florinsandu

African Politics and Realities

Posts Tagged ‘Government

Pentru ca nu pot vota…scriu!

leave a comment »

Pentru ca nu exista niciun autobuz electoral care sa ma duca din Lagos pana in capitala Nigeriei, Abuja…nu pot vota! Singurul lucru care ma bucura este ca prin imposibilitatea mea de a vota reusesc, absolut lipsit de efort, sa fac parte dintre cei care „saboteaza” un proces electoral absolut democratic insa transformat intr-o hidosenie de catre actiunile celor implicati si contextul in care totul se desfasoara.

 

Nu sunt detinator de pasiuni politice, ratiunea ma impiedica! Ca un observator impartial, mi-am impartit timpul pe care l-am putut acorda evenimentelor din Romania intre diferitele posturi de televiziune mai mult sau mai putin patimase, si articole de tot soiul. Bombardarea telespectatorului, a cititorului, in fine a electoratului, cu mesaje golite de substanta si viziune politica, pline insa pana la refuz de ura si injurii ma inspaimanta dintr-un singur motiv, acela ca nu reusesc sa imi aduc aminte cum erau lucrurile inainte de toata abrambureala aceasta cu tentativa de suicid a unui fost premier, lipsa de responsabilitate a „premierului plagiator” si transformarea Romaniei in marul stricat al Europei. Pentru ca nu imi amintesc relativa normalitate dinaintea celor ce se intampla, nu imi pot inchipui cum vom reusi sa aducem in prezent ceva ce am uitat…

 

Constitutia Romaniei ne spune, cu urma de credibilitatea pe care inca o mai poseda, in Articolul 36 ca „cetatenii au drept de vot de la varsta de 18 ani, impliniti pana in ziua alegerilor inclusiv”. Suntem in pragul unui referendum, insa este evident ca Romania, dupa peste 20 de ani de democratie, inca nu este suficient de matura incat sa iasa cu demnitatea nestirbita, indiferent de rezultat.

 

„Vreau o tara ca afara!”, „Jos Basescu!”, Jos Antonescu si Ponta!”. Mesaje absolut goale, fara insemnatate, care sper sa nu functioneze! Indiferent de rezultatul de pe 29 iulie, tot ce imi doresc, ca simplu cetatean al Romaniei este o tara in care guvernarea sa insemne chiar asta, ca tara sa fie mai importanta decat cei ce o guverneaza, indiferent de nume. Am un singur vot, insa pentru ca nu pot vota..scriu!

Like this on Facebook

Share

Written by fashionroseblog

July 28, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Classroom diplomacy

leave a comment »

Attending the Modern diplomacy lecture today was a breath of fresh air. After a long time, in front of us was a lecturer that was not afraid of being wrong, but quite possibly he was waiting on the rest of us to try and prove him wrong! The topic of the debate was the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa in the light of this week’s developments. For those of you clueless on the matter,the summary would be: South Africa prevented a group of Nigerians coming on the same flight from entering the country on the basis of not having a mandatory yellow fever vaccination card, in return Nigeria did the same to a group of South African nationals…tensions grew higher, and bottom line we have now a sort of mediatic war, and a future series of diplomatic meetings meant to bring a solution to the “chaos” created. Question thrown for discussion….simply, “what do you make of it?”.

Listing the whole arguments at this point would be futile, however it was interesting to see how even during a class at a postgraduate level, the discussion quickly took a more personal turn, or rather, a more nationalistic turn instead of a crude, blunt discussion or attempt of an analysis on what exactly are the elements and so on. Don’t get me wrong, objective and very pertinent arguments were brought to the table, however, for me it was more interesting to watch the cultural belonging to a certain ethnic lines fade away in favor of defending Nigeria as a whole.the only question coming to my mind was ” why doesn’t it happen on a regular basis?

On the other hand, a similar case was on my mind as well, not too far from home….even though apparently far more complex, the case of the deportation of Romanian citizens from France had similar connotations. Regardless of previous opinions on the matter, many of us still felt like our national pride was at stake, moreover that if there is anyone to judge, it should be us. Deeply wrong as that stance might be, it was real, after all, we were defending our “newly ” acquired freedom of moving through Europe without the necessity of having a visa, a noble enough cause…

All in all, today’s lecture was motivating, even though “praising” what should happen on a regular basis and doesn’t is something to think about!

P.S. for more information on the recent diplomatic tensions between Nigeria and South Africa, please take a look at the links bellow.

By Florin Sandu

Share

Like this on Facebook

Written by fashionroseblog

March 7, 2012 at 11:36 pm

Occupy Nigeria-Day 3…What’s next?

with 5 comments

January 11th and the general strikes continues in Nigeria, reaching its third day. Despite the larger turnout at the protest in Ojota, Lagos and other cities in Nigeria, the Federal Government doesn’t seem to be backing down from their decision of removing fuel subsidy. At the same time, the legislative seems to be turning their back to President Goodluck Jonathan by supporting the reinstatement of the fuel subsidy and urging the presidency to take the necessary steps.

Analysis of the current state of affairs in Nigeria are capturing front pages of newspapers and headlines in news across the world, some more competent than others. Being in the midst of it all, it seems to me that a breakdown of the important elements at play is necessary:

1. Governmental corruption extended over a few generations and administrations/political systems

– the average citizen cannot trust the “plan” to save Nigeria from economical collapse predicted by the administration

-general mistrust in what will happen to the extra money that will be added to the national budget as a result of removing oil subsidies

 

2. Failure of government of covering basic needs of the population…steady electricity, good medical service, infrastructure, just to name a few

-people are regarding the subsidy as the only benefit they are receiving from the state, the only direct benefit nigerians have for living in a country that represents Africa‘s largest exporter of crude oil

 

3. High level of poverty with around 90% of the population living on $ 2/day

– the removal of the subsidy has made the price of oil to more than double (from 65 naira to 140), causing also a major increase in food and commodities prices

 

4. The abrupt way in which the president had announced and implemented the removal of the oil subsidy

– an overwhelming majority is of the opinion that a plan of gradually removing the subsidy wouldn’t have sparked the amount of anger we currently see

– the gradual removal of the subsidy should be accompanied by the investment in the nation’s refineries, which at present is importing most of it’s refined oil

 

To my opinion, these are major elements that have led to the current status quo in Nigeria. So…WHAT’S NEXT? Will the president crumble under the pressure coming from the population, civil society and even the legislative bodies and reinstate the oil subsidy? if so, what is the path he will follow? if not, can Nigeria be at the brink of a civil war, as Wole Soyinka, Nobel Laureate claimed?

These questions  are very hard to answer. A reinstatement of the oil subsidy and the construction of a solid plan of gradually removing it in the future, showing the ways in which the funds will be used seems to be the logical way to go. The decision, in my view, will not show the weakness of the presidency and the government of standing behind its own decisions, but will instead show an understanding of the complexity and gravity of the situation, as well as a great deal of solidarity.

Also, it’s hard for me to believe that the president will be blind to what the strike is bringing upon Nigeria: aprox. 160 Billion naira/day losses due to lack of economical activity; Lagos port shutdown; airports are at a stand still; sporadic violence and the emergence of groups of hoodlums taking advantage of the chaotic situation; the possibility of oil exports to be stopped….just to name a few..

 

Tomorrow is the fourth day of the Occupy Nigeria general strike…let’s see what’s next!

 

Florin Sandu

Written by fashionroseblog

January 11, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Occupy Nigeria-Day 1

with 3 comments

January 9th and the biggest protest Nigeria has seen in response to a government‘s decision is on its way. The turnout to the Lagos protest was impressive, apparently a lot more numerous than even the organizers were expecting. Leaders of the labor unions and other workers associations were all present, taking turns in addressing the  crowd, all of them starting with..”Great Nigerian People!!!”.

While everyone was appealing to peaceful protests, the speeches were a tad confusing. Comparisons were made with the recent events that took place in the Arab world, with leaders that have been driven away, or killed, like the case of Gaddafi, associating words like “peaceful protest” and “Revolution”, many at times baring the same meaning ….what was more confusing was the artists’ performances… which usually represents scenes from an electoral campaign rather than a protest.

Just by following the events on tv, it seems to me that the removal of the fuel subsidies is a big part of what is taking place now, but surely not the only one. Corruption, bad government, lack of steady electricity, and so on, issues that have been affecting the country for some time are bringing out frustration and anger buried deep down, which makes the outcome more unpredictable than many were expecting.

Other cities have joined the protest as well, crippling activities nationwide. Majority of national flights as well as a few international ones have been cancelled, prices to any product have doubled, where and if you are actually able to find anything open…

All in all, day 1 of “Occupy Nigeria” is considered to have been a success, even if the government is not showing any signs of backing up from supporting the removal of fuel subsidies.

Today, January 10th -Day 2 …

 

 

Written by fashionroseblog

January 10, 2012 at 11:37 am