Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Is Nigeria a Failed State or A Failing State? (Part 3)

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While communicable and water-borne diseases remain a menace, there is hardly any urban or rural set up with potable water supply, thereby dashing the hope of eradication of these preventable diseases like diarrhea, enteric fever, dysentery, etc. People still drink from the same rivers and streams with cows and goats in some parts of the country when government could effortlessly provide them with pipe borne water.

Fake drugs litter the shelves of several pharmacy and patent medicine stores. The importation of fake and substandard drugs by some unscrupulous businessmen has put the lives of several Nigerians on the line. So many people have met their untimely deaths following the ingestion/injection of fake, injurious drugs. Some have even become paralyzed as a result. The high cost of living has made so many people depend on the sub-standard drugs imported from some Asian countries thereby jeopardizing their health.

Insecurity of lives and property is now the order of the day as Nigerians can hardly go to sleep with both eyes closed. The country’s just recovering from the era of militant assault when the Boko Haram insurgency started. Today, several people have been killed and many others maimed by this terrorist group operating in the name of religion. Churches are being burnt and bombed without provocation by these religious fanatics all in the name of Allah. The police, military, civil defense corps, etc. are obviously helpless in the midst of these spates of bombing and terrorism. The Boko Haram seems to expose the intelligence ineptitude of the security arms of government.

The judicial arm of government is also not helping matters as they are indirectly helping to frustrate the drive toward eradication of corruption in the country. Of the several cases arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), only an infinitesimal proportion has so far been convicted and punished in a manner satisfactory to the average masses. There has always been the excuse that there are no enough evidences to prosecute and convict the accused persons. The few ones convicted were made to pay fines reminiscent of being given a pat on the back for stealing. They pay meager fines and go back home to feed fat on their booties.

Sports (especially football) that has provided some consolation for the badly battered Nigerians in the midst of these colossal failures has recently become a source of disappointment and heartbreaks to so many sports lovers. Our football fortunes have nosedived to irredeemable level. For the first time in 27 years the Super Eagles failed to qualify for the Africa Nations’ Cup after they were eliminated by Guinea. The male U-21 team and the Super Falcons were both eliminated from the All Africa Games by the Ghanaian teams. The Super Falcons also got knocked out of the 2012 London Olympics by Cameroon. The last straw that broke the camel’s back came when our U-23 (Dream team 5) got eliminated from the 2012 London Olympics as well. The U-17 could also not qualify for the world cup in Mexico.

The question now is, is Nigeria a failed state or just a failing state? If it is yet to become a failed state, what should we do to redeem the fortunes of our darling state? Should we all watch helplessly while the country sinks into oblivion or should we do something to salvage the situation?

Your opinions are welcome. If you love this post, share it to your friends and make sure you subscribe to this blog to get our updates.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Is Nigeria a Failed State or A Failing State? (Part 2)

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With all the oil wells and the abundant deposit of coal in the country Nigerians are still groping in darkness; power supply is erratic and epileptic. Many people die from fumes from the exhaust pipes of generating plants which are imported into the country in their millions, which has made her the highest importer of generating plants in the world. With over $20b sunk into the power sector, electricity still remains a mirage. While the world is running away from nuclear energy because of the associated dangers to health, it is now that Nigeria is considering building a nuclear energy plant to cater for the electricity needs of the masses. Our natural gas and coal are begging to be tapped.

The country has the 2nd highest deposit of Bitumen in the world (second only to Canada), yet her roads are death knells, infested with potholes, which has increased the incidence of road traffic accidents with thousands of innocent souls sent to their early graves daily. The annual budgets approved for the ministry of works and housing disappear into private pockets while the poor masses continue to be exposed to untimely death and have no where to rest their heads at the end of the day.

A country that is so blessed with vast arable lands imports rice, beans, peanuts, etc. to the tune of several billions of Naira instead of developing her agricultural sector to create jobs for her teeming graduates; she even imports sardine from Morocco and Tuna from Ghana despite the oceans and rivers that surround the country. The saddest part of it is that the country imports virtually everything from bicycle spokes to tooth picks, peanut burgers, cotton buds, sewing needles, biro, matches, photocopy papers, second hand cars, refrigerators, etc.

The abundant solid mineral resources that are evenly distributed across the 36 states of the federation are mined by a selected few and by those with political connection, with some of them already being depleted but officially this sector is yet to be tapped. For how long should the poor masses be deliberately fed with lies by those who govern them?

Hospitals merely exist by names but can hardly deliver quality health care because they are poorly equipped. Sadly, the country sends minor cases that should be handled here to Egypt, India, South Africa, Ghana, Israel, USA, etc. Today, the nation ranks amongst the countries with the highest maternal and infant morbity and mortality rates in the world. Nigeria recently became the second most HIV-infected country, only second to South Africa. Children die in their droves daily as a result of malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition while our politicians milk the national cow dry. What an irony!

Our colleges and universities churn out graduates who can hardly express themselves in simple Queen’s English let alone defend their degrees. ASUU hardly maintains a full academic section without the universities embarking on strikes. It now takes an average student an additional 2 to 3 years extra to graduate from the university due to incessant strike actions. Politicians deliberately crippled the educational sector to give their children unprecedented advantage over the children of the poor. Their children school abroad and come back home with bogus certificates and ‘Toronto’ degrees which eventually position them to become managers and directors of the few institutions and government establishments available. No wonder our institutions are failing by the day.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Is Nigeria a Failed State or A Failing State? (Part 1)

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The unhealthy political atmosphere and decaying infrastructure coupled with the slow technological and industrial growth in the country have left so many people with the question as to whether Nigeria is a failed state. Why should Nigerians be so pessimistic or hopeless about a country so blessed by God? Why should people live in misery and abject poverty in a country that is arguably among the most naturally endowed in the world? Are the average Nigerian citizenry unpatriotic and non-supportive of their country? I think not.

In a situation where one sees so much natural resources – Crude oil, flowing in the creeks of the Niger Delta, limestone, gemstones, bitumen, gold, bauxite, tin, coal, clay, kaolin, etc. distributed around one and yet there is hunger everywhere, and only politicians are growing fatter and walking around ostentatiously in their flowing regalia, how do you think they should feel, happy?

The reason for the pervading air of despondency and indifference spans from the fact that the lingering state of backwardness, social insecurity, poverty, hunger, preventable diseases, academic decline, political enmity and treasury looting have given the masses no hope about the future. It is on record that 45% of the masses live below poverty line.

Nigeria has earned several billions of dollars (over a trillion dollars actually) from crude oil since oil was discovered in the country in1957. But as the 6th highest producer of crude oil in the world, after 54 years of oil exploration the political leaders are yet to publicly account for the revenue derived from this precious ‘black gold’ which is supposed to be a blessing to the country: the country heavily depends on oil revenue which accounts for over 90% of national GDP to finance its budget while other sectors like agriculture, solid minerals, etc. have been grossly neglected, leaving a lot of the youths and graduates unemployed and roaming the streets.

Each government that comes into power seems to be bereft of concrete ideas as to how to move the nation forward. Log term planning does not exist in their dictionaries. All that comes to their minds is how to increase the pump price of petroleum products since it is the easiest way to make money without sweating. A lot of the oil revenue eventually ends up in the pockets of the few avaricious politicians and their cronies who believe they are doing Nigerians a favour by ruling them.

The current government is even considering total removal of petroleum subsidy at all cost. But nobody has told us what has always happened to the moneys derived from the increase in pump price by successive government. A few individuals are growing fat on the so called subsidy. They buy petrol at a much cheaper rate (subsidized rate) and divert them to neighbouring countries to make more gains why queues at filling stations continue to linger.

The country remains the only oil producing state in the world that imports refined petroleum despite the fact that it has 3 standard refineries that are supposed to take care of the local demand. The resurgent queues for fuel at filling stations remain an incurable malady. The billions of dollars purportedly spent on providing subsidy are enough to make our refineries functional and stop importation of refined products. But the will power to do that is just not there.

Apart from being blessed with crude oil, our natural gas reserve is enough to take care of the financial needs of some countries that do not has these endowments. But today what do we see? Our gases are flared with impunity by multi-national oil companies, with the dwellers in the Niger Delta suffering from one form of respiratory ailment or the other. Rain water is undrinkable because of its acidic nature due to uncontrolled gas flaring. Our creeks have been so polluted by oil spillages that the aquatic life is fast disappearing. Some of the fishes have actually undergone mutation and other aquatic organisms are mercury-laden, making them harmful for human consumption.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

David Cameron and Same-Sex Marriage in Nigeria

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David Cameron And Same-Sex Marriage in Nigeria

It was really surprising to hear the British Prime Minister David Cameron threatening that Britain would withdraw its aids to Nigeria should they go ahead to pass into law a bill forbidding same-sex marriage in the country.

What is not so clear here is why Britain is being so keen on ensuring that Gay marriage becomes a part of the African, nay, Nigerian tradition. One may also want to know why financial aids to the country should be withheld simply because the country is trying to maintain her cultural and religious values.

Does it mean that the financial aids provided to African continent are an indirect way of destroying the little that is left of her cultural heritage that has been tactically and systematically destroyed by the west? Or is it that Britain still believes in this 21st century that Africa cannot govern herself and should continue to depend on the west (especially Britain) to keep moving her around like a puppet or robot?

Do these people really realize the fact that Nigeria is a sovereign nation capable of taking care of herself? What actually is the standard for the world to follow, Britain, America, France, Russia or God? Should we become too tied to a country and her financial assistance as to forget and neglect God’s moral standards? Should we become Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:4-11) because we are hungry?

Why do the advanced countries want to impose their own values on others (the emerging and underdeveloped countries) with all impunity without recourse to the fear of God? Is the British Prime Minister still living in the era of slave trade where his country came and destroyed our cultural values, carted away our artifacts and antiquities in order to enshrine their forceful and exploitative leadership?

We are tired of gifts that are provided to us by countries with ulterior motives. We are tired of behaving like Esau who sold his birth right for a plate of pottage. Whatever we know is good for us we shall follow it; we will not follow Britain like zombies.
We know what is best for us and no other country should make us go against God because they want to provide us with aids that have no eternal values. They should keep their aids for their citizens – they need them more than we do.

Our leaders should not lose sleep as a result of this threat. This might just be God’s time to liberate us from total dependence on the west for everything. If they don’t cut off their supplies we may never see the need to be truly independent and think of ways to develop ourselves further. God has provided us all we need to grow; all we need do is harness them and get the positive result that would put us on the road to technological and industrial development.

The Nigerian National Assembly has taken the right step in the right direction by outlawing same-sex marriage: they have also made it clear that the law is irrevocable. Anyone caught in the act risks 14 years imprisonment. It is the collective decision of our people. That’s what we believe in. Britain and the rest should also maintain what they believe in and stop pushing everyone around.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi's Regime Comes To An End?

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Article first published as Muammar Gaddafi's Regime Comes To An End? on Technorati.

Recent developments in Libya show that the 42-year regime of Col. Muammar Gaddafi may soon come to a tragic end in a matter of weeks or few months from now. This is because the rebels have taken over Tripoli the national capital without much resistance from the troops loyal to the incumbent president.

Iranian Press TV reported that the military unit in charge of protecting Gaddafi has defected to the opposition after the latter took over the entire city, leaving only Gaddafi’s stronghold. The TV station also reported on Monday morning that the whereabouts of the Col. was unknown.

The rebels have announced that three of Muammar Gaddafi’s sons – Saif Al-Islam, Saadi and Mohammed have been captured. They also said that they now controlled most of Tripoli. The rebels were earlier reported to have been advancing toward Tripoli on multiple fronts.

The CNN also aired pictures of Libyans rejoicing at the Green Square about the imminent fall of the strongman of Libya. The opposition was also seen celebrating with gunfire in Martyrs’ Square.

Moussa Ibrahim said that there would be massacre in Tripoli following its capture by the rebels. He noted that 1,300 people were killed on Sunday alone, adding that the death toll would rise tremendously. The Libyan Government’s spokesman is asking NATO to suspend attacks on strategic areas of the city.Reuters also reported that the President was ready to ask the rebels for negotiation.

All attempts to persuade Col Muammar Gaddafi to cede power and leave Libya fell on deaf ears as he remained adamant and even boasted he would rather be a martyr than leave his country. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa even visited him earlier with the intention to persuade him to allow peace to reign in his country but he was shunned.

When NATO began to launch air strikes in the country, the Colonel boasted he would fight back and launch guerrilla warfare against the West and against America, forgetting that Saddam Hussein boasted the same way but never lived to carry out his threat. Now his military strength has been crippled and lately the quality of audio messages sent to his supporters has reduced following the disruption in his communication network.

It is now obvious that that the henchman is losing grips of the country and now is considering negotiation as a last resort. But the opposition had made it clear from the outset that they would never negotiate with him except he stepped down from power. Having rejected all options presented to him earlier – the possibility of ceding power and enjoying freedom in Libya, etc, there are now doubts if he would escape prosecution especially after he had sent scores of Libyans to their early graves in his quest to hold on tenaciously to power.

Now that Gaddafi’s security unit has deserted him and his three sons are in the hands of the rebels, coupled with the fact that most of Tripoli is controlled by the opposition, the days of the strongman may just be numbered. How much longer he stays in power is yet to be seen. He should remember that the warrant of arrest from the International Criminal Court is still hanging over his head.

He had called on his supporters from time to time to rally and save Tripoli from imminent fall. He even called on them when he seemed to be in charge, asking them to drag the “Rats and Cockroaches from their holes and kill them all”. Today, however, the story has changed as thousands of his supporters now seem to read the hand writing on the wall and understand that they cannot save him from the hands of justice. If he is found wanting, he should brace himself to face justice. Or what do you think?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Goodluck Jonathan Finally Emerges as Nigerian President

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Article first published as Goodluck Jonathan Finally Emerges as Nigerian President on Technorati.

Dr. Goodluck Azikiwe Ebele Jonathan has finally polled over 25% in more than 24 states of the federation to emerge as the duly elected president of Nigeria in the April 16th 2011 Presidential elections (under the platform of the Peoples Democratic party) as required by the constitution. He was able to win in 22 states and also got the required 25% in 8 additional states to beat his closest rival Gen. Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathangot a total of 2.5M votes while Muhammadu Buhari got 12.2M. Former EFCC chairman Nuhu Ribadu and former Kano state governor Ibrahim Shekarau got 2.79M and 917,012 respectively. The result therefore implies there would be no run-off election since the winner was able to get the required 25% in more than 24 states.

Nigerians have voted overwhelmingly for the candidate of their choice irrespective of party affiliation. The voting pattern of the people has also shown that Nigerians are no longer interested in political parties but rather they are voting for people based on individual performances. The voting pattern shows that the areas won by some parties during the NASS were reclaimed by the PDP in the presidential polls.

Now that Nigerians have given their mandate to Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, it’s time for him to settle down and go to work after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has declared the final result. The people are eager to see him perform this time, having been disappointed in time past by the ruling PDP.

During his campaigns he promised to focus on some important areas like Power, education, economy, etc when elected. He has now been given a golden opportunity to live up to his word. If he must achieve his dreams, he needs to shun party loyalty and appoint the best hands in the country to help in the nation building. There are so many technocrats in the country that are willing to assist him in making Nigeria great.

He should be willing to appoint the best hands into his government irrespective of the geopolitical zone, religion or political party. The mandate given him was not given only by his party. All Nigerians voted him, so he should be able to reach out to all and get them to help him achieve the best result.

He must also be aware that the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which Muhammadu Buhari represents did not do too badly in the presidential polls and that Nigerians may decide to give their votes to CPC in 2015 elections if PDP fails to live up to their expectation now.

There should also not be segregation of those states or areas where he lost out. Everybody should be carried along in the spirit of good sportsmanship. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) should demonstrate they are mature enough to rule this country. They must embrace both their friends and their imaginary enemies and forge ahead in the interest of the country.

Everyone is optimistic a new Nigeria is possible. The people conducted themselves peacefully during the elections to show to the world they want a successful transition. They must not be disappointed by the ruling party or by the President.

Nigeria has by this conduct of a credible election demonstrated they could still be trusted by other African countries to lead the way and usher in a new Africa where leaders must merit the mandate of the people and not get into offices through stolen votes. Thanks to Professor Attahiru Jega who made this possible by living up to his reputation and has shown that massive rigging could be avoided in Nigerian elections.

We must also not fail to give credit to politicians who decided to drop their win-at-all-cost attitude to ensure a hitch-free election. Nigeria is really coming of age and in no distant time we will get to where we hope to be.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bomb Kills 25 at INEC Office In Suleija - Where Do We Go From Here?

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Article first published as Bomb Kills 25 at INEC Office in Suleija – Where Do We Go from Here? on Technorati.

The office of the Independent National Electoral Commission INEC in Suleija Niger state was said to have been rocked by a bomb Friday evening, with just few hours to the National Assemblies’ elections.

According to Saturday Tribune, no fewer than 25 persons were killed with about 30 injured in the blast. 17 members of the National Youth Service Corps were said to have been killed in the incidence.

President Goodluck Jonathan has already condemned this heinous act and has also called on the country’s security apparatus to beef up security to enable people come out massively to exercise their franchise.

It is not understandable why any sane person should focus his/her anger towards poor youth corpers who are serving their fatherland and terminate their lives, making their parents not to enjoy the fruit of their labours.

There are always civilized ways of expressing one’s grievances; but the use of anger or terrorism is not one of them. Killing innocent souls who have got much to contribute to the future growth of the nation does not in any way make sense.

Nigeria’s democratic process is still emerging and requires everyone’s understanding and co-operation to make it get to the desired destination. Everyone should contribute his/her quota positively to make the nation an enviable one

Politicians must desist from the act of trying to secure a public position at all cost. Everybody must learn to be a good loser; you cannot kill people in order to get into an office. Anyone who kills in order to succeed should remember that death would be waiting at the door of his success.

Though it is not wise to make any definite statement while investigations are ongoing; it is wise to say that anyone linked to this barbaric act should learn to adopt the modern approach to conflict resolution and stop taking this country ages backward.

Every Nigerian has the right to move about freely without fear of victimization or intimidation. It has come to the point in our national history when we must understand that Nigeria is our collective responsibility which must be protected and respected.

People must learn to put the nation first before individuals’ personal selfish interests. It is only when we have come to realize we have no other country than Nigeria that everyone would treat his neighbour with love and seek to protect his/her interest before self.

Nevertheless, those in power should understand the need to have in place a workable mechanism for resolving conflicts within the country and never to treat important issues with levity. Security apparatuses in the country must wake up to their responsibility and provide adequate protection for the citizenry who cannot afford to hire private security to take care of them.

The average Nigerian must be security conscious and report any suspicious movement around their neghbourhood to ensure their lives and properties are not unduly exposed to danger. When security threats are reported, there should be prompt response by the security agencies to avert these kinds of national embarrassments.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Laurent Gbagbo Surrenders – Victory for African Masses

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Article first published as Laurent Gbagbo Surrenders – Victory for African Masses on Technorati.

The embattled Ivorian president Laurent Gbagbo has finally surrendered power to the acclaimed winner of last year’s presidential elections Mr Alasane Ouattara.

According to Radio New Zealand, the erstwhile president is already trying to negotiate with the UN to guarantee his protection.

Forces loyal to Alasane Ouattara have already taken over the key positions in the national capital Abidjan, including the president’s residence. The incumbent is now negotiating for a deal because his defense has now been overwhelmed.

The UN, AU and ECOWAS have all been calling on Gbagbo to cede power since it was clear he lost the election but all pleas fell on deaf ears. He is now considering that option when a lot of innocent souls have been sent to their early graves.

This still brings to question the kind of leadership Africans have had to grapple with for centuries. No one wants to accept defeat and no one wants to peacefully vacate his position. Some even see the seat of governance as their birthright and so would do anything humanly possible to cling to the reins of power.

Surprisingly, all through this period of political upheaval in Cote D’ivoire, ECOWAS and The African Union watched helplessly and failed to do anything tangible to curb the rate of violence and bloodshed that erupted after the elections. They kept buying to negotiate Gbagbo’s exit.

Even when at a time it seemed that Laurent Gbagbo’s loyalists would override the opposition, the ECOMOG troop stationed in the country waited endlessly to receive order from the powers that be in order to use military force to flush out the incumbent who refused to be a good loser.

It however took the intervention of the French troops to box Gbagbo into surrender. When would these regional powers learn to handle situations or intervene at the nick of time to avert the killing of unarmed innocent civilians?

The triumph of Outtara’s men over Lauraent Gbagbo and his loyalists is victory for the masses in Africa and indeed victory for democracy. It should send a warning signal to other leaders that there would always be people who are ready to defend democracy with the last drop of their blood.

Gbagbo has now understood that those who live in a glass house should not be the first to cast a stone. He started by carrying arms: he should understand that “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword”. Now that he has wasted so many innocent lives, he should not be thinking of how to preserve his. Those lives he wasted were as important as his.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Islamic Revolution – How to Ensure Peace

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The Islamic Revolution - How to Ensure Peace on Technorati.

The revolution that started in Tunisia and has been spreading to other Islamic states is threatening the peace of Islam as well as that of neighbouring states. Something urgent and constructive has to be done to bring about immediate peace in North Africa and the Middle East.

What started as a Tunisian uprising has now spread like wildfire to Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Yemen, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, etc. The fact that all countries involved are Islamic countries shows that there is a problem with the kind of leadership provided by these Islamic Heads of State.

Recently Saudi Arabia sent hundreds of armoured vehicles and personnel to help suppress the protesters in Bahrain, a move which has since attracted international condemnation. As the center of Islamic worship it was expected that they should think of a way of solving the problem rather than oppressing the people with the power of the guns.

However, there are several ways to handle the current revolution and prevent future occurrences. Some of the options that could be exploited include:

 Dialogue: This remains the best option to stop the current crises. The people must sit together and discuss the causes of the problem and how to solve them. The use of force should be avoided.

 Avoid taking sides: Saudi Arabia must as a matter of urgency withdraw their soldiers from Bahrain and seek peaceful resolution of the crises.

 Change of leadership styles: All the countries involved must change their leadership style to carry the people along in the scheme of things and make them have a sense of belonging.

 Constitutional reformation: The constitutions of the countries involved must be amended to make leaders accountable to the electorate. Besides, the tenure of each elected or appointed leader must be spelt out and respected.

 Avoid deceit: The leaders must also avoid the temptation to deceive the led. The people have the right to know how their incomes are generated, saved or spent.

 Regional responsibility: There should be regional co-operation between the various presidents of the states that make up the regions. The leaders should ensure no elected president or head of State stays beyond his/her tenure. They should also have a mechanism for forcing out a leader who deliberately decides to plunge the regions into crisis.

 Religious influence:. Since these states are purely controlled by the application of Islamic laws, the Arab league must be able to influence the leaders to live according to the expectation of Allah and work within the confines of the Qur’an.

 World Influence: The United Nations must not exist in principle alone; it must be able to step into major crises to avert blood shed and genocide. Sanctions imposed on erring nations must be able to achieve the purpose for imposing them.

Implementing these options would help bring some relative peace to the Arab/Islamic nations and also ensure regional calm.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Muammar gaddafi Counts Losses - His Son Dies in Air Strikes

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Muammar Gaddafi Counts Losses - His Son Dies in Air Strikes on Technorati.

The Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi has started to count his losses following the intervention of the United Nation’s Allied Forces to save Libyans from his hands. Epakistannews reported Sunday evening that Khamis Gaddafi who was in charge of the notorious Khamis Brigade was killed in an air strike.

The Website also reported that the administrative building in Gaddafi’s Tripoli house was hit by a bomb same day. The supporters of the embattled leader have lost several armoured vehicles and machine guns to the superior air strikes of the French and American soldiers who are doing everything possible to make the stubborn leader abide by the United Nation’s resolution.

Gaddafi’s army was advancing towards Benghazi after collecting some of the cities controlled by the rebels before the Allied forces began to implement the No-fly-zone in the country.

The Libyan leader may be forced out of power in no distant time since his military machine is already being crippled by the allied forces. The recent bombardment of the country by the United Nation’s forces is already being condemned by countries like Russia, Iran and even the Arab League.

The world had watched quietly to see what the Arab League would do to alleviate the plight of the Libyan people or at least to get Muammar Gaddafi to stop his mad massacre of the innocent civilians. But they remained helpless and only kept condemning the plan by the western world to intervene in the crisis before it would assume the dimension of genocide.

The Arab League and some countries seemed to be more concerned about the Libyan oil than the citizens of the country as they kept insinuating that the reason the Western world was intervening was to steal the Libyan oil. In as much as no one would want a repeat of the protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to be repeated in Libya, the world expected these so called countries and the Arab League to at least prevail on Gaddafi to stop the blood shed.

It is important that the United Nations should do something positive to show to the world that tyranny and corrupt leadership is no longer fashionable. The intervention of the forces should send a warning signal to other sit-tight leaders that the world is watching. This is also a way of giving hope to the citizens of those countries where their leaders have been ruling with iron fists.

The wisest thing for Muammar Gaddafi to do right now is to humbly vacate his position and save his country from utter destruction, though it is late for him to step down now because he would have to face the International Criminal Court. Nevertheless, he should be manly enough to preserve the lives of the people he has ruled for 42 years and toss selfishness to the dust bin for the sake of posterity.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Muammar Gaddafi – The Face of A Tyrant

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The true nature of Muammar Gaddafi the Libyan Head of State has been unveiled following the unrest in his country and the demand by the people that he should vacate his position as the leader. Gaddafi who has been in power since 1969 suddenly lost his cool and decided to destroy his country, the wealth and the people of Libya instead of ceding power to anyone else.

He has told the world that he has the moral obligation to rule Libya. Is this moral obligation self-imposed or does he have any divine instructions from Allah to do so? That Gaddafi is power-drunk is no longer news; but what marvels everyone is the level to which he has taken his desperate resolve to remain in power.

The old tyrant is determined to hold tenaciously to the reins of power and is prepared to sacrifice the lives of his innocent people – Men, women and children; he is ready to destroy the oil wealth of his country by bombing the refineries and oil wells instead of leaving them behind for someone else to use them to develop the country.

One of the reasons he clamoured for the formation of African Union was to enable him become stronger if allowed to be the president of the regional body for a long time. He had been living in deceit, pretending to mean well for his country and for Africa as a whole.

Now that his people say they don’t need him anymore, the beast in him is let loose. The man who claims to love Libya so much has suddenly gathered the Armoured tanks, Jet fighters, AK47s, Bombs, etc against the people he has ruled for 42 years. What an irony! The same people he professed to love are the ones he now refers to as “Rats and Cockroaches”.

Has the tyrannical, egoistic, sadistic leader been in power for this long because he had governed so well? The answer is simply an emphatic “NO”. He only saw power as a way of building his personal empire or dynasty. This he has so far done by making his children powerful ministers under his regime: and also by crippling his country’s military thereby making the deadly paramilitary brigades under his sons to hold sway and operate unchecked.

He has so far been able to corner a huge chunk of his country’s oil revenue into his family coffers, making him and his children billionaires. The country’s wealth is controlled by the Gaddafi’s family; a large proportion of the oil money is stashed in foreign bank accounts while some are also in Arab countries, out of the reach of his own people.

Power belongs to God; it is He who chooses a leader and who also dethrones a leader. The masses have the power as well to choose who to lead them. They have spoken: Gaddafi should stop pretending that he’s not aware the people are calling for his resignation. He must stop living in self-denial. He should not blame al-Qaeda, Egypt, Afghanistan and Palestine for his trouble when in deed his own people have decided to carry out a revolution against his oppressive regime.

The Arab League and The African Union are saying that America and the West should not intervene because they want to preserve Libyan oil. But the question we should be asking is ‘What is the Arab League doing to protect the Libyan unarmed masses? What is the African Union doing to preserve the right of the people and keep them from being destroyed by the blood tasty tyrant? Something has to be done.

The world had hitherto regarded Africa as the domain of bad, autocratic, tyrannical, totalitarian leaders, but what is happening now in the Arab world – Tunisia, Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Bahrain, Yemen, Jordan, Oman, Saudi Arabia, etc may force the world to have a rethink as to where the actual bad leaders are.

Muslims have always painted themselves as the righteous and moralistic people who are providing the example of decent, moral way of behaviour to the world, condemning other religions as being unbelievers and infidels. Why is there turmour everywhere in the Islamic world today? What has made so many of their leaders to rule their people deceptively for so long a time? Why is everyone calling for political and constitutional reforms?

The fact is that most of the Islamic leaders are not telling their followers the truth. They are deceiving them and creating enmity between them and other religions, making them to see their leaders as next to Allah; when in the real sense, it is these leaders that are destroying their countries, hauling oppositions into jail, applying Sharia laws to intimidate the poor masses and box them into submitting to the tyrants, and framing up those who they see as threat to their political ambition.

It is time everyone realized who to believe and differentiate between truths and lies. Lies cannot continue for ever: one day truth would be revealed. This is the time everyone must know the truth. “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” John 8:32.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Now That Mubarak is Gone What Happens to Egypt?

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Hosni Mubarak had told the world that one of the reasons he didn’t want to vacate office was because Egypt would be in chaos; he had said that the country would be in confusion without him. Now he is gone; what happens to the country without him?

I think Hosni Mubarak had suffered the same delusion that several African leaders have suffered from and still keep suffering from. He believed so much in himself and his family than he believed in over 60 million Egyptians.

What informed his feeling that the country would grind to a halt without him? If he died would the country cease to exist or would the country also die with him? There are several other people in Egypt that would pilot the affairs of the country successfully – the people only need to put the right persons there and the nation would move ahead without the tyrant.

He ruled his country for 30 years; made himself, his wife and children billionaires while the average Egyptians were impoverished. He had assets and money stashed away in several foreign nations. Is that the hallmark of a man who loved his country so much?

He succeeded in deceiving the people for as long as they allowed him to: the moment the people got tired of his deceits they asked for his resignation. He should have hearkened to them in the first few days instead of resorting to the use of force and rolling out armoured tanks against the same people he claimed to love so much.

If he had hearkened to the yearnings of the masses and honourably stepped down within the first few days of their protests he would have gone with his integrity intact. However, he tried to cajole them to give up their agitation by sending over 300 of them to their early graves.

The people made up their minds and as such would not be deterred by the military presence; they were no longer afraid to die because they had lived in fears for 30 years. It was time to break free from fears and timidity. It was time to hold their destiny in their hands. They all came out to demand their rights to freedom: they got what they wanted after 18 days of perseverance.

Now that Mubarak has vacated office, the military should hasten up the process to giving the people democracy that they are clamouring for. They must not think of perpetuating themselves in office: military administration is no longer in vogue. Africans don’t need military anymore, and other parts of the world do not also need them.

Countries whose leaders have been in power for ages should take a cue from Tunisia and Egypt and know that the days of those leaders are numbered. Some African countries like Libya, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Algeria, etc. should realize that the citizenry are beginning to know their rights and are ready to demand for it at any time.

People should be allowed to decide who governs them; and when they are tired with their leaders, such leaders must be ready to take a bow out of office in the interest of peace and as way of showing the world that they are men of probity.

What do you really think? Is Egypt going to break up or be in chaos without Hosni Mubarak? Or would the country be better without him?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Tunisian Revolution - What Lessons For African Leaders?

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The Tunisian problem started as mere protest and then graduated to an uprising and eventually to a revolution which led to the eventual step down of the former Head of state Ben Ali. Now that Ben Ali has finally vacated power and gone into self-imposed exile, what lessons are other African leaders learning from the North African state?

It is now clear that tyranny cannot stand for ever; and that a time would come when the ruled would not fear death anymore. The people may live in fear for several years and be intimidated by state powers and machine guns or artillery fires. But one day everyone would cast off the fear of death and confront the power of oligarchy and totalitarianism for personal freedom.

Freedom has never come too cheaply for any people. Those who are hungry for liberty and self determination would rise up to challenge the power of oppression and take what rightfully belongs to them – power.

The Tunisian revolution has once again proved the fact that power belongs to the people. Despotism would only reign as long as the people remain silent. No man can ever be greater than his country: it is the masses that make a leader what he is.

A lot of African countries have lived under absolute, tyrannical, despotic and repressive leadership. The leaders who believe that power is permanent refuse to recognize the fact that power is actually transient and that one day it would change hands.

Ben Ali ruled Tunisia with iron fists for 23 years, without being accountable to anyone. Corruption thrived under his regime; oppositions were emasculated and victimized. The people groaned under the yoke of his intimidating powers. But all that is now history because the same man who believed he could rule forever is now in exile in Saudi Arabia.

Egyptians are now taking to the streets demanding for the resignation of their president who has been in power for decades. Their eyes have been opened by the fearlessness of the Tunisian people who had lived under the same kind of leadership until few days back.

The reason there has been civil wars, guerilla wars, militancy and pockets of internal insurrection in several African countries has been largely due to the kind of oppressive leadership the people had had in centuries. However, things seem to be taking a dramatic change for the better. True democracy, freedom of speech, accountability and credible elections seem to be visible in the horizon.

Hosni Mubarak should as a matter of urgency quit his post as the Head of state and allow the people determine who should govern them. He should not impose his cronies on the people. He should know that no amount of intimidation, killing and victimization would stop the people from getting what they want.

Other Heads of state like Muammar Gaddafi, Robert Mugabe, Omar Al-Bashir, etc should also take note of the new awakening in Africa. They should understand the yearnings of the people and quietly vacate office before they’re humiliated out. Africa needs leaders who can help manage her resources and develop the continent so they could try and catch up with other continents that have gone ahead of them in terms of infrastructural and human resources development.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dr. GoodLuck Jonathan Picks PDP Presidential Ticket

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President Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan Friday morning emerged the flag bearer for the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in the 2011 presidential election in a landslide victory over former Vice President Atiku Abubakar and Sarah Jubril at the party’s primaries conducted at the Eagle’s Square Abuja.

He polled 2,736 out of the 3,507 votes (with 61 voided), while Atiku Abubakar came a distant second with 805 votes. The third candidate and the only female contestant Sarah Jubril had only a vote.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan’s landslide victory has finally proved that the issue of zoning that has threatened to tear Africa’s largest political party apart is after all not fully supported by the people. Atiku was only able to get an overwhelming victory in 5 out of 36 states. All the people/states that openly supported the zoning arrangement may have after all decided to practice true democracy which is a reflection of the voice of the people.

Unfortunately, the former VP lost to Jonathan in his own state – Adamawa state. Nigerians have once again shunned the politics of ethnic divide, tribal bigotry, geopolitical differences and religious sentiments to pick the candidate they felt is best suited to be president come May 29, 2011.

Only during the June 12, 1993 election that saw the emergence of late Chief M.K.O. Abiola as the acclaimed winner of the election under the umbrella of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) did Nigerians overwhelmingly vote for a candidate irrespective of his geopolitical zone, religion or ethnic background.

Come to think of it, if the issue of zoning had taken its course then the best candidate for the party would not have had the chance of emerging as the flag bearer. What this means therefore, is that zoning was never the mind of the majority of the people: it was smuggled into the party’s constitution by a selected few who did so for selfish reasons.

The people have spoken their minds by the way they defiled the zoning arrangement to vote massively for the best candidate who clearly was not supposed to be qualified if that kangaroo arrangement had been respected. The policies and constitutions of political parties and every organization should be formulated to reflect the true yearnings of the people and not that of a few privileged.

Dr. Goodluck Jonathan has presented Namadi Sambo as his running mate for the April 2011 elections; and if what we saw during the PDP convention is anything to go by, then the pair is sure of massive votes from Nigerians irrespective of their political parties, ethnic groups, cultural backgrounds or religion. A lot of people believe in the Goodluck-Sambo pair to deliver the dividends of democracy to them. They have already started to carry out major reforms in the economy, power sector, education, transportation, etc to the delight of the citizenry.

We hope that come May 29, 2011, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Azikiwe Jonathan would be sworn in as the duly elected president of Nigeria, so he could complete the nice works he has started. We say congratulations Goodluck, for emerging as the presidential flag bearer of the People’s Democratic Party.