Friday, February 26, 2010

Two weeks after the National Assembly created a remedy for Nigeria's constitutional crisis, and 3 months since his departure, President Yar'Adua returned from Saudi Arabia. His return has created growing uncertainty in the nation as the President is yet to meet with the Acting President or be seen in public. Despite this, the main question on every Nigerian's mind is why did Yar'Adua choose now to return to the country after spending 3 months abroad? There are likely various reasons for this choice but some key factors spelling the significantly diminished political capital of Yar'Adua and his supporters could be a main reason.

Source: Reuters

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Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Analysis on why Yar'Adua and his handlers chose to return to Nigeria in the darkness of February 24th is now available in Why Nigeria's Yar'Adua Returned. Please read that after this post.

On the day Goodluck Jonathan sent his first letter as acting President to the National Assembly, it seems Nigeria's Yar'Adua returned from Saudi Arabia. Apparently, he returned on a Saudi air ambulance which was accompanied by the Presidential jet and landed in a secluded part of the runway at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. Already, residents of his home state Katsina, have taken to the streets in jubilation. Unfortunately, the return occurred late at night, lighting was dimmed on the tarmac and with no public sighting of Yar'Adua spurring many questions as to his current condition and what impact his return will have on Nigerian politics.

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Monday, February 22, 2010

If I was ever granted 3 wishes I would wish for a better Nigeria and world peace (please, allow me my pageant moment). My final wish, as funny as it may seem would be for Africa's 'leaders' to hop on board the web 2.0 bandwagon. Since taking to Facebook, Twitter and the many other web 2.0 programs that pervade the internet, I have discovered many ways to communicate with like minded people and learn from those that might not necessarily share my views. Being as I enjoy observing people, (I am eternally curious and have found 'people watching' to be quite enjoyable sometimes), social media applications have proven to be quite handy. On Twitter for instance, I get to e-eavesdrop on interesting conversations and sometimes, I politely butt-in to certain discussions (but only with good e-friends, of course, anything else would be gauche and tacky).

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Have you nominated someone or something to be the Nigerian Curiosity of 2009?

The race is still on to determine the Nigerian Curiosity of 2008. Who or what would you recommend? A villain? A dreamer? An activist? A concept? An organization? It doesn't matter who or what as long as it/(s)he arguably had an impact on Nigeria and Nigerians.

So far, President Yar'Adua and his sickness have been nominated. I can think of a few other possibilities. Can you?

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Thursday, February 18, 2010

My whole life I have enjoyed watching a good fight. Be it in boxing when two athletes take to the ring, or even market women who in traditional Yoruba style remove their headtie and tie it around their waist in preparation to duke it out. Although I am generally anti-violence, I have learned that in some cases, a good slug fest is necessary to bring certain matters to a conclusive end. However, while I might entertain such petty brawls, the ongoing feud between Nigeria's Minister of Information, Dora Akunyili and the demoted, former Minister of Justice, Michael Aondoakaa, is anything but. The very public fallout between the two is not only embarrassing but an unnecessary distraction that leaves one main loser - Nigerians. As such, it is time for one party, Dora Akunyili, to bring it to an end.

Nigeria Information Minister, Dora Akunyili, speaks during a press conference in Lagos, Nigeria. (AP Photo/Sunday)image

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

After 79 days of political ambiguity and constitutional uncertainty, Nigerians are, once again, facing another constitutional dilemma. The resolutions by both bodies of the National Assembly to make Vice President Goodluck Jonathan the acting President created just as many questions as there were during the original vacuum.

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Saturday, February 13, 2010

It is a tradition for me to watch the opening ceremonies of every Olympics games. I have done so with every Olympics that I can remember. I'm not sure what it is about the opening ceremonies, but there is always a sense of optimism, hope and pride that I find compelling. Since I have never had the fortune of absorbing such good vibrations by being present at an Olympics opening ceremony, I participate in the experience vicariously in the comfort of my living room.

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

There are new updates on this situation as Yar'Adua has returned to Nigeria. Please read Nigeria's President Yar'Adua Returns? after reading the article below.

After an absence of 79 days and an ensuing leadership vacuum that resulted in court cases, protests and confusion, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan has been declared acting president of Nigeria. It took separate motions from both bodies of the National Assembly to convey executive power upon Jonathan. For over 2 months, Yar'Adua's absence raised constitutional questions about how a Vice President can assume the executive power and functions of the president. Section 145 of the Constitution was interpreted by many to require the President to issue a letter to the National Assembly asserting intent to temporarily transfer power. However, a court recently ruled that the President is not obligated to formally inform the National Assembly of prolonged absences thus, making the transfer of power automatic when he is away. But, this ruling did not dampen concerns about Jonathan's ability to act as President and Jonathan himself played it safe.

Goodluck Jonathan: Nigeria's vice president takes power

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Monday, February 8, 2010

On November 23rd, 2009, Nigeria's President Yar'Adua was rushed to Saudi Arabia for a medical emergency. It was later revealed that he had pericarditis, a hardening of the lining around the heart. His absence from Nigeria and a lack of forthcoming information on his condition or when he would return, created a power vacuum. An interpretation of the Constitution suggested that a formal letter from the President was necessary to temporarily transfer powers to the Vice President. This interpretation left the Vice President seemingly powerless to use executive powers and some citizens in outrage over the ensuing political confusion. However, in the over 75 days since the President went to Saudi Arabia, and after various court cases and judgments, it appears Nigeria's President may be ready to bow to public pressure and send a letter indicating intent to temporarily transfer executive power to his second in command.

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Friday, February 5, 2010

I cannot believe nobody told me how much fun President Atta Mills of Ghana is! And here I was 'wasting my time' with Nigerian officials and my favorite member of Nigeria's legislative body - Patrick Obahiagbon. While the Honorable Obahiagbon is an indecipherable delight to listen to, Atta Mills has entire tracks that have been made, remixed and transformed into ringtones on his behalf.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

British officials are working with Nigeria's Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) to return £43 million illegally stolen and placed in British banks by certain Nigerian officials. This is not the first time that stolen monies have been returned to Nigeria. In fact, over $500 million was recovered from former dictator Sani Abacha's foreign accounts. Enrico Manfrini, a lawyer hired by the previous administration to track and recover Nigeria's stolen wealth, also achieved the return of $160 million, stolen by Abacha, from Jersey in 2003.[1] And by 2009, "the tally of recovered Abacha loot stood at about $2 billion."[2]

Consequently, when it comes to recovering such stolen monies, £43 million (N11.25 billion) is a mere "drop in the ocean when compared to the vastness of all of the looted wealth."[3] However, this move by Britain must be seen within the context of other intriguing factors as it is more than the simple and honorable return of stolen monies found in British controlled banks.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Cell phones have transformed Nigeria. It was previously too expensive to obtain a landline from the government owned NITEL, which lacked the capacity to service the growing population. Cellphones have thus become a more efficient and affordable means of communication, not to mention the fact that unlike landlines, they are mobile. Additionally, their texting functionality enables even cheaper communication across wide distances, making them a blessing for most. However, this blessing has proven to be a curse for the people of Jos who recently experienced another devastating round of religious violence that left over 300 dead.

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