Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Those Honorary Degrees

At last! Yes, at last, the federal government has banned indiscriminate and cash-induced awards of honorary degrees by all federal-owned universities. Thank god for small mercies.

No keen observer can be indifferent to the menace that this practice has visited upon the nation and its educational institutions in the last three decades. The rest should now be history.

However, let the government walk the talk: Fund them Institutions, or.

One last point. Do this integrity test for all national awards henceforth. The roll is tainted, lopsided, continually questioned and, ipso facto, blighted. We must do better.

Is 2012 the year?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Nigerian Diaspora: 2012 Calling!

Despite all the faults and falterings, patriots must not give up on their fatherland - this blessed land, NIGERIA.

The politicians test our very limits, don't they? But the militicians did worse, didn't they? We survived the jackboot and outlived the gun-loot. Alas, we will survive the slack-hoot and outlive the pen-loot. We are NIGERIA!

Now is then the time to call on our successful sons and daughters in the diaspora to rise in full duty and diligence for the rescue mission: Come Home! Choose your path, chime your time; no matter. But, please, Come Home!

By 2015, this land is going to retire many of the present galloping gladiators. The sweep will be sharp and shocking. And we need worthy replacements - a blend of home-based and diaspora-groomed patriots.

To fit in, dear compatriots, 2012 is the PrepYear. Start the strategic links and break the jinx...

Come Home!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peace in Nigeria

As we march in favour of democracy & development, let us not presume that the troubled peace in our country will self-resolve. Yet, this seems to be the general direction if not tendency we seem to be headed. Wrong, very wrong.

First off, we are not agreed on the root causes of the problem. Second, the forces of unity are at once rooted and floating! They want a big and bold country, bonded in egalitarian democracy but are not ready for full and fulfilling federalism. Third, we are disabling and dis-enabling our vibrant youth population, it's just mind-boggling and baffling. Fourth, we have ignored Nigerian women in nation building: can you beat that? Finally, the politicians are misusing both religion and ethnicity (two of our most cherished gems and core values) in blind pursuit of personal ambitions and unbridled brigandage. The result is the shame-soaked badge of worsening corruption and deepening poverty.

Tackle these at base and get on the firm path to democracy, development and peace - enduring peace.

Who will take us there? The political class, nudged by elders, battled by civil society, supported by the international community. The arrowhead? National Assembly.

Monitored and recorded by the Nigerian Media - fearlessly, robustly and patriotically.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Nigerian Credit Cards Worthless?

Just a composite poser for....

Our Banks, and bankers

Our President, and politicians

Our Parliament, and legislators

Our Ministers, and diplomats

Our Media, and pressmen

Our Universities, and academia

Our Private Sector, and businessmen:

How many of you can and do shop on the Internet with Credit Cards issued in Nigeria? How many of you shop on Amazon.com? How many of you have a PayPal Account?

If you don't have a resounding "POSITIVE" to the above so do 160m Nigerians. How come nobody is doing something about this denigration and offensive stigmatization?

And you "patriots" hobnob with your counterparts around the world?

Well, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala I'm looking at you. Olusegun Aganga I'm eyeing you. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi you dey for my radar!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Our Beauty of Patriotism

I have never thought that we needed to state our religion and state of origin and gender and age for special advantage in the 21st century Nigeria. Well, you do.

You do because the constitution recognizes "federal character" in all public service positions - both elective and appointive. It also forbids economic power/resources being concentrated in the hands of a few - the popular cabal syndrome. Now, working this fine path is the picture of our beauty, the Beauty of our Patriotism.

Some have used it well, others not. We look at appointments and shudder! We look at national awards and wonder! We look at contracts and ponder! Why?

Oh, look no further than our kind of patriotism: Parochialism for Nationalism, Religion-ism for Spiritualism, Pocket-ism for Patriotism. Everyone does it or is made to do it so it becomes odd not to do it. We know it and celebrate the courageous-odd but create less enabling environment for their tribe to thrive.

Then we fumble and fail. Then we grumble and mumble. Then we seek God's intervention. We lament the ferment, make a few adjustments, make a few scape-goats, get a small relief...and go to sleep!

Our beauty of patriotism is scape-goatism: make a few pay for our collective sins. If we cleared the deck and returned not to our vomit, we would be a nation of nationals, a country of citizens, a land of hands.

So, here is the deal. Who knows beauty but goes for booty? How do we make us pay for our personal roles in this brigandage and progressively deepen the roots of patriotism? What must we give to receive? Where do we stay or betray? We must start now, in individual sacrifice to build our collective edifice - seeing the beauty of the self in the bounty of the whole.

Painful? Yes. Gainful? You can't ask that, Oh Patriot.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Is ECOWAS for West Africans?

The whole idea of regional integration is so exciting that no one can fault, or should fault, the ECOWAS Dream. And there is good support for it.

Let's be fair. ECOWAS is working. Especially in the area of advancing stability, peace and security thus promoting and sustaining democracy within this dynamic sub-region of Africa. Kudos to our political leaders.

Let's be truthful. ECOWAS is not flying. Especially in economic advancement and community spirit thus defeating the lofty goals of regional integration. Knock for our political leaders.

Considering the origins and continued yearnings of our combined populations, we should be far ahead in the development game by now. Why aren't we? Aha, gotcha!

Politics. Politicians. Neo-colonialism. Bureaucracy. Corruption. NEPAD. Unhealthy Competition instead of Undiluted Complementarity. Lack of Strategic Connective Infrastructure. Security without Prosperity equals POVERTY. No Full-Time Parliament. Not Learning creatively from... the EU.

The most important? Absence of Citizen-Participation.

Got that? Ask your Government.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Book Business Here

Over time, Africa seems de-booked. Long before bookstores elsewhere started succumbing to online stores, African bookshops have been struggling to survive. Partly because local authorship isn't thriving, partly because foreign publishers got packing, partly because governments have yet to wake up to the twin dangers of illiteracy and ignorance. It pays dictators and despots to use both to suppress, repress and depress the populace!

Well, the Arab Spring is reaffirming history's truism: not for long.

In my native Nigeria, for example, we even took development assistance and world bank funds for book development. Nothing to show for it all, folks, nothing! Publishers are closing shop, writers are languishing, piracy is racing wild, libraries are derelict, reading is declining...and our governments at all levels, parents and guardians, natural and religious leaders, the media and our diaspora will not come together to ACT! Shame.

With the under-funding of our education sector and the debasement of the teaching profession over the last three decades, lecturers and researchers aren't writing or publishing. We have thus been fueling and feeding the brain drain monster.

Final result? The BOOK business is Dying! And PEOPLE are hardly READING! Pity.

Press Nigeria, tap Africa. Common story.

NEPAD is still a paper-tiger, alas. Will it wake up for BOOK Business, now? Hope. You never lose with hope...