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I first heard the name ASUU in 2003, when I was in JSS3. I had no idea what it meant, but I knew it was a terrible thing that kept many of my seniors at home for 6 months. I was yet to understand the concept of strikes (I thought strikes were a violent response).

Anyway, I later got to know that just like the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) and Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), the University lecturers had their own union, the Academic Staff Union of Universities. And I was a victim of ASUU strikes. I lost about a whole year of my academic sojourn in the University, to incessant ASUU action.

The reasons were many- poor infrastructure, poor salary structures, and the ever-present Unilorin 49, a group of lecturers (from the University of Ilorin) fired for participating in the strike actions of the early 2000s. We knew the matter was pending in court, and found it a bit absurd that lecturers were refusing to teach because of their colleagues that were already dead (or re-employed in other universities). Solidarity forever! But we couldn’t understand why lecturers were striking despite the fact that University of Ilorin did not embark on strike actions anymore (allegedly choosing to pay a fine instead).

After a few years it became obvious to me that the ASUU was not in any way representing the interest of students. These lecturers take lectures once a week- usually a maximum of 2 lectures in a week. And they barely show up for these lectures- coming late and leaving early. The books from which they teach students are as old as Biafra itself. They pile assignments and papers on students with impossible deadlines; and grade students using very mysterious criteria that hardly has anything to do with academic excellence (perhaps they grade depending on the mood of the resident madman on the street). These lecturers bleed students dry by selling handouts, taking outright bribes and consulting female students in hotel rooms.

I went through university with sadistic lecturers who would cheerily tell you that everyone would fail. They would boast of their exploits frustrating brilliant students. We were boldly told “nobody will EVER graduate from this faculty with a first class. your seniors who were more serious tried and failed so don’t even bother”. We had one or two “exceptional” students that were making constant CGPAs of 4.6- suddenly there was a blackout (we did not receive any results for 4 straight semesters). All of a sudden, almost everyone had taken a blow- many students who rightly would have graduated with a second-class upper ended up with CGPAs of 3.33. That  student with 4.6 became 4.27 and he was the best graduating student!

Whenever private universities graduate students with a high number of first class, and second-class upper division scores, our lecturers ridicule them as though they are of a weaker academic standard. They turn the lecture lecterns into pulpits and abuse the government, the private schools and students who they feel are underperforming. You see hardworking, intelligent students whose academic performances belie their abilities! And the common excuse is that “you can’t have students passing too much”. If a student has done what is required of him, why hold back the marks? If the student has not learnt then the teacher has NOT done his work. If majority of students fail a course then there is a serious problem with the teacher!

asuu

Then I wonder- in whose interests are the strikes? These lecturers are PAID during strikes, for work they are not doing. They do not even deserve the pay they already have (when you consider the amount of work they put into the job), not to talk of increased salary rates. Why does the university professor want to earn the same thing as a senator? What has he invented? How has he extended the bounds of knowledge? What is the quality of the students he has mentored?

I am of the opinion now that these lecturers are fighting for nothing other than their bellies. During strikes these lecturers delve into their private businesses and make extra morning without the hassle of speaking to students in admittedly overcrowded classrooms. Those who are lawyers go back to active practice; the engineers supervise construction jobs and so on. One has to wonder whether these strikes are not contrived to give them opportunities for making money! If you look at it, ASUU’s main demand is salary increment (they have curiously made an implied abandonment of other claims).

Today I heard on the radio when Nasir Fagge, ASUU president said the lecturers are still on strike because the STUDENTS contacted them and told them to continue with the strike until the Federal Government implements their demands. That is quite asinine to me- seeing that the student body NANS is quite different from the ACADEMIC STAFF Union! The Students can never dictate what the lecturers should do! these students are tired of their lecturers and will gladly keep them away as long as possible! ASUU1 Members_of_the_Academic_Staff_Union_of_Universities__Lagos_State_University_branch__during_the_protest_186675731

It is one of their demands that their arrears should be paid: with that I have no quarrell, money well earned should be paid indeed. But I have lost sympathy with the lecturers, and I advocate that if their demands for salary increment must be met, then quantum meruit must be employed. Lecturers should be paid based on the number of hours they put into work, the number and quality of original research they produce, the quality of final-year students in their faculties, and boldly enough- the academic success rate in the courses they teach.

My apologies to the shrinking minority of exceptional lecturers who unfortunately I’m tarring with the same brush I used on the rest of their colleagues.

But If I were President, it’d be no-work-no-pay.

 

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My Apologies to my comrades who are still in the struggle. May our children never hear of ASUU strikes beyond history textbooks. And my apologies to those who feel I should have dwelled on other aspects of this struggle. This story must be told from all sides!

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#ChildNotbride
If you’re young, and you have a twitter account (or your friend has one), then you must have seen the media outcry against the National Assembly. I was constantly badgered by video links to Stella Damascus talking about the proposed constitutional amendment to Section 29(4). When I watched that video, I pouted at some very poor acting. Stella Damascus was raving against the demonic, perverted desires of Senator Ahmed Yerima who famously married a 13 year old Egyptian Bride; and who allegedly is championing a bill to legalise marriage to minors.

The nationwide (and international) response is a telling verdict on knee-jerk reactions we face all over the world. When something holds a little promise of fame, people latch on to it and spin off all manner of things- merchandise included. Sometimes the crowds that follow get out of hand, become violent and cause far more havoc than must have been originally envisaged. If you remember when there were scores of church burnings and killings in Northern Nigeria when Isioma Daniels, a ThisDay Reporter said that prophet Muhammad (PBUH) may have supported the Miss World Pageant being held, and even pick a wife from among them. If that was too close to home, when a Danish cartoonist depicted Muhammad as a middle-eastern terrorist with a bomb for a turban- people went on rampage in Northern Nigeria for something that was written in a language THEY don’t even understand.

And the issue at hand: that Nigerian lawmakers are attempting to legalise child marriages. This is because the “new” law would say that anyone who is married will be considered an adult. The reactions say that the propounders of that law are evil men with perverted fantasies who want to legalise their kinky desires. People who want to destroy the innocence of little girls. People who want to give the girl child a penis instead of a pen.

You know me well- before I start I will ask questions.
How many people are aware of the recent constitution amendment exercise?
How many people were in the national assembly when the lawmakers deliberated on the matter?
How many people actually read the bill?
How many people verified the contents and true import of the alleged new law before taking to the social media?
How many people would actually give their daughters out before “the right time”?

How many people would have protested if the drinking, driving and voting age were reduced to 16?

The supposedly new legislation is an amendment of section 29(4) of the 1999 Constitution. That section talks about renouncing citizenship of Nigeria. It means that you’re free to renounce your citizenship of Nigeria if you’re up to 18 years of age. It goes on to say that “for the purposes of this section”, a woman who is not up to 18 but is married, will be taken to be an adult.

And people just bared their teeth and displayed their ignorance of the law in this regard. People actually disturbed me with bbm messages and hashtags over what they did not read. I’m sure their motives were noble but still their instant response leaves a lot of fears in my heart.

What’s the difference between the celebrity who posts an angry video insulting senators and the president’s wife…and a trigger-happy policeman that shoots bus drivers over 20 naira? What’s the difference between the educated folks who signed the petition without understanding it…and the rabid mob that burned the ALUU 4 for allegedly stealing a mobile phone? They’re all one and the same- everyone who signed that petition, tweeted, broadcasted and/or sent the text message around.

Who are we to judge? Stella Damascus has a grouse with Ahmed Yerima for marrying a 13-year old- she calls him a sick pervert. And she berates him for attempting to enslave the whole country to his personal ideology. I ask again- did Stella Damascus read the constitution? Did she read the proposed “new” law? Somebody told her/she read it somewhere and she believed. And she got a high-definition video camera, and ranted for minutes. I saw the cuts- that shooting should have taken at least 30 minutes.

It will interest Mrs Stella to know that the cultural differences between northern Nigeria and the southern part are more than just dressing differences and accents. The food, the dance, the music, the names, the marriage customs are unmistakably different. And if Igbo and Delta ladies want to marry at 40, is that REALLY anyone’s concern?

Stella had to personalise the drama by asking what was wrong with mature ladies like herself that people want to marry little girls! Girls who are of Stella’s age and are still not married either hate marriage, or have managed to play the hot unattainable girl until they realised time was no more on their side. Now those same girls are chasing small university boys and buying them expensive toys. And those boys have no time for the girls their age who can offer them nothing. So those girls who want expensive things like their boys look for that from somewhere else. SUGAR DADDIES.

In Christian Tradition, Mary the Mother of Jesus was said to be in her early teens, in fact many sources say she was 13 when the angel Gabriel appeared to her. And by that time she was betrothed to Joseph. She did marry Joseph at that age (and was subsequently referred to as the wife of Joseph). Clearly the marriage age at that time was far earlier than we have now.

Even in Islam, girls are married early (sometimes before they see their first menstrual period). The prophet Muhammad which the Muslims hold in highest of esteem as the perfect of mankind (it’s up to everyone to decide that, really) married Aisha, the mother of the faithful when she was 7 years old. Aisha brought her dolls with her to the prophets household. The prophet even learned to play with dolls and loosened up considerably (At least he did not lead any further Jihads). Aisha remains one of the most influential women in history.

Okay, maybe we can relate better to a somewhat contemporary issue. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet was only 13 years old and she got married to Romeo just 2 weeks to her 14th birthday. While that may not be the best choice, the characters in the book clearly did not have any serious reservations about that.

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth’s younger sister were barely 16 years old when she began frolicking with and eventually married an army officer; Elizabeth herself was just 19 but she was described as a fully grown woman.

The two books talked about may be fictional (at least Shakespeare based Romeo and Juliet on a well-known story). However you look at it- literature, art, music and law always reflect the state of a society. Even if for history purposes, the two books above reflect Italian and English customs.

So back to the issue on the table. It remains a cultural value for the northerner to start life early. In my village, being 23 years old I should be thinking of my 3rd Kid by now. Who would I marry- Stella Damascus? No, I would find a pretty pubescent girl who knows how to take care of a home; who is productive and has prospects for a bright future. And that girl might be 16 or 17! In my village, a wonderful percentage of people (both men and women) still do not go beyond secondary education; their lives are tied to the lands they farm to feed this country. For people in that village, the “dream” may be to have a farm big enough to raise both cows and food crops. You’d see people who are already grandmothers by the time they’re 40… and by 70 they’re great-grandmothers!

If you contrast that with a life in a southern city, the average kid is in school by 6 months old (daycare), by the time he’s 8 years old he’s shipped off to a boarding school that feeds him with everything. If he’s very fortunate he comes out untainted by the process; more often than not you have 14 year old kids graduating from secondary school with an alcohol/drugs/porn addiction. By the time such a child is 18, he’s done with the university and has probably had sex with 3 different people. And the whole process applies to girls too. Nigerian girls already have boyfriends from when they’re 11. They dream of being an actress, a TV presenter, a musician- anything that gives them the spotlight. And you find that at 35 many of them are still unmarried.

So remind me what innocence we’re preserving! The same Stella Damascus does not support abortion because it is dangerous to both the mother and child- does she prefer to see teenagers walking about with the fruits of their adventures, outside the confines of a loving (but premature) marriage?

I AM NOT MAKING A CASE FOR CHILD MARRIAGE.

I am saying that we should learn to inquire about matters before we wade in.

“Celebrities” should be careful what they utter. Stella Damascus fell into the same trap Ahmad Yerima fell into (and which I may be falling into myself). Knowing the position you occupy in life, you have to be careful what you say because it WILL be repeated. And someone like Stella who has insulted the entire National Assembly, the cultural sensitivity of the Northern people, and our curiously-silent First Lady… over something that NEVER even happened.

And truly, as Mrs Damascus said- there are far more important things to spend our taxpayers’ money on- than deliberating on purely cultural matters. I still contend that some matters should never be the subject of legislation. A girl is mature for marriage when her body becomes capable of reproduction, and she displays an appreciable level of responsibility in making decisions. There is no particular age this will happen, but one must not force his neighbour to conform to his own standards. I was talking with Y.B. Usman, an Abuja-Based Lawyer and he told me something:

“my point is get married when you are equipped to fend for yourself. That’s usually at 20, but apart from VVF my own problem with it is economic. From my little practice experience doing a few matrimonial cases, I’ve learnt that even in marriage between adults, men are only men biologically- most are literally useless and have no business getting married. They find it hard to get or even keep a job, financial responsibility is a zero, moral score -100, the you want to entrust such young girls and their future in the hands of such people? If you must don’t set the girls up for a life of hardship by not allowing them to grow up and sufficiently learn a trade, finish school and get a bit of work experience to say the least. At some point they would have to feed themselves- if such a time dawns on the let them have the hook and the bait and the skill to at least fish themselves a toad if not tilapia”.
A word is enough for the wise.


If Nelson Mandela were a Nigerian, he would never be treated in a hospital within his country. God forbid! At the slightest sign of ill health, he would be airlifted to a hospital in Germany, the UK, the US, France, or Saudi Arabia. Any Nigerian doctor who comes close to him – much less touches him – would immediately be arrested and charged with treason. An SSS interrogator would ask the hapless doctor, “You dey craze? So you wan kill de man?”

If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, not only would he be in a foreign hospital, he would commandeer an entire wing of the said hospital. No government official would ever give Nigerians updates on his progress or prognosis. Hell, no! In fact, the only statement the government would ever issue is to deny that the man is hospitalized. Some spokesman would insist that the old man went abroad on vacation, to get some well deserved rest. You see, Nigerian officials – from the president down to the municipal chairman – are fond of boasting that they’ve “totally transformed” Nigeria, this or that state, or this local government area or another. Yet the last thing these human transformers would ever do is take a vacation in the country they’ve ostensibly transformed!

  If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, a league of pastors and imams would take to the press each day to tell us what “God” allegedly told them about the man’s condition. One pastor – or imam – would say God told him to warn Nigerians to pray interminably and fast furiously to ensure the ailing elder’s survival. Another would declaim that God confided in him that Mr. Mandela did not hearken to some divine instruction – and so was put on Saint Peter’s list of guests to expect at the pearly gates. Yet another imam – or pastor – would declare that a clique of witches and wizards had descended on the sick man, determined to doom him. If he’s to survive, he must personally contact the clairvoyant imam or pastor to receive special instructions on how to win the spiritual warfare.  

Mr. Mandela is a man of comfortable means. He made a modest fortune from advances and royalties on books as well as earnings from his work as a widely sought, handsomely rewarded speaker on lecture circuits. He also received a Nobel Peace Prize that came with a handsome sum. In a word, he’s worked – and worked hard – for his money.   Now, if Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, he would be considered a capital fool for working at all to earn money. To work hard would make him nothing less than a mumu, a Nigerian parlance that suggests somebody is a step or two worse than a fool. No, he would simply announce himself, Obasanjo- or Anenih-like, as a major “stakeholder.” And then, pronto, some currency tap would start gushing cash onto the deep pockets of his agbada.   (Which reminds me: if Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, he would not be permitted to sport those silly shirts he’s seen in. With those shirts, who’s going to be able to tell oga apart from his houseboys? He must exchange them for an endless line of lavishly embroidered agbada, accentuating his image as a human god).  

If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, he would have enough cash stashed away in foreign vaults to make the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires. Heck, Nigerian civil servants who manage pension funds are billionaires! Yet – like most Nigerian billionaires – he would not be in a haste to alert the editors of Forbes to the size of his assets. Heh, it’s not worth the trouble; who wants to be playing hide-and-seek with armed robbers and kidnappers? He may not confide in Forbes, but a Nigerian Mandela would be the proud owner of numerous oil blocks. He would be entitled to a “security vote” that nets him, at least, a billion naira per month. He would own mansions in several European capitals and resort locations. He would own private jets, his own private army (otherwise known as thugs), a university or two, a private cathedral or mosque, controlling shares in several banks, and enough high-priced cars to run an automobile dealership.

  Mr. Mandela is an enlightened man, a towering moral figure who commands respect around the world, a lawyer, author and reader. Yes, he has the stamina to put in the months and years it takes to write a book. And he is capable of staying still for hours or days to read book. If he were a Nigerian big man, he’d love to have a book or two to his name – but the content would be cliché-riddled speeches written by bored, ill-educated and often cynical amanuenses. As for reading a book, perish the thought! A friend of mine once told a joke about one of Nigeria’s illiterate moneymen. According to him, this mind-ravaged rich man laughed at people who, behind his back, whispered that he was unlettered. “I can read,” said the traduced businessman. “I only care to read the amount on my checks!” That’s what a Nigerian Mandela would learn to do.  

If the legendary Mandela were a Nigerian, he would not be addressed simply as Mister. On Mandela’s first visit to Nigeria, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree by – if my memory serves me – the University of Maiduguri. Since then, Nigerian newspapers and magazines as well as broadcast media have taken to addressing the global icon as “Dr.” Mandela. In the Nigerian media’s imagination, by bestowing the prefix “doctor” on Mandela, they have somehow enhanced the man’s standing in the world. What would the man be without this generous beneficence from Nigeria by way of Maiduguri? It’s conventional wisdom in Nigeria that titles, however hollow, matter. In many quarters, the quality of a person’s mind is of no consequence. What matters is self-advertisement, buttressed shamelessly in the adornment of antiquated, silly honorifics. So we went from addressing people as Chief (which has no meaning, really) to calling them High Chief, Double Chief, or Double High Chief – terms that inspire embarrassment on behalf of those who flaunt them.

If Mandela were Nigerian, he would be identified as Triple High Chief (Sir) Barrister Nelson Mandela, GCFR, Tigbuo Zogbuo 1 of Igboland, Aare Baba Dudu 1 of Yorubaland, Alhaji Magajin Biu 1 of Hausaland, etc, etc. He would be overfed, weaned off his sprite, sportsman’s physique. With his kind of figure – a flat belly and all – you can’t even aspire to become a local government councilor in Nigeria! Day and night, his staff and harem would ply him with kpomo stew, cow leg pepper soup, pounded yam and egusi washed down with six bottles of lager per session – until he’s appropriately fattened.

  If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, his claim to being a hero would be put to the ethnic test. Only members of his ethnic group would consider him an exemplary man. To others, he would be an object of ambivalent response: a hero today, a villain tomorrow, depending on what he’s said on what issue.

  If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, he would never have spent more than one week in prison. Why, the traditional rulers from his district would have gone as a delegation to his jailers, apologized on his behalf for his unruly opposition to the apartheid machinery and pledged that they would ensure that he show appropriate respect to constituted authority. He would then be released – cameras clicking to capture the moment – to the “royal fathers,” guarantors of his docility, quiescence and submission to the powers-that-be.

If Mr. Mandela were a Nigerian, he would not be an ex-president, but a president-for-life. His kinsmen would have hired a dibia, babalawo or malam to cure his “madness” when he decided to step aside after only one term as president. A Nigerian Mandela would not be subject to any constitutional limits on presidential terms; the constitution would be subject to him. Any part of the constitution that runs counter to his whims and caprices would be instantly amended or – better still – ignored.

  To make a short story long, if Mandela were a Nigerian, then the man and his stupendous moral capital would not exist!


THE CURSE OF OIL

I honestly wish I could go into something academic, historical and more convincing. I also hope this work gets to someone who knows someone who can get Mr Jonathan to read this. I’ve always considered myself a capitalist: not because I employ labour and reap the benefits of their skill and energy while paying them peanuts; but because I believe in a free market, where everyone can produce and buy what they desire with their hard-earned money. As long as it’s hard-earned.

These days, I feel like donning a terrorist’s costume (at least that seems to get a lot of attention around the world), denounce western capitalism/imperialism, rain curses on the “satans”, maybe burn one or two American flags for good measure and behead my (non-existent) pregnant cat. That’s because such an action will get me on the United States’ most wanted list, and will hasten the imperialist agenda for Nigeria.

I make bold to declare this, not as a pundit but as a prophet of some sorts; that the way things are going, American (or at least some sort of coalition “peacekeeping” forces) will establish a presence on West African Soil. And that presence will last at least a decade.

As usual, you wonder how I come up with yet another mad conspiracy theory. As usual I will make some valid points, then deviate into pure speculation, maybe one propagandist lie (a treat for the more perceptive readers to spot) and finally one powerful, earth-shaking revelation. Are you panting already?

  • Insurgency is a common problem in almost every country. The Bloods, the Crips, the KKK, the IRA and the Mafia are all “Western” organisations. They perpetuate all sorts of violence, bombings and kidnappings- but curiously their activities are not reported as much as global warming (and other 20th Century fables). Their involvement is treated as though they were people with mere quirks or some spooky mystery about them; movies are made about them, almost glorifying gang life and organised crime.

 

  • WHEN IT COMES TO 3RD WORLD COUNTRIES, every association with similar objectives are suddenly barbaric. Every church burning/bombing becomes example of the latest danger “insurgency” poses to the world. I’m not denying the reality of the danger- I’m only pointing out the modus operandi.

 

  • Governments in those countries take steps to fight insurgency. For the Western world, the police is shown to have worked intelligently and swiftly (maybe with the aid of SWAT and MI6 Agents) to track down the bad guys and bring them into custody (while conveniently shooting escapee black suspects). In all, the public confidence in their police and armed forces are made to look like heroes. Movies are made about such events (with fancy titles); documentaries outlining the special tactics and challenges the operations faced will be made (with the police/army/NSA chief curiously addressing the documentary cameras as though he were acting a movie).

 

  • WHEN IT COMES TO THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES, the governments are portrayed as poor, uncoordinated, confused, nepotistic…you name it. Again, I do not deny the incompetence of many third world governments, but credit is almost never given to whatever work is being done. Instead news headlines paint the grimmest pictures in the hearts of people who in the 21st century still think Africa is a country. Whenever movies featuring African countries are made, it must be from the perspective of either protecting/investing for a corrupt Nigerian politician; or plotting the overthrow of some cannibal East African head of state (Mind you this “must” isn’t 100% of the time, but I believe my point is clear.

 

  • The situation in 3rd world countries must escalate until the country is split between rebel forces/Islamist fighters/general guerrilla fighters. There must be “massive” killing, the media must be awash with bloody images of corpses or helpless victims; there must also be the general idea of an unfeeling government, oblivious to the suffering of the people. In fact, make that leader suddenly look like a dictator. Because the citizens are glued to foreign media and whatever lies/misinformations they want to disseminate, they believe those stories. Was Ghadaffi not a loved leader in Libya? Was Hosni Mubarak not loved? But it is the same masses that “enjoyed” under the “tyrants” that will riot and protest and bring more attention to such countries. The same crowd that welcomed Jesus shouting “Hosanna to the Son of David” shouted “crucify him” 7 days later!

 

DO YOU SEE ANY PATTERN EMERGING YET?

  • The efforts of the government to curb rebellion will be aided by the injection of special troops that have been caged in the barracks for years without action. Because of their long sequestration, they are unfortunately bereft of any major civilian-handling skills. They are quick tempered when orders are disobeyed (or obeyed too slowly for their liking). They perceive saboteurs in every moving vehicle, every woman with a veil/burqa/hijab. They are trigger happy, shooting first and asking questions later; and if God calms them down, they simply beat their victims to a stupor.
  • In comes the western media with a new angle: the human rights abuses are just too much. Even when insurgents attack from a clearly marked civilian settlement, any attempt by government to root out the rebels becomes unprovoked attacks on civilians.

 

  • A very good question: where do insurgents buy their American weapons from? The same Western governments that condemn third world governments on TV make their money from selling weapons whether legally or through the black market to insurgents. Curiously, the insurgents have access to weapons and equipment that match the Army’s. In most cases, they outmatch them!

 

  • Because of the Rampant human rights abuses, the International community begins to mount pressure on the government to “do something”, “take affirmative action” to stop the violence. Even when it is obvious that these countries have long ceased to have any real control of towns, constantly capturing and losing cities to rebel forces. Curious also is the fact that Western Journalists remain unharmed in the midst of all the bombings and shootings. Of course every decade or so, 2 journalists must be sacrificed to the god of war to keep the war machine oiled.
  • Donor countries and The United Nations mount all manner of pressure such as declaring the country a no-fly zone, airlifting all their citizens out of the country and finally enforcing trade restrictions and other economic sanctions. Thus, the government is weakened financially, it cannot access arms to fight back for legitimate control of the country. Meanwhile, the rebels are getting increasingly sophisticated, threatening bloodier executions of “enemies”, chanting Anti-American slogans.
  • For good measure, one or two Americans who (foolishly) remained behind will be captured and beheaded. Or just captured alone (which ever story buys the world’s attention).
  • The Terrorists/Jihadists make an attack on a US Army Base, Embassy, or even a bombing on American Soil.
  • Now this is where it gets fun. The American President will make a rousing declaration, promise hell for the attackers, and curiously get the United Nations to approve their presence. Their warships and planes will invade the poor country, fight the insurgents. Every day, news of how the forces are winning and gaining the confidence/trust of the locals will make the rounds. Maybe to make the story more believable, you’d see a clean-cut American Soldier playing with a black baby. Or a team of Us Marines playing soccer with a bunch of 7 year-olds who have the effrontery of calling them “Jake”, “George” or whatever firstname they bear.
  • Perhaps along these lines, the insurgents will suddenly grow stronger, and kill  37 soldiers in a “string of deadly attacks”. Then the US will “accept” support soldiers from some form of coalition army. This coalition army will Include British and French Soldiers; maybe some West African forces, who knows?
  • These forces then penetrate deep into everything, ransacking villages in search of rebel leaders who are having drinks with the Force commanders back in the military base. They will steal priceless artefacts, desecrate places of worship and all manner of atrocities. They will humiliate the locals off-camera, shoot people randomly the same way the Government soldiers used to do and then The US president will tell the world it is a price we have to pay for a better, safer children.
  • For the next 10 years, there will be chaos, and because of that there will be no proper documentation. Thus, all manner of raw materials will be exported at 0.00000001% of their value. There will be smuggling, there will be deforestation in the name of hunting terrorists. And every few months or weeks there will be news of a victory in some unknown part of the country.
  • When the coalition forces are getting bored with their assignment, they will begin to quietly suggest returning to their home countries. The French will withdraw first, then the British, then the Americans who started it all will release a staggered schedule of troops withdrawal. When there is one more year left on that schedule, the rebels will show up at the capital, weapons drawn for the final showdown. And the Americans will defeat them: because they sell only their inferior weapons to the insurgents.
  • The Americans will make a good show of withdrawing their troops, of handing over the security to the newly formed government (which of course was handpicked by the US president and other top-ranking officials). They will make a show of sweeping out old government buildings and holding democratic elections. They will make a show of how the women are now “free” and how Christianity is growing.
  • They will return and host state burials for the soldiers who died fighting for their country. They will show grieving widows. But they will make the message clear: they have used 10 years to exact revenge on the terrorists who caused them pain.

 

  • WHY ALL THIS RANTING TODAY/TONIGHT?

 

  • The United States will never interfere in a country where it has nothing to gain. And of course it’s being gentle with its own energy sources. But it needs a cheap source of energy, petroleum. And it prefers to buy that petroleum not with money but with the lives of citizens, with the smoke of bombed out buildings, with the echoes of gunfire. Does the United states interfere in any country that has no oil?

Vietnam

Afghanistan

Iraq

Pakistan

Nigeria is obviously the next target on that list. And Jonathan should be smart enough to pick it out. If he has any wise advisers surrounding him, anyway.

 

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and to the few Idiots who may fail to understand the inherent satire in this piece, I pray that Almighty God will improve your intelligence and sense of humour. For those who don’t see that I’m talking about a serious thing, I hope the insurgents don’t get your town/state/wherever you live.

Violence is of the Devil


Image  —  Posted: May 13, 2013 in Uncategorized


I hate the way earthlings make alien movies. Aliens are always smart enough to make contact, to leave their planets light years away and suddenly materialise here.

They usually have some plan of world-domination; they either want to capture all the earthlings and make them slaves for the rest of their miserable existence (Loki, Transformers) or our earth has some mineral core needed to save their dying planet (The Darkest Hour, Superman, Transformers again).

When Aliens come, they’re usually equipped with some weapon that’s capable of wiping out the entire planet (Avengers) and they have human cohorts that support their mission in the hope of being leaders in the future world (Aliens Vs Cowboys, Transformers3) AND the Aliens are ALWAYS destructive.

In the end, a bunch of superheroes discover a secret weapon made of common household items like microwaves (The Darkest Hour) or by some stroke of luck a rare mineral that suddenly is not so rare. Also the United States government manages to save us all by suddenly agreeing to join forces with the Russians and Chinese.

As much as I love a good alien movie, I must say that we display too much arrogance.

1. How come the US government is always complicit? They’re always aware of the existence of some alien technology or energy source; first they use the tech for research and developing sustainable energy….THEN the ultimate plan is to develop a super nuclear weapon.

2. The US government must have a secret organisation that has logos, uniforms, support staff, Delivery men and internet providers for God’s sake which NOBODY is aware of. And the secret agents are always the best assassins in the world.

3. The Aliens arrive and start killing everyone in New York . They must destroy all the taxis on the street, blow up a few cops, NEVER kill any of the many kids (or pets) on the street. People in their houses must also dodge alien bullets fired at cars. How come the aliens are never smart enough to initiate conversation with the humans/their leaders?

4. Curiously, the heroes/main characters never get killed until the end (when they die in an act of self-sacrifice) they run through burning buildings, a hail of misfired alien bullets (that vaporise cars but only chop up the sidewalk)!

5. If an alien civilisation had a secret weapon that could both power our world and wipe it out…why would they bother to make the long trip here? They could just deploy their version of satellites/ disposable robot soldiers to do the dirty work.

6. Why do they have to be ugly? I personally feel alien chicks will be hot! Being eons ahead of us they must have achieved some permanent beauty treatments.

7. And why must there be heroes? Ordinary people that suddenly derive inspiration and find the alien’s weak spot? Don’t get me wrong- we need something to believe in, some hope that will comfort us in the darkest of times. But where are the superheroes in everyday life?

I seriously believe that we probably would not survive contact with an alien race. If they’re smart enough to leave their home worlds; if their home planets have enough citizens to spare the ones that will attack us, then they must be rich enough to bear the cost of the war. They not only have the power to wipe out our best defences- They’d simply take over our minds and make us do their bidding. They’ll probably convince us they don’t really exist. We might be born, have children and raise grandchildren who are all implanted with alien DNA. And we wouldn’t even know it.

#Scary


I’m talking about embracing sexuality because i’m trying to get the attention of the people on WordPress’s editorial team (or whoever selects blog posts that make it to Freshly Pressed).

I’m tired of reading the news and being bombarded by gay rights marches, and anti-gay marches. I’m tired of countries wasting precious time on hours and hours of going back-and-forth on homosexuality laws.

What is MY business if you suddenly discover you’re gay? does it add anything to me? If anything it offends my morality and my religion.

Unfortunately the freedom of speech accorded everyone seems to be prejudicial to the christian. If we open our mouths to say anything about what WE think of sex outside marriage(both homosexual and heterosexual) , we’re labelled prissy, holier-than-thou bigots and in most cases denied media exposure simply because we preach a message that isn’t palatable, that won’t sell news.

In fact, recent coverage of Church activities only make it out when it’s something NEGATIVE, maybe the topic of catholic priests abusing kids. We do not see the disciplinary and conciliatory actions (against the offenders and with the victims) the church is taking: we only see the distraught parents and the wave of condemnation

So back to the issue of sexuality. I’m straight. I do not need to tell the world I’m straight. I don’t need a press conference, I don’t need a TV announcement to say that. What’s the world’s business with that? Fine I’m not a celebrity or sportsman of fame: but the basic question remains: what’s MY business? What’s YOUR business?

If the argument is correct (and due to my moral and religious leanings I strongly oppose this argument), it’s okay to be gay; there’s nothing wrong with being gay; it’s natural to be gay. So when the president of the United states places a phone call to congratulate Jason Collins for being openly gay, I wonder whether he really has his priorities right. Perhaps it’s just a cheap point the Democrats want to score; perhaps Mr Barack Obama thinks that is what his government is there to promote.

I’d like to see where real heroes are congratulated and awarded, not pampered people who think their latest whim should be national news. We should concern ourselves with what’s really important- on building societies that are SAFE for us all both young and old. We should focus our resources on building an economy that supports as many as possible, not on flogging issues that really are a matter of person choice.

 

Oh, and He (Jason) talks about being the first kid in class to raise his hand to say “I’m different”. He talks about there being few Hispanic and NO Asian-American players in the NBA. Then He spoils his speech by including gay people. Sorry, since when did “gay” become an ethnic group? With all due respect, that was a stupid, stupid analogy. 🙂

I hope the wordpress team sees this one!

why literature annoys me

Posted: January 23, 2013 in Uncategorized

I know, right? The implicit irony in a writer telling you he hates literature. Like an Atheist Bishop 🙂

But I’ll be quick with this one. The Nigerian Educational system I believe destroys the child more than it builds him. Still a very funny thing to say for a graduate of law, right?

From Nursery school/kindergarten a child is taught to fear the cane. S(he) is flogged for any imaginable offence, including failing to smile when the robot teacher requires him to.

He does his homework and is tempted to cheat because he knows that the punishment for poor grades is the cane. All classwork are rewarded by the number of strokes he does NOT receive.

I’m not going to make a case for/against corporal punishment. All I’m talking about is the long-term effect of this mindless conformity. A child knows that 5+5 is = 10. But he does not realise that 6+4, 7+3, 8+2 is still 10!!! Because he is bullied by his teachers into accepting what a curriculum that died in 1982, the area of his brain that should be used for innovative thinking is gradually relegated till it becomes a vestigial structure.

The child is taught to believe that his teacher is the final authority. No matter what any other writer/teacher says, His own stands. I remember on several occassions where when we drew some lecturer’s attention to a contrary position of the law, his response would be “that’s your business. Write what I teach you in the exam”

And gradually, the interest in learning beyond the classroom curriculum fades. The student no longer learns anything new. Thus we have sociologists who do not know a thing about neurology. And we have lawyers who do not understand how the stock exchange operates. Or we have engineers who do not understand the health implications of inhaling cement!!!

I remember when I was 16, we studied a Robert Frost poem, “the road not taken”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

I had an argument with my literature teacher, because my literary appreciation was different.

I felt the poem was more about the road NOT taken. Why? The title!!!!! The whole class just went to read the Exam Focus Textbook based on the GCE curriculum. So No ONE bothered to exercise their own literary appreciation.

I didn’t think Robert Frost enjoyed taking the road less traveled by! He said he would be telling a story with a sigh! A sigh, not a smile, or a gasp, or a laugh, or a chortle. He walked down a lonely path not taken by others, which in my opinion could be teeming with carnivorous wildlife. He could have been eaten.

To me, the poem sounded more like a suicide note!!!! Listen to this-

“Oh, I marked the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

HOWEVER my teacher failed me for daring to differ (even though she didn’t say that explicitly). But that day I realised the arbitrary nature of literary appreciation. People sit and in their cosy armchairs, their lovers’ laps and maybe in their jungle hideout smoking weed; and they begin to conjure meanings that the writer probably never even thought of.

To the Mrs Orumas of this world, I hope you change…or you retire soon

Imo Child

Posted: January 6, 2013 in Uncategorized

I saw a little child
Butt-naked, bow-legged
Stand squat over his mother’s grave
Removed far from the worries of inflation
For in his little Ukwu-Uzi
What want could he not fulfil?
Is it the urge to chase rabbits into the forest?
Or the desire for dry fish?

I looked at myself in all my educated sophistication
And envied the priceless innocence of that little boy
As I journeyed through the Imo countryside

Because We’re All Stupid?

Posted: January 2, 2013 in Uncategorized

I have been silent.

Did you miss me? No you didn’t. Because you’re busy living your life- running from pillar to post either to earn money or protect what you already have. You spent the Christmas/New Year celebrating how you did NOT die and you’re still smiling.

And that’s good.

So it’s 2013 already. And you’ve made new year resolutions. Or maybe you’ve given up because your phlegmatic/sanguine temperament prevents you from fulfilling your goals. Don’t worry, this year will be better!

The year started with me and some other Nigerians half-expecting a new Nigeria. Maybe we’d wake up with fuel price at 1000 naira per litre. Or maybe we’d be told Nigeria has been Sold to the Chinese government. Thankfully we did not. There’s this guy I follow on twitter (@peterpentecost ) who said

“Surprisingly Jonathan didn’t give us any New year surprise this year

How wrong he is!!!!

Yesterday, Goodluck Jonathan Campaign posters appeared in Abuja, at the ECOWAS building, the PDP secretariat and other high-profile buildings. His political Mouthpiece Alhaji Ahmed Gulak has of course denied everything (why Political Adviser to the President should be a paid Job is a topic for another day!). That seems to be a rule of Nigerian politics- Deny Everything First!!!!

incredibly he attributed the pasting of posters to the work of Jonathan’s Enemies. Really? We’re all that stupid!!!! Masked marauders invaded the Wadata House (maybe the 3rd most secure building in Nigeria) and placed posters of the president’s ambition for 2015!!!! And at the same time they did the same at ECOWAS building!!!!!!

How does campaigning for a snailspeed president amount to the work of political detractors? Except the adviser is saying they’re sarcastically insulting the president (thus making fun of the mentally disa…..errrrm, intellectually challenged), campaigning for the president is the work of political jobbers!!!!!

If the political adviser stopped there, perhaps, we might forgive him for rushing to deny the obvious truth in order to keep the cat in the bag.

From All Africa.com (http://m.allafrica.com/stories/201301020165.html/?maneref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Fsearch%3Fclient%3Dms-rim%26hl%3Den%26q%3Djonathan%25202015%26ie%3DUTF-8%26oe%3DUTF-8%26channel%3Dbrowser )

“He declared that the president has been “pre-occupied with working to fix Nigeria and did not want to be distracted by undue politicking about 2015”.

The presidential aide further said that the pasting of the posters could be the work of mischief makers who want to deceive Nigerians.”

REALLY????????

What possible deception are we talking about? Is it that Jonathan will run (so we should be frightened and build bomb shelters for all our homes?) Or Jonathan will NOT run (so we should rejoice and roll out the drums!!!!!!!!)

Sometimes I wonder whether all our Leaders do not build 20 billion naira homes so they can invite each other to smoke weed in safety!!!

What deception is he talking about? Did he read this response from elsewhere? Did he send an intern to write that press release? Did that intern copy and paste without reading? Oh God, please let that be the case! Let it not be that the person Jonathan listens to is not that thick-headed!!!!!!! The bible says, “The Blind Cannot Lead the blind. They will both fall into a ditch!!”

As if it couldn’t get any worse, in an exclusive interview with Vanguard Newspapers last month, Okupe had said that when the time was ripe his boss would respond to the issue of 2015, insisting that Mr. President was preoccupied with fixing Nigeria’s problems at the moment.

Okupe pointed out that it was wrong for some Nigerians to try to distract the President from fulfilling his electioneering promises to the nation by bringing up the issue of 2015 presidency.

The aide, however, said the wonderful performance of Jonathan at the end of the tenure would make most Nigerians to compel him to run in 2015.

“Nigerians ‘ll want him to run”

Okupe had said: “I am very certain in my mind that Nigerians are going to applaud him and even if he does not want to run for election, Nigerians are going to force him to run again because of the level of performance.

BECAUSE WE’RE ALL THAT STUPID


actually, my bank annoyed me into doing this long advert. My bank’s name isn’t LastBank. But HE THAT HAS AN EAR TO HEAR, LET HIM HEAR WHAT MR ME SAYS TO THE COUNTRY

__________________________________________________________________________________________________Before, Insurance was the smart option to save money for your children in case you died suddenly. But we know that the insurance salesmen and their companies are all dishonest anyway. Next, the stock market came with all its jargon…with all the seminars and essay competitions and special analysts and stock market reports. But the stock markets crahsed…Now you hardly even hear stock market reports anymore.

So, what truly is the Best way to secure your children’s future…to leave adequate funds under the protective custody of smartly dressed, rude staff? Where do you go to as a LAST resort? Of course, LAST BANK OF NIGERIA PLC!!!!

For over a hundred years we have employed and fired the best heads in the banking industry. our collective wealth of experience has spawned ministers of finance, central bank governors and failed terrorsists. WE have a wide range of services ranging from long-term money laundering to short term savings and loans. Also, we have a partnership with Manufacturers and marketers of Hypertension drugs. Allow me to explain how Last Bank Achieves such a legendary record

As you understand, we are designed to keep your money safe for you and your children (especially your children). Our analysts have discovered after extensive, thorough and painstaking research, that human beings generally do not long for what they cannot see. With this powerful truth in sight, we hope to keep your savings target right on track through a series of ingeniously designed “bottlenecks” (actually, the system is called PROJECT BOTTLENECK

Security Checks

We make sure we use heavily armed security guards that know nothing about the weapons they carry. This achieves a dual purpose: To make customers behave in an orderly manner (inspite of the security doors that have long ceased to function) AND to discourage would-be robbers from playing with their lives. Perhaps this has contributed greatly to the longevity of LAST BANK and its unsurpassed security record

Desk Staff

We take great care to ensure that our desk staff dress appropriately. You will understand that we must strike a balance between dressing officially and keeping with the trend. Thus, you will frequently find our staff wearing A suit jacket over our LAST BANK branded T-shirts. In keeping with project Bottleneck, we make sure all our staff are unfamiliar with the rules of etiquette. Thus, you will find our cashiers and customer relations officers unexpectedly irritable, and engaging in unwarranted quarrels. Do not think this is an abnormality or a slackness on their part: it is a deliberate mechanism to make sure our staff do not get over-familiar with any customer, as this could lead to serious financial misconduct.

Another strategy we employ is to instruct our staff to move at snailspeed. Our earlier-mentioned research has shown that human beings dislike having their time wasted. thus, they would only go to such a place to waste their time if it is absolutely necessary.

Cash Flow System

We have designed our cashing system such that it is much easier to make a deposit than to make a withdrawal. Thus, we make sure all our withdrawal channels (over-the-counter, ATM, Cheque, e-banking, mobile banking etc) are clogged and inaccessible during daylight hours. You might experience glitches when our withdrawal systems are unusually speedy. This is not in the spirit of our bank, LAST BANK and so, our team of engineers are always available to rectify this unnatural speed. The logic is simple…we’re a bank, and we’re supposed to keep your money for you…away from you

CHANNELS

We offer a wide variety of services that are designed with Project Bottleneck in mind. We know that you really plan to save money, and so we prevent you from seeing your money. As the Nigerian Proverb goes, “What the Eyes do not see, the Mouth does not water for”. Thus, we continuously frustrate all your attempts to access your cash. Our ATM applications take forever to process. We know that this will bring you closer to your goal of saving For Your Children.

Once it is 3pm, our ATMs do not work except the ATm card is from another bank. It doesn’t matter whether it’s business or pleasure or emergency shopping…our ATM will never pay you if you need it. Our ATM services make sure that you really actually die before the money is released to you. That way, the whole purpose of your savings with us…FOR YOUR CHILDREN…will be achieved

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

Every LastBank Branch is affiliated with a Hypertension-control specialist who will prescribe expensive drugs. We believe that the stress of life can Kill you (we mean, lead you towards your goal). Our Banking system helps to accelerate that process.

Every LastBank Branch is currently a partner to a mortuary service and a casket producer. We know that life can be stressful, and that stress can make you forget to make even the most important arrangements. So, If you collapse and die within our premises due to our long queues and faulty airconditioning, We will give you a free burial (subject to our terms and conditions which are top-secret).

Indeed, LastBank has provided three jobs for every branch it operates. Talk about Corporate Social Responsibility

AT LAST BANK

At LastBank, we are ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY. We love you so much that everything is designed to keep you within the banking premises for periods no less than one hour. Our staff will familiarise you with our family by tossing you from one desk to another before you realise that what you’re looking for is actually not available at the moment and probably will never be. All our customers can testify that this project is hugely successful.

AT LAST BANK

We are truly committed to helping you save for your children. We have endless pyramid schemes to collect money from you…money you’ll never see again. Your children come first. Save your money with us…Your Children will withdraw it over your dead body!

Won’t you rather Bank With Us?

Source: Peter Ademu-Eteh


DISCLAIMER: Regardless of my cold logic, I do NOT relish the thought of being burned alive. Neither do I support mob justice. Do not take laws into your own hands!!!!

I was going to write about the so-called consumer service week which Nigerian Banks celebrated by refusing ATM services during the penultimate weekend. But something else came up, the lynching of some UniPort students.

There is public outcry about the way they were treated and eventually killed. Everybody condemns the killing, blaming the police, government, traditional rulers, the mob that watched the killing. I won’t bother to recount the events beyond that five students who went to recover a debt were mistaken for thieves and consequently lynched by community members/vigilante forces.

A lot of the people I have heard speak about the killings unfortunately have failed to make intelligent analyses of the matter. These people unfortunately have not been helped by the media hype, the emotional tweets and retweets, the memorials, and the pretty photos of the boys making the rounds on the blackberry messenger. A radio host yesterday alluded to the fact that perhaps their soft looks have promoted the sympathy they received. I agree! My reasoning is simple: if the boys had machete scars or meatier bodies, we would be hearing about how some “robbers” and/or “cultists” met their justice.

It is difficult to talk fairly about these things because I wasn’t there, you weren’t either and we have to rely on facts that might as well be fiction. I am forced to take this (unpopular) stand because I am a bit more familiar with the background to the story (rather than the story itself). There are conflicting stories, some sounding very official with the students’ matriculation numbers. There is even a statement by on of the boys’ fathers. Someone owed someone else money. And this someone else got his friends to help him retrieve the money. From two, someone else and someone else joined them to get the money. You know what, check here and here for more details.

If the basic facts (consistent with all the various conflicting reports) My own questions on the matter are these:

1 if somebody is owing you money, is “visiting” him with 5 people the best way to recover it?
2 if someone says “oh, I’m going to ruffle someone to bring my money”, is it wise to just throw in your lot with them?
3if you have a clean mind, will you “hire” somebody who is a known cultist to help you out?
4 if your debtor cannot pay immediately, is seizing his laptop the best solution? Do you need to bring a GUN out to enforce it?
5 if someone forcibly collects your property at gunpoint will you not classify them as an armed robber?
6 if you for any reason were wrongly identified as an armed robber, is pulling out a gun the best course of action?
7 if people want to kill you for something you’re innocent of, won’t you scream yourself hoarse to be heard?

These boys, even if they were innocent, we’re downright FOOLISH. I mince no words. All their actions were criminal from the beginning. Conspiracy, possession of firearms, attempted robbery, attempting to evade arrest.

Let me add something else that only insiders (or observant people) may know: Port Harcourt is a city controlled by cultists. Name them- dey gbam, dey well, icelanders, mafia, Vikings (besides the usualNigerian cults). It is a widely circulated rumour that no democratic governor of the oil-rich state is a non-roman (PH Jew, un-initiated). I noticed that most of the stories link the slain students to the mafia cult group. They were reportedly too soft (nice) to actually kill anybody so it was their job to collect “dues” from other students. On the other hand, the debtor mentioned earlier Is a Viking as much of the students living in Aluu are reported to be. So in all probability, the killings were a turf war between the Mafia and the Vikings: how dare you walk into enemy territory and attempt to “tax” a “landlord”?

The story about going to collect a debt was reportedly shared by the 5th boy who escaped (and remains anonymous). I fail to understand why people BELIEVE that so-called official story. It could have been concocted by anybody. It could be damage-control by the cult groups fingered in the whole story.

Were the Aluu community members right in killing the students? I’m sympathetic with their plight. They have been constantly terrorised by armed robbers, and obviously the police have been useless in protecting them (seeing that they need to have a vigilante corps). I understand their emotional response at finally getting to vent their frustrations on some of the “robbers” that have been robbing, killing and raping their kids. I respect their alertness in responding to the “thief! Thief!” alarm. I congratulate them for arresting those alleged robbers. Many will not understand that the law allows private citizens to use force in the course of protecting their private property. There also is something called a citizen’s arrest, where you can hold a criminal caught in the act, till the police arrive.

However, killing them in such a manner (or any manner except lives were in danger) remains unlawful!!! No matter how slow justice comes, part of our social contract is to allow all suspected aggressors a fair chance to defend themselves before a fair and impartial judge. The time taken to beat, put tyres, pour petrol on and burn the suspects (and capture a chilling video) was enough to call the police and hand them over for proper prosecution.

The sad truth is that 4 lives were lost unnecessarily. People will talk and talk and nothing will happen- for the community, they have received their idea of justice. For the parents of these “kids”, they have lost their future stars. For those who think coming from a decent background is a guarantee that people will be good forever, think again. For the slain suspects, they paid an unfortunate price for embarking on such an unwise mission.

If there are any people who still think that there is any fun in being a “made”/”blended”/ guy or girl, the words of wisdom in the bible still ring true,

My son, If sinners entice thee, consent thou not

(Proverbs 1:10)

My heart goes out to the families of the slain. May we never see such a thing again.


I believe we are on the threshold of some literary explosion. The journalists we grew up reading have somewhat become old, compromised or just on hiatus. Thus, while their work is gradually a somewhat vintage quality, flowing with history and sagacity, it is up to the younger generation to speak up, to ensure that there is no vacuum of intelligent, useful reportage/writing/whatever.

I write this to remind us of the need to cheer those who are taking up this task. A lot of people are bubbling with ideas inside of them. They need their voices to be heard. We need to fuel our own evolution from a “Siddon-look” polity to a conscious one.

Now to the point. I notice that really good, wise, pithy, witty, concise, go UN-commented. When I say UN-commented I don’t mean nobody said anything. I mean, there is this dearth of intelligent commenting. All I tend to see is “nice one, bro” or “keep it up”. Even more annoying, “well said sir”, “hahaha true”

Well, I don’t think it makes sense for people to spend hours in thinking, researching, writing and posting/publishing if the audience you’re catering to is just apathetic. As the saying goes,

The music is nothing if the audience is deaf

When you comment, raise questions, criticize and quote an article, you give the writer a sign that you actually read and understood the work. Don’t just read and “wakapass”. Some of the greatest works of shakespeare like “Hamlet” are under contention now because they seem to have been written a lot by his stage hands/employed actors AFTER his death. Perhaps you can add your name to the sources of “inspiration” writers have!

Adding more to an already lengthy piece, you might become a writer one day. Practice your skills by commenting. Like I said, Intelligent commenting!!!

1. Make comments. It makes the writer feel appreciated
2. Ask questions when you don’t understand. It makes you smarter
3. Provoke intelligent/funny discussions with other fellow “commenters”. It wins you friends
4. Criticize the errors….nicely 😉

I think I’ve said enough 🙂
4.

MANDELA (1918-2013)

Posted: December 6, 2013 in Uncategorized
Tags:

For the last 24 hours or so, every media outlet has been awash with News about Mandela’s Death all enjoining him to rest in peace. There is nobody on earth above 6 years who will not have heard of Mandela (except they live in a cave with no communication with the outside world). He is a symbol of justice, equality, fairness and freedom. The 27 years he spent serving a life sentence on the Robben Island prisons and Cape Town prisons catapulted him to international recognition, years in the spotlight and the South African presidency.

His anti-apartheid struggle is perhaps the biggest thing he is remembered for. As a member and subsequently president of the African National Congress (ANC) he organised and participated in several peaceful rallies, civil disobedience like strikes and sit-outs, apparently influenced by Ghandi and Malcom X’s philosophies.

But he did not stay peaceful for very long- in frustration from the refusal of the National Party to accede to his demands, he began to embrace Marxist-communist thinking. Soon his ideology turned violence first encouraging militant groups like the Sisulu in 1955 to buy weapons from China, then co-founding the militant group UMKHONTO WE SIZWE (usually abbreviated “MK”) in 1961. Borrowing tactics from manuals by Che Guevara he began to steep himself in the knowledge of guerrilla warfare. The organization operated with a cell structure and carried out acts of sabotage- bombing military installations, power plants, telephone lines, and transport links. These attacks were carried out at night to minimise civilian casualties, but Mandela announced that they would “resort to guerrilla warfare should and terrorism” if those tactics failed. The MK officially announced its existence by carrying out 57 bombings on December 16 1961 and more attacks on December 31st. In all, 68 people were killed and several injured in the bombings.

In 1962 Mandela was sent as a delegate to the Pan African Freedom Movement meeting, after which he held meetings with other African leaders like Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia who gave him 5000 pounds to buy weaponry for the MK organisation. He also received funding from the Liberian and Guinean presidents. He wasn’t bluffing when he said MK would resort to terrorist and guerrilla warfare- he actually went for a 6-month guerrilla warfare training in Ethiopia (but was recalled home early after only 2 months).

He was arrested, tried and convicted for treason- plotting a violent overthrow of the government. The prosecution started on shaky footing- but having discovered thousands of documents and photographs indicting the top leadership of MK, Mandela and his co-activists were sentenced tolife imprisonment. His stay in prison for 27 years permanently damaged his eyesight. It was his 60th and 70th birthday celebrations pushed his matter to international recognition, with a concert held for him in London, and cries of “free Mandela” rent the air. He was released in 1989 by President F.W. De Clark. After a series of discussions, all the banned political parties including the ANC were legalised. In February 1990 Mandela announced his dedication to peace and reconciliation with the white minority, but insisted that the violence was not over and would not be until apartheid was dismantled.

And this is where Mandela’s redemption came- he worked hard and travelled wide to make sure all the parties concerned discussed reasonably. He negotiated a ceasefire between armed groups and the government and worked hard to unify the ANC which had divided during the ban. Coming out from jail he was already a godlike figure and could have simply created a comfortable living for his family and his cronies while abandoning the struggle but he fought on until the walls of apartheid collapsed. In 1994 he was elected president and he ruled for his term, declining to run for a second term, when it was the norm for African leaders to keep amending the constitution to keep themselves in power.

If he had stopped his freedom fight upon arrest, he would have been labelled a terrorist and written off. The Niger Delta militants took to bombings, attacks on oil installations and government facilities (not to talk of kidnappings) just to draw attention to the neglect and environmental devastation of the Niger Delta. They were denounced as criminals and vandals, but because their activities drew international attention and perhaps influenced the court’s decision to award 50 billion dollars for the clean up and compensation of the Niger Delta, they are already being considered heroes in some circles.

Here is Mandela, a man accused of adultery and domestic violence (wife-beating) by his wife, divorced twice, organiser of protests and bombings (as admitted by his own writings) being celebrated as a hero all over the world. His persistence, commitment to the struggle and his ability to let bygones be bygones set him apart from the crowd. Instead of organising revenge killings or some sort of reverse apartheid on the whites of South Africa, he instituted a Truth and Reconciliation committee. He preached forgiveness, he preached sacrifice- what better sacrifice than his own freedom for 27 years? He constantly put the needs of others before his own.
The truth I draw from this experience is that your beginning doesn’t necessarily matter, but how you end does. Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor per excellence turned out to be one of the greatest saints the church ever knew. Sure he killed many, had many arrested and put many in jail- but he reconciled many broken homes, healed many sick people, raised the dead and laid down a huge majority of Church doctrine today. St Augustine was a drunkard and philanderer but today he is remembered as a saint. Martin Luther is remembered today as the father of several church reforms- but does anyone remember the earlier part of his life? Jerry Rawlings began his political career in Ghana through a bloody coup, but today he is remembered as one of Ghana’s best leaders.

You must not be a saint to live a life of impact. You must not be a rich man or famous woman to achieve anything- you must start small. No one is born great; greatness is born through the struggles we go through! I hope our African leaders especially Nigerian leaders will allow the lessons from Mandela’s life to influence them. I hope the needs of the people we call brothers and sisters and countrymen will be pursued by our elected leaders, ahead of personal enrichment. I hope that the evil of perpetual presidencies will die with this year. I hope those who think they are already too far gone to change for the better will be inspired by this Man Mandela.
Mandela may not have started well- he may have been out rightly wrong; but he realigned his efforts and he ended up as a legend. The world has practically come to a standstill to celebrate his life. His good works outweighed his personality flaws by far. I can only hope I have the tenacity that man possessed! .co

The BushboyTribe of Africa

Posted: September 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Long time ago, humans lived in isolation, chasing wildlife and eating raw food. People soon discovered that it was easier and more profitable to hunt and gather food as a group than to work in limited isolation. So they formed hunting groups, and soon enough groups grew into communities. And in order to live peacefully, rules were made. Both from the respect for deities they worshipped, and for the human tendency to create reasons for discrimination, morality evolved.

With time life became more and more sophisticated- people learned to make tools. And from simple tools they could make traps and catch animals alive. Thus domestication was born first goats, then in slightly more carnivorous increments humans began to keep felines at home.

With this development, the need for gathering items grew less and less (why travel far when you can plant your crops at home? Why risk your life unnecessarily when you can raise the animals for meat and milk at home?).

But you know how evolution limits us. Dogs still bury bones instinctively because their ancestors needed to. Goats still chew the cud because their ancestors did.  Those hoarding traits never left humans.

In our day we still because of our egos flare up and fight when insulted. Fighting because of an emotional slight is irrational because it doesn’t address the insult. Similarly acquiring stupendous wealth your great-grandchildren can never finish is also irrational, for the earth totally produces enough to sustain its inhabitants.

If you are stealing your country’s money, you are what I call a “bushboy”.

A bushboy is someone who sells his tomorrow to eat today. A bushboy is someone who rushes into a war without getting the facts right. A bushboy is someone who ignores obvious risks in favour of a minute advantage. A bushboy takes foreign aid when the country’s resources can comfortably fund it. A bushboy develops European countries with stolen money, while the road to his village is untarred.

A bushboy lets students futures grind to a halt. A bushboy terrorises his students and forces them into bed or into banks. A bushboy does not grade papers correctly.

A bushboy is someone who exchanges something of value for sawdust. A bushboy throws diamonds away to get chocolate. A bushboy is someone who doesn’t take correction when he is clearly wrong. A bushboy is someone who tells lies. A bushboy is someone who lets jealousy push him to violence.

A bushboy is someone who looks down on women. A bushboy is someone who feels women are weaker vessels thus their opinions don’t count. A bushboy is someone who beats up his wife/sister/girlfriend. A bushboy is someone who takes a woman’s love for granted. A bushboy is someone who leads her on when he knows there’s no future. A bushboy is someone who cheats on the wife he promised to love with the last drop of his blood.

A bushboy will be angry at what I have just written. But then there are whole tribes of then roaming the continent. To all the bushboys out there, I hope you get eaten by a lion.

say no to bushboy today!

image


I have returned

Interesting that President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in the troubled Northeast states of Adamawa, Yobe and Borno. Interesting that he has sent more troops to boost those already in place there. Interesting that he has “recently” discovered that Boko Haram’s violence has escalated to the level of a “declaration of war” against the Nigerian State.

I honestly wonder whether Jonathan lives in Nigeria. The Igbo people say “A man does not hunt bush rats when his roof is on fire”. Boko Haram killed over 200 people in Kano, and overran an Army Barracks, But the indefatigable President was busy attending an Environmental summit in Brazil. Curiously, he cut short his visit to the G8 Economic Summit in Europe to attend the PDP primaries in Edo state!

Before I get hasty in vilifying his political intellect, I need to examine the issues. From the announcement he read in the most uninspiring manner, he did mention that although a state of emergency had been declared, political office holders would still continue to function as normal.

I ask myself (and Jonathan, if he can read this)

  1. What is the meaning of a state of emergency?
  2.  If you establish a state of emergency, who becomes the leader of the state? Interestingly,  a state of emergency does not necessarily mean that martial law must be instituted. It simply involves limitations of citizens’ constitutional rights to movement, association and the like. HOWEVER, it must be clear who is in charge. In Nigeria, (at least usually), when a state of emergency is declared, the executive governor is replaced by a military administrator, such as was the case in Ekiti, Adamawa, Borno and Plateau states within the last decade.
  3. If you declare emergency rule and fail to appoint administrators, won’t you have chaos in government? do you remember when there were two “governors” in Kogi state last year? I wonder if President Jonathan really thought about what he was doing.
  4. If the political office holders still have the same powers, and the citizens will only be subjected to heightened security measures, what is the point of establishing emergency rule.
  5. With the history of human rights abuses, and the apparent failure of the Nigerian Army/Joint Task Force to contain the insurgency in the North, do we REALLY think that pumping more soldiers into the region will solve anything?

I know that President Jonathan is under immense political pressure. I am also aware that the Boko Haram group (I apologise for not storing their Arabic name) are a bloodthirsty group determined  to return Nigeria to a sorry past. If the two groups have declared war on each other, then Nigeria is really at war.

Now the Northern Elders’ Forum is saying they regret supporting Jonathan’s 2011 ambition. And I laugh in their faces. When I said he was not the right choice for Nigeria, I was laughed down by even my comparatively superior contemporaries, because Jonathan was OBVIOUSLY going to win.

Now the President whose people were handed a cheap amnesty by the Same administration he served as Vice President. Now he has tried (and failed miserably) to return the favour.

Why he never saw Boko Haram’s activities (attacking police stations and government institutions)as an act of war , waiting until they carried out their umpteenth jail break and burning the Nigerian Flag…honestly that’s just stupefying.

while I express my displeasure at Jonathan’s slow reaction, I must still be optimistic that our “Boys” in Kaduna have not been wasting away; I hope the bravado soldiers display at political rallies and checkpoints along our highways is not the classic case of the mouse parading himself while the cat is absent.

I hope this nightmare that is threatening to collapse my beloved North will be contained. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria. One nation bound in freedom, peace and unity


I woke up with a cold
Prickly chill in my fingers and toes
Then I walked out to the hallway
And took the staircase to the roof

What I was this morning was disappointing
I expected a vista of soothing sunrise
But the fog clinging stubbornly to the swaying tree-tops
Dashed my hopes of a postcard morning

I sang some songs of praise to my maker
As if in response the sun began to rise
First peeking shyly from behind cloud-fingers
Then smiling confidently like the boss

As I went back to my room I saw my red light blink
Charlotte Sani Changed Display Picture

I tapped away. What did I see?

A gold-brown sculpture of dough
Baked to perfection by the scottish sun
And painted over that sculpture, by the greatest artist of all time-
A smile that made the sunrise jealous

In the asking I found that the same Idoma blood that spawned my ancestors
Spawned hers.

We rule

okay so I woke up feeling random. I imagine I won’t be shot for writing about a random stranger 😀 happy birthday Ehi

Random E

Random E

For a Higher-Resolution photo go here https://kefasadamu.wordpress.com/2013/05/13/ehi-random-ehi/