Readers' letters.


The tears of a crocodile

I read Baffour's Beefs "Crocodile Tears" (NA, Sept) with great interest but equally with disgust to note that Western countries continue to treat Africa in whichever way they want. What is still difficult to swallow is that African leaders continue to dance to the foreign tune unabated.

On a lighter note, you, like many others, miss something about the tears of a crocodile. You said, for instance, "Eat your heart out G8. Your new expression of concern is akin to a crocodile shedding tears for a gazelle it has just eaten". Many will understand this as: instead of displaying happiness after it has eaten a gazelle, the crocodile weeps deceptively.

No Sir! A research I did a few years ago revealed a mistake by the person who first used the crocodile tears expression.

The crocodile's throat is so tiny, but with a large mouth, it always overestimates what it can swallow. After forcefully swallowing something that was too large for its throat, it really must weep in pain. So "Crocodile Tears" are genuine!

May God bless you and your team for the good work you are doing for Africa.

Osman A. Sankoh

University of Heildeberg Medical School, Germany

We rather should prove them wrong

I enjoy reading your magazine regularly as my father has subscribed to it. My only negative comment would be in reference to Baffour's article "Crocodile Tears" (NA, Sept). He ends by saying: "We challenge you [the West] to prove us wrong." Well, I challenge Africans to prove them wrong.

So far, we have only demonstrated that we are very good at starting civil wars and mismanaging public funds, especially those given to us by the IMF and other such bodies. I can be more specific with accusations referring to Sierra Leone, DRCongo and Chuba Okadigbo of Nigeria.

I would like to see us Africans prove to the world that we are capable of governing ourselves in a civil manner, and bringing prosperity to the continent. We cannot always expect handouts by blaming our colonial past. Is the USA not a former British colony? Need I say more?

Lombe Kasonde

Ornex; France

Pini's problem

I have always been a great admirer of Pini Jason's bravery in his articles, especially during the notorious Abacha era. But his recent piece on Obasanjo (NA, Sept) is full of contradictions.

Pini is unhappy with Obasanjo's dealings with the stares of the former Eastern Region, the Senate, and especially the recent scandal that saw the Senate president, Dr Chuba Okadigbo, resigning his post.

Where the conflict lies is New African's own reporting of the Senate scandal in the same September issue (p9), which showed how Okadigbo had grossly abused his position. So what's Pini's problem?

Adekunle Ayanlaja

Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Nigeria: no commands, Sir!

After reading Pini Jason's article on Obasanjo (NA, Sept), all I could remember was the proverb: "The leopard can't change its spots."


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