Monday, November 20, 2006

Liking Scotland, BBC ojoro,Naija politics and adoption palaver

I've been away for work just outside of Edinburgh- it was my first visit to Scotland and I really enjoyed it. Autumn must be the best time to visit, the hills and valleys are covered in the most amazing browns and reds and yellows- literally on fire. I think I like Scotland- there's something about it that I found vibrant and attractive- apparently the vision of the Scottish devolved government is "to be the best small country in the world" I like that and the idea that they have also built a strong partnership with Malawi- in health and education and economic development.....how that works in practice, I don't know but the partnership seemed to have a really high profile in government documents and in the media in the period while I was there....Perhaps my liking it is to do with my affinity for the underdog.... I was surprised at the number of Englishmen I met who complained of the Anglophobia of the Scots- one in particular was upset that most Scots felt that it was only a small minority of the population that was responsible and failed to appreciate the subtle ways in which the media and wider society perpetuated prejudice. Welcome to the club, bro, was my response.....

The food was great and I got to taste the famous haggis- it had echoes of pepper soup for me- I guess it was the combination of offal and pepper that did it. It was not at all as unpleasant as English friends had led me to expect.....

In the week that Nigeria was rolling out its image laundering team into London for the launch of the Heart of Africa project, I wake up to the news on BBC Radio 4 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6163700.stm that a new report has indicted the UK and Nigerian governments for not doing enough to tackle financial crime. The timing of the report release does make one wonder if it was not a calculated attempt to rubbish the Heart of Africa project....besides the BBC report completely ignored the corrupt practices by British businessmen and businesses in Nigeria, and the repatriation of looted money to the UK by Nigerian politicians both of which were also highlighted in the report http://www.chathamhouse.org.uk/pdf/research/africa/Nigeria1106.pdf Thank you BBC for another balanced piece......

I've finally found one person who's been able to register to vote, Ore blogging from Nigeria describes her experience http://orenotes.blogspot.com/2006_11_01_orenotes_archive.html I like the idea of voter's cards with photographs on them, but am still surprised at the potential for multiple registration. Perhaps the electoral commission should repeat the 1993 style where voting held at the same time throughout the country, using transparent glass boxes and results were announced in front of everyone by the officers before everyone dispersed. While that method is inconvenient and resource intensive, it did mean that those who registered in several places could only actually vote in one place as they could not physically be in more than one place at a time....

I see Atiku has moved out of his official residence prior to formally declaring his presidential ambition under the auspices of the Action Congress, having left the PDP for Obasanjo and his acolytes....interesting to see how that plays out. Does he stand a chance of stopping IBB? Part of what IBB has done in coming out is reducing the race to a pro and against IBB matter, and so yet again he is responsible for harming the Nigerian political space and process.....selfish so and so that he is...

On the way to Scotland I finally finished Korouma's Allah is Not Obliged- it's a darkly funny historical account of the wars in west Africa in the 90s seen through the eyes of a child soldier....highly recommended

Meanwhile, the father of Madonna's adopted Malawian son has married his pregnant girlfriend- and looks forward to making a home with his new wife, her daughter from a previous marriage and the expected baby........just when I'm sure Madonna was heaving a sigh of relief that the publicity had died down.....Chimamanda Adichie weighs in on the adoption controversy in the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/12/AR2006111200943.html

2 comments:

JL Glass said...

Hey,

I enjoy reading a few blogs every day and today was your day. Interesting take on things are always found in every blog. I'm always researching to find out what the world is thinking. Good stuff and very entertaining as well.

Keep it up.

JL glass
www.jlglass.com
Minneapolis, MN

Pilgrimage to Self said...

Hi uknaija, sorry but this comment is totally unrelated to your post ...

I am currently on a another frenzied mission where I am devouring every novel by Nigerian writers that I can lay my hands on. I am currently reading Helon Habila's Waiting for an Angel ( Iknow, I know, what rock have I been hiding under) but apart from the usual suspects Adiechi, Atta etc who else out there has written something worth reading? I know you are well versed in this area (in my humble opinion) and would really appreciate it if you could post me a little list of Novels by Nigerian authors.

Thanks!