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LIVE in Abuja

Rabiya Parekh | 17:59 UK time, Monday, 14 May 2007

We're off air now..Read on for a selection of the hundreds of comments that came in to the programme on the first day of our tour around Africa.

It's the start of the WHYS tour of Africa and we're kicking off in Abuja, Nigeria. If you want to send us your thoughts you can still email us direct.

And already you have been sending us your emails telling us what you would like to talk to our audience about.

Maxwell In Ughelli, Delta State, Nigeria says..

Welcome to Nigeria! I want you to talk about the plight of the Nigerian graduate. Government officials and employers are saying that the average Nigerian graduate is "underbaked" and not fit enough to secure employment. This is a stigma that is affecting the average Nigerian Graduate in getting employment.

Well, keep sending in your emails, I'll be live blogging tonight and will post them all up here.

As well as Abuja, we also have guests in our studio in Lagos. Steven there wants to talk about the traffic and security situation in Lagos.

People have travelled far and wide to be with us at the British Council Offices in Abuja today, a few guests have been telling us about their treacherous journey, we really appreciate it! It's taken some of you up to ten hours to get to the programme. Kingsley left his home at 6am this morning and get two buses to be with us, leaving his ten day old baby at home with his wife who he says is very happy he made it over!

Ros asked what Abuja was like, Alvin told us how beautiful it was. We were told that Abuja is the Washington of Africa, clean, serene and well developed. But Jude said the beauty of Abuja fades when you become a resident because it is very expensive.

Many of you wanted to talk about the elections in Nigeria that were held in April. Nick said that this election, regardless of whether it was perfect or not, it was part of the solution for Nigeria. But not everyone agrees.

One guest said the elections were a charade. David Anyahele in our Lagos studio fiercely contested the electoral process saying that eligible people simply didn’t get the chance to vote.

Michael in Accra, Ghana has sent us this email:

I’m dismayed by some people who deride the opposition in Nigeria for not uniting to defeat the ruling party. Let me use this medium to tell them that due to the tribal, cultural and geographical nature of Nigeria. The major concern of Nigerians is not to gang up against a ruling party, by adopting a two-party formula. Rather, they desire to see a multi-party system where many parties should win elections according to their strengths, in different local councils and states across the country. This was exactly what Nigerians enjoyed in 1979.........84. Where our legislative houses were composed of different parties. Unlike today when the PDP is controlling their so-called 90% members of both houses. Let the whole world know that it was a pre-conceived agenda of President Obasanjo on assumption of office from day one. To perpetuate himself, that was the reason why he used all the instruments of Government, including the army, police etc to rig the election. He did it previously, and he has done it again.

Of course you can also text us your thoughts, as Joel has done:

Those calling for the cancellation of the elections shd know this cannot be done arbitrarily, there are laid down legal procedures.

And this from from Joe in Abeokuta:

The leadership of the ruling Party PDP are a bunch of crimimals. There was no election in Nigeria. We are no fools !

And Peter in Lagos says:

It's important that we tell ourselves the truth. Obasanjo has achieved some milestones in Nigeria. Banking consolidation, Real pension reforms, Debt clearing etc. However, given the resources at his disposal, the high oil prices since he has been in office, The goodwill from the international community, the cream of Nigerians that are professionals in all Facets of human endeavour who are willing to come and join in the nation building. What he has done most of the time is play politics, and witch-hunt people who do not agree with him(especially on the third term issue) There was minimal elections, but I think we should move ahead, and give Umaru a chance, afterall,He is the first really educated man to be the executive Head of Nigeria.

Kingsley from the Niger Delta told us that although money was being poured in to Abuja, it had to be evenly distributed. For example in the Niger Delta he said people were suffering. He told us that it was filthy, life is hard and pollution is choking the livelihoods of farmers and fishermen.

If you live in the Niger Delta, do text us and tell us what it's like.

Fredrika in Berlin, Germany has called in and wants to know what life is like for gays and lesbians in Abuja. Saffiya in the audience said the whole notion is a foreign concept in Nigeria, because it's not openly discussed. Epiye wanted to say that homosexuality should never be legalised in Nigeria. In response Fredrika thanked the audience for their openness, but was very sad to hear such opposition to homosexuality and the lack of understanding.

Peter Odoma from Liberia has just texted this in:

The problem of Niger Delta can best be resolved by dialogue than the present crisis of kidnapping and blowing up oil pipe lines.

And Lillian in Nairobi

Two things in africa will never work,Democracy and homosexuality.Stay in the closet if you dont want to be shuned or move to where its accepted.

Turi says

Niger Delta states should be among the best state in the country but we can't see it because all the money they got from the states have been taken to Abuja.


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