Thursday 14 June 2007

Nigerians in the news

Half of a Booker Prize

What elation we would all have felt when Nigerians featured in the news for doing commendable and laudable things. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie won the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction for her novel Half of a Yellow Sun, quite a few blogs celebrated her win including interviews with respectable press - it all gave us a very warm feeling as well as the £30,000 self-raising additive to her bank balance.

A full Man Booker prize

Then when he wrote Things Fall Apart in 1958, he cannot have thought things would be coming together so nicely for him in 2007, although he is paralysed from waist down, he is eulogised by many and definitely a ripe candidate for the Literature Nobel Prize; Chinua Achebe was honoured once again and so deservingly with the Man Booker International Prize for the whole body of work that has educated, inspired and enlivened so many around the world. £60,000 falls together in his kitty.

These people as usual are almost like prophets unsung at home but lauded abroad where they live creating overwhelmingly positive images of Nigerians considering they were born indigenous Nigerian.

The Brood of the Spanish Inquisition

Spain, a country that is speedily developing a reputation for being outrageously racist if we are to go by that abuse that black English footballers have endured playing in that country or the kind of language that their national football coach reportedly used as pep talk just before the World Cup last year.

Now, this is just an unpalatable few, one should not tar all Spaniards with the same ignominious brush, but, I am worried as I read on Ugo Daniels' blog a rather serious event that should be recorded as a murder.

Osamuyia Aikpitanhi was subjected to the most dehumanising treatment by the Spanish immigration authorities as they tried to deport him from Spain to Nigeria, having been an illegal alien. The story is too distressing to recount, however, there is a petition being signed here by many to the Spanish Ambassadors to Nigeria and the United Nations.

Basically, there is no reason for any human-being to be treated the way he was, then, if it has to take a petition for the authorities in Spain to get onto this matter and begin the prosecution of those involved, I am disappointed.

In fact, on the Nigerian side, I would have expected that the Ambassador be summoned to the offices of the Minister of External Affairs to explain in detail why this should not develop into an almighty diplomatic fallout.

Osamuyia Aikpitanhi might have been an illegal alien in Spain, but he was no animal and above all he was Nigerian - if this case is treated with levity, it devalues and compromises the ability for our representation in foreign countries to deal with higher profile incidents, if only for that fact they would not be well practised to demanding and ensuring the human rights of their fellow citizens abroad.

The brood of the Spanish Inquisition must not get away with this, not today and not ever again.

Leave to mug and the kill cop

So, a window cleaner at his job in Luton, England is descending his ladder as some opportunist attacks him with the view to mugging the window cleaner, in the process two window cleaners get stabbed. A policeman intervenes to save the men and we end up with a big news story, his daughter was just going to be one year old and she has lost her father.

Tennyson Obih had only recently been granted leave to stay in the UK, however, how a roving mugging murderer could have qualified for a status that many more deserving Nigerians would have cherished escapes me.

One could almost see this man enter a plea based in diminished responsibility, but I beg to differ, it is madness to try and attack two people, then kill a policeman, having earlier forced his way threateningly into a neighbour's flat and made away with a car and a box of DVDs.

There is more to this than meets the eye, but mercy is utterly far from a cop-killer, they would send him down forever.

Tongue-tied private equity

Wol Kolade, a paragon of success met with a rather unpleased Commons committee to defend the activities of private equity in the UK - it would appear the British Private Equity and Venture Capital Association of which Mr. Kolade is chairman were ill-prepared, poorly briefed and found dithering as the Members of Parliament posed even the simplest questions to the trio of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive - the Chief Executive has since resigned from the Executive of the BVCA as at this afternoon.

Meanwhile, Mr. Kolade who is instituting measures to make the BVCA well able to deal with a newly unfriendly public profile facing private equity has smartly realised that they can be better schooled by the Confederation of British Industry.

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