Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Holidays

"A new year is unfolding – like a blossom with petals curled tightly concealing the beauty within.” - anon

To all who frequent my blog, I wish you a belated merry xmas and a wonderful 2008

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

when Yardy met George

"This is a moment that I'll never forget in my life" - Yardy

Seems like our president was a bit starstuck when he met George Bush last week.
What sort of President goes to the White house and says "This is a moment that I'll never forget in my life"
Someone give this guy some backbone, I felt like puking at the sight of Yardy behaving like some giggling schoolgirl on a first date. Ok i know the election that got him to power was flawed and he desperately needs US support, however for the time being he is still the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, not the president of some banana republic that relies on US aid.

If anything with China playing an increasing role in Africa and our large reserves of oil, America needs us now more than we need her.

Which brings me to the controversy over Africom (the United States Africa Command) . Last week there were reports that Yardy had agreed to work with the U.S to establish Africom

According to The Punch (December 14), Yar'adua told journalists inside the Oval Office of the White House at the end of his meeting with Bush, that Nigeria "will partner with AFRICOM not only in Nigeria but also on the continent to actualize the peace and security initiatives which is an initiative to help standby forces in each of the regional groupings in Africa."

Here's the transcript of his speech on the white house website

We have discussed security issues and the security within Nigeria, itself, within the Niger Delta region and within the Gulf of Guinea. And we have also discussed security issues -- peace and security on the African continent. And we shall partner with (inaudible) to assist not only Nigeria, but also the African continent to actualize its peace and security (inaudible) initiative, which is an initiative to help standby forces of brigade-size in each of the regional economic groupings within the African continent.

Now I'm no conspiracy theorist but it seems strange that the part where Yardy probably mentioned "Africom" is the "inaudible" part (as in the part of his speech that was not clearly understood so was not transcribed).

Lost in Translation??
Meanwhile Yardy rather than go on NTA, FRCN or VON went on the "Hausa Service of the VOA" to deny he agreed to Africom.
in a subsequent interview with the Hausa Service of the VOA, the president denied he had accepted Africom. "I did not," he said, "accept Africom in my discussions with Bush. I asked for assistance and told Bush that we have our plans to establish bases for African countries. We asked for training on weapons and training to establish our bases to be managed by our people."

Yardy, in keeping with the tradition of other northern leaders who have ruled Nigeria, says one thing to the rest of the country but says the opposite on the Hausa service of the BBC or VOA for northern consumption.

So was it really a faux pas??

methinks instead of keeping his eye on the ball, he was staring dreamy eyed into George Bush's eyes as if he was on a bloody date.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Random Ms IV

So the whole missing data scandal finally hit home when i got a letter of apology from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC). According to the letter "The missing data includes you and your children's names and date of birth, bank account details..."

The letter ends with an assurance that "The copy of the data is still likely to be on Government property. The police are now conducting a search, there is no evidence that it is in the possession of anyone else."

The latest news is that HMRC is now offering a reward of £20,000 for information leading to the recovery of the data discs.
Have they checked on ebay? -

On a serious note, experts claim the loss of the two CDs containing 25m records including names, addresses and bank details is the UK's, and probably the world's, largest ever data loss.

GB's Crises
You don't have to be an economist to know that UK Plc is in for a bumpy ride next year when the effects of falling property prices, high fuel prices and the impact of the global credit crunch start to bite. Tony Blair must be pleased he handed over to Gordon Brown (GB) before the shit hit the fan.

Since GB became PM its been one fiasco after the other, from the Labour party funding row to the Northern rock crises, and now we hear NR staff will get a bonus and a one off xmas payment.
how nice, i wonder if that is coming out of the £25bn of taxpayers' money...
but i digress
I almost feel sorry for GB, but hey he wanted the job and he was prepared to take Blair down if he had stayed on (why is Tony Blair stepping down).
I can just imagine how Tony feels now. I think the Germans have a word for it, schadenfreude...