Saturday, April 28, 2007

Glory, glory Man United

Okay, I can't believe that I wrote that, but it is interesting to hear that the ¢h€£$k¥ fans have gone quiet. That is what happens when your support is full of glory hunters.

They have no idea of how to lift a team.

Make User Account Control (UAC) Stop Blacking Out the Screen in Windows Vista

In Windows Vista, the screen goes dark when the User Account Control window comes up, which is extremely annoying. They call it the “Secure Desktop”, but I think it’s obnoxious.

Note that this will make your system less secure before proceeding.

Update: Windows Vista Home users should use the registry patch at the bottom of the article instead.

Windows Vista Business/Ultimate Users:


To get to the configuration screen for this, type in security to the start menu search box. You should see the Local Security Policy as the top search item.

In the Local Security Policy window, browse down to Local Policies \ Security Options

Over in the right hand part of the window, scroll down near the bottom and find the item titled “User Account Control: Switch to the secure desktop when prompting for elevation”

Double-click on the item, and change it to disabled and then click OK.

Note: This does make your system slightly less secure, so be warned.

Windows Vista Home Users:

For Windows Home users, you will need to open up regedit via the start menu search box. Browse down to this registry key:

Code:
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System]

You should see a key called PromptOnSecureDesktop. Double-click this and change the value to 0

Update (Rant about security)

You can see by the large number of comments that this article is controversial. It’s true, disabling security features will always make your system less secure, and you should strongly consider the consequences before you make any change like this.

Making the change discussed in this article will give somebody the ability to “hijack” the UAC dialog… Of course, that would mean they already got spyware or virusware on your computer. Seems to me that if they already got that far, to where they have an application running on your system… that they could pretty much do anything they wanted to anyway. All of the files that you care about would be owned by your local user account, so they could get into anything they want at that point.

You should also note that if you are not logged in as an “Administrative” user account, then this change will still result in the password dialog, which couldn’t be quite as easily hacked. You aren’t using the administrator account if you are worried about security are you?

I should finally mention that if you are really that worried about security, you can always switch to Ubuntu Linux. The “UAC” mode in linux is much simpler, especially in Ubuntu. You are only prompted for your password the first time you try to make a system change, and then it doesn’t ask you again for a few minutes, as opposed to every single administrative function you click in Windows Vista. It’s a pity they don’t bundle linux with virtualization of Windows.

Source

Friday, April 27, 2007

We are going up


That is the goal that takes us back to where we belong. Juve just beat Hellas Verona in Verona. The mathematicians may say all their crap about wait, gap is still not big enough, blah blah blah. We are going back to Serie A people. I am too happy to eat.

FORZA JUVE!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Random musings...

Just a quick round up before the next lecture begins at 1430...

Fraud?

A friend of mine sent me an email to do a small check on Carrington Heritage Foundation. His reason was that they placed an advert in the Vanguard a few days ago offering scholarships to Nigerian students who want to study in the UK. There is a snag however, as you would have to pay N6500 as a fee (I know of no charity that would help you for a fee...).

According to him, they explained this by way of having to pay for bank charges, mails and 'some other stuff'. If this is really a con, it would not be the first time that people are playing on the apparent desperation of Nigerians.

I would make such inquiries, but in the meantime, has anyone heard of them?


Step backwards

While we are all focusing on the election fiasco and its aftermath (or lack of), something worrisome is happening. NITEL has failed to pay a lot of its SAT-3 bills and the whole thing may be shut down at the end of this month. Expect some torrid browsing back home...

Ubuntu

The CDs I ordered arrived yesterday, and I did a test run last night. Looks like with Feisty, Ubuntu has gone the Vista and Mac route, eye candy over functionality. For me quite a few devices (all USB devices) only work when I enter the terminal, and that is a step backwards. I will post a more complete review in the near future provided events don't overtake that, but in any event, I have sent my complaints to the developers.

Odd world

I've been trying to imagine this scenario: Me and my girl go for dinner in a nice, quiet restaurant. While we are eating, a man walks in. Man goes straight to the kitchen. Then man comes back to the main dining room with a knife. Man stands on top of a table. Man takes off his trousers and underwear. Then man cuts off his own lolos...

Some people are plain nuts.

A 'royal' wedding

The little birdy I talked about in my last post was correct. There will indeed be a wedding between the Atiku and Yar'Adua clans in the coming weeks. So far all I know is still word of mouth, I can't be arsed to look for links to the 'story', but the three birdies that have told me so far are close enough to both clans for me to believe them.

France

There's another election happening in the world before we forget. Unlike the election in Nigeria, there have been no allegations of rigging, and while it has gone on to a second round, we haven't heard the racist and Bayrou. However, like the Naija election this one isn't about policies. In my opinion, Segolene Royal and Nicolas Sakorzy are basically saying the same thing. In my opinion, this election is a referendum on Sakorzy. If I had more time on my hands maybe I'd have talked about that.

Alec Holden

A man from Surrey bet a decade ago that he would live to a hundred. Today is his 100th birthday, so happy birthday. The £25k would make for a great birthday present...


Juve watch

Juve watch returns from the next post. In basic terms two more wins would get us back to Serie A.

Slow progress...

There are no shortcuts to any place worth going. ---Anonymous.

So I've completed two out of three term papers, and submitted one of them. Funny how my bag felt a lot lighter when I submitted the Network Security term paper yesterday. I may well have submitted the paper on Operating Systems, but I've decided to sit on that one until just before the deadline just incase there are new developments. Glen Mapp is one lecturer that I desperately want to impress.

Anyway, the (s)elections back home have come and gone (with a few reruns expected) and overall, it was bad. There is no other way of putting it. Mass rigging, violence, lack of materials, disenfranchisement, whatever else could have gone wrong, did indeed go wrong and people are complaining. Now this is where I have an issue, and I will address that later on.

Whose complaints do we listen to?

Buhari? Atiku? They failed to unite in the first place, but I won't blame them for that. In Nigeria at the moment, politics is still very much about personalities, not about ideas, which is why we have so many different political parties. It is my opinion that in absolute terms there can only be three parties, one inclined to the right, one to the left, and one leaning to the centre. But, na Naija...

Since we are looking at personalities, we have to point out that not one of the presidential candidates was 'ideal', and it is my belief that the winner, Mr. Umar Yar'Adua got in on the back of a PDP that basically 'outrigged' their opponents. I have focused on his character before, and my opinion of the man remains unchanged at this point, he is basically a good man who is in the ring with devils, on his side and on the opposing sides. The coming test of wills is going to be extremely interesting to watch.

As far as I can see, cracks are already beginning to appear in whatever 'alliance' the opposition would want to come up with. Buhari wants it, so does Atiku, so we are not likely to have a unified opposition court case, and data on electoral fraud would not be shared. Their case would more likely than not fizzle out (by the way a little birdy told me that there is going to be a marriage within the Yar'Adua and Atiku clans in the near future).

The EU and the US have all condemned the conduct of the elections. The EU, I am more than willing to listen to, but as far as I am concerned the US should bottle it.

According to Mr. Atiku's mouthpiece, the Times of Nigeria, a US Senator, Russell Feingold has called on the US government not to recognise the incoming (not certain yet) government as its election was marred by fraud, irregularities, and intimidation. Not that I really care if the Amis recognise the new government or not (and they would recognise a government of any sorts if it would keep the oil flowing), but maybe someone has to remind the guy about how George the Younger got there in the first place...

One thing that we must bear in mind is that too many people get away with a lot of shit in Nigeria, hence if you take the best people from anywhere in the world and put them in the Nigerian situation, you will still have a lot of the crap happening. It is a systemic problem people.
In any event, at the moment, I want to highlight the positives we have gained from these elections, no matter how few they are:

First, we have to accept a fact before our very eyes: Nigeria's institutions, that includes the Judiciary and the Electoral body, have been characterised by decades of decay. That the elections were held at all is a victory in itself. That Atiku was allowed to compete, is an even bigger victory because with that it may seem that the Judiciary is beginning to find its own voice. It is very important for progress in the country for the Judicial system to be truly independent. We have to focus on that little victory and put all hands together to make sure it is consolidated. Those who have complaints about the conduct of the election MUST go through the court system. Hopefully they have PROPERLY documented the irregularities that occurred during the vote or else a court case would be an exercise in futility. One of our failings has always been an inability to properly keep records.

Another minor victory would be a successful and hopefully a relatively peaceful handover from one civilian to another. If we successfully pull that off, and things remain relatively calm (sadly in Nigeria a lot of things are relative), then we can hopefully say that we have seen the back of the military in government for good.

Third, in the run in to the presidential vote, the Army launched a successful offensive against insurgents in the far North of the country. I have always maintained that dealing with threats to the country, foreign or domestic, may sometimes require a strong hand. Those guys in the far North have been a menace since before people in the South-South had even heard of guns (all pun intended), and with the exception of the Abacha regime, they've generally been treated with kid gloves. I think they need the services of an iron hand, and besides, if we can always keep the military occupied, there will be no time to plan coups. Then there is MEND...

Anyway, for me all the news hitting me on CNN and BBC about fraud, intimidation and irregularities is just blah blah. There have been small victories, and it is with a sense of hope that I am choosing to focus on those small victories because some form of progress has been made. The fact is that while slow progress isn't as sensational as fraud and violence (especially when it comes to reporting about African issues), in the long term it is much bigger news.

As for the vast majority of people who are complaining about the conduct of the presidential vote, I want to tell them to bottle it. Y'all might remember in the run in to the voters registration exercise I kept screaming one thing which I would repeat here for the sake of clarity: 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.

People allowed themselves to get frustrated too easily by the conduct of the gubernatorial votes just a week before the presidential vote. For me, the main shortcoming of the presidential vote was the fact that voter turn out was IMHO unbelievably low. And like I have said in so many different places, if you had the opportunity to register, then to vote, and you consciously refused to take it, then please shut up. Whatever the outcome of the process, you contributed to it.

Progress in Nigeria is going to be painfully slow, and can only be accelerated by a change in the very psyche of the people. There are no shortcuts to it, and the sooner we realise that, the better for all of us.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Losing honourably and accepting defeat...

Trae has an interesting perspective to the whole election fiasco. A very balanced view of the whole thing in my opinion. Let's wait and see who does the right thing, take their grievances to court...

Hear him...

Micro$oft admits failure

I read somewhere recently that since launch, there are something like 200 copies of Vista sold in China.

Actions speak louder than PR

By Charlie Demerjian in Beijing: Saturday 21 April 2007, 12:20
WITH TWO OVERLAPPING events, Microsoft admitted what we have been saying all along, Vista, aka Windows Me Two (Me II), is a joke that no one wants.

It did two unprecedented things this week that frankly stunned us.

Dell announced that it would be offering XP again on home PCs. The second that Vista came out, Microsoft makes it very hard for you to sell anything other than Me II. It can't do this on the business side because it would be laughed out the door, but for the walking sheep class, well, you take what you are shovelled.

This is classic abusive monopoly behavior, Microsoft wrote the modern book on it. It pulled all the major OEMs in by twisting their arms with the usual methods, and they again all fell into line. Never before has anyone backpedalled on this, to do so would earn you the wrath of Microsoft.

But Dell just did. This means that Me II sales are at least as bad as we think, the software and driver situation is just as miserable, and Dell had no choice but to buck the trend. If anyone thinks this is an act of atonement for foisting such a steaming pile on us, think again, it doesn't care about the consumer.

What happened is the OEMs revolted in the background and forced Microsoft's hand. This is a big neon sign above Me II saying 'FAILURE'. Blink blink blink. OK, Me II won't fail, Microsoft has OEMs whipped and threatened into a corner, it will sell, but you can almost hear the defectors marching toward Linux. This is a watershed.

The other equally monumental Me II failure? Gates in China launching a $3 version of bundled Me II. Why is this not altruism? Well, it goes back to piracy and how it helped enforce the MS monopoly. If you can easily pirate Windows, Linux has no price advantage, they both cost zero.

With Me II, Microsoft made it very hard to pirate. It is do-able, you can use the BIOS hack and probably a host of others, but the point is, it raised the bar enough so lots of people have to buy it. Want to bet that in a country with $100 average monthly salary, people aren't going to shell out $299 for Me II Broken Edition?

What did MS do? It dropped the price about 100x or so. I can't say this is unprecedented, when it made Office 2003 hard to pirate it had to backpedal with the student edition for about $150. This time though, things are much more desperate.

If you fit Microsoft's somewhat convoluted definition of poor, it still wants to lock you in, you might get rich enough to afford the full-priced stuff someday. It is at a dangerous crossroads, if its software bumps up the price of a computer by 100 per cent, people might look to alternatives.

That means no Me II DRM infection lock in, no mass migration to the newer Office obfuscated and patented file formats, and worse yet, people might utter the W word. Yes, you guessed it, 'why'. People might ask why it is sticking with the MS lock in, and at that point, it is in deep trouble.

So, it did the unthinkable, and dropped the price. I won't bother to hunt down all the exec quotes saying how people can't afford clean water would be overjoyed to sell kidneys to upgrade to the new version of Office, but they are out there. This was a sacred cow, and it is now hamburger backed up against the wall.

These two actions by Microsoft are proof of what I suggested three years ago. Microsoft has lost its ability to twist arms, and now it is going to die. It can't compete on level ground, so is left with backpedalling and discounts of almost 100 times.

What we are seeing is an unprecedented shift of power. It is also an unprecedented admission of failure. And the funniest part about the moves made? They are the wrong things to do. Microsoft is in deep trouble.

Source

I'll buy it



Have a nice day y'all. When I get back from Church, we'll discuss the elections.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Follow the vote...

...on the BBC. They are doing a decent job of coverage.

Proposals



I just saw this. Wish them a happy married life...

In the meantime, am I the only person who thinks that a stint in comedy would be just the right career move for Prof. Maurice Iwu after these elections? How can you tell me that ballot papers aren't in the country just a few hours before the elections kick off. How in the name of all that is good and holy do you expect people in Nguru, Ogoja and Saki to vote?

Are we getting ready to prepare for President Nnamani? The FG ably represented by Mr. Nweke has accused the senate president of 'trying to scuttle the democratic process'. Bollocks. In my humble, if irrelevant opinion, an interim president Nnamani is a much better prospect for our democracy than a fraudulently elected president Yar'Adua. Even Nweke himself knows that. Pity that a decent man is being used to further the propaganda of a deluded Rtd.Gen Obasanjo.

Article on Niger Delta Elections

The Arizona Republic has an interesting insight into how elections are run in the Niger Delta. Of course that method is practised in other parts of Naija, in my opinion, the Jackie fellow who was interviewed and 'described the violence in heroic terms' is just the kind of nitwit that is making things bad for us.

It is very simple, when you allow yourself to be used to stifle the voice of the people while you get paid in the process, then you have installed a government that firstly can do anything to you since they have paid you off, and more importantly doesn't feel accountable to the people since the people didn't put them there in the first place.

I wonder when our people will realise that.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Tomorrow's vote

Just a quick one ahead of tomorrow's vote, Chxta would not be able to provide the kind of 'coverage' that Chxta provided for the gubernatorial vote tomorrow as Chxta is under a lot of pressure to complete Chxta's course work which has to be handed in Tuesday (see previous post). Chxta apologises in advance, and recommends the following bloggers to you:
Imnakoya in the Grandiose Parlor
Adaure giving us her her views of the world
Nkem wearing his African Shirts
Omodudu on his blog
Ababoy saying No to crap
Akin expression his concern on issues
Sokari looking at blacks

Chxta would also recommend that you register on a Nigerian dominated internet forum to share information with people. Naija Ryders and Nairaland come to mind.

Chxta would make an effort to pop in once in a while and let y'all know what is happening, but whatever updates Chxta gives tomorrow would be based strictly on what Chxta sees online, can't afford to spend the day by the phone calling people all over Naija. I learnt last week that that can be a time consuming (as well as pocket consuming :D) process you see...

As for whom I'd have voted for were I in Naija tomorrow? Buhari.

Let's pray for the best for our homeland.



Juve watch

This part of the blog remains suspended in a manner of speaking until after the elections. However, just so you will know, we are doing quite well.

I hate...

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

INEC backtracks?

Let us watch them, and it had better be the results in the obvious states...

Source

In deference to Monday’s Supreme Court judgement, the Federal Government has released N15 billion to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for the printing of new ballot papers to contain Vice President Atiku Abubakar’s photograph.

This comes as the commission is believed to have cancelled the polls result in seven states where there were "clear evidences of irregularities."

The decision to cancel the result of the polls in seven states was reached after an all night marathon meeting of the commission presided over by its chairman, Maurice Iwu, at its headquarters in Abuja. He also disclosed that the money to reprint the ballot papers to carry Atiku’s photograph was approved yesterday after the ruling of the Supreme Court that Atiku should contest the election.

Given the judgement of the Supreme Court which affectively declared that INEC cannot bar any candidate from contesting the elections, the states where fresh polls will hold may include those where elections were conducted after some contestants were barred by INEC. The commission may have resolved to take the short cut by ordering fresh elections in the affected states as last weekends polls may be successfully challenged by the barred candidates.

Although INEC has not officially disclosed the seven states, it is believed that Adamawa, Imo, Anambra, Ondo and Enugu states are among them. Also, Edo and Osun states that have witnessed wide spread protests over the gubernatorial results may be slated for fresh polls. Meanwhile, a meeting of coalition of presidential candidates to consider boycotting this Saturday’s presidential elections was deadlocked.

The meeting attended by Atiku Abubakar’s of the Action Congress, (AC) along with others including Muhammadu Buhari of the All Nigeria Peoples Party, (ANPP) broke up abruptly. Presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC), Pat Utomi who spoke to newsmen after the deadlocked meeting, said the meeting was to reconvene 8 p.m. yesterday.

A source however disclosed that the disagreement among the presidential candidates followed the rejection of a suggestion by some of them that this weekend’s polls be boycotted. Buhari was reported to have seriously objected and informed his colleagues that the ANPP will not boycott the election if the others opted for it. Atiku had earlier left the meeting 30 minutes after the arrived the Kaduna Hall, Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abija venue of the meeting, leaving behind his running mate, Ben Obi and chairman of AC, Bisi Akande.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Quo vadis?

Where are we going?

Some people Chxta spoke to about the (s)election fiasco are of the opinion that Nigerians should rise up against the ruling PDP. However, they are quite varied in their opinions of how such an uprising should take place. J, a girl from Edo state was particularly saddened by the arrest of Mr. Oshiomhole. Chxta shares her pain. Even from here it was obvious to Chxta that everyone (or almost everyone) in that state wanted the PDP out, so it is difficult to understand how they 'won' especially given that Oshiomhole led in all exit polls available. Koolutemper feels that there should be an uprising. She and Chxta discussed the benefits (or lack of) of that course of action a few days back.

In Ondo state, another case of robbery occurred, with INEC going against the wishes of the people and handing another term to the incumbent Mr. Olu Agagu. The elections were a farce in Delta state, but Mr. Uduaghan who coincidentally happens to be a cousin to the serving governor Mr. James Ibori was imposed on Deltans. In Oyo state, Adedibu has apparently had his way, and Alao-Akala has been declared the winner. Odili has once again bitten Awuse in the butt in Rivers, this time imposing his own candidate on the people.

In the East, it is a story of a wreckage with Ebonyi proving again that it happens to be the sanest part of Igboland. In Enugu, there have been isolated cases of violence, as has been the case in Imo, and the elections there have been declared void. What Chxta doesn't understand though is how PDP 'won' in Anambra. Given that there was absolutely no vote there (Chxta has at least 8 different people saying that), Chxta wonders how that stunt was pulled, and why does it always have to be an Igbo man doing the government's dirty work, Nwosu in 1993, and Iwu now? Why do we always have to appear to be the one's doing the dirty jobs, or being the face of dirty governments (read Chukwumerije, Ofonagoro, Nweke)?

On to the scenario on the ground: Pat Utomi seems to have withdrawn from the race. That is an insignificant withdrawal in Chxta's opinion given that he wasn't going to be able to gather enough votes to affect the outcome. But let's wait for the main media to cover that. Chxta has it on good intelligence that Buhari disagreed with the other opposition candidates on the issue of boycotting Saturday's poll. Chxta agrees with him.

Boycotting the poll at this stage won't achieve much, since the 'people that matter' have already sworn that the vote would go ahead anyway, and apparently don't give a hoot as to whether people come out or not. The question then becomes what is the course of action to take? Where do we go from here?

In Chxta's mind, and based on the majority of the views expressed thus far there are broadly two courses of action that can be taken, and both need the people to for once take a definite stand...

Amongst a lot of people both in the diaspora and at home, there is a boil and a cry for blood. People feel that this government has taken us for granted one time too many. Chxta couldn't agree more, but meeting 'fire for fire' as one guy put it yesterday is in Chxta's view a terrible mistake, for the following reasons:
1) the Nigerian police is not adverse to shooting not a few people dead in the streets.
2) it is Chxta's view that any violent protest (given our history some of which was highlighted here) would be poorly planned, would loose focus, and would degenerate to something else.
3) we would begin to see all sorts of characters (read MEND) begin to manipulate such protests for their own selfish ends, and Chxta wouldn't rule out all kinds of ethnic and religious sentiments coming to the fore, looting of shops belonging to Igbo traders in other parts of the country, or settlement of old scores would highlight such a move.

Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of a properly educated population that can focus on the task at hand, so it would be too easy for the elite to turn what may begin as a legitimate protest against our collective disenfranchisement into some sort of divide and rule gimmick, and in the course of our history, they have shown that they can (and would) do it again and again. Lucky Igbinedion for example didn't go to stuff (or remove) ballot boxes by himself, the people who did that are part of the 'oppressed' masses. If a violent course of action is decided on, Chxta foresees a situation in Benin where it would be too easy for the PDP goons to turn the whole thing into an 'Edo vs Ishan' scenario...

A second option is also to protest, but a strong protest of the silent kind. Voting with our feet. On a good day it should be easy to send a strong message to 'our' government that we are not interested in what they are doing. Simple and short if people sit it out in front of the governor's lodge at Dennis Osadebe Avenue in Benin for example, or start a major form of civil disobedience, lock the country down, refuse to go to work. Not a soul turns up for the election (or is it selection) on Saturday, that would send a strong message to the goons running this show that we are displeased. Ultimately, the government is meant to be answerable to the people, but if the government wasn't placed there by the people, there is no way they would feel duty bound to answer to such people.

However, the drawback of this course of action is that Chxta fears that his people do not have the stamina for civil disobedience. It would only last a few days before someone would complain that she is running short of provisions in the house, or that his store at Idumota is loosing millions of Naira. Refer to the almost successful labour strike led by Adams Oshiomhole in May 2004 for a classic example of our laziness or apathy or indiscipline or --insert word here--.

So sadly, from Chxta's 'vantage' point, Chxta doesn't think there is much we would do about the robbery that occurred between Saturday and Monday. Refer to Nkem's excellent post where he gave solid examples/reasons for our current predicament.

Or is there an alternative?

Maybe there is just some light even in this very dark night. You see, last week a public holiday was declared as a pre-emptive measure to prevent a certain character from standing in Saturday's elections. Chxta had expressed serious doubts in Chxta's treatise on that public holiday (which people in the private sector at least didn't obey) that the venerable justices of the Supreme Court would knock out the judgement that we all knew was logical in time. Happily, they have proved Chxta wrong, and they practically threw the case out.

This tells Chxta that maybe, just maybe, the judiciary in Nigeria has finally found its voice. If that is the case, then it is clear in Chxta's mind that that is the route to go. INEC and their cohorts made one error that can be exploited. Before anybody can be sworn in for any position, all cases pertaining to the person's issue would have to be heard and resolved. This means that people should start a rash of cases NOW. Keep the lawyers busy, but let the PDP know that they can't run shows the way they used to before. Sue these bastards. If Chxta's memory of the electoral act is correct, then come what may, on May 29, Olu Obasanjo has to leave, and worst case scenario, the president of the Senate would take over. If that is what must happen for our voices to be heard, then so be it, but we must not allow our collective will to be crushed.

I'm absolutely sick!

Where do I begin?

From the optimism shown on Saturday that we had somehow managed to get a half decent election out of this INEC, it has turned around so totally that one doesn't even know what hit us. In Anambra state for example it was obvious to even the dumbest of the dumb that an election did not take place, yet a winner has been declared. In Ondo state where the deputy governor stole ballot boxes and was arrested, same deputy's party has been declared the winner. In Edo state where Oshiomole was earlier declared winner, that declaration has been withdrawn and the PDP man has been imposed in his stead, while Oshiomole has been arrested. Alao-Akala has been imposed on the people of Oyo. In Imo and Enugu, the elections have been cancelled. Why?

This is desperate. I'm so depressed.

Monday, April 16, 2007

It is terrible

Elections massively rigged. End of story.

Meanwhile the Supreme Court has ruled that Atiku can contest. Is it too late for him?

I have school work to face, so no time to dwell on these issues at the moment.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Results start coming in

Just got back in from Church. The following are the available results, note that nothing is official yet, INEC's site hasn't reported anything.

Abia- PPA
Anambra- Inconclusive
Bayelsa- Inconclusive
Borno-ANPP

Delta- PDP
Edo- Inconclusive
Ekiti-PDP
Enugu- Inconclusive
Imo- Inconclusive
Jigawa- not finished
Kano- not finished
Lagos- not finished
Nassarawa- Inconclusive
Ogun-PDP
Ondo-Inconclusive (INEC investiging into malpractice)
Osun-PDP
Oyo -Inconclusive
Rivers- Inconclusive
Taraba- only 3 LG's
Yobe- not finished.

Dark Spot: The Niger Delta

Where do I begin with this one?

The riverine areas in Delta state are in chaos, the INEC office in Ethiope was burnt. Someone claimed that people ran from Warri back to their villages in fear of their lives. Even in said villages, armed youths have taken over stealing ballot boxes and threatening bodily harm to those who fail to comply with their demands. The elections were a sham in a lot of places in that region...

In Rivers state, aside from the killings of the policemen, there was a generally poor turn out of voters as most people chose to stay away 'for their own safety'. I haven't been able to get any eye witness accounts from there as the best person to have provided such, Texazzpete, is 'safely' tucked away in Lagos at the moment, but Green Light Nigeria seems to be focused especially on that state (thanks to Ore for the link).

The elections started extremely late in Bayelsa state as a result of logistics issues, the usual, failure of materials to get to location, interception of materials, threats, and yesterday three politicians were murdered.

There was a clash between rival groups in Katsina, but I can't say anymore on that.

This blogger is tired, and is turning in for the night. I have books to read tomorrow. I think that today's sacrifice is done. Good night all, and God bless Nigeria.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Dark spot: Anambra State

Conflicting reports:

Some people in Oba, Anambra state voted but on getting home they heard that the ballot boxes where hijacked, same story from people in Upper Iweka...

Radio Nigeria reports that there were skirmishes in Awka, Nnewi South and parts of Onitsha but did not state categorically if there were elections or not.

Other media houses are not saying anything on Anambra.

Edit 2349: Three persons were feared dead and 120 arrested following violence that erupted today during the polls in Anambra. Also, three INEC Council Headquarters in Nnewi South, Awka North and Onitsha North were burnt by angry mob during the election. Confirming the incident, the state police commissioner, Mr Oliver Osuchukwu, said that three persons were injured, adding that he was equally aware of the burning of the INEC office at Nnewi South Local Government Area. He also confirmed the seizure of 21 buses reportedly ferrying unidentified party thugs in possession of electoral materials and already completed result sheets. Death -- 2 In Awka, the state capital, more than 400 angry voters who could not cast their votes took to the streets chanting songs of discontent. They also protested the exclusion of Dr Chris Ngige, the AC governorship candidate's name and picture in the ballot papers. In a reaction, a coalition of political parties, including the AC, APS,PMP, LP, ANPP, FDP and APGA demanded the cancellation of elections in the state. Led by Chief Ndubuisi Nwobu of the AC, the group further called for the resignation of the INEC chairman, Prof. Maurice Iwu and the state resident electoral commissioner, Mr Nasir Ayilara. In a swift reaction, Ayilara said that the polls were 85 per cent hitch-free in the state, adding that materials were distributed to all council areas as early as 5.00 a.m.

Source

Dark spot: Ondo State

Apparently there were massive irregularities in Ondo. I'll quote what someone saw verbatim: " PDP was and acted very desperate here. At Ward 4 in Akure where I was, the incumbent Chairman of Edo Lodge Dayo Omolafe aka Expensive led thugs around the ward to steal as many as 4 ballot boxes. Two happened right under my nose. It was like a dream. He came in the comapny of the Ondo Chairman of NURTWA one Mr Aladejayan popularly known as Idajo and several youg hoodlums.

With the connivance of the Police, INEC officials and Civil Defence Corps, they started to thumb the voters slips. I've never seen anything like it before. We wre very few. Omolafe ddnt even leave the red Toyota Carina. Cos of the thugs, i couldnt take graphic enough photos. Guys called the cops and soon they arrived.

You'd have thought as thay arrived in a 504 station wagon, loaded to the hilt, they would manke arrest, they actually forced all the party agents to enter anther car, a 505 saloon car wit h the INEC officials and the ballot box and headed for where I dont know whereas the votes were to be counted at the centre. After the 505 left, the DPO who led the cops went over to Expensive inthe red Carina and exchanged banter and chuckles b4 they all drove off.

As if that wasnt enough, we rued on this and moved over to the next zone. There was a real commotion cos call had been going all over the poilice in view of what was happening. The PDP had hatched all these to happen at like after 2pm as voting closed by 3 pm.

It was difficult to make out what was happening but the INEC guys wanted to leave with the ballot box but the police woman who headed 6the security at that place wudnt let them. The normal thing was for the votes to be counted at that centre and announced. The police were havin g their way until 2 fully loaded buses of thugs arrived. That's when we all had to scram.

I took solace inside acompound cos those guys went wild, breaking bottles and brandishing all manner of weapons. They shouted Ko s'Agagu, ko s'ibo (No Agagu, no vote). In a nearby compound, some guys shouted Ole! but u need to see how the thugs chased them. Later I saw some of the injuries these guys sustained.

In any case, they shoved and roughened the handful policemen here and there, threatening them with fire and brimstones. B4 you know it the ballot box found its way into a waiting red jeep and offthey went with INEC officials.

I managed to surreptitiouly take some photo here. Though I they arent graphic enough, I've been told by an INEC observer to get them ready as evidence cos the state INEC Comm is aware of all the fiasco in Ijapo, Akure."

At the other 2 centres in Ijapo, the ballot boxes were also hijacked, one in the same gangland style and the other through the protagonism of the cops. The center here is the one in front of the police station. This place has more voters than other place an unlik the other places the voters ddnt go home after voting but stayed.

When things got heated up, the cops suggested the ballot box be moved inside the station but would you believe that it was this same cops that now handed the box to the thieves.

The DPO's name is Mr Phillip Agbefe whom Sunshine Star says was the ineffable chairman of the voting procedure of the state FA elections. Today he messed up big time all cos of money.

PDP has been declared as winner of that Ward 4 and also 10, where Araromi is located and similar rigging and fraud took place. Collation and Counting are still going on in AKure

In any case it wasnt all bad news cos there were much resistance in other places. The thugs were chased with stones in some places. Other areas barricaded their streets so that vehicles belonging to the thugs wouldnt move. In fact some lives were lost on both sides but PDP have more dead to bury. A Labour leader was killed inIkare where PDP lost 3. In Owo, 10 ballot snathers were sent to the lesser beyond. Owo is another hotbed but an LP stronghold.

Info reaching me says that LP has won in 10 LGs but they arent confirmed yet. I know LP won in Owo, all the Akokos, Ondo (2 LGs) for sure.

The battle for Akure is still in on but sometimes ago, the PDP were said to be making efforts to void the LP victories in Akure. Akre is said to be 4 time a LG in Ondo state in terms of size and actually has 174,000 registered voters. So we await what will happen.

More news...

In general terms this election has been surprisingly free. Fair is another matter that would have to wait for another day, but I am impressed. I had expected things to be a lot worse than what I am hearing.

Northern Nigeria has once again showed that they are a lot more mature than the South in a political sense. The vote there (with the exception of a few hiccups such as in Bauchi) went smoothly. In Kano, the story is that Kwankwaso masterminded yesterday's assassination in order to pave the way for Bichi to succeed him. However, the guy I spoke to says that most people he spoke to voted Shekaru. If these allegations prove true, and the result does indeed swing the way of Shekaru, then we may be looking at possibly Nigeria's first high profile imprisonment after May 29.



Things ended up being generally calm in Lagos, we thank The Almighty for that. I for one was terrified of the prospect of what would happen in that city, those fears eventually proved unfounded. Soldiers were out in full force, and the turn out was surprisingly good. One problem was that some of the candidates' pictures didn't appear on the papers and this may affect their chances. Last guy I chatted with claims that Fasola is currently in the lead...



This photo that appeared on Yahoo's coverage of the election via AFP is just plain wrong. The guy in the picture can clearly be seen to be voting for the PDP candidate. Photo was taken in Port Harcourt. Like I have said earlier, the Delta is one area that I am particularly scared of the election conduct there, and aside from Oyo and Anambra, that is another potential flashpoint.

In Kogi state, the election is all but tied up, and PDP all things being equal should take it there. Not a single report of anything wrong out there, and maybe it is time to congratulate Idris Ibrahim.

The Ondo state deputy governor has been released. However before he was let go, he was made to sign a statement, and the incriminating materials on him were confiscated.

Ken Nnamani is calling for a fresh election in Enugu since the vote started late there. In his words, "Any winner does not have the mandate of the people." Speak for yourself Ken, at the very least the elections went peacefully in your state unlike just across the border where they didn't hold at all...

In Anambra as far as I can tell there was nothing. Zilch. Zip. The place seems to have become a vacuum. The last I heard from there was that Chris Uba was arrested after swearing that there was no way his brother Andy would win the vote. I wonder what is happening, and I attempted to call a friend in Onitsha, no show.

In Edo there was a return to the bad old days as armed youths attempted to snatch ballot boxes from INEC officials, they succeeded in the Ikpoba area of Benin, but failed in Fugar. I was told that the guys that attempted to snatch boxes in Ekenhuan were shot.

Will keep monitoring the situation.

Quick summary

So far, states where concerns are raised:

1. Anambra: did voting even take place at all?
2. Ondo: open theft of the election?
3. Oyo: Wild Wild West at its Wildest.

Results will start to appear here.

Voting closed

Voting has closed! Unless you're already on a queue.

Leaves you to wonder about what's happening in Anambra.

State election updates (2)

Ondo

Edit (1422): The deputy governor of the state Mr. Omolade Oluwateru was just arrested for ballot box fraud.

"The chairman of Akure South LG, Dayo Omolafe spearheaded the stealing of d ballot box at Edo Lodge, Oke Ijebu in Akure. For those who came out to vote, they were forced to thumb PDP. They also thumbed the remaining of the cards themselves.

"The thugs are in Oba Ile near Akure with the ballot boxes."

"Voting is said to be fine at Oba Ile and the thugs have fled probably because they knew MOPOL and soldiers were heading there. "

"The officers are still there and people are watching for what they will do."

Anambra

Voting still hasn't started.

Lagos

Pockets of violence, notably in the Agege area, but so far nothing close to the scale that we had feared. Soldiers have sealed off Ajah though, they are not letting anyone in.

Two fake INEC officials were apprehended in Ikoyi of all places!

Oyo

Some hoodlums have been caught with thumb printed election papers and charms (ain't that funny).

The North

With the exception of Adamawa so far, voting has started and is generally orderly. I hear that Atiku was placed under some form of restricted movement.

State election updates (1)...

Latest information I can get, more as it becomes available...

Delta

Source

Gunmen early Saturday killed seven policemen in raids on two police stations in Nigeria's oil capital Port Harcourt.

The attacks came hours ahead of the start nationwide of state governorship and assembly elections.

Residents and one election observer said gunmen attacked and burned down the Mino Okoro and Elelenwo police stations.

Polling stations in the immediate vicinity of the two stations attacked were deserted Saturday morning. An AFP correspondent said there was no sign of voters, officials or voting materials there.

A Rivers State police spokesman said seven policemen were killed in the two attacks.

"Inmates were freed from the two police stations", Rivers State police chief Felix Ogbaudu told AFP.

A supporter of local militant leader Ateke Tom said his group, the Niger Delta Vigilantes, carried out the attack.

A police officer in mufti who witnessed the Mino Okoro attack from a neighbouring building, said the attackers arrived shouting "We are the Niger Delta youths. Come and do the elections now!".

"They threw a grenade into the building to set fire to it after blocking the road on either side of the building", he said, asking not to be identified.

He said some 50 youths carried out the attack.

An industry source put the number of assailants at 16 and said a further five policemen were wounded in the attacks that happened between 1:30 and 3:30 am (0030 GMT and 0230 GMT).

Southern Nigeria's oil-producing region has been the theatre of violence, ranging from gang warfare to kidnappings of oil workers, for the past several years.

In a week's time Nigeria, which has a history of electoral violence, will hold presidential elections, expected to mark the country's first civilian-to-civilian handover since Independence in 1960.

Idiots!

This is the same Ateka that helped Dokubo rig Odili back in in 2003, later they would complain about being cheated...


Lagos

Lagos Island was in some war of sorts yesterday.
Shops were locked but the rioters were far from appeased.
They set fire on an abattoir, macheted the cows who fled from the fire.
Threatened people that they would cut off the hands of those who dared to vote.

I think they'll need more than a high sense of public duty to actually vote.
Cut their hands? This isn't Sierra Leone!!!

Ondo
INEC officials came in a bit late
complaints by voters having to trek long distances to the few polling stations
elections commenced with no troubles

Ebonyi
In Nkalagu there are no problems, election-materials are just being shared...

In Ohozara scuffles between PDP and ANPP representatives...

Enugu
In most areas INEC officials are yet to come, but voters are out en masse.

Nassarawa

Heavy security presence, accreditation and elections commenced after 10.30 am in LGAs other than the state capital Lafiya, peace reigns as 11 guber aspirants jostle for the seat...

Friday, April 13, 2007

The power in your hands...

...or do I say pocket?

Back in 1999, those of us who registered to vote at 8 Oredo North ward in Benin (the ward name for the UNIBEN catchment area) dutifully went to vote on the fateful day, 27 February if memory serves me well. While most people in the region voted against Obasanjo, Chxta voted for Obasanjo that day. That is not to say that Chxta supported Obasanjo then, but Chxta felt that of two poor candidates, Falae being the other, Obasanjo was a better choice. In 2003, Chxta voted for Buhari…

The point is this, in 8 Oredo North, Obasanjo lost. I don’t remember the exact figure, but I can tell you that the margin was huge. Falae won convincingly, and as far as I could tell from people I asked who voted in other wards, that result was reflected in the entire Ugbowo region of Benin. However, when the final results were tabulated and announced, Obasanjo won handsomely in Edo State. Short of asking for a recount, there was no way one could get all the figures, all the resources were in the hands of the government.

Time was that the easiest thing to do in Nigeria was to rig an election. Not to say that it isn't possible anymore, but if we are smart as a people, the outgoing government with one of its major ‘achievements’ has made that job more difficult. Step forward the mobile phone.

Nowadays, this little piece of equipment has made the job of election monitoring a tad easier. Imagine this scenario, a dedicated team of election monitors in Anambra for example spread themselves around Aguata, Idemili, Orumba and Oyi local governments, then they would be able to know for certain when counting has finished, who won in what ward they were stationed in, and most importantly, who won in the wards other monitors in their team were stationed in. That way it would be impossible to manipulate results in between Ojoto and Awka. That way, Njideka Anyadike would stand a fighting chance against Andy Uba. For the records, I think she is the best candidate to run that state, but Anambra is the best case study in my mind of where and how these elections would go wrong…

I don’t think Mrs. Anyadike would win in Anambra because there is no shortage of unemployed (and worse ignorant) youths who would happily fill up ballot boxes, or even worse pursue genuine voters, and election monitors with all sorts of threats of bodily harm. This is a genuinely sad scenario because once again we have the power to make a change, and people aren’t going to use it. A lot of people I know (my own stratum of society), refused to register to vote. A lot of people I know have sworn to sit at home (not that I blame those in Lagos especially). A lot of people I know have skipped Naija all together (maybe I count in that number). It is such a sad situation…

Let us look at Lagos, because that is where there is going to be a serious bloodbath, in every sense of the word. PDP wants that state desperately, and to show their determination to get it, Obasanjo himself has relocated to Lagos for the gubernatorial vote. Already rumours are making the rounds that the ‘vote’ in Lagos has been counted and Obanikoro (the PDP candidate) would be declared winner with the results following the pattern below:

Agege local government; Obanikoro has 475,627 to Fashola’s 301,245, Agbaje’s 35,607 and Pedro’s 13,607.

Results of other councils are: Apapa. Obanikoro 375,907, Fashola 245,948, Agbaje 20,478 and Pedro 3,718; Eti-Osa: Obanikoro 310,375, Fashola 105,799, Agbaje 20,478, Pedro 3,718; Epe: Obanikoro 304,207; Fashola 297,201, Agbaje 3,461, Pedro 2,798; and Ikeja: Obanikoro 394,272; Fashola 275,501, Agbaje 2,604, Pedro 1,004.

Others are Lagos Island: Obanikoro 325,700, Fashola 304,214, Agbaje 7,304, Pedro 1,025; Lagos Mainland: Obanikoro 305,317, Fashola 210,370, Agbaje 3,005, Pedro 1,071; Ojo: Obanikoro 358,302, Fashola 341,001, Agbaje 3,705, Pedro 2,110; Somolu: Obanikoro 379,401, Fashola 349,101, Agbaje 2,701, Pedro 1,017; and Surulere: Obanikoro 341,602; Fashola 268,304, Agbaje 4,007, Pedro 2,437.

I pray to the Most High that the guy who wrote this was high on cheap paraga, because if this is true then we are in for a messy time. A similar scenario had threatened to happen in same Lagos in 2003 when an already prepared result was posted to INEC’s website crediting the late Funso Williams (PDP) as having won the election. How that was resolved is still a miracle to some people, but all hands must be on deck to ensure that the elections in Lagos tomorrow should be as fair as is possible (somehow I doubt that free is part of the lexicon around those parts). Were I voting in Lagos, I’d pick Jimi Agbaje, of all the candidates I’ve read about thus far, he seems to make the most sense, but then again, what do I know?

Kano is another place that would be interesting to watch. This is the state with the highest number of residents if not indigenes, and it is fast loosing its status as the ‘jewel in the Savannah’. You see, the fall out of the politically motivated Shar’ia law led to a lot of people (and businesses) divesting their main operations from the city, or in the extreme closing shop totally. This morning Sheik Jafar Adam, a prominent supporter of the Shar’ia law fiasco was assassinated during morning prayers in a mosque! Let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one, but sadly, I haven’t heard too much from any of the candidates, and the only one I recognise is Dalhatu…

The Delta is another place that would be interesting to watch as the stakes there are particularly high. Among other things, all the outgoing governors would want to protect their arses for 8 years of unbridled plunder. That Awuse thug is running again in Rivers, if he wins, Odili had better watch out. In Delta state there is interesting fight coming up between Great Ogboru (remember the Orka coup) and Ibori’s relation Emma Uduaghan. It looks like that strangely Igbo disease also afflicts the Delta Igbos (Anioma they call themselves), as they have three candidates running for the pole position. If only they could all sit down and pick one then get their people to line up behind that person, then they’d actually be a force to reckon with in the state. But then they are Igbo, so I guess that what happens to ndi Igbo in Nigeria is relayed to what happens to ndi Igbo in the Delta…

For me, the crowd coming out to contest in my home state is just that, a crowd. Were I voting, there’d be no candidate who can match up to Oshiomhole. He won my heart during the general strike back in 2004 based on his principle stand. Unfortunately, we as a people let him down back then. Would we let him down tomorrow? Would he let us down if he is voted in?

Juve watch

The Italian prosecutors have decided to bring another batch of scandals to the fore. Ain’t it funny? Curses be on them.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Ubuntu 7.04 is out

Shipit is now accepting advance orders for Feisty CDs.

You can also request Kubuntu and Edubuntu CDs. I wish there were Xubuntu CDs for those that like their toast lightweight.

You can request 10 or less CDs using shipit. For mass orders (for your LUG, class, or country) try the special request form after you login.

Of course, the responsible thing to do is to download the CD image and burn it when it becomes available. Remember the CDs are shipped free of cost, and there is always someone else without a stable and fast internet connection who could use these shipped cds.

Public Holidays

When I was much younger, public holidays were few and somewhat far between. Those were days that one looked forward to with a lot of anticipation as a well deserved break from the 'stress' of day to day life. I believe that y'all would understand that I am exaggerating slightly here since back in the day a man (or was it a boy) tended to play a lot anyway, so the only thing the public holidays added was more playing time. Of course as I got older, I still looked forward to the occasional public holiday as an avenue first to relax from UNIBEN stress, then as an avenue to relax from the daily rigours of office work. I finally got sick of the concept of public holidays when I (and all Nigerians) had a nice long stretch in 2006. Personally, I think that a lot of people back home must be even sicker now of the entire concept, as 2007 even though it is just four months old has already witnessed no less than 10 public holidays in Nigeria. Scratch that and add another two to the number, as the Federal Government within the last hour or so declared tomorrow and the next day public holidays in order to 'give people the opportunity to travel to their home states and participate in the gubernatorial and state house elections'.

Utter bollocks.

Last time I checked, you could only vote where you registered, so even if you are 'from Anambra state', you would be ineligible to vote for Mrs. Anyadike on Saturday provided you registered in Lagos, meaning that there is absolutely no point in putting yourself on the road. Also, there is no precedent for this holiday, and the potential loss to the economy is unacceptable as far as I am concerned, but then who am I?

There has to be a reason for this 'magnanimity' on the part of the Feds, and it would be stating the obvious when I say that the reason is our embattled Vice President, Turakin Adamawa, Mr. Abubakar Atiku.

It is no secret that a Federal High Court had earlier ruled that Mr. Atiku's 'disqualification' by INEC was unconstitutional (we have to point out that Atiku wasn't actually disqualified, his name was simply omitted), and it is no secret that a higher court, namely the Appeal Court ruled that INEC was within its rights to omit his name from their list. Naturally, and being that he wants to contest so desperately, Mr. Atiku went to the highest court in the land, the Supreme Court, Federal Republic of Nigeria. The case was scheduled to be heard tomorrow...

Instead, tomorrow, the venerable Justices would be sipping on Pinacolada and relaxing in the April sun, same thing on Friday. Saturday and Sunday are out of it, so the earliest that the case can be heard is Monday. Probably by then the counsel to the Feds would find a reason to pray for an adjournment, and even if the Justices decide to hear the case then, I sincerely doubt that they would break a record and churn out a verdict in the relatively double quick time of just three working days.

Why three working days? I arrived at that figure because I am almost totally convinced that Nigerians would be given another treat by way of two days of public holidays next week to prepare for the presidential vote, so that even if the respected Justices do turn out a verdict in Atiku's favour by Wednesday, the implementation of such an order would be nigh impossible as the officials who would be meant to carry out such an order would be sipping on mmanya nku and burukutu, and enjoying the April sun much like the Justices are about to do tomorrow.

This whole thing pans out well for the way the president, Rtd. Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo wanted it. Really a win-win situation for him, if the Justices fail to reach a verdict on time, Atiku won't contest. If the judges do reach a verdict on time, Atiku won't contest. If the judges reach a verdict and Atiku's legal team prays for a postponement of the vote, Obasanjo stays longer and buys time to frustrate Atiku even more, while having the option of presenting Atiku to the world as a power hungry subordinate who just wants to be president at all costs despite putting his people through a lot of tense anticipation along the way, and knowing that his people live in volatile conditions which could be sparked off by the slightest of misinterpretations...

You've got to hand it to the retired general, he is an excellent strategist.

Tinapa

It is important that we acknowledge the opening of the Tinapa Business Resort a few days ago. I must say that it is a good achievement by the Donald Duke government, and what is more important to me is that unlike the vast majority of projects executed by any government in Nigeria, Federal, State or Local, this one was done without any undue strain on the taxpayer. It was financed by the banks and other private sector organisations. That is how it's meant to be done, and this shows that for all his perceived faults, Donald Duke somehow knows what governance really means, and that is to provide an enabling environment for prosperity. I still think that he's a coward though...

In any event, I will hold my horses. We can't shout 'Hallelujah' just yet. Nigerian projects are notorious for underachieving. For me I will finally nod my head in agreement if Tinapa achieves just one thing, and that is provide a viable alternative to Lagos as Nigeria's economic power house...

My Easter

It was fun. Had three august visitors, Maestro, C0dec and Patrick, a friend from Dublin. It is something that I must write about one of these days. We had an encounter with deliberate racism Friday night. Then between myself and C0dec, we have convinced Maestro to see the light in terms of software, helped by no less a personality than Micro$oft itself. That is a story for another day, for now, I must turn to the books.

Moanin-ho

While on the one hand I don't like the club he works for and their apparent arrogance acquired ever since they became the plaything of a Russian oligarch, I can't help but respect one of said oligarch's acquisitions, Jose Marlo dos Santos Mourinho Felix, manager, Chelsea Football Club.

Make no mistakes about it, his achievements in his short time as a manager in the game speak volumes as to the man's ability as a coach, and earlier this evening he once again proved that he is indeed the Special One. Agreed that he has had an almost bottomless pit in terms of cash to buy whatever player he wants, but any Interista would tell you that blank cheques do not necessarily make teams a success.

Mourinho is a genius at reading the game, and tonight's show at Valencia underscored it. Just one substitution at half time, the hapless Diarra made way for Joe Cole, and a ¢h€£$k¥ team that looked out of sorts suddenly changed and ran the field in a way I haven't seen one team dominate another since Madrid demolished the same Valencia 3-0 in the Champion's League Final at the Parc des Princes 7 years ago now. I must admit that I am terribly impressed even though I am unhappy that ¢h€£$k¥ won.

In any event, my main beef with the way the results went this evening (I really don't give a damn about Roma) is that there will be three English teams in the semis, and the media here won't let a man to hear. Distressing really...

That Iran Fiasco

Another thing that is absolutely distressing is the quality of military personnel on show nowadays. Fresh off from their forced vacation in Iran, the unfortunate 'victims' have sold their stories to the press. I am actually in shock at this seemingly British habit of selling any silly 'story' to the Sun and other such tabloids for a fee, but I guess that if tabloids in Naija offered cash for sleaze, that people would readily jump the bandwagon, such is the love of money that we apparently inherited from our erstwhile colonial masters.

But seriously, if this is what the British military has parading up and down in Iraq, it is no wonder that the insurgency there has not abated. How can you have a serving member of the military of any nation declare in print that he was 'crying like a baby' after being imprisoned? I won't be shocked if some Iraqi militants borrow a leaf from the boys in the Niger Delta and begin kidnapping Brit troops, since they would 'cry like babies', agree to whatever you ask them to say, get a hero's welcome on their return, then sell their stories to the highest bidder, for a tidy sum.

But then we must not forget the complicity of the British government in this whole circus. Was it necessary to fly these people into the UK on a commercial flight when they could easily have been flown to an airbase? Well, I ain't British, so what concerns me?

The countdown

Nigeria's elections start this weekend, watch this space...


Juve watch

We just beat Napoli 2-0 to further stretch our lead at the top of Serie B. While I think DD's doing a good job, I wouldn't mind having Mourinho in the hot seat at La Communale...

Good night people.