Thursday, December 26, 2013

APC Stupid Blunder

Let me start out by saying that I am no fan of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, and based on current performance index, I do not believe he deserve to win a second term. My missive today however has more to do with the blunder of his political party opponents than anything GEJ has done or is doing.

What APC did recently beggars belief and may cost them the opportunity of becoming a viable opposition to People’s Democratic Party vice grip on Nigeria political terrain. Imagine your political opponents are locked in a deadly schism. The implosions are public and comedic. One of the leaders of your party opponent, an ex president wrote a scathing damning letter to his party’s current president and made the missive public. This was before your party opponent governors decamped to your political party and made it a condition that you have to meet with some of the scions of their erstwhile party. The list of the people you are asked to meet consist of the folks you have successfully ran against and won elections by labeling them as satanic politicians. You then sheepishly agreed to these conditions and then set out to meet with these characters at their respective abode.

Permit me to state that the essential gripe of the arrow head of this diatribe against the sitting president by the letter writer's own admission is that the sitting president allowed the oppositions to win a free and fair election in his enclave when the president should have rigged the election in favor of their party!

If this scenario appears to you like a bad Nollywood script and stranger than fiction, you are not alone. But sadly, it is very true. The fledgling opposition party in Nigeria made a serious blunder this month when it decided to meet with former president Olusegun Obasanjo. What they stand to gain from that meeting beats me and why they trudge to his enclave remains a mystery. It is not that the governors who championed the visit have anywhere to run to if the leadership of APC refuses to meet this ludicrous demand. What is more, at the end of the meeting they gained nothing!

As Professor Wole Soyinka rightly stated “the opposition party's approach as [is]lacking in moral focus and tantamount to political prostitution” . It was also downright stupid and I am sure they will rue the day they made that journey to Ota. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Nigerian Civil Right Activist Wins Human Right Award

Student, individual and organization receive City’s first award
A North Central High School student, member of the City Public Defenders Office and the NAACP were honored Thursday morning as the inaugural winners of the Spokane Human Rights Award during a ceremony in City Hall.

Winners were announced in three categories: individuals, youth (under 21) and organizations, for their commitment to promoting human rights.  The winner for the youth award is Purnima Karki, a North Central High School student.  The individual winner is Francis Adewale with the City of Spokane’s Public Defender’s Office and the organizational winner is the Spokane NAACP.  All of these awardees have worked diligently in 2013 to promote human rights in Spokane. 

“It has long been our goal to honor the individuals and organizations who make a difference every day in our community,” Lisa Rosier, chair of the Spokane Human Rights Commission said. “Now we are able to say thank you with the City’s first award recognizing the citizen’s commitment to human rights in Spokane.”

The Human Rights Commission strives to promote and secure a mutual understanding and respect among all people.  The Human Rights Awards were created to recognize the outstanding commitment of those who support human rights and make a difference in Spokane.

Karki, a refuge from Nepal, has dedicated her time to acting as an interpreter for the Nepali community and helping this community understand American culture and what they need to do to become a citizen. She also volunteers her time weekly to read to students at Holmes Elementary. She was nominated by Paula Korus.

Adewale, an assistant public defender, helped people from different nations integrate into our community and connected refuges to resources and information.  He was instrumental in hosting an annual training symposium at Spokane Falls Community College to help refugees and immigrants with the basics of state law, and participated in a street law program on the weekends to help low-income people with a variety of legal issues.  He was nominated by Kathy Knox.

The NAACP has been instrumental in promoting diversity in the community, sponsoring and producing the annual Martin Luther King Jr. march in Spokane. Members of the NAACP participate in a variety of social events every year to promote human rights and social justice. 

Presenters at the ceremony included Mayor David Condon, City Council President Ben Stuckart, Tony Stewart from the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations and Lisa Rosier from the Human Rights Commission.  Transitions New Leaf Bakery provided breakfast.