Wednesday, December 27, 2006

IPG (ignorance, poverty and greed)

Lagos pipeline blast kills scores
At least 260 people have been killed and 60 injured in an oil pipeline blast in Nigeria's commercial capital, Lagos, Nigerian Red Cross (NRC) officials say...

Another shameful event, but I guess when people suffer from IPG (ignorance, poverty and greed) with a touch of mental illness called "god dey" what do you expect?

Meanwhile as if to prove that disasters in Nigeria or even Africa barely register on the international news radar, the most popular story on the BBC news website is about Pregnant Germans seeking cash bonus, apparently parents of babies born on or after 1 January in Germany will be entitled to up to 25,200 euros (£16,911, $33,300) to ease the financial burden of parenthood. (damn person don miss road come this country o)

but i digress
if people have stopped caring, its probably because it seems normal for people in Nigeria to die from:
a. An oil pipeline blast
b. A Plane crash
c. A Collapsed building
d. A Car or Bus accident
e. A Bomb explosion
f. Armed robbery
g. Religious riots
h. Political assassinations

i. Fake drugs

No wonder life expectancy has dropped to 47, with any of the above scenarios a likelihood in the life of the average nigerian, it'll be a miracle if anyone actually lives to a pensionable age

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

political recycling

Recycling may be good for the environment but political recycling is definitely not good for the nigerian environment. In the run up to the 2007 elections corrupt and discredited politicians and their godfathers have been sharing out positions as if it's their birth right.
With most of the primaries out of the way we finally have a clearer picture of what things will be like when Obj's term ends next year. The prognosis is not good; it's the same characters now playing different roles.
You have the likes of Tinubu playing Godfather in Lagos and imposing a candidate on his party (Action congress is so going to lose the election in Lagos state). You have Andy Uba (a modern day Festus Okotie Eboh) gunning for the governorship of Anambra state. Oyo state should be an interesting case now that Ladoja is back.
But i digress, at least IBB has been neutralised for now, i said in an earlier post that he could never be president because Obj doesn't trust him, but i wouldn't celebrate yet as he may still have some tricks up his sleeve.

Goodluck indeed...
Surely this man must have a good luck charm, Jonathan Goodluck must be the luckiest politician in Nigeria (apart from Obj). He was deputy governor of his state, and then as luck will have it, his boss was impeached and he became governor. Now he is running mate to the next president (the election is just for show, we all know the result), all without spending anything close to the millions the likes of Odili et al have spent on their presidential campaign.

What worries me about this guy apart from the money laundering accusation against his wife, is that he seems like an opportunist. He has never really been subject to the rigours of an election, he has got to where he is by sheer goodluck (so i guess his name really means something..)

At this rate if his luck doesn't run out, he could even become president a lot sooner than he expects, if Yar'adua kaputs due to kidney failure (lets face it he is going to need more than a dialysis machine to survive the next 4 years ruling naija) then guess who steps into his shoes?

paranoia or bullshit - Part Deux

see paranoia or bullshit (nov 17)

definitely bullshit...

Jr's passport arrived early this month but i am still pissed off at the behaviour of the passport office.

here's a brief recap of events (in what i'll like to call "double standards at the passport office")

Sent jr's passport app to passport office.
O, British born nigerian friend of 20 years is signatory.
Passport office writes to O, asking for further information and tell him to respond on "business headed paper".
O calls to complain about the "business headed paper" bit.
Don't know who he speaks to, but the person agrees that he can use plain paper.
Passport office sends form back to me, refuses to accept O as signatory as he refused to comply with the "business headed paper" request.
I call passport office to complain.
Passport office refuses to budge and tells me to find another signatory.
I'm really pissed off now but hold my peace (as we have a family holiday planned).
I decide to use a very good pal G.
G is white, I reckon lets see what modern day britain is like.
Junior's passport arrives a week after i sent application back.
Called G to find out if passport office asked him to do anything.
G laughs saying no one contacted him.
O is pissed...

Now i have my own theories as to why the passport office has behaved this way but i wanted to hear what they had say, so i fire off the following:
My complaint is about the way the Newport Passport office handled my son's passport application. I used a close friend of 20 years, Mr O as signatory on the passport application. He was sent a letter from the passport office dated xx/xx/2006 asking him further questions about me and was asked to "reply on business headed paper".
He called up the passport office and informed them he was unable to respond on any business headed paper as he was providing a personal reference not an official one. The person he spoke to agreed he could respond on a plain sheet of paper.

Some days later the passport office sent me a letter dated xx/xx/2006 and a new form asking me to provide a new signatory as Mr O "does not appear to meet the conditions for doing so"
I called the phone number on the letter and spoke to a Mrs R, who explained that Mr O refused to provide a reference on "business headed paper", she put me through to her supervisor who suggested that if Mr O complies with the request then the application will proceed.

I explained to Mrs R's supervisor that Mr O works for a financial institution and can not use his company's letterhead as his HR department will not allow it.
As a compromise i suggested that Mr O could get a covering letter from his company, but this offer was refused by Mrs R's supervisor.
I had no choice but to use another signatory, Mr G.
When my son's passport arrived last week, i called up G to confirm if the passport office had asked him to provide any letter and he told me no one had contacted him.

I find the way the passport office has handled this matter strange. A friend who has known me for over 20 years was not acceptable while someone who has known me for just 4 years is acceptable. Mr O was asked to produce a "business headed paper" while Mr G was not even contacted.

I am not going to jump to any conclusions here, but it is hard for anyone to convince me that the only reason why the passport office has handled this matter this way is because Mr O is black and Nigerian (British born Nigerian i should add) while Mr G is white.

Its kind of bizarre that the passport office will encourage someone to use their employer's letterhead to give a personal reference, its actually a sackable offence in many companies. G was not asked to confirm anything, it seems his whiteness was enough criteria for the passport office (G said it not me lol)

I'm expecting the usual standard reply, full of the usual bullshit but they'll be making a very serious mistake if they think i'm not going to take this matter further.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tis the season...

its not just the season to be jolly, its the season for naija bashing. This time it's stateside where ABC did a feature on "Nigerian scams", featuring some gullible Americans and of course some Nigerians caught in the act on camera.

its unfortunate that honest hardworking naijas like myself have to share a country with some of these people but i can only hope that we're getting to a point where we all realise that the actions of a small minority is gradually defining the national character of all Nigerians.
That realisation will hopefully lead to a major change in how we perceive these crimes in our society.

But what about the so called gullible "innocent victims" (who are usually white), with all the noise made about 419 frauds why do they still fall for these scams ? I suppose the answer to this question lies in the recent report by chatham house on Nigerian-Related financial crime which suggests that:
"scam victims are led by a conscious or subconscious white Western sense of racial superiority. The fraudsters play on the enduring myth of African infantilism and simplemindedness: a European who believes in this might find it unremarkable that a Nigerian holding tens of millions of dollars would be clueless about what to do with it. In such circumstances, what could be more natural than to turn to the clever white person for help?"

50p for a dollar

ok i'm not a currency speculator but as a correct ijebu man (who can smell a good bargain from a mile away) i am caught up in the 'excitement' of the dollar hitting the 50p mark (i suppose £1 for $2 sounds much better)

anyway whats my own self, its not that i can hit NYC this xmas for some serious retail therapy. (i hate shopping but there must be something in the air in New York that turns me into a shopping freak).
I want to go but wifey no 'gree as she wants to go too, which means jr goes. My argument that it is not a 'holiday' but a 'shopping trip' did not convince her. Whats the point of spending so much money on accommodation (as wifey will never stay in a cheap hotel/hostel), when we could spend it in Macys.
Abi its not as if we haven't been to New York before, but as the experts keep saying marriage is all about compromise, so i have compromised..

so here i am on a soggy tuesday afternoon reminiscing about New York while every man and his dog is heading over there...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

from the archives: a previous exchange with Tony Levene

Regarding my last post about the guardian's Tony Levene, below is the email i sent to him in 2003 as a result of his usual naija bashing. Unfortunately he still has not changed his ways, shame my ijebu jazz doesn't work on oyibos (yet)

----- Original Message -----
From: ijebuman
Sent: Sunday, December 14, 2003 12:40 PM
Subject: Regarding Nigerians (Capital letters 13/12/2003)

Dear Tony Levene

I found your response to the letters from RD (from Nottingham) - 'Ignore this fake NatWest email' and BN (from Devon) '$41.5M offer is a fraud' in Jobs and Money (The Guardian 13/12/03) very offending.

I'm a regular Guardian reader and also a Nigerian. It's rather unfortunate that you could immediately assume that the Natwest email spam was "probably from Nigeria". I got this same email and traced it to the same site you mentioned and there was no evidence that this site was operated by Nigerians or from Nigeria.

A similar incident which affected Nationwide and Halifax (which i received as well) was traced to Russia (

The second letter you responded to also suggests to the writer that its another Nigerian scam without any proof or evidence to back it up. I expect such reporting from papers like The Sun and Daily Mail not from The Guardian.

You might as well be telling all Guardian readers out there that all fraud is from Nigeria. What about online scams originating from Russia and some east european countries ? How about dodgy lottery companies operating from postal boxes in Canada etc

This is a worldwide phenomena and i find it quite strange that you should single out Nigeria without any iota of evidence. I do not deny that Nigeria is well known for 419 scams but as you could not provide any proof of where the scams came from how do you know they were from Nigeria ?

A lot of hard working honest Nigerians live in this country and a lot of us are doing a lot of work to reverse the negative image the country has gained as a result of the antics of a tiny minority. Sweeping comments like yours (with no backing EVIDENCE) only contributes to the false stereotypes associated with Nigerians.

Rather than doing some research and providing useful information, you have chosen to malign a nation of over a 100 million people.

I hope you have the guts to print this email or provide proof that the above scams were from Nigeria.

Yours Sincerely


This was his response

----- Original Message -----
To: ijebuman
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 12:50 PM
Subject: Re: Regarding Nigerians (Capital letters 13/12/2003)

You are right to be sensitive about this. And you are right to be offended
even though we have every reason to believe those behind this came from
Nigeria or neighbouring countries. We shall run your letter.

Tony Levene

He never produced any evidence but he did print my letter in the guardian

my response

----- Original Message -----
From: ijebuman
Sent: Monday, December 15, 2003 7:05 PM
Subject: Re: Regarding Nigerians (Capital letters 13/12/2003)

And i have every reason not to, You may have your opinions about Nigeria and
to be honest i don't really care about them however if you're going to make
sweeping statements at least produce backing evidence.

It's like the government's Iraqi dossier with the 45 minute claim. Provide
the evidence Mr Levene and then you can blame Nigeria/Nigerians for any
other crime you can think of.

Have a nice xmas



I get really pissed off with the way the likes of Levene label all Nigerians 'fraudsters', yes they are a few bad eggs amongst us but which country doesn't have them.
If all Nigerians committed fraud, the UK economy will probably collapse. I work for a FTSE 100 company and i'm in a position where if i was so inclined i could take my employers to the cleaners (and with my special ijebu jazz i go just disappear).
There are loads of naijas in similar positions, contributing their own quota to the UK economy, most of us will rather contribute to the Naija economy but unfortunately we're not in a position to do so.

the writing is on the wall

Going on from my rant yesterday about the horrible TV licence, it seems new technology may finally make the concept of the TV licence redundant. (i'm practically wetting myself with glee)

According to the sunday times:

The pace of change is threatening to make the historic television licence fee redundant, or at least unenforceable. Viewers currently need a licence only to view live broadcasts but not for catch-up or on-demand TV services, or those downloaded over the internet, regardless of how they are viewed.

Much of the output offered by BT’s new Vision service, and its competitors, can now be viewed without a licence. As viewers increasingly choose to watch on-demand, the licence fee will not apply.

If your TV is not used to receive live TV programme services you do not need a licence,” said a spokesman for the Television Licensing Authority (TVLA). “But you would have to demonstrate that you were not using it to view programmes in this way. Each case is judged on its merits, but not having an aerial and not having the channels tuned in would help your case, for example.

“If someone with BT Vision could demonstrate they were not using it for live programmes then they would not need a licence.”

Dave Chilvers, chairman of Continental Research, a media analyst, said: Watching TV over the internet is on the rise and there will be a migration to the personal computer as the home’s main entertainment hub. With companies like BT and Channel 4 entering the market comes the question: if you don’t have a conventional TV, why should you pay the licence fee?”

Even if you did break the law by watching live television over the internet, it’s hard to see how the TVLA could police this. Detector vans are unable to track internet data — though the TVLA may be able to force your internet service provider to squeal on you.

read full article here
Dawn of a new television age,,2105-2481053.html

When "other" people commit fraud

This is how the guardian reports it,,1961824,00.html

No mention of race or nationality , we can only assume the culprits are british and white. Now if na naija we all know how that report will be presented. The interesting thing is the report was written by Tony Levene (the guardian's money editor), whose favourite phrase is 'probably Nigerians' .

Monday, December 04, 2006

planet earth

The BBC documentary programme 'planet earth' has to be the best documentary series on TV at the moment.
I'm not a big fan of the BBC, i don't buy into all that crap about "quality programming" to justify the ridiculous tax we pay to them. However its good to see that some of the cash has been spent wisely and not all of our money has ended up in the pockets of their fat cat directors
Regardless, I still hate the TV licence and the only reason i pay it is because ... some bastard gave them my name. Its not really about the money, more about why do i have to pay for a channel i hardly watch. Wetin concern me with strictly come dancing, casualty, eastenders and the other crap they show. Ok i admit i watch Crimewatch from time to time but that's just to check out what 'awon boys' have been up to..

but i digress (phew I had to get that rant about the TV licence out of my system )

Last night's episode was about seasonal forests and the amazing trees that inhabit them. These forests are the lungs of the planet and they replenish the atmosphere with oxygen. A lot of the exceptional trees that grow in these forests are under threat. Many of them like the Bristlecone pines in California can live for about 5,000 years.
A particular specimen nicknamed "Methuselah" is estimated to be 4,700 years old (meaning this tree was around before Christ was born).
Another remarkable tree is the sequoia tree, the tallest tree in the world, it can reach a height of 115.5m (thats as high as a 30 storey building) and can live for over 2,000 years.
I saw a specimen at the Natural history museum here in London, it was cut down in the late 19th century and by then it was already 1,300 years old.

The point i'm trying to make here is, we live on a remarkable piece of real estate that we don't really appreciate, considering its the only habitable piece of rock in the solar system we need to take good care of it, not destroy it along with the remarkable creatures that share it with us.