Sapele’s Female Druggies and their Babies

 

 

Imagine a baby just a few days or old. He or she has been crying for food endlessly, but nothing is on offer. There is no money for baby food, so the mother has to feed the child with her breast’s milk. How ever, the delay that kept the baby hungry was because she is taking time to inject, swallow or smoke drugs. The baby’s nourishment from the mother’s breast may be laced with varying concentrations of drugs. That is the baby’s meal and survival. We are not even talking about how well-fed the mother is, the child’s immunity, health and treatment if it falls ill, the environment the mother and child lives, hopes of a better life and so forth. One may further ask if the child is the only one, or the second or third or if another one is on the way? Look at the photo above, and you can see a mother simultaneously smoking marijuana and feeding her baby. It is happening in Sapele, Delta State like in many other towns and cities in Nigeria, particularly the slum areas, but the usual denial by many Nigeria is that the photo was taken in South Africa, Gabon or Chad. Drugs are not just destroying a generation of youths; it is already destroying their babies. Continue reading

The Portrait of a Nigerian Druggie Youth

Take a very good look at the photograph. In the photograph, you can see the portrait of a young teenager in a blue T-shirt (the Boy in blue) attempting to light up a reefer. He is closely surrounded by peers eager for him to do it because if he does they can too. There is some apparent awe for the Boy in blue by his mates; he is their leader by choice or nature. He is not from a privileged background and neither are his peers but they look up to him. Leaders instinctively know their followers expect them to be first movers and hardly back down. With the provision of privilege or means, he could be a future captain of industry, senator, Anglican bishop, colonel, principal or publisher. Who knows? What will be the use of the Boy in blues’ leadership appearance or qualities in the present and future Nigeria society? Who exactly is the Boy in blue and where can he be found?

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Nnamdi Kanu is a Made Man: Made by Buhari

Today, on Nnamdi Kanu’s release he has become “cause celebre” supreme in Nigeria. He visits and is visited by an impressive list of the ‘high and mighty’ in the land. Despite his oppressive bail conditions which prevent him from undertaking any activism or agitation activities, Kanu’s persona is flourishing. Kanu has become an unlikely but genuine national icon of the “Igbo struggle”. Igbo leaders who shunned Kanu when his troubles began must now embrace him, expediency would not permit otherwise. Otherwise, Igbos and other Nigerians who saw him a mere nuisance cannot deny his current moment of greatness. Yet, Kanu’s greatness was a far too visible and predictable product of an unwitting incarceration by the government of Muhammadu Buhari; Buhari made Kanu [great] as foreseen in The Government Has Jumped Up Biafra (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-pt). Continue reading

Fulani Herdsmen in Abraka: Savagery Without Response?

It is unfortunate that the ethnic group that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, belongs to is a “nation of habitual butchers”; the Cattle Fulani. This is the unequivocal belief of the nations within Nigeria victimised by Herdsmen violence. First, it was military men in uniform and now it is wandering Herdsmen; both have enjoyed peerless impunity. The university town of Abraka in Delta State, Nigeria has witnessed another incidence of menacing violence by Fulani Herdsmen against its residents this week, a repeat of what occurred in the same town last year. The people of Abraka (Urhobos) have experienced an atrocious mix of intimidation, violence, mayhem, murder, trauma and vandalism at the hands of Fulani Herdsmen in their very own indigenous land. Why are there no credible responses from the state to deal effectively with the crisis other than shoddy policing? Continue reading

Aso Rock Suspensions and the Game of WHOT

When the suspensions of the Secretary to the Federal Government, Babachir David Lawal, and the Director-General of the Nigerian Intelligence Agency, Ayodele Oke, by the Presidency were announced yesterday, many enthusiastically hoped it was the beginning of the serious disciplinary approach to dealing with malfeasance and nonfeasance in the Nigerian government. Others may say, too little too late, but it can doubtlessly be built upon. The Big Thieves in government and outside it, will not be sleeping now, but orchestrating watertight schemes that will prevent their heads from rolling. Power is sweet especially when stolen funds pay for it. There lies the dilemma the enables corruption to fight back decisively; the money that hooks in the throat. It is always a mistake to appoint many highly corrupt individuals to government. Continue reading

Why the EFCC is Stage-Managing Cash Seizures

Where is the Government of Nigeria (GON) or the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) winning their war against corruption? Nowhere. No vigorous prosecutions, no convictions, no legislative reforms, no judicial reforms, no constitutional reforms, nothing. All the citizens of Nigeria see are publicity stunts and government-engineered scandals. Is there anything else substantial to show anywhere? The incentive now is, after all its tough talk, the GON must save face as Nigeria, and the rest of the world watches her anti-corruption activities. Recent developments are now verifying the stage-managing of the cash seizures; the money is going back to where it came from directly – the Central Bank of Nigeria. (see http://wp.me/p1bOKH-KW)
There are many rational reasons for the GON (its agencies) and EFCC to stage-manage mysterious theatrical large “cash discoveries and seizure” to make them look like they are doing a good job and these are evident to everyday Nigerians. Continue reading

Is the Government of Nigeria Stage-Managing Cash Seizures?

The current sensation in Nigeria is the mysterious discoveries and seizures of large sums of money (mostly foreign currency) found at lying fallow at premium addresses. The cash discoveries are claimed to be the work of selfless “whistleblowers” at the encouragement of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC). And it is expected to show the world that the Government of Nigeria (GON) is winning on its anti-corruption campaign promises. Some highly experienced experts in the anti-corruption and crime industry find the discoveries very unlikely and too good to be true. The fantastic cash discoveries made by the EFCC credibly appear to be merely clever stage-managed acts of publicity.

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Is Nigeria Ready to Kill Another Environmentalist?

In this article, the context of the Government of Nigeria (GON) and its agencies killing a truth-seeking environmentalist is (a) physical as in murder, execution, assassination or driving one to suicide. Or (b) psychological as in breaking one’s spirit, discrediting one’s name, ruining one’s career; being a victim of government-sponsored attack dogs. Ken Saro-Wiwa a major Nigerian environmentalist suffered such a fate. It would not be paranoia or scaremongering to be concerned that the GON is after yet another environmentalist, Rev Nnnimmo Bassey. The question is to what extent, considering the beginnings of similar trends and actions in the past. “Discredit him then kill him” is an old tactic. It should be taken seriously. Continue reading

Buhari Has Panama-Proofed Nigeria’s Corruption

If you were to personally ask President Muhammadu Buhari what the most successful thing a person could achieve in Nigeria was and he is candid with you, he will tell you to seize power (through coup d’ états or general elections) or amass riches (through grand corruption). Power and wealth for their sake will always breed corruption, and that is mainly why the president himself is not exempt. We all know that, but some emphatically deny it. The Panama Papers scandal involving tax evasion and money laundering cases in off-shore havens shook many international heavyweights in the civilised world but not Nigeria. Buhari’s administration has rendered big thieving Nigerian politicians and quasi-businessmen completely “Panama-proof”.

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Can Buhari Win The Oil War?

Buhari defeat

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) may not be a praiseworthy entity to many but their emergence and defiance have provided a thorough and incisive diagnosis of the dissembling cohesion of the nation-state called Nigeria. Nigeria has never been a thoroughgoing republic but simply a geographical “convenience” of British colonial exploitation (for palm oil) and a political “convenience” of Northern Nigerian auto-colonial hegemony (for crude oil). Race and tribe have played an exceeding big role in the creation of NDA. Enduringly placing the ‘straightjacket of inferiority’ firmly upon Niger Delta people/region who never asked for it by people who have extracted its wealth in obscene amounts without considering the indigenes will generate extreme reactions. Oppressive exploitation of oil in a highly fragile state does not work forever; President Muhammadu Buhari will learn this. Continue reading

Nigeria is Still Seeking Loans to Finance “Unsolicited Proposals”

ngozi_okonjoiweala osibajo

How can a so-called modern nation be perennially managed since Independence by way of “unsolicited proposals”? President Muhammadu Buhari came to power on the slogan of “Change” but he is still governing Nigeria unrelentingly with the instrument of “unsolicited proposals”. When loans are used to fund “unsolicited proposals” it is no different from gambling, high-stakes gambling. Any government that manages its affairs and vision with total dependence on “unsolicited proposals” is devoid strategic planning, structural effectiveness and reliable outcome expectations beyond the short-term; such is governance by improvisation [haphazard] and instantaneous expediency. Is this truly the way forward for Nigeria? Continue reading

There Is No Fuel Scarcity Cartel in Nigeria

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While there is a clearly identifiable oil production and exploration (E & P) ‘cartel’ constituted of mostly multinational corporations (with local clients) in the upstream sector of the Nigerian petroleum resources industry, such does not exist in the downstream sector relating to the distribution of fuel products. What causes fuel scarcity is the result of the actions and reactions of a ‘cabal’ of government officials and their clients in the private sector; such corporate clients are erroneously perceived as cartel members. Continue reading

The Nachi Lake “Miracles”: Poor People, Poor Society, Poor Governance

Lake Nachi

 

The Nachi Lake emerged ‘spontaneously, out of the ground in Nachi, Enugu State, Nigeria in 2011 and has since become a “health spa” of sorts. It is right to assume that if there is no explanation for the emergence of a natural earth phenomenon in Nigeria, “The Gods are to Blame” or “To Be Praised” depending on how it affects the lives of people who encounter it. In this case, The Gods Are to Be Praised. Bathing in the gooey and foul-smelling water of the lake is said by countless people to cure physical and spiritual illnesses. Millions have visited the lake for the “miracles” of healing, purported to be secured after bathing in the water. Nevertheless, what are the people bathing in Nachi, the land in a country that produced Andrew Jonathan Nok?

It is worth wondering why someone among the countless degree, masters and PhD holders in environmental science [chemistry, ecology, monitoring, protection, management, sustainability etc.] who work at universities, teaching hospitals, independent laboratories or environmental agencies, have not tested the water of the lake to find out its composition. In a properly governed nation, every chemical, biological and physical toxin/toxicant in a lake from its mysterious emergence onwards would have been identified, monitored and catalogued by the appropriate agencies.

If there are any dangers to people bathing in the lake the site should be sealed off. What is in the lake that makes it so gooey and foul [sulphide]-smelling? Sulphides are responsible for those smells produced when humans pass wind or when eggs rot, it is also a potentially dangerous gas when produced in large quantities. A lake is capable of doing that. For the stagnant water, bathers may have seriously polluted the lake with a variety of bodily debris and toxins, which are potentially dangerous. It is not free-flowing water and does not have a sustainable ecosystem. Has the Government of Nigeria (GON) not heard about Lake Nachi? Or is it waiting for the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) or the World Health Organisation (WHO) to test and analyse the lake for them?

Nigeria is a nation so unnecessarily poor if you visit churches that claim to offer its faithful spontaneous, instant and irreversible miracle cures to their various illnesses you will see the unimaginable. People seeking healing for myopia (short-sightedness), toothache, malaria, whitlow, multiple boils, ringworm and so on as written on the placards held up for the healing pastors to see. These medical problems are routinely easy to solve by inexpensive visits to opticians, dentists and doctors or drug stores. As inexpensive as they are, the majority of the population cannot afford them. Cheaper alternative remedies and those provided by clerics only if a monetary offering is given becomes their only hope of healing or recovery. Unrestricted access to a ‘miracle-working’ lake is cheaper still.

The unrelenting and ever-erratic search for miracles by many Nigerians is increasingly observable. It is fuelled more by economic hopelessness and poverty than superstition and ignorance. Poor Nigerians with serious health issues know that if they had the money, they would do exactly what their rich compatriots do; travel overseas for treatment. Besides, the Nigeria healthcare system is not in good shape and dubious value for money treatment is a common experience for patients who use it.

“Lake Nachi water” is drunk all around Nigeria. The use of Nachi Lake for healing is an epidemiologist’s nightmare if it turns out the lake is a toxic cesspool. There is no way to track the countless Nigerians and other nationals that have visited the lake if it is found that the lake is laced with compounds that could cause serious illness or death. Toxins may take months or years after full-body immersion in the lake or drinking its water to cause health problems. That would cause the people who sought a miracle cure from the lake in the first place to seek yet another source of a miracle cure elsewhere. But it would also be another convenient ‘avoided cost’ for the GON.

Nevertheless, we sincerely hope Lake Nachi is not a cause of disaster or hazards for its clients but it would be necessary to know what is in the water. Are there no health / environmental budgets at federal and state levels of government for testing and monitoring potential hazardous lands and waters?

 

Grimot Nane

Buhari: Why Allow the Corrupt to Fight Back So Easily?

I-will-kill-corruption-before-it-kills-nigeria-buhari

Anti-corruption is a complex and difficult task but some certain fundamentals and necessities need to be adhered to in the short, medium and long term for it to have any significant or even enduring success. Conversely, certain oversights made in any anti-corruption campaign simply make success in the fight against corruption much more difficult or even impossible. The Government of Nigeria’s (GON) current approach to anti-corruption is giving too much opportunity for the corrupt to fight back. This may not be deliberate on the part of the GON led by President Muhammadu Buhari. Who knows?

There appears to be no institutional adjustments or introductions taking place in the governance of Nigeria to facilitate effective short, medium and long term anti-corruption measures. Nigeria has the problem of “contrary institutions” as the main facility for corruption. Contrary institutions are defined as “any institutions which due to perverse or incomplete internal development delivers divergent or contrary outcomes to those they were was originally intended”. What makes institutions enforceable and effective are not their external components such as methods, techniques, processes or resources (e.g. the Treasury Single Account or EFCC) but their internal component which consists of human volition. Human volition rooted in moral responsibility to achieve and maintain goal consistent ethical rules for proper governance. Continue reading

Nigeria is Fighting Corruption Unthinkingly

BUHARI

The Government of Nigeria’s (GON) decision to somewhat expediently ‘fight corruption by scandal’ is by far the most inappropriate way to do so and shall end in abject failure. Unsurprisingly, the Big Thieves in Nigeria are the top beneficiaries of ‘anti-corruption by scandal-making’ adopted by the GON. The current $2.1 billion “Sambo Scandal” and others simply have the contrary effect of legitimising the ‘money sharing antics’ of the named culprits, arming their lawyers with legal “technicalities” and frustrating Nigerians with leaked allegations in the absence of formal prosecutions and convictions. Continue reading

The Blood of Nnamdi Kanu: Exit From Nigeria

Kanu Buhari

When we say the ‘blood of Nnamdi Kanu’, there is no intention to link it to the ‘blood of Jesus’ for that will be blasphemy and an unnecessary if not foolish comparison. However, the blood of Nnamdi Kanu is becoming more important every day in the future and stability of the state of Nigeria; his obtusely directed detention has made him the stuff of an unlikely hero to millions.  He who spills Kanu’s blood shall bring great misfortune to himself and the nation of Nigeria; sooner or later. Dismiss the young man, Kanu, but can you dismiss the concerns and support his cause celebre status has had on Igbo and non-Igbo Nigerians? Continue reading

Fuel Hoarding and Governance Failure

Fuel Scarcity

The GON is getting very tough at the “tail end” of the oil sector by punishing retailers of petroleum fuel for “hoarding” like they have “weak oil bunkerers”. Meanwhile, the executive cabinet of GON is staffed by hoarders of billions of dollars’ (in cash and assets) of “oil wealth”. This is the latest showing of “no-nonsense anticorruption” at its most trifling in Nigeria. Yes, the landlord chasing rats in the living room while his house is fully on fire? This ‘catching the serpent by the tail’ solution is a dangerous staple approach adopted by the current GON. Continue reading

Warri Pipeline Disaster: Negligence and Rumours

effuru-blast7

It has been a week now since the news of the explosion of an oil pipeline line in Warri occurred. The explosion happened just behind the 3 Battalion Army Barracks, Effurun- Warri, Delta State and spread to other areas in the locality with three separate thick-smoke producing fires burning for days and the firefighters are not winning. The rumour in town is that the pipeline was “burst open” by militants and is very strong. Once again militants take the blame without any rational or casual consideration of technical failures or negligence being the cause. And there is no talk of urgency concerning the victims of the disaster yet. Continue reading

Bombing the Niger Delta Will Not Deter Bunkering: Part 2

A fisherman shows oil slick on his palm, by the shore of the Niger Delta region in Brass December 2, 2013. A large oil spill near Nigeria's Brass facility, run by ENI, has spread through the sea and swamps of the oil producing Niger Delta region, local residents and the company said on Monday. ENI said it was not yet possible to determine the cause of the spill. Picture taken December 2, 2013. REUTERS/Stringer (NIGERIA - Tags: DISASTER ENVIRONMENT) - RTX161ZD

To say that the Government of Nigeria (GON) handles issues of the military of nature with either weak short-term “quick fixes” or opportunities for “melees” is not mere criticism. It is a record of innumerable failures and blunders that should not have happened in the first place. Bombing oil bunkering assets in the Niger Delta is the latest short-term military quick fix adopted to deal with oil bunkering. What are the potential likely consequences of the GON continuing to bomb in the Niger Delta in the name of eradicating oil bunkering? Continue reading

Bombing the Niger Delta Will Not Deter Bunkering

Bombing niger delta 2

The Government of Nigeria (GON) has sought to undertake a very unusual method of stopping or deterring “oil bunkering” in the Niger Delta; the use of military bombing for minor bunkering assets. This is a true example of the famed “fire brigade” approach associated with GON when seriously challenged with problems of technical, complex or elusive nature. It is easy for the GON to deploy Joint Task Force (JTF) and other heavy-handed security outfits to the Niger Delta with ‘genocidal consequences’ to “stabilise” the nation but it is surprisingly impossible them to make substantial and sustainable developments in the region or clean-up the heinous ‘ecocide’ manifested there endlessly. Continue reading

Nigeria in Pieces: Biafra & Kanu

Nigeria

It was a grievous mistake on the part of the Government of Nigeria (GON) to arrest the Biafran secessionist activist, Nnamdi Kanu (See; The Government Has Jumped Up “Biafra” http://wp.me/p1bOKH-pt). Apart from Kanu’s new status of cause celebre due to his arrest and the risk of his martyrdom, the GON has continued to escalate the problem for itself. Many said Kanu’s arrest was a “non-event”. Now a peaceful protester has been shot dead by the police in Port Harcourt. As Ghandi famously proclaimed “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”. Kanu was ignored, laughed at and now he is being fought by the GON. The question is, will Kanu eventually win? Continue reading

“Everybody Wants Change but Nobody Wants to Change”?

Leader follower 2

Accepting failed leadership as a good thing is surprisingly very well-accommodated in Nigeria. “Excuses” are the most valued tools in the hands of Nigerian leaders, their clients and their supporters. There are no excuses made by politicians at election time but when the failure of elected leaders start to become very apparent and distinct, the last resort is to go to public relations professionals to cook up the next best excuse. And too many Nigerians cannot wait to embrace it unrelentingly. Continue reading

The Government Has Jumped Up ‘Biafra’

Nnamdi Kalu

The news of the arrest of the man behind Radio Biafra, Nnamdi Kalu, by the Nigerian government has turned him into a major international “cause célèbre” with major world leaders and influential human rights NGOs openly supporting him or condemning the government for it. It is easy to brand such proclamations as “imperial interference” or the “undermining of Nigerian sovereignty” but non-Nigerians see Nigeria through their own cultural lenses which may please or displease Nigerians. It is the case that Nigerians should sympathise with their government and forget all outside influences but can they? Continue reading

Must Nigerians Defend Illegal Arms Dealers? II

The rumour that ex-militant leader Alhadji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and politician Felix Idiga, both enriched by Niger Delta government resources, were the Nigerians caught with $9.3 million by the South African Government (SAG) in a jet owned by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is a fact. Continue reading

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