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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - STAR RESOLUTION: Not Without Our Daughters, by Oby Ezekwesili

The pain and shame of the abduction, so succinctly and incisively recorded by Oby Ezekwezili, hang heavily on our individual consciences.

 

The faces of these Chibok Girls haunt each and every Nigerian forever, until they are rescued.

 

You don't have to be a mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, cleric, president etc to feel the unending pain.

 

Only inhuman persons can move on daily without the ChibokGirls.

 

That is it!

 

Isaac

 

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Mobolaji Aluko
Sent: 31 August, 2014 21:07
To: USAAfrica Dialogue; NaijaPolitics e-Group; naijaintellects; nigerianid@yahoogroups.com; Yan Arewa; Ra'ayi; OmoOdua; ekiti ekitigroups; NiDAN
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - STAR RESOLUTION: Not Without Our Daughters, by Oby Ezekwesili

 

 

My People:

 

I fully identify with Oby Ezekwesili's sentiments below.  Three of the ChibokGirls are proxies for my three beloved daughters......just don't know what else to do though than pray for them - and NOT move on without our daughters.

 

And there you have it.  This is NOT politics, but humanitics...

 

 

 

Bolaji Aluko

 

_______________________________________________________________

 

 

Not Without Our Daughters, by Oby Ezekwesili

Posted by: Editor in ColumnsOpinion Aug 28, 2014 

Obiageli Ezekwesili

Today marks 136 days since April 14, when 219 daughters of Nigeria were taken captive from our midst at close to midnight while we all slept. The Presidential Facts Finding Committee on Chibok Abduction which was set up evidently to validate to those who doubted the tragedy, helped confirm that our daughters that went to acquire knowledge were forcibly taken by terrorists. In all, the report stated that 276 school girls were abducted from Government Secondary School on that fateful night and that fortunately, 57 of them courageously took the risk of self-rescue and are since reunited with their families.

After many weeks of tentativeness arising from indifference, doubt, visible irritation and buck passing a rescue effort was finally launched by the Federal Government, supported by countries that include the United States, Britain, France, China, Canada, Israel and Australia. However, after four months and with no news of their rescue nor any slimmer of evidence of actions being taken to bring them back, the desperate reaction of all who empathise with the girls and their families has become "where is the result from the rescue effort?"
 
For some others, despondent and yet willing to hold on to the tiniest ray of Hope, the demand is that the Federal Government offers Nigeria the whole truth on the matter of their rescue effort. Why so? There have been too many discordant and contradictory information on the status of the rescue of the girls by our government. Those who ask for the truth, therefore do  so mindful of the need to not compromise intricacies of operational strategy while yet insisting that our government can act and convey with sincerity a series of confidence inspiring measures it is taking to resolve this massive scale of human tragedy. Like we say in life, parents and other citizens would rather be slapped with the truth than be kissed with lies.

There are after all three well known options that are possible in the rescue of abduction victims- first, military action, second, negotiation/dialogue which may be direct or indirect and third, a mix of both military action and negotiation. Anyone who has mapped and analysed all the statements ever made by our Government since we were informed by the Chief of Defence Staff on May 24 that they had located our girls; cannot but wonder what to believe. In the quest for truth it does not help that when the dots are connected drawing from diverse statements made by our government at various times dismissing each of the options for one reason or the other, nothing tangible remains. Could it be that the evident complexity of their rescue has led to inertia or paralysis that surely portends grave danger to our #ChibokGirls …our daughters? Could this be the reason many more people now think we should be silent, move on and allow "whatever" is being done about their rescue to "quietly" continue?  If it is then there is no better response to give than than "Not without our daughters".
 
For, indeed, the 219 girls of Chibok are our daughters. Anyone who is a true parent and real human being would admit that it is almost impossible not to think of the fate of these girls in personal terms. It is impossible not to think how deep their agony would be should children sired in their loins or carried in their wombs be experience what these innocent young women are suffering. Most of the empathetic gestures given to their cause have been framed especially the women advocates who are mothers, as being simple acts of humanity because they do see the faces of their own daughters whenever they look at the picture faces of the abducted girls. They knew they had to lend a voice to their cause once they started seeing and connecting to them not just as pieces of news from some remote region of the country or the world, but as flesh and blood that could have been their own daughters. These are the women and men who today out of deep empathy continue to stand and to speak for our girls even after the rest of the world moved on to other issues buffeting our troubled world.
 
The second resonant point of convergence for those who advocate for the cause of the girls is the sadness that all things considered, these girls are merely victims of a society that failed them. Our Chibok girls are victims in every sense of the word; suffering serious injury for no fault of their own. The sad but true reason our ChibokGirls continue to languish in the den of our common enemies more than four months after their abduction is that many among us see their vicissitude as one of those tragedies similar to what others have suffered in our country.   
 
The known fact is that in the fifty four years of our independence, too many of our citizens have been victims of our nation suffering all kinds of tragedies and situations alone. Victims abounded in events leading up to, during and after the Nigerian civil war. Did we care? No, we simply moved on. We created another set of victims during the decades of military rule. Did we care? No, we again moved on. In the last fifteen years of our nascent democracy 1999 transition, we have kept on creating victims. Have we cared? Not really, we have to move on. 

Within the last four years that bloody insurgents have launched a most vicious  attack against our citizens, abducting, maiming and killing in thousands, have we really cared? Not really. Those it does not affect may not even give a passing thought to the victims just like it was in the past. So, are we just going to keep moving on for as long as each tragedy does not affect us, ignoring the new sets of victims of our nation to "take care of their own pain?" I have seen, heard and known how our society victimizes the victim. Can a people survive and sustain this manner of distribution of suffering in which the strong at any given point disregards the pain of the victim? No. A society where everyone carries the wound of having once been a victim that was abandoned to suffer alone can neither last nor achieve greatness.
 
How then can we not see that there is something about the present travail of our Chibok Girls that presents us the best opportunity opportunity to awaken our deadened souls that have since our coming together missed out on the wholesome value of empathy? How can we not see that the only and true victims in this abduction saga are our 219 daughters of Nigeria? How can we possibly move on without daughters? We must not move. We must give everything possible to save them. They can become the symbol of our catharsis – our purging – our cleaning from the accumulated toxin of bitterness and wound spread across our country from all manner of tragedies and injustice of the past.

By all agreeing not to move on without our daughters, we make a statement that as a people, we are determined to confront our common enemy together. By refusing to sacrifice our daughters that we can save, we send the strongest signal to our common enemies that our society will fight to defend our humane values and the right to life of our children, our women, our men, our young and our old regardless of their religion, politics, language and culture. By staying determined to stand with our endangered ChibokGirls, we as Nigerians would measure up to the standard of Ghandi's words that "The True Measure of Any Society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members"
 
If we all did everything possible to bring back our daughters from the clutches and den of evil erected by our common enemies within our own territory; our ChibokGirls will become a historical break from our shameful past as an uncaring society if people. It will be a statement of a united people of the kind we see every day we gather for their cause at the Unity Fountain and loudly declare that  "we are from Chibok"- regardless of our ethnic, political, religious, ideological persuasion.

When we do so, it is not because we are unaware of past and other present victims. It is that our daughters are in a special category of being alive and can be saved. It is a protest against the idea that the suffering of other people does not matter and can therefore be denied, ignored and even mocked. It is a kick against the lack of empathy that reflects in the poor choices over several decades that have stagnated and kept us as a tottering country that never evolved into a nation. History teaches and research validates that when a country of diverse people evolve into a nation, the probability of achieving development that benefits the largest number is significantly higher.
 
The combination of these two factors- daughters and victims should imprint on the mind of everyone that we could all be the biological parents of children who due to no fault of their own became victims of deadly danger. As one very involved with the formation and leadership of the #BringBackOurGirls advocacy that is championing the citizens advocacy for the rescue of our Daughters, the two factors steadfastly give me perspective regardless of what other people may think or say.

Personally, I have advocated for our ChibokGirls since the 15th April when news of their abduction broke. On the 23rd April a demand one made to have everyone at the UNESCO event inaugurating Port Harcourt as the 2014 World Book Capital stand in solidarity and demand their rescue resulted in our social media hashtag #BringBackOurGirls. The march for them on the 30th April inspired by Hadiza Bala Usman and the daily "sit-out" in Abuja by incredibly sacrificial Nigerians who are there even today for the 120 such gathering is a testament to the irony of the divine quality of our suffering Chibok Daughter.
 
These days, when members of our movement are taunted with questions like "when will you realise the futility of your advocacy and stop?" Like typical Nigerian, we have learnt to answer questions of this sort with some simple questions. Interestingly, one question to which not even the irredeemably heartless have ever been able to answer without shame is "Did 219 girls also willingly offer themselves to be denied their freedom and their lives?" If they did not, why then should we make victims out of children who already are victims? "Would you say want us to stop if any of them were your daughter?" 
 
We cannot afford to move on without our daughters. Everyone who can raise a voice to compel action for them should really do so without feeling embarrassed. Everyone who has the power to act decisively and quickly to rescue must not consider them a secondary priority. The three possible options of rescue are narrowed and clear to all. Until our Federal Government demonstrates that our ChibokGirls are not being abandoned by showing that it is taking any of the three and that we shall no longer move on and forsake victims of our society as we during the fifty four years of history-there will always be voices; if even just one demanding that our daughters must be rescued from our enemies. So, when next time you hear that chant or read that chant #BringBackOurGirls and ever go on to ask "when will you stop.?" there are two answers you can be sure of "#UntilOurGirlsAreBackAndAlive and better of the two, #NotWithoutOurDaughters!

 

____________________________________________________________

 

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USA Africa Dialogue Series - Call-For-Papers: Africa Conference

Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN

The Annual Africa Conference 

April 10, 2015 

CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS  

The Department of History, Political Science, Geography, & Africana Studies at Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee, invites academics, independent scholars, policymakers, and graduate students to present papers at its third annual conference on the theme: 

The Struggle for Human and Civil Rights in Africa and

the African Diaspora in Historical Perspective  

A little over two decades ago (1993), a newly enacted constitution in South Africa guaranteed universal adult suffrage and, ipso facto, allowed the hitherto disfranchised black South Africans to vote in the country's first nonracial election the following year. Earlier, fifty years ago in the United States, the passing of the landmark legislation, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, also enfranchised American Blacks who had been historically denied free vote. While colonial racist laws and practices oppressed Africans on the continent, Jim Crow regulations denied African Americans, particularly in the South, their civil rights. The struggle for human and civil rights, indeed, constitutes a defining theme in the historical experiences of African people and their descendants in the Diaspora. But far from being anachronistic, this narrative has, at least in subtle ways, continued to define the historical panorama of contemporary Black/African world. The fiftieth anniversary in 2015, of the Voting Rights Act, a milestone in Black struggles to attain denied rights, provides an opportunity to explore the important subject of civil and human rights in historical perspective. Thus this year's Africa Conference will offer a unique platform for scholars from various disciplines and other participants to dialogue on issues pertinent to human and civil rights in Africa and the African Diaspora. The struggle for civil and human rights certainly has a multi-dimensional framework; hence, the conference invites papers of historical and contemporary relevance to the broad theme. Potential topics for presentation may include but are not limited to the following: 

Enslavement, segregation, and racial discrimination
Racism and European colonial repression
Anti-colonial movements and national liberation wars
State repression in the modern state and resistance by civil society
The debate over rights in the LGBT Community
Genocide, wars, and crimes against humanity
Modern slavery forms and human trafficking
Children and women's rights
Police brutality and racial profiling
Poverty and economic inequality
Access to healthcare
Minority rights: ethnic, creed, and gender
Freedom of expression, rule of law, and democratization
Conflicts and conflict resolution
The justice system and rights
Leadership in civil and human rights struggles
The West and the advocacy of human rights
Freedom of expression and social justice
Contemporary disfranchisement and electoral malpractices 

Keynote Speaker
Dr. Bessie House-Soremekun, Professor and Director, the Africana Studies Program, and Founding Executive Director, Center for Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Development, School of Liberal Arts, Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN. 

Guest Speaker
Mrs. Elizabeth McClain, Civil rights activist and retired Professor, Tennessee State University. 

Date of Conference
Friday, April 10, 2015 

Venue
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. Merritt Blvd.
Nashville, Tennessee 37209-1561

Conveners
Dr. Adebayo Oyebade
Professor of History
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN 37209
aoyebade@tnstate.edu

Dr. Gashawbeza Bekele
Assistant Professor of Geography
Tennessee State University
Nashville, TN 37209
gbekele@tnstate.edu

Abstracts/Panel proposals
Each prospective presenter should submit electronically an abstract of 500 words or less to either of the conveners by Friday, Nov. 28, 2014. Abstract prepared as Microsoft Word document should include the presenter's name, title of paper, institutional affiliation, and contact information (mailing address, phone number, and email address). Please, note that submission of abstract automatically grants conference organizers the right to publish it in the conference program and website.

Conference Registration Fees
Mandatory non-refundable registration fees for the conference are:
Regular: $50 by Dec. 31; & $60 by Feb. 27 (banquet included).
Graduate Students: $25 by Dec. 31; & $30 by Feb. 27 (banquet included).
Banquet only: $25 by Feb. 13.
Please, make your check payable to Tennessee State University.

Publication of Selected Papers
Selected conference papers will be published as a book.

Fwd: A Thought for Today



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: krishnan PN <krishnan_p_n@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:31 AM
Subject: A Thought for Today
To:


v      Moral courage is a more rare commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence


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Fwd: Spiritual Bud Blossoms!



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: krishnan PN <krishnan_p_n@yahoo.com>
Date: Mon, Sep 1, 2014 at 4:37 AM
Subject: Spiritual Bud Blossoms!
To:


September 1
 
SPIRITUAL ANGUISH
 
Worldly woes wear away the physique. Whereas the pining of the mind for the grace of God enriches it.
                     
It is not given to all to develop spiritual anguish. Experienced ones see into the emptiness of earthly life.  . An awakening takes place in them. They hanker after the persisting reality. They know of no rest until the Imperishable is realized.
  
Spiritual anguish is the harbinger of spiritual enlightenment.

 - Ramakrishna


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RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo

When you are positioned between the deep blue sea and the proverbial devil
you have to keep quiet, pause and
summon all your energies before you speak or act.
That is why silence is a better option.

First there is the deep blue sea.
There is no doubt that giving every Nigerian citizen a credit card is a recipe for
wanton spending and eventual indebtedness of most of the citizens of the country. The credit card companies
are master engineers of debt slavery. Now that they have indebted most of
the US and Western European citizenry, including young college students, they are looking for greener pastures.

They actually want to place the whole of Africa in their clutches and they believe that Nigeria is
a good start. Their interest rate will start off at 8 or 9 % and before you can say ' Boko Haram' it would
climb to 35%. and more. Once they move into the region, they can then lobby the -next US
presidential candidate to serve their interests. He or she would be given generous doses of
campaign funds to sweeten the deal. Any Nigerian president that tries to
nullify the program of massive indebtedness will be threatened, intimidated and even ousted.

Every Nigerian will be in their database and they can share information to the highest bidders.
Sovereignty is undermined.

Then there is ebola, the devil - maybe the rebel serpent that the ancient Egyptians called Sata. Or
maybe a creature that came to life in someone's laboratory during experimentation
with polio vaccines. Or maybe an entity created for purposes of biowarfare. Or
maybe just the product of an ambitious scientist like Gallo initially seeking publication and funding rights.
Maybe Mr. Ebola simply wants to upset the Afro- Chinese applecart. Or,
maybe he is just a naughty, vindictive bacterium that grew to hate monkeys and later bats
in the post-colonial era. Or maybe this is just one of those tricks that nature randomly plays.

Whatever the case the ebola devil is here and you really have to
deal with him with a very long spoon indeed. Apparently you cannot touch his sweat, spit, tears,dribble
sneeze, and a lot of other things - or you are a dead dog.

Now where does that leave the naira?





Professor Gloria Emeagwali
africahistory.net
vimeo.com/user5946750/videos
Documentaries on Africa and the African Diaspora
________________________________________
From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Segun Ogungbemi [seguno2013@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, August 31, 2014 10:45 AM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Cc: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo

My sister Gloria,
Please don't keek your mouth shut.

Segun Ogungbemi Ph.D
Professor of Philosophy
Adekunle Ajasin University
Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State
Nigeria
Cellphone: 08033041371
08024670952

> On Aug 31, 2014, at 2:33 PM, "Emeagwali, Gloria (History)" <emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu> wrote:
>
> I have mixed feelings about the cards because of the ebola pandemic.
>
> It is better for me to keep my mouth shut on this one.
>
>
> Professor Gloria Emeagwali
> africahistory.net
> vimeo.com/user5946750/videos
> Documentaries on Africa and the African Diaspora
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of Segun Ogungbemi [seguno2013@gmail.com]
> Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2014 5:13 AM
> To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
> Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>
> Gloria,
> I understand your sentiments and those of your like mind.
> May I ask you: is there any security secret which Nigeria has that Britain and American governments do not know?
> The world is a global village and being so means that what we considered a security secret and pride of a 'nation' is known by most countries of the world.
> With the advancement of ICT, there seems to no secrecy as it used to be.
> A national ID card is a pride of anyone carrying it as an identification that she/he comes from a particular nation.
> Many of us have MasterCards or Visa-cards. Some fellow Nigerians have abused the use of these cards just as, perhaps, a handful of others from other countries.
> The companies that own these cards have databases just as the country from where they operate. Nigeria does not have any reliable database. The reason is not too far fetched- corruption.
> Do you know how many times our governments have tried to have the national cards for all Nigerians and it failed? Do you know how much it costs the nation?
> You will all say it is bad leadership, corruption and the weakness of the people in power to arrest and punish the offenders. It is easier said than done.
> Is there any arrest of people in high places made and it did not boil down to ethnicity or religious acrimony? At the end of the day no nobody is brought to justice. And if there is any, the raw arm of justice in the end will be arm twisted and the culprit is set free.
> My submission in all this is: why did Jonathan administration choose to use the new device? Let us get the facts before we condemn it.
> We should be more careful of insulting our President. He did not put himself there.
> We, the majority of Nigerians elected him and we must respect our choice and the office.
>
> Segun Ogungbemi Ph.D
> Professor of Philosophy
> Adekunle Ajasin University
> Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State
> Nigeria
> Cellphone: 08033041371
> 08024670952
>
> On Aug 30, 2014, at 3:56 AM, Tunde <tundeojo@hotmail.com<mailto:tundeojo@hotmail.com>> wrote:
>
> Simply put, President Badluck is sick in the head. If this maddness stands, Nigeria will be the laughing stock of the world over.
> A man with a PHD???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
>
>> From: emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu<mailto:emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu>
>> To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
>> CC: nigerianID@yahoogroups.com<mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com>; NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com<mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com>; naijaintellects@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com>; talknaija@yahoogroups.com<mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com>; naijanet@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com>
>> Date: Fri, 29 Aug 2014 17:50:43 -0400
>> Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>>
>> 'Do you expect them to miraculously mutate into a success story?' IBK
>>
>> Sometimes you can make lemonade with a lemon.
>>
>>
>> Professor Gloria Emeagwali
>> CT 06050
>> africahistory.net<http://africahistory.net>
>> vimeo.com/user5946750/videos<http://vimeo.com/user5946750/videos>
>> Documentaries on Africa and the African Diaspora
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of Ibukunolu A Babajide [ibk2005@gmail.com<mailto:ibk2005@gmail.com>]
>> Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 5:05 PM
>> To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
>> Cc: nigerianID@yahoogroups.com<mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com>; NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com<mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com>; naijaintellects@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com>; talknaija@yahoogroups.com<mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com>; naijanet@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com>
>> Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>>
>>
>> Prof. Gloria Emegwali,
>>
>> Too little too late! Can Nigerians do this on their own? This shell of a country is just an extension of the Royal Niger Company.
>>
>> Concentrate on viable patriotic pursuits not this one where the alternative is perfect chaos. Have you not been reading Rotimi Ogunsuyi telling us all how useless GEJ &co. are? Do you expect them to miraculously mutate into a success story?
>>
>> No ma'am, it does not work like that.
>>
>> Cheers.
>>
>> IBK
>>
>> On 29 Aug 2014 23:36, "Emeagwali, Gloria (History)" <emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu<mailto:emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu><mailto:emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu>> wrote:
>> Corruption. Someone is getting 10% .
>> It is really scandalous and I am happy that people are reacting against it.
>>
>> It could also be linked to mass surveillance.
>>
>> It has the potential to
>> create mass indebtedness too.
>>
>>
>> Professor Gloria Emeagwali
>> africahistory.net<http://africahistory.net><http://africahistory.net>
>> vimeo.com/user5946750/videos<http://vimeo.com/user5946750/videos><http://vimeo.com/user5946750/videos>
>> Documentaries on Africa and the African Diaspora
>> ________________________________________
>> From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com><mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com><mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of Anunoby, Ogugua [AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu<mailto:AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu><mailto:AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu>]
>> Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 2:25 PM
>> To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com><mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>; NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com<mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com><mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com>; naijaintellects@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com><mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com>; naijanet@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com><mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com>; nigerianID@yahoogroups.com<mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com><mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com>; talknaija@yahoogroups.com<mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com><mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com>
>> Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>>
>> What is going on I wonder.
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com><mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of Kola Fabiyi
>> Sent: Friday, August 29, 2014 6:28 AM
>> To: NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com<mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com><mailto:NaijaObserver@yahoogroups.com>; naijaintellects@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com><mailto:naijaintellects@googlegroups.com>; naijanet@googlegroups.com<mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com><mailto:naijanet@googlegroups.com>; nigerianID@yahoogroups.com<mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com><mailto:nigerianID@yahoogroups.com>; usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com><mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>; talknaija@yahoogroups.com<mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com><mailto:talknaija@yahoogroups.com>
>> Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>>
>> SCANDALOUS: Outrage in Nigeria as government brands National ID Card with MasterCard's logo
>>
>> Ini Ekott - Premium Times
>>
>>
>> The new Nigerian National Identity Cards launched Thursday by President Goodluck Jonathan, with branded logo of the American firm, MasterCard, have sparked outrage across the country amid fears of serious security and economic breach, with many Nigerians calling for an immediate stoppage of the deal.
>>
>> Nigerians expressed shock and fury Thursday at how the Nigerian Government, through the National Identity Management Commission, NIMC, would surrender a symbol of national sovereignty and pride to a foreign commercial organisation by not only sharing the biometrics of 170 million Nigerian to the firm but by also allowing the firm to boldly engrave its insignia on the IDs.
>>
>> Many Nigerians raised the alarm over the implications of the agreement in an age that has seen intense data surveillance by the National Security Agency of the United States of America, Mastercard's home country.
>> One commentator said allowing MasterCard's emblem on the Nigerian National ID Card could only compare to the trans-Atlantic slave trade abolished in the nineteenth century.
>>
>> "The new ID card with a MasterCard logo does not represent an identity of a Nigerian. It simply represents a stamped ownership of a Nigerian by an American company," said Shehu Sani of the Civil Rights Congress. "It is reminiscent of the logo pasted on the bodies of African salves transported across the Atlantic."
>>
>> At the launching Thursday, the Nigerian Identity Management Commission said the cards, designed to also allow handlers effect payments and other financial transactions, will be issued to 13 million Nigerians.
>>
>> At the completion of the pilot phase of the program, 100 million cards would have been issued, the commission said, describing the move as the "broadest financial inclusion program in Africa".
>>
>> The cards will be issued to Nigerians, 16 years and older, and are expected to serve as voting cards in the 2019 elections.
>>
>> President Jonathan, who flagged off the rollout, praised the outcome of a partnership between NIMC, MasterCard and Access Bank.
>> "The card is not only a means of certifying your identity, but also a personal database repository and payment card, all in your pocket," Mr. Jonathan said.
>>
>> Under the partnership, the NIMC is the project leader, MasterCard provides payments technology, while Unified Payment Services Limited is payments processor. Cryptovision is the Public Key Infrastructure and Trust Services Provider, and the pilot issuing bank is Access Bank Plc.
>>
>> The Identity Management Commission said it was working with other government agencies to harmonize all identity databases including the Driver's License, Voter Registration, Health Insurance, Tax, SIM and the National Pension Commission into a single, shared services platform.
>>
>> For a National ID card project jinxed for decades due to corruption and mismanagement, Nigerians welcomed what seemed like a breakthrough this time, several years after the first attempt at a national Identity Card project ended in fiasco.
>> But the optimism waned after it became clear Thursday the new ID cards, a key instrument recognised by the federal constitution, will not only bear the Coat of Arms and the Nigerian colours of green white green, but also the logo of MasterCard, a profit-driven private entity.
>>
>> "Nigeria's colours and coast of arms is what should be there. It is not an opportunity for advert for promoting companies," said Eze Onyekpere, Lead Director Centre for Social Justice. "As far as we are concerned it cannot stand. It is not worth it if that's what they have done."
>>
>> Beyond national pride, many Nigerians spoke of the dire economic and security implications for Nigeria.
>> "Clearly, there are National Security implication," said Nasir El-Rufai, a former Minister of the Federal Capital Territory. "All these data go to the American payment platform."
>> Mr. El-Rufai recalled that Malaysia was the first country to implement a general multipurpose ID card and that the country did so with its own resources and technology to protect its citizens.
>>
>> Economically, analysts say, the deal also hands over all adult Nigerians as direct and compulsory customers of MasterCard.
>>
>> The US-based firm appeared so elated at the outcome of the contract that by Thursday, it hired a media consultant, African Media Agency, to publicise the landmark deal all over the world.
>>
>> MasterCard could not be reached immediately for comments.
>> Details of the partnership between the NIMC and MasterCard were unclear as of Friday.
>>
>> A former senior government official, well briefed about the process, said the Nigerian government may have adopted the Public Private Partnership model for the project, with MasterCard underwriting part of the cost of the deal.
>>
>> Still, the former official, who asked not to be named, said it was unbelievable that Nigeria could not insist on fully funding such a project at any cost, considering its strategic importance to its sovereignty.
>>
>> "It's so scandalous that there are countries you present this to and they will be confused," the official said. "I have never seen this done anywhere in the world."
>>
>> The Nigerian Identity Management Commission, NIMC, refused to comment on the concerns.
>> When contacted by PREMIUM TIMES late Thursday, a spokesperson dismissed the concern raised by our reporter.
>>
>> "What is wrong with that (displaying MasterCard's logo on the IDs)?" asked Ben Alofoje, the Assistant Director/Head Research and Strategy, who is the designated media person for the project.
>>
>> A PREMIUM TIMES reader,Ola Onanugaola, said of the project, "Good idea but bad implementation. Why do we have to brand the e-ID card? Are these people aware of the huge economic and security implications of the branding.
>>
>> "Any country population database/information is too vital to attached to any non-governmental organisation."
>>
>> --
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