Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mesiogo 09

We went to a place no one has ever gone too about an African city. In due course I will write but for now enjoy the images through this link below:

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Tiger High Road

A truly hopeful commentary on the daily efforts to dismember Tiger woods. It is by a Lisa Fritsch well worth a read.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Racism and the President

To most people watching the passionate and sometimes rabid protests against anything President Obama does there is a troubling reaction that his election is not a transformation in the issue of racism that they desire but just a milestones on the dreary and long journey to prove the obvious. There is only one race the Human Race should be trite and accepted. There is however a problem that every time there is an issue or event that can be viewed as evidence of this racism a powerful group of pundits and commentator use that to further to argue that those who see racism are themselves playing a race card. The President himself is very consistent , he sees anything but Race driving any issue. I think its not that simple.

The basic issue here is that President Obama has been in his role for less that 1 year in which he inherited a lot of crisis from the prior administration and even though he has formal authority to deal with these things, the apparent support for his informal authority i.e. credibility was very soft as its quick erosion has shown. There are many possible explanations for this including the much vaunted lack of experience but that does not explain the visceral opposition, the level of organisation and the persistence of Fox News in attacking him. There is an edge to all this especially from a people who made the mantra of any criticism of a President during a war being the same as disloyalty to the troops and hatred of country. Most of the policy criticisms seem to deal with perception of what the President will do i.e. so called Death Panels, allowing health benefit for illegal immigrants amongst many others. Simply it is an issue of credibility.

This is the first African American President therefore it is a new challenge for many US citizens. These are people who are finding it difficult to see ultimate power exercised by someone from a group for whom they have little respect and interaction . Why is there any surprise they do not trust or give any credibility to the potential of that person to have integrity or transform their lives positively. Layer this with political differences as well as the obvious class and panache of the guy then this becomes even more hateful. Finally throw in cheerleaders like Limbaugh, Beck, Hannaty with the subtle and not so subtle support of the rest of the Fox News Network and Talk Radio rabble then we are off to the races. It is a complex and volatile cocktail and many of those who participate are in so much denial that they have buried any racial motivation deep into a sub- conscious a natural defensiveness with an issue and label that carries so much social disdain.

When the word racism is used to describe this pattern it is an oversimplification and it groups a broad range of people widely divided across the spectrum into one stereotype. It also makes it even more difficult because it is an emotional red card that introduces a knee jerk defensiveness and also absolves the President (if he wants it) from critical problem solving. Any relationship is co-created the President has his challenge truly cut out. Thankfully he knows the solution and can deliver it. By the way racism is live and well but it does not manifest itself independent of a reasoned disagreement it actually acts as an exacerbating factor that distorts the quality of interaction and engagement. It is therefore a false debate as to whether something is racist or reasoned disagreement actually it can and often is both. The tinge is found in the tone, tenor and the persistence of opposition almost in absolute disproportion to the facts.

The President as always must respond with unrelenting pursuit of excellence without excuse or self pity. He has raised the bar and the consequence must be institutionalized. Is it Racism? No matter it is still a challenge to turn it around.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Join France! We need true Outcome measures.

As a lapsed economist I am always mystified by the failure to recognise the difference between output and outcome measures. This might sound like semantics but it has profound consequences on the macro-economic indicators that determine which country is progressing or failing. One of the most powerful illustrations of this is the idea that GDP, GNI et all actually measure progress of a country. They are at best process or out put measures they do not really tell you what the consequences are of such a shift. It is like using the amount of money you have in a bank account or how hard you work to determine your quality of life. It is a poor measure of whether you are physically healthy, emotionally flourishing, intellectually stimulated, spiritually thriving or even financially growing. It is the same for a country. Surely the test of a society's prosperity lies in the life opportunities of its citizens, their capacity to pursue unique aspiration, their environments robustness, the fitness to survive and thrive, the social capital that underpins their interaction, the quality of what they produce as a result, the added value of such production to them and the world around them.

France intends to introduce new additional measure as a result of the work of eminent economists like Stiligtz and Sen. It will include, well being, happiness, environmental sustainability. Forget the Nigerian 7 point agenda setting the right outcome measures gives us an agreed objective standard to judge the contribution of all sectors and aspects of our society especially government. Then we can truly start to have a discussion about where we fail and where we prosper and what needs to be done to drive the progress we seek.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Inalegwu 'Journey to Idomaland' continued

Inalegwu 'Journey to Idomaland'

The pics are part of a travel dairy to the Nigerian heartland out of the cacophony of competition between Yoruba, Ibo and Hausa fight for dominance to one of the Minority ethnic groups the Idoma. A week in Otukpo . I also met the legend Bongos Ikwe . It was another Nigeria. More later enjoy pics.

Becoming a Nigerian

Lets put this bluntly I am tired of cynical, opinionated, formally educated, elitist buffoons who constitute the greater portion both formal and informal commentators on this country Nigeria. The new sexy is that this is a failed state a new form of what their leader taught them that Nigeria is only a geographic expression. Never mind the fact that the peoples of this so called geographic expression belong to two, maximum four linguistic families. Nothing shows connection more than etymology and even more importantly they have inter-married, have shared histories and even similar mythologies. Perhaps more mind blowing is the archeology of the area links them so emphatically. It is true this pundits never let a fact come between them and their assumptions, a classic definition of bigotry. Of course it appears a curious thing that people can be bigoted against the country of their birth but this is not really true if you review it dispassionately. Most people born in this country have never matured to become Nigerians. They are largely individuals whose fear of failure and disappointment from expectations of greatness has turned them from grasshoppers to locusts. The true shame is that they hide behind the guise of failing governance to perpetuate their wanton destruction.

Take a look at Lagos State by all account with a Governor and Governance that has captured the public imagination with vision, commitment and dedication ably backed by the most Nigerian form of evidence of progress, shiny new infrastructure. Roads being built, refuse being cleared and new shiny buildings all the time. In fact parks are being thrown in for good measure. There are very few people who do not admire the government of Governor Fashola. Now that is my point can you see any change in the behaviour of the elite? Are they any more law abiding in lagos? Do they rush to pay their taxes? Are there any attempts to stop putting their debris on the roads or even the most dangerous behaviour drive against traffic when no one is there to stop them? By common agreement this is a committed government but where is the corresponding response of goodwill from the ever complaining educated, widely travelled and opinionated elite?

It takes more than citizenship to be a Nigerian, it takes an awareness of the privilege that it is to be part of this incredible aggregation of people. It demands a commitment to elevate oneself and fellows from the doldrums of self congratulatory mediocrity towards a relentless pursuit of excellence. it asks not for blind loyalty or patriotism or reflexive criticism but genuine insightful and seriously analysed perspectives both positive or negative. Perhaps most importantly it behoves a sacrifice for generations to come that does not absolve by blaming governmental failure but by accepting onerous duty that comes from the many lives lost in the creation, maintenance and defence of the idea of this most complex and improbable country.

God one day let me truly become a Nigerian.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009


I have missed the few, the wonderful few that read these postings. I have been out their in the sojourn of my conscious delivering on two legacy pieces that I have committed myself to this year. The first is the completion of my manuscript on the organising principles of Omoluwabi for the 21st century. Now those of you have written books know that deadlines are killers of inspiration but they have to be given so here we are the backbone or spine delivered to publishers and ideas already flourishing for Omoluwabi 2.0. The second somehow related is the agenda for regeneration of Ibadan as an experiment or pilot in transformation of Nigeria. We will be doing the first ever stakeholder visioning exercise for a city in the African continent as part of Ibadan Week on the 18th of November. The preceding activities includes a survey that engages the broad section of residents and indigenes in expressing their own perspective all which will be put into the pot for our co-travellers GroupPartners to capture using their exceptional 4D social technology. Those who might be interested can visit our emerging website and for more on GroupPartners technique visit

Many things have happened during my posting hiatus most of which are topical and demand comments but at the same time I had some extraordinary experiences that demand sharing with you. First I will have to complete my Apeke Lessons and I have the perfect cypher since I just had the painful pleasure of releasing one of my closest friends and mentors, Ifeoluwatari Ajadi to a new world and life far away from our regular access and interaction. The lessons of putting him in school at UWC in New Mexico to new influences and direction knowing fully our bond of living by similar codes and ideology which most do not understand, accept or even acknowledge might not survive this new experience. I watch President Obama struggle within his new role living by a similar code and watch the misrepresentation and misunderstanding that passes for analysis of his position and how that fuels the drop in his poll numbers. More later in my posting on the transition including the impression of Alburquerque and Santa Fe (I love).

On the other hand their was my trip within Nigeria from Lagos to Otukpo in Benue state with my friend and brother Amali Amali. It was quite an education about Nigeria and especially about why Lagos is not Nigeria and vice versa. I have some pictures here and more later.

Friday, July 24, 2009

You must be MEND

Now MEND showed its true colours in the bombing of Atlas Cove in Lagos . It is a terrorist and criminal enterprise full stop. It kidnaps, kills and destroys public property and now not just in Niger Delta. The death of 7 in Lagos is just the kind of lack of boundaries I often warned about in this so called fight for resource rights. I often wonder out loud what added value those who are fighting have put into the particular resource. There is no doubt the Delta should be developed but to what avail with the kind of attitude and addiction to 'Deve'. Deve if you do not know is the slush of funding going to so called programmes which are often extorted by ' Youth' for their personal benefit. This funds come from Government, Oil Companies and International donors without really demanding any productivity or accountability. Now the Federal Government is about to institutionalize Deve. Whilst 27 soldiers are given life sentences for demanding allowances for serving the country under the UN, these killers and kidnappers will get allowances to reward their illegal and murderous enterprises. Wow this is truly the elevation of Rule of Law.

The President, Africa and the Gates

President Obama's visit to Ghana and speech has had the Nigerian press and the so called progressive wing of the National politics excited. They use the visit and the so called tough love message to beat the PDP government around the head. No doubt this is a do nothing National Government which is a throwback as i suspected to the Shagari Government of the second republic. With GDP down to nearly half of what it was in the last term of the Obasanjo Adminstration and debt burden increasing at a rate not seen since early 1980s, a projected budget deficit for 2010 we are in macro-economic danger zone. Nevertheless there was nothing more patronising than the speech President Obama gave in Accra. In my opinion it was condescending and self indulgent. There it is. For someone who understands nuances and challenges of a complex continent it was a uninspiring effort that could have delivered by any of his predecessors. I am sure he will come back and hopefully with something that starts to explore with Africans how they can help shape a new world order that takes into consideration African cultural intelligence and heritage. Nothing short of mordernising through Aficanisation will suffice. The President cannot and should not address the African continent like he is lecturing African American males on fatherhood . It will not do. What happened to his respectful and challenging tone in his address to the Islamic world? We should not accept anything less.

I also think Mr President has reached a stage in his presidency where he needs the kind of wisdom he showed in the Pastor Wright incident during his campaign. He has in front of him one of the most critical legacy challenges in Domestic politics of the US, the issue of Health Care reform. He should not have commented on the Professor Gates incident even though I think his comment was on point. His powder needs to be dry and his focus on the priority. He has wasted some much needed political capital on an issue that could have been ably picked up by others. I continue to wish President Obama well but he needs a second wind or else he will find that things just get harder not easier.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Listen to the wise Latina Woman

So President Obama's Supreme Court Nominee Justice Sotomayor being quoted out of context appeared to suggest that a Wise latina woman is more likely to come to better judgement than a white male. She is labeled racist by some and asked to explain herself by others. Even the President sought to excuse her choice of words and find ways to soften the meaning. For the record Judge Sotomayor is absolutely right a wise Latina woman by virtue of her status in the hierarchy of ethnicity in the United States is more likely to see a perspective of society that is not only more exposed but also more informed about the lives of the common people. Most importantly a Latina woman has to know white mainstream culture to survive along with her own culture for not just the interest but for her economic survival. A white male does not require any such thing except if he is motivated by exceptional circumstances. It is political correct claptrap to suggest that this opinion is either racist or malicious in any way.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Obama Israel Challenge

This is the father or mother piece at Foreign Policy. Seems Barack is truly assertive rather than aggressive.

Amazing and frank interview with Former American Ambassador to Isreal Indyk

This is a must for anyone truly interested in the layers of play in the US/Israel relations and its effect on Middle East peace opportunities. Frank, open and honest a genuine rarity. Published by the Israeli Policy forum.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

For those who like to groove (Tune out and tune in)

The Omoluwabi Podcast » Blog Archive » Interview with TK
By omoluwabi
The Omoluwabi Podcast. Discussing the applications of Omoluwabi to organisations and self. « Wale Ajadi Talks with Funmi · Interview with TK. Adewale Ajadi discusses Omoluwabi with TK. Listen Now: ...
The Omoluwabi Podcast -

Monday, May 25, 2009

A star dies . The Passing of Dr Tajudeen Abdul-Raheem

Taju was one of the most fascinating people that I have ever met. Relentlessly witty, incredibly eloquent and naturally charming. Always caught between bombast and genius, he could hold court like Oscar Wilde and challenge like Marlon Brando. In fact he reminded me of Marlon Brando in his later life, a man of great awareness and wisdom resting in the presence of unachieved possibilities. Taju was my brother even though he had a suspicion of me as a consultant. He was a true African , a rarity amongst those of us who project that desire but never actualize its actions. Taju loved Awo at least in our debates and my love for Penkelemese, Adegoke Adelabu was one of our running discussions. As chairman of CDD he and kayode Fayemi gave me the space to return to a Nigeria in which I could attempt transformation. Born to the people of Ogbomoso, taju spoke yoruba without the cold hands of Lagosian corruption and spoke Hausa elegantly from his upbringing in the north. Those large eyes would never leave my heart, that extraordinary wit would never stop ringing in my ears. The passing of such greatness is a course for all of us to mourn.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

A day of Infamy in Ekiti

As predicted Ido/Osi used by a compromised INEC official to bring a day of Infamy for the people of Ekiti, the aspiration of Nigerians and the failing Federal Government. We are in for a torrid future and for those of us who see a future party politics this might be the nail on that coffin. We are a truly compromised nation.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Ido/Osi the only game in Town

The Ekiti Rerun has proven that I am truly a very naive person.In my genuine hope that people would not recklessly throw away the possibility of a great nation called Nigeria, i unlike most commentators focussed on the organizational failures of the 2007 elections especially because this was a litmus test on whether you can have a civilian to civilian hand over in Nigeria. It was too much of a relief to my nationalistic heart that i could not bear the rigging is the only explanation brigade. I have watched slowly and gradually as the current Federal Government whittle away at any goodwill that might be available to them punishing anyone who seemed to bear any Nationalistic interest, Northernising the Federal government and gradually moving everything back to 1982. As usual the obvious is the Ekiti rerun awash in violence, deception and manipulation but we have 27 International peace keepers headed for jail for life for nothing other than protesting the embezzlement of their pay. We know about the persecution of Nuhu Ribadu and El Rufai even though not saints but true servants nevertheless. Our Government has started borrowing without any focus on productivity increases or any serious focus on stringent efficiency standards or economically robust vision. The scene is set for another self inflicted National crisis.

Most observers have focused in relation to the rerun in Ekiti on the suspended Oye vote in two wards or even the drama of the resigning and reinstated family member of INEC the resident electoral officer in Ekiti State. Very few have focussed on the main game which is the PDP loaded ballot boxes that where collated and collected outside INEC supervision and without AC sign off in IDO/OSI. This blatant attempt at fixing an 11,000 votes deficit is the backbone credibility gap in the rerun. With the Resident Officer seemingly back on message we no longer hear of lack of PDP confidence in her. The conversation is now exclusively about Oye Ekiti's 2 wards. We are suddenly back in June 12 where just the sheer bold face of official brigandry is about to play itself out. This cannot stand , the people of Ekiti , the truly Nationalistic Nigerians, All those people of goodwill cannot allow this to stand because if it does it mocks the possibility of any credible standards for our future interactions. It is time for the post 1960s Generation to reclaim and reposition our nation from this constant rape and abuse. It is enough.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Ekiti Rerun 'Why Fayemi is Salvation for nation'

Here is a audio purported to be of a sitting Governor planning the subversion of the Constitution of Nigeria. This is the impunity that has to be stopped in Ekiti State in particular and Nigeria at large. It is time to challenge the Power at any cost brigade or else we will lose another Republic. Vote Fayemi to save Nigeria from impunity of the PDP.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Holding the Pentecostal Movement to Account is a must.

I have posted many times about those who use God to exploit the sentimentalist amongst us. It is time for those who truly love Christ to stand up against those who use his name for their own material comfort and consumption. It is especially time to rescue Nigerian society from the corrosive influence of a religious movement that suggest that passivity and supplication is the road to material success which is in turn the standard for spiritual redemption. We have monitized God the ultimate rent seeking agenda is now being played out by those who are middle men or arrangees fro the 'Almighty'. Say what you might about South Africans at least they stand for something other than the fulfillment of their stomach. Read below.

South Africans vow to sack Christ Embassy… As authorities humiliate Chris Oyakhilome at airport

“As South Africans, we will not rest until Chris and his cohorts are out of our country. We have fought very hard to release this country from the clutches of apartheid not to have hoaxes like them come and rape our economic and social system.”
This was the touching expression of despair by a South African and a former member of Christ Embassy who now thinks that the church is one big hoax. There had been tales of stage-managed miracles at Christ Embassy but now a number of sources close to the church confided in that some of the tales may be true after all. They narrated a number of incidents that has compelled them to doubt the authenticity of the Christ Embassy Church in South Africa .
Our source gave an instance of a lady that had been sitting on a wheel chair in the healing line, she had been sitting there for hours while waiting for the man of God to come and minister to her. When nature called, she forgot she was supposed to act paralyzed. And there she was standing and running to the toilet. Minutes after that, she received serious tongue-lashing from the Healing School pastors for the great embarrassment she caused. No one really understood this because she was not allowed to return to the wheel chair as people had seen her dash off to the toilet. Her empty wheel chair was wheeled out of the room.

Chris Oyakhilome
Another source recalled that a similar incident had transpired in the Healing School when another supposedly bed-ridden faithful was pushed to the toilet by a church member who had volunteered to help at the Healing School . On getting there with the helper, she stood by herself and went in. The helper screamed, rejoicing that a miracle had already taken place. She was shocked to see this patient also receiving serious reprimand for standing without aid. also gathered that an old woman who ministers next to Pastor Chris , called Deaconess Pat, many refer to as mommy in South Africa, who lays hands on women on Chris’ behalf and instruction was said to have warned some South Africans not to bring their children nor give their money to the money making scheme. Her words were, “this is not a church”. She also made mention of the fact that her own children are in full time church ministry but none are in Christ Embassy. She was quoted as saying that she is only at Christ Embassy because it is a job for her.
There is an interesting sub-unit in the Christ Embassy Church called the ‘Haven’. It largely consists of select members that fund Chris Oyakhilome’s minisry in South Africa and beyond.
South Africans that belong to this group have suffered tremendously through the insane donations demanded from them by Christ Embassy . Many have had to take children out of schools to be able to keep up with the Christ Embassy demands .
While South Africans are committing their hard-earned money to the Christ Embassy projects, their pastors are indulging in an unimaginable life of luxury.
Pastor Ken Oyakhilome drives a Lamborghini Murcielago, Austin Martin DB9, Porsche Cayenne, amongst his five expensive vehicles. All of this luxury life in Houston , Texas is funded by what is called the “American Initiative” .
Another fake, is one Olatunde Oyediran who claims that he lives for Chris Oyakhilome’s vision and ministry and that is where all his money goes, yet he drives a Toyota RunEx.
Meanwhile, Immorality is not a scarce commodity in Christ Embassy, South Africa . Tomisin Fashina, a Senior Pastor in the Sandton church, South Africa , is said to have children from different women in his congregation. Fashina is said to have taught his congregation that it was more evil to bring a fatherless child to the world than to abort. This has raised the suspicion that he may be impregnating women in his church and asking them to abort.
His wife, Tolu Fashina, on the other hand is alleged to have embezzled the Healing School funds when she and one Taiwo Adenubi, a senior pastor in Pretoria , just outside Johannesburg had been given a construction contract by Dr. Diolla who is the head of the Healing school.
They were exposed by a worker who had taken his share of the loot, when they tried to blame it on him. Apparently, this guy, a Nigerian national confessed his own sins but said that he had learnt from the best, being Tolu and Taiwo.
In 2007, the Christ Embassy Randburg branch got a member called Funi Silinda, a business woman. She gave no less than R100,000, a month. On months like the American Initiative, she is recorded to have given approximately R600,000. She bought a lot of first class tickets for most of the Christ Embassy, Randburg leadership to attend international conferences in Nigeria . She also paid for many of them to be in good hotels .
For partnership like the Healing School , she gave about R30,000 a month . She built a computer centre in Randburg, furnished it with state-of-the-art computers and accessories. Funi paid for the Christ Embassy TBN contract. She was led to believe that it cost R100,000 a month .Yet she faithfully paid for a whole year.
It came as a shock to many when Funi announced that she was leaving Christ Embassy because she had run out of money. She said that all the donation she made in Christ Embassy were financed by business projects she received prior to coming to Christ Embassy.
It became obvious that Funi was tired of being used which is something she said in the end. The final straw was when she was told that she has been personally invited by Chris Oyakhilome to attend his birthday party on the 7th of December, 2007.
Tunde Oyediran started working on her, telling her of how she would need to compete with others at profligacy when she gets to the party as they habitually auction Pastor Chris’ suites for anything up to R1million .
That day, she realized that Christ Embassy was nothing but a 419 scam. It was then speculated that she cancelled the flight and went back to her home.
Then another fake, Dolapo Layode, who is often postured by the church as the highest giver and donor in the church came to South Africa in 2007 to share a very far-fetched testimony.
Dolapo told the meeting that two Angels came to her room asking to be dispatched. And she had told the angels to get her a license to lift oil in Nigeria . In two weeks time, she had not only gotten this license, but also a scholarship to London where she studies about the business she was about to embark on.
In less than a year, Dolapo was telling people that she has trucks with her names running around Nigeria transporting oil . She never mentioned planning to be in the transportation business as well.
That was when some people realized that Dolapo and her kind , in Christ Embassy were a grand part of the whole extortionary scam. No one can out-give them and it is meant to be that way. Dolapo shocked people even more when she said that when she prays for money, she finds it everywhere in the house, in her wardrobe and within clothes.
However, it appears, this grace for money or ability to mint money as it has been termed, only works for the Nigerian members of “the Haven” group.
South Africans are loved because they work and earn a lot of money and have easy access to credit according to one Pastor Efeoma, a former ‘Haven’ President.
In all these, many South Africans have had to use desperate measures to finance the deep pockets of Christ Embassy hoping to avoid being shunned.
They use credit cards, overdrafts, personal loans, second bonds, missed car and house payments to meet the church’s demands. As a result many are blacklisted by the credit bureau, their cars are repossessed while they are evicted or watch helplessly as their houses are auctioned.
In the ‘Haven’ group the only people who seem to have testimonies of being millionaires are Nigerians while South Africans face liquidation and other financial crisis.
It is no longer secret that the South African authorities are not leaving any stone unturned in its investigation to get to the root of the many outcries against the activities of Christ Embassy in South Africa . This was demonstrated about a month ago when Pastor Chris Oyakhilome came for the Healing School . He was literally frisked and not a single stroke of nicety was spent on him. It was real business and objectivity. His Private Jet was thoroughly searched at the airport. He was asked to fill in forms standing on the counter as the airport officials apparently refused him to use the VIP lounge to do all that.
Chris was said to have been very angry at Ose, wife of Ken Oyakhilome, who has been running Christ Embassy aground by her immoral and uninspiring conducts. Chris was also said to have threatened to stop coming to South Africa as he blamed Ose for poorly managing matters in South Africa . Chris who came to South Africa from Texas was said to have gotten the same treatment there.
South Africans strongly feel that Chris made the worse mistake by coming to South Africa in the first place. The investigators handling the matter already have the support of many countries, including Nigeria . They have met with some Nigerian officials who are passionate with fighting crime. A meeting of all religious groups in South Africa was convened penultimate Friday in Kwa-Zulu Natal to discus the notorious activities of Christ Embassy in South Africa .
And as the South African authorities step up investigations, into the activities of Christ Embassy, the people are aggressively mobilizing to stamp out Christ embassy from their country for good.
Memo from a meeting of all religous group, held in Kwa- Zulu Natal last friday, to dicuss Christ Embassy atrocities in SA.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Obama as Omoluwabi 'a follow up'

I have this theory that President Obama is a the first International leader who is an Omoluwabi. I am not going to define the word again has there are may postings on this page about this but here is a piece by the ever delightful Maureen Dowd of the New York Times that extend the level of 'Oju Inu' that the man uses on the political and international stage.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is real?

Now it has been a little while . It is Lagos quite a demanding mistress, she wants you running around as if she is the only thing that matters in your life. She call and text at all hours demanding money for this, cash for that and attention for the next thing. Her expectations are far beyond her role and capacity even your wife is not remotely that demanding. Lagos is aggressive but full of adventure with ideas above her station . Yes it is Lagos officially the worst place to work according to ORC for Expats. So pray why the heck do they come ? They sit in the upper class section bitching about the country get whisked through the formalities at the airport, get guided through traffic in the face of millions looking for a way at of no way. How is it the Government in Britain is saying British jobs for British people and yet it is exporting its social misfits to lord it over here in Nigeria. This takes all kinds of forms. I was in the Gym on Ozumba drive after all the Bankers and power hustlers had left, something happened that brings to sharp focus this issue. Let me tell the story.

My gym instructor is a regular Nigerian brother on the hustle but kind of laid back with it. We had a session with loose weights and I was rocking Verve remix on the Ipod (as you do) and oblivious to the drama of the Indian woman who claimed she had called him and he had not responded ( the Instructor). She then proceeds to bawl him out without any restrain or respect. I did not notice initially but luckily another fellow steps to the plate to challenge her response. I got in on the act and this woman had obviously expected support in treating this young man like a sub-human. Not surprisingly the first man to step to the plate was a Returnee like me then everyone did the ritual disembowelment of different elements of this behaviour some going as far as racial and national stereotypes of different expatriates and how they treat Nigerians. I had to step to them as well because without them setting this standard of abusive behaviour with their domestic workers, drivers et al, no one will find it acceptable to come to Nigeria and do such.

For those of us who have had to go into the West to make fame and fortune very few of us were welcome in any way. No one gave us accommodation (rarely) , cars and schools for our children. I had to start from the bottom and build up. Been homeless, driven taxis, been a bouncer all after being a Barrister and practicised a little. On the other hand taxi drivers from South East london are met at the airport and whisked through any formalities and provided condos et al.

Now that stinks. Why will they not misbehave.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Emerging green shoots of Transformation

I can never forget where I was when the call of the Ekiti Appeal court judgement came in neither can I forget what I was doing when the verdict came in Ondo State. It says no less of either former Governors Agagu and Oni but says more of the evolutionary power of a nation that perseveres in pursuit of self actualisation. As I walked through the helpless cold of Holborn , onto the Strand onwards towards Euston my thoughts extended to what had become conventional wisdom over the last few years. The assumption that power went with the ruling party , that rigging and money was the only way to get victory, that the judiciary was so compromised that money and safety would lead to the support of the so called party of power. Somehow the judiciary which is perhaps the most conservative element of the Nigerian establishment would grant insurgent opposition candidates the opportunity in spite of time elapsed and the seeming capacity of the PDP to hold its power in the face of a diverse opposition base.

The judiciary in the Appeal court has given the nation a chance of a living constitution that can meet the aspirations and concern of Nigerians. Through its ruling it has given pause for thought in the cynical politics of impunity and disdain for the participation of the citizenry. Surprisingly it has granted the PDP a chance of legitimacy at the very least through the Presidents avowed commitment to Rule of Law . Perhaps quietly the diversity of political coat of arms sets the scene for idealistic people like Dr Fayemi, Mimiko, Mr Oshimole , Mr Fashola to redefine politics towards a new generation. The true test is what happens in Ekiti re-election whether the citizenry grasp the opportunity to view the future with a broad range of possibilities through a Fayemi or leave bravery to courts whilst voting patronage for safety.

The time is now for a stronger union based on variety of thought , the respect for capacity rather than genuflection to age. A time when our ideas should be central to our politics rather than just who the powerful forces are that you can unleash. I never bet against the Nigerian in all of us. The judiciary has shown that it is a wise choice I make.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

NY Post and the Chimpanzee , John Legend response

Making Obama appear to be a crazed Chimp worthy of shooting is not truly noteworthy from my part even though the NY Post tries to make his an unintended racism issue. What is noteworthy is the intelligence and sophistication with which John Legend responds to this challenge. By the way I am neither a fan of his music or knowledgeable about is character but as a result of this I have become a loyal believer that he is an excellent and eloquent soul. Please read and critique.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday Dokita

In 2004 long before the now celebrated speech of President Obama at the DNC in Boston, I was with Dokita (as I call him) in the middle of one of our debate sessions where we take a subject completely apart, boiling it down to the raw essence. As is usual I took a disruptive thought and turned it into my platform, while he built a simple idea into a powerful iconic bridge ( memories are now vague). I do not know how but he raised the prospect of a man called Barack Obama who he had recently met and disagreed with but for whom he saw a great future. As is usual I came away with much more than I brought to our conversation. Dokita is Dr Kayode Fayemi and he had just come back from Sabbatical at NorthWestern University. In his usual unassuming way had opened up a world of possibilities that the rest of the world is now belatedly recognising. In fact in that year he wrote an article about Obama for one of the Nigerian dailies. I wish then his perspective and truly caught on and that is far more true now that it has ever been.

I have had the fortune of working with many people from many different backgrounds and with may different qualities but Dr Kayode Fayemi stands out as a truly cultured, sophisticated and intellectually astute person. As a social entrepreneur he took risks for transformation as he did with the Centre for Democracy and Development from inception through building its institutional capacity to the total transition from the United Kingdom to Nigeria. The higher level risks that he took against the Abacha regime are already a matter of public record whether with Radio Kudirat or his ‘diplomatic mission’. So when he decided to respond positively to the call of political office I initially thought it was one risk too far although I never told him. I worried about his somewhat shy and calm personality and I reasoned that he did not exhibit the common touch that often leads politicians to be all smiles but little substance. In fact I loved him as a ‘policy wonk’, I worried that the tricky nature of our politics would devour a man of integrity and he would suffer greater betrayal than he faced as a community organiser or as a social entrepreneur. He once again surprised me.

Dr Kayode Fayemi at 44 is the possibility that a truly nationalistic Nigerian prays for in the 21st century. A politician who is an independent intellectual, curious , considerate and committed. An eloquent global citizen whose world class capacity is sought across the major capitals in the world not just as a truly accomplished African mind but also as a serious thinker on the issues that affect all human beings. From the challenge of treating citizens with dignity to the focus of providing them with life opportunities, this is a man who has chosen to serve something greater than his appetites. At this time in the history of Nigeria, in this moment of our collective aspiration, in this period of unfulfilled promise Dr Kayode Fayemi stands as one of the few real transformational characters from the post independence generation. Whatever the decision of the Appeal Court in Ilorin on his application for recognition of his election as the Governor of Ekiti State, we must recognise who he is and want he stands for. Kayode Fayemi is an answer to the that which makes us constantly rebrand our country , he is the solution that we seek in the many presentations for Foreign investors, he is the response to the persistent power outage. Dr Kayode Fayemi is a Nigerian citizen at his best, genial to strangers, caring to dependents yet masterfully in the pursuit of excellence. Happy Birthday and Good luck Dokita.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Global Standards indeed

My apologies life has taken over completely from blogging but this is too much to ignore. The global crunch/recession/depression now shows that standards that the West has pushed for years especially during the Structural Adjustment Programme has always been a flag of convenience. These are policies that decimated African industries and Education reduced their societies to playing ground for Multinationals and their governments to beggars for International AID and FDI. In the same token that Human Rights were only universal standards until the War on Terror. The same way that democracy is only fundamental in Zimbabwe but not when conducting a coup against Aristide in Haiti or even recognition of HAMAS or more brazenly in Florida 2000. We now know that when the economies of the West are in danger free market also goes into the toilet and what is left is a mixture of protectionism and nationalisation. Wow! The adage that human beings have infinite capacity to self justify is far more true for Western Nations than anyone else. In a world where knowledge is diffused the trick of making meat disappear by chewing is now in everyones gift. Below is a BBC blog about the British emerging protectionism. I wonder what will happen if Nigerians applied the same principle to their only key export Oil and argued Nigerian jobs for Nigerians instead of seeking revenue derivation. Now that is a revolution that we would televise!

To Parahrase George W Bush; I had to give up principles of capitalism to save the capitalist system ( With no irony)

Ire O

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Scary CNN

Apparently George W Bush revolutionised health care in Africa making extremely popular across the continent in a way that he is not anywhere else in the world.This courtesy of a CNN bulletin today. In fact he is so popular based on this report that the incoming Obama administration could not match this in any way. The only evidence alluded for this broadcast is the comments by a retired US diplomat and a reporter from South Africa. I suppose anything is possible since Africans are the 'wretched' of the earth. You must really wonder if CNN actually thinks Africans are from a parallel universe. George Bush follows Bono and Bob Geldof another white male saviour for the hapless Africans.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Harry and the pursuit of British Education

So Prince Harry calls his fellow soldiers Paki and Raghead what is new? Anyone whose children have had a British Education in recent years is either blinded by its brand or acutely aware how truly inadequate it is for a successful 21st century mindset. This is especially true of those of us seduced by a romantic notion of the British 'Public ' or Independent School system. I had to learn the hard way. Like most middle class Nigerians dreams of acquiring the frisson of British 'proper' education was part of my aspiration and did I play with my children's life for that B.S. The short version is that the education system is not designed for the emerging multi-polar or interdependent world. The more exclusive the school the greater the possibility that your child is being indoctrinated into 19th century pseudo-victorian world view with dubious intellectual grounding and extreme dollops of self loathing. I have stories about lectures still categorising people into Caucasian, Negroids et al or the everyday class profiling especially of the working classes. This perhaps would be insignificant if the core curriculum were truly about evolving young minds but bully by the time they are finished Africa is an Aids factory, they know more about the wives of English Kings than any awareness that Chinese Industrial revolution pre-dated western one by centuries.

None of the above would truly not matter if it was really truly preparing them now for a world smaller, interdependent and globally competitive. Whilst such a limiting education might work for a white British child cocooned into reflected glory from the past it is intellectual death to any African child with any eye for 21st century leadership potential. I actually do not believe the damage is ever truly repaired but it can be tempered by an active effort to de-programme. The shame is that many Nigerian parents are throwing good money after bad . There has to be an alternative to British education and we have to find it fast. Just look at Harry.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It breaks my heart to see Israel's stupidity by Rabbi Lerner

Read via the link below . It is consistent with all the postings on these pages.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

If Obama is serious he must get tough with Israel

When in the middle of writing an article someone more eloquent gets it right you concede. Here is such a piece from Newsweek magazine by Aaron David Miller . The link is below.

Eyes of the heavens shed tears of blood

I often wonder what hardens the heart of people to the pain and destruction that war delivers that they choose it as a position or policy on which to build a future. I also wonder how the strong and powerful find justification in the humiliation of the weaker competitors? I wonder what memories we expect the children of Palestine to take away from the humiliation and destruction of their already wretched communities? Then there is the incoming President and I watch how is two beautiful black girls glide down the staircase of the plane to Washington DC whilst two similar sisters wrapped in cloth are carried through the streets of Gaza. I feel impotent, paralysed and heart broken. It hurts so much this time more than other times. I know now that cynicism has taken the Presidency away from Obama , I sincerely hope that he can find ways to get it back. Below is a voice of Wisdom from the Isreali part of this conflict.

From - Israel News ast update - 02:05 04/01/2009

And there lie the bodies

By Gideon Levy

Tags: Israel, Gaza, Hamas 

The legend, lest it be a true story, tells of how the late mathematician, Professor Haim Hanani, asked his students at the Technion to draw up a plan for constructing a pipe to transport blood from Haifa to Eilat. The obedient students did as they were told. Using logarithmic rulers, they sketched the design for a sophisticated pipeline. They meticulously planned its route, taking into account the landscape's topography, the possibility of corrosion, the pipe's diameter and the flow calibration. When they presented their final product, the professor rendered his judgment: You failed. None of you asked why we need such a pipe, whose blood will fill it, and why it is flowing in the first place.

Regardless of whether this story is legend or true, Israel is now failing its own blood pipeline test. As Israel has been preoccupied with Gaza throughout the entire week, nobody has asked whose blood is being spilled and why. Everything is permitted, legitimate and just. The moral voice of restraint, if it ever existed, has been left behind. Even if Israel wiped Gaza off the face of the earth, killing tens of thousands in the process, as a Chechnyan laborer working in Sderot proposed to me, one can assume that there would be no protest.

They liquidated Nizar Ghayan? Nobody counts the 20 women and children who lost their lives in the same attack. There was a massacre of dozens of officers during their graduation ceremony from the police academy? Acceptable. Five little sisters? Allowed. Palestinians are dying in hospitals that lack medical equipment? Peanuts. Whatever happened to the not-so-good old days of Salah Shahadeh? When we liquidated him in July 2002, we also killed 15 women and children. At least back then, moral qualms were raised for a moment.

Here lie their bodies, row upon row, some of them tiny. Our hearts have turned hard and our eyes have become dull. All of Israel has worn military fatigues, uniforms that are opaque and stained with blood and which enable us to carry out any crime. Even our leading intellectuals fail to speak out on what havoc we have wreaked. Amos Oz urges: "Cease-fire now." David Grossman writes: "Hold your fire. Stop." Meir Shalev wants "a punitive operation." And not one word about our moral image, which has been horribly distorted.

The suffering in the south renders everything kosher, as if the horrible suffering in Gaza pales in comparison. Everyone is hungry for revenge, and that hunger is excused by the need for "deterrence," after it was already proved that the killing and the destruction in Lebanon did not achieve it.

Yes, I know, war is war. After all, they brought this on themselves. They are a terrorist organization and we are not. They want to destroy us and we seek peace. Still, is there nothing here that will stop this blood pipeline? Even those whose hearts are hardened by "moral righteousness" will have to momentarily halt the bombing machine and ask: Which Israel do we have before us? What will become of its standing in the world, which is now watching the events in Gaza? What are we inflicting on the moderate Arab regimes? And what of the simmering popular hatred we are sowing throughout the world? What good will emerge from this killing and destruction?

It is doubtful whether Hamas will be cut down to size as a result of this wretched war. Yet, the face of the state has been cut down to size, as have civilian elites who are apathetic and scared. The "peace camp," if it ever existed, has been cut down to size. Attorney General Menachem Mazuz authorized the Ghayan killing, regardless of the cost. Haim Oron, the leader of the "new left-wing movement," supported the launch of this foolish war.

Nobody is coming to the rescue - of Gaza or even of the remnants of humanity and Israeli democracy. The statesmen, the jurists, the poets, the authors, academe, and the news media - pitch black over the abyss. When the time comes for reckoning, we will need to remember the damage this war did to Israel: The blood pipeline it laid has been completed