Sunday, December 31, 2006

Chxta's Wall: 2006 list

The year 2006 is at an end, and for me it was one of mixed emotions. On the average though, I'd say it was a good year for me personally, and insha Allah, 2007 will be better. I'd like to extend my appreciation to the following people who helped make 2006 tick for me. I hope I haven't left anyone out of this list, if I have, no vex. I don dey old, and the cold no dey funny again. I like to call this list Chxta's Wall. This is only the second such list, the first being in 2003. Let's see if we can in 2007, reach for the stars. For my friends in blogosphere, I'd like to apologise, you see, if I knew your names and surnames, I'd have included you (those I do are there because the blogosphere has become an important part of my life). Some of you deserve a mention: Akin, Invaar, Nkem, Arin, Ayoola, Azuka, Boso, Toksie, Crab, Katherine, Endi, Ayoke, Imankoya, Ijebuman, TaureanMinx, Nilla, Nosa, Donzman, Clabargal, Fred, Anonymous (:D) and Adaure. Keep it real people...

Abim Salami

Abraham Musa

Ada Okpala

Ada Oriaku

Ada Osuzoka

Ade Adene

Afolabi Olajubu

Agbani Nyemoni

Aisha Bob-Manuel

Akachi Okoro

Akeem Lawal

Akin Aroko-Okon

Akpan Utande

Amaka Uraih

Ambrose Enenmoh

Ami Okodugha

Aminu Bello

Andrew Enenmoh

Arit Erete

Austin Aghenta

Awwal Abubakar

Awwal Mu'Azu

Awele Ogeah

Awele (Onwuemene)

Ayo Bolaji

Ayo Soebi

Azubike Emordi

Babafemi Omotoso

Bade Animasaun

Bhola Durosawo

Bode Afolabi

Bola Odepe

Boma Uadia

Bubus Amara

Bunmi Nwanze

Caroline Ashton

Charles Ifedi

Charles Ifinedo

Charles Uduje

Chiedu Mokogwu

Chiedu Onyido

Chiedu Uraih

Chika Ihejimba

Chike Chukwumah

Chike (Nutter)

Chineze Chukwumah

Chioma Mbadugha

Chioma Nwokoye

Chippla Vandu

Chiweta Uraih

Chukwumah Ochonogor

Chuma Uraih

Collins Alionye

David Silcott

Debe Nwanze

Dennis Ikhile

Donald Alionye

Donald Okoh

Doro Kogi

Ebuwa Omorogbe

Edward Okumagba

Ehi Uraih

Ehidiame Airauhi

Ehigie Aiwerioghene

Ekenem Oniawa

Elokah Ogeah

Elisha Sulai

Elizabeth Ozua

Emma Nwanze

Emeka Onyekonwu

Endurance Itsekiri

Endurance Osahon

Ernest Uduje

Eseosa Osagie

Eugenius Idiodi

Faith Kokoh

Fatima Badmus

Febeke Okafor

Femi Imoru

Festus Iyayi

Francis Onaifo

Fred Adero

Fred Igbinedion

Fred Katsriku

Gina Uraih

Godwin Maka

Godwin Umoru

Greg Ukutt

Habibat Badmus

Hamza Olaitan

Hauwa Abubakar

Henry Okelue

Idemudia Abaku

Ifeanyi Molokwu

Ifeanyi Nwabuzor

Ifeanyi Ogu

Ifeanyi Okonkwo

Ifeanyi Uraih

Ijeoma Enunwa

Ijeoma Ezeokeke

Ijeoma Nwagboso

Ike Chukwumah

Ike Enenmoh

Ike Igboanugo

Jacques Haddad

Jeremy Weate

Jide Badmus

Jude Ezue

Jude Osagie

Julum Nwanze

Kabiru Haladu

Kanayo Okoli

Karo Onowhakpo

Kate Amuta

Kayode Aruleba

Kayode Babalola

Kayode Olanipekun

Kayode Soile

Ken Nwanze

Kingsley Okafor

Kuso Uraih

Lanre Badmus

Larry Ekpudu

Lekan Oyerinde

Maero Onwah

Malik Udeme

Mandu Ekanem

Mary Uraih

Mayowa Adekoya

Meg Clark

Meg Negbenebor

Mitchel Elegbe

Mohammed Abubakar

Mohammed Mustafa

Mohammed Shafie

Monica Oluwamoyin

Mummy Badmus

Muobo Egborge

Murtala Aminu

Nabila Khan

Ndidi Ibeachum

Nene Ilozor

Nene Muogbo

Ngozi Agwu

Ngozi Uraih

Nike Oyewole

Nkechi Ogeah

Nkem Uduje

Nkem Uraih

Nkiru Maka

Nkiru Uraih

Nnamdi Chukwumah

Nneka Chukwumah

Nneka Halim

Nonso Nwanze

Oah Ejakhegbe

Obiajulu Uzoigwe

Obinna Anyadike

Obinna Egbuniwe

Obiora Nwanze

Obiora Okafor

Odinma Uraih

Oghale Ariawhorai

Ojiaku Uraih

Okechi Emuchay

Olamide Akanbi

Olise Wakwe

Oliver Otumahana

Omo Akpofure

Omo Egbase

Onyechi Ubaka

Oria Iyayi

Orhan Gemiokholi

Osahon Ayanru

Osas Oshevire

Osita Nwoye

Othuke Enase

Ovie Ebreme

Paschal Alionye

Pelumi Oyegbami

Peter Alexander

Peter Ikenebomeh

Peter Ozua

Richard Comley

Richard Reed

Safiya Dalhatu

Saidu Garba

Sarki Tukur

Santosh Kumar

Seun Lawal

Shawn de Bie

Simon Papanicolou

Sola Ayeni

Sola Oludaiye

Somnazu Nwanze

Stella Uraih

Stephen Biokoro

Suleiman Bello

Sunny Awaro

Sunny Nesiama

Sylvester Iluore

Teslim Giwa

Thaddeus Ehigebolo

Thaddeus Okafor

Thank God

Theodore Uaifo

Thomas Momoh

Tochukwu Ezeokafor

Tony Nwabuzor

Tony Uraih

Tosan Esisi

Tracy Obazee

Tracy Uraih

Tunrayo Balogun

Uche Anidobi


Umar Habibu

Unoma Okafor

Uju Maka

Uju Oragwu

Uju Uraih

Uwa Obayuwana

Uyi Badmus

Uzo Amuta

Uzo Nwanze

Valerie Onwuma

Victor Dongo

Victor Uraih

Victoria Nwanze

Victoria Okoh

Violet Okosun

Vivienne Okonta

Wahab Popoola

Wilson Umoh

Zainab Abu

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Mary Slessor

The statue above is that of one of Calabar's most venerated figures, that of Mary Slessor. For those who may not know, Mary Slessor was a missionary from the United Kingdom who moved to Calabar in 1876, and lived out the remainder of her life there, even learning to speak Efik fluently. The people from there take her as one of their own. She is most famous for being responsible for the end of the custom of killing twins. For me, the implication of that is that in a funny way, I owe my own life to her. I am a twin.

During my recent visit to Aberdeen, I saw the plaque below:

It is rather unfortunate that that 'church' has become a club. Be that as it may however, one of the things that I like about this place is how they never forget their own. Something we need to take a cue from back home...

Speaking of churches becoming clubs, why don't churches and mosques pay tax in Nigeria?

Saddam was innocent

Akin put up an excellent post concerning the judicial murder that occurred in Iraq today. I am reproducing it here.Since it is not my post, there shall be no comments on it. If you want to make a comment, kindly click this link to take you to the original post.

A killing less amusing
So, they have killed Saddam Hussein and so what next?
There is no need to gloss it over as an execution, it was a killing, and a sort of executive homicide; the hanging rather than a firing squad would not make the death any less a miscarriage of due process.
Saddam Hussein for all his faults and misdeeds simply exercised the opportunity he had in leadership to perpetrate control over his people.
He terrorised the few to maintain control over the many, this is not to belittle the sufferings of those who paid the ultimate price as subjects in Saddam´s rulership, but this man is no greater tyrant than Hitler, Stalin, Pinochet, Pol Pot, Idi Amin or Pinochet, none of whom was subjected to the kangaroo court show trial that lead to his condemnation.
The lies of war
Let us examine the facts again; Iraq was invaded because some analyst put it into the head of some world leaders that there was tenuous link between Saddam and Al Qaeda with regards to the September 11th 2001 attacks.
Then, the scare of “Weapons of Mass Destruction” lead to regime change and the introduction of democracy in the quest to enfranchise the Middle East and democratise radically Islamic lands with a brand of Western democracy and capitalism.
All these grand plans have brought us to the point where the US Army on the day Saddam Hussein’s sentence was affirmed, had lost exactly the same number of soldiers in combat as those who perished in the 9/11 attacks – 2,973 in all; as the country is on the verge of disintegrating into civil war.
It is now all evident that Saddam had no contact or interest in Al Qaeda and their machinations, neither did he have any part or knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, in fact, he was quite well contained by the sanctions (despite the oil-for-food) and no-fly zones, albeit, dissidents painted fantasy stories of his activities which the West swallowed and trusted without verifying.
First order hypocrisy
They who stood in judgment over Saddam should and would have a lot to answer for when history pens these events for posterity and the study of world government, where the ascendancy of democracy, the prevalence of market economies and globalisation, the collapse of communism, the rise of fundamental Islam and the politics of energy supply have left us all in a precarious situation than we have ever been since civilisation began to have meaning to all.
The crimes that Saddam committed against humanity are in consonance with those who now try to exculpate themselves from his tyranny having aided him morally and materially through the years.
The Iran-Iraq War
The Invasion of Iran between the years, 1980 – 1988 could not have been done without the help of America who were smarting from the Iranian Revolution who had American citizens held for 444 days. He was aided with weapons and logistics to obliterate Iran in which millions of lives were lost; he was a tool and war that extended beyond the borders of the self-same activity.
Halabja-Dutch connection
The Crushing of the Kurdish Uprising in 1987 – 1998, just towards the end of the Iran/Iraq war which included the unfortunate Halabja gassing of over 5,000 had a Dutch businessman as the source of the gas, obviously, all parties knew that the gas would not be used in lighting stoves.
Kuwait keeping the oil price low
The Occupation of Kuwait in 1990/1991 leaves many complicit, the Genesis of this was in the oil glut that Kuwait was exacerbating, and meaning Iraq was not getting enough funds for their oil after a debilitating 8 year war. The many warnings Iraq sent to Kuwait were ignored and other Middle Eastern countries sympathised but did nothing to act in favour of Iraq, the West would not have wanted oil prices to increase substantially, however, Saddam’s desperate actions to help his country get funds by annexing Kuwait, created the desired effect of raising the price of oil for a while, a situation of unintended consequences for the West and the start of the first Iraq invasion.
All talk and no support
The Crushing of the Kurdish and Shia uprisings in 1991, leaves much to be desired of the coalition that forced Iraq out of Kuwait. They goaded the people into clamouring for the overthrow of their leader but did nothing to support the uprising. With foreign armies out of the way, as any leader would do, he unleash terror on the uprising and crushed it whilst the West looked on having secured a security footing in the Middle East for the control of oil resources.
No care for the environment
The destruction of the Iraqi Southern Marshes from 1991 to 2001 was environment habitat vandalism that destroyed the livelihoods of the Marsh Arabs, making them refugees in neighbouring countries, if we had paid as much attention to the destruction of this habitat as we do of other animal species, maybe a lot more would have been done to prevent this.
There is no doubt that Western machinery would have help bring this about, despite the fact that we hated Saddam we wanted the contracts that paid huge sums of money.
Repressed and distressed
Finally, there was the internal repression of the Iraqi people by the cabal of Saddam’s kith and kin, he was tried for the killing of 148 from Dujail out of the possibly 300,000 that lost their lives.
None of these would have happened without the support of those who now rejoice at his condemnation and execution, most especially in the White House.
However, the farce of this whole event would be the posthumous trial of Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity, now Iraq has been know for a lot of precedents, but flogging a dead horse is not the going to win any races just as a dead Saddam would not have opportunity to defend himself if the trial would be in anyway just.
Martyr or healing?
What Iraq needs is to convert this travesty of a court into a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to find the truth and consider amelioration or compensation for the crimes of the state against its citizens.
If this trial does continue, it would be the birth of a martyr to a cause we have condemned but cannot control and in the end, never has an endeavour to war on a suspect purpose yielded so much loss for a goal that seems unattainable – America will not leave Iraq with its pride intact and the death of Saddam would not offer them the moral ground to justify the situation we have so far witnessed in Iraq.
The mess in Mesopotamia is America’s doing because of 9/11, but whilst Saddam who had nothing to do with it hangs from the gallows, Osama bin Laden and Mullah Omar Mohammed remain alive to deal terror like they did before – why are the real criminals still free now that the distraction of Saddam is over?
Some chronological material was acquired from articles in the Daily Telegraph of the 30th of December 2006.

Friday, December 29, 2006

America wants Nigeria to fail!

For all the fact that they are actually doing a good job on the 419 fight (let's forget the fact that Obj is using them to witch-hunt Atiku), the EFCC is not getting the deserved recognition from the American media. And whenever they are mentioned, the Americans try to downplay their actions. Is it that the American media just loves sleaze, and reporting about positives would diminish the sleazy bits? Or is it more sinister, and do they really want to see Naija fail?

Compare the two reports below concerning 419, one from the BBC, and the other being the infamous 20/20 report...

The media plays a major role in shaping people's opinions. I have reached a realisation that of the Nigerians in diaspora (UK and US based Nigerians as the sample space), those in the UK tend to be more upbeat about the future of our country, while those in the US see nothing but gloom and doom. Now I am convinced that it is all down to the kind of media coverage they get. Take the coverage of the forthcoming elections and the build up to them. The American media (for example the LA Times) can only predict civil war. The Brits are more positive.

Is there any American reading this? Why does your country want my country to fail?

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Has it blown up? says that the pipeline has blown up. No word on casualties. So who died now? Obasanjo or fuel scoopers?

Do we blame Obj for this one..........they have been warned....they know fire burns, they had time to many of them wont live.

I am so pissed off!

Who do you blame?

I just got the following in my email from Emuchay. Now who do you blame? Emuchay, you can't blame the fire service just yet, THE FIRE HAS NOT STARTED! Why are people going to fetch fuel just four days after hundreds died in a similar incident? I hear its Adekunle street, in the Baruwa area of Iyana Ipaja.

Its happening again! Just a few hours after the Abule Egba burst pipeline claimed hundreds of lives, there is another case of burst pipeline a few km away from the other incident. This time its at Ipaja. They are having a field day now as the place has not yet exploded. Some one please help!!! Now where is the fire service???? ---Emuchay.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The pipeline(s) affair

We, Nigerians, also have to learn how to question ourselves. What are we doing wrong? Why do things like this have to happen? It is not just about sitting down and blaming the government for everything that goes wrong. At the end of the day, we have to realise one immutable truth: we are the government, and as long as we sit down and pass the buck, things will always go wrong. Case point: how many of you (those resident outside Nigeria are exempt from this one) are eligible to vote in April? If you aren't then know this: even if the coming government decides to sell Nigeria, you have no right to complain. You have given away that right.

Concerning the avoidable tragedy that played out in Abule-Egba, it is pertinent to note that there are many factors involved, and all of them are/were totally avoidable. I will like to point some of these factors out and maybe ask some questions that need answers, or attempt to make some points that we need to think about.

First, there is presently a fuel shortage in Lagos, which is reportedly artificially-induced as marketers allegedly hoard fuel in anticipation of a rumoured price hike in the New Year.

Why is it that for the last few years, we always have fuel shortages during the run ins to festive periods in Nigeria. It is almost a constant now. The moment there is anticipation over something, marketers begin to hoard products. So much for the market forces that Obasanjo has unleashed on us.

Second, these pipelines run above ground in relatively accessible (and even relatively built-up) areas.

It is easy to blame the government for this, but we have to bear in mind that the pipelines were built in the era of the oil boom when a lot of these areas were unsettled. I wouldn't blame the government for the fact that the pipelines pass through settled areas, I would blame the government for the lack of planning that has led to an uncontrolled growth of our urban areas.

Third, there is almost a unanimous agreement that the pipeline was deliberately vandalized and breached.

This is getting quite silly. It should be obvious to any 'pea-brained' individual by now that there is a cartel high up in the echelons of the NNPC that is making a huge profit from pipeline vandalization. How else do you explain the fact that this has become such a regular occurence, and almost always when something is about to happen?

Fourth, the areas boys took over the control and distribution of 'products' from the pipeline and repelled all efforts from law enforcement and pipeline officials to secure the area.

We seriously need to get this 'area-boy' phenomenon under control. The answer to that is education. Why do some people (and they are almost always area-boys) feel the need to claim what is not theirs simply by virtue of the fact that it passes through a region that they are resident in? If life was like that, I may as well lay claim to every computer in Hendon. After all, I am resident there.
It is that mentality that is fuelling the indigene-settler dichotomy that is hindering our integration as a nation. It is that mentality that is fuelling the current Niger Delta 'insurrection'. And it is stupid!

Fifth, repeated pleas (severally with megaphones) to the general populace to evacuate and/or stay away from the area went unheeded.

This is the one that gets my goat, and this is the one that for me supersedes every other consideration. Given the scale and time range of the tragedies that I mentioned in my earlier post, anybody who refused to heed warnings for his own safety only has himself to blame when the event occurs. For crying out loud, there should be a limit to the abandonment of common sense. What is the matter with our people? Poverty has no business being an excuse in this issue.

Sixth, the police were logistically out of sorts and relied on the NNPC to make several trips to ferry in (inadequate) reinforcements, since the pipeline, PEGASSAN and NUPENG officials reportedly pleaded with the police not to employ tear-gas or potentially flammable material, the police were bereft of any other crowd-control ideas. The fire service were reportedly summoned at the very onset well before any fire started, but failed to show up until after the explosion.

I believe that I have severally dealt with the inadequacies of our internal security apparatus, the most recent one being in this post. As things stand, we can't count on them to help us, and for that one, the government is entirely to blame.

At the end of the day however, I still stand firmly on my position about this latest tragedy. The people who died are/were the people who refused repeated warnings to clear the area. And for that, they only have themselves to blame.

When will we ever learn?

Before I start what I want to talk about, I have to sound the alarm bells. Remember when I talked about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's appearance on HardTalk, I mentioned the web page of the Federal Ministry of Finance that gave us access to the Federation account. I said at the time that no one had dared to remove it. Someone has. The site is down. HELP!!!

A small spark in an environment filled with volatile gases will cause a lot of deaths.

October 1998: At least 1,000 killed in Jesse, Delta State
March 2000: At least 50 killed in Abia State
July 2000: At least 300 killed in Warri
June 2003: At least 105 killed in Abia State
September 2004: At least 60 killed in Lagos
December 2004: At least 20 killed in Lagos
May 2006: At least 150 killed in Lagos

Now this: Pipeline blast in Lagos kills hundreds on Christmas day, 2006...

We have to admit, the deaths in these explosions are caused by our people's greed. This is a good example of what such individuals may do if given a government position. Poverty should not be used as an excuse for the departure of common sense.

It is right to be unhappy at the loss of life. But at the same time it is hard not to feel some sense of disgust at the actions of the victims. THEY COMMITTED SUICIDE!

The Contenders

Now, we have the 3 established contenders for the Presidency:

Umaru Yar'Adua
Mohammed Buhari
Atiku Abubakar

By no means do any of these contenders represent an ideal candidate for the position. Indeed, each comes with a heavy flaw.

Yar'Adua: His strength is a demonstration sense of propriety and a promise to see through economic reforms. He has a calm demeanour. He comes from a great political lineage and has almost 8 years of leadership experience under a democratic dispensation. His weakness: he appears to be a proxy for the continued leadership of Olusegun Obasanjo in a disguised attempt at a third term. By relying heavily on the incumbent's support to swing victory, he has invariably marked himself as the third arm of a beast most would like to see off. In addition, many would doubt his secularity as he was the second Nigerian governor to implement Shar'ia law. In addition, it was in his state that the Amina Lawal case brewed, causing great embarrassment to the nation. It's hard to vouch that he would respect human rights to the fullest.

Buhari: His strength is a demonstration of performance through his leadership of the PTF. Any Nigerian that lived in Nigeria in the era of PTF would quickly recognize the impact he had managing a seemingly small purse (compared to the national purse) derived from taxes on fuel consumed in Nigeria. In addition, he would represent a clean departure from the Obasanjo era. He is widely expected to put up a strong fight against corruption in the country. His weakness is that many would not forget the brutality of the War against Indiscipline. In addition, he too has taken a pro-Shar'ia stance in the past. There are also no guarantees that he would maintain the economic reforms and keep the likes of Soludo and el-Rufai in government. Buhari would likely run a coalition executive government with elements of the AC and ANPP. Coalitions tend to be unstable. In addition, there's a fair chance that the PDP could maintain control of the National Assembly thus diminishing the Coalition's power to that of a minority government.

Abubakar: The darling of the anti-third term campaign... the victim of intimidation from his boss: Obasanjo. Such sentiments as these could paint Atiku Abubakar in positive light: the true democrat that defended our democracy from his autocratic boss at a personal cost. He's affable amongst politicians and works well with them. He stands the greatest chance of running the most stable government for his style despite the risks of him also running a minority government. Atiku has also promised to continue reforms but there seems to be a tendency that he would overspend and thus compromise on fiscal discipline. His weakness: Atiku is a stained man. He has been thoroughly painted by the Obasanjo camp as a corrupt individual that has used his position well to his advantage to amass wealth. In his defence, the accusers cannot be said to be much cleaner, but this raises serious questions that need answers. In addition.... he's too chummy with the very politicians that have pillaged the resources of the nation. He seems to play the "everybody-come-and-chop-in-this-big-happy-family" style of politics that Babangida played. Can we expect such an individual to hold his chums to justice and fight corruption considering his own past?

At the end of the day though, with Atiku's 'firing' by the presidency, I don't see him returning to Nigeria in a while. What remains to be seen is whether he can run a successful presidential campaign from afar. With that in mind, I think the field has been reduced to just Yar'Adua and Buhari...

24 things we've learned from Nollywood

You can enjoy the above video before you start reading the rubbish below.
It is an email that arrived in my box. Looks like it has been circulating around for a while...

1. Every problem you have is spiritual.

2. In every romance movie, someone must die.

3. It is possible to hit a person without actually touching them!

4. Anyone who gets hit by a car dies immediately.

5. Poisoned food always tastes better.

6. The best way to make money is by visiting a 'babalawo' and give an offering of a relative or close friend, sleep with an 'aristo' or join a cult.

7. One of a pair of twins (identical or not) is born evil. I wonder how that applies to Chxta, he is a twin...

8. There is never an end to your suffering, except through death!

9. With a pastor ... all things are possible.

10. A movie can be titled anything... such as:

*The boy is mine, * Face me, I face you, *Two rats, *Spanner, *Calculator, *Igala, *Ijele, *Igodo, *Igudu, *Shigidi

11. A movie has not started if at least one actor or actress has not 'shelled' or twisted her lips and rolled her eyeballs.

12. You are in love... you want to take your girl out, the best place you take her to is...

*Mr. Biggs/Tantalizers: where you'll most probably see an ex while
feeding each other; *The beach: where it is imperative that you ride a donkey and carry her playfully; *Or the best: take her to buy some new clothes.

13. Rita Dominic is the main character of every new movie. There's no escaping her these days, be it she's a great actress, she's hard to avoid.

14. Gun shots and knock-outs sound the same!

15. Sometimes the title has absolutely nothing to do with the movie and other times, once you read the title and see the poster you know it all!!! (Also the soundtrack gives you a headache because it just narrates the whole story repeatedly - so much for suspense and intrigue!)

16. A love story has not been produced if it does not have one or two
of the following actresses-

* Stella Damascus Aboderin, * Stephanie Okereke, * Genevieve Nnaji, * Omotola Jalade-Ekeinde, * Rita Dominic

17. The police are extremely 'efficient' unlike their counterparts in real life.

18. An actress can wear the same hairdo for more than a year and even in longer flashbacks.

19. It is permissible to wear dark shades at night!

20. When you are shot in the chest, it really doesn't matter; your head will be bandaged! Same for your legs!

21. When advertising a movie, you really should shout because... people are deaf?

22. When you are extremely poor, you will still be able to afford- very good furniture, T.V., but you won't be able to send your kids to school.

23. Your gate man must be inefficient and comical. He MUST dress like a retard, be rude to all your visitors and never mind his business.

24. My personal favorite- the bad guy either dies or gets caught by none other than the police- LOL!!!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Who do you look like?

Halle Berry looks like me... :D

Click here to see who you look like...

I still dey o...

A lot happening in Abuja. I gather that when Atiku gets back from his holiday (if he gets back) his furniture will be waiting for him outside his office.

Like I said before, no discussing politics until after the Christmas. I am itching...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas

A lot of you might not be on-line until after the Xmas, so I have to wish you felicitations now.

The above video is the goal scored by Uche Eliakwu a few days ago against Madrid. He skinned the World Footballer of the Year Fabio Cannavaro on the way to sticking that ball in the net. His club, Recreativo de Huelva won 0-3 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeau.

It is on that note that I want to wish y'all a merry Christmas.

Don't get too drunk.

P.S: Atiku has just been relieved of his position. I don't want to discuss politics until after Christmas day, so let me stop there.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Fixing the Firefox 2.0 backspace error

Before I start on what I want to really talk about, I have to sound the alarm bells. Remember when I talked about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's appearance on HardTalk, I mentioned the web page of the Federal Ministry of Finance that gave us access to the Federation account. I said at the time that no one had dared to remove it. Someone has. The site is down. HELP!!!

In a surprising development that seems really strange and unnecessary, Firefox 2.0 won’t go to the previous page when I press the “backspace” button on the keyboard. I have grown used to this over the period I have used Firefox. The fact that I can’t use backspace the way I am used to has been annoying me no end. So I decided to dig a little deeper.

The feature was removed to fix a bug. The bug that was caused by fixing the previous bug, which is that the backspace does not behave like it should has been fixed too (Thank heavens!)

But then, until the bug fix propagates to a firefox build available on Ubuntu, one has to resort to a little scratching to fix the matter. Here’s how you resurrect the backspace button in Firefox 2.0 (current as of this date):

Type “about:config” in the address bar of Firefox and press Enter.
`Filter` for ‘browser.backspace_action’ and change its value to 0 (zero).

Many sides of Umar Yar'Adua

Before I start on what I want to really talk about, I have to sound the alarm bells. Remember when I talked about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's appearance on HardTalk, I mentioned the web page of the Federal Ministry of Finance that gave us access to the Federation account. I said at the time that no one had dared to remove it. Someone has. The site is down. HELP!!!

The following is borrowed from UK Naija's blog...

Amidst the darkness shrouding our new "President to be", a friend forwarded this to me which I thought I ought to share....

Many sides of Yar’AduaBy Mahmud

The fourth transformation in five decades of Nigerians’ understanding of the meaning of “Yar’adua” is in the offing. For many generations until the mid-1950s, Yar’adua was synonymous with the old Yar’aduwa quarters in Katsina town. But for 20 years from the mid-1950s, the name was most associated in Nigerians’ mind with Alhaji Musa Yar’adua, the Tafida and later Mutawallen Katsina, the powerful NPC chieftain who was Minister for Lagos Affairs in the First Republic. From 1976 until two weeks ago, most reference to Yar’adua in Nigerian politics and the news media referred to the late Major General Shehu Musa Yar’adua, Tafidan Katsina, Chief of Staff, Supreme Headquarters in 1976-79 and, more seriously, one of the greatest politicians to walk the Nigerian soil in 1988-97. Now, beginning from yesterday and for the foreseeable future, most references to Yar’adua would refer to Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’adua, Mutawallen Katsina, Governor of Katsina State until May next year and, most probably, President of the Federal Republic afterwards.
In the wake of yesterday’s rather efficient conclusion of the PDP national convention and his victory over 11 other aspirants in the first ballot, many Nigerians are likely to see Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua as a stooge, who was picked out of the blues, very late in the day, and was railroaded to the nomination with a combination of EFCC threats and other hard tackling of his opponents and other party chieftains. The corollary to that is that, if and when he makes it to the presidency, Yar’adua is expected to reign while Obasanjo and his greedy cabal continue to rule.
That is many people’s fear, but for me, having reported on the politics of the Yar’aduas in the last 15 years, the reality could turn out to be very different from the appearance. Many people like to think of Umaru Yar’adua only as General Shehu Yar’adua’s taciturn, soft-spoken, low profile junior brother. Certainly, it is doubtful if Malam Umaru could have achieved so much prominence in politics if he was not the son of Mutawalle Musa and the brother of Tafida Shehu. However, anyone who thinks of Umaru as a passive, pampered passenger on the bull-dozing Yar’adua political train in the last 5 decades has got another thing coming.
In the late 1970s, when General Shehu, as Chief of Staff, was busy meddling in NPN affairs and [according to Alhaji Umaru Dikko] was negotiating to become Shagari’s Defence Minister, Alhaji Umaru was a die-hard PRP supporter in the old Kaduna State, and he built up a strong personal following of his own among zealous PRP cadres. I know this for sure, because in 1990-91, my editors at Citizen Magazine sent me to Katsina many times to report on the heated SDP gubernatorial primaries and the subsequent elections. Unknown to many people outside Katsina, there was a lot of tension within the state SDP, caused by General Shehu seeking the presidency while Alhaji Umaru was seeking the governorship. While the party’s elders were more keen on the General’s presidential aspiration, the younger, rank-and-file members were much more keen on Alhaji Umaru’s guber ambition. They said if one of them must give up, it was the General who should give up. Most of them were old PRP men who couched their position in ideological terms, but their most important reason must had been that a governor is nearer to them than a president would be.
Besides, they told many stories about Alhaji Umaru’s extreme dynamism in politics. Unlike the General, who mostly operated in smoke-filled board rooms, Alhaji Umaru was a tireless grassroots mobiliser in those days, who easily outpaced all his coterie of zealous campaign workers. I reported in Citizen that time a story I picked up about how Umaru led one 72-hour non-stop operation to visit every hamlet in one remote corner of Katsina State. At about 4 o’clock in the morning on the third day, according to the late Alhaji Ali Ruwa, with the campaigners near collapse, they pleaded with Umaru to end the tour because the only hamlet they had not visited had only a dozen people. But the SDP candidate said he must visit it, and he ploughed through the sand in the night, alone, while the rest of the team sat down to rest. He had not slacked a bit by 1998, when PDP was formed. That year, I reported in the New Nigerian Weekly about the gruesome one-month operation leading to the formation of the K-34 organisation. Some of the participants told stories of how Umaru Yar’adua led them to visit almost every important political figure in any locality throughout Katsina’s 34 local governments, thousands of people in all, often going for days without sleep. In the end, he put together the powerful K-34, which teamed up with Alhaji Lawal Kaita’s PDM to form the state PDP, and to overwhelm it. An interesting coincidence in this story was that it was General Aliyu Mohamed Gusau who, not long after Abacha died in 1998, told Alhaji Umaru to prepare to reclaim the gubernatorial mandate that he controversially lost to NRC’s Alhaji Saidu Barda in 1991. There is no doubt that Yar’adua, not Barda, won that election. Don’t forget that the election petitions tribunals in 1992 admitted that the vote tally was falsified in one local government, corrected it and lowered Saidu Barda’s winning figure to only a few thousand. The only reason why the whole result was not upturned was because when Umaru’s lawyer Chief G.O.K. Ajayi applied to contest the results of two more local governments, the panel said he did not so apply before the deadline.In any case, a year later, I personally overheard two Katsina NRC chieftains arguing about who claims the credit for rigging Barda into power. At issue was Governor Barda’s heavy political dependence in those days on Alhaji Wada Nas. So one of the NRC men said, “Barda listens to Wada Nas more than us because he thinks it was Wada who rigged the elections in Funtua and earned victory for him. What he does not understand is that we were the ones who actually did the rigging in Funtua, not Wada”.
Last week, Umaru Yar’adua made a statement during a campaign visit to Damaturu. He quoted the Qur’an and said, “Allah gives power to whom He wants at the time He wants”. It is a favourite phrase of his. In the course of an interview in 2001, when I asked him about the 1991 elections, Umaru Yar’adua said, “In 1994, my daughter was admitted to the University of Maiduguri, so I took her to Maiduguri and stayed overnight in Alhaji Maina Ma’aji Lawan’s house. [Maina won election as governor of Borno in 1991, on SDP’s platform, the same time that Umaru was defeated]. Something happened in the house that day that made me to wake up in the middle of the night and offer two raka’ats’ special prayer to Allah, to thank Him for not allowing me to win the election of 1991”. What was it that he saw, Alhaji Umaru refused to say. Someone should ask him again before he disappears into the State House.

When he finally became governor of Katsina in 1999, Umaru Yar’adua promptly introduced his rather severe sense of humility, simplicity and openness to the state’s governance. I know, because in 2002, he hosted us to a dinner at the Government House. We were served plain white rice with two pieces of meat, and I could not help thinking that the food in my own house was tastier than the governor’s food. The following day, when I interviewed him for two hours at his official residence, there was power failure. To my surprise, no standby generator was started, and both the governor and myself were sweating profusely as we did the interview. At one point, Alhaji Umaru was so drenched in sweat that an aide handed him a handkerchief.
I therefore seized the opportunity to ask him why he had no generator, why he was seen at the Friday mosque praying under a tree and not inside the mosque, near the Emir of Katsina, why his food was not tasty, and why he was seen driving a car and stopping by the roadside to buy a cigarette. Alhaji Umaru gazed at me closely, perhaps wondering if I was as foolish as I looked. Of course he knew me a bit, because in 1995, I was the editor of the Sentinel magazine when our publisher, General Shehu Yar’adua was arrested by Abacha. Umaru Yar’adua then took over overseeing the magazine for a few months, before it collapsed.
Anyway, he gave an answer that I reflected on for some time and which, when it was published, drew several remarks on the internet. He said, “You see, I have been praying under that tree for the last 18 years, and I am not about to change now just because I became the governor. As for the other things you mentioned, my concern is not really for myself, but for women and the children. I do not want them to get used to something, only to lose it some day. As for me, even if I wake up tomorrow and there are no cars or anything, I can adjust, but women and the children find it very difficult to adjust to such changes. This is what makes many public officers to steal money in order to be able to maintain such facilities for their wives and children when they are no more in office”.
He did many other things, such as forcing the state Finance Ministry to reveal its accounts on radio and television every month and to listen to public comments on it. In 1999, Umaru Yar’adua made public his declaration of assets; I remember he mentioned a house in Katsina and another in Kaduna that were both given to him by his senior brother.It was around that time, in August 1999, when we were part-time research assistants at the Shehu Yar’adua Centre, then based in Kaduna, that Malam Ibrahim Sheme told me the story of what happened when center’s director Jackie Farris gave him thecentre’s cheque book to take to Governor Yar’adua in Katsina with a request for him, as aco-signatory, to sign “two or three” blank cheques so we could be paid. It must had been traumatic for Alhaji Umaru, to be asked to sign blank cheques. He silently pushed away all the files on his desk, began to furiously sign the cheque leaves until he finished the whole book, then turned over the last leaf and said, “Is that all?” He then pushed the book back to Sheme. In Katsina in those days, Umaru Yar’adua also began the controversial policy of accumulating money in state government coffers before any contracts were awarded. For nearly a year into his rule, he did not initiate any projects, saying he must have the money in hand to pay first. Of course some people alleged that he was only accumulating the money so as to shore up Habib Bank’s reserves. When I interviewed him about this in 2002, he said it was because governments in Nigeria had greatly helped the spread of dishonesty in the society by not living up to their own obligations. He said if government signed a contract with a citizen, he did his own part of the bargain and government failed to pay him in time, it sent a very bad signal throughout the society for others to follow. Hence his resolve to award contracts only when he accumulates the money to pay. That is why, during this PDP campaign, I saw some Yar’adua ads saying KTSG has N6 billion in its coffers today.Still, when he finally started to embark on projects, he did some wonderful ones, especially in the educational sector. An NTI Kaduna review team that inspected educational facilities built in Katsina under Yar’adua flatly stated that they were amazed by what they saw and that it was the best in Northern Nigeria. That’s in one sector; I don’t know about any others. Yar’adua often has some down-to-earth explanations about projects he embarks on. In 2001, when he rebuilt one broken bridge without repairing the road that led to it, he said it was because all his predecessors said they could not repair that road because of the cost of doing the bridge. He therefore resolved, he said, to do the bridge, so that some future governor would have no excuse not to do the road!I am not sure that Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua has sustained the very high moral and ethicalstandards that he set for himself and for Katsina State nearly eight years ago. I have not been visiting or reporting from Katsina in recent years, and some of the stories coming out of there are not sweet. Let’s mention two. Many Katsinawa tell stories about some of the business moguls very close to Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua, and they are controversial, to say the least. He also got very negative publicity in recent weeks inthe manner he handled the state’s PDP governorship primaries. Yar’adua at firstsupported, then unceremoniously dumped Speaker Aminu Bello Masari, who is very similar to Alhaji Umaru in simplicity, humility and relative honesty. Was it an order from Obasanjo, as many people now allege?Anyway, when all is said and done, many Nigerians are not going to vote for Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua because of his own personal qualities and weaknesses, but according to their perception of whether he will be an Obasanjo front. Which is just as well, for when the Yorubas rose in unison and rejected Chief Obasanjo’s presidential aspiration in 1999, they did not do so because they thought the man had no qualities, but because Northerners selected him. Obasanjo did not turn out to be a Northern stooge. With luck, if Alhaji Umaru Yar’adua also makes it to the State House, he may not turn out to be an Obasanjo stooge.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

I'm freezing!

I'm in Aberdeen just by the North sea. Came this way to spend the Christmas break with friends. Temperature outside as I type: -3 Celsius. No complaints sha. Just to let you guys know. Prepare your hammers and chisels incase of incasity make una come carve me up.
The picture above is just outside Henry's room a few minutes ago. How that plant to the right manages to remain green in this weather is beyond me. Na wa for the guy o! All his mates have shed their leaves...

I chose to come by road yesterday (Maestro had recommended I come by air, but I wanted to see as much of the UK as I could, and though the trip was a grand twelve hours, I have no regrets. Nice sights, well organised (as we all know anyway). I have to find time to go and see Hadrian's wall.

I got some nice photos during the journey, but for me, the pick of the bunch was the hot air balloon below. I just loved the sight...

After my host came to pick me up at the bus station, we first went to this little shop to buy some poison for the nightly meal. I saw something which I loved...
Notice the sign above her head? It cracked me up.

Juve watch

With a game in hand, we put Bologna down yesterday. Controversial victory though, there are claims that Zalayeta controlled the ball with his hand before putting in past the Bologna keeper for the only goal of the game. I can't comment on that since I didn't watch the match. In any event, it is just a simple matter of winning that game (which has been rescheduled to January 16), and we would stand alone on top of the league. Forza Juve!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Are we Lucky?

Maybe ASUU should be happy. Jonathan also of academic inclination has come from 'nowhere' to be the nominee for Veep. This is too obvious a move to appease the South-South. Is he the best person for the job?

Recommended reading:
Goodluck Jonathan's wife involved in money laundry.

I am too drained to do an analysis. I honestly don't think he is the best for the job. You can read his CV here and judge for yourself. Thanks to Nkem for that link.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

The man who will be King

Before I start on what I want to really talk about, I have to sound the alarm bells. Remember when I talked about Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala's appearance on HardTalk, I mentioned the web page of the Federal Ministry of Finance that gave us access to the Federation account. I said at the time that no one had dared to remove it. Someone has. The site is down. HELP!!!

Umaru Yar'Adua

As rightly said a few weeks back, the PDP nomination has gone to Alhaji Umaru Yar'Adua. Which makes him the 'president in waiting' more or less.

Who is Umaru Yar'Adua?

Some may be expecting an expose with tons of dirt on the man. Naija people sef, una too like amebo! The man himself appears squeaky clean. The 'dirt' in his name emanates from among others his late brother who of course was in the first Obasanjo government, and featured prominently in many Fela songs :D, then from Obasanjo himself, and his efforts to secure this nomination for his friend's brother.

The positives
Born in 1951, Umaru Yar’Adua, is a former Chemistry teacher who once said that 'to move forward, we have to start from the poor'. In terms of intellectual and working experience, Yar’Adua is qualified and only very few of the politicians in Nigeria can boast of his academic credentials. He holds a Bachelor's and a Master’s degree in Chemistry from the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria and was a lecturer at Katsina Polytechnic for several years, rising to Head of Department there. He also lectured at the Kaduna State College of Arts, Science and Technology in Zaria and later at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. All this was before going into business and politics. He has been on the board and management of several prestigious establishments.

Under Umaru Yar'Adua, Katsina State has not been indebted to any individual, group or institution since his administration has had no reason to borrow money from anybody either as local or foreign loan. His administration is in fact keeping a reserve of N6.5billion in the state treasury as of today. His focus as governor was in 'people oriented' programmes with education and public health being top of the agenda.

His transparency has been attested to by no less a man of impeccable integrity as Muhammadu Buhari, also from Katsina, but belonging to the ANPP. In 2002, the Nigerian Union of Journalists awarded a trophy to Yar’Adua as the most transparent governor in the country and invited Buhari to chair the occasion. The former Head of State, who until then had never attended any media event, said that he only came to attest to the fact that Yar’Adua was indeed, incorruptible.

He is married to Hajia Turai Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and I have been unable to find evidence or allegations of any other women in his life, which makes him come across as a disciplined fellow.

The negatives
He was one of those that introduced Shar'ia in his state back in 1999. My opinion on that remains very simple. According to the Nigerian constitution we are Nigerians first, then Christians and/or Muslims and/or Hausa and/or Igbo and/or Yoruba thereafter. He took his oath of office by that constitution, and the introduction of the Shar'ia law over the common constitutional law is in my opinion a breach of that oath.

Word on the street is that he didn't have the money to pick up the presidential nomination form, so that was arranged for him at Obasanjo's behest by James Ibori. If that is true, then it means that certain crooks would escape justice for another eight years at least.

There are also complaints coming from some quarters in Katsina that he is a bit of an autocrat, and like Obasanjo doesn't take too kindly to opposition. More on that as it becomes clearer.

Why is Obasanjo taking more that a passing interest in who would succeed him? On the surface it looks like he is interested simply so that his reforms can continue, but there could be a more sinister motive? More on that later on in this post...

Another issue with Yar'Adua is that he is a little like George Bush in the sense that he is not at all widely travelled. According to a friend of mine, in his entire seven years thus far as governor, he has only left Katsina (not including medical trips) a grand total of thirteen times! Wow! Compare that with Turaki just a stone throw away in Jigawa. The problem with the fact that he is relatively poorly travelled is that he more than likely has little or no idea, much less a grasp of the monumental differences and issues that 'divide' the people he wants to serve. You see, Katsina is a largely homogeneous state, almost the only state in Nigeria with a single dialect, and the vast majority of people there are of one religion. So administering such a state would be a walk in the park as compared to a multi ethnic entity where a lot of the groups feel short changed.

Sadly his health is a problem. He is said to have very serious kidney ailments and is kept from complete kidney failure through dialysis. He used to go to Germany for treatment until it became available in Kano, then he began making the short trip to Kano for said treatment. This however, is where there is a problem.

Enter the battle for Vice President...

According to the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (Section 146): The Vice-President shall hold the office of President if the office of President becomes vacant by reason of death or resignation, impeachment, permanent incapacity or the removal of the President from office for any other reason in accordance with section 143. Section 143 basically consists of the jargon that are the reasons that the president could be removed for.

Now, if Yar'Adua is on dialysis, it stands to reason that he may not in all probability be able to complete his tenure as President, Federal Republic of Nigeria. Who becomes president then? Why it is the Vice President, and that is where the real fight is. You see, Yar'Adua himself is known to be a quiet almost reclusive man. He was one governor who hardly joined the regular jamborees to Abuja, which implies that he may not even be in total control when (and if) he becomes president, the vice will be the one calling the shots.

At the moment, there are a lot of names being mooted about for the position of Vice President, all from the South-South and South-East. Names floating around include Mike Akhigbe, Peter Odili, Donald Duke, Ken Nnamani, Andy Uba and Victor Attah. Apparently, the fine art of political manoeuvring which includes the ability to reach a compromise is still somewhere out of the reach of these groups. It has become an 'every man for himself' affair. Then later we would turn around and scream marginalisation. Ojukwu and Obasanjo must be having a nice chuckle at the drama. Kai! We will never learn.

From a personal view point, I would like to see Duke take that position, but he seems to have lost the balls for the fight. Someone said that he 'wept like a woman' when Obasanjo instructed him to step down for Yar'Adua. Jeez! Nigerians can be a callous lot. The story making the rounds is that Odili has been distributing a lot of cash to make sure that he gets it. Uncle Nuhu are you hearing? Akhigbe is pulling all the available military strings. Victor Attah is being checked out by the EFCC so that almost definitely rules him out. On another hand Obasanjo is said to favour Andy Uba, who has won nomination to contest for the governorship of Anambra State. However, the opposition to an Uba candidature would be colossal, I don't think that even Uncle Sege can pull that off. Ken Nnamani?

Removing my personal preference for Duke, I think that of the lot who have been mentioned, that Nnamani may be the most desirable, based on the fact that he proved 'incorruptible' during the third term palaver. However that makes him less than appealing to Obasanjo. Unfortunately for Obj, there seems to be a lack of consensus among the candidates from the South-South as Odili and Duke want it badly, while Akhigbe is also very interested, and is in no mood to back down. This has played out in favour of Nnamani. Problem is that Obasanjo may not have exactly forgiven him for failing to support the third term thing. How the whole mathematics would play out over the next few days would make for an interesting story...

This is a crucial fight for Obj because he needs cover after leaving office. For all his 'war against corruption', he himself has skeletons in his closet. Questions that still need answering include the Transcorp affair, the Sao Tome deal, oil blocks 'dashed' to his friends and allies such as Danjuma, and the almost endless flow of g-m-g bags to the House of Assembly whenever he had something that he wanted passed. We will also need answers for his stewardship of the NNPC. Remember that Uncle Sege has more or less been Petroleum Minister for the last eight years.

Added to that is the fact that there are a lot of people waiting to extract their pound of flesh (and blood, Portia has no say here) because he screwed them over again and again over the last seven years. We have the Atikus, the Babangidas, the Adedibus, and remember, Nigerians can be a vicious and unforgiving lot when it suits them. Also remember the spate of unresolved murders during Obasanjo's tenure. Bola Ige, Funso Williams, Harry Marshall. All these issues will come up after he leaves office, and he needs someone in is camp to keep an eye on Yar'Adua.

It is important to him that he manipulates this election to an 'acceptable' end result or else it would not be an easy retirement for him, and the elder-statesmanship he craves so much will be denied him.

Ashawo na work o

I'm sure most of you have heard of the Ipswich murders, so there is no need to go into the gory details. However, I have two things I want to point out:

1) According to the James O'Brien show on was it Wednesday or Thursday? I can't remember exactly, one of the dead girls featured above (I won't name which please, let's respect the dead), used to charge £30 a pop, and used to service up to 10 clients a night in order to feed her heroin habit. Damn! £30 a pop, 10 clients a night computes to £300 a night. Compute that for a five day working week, then for a four month working month, that translates to £6000. Then convert it to Naira at the rate of 250 to the Pound sterling! Imagine what she would have been after a year of such 'hard work' if she had no heroin habit, and was instead investing all the money in the stock market. And they say 'ashawo no be work'...

2)What is wrong with TV networks? Why do the BBC and Sky reporters have to go and stand in front of the forest where the bodies were found in the pouring rain? And make no mistakes, as at when this fellow on BBC 24 was making his report, it was pissing rain and he was shivering. Do we need them to do that? Would it bring the girls back? We need more complete reporting, not these attempts to make the whole thing look like a soap opera...


...that horrible BBC and Sky reporting brings me to the next set of humans up for it. The ABC crew. A lot of Nigerians have been howling about the report on 20/20 titled 'Scamming the scammer'. Why are we bothered? What Brian Ross said was true, only that his reporting was unbalanced. The only part of the report that made me flinch was his description of Lagos as 'a disgrace of a city'. But if we are to be honest, Lagos is a disgrace. We all admit it, and are only angry because some bloody foreigner has decided to air our soiled under-garments in public. But we shouldn't fall head over heels to appease a bunch of bigots. I told Jeremy sometime ago when he talked about American reporting on Nigeria, that Nkem's article about the same issue told the whole story.

It is almost unreal the apparent glee with which the American media latch on the any bad news coming out of Naija, and at the same time actively attempt to ignore the good. This can be seen from the difference in the way the following international news agencies reported yesterday's PDP polls: CNN, BBC, Reuters and Al-Jazeera. Take a critical look at the wording of each report and you will see that the CNN report especially is subtly themed to emphasise the rifts and differences between all concerned. Nothing new. They do it all the time. So why bother with Ross? I can guarantee that until he decided to do his report, he had probably never heard of Nigeria. It is sad that someone who in this day and age can decide to tar a whole peoples with a bad brush based on the actions of a few has a widely watched show all to himself. But then, freedom of speech. After all is said and done, Pat Robertson still has a following doesn't he? There is David Duke. So why complain about common Brian Ross?

We should take solace in the fact that the people who matter have removed Nigeria from the list of countries that aren't doing enough to fight dirty money.

We can also take solace in the fact that that surgeon lost money. I have no sympathy for him. He is a thief.

Juve watch

We are down to third in the table. We didn't play this weekend, so Bologna and Genoa overtook us. We are two points behind with a game in hand. Two Juve Belletti players (feeder team) drowned on Friday, so the game with Cesena was postponed as a mark of respect. May they rest in peace.

Sorting in progress...

I want to sleep. As at now, the picture above is still the situation. They are still sorting the ballot papers. It amazes me why these people are still going through the motions when we all know the outcome. Like I said before it became public knowledge (thanks to Okubenji), it is becoming more apparent that Yar'Adua will be the PDP flag bearer at next April's elections. I have some info on him, but I wouldn't want to publish all that until he is officially crowned the flag bearer. Good night people.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

My man Galileo

Of course I am following the PDP primaries, and I will write about that later in the evening insh'Allah. First things first, my heartfelt condolences to Trae. He lost his mum yesterday. I met her once and she came across as a sweet and firm person. May she rest in peace, and may the family have the fortitude to bear the loss.

The post below is written with absolutely no malice. My only annoyance with Galileo is that he insists on spelling my beautiful name with a double 't', not a single 't' as is actually the case. I am placing what some people may consider a 'private' matter on my blog first and foremost because it is my blog; I think the story makes good reading; I want to vary the content of my blog slightly; I am an amebo...

There's a little storm brewing in a teacup involving yours sincerely and a former classmate of mine from great UNIBEN. You see, Galileo was one of the most hard working students I ever came across, unlike yours sincerely who was by and large uninterested in a lot of the gibberish the lecturers were spewing. On a personal note, I've known him since secondary school where he was a year ahead of me. My cousin Nkechi (apologies to those who started monitoring her blog, she now has a magazine column somewhere and says she has forgotten the password to her blog) who was his classmate back then hated him. He was one of her closest rivals, and back then she complained that he had this 'annoying' habit of taking each person's script after each test (those who beat him that is) and comparing theirs with his. If he noticed any discrepancy, he would immediately lodge a complaint with the teachers and ask for a redress. I don't know if he carried that habit with him to UNIBEN, because my scripts weren't amongst those that needed to be vetted. Yes, I was that bad a student. Anyway, back in secondary school, I used to be a good student, so I always told Nikky that if I were in his shoes I'd do the same.

Unfortunately, in Galileo's case, unlike the case of Baba T and Slim Shady two other first class men, his social life suffered terribly. Myself, Maestro and a few other loafers used to have a nice laugh at his expense back then.

Anyways, all is well that ends well, he made off with his First Class, I barely escaped with a meek 2:2 (I almost made a 3rd!), while Nkechi in her own department (elsewhere) made a 2:1. Maestro like me ended with a 2:2 (barely missed a 2:1). Now Galileo's working for a multinational, making big bucks, Nkechi's stuck in a bank making some cool dough as well, and myself and Maestro are students once again. Can you imagine? Me that hates school so much! Who says hard work doesn't pay?

My class of UNIBEN has a mailing list (or forum) which was started by yours sincerely (see, for all my lack of academic seriousness, I was the resident class geek. My problem wasn't lack of brains, it was lack of interest), and one of the areas of concern for us over the last few years was lack of news coming from Galileo on the female front. What we kept hearing about instead was dogs and
other animals. One by one, members of the mailing list have found better halves, and we were beginning to attend the weddings of some. There have been other weddings since I left Naija.

Some months back, a member of the fairer sex in my school, who happens to be of Nigerian parentage was with me in the library. Upon perusing through my album, she latched on to Galileo's picture, and liked what she saw. She asked for his email address.

I publicly asked his permission to give it to her, and he gave his approval, so I did. Sad to say, things didn't work out between them. Reason: he told her that 'he is too busy for her'. When she reported this to me a month later, I was alarmed. So I raised the issue on the forum. 'We need to help this guy,' I said. Sadly, that didn't go too well with Galileo, and this morning on returning from my Internet exile, I saw a not too nice mail from him to me, routed through the forum of course.

My reply:


For someone with the processing power that your brain has which I admit is more than that packed by the vast majority of us mere mortals, I wonder why you are being extremely daft. I have told you time without number that my name is Chxta with a singe 't', not with a 'tt'. Is that so difficult to comprehend?

Now, over time and in this rather unfortunate incident concerning A you have shown a recalcitrance that is not only sad but very depressing. Let us for the sake of clarity reiterate what has happened, and what has not before I settle down to answer the questions that Galileo raised in his last email.

About two months ago, I sent an email to this forum in which I told Galileo that I met a Nigerian girl who on seeing his picture liked it. I clearly asked for his permission in order to give her his email address. The first reply to that request was from Maestro when he kind of predicted what would follow. He said:

Chxta don't do are threatening us with another season of "Galileo & and the Animal Kingdom"

Maestro, you were dead right, and I wish to the Lord most High that I had taken heed of that piece of advice. Instead I sent her the address as Galileo gave his permission that I do so. What followed was none of my business. I assumed that they had hooked up on-line, and I never asked her how far, neither did I ask him how far. I just boned. However, earlier this month, I ran into the girl in the library, and naturally, the issue came up. She complained about him in not too flattering terms, so I asked her to forward the cause of complaint to me, which she did. I duly forwarded to boys under the title 'We need to help Galileo'.

My mail went thus:

No malice intended here, but this fine girl that I introduced to my guy is disappointed. She told me so in no uncertain terms, and forwarded a mail thread between them. The problem is not that she didn't try, but he has no time for her.

Guys what can we do?

I am still hard pressed to find where I insulted Galileo in that mail. Can anyone point it out to me?

Anyway, the following people replied in which they kind of agreed with my position: Kaylala, Ray2kee, Stevie B, Maestro, Texazz and Whizzkid. The only dissenting voice was from Emon. His own dissent stemmed from the fact that i) her spelling was bad, and ii) that Galileo truly was busy as he implied. However, he went on to also spare some advice to our 'beleaguered' brother. My reply to Emon on that clearly shows that I agreed with his position. For clarity, the reply is as follows:

Emon, on the issue of friends, I can see with Galileo. One's career is very important, and I told A as much. She can't expect him to abandon his career because of a girl whose picture he has only seen once.

(But she was pissed, he failed to complement her on her looks. Galileo my man, that is something that girls don't like. You could have at least said she looks good after she sent you a picture.)

However, what I don't agree with is the family bit. Loose your family because of a job?

Emon, yes or no, do you support that?

I clearly stated there that I don't expect him to abandon his career because of a girl he had never met. I also in the good nature of the entire banter offered my own advice concerning the said babe, then went on to say that I don't agree with the point where he talked about loosing family. Two weeks later, my position on that has yet to change. I don't think you should 'lose' your family for anything.

That was how the whole light heartedness of the situation continued. Things started getting serious when my guy Galileo (as is his inalienable right) entered the conversation with this retort:

Mis-match Maker Chxtta,
Thanks for the Greek gift you gave me – I really appreciate it!
Now you have showed this forum her character – a private discussion between two people was turned into a public debate for all. I will like you to show everyone her appearance-forward the picture she forwarded me to everyone let us get a holistic view (apologies to Ebianugo of Production Engr.) of the situation. You must have it-since you have all our correspondence!
Beware of girls who will take pillow talk to public places. Of course such girls will never rest on my pillow! I will rather let my dogs !!!!
With disappointment,

Now, the first thing you notice from his attack there was to call me a mis-matchmaker. I had earlier agreed in response to R2Ray, and I still agree, that I suck when it comes to getting people together. And like I said before, I shouldn't have attempted. In case of next time I will tell whatever girl that I've lost contact with the guy (KarlNedo, Maestro and Othello make una no vex). That way I would have my peace. However, in the same email, he goes on to attack said girl. Now that is grossly unfair.

Galileo, if you know anything about life outside your small little world, you would know that girls in the Western World tend to be forward while girls in our part of the world tend to be coy. A girl this way has no qualms about seeing a guy, approaching him, and 'toasting' him so to say. Which is the reason why she asked for your email address. She was born and raised here, and has a red kpali. That makes her British, with all their bad habits. A girl born and raised in Naija would never have done that. It doesn't make the girl bad, it is a cultural difference. Please learn.

In the email, he asked for a holistic view. That her picture be displayed for all to see and make their judgements. Initially, I was quite unwilling to do that, even when he sent an email saying (not implying) that I am a coward. For clarity again, that email is what follows:

Be a MAN Chxtta!!!! Show her picture to the world!!!I know you are a coward most of the time-but you can not afford to be one this time.

I did not say she was ugly - just complete the evil work you started!!!

Let others access her physical appearance- we all know her character very well know!!!

You need to be holistic about life! You must conclude what you started.

A final advice, go find another job!!!!! You have ZERO TALENT for match making!!

Number one, that was the first time an insulting word had been flung in this entire banter, and it definitely wasn't me that threw it.

I have already admitted that I have zero talent for matchmaking, so I was and am willing to let that slide. Initially, I was also willing to let the reddened parts of the email slide even though that was downright insulting. My initial reply 'that God gave me a dick so that makes me a man' is more than enough confirmation of my state of mind at the time. Maestro's reply changed all that however, and I realised that I was actually doing myself a disservice by not responding.

All and sundry should please note that calling a man a coward is one of the biggest insults you can fling at a fully grown man. People have fought to the death because of that 'little' word, and that is why after Maestro responded, I had no choice but to respond to Galileo's challenge. I did that. I not only put the picture up on this forum's photo album, but I mailed it so that all and sundry saw the girl in question. The following people have confirmed from their responses that Galileo's implication that she is a 'Greek gift' is absolute rubbish: KarlNedo, Dre, Emon, Texazz, Ray2Kee, Wiseman, Maestro, Whizzkid and Don Vik. Maestro even went as far as asking if Galileo is a closet homosexual. The only person who didn't see the girl as all that was Othello when he said, 'she be like imbi'.

Now, I felt that this issue had gone as far as it could go and was over. So I was shocked to see the mail from Galileo this morning. I want to answer as well as I can the questions he brought up in that mail:

I do not know the agreement between you and that girl A girl. But if she is so good and so beautiful , why don't you go for her?????

Galileo, I have made it quite clear that A and I are just casual friends. Your picture is on my laptop as are those of a lot of members of this mailing list. There is no agreement between myself and her concerning anyone. She does not need me to get her a guy, and as far as I could tell from the last time I saw her which is a week ago, she is doing quite well on her own. However as to whether I should go for her, you very well know that I'm otherwise engaged to someone I love very much. I have never hidden that fact from anyone. I talk about her all the time, and I am not going to jeopardise that relationship by having an affair even if 'just' a fling with anyone else.

The way you have been attacking my character in the past weeks because of a girl I did not have time to reply her mail is uncalled for.

I have never attacked your character. If I have done so please show me where. On the contrary, by calling me a coward, you attacked my character. As I earlier said, that is a statement that no man in his right mind will ignore. You didn't even have the decency to imply anything, you said it outright. Please what example(s) can you point to in order to prove that (idle) statement? If you fail to come up with well backed up proof that I am indeed a coward, then be a man and apologise.

I do not owe you any explanation for my relationship decisions.

I never asked or implied thereof that I was looking for an explanation from you concerning your relationship issues. Regretfully, I did what I did, and it has ended up brewing a storm in a tea-cup. That is very sad. We are (I still hope) friends. I have known you since 1993, and I will not compromise that for anything. I certainly hope you feel the same way. If I can afford it, I would definitely be at your wedding, and I hope to the highest heavens that you haven't so quickly forgotten how we all tried to be as helpful as we could during the time of first, D, then that cute girl in Optometry whom you decided to call a giraffe.

My last word on this issue- I do not believe in the philosophy of 'RELATIONSHIP OR QUARREL'. IT IS NOT BY FORCE..................

I certainly hope that this isn't your last word. I have raised questions that need to be answered, and please answer them, don't beat around the bush.

No one ever said that a relationship is by force on this forum. We are all buddies. If tomorrow, things go wrong between U and myself (God forbid) this is one of the places I would expect to find solace. Same way as when we are getting married, I would expect some members of this forum to be at that wedding come what may.

Lastly, there is a serious allegation (and/or implication) that you are yet to address because you seem so fixated with the idea of Chxta being an enemy: Are you gay?