Friday, January 7, 2011
Saturday, August 11, 2007
This is not a prophesy. It is not a statement from someone that has lost hope in Nigeria, rather it is coming from a die hard optimist about the greatness of this country Nigeria. But in being optimistic one must not forget to be realistic.
Nigeria is indeed blessed with abundant natural and human resources even though it is sad to note that we have not been able to use these resources to transform Nigeria into a country where every Nigerian will be proud to associate with.
From power supply to the state of our roads the story is the same, so much decay even in the midst of plenty.
It is easy and more convenient to blame the government but in reality is the government the building or structure we see everyday or is the government made up of people?
The issue of blaming the government for everything is becoming rather too convenient and in my opinion overrated.
How many Nigerians have the courage to accept their mistakes when they make them? Even with hard evidence and proof you will need a miracle to see the average Nigerian agree that indeed he has goofed. Rather, energies will be expended on diverting the issue (as owning up to the mistake is certainly out of the question) and when he is not getting his way with the diversion he/she goes personal and begins to attack your person.
Now I ask, is it wrong or criminal for one to make a mistake? If it is not, then why do we prefer to go through the very difficult task of justifying our mistakes rather than acknowledging them even if we do not want to correct them?
Now, the people in government are Nigerians, friends, sons, daughters, fathers, husbands etc but they are still Nigerians.
How do they take decisions concerning Nigeria? How do they arrive at conclusions on what ought to be and what ought not to be?
Would it be possible that a simple task of agreeing to a mistake could be responsible for the state of that road that is decaying by the day?
Could it be that the person truly believes that everything is fine with Nigerians when in reality things are not?
Could it be that these people in power simply surround themselves with people that will tell them what they want to hear as against what they should hear?
I refuse to believe that someone will see white and call it black for no reason. Is there a good reason why as a people we will rather dwell on falsehood, lies, misinformation than dwell on facts and truth?
While I will remain a die hard optimist for the future of this great nation I cannot but go to bed everyday wondering why our people find it hard to accept responsibilities of their actions especially when they make mistakes.
The irony of it all is that those who are guilty will always be the ones accusing others of the very mistakes they are denying.
As for the led, what do we do? Criticize our leaders based on wrong actions while appreciating their good works or praise them when they do the wrong things and abuse or dismiss anyone that points out mistakes or issues just because the people in question are our friends, colleagues, relations etc?
Even though the later is the norm today I will rather die an unrepentant optimist than join this bandwagon that is headed nowhere….
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I recently read an article, where many Nigerians were upset about a series of stories done by CNN. The reason they were upset was because they felt that the story depicted that all Nigerians were corrupt. This made me reflect that there are many of out there - who when a fraud is discovered - seem to automatically classify it as being of "Nigerian" origin.
This evening, I came across a story from the Online Journal: "New version of Nigerian phishing e-mail scam promises jobs, riches, poker and great lunches" - which is essentially calling "phishing" a Nigerian scam. After reading it, I started to understand why Nigerians might find some of this offensive. To read the article: Click Here.
This inspired me to do a little digging.
Since I've done a little research on phishing, I decided to refer to the Anti Phishing Working Group and their most recent report (May), which coincidentally reported a "all-time" record of recorded "phishing attempts."
Nigeria isn't even listed in their "top-ten."
According to the APWG:
"In May, Websense Security Labs saw a continuation of the top three countries hosing phishing websites. The United States remains the on the top of the list with 34.1%. The rest of the top 10 breakdown is as follows: China 15%, Republic of Korea 8.17%, France 3.94%, Germany 3.38%, Japan 2.65%, Malaysia 2.59%, Canada 2.37%, Italy 2.02%, and Brazil 1.7%."
If the APWG is correct - then how could phishing be called a Nigerian scam?
Advance fee - which is also referred to as 419 - has taken on many forms and is a worldwide problem. A lot of it originates in Europe, Canada and even the United States. Lottery scams - which are one form - seem to be coming from Canada, or Great Britain and Romance scams from Eastern Europe are a huge issue.
Recently one of the bogus tools, used in advance fee scams have been counterfeit, or altered money orders. People are tricked into cashing these items and wiring the money back to a "fraudster." According to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service - they are being produced (the counterfeit items) in Eastern Europe and West Africa. So far as the altered items - they seem to be produced in the U.S. Prison System and are used primarily in Romance Scams.
I did mention West Africa - but only as one source - and Nigeria is only one of the countries in West Africa. So far as the "other sources," we can look to points of origin that aren't even anywhere near Nigeria, including the United States.
Interestingly enough, what many term as "Nigerian Fraud," wasn't invented in Nigeria and can be traced back to 1588 AD - what what is known as the "Spanish Prisoner Letter."
Another fact - which many of us - fail to "recognize" is that Nigeria is doing something about their problems with fraud. In fact, some might argue that they are pursuing it more "aggresively" than in many of the other countries mentioned in this post.
In recent years, Nigeria has led a very public campaign against corruption within Nigeria. President Olusegun Obasanjo formed the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), which has been extremely aggressive in fighting fraud in Nigeria. Recently, they were taken off a money laundering "blacklist" and for a list of stories - where they have made an impact - link, here.
There is little doubt that Nigeria realizes it has a fraud problem and that there are "good guys" over there fighting the "good fight."
They key to winning the war is for the "good guys" to work together and go after those who are bad.
So far as the rest of us - the next time we run across a scam on the Internet - perhaps we should take a deeper look at it's point of origin. Not only is it unfair to blame the world's fraud problem on Nigeria, but it confuses efforts to bring forth resolution.
Monday, July 30, 2007
Itz a beautiful Monday Morning, itz the beginning of another working week
We probably had a wonderful weekend last week and we just can't wait for this week
Itz someone's birthday somewhere, it someone's anniversary somewhere. Itz a beautiful beginning of a wonderful week.
Itz still morning and we're probably just waking up or we're at work or somewhere, but I know that if you can read this post, then you're alive.
The Question is "Did you Appreciate God for making you breathe the free air today?
For making you wake up on the right side of the bed.
For making you to be in today's populace
A lot of people wished they were here but they couldn't make it.
I know you've probably heard this before, and you're hearing it again
Just a short prayer to express gratitude for being the man you are today will do you no harm.
Itz a little favour that is extremely profitable to our soul.
If we thank God for what he has done, he'll definitely do more
But if we wake up without thanking him, then itz like we're saying we woke up by our power. Itz the Picture of an Ungrateful who'll definitely need more.
If you've haven't prayed Today, just close your eyes wherever you are and say a short prayer of Appreciation to God for making you be the man and that you are, and the man you hope to be.
Let us make it a Life duty.
Monday, July 16, 2007
You can’t tell me that its not a major miracle when you see all one billion tons of Boeing 747 taking to flight as easily as any of the birds which have the benefit of flight, some of them no bigger than my fist. Contemplate for a second the entire process of launching a huge flying machine, several tons of its own weight bolstered by the mass of a few hundred souls and their baggage, and enough fuel to make the entire process possible. Launching, not just to hop into the air for a few feet, but for actual sustained flight. Amazing? Yet it does not stop there, because these huge beasts somehow manage not only to stay aloft for hours on end, travelling faster than you or I could possibly comprehend in groundspeed terms, but they actually propel themselves miles above the ground. And then, more often than not (thank the good God) the process of complex magical voodoo is reversed and brought to completion when aircraft, passengers, fuel and cargo come back to firm earth. If that is not magic, I don’t know what is.
I am living a miracle at the moment. As I write, I am on a plane, headed home to Nigeria. Not only am I flying, but I am doing so rather comfortably, which is probably not right. I’m in a bed, admittedly not a huge one, but it’s a comfortable bed nonetheless, flat, with room to stretch out; being served food and drink. All of this while watching a movie, miles and miles above the ground where my home and all I know are firmly rooted. Down the aisle, a handful of guys are at a bar, drinking and chatting like they would in most bars in any city around the world, which is a tad odd. I’m not sure I know anywhere else where perfect strangers would be talking and drinking within such proximity to my bed! In fact, where it not for that bar and the occasional turbulence that we rocks us from time to time, shaking up the juice in my glass in the process, it might well have been possible to pretend to be anywhere else on earth rather than up in the air, supported by physics, the rushing wind and the voodoo magic of flight.
Yet, all of this takes place within a miracle that’s guaranteed to deliver me to hot and sweaty Lagos before the sun comes up fully across this part of the Atlantic Ocean. If I had any sense, I would be afraid of this mechanical beast that can somehow make such magic possible. Yet it all feels so natural. In truth we have come very far since that day on Kitty Hawk Beach when the Wright brothers (who actually sold bicycles for a living if memory of random trivia serves me right) took to flight for the first time, in what was no more than a few seconds of barely controlled hopping which barely lifted man and machine off the ground.
Can you imagine the ridicule and scorn they would have had to endure from those who knew of their plans? Imagine Noah, who built his Ark in preparation for a flood that did not come for 150 years. What would we have made of him today? Then picture two brothers daring to think that they could make their winged contraption fly! I would have laughed too, wouldn’t you? You can rightly accuse me of understatement when I say that I imagine they would have been thrilled to their souls when they realised what one of them would have first known, he whose task it would have been to convince his brother that man could fly, even though he had neither wings nor feathers to lift himself off the ground with.
We’ve come a long long way since then, mankind. The history and story of flight is one of heroic achievement that’s seen the development of the jet engine, long-haul commercial flight (who was it that famously claimed that it would not be possible/economical to have commercial aircraft flying people around the world), supersonic commercial airliners and planes that can fly faster than the speed of sound? Did I forget to mention warplanes that can do amazing aerobatics, the Antonov 225 aircraft that can seemingly swallow whole cities, and of course the space shuttle that has somehow managed to launch specially selected individuals far beyond what our unaided eyes can see.
I tell you, flying is magic, whether you accept it or not. Its just magic that we take for granted, so we forget to marvel at it. Just picture how it all comes together, engine, rudder, wings, flaps, propulsion, control surfaces, ailerons, fuselage, undercarriage – isn’t it amazing how all these pieces come together so seamlessly? Statistically, flying is one of the safest means of transport there is, and that itself is another reason to wonder. As far as I’m concerned, each airplane is as magical as a flying carpet, only infinitely more comfortable, and blessed with pilots who can take control. I didn’t see Ali Baba controlling a rudder, or controlling flaps and that’s scary.
If you are reading this, then I have come down to earth, in an aeroplane flown by a skilled, well-trained pilot. I have just experienced the miracle of flight yet again, and I was completely blown away by it. Flying is magic, and I am spellbound. If you're reading this, then its because i arrived safely at home, and I thank God.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Last fall, shortly after I returned from Nigeria, I was accosted by a perky blond college student whose blue eyes seemed to match the "African" beads around her wrists. "Save Darfur!" she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR! My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me. "Don't you want to help us save Africa?" she yelled. It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs. This is the West's new image of itself: a sexy, politically active generation whose preferred means of spreading the word are magazine spreads with celebrities pictured in the foreground, forlorn Africans in the back. Never mind that the stars sent to bring succor to the natives often are, willingly, as emaciated as those they want to help...
"Save Darfur!" she shouted from behind a table covered with pamphlets urging students to TAKE ACTION NOW! STOP GENOCIDE IN DARFUR!
My aversion to college kids jumping onto fashionable social causes nearly caused me to walk on, but her next shout stopped me.
"Don't you want to help us save Africa?" she yelled.
It seems that these days, wracked by guilt at the humanitarian crisis it has created in the Middle East, the West has turned to Africa for redemption. Idealistic college students, celebrities such as Bob Geldof and politicians such as Tony Blair have all made bringing light to the dark continent their mission. They fly in for internships and fact-finding missions or to pick out children to adopt in much the same way my friends and I in New York take the subway to the pound to adopt stray dogs.
This is the West's new image of itself: a sexy, politically active generation whose preferred means of spreading the word are magazine spreads with celebrities pictured in the foreground, forlorn Africans in the back. Never mind that the stars sent to bring succor to the natives often are, willingly, as emaciated as those they want to help...Rest of the story.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
David Oluwale lived a largely anonymous life.
Like so many of his fellow Nigerians, he embarked on the journey from Lagos in 1949 with little more than the clothes on his back and dreams of a better future in Britain.
It wasn't to be. As the ship he had stowed away on docked in Hull, Oluwale was arrested and after spending his first days on foreign shores in Armley Prison, Leeds, for the next 20 years he would be passed between the prison service, the police and High Royds psychiatric hospital in Menston.
While a few would have recognised him as the man whose home was the shop doorways of Leeds city centre, when his body was recovered from the River Aire on May 4, 1969, it appeared to everyone concerned the end to what had been a pitifully lonely existence.
A few days later, when his remains were lowered into a common grave with nine others, it seemed he had lost his long struggle for recognition. But 18 months after his death his name became the focus of a court case which saw two Leeds City Police officers charged with his manslaughter and which shook the force to its foundations.
"At the time there were a lot of rumours about what had really happened to David Oluwale," says Kester Aspden, a former history of crime lecturer at the University of Leeds, who has spent the last two years trying to pull together the fragmented pieces of Oluwale's story.
"But if it hadn't been for a young police officer called Gary Galvin, who decided to report what he had heard to his senior officers, he would have been a forgotten victim of his generation and those who hounded him would have only ever had to answer to their conscience.
"People have described Galvin as a recruit who hadn't been broken in, who didn't understand that you put your colleagues before everything else, but having talked to his son, it seems that throughout his life he was a man of very strong principles."
On Galvin's testimony, a major investigation was launched which resulted in Insp Geoffery Ellerker and Sgt Kenneth Kitching being charged with manslaughter, perjury and grievous bodily harm. While the pair were eventually only convicted of a series of assaults on the vulnerable and mentally ill Oluwale, what emerged during the trial was a picture of a society struggling to adapt to the influx of immigrants whose papers of British citizenship meant very little in 1960s Leeds.
"It says something about how seriously the police took the allegations that Scotland Yard officers were called up to investigate the allegations," says Aspden, who was inspired to write Oluwale's story after discovering a charge sheet relating to the case in the National Archives where an unnamed officer had entered his nationality simply as "Wog".
"However, having gone through all the documents relating to the case, I'm not convinced justice was ever really done. While Ellerker was sentenced to three years and Kitchen was jailed for 27 months, the jury never got to see all the evidence. The idea the abuse may have been racially motivated was never addressed and I just felt that now I could maybe get closer to the truth than they had in 1971."
Oluwale died 12 months after Enoch Powell had delivered his now infamous "Rivers of Blood" speech. In Leeds, like Britain's other major cities, immigrants were widely looked on as second-class citizens and those like Oluwale who ended up on the streets were, says Aspden, regarded as little more than "human rubbish".
In the early 1960s, Oluwale emerged from an eight-year stint in High Royds psychiatric hospital where he had been sent after complaining of hallucinations during yet another spell in prison. Despite bearing the physical and psychological scars of electric shock treatment, he became one of the first guinea pigs of care in the community.
With no friends or relatives, he relied on hostels to provide a roof over his head. When they eventually turned him out following complaints by other residents, he was forced to find shelter in shop doorways, a move which brought him to the attention of Ellerker and Kitching.
"Traders were putting pressure on the police to rid the city of nuisances and Oluwale was one of them," says Kester. "It was a very parochial force and there were stories of how they used to bundle him into the back of the a patrol car and drop him off in the middle of the night in woods outside the city centre boundary.
"Some officers told of how Kitching had urinated on Oluwale while he slept and on the numerous times they arrested him they didn't spare any force.
"It was a case of clearing up their patch and they didn't care how it was done."
Unfortunately for Oluwale, he was always drawn back to the city. While details of his death are scant, what is known is that in the early hours of April 18, 1969, he was seen running away from two men towards the River Aire. The post-mortem revealed not only that he had died from drowning, but that shortly before his death he had received a wound to his head.
"It's hard to tell the story of someone who fell off society's radar," adds Aspden, whose book Nationality Wog: The Hounding of David Oluwale has just been published.
"At the time, no one went to his funeral. When Scotland Yard launched their investigation just seven people came forward to say they knew him and when Interpol tried to trace his family they drew a total blank.
"However, people were much less defensive than I thought they would be. What I wanted to do was show that what happened to Oluwale was part of a much wider social picture, it wasn't about raking up the past for the sake of it.
"Kitching died alone in 1996, but I did try to contact Geoff Ellerker in the hope of getting his side of the story. He didn't wish to speak and I know that he died not that long ago. What happened to Oluwale was horrific, but those officers were also a product of the society in which they lived. Leeds was a city which had zero tolerance policing before the phrase had even been coined.
"Ellerker had his life ahead of him when he was found guilty and the prison sentence finished his career. Even if you can't feel sympathy for him, I think you have to feel for his wife and the knock-on effect it had for his family.
"Despite some reservations, I knew I had to tell this story and I think what happened to Oluwale was symptomatic of a wider British belligerence to immigrants at the time.
"Leeds celebrates its 800th anniversary this year and understandably there will be much emphasis placed on how it has become a multicultural society, but it's worth remembering that it was a painful process and one which wasn't without victims."
While the case caused few ripples outside Yorkshire, it did cast a shadow over the Millgarth station. As the city surged forward into the 1970s, demolishing the back-to-back terraces and welcoming the motorway links to the south and west, many were happy for the fallout from the Oluwale case to be buried under the rubble.
"If the case happened today it would change society and David Oluwale's name would probably be being mentioned in the same breath as Stephen Lawrence," says Aspden.
"It's easy to see why people wanted to forget, but I think we have a duty to remember if only so we can make sure history doesn't repeat itself.
"What happened to Oluwale says a lot about how we deal with difference. Society may have changed, but there are still some groups who find themselves being made scapegoats and it would be a brave man to say something like this couldn't happen again."
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
All about Obasanjo: Facts ignored and Mischief perverted!!
By Frisky Larr
It remains a baffling mystery to my limited faculties of reasoning how facts and events still continue to be obscured at this intermediate level of a long-drawn battle. Before being temporarily thrown off this coveted and highly glorified chitchat podium of public view in the aftermath of a consuming workload, I was able to advance my views in one last essay. I chastised my compatriots who jump aboard a bandwagon without a clear view of clandestine agenda and the overriding interests (that are mostly personal) of those who bear the flags of hate and destruction.
Atiku Abubakar has suddenly disappeared from center stage and the extended arms of passengers in the bandwagon still persist in striking their hammer on the glowing iron. Facts are ignored. Mischief advanced. Worse still, mischief itself is also subjected to perversion.
Against the wisdom of all academic teachings as embodied in the philosophy and psychology underlying experiences in practical politics (courtesy of Political science), Nigeria has become the first country in the universe to upgrade a Vice President from the role of an Assistant and Deputy to the hitherto unknown office of a Co-President.
Most often, arguments have been advanced that a political environment like Nigeria’s in which a President was evidentially seen to have subjected his own Vice President to abuses, humiliation and oppression, leaves no other choice but resistance on the part of the oppressed. A Vice President is thus perceived and presented as doing well to fight back as best he can to restore his personal honor. Good enough.
Unfortunately however, in the primitive wrestling ring of traditional societies, the longer a fight lasts, the more obscure and extended the boundaries of the improvised ring become. Democratic philosophy all over the world provides for a head of government. In a situation, in which a single party fails to secure an outright majority to form a government, coalitions are formed. In coalitions, hierarchy is defined by the proportional strength of parties in popular vote. The head of government is undivided with absolute integrity. While the head of the second largest party in a coalition provides the deputy head of government, the head of government in a unitary administration has the enviable privilege of picking a deputy of choice. In neither of both cases can the power of the head of government be usurped.
In Nigeria where a single party had an outright majority, the exigency of a coalition and a marriage of convenience was out of question. Olusegun Obasanjo picked Atiku as a running mate not vice versa. The ensuing government was headed by Olusegun Obasanjo not by Atiku. While Obasanjo’s allegiance to Atiku is logically a matter of choice, Atiku’s loyalty is by all benchmarks of rational reasoning, nothing short of an obligation. If in the course of time, the President were found to have strongly deviated from agreed principles (party or personal), the Vice President would quit and open up a new chapter on a different terrain. But unfortunately, this does not apply in Nigeria. In the corridors of all functioning democracies all over the world, Nigeria simply became a laughing stock, as the exacerbated illustration of everything that a democracy should not be. A Vice President in a unitary government (not a coalition government) joins a different party and remains a Vice President even with a constitution that mandates a President to pick him from the same party. “Learned” and “incorruptible” judges of a Supreme Court (the highest instance of domestic jurisprudence) perfect this ridiculous reasoning and tell a cock-and-bull tale of moral and legal justifications.
As I once opined, the trick was easy to see. All these instances were driven by just one motive. Kill Bill.
Obasanjo has however, finally learned a lesson that he picked a Vice President (or a Vice President was imposed on him), who weighed far beyond a mere deputy. A Vice President who would not have dared to go that far without the strength of support that he had in crucial organs of the democratic institutions and at the corridors of major powers on the global scene.
While events unfolded, I was one of several prophets of doom.
I saw a rapid drift towards destruction and anarchy. I saw the roof burning. All because a Vice President insists on a President (his boss) capitulating before him and falling on his knees. Thank goodness, there was neither doom nor calamity.
Having been recklessly permitted to run for the elections in the dying minutes by our “incorruptible” judges of the Supreme Court, who did not seem to care a damn, about social peace and national integrity, the chronicle of imminent disaster began to run an independent course. Even though it was not difficult to see that Atiku can never win any election in today’s Nigeria (rigged or not), he insisted on being a sole opposition candidate against a more credible Buhari and Pat Utomi. When this failed, he pushed for an election boycott, which consequences would have stirred up anything close to a civil war. It took Buhari’s wisdom and foresight nurtured by personal ambitions to stop Atiku’s push for a do-or-die agenda. This agenda failed and the rest is not yet history.
Attempts were made by unknown cowards to bomb the headquarters of INEC in this modern age of heroic suicide bombings to pre-empt the feasible conduct of elections. Another failure. Then the Nnamani card was played.
Only at this point in time did the scope of foreign involvement in the advancement of all the scenarios that have hitherto unfolded, become clearer to behold. The daily newspaper “Nigerian Tribune” reported how foreign intelligence agencies informed Obasanjo of plans to install Nnamani as head of an interim administration. The Nigerian Tribune pointedly identified countries whose sources provided this intelligence by referring to contacts made between the Nnamani camp and the embassies of the United States of America, the European Union and Great Britain. This story has not been refuted till the present moment. Given the credibility of non-denial, it was further reported that Obasanjo was acquainted with facts from foreign intelligence that some “incorruptible” judges of a Lagos High Court were on the brink of serving an injunction on INEC to prevent an announcement of the results of the Presidential election. This report was also not denied. The result was that INEC who initially sought a calmer atmosphere and method of declaring election results then hurried to the Press to forestall any unsolicited injunction by “incorruptible” judges.
In the light of all these developments in the run-up to the elections and thereafter, many wise and prudent Nigerians expected free and fair elections. Wise and prudent Nigerians who contributed en masse to the verbal lynching of Olusegun Obasanjo and all he stood for. Wise and prudent Nigerians with an insurmountable reservoir of celestial wisdom that did not care to turn the psychological table for once and view issues from Obasanjo’s perspective are now surprised that the elections were not served on a silver plate and handed over to Atiku. Obasanjo and his PDP are now being subjected once again to the vicious punches of co-thieves subdued, while foreign forces have made a radical U-turn upon seeing the brutal and naked consequences of fighting Atiku’s reckless battle to the point of no return.
The prospect of an unstable and disintegrated Nigeria that was quickly advancing and staring everyone nakedly in the face was enough to ring the alarm bells in Washington and Downing Street to whistle Atiku back from his popular trail of destruction. Obasanjo is being vehemently chastised as if he had stolen a fortune from God’s own sacred cows. The victory and smartness of a thief that is popularly hated over a thief that appealed to popular sentiments against his rival has now translated into the making of a saint out of the rival thief that was outsmarted in broad daylight.
While Washington and Downing Street are well aware of the extraordinary social-psychological circumstances that preceded these elections, they were smarter than several Nigerian bandwagon passengers of the zombie fame, to understand where the buck stops and call off the trail of unforeseeable consequences. Yet Nigerians have not understood that it is about time to draw the bottom line. They fail to understand that the daily cry of foul and endless insults on Obasanjo and his PDP is now badly saturated by the mere fact of its chorus-type incantation.
After all what has Obasanjo done so badly that no one else has superseded before him? Is it failure to fix roads or failure to restore electricity? Failure to restore water supply that all started a steady trail of failure since 1980? Killing of political opponents for which he is suspected and never proven as a culprit? Now I hear that there was far more to the killing of Bola Ige than ever met the eye. I hear the names of Sunday Afolabi and Amisore, whoever they are. Stories of greed and a drug lord that was being investigated by Bola Ige.
Stories that are never proven much like Obasanjo’s involvement in the killing of Bola Ige. I guess its time to tread a bit softly. There are issues for which Obasanjo can be held guilty and in contempt but this wave of cyber and verbal lynching is beginning to exceed every bound of decency.
One renowned investment banking, securities and investment management company Goldman Sachs recently released figures on the Nigerian economy. Nigerian Gross Domestic Product has more than doubled since 2002 to an average of 7.3% from less than 3% in preceding years. The agricultural sector has witnessed tremendous growth. The overall economy is now “much less vulnerable to adverse external shocks”. The debts of the Paris club are now history. London club is positively rescheduling. The ratio of debt to GDP has dropped miraculously to 3% as of December 31st 2006 compared to 60% in the nineties. Inflation currently stands at 8%. The banking sector has been so positively restructured that every Nigerian is today proud of the Zenith Bank’s expansion to the United Kingdom. A feat that was possible only in the good old eighties. Today Zenith Bank is being traded to handle Nigeria’s foreign reserves, which have grown in excess of $40 billion since Obasanjo’s assumption of power.
Failure in the restoration of infrastructure does not necessarily stand for the destruction of the infrastructures themselves. If succeeding governments did not destroy all that was inherited in 1980 when Obasanjo first handed over power to Shehu Shagari, a lot would have been different today. Today, everyone talks as if Obasanjo has destroyed all these infrastructures in the first place. Records also have it that the Obasanjo’s administration tried and failed to revamp the energy sector out of sheer incompetence. But that is not a crime given the gravity of crimes that were committed unpunished before his reign. Today people seek to hold Obasanjo responsible for inventing corruption in Nigeria despite the successful work of Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC.
While I will have no problem with the ordinary man in the street who does not understand what GDP’s 7% stand for and rather yearns to have good roads, water and electricity, I continue to be a vehement enemy of pseudo intellectuals with every level of academic qualification, who stand as illiterates to pronounce that Obasanjo’s administration failed the nation across the board.
My greatest wish for the incoming administration is to henceforth ensure and secure party discipline amongst legislators and at all levels and amend the constitution to reflect the spirit of scientific logic in our democracy. In one sense, the PDP deserves to be commended for refusing to return a huge number of senators and representatives for re-election and instead allowing another breed and batch of politicians to take command.
One positive aspect of the harsh and extreme criticisms experienced so far, will definitely manifest in the Yar A’Dua regime. The improvement of infrastructure will gain priority over all other government policies and a lot will definitely improve. I will choose to bet and hang my neck far outside the window claiming that the next four years will seek to correct a lot that went wrong in the past eight years. The pledge to continue the reforms commenced by Obasanjo is a pretty good start.
The sole prerequisite is that nothing goes wrong at the military end. No matter how much military intervention is chastised, we have all been witnesses in recent times to how positive military intervention can be if the role is constructive and focused. A look at recent developments in Turkey will throw more light on this lesson and message. Whenever the intensity of my workload permits, I will definitely elaborate on this issue in my very next essay.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Lagos Business School (LBS) yesterday made history as the first of its kind in sub-Saharan Africa to attain world ranking.
According to a list published yesterday by the Financial Times of London, the school was ranked among top 50 business schools worldwide in the area of open enrolment executive education programmes.
The prestige accorded the Nigerian school could better be appreciated when put in proper perspective.
These days, many newspapers and magazines compile rankings of business schools, but those of Business Week and the Financial Times stand out.
While Business Week focuses on American schools, the Financial Times is considered by many to be the pre-eminent international ranking.
The Financial Times is reputed to adopt rigorous modalities in its exercise and its compilations are based on data from schools participants in the programmes and third-party sources. Many business schools all over the world are known to work very hard to be included in its list.
To gain insight into the significance of being included among the best 50 providers of executive open enrolment programmes, it is useful to consider how many and how good are the schools that did not make the list using the following statistics:
* the total number of business schools in the world is estimated by the top accreditation agency to be around 10,000; new ones are created literally every week;
* in the UK alone, there are over 100 business schools; only four of them managed to be included among the top 50 worldwide in open enrolment programmes; and
* a country as economically powerful as Germany has no school in this ranking; only an Italian school is included; and there are no schools from Eastern Europe or Russia. Even more significantly, not a single Asian school was included, even though India, China and the Philippines have a good number of very well respected schools.
The journey of the Lagos Business School began 15 years ago with the launch of the first executive education called the Chief Executive Programme. Since then, the school has grown to become one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.
LBS has striven to deliver quality management education in a continuous and constant way. The school was designed to meet the acute need for management training in the country that arose as a consequence of the rapid industrialisation that took place in the country in the late 80s and early 90s.
A business school of international standard that offers management courses relevant to the Nigerian environment was thus established. It also had to be a school that would strengthen values and ethics in people, business and the society.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Sunday, May 6, 2007
I have been busy trying to fix up lose ends. Guess what? I am going to Naija with me girlfriend and we are so excited. Looking forward of taking the best pictures and enjoying me long stay.
I will be plying between Abuja and Lagos.To keep your posted when i'am back. You might not read from me in long while but i will be back.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
This is a save our soul appeal to the Federal Government of Nigeria to rise up to its constitutional duty of protection of its citizens living in Ajah Town Eti-Osa Local Government Area of Lagos against a warlord who has been terrorising the law abiding citizens for over five years with the active connivance of the Lagos State government.
The warlord has burnt down over 50 shops along NEPA Road and around the Akinyemi Shopping Complex in Ajah. These burnt down property were shown by a number of Television House but to date neither the Lagos State nor the Federal Government has deemed it fit to make a pronouncement on the matter. This is not a surprise as a commission of inquiry set up specifically on Ajah communal crises submitted its report about a year ago without any Government White Paper on it.
A looming cloud is imminent now as the warlord has promised to burn down the Ajah Ultra Modern Market as a prelude to the burning down of the town itself during the elections (April 14 and 21, 2007), taking advantage of the period when there will be no movement of vehicles. The warlord carried out such dastardly acts in the past and he got away with them, as such many people have already been moving out of Ajah Town enmasse, since they have no confidence in the police or security agencies as presently constituted.
Indeed, save for a handful of ill-equipped policemen at the Ajah junction, there is no police presence in the town and the recurrent violence has not shown the state and federal authorities the need for a robust police or military presence on a permanent basis. The question is, how can an individual hold a community of over 300,000 people to ransom, killing, maiming, burning and destroying valuable property with impunity in a country like Nigeria?
Nigeria spends millions if not billions of naira on peace-keeping operations in the past in Sierra Leone and Liberia and is currently involved in Darfur, Sudan and is even contemplating going to Somalia, but here in Ajah, Lagos there is genocide going on and thousands of people are being displaced and hundreds have been killed without any protection from the state or federal government. Usually the police will come with a show of bravado after the destruction and killings.
The question once again is: who will protect Ajah Town against the warlord? The citizens await the answer from the Federal Government of Nigeria now before it is too late!
Sunday, April 1, 2007
Please send us your greatest Nigerian.
Comments will be appreciated.
To me the Greatest Nigerian is Brother Fela Anikulapo kuti.
fighter and also son of a witch.
There are also others from Obafemi Awolowo,Azikwe,Obasanjo,Murtala Mohammed
Ernahoro,Shehu shagari and many more.
Winner to be published on this Blog.
Monday, March 19, 2007
With all the frustration, anger and effort put into stopping the Nigerian 419 scams and others of that nature, it seems to be a common misconception that most phishing occurs in poor areas of the world. On the contrary, it seems most malicious activities on the net around the world originate in the United States. Symantec is touting a figure of 31% as the percentage of attacks in the U.S. Worldwide, with China and Germany in second at 10% and 7%. Beyond that, the U.S. has the most malicious servers as well: The company also found that 51 percent of all known servers used by attackers to buy or sell stolen personal information, such as credit card or bank account numbers, are located in the U.S. Why the U.S., which has strict laws governing crimes of that nature? While it may be easier to get away with those crimes in emerging countries, the U.S. may be an ample place to launch these attacks from due to the large number of available servers. Co-lo hosts are everywhere, and prices are (relatively) cheap. It still puts things into perspective, though, when most effort seems to be going in to taking down phishing rings in other parts of the world.