Showing posts with label Prof. Dora Akunyili. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Prof. Dora Akunyili. Show all posts

Monday, April 11, 2011

These uncivilized Nigerians are not ready to practice democracy

INEC Polling Centre in Nigeria

From field reports all over Nigeria, the National Assembly Elections of last Saturday April 9, 2011, have not been really free and fair.

The Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Professor Attahiru Jega has shown that he has been overwhelmed by the herculean task of conducting free and fair elections in a nation that is ruled by corruption at all levels of public administration and the unscrupulous citizens prefer ignominious ways of life to honourable and noble values and virtues of a civilized society and they would rather practice kleptocracy instead of democracy.

One of the shocking cases of corruption is the current political drama in Anambra State over the polls in the Anambra Central Senatorial District where Mr. Alex Anene, the returning officer/collation officer of INEC alleged that his life has been threatened by the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) and the state government, because he refused the offer of N10million, a duplex and a car to falsify the result in favour of APGA's candidate Prof. Dora Akunyili and deny the actual winner Dr. Chris Ngige of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

These are the agonies and ironies of President Goodluck Jonathan's Nigeria as vividly captured in Jekwu Ozoemene's The Anger of Unfulfillment: Three Plays Out of Nigeria as he aptly addressed the dreams and nightmares of Nigerians confronting the contemporary challenges of life in the most populous country in Africa. A nation so well endowed with great human and mineral resources, but abused and misused by corrupt rulers.

In civilized nations, the omissions of the names or logos of any duly registered political party on the ballot are enough to cancel the entire election. Therefore, let us stop all these mischievous gerrymandering of electoral fraud and do the right thing or annul the whole April elections until further notice.

I will not join in the bandwagon of political sycophants and opportunists to flatter the so called winners or pat Professor Attahiru Jega on the back until I see political equity and electoral justice in every state in Nigeria.
Whatever is worth doing at all, should be done well.

These uncivilized Nigerians are not ready to practice democracy.

This is my final verdict on the NASS polls.

~ Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Akunyili: Why I am running for the Senate

Prof. Dora Akunyili

"WHAT does this woman really want?” “What is wrong with her?” “Why didn’t she just remain as Minister of Information and Communications instead of jumping into the murky waters of Nigerian politics?” These are some of the questions which several people have been asking since December 15 when I announced my resignation as a minister and my entry into the senatorial race. To further confound most political observers, I equally resigned from the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and pitched my tent with the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in my bid to realize my senatorial ambition.

Several theories have been making the rounds since then, as political analysts try to understand what I am really up to. With my campaign machinery now running at full steam following my victory in the APGA primaries and my recognition by INEC as the party’s candidate for Anambra Central Senatorial District in the April 2 elections, I believe the time has come for me to clear the air on why I have embarked on what some people consider to be a risky political adventure.

To be sure, the contest for the Anambra Central senatorial seat is one of the toughest in the land. This is only to be expected in view of the caliber of candidates being fielded by some of the parties. I will, however, disappoint those who expect me to comment on the strengths and weaknesses of my opponents; I would rather concentrate on explaining why I am in the race and why the good people of Anambra Central should give me the mandate to represent them in the Senate in the coming political dispensation.

For the avoidance of doubt, I recognise and respect the right of every qualified person, irrespective of gender or place of origin, to aspire to any position of his or her choice, including the senatorial seat of Anambra Central. I will, therefore, be the last person to engage in the politics of name-calling. I believe that we must base politics on issues. For this reason, I have directed all those working with me and for me that there should be no abuses, no bitterness and no unnecessary quarrel, even if it is in my favour. All the people contesting the position with me have the constitutional right to do so and must not be either discouraged or scared out of the race. The contest is between brothers and sisters and our actions should reflect that.

Trusting in God for victory in the elections, I have since entered into a covenant with Him and with the good people of Anambra Central. Under that covenant, I have promised to do more for my constituency than any other person seeking this position because I know the system and I have the right contacts nationally and internationally. It was for this reason that I resigned my appointment as a minister when, after reflecting deeply about events in Nigeria and in particular my state, Anambra, I came to a point where I felt that the time had come for me to make the sacrifice of leaving a comfortable place to go to a difficult terrain in order to build a better place for our children and our children’s children.

My sole motivation for contesting the April 2011 senatorial elections is my desire to use my wealth of experience to attract more attention to my senatorial district, to Anambra State and to the South East geo-political zone, as well as to make Nigeria a better place through robust contributions to the lawmaking process and in performance of my oversight functions as a Senator. My ambition is not driven by the desire for pecuniary gains but by patriotic considerations and a strong desire to contribute more meaningfully to positively touch the lives of my people – the people at the grassroots.

My record as a public servant, especially as the Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and as Federal Minister of Information and Communications, bears eloquent testimony to my ability to serve as a change agent in whatever position I find myself. The Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria will not be an exception.

As Senator representing Anambra Central, I promise to work selflessly to justify my mandate and to serve my people with sincerity of purpose and with the fear of God. I will work very hard to attract development from the Federal Government and from outside the country through various international organizations and philanthropists from across the world with whom I have built good relationships over the years. All over the world, people are waiting for an opportunity to help me because of the war I waged against drug counterfeiters not just in Nigeria but also internationally during my days as NAFDAC DG from 2001 to 2010.

My representing Anambra Central in the Senate will therefore give me the right platform to attract various forms of developmental schemes to the zone, not just from Nigeria but also from outside the country. As a Senator, I will publicly announce the constituency allowances for Anambra Central and will ensure that they are judiciously spent – used for projects chosen by the communities. Even my personal salaries and allowances will be announced, part of which will be used for developmental projects in the zone.

Within my first month as a Senator, every major market in Anambra Central will get toilet facilities and a bore hole. This will be followed by a scholarship programme for indigent students in the zone, to be introduced within the first three months of my being in the Senate. The scholarship scheme will be followed by empowerment projects for widows to enable them carter for the needs of their families. As I have repeatedly told my people, if after one year of representing Anambra Central as a Senator, they do not experience a tangible difference as an outcome of my representation, I will resign. I will have no business representing them at Abuja if they are not gaining from my being there. If I fail them, I will not wait to be recalled, but will keep my promise, be on the path of honour, and resign.

I am, however, confident that it will never get to that. I have never been associated with failure. By God’s grace, my senatorial odyssey will not be an exception.

• Prof. Akunyili is the APGA candidate for Anambra Senatorial District in the forthcoming elections.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Re-Branding Nigeria: Beauty and the Beast

Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili

Re-Branding Nigeria: Beauty and the Beast

The beauty of Prof. Dora Nkem Akunyili is epitomized by her incorruptible personality. She is patriotic and pragmatic in her commitment to the nation building of a New Nigeria.

She became a national icon of patriotism and pragmatism and a popular role model for Nigerians when she was a successful Director General of National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and used her position for the control and prevention of fake pharmaceutical products, foodstuffs and beverages in Nigeria. Her daring campaign against the importation, production and distribution of counterfeit drugs and unsafe food and subsequent destruction of fake drugs made her the heroine of the Nigerian government. Then surprisingly she was appointed as the new Minister of Information and Communication when most Nigerians thought she would have been more suitable as the Minister of Health. Dora Akunyili the Amazon accepted the challenge of her new office and soon came up with the banner of Re-branding Nigeria.

I see re-branding of Nigeria as the conscientization of Nigerians to develop a national consciousness for the reformation and redemption of Nigeria after decades of socio-political decadence and the institutionalization of corruption in public office.

Nigerians have been maligned and stigmatized all over the world as the infamous perpetrators of the 419 Yahoo-Yahoo Internet scams and shameless corrupt public officials. Nigeria has the worst reputation among African countries in the global village. Dora Akunyili believes we can redeem the battered image of Nigeria and came up with the new slogan of great nation, good people, but she has been confronting dissenting voices of opposition from several local and international quarters of cynical Nigerian skeptics and pessimists who have given up hope on the redemption of Nigeria. They do not doubt her capability, but they are afraid that she would not be able to reform Nigerians who are incorrigible criminals and who do not have scruples.

Behaviour change is tough, but no matter how disappointed most Nigerian are, Dora Akunyili believes that Nigerians are really redeemable. She reminds me of the fable of Beauty and the Beast.
But can the beauty of the incorruptible heroine tame the beast of corruption on rampage in Nigeria? My answer is yes, Dora Akunyili can do it and we should give her all the cooperation and support she needs for the redemption and transformation of corrupt Nigerians for the nation building of a New Nigeria that we can be proud of as a great nation of good people.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Alder Consulting is Responsible for the Failure of the Nigeria: Heart of Africa Project

“We intend to source money from the public sector, which is government, private sector and the people of Nigeria. Re-Branding Nigeria is not a jamboree for spending money. We intend to account for all funds.”
~ Prof. Dora Akunyili

It is shocking that over N1 billion was wasted on the ill-fated Nigeria: Heart of Africa project. The honourable Minister of Information and Communication said, N750 million was appropriated for the “Heart of Africa” project in 2007, N308 million was allocated to the project in 2008 and N299 million has already been spent out of the N308 million. And N150 million has been appropriated for the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project in 2009. But believe it or not, the National Assembly is ignorant of any budget for the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project!

How can the elected lawmakers be ignorant of the budget of a national project that was conceptualized by Alder Consulting as a duly registered contractor of the Federal Government of Nigeria?

The Heart of Africa Project

In 2004, the Federal Ministry of Information & National Orientation was desirous of a cohesive image programme for Nigeria that would promote the country’s national brands while at the same time, address the negatives.

To accomplish this, Alder Consulting conceptualised what is known as the Heart of Africa Project (aka the Nigeria Image Project), a programme for Nigeria's image management and economic progression.

In developing the overall framework for the project, we conducted a Brand Asset Audit of Nigeria and evaluated the strengths & weaknesses of those assets. (This was done to identify strong and credible Nigerian brands to be marketed). We also executed extensive research to identify Nigeria's brand eroders and their effects.
Based on the results of the Audit and research, a detailed implementation plan was developed by Alder which was adopted by the Ministry. A logo (and other graphical elements) was designed for the Heart of Africa Project. The implementation plan was subsequently presented to various stakeholders using customised multimedia presentations and Cds.

Marketing materials were designed including internal/external marketing
communication materials (print adverts, billboards, marketing brochures and other publications) and a budget and comprehensive media plan were developed. During the course of the Project, we were called upon to script a series of CNN advertisements. An advance website for the Project was also developed by Alder.

The programme is currently being implemented under the auspices of The Federal Ministry of Information & National Orientation and Alder has been retained as consultants on the project. A Business Support Group has been constituted for the Project from the Private Sector.
~ Alder Consulting

The hundreds of millions of naira appropriated to the Nigeria: Heart of Africa project have been spent and Nigerians have the right to know how they were spent.

The millions of naira of public funds appropriated to the project must have been misappropriated?

Alder has questions to answer and the management of Alder and the previous ministers of the Ministry of Information and Communication must tell Nigerians how they spent over N1 billion on their White Elephant project.

Those who embezzled over N1 billion under the camouflage of the Nigeria: Heart of Africa Project are not invisible spirits and the new Minister of Information and Communication should probe the committee that was responsible for the failure of the last re-branding project and not sweeping it under the carpet. Nigerians should not be taking for a ride again.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Dear Vint Cerf, We Are Re-Branding Nigeria

There is a subtext to “Don’t be evil” and that is “Don’t be illegal”
~ Vint Cerf

Dear Vint Cerf,

You may be the Chief Internet evangelist at Google, but I bet you that you will not get a standing ovation if you come to Nigeria, because Nigerians do not love anyone who is too much of an evangelist in being legit and most of the evangelists in the most populous country in Africa do not practice what they preach and their millions of followers have also followed in their fast footsteps of sharp practices of get-rich-quick schemes and scams, from the street to the corridors of power.. Nigerians do not think being illegal is evil; otherwise they will not be giving national honors and awards to Nigerian politicians and entrepreneurs whose main source of income is by bribery and corruption. The so called Nigerian public office holders are political contractors who rigged their way into office by hook or crook and to them; honesty is not the best policy in Nigeria.

Do not be disappointed that you will not get a red carpet reception if you come to Nigeria to insist on your gospel of honesty and transparency. You will find some hope in the beacon of the Nigerian intelligentsia of and other upright Nigerians who share your gospel of truth and can rub shoulders with you.

The news of Nigerians being the happiest people in the world is as bogus as their political hocus pocus, because these so called happiest people on earth are the same millions you will see smiling at you and still lying through their teeth as they grin pretending to be happy to see you. But before you can say VGC, they would have conned you online or offline. So, until further notice, beware of them.

As at present, we are set to re-brand Nigeria after we found out that many other African countries also claimed to be the heart of Africa, we have decided to go higher in the leadership of Africa in the world. So, Vint, you will be happy to see Prof. Dora Akunyili flying the Nigerian Flag in the flying colours of New Nigeria that is the Nigerian Dream of every true Nigerian in Nigeria and the Diaspora.

Nigerians Report and Guaranty Success Reported in This Day of Nigeria

The launch of two of my news blogs was reported in This Day newspaper in Nigeria last Thursday February 19, 2009. The new blog Nigerians Report - and GUARANTY SUCCESS - and the following is the news report in full.

2 News Blogs Launched

Nigerians and Guaranty are two of the most popular Nigerian news and information blogs on the internet, rich with 24 hours news videos from the BBC, Reuters, AP, ABC and other major news channels in the world.

"If you want breaking news from the grassroots, go to Nigerians and if you want better jobs and better career opportunities and free books on all subjects, Guaranty has it all," said Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, the Publisher and Editor, who is fast developing the largest Nigerian news and information portal on the internet with over 37 websites so far.

Nigerians Report has been created to promote citizen journalism in Nigeria and so it is a Free For All (FFA) internet news blog for all literate Nigerians to report their own news and tell their own true life stories 24 hours daily.

"Nigerians are the best reporters of what is happening in Nigeria, because we are in the best position to break our own news and tell our own stories before the CNN, BBC or Sky rush to do so, "Michael Chima elaborated.

Guaranty is in fact the most syndicated Nigerian business success website. It has been syndicated more than 200, 000 times.

"My mission is to bridge the wide gap in communication between Nigeria and the rest of the world on the internet, and stop the misinformation and miseducation of millions of ignorant people on the internet, whose erroneous and ambiguous notions of Nigeria and Nigerians should be corrected to stop the further damage on the image of Nigeria and the global village," Michael Chima said.


Contact: Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Publisher/Editor, Tel: 234 07032366127

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

National Daily Awards for "Excellence" or Pretence

Awards events in Nigeria are mere publicity stunts by many newspapers and NGOs who have been giving awards to many so called worthy Nigerians who should rather be prosecuted for fraudulent activities and arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and not collecting fake awards like the strange bed fellows I saw at the last National Daily Awards for “excellence” or pretence on Thursday February 12, 2009.
Does the fake Senate President deserve an award?
For what? Rigging election?
How was he elected?

The venue of the awards ceremony, the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel on the Victoria Island was a gathering of wolves in sheep clothing and many pretenders.
It was a comedy of errors.
Why should you give an award to a public official for simply doing his job?
A governor building a road with tax payers money is given a standing ovation?

A forgotten singer Mandy Ojugbana suddenly resurfaced to strangulate the National Anthem and got a lashing from Prof. Dora Akunyili, the new Minister of Information and Communication who was a fearless crusader against fake drugs whilst she was the Director-General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

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