Issues

Like Nuhu Ribadu Like Christiano Ronaldo: Why Nigeria Is a Case Study in Absurdity (Part One)

By Darasimi Oshodi

Could it have ever occurred to Hillary Clinton to defect from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party when she lost her presidential bid to Barack Obama? I am almost certain it couldn’t because theirs is a rational society where decisions are taken based on principles. So, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that emerged from the merger among some political parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which fielded him as its presidential candidate in the last presidential election in Nigeria and some Nigerians are still reacting to his action. While the legality of Ribadu’s action is not in question, I am not totally sure about the morality.

When a senior colleague asked me what my take on the defection was, I told him I had come to a point where I didn’t allow anything to surprise me about Nigeria’s politics. Yes, I don’t allow anything to surprise me again in this nation just like I cannot be surprised by developments in the football transfer market. The day David Beckham left Manchester United – despite the circumstances that surrounded his exit – was the day I ceased to allow myself to be surprised by football transfers. So as a fan of Arsenal FC, I was not surprised when the legendary Thierry Henry left Arsenal for FC Barcelona or when the hugely talented Cesc Fabregas left the club, also for Barcelona. But I must confess that though I still have huge respects for Henry, it is not the same about Fabregas. I still admire Cesc though because of his undeniable talent but within me, I am wishing that he does not ‘click’ at Chelsea FC. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Darasimi Oshodi - August 23, 2014 at 10:53 am

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21 Reasons Why the Government Must #BringBackOurGirls Now! by Darasimi Oshodi

Darasimi Oshodi

BringbackourgirlsFour over months now, more than a hundred schoolgirls have been abducted from a school in Chibok, Borno State and there are no signs of them returning anytime soon. Some parents of the girls have died, with other apparently going through untold pains but the government seems to be at a loss as to how to secure the freedom of the innocent girls. What the girls are going through in captivity is best imagined. The deprivations they must be experiencing and the reality of being forcefully separated from their loved ones must be overwhelming for the girls and this is the reason I am giving 21 reasons why the government must #BringBackOurGirls NOW:

  1. It is long overdue.
  2. The girls have done nothing wrong by going to school.
  3. The girls’ morale would have been totally destroyed
  4. The girls may become brainwashed and dangerous to the society.
  5. The temptation to abuse or rape the girls by the abductors increases every day.
  6. It will show that the government still places some value on human lives.
  7. It will demonstrate that the government is still in charge of every part of Nigeria.
  8. The parents of these girls have been through serious emotional turmoil and psychological stress.
  9. The parents of the girls (and even the girls) can enjoy sound sleep.
  10. Girls in the northern part of Nigeria will not be afraid to go to school.
  11. Failure to secure their release will have negative consequences for the Peoples Democratic Party.
  12. It will save the president’s face a little in the forthcoming presidential election.
  13. It will send a strong signal to Boko Haram that they can’t get away with abductions.
  14. Everyone who has been involved in the agitation for the release of the girls will be able to divert their time and energy to thinking about ways to move our country forward.
  15. It will restore our pride before the international community.
  16. Government will stop spending money on efforts geared towards securing the release of the girls.
  17. Malala’s visit to Nigeria would have been a success.
  18. The First Lady’s tears would not be in vain.
  19. The president and his wife will no longer be bound by their promise not to sleep until the girls are found.
  20. Government spokespersons will have no reasons to misinform Nigerians about the girls’ situation.
  21. Law enforcement officers will no longer have a crisis of conscience since they will no longer be asked to arrest innocent #BringBackOurGirls campaigners.

Read more…

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1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Darasimi Oshodi - at 10:42 am

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Random Musings about Nigeria and Nigerians – Darasimi Oshodi

By Darasimi Oshodi

hardworking nigeriansThis piece is an attempt to write down some of my thoughts on some things I have noticed in my environment. The two sections are from two different trains of thought and that is why I have demarcated them. Enjoy the read.

I have come to the categorical conclusion that Nigerians are hard-working. We are industrious. We want to make honest living. We want to work for our money. Our youths are not the lazy type some adults have been portraying them to be. Anytime I see people hawking, especially in traffic, I usually shake my head and mutter to myself: Nigerians are hardworking. Or how do you explain the actions of men and women, boys and girls who run after vehicles, risking their lives or limbs just to make end meet? Have you noticed that some of them hawk only foams and nothing more? Foams, yes. Foams cut neatly for domestic use. How do you explain what makes a person trek long distances with a heavy load on their head, back or shoulder just to eke out a living? Have you seen old men (and women) with bent back going to or coming back from their farms? Have you seen pregnant women sweating under a sweltering sun just to fend for themselves and their families? To me, all these are demonstrations of Nigerians’ willingness to do something that will bring money into their pockets instead of resorting to crime or begging.

But I usually wonder at how they are able to sustain themselves from their earnings. How much will selling foams only fetch the seller? How much? Yet, you see these people outside everyday going about their businesses. Who then says Nigerians are lazy? I dare say that the number of those people who are ready to sweat for their money is more than those of people who are involved in crimes like cyber fraud, armed robbery, etc. My country men are honest. They are industrious. We are not loafers or idlers. We are a diligent, productive and energetic set of people who expect the government to do its part by providing basic amenities like constant electricity, potable water, good roads, security and so on for us so that we can enjoy our beautiful nation. We expect the government to give our children good schools, support our farmers, encourage SMEs and do all the other things responsible governments do for their citizens. When this will be? When will our government become responsive to our needs? The truth is that I do not know. Read more…

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Darasimi Oshodi - at 10:24 am

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Deadlier than HIV: Hepatitis B – by Darasimi Oshodi

by Darasimi Oshodi

The World Hepatitis Day was recently observed. So this post is my own way of contributing to the sensitisation on Hepatitis.

The First Service in my church on Sunday is tagged ‘Empowerment Service’, where issues like entrepreneurship, academics, health, wealth, purpose, etc., are addressed. At one of our services, a medical doctor, spoke on the deadliness of Hepatitis infection and its prevalence in Nigeria. A staggering revelation the speaker made was that Hepatitis infection is deadlier than HIV and costlier to manage. Hepatitis B, he said, is incurable while Hepatitis C can be treated but can you imagine spending 30,000 naira per week on treatment for 48 consecutive weeks? That should be around 200 dollars per week. Please try to calculate what that amounts to. How many people in Nigeria can afford such a treatment? It is however surprising to know that vaccination for this disease is not supposed to be more than 1000 naira (that should be around 7 dollars) and I want to hazard a guess that many people are not aware of this. What is painful about this disease is the fact it is prevalent in Nigeria and many people are ignorant about it. How many Nigerians have died from Hepatitis infection with the death attributed to something else? Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Darasimi Oshodi - August 4, 2014 at 4:53 pm

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Kenya to Launch Tourism Promotion Outfit in Germany, by Mickie Ojijo

by Mickie Ojijo

After ten years of futile effort to persuade Kenya Government to review its decision leading to closure of the Tourism Marketing offices in Germany, Kenya Development Associates-Germany will launch a private bureau to market Kenya in August.

It is the public domain Kenya’s tourism trade has been plagued with an assortment of problems and has been operating below expectations since the late 1970s.

Every successive government since independence has raised the bar, making the country the hub of hunting/tourist expeditions in the entire east and western parts of Africa.

The journey to success however, is fraught with government ineptitude, greed and lack of patriotism. Many believed the devolved system of governance in the new Constitution would transfer tourism marketing docket to the relevant county governments, to the contrary, the central government, has unfortunately, remained adamant – not wishing to cede its hegemony.

Numerous excuses have been advanced as to why tourism trade is stagnating. This has not cut it because there are several examples of countries operating under the same adverse circumstances of political squabbles and insecurity but flourishing in their tourism trade. It was for this reason in 2003, Kenya Development Associates (KDA) plunged itself in selling Kenya as the only answer.

As a patriotic Kenyans, through our experts, we know the answer lies in effective consultations with the German tours and travel agencies and not the armchair state marketing agency, which more often than not, continues to replicate anachronistic sales strategies that has seen the country’s tourism sector, plummet to worrying levels.. Read more…

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Author - July 31, 2014 at 3:32 pm

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Unprofessionalism: The Nigerian Experience, by Yinka Ogunlana

by Yinka Ogunlana

The effects of professionalism can never be over-emphasized in developed nations around the world. In this vein, it is imperative to look into Nigeria; the biggest, largest, most populous and biggest oil-rich country in Africa, which is equally blessed with both immense human and natural resources. Most times, one begins to ponder on the devastating, dehumanizing and deteriorating conditions faced by Nigerians and even the country as a whole despite its wealth and enviable resources. One of the major challenges which is not only affecting the growth of the country but is also a dent on the nation’s
integrity is unprofessionalism.

It is disheartening to note that a country with about 170 million people and to some reasonable extent values education as it records over 7,000 graduates and 2,000 M.Sc. holders every year is unable to
boast a reasonable  level of manpower in most of its sectors. But then, for Nigeria to record the desirable success in every of facet of her national life, it is my thinking that professionalism is crucial
towards re-branding and rebuilding the country.

As a matter of fact, unprofessionalism is unarguably that microscopic flu that has eaten deep down into the affairs of the nation and is on the verge of destroying the economy though many will easily look at
corruption as the bigger flu; but it’s important to know that corruption is a product of unprofessionalism. A right-thinking individual won’t expect an agriculturist to serve as a doctor; this
also applies to most of our leaders. It has become a chorus on almost everyone’s mouth that corruption is that common and infectious disease confronting the county but as an average professional Nigerian will not only help to re-build the economy but also make sure that there is an equitable distribution of resources as he won’t want to involve in corrupt acts. Read more…

1 comment - What do you think?  Posted by Author - July 27, 2014 at 1:29 pm

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The Hegemonic Politics in the Middle East: Time for America to Act, by Abiodun Fatai

by Abiodun Fatai

If the “war of attrition” currently going on in Palestine-Gaza strip is anything to go come by, it is a war in which humans temperament is not of antagonistic culture as postulated by Samuel Huntington, but of dangerous hatred and injustice, orchestrated by the US and its allies against the Muslim world. No doubt the Muslim world has always been a thorn in the flesh of the United State of America and has always prevented its tendency towards infiltrating its culture. In the same vein, Israel has emerged as America allies and a regional geo-strategic enemy to the solidarity of the Muslim collectives in the
Middle East. Ever since then Israel and Palestinian has been in a cut-throat relations. They both have dumped good neighborliness; yet, it is Israel that has prided itself as an arrogant lot partly because
of the biblical question of superiority and the support it enjoys from America. In many instances Israel has chosen to impress America out of it idiosyncratic believed that she must dominate the Palestinian,
albeit the middle Ease. This factor lends credence to the root of the Israeli-Palestine land dispute and identity crisis. While this long drawn conflict has defied all odds, Israel in any of the arbitration
process has always raised the bar so high that the Palestine is always at its mercy. Yet, not even America, as the global hegemon, has been able to call Israel to order for the sake of peace and stability in the Middle East.

This is the basis upon which we can situate the American complicity in the madness going on in the Palestinian -Gaza strip, in which millions of innocent Palestinian are dying from the clutches of Israeli
wickedness and injustice. Has the Hamas really erred, to have justified Israel never-ending violence against the Palestinians? I don’t believe so because the prevailing condition of the Palestinian is a function of their belligerent posture, especially in a realist world where they suffering increasing persecution and hatred. If this issue is put into further perspective in the realist paradigm, both
Israeli and Palestinians are right in the use of force as rationalization for the promotion of their national interest. On the other hand they are both culpable for committing “war crime” by killing and maiming innocent citizens. Even at that, Israel is more culpable than the Palestinian especially against the backdrop of a changing world where peace and stability is the grand norm, with
Israel being a fraction of the dominant World order. This new order has in it inherent human values, freedom and dignity as core characteristics. In the context that the protagonist of that order
chooses to violate those principles as consequence of their self-driven interest, the implication is that the stability of the global regime is threatened. My position therefore is that, in the context that Israel seeks to violate the global order of peace and stability, by assuming a mindless war against the Palestinian is a clear threat to the world order. However, America is yet to see
reasons why it should call Israel to order. This is not a new attitude, I know of so many UNSC resolutions which Israel has refused to honour in the past, without any reprimand from America. This has
thus created a situation of instability and raises question on the legitimacy of the global system. Where lies the logic and sanity in America-Britain obsessive invasion of Iraq, mindless of the interest of the “common Iraqis”, despite the obvious that, Iraq is not in possession of WMD. America has always been quick to fix what is terroristic, yet all of its ardent have been slow in conceptualizing how America terror activities and complicity has amounted to such, albeit the bombing of Hiroshima-Nagasaki in which America not only killed millions but also dehumanize the Japanese population in the final stage of the second world war is still fresh in our mind.

Consequent upon this, I make bold to theorize that America is guilty of double-speak and that the current global contour resulting in renewed insecurity and terror should be laid at the doorstep of
America’s mindless politics, which seeks to exterminate the Muslim world to foist Israel’s dominance in the Middle East, with the consequence of consolidating America’s hegemony. Maybe America’s
justification is rooted in their fear of the Nostradamus theory of 3WW, which it claims would start in the Middle East and the unsavory fear, that it would unseat America hegemony. Even though that theory
is yet to come to fruition, America may well be sowing the seed of this prophesy as the double standard and complicity of America in serious global peace and security issues would consequently come back
against America. As much as America has invented fantastic human values and dignity, which make it to be renowned and respected as global hegemon, it has also stood against those principles. For
example, recently, a young American stood by identifying with the Palestinian course; you won’t believe what happens to him, he was humiliated and harassed by the America “security mad-dogs” just
because he expressed his freedom of speech about the Israeli madness in Gaza. Where lays justice and human dignity? What principle do
America represents? Is America putting every issue on the chessboard of foreign policy and or national interest, even as a global hegemon? That is not the question for this discuss. Yet again, Israeli madness
is in American obsession to curtail the Arab world, it would therefore not see a wrong in Israeli brutalization of Palestinian. The only response from America in almost two week of brutalization in
Palestine-Gaza strip was Obama sympathy for the wounded Israeli young girls. This called to question the “thinking and disposition of America to terror” especially in the context that Palestine is being
ruined and many young innocent Palestinians boys and girls are now in their grave beyond. The US should be careful as some recent studies are leveraging on the China-Russia relations to upstage the US
hegemony. American critics have argued that the recent take of Crimea by Russian, is a sign that American hegemony is been challenged. Thus America can only put its act right by doing the expected, as its disposition and reaction to global security and injustices are the precursor to world order and stability.

It is therefore not because one is quick to defend the Palestinian position as some would argues; the question is if America’s claims to global hegemons is anything to come by, it should be more sensitive
and takes responsibility in ensuring global order, peace and stability without necessarily being value-laden. It must take the global interest beyond the interest of any state, at least for the collective security and stability of the world. Israel cannot continue this madness, the bloodshed is becoming so much that even global Christendom’s are becoming “weary and worry” on the state of killing and destruction in Palestine. Enough of this bloodshed, we have seen enough in Palestine-Gaza strip, Nigeria, Pakistan, Libya Syria all of which are Muslim enclave, otherwise a time would come that “the blood they are shedding” in Nigeria’s first lady language [That is the common slang in Nigeria today, she is also referred to as "Madam Wayek"] would definitely come to hunt America. Certainly, for America as the global hegemons to speak to the Palestinian question, once for all with a view to engendering peace and security in the middle East as well as other part of the world where war of persecution and injustice is undermining global collective global peace and stability.

Abiodun Fatai is a doctoral candidate at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. He is currently working on Elections and Democratic Consolidation in West Africa and has also written substantially on global politics and security.

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Author - July 20, 2014 at 3:37 pm

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Ekiti Election: Street Credibility, Elitism and all that, by Dr. Tunde Oseni

The recent governorship election in Ekiti will no doubt remain a subject of interest for a long time to come. Although it was generally perceived as free and fair, it was indeed not free from fear. As the people say, the devil is in the details. Granted, there were no reports of violence on the Election Day, and the incumbent Governor Fayemi has congratulated Governor-elect Fayose, reasons for winning or losing elections are never clear-cut. There are at least three major reasons for the dimension of the electoral outcomes of that fateful Saturday.

 

One, the governor is seen as an elite politician, who is far removed from the ‘ordinary people’ of Ekiti. No doubt, Governor Fayemi’s education, experience and exposure far outweighed that of his opponent but, the governor, it is said, lacks street credibility. Unlike Mr. Fayose, Dr Fayemi is an urbane, refined and grammar-speaking gentleman. Unlike Mr. Fayose, Dr Fayemi is hardly seen on the street; he seldom attends social parties, especially owambe type. Although the street credibility hitherto espoused by Mr. Fayose as governor in three years was largely populist, the masses, including the street traders and roadside mechanics understand him better than they do Dr Fayemi. But populism could be tricky; nobody truly knows the mind of a populist politician. Yet, even the most theoretical political scientist would judge a man by what he says and does, since the psychology of the politician is as hard to read as the psychology of the people that follows him. Yet, the question begs for answer as to why the very populist Fayose could not win the senatorial seat when he contested on the platform of the Labour Party in 2011. Read more…

2 comments - What do you think?  Posted by Tunde Oseni - July 5, 2014 at 2:26 pm

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