Posts from the ‘African Politics’ Category

SOUTH AFRICA…WHAT’S UP!!! YELLOW FEVER, REALLY?


The drama between Nigeria and South Africa has been on for a few days now. I did not want to comment at first because thanks to my extremely busy schedule i did not have time to follow the news. Anyway, I am all caught up now.
This case is really interesting for me seeing as I studied International Relations and diplomatic tensions like this always made for good case studies when i was a student.
So here is the story: 125 Nigerians were reportedly deported from South Africa over the weekend reason being that they did not have yellow fever cards or possessed alleged fake yellow fever cards. The reason this is funny in my opinion is simple, Nigeria has no yellow fever epidemic and has not had since 1995 (or so). So, where does this ‘scare’ come from all of a sudden?
Nigeria retaliated by deporting 56 South Africans for ‘health reasons’ and ‘invalid documentation’. Ha!!! The government also warned that certain spirit of brotherhood would no longer be overlooked and this is no joke because they have made moves to review the status of South Africans presently residing in Nigeria. I smell a diplomatic row. Obviously South Africa’s actions were deemed as unfriendly, I heard someone say it was very childish for Nigeria to have retaliated. I say that is how international relations works…Interesting right?

well, according to the daily post, Nigeria has given the South African government 5 conditions they must meet in order to rekindle friendly ties. They are

– An apology to Nigeria over the ‘deportation saga’

– compensation for the victims

– disciplinary action against the South African officials who were cruel to Nigerians

– a review of the yellow fever vaccination policy and

– a reassurance that such would not repeat itself.

Do you think the South African government will cooperate?????

Would I be going to far if I said Jacob Zuma was only trying to punish Nigeria for the support the Nigerian government gave to the TNC during the Libya crisis?

Hello Hello…Is anyone there?????


I have the same routine on Sundays…My Sunday life pretty much consists of: Waking up earlier than usual (not a problem because I am a natural early bird), going to church, going back home and being lazy till the day ends.

Last Sunday was not different…well not until I got to church. The first thing i noticed was how empty the church was. This must have been around 9:30 a.m which is pretty late. Usually Church starts at 8:00am and get filled up even around 10:00 ish. I must confess, I do not remember the last time i went to church at 8am. On average, i get to church at around 10 ish (pretty late…I know). Anyway, I had decided to go early on this particular sunday and I was shocked at the amount of people I saw. I thought people were just late and they’d probably arrive at around 10 ish but that did not happen. I kept wondering why.

Turns out, many members of our congregation were affected by the flood(s) that swept through the city the night before. I was out with my mum that evening (saturday evening) and we saw many cars get stuck in the flood and even worse the gutters and drainages were filled up. It was hard to tell apart gutters from the roads and you can imagine how many accidents would have occurred.

We later found out on Sunday that properties and homes had been destroyed in the flood and even worse, lives had been lost. Really sad. Like every other politically aware citizen, I waited ‘patiently’ to hear what plan the government had for victims of the flood and what policies were being put in place to avert future floods. I heard nothing. Absolutely nothing.

It is Thursday, four days after and still nothing from the government of this state. There is so much to say and I don’t even know where to start. I sort of pictured what other state governments of other countries may have done if this happened in their state. It just feels like nothing happened here, like the government is not concerned about people who suffered.

…And then i thought, maybe I’m the one who is unaware. Maybe the government is actually taking this seriously and I don’t know about it so i decided to do a bit of research. Still nothing. So how exactly can citizens get the attention of their ‘democratic’ governments if being seriously affected by floods is not enough to give the government a wake up call.

I have seen TV ads (or short stories) that sing the praises of the government of this state and how the governor has been so helpful to the poor. Ha!!!! now I am convinced the ads are nothing but a campaign tool of the current government for re-elections. It is sad really, a lot of money is  spent on carnivals and other celebrations yet nothing is spent on sustaining human dignity.

P.S. The state I’m in (and writing about) is Cross River State…supposedly known as the people’s paradise. Please don’t let me get into the irony of this.

The ‘sense’ in Alfred Mutua’s drought speech.


The whole world is aware of the drought situation in East Africa and the Horn of Africa. Well, it is a really sad situation and the whole world is trying to respond in the way that they can.

I was going through my Twitter page yesterday and everyone was talking about the drought speech given by Alfred Mutua (The Kenyan Government Spokesperson) and I couldn’t comment on the issue because I had not heard the speech. Thankfully, someone I know posted the video on Facebook (Thank God for social media) and now I can finally comment. Before I state my point, all the comments  had seen on the speech were negative comments.

Funny enough, after listening to the speech I came to the conclusion that his speech raised SOME valid points; emphasis on the word ‘some’ because i don’t agree with everything he said but as I previously said a couple of points he raised were valid and this is just my opinion – Feel free to disagree if you want. ( I have included the video in this post for those who have not watched it). I feel that people are too busy being emotional and sentimental to hear the bits of the speech that make sense.

THE POINTS I THOUGHT AS VALID:

1. He mentioned the system of distribution and logistics . This is true and this happens all the time not just in Kenya but in other countries that face similar situations. Sadly, the people he is representing are the ones to blame for this logistics problem especially considering the fact that this is not the first time that part of the world has experienced drought. The government should have come up with a better distribution system years ago.

2. He also mentioned the issue of getting food to the Somalia refugees and I know this sounds ridiculous but he has a point. having people Walk for over 500 km to become  refugees when there are alternative ways of feeding them is  a point people should look into. The WFP and other agencies are considering food drops and alternative means of getting food to people. I like that he said it is not moral to wait for refugees to go and die in Kenya when they could have been fed where they were. (Bearing in mind that not all refugees make it to the host countries alive, these deaths could have been avoided). As it is, the refugee camps in Kenya are already over crowded, why put a strain on the already strained UNHCR and their efforts in these camps? However, people who flee do it on their own accord.

3. He made mention of locals (cartels and individuals) who profit from situations like this. This is the best point he raised (In my opinion), It is quite sad that these things happen. It happened in Somalia and Sudan as well. Many aid agencies have complained about having to deal with people who want to desperately profit from humanitarian crises. These people make it difficult for those who are trying to get food to people who need them just because they want to use food as a political and economic tool.

4. Bad  media –  I’d like to  ask the people who think his speech was rubbish if they feel it is okay for the media to take advantage of situations like this. yes, there is drought in Kenya but it is very wrong to say the  entire country lacks food and that people should not travel there. Remember that the country also makes money from tourism.

 

I find it weird that the government claims that no one has died as a result of this drought, I do not believe that as well as a few other things he said. I just thought I should point out that while he was trying to make the Kenyan government seem ‘perfect’ he indeed raised valid points.

AFRICAN DAY!!!


For those who do not know, May 25th is the official African Liberation Day. The theme for this year was ‘Forging closer links between Africa and the diaspora’, this meeting took place only a week before the UN high level meeting on HIV/AIDS which is exactly why I am very much interested.

It is a coincidence that these two important meetings were held during the same time  frame but it is no surprise that Africa ia losing many of its citizens to the developing world. People keep migrating for various reasons: education, economic factors and health reasons just to mention a few. In Zimbabwe for instance a lot of workers in the healthcare sector have moved abroad for better opportunities. How does  this affect Africa especially now that we are waging a war against HIV/AIDS?

To simply state it, the consequences of HIV/AIDS are more when people keep fleeing the continent. Teachers who go abroad to seek better opportunities leave a vacuum in their respective countries and as a result people do not the required education, without education the cycle of poverty continues and poverty is the major reason why more than 22 million people in Sub- Saharan Africa are infected with HIV.

I’m not in any way trying to criticise people in the diaspora, I’m only saying that sometimes people do not really want to leave home but they have to. The issue of brain drain should not be over looked because it is really crucial to Africa’s development. The governments of African countries will have to find ways of ensuring that they don’t lose their educated citizens to the western world.

The theme of the conference depicts that there is a need to build a relationship between Africans in the diaspora and Africans in the motherland. The UN also declared that 2011 is the year for People of African Descent!!!!!

Nigeria: Embracing Challenges and Opportunities


Nigeria: Embracing Challenges and Opportunities.

OCAMPO SPEAKS ON LIBYA


The moment or one of the moments we have all been waiting for, ICC chief prosecutor Ocampo has said that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Libya. According to him there is enough evidence to charge 3 people who are most responsible for this.

In the case of war crimes, direct attacks have been made against civilians not party to the war clearly a violation of International Humanitarian Law. Although the 3 individuals likely to face charges remain unnamed for now it was previously stated that Gaddafi is likely to face serious charges…Obviously!!!

The US (who refused to sign the Rome statute by the way) echoed the sentiments of the court and thought it should serve as a warning to others who support Gaddafi.

IVORY COAST MILITIA LEADER KILLED


The militia leader who helped Ouattara defeat Gbagbo was killed on Wednesday, 27/04/2011 in a gun battle. He was asked to disarm by the President but refused. Apparently they were in the process of disarming. He was killed in a fight that broke out in Abidjan close to the headquarters of the militia. He is sort of a hero because he helped topple Gbagbo’s regime. I hope Ivory Coast can put all of these behind and focus on important development issues.

(Source: Reuters)