Please register to vote. Even if the election is rigged, you have to go out and vote. You would have no moral right to complain if evil geniuses are elected to power when you could not exercise your civic duties. The power of change is in your hands. The burden is on you. Evil prevails when good people do nothing.
As is usual, the mets got it wrong. The rain was not the kind of storm they predicted, the winds only reached 40 mph, not 80 as some forecasts predicted, and the rain lasted less than an hour, not all night. No problems though as I had a great night's rest.
Before I begin to talk, I want to point out the fact that Nilla from Nairaland has opened a blog of her own. Nilla's spin is what she chose to call it. Welcome to blogosphere Nilla, I hope you remain here.
Boso wrote about Catherine Tate. I think you should see it. That entry and all the clips left me in stitches.
There's a problem with a majority of my feeds. For the last few days I haven't gotten any updates from Akin, Ayoke and Nkem, to name a few. Chippla's not been regular of recent, so I won't panic yet.
Make I yarn...
Perhaps the biggest news of the week globally was the death of the former KGB agent Alexandr Litvinenko. That is an issue that I'd rather read about from Frederick Forsyth in a few years. The world of military intelligence is too murky, and you never know who is working for who, who is betraying who, who is killing who. That said, I wonder why there is so much noise by the British over him. Going through articles about this issue, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before someone got to him, and as the MOSSAD, MI6 or even the SSS back home (there is also the DMI, anyone remembers Frank Omenka?) have shown over the years, intelligence agencies neither forgive nor forget. May he rest in peace...
I was more interested (as usual) in the events back home. And perhaps the biggest news out of Naija last week was the 'Raid on Entebbe' style drama that happened in Rivers State on Wednesday. Sadly, one of the hostages was killed, and my prayers are with him and the family he left behind. The Navy says that none of their men was killed, which is a good thing for morale. That however, is open to debate as the article I highlighted (which is why I chose that) says that a soldier lost his life in the shoot-out. But the vast majority of articles I have read agree that no soldier died. What everyone agrees with however, is that at least two of the kidnappers were killed. I have no sympathy for them.
I am in full support of a crackdown on all the kidnappers.
It is always a tragedy when someone dies, more so when that person died violently. However, I do not believe that too many people will shed tears when Saddam Hussein dangles at the end of a rope sometime in the coming weeks, just the same way that no one in Benin shed a tear when Lawrence Anini and gang danced to the tune of machine gun fire some 20 years ago. That is what these groups in the Niger Delta are slowly bringing upon themselves.
I would refer you to this BBC article written in April, specifically the portion which states:
"It appears to be a more effective organisation than the armed groups which have been extorting money from companies working in the region and stealing oil for many years."
That is MEND they are talking about there, which IMHO is/used to be the only respectable militant organisation in the Delta. Unfortunately for MEND, the other groups have 'polluted' the pool so to say. For the neutral observer, there is hardly any difference between the true militants who are actually demanding an improvement in the conditions of their people on the one hand, and the Asari Dokubo style crooks who are looking for an extra buck on the other hand. The failure of MEND (and the so called elders of the South-South) to call these criminals to order has made a lot of people who would have otherwise been sympathetic to begin to look the other way. For me the recurring question remains: Why haven't we seen any effort (genuine of fake) by these militant groups to improve the lot of the people they claim to be fighting for?
Since these kidnappings are carried out for the greater good, that is justice for the people of the Niger Delta, we'd expect to see news crews invited to videotape the kidnappers returning to their villages as heroes and sharing the ransom money equally to each and every home. Or in the alternative, purchasing medicines and sharing them. Or even better, paying a firm to carry out a clean-up of the environment.
We are still waiting.
Rather, what is on the rise is that more and more "militant groups" are springing up daily. Each trotting out the same hackneyed slogans. Then they go out, grab some white men, and wait for their share of the booty.
Make no mistakes, this spate of kidnappings is now nothing more than a lucrative criminal venture. I have warned Jeremy in an earlier article to be careful because were I getting too broke, I'd kidnap him and demand my own share of the oil wealth. And this is where the FG and oil companies are culpable. For crying out loud, had they refused to settle Dokubo and his crew initially, this wouldn't have gotten out of hand.
Trust me, if we had refused the demands ab initio, the Niger Delta would have been better for it. And that is what we all want.
Before anyone starts to defend Asari Dokubo, we have to remember that this same Dokubo, who now claims to be a freedom fighter, is no more than a political thug who assisted in the greatest rape of the people's mandate ever witnessed in this country (remember how Odili was returned to office?).
Dokubo was well paid for his efforts, and none of those proceeds went anywhere outside his immediate family circle. He became a "freedom fighter" when Odili refused to take his side in a turf war (I've forgotten the name of the guy he had a fight with). It was when Odili didn't back him that his conscience awoke from its coma and began directing his affairs. His middle name suddenly became Mujaheed, and he and his army of thugs and layabouts quickly adopted some nice sounding slogans: Niger Delta Volunteer Force. What a moron!
When the Federal Government offered to pay him N250,000 for every gun he surrendered, he rapidly turned in some 85 AK47s. That computes to N21.25 million!
Not a kobo went to his community. When the government invited him to wine and dine in Abuja, he went gleefully, perhaps expecting to wash down his new friendship with Obasanjo with some oil contracts. (He was already engaged in illegal bunkering by the way.) Obj wined him, dined him, then asked him to return. On his return, he was swiftly arrested. He now cries foul. Tell me, did Che Guevara ever agree to wine and dine with the government? Of course not. Any true freedom fighter knows in his gut that the government is only out to destroy him. A criminal kingpin, on the other hand, only sees the next big score.
DSP Alamieyeseigha, erstwhile governor of Baylesa State, famous for his immortal statement "What is £100,000 to a whole governor?" (That's pounds sterling, not Biafran pounds mind you), went on a jamboree to Europe. While he was governor, his only exercise was the systematic looting of the public till, so much so that he had £1 million in cash in his house in London. Upon his arrest, he claimed he was being victimised for fighting for the rights of his people. For fighting for more derivation. What had he done with the vast sums already at his disposal? When he escaped, the same people who he had been robbing came out to welcome him like zombies.
And these are men (Dokubo and Alams) that these 'militants' are demanding released? Curses be on them.
Lest I forget, it is rather unfortunate that the same people who are quick to hurl insults at the FG are (deliberately) oblivious to the fact that Peter Odili has received more from the Federal bounty than any other state governor since 1999. Yet stark poverty permeates every facet of Rivers State, infrastructure is in a far worse state now than it was 10 years ago, pollution turns beautiful creeks in rivers of crude oil, and Odili is arrogant enough to share a $200 bottle Cristal with a journalist without a hint of irony. Yet he is still there. As Karl Marx memorably said: the people deserve the government they have.
Goodluck Jonathan's wife involved in money laundry. The leopards never change their spots. Yet, not one South-South interest group has attempted to call these people to order. I weep for the Niger Delta.
Should I call this one IBB watch? I don't think so. News has suddenly become slow about the man. Scary proposition. It means we can't monitor what he is doing...
Donald Duke replied the question I asked him here. I must say I was impressed with his response. He practically read my mind on that issue.
I think I've asked that question on this blog before, I can't be arsed to search for where, what I know is that I've definitely asked it on Nairaland, (I'd have produced the link, but I don't do Nairaland anymore). Anyway, let me ask again:
You take a man, he has a wife (maybe two), and children. You give him N 8500 (£34) a month, ask him to buy his shoes from that amount. You ask him to buy his torch, bulb and batteries from that amount. From that amount he is also expected to cater for his aforementioned family...
Then you give him a gun!
We play Lecce today, and considering that Zdenek Zeman their coach hates us, I suggest we wipe them on the ground for good measure.
Lyon are casting envious glances at Trez. If it is true that they are ready to offer $ 21 million, I would sell. The guy is good yes, but he is 29. That amount for a 29 year old...