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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.
 
 

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.