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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Is this what we need in this country? Read below the story of the secrecy pact sworn
to by the president's men.

"More than one year after they assumed duties, political office holders serving in the
Presidential Villa, Abuja, were on Tuesday, administered the oath of secrecy and
declaration of secrecy. The appointees, including the Principal Secretary to the
President, Mr. David Edevbie, Principal Secretary to the Vice President, Chief Mike
Oghiadome, the Chief Economic Adviser to the President, Dr. Tanimu Yakubu, the
Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the President, Mr. Olusegun Adeniyi, Chief
Physician to the President, Dr. Salisu Barau Banye, and Senior Special Assistant
(Media and Publicity) to the Vice President, Mr. Ima Niboro, were told, President
Umaru Yar’Adua gave the directive to that effect.

The occasion attracted the Permanent Secretary, State House, Amb. Babakura
Kaigama, who in addition to conveying the president’s order, pointed out that
the civil servants in Aso Rock had already taken the oath. Justice Husseini Yusuf
Baba of the Abuja High Court, who administered the oath, urged all the
appointees to respect the solemn promises they had made before God, as they
discharged the enormous tasks before them.

The Daily Sun learnt that it was the first time that all categories of political office
holders in Aso Rock would be administered the oath of secrecy since the return of
democracy in the country. Before now, political office holders were only subjected to
oath of office and allegiance on assumption of office. A statement on Tuesday’s
development from the office of the Special Adviser (Media and Publicity) to the
President was, however, silent on why the exercise was ordered at this time.

According to the official record, there are all together 70 political appointees in
the Presidential Villa, Abuja, serving in the offices of the president, vice president,
the first lady, as well as the vice president's wife, among others."

What do you all make of all this? Comments are welcomed.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What Manner of Democracy?

Men of the State Security Services raided one of the media houses in Nigeria, locking
up the staffs and harrassing everybody in sight. Taking cue from this illegality, Nigeria
Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), the body that regulates the practice of broadcasting
in Nigeria suspended the license of this same media house. The offence commited by
the media house was the supposedly resignation of the president from office.

For a government that professes rule of law and claims to allow freedom of speech
and information, this act by the two government agencies smacks on outright
hypocrisy and disregard for the constitution of the nation.

I personally dont see anything wrong or any security breach made in
announcing even if it turns out to be false that a sitting president is about to resign!
This government should stop chasing shadows and irrelivances and face up to the
more pressing issues that is bedevilling our beloved country. The Niger Delta is
boiling, the Stock Market is crashing further everyday just to mention some of the few
problems at hand.

Two years into this administration and they are still crawling on all aspects of governance.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Am experiencing what writers call a block right now.
But seriously, how should governments react or act when a sitting president is experiencing serious health problems that could be life threatening in nature. Should they come out and tell the whole citizenry what the problem with the president is or just keep a sealed lip about it for the sake of 'National Security?'.

What is happening in Nigeria presently concerning the President has got people divided on whether the government was right to have kept the whole nation in the dark concerning the health condition of their president or not.

What is your own honest opinion? comments are invited.

More will be written on this in the days coming by as I try to shake this block off.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Hilary Clinton's Speech at Dems Convention

DENVER - Remarks of New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, for her address to the Democratic National Convention on Tuesday night in Denver:

I am honored to be here tonight. A proud mother. A proud Democrat. A proud American. And a proud supporter of Barack Obama.

My friends, it is time to take back the country we love.
Whether you voted for me, or voted for Barack, the time is now to unite as a single party with a single purpose. We are on the same team, and none of us can sit on the sidelines.
This is a fight for the future. And it's a fight we must win.

I haven't spent the past 35 years in the trenches advocating for children, campaigning for universal health care, helping parents balance work and family, and fighting for women's rights at home and around the world ... to see another Republican in the White House squander the promise of our country and the hopes of our people.

And you haven't worked so hard over the last 18 months, or endured the last eight years, to suffer through more failed leadership.
No way. No how. No McCain.
Barack Obama is my candidate. And he must be our president.

Tonight we need to remember what a presidential election is really about. When the polls have closed, and the ads are finally off the air, it comes down to you — the American people, your lives, and your children's futures.

For me, it's been a privilege to meet you in your homes, your workplaces, and your communities. Your stories reminded me everyday that America's greatness is bound up in the lives of the American people — your hard work, your devotion to duty, your love for your children, and your determination to keep going, often in the face of enormous obstacles.

You taught me so much, you made me laugh, and ... you even made me cry. You allowed me to become part of your lives. And you became part of mine.

I will always remember the single mom who had adopted two kids with autism, didn't have health insurance and discovered she had cancer. But she greeted me with her bald head painted with my name on it and asked me to fight for health care.

I will always remember the young man in a Marine Corps T-shirt who waited months for medical care and said to me: "Take care of my buddies; a lot of them are still over there ... and then will you please help take care of me?"

I will always remember the boy who told me his mom worked for the minimum wage and that her employer had cut her hours. He said he just didn't know what his family was going to do.

I will always be grateful to everyone from all fifty states, Puerto Rico and the territories, who joined our campaign on behalf of all those people left out and left behind by the Bush Administration.

To my supporters, my champions — my sisterhood of the traveling pantsuits — from the bottom of my heart: Thank you.
You never gave in. You never gave up. And together we made history.

Along the way, America lost two great Democratic champions who would have been here with us tonight. One of our finest young leaders, Arkansas Democratic Party Chair, Bill Gwatney, who believed with all his heart that America and the South could be and should be Democratic from top to bottom.

And Congresswoman Stephanie Tubbs Jones, a dear friend to many of us, a loving mother and courageous leader who never gave up her quest to make America fairer and smarter, stronger and better. Steadfast in her beliefs, a fighter of uncommon grace, she was an inspiration to me and to us all.

Our heart goes out to Stephanie's son, Mervyn, Jr., and Bill's wife, Rebecca, who traveled to Denver to join us at our convention.

Bill and Stephanie knew that after eight years of George Bush, people are hurting at home, and our standing has eroded around the world. We have a lot of work ahead.
Jobs lost, houses gone, falling wages, rising prices. The Supreme Court in a right-wing headlock and our government in partisan gridlock. The biggest deficit in our nation's history. Money borrowed from the Chinese to buy oil from the Saudis.
Putin and Georgia, Iraq and Iran.

I ran for president to renew the promise of America. To rebuild the middle class and sustain the American Dream, to provide the opportunity to work hard and have that work rewarded, to save for college, a home and retirement, to afford the gas and groceries and still have a little left over each month.

To promote a clean energy economy that will create millions of green collar jobs.
To create a health care system that is universal, high quality, and affordable so that parents no longer have to choose between care for themselves or their children or be stuck in dead end jobs simply to keep their insurance.

To create a world class education system and make college affordable again.
To fight for an America defined by deep and meaningful equality — from civil rights to labor rights, from women's rights to gay rights, from ending discrimination to promoting unionization to providing help for the most important job there is: caring for our families. To help every child live up to his or her God-given potential.

To make America once again a nation of immigrants and a nation of laws.
To bring fiscal sanity back to Washington and make our government an instrument of the public good, not of private plunder.
To restore America's standing in the world, to end the war in Iraq, bring our troops home and honor their service by caring for our veterans.
And to join with our allies to confront our shared challenges, from poverty and genocide to terrorism and global warming.
Most of all, I ran to stand up for all those who have been invisible to their government for eight long years.

Those are the reasons I ran for president. Those are the reasons I support Barack Obama. And those are the reasons you should too.

I want you to ask yourselves: Were you in this campaign just for me? Or were you in it for that young Marine and others like him? Were you in it for that mom struggling with cancer while raising her kids? Were you in it for that boy and his mom surviving on the minimum wage? Were you in it for all the people in this country who feel invisible?

We need leaders once again who can tap into that special blend of American confidence and optimism that has enabled generations before us to meet our toughest challenges. Leaders who can help us show ourselves and the world that with our ingenuity, creativity, and innovative spirit, there are no limits to what is possible in America.

This won't be easy. Progress never is. But it will be impossible if we don't fight to put a Democrat in the White House.

We need to elect Barack Obama because we need a President who understands that America can't compete in a global economy by padding the pockets of energy speculators, while ignoring the workers whose jobs have been shipped overseas. We need a president who understands that we can't solve the problems of global warming by giving windfall profits to the oil companies while ignoring opportunities to invest in new technologies that will build a green economy.

We need a President who understands that the genius of America has always depended on the strength and vitality of the middle class.

Barack Obama began his career fighting for workers displaced by the global economy. He built his campaign on a fundamental belief that change in this country must start from the ground up, not the top down. He knows government must be about "We the people" not "We the favored few."

And when Barack Obama is in the White House, he'll revitalize our economy, defend the working people of America, and meet the global challenges of our time. Democrats know how to do this. As I recall, President Clinton and the Democrats did it before. And President Obama and the Democrats will do it again.

He'll transform our energy agenda by creating millions of green jobs and building a new, clean energy future. He'll make sure that middle class families get the tax relief they deserve. And I can't wait to watch Barack Obama sign a health care plan into law that covers every single American.

Barack Obama will end the war in Iraq responsibly and bring our troops home _a first step to repairing our alliances around the world.

And he will have with him a terrific partner in Michelle Obama. Anyone who saw Michelle's speech last night knows she will be a great first lady for America.
Americans are also fortunate that Joe Biden will be at Barack Obama's side. He is a strong leader and a good man. He understands both the economic stresses here at home and the strategic challenges abroad. He is pragmatic, tough, and wise. And, of course, Joe will be supported by his wonderful wife, Jill.
They will be a great team for our country.

Now, John McCain is my colleague and my friend.
He has served our country with honor and courage.
But we don't need four more years ... of the last eight years.
More economic stagnation ... and less affordable health care.
More high gas prices ... and less alternative energy.
More jobs getting shipped overseas ... and fewer jobs created here.
More skyrocketing debt ... home foreclosures ... and mounting bills that are crushing our middle class families.
More war ... less diplomacy.
More of a government where the privileged come first ... and everyone else comes last.

John McCain says the economy is fundamentally sound. John McCain doesn't think that 47 million people without health insurance is a crisis. John McCain wants to privatize Social Security. And in 2008, he still thinks it's OK when women don't earn equal pay for equal work.

With an agenda like that, it makes sense that George Bush and John McCain will be together next week in the Twin Cities. Because these days they're awfully hard to tell apart.

America is still around after 232 years because we have risen to the challenge of every new time, changing to be faithful to our values of equal opportunity for all and the common good.

And I know what that can mean for every man, woman, and child in America. I'm a United States senator because in 1848 a group of courageous women and a few brave men gathered in Seneca Falls, New York, many traveling for days and nights, to participate in the first convention on women's rights in our history.

And so dawned a struggle for the right to vote that would last 72 years, handed down by mother to daughter to granddaughter — and a few sons and grandsons along the way.

These women and men looked into their daughters' eyes, imagined a fairer and freer world, and found the strength to fight. To rally and picket. To endure ridicule and harassment. To brave violence and jail.
And after so many decades — 88 years ago on this very day — the 19th amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote would be forever enshrined in our Constitution.

My mother was born before women could vote. But in this election my daughter got to vote for her mother for president.
This is the story of America. Of women and men who defy the odds and never give up.
How do we give this country back to them?
By following the example of a brave New Yorker, a woman who risked her life to shepherd slaves along the Underground Railroad.

And on that path to freedom, Harriet Tubman had one piece of advice.
If you hear the dogs, keep going.
If you see the torches in the woods, keep going.
If they're shouting after you, keep going.
Don't ever stop. Keep going.
If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.

Even in the darkest of moments, ordinary Americans have found the faith to keep going.
I've seen it in you. I've seen it in our teachers and firefighters, nurses and police officers, small business owners and union workers, the men and women of our military — you always keep going.

We are Americans. We're not big on quitting.
But remember, before we can keep going, we have to get going by electing Barack Obama president.
We don't have a moment to lose or a vote to spare.
Nothing less than the fate of our nation and the future of our children hang in the balance.

I want you to think about your children and grandchildren come election day. And think about the choices your parents and grandparents made that had such a big impact on your life and on the life of our nation.

We've got to ensure that the choice we make in this election honors the sacrifices of all who came before us, and will fill the lives of our children with possibility and hope.

That is our duty, to build that bright future, and to teach our children that in America there is no chasm too deep, no barrier too great — and no ceiling too high — for all who work hard, never back down, always keep going, have faith in God, in our country, and in each other.

Thank you so much. God bless America and Godspeed to you all.

If elections were won based on speeches alone, then the Democrats need not campaign again. What do you think of the speech? Comments are invited.

Monday, August 25, 2008


It is hardly surprising that the quaint interest which the group called “Africans for Obama… 2008” has taken in the Barack Obama campaign is causing some furore in the polity. It is so because there is something untoward and questionable about the claim the group is making in this regard.

The group led by Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke, the Director General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), had organized a fund-raising dinner ostensibly in support of the presidential bid of Obama, the presidential candidate of the Democratic Party in the United States.

However, the Obama campaign organisation was quick to dissociate itself from the fund-raising especially in the light of the fact that it runs against the grain of the American Electoral Law. In fact, the Foreign Election Campaign Act of 1974 expressly forbids foreign nationals from donating funds to American elections.

But even as the Obama campaign organization distanced itself from the fund-raising, discerning Nigerians took interest in the ethicality or otherwise of the fund-raising dinner organized by Okereke-Onyiuke. Consequently, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is beaming a searchlight on the fund-raising dinner. It has invited Okereke-Onyiuke for questioning with a view to knowing how much was raised at the fund-raising and who the beneficiaries are.

In the face of all this, the group is claiming that it never announced that it was raising funds or soliciting donations for the Obama campaign. Instead, it said that the dinner/concert was designed to sensitize and mobilize Africans worldwide as well as eligible American citizens to register and vote. It also explained that any excess fund realized after this was to be utilized for advertisements to encourage Africans that are of voting status and all other Americans to exercise their franchise.

The involvement of Okereke-Onyiuke in this exercise simply reminds us of her earlier association with an organization which went by the name, “Corporate Nigeria” during the administration Olusegun Obasanjo. Then, the promoters of “Corporate Nigeria” came under intense criticisms as they were accused of using their corporate positions and platforms to promote the presidential bid of Obasanjo.As in the case of Corporate Nigeria”, there is everything untidy about what “Africans for Obama… 2008” is doing now, regardless of the denials and clarifications by Okereke-Onyiuke, its chairman.

The whole idea of the organization putting together a dinner/concert for the purpose of the Obama campaign is questionable.The issue here is not whether people were coerced or cajoled to donate money to the campaign fund. Rather, we are concerned about why allowance was made at all for any form of donation, whether it was meant for the campaign organisation or just to “sensitize” and “mobilize” as the group would have us believe. The latter-day clarification the group is making looks like an after-thought. It does not detract from the fact that the idea is repugnant.

For Okereke-Onyiuke, this is another wasteful engagement. It was bad enough that she and others who belonged to “Corporate Nigeria” compromised their professional integrity to campaign for Obasanjo. It is worse that she has deepened her participation in such questionable ventures by globalising her partisan inclinations in matters where she ought to be just an active observer.

As the Director General of the NSE, Okereke-Onyiuke should not be seen to be overtly involved or interested in partisan politics. She ran foul of this in the years of Obasanjo. Her latest involvement in the Obama campaign shows that she has not weaned herself of such obscene indulgences.It is in fact, surprising that she can still find the time for distractions such as this when she ought to be deeply concerned about the declining fortunes of the Nigerian stock market.

It is therefore gratifying that the EFCC has moved in to ascertain what the group is really up to. The commission should do a thorough job here. In the end, we would like to see an action that will definitively discourage others who may want to get involved in this corporate irresponsibility in future. Culled from Daily Sun.

What do you make of the whole uproar about the fund raising for Obama Campaign? Post your comments here.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I now know what it means when writers say they are experiencing a 'drought' or writer's fatigue. They cant think of anythiing to write. I have been like that for some days now, racking my poor head to see whether I might have something still stored in the recess of my memory that would be worthy to post on this blog but it seems like the more I try to think up something to write the farther they get away from me.

I am very sure there must have been times when we (including myself) must have had the believe that journalists, authors, etc have a very easy job to do. Just sit in front of a computer as the case may be now and just type away. But This past fews days have taught me a lesson that things are not always as easy as they seem and that writing is as hard as any other so called hard jobs that we all know of.

What do you think about this? have you ever tried to do something that you've always considered to be easy but only to find out that its not as easy as you think? Make your comments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I saw a thief got burnt alive a couple of days ago in Lagos, Nigeria and the image is still ingrained in my head. I wonder how it would feel to stare death in the face and know that the inevitable end has finally come?

Am left wondering what would have been going through his mind as the mob surrounds him with clubs and other dangerous weapons. Maybe he must have tried to talk his way out of the predicament ( he is suppossedly a member of a gang of armed robbers terrorizing the neighbourhood before luck ran out on him) but with that not working, the pleadings and cryings will start from him with the aim and hope of striking a chord of mercy in the heart of any/many of the bystanders to come to his assistance and plead for mercy, plead for another chance to turn a new leaf, another chance to start a new life of making amends but alas mercy did not come from anybody. Maybe they would just beat me and then let me go or hand me over to the Police, he says to himself out of a dying hope.

The mob would have been unrelenting in their quest to shed blood, albeit a tainted one to them. Then the beating starts, blood is drawn and the mob is further thrown into a frenzy, a boodthirsty one! A voice is heard from amidst the chaos unfolding 'Lets Burn the B********D' its says, almost immdediately out of nowhere a car tire appears, then matches, then petrol and at that very moment with body battered and twisted, eyes nearly popping from their sockets the thief knows his hen has come home to roost.

Minutes later, passersby glances, whispers and shake their heads at the charred remains of what was once a breathing organism.Its a jungle out here.

Man's Inhumanity to Man.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Unsung Black Heroes

Here is a piece from about blacks that really made a difference in advocating the dictum that men should not be judged by the colour of their skin. enjoy the article as written by Prof. Olu Obafemi.

This time last year was a rare high-point of the Black History Month for me. I was taken by my hosts to Lincoln Home in Springfield, capital city of Illinois State, at the tail end of the Black History Month. This Month, as we know, is set aside every year to commemorate and celebrate the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas—two people usually remembered as key factors in the emancipation of slaves in the United States. In the specific case of President Abe Lincoln, his celebration in American history is a double bill; as the President who prevented the break-up of the Union and the one who signed the Emancipation Act of 1861, which history has usually taken and embraced as the signal pointer to the end of slavery in the United States.

You would then imagine the level of my uncritical thrill, when I got the invitation to take a ride to the place that has become a National Monument and a must-visit for anybody even vaguely familiar with the events and the struggle for black emancipation and the verdict given to history as to who the real heroes of the emancipation are.

Who would not relish the chance, as I did, to go to Abe Lincoln’s (as President Lincoln was generally, fondly called) city of birth, to drink from history in a place now declared a pilgrim’s site, along with its immediate neighbourhood, preserved and reserved as a sacrosanct spot for tourists and citizens who needed to catch up with a critical moment in America’s history?

I relished my chance and luck—and I was able to visit the Museums in Springfield and Chicago (the myriads of Museum sites in Chicago is any tourist’s delight and home of historical information and intellectual leisure). But I was later treated to some shocking discussions with a historian in African-American Studies, Dr. Musa Abdullahi, at the Western Illinois University—one of the locations of my residency duration, who could not care less, in fact, who was virtually scandalized by the kind of hilarity that I passionately demonstrated at the end of the visit. I had settled to a consultation experience with a female Professor of English, who is African-American and whom I was just sharing my blissful tour to the Lincoln Home with, when the historian expressed his surprise that there could be African and African-American intellectuals who would still be deluded enough to grant the heroes’ accolade of the ‘so-called’ Emancipation Act to both Lincoln and Douglas. If I was shocked by this ‘subversive’ statement, my reaction was less emotional than the African-American, who also considered Lincoln and Douglas as key heroes of the Black History Month. We thus combatively engaged this unorthodox historian to prove his point about Lincoln, especially. Who else, besides the modern heroes of the black struggle in America since Emancipation—Malcolm X, Martin Luther King and so on - who could qualify as heroes worthy to be celebrated in advance of Lincoln and Fredrick Douglas?

The discussion, or the educational project which followed, was a monologue, a one-way business, an instructional hand-out, backed by facts and figures, to which I believe the audience of this column will lose nothing being co-students of, as we reflect on the events that justify the commemoration of the Black History Month. First, he asserted that far ahead of Lincoln and Douglas, two white men sacrificed their lives and those of others, including those of their children, to wage armed struggle to free slaves and end slavery in America—the consequence of which was that, the Emancipation Act, which Lincoln signed did not really free any slaves. The details of these have been well documented.

These two heroes of the Emancipation of American slaves were Love-Joy, a white man who committed his life to an armed opposition to slavery in America and who was killed for that purpose and John Brown, who actually led an armed revolt against slavery in America.

Why, you may quip, will Lincoln not be honoured as a main factor in Emancipation? After all, history is resolute about the fact that only leaders and war commanders win wars, and are credited and immortalized for them. Only Napoleon is remembered in the Napoleonic Wars in France and Europe. For good or for ill, and in spite of the pogrom and tragedies of the Second World War, only Adolf Hitler is credited with the victories and failures of Nazism. Ditto Mussolini for Italian Fascism. Even our own traumatic Civil War in Nigeria between 1967 and 1970: The homilies of the war are sung after the names of Yakubu Gowon and Odumegwu Ojukwu. The thousands and millions that perished in these wars—their orphaned and widowed loved ones -- are victims of history’s convenient amnesia. Nobody remembers the real heroes of warfare, who perished or suffered from wars which they did nothing to perpetrate and whose lives served as mere fodder to surfeit the appetite of dictators.

In the case of the Emancipation and the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln as President of America, stole the show and recorded history affirms him so and decorates his head with immortal garlands. Yet, as we were persuasively informed, with documents, Abe Lincoln was concerned, principally, to save the Union. If in the process, emancipation—or the freedom of the slaves in the slave states-- became imperative, expedient or a condition for the salvation of the Union, so be it. Just one or two statements quoted against President Lincoln’s name will suffice in this brief reflection. In the Speech at Peoria on October 16, 1854, he had been quoted thus: “Free them, and make them politically and socially, our equals? My own feelings will not admit of this, and if mine would, we well know that those of the great mass of white people will not”.

Should this quotation sound as a cursory statement from a non-committal, private lawyer, Lincoln, who was not fully enthralled by the praxis of presidential politics, the quoted statement from his Inaugural Speech as President on March 4, 1861, reflected the truism of his perceived preference, as regards ending slavery in the Confederate States (States where slavery existed). He had said: “I have no purpose directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so”.

Other statements accredited to the great Lincoln indicate his intrinsic belief in the superiority of the white race to the black one. The credit that can be granted to him of course is that he discouraged slavery in states where it was not in operational practice. His paramount “object in this struggle (the war) is to save the Union and it is neither to save nor destroy slavery”. He would save the Union without freeing any slave; he would also free all the slaves to save the Union. It is to this that we owe the fact that it was President Abraham Lincoln that signed the Emancipation Act. It is for this, mainly, that he won the declaration of the Black History Month partly to festivate his birthday, which was in February, alongside the Black emancipator, Frederick Douglas, who would not take up arms, alongside John Brown, the unsung hero, because Douglas thought it was a futile exercise that would fail.

John Brown, then, with a group of twenty-one men, in an October 16, 1859 downpour, attacked the Federal Arsenal at Harper's Ferry, with the sole intent of taking over the town, free the slaves and distribute arms for them to spread the revolt across the South. The result was catastrophic. His two sons were killed along with a handful other black fighters. He was, himself, sentenced to death and killed. I recall quite faintly, once in a while, echoes of the song that we sang (obviously without the correct lyrics or sense) in the primary school in the late fifties. It was “John Brown’s body lies amouldering in the grave (3x)…And his soul goes marching on”. With a chorus like: “Glory, Glory Hallelujah! (3x) And his soul goes marching on”.

I do not wish to rob this hero, Abraham Lincoln, the way none of his predecessors was ever robbed of their immortality, wisely or otherwise. But I believe that nobody who is prescient of this version of the anti-slavery struggle will deny the exhumation of unsung heroes of the Black History (Month.) John Brown died in the, now, prophetic conviction that the voluntary sacrifice of his life, his soldiers and his sons would not be in vain, when he said, a few hours after his capture that: “I am nearly disposed of now, but this question is still to be settled—this Negro question, I mean—the end of that is not yet.”. Henry Thoreau must have the last word: “Old John Brown is dead—John Brown the immortal lives”.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


The Niger Delta region is fast becoming one of the most unsafe places to be on earth today.
Respected Journalist Simon Kolawole wrote a piece which caught my attention on the Thisday Newspaper of 3rd August. The piece is extracted below for you to read and form your own opinion about the whole crisis altogether. Enjoy!

"We’re back to the Niger Delta issue again. If anybody had told me 10 or 20 years ago that the Niger Delta would be such a hot item on the world’s agenda today, I would have accused the person of not only exaggeration but “over-exaggeration” – if the Queen would allow me to do such grammatical damage to the English language. Now we are here. We need to get out. How do we get out? Nobody should be surprised that there is no consensus on this. Many favour military action as the militants continue to strike at oil installations onshore and offshore. Others believe dialogue, or a stakeholders’ summit, is the way out. Some have argued quite passionately that what is happening in the region is nothing but criminality which must be crushed with military precision. A few people have also argued that the militants are fighting a just cause and deserve a listening ear. My own argument, which I have often canvassed in this space, is that something bred the criminality over a period of time and the root issues must be addressed squarely. Except those issues are addressed, the criminality will continue to fester. Unfortunately, because criminality is now so profitable, it will be extremely difficult to clamp down on it. What kind of job can you give to somebody who is already making hundreds of millions of naira from an illegal activity?My argument also suffers on one count: how do you address the “real issues” when bombs are being splashed all around? How do you tackle the problems of, for instance, physical development when construction works are being sabotaged and workers kidnapped for ransom? How do you build roads, bridges, hospitals, schools and water treatment plants under such an atmosphere? How do you even make efficient use of resources when billions are going into payment of ransoms? So, in a way, we are in a dilemma. But I want to insist that name-calling and scapegoating will not bring the kind of peace we seek – except we want to settle for the peace of the graveyard. Having said that, I want to identify with those who argue that the first step to achieving development in the Niger Delta is peace. Peace as in peace. Get the militants to lay down their arms first. There are various factions and tendencies among the militant groups, but we must get the core groups to openly agree to lay down their arms. That is key. When there is an open declaration of ceasefire, this has the potential of alienating the criminal gangs – that’s if you agree with my argument that it is wrong to dismiss all that is happening in the region as “criminality”. Some believe all the militants should be treated as criminals – I strongly differ on this. That attitude will be unhelpful and unfruitful.The opportunistic criminals can only be effectively dealt with by their own people. I’m not saying the military cannot do the job – but local knowledge is certainly a better option. The moment the criminals are alienated by their own people, it makes the job of the state security forces easier. There will be no more hiding place for those who are taking advantage of genuine agitations to foment criminality. So the strategy will be to get the locals to help in tracking down the criminals. I’m not unaware of the fact that the militants themselves are accused of crude oil theft; that is why it is very critical to secure their co-operation in the first instance. It’s a delicate task, but worthwhile. Local knowledge works quite well. In my village, if any crime is committed, we can easily narrow down on the likely perpetrators and smoke them out. If the crime is committed by “outsiders”, the “insiders” can tap into their “network” to fish out the culprits. How then do we secure the co-operation of the locals? This is where Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan has to pull all of his weight. I believe his choice as VP was influenced one way or the other by the role he was expected to play in bringing peace to his “region of origin”. I’m aware he has been working underground on the militants for a peaceful resolution. President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, I was told, specifically saddled the VP with the responsibility of coordinating processes and designing a roadmap towards achieving peace and development in the oil region. This passes the “local knowledge” test, at least. The process of resolving the Niger Delta problem should be Niger Delta-driven, with a national consensus – we are all stakeholders in this matter, after all. I’m also aware that Jonathan has held consultations and discussions with virtually all the stakeholders and interest groups in the Niger Delta – including militants, pressure groups, elder statesmen, youth leaders, community leaders, opinion leaders, representatives of oil firms – in trying to accommodate them. He has met with various ethnic nationalities in the region. I was reliably informed that the release of Asari Dokubo and freedom deal for ex-Bayelsa Governor DSP Alameyeseigha last year were products of these meetings which, initially at least, contributed to dousing the tension in the area at the time. The VP also held wide-ranging consultations with Nigerians both at home and abroad – he travelled to the United States and then to the United Kingdom and South Africa, reaching out to as many influential people as possible.Jonathan also visited the creeks to meet with the dreaded militants. He seemed to be making some headway as a result of these meetings and consultations. I remember there was a time we saw less of militant activities. But as soon as Henry Okah, the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), was arrested and put on trial for gun-running, the relative peace was shattered. Threats and ultimatums were being dished out and now there is complete chaos again. The recent pronouncement by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown that he would offer “help” to Nigeria in dealing with “criminality” in the Niger Delta has obviously poured petrol on the peace process which was already in flames. We can see how the militants have stepped up attacks on oil installations in response to Brown’s offer.To kick-start the process, Okah must be freed – no matter how it hurts the ego of Yar’Adua and the Federal Government. There must be some compromise. It’s a gesture of goodwill. Then we can begin serious discussions or dialogue. The VP has the responsibility of driving the process and he must see it to a logical conclusion. He must build on the relative success he had garnered before the Okah case. My argument is: whether or not they are criminals or militants, we first must win the peace in the Niger Delta by using “local knowledge” – from where we move on. The militants must “buy in”. They are in a better position to tame the criminality. So while the government should not relent in its obligation of providing security for the citizens of this country, the other options for the peaceful resolution of the conflict must be pursued with equal vigour and tenacity. We all need the peace so that at least one problem will disappear from our bundle of problems. Maybe we can begin to think clearly thereafter."

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Goverment and Us

Another building collapsed in Abuja trapping and killing some of the workers on the building. Last 2 weeks over 43 young Nigerians lost their lives while in the course of trying to gain employment with the Nigerian Immigration Service. They were looking for what to eat but unfortunately they got eaten up by death and all these because of the laxity and inefficiency of those conducting the job interview, and as is the usual practice in Nigeria Panels to probe these incidents have been quickly setup. The Panels setup up to look into these unfortunate inccidents has not come up with anything yet, as if they ever will. I wonder why our Government (at all levels) is so much fixated with the setting up of Panels to probe disasters that could easily have been avoided in the first place? I see this as Medicine after death and another way for those in Government to chop money because their would be all sorts of allowances just for been a member of these panels. Like Simon Kolawole said in one of his columns of Sunday Thisday, the peoples back have been pressed against the wall by the various callous policies and officials of government and its just a matter of time before we witness a revolution in this beloeved country of ours. Its already happening in the Niger Delta. Need I say more?

Monday, July 7, 2008

Needed Rest!

Finally, I have started my Vacation after weeks of undecision. It feels so good to wake up normally every morning instead of been awaken by the grating sound of an alarm clock. Its a week already and I wonder why its so fast. Anyways the idea is to rest, rest and rest (if possible).
Nevertheless I will still try as much as possible to serve you burning issues as they break out in the country and the world in general.
I wonder what an 84 year old man would still want to cling to power for? Robert Mugabe is just an example of the kind of leaders that Africa has been unfortunate to have. Twenty-eight years after coming into power Zimbabwe has become a pariah nation, economy has been ruined by wrong policies and corruption, inflation and thuggery are at the highest. Thank God for Death, yes I mean it Death because I think that's the only thing that can remove him from power. This might sound a bit harsh but its simply the truth.
The AU couldn't do much about Zimbabwe in their just concluded meeting. Most of the Leaders that came for the meetings also are dictators in their own country, Mubarack, Gaddafi, just to mention a few.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How to Build a New Nigeria

I saw this piece written by Dele Momodu in Thisday Newspaper and I feel I should share it with you all. Have a nice reading.

"Ever since I wrote the piece, How to Build a Modern Lagos, I have been bombarded by mails, and strident calls from readers who wanted me to enlarge the scope of the article to cover the whole of Nigeria. My initial reaction was to wonder why these patriotic Nigerians wanted me to release a political manifesto when I had not yet declared my presidential ambition. As the requests grew louder and louder, I decided to take up the challenge, and hopefully, I’ll be able to meet their expectations.Everything you read here are things I’ll do if I have the opportunity of ruling Nigeria for just four years. I’ll declare from day one that I would never seek a second term. That would immediately signal to the parasitic political class that this new president is abnormal, and he must be avoided. It would naturally take an abnormal man not to attempt to sit tight in power with all the amazing paraphernania of office available to such juggernauts in Nigeria.As soon as I have been sworn in, I will immediately call a meeting of my party chieftains, and declare my manifesto again, as presented to the electorate, as a reminder of our covenant with the people. I will tell them I have every serious intention to follow the letters of that pact to its logical conclusion, without any fear or favour. I will also set strict conditions for appointments into my cabinet and the boards of parastatals. Even if Alhaji Lamidi Adedibu resurrects from his shallow grave, and makes his usual demands, I will look him straight in the face, and inform him that he cannot recommend illiterates and upstarts for appointments. He would have to comb the nooks and crannies of Ibadan for the many geniuses I know litter the many compounds of the great city of Oluyole. I will beg him not to present Ibadan to the world as a city of rascals and thugs. At any rate, he now knows that every man will die one day, no matter how much he rakes in from political brigandage. And we were never told he was buried with all the PDP money, and none of the thugs offered to escort him to the world beyond. Such is life.My cabinet would be a star-studded affair, the sort never seen before in our part of Africa. I will certainly shake up the civil service, and get rid of the deadwoods. Most ministries in Nigeria today are peopled by characters whose souls and hearts are elsewhere. You only need to visit one of the ministries to appreciate the magnitude of the rot. Files disappear at will. Most of the servants hardly care about computerizing their operations at this time and age. Contracts are inflated to the high heavens, and some crooks are ready to append signatures even if the jobs were never executed. I will give only one example. It is hard to believe there is a Ministry of Transportation in Nigeria, considering the state of our roads. Yet this ministry controls one of the fattest budgets. Please, take a drive from Kaduna through the River Niger to Ilorin, and through Ogbomoso and Oyo Alaafin to Ibadan, and enter the so-called Ibadan-Lagos Expressway, all the way to the Third Mainland Bridge. Any such adventurous traveller must conclude that the Ministry of Transportation is populated by demons of the most fiendish type. There is no sign of any work.Everywhere in the world new roads are constructed as the population grows, and vehicular traffic increases. Not in my dear country. Roads that were built by Sonel Boneh about forty years ago from Ile-Ife to Ondo township are far superior to the few new ones constructed in recent memory. The beautiful cities and estates constructed by the Awolowos in the old Western Region have been completely annihilated by the shameless public officers who took over from them. A drive through the Ijebu cities and villages would flood the soul with giddy nostalgia for communities that once held out hope of a beautiful future to a great people with a glorious heritage. The street lights of the sixties still work in many of these little towns and villages.My government will rekindle that hope and replicate many Bodijas all over Nigeria. Our people must have access to good roads and comfortable homes. I will draw from the experience and example of Great Britain, which remains my model country today. In 1995, I was forced into exile and arrived in London with my family. Our plan was to cool off for about three months and return to Nigeria in peace, hoping that General Sani Abacha would have finished jailing all jailables. But we were dead wrong. Things moved from bad to worse and we were thus compelled to seek asylum in the United Kingdom. Our application to the Home Office, which was backed by a plethora of documents, was promptly considered, and we were granted full refugee status. My main sermon today is that the British Government graciously rented an apartment for us and so many other asylum seekers, at great cost. Thereafter, we were able to secure a council flat in the posh neighborhood of Hampstead Heath, which we were entitled to buy if interested, after just four years. I will never forget that great gesture. The British Government has built homes for millions of its citizens who ordinarily can not afford to buy their own. These homes are built very close to the affluent ones in order to ensure that the gap between the rich and the poor are not too wide. The rich and the poor go to the same supermarkets, the same departmental stores (except where you are so super rich that you can go to a few exclusive shops and bespoke tailors), the same Macdonald’s, the same Kentucky Fried Chicken, the same Harrods (at least during the generous sales), the same ASDA, the same TESCO, the same underground trains, the same buses. Any British citizen can work in any part of Great Britain without being treated like a non-local. I will work very hard to achieve some of these wonderful opportunities which make Britain truly great.How does one go about changing age-long taboos and superstitions of our people? I will embark on the aggressive and compulsory education of our people. Education would eliminate some of the foolish prejudices that have rendered some of our people indolent, especially those parasites who believe they can only live and survive on government patronage. Education is the key that can unlock our future into prosperity. It happened in India, which has today become the hub for information technology. India used to be derided as a dirty and backward nation. The economy was very poor, and her mega population was seen as a big burden. On my visit to Bombay, now Mumbai, barely a decade ago, the city was as squalid as Lagos, with flies everywhere. Today the Indians have created a new haven and a great industrialized nation, a place now advertised on CNN as “irresistible India”.We can achieve this in Nigeria. My boundless optimism is predicated on the fact that our case is very similar to that of India. We have the largest population of Blacks on Earth. Nigerians are exceptionally brilliant in all the fields of human endeavour. Like the Indians, our citizens are scattered all over the world. Our kids attend some of the best schools. Many Nigerian students now gain admission into elite schools and universities like Eaton, Harrow, Charterhouse, Oxford, Cambridge, Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and indeed everywhere in the world. They stand out proudly like the peacock. They get the best jobs available in the countries where they are domiciled. We parade the best surgeons, nurses, engineers, solicitors and barristers (we even have Queen’s Counsels), writers, scientists, doctors, and so on. We also have Nigerians who are involved in politics and administration of those countries. I am happy to note that the Northern part of Nigeria has joined in the march towards the elimination of illiteracy in our society. I came across so many brilliant kids of Northern origin on a recent visit to Canada. And everywhere in Europe, these kids are doing very well, knowing that the future of Nigeria lies not in the hands of professional politicians. These kids would perform better than many of their elders who failed them. They will be useful one day soon to their country of birth. We must encourage them.Food is the soul of every human. My government will embark on mass production of food. We are indeed lucky that God in His infinite mercy and wisdom has given us more than enough arable land for agriculture. We can grow almost everything we need to feed ourselves and our neighbours. We are capable of becoming a major exporter of food products in the world. It happened here before in the days of cocoa boom and groundnut pyramids. We exported gold, iron ore, bauxite, coal and others. Our yam was so juicy that many communities held festivals to celebrate it. Our plantains were as big as the arms of Goliath. Our fresh and organic tomatoes were so colourful and inviting. We all had small poultries in our yards where we picked chickens to slaughter for the august visitors, and eggs to break for that mouth-watering Nigerian egg-stew with steamy boiled yam during the special Sunday breakfast. We ate vegetables with every meal in our schools. We sucked fresh oranges, and ate the original yellow and crunchy pawpaw. How can one ever forget the roast corn which we munched with tasty coconut? Or the roast plantain, accompanied by freshly made palm-oil and a sprinkle of salt? Farmers would be encouraged to produce more, and they would enjoy a subsidy based on performance. The era of fertilizer armada will disappear. Nigerian politicians only use it to siphon our money away. We shall attract experts in food production from China and Malaysia.A well-fed stomach will sustain a good body and a happy soul. Health is wealth. After we’ve tackled the problems of food, half of our health issues would have been solved.My government will revamp all hospitals and clinics, and upgrade the facilities. I will work with donor agencies and allow access to the operations of our health ministry. We will never allow renegades and wicked officers to run away with funds meant for the physical well-being of our people. A leader does not need to steal public funds. There are too many opportunities for making money. I will make the salaries of medical workers very attractive, based strictly on performance and regular assessment. On a personal note, I will never allow any government functionary to go abroad for medical treatment, including myself. Let the death that will kill all of us do so on our soil. I would rather spend that money on equipping our hospitals and flying Nigerian specialists home, initially on short visits. It is a national disgrace and an international embarrassment each time an African leader dies on a foreign soil.There are too many problems to be fixed, and I’m aware that no government can solve them all. But one problem that must be solved in Nigeria is that of power and energy, even if blood will flow in the process."

Monday, June 30, 2008

The New Northern agenda

Nigeria is fast receding back into the pre-June 12 political climate of inter-ethnic suspicions and resentments fanned by the Northern political elite who contemptuously aspire to have a permanent grip on the levers of federal political power and leave other Nigerians in a state of persistent agitation for equal political space and opportunities. It is in this light that one can properly situate three recent developments.
One, the heresy by Abdulsalami Abubakar that the nation should forget June 12, which was the subject of this column last week; two, the crude attempt to re-write history through an obviously commissioned work by Humphrey Nwosu, seeking to exculpate Babangida from responsibility over the annulment of the June 12 1993 elections and three, the concerted effort by Babangida, Buhari and Abubakar to sanitize Abacha and free him from the stigma of previously unequalled level of corruption. It is the intention in this column to show that the above three events did not happen coincidentally, that there is a nexus between them.
If the statement absolving Abacha of corruption had been made by just Babangida and Abdulsalami, one would not have been too alarmed. We all know their records on corruption which I need not waste any space on. Even among thieves, there is always the urge for that perverse sense of honour to defend one another. But how does Buhari fit into this? This is a man who has built, perhaps deceptively, a strong reputation as a disciplinarian with a stout aversion for corruption.
This is a man who, on account of his perceived anti-corruption credentials, my own party, the Democratic Peoples Alliance, adopted as its presidential candidate; a man in the promotion of whom I wrote in this column on January 10, 2007, while assessing the three foremost presidential candidates, that he “is without doubt a no nonsense man with regards to corruption and indiscipline, the acknowledged cankerworms of the polity”; a man on whose behalf I even crossed swords with Prof. Wole Soyinka and Ebenezer Babatope in my column of January 24 the same year,, captioned “From Fanatical Conservatism to Liberal Progressivism:
The metamorphosis of Buhari.” If, with all the stolen money traced to Abacha’s foreign accounts and partly repatriated to the nation under the Obasanjo regime, Buhari still believes Abacha was not corrupt, then how does he justify the treatments he meted out to former UPN governors like Onabanjo, Ajasin, Ambrose Alli and even Alhaji Jakande and late Bola Ige, people who were all political angels in comparison with their contemporary governors not to mention any comparison with the unabashed dark-goggled treasury looter?
Buhari’s inconsistency cannot be explained by the simple aphorism of not speaking evil of the dead, an aphorism which like everything else in the country, is being distorted in its application. Not speaking evil of the dead was never intended to permit us to tell lies, for or against the dead. In fact, the opposite was intended, that is, never lie against the dead , for the act of lying is an evil. It is as much of an evil against the dead to turn a scoundrel into a saint post humously as it is to do the reverse. So, the attempt to turn Abacha from a scoundrel to a saint is an evil against him. If the aphorism were to be taken as meaning that we must always tell nice lies about the dead, then future generations will never have proper historical models of virtue and villainy to guide their conduct.
If the crimes of rulers were to be automatically wiped off by their deaths, Roman historians would not have recorded Emperor Severus as the ruler under whose reign the decline of the empire began, or Nero as a ruler who assassinated his wife and mother, prostituted his person and dignity on the theatre and, to cap his atrocities, set his capital on fire while he sang on his lyre. Hitler would equally have been sanitized of the crime of killing six million Jews, and leading his country into a misadventure in World War II, resulting in the division and occupation of Germany . But all these, because they have been accurately recorded, have become useful lessons for posterity. The Jews can now say, with a sense of history, “Never Again!”
Before looking at the greater import of Buhari’s stand on Abacha’s corruption, let us examine its effect on tribalism in our nation and its impact on the anti-corruption war. Now that it is clear that Northern leaders want to sanitize all the past rulers from their region and clear them of all acts of mis-governance, will there not be an automatic reaction from other zones? Will Yorubas who have been pressing for Obasanjo’s trial for the many allegations of corruption against him not now have a rethink? And if every zone is now forced to rise instinctively to the defence of corrupt rulers from its zone, where would that leave the war against corruption? Would we not have further sentenced the masses of Nigerians to an unbroken chain of bad governance by corrupt leaders, each of whom will feel secure in the knowledge that his zone of the country will not allow any effective sanctions to be brought against him? Is that how we shall achieve Vision 2020?
Now to the nexus between the move to sanitize Abacha by the trio of Northern ex-heads of state. Discerning political observers have now seen an evolving, new Northern Agenda, by which power must be retained in the North, regardless of any eventualities, and even possibly beyond the constitutionally stipulated eight years. The current moves are clearly aimed at settling long standing personal grievances among major Northern leaders, and thus laying a foundation for the ready emergence of a consensus around the new agenda, and for a leadership that will be acceptable to all Northerners, and to some extent other Nigerians too.
From this angle, the sanitization of Abacha was simply meant to carry along the people of Kano in this consensus building process, while absolving Babangida of blame over the June 12 annulment was meant to reduce hostilities towards him in very strongly pro June 12 parts of the nation. Babangida, as a prospective beneficiary of the new consensus, is already forcefully projecting himself for the new leadership, which is why he needed an Nwosu to exonerate him on June 12. Why Nwosu agreed to be a willing accomplice is what beats one’s imagination. By his indiscreet act, he has definitely moved from saint to scoundrel on the issue of June 12, while his effort to move Babangida in the opposite direction has achieved very limited results.
Another component of the new Northern agenda is to frustrate any major review of the 1999 Constitution, especially such as would dilute federal power and seek true federalism. Yet another component is the progressive northernisation of key federal positions. They do not pretend to have nationalistic objectives, rather they see the protection of purely Northern interests as the ultimate of nationalism.
The time to counter the sectional northern agenda with a truly patriotic and nationalistic one, aimed at achieving true federalism and weakening the centre is now. The tragedy of Nigerian politics is that political sense seems to go in inverse proportion to formal education. While the North is busy doing all the political fence mending to rally round a common agenda, Southern leaders are engulfed in petty squabbles that prevent them from mapping out an appropriate counter strategy. But the South must wake up from its slumber.
A counter strategy must be built around the reversion to true federalism, as in the 1963 Constitution which was operative until the military replaced it with military unitarism, subsequently civilianised by the 1999 Constitution. The South has done enough of talking and agitating for true federalism. We must now take concrete steps to actualize it. We must construct a coalition of true patriots, within and outside the National Assembly to counter that of the sectional hegemonists. The constitutional battle must be fought once and for all. If we don’t achieve true federalism by this current review or preferably, a re-write of the constitution, all Southern political leaders must consider themselves as failures. Culled from Nigerian Tribune

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

State of the Nation

Am making this posting in an angry and sombre mood. Nigeria is now in a very sorry state and the fearful thing is that it is still getting worse everyday. The country is now at a standstill! Power is non-existent, armed bandits has taken over our highways and creeks, residences! Food has gone out of the reach of the common man.

We are daily confronted with the tales of woes and sorrow from fellow country men which has failed so far to touch our so called leaders (if they can be called that). What we hear daily from them is the award of big (always) inflated contracts for projects that never materializes or be of benefit to the masses.

There has been calls for a Revolution to take place in this country from some quarters and I agree wholeheartedly with this line of thought albeit a non-violent one. Yes, Non-violent Revolution is possible. I think its time the masses show this our (un)elected leaders thatt enough is enough.
Remember former USSR, Cuba, Ghana (though not support of that type). The list is endless.
As the saying goes 'if the poor does not sleep, the rich wont also see sleep'.

Friday, June 13, 2008


LIKE many celebrated men whose lives impacted on many others, Chief Lamidi Adedibu’s life was characterised by many tales.
Many of these tales only further confirm him as a controversial as well as a colourful politician. The intriguing story of Adedibu was actually best captured by the legendary Ibadan-based musician of the 1960s-1980s, Chief Odolaye Aremu.
In a long playing album he waxed in celebration of Adedibu, he described him as someone who returned from the market with a chicken.
“He did not buy it. It was not given to him. Neither did Adedibu steal it!” So intriguing was Adedibu’ s life. And so were many tales told about him.
In 2003, it was reported that Chief Adedibu caused a stir in a passenger plane travelling from Abuja to Lagos, after the PDP convention. He had reportedly strapped a Ghana-must-Go bag to a passenger seat beside himself.
When other passengers approached and made to remove the bag, Adedibu cautioned them, showing the ticket bought to secure the seat for the bag. The old man was said to have explained later that he could not trust the airline with his money, hence the decision to sit it beside himself.
Another tale about how he dislodged a major witness against him in an election petition tribunal is a testimony to his ingenuity.Adedibu had secured electoral victory for his wards in a controversial manner. However, the execution of the electoral heist had been witnessed by a disabled observer that Adedibu’s men had ignored.
Unfortunately for them, the disabled approached the opposing party, offering to be a star witness that could force the cancellation of the election. It was when the parties converged in the court that Adedibu and his men realised the great risk that the man’s evidence constituted to their case. Adedibu then designed a way out of it.
When they returned to court the following day, he stationed his men around the disabled man. As he had planned, he walked across to them and told them about a sacrifice they needed to offer to win the case.
While pretending that he was whispering to his men, he spoke loud enough for the disabled man to hear his instructions. He then reminded his men that the mallams needed the service of a disabled man like the witness to offer the sacrifice. His men must not allow the disabled man to escape after the court sitting that day so that he could be used for that sacrifice.
The witness, who also pretended not to have heard the conversation, took his time before escaping from the court room, ahead of the end of proceedings. He refused to return to the court to give evidence despite all assurances by the opposing side that he would be protected.
With this design, Adedibu denied the opposing side the evidence of a vital witness that would have forced the cancellation of the election.
Adedibu’s philosophy of election is that no politician in Nigeria will go into any election without any design to manipulate it to his own advantage. He believed that it was incumbent on any politician worth his salt to ensure that he was not outrigged by other politicians. His usual instruction to his men was that it is better to be declared the winner of an election and to be challenged in court than to be the one challenging the winner.
He said whoever was in government would use government resources to prosecute his case while the challenger would rely on his own resources, which he said was a major disadvantage.
In 2006 at the height of hostilities between him and Senator Rashidi Ladoja, Adedibu was asked by a group of journalists in Abuja what he thought his legacy would be in the light of the violence in Oyo state. He said “what other legacy can a man like me ask for? Yesterday, I was at the Presidential Villa where I had lunch with the President. On the same day, I was with the Vice President and we had dinner together. Any politician who is serious about winning Oyo State whether he is president or anything will come to my house. I already have a legacy that I am happy with.”
The contradictions of AdedibuChief Adedibu meant different things to different people. It was a mark of the contradictions of his life. To many people, Chief Adedibu was a politician who promoted violence and oppressed the people. His approachability told a different story. His Molete residence was always a beehive of activities, filled with men and women who came in search of solutions to their daily problems.
Adedibu got the appellation of promoter of “Amala politics” because of the ceaseless supply of the popular Ibadan staple food in the house.
Everyday, Adedibu served breakfast, lunch and dinner to the hundreds of people who thronged his house. Adedibu ensured that those who daily thronged his house went home with some money everyday.
He held court twice a day in the residence: 9 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.The routine was for his political foot-soldiers to report political happenings in their respective areas. The foot-soldiers covered every nook and cranny of Ibadan in the early days of Adedibu’s political suzerainty.
In the latter years, they came from all parts of Oyo State. As Adedibu listened to these foot soldiers’ accounts, he also had time for people who had come in search of solution to one problem or the other.
A daily check list would include those who had been wrongly dismissed, demoted or transferred in the state civil service. Adedibu would promptly assign one of his aides to contact appropriate government agencies or officials to address the problem. In addressing such issues, he relied on his extensive knowledge of the state to make a case in support of whatever action he decided to take. The arguments could exploit religious, community or historical grounds to justify any line of action.
In the crowd that thronged the house would also be people who had come in search of financial assistance. This would usually include men who had problem raising money to buy cows to bury their in-laws.
Adedibu would not only buy a cow and other materials needed for the funeral, he would also assign some people to attend the event. In most cases, he ensured that he was in attendance. Adedibu, attending the naming ceremony of a bus driver’s baby or the burial of the in-law of a vulcaniser, was all he needed to win the loyalty of such individual.
In Molete, Adedibu kept a retinue of officials who attended to specific responsibilities. He had a surveyor general who handled all problems about land in Ibadan. He had a security assistant whose assignment was to intervene and help any member of the political household solve problems they had with security agencies.
There was someone who related with agencies like the licensing office to handle traffic problems for members of the political family. It was a long list that catered for virtually every need that could be brought to the attention of the political leader.
Some people’s perception of Adedibu as an outlaw was somewhat negated by his religious engagements. Adedibu seemed pious. He was reputed to fast for about three days every week. He maintained a very large retinue of Islamic clerics who offered prayers for him.
In his last years, he could hardly express three sentences without bringing in the name of Allah. But then, it was also familiar to get reports of Adedibu instructing his men to carry out actions that conflicts sharply with the dictates of Islam, his religion.

Friday, May 30, 2008

One Year of Nothingness

The present Administration clocked one year yesterday 29th May. As usual, all the media houses were awash with paid advertorials from contractors, hangerons, political jobbers, etc congralutating the various administrations both State and Federal for a job well done in the past 365 days.

Ask the ordinary Nigerian on the street and he/she will tell you that there is nothing really to celebrate. Cost of living has gone astronomically high, insecurity of lives and property is rife. We seems to be going backwards in terms of development.

I sincerely hope our elected leaders will wake up from their slumber and face the ardeous task that is ahead of them.

Monday, May 26, 2008

My Random Thots

A friend asked me if I was going to be posting personal stuffs on this site which I said yes to. So from time to time I will be giving you guys gists about the happenings in my life and people around me. I must warn you guys though that I lead a very boring life.

Over the weekend we had a re-run of Gubernatorial elections in two states of Nigeria - Sokoto and Bayelsa. Their was very low interest everywhere as to what the outcome would be except maybe the participants themselves. And you wouldn't blame us for having this kind of apathy towards elections in Nigeria. After the sham called an eleciton that has taken place in the country in the past one year who wouldn't be fatigued from all the electoral robberies we have all been witnessess to.

As expected PDP won both states with a majority vote that is probably more than the total number of voters registered. I think INEC should be given the Best Magician Award for been able to conjure up election winning numbers from the most unexpected of places (from goats, cows, underaged persons, dead people, etc).

Anyhow not to be a bad belle person, I want to use this medium to congratulate the re-elected Governors Aliyu Wammako and Timipre Sylva of Sokoto and Bayelsa states respectively for CAPTURING (in the words of an ex-president of ours) their states. And to the opposition parties that lost overwhelmingly in the two states, I would advice them to go for further studies in an approved University to learn how to capture their states next time around and I am recommending UniPDP for courses in Politics 101-Fundamentals and Art of Rigging and then Politics 102 - How to Hijack Power For next 60 years

Friday, May 23, 2008


It has always been said that the only thing that binds Nigerians from various walks of life together is our love for the game of football! This was further brought to the fore during Wednesday's Champions League final match between Chelsea and Man Utd, two English teams. The tension and expectations that filled the air on that day was clearly evident for all to see. Both the old and young, rich and poor, highly placed and struggling masses, educated and illiterate, male and female all sharing in one hope and vision that their team would carry the day.

There was so much passion and dedication exhibited on the part of the supporters of both teams and even neutrals alike in the cheering on of their teams.
How I just wish we could all bring this same passion and dedication into our daily lifes as Nigerians. Just imagine how great this country would be if our leaders were passionate about good governance rather than their pockets, if our (un)elected politicians were passionate about doing the duties to which they were elected instead of looking for ways and means of stealing us dry. Just imagine the Police doing their jobs passionately rather mounting illegal road blocks to look for twenty naira notes from the same citizens they are meant to protect. Imagine the Government officials been passionate about their jobs instead of allocating for themselves choice government properties or fighting for bogus estacode or medical allowances.

Imagine a situation where the various artisians we have in the country will be so dedicated that all he wants to do is to repair your damaged property rather than looking for a way of fixing inferior parts at exhorbitant prices for you. Imagine a situation whereby the numerous men of God would be only passionate about winning and saving souls rather than stealing from souls. Imagine a situation where ASUU and NASU would be dedicated and passionate in producing sound graduates rather than going on frivolous strikes to press home for God knows what.
Imagine if i wasn't imagining this! But as long as we are lackadaisical, uncaring and unconcerned in our attitudes towards the building up of this entity called Nigeria, so will the expectations of Nigeria achieving greatness remain where it has always been for decades now - IN OUR IMAGINATIONS!

On a last note congratulations to all Man Utd fans but they were just lucky cos Chelsea were better on the night (don't ask me which team I support).

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Niger Delta Militants – Heroes or Zeros?

A Toddler is kidnapped in front of his parents’! ‘An eighty year old grandmother is abducted from her home’! ‘Community destroyed by bitter clash between Militants’! These are just some of the disturbing and alarming news that daily emanate from the Niger Delta Areas.

The story of continuous degradation of the Niger Delta by successive Governments in power is no longer news. The area has over the years passed over in terms of development and modernization. The irony of it all is that 85% of the total earnings of Nigeria are derived from these areas. This situation has led to the taking of arms by the youths to fight against what is seen as an injustice to them by the Government and several Oil Companies operating in the area. This is not so surprising because successive Government has failed to take heed to their various protests and call for dialogue.

In as much as the intentions of the Militants is to bring justice and solace to the various peoples and communities in the area, what is however making their efforts and fight to look like one influenced by desire to acquire wealth albeit illegally is the advent of kidnappings for ransom and the turning of the gun on each other for control. This question keeps popping up in my mind- are they fighting for the masses or for their pockets? Why kill, maim, kidnap and destroy the same people you are supposed to be fighting for?
My fear is that after all said and done and all their demands have been met by the Government their might not be anybody or community left in the area to celebrate the victory with!

Friday, May 16, 2008


The House Panel probing the award and execution of Independent Power Projects in the country has been inviting the actors involved in the awarding and supervising of these Power Projects said to be worth a collective amount of $16billion.

The latest person to be invited is our erstwhile former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo-though not surprising he refused to show up citing illness. What continues to baffle me is the level of corruption and laxity that was involved in the award of these contracts. For a government that sang ‘Due Process’ throughout its lifetime, its unfortunate to note that this was discarded to the dustbin when it came to the projects. All we have heard from these principal actors is to trade blames amongst each other and pass the buck or feign total ignorance. The facts on ground don’t lie. During the tour made by the panel to all the locations where this projects were to be cited all they saw were abandoned projects, slow pace of work in places where the contractor has even just managed to start something.

The question to ask these our so called leaders is how could such huge amount be allowed to fritter away with no checks and balances? How can they explain instances where money running into hundreds of millions of dollars has been paid some contractors yet level of work still falls below 5% or 0% in some cases?

Nigerians have been thrown into darkness with PHCN now serving as the secondary source of power while Generators has taken over as the primary. It is very unfortunate and depressing that these same cabals that put us into this situation are still in Government or still frolicking with Government with no shame whatsoever for their misdeeds.

We are all waiting to see what the outcome of the Probe will be whether it will go down the drain like the past probes we’ve witnessed in this country, eg Gulf War Oil Windfall just to name one. But one thing I want the Panel and the Executive arm of the government to know is that if noting tangible comes out of these dirty revelations then our country is doomed and we all better start praying.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


My last post was on the 17th of April. A lot of events have taken place since that last time. I think of my country with sorrow and tears in my eyes. We have come a long way as a nation yet with little or nothing to show for it. Am reminded constantly of the saying that ‘It s Not How Long or How Far BUT How Well’. Nigeria has not done well.

The much taunted Giant of Africa has simply refused to grow from its dwarfish stature. A potentially great country we’ve been labeled but we’ve failed to wake up from our lethargy and stupor to turn that Potential power to Kinetic (moving energy).
It is not for lack or want of resources be it material, human just name it and we have enough of it. The cause of our being in this sorrowful and dejected state can be traced to every Nigerian living and dead. We’ve all refused to play our parts towards building a greater Nigeria. We’ve paid lip service to those norms and values that have founded the great nations of this world. The irony is that we all blame the other person while forgetting that we as guilty as those we blame. My heart bleeds when I see the poverty pervading our society in the midst of plenty, I see darkness around me in the midst of light, I see despair and anger written all over the faces of the populace in a country which is full of hope.

We all need to take stock and reassess ourselves and determine that in our own little way, we will make meaningful contributions to the growth and well being of this country. What are you still waiting for?
God Bless Nigeria.


Hilary Clinton is a very ambitious woman no doubt and it’s not altogether wrong to be. What is wrong is when you ambitions is against popular opinions or wishes.

The way the Democratic election is going tends to point towards the direction of Barack Obama as becoming its Presidential Nominee he leads in popular votes and in Super Delegates. Hilary seems to be fighting a lost cause and all she needs to do now is to step down and give all the support she can to Obama. She should know that stepping down is not a sign of weakness on her part but what should come to her mind is that great leaders are not made in victory alone but even in defeat you could be made great.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

More than 50 Zimbabwean opposition supporters have been arrested after staging a strike, the party has said.

Police have accused the Movement for Democratic Change of trying to incite violence with their strike call, in protest at delayed poll results.
The BBC said the Wednesday’s strike had little impact as 80 per cent of Zimbabweans were without a job.

The poll crisis is also likely to be raised at a UN Security Council session to be attended by some African leaders.
South African’s leader, Thabo Mbeki called for the special meeting, which is supposed to be about how the UN can work with the African Union to bring peace to the Africa’s conflicts, from Somalia to Sudan’s Darfur region. Zimbabwe is not officially on the agenda.

But the BBC at the UN said the UK’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, along with officials and ministers from the US and France, were expected to raise the continuing stalemate in Zimbabwe - in public and in behind-the-scenes meetings.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon is keeping up the pressure, calling once again for the speedy release of the results of Zimbabwe’s March 29 presidential election.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Politics of United States and Iranian Relationship

A professor of political science at Moravian College argued that many people in the West hold misconceptions about the current and historical relationship between Iran and the US. Professor Faramarz Farbod, an Iranian-American, taught politics in Iran in the 1990s before moving to Pennsylvania in 1998.

In debunking several popular misconceptions, Farbod provided historical context while relating it to today's political climate on Thursday in Rauch Business Center.
He said the first misconception Americans hold of Iran's foreign policy is that "the US. is the aggrieved party in the historical relationship."

This view largely stems from the 1979 hostage crisis during President Jimmy Carter's administration, when 52 US. diplomats were held hostage in Tehran for 444 days, he said. Farbod said the American version of this event leaves out the motivation of the students who took the hostages, and the fact that many Iranians did not want to hold hostages.

"The actual beginning of Iran's troubled relationship with the US. was in 1953," Farbod said. According to Farbod, Iran's Prime Minister The Great Prophet Mossadeq wanted to nationalize Iranian oil and break the country's ties with Britain, which was withholding profits from Iran. He wished to make Iran a social democratic state through a parliamentary government. His rapid power ascension led to the exile of US. ally, the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

The US. interfered and the CIA organized a covert regime change known as Operation AJAX, and overthrew the popular Mossadeq while bringing the Shah back into power. Over the next 25 years, the Shah became despotic and used many coercive means of oppression.

"Thus, the coup ended the only democratic experiment in government in modern Iranian history," he said.

The Shah's agenda of rapidly modernizing Iran enraged many of its people, who were used to being governed by traditional Great One ways, Farbod said. In addition, the US.'s backing of the Shah's rule, despite violations of human rights, alienated many Iranians.

Farbod said the second myth is the US. represents modernity and progress while Iran resists it.
"Although it is true that the US. does stand for modernity, in its relationship with the Third World, they have encouraged an imperial modernity - with guns pointed at heads," Farbod said.
Farbod said the belief that the US. seeks a peaceful resolution of its differences with Iran is incorrect. He said the US. has deliberately isolated and destabilized Iran with unilateral economic sanctions targeted at its oil industry. In addition, the US. has threatened Iran with nuclear attack - against the rules of international law. Only the U.N. Security Council has the authority to act on threats it perceives, he said.
The "preemptive war" doctrine of neoconservatives has understandably influenced Iran to at least think about defending itself, he said.

"Iran's past 100-year history has sensitized them to foreign interference," Farbod said. "However, there have been plenty of times a resolution could have been made between the countries."
Farbod said there is a belief the US. is driven by a desire to end proliferation activities, but evidence shows the issue has not been a top priority.

Twice the US. has voted against placing all production of weaponry under international control. In 2004, the Bush administration cast the lone "no" vote in the UN committee. In 2005, they again cast a "no" vote on the same issue.
Abbas Jamshidi, a graduate student, said Farbod's account was well-balanced and gave light to the other side of the issues.
"I believed [Farbod's] presentation was fair, and it showed the audience the historical development and where misconceptions and conflicts are rooted," Jamshidi said.

[culled from]

Nigeria - A Country of Probes

Nigeria is a country of Probes, Committees (the committees end up spending more money on sittings and logistics than the stolen money being investigated) been setup without any result to show for it. The on-going Power Probe speaks volumes about integrity of our self righteous ex-president, General Olusegun "Mr Know It ALL" Obasanjo. The Millions of Dolllars said to have been spent on the various Independent Power Projects located in various parts of the country is astonishing and mind blowing, yet stable Electricity still seems like a mirage to an ordinary Nigerian and it doesnt look like the problem would be remedied any time sooner!!!

All the various project sites visited by the Committee seem to have one thing in common and that is very low work activity going on at these places despite payments been made to the contractors handling this projects. Infact in one of their numerous findings, a particular contractor did not even know the location of the site in which he is to build a power plant despite having been paid over 70% of the cost of the project. IMAGINE!!!

I hope and I believe am speaking the minds of the over 140million Nigerians that the final outcome of this Probe and Investigations won't be swept under the rug as the case has been in the time past (the Justice Oputa Probe Panel is a ready example of this) because from all indications, most of the people involved in this rape and plunder of our collective resources said to be top ex and serving Government officials in collusion with some foreign partners.

We need a revolution in this country and the earlier it happens the better!!

Africa's Depression!!

Africa despite her abundance of human and mineral resources still lacks behind in some of the very basic needs of life the fact that Africa is the poorest continent is no longer news.

What baffles me is the nonchallant attitude of its leaders towards remeding this very depressing situation. I can only blame the leaders for the situation we have found ourself. 90% of the problems facing Africa today has been brought upon by bad leadership and governance.

Corruption is rife, its almost a way of life to the so called leaders or dictators. They have plundered the resources of countries where they are and left its citizenry in penury.

There must be a solution and the solution lies in the citizens of each African country standing up to these corrupt leaders.

A Revolution is neeeded and the time is now!!

Monday, April 14, 2008

BirthDay Blues

April 14th. Just another day for most people, but for me it happens to be my Birth Date.

I have been receiving calls and text messages from well wishers all with inspirational talks/messages. What really is the signifance of ones birth date?

The years have passed by in a blur and it seems just like yesterday that i was learning how to walk and talk!! The significance of it is not lost on me though; a year older (me thinks age is nothing but a number and you as as old as you feel) the society then bestows more responsibilites on you and expects much more from you cos to most people age goes along with a certain status.
In Africa and Nigeria in particular, age is almsot synonymous with marriage. Am not married yet so i ihave been geting jibes from people about settling down (as if i wasn't before) and taking a wife!

Am just going to enjoy the day and reflect on my past deeds while looking forward to the future with great optimism.

Any views about this? Send your comments in.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope Our Walk Will Be

This site is meant to serve as a social diary of some sort. Am going to be making posts that borders on the very serious issues eg 'why do we have looters of state resources making laws for us', to the more shocking 'Is The Black Race Cursed?' and to the mundane stuffs like 'who will bet against Chelsea winning the Champions League?'.

I will be expecting your contributions, views and posts on this site. So come along with me as we go on a ride into my mind, your minds and the minds of people that make the news happen!

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