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Nigerian Youths: The Affliction of Ethno-Religious Hatred August 31, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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10 comments

Religion is the soul of soulless conditions, the heart of a heartless world, the opium of the people.” Karl Marx (1818-1883), German Philosopher.

As I write this, Jos is on fire again. My heart is heavy, my concerns are worrisome. I hope it is for you. Our development as a nation, from historical times, has being stunted by intolerance. Amidst our various dividing issues, Religion and Ethnicity takes precedence. Even our leaders use this ploy to exploit us!

Ethnic cleansing is the violent elimination or removal of people from a country or area because of their ethnic backgrounds, by means of genocide or forced expulsion. It is also an attempt to purge an area of an unwanted ethnic group. It can include measures of deportation, intimidation, and acts of genocide or mass murder. Remember Hitler and his massive cleansing propaganda; and the resultant mass murder of 5.6-5.9 million Jews (1.5 million of which were children)? Racial Hatred led to ethnic cleansing in the East African nation of Rwanda; prompting the attempted elimination of Tutsi’s by the Hutu’s. It was one of the 20th century’s worst atrocities—the brutal slaughter of approximately 800,000 people in Rwanda in 1994—still demands an accounting.

It is not my intention to explain the dimensions of Ideological (Social Structure—Nazi Holocaust), Retributive (Tutsi/Hutu—Rwanda), Developmental (Paraguay’s of the late 60s and early 70s); and the Despotic (Idi Amin & Milton Obote) genocides respectively. Religious intolerance, the lack of capacity for recognizing and accepting the religious characteristics that differ from one’s own, has not helped us either. Various skirmishes of the Nigerian nation have their roots embedded in these differences. Tribal antagonism and religious intolerance has never meant, and will never mean good for us.

Why do I write this? I write because the state of our nation is ridden today with this affliction: Ethno-Religious Hatred. Look at some of the consequences of this self-inflicted curse!

Violence:

–          The long and savage history of Hausa-Ibo violence reached a climax in January 1966 when Ibo army officers staged a bloody coup against the Northern-dominated federal government, and an Ibo general (Johnson T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi) took over as interim ruler of the country (Although tensions had grown from the Nigerian regions in the past, owing to dissatisfaction about the state of affairs of the Nigerian nation). Six months later the Northerners struck back by murdering the Ibo chief of state and launching a pogrom against the 1.5 million Ibos living in the Northern and Western regions. Some 20,000 to 30,000 Ibos were massacred; hundreds of thousands fled back to their crowded Eastern Region.

–          1967: Strife brought us the first civil war (Biafra)

–          1982: Rivalry between parties, factions, and ethnic groups boiled over into political violence in a number of states, resulting in numerous casualties and significant loss of property. About 500 people, including numerous policemen, were killed in religious rioting that began in late October in Maiduguri and Kaduna. The rioting involved Muslim followers of the late Alhaji Muhammadu Marra, who was among at least 1,000 persons killed in similar rioting in December 1980.

–          1987: Riots of Kanfanchan; 19 people were killed while several Mosques, churches, and houses were destroyed.

–          1990s: Shiite muslims clashed with police in the north in 90s as a result of growing strain between Shiite leaders and then military governor, Colonel John Madaki, a Christian. It caused 84 deaths and extensive damage of properties.

–          1999-till date: Several sporadic outbursts of communal violence have claimed several lives and properties in the nation. (Source: Encarta)

–          The Boko Haram “armed forces” capitalize on religion. I am sure that these people are not a representation of the Islam religion; these are eccentric extreme opportunists who lie behind Islam to propagate their ambition.

Effects on election and right choice: Recently, it led to the North voting for Gen. Buhari and the South voting for Pres. Jonathan (even if there were no conscious reasons to). Most of our youth justified their decisions based on sentimental idiocy and vote based on skewed perspectives (Providence-Christian-Muslim-Ethnicity-based nonsense!). The real issues that would reveal who the best candidate in the last election became totally lost in the myriad of confusing distractions. Tribal agitation led to the PDPs writing of a shameful charter of ZONING for their party, ultimately our nation.

In an attempt to look at whose turn is it to rule us, we become distracted from real  issues relating to Human capacity and other deep core attributes that we should take paramount in the build-up to elections. The post election violence was not different either: it was the outburst of a disgruntled marginalized north against their southern counterpart. The severe damages inflicted are still beyond recount. Jos, now a volatile region, has burnt in several occasions this year. What have we turned to?

This affliction has led to series of carnages in our nation killing scores and hundreds, even thousands of potential role models, future leaders, elder statesmen, and illustrious citizens of the nation. They were POTENTIALS that never be. Our house, the Nigerian state, is divided along these two lines. Should we build a great nation, it has to stop. “A house Divided against itself shall not stand”

Many people have called for the split of our nation, I ask us boldly to form ONE cohesive unit. Will we unite behind our differences? One thing I came to conclude on is this: Our unity in diversity will work when we come to an UNDERSTANDING that our difference is what should bring the peculiarity of our UNITY. Our culture is rich, let’s unite to bring the peculiarities to FORE. Take it or leave it, Nigeria has many religions, pre-dominantly of Christianity and Islam. Nigeria is also composed of various ethnic groups, noticeably Igbo, Fulani/Hausa and Yoruba amongst others. We must live with it.

WE ARE ONE, and our understanding MUST be based on the fact that, regardless of wherever we come from, or the religious inclinations we may have, we are bound by the bond called NIGERIA, deviations from this is a total distraction. If we must define those who lead us, it must arise from deep qualities; qualities that are profoundly sound and built on the feelings of the people, and not necessarily ethnicity and religion. When we do, the south can protest on the streets because of the marginalized North. When we understand our Unity, the South will fight for the rights of deprived north (and vice versa) because we would understand that an Injustice to one is an Injustice to all.

I resorted to studying the Hausa language recently. How can I understand my Hausa brother without understanding his language, his culture? We cannot continue like this. When we UNITE, then the real influence of Facebook and Twitter will show. The revolutions in recent times have proven it. Without actions, they’ll however still be stories. We can build a new nation TOGETHER. Should we effect change from the grassroots and build upwards, we must understand one another. Our peaceful revolution may be silent, and slow, but it will prove effective at the end of the day. Our voices will never be heard unless backed with actions.

Brothers, Sisters, let us Understand our Differences to Appreciate one another without Bias or Prejudice.

God Bless You, God Bless Nigeria.

Oluwaseun Fakuade

Follow on twitter @seunfakze

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UN Abuja Bombing: Real Death Toll? August 29, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in POLITICS.
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Sir, Honourable Minister of Health,

Please clarify this position. I have gone through the website of the Federal Ministry of Health (http://www.fmh.gov.ng/) to confirm the true account of the death toll. It is sad to discover that not even a report of the incidence was made, let alone talk about factual statistics of dead people, and those injured. The whole world, most importantly, NIGERIANS deserve to know what is going on. Kindly read through Sir and confirm or refute this statement by Chief Femi Fani-Kayode
What actually is the true statistics of dead people in the UN Bomb attacks on Friday? What you stated on your twitter account is totally contrasting to what I just read from a reliable source.

Chief femi Fani-Kayode’s Account

Dr. David Edward, a young and brilliant Nigerian U.S-based medical practitioner (who has a 10 year old son) and who had just flown in from the U.S. for the programme was one of the speakers at the conference on the 3rd floor of the UN building. He was speaking at the conference when the bomb went off and he died instantly. They say only 18 people died. This is not true. Out of the 300 people that attended that conference on the 3rd floor of the UN building alone at least 150 were killed. And yet they will tell you that only 18 people died. This is an ungodly lie and it is disrespectful to those who had to pay the supreme price and that lost their lives. In the National Hospital mortuary alone over one hundred dead bodies were deposited and many other bodies were rushed to other mortuaries in the city of Abuja. Please ask your people to go and ask those that work at Abuja National hospital if you doubt this. What about the 20 children that were killed in the creche? There was no mention of them by the media or our government either.

What type of country is this? These 150 people are not being honoured in death because no-one knows that they were killed as well. They have not even been acknowledged as a number let alone by name. Is it now a crime to tell the world the amount of harm, evil and damage that Boko Haram has carried out? We lost many innocent souls yesterday and not just the 18 that are being reported in the press.The Nigerian people have a right to know the truth and this government had better start getting serious about security before it is too late and the whole country falls apart. Boko Haram must be crushed. Utterly crushed. They must be wiped out – FEMI FANI-KAYODE

Minister Sir, I do not wish to say anything further at this point in time until clarifications are made. Sir, our lives in this country are precious, the government owes us all to know the true state of those who died. Please CLARIFY ON THE DEATH TOLL. Nigerians are waiting Sir.

OBJ: The Missed Opportunity August 29, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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It was a beautiful day. It was just another day, but not a trivial one for Olusegun Okikiola Aremu Obasanjo. It was a day of decision. A day he knew the progress of 8 hardworking years could change forever, and it did. The hardworking man of Ogun State had history in his hands. Not only was he president twice, he was about to “appoint” another leader. It was a moment in history. The world watched and waited. Would we transit from a democratic government to another? Would the wind of change blowing through Nigeria be sustained? See, OBJ knew what Nigeria needed, but he gave to it what HE wanted. Today is not about the rigged elections, or the costly overlapping roles he played in the privatization process under his term; nor about the $16 billion power project under him. Today is about the rueful succession decision.

In one crucial moment, Nigeria lost the impetus of rapid transformation. One moment, we were the ideal nation, the next we were the surreal. In one day, we were sold back into slavery. Selfish ends cost Nigeria the opportunity to create a new nation. President Obasanjo both developed this country and destabilized it. Nigeria had a tremendous opportunity in 2007. This was simply wasted. Permit me to refresh your memories.

It was 2007, the year in which the works of the Economic Team had culminated. It was a capable team that changed the perspective of the world on Nigeria: we had an evolving economy (Okonjo-Iweala backed by a strong team), it was a team that resulted in a rejuvenated educational sector (Oby Ezekwesili) asides the impressive records;, it was the administration of the ruthless crime watchdog (EFCC/Nuhu Ribadu), it was the time of the orderly and re-organized Federal capital territory (El-rufai); and indeed it was the administration of an hardworking president (OBJ himself) who was saluted for having dynamic passionate Nigerians in his team! Their mistakes notwithstanding, these were a formidable team, and they helped shapen the perspective and approach to public service.

It was the era of TRANSFORMATION and the world watched in awe the evolution of a continued but better transformed nation. Indeed, corrupt practices were exposed (although many calim it as selective), some of our economical failures remedied and loans written-off, and the nation was indeed on the path to recovery. For once, reforms worked and the people believed. People had a glimpse of how strong personalities could transform the institutions that constituted Nigeria; the Nigerian had hope again. Alas it was possible! The dying nation could be salvaged.

It was 2007. It was another party “selection”, but the people hoped for a capable one. It was the period of transition from President Obasanjo (his third term having being foiled) to another (selected) elected president. It was a moment of truth in decision: which president would sustain the efforts of the team? Who would carry on the agenda of a potentially great nation? Who would continue on a greater platform the reforms that were steadily but positively changing the affairs of this nation? It was OBJ’s time to write a new history: from change initiated to change sustained. Our hopes turned out as dreams, a farce.

From recent informed findings, Late Umaru Yar’adua was never a considered (best) option. In fact, he was the last option (the Governor forums’ vote for succession had shown he came 36th in position). So why pick him? The Nigerian people never really knew Yar’adua, aside his elder brother’s prominence and loyalty to OBJ. He was Obasanjo’s idea. He was Obasanjo’s coup to remain quietly in power while Yar’adua ruled as president. It was not a sheer twist of luck that he emerged president. No! It was a conscious pre-meditated move by former president Obasanjo to select a maneuver-able president.

It was his move to give us a president who would make us regret not allowing his third-term agenda to go as he planned. In one crucial moment, in one decisive state of the Nigerian nation, Obasanjo lost the opportunity to etch his name in gold; for in Yar’adua, Nigeria lost all the developments of 8 years. OBJ’s selection left the country in limbo. What if OBJ had been like Nelson Mandela in Africa! Africa is depleted of patriotic selfless servants like the Madiba. Great Nelson Mandela would have continued as president seeking different terms, he had more than sufficient reasons to. Yet he did not, he followed the path of honor. He could have chosen a clueless successor, he rescinded. Instead, he passed the baton to credible leaders who could sustain his policies and ideals. Is this about South Africa? No.

What would have happened if any of the economic team had succeeded Baba (OBJ)? If we had, with one voice, stood behind quality instead of geographical rotation of the coveted slot! Why didn’t he even get Nuhu Ribadu or Shekarau or Makarfi? Why didn’t he chose select the pair of El-rufai and Donald Duke? With due respect to Yar’adua, there were many better options from the North had we insisted, in our insincere superficial beliefs of zoning, on choosing from the Northern region!

In Yar’adua, Nigeria lost the institutions that cared for the masses. We lost the fighters, we got the looters. In one critical moment, former president Obasanjo sold us back to tenures of “slow-motion” (Yar’adua) and now “no-motion” (GEJ), to periods of the cabals and their cohorts, to seasons of hopelessness and groping in the dark. What exemplary records warrant OBJs decision to “install” or “impose” these two over us? In one decision, we inherited leaders we never bargained for.Recently, OBJ spoke of the corruption under Yar’Adua and GEJ, but the real quesion is: Didn’t our former president know of their capabilities before his “selection”? Something goes awfully wrong always when we put personal/party interests above the Nations’.

Former president Obasanjo helped Nigeria in 8 years (or so it seemed). In one vital moment, he made a decision that rescinded the good deeds of those 8 years. His crucial decision would have saved our nation. Had he chosen an independent-minded person as president, today our story would have rapidly changed. Brazil, we are reportedly told, changed/transformed in just a decade. Now, they are part of the BRICS. Why? They had strong leadership with the vision and will to evoke change and sustain it. Today, BRICS could have become BRINCS (Brazil, Russia, India, Nigeria, China, South Africa).

Will Nigeria rise again? Yes, Nigeria will rise again. It is the hope for which I live, it is the reason I learn from history. It is the reason I remind you that our future lies in our hands: the youth of this nation. As you arise, so will Nigeria. I trust you to do what you can; I count on you to deliver the New Nigeria. I am part of this change, I hope you are.

WE ARE THE ONES WE’VE BEEN WAITING FOR.

God Bless You.

God Bless Nigeria.

Dear Mr. President August 26, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
19 comments

It was a sad day, for me and many Nigerians. Only those who are not moved by human feelings would remain unshaken by the cowardly acts of the attack yesterday. This is not the issue on my mind. My worry was your response, Mr. President. I am certain though that your fans and supporters were a little disappointed at the “slow-motion” response you seem to have when national occasion demands. Were it to be a PDP issue, your response will be most swift and daring regardless of the response or consequence e,g. Salami . Dear President, we counted the hours Sir. At first we thought a panel was being set-up to draft your speech. It took 5 hours. And alas! When it came, it was the same rhetoric.

Your speech was another show Mr. President. In all, you waited five hours after the gruesome dastardly act at the United Nations building to declare that the attack was an “assault on global peace”. We had knowledge of this before your speech Mr. President; we are aware the United Nation is a global institution and that an assault of this magnitude is a signal to global powers. What I find lacking in your judgement and delayed speech is the Will, the strength and re-assurance of an effective president who should necessarily rise and comfort the people at these frustrated moments.

5 long hours before you put up a show Sir, the World had responded. Before then, former President Obasanjo had spoken, as well as the Secretary General of the United Nations Ban Kimoon. A caring president is meant to show first response and sense of re-assuring calm to the people of a frustrated state. That was not the case here. You left us in our anger, frustration and helplessness about what was going on, for five gruesome hours! If Nigeria were a great country with accountable senators and lawmakers, whose conscience were not yet sold out, you should be at the centre of critical perusal at all quarters of legislature.

Before Hurricane #Irene came along, Obama had gone on the TV to gear up support for his people. Your consistent negligence is a swipe on our face when we need you most. Your actions, with due respect, showed a president who did not care for the people, nor were you worried about the spate of senseless killings going on. Should you have anyone close to you involved in these attacks the months passed, your response could/would be faster. Does this show you really don’t care what happens to us so long as you are not affected? Had it been the first case, I would have said it was an oversight.

It was the same lethargic response with (the floods) Lagos (where you came because of British Prime Minister’s visit, David Cameron), and several occasion at Jos. It was the same with the post-election violence, where your apologists cried wolf on Buhari. Buhari responded, flying to Abuja to speak with International news and local agencies hours before you responded. I do not blame you for the attacks; you couldn’t have prevented it, but what about the so-called security chiefs we pay to keep us safe? Someone released the statistics of how much we pay to keep the ineffective security of the nation in the budget, your boys (SSS) had him arrested. Now, has he been proven right?

This is ineptitude at its peak. There is little or no strength/capacity in this government. We protect other African countries, and we are rated the first in African Military Intelligence; I assume terrorism is re-defining that for us now. In the midst of these crises, our shameless legislators are on a government-funded trip abroad. Another Independence Day is around the corner, and I am sure that asides disrupting the communication network (which the security chiefs) believe is the cause of coordinated intelligence for the attacks, they have no idea how to prevent any imminent danger.

Are we a failed state? Maybe not; but we definitely have a failed leadership. My prayers are with those who died yesterday. May our government have the strength and will to act right so the senseless unfortunate deaths of innocent people won’t be in vain. We are tired of your rhetoric Sir. Hopefully, you will have something to do about this before the building ire of frustrated youths, mostly unemployed, over-whelm you Mr. President.

Doing nothing is not an option for someone who can inspire change.

Moments with Ezekwesili August 23, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, EDUCATION.
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Ebullient. Graceful. Beautiful. These are three words that came to mind when introduced to the woman on low-cut. She was simply called “Oby”. In what would become an amazing evening, Madam Obiageli “Oby” Ezekwesili, Vice President at the World Bank and former Minister of Education exuded life at first sight. Amiable, jovial, and in exultant spirit; one would think the three young men she just met were Presidents of nations. As I come across the room, the words she spoke resonated in my whole being “Oh and here comes the FUTURE”. What a word!

Vice President, World Bank

Aunty Oby’s belief in the young was so strong it pervaded the room. Her face lit up each time she discussed the beautiful moment the young belonged to, and the time in which we lived. She says “you know, to be young at this time is the most privileged benefit of living”. She says “technology will merge the platform of the literate and illiterate as we have never seen”. Discussions of the rut and hope in Nigeria went well into the night. I returned home but I could not sleep. It was too amazing to have met the Vice President of World Bank; and I was “too high” of self-belief in a New Nigeria to allow sleep dim the light.

A little sleep, then it was time for the morning meeting. She started by a re-assuring speech of hope in the future. She spoke more of Nigeria, reassuringly of hope amidst despair. There are times in one’s life when one meets people who rekindle the hope and belief in one’s true identity. Such was my experience on Friday. At first I thought it was a case of mistaken identity, but I observed that she said similar but unique words of belief to every young one who came into the room in our discussion. It is inconceivable how much hope young people will embrace IF ELDERS & LEADERS believe in and entrust with responsibilities! The dearth of role models is killing the dream and zest of many young. It is absolutely impossible to be around Obiageli Ezekwesili and think little. She has the “prophetic insight and utterances” of calling the real YOU out regardless of how you presently think of yourself.

Like his “twin brother” Nasir El-rufai, Aunty Oby has a keen belief that a new Nigeria will arise when the young gets it right. Our discussion made me understand that it was absolutely possible to birth a new Nigeria that most of us dream of: the stalwart amongst other African nations, the Giant amongst other democratic empires, the industrial and developed Nigerian nation. She says “you must start asking right questions, genuine questions will bring about the appropriate answers. The youth must live everyday with the belief that within lies the ability, the power and character to change Nigeria”. She says “we need to desist from puerile activism, of destroying the nation and its infrastructure in the name of championing our cause”.

Hear her “You are global citizens, a global person and you must understand that you cannot settle with under-performance: in your personal lives and with your expectation from public service & governance”. She admits that “the youth must arise with a profound sense of national purpose”. She echoes the words of Malam El-rufai when she confirms that “you must start building virtues as individuals that will stand the test of time when leadership calls upon you”. El-rufai confirms that “the young must develop attributes of strong character and courage to do the right thing all the time” – a key lacking value in today’s leaders.

The challenges she met as minister and which she tackled head-on reflects a Nigerian woman who was never ready to accept the distractive tendencies of the hypocritical Nigerian. She says “starting from now, you must accept to be the deviation from the norm; you must refuse to bow at the ALTAR OF CORRUPTION–for that is the god that present-day politicians worship.” Her resolve, resilience and track records, she says, came as a result of three key attributes that was always present in every team she worked with: CHARACTER, COMPETENCE, and CAPACITY. Confirming what Malam El-rufai had said before, these three must be core present virtues in individuals who would initiate change.

While she was a minister, she called her team the TTL- Task Team Leaders. “With this team, we worked every day from 7am till 3am!. With this, we achieved in 9 months the work that could have taken us 18 months”. It will be nice to find many ministers with this work ethic. (Unimaginable!).

She says we must “resolve to detest a culture of indolence which stood in the way of creativity and private initiative. Nothing was worth my compromise in governance, and the same should apply to you. You must be caught up in a sense of purpose and seek clarity of vision. You must be resilient in good as corrupt people are resilient in evil. You must be ready to stand and believe in something deeper and bigger than you. Those were our belief (referring to the economic team of OBJ tenure).”

She challenges us to “desist from seeking self-glorifying attention. The development of Nigeria is a collective job. Remember also that no one has the monopoly of wisdom. I believe in young people, but remember, the motive must be right. You must remember to give it your best shot, the well-being of the people is all that matters”. It would be impossible to highlight the various policies she enacted and reforms implemented in all her service years. She has a huge track-record, this is impossible to replicate on the pages of this blog.

Of Ministers and public leaders, she says “there is a level of sobriety that MUST envelope you as a public leader, most importantly a Nigerian minister. The burden of improving lives must be your daily bread. Most importantly, you must remember that the responsibility on you is huge, and you are not on the same level with counterparts in developed nations, this must constantly drive you. The challenge is to make life better for your people”. It was two hours by the time this chat was done with, details of which cannot be replicated in full here.

Humble. Self-effacing. Hopeful – these are the words that I conclude of Aunty Oby at the end of my meeting. In all, it was two beautiful days spent with my new role model. Two days of rekindled hope, faith, belief and unrepentant resolve that Nigeria will experience an unprecedented change in my life-time. Aunty Oby is of the belief that the young shall arise who will remedy the ills and mistakes of past leadership. Aunty Oby is known to many in diverse forms as Madam due process, former Minister of Solid Minerals & Education respectively, Vice president at the World Bank, Aunty, Mother, Sister, and the likes. This is my perspective: Aunty Oby is a Nigerian who believes in the absolute potential of the Nigerian state; and who believes the Nigerian youth will one day (soon enough) arise to bring the nation into maximum utilization of its huge potential.

Shall the young believe less? No. Shall we prove her assertions right? I hope we will. The time awaits us, the FUTURE belongs to us. We must rise to it.

Obyezeks & SeunI am grateful to God, humbled and privileged to have met two outstanding Nigerians (not without flaws), who with their exemplary public service have proven to be beacons of hope and a shining light in the midst of darkness. Because these two individuals stood strong amidst towering opposition, my belief is strengthened in the assertion: our generation can do better and raise a New Nigeria.

There is no better time to live as a young person” – Mrs. Obiageli Ezekwesili (follow her on twitter @obyezeks)

God Bless You.

God Bless Nigeria.

(follow me on twitter @seunfakze)

Welcome Madam Iweala August 18, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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7 comments

It is hard to have a first glimpse of Madam Iweala and not like her. Her poise, gait, the characteristically-placed gele, the round glasses, the fresh face, the sound mind, the huge presence, the ebullient persona etc all shows a woman who has the endearment and followership of the large part of the (intellectual) Nigerian populace. However, with her outstanding records and clout, it is only in Nigeria you may have someone like her contest the presidency and lose. Yes! She is Ibo and she is a Christian, (tribalistic bigots, religious egotistical zealots!)

Now that you have resumed office, I hope there will be some life in this presidency. It has been short of amazing how a president would assume office and be lost about what to do in the first nearly 100 day of office. Really if you had a plan Uncle GEJ, you should have “hit the ground rolling”. If Nigeria were your company, would you run it the way you do? We had to wait Madam Ngozi to put some life into your siddon-look presidency.

Madam Iweala is an institution. Her records speak volumes of her worth. She has the sound mind to lead reforms and enact policies that can transform our nation (as she as shown with OBJ’s economic team). Only enlightened minds can transform Nigeria, and Madam Okonjo-Iweala belongs to this few sect, there is no questioning of this fact. Time will reveal if she would she be given the required space in her new role to help this clueless government. By the way Madam, would you ask Mr. President to declare his asset! (now grinning devilishly). Yes, please also remind him that he may now speak, his messiah (you of course) have come to town.

One is almost forced to think we have no president, he doesn’t speak, he doesn’t talk, (asides Mr. Abati the ‘born-again’ spokesperson). Oh! How we missed the chat with OBJ during his presidency, at least he spoke! By the way, Mr Abati didn’t need to defend you of your slow pace if really you were working. It has been all action on the same spot.

In the name of providence and faith, a mass number of Nigerians voted, (if truly the elections were not manipulated as I also assert) voted incompetence. Yes, it is too early to judge I know, but do you know that “the morning shows the night”? It is unbelievable how we vote for people who we have virtually no idea where they are coming from, no records of outstanding performances from their places of employment, etc. I think part of the criteria we should use when these leaders come for their campaigns is to ask them about their TRACK RECORDS. How can we expect our leaders to manage the resources and responsibilities entrusted to their care when they have a history of ineffective work and mediocrity!

Personally, my opinion has always been to run government like it is a business entity. It is also the reason why I clamor that only those who have been successful in their personal business, or as corporate moguls, tested true and true, should be elected into office in Nigeria. A shrewd businessman with a buzzing empire cannot run his institution in deficit. So many other peculiar idiosyncrasies of the business world, when translated into government intuitions would produce amazing results. While this may be termed to translate into a capitalist environment, I will tell you why not? Nigeria itself runs a capitalist state, I daresay.

In Nigeria, we are in dire need of WORLD CHANGERS, people who won’t just spot the problems and “siddon look” but those who would find sustainable solutions to them. Why would you think Governor Tunde Fashola is performing well? With due respect to Ahmed Bola Tinubu, the difference is obviously clear. You cannot put aside experience in the business world, coupled with intellectual capacity and translate that into government and not have amazing results. They are simply exemplifying the timeless amount spent in building their personal lives and businesses and translating it into government.

Why, for example, are people quick to remember Malam Elrufai, OFR when making comparative notes with those who succeeded him! Is it not amazing that this “giant” of a man has been succeeded by three men as Minister of the FCT in Nigeria? Juxtapose the results side by side and you will be shocked. Mr. President, how can you appoint the same ineffective person twice in the same organization? Did you ever run a successful venture before? Maybe you appointed to satisfy geographical mindsets, but this is a shame. If someone lacked wisdom, let him ask (The Holy bible paraphrased).

Take a look at the democratic years of Nigeria (1999-date), the enormous progress we have had so far as a nation has been a result of those who have translated success in their personal places/work experiences into government. The economic team of OBJ makes a pleasant picture. Yes they had their shortcomings, but you cannot flaw most of their results; they simply delivered!

Can anyone share with me Mr. President’s track records as a public servant through his years? If I recollect well enough, the salient points of his campaign were “I had no shoes” etc. What have you done Mr. Ebele Jonathan? I even heard a private university is being constructed in Bayelsa, we know who that belongs to obviously! (Oh! God save my mouth from the SSS). One thing I cannot take away from you Sir, is that you are the president. This is an opportunity to prove us (who never believed in you, let alone vote for you) wrong. You have started well by appointing Iweala in a way, and some few unscrupulous heads! Your cabinet combo is a nice drama to watch. Bravo!

There are untold millions of better Nigerians, at home and abroad, who would make better your administration. Take a cue from OBJ’s era. Appointing Madam Iweala is a good step, yes she is an asset to the most dumb and erratic of persons. Is that only good act you would be remembered for?

You are the President, and we expect better from you. You were voted because your fans believed in you (asides those who wanted you to make money to buy those shoes!). So please wake up bros, and make this work.

We are waiting, we are watching.

This is our time, and the youths are not smiling.

God bless Nigeria.

Stop Whining; Nigeria Arise August 16, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE, POLITICS.
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7 comments

A story is told constantly in my house, I call it “tales” of GOOD OLD NIGERIA. I was told about periods of pure patriotic citizenry: periods when Nigerians purchased goods with or without the presence of sellers and simply left the money at the points of purchase, there were fewer thieves, stealing was not a dignifying virtue and asides there were jobs everywhere. I was told it was a period when the society took pride in the progress and success of its people, periods when honour was a dignifying virtue, periods of agricultural boom, of opportunities, etc. Sometimes, these tales of the good days makes me question the authenticity of the stories. See, I was born in the early 80’s, soi merely considered the stories as pure tales. Well don’t judge me I never experienced them. Nevertheless. I became curious, so I read up stories of some of the inspiring leaders of that period: Awo the great, the Zik of Africa, the Ahmadu Bello, Late Enahoro, etc.

The stories of good old Nigeria are starkly contrasting when compared to present day Nigeria, and absolutely in a depressing way. Check out the statistics of those who could afford the daily meal today, those who would find a place for shelter, those who can afford to go to school, those who can afford to get a job, those with risks of infections, the various health (death) centres, the clueless brainless leaders, the brain drain, the capital flight/export of our human resources; trust me it is a woeful picture. Is that my angle? No.

I have partaken in at least 5% of intellectual agitation on Twitter the months passed, passively as an admiring onlooker or actively. It is needless to say how important the discussions were or how strikingly put the arguments were. The minds to which I discussed on twitter were brilliant. Discussions ranging from health, the daring unemployment challenge, infrastructural deficits, agricultural declines, the massive looting of public funds, betrayals of public trust, the hemorrhaging economy, roads, education, industries, etc. Most of these know the story of Nigeria beyond what I knew: the huge potentials, the unbelievable natural resources, the rich ethnic and cultural uniqueness waiting to be tapped, tourism, what could be done, what has not be done, etc.

I had partaken in so much of these discussions that had resulted in names-calling of Mr. President. In most of this, I had seen the astounding huge differences in our thought patterns and perspectives; I have partaken in many that highlighted the underlying units of our collective differences. Most of these discussions ended with one conclusion, Nigeria needed young stalwarts to make CHANGE and BE THE CHANGE. The challenge: no one knew what to do or how this would start. I have been inspired by the works of different individual cells of young people, the EnoughisEnough Initiative, the writings of young people via the internet, the LightUpNigeria, the standupnigeria, and the likes. My challenge is how do we replicate these groups from individual pockets to a national body?

The question of TRANSFORMATION or CHANGE in Nigeria is an absolute question of LEADERSHIP. Only inspired enlightened leaders will transform Nigeria. Will the present crop of leaders (looters) we see change this nation? I don’t think so. Change will start when we realize that the collective growth of this nation is our one and only objective. Sentiment driven by pure religious divisions and ethnic differences seem to be a destabilizing factor standing as obstructions in our way to progress. Understanding these differences is crucial if we will move ahead.

The Nigerian youth must understand that we cannot progress if we fail to understand that we are diverse in our ethnicity and religion, and that is where our strength lies. We must refuse constantly to dance to the tunes of political opportunists who would do all in their power to keep us as slaves forever. The world celebrated the International Youth day on 12th August, 2011. What did we have to show for it? We have a Ministry of Youth and Development that we only know exist in words and not acts. Will we stand-by and watch this country run the down slope towards cataclysm?

But for the effort of the SAVE NIGERIA GROUP (SNG) and GOOD GOVERNANCE GROUP (3G), the debate during the illness of Late Pres. Yar’Adua may have thrown Nigeria into deep crises. For how long will we require the effort of these enlightened but old (with due respect) hands fight for us? The Wole Soyinkas, the Late Gani Fawehinmi (who we so much need another young to replace), the Tunde Bakare’s, the El-rufai’s, the Femi Falanas, the Odumakins, etc. Shall we stand by and be run by this clueless lot?

Most of these (irresponsible) leaders do not know the chaotic society we have. They have no idea we have challenges. If they do, then they take delight in our suffering. We cannot wait on them forever. We cannot whine continuously on the social media without ACTIONS. It is what we can do for this country, not what our leaders can do for us (they have no clue). We can’t whine always about the West people, or the image Nigeria is portrayed of. Stop whining, start acting. We can do something. We cannot continue whining about an irresponsible government people, we must do something. How?

We expect good policies from the government, but we seem to forget that our leaders are a reflection of our society. Yes they are a reflection of us. If we will not repeat like them, then we must start now to build a culture that cares, that understands the needs of the people. Change must start with you, your household, your neighbours, the young ones, and society. We must engage in “One act of kindness” every day, that in itself is a good starting point. Pay for that student’s taxi fare, help the poor, inspire the young, don’t litter the streets, clean the gutters, beautify your environment, love your neighbor, and help the elderly…..

NIGERIA needs you.

We must start doing things that are fulfilling, I tell you brother, I tell you my sister; our leaders (most of them) have no good intention for us. If we must rise from the constant negative imagery that comes to mind of the world about us, we must rise starting from now and be THE CHANGE NIGERIA NEEDS. We must start challenging our leaders, by all means legal and possible, by impinging on their conscience, through our daring acts of kindness in different pockets. We must arise and refuse this slavery by all options reasonable: civil or legal. We must act and show them THE YOUNG COUNT. We must make them accountable to the countless resources available to them. If we do not BE THE CHANGE WE WANT NIGERIA to be, we will assume leadership positions and be carried away with the power it wields.

Our strength lies in our actions.  We must believe that we have the ability, and that it is possible to TRANSCEND the circumstances under which we were born, or the situations in which we have found ourselves.

Every day is a gift; make a promise to live it to the benefit of your society.

As you change, as you act, your society changes, Nigeria in itself will change.

GOD BLESS YOU, GOD BLESS NIGERIA.

What women want to know about men (via Steve Blizard's Blog) August 13, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in Uncategorized.
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What women want to know about men Humility in Relationships June 13th, 2011 by Os Hillman I’ll never forget the first time I discovered what a feeling was. It was in my early forties. “Surely not!” you may be thinking. Yes, it is true. Since then, I have discovered many men still live in this condition. It took an older mentor to help me understand the differen … Read More

via Steve Blizard's Blog

UK Riots fuelled by moral collapse (via Steve Blizard's Blog) August 13, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in Uncategorized.
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UK Riots fuelled by moral collapse Britain's liberal intelligentsia has smashed virtually every social value By Melanie Phillips 11th August 2011  UK Mail Online So now the chickens have well an … Read More

via Steve Blizard's Blog

A new beginning August 12, 2011

Posted by seunfakze in CHANGE.
18 comments

It’s funny how much I had wanted to start blogging, how much i had always longed to exchange ideas; political most importantly, intelligently marshalled, inspiring, critically constructive, and above all; one that will motivate people TO CHANGE. Needless to say, some of my so cherished ideas had become humbled after listening to great minds on twitter of recent.

It’s also interesting how i had become inspired and awed by many a lot on social media over the months, and importantly of course on twitter since the Nigerian April general elections. I have of recent being inspired by my friend and dear brother @omojuwa (omojuwa.com), being awed by @elrufai (www.elrufai.org), his dumb-founding statistics and how sometimes daunting they can be; I have been awed by @toluogunlesi and his writing abilities, Ihejirika Nnaziri (@nnaziri) and so much more that I have been blessed to come across on twitter.

So why this blog? Why write when I could always read from of my admirable friends? I had always loved writing, the point is i always write but never had them online. I never gave the time, energy and required resources to blogging. So, what inspired this blog? I will tell you. it was Nmachi Jidenma (@cpafrica). Her piece and urge for every Nigerian on the internet to start a blog was the required jolt I needed. She is absolutely right to have challenged every one who had a voice out there to write something. NO! she never meant a “cover-up” perspective about the state of things in Nigeria, but also about stories of hope. Nigeria will forever not stay in the ROT!

I passionately love my country, Nigeria, and  I do have great dreams about her. It is my desire to see her rise to greatness and become the “great” she is acclaimed to be.It is my longing that she will arise, one day, from sleep; through the tireless dedication of its citizenry and wake into astounding limelight.

One thing you are assured of on this blog is: despite the criticisms that I may draw towards/on any and every issue limiting our progress as a nation, my commitment as an individual is to always draw up conclusions on what we may do right in our little way to BE THE CHANGE and LEAD THE CHANGE for a virile Nigeria.

I see my generation rising to the challenge before it: the challenge to rise above hypocrisy and mediocrity, to rise above conformity, to rise above indolence; to rise above an impossible spirit, for the Nigeria that we all dream of requires our total and collective effort.

There is no better time.

Together, we will raise a nation that is an envy of other nations.

A new Nigeria is a great possibility.

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