Thursday, February 08, 2007

On Politics.........

I have done my civic duty and registered to vote. The presidential elections are in April and the key contenders at this points are:

Yar'Adua - Obasanjo's pick

Atiku - Current Vice President

Buhari - Former military ruler

Now, i dont think much of any of these guys but i will vote. So who will get me vote?

I follow the news religiously. I live with a political pundit who also knows history. So my dad will give me insight from years back which i enjoy hearing. My brother has joined us at home and with an undergraduate degree in politcal science and international relations, i have very smart, well read men to answer my many questions.

I now state that of the lot, my vote will go to Atiku.

The man has no doubt lined his pockets but then again who hasnt. They have all done it - its just a question of how much. Some have stolen more, some less. Even the people in the private sector have at some point lined their pockets. My dad calls it enlightened self interest. It is human nature though as its done worldwide. We are just not as sophisticated as the West in hiding it.

But the man has something about him which if channelled properly can do this nation some good.

Did you know that Atiku recommended Ms Okonjo-Iweala to the president after looking her up and being impressed with her achievements at the World Bank?

Atiku is is a savvy business man who isnt afraid to hire the best to take care of business.

I am most impressed by his stubborness.

Atiku has given it hard to Obasanjo since this saga began. Let's not forget that Atiku "won" the elections way back and the powers that be including one of my favorite people - IBB decided to put Obasanjo in power. Atiku was not pleased but there was an agreement which led to him being made VP. There is the story of the famous humiliation of OBJ. OBJ had to prostrate for Atiku and this is apparently true.

Anyway, OBJ decided to get rid of his Vice when he thought he was done with him around the time his efforts to get a 3rd term began to pick up steam. Suprise, suprise. Atiku refused to do the "right" thing and resign.

Atiku has exposed some of the sins of our holier than thou president including looted funds, companies used as fronts and even gifts to women (our president seems to LOVE the ladies).

OBJ and his cohorts have tried to declare the seat of the VP vacant but its not working so far. Yesterday, the papers carried the headline: "Atiku......tops EFCC list". This morning, the papers state: "Atiku sues Ribadu". Atiku is one fearless, stubborn man.

He has made some sound statements in the past few weeks. If anyone goes to the CNN website today, Nigeria is THE news for today - in particular, the Niger Delta. Its harrowing. Atiku stated that the current administration was not doing anything about this area. He said the sophisticated weapons used by these young men were being supplied with the knowledge of the administration and the solution to this problem is not being addressed. He quite eloquently said this business of kidnapping and paying ransoms is just the tip of the iceberg. That this seemingly "little" matter of MEND (movement for the emancipation of the Niger Delta) could destablize this whole country.

I agree with him and i think a lot of people following this matter will agree with him. How can the reason for all the greed and corruption - this oil, be coming from an area where the inhabitants live in conditions so deplorable, that there are no words to describe it. Add to that able bodied young people watching the expatriates come and go and there is nothing to show for it. When the traditional rulers and governors are settled by the oil service companies and this windfall doesnt flow down to the people? I went to Bayelsea state - Yenagoa and i couldnt believe it. Its a shame.

Atiku pointed this out again last week when these militants stopped 2 governors from attending the PDP convention in one of the states in that region. These men stood in the middle of the road and stopped the convoys while firing some shots in the air. The governors simply turned back. And the OBJ administration doesnt think this is a serious enough problem? The kidnapping of expats is increasing. I can only thank God that these men are not killing the hostages. A lot of the released hostages say they are treated well and the young men treat the older men with so much respect. That's not the point though. The point is why has this been allowed to degenerate to this level?

Anyway, i guess the point of this post is that at this point, Atiku has my vote. He isnt the best person to run this country and i dont know who is. Definitely not a technocrat and i dont see any politicians now that can run this country. Sure some of them can be given portfolios - Donald Duke should handle tourism, Oby Ekwesili should go back to solid minerals even though she is doing well in education...etc.

Let me be even more radical and go out on a limb and say that i believe that women should be given certain offices to hold. This is not about feminism or gender equality, i am just being realistic. Certain types of women are soooo stubborn, so principled and are willing to take even the old boys to get things done. See what Dora Akinyuli, Ms Okonjo-Iweala, Oby Ekwesili, Ifueko Omoigui have done. These women are a different breed. These women are not the wear jewelery and expensive lace ladies. These are action, focused women who have made a difference in such a short time and i am sure behind the scenes, they face so many obstacles. Imagine what would have been achieved if these women were given free rein?

I will halt here and state again as i have done so many times before that i love my country and this is my home. In my own way, i believe i am making a difference with some of the things that i am doing and what my company is doing. And i know that i will do more as time goes on. Because we have all been exposed to the rest of the world in different ways, we tend to compare this 46 year old nation with ancient civilizations that have been around for centuries. We are not where we should be but we are growing and jumping some growth stages and i really truly believe that when we are a century old, we will be something else. Hmm. Actually, i beleive that in 10 years, Nigeria will be a far cry from where we are today.

Here's to this nation of resilience with a future so bright.....


Chykere said...

You stated that you have a brother with an undergraduate degree in political science and my guess is that his advice swayed you towards Atiku. Without being rude, I think he should go back to his former University and ask for a refund.

Uzo said...

Who the fuck do you think you are?

First off: Out of everything i have posted, the only thing that you saw fit to do was to pick on the statement that i made about my brother. Let me say this: do not ever and no one else that chooses to leave a comment say anything about any member of my family.

What the hell? Disagree with me but do not go there. I was swayed by who? And my brother should go back and get a refund for what?

Do i know you? Cant i have an opinion? I mentioned issues about the niger delta and my brother is all you could see? You dont like Atiku, do i care? I said here, i dont like the man but these are my opinions. If you have the time to tell me who would be a better choice then so be it. But dont get personal.

This blog is all about me and my opinions and thoughts. You dont like it, then stay away. This is the kind of crap that gets all of blogsville incensed.

This is the side of me that a lot of people dont see.

Here's the thing: my BABY brother with this double major as his undergraduate degree, with a master's degree and work experience under his belt at age 24 is more than you could ever be because my parents raised him so well that he would NEVER make disparaging comments about anyone's family let alone leave comments like this on a stranger's page.

Olawunmi said...

@ Chykere: now, that's not nice. not nice at all. i don't think blatant attacks on people's families is a way to have a dialogue, or to pass across a point intelligently.

here's what you did: you relegated your point to the footnotes, and made your rudeness the issue. that's exactly how not to win an argument. clearly, someone needs to learn respect.

@ Uzo: breathe. Whosahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

Chykere said...

Please accept my apologies, I didn’t mean to offend you, your brother or your family. If I caused any offence, I am really sorry.

uknaija said...

Interesting post Uzo...I've heard friends from Naija give me a similar analysis....

Anonymous said...

uzo ogini? oya please smile for jesus :)

loved this article so much, really made me proud to be a nigerian.its true we have made a few mistakes along the way but the best is yet to come (which is so exciting). Glad to see you are exercising your right to vote.

can't seem to blog using my id so i had to go anon lol


BabsBETA said...

Hmmm! guessed chykere leant his lessons already so I wont even go there again.

Good thot line. I may disagree with you on somethings but I think this is by no way a beer palour talk.

Most times I hear nigerians talk politics its mostly sentiments and rarely logical opinions.

of the 3 of them too I think Atiku. Dont like him so much personally but think he is a better businessman too.

Voting will be a tough choice but hey, i still think everyone should vote.

My 2 kobo worth of thots. LOL

LondonBuki said...

You see - it's posts like this that remind me that there are some Nigerians who actually LOVE Nigeria. Not the ones that want to go there and line their pockets and enjoy! The ones that make NOISE! You clearly are not like them... :-)

I know I am not passionate about Nigeria but this post has made me a little interested in these elections and I'll start keeping myself updated :-)

And re: your comment(reply to Chykere). Hope you're not too annoyed now.

TaureanMinx said...

I registerd but i'm not sure I really have to vote if I don't like any of the candidates. What of Utomi? I guess no one thiks he can make it. I have to go do a good research.

@what chykere said, breathe Uzo. Pele

TaureanMinx said...

forgive the typos

Daddy's Girl said...

Chykere's comment was really uncalled for - very rude (despite the 'without being rude' bit - LOL) - I'm glad (s)he at least had the good sense to apologise.

Now to the post: Very interesting and well-informed write-up. Food for thought, definitely. Despite his shortcomings, I am very impressed by some of Atiku's actions too. I think he is courageous and a real fighter - I'll give him credit for that. I'd much rather vote for him than the PDP candidate - Yar'Adua may not be a bad man but I will not vote for the party he represents (and arguably will be controlled by). I have a BIG problem with the PDP.

I think people who are sick of the status quo should consider rallying behind Utomi - he is intelligent, he has ideas (rare in Nigerian politics), he is progressive, and best of all he has not sullied his hands. Like TMinx said, people have concluded he doesn't stand a chance, but if the vast majority of people who are unhappy with the frontrunners give him ther vote... he'll have a chance.

Aba Boy said...

Utomi is like they say a breadth of fresh air, and like J.F.K before him he is full of ideas. I can feel him more than the other jobbers - Atiku, Kalu & Yar'Adua. Buhari, maybe...hmmm, maybe. But surely not Atiku...

Chxta said...

Uzo, it's nice to have you talking some politics after a while.

I think Atiku is wrong for so many reasons, some of which I outlined yesterday. There are too many inconsistencies in him, and for me, the most scary thing is his willingness to incite the Niger Delta with that recent statement about $2billion.

Why did it take you so long to register?

Kush said...

Uzo, I would try to summarize what you have given in your article as reasons for supporting Atiku

1 He is Stubborn
2 He believes there is inequality in the Niger Delta region (Come on Uzo how obvious is this one?)
3 He once recommended a qualified person - NOI - for a job

I personally think it is a sad state of affairs when the above items are enough to vote someone in as president - of a country of Nigeria's size over 150m people - surely there has got to be more...

Adunni said...

I was so for Donald Duke but since he is no longer in the race, i really don't know who to vote for. I really don't think Atiku is a good choice. There's more to being president than all the qualities that u've mentioned. Pat Utomi is a breath of fresh air but it seems every one is sure that he couldn't possibly win. I'm really confused though but nonetheless ill still cast my vote in the elections. Im just not sure who will get it. For once i wish someone with a lick of sense would become president of this country.

Seyi said...

Uzo, i give you props for being brave enough to state your position on an issue that is sure to have people disagreeing with you strongly. Good one....

kulutempa said...

can't believe i missed this whole debate...blast it!

my opinion seems stale even to me now, but i'll say quickly that i have to disagree with you about atiku. he may be an astute businessman, but he is a vindictive sum'bitch and i find that scary in a leader. he's lacking a sensitivity and grace that nigeria needs right now, given the volatile nature of things; he can't - and probably won't - appeal to the human side of people, and that's going to be dangerous for us over the next few years.

plus (insider gist) i can't really respect someone who would have orgies with little boys: where's the morality? if you don't have a respectable personal value system, how can you be expected to inspire others to have the same?

Anonymous said...