Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kudos to Kofi Annan

  1. At last, Kenyan “warlords” (excuse my vulgarity for once), Kibaki and Odinga have succumbed under the weight of the erstwhile UN-Secretary General, Koffi Anan. Following the latter's jettisoning of the pressure groups backing these two Kenyan political leaders, there has, today been reached a compromise agreement of fifty-fifty power sharing between the Mwai Kibaki ruling party and the Raila Odinga main opposition party. While congratulating these field players for their humility in coming to compromise, the questions that are on my mind are:
  2. What will become of the varying ideologies and manifestos of the two parties?
  3. How do they hope to integrate the coalition parties into their power sharing scheme?
  4. What rehabilitation and reconstruction plans are possible to erase the scars of the ethnic resentment of last month?
  5. How are they going to return properties that were sold under duress or outrightly confiscated from the Kikuyus to their rightful owners?
  6. What about legal proceedings against those caught in the very act of hacking their fellow countrymen and women and children to death; and raping innocent women?
  7. How do they hope to disarm those blood thirsty hoodlums who had already acquired deadly weapons in readiness to forment another trouble in case the talks broke down?
  8. These are obviously issues that cannot be swept under carpet like withdrawing or abandoning electoral petitions already filed before the courts.
  9. Restitution is a natural as well as spiritual law and can hardly be undermined, else it will seem like a keg of fermenting wine waiting to burst and spill over with time.

While we wait for answers or reactions to these teething questions, one cannot fail to commend all the known and unknown mediators that have brought the impasse to a consensus. Before anyone says a-men or so let it be, let us not forget that this is merely a case of two captains trying to steer one ship. Such a ship can hardly be brought to a steady cruise. It will swing unceasingly to the right at one time and to the left at another time. Do we have experienced seamen on board to swing along? Or are we going to watch another boat rocking drama. If I had a say in Kenyan politics, I would have counselled that the opposition exercise some patience while the incumbent carries on the affairs of state till a conclusive end of tenure. During this time, the opposition would have perfected their grassroots sensitization and mobilisation which would guarantee their undisputable victory at subsequent polls. Certainly a marriage of incompatibles is like a nightmare. The offspring of such a marriage is usually a stillbirth. Experienced midwives know this to be true. My heartfelt prayers pour out for Kenya. Insha Allah, I will be visiting very soon to hear those warming birds songs once again.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Three PUZZLING events occured today in the Kenyan Political arena. Sequel to the marathon tete-a-tete between the ex-UN Secretary General, Kofi Anan and the warring parties in Kenya, to wit, President Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the long-running battle appears to have come to what seems like a happy ending, with the UN-SG addressing the National Assembly. Other dramatic fallouts from the nearly half-a-month meeting are:
1) President Kibaki orders that the homes of displaced people should be rebuilt and they be returned home. That is nearly 300,000 displaced people. He was launching the free secondary school education programme at a Nairobi school.
2) Kibaki’s opponent, Raila Odinga was in court opposing a petition filed by a voter challenging Kibaki’s election. At the same time, he challenged an election petition challenging his election as MP for Langata in Nairobi.
3) Third the speaker of the National Assembly, Kenneth Marende, hinted to the press that the mediation spearheaded by Koffi Annan is likely to recommend changes in certain laws and amendments to the constitution to accommodate ODM in the government.What makes these events look like a puzzle is the wonder for Kibaki to order the Internally Displaced Persons to be returned home and their homes reconstructed which means that he is confident that no-one will attack those "foreigners" again.Of course some 1190 suspects had been arrested in connection with the killings and other forms of violence. Some 200 of these have been charged with murder - a charge that could mean the Hangman’s noose or life in the slammer. One would ask if these arrest have served in driving sense into the heads of the hotheads who have been killing the Kikuyus with impunity over the years?Why is Odinga opposing the petition to have the Kibaki election nullified? After all his henchmen say that Kibaki’s win is in doubt. It is hard to say whether the court will entertain his objection. In the first instance, he has no locus standi in the matter- since it was filed by a voter. Analysts wonder why ODM is objecting to the petition since it would have achieved what the party does not want to do- ousting President Kibaki. The Kenyan Constitution provides that amendments especially one that could introduce the post of an Executive Prime Minister, are subject to a referendum. Chances are; Kenyans will reject such fundamental changes since they have not asked for it. Just how some of the resolutions from the Kofi-chaired meeting will be constitutionally applied is yet another puzzle that needs to be untangled. But one cannot but wish Kenyans KUDOS for the milestone achievement so far.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Whither Super Eagles Coach?

I read from the "" that the Nigerian Super Eagles' coach Mr. VOGTS would long have been thrown out of the country by the Nigerian Football Authority in the manner of jettisoning dirty water in the bath with the baby in it. What has kept him in what seems now like "a typical Nigerian detainee awaiting trial", is one tiny clause on the contract paper which provides that this scapegoat should be given at least 30 (thirty) days notice of intention to sack him. Poor fellow!
My appeal to all sports lovers is that we should not be in a hurry to draw conclusions, especially when it has to do with taking food away from someone else's table. Whenever a national football team shows a bad outing - that is, fails to deliver, it is always the coach that bears the brunt of blame. As far as I am concerned, football tournament is a collective performance of both the coach and his boys. If anybody has to be punished for what happened between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Black Stars of Ghana last week Sunday, it is all the parties concerned. Have we forgotten how all of them used to line up to receive a handshake from Nigerian Heads of State each time they have a good outing? And the package is usually heavy and juicy. The coach is never singled out for honours, neither had he ever been excluded. Finally, before we bring down the axe, let us ask whether it is the barber that has not mastered the skill of hair-cut or is it the blade razor that is blunt.
I am informed that the sack order is at the instance of "Nigerian sports lovers". By the way, what has been the reaction of these sports lovers toward the number 12 jersey on the Ghanaian side (the referee), who caused more harm to the Eagles than their antagonistic opponents? Is there any clause that forbids the NFA or those over-enthusiastic sports lovers from petitioning the CAF or the Referees Association or still the Ghanaian government or all the above parties for the brutality meted out to players on the Nigerian Eagles team during that ill-fated match? The referee’s discriminatory officiating and apparent oversight of the physical assaults on members of the Eagles team served to frustrate the Eagles during the first half of play despite their determined effort to vindicate themselves as superior to their opponents. The bullying tactics applied by those uncivilized Black star boys, (I thought that stars are divine and ought to shine bright instead of being black), coupled with the earlier threats by most of their fans was reason enough for any human who valued his life to exercise extra caution. Anybody who watched that match would wonder how a player could leave chasing after a ball that is about being taken from him, only to turn two steps backward to thrust three fingers into the eyes of his opponent. That was what a Ghanaian player did to Michel. And the referee who was right by their side failed to notice that brutal attach. I hear that more than one week after that incident, Michel is still nursing the wound. If Nigerians should leave the burning house and begin to chase after rodents, methinks, it is time to think whether a country is worth fighting for, let alone dying for.