Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For some reason, the Financial Times recently attributed Nigeria's fuel shortage to "[a] showdown between President Umaru Yar’Adua and powerful Nigerian oligarchs over his moves to break their grip on the lucrative fuel importation business..." This is positive P.R. for Yar'Adua who is generally considered an inept President that has yet to produce on any of his promises. While I cannot speculate as to why this was the explanation given by such a widely read international publication, I, for one, was immediately curious and began to think critically about the current fuel shortage and resulting violence in the Niger Delta.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili, met with Bob Dewar, the British High Commissioner to Nigeria on Monday, May 18th, 2009. During this meeting, in Abuja, Nigeria, Dewar stated his country's support of the re-branding project and Akunyili responded,

"We count on you to help us in this journey of rebranding Nigeria and we pray that by the grace of God it will succeed.
"I am happy that you are in support of this rebranding project. I look forward to getting some help from you on this work of letting the world know that Nigeria is not where nothing works..."

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Monday, May 18, 2009

Nigeria just made the list as one of 13 countries considered to be "egregious" violators of religious freedom. The list was created by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Commission recommended designating Nigeria and the other nations - "countries of particular concern" or CPC. The Commission made various recommendations to the Obama administration, Congress and others in the U.S. government and declared that

"CPC designation is not an end point, but the beginning of focused diplomatic activity ... from which important obligations in the form of consequent actions flow."

The countries on the list were -
  1. Myanmar
  2. North Korea
  3. Eritrea
  4. Iran
  5. Iraq
  6. Nigeria
  7. Pakistan
  8. China
  9. Saudi Arabia
  10. Sudan
  11. Turkmenistan
  12. Uzbekistan
  13. Vietnam
While I cannot immediately determine the parameters used to designate Nigeria a religiously intolerant country, I can definitely say that Nigeria has a way to go in creating sustainable peace between Christians and Muslims in certain parts of the country. It was only in November of 2008, when political discontent morphed into religious violence in Jos and resulted in the death of many hundreds of people. In fact, it is commonly accepted that most religious violence in Nigeria is impacted by political and economic realities which when stoked can result in life or death consequences. Both the Sultan of Sokoto, a respected political and religious leader in the Muslim North and Catholic Archbishop Onaiyekan, have publicly admitted that much of Nigeria's religious violence is manipulated by politicians. Nevertheless, Nigerian Christians and Muslims live, school and work together in relative peace in countless parts of the country.

One cannot avoid the fact that the mere option of marrying a person of a different religion is not available for many Nigerians. This issue has divided many a family and caused considerable tension for many individuals.

Despite all this, I believe the ultimate goal should be the eventual creation of a more tolerant society, regardless of the issues. Mutual respect for others, even when there are disagreements, will help foster peace and limit the repeat of the violence experienced by the people of Jos in 2008.

Related Articles of Interest:
- Religious & Political Violence in Jos

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In April this year, a committee was created to investigate the Halliburton scandal and the $180 million spent by the company in bribes to gain lucrative contracts in Nigeria. The Committee had 6 weeks to determine the Nigerians involved in the crime and bring them to justice. Last week, the Nigerian federal government arrested some individuals linked to the crime.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Since coming to power, Nigerian President Yar'Adua has consistently committed his administration to solving the epileptic state of the nation's power supply. Yar'Adua named 2011 as the year when Nigerians will have reliable power supply. Over the last 2 years, there have been reports on plans to use solar energy and build a $10 million solar energy plant. There have been announcements by the government that it will harness the vast reserves of liquid natural gas (LNG) to remedy the power shortages. But, it seems the government believes that one of the most effective ways to generate sufficient power is through coal and the rhetoric on coal as a power solution continues to increase.

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Domestic and international observers declared Nigeria's 2007 Presidential elections "flawed" and the results of many local and state elections have been overturned by the Courts. Unfortunately, Nigerians are increasingly accepting the notion that elections will be rigged to suit the needs of particular political interests. And, the current election confusion in the state of Ekiti, shocks the senses and calls into question whether fair and violence free democratic elections are truly possible in Nigeria.

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Somali pirates are demanding $1 million (US) to release 10 Nigerians recently reported to be in their custody. The Nigerians were kidnapped over 18 months ago when their vessel, the MV Yenagoa Ocean, was seized.
In response to these ransom demands, members of Nigeria's Senate summoned the National Security Adviser and the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Interior. This move is in addition to the fact that President Yar'Adua recently set up a committee to retrieve the vessel, and hopefully its crew.

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Monday, May 4, 2009

African women have traditionally used their bodies as a form of protest for generations. Many have used the threat or actual act of nakedness/undress as a form of effective political protest for centuries. In Nigeria for instance, most believe that their mother's bodies are to be revered. As such, it is taboo for a woman, and particularly a married or older woman, to choose to disrobe in reaction to a social/political situation. In the 1930s, members and supporters of the Abeokuta Women's Union walked naked in protest of the Alake of Abeokuta's political actions and forced him into exile.[1] In 2001, a team of scientists abandoned their research after naked Kenyan women descended on their facility. Similarly, in 2006, female South African prisoners staged a setshwetla - naked protest - to prevent their relocation to another prison facility.

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Saturday, May 2, 2009

This week was a "one post week" because I decided to take it relatively easy. I apologize for not having more posts but sometimes, it is necessary to focus on other things.

That being said, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who visited Nigerian Curiosity and especially recognize those who shared their thoughts. The post this week was not only draining for most of the readers (who said as much), the issues it presented were overwhelming for even myself. But, the truth is that those of us who care about the future of Nigeria cannot avoid facing the realities. And on that note, thanks to the following commenters -

  1. Dee
  2. Adaeze 
  3. Naija chic
  4. littleangel4christ 
  5. Danny BaGucci 
  6. Nairobian Perspective  
  7. Onyeka 
  8. STAN 
  9. I Refuse to be Conventional 
  10. N.I.M.M.O  
  11. Doja 2.0
  12. wellsbaba  
  13. Beauty
  14. He Says..©  
I would also like to thank Denford Magora for considering this blog worthy of the Best Thinker Award. Granted, Denford is undoubtedly biased because we have a good friendship but I deeply appreciate the consideration, anyway.
I, in turn, would like to pass this Award on to some other bloggers whose material I like. As such, Standtall, Shiko Msa of Wanjiku Unlimited, Danny Bagucci and Sokari, whose blogs continue to enrich me on all things. Thank you, guys.

Please enjoy this video. It definitely highlights the emphasis many Nigerian parents place on specific 'prestigious' careers, and it is very funny.

Have a great weekend!

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