Monday, October 26, 2009

Global Peace & Security Through Justice And Share Prosperity

Global Peace & Security Through Justice And Share Prosperity

Written by Paul I. Adujie

Global peace and security through justice, must be seen as an imperative for all of humanity’s common good

Interactions and interconnectedness of today’s world has intensified so much that international cooperation is no longer a matter of morality or a desire to hold hands and sing Kumbaya, singing Kumabaya has become an imperative for global security, and even existential survival of the human race

Increased global interactions and interconnectedness is exemplified by the ever increasing pace of extremism and violence. Extremism driven in part by abject poverty, driven by ignorance, driven by religions, and as well as the parts driven by greed of the sorts which propel narcotics trade with its associated violent brutalities, parts driven by greed, the type which led to the global financial or economic meltdown. And in this digital age of the World Wide Web, there is also the greed which drives spam mail as an international menace to commerce. Greed is equally responsible for overfishing, toxic waste dumping. These sorts of greed have endangered sea lanes with piracy, which in turn burdens international commerce.

And so, what have these things got to do with the price of bread in your little corner of the earth? Everything! The way it works is rather simple. The willingness of some, to overlook or dismiss the suffering and the grinding abject poverty in some parts of the world may lead to social unrest or violence, which in turn, may drive mass migration to your quaint little town, from that unsettled part of Ethiopia or Somalia.

The very fact that those who are capable of preventing the disintegration of nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Somalia, Haiti etc through public policies refuse or neglect to do so. This should concern you and I. The fact that those who should and must find solutions to the Palestine-Israel intractable dispute over land, territories, water etc are the ones who do the most, to inflame the dispute should give you and I, cause for fear. Fear of the clear and present danger of another suicide bombing and another Israeli offensive. Seeming innocuous incidents are quite to morph and multiply, with all the other accelerants which quickly affect the price of crude oil, which is derived mostly from the Persian Gulf. This, which in turn affects the price of worldwide crude which then affect s the price of oranges delivered from Florida to New York and the price of a bunch of broccoli delivered from California to New York where I live. This is reason enough not to ignore the sufferings in distant land, apart from the fact that any human suffering should concern everyone, even if we are unconnected.

What is global security anyway? Why it is your business? Why should you care about Somalia, Sudan, Oil exploration-exploitation pollution, Global Warming, Blood Diamonds etc? Why should anyone care how sausage is made instead of just the mere contentment from eating hotdogs?

I have always been news, and current affairs-junky and I have concerned myself with news and current affairs of a universal blend, since my teenage years, and which now feels like a million years ago! And as a result, I have discovered that there is almost always a direct causal connection or correlation between local incidents and global consequences in reverberations. Note how for instance, a crisis in the Niger Delta of Nigeria creates volatility in world crude oil prices? Also note how quickly, extremists speedily take advantage of vacuums in governmental authority within nations in crises; which is why extremists groundswell have been found in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Sudan, Somalia, Ethiopia etc

Unfortunately, there too many in the world that continue to insist that world peace must be Darwinian war of the jungle in which only the strongest survive or deserve to live. There are those who pretend that world peace and security is none of their business. Clearly, world peace and security is everybody’s business, sooner than later. We are interlaced!

Best business practices which respects the environment and the ecosystem in production processes are best for the entire human race. Upholding human rights, respect for peoples’ rights and insisting on gender equality are not mutually exclusive for economic progress worldwide. Many crises in the world are solvable and even avoidable. All human lives have value and as such should be protected and preserved. Nations should not be allowed to fail.

When nations fail, or are in the verge of failing, we should resort to singing Kumbaya in order to prevent or avert disintegration of any nation or nations. This is because, the life we save is invariably our own. Lives on earth are much more interwoven and intertwined in today’s world.

There are ample instances in recent times, in which, very ordinary and, very nearly innocuous events occurring in far flung locales worldwide, assume urgent and immediacy; immediate consequences and international reverberations. There was this very mundane local incident of Swine-Flu in Mexico, it is, it was, or should be just a matter of local concerns for the municipal, state of federal authorities in the Republic of Mexico. But it was not! It quickly became a worldwide phenomenon and an international health-scare of a pandemic proportion! And even as we proceed into the last months of 2009, there is a harbinger and foreboding in the air, the possibility of resurgence of the Swine-Flu, which originally had its source a few months ago, somehow, Mexicana in origins.

Before the outbreak of Swine-Flu, there was and there still is, a raging violent drug trade of the narcotic variety, between various gangs of narcotics-traders on the one hand, and the Mexican law enforcement agencies and apparatuses battling unyielding winners-takes-all scorched-earth policy violent entanglements. The narcotics dealers are trading in deaths in more ways than one. They ruin lives through the toxins and poisons peddled to the substance addicted, afflicted and twisted by narcotic demons. Too many lives are ruined directly and indirectly through a combination of evils perpetrated by drug dealers and the unsavory deceits of the afflicted. Dealers also engage in another sort of battle, this time, it is the ever present and ever recurring battles with drug-dealing competition, competitors who are trying to get a slice of the blood money in the same neighborhood, and too often, these competitions result in shooting deaths of foot-soldiers, drug kingpins and innocent bystanders. It must be borne in mind that poppy is not grown and harvested in Mexico and the United States. Opium growers, harvested and production is mainly conducted in Afghanistan and Colombia, and yet, the death destruction and affliction which is wrought by narcotics is dire in the United States, Mexico and elsewhere.

The Mexican government, just like any responsible government, has resorted to tackling the drug barons and their foot soldiers retinues of dealers and all who spread the sorrows tears and blood for which narcotics replete with and wrapped in. There has been crossfire between the Mexican law enforcements apparatuses and the various strata of narcotics dealers and all involved in the thriving drugs and gun violence in Mexico. And, this has spilled across the border into the United States. There have been murders inside the United States which were motivated by incidents of drug trades and drug use in Mexico. There have been evidence in abundance, of relationships between gun purchases in the United States and drug trade and unbridled gun violence and gun –drug related warfare in Mexico.

The West African nation of Guinea is reportedly mimicking Mexico in the extent of drug trade, if not in terms of volume, but as a transit point and the extent of corruption of some public officials who are supposed to tackle drug dealers and drug trade. Law enforcement officials in high and low positions have been induced and corrupted in Mexico and the same is the situation in Guinea. There is yet another connection and nexus in all these narcotics trades. The end user of opium, heroin, and other narcotic substances are not in the main, resident in Mexico, Guinea or even Afghanistan. A global connection, global interactions and interconnectedness again come to mind again.

A sneeze in the opium field or coca laboratory in either Afghanistan or Colombia, brings acute colds or, fevers, even pneumonia, tears and blood to the streets of Guinea, Mexico and then, the United States and elsewhere. These are reasons why there should never be reckless refusal, neglect and abandonment of nations in crises. Humanity will be better served in taking active interests in crises anywhere in the world. Never again should we ignore nations facing disintegration and becoming failed states. We should never again ignore nations spiraling into disintegration as Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Somalia etc.

The consequences are clear or should be clear. The world is witnessing the consequences of such nonchalance regarding the sufferings of other humans it is rather glaring, for the human race. These are now consequences which may linger for many years to come. When Somalia spiraled and disintegrated into ceaseless chaos, greedy persons and entities, took to overfishing on Somali waters and around the seas surrounding Somalia. Greedy individuals and entities took to dumping toxic waste, allegedly, into Somalia and her territorial waters. And nature rebels against vacuums, as the failure of the nation state of Somalia, and the attendant disintegration enabled the greedy, to overfish and to dump toxic was on Somali land, the spate of lawlessness also enabled a water borne disease which is also known as “piracy” or brigandage at sea! Catastrophes await humans as consequences of these greedy acts being inflicted now.

Millions of dollars have been paid to Somali pirates in ransom monies or blackmail fees. The cost to international trade or international commerce is yet to be calculated as I write this. But it is suffice to say that the cost is already enormous and tremendous. And all these could have been avoided, if the world did not look the other way, as the nation of Somalia disintegrated and spiraled into lawlessness, because, it was none of our business? But the cost to international commerce is now our business! Looking back, it clearly made eminent sense for the world to have sung Kumbaya together and not refused or neglect to nudge Somalia and other nations like Somalia away from chaos and disintegration which is usually followed by lawlessness from which piracy sprung. Ditto Taliban, Al Queida which are the consequences of allowing Afghanistan to fail post Soviet Union presence and American opposition to the USSR’s presence in Afghanistan. The trillions of dollars squandered in Afghanistan and Iraq wars so far, is sufficient to end and eradicate world poverty and global inequalities. What a waste of resources!

In sharp contrasts, the Swine-Flu outbreak occurred in Mexico earlier this year, Mexico took needful actions, actions which were quickly complemented by the United States, the World Health Organization of the United Nations and in effect, the entire international community was in sync with Mexico and the world may have through such synchronized cooperation, averted a wildfire of global Swine-Flu pandemic, at least, for the time being or in the meantime. And even if Swine-Flu recurs in the latter part of this year, there is already a blueprint of coordination and readiness preparedness from Mexico to China to Nigeria to the United States and in between. All these would be impossible if the world looked askance, and acted as if the Swine-Flu outbreak was a Mexican affair and a local affliction for only Mexico to deal with.

In the new world global village of nanoseconds digital interactions, interrelationships, interconnectedness and speedy travels, diseases, drugs, and collapse or disintegration of nations, now have immediate consequences, be it increased migration, the impact of piracy on international commerce in costs such as human lives, grief and nerves of panic over the unknown. Terrorism finds bastions, succors and harbors in failed or disintegrated nations. Just as loose or lax regulatory environment in one part of the world, may unleash financial meltdown on all of us the world.

In cost-benefit analyses, it is most cost efficient and much more effective to have policies and plans which focuses on the big picture. Quite clearly therefore, it is better to be proactive. The long term costs or price is prohibitive. We must never again, in the face of challenges, allow flux and inactions with consequences or ramifications on global scales. It is most cost efficient and effective to employ holistic approaches to world crises and global human condition. Rather than pretend that global warming for instance, is merely something some nations and not others, should worry about, it should be seen instead, as a shared global concern. All humans should worry about disintegration or failure of states, global warming, drugs or narcotics trade. Global challenges must be tackled by us all, whether it is Swine-Flu in Mexico or anywhere on earth. The rights of Chinese Oigurs to worship, we are all interrelated, even more so, than ever before, in human history! The earth has shrunk metaphorically.

Perhaps a time has come for us all to practice singing Kumbaya in unison as an imperative upon which global existentialism hinges! Global security and peace require a reexamination of justice, freedom and the removals of inequities which will bring about peace and global security.

There is so much abundance in the world for all those who currently inhabit the earth.

True global peace and security will be attained with justice, which demands complete regard for our shared humanity, through shared prosperity.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Somalia Pirates Are Merely Resisting Toxic Nuclear Wastes Dumping And Over Fishing

Somalia Pirates Are Merely Resisting Toxic Nuclear Wastes Dumping And Over Fishing
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Somalis Are Fighting Against Nuclear Toxic Wastes and Over-Fishing on Somali waters.

There is so much money still being made from Somaliland and it is not directly from wars or weapons used in it! And Somalis are not the ones profiting fishing Somali territorial waters.

According to reports, it's estimated that $300 million worth of seafood is stolen from Somali waters altogether every year—a massive amount in any country, but even more so in one with such a depressed economy as Somalia's. Stories told to The New York Times Some local fisherman believe there will be no fishing industry to speak of if the practice goes on unchecked—so over-plundered are the fish populations in Somali waters. There are even higher estimates of $450 million dollars profits for outsiders engaged in overfishing on Somali waters.

Great sums of money are being made by many nations from Somalia even in the midst of wars and endless chaos during the most of the preceding twenty-years, factually, money is being made off of Somali, by peoples outside of Somalia. The sad tragedy of it all is that Somalis are not the ones making monies from their country and surrounding topographies. There is still so much money being made by foreigners in Somalia, nonetheless!

Who in the entire world would think of Somalia, a nation without government for about 20 years and think of profit? Not even the experts in chaos theory! Thinking of Somalia and profit in the same sentence is possible. Fishing trawlers and toxic wastes vessels have been doing just this thing of fathoming egregious profit from the political turmoil and failure of the nation state of Somaliland.

As Somalis squabbles for over two decades, outsiders have profited from sale of weapons to naked exploitation of the chaotic situation and taking benefits through over fishing without tariff or tax and regulations. Toxic wastes dumpers have been doing brisk business amidst and despite the chaos. Toxic wastes dumpers actually have found the chaos idyllic for the unbridled criminality required as necessity for dropping off toxic wastes in the backyards of distressed Somalis… it is the way the world works!

The New York Times on Monday October 19th 2009, reported that Somali pirates seized a Chinese cargo ship Monday with 25 people onboard, the attack occurred early Monday in the Indian Ocean about 700 miles (1,100 kilometers) east of the Somali coastline. And it was said to be the farthest afield the pirates had ever struck.

The latest activity by the Somalis reemphasizes the urgency for a solution, a holistic solution to the political vacuum which has made the challenges in Somalia possible. According to The New York Times, “the multimillion-dollar ransoms they share are a fortune in their impoverished and war-ravaged country” It will be recalled that Somalia was always there and piracy was not always present on Somali waters!

A recent article also revealed that “The surprising root of Somali piracy is desperation to which Somalia and Somalis have been left” Somalia have been neglected and left for decades. This conspiracy of neglect by the whole world; and the fact that Somalia is still being ignored, while criminal elements continue to dump toxic nuclear wastes and equally engage in brazen overfishing on Somali waters have culminated in hardships, hopelessness and desperation of which piracy are a natural consequences. Suffering and desperation has reached breaking points in Somalia.

It was editorialized recently in these terms, “When things get bad, people get desperate – and things in Somalia have been really bad for a while. Somali pirates have taken over the Gulf of Aden and as you know, unless you’ve been living under a rock, have been in the news a lot lately for taking international hostages. While some people might opine that these pirates are simply bloodthirsty criminals, the fact is that stark hardships have spurred these people to act for their own survival, at all costs” The New York Times Desperate persons who have nothing to lose, are most dangerous, and that is the present situation in Somalia and the piracy epidemic. Global Security will only be attained through shared prosperity.

Congressman Donald Payne from New Jersey's 10th Congressional District, not long ago, eloquently made a powerful argument; to the effect that America’s national interest dictates action and efforts which will stabilize Somalia. He argues poignantly that there is a connection between the neglect of Somalia as she has descended into instability and chaos, a connection with consequences on shipping lanes with impact on world commerce, as well as the obvious risks of Somalia turning into breeding grounds for criminal elements of the global terrorism types. Somalia has been neglected by western nations, even as these same nations engage in nation building in Afghanistan which has so far consumed more than $500billion dollars. Conversely, Somalia has been neglected and left to her own devices for decades. This is also at the same time period during which the invasion and occupation of Iraq has cost Americans a trillion dollars and counting!

There is a cause and effect connection or relationship between neglect of the very poor human conditions in Somalia. There are very extreme hardships and sufferings which persist in Somalia. There is a connection between the criminal enterprises of toxic wastes dumping and overfishing which is inflicted upon Somalis by other nations. Why is the world’s complaint about Somalia singularly focused on ensuing piracy? What if, instead, we seek the causes of the Somali condition, which have manifested itself into effect and what a surprise? There is surely Cause/Effect?

American and European nations have been dumping toxic waste off the coast of Somalia and illegally fishing in Somali waters; an effective Somali government might. Nobody seem to think, maybe Somalis resent Americans and Europeans for dumping toxic wastes on their lands! Some nations have been cashing in, on Somalis internal crises and instability. While these nations pretend that Somali crises are insoluble.

In a 45-minute interview, Mr. Sugule spoke on everything from what the pirates wanted (“just money”) to why they were doing this (“to stop illegal fishing and dumping in our waters”) to what they had to eat on board (rice, meat, bread, spaghetti, “you know, normal human-being food”).

He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”

The pirates who answered the phone call on Tuesday morning said they were speaking by satellite phone from the bridge of the Faina, the Ukrainian cargo ship that was hijacked about 200 miles off the coast of Somalia on Thursday. Several pirates talked but said that only Mr. Sugule was authorized to be quoted. Mr. Sugule acknowledged that they were now surrounded by American warships, but he did not sound afraid. “You only die once,” Mr. Sugule said

The piracy industry started about 10 to 15 years ago, Somali officials said, as a response to illegal fishing. Somalia’s central government imploded in 1991, casting the country into chaos. With no patrols along the shoreline, Somalia’s tuna-rich waters were soon plundered by commercial fishing fleets from around the world. Somali fishermen armed themselves and turned into vigilantes by confronting illegal fishing boats and demanding that they pay a tax

He said that so far, in the eyes of the world, the pirates had been misunderstood. “We don’t consider ourselves sea bandits,” he said. “We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas and dump waste in our seas and carry weapons in our seas. We are simply patrolling our seas. Think of us like a coast guard.”

There have been seagoing pirates throughout history -- from plundering Vikings to 17th-century raiders who pillaged Spanish galleons. In recent years, a spate of attacks off the Horn of Africa has shown that piracy can still be highly profitable as well as dangerous.

In Somalia, a country of grinding poverty and internal chaos, the pirate economy is booming. The piracy is an extension of the corrupt, violent free-for-all that has raged on land since the central government imploded in 1991. It has turned the waters into the most dangerous shipping lanes in the world.

The pirates have spread themselves across thousands of square miles of water, from the Gulf of Aden, at the narrow doorway to the Red Sea, to the Kenyan border along the Indian Ocean.

Thousands of Somalis once made their living as fishermen. But Somalia has been without a central government for nearly two decades—so there’s no active body that’s able to effectively protect the country’s rights to its coastline, and the once-abundant supply of fish it held. So now, due to the willingness of foreigners to exploit fisheries off Somalia’s coast, and the lack of a governing body to stave them off, many of these fishermen are finding their nets empty.

And without the ability to bring home even a sufficient amount of fish to eat, many of these fisherman justifiably grow desperate. But even from here, it’s not a simple jump to pirating. Initially, many of the now-termed “pirates” were vigilante patrol squads, steering their boats to fishing vessels they found illegally snagging seafood or dumping toxic waste in Somali waters. After this proved ineffective, something closer to organized piracy developed.

Read more about one Somali pirate’s account of the motivation to hijack ships and take hostages at The New York Times.

Beyond overfishing, there’s another major problem for Somalis: the dumping of radioactive waste into the country’s coastal waters. Since the collapse of Somalia’s government in 1991, Western governments and corporations have taken full advantage of the lack of oversight and used the country as a dumping ground. The secret was uncovered after the 2004 tsunami, but has barely received coverage in the media. Some people even claim that some of the pirates are eco-warriors, working to clean up the mess.

So, what does it all come down to? Greed. Power. Lack of concern for other human beings – on all sides. The ugliest facets of human nature. Somali pirates can’t be let off the hook for their actions because of the injustice they’ve been through, but they aren’t all the evil killers that so many people make them out to be.

Somalis have grabbed international headlines because they hijacked ship is carrying a large cache of weapons. Somalis do not in fact see themselves as pirates. "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits," said the pirates' spokesperson. "We consider sea bandits those who illegally fish in our seas.

The New York Times, The Independent
Under Reported News Stories on Leonard Lopate Show at WWW.WNYC.Org

Overfishing is a global disaster
According to a 2008 UN report, the world's fishing fleets are losing $50 billion USD each year through depleted stocks and poor fisheries management. The report, produced jointly by the World Bank and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), asserts that half the world's fishing fleet could be scrapped with no change in catch. In addition, the biomass of global fish stocks have been allowed to run down to the point where it is no longer possible to catch the amount of fish that could be caught.[5] Increased incidence of schistosomiasis in Africa has been linked to declines of fish species that eat the snails carrying the disease-causing parasites.[6]

Talk Like a Pirate Day

Over three quarters of our planet are covered by the oceans. Their biodiversity is unmatched and they contain over 80 percent of all life on earth, mostly unexplored. Millions of people worldwide are depending on the oceans for their daily livelihoods. More and more all this is endangered because of ignorance and a global lack of management. is an independent source of information on the Overfishing

Pirates involved in the high-profile hijacking of an arms shipment off the coast of Somalia said recently that they were driven to piracy by overfishing. In 1991, the country's government collapsed and patrols that had guarded against international plunder of Somalia's tuna-rich waters suddenly stopped. Commercial fishers from around the world rushed in and decimated the area's once abundant fish population. Angry Somali fishers then took up arms and starting confronting illegal fishing boats

Overfishing Not Fishermen’s Fault, Say ‘Deadliest Catch’ Seamen
UK Fishermen Dump Catch Overboard to Make More Money
3 Reports Don’t Lie: Ocean Fish Rapidly in Decline
End of the Line: We’ll be Out of Fish by 2050
Fisherman Returning to Use of Sails as Fuel Costs Rise

The Guardian
• State Horse Councils' Lobby for Horse-Slaughter!
• Get SHARKWATER to Malta
• Somalia impoverished need help to restore fish stocks.

Powered by Social Actions
Written by Stephanie Rogers • Filed Under Environment
Tagged: Oceans, Overfishing, Pirates, Pollution, Radioactivity

• Somalia impoverished need help to restore fish stocks.

• Somali Pirates And Over-Fishing
• Posted by Big Gav in fishing, piracy, Somalia
• The Independent has a report on the standoff offshore Somalia between a group of irate (who blame over-fishing for their having to resort to harvesting other forms of wealth from the sea) and the US and Russian navies - Cold War stand-off over pirates' weapons ship. Chatham House is speculating piracy may drive shipping away from the red Sea, increasing the price of oil and other goods in Europe and North America.

• Russia has dispatched a frigate to the scene of an increasingly tense stand-off between the US Navy and pirates who have seized a tanker laden with tanks and weapons in the Indian Ocean off Somalia.

• Pirates, many operating out of former fishing ports, are deploying increasingly sophisticated methods, including high speed launches, GPS trackers, and satellite communications, to target shipping.

• The London-based think-tank Chatham House says piracy could see shipping forced away from the Gulf and into the longer route to Europe and North America, producing a drastic effect on oil and commodities prices. This is a clear warning of more dire consequences to come, consequences with global impact. It has become more and more, in the world’s best interests find peace, security and prosperity for Somalia.


• BM Opinion: Somali piracy reflects destruction of marine life, not religion

• The London-based think-tank Chatham House says piracy could see shipping forced away from the Gulf and into the longer route to Europe and North America, producing a drastic effect on oil and commodities prices.

• The path towards a constructive policy is most threatened by certain pundits who utilize the supposed links between the pirates and Al Qaeda to advance their twisted political agenda of demonizing every person of the Muslim faith and the religion itself.

• Piracy in Somalia is not inspired by Islam, but by illegal foreign acquisition and destruction of East Africa’s marine resources. Having driven the blue-fin tuna into near extinction in the Atlantic Ocean, more European trawlers have moved into the Indian Ocean to take advantage of the abundant yellow-fin tuna population. According to Somali fishermen, the poachers not only engage in destructive overfishing, but also employ vicious measures against local communities that protest the depletion of their resources.

• According to the Kenyan analyst Mohamed Abshir Waldo, there have been many instances of European pirates attacking local demonstrators by pouring “boiling water on them and even shooting at them, running over their canoes and fishing boats.” Waldo continues to argue that roughly $450 million worth of fish have been forcibly extracted from the Somali people. Those are not merely profits taken from the Somali people, but foodstuffs that are critical to the basic survival of the impoverished nation.

Research by Sadia Aden, President of the Somalia Diaspora Network, revealed that 3.5 million Somalis currently face starvation. In March 2009, the UN humanitarian agency estimated that only 2.8 million Somalis receive food aid. This still leaves hundreds of thousands without access to even the most inadequate food aid. The overfishing has directly incentivized young starving men to pursue the lucrative business of piracy.

The atrocities do not stop at the theft of Somali livelihoods, but is exacerbated by the indiscriminate attack on the health of the coastal communities. The 2004 Tsunami brought to surface the extent of the abuses by irresponsible foreign corporations. Twenty years of toxic medical, industrial, chemical and radioactive waste began washing ashore following the great natural disaster. European corporations had taken advantage of the chaos in Somalia by dumping waste off its shores for one hundredth the cost of proper disposal of such content in Europe. As a result of these selfish cost-cutting measures, coastal communities are now forced to bear the burdens of respiratory and skin infections, mouth ulcers and bleeding, and abdominal hemorrhages. When pirates hijacked the Ukrainian freighter in September of 2008, they claimed that ransom money will be spent to clean up “the toxic waste that has been continually dumped on the shores of our country.”

Under these conditions the Somali pirates act with a certain degree of respect from the Somalis of whom 70% support their actions as a form of national defense.

A potential solution must secure both immediate reparations and a strategy to combat overfishing. This requires world governments to decommission excess fishing boats that are destroying the marine resources all around the world. The consequence of inaction will be catastrophic. The disaffection of the Somalis will be echoed from Senegal to the Philippines where thousands of fishing communities rest on the verge of certain doom under present abuse. These communities also happen to be overwhelmingly Muslim.

To direct policy solely through this narrow fact ignores the basic human instinct and right to survive. The vulgarity of terrorism lies in its one-dimensional outlook towards perceived opponents. We would be damned to use the same narrow view to judge anyone.

• From tuna in the Med, the plunder of the Pacific and the devastated cod stocks in the Baltic - find out about our latest work against overfishing.
Fisheries collapse

The over-exploitation and mismanagement of fisheries has already led to some spectacular fisheries collapses. The cod fishery off Newfoundland, Canada collapsed in 1992, leading to the loss of some 40,000 jobs in the industry. The cod stocks in the North Sea and Baltic Sea are now heading the same way and are close to complete collapse.

Pirates and Fishermen « Conscripted Consumers said 28/08/2009 at 3:31 pm

An interesting take on the Piracy epidemic off Somalia « alicia.harley’s Blog

This entry was posted on 08/08/2009 at 12:25 pm and is filed under Opinion. Tagged: Islam, Marine Life, Overfishing, Piracy, Somalia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0

Overfishing Waste Dumping Drove Somalis to Piracy

Somalia Pirates Capture Tanks and Global Notice

How Overfishing Almost Got Capt. Phillips Killed by Pirates
More on Overfishing and Piracy:
Pacific Tuna Overfishing to be Addressed in Panama City

Overfishing Update: Endangered Atlantic Bluefin on the Menu

Are some, or most, of the Somali Pirates acting to protect themselves from the dumping of nuclear waste and over-fishing of their seafood?
Overfishing African Waters
Somali Pirates Tell Their Side

An interesting NY Times piece
Somalia isn’t just a nagging geopolitical headache that won’t go away. It is also a cautionary tale. Few countries in modern history have been governmentless for so long, and as the United States has learned, it would be nice to think you could ignore this wild, thirsty, mostly nomadic nation 7,000 miles away. But you can’t.

Somali Pirates Seize Chinese Ship October 19, 2009

The Greepeace International Campaigns Against Overfishing

The above represent an assemblage a collage and combination of series of feature articles and a conglomeration of detail reporting on the worsening human catastrophes in Somalia. These sources have been referenced and excerpted to establish the dire situation in Somalia with incontrovertible evidences.

Clearly, there are interconnections, and we see the interwoven nature and the direct relationship between failed state Somalia and the enabling environment for those, who use Somalia, as toxic wastes dumping sites and, and those who exploit Somalia with overfishing. Hence there appears no incentive to stop Somalia from continuing hemorrhage

Then, the resulting piracy etc only, merely as a consequence of willful neglect of Somalia by the entire world. Somalia Pirates Are Actually Somalis Resisting Toxic Wastes Dumping And Over Fishing on Somalia’s territorial waters! Experts have estimated that $450 million dollars profit for outsiders yearly. Somalia’s crises, instability and insecurity, is goldmine for some. World Peace, global peace and security will remain elusive, until and unless higher value is put on every life on earth and prosperity is shared. That will bring justice, security and peace.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Rufai and Ribadu Denied Passport Renewals & The Devil’s Advocate Argues Both Sides

Rufai and Ribadu Denied Passport Renewals & The Devil’s Advocate Argues Both Sides
Written by Paul I. Adujie

The renewals of passports palaver or tussles between the federal government of Nigeria on the one hand. And, the former Federal Capital Territory Minister, FCT, Mallam Nasiru El Rufai, and the former Chairperson of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on the other, two prominent Nigerian citizens who were summarily denied passport renewals. These are matters of competition between the rights of citizens and the corresponding duties and obligations of citizenship. Many questions are raised.

Should a citizen disregard the constitution and laws of his country, while at the same time seeking rights and protections under such constitution and laws? Should the government of any country, literally, sponsor or facilitate efforts by her citizens who have campaigned and remain intent, on continuing to campaign against the government? Has the government of Nigeria the power to withhold passport renewals? Is the issuance of passport mandatory or discretionary? Could the government exercise such discretion against any citizen, and in particular, a citizen defendant, accused of wrongdoing, with charges pending? Can a citizen defendant rely and sufficiently, satisfactorily defend against criminal allegations, by merely asserting that such charges are false or that she would in any case, not receive a fair trial within an independent judiciary?

Nasiru El Rufai and Nuhu Ribadu need no introduction to anyone on earth. These gentlemen have during the preceding ten years have played prominent and high profile roles in the governance of Nigeria. But the current administration in Nigeria, has accused these gentlemen of running afoul of Nigerian laws and rules; these accusations have not been proven. Messrs Rufai and Ribadu are of course innocent until they are proven guilty. Guilt or innocence requires that a precondition be satisfied. Accused persons must have their day in court. And presently, Messrs Rufai and Ribadu are the only ones depriving themselves this day, in court. In the circumstances, the government of Nigeria is entitled to exercise her discretion against the renewals of the said passports. It might added, that such exercise of discretion, may not be arbitrary. It must be remembered and borne in mind that these pending allegations and accusations by government against Messrs Rufai and Ribadu, were pending for quite a while, before the renewals of their passports became issues. Hence the government can legitimately defend its renewal denials, until the gentlemen present themselves to hear the charges against them.

Messrs Rufai and Ribadu are understandably and arguably squeamish and skittish about their prospects for a fair trial. It is public knowledge by now, that there is no love lost between the current federal government of Nigeria and Rufai and Ribadu, former power brokers, high rollers of Nigeria’s former federal administration, an administration of which the current government is actually an offshoot.

The passport palaver being faced by Rufai and Ribadu are at once fundamental and as well, quite simple. The federal government of Nigeria has no right, but perhaps, only the power, under our constitution, to deny a bona fide citizen of Nigeria freedom of movement and ingress and egress from Nigeria. The possession of a Nigerian passport, as such, facilitates ingress and egress; this however can be denied, under certain circumstances. There are, exigent circumstances, during and upon which, any government, including the government of Nigeria, may legitimately deny a citizen certain basic rights. Such as the fact that Messrs Rufai and Ribadu, are facing charges which were leveled against them by the current Nigerian government. It is public knowledge that the government of Nigeria has accused Rufai and Ribadu of crimes and these gentlemen now have the sword of Damocles hanging over their heads; and it is incumbent upon them to ensure that they have their day in court, to establish their own innocence and clear their names of all allegations.

Rufai and Ribadu cannot have it both ways. They cannot refuse or neglect to answer the allegations which have been leveled against them. They cannot be waging a media blitz in various world capitals against the government of Nigeria, and at the same time, demand that the government of Nigeria, grant them travel documents, to in effect, facilitate their campaign against the same government itself. It should be clear to all, that the government of Nigeria has the right to engage in self-preservation and as such, have exercised the only power and option available to it, to compel Rufai and Ribadu to come to Nigeria to answer charges against them or Nigerian government would not enable their campaign.

Mallam Rufai and Ribadu, as it stands now, are fugitive from the law, as far the current government of Nigeria is concerned. The Nigerian government may have felt deeply affronted, by Rufai and Ribadu. In fact, the government has accused both gentlemen of engaging in campaigns of calumnies against it.

Rufai and Ribadu, it should be understood, are fugitives from Nigerian law, at least, as far as the government of Nigeria is concerned and as such, may not ask and receive discretionary services from it. And as a result, the current government of Nigeria can argue, and rightly so, that she is not obligated to provide discretionary services, a social amenity, which is not a fundamental right, to those fleeing from the laws and due process in Nigeria. They can seek political asylum from governments in countries where they have been well received. The issuance or renewal of passports is not a matter of life or death, particularly, where fugitives from the law are concerned.

Let me be clear, that I quite understand that Rufai and Ribadu think the accusations against them unfounded and that their passport palaver, unfair interference in their citizenship rights to travel. But what would any government do, faced with identical or similar circumstances? Are there any historical precedents? Must any government facilitate the movements of persons waging a worldwide campaign against it by providing travel documents to individuals who are engaged in vigorous campaigns against the very survival of the same government! Meanwhile, the government argues in addition, that these individuals have clouds of unresolved allegations over their heads? Would the current Nigerian be able to deny Rufai and Ribadu renewal of their passports, if and when they clear their names of all charges? The American government denied and cancelled passport for the famous African American lawyer, actor, opera singer etc, his passport and rights to travel outside of the United States, (unfairly so) for more than eight years and the matter was litigated, and finally resolved. See links.

There are really no solid constitutional arguments that can be made on Messrs Rufai and Ribadu’s behalves. Supporters of Messrs Rufai and Ribadu have averred that the case of Director, SSS v. Olisa Agbakoba (1999) 6 NWLR (PT 595) 314 applies, but this case actually has limited application and significance to the case at hand. The rationale of the of Rufai and Ribadu supporters is in hinged on freedom of movement, and this can of course be distinguished from the present facts and circumstances. In Olisa Agbakoba supra, The Supreme Court held inter alia:

“It is not in dispute that the Constitution gives to the Nigerian citizen the right to move freely throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof. It also guarantees to the citizen the right not to be expelled from Nigeria nor be refused entry thereto or exit therefrom. Section 38(1) of the Constitution provides:

‘38(1). Every citizen of Nigeria is entitled to move freely throughout Nigerian and to reside in any part thereof, and no citizen of Nigeria shall be expelled from Nigeria or refused entry thereto or exit therefrom’

“It is matter of common knowledge that for a Nigeria to travel out of Nigeria to another country he must first hold or possess a valid passport issued by the Government of Nigeria. See: Section 4(1) of the Immigration Act, Cap 171 LFN 1990 and the definition of the word ‘passport’ in Section 51 thereof. Without this document, he cannot leave Nigeria or be admitted to another country. It follows, therefore, that without a passport a citizen of Nigeria cannot exercise the right guaranteed him by the Constitution, of egress from Nigeria. Can it, then, be said that the right to hold a passport is not one guaranteed by the Constitution? That is a question that calls for determination in this appeal.”

But I think that these supporters and petitioners miss the legal points. Every citizen has right to ingress and egress and every citizen inalienable rights not to have her rights and freedom of movements constrained or constricted, but we may not liberally apply these sections to citizens who are deemed to be fugitives from the law. Accused persons or defendants who have refused and neglected to answer criminal charges of fraud, and who are therefore declared persona non grata, declared wanted as fugitive from the law, may argue their rights to travel documents have been abridged or denied. This is not just parsing words or a matter of semantics or polemical argumentation.

The government may rightly refuse to oblige a citizen certain rights as when such a citizen face legal encumbrances. The government of Nigeria, can for instance deny the right to travel and confiscate travel documents belonging to James Onanefe Ibori, Lucky Igbinedion, Kalu Orji and Joshua Chibi Dariye, because of sundry allegations of corruption against them. The government can anchor such denials of travel to documents on the fact that there is a flight-risk by each and every of them, in bids to escape trial and justice in Nigeria. In fact, it is inappropriate, for these men to interact with President Umaru Yar'Adua, visiting the presidential villa or traveling with him, while charges are pending against them. After all, justice should be done and also be seen to be done. All appearance of conflicts of interests and collusion should be avoided

It is our belief that the government of Nigeria may have valuable arguments, in defense of its current action against Rufai and Ribadu. And such argument can be anchored on the neglect and refusal by both gentlemen to appear in Nigerian courts, in person, or through lawyers, to defend the allegations made against them by the current government. A neglect and refusal to defend could result in default judgment and even sentencing in absentia. Hopefully, the Nigerian government would not go this route.

We do not accept the allegations by government, against Rufai and Ribadu as foolproof and sacrosanct. Rufai and Ribadu must seek a fair trial, and have their day in court. Or shall we, must we, take Messrs Rufai, Ribadu’s words for it that they are squeaky and pristinely clean and free of all the charges against them? Must we take their words for it, that there is a lynch mob and kangaroo court awaiting them in Nigeria and that no fair trial can be had in the Nigerian judicial system? We would be setting a terribly disastrous precedent, if we argue that it is appropriate for any Nigerian to completely disregard charges and court processes.

We agree that the government of Nigeria cannot strip Rufai and Ribadu of Nigerian citizenship, but these gentlemen would have to defend the charges against them and they should be seen as respecting Nigerian constitution, laws, and rules, while seeking legal redress for their human and basic rights under our constitution, laws and rules.

Paul Robeson Passport Ban or Cancellation by the American Government.

W.E.B DuBois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King had passport problems as they were accused of being engaged or involved in “un-American activities

Minister Andoakaa SAN, AGF, Nigeria’s Public Enemy Number One!

Nigeria Is Almost 50: A Re-Examination of Duties and Obligations of Citizenship

Nigerian Citizenship Should Be Redefined NOW
Nigerian Citizenship Should Be Redefined

Afghanistan Though Ragtag Keeps Humbling Superpowers

Afghanistan Though Ragtag Keeps Humbling Superpowers
Written Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

The presence of Western nations in Afghanistan is not about Afghans or Afghanistan.

It is all about the strategic geographical location which Afghanistan is. It is about a trade route. It is about Afghanistan a is hemispheric strategic route placement in the heart of Asia and Asia Minor. It is a window into the Middle East, China, Russia, Iran, India, and Pakistan. It is all about tussles and positioning for the superpowers.

Western nations are merely in a balance of power struggle with Russia and China. Western nations in these effort, is led by the United States and through the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, is seeking to maintain a strategic advantage over Russia and more recently, China. Strategic advantages which includes oil and natural gas pipelines, sea lanes, which in turn confer tangible and intangible advantages in several ways. There is military advantage through the occupation of Afghanistan, and then, many more can be accomplished by western nations through their mere presence there.

It is not about vaunted elimination, decimation and liquidation of Al Qaeda Taliban etc or liberation and uplift for gender equality for oppressed Afghan women. It is not about infrastructure building for Afghans! American –NATO forays into Afghanistan is not about nation building; and, further, it must also be realized and stated that, NATO’s forays into Afghanistan, is neither about free and fair elections, politically independent and sovereign Afghanistan for its own sake. Not very many people are deceived by the public grandstanding over Afghan elections and the vigorous public doubt of President Hamid Karzai, the defacto client of US and allies.

President Karzai seem asserting himself more, as he has become more and more confident, pragmatic and independent of his American handlers. Perhaps upon his realization that western nations have no altruistic interest in Afghanistan. There is a discernable distance between American government and her Afghan counterpart. Certain pronouncements and actions by the United States about the insurgency, the much talked about election impasse, have helped to complicate Afghan-American relations. It is as if there are efforts to undermine Hamid Karzai as a product credible democracy and credible elections without legitimacy questions. The recent departure by a high-ranking with the United Nations Afghan efforts is indicative of these persisting frictions within Afghanistan. There have been recent talks by Washington, in which there will be some sorts of power-sharing with elements in the Taliban insurgent groups. It is all about how Afghanistan can be exploited and used for the benefit of Western nations in the completion with all others. Will the Americans and NATO do deals with the devil in order to reach certain outcomes? Are western nations about humanize the Taliban by removing Taliban’s devil toga? It is the case that Western nations are fixated at their self-interests and as a consequence of such an attitude, the end, justifies the means.

Superpowers have been and remain disdainful of Afghans nationalism. Afghanistan has never been colonized in the pure sense of colonialism. Every empire which sought to colonize Afghanistan has met her Waterloo in the hands of Afghans. The presence of superpowers in Afghanistan is imperialistic and no favors to Afghans and Afghans know.

Western nations have equally become very disdainful of Pakistanis nationalism, which complicated the role of proxy insurgent fighter, on behalf of westerners. And the recent hostage crisis at high profile Pakistani military installation and the increased spate of suicide bombing in Pakistan, may eventually push Pakistan into an extreme spectrum. Meanwhile, the insurgency in Afghanistan and Pakistan remain intricately interwoven and interconnected.

Too much blood sweat and treasure have been squandered by superpowers in the forays into Afghanistan. In 1979 the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or the USSR entered Afghanistan and the United States was stridently critical and vociferous in criticizing the Soviets. The United States engaged proxies in efforts of to frustrate the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The US entered into multiple expediencies of marriages of convenience with the dictatorship of General Zia Ul Haq who was at that time Pakistan political tyrant.
The US in even more desperate efforts against the soviets employed the services of a clerical group, named the so-called “Holy Warriors” The Mujahideen. President Ronald Reagan celebrated The Mujahideen of which the Taliban are off-shoot, as freedom fighters! Ronald Reagan was of course a literal and metaphorical cowboy-president. And through domestic and foreign policies, cantankerous and combative cowboy attitude was discernable from ten thousand miles.

The late Ronald Reagan was notorious as a war mongering president and he engaged in imperialistic competitions of the most vicious types. And so, America was directly and through proxies, fighting wars in Afghanistan, Angola, Iran, Beirut, Nicaragua, Grenada, Honduras and Colombia etc. Since then, the Holy Warring Mujahideen has metastasized into hydra-headed anti American war machine. It is now ever expanding and morphing insurgencies. This anti American battle-tested war machine is alternately Taliban, and some others, in lose arrangements with their symbiotic cousin conglomerate Al Qaeda. This war machine remains elusively dangerous and experienced. Ronald Reagan’s Holy Warriors or Mujahideen has since become festooned with all the unintended consequences! The chickens have come home to roost. And shortsighted policies guided by selfish expediencies have become unpalatable in various ways.

The Ottoman Turks Empire, the British Empire, the Russian Empire have all be humbled and even humiliated by the sturdy warriors of Afghanistan during the preceding 100 years. The American Empire seem to be next in line, for defeat, trouncing and eventual humiliations.

America’s power is constrained. Constrained by wars and depleting resources and this is mostly because America had in recent years overreached and overplayed her hand militarily globally and that, coupled with the current worldwide economic meltdown which in fact, sprouted and germinated in America and was spread to the entire world

There seem a waning of interests and a stomach among the American public for more squander of blood and treasure into an open-ended war in Afghanistan. The American public is veering out of favor with the war against the Taliban. A war which is getting bloodier and more costly in terms of deaths of American troops, as well as increasing financial drain and strain on the American economy, particularly so, as unemployment has reached ten percent and the economy and domestic policies have become more pressing and urgent for the average American.

The public and even the presidency seem divided and torn between upping the ante, through the commitment of more troops and other resources into the Afghan war. Arguably with the hope of some sorts of victory, however defined? Or, with an eye to redefined mission and what is in fact, victory in Afghanistan is or will become. The United States may henceforth, withdraw from Afghanistan in measured and staggered manner. A precipitous troop withdrawal is not seen or forecast. But an abbreviated presence and departure has become an attractive alternative, in view of the ambivalence arising from an ill defined victory and or exit strategy. And fiscal realities and war fatigue are factors now pressuring the presidency. President Obama as candidate advocated the Afghanistan war as the just war, the right war. President Obama has been in announced national security meeting with his “War Council” for an extended period of time now, will he commit more troop or will he “cut and run” as some may interpret an abrupt or sudden decline of troops?

President Obama is apparently in a bind. As the test now become whether the president would and should be faithful to his forceful campaign rhetoric? His Afghan war prescriptions were very convincing to the American public, only less than a year ago. Or should Mr. Obama follow the route of realpolitik, while redefining the war and declare victory, thereby, stopping the American hemorrhage, physical and fiscal? More and more American troops have been killed in the past couple of months. And the American troops commander General McChrystal, has, in General McArthur-like manner, let it be known publicly, that he needed additional 40,000 troops. Will President Obama refuse or neglect this request for additional personnel and materiel?

Can President Obama win a public spat with General Stanley A. McChrystal and his supporters, in these matters of the general’s requests for additional troops and materiel? Can Mr. Obama afford appearing as if he is getting in the way of the general, by denying him the resources he says he needs to complete the assignment given to him by a commander-in-chief, who now says no, to the general’s needs?

Can President Obama afford to disregard requests by military commanders on the ground and in the theatre of war? Can Mr. Obama do that and be seen as departing from his campaign points and promises, while undermining any victory as is already argued by some? Should President Obama redefine and the war and declare victory? Could it be more advantageous for President Obama to argue, that it is more cost efficient and cost effective to fight the so-called war on terrorism, through the heightened defense of the American homeland? A policy which focuses on guarding and securing the homeland, through which the over-extended and over-stretched American military can have some respite?

Thousands of Americans troops have been deployed to multiple duty tours in Afghanistan and Iraq, during the preceding eight years. Too many Americans have been killed, maimed and disfigured in these two wars which remain open-ended in all practical sense. America is also blamed for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan and this have not made managing these wars any easier the governments of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan respectively. The local populations in these countries are restive and remain deeply suspicious of Americans and their western nations, suspicions, borne out past experiences.

Is America ready for a woeful defeat in Afghanistan, just as other empires before America were humiliated in Afghanistan? Is America in the alternative ready to commit troops and resources endlessly and bankrupt America, without discernable benefits? Is President Obama willing to allow his action or inaction or a combination of both, make Afghanistan into his Vietnam?

As some are already seeing a harbinger of Vietnam-like debacle and quagmire? Afghan will remain unconquered by any empires as America is constrained militarily and economically?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Environmental Racism: Smuggling Europe’s Toxic Wastes & Dumping Them on Africa Other Poor Countries

Environmental Racism: Smuggling Europe’s Toxic Wastes & Dumping Them on Africa Other Poor Countries
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Toxic wastes and other wastes, which are not biodegradable, are being dumped in Nigeria, African nations and other poor countries of the world. This is insidious and vile!

Why won’t western nations leave Africans alone? First it was slavery, then colonialism, and now? It is environmental racism! Have you heard the news? Environmental racism against Africans is on the upsurge. It is calculatingly malevolent!

Westerners know that toxic wastes are disasters waiting to explode. It is this realization of the magnitude of risks, which have led to stringent regulation and control of hazard materials industrial societies. There is therefore a correlation between the fear and trepidation of atomic, nuclear and biohazard materials by industrial nations, and these opprobrious efforts to “conveniently” dump these dangerous toxic wastes upon unsuspecting Africans and the poor of the world. Many questions therefore arise. Why the desire to dump toxic wastes on Africa? Why would anyone dump toxic wastes on a people? And what immediate and long term consequences may ensue for the Africans and poor of the world?

In Nigeria, in the Ivory Coast, Somalia etc; toxic wastes have been dumped in the recent past. And as a matter of fact, the Ivorian incident became a major legal battle in Europe and in Ivory Coast. Now, according to new reports, there is quickening of pace, in the use of poor nations as dumping grounds for toxic unwanted garbage generated by Western nations. According to ELISABETH ROSENTHAL features published in The New York Times recently, wastes dumping by rich western nations, into poor countries have become pervasive, all permeating and intractable.

Elisabeth Rosenthal catalogued the horror stories of those, who have become victims of these mostly subterranean; mostly illegal, garbage dumping upon poor nations. Dumping of toxic wastes and garbage through methods which are shrouded, sheathed elaborately, calculated to deceive even, the most savvy of nations. These deceitful channels are so replete with evil intents, imbued with complexly intricate cover-ups. The webs of those who are now dumping toxic wastes are said to be extensive in Europe and North America. They are said to routinely engage in these unconscionable illegal actions for short term gains, all at the expense of fellow human beings on the African continent. This practice of finding profit while causing misery to Africans should be condemned by all. Those who derive financial rewards, in the unconscionable dumping of toxic waste upon poor nations of the world, ought and must be sought out, and punished to the fullest extent of all national and international laws.

History is repeating itself, all over again? If past is prologue, I can only imagine that a hundred years from now, the consequences of the devastations which are being buried or dumped upon our soils now. I can imagine the deaths, and devastations, the maiming and mutations which will then arise, and as is usual these days, 100 years hence, there will be those who will blame Africans for such future disasters, now in the making, disasters which are now being planted, and incubated, once again, by very nice people in Western nations.

In the early 1980s, Sunday Moses in Koko Village in Warri who accepted toxic waste ignorantly, from an Italian company upon payment of some pittance as fees, he soon died of natural causes or exposures to the wastes. We may never know the short and long term consequences of such incidents
Nigeria just like many of the 53 nations on the continent of African do not have hazard management equipment and necessary expertise to deal with a Three-Mile Island, Love Canal and or Chernobyl type toxic chemical disasters. Africa is in essence being set up for doomsday reminiscent of “The Day After” and this is the time to nip this brewing catastrophe in the bud!
This is a continuing strand of connective tissues in the treatment of Africans and peoples of African descent. The smuggling of toxic was is the latest and newest in the barrages of egregious behaviors which have often been directed at Africans and peoples of African descent perennially, by those, who do not see as fellow human beings. They take comfort in devaluing our humanity, and then, proceed to foist upon us, continental Africans and peoples of African descent, such horrors as the depravity of slave trade and slavery. And such complete disregard for our human rights, freedoms, independence, liberty and sovereignty, as they imposed colonialism and imperialism. The newest evil, in these onslaughts of evils and wickedness, is, environmental racism.
Raise alarm. All those with human decency ought to raise alarm at this new expression of evil and outright wickedness which is once again directed at Africans. The immediate and long term implications of toxic waste dumping on the continent can only be measured in terms of 900 million lives of the person on the African continent. In essence, these will be million in human catastrophes, when, and not if, the dams break the dams of toxic wastes which are now being constructed by environmental racists in their conglomerations.
Clearly, it must be said here, and pointedly so, that, there are those in this world who are obviously glad to see Africans as the weakest link in the human chain. There are those, whose manipulations and interference ensures the fragilities of continental Africans. This is why a destabilized Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Congo, would provide ample opportunity for toxic waste dumpers. It is clear, even with a mere cursory look-over that, manipulations, interferences and direct interventions by outsiders, has combined to wrought havoc upon Africans. And further, those who are complicit in these havocs, are quick to then take advantage of resources.
There clearly, are causal connections and links, between internecine crises and control of resources by outsiders, outsiders, who too frequently, act as arms and ammunition suppliers, while doubling as gold and diamond miners; and as well as oil, uranium, copper and bauxite prospectors etc. In the particular case of Somalia, over fishing and dumping of wastes in Somalia have become the signature emblem or landmark of the disintegration of that East African nation. Illegal mining and harvesting have become the driving force in many crises, on the African continent. And this is how the phenomenon known as Blood Diamonds, came into worldwide public consciousness. As Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Congo etc were embroiled in internecine crises, malevolently shrewd financial mercenaries, fueled these crises with weapons smuggled and supplied to the locals, by those with vested interests in goldmines, diamond-mines, oil wells and other raw materials with which the palms of the west is constantly lubricated.
African plights and predicaments are frequently multiplied by those outsiders, who persistently devalue African humanity, through the incessant and relentless ravaging of Africa and Africans! First there was slavery, then, colonialism and now, environmental racism. Africa and Africans are having to constantly dissipating energies in wasted efforts to dig-out and extricate from deep holes, to which Africa and Africans are constantly thrown. It is therefore no surprise at all, that there are hardly any energies and resources left for development of the African continent. Africa was deprived of her human capital through slavery. Africa was then deprived of her economic, political, cultural, linguistic and structural development, through the complete usurpation by colonizers, who imposed alien languages, culture, religion and political systems etc, without regard to local conditions and systems in Africa.
Why won’t they leave Africa alone? The viciousness towards Africa is beyond compare, and history is my witness. Africans have been bearing the brunt of the world’s prosperity, or what would anyone call slave-labor, compelled and free, for the benefit of productive ventures of slave traders and slave-owners in pre-industrial America and Europe? What would anyone call the exploitation of colonized peoples and nations, deprived of raw materials, for the factories in the nations of colonizers? And now, what would you call environmental racism? Soon enough, when the dire consequences toxic wastes dump will be upon Africa and the poor, there would be those usual revisionists, who would seek to blame Africans for toxic wastes predicaments… predicaments which are now being foisted on Africa
There is prosperity in parts of the world, prosperity, initiated, or created with African blood, tears and sweats, in which the African is not called to participate; prosperity in which, in the end, the African is called upon, once more, to bear the brunt of the toxic wastes, which in itself, arises or were generated from the prosperity, which have never benefited the African! This is a case of multiple jeopardizes and multiple and repeated whamming.
Why won’t leave Africans and peoples of African descent alone?

In this century, what is unfolding now, through this toxic wastes dumping, is another tragedy slated for Africa by outsiders. What should be obvious to all, is the magnitude of the catastrophes which are about to unfold on the African continent. It portends ominously, horrendous human event which is foreseeable. It is a well known fact that Africans do not possess equipment, technological knowhow or wherewithal, to contain Chernobyl type nuclear meltdown or its toxic wastes equivalents. It should be clear to all, that Africans are not ready for a Bhopal India Union Carbide type disaster.

It should be pretty obvious to the world, that shipping toxic and harmful wastes to the African continent is tantamount to an irrevocable death sentence to the inhabitants of the African continent. This sinister evil, is clearly motivated by racism, and racism by those who have, all through history, sufficiently devalued the African humanity, so that, dumping toxic wastes for profit in Africa, is business as usual, reminiscent of slavery and colonialism.
Why won’t they leave Africa alone!

Please see:
Smuggling Europe’s Waste to Poorer Countries

Dirty tricks and toxic waste in Ivory Coast

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Branding Is Prerequisite for Successful Outcomes; For Persons; Companies; or Nations

Branding Is Prerequisite for Successful Outcomes; For Persons; Companies; or Nations
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States

Branding, rebranding is how the world is run.

Or, why do most people on earth refer to every photocopying machine as a Xerox? Why does everyone refer to every internet search efforts as Google it? Why is every detergent in Nigeria referred to as OMO?

Branding, rebranding, marketing, product promotion, products placement are synonymous themes and terms in efforts deployed by individual persons, by companies, and by nations who intend successful outcomes. .

Can anyone imagine a strategy, a bad strategy it is, which demands that an unemployed job seeker never create a resume, until her career succeeds? Or that a manufacturer never creates product awareness promotions for its products? And further, that, a nation never deploy ambassadors and diplomats until she is a world power? Doing all these things are aspects and facets of branding rebranding, promotion and marketing of the individual, corporation or nation. Advert is life!

What does the reader think of advertising? Do advertisers tell the public the truth? Do adverts and commercials work effectively in persuasive roles upon the average consumers? Do Nigerians buy real and fake Gucci, Nike and Movado? Are Nigerians the only ones who believe exaggerated truths in commerce? Are Nigerians seduced by falsities in adverts? Do Nigerians realize that branding, rebranding, product placement, and marketing etc all means adverts? Whether euphemistically called infomercial, product announcements or promotions etc
Advertising works! Nigeria and Nigerians must employ it!

A successful outcome for an individual person might be attained through the creation of a resume, or a reworking of such resume through the rendering of a new and an updated version of such a resume. A good resume, an excellent resume, is the equivalent of an effective public affairs manager or public relations effort on behalf of the named seeker of employment. A prospective employee may attract a prospective employer by an offering, in most creative manner, a resume which satisfies the needs, requirements, education, training and experience needed by the prospective employer. A good resume attracts and catches the eye of a prospective employer. Therefore, it can be rightly be asserted, that a good resume, is such, which gets the job seeker’s foot in the door, for at least an interview, before anything else.

As applied to companies and corporate bodies, branding, rebranding, promotion, product labeling, product placements and advertising etc, is an exactingly crucial process to successful outcomes. Profitability and corporate success, is the expressway to the attainment of satisfaction for board of directors and shareholders in terms of dividends or return on investments. In today’s world, it is not enough to make or manufacture a goodly useful product. Products must have a fitting or appropriate name, better if, such name has a ring to it. Beyond product name, it is even much better if such product has an attractive label and a suitable color.

Then there must be an aggressive, vigorous and rigorous promotions, advertising and placements of such products. Pharmaceutical companies have been known to create advertising and promotion based on an existing drug, but repackaged, relabeled and rebranded as good for treating another ailment, a new ailment, or an old ailment which you never knew you had, until you saw the advertisement by your favorite drug company’s aggressive, vigorous and rigorous prodigious promotion on television, newspapers and on billboards!

Nations are in these respects, quite similar in self-promotion, but, called national interests, and public policies propagandas are instruments for attaining what an individual person would, through a good resume while such an individual angles for employment. Nations engage in packaging and repacking, branding, rebranding, promotions, marketing, advertising, propaganda and even wars, in order to promote such national and strategic interests. War and propaganda is continuation of policy by, through and with, other means; apologies to Von Clausewitz who once said, (paraphrased here) War is policy pursuit by other methods.

Aggressive marketing, promotion, propaganda, advertising, media commercials or infomercials, and the general blitzkriegs of today’s world are the only explanations for human habits and even addictions, which continue to spread. Among these human habits and addictions, which are patently useless, and worse than useless in the most implicit and explicit terms of the term, useless! An easy example is the fact that some medical doctors and other healthcare professionals would smoke cigarettes, even despite their medical and scientific knowledge of the fact, current medical evidence have proven that cigarettes possess no vitamins or health benefits. Cigarettes, quite to the contrary, contain cancer-causing agents/elements carcinogen. The same can be said of anyone, who is not from Mars regarding the disease encrusted “product” known as cigarette. Anyone not from Mars would have to have heard that cigarettes are harmful to humans! But regardless of these scientific truisms, many people, educated persons, enlightened humans, will smoke their first stick of cigarette tomorrow! So, perhaps aggressive marketing does work? Perhaps branding as in the Marlboro-Man does have effect and works to sway new smokers?

The unstated rule today is as if, we are all encouraged to make good products, make better logos, much better designs and color-label and packaging; then have the best and greatest advertisements! Microsoft Personal Computers and Apple Mac, Microsoft has the command of the market, through better branding and rebranding and aggressive marketing. Video Home System or VHS made by JVC defeated Sony made Betamax in aggressive branding and marketing wars. These sorts of corporate branding, rebranding and vicious marketing wars are ceaselessly endless in the business world. The world is saying to all of us, make a good movie, make good perfume, but you do better be careful to mindfully market them. Write a good book, but get a publisher and an agent who get you and your book unto the press and media to talk about your “wonderful” book

Most Nigerians, who have entered the arena of the branding and rebranding debate, have been guilty of two presumptions. Firstly, too many Nigerians believe that a pre-condition for branding, rebranding, advertising and promoting Nigeria require that Nigeria, first, have to have attained the status of a perfect society, before ever making any attempts to engage in self promotions, branding rebranding advertising or diplomatic offensive. But, nothing could be farther from the truth of how the world really actually works in these matters.

Sometimes I just wonder whether Nigerians who are quick to discount the effect of advertising, promotions and marketing, are in fact aware of photo-shopped and airbrushed faces and pictures to which these same very Nigerians are confronted with daily! Airbrushed and photo-shopped faces of politicians, public figures, super models and all celebrities are on pages of newspapers, magazines and on television and in the movies. Those unblemished and spotless faces are branded and rebranded for public consumption!

Nigerians have seen celebrity endorsements, and the use sex to sell all sorts of products. Reading some comments by some Nigerians on this branding and rebranding phenomenon, they give the impression, that they do not understand, that, cheap food does not necessarily bad food and expensive things are not necessarily good things! Nigerians must know that there are bloggers these days, paid to review products with appearance of expertise. Nigerians must know of name recognition, which should not be confused with quality. The French company, Michelin is a rubber car tires to Nigerians, but it is also food or gourmet magazine in America

Anyone who suggests that Nigeria must be a perfect nation-society before Nigeria can engage in diplomatic charming of the world, should consider these analogous messages which follows. Imagine the illogic of suggesting to a job seeker, not to engage in the creation of a great resume, until she has had a successful career or become the president or chief executive officer of a company! Instead, the right position on these matters, require that we inform the unemployed to prospective great career, with writing a great door opener of a resume, as a precondition or precursor to attaining career success.

An individual can continually update her resume to reflect career growth, professional development and career success. Just as companies and sundry organizations must, as a crucial matter, have a mission statement which encompasses the organizational and or corporate objectives, which will lead to successful outcomes in production widgets or the provisions of services. Products and services must be niche marketed to the target end- user, whose sustained interests, generate patronage and profits etc

Similarly, nations must enunciate public policies, domestic and or, foreign; and aggressively promote such policies for internal and external consumptions. It is usually best, if what is claimed by individuals, companies and nations, in their branding, rebranding, self-promotion, resumes, marketing etc are, in fact, true and factual. However, this is often a matter of embellishing, puffing, flowery, sexed-up information, with embedment, coyness, diplomacy and garden variety propaganda!

Here is greater than fiction tale, as analogous to the above truisms. Once there was an empire which contained persons of two races. A Black race and a White race; The Whites dominated the Blacks. Blacks were brutalized in most unimaginable ways by the Whites, and yet, the Whites for almost a thousand years, claimed, with straight faces, that they, the Whites, matter of fact, and in sacrosanct manner, own and hold trademark and patent and monopoly to all that is democracy, liberty, freedom, equality, better than the rest of the world. The rest of humans, saw the Whites as they described, and have labeled and packaged themselves as the grandfather and grandmother of equality, justice and fairness, all this, despite abundant evidences of their subhuman treatments of Black fellow citizens.

Unbelievably, and remarkably, after five hundred years, the Whites elected a biracial (a Black and White) individual, as leader of the empire, and the whole world danced in the streets. No one bothered ask the Whites obvious logical questions, about their self-proclaimed trademark and patented monopoly of democracy, freedom, liberty, justice, equality during all this thousand years. No one bothered to ask the Whites, what in fact, took them so long, to see and come to the realization of the benefits and eminent sense in diversity! The Whites were showered with praises. They branded and rebranded themselves, again!

Ordinarily, our everyday logic would assess a student who scores miserly 1 out of 44 to be lousy, and he would be considered a bad, lazy or even dense dunce student. But no! 1 out of 44, after hundreds of years, was deemed brilliant, celebrated as progress, remarkable progress no less!

There was an empire which also pursued two foreign wars, and then, an aspiring emperor condemned these wars, and upon becoming an emperor in chief, he continued these foreign wars nevertheless. Nothing in the national strategic interests of the empire has changed. Branding gave the empire a new emperor, with apparent worldwide goodwill, but, public policies of the empire barely budged, except in tone, the wars have been repackaged and rebranded, but not any less costly in blood, and treasure and sweat. The empire just like the nation of Nigeria remains imperfect. Such is the story of branding and rebranding for nations. Nigeria should define and redefine Nigeria’s place in the world.

The Nigerians opposed to branding and rebranding of Nigeria, believe, that until and unless Nigeria is perfect and better than the heavens, branding and rebranding will be a colossal and monumental waste of time and resources. This is the essence and core of their ire.

Now, we must deal with the second group of Nigerians who are opposed to branding and rebranding. Their opposing is based on their objections to what some Nigerians perceive as the lack of actual and metaphorical qualifications, of some political leaders in Nigeria. The critics argue that Nigerian political leaders who are engaged in this current rebranding effort are hypocrites. These political leaders are accused of having inadequate qualifications, adequate preparations and worse, the hypocrisy of having imperfect individuals, mere mortals in the Nigerian environment, pursue, such pristinely hygienic thing, such as branding and rebranding! Branding must be factually true, honest, fraud averse and hypocrisy free, at least, so say critics of the current political leadership in Nigeria.

But what if, just what if, all Nigerians, governments and citizens alike, were to agree that our nation is for all of us?

And as such, power actually arises from the people; and that, having a better brand, through the rebranding of Nigeria, is a worthy effort, which should be pursued vigorously, aggressively and prodigiously by all Nigerian citizens, all corporate and commercial entities in Nigeria all socio-cultural, ethnic, regional and religious groups in Nigeria?

Suppose Nigerians and even non-Nigerians, individuals, entities, nations etc who wish Nigeria well, were to agree to act in unison, cohesively, concurrently and even simultaneously, for Nigeria’s best interests. Suppose anyone interested in protecting and preserving Nigeria’s best interests was to act to promote Nigeria’s best interests, without a belief that it is the responsibility of someone else, to do so? Branding is not for government alone. Branding should be by everyone, grassroots and all!

We do need and deserve excellent leadership in Nigeria. Therefore, demanding, for instance, that a perfect government in Nigeria will be best, at pursuing any public policies, including branding and rebranding, is an argument in favor of decency, and I never have arguments against decency.

Demanding the provision of public infrastructure and the provision of safety and security for persons and properties in Nigeria as requisite for promoting Nigeria, is a fair and appropriate demand. The need for certain fundamentals are not inconsistent with the pursuit of Nigeria’s national interests. But no nation is perfect, no leadership is perfect and no nation has all the public infrastructure or amenities the public crave. Nigeria must not wait for perfect leadership and a perfect homeland, before seeking Nigeria’s place in the world!

There is nothing particularly inconsistent with branding and rebranding, and, while, simultaneously in hot pursuits, of certain fundamentals or basics. There is nothing wrong with the hot-pursuits foreign investors, foreign tourists, while strengthening matters of safety and security our homeland Nigeria. There is nothing inconsistent in seeking citizenship responsibilities and obligations, while creating sturdy public infrastructure and social amenities, which will ensure the maintenance and sustainability of same. We know that citizens without a sense of civic duty, sense of responsibility and obligation to our nation, are liable to steal, vandalize and render useless, our best public infrastructure and social amenities. Think of damage NEPA transformers. Stolen guard rails from Lagos Bridges. Think of resources stolen through egregious public conduct. Remember the bottom up approach or the call and response… bad citizens make the worst leaders. Good citizens hardly become bad leaders. Gani does not become Sani because he becomes president and Aminu never became corrupt as Barkin though in the same PRP.

Nigerians must see the branding and rebranding debate and consequent actions, as a matter for all of us.

Branding and rebranding is task for all Nigerians, at home and abroad. And this is not just for the government of the past, or the present government or any government of Nigeria for the foreseeable future.

Branding and rebranding must be by every individual citizen and group of citizens, of Nigeria. Every responsible, good corporate citizen of Nigeria whether for profit or in gratuitous service and volunteer works, should engage in promoting Nigeria’s short, medium and long-term national interests. Branding and rebranding must be seen as a continuous process. America’s best product is America, the idea or concept of America itself. And America markets America aggressively, prodigiously and ever so vigorously! Americans of all political, religious persuasion and Americans of every ethnic and racial group engage in these efforts. Americans do these through governments, Democrats or Republican. Americans call it, winning hearts and minds (and trade)! They do these through persuasion, through propaganda and through wars! America the real, the imagined and the America which might and could someday exist. The world is essentially, work in progress, and Nigeria is no exception to this rule. No one is perfect. Nigeria is not.

Nigeria should, instead be seen, by all Nigerians and all well wishers of Nigeria, a corporate entity, even a commercial one, let’s say, and as a shareholder or an investor with a stake in the outcome would see a company or corporation. And, in my experience, investors and shareholders do not engage in, actively booing and denigrating a company in which, such investors, shareholders are heavily invested, and seeks profits and dividends.

For the purpose of this presentation therefore, we should all see Nigeria as our corporation or company, in which we have heavily invested and have stake in the outcomes in terms of profitability and dividends. We of course would not brook any chief executive officer, chief financial officer and board of directors and management, bent on running our cherished corporation aground and possibly into bankruptcy. But this remains a corporation in which we are all heavily invested!

Nigerians will do well then, to take ownership of Nigeria. Too many Nigerians have self-limited their ownership of the Nigeria enterprise to badmouthing errant CEO, CFO and the board of directors. How if, we seek ways to discipline the leadership? Or dismiss or eliminate them from the helms of affairs of our beloved corporation? And what if we engage in retooling our corporate charter and seek to hire, through legal (constitutional means) CEO, CFO and board of directors who would eventually do as we the shareholders and investors directs and instructs?

President Umaru Yar’Adua, Vice President Goodluck Jonathan and me, therefore, have equal stake in what happens to Nigeria. In fact, from my point of view, the two gentlemen are just store keepers, minding the store, for the true owners of this great warehouse-human house republic. Leadership is a transitory thing; it is merely ephemeral and fleeting, especially in a democracy. And yes, Nigeria is an imperfect democracy. But we all must agree that an imperfect democracy is better than its alternative!

Branding and rebranding needn’t wait for a perfect time. A desperate unemployed, a company in crisis or bankruptcy and a nation in an economic meltdown or even at war, may appropriately engage in branding or rebranding. In a previous article, I pointed out New York City in the United States, branded, rebranded itself during a deep recession and seismic-cataclysmic financial catastrophe and was at the precipice in 1977, when New York City, chose to promote herself as tourist destination for all-the world with the I Love New York themed T-Shirt red heart logo accompanied with aggressive advertising.

And a resurgent New York City now earns billions of dollars annually through tourism. And the profits from the rebranding is injected and recycled into public infrastructure and public-social amenities. Clearly therefore, there are direct links between a branded attractive magnetic New York City, created with tourists dollars and a continuously improving New York City. There are causal connection between costs and benefits in branding, rebranding and outcomes. Individual persons, while unemployed, should create great resumes to clinch employment. Companies or corporations, during a recession or depression, should create new products, new labels, colors and aggressive promotion or marketing to attract patronage and profitability, avoiding bankruptcy. Nations in crisis and even wars, would engage negotiations, diplomacy, and during economic meltdowns, proactive nations engage in the creation of economic stimulus package and new domestic and foreign policies.

There are all these things, which persons, corporations and nations engage in, for their individual person’s career progress, growth-development and success. When next Nigerians think of branding rebranding and Nigeria, they should think resume before employment by an individual. Think of a corporation its product design, product logo, label, color, packaging and marketing.

Nigerians should think of a nation needing a different image, reputation, both of which will in turn, generate profits in terms of foreign direct investment, tourism and general goodwill, which in turn will generate more resources to with which our country can invest more in safety and security of lives and properties… branding, rebranding is how persons, corporations and nations present themselves attractively. When seeking a girlfriend or boyfriend, you should brush your teeth, groom your hair, nails and wear clean clothes to make yourself perusable, and you should not wait until you are a perfect man or woman and a millionaire, or you will wait forever or until you are too old to find a boyfriend or girlfriend! Branding and rebranding must therefore be seen in these practical terms!

Branding and rebranding should be seen as an investment, the down-payment, the deposit we make, the seed money we use and the mobilization fee to start a venture. Branding is like the creation of great resume by an unemployed. Branding and rebranding is similar to corporate product creation and packaging and placement. Branding and rebranding is the creation public policies by nations, and the diplomacy or force of arms, in the pursuit of such policies, the imperialists and colonialist of this world have always done these things superbly well.

Branding, rebranding and product placement is advertising or marketing. Marketing is simply, how the world works! Advising Nigeria not to rebrand should be seen as identical to advising an unemployed person not to create a great resume because she is out of work and miserable in her unemployment status.

The equivalent of advising a company not to market its products or use excellent product designs, logos, labels and colors and aggressive marketing promotions, it is really such unwise recommendation. The value of branding, rebranding or advertising is really a no brainer. An airline must advertise her services in order to attract customers as passengers. A bank must similarly advertise to attract customers or clients. Even the best products, the best ideas must be branded, rebranded and marketed.

Too often, great minds die and great minds are buried with their excellent ideas which were never given birth or fruition, because, such ideas were not promoted into real life. Nigerians must remember that all the magnificence on earth, were once, mere castles in the “air” or castles in the minds of the originators, until such ideas or “castles” were promoted into reality. Nigerians need to continually and continuously, brand, rebrand and promote Nigeria

Hello World, Nigerians Are Coming, Nigerians Are Here!

Hello World, Nigerians Are Coming, Nigerians Are Here!

Written by Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Nigerians were everywhere!

Nigerians in their multitudes filled Manhattan. There were bevies and bevies of Nigerians with a plethora of our national colors memorabilia. Nigerians, from all over, converged on 2nd Avenue between 57th Street and 44th Streets, along 2nd Avenue where Nigeria House is situate at 828.

October 1st, Nigeria’s National Independence Day, was Thursday, a workday, and as a result, Nigerians in North America, the Northeast, and particularly the New York Metropolitan Region, selected Saturday October 3rd 2009 for the annual parade to mark the 49th anniversary of our political independence.

The Nigerians are coming! And now, the Nigerians Are Here! This “coming” seemed to sum up the aura in the air. This sorts of “coming” used be said in reference to be that a nation in the Caucasus who were proclaimed to be the ones who Are Coming, but now, it is a different nation, far from Eastern Europe, but instead, this lovely nation, in West Africa inhabit 150 million people. We; The Nigerians Are Coming! Nigerians Are Here! These seemed to be unstated themes and terms of Nigeria’s National Day Parade in New York City on Saturday 3rd 2009.

Nigeria’s National Independence Day has become very popular and has over the years become a mammoth gathering in various states in the United States, most especially so, the New York City version which is uproarious and thunderous in joyful hooplas!

Ambassador Auwalu Ibrahim, the Consul General at the Consulate of Nigeria in New York City, was accompanied by top Nigerian diplomats from the Consulate of Nigeria, as well as Nigeria’s United Nations diplomatic hierarchy. The world famous Nigerian comedian, Chief Zebrudaya Okoro Igwe Nwogbo Alias 4:30 was in person, present and he was nicely introduced to sundry guests, by Ambassador Auwalu Ibrahim, who was himself brimming with smiles, as he interacted with Nigerians and others, affably and effacingly, in his signature unassuming manner.

The parade attendance was huge, everyone was jolly and celebratory and the ambassador had played his role perfectly, and according to my information, he was said to have been very supportive and accommodating, to various Nigerian groups, in the planning processes of this wonderful event.

The New York City highest political leader, Mayor Mike Bloomberg was represented by New York City Commissioner for Immigrants Affairs Ms. Fatima Shama, who appropriately, is a daughter of Brazilian and Palestinian Immigrants. The commissioner’s presence, gracing Nigeria’s National Day Celebration, added verve to the recognition of the growing importance of Nigerian immigrants in New York City; New York State and the entire United States. Ms. Shama’s appointment by Mayor Bloomberg also adds to our sense of a vibrantly diverse New York City as the gorgeous human mosaic, of which hundreds of thousands of Nigerians are a valuable part; a very valuable part of this American melting pot. Mayor Bloomberg sent a congratulatory letter to Nigerians on this important day as well.

Our African American siblings were amply represented, notably, by New York City Council Member, Robert Jackson (7th Council District) the co-chairperson of New York City Committee on Education, who is also the co-chair for Blacks and Latino and Asians Caucus, he was accompanied by another fellow New York City Council Member Bill Perkins, and the Honorable Eric Stevenson, the New York City Council District Leader 79th Assembly District; there were of course, throngs of African Americans, Jamaicans, Ghanaians, peoples of African descent. Others in the crowds comprised of persons from the general American population. Notably unmentioned and conspicuously absent, was, New York City Comptroller and Democratic candidate for Mayor, Bill Thompson. I wondered aloud about this, to Messrs Jackson, Perkins.

Nigerians groups were present in full colors. The Nigerian Nurses Association as always was the most impressive. They operated two canopies and had a large presence on the parade. The Organization of The Advancement of Nigeria a founding member of the fulcrum of the Nigeria National Independence Day celebrations followed closely.

There were more floats this year, than ever before. Floats from various states of the federation and then, corporate and as well as religious floats. Akwa Ibom State was the most colorful state float, Akwa Ibom float was decked with gorgeously attired female dancers. There was, as well, an Imo Progressive Union in the parade procession. There were more states, corporate, socio-cultural and religious groups than can be exhaustively described within this space.

There was Arik Airlines which informed of, it’s soon to commence direct flight from New York City to Nigeria, before the end of the year. African Independent Television, a subsidiary of DAAR Communication Inc USA was represented, in float and canopy. The Nigeria In Diaspora Organization (NIDO) was ably represented by Ms. Bukky Shonuga, who conducted enrollments of new members, even as she doubled, as well as public affairs person, and coordinator for NIDO New York Region. At the NIDO canopied table, she busily explained the purpose of NIDO as an umbrella organization and clearing house and liaison, with the government of Nigeria, toward the improvement of the human condition in our homeland, through which progress, development advance and greatness of Nigeria will be attained.

There were hundreds of associations, entities, organizations in the Nigeria Independence Day Parade Committee according to documents made available by The Organization for the Advancement of Nigeria; the premier organization of Nigeria Independence Day Celebrations in North America. Among these hundreds of associations, organizations and commercial entities, there were more than forty –two member in the core Nigeria Independence Day Parade Committee.

Absolute Faith Church;; Afro-Heritage Ventures; Akwa Ibom State Association of New York; Anglican Church of Pentecost; Applause Magazine; Ariya Entertainment; Big Boys Production; Big Moose Entertainment; Bini Club; Cherubim & Seraphim Church of America; Cherubim & Seraphim Movement Church; Christ Apostolic Church First in the Americas; Christ Apostolic Church Manhattan; Celestial Church of Christ; Coalition of Niger Deltans in the Diaspora; Egba Club of New York; Egbe Omo Obokun of Ijeshaland; Egbe Omo Yoruba; ELDIMAA Fashion Collection (UK); Everlasting Light Christian Center; Eternal Life Christian Center New Jersey; Hudson Valley Nigerian Association; Igbo Organization, New York Chapter; Imo State Association; Leopard & Peacock Production; Nigerian- American Committee of Friends New Jersey; Nigerian-American Community Organization (NACO Boston Massachusetts); Nigerian Nurses Association of the United States; Nigerian Social Workers Association; Omo Naija Magazine; Organization for the Advancement of Nigeria; Regional Council of Nigerian Muslims; Save Africa Concert Foundation; Tuffgig Entertainment; UnderDaRock Entertainment; United Committee to Save Nigeria; United Nigerian Foundation; United Nigerian Association of New Jersey; World Mission Foundation; Zumunta Association

There were spectacular entertainments provided by various performers, live music by musicians and comedians. There was the Palm-wine Drinkards Club (The Kegites) which was not part of the formal schedule. They however, were applauded loudly with repeated ovations, due to their very energetic and spirited drumming, dances and their delivery of the most convivial of jollities! The Palm-wine Drinkards, ‘derisively’ called me “Comrado” because I could not recall my proper recitations! It was fun indeed!

But, I joined the Kegites hilarities nonetheless! Believe me they had actual Palm-wine in abundant supply, on site. They poured libations with incantations, and everyone, including our American audience, among them, police officers on guard duty, and other guests, were all transfixed. The Palm-Wine Drinkards were the only ones who could drink alcohol, because of a New York City Ordinance which prohibits public drinking by revelers, on parade or not on parade. I suspect, except for the natives, most onlookers were not familiar with Palm-Wine bottled in green bottles, as alcohol. The Kegites were cohesive and organized, they sang in unison and in sync to the delight of all.

There was also a group which has caused irritations and frustrations to parade participants yearly, and they were again present this year. Their stated mission is to complain and protest the imperfections in our system of government in motherland-homeland. The parade proceeded smoothly, thereafter.

The parade spanned more than 15 city blocs, which began from high fifties to 44th Street the location of the edifice, also called the Nigeria House on 828 between East 44th and East 45th Streets.

When the parade was about two more blocs to Nigeria House, we saw rain in the distance, about four city blocs ahead of the parade, and those of us in the front, joked and laughed about divine intervention and rain doctors, because it did appear as if the rain was deliberately held at bay, until the procession was terminating at the Nigeria House destination point. The rain finally found us as we approached Nigeria House. Even still, the eventual rain did nothing to damper the celebrations which were greatly infused with euphoria and enthusiasm. All revelers who could be accommodated were gathered and assembled on the porch of Nigeria House. We all subsequently, soon after, moved to a pre-designated public park, where canopies have been erected, prepared and readied by parade organizers, participants and various socio-cultural, religious as well as commercial entities.

There were foods of various ethnic and regional backgrounds, presented on the park grounds, for sale to participants and onlookers alike. I learned that Nigerian Nurses Association actually served free foods!

There were uncountable sheds of canopies where Nigerian flags, Nigerian themed T-Shirts, bangles, armbands, earrings, and everything in Nigerian colors and memorabilia! This is quite unlike what it was in previous years, in New York City, when finding a Nigerian flags, Nigerian colors and assortments of Nigerian memorabilia was near impossible a task. But now, these are plentiful, in availability, in designs, in innovativeness and uniqueness. There were many Kente Cloths designed in our national colors for the parade Marshalls and other parade segments heads. Nigeria Independence Day Celebrations and Parade has really come of age! Though, Nigeria still remains the only nation out of the 53 African nations that has celebrated National Independence Day through parades of pomp and pageantry for decades.

These Nigerian annual celebrations have increased immensely and tremendously in quantum. Nigeria image, name and flag recognition, have improved among the American public, as a result of these celebrations. A thing of joy and a sign of better days ahead for Nigeria are very evident in the significant presence in these celebrations, by children born to Nigerians in the United States. The majority of parade participants were under twenty years of age! This under-twenty age-group, the Nigerian youths, represents our future, a different future, without the baggage of their forebears. You should have seen them in varying degrees of Green and White and conglomerations of our national colors on the parade route in procession, and then, at the Nigeria House and later, in the public park grounds, where the podium platform was set, with canopies. The public park grounds, where the party proper took place! They were excited, colorful and united in their celebratory gaits! They danced Nigerian dances well!

This year’s parade was glorious! Next year is the 50th Independence Anniversary and I have it on good authority, that next year’s Nigeria Independence Day Parade Celebrations is slated to be, even in grander scale in planning and rendition. Nigerians have come. Indeed, Nigerians are here!