Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Chopping the Life?

This picture caused quite a stir on a Facebook group where I found it. As usual, you had all manner of opinions (mostly based on morality) being expressed by Nigerians. There were those who also spoke about "casting the first stone", while some argued that the babes may just have been warming the seats and not the bottles. Your take?

Tony Anenih vs Sam Nda-Isaiah - Rumble in the Jungle

Since it is letter writing season, see here the recent bust-up between the PDP's Chief Tony Anenih and Leadership Newspaper's Sam Nda-Isaiah. Chief Tony Anenih had, apparently, taken exception to Mr. Isaiah's reporting on certain issues concerning this administration's management of the economy and their politics...not least of which is the recent nationwide alarm at the missing $49B and then $10B (?). So he wrote the newspaper columnist expressing his disappointment with his criticism of the government and his lack of support for President Jonathan. If you think Chief Anenih's letter was a tad scathing, the response from Mr. Isaiah was a TKO...a professional sucker punch!

See below the transcripts from both gladiators and make your own judgement.

Verse I

Is The President Aware That $10.8b Is Still Missing?

It has been alleged that President Jonathan was so angry with the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, about the leakage of his letter that he (the president) asked the governor to resign. The president apparently did not even crosscheck to see whether he had the powers to sack a CBN governor whimsically. In any case, the president would still have been able to sack the governor if he had the support of the majority of the senators or he is perceived by the senators to be working in the best interests of the nation. But this president is certainly not working in the best interests of the nation and has lost both the house of Senate and the House of Representatives.
And, by the way, the president has also lost the majority of his governors, and, here, I am not just talking about the G5 governors. There are several PDP governors today that are not with the president, and those are the governors that I think the president should be worried about. At the rate the president is going, he would become a lame-duck president by the middle of this year without even knowing it. Or, worse still, he could become a sitting-duck president, sitting at the mercy of the National Assembly.
But why was the president so livid with the CBN governor that he wanted him to resign? More decent people thought such anger should have been directed at people like Diezani Allison-Madueke, the petroleum minister, and Stella Oduah, the aviation minister. This president has not developed the capacity to ask Stella Oduah to resign in spite of her several scandals and he has not asked Diezani to resign for all the mess we all know the petroleum ministry under her has become. He is not even angry enough that his own finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has said that $10.8 billion is still unaccounted for by the NNPC. This amount is roughly N1.7 trillion. Does the president know what this amount could have done for Nigeria? And nobody should ever tell me that the whopping amount has been spent on fuel subsidy again, as some people are now trying to do, because, before Jonathan happened on us, the average annual amount that used to be expended on fuel subsidy was N250 billion.
So when Speaker Aminu Tambuwal said the president’s body language encourages corruption, he was only being polite. The situation is much worse. The president’s whole being and soul encourage corruption, and not just his body language. The president was only upset because the apparent theft of public funds that Sanusi’s letter to him suggested was leaked. President Jonathan actually gets angry when thieves are caught. I have never seen a thing like that. He was not angry that public funds could have been stolen. He was never at any time livid with his minister of petroleum who could have presided over such huge theft. This is precisely the same way that the president was upset with those who led the media to discover the corruption at the Police College, Ikeja, Lagos, that ensured that police cadets were living under conditions that would have been unfit for the president’s dogs.
The president was not angry enough to ask where the money voted for the police had gone or whether the appropriated police budgets got to them at all. He did not even have compassion for the suffering cadets and showed no empathy whatsoever towards them. He was only upset that some thieves had been exposed for stealing government money. And, since then, nothing has happened to those thieves. Nobody expects anything to happen to them as long as it is Jonathan that is president.
It still beats me that, in spite of all the allegations of theft and diversion of public funds being leveled against the NNPC daily, the person who should be doing all the talking and explanation, the petroleum minister, has not said anything. That is very annoying, to say the least. That is what should be annoying and ruffling the president. But why is Diezani not saying anything? Every Nigerian wants her to defend herself but she feels too big to do so; she has not been fired, as would have happened anywhere else in the world. A friend of mine recently reminded me that she would be committing perjury if she ever opened her mouth to say anything, so we should understand why she is not speaking. We are tired of listening to Okonjo-Iweala defending the petroleum ministry. She should be defending the finance ministry, not another ministry. Why does she want to take Panadol for another person’s headache? I am not even sure that the management of the NNPC are in a position to address the very weighty questions that have been coming up, because everyone knows that they only receive orders from the queen of the cabinet.
Another puzzle is Okonjo-Iweala herself who has cried out several times against the ongoing corruption in Jonathan’s government. And she once also added that “we are not helpless”, meaning that something can be done about it by their government presided over by Jonathan. My puzzle is that she remains tight-seated in such a government. Well, she can’t have her cake and eat it. She will need to know that whatever international credentials she thinks she has built for herself over the years are being eroded. And she should not hope to go unscathed when the shit finally hits the fan.
Well, maybe the president needs to be reminded that the CBN governor insists $12 billion (N1.9 trillion) is still missing and the finance minister in disagreeing said the figure is “only” $10.8 billion (N1.7 trillion). I am not in an argument mode at the moment, as I will prefer to wait for Sanusi’s memoirs; so I am going to stick with the finance minister’s figures for now. So, Mr President, where is the nation’s $10.8 billion (N1.7 trillion) that is still missing? Last week, someone in the NNPC who wanted to play on the nation’s intelligence said that was the money that was used for the fuel subsidy payments. The natural question to follow is this: when did the NNPC start using proceeds from the sale of crude oil directly to run the government? Do we now operate a jungle government that the NNPC would directly use the proceeds from the sale of crude oil instead of remitting every kobo into the CBN? Is that how they have been running the country all along? If it is true that the petroleum ministry had not been remitting every kobo to the government’s banker, then, the minister may be guilty of a felony of a treasonable nature. And if the president knew this all along and has done nothing about it, then, this is clearly another impeachable offence. The money doesn’t belong to them.
With all these happening, it is quite befuddling how anyone will want Jonathan to continue as president beyond 2015, as a few jesters are currently doing. Anyone, no matter who that person is, who wants President Jonathan to govern Nigeria beyond 2015 is an enemy of the Nigerian state.

Verse II

RE: Is The President Aware That $10.8b Is Still Missing?
Chief (Dr) Tony Anenih
— January 24, 2014
I am concerned enough to draw your attention to the several instances of uncomplimentary self-revelations exhibited in your most recent column. The article, which bore the above title and was published on the back page of the Leadership newspaper of Monday, January 13, 2014, spoke more about your uncharitable attitude towards President Goodluck Jonathan than the purported missing $10.8b. In the said column you said “It is quite befuddling how anyone will want Jonathan to continue as president beyond 2015, as a few jesters are currently doing. Anyone, no matter who that person is, who wants President Jonathan to govern Nigeria beyond 2015, is an enemy of the Nigerian State”.
In the first instance, it was most revealing that you, as the Chairman of the Leadership Group, chose to ignore the fact that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) had given a satisfactory account of the supposedly missing $10.8b only a few days before your article was published. This unwillingness to acknowledge the existence of an official explanation from a statutory body on a matter of public interest is very disturbing as it sheds a most unflattering light on you, more so as you are a person who also aspires to high public office, in the near future.
This is because your newspaper, Leadership, published a story titled “How We Spent Unremitted $10.8bn – NNPC.” An online version of the story, dated January 11, 2014, is still viewable at your newspaper’s website. Part of the report reads: “the NNPC group executive director, Finance and Accounts Directorate, Bernard Otti, said the $10.8b reflected expenditures incurred by the corporation during the period under review and are really made up of the following: subsidy claims, $8.49b, pipeline management and repair costs, $1.22b, products/crude oil losses $0.72b, and cost of holding the strategic reserve, Following this explanation, as reported in your own newspaper, you deliberately chose to ignore the facts and play to the gallery by repeating the unfortunate smear campaign started by the mistake-prone Central Bank of Nigeria governor. Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. As you know, the CBN governor, who began this misleading campaign against the government of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-a government which he is a part of has since recanted his claim that the outlandish sum of $49.8b from the sale of the nation’s crude oil was unaccounted for.
You will recall that when the CBN governor was confronted with evidence of his error, he owned up to his mistake, sought to revise the number down to $12b, but was again called out for this new error by the Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.
Despite these facts now being public knowledge, you went ahead to posit that some imaginary 10.8b is still missing somewhere. Beside the sheer deceit in this uncritical furtherance of errors started by a central banker who ordinarily should have been more circumspect, it appears that you have chosen to remain in the ranks of those that the THISDAY columnist, Simon Kolawole, has described as people who see only problems in Nigeria.
In a Sunday, January 12. 2014 article titled “Minting our Way to the Top”, Kolawole wrote:
“I keep asking myself: why does the world tend to believe in us but we seem not to believe in ourselves? A typical Nigerian sees only problems. A typical outsider sees opportunities.” I mention Kolawole’s column here because his article focused on the recent news that Jim O’Neill, a British economist, best known for coining the economic acronym “BRIC” (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), has coined a new economic acronym “MINT”, meaning Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey; countries he describes as “emerging economic giants.” You, in your “Earshot” panel, also wrote about the “MINT” countries but still managed to find a way to denigrate the office and person of the President despite this cheery economic news.
While there is some debate as to who should be given credit for “MINT” (some sources claim the acronym was actually coined by Fidelity International, an asset management firm, based in Boston and not Jim O’Neil), what is important is that the world is keenly aware of the economic achievements of the President Jonathan-Ied administration. If not for anything else, it is a fact, as was shown in a presentation by the Minister of Finance, Dr Okonjo-Iweala, at a recent interactive session with the private sector, that the Federal Government created 1.6 million jobs in the year 2013.
Moreover, it is also a fact that late last year, the well-regarded international magazine, Forbes, named Minister of Agriculture, Or Akinwumi Adesina, Africa Person of the Year 2013 for empowering more than six million farmers across the country to practise agriculture as a business, and not as a development initiative without any incentive for growth.
Furthermore, today in Nigeria, the President Jonathan-Ied government has ensured that fertilisers are sold straight to the farmers-not to any government ministry and not to middlemen-thereby reversing the sad and unfortunate practice where real farmers were deprived of essential needs such as seeds and fertilisers for over 40 years.
These are just a few instances to show that the picture of doom and gloom that you have chosen to constantly paint of present-day Nigeria in your Monday column is a creation of your imagination and not the reality. I understand that for you to acknowledge that progress is being made in the affairs of Nigeria would be asking too much of you because clearly you are one of those who, as Simon Kolawole says, see only problems in Nigeria.
And yet I must let you know that it is the height of brinkmanship to seek to inflame passions over a “missing” amount of money, which has been proven by the relevant agency not to be missing at all, and recently enumerated the purposes for which the money was spent. Your Leadership newspaper proclaims it exists: “For God and Country.” If this is truly the case, you and your newspaper owe God and Nigerians a patriotic sense of balance in presenting facts and, even, opinions on national issues.
Though politics has eaten deep into, and ruined the socio-cultural fabric of Nigeria, I urge you and other influential Nigerians in the media to put the interest of the nation first in your publications over and above personal interest and selfish political and sectional agenda which are capable of heating up the polity and leading to pernicious division in our nation. Please, accept assurances of my highest consideration.
Yours sincerely,
Chief (Dr) Tony Anenih, CFR
(Iyasele of Esanland)
Chairman, PDP Board of Trustees
Verse III

My Dear Chief Anenih
— January 27, 2014
The world is expecting me to respond today to the letter you wrote me, so I will go straight to the point. Your letter to me, sir, was a little strange because I can’t see what you intend to achieve. But, as my Esan friend recently told me, there is a saying in your place that “when a bird suddenly begins dancing on top of the tree, then there is music under the ground”. As the Iyasele of Esanland, you must be well familiar with that adage. But even with the music playing from Aso Rock, you should not have allowed yourself to write that kind of letter. The letter greatly diminished you, sir, and you must have already realised that from the kind of comments about you all over the social media since your letter was released. If the responses in the social media do not mean anything to you, surely, they will to your children and grandchildren.
That is the stuff Nigerians have come to expect from Ahmed Gulak, Doyin Okupe and Reuben Abati, and, honestly, I would not have responded if any of these three had appended his signature to that letter. But since it is you that wrote it, I will reply you, and that is why I am doing this today.
I also want you to know that, in writing this today, I am doing it on behalf of millions of Nigerians who have no voice. I have taken it as a responsibility because, in so doing, I would be serving the larger interests of the Nigerian state. And that’s all that matters to me.
For starters, this type of letter is not within the remit of your job as chairman of the PDP board of trustees. You are neither Jonathan’s spokesperson nor, technically speaking, a member of his government. You are not the spokesman of the NNPC; you are not the spokesman of the Ministry of Petroleum; you are not the spokesman of the ministry of finance. At best you are just an onlooker like any of us. Besides, the chairman of the board of trustees should be calm and measured but, in that letter, you are anything but calm and measured. Several times in the past, you had invited me to your home to discuss national issues. Even though I have never agreed with your views and even a few of the positions you wanted me to take, I have always respected you nonetheless. You have always addressed me as “my son”. And the joke in LEADERSHIP among the directors when discussing any story affecting you is that “nobody should upset the chairman’s father please”. Just before you were crowned the chairman of the PDP board of trustees, you invited me to your home. We discussed Nigeria intensively and extensively. Even though we didn’t agree on any issue at all, I cherished the fact that you invited me to your home for discussion.
In your letter, you said NNPC had satisfactorily explained how the said $10.8 billion (N1.7 trillion) was expended. Satisfactorily to whom? Satisfactorily to you and your other “son”, President Jonathan? Sir, do you and President Jonathan think Nigerians are fools? I respect you a lot sir – both for your age and our relationship – but I love Nigeria more than I respect you. Sir, to say that the NNPC officials have satisfactorily explained how they expended a whopping N1.7 trillion on behalf of Nigerians is the greatest insult to Nigerians. By the way, is the NNPC supposed to spend money that has not been appropriated for it? Is it their father’s money (pardon my French)? Does the NNPC have a first charge over the disbursement of government funds? You have been around government for too long to know this, but probably because you have been too used to the wrong way of running government, the wrong things have become normal to you. Sir, NNPC spending directly from the revenue it earns for the country without appropriation is theft, pure and simple, and should be punished if the Jonathan government had been a serious one. And if the president is aware of it and does nothing, then, he should be impeached at once to save the country from economic ruination. All monies made by the NNPC via the sales of the nation’s resources must be remitted to the nation’s coffers. And, sir, we are talking about N1.7 trillion here, which if well deployed into any sector could change that sector forever.
Again, sir, why, at over 80 years, do you want to endorse a lie? You are the one that should be teaching us not to lie. I feel sad that someone who addresses me as “my son” would want me to lie. No, sir, I won’t. I was not brought up that way. NNPC has not satisfactorily explained anything as you want people to believe. And it is not NNPC that Nigerians are waiting to hear from. They want to hear from the minister of petroleum or, better still, the president himself, since, as we all know, an expenditure of N1.7 trillion is absolutely beyond the authority of all NNPC staffers put together.
But, sir, why do you want to lie to yourself about the Jonathan government? This is a government that “expended” N2.6 trillion on fuel subsidy in a year that only N245 billion was appropriated for same. Has that one also been satisfactorily explained? What about the N32 billion police pension fund scam that Jonathan is pretending about? The N5 billion Teidi pension scam? The industrial-scale theft of crude oil worth about $2 billion monthly? What about the N53 billion NCC spectrum sale racket or the 24 million barrels of oil worth $1.6 billion stolen through signature forgery, according to Minister Aganga? Nobody even talks about bullet-proof Stella Oduah anymore. Sir, you seriously want us to keep quiet in the face of all these? Is this the type of country you want to leave behind for your grandchildren? As chairman, PDP board of trustees, you have a disproportionate responsibility among others to call President Jonathan to order and not to endorse thefts at the level we see today. But, like most people are now saying in the social media in response to your letter to me, if you too have not “satisfactorily” explained how you expended N300 billion on roads when you were minister of works with nothing commensurate to show for it, it will be asking too much to expect you to assess the situation rationally. Even if we agree with you that only N175 billion was released to you as minister, was there anything on ground to show that you received that kind of money?
But let’s go back to the N1.7 trillion heist, sir. Should we accept the NNPC’s lame explanation as “fact” when the so-called statement did not mention the name of a single company that benefited from the so-called “subsidy” on which it claimed to have squandered $8.49 billion? Or, why should anyone take NNPC seriously over the alleged expenses of $1.2 billion on pipeline management when the whole job has been outsourced to Global West Vessel Services Ltd, Tompolo’s company, for N15 billion? What’s the job of the PPMC anyway? How can you, sir, as BOT chairman and my adopted father, receive as gospel the writing off of $750 million as acceptable explanation for “products/crude losses”? Is that what your party has turned Nigeria to? The problem with you and President Jonathan, sir, is that either you do not understand the rules of good governance or you think Nigerians are unintelligent fools. No, you are wrong, sir! You would be surprised at the details the average Nigerian in the street now knows.
As chairman of the PDP board of trustees, sir, why don’t you spend your time constructively, asking President Jonathan, for instance, why he had to spend a whopping N400 billion on the amnesty programme, sending Nigerians abroad to learn crafts and other skills without establishing one single school or vocational centre in the Niger Delta? Sir, we are talking about the whole of N400 billion here. Do you know how many vocational centres and schools that would have established, that would have continued to train and re-train people from the Niger Delta? That is what you want Nigerians to keep quiet about? No, sir, I do not respect you to that extent. Or, let’s even go further: what has happened to the N300 billion that President Umaru Yar’Adua kept for the Niger Delta before he went into a coma from which he never came around? Only Jonathan can answer that.
You also veered off the point on a few occasions. You said, “it is also a fact that, last year, the well-regarded international magazine, Forbes, named minister of agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, African person of the year…”. What has that got to do with stealing N1.7 trillion belonging to the people? You might also need to know, sir, that LEADERSHIP doesn’t need Forbes to recognise talents in public service. The Board of Editors of the newspaper (of which I am not a member) had selected Adesina as the LEADERSHIP Public Officer of the Year 2013 in November, before Forbes’ announcement in December. But that’s clearly beside the point.
You obliquely insinuated that I serve sectional interests. Sir, if you who recently said anyone from the south-south that is against Jonathan should have his head examined would call me sectional, then, that should count as the greatest insult anyone has ever hauled on me. But I forgive you, sir. You call me sectional? Where were you and most of the people claiming to be close to Jonathan today when a few of us stood up against the Yar’Adua cabal that did not want then vice president Jonathan to become president according to the dictates of the constitution? Sir, I cannot remember you saying anything in those uncertain times, as you were clearly with the Yar’Adua group. Yes, sir, you could always be counted upon to support any government in power; if armed robbers took over Aso Rock tomorrow, they would count on your support. And you would not disappoint them.
President Jonathan himself knows that I was one of the very few who stood by the constitution. In fact, I was against the so-called doctrine of necessity that made Jonathan acting president because it was unconstitutional. I insisted that Jonathan at that time should be declared president straightaway because that is what the constitution provides when a president becomes incapacitated. You were clearly missing at that time. So, sir, you are not allowed to call me, or anyone else for that matter, sectional. You cannot call me sectional. I was against President Obasanjo’s misrule as much as I was against Umaru Yar’Adua’s misrule, even though one was a southerner and the other a northerner. If today I am against Jonathan, whose misrule is worse than Obasanjo’s and Yar’Adua’s put together (unfortunately), nobody should call me sectional. No, sir, I am a proud Nigerian who would never say the kind of sectional things you often say.
In another paragraph, you said, “And yet I must let you know that it is the height of brinkmanship to seek to inflame passions over a ‘missing’ amount of money, which has been proven by the relevant agency not to be missing at all.” Who decides whether money is missing at the NNPC? The NNPC? The minister of finance? The minister of petroleum? The PDP BOT chairman? Or an independent audit? There is no greater act of brinkmanship than dabbling into a matter clearly outside your brief. I admit that the current state of your party, the PDP, could leave traumatic side-effects on its stalwarts, especially on the office of the BOT. But I frankly don’t understand how I should become the target of your misfortune because I expressed an opinion on a matter of very serious public interest.
You also went berserk on the CBN governor, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi. That is very unbecoming of the office of the PDP BOT chairman. By the way, the $10.8 billion I spoke about was not Sanusi’s figure. It is Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala’s figure; she has consistently said that corruption is killing the country and “we are not helpless about it”. The same Okonjo-Iweala raised the alarm less than a week ago in Davos, Switzerland, that the Nigerian economy was under threat because, on Jonathan’s watch, the excess crude account had been depleted from $8.65 billion to $2.5 billion within a year. Our foreign reserves have also been depleted.
You described the CBN governor as mistake-prone. But he still insists that $12 billion is missing. It was Okonjo-Iweala’s figure that was $10.8 billion. But we may just have to be patient for a few more months before we hear the real story of the stolen $49.8 billion. Sanusi will complete his term in June and would be free to tell the real story of the $49.8 billion. For now, I will counsel theIyasele to stop gloating and explain in whose hands the $10.8 billion is, since he has now turned himself into Jonathan’s spokesperson.
Sir, as the BOT chairman, you are not allowed to be an attack dog. You are not allowed to go berserk as you did on Sanusi. It reduced your stature. You are not even allowed to write that kind of letter to me as Chief Tony Anenih, the Iyasele of Esanland, and a father figure to many of us. You call me your son, and, for that reason, we will not allow you to dance naked in the market square. We will insist we tie you with a wrapper to hide your nakedness. Sir, don’t write that kind of letter again!

 Source - Leadership Newspapers

Friday, January 24, 2014

Papa and Me - A Tribute to Late Chief Francis Okpaiche

Papa was not only a father in-law, he was also a mentor in many respects. He was always very happy to see me. He would call out “Kunle, se oju e re?” He liked nothing better than to have us sit around the upstairs outdoor lounge (Papa’s balcony!) and chat over all manner of refreshments. Papa! I remember him saying - “We get good fresh fish…wetin make them give you?”  He would talk humbly about his experiences and end by ensuring he passed a message of encouragement or caution to you in sharing his own life’s lessons. He was an inspiration the way he showed love to his kids. He wanted everyone to be happy and do well. He was also a rock of support during our trying times. I would miss him greatly. Ojabugbe will never be the same for me.
Papa, I am comforted by the fact that you lived a good life and had the best of everything life had to offer in their season. You also touched the lives of countless individuals, and indeed, your community. Even in your last days, weighed down by illness, you were still completing a philanthropic project for your local Church! I was not present when you got your call to The Almighty, but even that was one that showed divine markings. At the appointed time, you went out amid songs of praises in the presence of your loved ones to be received by your maker.  You were an exemplary man and I am proud to have known you and to have drunk from your well of wisdom.

May your soul rest in peace Sir!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

What Nigerians Want

Just thinking about it, Nigerians have been through so much since pre and post colonial times that our wants are mostly now just basic. This is especially so as it is reported that 70% of Nigerians live on less than $1.25 per day! $2 per day up till the stupendously rich Dangotes dwell in the other 30%. Even the rich also cry, as they say. So you see, no one is spared some form of misery. The average Nigerian will easily say "nothing works here". 

So in answering the question "what Nigerians really want", I will dwell on Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
See image below.

Bringing all that down to the basics for Nigerians, my answer is below:
To have a better life, live in an advanced and progressive society, enjoy good education, opportunities, security, social services, infrastructure, stability, No NEPA problems, schools never strike, no kidnapping, everyone is treated equally according to the law...no sacred cows, the system for law enforcement works, etc. APC/PDP, whichever of you gets in, just give us this. That is what the Nigerian really wants.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Anti-Gay Law...Roundtable Discussion

  • Here's a transcript of a Facebook discussion on the subject of the Nigerian anti-gay law.

  • Interestingly, there seems to be a nexus between the countries that are tolerant to basic gay rights and progress, attractiveness (top immigration choices), harmonious living and general freedoms (Canada, Australia, SA, USA, Netherlands...); while on the other hand, countries with homophobic laws either have their economies in shambles, there is religious intolerance, even straight people are generally not free, there is war or rumors of war, and they are not choice immigration spots...Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Qatar.... Just wondering why...
    2Like ·  · Unfollow Post · Promote · 
    • Niyi Agunbiade and Oladapo Ajibola like this.
    • OA Its really obvious. Intolerance undermines society
    • OA Sharing
    • RP Ocho, I hate to disagree with you, but I am not so sure the analogy is legitimate. There is a general progression of these advanced countries, which you mentioned, which is not really connected to the sole issue of homosexuality. The progression is as such - Industrialization, economic advancement, political democratization, political liberalization, focus on secularism, rigid adherence to the concepts of evolution as opposed to creation and God, hostility to God and deitial precepts, consequent hostility to products of religious adherence, which in turn means a laissez-faire approach to previously proscribed/unacceptable practices like adultery, pre-marital sex, parental discipline of children, and yes issues like homosexuality. It is a societal-progression thing. There are some societies like Singapore and Malaysia, which have advanced economically, but still stick to some of the cultural/religious beliefs of a less advanced society, and there are also parts of the U.S., which have stuck to these religious precepts. It is true that those parts of the U.S. tend to be the parts with the ugliest history of violence and discrimination, but my point is not to argue on behalf of any one side. I'm simply respectfully suggesting that a liberal approach to homosexuality comes as part of a cultural evolution, and is not necessarily a direct factor. The issue of the cultural evolution is complex..some would say it is a bad thing. Some would say black people would still be in chains if not for it. Still it is worth while to remember that it was not philosophers or cultural commentators, but the Christian element of the REPUBLICAN party, that ended slavery, back in the day. The issue is a complex one, but I think in life, anything taken too far, anything without balance or restraint, whether rights pertaining to abortion, children out of wedlock or homosexuality, has devastatingly negative consequences in the long run. Still, the reality is that with the wide range of problems confronting many of these less-advanced socieities, it would be nice if they would apply the same vigour in stamping out corruption and advancing basic citizen needs, to that used in re-proscribing homosexuality. Their anti-homosexuality efforts seem somewhat disproportionate and misplaced, and in most cases, are more of an effort to solidify flagging political fortunes.The usual scapegoat mentality.
    • EIt's really laughable. To think that in spite of all the wanton corruption and abject poverty plaguing the citizens of the so-called 'anti-gay' countries, they would rather vigorously engage in the enactment of such anti-gay laws with the speed of light; whereas the people continue to wallow in penury and unquantifiable hardship with no laws protecting them and their basic human needs, baffles me. I'm befuddled to say the least. 

      My question is: when would the lawmakers and the president enact a law to ostracize corruption, and the aggrandizement of public funds?
    • SG Correlates with the archaic, non progressive, retrogressive, corrupt oppressive ways of these societies
    • AS Ollie, I also do not disagree with you. You points on general progression or lack of it in some societies and appropriate rigor based on priorities are the exact reason for the post and those two points are my case here, more or less.
    • RP Fair enough, Ocho-Baba. But my more subtle point is to assess the overall consequences of the advancement in the long run, rather than in the short term Some would argue that in this next century, the European continent is going into decay in many different aspects, not least of all, economically AND scientifically, while countries like Singapore, Malaysia and China are coming into ascendancy. So although there seems to be a nexus that favours the approach of these advanced societies in general, and consequently, towards homosexuality, my point is that we probably have not seen the end of the story yet. The consequences are still unfolding. I myself am simply not sure. But I think we would do well to take a look at the Ancient Romans and Greeks, and what happened to their empires. These things are cyclical.  Respect, my bro.
    • SS R u supporting gay n homosexuality?,...
    • AS No I'm not. But I would not send them to jail either.
    • SS Sorr to disagree wit u...but dy shld b sent to jail so dy dont eat deep into d tenets of our society,culture n also religion...
    • SG What tenets remain of this society? What can be worse than all the ritual killings and extra judicial killings and blind stealing by the 'vested interests'? 200 houses in dubai with other people's money???
    • NMMos of the anti-gay countries are in Africa. Goes to show how twisted our governments's priorities are and how intolerant we are of those different to us. Why should it bother the government who ppl sleep with? Ocho you have been to CT a couple of times. Did the fact that Cape Town is regarded as Africa's gay capital make you uneasy at any point?
    • SS @ george: Yeah! we r in an ill society full of sin n sinfull pple but does dat giv us a reason to add more salt to injury n go against Gods word???
    • AS  You nailed it P Nolubabalo Mbophane and Sotee George
    • NM So Sherifat Yahaya Shuaib you mean to tell us you dont sin or your sins are smaller compared to the ones committed by gay people. Who are we to judge ?
    • SS Madam Nolu i didnt infer anyone is above sin...pls re-read wat i wrote
    • RP It is more complicated than an issue of 'Judge not, lest ye be judged', or 'He who is without sin should cast the first stone'. God said we shouldn't judge, but he said we should obey his law, for our part. Obviously virtually no human being can obey all God's Laws, but we still charged to STRIVE to do so. Thus, every society must have basic standards. The fact that there is a complete decay of the political, economic and social framework in most African countries doesn't mean we should throw up our hands and say 'well therefore, ANYTHING goes'. The fact that African countries haven't advanced to the economic/scientific level of the west, doesn't mean we should advance in some of the other aspects of the culture, which the average African is not comfortable with, for cultural, religious or moral reasons. I don't say gay people should be thrown in jail, because that in itself is wrong, but those people who don't believe it is an acceptable practice should not be castigated, either, or labelled as 'hateful'. If you are gay, you should be left alone to live your life as you wish, but I don't want it rammed down my throat, as something that I MUST accept as normal. People who chose to live the gay lifestyle have made a choice, to disregard the laws of God, for whatever reason. That is THEIR choice. Those of us who think it is wrong, have a right to our opinions, whether the society we live in is imperfect in other ways or not. Some of us are all at the point of having kids now. I am concerned about the situation in most of the 'advanced' countries, specifically where I live, where your kid is in school, being taught things that are specifically contrary to God's word. It is a trade-off, essentially, economic well-being, for dispensing with all your religious principles. And again, as someone who is at the point of beginning to raise kids in the west, this is a huge, huge, huge concern for me. And I believe there is nothing wrong with me being concerned...just as I believe there is nothing wrong with an African living in Africa, being concerned about where things are headed, and reacting to put a stop to it. The fact that we are wallowing in a large amount of sins and failure, doesn't mean we must wallow in ALL sins and failure.
    • SS Ocho the only ground on which I beg differ from your argument is that the western countries you mentioned developed long before they started accepting gay marriage and homosexuality. So their acceptance or not of gay has no correlation with their advacement and development.
    • NM The point is we need to embrace diversity and tolerate ppl that have different preferences to ours. It is your responsibility as a parent to teach your kids values you live by. You have no right to decide who the neighbours kid choose to marry or have an intimate relationship with. The only time you should be involved if it affects your family. I have often heard ppl say some African countries are not "cultured enough" which is something i fail to understand even now.
    • AS But Ollie, I am not God's police. And HE asked me not only to tolerate, but to Love all human beings. My concern once again is why should this be a jail-able offence? Is it based on religious premise? Whose religion? There is a difference between not accepting or formalizing gay relationships and making it a civil offence to be in one.
    • RP @ Nolubabalo - Sure we should tolerate people who have diverse lifestyles and viewpoints, but THEY should also tolerate us, understand that our belief systems are fundamentally different, and realize that this is a better case of 'Live and Let Live.' However, the reality is that the governments of western 'advanced' countries are now FORCING kids to accept things contrary to people's faith, and prosecuting people for 'hate speech' for quoting the Bible and what the Bible says on homosexuality. This is a terrifying reality for those who are Christians in the west, and I can certainly understand how an African government might look at this trend in the west, and overreact in the other direction. I don't excuse that conduct, but that is what happens when you try to force strange things down people's throats. Further, in response to your point, it does in fact affect MY family, if I and the Church (well SOME Churches) are teaching my kid something, and the government is ramming down something strange and contrary to my faith, down their throat. I don't want to control who others marry, but i don't want my children to be forced to believe that living contrary to God's law, is ok. @Ocho, like I said from the beginning, I am not advocating jail for anyone. There is a difference between matters between you and God, and matters of law and order. I love all human beings, but I take the laws of God more seriously than being politically correct or diverse.I am a sinner, but I accept that I am a sinner, and I accept when I do wrong. But once a Christian starts making arguments AGAINST what God has specified VERY clearly in his book, then it is hard to say you believe in God. I have a friend who says he is Christian, but he does not believe in the Bible. That is incongruous and anachronistic. My point is that you can't eat your cake and have it, spiritually speaking. Jesus ate with mainly sinners, NOT people who were following his word, and thus had no need of him. But he NEVER told the sinners that what they were doing was ok. That is the difference. Today, we are being FORCED to say it is ok to live in sin. If you commit adultery or steal or whatever, you KNOW it is wrong..but if you engage in homosexuality, this is ok? Sorry, I will NEVER accept that, or otherwise said, the day I accept that, is the day I will formally renounce Christianity and stop calling myself a Christian. But I do accept that it is between the person and God, NOTHING to do with me, unless you try to ram it down my throat. But essentially you and I have no disagreement on the issue of jail. We are saying the same thing. People should NOT be put in jail for being gay. That is absolutely abominable and reprehensible.
    • NM If only half the energy wasted fighting homosexuality to ensure laws against corruption, human and drug trafficking Im almost sure Africa will be a better place.
    • SS If only half the time and energy we have all expendend on this matter had bee used to educate our neighbours on positive values Nigeria would probably be on path to greatness.
    • KO Ernest Bhabor - You hit the nail on the head...2x like
    • EThat's the sad reality bro!
    • MS I agree with you all.
    • AS Ollie the last sentence of your post is what this thread is really about. It's not about whether it is morally or spiritually wrong but whether we should make it a criminal offense punishable by jail.
    • RP Maybe for you and me, Ocho, but from the comments I have seen on this thread, I don't think everyone looks at it that way. 
    • AS Plus, in sub Saharan Africa, we tend to expend time and resources chasing the rat while nudging the elephant in the room to get off our paths as we do so.
    • EB Bottom line, in my opinion, Africans and their so-called leaders should be more preoccupied with achieving 'real independence' from the shackles of woeful socio-economic upheavals. I'll personally support any government that promulgate laws to stamp out corruption, tribalism and nepotism, disregard for the rule of law, and also the elevation of our brothers and sisters out of squalor. I'm not interested in who is sleeping with who, or with what ... That's none of my business. 

      My concern is about my friends, relatives and neighbors all across Africa who die every day from lack, from diseases that are preventable, and who are jobless even with several degrees eked with sweat and blood; whereas a gang of brigands loot the public fund and live in opulence. Those in government need to be held accountable. The judicial system needs a overhaul. The legislative system too. The police needs fixing. Tons of areas need fixing. Where are the laws that will bring the changes our people crave? How does a law outlawing homosexuality bring succor to the downtrodden? How does that provide food, shelter, health care, etc, for the masses? Frankly, this is nothing but a distraction from the real issues if you ask me.
    • RP Ocho, I don't think the fact that you have an elephant in the room means that you should ignore all the rats, and pretend they don't exist. If you do that, by the time you get rid of the elephant, the rat epidemic might be insurmountable. You do whatever you can, whenever you can.
    • KO rats, cats, elephants...can we just get good people who have a heart for truth and justice to fight for the common guy in places of leadership and power?..or is the wine of power in Nigeria so strong that it intoxicates all who drink of its cup?.
    • RP Most good people will never have the connections to get to such positions, because venality is a pre-requisite to power. However, when the few good people like Ribadu try to make a change, they get fired. Others get killed by hired assassins. So the answer to your question, Karl, is 'YES' the wine of power is so strong that it will always corrupt and intoxicate.
    • EB Karl Omatsola, that is my point exactly!