THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION: ONE YEAR

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Well, it has been a year since The Nigerian Proclamation. I must confess that it has been extremely hard to remain faithful to the reasons why the Proclamation was written and at this point, I simply hope that future generations will live in the Nigeria of my dreams.

MY OBJECTIVES
For those that are unaware, I wrote the Nigerian Proclamation as a means to voice my concerns about the April 2007 Nigerian elections. In the Epilogue to the Nigerian Proclamation, I explained that,

"My goal was to give myself and others a way to express their disappointment and frustrations over the recent Nigerian electoral process and the state of Nigerian affairs, in general."
I wanted others to be able to use the 'Proclamation' to express symbolic protest against Nigeria's electoral process and various failings exhibited by Nigeria. Luckily, fellow Nigerian bloggers took the time to put up the Proclamation on their blogs. We were even supported by a good number of non-Nigerian bloggers who stood in solidarity with the principles of the Proclamation.

SURPRISINGLY POSITIVE RESULTS
The participation of so many bloggers served as a message to everyone, myself included, that Nigerians, and particularly, young Nigerians could focus on crucial Nigerian issues and find a unique and innovative means to come together and take a stand as they have with the current Brutish Airways debacle.

Not too long into the day, May 29th 2997, the BBC chose to focus on the Nigerian proclamation. This additional spotlight gave Nigerian bloggers the international attention that they deserve. For myself, the Nigerian Proclamation also provided the incredibly exciting opportunity to participate in a United Nation's report on the possibilities that the internet presents in reinforcing democracy around the world.

BUT, IN REALITY...
Despite this success and the various opportunities that ensued, I realize that despite my passion for Nigeria, and as much as I want to be a tool for constructive criticism and positive change, the road to the Visionary Nigeria I dream of, will continue to be a long, hard road to toll. Great visionaries like Awolowo dreamed of a close-to-perfect Nigeria and talked about the very issues that Nigerians like myself harp on daily. If they never realized the dream, who am I to believe that I will see the 'promised land'?

The fact that Nigerians continue to complain about the same things they complained about decades ago, has forced a change in perspective. Simply put, I only hope that my children will have the opportunity to witness a Nigeria that can feed and provide not only for itself, but the entire African continent. It would be amazing if my children witness a Nigeria where all have access to free education, free health care, free electricity and drive, ride bicycles or walk on safe roads or sidewalks lined with trees to provide shade. A Nigeria that is the envy of the entire world.

That is my dream for my children and as such, I will continue to commit myself to the principles of the Nigerian Proclamation. As such,
  1. I WILL CONTINUE TO DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.
  2. I WILL CONTINUE TO EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.
  3. I WILL CONTINUE TO BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.
  4. I WILL CONTINUE TO APPLY MYSELF TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.
  5. I WILL CONTINUE TO STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.

I can only encourage others to do the same or more. And, I can take this opportunity to thank the various bloggers and individuals in my life that continue to remind me of the goals of the Proclamation and to whom I remain eternally grateful for their help then and now - Ugo Daniels, Oz Omodudu, M @ the Afro Beat, Dee and the Wise Old Man, to name a few.

AND, FINALLY,

I must also take this opportunity to send another message to Yar'Adua, the President of Nigeria. I read a small portion of your interview to the Financial Times. I noticed, in particular, your response to the question on your achievements in your first year as President. While I will reserve any judgment on whether your response is factual or not, I can only state that to tell the entire world that
"you find even in personal dealings, business dealings in the market place, between individuals, there is no respect for decent dealings that are governed by civilised behaviour. Respect for the rule of law is the basis for civilisation."
There could be an inferred implication that Nigerians are not of a great "civilization" and that only you, dear sir, can lead them to this 'civilization' via your 'Rule of Law' message. I cannot help but think of the Nok people, the Benin Kingdom, the people of Ife, whose religion has spanned the globe, or the Magajiya, Queen Amina the warrior whose name has been passed down to generations of Nigerians in absolute pride for her successful war skills.

Nigeria has been and continues to be home to great civilizations and for the nation's president to infer otherwise to a foreign publication, regardless of the current climate in the country is troubling. It simply confirms the stereotypes that many have of Nigerians and reinforces the fears held by many that Nigerian leaders, far too often, speak badly about and look down on their own people. Such talk cannot exist in an administration that has professed a desire to rebrand Nigeria. Consequently, I hope that Yardy will not express such an attitude and that other Nigerians will refrain from doing such, as well.

Nevertheless, God bless Nigeria and all its people. And may the principles of the Nigerian Proclamation and the good intentions of those committed to Nigeria's greatness come to pass in my lifetime.




Related articles:
- The Nigerian Proclamation
- Epilogue: The Proclamation
- The Nigerian Proclamation: Making A Statement
- Nigerian Proclamation on BBC
- 2 Years Later: Nigerian Proclamation


AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

BRUTISH AIRWAYS CALLS POLICE ON NIGERIANS

Monday, May 26, 2008

In an attempt to peacefully deliver its demands for better treatment of Nigerian passengers, Respect Nigerians Coalition (RNC) was met at British Airways by heavily armed anti-riot police.


Thankfully, no one was rough handled, and in fact, Lagos Mobile Police Commander, Patrick Ejebawe, crafted a compromise that allowed leaders of RNC to deliver their demands on Brutish Airways authorities and inform them of the now commenced boycott. In representing Nigerians, RNC has informed the Brutes that this boycott, will not end until Brutish Airways has met the demands to treat Nigerians with respect.

But this begs the question why Brutish Airways would insist on the presence of armed police officers when dealing with complaining customers? After all, Nigerians have a right to gather, complain and do what they like in their own country. Personally, this just reinforces the fact that Brutish Airways has absolutely no respect for Nigerians and could care less if we boycott or don't boycott. It seems that it was only when the company realized that journalists were present that they decided to actually meet with RNC members.

I, for one, continue to support the boycott and can only hope that others will too.

Finally, on Thursday, May 29th, it will mark one year since the Nigerian Proclamation and the recognition Nigerian bloggers and this site received for taking a stance on the state of Nigerian politics. If you are unfamiliar with the Nigerian Proclamation, please read up on it to learn more. For others, this week will feature a wonderful post on Wednesday from a fellow Nigerian blogger on their vision for Nigeria. On Thursday, there will be a post commemorating the one year anniversary of the Nigerian Proclamation. I continue to believe that Nigerians will change our country for the better. All you need to do is believe.

Thanks to Chxta for helping me decide what to blog about today.


Further Reading:
- Nigerians, 'Brutish' Airways & Respect Pt. 1
- Nigerians, 'Brutish' Airways & Respect Pt 2
- Finally, Some Concrete Nigerian 'Action' on Brutish Airways & BASSA
- "Casual Racism" at Brutish Airways?
- More on Brutish Airways

AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

TALKING THROUGH BOTH SIDES OF HIS MOUTH

Thursday, May 22, 2008

On Tuesday the 21st, Yar'Adua told the Financial Times that he will not seek a probe of former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, AKA "OBJ" or "Baba". He apparently told the publication that to do so would be a waste of time and energy.

Now, I do not fault Yardy for his opinion. After all, like anyone else, he is allowed to have one. I can't even say that I disagree with his conclusion. As President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, he probably has a bird's eye view of certain matters. Nevertheless, I can't help but notice that his statement might just not be as straight forward as it seems.

The image “http://www.yaradua-jonathan-2007.com/Gov-yaradua-with-Obj-pic00-Dec142006.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

EVERYONE WANTS OBJ'S HEAD ON A SILVER PLATTER
Even a cursory glance at any Nigerian publication or website will show that OBJ's head is being demanded by Nigerians from all parts of the country. It appears that many citizens are frustrated with the lack of development that they expected when Nigeria returned to democracy. Some could also argue that there are others with old scores to settle with OBJ and that they are now working on evening the odds.

Whatever the case may be, it is clear that many citizens want the federal government to take a closer look at the former president and the dealings of his administration. All one need do is check out such headlines as the Daily Champion's "At Last! EFCC Probes Obasanjo" from March this year for verification. Or, the calls by the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria encouraging Yardy to be "brave" and "demand that a proper account be given for every government fund and policies[sic] by the past government." Or, the calls by the House of Representatives that OBJ appear for questioning in the power probe over his involvement in the failed power sector and dubious contracts that were given out.

AONDOAKAA DOES WHAT HE DOES BEST
So, while Yardy dismisses these calls as a waste of time, it is hard for me to believe that he truly holds that sentiment. Especially as his surrogate and Nigerian Curiosity Person of 2007, Michael Aondoakaa, publicly makes statements about OBJ's failures and the heavy handed tactics used in the former administration's 'fight' against corruption. For instance, Aondoakaa, recently called the OBJ administration a lawless one that encouraged anarchy by saying,

"You are not unaware of the lawlessness, if not outright anarchy that preceded the present administration.

The records of abuse of power through unlawful arrests and detentions, unjust and unwarranted impeachments that were upturned by the Supreme Court, flagrant disobedience of court orders and many other violation of the principles of the rule of law by individuals, corporate organisations and government agencies in the country's past, are still fresh in our memories."

Aondoakaa further ratcheted up the anti-OBJ rhetoric by recently stating that Yardy's administration would not fail to prosecute anyone found guilty of corruption in the former administration and stressed that "nobody is above the law and so, anybody who runs foul of the law will not be spared, no matter how highly placed".

Given the OBJ-chatter emanating from his own executive office, how can Yardy claim that he is not interested in wasting time or energy by probing OBJ?

MACHIAVELLI WOULD BE PROUD
Yardy may not be the source of the current anti-OBJ rhetoric that has now seemingly taken the nation by storm, but it is clear that he is the direct and immediate beneficiary. His 'win' in last year's elections were discredited by domestic and international organizations and many speculated that Baba himself handpicked Yardy as a replacement so that he could fulfill his alleged 'third-term' ambitions. Consequently, it is fair to assume that at the least, Yardy is using the current anti-OBJ atmosphere to separate himself from his predecessor and cement his administration's independence. Yar'Adua cannot openly attack OBJ, who is also the leader of his political party, the PDP, but he can instead allow individuals like Aondoakaa, who is the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, to do the talking for him. That way, he can tell the world that he will never investigate OBJ and actually mean it, because his surrogates and others will do the hard, dirty work for him.

This is an excellent way to extinguish one's opposition or in this case, a powerful predecessor. No matter what one might think of Yardy and his approach to running Nigeria, you can't dismiss his smarts. In all fairness, OBJ gave him and others room to attack by failing to leave office with a die-hard shield via tangible advances that the people could see and feel. Additionally, OBJ ineffectively managed his legacy and that gave many an opening to whittle away at what ever influence he has left. One cannot blame Yardy for taking advantage of such an opportunity, but I just wish that when it came to OBJ, he wouldn't talk through both sides of his mouth.

Further reading:
- Nigerian Legacy of Obasanjo

AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

NO LONGER KING OF AFRICAN CRUDE?

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

OPEC recently revealed that Angola surpassed Nigeria to become Africa's largest producer of crude oil. For 50 years, Nigeria was the largest producer of crude oil, but production is now down by approximately 25-40%. Despite the growing global demand for crude oil, Nigeria's output continues to fall mainly due to frequently violent attacks on oil interests by militant groups like MEND who have 'advised' oil companies to "not waste their time repairing any lines, as [they] will continue to sabotage them".

image Source: Business Day

Angola out-produced Nigeria by only 50,000 barrels per day (bpd) and financial analysts appear to be optimistic and predict that Nigeria will retake the top spot. However, I worry that continuing threats from MEND towards oil production installations and Angola's aggressive plans to increase their output puts the future of Nigeria's reign as Africa's 'King of Crude' in doubt. Only today, MEND announced that it will attack oil pipelines in Bayelsa State and encouraged companies like Daewoo Nigeria Ltd to leave.

THE COMING OIL SECTOR PROBE
The Federal Government is about to commence a probe of the nation's oil sector. If it turns out to be anything like the ongoing power sector probe, it could be explosive and reveal even more weaknesses in that sector. Adding to the wahala (problems) in the oil sector is the fact that the U.S. government announced that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and an unnamed political party are guilty of receiving $6.3 million in bribes from an American company, Wilbros Group. The rot in Nigeria's oil sector is about to unveiled for the world to see and, it most likely will not be pretty.

THE DELTA CRISIS CONTINUES
By the time the probes begin, heads will hopefully be rolling, but will that solve the Niger Delta crisis which is the main reason why Nigeria's output has fallen and oil companies are cutting back production and jobs? Militants in the region continue to fan the flames of violence and insecurity. A Chevron vessel was recently hijacked by an 'unknown' group of armed militants and MEND has disavowed any knowledge of the act. As I mentioned recently, the federal government plans a Niger Delta Summit Steering Committee to discuss the means by which the crisis will be resolved. It was in June 2007 when Yar'Adua asked UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon for United Nation's assistance in finding a remedy. Now the nation is waiting for Nigerian born Ibrahim Gambari to be reassigned form other UN assignments to head the Steering Committee.

But, I cannot help but think that the nation already knows what is needed to gain some headway in the Delta. Have we not held summits like this before? As one whose mother is from that region, I can say with confidence that the Niger Delta needs more schools, more hospitals, more roads, electricity, an end to the gas flaring that companies like Shell have been allowed by law to do. Peaceful mediation with armed groups, such as MEND, is needed. Such mediation must result in agreements that will require them to give up their weapons and turn their 'skills' towards protecting the people from armed individuals whose sole goal is to rob and steal from the populace, among other things. Nevertheless, I encourage continued communication between the federal government and the various interests/parties in the Delta.

The plans to build refineries in the Delta and Lagos State with the help of Romanian, Indian and Chinese companies will be a start in getting Nigeria back on track but no concrete progress will be made if we don't 'take care of home' first. Oil is the lifeblood of Nigeria upon which almost everything else depends and until the nation does what is right to empower, protect and care for the people of the Delta, and punish those that have looted the land at the expense of the people, we will continue to witness a reduction in oil revenue, jobs and our status as the King of African Crude.

UPDATE (05/22): It appears that Yar'Adua is not happy with the news that Angola has surpassed Nigeria to become the largest African producer of crude. According to Leadership newspaper, a senior official in the executive branch is quoted as stating,

"it is unfortunate that Angola a new entrant into the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has over taken the country in crude oil production as a result of avoidable circumstances".
Yes, we all know that the reasons for Nigeria's decline are due to "avoidable circumstances" and as many of you have read from the insightful comments generated by this post, it is clear that the solutions to this development, though obviously complex, must be implemented immediately. Hopefully, Nigerians will discover more about our government's plans to not only effectively produce crude, but use the earnings from crude to diversify the economy and bring an end to the Niger Delta crisis. If you are yet to do so, please take a look at the comments and join in on the enlightening conversation about this matter.

Further reading:
- Nigeria's Oil Expiration Date Draws Near
- Power Blackouts Loom Across Nigeria
- Nigerian Power Scandal: Authority Stealing
- Solar Energy Plans
- Could Coal Be A Power Solution For Nigeria?
- Who Will Develop Nigeria?
- Who Will Develop Nigeria Pt. 2


AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

HOW TO SHOOT YOURSELF IN THE FOOT WITH AL QAEDA

Friday, May 16, 2008

After the September 11th attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in the U.S., Nigeria was added to an American list of countries with ties to terrorism. This, despite the fact that then-president Olusegun Obasanjo spent a significant amount of time visiting the US and proclaiming Nigeria's staunch support of the American counter-terrorism efforts.

As a Nigerian abroad, I was frequently asked questions, such as "Is it true that Nigeria harbors terrorists?" or "Is it safe in Nigeria, what with Al Qaeda and stuff...". With each question, I got protective about Nigeria and explained that Nigerians are not interested in Al Qaeda or terrorism. I would have to point out that Nigerians are considered some of the happiest people on the planet and that our love of 'owambe' (all night) parties, 'awoof' (I will have to rely on my readers for a detailed definition of this Nigerian concept), weddings and the overall good life would overcome any slight risk of even dabbling in terrorism.

Read more!

BLOGGERS UNITE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS: NIGERIA

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Today, May 15th, 2008, bloggers from around the world use one voice to call for human rights for all people. With regards to Nigeria and Nigerians, I cannot help but be reminded at this moment of the recent Brutish Airways incident in which 136 Nigerians were forcibly removed from a flight simply because they were Nigerian.

In a way, today is not about the Brutes or British officials and the deportation of Nigerians, in this case Augustine Eme. For me, this day is simply a day to continue to hope for a time when Nigerians will achieve the creation of the best Nigeria possible. If Nigerians can achieve this, which they can through commitment, determination and perseverance, then I believe that the entire world can achieve the best planet possible. My ideals may appear too lofty, but I have to believe that in this great world of infinite possibilities, the good will ultimately overcome the bad and we can overcome our perceived limitations.

Thus, I wish you a wonderful Thursday, and implore you to say a prayer for Myanmar (formerly called Burma) and China. And, finally, I leave you with the sounds of Asa's 'Jailer'.

Hattip to Nigerianwomaninnorway without whom, I would not have discovered this official video.

Further Reading:
- List of Bloggers Unite articles - May 15th, 2008


AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

MORE ON BRUTISH AIRWAYS

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I read the news frequently and use technology to keep track of information that is of interest to me. A few recent news reports involving British Airways have stuck out in my mind and are troubling to me. Let me share them with you in the hope that it will help me through.

News Report 1: THE DEPORTEE'S IDENTITY REVEALED
Many readers are familiar with the recent Brutish Airways incident that was sparked when a passenger asked 5 British officials to unshackle a deportee. This resulted in 136 Nigerian passengers being thrown off the flight by the pilot. It now appears that the deportee was Augustine Eme, an activist supporting an independent Biafra. Mr. Eme's comments while being deported of "I go die" were apparently quite justified as it has now been revealed that his brother was killed and his wife and children are now missing.

News Report 2: BA REMOVING BEEF FROM FLIGHTS FOR HINDU PASSENGERS
Responding to complaints from Hindu passengers, British Airways has pulled beef from its menu. BA explained that it can only have 2 choices on its flights and as such beef and pork would not be offered on flights. Chicken and Fish will become standard on all BA flights because they do not present religious restrictions to any of its passengers.

News report 3: HEADHUNTERS SEEKING EXECUTIVES FOR BA
There are 2 new openings at Brutish Airways. The carrier is now looking for replacements for the former Customer Services and Operations Services Executives who left the company "in the wake of the Terminal 5 fiasco..." The news report made absolutely no mention of the recent Nigerian incident being a contributing factor to the dismissal of the now former BA executives.

WHY IS THIS BOTHERSOME TO ME?
EME: Although many may find MASSOB to be an annoying organization, their members, such as Eme, are still human beings and should not be treated like animals. Something tells me he did not need to be escorted unto the plane by 5 officials and that there was absolutely no need for him to be shackled. Eme was should technically have been considered a political refugee and should have been protected under British law. I am unaware as to why that wasn't the case, but am on the hunt to understand why. Of most significance to me, is where Mr. Augustine Eme is right now and if he is in Nigerian custody, how is he being treated?
BEEF: Clearly, Hindu customers are of great importance to BA for it to completely remove beef from its menu. What a great sign of respect. If only BA could have shown an ounce of that same respect to Nigerians when it offered its recent 'apology'.
HEADHUNTERS: What a shame that the news story made absolutely no mention of the Nigerian incident, nor the fact that over 4000 people have signed the petition. This, in my humble opinion, is simply a way to silence Nigerians and others who spoke out against the constant disrespectful treatment meted out by the Brutes. Nonetheless, the boycott is still on and no, May 15th is the day from which it officially begins. My family just bought a ticket from Abuja to Baltimore Washington Airport. We specifically rejected the British Airways ticket. That was easy to do given my stance on the recent Brutish Airways ticket and the fact that it did not compare to price of the KLM ticket.

I can only hope that the Nigerian government is truly committed to protecting the rights of its citizens and will not allow the Brutish Airways incident to simply 'die down' and go away. If, indeed, the Nigerian government is committed to its citizens, we should here some update of its talk with BA officials and if there are no updates to provide, I daresay that i am beginning to lean with others who have publicly called for the removal of BA's staff from Nigeria and a blockade on all BA flights in Nigerian airspace. I cannot believe that I would ever look to the former dictator Abacha's regime for an example of a positive act, but in light of what seems to be continued disrespect from Brutish Airways, I daresay that a repeat of Abacha's 14 month ban on the airline would do them some good.

Further Reading:
- Nigerians, 'Brutish' Airways & Respect Pt. 1
- Nigerians, 'Brutish' Airways & Respect Pt 2
- Finally, Some Concrete Nigerian 'Action' on Brutish Airways & BASSA
- "Casual Racism" at Brutish Airways?

AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

MUSIC: NIGERIA V. THE AFRICAN CONTINENT VIII - ASA: THE MOTHER'S DAY EDITION

Friday, May 9, 2008

In honor of mother's day (US/Canada), I present Asa's 'So Beautiful'.

http://mypenmypaper.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/asa3.jpg
I heard this song recently and was quite impressed. This is not the first song of Asa's I have heard. In fact, that title belongs to 'Fire on The Mountain'. It was an incredible song then, and it is an incredible song now. Many Nigerian bloggers have taken the time to talk about Asa (pronounced Asha) but I have waited until I heard more of what she has to offer before discussing her album.

Asa is absolutely talented and the raving reviews from her fans and music critiques alike all point in one direction - greatness. I hope that someday, Asa, and other highly talented Nigerian musicians will become regular fodder for airwaves everywhere.

The song choice for today, 'So Beautiful', is apparently written for Asa's mother. The song extols the virtue of her mother and praises her for being beautiful. According to one Amazon.com reviewer, Nse Ette, -
...the ode to her mother "So beautiful" ... [is] outstandingly sung in English and Yoruba, it is a tempo shifting acoustic ballad/Highlife tune sprinkled ever so lightly with talking drums...is so heartfelt...
The lyrics offer additional insight into the warmth of this song. For the fluent Yoruba readers amongst us, a translation (taking into account the nuanced meanings of the Yoruba language) would be greatly appreciated.

Beautiful is your name
Wonderful is what you are to me
It’s you I see in my dreams
Everyday and I pray for you
Queen of my life you are so beautiful mama
You’re beautiful

Emi n wa mama kan
Ta lori ye ye yen
Mama mi o roju ri
That’s why am loving you

Nitori omo o jiya
Ni le oko
Mama mi o roju ri
That’s why am loving you

la la la la la la la
Oh oh you are so beautiful
Oh oh you are beautiful
Oya, la la la la la la la
Oh oh you are so beautiful
Oh oh you are beautiful

Ebami kira fun mama mi
orisha bi iya o
ko o si laiye
Ebami kira fun mama mi
orisha bi iya o
ko o si laiye

la la la la la la la
Oh oh you are so beautiful
la la la la la la la
Oh oh you are so beautiful

Woman there is No one like you oh oh
Woman there is No one like you oh oh

nitori omo
o jiya ni le oko
mama mi ko ro oju ri
That is why am loving you
nitori omo
o jiya ni le oko
mama mi ko ro oju ri
And that is why am loving you

la la la la la la la o o You are beautiful

Ebami kira fun mama mi
Orisha bi iya o ko si laiye
Ebami kira fun mama mi
Orisha bi iya o ko si laiye
oya la la la la la la la
That's why tou are beautiful
oya la la la la la la la
Aiye o roju ri
And that's why I'm loving you
Aiye o roju ri
And that's why I'm loving you


To all the mother's out there, the aspiring mothers, the mothers to many who are yet mother's to no one, this song, 'So Beautiful', is dedicated to you.

God bless.

UPDATE: Blogger, Toluwa Lase, has provided an excellent translation of the Yoruba parts of this song that illustrate even further the beauty of this song so aptly named 'So Beautiful'. Please click on Comment section to read them. Thank you Toluwa Lase and thanks to everyone for their kind wishes.
Further Reading:
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent II - P-Square "Say your Love"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent III - Infinity's "Olori Oko"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent IV - Tuface
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent V - Ty Bello's "Greenland"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent VI - Banky W.'s "Ebute Meta"
-Nigeria vs. The African Continent VII - Fishe's "Africa"

AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS, NIGERIA & MEND

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

For the last 3 weeks, my local wholesale store has been out of my favorite Basmati rice. I quickly realized that the global food crisis had hit my doorstep. I couldn't help but think that if the richest country in the world is experiencing the effects of the global food crisis, Nigerians, and especially poor Nigerians must be suffering.


Read more!

MONEY RITUALS

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Money Rituals are a part of pseudoworld belief that the use of spells, charms and sacrifices can create wealth for individuals. Such rituals are practiced in various parts of Africa and probably other parts of the world. In Nigeria, films like 'Blood Money' have permanently imprinted money rituals and their resulting blood money as a part of the nation's discourse. Frequent news reports of the practice such as a Plateau state resident killing his friend to sell body parts for rituals and other recent reports ensure that money rituals are entrenched in the social fabric of the nation. There are even websites that track Nigerian news for stories on Money Rituals.

These money rituals obviously have their source in our 'traditional past when we worshipped the gods of our forefathers like Sango (the Yoruba god of thunder), Mbatuku (the Igbo spirit of wealth). Most Nigerians, regardless of their income level or education, have serious respect for Nigerian spirituality which sometimes meshes religions like Islam and Christianity with a devout belief in a pseudoworld of wicked and good spirits, of 'mami wata', of 'ogbanje', of sorcery and witchcraft. This traditional understanding of the spirit world is one that time has failed to conquer.

But none of this explains why money rituals remain an arguably common practice in this day and age. I have heard rumors of people using this practice successfully but will probably never be able to confirm this information. If that is indeed the case, then it would explain why the practice continues. However, this is a practice that I strongly believe should be abandoned. As important as money is in the world we live in, human life is more important and cannot be sacrificed in the quest for legal tender. Additionally, the other unspeakable acts that are sometimes a part of money rituals, such as incest and other depraved sexual acts, simply diminish the culture of hard work and ingenuity that is such a major part of the Nigerian ethos and of course, are just unimaginable.

Furthermore, I am tired of hearing statements such as,

"Nigerians will do anything for money!"
"Ah, Nigerians love money too much!"
"Them even fit kill their mama for money!"
The average Nigerian has heard one or more of such comments enough times to last him/her a lifetime. And, I believe that Nigerian movies and frequent news reports of decapitated bodies simply reinforce this unfortunate stereotype. Everyone loves money. And if Nigerians love money "too much" it is because they must work extremely hard to cater for not just their immediate family members but also their extended family and even people they don't know in some cases. That does not change the fact that some people simply want more money to show off but that does not, in any way, mean that all Nigerians simply want more money to engage in wasteful habits.

Money rituals are one practice that simply must stop. Have you heard of any supposed ritual practices? What did you hear? Also, do you know of anyone that has taken part in such practice? Why did they do it? Finally, would you engage in such a practice? If so, why? If you wouldn't engage in a money ritual, why wouldn't you?

Just curious...

AddThis Feed Button

Read more!

A BRUTISH AIRWAYS 'APOLOGY'?

Friday, May 2, 2008

Brutish Airways, through journalist and apparent spokesman, Ademola Adedoyin, issued a statement today -

"We regret the upset that the events onboard the BA75 to Lagos on March 27 have caused in Nigeria. We have made it clear that the decision to offload passengers was made in consultation with and on the advice of the UK police, and the sole aim of this decision was to ensure the safety of our passengers, aircraft and crew.

“Offloading passengers is not a decision that is taken lightly and is a rare occurrence. However, the disturbance on board the BA75 service to Lagos on Thursday, March 27, was a very serious incident, which required the presence of 20 uniformed police officers to regain control of the situation.”

I could say a lot about this 'regretful' statement from the Brutes, but I leave you to tell me if the above qualifies as an apology.





AddThis Feed Button

Read more!