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Posts Tagged ‘NEXT

Tanzania Invades Nigeria…

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Well, sort of.

On Sunday March 21st, the Nigerian newspaper NEXT featured the above cartoon by Tanzania’s very own Gado. It is quite exciting to see the glimmers of continental integration that this cartoon syndication shows – a Tanzanian cartoonist, working for a Kenyan media house being published in a Nigerian newspaper.

A less remarkable but equally satisfying report was published in two Nigerian newspapers on March 24, 2010. The article is about the growth of the equipment leasing business in Nigeria since 1996. Serengeti Advisers did the research that informed the article and witnessed the House Commerce Committee hearing on a Leasing Bill that quoted, approvingly, from the article.

(Credit: GADO. Source: Daily Nation – Nairobi, Kenya. Provider: CartoonArts International / The New York Times Syndicate)

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Written by serengetiadvisersblog

March 26, 2010 at 11:05

SAL Abroad: Lagos, February 2010, Ctd

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It all happened rather quickly. By Wednesday last week, Nigeria had, in former Vice President Goodluck Jonathan, an Acting President, a position which is apparently unrecognised in the country’s constitution. There are only two ways in which an incumbent President can be removed from office in Nigeria. Either the Federal Executive Council, i.e the Cabinet, can dislogde him for reasons of permanent incapacitation. Or he can be impeached by the Senate.

Neither of these happened last Tuesday. Instead, Goodluck Jonathan was declared Acting President by ‘a resolution of the National Assembly.’ Apparently the basis for the National Assembly’s action was an interview given by President Yar’Adua on the BBC on January 12, 2010. You can listen to it here. The interview was transcribed, printed and thus became the physical ‘letter’ which was needed to prove that the President had declared himself too ill to govern.

So, this expedient solution to the crisis of a President-less country raises interesting conundrums. Is Goodluck at once both (Acting) President and (former) Vice President? From Next:

According to the lawyers, while Mr. Jonathan now serves as the commander-in-chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, there currently exists no vacancy in the vice presidency, the position Mr. Jonathan occupied until last week when a resolution by the National Assembly declared him the Acting President of the country. The lawyers said that Mr. Jonathan will continue to run the presidency without an official deputy until 2011 unless the ailing president, Umaru Yar’Adua, ceases to be president as a result of his impeachment or permanent incapacitation.

Constitutional quandaries aside, the jostling for the non-vacant number two position is in full swing. Given that Jonathan is from the south of the country, all five front-runners for the non-vacant vice presidency are from northern Nigeria.

The fallout from this change of guard was not without its casualties. Michael Aondoakaa, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, who had fought tooth and nail to keep Jonathan from the Presidency was the first to lose his job. He was redeployed to Special Duties. He also had to apologise to one Prof Dora Akinyili, the Minister for Information who had led an impressive and spirited one-person campaign in the Cabinet for Yar’Adua to hand over power, even if temporarily, to his deputy. This was for allegedly accusing the minister, during one of the heated internal debates, of being less than clean while running the country’s food and drug administration (NAFDAC).

It seems like the old proverb still rings true: she who laughs last, laughs longest. Maybe.

Written by serengetiadvisersblog

February 16, 2010 at 09:51

SAL Abroad: Lagos, February 2010

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Upon arrival in Lagos yesterday morning, one couldn’t help but gravitate towards a nearby newsstand. There have been a lot of talk out here recently about a new newspaper, the brainchild of Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Dele Olojede, and a quick glance at the publications on offer, one can see why. It is hard to miss. Called NEXT, the paper bursts out among the rather tired and drab-looking masses of Nigeria’s papers like a fresh, clean-cut, colorful Benneton sweater.

The absence of Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua from the country for the past 77 days dominates the news. One story talks about his Principal (private) Secretary, David Edvebie, being denied access to see him.

Mr Edvebie’s trip was reportedly aborted by the First Lady Turai Yar’Adua, who also turned down a proposal from Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, to visit the President. Mrs Yar’Adua has lately grown grouchy and anxious, according to knowledgeable presidency sources.

Another story reported the interest generated at the Lagos port on arrival of an ambulance the size of a large bus (‘Strange ambulance mystifies port workers in Lagos’), as many were ‘convinced it was brought for the ailing president.’

With the President out of the country, a constitutional crisis seems to be brewing. There is a tug of war between those who want to maintain control through to the end of Yar’Adua’s mandate next year, and those who want him to immediately hand over power to the Vice President, Mr Goodluck Jonathan. The manouvering is intense: ‘Pro-Jonathan lawmakers plot fresh strategy’ and ‘Governors address Jonathan as Acting President.’

Next’s editorial yesterday honed in on some important home truths. Entitled ‘Silence of the Lambs,’ it laments the apparent paralysis of Nigeria’s ruling class to provide assurance and clarity during the President’s absence, and accuses them of MAFA:

Our country is adrift. Our President has disappeared, terminally ill in a secret location in a foreign country. Our government is paralysed, hijacked by a cabal of predatory officials who claim to be acting on instructions of a brain-damaged President. Our citizens are trapped in a country with a reputation so soiled they are shamed every day…Passivity and constant accommodation are the Achilles’ heel of our educated and cultured class who are geniuses at analyzing our many troubles and utterly hopeless when it comes to taking any action that requires having skin in the game. Such people exhibit the classic attributes of the MAFA – mistaking articulation for action.

 It hits close to home, does it not?

Written by serengetiadvisersblog

February 8, 2010 at 15:01