Thursday, August 23, 2007


Mr. Paul I Adujie

Oprah Winfrey is a person of African descent, for whom I have publicly expressed admiration, poured encomiums in a most public way, and only recently in: “Oprah Winfrey: Powerful, Selfless & Giver of Dignity!”

Sadly and painfully, it has come to pass that our daughter, the highly achieved and accomplished Oprah Winfrey, our most famous descendant, has chosen, wittingly or unwittingly, to add her high profile voice, through her far reaching medium, to the campaign of calumny against Nigerians and invariably, Nigeria.

Oprah maligned Nigerians and Nigeria, all in the name of discussing identity theft and sundry frauds, which have become prevalent in America. These crimes and others, are a public threat and as such, warrant public conversations, but why must Oprah and others focus on whether some perpetrators are Jews, Germans, Japanese, Mexicans or Nigerians?
Generalizing and stereotyping Nigerians or Nigeria, labeling and castigating Nigerians and Nigeria, has become a totem of American journalism.

What Oprah and her cohorts are doing to Nigerians and Nigeria, with these frequent stereotyping and generalizing, should be exposed for what they are! These are primordial, primitive and erratic ignorant responses or value judgments about 140 million Nigerians, of whom these journalists know nothing about! And yet, these journalists, in their happy ignorance, talk about Nigerians with some sorts of expertise, amounting only to, automatic responses without erudition analytic acumen.

There are unfortunately, some Nigerians who are forever willing to jump to justify these attacks on Nigeria; Such as when Nigeria was maligned by CNN in “How to rob a bank” or when CNN’s Jeff Koinage orchestrated and choreographed a pay-per-view strip-tease “expose” on Militants in the Niger Delta or when ABC Television’s Brian Ross’ “Black Money: The Latest Twist in the Billion Dollar Nigerian Scam Racket”

I am no longer willing to be patient with the halting Nigerian, who keeps insisting, that 100 percent of Nigerians must do right, always, for we must act just right, so that Americans and Europeans complaints and castigations of Africans may come to a stop. Non-Africans’ uncommon negative ferocity directed at Nigerians and other Africans, must be seen for what they are! Irresponsible journalistic prejudices wrapped in racism. As often as I encounter these ferocious attacks against my nation and my continent, I always wish that I have the natural, divine and even, supernatural powers to write thrillingly eloquent defense of Nigerians, continental Africans and all peoples of African descent.

This week alone, I have read public comments by a tenured Nigerian professor at the University of Maiduguri, Professor Abba Gana Shettima who was denied a visa to the Gambia, a visa that would have enabled him deliver a public lecture of continental proportions in importance. He narrated his ordeals in an article titled “Between (‘419’) fraudsters and their greedy ’victims” Additionally, an article by Joseph Anwana who also narrated what is increasingly appearing to be concerted efforts to repudiate everything Nigerian and Nigeria, Nigerian Employers And Tokunbo Mentality

These persistent and sustained attacks on Nigeria, have dire consequences for Nigerians and Nigeria, severally, in the short and long terms, as well as repercussions for Nigerians as individuals striving, in and outside Nigeria. And Nigeria as a corporate entity, that is continually under barrages of attacks or endless bashing.

If you happen to disagree or do not see the point here, just ask yourself, what did Professor Shettima do, to be denied a visa to Gambia to attend a seminar/workshop? Then further ask yourself who is next in line to be meted this injustice resultant from our national smears, you or me? Why is it, that we never similarly see press references to other criminals by race, ethnicity and nationality? A fraudster is a fraudster, a killer is a killer, not because he is American or Nigerian or Briton!

Oprah Winfrey is a very experienced and savvy journalist. Oprah posses a very powerful medium, her show is seen worldwide. When she mentions a book, it becomes an instant bestseller. Imagine then, the impact, the damaging impact of her singling out Nigeria, in negative portrayals! That is the power of O! I take the view that Oprah must therefore use such phenomenal power with utmost restraint and sense of responsibility.

Oprah’s singular act of choosing to join the voyeuristic, scandalous and teasingly salacious Western Press’ sour attitude toward Nigeria, is a new low in American journalism.

It is the responsibility of Nigerians to inform Oprah and others in the world, that corruption, advance fee frauds and other aberrant behaviors, are not inured and infused into Nigerians’ DNA. Thieves must be called thieves and murders must be called murderers, not Americans or Nigerians. Bad behaviors are not peculiarly Nigerian!
There is no national particularity or outlook, in the methods of operations deployed by criminals born in America or Nigeria! Those who generalize about Nigerians, and Nigeria, are aware of this. They chose to gloss over these pertinent and salient points.

How could Oprah with her American experience along with other 40 million persons of African descent in the United States, afford to stereotype 140 million Nigerians? How could Oprah not know or remember the racist charges against African Americans? And how African American males were, and are still stereotyped in American press as having predispositions to violence and love for raping white women? How could Oprah forget how racists in America portrayed African American women as having predisposition to being harlots and prostitutes with lose or easy morals. All these, to enable racists white America, to demean and devalue African Americans and then, lynch them metaphorically and physically?
Nigerians are being maligned now, just as African Americans, this, in complete disregard the overwhelming evidence and facts, African Americans were, and are still disrespected in the press, and Oprah knows it! The disrespect and stereotyping of Africans Americans continues even though there are available cogent, concrete and compelling truth of African American resilience and successes against all pains and all odds.

Oprah’s joining of the bandwagon of those at CNN and ABC Television etc is a shock to me. Those who have selectively and deliberately chosen to highlight some Nigerians with negative or criminal behaviors, as the gold-standard for measuring 140 million multitude of Nigerians on earth, are most offensive and pedestrian. Only those who are willfully undiscerning, who would choose to excuse or exonerate the mugus, those gullible and greedy persons, who often collude and connive with crooks, in their joint attempts to reap from where they have not sown. Those who connive with 419ers are criminals with criminal tendencies. Or why would they expect their cats to give birth to hens? Or expect to inherit millions of dollars from strangers, suddenly?

Oprah by this act, plays into the hands of those who have accused her of offering meticulous orchestrated and equally carefully choreographed shows to please her audience an audience, said to be overwhelmingly and predominantly White/ Caucasian.

Why can’t discussions or conversations about identity thefts and frauds in America, be in proper big picture perspectives and done in contextual manner? Why blame it on the Nigerians? And why for instance, did Oprah not refer to the mugus on her show, solely, as American mugus? So that it will be the Americans versus Nigerians, on her show? Truth be told, the persons on that episode of her show, comprised, the crooks and the gullible

Oprah’s attack and onslaught on Nigerians, is an ironically sad throwback, it is reminiscent of the mindless stereotypes and sweeping generalizations against peoples of African descent in Minstrel shows in America of yore.

What a sad irony? A person of African descent, as knowledgeable and media savvy as Oprah, would condescendingly generalize and stereotype her own Nigerian Kit and kin in Nigeria, Africa?

Oprah should be told not to hit anyone who is already down. Oprah should be told to be quiet if she has nothing good to say about Nigerians, her African relatives!

Nigerians, continental Africans and all peoples of African descent are minutely inundated with scathing and scorching negative world press. Without the rare luxury of presentations in positive lights. I assume Oprah is clearly and keenly aware of this luck of the draw for our peoples.

Our peoples, all through history, have not had the favor of dignified and respectful presentations of our culture and way of life, of our birth, death or marriage etc.

Some including myself had expected, imagined and assumed that, our peoples have common fate and have a common cause. Consequently, the first amongst us to have a high pedestal, such as Oprah Winfrey has created for herself, would inevitably, aspire to portray our peoples in the best of lights.

As oppose to, and instead of, joining the bandwagon and taking the easy and low road to the perdition of negative sweeping generalizations and stereotyping of our peoples.

How be it, that Oprah did not opt for the high road? How be it that Oprah did not engage in the more difficult and arduous tasks of using her worldwide platform to drum up business investments and tourism for Nigeria and all Africa?
Why did Oprah have to ply the low road? Why did she choose the route of maladroitly recycled garbage, recycling old news of the lowest negatives, and aberrant behaviors of a few Nigerians. Is it about television ratings, the Nielsen? Is it to whet the appetites of those in these parts, with unquenchable appetite for lurid dinner jokes at our expense? Or is it for the voyeuristic consumption of her worldwide audience?

Crimes and criminals are repulsive and are deemed repugnant and reprehensible by majority Nigerians just as the majority of their American counterparts do.

A majority of Nigerians at home and abroad, are law abiding, hardworking decent human beings, just like their American counterparts.

A majority of Nigerians are virtuous and decent.

It is our belief that virtues and vices are universal, as universal as the addresses of junk-mail senders and as universal as the addresses of Spammers - who frequently invade the privacy of our e-mail, addresses, soliciting, and making legal and illegal propositions!
Oprah and others, must ask themselves what percentage of their received junk-mails spam-mails are generated by Nigerians? Which will enable them to extrapolate and by extension, assert the castigations and labeling of 140 million as irredeemably corrupt or corruptible.

Clearly and certainly, therefore, its one thing to hold lectures, seminars and television shows on the evils imbued and encased in identity theft, advanced fee frauds, the perpetrators and the persons involved, are persons, who are for the most parts, comprised of crooks, the greedy-gullible sorts, who seek to take unfair advantage of us all.

It is however, quite another thing to hold television shows as CNN has done as ABC television done, as they engage in sordid campaigns, of which Oprah has now joined, and to describe in false pretense, in manners - as if junk-mails, Spam-mails and identity theft or even corruption are things peculiar Nigerians! In fact, I have been a victim of identity theft, and I am red-hot, fully blooded Nigerian!

What is worse? Oprah and others, have most ignominiously use these awful phenomena of junk-mails, spam-mails, identity - theft and corruption to label Nigerians and Nigeria for behavior that are not particular and peculiar to Nigeria.

Oprah and others like her, have extrapolated in their strenuous efforts to label and castigate Nigerians, and by extension, Nigeria as a nation of, 140 million as if, a nation of irredeemably corrupt and corruptible persons?

As a Nigerian, I worry about Nigeria’s image in particular, the image of all Africans and all peoples of African descent in general. I often worry about our peoples image and how to transcend these negative images thrust upon our peoples. Negative images coupled with our peoples checkered history, has caused immeasurable pain and enduring damage, to our sense of self and self worth. These are indeed, un-quantifiable losses, to our peoples.

As Nigerians, Africans and peoples of African descent it is our responsibility and in fact our sacred duty to repel and throw off the negative and false images that have been thrust upon Africans and peoples of African descent.

Often, I write or aspire to write positively, deliberately positively, about our peoples, because, knowing as I do, from experience, that our peoples do not as yet posses the medium to broadcast our images positively as CNN and the BBC do for the US and UK respectively and Oprah and others most probably, already knows about this dearth of positive images of our peoples in the American and European or so-called Western Press.

I am charitable and objective enough, not to assume or even think that Americans own, hold trademarks, copyrights or patents and exclusive preserves to criminalities - whether of murder, frauds etc. Nigerians hold no such trademarks, patents, copyrights and exclusive preserves in advance fee frauds or 419 and other crimes. Americans and America are not perfect. Nigerians and Nigeria are not perfect. There are virtues and vices in America; and let us be clear and fair about it, just as we have them in Nigeria.

Nigerians worldwide must reject the unfair labeling and castigations by Oprah and her cohorts. Nigerians worldwide, do in fact reject these negative characterizations and the gratuitous insults that emanate from such. Nigerians and Nigeria, will surmount these evil campaigns! Nigerians must not be willing to lay down and die or just roll over, as these castigations and unfair labeling are being stacked and piled upon us. Arise Nigerians, Nigeria!

Attorney General’s Power-Grab and Misplaced Priorities?

Attorney General’s Power-Grab and Misplaced Priorities?
ByPaul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Whose agenda would it be to cripple the EFCC and ICPC? Who would benefit? Why would the first major outing by Nigeria’s Minister for Justice have created the impression, that he was set to give corrupt public officials, some sorts of get-out-of-jail cards?

There have been spate of conflicting messages from key cabinet officials. It is understandable that our new president, Umaru YarAdua has been taking tentative steps in forays into national issues. Any new president probably would. This is why t is quite understandable as well, that Nigerians, despite our long-suffering, have offered a sorts of honeymoon to President Yar’Adua since his inauguration on May 29, 2007.

However, our president should be careful not to allow mischief makers with ulterior motives, to misrepresent him on crucial public policy issues or hijack his government.

President Yar’Adua must stem the discordant and cacophonous voices emanating from our federal government, courtesy of some of his appointees, who are, it seems, to be acting at cross-purposes, with the president, misstating his set agenda. Recent comments and pronouncements by presidential appointees are baffling; further unnecessary goofs and gaffes must be avoided or minimized.

Careless public statement by senior presidential appointees can quickly undermine a president, even a president with good intentions and good plans for Nigeria. Some of us are beginning to wonder about certain appointees. Presidential appointees must create the appearance, in words and actions, that they are focused on Nigeria’s national interests

It was humbling to watch the general uproarious reactions from Nigerians that greeted the comments by the attorney general regarding the EFCC. A newspaper editorial went further to question the judgment and ethics, which informed the attorney general’s comments regarding the EFCC. There will be no castrating and manacling of the EFCC.

Personally, in view of recent presidential actions, I also have had to wonder aloud, whether the attorney general gave good legal advice to our president regarding his well-publicized meeting with ex-governors, ex-governors, who are indicted and currently facing trial for pillaging, plundering and looting Nigeria’s public wealth. Corrupt enrichments for the selfish benefits of the ex-governors. It is unwise and ill-advised for our president to have met with those who are awaiting criminal trials. Why meet with ex-governors who are facing trial? What is the benefit of these sorts of meeting? Why meet with the indicted?

Amnesty International recently released a report in connection with the appalling conditions in Nigeria’s prisons and detention centers. Nigerians actually did not need Amnesty International to remind us of the decrepit and fetid conditions of prisons and detention centers in Nigeria. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo had a direct personal experience in the abject and squalid conditions in which detainees in Nigeria must live. As a result, as president of Nigeria, he established a prison decongestion commission. And now, we must ask, where are the recommendations or report of that commission? When will these reports and recommendations be implemented to ameliorate and alleviate the pungent conditions in which detainees in Nigeria are compelled to live?

It seems to me that the appalling squalid and pungent conditions endured by detainees in Nigeria, should concern Nigeria’s new attorney general and minister for justice. Further, it would seem that the attorney general and minister for justice would need to establish his self-proclaimed avowal as champion of the rule of law, with policies that will improve the conditions in prisons and detention centers in Nigeria.

Additionally, the attorney general must seek to establish his credentials as a rule of law champion, by establishing rules that would prevent needless detentions of persons in Nigeria. Currently, there are tens of thousands of Nigerians in prison cells and detention centers, and an overwhelming majority of these detainees are, “Awaiting Trials” most of these persons, are clearly innocents, who have been picked up by law enforcement agencies without justifications, if at all, for flimsy “reasons”

The attorney general and minister of justice, appears self-interested in the well-being of the upper class Nigerians. As he is obviously fixated on welfare of the ex-governors who are currently facing trials, and how longer, than 48 hours these looters may be detained by the EFCC. He is, in doing so, reaffirming Nigeria as a class conscious society with attendant social stratifications, in the most negative ways. The poor are punished for being poor!

How is it that the self-proclaimed champion for the rule of law, the new attorney general, has not publicly placed his prison decongestion policies for national debate?

How is it that the attorney general has not bothered to articulate his thoughts and policy responses, to the well publicized appalling conditions in Nigerian prisons and detention centers?

Why has the attorney general and minister of justice not asked himself and supply the reasons why the average detainee in Nigeria spends more than 48 hours in detention?

Why has the attorney general and minister of justice not asked why Nigeria has so many “Awaiting Trials” detainees? Why does the attorney general seem to reserve his tears for looters and their prospects of being in prisons or detention centers for more than 48 hours? Why is he not similarly verbose and garrulous in worries about poor detainees?

Is the concern for rich thieves, rich criminals, rich treasury looters the AG’s motivation?
Is the protection of the corruptly rich, the attorney general’s rule of law postulations?

Is this, the concern that is driving the attorney general’s botched attempt to cripple the EFCC? Nigerians should inform the attorney general that we have No Tears for Looters!

There were newspaper reports a few days ago, to the effect, that some presidential aides were meeting privately, in far away London, churning out deals, that would revive the business empires of the Chagouri brothers in Nigeria. All this, without the approval or knowledge of the president! If these press reports are true, we will have to ask; What sorts of cabals surround our president?

While it will be unfair to blame President Yar’Adua for the transgressions of his errant appointees, it must be clear to our president, that the buck stops with him. As the successes and challenges of his administration will be his legacy and his legacy alone.

President Yar’Adua must therefore be mindful of who he appoints, what his appointees stands for ideologically, politically and what their general dispositions are.

So far, some presidential appointees in these first few months of President Yar’Adua’s administration, seem to be creating first impressions that lasts. Negative first impressions could imperil the image and reputation of President Yar’Adua. The president must therefore assert his presidential authority, unfettered. He must put his stamp of authority on public policies. Loyalty to the nation, Nigeria’s national interests in the agenda or script of our current president must be the guiding principle of presidential appointees in their utterances.

Presidential image makers must actively seek to properly present our president and his agenda on the issues. Public presentations, pronouncements and utterances must be rigorously coordinated. Cabinet officers, presidential appointees and presidential aides must all stay on the message. Everyone must observe restraints and avoid gaffes and goofs that do not serve this president well and invariably, Nigeria’s national interests.

Anyone in the presidency, who chose to disregard coordinated and cohesive public presentations of presidential policies and programs, should be yanked from their position.

Those who are incapable of necessary and requisite restraints, incapable, either out of indiscipline, greed or mischief, must be removed from their positions now; such removal must be undertaken, in this early stage of the presidency of President Yar’Adua.

The time to create good first impressions is now, lasting positive impressions in these early stages, would help to establish President Yar’Adua’s image and reputation. Any appointee whose actions and words, in public pronouncements or utterances, are inconsistent with this, must be compelled to depart from President Yar’Adua’s team. President Yar’Adua needs our support to succeed, as does Nigeria.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Bravoes, Kudos to Soludo: On Naira Strategic Agenda

Bravoes, Kudos to Soludo: On Naira Strategic AgendaWritten by Paul I. AdujieNew York, United States

Professor Charles Chukuma Soludo deserves our collective rounds of national applause, for his bold and courageous moves regarding his Naira Strategic Agenda; in fact, we owe him thunderous applauses for his purposeful audacity!

The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria is a regulatory activist, who has just successfully pursued and completed, his much criticized and demeaned, banks consolidation policy. Professor Soludo is a man that I admire and respect. He is a person who is actively engaged and focused on Nigeria’s fiscal-financial health. He has, through his vigorous pursuit of financial health, with rigorous public policies. He seeks to put and place Nigeria in good fiscal-financial stead.

Rapidly, he has been rolling out reforms in the financial sub-sector, which always seem to roil and keep his critics nonplussed, dumb-founded.

Governor Soludo’s detractors are inattentively oblivious of other Central Bankers in America and Europe, who often resort to activist modes of actions, to keep their national economies in perpetual growth and upsurge.

Whereas, too many Nigerian economists and fiscal “experts” seem to suffer time-warps, as they appear to bury their heads in Business Schools social science abstract academic theories, theories that are quite often, not applied in real terms in everyday real life situations, even in countries, where some these arcane ideas, were first propounded and postulated in the first place! Originators of sundry economic theories and abstract models, seem to be very comfortable in adjusting and sometimes, jettisoning their own theories altogether, in obeisance to their national interests.

While too many Nigerian economists apes and mouths antiquated or mundane free market theories, spouting demand and supply rules, as if these are the sole factors determinants, in the realm of modern economies. Market forces, market forces and market forces? Please!

Why are too many Nigerian economists so adept Pavlov-dog regurgitations of abstract economic theories that the have wrought extreme pains and sufferings, upon Nigerians by the wayward policies of SAP? Even while Americans and Europeans, are quick to relegate to the abyss of bad theory history, whenever their national economic interest is at stake.

Kalu Idika Kalu and Olu Falae, brashly critical and dismissive of Governor Soludo’s proposals last week. Nigerians ought to ignore these men, they are reminders our sordid past policies. These persons should be the last to criticize Professor Soludo, Kalu in particular, is public policy throwback of our painful Structural Adjustment Programs or SAP era, and we must ask, whether there have been any positive benefits from SAP, unless pain, suffering and hardship are considered benefits?

These prominent Nigerians, parading as fiscal policies “experts” appear lost in time and space, and they are the same persons who presided over the two-and-half decades old free-fall and downward spiral of our national currency, the Naira; this, bestowed upon Nigerians and Nigeria, with physical, fiscal and even psychological damages that are now all to obvious, damages that are deep in consequences and are far reaching in ramifications.

Among the physical, fiscal and psychological hemorrhaging damages, are, capital flight, mass migration, brain drain, un-quantifiable national loss of faith and trust in the worthiness of our national currency, the Naira.

A re-denomination, or, a revaluation, will lead to a resurgent and resilient Naira. A resilient Naira will be the backbone and engine-room of a rebound, robust and vibrant Nigerian economy. Countries in America and Europe are quick to intervene, interfere and bailout their currencies and their economies and the economies of countries to which they are friendly. And here are some examples.

In 1994, massive bailouts in billions of dollars were offered to Mexico, to stabilize its economy from a near bankruptcy from financial crises. It was an activist-interventionist economic or financial rescue, a big rescue of Mexican economy. It offered Mexico a soft-cushion, a soft-landing. Market forces theorists, be damned!

In 1997, billions of dollars in bailouts were similarly offered to a then backpedaling of the so-called Asian-Tigers, tigers that were at the time, literarily, crouching! As we all know, these tigers that were hitherto, before crouching, were actually galloping, in growth and the toasts of the so-called new market boom. These rapid-response bailouts averted and staved off, the feared Asian contagion that loomed at the time.

Soon after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia, its successor-survivor, of the USSR empire received injections upon injections of massive bailouts cash in billions of dollars from their American and European new friends, who were mortal enemies during the frigid cold-war years

Again, and again, bailouts, upon massive bailouts, were the rule rather than policy exceptions, during the period under consideration. Israel also received massive bailout of more than $20 billion dollars in loan guarantees. Unconditional loan guarantees, without the “usual” stringent, stifling and growth retardant strangulating conditionalities. Conditionalities are reserved for, and are only fit, for countries like Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria or such.

Thereafter, the events of September 11, 2001, arose, and the American government rammed through, panoply of fiscal policies, replete with bailouts, rescue packages in the trillions of dollars. There were quadruple hundreds of billions of dollars, were reserved for airlines or America’s aviation industry, which was understandably hard-hit, as it took a direct hit from the hijacked planes and indirect hit, as the American general public developed cold-feet toward flying and sudden lukewarm attitude to flying, after the fatal flights on September 11, 2001.

In the recent liquidity crises and credit crunch precipitated by the sub-prime lending woes, which was brought upon us by irregular lending practices, and greed. The Federal Reserve of America and Central Bankers in Europe, in trepidation, injected more $200 billion dollars as a bailouts, rescue or shock-absorbing packages to steady the financial markets in America and Europe, to stave off the worst-case scenarios, of what could lead to or be a worldwide economic depression.

Structural Adjustment Program or SAP is not September 11, for Nigeria; but the effect of SAP on Nigerians is worse. The pains, the sufferings and the magnitudes of hardships inflicted on a massive scale, upon Nigerians and Nigeria is worse than September 11, 2001 was and could ever be on Americans. Generations of Nigerians have been forcefully, involuntarily scattered and dispersed all over the world. The social dislocations and national disenchantments caused to Nigerians and Nigeria by SAP is incalculably sad, they are widespread effects, which are felt nationally by all Nigerians. It is a debacle with effects more severe on Nigerians. The direct impact of September 11 on the Americans, were on World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, in Washington DC and a field in Pennsylvania; it was for the most part physical to these three cities, and psychological to all Americans.

SAP on the other hand, caused structural and psychological damage to Nigerians and Nigeria, across the board, nationwide and worldwide.

SAP, clipped our national collective sense of ourselves. SAP clipped our swagger. SAP sapped our national pride. SAP was inflicted upon Nigerians and Nigeria by those ensconced in the art of aping and mouthing morose and antiquated Business School Models and concepts of how things are “supposed -to-work” in real life, but never does.

SAP was imposed on us by those, who seem to have rote-learned models and concepts, which often have no practical applications in real life, even in America and Europe, where Adam Smith, John Keynes, Paul Samuelson, Jeffrey Sachs and other old and new economic theorists sprouted. And where economic theories, frequently touted by Nigerian fiscal “experts” originated; theories, that are too quickly, too gladly swallowed by too many Nigerian slews of “modern” economists. I take the view that we must examine economic models, concepts and sundry theories with keenness of mind, with a view to deconstruct such, for local relevance and applications to immediate conditions or circumstances

Too often, it is as if, our “experts” are credentialed to be in hot-pursuits of some sorts of catch-up game, with ideas and propounded concepts of foreign experts, this, even when such foreign experts and their countries of origins, operate frequently outside these Business School Models or parameters, theories and concepts. Do Nigerians swallow old unworkable concepts, hooks, lines and sinker?

Must Nigerian experts dogmatically and robotically continue to pursue abstract, academic and textbook theories? Even when it does not suite our local conditions and circumstances? Must we pursue public policies that are clearly inimical and at variant with Nigeria’s short-term and long-term national interests? Must Nigerians zombie-like, swallow theories because such theories sound good academically? Why must we follow models that do not benefit our nation? Why must any Nigerian, and in particular, in this fiscally wounded and still hemorrhaging generation of Nigerians; Nigerians who still suffer mightily from SAP’s obnoxious and debilitating policies, ever want to listen to Idika Kalu or Olu Falae? And for that matter, why would anyone want to listen to the old guards, who had one or the other thing, or something and anything to do with our national policies flowing into, within and from SAP?

I am willing to concede that it is acceptable to ask certain specific questions of Governor Soludo on his policy initiative phase II, as he describes it. What beyond logistical concerns determined the gestation period of one year August 2007- August 2009? Could this long time span not afford vile plans on the parts of those who wish Nigeria ill?

Secondly, Why was it necessary for the CBN to recently promote the redesigned larger Naira notes? The same notes that will now be withdrawn? Was this streamlining always part of CBN’s phase II? Or was it an afterthought? What necessitated the switch? We are not privy to all the facts and indices, which the Central Bank of Nigeria has relied.

Additionally, there is a development, since the policy announcements, that makes me have some reservations. A ringing endorsement by the World Bank gives me leery feeling about all this. Can CBN policy be good for Nigeria? Should Nigerians be very suspicious and be wary, of a policy, when a policy is so liked, almost instantaneously by the World Bank? Weren’t the World Bank and the IMF the architects of SAP, the cause of our present and persisting fiscal wounds and fiscal nightmare? Are the Breton Woods institutions now reformed or “born-again”? Even still, I am unwilling to dismiss Governor Soludo’s reforms and innovations.

Nigerians worldwide must be aware that Professor Charles Chukwuma Soludo is an activist economist for good cause, our nationally worthy fiscal cause. And those who swear by market forces, demand and supply’s received immutable theorems, should be aware that Professor Ben S. Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of the United States, is an activist too. Bernanke has, as recent as last week, intervened in the financial market, with cut and slice in the lending rate, as well as pumping billions of dollars into the financial market, instead of waiting for manufacturing base or market forces of demand and supply to solve the credit crunch and liquidity crises which America currently faces as a result of the mortgage meltdown.

Only last week, America and European Central Bankers, injected hundreds of billions of dollars in the financial system to stem the downward spiral of the dollars and the American economy, in the wake of the sub-prime lending scandal with the attendant molten meltdown in American mortgage industry sub-sector.

The Europeans followed the Americans with its activist-like, interventionist-like actions, to spur and nurture demand and supply, or market forces to act in sync, or cajole demand and supply to follow the orders of, American and European written scripts of national interests. Professor Soludo is, in my view, pursuing Nigeria’s national interests, just as his counterparts in America and Europe have always done and just what they did again, only last week, with direct intervention in the financial markets. It was the infusion of subsidy-like $200 billion dollars.

In America and Europe, official actions negate notions of freewheeling, or cavalier and laissez faire market forces of supply and demands. American and European officials obviously see such concepts as separate from real life economics and global developmental competition. Past and recent actions by American and European central bankers are clearly indicative of where their priority lay, between theory and practical actions for their national interests.

Nigerians experts can do no less for Nigeria

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Team Nigeria: A Perspective

Team Nigeria: A Perspective
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Events of the recent past, have demonstrated the immutable fact that Nigerians need national unity, and for that purpose, Nigerians urgently, must jettison petty family squabbles that arises from, what is at once, familial proximity and distance. And in this instance, familiarity clearly trumps insularity.

A simultaneous worldwide reaction by Nigerians on June 29th 2007 to the murder of Osamuyi Aikpitanhi, by the agents of the government of Spain, have removed every known and imagined obstacles or impediments to Nigeria’s national unity. Those who were ambivalent in the past, now have sufficient reasons to quit sitting on the fence in matters Nigerian. It is now clear, that a majority of Nigerians have no conundrum about our Nigerian-ness.

The cohesiveness by Nigerians, that was brought to bear on the Aikpitanyi murder by Spain, belie a great national issue. Leadership. When there is good leadership that marshals important national issues, with acute sense of purpose, and direction, with vision and foresight, a majority of Nigerians would rally to worthy Nigerians causes. This is what the responses to the call to arms, on June 29th 2007 exemplifies. It was catalytic!

The only confusion that I had, if at all, was whether, I should be happy or sad. I was happy, for the unity of action brought about, even though a very mournful and sorrowful event had caused our commonalities to shine from Abuja to Lagos, New York to London, Madrid and Dublin etc It was exciting to be part of an international efforts for a national cause. There was a sour-sweet feel, it was a painful sour-sweetness in the circumstances.

It was as if we had an itch, in an open wound, which needed to be scratched so badly, in order to assuage the itch, while at the same time, quite mindful and careful in the inexorable urge to scratch this itching irritation, without, at the same time, aggravating the wound. Nigerians mourned a compatriot, on June 29, 2007; the unity that arose from that, is worth every celebration, a celebration, without appearing to dance and clap at our compatriot’s funeral. A delicate celebration in the midst of a dirge.

And so it was, that on June 29th 2007, Nigerians worldwide and friends of Nigerians-Nigeria, together, rallied, demonstrated and participated, with incredible support for the protest that was staged to keep in public view, the tortured, brutal and horrific murder of a Nigerian citizen, Osamuyi Aikpitanyi by Spaniards, who were forcefully deporting him out of Spain to Nigeria.

Our collective outrage and grief, wrought upon us, an unfathomable cohesion across the usual and assumed negative common denominators of disagreements, mutual suspicions among regions, religions and ethnicities.

Many Nigerians and other Africans have been murdered in Europe in circumstances, similar to that of the brutal murder of Osamuyi Aikpitanyi by agents of the government of Spain. And such murders in the past have been without as much as a whimper of protests.

The difference between the past murders of Nigerians in the Diaspora, and the current one under discussion, is simply that a Nigerian in Padova, Italy, Mr. J.J Oguzie bothered at all to alert the rest of us. He alerted the world and Nigeria in particular, through his public comments there were published at

And a welter of support worldwide followed, with expression of deep outrage which flowed from subsequent comments. Suggestions from debates, which eventually culminated in what turned out to be a groundbreaking event; A first of its kind, epoch making, in the new global village, which is made possible for Nigerians by internet technology coordination, it was a virtual village square, it was certainly a surreal world, global communications and all.

All these occurred against the backdrop and near auto-response of apathy and distinctive nonchalance by some Nigerians to matters Nigerian or issues affecting Nigeria.

All these took place against the unique background of a near scientific belief, by some Nigerians, a belief in the absence or lack of a feeling of unity of purpose among Nigerians.

All these transpired, and by all accounts, with endearing proofs, in very successfully executed audio, video and still-pictures, testament to these momentous undertakings in the name of Nigeria.

Nigerians were united on June 29th 2007, for a common purpose. And, suddenly, we Nigerians, could mention each other, in the same sentence and in the hot-pursuit of a common national goal. We Nigerians were pursuing an interest together, and in unison. And with that, we inevitably drew a line in the sands, to the effect that an attack on one of our compatriots, as it was in Spain, is an attack on all of us!

Suddenly, we could say coalition and cohesiveness by all stripes and strata of Nigerians worldwide, and with unflinching support of our non-Nigerian friends, we acted as Nigerians seeking justice for Nigerians in the name of Nigeria!

Nigerians of all strata worldwide, were awakened as full blooded and red-hot blooded Nigerians. There were bells and whistles, and a no-holds-barred outpourings. Nigerians and our friends rallied, in response to one clarion call. Nigerians with bells and whistles, with supports and encouragements from far and near, from friends and well-wishers, trotted out under a global umbrella, interlaced in two bright and vibrant colors.

Our national flag of deep green bordering a white center, was hoisted and raised worldwide. Our deep forest-hunter green which is parsed proportionally, in the middle, with dazzling white of fresh snow, was raised in a majority of world capitals and wherever Nigerians lived. The Nigerian flag of green and white, as white as the open inside crevice of a mature coconut, was proudly raised for the dignity of Nigerians. We marched and marched under this huge virtual worldwide umbrella, replete with our glowingly beautiful national colors.

Nigerians made a point by rising to this occasion. By engaging in a hugely symbolically meaningful act, in the defense of one of our dead, and invariably, in the defense of ourselves, yes, our very selves! This amounted to the defense of one, and the defense of all

Our faith in our clout, our abilities and the wherewithal, to do more, thus, have been, established and without question!

We must now harness our “new” found voice, albeit, a voice was there, all the time, our new found coalition, cohesiveness and unity of purpose, for national good, for all Nigerians and for Nigeria.

Prior to these rallies, protests, and what now seems like a rediscovery of ourselves as Nigerians, irrevocably linked, entwined, and intertwined, even if in a surprisingly accidental find of self-confidence; It was, and it is, the case that, the absence of national unity of purpose, to coalesce into fruitful endeavors have, in the past prevented our country from achieving greater heights nationally and globally. This new unstated agreement amongst Nigerians, to act think globally and act locally for Nigeria, is profoundly, exciting!

This unstated agreements, that has turned in favor of Nigeria, will, hereafter, correct the absence of national purpose, which bedevils every issue and every Nigerians endeavors, which bedevils every efforts geared toward addressing them.

This lack of national purpose, and a sense of belonging or possessing stakes in the outcome of what becomes of our national interests, is perennial, it has become rather pervasive and all permeating and endemic; An affliction, which is suffered by political leaders, business leaders and even many of Nigeria’s average citizens, Adamu, Bola and Chime.

This aloofness and detachments, allows public officials to engage in selfishly egregious pillage and plunder of our public wealth or patrimony. This leads to disenchantment, in the citizenry, which in turn, have led some Nigerian soccer players, who are star strikers for foreign teams, to treat playing for Nigeria with levity. Haven’t we all?

Playing soccer on behalf of Nigeria, during important matches between Nigeria and other competing nations, is treated, for the most parts, as if unworthy of full efforts and full throttle stamina, by some Nigerian top soccer players. It is as if it is nothing worthy of full attention or priority. The result is that, such Nigerian athlete grudgingly, report to training camps and report often very late, and then, they are quick to resort to flouting reasonable rules intended for team unity, cohesion and achievement. Such athlete are frequently insubordinate, only observing rules in the breach.

Such athlete have been known to play games without focus, or play while willfully distracted. Some play, as if to exhibit or advertise the self, instead of the exhibition of a superior winning skill and spirit. A team spirit.

In real terms, and in metaphorical soccer terms, there are qualified and competent Nigerians in every field of human endeavors. There are Nigerian teams that are superbly equipped to make Nigeria a power-house! To make Nigeria win at every Olympics and World Cup soccer.

AND, oh! There are Nigerians, in “teams” in every field of non-sports human competition; be it in the field of medicine, science, business or legal fields etc; They are ready, willing and able.

Nigerians need clarion calls and a corralling of energies for Nigeria’s national purpose. We should be advised, that national call to arms, could be issued by you, a political leader or a business leader, or anyone for that matter, as did J. J. Oguzie in June 2007. A journey of a thousand miles, begins with the first steps!

Nigerians can from now on, play as a team in every field, and exhibit team spirit, harness our “new” found unity, coalition and cohesiveness for our national purpose. What may depend on all these, and on us? the development, advancement and greatness of Nigeria!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Kano-Nigeria Versus Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; An Update

Kano-Nigeria Versus Pfizer Pharmaceuticals; An Update
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Since the publication of my previous article on the illegal, unapproved and unethical clinical trials by Pfizer, in which Pfizer inflicted 11 deaths, injuries and sundry disfigurements upon innocent Nigerian children in Kano; there have been new developments - developments in which Pfizer is seeking, essentially, to have it, both ways!

Among these recent developments are, the informed withdrawal and re-filing, with amendments to the law suit filed by representative of Nigerian victims of Pfizer’s illegal actions. The amendments enables the originators of the litigation to adjust and re-emphasize, and it does emphasizes, the gravity and most egregious nature of the illegal and unethical activities that were conducted by Pfizer upon helpless, sick, innocent and hapless Nigerian children. Pfizer’s murderous illegalities resulted in the death of 11 of our children.

Furthermore, Pfizer has recently moved a motion or filed an application in which Pfizer has argued, urged and asked a Nigerian court to quash or dismiss the pending litigation against Pfizer arguing that Pfizer is an American company, over which a Nigerian court may not exercise any jurisdiction.

Subsequent substantive hearings in these court proceedings, have been scheduled and reschedule, some others have been adjourned, certain parts are adjourned, up until October 2007. There are criminal and civil legal cases that have been filed against Pfizer. These cases are currently proceeding simultaneously and some portions, pending or making some progress. These cases against Pfizer were brought by Kano State and the Nigerian Federal Government of Nigeria. Nigeria is expected to prevail in the quest for compensation verdict or judgments against Pfizer to benefit the victims of Pfizer’s illegalities that resulted in death, maiming and sundry disfigurements of Nigerian children

At this stage though, the applications or motions by Pfizer is very significant; this is so, in view of the fact the fact that Pfizer had previously deployed this tactic in New York successfully. Pfizer had a couple of years ago, argued that an American court in New York, did not possess the requisite jurisdictional predicate to enable the American court to permit the parties (the Nigerian victims/plaintiffs with their legal representatives on the one hand, and Pfizer the offending defendant on the other) to litigate or canvass issues of law and fact before the American court, sitting in New York.

The said American court accordingly, ruled in favor of Pfizer, albeit, while asserting that Nigeria was the proper forum and venue to litigation the consequences and Pfizer’s liabilities which arose from Pfizer’s frauds and criminal acts in Nigeria. The American court in New York dismissed the suit initiated by the Nigerian victims of Pfizer’s illegal, unapproved, untested and profit motivated inhumane clinical trials, using innocent Nigerian children in a guinea pig-like medical or pharmacological experiments. That judgment in essence, was that Nigeria is the proper venue or forum, as the activities or events being litigated occurred, transpired or took place in Nigeria. This is being appealed.

Pfizer has in Nigeria, now resuscitated its old winning argument used successfully before a New York court. Pfizer is now using the same arguments before a court in Nigeria. Pfizer has in effect, literarily, regurgitated its jurisdictional predicate defense; A defense that Pfizer had similarly adduced before an American court in the very recent past.

Pfizer is now invoking this same defense to vitiate and deflects its responsibilities to compensate Nigerian victims of Pfizer medical misadventures.

Jeanne Lenzer, an American journalist, and prolific writer on medical and pharmaceutical matters, sent an e-mail to me last week in reaction to Pfizer’s spurious defense in courts, both in America and Nigeria. Jeanne Lenzer titled her e-mail to me, “incredible, rage and fury!” She did so upon learning of the new developments in the cases in Nigeria.

She and I, have had previous conversations about these cases in Nigeria brought against Pfizer and what appears to be Pfizer’s tone-deaf attitude, since the inception of these cases
Jeanne Lenzer’s words, describes and aptly encapsulates my feelings exactly. It is incredible, it is outrageous! Pfizer’s actions and current attitude, has caused all reasonable persons to be irate at Pfizer for the killings of innocent Nigerian children, only to want to dodge compensations for victims, in Pfizer’s current desperate tactics.
Pfizer is incredulously, amazingly casual and cavalier, over its actions which led to the death of Nigerian children. Pfizer has demonstrated extreme depravities by, first conducting illegal clinical trials in Kano, with Trovan, an untested and unapproved drug. A drug which American regulatory agency, the Foods and Drugs Administration, specifically forbade use on children. Despite Pfizer’s knowing infliction of injuries and death on Nigerian children; Pfizer continues to be evasive, as it denies responsibilities and clear liability. Pfizer has a duty to compensate the Nigerian victims of its illegal actions in Kano

Pfizer’s atrocious clinical trials in Nigeria, are reminiscent of the infamous Tuskegee experiment on African Americans as human guinea pigs, Tuskegee experiment was illegal and it violated local, state and federal laws. An experiment in which, victims who were exposed Syphilis, were deliberately left untreated.

Similarly, Pfizer’s willfully and knowingly, violated American and Nigerian laws, when Pfizer proceeded to inflict injuries and death on Nigerian children with the use Trovan on children in Kano. Pfizer violated well-established international clinical trial protocols. Pfizer engaged in flagrant violations of laws and engaged in unethical practices. Pfizer, in complete disregard for common sense and human decency.

Clearly, Pfizer does not put any value or any worth, on the lives of Nigerian children! Hence Pfizer knowingly caused the death of 11 innocent Nigerian children in Kano as Pfizer maimed and injured many other children. All these, as a result, and due to Pfizer’s greed for profits or money at the expense of human lives in Nigeria. Pfizer’s attitude to the Nigerian children, should therefore be seen for what it is, extremely obnoxious.

I am irate at Pfizer for its offensive attitude in connection with the murderous killings of innocent Nigerian children in Kano. Pfizer has shown no remorse. Pfizer’s rotten attitude and its devaluation of the Nigerian lives informed and influenced its warped and twisted clinical trials in Kano, which was replete with illegalities and sundry ethical violations.

Pfizer has not demonstrated a scintilla of regret, over the unwarranted deaths, maiming and disfigurements caused by Pfizer to Nigerian children in Kano.

There ought to be public outrage against Pfizer. One has to wonder why there is no fury and umbrage in Nigeria directed at Pfizer. Where is the Nigerian Media/Press? Where are the Nigerian medical and pharmaceutical professionals/workers?

What would it take to enlighten and inform the Nigerian public of Pfizer’s actions, including its current attempt to avoid accountability for Pfizer’s killing of innocent Nigerian children?

Nigerians must NOT allow Pfizer to get away from the atrocities, which Pfizer committed in Kano. Nigerians must not allow Pfizer to benefit from its ability to speak from both sides of its mouth. Pfizer must not be allowed to get away with its multiple murderous killings of 11 innocent Nigerian children. We know that Pfizer is humongous multinational pharmaceutical corporation, a behemoth; but Pfizer is not above the law, rules, ethics and other well established clinical trials, protocols. Pfizer violated all these, in its actions in Kano Nigeria.

Even now, Pfizer is seeking to defeat its victims in Nigeria. Pfizer seeks to defeat the Nigerian victims of its illegal and ethical acts in Kano. It is clear that Pfizer put profits, money and greed above human lives in Nigeria. And out of greed, Pfizer is attempting to truncate the compensation cases that have arisen from Pfizer’s atrocities; Pfizer used an argument of absence or lack of jurisdiction over Pfizer itself, as defense in America, and now, as well in Nigeria.

If Pfizer succeeds in Nigeria, with its current argument of “absence or lack of jurisdiction” it would have eluded sanctions and accountability in America and Nigeria. Pfizer would have in effect established that it is above the laws in two continents, that Pfizer is above the law, period. And no one can hold them to account, that must not be allowed to happen

On a related note, matters of jurisdictional predicate, and exercising such, over Nigerians and Nigerian entities, have been litigated in the most recent past and in an equally high profile case. A civil case initiated by some Nigerians, such as Chief Anthony Enahoro and the Abiolas etc. Certainly, must have heard or subsequently become aware of the fact that two American court in Detroit, Michigan and later, another court in Chicago, Illinois assumed jurisdiction over General Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state of Nigeria, as he was sued a couple of years ago, for human rights violations by parties already mentioned.
Nigerian former leader has faced civil legal action in Detroit and Chicago respectively, in the United States. Abubakar lawyers argued absence or lack of jurisdiction of an American court over the former Nigerian leader, unsuccessfully. This, despite the fact that a Nigerian head of state has political immunity, and enjoys diplomatic immunity.

Such political and diplomatic immunity or protections from legal encumbrances or impediments, which may arise from actions undertaken in such leader’s official capacity, while acting as a head of state. A former Nigerian head of state, ought to be afforded, bestowed or be able to enjoy full diplomatic immunity and protections. And persons of General Abubakar’s stature, caliber and high political profile, is so entitled.

Besides, all these have happened, even though Nigeria is a friendly nation with America, with full cordial economic, trade and diplomatic relations

Regardless of these age-old established traditions and conventions, treaties and immutable usual practices of diplomatic finesse; two American courts, in Detroit, and then, Chicago, assumed jurisdiction over our former political leader, all, to our national chagrin. Perhaps to enable political propaganda at the expense of Nigeria?

Why then, as it appears, all of a sudden, an American court, removed itself, from considering the serious and very grave charges proffered against Pfizer in New York, over Pfizer’s illegal and unethical clinical trials in Kano Nigeria which resulted in 11 deaths and injuries to many Nigerian children.

Why then would an American suddenly lack or refuse to exercise jurisdiction over an entity that is, for all intent and purposes, both American and Nigerian? An entity that is actively engaged in business activities in Nigeria, with consequences touching Nigerians directly, including the aforementioned 11 deaths in Kano that resulted from Pfizer’s acts?

Could this sudden shift of the goal post in the middle of an important tournament, be as a result the economic consequences that would be visited on an American wrongdoer corporation as Nigerians succeeds in making Pfizer account illegalities committed in Nigeria?

Could it be because an American company is about to be exposed in Nigerian courts and compelled to pay for its horribly brutal actions? Could it be because of the consequent liability and great economic loss which Pfizer must suffer, liability which Pfizer endure as a result of verdicts and judgments that will arise in favor of Nigerian victims?

Nigerian victims of Pfizer’s ignominious acts in Kano, have rightly asked and demanded compensation from Pfizer. Pfizer perpetrated acts of horrors against countless innocent Nigerian children and these children’s who are compelled to haplessly grapple and tackle with the after-effects of Pfizer’s illegal, unethical and depraved clinical trials in Kano City.

Pfizer and other corporations operating in Nigeria, must be informed that they are not above the laws. They must learn to respect the laws and lives in Nigeria