Friday, January 22, 2010

Trendy Ways: The missing commander-in-chief.

Trendy Ways: The missing commander-in-chief.

The missing commander-in-chief.

Some of us are saying that "it took them long enough," while some are asking what next for Nigeria after the Nigerian Cabinet was ordered by the federal court to decide within 14 days if President Umaru Yar'Adua is fit to rule the country.
For anyone who is unfamiliar with the situation, the Nigerian President, who suffers from kidney disease is reportedly being treated for heart disease in a hospital in Saudi Arabia. He left the country on November 23, 2009.
When I first became aware of the fact that the President had left to get medical treatment from Saudi Arabia, I thought it was a joke. I have never heard of anyone going to Saudi Arabia for medical treatment, even residents and citizens of Saudi Arabia travels abroad for medical treatment, the king comes to the U.S. for medical checkups so what on earth made the people around Yar'Adua thinks that Saudi Arabia was the best place for him to receive treatment, I would have guessed that he was going on his last Hajj since he is a Muslim but medical treatment, only in Nigeria.
Before leaving the country, Mr. Yar'Adua did not sign an executive order that would have handed power albeit temporarily to his Vice President, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan. There have been various reports and rumors since he's left, some says he's dead and his wife is orchestrating a big cover up. Some say he's in a coma, while others especially Nigerian politicians are insisting that he's as healthy as you and I, and they would have us believe that he's just resting in a presidential suite somewhere taking a break from governing.
 it is all well and good for him to take a break, who doesn't need one from time to time, and I can well `imagine trying to govern a country like Nigeria, but for two months without anyone catching a glimpse of him. I guess stranger things have happened, but a complete absence has not improved the country he left behind.
With the way Nigeria is and being conscious of the history and racial tensions, it is not a surprise that no one is quite sure of what to do, and the fact that all our political leaders are corrupt embezzlers who have good reasons not to trust each other and anyone is also a factor.
Nothing rarely surprises me about Nigeria anymore but even I am surprised by how long this has gone on for and the complacency of all involved. If he is alive and well like Dora Akinluyi, his spokesperson will have us believe, then why not put him on a web cam if he is too ill to stand in front of a full camera, I don't think they've heard the saying "seeing is believing." They want 150 million people to take their word for it, that's a whole lot of faith in people who haven't done anything to earn it. Someone told me that he doesn't have to proof anything to anyone but I say to the poor deluded people thinking the same, that he does, a president cannot just disappear, even in Nigeria. He has a moral obligation to the office he has sworn to uphold, and to the people of the country.
Perhaps the best case for the remover of the President is the disastrous and inadequate response to the attempted terror attack by a Nigerian national aboard a flight headed for Detroit, Michigan on December 25, 2009. It wasn't until days after the incident and not until when the United States put Nigeria on the terror watch list alongside countries like Pakistan and Yemen that you couldn't get Ms. Akinluyi off the news protesting the innocence of Nigeria and Nigerians.
Recently a group of militants from the Niger Delta, killed a Nigerian guard and kidnapped a couple of foreign workers. Incidents like this attack shouldn't be happening because the militants were given amnesty by the President, but when the guy who could call them out is no where to be found, what do you expect.
This past week, chaos reigned in Jos, when the city's Christian and Muslim gangs decided to stage their own version of religious war, the military is now in charge of the city. Nothing about this latest religious battle is new to anyone familiar with Nigeria but the absence of a leader and recent events makes these events seem all the more sinister. 
What next for Nigeria indeed?
Yetunde Adu.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Nigeria joins infamous list of TW 14

Washington DC - US terror watch lists have been radically revised after a foiled attack on a US-bound jet, a White House spokesman said, as tough new airport screening measures swung into effect. No thanks to Farouk Mutallab who has dragged Nigeria’s name into the TW 14.
Officials had conducted a major review of all the lists that determine whether a person is allowed to board a US-bound flight in a foreign country, spokesman Bill Burton said.
The Terror Watch (TW) countries include Algeria, Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Cuba and Nigeria.
The news came as President Barack Obama, who has denounced “systemic” intelligence failures in the Christmas Day plot, prepared to meet with US intelligence chiefs and security officials on Tuesday to review the findings of two probes into the plot.
Obama has directly linked the Al-Qaeda network, responsible for the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, to the botched bid to blow up a Northwest jet with 290 people on board on a flight from Amsterdam to Detroit.
The administration has also ordered tight new security measures for passengers flying to the United States after a 23-year-old Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul mutallab, allegedly tried to bring down the jet.
Travelers flying from or via 14 countries including Iran, Nigeria and Yemen will have to undergo mandatory enhanced screening before boarding their US-bound flights, under the new rules.

Historic Diversity in Plain Terminology

The Central Bank Governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, surprised guests present at the Muson Centre for the launching of the book of Sir Olaniwun Ajayi at the Muson Centre in Lagos. The book titled: “Nigeria, Africa’s failed asset?” attracted many important dignitaries, intellectuals and some governors.

The argument by discussants centered on whether or not the colonial masters laid the foundation for the problems Nigeria is currently facing. Many argued that the British loved the North and that was why it gave more than 50 percent of the National Assembly seats to the North at independence. Sanusi, however, stole the show when he spoke. His speech was anchored on the plank that the British and Nigerian rulers are responsible for the state of the situation Nigeria finds itself today. Below is his unedited speech.

“Let me start by saying that I am Fulani (laughter). My grandfather was an Emir and therefore I represent all that has been talked about this afternoon. Sir Ajayi has written a book. And like all Nigerians of his generation, he has written in the language of his generation. “My grandfather was a Northerner, I am a Nigerian. The problem with this country is that in 2009, we speak in the language of 1953. Sir Olaniwun can be forgiven for the way he spoke, but I can not forgive people of my generation speaking in that language. “Let us go into this issue because there are so many myths that are being bandied around. Before colonialism, there was nothing like Northern Nigeria. Before the Sokoto Jihad, there was nothing like the Sokoto caliphate. The man from Kano regarded himself as Bakane.

The man from Zaria was Bazazzage. The man from Katsina was Bakatsine. The kingdoms were at war with each other. They were Hausas, they were Muslims, they were killing each other. “The Yoruba were Ijebu, Owo, Ijesha, Akoko, Egba. When did they become one? When did the North become one? You have the Sokoto Caliphate that brought every person from Adamawa to Sokoto and said it is one kingdom. They now said it was a Muslim North. “The Colonialists came, put that together and said it is now called the Northern Nigeria. Do you know what happened? Our grand fathers were able to transform to being Northerners. We have not been able to transform to being Nigerians. The fault is ours. Tell me, how many governors has the South West produced after Awolowo that are role models of leadership? How many governors has the East produced like Nnamdi Azikiwe that can be role models of leadership? How many governors in the Niger Delta are role models of leadership? Tell me.

There is no evidence statistically that any part of this country has produced good leaders. You talk about Babangida and the economy. Who were the people in charge of the economy during the Babangida era? Olu Falae, Kalu Idika Kalu. What state are they from in the North? “We started the banking reform; the first thing I heard was that in Urhobo land, that there will be a curse of the ancestors. I said they (ancestors) would not answer. They said why? I said how many factories did Ibru build in Urhobo land? So, why will the ancestors of the Urobo people support her? “We talk ethnicity when it pleases us. It is hypocrisy.

You said elections were rigged in 1959, Obasanjo and Maurice Iwu rigged election in 2007. Was it a Southern thing? It was not. “The problem is everywhere in this country, there is one Hausa, Ibo, Yoruba and Itshekiri man whose concern is how to get his hands on the pile and how much he can steal. Whether it is in the military or in the civilian government, they sit down, they eat together. In fact, the constitution says there must be a minister from every state. “So, anybody that is still preaching that the problem of Nigeria is Yoruba or Hausa or Fulani, he does not love Nigeria. The problem with Nigeria is that a group of people from each and every ethnic tribe is very selfish. The poverty that is found in Maiduguri is even worse than any poverty that you find in any part of the South.

The British came for 60 years and Sir Ajayi talked about few numbers of graduates in the North (two at independence). What he did not say was that there was a documented policy of the British when they came that the Northerner should not be educated. It was documented. It was British colonial policy. I have the document. I have published articles on it. That if you educate the Northerner you will produce progressive Muslim intellectuals of the type we have in Egypt and India. So, do not educate them.

It was documented. And you say they love us (North). “I have spent the better part of my life to fight and Dr. (Reuben) Abati knows me. Yes, my grandfather was an Emir. Why was I in the pro-democracy movement fighting for June 12? Is (Moshood) Abiola from Kano? Why am I a founding director of the Kudirat Initiative for Nigerian Development (KIND)? “There are good Yoruba people, good Igbo people, good Fulani people, good Nigerians and there are bad people everywhere. That is the truth. “Stop talking about dividing Nigeria because we are not the most populous country in the world. We have all the resources that make it easy to make one united great Nigeria. It is better if we are united than to divide it. “Every time you talk about division, when you restructure, do you know what will happen? In Delta area, the people in Warri will say Agbor, you don’t have oil.

When was the Niger Delta constructed as a political enlity? Ten years ago, the Itshekiris were fighting the Urobos. Isn’t that what was happening? Now they have become Niger Delta because they have found oil. After, it will be, if you do not have oil in your village then you can not share our resources. “There is no country in the world where resources are found in everybody’s hamlet. But people have leaders and they said if you have this geography and if we are one state, then we have a responsibility for making sure that the people who belong to this country have a good nature. “So, why don’t you talk about; we don’t have infrastructure, we don’t have education, we don’t have health. We are still talking about Fulani. Is it the Fulani cattle rearer or is anybody saying there is no poverty among the Fulani?”, he said

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