Friday, April 30, 2010

Imagine this!

That Alhaji Sani Ahmed Yerima has a taken another child as his new wife is no longer news. However, what is new and news to me is the fact that this old man was quoted as saying he has not done any wrong! Hello! Talk about cradle snatching! Talk about child abuse!

It would be recalled that sometime in the year 1999, Sani Yerima, who was the Governor of Zamfara State declared that his State - Zamfara, was adopting the Sharia Legal system. That single act generated a lot of debates and it was greatly criticized.

Now, Yerima, a serving Senator, is in the news again. His latest wife is a child! She is just 13 years old for crying out loud!

I have had discussions with some moslems and one thing I have learnt from these discussions is that the Qur'an only permits marriage to more than one woman, on the condition that the man can support and treat them equally. Yap! The Qur'an does not make it mandatory to marry more than one wife! That is one part most moslems omit when relying on the provisions permitting them to marry more than one wife!

Yerima, who was born sometime in the year 1960, paid a whooping sum of $100,000 approximately (N15,000,000) as the bride price for this child and the wedding was allegedly conducted at the National Mosque in Abuja!

Nigerian women senators and various Women's Groups made this information known by writing a petition to the Senate. Following the petition, the Senate has ordered an investigation into this allegation - that one of its members married a 13-year-old Egyptian girl.

The groups also want the senate to "estabish the legality or otherwise of this action, considering the high personal status of Senator Yerima, his status in society as a lawmaker and leader and the negative effect of such acts on the image of Nigeria".

In an attempt to raise a defence, Yerima said in a BBC telephone interview that he has not violated any rule as far as Islam is concerned. "I don't care about the issue of age since I have not violated any rule as far as Islam is concerned," he said.

In 1989, world leaders saw that children needed a special convention just for them because people under 18 years old often need special care and protection that adults do not. The leaders also wanted to make sure that the world recognized that children have human rights too. To this end, there was a Convention for the Rights of the Child which was adopted by the UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY.

By virtue of this Convention, every Member State is mandated to ensure that the principles of the Convention are implemented in their Countries. On this note, Nigeria passed this Convention into Law in July 2003. Under the Nigeria Child Rights Act, betrothal and marriage of children (as defined by the Act) is prohibited. The penalty/punishment is a fine of N500,000 {(£2,000) ($3,320)} or imprisonment for 5 years or both (ie fine and jail term).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Iwu is OUT!

Professor Maurice Iwu is no longer the Chairman of Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). I call him Maurice Law because "Iwu" means Law in the Ibo Language!

Yesterday, the news had it that Dr. Goodluck Johnathan, the acting President of the federal Republic of Nigeria, sacked the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC). Prof. Maurice Iwu was asked to commence a "pre-disengament" leave. This must have come as a rude shock to Maurice Law whose tenor as INEC Chairman was due to terminate at the end of June 2010.

Before his removal, Prof. Maurice Iwu presided over the last election in 2007. This election was regarded as one filled with all forms of fradulent activities. That election was not 'free and fair'. Nigerians had been calling for his removal. Well now he is out!

I pray that the next INEC Chairman lives up to expentation and conduct a free and fair election in Nigeria come 2011!

Friday, April 23, 2010

My Issue with BBC's "Welcome to Lagos"

The controversial documentary depicting Lagos State as a slum where poverty and disease trive has been generating alot of reactions from Nigerians.

I just watched it on Solomonsydelle's NIGERIAN CURIOSITY.

After watching the documentary, I was so angry with the BBC for sending wrong signals to the entire world! Haba! Wetin Nigeria do them? Whenever they (BBC) air any documentary about Nigerians, it is always on poverty, disease etc. WHY? Why are they not showing the world the beautiful side of Lagos that attracts them here in the first place?

Please go there and watch. When you watch you will (I believe) know where I am coming from!

Eko o ni baje!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Making Nigeria Roads Safe!

On my way to work today, I heard on the radio today that the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) will begin to clamp down on motorists with fake drivers license. This warning was issued by the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Commission Mr. Jonas Agwu. This great quest will purge the system and society of drivers with fake driver’s license. About time!

Mr. Agwu further advised anyone applying for a driver’s license or renewal of a driver’s license must be physically present before the driver’s license is issued or renewed. This means very soon, the quality of motorists/drivers will be greatly improved. Well done Mr. Agwu!

The need to purge our roads of half baked drivers cannot be over emphasized! With all due respect to the FRSC, most motorists in Nigeria today do have a valid driver’s license! For those that have, at least 70% or more have their licenses by proxy. That is the license holder was not physically presence before the license was issued! It is that bad. That is why we have a lot of problems on our roads!

Some time ago, our car was hit from behind by a commercial bus. Immediately, the bus driver came out and was ranting and cursing. He claimed there was no damage to our car, so why the fuss! Anyway, Hubby was in a very good mood, so he simply called a Police man and reported the incident. When the bus driver saw that Hubby was not throwing back words, he started begging! Mehn! The change of behavior was very swift! The guy prostrated and said “Daddy, please I am sorry! My conductor did not tell me there was a car beside me. I am sorry.” At this point, I told him it was too late, because the Police have been invited into the matter. When we got to the Police Station, the bus driver was asked to produce his driver’s license and vehicle particulars! Believe it or not, this guy could not presence any of the documents.

So what gave this guy the courage that he can drive on our roads? Who certified him a fit and proper driver for the Nigeria roads? There are a thousand others like him.

This problem is not limited to commercial bus drivers alone. Some private car owners and/or drivers are also affected. For this other category, they get their driver’s license by proxy! That is they do not present themselves for tests before been issued a drivers license! Too bad. Last year, one of my friends showed me a driver’s license issued in her name. We had the following conversation:
Dee!: When did you start driving?
My friend: Aunty Dee!, I am still learning o.
Dee!: So how did you get this?
Friend: Someone got it for me.
Dee!: Without testing you?! I will not enter any car driven by you! How can you join the band wagon to procure a drivers license by proxy? I am not happy with you.
Seeing I was not down with the whole thing, my friend just changed the topic.

When the society is filled with people who are not “qualified” to drive on the roads, you can imagine the high rate of accidents and other avoidable incidents on the roads.

We complain about traffic and rough drivers, most of the time, it is people who are not properly tested that start the problems faced on our roads! The commercial bus drivers boldly refuse to clear off the high ways to pick their passengers. When there are four vehicles on a slow lane, the fifth one, usually a commercial bus or a car driven by an ex-commercial driver, will form a second or third lane. In Lagos, the okada riders (motorcyclists) do not obey traffic rules! They are simply untouchable! There are so many vehicles on the roads that are not “road worthy”, yet they have a road worthiness permit.

Please note that only the FRSC, in collaboration with the state government, has the power and authority to produce driver's license.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Long live Lagos State!
Ekọ ó ni bajé!
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