A narrow escape from Xenophobia

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It’s been almost a week since the Governorship elections took place across Nigeria and quite frankly it’s been a relief – the tension that once filled the air is slowing evaporating. However, I want to point out that Nigeria was … Continue reading

WikiLeaks: Good inflow or Bad Plumbing?

Entry #80 – As the hunt for WikiLeaks‘ Founder Julian Assange came to an end some days ago, so did my hunt for the website (okay it only took me a minute, honest!). Could you blame me for typing ‘wikileaks.com’ in the first place? Well thanks to Google I didn’t have to search for long. You would think that a website that publishes Top Secret information for the public would choose a web address (or URL) that isn’t…well…Top Secret! But for geeks and hackers alike, they can tell at a glance that http://213.251.145.96/ is the WikiLeaks website (You can thank me later). The reason why I couldn’t resist blogging about this website is that it stole the front pages of a couple local Nigerian newspapers last Friday (and later I’ll tell you what was ‘leaked’ ). Now that you’ve probably had a glance at the controversial website I’d like to go through some of the pros and cons I found.

Good inflow: The Pros 

  • WikiLeaks aims to publish the important hidden truths that most governments in the world wouldn’t want you (the public) to know about.  
  • The site claims to verify its facts before publishing in order to sustain its credibility as a reliable source of information and not one of false rumours and sensational news.
  • Anonymity is promised to anyone who wants to submit top-secret information to the site for publishing.
  • Over 100 replica websites with various inconspicuous web addresses have been created in case any government decided to pull the plug on the website.

Bad Plumbing: The Cons

  • It is assumed that you understand terms like ‘cable’. For clarity sake a cable is another way of referring to a confidential group e-mail containing highly sensitive information (see Slate.com)
  • It does not take responsibility for the impact of the confidential information it publishes e.g. Hackers crashing popular consumer sites like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal because these companies pulled out of the Wiki-relationship following the founder’s arrest (see Sowetanlive)
  • The recent revelation in THIS DAY newspaper on December 10, 2010 exposed questionable lapses in the governing style of the Nigerian president, Goodluck E. Jonathan (GEJ). It was reported that the former US Ambassador instructed Jonathan on whom to associate with and whom to terminate (see THISDAYOnline). This comes at a time when the national elections are just round the corner in the first quarter of 2011. In my opinion GEJ is the only presidential candidate who appears to have integrity, exhibits humility and wants to bring about real change to Nigeria. 

It seem like WikiLeaks has finally reached the pinnacle of its popularity since its first ever launch in 2006. The verdict (good or bad) on Julian Assange probably wouldn’t stop further leaks from being published. There is no telling what other revelations the public will eventually get to know about. I personally look forward to more leaks if they will force governments and high-profile organizations to get their act together 😉

The Getaway: starring Prince Charles, Lady Camilla & Angry Mob

I decided to surf the Net for the latest news (my favorite news channel) and I was shocked to learn about the attack in Central London experienced by Lady Camilla and the Plant Whisperer aka Prince Charles.

Thankfully neither of the couple was hurt but the car took quite a kicking from angry young protesters. Why did they decide to vent their anger on the unlucky pair? Sources reported that the British government had approved plans to spike up tuition fees. I can see why students would get a little pissed off. They’re already up to their knees in debt and this bold move by the coalition government would bring the debt level up to their necks! Imagine working a 9 to 5 job and spending a third of your working life paying off all the debt you accumulated during university. I don’t think Prince Charles is to blame, nor is Camilla, but perhaps the protesters feel the Royals are just passive about the whole thing. Silence or ‘doing nothing’ could be seen as support for whatever the British government decide to impose on its economy.

The other key thing to remember is that the protesters are well aware that Prince Charles is exempt from paying taxes…because the royal family do not pay taxes – that’s for the ‘commoners’.

The coalition government, like any other government, is obviously under pressure to find a way to boost the funds in the country’s piggy bank so fiscal policies involving Taxation would seem a good way to go. However I’ll be sitting with my bag of popcorn as I watch how on earth the British Parliament is going to wriggle itself out of this mess. If arresting all the protesters is their grand solution then they’d better start building more prison facilities pronto! 

Sources: Sky News, USAtoday

Entry #65 – Latest Football News!!!

I’ve decided to come clean on the small business I’ve been doing for the past 2months (and this is my second pastime)

My company name is TRIONIalerts and it specializes in sending the latest football news to your mobile phone everyday, including news on transfers, purchases, injuries, score summaries and fixtures. It doesn’t matter if it’s the English Premier League, Spanish, Italian or African Football. This service is a must for all soccer/football fans and it is (ridiculously) affordable. You don’t have to send an SMS each time you want the news; you pay for a month and get news sent to your phone for 30days – It’s that simple!

If you are interested but still in doubt, send your mobile number and area code to trionialerts@gmail.com for a FREE trial! What have you got to lose?

You can also check out the dedicated Facebook page which was created on August 25, 2010. Just search for Trioni Alertz 😀

NB – This service was originally targeted for Nigerians at home and diaspora but it is now available to people who can pay in either GBP, USD, EUR or NGN (Nigerian Naira).

Entry #44 – Sanusi and the Half-Wit MDs

Iron Man

Iron Man

The hottest news that is sweeping the country (Nigeria) right now is the recent sacking of 5 Managing Directors by the governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Yes, the end was nigh for the fraudulent five on 14th August 2009 at a monthly meeting held in Abuja. I like to think of the whole ordeal as something straight out of The Apprentice…with Sanusi staring down at the MDs through his spectacles sternly and then shouting and pointing suddenly going, ‘ YOU, YOU, YOU, YOU AAAAAND ESPECIALLY YOU WITH THE PRIVATE JET..YOU’RE ALL FIRED! NOW GET THE F*** OUT OF MY OFFICE!!!’

Did those MDs see this coming? (Doubt it). Did those MDs deserve this? (Hell yeah!) Does anyone disagree with Sanusi’s actions? (Who the bloody hell cares? Its too late crying over spilt milk anyway). The banks in question were amongst 10 that were ‘stress’ tested to see whether, put simply, they would be able to pay up if per chance all their respective customers were to demand for their money all at once. Those banks are off the Nigerian stockmarket for obvious reasons.Meanwhile, there’s another 14 banks left to be tested so there’ll be a lot of fingernail clippings in the waste-bins of those MDs.

A Nigerian newspaper disclosed that there were hints of further shake-ups in the banking industry. Customers and bankers alike are all kind of anxious to know what other possible ‘executions’ lie in wait. I’m more interested in knowing whether Sanusi will eventually end this never-ending deposit mobilization drive aka corporate begging – which pretty much entails bankers who run around the streets literally begging customers to open accounts with them and/or fund the accounts.  Such bankers (or ‘marketers’) have been taunted by their immediate bosses to get funds in at all costs. Marketers are losing sleep, falling ill, working late, paying money to cover shortfalls in promises of ridiculously high interest rates, snatching accounts from within their bank’s network, etc all in a bid to beat the pressure and stay in the job.

Sanusi may be our last hope. He appears not to be worried about taking difficult decsions and he seems to want to get Nigeria back into full gear – he just injected N400billion to jumpstart the economy. The audacious CBN governor is akin to a Nigerian Harry Potter who has succeeded in proving that he has a few tricks up his sleeve…and by the look of things, he’s just getting warmed up…

Entry #36 – Gone too soon

mjThis pic is the way I remembered Michael Jackson as a child and will always remember him. He’s the reason why I would sing or hum a tune in the shower every morning. He’s the reason why I still keep pairs of trousers that have outgrown me. He’s the reason why I body-pop whenever I’m in front of a mirror (alone). He’s the reason why I moonwalk whenever I’m on a slippery surface (again, alone). He’s the reason why most of the CDs in my car don’t get as much airplay on a daily basis. He’s the reason I’ve become a fan of Usher, Chris Brown, Ginuwine, Sisco and Justin Timberlake. He’s the reason I have a romantic, imaginative and sensitive side. He’s the reason I’m writing this impromptu post at 6am in the morning even though I should be getting ready for work. He’s probably the reason why it’s been raining non stop since 4am this morning…and perhaps the reason why it still looks dark outside. He’s the reason why the world is in mourning today. His performances were electrifying and his legacy is unprecedented. For this and generations to come he is a music legend, a dancing maestro, a philanthropist, an icon of our time. He is and will always be remembered as the KING OF POP. Michael, I salute you…I miss you…and I’ll see you Neverland… 😦

R.I.P Michael J. Jackson (1958-2009)

Entry #14 – A stockmarket with a twist

Okay, the idea is pretty simple. Forget the convetional company stocks & shares. How about shares based on real people? Obama shares, Madonna stocks, Beckham securities, Federer bonds. It sounds ludicrous but wouldn’t it be more fun? You could naturally keep up with the news on your portfolio by listening to CNN, SkyNews, ESPN, MTV News, etc. and you would be able to know how well they’re performing. You wouldn’t have to wait for your broker to tell you when to sell or when to buy. After recent happenings, today I’d be selling all my Brown shares in the US and the UK (Chris and Gordon) and investing more in Beyonce, Jonas Brothers and SpongeBob Squarepants.

I guess the only problem would be how much value you would put on all these celebrities in the first place. Hmm…I’ll have to go back to the drawing board 😦

Entry #9 – ‘Knock his lights out!’

The electricity supply in the country has been abysmal. Some areas have had only 4 -12hrs of power supply per day while some have even less or none at all. Lagos has become a noisy commercial zone with all the domestic and industrial generators blaring away. There are reports of some companies even moving their operations to neighbouring countries in order to enjoy constant power supply and save on their diesel costs – It has come to that. I can’t afford to run a generator all night while I sleep so I toss and turn most nights and many times I’ve considered sleeping in my air-conditioned car. Boy, am I pissed with the spate of things…

 

It’s therefore no surprise that I put a sheepish grin across my face when I read today’s news headline in The Punch – ‘Yar’Adua (my president) sacks PHCN MD over poor power supply’. IT’S ABOUT F@?#ING TIME!!!!