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Pay-as-you-eat

Posted by By Enyeribe Ejiogu, Willy Eya, Agaptus Anaele, Paul Omo-Obadan and SEUN ADESIDA on 2008/08/17 | Views: 1208 |

Pay-as-you-eat


Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke has continued to receive fire with several respectable Nigerians lampooning her for inordinately using her privileged position to pursue what they described as a foolhardy endeavour.

* Don't spoil Obama's chances
...Nigerians warn Madam Stock Exchange

Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Prof. Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke has continued to receive fire with several respectable Nigerians lampooning her for inordinately using her privileged position to pursue what they described as a foolhardy endeavour.

The NSE boss had recently organized a high-end dinner at the Shell Hall of MUSON centre to raise funds for the Obama Campaign, where corporate bodies paid as much as N2.5 million for a Platinum Table and some individuals forked over N325,000 for a similar table.
At the end of the day, about $800,000 was reportedly raised for the project.

Reacting to this obtuse display of ignorance of the United States electoral system which forbids non-US citizens or individuals that are not US Green Card holders from contributing to the campaign funds of United States presidential candidates, legal luminary, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN) warned that activities such the fund-raising dinner could truncate the presidential ambition of the Democratic candidate, Senator Barack Obama.

More importantly, he said that seemingly overzealpous people should not inject racial sentiments into the on-going American presidential campaign.
He said the fund raising was uncalled for insisting that it was promoting racism and portraying Obama as representing only a narrow interest of the black minority in United States.
“What they are doing is to pitch Obama against the whites in the United states” Olanipekun said, adding, “ If Americans saw Obama as a black man, they could not have supported him during the presidential primaries and he would not have beaten a popular candidate like Mrs Hillary Clinton.”
In the opinion of Olanipekun organizers of the Obama fund-raising should deploy their excess energies to address the legion of problems in Nigeria rather than dissipate such valuable resource on a developed country like the United States.

He wondered how many expensive dinners these people had organized to raise funds for refurbishment of dilapidated primary and secondary schools or for provision of basic and vital medical equipment like the Non-pneumatic Anti-Shock Garment that preserves the life of a woman experiencing post-partum hemorrhage, thereby reducing maternal mortality.

Urging the federal government not support the fund-raising, he he drew attention to the antecedents of the organizers saying that they did similar a thing for the immediate past president, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, noting that their intentions were suspect and advised Obama to be careful in dealing with them.

Speaking in the the same vein, former Kaduna state governor, Alhaji Balarabe Musa, said the people who contributed to fund-raising had “plenty of unearned and loose money in the hands”.
He said that anybody who actually worked hard for his money would be careful in spending it arguing that Nigerians have enough problems to contend with instead of the American election.
Reacting similarly, President of Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria, (PSN) Mr. Tony Akhimien described the action as a misplacement of priority, pointing out that such effort could be concentrated in the generation of resources to aid other sectors of Nigeria’s economy.

“I must recognize that in this country we have misplacement of priority. At this time of our development, we must concentrate on those things that will boost our economy,” Akhimien said with disdain.
His professional colleague and former Chairman of PSN, Lagos State Chapter, Mr. Olumide Akintayo, equally warned that the act might jeopardize Obama’s chances at the pool.

He said: “I think we need to get a few things right. America is a sane society and when you begin such things, we might end up embarrassing Barrack Obama, because he can be accused of sponsoring his campaign from external facilities, which might become a cog in the wheel of his political machine.
“I think that Nigerians have a tendency to want to be associated with anything good, but this act might become a disservice to the smooth sail of Obama. I think that we have more areas of pressing need ,where such funds should be chanelled. Public infrastructure are not working.

With her advantaged position in the Stock Exchange, we believe that a person of Onyiuke’s status can help to raise funds and channel it to our rural communities to provide water, rural electrification and such things. Obama’s campaign should not be the priority of our national leaders at this point in time,” Akintayo declared.

Also commenting of the inglorious fund-raising dinner, National Coordinator of Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, who is currently undergoing treatment in the United Kingdom lambasted Prof. Okereke-Onyuike, declaring that she should be should be arrested by the EFCC, saying that by the very fact of organizing the fund-raising dinner, the NSE boss had insulted the sensibilities of people of the Niger Delta.

His words: “Obama doesn’t need our money to facilitate his entry into the White House. He has done that already and he has enough. Whatever Ndidi is doing is for her personal aggrandisement and pocket. What she is doing is not different from what she did during Obasanjo’s Third Term bid until everything collapsed. Because of her position and influence, she knows how to garner money from the private and public sectors to achieve her goal; I believe that her goal is not raise money Obama but something else. Bonny is close to her heritage and it was was leveled down. She should have raised money to rehabilitate the inhabitants if she was sincere.

Firebrand lawyer, Festus Keyamo, expressed grave doubt that the organizers of the fund-raising dinner had the consent of the Obama Campaign. He described the whole affair as a “sham and it is not right.”
And his comrade-in-arms, Mr. Femi Falana dismissed the affair as “totally illegal” emphasizing that in the United States, you don’t go raising for somebody without permission from the supposed beneficiary.
For a forensic accountant, Mr. Ori Adeyemo, simply sees Okereke-Onyiuke is a busy-body who is hunting rodents when her house is on fire.

According to him, “there are so many urgent issues in that capital market, that she ought to resolve and she is not resolving it, banks that came to the capital market to raise money, where are the share certificates, the sharp practices going on at the capital market what has she done about it.
“The Security and Exchange Commission would collect withholding tax on dividend and they won’t remit it to the state government or the federal government. There are other issues affecting the market especially now that the bears are on rampage, she should seat down and address this issues rather globetrotting in the name of campaigning for Obama…”

Similarly, Managing Director DATAPRO, a foremost rating agency in Nigeria, Mr. Abimbola Adeseyoju describes the venture as mere ego- tripping. “I think it’s just a charity organisation to support the electioneering campaign of Senator Barrack Obama, I see it as a personal thing; she is just trying to boost her ego. It has no benefit to the Nigerian people directly. If Obama wins, will he develop a special interest in Nigeria? Beyond this, I sympathise with her because we have to look at her own background, this is because she is more an American than a Nigerian.
But Mr. Don Okhuofu, Senior Manager PriceWaterHouse, sees it differently. Said he: “She is free to do what she is interested in and in this case Senator Barrack Obama happens to be her fancy, I don't know what is wrong with that.”

The same sentiment was shared by Mr. Ayo Adedipe, legal practitioner, who said, “In my own opinion, it is good to raise fund for Obama because he is symbolic for Africans. This is practically going to affect economic policy formulation towards Africa and the Third World nations. Nigeria as part of Africa would benefit more, if Obama emerge president of America, remember that the US president is like the world president.”

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.