Democratic Corruption: The Case of Nigeria, By Ogunmakin Oyewumi

Democracy or democratic system of government is one of the most reputable system of government that gives values and recognition to the citizens of a particular country on how to shape their destiny or government through periodic franchise or referendum without being under duress or any intimidation. It is the most widely used system of government since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1991 because there is no alternative to it. Thus, this in my own opinion is why the concept lack a unique definition because. James Bryce in his two monumental works, The American Commonwealth (1893) and Modern Democracies (1921), defined democracy as “the rule of the people expressing their sovereign will through their votes”. However, the road to democracy in Nigeria was arduous, but we finally re-adopted the system in 1999. Hence, we have been witnessing an ‘unhindered’ democratic system of government since then.

Corruption on the other hand is regarded as an immoral and illegitimate use of public power for the benefit of private interest is one of the main problems threatening the developments of this country. Thus, it is not news that corruption is one of the pains in the neck of Nigeria democratic development. It is institutionalized in every Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government and it is systemic. The question is how is the Nigerian state corrupt using democracy as the basis of our analysis? To what extent can democracy as a system of government develop the Nigerian state? To what extent can or will the political class deviates from corruption? Continue reading “Democratic Corruption: The Case of Nigeria, By Ogunmakin Oyewumi”

You’re Powerful

If they say I can’t, And I say I can, I have to choose whose word I believe, And then prove it! It’s tempting to choose what they say, because it’s easier to prove; Just do nothing

Little Drops or a Heavy Downpour

There’s a reason we care about hurricanes. They come upon us all of a sudden. Cable TV, Mayors, Governors and FEMA jump in. On the other hand, sea levels are rising every day and have been doing so for a long time. In the long run, whether is instantaneous like a hurricane or drip drip like the sea level, the effect is the same.

Competing with Artificial Intelligence

I was just reading an article about how artificial intelligence (AI) is going me to make me obsolete in a few years, which was a little disheartening. As I thought about the article, it occurred to me that there are few areas I can always have the advantage over AI  if I work on them. One thing that came to mind is learning how to show more empathy and care. On these, I know I’ll have the edge over AI for some time.

Clear Your Mental Cache and Restart

Occasionally,  we clear our computer cache and history when performance is cranky. Once everything has failed, the IT expert on the other end of the phone may even ask you to do this. In many cases, there is improvement in performance, even if it doesn’t solve the whole problem.

We need to do this to our brains every now and then. Sometimes you’re just feeling too heavy and sluggish because you cache is filled with negative emotions: fear, anger, resentment, hatred, jealousy… This load puts extra demands on your processor impairing your thinking.

In times like these, the best solution may be simply take a pause, clear your mental load, and restart.

Transitions in Africa: The Two Sides of the Story

This months elections occurred in two African countries, Ghana and the Gambia. On Dec 1, 2016, Gambia went to the polls in which, unexpectedly, opposition candidate Adama Barrow defeated long-term incumbent Yahya Jammeh. Ghana followed up on Dec 7. Here also the leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the main opposition party, Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo Addo defeated the incumbent president John Mahama, in what can be described as a landslide, looking at how close elections have been in Ghana over the past 20 years or so.

The post elections developments in the two countries though are different. In Gambia, Mr. Jammeh alleges widespread voter fraud and is calling for another fresh elections, in line with how politics is done in many African countries. In Ghana, President Mahama has called to congratulate Nana Addo and has promised to assist in a peaceful transition and his support for the incoming president to move the country forward.

These are the two faces of Africa. Maybe in the years to come, the Ghana story will be the norm but for now, we will be leaving with the two sides.

While the western media makes so much about events such as happening in the Gambia, there are many examples of the Ghana standard, and that deserve the same amount of media coverage.

Good News: Child Mortality Decreasing

A new UN reports says between 1990 and 2015, child mortality decreased by a whopping 53%! Looking at the number of children who die under 5 years, the number was 12.7 million in 1990, but projected to be under 6 million in 2015.

In Africa, oil-rich Angola has the highest rate of child deaths up to 254 per 1,000 births, followed by Somalia, Chad and Central African Republic

Abolishing “Constitutional Racism” and Single Citizenship in Liberia, By Ernest S. Maximore

What Value System Being Diluted?

Article 27(b) of the Liberia Constitution read thus: “In order to preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character, only persons who are Negroes or of Negro descent shall qualify by birth or by naturalization to be citizens of Liberia.”

In a layman, plain, simple and strict interpretation, when you are not a Negro or Negro decent, you cannot or will not be able to help and/or preserve, foster and maintain the positive Liberian culture, values and character. Liberian Government is simply saying to hell  to any other races and the rapid global and mutual cultural transmission and osmosis! They do not have any cultural goodies that worth emulation and enabling Liberia attaining any of those valuable distinctiveness. Liberia is independent and its sovereignty and cultural values should not be ruined, degenerated and infused by the immoderation and unrestrained lifestyle and other unwarranted foreign manipulations, control and dominance that come with multi-race.

Those could be fear factors Liberian constitutional writers probably had, but are those fears reasonable in this day and age to the extent of constitutionally alienating another race? Where is the moral ground to condemn Hitler, who physically alienated, dehumanized and nearly eliminated the Jews from the surface of the earth? Oh, this comparison is unmatched-probably so, this is constitutional   alienation, but is this not indirectly humiliating the entire white race? Be the judge.

Are there measurable or visible Liberian cultural value, customs, lifestyle, social and economic traditions that are inseparable from the Western lifestyle, particularly the United States of America? All the original founders, presidents and elites of Liberia boast of being from America.

Putting it truly, Liberia is a copycat, “step son”, “grand son” of Uncle Sam, America. Everything from political and apolitical is almost-nearly practically carbon copy from America, although misguidedly implemented.

From Liberia’s Pledge of Allegiance (only the name “Liberia” is different),three-color Liberian flag-red, white and blue, with Stars and Stripes, to holiday celebration, including Christmas, Easter, New Year, and Thanksgiving, are all copycats of the United States of America customs and value system. American fashion, style, design, haircuts, voice and accent mimicking are also inclusive and domineering in Liberia.

One wonders, what else is there in Liberia to “preserve” and uphold from non-Negro? Even what is thought to be a unique Liberian custom “snapshape” handshake originated from the United States of America. Alan Hufman describes this handshake in his book, “Mississippi in Africa; The Saga of Prospects Hill Plantation and their Legacy in Liberia Today” as a “combination of every other handshake in the world, with a twist, the traditional grasp, then something like a soul-shake with a finger snap off of the other man’s index finger at the end.”

The Irony of the Already Implicit Reality

Here are the ironies. In the book, “Liberia-America Footprint in Africa, Making the Cultural, Social and Political Connection,” Jesse Mongrue writes that ten Liberian presidents were born in the [“white men”] country, United States of America, one was born in Barbados, the Caribbean, and another born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, making it the total of 12 Liberian presidents born outside of Liberia. This further exposes the contradiction  of Liberia all “Negro” citizenship status. Continue reading “Abolishing “Constitutional Racism” and Single Citizenship in Liberia, By Ernest S. Maximore”