Sunday, January 3, 2010



Good news. We made it into 2010. What a glorious year it would be. Yeah! I’m sure you might still be getting all those lovely “Happy New Year” text messages from friends and loved ones, not to mention the New Year gifts and hampers too.

Well, you didn’t expect this New Year gift from the Americans, did you? Exactly. But the US government has decided to give a surprise New Year gift to Nigerians all over the world.

It doesn’t end there. The new US ‘bumper security package’ was also extended to six other countries; Cuba, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Sudan and, oh, Yemen; Umar Farouk Abdullmutallab’s ‘surrogate’ country’.

Reports have it that the US has tightened security procedures for airline passengers travelling into the country, with particular attention to those arriving from seven other nations. These ‘nations’ in quote are Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, and wait for this; Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria - these four countries are on US lists as "state sponsors of terrorism"

The TSA said the new rules, which have been issued to all airlines with flights into the US, included "long-term, sustainable security measures".
It has issued an order that: "... every individual flying into the US from anywhere in the world travelling from or through nations that are state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest will be required to go through enhanced screening.
"The directive also increases the use of enhanced screening technologies and mandates threat-based and random screening for passengers on US bound international flights."
In the UK, airports operator BAA has announced plans to introduce the controversial full-body scanners at Heathrow "as soon as is practical".

The new measures are being brought in after a (suspected) Nigerian, Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab allegedly tried to blow up a plane while he was on board a flight to Detroit on Christmas Day.

One man’s action does make a difference. Don’t you think?

The new security measures also mean that all air passengers bound for the United States of America from foreign countries will still face increased random screening under the new rules, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) confirmed. But anyone travelling from Nigeria, Yemen, Pakistan, Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria will be subjected to extra checks. They will all be patted down and have their hand luggage searched as part of the new procedures.

Preferential treatment, you might say. So much for the rebranding slogan “Nigeria: Good People, Great Nation”. As a result of Abdulmutallab’s failed bomb attempt in Detroit, maybe the US could now interpret it as, “Nigeria: Good People, one terrorist, but still a Great Nation...hmmn.

So much about Abdulmutallab. Nigeria still remains a country full of Good People. Okay, okay. It now is the 'supposed country' of one terror suspect (thought they said his mother has Yemeni origins?!), But we still have tons of good people, and yes, Nigeria is a great nation. Case closed.

But, one man’s action does make a difference.

It means that, Nigerians everywhere can rise above the Abdulmutallab issue and show to the world that, despite all the negative issues - 419, corruption, fuel crises - and now the Abdullmutallab’s case, Nigeria is still full of good people, with a zillion good deeds for every one ‘Abdullmutallab’ action. Nigeria is also blessed with great talents and potentials, and, yes, is still a great nation; one of the greatest nations on earth. No kidding. Even the full body scanners would detect that.

God bless Nigeria.

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