The Nigerian Blogger
Speaking Truth to the change we need

Sep
05

The debate whether to build a mosque/community center a few blocks from the world trade center has sparked mixed emotions. Emotions which for the most part have been filled with apprehension and a disdain for the religion of Islam. A large percentage of Americans( that’s what the opinion polls say) see the plan to build the mosque so close to the world trade center as offensive, insulting and rubbing salt to the wounds of the men and women who lost their lives during the September 11, 2001 terrorist  attacks.

Why must the mosque be built so close? what are they( the financiers of the mosque) trying to prove? why can’t they respect those who died, and in the spirit of the universal creed of religion(tolerance) move the mosque somewhere else and let there be peace. So many questions and concerns. The delicate art of upholding the constitution and balancing the emotional  pulse of a scared nation threatens to test pulse and tolerance of Americans

Those in support of this project reference and invoke the 1st Amendment of the US constitution which prohibits  Congress from prohibiting the free exercise of religion or abridging the freedom of speech. They are perfectly correct, but does the changing international and world climate toward terrorism throw a wrench in this whole discussion?

This is a very complicated issue and i think both sides have pretty convincing arguments. I will make arguments from both sides and leave you to make up your mind.

Islam is a religion which a majority of Americans associate with violence. Perhaps wrongly, but the “leaders” of Islam have done very little to dispel those rumors. This may not have been the case before 9/11 but after those callous attacks the perception of Islam as a whole changed. Islam is a religion which finds it authoritative directive, and perhaps derives its veracity from countries like Saudi Arabia because people go to Mecca for Hajj the ultimate pilgrimage of faith for any Muslim and Egypt to a large extent because it is seen as a strategic and cradle of civilization.

Most Americans are  very weary of these countries because Saudi Arabi still has very restrictive limitations on women’s rights: they can’t drive, and are seen as subservient to their men.  Egypt has virtually been a dictatorship nation with President Mubarak in control for over 28 years. Inspite of its elections which are seen by most in the west as a charade. Off course America has turned a blind eye on these misgivings because these two countries are strategic  and important allies in the quest for middle east peace, so interfering in , and pointing out their human rights violations are a no go area for the U.S government.

The conservative media and radio talk show host have also gone into overdrive since President Obama assumed office. They have painted him as ” UNAMERICAN “, a Muslim and have fed an already paranoid American people into believing the Islam as a whole, not spouts of Islamic terrorists are dangerous people. Simply put Islam is seen as bad religion. Americans are on the edge, September 11, 2001 changed everything, and Islam as a religion has become the central point of those attacks.

The greatest problem i see for Islam is that it does not have enough of its moderate disciples carrying its torch and showing people what the religion is all about. Islam has been hijacked by the fundamentalists, the extremists who paint a deadly portrait of the religion; one filled with hate, killing of innocent people and unforgiveness. The religion and its tenets need to be taken back from these crazy extremist and more moderate Muslims need to speak up against this misconception of their religion. The failure to speak up only makes most feel as if they endorse these beliefs. I do not know much about Islam but i know it preaches tolerance. The face Islam portrays today lacks that. The re branding of Islam needs to be done by them.

In this culture of constant and revolving media we live in communication is key. The more you can get your arguments out quicker, and clearer the better for you. Islam is its greatest enemy at this point. There are many great Muslims in the US and all over the world, that need to take back their religion from the extremists who have hijacked it. They need to erase the misconceptions about their religion, because right now the religion is associated with violence and not peace. As of today they have done a poor job at pushing back against the extremists. This is not a verdict of Religion nor an endorsement of Christianity. The disgusting behavior of some priest in the catholic church goes to show Christians have their own demons to fight.

The debate over the mosque will continue way beyond the postings on this blog. I certainly did not intend for this to be all-encompassing of all the facts,but this is the pulse of a large number of Americans. The fear, paranoia, and misconceptions about Islam as a whole is what is driving the apprehension about building the mosque a few blocks from ground zero. Those fears need to be dispelled quick and fast. Moderate Muslims have an uphill battle in wrestling their religion from the jaws of the fundamentalist  who preach killing innocent people in the name of their religion.

The developers have a right to build the mosque, without a question. And absent a showing of any violations by the New York city council the constitution guarantees that right. But should they, you be the judge.

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Jul
18

The BP oil spill off the coast of Mexico has dominated headlines across the world for weeks. How and when would BP stop the spill? And how well will technology in the field of oil and gas exploration respond to this great challenge.

The top hat, the relief well; are terms that have made their way into the vocabulary of most curious observers of the spill, as the try to grapple with the enormous environmental, economic and psychological damage, the spill brought to the gulf coast.

But somewhere far away, thousands of miles away in the marshes of the Niger Delta in the West African country of Nigeria. An oil spill that occurred years ago and continues to happen daily, and has damaged the vast vegetation consisting of mangrove forests, brackish swamps, rain forests and swamp forests, is nothing but a forgone story. A story which has been swept under the carpet by greedy government and oil  executives acting in cohort.

President Obama came under serious criticism for not doing enough to hold BP accountable in the days and weeks after the spill, but even with all that criticism he still got BP to agree to set aside 20 billion dollars in a escrow fund to be independently managed and given to victims of the spill.

Contrast that with Nigeria’s Niger Delta one of the most oil-polluted places on the planet with more than 6,800 recorded oil spills, accounting for anywhere from 9 million to 13 million barrels of oil spilled, but the delta has not gotten the attention in terms of finance and support it needs to rebuild the livelihood of thousands it destroyed. The Oil spill in the Niger Delta dwarfs the oil spills of both Exxon Valdez and the recent BP spill combined but yet our government an leaders are continually silenced by American dollars.

BP, if it had a choice would not have shelled out all this money to restore its credibility as a viable multinational corporation, but it had no choice. The pressure from the US government and public was unimaginable and they had to act. The Nigerian government and officials who are overseeing the recovery of the Niger delta are a bunch of corrupt people who allowed the oil executives the liberty of not taking full responsibility and restoring the Niger delta to the state it was before the spill. Millions were shelled out in kickbacks and bribes and the oil companies abandoned the delta like a sore wound. They left the people out hanging to dry.

The discord and disenchantment in the delta has borne a new set of challenges. Feeble minds and idle youths have been recruited to militancy. The Niger delta is agog with lawlessness and is revolting against the government and oil companies. Kidnappings and blown up oil rigs and platforms are the order of the day. Can you blame these youths, or has the government and oil executives contributed to this uprising? That is  story for another day.I have been to the Niger delta, the stench, poverty and oil sleek on the water are very bad. Yet this area accounts for most if not all of Nigeria’s wealth.

The risks of oil drilling can never be eliminated, but when these accidents occur whether it be man-made or natural disasters. Those in authority should take responsibility for fixing the problem and ameliorating the sufferings of the common man.The recent handling of the BP oil spill and how the Niger delta catastrophe has been handled over the years underscores the disconnect between the Nigerian government and the people of the delta.

It also says alot about how the oil companies will react to an accident. If they feel pressure to do the right thing they will, but if not the will throw a few dollars here and there as bribe and they will continue as if nothing ever happened.

Jun
27

The most treasured element of a true democratic society is the ability of its franchised to cast their vote for whoever they so desire, without any fear of intimidation or harassment. The vote is the most powerful voice of a citizenry. Or is it? How emblematic is that statement in a chaotic society.

Those who run for public office should also be able to seek the mandate of the people without any fear of their lives being in danger. I wish i could say that for what is going on in Nigeria today

The 2011 elections in Nigeria are coming up and that smell of fear, death and harassment  of past elections permeates the political atmosphere. Our political history has memories of death and disappointment, from the death of MKO Abiola, to Bola Ige the former attorney general who was gunned down in cold blood in his home, to Funso Williams, and most recently Dipo Dina, the thirst for power is fueled by violence once election season starts.

A couple of weeks ago, Gbemisola Saraki a Nigerian senator almost fell to the same fate that had befallen plenty before her. Her house was stormed by armed men asking specifically to see her, she was lucky she wasn’t home.

These elections are especially important for us. Because the leaders we elect will decide how our future in economics, science, sports, infrastructure, politics and international relations will be charted in the next 8 years. We need to elect visionary men and women who know what the stakes are. The world is moving faster than we can comprehend in Nigeria, and indeed most of Africa. But we are still stuck in the dungeons of ancient civilization. We still do not have constant power, the same problem the cave men wrestled with millions of years ago, we still haven’t solved.

We will become an obsolete Nation if we do not adjust to economical, political and technological advancements of this every growing and changing world.

Our moral compass is decayed. Instead of discussing and planning how we can be a more viable and prosperous country, our leaders plot to kill for power. When evil men and women will kill for power, it makes their motives for government service questionable. Do they really want to serve us this desperately that they will kill whoever stands in their way,rather than persuade the public to vote for them through, campaigns, debates and all other avenues afforded them? . The obvious answer is no. They want to loot the treasury plain and simple.

It has become a staple of Nigerian society, get elected into government and you will come out super wealthy. So the essence of Politics has turned from serving to stealing and looting. Most of these politicians don’t even have a clue of what service means.

What legacy do we pass on the millions of children in Nigeria who hope for a better future. Like a father, the legacy you live your child will most likely determine what kind of person he turns out to be. The Nigerian children are at risk. They cry out for a better future, one of certainty and stability. But their government, and society fail them.


May
31

Without a question President Barack Obama will go down as one of the most intelligent and charismatic men to ever govern the United States of America . He brought a new sense of participation, awareness and exuberance that politics had lacked for years when he ran for president. His campaign was structured with military like precision, It paid close attention to detail, and delivered a message Americans were yearning for. CHANGE….But perhaps the campaign’s greatest attribute was that, it was built from the bottom up. He made politics cool again. There is no denying the genius and destiny of the man.

But with greatness comes challenges. And Over the past few weeks i think the president has faltered on two major issues. Issues I think are big enough that the average American might take notice, and might be his Achilles heel, come election season.

First Issue: Arlen Spector the republican turned democrat.  Spector was originally a democrat, but switched parties in 1965 to challenge democratic district attorney in Philadelphia. 44 years later he turned democrat again. He wanted to preserve his senate seat, and he knew he couldn’t do it in the republican party so for his selfish reasons he turned democrat, so he could run.

He was welcomed by the president with open arms, which i kind of understand. The president needed every vote he could get to pass health care and Spector was a welcome addition. The terms of the deal remained sketchy, but the president agreed to campaign for him in Philadelphia. The other democratic senator running in the primaries Joe Sestak who had been a democrat all along did not get the president’s backing. But I guess this is politics.

The President risked his political capital (which is very hard to come by these days) and campaigned for Arlen Spector. Spector lost the primary and the little guy (with all due respect,.. “little” is used to illustrate the enormity of the challenge Joe sestak was up against) won .

His victory said a couple of things to me. People view our president on a different pedestal, a higher one, which is a good thing. When he was elected he promised to stop politics as usual in Washington, but this was nothing but politics as usual. It was like the big strong guy in the school yard trying to stifle the little guy out of his candy. Needless to say it did not go down well.

The way Joe Sestak was treated will make most people unhappy, regardless of party affiliation. He was a democrat all along, suddenly Arlene Spector  who just a couple of years ago was endorsed by George bush for the same seat Obama was endorsing him for was running as a democrat and as the white house favorite. Arlene was running not because he loved the democratic philosophy so much, but with a selfish agenda. He wanted to keep his seat, and he thought he had a better chance doing that as  a democrat.

If i were  a voter in Pennsylvania, no matter what the president told me, and believe me i am a huge Obama supporter i would not have voted for Arlene Spector. My conscience would not have allowed me to. People expected way more from the President on issues like this, this was a morality issue. You don’t want the American people questioning your sense of morality and fairness. when incidents like this happen.

Second Issue : The Oil spill in the gulf of Mexico. This started as an unfortunate  disaster but has turned into a catastrophy. I wonder how the people of the Niger delta in Nigeria feel as they watch this ugly incident unfold. But that’s a story for another day. It has been almost 40 days and the oil still spews from the deep-sea. BP which owns majority stake in the well, has suffered tremendous public relations and competency blows, but so has the President and the white house.

Every one knows there is nothing the President can do to stop the Oil spill. The US government does not have the expertise to stop the spill, and they must rely on BP to do that part. But this is what the President should do and has not done enough.

First, this has become headline number one in the US. It has become a national security issue. Some have called it Obama’s Katrina, and they will do whatever it takes to make him look like a failure just like George bush was after Katrina. They want their pound of flesh back. The President needs to stop whatever he is doing, and head over to the gulf of Mexico , remain there until this  hole is plugged.

The American people want to see a passionate president, one that is on BP’s neck, one that is in total control of the whole project. They don’t see that right now.  They see an administration which is disjointed and gives mixed messages at press conferences.

This is the first major crisis that has happened on Mr Obama’s watch and his handling of it has not increased his reputation for competence, leadership or, strangely, empathy. He was there for a couple of hours last week, that does not cut it. He has to move the white house down there.

This is a period of crisis, Katrina devastated this area, and people here think the government’s response was weak and lackadaisical during Katrina. President Obama does not want to look like this. This is his time to show how great and compassionate a man he is, he needs to go over to the Gulf right now and stay there till this whole thing is solved, because right now he looks disconnected from the reality of what is going on.

May
14


The moral fabric of any society is its most revered, it’s most treasured. Because without morality we loose our sense of value, and our foundation for a civilized society gradually erodes us.

Our sense of respect for our values is once again called into question by the despicable acts of Senator Yerima, a pedophile, and a child molester.

Senator Yerima a sitting Senator and former governor of Zamfara state in Northern Nigeria recently married a thirteen, YES! YOU HEARD ME RIGHT! 13 year old Egyptian girl. The marriage allegedly took place in Abuja because the Egyptian authorities frowned at the idea of a 13 year old girl getting married in their country. He also allegedly paid $100,000 dollars to the family of this poor little girl.

This man makes me sick to my stomach. But what makes me even angrier is the response of the government. People will always break the rules of society that is why we have laws to keep people in check and ensure that laws are respected. But the Federal government has been quiet, acting as an accomplice after the fact, and condoning this despicable act of child abuse.

The provisions of the Child Rights Act clearly forbids a marriage between an adult and a minor. It is forbidden because a minor is considered as someone that cannot take full responsibility and consent  for his or her actions. It is not conceivable that the marriage between the Senator and the child had been done with the girl’s knowledge of the full implications of it.

The federal government is without question an accomplice with Yerima for its silence and inaction. The government should have made it clear that child abuse and child “marriage’ is totally unaccepted by arresting and charging him to court to send a strong message. What “evidence” does the government need? Do they not have the Immigration Landing papers, passports and Abuja mosque imam and eye witnesses including senators who attended the “marriage” ceremony? Do they not have Yerima’s own admission that he is following only Islamic laws and the Prophet not Nigerian laws? Do they not have evidence of Yerima’s earlier “marriage” to another 15year old whom he disposed like used toilet paper to “marry” this younger 13 year old? Why did the government not cancel Yerima’s official passport to show its disapproval of his pedophilia and disregard for Nigerian laws? Any government really serious about fighting certain evils in Nigeria and improving Nigeria’s horrific international image would have taken serious actions against Yerima and other public office holders breaking the laws with impunity.

The culture of arrogance, lawlessness and impunity by the political/power class must stop. Yerima has subsequently explained through a BBC interview that he is bound only by Islamic laws, forgeting that he swore to uphold the constitution of Nigeria as the supreme law of the land. According to Yerima, he was merely following his Prophet in Islam and anyone criticizing Yerima’s pedophilia and criminality was attacking Islam. By the way this is his fourth wife.

Nigerians all over the world condemn this crazy mans action. This is not who we are. We are a morally upright and respectable people. But yet again our government fails us. It’s silence and inaction on this matter goes to show how decayed our moral fabric has become.

Our elected officials have become immersed and consumed by the thirst for power and money; that the little values that define a society eludes their consciousness and thinking. What a shame.

I hope those in authority will take a deep look at themselves, and their ways.

This innocent girl is being raped and abused day after day, and nothing is being done. I weep for Nigeria!

May
06

The death of president Umaru Yaradua is very unfortunate.  I pray for his family. I hope they have the strength and fortitude to stay strong in this trying time.

But as we all offer our condolences and wish the new president well, i can’t but ask myself if this tragic event could have been averted. If only life, liberty, the rule of law, and respect for the constitution trumped politics.

The late president was ill right from the start of his presidential campaign. He had been taken to hospital when he was on the campaign trail, so news of his ailing health was not new to Nigerians.  After the elections, and he was sworn in as president, news of his ailing health still dominated the headlines. He got very sick, and was flown to Saudi Arabia in November of 2009, from this point things changed very quickly.

The Mystery surrounding his health and exact whereabouts were shrouded in total secrecy, sort of like a chapter out of a clandestine Robert Ludlum novel.  No one , but a handful of close aides and family knew where he was.

But as the pressure from the press and the Nigerian citizens grew, the politics, instead of the Presidents health took center stage.

Senators stalled installing an acting president pursuant to the constitutional requirements.( the reason they didn’t want power to leave the North and go to the Niger delta! aint that great) The senate congressional group sent to saudi Arabia on a fact finding mission on the president’s health was turned back without seeing the president.Nigerians were totally left in the dark, except off course a handful of cabals who really knew what was going on, and were okay flouting the law.

The unbearable pressure and threat of installing Goodluck  Jonathan as president eventually made the presidents advisers smuggle him into the country in the dead of the night. He still was kept isolated from everyone, even the Vice president hadn’t seen him. He confirmed this just a couple of weeks ago in an interview with CNN’s Christine Amanpour. Seventy days after he returned to the country, he died of undisclosed causes.

So here is my point, was the lure and thirst for power so strong  that it allowed those who should have known better, and put our late presidents health first so power drunk?. If he had relinquished power to his vice president, and sought medical attention abroad, not having to rush home to save his presidential seat, maybe he would still be alive today, no one knows. If he had stayed away to seek expert medical care which we obviously lack in Nigeria, he might have had a chance at life?  So many if’s but only God knows what would have happened.

One thing is very clear Politics came before the health of the President, and it is a shame that his advisers who should have offered him candid and truthful advice failed to do so. Instead they chose to fight for his political life. Well they lost his political life and his natural life in the process.

May
04

After  the Sept 11, 2001 bombings, the way the world, and indeed American authorities reacted and perceived terrorism totally changed.  From the horrific scenes at the world trace center,  to the sophistication and meticulous planning of the terrorist operating under the direct command of Osama bin laden and Al Queda. The CIA,FBI, and all other law enforcement officials were baffled. They had been penetrated by a few men, who had a well thought out plan, hatched in the primitive Afghanistan caves

Things could not be done the old fashioned way anymore, things had to change! America was attacked on its own soil, and national security became  number one on the list of priorities of the president. The bush doctrine of pre- emptive action was put into effect. We had to attack and thwart any attempt that was perceived to jeopardize national security before it was carried out. The face of international law totally changed, and the bush administration subsequently attacked Iraq because it was perceived as an axis of evil and falling under the ambit of pre- emptive action of the bush doctrine.

Alot has changed since the Iraq war, and the Afghanistan invasion. Al Qaeda has become decentralized , most of its prominent leaders have gone into hiding and they seem an unorganized bunch. But they have become innovative, they have taken to digital terrorism, inspiring young men and women over the internet to hate the US and the west and carry out attacks on their soil.

The threat of the lone wolf is on the rise. The lone wolf is a dissatisfied individual, who harbors hate and dissatisfaction against the US for any number of reasons. But he lacks the heart and courage to go beyond the boundaries of his hate. So alqeda’s innovation comes to play. Through the internet, they motivate these feeble minds into carrying acts of terrorism against the West. The lone Wolf is so dangerous to monitor by the CIA because there is no chatter on the internet. They are clean skins, with no prior records. They can strike at anytime because they have the element of surprise on their side. This is the new face of terrorism America has to deal with. Like the adjustments made after the september 11 attacks, the US has to adapt to the growing  threat of Home grown motivated terrorism.

After September 11, other attacks have happened around the world, the UK train bombings, and several attempts have been made on US soil, most recently Naji bulazazi who tried to blow up subway stations in the US on the anniversary of September 11. All these people were motivated by Al Qaeda over the internet.

So the question is who takes the next plunge. Who will be inspired by Al Qaeda to do acts of violence on US soil? It looks as if whenever there is a terrorist attempt, even if it does not come to fruition. It motivates and empowers these enemies of hate,  and it makes them feel they are not alone in their frustrations, and they can continue or complete the works of their brethren.

Faisal Shahzad is the latest of this new breed of terrorists. He is naturalized US citizen. This is prime property for Al Qaeda because  potential recruits who carry US passports have access in and out of most major countries. This makes carrying out their plans much easier. These people are the new face of global terrorism.

Faisal was caught, and the bomb on Time square luckily did not go off, but there are many more of these guys out there. Because they are mostly lone wolfs and clean skins, they pose a serious threat with their greatest asset being that they have no prior records and cannot be tracked by law enforcement.

This new fight cannot be handled by law enforcement officers alone. Private citizens have to be vigilant and be aware of their surroundings. We must engage in community policing. Like the hot dog vendors who alerted the police about Faisal Shahzad’s car bomb. The private citizen might be an instrumental element in combating this new and ever changing face of terror.

Apr
22

I have always paid particular attention to how I look, and most especially how I dress. From the moment I reached puberty, and started looking for and getting girl’s attention, I knew image was key. You have to have it together! When I went grocery shopping with my mum as a teenager, I was always attracted to the stylish, fashion, haute couture magazines, and I eagerly flipped through the pages for fashion inspiration and guide.

About 10 years ago I decided GQ was the total package for me after sampling other magazines in that category. I religiously started reading the magazine and I haven’t stopped since. What I love the most about G.Q is that it’s not just a fashion or style magazine, it has all the information the modern man needs to know; politics, sports, entertainment, music. It’s just the total man monthly handbook. Its versatility is its most appealing attribute to me.

We all know image is Key! I can’t say that enough, that’s why there is nothing like seeing a brother looking tight (and with that I mean white or black guy). From the classic, to the contemporary and the modern man your style is as defining a statement as your biggest accomplishment. A great suit can turn that interview to a job; it can turn that proposal to a deal sealer and vice versa.

You don’t have to be packing major stash to dress well; it’s all about having an eye for the good stuff, and being able to spot a good bargain. The designer outlet malls also help. The Saks off fifth and Niemen Marcuses help bring those sometimes crazy prize tags to very affordable ones. Once you know what u want money won’t be an issue, you will always gravitate toward the very nice stuff that fit your budget. And there is tons of great stuff the every day guy can afford and look very stylish.

Culturally some countries are more fashionable than others; Italian men are regarded by many as the most fashionable men in the world, and Italy is considered the fashion capital of the world. Most average European men seem to be more fashionable than the average American guy. So I guess we can conclude that society and culture plays an important role in fashion.  In Africa, Nigerian men rule fashion!

There is a trend now with more men paying attention to how they look and dress, and that’s a good thing.  Women have always paid particular attention to how they look, so why not men? Men don’t have to be shy, or fear being labeled as gay because they look fly, Fly is good!! So for every man out there,   grab a copy of G.Q, or look for a man magazine that works for you. Learn how to buy a suit and how to wear one, learn how to knot a tie, get a good watch, and smell good. Gradually transform your wardrobe and embrace the fresh, clean inner guy in you

Loose some baggy, go slim! And see how your new image will add some game and swagger to you. Every one has his own individual sense of style and Fashion, but fashion is revolving, style is forever, it’s static. Look for you style niche and stay in it.

Apr
14

1. Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has declared that the state Continuously Operating Reference Station (CORS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) which has been successfully completed will soon come up live.

Like this is what we really need at this time. This is the bane of  the Nigerian society, we fail to prioritize. In a country that can’t provide is citizenry with uninterrupted power, clean water and Proper health care facilities. Suddenly the GPS takes priority. God help  us!

2. EFCC declares James Ibori wanted again!!

Another big joke. The corrupted and deeply infiltrated anti graft body goes on a wild goose chase, for a man defiant to both the law, and the intelligence of the Nigerian people. Lets see how this one ends

3.Goodluck Jonathan admits to CNN’s christiane Amanpour that he has not seen President Yardua since his mid night sneak into the country from Saudi Arabia where he was for months in a hospital, been treated for a mysterious illness.

This one is just a classic. Acting president Goodluck Jonathan told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that he has not seen the president since he came back for Saudi Arabia. The interview is revealing and leaves me dumb founded. Here is the link.

4.Babangida declares for president in 2011.

In a bid to capitalize on the grievances of the North on how Yardua has been treated in the face of his incapacity. Babangida, Yes ,that same

Babangida, the self acclaimed maradona pops up again. The man who annulled Nigeria’s freest and fairest election in it’s history, declares for presidency in 2011. Only in Nigeria!


Mar
31

The Genocides in Rwanda, Darfur, and the Congo are a freighting and chilling reminder of how human intolerance and disdain for cultural, religious and ethnic differences can escalate to unimaginable levels.

These countries will live forever with the memories of these brutal and inhumane killings, even as they struggle with their truth and reconciliation commissions, and try to rebuild their countries. The scars of violence will forever be imbedded in their minds and history.

When history is referenced, its most important element are the lessons learnt from the past. If any lessons should be learnt from these countries, maybe it’s that Broken government, corrupt officials and a frustration of the people can lead to spontaneous acts of violence, which in turn is fueled by hate, and gradually poisons the mind of the weak and gullible to do further acts of violence on a large-scale.

Today the Nigerian government (that’s if we have one) is ignoring the lessons of History. The spontaneous acts of Religious and ethnic violence between Christians and Muslims in the North that started in the 90’s rears its ugly head again in 2010. Thousands of innocent lives have been lost in the past months, but nothing is being done to seek a true and honest solution to this problem.

These acts of Violence are orchestrated by a few sadistic and power-hungry politicians, who prey on the weak and religiously bankrupt. They want to divert attention away from the unavailability of the president by shifting the focus of the national discourse, and changing newspaper headlines.

Thousands of innocent lives have been lost with this latest round of religious violence. Innocent Men, women and children were hacked to death in cold blood all in the name of religion. The government has done nothing to compensate the families of this horrific tragedy, to rebuild their homes or to even take an inventory of exactly how many people died. Rather it is preoccupied with politics of power!

The government is busy with solidifying its power base. They ignore the signs, that show nothing but a disaster waiting to happen. The Jonathan/ Yaradua power struggle continues, all the Abuja elites are interested in is how to steal more money, and how to rig the election coming up next year. Nothing else!

The Niger delta is a good example of how when these signs are ignored, violence and lawlessness will inevitably follow. If the Government had been honest and paid attention to the issues of the Niger delta people maybe these militants will not have any audience today. If proper infrastructure and good leaders were in the Delta, maybe it would have been a daunting task to ask young men who had good jobs and a stable way of life to become mercenaries revolting against the government.

The Nigerian Nation risks being thrown into anarchy. If the Niger Delta thuggery, and spouts of religious violence are not checked.
With the age of the internet where fanatics are quick to inspire idle and jobless minds that violence is the way to go. Where imitation of Terrorist behaviour is on the rise ( weeks after the Christmas day bomber was caught an imitator sought to Bomb churches in Lagos) We risk the future of generations to come, we risk war, and a total breakdown of the law and order if we ignore the writings on the wall.