Tag Archives: Dora Akunyili

Corruption Rebranded

By Adeola Aderounmu.

On March 17 the project to rebrand Nigeria was launched in Abuja. At the occasion where Yar Adua was represented by Goodluck Jonathan, Dora Akunyili likened her pet project to WAI of the military era. It is shocking that this launching became a reality less than one week after Dora was sweating and lamenting at the National assembly where she was summoned to defend the funding for the project.

At that hearing she lied when she said that the rebranding is by Nigerians and for Nigerians. Which Nigerians was she talking about- mama Risi who is selling rice on the street or Papa Victor who does not know how to get to work tomorrow? Could she be talking about the loads of unemployed Nigerians?

Prior to this launching which would have gulped millions or billions of naira on its own, I have read with dismay the call to rebrand Nigeria. It is one of the most inappropriate calls I’ve heard in recent time which unfortunately and tragically has now been realized.

If Dora Akunyili and the pro-branders are not aware, then may I humbly tell them that Nigeria cannot be rebranded? The obvious brand-able things in Nigeria since 1959 are corruption, underdevelopment and massive looting.

It is true that some countries go for branding in order to promote their national businesses and trade. But at this point Dora and her protagonists (especially those seeking political favours) must be told that branding or rebranding as being loosely tagged in this case is not the same as tourism promotion.It is also absolutely not the same as Idiagbon’s WAI.

Malaysia-truly Asia is one of the most popular tourism promotion slogans on CNN. That is not branding. To bring people to Malaysia for tourism, the country has done a lot of work to raise the country from being under-developed to a growing world economy. Malaysia boasts one of south-east Asia’s most vibrant economies, the fruit of decades of industrial growth and political stability-(BBC)

Nigeria does not need rebranding. This project will amount to another white elephant project that will drain the treasury. Even the lazy lawmakers in Abuja were shocked as they do not even know where the money for the project would be coming from. Their fears cannot be described as genuine anyway because as political jobbers/opportunists, they will not let any amount of money fly in their faces without their own cuts. But after Dora’s visit the deal was sealed and delivered!

Dora should have diverted her “informative” energy inwards. She should be informing the concerned authorities about the urgent need to provide this country with constant electricity, good roads, security of lives and property, good schools for all, employment opportunities, sense of belonging, human dignity, respect, voting rights, rewards for labour, and dividends of (true democracy).

The Nigerian leadership has an obligation to ensure transparency in governance, prosecutions of corrupt people in both public and private offices and preservation of the institutions on which the unity of the country resides. After doing these things and much more to improve the standard and quality of lives, the branding is then complete.

There is no greater branding than the quality of lives that the people have. If Dora Akunyili is representing Nigeria at a global fair say in Canada for example, how would she rebrand Nigeria to the business community? Should they start their businesses in Nigeria and import electricity from Europe or America? I have no doubts in my mind that rebranding is the making of a shallow non-creative mind.

Elusive Electoral Reform

Probably the most important proposal on the recommendations of the Electoral Committee set up by Umaru Yar Adua was overturned by Yar Adua himself and his co-travelers. The ideology behind the FEC decision is to promote dictatorship rather than preserving the constitutional roles of a president. Nigerian politicians in their myopism do not always see the need for positive changes and progress.

Nigerians should insist as they have done now on the retention of all the recommendations of the Electoral Committee. Total expunging of the operations of the present Electoral Commission is one of the several useful steps towards building a true democracy for Nigeria. We are yet to democratize Nigeria and the longer we wait, the lower our standard of living drops. All forms of dictatorial tendencies should be vehemently resisted.

The electoral committee gave a landmark proposition in suggesting that laid down procedures should be followed in the appointment of an Independent Electoral Commission chairman. My interpretation of the procedures is that the process should rest on an institution and not on a person.

That institutions, and not persons, do function is paramount to building a successful society or nation. Many institutions in Nigeria including the office of the presidency have failed because they depend on people rather than viable blueprints and guidelines.

What is about to be taken away from Nigerians yet again by Yar Adua and the FEC is the golden opportunity to build one of the outstanding pillars on which the survival of this nation should rest upon. For as long as our elections do not work because of our malformed behaviours and absence of credible electoral institutions, then hardly will anything work out well.

The temporal man in charge of Nigeria learned too quickly the national mentality of Nigerians and obviously he is riding high on that belief that Nigerians have short memory-they forget how things should be done the right way. Perhaps they don’t even know how things should be done because since their colonial master left in 1960, they have not put one right step forward, democratically. Goodluck Jonathan was right; rebranding Nigeria will not work like Big Bang. However, only a Big Bang can put Nigeria on the world 20 by 2020.

The Government of Nigeria Vs Internet Warriors

By Adeola Aderounmu

If there is one war Yar Adua will NEVER win, it is this one he has decided to wage on bloggers and internet/online news services. Let no one be deceived, this regime is going down as one of the worst in Nigeria’s history. This government is not only clamping down on regular information providers (like we saw in the case of CHANNELS TELEVISION), it is also spreading its evil tentacles across the global web service.

That anyone could even think of waging war on internet/online sources of information is the height is tyranny. Let it be heralded in Nigeria that the era of global voices is here. Let it be told to stereotyped buffoons that freedom of speech and expression will never be tamed again in the present digitalised world.

If it is not yet known at the global centre of corruption aka Aso Rock, let them get it now that there is nothing they can do about blog, blogging, bloggers and freelance online journalism. It doesn’t matter if the information is junk, real, imagined, true or false. The most important thing is that information is flowing continuously in our global village. It is left for the consumers to discern or filter their intakes. Therein lies one of the toughest challenges for a daft leadership.

What responsible governments do when wrong information is flowing is to issue press statements or address press conferences to state their sides of the stories and clear the air of ambiguities. The unnecessary arrests, detention or persecution of journalists without trials are the elements of dictatorship, tyranny and undemocratic governments. To which of this category does Yar Adua belong?

Mr. Yar Adua should be told that not everyone recognises him as the president of Nigeria and there is also nothing he can do about. People have rights of association or dissociation and you cannot force your wish on all people. The era of complete dominance is over as far as the information and knowledge industries are concerned. No amount of threats, detention, persecution, arrests and killings can stop the truth.

If Yar Adua and his cohort are not aware, there are people who are now prepared to die for the truth about what is going on in Nigeria. Those are the people who know that the people’s democratic mandate was not given to the PDP in the 2007 (s)election. Many Nigerian activists and pro-democracy bodies believe that the country is on a free fall due to the absence of a legitimate and purposeful leadership.

There is no amount of Supreme Court judgements that can equate to the absence of election in Nigeria in 2007. There is nothing anyone can remove from the fact that the worst (s)election process known to mankind took place in Nigeria in 2007 under the watch of two heartless Nigerians-Obasanjo and Iwu using the ruthless machinery of the nest of killers aka PDP.

No amount of persecution of bloggers and online information services can take away the fact that Yar Adua’s government is oiled by corruption. Who does not know that Yar Adua is paying lip service to the war on corruption? Prove us wrong: tell Farida to arrest Ibori if you’ve got the liver! Show what an anti-corruption Czar is made of: go after Babangida, Obasanjo and the other corrupt governors together with whom you looted the country for 8 wasteful years! You cannot even return to any viable clinic or hospital in your home state where you held sway for 8 years! Igbinedion only has to refund a mere 3million naira after looting Edo State for 8 years. What a joke! Who is fooling who?

The person I pity most is Dora Akunyili who has refused to see and read the handwriting on the wall. Money, fame and power cannot be it all-there ought to be a time to say goodnight. As the new Minister for propaganda and misinformation, she’ll have to do silly errands and destroy the reputation that she built as the boss of NAFDAC. She will be at the war-front against bloggers and online journalists. She would be forced to explain the government’s position on the reasons for illegal arrests, detention and torture of innocent Nigerians. She will contribute to the slow death of some of the people she saved from fake drugs. She may even have the misinformation about the next lesser hajj made only for Nigerian leaders. Soon, she will find out what online warriors can do to people who mislead the public.

I wish Dora all the best in the new arena. Umaru, leave Nigerian Online Warriors alone. At least we are not competing with you and the other cronies in the looting game. We are happy travelling home to Nigeria in economy class as we do not have 12 billion dollars to fix private jet to Monaco or Minna. We are happy to tell the truth. We did it before you and we plan to do it after you. This is one battle you’ll lose because there are no bias judges or diminishing witnesses.

Dora Akunyili: How to Destroy a Reputation

By Adeola Aderounmu.

If Dora Akunyili doesn’t understand the plan of the illegal regime she is serving in, she is about to be taught a lesson. All that we know about Dora is that she has served meticulously well as the boss of NAFDAC-National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control.

During her tenure, she has saved millions of lives in Nigeria by preventing the spread of fake drugs in the Nigerian market. Obviously some people have been put out of business by her candid service and honest disposition. These people are annoyed and angry because they cannot import fake drugs into Nigeria from Asia.

It is such people who have “pressed the right button” and have now made it possible for Dora to be removed from NAFDAC and made the new minister for (mis)information in Nigeria. In my recent memory, I haven’t seen or heard any sane pronouncement from Nigeria’s Information Ministers or Press Secretaries. Once you get into government in Nigeria, you become stupid. Your morals are gone and your wild instincts take over you. It’s a curse!

All you do as a Minister for Information in Nigeria is to sell and propagate propaganda. Does anyone remember lesser hajj by Yar Adua-The worst lie in 2008! Dora is about to be messed up in the Nigeria Media Warfare. I feel so sorry for her already because I’m one of those who will be bashing her lies into the gutters. I’m sure I will not hesitate to call her a liar or basket mouth once she starts to say the wish and minds of the cabal or junta in Abuja.

Public service in Nigeria has a way of turning sane minds into stereotyped buffoons. Not many people have returned from Ministerial posts, governor’s position or such as normal people. They end up mega-rich from stealing and looting without limits. They forget what they see on the streets and they live behind closed doors or take endless trips abroad. Suddenly, it becomes-I’m fine, what do I care?

I am feeling sorry for Dora big time. Money, fame and power cannot be it all. There should be a time to say goodnight. It’s always when the ovation is loudest. I’m afraid she’s going down with this illegal regime. She fell for the plan and it seems she’s bracing up for the challenges.

The strongest battle in information right now is that Yar Adua is clamping down on bloggers and internet news service that are critical of his illegal government. Time will tell how Dora fits into this and we’ll see if she will endorse the “arrest or kill bloggers” policy of his master and dictartor-Umaru Yar Adua. Yar Adua must know that some of us are prepared to die for the truth. It’s a course we cannot turn away from. He is their president, our tormentor!