Friday, February 26, 2010

Hoha! (Pointblank): On Yar'Adua's Return and the Affairs of State

“He (Jonathan) cannot go back to Vice President until the National Assembly reverses their resolution that made him Acting President, which was even supported by the Federal Executive Council and more importantly by most Nigerians.”

-------Information Minister Dora Akunyili on Goodluck Jonathan continuing to be Acting President until resolved by a National Assembly resolution.

"The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Prince Vincent Eze Ogbulafor, OFR, on behalf of the National Working Committee warmly welcomes the President, Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Alhaji Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, GCFR, back to Nigeria from his medical leave. The safe arrival of Mr. President from his sojourn in Saudi Arabia is a testimony to the fact that the prayers of all Nigerians for his quick recovery have been answered. We, therefore, rejoice with our fellow citizens for this unique favour done to us by the Almighty God."

-------PDP's statement on Yar'Adua's return.

“Personnaly, l don’t belief Yar Adua has come back to Nigeria, if he has returned, he would have talked to the nation via aTV. lf you want to convince us that Yar Adua is in Nigeria, let him talk to the the press."

-------Ekiti State former governor Ayodele Fayose speaking to the press, doubting the arrival of Yar'Adua after declaring for the Labour Party.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Long Beach's Ragga Muffins: A Carnival Of Its Own Class

I have not paid much attention over the years due to my diversion in doing something else in terms of where I go and what I do, especially the outdoors, and I had to leave the saxy jazzy jam sessions for a minute.

But once in a while I delve into listening to some of the classics, the roots reggae I dust off from my music library. And what the master poet, Bob Marley, had done with revelations is what keeps body and soul one which did change all that and the origin of reggae - the revolution that produced casts like The Mighty Diamonds, Toots Hilbert (Maytals), Don Carlos (Gold), Gregory Isaacs, Prince Jazzbo, Michael Prophet, Michael Rose (Black Uhuru), The Gladiators, Junior Murvin, Nicodemus, Luciano, Sugar Minot and many others.

Many more had their vibes differently: Jimmy Cliff, Ken Lazarus, Desmond Dekker, Max Romeo, Perry Henzell, Rita Anderson (Marley's wife), and Lee "Scratch" Perry.

And then came U-Roy, I-Roy and Johnny Clark whose vibes changed the whole concept of prophesies and added a kind of flavor that took reggae to another level.

And the creative dubbers, the DJ's did not keep their cool with their theme, even at midnight. Mad Professor, Scientist, Augustus Pablo, Big Youth, Yellowman and the rest.

So as it happened, this past Sunday, February 21, while dread driving on 7th Street and just poking around to check out some of the newest arrivals on the bookshelves in one of the bookstores around the corner, it echoed the 29th Annual Ragga Muffins Festival was jamming in the hood and that some of the performers I had been in touch with in the past will be appearing.

It was a hell of a carnival. Bob Marley posters, Marley silhouettes as special tribute to the legend in what use to be Bob Marley Festival. Jamaican Flags was all over and people from all walks of life popped up. The crowd was amazing and the show remarkably was a success based on how it was handled by Long Beach Police Department.

The casts, also, was very engaging in a brilliant performance with Alborosie's first appearance in the Southland. The line-up: Barrington Levy, Gregory Isaacs, Cocoa Tea, Taurus Riley The Mighty Diamonds, The Aggrolites, The Lions and Detour Posse.

The vendors and the food courts
The smoky grilled chicken
The Jamaican cuisines
The outfits; some really outrageous
And the color riots
Reggae explodes in Long Beach Arena

A fun-filled evening and by the time I had walked back to my car on Ocean Blvd., it was like the magic of darkness and the night of happiness in a carnival of its own class.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Photo-Op: Worthy Causes

Miss Niger Delta 2009/2010, Miss Excellence Amadi flanked by other queens and Trustees during their visit to the Elderly in Port Harcourt. Photo courtesy of Niger Delta Standard

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Wed. Cartoons

Examining the U.S.-Nigeria Relationship in a Time of Transition: Mr. Chairman, Ranking member Isakson, and members of the Committee, thank you for this opportunity to testify before you today on Nigeria. Nigeria is one of the two most important countries in sub-Saharan Africa and a country of great significance to the United States. I have just returned from a five-day trip to Nigeria and I am pleased to share my insights on the evolving situation there as well as the U.S.-Nigeria bilateral relationship. MORE @ US STATE DEPARTMENT






Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hoha! (Pointblank): Hear the Talkingheads

"The theme of this meeting is a crucial one for our country. Nigeria is currently going through a series of trials but most urgent are the abject poverty facing the country's citizens and the weak state of our societal sector, particularly the education and health sectors...The Nigerian government no matter how noble its intentions cannot address these challenges on its fact, in all developed countries, the implementation of social projects is never the sole responsibility of government...I retired from the service early at 41 years because I got to the top early. I started shipping business and became reasonably rich...Twelve years ago I was allocated an oil block by the late Head of State, General Sani Abacha near Sao Tome and Nigeria. We discovered a lot of oil...It was at this junction I decided to establish a foundation which I have committed $100m to..."

-------Bloodthirsty cannibal Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma on giving away his loot to charity.

WHEN on February 9, 2010, precisely 78 days after President Umaru Yar'Adua effectively abdicated his office, the Senate of the National Assembly passed a resolution mandating Vice President Goodluck Jonathan to act as president pending the return of his principal, it pleaded necessity as justification for the action. The plea seemed so unimpeachable that the House of Representatives immediately reversed its earlier rejection of a similar motion to align itself with the upper chamber. Even the Federal Executive Council directly charged with the task of salvaging the situation under Section 144 of the constitution but which, to its eternal shame, chose at every turn to pronounce the president fit for office also did the somersault...But while the National Assembly has contrived a temporary and unsavoury reprieve from our determined march towards anarchy, its action remains questionable even by those who called loudly for that very outcome. Their position is best represented by the Action Congress party and ex-Representative Farouk Aliyu Adamu who has filed a suit. Speaking through its publicity secretary, AC declared the resolution "illegal," being outside the ambit of Section 145 of the Constitution which spells out the mode and manner the vice president can become the Acting President. According to AC, far from rescuing the nation from the brink of disaster, the National Assembly had instead brought us "closer to the abyss." The party urged Jonathan to see his elevation as "nothing but a Greek Gift designed to do him in."

-------Ogaga Ifowodo on The Necessity of a Sovereign National Conference

“I have no problem with the NFF. After the pressure and tension of the competition, it is obvious one needs rest. My contract is clear. The team B of the Eagles is my idea and so it is no big deal...I have not even seen any letter yet from the NFF and I no longer read newspapers because the criticisms have been too much from all angles...Section 10 sub-section 2.6 of the Amodu, NFF contract states, 'He (the head coach) must be irrevocably committed to work with the Technical Adviser, in the event the NFF decides to engage one.' Also, Article 1.5 of the contract reads, “The national team(s) shall mean the senior male national team (A), the Super Eagles or other national representatives which shall be under the supervision of the head coach...The chairman of the technical committee, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, said recently that I was in charge and my contract also says so...Let me also state that the NFF is still implementing my programmes till date. I have already prepared a programme for the March 3 friendly with Paraguay. I am just human and it is difficult to understand why people descended on me and the team heavily after the Nations Cup despite winning a broze medal at the event...My contract is my bible and so far I am still conscious of not going anyway out of the agreement I had with the NFF.”

-------Coach Shaibu Amodu on him still being in charge of the Super Eagles.

“All my life, I’ve been a very private person. This is a new ball game for me, I must be honest. But because of the office I hold, as a goldfish, you have no hiding place. But like I tell my colleagues, the responsibility we need to show our people is how we have made their lives better. Whenever something like this award happens, what we say is; ‘the reward for hard work is more work.’ So, it raises the bar of expectation on us, but we see that bar of expectation not as a burden, rather, it is a vote of confidence in our ability to do it...We’ve stopped seeing problems in this government, we’re looking for solutions. Every criticism that we get invites us to a realisation that there’s an urgent need to do more...Even in the most prosperous economy, there are education issues, security issues, even of more complex nature than we have to deal with. These problems, as long as the human race remains, will task the minds, the skills, the intellect of leaders across the world. It’s a problem of humanity. But the upside to the report is that 140 cities were ranked across the world. In Nigeria, Lagos was the only city mentioned. So we see that as an upside...I wish to leave behind a Lagos that will be able to actualise its huge potentials, a safe home for all those who choose to make it home, a city-state that will retain its pre-eminent position in the country, in the sub-region, in the continent, and even globally. A city that will also be able to provide for all those who served her, when we’re no longer able to fend for ourselves.”

-------Lagos State Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola on receiving Sun News' Man of the Year Award.

“Sergeant-at-Arms, shut that door; I say shut that door, shut that door...A Bill for an Act to Prescribe Investment in Petroleum Refineries as a Condition for Licensing and Operation of Oil Producing Companies in Nigeria and other Matters Connected thereto 2010.”

-------Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Dimeji Bankole shutting out lawmakers over lateness.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Thursday Cartoons

FG Moves to Probe Yar'Adua's Health: The Federal Executive Council, FEC, at its weekly meeting, yesterday, resolved to commence the process that could lead to the invocation of Section 144 of the 1999 constitution... MORE @ VANGUARD

Defeat of the Power Cabal: Members of President Umaru Yar'Adua's infamous kitchen cabinet are forced to throw up their hands in defeat as sustained public pressure forces the National Assembly to compel the investment of full executive powers in Vice President Goodluck Jonathan... MORE @ THE NEWS





Nigerian Jungle Blues and Cartoons

The election to choose the nations's next President is to be held as early as November this year, under proposals separately articulated by the Senate and House of Representatives committees on the review of the constitution... MORE @ VANGUARD




Friday, February 12, 2010

Nigerian Jungle Blues and Friday Cartoons

Fund athletics now or forget it, Coach Ariyo:
“In Nigeria, it is all about football, forgetting that there are other sports that can equally bring glory to the country. If we want to get the right result, we must have to fund athletics right from the grass roots." MORE @ VANGUARD






Tuesday, February 02, 2010

The Bigotry, Hatred and Censorship of Yahoogroups' Naija Politics Moderator(s): Martin Akindana and his Colleagues

Illustration: John Dyson

"NaijaPolitics's Group Description: NaijaPolitics ‘Mat’ is a Political Crossfire of Nigerian politics. A group dedicated to Gavel-to-Gavel discussion of political developments in Nigeria -Africa's largest democracy. A place where Political Pundits, Political Analysts, Policy Analysts, Political ‘Think Thank’, Political & Policy 'Wonks', Policy Makers, Political Aspirants, Political Activists, Political Strategists, Political Lobbyists, Current Office holders, the Politically inclined and others that 'swim', 'dream', 'dine', and 'talk' politics hit heads together. It is a place for Nigerian political heavyweights, where Men and Women of ‘timber and caliber’ talk about everything politics and nothing but politics. At NaijaPolitics mat, issues are not treated with kid gloves. It is a forum for serious-minded political ‘junkies’, where vital Nigerian national issues and interests are tackled head on. If you have what it ‘takes’, then get in the ‘RING’. The NaijaPolitics ‘Mat’ is a ’Political Crossfire’ forum. It is not for the weak-hearted. Only the fittest will survive. It is a political ‘Ring’ for ‘no holds bar’ discussion of all aspects of Nigerian political landscape and Nigeria Geopolitics... Welcome Aboard! Let’s ‘Play’

Martin 'matto' Akindana
Moderator, NaijaPolitics forum"


First of all, I did not ask or requested to be subscribed to Naija Politics' Yahoogroups Forum, the discussion group its made up thousands of subscribers seek relevance by way of voicing out their "opinion" on how to fix a shambled Nigeria national state even when the tyrant and "moderator" Martin Akindana watches many of the made-up handles with the eye of a microscope either approving their messages or ignoring the ones he found disturbing and could destroy the "clean Image" it represents. And neither did my colleagues at Biafrianigeriaworld Message Board and its sister-related websites asked or requested to be subscribed either as Igbonet or Biafranigeriaworld, or as individuals at this said censored forum moderated by a gang of Igbo haters who simply couldn't live up to the creed of what they founded, owned and stood for.

I will not be naming names for now, but I do know one thing, for sure, that the mad professor, Mobolaji Aluko's telltales to his gang in what supposedly should have been a free for all forum where "typical Nigerians" could address appropriately what concerns them and how the affairs of state is being run in their country, has indeed destroyed the intent for a profound public discourse on any issue that may arise at any given time regarding the nations social ills and a brutal, inept, corrupt regime. Aluko is one I have encountered dating back to 2000 at the Igbo-bashing, censored, Nigeriaworld run by Chuck Odili who had problems identifying his Igbonness.

It was a bitter struggle at Chucks Nigeriaworld, though healthy for any sound democratic fabric until the anti-Igbo sentiments erupted during the Sharia debacle which brought about a heated debate in which I for one called for an equivalent given in retaliation, that the Igbo would no longer sit idly and watch her kith and kin slaughtered in the the most brutal of circumstances. The obvious hatred and all that followed gave birth to Biafranigeriaworld, meaning it could be done uncut, uncensored and free. Today, BNW is still intact and viable, and keeping up with a very strong press which has been its top priority and had remained that way ever since.

But as it happened sometime in 2005 when Akindana started his Naija Politis Forum noticing the becoming conduct of a strong press, one that solidly stood for the ideals of free speech when he submitted unsolicited request to the management of Biafranigeriaworld to "please come join Naija Politics" as part of enhancing a fabricated, fledgling democracy, a concoction - Fourth Republic - put together by the military juntas which has been on life support ever since it was established more than a decade ago. My colleagues and I talked over it, and studying carefully the implications of dining and wining with a set that had been known for its bigotry and hatred on Nd'Igbo, we arrived to the conclusion that "I go ahead" and represent BNW by honoring Naija Politics moderators' request. I gave a deep thought to it based on my encounters at Nigeriaworld where Odili and his anti_igbo cohorts had assumed Igbos were Nigeria's problem, and that the only way Nigeria could be credible and productive was to wipe the Igbo nation off the map of the country. But beyond this basic truth, there is much that isn't known - why did Odili decided to eliminate all Igbo handles on the counsel of Aluko and his Igbo-bashing colleagues even though the impeachment of Senate President Chuba Okadigbo and the removal of his own brother, Gbenga, from the senate floor, and who had been loyal to Okadigbo coupled with then on-going debates on Sharia, Sovereign National Conference he championed and came to sell to the youngish intellectuals at Nigeriaworld who declined to buy his idea of a national conference; and other complicated issues which posed no threat to the dissolution of Nigeriaworld; and why should Aluko to have made it patently clear that Igbo handles in the fora was not relevant in a national conference?

As it turned out, my colleagues and I at the freaky controlled website - Nigeriaworld - did not back down; we had a choice, moving on which eventually gave birth to Biafranigeriaworld and its related sister websites that is still out there for all to use with no tribal or ethnic lines.

And one had thought this whole mess of anti-Igbo sentiments had climaxed, which would pave way for a new beginning of "reconciliation" in building a profound democratic fabric as in all civil and organized societies. The result was sour. The Yoruba hatred of Igbo people continued apace, and Akindana who thought he had been fair inviting my colleagues and I to join his casts at Naija Politics, ate up his own words and did not hide his bigotry toward a people that had been minding their own business.

My first post at Naija Politics in October of 2005 was news-related items with a joint Biafran and Nigerian flag which symbolized the website, Biafranigeriaworld, founded on anti-Igbo sentiments, and of bigotry and hatred.

But these bigots were watching me like a hawk with Akindana hiding behind closed doors, pushing his cohorts to effectively red tape all my postings. Henceforth all my postings were restricted because I had an Igbo last name and happened to be a founding member of Biafranigeriaworld. The one that caught the hawk's eye was a Nigeria news report from one of the dailies titled "EFCC Raids Adamawa SSG's Home" sent from BNW News and intercepted by Augustina Iyare, one of Akindana's handles writing to inform me it was impossible to approve my message even from a reliable hunch that "Tina" wasn't a skirt. "She" writes:

"Dear Ambrose,

I approved your message yesterday after much struggle. This is Nigeria politics, sir! I cannot participate in anything that will divide my country. You can send it elsewhere and see if they will support your Biafra flag. I see it as promoting your Biafra country. I might be wrong in my decision but that is per my love for my country. My duties here is to promote the growth of Nigeria and not Biafra.

Long Live Nigeria.



Yes, she approved one of my messages "after much struggle." And she told me about the fora being Nigeria politics, thus, according to her, she loves her country. The question here is, didn't the bigots including "Ms. Iyare" knew beforehand that I was pro-Biafranigeriaworld as claimed when they subscribed my name without my consent? Didn't they visit the Biafranigeriaworld website before reaching a decision to have my name subscribed following my write-ups in the past? So in a free world where a strong press amounts to a concretely established democracy, the word Biafranigeriaworld is or should be banned? That being said without hiding the fact that Igbo-bashing is still alive and well, I left the freaky controlled group with immediate effect. It wasn't even a few months from the time I left that the bigots and tyrants sent me another unsolicited request to join and see how the forum had improved perhaps on the realism anti-Igbo sentiments is no longer in place. It had been request upon request I had declined over the years until October 2009 when the first message surfaced in my mailbox from the group owner, Akindana, "graciously" welcoming me to Naija politics.

I agreed to the "owner's" statement of adult content and checked-in after over four years of my deliberately staying out of touch. Nothing much changed. The forum still lacked substance and had no relevance in a typical political discussion group.

Enter my first post. It had disappeared without explanation. And series of other posts followed with a tiny fraction escaping interception. But as in Congress making no laws abridging the freedom of speech, and as in Akindana's preamble that Naija Politics is "where vital Nigerian national issues and interests are tackled head on," which suggests in his own word "interests," does it mean Igbo-related issues is of no Nigerian national interests? I simply don't get it, and one wonders why a fabricated Nigeria is still way far from a sound democracy.

Again, not surprisingly, the bigotry and hatred of Igbo had been taken to my blogs, websites and elsewhere by unknown handles making inflammatory remarks about Igbo people deserving whatever they get in a tribalized and murderous Islamic Jihadic Nigeria as the country copes not only with one - The Case of Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Nigeria and Terrorism - but with uncountable existential threats as we have seen unfold over the years, and most recently the Jos Riots in which hundreds of lives were lost. Faced with this horrific prospect, bigots like Akindana keeps a tight lip as the murderous Islamic Jihadists go on the rampage slaughtering innocent civilians. Even at my blog - The Pogrom, War & Starvation - where I had posted "Benjamin Adekunle Shooting at Everything," his comments of bigotry and hatred energized the bigots and had the bloodthirsty cannibals never stop talking. Never mind the idea of the pogrom and civil war, Adekunle, however, did not hide the fact he was anti-Igbo, and never have I seen anything like that. Adekunle wrote:

"I want to see no Red Cross, no caritas, no World Council of Churches, no Pope, no Missionary and no United Nations delegation. I want to prevent even one Igbo from having even one piece to eat before their capitulation. We shoot at everything that moves and when our troops march into the center of Igbo territory, we shoot at everything even at things that don't move."

And my reaction to that comment was, "If the above comment is not bigotry and hatred, what else is?"

But the bigots came to applaud Adekunle and justify the pogrom and war, for example, one anonymous, and of course, Akindana's cohorts: "It is called a job you looser. What do you think people in the army do? Dance around like a ballerina? No. They are meant to kill so shut up." And another anonymous: "Do you seriously believe that the Nigerians were supposed to provide food to the rebels? Aid meant for civilians would have been hijacked by Ojukwu's thugs, so stop this crap!..." And Adebisi, an unknown bigot from Akindana's camp. The "skirt" writes:

"Why do people want to pedal the myth of a Biafra genocide industry? We are setting ourselves up for round two, meanwhile, the myth peddlers are filling their coffers and building up hate for their own personal reasons. Do you know any of the people whose pictures you parade about your websites? I see no analysis of what happened. Why and who actually did what? Lots of personal abuse and the pornography of death - using pictures of dead and dying children to refight a lost war..."

These and uncountable hatemails that keeps popping up in my mailbox even taken lightly as an empty threat, I tried as much as I could to reason with the bigots on the concept that "Nigeria" belongs to all of us, and that without Igbo agenda Nigeria political discourse is senseless, and despite all the efforts in what I should have taken seriously by countering Akindana and his colleagues' rhetoric, I took it that well-grounded opposition is the key to healthy democracy and kept submitting my thought-provoking articles which reveals the simple truth of a failed state; Akindana stayed busy restricting my posting privileges while al-Qaeda keeps developing series of terrorist cells in the Islamic Jihadic Northern Nigeria.