Sunday, July 30, 2006

Pieces, bits

I've just spent the past hour reading The Guardian and This Day. Its quite an odd experience; after reading mangled English, incorrect grammar and the lowest possible standards of journalism in every sense for a sustained period, one comes out quite disoriented. But you've heard me complain about Nigerian journalism before so what's new? It would be lovely to read a Nigerian paper and learn something new or incisive about the country, but unfortunately, this doesnt seem possible. Instead, one reads a mixture of hagiographic encomiums from sycophants, planted stories and over-long letters from various marginalised souls. One learns more about the country from talking to everyday people, not from getting ink rubbed off on the hands from the papers..

A couple of stories did however leap out at me. The first is that Covenant University, an evangelical institution run by the Winner's Chapel crew headed by Pastor David Oyedepo, has just celebrated their first graduation ceremony. Curiously, all graduands were asked to submit a blood sample before they could go forward to graduate. Quite why the sample was needed was not explained. Perhaps its yet another example of the practice of covert HIV screening that seems to be gaining ground in the country. A case against covert screening needs to be made loud and clear. This being Nigeria, it will probably come out quiet and muddled.

The second story concerns another pastor in Lagos, who has a practice of setting sinners alight, by setting fire to the ground and then getting fallen flock to roll in it. Meanwhile, the papers are all leading on the story that British Police have come over to help the investigation into the Funso Williams assassination. There seems to be some prestige attached to the fact that police from overseas are involved. Perhaps this reflects a genuine determination to find the culprits (after so many unsolved political assassinations). I wonder how easy the job will be if the murder scene was not left intact? The obvious question that no journalist bothers to ask is what does it say about the Nigerian Police force that outside 'experts' have to be brought in?

By the way, this entry comes courtesy of Millenium Park, the only free functioning wifi left in Abuja. Nagode Mr Rufai..


T-man,  3:31 pm  

It's a shame that Nigerian Newspaper are not challenging themselves as one will expect. How long will they survive from paid-for encomiums?

As par Covenant University asking all graduands to submit blood samples before they could go forward to graduate, I wonder why none of the parents challenged the request in the court of law - the situation does not make any sense or does it?

Let's just hope the investigation into the Funso Williams' assassination will have a definite outcome unlike the numerous unsolved political assassinations min the past - can the outside 'experts' help out on this? Time will tell...

Akin 6:14 pm  

I would have thought graduating from a Christian University would have been about skilled people with character, virtue and honour.

How that gets analysed in a blood test, really does escape me.

Unfortunately, parents might subscribe to this outrageous violation bordering on eugenics than challenge the premise and the purpose.

Worse still, what happens to the person who is top of the class and has tainted blood? I won't even begin to travel down that path.

Whilst, it is within the prerogative of any institution to impose any laws and rules it might deem fit, it must measure up against good ethical and societal acceptance.

Time for a decent lawyer to file an amicus curiae brief on this matter.

It is all well to have the British Police visit to help in the investigation of the murder - however, with every Dick and Harry having visited the crime scene, the place might already be too contaminated to obtain very useful evidence.

Does anyone know if Nigeria has a fingerprint database or was the fingerprint acquisition only to eliminate suspects already in custody?

Making people pass through physical fire is related to the worship of Molech - Gosh! What do these people get up to?

Mallam Rufai - Mun gode

Nkem 12:15 am  

Hear, hear, Akin.

Imnakoya 5:26 am  

The fact that after four decdes of independence a country would still need foreign intervention in solving a murder case stongly suggests there are some serious anomalies with that country. The murder of Funsho Williams is painful, but having some foreigners 'clean up our mess' is an 'insult upon injury'. The current Nigerian Police force must BE DISBANDED!

Wale,  3:45 pm  

my mom works at covenant uni, I heard they recently expelled some students who should have graduated because 'dem get belle'. apparently the blood test was some sort of last morality test to weed out the naughty ones.

dafman,  3:52 pm  

When I read in the papers that British police where being brought in to investigate the murder of Funsho Williams, the first question that came to my mind was -What in the world are the Nigerian police paid to do? mount roadblocks?.

Megaphone of Poetry 4:29 am  

Hi Jeremy, I have read a bit of your blog with a lot of interest. From Malaria, to blogging from a hotel lobby, and the swaying lifestyle of guys on a lunch break... thats impressive and its nice to see how people can view Nigeria from a different perspective.

It feels to me that you are a bit unfair on the nigerian journalists. i regularly read the BBC website and i completely trust it and nigerian publications are not anything near it. The only surprise is that some of their columnists on the African service are nigerians and they seem to do a good job at it. obviously, the problem is not nigeria, its just the technology... the burden of a third world country that has been ravaged by years of military rule, and the like. We are merely rousing from the coma of a press that has been supressed... the journalists are learning to be vocal and you can see how difficult this can be when you consider a child that has been abused by his parents.

i am surprised about Covenant university asking for blood, but I guess the students would have given their concent. I understand its absolutely crazy but I guess we have to be patient before we judge. A xtian university, apart from imparting education, aims to show good morality. if students are misbehaving and sleeping around, I guess we cannot say thats a 'xtian' way of living. I think the university wants to take a zero-tolerance level to any form of misbehaviour... and they are stopping at nothing to do this. I am not a proponent of the university but I like to see the positive side to everything... it makes me happy on the least.

I love your blog and I will definitely come back.

dami,  3:12 pm  

good honest post on nigeria dude, esp the nigeria newspaper praise singing dictators.

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