Archive for January, 2008

Oh! Nigeria Oh! Our Football

January 26, 2008

 Mali

Football, in the view of the common man on the street, is unarguably the only real issue of national interest, since our leaders have decided that governance and planning is their sole right. Football has also proved to be a unifying factor among the many tribes in Nigeria. It is only in our national teams that we do not have quota system (I hear someone saying are you sure?), but it is evident. As part of the huge human resources bestowed on us, Nigeria is blessed with abundant talents that can only be compared with the number in Brazil. These players are also playing in various big leagues all over the world delivering results. But when ever they come to play for home country there is always one issue or the other; in most cases match bonus and air ticket refunds. We have also changed coaches as soon as the NFA officials feel its due without consulting Nigerians.

I was really sad the whole of yesterday evening after we could not secure the much needed win over the Eagles of Mali who incidentally packed up their defence to hold back a combination of Obinna Nsofor, Obafemi Martins, Yakubu Aiyegbeni, John Utaka and Osaze Odewingie with constant support from Mickel Obi and Taiye Taiwo. After we lost the first match to a determined Ivorian team, I felt we could come back against Mali but that dream was dashed by the fact that Mr. Vogts could not put together all the talents at his disposal to score at least one goal at the MTN African Cup of Nations. I wonder why he keeps bringing in Makinwa who as long as I am concerned is not better than my humble self in the act of scoring goals. Of course all our TV and radio stations are agog with the reasons and unreason why Nigeria should have won and why we lost; there will be a lot of analysis paralysis as the day goes by.

As it stands, the super Eagles should be on their way back to their respective clubs, because I actually do not see the miracle that will happen (even though I am optimistic) to make Drogba’s team win Mali and Nigeria wining our neighbours from Benin with a large margin. Personally, I do think Berti Vogts is not the coach we are looking for; he seems to enjoy a lot of presence in the News with his ready voice – Emeka Ezeala always making lames excuses on his behalf when ever anything goes wrong. I think those who are close to Mr. Vogts should please advise him to keep quiet and do his job. At this moment, our national team really needs a real midfielders in the likes of JJ Okocha (I’m not asking him to come back O!) or Etim Esin, the whole role seems to be too much for Mickel while Olofinjana is more defence minded. Maybe we have found a new Uche Okechukwu in Shittu but our defence also needs serious attention.

For me and some of my friends, the nations cup has ended and we look forward to a favourable performance in 2010.

Rubbin Minds

January 7, 2008

I was just having a little chat with a friend after we all came back from the same type of weekend. As if we bargained for the same thing, our weekend is yet to end especially for mine which of course will stretch for a few more days. We were trying to make projections for 2008 and try to articulate our dreams and where we are currently standing.

 When we met sometime in December discussing the same issue, we were all glad 2007 was ending and things looked good for the coming year. Then the Nuhu Ribadu’s study leave came on, we also lost a very close pal on December 30 after a prolonged illness. As if that wasn’t all the Violence in Kenya; then I realized what it felt like to have someone on the other side when things are really hot there. We prayed, sent messages and put across phone calls hoping the violence gets curtailed before it is too much. Mediations by Nobel laureates; Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Koffi Annan helped douse the flame and the Safari land was calm again. Suddenly we also lost a very promising young friend after a little illness; he was an entrepreneur of repute and already had a wife and children.

 The once hopefully prosperous year has of course started with a lot of hassles, confusions and losses. As my folks from the southeast keep trooping back top Lagos after the Christmas break – I’m looking forward to the entire hot gist from the various re-unions that held across the extended families. A couple of my colleagues at the National Service scheme are also not settled, some without a place of primary assignment others do not have their salaries reflected in their accounts and a whole lot service issues. But last night I sat up late trying to figure out the sudden confusion (I thought I new where mine came from) but na lie!, I don’t know. I then fell into a small dream, instead of my usual dreams (a world leader solving problems), I was sitting with someone that really looked like me who refused to tell me his name, and he said to me, “this year will continue to confuse “us” until we can win the first quarter”. Now I am confused at the “us” because I really do not know him.

 My conclusion is simply that the year will spring a lot of surprises, like a cloudy morning in early March.

 Smudge

African Politics of War

January 2, 2008

East

What a way to start the New Year. But I will of course acknowledge the emergence of this wonderful year. But it has not been so for our brothers and sisters in Kenya, who incidentally have been watching their sides since the results of the Kenyan National elections were announced. As I stayed up late last night, concluding New year propositions and projections for Ajegunle.org, Myself and PIN, the news just came on air. I was paralyzed, couldn’t think straight and I kept wondering why our differences cannot be resolved with dialogue and why we have to hold on to power at all means. I am also confused at the fact that we cannot conduct – seemingly credible elections. Over the last few months the Nigeria national elections has been under heavy criticism even though there was no break down of law and order.

The Situation in Kenya is out of hand, according to

Davis Wendi ;

In Uganda, the immediate help needed is for the Kenyan refugee children and women who are now resident on the streets of Mbale, Tororo, Malaba and BusiaTowns of Uganda. The families, who could afford, have taken over all the hotels in these towns. Those who could not afford have to struggle on the streets and by the day, it is becoming harder.
This situation caught the Ugandan Immigration authorities by surprise and the there is no definite number of refugees known, yet they continue crossing into the country from Western Kenya. A Member of Parliament (known to me) from Tororo expressed fears that this situation of the refugees could get worse.
Those who have relatives and friends in Uganda have also gotten some accommodation but given the dire situation in which Uganda’s economy has been hit by scarcity of fuel (petrol and diesel) as a result of the close of Kenyan roads on which this fuel is ferried to Uganda, it is not know how
long the current hospitality will last. Scarcity is now creating some chaos to the transport system in Uganda. Fuel prices shot up by over 500% in some parts of Uganda’s capital. Consequently very many vehicles have been grounded. Uganda currently has no national reserves of fuel, what was there a few months ago had been sold to Shell and Hared oil companies. But these companies claim the reserve tanks had been emptied before Christmas time and they never thought there would have been chaos in Kenya.
We hope the fuel situation does not lead to closure of some Mobile telecom base stations that are powered using diesel.

There have also been reports that people in towns outside Nairobi have been starving as a result of closing down of shops and an estimated 75,000 people have nowhere to stay as a result of their homes being demolished as ethnic violence went on the rise.

We do not know how long this will last but I think neighbouring east African countries really need to be equiped to cope with the surge of migrants as a result of the chaos in Kenya.