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Monday, October 31, 2011

WHY PDP WILL WIN KOGI STATE AGAIN


With nearly 19 gubernatorial candidates of political parties from different hues and colors as divergent as the color of the rainbows cleared to contest the December 3, 20011 elections in Kogi state, the coast is cleared for a political turn around in the direction of governance of the state.  The Kogi election will provide lessons to other gubernatorial elections scheduled to follow in other states early next year by showcasing how a ruling party can be defeated or not.
Despite the deluge of political parties that have lined up for the race, the contest will come down to a straight fight between Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) for a number of reasons—the personalities involved and the political party structures that are on the ground.  Come to think about the fact that majority of the parties on cue to contest the election can hardly spend enough for local commercials and organizations.  Outside press releases and staccato media events that show them to exist, even their flag bearers know that their efforts are geared towards personal recognition and possible post election appointments. 
At stake in the Kogi state election is the determination of ACN to breakthrough in the middle belt as they move on to other parts of the country to become a truly national party and a veritable alternative to PDP control.  Having accomplished same feat in the south west of the country in the last elections, the ACN is embolden to wrestle Kogi state and that is why the candidacy of Abubakar Audu becomes a trophy that the party wants to use in the show down with PDP as the ruling party in the state.
Prince Abubakar Audu the flag bearer for ACN is a mercurial politician with name recognition that border on patency to the Lugard House.  Having been elected and governed Kogi state twice, Audu has a mythical following in the state.  He has never given up on governing state since his last election defeat by the incumbent governor.  But Audu’s antecedent as a governor portrays a man with imperial bearing to leadership.  He demands total obedience and absolute loyalty that is akin to cult followership by all citizens of the state regardless of their status.  To his credit, Audu is a developmental oriented person way back when he was a commissioner in Benue state before Kogi state was created.  Audu’s professional acumen as a banker gave him lots of advantage at mobilizing resources to achieve his developmental agendas at any cost to the state government.  While these qualities make Audu electable as the next governor of the state, they don’t make him unbeatable.
The PDP candidate for Kogi State government house is another Idris but with Wada as the last name.  Captain Idris Wada is rated as a successful businessman and a retired commercial airline pilot.  By winning his party’s primary election in the face of a stiff opposition from many versatile and known political actors in the state, captain Wada has demonstrated that he is adept at grassroots politics.  Wada has the state government and the army of PDP foot soldiers to get him to Lugard House and thus perpetuate PDP reign in the state for at least four more years.
The two gubernatorial gladiators are coming from distinct professional backgrounds adjacent to each other, except that they are both from the same eastern flank of the state for geographical location.  Can Captain Wada the pilot fly Kogi state to new heights of development when elected or Prince Audu the resource mobilize blaze new developmental trails when elected?
Politics in an evolving democratic society like Nigeria often devolve around personalities and the political party machinery on the ground in the absence of core ideological pursuit as it is the case in many advanced democracies in other parts of the world.  A peep into the manifesto and programs of all the registered political parties in Nigeria shows the similarity of the same promises and objectives: provision of roads, education, health facilities, water and lately what has become a cliché—the dividend of democracy (only God know what that entails).  Promises that appeal to the emotion and felt needs of the electorates who in most cases do not believe them because they have been long done by similar promises in the past after each election.
The psychology of a typical voter in Nigeria is not that complex to unravel because it is implicit on the personal benefits that the individual derives from the election and of course the safety of that individual incase the individual voted for a failed candidate.  This allows for such questions as –is he/she from my place, what is my benefit for voting for the candidate, will my vote make any difference, will I be the only one in the camp of my candidate, and finally, will they be retribution from the winning party if the candidate of my choice loses.  Safety becomes paramount to the voter because the outcome of the elections may just be a sham.
The PDP Advantage:
It is the ruling party in both the state and at the Federal level.  The party has unlimited resources and formidable structures on the ground to eke out a win in December.   The incumbent governor is a strong supporter of Captain Wada and will pull every rope to lob the candidate to Lugard House.  The nature of our developing democracy is such that it is winner take all, so it is never comfortable to be in the opposition when the chips are down.  It is on the basis of this that the bitterness and acrimony that resulted from the last primary in the PDP camp which otherwise would have been a disadvantage will turn to their gain because they will mend fences and coalesced behind candidate Wada for other appointments and contracts from both the state and federal governments.  Politicians are adept at their games at horse-trading.  Only political neophytes will stick to an uncompromising ground and lose everything.
PDP will win in the December election because of Yomi Awoniyi as Captain Wada’s running mate.  Awoniyi is the scion of Sunday Awoniyi the legendary Sunday Awoniyi of the old political order powered by the late Sardauna of Sokoto of the defunct Northern Nigeria.  The late Sunday Awoniyi is the father of Yomi and until his death a couple of years ago, the leader of the Arewa consultative group. Name recognition as mantra of political dynasty is a winning combination in politics anywhere, any day.  The Americans have their Kennedys and Bushes, the Indians their Ghandi and Pakistan their Bhuto.  The selection or election of Yomi Awoniyi who comes from the western part of Kogi state was a master stroke by PDP to counter any advantage that ACN may have in the west flank of the state.  It is a formidable counter force that will prove unassailable to the opposition party.
PDP will win the December election because the opposition party will underrate the incumbent governor to their own peril.   Despite the much maligning of governor Idris and his government for different reasons, the governor’s political clout in the state is formidable.  If you doubt this then go and read about how his switching of support to both Isah Jibrin and Idris Wada determined their fate in the party’s gubernatorial primaries in the state.  The tendency to cast governor Idris as uninformed and just a “carpenter” has always been the undoing in the opposition camp.   The governor is more a thorough bred politician and master of political nuances of Kogi state than many accord him.  A look at the list of candidates and their resumes that governor Idris defeated to clinched PDP primary in his first foray into politics underscores the best in any professional calling that can be produced anywhere in the world.  Despite the ambivalent to the governors performance in the state so far, (which of course is similar to others in power in the country today) governor Idris is in firm control of his party machinery in the state to deliver for Captain Wada.  Don’t underrate Idris Ibrahim, the sitting governor’s political clout.
The over-arching PDP advantage in the next election is the presentation of Captain Wada as a fresh candidate free of prediction but full of expectation because he has never held any political or civil appointment in the state.  He represents a fresh breath of leadership that the people can bet on.  His candidacy will spare PDP any protest vote that would have been delivered against the performance of the present governor who is no longer running for the office due to term limit. 
The ACN Headache:  
The adoption of Prince Audu Abubakar as the party’s flag bearer.  The Audu Abubakar brand is staled, atavistic and out of synch with Kogi state electorates due to the many baggage of his first and second opportunity to rule as governor of the state. The bitter experience of months of unpaid salary to civil servants during Audu era remains fresh in memory and so was his monarchical approach to leadership.  As governor of Kogi state, Audu spared no one, including traditional rulers to prostrate and role on their bellies before they can be given audience.  Audu’s megalomaniac self indulgence as a potentate when he was governing Kogi state remains a festering anachronistic counter force to democracy.
As a politician and governor of Kogi state, Audu is a known quantity, so can a leopard change his skin?  The Bible even asks a similar question if an Ethiopian can change his skin.  The answer in the case of Audu is obvious.   The ACN with Audu Abubakar as candidate has an unsteady structure in Kogi state because the decamping of Audu from ANPP fragmented the party structure.  Audu did not decamp to ACN with his traditional All Nigerian People’s Party (ANPP) base intact and his entrance into ACN also segmented the party base in Kogi state.
The ACN calculation based on the fact that Kogi West is a soft spot owing to the ethnic affinity of the Okun speaking people and their Yoruba kins of the West who form the bastion of ACN as a party is a soft sell that would have given the party a good grounding in the state.  But this calculation failed to take account of the level of political consciousness and high level educational accomplishment of the Okun people which is second to none in the whole of Nigeria.  The Okun people were the most spited by Audu’s twice governorship of Kogi state.  The people have not so easily forgotten the persecution they suffered as the “Jews” of Kogi state.   Audu’s promise of one term governorship this time around as a sale pitch to the most avowed power shift in the state is a ruse.  In politics no promise is sacrosanct because of many intervening variables and time which involves without anyone’s control.  A one term governorship in Lugard House is a single barrel solution to the contentious issue of power shift in Kogi state.   The solution to power shift in the state transcends that and this will be the subject of another article another day because that is my domain of interest as some one who genuinely believe that it is the right thing to do.
ACN as a party has all it takes to win in Kogi state as a progressive party if they had chosen a fresh candidate to fly their banner instead of ex-governor Audu who is one politician recycled too many.  Why the ACN made that choice still baffle pundits who believe it amounts to pandering to primordial proclivity to capture power in the state just for the sake of power.  Didn’t ACN know Audu’s past as a governor, who ruled Kogi state under a cloud of impunity that weighed heavily on thugsry and intimidation?  Till this day, many believe that his perennial quest to govern the state again is to draw vengeance on his political foes and possibly exile them from the state.  Such a climate will turn the state into a violent empire.
The candidacy of Prince Audu Abubakar is a double jeopardy of headache and liability that ACN will have to live with, so it will not fly against Captain Idris Wada who as the candidate of PDP represents the freshness that Lugard House nay—Kogi state looks to welcome to Lugard House after the December 3, 20011 election.  The only game changer will be the voting pattern of Kogi central electorates and even at that, the PDP has an edge based on elected officials from that part of the state at both the state and national levels.

Paul Egbita
Washington DC
 USA



Step By Step Governor Amaechi Is Getting There


Written by Odimegwu Onwumere

Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State is doing everything he could do to bring development to state. But this is with much sweat, as development and improvement to the lives of the common folks out there are yet to be prioritized in the state, whereas a few persons in the state are quietly happy and over joyous. Therefore, perfection in the people’s welfare is still farfetched. It can be deduced that the ‘new Rivers State’ many people craved to see is taking eternity to manifest, without an in-depth comprehension of the governor’s perspective to the whole discourse. People are not seeing better living conditions.
The government on 27th October marked the 4th year of the Supreme Court judgment that brought in Amaechi to power, without minding that there is no need to celebrate, when about 99 % of the people are suffering untold hardship in the state. People have just been quiet, unlike the Americans who took protests on the Wall Street demanding the equal right in the employment opportunities in their country.
We have been reading all the clicking on the people’s psyche to just be quiet. It is memorable that over 90% of the people are not happy again with Amaechi’s government, and they do not assume the position of the governor, because things have gone awry than they were. The state today is bankrupt, according to the recent reports on 27 states that have contracted financial flu.
High rate of crime have glossed the state, with the governor recently saying in a report that the prosecution of the ex-governors will not bring about the end of corruption in the country, whereas sounding like one who is jittered over prosecution someday. Any person or group, who is sincere in dealings, will not be afraid of prosecution and will never go to the court to quash such application against him/her or it. It is very dangerous how our collective public funds are handed over to a few select of individuals with immunity covering them. A few individuals would say that as far as they were concerned, the governor is doing a good job.
We demand that Amaechi should do a good job. He should stop seeing being a governor as a charitable or voluntary post to glorify few individuals; after all we are paying him. It is not good that Amaechi is widely suspected as being extremely corrupt. He has been unable to do better as he postulates. “The Change” that Amaechi claims “we can see” in Rivers State are damaged roads and infrastructures, which he was supposed to develop Rivers with the resources he is entrusted with?
The Rivers masses, in order to accurately judge performance, will continue to demand true accountability and not mere pictures and conceited statements by the governor with the State House’s journalists whenever the heat was much, thereby classically contradicting the opinions and judgments of the citizens. Who is content with the present state of things in Rivers State? Those that call for Amaechi’s celebrations are the only people that may give the answer. There is little or no positive change in the living conditions of people in Rivers State, under Governor Amaechi-led government. Without prompting, people are angry that the Governor’s works have not restored some sanity to some notoriously uncontained places. If the governor is doing very well, why are people turning their noses up whenever and wherever he was mentioned? Those that have been giving him kudos are doing so with a benefit of doubt when you meet with them.
The way Amaechi handled 'terrorism' in Rivers State, daring the so called militants and calling their bluff is commendable, but why has the state gone bankrupt if terrorizing the state with guns have not shifted to terrorizing the state’s coffers? Today, somebody is running around begging courts and 'surrounding himself with injunctions'. People are jumping on the bandwagon praising Amaechi for building classrooms, hospitals, etc., but who cares if the state has gone bankrupt? Are people not tired of these 'advertisements' in newspapers whenever he builds one of his millennium classrooms, hospitals without wondering what his job was in the first place?
While few people among the majority are aware and critical, yet the Amaechi’s government bamboozles us with newspaper pictures and sugarcoated press briefs. Kudos to Amaechi, step by step, Rivers is going down and we are getting there, as critics had earlier promised him that his government may be the worse in the history of Rivers State. Word in the Government House, Port Harcourt (not on the street) is that he is doing comparatively well. People greet his achievements with nothing more than measured approval. Imagine that! Whereas professionals have frowned at such Government House’s statement owing to the state’s bankruptcy report. The irony of it is that Amaechi wants everybody to be as impressed as he is, when you hear him speaking on his development strides.
Odimegwu Onwumere is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV). Mobile: +2348032552855. Email: nirivpol@gmail.com



Sunday, October 30, 2011

Abomination In Scotland: Brother And Sister In Sexual Pleasure


Written by Global Reporters Vienna, Austria


A former soldier Richard Finlayson, 21 and his younger sister Kirsty Finlayson were caught by security cameras at Motherwell station, outside Glasgow in Scotland, on June 27 last year having sex.
They were caught in the act and they pleaded guilty

According to Kirsty, she had gone to her brother to borrow some money when they ended up having sex.
“I was basically homeless, drunk and needing help. I was waiting with him on the platform for his train home, before I went to take mine. […] It’s not an excuse, but I really can’t remember everything that happened next” as she broke down into tears. “I went home and felt sick and disgusted with myself” she added.
In the words of Richard Finlayson “It was a moment of madness. […] Kirsty came on to me but I can’t blame her only for all this. We were both consenting adults who made a stupid and wrong decision.”
Sentencing them, the Chief Judge Sheriff Ray Small said: “I’m sure you both understand that most right-minded members of society will find the details of this case unacceptable and difficult to comprehend.”
However, because both were vulnerable and had no previous convictions and were not viewed as any threat to the public, he gave Kirsty one-year probation while her brother got two-years probation.


Friday, October 28, 2011

Samson Siasia Sacked


Written by Global Reporters Vienna, Austria

Samson Siasia has been sacked by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The decision was finally taken today (28.10.2011) through voting after much deliberation.
According to the technical committee Siasia failed to meet the terms of his contract which stipulates that he is duty bound of at least taking the Super Eagles of Nigeria to the semifinal of the Nations Cup.
Super Eagles
His successor is likely to be named next week after the Exco and the technical committee’s meeting.





Thursday, October 27, 2011

Facts You Should Know About Gaddafi




Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Manmade River project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
A portion of every Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
There is no electricity bill in Libya; electricity is free for all its citizens.
There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens at zero percent interest by law.
Having a home considered a human right in Libya.
All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 dinar (U.S.$50,000) by the government to buy their first apartment so to help start up the family.
Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi only 25 percent of Libyans were literate. Today, the figure is 83 percent.
Should Libyans want to take up farming career, they would receive farming land, a farming house, equipments, seeds and livestock to kick start, all for free.
If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they need, the government funds them to go abroad, for it is not only paid for, but they get a U.S.$2,300/month for accommodation and car allowance.
If a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidizes 50 percent of the price.
The price of petrol in Libya is $0.14 per liter.
Libya has no external debt and its reserves amounting to $150 billion are now frozen globally.
If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation the state would pay the average salary of the profession, as if he or she is employed, until employment is found..
A mother who gives birth to a child receive U.S.$5,000.
40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $0.15.
25 percent of Libyans have a university degree.
His Last Will

"This is my will. I, Muammar bin Mohammad bin Abdussalam bin Humayd bin Abu Manyar bin Humayd bin Nayil al Fuhsi Gaddafi, do swear that there is no other God but Allah and that Mohammad is God's Prophet, peace be upon him. I pledge that I will die as Muslim.

Should I be killed, I would like to be buried, according to Muslim rituals, in the clothes I was wearing at the time of my death and my body unwashed, in the cemetery of Sirte, next to my family and relatives.

I would like that my family, especially women and children, be treated well after my death. The Libyan people should protect its identity, achievements, history and the honorable image of its ancestors and heroes. The Libyan people should not relinquish the sacrifices of the free and best people.

I call on my supporters to continue the resistance, and fight any foreign aggressor against Libya, today, tomorrow and always.

Let the free people of the world know that we could have bargained over and sold out our cause in return for a personal secure and stable life. We received many offers to this effect but we chose to be at the vanguard of the confrontation as a badge of duty and honor.

Even if we do not win immediately, we will give a lesson to future generations that choosing to protect the nation is an honor and selling it out is the greatest betrayal that history will remember forever despite the attempts of the others to tell you otherwise."

There is no doubt that Gaddafi did a lot for Libya but he was power drunk not to have understood when to go. The enemies of real African development, the west has been looking for an opportunity for so long to destroy Gaddafi which revolution gave them on a platter of gold .
Adieu Gaddafi!


THAT GOVERNOR ORJI’S POLITICAL HOLOCAUST AGAINST THE REST OF US



Written By Uche Onwuchekwa
Governor Orji
Going by the argument put up by Abia State Government over the ridiculous transfer of non indigenes to their various State especially the finesse the spokesman of the State labouriously adopted to drive home the justification in what they have done for which I, too, would have fallen for just like other hapless citizens, there seems not to be any justification yet for the Governor’s sanctionable actions.

Drawing from what happened nine years as yardstick to justify throwing the employees of other States extraction out of job is rather an anathema that should not only be condemned, discountenanced but should as well draw sanction from the comity of States and ultimately, the Federal Government of Nigeria. If the trend is not checked, it will only become a dangerous precedent that will for a long time haunt us. This is a deliberate resolve to sowing a seed of discord. Why did it take Theodore Ahamefula almost five years to act out this monstrous game?
Another excuse given was that the State would not be able to pay the minimum wage to her teeming workforce. This really sounds a great argument but wholly coltish and laughable. The majority of Abians and Abia residents are business inclined. A little explanation about the population of workforce in Abia State will predictably expose the past master in cruelty in the personality of Abia Governor. The call from all quarters for Governor Ahamefula Orji to rescind his decision has fallen on deaf ear. To add salt to an injury, the seeming cannon-fodder –like style of the Commissioner for Information of the State is another cause for worry. My conjecture is that these soldiering personalities as Spokesmen of the State are harvesting what we are not seeing.
I still read in disbelief about how my Governor’s overfed attacking drugged dogs bark at others and playing up this 419 thing. Ndi Igbo ma ndi bu ndi oshii. A man that has got no story to tell about all the allocations and revenue hugely generated over five years needs liberation indeed. Theodore Orji’s alleged loot that led to his incarceration still lingers. We have less than four years for a revisit to the matter. Yet, it was alleged that this same man has bought over Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State. What is T.A. Orji’s pedigree as a Governor? The reality is that Governor Orji has goofed and has already been confined to the trash bin of history. Rochas so accused said that Orji’s decision is a very sensitive one and should be handled with wisdom. I wonder where T.A. Orji’s peddlers of lies got their information. T.A. dwarfed himself all through his stay in office due to his lackluster performances thereby eliciting a gift of hemlock in anger against his Igbo brothers and the entire Nigeria. Whose fault?
It is even better for a revaluation of what T.A. Orji means to an average Abian. Right from the inception of office in his first tenure, agreeably, the erstwhile Governor of the State, Chief Orji Uzor Kalu had fought tooth and nail to have him as his successor for whatever reason, which he succeeded in. Governor Theodore’s reason for his woeful performance was that the Kalus never gave him room to perform. Again, the former Governor has been accused of over bloating the Abia Civil Service. While all these rationalizations are going on, Imo State has signed to pay twenty thousand naira minimum wage. What a flimsy and unpardonable excuse by a Governor? T.A. Orji for over four years or better still over One thousand four hundred and Sixty days cannot boast of a two Kilometre Road till date. How selfish and callous way to deal with the people you call your people. In Security, T.A. Orji was undoubtedly overwhelmed by the same criminals and kidnappers he allegedly armed and hired for whatever reason. One of the kingpins of the men of the underworld by name Osisikankwu, late, in the Nation newspaper advertorial had alleged a breach in contract they had with Governor Theodore Ahamefula Orji. Abia became a theatre of criminality. Kidnapping became the only booming enterprise in God’s own State. It took the initiative of the Federal Government; in fact the entire Army had to move into Abia to salvage the situation. T.A. Orji has carefully packaged insecurity in God’s own State and exported to its sister States. Till today, that contagious gift is not contained. There is still uneasy calm in Abia State especially Aba where most creative minds have migrated to the neighbouring States for security. In Education, Chief Ahamefula with his Midas touch in negativity had turned around this all important sector into a disteaching and disorienting sector. That is the worst gift a leader can bequeath to the future of a people.
Touring the three senatorial zones in Abia State was not only thought provoking but brought upon me so much psychological trauma for which I am yet to recover from. One begins to wonder what T.A. Orji’s childhood was like. What would have caused such an unpopular and parochial decision? During his campaign in the last election, Aba resident had rejected everything about the Governor. He met booing and jeering in almost all his outings. The Governor had threatened to deal with Aba as an entity and its residents. Today, T.A. is pushing and dismantling every business structure in Aba claiming he is sanitizing Aba. Has he not seen that Aba, the supposedly commercial nerve centre of Igbo land does not Roads? Has he not seen that Abia as a State has fallen below the expected standard of a poultry farm? For me Governor Orji’s posture seems an agent of under-development. His body language and inference postulate a man on a mission to cause disunity in Nigeria. Governor Theodore has also behaved a mere settler in Igbo land on a revenge mission for whatever reason he may have against Ndi Igbo. His action calls for an enquiry into his lineage. I do not understand what he intends to achieve by his action other than to attack and destroy the very nucleus of Igbo Unity.
If the aforesaid is a misfit to the thinking of the Governor, then it becomes clearer that Governor T.A. Orji has become a sell out if not a saboteur on an errand to thwart the aspirations of the South East and their justiceable yearning to produce the number one citizen of this country. It is a conspiracy taken too far through an under performer who has lost it all in all facets of leadership.  Do we not have Abians on the employ of other States’ civil service? I still do not see reasons the Presidency is yet to come up with its stand on Governor Orji’ s holocaust against Nigeria by trying to draw every State against the other. This shows Abia Governor’s unconditional hatred against his people. His action has rather caused untold heart ache and unease to his people. His Peoples Democratic Party only knows all the back hand method to win elections and do not have same to persuade their representatives in various positions to do the right thing.
While appealing to other Governors to forgive T.A. Orji’s gaffe as Uncle Femi Adesina had done, it is instructive that T.A. Orji be called to order to rescind his monstrous, unfriendly and seeming myopic agenda wrapped in his clandestine rationalization policy. Whereby he insists, his party should sanction him. Expectedly, his present administration should be declared a pariah government thereby starving it of all privileges as a government. T.A. Orji should, as a matter of importance, be suspended from the Governor’s forum. The National Assembly should as a matter of urgency seat and deliberate on the danger of T.A. Orji’s missteps and take the necessary step to nip this act in the bud and let it serve as a deterrent to others. Back home, the South East Governors’ Forum should suspend Abia Governor until he backs out.
Wherefore, if the above steps are not taken to address this destructive action of Governor Orji, let it be known to all Nigerians that this act must have been an orchestrated ploy by power drunken politicians to lay landmines through a willing tool like Governor Orji to spite his people as we all know that minimum wage cannot be the issue and of course at issue has nothing to do with the past except we are made to believe that there is something wrong with the state of mind of the actor. 
Onye mara asu, ya sua na ikwe, ma omaghi asu, ya asuo n’apata
Uche Onwuchekwa can be reached on 0708 555 9956 or via his e-mail address: eumochekwas@yahoo.com



Zulu Reed Dance Culture Too Sexy

Written by Global Reporters Vienna, Austria


The culture of Zulu people from South Africa of dancing half naked before their king is something too tempting. Such young and pretty looking girls exposing what should only be seen in secret could cause some high blood pressure to some men. No wonder some of the girls were kidnapped and raped after the celebration on the 10 September 2011 at King Goodwill Zwelithini’s royal Palace according to unconfirmed reports. Do you blame only the men?
The reed dance is an annual celebration that promotes respect for the young women and also the custom of keeping their girls virgin until they get married. Over 25 000 Zulu maidens are said to turn up every year for the event at the king's palace.

Please let us look into this type of culture that exposes womanhood without respect with the mind of modifying it. Remember, this kind of tradition puts our girls in danger of rape that may lead to the spread of HIV/AIDS or unwanted pregnacy.


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nigeria: Okorocha - Leave Abia State Alone!!!


Your Excellency, my dear Governor Rochas Okorocha, It is with a great sense of responsibility that I respectfully request you to leave Abia State alone and concentrate on the very many realities starring you in the face in order to avert our releasing documents, records and authentic reports capable of shaking your structures to it’s very foundation. Iam constrained to write you this open letter in view of your obvious acquiescence to the motive and gregarious method your officials and known agents have adopted in the prosecution of an unprovoked, unjust, campaign of calumny against the people and leaders of Abia State.
Governor T. A. Orji

You know very well that on Tuesday 4th October 2011 on page 14 of the Vanguard Newspaper, your infantile Information Commissioner, one Obinna Duruji, took the liberty to insult and malign the government of Abia State with invective meant to scorn your colleague, His Excellency, Chief T.A. Orji. Before then, one of your agents, a certain inconsequential Mbaise boy called Obi Nwakanma had on page 23 of Sunday vanguard of 18/9/11 used unprintable words to cast aspersion on our government. Then your Pini Jason, that faceless Jelly fish that saw to it that Chief Ikedi Ohakim was thoroughly misled and who connived with an agency in Surulere Lagos to swindle Imo State of tens of millions in a PR campaign had the temerity to latch unto the platform you provided to re-launch his rusty column as an opportunistic way to scurry back to the corridors of power. You saw all those garbage and indeed paid for them. You did not ask the Jaded Jason where he was when Ohakim bundled the files of Pensioners that faithfully started and ended their meritorious Civil Service Career in Imo State back to Umuahia for payment simply because they were Abia indigenes.

To further buttress the unusual interest shown by your government and paid agents to this expedient policy, Bishop Lucius Ugorji, a Naze Imo State born cleric together with another gang of Owerribased carry-go white garment preachers intensified their devious hype against an innocent sister State. This was the same Bishop Ugorji who together with the now late Mbaise born Archbishop Rojas Uwadi dined and wined with the defunct oppressive mamacratic regime that held Abia down for years. While Abia patriots fought for liberation, these Imo-born bishops struck deals and carted away choice Abia Investments. They enthusiastically gave impetus and moral cover to the despots. Today they have ironically turned into clannish activists while keeping silent over your brutish disengagement of the thousands Imo youths creatively employed by Ohakim.

Your Excellency, you can’t continue deceiving Ndigbo and the Nigerian Public. With the creation of Abia in 1991, the Imo State Government immediately laid off all Abia Indigenes in its civil service while Abia retained Imo Indigenes in Aba and elsewhere. Since then till now, there has been a progressive suffocation of the Abia workforce by indigenes of states that sent our own citizens packing. Enugu State fished out and laid off Abians (non-indegenes) that were left in their civil service starting from 1997 through 2002. Same goes for Anambra and Ebonyi where even Abia students are made to pay discriminatory school fees. This is the issue at stake and for which you have marshaled out your people for a war of attrition against Abia State. You now talk of threats to Igbo unity simply because our patriotic governor took a reciprocal decision that should have been taken long ago based on the clamour of well meaning Abia Citizens.

By this diatribe, Your Excellency and your mercenaries have only succeeded in drawing global attention to the grave injustice and levity which Imo and other sister Igbo States have meted out to Abia Civil Servants and which our leaders and people have borne silently with equanimity. That Chief T.A Orji decided to address this anomaly and balance the lopsided equation is not a crime anywhere in the world. What is rather despicable is the hypocrisy, wanton wickedness and shameless audacity of those who now believe that what is good for the goose should not be good for the gander. The time tested credibility of Governor T.A Orji which you seek to destroy has rather skyrocketed among Abians who are the main reason for his sojourn in government house.

For your information, Sir, there is a total consensus among Abia Stake holders that Ochendo should take all necessary albeit painful decisions to restore the years that the cankerworm has eaten while laying a solid foundation for Abia transformation. As he executes this overwhelming mandate, we are poised to give him all the needed encouragement and defend him from the misplaced darts of desperados, professional petition writers and renowned 419 kingpins who seek to make political capital out of every laudable policy.We, therefore, advise your government to re-direct its limited capacities to the actualization of your self-imposed rescue mission for whatever it is worth. As you may have noticed, the art of state governance is a lot more different from slogans, showmanship and Jerry meandering. You need core competence the sort that comes through good education, moral rectitude and professional exposure. These are not things that can be obtained otherwise!

By the grace of God, Abia cannot be distracted. Having extricated ourselves from the callous cabal who were friends of the current Imo regime, we have made significant positive changes in the area of security, infrastructure and other key sectors. These series of propaganda and smear campaign coming from Owerri were foreseen by us when we dealt mortal blows to our oppressors and their acolytes.

Ndigbo cannot be deceived. They know those with cloudy antecedents. Those who straddled into power as a result of some political accident also know themselves. They should look inwards and solve their problems rather than seeking for non-existing opportunities to make noise and hoodwink the unsuspecting public.

Your Excellency, Chief Rochas Okorocha, like Ndigbo would say, Ome ihe jide kwa ogu. In the words of Bishop Matthew Hassan Kukah …”Don’t complain about my room. You are only visiting but I live here.”

Ochu nwa okuko nwe ada...!!!

Hon. (Dr) Eze Chikamnayo

Special Adviser, Information, Strategy and Orientation

Abia State





Monday, October 24, 2011

Go Siasia Go!


Written by Olurotimi Adeola rowiade@yahoo.com


Sentiments should not drive the final decision of Samson Siasia employers – Nigerian Football Federation, when they eventually sit to decide his fate. Siasia, in spite of what his admirers would want the rest of the country to believe, has proven that he is not as good as he claimed. The adulation heap on him in the past to say the least where wrongly made.

Coach Samson Siasia is a disaster that would continue to repeat itself, unless someone out there is bold enough to call the bluff of his misguided supporters, who are bent on imposing this non performer on football loving Nigerians. A man who claimed to be a coach yet refuse to take the path of honour, which is what every coach who have failed to accomplished a task do, is not a genuine coach. Coaches in other climes, are known to throw in the towel immediately they failed their employers and supporters. But here we have a man who from all indications lacks all the requisite technical skills to handle a national team, doing everything he can to hold on to the job.
There is no patriotism in the desires of Samson Siasia to continue as chief coach of super Eagle; he only wants to remain because of the undeserved five million naira he earns monthly. His attitude is more like what our politicians indulge in; even when it’s obvious they have nothing more to offer the people, they will always insist they return back to power at every election.
Recently, Siasia was a guest in a television programme (Kaakaki, in AIT) were he pleaded for a second chance. His plead made me worry; why  is he so desperate to remain chief coach? Is there nothing else he could do with his life? Is there no domestic club he could coach with his little technical skills?

Asking for a second chance, is like asking too much. He got a second chance as coach of under 21, and at the end of the day, he could not scale the group stage. He was made coach of Heartland of Owerri, when the club won a continental ticket with an unknown coach; the club never went beyond the group stage. Remember two unsung Nigerian coaches, took Enyimba of Aba to achieve that same continental glory that eluded Siasia’s Heartland. Siasia’s supporters would always point at his silver laurels at a world under 21 competition and the Olympics, to support their claims that he is a good coach; while not taking any thing away from him, I will like to crave the indulgence of Nigerians to go and check the list of countries, his boys played against in the two competitions.  The truth is, the only genuine football country we met in the competitions was Argentina; and Nigerians were beaten by them.

Without apology, as a player and later a coach, Samson Siasia is a nuisance to Nigerian football. My grievance with him is not personal; I am just amaze that a man who as a player belongs to a caucus, which holds the country at the jugular anytime they are invited to play for the country and later became the chief coach of the most unimpressive  super eagle of all times, do not see any moral reason to quit. Is he thinking the position is his birth right? Onigbinde, Amodu, etc, have been there in the past and left after failing to deliver. Why is Siasia and his supporters making his own a ‘do or die’ affair?

A second chance for Siasia, will be the end for Nigerian football. The man is empty; he is just a lucky coach in the past; and now he had run out of luck. For the nine months, he was as the saddled as chief coach, can anyone honestly say there is any difference in the style of play of his super Eagle when compared to when Chukwu, Amodu and Oniginde were in charged? Is still the same boring display by tired and old legs on the football fields.

Nigerians are in need of the Westerhouf’s magic years; Siasia cannot reignite that era in our football. Siasia said he only lost a match since he came on board as chief coach; how shameless can a man be. In a group that comprises countries who do not even have football leagues, this shameless Siasia cannot see the eternal disgrace he has brought on our psyche as a football giant in Africa.
After losing against Nigeria at the Olympics, Brazil Football Federation insisted they want to play Nigeria again. When their request was finally granted they came right here in Abuja and trashed Super Eagles. The same scenario was repeated recently by the Argentines. No ‘superior’ football  country feel comfortable after losing to a perceived inferior; Nigeria shouldn’t be different. That’s why Siasia must go now.

It’s an established practise the world over, that when a coach failed to deliver, he takes the path of honour by resigning. Since Samson Siasia won’t follow this path, then NFF should do Nigerians the favour of kicking him out.  There are better coaches in  our domestic leagues than Siasia, just as there are better players than those we call in from Abroad in the name of professionals. All they need is the opportunity and platform to show their skills.

I am biding Samson Siasia goodbye on behalf of millions of Nigerians whose health conditions he helped to worsen with his featherless Eagle. May his type never walk the path of our football again. I am already hearing a million  - Amen.











You Will Laugh Again

Written by Odimegwu Onwumere apoet_25@yahoo.com

There comes a time in every one’s life when the big question – why me? – is asked. You could be in this situation right now. The answer is it couldn’t have been any other person that was why it was you. But no matter what happens you have to cultivate the habit of being happy. This habit comes from inner self. You should be pursuing this, because happiness is a choice. You must make that choice today, not tomorrow. You will never regret this if you do. Understand that favour earned worth more than the favour which was pleaded. Never be too hard to please yourself.
What many people do not know or realize is that contentment cannot be bought with money, although money is very necessary in life. Contentment should not be measured by material acquisitions, but by the satisfaction that comes inwardly. The desire for more possessions of material wealth cannot be equated with the possessions of happiness. This is said because not all the financially rich people are happy and not all the financially poor people are unhappy. Never allow anybody to make you envious of what he or she has, because the person might also be envious of what you have which you don’t notice. Life is all about living with change: it may have been good yesterday but bad today; be rest assured that you will laugh again.
All that you owe yourself to laugh again when things are very rough in your life is to be diligent in work. Engage each new day with new idea. Idea rules the world, just as radical issues need radical approach. For those who believe in the Christian bible, the contemporary English version posits in Galatians 6:4 thus: “Do your own work well, and then you will have something to be proud of. But don’t compare yourself with others.” This is a Golden Rule no matter what you are a believer of.
When you are not comparing yourself with people, SIMPLE could be your other name. Simplicity means being contented with self. It is the proud spirit that slaves you for things you do not have. It makes you to judge yourself for the things you do not have. It makes you to judge individuals first contact with you. It makes you to relegate people for whom they are, but accept them for what they are, whereas simplicity does not have any barrier.
If you are proud in spirit, you may not laugh again. It is nice you forgive yourself of any guilt and begin to build a life laced with personality. The later is very essential in everyone’s life. The habit to succeed should not be a fight, even though that life is a struggle. Imagine that if our parents are to be alive forever, all of us would have been very lazy. It is when we remember that they would go to the great beyond one day, we begin in the morning to carve a niche for ourselves. This is why you have to use your time and make it work.
You will laugh again, only when you don’t sit there crying all day. Cry doesn’t solve any problem, except in a situation you want to attract self-pity of which if you don’t cry for leniency as the only option, your life will be gone. Always try to train yourself if you can’t afford the money for others to train you. Understand that education is in everything and not only when you go to the school of learning. Always read “good” books and attend at least free seminars. With these, you are laughing again and forgiving yourself and wearing smiles again.
You are your greatest friend to laugh again or your greatest enemy not to rise again. When you see a particular person as your greatest enemy, you are running yourself down. Don’t even run anybody to ruin, but for gains. We need each other to grow. You are not doing the world justice if whatever you laid your hand is to the detriment of others. You can never be the boss or the servant forever. Use every opportunity that you have to empower other people you don’t even know, not only your wards and cronies. It is always better to get more done with less worry. Work yourself to the top with smiles and habit that will create not war/war situation between you and others. It should be win/win, not war/war.
The book of Ecclesiastes 5:10 quotes: “A mere lover of silver will not be satisfied with silver, neither any lover of wealth with income.” It is good you love people around you so much instead of hoodwinking them when they looked up to you as their leader. Many people do this, because of material gains, which do not bring about the innate happiness some rich people, have not bought with their money. True love can never be bought with money, but money is very important to oil love to last. John 15:13 quotes: “There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving.” This is one!
A lot of people are at the top today, because they lack the win/win thing in their character, they do not know that they are truly at the lowest ebb of human relationship. They don’t know or realize that position and how financially rich doesn’t make one. Always talk, but listen more. Let each be done appropriately.
You will laugh again. Take forgiveness like a football training, which when you indulge in it every day, the better you become. You can never be perfect in something you do not have interest in or have not devoted your time to practice, as if you don’t want to see tomorrow. You don’t have to complain when you are ‘fighting’ to rise and shouldn’t quit, when you have not risen. Make people around you to feel wanted today and not reading on the pages of the newspapers by tomorrow that they are ‘wanted’ by the authorities.
Helping people is more important than helping yourself, albeit when you help people you blush inwardly with radiating happiness and joy. There should not be a half-baked help, as many people do and call it help. However, you shall not excel in all endeavors. The quotes on Luke 6:38 admonished the need to practice giving so that people will give you. If you give love, you receive love. If you encourage people, you receive encouragement. If you hate people, you receive hatred. These are just natural laws. But mind you, whatever that occupies your heart rules your life.
The bright side of every thought is forgiveness. When the people you hoped in give you hate, reward with forgiveness. You are laughing again when you do this. No one regrets in forgiving. No one gets old to forgive; rather oldness comes by not forgiving. Unforgiveness makes you to lose your memory, but forgiveness makes you regain your whole self. Forgiveness is a SAVIOUR. You can go to anywhere in the world with forgiveness. Things which are impossible with hate are possible with forgiveness. A life without forgiveness is like a seed without soil. There will never be progress in the world if forgiveness does not begin with you. You get the best in your community, county and the world when you forgive. Somebody may want to give you a token of/for remembrance when you forgive yourself and are on the ladder of laughing again. You may be popular with hate, but posterity will never forgive you for that. Forgiveness is something to be thanked for. People go to where there is forgiveness than where there is war. Make forgiveness something that you didn’t know yesterday, and you will laugh again.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State. Mobile: +2348032552855

Jonathan; Is FRSC Incompetent?




OPEN LETTER TO THE PRESIDENT; VEHICLE NUMBER PLATES SCARCITY HIT NIGERIA.

Following the euphoria that greeted the establishment of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) by the IBRAHIM BABAGIDA’s administration in 1988, the Professor Wole Soyinka led agency quickly swung into action to truncate the anomalies and absurdity that have hitherto been created by road users. Such unethical road practices contributed to a lot of avoidable accidents and resultant deaths. FRSC main functions include educating drivers, motorists and other members of the public on proper use of the highways, issuance of Driver’s licence and production of vehicle plate numbers for the entire federation.

Among the problems that have bedevilled this agency laterly, like most government owned organisations, for example Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN or “Please Hold Candle Now”) and Nigerian telecommunication (NITEL) are allegedly inconsistent and inept leadership, lack of requisite capacity, corruption, mismanagement, flawed recruitment, selection and placement process, dependency on consultants for procurement of raw materials and lackadaisical attitude to work.

Getting a driver’s licence today from FRSC is a cumbersome task due to bureaucratic bottlenecks. Touts and fraudsters are having a field day by producing fake driver’s licences for Nigerians who can not afford to go through the excruciating stress and pains of getting a genuine driver’s licence.

In the year 2006, vehicle owners had to cough out as much as 45,000 naira to register a vehicle. Some citizens who travel to Lagos to buy vehicles had to lodge in hotels for weeks before getting the scarce commodity at an astronomical cost. Vulnerable and susceptible members of the public became victims of fake vehicle number plates which some scammers started producing due to the lacuna that was created by this acute scarcity.

Vehicle owners went through hell getting vehicle plate numbers before the charismatic former Governor of Lagos State, Ahmed Tinubu decided to take the bull by the horn by commencing the production of vehicle number plates for Lagos State only. By this bold step, former Gov. Ahmed Tinubu really defined the word federalism. Suddenly, every thing changed as potential vehicle owners were able to register their vehicles genuinely for less than 20,000 naira.

However, for over three to four months now, there has been another acute scarcity of vehicle plate numbers following announcement by FRSC that it will commence production of new vehicle plate numbers and will start issuing OCTOBER 1ST, 2011. To the utter consternation of Nigerians, the FRSC is yet to issue a single number plate due to the inconsistencies in policies that have characterised government owned agencies. Lagos State had to stop production since September in order to comply with this obnoxious directive. Why put potential vehicle owners through this mess again? Why are government agencies not proactive? If the FRSC had issues that needed to be resolved before the issuance of the new number plates, why not resolve it first? Why not maintain the status quo until all necessary and relevant logistics are put into place? Do we need to privatise FRSC for it to be productive? Why embark on production of new number plates when there is nothing wrong with the old one? In other words, what is the rationale for this new policy?

Number plates Vendors and car dealers are already feeling the pain as potential vehicle owners are not willing to buy untill the New number plate is out.
MR President, every right thinking, and truly patriotic Nigerian should be worried about FRSC state of anomy and abject situation and as a matter of utmost urgency, join others in rescuing what is known to be one of the most salient organisation in Nation building.
With due respect Sir, i strongly urge you take immediate action, which should ameliorate the plight of car dealers, vendors and potential vehicle owners.
EMMANUEL IMOH EKEREUWEM

VANGUARD FOR SOCIAL CHANGE,

ABUJA

E-MAIL; vanguard.4.social.change@gmail.com

Friday, October 21, 2011

HIS EXCELLENCY, EXECUTIVE EMBEZZLER


 Written by Okey Ndibe

Last week, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) accused three former Nigerian governors – Gbenga Daniel of Ogun State, Adebayo Alao-Akala of Oyo, and Aliyu Akwe Doma of Nasarawa – of stealing billions of naira of public funds. One newspaper reported that the three men allegedly mismanaged or embezzled more than 100 billion naira between them.



Two of the three men, Mr. Daniel and Mr. Alao-Akala, made court appearances to face multiple counts of money laundering and embezzlement. In a country where shame still has some purchase, a man accused of unconscionable theft would wear an expression indicating his recognition of the gravity of his alleged office. Even if falsely accused, such a man would comport himself in a manner that leaves nobody in doubt that he takes the charges seriously.
Not, alas, the former governors of Ogun and Oyo. Both Daniel and Alao-Akala arrived at the respective venues of their trial with the swagger and strut of candidates for induction into rolls of honor. Each brought a retinue of idolizing cheerleaders. Sporting flowing white agbada, they smiled and laughed and pumped fists and shook hands and waved to ecstatic supporters.

If anything, the body language of the two accused men left the impression that they mistook their trials for political rallies. Scratch that: it was as if they were stars at a political carnival, mobbed by adoring fans out to shower them with gratitude for peerless service. The atmosphere was nothing if not exuberant. It was the Bode George syndrome on steroids. Three years ago, Mr. George, a former military governor and confidant of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, was docked on charges of mismanaging billions of naira during his tenure as chairman of the board of the Nigerian Ports Authority.

As if determined to mock his trial, turning its solemn proceeding into an occasion for fashion and entertainment, Mr. George arrived at each court session with his posse of supporters, most of them elegant women who spotted matching dresses and expensive paraphernalia. Unimpressed by the fashion extravaganza, the judge found Bode George guilty and sent him – and his co-accused – straight to jail.

If Bode George’s fashion parades did not sway his judge, why are Daniel and Alao-Akala plying the same route? Why did they act as if they were in court to be decorated with medals for exemplary public service? Do they see themselves as heroic and populist who are being unfairly persecuted for championing the cause of the downtrodden?
Far from it! Nigerian prosecutors want both men to account for billions of naira they reportedly pocketed through fraudulent means and in illicit schemes. In other words, the EFCC has set itself the task of proving that Daniel and Alao-Akala are crooks, pure and simple. Should the commission’s case hold up in court, the two ex-governors are bound to earn spots in the nation’s public ledger as “His Excellency, the Executive Embezzler.”
In fact, if the anti-corruption agency persuades the trial judges that the accused are guilty, then the two former governors face the prospect of several years in jail – in addition to stiff fines. Why would a man in such potential jeopardy trivialize his trial by behaving as if he were the chief celebrant at an owambe outing, complete with praise singers?
One answer, of course, is that the two ex-governors know what the rest of us don’t know: that their trial is a ruse, a ploy, a gimmick designed to titillate the Nigerian public and to maintain the fiction – with the international community – that Nigeria takes seriously the war against corruption.

Heck, it’s actually not true that the rest of us don’t know it. Certainly, Nigerians have seen little or no reason to believe that the apparatus of law enforcement and the machinery of justice mean business when it comes to combating corruption. There’s much anecdotal evidence to support the perception that anybody with loads of cash can buy his way around the Nigerian police. Besides, Nigeria has been terribly unlucky in several of its attorney generals. Often, it’s as if the occupants of that hallowed office see their primary duty to be the protection of the worst of plunderers.
Think about it: Nigeria has been the stage for a series of national and international scandals, but without a single Nigerian official being held to account. There’s the whole question of what happened to billions of dollars that Nigeria reportedly earned during the first Gulf War, when retired General Ibrahim Babangida was running the country. The late economist, Pius Okigbo, investigated the matter, but nobody knows where his report can be found.

There was the Pentascope scheme, in which – by some account – Nigeria lost more than N100 billion. The National Assembly made moves to probe the scandal, but the whole affair soon fizzled into nothingness.

Thanks to the feud between former President Olusegun Obasanjo and his deputy, Atiku Abubakar, we learned about the questionable ways that the cash in our country’s Petroleum Trust Fund was disbursed. Neither man was seriously questioned on the matter.
There was the Siemens bribe scheme. In late 2008, officials of the Germany-based engineering giant agreed to pay a record-setting fine of $1.6 billion to the German and US governments to settle an investigation into the company’s practice of paying bribes in exchange for contracts in several countries, including Nigeria. Then Nigerian ruler Umaru Yar’Adua vowed to find and prosecute any Nigerian official who accepted the inducement. Till date, not a single Nigerian official has been indicted.

Then, there was the mother of recent scandals: Halliburton. It involved an extensive bribe scheme in which executives of Halliburton, a company once headed by former US Vice President Dick Cheney, confessed to bribing several top Nigerian officials in order to secure huge liquefied natural gas contracts. In March 2009, the office of then attorney general Michael Aondoakaa stated that Nigeria had sent an official request to the US government for the names of Nigerian beneficiaries of the bribes. You guessed right: That statement was as far as Nigeria ever went before the whole story disappeared from the pages of newspapers – and Nigerians were lulled to forgetfulness.
Incidents of proven or alleged betrayal of the public trust have since lost their capacity to shock Nigerians. It’s conventional wisdom in Nigeria that most, if not all, public officials – both in elective as well as appointive posts – help themselves liberally to public funds. What’s even worse is that many Nigerians have become so jaded that they openly defend deplorable and brazen acts of corruption. On blogs and other Internet forums, some contributors invest energy inventing all kinds of justifications – or excuses – for public officials (among them, presidents, governors, ministers, legislators, local government councilors) who loot public treasuries.

Many Nigerians would often garland the necks of pickpockets with tires, douse them in fuel, and set them on fire. But some of the same merciless Nigerians would argue that politicians who pocket billions of naira in stolen funds must be accorded respect due the office they hold. Some Nigerians would not insist that occupants of exalted public office must conduct themselves nobly. Yet, when a public official is called by the proper name earned by his or her ignoble conduct – for example, for stealing – some misguided apologists rush forward to demand that the office itself guarantees its occupant some form of beatification.

President Barack Obama earns $400,000 per annum. Even his most inveterate critics would agree that the man works hard for every dollar he’s paid. Amazingly, no Nigerian governor – and few of Nigeria’s local government chairmen – would agree to swap salaries with Mr. Obama. Why is that so? For one, because most Nigerian governors collect N300 million or more each month – more than $2 million – in an entrenched scam called security vote. Each month, then, many a Nigerian governor pockets enough cash to pay Mr. Obama’s annual salary four or five times over!
For that matter, every three months, members of Nigeria’s legislature collect enough cash in “constituency allowances” to pay the US president’s salary three times over. Yet, with the exception of a handful of public officials, it is difficult to make the case that Nigerian leaders work hard.

But you must give them this: Nigerian politicians know how to laugh hard, even when they stand in the dock accused of betraying those they were sworn to serve.

 okeyndibe@gmail.com