Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America!

History has been made! African Americans are becoming equals with fellow citizens of the United States of America. I only wish that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is alive today to be witness to all this.

African Americans are reaching the "mountain top" of America politics! It is poignant too that Senator Obama sealed/clinched his nomination in Denver Colorado mountainous city which is euphemistically called "mile-high"

America is fulfilling it promise of equality for all her citizens. America is about to pull ahead, full-throttle with an Obama presidency.

There are enormous and hugely immense lessons in all this ... for the entire world!

I wait anxiously and very eagerly, the day that I can say President Barack Obama! God Bless America!

In view of the checkered history of Africans and peoples of African descent worldwide, from the twin evils of slavery and colonialism to racism etc, I was not so sure... that the unfolding events in the United States culminating in Senator Obama's nomination for president of the United States would occur in my life-time.

So, everyone really counts in America?

I am delighted to be alive to be witness to these epoch making events.

This incandescent Senator Obama has inspired Americans and citizens of the world in immeasurable, most remarkable and most spectacular way.

My faith in America is being redeemed and it is a good day to be alive and in America! I am spellbound beyond words. I am ecstatic!

God Bless America!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Too Little Too Late for Mrs. Clinton's Speech!

Hilary Clinton's convention speech may have come too late!

It may just amount to ... too-little-too-late ... she may have inflicted mortal and fatal wounds on Barack Obama... What with John McCain use of Hilary Clinton's damaging words against Barack Obama?

Mrs. Clinton Karl Roved Barack Obama during the Primaries and those brutal and acerbic words of hers have since become weapons in the hands of the "enemy" and this was predictably foreseeable and Mrs. Clinton knew this from the onset. She is not dumb.

Mrs. Clinton may have killed Mr. Obama's joy more than once; she refused to quit the race even when it was apparent that she was out and out mathematically... she then handed ammunitions and weapons to the Republicans and now, she has not repudiated Mr. McCain use of her previous attacks on Mr. Obama.

Mrs. Clinton cannot extricate or exonerate herself from any misfortunes that Barack Obama may face henceforth.

The use by Mr. McCain of Mrs. Clinton's caustic and belligerent campaign words against Mr. Obama in late Spring and early Summer ... has been very effective by all accounts.

This perhaps coincides with Mrs. Clinton’s calculations and strategies.

No surprise there!

Mrs. Clinton is ... for all intent and purposes... a spoiler... a sore loser... who saw her defeat and decided nevertheless to ruin it for Mr. Obama and the Democrats... just because she could not have it!

Mrs. Clinton’s convention speech could have been more emphatic in support of Mr. Obama, and she could have specifically repudiated Mr. McCain’s use of her attacks against Obama. She sat on the fence in this regard. Deliberate equivocation, I think.

Talk of Democrats snatching defeat for themselves!

2008 elections is tailored made victory for the Democrats...

1. Economic crises

2. High unemployment rate

3. Mortgage meltdown and consequent foreclosures

4. Two foreign wars going on simultaneously

5. Wasteful spending and plunder of a Surplus turned multiple digits deficit

6. The corrosion of American ideals

7. The abridgment of Civil Liberties

AND much more ... wrong-headed and arrogant policies of the Bush administration/Republicans during the preceding 8 years!

It is unforgivable, if what ought to be a SURE victory in these 2008 elections is squandered through in-fighting ferociously engineered by Mrs. Hilary Clinton who thought the world owe her the nomination or coronation!

Can the Democrats salvage, retool and become victorious in November 2008? I am holding my breath!

Most sincerely,

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

British Airways Treat Nigerians with Utmost Disdain, Disrespect and Utter Contempt!

British Airways – a Customer Care nightmare for Nigerians
Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photo: Sun News Publishing
More Stories on This Section

Philip Kotler wrote in his “Marketing Insights from A-Z” that “American Airlines treat customers differently beyond assigning different size seats and different cuisine. Passengers who have accumulated millions of miles get Executive Platinum Advantage treatment: they enter shorter line at checking, board earlier, get frequent upgrades, and receive surprise gifts such as interesting books and crystal Tiffany glass wares”.

What does British Airways give its Nigerian Customers? Disdain; disrespect for a high ranking monarch; insults; police handcuffs and detention; life ban from travelling on its airlines; exploitative airfares; etc.

The March 27 incident on Lagos bound British Airways flight BAO75 which culminated in the offloading of 135 passengers, mainly Nigerians, showed how mean the airline management could be towards Nigerians.

The incident also brought to the fore once again the kind of maltreatment that Nigerian passengers suffer in the hands of British Airways crew and the high contempt, which its management have for our people.
What happened on that faithful day should be seen as an inevitable climax; an eruption of a long bottled up customer care mismanagement that has since been taken for granted by the airline authorities.

The incident was sparked off when Nigerians aboard the British Airways flight protested the brazen brutalization of a fellow Nigerian who was being deported on the same flight. The astonished passengers including Ayodeji Omotade who probably had more courage to challenge the Nigerian’s tormentors, were ordered off the plane. Mr. Omotade, for speaking up, was later arrested, handcuffed, detained, lost his pounds sterling, banned for life from travelling on British Airways and finally charged to court. Did you just say it’s an overkill? Mind you Omotade was a paying passenger. He was not travelling free of charge.

Naturally, the incident elicited an outrage among Nigerians in Diaspora who called for an international boycott of the airline. Even the initially indifferent government of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua was miffed enough to issue a statement compelling the disdainful airline and its country’s diplomatic mission in Nigeria to render an explanation of what happened.

But just when the furore was beginning to die down, the same airline pulled the gangway from the feet of non other personality than His Eminence, Alhaji Said Abubakar Ill, the Sultan of Sokoto.
The Sultan and his entourage had arrived earlier at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to board a British Airways flight.

They waited at the VIP lounge for boarding to commence. When it finally did, the monarch was shut out in contempt before he could make his way to the flight.
The Sultan’s offence was that he did not subject himself to the humiliation of scampering along with other passengers, ticket and boarding pass in hand, to queue at the boarding point, like the rest. Would they do that to their Queen or a Saudi Prince?

One could only see in this act, an attempt to embarrass and perhaps teach the sultanate royalty a British Airways lesson in customer care, so that another day he would be the first passenger on the queue waiting for the crew to arrive from their hotel. What an insult!

Anyway, the Sultan has made it very clear that he will never travel by British Airways again even if he was given a free ticket. And that should be the attitude of Nigerian travellers now that its obvious the kind of peculiar customer care the airline has in store for them.

Even though the airline and the British High Commission have reportedly tendered apologies it still does not cancel the fact that both of them operate a deliberate policy to humiliate their Nigerian Customers and Clients.

As a matter of fact the degradation of the Nigerian traveller starts at the High Commission where there are no facilities put in place to manage teaming visa applicants inspite of the huge money made from them.

After the grueling ordeal at the High Commission they now move on to the cruel hands of the British Airways crew who treat them like some bunch of beggars who’ve been granted free passage and meals aboard their flight to UK. It is simply despicable!

One thing is very clear in all this though. Apologies or no apology; British Airway already has a psychological orientation – call it a mindset towards its Nigerian customers. This we saw in the way they treated a whole Sultan not minding that they just had a major fray with Nigerian passengers not too long ago. Humiliating the Nigerian customer has become an unconscious customer care reflex with British Airways. If you doubt it, try another route say London-New York. You ‘ll discover that the same monster crew we know on London-Lagos route automatically transform into guardian angels eager to suffocate their passengers with impeccable customer care and friendliness.

This is inspite of the fact that the Nigerian passenger pays much, much higher for a shorter journey than the New York passenger who pays much less for a farther distance. Yet the Nigerian is the one that gets the butt of British Airways Customer Care. Which makes one wonder what on earth has happened to the economics doctrine of offering value for money paid, because anything to the contrary tantamounts to fraud.

British Airways authorities have accused Nigerian passengers of being difficult to manage as they carry more luggage than they are entitled. They also claim that Nigerians don’t queue properly; they hold conversations in loud tones thereby creating noise; they don’t respond to directives, and all that crap. British Airways easily forgets that it’s running a business and we are talking about its most profitable route for goodness sake. The Nigerian traveller is good enough to be charged exploitative fares, but he is not good enough to express himself or demand value for his money. If British Airways thinks that Nigerian passengers are too troublesome, why don’t they resign the route and face Mauritania or Chad. Rubbish! The airline loves the money and profit but they don’t want to earn it. If a Nigerian Company did this, it would be interpreted as a 419 of sort.

The British are supposed to be teaching us about customer care but there they are with one of their prominent international companies turning customer care on its head. For avoidance of doubt, customer care, we all know, involves putting all systems in place to maximize the customers’ satisfaction with your business. It should be a prime consideration for every business as profitability depends on keeping your customer happy especially in a competitive environment.

The L-L. Bean Company credo is hinged on the customers’ strategic role in the survival of any business. It states that, “A customer is the most important visitor on our premises. He is not dependent on us – we are dependent on him. He is not an outsider in our business he is part of it. We are not doing him a favor by serving him… he is doing us a favour by giving us the opportunity to do so”.

It is obvious that it is because Nigerian travellers lack veritable alternatives that they have continued to accept the humiliating treatments from British Airways. And the airline knows too that the traveller has a few viable options like Virgin Nigeria,Bellview and a couple of others.Which can hardly cope with the passenger traffic. This why British Airways can afford to call the nations bluff and persist with their peculiar corporate attitude towards Nigerians.

In the light of this reality it behooves our government to take practical steps (through her regulatory authorities) to jar British Airways into realizing that the Nigerian customer is the king no matter the lowly impression the airline may have of him or her.

A truly elected government of the people owes them a duty to strongly intervene in situations like this to save them from further humiliation and maltreatment in the hands of an airline company that exploits them financially and emotionally. And where the airline is recalcitrant, the government should be resourceful enough to make an alternative arrangement for the Nigerian traveller.

The above article is culled from The Sun Newspapers of Nigeria

Monday, August 18, 2008

Expediency and American Foreign Policy in Pakistan

Expediency and American Foreign Policy in Pakistan
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Everyone including the current American government administration of President George W. Bush knew that Musharaf was a dictator, an autocrat and an exceedingly undemocratic in his pursuit of public policies.

And yet, he was propped-up and supported laterally for so-called strategic “national security interest” which is almost always the same as building a house on quick sand, instead of laying a solid foundation on sturdy for everlasting superstructures.

When will shortsighted policy pursuits end?

Well, now, another despot has left the stage, and not a moment too soon. Pakistan and the world will be better for it. Good riddance!

Why does America always find herself in bed with autocrats, despots, tyrants and brutal political actors with Machiavellian auto reflexes? Imagine America as symbolizing freedom, liberty and democracy but cozies up with forces which are staunchly allied against freedom, liberty and democracy? Strange bedfellows indeed!

Why claim to be mother and grandmother of all that is good, but, constantly supporting all that is worse than bad? What is the definition of an oxymoron?

While President of Pakistan, Mr. Musharaf fired 60 judges in one full-swoop, he declared a state of emergency, all, while dismantling democratic structures on ground in Pakistan.

How can a man with this sorts of sordid pedigree claim to be a credentialed democrat or worse, friends of the United States of America?

Mr. George W. Bush, pumped billions of dollars in American taxpayers’ money, into the hands of Mr. Musharaf and his cohorts in Pakistan, Mr. Bush blindly supported Musharaf, in the name of the so-called war-on-terror, but, Mr. Osama bin Ladin is bin hiding in Pakistan ever since… with wink and nod from “our strongest ally” Musharaf!

Billions of dollars spent, money which have produced the slightest positive impact on the citizens of Pakistan nor procured safety for American citizens by way of insurance against terror through the decimation of terrorists.

Americans and the people of Pakistan have been doubly doused and flamed by Mr. Bush and his friend Mr. Musharraf!

Our Culture and Technology

Our Culture and Technology
By Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Culture is defined as the essence of life, the way of life (and death)! of a people. Culture therefore, properly described, encapsulate the modes of existence of a people from cradle to grave

Culture will continue to be crucially relevant to all groups and communities and nations worldwide. Technology on the other hand, is merely a tool, which deliver culture more conveniently, more speedily and in multivariable formats.

Anyone with a scintilla of reason and good sense must never neglect or jettison relevant and good culture. Reform culture? Enhance culture? Perhaps! But kill your culture? NO! It is your essence, it is what makes you, you!

Culture is the core and crust of all human lives on earth and it follows us even into space travels and unto walks on the moon or explorations underwater, underground and on mars!

Culture is at the cusp of all celebrations, jubilations and joys. Cultures propel communities, peoples and nations. Culture clash and conflicts have been reason for war and violence between humans. The desire to preserve culture remains a key component factor which drives human development

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Osama Bin Ladin's Chief Strategist?

So, Osama’s driver was his chief strategist? Just when I thought it was Zawahiri!

I am opposed to any form of terror, terrorism and any form of violence. I am also opposed to the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq, a formerly sovereign nation, hitherto with political independence and inviolate territorial integrity, until W. Bush.

I am deeply distrustful of Mr. Bush wrong-headed policies (foreign and domestic) The Republicans are adept at manipulative actions and as such, I would not be surprised if the Republicans suddenly have an October Surprise for Americans and the rest of the world, as Bush and his cohorts may spring Osama B Laden from his “hideout” on October 1st and the Republicans spurs a national euphoria which “rewards” them with the White House and everyone is in a dazed stupor thereafter!

And by the way, where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction and mushroom clouds in Iraq?

Bush and the Republicans have had 8 unfettered years to find Osama B Ladin, but instead, they frittered away opportunities to do just that, from Tora Bora to Pakistan

These Guantanamo trials should wait until after the inauguration in January 2009, or how can we tell that these are not just more of the Mr. Bush orchestrated events of the past seven plus years of his presidency? The timing is spooky, yes! I know there have been a series of legal wrangling between the prosecutors and the attorneys for the defense. But the proximity of these sorts of grandstanding against terror, just a few months before the general elections, makes me suspicious.

There are more than 200 detainees in Guantanamo Cuba awaiting trial now, it is impossible to try all of them between now and January 20, 2009, why won’t Republicans let the Democrats inherit the prisoners, just as Democrats will inherit a battered economy, two foreign wars, rising inflation and galloping deficit?

Why Bin Laden’s driver? Is he the most prominent or highest profile prisoner in Guantanamo?

We must now arrest Mr. Bush’s driver for providing material support to Bush and Mr. Cheney etc, during the invasion of Iraq?

We must now include Mr. Bush’s driver in the pursuit of Mr. Bush himself for War Crimes in the invasion/occupation of Iraq, which has led to the untimely deaths hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and over 4, 000 American troops.

Where is Milosevic’s driver? Where is Vladic’s driver and oh, did Hitler have a driver?

Perhaps Mr. Bush has one or two last gasp of shock and awe for America voters? Influencing the general elections through exaggerated terror wars, terror warnings and a very orchestrated terror trials or even new capture, a la October Surprise?