Monday, June 4, 2012

May the 153 souls lost on the Dana Air flight and those killed on the ground rest in perfect peace.

To learn that there allegedly were problems with the plane and that it was not cleared to fly on Sunday June 3, 2012. One cannot help but think that the inherent corruption that is part and parcel of Nigerian society played a role in this sad event.

Allegedly 991 people have lost their lives in plane crashes in Nigeria over the last 20 years.

What reviews have taken place to understand how these plane crashes caused such death?

What information has been gleaned from investigations into these crashes?

The sad truth is that nothing has been done. The skies above Nigeria are unsafe. The ground on which it's citizens tread are ablaze. Planes fall out of the sky, and the roads are no better - just recently, some ladies were raped by robbers on a long-haul bus trying to cross the horrible roads to get to their destination. Add to that insecurity the fact that according to Nigeria's Minister of Health, the country ranks 2nd in road fatalities in the world.

And the President, the captain of the ship, who needs to steer the nation spends his time unilaterally and unnecessarily renaming universities instead of taking decisive action about a probe that shows the depth of oil corruption that places a nation of over 150 (closer to 160) million in stagnant poverty.

This criticism goes not just for the unfortunately named 'Goodluck' Jonathan but for Nigerians as a whole. How long can a people continue to allow ineptitude to rule and control an entire nation's future? Yes, there are protests, yes, there are angry screams. But, is it time fora stronger showing that the madness will no longer be tolerated?

It is beyond time for Nigerians to demand more from their 'leaders' and especially from ourselves. All are responsible for the carnage Nigeria has become because some of us stay quiet, some of us benefit directly and indirectly from the corruption, and some of us just do not care.

What is the next step in this sad tragedy?

Another probe?

Another withdrawn airline license?

Will someone get fired?

Will the loved ones of those lost receive damages, assuming some negligence was involved?

I wish I had the answers, but Nigeria is no place for the brave at heart or at thought. As such, while I hope to be surprised with a positive outcome from this sadness, I won't hold my breath. Nigeria the resilient, will likely brush this event under the carpet, chalk it up to "God's will" and continue to live their lives. Life always moves on.

But until then, I pray for those lost (the list of passengers is available here), those left behind and a crumbling nation in desperate need of many miracles.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Below is a speech and discussion led by Ambassador Johnnie Carson, America's Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, on the recent 2011 elections in Nigeria. Carson goes on to discuss religion and its role in violence by categorically stating "I want to take this opportunity to stress one key point and that is that religion is not driving extremist violence either in Jos or northern Nigeria..." and continuing, "some seek to inflame Muslim-Christian tensions."

In light of the growing terror and death created by Boko Haram's (alleged and claimed) attacks, Carson stressed that the insurgent group not only "capitalizes on popular frustrations with the nation’s leaders," but also “seeks to humiliate and undermine the government and to exploit religious differences in order to create chaos and to make Nigeria ungovernable.”

What do you think?

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Nigeria and Nigerian issues tend to do badly on global comparative lists and indices. For instance, Lagos, Nigeria was the fifth worst city in the world on the Global Liveability Index in 2010. On the 2009 Mercer Cost of Living Index, Lagos was one of the most expensive cities in the Africa/Middle East region. The country has also consistently been ranked as one of the most corrupt in the world by Transparency International. And now, the 2011 Prosperity Index is one more list to add to the list.


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