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.