By Olukorede YishauAnd so it came to an end; yes, it has, after many men of the silk said there would be a way where there seemed to be no way. We thought their spiritual binoculars could see what we could not see, and we were on the edges of our seats waiting for the miracle of miracles. We were hoping their Father in heaven is different from ours and would shock us. Now, it is day two without Donald J. Trump as president. His administration dawned at dawn on January 20, his era has ended, and Joe Biden’s has begun. Biden’s era is beginning as Dr. Uzoma Elizabeth Emenike, academic, author, diplomat, mother of four, and wife of a publisher, businessman, and politician, Chief Ikechi Emenike, makes history as Nigeria’s first female ambassador to the United States. She is leaving her current post as our envoy in Ireland (with concurrent accreditation to Iceland) to be Nigeria’s number one citizen in a nation just coming out of Trump’s tumultuous years. The Trump years were of more troublemaking and less troubleshooting. He made trouble with almost everyone. His friends were mainly white supremacists and those who benefitted from his policies. Africa-Americans felt left at the back. Europe didn’t get along with him. He treated Africa as a shit hole and dealt with the Chinese like lepers. Immigrants were objects of misgiving and mimicry. Mexicans were treated with disdain and he began walling them off. He also separated children from their mothers in an inhuman immigration policy. Over 500 kids, according to a report in The New York Times, are yet to be reunited with their parents because officials who separated them have no records of where their parents were deported. The rule was: Cross Trump and get tongue-lashed. Reporters had their fill. News conferences were avenues for the immediate past president to thrash the media for a perceived wrong. CNN, to him, meant fake news. New York Times, Washington Post, and others were despicable. Even Fox News that started as an ally ended as a traitor. For Trump, there were no permanent friends. The only thing that was permanent was his interests and once you were against his interests, you automatically switched camp and were dressed down in the worst language possible. Mike Pence can testify as he was quickly re-christened a weakling for not working against the greater good. He eroded core alliances such as the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, provoked traditional partners, and pampered autocrats such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. Never had America seen such an era and it could take some time for such a mistake to be made again. Some say the mistake can never happen again. But with democracy, never say never. Even ‘fools’ at times appeal to the majority and get the coveted crown. White supremacists had a field day. So free were they that they threatened fire and brimstone if their man was not re-elected and taking over the Capitol was the height of their madness. They wanted the heads of Pence and Speaker Pelosi and others they considered traitors. They broke glasses and desecrated the hallowed chamber. Reports suggest that dozens of law enforcement officers, active-duty military members, and veterans participated in the global giant’s moment of shame. Now, the Capitol has a high wall and the National Guard is out to keep the dogs of war away. Trump was not all bad news. He is credited with overhauling the U.S. judiciary, especially with the appointment of three Supreme Court justices and the fast-tracking of the appointment of more than 200 federal judges. He is also respected in some quarters for pushing through massive tax cuts for corporations, expanding the economy faster than it was under Barack Obama, and crashing unemployment to a record low—before the economic gains were washed away by the Coronavirus. He also normalized relations between Israel and four once-antagonistic Arab neighbors, and he condensed U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, but like a commentator noted all these were “dwarfed by what Trump got wrong”. America deserves a break from the commotion of the last four years. And it is good that Biden has promised a new era, one devoid of unnecessary rancor, one devoid of harsh immigration policies, one devoid of denigrating the developing world, and one devoid of going against its traditional allies. We will keep tabs and watch him keep these promises. Dr Emenike comes ready for the job. Those in the know believe her records in Ireland more than any other factor recommended her for the U.S. assignment. She holds two first degrees, one in Sociology and Anthropology from the University of Maiduguri, and the other in Law from the University of Reading, United Kingdom; she also holds two Master’s degrees – one in International Law/Diplomacy from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the other in International Management from the University of Reading, where she also earned a Ph.D. in International Relations. Her scholarly work ‘Africa: The Centre-Piece of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’ is a vault of knowledge. For those who have the key to this knowledge vaulted in Dr. Emenike’s ‘Africa: The Centre-Piece of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy’, they can attest to its depth. International relations scholars have found in it a companion. We see through it Nigeria’s various diplomatic actions; we see how the country funded and trained freedom fighters in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Namibia at a time they were considered terrorists by the imperial overlords in power. We see how Nigerian staked its good relationship with some Western allies for the good of sister African countries. And we see its diplomatic maneuvers to preserve the sovereignty of the African states through its campaigns for the decolonization of Africa, independence for Namibia, elimination of Apartheid, resolving the Rhodesia Question, and Africa’s right to the UN Secretary-General seat. Of course, we also see the debates on the need for the country to begin charity at home instead of playing Big Brother to its sister African countries, especially giving the wrong vibes from countries that have benefitted from its generosity. South Africa, for instance, has not been fair to Nigerians who have made it home. They are regular victims of xenophobic attacks. Getting a South African visa for Nigerians going for conferences and other reasons is more difficult than securing the visa for European countries and America. The mundane takes center stage in denying them the right of passage. The book takes a critical look at the different environment of foreign policy decision making, such as domestic, external, and international system. A thorough examination of the theories of international relations and globalization is also undertaken. We also see a focus on national interest and foreign policy, as well as Nigeria’s relations with immediate neighbors, such as Ghana, the Republic of Benin, and Cameroun. With a struggling economy, and the attendant loss of revenue, is it sensible for Nigeria to continue to be the continent’s, Santa Claus? This book gives due attention to this all-important question and the author does not play Madam Know-All, as she taps into experts’ brains for answers— signifying her acknowledgment of the fact that she is not an Island. She will need this as she takes up her new assignment in Biden’s America. I wish her God’s speed and a positively-unforgettable tenure. In the name of our Father, go and make us proud, Madam!
Source : The Nation
Ebele Obiano’s Designer Vaccination
By Azu Ishiekwene
Whether Jean-Jacques Rousseau mis-credited the words to Marie-Antionette in Confessions or not, Nigeria is happy to supply a modern-day princess who has earned the title of Her Royal Spite-tress without controversy.
And unlike Antionette reputed to have tossed the infamous pate, “Let them eat cake”, out her window when the mass of ordinary people in France were dying for bread crumbs, her Nigerian cousin travelled thousands of miles to find her groove.
Ebele Obiano is the wife of Willie, governor of one of Nigeria’s five south eastern states, with a long list of grievances against the federal government.
Let’s be clear. Anambra State is not one of the basket cases in the south east, even though it has a wretched reputation for nasty politics. In the last seven years, Governor Willie Obiano, building on the solid work of his predecessor, the legendarily stingy Peter Obi, has managed to raise the performance of the state in competitive public examination and agriculture.
But in less than two years, a second episode of extravagant indiscretion by the governor’s wife now casts a long shadow over the legacy of the state’s first family.
The commissioned and published video of the governor’s wife sitting in the “owner’s corner” of her jeep and receiving the COVID-19 vaccine in the United States (US) while coronavirus-related deaths are spiking back home makes Antionette look like a saint.
Ebele Obiano took care to ensure her jab was not just medical tourism at its ludicrous best. It was also a calculated fashion statement. There she was ensconced in her 4X4, in brown pants and a black-sequins blouse, with a reporter on the deck to capture the historic event for posterity. It was a Nollywood moment.
As the tape was rolling in faraway Houston, Texas, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) was reporting more COVID-19 infections back home and the number of the dead was climbing. You would think that the wife of a public official who truly has the interest of her people at heart but could do nothing to improve their safety, would, at least, do nothing to compound their misery.
It’s hardly so with government officials and their families. It’s a global plague, but somehow, Nigerian officials always manage to squeeze themselves into notoriety’s reserved list. In October, thousands of angry mobs broke into warehouses across the country to help themselves to large amounts of foodstuff and staple which could have been distributed at the height of the government-imposed lockdown but were left to rot, while huge supplies were diverted or weaponised for politics.
Anambra, where Ebele Obiano’s husband is governor, was one of the worst hit states by the “palliatives riots”. Protesters estimated at 2,000 broke into a warehouse in the state capital and, in a moment of genius lacking in the French Revolution, helped themselves to bread, noodles, grains and whatever else they could find.
If there was a vaccine strongroom anywhere in the country today, after watching the video of Ebele Obiano’s designer vaccination, distraught citizens might be obliged to ask themselves why they shouldn’t breach the storage.
Ebele Obiano is not a stranger to controversy. She once spotted a pair of crystal-studded Gucci glasses estimated by some to be worth only $2,755 or the equivalent, at current prices, of three years’ minimum wage in the country.
To be fair, the governor’s wife was wearing something much plainer than Gucci – and perhaps cheaper – on the day she took vaccination in Houston.
But Gucci or fluffy, it’s difficult for her to see, from her high horse, what the people who elected her husband to office are seeing. It’s difficult for her to see that they need clean water (unavailable to the majority) to sanitise; that they need clear safety guidelines, and possibly face mask mandates; that they need more testing and information about signs to look out for in case of infection; and that they need where to find help, when necessary.
It’s stunning beyond belief that for all her elegance and the trouble of travelling over 10,000miles to be on record as the first publicly advertised wife of a public officer in the world to be vaccinated against COVID-19, she still couldn’t make out the type of vaccine she was getting, whether it was “Moderna,” or “Madonna” as she called it.
It’s not funny. And as the tape rolled and she fielded questions from the one-man interviewing crew, she wore her heart on sleeve, saying, “When there’s a war, you do not because of bullets catching you stop…or refuse to go to war. You have to go, you have to fight, you have to survive…”
That’s so easy to say, especially when you’re fighting the war thousands of miles away from the home turf, in a place where you can have the best of what money can buy and at the expense of the public treasury. But she was not done yet.
She invoked God’s name half a dozen times for the protection of citizens back home, but knowing the length she travelled to get the jab, it was obvious that she did not believe in God deep enough to protect her from catching the virus back home. In the legend of that old trade, snake oil was always good enough for the buyer, but never so effective for the seller.
Ebele Obiano might reply that it’s not her job to provide more testing kits, mandate face masks, or provide vaccines. If the Nigerian government ever so famous for putting the cart before the horse is already talking about “ramping up oxygen production centres” when it is not even sure how many people are being tested daily, much less how many are infected or dying, why should the wife of a provincial governor be excoriated for looking after herself?
Nigeria does not know whether it is losing or winning the war on COVID-19. It’s a game of convenient guestimates. Yet, poorly collated infection figures are turning into names and names into friends and relatives dying or struggling with their lives. The NCDC which showed so much promise early on is almost now overwhelmed by poor execution and a lack of staying power – that ancient Nigerian disease.
The governor’s wife may have arranged a designer COVID-19 vaccination – even hinting in the video that her husband could be next on the Houston vax train – but she’s not the only public figure who has provided this shameless public entertainment.
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, one of the most present faces in the presidential campaign circuit, also took his jab in Dubai. The man who was just a heartbeat away from the Presidency lavishly distributed photos of himself taking the jab long before Ebele Obiano boarded the flight to Houston.
Abubakar may argue that he is now a private citizen and can therefore spend his money the way he likes. That’s true. But if his roadmap to make Nigeria great again includes a prominent chapter on how to perpetuate medical tourism, then we’re back to square one.
I’m sure there are hundreds of people – including public and private citizens – all over the world paying to get the jab and getting it quietly through different means, because they can afford it and cannot wait in line.
As vaccines rollout, the difference between rich and poor countries are showing, just as the distinction between rich and poor citizens of the same country is in stark evidence. Perhaps that’s inevitable. But to make that distinction the new face of medical tourism and to share the videos of such designer encounters to a desperate, hurting world is insensitive. Period.
I understand Ebele Obiano said she did it to dispel the prevalent notion in some circles back home that vaccination is evil. Well, except if she is taking the jab for the six million people in her state, the effect of her good intention is to say to the public, “Let them eat faith”.
–Ishiekwene is the MD/Editor-In-Chief of The Interview
Why Maduka should govern Anambra
By Ndukaku Anunobi
Anambra State is currently in reversed autopilot and directionless. It is a crying shame that the once thriving and prosperous state has been bedeviled with massive infrastructural decay and stagnancy, excruciating economic and unfavorable social policies, lack of transparency; accountability and financial malfeasance, rising from debt profile due to profligacy, mis-governance and general rot in the polity.
In view of the current State of affair, Anambra State presently is in dire straits and needs urgently, a leader with articulated vision, selfless and gamely demeanor, expertise and experience as well as a go-to man in order to successfully salvage our dear State from this unfortunate situation cum economic doldrums.
In my right mind, the man made for this rather demanding task is Dr. Godwin Maduka; the universally acclaimed triple professor of science and apostle of uncommon philanthropy. He has blazed the trail in the Pain management in the United States of America. He is highly motivated to bring his vast experience to bear and replicate the same successful trajectory recorded in his private business concerns into the governance of our State.
Without going back into details about his uncommon philanthropic gestures and selfless services to humanity, it behoves on all of us to look at what makes the man unique and heads above his contenders in the forthcoming gubernatorial race in Anambra State.
There have been hues, cries and innuendos about Dr. Godwin Maduka’s novel foray into Anambra State election equation, considering that he is new into the political game. Some people even alluded to the fact that he is a political neophyte and cannot cut his teeth in the murky waters of Nigerian politics. But, I make bold to say that Okosisi Orumba is the type of man Anambra State yearns for currently. A seasoned technocrat that does not need to dance to the tunes or bend his policies to assuage the feelings of different political gladiators or godfathers, moneybags and political jobbers instead of the dejected masses. He’s a breath of fresh air with no past political baggages. He constitutes the much needed refreshing change to the old and retrogressive order stifling the growth and development of our polity.
Dr. Maduka is self made and financially independent, so he would not have any pact or allegiance to any cabal but to the good people of Ndi Anambra State. The masses should take my word to the bank.
Also, it is a fundamental truth that he had his professional sojourn and breakthrough in the United States. He has the requisite experiences, expertise, and the standard needed to turn things around in our dear State. He has the right contacts which will help to attract direct foreign investments into the State. This would pop up the deflected financial resources and as well open up Anambra State to the comity of States and Nations. Through his exposure both at home and in diaspora and coupled with his prudent posture, there would be influx of illustrious sons and daughters into the state who would want to invest their hard earned money, taken into cognizance the safety of their numerous investments.
As he promised in one of the fora he addressed, he opined that he would make sure that Anambra State will be the next investment, economic and technological hub. It was not for the cameras or and empty clout chasing but a solemn promise made bearing in mind that he has the required capacity to accomplish it within a feasible time frame if availed the opportunity to govern Anambra State.
While on the issue of various school of thoughts expressing their cynicisms and unfounded skepticism on the major dichotomy between Entrepreneurship and Politics, I see it as clandestine utterances and fear from the numerous opponents who are intimidated by the seeming towering profile of Dr. Godwin Maduka. Majority of them do not have reliably legitimate means of livelihood but purely political opportunists who fed fat from the crumbs of successive administrations and their resultant bad policies and mediocrity.
Dr. Maduka’s entrepreneurial background is a huge advantage in understanding the intricacies of governance. The timeless words of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States of America succinctly posited that “The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things, he’s the one that gets the people to do the greatest things. Dr. Maduka clearly encapsulates the inspiring leadership ideals and outstanding strides to work with the right people in order to lift Anambra State out of the current comatose.
He successfully led the right people to built his vast business empire and in this regard, he’s definitely going to work and lead the right people in the onerous task of governing Anambra State. So the notion of being successful in private business does not necessarily translate in achieving success in governance is totally incorrect. Both are people oriented and require the right zeal and will to drive people to achieving the desired goals and milestones. Dr. Maduka ticks all the boxes and has the wherewithal to execute this to perfection.
Furthermore, many of Dr. Maduka’s contemporaries in the Anambra political space do not have a well articulated agenda for Ndi Anambra but the Iroko of our time had already rolled out a well thought out and balanced 10-point blue print which when put into motion simultaneously, will tremendously transform the state as one of the economic power-house in our country. Anambra State will be to Nigeria what California is to America. He envisioned a state where the Health care system will be top notch. Agriculture, second to none. Education will be accessible and affordable to our progenies. Infrastructure and tourism, booming. Technology and digital economy will be experienced across the state, even in the hinterland. Women and Youth empowerment will be accorded immediate attention. Security shall become top priority, and treated with every ounce of urgency. Transportation will rival with what is obtainable in the advanced world. A state of emergency will be duly declared in the energy/power sector while religious tolerance will be seriously advocated, all in a bid to revive, sustain and make Anambra a prosperous State.
Definitely, it is obvious that the man of Dr. Maduka’s ilk is what Anambra State needs at the moment. A paradigm shift from the skewed status quo and he offers it. With the plethora of his numerous milestones and achievements, it is our sacred mandate to give him the maximum support in his genuine quest to lead Anambra State to greater heights. I enjoin all of us to queue behind our amiable triple professor of medical science both in primary and general elections. This rare medical colossus and philanthropist extraordinaire has broken all the limits in his private business and he is ever willing to extend same in the area of good governance.
Ndi Anambra, the era of celebrating mediocrity is long gone once Dr. Maduka takes the mantle of leadership in Agu Awka come March 17 2022.
Ndi Anambra Ekeleem unu oooo!
Source: The Nation
Why Snakes Don’t Bite In Idemmili
Yesterday we made a post about a young lady Nkem Purity who canceled her marriage to her fiancee after she learned about the tradition that forbids her fiancee people from killing snakes.
The post generated over 1200 comments from infoeast readers pitching their various opinions on the subject matter. We have decided to shed a little more light on the topic using snakes as an example
The Young Lady decided to call off her marriage because she was shocked she was not allowed to kill a snake.
In her thinking The first thing to do when you see a snake is to kill it!
1 . You must have noticed that snakes are less aggressive and harmless in areas they are not killed. ( Ask any Idemmili son )
2 . This is because Snakes are naturally harmless like most animals but will defend themselves when they feel threatened.
3 . According to North Carolina University Research, Snakes are very shy and docile. they try to avoid any form of confrontation by either hiding away from humans or by running away when they can.
4. Snakes bite for only TWO reasons. For Self defense and when hunting prey. Human beings are not considered prey by snakes. A snake will never attack you unprovoked. 90% of snake bites are acts of self-defense.
5 . It is not rocket Science that Snakes are harmless and don’t bite in areas like idemmili where they are not attacked and killed by people there.
6. There is no Juju, Worship, Or fetish here. It is simple Biology! How is the decision not to kill a snake or any other animal fetish? When the White man has a culture of not killing animals. He is called an Animal rights activist or a wildlife conservatism. When an African does the same he is called a fetish.
What Happened To Our Father Mbaka?
An Infoeast Editorial
1. The story of father Ejike Camillus Mbaka a Priest who went from almost becoming the 13th Apostle of Jesus Christ to a face of ridicule in Nigeria is an interesting case study.
2. When I was still a child, it was rumored back then that if you listen to father Mbaka’s music when you are sick, your sickness will go. People really believed it. My mother believed it more than any other body
3. If Father Mbaka died at that period ( God Forbid ) Many Catholics will suggest that he be made a saint. Many Mothers would have named their sons after him.
4. Father Mbaka of those days was at the level of Blessed Iwene Tansi, but today people talk about him like he is one Anyim Pius Anyim.
5. It has gotten to the extent that some rough Enugu boys were thinking about attacking his Adoration Ministry.
6. Father Mbaka’s reputation has plummeted to the extent that I personally believe the only reason people still gather at Adoration Ground is because they have nowhere else to go.
7. If somebody should share bags of rice for everybody there, The adoration ground will be empty for weeks.
8. How did our Favorite Catholic Priest Father Mbaka lose all the good reputation he earned for himself. How Did Father Mbaka go from almost becoming the first Nigerian Apostle of Christ to becoming the new Chinwoke Mbadinuju? What happened to father Mbaka?