The Niger Delta

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

My Birthday Brake

Today is my birthday and I am supposed to celebrate but the demands of office and domestic work didn't leave me with much room.
Lots of things to do, plans to make and things to think about...
I even thought about how my parents felt when I was born years back. Its a nice thing to celebrate and I have made plans to throw a small party.
You all are invited.
For those who can't make it let me leave you with this short story;
In a religious class the teacher finished her lesson and asked for questions,
"I've got one"said a boy,
"According to the Bible, the children of Israel crossed the Red Sea, right?"
"that's right" said the teacher.
"And the children of Israel defeated the Philistines and the Egyptians, built the Temple and did so many important things?".
"All of that is correct", agreed the teacher "so what's your question"
"Well" demanded the boy,
"What were the grownups doing?"


Why Change Youself?

There are four kinds of people in this world;
Those who...
  1. Talk much and do little
  2. Talk much and do much
  3. Talk little and do little
  4. Talk little and do much.
You are in one group by nature, there are very little you can do to change it.
I have read lots of books that talks about the importance and supremacy of the second group, and ways to change your lifestyle to be what they feel is best for you.
But, I tell you, human behavior is too complex to be represented in a one-cap-fits-all mathematical model.
A lot of people have spent their lifetime trying to change the way they behave in order to be like their role models without success.

Why work so hard to fit in when you have all it takes to stand out.

Take a look at yourself, your inner strehnghts and weaknesses. they are lots of things you can achieve by being your self.
The impportant thing is what you do with who you are and not who you are.
Today, step out and take the challenge, be yourself and love yourself. If you don't, who will?



The Pope's Comments, Islam and Nigeria

After reading the story of violence following the pope's speech on this blog I decided to write my reactions and questions here.
The main reaction I have is that of fear!
Fear for my friends leaving in northern Nigeria because I know that in situations like this, whenever there is turmoil related to religion, it boils down violently to Nigeria.
History will prove my point;
In February 2000, at the time of the introduction of the Sharia system of legislature in some northern states in Nigeria, the violence that erupted claimed hundreds of lives.
Similar incidents was recorded at intervals in subsequent years especially in April, 2003 during/after the Iraq war.
The worst of them was in February this year, at the height of the cartoon controversy about the prophet Mohammad published by a Danish newspaper. Some Islamic militias felt that the best way to correct such cartoons was to kill innocent Nigerians.
I couldn't,t believe it...
Most, if not all, of the those who died in the crises may not even have seen the cartoon, not to mention knowing the person who published it.
Sadly enough, this incident and its retaliation in the eastern part of Nigeria lead to the greatest number of civilian death after the civil war.
Today, the Muslim world is angry again.....
already people have been killed in Mogadishu,
Bombs in churches in the West Bank...
my fear is that it may trickle down to Nigeria.
And, my question is Why?
what have the victims done to deserve been brutally murdered like this.
The pope made a statement quoting a comment that has been there for hundreds of years, in an isolated discussion, I don't think its anything new.
He has also apologised to Muslims, why kill somebody because of that?
From their daily TV shows and discussion Muslims have been trying to convince the world that Islam means peace and unity.
But, it seems to me that some of them are trying to confirm the quotation the pope made.
This is wrong. Religion should not cause violence, let us learn to uphold the sacrosanct nature of the human life.



Monday, September 18, 2006


Demonstration around the world yesterday for the forgotten war in the Dafur region of Sudan prompted my writing this post.

I had already lost hope.

How can the world be so uncaring?
We’ve been so occupied with whatever we are doing that when occasionally, the issue of Dafur is raised, people just say “oh no” and go back to have their launch.

Every day, hundreds of innocents are murdered and raped because the world leaders have been far too slow in bringing truce;
With the African Union scuffling between starched military facilities and elongation of stay, the United Nations (UN) had been busy debating between sanctions and diplomacy on Iran and North Korea, to stop nuclear proliferation. A move which, in my opinion, is good to “protect innocent civilians” (a term all too familiar with the UN) they had failed to realize that it takes much less than a nuclear war head to kill a person or to commit genocide.

On the other hand, the developed economies have been paying a little more than lip service to the situation;
While the US congress and the European Parliament have come up with befitting nomenclatures such as “Genocide” and “Tantamount to genocide”, China and Russia has advocated caution while having a good time trading on arms and oil with the Sudanese government including the recent sale of over a dozen MiG-29s – one of the most advanced jet fighters in the Russian arsenal – to Khartoum.

And where are the Muslims?
Those who clam atrocities against Muslims, where are they?

Recent quotation of a medieval anti-Islamic comment by Pope Benedict XIV sparked untold demonstration across the Muslim world but I am yet to see/hear a Muslim reaction against the Janjaweed Arab militia commiting atrocities against black Muslims in Dafur.

Around the world, leaders sit and watch, only occasionally “pleading” with the Sudanese government to allow UN peace keepers, the situation on ground is getting worse; killings, raping, and all such stuff.

Widows and widowers made on daily bases,
Genocide before our very eyes.
Another Rwanda in the making.

we were 6 billion in the world....Now, we are 200,000 less, courtesy of Dafur.

I think world leaders should be more proactive and sincere.
China and Russian are in a better position to prevail on the Khartoum government to stop this madness.

Also, if Muslims really want to convince me that Islam stands for peace, they should start from Dafur.

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Friday, September 15, 2006

MEME: Why September 11 terror attacks may not happen in Nigeria

Hello and welcome to my first meme.
I am a new Nigerian blogger and this meme is meant to introduce me to the Nigerian blogging community as well as increase our blogs interlinks.

This Meme is for Nigerian bloggers to write about 9/11 and terrorism and its posibility of occurance in Nigeria.

Thinking about the 9/11 attacks 5 years ago in the US, and the events leading to it, I kept wondering if it could have been prevented, or, at least, minimized.
Since I don’t live in the US, I might as well wonder till eternity. But bringing it home, could such an incident happen, the way it did, in Nigeria? (I mean, even if Nigeria provoked General Osama bin Laden the way he alleged America did)

Considering the relatively poor security system, absence of security and monitoring technology, internal turbulence – linked, sometimes, to religion and the fact that Sheik Osama bin Laden once mentioned Nigeria in his broadcast, one might just say “yes”.

But they are some friends I asked that gave me shocking reasons to think it might not happen that way in Nigeria. Their reasons are presented here, and I look forward to hearing yours:

Ramzi Yousef:

Eight years before the 9/11 attacks, the World Trade Centre (WTC) was bombed. Its master minder – Ramzi Yousef - fled and was arrested two years later in Islamabad, Pakistan in the company of his uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, (KSM) who would later become the architect of the 9/11 terrorism. At then, security operatives did not arrest KSM because…there weren’t any evidence against him.

But, in Nigeria, the last thing the police need to arrest you is evidence. That you are related to the friend of an uncle to a criminal is enough to get you behind bars.

Ali Mohammed:

The double-faced agent, so central and instrumental to the sophistication of Al-Qaeda was even more audacious in talking about his rendezvous with the group, but he wasn’t arrested until much later when the evidence piled up.

Again in Nigeria, if the police get to know you are privy to information leading to a fugitive, forget it, evidence or no evidence, you will be stoned behind bars.

Also, When Ali Mohammed was arrested in a hotel room in California before the attacks, he was allowed to use the bathroom where he, as he latter confessed, destroyed evidence linking him to Al Qaeda.

But in Nigeria;
  • you will be very lucky to have a bathroom near where you were arrested and
  • you must be a king to be allowed to use it.

Sheikh Omar Abdulrahman (The blind Sheik):

The FBI couldn’t make up their mind to arrest the Blind sheik despite links to terror plotters and illegal immigration. He was the person who allegedly gave Osama bin Laden the Fatwa to kill Americans.
In Nigeria, you may not be in trouble when you threaten to kill Nigerians but if you find yourself going against the powers that be, even people in your village are not save.

In conclusion The American policy for human rights and justice is good and the absence of this in Nigeria is what I am trying to decry here.
However, sometimes what is right is not always appropriate and may leave room for lots of regret.
That's it folks, my view on terrorism in Naija.
Another reason someone mentioned to me was that they may not see any skyscrapper to strike.
But that's our opinion, what's your?

I have browsed a number of Nigerian blogs inviting bloggers to join in this meme. I am also willing to write on any topic if anyone should invite me.
You don’t even need to leave a comment here, thought I will ask you to, just write the post on your blog and link to this, every one will see it and read your view.

Thanks, hope to hear from you soon.

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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A New Way to Make Money in Nigera

Do you remember the last time you mourned for the dead or for anything or anyone that weighs you down? It maybe that you lost a loved one or that your lover called it quit.

You definitely will know how it hurts and how uncontrollably you sobbed and wanted the tears to keep flowing, but you surely did not know that that simply natural act of mourning could earn you a living.

Read this story from Bayelsa state in the Nigeria Niger Delta…

In a small village in south-eastern Bayelsa state a man who was very infamous died.

In his lifetime, he wasn’t loved by his village people, he did a lot of things that made then hate him; selling people’s lands, arresting people indiscriminately… those things that could and did earned him a chapter in the black book of his villagers.

Of course he could afford to alienate himself, he had money, his sons were into politics and he had proximity to the authorities.

His sons were showing signs of taking from the old man and so, when he died, the villagers saw it as pay back time.

In Nigeria (and Africa generally) you must be a good man if a lot of people show up for your funeral, and this can be used for political reasons.

The villagers didn’t want to mourn the dead man to pay him back and to dent the political image of his sons in the presence of their colleagues in politics.

But the boys had a solution;
They went to the streets of the state capital, Yenagoa, and hired mourners for their dad!

The mourners came in buses before the political figures arrived and stationed themselves along the village road, as the convoy of dignitaries came into the village with the corpse, the mourning and wailing could be heard kilometers away.

It was as if they just lost a major battle.

The hired mourners mourned and wailed falling to the muddy earth alongside the ambulance and some even wanted to jump into the grave and be buried with him.

“How could such a person die” they were shouting, “Why don’t I die in his stead” some were saying.

The villagers could not believe it; all their plans failed. To them the man may not have been mourned, but to the politicians, he was a good man in his community, and that’s what mattered to the dead man’s sons - and the dead man.

So, the next time you cry, save some tears, it might yield money for you.


Monday, September 11, 2006

Niger Delta Tourist Attraction

The Niger Delta area of Nigeria is widely known for oil and gas exploration, but do you know it is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in sub-Saharan Africa?

Sometimes its amazing how nature, in addition to endowing a place with sources of energy, makes the place good for escape and relax way from the demanding work of the day.

Tourist sites in the Niger Delta cannot be covered in just one post, so, in a series of posts, starting with this, I will provide you with reasons to visit the delta and a glimpse of the places you will never forget after you might have visited.
We start at the border with Cameroon -

Cross River State:
A very diverse state made up of a number of languages and dialects. In addition to diverse language and people, it also has bio and ecological diversity as well; from the pre-Cambrian rocks of the Oban Massif to the cretaceous and recent sands of Obanliku, the state is a place of tremendous natural beauty and the hub of Nigerian tourism.

The major languages in Cross River state include Efik, Boki, Ugep, Bekwara and a host of dialect.

Speaking about their migration, the Obong (traditional Ruler) of Calabar once said they migrated to the region around the tenth century. Sitting in his centuries-old throne in his full regalia, he himself is a tourist attraction, and so is the smiling faces of his people beckoning on you to come have a good time.

Obong frim

The Obong is seen here recieving a guest.

The capital of Cross River state is a place where life is mearnt to be enjoyed. With its good roads, beautiful streets, historic monuments, high class presitgeous hotels, beautiful gardens with lush green vegetation many still wonder why this port city and former capital of Nigeria still remains as calm, neat and quite as is unlikely of a Nigerian city.

Mary Slessor's House

Cross River National Park:
Are you a wild life Freak or are you just interested in seeing wild animals in their undaunted natural homes, then you need to visit the National Park in Cross River state.

entrance to the national park inside the national park

Situated in the dense tropical forest between Nigeria and Cameroon the park is home to over 200 species of animals most of which are endemic to Africa.

monkey in the park

Obudu Cattle Ranch:
Folks, this is the big one!!!

Obudu hills

It is one of the most exciting places you will visit in your life time, it's..........
Opps, seems I am writing a newspaper doesn't it? All right, see you next time but this is a picture of what it feels like...

Cattles grazing at Obudu

For more please visit the Cross River website


Friday, September 08, 2006

Overcoming the Blogging Hurdles in Nigeria

I started blogging last month but prior to that, I never heard the word ' blog' on Nigerian streets. I was suprised to see lots of Nigerian blogs on the blogosphere an indication that Nigerians are catching the blog fever, however, they are indications that it might take some time before blogging become widespread in Nigeria.

I also realized that most Nigerian bloogers don't reside in Nigeria and most of those who do, live in Lagos. Lagos has always been the hub of global inculturation in Nigeria and I think I am one of the few Nigerian bloggers living outside Lagos.

But there is more to Nigeria than Lagos and there are lots of things Nigerians should blog about. There is also need to educate Nigerians about the blogosphere and to encourage Nigerians to use blogging as a means of self expression.

Some of the benefits of blogging to Nigeria are:

  • National Unity: Tribalism and ethnic differences has been a reason for some disparity in the Nigerian polity, blogging will help the educated population to share their view and educate their respective wards.
  • Economic Independence: With the advanced money making medium in the blogosaphere today, they are lots of room for people to make money and become financially liberated through blogging. I am yet to see a very succesful Nigerian blogger, but I will never underestimate the innovative ability of my country men.
  • Cultural Exposure and Awareness: I hear there are about 252 tribes in Nigeria, I don't even know anything about lots of them, someone's got to blog about them sometime.
  • Blogging will, in addition to these, lead to creativity, improved reading culture, abolition of taboos and political and social change.

I have also identified some factors that impedes blogging to grow in Nigeria, these factors even encourage some bloggers to discontinue blogging - Heck, there are some Nigerian blogs I saw that were last updated months ago - Some of these factors are:

  • Financial Attraction: Ofcourse, blogging doesn't seem to be more lucrative than 419 or the Nigerian yahoo scams.
  • Scarce and Slow internet connection.
  • Poor computer education and availability.
  • Infrastructure; Basically electricity (NEPA)
  • EFCC: This is worth explaining, I once went to a cyber cafe outside town to update my blog only to be rounded up by the EFCC, God only knows what I went through.

Each of these is a potential show stopper, but the fact that we still have lots of bloggers of Nigerian origin is an indication that Nigerians are scalling the hurdles. one sure way of getting accross is by collaboration, Nigerian bloggers should be united and have a network of inter links.

As a Nigerian blogger, please write about the difficulties you are facing and the future you see in blogging in Nigeria. Leave it as a comment to this post or on your blog but leave a link to this post about it.

I have posted a number of comments in Nigerian blogs I happen to see, with my email so I can be reached. If I didn't see yours, I am sorry, please leave a comment here linking me to your site, I sure will reach you.


Monday, September 04, 2006

Nigerian Job Scam

This whole scam thing is making my blog one-dimensional, but, I will continue because its overall effect is negative to Nigerians.

This post is a demonstration of another means adopted by some of these scammer;

Guiness Nigerian Limited, one of the leading breweries in the country, recently published a job vacancy calling for interested applicants to come for an interview. However, for some reasons, the interview was postponed indefinitely.

Trust scammers to see an oppurtunity in every thing, they immediately sent out e-mails to most of those who applied for the job claiming to be the Guiness Talent Team and asking for money to facilitate quick processing of their applications.

Here is an example of the mails they sent out:

: guinness_nigeria_employment_test plc
Sent: 8/2006 1:24 PM
Subject: Guinness nigeria employment test

Due to the large number of applicant we have,you have been selected by our team for a special employment test,we are to open a record file for you immediately.So we have asked all the selected applicants to send a 750 MTN recharge card* to us, through this mail, so that we can process your text and subsequent inverview dates, from the files we will open for each applicants.
Once we get the 750 MTN recharge card a comfirmation letter will be sent to you .
All cards must get to us 3 weeks from the day you get this mail.

Talent Team Guinness Nigeria

Ofcourse in a country like Nigeria where lots of people are looking for job, some persons fell for the trick and sent money to them, but some wise ones contacted Guiness who immediately sent out mails refuting the scam.
This is a copy of what Guiness sent out:

Dear Candidate,

Please disregard any emails(such as the one displayed below ) purportedly sent by our Talent Team demanding for recharge cards or payment in any form.

Be rest assured that Guinness Nigeria is a socially responsible company and is committed to offering highly talented candidates equal opportunities.

Please note that our address for the Graduate Management Trainee Recruitment remains

Finally, We will contact you as soon as a new date is decided for therescheduled test.

Yours Sincerely

Talent Team Guinness Nigeria Plc.

What a cat and mouse game it is with these scammers.

But its a game we all can win. Please send in your comments on this post and my other similar posts, also let me know about your experience with scammers, I will maintain your privacy. Maybe someone will be spared from your story.

*RECHARGE CARD: See my post on How to scam the scammer