Author Topic: Lebanese eyes Senate seat  (Read 5276 times)

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NewEte

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Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« on: January 23, 2007, 08:39:28 PM »
It was reported by Daily Sun Newspaper - Thursday, January 18, 2007, that a certain Engr. Abbas Hajaig, a Lebanese native turned Nigerian by naturalization, has thrown his hat into the Nigeria's political arena. He wants to be a senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. As a matter of fact, he is PDP's senatorial candidate from Jigawa Central Senatorial District.

I am not sure what our constitution says about immigrants or Naturalized persons seeking elective offices. Apparently, the constitution gives such persons that right. Here's where I am not too thrilled about this Lebanese gentleman running such an office. Lebanese people's integration into our culture and life is quite limited and that is bny design. Lebanese feel very superior and often quite racist when dealing with Nigerians in Nigeria. They are so condescending towards local Nigerian and quite often have run ins with diasporan Nigerians who wouldn't for a second put up with their arrogance.

I had a run in last year on my visit to Lagos. I was driving cautiously down a street in Ikoyi. This was a residential neighborhood, and some of the residences on this street has kiosks outside the walls. One could see the owners of these kioks sitting close by with their kids. In America, driving by a neighborhood with pedestrians, one would instinctively go the speed limit of 10 or 15 mph, and that's what I did. Behind me however, was this insane vehicle speeding up to my bumper and totally disregarding the pedestrian around with his dangerous driving. He then began honking at me. So I stopped the vehicle and stepped out to confront him. The driver of this vehicle turned out to be a Lebanese. I explained to him that it was a residential community with kids around and as such I had to drive cautiosly. The arrogant fool began ranting and acting all dismissive. At one point, he asked me to leave his street and his community. At that point, I dealt him a slap he won't forget very soon. That shocked him and he sobered up for a minute. From that point on, his every effort was to escape as immediately as some street onlookers had started approaching and cursing him out. Apparently, the Lebanese man was known to be a nuisance and often treated the Nigerians there with disdain.

I have heard many stories from diasporian Nigerians that had run ins with Lebanese people back in Nigeria. A friend of mine from Cross River who now lives in Jacksonville, FL, used to play professional Basketball in Lebanon. At one point, he lost his mother in Nigeria, and had travelled back to Calabar for his mother's funeral. On his way back to Lebanon to resume his job, he was detained at MM international Airport in Lagos by Nigerian immigration and airport security. They could not tell him why they removed him from the line while he was preparing to check in. He asked repeatedly but no response was given. They eventually took him to an empty room and left him there. About an hour or so later, a Lebanese man walked into the room and introduced himself as a business man, and the man behind my buddy's detention. His
reason for having my buddy detained was so he could try and convince my buddy to agree to play for his own (the lebanese) clubside. Needless to say, my buddy missed his flight.

When I heard this story, I was hurt as if it had happened to me personally. Could a Nigerian have pulled off a stunt like that in Beirut airport? According to my buddy, there was never a day or time, that he left his small apartment in Lebanon to go grocery shopping without multiple people taunting him and calling him the "N" word so openly.

What concerns me is not just that this Lebanese plans on running for senate, but the question we ought to ask ourselves is how many Nigerians can run for elective office in Lebanon. How many Nigerians are allowed opportunities to succeed as Lebanese have succeeded in our country? Before we know it, Hezbollah will begin carving a niche for themselves in Nigeria too. Nigeria needs to be careful. This news isn't particularly welcoming to me.

Offline neozizo

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2007, 08:53:33 PM »
When i read the subject to this post the first thing that crossed my mind was "I hope he is refering to the beruit Parliament".
I dont know how accurate The Sun story is but i know Jigawa State is notorious for fielding Canditates that go to give like onces in a lifetime.

Offline Mai neman Ilimi har China

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2007, 09:57:12 PM »
Dear newete- Frankly, your take on this subject, considering what you feel for the North, reeks of hypocrisy.

You are quick to point out the shortcomings of our emergent democracy, within ourselves- ie 'ethnic nigerians', and sometimes advocate peace, but you cannot extend your tolerance to immigrant communities.

The lebanese, amongst many other types of Arab, have played or play a role in the building of our nation stae. to generalise so blatantly is a dis-service to those who have genuinely contrbuted to our economic growth as a nation.

Why is it hard to imagine that a person,who more than likely can speak Hausa better than you, and moreover, may have been born here, is entitled to share the same rights you posess as a citizen. You automatically ocncluded that he is naturalised or an immigrant. Its common knowledge that at least 50% of present day lebanese here are born,bred, and have integrated with our populace in Nigeria.

Far from being an apologist for any man I say that if a particular individual deserves that slap you mentioned then so be it! but my take on this is that we actually live in a democracy- even though far from perfect, that is beginning to transcend the boundaries of ethnicity. I did not hear any one ring alarm bells when an Ibo councillor was elected in Sokoto. Another perfect case study is the UK, in London alone, there are as many as 25 Nigerian born councillors, apart from a myriad of senior government officials you don't hear about everyday. I dont hear any 'whiteman' crying foul! Actually, they celebrate the fact that their migrant community gives colour and a new lease of life to the economy and Capital!

Forget about what occurs in Beirut, your Constitution is not the same as theirs. if theirs does not allow it, or if they cannot show magnanimity or civility to black immigrants, then they have a problem. it's not for you to copy foul behaviour, perhaps this will be newsworthy enough for them to change laws in their land if this person wins, who knows?

The real question you need to ask yourself here is when the ordinary populace in this man's ward will be able to recover sufficiently from the trauma of the thievery of 'ethnic nigerian' politicians, so much so that they will trust one enough to make him their elected representative?

On a final note, you need to type in a search for the word HizbAllah (Party of God), and read before you make senseless remarks like your closing sentence. It's a political party which has been a key player in the middle east long before, im sure you were born. ( your perception , i take it, is that it's a terrorist organisation) . Hizbollah have been very influential in providing an enormous amount of social services to people who, otherwise, would have been left without for the past 30 years or more. Moreover what you label 'terrorist' today, as a backlash of perceptions played on by the western media, has been there since yesterday, and were very much considered an integral  part of the lives of ordinary folk. Dont forget that one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter. This party have not been responsible for any extrajudicial killings outside lebanon and israel ( israel because they occupy a huge swathe of their country, in the name of 'national security')- they do not pursue that which is not linked to their cardinal goal of a homeland free from external influences.( a worthy fight which you would take up were it to happen to Nigeria tomorrow). And I am sure a worthy party to vote for in the right circumstances. Whilst I say this,I do not condone violence in the name of religion, or God by any man. My Islam will always preach peace and tolerance.

So New ete- examine your utterances carefully before penning them, your purpose should be to educate, and question with intellect.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2007, 11:01:55 PM by Mai neman Ilimi har China »

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2007, 10:51:00 PM »
There are huge Nigerian immigrant populations in many countries now. In UK most Nigerians are in the London area. Very many of them have UK citizenship and they have all the rights of UK citizens. Some of them are good people. Some of them are bad people. Most of them are ordinary people like anybody else.
The first post on this topic is racist.
In my time in Nigeria I met a lot of rude and ignorant Lebanese who had made lots of money and it had gone to their heads and they thought they could do as they liked. Maybe they copied the example of Nigerian "big men".
I met many more nice, decent, hardworking Lebanese.
Being nice and decent or being unpleasant and objectionable is not determined by race or nationality.
maigemu

NewEte

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2007, 12:46:25 AM »
Dave, you missed my point totally. I do not withdraw my statement about Lebanese being condescending towards Nigerians in Nigeria and in Lebanon. This reality should not be overlooked. If you want to preach fairness, you should preach same to the Lebanese folks that disrespect us on our soil, but remain there and prosper.

What I am saying is this, if we are to allow other immigrant persons into our polity where they are free enough to seek elective offices and prosper, we need to make sure that our citizens are accorded similar opportunities. This makes the situation balanced. Where am I am wrong? In regards to the Nigerian council men in the UK that you mentioned, listen Dave, the UK has profitted off Nigeria for centuries if you will. It is only proper that some Nigerian natives turned British citizens enjoy some success in England. If we want to measure who had profitted more from who, the disparity in such a comparison would be as wide as the atlantic ocean.  Given the long history of England and Nigeria, how many Nigerians are in the House of Lords?

Again, if Lebanese immigrants seek elective offices in our society, especially our senate, Nigerians in Lebanon had better be able to seek similar offices too. If their constitution does not allow for such rise for an immigrant, then we should amend ours to prevent immigrants from certain countries as well.
Some EU countries have changed their immigration laws recently so that if immigrant couples have kids in these countries, it is no longer automatic that the newly borns are citizens. This is happening in Europe right now. Why are they passing these immigration laws? To keep people out. They passed these laws and are not bothering to explain crap to anyone.

Why shouldn't we protect our national identity and reform our own immigration laws? The EU says they are doing the right thing, the US says tightening up their borders and reforming immigration laws is the common sense thing to do. We ought to do the same. If you disagree, sorry, but what my views are no different or worse than what obtains in Europe, America, and especially the Middle east.

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2007, 01:59:04 AM »
I do not miss your point at all, though I understand very well why there is deep dislike of some Lebanese people in Nigeria. I have seen some behave disgracefully and exploit Nigeria. But not all of them and not only Lebanese. My main point stands. People should be judged individually and not by their race, colour or religion. If a Lebanese man has taken Nigerian citizenship his interest lies in Nigeria doing well and he is entitled to stand for election in Nigeria. He may have a lot to offer and I knew many Lebanese in the North of Nigeria who did many good things in Nigeria.
We have several persons of recent African origin in the British Parliament
maigemu

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2007, 02:05:19 AM »
Baroness Scotland is in the House of lords I should have pointed out and she's of Nigerian descent.
I should also point out that for very many years it has been difficult for people like myself to get entry into Nigeria and most African countries except on a work permit and almost impossible to be allowed to live permanently in most African countries so it works both ways
maigemu

Offline HUSNAA

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2007, 06:30:24 AM »
For once I agree almost totally with Ete (except for the Hezbollah parting shot). What he said has nothing to do with racism on his part. If there were any racism involved, look for it from the Lebanese side. Time and again, I have had run ins with Lebanese in Kano and they are very arrogant. I certainly would never condone a Lebanese in the Nigerian senate or house of reps. It doesnt matter that some are nice and some are not; the not so nice are more than the nice... I'd love to say more but no time. Later maybe. One thing though, Dave, yr argument concerning the integration of blacks into the British political system should not be used as an example either to say that we should allow the same for Lebanese especially. How many black ppl live in Britain today and how many Lebanese live in Nigeria today? Certainly the population of blacks in Britain deserve  parliamentary representatives, considering their numbers. Also the blacks never arrogantly considered themselves superior to the whites at any time like the Lebanese treat Nigerians on their own soil. The fact that the Lebanese naturalize as Nigerian is not out of any patriotic love for the country. It is because Nigeria has favored them economically that is all. I would rather vote in a Nigerian from any part of the country to go to the senate and forget about me than vote a Lebanese in and do the same thing to me. It hurts more.
Ghafurallahi lana wa lakum

Offline Dan-Borno

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2007, 01:21:14 PM »
Ete, Dave, Husna, Mai neman Ilmi har Sin and Neozizo, thank you very much for your various contributions on this very important political post.

I am a politician at my own end, what I want to draw the attention of my friends in this forum is that politics in Nigeria is not so riped as to start thinking this was (screening of candidates based on .....whatever !!! whatever....).  As for the law to protect the people, poor Nigerian Constitution, it lacks a lot.

Let me narrate to you how the common man understands politics in Nigeria:  An average Nigerian, understand politics as a mean of livelihhod, except and only you have the means, you cant join the race. So it is a business for only those who have money.

The ordinary man doesnt know that A member of the House of Assembly, House of Representative or a Senator is supposed to be representing him.  All the ordinary man wants when you go for campaign is how much are you going to give him to vote for you.  He doesnt care about your long grammers while on campaign.  the amount of money you give matters.

So in this type of society, as long as the Lebenese in question has satisfied the above provisions, i bet you he is going to be sworn in as a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come 2007.

I am not in support of a Lebenese, i worked as a Personal Assistant to a Lebanese lady in Abuja and I verily knew what a lebenese is!

So, when we talk of politics, we should try and define politics in Nigerian perspective, please.
"My mama always used to tell me: 'If you can't find somethin' to live for, you best find somethin' to die for" - Tupak

NewEte

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2007, 03:12:41 PM »
There, husnaa said it all. I couldn't have said it better. Thanks Husnna, we are finally in agreement. I must drink to this great occassion.
I wonder why Dave deliberately chooses to misunderstand my point. Let's be honest here, who has gained more from who? I have heard first hand stories of the plight of Nigerian residents in Lebanon, and it aint flattering Dave. Nigerians in Lebanon are not accorded any respect by the Lebanese public. They are denied opportunities, but the same cannot be said of Lebanese that reside in Nigeria. Like Husnna pointed out, Nigeria has favored Lebanese people economically, and this is why they are there and this is why some choose to Naturalize. I doubt that their residency in Nigeria is borne out of love for Nigeria. If that were the case, they'll have a lot more respect for Nigerians in Nigeria and in their country as well.

What I've said is only fair. If immigrants from a particular country find opportunities to succeed in our country without restrictions, then similar opportunities ought to be available for Nigerians in their own nation as well. It shouldn't be one sided as it is in the Nigeria/Lebanese case.

The other thing I want to point out is that Baroness Scotland, aka Patricia Janet Scotland, is of Caribbbean decent from Dominica. She was born in Dominica and later migrated to the UK where she attended college and moved on into parliament. She's even a member of the the bar in Antigua and Dominica. Where is the Nigerian connection here Dave? I have gone through her biography, and there is no mention of Nigeria anywhere. Please shed more light here Dave because your assertion is inaccurate.

Offline lionger

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2007, 04:21:06 PM »
Quote
At that point, I dealt him a slap he won't forget very soon.
Wow Ete, you really are a character!  ;D ;D

Offline Dave_McEwan_Hill

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #11 on: January 24, 2007, 07:42:03 PM »
That's it decided then. Husnaa has spoken. All Lebanese are bad people. Even though they are mostly Moslem.

Let me get this right.
A person can apply for Nigerian citizenship, can become a Nigerian national but will be denied his or her democratric rights. Doesn't sound right to me.
Just as well we don't do things like this here  or my Nigerian daughter-in-law or grand-dughter (who is thinking of going into politics) wouldn't be able to vote etc though they are both now British nationals.
maigemu

NewEte

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2007, 07:47:33 PM »
Shhhh!! shhh!! Dave, Dave, don't worry, don't worry. we can work something out.. ;D

Offline alkanawi

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Re: Lebanese eyes Senate seat
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2007, 08:01:59 PM »
hi guys
Ete why did you slap the poor guy isnt that a case of taking the law into your hands,or disproportionate force if u like? i thought that being over here for a while would tame some of our exuberance.
Anyway i feel this guy should be left with the electorate after all they are the final deciders.In so far as we claim to want democracy, we can not throw away an intrinsic part of the democratic ethos,namely rule of law and constitutionality.
"corgito ergo sum"

 


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