CCUDD: Communication, Culture, Democracy & Development in Nigeria

Welcome! I created this blog to engage issues around communication and the media in Nigeria--which is my area of teaching and research specialty--especially as they relate to the intersecting issues of culture, democracy and development. My primary audience are students and scholars of communication and its intersection with culture, democracy and development. Here I publish my opinions about the Nigerian media, and occasionally report my research efforts and those of some of my graduate students. Occasionally, I will post the abstracts of their works--with their permission. I feature guest writers on this blog. The picture above is that of swanger dancers from among the Tiv people of Nigeria. Happy reading, and please leave your comments. --Ayobami Ojebode.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Part Four: Dutch Signs

My article on Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week is on Dutch signs. Here:

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Part Three: Dutch Endangered Species

My article on Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week is not on Dutch doctors or lunch. It's about something far more serious. Here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Part Two: Dutch Lunch

My article this week on Radio Netherlands Worldwide is on Dutch Lunch. Enjoy it here.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Back in Holland

Yes, I am back in Holland. Every Friday, for the next eight weeks or so, Radio Netherlands Worldwide will publish my short articles on their website. I write short pieces on my experiences in the Netherlands. Here is the first:

Monday, June 27, 2011

An Accident in the Waiting

A few days to the General Elections held in April 2011, a miracle happened all over Nigeria: there was remarkable increase in electricity supply everywhere including the villages. Many streets were hurriedly lit and there were lights in Ibadan on roads that end in the bush. Many roads were hurriedly patched. Garbage heaps were cleared regularly in Ibadan for almost one whole week. Elections have gone and life is back to (ab)normal. Darkness has returned to most parts, and many can’t find kerosene to buy. Was any voter by government’s hurried ‘window dressing’? I doubt it. Meanwhile, I spotted this electric pole a few kilometres outside Ibadan yesterday.This is a sure sign that the elections are over. This pole will have to wait till 2015 when another round of elections will hopefully hold. Or—it will get government attention if (I pray not) it electrocutes a few influential people. It's an accident in the waiting! But who cares?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Beer's Tower at Ibadan

If you went to Ibadan, you would know that the City of Brown Roofs is distinguished in many ways: the city spreads on and on and on with neither end nor pattern; the roofs are indeed red-brown with sparkles of other colours here and there. Also, you would notice that there is refuse everywhere you turn--as much refuse as you want. Pace-setter town, Ibadan houses the first Nigerian university, the first TV station in sub-Saharan Africa, a national museum, the national archives and many more.

But few tourists visit these landmark places. Why? Ibadan does not need a tourist centre because the entire town is one big tourist fascination. Many people visit Bower's Tower in Ibadan, a colonial legacy that allows you to see a huge part of Ibadan and then conclude that you haven't seen a quarter of it. My friend and I visited Bower's Tower recently and were unhappy with the sight (especially the stench and the refuse on the way to the Tower). Bent on impressing my friend, I took him to another Tower which I call Beer's Tower--salute to Nigerians' creativity!

How on earth do they get to the top of this?

Sunday, May 1, 2011


The just-concluded Nigeria general elections were described by many local and foreign observers as largely free, fair and credible. In the history of Nigeria, it comes second to the June 12, 1993 election which was annulled. But the April 2011 polls were not perfect. An area that interested me was the buying and selling of votes. Some purchases were made before the day of the election; some right as voters walked to their polling booths; others right on the grounds on the polling centre. Individual votes were sold; block votes were also sold—such monies being offered to community leaders who promise to ‘deliver’ their community. How much really was a vote worth?

A market woman in Saki, Oyo State: "They gave us N500 each (about $2). The first time, we got the money before we voted...and then we did not vote for them. This time, they showed us the money and said 'Go and vote for us first'".

A driver in Oyo, Oyo State: “They gave us N200 and said we must swear that Ogun [fiery god of iron] should kill us if we did not vote for them. I said because of only N200?”

A plumber in Ibadan: "PDP people gave N500 but ACN said they had no money but good plan for our future. We then took PDP money. I voted for ACCORD. My friends, I don't know whose they did, but we did not vote for PDP. But ACN too gave money, maybe N200".

A housewife in Eruwa, Oyo State: "They gave us coal pot [Worth about $3] and matches"

A female librarian in Ibadan, Oyo State: "They gave me gele" [Head tie, worth about $4]

A civil servant in Makurdi, Benue State: "PDP gave a module of rice, three cubes of maggi (seasoning)."

A retired driver in Igboora, Oyo State: “PDP brought 30 Bajaj to Igboora for ward leaders” [A Bajaj is a made-in-China motorcycle, worth about $700]

A university student in Ibadan: “They gave our Hall a flat-screen plasma TV set, a decoder. But people said you want us to fail exams; that’s why you’re bringing these now. Too late. We won’t vote for you

How much was a vote worth? It depended on who was buying the vote. PDP offered the highest in most places. This should not surprise anyone—PDP has unlimited access to state resources. It also depended on whose vote is being bought ... community rulers got much more money than ordinary citizens! Student leaders got more than students. Halls of residence got more than human beings! Well, Nigerians have become different—maybe wiser. They take the money from everyone and vote for the person of their choice. Some turned down the money. A student hall of residence refused the gifts outright.