Wednesday 30 July 2008

Nigeria: Dutch parties demand Nigerian gang police force

Calling the Ambassador

This is a very worrisome development that requires some action and activity from the official representation of Nigeria in the Netherlands; it must be debunked and condemned forthwith.

Whilst there might be cases of criminal conduct by aliens in the Netherlands, the idea that Nigerians can be singularly identified as a group that specifically requires the establishment of a permanent police force [1] to monitor and investigate their activities is outright discrimination and disconcerting.

This populist demand by right-leaning parties as the CDA, VVD & PVV to the Justice Minister to establish a permanent police force with Nigerian-criminal-gang tinted-glasses does not augur well for the improvement of relations between the Netherlands and Nigeria.

Nationality must not matter

Criminals should be treated as criminals and afforded the full scrutiny of the law and justice processes regardless of where they are from; the whole idea of a Nigerian crime squad is a fallacy that portends that Nigerians have more criminality than other nationalities.

It does not seem there is consideration for the fact that other black Africans can feign Nigerian-hood just as Nigerians can seek to deny that they are from Nigeria for all sorts of reasons.

One does wonder what will happen if other nationalities create the perception that they have a criminality quotient higher than a presumed norm. Would these parties also demand a British gang squad, a Polish gang squad or even a Serbian gang squad?

A level investigation field

There probably is a case for establishing and a serious crime squad to deal with particular kinds of crimes, to establish such a squad to target nationalities smacks of populist racist intent and it does not augur well for society.

There are enough laws in the land to deal with criminals, but it is not enough for suspects who have not been through the legal and justice process to be branded undesirable aliens, just on suspicion rather than legally tested evidence of the suspicion leading to conviction; where that would then make them undesirable aliens and hence candidates for deportation.

Leaning to the populist

The names of the parties calling for this atrocious exercise belie a false sense security and tolerance; the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) as the majority party in the ruling coalition does not necessarily exhibit a Christianly approach to justice as it panders backward-looking to Calvinism rhetoric.

The Party for Freedom (PVV), lead by Geert Wilders is hardly about freedom but populist doctrine that aims to fracture society and community.

The People’s Party for Freedom and Democarcy (VVD) used to be the haven for Rita Verdonk (Lady Oddjob), it is supposed to be a liberal leaning party, but they have been anything but liberal in their policies and pronouncements.


[1] News Dutch MPs demand crackdown on Nigerian gangs - News from The Netherlands – Expatica

Sunday 27 July 2008

The Child spake unto the multitude

Back in the language of the times

At the gathering of the multitude, The Book of the Law was opened to the hearing of the people and yea, mine eye hath not seen, nay, hath mine ear heard such amazing things that be said of The Child.

The wind bloweth from the West and the pages of the book doth flutter to that which was written of The Times.

And the priest spake, He ventured forth to bring light to the world [1], for therein was the Scripture fulfilled about the coming of The Child to the world.

[1][Source: He ventured forth to bring light to the world | Gerard Baker - Times Online]

A child's right to a good name

Funnily a goat’s leg

Mr. and Mrs Ese would have been utterly chuffed when their baby boy arrived hale and hearty with mother well and almost ready to go home.

On the 7th day, there was a naming ceremony and baby Ese was given the first name, Aaron, the name of the great priest, the elder brother of Moses the leader of the Israelites’ exodus from slavery under the Egyptians in the Bible.

That would have been the end of the matter as the boy grew into an adolescent and prepared for manhood. The Ese family was from the South Eastern part of Nigeria and they moved to the South Western part of Nigeria where Yoruba is spoken.

An unfortunate situation occurred where in the school register the surname is called before the first name such that the non-descript name combination yielded Ese, Aaron which to the unassuming Yoruba ear sounded like what translates to goat’s leg.

The jokes never end

That Aaron became the big joke through no fault of his, but the accident of being given names that in another part of the country sounded utterly ridiculous. I am sure he has found ways to live through that situation and gone on to become a successful man full of confident, self-esteem and the ability to laugh off what could easily have been a harrowing experience for some.

The parents can well be forgiven, but I do worry about parents who forget that their new born children are not pets, not toys and definitely not dolls to be given names that bring unnecessary ridicule to hapless and helpless kids that they are subjects of bullying before they have had the chance to express themselves.

Contextually, one would expect parents to pick names after extensive research and analysis, making sure whatever names they give do have a sense of meaning and quality that allows the children to feel confident in themselves and confident amongst their peers.

What names say of the parents

However, some names do make one question the suitability of those parents to enter into responsible parenthood.

A court in New Zealand made a young girl a ward of court [Source: BBC NEWS | Asia-Pacific | NZ judge orders 'odd' name change] to get her name changed from Talula Does The Hula From Hawaii to something less atrocious. Even if the child was conceived in a dark alley after a drunken night out with a street tramp having the amazing good fortune to give a humping, the child does deserve better.

It is amazing that this trend for giving children utterly bizarre names has lead to officials refusing to accept on official documents names like Yeah Detroit; Stallion; Twisty Poi; Keenan Got Lucy; Sex Fruit; Fat Boy; Cinderella Beauty Blossom; Fish and Chips for twins.

Others that have been allowed are no less atrocious and unfortunate like Violence; Number 16 Bus Shelter; Midnight Chardonnay; Benson and Hedges for twins. Whilst a child cannot choose its birth parents, no greater misfortune can belie a child as to be the offspring of people lacking in inspiration and consideration.

This is most unkind

Number 16 Bus Shelter must be the unkindest gift of a parent to a child; it does not however absolve parents who are not on the extreme from thinking through the names they give their children for uniqueness, meaning and relevance to their life and culture.

Giving a child the starting right to be proud of their identity, heritage and background whilst reinforcing their personality cannot be a bad thing, names alien to that background say nothing for child and much less of the parents who probably have been plucked from their roots and dumped on barren ground where they are trying to hard to belong without being welcomed.

Much as an animal that has a name would almost definitely never end up in the pot, so should children be given names that would make them bless their parents all their lives.

Give your child a good start and ditch those fanciful and atrocious names, respect the person of the child, it is the least you can do as a responsible parent.

Friday 25 July 2008

Apes Obey! Instinct rather than moral virtue

Another scandal breaks
This could have easily been one of the feature stories in the Lagos Weekend [Source – The Daily Times of Nigeria – Lagos Weekend] which is said to be a light entertainment newspaper only the things I read in those papers then as a kid were well beyond my recommended reading matter.
Scandal and sex, most like titillating pornography in the hands of an 11 year old, what was one supposed to do?
In another of my Apes Obey! Series, I explore the issue of authority, how that is exercised without moral virtue and the tendency for animal instinct to get the better judgement of those in authority that see no abuse in sexual harassment.
Letters of intent and contempt
This does not get that far, but there is a case of sexual harassment in a Federal High Court in Abuja where a lowly nurse has tendered evidence of being harassed by the Chief Medical Director of the National Hospital in Abuja for what might be sexual favours. [Source – Nigerian Tribune - National Hospital sex scandal: CMD’s love letter tendered in court]
She also tendered another letter where one of her bosses, a female, tried to persuade her to yield to the advances of the chief to save her job.
I am not for one moment interested in the sensational aspects of this case and since it is still sub judice I cannot ascertain to any extent the quality and provenance of the evidence presented, however, there are other matters for analysis in this case.
The nurse has brought this case for harassment which would normally be dealt with by a tribunal in the West to save her job and career which was in danger of stagnating or termination if she did not succumb to the “sexual” advances of the Chief Medical Officer.
The abuse of authority
She no doubt took a serious risk of not compromising her principles to take on the might of authority in this quest. Typically, those in positions of authority assume themselves to be sources of patronage; potentates of whom all draw their breath and reason for existence.
They demand and expect their commands and desires to be met, though it is one thing to exercise professional authority within the bounds of ethically sound conduct and another which is taking the opportunity through rank and position to satisfy ones desires.
The issue here is how to deal with the endemic case of men in authority, who feel that all women in their sphere of influence are available to satisfy their sexual proclivities.
Those in power think that their positions were intrinsically virtuous without the need to have any moral virtues, integrity or principles thereby allowing animal instinct to rise to the fore as they roam and rove as rulers of the jungle – subduing and domineering with untrammelled remit over the lives of others.
Some women have under this relentless domination, persuasion, duress and threat to their well-being and livelihood succumbed; losing every sense of self-esteem and dignity in the process as the “men”, or rather, animals take their pleasures and move on to the next female on the block.
Made vulnerable for other needs
Ideally, women as supposed to be secure in their lives and jobs which they should have attained by genuine market competition, competence and merit, but people in power who are supposed to be mentors, coaches,  teachers or helpers take liberties and take advantage, painting alternative scenarios that leave the women too vulnerable to resist the abuse.
This is a hard enough situation to be in, it does not have to be complicated by some middle manager that she should have been able to confide in, whose inability to exercise good judgement allows for the abuse to be perpetuated without end.
Sadly, this kind of action is unfortunate, as it cheapens the worth of a substantial number of the talent pool in Nigeria for sexual pleasure; I would not be surprised if before she received the letter from the Matron others had told her that it was just only sex, go in, get it and get out and all your life is settled and sorted – what is the big deal? Compromise for gain or principle for loss.
In the words of the doctor, “I will provide you your heart desire”, he had the power to make or break her career and it appears the nurse is after nothing but to retain her job and probably obtain a safe haven for her life and well-being.
This is where we need men and women of courage who can help ensure that those in authority know their responsibilities and the fact that they cannot abuse their staff with impunity and gain exemption from legal scrutiny.
The menace of legal instruments
Interestingly, both the Chief Medical Director and the Matron are named as respondents, they have not denied or repudiated any of the claims, rather they believe that the weight of legal menace that they can exercise on the lowly nurse gives them the right to try and exclude the nurse from legal redress because she may not have the means to pay for damages if she lost her case.
Herein, in another issue that needs attention, the need for a robust legal aid system that allows the little man to seek the counsel of competent legal expertise and exercise their full rights to justice in our legal system.
This legal aid system should also include a properly managed and effective pro bono representation system where learned and eminent barristers and advocates offer their services to protect the rights of the vulnerable.
Enshrine the CEDAW Conventions
When one seeks the right not be harassed, oppressed, abused or denigrated for refusing to succumb to the desires of another in authority, they should not have to suffer the intimidation of authority, means, power and influence that allows for impunity to thrive without adequate redress.
Whatever way the case gets resolved, this is an ever-present gauntlet the professional Nigerian woman has to run – it is time for our legislators to have laws in place that protect the rights of women and it is time to have the CEDAW Conventions enshrined in our national laws.
As Lord Lugard did say again, there are many in authority, that have “the courage of the fighting animal [to get whatever they want], an instinct [harass for personal desire] rather than a moral virtue [of self-restraint and understanding their position of authority, trust and leadership]”. We’ll see how this pans out.

Nigeria: Sexual Neanderthals run amok in the National Hospital

More sources force a review

Having come across another source of information regarding the sexual harassment case [Source – Origin (LeadershipNigeria), referenced @ - Nigeria: Sexual Harassment - Nurse Tenders Exhibit Against National Hospital], I have to write an addendum.

The points I raised in my original blog remain valid even though the additional information sheds more light on some assertions I made there.

It is unfortunate, that when gathering sources of information from Nigerian newspapers, you notice clearly how journalists are not thorough in their investigations, verifications and analysis of the news they are reporting.

As I said once before, journalists probably reflect the society within which they conduct their reporting activities, I would not deign to draw any further conclusions.

Institutionalised sexual slavery

It would appear that the sexual harassment and abuse of female staff in the National Hospital in Abuja is rife and the norm.

It is sad to read excerpts of the letter purportedly written by the matron, Deborah Olorunmaiye, an Assistant Chief Nursing Officer (ACNO) in the hospital.

I do not have any problem with you I was doing this in order to retain my job. I gave you motherly advice to stay with me in our club, which you call a cult. Have relationship with the (Chief Medical Director) CMD and save your job, come forward for deliverance, you refused.

All I want to let you know is that we mother do it. Me, I keep relationship with Abawede in order to keep my job. They told me you refused to give them again a term you agreed in giving you job.

Thank you for all your usual assistance and I want to assure you that any plan by the management to dismiss you or use me to tell lots of lies on you and implicate you will not work.”

Working as pimps

It appears female middle managers are being press-ganged into coercing junior members of staff to submit to the sexual advances of the male management of the hospital.

It also appears beyond the professional activities in health services the women had constituted themselves into some sort of religious harem at the beck and call of the male management who demanded and obtained sexual favours without reservation.

It is shocking to learn that mature women in a seemingly mentoring and motherly position are under such threat and duress to be sexual slaves to the management of the hospital, the matron confessed that she had to keep a relationship with one Abawede to keep her job.

Your pudenda availability seals the job offer

Most appalling of all is the revelation that offering sexual favours constituted part of the terms of getting a job at the hospital.

I had to read that again - They told me you refused to give them again a term you agreed in giving you job. – It would appear she had had enough of the abuse in order to reclaim her self-esteem maybe.

This is sick enough for any patient to have a miraculous transformation to get out of the hospital before the grubby hands of those rotten lechers who call themselves doctors and management get near them.

How can we have a National Hospital run by people who have no moral rectitude, who abuse their positions for personal sexual gain and run the institution like a whore house for unspeakable peccadilloes? Peccadillo? I am in error, these are grievous sins, the hospital cannot be a house of care if the people who run it have turned it into a den of iniquity.

The letter of a lecher

It is however heartening to note that the matron who advised the nurse to yield to the terms of her employment contract has also said she would refuse to be used as an instrument to force a dismissal on the nurse.

Meanwhile, the CMD has denied all the allegations and even suggested that the nurse was subjected to psychiatric examination for accusing principal officers of the hospitals of being members of a secret cult.

Whilst one cannot ascertain the veracity of the secret cult claim, one reads of joining a club where the nurse could get deliverance (a religious term for exorcism), and still save her job by succumbing to the sexual advances of the CMD who allegedly penned a letter he hand-delivered to the nurse’s home.

Ihuoma Dear, I will come back to pass the night with you. For your info, say yes to my request and I will provide u your heart desire. Your love Ajuwon”. (Dr. Olusegun Ajuwon being the name of the CMD at the centre of this case.)

One wonders why the married head of a medical institution would want to spend the night with a nurse who is not his wife, try and strike a bargain for a Quid pro quo situation that offers her heart’s desire for acceding to his request and the sign off with his surname rather than his first name - these were not lovers and she was definitely not his mistress, rather she was just a pleasure unit to him.

Take down those sexual Neanderthals

That is the abuse of power at work, the big-man-mentality that demands and expects to get what he asks for – her love indeed or his lust leading him like a sex-starved rabid maniac.

In the light of this onslaught on the nurse - Ihuoma Chinasa Doris – a rather peculiar arrangement of names; one can only hope that she does get her day in court, represented by competent legal counsel, being free to exercise the right of access to a legal process without the fear of legal menace brought on by the lack of funds.

The matron did recognise that the nurse’s good work in thanking her for her assistance and there must have been something the character and demeanour of the nurse that made the matron promise not to allow herself to be used to defame or dismiss the nurse – that should count for something, especially if it is proven to be the letter the matron actually wrote.

For all and sundry, if any of the points in the letters and the analysis is true, then a purge needs to take place in that hospital, and if only we had decent laws to protect women’s rights in Nigeria, all the men implicated in demanding sexual favours because of their office should face the music and punitive sanctions.

The case of Ihuoma Chinasa Doris might just be the one to start to roll back the hold of the sexual Neanderthal that has stalked the corridors of power in Nigeria and made the female pudenda the key to success for many women who have aspired to make something of their lives.

If the female legislators had any gumption they would ditch the nudity elements of that damned bill and sue for stringent anti-harassment laws that would place more of the burden of proof on those men who until now thought they could get away with anything and everything whilst destroying the lives of the victims unconscionably along the way.

Tuesday 22 July 2008

Nigeria: God is signing autographs on beef - up North

Suspend it all

Sometimes one has to suspend rationality to be able to exist in some societies. There are parts of Nigeria that make you really wonder if they ever endeavour to find utility in the cranial mass that sits above the neck.

Up North in Birnin Kebbi, the astounding has materialised as the Arabic inscription for God makes an appearance on pieces of beef [Source: BBC NEWS | Africa | 'Allah meat' astounds Nigerians]. In fact, it has appeared on three pieces of beef as the restaurateur now seems to be making such brisk business - there is always a profit element to the discovery autographs.

Not being one to Pooh-Pooh such stories, it made me think about other stories of some deity appearing in all sorts of fantastic places, but to have chosen now to appear on pieces of beef only makes one really wonder if someone had taken a butcher’s knife to the holy cow.

The meat between halal and Allah

Not to be cowed by such rumours, Islamic scholars who have failed to proselytise with meekness have gone to sup at the restaurant and have commented that the beef marks are a sign that Islam is the only true religion for mankind. Bull!

I would contend that the Almighty has put man on earth to make good use of their brains, to ascertain truth through study and to find truth in books, teachings and critical observation involving good analysis; if he has to resort to beef autographs, I think I need to find another deity who knows a bit more about the things he created.

Sadly, the local vet who should know better has been taken in by what can only be a blatant hoax, said the words defied scientific explanation - his stance defies simple explanation.

In all, if the name of God and the name of his prophet appeared on the beef, one can safely say there is a message in the food; whether mastication, digestion and defecation would make the restaurant patrons better Muslims is another matter.

I tire with laughter and cannot find rhyme or reason in this hoax.