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From the mail bag: Super Eagles and African Nations’ Cup, etc

Re:--Point of correction. The last African Nations’ Cup competition was jointly hosted by Equatorial Guinea & Gabon. It was not Equatorial Guinea and Congo, as you said in your article ‘’Super Eagles and Africa Nations’ Cup’’ of January 6, 2013.

Gracias, ABM.  Kano. 08068029323

Your piece on the Super Eagles’ preparation for the 2013 nations’ cup was too short, it glossed over a lot of issues concerning team selection and therefore of little value to millions of soccer aficionados in Nigeria. For instance, you urged the coach-Stephen Keshi to ignore those criticizing him for dumping old players like Obafemi Martin, Osaze Odewingwe, Taiwo and co, but having watched the matches played so far in preparation for the 2013 AFCON competition, the Super Eagles would be lucky if they survive the group stage, even though the only strong team there is Zambia.

Stephen Keshi is right to call the bluff of recalcitrant old players who refuse to pick his calls and would not return his calls. But those that did should be treated decently and fairly. Obafemi Martin and others went to Venezuela on their own, had no time to rest after a long journey and were still fielded. How does the coach expect top level performance from them? The rookies, (your word) he is carrying to South Africa cannot win anything. It is not late, he can still make amends.

Kefas Gogobiri , ABU Zaria.

You said that Stephen Keshi should ‘’carry on’’ with his relatively inexperience boys. Well, he is certainly going to come back home after the early qualifying rounds, and people like you egging him on would turn around to call for his head. Now, it is hurray, soon it will be crucify him and when that time comes, you will be singled out as one of those who told him he was on the right track. He does not have the strikers to bang in the goals, and that would be the undoing of the team. Keshi should forgive Osaze Odewingwe and include him.

John Tetteh Brown –Abuja

Re: The Goodluck Jonathan Chat

You were charitable to President Goodluck Jonathan in “The Goodluck Jonathan Chat”, November 25, 2012. Not only did his attempt at humour fall flat, he appeared not to be on top of his facts and at one point merely said he would cross-check the fact from one of his ministers, which all shows that not much preparation was done before such an important programme as the Presidential Chat show was beamed to Nigerians and the world at large.  As you correctly mentioned, the president also glossed over many issues including the highhandedness of the JTF in its campaign on the insurgency, by so doing missed telling Nigerians the effort of government on the issue and through it put his government’s point across to the people.

His short and uncoordinated manner in replying to questions revealed that the whole show was not taken seriously. I implore his people to prepare him well for subsequent shows and this should include getting him facts and figures on possible issues on which questions may be asked, that is if they are not submitted beforehand.

Suleiman Sadiq--    Minna.

RE-Media As Scapegoat

Re: --Sir, you made the point in “Media As Scapegoat” (December 9 & 16, 2012) that the government was unnecessarily blackmailing the media, particularly newspapers so as to turn them into lapdogs of government. Even though the whole piece, which was in two parts was based on comments made by the Minister of information, Mr. Labaran Maku and Baroness Lynder Chalker in London, I differ totally to the slant that the media was being blamed for government’s poor performance in attracting investors to Nigeria.

It is indisputable that the media over plays too much of the negative in Nigeria. Prominent newspaper pages are given to stories of corruption, violence, abductions, kidnappings, etc. so much so that very little space is given to the work government is doing. When a small skirmish between the Presidency and the National Assembly is blown out of proportion to give the impression that our democracy is dysfunctional, you surely do not expect people to keep quiet. The fact that not only Nigerians such as the minister of information, Labaran Maku, who because he had to do his job, must defend government come rain or shine, but other people, some of whom like Lynker Chalker are not even Nigerians see the media as too unduly critical of government means that the media needs to do some self assessment.

Your position that the government should do its job and let the media do its job is OK, but it is too self- righteous a position to take. I would rather the media and its practitioners recognize that on the other side—the government side, issues are not that clear cut and simple. In other words governance is not easy even for the most ambitious and well prepared for the job.

Ambrose Bekederema Anozie---Lagos

Media As Scapegoat captured the thoughts of many Nigerians that rather than addressing and solving the issue of government inability to deliver, this government would like to blame others. Yes, the challenges are daunting but the government was elected to solve them. Take corruption as an example, because of the lukewarm attitude of government in fighting it, no one thinks twice before helping himself to government fund illegally, This is because they know that even if they are caught they would  eventually be allowed to go scot free. If this is a lie then show me anyone put in to jail for embezzlement? In many countries embezzlers suffer terrible fate. They do not hide behind convoluted legalese that ultimately lets off the rogues, but they are named and shamed and locked away in jails for several years. Others suffer worse fate in being killed. Since in Nigeria the rogues walk away with their loot, why should anyone bother to work. My brother! For what it’s worth, the media should continue to highlight these lapses. Those that are not happy should do what is appropriate.

Tokunbo Oluwakemi Williams, Dr (Mrs.) Ikeja, Lagos

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