bringing about the desegregation of schools and the Armed Forces. He believed there should be no second class citizens in America. He advocated for peace and was in the fore front in the pursuit for world peace. He even allowed other countries to have American uranium for peaceful purposes.

9. Bill Clinton: Born William Jefferson Blythe III on 19th August 1946, he became the US 42nd president in 1992. His administration witnessed the lowest unemployment rate; achieved budget surplus for the first time in several decades. America also enjoyed more peace during his tenure and had the lowest inflation rate in 30 years.
He openly campaigned against drug trafficking, sales of handguns and racial discrimination. He enjoyed two tenures as a president.

10. Barack Obama: He is the 44th and current president of the United States of America; he is the first African-American to rule the US. He was born in Hawaii on August 4, 1961 and became the first President to emerge outside the Contiguous United States. He was sworn in as US 44th president on the 20th of January 2009.

He wrote a total of 890 bills and co-sponsored 1096 as a senator; and is trying to bring reforms to the health sector as a president, with his health care reform law being one of the major achievements so far. A lot is being expected of him.
He has won the Nobel Peace Prize which many felt he did not really deserve to win.

Is there any other president you feel should have been on this list? Is there any you think does not deserve to be on the list? You are free to make your opinion known.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nigeria Deleted From The Major Drug List

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The United States of America has finally deleted Nigeria from the list of major drug countries for the first time since 1991. President Barack Obama announced that the reason for removing the country’s name from the list was because she no longer met the criteria for the list according to the US law.

Nigeria was hitherto considered a major transit (though not a producer of opium or other related drugs) point for narcotic drugs coming from The Latin America into the United States of America. Placing the country on the major drug list actually dented her image for a very long time. The government of this country did all that was humanly possible to reverse the ugly trend and improve the image of the country that was already battered by corruption.

However, countries like Afghanistan, The Bahamas, Bolivia, Burma, Columbia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Jamaica, Laos, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Peru and Venezuela are on the list this year.

The Nigerian government tackled this problem with all seriousness it deserved, using a pragmatic approach; to ensure that the country did not only get deleted from the black book of the American government, but also regained her respect in the committee of nations.

How did Nigeria get deleted?
1. Massive anti-drug campaign: The government embarked on a massive anti-drug campaign using both the print and electronic media to ensure that her citizenry knew the consequences of drug peddling and drug use. This helped to reduce the number of people seeing the illicit trade in drugs as a quick way to prosperity.
2. Punitive measures: The government also enacted laws that made the use of or selling of narcotics a punishable offense. Culprits were prosecuted through the due process of law and when found guilty, were sentenced to several years jail term to make the trade unattractive. Besides, properties proved to have been acquired through this illicit business were also confiscated by the government.
3. Security measures: The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) had several security measures in place to detect those smuggling out the drugs through our borders. The use of sniff dogs and body scanners were part of the measures put in place to ensure that those carrying narcotics in their luggage or hidden in their bodies were easily fished out at the airports.
4. Internal measures: The NDLEA was also able to reduce the cultivation of hard drugs like the Cannabis Sativa within the country by going from state to state, destroying the drug farms and burning them up. This helped to minimize the number of youth going into farming on hard drugs. The essence of destroying the Cannabis farms was to send a strong message to the farmers that any kind of psychotropic drugs would not be tolerated in the country.

Now that the name of the country has been deleted from the bad list there is need to consolidate on our achievements and not to rest on our oars as this could be dangerous should we fail to realize that there is the possibility of the drug barons regrouping to continue the trade if the security measures are relaxed.

To avert any kind of relapse, there should be proper monitoring of our national borders to be sure that no hard drug finds its way into our shores anymore. Imported goods (especially the ones coming from Latin America) should be thoroughly searched at our borders before they are allowed into the country.

There should be alternative businesses for those who have been prosecuted and rehabilitated so they won’t think of going back into peddling in narcotics anymore. They should also be given a new reorientation to make them realize there is pride in getting wealth through the legitimate way.

This development should be seen as a major step in the right direction for the Barack Obama’s government to regain her popularity especially in Nigeria and Africa in general. The war against trading in narcotics or psychotropic drugs should be seen as a collective one. Therefore, everyone should join in the fight to rid the world of ill-gotten wealth, drug-induced psychoses and violent crimes. The world would be a better place to live in if the war is won in the long run.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will President Barack Obama Ever Be Popular Again?

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Americans and indeed the whole world watched with keen interest as Barak Obama and Hilary Clinton tried frantically to emerge as the Democratic Party’s flag bearer in the 2008 presidential election. The popularity of the two candidates was put to the test; it was a time for Americans to choose between two choices that were both challenging and record-creating.

First, one of the choices would lead to the emergence of the first African-American president (Black president), and the second choice would lead to the emergence of their first female president. Either of the two candidates was almost sure of getting into the White House because the Republican Party was fast losing its popularity as a result of the circumstances of the time. Obama eventually got the better vote because he was no doubt the more popular of the two candidates. He became a history-maker, as he became the first Black to rule the country after over 200 years of independence.

Everywhere one went then, one was greeted with Obamamania – Obama ‘T’ shirts, fez caps, belts, trousers, key holders, notebooks, balloons, wrist watches, eye glasses, car stickers, etc. But the enthusiasm that greeted his election and eventual swearing-in as America’s 44th president began to die down sooner than later. He began to lose his rating and popularity clearly because of some controversial and hasty decisions that he made. When these mistakes were repeated from time to time and in different areas, Americans and indeed the world began to have a rethink; and started to nurse the fear that all that glitters may after all not be gold.

What has reduced his popularity?
Some of the decisions President Barak Obama made that have seen his popularity nose dive include:
1. Discrimination against Nigeria: On assumption of office, the president made his first official familiarization visit to the continent of Africa, his root. He accorded respect and recognition to countries like Ghana, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, etc by paying them a visit: but he shunned Africa’s most populous and most influential nation, Nigeria, and treated her like a leper. Nigeria may be having her own challenges and going through her wilderness experience; one thing remains very clear, she is clearly the most influential voice in the continent – ask the UN Security Council, ECOMOG, Common Wealth of Nations, AU, FIFA, CAF, etc and they would tell you the undiluted truth. She remains Africa’s biggest philanthropist, defender of the smaller countries, and the Sub region’s leader.
2. HealthCare Reform Bill: The healthcare reform bill became the first litmus test that his government was subjected to. His reform bill was greeted with criticism and suspicion by both the Republicans and some Democrats. The bill eventually got passed into law; but so many people had lost their faith in him as they could not be convinced the bill meant well for the poor masses.
3. Bail-out loans for Chrysler: The effect of the world economic recession was so biting that Chrysler Motors had to request for some bail-out loans from the government to enable them save thousands of jobs for their employees. This was handled with levity; and today, we all know the outcome of government’s refusal to come to the aid of the auto company.
4. War in Afghanistan and Iraq: This was one of the reasons Americans refused to vote for the Republicans: a lot of soldiers were losing their precious lives in these countries. So, they hoped the new president would stop this trend by withdrawing their children, brothers, husbands and fathers from these wars that had consumed much of their resources. However, today, the country has lost over 4,000 military personnel in these countries, and they continue to lose their able-bodied soldiers daily. This continual loss of their dear ones has made the people to lose their hope in the government.
5. Resignation of key ministers: Since this administration came into power, some ministers and some other persons appointed into key positions have voluntarily resigned from office. Why? I leave that to you to guess. Recently the defense minister, Robert Gates announced he’s going to resign from the government in 2011. This decision was said to have shocked the president beyond words.
6. Listing Nigeria as a terrorist country: A young Nigerian who never grew up in Nigeria and never understood the cultural values of his people, made an attempt to bomb an American airline on 25th December 2009; a move which was vehemently condemned by all Nigerians. Surprisingly, President Barak Obama immediately placed Nigeria on the terror watch list. This was at a time Nigeria needed understanding from the International Community because her president was on a sick bed in Saudi Arabia. That decision further reduced the respect that Nigerians, nay, Africans had for the American president.
7. The Middle East: Recent research and public opinion pools showed that about 70% of the Arab world feels that President Obama has lost his popularity in the Middle East. His wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; his role in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and his attitude towards Iran were said to be partly responsible for this dwindling popularity.
8. Loss of Millions of jobs: Since this present government assumed power, millions of jobs have been lost following the world economic recession. The people feel enough is not being done to secure their jobs and guarantee their means of livelihood. So many people have committed suicide as a result of this. Some have even killed their wives and children as well as themselves.

How Can This Popularity Be Regained?
1. Improved relationship: Obama should not treat everybody with suspicion. He should learn to draw those influential countries closer to himself rather than treat them with disdain or contempt. He should expunge Nigeria’s name from the terror watch list and get more support from Africa.
2. Stop the wars: America has spent billions of dollars prosecuting wars in Afghanistan and Iraq; and is also thinking of conducting a military exercise with South Korea, when a lot of her citizens are jobless and hungry. The country is also running into debts. They should listen to popular opinion/demand and withdraw from these wars. They should forget about preserving their pride; rather the welfare of the people should be their priority. The government should create more jobs and employments with the money being squandered on war. Let the slaughtering of the soldiers stop so that some of the children of these soldiers would get to know their fathers.
3. Revisit the economic stimulus package: They should try as much as possible to save those companies that have provided employment for thousands of Americans from liquidating as a result of the world economic meltdown.
4. Reduce Interference: America should allow regions to manage their affairs; and only send their war machines there when they are truly needed and invited to help. Going there on their own without an invitation would make those people misinterpret their genuine intensions, and further reduce their popularity.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Iran Launches Nuclear Reactor Plant In Bushehr

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Iran finally started to load uranium fuel to the site of its nuclear reactor plant sited in Bushehr on Saturday, 21st August, 2010. The plant is said to be a peaceful project expected to help the country generate 1,000MW of electricity in the next one year, and 20,000MW by 2025. The country also claims it is a major boost in their quest for industrialization.

The Bushehr Nuclear plant was started by the Germans years ago, but following outright condemnation from several countries, including the United States, it was abandoned. It was then taken over by Russia in 1995; and it’s being completed this year after some setbacks including the German withdrawal and the Iraqi-Iranian war prevented the initial completion time of 1999 from being realistic.

Iran has declared that the programme is a peaceful one, and that the plant would be loaded with Uranium fuel. It is also expected to start generating its first electricity in the next one or two months. The fuel for the plant’s operation is being lifted to the area under the supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

However, as the country struggles to convince the international community that its Nuclear facility is for a civilian purpose, it went ahead to successfully test-fire new surface-to-surface missiles; making one to question how peaceful this programme really is.

The United States has always condemned Iran’s desire to develop a nuclear plant. Nevertheless, there have been some concerns that the same US is negotiating with Vietnam to enable the latter build a nuclear facility. The American Secretary of states, Hilary Clinton was said to have gone to Vietnam recently for that purpose.

Now the question is who is really deceiving who? How could the US be condemning one country for trying to build a nuclear site and at the same time they are aiding another one to do same? Why would the G8 and the EU think of applying sanctions against Iran, but Russia which helped to complete the project is a member of the G6 and the EU? Is there really a concern for the safety of the world’s populace or there is a concern for how much money could be made from these controversial programmes?

How do we prevent more frictions?
It is clear that the G6 does not speak with one voice; if America condemns a programme or policy, the same programme would be supported either by Russia or by France, and vice versa. To prevent these security threats from coming up from time to time, the following should be done:
1. Speaking with one voice: The constitution or whatever rules that govern the G8, EU, The UN Security Council, etc should be reviewed so as to make all members speak with one voice on every matter brought before them. It is paramount that when a case is presented before the G8, if it is not conclusively or unanimously resolved, no member should go behind to support such programme. For instance, if Russia hopes to carry out a project for a country, it should be free to negotiate with the country; thereafter, it should present it before the Group of 8 and make sure every member accepts it before going ahead to execute it. It should also be made clear that once a member of the Group of 8 has negotiated with that country, and the project fails to be approved, no other member of the body should be allowed to renegotiate with the country or execute the same project. In the event that the problem is later resolved, the country which initially negotiated the project should be the one to execute it. This would help to prevent in-house betrayals.
2. Sanction: Should any member of the G8 go ahead to execute a project that was not resolved amicably, the others should impose sanctions against her. This would also reduce the impunity with which members are executing projects against the decision of the body.
3. Strict Monitoring: Countries with uranium and other resources which are capable of causing security threats should be strictly monitored to ensure that these products are not sold to the wrong people. The moment it is established that there is any form of negotiation to acquire these resources without the approval of the Security arm of the UN or the Group of 8, such countries should be cautioned immediately or sanctions should be applied when necessary. They should not wait until after the programmes are ready for use before contemplating sanctions.
4. Co-operation: All countries should co-operate with the UN Security Council, The G8, EU, AU, etc to make any sanction imposed on a country to be effective. When there are countries doing business with a sanctioned country, the purpose of the sanction would not be achieved.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Iran Launches Four New Submarines

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Iranian navy has taken delivery of four new home-built submarines which are said to be in the home-produced Ghadir class. The vessels are to be positioned in the Persian Gulf, to help give some territorial protection to the country.

Iran already has some vessels patrolling its territorial waters – notably three Russian-built Kilo class diesel submarines which it acquired in the1990s, an Iranian built light submarine weighing about 500 tonnes (launched in 2006) and a Nahang.

The navy first launched seven sub of this category in 2007, and started building “Qaem” in 2008, which according to the country’s army chief, Ataollah Salehi, would be capable of operating in the high sea. The new vessel is said to be capable of firing torpedo and missiles.

The vessel has been described as stealth submarine and hardly detectable by sonar; it would be used for coastal operations especially in the shallow waters within the Gulf of Aden.

The country is already offering to give assistance to Lebanon and Syria. With tensions already high in the Middle East, offering to give assistance to Lebanon and Syria that are known to be aggressive toward Israel would make one ask if Iran does not have Israel in mind before going ahead to increase her naval presence in the Gulf.

Caution should be applied in handling the Iranian issue as it may worsen the already volatile situation in the Middle East. The country has of recent been talking tough on her desire to build a nuclear station; though the world has tried to dissuade her from going ahead with the plan, she is yet to soft pedal.

So launching four submarines at this critical time means the country is up to something. The world should therefore be careful the way it handles the case, especially now that America is thinking of carrying out some military exercise with South Korea. North Korea is already frowning at the plan: they have never hidden their hostility towards America.

It would be recalled that North Korea started in a similar manner by fortifying their military, building and refurbishing missiles which they hoped would reach America from Pyongyang. They went ahead eventually to declare they had finally developed nuclear weapon. Today, everyone living around North Korea – Japan, South Korea, China, etc now lives in palpable fears.

I still believe that sanctions would not achieve the desired result; the only way to take care of some of these aggressions is go to the dialogue table. The people should be made to see reasons why they should respect the United Nations’ Non-Nuclear proliferation treaty.

Besides, smaller countries should be reassured of their safety and security. America should reduce their Bossy attitude because it is making smaller countries to feel vulnerable; hence they are doing everything possible to create defense for themselves in case of external aggresion. When America learns to meddle less in other countries’ affairs, they would feel more relaxed and stop thinking of defending themselves at all cost.

The Arab league should prevail on Iran to shelve its plan to build a nuclear plant. They should realize that Israel would not be the only country to suffer the long term effect; other fellow Arab nations may be at the receiving end when the time comes. After all, Iraq and Iran fought for several years irrespective of the fact they’re both Islamic nations. Iraq also invaded Kuwait, a fellow Islamic country prior to the full-blown Gulf war. So there is no guarantee that Israel would be the only target of the nuclear attack in future; if Israel fails to provoke them, another fellow Islamic country may provoke them into using it.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Governor Adams Oshiomole; A Purposeful Leader

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Adams Oshiomole of the Action Congress (AC) and governor of Edo State in Nigeria has proven by his leadership style that there is still hope for our country. The former president of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) became governor of Edo State when the average masses had given up hope of experiencing good and purposeful governance.

The South-South State was passing through a state of infrastructural, educational and political decay when the visionary governor regained his mandate that was hitherto stolen by the People’s Democratic Party (PDP). Since he took over the mantle of leadership, the rate of rural and urban development has sky-rocketed.

He has opened all blocked drainages, electrified rural communities, dualized the urban roads in Benin City, and rehabilitated several primary and post primary schools in the state. Power supply is now fairly stable in the state; the small and medium scale industries are now enjoying a boom. Erosion menace in the state has now been put under control (though there are still places that require government urgent attention).

The citizens of the state have now been spurred into paying their taxes regularly by the level of infrastructural rehabilitation in the state. Adams Oshiomole announced recently that the state’s internally generated revenue has increased to N1b from N300m monthly since he assumed office.

One impressive side of his leadership is that he is accountable to the electorate. He informs the person of how much that comes into the state and how it is spent. He has carried everybody along; making sure he sites project in both the state capital and other local government areas.

Recently, a member of the House of Representatives, and a staunch member of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Hon. Patrick Obahiagbon defected from the PDP to the Action Congress (AC) and told the public the reason he defected was because of the developmental strides the state now enjoyed under Chief Adams Oshiomole. He said he needed to join hands with the action governor to move the state forwards.

This is the same state that Chief Lucky Nosa Igbinedion governed for eight uninterrupted years and he looted the treasury of the state; Infrastructural became decayed, Civil Servants were sacked in their thousands, state roads became impassable and the state was in perpetual darkness.

Today, the average masses in Edo State are singing praises of the incumbent governor; business is booming, the taps are running, port holes have disappeared from the roads, the state is illuminated constantly and nobody is harassed by touts anymore. Adams Oshiomole is truly a visionary and purposeful leader who has the interest of the citizenry at heart.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Nigeria Relapsing Into A One-Party State?

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The recent development in Nigeria where elected leaders or representatives of the people cross over to another party, with the people’s mandate, is both alarming and unhealthy. Most of the political leaders – Governors, Ministers, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate, local government chairmen, councillors, etc were voted based on their party manifestos. Defecting with their votes to other parties therefore, should be seen as a rape of their mandate.

The beauty of democracy is in checks and balances which is provided by the opposition parties. Where there are no checks and balances, there is the tendency for the ruling party to become dictatorial. And when there is dictatorship the people suffer unjustly. This is what PDP is driving the country into – becoming a one-party state, where there would be no one to oppose her.

Our politicians are indirectly telling us through their conduct that either they do not understand their party manifestos or they lack integrity. Whichever the case, they cannot be trusted with the people’s mandate since they are not honest enough to protect the people’s votes.

They have also shown that they are in politics simply for their selfish gains and not because they want to represent us. They only see politics as business and so they jump to any political party that offers the best bargain. The last gubernatorial election in Anambra state exposed some of these avaricious politicians; notable amongst them was this particular woman who contested on the platform of one of the parties she thought could easily secure the people’s mandate for her. As soon as it was announced that Peter Obi had won the election, the next week she ran back to the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP).

Politics in our country has become exploitative: people now use the smaller parties to secure a mandate and then run to PDP where they think they stand the chance to personally gain more. They use the people’s mandate to negotiate for their Ambassadorial, ministerial and other appointments. If we allow this ugly trend to continue in our national polity, sooner or later our nascent democracy would be destroyed by these selfish, dishonest, shameless and greedy politicians.

Recently the former governor of Abia state, Mr. Orji Uzor Kalu went back to PDP (after ruling under the platform of PPA). He was accepted at the national level, but the state refused to accept him back because they understood he was coming back for selfish reasons. If other states would emulate Abia state, the political harlotry in our nation would be checked.

The declaration by the national house of assembly that everyone has the right to cross over to another party irrespective of whether he is carrying the mandate of the people on another political party platform is not helping matters. The house of assembly should realize that this declaration is moving the country in the wrong direction where our national political boat would soon capsize. They are elected to make laws that would suit the nation and not their political party. The country belongs to all Nigerians and not to PDP alone; they should therefore make laws that posterity would applaud and not condemn. Everyone should stand up to condemn this development that is threatening to destroy our nascent democracy and take us back to the military era.

Terrorism; Is The World Losing The War?

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The war against terrorism seems not be achieving its objective and it also seems as if the terrorists are gaining more grounds and unleashing more terror on the world. Different tactics are employed by the people involved, even as the various nations are also trying their hands on different tools of curbing this act of violence and intimidation.

Several countries have suffered one form of terrorist attack or the other. The Lockerbie attack of 1988 is still fresh in our memories; the Saudi attack, the American embassy attack in Nairobi, the Indian attack by Pakistani terrorists, the attack on Egypt, the Madrid attack, the London attack, the Ugandan attack, and the September 11 attack on the United States of America, etc all indicate that the end to these acts does not seem to be near at sight.

The attackers seem to be shifting their well coordinated activities from one continent to the other. And when everyone is about to heave a sigh of relief, a new act of terror is unleashed. The developed countries of the world have employed their sophisticated technology to try to curb this trend but to no avail. They have even made some mistakes in the process of diagnosing the existence of terrorism in certain parts of the world.

Recent revelations that Iraq did not pose any threat before 2003 are instructive; it therefore means that adequate investigations should be conducted before raising an alarm as to the existence of terrorism. Wrong diagnosis is bound to worsen the situation rather than bringing it under control, since some of the people involved have always complained of oppression, intimidation and marginalization. There is therefore need to apply caution in handling this menace that is threatening the corporate existence of the world.

Since the use of force has not helped in bringing the situation under control, there is therefore the need to try other methods such as:

1.Dialogue: Dialogue remains the best way to solve a problem, especially the one that is hydra-headed. It is obvious that when a man realizes he is being forced to do a thing, he hardens his mind to do exactly what he feels pleases him and not what should please the next person. But when all come to the dialogue table, what could not be achieved on the battle front could be achieved. Think of how long America has been in Afghanistan and Iraq: the use of sophisticated weaponry has not stopped the stubbornness of the Afghan or Iraqi people.
2.Racism: Racism has also been one of the issues raised by the people involved in these offensives. There is need to stop racial discrimination or at least reduce it to the barest minimum in order to make those who have hitherto complained of racism to feel wanted by the world. Nobody should be made to exist in isolation on account of regional backwardness, poverty, illiteracy or colour difference.
3.Religious re-orientation: All major religions preach tolerance and the sanctity of the human life. However, some of the religious leaders have twisted the interpretation of their holy books to suit their personal selfish motives. They have brain-washed their followers to believe that there is gain in violence, killing, maiming, religious intolerance, religious wars, arson and suicide bombings. There is need therefore for Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism, etc to re-orientate their followers to adhere to the provisions of their holy books and stop wasting their lives and that of other people. They should realize no one goes to heaven by killing another person (in whatever guise) or by committing suicide.
4.Change in curriculum: Government should also play a major role by adding religious tolerance into the curriculum of both primary and post primary schools so that every student should know right from elementary level that God does not in any way support violence. They should be made to respect the religious views of others without coercing anyone into accepting their own views. They should also be made to understand that Christians and Moslems are from the same grand parent – Abraham; as such there would be need to tolerate one another.
5.Cultural exchange: There should be cultural exchange between countries so they could understand the core values of one another, and ensure that the various cultures are respected. Cultural exchanges would foster unity amongst nations and reduce their level of hostility and intolerance toward one another.

The world would be a better place to live in, if we learn to tolerate one another and respect each other’s cultural and religious differences. We would no longer live in fears or sleep with our eyes open; the lives of future leaders, teachers, professors, engineers, nurses, doctors, accountants, pilots, pastors, imams, industrialists, etc would no longer be wasted. When human lives are no longer wasted, the world would develop at a faster pace, and everyone would be happier living together.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dr Nelson mandela; An Epitome Of Good Leadership

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South Africa’s first black president and former leader of the African National Congress (ANC), Dr Nelson Mandela, would be 92 years on Sunday, 17th of July 2010. He has lived 92 years of purposeful leadership, productive and influential life; he has no doubt earned more respect than any other African leader, dead or alive.

Dr Nelson Mandela did not earn his respected position by deceitful leadership, by betraying his people or by looting the treasury of his country: he also did not embark on any image laundering. He achieved this by hard work, honesty, belief in a just course, focus, pursuit of a national dream and determination to live a lasting legacy for his nation and the entire African people.

He had a dream for his people- a dream to see his people walk side by side with the white man; a dream to see everyone enjoy equal and inalienable rights. He had a dream to see the black man treated with some level of respect and dignity: he wished for a state where everyone (black or white) would have the same voting rights, attend the same schools, eat in the same canteen, play on the same pitch, ride in the same public transport, enjoy the same freedom of speech, and live in the same neighbourhood.

He pursued his dream and went to jail for 27 solid years; he never discarded his vision in the midst of threats and intimidations: he remained faithful to a just course. He sacrificed his time, future, marriage and dreams in order to give hope to his people. He was resolute; he knew what he wanted and was not ready to trade his conscience for money. He was not willing to sell the rights of his people for peanuts and then leave them to remain second tier citizens for eternity.

He suffered 27 years of deprivation, hunger, torture, intimidation, separation, oppression and maltreatment in order to ensure apartheid had no more place to stay in South Africa. Thereafter, he became the first Black President of the nation of South Africa. He provided his people with purposeful, accountable, honest and directional leadership. He set the pace for other African leaders to follow.

He ruled for his specified first tenure in office, and when he completed it, instead of towing the path of other African leaders, he decided to take the road of honour by refusing to go for a second tenure. He decided to show other black leaders how to choose the path of honour above material gains. Today, the world celebrates him as the best leader the continent of Africa ever had.

We celebrate with Dr Nelson Mandela as he turns 92 years and join to say he has shown by his leadership style that Africa still has some rays of hope. You have indeed shown that all hope is not lost for our continent. We believe there are those who would one day remember your legacy and decide to build on the solid foundation you have laid for our continent in order to lead us out of the woods.

Your 92 years on earth have not been wasted ones; you have used them to touch lives positively. You have used them to set records worthy of emulation: you have shown that there are still people who value their reputation above materialism in Africa. Your achievements have shown that we still have remnants who we could believe in, to help us put this continent on the path to sustainable development. Posterity would always remember you for your role in destroying the claws of apartheid in your country and for making your country one of the most respectable countries in this part of the world today. Your name has entered the annals of history and children yet unborn would one day see the foot prints you left on the sand of time.

We wish African leaders would take a leaf out of your book and decide to put the interest of their people before their personal interests and become more accountable to the masses. We wish that in less than a decade from now, Africans would be proud to say they do not want to go to other continents to seek for the greener pasture anymore. We pray that things should change for the better – constant power supply, smooth roads, security of lives and property, quality education, justice, rule of law, vibrant leadership and sustainable development.

We wish you a HAPPY BIRTH DAY, and we pray that God would sustain your life and make you see the Africa of your dream before you finally take your exit from this earth to be with the Lord forever. We pop our champagne as we say more happy years to you, Dr Nelson Mandela.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Nigeria House Of Representatives In Show Of Shame

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The Nigeria House of representatives on Tuesday 22nd June 2010 got involved in what could best be described as a show of shame and national embarrassment; as the law makers threw caution to the winds and engaged in fisticuffs in the full glare of publicity, with some ending up with broken nose, broken arms and torn clothes.

Trouble started when eleven members of the house - Dino Melaye, Salomon Awhinawi, Ehiogie West Idahosa, Gbenga Oduwaiye, Independence Ogunewe, Austin Nwachukwu, Kayode Amusan, Bitrus Kaze, Abba Anas, Gbenga Onigbogi and Doris Uboh, accused the speaker Dimeji Bankole and the leadership of the house, of financial misconduct. The case was even reported to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by Dino Melaye.

The speaker of the house organized his own group to try to intimidate the eleven members who were bent on fighting corruption in the house. Their eventual suspension and an attempt to forcefully drag them out of the chamber led to a physical combat, during which some of them (five of the aggrieved members) had their clothes torn to pieces; one left with a broken nose. However one of them was able to over power one of the aggressors, leaving him with a broken arm.

This show of shame is coming up at this time when Nigerians have all become weary of corruption; and the government of Dr Good luck Jonathan as trying to put in place better mechanisms to eradicate corruption in Africa largest country

But why would the law makers go to that extent of taking laws into their hands? Politics in Nigeria has become an investment platform; where people invest all they have in order to get into office and then later steal over a 1000% of what they invested. They want to sit tight in office since it is the highest profit yielding investment ever. Instead of losing such high yield investment, they would rather lose their integrity and get their names rubbed with mud.

How can we control this trend?
1. Choose Representatives based on integrity: Representatives of the people should be chosen based on integrity and past records, and not on party loyalty or affiliation. It is only by this method that people with character and track records would be nominated to represent their constituencies

2. Give constituencies power to recall erring Representatives: when constituencies are given the power and legal backup to recall erring representatives, those who are elected to protect their interest would sit up; because they know they would be recalled should they disappoint their constituencies

3. Make corruption punishable: a lot of people are getting involved in corrupt practices because there seems not to be adequate punitive measures put in place to make corruption unattractive. The moment people are punished in proportion to their crimes, they would no more engage in corruption with impunity.

4. Removal of parliamentary immunity: Immunity should be removed from office holders in order to make them answerable to the electorate while still in office. When they know they are accountable to the masses, they would stop plundering and looting public treasury.

5. Reduce salaries of politicians: the only people enjoying unrestricted salary increase in Nigeria are the politicians. This should be stopped. Anybody going into public office should do so for the sole purpose of serving the people. If they go there because of the attractive salaries they will never give their best to the electorate.

6. Assets declarations: politicians should be made to publicly declare their assets before assuming a public office and on completion of their tenure in office.

7. Freedom of information bill: the freedom of information bill before the National Assembly should be passed into law as a matter of urgency. This would enable the public give information concerning any corrupt politician without fear of molestation.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua Of Nigeria Is dead

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President Umaru Musa Yaradua of Nigeria finally lost his long battle against Renal problem yesterday. The president had been battling with his health problem for a very long time and eventually left Nigeria on 23rd November, 2009 for Saudi Arabia and got admitted into King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research centre, Jedda where he was further diagnosed with pericarditis, a complication arising from excessive accumulation of uric acid in the blood stream due to his failing kidneys.

President Yaradua was flown back into Nigeria on February 23rd 2010 under a controversial circumstance as his arrival was shrouded in secrecy having been brought into the country under the cover of darkness without informing his deputy. Since his arrival nobody had heard from him neither was he able to address the press.

The federal Executive Council had earlier told Nigerians that President Yar’adua was fit to continue in office even when the reverse was obvious. He finally bowed out at the age of 58 years; he was born on the 16th August, 1951. Before his death he was the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. He would be buried today in accordance with Islamic rites.

Nigerians had anticipated that his 7 point agenda would bring the much needed change that would usher the country into technological and economic development, but that entire dream has died as he could not successfully implement any of the agenda. We pray God Almighty to give the Acting president, Dr Goodluck Jonathan the grace to chart a new direction for the country.

Nigerians are all in a mourning mood, the death of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yaradua is a great blow to the nation. He was a nice president even though the Cabal tried to rubbish his reputation. He believed in the Rule of Law, he believed in ridding the country of corruption, etc but death could not allow him see the Nigeria of his dream. We pray Allah to grant him eternal rest. Amen.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Need For Nuclear Disarmament

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The world has witnessed different levels of wars between countries and regions and the use of arms and munitions of different sorts from time immemorial. The climax of all this came when the atomic bomb was used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War.

The threat posed by certain countries during the First and Second World Wars has led several countries into looking for more deadly ways to protect themselves against invasion by their neighbours or by known powerful nations. This quest for protection against both real and imaginary enemies has led to the birth of deadly weapons of war – Atomic bomb, nuclear bomb, E-bomb, Hydrogen bomb, minor explosives, intercontinental ballistic missives, scud missiles, B52 bomber jets, Hawk, Missile launchers, nuclear submarine, Frigates, warships, biological weapons, nerve gas, etc.

The interesting part of the whole scenario is that all the above-mentioned weapons are fashioned to destroy the human organism and not animals. Why on earth should nations dedicate so much time, resources, money and energy researching things that would be used to outdo one another? America alone possesses over 5,000 nuclear warheads. Russia, Britain, France, Australia, China all in one way or the other have their own stockpiles. Recently other countries like Pakistan, India, North Korea, etc have all joined the nuclear nations list. Iran, Syria and others yet to be determined are already threatening to do same.

What are the dangers?
Nuclear proliferation poses much problems and threat than the world may anticipate. Some of the reasons why continual research into nuclear production is dangerous include:
1. Hunger and starvation: The world is wallowing in economic recession that has made many people die of hunger and starvation (though these problems have always been around). Arms productions have indirectly contributed to worsen the situation. Since 2003 America has spent over $200b fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; North Korea keeps testing weapons upon weapons while their citizens (North Koreans) wallow in abject poverty and are crossing their national borders into South Korea and China in their thousand to look for greener pasture. The money spent on weapons worldwide is enough to put food on the tables of the world’s poor masses who die of hunger daily. Hunger and starvation may get worse unless we channel these resources into agriculture and food production.
2. Increase in Illiteracy: The annual budgets of nations reflect how widespread this fear of insecurity has gone. Countries are allocating as much as 30-50% of their annual budgets to maintain their armed forces whereas a miserly less than 10% are given to education. This money used for research into weapons of mass destruction should be channeled into developing human resources and awarding scholarships to the less privileged to enable them acquire education.
3. Massive human destruction: the use of the Atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki led to the death of close to 300,000 people with several others maimed for life; and years later, congenital abnormalities attributable to the effects of the bomb still continued to occur. These weapons kill in their thousands and I am sure that whenever they are used thousands of human lives would be wasted – lives that God holds in sanctity. How about the conscience of the person who launches the weapons? Do you think such person would ever be happy with himself whenever he remembers the lives he sent to their early graves in the course of fighting?
4. Accidental explosion: I am sure the world still remembers the effect of the accidental explosion that happened years ago in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR) where hundreds of innocent lives were wasted. Only recently there was also another weapons explosion in Russia. What is the guarantee that stockpiling the bombs would not one day lead to similar horrifying and devastating experience? The bomb explosion in a military barracks in Lagos, Nigeria is still fresh in our minds: we know how many people lost their lives as a result of that incidence. We remember the case of accidental loading of six nuclear warheads into a jet and were flown across some states in the United States recently. If there had been an accident what would be the result?
5. Terrorism: In this era of terrorism where people are threatening to annihilate countries and religions what happens should these blood thirsty persons lay their hands on nuclear weapons? Your guess is as good as mine.
6. More conflicts: Whosoever has something that others don’t have would always look for an opportunity to exhibit his superiority. The reason the world went after Iraq was because of the fear they might be possessing biological weapons. Now that North Korea has developed nuclear technology, we see them showing their arrogance from time to time, even thinking of shooting missile from their country to reach the United States of America.

The world should think of what to do to completely stop further proliferation of these deadly weapons which some countries are using to foil conflicts in other regions and making billions of dollars from them. The recent nuclear summit in the USA may have discussed the way forward and may have also applauded their efforts, but I think a lot more need be done to make the world live in relative peace and harmony and stop living in mutual suspicion.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Connection Between African Leadership And Poverty

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Poverty is a world wide problem which affects a substantial population of the world but which is more prevalent in Africa. A huge chunk of the world’s wealth is in the hands of a selected few. Of all the factors that have contributed to poverty, leadership seems to be the worst and we are going to look at how that directly or indirectly affects the African continent.

The world has produced notable leaders who helped to shape the course of history and affect the lives of the governed positively. These leaders had the interest of the people at heart before they went into office and as such they put the masses first before self, making sure that the people enjoyed the dividends of governance. Such notable world leaders include George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, and Mahatma Gandhi, to mention a few. Of all the leaders Africa had ever had, Nelson Mandela is the only one who is qualified to be counted among the world greats.

Most of the African leaders are not qualified to be called leaders because they don’t have the interest of the masses at heart: they came into politics for personal gains. They see politics as a place of investment where you put in everything you have saved to get into office and then steal everything the country has in order to reimburse yourself for what you lost during campaigns, and also save as much as you can for the future of your family, not minding what happens to the rest populace.

The problem of treasury looting, oppression, tyranny, insensitivity and intolerance for political opponents has remained the same amongst African leaders from the East to West, North and South. The kind of selfish leadership style they adopt has left virtually all African countries impoverished. Check the records of Late President Omar Bongo of Gabon, Late Idiami Dada of Uganda, Ibrahim Babangida of Nigeria, Late Sani Abacha of Nigeria, Late Gnasimgbe Eyadema of Togo, Frederick Chiluba of Zambia, Late Samuel Doe of Liberia, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Omar Al-Bashir of Sudan, etc and what do they have in common? I am sure you know it.

Leaders who have no deliberate plan to move their countries forward cannot make any positive impact on the lives of the governed. In the western world attempts are made to educate the people so they could be well developed and become useful to the country but here it seems that the less the people are educated the better for their leaders who want them to remain ignorant and never be aware of their rights so they would not stand up to defend their rights when trampled upon. When leaders make up their minds either by omission or by commission that their people should never be developed what do you expect? Poverty, systemic failures, illiteracy, hunger, diseases, backwardness, infrastructural decay and stagnancy would continue to be the lot of the people except leadership styles change positively.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Return of President Umaru Musa Yar'adua

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President Umaru Musa Yar’adua left Nigeria on the 23rd of November 2009 for medical attention in Saudi Arabia and returned back to the country exactly 93 days later. But his period of absence from the presidential seat brought series of debates that almost tore the country apart.

Today the president is back in the country, what next? Has he been truly certified medically fit to continue in office as enshrined in section 144 of the 1999 constitution or is this a political game by the North to make sure power did not shift from their zone to the South-South? The president had maintained 92 days of silence and evasiveness but while the presidential delegation were on their way to Saudi Arabia as the last resort to ascertain whether or not he was truly fit to continue in office he suddenly sneaked into the country from his medical sojourn without the prior knowledge of his cabinet; not even his vice. Do you think things should be done this way min this 21st century? Is this how things are done in America, Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy, etc where the leaders are accountable to their citizenry? If not so, why is it always the opposite when it comes to Africa?

The Saudi authorities did everything to prevent the National Assembly members, the governors, and everyone that mattered from seeing our president as though the president were in captivity. If the president is strong enough to return to Nigeria today it means he was strong enough to at least say ‘hello’ to his ministers and lawmakers who had visited him few days earlier. One thing is not clear to me; why this ‘sneaking out and sneaking in’ of the president? The president belongs to all Nigerians and of course they have the right to know what is happening to him because the day he was elected into office he ceased to be the property of the North and became Nigerian property. This act of re-colonization of our country by a developing country like Saudi Arabia shows how helpless Nigeria has truly become. I do not in any way blame the Saudi authorities for treating us with levity; I blame our people who have refused to develop, otherwise why should we be going to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment?

Now that Mr. President has come back to his country what lessons did he learn from this situation? Is he thinking of reshaping the health sector of his country to look better than that of Saudi Arabia, or is he thinking of how to go back and enjoy the standard health facilities in Saudi next time he needs medical care? His actions and attitude toward our health sector would determine whether president has truly learnt any lessons from his health challenges. Mr. President should also remember that health care is part of his seven point agenda.

Lessons From The Coup in Niger republic

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Niger republic is one of the landlocked countries in West Africa. It is located on the Northern border of Nigeria, and it’s a member state of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Niger has enjoyed democracy for sometime now until the incumbent president Mamadou Tandja was forcefully removed from office through a military coup d’etat. Tandja has ruled the country for two consecutive tenures and instead of stepping down at the end of his second tenure he decided to alter the country’s constitution to pave way for his third tenure bid. This drew condemnation from everyone, including the ECOWAS and the African Union, but typical of most African leaders Mamadou Tandja cared less about the consequences of his action and refused to shift grounds. ECOWAS reacted swiftly by suspending Niger from her fold.

Tandja rode on, crushing all oppositions and protesters who dared raise their voices against his illegal constitutional alteration. He held tenaciously unto the reins of power. He had managed the economy of the landlocked country without accountability. Niger happens to be one of the few countries in the world that are endowed with Uranium, a mineral useful for nuclear fuel/nuclear weapons. The mining of this natural endowment has not reflected positively on the lives of the citizenry.

However, the military junta struck, ceased power and took Mamadou Tandja hostage. Surprisingly, the people we thought should condemn the coup d’etat rose up in its support. Why did they do so? They felt it was better for the military to come and salvage the situation than for President Tandja to set a bad precedent for their nascent democracy.

Few days before the coup the ECOWAS newly elected chairman, the acting president of Nigeria, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan had declared that ECOWAS would have zero tolerance for coup in the Sub-region. Now that the ‘Khaki boys’ have taken over power in Niger will ECOWAS live to its threat or will it be forced to eat its words? How do they intend to rescue the democratic structures in that country? It looks like they may be compelled to tolerate the military junta and negotiate with them to conduct a credible election as soon as possible.

This situation would have been averted were it not for the greedinesss of the president. African leaders should learn to be up and doing so that the political instability and incessant coups in the continent would be a thing of the past, especially now that military regime is no longer a fashion in other parts of the world.

Is Africa Truly Jinxed? (Part 3)

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Africa may be jinxed if that is what we believe her problem is; but even if that is the true situation, we can still do some things to break this jinx as I am sure that the progressing countries of the world would have also remained in self pity if they had not done anything to help themselves

What should we do?
What are the things Africa can do to break this age-long jinx that has hung around her neck?
1. Good education: If we give our citizenry good and qualitative education, in no distant time they will catch up with the developed and the developing countries. Qualitative education is the bedrock for economic growth.
2. Honest leadership: our leaders should be ready to provide honest leadership to their people. Once the people learn to trust their leaders they will be willing to co-operate with and help implement whatever good policies they formulate.
3. Economic blueprint: African leaders should have an economic blueprint that should be pursued over a specific period of time to bring in the desired economic growth of the continent.
4. Exchange of ideas: We should be willing to exchange ideas with countries which have made it economically. We can bring in scientists from developed countries and pay them well to help teach ours the rudiments to scientific advancement. Multinational companies can even be lured with our oil moneys to come and help us set up factories and industries where we can produce quality products.
5. Tourism: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa and Egypt seem to be leading in this area that others have neglected. If countries like Malta and Switzerland that don’t have much natural resources can survive on tourism then we can as well.
6. Encouragement: Our scientists should be encouraged to invent. African leaders should be ready to help people get patent right for whatever they invent and also be willing to help them mass-produce those things. They can even give scholarship to such people to further their education and trainings overseas so that they can improve their skills, and when they are fully trained we should be willing to set policies that would make their products to be patronized by our people.
7. Make stealing unattractive: Our parliamentarians should enact laws that carry stiff penalties that would discourage stealing of public funds; and these laws should be well implemented. When this is done any one going into political office would go for the purpose of serving the people and not for stealing.
8. Discourage borrowing: No country would develop with a heavy debt burden hanging on her neck. I really wonder why a country like Nigeria with oil and lots of solid mineral deposits should be taking foreign loans. If borrowing is discouraged African countries would look inwards and develop their economies from what they have.
9. Infrastructural development: If we develop our basic infrastructures such as roads, school, markets, electricity, pie-borne water, etc it would go a long way to encourage our small and medium scale businesses to grow and also reduce brain drain.
10. Good condition of service: one way we can discourage brain drain is for us to pay our employees well and when this is done they will find it encouraging to stay and work in this part of the world. This would invariably help our economies to develop further.

Is Africa Truly Jinxed? (Part 2)

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Africa may be said to be truly jinxed because it happens to be the only continent that is not thinking of how to advance and improve the welfare of its citizenry. It is the continent with the highest number of undeveloped economies; the lowest percentage of literacy rate, the lowest standard of living and the lowest Gross Domestic Product.

We have lost virtually over 70% of our best professionals to developed countries and developing countries because they value professionals more than we do. A doctor, nurse or teacher in Africa earns about 1/8th of what his counterpart in the United States of America or United Kingdom earns. Apart from poor earnings our education has little or no value in the outside world and so we are poorly placed when it comes to competing in the international labour market. What is the effect? Africans migrate to countries with better educational standards, get educated there, after which they remain there to earn better salaries and enjoy better living standard. This is the only continent that values degrees and certificates obtained from other countries high above theirs and as a result we look for universities with big names that would create more electric effect when mention- Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Toronto, Manchester, Warsaw, Tokyo, etc; we even go to anywhere in as much as it is outside Africa to get educated and wouldn’t care whether such institutions are really recognized or not because we are sure that once we present the degrees in Africa we get fact jobs and enviable positions.

We are the only continent with high deposit of hydrocarbons or petroleum and yet live a beggarly life. While United Arab Emirates is building sky scrapers, best hotels in the world, international shopping centres and developing at the speed of light we are using our oil moneys to oppress our citizens, depositing stolen and looted funds in foreign bank accounts and using the rest to sponsor militants and thugs. How can we develop under these conditions?

Today our leaders fly to Saudi Arabia, Israel, USA, India, UK, France, etc for medical check-up and treatments but our hospitals are all in shambles and reserved for the poor masses who have no choice but go there are die or survive by the mercy of God. Our trained nurses and doctors have all taken their flight to developed countries where our rich men go to meet them for treatment when sick. While not develop our system and retain our best hands so we could reduce the money spent on getting medical treatment overseas?

If we say we are jinxed then who has jinxed us? And why are the other continents not jinxed? We should think about this and find a way forward from our current fallen state.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Federick Chiluba: Corruption Personified

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Frederick Chiluba was born on the 30th of April 1943 in Zambia and later rose to become the democratically elected president of the country in 1991 under the Movement for Multiparty Democracy, in a multiparty presidential election after being a trade union leader.
He succeeded President Kenneth Kaunda and got re-elected in 1996 after a successful first tenure in office, but failed a third tenure bid in 2001. His party rather preferred Levy Mwanawasa who contested on their platform and won the election.

The coming of Mwanawasa into power brought to fore the shoddy deals of President Frederick Chiluba while in office. He was investigated for corruption, arrested in 2003 and charged along with his former intelligence chief, Xavier Chungu, on 168 counts of theft totalling over $40m. His serving ministers and senior officials were also charged. His wife Regina was arrested for receiving stolen goods and for aiding her husband.

On the 4th of May 2007 Chiluba was found guilty of stealing $46m in a civil case by a United Kingdom court presided over by Peter Smith. The stolen money were said to have been transferred to a London bank by the Zambian intelligence service. Later on Mwanawasa recovered nearly $60m purportedly stolen by the man who was supposed to be a good ambassador of his country, who swore on oath to uphold the constitution of his country and do all he could to improve the lot of the Zambia people.

Chiluba was acquitted from the charges on 17th August 2009 after the death of Mwanawasa in 2008. The current President Rupiah Banda did not only ensure that Fred Chiluba was acquitted, he also refused to allow the state to appeal against the verdict of the court. It only reminded one of the usual practice in Africa where leaders cover the sins of one another to keep their subjects perpetually in darkness.

What legacy did Frederick Chiluba leave? He’s said to have initiated a great economic reform for his country and also played the role of a mediator in bringing to an end the protracted war in the Democratic republic of Congo, but all those achievements have been overtaken by the corruption charges pressed against him.

His friend Rupiah Banda was said to have been endorsed for presidency by Chiluba so as to help cover up his corrupt profile and guarantee his personal freedom. It’s truly a case of a corruption-prone leader coming to the timely aid of a corrupt friend to shield him from law and justice.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Dr Goodluck Jonathan Declared Nigerian Acting President

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Nigerian Vice President Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was yesterday declared by the House of Senate as acting president after 78 days of absence of President Umaru Musa Yar’adua from office. The upper finally did what the Nigerian masses had expected from them after the head of state’s whereabouts and state of health had remained shrouded in secrecy.
The declaration of the House of Senate was in line with 145 of the 1999 constitution which mandates the president to transmit a letter to the National House of Assembly that he is incapacitated or is unable to continue in office. They had argued that the president had by the BBC press interview of January 13th 2010 declared that he was incapacitated and so waiting for a personal letter was no longer necessary. They reasoned that their action was to save the country from further state of chaos and anarchy. This declaration would however require the confirmation of the Federal Executive Council which is expected to meet over the matter to examine section 144 of the constitution and determine whether the president is truly fit to continue in office.
The House of Representatives has already rejected a motion seeking the president to transmit a letter to them empowering the VP to assume the position of acting president. The 36 states’ governors have also put their weight behind the Senate: they have been making frantic effort to see that this political impasse was resolved without creating bitterness and enmity.
However, a lot of Nigerians have been reacting to this development and have been commending the Senate for finally acting to save the country from further embarrassment in the eyes of the international community. Notable among those who have reacted is Secretary to the government of the Federation Yayale Ahmed, who said that the Federal Executive Council was in support of the Senate. Also the President of the South-South People’s Assembly Senator Matthew Mbu Jr commended the senators for taking a step in the right direction.
In his broadcast to the nation Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said his role as the acting president was a call to duty. He regretted the Jos religious crisis, promised to maintain the amnesty deal with the Niger Delta, commended the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC for a successful elction in Anambra state, and also promised to improve the power supply in the country.
It would be recalled the Nobel Laureate Professor Wole Soyinka last week led a peaceful rally demanding that Goodluck Jonathan be declared the acting president in respect of the constitutional provisions.
The Federal Executive Council should be aware that Nigerians are waiting for them to toe the path of honour and do what is expected of them without any political gimmicks as anything short of supporting the present position of the Senate may not be tolerated by the masses.

Nigerian Politics And Lies (Part 3)

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Security of lives and property of Nigerians has not been guaranteed because the Yar’adua government has always watched helplessly while these rights are snatched from the citizenry in broad day light. The menace of armed robbery is on the increase: only recently the Inspector General of Police had told the public during the test driving of some bullion vans assembled in Nigeria that he needed a bullion van that’s bullet proofed, fire proofed and bomb proofed, noting that armed bandits were becoming more sophisticated.
The spate of religious crises (especially in the North) has also not abated in this administration. We were barely recovering from the Militancy in the Niger Delta region when the Boko haran killings started, and only recently the Jos crisis which claimed over 200 lives. The funniest thing is that each time these problems (especially the religious crises) occur the government promises to prosecute the culprits but at the end nothing happens because some of them are politically motivated. The average Nigerian sleeps with one eye opened.
Our federal and state roads have remained death traps with the South-East and the South-South geopolitical zones worst hit. Road projects have been awarded several times and promises made that the roads would be ready for people to travel home during the Christmas periods but at the end they turn out to be dreams from delirious minds that the people have falsely believed. The road linking the two busiest cities in Nigeria – Lagos and Onitsha is at best pothole laden and several souls are lost on this road annually. The only portion that is okay is from Benin City to Asaba. How can the economy thrive when there is no means of transporting finished goods to the final consumers?
Finally, the rule of law has not fared better. This received its test when the president fell sick and refused to declare his Vice Dr. Goodluck Jonathan acting president as spelt out in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The same president who has always professed to be an advocate of the rule of law has vehemently refused to obey section 145 of our constitution and has also refused to hearken to all the people calling on him to toe the path of honour and do what is expected of him as enshrined in our laws (thank God all that have now been resolved). All we have been receiving from our politicians is one form of lie or the other regarding the state of health of the president, his whereabouts and his fitness to continue in office. When will these politicians ever think of national interest first before self? And for how long do they think they can successfully lie to the masses in order to steal what belongs to them?

Nigerian Politics And Lies (Part 2)

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Elections in Nigeria have been characterized by rigging, ballot box snatching, thuggery, political assassinations, imposition of unpopular candidates and declaration of false results. The same system ushered in this government. Sensing that the vast majority of Nigerians never believed in them from the outset the Yar’adua administration promised to carry out political reformation as soon as possible but after several months nothing tangible has happened in this direction. With the 2011 polls by the corner, the Justice Uwais’ electoral reforms panel report is yet to see the light of day in the national Assembly.
Agriculture still remains a shadow of itself with Nigeria depending on massive food importation to feed her citizenry. It would be recalled that this administration in the wake of the world economic meltdown had wanted to import rice to the tune of #80b; but this received serious condemnation from the masses who felt the money should instead be channeled into agricultural development. Nigeria ranked number one in palm oil, groundnut and kola nut production decades ago and was even among the 3 highest producers of cocoa but today Indonesia and Malaysia are making more money from palm produce than we make from crude oil; our groundnut pyramids have disappeared. And the government keeps maintaining its resolve to keep feeding Nigerians with lies.
Economic development continues to elude us as long as the government has refused to take the bull by the horns and formulate policies that would attract tangible investments. Our government properties have all been auctioned to people who have connived with government agents to sell them at cheap rates, share the kick fronts and the kickbacks, leaving the sectors undeveloped. We started to construct the steel plant about the same time with South Korea but today while the Koreans export cars, ships, electronics and steel we are still struggling with how to get our steel industry on its feet. How can it work when politicians deliberately make bogus budgets and implement only a miniature part of it and keep the remainder in their pockets? The question is, our annual national budget which now runs into trillions of naira what are they used for? Are they for improving the welfare of the citizenry or for foreign trips, or for making the politicians fatter?

Friday, February 5, 2010

Nigerian Politics and Lies (Part 1)

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Politics is a way of formulating policies and making decisions that would affect the country and its citizenry positively. It is the essence of forming government and electing people to represent their constituencies so nobody would be left behind in the scheme of things. The Nigerian politics seems to be different from all other countries’ in that it is characterized by lying, looting, thuggery, election rigging, extermination of political opponents, and deceit.
The Nigerian presidential system of government is fashioned after America’s, but unfortunately we don’t seem to copy the moral aspect of the American presidential system, its respect for the rule of law and the equality of everyone before the constitution. We have only created a system whereby we lie to the electorate. The Yar;adua government came into office about 3 years ago with the 7 point agenda which then seemed to be the solution to our multifaceted political and social problems. It promised to give a facelift to education, economic reforms, rule of law, power, security of lives and property; agriculture, and roads rehabilitation, but as I write this article I can’t remember which of the points has been pursued to a logical end.

To start with, the government threatened to declare a state of emergency in the power sector within few weeks of assumption of power but two years and nine months later, not only has it failed to declare the emergency it has also failed to generate a meagerly 6,000 megawatts of electricity. The inability to generate the needed electricity to boost the economy had always been blamed on the restiveness in the Niger Delta region vis-à-vis the pipeline vandalism but since the declaration of amnesty nothing has changed. The 6,000 megawatts target set for Dec.2009 eventually ended up being a pipedream and power supply still remains erratic and epileptic. In fact power generation has now fallen below 3,000 megawatts for a country with about 150 million people.

Secondly, our educational sector has continued to suffer neglect. This administration witnessed the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) embarking on strike that took one complete semester. Today Nigerians are going back to Ghana to further their education. It has even deteriorated to the point that some Nigerians now send their children to Ghana for secondary education. What a calamity! Nigeria with over 91 universities cannot boast of one of these universities ranked among the first 200 in the world. Where are we heading?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

President Omar Al-Bashir and The International Criminal Court

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The name President Omar Al-Bashir rings bell in the minds of so many people especially those from Africa who have heard of the lingering crises in the Darfur region of Sudan. That there has been a long standing war in that region is no longer news but what is important now is that the world seems to be helpless about the whole situation (like it did during the ethnic crisis in Rwanda).
If I may ask, what is the actual function of the United Nations Organization and its various arms? Why do they seem to be making a hell of noise and doing only little whenever there are problems? If they know that national autonomy or sovereignty of countries is stronger than the U.N why don’t they disband and let everybody take care of his own problems? It is totally useless for the U.N to pass a resolution or place a sanction on a country and some of its member would go through the back door to help that country out.

President Omar Ahmad Al-Bashir is the president of Sudan and the head of the National Congress Party. His time in office as the president of Sudan has seen the country pass through what today is regarded as one of the longest running and deadliest war of the 21st century. He granted limited autonomy to the Southern Sudan in 2004 as a way of trying to stop the raging war in the region but ever since the crisis has worsened between the Janjaweed Militia and other rebel groups notably the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), Sudanese Liberation Army (SLA) and the Justice and Equity Movement (JEM) resulting in a death toll of between 200,000 and 400,000, with about 2.5 million people displaced.

President Omar Al-Bashir was later fingered by the International Criminal Court as the brain behind the wanton killings in the region in 2008 and the prosecutor of the ICC, Luis Moreno-Ocampo issued a warrant of arrest against the president on the 4th of March 2009 on account of Genocide and crimes against humanity thereby making him the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the ICC. However, instead of receiving condemnation for his activities in Darfur President Omar Al-Bashir is being supported by The African Union led by Muammar al-Gaddafi, and the Arab league.

I am not in any way surprised that he is backed by these leaders who think that the action of the ICC was unreasonable and amounted to terrorism against the Sudanese people. Since majority of the African leaders are dictators who do not care about what happens to their citizenry, the natural thing for them to do is quickly rally round him as a way of ensuring same support for themselves should there be any threat to their position in the future. Now the question is who is terrorizing the people, is it the ICC that wants justice done or Omar Al-Bashir who is directly linked to the crisis? The president had since received invitations to visit Egypt, Uganda, Nigeria, Turkey and Denmark thereby making the warrant issued by the ICC null and void.

I wish to reiterate here that if the International Criminal Court cannot prosecute anybody/country there is no need for it to keep existing and lot of money is allocated to fund it. The best thing therefore would be for it to quietly pack up and leave countries to solve their problems their own way.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

President Yar'adua's Health And The Nigerian Politics

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President Umaru Musa Yar’adua left Nigeria about 66 days ago for Saudi Arabia on account of ill health. The president left the country on the 23rd of November 2009 after he was diagnosed with a heart problem and ever since his health and the seat of presidency have remained a subject of national debate.
Interesting as this national debate has been, the national house of assembly seems to be helpless about the whole situation. To start with, I understand there is a provision in section 145 of our federal constitution (1999) which says that in the event that the president could no longer perform his duty the vice president should be declared the acting president. This section of our constitution has been interpreted differently by different people just to keep heating up the polity. While a faction of the house of senate strongly advocates a strict adherence to the provisions of our constitution another group believes the president is strong enough to continue in office; the third group is on the fence: they are neither in support of the constitutional provision nor are they against it.
While the senate is busy debating section 145, the House of Representatives seems to be completely indifferent. They do not seem to be bothered that their country has been without a president for 66 days. The best they have done so far on this issue was to send a delegation to Saudi Arabia to see how the president was faring. Well, I understand they never had an access to the president. The Federal executive council had earlier done the same thing with the same result, so the mission embarked upon by the Reps was no longer necessary since everybody has been tactically prevented from seeing him or even speaking with him. The minister of information, Professor Dora Akunyili does not even know anything about Mr. President’s health and so she has remained helpless; she even owned up that she has been in the dark. She complained that the President was supposed to have briefed the nation through a press conference but surprisingly a BBC interview was arranged for the president, which is casting doubts on the minds of so many Nigerians as to whether their Head of State is still alive.
The Federal Executive Council has also added more confusion to the whole thing by saying that the President was fit to continue in office and was even free to rule the country from anywhere and for how long he cared. They have by that declaration added support to the earlier one made by the minister of justice. History should not be forgotten so soon: in 1998, our then head of state Gen. Sanni Abacha had a protracted illness but those hanging around the seat of power encouraged him to remain in office instead going to seek medical help. What happened later, he died in office. This I think should be a food for thought for our president.
Besides, the civil service law in Nigeria allows a civil servant to be absent from office on account of ill health for 42 days after which he should be declared no more fit to continue. Having spent 66 days and not certain when to be discharged, do we really think President Yar’adua is fit to continue in office? Come to think of it, this a man who already has renal problem and recently heart problem surfaced, is the stress of running the country not enough to compound his health problems? Anybody who truly loves him should advise him to honourably vacate his office and rest so he could have enough time to fully recuperate.
The ruling by the federal high court last week on this matter should be respected as the president himself believes so much on the rule of law. The people’s Democratic Party should fast to save this country from anarchy.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Nigeria: A Terrorist or Peace-loving State?

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The recent branding of Nigeria as a terrorist state by the Obama’s administration is no doubt eliciting reactions from people over the globe, especially from those who have known Nigeria to be a very peaceful, accommodating, receptive, religious and hospitable state.
President Obama, by my calculation, was too hasty to have made that pronouncement without recourse to proper investigation and a fair, open trial of the person involved to be sure whether or not he had the backing of his country. Nigeria no doubt has an enviable record in terms of world peace and has played a pivotal role in the pursuance of peaceful co-habitation by countries who share boundaries. The way and manner she handled the boundary problem she had with Cameroon testifies to the fact that she respects the right of other countries even when she had the power to subdue Cameroon as a weaker country. She could have as well refused to obey the decision of the International court of Justice (after all there are countries who have refused to respect their rulings).
Nigeria has been the highest supplier of man power to the United Nations peace-keeping operations world-wide (only second to Pakistan). She played a key role in restoring peace to Kosovo. She has been the mainstay of ECOMOG, supplying more than 50% of personnel and equipment needed to keep ECOMOG going, participating in restoring peace to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, etc. Nigeria was also instrumental to the abolition of Apartheid in South Africa.
It is a known fact that Nigerians are a peace-loving and hospitable people. The country has hosted several international programmes without any record of anybody having been molested or terrorized while in the country. She hosted the African Soccer Nations Tournaments in 1980 and 2000, FIFA U-21 world youth championship in 1999, FIFA U-16 world cup 2009, All African Games in 2003, Common Wealth Heads of Government meeting, just to mention a few and no one went back home with stories of having been maltreated.
Recently the internal problems we had in the country-the Niger Delta crises (which has nothing to do with terrorism or international affairs anyway) were handled in such a matured manner by the Nigeria government that the world had to salute her for the declaration of amnesty which ensured that nobody was unduly victimized after the crisis.
Nigerians are every where in the world (including America) and are contributing their quotas to help develop those countries. Notable among Nigerians who have contributed immensely to the progress of America are Dr Philip Emeagwali the father of the Internet (the only man who has single-handedly won the Gordon Bell’s award), Dr Talabi who restructured the American 911 response system after the September 11 attack, and others too numerous to mention. I am sure the American government is aware of these facts and if so why have they not branded Nigeria a ‘Technology state’? If using a single person out of about 150 million persons is a good yardstick to brand a nation it therefore would mean that all countries are terrorist states, America inclusive; because in every country there is definitely somebody who is bad no matter how good the country is.
In as much as I do not support the attempt by Abdul Farouk Abdulmutallab to bomb an America-bound aircraft, I wish to say that tagging Nigeria a terrorist country is a calculated attempt to give a dog a bad name in order to hang it. Everyone should be fair to Nigeria just as she is fair to everyone.