The author of this blog, Ibraheem Sanusi, is an alumnus of the 2018 Atlantic Dialogues Emerging Leaders program.
Over 84 million Nigerians are expected to participate in the upcoming general elections, the fifth election since the country returned to democratic rule in 1999. The Presidential and National Assembly as well as the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections scheduled for the 16th of February and the 2nd of March respectively, have attracted 23,316 candidates eyeing the 1,558 legislative seats and executive offices. By far, the spotlight is on the Presidential contest of 73 candidates as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Nigeria’s Electoral Management body. Nonetheless, based on Nigeria’s Federal System, keen Governorship contests will be expected in about 30 States across the country.
If you haven't read Part 1, click here.
Stand By For the Maintenance of Public Order
Michael Ryan, chairman of the Independent Film and TV Alliance considers Brexit “a major blow to the UK film and TV industry,” since European funds, between 2007 and 2015 nearly 145 million dollars, will not be available anymore. The Sadler’s Wells Theatre, a major classical dance house in London, received, over the past five years, about 550 000 dollars from Brussels, money used for collaborative projects that involve cross European relations, deplored Alistair Spalding, the artistic director—no more ! On January 25, the EU Medicines Agency, since 1995 in the capital, lowered the 28 EU flags, transferring its 900 employers to the Netherlands. The government has already identified several sites around the country that could be used for storage of huge amounts of food. In case of a no deal, which would mean the UK crashing out of the Union, citizens may be asked to change their eating habits to avoid food shortages. Tens of thousands of soldiers are to be called on standby to maintain public order.
In 1999, Hugo Chávez won the presidential elections in Venezuela with 56% of the votes, starting the historical period known as the “Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela”.
To read Part II of the blog, click here
“We Have No Eternal Allies”
Philip Alston was confronted with a special assignment. To write a report for the United Nations on poverty in the world’s fifth economic power in the world, a nation considered as a beacon of democracy, a Kingdom represented by a queen, not only adored by readers of glossy gossip magazines, but also by progressives and left wing intellectuals, even those who believe royalty is a waste of money, and their wealth a stark contrast to the unjust misery of its citizens. Elizabeth II is just part of our contemporary history and daily lives, a living painting, a touch of Monet, the intensity of Turner, 92 years old and still married to her Duke, who happened to reveal his age the other day, when his reflexes were obviously not on par with those of Formula One maestro, David Hamilton. The Royal driver, aged 97, crashed into another car, one woman injured, and the duke with some pain in the leg, reacted rather self-critical, “I am a fool, such as fool.” His Range Rover was replaced… One day later. 122,000 pounds certainly did not bother Philip, whose wife is probably the wealthiest Royal on earth, if we exclude the oil supplied Sultan of Brunei and the King of Saudi Arabia.
La conférence Atlantic Dialogues, organisée par le Policy Center for the New South (PCNS) à Marrakech, du 13 au 15 décembre 2018, a fait l’objet d’une couverture presse exceptionnelle, avec plus de 50 sujets traités au Maroc, en français et en arabe, ainsi qu’une dizaine de papiers à l’étranger.
“An Early Christmas Present to Our Adversaries”
“America retreats, chaos follows,” stated Mike Pompeo, Foreign Secretary of the United States, speaking in Egypt’s Cairo to a selected audience at the American university. “When we neglect our friends, resentment builds. And when we partner with enemies, they advance.” He knows, Pompeo was briefly in charge of the CIA. Less than twenty-four hours after the speech, including the line that “the age of self-inflicted American shame is over,” America’s troops started pulling out of Syria; in the middle of the night. Symbolism not intended (Wroughton & Masri, Reuters, 2019). Ten armored vehicles crossed the border towards Iraq, some trucks followed from a military base in Syria’s northeastern town of Rmelan. With the dust the vehicles hurled into the air, criticism followed towards Washington, praise reached the Oval Office, from Putin in Moscow, “Donald’s right,” and from another authoritarian leader in Ankara, who published his opinion in an article for the New York Times, Recep Tayyip Erdogan : “President Trump made the right call to withdraw from Syria.” Turkey, he reminded readers, has NATO’s second largest standing army, and “is the only country with the power and commitment to perform the task defeating the so called Islamic state and other terrorist groups in Syria.”
Un débat de haut niveau a porté sur le Brésil lors de la conférence internationale Atlantic Dialogues, organisée par Policy Center for the New South (PCNS), du 13 au 15 décembre 2018 à Marrakech. Lors de la session plénière intitulée “Brazil : What next ?”, les intervenants ont relativisé l’impact de l’élection du candidat populiste Jair Bolsonaro à la présidence du pays, le 28 octobre 2018.
Bénédicte Savoy, who documented her enthusiasm in Le Monde, was certainly biased —“they say that youth is the time of courage,” she wrote, because in two minutes and 35 seconds, on November 28th 2017, France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, swept aside several decades of official French museum policy. He did it publicly, in the crowded lecture theater of Ouagadougou University, in front of several hundred students, under the gaze of Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Kaboré, and the cameras of the news channel France 24. He did it in the name of youth, Madame Savoy insists (herself 46 years old, professor at the Collège de France, and chair of the department of modern art history at the Technical University in Berlin) since the president evoked youth seven times in his speech: “I am from a generation of the French people for whom the crimes of European colonialism are undeniable and make up part of our history.” In the next five years, Emmanuel Macron promised, “I want the conditions to be created for the temporary or permanent restitution of African patrimony to Africa.” In addition, the enthusiastic professor Bénédicte Savoy would have a role to play, faced with a historic challenge no one has ever dared before her. The time has come to write history, another chapter.