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July 20, 2006

Mourning, Culture, and the Individual

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- I recently endured and I continue to endure, a traumatic heartbreak; the passing away of my kid sister Clara. The bereavement is belated, but it was news to me. My mother and my brother conspired to conceal my kid sister’s passing from me, as a favor to me.

In the infinite wisdom of my mother and my brother, they reasoned that they were doing me a favor, by sparing me the bad news of my sister’s traumatic and tragic passing. This, my mother and my brother did, purely out of love and care for my sanity and well being.
Their intention was to protect me, for my own sake.

Their actions were informed by good intentions and not out of spite or disagreement of any sorts with me. I live alone, in America, no brothers, sisters, siblings, uncles, aunts, cousins, wife, or such other family or relatives as support system which we have in Nigeria. They worried about how it might affect me and my hectic work life. So, they did not want this monumental grief news to hit me, without a support system! Thy concealed it from me. Nothing could have been worse! The not knowing! I was left in the dark!

But in doing so, my mother and my brother, both of whom I love dearly, they robbed me of a chance to grieve, in my own way, whatever my way would have been.
I could have traveled to attend my kid sister’s burial I could have, in doing so, put my life and work in New York in jeopardy. But I would have had a choice! My choice!

My mother and my brother reasoned that I would have been too distraught for my own good. They reasoned that I would have been suicidal, especially for the fact that my sister Clara and I are (were!) very close. She was the baby of the family. She was the spoilt one; we all pampered her, especially, when she was very young.

Unfortunately, in the past several years, I have not been as close to my family as I would have wished. I have not made as meaningful contacts as I would have wished. I have not traveled to Nigeria, as often as I would have wished. Life in New York is fast-paced and there a gazillion (important things) to do, with so much demand on my time. And then, my sister died, she was buried and I had no role in all of that! The processes!
But, now, what relevance and benefit are those very important gazillions things that I was doing? What is the value of my efforts in America, to me and my family in this grief?

I was not home to hold and comfort my mother, my elder sister and my elder brother.
I was not home to see my late sister one last time!

In 1994 I left New York for Nigeria, with an eye of returning to Nigeria for good. While in Nigeria, but in another state, other than my home state, my father was said to have collapsed and died. I was away from my home state where my father lived, but I received the sad news by telephone and I drove the 300 hundred miles to my home state to see my father buried, as our tradition required that he be buried soon after his death.

My father lived a long and fulfilled life. To put it simply, he was old and accomplished. But he was my father still. I never contemplated my reaction to his death. I collapsed to the floor upon learning that my father had passed on. My knees became so weak and they caved. I staggered up, and drove the 300 miles. And then, I promised myself that I will be strong, stoical and that I will exude composure. I kept that promise, almost to the end. I however faltered when my father’s body was being lowered into his final resting place.

All of a sudden, it dawned on me! This is it! I will never ever again, see my father, flesh and blood. This is it! A man that I have known all my life, a larger than life man, who I have always looked up to; this is it! I am now on my own, my own man! It was scary!
And all of a sudden, I sobbed and bawled uncontrollably to the surprise of all family and friends present. They all expressed amazements at my sudden reaction, particularly, after I had displayed a façade of being in charge of my emotions and handling “it” very well.

After my father’s internment and final burial rites, I was sullen and somber. I felt a great loss and unexplainable emptiness. And I kept repeating to myself, so, I will never see him again, ever? So, this is how life ends and so mortality has this finality? So this is the end for my father, this is the end our times together? So, I will never have an opportunity to argue and disagree with him again as we frequently did.

A week before his death, he had repeated his “demand” that I get married, just so he has the opportunity to interact with a grandchild borne of me, before he, my father travels to the great be yond. I reacted with my usual impatience and complete lack of interest!

But of course, being the stubborn and argumentative son that I have always been to my father; I promptly informed him that (a) he is not dying and (b) I will get married in the next fifteen years and (c) before he goes to heaven to be on the right hand side of God, he should be comforted by the facts of grandchildren from my siblings and there was nothing special about a grandchild from me. I told my father, as he and I shared what would be our last lunch or meal together, that the world was over populated!

He insisted that he might go “home” soon and I half-jokingly, told him he was going no where fast and I repeated my perennial jokes about poverty in the world, and overpopulation etc. I often also told him to give me money, as encouragement.

My father apparently knew something that I did not. He was always, steps ahead of me!

My father passed on, without illness, without hospitalization and without a chance or opportunity for my siblings and I to, pull medical strings to preserve or prolong my father’s life. But well, he was very old at least. When he passed away, he was not at his prime of his youth. When he passed away, I was already in Nigeria for more than one whole month I think. More importantly, I received the news of his death almost promptly and I had a chance to mourn, a chance react instantaneously and a chance to witness my father’s internment and burial rites etc. I was with other family members, friends and homefolks.

On the other hand, my kid sister’s death was completely different;
I did not have the benefit of whatever reactions that I would have had, upon learning of the death of my kid sister. I did not have luxury of crying, bawling and sobbing or becoming suicidal as a result of learning of her passing! Thanks to my mother and my brother who had conspired to protect me from myself. My mother and my brother decided to shield me from what I consider my necessary grief and grieving process.

But mother and my brother were sincere in their intents and they meant well.

So, one day, I think it was a Saturday morning, I called Nigeria to speak to my mother and she was not answering her cell phone. My mother has this practice of frequently leaving her cellular telephone at home, as she run her errands or go visiting families and friends. And I have had to remind her, why cellular telephones are actually called “mobile phones” in Nigeria….. Because you take them with you! The phone is “mobile”!

Ah well, my mother has lectured me about not expecting calls from Gowon, Obasanjo or a stock broker and so, she will answer the telephone when she gets to it. But she pesters me, even still, with the poor frequency of my calls to her. Mom, please take the handset with you, so when I do call, you are there. But we know how mothers are, always right!

My mother was not home to answer her “mobile” phone which is hardly ever mobile! And I spoke to one of our extended family member’s child, one of those who frequently visited or come to spend time with and, keep my mother company, since my father’s sudden departure from her, to greener pastures, on the right hand side of God, in heaven!

The little girl announced that my mother was out, and about, but left the mobile phone behind as usual. I then bantered with the little girl about school and things I thought might interest her. She told me that her school would not release her WASC results, because she owed some bits of money. Her father, my maternal uncle, was somewhere in Abuja as she awaits his return and the fees as well as JAMB costs.

At that point, I had enquired whether she had informed my mother, or my brother who visits our mother frequently, or why did she not go to Clara! The little girl now said to me, in the most understated way “Clara is late” I repeated it after her, as I did not understand or decode the statement. She in turn, repeated her own statement after me!
And then, she added ominously, so, uncle, you did not know? Nobody told you that Clara is late? And the little girl started crying and it hit me!

Until that moment, I have never in my entire life heard anyone, so express the death of another, in such peculiar English! And until that moment, the secrets and conspiracies between my mother and my brother, and perhaps other family members, had worked perfectly against me! My sister Clara was dead and buried, I was blissfully unaware!

Clara wrote letters to me here in New York, some I replied, some I did not. There were combinations of reasons. Laziness! Procrastinations! My refusal to offer one more explanation to her, as to why I am not married and I have not visited Nigeria again etc.

Now, I regret ever ignoring any of her letters! Particularly, the last letter from her!
I was very close to my sister growing up, I baby sat her for my mother, and I sort of, raised her and saw her grow, from our earliest childhood days together. I remember when she was born and when my mother returned home from that Catholic hospital where we were all born, I remember Clara, just like yesterday! Clara was my sister and best friend.

When my father passed away, she acted impressively, as if, she was the matriarch or head of my siblings, this, even though she was the youngest! Clara knew who my late father’s friends were. She knew where my father’s resources were. She knew who his creditors or debtors were. She hired the best entertainers during the celebrations of my father’s life.
She was the last among my siblings in Nigeria to return to her station after our father’s burial.

Whereas my brother left our hometown hurriedly, in order to, return to Port Harcourt, soon after the internment of my father. My brother argued that papa is gone and he needed to return to pursue his client’s cases in Port Harcourt courts! Clara cleaned up and finalized things. That was how my sister Clara, always was. She was admired by all of us. She was a towering and imposing 6.4feet tall take-charge sister. She was prodigious in her efforts for our family and on our family’s behalf. Always!

I wish I could talk to my sister Clara. I wish I could beg her to forgive me for ignoring her letters, her last letter. I have become closer to Clara’s twin daughters, as they are what I have left of her.

I have also learnt from my bereavements (the loss of my father and now my kid sister) that I must always verbalize my affection to my family members and my friends, because as my experience has taught me, I should never wait or hesitate, because I may never have another chance to act or verbalize my affections and tenderness to my loved ones.

The toughest and perhaps, most traumatic events in my life in the last ten years, have been the passing of my father, the passing of my sister Clara and my divorce, my divorce, which also felt like bereavement, or as if a part of me or someone in my household had died. My sister’s death saddened me beyond words. I have been doubly sad, because of the initial concealment. I have been inconsolably sad.

How do you mourn? How do I mourn? How should I mourn? In general, how should we mourn? But in particular, what is the best, or preferred grieving process for an immigrant, a Nigerian immigrant? Too often, immigrants leave so much behind in their old country, old world. Family, friends and all the lives they had known.
Immigrants are so often deprived, in the most intangible and unquantifiable ways.
I have missed out on opportunities, sundry opportunities to participate in my family’s happiest moments. I have missed out on rare moments to be physically present at weddings. I have missed out on rare moments to attend funerals in person, to support and console other family members, whose supports and consoling, I in turn, also needed.

My mother insisted to me, that she recruited and begged my brother into the conspiracy of silence and concealment. She told me this, as I scolded my brother for not giving me the chance to console and support, our mother, when she needed it most. My brother has apologized. Apologies are really not necessary. And he informed me as well, that as I, picked up and left Nigeria, life in Nigeria continued; including of course, births, deaths, marriages, divorces and all the other joys and sadness of human life. My brother insists, that I should factor in, all these variables of life. He admonished that I should expect good news and bad news and the vagaries of life, from family and friends in Nigeria.

And; as I grow older, and as my sojourn in the United States lingers, I have started to ask of myself, the meaning of life. What is my life worth? What is my happiness? How does anyone quantify the inability to partake in the hills and valleys of the lives of family and friends, in my home country Nigeria? What wealth or the good life in America can ever compensate, neutralize and replace all that loss and emptiness? What is the value of my emigration to America?

Are these feelings of loss, nostalgia and emptiness peculiar to me?

Upon learning of my sister death belatedly, I was angry; angry with myself, angry at my brother, and angry at my mother. I was probably angry at the whole world! Why did my sister Clara have to die? Why did I have to be so far away? Why the concealment of her death? Was concealment the right thing to do for me? What was the right thing to do?

Should I have been left the choice to grieve my own way? Was it better to have shielded me from the grieving process? Should families in Nigeria or families of immigrants generally, shield immigrants from grief and grieving, when deaths occurs in Nigeria or the immigrants’ home country? What was the right thing to do in all the circumstances? How do you mourn? How should I mourn? What is the right way to mourn the loss of a loved one? Especially and particularly, when you are thousands of miles and many oceans, away from home?

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 10:50 AM | Comments (0)

June 29, 2006

An African Wife, an African Husband, without African Values

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- No Nigerian woman or man deserves an argumentative and cantankerous relationship or marriage! Nobody, Nigerian or not, deserves such. If recent debate patterns, is anything to go by, it suggests that matters have now reached a point for Nigerian women and men in the Diaspora, to avoid each other like a plague, in intimate personal relationships and marriage. Will Diaspora Nigerian women and men, be better to just marry Chinese, Japanese, Jews, German, Americans and Europeans instead of fellow Nigerians?

I am not sure that I am the best man to be discussing African wives in America; I am divorced from an American wife! Where then, lays my credentialed expertise on African wives in the American Diaspora? Well, I am a Nigerian-African man. And, I am a keen observer of social morays.

What is more? In recent times, several Nigerians have written very controversial essays or articles, on these affairs of the heart matters. Ms. Folasayo Ogunrinde (Nigeria’s Valerie Solanas?) wrote a series of essays in which she excoriated Nigerian-African men. She literally presented African men as clueless 17th century male chauvinist-misogynistic Neanderthals!

I was among those of her readers, who thought she generalized, in her attempts to make forceful unforgettable points. Her essays are affecting, even without generalizations. Why then did she generalize? Why would an effective writer, such as she is, feel the need to generalize? To inflame!

In due time, Ms. Ogunrinde graduated from her generalizations! She now ostentatiously uses the word, “some” this, upon haven been upbraided in the past by some Nigerian-African men, who had labeled her, as happily generalizing about matters male, when it is about men, Nigerian/African.

Both liberal and or conservative readings of Ms. Ogunrinde’s essays/opinions of Nigerian, nay African men, have led most, to seem to conclude that Ms. Ogunrinde finds African men grossly deficient in too many respects. She has commented publicly and in the most robustly, vigorous essays about gender roles in African relationships. She has also confessed her sordid personal and peculiarly unsavory experiences in the hands of African men who she dated. She adamantly paints the picture of African men as being inordinately worse off, in men women relationships worldwide.
Are African men inadequate in matters of progressive gender issues?
Are African men lacking and deficient, in so many departments as is, being alleged? Is it really true as is being portrayed, that African men visit African women maliciously and unrepentantly, with oppressions and indignities?

A reading of Ms. Ogunrinde’s essays by most African males, will convince the most admiringly generous African male, that she has concluded that African males possesses no redeeming qualities of any sorts! African men appear in her articles as clueless. African men that she has portrayed or depicted always arrived with money-back guarantee, for being arrogant prudes. African men lack every social skill? African men are not attuned to progressive thinking, women liberation and gender equality?

Several, if many, uncouth African men seemed to have always sought out, the poor Ms. Ogunrinde. These African men without refinements or scintilla of etiquette, manner or politeness, dumped their ill-mannered and unpolished selves at her doorsteps! Poor thing! Ms. Ogunrinde!

Well, in elementary science lessons, you will recall, actions generates reactions in natural course of chemical events. And so, my friend Mr. Sabella Abidde, wrote his reactions, rebuttals and rejoinders to Ms. Ogunrinde’s unflattering, and yet, socially relevant discuss of Nigerian and African men.

Ms. Ogunrinde, as if to establish her credentials as the undaunted and undeterred twenty-first century feminist genre, the Gloria Steinem and Patricia Ireland of Nigeria rolled into one Ms. Ogunrinde as the crusader; Audaciously and unapologetically, continues to demonstrate this, She has in fact written more recent essays, in which she became more didactic and emphatically adamant. Ms. Ogunrinde is vociferously strident. She screeches her vehemence mop in hand, with ammonia, acid and other astringents mix, together, as she awaits the next Nigerian-Africa man who would earn a death sentence, for mentioning her name in the sentence with cooking! She will cook, only and only, out of love, never out of duty, expectation or as any man’s domestic chore-horse! She screams it!
Cooking! Yes, cooking as in, domestic chores somehow became the all encompassing, all encapsulating and all embracing harsh metaphor for all the oppressions and indignities visited on African women by African men! It got to a point in these debates, when Mr. Ebi Bozimo and Ms. Soul Sista were embroiled intense exchanges. Mr. Bozimo rightly stated that a personal, such as the unsavory dating experiences of Ms. Ogunrinde, which she recounted, should not have been extrapolated, projected and transposed on majority of African men, with a one-size-fits-all attitude. The “I won’t cook for him”, asides, that Ms. Ogunrinde made, unwittingly, also became a benchmark reference point. Even though Ms. Ogunrinde essay, obviously dealt with various contentious issues, apart from African males culinary expectations as one of her pet peeves.
And as human intercourse and interactions are wont to be in outcomes, Mr. Michael Oluwagbemi joined the fray, challenging Ms. Ogunrinde, joining quite a few issues with her perception of Nigerian, African men and whoa! You will be forgiven if you started to sing, Bahia Men’s anthem hit track “Who Let the Dogs Out?”
These issues as have been initiated or raised by Ms. Ogunrinde, are assuredly socially relevant issues. The challenge, certainly, is to find a middle-ground meeting point or some sorts of compromise in this age-old gender wars or war of the sexes.

I am completely aghast at how far apart, the proponent and opponents are, regarding Ms. Ogunrinde’s articles and the rejoinders by Mr. Abidde and Mr. Oluwagbemi! I will not be engaging in any exaggerations as I inform you here, that the debaters have been entrenched and ensconced in the most extreme opposite sides of spectrum!

It has become headaches inducing debates that make even a good head spin. Most of the female contributors seem to be in search of men who would be the women’s wives. And these women remind me of a song by country music singer Don Williams about Margie. Margie sought a husband to be her wife!

And woof! Woof! Woof! Some of the men reacted with equal ferocities. Some of our men actually retorted that they would not say, “a hello, how are you” to a lady, if she does not know how to cook meals for her man! And through all these, I thought of my mother frequently. My mother made sure that my brother and I learned to cook. This, even though the Nigeria of my childhood was a traditional society, where men were not expected to do much of domestic chores. Men did not have to have culinary skills. The truth is Nigerian men cook, men in Nigeria always won the Maggi Cube/Nestle sponsored cooking competitions repeatedly, in Nigeria, and it was televised and the judges were mostly women, and year-in, year-out, men won!
But my father was good cook, as well, and that was part of what she liked in my father during their courtship. He cooked-up a storm and neighbors in Lagos would ask him about all the aroma and salivation inducing food scented vapors that caused their mouths watering feelings. I got lucky, doubly lucky, as I was raised by a husband and wife who were good cooks. I strongly believe that cooking is an art. Cooking is a skill that you acquire. Everyone ought to learn to cook! And as my mother lectured us boys, if you know how to eat, it is probably a smart thing to know how to cook!

A man or woman bereft of cooking skills ought not to brag about such inadequacy or lack! It is a very useful skill. It requires talent, creativity and pizzazz. When I have the time to cook, I find that it is safer, healthier and even cheaper! Cooking puts me in control of what I ingest, as the saying goes, “you are what you eat”!
Cooking has taken barrages of mauling in these gender debates between Diaspora Nigerian women and men.., cooking/domestic chores have become euphemistic and metaphorical ways to lump gender oppressions/inequalities into one dangerous missile.

My brother and I were not happy learners of culinary arts. We thought it was unfair. We had two sisters and the going social order at the times was that, you guessed it! The females in the house took care of such. But, it was not so in my household. Boys cooked, washed and ironed clothes, and fetched water as well. Looking back now? I glad that our parents made us do those things. I happen to believe that I make the best steak in New York, East of Houston Texas! I make Nigerian, continental and intercontinental cuisines!

To these extents, if all I needed was a woman/wife to cook, clean and do these “usual” domestic chores? I would have had the least reason to have married at all! Because as it, as it has been, I can take care of these businesses myself. I actually iron my shirts better than my drycleaners. My ex-wife could not cook anything without her mother guiding her minutely by telephone across state-lines from across the country! We are divorced, not over cooking or other sundry domestic chores, but instead, for retaining a man she dated for six years before, I met and married her! In essence, she had a parallel husband! And my arrogance and old world morals could not accept that sorts of sharing arrangements!

There should be no litmus test for marriage, be it procreation, culinary arts or any of these pesky issues. This particularly so, if you consider the fact that gender inequality is universal, it not peculiarly African. The war of the sexes or gender wars are being fought worldwide. There are local variations and variables, of course. But macho men still dominate world affairs, even outside of Africa, as we see in America, Europe and Asia etc.

It used to be that marriages are a total package. We know that times have changed from the times of our grandmothers, and even our mothers. But, with congruence and confluence of agreements that Ms. Ogunrinde’s article elicited from the Nigerian-African women readers at Such convergence in attitudes, suggests a steeply new crescendo of gender war or war of the sexes among Diaspora Nigerians, and it further suggests deepened animosities of inequality that has been festering. The avalanche and quantum of umbrage within our female folks, and displayed without semblances of restraints, is most alarming!

If these many women of Nigerian origin, are so embittered as was demonstratively indicated in their responses at NVS, then, several questions arise. Nigerians in Diaspora are busy with work and the hectic lifestyle of Diaspora life. This is peculiarly so, in America. In light of the frenzied pace of everyday life in America, and further, in light of what we now know as the ticking timed-bomb of the gender war-war of the sexes between Diaspora Nigerians. What can we do to avoid crises?

My readings of these gender roles and relationship articles, has led me to conclude that there is a total disconnect between Nigerian-African males and females in the Diaspora. There are indeed impending volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis combined; And that a simple thing as, a Nigerian male asking for a date, and proceeding to say an innocuous thing in the wrong way, could become a catalyst that leads cataclysms, as a Nigeria female goes postal on a Nigerian male. Africa will be in prime time news again, and again, in the negative territory?

I am tiptoeing now, after reading the magnitude of anger as exuded and exhibited by a great number of Diaspora Nigerian women. As they vehemently resent the inequalities that they have witnessed or personally experienced. Clearly, very strong resentment exists among or within our female folks? And no amicable debates and discussions to resolve these issues appear likely. The essays that I have referred to above are written by protagonists and antagonists who are without doubt, light years apart! Might Nigerian men and women be happier, marrying outside our culture? Why would a Nigerian man marry a Nigerian woman who is so in name and blood only? Why would a Nigerian woman marry a Nigerian man who is so in name only (if that even!) Recently I wrote that I used to believe that marrying a Nigerian woman will save me the hassle of having to explain the most mundane to the most complex about things Nigerian-African, including whether there are radio and television stations in Africa or whether Africa is a country or continent or whether the sun also rises in Africa.

But with my new awakening, regarding gender inequalities and oppressions that Diaspora Nigerian women are angered about. What is there to gain in the artifice of an African man or woman who no longer possesses core African values? African values and morays that would have made an African man or woman uniquely spectacular and different from other possible spousal offerings as America presents? Perhaps Nigerians in the Diaspora will be better off, if we marry American women and men, if we marry other immigrants of Chinese, Jewish and German origins? Why should an African in the Diaspora marry another African without the imbued benefits of African values? African values that ideally ought to lead to advantages in understanding, spousal harmony, strength and peace. Should an African person now be expected to marry another African person and then be deprived of the expected benefits of marrying a fellow African? Isn’t that like getting all water without liquid?

Despite these futile attempts by some to localize gender inequalities, it is not local! Marilyn, my colleague sent an e-mail to me that included this quote “That's a good one to use when folks believe gender strife is you can imagine. You might want to check out the movie "I Shot Andy Warhol” upon becoming aware that I was writing these commentaries about gender inequalities relating to Africans.

I fervently support the rights of women, gender equalities because they are important. It is frustratingly irritating, when some feminist generalize about men, all men!
If I were the one to be cynical, I would have been saying to African men, just sit back and relax, do all they can to live long enough to witness African women as they become prevalent in all-female fire-fighters, all-female pall-bearers, women are in, so, there should majority of women in the armies!

African men will live long enough to be witness to the blurring of male/female roles, it is already happening. (More women are already graduating from college, than men) African men should wait for the time when unisex locker rooms become the rule, in sports clubs and gymnasiums! Even as some men actually await a world, without gender roles distinctions as is being advocated by some feminists. Nevertheless, I will continue to support gender equality issues in Nigeria, Africa and worldwide.

They are human equality issues and important.
Here are some excerpts of thoughts, by flame-throwing crusaders of old.

"Life in this society being, at best, an utter bore and no aspect of society being at all relevant to women, there remains to civic-minded, responsible, thrill-seeking females only to overthrow the government, eliminate the money system, institute complete automation and destroy the male sex." - by Valerie Solanas (Typical Nigerian in Diaspora woman?)

"It is now technically feasible to reproduce without the aid of males (or, for that matter, females) and to produce only females. We must begin immediately to do so. Retaining the mail has not even the dubious purpose of reproduction. The male is a biological accident: the Y (male) gene is an incomplete X (female) gene, that is, it has an incomplete set of chromosomes. In other words, the male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease and males are emotional cripples"

"The male is completely egocentric, trapped inside himself, incapable of empathizing or identifying with others, or love, friendship, affection of tenderness. He is a completely isolated unit, incapable of rapport with anyone. His responses are entirely visceral, not cerebral; his intelligence is a mere tool in the services of his drives and needs; he is incapable of mental passion, mental interaction; he can't relate to anything other than his own physical sensations. He is a half-dead, unresponsive lump, incapable of giving or receiving pleasure or happiness; consequently, he is at best an utter bore, an inoffensive blob, since only those capable of absorption in others can be charming. He is trapped in a twilight zone halfway between humans and apes, and is far worse off than the apes because, unlike the apes, he is capable of a large array of negative feelings -- hate, jealousy, contempt, disgust, guilt, shame, doubt -- and moreover, he is aware of what he is and what he isn't"
"Although completely physical, the male is unfit even for stud service. Even assuming mechanical proficiency, which few men have, he is, first of all, incapable of zestfully, lustfully, tearing off a piece, but instead is eaten up with guilt, shame, fear and insecurity, feelings rooted in male nature, which the most enlightened training can only minimize; second, the physical feeling he attains is next to nothing; and third, he is not empathizing with his partner, but is obsessed with how he's doing, turning in an A performance, doing a good plumbing job. To call a man an animal is to flatter him; he's a machine, a walking dildo. It's often said that men use women. Use them for what? Surely not pleasure.

"Eaten up with guilt, shame, fears and insecurities and obtaining, if he's lucky, a barely perceptible physical feeling, the male is, nonetheless, obsessed with screwing; he'll swim through a river of snot, wade nostril-deep through a mile of vomit, if he thinks there'll be a friendly pussy awaiting him. He'll screw a woman he despises, any snaggle-toothed hag, and furthermore, pay for the opportunity. Why? Relieving physical tension isn't the answer, as masturbation suffices for that. It's not ego satisfaction; that doesn't explain screwing corpses and babies"

Below is an article featured a few days ago, and could this be the sorts of long term road and direction, to which Diaspora Nigerians are headed?

Americans' circle of close friends shrinking By Amanda Beck
Americans are more socially isolated than they were 20 years ago, separated by work, commuting and the single life, researchers reported on Friday.

Nearly a quarter of people surveyed said they had "zero" close friends with whom to discuss personal matters. More than 50 percent named two or fewer confidants, most often immediate family members, the researchers said.

"This is a big social change, and it indicates something that's not good for our society," said Duke University Professor Lynn Smith-Lovin, lead author on the study to be published in the American Sociological Review” Nigerians in Diaspora are getting there with the Americans! Especially in view of this gender wars!

Many American men practice Mail Order Brides, as some American males seek, “traditional wives” and so, these American men import wives from the Philippines, from Mexico, Russian, Japan and the newly free former East European countries. Because my knowledge of these gender wars in America, I continue to see the war of the sexes, as global or universal phenomenon. It is not in any way unique or peculiar to Nigeria or Africa!

There are more women in the world, than men, hence you always see more women waiting to use the toilets at airports and other public places, than men (even discounting the multiple variables of women’s special health needs, in toilets, crevices and all) there need to be more toilet, two-to-one toilet rule, in favor of women, advantage women, because they are more in number in every population in the world!

I therefore see gender inequalities, in part, in terms of the inadequacies of airport toilets for women worldwide (airport toilets are neither two-to-one in Nigeria nor in America)! It also therefore encompasses the universality of gender inequalities! It is a global issue!

I see gender inequalities, a violation of female rights, in the inadequacy of airport toilet every where in the world that I have been. Toilet availability is a gender issue, alright?
Are Diaspora Nigerian women and men, now headed towards beating the Americans at individualism? Are some Diaspora Nigerians becoming so self-absorbed, with gender wars and other issues that make it unattractive and unwise, for Diaspora Nigerians to copulate? These, are increasingly becoming intense. These have become issues gnawing at our social fabrics. We ought all, be addressing these issues that are creating wedges and even oceans, between Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Mrs. Hilda Adefarasin, former president of Nigerian Organization for Women (NOW) was wife of Justice Adefarasin in Lagos; She, it was, that, in her very genial and amicable way, got Nigerian men awake and engaged, in gender inequality issues. Because of her, I actually thought of joining NOW, while I lived in Lagos, Nigeria. Mrs. Adefarasin was not a flame-throwing crusader!

I am a Nigerian, an African male, and I have always described myself as a male feminist! This is because, I am an aware human, just like the next woman, and I was born by a woman and I have a sister and extended family members, who are females! But flame-throwing crusaders do great disservice to crucial issues of gender inequalities.

No nation should keep women in bondage. To do so, is foolish. If nothing else, neglecting women issues is unwise; particularly, because, it is akin to neglecting the bulk of your resources! Why operate with one-third power?

All human beings are aware that there are more women on earth than men; that clearly, illustrates or demonstrates the crucial importance of women, women issues are of such magnitude in importance, to economic, political and social development.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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June 19, 2006

Nigerians are Objective & Brutally Honest!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- There have been various reactions to CNN's sloppy, shoddy and lopsided documentary on some Nigerians in Houston. Some Nigerians were ebullient and pugnacious in their justification and defense of CNN, but why? Shouldn't the default position of Nigerians be to defend Nigeria? Why the sorts of auto-response to rally in support of CNN's denigration and disparagement of Nigeria?

Nigerians must be clear, that there are no reasons or justifications for the denigrations and disparagements that American and European media seem to specially reserved for Nigeria and Africa. We should realize, as Dr. Reuben Abati of The Guardian Newspapers has pointed out, that Western media never even pretend to be politically correct, when it comes to Nigerian and African issues.

Dr. Abati discussed CNN and added the BBC which had recently aired a live program "Africa Have Your Say" in which BBC asked listeners about the perception of Nigerians Dr. Abati then commented "For sure, there are criminals in other nationalities, but in the international media and most especially CNN it is often so easy and convenient to present Nigeria as the global headquarters of crime. Frank Nweke, the Minister of Information has since protested, noting that the CNN portraiture of Nigeria was tendentious and unfair." If the CNN were to investigate Italians and Hispanics, its investigators would find a lot to put on air, except they may not consider it politically correct to do so.

Abati's excellent article on this important matter of Nigeria's image is a must read.

It should be clear to us all, that Nigeria and Africa, gets no respect, mostly or even solely because we are perceived as powerless and inconsequential. Might, have always received respect; Even undeserved respect. Might is admired, feared and have always received respect, from slavery to colonialism and to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Africa will receive respect when we have nuclear power, when we have money and when outsiders perceive dire consequences and heavy price to pay for being politically incorrect about Nigeria and Africa

Presently however, Nigeria and Africa are being told to get powerful, become a boxer or pugilist on the block or get rich, be mighty to get respect or get discounted. There is no logic or fairness in it. We are being told that we are poor people, deserving no respect.

Some Nigerians, in the face of all these, defend and justify CNN's labeling and castigation of all Nigerians, with the impressions created by CNN on its documentary. But when will these same Nigerians, and in fact, when will all Nigerians defend Nigeria with equal passion with which some tend to always condemn and denounce anything Nigerian? Why will our best and brightest always seem to invest all their wondrous skills in defaming Nigeria, all in the name of criticisms?

How about defending Nigeria's national interests with same vigor?

In all this CNN, and now, BBC stirred controversy regarding perception of Nigerians internationally; Those reactions that gripped my attention are the ones by some Nigerians, some who Nigerians shouted their feelings, feelings they expressed, which amounted to "oh call a spade what it is, a shovel and be done with it, they echoed in unison in support of a clearly jaundiced CNN documentary that generalized about Nigerians.

But are those sorts of reactions not just too naïve? Too simplistic and from some simpletons of Nigerian descent? Why would any Nigerian, at home or abroad, and contrary to all the evidences, accept the lazy journalism as is now common in the American and European media? In matters concerning Nigeria or even all of Africa, Western press, get careless and sloppy.

CNN, BBC and most other media, do not even attempt or pretend to aspire to political correctness. This was exemplified and exacerbated by the vexing CNN documentary on some Nigerian fraudsters in Houston.
Ninety percent of the cocaine that is supplied to the American cocaine consumers are produced and in Colombia! This is not guesstimate or the result of guesswork; it is actually based on the empirical indisputable evidence of different agencies and departments of the United States of America.

Conversely, CNN and its Nigerian supporters possessed no such empirical evidence against Nigerians! And yet, CNN aired a silly sensational documentary in which one of CNN interviewee asserted falsely, that 40% of Nigerians in the Houston area are into frauds. CNN knew and CNN ought to know, that such assertions are false.

A reasonable and diligent news organization would not have used or relied on such baseless percentage as alleged by the interviewee, but instead, CNN chose for its own malicious reasons to rely on a non-expert on Nigerians' in Houston. CNN in depicting and portraying Nigerians in CNN's repulsive and reprehensive documentary relied on an interviewee who is not a statistician or demographer and yet, a Nigerian abalidiegwu audaciously defended CNN and actually argued that 75% of Nigerian adults, at home and abroad, are fraudulent!

Abalidiegwu moronically stated that "agree. Nigerian communities abroad have an image and fraud problem. so long as you live in a culture that glorifies the end as justifying the means, Nigerians will continue to seek short cuts. this is the root of our problems. CNN IS RIGHT. MY OWN ESTIMATE IS THAT 75%% OF ADULT NIGERIANS ARE CRIMMINALS."

I guess, if it is on television and on CNN, it must be true (na oyinbo talk am)! abi?

It is completely outrageous that CNN denigrated Nigerians and Nigeria, as CNN chose. And it is with profound regret and sadness with which the rest of us Nigerians must view CNN and its Nigerians supporters. We must, with utmost disgust. It is an unacceptably offensive act and it epitomizes bad judgment on CNN's part and on the part of its Nigerian defenders. It is distasteful to seek to justify what is clearly an extremely nauseating and repulsive documentary. It maligned Nigerians and Nigeria, in an extremely generalized manner. We must be clear about that.

It is an act of self immolation for any Nigerian to excuse those who denigrate Nigerians and Nigeria. CNN was talking about Nigeria period!

And we should not pretend that we are not all being abused and maligned.

CNN used unverifiable assertions against Nigeria. CNN cannot defend its published falsehoods by hiding behind an Area Boy in Houston, a person who simply made unsupportable claims, spurious claims which CNN was too happy to repeat. CNN repeated such falsehoods publicly, CNN in its mission to portray Nigerians and Nigeria in a predetermined unsavory manner. Any lawyer will tell CNN that if you commit slander and or libel, you are liable; Furthermore, that your repeat of a slander or libel, even though already committed by someone else or by other entity, your liability is not removed, it might diminish quantum of damages, but it does not excuse your liability. You are independently liable, jointly and severally liable, in conjunction with the first offending publisher of the slander or libel.

The first defamer may be defendant number one, and you will take your turn as defendant number two etc, to the degree or extent of your liability. It is not the case that you are exonerated because you were merely repeating the offensive statements of slander or libel. Hence you verify and ascertain before you publish and this is why reputable media house employ facts-checkers!

Some Nigerians have sought to 'explain' and excuse CNN by stating that the forty-percent statements in the documentary was nothing CNN said, but instead, it was by a Nigerian /African interviewee. To that, I say hogwash! The question I would like to ask such Nigerian is this, would CNN broadcaster a documentary in which a Nigerian assert that 40% of the population in American use cocaine or that 40% of the people in America are violent criminals? Would CNN rely and broadcast an assertion as such, by a Nigeria/African interviewee? Would CNN broadcast such disparagements against the US, especially, where the assertions are not based on hard facts and solid evidence?

John Gotti is an Italian American, so was Paul Costellano before him, and Ditto Vincent Gigante etc, they were all friends in organized crimes, also known as the Mafia. How could it be possibly fair to judge the average Italian, Italian American by the standard of these Mafioso?

A Nigerian who goes by the name Naija for Life at has actually made my arguments and contentions, when he asserted that the nation of Switzerland is known for being bankers of looters, but the Western Press only barrage us with stories about Swiss Alps and ski resorts and all the good stuff about the Swiss.

Just when I thought that we have heard enough bizarre efforts by some Nigerians in defense and justifications for CNN's denigration of Nigerians and Nigeria; then came Mr. Wayo Guy! Who is Nigerian lawyer in Washington DC; Perhaps it is better that Mr. Wayo Guy should be promptly ignored? Who takes advice or chastisement from a way guy anyways? Mr. Wayo Guy with countless clichés and anecdotal spews, he lectured us on why we should light candles and desist from cursing the darkness et al.

He insisted that our government should have looked for two or perhaps more Nigerians to rebut CNN interviewee assertion that 40% of the Nigerians in Houston are up to no good. Truth is, Mr. Alaibo and Mr. Adujie are Nigerians living in the United States. Both of them, in published opinions, have debunked the forty-percent spoil rate crap by the CNN interviewee! What rebuttal is enough for this Mr. Wayo Guy? Or for any wayo-man for that matter?

Mr. Wayo Guy also naively believed that CNN is not mindful of what it does and so, there is no "conspiracy" against Nigeria through CNN riff raff documentary. When CNN or any Western media write stories about the United States or say, Israel, they are alive to the possibility of vocal and vociferous reactions and defense of the US and or Israel!

Western media engage in circumspection in stories about America and Europe.

But when it comes to Nigeria and Africa, western media do not generally expect reactions to whatever lies they spurn about us. They do not expect reactions or adverse consequences for maligning and lampooning us. Western Press engage in no political correctness in their Nigerian African coverage or stories, precisely because, they do not anticipate consequences as part of the equation. They do not ever expect anyone to exact a cost from them, a cost or price for doing the wrong thing. Just imagine CNN's attitude, if CNN thought that doing a stupid story or documentary on Nigeria will cost them money or viewership?

In the case of Nigeria, on the other hand, CNN and other Western media can always be sure to trust tepid reactions and even arguments by some Nigerians like Mr. Wayo Guy and others, defending the offending CNN and justifying CNN sexed up salacious and gratuitously insulting trash called documentary by CNN!

Would CNN similarly rely on an unverified assertions or claims by a non-expert, non-statistician without empirical data as CNN relied on, to make spurious conclusions about Nigeria… if CNN was doing a similar documentary on the nations of Israel, the USA or Italy? My Jewish friends will call CNN anti Semitic if CNN tried these shenanigans on Jews! But Nigerians are easy targets, because we are so objective and brutally honest about ourselves and our country, especially when Nigerians and Nigeria are castigated by foreigners, Dianne Abbott or by CNN!

Thank goodness for Nigerians such Mr. Ebi Bozimo and this Naija For Life fellow, otherwise you are forced to wonder why every Nigerian, or some of them, seems to be in their most objective, brutally honest when it comes to damning fellow Nigerians and Nigeria! Whatever happened to the idea, maxim, to the effect, nobody does cooking better than your mother? Why are so many Nigerians in the business of always assuming that the foods cooked by other moms are ALWAYS preferable and better than foods cooked by their own mother? CNN, BBC and others, in their portrayals of some Nigerians with unsavory characters, do not isolate their depictions, these negative depictions are extrapolated in effect to cover all Nigerians. Mr. Wale Akin just made that point again regarding how decent Nigerians are treated in airplanes, airports and in banks in the UK!

Some Nigerians deceive themselves, in thinking they are decent and sexy, so that when CNN and BBC and other media houses castigate, stigmatize and malign Nigerians and Nigeria, it does not include them. But the truth is, they are referring to you, to you, to all Nigerians! They make no distinctions, neither do their viewers or listeners. CNN and BBC cater to a world with short attention span. A world that is unwilling to engaged in analyses required to separate Nigerians with virtues from Nigerians with vices. Especially, when these issues relate, touch and concern Nigeria or Africa; the inconvenient part of the world?

Too many Nigerians tend to always, always, give the benefit of the doubt to foreign institutions and foreign governments, but are loathe to belief in and applaud anything that Nigerians and Nigeria does! Some Nigerians are too quick to assume that Americans and Europeans are always dealing with us in altruistic and benevolent manners and that they are acting in good faith! But geopolitics and world affairs is like a soccer game, everyone plays for his team to win.

Why is it? That some Nigerians wax and waltz most eloquently, only when they criticize Nigeria, why can't these Nigerians put their eloquence to use, in Nigeria's defense? Nigeria's national purpose vide national interests

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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June 07, 2006

Words and Consequences

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- When I come across written words, especially aptly chosen and astutely used words? I become fascinated! I am frequently captivated by any writer’s accurate descriptions and presentations embedded in those words, whether the matter being described is alive or an abstract. Words, usually key me into whether the material is effervescent or dull as drudgery.

A written page is vibrant, if it captures circumstances for the reader, as intimately intended in the floatation of a writer’s emotions; Sad and solemn or joyously happy.

Our commonality as citizen of Nigeria has suffused our public debate or commentaries on our national issues, with our unique words imbued in our culture and national nuanced words and meanings which are unmistakably Nigerian.

When I read words that are written by Nigerians, I take more than a cursory interest and do so, for more than one reason. First, the issues that most Nigerians write about have complete resonance and relevance with and to me. These are assuredly my issues as well. As we share nationality and national issues in common as compatriots. Nigerians are liable to see a zillion things from the same prisms imbued in our commonalities. We all will roll our eyes, if we read that someone was about to engage in some wayo, gibiti or gra~gra, just as we will appreciate a gesture as we read that the host offered kola-nuts.

Additionally, I take more than a passing interest in how we describe everything, particularly, political situations and circumstances that are special to Nigeria, and the rest of political happenings which Nigeria has in common with the rest of the world.

Some years ago, a Nigerian friend of mine, who is a senior attorney with an agency of New York City, had scheduled a Christening and birthday party for her two sons. As it turned out, her husband lived in Nigeria by choice he was in New York City frequently on business trips to and from Nigeria. And one of the husband’s townspeople in my presence, enquired from the lady, whether she had obtained permission from her husband for celebrations! Many present who witnessed the questioning, turned almost simultaneously to glare at the gentleman. Most of the persons present gave searing looks that was louder than audibly questioning the use of the word, permission!

I watched as he struggled to explain what he had in mind, which was, not exactly what he expressed in his verbal delivery. According to him, his inquiry was limited to, whether wife and husband had discussed these celebrations. Particularly because his observation was that it took lots of efforts to plan and execute the party. And he, merely wondered aloud why the husband, who is frequently in New York, was absent from the planning and execution of these celebrations. Some commented that they assumed he was being chauvinistic. Our friend in this example could have expressed the same sentiments with words, such as did you discuss your plans with your husband? Even at that, it seems to beg the issue, whether the spouses consult each other on these family matters. Careful deliberate phrasing is suggested, especially in matters of husband and wife, with particular regard to the equality of spouses. Handle delicately. Be sensitive and let your comments reflect changed times, from our grandmothers to the present day.

Tribe! What tribe are you! That is the question that I frequently get asked by some Nigerians when I meet them. I am always eager to meet Nigerians in the United States and elsewhere outside of Nigeria.
When, I hear conversations in any Nigerian language, I inexorably as if in auto-response, would invariably want to meet the persons to introduce myself and identify myself or assert my Nigerian-ness. First of all, I feel the fact that I am Nigerian is sufficient or should adequately answer and reassure the other Nigerian whose acquaintance I have just met. Asking my state of origin usually leads me to saying, ah, yes, from all thirty-six states, and from all 774 local government areas and the federal capital territory of Abuja.
In the belief that Nigerian citizenship is complete without the unnecessary variations of settler, indigene or state of origin discriminatory classifications, I am completely satisfied with saying I am a Nigerian.

I would have thought that an assertion of my Nigerian-ness would serve all purposes. But almost inevitably, I always have to endure, the, what tribe are you question! There are more Hausas, more Yorubas and more Igbos and other distinct ethnic and language groups in Nigeria. There are Ethnic and Language groups, larger and richer in materials and human population, than many countries in Europe and elsewhere. And yet, no one refers to Croat, or Serbians or Welch and Scots as tribes! What tribes are Italians? Greeks and Turks; How come I never have experienced anyone asking the Chinese what tribes it is, from which they hail? After all, there are Cantonese, Mandarin and other ethnic Chinese!

Here in the US, where I live, there are a multiplicity of ethnicities, from the African American ethnic group to Indian, German, Japanese, Jew, Chinese, Russian ethnic groups, just to name a few. But no one ever remember to ask the vexing question of the multicultural, multilingual Americans what tribes they belong! You are either an American or you are not. You are either a Nigerian or you are not! You may happily identify with your ethnicity or heritage as an American, and so could you, as a Nigeria.

In America, you are either, an African-American, or German-American, Polish-American as in Yoruba Nigerian, Hausa Nigerian or Igbo Nigeria in Nigeria, perhaps.

But you ask me what tribe? No! I do not belong to that sort of classification. I’m no member of herds of animals!
When I hear the word tribe, it conjures herds of animals in the National Geographic!

I am equally peeved when some insists on referring to distinct language groups in Nigeria as mere dialects, as if, a mere variation from a “real” language! Let us take for instance, as well, our frequent use of the words rule, ruler and warn.

These are words that I came across perhaps too frequently in reading some Nigerian stories in Nigerian newspapers on the Internet and at Nigeria –related websites… In matters of the third term agenda, Mr. Cohen, the American warned, and a Nigerian commentator queried the manner of President Obasanjo’s rule and why he should not remain Nigeria’s ruler beyond 2007. Rule, ruler and say, regime, suggests everything, but democracy. In proper democratic setting, the words ought to be the administration, the leader or president. Rule, suggests no democratic processes or participation by the people.
Ruler, as well, suggest unelected traditional chief or something undemocratic. Just as the word regime would remind the average Nigerian of the checkered past with military intervention in Nigeria politics and governance.

Just above, you must have noticed the reference to Mr. Cohen, who warned President Obasanjo! Yes! You read it! He warned! But who the heck is this guy? He warned the president of Nigeria? Does the president of Nigeria work for him? And wait a minute! Most employers do not and would not engage in publicly warning their employees!
Mr. Cohen warned who? And who is Mr. Cohen to warn any Nigerian? What mindset informs the writer’s use, of the word warn? Why do some of our public commentators and professional journalists write in these peculiar ways? Are our writers contemplative and deliberative as to the terms that they use in print?

Why would a Nigerian Public Intellectual refer to Britain or England as Nigeria’s former Colonial Master? Or why is it that an American, whose country, America, was similarly colonized by the same Britain/England, would not describe it as such? master? Whose master? Britain/England colonized many other countries in the world apart from Nigeria, but I am yet to meet citizens of former British colonies that would refer to England as former Colonial Master! What mindsets inform some of our peculiar expressions?

I can grudgingly live with a taxi driver at Murtala Mohammed Airport in Lagos referring to anyone who is not an African as Oyinbo and Masa (master, master) but what do we say of a public official, a public intellectual and worse, a journalist, who in reference to England would use the term, our former Colonial Master?

If anything, the English, in their capacity as colonizers, were usurpers of local authority and they were as such as illegal, as illegal as the erstwhile apartheid regime was in South Africa. I cannot for a minute imagine a South African public official, public intellectual and or journalists refer to the former heinous apartheid regime, as former Colonial Master or former Apartheid Masters! Who is the Servant?

What if the speaker or writer was just to say, or write, during colonial period, the then colonial government or during the colonial days in Nigeria? Or during colonial regime, after all, the British were not elected to serve in Nigeria or in any of its former colonies!

There are many, numerous words that we Nigerians use, words that are peculiar to us, words that we use, which convey the precise meaning to the reader or listener, with same or similar pedigree of our social cultural backgrounds, meaning to which only those who knows, are supposed to know and appreciate. It is sort of pictorial picturesque manner of speaking and writing. It is like conveying a political commentary that would fill several pages, but it is rendered in cartoon format in one-quarter page and all those already familiar with the political storylines, are quick to appreciate the cartoon, to which several written pages would not convey sufficiently to the uninitiated.

Nigerians possess this crisp, succinct and precise clarity, for expressing situations that are idiosyncratically Nigerian. We must however give more thought to the words that we use, so that, what our words conveys or connotes, are concisely what we mean. We must express our point of view without secondary or extraneous meanings and or innuendoes. Nigerians public speakers and writers ought to be more deliberative and contemplative, in our choice of words and expressions. We should be deliberate and careful, to express ourselves and enunciate our intents.

Nigerians should endeavor to be particular, as regards how we come across, with our words. It is quite easy to be lost in translation or to be taken by someone who is not a Nigerian, to take a Nigerian speaker or writer as having a mindset, to which Nigerians do not aspire, in the least! Words, spoken or written, do indeed have consequences!

By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 01:31 PM | Comments (0)

CNN Attacks On Nigerians in Houston & Why Nigeria's Image Matters

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Houston-Texas, United States generated two very dramatic events in the last days of May 2006. A trial court in Houston, through its jury announced the convictions of Enron founder Mr. Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, the former chairman and chief executive respectively, of the now defunct Enron Energy Corporation, that was in its heydays, headquartered in Houston, and Enron was a Houston renowned institution, I might add. But then, Enron engaged in fuzzy math and it landed in legal hot waters!

Enron was once the toast of the financial markets and the darling of Wall Street. Enron had a spectacular rise to phenomenal heights on the rockets of success, at the end, Enron was a victim of its success, its fictitious success to which it was catapulted, with funny mathematics.

Why did CNN focus on a few Nigerians in Houston Despite the Enron Catastrophe in Houston? Is this just a matter of perception and perspectives? How did CNN manage to neglect the forest of the Enron debacle, while CNN was in hot pursuit of a few crumbs of trees by way of a few Nigerian immigrants involved in frauds?

Time Magazine described the Enron debacle in these words; After a four-year investigation, 16 weeks of testimony and less than six days of deliberations, a jury of eight women and four men decided the decline and fall of Enron weren't just bad press and bad luck, as the two had claimed.

The rot came from within. For all the Porsches parked in the company garage, it turns out Enron didn't have much in the bank. Forensic auditors have discovered that cash flow in 2000, the money left over after the bills are paid, was a negative $153 million, not the heady $3 billion claimed. The nearly $1 billion profit was bogus. Forget 2001/ Even the auditors couldn't fathom the books that year. Banks like JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, who financed Enron's schemes with stock and bond offerings, have already agreed to pay $7.3 billion in restitution to shareholders. Sentencing for Lay and Skilling is set for September, but with the trial over, 16 other Enron employees who turned state's witness can also be sentenced.

Enron's stock price was up 36% last week, despite the news that founder Ken Lay and former CEO Jeff Skilling had been convicted of lying to investors and employees as the company sank into bankruptcy in 2001. The once mighty energy firm, which traded at $90 a share six years ago, is selling for 15¢, up 4¢ on the day after the verdicts. It would be laughable if so many people hadn't lost so much--stockholders lost $60 billion in market value, long-serving employees lost more than $2 billion in pension money, and 5,600 people lost their jobs.

Today not much is left of the pipeline company that Lay, the preacher's son from Missouri, turned into a high-flying purveyor of wind and water, electricity and energy emissions and, ultimately, hot air.

The moral victory is won, says Steve Berman, a Seattle attorney representing some 21,000 employees who lost their pensions. Enron joins WorldCom, Adelphia and Tyco among the big companies busted by President Bush's Corporate Fraud Task Force, which has won 1,063 convictions, including guilty verdicts against 36 chief financial officers and 167 corporate CEOs and presidents. The 64-year-old founder faces up to 165 years of hard time; Skilling, 52, is up against a possible 185 years.

The jury found that Lay criminally touted the stock even after whistle-blower Sherron Watkins gave him her famous memo in August 2001 warning that Enron's accounting was deeply flawed; Skilling had quit only days before. Both men were found guilty on every charge of fraud and conspiracy in the indictment--six against Lay, 13 against Skilling. While Skilling was acquitted on nine charges of insider trading, he and Lay were also convicted on various other charges involving stock sales and audits.

Sam Buell, an early member of the Enron Task Force, remembers how difficult it was to assemble a case back in January 2002--a month after the company's bankruptcy and with the suicide of Enron's vice chairman Cliff Baxter seared into everyone's conscience. "Enron was the 9/11 of the financial markets," says Buell, now a visiting law professor at the University of Texas, "but nobody wanted to be a witness." Slowly, the task force's prosecutors turned the screws on the bad guys."

It is funny how CNN, an American media giant, known worldwide, chose to focus on the petty crimes of some Nigerian immigrants in Houston, while a court in the same Houston, was rendering verdicts in corporate greed that led to the Enron debacle. It goes to show that it is all a matter of prisms, perceptions and perspectives. Where you stand on issues, is determined by where you sit. Arizona according to The New York Times, is the identity theft capital of America and not Houston. STOLEN LIVES; Technology and Easy Credit Give Identity Thieves an Edge Phoenix-Arizona, In a Scottsdale police station last ... highest rate of identity theft complaints in the nation ... to print checks in his victims' names. So, why did CNN focus on the Nigerians in Houston? Is it because the thieves in Arizona are not Nigerians?

Nigeria Image Matters

All Nigerians should respond to CNN's offensive and unacceptable generalizations about Nigerians in Houston and Nigerian immigrants in the Americas as a whole. CNN claim to the effect that forty percent of Nigerians in America are into frauds and crimes is baseless. The spurious numbers are not based on empirical data or analyses.
Sabella O Abidde wrote an excellent essay titled Images from and about Africa , an article to which I wrote a rejoinder, A Response to: Images from and about Africa by Sabella Abidde and that was before my attention was drawn to the full impact of the CNN story about Nigerians in Houston.

I abhor all crimes and criminals. But that does not allow CNN, the press generalize about Nigerians and Nigeria. And law abiding and hardworking decent Nigerians should not feel the need to bow their heads in shame. I work eighty hours a week in New York City and there are many Nigerians who hold two jobs in America. The great majority of Nigerians in America are decent and dignified persons and we have no apologies to make to anyone for the behavior of a few Nigerians. We resent being measured and grouped with miscreants or criminal elements.

Unless the new logic is that all Americans should bury their heads in shame because of the frauds and criminal acts of Mr. Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling of Enron? All Americans should be ashamed for the criminal behaviors of the executives of Enron which joins WorldCom, Adelphia and Tyco, AIG, Halliburton etc, all of them, American companies that have engage in the most egregious corporate frauds.

Unless the new logic is that all Americans should now bury their heads in shame for the brutal killings by some American soldiers in Haditha in Iraq, and the now infamous abuses by American military personnel in Afghanistan or Abu Ghraib in Iraq and at Guantannamo Bay prisons in Cuba or the Mai Lai massacre in Vietnam. Decent Nigerians in America and worldwide have nothing to apologize for or be ashamed about!

We must be clear therefore, that every actions and words by persons or media that impact Nigeria's image negatively, should warrant vigorous response from all of us. It is all about us. Regardless of who is president of Nigeria and regardless of what form of government operates in Nigeria at the given time.

It must be clear to all Nigerians, at home and abroad, that what affect Nigeria affects all of us. Nigerians must make offensive generalizations about Nigeria an expensive proposition or undertaking. There should be consequences and heavy price to pay by anyone who generalizes about Nigerians and Nigeria.
Africans must engage in self-definition and self-assertion, there are no alternatives! As we define and assert ourselves, we must also always respond to mischaracterizations.

Africans have been the recipients of an unfair amount of meddling, interferences and outright interruptions by external forces of evil. There are of course, in Africa, people who are human beings, like every other human being on earth, who are not in possession of plentiful virtue, but instead warped attributes or vices.

It has become exceedingly easy, sexy and even entertaining to be extremely critical of the African continent and its travails.
Africa's litany of critics, are conversely unwilling to critically examine the role and impact of external factors, and external players that have created, that sustains and even exacerbates the crises and sufferings in Africa. Adversities and perversities have sources and causes remote and immediate, internal and external.

I wondered why he did not question why BBC, CNN, Fox etc never talk to or about Nigerian/African medical doctors, lawyers, bankers, stock brokers etc why the fixation and auto focus on adversity and perversity? Or the man bite dog angle? There is a stock exchange in Nigeria and there are brokers there, there are companies there… let CNN and the BBC talk about the Nigerian Stock Exchange for a change!
Let the Western media talk to some Nigerian/African doctors and lawyers and business persons for a change! Let the western media leave their voyeurism for a week and talk instead about marriage, birth, death, sunrise and sunset in Africa. Human angles presented without the usual gory adversities and perversities. Is there joy in Africa?

If you watch or listen to Western media long enough, you will start to believe that there are only wars and famine and ebola in all of Africa every time, anytime and all the time!

Cable New Network otherwise known as CNN worldwide, attained its reputation partly because it is trail blazer in many respects and partly, as well, because it practice journalism by the book. CNN became household name with instant name recognition.
CNN however is fast becoming a bastion of shoddy and sloppy journalism.

This erstwhile dignified and respectable cable television network with international reputation now wallows in sensationalism in its reportage. CNN now practices yellow journalism of the worst tabloid types!

In recent times, CNN has had to retract series of false and inaccurate stories

On behalf of Nigerians in the Americas and on behalf of Nigerians in the motherland and worldwide; we must protest the offensive and stereotypical portrayal of Nigerians by the Cable News Network, CNN. Media houses are increasingly desperate for advertisers dollars. And as a result, they resort to sensationalisms and voyeurisms to attract readers and viewers, which in turn attract advertisers or sponsors.
We are outraged by CNN's cavalier and most perversely convenient presentation of some Nigerians in Houston alleged to be engaged in unsavory activities. CNN's presentation created the impression that Nigerians have a particular bent for identity theft crimes.
It is my belief that such portrayal is malicious and a demonstration of lazy journalism.

CNN is supposed to be a highly esteemed news network. I am are very disappointed that CNN chose to castigate and label Nigerians and Nigeria as CNN did, in a manner that suggested that Nigerians in America and Houston in particular are engaged in criminal activities in a pervasive way. Why does CNN paint Nigerians with such negative broad brush generalizations?

Nigerians are hardworking people and law abiding citizens in America and elsewhere in the world. It is journalistic irresponsibility on the part of CNN to portray Nigerians in Houston as if they posses a peculiar predisposition for identity theft crimes.

And as such, CNN has in an intellectually lazy storyline, portrayed Nigerians in Houston as some sorts of monolithic lot. Watching that CNN feature, one will come away with the impressions, that Nigerians in Houston are a bunch of bad guest in their host American communities. If a Nigerian medical doctor or a Nigerian lawyer was to say that she believed that Nigerians in a particular locality in America constituted forty percent of her particular profession, would that make it true, especially when such assertion is not supported with empirical data?

I am are certain that CNN and the rest of the world know or at least, ought to know that there are virtues and vices within every community on God's earth.

I am are certain, as well, that CNN knows or has reasons to know that there are Nigerians in Houston who have excelled in various fields of human endeavors. There Nigerians in Houston and all over America, who are medical doctors, lawyers, nurses, taxi drivers, security guards.
CNN ought to be interested in Nigerians who have contributed immensely and added value to Houston and other communities in America that are host to Nigerians.

We suggest that CNN do a follow up story about Nigerians in Houston and other parts of America who are doing positive things.
There are Nigerians who are volunteers.

The overwhelming majority of Nigerians in Houston and other parts of America are law abiding, tax paying and voting neighbors of others as Americans or resident aliens.

CNN has engaged is gross misuse of its renowned medium to disseminate stereotypical information about Nigerians. CNN engaged in an extremely perverse generalizations regarding involvement by some Nigerians in identity theft.

Were the folks at CNN interested in a fair or balanced story, CNN would have sought Nigerians in Houston who are involved in legitimate work. Some Nigerians in Houston and throughout America hold two jobs simultaneously.

CNN's depiction of Nigerians in Houston and all of America, as specializing in fraudulent activities, including identity thefts is most offensive and unacceptable.

There are over two million Nigerian citizens residing in the USA, including bonafide Nigeria-American citizens and permanent resident. CNN and the world should be aware that the average Nigerian immigrant in America has a college degree and higher education in comparison to most, this, according to the United States Census Bureau.

Nigerians in America are employed and they continue to make meaningful contributions and continue to add value to their local communities here America. It is mischievous and a disservice to peoples of America and Nigeria, for CNN to create these wrong impressions about Nigerians who are in fact model immigrants.
CNN has engaged in pedestrian journalism with its generalizations about Nigerians. We are sure than CNN would not generalize about Italians Americans because of a few who are involved in organized crime or Mafia. And I am sure that CNN will not portray all Colombians in America as cocaine dealers, because of the act of a few Colombians. CNN knows that it will be wrong to portray every Afghan in America as a Taliban terrorist!

Nigerians worldwide object in the strong terms to CNN's false and stereotypical depictions and negative portrayal of Nigerians carte blanche.

By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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May 31, 2006

115 Blunders By Nigeria’s National Assembly: A Throwaway of Baby, Bathwater & Basin

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- On May 16th 2006 the senate in Nigeria voted to reject 116 proposed amendments. These 116 amendments however, included the controversial and vexed third term.

Since the vote of rejection by the upper house of the Nigerian legislature of these constitutional amendments, there has been emotional outbursts, sense of unalloyed elations, outright euphoria and gloating in Nigeria and even beyond.
But it must be noted that these amendments, were more than just about term elongation.

Some of us are left wondering whether there is any cause for celebrations, particularly, given the high value of all the other amendments that were dumped in the process.

Even as we wonder about any merits or benefits in the very uncritical rejection or dumping of sundry amendments without meticulous or careful examinations. There are also concerns regarding the intensity of the goading, glee and gloating that has since followed.
We are also left to wonder about the inflammatory, provocative, insensitive and offensive remarks that have been made by some politicians in parts of Nigeria.

The more that I examine the debate, the vote and the aftermath of the third term, the term extension or term elongation issues, the more I have arrived the same conclusions, and my conclusion is that the issue at stake was not about Nigerians well being or Nigeria’s enduring national interests. It was merely about the interests of some opportunistic individuals who are adamant in their insistence on being president of Nigeria in 2007!

On a careful examination, it is clear that the senate, in a hurry to make a point, literarily threw out the baby, the bathwater and the basin which had contained the baby and the bathwater, which was adjudged dirty, by all accounts. This is the sum of what a renowned lawyer, Afe Babalola, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria declared recently and I am in complete agreement with him and others with this as yet, unpopular view.

First, I will like to state for the record, that I am a fervent and staunch believer in the sanctity of our constitution (subject to amendments of course)! And further, that I subscribe to all the ideals and tenets of the rule of law, democracy, separation of powers between the different arms of Nigerian government etc. I believe that the best cure for imperfect democracy is more democracy. Democracy must be seen therefore, as work in progress.

I will state additionally, that I am clearly and thoroughly familiar, with the excellent constitutional arguments that have been made, against term extension or term elongation by the current or even future governments in Nigeria. I worry about the process, even as I worry about the results. I worry about the means as I worry about ends. We should all be worried as much about every phase and every stage or steps in the democratic process.

It must be stated as well, that some of us are keenly aware of the fact that, some of those who sponsored and led the movement against third term or term extension/elongation, were no democrats and they were no dispassionate or disinterested third parties! Some characters and players in the debates, voting and gloating, have clearly seen, weighed measured everything from a different prism and perspectives that were concealed.

It must be clear to many Nigerians by now, (assuming that it was at any time unclear), that those who led the campaign against third term, were self-interested opportunists, who merely exploited the term elongation brouhaha to further their personal and parochial political ambitions, which does not have Nigeria as its central or only focus. Those who truly care about Nigeria should have Nigeria's national interests as their sole focus.

In doing so, these selfish individual inflamed emotions and heated the polity to a boiling point. This they did, in complete disregard for Nigeria’s short term or long term national interests. Their only interests were in such things that diminished Nigeria’s unity and diversity, and in effect, they were seeking to promote parochial interests that are contrary to our national interests. Nigerians should be alarmed by the utterances of some political gladiators of late. Nigerians should be concerned with those with contempt for fellow Nigerian citizens.

Constitutional tenets and ideals were used and exploited as camouflages and proxies by political opportunists to wrap themselves and shield their nefarious intentions and evil motives. The veils are now being lifted from their chicaneries and shenanigans which had nothing to do with Nigeria.

All Nigerians citizens should have real equality in aspirations and expectation. All Nigerians must have the inalienable constitutional right to aspire to the highest office in our land. Nigerians citizens should have the equality of aspirations and expectations, whether such is economic, social, political etc. The upward mobility of every Nigerian citizen must be measured by efforts, qualifications, experience and passion.

Region of birth, place of birth, or parental origins, religion, ethnicity, region or indigene and settler statuses, must be no factors in determining reasonable aspirations and expectations of any Nigerian citizen. Including the aspiration to be president of Nigeria!
Unmentioned ulterior motives seemed to have motivated and influenced the debate and rejection of the constitutional amendment bill that was before Nigeria’s National Assembly. The rejection of 115 proposed amendments because of one is callous.

How else would anyone explain away, the blunder committed by the national assembly, the senate in particular, as Senator Ken Nnamani had sought to explain away the calamity in the dumping of numerous valuable constitutional amendments?

The senate president engaged in that hubris recently, as he tried to excuse the senate by stating that parliamentary procedures required that the abandonment of the rest of a litany of other 115 proposed amendments to the Constitution of Nigeria 1999. Senator Nnamani actually vowed or stated conclusively, that the 115 proposed amendments that were dumped along with the vexed and ultra controversial term elongation would not be revisited during the term of this senate! Even though this current senate has more than a year in its hands! There is a lot of time to consider and vote on these 115 amendments!

The 115 sundry amendments were guaranteed to produce monumental paradigm shift in a fundamental constitutional scheme of things in Nigeria. But these other 115 amendments were dumped in an emotional or illogical reaction to the term elongation item!

It is impossible to analyze item by item, the contents and meanings or impacts of these now rejected or dumped 115 proposed amendments. But just take one of them for instance. Imagine if the immunity clause was successfully expunged! That would have meant that public officials, especially the governors and their deputy and the president of Nigeria would no longer conduct themselves with impunity, while seeking cover under the immunity clause as currently provided by section 308 of the 1999 constitution.

Another valuable sample from the dumped 115 proposed amendments, was voting process and rules. What constitute credible elections, controls elections commission or election board. Who appoint chairman and members etc and all these impacts, in very fundamental ways, whether elections are free and fair, legitimate, and trustworthy etc.
Behaving with impunity, without accountability and transparency, in my view encapsulates everything that has always been wrong with Nigerian public officials from the messenger to the president. Expunging the immunity clause would have made it an imperative for Nigerian public officials to be more deliberative and contemplative in their private and public actions.

The removal of the present immunity clause would have made it possible for governors, their deputies, presidents and vice presidents to think of consequences of their actions and inactions that impact Nigerian citizens negatively. This would have been the beginning of wisdom for Nigerian public officials!
Resource Control was another item in the proposed 115 amendments. What reasonably sane Nigerian is against a constitutional resolution of this age old resource control issue? What Nigeria is in favor of injustice and neglect of the chickens that lays golden eggs?
I predict that Nigeria would remain the same, so long as the electorate believes, truly or falsely, that its vote does not count or that its votes are meaningless.

I predict as well that Nigeria will remain in perpetual motion without movements, so long as all strata of public officials conduct themselves with impunity and without fear of consequences. And public officials will remain without worries about accountability and transparency, which what the removal of the immunity clause from the constitution would have engendered or even compelled.

It must be clear therefore, that the carte blanche rejection of the other 115 proposed amendments to the constitution of Nigeria 1999 was a monumental blunder by, and on the part of the Nigerian National Assembly. Nigerians ought to urge the senator to reconsider! Nigeria’s national assembly has a whole year from now the elections in 2007 to debate and enact those 115 proposed amendments. If the senators are wary of benefiting current politicos, these amendments’ effective dates can be enshrined in their passage.

Dumping those 115 proposed amendments amounted to guaranteeing safe passage to those public officials who are crooks by any other name, who have pillaged and may continue to pillage resources that rightly belong to all Nigerian citizens.
It also ensures that elections may continue to be seen by the electorate as a farcical process from which the electorate is discounted and disvalued. What is democracy then, if the electorate thinks elections lack credibility? Voter apathy is not good for democracy.

Nigerians ought to encourage all to trust and participate in all aspect of the democratic process.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 06:50 AM | Comments (0)

May 09, 2006

Gender Equality Agenda and Obasanjo’s Presidency

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Women Empowerment: An Exemplary Record!” Was one of the first titles or headers which I had considered, as, aptly adequate to describe the giant strides attained within the President Obasanjo’s administration since its inception on May 29, 1999.

At the time that I first thought of writing about this issue, the all important issue of gender equality in Nigeria, particularly, given the giant strides that I speak of; Strides that are in connection with gender equality, gender emancipation for Nigerian women. Gender agenda of our current national government, is therefore the befitting subject matter that will herein be our focus.

I have mulled over this subject matter for quite a while, it is unstated or understated gender agenda by our current president; Perhaps, purposefully understated? Well, I finally settled on writing this article, I chose the present title because it captures, more adequately, the spectacular groundbreaking gender equality forays in Nigeria, since 1999.

Nigerians should be very clear on this issue. President Obasanjo has moved mountains in connection with gender equality agenda in Nigeria since the inception of his administration in 1999. And as I have written in the past, Nigeria is only one of two countries worldwide that has appointed a female as Finance Minister, Secretary for Treasury or as Director of the Exchequer. In plain words, it means the appointment of a female as the chief money or fiscal manager for the entire county of Nigeria.

Let us be clear, this has never happened in Nigeria, in Africa or anywhere else, in the recent past. The giant strides so far made by the current federal government in Nigeria, regarding the pride of place of our women folks, are unequalled and unparalleled. There have been many tangible and intangible accomplishments for women since 1999.

We concede that there is more that needs to be done to elevate women worldwide.

Even though unheralded by some, Nigerian women have faired so much better during Obasanjo’s presidency. The current president of Nigeria recognizes the availability in abundance, talented, educated, creative and experienced women technocrats of outstanding achievements and accomplishments. Our president has, as always, with a broad masterstroke, empowered eminently qualified Nigerian women by appointing many of them to high profile government agencies and organs.

Among the numerous outstanding federal appointments of women to high caliber positions is the appointment of the Honorable Justice Aloma M. Muktar who becomes the first woman in Nigeria’s judicial history to be appointed to the Supreme Court of Nigeria. Through this appointment, President Obasanjo broke the glass ceiling of female lawyers in Nigeria. It is a historical first. The Supreme Court of Nigeria has always been an all boys club since the founding of Nigeria as a nation.

Honorable Justice Aloma M. Muktar’s appointment gives credibility to Obasanjo’s promise to champion women’s empowerment.

Nigeria, during the Obasanjo’s presidency, have also been blessed with the appointments of many other females, such as Honorable Minister of state, Finance, Mrs Nenadi Esther Usman, as well as the appointment of Honorable Minister Mrs. Oby Ezekwsili of Ministry of Solid Minerals otherwise known as Madam Duc Process. Additionally, Dr. Dora Akunyili of NAFDAC and Mrs. Chikwe the former Minister for Aviation, and Mrs. Ojomo, who served as Minister for Housing. Nigeria’s Federal Internal Revenue Service is headed by Ms. Ifueko Omoigui and Nigeria Stock Exchange (NSE) is presided over by Mrs. Onyiuke. Mrs Chinwe Nora Obaji the Minister for Education and Mrs Halima Tayo Alao Minister of state, Education, Minister of state, Health Chief (Mrs) HU Esuene Presidential Liaison Officer Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Mrs Grace Ogwuche is one of the new cabinet ministers. This is by no means exhaustive list.

These are simply extraordinary and outstanding progress. If was legal to vote more than once and If I were in Nigeria and voting, I would have voted once each, for President Obasanjo, each vote in appreciation of our president, on the behalf of all my family members of the feminine gender.

Uproarious and dancing-in-the-street commendations ought to greet President Obasanjo for his boldness and courage of action, because his foresight in taking numerous swipes at women’s marginalization in our world. He is a man worthy of praises for denting, in a very big way, the age-old and perennial neglect of women; He has slashed and carved away, wanton neglect and the abhorrent practice that does not appreciate women as valuable national resource for development.

Even in America and other parts of the world, women continue to struggle for acceptance as full citizens, competent and qualified professionals trusted to hold important or key positions in the world, in both private and public sectors. This is changing in Nigeria, rightly so. Perhaps, in due course, Nigeria a president of our country whose gender is female; As the Americans are scrutinizing two high profile women for a possible run for the US presidency, that is, Senator Hilary Clinton and United States’ Secretary of State Dr. Condi Rice, two competent women, even though with different social philosophies, I hope that Nigerians will also scrutinize Nigerian super qualified women for Nigerian presidency. And Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, Mrs. Ezekwsili, Mrs. Akunyili etc comes to mind.

According to Mr. Sonala Olumhense, a self confessed critic of President Obasanjo, a virulent critic, I might add, President Obasanjo has had more than 27 women in assorted ministerial appointment chairs. Here is what he wrote in (NVS)

“I am impressed at how much opportunity he has provided in his cabinet for the female constituency. Since 1999, he has had 27 women in assorted ministerial chairs, and many more in significant other top positions. Despite my reservations about him, he deserves to be congratulated for this. It is a clever political move, of course, but as long as his choices for high office are among the nation's best and brightest, I will not begrudge him.

Among President Obasanjo's best investments is the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Ngozi Okonji-Iweala. Owing to her commitment and her credibility, Nigeria has made tremendous strides in the management of her foreign debt. I know that this is only one component of her portfolio, and that she has made some questionable decisions and indecisions in other areas of it, but her foreign debt triumph is significant, and she deserves both our congratulations and our gratitude. It is also a clear sign of what happens when the right professionals, not contractors, party-hacks or clansmen, are invited to serve.

Mrs. Okonji-Iweala serves in a huge, market-square style cabinet in which, over the past seven years, there have been many faces and personalities. I have often wondered about life around that table, and around the presidential palace. As you know, there is also a whole army of presidential advisers, assistants and "kingsmen." Hopefully, some of these powerful people will publish their political memoirs shortly”

Mr. Olumhense omitted the groundbreaking and spectacular appointment of the first female to the Supreme Court of Nigeria, just as he neglected to state the Finance Minister’s name accurately or correctly. It is Okonjo, not Okonji. Certainly, more needs to be done to empower women in the world and in Nigeria. Women are our mothers, sisters, aunts, wife, girlfriend, professional colleagues etc, there more women in the world population than there are men. Women are now outnumbering men, in college graduation numbers and admissions to the professions. It is unintelligent to neglect such huge segment of our human capital resources.

Clearly, President Obasanjo is obviously ahead of this all important worthy cause, the emancipation and empowerment of Nigerian women!

President Olusegun Obasanjo has frequently call on women to use their powers and skills constructively and collectively to effect positive change in society. President Obasanjo promised to champion electoral reforms that will require all registered political parties in the country to set aside 25 percent of their elective offices for women.

And as the flurry of activities in connection with the much debated Third Term or no third term continues; Nigerians will do well to accord credits to President Obasanjo myriad accomplishments and in particular, for having the vision and foresight to have commenced a gender agenda in our country to further gender equality in Nigeria.

President Obasanjo deserves all accolades and encomiums for women empowerment in Nigeria. President Obasanjo can deservedly add this to his retinues of laudable legacies

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 09:16 AM | Comments (0)

April 30, 2006

Bleeding Heart: Bahamas

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- There is always this feeling that hits me every time I meet peoples of African descent. These rather unique feelings of mine wells-up, each time that I meet Africans, other than, continental Africans.

I think it is an indescribable feeling of loss and nostalgia. And yet it is a feeling that I cannot quite describe precisely. These are very strong feelings all the same.

When I look into the eyes of people of African descent, when I gaze at the complexions of people who are clearly Africans, but for, the brutal history of slave trade and slavery, I feel a mixture of reacquainting and loss.

I often cry quiet, painful tears when I meet African Americans. I sob equally as when I traveled through Jamaica’s different Parishes. What I saw in Kingston was not different from what I had seen in Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay etc.

When I visit the West Indies or the Island Nations of the Caribbean, I meet people who are clearly my long-lost cousins, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and all other members of my extended African family of yesteryears. Africans inside and outside of the African continent possess unmistakable gaits about them. There are these seen and unseen indelible African-ness about people of African descent wherever they are located on God’s good earth. Despite the forced-dispersal from the continent almost a millennium ago, our African siblings remain authentically and genuinely replicas and representatives our collective forbears.

Here I am in Bahamas and every person I meet, gives me the soulful embrace and reminder of the fact that they are the blood of my blood, the bone of my bone and that we are kit and kin. Our collective origins are unmistakable. It is always so obvious!

This was made clear starting from the moment that I arrived at airport in Nassau Bahamas and unto stations of the immigration officials and their customs counterparts, to the taxi operators and the hotel concierge. The lady who delivered Domino Pizza to my Wyndham Hotels lobby with her right-hand-steered car, during one of the afternoons, when I felt an urge for pizza. Different shades of chocolate skins. Africans, all!

Everyone, of them had an attribute, a quality and a manner that established them as one of my own. My eyes conducted instant DNA analyses per second and they were all perfect match each and every time.

It is as if a bolt of lightening hits me with joy! Joy, for the opportunity to meet these, long lost family members again. My family members long-lost lost to the twin-evils, of slavery and colonialism. Then almost simultaneously, I am hit with a ferocious sadness, in the realization that the presence of people of African descent outside of Africa had not been of their own free-will. African descendants’ presences outside of Africa were the outcomes of man’s inhumanity to man of the worst type. Africans in the West Indies or Caribbean which Bahamas is part, did not emigrate here! They were bundled here, they were herded here, literarily, kicking and screaming! The forced migrations of Africans during slavery were without the benefits of Chaucer like pilgrims’ tale or the Mayflower Pilgrims in the Americas. African slaves were before the Mayflower and before all others

The evils, the brutalities and the gores of slavery and the colonialism, that followed in all of Africa are not spoken of or written of enough. And equally, our African descendants that were dispersed to all the continents and corners of the world through the same process are not spoken of or written of enough. There is a common thread, a common causal connection between the plights and predicaments of peoples of African descent.

Revisionists are quick to minimize the effects and after effects, of the evils, horrors, brutalities and gores of slavery. We must never forget! How can we forget the far reaching consequences and ramifications of slavery? Slavery as a phenomenon had a process that entailed unimaginable and unfathomable horrors, so many unknowns and unknowable. Including the sudden shocks of uprooting Africans from their families and friends and all familiar of their lives before the snatchings, kidnappings, branding and sale in manners reserved for animals with less dignity compared with farm animals. Africans were hauled to strange-lands and to strangers of the unknowns.

Africa is certainly not under-peopled. The current challenges on the African continent, therefore does not have depopulation as a factor. But we must remember or restate and emphasize that humans are a part of the resources of any society. The snatchings, kidnappings and mass exportations of Africa’s human resources were gross deprivations.

Additionally, there were other profound adverse effects on peoples of African descent which were and still remain consequences of slavery. Africans were on the continent and off, deprived of languages, culture, religion, foods, songs and dance and lives and loves.

Peoples of African descent are found in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Dominica, Jamaica, Haiti, St Kitts & Nieves, Panama, Puerto Rico, New Guinea, Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Australia’s Aborigines etc. Even now, the economies are similarly plagued by the lopsidedness of globalization, pretentious free-trade and all tenets of capitalism.

I saw a movie titled “Life & Debt” a tale about the economic ravages of Jamaica caused primarily by the preachments of free market, which in effect is a one way benefits in favor of America and Europe who are too willing to subsidize their farmers and industrial producers, who are then able to dump their products in developing nations, at the expense of local aspiring entrepreneurs and their enterprises or business endeavors. Depressed markets now abound in Africa and the Caribbean. Devalued currencies are now our lot.

While here at the Wyndham Hotels Resorts, the Prime Minister of Bahamas and the Governor General attended an event which I attended as well, the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian Association. The Prime of Bahamas touched on the dramatic effects of economic decisions by Europeans. In particular, he referred to how the mainstay of St. Kitts and Dominica, Sugar Cane, were sent tumbling down as Europeans continue to subsidize their farmers.

He described what happened to these Caribbean economies, as a drop into the abyss. He recounted how only Trinidad & Tobago which relies on petroleum oil production as major income earner, and some other Island nations with heavy traffic of tourist, earned enough to retain and maintain good quality of life. African peoples in the continent and in the Diaspora continue to be affected immensely by external factors and actions by Americans and Europe.

A delegate from Guyana made the point succinctly. African peoples are connected in every way and we essentially face the same challenges. She made that point as she presented a pendant to a South African delegate. She made reference to struggles by peoples of African descent and the recent struggles by South Africans against apartheid. We are all connected in good times and in not so good times.

There were, there are, for the Africans therefore, a multifaceted series of losses. Tangible and intangible losses; Physical and psychological injuries and wounds that remains.

Here in Bahamas, as I look into every eye of every person of African descent that I meet, I see myself, my family that are 500 years plus removed and all, and I ask myself repeatedly, how can any human do this to another human, for profit or whatever excuse?
Our peoples were snatched, kidnapped and dispersed. Our peoples were yanked and taken thousands of miles across the earth and now, we are part of the gorgeous mosaic of the earth, pervasive economic travails and all, in all the seven continents of the earth!

My one week of business, politics and recreation in the Bahamas is almost at an end, and I rededicate my passion and love for all Nigerians, all Africans and all peoples of African descent, wherever they are located on earth! We are one people eternally linked.

As my one week stay here in the Bahamas Islands comes to an end, I sob silently, I bleed quietly. I am in a sense, crying a millennium of tears for the hardships and sufferings that peoples of African descent have endured our lot on earth. I am elated that I have met all these long-lost family members from our continent and I wonder what they feel when they see me. In their eyes, I see me.

And now, as I set to leave this gorgeous Island nation, I am ambivalently joyous and saddened.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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April 15, 2006

Nigeria may Become Somalia, Ivory Coast, then Iraq

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Several centrifugal forces are pulling at Nigeria to different directions of precipices. The political opposition and opponents of President Obasanjo have ratcheted up their do or die battle for power, in order to end their political orphanages;

And in their obvious search for the plums that are usually found in public political offices. As government remains the sole growth industry outsider of profiteering religions in Nigeria.

At another angle, Nigeria is being pulled by the so-called Biafrans, with their errant MASSOB and the plethora of dreamers that are awaiting the rebirth of the defunct or stillborn Biafra. MASSOB had sought to interfere in the just concluded census exercise in Nigeria and there are sputtering news of their frequent distributions of worthless paper currency that they dub the Biafra pound in market square from Aba to Onitsha.

Then there is the Odua Peoples Congress or the OPC, a group that has been known as a violent ethnic militia with daggers drawn at the throat differing ethnic groups and at war with the federal government of Nigeria.

Additionally, there is MEND the Niger Delta group that has resorted to kidnappings and hostages takings during the past several months. MEND appear to be most daring, the most organized and as well as the one possessing the most sophisticated weapons.

It therefore looks as if there are now arrays of different pockets of violent agitations in every region of the major ethnic groups in Nigeria. Added to all that is the ever combustible and fiery fire mixes of religious flare ups that have occurred too frequently in recent pasts. There are now violent militias along ethnic lines.

These are all the incendiary ingredients that appear now to have coalesced into some ominous axis of evil, which is very discomforting, to say the least.

A valid comparison can now be made between these gathering storms in the various parts of Nigeria. They are spread across the major regions and ethnic groups and the similarities between these disagreements and the disagreements in Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Congo, Darfur Sudan, Haiti and of course, Iraq.

I honestly assumed that most Nigerians have watched listened and learned from the unsavory experiences of the countries just above mentioned? I thought too, that most Nigerians are also aware that there a vultures, openly waiting in the wings to devour us and leave our carcasses dry in the wind. We appear to be currently oblivious of all these, in our mutually induced zeal to annihilate each other. The vulture sees the oil, the loots to be had, without the requirements of invasion and occupation or re-colonization, because we are taking care of that in a self-destructive way. But are we willing to be dead rather than see the other Nigerian live? Are we as unthinking as that? Are we now Zombies

I have an eerie feeling, it is almost weird and sinister, a foreboding or harbinger of something unwanted, preventable and yet catastrophic and cataclysmic that is about to happen in Nigeria. If our negative passions are not put in check

Whatever this is, whatever it might be, it is all completely preventable. But some Nigerians appear to marching willingly towards the precipices, as if in acts to cut their noses to spite their own faces. Intelligent and discerning Nigerians, who are capable of doing right, are not doing so, but instead, they concentrate on parochial or myopic gripes which they hold on behalf of their subdivisions within Nigerian political arrangements. ACF is engaging in apparent political blackmail in the North, which it calls power shift. Then OPC is in the West, with numerous agitations that is not clearly defined, but distracting nevertheless.

Then MASSOB in the East, with a sort of an ambivalent and head spinning demands, the East demand the chance to realize genuine political aspirations of producing Nigerian president in 2007, while elements in the East also demand a Biafra republic, which of the demands from the East is valid and possible in the circumstances? Can a foreign citizen (a Biafran be president of Nigeria? No!)

MEND introduced itself with drum-rolls and bangs! MEND have made demands regarding needed development, environmental degradation, enhancement of life and means of livelihood. All these are reasonable and reachable. But MEND has also made completely outrageous and outlandish demands. The nullifications of impeachment against DSP Alamie the former governor of Bayelsa, who they argue should be reinstated. MEND want Nigeria to overlook Alamie's money laundering charges in Nigeria and England. These demands are nonstarters!

Now, when all these are added together, it tends to look very ominously dangerous. It is as dangerous as, say, a room full of gun powder, petrol and a lighted fireplace. In the case of Nigeria, it as if the owner of the room is aware of the gunpowder, the owner of the petrol is aware of the gunpowder and the owner of the fireplace is equally aware of all the other equally dangerous elements that will combine to produce a volcanic eruptions that will produce toxic ashes covering more than 150 million people. But all are beclouded by passionate bile.

It appears that everyone is aware of this literal seismic fault; it does appear as everyone is aware that this could be the mother lode of all earthquakes. An earthquake that could measure 9.9 on the Richter scale and yet, everyone is preoccupied with their individual and group righteous indignations about their rights as owners, separately, of the room, the gunpowder and the fireplace. Even as it is obvious, that such insistence will consume and destroy everyone and everything

At the end of these pent up anger, these righteous indignations on the part of each owner, there will be no properties left to own and there might even be no owners alive to engage in any petty squabbles or quarrels about right to own room, gunpowder and the fireplace. As wrath produced a schism culminated in the shock and awe, volcanic eruptions which puts a permanent and yet undesirable end to the family quarrels over how to proceed and whose rights were first in time and turn. No one benefits in the end results.

Some Nigerians do not want anarchy and disintegration of Nigeria, but on the contrary, some other Nigerians believe that the only end to their sufferings and bondages is when anarchy and disintegration befalls Nigeria.

In Nigeria currently, it is as if, too many are too consumed in, consumed with their parochial interests defined by negative common denominators, such as region, religion and ethnicities. So that each and everyone, of them, are working separately to bring about, very possibly, annihilating volcanic eruptions of an indescribable magnitude while insisting on their aversion for tragedy and catastrophe.

But why are there, these coalitions of unlikely bedfellows? Why are too many Nigerians fixated on gathering these combustible incendiary elements or devices? Why do some choose gunpowder, fireplace in rooms without ventilations?

Why can't the groups in Nigeria, with vested interests in what happens to Nigeria, with vested interest in the final eventual outcome of Nigeria, manage to eschew bitterness and therefore, avoid these magnified precipices? Why do they all seem, unwittingly, but most willingly, joyously walking off the cliff? Why are they engaging in what clearly appear as if an adventure in mutually assured destruction? There can be no benefits in assuring mutual defeat.

Why can't some Nigerians see the benefits in our diversities, our size and our uniqueness? Nigeria must not self-destruct. We must accentuate the positive

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

April 10, 2006

Where are Candidates, Manifestoes, or Alternatives to President Obasanjo?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Nigeria is just about one year away from a presidential and general elections in 2007. As an optimist, I will have to believe that the planned elections will occur and there will presidential inauguration come May 29, 2007.

But where are the candidates? Where are the presidential and gubernatorial elections campaigns? Why are none of the registered political parties, other than the People’s Democratic Party or PDP not campaigning and explaining their manifestoes through their chosen platforms and presidential candidates?

Does rabid hatred for President Obasanjo make a manifesto? Is that sufficient in Nigeria?

Where are the alternatives, outside of President Obasanjo and the PDP, for Nigerian voters to choose from? Why is no one canvassing ideas with the Nigerian electorate as to what their political party and platform would do for Nigeria differently, compared and contrasted against what the PDP and President Obasanjo are doing right now?

And why are more Nigerians, especially public intellectuals and commentators, not raising these pertinent issues? Is it the case that a majority of Nigerians have agreed on something that I am unaware of? Is there a fait accompli that has dawn on some Nigerians?

Is Governor Orji Kalu of Abia State the choice by consensus of the opposition political parties in Nigeria? But I thought that everyone could see that Governor Kalu is too flippant and too unreliable for anyone to take seriously? Governor Kalu, often makes grave allegations without supplying required proofs, and the first hints of pressure and demands for proofs, Governor Kalu recants and apologies!

Nigerians should see Governor Kalu for what he really is: A flip-flopper in-chief! Governor Kalu does not possess the sturdiness of character and integrity to be president of Nigeria.

Apart from the indomitable Dr. Reuben Abati of The Guardian Newspapers of Nigeria, no one else to my knowledge has asked what he asked several weeks ago, when he asked in one of his articles, a poignant question, which was: “Where Are The Presidential Candidates?”

It appears to me, that Dr. Abati and I, are the only Nigerians who did not attend a meeting by Nigerians, at which it was agreed, that Nigerians political parties, other than the PDP, must not present presidential, gubernatorial and other candidates for the elections in 2007

But before anyone pounces on me, I must announce that I am aware of the arguments, ludicrous arguments that are proffered, as excuses, as those that have been made by all other political parties outside of the PDP. Their poor excuse is that they are afraid to announce their parties’ nominees to serve as their flag bearer presidential candidates for fear of vendetta from President Obasanjo.

The word on the street therefore, goes like this, potential presidential candidates are fearful for their lives, for their safety and for their freedom and they have become political risks averse.

The warped excuses are as twisted as any conspiracy theory that you have ever heard! All Nigerian political parties and their leaders across the length and breadth of Nigeria are so fearfully scared of President Obasanjo and his omnipresent and omniscient PDP and government apparatuses, with their irrepressible political operatives; and, as such, these political opposition parties reckon that it was better not to feature presidential candidates or to announce a manifesto or manifestoes.

Having or nurturing a presidential ambition in Nigeria these warped and twisted logic now goes, is tantamount to having a death wish. Or at minimum, a wish to languish in jail, courtesy of the EFCC they insist. But it is nigh past time to make haste!

Members of these bandwagons of illogical Nigerians, and politicos are quick to point their fingers at the retired general Marwa, “friend” of President Obasanjo, who soon got arrested, detained and questioned about corruption, “only” because and as a result of his announcing that he nursed presidential ambition and these Nigerians also insists, that there are others, whose legal troubles stems “primarily” from having political ambitions or political perspectives that are different from those of President Obasanjo and his PDP!

Going by the current trend in Nigeria, General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida may have made his preemptive strike against probes and any legal troubles declaring his interests in 2007. Because, if and when IBB is accosted now, to account for his wealth and his checkered stewardship, he can now, with a straight face, say, this is selective prosecution-persecution, and it is occurring “only because” of his interest in 2007!

These conspiracy theorists, have argued further, that the impeachment and removal of the former governor of Bayelsa State, the looting governor DSP Alamieseigha met his fate, not because he was more corrupt that your average state governor in Nigeria, but, instead, because he was “almost” a card-carrying member of The Turaki Vanguard, the Vice President Atiku organization, which is said to be Atiku’s tentative flight of fancy to Aso Rock proper. The same “reasons” are adduced for looting Governor Joshua Dariye’s legal troubles.

But how come these same political parties and avowed opponents of President Obasanjo and the PDP are quick to write open letters to the president and the PDP in Nigerian newspapers and other media forums stating their most acerbic and vehement opposition to the president and his PDP? Why is it that these opponents and oppositions can indulge in these obnoxious and cantankerous paid announcements newspapers, in which they ridicule the president and the PDP, but somehow, they are too scared to advertise their candidates and their manifestoes? Why won’t these opponents and opposition political parties, similarly state and advertise their propose programs, their “superior” candidates and their equally “superior” manifestoes?

Surprisingly, these conspiracy theorists, never argue the innocence of Alamieseigha or Dariye!

What is worse, these band of illogical political hacks, never manage to explain why these so-called prosecutions, that they call persecutions and political vendetta could therefore have applied to former inspector general, and now ex-jailbird Barrister Tafa Balogun?
Instead, we were first told that Tafa Balogun is above the law, he is friend of the president, and oh, he is a Yoruba. And then, we were told that he is the brain of PDP rigging in 2003 and that an arrest or jailing of Tafa Balogun, will be a death wish or suicide for President Obasanjo, as Tafa Balogun was bound to tell-all about the PDP shenanigans of 2003 elections.

Tafa Balogun was dismissed from Nigeria’s Police, arrested and jailed. And some of us are still waiting for apologies, from those who told us, pointedly and boastfully, that the eventual waterloo that Tafa Balogun met, were impossible in Nigeria, particularly, under President Obasanjo. Oh, when was the last time in Nigeria, nay Africa that such had happened? It would never happen, they swore cock-surely. We are all wiser now?

I want to believe that Nigerians are all agreed on the all-important matters of making all our public officials accountable, transparent and corruption-free. The rule is: If you are running for public office, you must declare your assets, prove that the sources were crime and corruption-free and genuine. Establish that you have had honest business and profited from hard work; Otherwise, you are disqualified.

But why is it then a surprise to any Nigerian that the EFCC, the ICPC or the Nigerian Police and all of Nigeria’s law enforcement agencies want to know or determine the sources of wealth of potential public office holders? Who are the financiers of your political campaigns? Are your donor foreign interests that are inconsistent with Nigeria’s national interests? Are you campaign donor domestic and local criminal gangs and crooks? Are you the candidate an erstwhile public official who corruptly enriched himself and now wishes to use your loot as a means and vehicle to public office? Why should all Nigerians not want to know these things for the sake of accountability, probity and transparency?

In the United States for instance, political candidates have to go through rigorous checks, criminal background, even previous engagements in immorality or even simple inappropriate conducts or behaviors are quick to become campaign issues! Did you kick a dog or cat or some other domestic pet in your previous life, Americans want to know, now that you are running for public office. Did you park in a parking space reserved for disabled or the physically challenged or did you engage in drunk driving? And did you smoke Marijuana when you attended college or university? Americans want to know the most microscopic details of your entire life, to determine your suitableness for office. But in Nigeria, some will call an EFCC or ICPC investigations to determine these, a vendetta, a vindictive and a selective pursuit of political enemies by President Obasanjo and the PDP! Haba! President Obasanjo and the PDP are damned if they do and if they don’t?

I personally want to know what the poor excuse is, for the dearth of presidential aspirants or presidential candidates for Nigeria’s 2007 presidential elections. What are the excuses?
If the real reasons, sorry, excuses, are those that have been adduced by political opponents, and opposing political parties is just limited to their timorous timidities, of fear of death, fear of probe, fear of intimidation, fear of vendetta by President Obasanjo and the PDP operatives? I will say to them, have some balls! Have some guts!

How is it that the nearly thirty other political parties in Nigeria, other than the PDP, are not ready for prime time? What are their excuses for not selecting or announcing their selections of presidential candidates or aspirants? I am not a member of any political party in Nigeria, but if I were, I would be feeling colossal and monumental slew of embarrassments at the present time. How could anyone explain the lack of boldness and courage on the part of these numerous political parties? I am sure there a persons of courage in all these parties. President Obasanjo and PDP are the only ones with courage or sturdiness? Are members of the opposition just lazy or lacking in strategies?

Is it really a matter of lacking in courage or, is it that these other political parties are bereft of ideas? Are they suffering from collective bankruptcies of ideas? Is it the case that these other political parties have nothing to sell to the Nigerian electorate? Is that they have no manifestoes that will surpass President Obasanjo’s and PDP’s economic and political reforms agenda; President Obasanjo reforms that includes his prodigious efforts to rid Nigeria of billions of dollars of foreign debts?

Is it equally, possibly because President Obasanjo and the PDP, with all their faults, have empanelled EFCC and ICPC and such other Nigerian government organs, agencies and machineries to fight and eliminate corruption from Nigeria public space?

Some Nigerians have not be bitten by the reform bugs. These institutionalized reforms are eliminating old habits and negative old ways of easy-riches, easy money or illicit wealth. The president is hated for closing some of the old ways of doing things. He is resented for closing old negative avenues, hence the anger among the lazy-easy-money class of old?

I do believe that a vigorous and vibrant opposition are essential ingredients to a true democracy. This is so, just as free and fair elections; right to dissent, robust and vibrant opposition are to a democracy and strengthens it. But where is the Nigerian political opposition to the PDP? Imagine if the PDP actually had party discipline and internal cohesion? Imagine if the PDP did not suffer from self-inflicted wounds in Bayelsa, Anambra, Oyo and Plateau States etc? All other political parties in Nigeria would have been extinct by now!

It has become increasingly tempting to conclude that the opposing political parties in Nigeria, tens of them, lack ideas, lack men and women of substance, character and integrity. And so, they rely on distractions as cover for their bankruptcies of ideas!

Or could someone tell me why these several tens of other political parties in Nigeria have not announced their presidential aspirant-candidates? Where are the nominees for state governorships and other potential candidates for sundry public offices across Nigeria?

Nigerian political opponents are so afraid of President Obasanjo and the vicious PDP apparatuses, machineries and instruments when it comes to promoting their own candidates and manifestoes? But these same political parties, opponents of President Obasanjo and the PDP, seem to have no fear and no qualms in calling the president unprintable names as they ridicule his person, his family and the PDP?

The current vacuum left by Nigerian opposition political parties constitutes the best argument or reason for a third term, if indeed, President Obasanjo needed one. The vacuum by the opposition, the dearth of their vigor and the bankruptcies of their ideas, the absence of their candidates and manifestoes, in sum, should emboldens President Obasanjo and the PDP as they angles for the opportunities to anchor, consolidate and have their policies completely embedded in strong institutions and streamlined processes.

The opposition political parties claim they are fearful of advocating and agitating their economic and political positions in manifestoes, they say they are afraid of President Obasanjo and the PDP, sufficiently to be cowered? They are afraid to stand for what is right, legal and proper? But they are quick to engage in useless personal insults, useless personal attacks as they engage in the equally useless and completely distracting talk about third term!

The opposition political parties in Nigeria must show us their candidates and their manifestoes and what they will do better, better than President Obasanjo and the PDP, or the opposing political parties should forever hold their peace.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 10:34 AM | Comments (0)

April 09, 2006

Nigerian African Policy Needs Revisions-Reassessments

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- African is the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy and this is rightly so. This philosophy and disposition accepts in wholesale manner, the mantra, to the effect that charity begins at home; what is the value, benefit or point in being very benevolent to strangers as your family suffers unforgivable neglect? Africa as centerpiece made sense.

In my most expansive mood, Africa as centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy should include all peoples of African descent, whether they Americans, Brazilians, Cubans, West Indians of the Caribbean or the Aborigines of Australia. They are Africans.

The challenge is, to delicately balance Nigeria’s national interests with such worldview. In dialogues in championing peace in the West Africa sub region and the entire continent of Africa. Isolationism is not a good substitute, but it has become a very temping option. Can Nigeria now ignore the imperative of Nigeria’s role in West Africa, Africa and the world? Particularly, regarding our continent and its descendants worldwide?

Nigeria ought not, in view of size in every sense! Bearing in mind the size of our national resources, population, vigor and enthusiasm etc, regarding African affairs. Nigeria is so ordained to play these roles.

It is however the case that uneasy, lies the head that wear the crown of leadership
Nigeria as chief architect and chief negotiator of peace has bled Nigeria too much!

Nigeria, Kenya and then Ghana were the main operators of the engine room of African independence movement in the 1950s and 1960 pre-independence Africa. The era of Azikiwe, Awolowo, Kenyantta, Nkrumah etc

Thereafter, Nigeria spearheaded the anti Apartheid and Liberation Movements for the then colonized countries in Southern Africa, namely, Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Fact, Nigeria led the world boldly and courageously in these matters at the time.

Nigeria’s hot-pursuit of an Africa-centered foreign policy in the 1960s and 1970s was vibrant, vigorous and robust. Nigeria in words and actions, led the demand for freedom, political independence and equality for Black Africans in Southern African region.

Nigeria advocated economic, political and diplomatic sanctions against the Apartheid regime that rule South Africa at the time. Nigeria as well, demanded the termination of minority white regimes in Rhodesia now Zimbabwe, ditto Angola, Mozambique, Namibia etc. Nigeria led all sorts of boycotts against apartheid and minority regimes.
These actions by Nigeria did not endear Nigeria to some.

It will be recalled that America and European countries were slow to accept Nigeria’s point of view, and leadership in the agitations and advocacies to end apartheid and minority regimes in Southern Africa. President Reagan of the United States and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher were, in particular, vehemently opposed to the end of Apartheid.

America and most of Western Europe were therefore slow to impose United Nations mandated economic, political and diplomatic sanctions against these white minorities regimes on the African continent in the aforementioned countries.

American and some Western Europeans countries variously proffered excuses and the illogic of their supports for obnoxious oppressive and brutal white regimes in Southern Africa, America and Europe labeled and castigated Africans who sought majority rule, democracy and equality. America and Europe at the time prevaricated over these fine ideals, because it concerned Africans who were lumped together as communists, communist sympathizers and even terrorists!

It must be emphasized that in leading the process of these advocacies and agitations to end the brutal reign of terror by these white minority regimes in Southern Africa, Nigeria incurred the wrath of America and Europe for daring to be so audacious in advocating democracy, majority and the end of Apartheid.

Nigeria therefore, attracted punitive efforts from America and Europe, efforts geared at crippling Nigeria for daring to advocate, agitate and lead the world in demands for majority rule by Black Africans on African soil.

Nigeria’s political and economic troubles were initiated then by those in America and Europe, who saw it as an affront, Nigeria’s vociferous and strident advocacy on behalf of the oppressed majority in these Southern African countries (already mentioned)

Clearly, there were these plans to punish Nigeria and to teach Nigeria lessons, for daring to have the audacity to challenge the status quo of America and Europe. Nevertheless, Nigeria demanded that America and Europe stopped being the milk, honey and lubricant of Apartheid South Africa, and the other viciously monstrous minority regimes, then in all of Southern Africa.

The viciousness and violence visited on Nigeria for daring to challenge those who provided support and succor to the Apartheid and the white minority regimes culminated in the assassination of General Murtala Mohammed, who was at the time, the leader of Nigeria, whose administration courageously drove the determined and very focused policy efforts to end Apartheid and minority white regimes on the African continent.

In essence, the sum of Nigeria’s experience in the 1950s, 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s has not changed. Africa has remained the centerpiece of Nigeria’s foreign policy, even through the 1980s, the 1990s and in this new millennium! The 1990s and the first few years of this millennium have seen Nigeria in her continued efforts to douse every political fires and intractable internecine fractiousness in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Congo, Togo, Sao Tome & Principe and more recently, Darfur in the Sudan.

Over several decades, Nigeria has performed consistently well and creditably well. All these have come at great expense to Nigeria. These costs have been borne by Nigeria in both human costs of the supreme sacrifice types and in billions of dollars in cash, peace keeping and all. But Nigeria and Nigerians have never been applauded or praised, rewarded or even recognized for Nigeria and Nigerians’ humongous efforts in these directions. Nigerians have been the bulwark of peace keeping in every part of Africa.

Nigeria has never sought to impose her political or economic will on these countries where Nigeria has helped to broker peace at great costs to Nigeria. Unlike the United States, Britain and France, who frequently seek reconstruction contracts, economic, military and strategic benefits everywhere the Americans and Europeans have intervened Nigeria have always intervened in these crises, perhaps naively, for purely humanitarian, altruistic and benevolent reasons.

Nigeria, has never sought to influence local economic, political or other policies in any Southern or West African countries where Nigeria has interned for regional and continental peace, or stability, unlike America, Britain and France, who are quick to seek advantages for themselves, either by way of markets for goods from America, Britain or France or by the sudden establishments of Military Formations, Barracks and some other military establishments in the countries where they have intervened.

It is generally believed that the average Southern Africans resent Nigerians on their soil. In various ways, it is generally established that Nigerians who are legitimately in South Africa are visited with utter and utmost contempt by South Africans. South Africans, who it seems, have quickly forgotten Nigeria’s efforts on her behalf.

Even Professor Soyinka was not spared of these sorts of contempt and indignities said to be especially reserved for Nigerians by the South Africans! How soon they forget Nigeria’s efforts and the sacrifices Nigeria contributed to their worthy cause?

It is said to be the same in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Contempt and indignities are as well reserved for Nigerians in these countries. This, even though Nigerian soldiers were killed in trying to save Liberia and Sierra Leone! Nigerian Journalists were as well killed in these wars of Liberia and Sierra Leone. Nigeria, over a fifteen years period, spent tens of billions of dollars to prevent these countries from becoming extinct.

But guess what happened as soon as the situation in Sierra Leone was stabilized and British troops could now come into Freetown? The British became instant heroes who Sierra Leoneans now celebrated and profusely thanked for “wonderful work” even though the Nigerians have been the ones minding the store for almost twenty years!

The same can be said of Liberia, see how fast and speedily President Madam Sirleaf jetted to the United States and how she was in a hurry to distance herself from Nigeria! See how frequently, every opportunity she got in the United States, she lambasted Nigeria without exceptions and without reserve! She in my view was in a hurry to establish her credentials as a puppet of someone in Washington DC and she worked too hard at it, during her first visit to America following her inauguration as president of Liberia. She was quick to announce what she thought Nigeria’s responsibilities and duties were, regarding former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Taylor was in asylum in Nigeria as part of a comprehensive peace deal negotiated and spearheaded by Nigeria

In the end, everyone in willful amnesia, now seem to be blaming Nigeria!

What an effrontery! What nerve she and other have? What ingratitude are these? Nigeria’s selfless efforts on behalf of Africans have been of no economic or political benefits to Nigeria. These Africans do not even defer to Nigeria in West African, continental and international affairs. Nigeria gets no deference or respect from them!

Despite and in spite, or as if to spite, all Nigeria’s efforts in their behalf, the beneficiary countries have done little or nothing to demonstrate a recognition of Nigeria’s efforts, roles and humongous sacrifices for their benefits. And the Charles Taylor imbroglio makes me want to ask the question, what is in it for Nigeria? Blame and more blame?
Why should Nigeria bother next time? Liberia? No economic, political or strategic value.

It now appears, the Africans whose rescues Nigeria has been engaged in, over and over again and at considerable or great expense, have preferences of people other than Nigerians. These Africans appear to be selective in their gratitude, in favor of Americans and Europeans. Nigeria has no legal or even moral duty or responsibility to them!

Let the United States, Britain and France with their selfish agenda driven manipulative tendencies, take care of these Africans the next time they have crises. America, Britain and France are after all, the ones these Africans respect and worship. Perhaps it time for Nigeria to concentrate our resources and our crises management skills on ourselves. An economically successful and advanced Nigeria will command respect from all, whether they like or not.

It is time to stop wasting precious Nigerian lives, precious Nigerian monies and other resources on those who are quick to forget. Nigeria must not waste anymore resources on all those who are quick to be ungrateful and disrespectful to Nigeria.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 04:09 PM | Comments (0)

March 29, 2006

Globalization, Free Trade & Xenophobia?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- We have all heard the positive advantages and benefits of globalization and free trade. It endear all humans in the proverbial global village to one another and all humans will live happily ever after in a strengthened global economy.

Globalization and free trade is presently lopsided and that is a fact.
Crusaders and apostles of unfettered globalization and free trade, will not hear of the apparent and obvious disadvantages, such as the fact that many parts of the world, are only recipients of goods and services and without commensurate opportunities for providing goods and services for other parts of the world, in effect, globalization, under current arrangements and practice, presupposes a complete acceptance of domination of peoples of Southern hemisphere by those of Northern/Western hemisphere.

Simply put in plain words, the old stratified economic advantages of the West, remains favoring Westerners at the expense of those of us, of the Southern hemisphere. The North-South hemisphere dichotomy will remain undisturbed, under present globalization-free trade mantra. Globalization and free trade as presently pursued, will be a one way traffic, of benefit only to highly industrialized Western countries, while developing countries will serve as mere dumping grounds for products and services from the West.

In essence, current globalization and free-market, allow goods and services to flow in a unidirectional manner, from the Western hemisphere to the rest of the world, without recourse to standard economic principles, theories and concepts, such as comparative advantage, cost efficiencies, specialization and even division of labor.

Agriculture subsidies which is heavily practiced in the Western hemisphere, makes it impossible for the less industrially developed Southern hemisphere peoples to hope to have a comparative advantage in farming, farms and farm products, even though, a great percent of the national economies of the South is agrarian. Developing countries/economies cannot compete in such economic circumstances that are heavily stacked against them.

The usual or ordinary economic principles, if taken as a given, the inhabitants of societies that are mostly agrarian, would do the farming and production of farm products, (raw materials)? which would include, planting, harvesting, storage and exports to the inhabitants of the more industrially advanced Northern/Western hemisphere; who would concentrate in the manufacture of goods and as well as the provision of services related thereto. And globalization and free trade would have achieved its worthiness.

However, two events or incidents in the past several months have clearly, and demonstrably indicated the impossibility of such smooth arrangements or any thinking in that direction.

First it was the fierce resistance to the Chinese by the Americans. The Americans fiercely and vigorously, resisted attempts that were made by the Chinese to acquire a petroleum oil behemoth on American soil, (Unocal Oil Corporation) there were loud protests with screeching tongues and all, by politicians, business magnates etc, and in the end, the Chinese were goaded into withdrawing their multiple billion dollars bids, in favor of an American bidder who had bid several billion dollars less than the Chinese (CNOOC) bidders! it was botched by pressures emanating from the Americans against the Chinese. The Chinese company is CNOOC and the American company is Unocal Corporation.

The Americans who were opposed to the sale had no scintilla of economic or marketplace arguments whatsoever, but instead, they hinged their opposition on, and in, their so-called national security implications of such a transaction! As they argued that oil, is the engine room of all economies, and by extrapolation, allowing the Chinese to buy, own and control such huge oil prospecting, oil exploration, an oil services company would be contrary to American national interests. In the end, the sale was consummated between two American corporations and it was not merely a business deal or regular market place transaction. It put a lie to the loud American talk about free trade and globalization. The American company doing the selling, exposed its shareholder a loss, in billions of dollars less than what the Chinese had offered in their higher bid.

Again, another opportunity soon presented itself. Another foreign company, the World Port of Dubai, which owns and operates tens of ports in tens of countries worldwide, attempted to acquire about six major sea ports in the United States. And all hell broke loose! Republicans, who are for the most part apostles of globalization, free trade and free markets and the preachers of the general superiority and suzerainty of the principles of supply and demand, were suddenly singing a different tune! Ensuring the death on arrival of the prospective take over certain six American ports by World Ports of Dubai, became one such issues in which Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberal American politicians could suddenly finds agreement! The Republicans joined the Democrats in fighting President Bush in their insistence that he killed the purely economic deal in the name of national security of America.

Arguments, grandstanding and avalanche proselytizers from both political parties (Republicans and Democrats) assembled to ensure World Port of Dubai’s deal, entered into, in their British subdivision of the company, remained comatose. High profile American politicians were literally jumping over each other to propose federal legislations, state and local legislations to ensure that the deal entered in England, never materialized in the United States. States and local authorities, labor unions opposed it too.

The acquisitions made in England, through WP holding there, would have made take over of the US seaports in question uneventful, the same company and management (WP) own properties in many countries without incidents, and it would have assumed ownership and control of these US ports, as WP has done everywhere else. American political and economic leaders effectively made it an impossible task for WP.
WP Dubai is an Arab entity, those with unbridled biases, bigotry, prejudices, hatred and brazen discriminations, exhibited their xenophobia and camouflaged it all in national security parlance, even though WP has never been found wanting. WP operations have not experienced significant or substantial security lapses in any of its ports. And yet, it was compelled to hands off the American ports, as a result of vehemence to its acquisitions of six American seaports. Some people, in the post September 11 world, equate all Arab persons and companies with terrorism or as purveyors of terror.

The opposition to WP Dubai in the US was surprisingly bipartisan !
In the end, globalization, free market are such excellent ideas when it benefits some, but national security becomes euphemism for expressing superiority complexes and even xenophobia?

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:58 AM | Comments (0)

My Mother in-law is in the Trunk: A Response to Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- An undiscerning reader of Mrs. Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde’s article, titled “African Mothers-In-Law And The Cycle Of Abuse” will be forgiven if such a reader comes away with the impression, albeit false, the impression created by Folasayo, that, African women are monsters!

Whether such African women are mother in-laws, sister in-laws or aunt in-laws! African women, as a general rule, gladly torture other African women giddily, and gloatingly, just for the mere fact of such other women’s marriage to their sons or brothers. No exceptions!

African women as presented by Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde, (hereinafter referred to as, simply, Folasayo), and if you take Folasayo’s words for it, African mother in-laws are monsters in laws!

And thanks to African men, African women monster in-laws, got the way they are, abuse, torture, brutality and all, tortuously, in a brutally honest way. All African women are victims of abuse from African men, and heck, abuse victims tend to become abusers of others, themselves!

But consider this foregoing statement made in a recent book review in The New York Times, about in-laws and mother in-laws, who incidentally are not Africans, but in connection with the universality of the subject. Dividing the Man From His Mother," the "tug of war between a mother and daughter-in-law over a man is an age-old phenomenon, the stuff of sitcom jokes and Greek tragedy," her take is so fresh and witty one hardly notices the clichis inherent to the subject 'I Married My Mother-In-Law,' edited by Ilena Silverman; A Fine Old Conflict, Review by PAMELA PAUL

And what do we make of all these? Why was Folasayo singularly focused on Nigerian, African mother in-laws? Dr. Phil McGraw just had series of shows about monster in-laws right here in the United States, Dr. Phil did not particularize the evil mother in-laws, but instead dealt with the phenomenon in its universality.

Is it not the case that there are virtues and vices among all humans? Wherever the sun rises and set, and wherever humans live, the human condition tends to exhibit itself!

My mother is an African mother in-law! I was raised with three other siblings we were comprised of two boys and two girls and my experiences growing up and ever since, are night and day compared with the gory, highly emotive melodramatic tale foisted upon us by our gifted embellisher in-chief, Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde!

Let me begin by declaring that I am a male feminist and if Folasayo was a man? I would have called her a male chauvinist pig and misogynist for her offensive generalizations against African women (mother in-laws) I detest Folasayo’s sweeping generalizations regarding African women, of mother in laws, sisters in laws and aunt in laws etc.

The generalizations in her article did not bother to consider the facts, or even possibility that, for every bad African mother, sister or aunt in laws that you made evil through you skillful presentation, there are equal numbers of excellent African mothers, sisters and aunt in laws! If you are an African lady, someday, you will become a mother in-law in the natural course of events, so, we expect Folasayo to catch this pervasive pervading virus that turns all African mother in-laws into monster in-laws?

In reading Folasayo’s piece, you are tempted to conclude that drama is her favorite catch-phrase, as she repeatedly, used drama as a catch-all term for all the hell she claims African mother in-laws unleash at whims!

Drama aptly describes Folasayo’s melodramatic commentaries about all African mother in-laws, Folasayo engaged in very generous generalizations, she, as if factually, described all African women as some sort of monolithic homogenous lot, without differentiation of class, education, refinements, taste or even a scintilla of individuality! According to Folasayo, African mother in-laws are innately evil, all African mother in-law regal in torturing their daughter in-laws, it is something African mother in-laws’ genetic marker! Evilness is in the DNA of all African mother in-laws!

No doubt that there are some obnoxious, cantankerous and vile mother in-laws in America, Asia, Europe and perhaps there are some in Africa as well! But there are bad accountants, bad lawyers and bad writers everywhere too! Why would anyone make African mother in-laws any uniquely bad breed of in-laws among mother in-laws of the world?
Folasayo’s article is replete with hasty broad brush generalizations that would convince an undiscerning reader that African women invented evil and pure wickedness! The stereotype of African mother, sister, and aunt in laws, clearly shows a predilection to degrade things Nigerian, nay African, especially measured by and with New York parameters. Folasayo could not even allow herself to accept that there are Nigerian Languages, full fledged Languages! Folasayo talked only of Dialects, what a very European condescension regarding anything African!

I have friends here in New York, friends, some Nigerians, some African Americans, some Jewish Americans, Indians, Irish and in short, all shades of colors and ethnicities that are American and New York. I have found that their complaints, their pet peeves, their grouse and personal gripes about mother in laws and father in laws, are for the most part actually identical to what is presented by Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde’s tales of woe Nigeriana-Africana.
The truth is that, there are a plethora of complaints and angst about mother in laws; Indeed, it posses a universal quality to them. That means that there is nothing peculiarly Nigeria, nay African, about the charges that have been trumped-up against African women in Folasayo Dele-Ogunrinde’s article. I did not believe it possible for an African woman to attack all African women or all African mother in-laws, the way Folasayo has!

I personally know many Nigerian and other African mother in laws, and that makes me wonder, about the mother in laws for which these generalizations has been fomented

Folasayo’ss article is written as if there is nothing advantageous or beneficially useful in African mother in laws! And I will like to meet her, her mother, and if she has sisters? I volunteer to marry one of them, as a useful social experiment, to enable me understudy her mother, as my in law of course, I will determine if she is an in-law from heaven, or to conduct some empirical analyses upon real data, to determine whether Folasayo’s mother is she like the rest of African mother in-laws such as the ones in her article? Or is that other African mothers are just bad, but not Folasayo’s mother, my mother in-law to be?

It now appears to be the vogue, the popular thing to do, to say African things and Africa are economically, socially and culturally unsustainable, and if Africans and Africa desire progress and development, there is no need to even bother?

My recent experiences indicate a crescendo, or watersheds of movements toward a complete rejection of all scintilla of African anything, as a Nigerian man tells wife not to cook fufu or akpu and craw fish, which he asserts, stinks up the house and his breath, causing him monumental embarrassment in America! Meanwhile Chinese Kimshi is made and sold, right here in America, how do Kimishi, Garlic and other ethnic delicacies smell?

Recently, I attended a seminar organized by the American Jewish Committee, AJC for short, under the of Nigeria in Diaspora Organization (NIDO), during which Nigerians attendees learned the rudiments of political organizations, lobbying for better national image, political, economic engagement, diplomatic representations of national interests through lobbying US Congress, the presidency and other political and economic leaders in the United States. The seminar opened my eyes to how everything we gripe about regarding Nigerians’ apathy to political, economic and diplomatic benefit of Nigerians in Diaspora, to Nigeria, and the benefits which we can confer on Nigeria, remain unappreciated by some Nigerians. Why can’t Nigerians in the Diaspora be to Nigeria, as Jews worldwide are to Israel?

In Jews lobbying efforts etc. it turns out, that in AJC’s 100 years of existence, AJC has just about had every experience possible, in every respects, what we thought was unique, an experience, for Nigerians struggling to get Nigerians in the Diaspora interested, focused and engaged in selfless public service for Nigeria, has also happened to Jews in America, every step of the way, as veterans in political actions for the protection and preservation of Israel and Jews. AJC told Nigerians, don’t sweat it!

Folasayo overplayed her own her in her melodramatic swipes at all African women or African mother in laws, sister in laws and aunt in laws. This is made more embarrassingly so, in her narration of her Nigerian man date incident.
At some point, Mrs. Dele-Ogunrinde appeared pointlessly condescending, such as when she wrote: Her only pride and joy is now going to re-channel all his love and attention to you and she is not going away easy. If he also happens to be her retirement plan as is the case in LOT of African situations, you have to be bridle lest you meddle with the flow of cash. So you see, you’re fighting against lot of odds. Haba Madam!

Does her generalization vary with education of the mother, sister aunt in laws? Does it vary with income?, or was she just writing to inform the world that Africans are poor and needy, with sons as retirement plans and all? What a newsflash-splash she has! I want to be married into Dele-Ogunrinde's family, and foreswear to protect my wife against attacks and torture from my mom and Mrs. Dele-Ogunrinde's mom, African mothers in laws both!
Here below is an excerpt of a recent book review piece in The New York Times regarding mother in-laws.
(There Are Other Mother In-laws) outside Africa
February 5, 2006

'I Married My Mother-In-Law,' edited by Ilena Silverman A Fine Old Conflict Review by PAMELA PAUL Given how callous, scheming, selfish and altogether exasperating in-laws can be, there is little conversational sport more gratifying than badmouthing them. While denouncing family members to the outside world is rife with peril, vilifying in-laws who serve as a kind of proxy family is not only socially accepted, it's encouraged. There's only one catch: the in-laws themselves, and often the spouse, can never get wind of what you're saying. Even in our tell-all age, the only safe way to discuss certain in-laws is when they're dead.

Herein lie the conundrum that Ilena Silverman, an editor at The New York Times Magazine, faced while compiling her anthology, "I Married My Mother-in-Law." When she contacted writers about contributing, "many said they'd love to read a book about in-laws, they just couldn't write about their own." As she explains, relationships with in-laws were "fraught enough; who wanted to ratchet things up by taking it public?"

So it's a considerable feat that Silverman pinned down enough writers and worthy ones at that to assemble an absorbing, often affecting, collection of essays. Though authors like Amy Bloom, who offers a vicious post-mortem on her lesbian partner's parents in "Dead, Thank God," operate at an advantage (divorced writers also have license to savage, and the one pseudonymous writer, in an essay called "My In-Laws Made Me Do It," rips her former in-laws rightly as "not simply eccentric, but bred-in-the-bone cruel"), some of the best writing is more nuanced. Martha McPhee's wistful essay about never meeting her husband's dead parents, Matt Bai's beautifully written "Family Without Stories" and Jonathan Goldstein's hilarious account of his emotionally needy father-in-law are standouts. Tom Junod's contribution about the improbable friendship between his reckless, indulgent parents and his cheap, modest, prudent in-laws also made me laugh aloud.

The book comes complete with a pair of glittery writer-couples. The Harrisons, Colin and Kathryn, deliver strong essays, each dealing with death, though in very different ways. Michael Chabon describes the loss of a father-in-law in an early divorce. And though, as Chabon's wife, Ayelet Waldman, writes in her counterpart, "Dividing the Man From His Mother," the "tug of war between a mother and daughter-in-law over a man is an age-old phenomenon, the stuff of sitcom jokes and Greek tragedy," her take is so fresh and witty one hardly notices the clichis inherent to the subject.

Nonetheless, there's a formulaic diversity to therapeutic anthologies like this one a kind of something-for-everyone-ness, whatever your sociopolitical identity or emotional sore spot. We've got the lesbian daughter-in-law, the interracial couple, the clash of classes. There's the cross-cultural barrier, the political rift, the early misunderstanding since overcome. The ideal in-laws, the terminally ill in-laws, the downright crazies.

Still, Silverman doesn't rely on vinegary screeds, and that makes the book especially worthwhile. Many of the relationships described are affectionate, some even loving. In-laws are, after all, our half-chosen families the source, and often reflection or amplification, of those we love. While Colin Harrison's father lies on his deathbed, Kathryn Harrison writes: "I don't know how much my father-in-law has given me in the years since I married his son. . . . Here's what I do know. I love him, unreservedly."

Pamela Paul is the author, most recently, of "Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships and Our Families."

As you can see from The New York Times piece above, bad mothers-in-laws are bad, whether African, Europeans or Americans are same. Mother in-law is in the trunk or boot! is an American car sticker!

Does anyone know why? It is probably because there are some mother in-laws from hell in America, a clear indication that hellish mother in-laws are not the exclusive preserve of Africans, as some would have the world believe.

When I was married my mother did not bother my American wife... my mother was just happy that I was married! Some mothers would have mentioned the fact that my marriage was childless.... but my mother NEVER made any such reference to her or to me.

My mother would qualify as an African mother in-law... and she does not have any rift with my brother’s wife! My sister in-law and my mother actually frequently conspire against us about a lot of things..... and they jointly harangue me about re-marrying! My sister in-law and my mother ..... are both STRONG in Christ.... when my mother vacations with my sister in-law, I try not to talk to them.... because they do tag-teaming on me..... about why I should serve the LORD and why Marriage is God's will etc.

So, which mother in-laws in Africa is Folasayo talking about.... where is the research or empirical data? In the absence of research, I am relying on my personal experience! Folasayo should be told that it is quite possible for human qualities to be individually idiosyncratic.

All mother in-laws world wide ... are equal, or all mother – in-laws are individuals with individual merits or lack thereof.... read the above generalizations slowly, and you will realize that it is hazardous to accuse African mother in-laws in a sweeping generalizations sorts of manner brought upon African mother in-laws, courtesy of Folasayo, who appears loathe to call Nigerian Languages, Languages! She instead calls Nigerian Languages Dialects!

Folasayo, went overboard in too many instances in her article, for instance, she claimed that African mother in-laws, actually hate potential daughter in-laws before they set eyes on them! As when Folasayo states “those who even before meeting you have their gun barrels loaded!” Isn’t it, the case that there are bad husbands, bad wives, bad daughter in-laws, bad father in laws in every culture? Isn’t it equally the case that there are immature husbands in every culture? Isn’t there a universal precaution to be observed by all and sundry going into holy matrimonies or any meaningful relationships for the long haul?

As a general principle, no mature man or woman should allow anyone to plow over or bulldoze their spouse verbally or physically, no mature and reasonable spouse should tolerate such idiocy, but why would anyone pretend that human foibles and sun rise are limited to Africa?

And why would Folasayo and some other African women in the Diaspora pretend to want the selfish benefit of mother in-laws as babysitters, but careless about corresponding obligations of the wellbeing for mother in-law baby sitters? I take the view that no one can nurture your child better than you, not even mothers of the spouses! You must make your mistakes and learn along, as you raise your child, but heck, my mother I trust more than ten babysitters! Financial costs are not everything in childrearing!

I read Folasayo’s article with consternations as the article was simply another unneeded pile-on, pile-on unto the already large and heavy heap of stereotypes that have been dumped on Africans over extended period of time, African women this time, were take severe beating from the hands of a daughter, not a husband.

Folasayo’s article neglected to inform her readers that there all sorts of negative stereotypes and unedifying pejorative references to mother in-laws in America where Folasayo lives, unedifying references such as ones on car bumper stickers “My mother in-law is in the trunk” or T-Shirt proclaiming similarly offensive sentiments about mother in-laws, and so are some books and television sitcoms on the vileness of some mother in-laws. In the face of all these, why the undue hyperbole and extreme exaggerations by Folasayo, regarding the unthinking wickedness or evil of African mothers, especially the in-laws among them?

Paul I. Adujie

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March 27, 2006

A Vote of Thanks by Paul I. Adujie

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- For Seminar/Workshop Organized by American Jewish Committee (umbrella for Jewish Organizations) for the benefit of Nigerian Community Leaders in North America Under the Auspices of Nigerian In Diaspora Organization (NIDO)

March 6, 2006

Shalom Chaverim!

It is my distinct pleasure and a great delight to be here.

Through your generosity, you have given me an opportunity to perform a great mitsvah.

I am here among, and with fellow Nigerians, who are the happy beneficiaries and recipients, of your altruism and benevolence.

American Jewish Council has been engaged in the service of humanity for about one hundred years, American Jewish Council has during this period been very active in the advocacy for and in the provision of common good, public good, for both Jews and non-Jews.

It is public knowledge that Jews were actively involved in the formation of Civil Right Organizations in America, established to fight bigotries and hatreds, anti-Semitism and racism etc. The active participation of Jews in the advocacy for civil rights for all, are historical facts that are well known.

We also know the good works of Jewish organizations that have endeared Israel to Americans and the world, Nigerians in the Diaspora will like to play such laudable roles for Nigeria and even all of Africa.

Slavery and the Holocaust are adjudged the worst tragedies and catastrophes in human history. Jews in America have been involved in public enlightenments regarding the issues surrounding bigotry and hate. We Nigerians, here present would like to follow in your giant footsteps in these and other respects.

On a personal level, I have had the opportunity to observe closely, learn and benefit, from Jewish traditions. As a matter of fact, some of my first jobs here in New York were with Jewish Organizations, including Synagogue and Torah Centers on Ocean Parkway and Avenue S, as well as another one on Eastern Parkway and Kingston Avenue.

Thereafter, I was again, employed by the Jewish Board of Family and Children Services which is headquartered at 120 West 57th Street, near Carnegie Hall; The Jewish Board provided a plethora of wonderful services to the Jewish community and all New Yorkers.

At the time, Ms. Diana Torres a member of the minority community here in New York, she was the Human Resources Director, doing the hiring, and being the head of a very diverse workforce at the Jewish Board.
Best practices of diversity, does not get any better than what I saw there.

There were employees of various and every ethnic background. That is saying a lot, especially considering that the Jewish Board is a private community organization!

There were services for the blind, the physically challenged, and those with substance abuse issues or challenges. The Jewish Board provided many, many services to all residents of our great city, New York City, which is an assemblage of countries of the world

While so employed with the Jewish Board, I was exposed to this sense of care for others, among Jews, and I came to observe and recognize Jewish traditions that nurtures and sustains the Jewish experience worldwide.

I particularly admire your sense of community, and I have hoped then, that I will be able to replicate Jewish public spirited works that I experienced first-hand.

I remember writing to the Jewish Board, a note of appreciation, in which I mentioned how I wished, that I could replicate such lofty services and programs, in the Nigerian community, in the African American community, and to all residents of New York city and to all of America, Nigeria or the rest of the world, as is being undertaken by the Jewish Board.

I could not have predicted then, and little did I know then, that I will be taking that step today, and my participation here in this workshop or seminar, are in efforts to garner the knowledge and methods, from veterans of service to the public; That knowledge and methods, that enables Jewish Organizations and community, to have positive impact on many lives of Jews and non-Jews.

I did not know then that this golden opportunity would arise today! And it has!

Now, because of the sundry experiences with your community, particularly, the American Jewish Council for Nigerian community representatives here gathered, I feel like a part of your family, and I feel like we are mispacha.

Nigerians here present, now have the knowledge and support of your organization, to provide social services to the Nigerian community here in North America.

American Jewish Council has, an established tradition of doing public good for common good; Nigerians here have during this seminar or workshop, benefited from YOUR wealth of knowledge and experience

And we promise you that we will pass the tradition along between ourselves and to future generations of Nigerians and others.

You have unleashed a good thing. You are creating international understanding, which is the basis for world peace. Your good works are weapons, more powerful than weapons of mass destruction.

I urge Nigerians and Jews worldwide, (but particularly, Nigerians and Jews) in this gathering, I urge you to become engaged in the Jewish tradition of public spirited works for common good, works and workers that never asks for personal benefits. Works and workers that never require us to ask the question, what is in it for me?

And to our host in particular, we promise you, that we will replicate your good deeds in the pursuit of a better New York City, a better America, and indeed, a better world for all.

To the fellow Nigerians who have participated in these events, I say congratulations! And to our Jewish friends, I say, Mazel-Tovfor a job well done! Keep up the good works!

LeChaim (to life)

On behalf of Nigeria, on behalf of our peoples (Jews and Nigerians that is) Todah Rabah! (I thank you very much.)

Additional note: Please note that the seminar was attended by Nigerians from all corners of the United States, Canada and Brazil

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Why Must we Kill Ourselves?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- I received with deep sorrow, the sad news of sectarian strife which occurred in Nigeria last week. It began inauspiciously, in Maiduguri, a city dear to my heart. The serene Maiduguri that was my home for many years, Maiduguri was suddenly dragged into the sordid tale of murderous riots. Riots that sought its victims solely based on the victims ethnicity and mode of worship.

The illogic of the riots and the rioters would have made me an instant victim. A victim of a murderous riot, that would have consumed me, even though I have not participated in any wrongdoing or affront and even though the “reason” for the riots would have had nothing whatsoever to do with me. It would have been simple enough that my first name is Paul and that makes me a non-Muslim and that would have also made me dead man!

In retaliation for the insanity that had occurred in Maiduguri, Onitsha, the city on the banks of River Niger, the most vibrant commercial in Nigeria, the city on the hill, was suddenly dragged into the sordid tale of murderous riots as well, just like Maiduguri, your only qualification for death would have been your first name, Adamu!

Another factor in either Maiduguri or Onitsha would have been that your grandparent or great-grant parents were neither natives to Maiduguri or Onitsha. Nigeria Must Redefine Citizenship; Regardless of religion, ethnicity or region. All Nigerian citizens must feel safe in every part of Nigeria, whatever their religious beliefs

When I was in Nigeria and younger, I never imagined the gory events that occurred last week were possible ever again. After the Nigerian Civil war, too many of us were so convinced that the possibility of Nigerian murdering Nigerian in the manner it was perpetuated last week, was remote or in any event, even impossible.

Some of us actually erroneously believed that Nigeria had crossed the great divides of the past, the barbarism of hacking fellow Nigerians to death because they worship a different god or gods, a different holy. Why have some of our brethrens in Maiduguri and Onitsha return to barbarities? Could it be economic hopelessness and desperations? Or are all these truly in the name of God? What type of God is that!

Nothing in the would could excuse the hatreds, the barbarities and bigotries that motivated the irrationality of actions, which in turn led to the hacking to death of fellow Nigerians by some fellow Nigerians in Maiduguri, and nothing could justify the retaliations or reprisals in Onitsha. After all, it is Christian not to seek revenge; It is said in the bible that vengeance is for god. What decent Holy Book recommends mass murders? Neither the Koran nor the Bible supports heinous murders for God.

I had thought that the era of an eye for an eye, the Law of Moses sorts of rules were left in the Middle-Ages of the ancient times? I am a barbarian if I answer barbarism with equal or rivaled barbarism. A defense cannot be found in, “they started it first”

The Nigerians in Maiduguri and their counterparts in Onitsha have one thing in common, and it is their absolute disregard for human life, the lives of fellow Nigerians, and worst of all, they demonstrated absolute disregard for the tenets of Islam and Christianity!

Any religious that inspire the killing of another Nigerian is not worthy of respect in my opinion. Any religion that does not emphasize the sanctity of life is not worth my respect.

Murder is murder, in Maiduguri or in Onitsha, there can be no excuse for a Nigerian who kills another Nigerian. Christian or Muslim. Two wrongs by aberrant followers of two faiths. None is righteous here. None!

Observing Nigerian public debate in the past couple of years led me to believe that our nation is in dire need of re-orientation as to the value and worth or benefit, of our Nigerian-ness. I am a strong believer in the multitudes of advantages inherent in Nigeria’s wondrous diversity.

Nigeria is composed of an exciting quilt of ethnicities, religions, regions to the nth power.
I have come to believe that too many Nigerians unfortunately, emphasize the negative variable and negative common denominators.

Whereas, there are so much more that Nigerians have in common, than most Nigerians realize or are willing to admit. When I lived in Nigeria, I traveled the length and breadth of Nigeria, by road and by air and I could never have enough of Nigeria spectacular splendor and terrains. One of my eternal pain and regret, is actually the fact that I have had to live outside Nigeria thee tens of years! And I still get excited here in New York, on realizing that the other person in the room is a Nigerian!

It does not matter to me, whether such Nigeria is a Christian, Muslim, Igbo, Hausa, Tiv, Ijaw or Yoruba etc. But meanwhile, the Nigerians who are in Nigeria appear not to be able to stand each other’s ethnicity, religion or region! Why can’t we get along, regardless of our subtle differences? We are Nigerians. We are one. Though ethnic and tongue or religion may differ, we are forever one. Nigerians!

I strongly believe now, more than ever, that there is an urgent need for a national awareness campaign regarding our Nigerian-ness, the advantages, benefits and worthiness of our Nigerian-ness.

ALL Nigerians must realize, and must be made to realize that the plight of the average Nigerian is essentially the same in all of the 774 local government areas of Nigeria. The issues of abandoned, neglected, decayed public infrastructures are the same everywhere in Nigeria. The absence of clean water, electricity, employment etc are same nationwide.

Nigeria’s urgent issues are economic and political, actually more economic than anything else. I know Nigerians here in America, who are professionals, and of different faith and they are married and happy. And in Nigeria, when the economy was good, Christians and Muslims existed cordially side by side, peacefully and without animosities and these murderous riots.

All Nigerians at home and abroad must rededicate to fixing Nigeria and uplifting Nigeria. When Nigeria is economically buoyant, we will or at least, tend to forget who is Muslim or Christian, Jehovah Witness, Hare Khishna or who worships Ogun, Sango or Amadioha

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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America/Europe, Israel, Palestine, Hamas & Democracy

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Shock and amusement are the words that best sum up my feelings regarding the reactions generated in America, Europe and Israel to the electoral victory secured by Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections.

At once, I am shocked and amused by these reactions because they are in stark contrast to what the Americans, the Europeans and yes, the Israelis persistently claim they want and need from Palestinians, from Arabs and the entire Middle East.

I am shocked because America, a country that prides itself as the mother of all that is democratic, and the grandmother of all that is freedom and liberty of all the world, is loathe to see Hamas triumphed at the ballot box in Palestine.

This American, European and Israeli stance, are in complete disregard for the national interests of the people of Palestine, and the fact that Palestine has just had a free and fair election by all accounts. Palestine elections were adjudged to be free of irregularities and fraud, Palestine elections were devoid of acrimonies of the Florida and Ohio types.

Then of course, I am amused, thoroughly amused, because, America and Israel seem to be saying to Hamas, and by extension, to all of Palestine. Be reasonable do things our way! Be our puppet! America, Europe and Israel seem to only want a puppet, and interloper-interlocutor who will do what he is told? And that will be the democracy in Palestine that is acceptable? A democracy and a leadership that is subject to manipulation.

But who indeed, defines democracy? In Algeria, duly conducted elections were disregarded or nullified, just so, citizens of Algeria with Islamic credentials or manifestoes would not see the light of day, and a chance to implement their political and economic programs. But in America, President Bush’s election was buoyed by the evangelicals and ultraconservative religionists. These social and religious conservatives have been trying vigorously to install conservative justices on the United States Supreme Court they also are the engine room that continues to drive President Bush’s domestic and foreign policies. Whether such policies are social, economic, political or judicial etc.

Why is it okay to have the evangelicals drive American public policies, but clerics are for some reason, not allowed to influence policies in Iran, Iraq or Palestine? How about what the locals and the local electorate in Palestine or Haiti want? Only recently, Ambassador Curran, the US former ambassador to Haiti publicly recounted his gory experience in Haiti, how agents of the Bush administration were frustrating the ambassador’s effort to steady democracy in Haiti. The US government armed insurgents, rebels and criminal elements to overthrow the legitimate and constitutional government in Haiti, while the same US government publicly pretended to be interested in democracy in Haiti, according to the former US Ambassador to Haiti. And President Aristide was pushed out!

Again, the Islamic Brotherhood in Egypt who sought to attain political power through the ballots box and democracy, were similarly undermined by the Western powers. President Hosni Mubarak has flagrantly announced the suspension of more local elections, soon after his Western friends expressed outrage over the elections of members of the Islamic Brotherhood.

The same financial muscle-flexing against Haiti guaranteed the failure of President Aristide of Haiti, as those who wanted him to fail, guaranteed and ensured his failure with multi-facetted efforts the World Bank approved financial assets were blocked from Haiti
President Bush has during the preceding five years argued and repeatedly stated that his mission was to democratize Iraq, Palestine and in fact, the entire Middle East Arab World, the undiscerning of the world agreed with President Bush pretexts.

And some gullible were sold the Regime Change idea, regime change to enable the installation of democracy in Iraq, and perhaps every where else in the Middle East. Regime Change to get rid of oppressive and corrupt government. Anyone who believed Bush, may have therefore expected many installations or inaugurations of a governments that are transparent and accountable to the people.

Did anyone believe that the United States, under the President Bush administration was indeed interested in exporting democracy? Did anyone believe that the invasion and occupation of Iraq has anything to do with democracy? It is all about strategic interests.

Clearly, anyone who thought that the invasion and occupation of Iraq was a missionary undertaking to install good governance, must now think again! Iraq is spiraling into anarchy and lawlessness. Iraq has no democracy, at least, not at the present time and Iraq cannot therefore serve as any example of anything that resembles democracy. Iraq has this week actually moved closest to civil war and sectarian strife and outright disintegration along the lines of Shiite, Sunni and Kurd.

What is worse, in all of these, is the fact that President Bush is apparently not proud of his achievement as an exporter or deliverer of democracy to the Arabs of the Middle East, especially, if such Arabs or Middle Easterners include members of Hamas?

But it would appear that the members of Hamas, have followed the precepts and concepts of power through the ballot box, as instructed by the owners of democracy, freedom and liberty. And Hamas won the hearts of the Palestine electorate. Hamas obeyed all the applicable rules and Hamas prevailed at the polls! What now? Why the blackmail and intimidation of members of Hamas? Why the plan to starve it of funds to ensure its failure and collapse? Why the hurry to visit Palestine with plan obsolescence?

The world is by now familiar with the violence between Palestine and Israel; For over fifty years since the creation of Israel, smack in the center of Arab land and front and center of Palestine country. It is safe to conclude that neither Palestinians nor Israelis are disciples of nonviolent political methodology made famous by Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Neither Palestine nor Israel can claim to have followed the teachings of Mother Teresa. It must be borne in mind that Israel is seen by Palestinians as occupier and usurper of Palestine lands, Israel has never limited itself to lawful tactics, Israel has not been shy to apply aggressive military tactics in Sabra Shatila, or in the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and everywhere else in Palestine and all of the Middle East of Arabia.

Israel has acted too often, outside of legal norms and United Nations conventions and protocols. In fact, Israel has been known, to have historically disregarded UN resolutions, including Nuclear non-proliferation rules, strategic ambiguities and all.

Hamas is reputed for its violent struggle with Israel and even with moderate Arabs. Hamas military wing, engaged in bloody campaigns and a zero sum policy toward Israel, all these, in search of a free Palestine that is not beholden to anyone. Palestine insists they are fighting colonialism and occupation, these are not friendly endeavors worldwide and history is my witness.

Hamas is not all military, and violent in their campaigns for a free Palestine. Hamas has provided social services, including medical services, schools and trainings etc which won the hearts and minds of the average man and woman in Palestine.

Hamas became synonymous with effectiveness and efficiency compared with the established government of the Palestinian Authority administered by the Fatah party, the offspring of the PLO, a brainchild of the late Yasser Arafat.

Hamas has now nominated Mr. Haniya to be Prime Minister of Palestine, and all of a sudden there are threats and intimidations emanating from America, Israel and even Europe!

It is a wrong headed policy on the part of the United States, Israel and all others who are attempting to stifle or strangle democracy and governance in Palestine, just because, the ballot box has not produced a puppet or someone that is subject to sundry manipulations.

Hamas won their elections fair and square. Hamas is not accused of any electoral malpractices or frauds. Hamas must be allowed to form a legitimate and constitutional government without outside interference and intermeddling by the United States, Israel and Europe. Israel should unfreeze monies meant for Palestine. In the alternative, Palestine should declare nationhood and create her own currency and institutions!

President Bush should be proud of Hamas for accepting his preachment of democracy. Hamas has embraced constitutionalism and legality. Hamas accepted President Bush's favorite export to the Arabs in the Middle East. Now, who is afraid of democracy or the success of democracy?

It may well be the case that President Bush’s democracy export has worked in Palestine by default. But Hamas now stand as the elected representatives of the people of Palestine and the Americans, the Israelis and Europeans do not have to like that fact, but they must accept it. Accepting Hamas will put to rest, some concerns already expressed regarding the permanent double standards that the Western world frequently indulges in.

Two instances in the past several days stand out clearly. First, David Irvin was convicted in an Austrian court for saying the Holocaust never happened (which of course is contrary to the facts of history and therefore, a ridiculous and absurd thing for David Irvin to say, write or teach. But we must be reminded about freedom of expression and freedom of thought, even if such thoughts or expressions are absurd and illogical!

Soon after, the Mayor Ken Livingstone, mayor of London was suspended for one month beginning on March 1, 2006. Mayor Livingstone was suspended because he used inappropriate and insensitive language in addressing a journalist Mr. Oliver Finegold, who happens to be Jewish. Some have already described the suspension of the Mayor of London, as an overreaction. And they may be right, given the fact that the whole world, particularly Western Europe, have been deriding Muslims for reacting with umbrage to a "mere" cartoons and caricatures of Prophet Muhammad and Islam.

The bulk of the defense of the cartoonists and caricaturists, were hinged on press freedom and freedom of expression. But do these same fine rules of freedom also apply to David Irvin and Ken Livingstone? The world is watching and sees these manipulations and double standards.

Hamas on their part, has now has a very huge responsibility. Hamas must publicly accept peace agreements entered in the past by leaders of Palestine. Hamas must demonstrate to the world in words and actions that they have not engaged in gratuitous violence or violence for its sake! Hamas must reach for the olive branch and declare itself partner with Israel in the peace process.

Hamas elected officials must now emphasize democratic credentials and the value of peaceful negotiations and diplomacy.

Both Israel and Palestine must renounce violence. Targeted killings must stop. Suicide bombing must stop. Israel and Palestine must now give peace a chance.

America, Israel, Europe and the whole world will do well to respect democracy and freedom as expressed through the ballots in Palestine. Hamas members elected by the people of Palestine remain the elected representative of Palestine and that is democracy at work.

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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February 23, 2006

Those 12 Offensive Cartoons-Caricatures of Islam’s Prophet Muhamad (PBUH)

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- What if I was a Muslim? Would I, have liked this idiotic portrayal of Islam’s Prophet Muhamad? But of course not! So, why is such portrayal acceptable to some?

In my opinion, that is all the questions that the journalists at Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and their sympathizers all over Europe needs to answer or resolve.

How would they feel, if their holy of holies is desecrated and demeaned?

It will be recalled that Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten in September 2005 published their silly series of cartoons which portrayed or depicted Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as if with a turban, but grenade like turban, with a lighted fuse.

In essence, it suggested that the prophet was a violent symbol or an explosive representative of Islam and by extrapolation, Islam itself is violent.

Expectedly, adherents of the Islamic faith, took strong exception to these calculated affront committed by these journalists in the name of press freedom. But press freedom must be exercised with a great sense of responsibility.

And media freedoms cannot be limitless or irresponsibly exercised.
How would Christians appreciate the portrayal of the Christian Cross and Jesus Christ if depicted and portrayed, in such depraved and violent manner? How would the Christians feel if the Cross on Christ’s shoulders is cartooned-caricatured to look like a shoulder-fired surface-to-air-missile (SAM)? Or Stinger Missile similar to the ones given to the Mujaheedeen by the CIA before Afghanistan morphed into the hands of Taliban?

And would the Jews not rightly call anyone anti Semitic if such non-Jew was caught depicting the Star of David as weapon or tool of violence?

Why does the world, particularly, Europe expect a different sorts of reactions by adherents of the Islamic faith?

The enthusiasms with which other European newspapers and publications embraced the denigration of Prophet Muhammad and the spiraling willingness to engage in these disparagements of the symbol of Islam is, to say the least, disturbing; It creates and reinforces the impression that there is an orchestrated war against Islam by America and Europe. Particularly since September 11, 2001, the appearance has been created and nurtured, to the effect that the so-called war against terrorism is actually a war against Islam. Contest between religions, Christian and Islamic civilizations.

It is therefore safe to say that this latest siege and unified attack from the European Press against Islam, is merely a continuation of a clash of cultures of Christianity and Islam.

Christianity postures as the superior culture, the superior religion and the superior civilization. And to that extent, it does appear, as if, there are repeated attempts to humble and defeat Islam through the contests of civilizations in wars, in portrayals and even the ridiculing of Islamic symbols as was engaged in by Denmark’s Jyllands-Posten and its copy-cats sympathizers all over Europe ballyhooed last week.

And of course, we are to pretend and feign surprise when our Muslims brethrens react to lampooning of their holies? Some prefer to believe that Muslims are just being unreasonable! That is not so. Muslims are merely resisting unwarranted attacks.

Here in the US, I have witnessed protests and picketing of movies and theater plays that are satirical of Christianity or Jesus Christ, notably, Jesus Christ Super Star.

And more recently, Mel Gibson was criticized by some Christians but more severely by Jews because of his movie "Passion of the Christ" Mel Gibson had to engage in repeated explanations and at some point his movie was edited to assuage the feelings of his critics. Where was press freedom and artistic freedom as defense or superior argument when Mel Gibson was severally severely mauled by the critics?
Why is everyone now suddenly hiding under freedom of expression and press freedom as the excuse for tolerating and perpetuating what is clearly an inappropriate portrayal of Prophet Muhammad and Islam, with the subliminal auto suggestion, that Islam, its prophet and symbols are interchangeable with war, violence and terrorism in the same sentence? Why the linkage of Islam, its prophet with violence or tools of war, grenade?

Whatever happened to the Christian admonition of Do Unto Others as you would have them do unto you? I thought true Christian values requires that Christians have, and demonstrate respect and tolerance toward the holies of all others? Or is it The Inquisition all over again?

But why is it, that when it comes to Muslims, we pretend, that their feelings do not matter or that the rest of us are not obliged to respect their feelings and religious sensibilities? And when Muslim therefore reacts to these shortsighted policies, we are shocked and dismayed? Or conclude that Muslims are just unreasonable?

Why can’t Christians and Jews demonstrate the same respect and care, when handling Islam and Muslims’ holies? Why can’t Christians and Jews simply put themselves in the proverbial shoes of Islam and Muslims as it were?

Christian Conservatives also known as the Evangelicals the US, currently drive and propel public policies in America foreign and domestic policies that is, however, same Christians Conservatives, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Ralph Reed etc who are excited agog at their policies successes at home and abroad, but are loathe to have Islamic influenced public policies in Palestine, Iraq, Iran or Afghanistan! But why is this fair?

Why is it okay for Pat Robertson to issue Christian fatwa against President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, but somehow, it is not acceptable for religious clerics in Iran, Afghanistan or Iraq to issue Islamic fatwa against a person or persons who affront their religion?
I personally abhor violence, but if force be the measure of strength and if might be deemed right, who is to determine who gets nuclear weapons power and who is to determine the superiority between Evangelical Christian propelled fatwa and its Islamic version?

I was raised as a Christian of the Catholic faith, even though I am now semi-retired Catholic, I would not intentionally or deliberately disrespect what the Catholics hold dear; Similarly, I would expect all of us, in the finest Christian tradition to show and demonstrate respect towards other peoples holies. Long Live Islam!

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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January 31, 2006

President Obasanjo’s Diplomatic Finesse: Unheralded in Nigeria!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- President Obasanjo’s chairmanship of the African Union (AU) came to a close last week, after about two years of his stewardship of AU the new umbrella body for the continent of Africa, after the demise of its progenitor, the Organization of African Unity (OAU).

President Obasanjo’s leadership of the apex body for Africa witnessed remarkable improvements for our continent, as the AU doused many crises and it also engaged in new initiatives for the progress and development of African throughout our continent and even for Africans in the Diaspora.

AU under President Obasanjo’s leadership flowed with new ideas; Such new ideas or initiatives includes the New Economic Partnership or NEPAD, as well as dispute resolution that was robustly and vigorously pursued at the instance and direction of President Obasanjo, who frequently, at risk for his life, personal safety and convenience, pursued in resolute manner, all interests concerning Africa and Africans, be they political, economic, military or strategic.

Anyone who with eyes, ears and anyone who can read or reason must have seen, heard or read about the roles, played variously by President Obasanjo in the disparate crises that preceded his ascension to power in Nigeria, such as the crises of war and desolation that had ravaged Liberia for about 15 years, and the twin or sister brutal war and horrors that went on in Sierra Leone for about a decade as well.

During the period under consideration, President Obasanjo was saddled with dispute resolution in the quagmire left behind by the notorious tyrant Mobutu Sese Sekor in the Congo before Laurent Kabila and now, Joseph Kabila.

As these crises were being effectively managed, more seemed to have sprung up in rather very quick successions! There was the military coup in Sao Tome and Principe that was reversed solely due to the crisis management acumen of our president. There was the self-succession plot that fizzled in Eyaedema’s Togo and there is the intractable fractiousness of Ivory Coast, to which President Obasanjo had to personally intervene again, with a quick visit to Ivory Coast, just last week and only a few days before handing over the reins of AU to Nguesso Nguema

President Obasanjo has been super active in the demand for debt relief or debt cancellation for Africa and other developing countries of the entire world, and the said debts were cancelled or written off! These facts are not any less important, even though Nigeria did not directly benefit from the debt cancellation or debt relief efforts, as our creditors had obviously set different parameters in their determinations of what countries were able to repay such debt and what countries weren’t! Nigeria is solvent and awash with petrodollars said the London and Paris clubs of creditors and off we must go to pay our debts, they decreed!

Nevertheless, the achievement in the debt relief or debt forgiveness for Africa should be seen for what it is, a monumental feat, hitherto thought impossible! And the impossible became routine accomplishments during President Obasanjo’s stewardship at the African Union. President Obasanjo of Nigeria is respected and admired internationally

Correspondingly, however, our president is not popular in Nigeria! He continues to endure bad press, harshest of criticisms that best qualifies as destructive criticisms!
It is quite easy to discern the unmitigated hatreds that are directed at President Obasanjo by his political opponents, the bulk of those in the practice of journalism in Nigeria, and even some members of his political party, the PDP

The PDP has overwhelming majority in Nigeria’s current political arrangement and political fortunes; the PDP produced governors for 28 states out of 36 states in Nigeria? That ought to mean ease policy formulations and implementations, PDP is in majority and the other political parties are really not much of an opposition. They are in disarray!

The opposition parties in Nigeria at the present time are not vibrant and they have presented no meaningful opposition whatsoever! Our current opposition parties have presented no alternatives to current policies by government. The opposition do not have their house in order.

It was reasonable to expect therefore, in the circumstances, that the PDP would literally railroad and slam-dunk policies with little or no resistance, but the PDP have been bedeviled with intra party intra familial battles of the most useless types!

The PDP is in a position in Nigeria, or ought to be in a position to churn out policies and legislations etc, very easily, particularly in view of their super majority at all levels. The PDP controls the presidency, both houses Nigeria’s national assembly and an overwhelming majority of governors! So that if PDP had its house in order, it could literally make laws, rules, regulations and policies with practical effect of moving Nigeria to the direction that we all want, but that has not happen speedily

The PDP super-majority could effectively, metaphorically or even practically make rules that were capable of turning men into women in Nigeria, had the PDP had such manifestoes and focus!

But what do we have in Nigeria? The most corrupt governors are of the PDP, Alamiesegha, Dariye etc; the most corrupt federal ministers that have faced the law are PDP members! The disgraced former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Tafa Balogun is a PDP member and all those who ensured the failure of the National Identity Card project were PDP henchmen, the most troubled states, Anambra, Oyo and Edo states are all presided over by PDP

In essence, those individuals who have embarrassed and betrayed the president are members of his own party the PDP.

Nigerians should demand accountability from governors and other local leaders, instead of the singular fixation at the presidency! Especially when the issues are purely local!

Some Nigerians have therefore argued that the buck stops with the president, especially if the individuals that he knew or thought he knew and trusted are the one making his sundry well intentioned policies ineffective or become outright failures! And when the president now demands absolute loyalty? He is heckled and booed by the same Nigerians who are demanding that he become more effective and successful policies wise!

When I think of President Obasanjo?s diplomatic finesse, Liberia comes to mind with the inauguration of President Sirleaf of Liberia, and I think of the peaceful resolution of the crises in Sierra Leone, and the stable situation that have come in the Congo, and the reversed coup in Sao Tome, the reversed attempt at self-succession in Togo, and the ongoing peaceful negotiations in Ivory Coast and Darfur in the Sudan, I also think of the gains of NEPAD and the debt relief efforts.

All these achievements and accomplishments were spearheaded by our indomitable President Obasanjo and yet, he does not get any respect, encomiums or accolades in Nigeria?

We should remember that he appointed Dr. Akinyuli, Professor Soludo, Mallam Ribadu, Dr. Okonjo-Iweala, Mallam Rufai and all the other sundry overachievers in the current political stage in Nigeria. We will acknowledge all these, when President Obasanjo is 200 years old?

President Obasanjo has been a bulwark of success and the fulcrum of his drive is Nigeria and all of Africa, but he is most unfortunately under appreciated in Nigeria, hence he can be said to be the proverbial prophet without respect in his domain.

By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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December 30, 2005

America Invades Nigeria to Liberate Nigeria’s Oil!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Ostentatious public pronouncement is the opposite of decorum and diplomatic finesse! But unfortunately, and boisterously, loud public pronouncement has become the mode d'emploi of America’s conduct of relations with Nigeria in recent years.

During this year, 2005, I have had good cause to write several commentaries, amongst which are the following: America, Versus Nigeria: Of Debts, Disintegration & Friendships, With Enemies; America Means Well For Nigeria; Oh Really?

In these public commentaries, I had wondered why the United States resort to public condemnations and admonitions or pure bad-belle motivated reactions, regarding issues Nigeria and Nigeria. Why I wondered, the United States, a country with apparently good, cordial, diplomatic, trade with Nigeria and of course, close personal ties between current presidents of both countries?

During the preceding ten months, America has, in words and actions, portrayed itself, as if hostile to Nigeria’s national interests, including, a demonstration of hostility towards Nigeria’s security and economic interests etc.

Why else, would the United States, a supposedly friendly nation with Nigeria, always find itself, frequently engaged in, the throwing of verbal and undiplomatic projectiles and cudgels at Nigeria? Why do the representatives of the United States frequently display a lack of due care and circumspection regarding their boisterous pronouncements about Nigeria? As when they used bullhorns to announce that Nigeria would disintegrate in 15 years! A prediction, as ominous as it is, has since been updated and upgraded to occur in less that the original 15 years gestation period. And again, it was the US that opposed and created an impasse and the deadlock that eventually truncated Nigeria’s attempt at leading the African Development Bank. It has been the US that has loudly demanded Charles Taylor, a man granted asylum in Nigeria, after due consultation with the US and others, and yet, the US continues to threaten and blackmail Nigeria over Charles Taylor!

First, I strongly believe that Nigerians would in due course, resolve our complex national contradictions amicably and peacefully, even despite the competing and sometimes conflicting interests that are common in multicultural and plural societies, such as Nigeria. We need to do these things for our own good, and not because the US or anyone else say so, demand it or threatens Nigeria.

Secondly, even assuming that there is a great probability of disintegration of Nigeria, or there was a risk of anarchy, or war; How would a public announcement now, by Nigeria’s friend and trading partner, strategic regional partner, the United States, help matters? What sorts of an undermining, and underhand friendships are these from US?

Some have argued that the US means well for Nigeria and so, the US only engaged in altruistic and benevolent public warnings of impending disaster of anarchy, war and disintegration of Nigeria. Or it’s potential. But, what purpose does this tactic serve?

Why would my friend and neighbor put an advert on CNN to announce that my house has a fire-hazard, and proceed to announce to the whole world that me, his friend and neighbor, stands the risk of loss by fire? All these, occurs, before my friend and neighbor speaks to me about the fire-hazard!

Yes! A good friend should warn you about your bad breath, just so, you procure the best mouthwash in the market or preferably, make appointment to see your dentist!

But what good friend puts a paid announcement on Television, Radio and Newspapers to announce his opinion of your oral hygiene status, before he speaks to you about it? Unless of course, your “friend” intended to humiliate and ridicule you!

Whatever happened to the use of government-to-government channels, diplomatic channels and the so-called back-water channels? Why all these destructive glib talking?

What purpose does the US ambassador in Nigeria serve? And the Nigeria’s ambassador in America, what role is left for them? What if phone calls are made to Nigerian leaders?

What if special envoys are sent to Nigeria for the purpose of fact-finding and truth?

Again, our friend, America, has come one more time, with unsolicited public pronouncements which are essentially amounts to offensive and undiplomatic remarks regarding Nigeria’s internal political schisms. And the US has a fair share of challenges imbued in multi-culture and plural societies. Why is America yanking Nigeria’s chains, even as it claims to know the complexities and political dynamics on the ground in Nigeria? Is America looking to push Nigeria over the cliff and precipice? Are they attempting to hurry the predicted disintegration? Are what we are seeing a sort of Blackmail-for-Charles Taylor Program? Why these incendiaries?

Rumor has it. Rumors are rife, and speculations are abundant, that Nigeria’s current president is angling to succeed himself in office as president of Nigeria in 2007. Whereas 2007 completes the second term for President Obasanjo, for which he was duly elected in 2003.

The Constitution of Nigeria specifies term limits for pubic office holders, more specifically, for terms of four years of an upper limit of two terms, for state governors and the president of the federal republic of Nigeria. There are rumors to the effect that, there is a third term agenda in the works. Speculations are rife, speculations which suggests that President Obasanjo has some hand in the agitations for constitutional amendment that will make self-succession possible for current state governors and the president himself.

President Obasanjo has repeatedly, emphatically and categorically denied this or roles in it; that have been ascribed to him. Despite these unsavory rumors, and regardless of the repeated denials of these phantom third term agenda, it is has now come to public knowledge that the United States, the good old United States! is participating in the beer parlor and gambling halls type-rumors about Nigeria’s political future, particularly, the vexatious third term agenda tease! Instead of seeing this as an interference by the US

Some Nigerians seem fixated on extraneous and ancillary matters?

Why would the United States, an assumed friendly country with Nigeria, engage in these public commentaries regarding local political rumor mills in Nigeria? Why would representatives of America announce sets of sanctions against Nigeria, before determining if the rumored self-succession plot in Nigeria is true?

What other countries would the United States visit with such patronizing, paternalistic and condescending attitude? When was the last time, that the US made high level public pronouncements regarding another country, a friendly country, and in reactions to a mere rumor?

Would the United States accept these sorts of attitudes from another country? Would the US accept this from Nigeria for that matter? Why would the US participate in rumor mongering regarding Nigeria’s internal political matters? Is there a disinformation and destabilization process in place against Nigeria?

Are these frequent unfriendly and hostile swipes and snide filled public pronouncements, are these pronouncements against Nigeria, well intentioned to produce a result in Nigeria, results, that are inconsistent with Nigeria’s national interests, which in any events, benefits America?

Some Nigerians seem to desire a rose tinted invasion and occupation of Nigeria by the Americans, or Europeans or the euphemistic and ubiquitous International Community! Upon which America, Europe, the International Community, will install Gani Fawehinmin as president of Nigeria and Wole Soyinka as his vice president and voila! Like magic, good governance will be preordained for Nigeria by the Americans and all Nigerians will be in happiness land, happily ever after! Absolute delusion grandeur!

Some Nigerians are now cavalierly, mentioning their desire for a military coup, they have argued their marginalization to political irrelevance by PDP and by President Obasanjo. They have argued that these painful political irrelevance to which they have been relegated, requires a correction, and only a military intervention, through a coup, could rectify their loss! Some have argued that the PDP and President Obasanjo have touched the untouchables with the president’s aggressively robust reform policies. Some hinge their coup demand on the vigorous pursuits of their kinsmen by the EFCC for their criminalities, all these, despite the cogent, complete, clear and convincing evidence against these monumental pillagers and plunderers!

It might be useful for the Nigerians with these sorts of mindsets, and attitudes of waiting for military coup or foreign invaders and occupiers, to seek personal interviews with Mr. Chalabi and his coalitions of Iraqi Exiles of Iraq first!

While at it, such Nigerians could also take a quick look at Afghanistan, and Haiti, Dominican Republic, countries that were invaded and occupied.

And to glean through Nigeria’s history of military interregnums upon a supposedly brief interventions to set this right! Nigerians must also look at wayward military governance worldwide, and see the clear follies and foibles of military rule.

Countries, whose invasions and occupations were camouflaged as anything but usurpation of political independence and sovereignty.

And to the Nigerians who have been beating the drums of war, anarchy, disintegration etc, while advocating ethnic republics… they must realize the brutalities and the infinite horrors and catastrophes that they unwittingly seek. Nigerians must be alert to avoid walking into a trap and a self-fulfilling degenerative prophecy. Nigerians avoid smokescreens or there will be no winners.

It remains true, as it bears repeating here again, that the best cure for imperfect democracy is, surely more democracy! Nigerians should not truncate our democracy!

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

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December 27, 2005

Garbage Removal is President Obasanjo’s Job!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Recently, I read a beautiful opinion piece written by Mr. Uche Nworah. This is not a rejoinder to that article of his, but instead, his article constitutes a reference point for this.

Mr. Nworah wrote eloquently about the negative impact of garbage and erosion on the good people of Aba, Aba, in case you did not know, is a major city in Abia state, and beyond Abia state, Aba is actually renowned, as a major commercial nerve center for the entire Eastern region, south of Onitsha, and Aba, it must be added, is a major metropolis in Abia state currently presided over by PDP enfant terrible, Governor Orji Kalu, my former school mate.

Aba has rich culture, and the people in Aba have strong work ethic and extraordinary business acumen! But Aba has also suffered historical neglect beyond wanton!

Unfortunately, Aba as bad, as its luck has been with utter neglect of garbage removal and disposal, outrageous environmental degradation, through the scourge of urban erosion, Aba sadly, is in “good” with Onitsha in garbage and erosion gully crises.

Aba is in the unsavory company of our megalopolis of Lagos, Lagos has enough filth and erosion combined with flooding to stop the flow of the Atlantic Ocean! Lagos, is sadly, not remarkably different from the plight of Benin City in these categories of the most garbage filled streets, erosion gullies and urban decay. And the same can be said of our sister city of Kano.

I think garbage removal is the most elemental form of governmental functions. And I think the responsibility to remove garbage falls squarely, on the shoulders of municipal authorities, or local government councils, as municipal authorities are known in Nigeria, in most parts of the world, it is beyond dispute, as to whose responsibility it is, to gather, remove and haul garbage. It is clearly so, in most parts of the world that I have traveled, including Nigeria.

But why do we have garbage encroachments in most major cities in Nigeria?
Why is garbage collection, garbage removal, such, clearly elemental public hygiene, is seemingly regarded as unimportant by municipal authorities in Nigeriaa? What can the states do about the invasion of our public space by unchecked growth of garbage in public, which is so unseemly?

Why, am I, talking about garbage here? Please do not dismiss this as just rubbish! Or garbage talk; It is actually more than a story about filth and pollution in Nigerian cities and towns.

I am really not interested in a single story about garbage collection, garbage removal and disposal, as I am interested in the attitude that has become pervasive among too many Nigerians. This attitude that I here talk about, has to do with apparent misunderstanding of the duties and functions of our different strata of government in our democratic Nigeria.

In a federal structure, there is of course the central government at the federal level, then, there is the state governments and the most basic strata of government with the most basic functions, the strata of government that has the closest contacts and dealings with the average citizen in a huge federation such as ours….in the municipal or local government authorities of our 774 local government areas, or LGAs, as we fondly call them in Nigeria. Why is it more sexy, or fashionable, to attack the president but, OK to ignore the failings, ineptitudes and thievery of the governors and councilors, Senators, House of Rep members and House of assembly members?

Why are too many Nigerians uninterested in the push and pull of democracy? Why are many Nigerians not concerned with the call and response of participatory democracy? Why are so many Nigerians infinitely unmoved by the ineffectiveness of state governments and municipal governments or local government authorities?

Why is it that we are not vigorous and robust, in our pursuit of accountability and transparency at state and local levels of governments in Nigeria?

When will the majority of Nigerian citizens, wake up and realize that democracy is not a spectator sports? When will some us, wake up to the duty, responsibility, and corresponding obligations on the parts of citizens and government and vice versa?

Why is it that some Nigerians tend to or seem to ignore or even condone the abuse and misuse of power right in their backyard? Why is it that citizens of Edo state are not protesting the high crime rate of robberies and general insecurity in Benin City? Where my niece, Mrs. Ogbu, informed me that her husband can no longer travel with his mobile telephone as nobody does that anymore for fear of being attacked and robbed of the mobile telephone! What is a mobile phone if you cannot be mobile with it? If you cannot take your mobile phone with you, what the heck is the use?

Why is it, that Governor Kalu Orji is frequently visiting the United States to tout himself as a presidential candidate, when the local government council in Aba, Governor Orji’s domain, cannot remove garbage from the streets of Aba? Why is it, that Governor Orji has support for his Sun newspapers and Slok Airlines, when erosion has taken over major roads in Aba, roads that are municipal or local government roads and NOT federal roads!
How does Governor Kalu Orji, alias “blabber-mouth” plan to be a good president? When he currently presides, over a state, his small domain, where garbage collection, removal and disposal is not tackled by the local government or municipal authorities, and the state government of Governor blabber-mouth does nothing?

I suppose that most Nigerians have during the military government administrations in Nigeria, has gotten Nigerians accustomed to expecting a unitary form of government actions, in a purely federal setting and systems! For decades, Nigerians expected and received federally mandated rules and command-performance of military administrators and so, we now expect the same in a democratic civilian government in a federal system?
This complete misunderstanding, misperception and even ignorance, probably explains why the federal government of President Obasanjo is blamed by so many Nigerians for matters and issues that are clearly state matters, that are clearly local government or municipal province and exclusive preserves, even mundane municipal issues such as garbage collection, garbage haul and disposal.

Little wonder then, that so many Nigerians are unwilling or unaware, that they ought to hold their governors’ feet to the fire for local issues, and further hold the feet of their local government councilors and ward members and local council chairpersons accountable for the existence or provision of local public infrastructures and social amenities, instead, we have Nigerians always accusing the federal government, when in fact, the issue is just a mere failure on the part of a local government or a state authority to live to its bidding and responsibility.

There is therefore and urgent need for a national enlightenment, a national re-orientation and focus on the duties, rights, share power, exclusive powers, current powers, responsibilities, corresponding obligations, both on the parts of the citizens and our governments at all levels. Nigerians must also begin to understand the importance of volunteer efforts, such volunteer efforts are frequently necessary as additional or even independent component of efforts by governments at all levels, even here in the United States. Efforts independent of governments or complementary of governments are a common feature of public social intercourse in America and Europe.

Example of these, that Nigerians are familiar with are, the Red Cross and Doctors Without Borders, there are Non-Governmental Organizations, NGOs, Support Groups of various types.

It bears repeating here, that Nigerians must learn and accept participatory democracy. It is assuredly not a spectator sports, there is no room for “sidon look!”

When Nigerians learn to imbibe the ideals and tenets of participatory democracy, imbued in the thorough understanding of the constitutional arrangements for our federal system as laid down in our constitutional framework, many Nigerians will cease to blame rainfalls and sun shines or cloudy days on President Obasanjo! And whoever becomes a president in Nigeria thereafter.

I have wondered why, there were no public demonstrations urging the Houses of Assemblies in Bayelsa and Plateau to impeach Alamieseigha and Dariye respectively!

I have equally wondered why laudable efforts by our current federal government never met with thunderous and uproarious applauses, from our citizens at home and abroad, praise from our citizens in the nook and crannies of our dear fatherland.

But the same docile, quiet or seeming comatose public, are assumed to be irritated, when the EFCC and other federal agencies do their work? Even when EFCC doing its work actually means the pushing the hitherto inactive hands, of members of Houses of Assemblies in Yenagoa and Jos; Pushing of the hands to perform duties that are clearly specified in our federal constitution in the first place! Duties that were neglected by them!

Constitutional duties which these Houses of Assemblies ought to have performed months or years prior to the so-called pressure or the push of their hands by the EFCC and other federal apparatuses. What is a responsible federal government to do? Let criminals and fugitives remain governors and ridicule their state and all Nigerians worldwide? I am an advocate of due process and the rule of law. I am a literal sucker for letting our system work and be fine-tuned. I am a strong believer in making imperfect democracy perfect with more practice of democracy.

I am quick to say, do not truncate the process, never truncate the institutions.

But what do you do, when some states rush to create new local government areas and councils, contrary to the provisions of our federal constitution 1999? What should a responsible federal government do in the wake some governors in Nigeria, literally holding guns to our head in hostage-taking like crisis?

Should Nigeria allow hostage takers and hijackers and child molesters walk free in our land? all in the name of the fine ideals and tenets of due process and the rule of law?
Acute infection requires aggressive and rigorous regimen of treatment or therapy!
Alamiesiegha and Dariye in engaging in criminal activities, in engaging in gross misconduct and subsequently becoming fugitive of the law, they shredded our constitution, our laws and our shared sense of common decency.

Alamie and Dariye sneered at us all, sneered repeatedly at the constitutions and rules! What is a responsible government to do in the face of thieving governors making the front page of The New York Times and cover stories repeatedly on the BBC worldwide?

And when Houses of Assemblies are quick to impeach deputies of governors, not for public good or purpose, but because there are schisms and chasms between governors and their deputies and House of Assemblies Speakers, as we have witnessed in many states in Nigeria since 1999.

Whereas, state Houses of Assemblies have been asleep at the wheel, in the face of impeachable offenses, including being fugitive on the lam from the law, by Alamie and Dariye etc Why do these states and citizens of these states stand aside and look,? And then, when there are federal interventions, as when Dariye looked the other way, when anarchy reigned in Plateau state and innocent citizens were slaughtered endlessly? When event reached a tipping point and precipice of anarchy and lawlessness, the federal government declared a state of emergency in Plateau state, after duly consulting the relevant opinion and community leaders.

Some still criticized the declaration of emergency in Plateau state as a constitution aberration, which they considered unacceptable! These same persons omitted to call Daryie to order, before matters in Plateau state degenerated to lowest levels, and he was more interested in his foreign personal bank account in England!

We must balance our national interests, even if, delicately, due process, rule of law and national self-preservation. We must act when exigent circumstance requires it! We must protect Nigeria in the face of the imbecilic onslaught brought on by Alamie and Dariye.

Nigerians must hold political leaders’ feet to the fire, make office-holders become accountable and transparent, make them become good listeners, make them responsive and compel them to practice good governance, this must not be limited to the presidency!
Make your ward representatives, your councilors, your local government chairpersons, you House of Assembly members and your governors and federal legislators in the House of Representatives and Senate, accountable and transparent, make them become good listeners, make them responsive and compel them to practice good governance.

Nigerians must urgently become engaged in learning how the system work, learn and grasp our individual and collective roles as specified in our constitution… of our rights, our duties, our responsibilities and our equally important obligations! Nigerians must play our required roles for Nigeria’s progress, development and greatness.

By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 12:32 PM | Comments (1)

December 11, 2005

Mallam Nuhu Ribadu: Nigeria’s Weapons of Mass Destruction, Against Corruption!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- This is to congratulate Mallam Nuhu “WMD” Ribadu and his staff at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission for the big victory scored in the investigation of the fallen and disgraced former governor of Bayelsa state.

The excellence in their effectiveness is shining for the whole world to see. EFCC has now established a precedent in the annals of anti corruption war in Nigeria. The scandal, that was DSP Alamieyesiegha venture into public office in Nigeria, has not been brought to an inglorious end.

Alamie’s fetid and ignominious conducts, his blatant and brazen violations of Nigerian laws and other laws, have not come to an inglorious end.

Mallam Nuhu WMD Ribadu deserves our thunderous applause, for their meticulous investigations, for their tenacities of purpose, for their sustained and focused pursuit of corrupt public officials. EFCC deserves our praises and commendations for being spotless and unblemished in their commitment and dedication to the eradication and elimination of corruption from Nigeria’s landscape.

As many of us know, Nigeria is diamond in the rough, a jewel waiting to be polished and shined to its sparkling and dazzling best shine. Corruption has for far too long, prevented Nigeria from fulfilling our national purpose, and from meeting our attainable developmental goals. Corruption has thwarted and stunted our march to greatness as an advanced nation with bountiful human and material resources

Nigeria is now at the twilight and dawn of great new beginning. Nigeria is now at the threshold of a full recovery from decades of decadence and neglect.

Nigeria is in the presence of rebirth and renaissance!

The anti corruption train has since left the proverbial station, it has demolished a stumbling block to the development of Ijawland and Bayelsa state, other obstacles to development in other parts of Nigeria still remains, but I have it on good authority, that the impediment and obstacle to development of Plateau state also known as Joshua Chibi Dariye, the fugitive governor is also soon to be an ex-governor lacking constitutional immunity, and in the words of Police Commissioner for Bayelsa state Mr. Hafiz Ringim and the EFCC spokesman Mr. Osita Nwajah, DSP Alamie is now an ordinary citizen without the protection of the immunity clause as provided in the Constitution of Nigeria 1999. Alamie has several cases against him; everyone wants him, the EFCC, Nigeria Police, London Police, Immigrations and Customs etc.

DSP Alamie’s disgraceful reign has finally come to an end. His flagrant thumping of his nose at our national laws, and in some respect, international laws, has finally crested. DSP Alamie has been an ill-wind, and he blew no good toward Ijawland, Bayelsa or Nigeria. Alamie’s malevolent wind has finally run out of his odious gases!

DSP Alamie was a monumental embarrassment to all Nigerians! What manner of chief security of a state was this? A man who was himself a fugitive of the law, who then seeks to enforce the law in his domain? How would he have had to treat a fleeing felon in Bayelsa, when he was himself a fleeing felon and fugitive? Alamies was on the lam himself! Those who come to equity, it is often said, must come with clean hands!

How could a state governor call himself or be called by others, “His Excellency”? What is excellent in being a fugitive? Who would anyone obey the laws in Bayelsa, when the governor himself was an outlaw? When he was himself a fugitive from the law? When he was a felon on the lam?

With the likes of DSP Alamie and Josh Dariye in powerful position, there was continued bastardization of our public space. There was the appearance of looming lawlessness and anarchy. What else would anyone call it? How else would anyone describe fugitive governors presiding over law abiding citizens, who are expected to continue to observe our laws and rules? How could morality, decency and good behavior be enforced or even expected from the average citizen, while the presiding officers of states, are the epitome and pillar of lawlessness and most immoral egregious behaviors?

“His Excellency” became a misapplication of term, when used in reference to DSP Alamie, and his counterpart clone, fugitive Josh Chibi Dariye.

I congratulate the Chairman of the EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu and his staff for a job well done on DSP Alamie, and for all the other wonderful jobs that the EFCC has done in the past, and of course, the many more that the EFCC are doing even as I write.

Here is calling on the honorable members of Plateau state house of assembly, it is time to impeach your infant terrible fugitive Dariye! Dariye will make good company for the sexy woe-man DSP Alamie in the same prison cell, whether as prisoners in Nigeria or in England. The time to impeach Josh Chibi Dariye is nigh!

The people and the leaders in Ijawland, the people and leaders of Bayelsa state have set a wonderfully spectacular precedent for our public officials. The word is out. The world now knows that Nigeria has zero tolerance for inappropriate, illegal and criminal behaviors by public officials! Nigeria’s reforms are proceeding in earnest

All roads now lead to Plateau state, fish out fugitive Josh Chibi Dariye!

By Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:29 PM | Comments (1)

Ijawland’s Early Christmas Gift to Nigeria from Bayelsa State!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Exhilarating! Thrilling! And Invigorating! Are the adjectives that best describes the delightful news of the impeachment of DSP Alamieseigha, the fugitive and former governor of Bayelsa state in Nigeria! Good riddance to bad rubbish!

DSP Alams was a colossal embarrassment to Nigeria, to the decent people of Ijawland, Bayelsa and all of us! His putrid and filthy corrupt ways has finally ended his foray into Nigeria’s public life and thus, a precedent has been set!

Here is calling the Honorable Members of Plateau state house of assembly, they too, should shoo fugitive Joshua Chibi Dariye who in circumstances similar to DSP Alams, also jumped bail in London while facing similar criminal charges as DSP Alams.

A call should now go out to Nigerians and people of the world, to participate, support and encourage the audacious war against corruption that is being fought by the indomitable President Obasanjo. The time to sit and do nothing is past. Democracy is not a spectator sport. Riding Nigeria of corruption is not a spectator sport either.

The political leaders of Ijawland and Bayelsa state have just demonstrated commitment to Nigeria’s democracy and Nigeria’s progress. Ijawland and Bayelsa have now set a spectacular precedent for all Nigerians. The anti corruption train has since left the station.

Next stop Plateau state, then Edo state etc! The impeachment train is coming to a stop near you! Watch out! President Obasanjo is making believers out of those doubters and those who have been sitting on the fence regarding reform efforts in Nigeria

More thunderous applause the government of President Obasanjo and his anti corruption drive. We must now become more focused and more engaged. We must now join in these reforms and progressive efforts for the advancement of Nigeria. Nigeria’s development and greatness depends on all of us.

The message should now be loud and clear, there is a new dawn and it is a new day in Nigeria!

I could not have asked for a better Christmas present from Santa Claus! And I am sure majority of Nigerians world wide share my feelings on this.

God Bless Ijawland God Bless Bayelsa! God Bless Nigeria

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:22 PM | Comments (2)

November 22, 2005

Fugitives as Governors in Nigeria? Dariye & Alamie!: The Tragedy of Looting Governor Alamieyesegha of Bayelsa

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Shocked and agitated are words that best describe my feeling on learning that Alamie has escaped the claws and jaws of justice in London, as he is reported to have jumped bail in England. He has returned to Yenagoa where he lives to pretend that he is a cat with nine lives. I hope Nigeria’s democracy is not undone. This could be the harbinger of anarchy.

This is a tragic blow to the anti corruption efforts currently going on in Nigeria, it is, also a wake up call to Nigeria’s National Assembly to expunge, repeal or amend the immunity clause to change the present state of affairs, in which some public officials have turned the immunity clause to an impunity cloak and cover.

If anything is to be learnt from Alamie’s brazen escape from London and the bravado with which he has reportedly “resumed” his “authority as governor” of Bayelsa state, it is simply that, the provision in Nigeria’s constitution of 1999 regarding immunity, is now long overdue for amendment or complete repeal. I have made this call before!

Additional lesson to be learnt, among many others, is that the war against corruption is primarily Nigeria’s war, albeit, with support, encouragement and cooperation from other nations and non-Nigerians worldwide.

Looting governor Alamie of Bayelsa state has offended every sense of decency known to humans, he has broken many more laws, local and international. He has by his singular criminal act of escape, from lawful restriction placed upon him by agencies of the British government, demonstrated that he is a reckless buffoon money launderer and now a fugitive felon. How did this man escape through the airspace of London and how did he enter the airspace of Nigeria? How did he procure travel documents? Who are his collaborators? Who connived and colluded with this looting governor to escape justice?

Nigeria’s National Assembly must immediately convene and converge to surgically remove the parts of section 308 of the constitution of Nigeria 1999, which is now a national and an international embarrassment of colossal and monumental proportions!

Brazen misconduct, criminal activities by governors must stop and their constitutional protections as embedded in the immunity clause must be removed. These gangsters must be compelled to obey the laws. They must face the consequences of their illegal acts!

Lawlessness by pubic holders, particularly these looting governors must be stopped.

By Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:00 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

Donate To Nigerian Schools and Institutions

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- $100 Million dollars was donated by an American last week. I read the story about an anonymous donor who donated the one hundred million dollars to Yale University, the donor instructed that the money be disbursed entirely to Yale University music programs, this, means that the donor only intended to benefit the music department and faculty, of Yale University.

And not to, say, Yale University Law School or Medical School etc

Before the Yale University’s Music Faculty sudden fortune, there were, other news from the home front, Nigeria that is. More specifically, I read a story about one Aimiuwu who had started a website and a major drive geared towards raising funds, materials and sundry resources for schools and centers of learning in Edo state Nigeria, this I think is a very commendable efforts that everyone should applaud.

This must be repeated in and replicated for all the states of Nigeria. This is important.

Much earlier in the year, there was also a news item that I read in The Guardian Newspapers editorial and opinion page, which was written by Mr. Sonala Olumhense.

Mr. Olumhense through a confluence of efforts by several individuals and organizations, had thrown a challenge that required University of Ibadan alumni and well-wishers, to match an earmarked fund, to which the original donor will multiply or something to that effect, and if I recollect correctly, the challenge was met and surpassed.

The real gist of what I am driving at here, is the wonders of private efforts at funding public and private schools and institutions world wide, more particularly, in the United States where major league universities, institutions of higher learning rely heavily on the goodwill of generous donors, members of the public, and former students who are happy to fund endowments for universities, law schools, colleges of medicine, and music schools or department as in the case of Yale University above mentioned.

Nigerians can do the same for Nigerian institutions!

Universities, Colleges and other institutions of higher learning in America compete for endowment dollars yearly, these institutions engage in direct solicitations from former students or graduates of such institutions, as well as direct solicitations through fundraisers that are very frequently undertaken.

These sources of funds for these American institutions enable them engage in expansion projects, the availability of funds enable them to fund grants for research and development, it enable these institutions to enhance physical infrastructures and wealth of knowledge. Enable them to offer scholarships to the underprivileged of society.

Funding for education in America is not solely from school fees and government funding.

Funding for the Arts, partly comes from a US government funded National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. And private citizens and corporations contribute generously to the advancement of Arts and Humanities in America. Advancement in science and technology, are also a cooperative joint efforts by individual persons, corporations and governments at all level in the United States. And creative energies are unleashed.

Again, these beneficial models can be replicated in Nigeria as well. It will take all Nigerians, individuals, corporations, private and public efforts to make Nigeria great.

Many Nigerians have heard or even benefited from Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Foundation etc, perhaps we should begin to hear more of Ahmadu Bello Foundation, Nnamdi Azikiwe Foundation, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Aminu Kano Foundation, Awojobi Foundation, Tai Solarin Foundation, Dr. Bala Usman Foundation etc, we got the idea? Nigerians should use the names of prominent Nigerians to establish foundations for public service and public good, such Nigerians must be our citizens who epitomize all that is good for all Nigerians.

Whether such Nigerians are or were public office holders, private citizen entrepreneurs and philanthropists etc. Nigerians for these purposes should be Nigerians who excelled in their lifetimes or brought honor and glory to Nigeria and Nigerians who led exemplary lives.

And through such foundations as I contemplate here, Nigerians through private efforts that would complements government’s efforts. We will build a decent society that advances to an outstanding and great society. We all have a stake in the outcome of Nigeria.

In the past, and even now, in the majority of cases, the ownership and funding of universities and institutions of higher learning in Nigeria have solely been the responsibility of government in Nigeria. Now, however, that trend is shifting somewhat.

I am not advocating here that government abandon, or abdicate its responsibilities in the funding and management of government owned and managed universities, colleges of education, polytechnics etc

Ownership and funding of private universities are steadily multiplying in Nigeria, and more and more priorities of government now compete for funding, and of course, resources are not limitless. Hence the need to begin to look into innovative and brand new means of funding our universities and other institutions of higher learning, both public and privately owned.

Fund raisers are recommended, but additionally, graduates of Nigerian universities, medical schools and law schools and the many universities in Nigeria should make it a point of duty to donate books, money, equipment, technologies, innovations and ideation to the schools and institutions where we earned our academic laurels, schools, from primary schools to secondary schools to universities and professional schools where we in essence learned the tricks of our various professions.

We should not forget the schools and institutions where our callings and professions were mould, and nurtured, where our formative professional training began. We should take sabbaticals to teach, volunteer and serve in all levels of Nigerian education sector. I am aware that some Nigerian professionals already engage in voluntary medical services and other professional services from their various overseas locations, as they embark on trips to Nigeria on a regular basis.

My American experience has awakened me to the responsibility that the average American College graduate or professional or career person shoulders for alma maters and alumni. The schools regularly solicit monetary and material donations from graduates of such institutions, as well as solicitations from members of the general public.

Then also, there are generous members of public who as individuals or corporate bodies, donate to universities, colleges, and donate to public institutions, public libraries, hospitals etc. Donations have helped establish universities, colleges and other institutions of learning into center of excellence. Well meaning Nigerian individual citizens and corporations can do these things.

No donated money amounts are too large or too small, and other resources are equally important as well, such materials and resources, equipments, books whether new or used, computers, whether new or used. In the past, I had written “Where Are The Nigerian Volunteers” and I wish to repeat that call now. Nigerians should volunteer more in efforts to create a great Nigeria.

Nigerians should volunteer more time, money and materials. Nigerians should donate.

Nigerians need to actively engage and participate in making public and private institutions in Nigeria serve all Nigerians for our common good.

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2005

Gani Fawehinmi: His Crass & Poor Taste “Criticism”

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- According to the book of Ecclesiastes, there is season and time for everything. So, there is a time to for joy, there is time for sadness, there is time to laugh and time to cry.

These biblical maxims are apparently lost on Barrister Gani Fawehinmi, as he chose the most inauspicious time, to engage in his beyond the pale commentary directed against President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Barrister Fawehinmin ignored all precepts of decency as he engaged in his garrulous commentary at a time Nigeria mourned the death of 117 passengers and crew of the ill-fated Bellview Airlines flight 210. Gani was indecorous on this occasion.

I am personally disappointed at Gani’s lack of grace and class, in his efforts in the name of criticisms of President Obasanjo’s public policies. Gani patriotism has never been in doubt to me and for that matter no Nigerian would doubt where Gani stands on Nigeria’s progress and advancement toward national greatness.

I must also confess that I studied law essentially because of Gani, who was celebrated by a student Union, when I was a boy, as he was held shoulder high upon winning a legal battle on the behalf of the Students’ Union, and I was sold on the idea of due process and the rule of law as a tool, an instrument and wonderful machinery of justice, the empowering lawyers to assist the powerless multitude, Gani therefore, was an inspiration and an impetus for my love of the legal profession. I have always respected and admired him as a lawyer and as Nigerian with the most astute political analyses and complete good sense.

But Gani has just overdone! Gani has overplayed his hand and overplayed his role as ombudsman for good governance or battle worn critic.

It is completely unreasonable on Gani’s part, that he chose a very sorrowful moment for Nigeria, to engage in his belligerent preachment to President Obasanjo, who, apart from being the presiding officer, and president of Nigeria, Nigeria, a country in national mourning as a result of our collective loss in a plane crash, and the particularly personal loss suffered by the president and first family, due to the sudden death of Mrs. Stella Obasanjo. Whatever anyone thinks or thought of Mrs. Obasanjo, she has died.

Whatever anyone thinks of President Obasanjo, he is just bereaved.

Gani wrote agonizingly about his son, and yet, he glossed over the sorrow of President Obasanjo who is grieving over a very personal loss of his wife, a woman, who by all accounts, stood by our president, through thick and thin, his near death experience under late General Abacha, and also through the thickset of his political travails in current dispensation. Why did Gani choose this most inappropriate time to berate President Obasanjo? What was the point?

Contrast and compare the tastelessness of Gani commentary at this inauspicious time, with the general deference that all Americans of all political, economic, cultural and racial persuasions offered to President Bush after the events of September 11, 2001.

President Bush suffered no personal loss. Bush lost no family member.

President Bush’s presidency began on a very sour note. He came out of a fractious election that generated suspicions and extreme bitterness, of chad, pregnant chad and dimple chad, as election results were held in abeyance, until the United States Supreme Court finally awarded the election to Mr. Bush…. But for the terrorists attacks of 9/11/01 President Bush was walking a very tight political rope, from the unpopularity of his award by the US Supreme court, but the national tragedy of 9/11/01 change everything.

Americans became patient and understanding with Bush’s every tentative and Bush every learning steps, until he started to use and abuse the national deference to him, which arose out of a national tragedy.

General Buhari paid condolences and respects to the dead, so did Professor Soyinka, of these two, every Nigerian alive or dead, know where they stand on Nigeria’s national issues, whether we agree with Buhari and Soyinka or not…. But for a moment, these two buried their hatchets! They acted with refinement, with deep reflection and circumspection.

No Holy Book, neither the Koran nor the Bible, and or, even common sense, in any culture or language would applaud Gani for his flippant commentaries at a time President Obasanjo and Nigeria are mourning the twin tragedies of October.

What Gani did was distasteful. Gani indulged himself, it was bad judgment.

General Buhari and Professor Soyinka imbibed the maxim contained in the book of Ecclesiastes which clearly states that there is a time for everything. Nigeria mourn the passing of Mrs. Obasanjo and the 117 passengers and crew of Bellview Airlines flight 210

And so, quite unlike Mrs Yinka Oladapo who took Dr. Reuben Abati of The Guardian Newspapers to task, for chastising Gani for attacking our president, a man who is mourning a very personal loss and a national losses, a president who is in private and public mourning! I am in full agreement with Dr. Abati, Gani tactless, tasteless and crass commentaries were ill-opportune and Gani ought to apologize for his bad judgment on this occasion. Gani was not only un-African, he was inhuman! He acted without compassion and sympathy. Gani’s behavior did not engender good feelings, nor did it elevate public discourse, his commentary on this occasion, did not serve any public good.

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 02:20 PM | Comments (1)

October 28, 2005

AIT Deserved Some Sanctions, Not A Shutdown!

by Paul I. Adujie, ((New York, United States) --- I write with a heavy heart, the twin tragic incident in Nigeria, the crash of Bellview Airlines Flight 210 which led to the premature death of 117 persons. Tragic, also best describes the sudden death of Mrs. Stella Obasanjo, wife of our number one citizen.

There was, expectedly, stampedes and confusions after the air disaster, this is understandable…expected and understandable, are words that I have carefully chosen, because, it is rather universal for humans to react to accidents or disasters in panic, stampede and some confusion, as fallout of the air disaster, any catastrophe, this is a universal human phenomena and human condition.

After the Bellview crash, which occurred at night time, it took the federal agencies several hours to locate the site of the plane’s impact on the ground, until it was said to have been discovered in the town of Lisa by a television station, beating federal agencies to the discovery or the national efforts at search, rescue and retrieval of passengers of the ill-fated flight 210.

Nigeria broadcasting regulatory body, the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission or the NBC, promptly issued a press release and subsequently banned AIT/Raypower broadcasting company for airing the gory pictures of burnt and mutilated human remains from the air crash. The closure or shutdown of AIT was probably an overreaction, but having said that, we must also say that the publishing of burnt mutilated bodies was an egregious act on the part of AIT and others who may have engaged in such indecent and undignified act.

How would anyone like to see the charred remains of his father, his mother, or uncle or cousin or friend or co-worker on television? What is the voyeuristic newsworthiness in the body parts displayed on screen by AIT and perhaps, by other broadcasters?

I am an advocate of Press Freedom, I believe in the right of the citizens to know. I support the pending bill at our national assembly that will hopefully be transformed into Freedom of Information Act. I abhor censorship. But reckless journalism is also injurious

The NBC sanctions against AIT was not motivated by censorships, instead it was motivated by purely genuine outrage felt by the people at NBC and perhaps, as must have been felt as well, by a majority of Nigerians who were horrified by the broadcast of gory pictures of disintegrated body parts from the bloodied and burned passengers on Bellview flight 210.

I have always personally complained about American and European Media Houses and the type coverage of crises and tragedies in Nigeria and all of Africa that they provide, where the picture or outlook is painted as if, to say, it could not get worse than this any where, or to say, "this is an only in Africa moment" This attitude was recently repeated in the American Press coverage of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana where there was a different sorts of coverage and spin, depending on whether the Hurricane victim was a White or Black person, Whites were portrayed as looking for food and found food, while Blacks who equally looked for found and found food, were portrayed as looters of the food that they found, just as their counterparts in the after-Hurricane desperations… but the Whites were not referred to as looters!

In the name of press freedom in Nigeria, we must not thrash decency and dignity. We must not abandon our culture that dictates respect for the dead, and this is in fact not particularly an African thing. I have been living in the United States for decades now, and it is my experience here in America, that when a person dies, whether in the hospitals or on the sidewalks of streets and avenues, the Americans are quick to supply blankets or some sorts of cover for the dead person’s body or at least the dead’s face.

Here in America, such dead person does not even have to be mutilated or burnt or look gory, just that the person is now a corpse, and the body is quickly covered. The dead person could be rich, poor or even homeless street vagrant or street urchin, the same process is undertaken to give the dead some respect, dignity and somewhat a decent end.

To that extent, it does not speak well of Nigerians citizens and governments, that dead bodies are allowed to remain in Nigerian streets or avenues and roads uncovered, and sometimes, corpses are actually neglected on public space, until such corpses start to decompose! Now, I understand that the remains of flight 210 passengers have not been retrieved, several days after the deadly crash. That is a complete shame.

NEMA, the Police, the Airforce, Navy, Army, NRSC and other security forces ought to be empowered to do search and rescue operations, on land, at sea or by air. Nigeria need more ambulances, to do these things and Nigeria also need ample supply of body bags or coffins available at every of our 774 local government areas and Abuja. Nigerians should not allow bodies to rot in the streets or any public space… any dead Nigerian citizen deserve better than such nonchalant abandonment or wanton neglect at life’s end

How we treat our poor and our dead, is the sum total of how we value ourselves as Nigerians. This is an area that I am convinced, Nigerians can learn from the Americans.

Has any Nigerian seen body parts of the more than 3,000 that were killed in the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001? I live in New York City and I never saw a body part of any of the 3,000 dead at the WTC on television or newspapers

And yet, it is unarguable that there are more television broadcasters and more newspapers in America, particularly in New York City, known as the financial and news capital of the world. New York City boasts of all news media of the world represented here

Do some Nigerians actually suppose that is because there are no daring and scoop loving television and newspaper journalists in America, which is why the world never saw burnt and burned body parts, mutilated victims of he terrorists attacks in New York, Washington DC and Pennsylvania?

Have Nigerians seen pictures of dead American soldiers in the Iraqi and Afghan wars?
Is this because there are no television stations in America and there are no cameras?

As at today, October 26, 2005, 2000 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq alone and there are no pictures of the dead or injured Americans who serve in the military.

Do Nigerians care why journalists were embedded in American current wars, and not allowed to roam free? Publish and be damned and all?

American military industrial complex carefully selected journalists from both print and electronic medias and trained these journalist for several months before the American invasion and occupation of Iraq, and these journalists, become what was known as the embedded journalists, whose reporting were filtered and or orchestrated, so that our trusted sources such as The New York Times, the BBC, the VOA only reported to America and the world, what has been approved and allowed by the American federal government and its military commanders!

When some American soldiers and civilians were displayed on television by the insurgents in Iraq, American government protested outrage, and when American soldiers killed Saddam Hussein two sons, Uday and Qusay, and circulated their heavily mangled bodies, the average America was appalled and complained, there were also complaints from outside the United Sates as well… even though Saddam Hussein and his sons were nobody’s favorite.

During the tragic Hurricane Katrina disaster, the American Federal Emergency Management Agency or FEMA was grossly inept and incompetent or just nonchalant, but even so, it strived to contain the broadcast of pictures from the scenes of the horrendous disaster, FEMA actually sent out memo, demanding that press houses refrained from publishing pictures of the dead and dying

Why have the Americans taken all these steps to protect and prevent the broadcast of pictures, gory pictures of dead Americans in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, in Pennsylvania, or the pictures of dead American soldiers in the wars of Afghanistan and Iraq? Have Nigerians seen dead and dying Americans from these wars? Do Nigerians know why that is? Do Nigerians even care?

So, why must we demean ourselves and or our dead by displaying disintegrated burnt body parts on television during break fast or dinner times? Why is it now not enough to show the crash site, the wreckage, but without showing the bleeding and or burnt human remains? What is so newsworthy in that? What is the demonstration of press freedom in that?

AIT should be reprimanded and fined, if there is such rule in Nigeria… AIT should not be banned or closed; AIT or any overzealous journalist should be sanctioned, not arrested or banned! We must use due process and always have recourse to the rule of law.

NCC should prescribe fines, perhaps huge fines in cases where hunting for scoops offends public decency/morality or taste, and what is appropriate, whatever the community or national standards are determined to be, by Nigeria. But closing down AIT or any press/media house sounds heavy -handed and arbitrary; And Nigeria may because of it, it is receive bad press galore, as Nigeria may be painted or portrayed as hostile to free press.

It was my intention to plead that the ban be lifted, but since the ban has actually been lifted already, it is instead, suggested that there ought to be a fine, just so, everyone is on notice what the law and rules are, so that, next time, NBC can impose a fine if there is a breach of the rules. Nigerians and the world understand pocket-book politics....and AIT or other broadcasters would not want to lose money and of course, they will comply with such rules that requires some circumspection in news reporting and that is not inconsistent with Nigeria’s National Interests, National security, or national purpose, including the mundane matters of decency and dignity for our dead and the all important concept and ideal, of free press in Nigeria.

By Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

October 21, 2005

America’s National Security & Nigeria's National Security: Free Market, Forces of Demand & Supply Are Now Irrelevant?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- A major economic transaction of monumental proportions occurred in the first ten days of August, 2005; $18 billions dollars worth! And it was between the Americans and the Chinese; it was botched by pressures emanating from the Americans against the Chinese. The Chinese company is CNOOC and the American company is Unocal Corporation.

These strong-arm tactics on the part of the Americans ended the several month long negotiations in connection with the gargantuan petroleum oil deal, which was really between a Chinese company and an American counterpart, until external forces seeped in

The aforesaid transaction was transcontinental, it involved pure economic, gallons and barrels of petroleum oil, and it was supposed to be determined, ordinarily in the natural cause of events, by the tenet and ideals of the ubiquitous free market, of demand, supply and all. But those fine points of economic theories were summarily jettisoned.

Some American forces, outside of demand and supply chain of economic command, arbitrarily interfered and truncated the this purely economic transaction between an American company and a Chinese company, simply put, the same Americans who are quick to lecture the rest of the world about opening up markets, free markets and fair trade, where demand and supply reign supreme, actually found themselves resorting to extra legal, extra economic, big stick jungle justice, whereby, the American political leadership, some business leaders with Congressional Action invoked national security argument, as poor excuse, why the sale of goods and services by an American company should not go to the highest bidder, just because it happens to be a Chinese!

The American action was reminiscent of similar American overreaction and panic about twenty-years ago, during a period in which Japan experience major economic boom and as a result, Japanese individuals and their companies were splurging as they bought up many major landmarks real estate in American cities, especially New York City’s Rockefeller Plaza/Center skyscrapers. And suddenly! There was uproar! with, Oh, the Japanese are buying up America! Oh the Japanese now own everything sort of phobia.

When this summer, this oil deal negotiations between the Americans and the Chinese, was in progress, this old phobia was resuscitated and it finally truncated the sale. All Americans who were opposed to the sale to the Chinese company were quick to disregard every economic parameter and the usually talkative economists of Harvard Business School and elsewhere in the US, were all deathly silent!

Even the Nigerians who would want Nigeria to sell all of our national assets in the name of privatization, deregulation and removals of subsidies, were not commenting on, this usual usurpation of pure economic transactions, by politicians who were invited in, by private business concerns, who were desperate in their efforts to circumvent economic forces of the free market place, where the American business had been outbid by a Chinese competitors.

So, as it happened, the month of July and the first ten days of August 2005, was spent by this writer, observing the melodrama, resorted to by the Americans who wanted to thwart the transactions. As the American and Chinese transactions unfolded, then botched and unraveled, due the underhand chicaneries of deals, all aimed by the Americans, at thwarting the deal to the disadvantage of the Chinese, who were eventually pushed to the proverbial wall, but of course the Chinese were compelled to withdrawn and abandon their bid, which was higher, it was all about comparative strategic advantage over petrol-politics and it would appear that the Chinese chose to run away, just so, they could fight more effectively another day, while also marking down for history books, the precedent that the Americans have set with their admixture of economics with politics, in this crude oil, crude politico-economic petrol-politics of a mega transaction, that was worth eighteen billion whopping US Dollars!

CNOOC the Chinese oil conglomerate, sought to purchase an oil giant company with multi-various tentacles, and the Americans, thinking too far ahead, panicked and through blackmail and subterfuge, threw everything into the bargain, including the kitchen sinks of political intervention by the US Congress which summarily designated a pure business transaction with the speedy appellation it became ….known as, national security inspired defense of America ... a la French fries conversion to Freedom fries! Because the French had opposed the America’s invasion and occupation of Iraq, French Fries, was renamed!

While I followed and watched this oil saga of a transaction between the Americans on the one hand and the Chinese on the other, another oil transaction was unfolding in Nigeria, involving the Nigerian government agency which handles the Nigeria’s oil and petroleum businesses. Part of this transaction involved oil prospecting in Sao Tome, and there was competition between foreign oil companies and the growing consortium of indigenous oil prospecting companies in Nigeria.

And so it was that I received an email from a Nigerian in Nigeria, Mr. Jude Iyamabo who wrote the following, ..Quote I will appreciate it if you can comment on the attached document. I am trying to relate it to a recent Washington post editorial which alleged that President Obasanjo’s is been held hostage by Nigerian businessmen. Reason: many indigenous Nigerian oil companies for the first time in Nigeria’s history won lucrative oil blocks in Joint Development Zone (JDZ) of the Gulf of Guinea against the practice in the past where only multinational oil companies walk in and won the entire oil block on concessions.

While the American/Europeans claimed that the bidding process was not transparent, the Sao Tome and Principe’s government says that they considered more than the financial bids, technical competent and signature bonuses. One of the factors the Joint Development Zone Authorities (the agency which handled the bid) put into consideration was Nigerian/Sao Tome and Principe’s governments’ policy to get more indigenous players involved in their oil and gas industry. This policy is in continuation of both governments’ desire to open up the oil and Gas sector to more players and has been responsible for the recent entrance of the Brazilians, Chinese, Indians, Malaysians and South Africans into the Nigerian oil industry. I will like to believe the Nigerian government. Unquote.

This revelation and eye-opener, is shocking! It is as if the Americans and Europeans are perpetually telling us what to do, and usually something they would never ever do themselves! It is analogous of do what I say and not what I do? It is clear that the Americans frustrated the Chinese out of a legitimate oil business deal, where the Chinese, for all legitimate business purposes, were the highest bidder, and the Chinese conducted themselves fairly and properly in consonance with all the rules and precepts of free market, free economy and all the nary details of demand and supply, but, political intervention from high places, including by members of the US Congress, who argued that the simple oil business transaction portended some elephant size implications for US national security!

With that fiat or national security fatwa, and political pressures from the top, the fair deal, that had appeared a done-deal, for the Chinese, was aborted summarily! All this despite the Chinese bidders, Unocal Corporation haven been the highest bidder in the transaction under review. Then, as the deal was aborted and botched by the Americans against the Chinese, Chevron the American giant oil company and conglomerate got the sweet deal, despite its partnership with China in other oil deals, and this, regardless of the fact that, Chevron offered a lower bid for the purchase! Chevron’s offer that was then accepted was billions lower than the $18billion that the Chinese had offered!

Why are all this important at all to us? Nigeria and other developing countries are engaged in privatization and deregulation, including the removal of subsidies, and frequently, the purchasers of these national assets that are being sold off, in Nigeria and in other developing countries, are snapped-up, in rock-bottom bargain prices, by multinational companies, that are not of, Nigeria or of, any of these developing countries that are selling off, national assets without deliberative contemplations of national security implications of unbridled sale of their national assets and public infrastructures.

And what is worse? These multinational companies are now the same ones, whose home governments are quick to announce and pronounce political and economic fatwa of national security proportions and arbitrarily deny the Chinese of legitimate business transactions, in which the Chinese were the highest bidder. It should now be clear, that those who are happy to buy or acquire our national assets at cheap prices and ridiculous bargains, are unwilling to sell their assets, even to the highest bidder, if the bidder is not politically suitable geographically!

We see in this, brazen hypocrisy and double standards, including selective application of free market concepts, of demand and supply rules, fair trade or noninterference in business transactions by political leaders. It gets egregiously worse, when the comments ascribed to Washington Post is added to all these. The Washington Post is said to have commented that President Obasanjo of Nigeria is being held hostage, by local businesspeople, who as Nigerian citizens, want a chance to participate in Nigeria’s booming oil business, which, if truth be told, is currently being dominated and controlled by foreign oil companies. Foreign oil companies have operated for decades without plans for backward integration; there is no local input, in terms of local personnel and materials. Granted that oil prospecting, exploration and exploitation are capital intensive, requiring foreign partnering, even so, Nigerian engineers, geologist and seismologists ought to form the bulk and backbone of this crucial sector of Nigeria’s economy.

But instead, foreign oil companies have for the most part, operated as if they are mercenaries who are splendidly uninterested in the health and wealth of the locales, locales that are polluted, degraded and ruined with endless oil spillages, gas flaring, while these companies add no value to the lives of the people.

These foreign companies do not even pretend to be responsible or good corporate citizens of Nigeria! These companies are not contributing to public infrastructures, as they rather would engage in improperly influencing the authorities or sometimes resort to hiring thugs for protection, when their mercenary-type shortsighted policies returns to bite them.

It is time to wrest the Nigerian oil sector from foreign domination as such control by foreign concerns, have been the case for decades of Nigeria’s oil prospecting and exploration, exploitation. There have been no long term benefits, by way of technology transfer to Nigerians or enhancements of industrial processes as a byproduct of the oil sector in Nigeria.

The Americans have just showed Nigerians and the rest of the world, in their dealings with a Chinese oil company, that American oil companies represents American national interests and we, as Nigerians must be awake to our national security interests as well!

Nigerians must then learn to disregard the antics of commentaries such as the one that emanated from the Washington post regarding President Obasanjo efforts in the oil sector

Clearly, the Americans seem to chose when demand and supply or the so-called rules of free market are relevant or when the selectively deem such concepts irrelevant, regarding American agricultural products which America heavily subsidizes, as they do steel, aircrafts and many other American products, which also now include oil prospecting.

Considering all the above, it is crucially important that Nigerians support the efforts by President Obasanjo to elevate participation by Nigerians and indigenous Nigerian companies in the downstream and upstream sectors of Nigeria’s oil prospecting, oil exploration and exploitation. This means Nigeria’s oil wealth circulate among more Nigerians.

It also means nurturing and protecting Nigeria’s national security interests imbued in our oil wealth and when it pleases Nigeria, Nigeria must also dispense with demand and supply theory, or free market concepts, when we determine that such concepts run counter to Nigeria’s national security interests!

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 12:30 PM | Comments (1)

The Wabaras: Felicia & Senator Adolphous Wabara; Suddenly Rich?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, USA) --- Felicia Wabara, the wife of the former Nigerian Senate President, Senator Aldolphous Wabara, purchased a house in New York a few months ago for one million dollars cash! This was reported two months ago by Sowore Omoyele and Jonathan Elendu both of

It, was widely reported at the time, that the purchase by Mrs. Wabara had no mortgage installments or some sorts of regular bank payments involved in said property in New York, United States. These revelations were first made by Messrs Sowore Omoyele and Jonathan Elendu, both of months ago and since then, the public focus has seemingly shifted to President Obasanjo and Vice President Atiku’s squabble, the Dukubo gangsters and other matters. The Wabaras controversy has seeped into oblivion, as it has hardly received a mention in the Nigerian media!

Unearthing the sudden wealth between Mrs. Felicia Wabara and Senator Wabara is important for several reasons they lived here in New York before moving to Nigeria where Mr. Wabara became a senator, in the Nigerian senate and at some point, the chairperson of senate subcommittee on Police Affairs, this is the committee that was supposed to act as an oversight and supervise, Nigeria Police that produced Tafa Balogun the disgraced corruption laden billionaire former Inspector General of Police. Some National Assembly members surely need to chat with the EFCC, in this instance, we may also recall that Senator Wabara was implicated or ensnarled in the Osujigate fifty-five million Naira Ministry of Education bribe for budget scandals.

Additionally, Mrs. Felicia Wabara was a president of a Nigerian cultural association here in New York, United States, where members constantly agonized about the abject conditions of Nigerians in Nigeria and most decent Nigerians would say ad nauseam, how they wish they could change things in Nigeria, just so that, abject poverty, that drove some of us here and continues to drive the desperations of throngs of Nigerians to foreign embassies, would be a thing of the past.

As a former president of this Nigerian cultural organization, Mrs. Wabara, even after relocating to Nigeria, with her newly minted senator husband, she was invited to an annual dinner event by this Nigeria cultural association and she was a featured speaker and this was about four years ago. And while her husband, Senator Wabara, headed the senate subcommittee on Police Affairs in Nigeria, she used, or more like, she abused the opportunity to engage in tirades against the federal government of Nigeria and she spoke in that vein and for longer than she was scheduled and a good number of those present, including myself, complained that she had turned the event into a political pulpit, in which she engaged in countless invectives and in the most acerbic tones!

Some of us had wondered about her behavior, especially as wife of a prominent senator, who in our view, was part of the current Nigerian federal government and as a member of the ruling party, the PDP. Mrs. Wabara raved and ranted in my presence, about corruption during that annual dinner by a Nigerian cultural association here in New York and even those in agreement with some of her expressed displeasure, wondered why she could not see the inappropriateness in her indecorous tirade against a federal government of which her husband is a prominent part.

And the complete hijack of the evening’s cultural program for her ad hoc lecture on corruption in Nigeria, at a forum that was entirely not the right setting for the gripes that she expressed and in also considering how time-consuming her speech was, as well as her choice of words.

Now, a reexamination springs a complete surprise between what Mrs. Wabara claimed she stood for then, which is irreconcilable with her apparent profiting from the Nigeria system that she roundly criticized at the time! It smacks of hypocrisy and doublespeak. And it has all the smudges of do as I say, and not what I do? I had previously forwarded the Wabara’s property purchase revelation to the EFCC and the ICPC and I will do so again, as a reminder, these anti corruption agencies in Nigeria are probably overwhelmed with so many petitions and myriad information.

But we must all be encouraged by the achievements of the EFCC in particular, and we must keep supplying information that will assist the corruption fight, it is a dauntless task! It is surely an arduous duty that requires sustained and focused efforts by all Nigerians.

This is therefore to serve notice to those engaged in corruption in Nigeria, against Nigeria’s national interests, that we will not let them forget their iniquities and their pillaging of Nigeria through their corrupt ways. We will not let them off the hook; we will not let them sleep easy.

Mrs. Felicia Wabara and Senator Wabara must explain to the Nigerian public, the source of their sudden wealth and property acquisition in New York, United States, even before they have a chance to also explain to the EFCC and the Nigerian judicial system!

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)

October 13, 2005

What do Ndiigbo want? From Biafra to MASSOB

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- I am a strong advocate of Nigerian Unity and I abhor any action that would lead to the disintegration of Nigeria, as presently constituted.

Having said that, I would like to attempt to answer the question I posed above, as the header, what do Ndiigbo want? The Igbos in Nigeria like all other Nigerians! They get born and they live and die, just like the rest of humans, and like the rest of humans, Ndiigbo have economic, political and cultural pursuits and aspirations, which could and should be capable of being realized within the confines of our darling republic of Nigeria.

But history, Nigerian history has not been even-handed with Ndiigbo, as Ndiigbo have been at the receiving end of animosities and vile anger actions; Anyone familiar with the colossal loss, that resulted from the so-called "abandoned properties" which were Igbo properties that were converted and greedily appropriated by others, during and after the war, would understand, these vile actions that I speak of, among many others.

But after the fateful and unfortunate events that led to the declaration of Biafra as a republic, and the consequent brutal civil war, the cessation of hostilities led to Mr. Gowon famous speech of no victor no vanquished, even as Ndiigbo were promised full integration in our dear republic of Nigeria, with full rights, obligations and responsibilities.

Ndiigbo have done the best than could have been expected of any marginalized group, particularly, with the peculiarities of a people recovering from the vagaries of a brutal civil war; Ndiigbo, through dint of hard work, resourcefulness imbued in self-reliance, have rehabilitated individually and collectively, Ndiigbo rehabilitated through self-help, and this have been so, notwithstanding the unspeakable neglect by every apparatus of government.

Despite the deprivations and abject poverty created in Igboland as a consequence of the civil war and its aftermath, Ndiigbo have thrived in the professions, in academia, in business, in politics and all callings of human endeavor. The ubiquitous "Igbo-man" is everywhere in Nigeria, creating wealth and contributing to national development.

Many Nigerians have often stated that political leadership in Nigeria have been dominated, in a lopsided manner in favor of the North, these circumstances, coupled with June 12 agitations, culminated in the Southwest producing a candidate as president of Nigeria in 1999, which translated into the election of Mr. Obasanjo as a sort of compromise candidate, a candidate, a healer and as unifier with all other appellations.

Many Nigerians had thought and assumed, that it was only fair to naturally expect Ndiigbo to take turn, (the next turn, that is,) as a natural course of events, and as the third largest ethnic group in Nigeria, (Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, the so-called three majors) would be called upon to produce Nigeria’s president or a candidate that becomes our president in 2007.

But now, we have Mr. Babangida who is only a south-south/south-east citizen through marriage, who now seeks to usurp, south-south/south-east region’s turn, at Nigeria’s presidency. There are some other potential presidential candidates, who are not from Ndiigbo-land, but Babangida stands out, as he is reputed to have immeasurable or limitless wealth, just as he does political connections. Babangida was an absolute monarch and center of the universe of Nigerian politics for about nine years 1985-1993, the most warped and twisted years of Nigeria’s existence, in both economic and political sense.

Now as Nigerians grapple and struggle with and from the lingering brutal effects of SAP, and other Babangida-era policies, (which are proof enough of his ineffectiveness and ineptitude); Babangida seeks to be president of Nigeria again? He surely cannot convince anyone that he expect to accomplish in a democratic and contentious civilian government settings, what he could not, even when he had absolute unfettered power, all to himself?

He is lecturing the rest of us, with the air of finality and matter of course, that only God can stop him from becoming Nigeria’s president in 2007 and with this, Mr. Babangida reminds me of the late Mr. Abiola who ended one political statement with "over his dead body" and he died, God in turn, will stop Babangida.

Mr. Babangida has become very powerfully wealthy in every sense, with money and connections to the politically powerful. And all this boasts, and self-assuredness, stemming from arrogance, calls the sanctity of the ballot in Nigeria to question, why are some so sure of victory, if not their heavy reliance on foul means and plans to surmount of the will of the electorate?

Why is it that Babangida and his praise-singers are unaware that a majority of Nigerians are still reeling from the brutally painful effects of Babangida asinine policies foist on Nigerians during his nine years at the helms of Nigerian affairs?

Babangida and most presidential candidates and their acolytes have so far, been talking over our heads, most especially so, in complete disregard to the genuine and heartfelt political aspirations by Ndiigbo, within the Nigerian scheme of things and within the confines of Nigeria as a single political unit and entity.

Those who are currently posturing in self-aggrandizements, are simply playing with unquenchable fires, as the fire next time in Nigeria, will engulf them and cremate them to smithereens! They may now be posturing as if 2007 elections is merely 24 hours from now, even as they talk over our heads? They must accept the dictum, "those who make peaceful change impossible, make violent revolution inevitable" There are so many people in Nigeria these days, drunk with money and powers, acting literally drunk, as they fiddle with explosives, oblivious of obvious dangers, because of their drunken stupors! They will self-destruct and be consumed by their willful ignorance, as they pretend to be completely ignorant of the suffering of other. This is their folly.

It is ominous that some are already grandstanding in lieu of the crumbs that will filter out of Babangida’s sumptuous table, they are therefore willing to sell their conscience, their sense of fairness, justice and decency, as they pretend that all will be well with Nigeria, if Ndiigbo is denied a rightful turn and a rightful place, in Nigeria's political scheme of things; If Ndiigbo is not made secure and comfortable and assured of a timely and orderly realization of their genuine aspirations, Nigeria will no longer be at ease. Last year, I wrote that the time to address Igbo political grievances was nigh; it has even become clearer by the minute. Nigeria must learn to trust Ndiigbo with political power, with the presidency.

Biafra and its later imitation, MASSOB, resonates with a lot of people, because there are genuine yearnings for the actualization Igbo aspirations, these yearnings and genuine aspirations, have been repeatedly ignored or treated with impatience, disdain or even contempt. Ndiigbo have repeatedly bore the brunt of Nigeria’s brew of ethnic, religious and political fractiousness and these are the fuels that led to the declaration of Biafra and now, its imitative offspring, MASSOB, Ndiigbo are not mindless trouble makers, Igbos are reacting to perennial political second-class citizens status conditions.

Mr. Ubitu Ukiwe was second-in-command to Mr. Babangida, the former, suffered a cruel fate in the hands of the latter, Mr. Alex Ekwueme and few others, are among the very few Ndiigbo who have been close to Nigeria’s presidency or seat of power, during the past several decades Nigeria must trust Ndiigbo with power and responsibility of full citizens of Nigeria.

PDP as the dominant political party in Nigeria, without viable opposition, appears to have a lock on Nigeria’s political calendar, the PDP has not informed us, why Mr. Abubakar Atiku, the VP, has not earned his pupilage, training, experience as an occupant of Aso Rock, a heartbeat-away from the presidency, or why has the PDP adjudged the VP unsuitable? How can the VP be unsuitable when he is certainly part of the current government adjudged by PDP to be good? PDP has no interests in the VP becoming president come 2007. Babangida is PDP default candidate?

And the PDP has not shown any indications of ensuring that a PDP member Nigerian of Igbo extraction is who gets nominated and offered for elections to be president of Nigeria in 2007; But instead, the PDP has admitted new members with veto powers, persons awash with money and political connections? This lends more credence to the allegations of political decadence, in which the present government was sponsored and paid for, or godfathered into office, by the man, who now wants to succeed his godson’s government? Is Nigeria a personal estate to these characters? Are the rest of us Nigerians this powerless, gullible or both?

All Nigerians ought to be interested in fairness, justice and equality of all ethnic groups in Nigeria. I wish it is the case, that any Nigerian citizen, with legal or legitimate disqualifications, could offer herself or himself for election to be president of Nigeria, regardless of state, region or religion and notwithstanding, whether such Nigerian is from any of the majors, (Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa-Fulani) or the multitudes of our citizens from the minority ethnic groups of which Nigeria is comprised; I was roundly criticized last year, because I wrote, "2007 Presidential Elections In Nigeria And Ndiigbo's Genuine Aspirations" However Nigeria's democracy has not matured enough to a point where the ethnic composition of Nigeria is not considered a major factor or criteria for determining candidates for Nigerian presidency; hence my arguments and points for Ndiigbo’s genuine aspirations.

Some day in the future, all Nigerians, including ethnic minorities, must be able to aspire to and actually become president of Nigeria, but, right now, ethnicities remains one of the parameters, Nigeria's democracy and development will mature to a level, where the best candidate, based on stellar qualifications, the issues and what are considered from time to time, to be in Nigeria's national interests, best interest, would be the only worthy measure, but alas, we are not there yet.

Ndiigbo’s political situation in Nigeria, is similar and comparable to a group of adults in a house (Nigeria is likened to such house) a house in which these groups of adults are "trapped" while trapped in the same house, the adults are presumably endowed with same or similar attributes, qualities including of course, all human frailness and foibles, some of these adults, in this Nigerian house have enjoyed perpetually dictating what the other adults have had for breakfast, lunch and dinner or whether to install air-conditioning as the days get hotter; But we are all aware that it is in human nature not to want to eat same type of breakfast, lunch and dinner without a change of menu or a role in deciding what is eaten at meal times?

Human nature to reject the abrogation of rights and privileges; We also know, that some humans want to leave or get away from a house, where they have no rights or say-so; Some bad humans may even set this proverbial house ablaze or asunder to disintegration? Could you blame marginalized and tormented adults for wanting of the house, or burning the house that represents oppression? This is the Ndiigbo situation in Nigeria today, as we approach 2007 presidency.

Nigerians should collectively ensure the actualization of a Nigerian president of Ndiigbo in 2007, to do otherwise will be tantamount to murdering sleep, in 2007.

Does Nigeria want to be sleep-deprived?

All Nigerians must stand up in support of Ndiigbo’s right to produce a president for Nigeria in 2007. To do otherwise, would have earned all of us, any and all the crises that could ensue, which we will deserve. Agitations by groups such as MASSOB and other groups will multiply, anarchy and worse, disintegration occur as a result of the festered hopelessness that Ndiigbo have endured in Nigeria; It is as if, Ndiigbo is being passed-over once more, in the jostling frenzy to produce a president for Nigeria in 2007, Ndiigbo have genuine grievances that Nigeria must address and resolve now and by 2007. What do Ndiigbo want? Nigeria must emphatically answer the Igbo question.


Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 09:17 PM | Comments (0)

September 29, 2005

Governor Of Bayelsa Can Appoint Ambassadors?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Where there is duty, there is responsibility and obligations. It would appear that too many public office holders in Nigeria are only interested in the benefits conferred on them, by virtue of their public positions and the perquisites they derive as public office holders?

Additionally, it is as if these public office holders selectively and surgically remove section 308 of the constitution of Nigeria 1999, for some special obeisance, while practically disdainful of the rest of our constitution, as if in complete disregard and utter contempt for the rest of the constitution? Section 308 which provides for immunity from prosecution for president, vice president, governors and their deputies therefore serves their warped and twisted interests, as they ignore the rest of Nigeria's most important legal document?

But what do they owe us members of the public, electorate or citizens?
What is their responsibility and obligations, in upholding our laws etc?

A holistic interpretation of section 308 is required, to have a clear understanding of what the rational and general intent of the drafter of our constitutions had in mind.The immunity provisions was not intend to confer infallibility on governors. The immunity clausse does not make a state governor an equal to a Nigerian president!

Diplomatic affairs is under federal exclusive list, legislatively and governors do not appoint Nigeria's foreign service personnel or ambassadors. /state governors do not conduct Nigeria's foreign affairs or enter treaties, independent of Nigeria's government at the center, that is, the Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

The immunity clause in our constitution was clearly not intended to shield or protect a president, vice president, governor or deputy governor, if they engage in gross misconducts and criminalities, such as rape, armed robbery or murder! Just as the immunity clause was not intended to protect public office holders who plunder Nigeria’s public treasuries of wealth and national resources.

States Houses of Assembly appear to have misunderstood the relevant section to mean, a blank check or carte blanc protections for the aforementioned public officials, even if they commit homicides or act of terrorism!

The general intendments of section 308 provisions regarding immunity, was merely to enable freedom of actions in the discharge of the official duties by president, vice president and governor or deputy governor. Meaning that, Dr. Akinyuli of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has the right to confiscate fake medicines brought into Nigeria by me, or made in Nigeria by former girlfriend, and Dr. Akinyuli of NAFDAC should thereafter not expect to be sued by me or my ex-girlfriend for compensation or reimbursements, regarding our overhead costs and anticipated profits from our illegal business…

Another analogy, probably better one is, let us suppose that there is an outbreak of bird flu, Avian flu, in Otta Farms which belongs that guy who returns to the farms in 2007. Ogun state therefore, in protection of public health and safety, in efforts to avoid the spread of the deadly virus to other neighboring chicken farms and the branches in Adamawa, Edo and Enugu states, the Ogun state governor, is advised by Dr. Obasanjo the vet expert in animal husbandry, who intimate the governor, better act now, before this fatal flu spreads nationwide to other chicken farms and spread further to humans.

The governor of Ogun state heads straight to Otta Farms, slaughters all the chickens or birds there, all in good faith, to safeguard public health and safety in Ogun and perhaps nationally. The immunity clause enshrined in section 308 becomes a protection for Ogun state governor, so that our friend, the chicken farmer of Otta Farms, has no recourse and cannot sue Ogun state governor while he is in office and even when he is no longer in office… provided that the governor of Ogun state had acted in good faith without abuse of discretion and where such actions were guided by public interests and the common good of all. It is a different matter if the governor used bad faith or was malicious. And the result will be the same, even if our Otta Farmer hired twenty Gani Fawehinmins and 40 Dr. Abayomis (SAN) etc

As a sweetener for such public health and safety actions, the Otta Farmer may receive some (usually adequate or market price) compensation for the destroyed chickens or assorted farm birds.

The circumstances surrounding the thieving governors and other pillaging officials are spectacularly unique in themselves as some Nigerian officials have turned the immunity clause, to a culture of impunity and their misconducts are novel as they are ruinous!

Clearly, some Nigerian officials have bastardized the immunity clause in our constitution, that was generally intended as protections for some categories of public office holders, essentially, to enable them to have freedom of action, actions they undertake in their public capacity for the benefit of the general public or the citizenry.

We have now witnessed extreme abuses by some public officials, whereby, some of our officials engage in extreme illegalities, consciously and knowingly, as they seek protection from section 308, which was surely not intended to protect anyone, anyone! who willingly engage in the commission of heinous crimes for selfish purpose and personal interests and corrupt enrichment!

The specter of these flagrant and brazen abuses by our public officials, have led to so much outcry. The scourge of corruption has done so much damage to Nigeria both internally and externally and every Nigerian now wants corruption to quickly go away from our country, corruption should be eliminated, eradicated, killed and removed!

What is required therefore? Very extraordinary and drastic legal measures are imperatives. Anything short of draconian and arbitrary steps; hence I have written previous “Expunge, Excise & Repeal Immunity Clause and also the following links that have been provided below, in which I have discussed the crucially important nature of the immunity clause and concept in our laws, particularly, our constitution.

Immunity From Prosecution; A Delicate Balancing Act
True, other countries institute immunity clauses. Into their constitutional and national laws and it is observed reciprocally by nations… (Please endeavor to read the links) as they provide my comprehensive view on the immunity concept.
The thieving governor of Bayelsa is not the president of Nigeria and he is not an ambassador….Bayelsa does not appoint nor send diplomats of any level, to various countries, separate and apart from federal diplomats….there are no “state diplomats” a state is of course, a subdivision/subsection of Nigeria.(Federal diplomats is an oxymoron)! Nigeria's constitution specifies state rights and the roles of state governors, governors are not to be seen as co-president or an equal in capacity, duties or as symbol of Nigeria as a president.

I am an apostle of the rule of law and all the ideals and tenets of democracy, including due process rules. I advocate passionately, the importance of the certainty of reward and punishment, (this is the crucial difference between Nigeria and the United States.

We must obey laws, there must be equality before the laws, there should be and must be respect for individual rights, including property rights. And my support for due process and the rule of law is unwavering, even in the face of the criminal onslaught by some of our thieving officials. I have personally written position papers on the value, worth or benefits imbued in the concept of immunity from prosecution, and also its pitfalls, abuses…some Nigerian officials have clearly turned immunity protection on its head!

But we must be fair and even handed, as we must ask these questions, in view of the enigmatic nature of these unfolding sagas! As thieving public officials seem to multiply in their numbers. What comes first? The chicken or is it the egg? The thieving governors are no respecter of the constitution of Nigeria, they are no respecter of the Code of Conduct Act, they observe no decency or commonsense morality. Those who come to equity, ought to come with clean hands!

It is amazing how, these same criminals and their cohorts, are ALWAYS the one, with superb knowledge of their “rights” and constitutional protections! Thieving public officials in Nigeria have no respect for Biblical, Koranic or Talmudic injunctions!
How about the constitutional provisions and all the other Nigerian laws that forbids stealing, Corruption, Pillaging with brazen/blatant impunity?

How about all the Nigerian laws that require State Houses of Assembly, to impeach morons like Governor Dariye and Moron in chief Governor Alamieyesiegha?

And how about all the Nigerian laws and ethics that required these criminals to fund hospitals and roads and schools and other public infrastructures in their states?

Why was Bayelsa governor in hospital in Germany? Are there no medical doctors in Yenagoa Bayelsa? Nigerian doctors in New York are excellent doctors and they were trained in Nigeria! Why won’t these governors equip the hospitals? Do you know what is worse? He was in a German hospital for cosmetic surgery or liposuction, because he was TOO FAT! While most Nigerians have become compulsorily a fourth of their weight, as a result of malnutrition!

Bayelsa looks as if she unlucky to have Deputy Governor Goodluck Jonathan, what with his endless solidarities and effusive praises for the million pounds sterling man, who he praised as upholding democracy ideals and tenets? DG Jonathan sound like a robot!
Governor Alamieseyegha is indisposed, disabled and incapacitated by reason of health, continued absence and criminal impediments or encumbrance. He should be removed or impeached and sent to cool his heels in maximum security prison in Britain and Nigeria!

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:22 PM | Comments (0)

September 28, 2005

Expunge, Excise & Repeal Immunity Clause Now!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- A successful war against corruption in Nigeria is crucial for national development. Corruption has unarguably impeded Nigeria’s development and advancement. The immunity clause in the constitution of Nigeria 1999 has become an impediment and great obstacle in the war against corruption in our nation.

It is imperative that Nigeria urgently expunge, remove and repeal the immunity clause in the constitution of Nigeria, which has been turned into an impunity weapon by too many public office holders in the various levels of government in Nigeria.

It has become clearer by the day, that immunity clause need to be jettisoned immediately to enable Nigeria fight corruption at home and abroad. Too many office holders in Nigeria are now using the immunity clause as a sort of shield and bullet proof for their criminal behaviors and all manners of gross misconduct, while the hold on tenaciously to public office that was entrusted to them by the Nigerian electorate, whether these office holders are in such position de facto or de jure is almost irrelevant, they are there now!

In “A Delicate Balancing Act, Arguing Both Sides of Immunity” I argued that common good or public good of the majority of our citizens, requires freedom of action on the part of public office holders, and a protection against fear of and from prosecutions for actions taken for the benefit of the generality of the citizenry, such freedom of action should not have an impinging cloud, or danger of deterring public spirited actions by Nigerian public office holders, as I argued that immunity has immense value and benefits, if and when it is not abused; But now? Now, I have painfully, and agonizingly come to the conclusion that the immunity clause have become abused, cursed, misused and bastardized so much, the only way out, is to excise the immunity clause from the constitution of Nigeria 1999, just so, we can tackle the culture of immunity which has become so blatant in the brazen criminal misconduct of some Nigerian public office holders

Only last week, I read an article by one of Nigeria’s able and fair commentator, Mallam By Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo titled OUTSOURCING THE JOB OF THE NIGERIA POLICE? And in it, he wondered why Nigeria has resorted to having the London Metropolitan Police or the British Police its parent body do the work that Nigeria law enforcement ought to be doing? He mentioned Nigeria Police, the EFCC and ICPC etc as such law enforcement agencies in Nigeria, who ought to aggressively and most vigorously pursue criminals, whether such criminals are messengers or governors of our states and other public officials from messengers to the president of our federal republic. And he is not alone, many other Nigerians for good or for ill, have expressed similar sentiments or concerns regarding fighting our corrupt office holder at an overseas front.

But it is now as if, some of our public officials, as a matter of abiding indifference to the ceaseless and inexorable hardships, sufferings and abject poverty of the majority of Nigerian citizens, even as they continue to rob our public treasury of our national wealth or resources; Corrupt public officials are insisting adamantly, in behaving as if possessed by the evils and with the devil-may-care attitude.

It must be borne in mind, that there are sufficient explanations and even justifications, for Nigeria’s federal government’s recent actions in seeking help and support outside of the shores of Nigeria to curb the extreme criminalities of some of Nigeria’s thieving officials. First, Nigeria is signatory to a United Nations Anti Corruption Convention and Protocol initiated in year 2000, ratified by Nigeria and almost two hundred countries; This means that Nigeria can practically seek help from any country on earth, in Nigeria’s efforts to eliminate, eradicate and tackle corruption head-on.

Secondly, well meaning Nigerians ought not to really fault the present federal government of Nigeria, for taking every desirably necessary steps to curb corruption, including seeking help, where ever help and support can be found. Particularly in the face of the blatant and brazen of thieving governors and other public officials, who continue pillage and plunder Nigeria despite efforts by our Police, EFCC and ICPC and the courts.

Corruption is a desperately bad and acute cancer in our road to development and national advancement, corruption must be removed from our society and whatever drastic, drastic, but not arbitrary or draconian measures that must used, should be used, so long as such measures comply with due process, the rule of law and common sense etc. Nigeria has diplomatic and trade relations with many countries, and Nigeria must impress it on all countries to help and support our fight against the corruption scourge, we cannot shout loudly about our loathe for corruption and attendant deprivations, and then, at the same time, refuse to demonstrate willingness to quaff the legal and diplomatic measures it takes to accomplish it!

Additionally, Nigerians should and must question why accused public office holders now abandon the time-tested and true defense of self with statements of own innocence, but instead we now see a new mode of defense by our corrupt public officials, which is limited to finger pointing at others, who the accused suspect may be also corrupt.

With impunities, the bulk of our office holders, are shield and proofing themselves with and within the immunity clause of our constitution as they sneer at our laws and institutions, such as the police, the EFCC, the ICPC and the entire legal system and this has resulted in the continued stay in office, of many of our public office holders, despite the clear, cogent, complete and compelling evidence of corruption against such public officials.

For instance, it has been the case, that Governor Dariye is a free man, not in any prison, he has not been impeached, all this, despite the overwhelming evidence of corruption against him, including some of such evidence in pictures and video tapes, and more recently, Governor Alamieyeseigha is also waltzing and wafting with equivocations, as he relies heavily on the much abused and misused immunity clause in our constitution.

Public officials in Nigeria and in fact, most Nigerians are quick to declare their passion for all manners of religions, but when it comes to the war against corruption, some Nigerians seem to be quick to forget their religious claims and protestations of fidelity and claims to holier than thou. These corrupt public officials neglect religious injunctions

How can corrupt Nigerians forget that the holy books require everyone to answer for his or her individual deeds? How can Nigerians who believe in heaven and hell forget that it is their individual good deeds or bad deeds that will land them in heaven or hell respectively, and certainly not the deeds of others, good or bad?

This means therefore that any Nigerian accused and accosted for misconducts or crimes, must state their innocence, defend their personal integrity, good character, and good reputation if they ever had any, to begin with! We cannot give prostitutes maiden virgin statuses by referring to other virgins and maidens in the neighborhood, just as we cannot excuse our prostituting proclivities by pointing to other whores in our area.

We do not become sinners, or excuse our sins, because there are others sinning sinners in our part of town! Each person according to the holy books must account for their sins and not the good or bad deeds of all others.

Now, will corrupt Nigerians answer the question, are you guilty or innocent?

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

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September 24, 2005

Governor Igbinedion of Edo State Should Shut Up!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- He Talked About Dignity? What Dignity? He Should Be Ashamed! Governor Lucky Igbinedion of Edo State frequently visits the Americas and Europe and it has been speculated that his visits, usually, coincides with the schedule and time-table of federal allocations of revenue to Edo State; Edo state it must be said, is one of the oil producing states in Nigeria that has jointly, with other such states clamored for increases in the revenues allocated to oil producing states based on the principle of derivation.

This, even though the governors of the oil producing states, have not actually put the monies received so far from the federal government of Nigeria, based on the derivation principle, have not been accounted for, it is clear that these governors have not utilized these monies for the benefits of citizens of these oil producing states! But those gyrating in their prodigal son-like demands for 100% control of oil revenue, would not bother to demand accountability, on the part of the thieving governors of these oil producing states!

Recently, Govenor Igbinedion sent Commissioner Kingsley Osadolor, the man in charge of information and orientation in Edo state, he was sent on an impossible mission and task, to convince Edo sons and Daughters in the Americas, United States and Canada, to be specific, that the Edo state government is doing its best, even though we are all aware of Edo state governor’s has performed woefully, with stunning ineptitude and stunning incompetence and astounding spectacular failures in Edo state!

Governor Igbinedion tried, through the speech by Commissioner Osadolor, to blame armed robbery and high rate of crime on citizens of other states, or on the fact that the police is not controlled by Edo state! Instead of focusing on the corruption and deprivation that he has presided over or supervised in the state since 1999! He orchestrated feeble defenses of his failures after feeble defense! He blamed bad roads and traffic jams on the federal government and blamed prostitution and child-trafficking on rumors and gossip… he would not take blame for anything! Not his failure to create jobs or not coordinate crime fighting? After all, Edo state is a PDP state and one would assume that Mr. Igbinedion has unfettered access to the PDP hierarchy and access to the presidency?

Governor Igbinedion blames everybody, every circumstances on others, but himself, his incompetence, his high rate of ineptitude and complete disconnect from the people of Edo state. And with a bold face, he talks about the dignity of Edo people!

How do you give people dignity, in the face of high rate of armed robberies? How do you talk of giving dignity when the people are hobbled by all manners of indignities, unemployment, high rate of crime, decayed and abandoned public infrastructures, impassable and un-motorable roads, particularly in Benin City, house-to-house-ransacking by chieftains of brigandage? In recent times, His Royal Majesty, Omo N?Oba N Edo Uku Akpolokpolo has had to make passionate appeal in Edo state, to decry high rate of crimes and criminality, that has overwhelmed Edo state while Governor Igbinedion sleeps atthe wheels!

How can Governor talk about dignity of Edo man, when Edo men, out of unending hardships, sufferings, economically induced desperations which has led married men to herd their daughters and their wives to prostitution in Italy, France and other parts of Europe? How can this young but failed governor, expatriate ex-America and all, who has acted as if he is bereft of all and any ideas of governance, lecture the rest of about dignity? What dignity for Edo man are you talking about Mr. Governor?

Mr. Lucky Igbinedion lectured Nigerians of Edo state origin in the United States, about what he described as the “Dignity of Edo man” upon broaching the title of his lecture, I was completely aghast at the clear irony of the governor’s chosen lecture topic!

Here is a man, who is singularly responsible for depriving the Edo citizens of dignity more than anyone alive or dead, and he, without any qualms, actually was there, live and in person, lecturing anyone, anyone! about dignity for Edo citizens!
Under governor Igbinedion’s watch, Edo state has deteriorated incredibly! And you do not even have to be an Edo state citizen to be aware of the fact that Edo state used to be a model state among other Nigerian states of our federating states.

Edo in my lifetime was ahead in remarkable ways, severally, in Education, Sports, Culture and pretty much, everything else and most of these transpired during the administration of Dr. Osaigbovo Ogbemudia, a former colonel in the Nigerian Army, he has less formal education compared with Mr. Igbinedion, and he performed wonderfully and creditably well. Other states used to be envious of Edo state achievements!

Mr. Igbinedion on the other hand, received his education in Nigeria and in the United States, he is young, well traveled has out of Nigeria exposure and one Omosun Fadal wrote not long ago, how the young Igbinedion had expressed passion for public service while he lived and studied in the United States and how Igbinedion’s current shambles in Edo state is inconsistent with the promises he made and the vow to lead Edo state to greater heights.

I have it on good authority that he ran an excellent administration as the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area, a part of Edo state where I resided many years ago, and as result of promises he further made to run the entire state in the good way he administered Oredo Local Government, the capital city of Edo state and the seat of the state government, the reasonable expectation was that he would replicate his performance as a good local government chairman and leader, statewide as governor. He therefore ran on his record of achievements for Oredo Local Government and he therefore ran a believable campaign in 1999 and won!

But Edo state according to my sources, have never had it soooo baaad! Edo state has become the poster boy for all that is violent crime, in prostitution and immoralities and brazen political thugs undertaking assassinations to achieve personal political ambitions.

When many years ago, I lived in Benin City, the capital of Edo state, it was the case that prostitution was illegal, a taboo and an abomination as well, even among single women, but these days, economic depression and desperation that are attendant, has driven ordinarily decent Edo women to be the best prostitutes money can buy in Italy, France and other parts of Europe! This started occurring before Mr. Igbinedion became governor of Edo state of course, but, you would have thought that he has had a chance to read his wife’s published writings in which she stated her abhorrence for prostitution and child-trafficking.

And how come, nobody has bothered to inform Mr. Igbinedion that creation of employment and economic prosperity, would be a huge factor in any serious efforts geared toward the elimination of prostitution and child-trafficking? How come no one has explained to this young governor, that the best way to curb crime is to keep people busy, employed with hope, expectations and decent life outlook?

Edo state is being pillaged at the highest levels! We hear of properties and investments in California by high ranking Edo state officials, investments in England and South Africa, all through proxies of Edo state government officials, and here we have, a representative of the same Edo state coming to address intelligent Edo state citizens in a speech full and replete with platitudes about dignity, when the same governor who directed Commissioner Osadolor to lecture intelligent Edo citizens about dignity, is the person that is singularly irresponsible and to blame for the high magnitude of indignities that Edo citizens have suffered during preceding six years? What a slap in the face of Edo citizens? What audacity? What an offensive irony?

In the face of governor Igbinedion’s most ignominious governance, he aspire to be anything, other than a dog-catcher, come 2007? Or dictate who becomes the governor of Edo state when he leaves? Why has good and decent people of Edo state, a formerly progressive state, a model state of proud people, a people of high education and high culture, sports excellence and all that is superb in Nigeria, why has Edo state been allowed to bleed and be bled by nitwits, grossly incompetent persons, who are putridly corrupt?

Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2005

Foreign Accounts is where Revenue Allocation Goes: Ask Governor Alamasiegha of Bayelsa State

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, USA) --- Some Nigerians are sprinting and springing to the defense of theiveing Governor Alamiesegha of Bayelsa state, but why are they doing this? Whatever happened to shame and embarrassment? Why do thieves and criminals, now turn instant celebrities in Nigeria? How come scandals no longer shock some Nigerians? Where is the outrage?

It now looks as if this crooked governor is a hero to some Nigerians? May be he should receive a national honor award?

It would appear clear now, once and for all, that most Nigerians are simply hypocritical about tackling corruption by public officers. Or how else would anyone explain the current rush and stampede to support the crooked governor of Bayelsa state?

Governor Alamiesegha was arrested in London based on specific information of his criminality and the various criminalities that he has been engaged in, since becoming governor of Bayelsa; Nigeria’s EFCC provided a dossier to the British government, the British Police at Scotland Yard and more particularly, the London Metropolitan Police who it was that picked up the disgraced crooked Governor Alamiesegha of Bayelsa state at Heathrow Airport in London, they found Eighty thousand Euro on him, and subsequently found a million pounds sterling in his London home… How did he pay for his home in London we should ask?

Governor Alamiesegha have been receiving very staunch support from too many Nigerians who have sought to make the most twisted and most warped of defense, on the behalf of the thieving governor, even though his misconduct has been known by many for so long!
What Nigerians and the entire world have witnessed since this crooked governor was arrested is simply nothing short of incredulous! Nigerians and the rest of the world received words of threats from a so-called Ijaw Youth Council, who you would think should be expressing its outrage against the governor, a governor who is apparently richer that the whole of Bayelsa state, courtesy of course, of his hard work, which is limited to siphoning revenue allocated to that state as an oil producing state!

The Ijaw Youth Council and others who are supporting and offering solidarity to the criminal suspect governor, reminds me of other cases such as Tafa Balogun and Professor Osuji, who, when they were accused of corruption, received seeming congratulatory messages from townsmen who argued that their arrests were spurred by some sorts of vendetta and vindictive actions on the part of their real and imagined enemies. As we are once again told that this governor is merely a victim of some witch hunt by the powers that be…ostensibly, some powers reside in Abuja and particularly in Aso Rock?

Here again, we are witnessing the same attitudes, as the Ijaw Youth Council have threatened to set Nigeria ablaze and harm foreign workers in our oil industry in Niger Delta, these threats are primarily and particularly directed at British citizens, because the crooked governor of Bayelsa state is facing the consequences of his criminal conduct, through his arrest and possible prosecution in London! It is unthinkable that this outlaw and high profile criminal is being defended by those who should be demanding that he is hanged for his crimes! Those whose resources he converted to his personal properties and estate! He is being defended by those who he pillaged and impoverished! Even though he deservedly arrested by the British Police, He was arrested because there is abundant evidence of his crimes against the people of Bayelsa in particular and Nigeria in general.

The world has since become aware also, the fact that Bayelsa State House of Assembly, the governor’s Deputy, have foreswore not to impeach the thieving governor of Bayelsa, they have instead, offered their unflinching loyalty, support, encouragement, succor, solidarity, to this crooked governor, all this done in a hurry, as if in some stampede!

All these makes you want to ask, whether morality is completely dead in some Nigerians? Or whether commonsense and logic still holds?

Commenting in the past, on the prodigal son like argumentation by agitators of more revenue allocations to Nigeria’s oil producing states, I had wondered aloud, why those gyrating publicly as they demand 50% or even 100% of revenues from oil derived from the soils beneath oil producing states, are the same people who are splendidly uninterested or happily oblivious of the plundering governors of their domains?

I have wondered aloud in public spaces, why none of these oil producing states citizens are uninterested in making their governors and other local officials account, in transparent manners, for the monies that have been allocated to these oil producing states since the inception of this present federal government of President Obasanjo who had seen to it, that a higher percentage of revenue allocation was accorded oil producing states.

We have argued in the past that the lot of the citizens of oil producing states, have not shown any improvements despite the increased revenue derived from higher percentage allocation since 1999 and yet, all the charlatans and political jobbers, who have otherwise become irrelevant in the general scheme of things, continued to clamor for more revenue, even as there is no reflection on the ground, by way of improved public infrastructures in the oil producing states, despite the huge allocations that they have received since 1999!

The truth that we know all the time has finally been re-revealed to us, monies allocated to oil producing states, are in foreign bank accounts of the thieving governors and public officials of most of these oil producing states… hence they frequently engage in junket to America and Europe, coinciding, always, with revenue allocation time table or schedule.

So the next time you wonder why the oil producing states have not faired better, despite higher amounts of monies pumped into them since 1999? Think money laundering and think of the ridiculous arguments made by Professor Sagay in which he compared a governor as co-equal to a president, as he claimed that Alamiesegha ought to sue the British government and police for wrongful arrest and detention, because in his view as a law professor, the crooked governor is entitled to some diplomatic immunity!

When ordinarily intelligent people such as this law professor, make spurious arguments, in defense of clear criminalities and high grade immoralities, all Nigerians ought to be really worried! We should demand the auditing of all governors particularly these thieving governors in the oil producing states, where crime, unemployment, prostitution and all other desperations usually engendered by depress economy have all gone up!

Look at Edo state for instance! Robberies, Prostitutions, political violence has skyrocketed! And the inept governor Lucky Igbinedion, is said to be busy posturing for vice presidential opportunity in 2007! Even as he spends his time junketing abroad! In the face of the decadence that Edo state has become, a state that was heretofore, a model state

And how about the accountability on the part of this governor and all the other governors of all the oil producing states who have clearly not used monies allocated for their people, but instead enriched their personal foreign accounts? Stealing Nigeria’s money is illegal, just as operating foreign bank accounts by these public officers. It is additionally illegal, for Nigerian public officers to acquire properties overseas while in office! How come these are not the focus of Bayelsa state House of Assembly, Deputy Governor and the so-called Ijaw Youth Council? Except for Mr. Sabella Abidde and Mr. Agbroko who have expressed outrage in connection with the pillaging of Bayelsa’s treasury!

Why are too many Nigerians only interested in solidarities with suspected thieves?

Nigerians ought to worry, additionally because, it now appears, that only a saint can prosecute the war on corruption in Nigeria, because as the arguments goes these days, other people are suspected to be corrupt and so, why ask me if I am my self corrupt?

These days, it appears, most Nigerians are no longer interested in arguing to convince others of their innocence, they are no longer canvassing their good character and integrity, they have become more interested in pointing fingers to the likelihood or suspected corruption of others, as their sole defense!

It used to be, that anyone accused, would vigorously defend their own character and integrity in efforts to establish their personal innocence, but now? It has become fashionable to point to the likelihood of the guilt of others as a shield of one’s own guilt?

Nigerians should not accept the idiotic idea that no one can be arrested or prosecuted for corruption, until a saint shows up on the political stage to embark on a national cleansing.

When anyone is investigated, arrested and prosecuted for corruption, the question to be asked and answered should be limited to the guilt or innocence of such person, and not the ancillaries or extraneous matters regarding the suspicions and likelihood of guilt of all others. All defendants must answer for themselves, guilty or not guilty!

Paul I. Adujie
New York, USA
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 08:21 PM | Comments (1)

September 20, 2005

Governor Kalu of Abia State Should Shut Up!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, US) --- Governor Kalu of Abia State is PDP enfant terrible! He often speaks before he thinks!
Not long ago, he accused President Obasanjo of corrupt practices, and true to type, the rabble rouser that he is certifiably is, was returning to the scene of his previous crimes of screaming allegations of corruption without specifics and by this, he makes nonsense of real anti corruption efforts by all.

It has become a common practice among some Nigerians, to behave like Governor Kalu, who while hiding under the immunity clause of our constitution to break our laws, immunity as enshrined in section 308 has become a tool for impunity by too many office holders in Nigeria and prime among them, is this governor Kalu of Abia state.

In October 2004 I wrote the article below: Governor Kalu of Abia State must tell Nigerians and the entire world, what he knows! He must do so at once or immediately!
The governor must make full material disclosures of the names of Nigerian public officials who he has accused of corruption. This is not the first time, highly placed members of the PDP current government in Nigeria have alleged being privy to corruption information, in connecting state governors and other high level officials. Governor Kalu must submit the information in his possession to the Police, SSS, ICPC, EFCC, the president of Nigeria and international organizations, such as the Interpol.

We have to assume that Governor Kalu made these public declarations, with all sense of responsibility and a high sense of national duty. We further have to assume, that his intentions are honorable. Governor Kalu’s declarations must not be taken lightly!
However, if these accusations are deliberate falsehoods or made for rabble rousing purposes, Governor Kalu must face the law now or whenever he leaves public office.

This is crucial, because fighting corruption requires information, accurate information that would lead to conviction after a fair trial; Further, it is very important, that allegations of corruption are not and must not, be made carelessly or lightly. Frivolous accusations that are not substantiated will demean the persons accused, as it will equally demean or belittle the efforts to eradicate corruption in Nigeria. We must cry wolf, only, when there is wolf.

Those who genuinely seek to eliminate corruption in Nigeria must not engage in any smear tactics. Allegations of corruption must be factually based, and anyone making such allegations must come forward with specific information in their possession.

The Nigerian public must keep their eyes on the ball regarding Governor Kalu’s corruption challenge, they must demand and insist, that Governor Kalu and others like him, who possess evidence of corruption against public officials, from the president to local governor councilors, must provide or disclose such evidence publicly, the same must apply to anyone with evidence of corruption in the private sector.

It should be clear to all Nigerians by now, that our country cannot continue to have the unsavory label and reputation of endemic corruption, only this past Sunday October 10, 2004, The New York Times castigated Nigeria, particularly, Nigerian Universities as citadel of corruption when it wrote, in “THE ETHICIST” By RANDY COHEN Acceptable Bribe

Thereafter, Kalu recanted and apologized to President Obasanjo and everybody else. now, Kalu is at it again! Again, he has tantalized Nigerians at home and abroad, with his hot and heavy allegations of President Obasanjo, and who in turn forwarded the allegations to the EFCC for investigations, Kalu is invited by the EFCC, Kalu ignores the EFCC with impunity, because he selectively insists that the EFCC is not a neutral or independent body!

In America where I live, the President of the United States appoints Directors for the Central Intelligence Agency CIA and Federal Bureau of Investigations FBI, just as the president of Nigeria appoints EFCC Chairperson, I cannot imagine, any circumstances, where the governor of my home state of New York, flippantly makes a hot and heavy charge against the president of the United States in connection with corruption and abuse of office, but without specifics, no facts, no evidence and much worse, the governor of a state in the United States who so accuses a United States president, when invited by the FBI to submit the specific exactitude of his corruption allegations, he resorts smugly, that the FBI Director is appointed by the president, and so, the FBI is not neutral and independent, and as a consequence, he the governor refuses to attend a hearing and refuses to submit documentary evidence that he had claimed he had, as proof of corruption by the American president! Where is Governor Kalu’s logic?

The other day, a lawyer in open court, accused the honorable Chief Justice of the Federation of Nigeria of corruption, if the allegations were true, his actions will be courageous in the most monumental sense, but the lawyer did not bring forward, the facts, the proof of what he alleged.

In essence, this lawyer, governor Kalu have resorted to flippant and flimsy accusations and allegations of corruptions against office holders, but without adducing evidence to establish such allegations and in doing so, they undermine all of us, our institutions and our nation. Labeling the Chief Justice of Nigeria corrupt without evidence or proof, and labeling the president or vice president corrupt without facts or proof, undermines all of us and our institutions and our nation!

If you allege, you must prove or you must shut up!

Paul I. Adujie (New York, US)
New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 07:33 AM | Comments (1)

September 10, 2005

Are Nigerians United Against Corruption or is it, You First?

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Are Nigerians agreed on corruption elimination and eradication? Maybe NOT! I have maintained in the past that I abhor corruption because of its consequences. You would think that all reasonable persons, especially Nigerians, are united against the corruption scourge or pandemic, and therefore intently focused in the war against it?

Copiously, I have written about the adverse effects of corruption, corrupt practices and those who perpetuate it, in a series of articles, I had argued that corruption is anathema to national development, as it deprives Nigeria for instance, needed resources for the development of public infrastructures and the consequent stagnation, stifled and stunted growth, development or advancement, adding that Nigeria’s greatness depends on corralling our efforts to decimate corruption, wherever it is found. I assumed then that a majority of Nigerians are united and agreed on fighting corruption successfully!

A successful war against corruption requires that everyone is put under the radar, and no passing the buck! Any defense of persons accused of corruption must be rooted in their innocence and certainly not the unproven guilt or mere suspicion of other persons.

In the past two weeks or so, I have written two articles, supported with facts and internet-links to buttress the arguments that I had presented; I regret to announce that the overwhelming majority of Nigerians who responded to the two articles, Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Explain and Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Resign Now, were in favor of the VP as the responses defended the VP, instead of a focus on the issues

Those defending the VP, have anchored their argument on their fervent beliefs that corruption is pervasive in Nigeria, that corruption permeates the federal government and that President Obasanjo is even more corrupt than Vice President Abubarkar; Defenders of the VP are uninterested in the evidence or facts adduced to support the presentations that I made, and their excuse is simply that, there is corruption everywhere, and that it is therefore pointless fighting corruption at all, or starting the fight from the middle?

My criticism of the VP is encrusted with specificities, such as dates, locations, amounts and names of persons involved etc. Defenders of the VP are not interested in the specific exactitudes of facts presented, they are instead wishing away the facts by seeming to say, not-in-my-backyard! They have managed to convince me that the war on corruption must mean every other persons being prosecuted and punished first, and then, their family, political associates and friends of the VP defenders and the VP, must be punished last, if at all!

How about the personal responsibility of these accused individuals? These individuals who it would appear, are always camouflaging their guilt by pointing to others, who may be equally guilty or others who are just being pointed to, to distract the real guilt of those being investigated, arrested and charged? This is as if to say, my defense is rested on the guilt of others? Instead of using or relying on, my complete innocence? We ought to require or even demand that accused persons answer for themselves, and not depend on mere suspicions, unproven allegations and guilt of all others!

In various cases, these sorts of warped and twisted arguments have been made to protect corrupt public officials in Nigeria during the past six years. In Plateau state for instance, the Plateau House of Assembly overlooked stunningly glaring evidence, including some of such evidence on tape, against Governor Chibi Joshua Dariye and refused to impeach him and cheered him, instead, after the state of emergency previously declared in that state was lifted. There is also the resort to immunity shield and cloak, abused by some.
And even in Governor Dariye’s case, British Police testified, British Police is also on President Obasanjo’s payroll, and subject to his manipulations? Does President Obasanjo also manipulate the American FBI? Was it not the FBI that initiated VP’s investigations?

In Cross River State, the Deputy Governor Ekpenyong was impeached for purchasing a house in the name of his twelve years old son, and then, like magic, the governor was reinstated and then he resigned, I think with full benefits, as if he had not committed the breaches of the laws and ethics, which were obvious!

Governor Kalu Orji, (the boy who cried wolf) is always crying wolf, imagined wolves and no wolf at all, Governor Orji has been accused of improprieties and he seem to have completely ignored the charges, but instead, he frequently accuses others of corruption and improprieties of his own! But famously omitting to provide specifics as evidence of facts to sustain his accusations, as if he is not required to?

He has accused persons ranging from Chief Annenih to President Obasanjo etc. Kalu Orji has had cause to apologize to President Obasanjo and PDP in the past, for such flippant accusations that he had made against the president, only to repeat more accusations at regular intervals! Corruption wars again by Kalu Orji? Kalu Orji accused others of being killers once, but without providing specifics proofs? Kalu Orji’s Deputy not recanted threats to Kalu, that were allegedly made by Chief Annenih, Kalu would not answer to accusations against him, he relies on immunity? Of course, not in his backyard, President Obasanjo should be punished first, the other person, must go first, no person for whom there are specific evidence or facts? Such as we have demonstrated against the VP?

Kalu has been alleged to own Slok Airlines, Sun Newspapers (the proud tabloid) Kalu is also said to own a home in Maryland, United States, according to Jonathan Elendu and Omoyele Sowore, Kalu’s home is ironically close to the VP home the US, looters know where to shop for homes I suppose. I do not have evidences or facts connecting Kalu’s to properties, proving alleged breaches, I do not for instance know the names of the board of directors of Slok Airlines, Sun Newspapers and whether it includes Kalu’s name, I do not also have the block and lot numbers or land registry information on Kalu, as I have on, I have hear speculations regarding numerous deals by Governor Igbinedion, deals he is said to have had, in California, in London, South Africa etc, but I do not have specifics! I have head that an Ibori has a two million pounds value property located in choicest area of London, (is this Ibori, any relations of Governor Ibori?) I do not have specifics regarding Igbinedion, Kalu or Ibori, whereas, I had specifics on Mr.& Mrs.? Atiku!

Everybody else, seems to deserve punishments for their corrupt enrichments, but don’t start the corruption war with me or my family, friends and or political associates? But why does the war against corruption in Nigeria appear to be a war that some Nigerians are only interested in fighting, and directed against all others, but themselves?
We have 26 letters in the English alphabet, Nigerians are analogous to these alphabets, now, it would seem as if, attempts to prosecute A for corruption, leads to A, pointing very quickly to B, as A insists that B is also corrupt and deserving of severest punishments, before the contemplation of punishments for A, if at all? A natural progression will of course result in B pointing at C and C pointing at D, the finger-pointing as to who is culpable for corruption and who should be punished first, is therefore obviously endless!

Nigerians are now quite familiar with Tafa Balogun, former Inspector General of Police in Nigeria, as we are as well familiar with former Minister for Education, Professor Fabian Osuji and former president of Nigerian senate Senator Adolphous Wabara
We were told that that these persons were corruptly enriching themselves at the expense of Nigerian taxpayers and voters. But defenders of these men, in a rapid response manner, have labeled them, as victims of vendettas, witch hunt by the ever vindictive and vengeful presidency!

Naturally, these turns of events would make all reasonable people ponderously wonder, whether it is possible to actually fight a successful war against corruption in Nigeria?
How could the elimination and eradication of corruption in Nigeria become a successful undertaking, when as it is, ulterior motives are always ascribed to every effort that has been made by the current federal government of Nigeria? Some have in the past suggested that those persons that have been prosecuted for corruptions were so pursued, because they are mere political enemies of Nigeria’s current president, a president who is intent on punishing his enemies for every real or imagined infraction!

Adducing ancillaries and very extraneous reasons, which are merely poor excuses or defense, ridiculous and incredulously self-serving distractions, has become a time-tested and perfected method for the corrupt persons in Nigeria to avoid well deserved prosecution and punishments, as they are now quick to argue and point fingers falsely at prosecutors and persons merely doing the hatchet job for the presidency.

Nigerian general public have become inured and immune to these outlandish and outrageous excuses and “defenses” The corrupt are being pursued because they are from the wrong ethnic, regional or religious grouping which Nigeria is comprised and composed. Which makes me want to ask, more questions, including; where is the outrage? How come nobody is shock at the revelations or public disclosures against the VP? How is it that the public seem to accept the obvious lies, feeble and nebulous defenses from the defenders of the VP?

A big challenge has clearly arisen, perhaps unanticipated by those who established the Economic and Financial Crime Commission EFCC and the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, two new anti corruption agencies established by current Nigerian federal government, to ferret out those who were, are and continue to engage or condone corruption and corrupt practices

How can Nigeria successfully fight corruption with present mindsets that believed Tafa Balogun will never be arrested? Mindsets that believed Osuji, Wabara, and Osomo were selectively being prosecuted? How is it possible that everyone that is arrested or investigated by EFCC, and ICPC, the Nigeria Police, is somehow because such person is a political enemy of President Obasanjo? How is it that the president is able to possibly manipulate all these grown persons at all these government agencies? Where is their personhood, if they actually such puppets on stings? How is President Obasanjo able to emasculate everyman and woman at these agencies? How does President Obasanjo manage to put every Nigerian tied to his apron strings? Could this just be elaborate disinformation? Could these mindsets have arisen from economic disenchantments and attendant expectation fatigue among Nigerians? Or could it be that too many now benefit or expect to benefit from corruption? Are Nigerians ready to eradicate and eliminate corruption? Will any Nigerian President, the current one or the next, succeed in doing so?

Some people seem to believe that the EFCC, the ICPC and the Nigeria Police are not independent or neutral and cannot investigate or prosecute corruption in Nigeria, or that they are controlled by President Obasanjo, but, how about British Police testimony against Governor Dariye and America’s FBI investigation against Atiku? Are some now prepared to argue that President Obasanjo has the whole world in his pocket? Including having the EFCC, the ICPC, the FBI and Scotland Yard in Obasanjo’s control and influence?

At this rate, only aliens or beings from Mars can be trusted to probe corrupt Nigerians? Martians would not be blamed for ulterior motives or hidden agendas; Only beings from Mars have no friends or sympathies or block-interests in Nigerians of particular groupings, be it regional, ethnic, religious or whatever else! perhaps this is why the government of Nigeria has now invited Britons to audit CBN and NNPC?

When will Nigerians accept that the war against corruption is real? And then trust and support President Obasanjo to intensify the fight against corruption; then provide specific information for prosecuting this desirably necessary war? Nigerians must unite against corruption, support the current president, the next and everyone who fights corruption!

Paul Adujie,

Posted by Administrator at 07:29 PM | Comments (0)

September 08, 2005

Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Resign Now!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, USA) --- Based on long established fine legal principles, anchored on the presumption of innocence, we sought last week, to elicit explanations from Vice President Atiku of Nigeria, regarding his unexplained wealth, particularly, the excessive wealth he controls overseas, more so, since becoming Nigeria’s vice president on May 29, 1999.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Resign Now!

We at the time assumed that he could somehow extricate himself from illegalities!

Last week, we had mainly focused on the sham, fraud and illegality that appeared to have been committed through proxies of Nigeria’s current vice president, Jennifer (multiple surnames?) Abubakar, (who, as have since been revealed, earns only $200 a week), and yet purchased and “owns” a $2million dollar mansion; Jennifer, it is, she, who if you recall, donated $25,000.00 to the Republican Party, the political party that has produced the current American federal government and their wonderful domestic and foreign policies! Jennifer is a model citizen of America and Nigeria! Is she not?

Our impeccably reliable sources have since made further revelations, to the effect that Jennifer (how many surnames?) made a lodgment of $600 million dollars into a Swiss Bank, the Union Bank of Switzerland, UBS. An account which contains the signature of your vice president and mine, and as co-signatory and therefore co-owner, of the tidy sum of six hundred million dollars, money that is enough to provide clean drinking water for all of Adamawa State, money that is enough to generate electricity for 100 years, for Yola and Jalingo, and Numa and more towns in our beloved Adamanwa and environs!

Nigerians must be reminded of (inconsequential?) facts that the Constitution of Nigeria and the Code of Conduct Act for public officials, prohibits, in absolute terms, the possession, ownership and title to, foreign accounts in banks, financial institutions, including ownership of homes, even if through proxies or mistresses or absentee wife.

Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s sumptuous living quarters in the United States, his unexplained affluence and opulent life style indicate breaches of provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution and Code of Conduct Act, this, coupled with the $600 million dollars that was moved from the United States to Switzerland, (the home, sweet home, and repository of looted monies and banker to looters or lootocrats) is proof beyond any iota of doubt, that the VP has egregiously breached provisions of the Constitution of Nigeria, the Code of Conduct Act and other laws of Nigeria, Switzerland and the United States as suspected

By natural progression therefore, our request that the vice president explain himself, his absentee wife Jennifer, who has been on wild spending sprees, possessing $15,000.00 cash in the Jennifer- Atiku Abubakar mansion in Maryland, an amount that was not considered staggeringly obscene by the VP’s numerous assistants and retinues, of see-no evil handlers! Defenders of the VP, it appears do not find it immoral and sickening, that a majority of Nigerians wallow in grinding abject poverty, while brethren Jennifer donates $25,000.00 to a political party, money that is clearly not hers, impossible to save from $200 a week, which is less than current American minimum wage! How many Americans with income of $200 per week donated $25,000.00 to any political party or charity?

There is high rate of unemployment in Nigeria, there suffering and utter hardships and hopelessness in the land, while the vice president and his dear lady squander our public treasury and national wealth on themselves and American political parties?

There are abandoned, neglected and decaying public infrastructures in Nigeria, but public officials of Nigeria are greedily amassing mansions upon mansions in America and Europe, where public infrastructures do work and perform efficiently… these Nigerian public officials, are behaving as they were refuges, bad refugees, who are only interested in what they can get out of their current environment, but with intent to invest in some other place (America and Europe) where they really plan to make their homes!

Instead of investing in hospitals in Nigeria, these public officials rely on overseas medical facilities for their care, instead of investing in public infrastructures in Nigeria, they want to loot our public wealth and from our treasury, the improve the housing market for America and Europe by purchasing the most expensive homes or mansions of palatial sizes in choice locations. Nigerians must make the looters of Nigeria accountable!

Defenders of the VP who have been harassing me for about ten days now, apparently find nothing “ignominious, disgraceful” in the words of Tonye David-West writing in He sees the uncouth and outright illegal in the doings of the VP and his wife, instead they seek to excuse them, with, there are other corrupt officials in Nigeria! How does it amount to any defense of a thief, caught red-handed, that there are other thieves somewhere else? A police officer arrests an armed robber in Ikeja, the robber and his friends defend, by saying there are some other robbers in Ikoyi and Surulere? What do we know? About Corrupt Persons and their practices? Please provide specifics, not wild speculations and rumors, as distractions or defense to your crimes!

Let us deal with the armed robber against whom we have specific information, let him sing the names of fellow robbers, his accomplices or accessories before or after the fact. Let heads of more looters at all levels of our government roll, let the heads of the corrupt roll, from messengers to the president, whoever is found wanting, deserves severest of penalties… but … the corruption by others cannot be the defense for your corruption!

According to Newswatch Magazine, in its edition published on September 5, 2005

Vice Presidetn Atiku Abubakar has a lot of explaining to do!

“The tenure of Atiku Abubakar as vice-president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria may end abruptly in a matter of weeks, even days. That is because he has been given marching orders by President Olusegun Obasanjo to quit immediately or risk being handed over to security agencies over illegal financial dealings involving himself and Jennifer, his wife.

Their offences are said to include money laundering, tax evasion, and terrorist financing. Newswatch learnt that one of the major reasons for the recent raiding of the residence of Atiku in Maryland, United States by the Federal Bureau of Intelligence was in connection with his alleged shady deal with William Jefferson, US congressman as well the discovery of his multi-million dollars foreign bank account. Sources said that at first, Atiku and 20 other Nigerians who were maintaining foreign shady bank accounts in the United States were asked to close them. This was because the American security agents who initially did not know the origin of the money, later traced it to deals from Nigeria. It was against this background that they asked all those involved to move their money out of the US. It was at this juncture that Jennifer reportedly moved $600 million out of the US to the Union Bank of Switzerland, UBS. In that bank, he has Jennifer, his wife as a co-signatory to the account.

When they successfully moved the money, Jennifer went to Geneva and attempted to move it again, specifically to build the ABTI American University, Yola owned by the Atikus. But the Swiss banks did not allow her to move the money. This was based on their suspicion that the money came from Nigeria through money laundering. Although Jennifer is married to Atiku, she is an American citizen. This was why the Swiss bankers told her that as an American citizen if she had such money, she ought to have declared it to the US Inland Revenue Service. They argued that since she had not declared it in US for tax purposes, it stands to reason that she was dodging payment of taxes to the US government and the penalty for this offence is jail.

Swiftly, the Swiss bankers reported to the US government that such money came from the US. The US security agents immediately swung into action and searched Jennifer residence because she was earning $200 a week. Baffled by what they discovered, the US government officials called Obasanjo on August 1, alleging that his government was very corrupt. They asked him where Atiku got the money which he stashed in a foreign bank account. Obasanjo's response was that it had nothing to do with his government but was strictly an individual's issue.

Newswatch gathered that during the search of Atiku's house in Maryland, USA, by F.B.I officials, August 3, they found documents on payments to American congressmen through Jefferson. The last cheque was $100,000. It was further learnt that F.B.I. subpoenas are focused on a telecommunications deal Jefferson was trying to engineer in Nigeria over the past year.. The US government then called George Obiozor, Nigeria's ambassador to US to alert him about the happenings. Obiozor immediately sent two reports on the incident to the federal government. He was instructed to follow it up through diplomatic channels to establish the facts involved on the issue”

Jennifer is the happy political parties’ donor, with apparent unlimited and limitless wealth, based on her hard work upon which she is paid $200 per week! Which of course is below the poverty measuring scale in America….how does anyone with income level below the poorest American then make180 degrees turn to donate to the party of Lincoln? The political party in America that is synonymous with the political party of the rich? Jennifer certainly posses a most bizarre transformative personalities, that will make the worst multiple personality sufferer bristle with envy! Poor $200 per week rich wife of VP, live in a mansion! Co-owner of $600 million, frequent donor to political parties! This is better than fiction! Who could have thought up such wonderful true life fantasy of phantasmagoria? Let defenders of the VP and Jennifer refute or challenge our facts!

We wrote “Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Explain!” published at and other Nigeria-related websites, based on the investigations and findings that became available to us, since then, we have received hate mails, churlish commentaries by defenders of the vice president, unwarranted telephone calls chastising me, some threatening my personal safety and life! Even though what we wrote was incontrovertible or if some think it is, they ought to write rejoinders to my article, instead of labeling, castigating and threatening my life and liberty!

I have since received countless annoying telephone calls to my home and to my cellular phones… these pranks and cranks of calls, have strengthened my resolved to pursue those who loot Nigeria’s resources… I refuse to be intimidated, and no price is too high to pay

I have accordingly, informed American authorities of these threats to my safety and life

I am not afraid. It is a worthy cause to rid Nigeria of corruption, it is just cause! Looters deprive Nigeria of development, advancement and greatness! Looters make Nigeria object of ridicule in international arena, and looters have damaged our sense of pride in our nation! Looters have stunted our growth and development, looters are our bane and burden. Looters drive Nigerians out of Nigeria, Nigerians throng foreign embassies daily!

I am undeterred and unbowed! We will ruin those responsible for the ruination of Nigeria


Posted by Administrator at 02:28 AM | Comments (1)

September 02, 2005

Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Explain!

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) ---- Two seconds after he was sworn in as Vice President of Nigeria on May 29, 1999, he ceased to be a private citizen, as it were. And as a Nigerian public official, he is required to abide by and comply with relevant provisions of Nigeria’s Constitution, in conjunction with the Code of Conduct Act, which prescribes specific standard of conduct expected and demanded of public officials in Nigeria.

Click here to continue reading "Vice President Atiku Abubakar Must Explain!"

Posted by Administrator at 11:11 AM | Comments (0)

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