We are Nigerian citizens reporting commentaries and analysis on the state of affairs in Nigeria, to hold our political elites to account for the injustice done to the Nigerian people.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Nigeria Revolution: Change We Can Believe In

Over the past week, there has been a discussion onSolomonsydelle's blog about the Nigeria Revolution question? I have made my views known by commenting succinctly on this subject.

But there are so many of us who doubt Nigeria’s desire for something new - who are saying a revolution is a fluke and should never be thought of; or like the Nigerian civil war experience, never be repeated again. I beg to differ. However, I do not believe in a bloody revolution, I believe a drastic and far-reaching change in ways of our thinking and behavior is urgently needed. That is a revolution in itself.

A change from the status quo; a change from the old political brigands and a change from the corrupt establishment in Nigeria. A fundamental change in political organization; a change of paradigm; a change of ideas; and of articulating a new vision and a new hope to move our nation forward in this generation!

We do believe that this change is possible. And this revolution message should resonate loud and clear to all of us. Nigerians alike, from the four corners of our nation and in the diaspora; young and old, Hausa or Yoruba, Igbo or Ijaw, the rich and the poor, we have to remember that this is a fight to salvage our nation, and that all of us share an abiding desire to end the disastrous policies and actions of our past administration.

Well today, this revolution had already beganin Nigeria's court rooms and in theoffices of the anti-graft agency - EFCC (Economic and Financial Crimes Commission) , but the cynics are at work and they will stop at nothing to make us believe that this is just an illusion; and they will do anything and everything to stop this revolution, but all of us Nigerians need to stand up and tell a different story that change is what we believe in.

But there are real differences between those of us who believe in change in Nigeria and those cynics who wants to maintain the status quo. We are looking for more than just a change of government. We’re looking to fundamentally change the status quo in the Nigerian political, economic and social landscape - a status quo that extends beyond any particular individual or political affiliations. And right now, that status quo is fighting back with everything it’s got; with the same old tactics that divide and distract us from solving the problems people face in Nigeria everyday, whether those problems are poverty; that people can’t afford three square meals a day or homelessness; that ordinary Nigerians can’t afford to pay their rent.

So this revolution will not be easy. Make no mistake about what we’re up against in Nigeria.

We are up against the belief that it’s ok for corrupt politicians to dominate our government - that they are just part of the system in Nigeria. But we know that the undue influence of corrupt leaders is part of the problem, and this change is our chance to say that we’re not going to let them stand in our way anymore.

We are up against the conventional thinking that says your ability to become thePresident of Nigeria comes from longevity in our corrupt political system or proximity to those who have the influence of power or powers that be. But we know that real leadership is about candor, and judgment, and the ability to move Nigerians from all walks of life around a common purpose - a higher purpose. Change!

We are up against decades of bitter partisanship and politics that cause politicians to demonize and kill their opponents instead of coming together to make food items affordable or fuel prices cheaper; it’s the kind of politics where you’re not even allowed to say that you have a different idea – by not conforming with the status quo. That kind of politics is bad for Nigerians, it’s bad for our country, and this revolution will be our chance to end it once and for all.

We are up against the idea that it’s acceptableto say anything and do anything to win an election . We know that this is exactly what’s wrong with our politics; this is why people don’t believe what their leaders say anymore; this is why they tune out. And this revolution is our chance to give the Nigerian people a reason to believe again.

And what we’ve seen in these last years is that we’re also up against political forces that are not the fault of any one individual, but wrong ideological establishments that feed the habits that prevent us from being who we want to be as a nation. It’s the politics that uses tribalism as a wedge, and corruption as a bludgeon . A politics that tells us that we don’t have to think, act, and even vote within the confines that define us in exercising our human rights. The assumption that Nigerians are apathetic to who is going to govern them. The assumption that Nigerians are not ready for change. The assumption that Igbo’s can’t support Yoruba’s; Hausa’s can’t support the Ijaws and the north and south cannot come together.

But this revolution is to say that this is not the Nigeria we believe in. This change is not about tribalism nor the actualization of ethnic nationalities, but a fight for all Nigerians from all walks of life; men and women of every tribes and gender who want to serve together, and fight together, and bleed together under the same proud Nigerian flag. We know what Nigeria is, and we believe in what Nigeria can be.

It’s about the past versus the future.

It’s about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today, or whether we reach for a politics of common sense, and innovation - a shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.

That is the Nigeria we see. That is the country we want to see. But now it is up to us to help the entire nation embrace this vision; this revolution. Because in the end, we are not just up against the ingrained and destructive habits of politicians in Nigerian, we are also struggling against our own doubts, our own fears, and our own cynicism. The change we seek has always required great struggle and sacrifice. And so this is a battle in our own hearts and minds about what kind of country we want and how hard we’re willing to work for it.

So let us remind every Nigerian that change will not be easy. That change will take time. There will be setbacks, and false starts, and sometimes we will make mistakes. But as hard as it may seem, we cannot lose hope. Because there are people all across Nigeria and in the diaspora who are demanding for change; who can’t afford another four years of misrule because our past leaders couldn’t come together, articulate this vision and get it done.

This post is an inspiration from Barack Obama’s South Carolina Victory Speech; a great and inspirational speech indeed and we can draw a lot of parallels from the change Obama is advocating for and the revolution that is urgently needed in Nigeria.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Timaya: Remembering Odi Massacre

If you have been to Nigeria recently; there is a new rave in town…down with the Dbanj, Tuface and the PSquare's of this world. Timaya is the shiznit! Hate me if you want - Timaya is hawt like fire!! All Timaya’s songs are on heavy rotation on my cd playa. One particular song got stuck in my head and everytime I replay “Dem Mama”, it brings to mind the attrocieties of a mindless and ruthless Obasanjo’s regime. Why do we want to rehash these issues? We need to spotlight the evils in our society…so as to hold accountable a civilian regime who threw all caution to the winds; for laying a human habition to waste…for unleashing the animalism of the military on Odi because a crime was commited.

The Odi massacre was an attack carried out on November 20, 1999 by the Nigerian military on the predominantly Ijaw town of Odi in Bayelsa State. The attack came in the context of an ongoing conflict in the Niger Delta over indigenous rights to oil resources and environmental protection.

Prior to the massacre, twelve members of the Nigerian police were murdered by a gang near Odi, seven on November 4 and the remainder in the following days. Pursuing those responsible, the military invaded, exchanged fire, and then proceeded to indiscriminately attack the civilian population and the town's buildings. Every building in the town except the bank, the Anglican church and the health center was burned to the ground.

A wide range of estimates was given for the numbers of civilians killed. Human Rights Watch concluded that "the soldiers must certainly have killed tens of unarmed civilians and that figures of several hundred dead are entirely plausible. Environmental Rights Action claims that nearly 2500 civilians were killed. The Nigerian government, in their spin, initially put the death toll at 43, including eight soldiers.

While Obasanjo is now cooling his feet at Otta Farms after vacating office; enjoying the spoils of our nation and being allowed to show-case, flaunt his ill-gotten wealth, and talk gibberish whenever he deems fit, Timaya’s song reminds us all of this crime against humanity; the killing, maiming and raping of over three thousand innocent and defenseless women, children and men committed on the orders of a neo-fascist despot.

I honestly hope that one day, our ex-government officials will be put on trial for this, and for the other heinous crimes that have been committed against our nation. How any human being can sanction this sort of massacre, especially in a 'democracy' is way beyond my imagination.

Read more on Odi Massacre -HERE

Enjoy Timaya "Dem Mama"!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Ribadu's Demise: Death To EFCC

I will have my head examined if I dare to absolve President Yardua from the odium of suspicion and complicity in Ribadu's removal. I would further posit that the little credibility or benefit of doubt that Yardua's govt had with this sham anti-corruption crusade, if any, has irrevocably dissipated by this shameful Ribadu's "one year course" ordered deployment service and was permanently "extinguished" (pardon the pun) in this recent convenient “tight-lipped” Yardua posturing.
Pardon the Okiro's and Aondoakaa's of this world; they are hatchet-men; stooges in the hands of despots; whose servitude to Nigeria will be marked by uncouth pronouncements, rash actions and unholy association with thugs masquerading as political party stalwarts; playing a major role through their undemocratic acts in ruining our nation.

In Nigeria, those that are in dire need of training in democratic tenets are the ones shooting off bazookas of orders! How did these 'weasels' ended up in a position of authority in our political landscape anywayz? Shame on us Nigerians for letting these corrupt political brigandes thrive on our passive acquiescence to their garrison politricks!

Yardua's illegal govt; imposed by a spineless cabal of criminals will stop at nothing to ensure that their wicked and self-serving reign of corruption and wanton looting is not interrupted by anything or anyone.

Ribadu is just a victim of a corrupt establishment; but we, all Nigerians, are suckers to a motley crowd of uncouth brigands and leeches led by renegades of a criminal govt.

With the death of the EFCC a.k.a Ribadu's romoval, Yardua will be condemned to the dustbin of history for frittering away these golden opportunities to lift the country out of the doldrums; moreso for presiding over the demise of the country's democracy with his mediocre performance and primitive disposition.

T'is is the Season. A New Year. A New Dawn. Time for change is NOW!


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