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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2007, 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
Nigerian bloggers mount campaign
Umaru Yar'Adua's inauguration ceremony

As Umaru Yar'Adua is ushered in as president of Nigeria, the BBC News website looks at a campaign mounted by Nigerian bloggers to express their disappointment at recent political events and the April elections.

Solomonsydelle on Nigerian Curiosity called on the Nigerian blogosphere to make a statement about Yar'Adua's inauguration.

Nigerian President Umaru Yar'Adua
Vera Ikeji is impressed by Nigeria's first civilian handover of power

"My people, let us join together to show our rulers and leaders that we are watching, that they are accountable to the people and that we will not let them forget."

She drafted "The Nigerian Proclamation" to reflect Nigerians' "disappointment over the recent polls and expressing expectations in the future" and urged bloggers to post it on their blogs on the day of Mr Yar'Adua's inauguration.

Solomonsydelle went on to say that while the proclamation might not achieve immediate change "it gives us all an opportunity to 'do something' and not just watch from the sidelines".

The Nigeria Proclamation reads in part:

"In recent history, Nigerians have been overwhelmingly betrayed by those charged with addressing their needs. Instead of serving the people, public servants have served themselves to the detriment of the masses. The result is a nation lacking adequate infrastructure, organization and security.

"The ineffectiveness of Nigerian leaders indicates a lack of accountability to the constituents. Nigerians are no longer relevant to the leaders, thus, leaders do not feel responsible to them."

'One voice'

Several Nigerian bloggers took up Solomonsydelle's challenge.

Olawunmi - blog screen grab
A wise man once said that evil triumphs when good men do nothing
Olawunmi

One of them - Omodudu - describes himself as "an economist with Nigeria on the brain".

He praises Solomonsydelle's initiative as "a one of a kind opportunity for bloggers in the Nigerian blogspace to make a mark" and noted that blogs could one day become a voice for the Nigerian people.

"Let us speak with one voice. Let us make demands," Omodudu implored.

"A wise man once said that evil triumphs when good men do nothing," Olawunmi began a posting on his Silent Storms in an Ocean of One.

Blogging from the UK, Olawunmi confessed that his first reaction to the Nigerian Proclamation was one of scepticism, but he soon realised its value.

"It's not only to call for action, but to remind us (you and I), what is wrong, so that we can watch out for it in future and seize the opportunity to fight it any way we can," he wrote.

"What this statement, this manifesto, represents, is a call for people to be vigilant to their rights as a nation," he said.

"We will achieve nothing if we sit still, if we hang our chins on our shoulders and complain quietly, while our 'leaders' drag our country to hell in a hand-basket."

'Cheating referee'

Not all Nigerian bloggers are supportive of the campaign.

Commenting on Ugo's Nigerian Blogger in Cyprus , Donzman doubts the campaign will achieve much.

Chxta blog screen grab
Pardon my cynicism, but isn't it a little too late for this?
Chxta

"Pardon my cynicism, but if this rises to the top of Google search, then what? Google will evict Yar'Adua from Aso Rock with missiles painted in the different colours of the rainbow?," poses Donzman - a contributor to Lagos blog!.

"What exactly do you expect to achieve, for Yar'Adua to type 'Nigeria' into his Google search bar, see all the complaints and proceed to pack his bags?"

Chxta of Chxta's World , also commenting on Ugo's blog, suggested that the campaign was coming a bit late in the day.

"Pardon my cynicism, but isn't it a little too late for this? Where were we when the events that led us to this pass were occurring?" Chxta wondered.

"This kind of thing is a little like a football match in which the referee cheated. The best that would happen afterwards is that Fifa would acknowledge that the referee cheated (and maybe suspend the ref), but the result would still stand."

But some bloggers supported Mr Yar'Adua's victory and ascension to the presidency.

Vera Ikeji was elated about Mr Yar'Adua's inauguration.

"Yay!!!!," she exclaimed. "We have a new president.

Some idiots are planning to spend almost a billion naira to swear in an illegitimate government.
Thy Glory O Nigeria!

"The swearing in ceremony was done with all pomp and pageantry. There were some displays and stunts by the Nigerian Police Force." Although Thy Glory O Nigeria! took issue with the cost of the inauguration ceremony, which reports say will come to a some 820m naira ($6.2m).

"Some idiots are planning to spend almost a billion naira to swear in an illegitimate government. Wonders shall never end in Nigeria. This country is run by mad men. This country is obviously sick," Adeola Aderounmu wrote in a post titled "Nigerian leaders are fools!".

The blogger blames Nigerians for the conduct of politicians.

"One thing is sure, all Nigerians are to blame for this stupid acts played out by the useless leaders and politicians everyday. These politicians are just crazy, they are insane."

The post ends by suggesting that the time has come for Nigerians to take matters into their own hands.

"Nigeria needs nothing short of something similar to the Orange Revolution. The time is over-ripe."


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