Who should we invest on – private citizens or privileged few?

Two well known figures passed away within 24 hours of eachother. One was born into privilege and has been in charge of looking after ‘his people’ for over 50 years. This was Emir of Kano Alhaji Dr. Ado Abdullahi Bayero, 84 years old by the time of his passing. He was flown out of the country in February this year to London, for medical treatment. His ill health was publicised on media briefly and a handful of people sent their well wishes to him. He later passed away on Friday June 06 2014 in Nigeria.

I have a fond memory of my visit to the Emir’s palace and plenty of photos to show for it. However, each time I thought about this trip I always have puzzling questions – why are those kids not in school in the middle of the day? The Emir was an educated man, were his sons also taught and participated in the act of collecting alms on a school day?  When I read about the Emir being taken to London for medical treatment earlier in the year, I imagined how this could have been happened differently. I imagined the Emir to be treated in the comfort of his home in Kano, well, this would have been the case if the boys observing almajiri  duty had a shot at western education.

Another loss to the country was Professor Dora Akunyili, She died at the age of 59 on Saturday 07 2014. She was a lot of things to many people but to all Nigerians she was the hero of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control). The lady who saved us from ourselves. Most adult Nigerians have a story to tell regarding the prevalent of fake drugs and food products. If it didn’t happen to you, you are likely to know someone who almost died or actually is dead due to drug or packaged food poisoning.

When Prof Dora resumed office as the Director General at NAFDAC in 2001,  the effect of her work was immediate. Everyone in the country knew someone new had taken office. Lots of pharmacies were closed down if illegal drugs were found to be stocked. A chemist I grew to know in my hometown was raided and closed down, this was a very popular chemist so quite a lot of people were upset for the owner for the loss of revenues but in private, everyone thanked God that silent killers in our midst were been ousted, lots of fake drugs were confiscated. Many people are beneficiaries of illegal drug trade hence it had gone on for too long.

Observing Nigeria collective concern over the death of these two public figures was very interesting – one of a born to rule and the other earned every bit of honour bestowed on her.

The Emir of Kano Ado Bayero was a much respected figure mostly amongst Northerners as well as those that have had business with him. During my trip in 2005,  The Emir’s secretary realising that I am from Osun State said the king of Ife, Oba Okunade Sijuade was visiting the Emir and attended the graduation ceremony together at the university of Kano. Learning that many influential monarchs across Nigeria were friends was intriguing, but what saddens me is whether these influential kings during their social interactions, ever thought of using their positions of power to benefit ‘their’ people in positive ways. Not sure what the answer is as both kings have had endless crisis within their borders.

Emir of Kano narrowly escaped from Boko Haram insurgency last year, his driver and bodyguard killed. Oba Okunade Sijuade is all here

Nigerians reaction towards the passing of Prof Dora was unanimously overwhelming throughout the country. She will be remembered for a very long time as she already set standard to follow before leaving NAFDAC.

Royal families get monthly stipend for being born royals and of course lots of bribes from the government so their people could vote for the politicians with deeper pockets – no defined accountability imposed

Professor Dora was a private citizen, she had a job to tackle fake drug industry – she delivered.

Religious fanatics? Deal with them the Moataz Al-Demerdash way

In Nigeria today, you can hardly go by in one given day without people exchanging heated argument on which religion is the best route to achieving holiness. Partly because of this, no end to our problems as we just go round the circle each time an issue was raised.

I came across this clip and very appreciative to Moataz Al-Demerdash for his forthrightness while conversing with a religion fanatic.

See for yourself.



Derogatory attitude towards rape victims in Nigeria

There are lots of success stories about home, Nigeria and sometimes it is enough to be grateful for how fortunate we are that we are able to survive amid all the atrocities around. People tell you that we have a lot to be grateful for so we should stop moaning and focus on all that is going well, that is true, we are happy and could pretend all is well even though girls the size of half of a village are still held captives under BH. What do we do though, when we try so hard to focus on the good news of our society but the bad news knock us back 20 steps down…

Speaking recently with a friend, he thought rape case in Nigeria is relatively new. Then I narrated the story of my friend’s sister who was gang raped in 1987 when she was in secondary school in my small town. She had trusted her ‘friends’ 5 of them to walk together to an inter-house sports at another school 10 minutes away from their school. On the way to their destination, she was raped by the these school boys. The story leaked to the school as she was traumatised and had to be taken to hospital. On her return to school two days later, sister Yemi was called to stand in front of the whole school during assembly, her story was retold to the whole school by the school principal in derogatory manner –  she was blamed for the whole incidence.  Yemi was in her school uniform so dressed appropriately but her offence as told was that she was too outspoken.

Yemi’s parents were forced to take her to a different school out of town. The boys stayed at the same school to complete their secondary school.

The last few years, almost everyday there is always another rape case, we will all talk about it, girls/women will be blamed for their outfits that are supposedly too revealing. I wonder what the offence of the Benue State University students were to deserve been violated as they were raped in the middle of the night in their hostel. For the most part, the rapists walk away free.

By now we already know that sexual violence and rape is very common all around the world however, attitudes towards victims must change in Nigeria and those responsible must be punished if we ever want to see any change of attitude by the perpetrators.

Enjoy the clip below-

Courtesy of AIDS-Free World