Nigeria decides: Change or Progress

About a month ago, I learnt Nigerians are expected to use either ‘change or progress’ cautiously in  conversations depending on the event present otherwise one might get in trouble for supporting the ‘wrong’ person.

‘Change’ included in politics conversations usually means one is a supporter of ex military head of state Muhammadu Buhari while ‘progress’ in the same context means support for incumbent President Jonathan Goodluck.

Very kind of President Obama for his youtube moral support messageI do hope my people would take time out to listen to the message and reflect on it.

Below is a clip of our President Jonathan that I love to watch. This was his first time meeting President Obama and long before the Chibok girls were kidnapped.

I just so much love hearing GEJ talking especially when there is no script.  The juicy bits start from 5:30. Enjoy.

Nigeria politics of overactive bladder

How could one not enjoy this election campaign? Social media revolution has helped to showcase our public office officials raw talent.

Now, leaving aside Governor Fayose’s overactive bladder mouth, how could one get head around governor of a state with population of over 2 million people blabbing on like this in what was supposed to be Govornors’ Forum?

On Nigeria treading news of old people wearing pampers – according to Overactive Mouth Fayose,  being old = wearing pampers.

This is what Nigeria is today, public official showcasing ignorance by talking about the symptoms rather than the cause of elderly incontinence.

I hope Ekiti State people are happy now with the aftermaths of stomach infrastructure – 5kg rice for votes.

3.06

Using secular nature of Nigeria constitution as the weapon to fight Boko Haram

Prof. Soyinka is one of the very few Nigerians of his age around today that does not disappoint. He is not shy away from telling the simple truth just as is.

Inspiring to see an elder whose idea of a peaceful nation goes beyond regions knowing we are all in it together and we must collectively deal with the elephant in the room.

Hope those insisted this is northern Nigeria was can see WS points, especially in relation to the forth coming election.

Nigerians to heal Nigeria

Mrs Okonjo-Iweala’s interview with BBC, Will Ross on the missing USD$20 billion oil revenue in March 2014 would not be too surprising to any Nigerian, well those who have seen enough to realise our challenges run deep and we can not scratch the surface and be expecting miracle transformation as far as corruption goes. At one point during the interview Mrs Iweala got frustrated with Will Ross as it seems her interviewer wanted specifics about how $20 billion waka comot NNPC safe unnoticed, he’s not going to get that and we all knew it – there is oga at the top to be weary of.

4:12 of the BBC video clip 

“… Ross, you are British, are you going to come to Nigeria to fight corruption for us…nobody but us (Nigerians) can clean it up.”

That is true, Nigerians are the ones to heal themselves in all their empty shattered places, the quicker we realise this, the better for us all.

The likes of Mrs Iweala are inspiring – it must be frustrating working with people who are not only unfit for purpose, but also have lost all sense of dignity to care for their reputation as leaders.

Postponement of election for six weeks so President Jonathan could have enough time to fight Boko Haram that he failed to defeat since 2010?

GEJ and his team are scared is all.

Presido has exhausted all the main sensational ministers of ‘God’ in the land and people don’t seem to be bothered much – most backfired.

The one I found most amusing was talking about Buhari’s past human rights abuse records when GEJ of today has nothing to show he is any better. 

So will 6 weeks make any different to election campaign and safety of the people? Absolutely not. Maybe I am too cynical of GEJ administration but I have seen the same desperation at work in Osun state during August gubernatorial election whereby religion was strongly used to the points that neighbours are resenting one another needlessly, this is just because the incumbent governor happened to be a Muslim so we all waited in anticipation to see whom GEJ would nominate as the opponent.

Then GEJ in his capacity gave us this man – below! The man who despite all his paper qualifications from different universities from around the world learned only one thing that being close to grassroots is synonymous to a lone road side corn eater. Thank goodness he lost the election.

I hope Senator, Dr. Omisore would be nearby to provide support for his Oga at the top – fingers crossed.

From web
From web

Real Buhari and GEJ: One hardcore, the other clueless, take your pick

The Real Buhari video clip on youtube is expected especially for the flimsy minded who only want quick fix for all of our issues.

In 53:34 narrator posed a question:

“Does Buhari posses the temperament to be Nigeria’s President in a globalised 21st century?”

And for GEJ being seen as a saint in comparison to Buhari, very typical of Nigerians, being completely off the track asking helpless citizens daft question like:

” Would you like to be beheaded in public or choked to death in your room?”

Why do we have to choose between two terrible people. Well, if we must then we will.

Buhari is hardcore no doubt and well deserved the video highlighting his human rights violations, plenty of them.

Now, I would love to see one thing that GEJ has done since his time in office that makes him any better than Buhari in terms of human rights protection. His daughter’s wedding was two weeks after Chibok girls were kidnapped, before and after that thousands have been slaughtered.

48:39 talked about gender equality and the fact Buhari didn’t allow his wife on campaign trail. Yea, the old man is what he is, you are not going to change him today.

It would be nice to hear from Nigerians, if there has ever been one instance that Madam Patience Jonathan has shown any example worth emulating in public? The last straw for me was when she sat at the Aso Rock calling the parents of the abducted girls for a meeting? Who does that? Subjecting grieving mothers to yet another torture – power drunk took humanity from her.

So if Madam P was locked up for the remainder of GEJ in office, would anyone genuinely miss her?

We need women, more women to represent us so as to become better people, better neighbours, better Nigerians – we don’t need power-drunk women, we don’t need women who are busy demonstrating everything wrong that only confirm women are less of.

I believe the most dangerous aspirant of the two is the one with no ideal, hiding behind others so he takes no responsibility. GEJ does this a lot, he is busy going from one religious leader to another basically playing on the ignorance the populace.

Any leader licking boots of celebrity pastors as GEJ is doing can not successfully lead such a diverse nation as Nigeria because he will sure blame all on God and devil when in fact we are all on earth.

Looking behind Buhari, I see Fashola of Lagos, Ameachi of Rivers, Aregbesola of Osun, and hopefully El-Rufai in Kaduna and a few others – we have seen what these guys can do.

Looking at Jonathan – I see someone who will continue to be indifference to everything, a leader who nominated main murder suspect of federal ex Finance minister, Bola Ige to be Osun governor. I see a president who pardoned a criminal days after he was convicted of money laundering, that was GEJ buddy Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

I see Nigeria being in much more terrible situation for the next four years because  there really is no red button to press so our issues can be evaporated. I see a president wasting our limited resources on useless yearly pilgrimage – Mecca + Jerusalem, to show that we are religious when our attitude is anything but.

“Does Jonathan Goodluck posses the temperament to be Nigeria’s President in a globalised 21st century?”

Temperament? Plenty of it as he had 8 year of practice to be indifference and religious puppet, with extra daily dosage of Valium added – yes, he will lead us right to the ditch.

Ex President OBJ changing lane, Bishop Oyedepo opening the gate of hell: Cause for celebrations

Ex President OBJ defection to APC is a predictable one. Anyone who has been following the drama of Nigeria politics would not be surprised that given the old man, did not succeed in having his way with GEJ would eventually lead him to leaving PDP.

Not about anyone of us, more about power struggle.

After all Baba Iyabo is a Yoruba man, Kaka ki Kiniun s’akapo ekun, olode a lo lototo –  instead of a tiger to be custodian for a lion, they’d rather hunt independently.

No one is fooled by the defection, if OBJ was allowed, we would have had our very own Mugabe. GEJ being where he is today was not without GEJ firm support. He was the one that made Yar’Adua presidency possible despite knowledge of his health condition – shame on all of them for playing politics with the well-being of Nigerians.

I believe every word that Iyabo Obasanjo said about her father “We, your family, have borne the brunt of your direct cruelty and also suffered the consequences of your stupidity but got none of the benefits of your successes. Of course, anyone around you knows how little respect you have for your children.”

Now, the exciting bits for Nigerians:

Whether we care to admit it or not, religion plays a major role in Nigeria politics and for the most part not at all positive one – It is a cycle of repeated mediocre being allowed to rule us in the name of Jesus Christ or Mohammed in the case of the northern folks.

Words thrown back and forth with Bishop Oyedepo and ex-president is exciting – believe it or not, something great is going to come out of this. Just pray it continues.

For one, Nigeria celebrity pastors such as Oyedepo are untouchable, they communicate directly with God above on behalf of millions of Nigerians who can not afford to send their children to the church’s private universities but listened to this guy telling them GEJ is the God chosen.

Oyedepo knows his ‘onions’ after all he was one of the ‘holy’ men that accompanied GEJ to the Wailing Wall of Jerusalem, and he is not about to bite the fingers that fund his private unis.

GEJ resent visit to Oyedepo’s church is expected. What I don’t get was Oyedepo’s saying Gate of Hell would be released on people who did not vote Jonathan, Really?

What do you call what the folks in the north-east experiencing now, Gate of Heaven?

Get a grip, we know all your tactics, Nigeria is already going through hell and no one is scared by you swearing. Actually, Yoruba swear much more than praying!

Oyedepo is not alone on this, GEJ has already captured the heart of Adeboye of the Redeemed Church, and the other bling, bling guy of Warri.

It’s unfortunate that folks are having a go at one another defending Oyedepo and OBJ while we should really be rejoicing that finally someone, who by the way not a saint, has decided to tell the truth for once.

Like many of our many ex leaders, OBJ must do many more to earn any credit, calling a shot on Bishop Oyedepo is a good start.

I can’t wait to see another top dog from within the same circle to put all these religious maniacs in their places.

Does this make Gen. Buhari a saint and the saviour we’ve been waiting for? Not in the least. He is the best we’ve got among the two imposed on us, but must earn the respect of Nigerians.

Until then…

 

Nigeria study abroad scholarship madness

There is a common misconception about the reason many Nigerians are studying abroad, that Nigerians loved education so much hence you see thousands of us all around the globe, just about anywhere to be frank.

From Ghana, Ukraine, Russia, to anywhere and everywhere in Asia, Africa and the obvious Europe and the Americas. The latest I heard was 2,600 to Uganda, where? Are we bonkers? – Nothing against Uganda, I actually do believe they are moving way ahead of us in many developmental fronts, now for Nigeria the obsession of studying abroad has turned to a complete mess. 

We need to develop our own schools.

Nigeria government alone pays 50,000 students to study abroad yearly, thousands more join this number paying out-of-pocket. Iain Stewart estimated 30,000 students in the UK this year, for each is the minimum of £9,000/yr plus food and living expenses.

This is not because the Nigeria government loved education so much, it is because my government has messed up woefully the education in the country and now only rely on quick fix.

This is what Prof. Soyinka has to say in 2011 during education summit in Osun State – “Students nowadays learn under very harsh conditions which in itself could lead to crisis, there are no sufficient teaching materials in our schools again, there is poor welfare for the students and the library and laboratories are now empty.”

Translation of the above statement:

‘no sufficient teaching materials’ means medical students in human anatomy course learned about body organs, bones, muscles etc using imagination – no slides or any visual aids to talk about. This is the case in one of our private universities. Private universities do not go on strikes as federal or state schools but decay in the education system is just as bad.

“poor welfare for the students” – means students enrolled in university only to be butchered by cult members few years down the line and school authority shifting blames and murderers lived on. That was the case of Afrika and his mates who were killed in their dormitory for speaking up against cultists at Obafemi Awolowo University.

‘library and laboratories are now empty’ means in the library were 2 books that must be shared by 30 students for a coursework – so far so good. But by the time one gets to use the books, pages with the needed information have been ripped off. Low-life students did this on purpose so they make money selling copies – That was mid 90s, so really Nigeria education has been failure long time ago.

What is wrong with government study abroad scholarship?

In the beginning of Nigeria study abroad initiative, the deal was that one must return to the country after the course of study, people did as there were jobs upon return.

The purpose of this condition was so the nation can develop from within, to increase the number of educated and skilled population, never to rely on other nations to educate us forever – more than sixty years on, we are still on the same initiative, more so than ever something is not working the way it should.

Today, most on government scholarship never returned to the country, I don’t blame them because there really is no opportunity to put newly acquired skills to use.

Overhaul of the scholarship scheme is needed, beneficiaries should be made to come back or repay the expenses just as developed nations are doing. Also, we can not rely on quick fix for ever, we must develop our own schools.

Something for the presidential candidates to add to their manifestos before next month?

Jonathan Vs. Buhari – When sitting on the fence is not an option

Nigeria has its way of pushing the citizens to a tight corner – deliberately. A way to force us to choose one out of two evils – Buhari vs. Jonathan is what we get, then a choice, we must make.

Today, it’s not that hard to get a sense of what Nigerians are thinking about these two guys, not hard to see who is doing most of the thinking when multitude blindly follow. A quick glance in the department of Thought Farts aka Twitter would give more than one has bargained for. One person tweets and hundred others retweet without reading the content, if they did, I doubt most of the messages would get a single retweet.

Some people might say we are making use of our labour force, maybe – get them busy with free recharge cards and Blackberry – Bless the Canadians!

Not much to say about Buhari. I know my people, often in time,  Nigeria is perceived as a small village whereby the need of a small family unit is more important than that of a bigger community. Buhari is not the change we need and we all know that, he was there in Aso Rock once and far away from being our messiah. 

So I asked the Thought Farts department what the deal about Mr Yemi Osibanjo, Buhari’s running mate was. I was not disappointed as a patriot responded as thus:

“He’s a smart lawyer and intellectual with a track record of implementing reform.”

The response was excellent only that it wasn’t good enough to satisfy my curiosity, but I guess with only 140 TF characters, you can only say so much. I do hope the specifics ‘reforms’ is made known to the public so we better get to know what he stands for.

Not much to say about GEJ either. Nigerians say incumbent presidents always win in Nigeria, I say, why can’t we start from GEJ if indeed we are tired of the same old that has not benefitted average person on the road.

Still have not much to say about GEJ but a leader who gave a lavish wedding to his daughter two weeks after #Bringbackourgirls happened, is not worth my vote – all lives should matter. And yet today not only that the girls are still missing, many more lives regardless of gender have followed suit. 

Our ex-president Obasanjo deserved everything GEJ said about him and much more. OBJ imposed him on us so no pity for the old man there, they both deserved each other. Nigerians regardless of the tribe would do well to ignore both GEJ and OBJ as they are distractors that no one deserved. It is boss boy and master case, they’d settle their differences in Switzerland over cocktails.

I must choose – Buhari it is. With Buhari we can start on a clean slate and enough of the praises, must work to deserve it this time.

Nigeria story: Change it. Re-write it.

The play started with the creation of Nigeria.

This is serious stuff been staged in a children’s theatre.  Children loved tales especially the one that were unbelievable you could only thought it was a Fairy Tale only that in this case, the event did happen. The children in the crowd were alert absorbing all the details, they joined in happily in the chorus.

Photo of a poster
Photo of a poster

Something sounds familiar that I was unable to put my finger on. It was not the play as I was only watching for the first time, it wasn’t the story as I could relate to how Nigeria has never worked.

Then it occurred to me that it was a quote that I read somewhere, long ago. I think it is Toni Morrison’s but I am not quite sure as   i can’t seem to locate the source. It goes like this – if a story is too difficult for adult to comprehend, tell it to children.

Then I got it.

One hundred years on after Nigeria Amalgamation, our country celebrated earlier this year. Lots of people who have stood by Nigeria either to sink ‘the boat’ or to lend hand were honoured – all of them including ex-president Abacha in grave, who while alive squeezed every kobo from the soil to hide in foreign banks, some of which will never be recovered. Whoever doubted GEJ idiosyncrasies, that is a good one to help see clearly, yesterday GEJ had a closed door meeting with the son of Abacha who by the way wanted to be the governor of Kano state, really? Yes, really, this is Nigeria. Jonathan probably is licking Mohamed’s boots, sweating and begging that he dropped governorship ambition only to safe face and nothing else.

Lots of notable Nigerians refused to attend the centenary noting that nothing to celebrate, they included Prof Wole Soyinka for very good reasons.

Mr Gbolahan Obisesan, the writer and director of this play did a wonderful job of showing the audience a bit of how and why Nigeria creation did not work. The result of it is known too well to Nigerians and indeed the world.

How do we re-write our history so the land can heal in a way that benefit us everyone?

How about if we do the opposite of all that we have always been doing?

What is evidenced is that we have always chosen the easiest route – tribalistic approach.

Our current president GEJ was ‘installed’ because ‘it is their turn,’

Nigerian children get scolded and ordered to go back and make peace with friends in case of fallouts but yet Nigerian adults are the ones to insist peace can not be unless we go separate ways.

How about holistic approach whereby we for once, elect a leader to lead us and tribe/religious affiliations play no part in decision-making process?

Wouldn’t be long now. February is around the corner.

Who says Africa is not a country?

Formal president of United States of America, George W. Bush is known for many things among which is his famous blanket statement about Africa “…Africa is a nation that suffers from incredible disease.” Africans were not amused by this statement. People were quick to point out so many factors that differentiate us from one another, some were true but others – not so much

George W. Bush statement about Africa having incredible disease is to a large extent was true. Take for example the President of The Gambia Alhaji Yahya Jammeh who was recently ‘crowned’ as the West Africa’s King of Impunity. Gambia: MFWA Crowns the President of the Gambia ‘West Africa’s King of Impunity’ by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). 

Impunity is one of many issues that African countries have in common so when I read this:

The MFWA calls on governments in West Africa, the ECOWAS, the African Union and the United Nations to help combat this enormous problem and pressure the Jammeh government to adhere to the rule of law and fulfil its regional and international human rights treaty obligations.

Calling on West Africa? Certainly not Nigeria given impunity is the order of the day for our public officials. High profile murder cases Bola Ige, Ken Saro Wiwa, Dele Giwa and the ongoing killing spree in the north, Chibok girls are still missing – all of these have Nigeria government written all over them. Lives of ordinary people is like a game. 

Very sad that we have plenty of Yahya Jammeh all over Africa torturing their own people.

Gambia has one of the most established tourism industries in West Africa frequented mostly by the Europeans. Do Yahya Jammeh and his likes all over West Africa thought people are not seeing this? Any wonder why Africans don’t have it easy around the world?

People know about George W. Bush disparagement many speeches but on this one, he was not too far away from the truth.

 

“Ignorance isn’t bliss it’s an instrument for dominance.” – George The Poet, a rising UK artist.

Grandfather’s chest box

“If someone has bitten you, he has reminded you that you have teeth.” Kenya proverb.

I asked my father what the deal was with his Iroko chest box. I have known this box to be special since I was little, it stays under his bed and in it were journals and diaries of my father from before I was born.

“Apoti Baami nuu” – “My father’s chest box”, he said to me. Your father’s? I was ecstatic! All of my grand parents from both families were long gone before I was born  and apart from the house in the village and the farm that belonged to my paternal grandparents, there were nothing personal around that I knew of, not even a photo! By the time I was old enough to appreciate stories about my paternal grandparents, my father had lost his voice so took solace in his pens and journals.

My mother chipped in to talk about my grandfather’s dentures and how they became his ‘little babies’ the first few weeks he got them. My grandfather had dentures? How could he have afforded those close to sixty years ago? Where did he get them done?

Everything becomes clearer by the day why there will always be endless conflicts and lots of it in Nigeria if government continue to turn deaf ears to landownership crisis like the one in Modakeke and Ife

My grandfather got his dentures fitted at Ibadan, likely to be LUTH.

My grandfather’s dentures and his chest box have nothing to do with what really is boiling in me however, they were crucial clues to the lives people of his time lived in the village – He was not rich, however, he was content. He lived well, he was able to afford the cost of his health services and food for his family.

What has changed:

My grandparents had seven children, four were male so family farm was divided between them (leaving gender inequality for another time). Only one was educated to Standard Six, others enrolled in various apprenticeships. At one point all of them returned to the village, each working on his portion of the farm.

Any mystery as to why there were ongoing conflicts when Ife insisted on Modakeke to continue paying Isakole on three hundred years old lease?

There’s just not enough to keep feeding idle hands of great grand children who relied on proceeds from informal lease between great grand parents. Simple.

The same piece of land has not and will never increase in size, however the population has quadrupled in the last century – why is our elders not seeing this and find constructive ways of dealing with the conflict in the way that a group of people are not alienated on their land?

Lease on land met brick wall in the 1980’s after Oba Okunade Sijuade decided to reintroduce his rights to absolute power for good reasons but now outright chase of people from their farms is the new strategy.

My question is, those people especially in Ogudu Village, will they remain quiet for ever? They are hurting, no one is listening or think they are making any sense.

Yet, our president Jonathan Goodluck had time to visit the “Notable Yoruba Kings” yesterday in my hometown to discuss politics – Well, we all know these Obas do not give a hoot about the common people and neither did GEJ.

I have a word for all of them – Ile ti a fi ito mo iri in yio wo – A house built of saliva will collapse when dew hit.

Whose idea is this? – Buhari vs. Jonathan

Both very bad joke.

A few years ago I was at work with a few of my colleagues, everyone minding their business so we could finish on time. One of the professors came around and asked “Hey there, how would you prefer to be compensated for today”? I looked up from what I was doing and motioned for him to continue, so he said “would you like to get double pay or a day off work”? Knowing Vincent was a joker, I smiled at him and said that I would have preferred not to be at work at all on a Saturday, plenty of sleep and gossips to catch up on. Vincent laughed and so I said it would have been better if there were a third option and of course this third option wasn’t on the table.

It was unnecessary to play down the sacrifices that myself and colleagues made that day just because of the compensation.

So sometimes last month when I read about Buhari vs. Jonathan for 2015 presidential election – I can only see how bad this joke was. What can I say, I enjoy the perks of free speech. Here goes:

Let’s start from General Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Major General, ex President of Nigeria under military regime between 1983 and 1985, now 68 years old. I was in primary school by the time he resumed office. I still remember my school being made to sing WAI (War Against Indiscipline) song along national anthem in the assembly every morning. The lyrics of the song, truer today than it was in the 1980s – corruption and indiscipline was at their infancy at that time – today corruption is not stealing, this according to GEJ.

Buhari was ousted in a coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida in 1985. Now, ever since this event, the only time ex-president Buhari had been on the national news was his unrelenting ambition to be back at Aso Rock. He ran unsuccessfully in – 2003, 2007 and 2011 and now again 2015. Give me a break.

Is this really about serving the people of Nigeria or using public offices to get back to some political enemies? APC can do better than this if they are indeed a progressive party. 

On Goodluck Jonathan (GEJ) – It does not matter how many genius advisors you have behind this guy, he just does not have what it takes to move Nigeria out of the mess we are. The guy out of desperation for another term in office has turned himself to religious puppets whose head is remotely controlled by those who didn’t believe in the idea of a peaceful nation.

Since GEJ resumed office, it has been one thing after the other. See my rants here. And just when I thought I’ve seen it all he did this: hitting his head on Jerusalem Wailing Wall ‘praying’ to God just because there is no wall holy enough within the country. With him on this trip were a few Nigerian top celebrity pastors, I bet they have done well now to convince their congregation Jonathan is the best man to vote for in 2015 election. 

Now, if you ask me neither ex military President Buhari nor sitting President Jonathan is good enough for Nigeria.