Archive for October 2012

TRIBUTE TO EKEKEEE.COM AT 1!   8 comments

As an avid reader and one particularly in love with objective analyses of political issues and events in Nigeria, it is impossible to not have been greatly inspired by, and learnt so much from, the ekekeee.com blog in its first year of existence! Indeed, I write this tribute in celebration of that feat!

Ekekeee.com was “born” barely a week after Nigeria’s 51st Independence Anniversary. Therefore, we can safely conclude that it was “conceived” during Nigeria’s 50th Anniversary year or so and that it was born to inspire a generation to counter the unfortunate losses of those years and contribute to building the Nigeria of the future.

Recently, an Oxford University research revealed that Africa and South America are lagging behind in the production and consumption of online information. For us in Nigeria, blogs like ekekeee.com are contributing much to filling that void.

Ekekeee.com was started by Chinedu Ekeke but has grown to become a team of very intelligent writers covering a range of mainly topical political and other socio-economic issues. Ekekeee.com is remarkable for its teamwork appeal. I don’t know of any other political blog in Nigeria that engages as many writers so regularly. The Nigeria of tomorrow will only come to be when we do away with parochial and sectional prejudices, and work together as one people.

It also helps to know that ekekeee.com has no political affiliations. Its founder and coordinator, Chinedu Ekeke, said so himself: “[Ekekeee.com] owes no allegiance to any political party or individual.” Noel Ihebuzor, a development and policy analyst, acknowledges that “Political neutrality and impartiality make for blog objectivity.” You may not agree with all what Chinedu or his fellow ekekeee.com writers say, and that’s natural, but you can’t deny their passion and sincerity.

Mark Zuckerberg, the founder of Facebook, which today has over a billion active users, and which played a facilitating role in the Arab Spring against dictatorship and oppression, has rightly observed that “The real technological revolution happened when people started using the internet to fight corruption and oppression.” Ekekeee.com is using the internet and new media platforms to fight corruption and oppression in Nigeria and deserves commendation for doing so.

The late American militant civil rights leader, Malcolm X (1925-1965), said: “So early in my life, I had learned that if you want something, you had better make some noise.” Ekekeee.com is making quite some noise against the miscreants currently running Nigeria. It takes daring to engage in the kind of work that ekekeee.com is doing. “In order to conquer, what we need is to dare, still to dare, and always to dare,” declared Georges Jacques Danton.

A Nigerian Revolution looms! The reasons are writ large! Ekekeee.com is playing a major role towards that. Toni Bambara said, “The job of the writer is to make revolution irresistible.” Chinedu Ekeke and his ekekeee.com team are doing just that! Revolutions only happen when a people have the requisite awareness. Bob Marley urged us to “Emancipate [ourselves] from mental slavery [as] none but ourselves can free our minds.” It takes having the right information for any person or people to be emancipated from mental slavery. In Nigeria’s case, I can certify that, in one year, ekekeee.com has contributed immensely to that noble endeavour. From “How Jonathan Diminished the Presidency” (http://ekekeee.com/index.php?p=1323), to “David Mark vs New Media” (http://ekekeee.com/david-mark-versus-new-media-by-chinedu-ekeke/), to “Jonathan’s 80 Pages of Nothingness” (http://www.ekekeee.com/jonathans-80-pages-of-nothingness-by-chinedu-ekeke/?wpmp_tp=1), to “El-Rufai, the Sinner” (http://ekekeee.com/index.php?p=2897), to “Somebody Lied” (http://www.ekekeee.com/somebody-lied-by-ademola-adeeko/) and a host of other sublime pieces by Chinedu and others, ekekeee.com has given a new lease of life to objective and cogent political analysis in Nigeria.

There was even a time when ekekeee.com was hacked. Not even that temporary setback stopped Chinedu from keeping his ink flowing, as attested to by former FCT Minister, Nasir El-Rufai: “Young Chinedu Ekeke’s website, http://www.ekekeee.com, may have been hacked to a standstill by the enemies of progress, but he still writes…passionately, powerfully and patriotically as always…”

The Managing Editor of The Africa Report magazine, Nick Norbrook, even had reason to share Chinedu’s “Jonathan’s 80 Pages of Nothingness” on Twitter, describing it as a: “Powerful rebuke to Goodluck Emperor’s new clothes”.

Going forward, I wish ekekeee.com and its team more success. There’s still so much to be done to turn Nigeria around. Some time ago, Transparency International said, and truly so, that, “The political situation in Nigeria is more of criminality than governance.” The pen may be mightier than the sword but, compared to the latter, it takes quite a while for its full effect on a people to materialise. This calls for persistence from the likes of ekekeee.com. Wellington said, “Revolutionaries are like conquerors: they must go forward. The moment they are stopped, they are lost.” If we must secure Nigeria’s future, we must remain ever steadfast today. As Albert Camus succinctly puts it, “The revolutionary’s real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present.”

Prevailing shortcomings nonetheless, my optimism for Nigeria’s promising future remains unshaken. Nigeria’s change will not suffer a miscarriage while blogs like ekekeee.com continue to expose gross inadequacies in governance and raise awareness about the way out. Ernst Toller attests to this when he says, “The spirit of revolution will not die while the hearts of these [writers] continue to beat.”

In closing, let me borrow, and recast, a leaf from Chinedu’s “David Mark vs New Media”: “I understand [Chinedu] is a Christian. I would refer him to an interesting portion of the Bible. It is [Proverbs 4:18]: “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Keep it up, my dear brother. To you and the entire ekekeee.com fraternity, I say Congratulations for your first anniversary! GOD bless you. GOD bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!

Raymond is on Twitter: @Raymond_Eyo

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Posted October 8, 2012 by Raymond Eyo in Celebrating Nigeria

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NIGERIA IN “3D”   17 comments

Nigeria’s glorious potential and promising future can be cast in 3D. “3D” means “having a three-dimensional form or appearance.” From its 3D standing, Nigeria, arguably, has the most unique geographical position on planet earth! Nigeria is the gateway into West Africa; the ‘trigger’ of Africa and she is literally at the centre of the world!

Nigeria as the Gateway into West Africa
African countries have been comprehensively divided into five regions viz. the four cardinal compass points of North, South, East and West, plus the interjecting Centre. To move, unbiased, in the direction of any of the four compass points (sub-regions), one would certainly have to begin from the centre – reflecting the concept of the centre as the hold. In our present case, to move into West Africa from a vantage point in Central Africa, being Cameroon, you must of necessity pass through Nigeria!

In a March 2009 interview, Nigeria’s High Commissioner to Cameroon, Philip Ali Dauda, said “In five or ten years [Nigeria and Cameroon] will form the bridge between the West African sub-region and the Central African sub-region. Once you have free flow of trade and citizens, the interaction builds very fast. Hence, there will be commonality between the Central and West African regions [which] will impact positively on the rest of Africa. From West Africa, one can easily find expansion towards North Africa. From Central Africa, one will find expansion towards East Africa then towards Southern Africa…”

Nigeria as the Trigger of Africa
To better appreciate this fact, I need the reader to do me a mental favour: Look up a map of Africa and tilt it to the left so that the southern tip (South Africa) faces forward. When you do that, you’ll realise that the map of Africa appears exactly like a short gun. In that wise, when we consider the angle at which the trigger will be placed, we’ll agree that that should be somewhere around the Democratic Republic of Congo’s western border. Now, here’s the big deal with regard to Nigeria: In reality, a trigger is “a device that activates, releases or causes something to happen” or precisely, “[the] lever that activates the firing mechanism of a gun.” Therefore, it is the pulling of the trigger that actually makes it useful! If you pull the trigger on our map of Africa, symbolically represented as a short gun, it will rest squarely against Nigeria!

Indeed, time and again, Nigeria has demonstrated in very many ways, surpassing rivals, its capacity to be the trigger that will ‘shoot’ Africa’s long desired political and socio-economic emancipation into being. I must make the case that one reason why Nigeria is more favourably inclined to clinching an African UN Security Council permanent seat, especially if it will be only one, as opposed to her two most potent opponents of Egypt and South Africa, is majorly her strategic positioning on the map which has given her an edge to be more active in peacekeeping missions continent-wide as against the others who are at either end of the same (North and South, respectively).

Nigeria as the Centre of the World
To be honest, I first gleaned an understanding that Nigeria is at the centre of the world from Dele Momodu! In his 2011 presidential campaigns, Momodu touted an illustration that Nigeria is, and rightly so, geographically speaking, at the centre of the world! As someone who is so much in love with Nigeria, I followed Momodu’s lecture by checking the Equator and the GMT line and discovered that Nigeria is technically interfaced at the angle between them – possessing the largest chunk of the territorial waters within the same. Dele Momodu’s case was that Nigeria can capitalise on that and position herself to be a major commodities and stock market with the understanding and advantage that she is no more than a couple of hours and a few thousand kilometres from all the major world markets, be they the developed or the emerging ones. I concur and add that another significance of Nigeria’s symbolic centralised position on the planet is that we stand the chance to build a nation that will not only play a major and central role in shaping the affairs of men in the next decades and centuries but that can indeed become the centre of attraction for all mankind!

In all, it is evident from the foregoing that, present challenges notwithstanding, Nigeria is another wonder of the world waiting to manifest its glory! Come to think of it, no other country in the world is as strategically positioned as Nigeria is! Nigeria is the gateway into its sub-region. It is the ‘trigger’ to its continent and it is at the centre of the world! What can beat that?

GOD bless Nigeria!

Raymond is on Twitter @Raymond_Eyo