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I am a political scientist by training but at heart I am a change maker with an insatiable drive to correct the injustices that plague Nigeria.
 
 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

We are our own worst enemies by Kaanayo Nwachukwu

a) Your child comes down with a headache, maybe fever. You get worried, even scared. You rush to the nearest chemist, could be a pharmacy. You buy some analgesic. You feed your child the medication. And you kneel down to say a pray for him or her. A combination of God and medication will heal your child in a few hours, you think. Your child is now sleeping soundly. One, two, four, five, seven hours or more. He or she is getting much desired rest, you assume. You go to check in on him or her, regardless. In the room, you listen. You hear nothing. No snoring. You touch your child. The skin now becomes pale white and stiff and loses its sense of touch: your child is dead. The adulterated panadol or paracetamol you fed your child has killed him or her. You cry! You ask God why.


b) Your car develops a mechanical fault. You rush to Idumota or Aba or Nkpo or Nnewi or wherever. A guy talks you into parting with your hard-earned money to purchase a brand new 'original' Japanese spare part. A day or two after, your car dies again. You also need to replace the very same part you had paid for just a couple of days or so ago. You ask God why. 

c) You finish your university education in Nigeria. Five, ten years and counting, you have got no job in your own fatherland. You want to explore opportunities in other countries. You get your green passport ready. You arrive at a Western country’s embassy in Lagos or Abuja at midnight. You stand in line in front of their gate till 9 a.m. They take your money and then deny you visa. You raise the palms of your hands to heaven. You cry. You ask God why.

Do you really want to know why? Okay, here’s why:

d) It is because Nigerians have come to be known for lying and cheating. If we can't even trust ourselves, why should anyone else? The drug that killed that innocent child was faked by one of us. That spare part that got you stranded in the rain right in the middle of nowhere was manufactured in Aba or Nnewi or Lagos and was deliberately sold to you as ‘original’ Japanese part by a fellow Nigerian. You were denied visa at that embassy because of the sundry atrocities your fellow Nigerians commit in that country you want to journey to. 

e) We are all guilty of destroying Nigeria's image -- both at home and abroad. Yet, we shout to high heavens and complain about our leaders. For us to usher in that Nigeria of our collective dream, we need to first be good followers. Opportunities abound everywhere, Nigeria and beyond. But we can only tap into them when we turn a new leaf and begin to give a hoot about what we want our people and the world to think of us.

Kaanayo Nwachukwu
is a Speaker, Commentator, and Writer. He is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir, "A Dream of Canada: An Incredible Story of Struggle and Overcoming."

Friday, November 25, 2011

Sex Abuse: The role of Bystanders

As a nation we have been plagued by the Penn State Scandal. While this has been the most recent of sex scandals it is utterly wrong that this has occurred throughout the US for a number of years. There are countless victims that fall victim to sexual predators every year. While the Penn State Scandal is disturbing on many levels, probably the most disturbing point is the cover up that took place spanning many years harming many children.



Why did these men choose to turn a blind eye on the actions that were being taken by Sandusky. Why did they choose loyalty over what is morally, legally and ethically right? How can they live with themselves knowing that they contributing to the molestation of so many boys?

While the way Penn State handled this situation in the beginning is deplorable, they have taken actions now that show that no one is above the law and that they will not stand for this behavior regardless of who you are.

This sex scandal is not unlike many sex scandals that have occurred for the past several years within the Catholic church. Once again these sex scandals have been covered up by the supreme leaders of the church. How can church leaders preach the moral and Christian code of life while covering up sex scandals that are occurring? To me this is bigotry of the highest level.



I am a firm believer that sexual predators need to be held accountable to the highest extent of the law, I also feel that we need to get tougher on those that knowingly allow the abuse to continue. Aren’t they just as much to blame? Think of how many fewer victims would have been sexually assaulted had the Catholic Church took a firm stand in the beginning of the sex abuse scandal and turned their priests over to the authorities rather than defending them? How would the Penn State scandal have changed if Paterno would have taken the right actions when he first found out about the abuse?

The one positive light in this controversy is that hopefully awareness has been raised and people will understand that this is not okay regardless of who you are. All need to be held accountable for either sexually assaulting kids or for covering up the actions of others.

Blog Guest writer:
Dr. Nee Schouweiler : Is a college professor and an advocate of minority education

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Osu Caste System of Ndigbo is obnoxious: By Kaanayo Nwachukwu



The Osu caste system of Ndigbo is obnoxious, plain wrong, abusive and discriminatory. It is as despicable as it is evil. And it is worse than racism. To think this barbaric system is the brainchild of a people who constantly complain of marginalization in Nigeria is very mind-boggling.

This barbaric system is archaic and treats fellow humans as inferior beings, as well as keeps them in a state of permanent and irreversible disability in the community.

The Osu (or the slaves or the strangers or the outcasts or the untouchables) are forbidden from dancing, drinking, holding hands, associating or having sexual relations with non Osu (or the so-called freeborn or the masters). They are never allowed to break kola nuts at meetings or pour the libation or pray to God at any community gathering, as their prayers are believed to be harbingers of calamity and misfortune.

Abuses and discrimination meted out against the Osu in Igboland include but are not limited to: parents poisoning and disinheriting their children; heaping harvest offering separately in churches, refusal of membership in social clubs or organizations, violent disruption of marriage ceremonies, denial of chieftaincy titles, deprivation of land and property; expulsion of wives, ostracism, organized attacks and etcetera.

Although in 1956, the government of the then Eastern Nigeria passed a law abolishing this harmful, dehumanizing and discriminating tradition, 50 years after the enactment of this legislation, nobody has been prosecuted or convicted for breaking or circumventing it. All that the legislation has achieved, at best, is sort of drive the practice underground.

Old habits die hard, they say, but if encouraged, the new generation of Ndigbo, methinks, can bring this ancient practice to an end. Please, let's work together to make this antiquated practice history in our land, for nobody is born a slave. We are all born free. Have your say!

Kaanayo Nwachukwu  
is a Speaker, Commentator, and Writer. He is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir, "A Dream of Canada: An Incredible Story of Struggle and Overcoming."

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Celebrating The Nigerian Liberator Blog First Year


Thanksgiving is the perfect time to express our sincere appreciation for your readership and your partnership. At the Nigerian Liberator we strive to expose the corruptions that infiltrate our globe. Our writers are activists with a keen eye on social justice and advocating for those that cannot advocate for themselves. Thank you for your readership and collaboration.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Removing petrol subsidies in Nigeria is senseless - by Kaanayo Nwachukwu

Before anyone accuses me of being, to a great extent, responsible for making Goodluck Jonathan president of Nigeria because of the roles I and some of my friends played before, during and after his election, let me say right off the bat that his plan to remove fuel subsidies effective from 2012, is wrong, senseless and ill-thought out.

The government's argument that Nigeria is the only place on Earth where life is still being subsidized is a very big fat lie. Subsidies exist in one form or the other in many countries.

The United States pays around $20 billion per annum to farmers in direct subsidies as farm income stabilisation. For every dollar an American farmer earns, 62 cents come from some form of government subsidy. The estimated total subsidies to US farmers in 2009 from all levels of government were $180.8 billion. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), a system of European Union subsidies, represented 48 percent of the EU’s budget of €49.8 billion in 2006. In 2010, the EU spent €57 billion on agricultural development, €39 billion of which was spent on direct subsidies. China has several export subsidies.

So, the whole talk about how much subsidies cost the government of Nigeria is simply bunkum or hogwash, for lack of better words. The claim by the de-subsidisation lobbyists that petrol is cheapest in the world in Nigeria is untrue. Given Nigeria's per capita income, at N65 per litre, petrol is actually not cheap. In the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where per capita income is several times higher than what we have in Nigeria, a litre of petrol sells for around 1AED (N45) and SRO 0.45 (N18) respectively. In these countries, the citizens additionally enjoy their God-given natural wealth in several other ways. As one of the largest oil producing and exporting countries in the world, in which way has the ordinary Nigerian felt the impact of the wealth crude oil has brought and still brings to his or her country?

All the government's talk about how much it costs it to subsidize petrol for Nigerians is akin to moaning about how much you spend to keep your children healthy and happy.

Yet, our legislooters and executhieves lack no billions of dollars they can stash away in private bank accounts in the West.

Kaanayo Nwachukwu is a Speaker, Commentator, and Writer. He is the author of the highly acclaimed memoir, "A Dream of Canada: An Incredible Story of Struggle and Overcoming."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Welcome to Nigeria, land of corruption



Nigeria Police Force! A snippet into the life of policing in Nigeria with their ...extorted "N20 Bribe" counted in police station. A Rag tag police doing, What they Know best. Welcome to Nigeria, land of corruption.
 
Photo and Written By Segun Adekunle Alli
 
 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Occupy till I come : By Kaanayo Nwachukwu

While it has become an increasingly tough task getting Nigerians to come out and protest about their dissatisfaction with the tumultuous state of events in the country, that dilemma has however not been experienced by religious leaders and thousands of bar-owners in the county; in fact they seem to be the biggest beneficiaries of the failing health of the Nigerian state, as they have witnessed an exponential increase in the number of people trooping into their establishments to seek solutions.

Recently I read of Omolayo Abayomi, a Nigerian-born UK resident nurse who had her license revoked because she neglected her responsibilities in the face of an immediate challenge and resorted to calling on Jesus. A situation that best describes the attitude of a large section of the Nigerian people.

The lucrative business of religion is closely followed by the alcohol industry in terms of patronage by Nigerians, and the reason is found in the disillusion and easy escape from the harshness of reality both offer to unsettled Nigerians. While it is clear that the lack of power, infrastructure and adequate jobs are all a failure of governance and government, Nigerians still throng to places of religious worship screaming their lungs hoarse as if the plan is to deafen God to submission.

Several others simply drown themselves in unbelievable quantities of alcohol in beer spots littering the country. Nigerians have been persistently pummelled by successive repressive governments with unfriendly policies, and each time you feel they have been sufficiently pushed to the wall enough to spur a reaction; they turn around and scale the wall. It is almost as though it is impossible to provoke a response from Nigerians, and this has spurred forth an aura of impunity from the ruling class.

This crowd abnormality has become a tool of further repression of Nigerians by several religious leaders across the country. The religious leaders have become kingmakers as they have been able to apply the unquestioned loyalty of majority of the masses to full effect. It is not uncommon at election periods to see staunch Northern-Muslim presidential candidates waving their hands and chanting Christian songs at crusade grounds along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The scope of their power is unimaginable!

Pastors sit atop the most financially rewarding, less-burdensome enterprise in Nigeria today and have further diversified their fledging church business. One of such additional businesses is the highly-overpriced universities everywhere now, that have further compounded the educational situation in the country with the production of socially-unprepared graduates. This is in total contradistinction to the ideals espoused by early missionaries who dispensed free healthcare and education as evidence of the altruism of their religious faith. The lucrative nature of religion is now so enticing that I suggest the National University Council (NUC) introduces a full discipline called ‘Bachelors in Church/Mosque Administration (BCA/BMA).

It is not uncommon to see well-known rogues, renegades and political-miscreants who have occupied our collective economical fortune occupying the front rows in churches and mosques today, while the rest of you blandly occupy the spaces behind. After all the Bible did quote Jesus Christ in Luke 19:13 as saying ‘Occupy till I come’?

The tragedy is that many of you would die before Jesus Christ does come, and the only spaces you would have successfully occupied would be those seats behind the rogues on the pulpit and front row in the church/mosques, and Mama Nkechi’s plastic chairs in her beer-parlour. The current political current all over the world favours popular protests, and this would have been the perfect opportunity for Nigerians to express their displeasure over the insecurity, shoddy self-centred policies, poor and biased implementation of established laws and inability to create a framework/roadmap for infrastructural development in the country.

This would have represented the best opportunity for all Nigerians to down tools and peacefully demand of the government their economic space that had been illegally occupied by political opportunists. But as I have found out after all these years, you ever-enduring Nigerians would return back to your places of religious worships and favourite alcohol spots for your daily fix.

Courtesy: Sylvester Awenlimobor


Kaanayo Nwachukwu: Is a Speaker / Commentator and the author of the highly acclaimed memoir, "A Dream of Canada: An Incredible Story of Struggle and Overcoming."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Religious Rhetoric Masking Hypocritical Mindset



I am not understanding why governmental leaders and national assembly leaders feel it is within their jurisdiction to outlaw gay couples or any gay activities in Nigeria. The first issue is why is this a governmental affair, the second issue is what constitutes gay activity.
                                        David Mark Nigeria Senate president comment on the gay ban: “Homosexuality is offensive to our culture and tradition”; “It is incomprehensible to contemplate”; “I cannot understand it”; “My faith as a Christian abhors it”; “We cannot allow our tradition and value system eroded”; “It is offensive”; “It is repugnant”; “I do not think any religion supports this”.
On the first front, I am feeling that this is a bit hypocritical. These same governmental leaders that site Christian beliefs or say they are taking the higher moral ground are oftentimes married to at least one wife but also practice polygamy. How is this in line with high moral standards. Worse yet, these same political leaders may have multiple mistresses.

                                              David Mark as a Nigeria military officer with coup d'etat inclination. David Mark participated and benefited from military coup d'etat in Nigeria and should be in jail serving for conspiracy against the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But instead he is Nigeria senate president. Does christian religion permit coup d'etat against ones own country?


On the issue of not allowing any gay behaviors, this is a slippery slope. Who is defining gay behavior? How is this regulated? How is it enforced? Can Nigerians simply call law enforcement officials to state that they saw gay behavior or a homosexual? Is gay behavior as simply as two men hugging? Hmmm where do we draw the line?
In a country filled with corruption and violence, I find it hard to believe that this is the biggest issue that needs to be pursued by law enforcement and government officials.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Corrupt Leader and his cronies

 
 
Former Governor of Lagos state, Bola Tinubu will never cease to amuse me with his uncivilised character, this man obviously thinks because he came along with three seating ACN governors to the court makes him above the law. He thinks he's too much of himself. There was empty chair in the dock which he vehemently refused when the judge instructed him. Honestly, opposition or no opposition, this man... should be made to feel the full wrath of the law. PDP corrupt ex officials never disobeyed court orders in past. Hello! Lagosians are so gullible with their Bola foolishness. I sincerely want to know why any sane person would want to have three accounts with different names in the same bank and he does same in multiple banks. I heard he studied in Toronto, how many accounts was he having before he left Toronto, what work was he doing as a student. We are indeed dealing with a crook. If I may ask, is it not contempt of law to refuse to enter the dock and sit? Frankly speaking, most judiciary in civilised country would have him charged but in Nigeria, anything is possible, sacred cows everywhere, so my question remains, if the judge can not call an accused to obey court protocols, what is the possibility that such a spineless judge can convict Tinubu. Phoney politicians, mediocre judiciary. Late Gani will be turning in his grave now when he hears how Tinubu used his Shakara to disobey the court. I use to know the law is no respecter of persons, not in this case! All na Shakara! Who no go no know. Thief na thief. He's nothing but a common thief and code of conduct bureau should please bear its fangs for once. Failura to do so will be setting a very bad precedent. Besides, unscrupulous lawyers are major part of the headache in Nigeria and they contribute largely to the culture of impunity more than any class of charlatans relegating the country into lawlessness
 
Written by: Kester Raymond Okodede
 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Kidnapped: pleading for action


This story has so many dimensions of fraud, scandal, and disappointment. Where is the Rochas Okorocha government’s response? Where is the urgency regarding rescuing the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Imo State Nigeria, Lady Chioma Ogoke, with contradicting reports of her regaining freedom?. In the U.S. when an individual is missing, the person’s information is spread across media outlets. Law enforcement agencies from local, state and federal agencies respond with swift actions. If the person went missing near a body of water, divers are sent in to search. If the person went missing near a woods or forest, bloodhounds are brought out to track the person’s scent.

Volunteers come out in force to search for sometimes weeks. Families hold candle light vigils and are constantly reaching out to media for assistance. Unfortunately, none of this has occurred in this case by the Government of Rochas Okorocha in Imo State. This is a major government official Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in Imo State Nigeria…it is scary to think of what the response would be if it was an “average Joe.”

Other government officials are consumed by fear. They are living in constant terror not knowing if they will be next. Do government officials do their best work under these conditions? The message that the Government of Rochas Okorocha seems to being sent to the kidnappers is to go forth because there is no reaction, no intervention, no justice. I ask of you Governor Rochas Okorocha is this the type of reaction/behavior that will move Imo state Nigeria forward?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Culture of Fear...

Source: https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.php?fbid=266345973386639&set=a.200860933268477.50643.100000337165757&type=1&theater

 • The police routinely brutalize people on the flimsiest of excuses. PHOTO: OLATUNJI OBASA - PMNews Lagos Title page - Amnesty Slams Nigeria For Rights Abuse May 26/2010
 
Source: http://adedunmadeonibokun.blogspot.com/2010/12/2011-nigerian-budget.html

A Culture of Fear...

This photos depicts Nigeria police officers in a position of power humiliating and ridiculing citizens of Nigeria. As you can see, the citizens are complying with the directives given by the police officers, one is being forced to leap like a frog. I ask you, what type of action justifies this consequence? Why are these police officers allowed to humiliate these individuals. I truly believe that individuals that violate the law need to receive consequences, but how is leap frogging a justifiable consequence? The citizen is forced to comply with the officer's directives because of the culture of fear that currently exists in Nigeria. If this individual were to question the officer or worse yet, not comply, God only knows what would happen.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Bragging Rights


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15048700

The rape video on youtube - http://youtu.be/3Td0RVdJSmY


I am utterly disgusted by this chain of events. A gang style rape of a woman. These men deserve to be punished to the full extent of the law. What bothers me most about this, however, is that there was not urgency in this case until it started to be catipulted into the media. Why did the government wait to react until the media began pressuring them for answers. I can't help but think that if the media hadn't pressured the government to take action against these men, they would still be free and bragging about their actions.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Where’s the Money


Where’s the Money : Rejoinder FG (Nigeria Federal Govt.) Removes 43,000 Ghost Workers from Payroll http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/fg-removes-43-000-ghost-workers-from-payroll/94835/    


                                           Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Former Finance Minister

This is a startling story. While no public or private agency is immune to fraud and fiscal mismanagement, 43,000 ghost workers seems extreme and frankly frightening. This article has left me with more questions than answers. The obvious question would be how could this happen? Who is responsible? How much money is missing? Will the money be recovered? While these questions most likely will never be answered, the below questions, however, do need to be answered.
What safeguards will be put into place to ensure that this does not happen again? What accountability will be put into place to ensure the safeguards are followed? Now that the new payroll system is in place, how will this be implemented throughout the nation to minimize and eventually eliminate the payroll fraud that has permeated the Nigerian government payroll system for 50 years plus?
This fraud is disturbing, let’s hold our elected officials accountable to ensure that this NEVER happens again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Aspiring for a higher accountability

One of the philosophies that continued to mystify me about the Nigerian government is the mismatch of priorities. Public officials seem to be overly concerned about the status their position affords them and seem to be significantly under concerned about the happenings within the society in which they govern.

In a country with high poverty, incomparable levels of corruption, and significantly low educational levels, why are they so concerned with being addressed as honorable. It seems to be the Nigerian officials are consumed with using their positions to better themselves and their families rather than improving the lives of the people they serve.

Nigeria continues to lose out on opportunities to to be competitive within the global marketplace. It is time for our public officials to make decisions based on the best interests of all of the individuals they serve. They need to stop using their positions to better themselves. They need to stop the corruption and be advocates for those that can not advocate for themselves. If the current Nigerian political regime is unable or worse yet unwilling to do so, let's get the right people in office to truly bring about a better Nigeria for all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

National Crisis... Nigeria a country without a valid national identity card


A national ID is commonplace in developed countries such as the US. The national ID is used for everything from proving your identity for a doctor's appointment to applying for a loan, to proving identification during a traffic stop. In the US it is a crime to falsify your identity. If you are found to be in possession of a stolen or falsified ID you are not in a good position. In the US, births and deaths are a matter of public registry. While this does not eliminate identity theft, it helps to greatly reduce it.

In Nigeria, however, it is commonplace for individuals to have multiple ID's. Births and deaths are not recorded. This is a very dangerous place for a nation. When a nation is in a position in which they are unable to verify a person's identity, how are they to ensure general safety and security in their country. When it comes to the seemingly simple task of voting, how does Nigeria ensure that the individuals voting are citizens? How do they ensure that the voters are only voting once?

When a country is unable to verify the identities of the people residing there, how are they to know who to be wary of, who is in their country illegally, and who is a potential safety threat? I would be very wary of living in a country in which anyone can present any name in which they like and be able to obtain a fake ID with relative ease.

Am I the only one wondering if my name and identification are being falsely used in Nigeria?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A stolen News article and fake author by Sahara Reporters news media


Echoes of Tyranny At Airk airline
I have found this story to be disturbing and frankly embarrassing. Why do journalists, writers or bloggers stoop to plagiarism?  See original article published by Kaanayo Nwachukwu on 13th June 2011:  http://newspapersafrica.com/morenews.php?news=business&id=1831, two days before Sahara Reporters publication of 15th June 2011.
Honestly, it would be one thing if the journalist "inadvertently" neglected to give credit to the author, it is quite another that the journalist not only stole the work but then made up a fake author. After the whistle was blown on Sahara Reporter stolen news article, see their correction "Editor's Note: This article was originally credited to one "Mr. Adeleye Anthony", however, Kaanayo Nwachukwu wrote to us claiming the original authorship of the report. We regret the mix up. Story was sent to SaharaReporters by Leye Awodiji who erroneously ascribed Adeleye Anthony as the author."
This is clearly a calculated action. Let's raise the level of professionalism. When did it become okay to steal someone else's work and create a fictitious author? You are a disgrace to writers, editors, authors, and publishers throughout the world. Shame on you Sahara Reporter!
Echoes Of Tyranny At Arik Airlinehttp://www.saharareporters.com/article/echoes-tyranny-arik-airline



Echoes Of Tyranny AtEchoes Of Tyranny A

Friday, April 8, 2011

Rejoinder - Cathleen P. Black Is Out as New York City Schools Chancellor

Rejoinder - Cathleen P. Black Is Out as New York City Schools Chancellor
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/cathie-black-is-out-as-chancellor/?emc=na

Is anyone surprised by this? We seem to continue to view non-educators as the new trend in educational leadership in America. Why is it that we take non-educators and place them into high ranking leadership roles within school districts. While superintendents/chancellors must possess a high degree of knowledge with respect to education law and finance, equally if not more important is the knowledge in what is quality instruction.

As a superintendent/chancellor the main job is to ensure quality achievement for all students. In order to do that the leader must steeped in educational pedagogy and have a deep understanding of what quality instruction looks like. They must be versed on the latest educational research, professional development, and be able to establish and sustain quality relationships with the educators that make up the district.

We have watched as other “education reformers” have come into American school districts with the mentality that they are going to bring about drastic change. While this is admirable, approach matters. In order to move forward student achievement, one begs the question isn’t it about the teachers? Isn’t it about the principals? The superintendent/chancellors must be able to know what traits quality principals possess. They must be able to serve as matchmakers to ensure that the right principals are in the right schools and the right teachers are in the right positions.

Former Chancellor Rhee of Washington DC public school and former Chancellor Cathleen P. Black New York public school came into their positions with a bang and left with a bang. Have any of the changes that either Chancellor made brought about substantial gains in student achievement, elimination of the achievement gap, better teaching and learning throughout the district? Quality educational leaders build a system of schools that will stand and continue to grow long after that leader has left.

When the leaders don’t have a basic understanding of quality teaching and learning, how are they to be successful? It’s time to ensure that we have superintendents/chancellors that are steeped in educational pedagogy, that are experienced education leaders, and that have strong business and financial acumen. These are the individuals we need to bring about the quality reform to our schools!

Guest writer:
Dr. Nee Schouweiler

Friday, April 1, 2011

Nigeria presidential debate an act of political Kangaroo

Nigeria presidential debate an act of political Kangaroo


Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan debate alone


Hmmm...there are so many different directions in which to go with this fun little ditty regarding Nigeria president Goodluck Jonathan and his approach to Nigeria presidential debates. My working definition of a Presidential Debate is that all candiates participate in discussing their viewpoints with respect to current issues that are of concern to voters. Clearly Goodluck Jonathan's definition is different. His definition is going to the debate of his choice in which no one else attends and then grandstand acting as if he is the be all and end of all of presidential candidates for Nigeria. I have to give Goodluck Jonathan credit (those of you that are regular readers of mine blog know that this is few and far between), he was able to manifest one of the most unique excuses of why to not attend the debate.

I believe Jonathon's refusal to attend the debate was not about the media network carrier, and was more about his lack of confidence in himself. Perhaps Jonathan you are not able to articulate your views for Nigeria, perhaps you are not sure of the direction the country is headed, perhaps you're not sure of your ability to lead the country. Perhaps Jonathan you shouldn't be the president.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Chronic Abuse, Torture, and Neglect of the Innocent...Courtesy of the Nigerian Government

Chronic Abuse, Torture, and Neglect of the Innocent...Courtesy of the Nigerian Government
Ref: BBC News - Nigerian freed after 15 years awaiting trial http://goo.gl/PCtkH

Effiong Elemi-Edu giving interview about his 15 years incarceration


While this story sickens me on a very deep level, the true tragedy is that this is one of countless examples of this type of injustice. Who is responsible for this travesty. Let's start from the beginning. Was this man (or the numerous other individuals arrested with him) allowed the right to speak with an attorney? Was the on-going interegation (which was designed to be physically, mentally, and emotionally abusive) taped? How can the individuals who are responsible for delivering the abuse be allowed to do so? How can those law enforcement officials stand by and watch this occur? Where are the checks and balances in the justice system that uphold the right of individuals to an expedited trial?

This man was humiliated in prison for 15 years. Where is the accountability? Has there been an internal investigaion into who the individuals are that are responsible for this? How are the individuals who assumed that he was guilty without conducting a proper investigation being held accountable? How are we assured that there are no other individuals who are literally rotting in prison while being subjected to grotesque levels of abuse.

This is an outrage! Where is Goodluck Jonathan's comment on this situation? Has he met with and apologized to this individual? What has Goodluck Jonathan done to ensure this never happens again? Why isn't there public outrage over this case? This type of damage will only continue to permeate the Nigerian society unless individuals stand up for what they believe in rather than turning their cheek. While today it may not be someone you know, tomorrow it could be your mother, your brother, your daughter, or even you!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Nigerian INEC Direct Data Capture Machine: An Election Rig Machine?

Nigeria modernize voting system with laptops and other accessories with direct data capture capability. Laptops are not Internet enabled or storing information in a national data bank: See picture below:


World Bank Managing Director, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala registers to vote at a centre in Abuja.
While in theory this is perhaps a relatively decent idea...in practice, however, it falls short of the mark.
Compare to voters machine in the US: US diebold-voting-machine below.


While the biometrics will confirm the name the individual gave when registering to vote...it doesn't prevent voter fraud. When individuals come to register their citizenship status is not confirmed...so as long as you have registered and completed the biometrics, citizenship doesn't matter. As individuals are coming to register and vote, since it is not a National database in theory an individual can register at several Local Service Centers, LGA. States or Precincts and vote multiple times. While this is one important piece of the puzzle it is not a STAND ALONE METHOD of resolving voter fraud. As a stand alone measure, it does not prevent voter fraud. This is a travesty that Nigerian government dollars are being spent on machines that don't circumvent voter fraud. A better approach would be to have a national database that tracks the identity of all persons in the country. The voter database would be built off of this database. Individuals can only be allowed to vote in their particular Local Government Area of RESIDENCE or Precinct. This will also prevent individuals from voting multiple times. Perhaps Nigeria needs to study the voting processes and systems that are set up in developed countries. Why reinvent the wheel?

Picture of US citizens using the US diebold-voting-machine at the Polling Booth below: