ONE: This week, the indefatigable spirit of this Nigerian policeman dazzles us. Mr. Agbonika has been working to reform one of the most corrupt organization in the World, the Nigerian Police Force. A report shows that in 2008, the Police collected $4.5 million in bribes from an estimate of 70 checkpoints. This lone man is working to correct that. He has been attacked and blinded in one eye as a result of his efforts but he has not allowed that to stop him. His tireless spirit gives us hope for the future of our country. If we all learn just a little from this man, our country will surely reach her potential. We are so proud.
TWO: The Nigerian senate has dedicated its time and finite resources to outlaw potential gay marriages in the Nigeria space. A bill making it essentially illegal for same sex people to get married passed second reading in the senate chambers last week. This is fascinating since the Senate seems to suggest that denying her citizen’s civil rights matters so much that it must dedicate incredible amounts of time and resources to make it happen.
THREE: The unemployment rate of Bauchi state has gone down considerably, especially among the governor Isa Yuguda’s friends and colleagues. The good governor hired 94 Senior Special Assistants, 20 Special Advisers, 810 Special Assistants, 24 Directors-General, 20 Deputy Chairmen and 82 members for the Local Councils in the state. The governor believes that he needs 1050 staff to run a state of 4,653,066 people. We simply cannot wait to see the results that will match this level of human resource.
FOUR: In an apt description of the porous nature of our Northern borders, 100 Nigerian men were arrested at the Nigerian side of the Niger-Nigerian border last week. They are allegedly former mercenaries hired by the deposed dictator, Muammar Gaddafi. The men reported that they left Libya weeks ago and were wandering around in the desert until they found the border leading back home. No one knows what will become of them. It is, however, fascinating that the Nigerian Government denied their existence just months ago after reports came out that the NTC tortured and targeted Nigerians living in Libya. One wonders how this will affect the budding relationship between the new Libyan government and Nigeria’s.
FIVE: To prevent the opposition from dominating the 4-day burial of a former governor of Oyo State, the present governor of Oyo State has allocated N30 Million and appointed a 5-member committee to oversee the burial of the former Governor Ishola. We wonder what the dearly departed would have thought about this ridiculous waste of public resources. These resources could have gone to ameliorate health services in the state to combat the recent hikes in cholera mortality. It is perhaps the governor’s idea to expedite the heavenly visa application for the less famous, albeit, alive members of the Oyo State family.
SIX: Information about the Nigerian middle class is available HERE. A report released by Renaissance Capital shows that this class of income earners account for 23% of the Nigerian population. The report used data from a survey of 1,004 middle-class Nigerians, with an average monthly income of N75, 000 to N100, 000. This has important implications for the future of business in the country and also presents a new opportunity for the movement of resources.
SEVEN: Google, the American tech company, has launched an initiative to get small to medium-sized Nigerian companies unto the Internet. The project is called “Get Nigerian Businesses Online”. The company offers professional websites, mobile websites, 10 email accounts and web hosting. All these are all free. To learn more, visit HERE.
EIGHT: Boko Haram has rejected the recommendation of dialogue reached by the Ambassador Usman Galtimari Panel. The group reiterates its demand. Which are:
- Severe punishment for those who killed its leader Ustaz Mohammed Yusuf and other members of the sect arrested during the July 2009 uprising.
- Reconstruction of its places of worship destroyed by security agencies in Maiduguri and other states.
- Immediate release of detained members.
- Appropriate compensation paid to them for all their belongings destroyed by security agencies.
In a fascinating move, a Niger Deltan militant group, this of the Ijaw persuasion, has given Boko Haram an ultimatum to stop all terror activities in the country. The Ohanaeze Indigbo gave Boko Haram 14 days before they will launch their retaliation attacks against the terror group. Terror vs. Terror, leads to what for the Nigerian people?
NINE: The members of the Nigerian Congress are the highest paid lawmakers in the world. A Richard Dowden, Director of the African Royal Society, stated that the Country pays $1millioin for a Parliamentary salary with another $1million in expenses”. Yet the most outstanding result of all that expenditure this week was a highly discrimnatory law.
TEN: Elder’s corner is a brilliant documentary about the musical history of Nigeria. The project has captured “30 hours of amazing interview and performance footage of Nigerian musical icons.” It hopes to raise $20,000 to finish the documentary and calls for donations. Please go HERE to help. This is a great opportunity to help write our history.