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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

More Cameroon U-17 players fail age testing enforced by Eto’o

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Culled from the BBC

Cameroon’s Under-17s face a race against time to field a team for regional African Cup of Nations qualifiers after more players failed age tests ordered by Samuel Eto’o, president of the country’s governing body, Fecafoot.

The former Barcelona and Inter Milan striker’s insistence on using Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) screening saw the squad ravaged at their training camp in Mbankomo, on the outskirt of Yaounde.

Of the initial 30-member group, 21 failed the tests.

But BBC Sport Africa now understands Cameroon have suffered a fresh setback as 11 new players also failed tests on Tuesday, with coach Jean Pierre Fiala struggling to find replacements.

Cameroon host Congo, Chad, DR Congo and Central African Republic for the Central African Football Federations’ Union (UNIFFAC) qualifiers between 12 and 24 January, with two teams progressing to April’s Under-17 Nations Cup in Algeria.

A Fecafoot statement said Eto’o gave “strict instructions” for the actions to be taken “in order to put an end to the tampering with civil status records which have, in the past, tarnished the image of Cameroon football.

“Fecafoot urges all actors, in particular educators, to ensure that the ages by category are respected.”

The fight against age cheats

Many of Africa’s international successes in junior tournaments have been clouded by allegations of the use of over-age players.

Football’s world governing body Fifa introduced MRI scans at the 2009 Under-17 World Cup, which took place in Nigeria.

The MRI works by scanning the wrist to study how advanced the bone structure is

In 2017, Fecafoot blocked 14 players from taking part in the Under-17 Afcon in Gabon after they failed the tests.

Eto’o promised to take action to combat the long-running problem when he was elected Fecafoot president in December 2021 and Simon Lyonga, a journalist with Cameroon’s national broadcaster CRTV, says the decision to weed out age cheats has been applauded by the public.

“Here in Cameroon, people are by and large pleased that Fecafoot actually seem to be doing something to try to stop the cheating,” Lyonga told BBC Sport Africa.

“It is important for the country to give chances to players of the right age.”

Cameroon have twice been continental champions at Under-17 level, in 2003 and 2019.

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Prominent LGBTQ Activist Edwin Chiloba Found Dead in Metal Box

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Police in Kenya are investigating whether the LGBTQ rights activist and fashion designer Edwin Chiloba was murdered in a hate crime.

The decomposing body of Chiloba, who had spoken of being attacked in the past, was found in a metal box by the side of road near the town of Eldoret on Wednesday and identified a day later. A moto-taxi driver reported seeing the metal box being dumped by men in a car with no license plates, according to the BBC.

Chiloba has spoken out for gay rights in Kenya, where sex between men is illegal and punishable by 14 years’ prison time. The country’s LGBTQ community, largely suppressed, spoke out against the murder. “Words cannot even explain how we as a community are feeling right now,” the organization Galck+ posted on Twitter. “Another soul lost due to hate. You will be missed.”

Police have not revealed how Chiloba was murdered or how long his body had been in the box before the grim discovery. He last posted on his verified Instagram account on Dec. 29, when he wished his supporters happy holidays.

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OMG: At 34, Burkina’s new junta chief is world’s youngest leader

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Just two weeks ago, 34-year-old Ibrahim Traore was an unknown, even in his native Burkina Faso.

But in the space of a weekend, he catapulted himself from army captain to the world’s youngest leader — an ascent that has stoked hopes but also fears for a poor and chronically troubled country.

Traore, at the head of a core of disgruntled junior officers, ousted Lieutenant-Colonel Paul-Henri Sandaogo Damiba, who had seized power just in January.

The motive for the latest coup — as in January — was anger at failures to stem a seven-year jihadist insurgency that has claimed thousands of lives and driven nearly two million people from their homes.

A few days after the September 30 coup, Traore was declared president and “guarantor of national independence, territorial integrity… and continuity of the State.”

At that lofty moment, Traore became the world’s youngest leader, wresting the title from Chilean President Gabriel Boric, a whole two years older.

Ibrahim Traore: Burkina Faso's new leader is Africa's youngest at 34 years

And on Friday, a national forum made up of about 300 delegates named Traore interim president until elections are held in July 2024, two members of the ruling junta told AFP.

Traore’s previously unknown face is now plastered on portraits around the capital Ouagadougou.

His photo is even on sale in the main market, alongside portraits of Burkina’s revered radical leader Thomas Sankara, assassinated in 1987, and of Jesus.

– Military career –

Traore was born in Bondokuy, in western Burkina Faso, and studied geology in Ouagadougou before joining the army in 2010.

He graduated as an officer from the Georges Namonao Military School — a second-tier institution compared to the prestigious Kadiogo Military Academy (PMK) of which Damiba and others in the elite are alumni.

Traore emerged second in his class, a contemporary told AFP, describing him as “disciplined and brave.”

After graduation, he gained years of experience in the fight against the jihadists.

He served in the badly-hit north and centre of the country before heading to a posting in neighbouring Mali in 2018 in the UN’s MINUSMA peacekeeping mission.

He was appointed captain in 2020.

A former superior officer, speaking on condition of anonymity, recounted an incident that occurred in 2020 when the town of Barsalogho in central Burkina was on the verge of falling to the jihadists.

The highway into Barsalogho was believed to have been mined, so Traore led his men on a “commando trek” across the countryside, arriving in time to free the town, he said.

When Damiba took power in January, ousting elected president Roch Marc Christian Kabore, Traore became a member of the Patriotic Movement for Preservation and Restoration (MPSR), as the junta chose to call itself.

– Discontent –

In March, Damiba promoted Traore to head of artillery in the Kaya regiment in the centre of the country.

But it was a move that ironically would sow the seeds of Damiba’s own downfall.

The regiment became a cradle of discontent, and Traore, tasked by his colleagues with channelling their frustrations, made several trips to Ouagadougou to plead their case with Damiba.

Disillusionment at the response turned into anger, which appears to have crystallised into resolve to seize power after an attack on a convoy in northern Burkina last month that left 27 soldiers and 10 civilians dead.

“Captain Traore symbolises the exasperation of junior officers and the rank and file,” said security consultant Mahamoudou Savadogo.

The new president faces a daunting task in regaining the upper hand over the jihadist groups, some affiliated with Al-Qaeda and others with the Islamic State group. They have steadily gained ground since they launched their attacks from Mali in 2015.

Yet Traore has promised to do “within three months” what “should have been done in the past eight months,” making a direct criticism of his predecessor.

Savadogo warned that one soldier overthrowing another illustrates “the deteriorating state of the army, which hardly exists any more and which has just torn itself apart with this umpteenth coup d’etat”.

Traore’s takeover comes during a struggle for influence between France and Russia in French-speaking Africa, where former French colonies are increasingly turning to Moscow.

Demonstrators who rallied for him in Ouagadougou during the standoff with Damiba waved Russian flags and chanted anti-France slogans.

Traore seems — for now — to bring hope to many in a country sinking steadily in the quagmire.

“He embodies renewal, a generational renewal, a break with old practices,” said Monique Yeli Kam, who came to the national forum representing her party, the Movement for Burkina’s Renaissance, in order to “support and defend the vision of national unity”.

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