NIGER DELTA AMNESTY: DIVIDENDS?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In an effort to bring peace to the Niger Delta, Nigeria's federal government created an amnesty program. The program required militants to surrender their weapons and in return, they would receive a presidential pardon, education, training and access to a rehabilitation program. The amnesty offer was announced by President Yar'Adua in June and is set to end at midnight on October 4th. Since its announcement, militants have turned in many guns and across the Delta region, much of the tension and violence, which peaked earlier this summer in battles between the Joint Task Force and MEND militants, has seemingly ebbed. It now appears that many militants are participating in the amnesty program and that there might be some dividends.

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ABACHA'S SON TO ENTER POLITICS?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

One of the great deficiencies of being human is the fact that we forget things. Consequently, the field of history gained a foothold in human existence. But, despite spoken and written history, there are those who have decided to re-write the past particularly in the case of the late Nigerian dictator, Sani Abacha, such as Presidential hopeful, General Buhari, former military dictator, Ibrahim Babangida and former interim government head, Abdulsalami Abubakar. But, Abacha's own son might be doing the best at rewriting the history of Sani Abacha and its role in the decay Nigeria currently struggles with.

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FAWEHINMI'S DEATH REVEALS FAULTLINES IN NIGERIA

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Nigeria is a complex country with faultlines that run throughout its length and breadth. The faultlines that comprise the various interest groups and issues within the nation's body politic are equally complex, and according to some, indecipherable. In many cases, however, some of the faultlines are hidden under layers of other distracting and more obvious issues, but, nonetheless, they exist and it takes a well-trained eye to identify them. The recent death of Gani Fawehinmi has revealed previously unnoticed faultlines and suggests that others are about to become more pronounced.

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CHINYERE IGWE: REFLECTIVE OF A BIGGER NIGERIAN ISSUE

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A member of Nigeria's National Assembly displayed a significant amount of self importance and lack of tact recently. Chinyere Igwe, a member of the House of Representatives (PDP, Rivers State), slapped a Sergeant-At-Arms that dared ask for his identification prior to allowing Igwe into the National Assembly Complex. The last time I heard of a similar incident, was when former US Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D, Georgia) punched a Capitol Police officer in the chest when he requested her identification in 2006. While McKinney argued at the time that the incident stemmed from racial profiling, one can only imagine what basis Igwe will assert for his (if ever), for his, as fellow blogger Akin calls it, "undignified" behavior.

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NIGERIA'S PERSISTING 'PUNISHMENT PROBLEM'

Monday, September 14, 2009

It was with great curiosity that I learned that a former President of Taiwan was sentenced to life in prison, last week. Chen Shui-Bian is the first former Taiwan leader to be put on trial, and he was convicted for embezzlement of state funds, money laundering and the accepting of bribes. I couldn't help but wonder if such would ever be possible in Nigeria, a country which has witnessed Heads of State, like Sani Abacha, plunder the national bank account while other officials, big and small, have used their influential positions to gain astounding wealth at the people's expense. Despite this, most are yet to be held accountable, although the Economic & Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) claims that it has recovered over $55 million  in lieu of convicting those who illegally amassed those sums since its new boss came to office.

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NIGERIA'S 'PORTRAYAL' & THE NEED TO BE PROACTIVE

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I am a Science Fiction fan that was determined to watch the recently released District 9 movie, particularly when I learned of its connection to the African continent. But, then, I learned of the extremely derogatory portrayal of Nigerians in the film and I had to pause. My anti District 9 stance was only cemented when I also discovered at Pyoo Wata's site that the director and co-writer, South African Neill Blomkamp, admitted that he included Nigerians in his film to portray murderous, cannibalistic villains because,

" [i]f I try to keep South Africa as true to South Africa as I could, then, unfortunately, a massive part of the crime that happens in Johannesburg is by the Nigerians there. It's just the way it is. I wanted to have a crime group, and thought the most honest refraction of a crime group would be Nigerians, for one."

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CREATING A BETTER & CLEANER LAGOS

Friday, September 4, 2009

Interesting video on how state authorities are working to create clean and green spaces in Nigeria's financial capital.



Are you aware of similar beautification efforts across the country? Let us know by sharing your thoughts.

On tap for next week, a look at the rising tempo of anti-Nigerian sentiment, from South Africa, to SONY advertising. And, how Nigerians themselves can go from simply responding to these assaults on theirs and the nation's character to instead, more proactive action that will prevent such incidents in the first place.


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NIGERIANS & DISCRIMINATION

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Discrimination is something countless people have given their life to overcome. All around the world, countless stories tell the tale of those who suffered discrimination on account of their race, religion, tribe, sex and even sexual orientation. But despite our familiarity with the concept of discrimination, instances of outright bias against certain groups of people continue to stun the mind.

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