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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.
 
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advocacy Begins with You


For most of us reading this blog, we are able to advocate for ourselves.  We are able to provide a quality life for ourselves. We are able to maintain income to live within a general area of comfort. This is unfortunately not the case for much of society in Nigeria. In Nigeria the "have's" work to not only support a quality standard of life for themselves, they also work to ensure that the "have not's" stay in their place.  

Many of the "have not's" are our friends, cousins, brothers, sisters, and even our parents. Some "have not's" may even comprise some of our readership. It is our responsibility to advocate for those that are not able to advocate for themselves. We need to give a voice to the "have not's." It is unacceptable for individuals to be treated with disregard for human life. It is time to end the genocide and abuse that exists in Nigeria. We are here to give a voice to the voiceless and to be advocates for those that are unable to advocate for themselves.  
 
 

You may be asking how can I be an advocate for my fellow Nigerians. We must elect individuals to our government that are going to make decisions based upon what's right, rather than based upon who is lining their pockets. We must place individuals in power that are not afraid to challenge the status quo, that are not afraid to stand up and say this treatment and oppression will no longer be tolerated.

While this may seem like a daunting task, I assure you, it is highly attainable. As a united front we can put the individuals in power that will make for a better tomorrow in Nigeria, that will instill hope and assurance in our young people, and that will make decisions based upon what is right, because that is simply the right thing to do!  

This work will by no means be easy or be popular. We will be bullied and intimidated by the haves. Anytime you take away power from those that have it (whether they should have it or not) it is all out war. We will be dumping gasoline onto an already vibrant fire. While the process will be daunting and some may not rise to the challenge, we cannot afford to wait. We must step up on behalf of the have not's and make a better life for all.

It is easy to talk about, write about or lecture about the change that is needed. What is truly needed is a total transformation. Nigeria needs to be re-structured from the top to the bottom. This will take bold actions by those that are in power. It is essential that we step up to seek governmental positions. Once in those positions, we must tirelessly work to transform Nigeria. It is essential that there are no “sacred cows.” Everything must be analyzed. In a time of re-structuring and re-building chaos may ensue. Trust that this is an essential part of the process. Trust that it will get better. Most importantly trust that transformation must happen. The future of Nigeria lies in the hands of the change makers. While we did not create the corruption and problems that exist in Nigeria…if we sit back and continue to do nothing, the problems will still exist in 10, 15, 20 years and then it will absolutely be our fault. We sat back, we watched it happen, and we agreed to allow the status quo to be perpetuated. This behavior is unacceptable. Nothing will change without our actions!

Monday, December 3, 2012

The New Police in Town


It seems as though the trend of Governor Rochas Okorocha making “fabulous” decisions is continuing. He has really done it this time. He now has established and activated ‘Imo Security Network’http://www.imostate.gov.ng/imo-state-news/news_details.php?idx=imsg-launches-imo-security-network-with-324-men-7691151318140. This is a private community security outfit that has been commissioned to take action against the violence that is occurring in Imo state.

         Imo Security Network being inaugurated @ Ahijoku Convention center, Owerri Imo State.

This seems rather odd to me…why has he not taken action to strengthen the appropriate trained and sanctioned police department? How are the citizens supposed to know who is truly there to uphold the safety and security of the country? I do not understand how the citizens of Nigeria are supposed to know whom to contact when they are in need of law enforcement support. Do they call the security official or the police?

I am very concerned about this body of individuals being given firearms and other weapons. Who is governing them? Are they trained? Who are they accountable to? This seems like it could turn into a vigilante group, which is definitely the last thing Nigeria needs.

I am wondering if Rochas Okorocha has thought through the impact this action may have upon the police force. The police officers are most likely feeling undervalued. Governor Rochas Okorocha’ actions clearly show that he does not trust them or believe in their competency in fighting crimes in Imo state.

Now that Rochas Okorocha has outsourced law enforcement what is next on the list…fire service, healthcare, transportation? This is a very slippery slope with significant consequences. Perhaps we should look at outsourcing the Governor position of Imo State Nigeria.
 
Other articles on Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state Nigeria:
One hell of a birthday party! - http://chiedufelix.blogspot.com/2012/10/one-hell-of-birthday-party.html
Remediation Course Needed - http://chiedufelix.blogspot.com/2012/10/one-hell-of-birthday-party.html
So Enamored with Himself -  http://chiedufelix.blogspot.com/2012/06/so-enamored-with-himself.html

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two Years of Liberating




Obama/Biden…check

Vote No Twice MN…check

Klobuchar (again)…check

Elizabeth Warren…check

It was a great election season. I continue to expect good things out of Obama. It is now your second term Mr. President let’s reform immigration, sustain quality healthcare for ALL, and keep this economy on the upswing.

Thank you to all of our followers. Without you, we wouldn’t have had two liberating years on our blog!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Recipe for Succeeding as a Chronic Liar

 
Step 1: Believe anything that you read.
Step 2: Take things way out of context to twist the meaning.
Step 3: Say anything to appeal to the base.
Step 4: Instill an irrational sense of fear into voters.
Step 5: Intentionally mislead people to achieve votes.
Step 6: Never own your mistakes.
Step 7: Slant the truth as much as possible.
Step 8: Leave your integrity behind.
Step 9: Become a Republican
Step 10: Change your name to Mitt Romney.
 
 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

One hell of a birthday party!

 
Today I had an epiphany…as you know I continue to challenge decisions that are made by leadership in Nigeria. I also question why the leaders have the followership that they do.

 
 
 
Well today’s epiphany is about the coercion that occurs among Nigerians at a very young age. Rochas Okorocha governor of Imo state, declared a state holiday to celebrate his birthday. Among many idiotic declarations, he ordered all schools, all markets and Imo state civil services to be closed down to attend a celebration recognizing his birthday.
 
This is ridiculous, however, as I explained at the outset, I see why Nigerians don’t stand up to their leaders and in many cases promote this foolishness. I am troubled that the education of children is seen as a second-rate priority when compared to the governor’s birthday. Can the students afford to have an entire day of learning compromised to partake in this pompous and self-serving act? I don’t appreciate Rochas Okorocha celebrating his birthday and mandating his own recognition on the backs of Imo state children. What kind of sick priorities does Rochas Okorocha subscribe to?

 
Ref: http://www.thisdaylive.com/articles/imo-shut-down-for-okorocha-s-birthday-celebration/127200/

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vote No in Minnesota

 

 
 
So today I am bit disappointed in myself. I was on my Facebook page and saw a picture of Amy Klobuchar supporting the Vote No movement. In November Minnesotans are faced with a voter amendment regarding same-sex marriage. If the amendment passes, the Minnesota Constitution will be amended to define marriage as strictly a union between a man and a woman. I am a huge supporter of Amy Klobuchar and I will definitely be voting “No” in November. I do not believe that it is the government’s business to define for individuals who it is and is not okay to love.
 
As I stated earlier, I was disappointed in myself. Why you may ask…I was disappointed because I thought twice about “liking” Amy Klobuchar’s photo showing that she will vote “No.” I was worried that I might start an unwanted debate on my Blog, Google, Twitter and Facebook pages regarding my stance. After thinking about it further I “snapped” back into my determination of ensuring equity and equality for all and proudly “liked’ Amy’s picture.
 
As a straight individual it would be easy for me to “duck and cover,” regarding this issue. It is essential, however, that people like me stand beside our gay relatives, friends, and colleagues to ensure that they are given the same right to love who they choose. It is simply not right to for us to sit back and let the government decide matters that are of a personal affair.
 
 
Related blog post - Minnesota Marriage amendment 2012 http://chiedufelix.blogspot.com/2012/02/minnesota-marriage-amendment-2012.html
 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Crisis in Libya


Ref: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/13/world/middleeast/us-envoy-to-libya-is-reported-killed.html?pagewanted=all

Today I write to you with a very heavy heart. I am very, very concerned about the recent developments in Libya. It is extremely worrisome to me the level of violence the Islamic fanatics have utilized in carrying this attack. While the attacks were not justified in any sense, I am deeply struck by the fact that the Ambassador was assassinated. Why would the ambassador need to be killed? What threat was he posing?

I am also worried at the level of planning this attack took. Clearly the attack was staged for 9/11. The other attacks that were orchestrated yesterday are clearly not coincidental. I am afraid that these fanatics won't stop and will continue to commit these acts of terror instilling fear among our global society. These Islamic fanatics further perpetuate the stereotype that Islamics are terrorists. As we know this statement is not representative of an entire group.

On another note...Romney...really how low will you stoop? You now twist this tragedy into a campaign strategy to attack Obama. Romney, raise the level of discourse. Your comments are insensitive and frankly in very bad taste.

My thoughts and prayers to those individuals and families impacted by these attacks.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Remediation Course Needed

Ref: http://dailyindependentnig.com/2012/08/imo-okorocha-makes-study-of-igbo-language-compulsory/
 
Rochas Okorocha Governor of Imo state Nigeria is at it again with his laughable leadership. Unfortunately, his leadership decisions continue to do harm to the people of Imo state Nigeria. In his latest action, he instated a law "Okorocha made the proclamation - has announced a compulsory acquisition of a credit pass in Igbo Language as among the quantifications for prospective candidates seeking admission into higher institutions in the state ", that all students living in Imo state must be fluent in Igbo prior to graduating high school. While an overarching question here would be "Why is this an essential law?" that is not what I will focus on. My question today is does Governor Rochas Okorocha need a remediation course in the structures of government?

This law should technically go through the legislative channels. This is not a law that can be simply instituted by the Governor. Rochas Okorocha 's actions are in violation of the governmental process and structure. The most surprising piece about this action is that Governor Rochas Okorocha actually has a Public Administration degree from University of Jos. Hmmm perhaps his alma mater has a different set of public administration courses they teach their students. It is a frightening day when the Governor chooses to violate the governmental process. If Rochas Okorocha has an utter disregard for following the law of the land, how do we expect the citizens of Imo state Nigeria to do so?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Makoko Residents: 72 Hours to Nowhere

 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fradulent Fareed

 
In the world of journalism, plagiarism is one of the most serious of offenses. It is thoroughly disgusting that CNN chose to give Fareed Zakaria a simple slap on the wrist for his inexcusable behavior. Please join me in boycotting Fareed's program "Fareed Zakaria GPS." Perhaps this will send the message to CNN that it is not ethical to steal another's intellectual property!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Romney/Ryan...Really?

Very puzzled by Romney's choice of Paul Ryan. Who is Romney trying to appeal to? I suspect given Ryan's political leanings...Romney is trying to appeal to the base. My confusion lies in that it is highly unlikely that the base would vote for Obama anyway. So...instead of teaming with a running mate that would capture the Republicans that would possibly vote for Obama...Romney chooses someone that in fact captures the people he already  has in his camp anyway.


If Romney/Ryan are elected (which is a far cry) we can look forward to:
- reducing taxes...for the wealthiest of Americans
- more attention to women's rights...banning of birth control
-more accountability with government spending...cutting the programs that benefit those most in need
Wow...what an attractive ticket these two make!

Great move Mitt. Well I do owe Romney a thank you for handing Obama his second term with today's decision. At least now we don't have to worry about Obama facing competition

Friday, July 27, 2012

Way to Go Greece!

Greek triple jumper Voula Papachristau who made a racist remark about Africans



One thing that puzzles me is why in this day and age do we still have to have national and international figures making racist remarks. Voula Papachristau tweeted the following tweet..."With so many Africans in Greece .. At least the mosquitoes of West Nile .. will eat homemade food!.." https://twitter.com/papaxristoutj

What is wrong with you Papachristou? While I am extremely bothered by the content of her remark, I am in fact disgusted with her remarks following the disciplinary actions taken by Greece. Rather than taking ownership for her intolerable behavior, she blames everyone around her. This is unacceptable. Stand up and take responsibility! With comments like that...you don't deserve to compete anywhere let alone in the olympics!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Demand a higher standard

As many of you know I strive to point out the injustices that I see in various situations that occur. I am taking a particular risk with this posting. The subject of my post is the vast majority of Nigerians. Yes...I am probably talking about you. While we can all talk until we are blue in the face about the injustices that exist in Nigeria, each of us hold a piece of the dysfunction that exists.


I have noticed that while we may talk a "big game" about accountability, at the end of the day our actions don't match our words. The standard that Nigerians hold their public officials to is very low. What do I mean by this? Well it is actually fairly simple. I have noticed that Nigerians often applaud ludicrous behavior that is frankly unacceptable.

The most recent example of this revolves around the topic of the blog from earlier this week. I discussed the actions of Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State. He decided to take the law into his own hands and to pursue enforcement of the "commercial vehicle lane." While some Nigerians were seeing this as a despicable act the vast majority of individuals who weighed in on this issue were applauding the governor.

This brings me to my question...Are we really ready to bring about change? In order to bring about this change, it is essential to hold the governmental officials accountable for their leadership. Until they receive the pressure from us they will not change their behavior. It is time to end the status quo. The status quo I am referring to is the complacency of Nigerians. Stand up for what you believe in. Examine what is really important to bringing about changes. Most of all don't celebrate the stupidity exhibited by the governmental leaders. In fact...I implore you to stand up against these acts and demand a higher standard of action. The standard I am referencing is to promote a Nigeria that is free from corruption, that offers equal opportunity to all and most importantly is a desirable place for individuals to live.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Who's role is it anyway

Babatunde Fashola Governor of Lagos state Nigeria caused so much traffic back up while trying to arrest traffic offenders.

This picture illustrates a ludicrous act demonstrated by the "esteemed" Governor of Lagos state Nigeria Babatunde Fashola.  In Nigeria some drivers choose to disobey the traffic lanes that are clearly designated for buses (BRT lanes in Lagos) and other commercial vehicles. Babatunde Fashola, in his ever infinite wisdom, decided to take the law into his own hands and pull over some military officials for misusing the (BRT) commercial vehicle lane. While I am not supporting the misuse of the lane, is this really the role of the Governor of Lagos state?

I am concerned that Governor Babatunde Fashola feels that he is now in charge of enforcing the traffic laws. I ask you...is this the best use of the Governor's time and power? I am concerned that this is how the Governor chooses to spend his time. Of equal concern is the fact that the Governor feels this is his role. Why is he not out meeting with his constituents, why is he not meeting with lawmakers, or better yet why is he not advocating for the critical changes that need to be made in Lagos state?

I am going to take a bold step today and call out those who have supported this action. I was frankly shocked to see the level of support that Governor Babatunde Fashola has received regarding this action. I ask those of you supporting his action to truly analyze what you believe to be the role of the Lagos state Governor. Nothing will change if Nigerians continue to have such a narrow scope of expectations. It is time to vision change and evolution. It is essential that to champion change the public hold their leaders accountable for advocating for and actualizing change. At the risk of stating the obvious...I don't believe that enforcing traffic laws necessitates revolutionary change and evolution.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Goodluck Jonathan... The law breaker


I am truly at a loss for words with respect to this response - “Asset Declaration is voluntary, I don’t give a damn what any one feel about it" Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan. The asset declaration is a policy tool adopted by the Nigerian people to ensure that public corruption doesn't occur. Apparently, President Goodluck Jonathan doesn't give a damn about protecting, defending and most importantly following the constitutionality of the Nigerian government.

                                Nigeria President Goodluck Jonathan being sworn into office

What is wrong with him? A law is a law is a law. If he doesn't like the law then work to change it. It is not okay to simply ignore a law or worse yet openly defy it. What type of role model are you Goodluck Jonathan? You have lost all credibility (not sure how much you still had left). You might as well have opened the gates to greed, crime and corruption in Nigeria. If you choose not to follow the laws...how do you expect anyone else to? Oh that's right you operate under the premise of "Do as I say not as I do." A true leader with outstanding credibility.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

So Enamored with Himself



This is a political manifesto if I have ever seen one from Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state, Nigeria: Hear Governor Okorocha:
 "wondered why some children still hawk during school hours despite the state free education programme and construction of 305 model schools in the 305 political wards in Imo". http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89214:imo-drops-six-commissioners-recalls-sacked-teachers&catid=1:national&Itemid=559
While there are many problems with this statement, the biggest one is that it is a blatant lie. See disclaimer from well informed Ndi Imo thereafter:
"I wish to state here that THERE is NO model school built or renovated in my ward, Assa Town in Ohaji/Egbema Local Government as claimed by the governor. Except such is built this morning. If such is the case, it means the governor is economical with the truth. Has LIES become an act of governance?" - Joel Nwokeoma  https://www.facebook.com/#!/joel.nwokeoma/posts/10150952561780750
What I am most disturbed by is the fact that Governor Okorocha would think that he could get by with this lie. Does he not think that this can be proven false? Does he truly believe that his constituents are so enamored with him that they would never check his statements? I am truly worried about someone who is so arrogant and feels that it is okay to lie about this. If he is comfortable lying about a matter that is so matter of fact, what else is he lying about?
Let's send a message to Governor Rochas Okorocha that Ndi Imo elected a governor and not a messiah, and wouldn't tolerate a lying governor.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hush Money

Ref: http://dailytimes.com.ng/article/anti-graft-lawmaker-accused-taking-bribe#.T9SAuHFLUiE.twitter


                                         Congressman Farouk Lawan (Left) & Femi Otedola

Today I write to you with a new development yet it oddly seems to be the same story...just a different day. We all recall the debacle regarding the oil subsidy, the national uprising, the strikes, etc. Well amid all of this uproar what was Congressman Rep. Farouk Lawan doing? One could reasonably expect that during this time he was working to bring about a peaceful, workable solution to ensure the subsidy be put back into place to bring about resolve for the citizens of Nigeria. Unfortunately...no! He was too busy lining his own pockets rather than advocating for the citizens he represents.  He was approached by the oil executives and decided that it was the right thing for him to extort this problem for personal gain. Rather than exposing the oil executives for who they are, he decided to "take the money and run." He cashed in on $600, 000 USD (about N96 million Nigeria naira)  of hush money to protect the oil company from being exposed. An obvious, yet extremely simplistic question that pops into my mind regarding this is..."What the hell is wrong with you?" or "Who does that?"

At least a redeeming quality here is that his conscious got the best of him and he quickly turned the money back over and reported the situation to his fellow congressmen. Actually, no! The way this was discovered is that an oil executive by name Femi Otedola  testify in the Nigeria senate alleging the bribery and naming names to let them know what happened. The plan for the money was that Congressmen Rep. Farouk Lawan was supposed to use the money to bribe his governmental cronies to cover up the results of the oil company investigation. Congressmen Rep. Farouk Lawan, instead became greedy and pocketed all the money.

Well...at least he admitted to it right away. Once again...no! He lied until he received enough pressure and the evidence was too much against him. Not until he was faced with this reality did he come forward. This story is despicable at best. Where is the justice for our governmental officials? Hold him accountable. He is not above the law!

As in America there are a few names that come to mind. Blagojevich, Madoff, Libby, Hecker. These names are among an "elite" list of corrupt individuals. While the American justice system is not always a beacon of excellence, all of these individuals faced justice. They are now all serving time for the corrupt acts they committed. Two of these individuals were government officials. It doesn't matter, the American justice system took the right action against them regardless of their status. It is essential that the Nigerian government make an example out of this individuals. Make them pay for their actions. This is the only way to curb the corruption that exists in Nigeria.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Nigeria Govt. unable to win a fight against terrorism

Ref:Abducted German engineer 'killed in Nigeria' http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-18278740
Edgar Fritz Raupach was kidnapped and killed by the Nigeria Islamic terror group Boko Haram with ties to Al Qaeda, today in the city of Kano Northern Nigeria

To say these situations are disturbing is clearly an understatement. I am alarmed by many facets of this situation. First off, why have three international workers been killed with no resolve? How many more individuals will need to be killed before this problem can be rendered? I am equally alarmed at the lack of coverage and publicity regarding this situation world wide. Has it become so commonplace for individuals to get kidnapped and killed by the Islamic terror group Boko Haram, in Nigeria that it doesn't seem to generate much attention. We should be incensed by this. When the three Americans were kidnapped and held in captivity in Iran they received (and rightfully so) media coverage and frankly there was clear outrage. I worry that with the lack of attention to these killings, we are passively saying to the murderers that this behavior is allowed. We have to rise up and send the message that this behavior is not allowed and that the people responsible will be held accountable. This is a prime example of how the bullies and intimidators reek hell upon Nigeria. Until these actions are swiftly addressed each and every time they occur, Nigerians will live in a state of fear. The nation will be ruled by kidnappers and murderers.



A British Christopher McManus and Italian Franco Lamolinara national killed by the Nigeria Islamic terror group Boko Haram with ties to Al Qaeda during rescue operation http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/nigeria/9131831/British-hostage-killed-in-Nigeria-live.html   

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Access and Exposure

Ref: Court strikes out EFCC case against Emeka Ugwuonye
http://www.elombah.com/index.php/latest-news/11192-breaking-news-court-strikes-out-efcc-case-against-emeka-ugwuonye

Nigeria Government officials who over saw the illegal detention and prosecution of Emeka Ugwuonye: Farida Waziri and Ibrahim Lamorde

This is a story that we have been following for several months. I know this story evicts quite an array of emotions on either side of the issue. Today I write to you about access and exposure. As you can see Emeka was cleared of the charges that were presented against him. You can see this is a battle that has embroiled the life of Emeka for too many months. While it is great news, I beg a deeper inquiry today. Emeka has access and privilege. He has the ability to navigate the legal system with a keen background and experience. He also has the financial means to fight his battle.

I wonder about those individuals that do not have the access and privilege. Who is fighting on their behalf? Who is working to ensure justice for them? I do believe that it is the moral imperative of those of us with the access and privilege to advocate for those that do not. We need to ensure that we keep fighting and pointing out the injustices. It is frankly frightening to think about the number of individuals that are being held against their will and extorted at the hands of the Nigerian government.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Governor Rochas Okorocha Best of Intentions

Rochas rural market scheme launched in Lagos
http://www.tribune.com.ng/index.php/community-news/41240-rochas-rural-market-scheme-launched-in-lagos

 
At first glance this project appears to be a source of relief and encouragement for the residence of Lagos state. When one begins to scratch the surface, however, the truth begins to emerge and the intentions appear to be a bit or total flawed. While the intentions of the Governor Rochas Okorocha seem noteworthy, they are definitely not genuine. He has built this program to help the less fortunate but has implemented it in the wrong demographic. Why is he doing this outside of Imo state his governing territory where he was elected in 2011? He has not implemented this program in his home area Imo state. A very legitimate question may be "What are his intentions?" I believe this action is less about service to others and more about building his political profile. I believe that he has his sites set on something which is why he implemented the program. Who is really financing this project? Governor Rochas Okorocha motivation overshadows the good intentions of the program. Please implement this program in your own territory! Governor Rochas Okorocha does not understand that "charity begins at home".

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Cut Government Spending USA Presidential Election Rhetoric 2012

During this campaign season we seem to be hearing a lot of phrases such as "Cut government spending." Okay well that may be a catchy campaign phrase, I haven't really heard the candidates articulate what that would look like. So my question is...where are we going to cut?
                Photo from cut-spending. URL: http://aworldofprogress.com/?p=2531

Let's first talk about Medicare and social security which is where we hear that cuts need to come. So what would this look like? Having the senior citizens of our country without health insurance. Think of the thousands of dollars a month of medical and pharmaceutical bills that our seniors would have to pay for. Worse yet, many would have to go without medical care due to finances. Without social security many of our seniors would be without housing. Would this make us proud as a nation to have our seniors living on the streets?

Cuts to welfare is another area. While I understand that like every other system there are some individuals who are taking advantage of welfare. With that being said, let's look at what cuts to welfare would bring us, we would see an influx of individuals going to shelters which would not be able to handle the capacity. We would see many individuals who rely on welfare as a tool to sustain their family without the ability to provide food or housing. This would again result in countless individuals and families out on the streets.

Cuts in education...so are we looking to have 40 kiddos in a kindergarten class? We will see our students educated in facilities that are below standard? Will we see slashes in educator pay which will result in subpar candidates entering the field which will cause us to slip further and further behind in the global marketplace?

Cuts to our infrastructure. Do we want to see our roadways and bridges not maintained in a quality manner. This would result in unsafe and hazardous conditions for millions of Americans. Do we ever want to see the horrific bridge collapse that occurred in Minnesota in 2007 repeated?

Well I could go on and on and on about government funded programs...you get the picture. My call to the candidates is to put some muster behind your words. If you want to cut government spending, tell us where. Just a word of caution...every cut is associated with a face.

Justifiable Raises???

Aminu Waziri Tambuwal Speaker of the House of Representatives of Nigeria

So I think I stumbled across the bill that got the least resistance getting passed in this year’s Nigerian Legislative session. This new law calls for a N27million naira increase of quarterly allowance of members of the House of Representatives from a former N15million naira per Representative, 80% raise for the legislators. While I know that raises can occur for legislators, this timing seems ludicrous.

Do we recall the removal of the fuel subsidy early this year by the Nigeria Government? Not only did this cause mass pandemonium (which was clearly justified), it is still hampering the livelihood of the poor and middle class. If the government can’t afford to keep the fuel subsidy in place, I think a logical wondering is how can these raises be afforded?
A further commentary regarding this matter is the Nigerian Interdenominational National Day of Prayer and fasting that took place Friday March 16th, 2012. While I believe this is a quality sign of unity, I am wondering if there are other ways in which impact can be made. During the National Day of Prayer the participants were praying for the betterment of Nigeria.

Will the prayers bring the fuel subsidy back? Will the prayers bring a higher level of accountability for government officials? Will the prayers fix Nigeria lack of social infrastructure? Will the prayers stop Nigeria terrorist called Boko Haram?

Unfortunately, I think there are better ways to go about revolutionizing the society to bring about a change. The people of Nigeria need to join forces to let their government officials know that their behavior is not appropriate. It is time to unite and start putting on the pressure. Call, e-mail and visit your legislators, do not cave in to the authorities deploying men and women of the Nigeria Police and Army to break up your peaceful protest for change and accountability of the Nigeria society. As Margaret Mead stated, “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.”
Further reading on related topic: http://www.thenationonlineng.net/2011/index.php/news/40171-house-okays-n38-8bn-jumbo-allowance-for-members.html

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Dinner on backs of tax payers


The Director General of Nigeria Security and Exchange Commission, Arunma Oteh

First off I would like to say that I want to know what this government official was eating for #850,000 naira (equivalent of $5391.6907 US dollars) per day. Can we say champagne taste when she is supposed to be on a beer budget. I am curious as to why this official feels that it is okay for her to spend this type of money. As a government official shouldn't she be modeling fiscally responsible behavior?

Let's talk about the checks and balances. First off why was this allowed? Secondly what is the government going to do about this? Is she going to have to pay the money back? Will she lose her job? It pains me to think of all of the ways in which this money could have been spent to ensure that Nigerians receive the goods and services they are entitled to.

There seems to be a feeling of entitlement among some Nigerian officials. Why do they feel they need to live "high on the hog." It seems as though she feels she is better than the people she serves. It seems to me that those that have the most impact in bringing about change and in being leaders in their positions have a servant mentality. She should be prudent in the usage of the government funds she is responsible for managing. If she spends $5391.6907 on food for herself, how can we have any trust that she is being a good fiscal agent in managing any of the budgets which she oversees?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Leading by Example


One of the things that I find very interesting is the attitude of “devout” Christians. I find in too many situations people try to use God in inappropriate ways. What I am talking about is the folks that are in the “front” seat of church every Sunday but yet embody behaviors during the week that aren’t exactly “front” seat worthy.

Bishop Ted Haggard former USA Republican religious adviser to President Bush lost his mega church after admitting to a relationship with a male prostitute while married.



I find that sometimes when people are put into difficult situations they will “pull” the religious card but yet do not embody at all that same principle in their own behavior. I see people posting religious quotes and Biblical passages on a frequent basis on social media networks. Yet some of those same people are not living the lifestyle in which they want others to perceive they are.



There is a trend among pastors and other clergy to have extramarital affairs or inappropriate sexual rendezvous that are definitely not in line with the faith they are preaching. I also see people criticizing others for behaviors such as having children out of wedlock or divorce yet they themselves got married and had a baby 3 or 4 months later.

Bishop Eddie Long settled out of court several allegations of sexual misconduct with young men in his mission at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church while also married.



I am definitely not here to impose a moral compass or to state that I lead a perfectly Christian life, I am here to say however, that one needs to judge their own actions and behaviors before casting judgment upon others. I find those that don’t profess a certain religious practice to oftentimes be just as if not more honest than those that preach of a certain lifestyle yet do not embody it. Let’s stop the hypocritical, judging behavior and encourage each of us to lead a lifestyle that is genuine and authentic according to one’s own moral compass.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Republican Presidential Candidates Clueless On Immigration?

Ahhh and so we find ourselves in the midst of another presidential election season. We are only in the beginning of another round of debates, ads, grandstanding and mudslinging from both sides of the aisle. As with every election year immigration is proving to be a hot button issue this year.
                                              photo from Jewishjournal.com

One of the frustrating pieces to me about the candidates is that they are only talking about illegal immigration. This, as many of you know, is only one section of the immigration “problem”, “issue”, “nightmare”. Where do the candidates stand on the issue of legal immigration? We need to extend our conversations beyond “a path to citizenship” and “the need to build fences.” How do we work to reform the immigration process for all seeking to become citizens of the US?

While the problems that exist in the current immigration system far exceed the time and space needed for us to discuss them, I do believe that we can find common agreement on the fact that our systems in place are not working. There are not checks and balances in the immigration process or system. There is not a clear cut direction or guidance for immigration cases. While it is very unfortunate, the current reality is that each case is decided upon by the officer in charge of that case. This makes for discrepancies at best.

Please join me in pressing our candidates to outline a comprehensive plan for immigration reform. This plan needs to go beyond the issues of “border crossing” and “stolen work papers.” We need to hear not only how are we going to ensure that our borders are safe but how are we going to reform the system in order to deal with the current problems as well as have a clear cut direction on immigration.

We need to force our candidates to come out with specific, well-thought out, actionable plans with timelines. Please join me in telling our candidates that it is no longer okay to issue blanket statements about immigration. We need to hear their plans for immigration reform for both illegal immigrants as well as legal immigrants seeking a lawful status adjustment.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Minnesota Marriage amendment 2012




Minnesota has joined many states that have decided to limit an individual’s ability to receive the same benefits that married heterosexual couples are entitled to. On the ballot in November Minnesotans will vote whether to limit the definition of marriage to be solely between a man and a woman.

The Catholic Church has forcefully taken a very public stand on this issue. They are urging Minnesotans to vote for the amendment. It is rather concerning that in this case a separation of church and state doesn’t seem to apply.

While I understand that some have moral beliefs regarding the sanctity of marriage, I ask fellow heterosexual couples, how would you feel if you were denied benefits based upon who you chose to marry? How would you feel if you were denied benefits because you married someone of a different race, someone of a different faith, or someone from a different culture?

I believe that we need to stop denying individuals rights to health insurance and benefits in the case of their spouses’ death simply based on the gender of the two people that are married. This argument is not about morals but rather is about rights.

Am I the only one that is seeing the Catholic Church as a bit “hypocritical” given the scandals that continue to rock the Catholic Church. Perhaps they have bigger battles to fight.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Nigeria EFCC Misuse of Image

Picture from The Guardian Nigeria: http://bit.ly/wVqNjm



Today I am absolutely flabbergasted by this situation. Here is the real version...Emeka Ugwuonye resides in Rockville, MD. USA. On a recent trip to his native homeland Nigeria he was arrested and held for about nine months by the Nigerian governmental anti graft agency EFCC. The ironic piece is that Emeka Ugwuonye was granted bail in court which the EFCC overturned. During the 9 months he was incarcerated he was denied a simple hearing in front of a judge, and when it was made possible for Emeka to be in front of a judge, the EFCC tried everything to sabotage his trial. If it wasn't for a change in administration in the EFCC management hierarchy Emeka would still be incarcerated.
How is this justice. The most disturbing piece of this, is that despite Emeka facing trial, his face is being used to advertise the Nigerian EFCC agency. Which by the way is funded through Germany, UK, USA, France, Holland, and Nigeria. A quality use of fiscal resources in times of international financial distress...would you agree? I am sure if you asked Emeka Ugwuonye he would state that he feels justice has been served...I know I would in his situation...I hope you can sense my tone of sarcasm. Talk about innocent until proven guilty....frightening isn't it?

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Nigeria Civil War 42 years After: Igbo Remembering The Death And The Missing


Today 15th Jan. 2012, is the 42nd anniversary of the Nigeria/Biafra war. It is today that I reflect with a heavy heart. While some might think that this war had no impact on someone that was just an infant at the time and the infants born few years after, I disagree. This war has permeated past, present and likely future generations.


       Pictures of Igbo children during the Nigeria civil war. Image from:antingsofthetalakawa.wordpress.com

Post civil war, Igbo Nigerians found themselves struggling to meet their basic needs. These needs include good nutrition, quality sanitation, respectable medical facilities, highly regarded educational institutions, adequate housing, as well as an affordable standard of living. I stop and ask myself...”Shouldn’t these be common expectations...unfortunately in the current society they are a luxury only afforded to those on the top rungs of the societal ladder.


                                         Image from: messageboard.biafranigeriaworld.com

I ask you to join me in reflecting not only on those who have died as a result of the Nigerian civil war but also all Igbo people who have lost their lives in Northern Nigeria Political-Religious crisis/riots. We need to reflect and take action on how we can raise the standard of living for the lower half of the Nigerian society. How do we bring about a revolutionary change, one which unites the country around a common set of core values, and one that encourages everyone to act in the best interest of all people. We need to work to advocate for those who can not advocate for themselves.



The Nigerian society is only as strong and as healthy as its weakest link. How will you work to raise the standard for all? Perhaps it could be your co-worker, your cousin, your brother, your sister, your child or worse yet you who occupy the bottom echelon of Nigerian society.