ONE: The Nigerian Legislature made into law a bill that criminalizes homosexual marriage, activity, activism and association. The bill had been in the senate for a while and we covered it on this column. One is not aware of an epidemic of homosexual marriages warranting such a confusing, ill thought out, and punitive law. More surprising is the hate filled clauses sneaked into the final bill. The prevailing popular opinion is that making already difficult lives impossible should not be a priority of the Nigerian senate. A brilliant article by Chude Jideonwo is HERE. While homophobia is popular in the country, we are of the opinion that the leadership of the country should serve as examples of our better selves. In a country attempting to create an inclusive cultural fabric, this was an opportunity squandered on the cheap thrill of disobeying the edicts of the United Kingdom and putting in danger the millions of pounds in Aid money used to reduce the human cost of HIV/AIDS. We hope that the president would reject this bill on the grounds that his job is to protect ALL Nigerians from the tyranny of foolish lawmakers.
TWO: Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Governor of the Nigerian Central Bank was Forbes African Person of the year. The banker has received numerous awards for his work in stabilizing the Nigerian economy during the 2008 world economic crash. His leadership of the Central Bank has showed mixed macroeconomic results; he is still lauded as deeply honest and committed to the wealth of his nation. His continued outspoken criticism of the entrenched graft of the public system has thrown him into limelight. Congratulations.
THREE: HERE is a list of the 100 companies shown as the sole beneficiary of the N3.655 trillion fuel subsidy for the last 5 years. One wonders how much of the trillions actually trickle down in the long run into the pockets of people the subsidy policy was meant to help.
FOUR: An American jeweler, Chris Aire, has found his way into the pockets of Nigerians. The man opened his first store in Abuja a short while ago. Apparently rich Nigerians, not knowing quite what to do with their dubiously gathered excess wealth have decided to help restore the American economy while expertly ignoring the millions of Nigerians who live on less than $2 a day. The devil laughs on his cross.
FIVE: A Nigerian PhD student from Yobe State won a best paper award at the Advanced Topics in Artificial Intelligence conference. His work explores using artificial intelligence tools to prospect for oil in shallow and deep waters. We are simply proud.
SIX: The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, a Senator Bala Mohammed, is in the process of getting a $500million loan on behalf of the Nigerian people. The loan is to be used to build a light rail in Abuja by a Chinese corporation. We are watching you, sir.
SEVEN: Like a recurring terrible joke, the Nigerian Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) is on strike as of midnight Sunday December 4th. This not surprisingly is to the detriment of the educational sector and the future of the country.
EIGHT: In a brilliant move to improve the economy of the state, the Government of Anambra has commenced the arrest of all beggars, especially those who employ children. This is in response to the recent accident that broke the jaw of a six-year-old beggar child, Goodnews Sunday. While this swift responsive move is commendable, we must point out that criminalizing a response to the miniscule economic opportunity in the state will not serve as a deterrent in the long run. It will be more efficient to remove the root cause of begging rather than criminalization and prosecution. We wish the little child quick recovery.
NINE: President Goodluck Jonathan declared that henceforth, he would only consume bread made from cassava flour produced in the country. While the symbolism of his action is certainly clumsy, we completely agree that “Made in Nigeria” has a delicious ring to it.
TEN: A short documentary featuring Nigeria’s millionaire pastors and their ingenious ways of siphoning the very little money earned by their desperate congregation can be found HERE.