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Excerpts from Some Nigerian Weblogs this Week

“Adherence is everything” in HIV treatment, according to Kid’s Doc in Jos, a blog authored by an expat pediatrician, Dr Mike Blyth. He states:

“The key to a long-term suppression of the virus is to keep it from multiplying, because multiplying means mutating, and mutating means developing resistance to the drugs. So a large part of our effort must be directed toward doing everything we can to ensure that our patients are able and determined to take every dose. The situation is so critical that missing one or two doses during one month can spell drug failure and ultimately death for the patient…”

The blog- The Musings of a Naija Man discusses the Big Brother Nigeria, a new TV show in Nigeria. He states :

“I've never understood the fascination with Big Brother, having not watched any of the series shown in the UK since I arrived here. I tried once, but sitting for ten minutes watching a group of people lying on sunloungers and not saying or doing very much soon had me bored out of my skull. It's interesting how here, although everyone condemns the show as mindnumbingly dull and voyeuristic, you can't avoid the hype- in the newspapers (and not just the tabloids), on the radio, everywhere you go, people keep talking about it, and so whether you watch it or not, you get sucked into the drama. Perhaps, the good thing about Big Brother Nigeria might be that it might provide some of the anthropological insights into contemporary Nigerian youth culture which sadly aren't really being documente elsewhere. Sex has always played a big role in Big Brother and so it will be interesting to see what happens in the Nigeria house and how the self-avowedly religious Nigerian public will react….”

In a post titled “Akata…..= to the N word”, the blog Memoir discusses some commonly used words in the Nigerian parlance-

“So Akata is a derogatory word and so are Kokoye and Chinko! I am guilty as charged when it comes to these words. I never used them in a derogatory manner though……at least not intentionally. But one of my girl friends said its equivalent to black people being referred to as Niggars! Well I’ll be damned! I certainly have no desire to make others feel like I would if the N word was used one me! But just think about how many times we drop those words, especially in the Naija community without batting an eye, it’s almost as if we are addressing them by their Government name. I wonder if other folks have a name they use to group Nigerian as well. I know even within our country, we do. An Igbo chick is quick to say “hmm… Yoruba girls” and turn their nose like it’s a bad word! And I know I am guilty of “Omo igbo” then there is Aboki…[slang Hausa/Fulani person] now that is definitely derogatory….. It even sounds bad. The other day one of my best friends who is from Edo State said “Bola, why did you bring all your Ngbati, Ngbati [slang for Yoruba people] people to my house!” LMAO! The nonsense girl has an Ngati husband o! But on the real…I will make a conscious effort, to refrain from using those words. Na wa o…..there goes half my vocabulary!”

Black looks writes about Immigration and the plight of immigrants “Dying to Reach Spain” stating “more than 250 immigrants traveling in 6 small boats have landed in Grand Canaries and Andalucia in the past 24 hours.”

“The numbers of Africans reaching Spain in the past year has gone up by 200%. Spanish TV news reported that there are presently some 10,000 people waiting in Mauritania to make the crossing to Grand Canaries. 45 people men died in two crossing incidents last week off the coast of Mauritania. Many of the bodies were washed up on the beach whilst others were picked out of the sea by local fisherman. Because of the increased security in Morocco and the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, Mauritania and the southern part Western Sahara have become the new departure points for mainly West Africans to reach Spain…The possibility of being sent back or even worse, death is no deterrent. I personally know of one young man who has traveled backwards and forwards between Morocco, Greece, Cyprus, Germany and back again. I am not sure where he is now, but every once in a while I get a text telling me which country he is now in. He is surprisingly optimistic and if lucky he gets to work for a few weeks here and there. Wondering Europe in search of a better life but so far never quite making it.”

The Nigerian Times in a blog titled “Echoes of Civil War in NIgeria” states the “the latest news on the horrifying and terrifying conflicts in Nigeria cannot be waved off in dismissal as another false alarm. Because, the dangers of another civil war erupting in Nigeria are clearly visible as a house on fire at noon.”

“The goriest riots over the controversial Danish Cartoons of Prophet Muhammad occurred in Northern and Eastern Nigeria and over 180 people were killed, including innocent mothers and their children. Then, the daring militants on the prowl in the creeks of the Niger Delta have been holding the nation hostage. Because, Nigeria is actually the real hostage of these invincible militants who have killed over 20 Nigerian soldiers and policemen among other casualties. The foreign hostages are just their bargaining chips. The fact that the Nigerian government cannot address the legitimate demands of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) shows the ineptitude of the leadership of the Nigerian government. And instead of addressing the emergencies in the country, the President is busy using all the tricks of his stock-in-trade as a crooked politician of dubious nature to perpetuate his reign of infamy and ignominy.”

The blog- Oluniyi Ajao uses some Nigerian adages to describe the 3rd term saga in Nigeria stating “ ‘A dog that is about to get lost, does not listen to the hunter’s whistle’. This is a Yoruba adage I have translated into English. In one of Chinua Achebe’s novels, he used a proverb: ‘Those whom the gods want to purnish, he first makes mad’”.

He discusses President’s Obasanjo’s 3rd term agenda further:

“Sadly, some Nigerian honorables have approved the third term bid. In all fairness to the President, he has not publicly declared his intention to go for a third term but the Obasanjo I know would have since come out to tongue-lash the people push him to it, if he didn’t support it. All those doing this should know that the Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not an exclusive preserve of one individual, or a particular tribe or political party.”

It is indeed of utmost surprise that the government of Mr. Obasanjo is trying to silence intellectual debate about the consequences of an amendment to the Nigerian constitution that would enable him stay in power beyond 2007. This is reminiscent of dictatorial tricks of the past which several Nigerians fought against, some paying the ultimate price.

Finally, Chippla’s Weblog in a post titled “In God’s Nigeria” states “despite having been ruled for a greater part of its history by military despots, Nigeria has always had a free and vibrant press.”

“…Surprising news from Reuters that the Nigerian State Security Service has “detained a printer and impounded thousands of copies of an essay which was critical of a campaign for [the Nigerian] President Olusegun Obasanjo to prolong his hold on power.” The report further states that the essay : “…warned Obasanjo of the parallels between Nigeria and other African countries such as Ivory Coast and Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, where leaders’ refusal to hand over power had led to civil war.”It is indeed of utmost surprise that the government of Mr. Obasanjo is trying to silence intellectual debate about the consequences of an amendment to the Nigerian constitution that would enable him stay in power beyond 2007. This is reminiscent of dictatorial tricks of the past which several Nigerians fought against, some paying the ultimate price.

Chippla deduces that “you can almost certainly expect the government to say that it prevented the essay from being printed and distributed on grounds of ‘national security’” Such an argument would likely be baseless and fail to win any ground in a court of law.” He muses “what threat could be greater to Nigeria's national security today than the fraudulent manipulation of the constitution by elected officials, which is currently in progress”?

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