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Corruption at the Nigerian Consulate Atlanta – A Victim’s Nightmarish Experience

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The Nigerian High Commission in Atlanta Georgia  has become a Cesspool of Corruption as some Nigerians who traveled to Atlanta from Houston for their Nigerian international passport-renewal walk out with horrible stories of bribery, extortion, and massive corruption. One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in, and this has become a routine.  Here’s is a victim’s nightmarish experience:

So we got to the Nigerian Consulate at exactly 9am this morning, the first thing my daughters said was why are there so many people lining up at the gate. My wife responded that; this is Nigeria, you are welcome (Even for me it was awkward too, the last time I saw a queue outside was at the clubs at night). The first thing I noticed from the last time I was there was the gate blocking the parking lots, I soon found out that we now have to pay $20.00 for parking (Supposedly charged by the owner of the next building to the Consulate). After parking, we wrote down our names, there were already almost 50 names written down, meaning several people had arrived at the Consulate hours before it opened at 9am, I can understand this as most of the visitors were from out of state.




A few minutes later a lady from the Consulate addressed the crowd from across the gate, telling everyone what to expect and helped answer some questions. Then they started calling the names (But not in the order that they were written down). I already told myself I wouldn’t get upset no matter what, because I had my family with me.

I thought we got everything we needed until my wife soon told me we did not have the $130.00 for each applicant and that our self-addressed envelope had no stamp, I was deflated. I was hoping we would just get there, go in, wait and do our bio and leave… Nah.

One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

I went to the business center in the next building and to my surprise, it was like Nigeria all over again. This guy does not only charge $20 for parking, he already bought several dozens of Money orders (130.00 each) and resale them for $140.00 each, I don’t blame him for that, that is business. However, I blame him for selling the USPS priority mail envelopes for $35.00 each… In case you don’t know, the USPS envelopes are free at the post office. So this guy go to the post office and pack stacks of free envelopes and he cannot sell them for $5.00 each but instead, he is selling a free United States property for $35.00, because he knows that the majority of the applicants travelled from out of state and most of them have to return the same day or the next with little to no time to waste. Nigerians!!!!! I am not sure that is not even a criminal offense… I am going to look into that though, so stay tuned.

 

One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

I walked out and I went to the nearest post office and bought my own Money Order, I already have some free envelopes and when I asked for stamps, the guy said they were sold out! I went to the second nearest post office, their stamps were sold out too!!! How can this happen in America! It cannot be a coincidence that the two nearest post offices to the Nigerian Consulate are out of stamps by 10am on a Tuesday. I have never heard of a US post office running out of stamps in all my life living in the US.

I had to log into my postal account to download a label and print at a UPS store.

Finally it was our turn, I presented our documents and money order, I asked the lady what should we addressed the MO’s to, and she said don’t worry, leave it blank. I was like WHAT?? She said yes leave it blank, she even wanted to take the money order without me detaching the stubs, to which I refused and stated that I can have her take the MO without me filling out the info, but I will need to keep the stubs as those are my receipts of purchase.

She agreed and added them to what she already had inside a large envelope filled with unsigned MO’s…

Questions;

Why must we always create a gap for corruption? Can we ever do anything without kickbacks? What kind of people are we, that take pride in making it’s own suffer? Is Nigerian government not paying these people? How is the government able to track how many MO’s are presented daily and who submitted which ones? Why can we not have applicants mail in their passports and schedule them for a bio appointment? Why do we always have to leave a loophole for corruption?

Though we are a Nation that have institutionalized corruption in every area of our lives, one would think that our culture of corruption will stop at the borders of Nigeria, but no. There are Embassies and Consulates of other African Nations across the world, we don’t see or hear so much issues with their citizens like that of Nigerians in diaspora. These people were appointed to look out for and protect our interests, but they turned around and are milking us dry, taking pride in being oppressors because someone nominated them for the position and they think they are bigger and better than their subjects. The whole bio process did not even take more than 15 minutes once you are called inside, but because of the many artificial roadblocks and challenges implemented to syphon money from applicants, it took us almost 6hrs.

I will not be surprised if the folks in the Consulate get some type of kickbacks from the parking fees charged by the business center beside them.

They wouldn’t even wipe down the finger printing machine after every use as directed by the CDC, subjecting everyone to potential Covid-19 infection.

Though this is something we all don’t like to talk about, like it is not our problem, as a Nigerian-American I am deeply concerned about issues like these. I strive daily to leave a better impression of myself as a Nigerian everywhere I go and with whomever I have any form of relationship with. To see the gatekeepers of Nigeria acting with such impunity in broad daylight is so disheartening.

What really is wrong with Nigeria?

By Foli Adewojo.

Texas Guardian News
  • One victim complained of how applicants were requested to bring a blank Money Order of $130 each by one Hannatu at the Gate before they can be allowed in

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Eléaye Proctor

    April 3, 2021 at 2:17 pm

    Why do Nigerians always call it @international passports”? I wasn’t aware passports were meant for local travel. The term passport denotes it is for international travel. Please, use correct language!

  2. Asinugo - EJIOGU. Chizo.

    April 4, 2021 at 4:11 pm

    VERY Sad indeed! How an we be proud of our nation when we are all corrupt? HON. ABIKE DABIRI Please step in and STOP THE ONGOING CORRUPTION AND RESTORE DIGNITY AT OUR CONSULATE. I DON’T SEE WHY Passports cannot be mailed to the embassy for renewal.

  3. AYO OJO

    April 4, 2021 at 4:26 pm

    We shouldn’t be tired reporting any untoward conduct of Nigerian public officer, as there is no other way to correct and shame these agents of disgrace.May be some of these processes be made automatic to shut out the miscreants. If we give up, the few evil may win. Keep the efforts.
    The offenders be sent back home without any option of acquittal

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Africa

Ethiopian Airlines consortium wins bid for new Nigeria airline

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A consortium led by Ethiopian Airlines is the preferred bidder for shares in new Nigerian airline Nigeria Air, the country’s aviation minister said on Friday.

The airline was one of President Muhammadu Buhari’s 2015 election campaign promises.

Ethiopian Airlines will own a 49% stake in the new airline, while the Nigerian Sovereign Fund will take 46% and the Nigerian federal government the remaining 5%.

Aviation minister Hadi Sirika told reporters that Buhari’s cabinet was expected to sign off on the shareholding plan in the next few weeks. Nigeria Air would have an initial capital of $300 million and plans to have 30 aircraft within four years, he said.

Nigeria Air will launch with service between the capital Abuja and Lagos, the commercial capital, and add other routes later.

“We are going to initially bring in six Boeing 737 aircraft and between third and fourth year the airline will be able to acquire up to 30 aircraft,” Sirika said.

“Nigeria Air is a limited liability company that will have no government intervention,” he added.

Nigeria has been seeking to set up a national carrier and develop its aviation infrastructure – currently seen as a barrier to economic growth – to create a hub for West Africa.

Africa’s most populous country’s previous national carrier, Nigeria Airways, was founded in 1958 and wholly owned by the government. It ceased to operate in 2003

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US senator urges Kenyan president to aid peaceful transition

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NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — A visiting U.S. senator says he has encouraged Kenya’s outgoing president to participate in a “peaceful transition of power” amid the latest election crisis in East Africa’s most stable democracy.

“I’ll let the president speak for himself, but that was certainly a hope I expressed today,” Sen. Chris Coons told The Associated Press after his meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday. He said they discussed ways in which Kenyatta can play a “constructive peacemaking role” after leaving office.

Kenyatta has remained publicly silent since the Aug. 9 vote, adding to the anxiety as Kenya again faces post-election uncertainty and a likely court challenge by the losing candidate, Raila Odinga. Coons, leading a congressional delegation on a five-country Africa visit, was in Kenya in part to meet the key parties and urge that calm continue.

Sen. Chris Coons, second right, leading a U.S. congressional delegation, is accompanied by his wife Annie Coons, right, and Rep Dave Joyce, left, as he speaks to patient David Oduor, center, at his home, after visiting the Tabitha Medical Clinic run by CFK Africa in the Kibera neighborhood of Nairobi, Kenya Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022. The delegation also met with current President Uhuru Kenyatta, Kenya’s new president-elect William Ruto, and opposition figure Raila Odinga who has said he will challenge his recent election loss in court. (AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Kenyatta had backed longtime rival and opposition leader Odinga in the close race against his own deputy president, William Ruto, who fell out bitterly with Kenyatta years ago. Ruto on Monday was declared the winner, but not before Kenya’s most peaceful election ever slid into chaos in the final moments.

The electoral commission split in two, each side accusing the other of trying to tinker with the results. It came as a shock to many Kenyans after an election widely seen as the country’s most transparent ever, with results from the more than 46,000 polling stations posted online.

Now Odinga almost certainly will challenge the results in Supreme Court. His campaign has seven days from Monday’s declaration to do so, and the court will have 14 days to rule. Odinga has urged supporters to remain patient instead of taking to the streets in a country with a history of sometimes deadly post-election violence.

After meeting with Kenyatta, Odinga and Ruto, Coons told the AP “I was encouraged that in all three meetings we heard a commitment to a call for calm and tranquility, to respect the legal processes established in the 2010 constitution.” He said the conversations were about the rule of law, the importance of free and fair elections and peaceful transitions.

“Obviously, the United States has had a very difficult experience with these issues for the past few years,” Coons said, referring to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol as former President Donald Trump tried to remain in power. “I said in all three meetings we have things to learn from Kenya.”

Kenyatta told Coons that Kenya would uphold “its position of a shining example of democracy in the continent by maintaining peace during this transition period,” according to a statement issued by the president’s office.

Coons said he did not come to Kenya seeking anything like the handshake that Kenyatta and Odinga, after prodding, famously shared to end months of crisis after the 2017 election, whose results were overturned by the Supreme Court over irregularities, a first in Africa. Odinga boycotted the fresh vote and declared himself the “people’s president,” bringing allegations of treason.

This time, with Kenyatta’s backing, the Odinga campaign felt he would win the presidency after a quarter-century of pursuing it.

Kenyatta is stepping down after two terms, itself a notable act in a region where longtime presidents like Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda have been accused of clinging to power through changes in term limits, manipulation of elections and crackdowns on dissenting voices.

The U.S. delegation is also visiting Rwanda, where human rights and violent tensions with neighboring Congo are almost certainly on the agenda following Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit there last week. Coons said he looks forward to visiting again with Kagame.

Kenyatta has played a leading role in efforts to calm the Rwanda-Congo tensions and in trying to mediate in neighboring Ethiopia’s deadly Tigray conflict, with support from the U.S. Coons did not say what kind of peacemaking role he hoped to see Kenyatta play after stepping down.

Ruto’s public comments this week have been on domestic matters, not foreign, but Coons said the president-elect made an “expression of concern and intent in trying to help lead to positive resolutions” in such regional crises.

Coons also has played a role in trying to calm the Ethiopia conflict. But he told the AP the delegation was not having a meeting with Ethiopia’s government or the Tigray forces while in Kenya.

Coons, a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and his delegation have already visited Cape Verde and Mozambique and will visit Tunisia as well.

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How thousands of freed Black Americans were relocated to West Africa

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In the 1800s, the American Colonization Society relocated thousands of freed Black Americans to West Africa. It led to the creation of Liberia.

  • The American Colonization Society’s mission was to relocate freed Black Americans to Africa.
  • Starting in 1820, thousands of Black emigrants were shipped to what would become Liberia.
  • The society’s segregationist ideology has a lasting impact on America and Liberia.

On December 21, 1816, a group of fifty white elites gathered in a Washington, D.C. hotel to discuss the future of freed Black Americans.

Following the American Revolution, the number of freed Black Americans had grown from 60,000 in 1790 to 300,000 by 1830. The American Colonization Society emerged as the solution, with the mission of shipping Black people to a colony in Africa.

African Americans depart for Liberia, 1896.

African Americans depart for Liberia, 1896. The American Colonization Society sent its last emigrants to Liberia in 1904.Digital Collections, The New York Public Library

The organization was the brainchild of the Reverend Robert Finley, a Presbyterian minister from New Jersey. The ACS’ early supporters included some of the nation’s most powerful and influential men, including Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, and Francis Scott Key, as well as slave-owning US presidents Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, and James Madison.

“Can there be a nobler cause than that which, while it proposes to rid our country of a useless and pernicious, if not a dangerous portion of our population, contemplates the spreading of the arts of civilized life?” Clay said in his opening address.

Membership certificate of Rev. Samuel Rose Ely, dated March 1840. The Society’s president Henry Clay’s signature is visible at the bottom right.Library of Virginia

Colonization, the state-sponsored emigration and resettlement of freed Black Americans outside America, was widely supported in the US for religious, economic, and social reasons. Even after its dissolution in 1964, the ACS has left a lasting legacy of segregationist sentiment in both America and abroad, according to historians.

“The establishment of the American Colonization Society was a watershed moment in American history,” Eric Burin, a history professor at the University of North Dakota, said. “What you have is a powerful white organization propounding a vision of America as a white person’s country, and African Americans responding with a resounding rebuttal that it’s their country, too.”

A ‘miserable mockery’

The ACS attracted a diverse crowd of white individuals, including slaveholders who saw colonization as a way to remove freed Blacks, whom they feared would cause chaos by helping their slaves escape or rebel.

Many white Americans also believed that African Americans were inferior, and should be relocated to a place where they could live in peace away from the shackles of slavery. Abraham Lincoln held this belief, which led him to support a plan to relocate 5,000 Black Americans to the Caribbean in the 1860s.

The ACS also had a religious mission of Christianizing Africa to “civilize” the continent, according to historian Marc Leepson.

The initial reactions of the Black American community and abolitionists were nuanced. Some activists, like James Fortein, immediately rejected the ACS, writing in 1817 that “we have no wish to separate from our present homes for any purpose whatever”.

But some other Black abolitionists were cautiously interested in the notion of an emigration program. Martin Delany, who was dismissed from Harvard Medical School after white students petitioned against the inclusion of Black students, claimed that even abolitionists would never accept Black Americans as equals, and so the solution lay in the emigration of all Black Americans.

“We are a nation within a nation,” Delany wrote. “We must go from among our oppressors.”

But even Delany ultimately condemned the ACS’s hallmark plan to send Black Americans to Liberia, decrying it as a “miserable mockery” of an independent republic.

It led to the creation of Liberia

As the ACS grew, it sought to create a colony in West Africa. On February 6, 1820, 86 freed Black Americans set sail to the continent.

Map of Liberia, 1850.

An 1850 map of Liberia. Pencil annotations were made to change the report to “by the American Colonization Society,” and to add place names.American Colonization Society/Library of Congress

The initial expedition — and the expeditions that followed — proved to be disastrous as disease and famine struck. Of the more than 4,500 emigrants who arrived in Liberia between 1820 and 1843, only 40% were alive by 1843.

But the ACS, backed by funding from state and federal governments, continued to send more freed Blacks. In 1821, the society purchased Cape Mesurado from the indigenous people — by threatening the use of force, according to some accounts.

The land surrounding Cape Montserrado would later be known as Liberia, “the free land.” Its capital was renamed Monrovia in honor of James Monroe, an ardent supporter of the ACS.

The settlers developed an Americo-Liberian society that was strongly influenced by their roots in the American South, according to Burin. Americo-Liberians wielded vast socioeconomic and political power over the indigenous people — which planted the seeds for the Liberian Civil War of 1989.

“The Americo-Liberians realized they could essentially exploit the indigenous people for labor,” Burin told Insider. But it was a way for indigenous people to gain access to resources and education as well.

A lasting legacy of segregationist sentiment

Though the ACS eventually dissolved in 1964 after continuous opposition from abolitionists and a lack of interest by free Black Americans, historians said it shaped — and continues to shape — the country’s discussions of race.

“One of the ACS’ lasting legacies was the underlying ideology that drove the colonization movement forward: that Black people really aren’t Americans, at least not in the way that white people are,” Burin said.

The sentiment manifested itself in policies like Jim Crow-era segregation, and still has a grip on some Americans to this day.

A photo of children in Liberia, taken during an ACS mission trip in 1900.American Colonization Society Collection/Library of Congress via Getty Images

The second legacy of the ACS is Liberia itself. In 1847, Liberians declared the country an independent nation, becoming the second Black republic in the Atlantic after Haiti.

“The ACS founded a country that has had a distinctive influence over debates of freedom, slavery, and race today,” Burin said.

♦ Culled from the Insider

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