Friday, January 29, 2010

Uzoma Okere is the young Nigerian lady whose assault by military officers became a viral video that raised the ire of many. In November 2008, a military convoy belonging to Rear Adm. Arogundade overreacted when Okere's Mitsubishi Colt did not move out of their way. Arogundade's ratings beat Okere mercilessly beating with gun butts and horsewhips in the street. A brave citizen recorded the incident and put it on the internet, exposing Arogundade, and other officials who take for granted that they need to share the streets with civilians and use violence against innocents.

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

During a recent conversation, I was informed by a fellow Nigerian that some of us Nigerians are far too critical of President Yar'Adua. According to my friend, most Nigerians have never given him a chance to do anything right and have little compassion for the difficulties Yar'Adua must face as President of a nation with many problems and many interested in preventing solutions.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Ojo Maduekwe is Nigeria's Minister of Foreign Affairs. Like other Nigerian government officials who have the fortune/misfortune of an audience, he can be very interesting to listen to. Maduekwe is notorious for publicly stating that the unfortunate 'child witches of Akwa Ibom' were frauds, paid to put on a show. He once famously and incredulously claimed that there were no homosexuals in Nigeria, an assertion that only one man has ever been able to make in the recent past - Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. And, right before the Abdulmutallab suicide bomb attempt that has created a diplomatic problem for Nigeria, Ojo Maduekwe defended the  N2.7 billion he spent solely on travel by claiming Nigeria needed the "visibility" that his many foreign trips afforded the nation.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

James Ibori is a former governor of one of Nigeria's oil rich states, Delta State. In 2007, British authorities froze his British assets in a case that is still ongoing, on suspicion that he "laundered at least 30 million through that country between 2005 and ... 2007."* Ibori also faced a list of 170 charges involving corruption and fraud in Nigeria and reports soon emerged that he bribed former anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu, to the tune of $15 billion. Despite all this, the Federal High Court in Asaba granted Ibori a wonderful present to end 2009 as the 170 charges against him were dropped.

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Monday, January 18, 2010

By now, most people are aware of the horrible earthquake that happened in Haiti on January 12th. It registered as the strongest earthquake on that island nation in 200 years and the death toll will likely be very high. Many individuals around the world have contributed in one way or another, as have large organizations and countries to the recovery effort, trying to rescue and assist as many as possible. Currently, the African governments of Gabon, Ghana, Benin, Liberia Morocco, Rwanda and South Africa have pledged/donated money ranging from $50,000 to $1 million. Senegal's government has gone a step further of offering free land parcels and/or accommodation to Haitians who opt to repatriate and settle there. As more African countries will undoubtedly join in the global chorus to assist the Haitian people, the Nigerian government must use this opportunity to show kindness to Haiti.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

In 2003, Nigerians were deemed the "Happiest People in the World", a title they happily accepted and have held onto ever since. Keeping in line with that, it seems Nigerians are using comedy to deal with the fallout from Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab terrorist attempt on Christmas Day, 2009.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

For 7 weeks, Nigerians had no idea where their president was. They did not even know whether he was alive or dead. After being rushed to Saudi Arabia for emergency care, Nigerian officials could only give flimsy reassurances as to the well being of President Yar'Adua, leading to calls for his resignation and many rumors. Amidst the resulting confusion, a NEXT article asserted that the President was "brain damaged" thus raising the Constitutional matter of whether the President should be deemed permanently unfit to lead and be replaced by the Vice President. Two days after that report, however, President Yar'Adua gave a 3-minute telephone interview to the BBC Hausa service to clarify that he is not dead and plans to resume his duties. Reacting to the interview, the NEXT news organization chose to stand by its original article about the President's brain damage. This is a decision that puts the journalists in the crosshairs of Yar'Adua and his sometimes violent handlers. In the past, Yar'Adua has reacted harshly to discussions of his health, begging the question of whether this current situation could lead to a repeat of the 2008 arrests and unlawful detentions carried out by the administration. But above all else, the main issue remains - Is the President brain damaged or not?

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Monday, January 11, 2010

For decades, Nigerians have traveled to the United Kingdom to receive their education. As far back as the colonial era, young Nigerians were shipped abroad to study and soon returned to teach others or apply their education in the country. Nigeria's education system soon became a shining star on the African continent, with students coming from as far away as Asia and the Caribbean to take advantage of the nation's institutions. Over time, however, Nigerian schools began to lose their shine and those with the resources opted for educations anywhere other than Nigeria. And now, according to Business Day Online, Nigerian money fuels the UK education sector to the tune of N246 billion.

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Friday, January 8, 2010

This is 2010, by Sound Sultan. Sound Sultan has been featured before at Nigerian Curiosity for his politically conscious music. With this tune, 2010, he calls for Nigerians to "Rise Up" and demand electricity, using the well recognized "LightUpNaija" call.

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab became a household name on Christmas Day, 2009 when he attempted to explode a plane carrying 278 people to Detroit, MI. Since then, there has been considerable fallout for Nigerian and non-Nigerian travelers the world over. From long security lines, to extra scrutiny for Nigerians traveling into the United States and other countries. And, Nigeria was recently placed on a list of "Terror Prone" countries, putting it in far too close proximity with countries on the State Sponsors of Terrorism list - Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria. During the days that have passed, the reaction from Nigerian authorities has been less than organized and far from effective. But, even more disturbing is the fact that Nigeria's President Yar'Adua, has been not just silent, but entirely absent from the resulting discourse and activity. This begs the question - Where is Nigeria's President during this time of incredible diplomatic crisis?

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Monday, January 4, 2010

Nigerians have been waiting to learn the immediate consequences of the 'knicker bomber', Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's, attempt to blow up a plane headed to Detroit, MI. While various authorities have publicly played the blame game, the U.S. has gone ahead and listed Nigeria on a list of "terrorism prone" countries and placed special directives for all travelers coming from Nigeria and flying through Nigeria. While it is understandable that Nigerians would be disappointed by their nation's inclusion on such a list, they should not be surprised by this unfortunate reality.

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Sunday, January 3, 2010

One might read the title above and assume that it will be followed by an explanation of the causes of Nigeria's woes. Sadly, that will not be the case, as this is not the proper medium to begin to speculate on the many things that contribute to Nigeria's problems.

Instead, I will simply hold up the alleged comments of a Nigerian politician, the 'Honorable' Adeyemi Ikuforiji. Ikuforiji is currently a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and aspires to become governor of the state in the 2011 elections.

Source: The Will

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