Category Archives: Politics

If you want to vote, start jogging!

I know I said I was off politics and won’t be talking about it for a while, but here I am again. On this rainy evening, all I can think of is how politics has turned into such a dangerous game. They say, it’s a dirty game. That’s the understatement of the decade! Dirty ke! In Nigeria, it’s the most dangerous game ever. For the people involved and their supporters.

In one of my previous articles, I said I wasn’t going to vote in the July 14 gubernatorial elections in Edo State because I didn’t think the major contenders were in it to serve the people but themselves but after the recent events in Benin city, that will not be the major reason for not fulfilling my civic duty. Infact, no one in my circle of family and friends will step out on that day to vote, if I have any say in the matter.

Its still 2 months to the election day and Edo state has been turned into a war zone. Assassinations, kidnappings, threats, protests and fear have become the order of the day. People are being killed left and right and typical of the security forces in the country, absolutely nothing is being done. Like seriously, are these security forces of ours able to catch rats in their own homes? Are they useful in any way???

When Olaitan Oyerinde, the principal private secretary of the Governor, Adams Oshiomhole was gruesomely murdered in his home by unknown gunmen (they are always unknown), Benin City went ballistic. I watched as the youths took to the streets in outrage from the security of my home the way Goodluck Jonathan gives speeches about fishing out Boko Haram from the security of Aso Rock without actually doing anything. People protested and screamed to the high heavens, the Governor gave ultimatums to the Police force, and so on.

I watched it all in fear. It scared the shit outta me. A few days before that, a youth leader had been killed and now this. Since the Oyerinde murder, there have been accusations and counter accusations and a lot of speeches. This is Nigeria! Wouldn’t you be surprised if no one gave speeches? Politics in Nigeria is based on how fast your press secretary can draft meaningless speeches. From the President to the Chairman of a local market, speeches are the most effective way of putting themselves on television so people know they still exist.

If the state is this hot, 2 months before the elections, what happens when the day actually comes? Edo state will go up in flames? I shudder to think of what will actually happen on that day. It is obvious that this has become a serious matter for the candidates and suffice to say that when elephants fight, it’s the grass that always suffers. Innocent lives will be lost. That is just the problem.

So come July 14th, I still maintain that I’m not going to vote. And like I said before, if you like, call the Police (those ones that can’t catch anything?). Infact I may not even be in town. Call me a hypocrite or a coward but if I have to die, let me die for something worth dying for. Not for another man’s greed and ambition while his sons are lounging abroad. Na me dem born to suffer?

But if you are voting on that day, please check your running ability!! I strongly suggest you start jogging now. Because your life may depend on how fast your legs can carry you. On that day, May the Good Lord protect you and guard you. May he give you the common sense and strength to run like a deer when the guns go off, Amen! Please do not try to be a hero. Run when you see people running. Nigeria needs you alive. Good luck!!!

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This is an amazing piece from a writer I look up to.

zebbook

The Lootitudes (Part I)

(1) And seeing the multitudes, corruption went up into Aso Rock; and when he was set, the politicians came unto him;

(2) And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying:

(3) Blessed are the clueless in wisdom; for theirs is the Presidency of the nation.

(4) Blessed are they that rig elections, for they shall be elected.

(5) Blessed are the thieves; for they shall inherit the National Assembly.

(6) Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after public funds; for their accounts shall be filled.

(7) Blessed are the bribe-takers, for they shall obtain big bribes.

(8) Blessed are the Petroleum Ministers, for they shall loot trillions.

(9) Blessed are the bootlickers, for they shall be called the Federal Executhief Council.

(10) Blessed are they which are prosecuted for corruption’s sake; for theirs is the kingdom of wealth.

(11) Blessed are ye, when…

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Peace Lord, please!

When one of my course mates during my Msc programme called Nigeria a failed state, there was pandemonium in the class that day. ‘Whaaaaat’? ‘How dare you’? ‘He’s so unpatriotic’. ‘Nigeria is a work in progress’. ‘We’re still under construction’ ‘He’s right’. I sat calmly looking at everybody, not saying a word. I was quiet because I didn’t see how such heated argument could help except aggravate my headache and frustrate me more. Some days ago, I remembered that day and all I could of was ‘was that guy right’? Is Nigeria a failed state? Wait! Am I actually asking that question? The answer is obvious, even to a blind man.

For once, lets forget about our social and economic problems. Its only a man who is alive that cares about what he’s going to eat. Lets secure our lives first. In one day, the cities of Abuja and Kaduna were bombed.  I’d heard about it on twitter. I tweeted about it and registered my anger. The next day, I wanted to write an article about it and decided to actually read the papers and get the full story. I never wrote that article. I didn’t get past the first paragraph. When I started pictures, big fat tears rolled down my eyes and understood for the first time, just how gruesome it actually was. I saw the picture of a man (I will never forget that as long as I live) who’d sustained severe burns and I just couldn’t write anything anymore. I wept. That was when it hit me. That picture changed everything. Image

Nigeria is under siege, from within. We’re under fire. It doesn’t matter that its happening in the north, what matters is that its happening in our country. For those like me, who’ve got no other country to call home, its very scary. I’m scared. Very scared. I don’t want a terrorist group who do not even seem to understand ( I don’t understand either) what their demands are or why exactly they’re killing innocent people bomb me into tiny bits and pieces while I’m sitting peacefully in my house or going about my business.

Obviously the government doesn’t know what to do or is afraid as well. If the government becomes afraid of a terrorist group, what hope is there? One of the primary duties of government is to secure the lives and property of its citizens but all I hear are empty words the key players in our government utter from the comfort and security of their heavily guarded offices. Our security forces seem overwhelmed. If it wasn’t for the fact that lives are being lost on a frightening scale with no respite or solution in sight, I’d be inclined to feel sorry for them.

Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe,  Gombe, Taraba, Borno and so on. Sometimes cities are attacked consecutively for days while government condemns them. They attack today, the government condemns as usual and they’re back the next day. The only thing Nigerian leaders seem to be good at is looting, thievery, embezzlement and disgracing the nation. Now, a report has come out in which the terrorists have listed some media houses as being on their target lists.

“The second group we will also attack soon are Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, Guardian, Nation, Tribune, and National Accord, which are all newspaper houses. There is also VOA Hausa radio. All these media houses we will attack them including their staff and offices, by God’s grace. VOA Hausa for instance have recently started campaigning for people to support the government against us by exposing us. The next group that are on the verge of joining this list who if they are not careful we will attack very soon include, Leadership, Daily Trust, Peoples Daily and RFI(Radio France international). There is an online medium known as Saharareporters who have their office in New York, and who have made their site as a platform for attack against Islam. So we are warning them to stop making their site an avenue for attacking Islam, otherwise we will find a way of attacking them too” (culled from premiumtimesng.com)

People in the North are already living in fear, for goodness sake. In their own homes! And now this! I can imagine how journalists are going to feel with this kind of dangerous announcement. We know by now that these people do not make empty threats and honestly, I’d relocate from this country if I could because I’m tired and I don’t feel safe anymore, regardless of my living in the south.

 For the first time, peace tops my wish list for this country (It used to be stable electricity). I don’t even pray for basic amenities anymore, I just want peace. We have a right to live in our country. I’m not even talking about the thieves who loot our treasury. All I want is peace. I can’t stand these senseless deaths anymore. Lord, all I want is peace!  Peace Lord, please!!!

One of the reasons I don’t like talking so much about politics is that it makes me sad and angry. Seeing corrupt politicians, incompetent government officials and greedy individuals loot our treasury with such impunity and audacity makes me want to scream. But since screaming won’t do anything to stop it, what’s the use? Everyday for the thief, one day the owner go break him head. One day, Nigerians will say enough is enough and I’m saving my strength for that day.

What started me on this article was that this morning I heard my sister talking to her friend about the campaign strategies the various parties were employing ahead of the July 14th gubernatorial elections in Edo state. She was particularly talking about Major-General Charles Airhiavbere and his bogus promises. I jumped up from my bed,  leaned my ear to the door to hear more (as an amebo) and heard her saying the campaign team came around yesterday distributing branded bags, t-shirts, facecaps, hand bills and others to garner support for the man. As a bini woman, of course she collected them.

I walked out, joined the discussion and read some of the hand bills. They made me burst out in laughter. His campaign team really needs to do a better job. Public swimming pools, encouragement of urban-rural migration, 18 mini stadia in every LGA, etc. Is that what the problem is? Is that what Edo state needs? Don’t just build swimming pools o, install air conditioning systems on our streets because Edo State is too hot abeg. Nonsense! Wait o. Where was this General all these years? He has suddenly become visible and his pictures assault our vision every time one passes a major road but did he just come back from the dead? If you believe in helping your people, why wait till you retire and join politics? So if you’re not a Governor, you can’t help abi? You have to join the looters club.

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Adams Aliyu Oshiomhole. His supporters call him Oshio baba! I have nothing against the Governor of Edo State. But as I always say, lets call a spade, a spade. Ring road is still being beautified after almost 2 years with no end in sight, Airport road has been handed over to the 2nd or 3rd contractor and they’re still not done, Time out junction’s road design has everyone confused including the contractors handling the project, salaries wahala, cases of high handedness, the support of fuel subsidy removal by the President(remember when he was the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress and constantly fought the government over the same issue), his billion naira mansion in his Iyamho village in Etsako West local government area and the constant borrowing from financial institutions. And they call him ‘a man of the people’.

When it rains in Edo State, that’s when you’ll realize that there are no roads, including the ones that look tarred. Everywhere becomes flooded. For a state that has one of the best road network in the country, it’s a shame. When it rains in Ugbowo, don’t attempt to pass that road o. Simply look for a hotel and check in. if you don’t have money, I laff in Chinese, you go suffer ehn! From Second East circular to Evbuotubu, the story remains the same. Lets face it, Edo state is not working. Forget the propaganda.

So because Lucky Igbinedion(May God punish him like James Ibori) didn’t do anything at all, I should not talk ehn! We should name the buses after him because he bought them abi. Is it not his job? Isn’t he supposed to do the job he’s being paid for? What is he doing at the helm of affairs if he’s not ready to work? Abeg, leave me jor!

Come July 14th, I’m not voting. If you like go and call the police. Who should I vote for when I believe the contenders are not in it to serve the state but themselves? Who do I vote for when there are no credible candidates? This is not even about free and fair elections, its about not voting because there is no one to vote for. They are all the same. PDP, ACN, PPP, YYY, ZZZ. The people in ACN today were the chieftains of PDP in the past and vice versa. Same wine in different bottles. So who is fooling who? Well, as my friends on twitter would say, God is watching you all in 3D o.

Siddon look na dog name

I can’t lie. I laughed as I started this article. I just couldn’t help it. Dis our country ehn! We too like drama. The people, government, the nation itself! Funny or not, the way we act and the consequences of those actions make for a good laugh, I tell you.

The year 2012 started in a very dramatic way. After the heavy spending on Christmas day and the heavy ‘chopping’ of subsequent days to the big parties on new year’s, the government of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan dropped a bombshell. Fuel subsidy had been removed and the price of fuel had more than doubled. ‘Wat??? No be April dem talk?’ That was the general outburst. Mine was no different. I’m not an economist but like most Nigerians (who aren’t economists either), I know that an increase in fuel prices spirals into an increase in everything else. Food, transportation, clothes, school fees, house rent (house wey dem don build since 1950 o), and I mean, everything. I drew my own conclusion-if the standard of living was low before, dis one na die we see so.

Like I said before, I’m not an economist or a financial guru but I like to think that basically all Nigerians are economists (not the ones that eat 850,000naira in one day ooo). I’m talking of the normal ones because something must be wrong with those other ones. We try to judiciously utilize our resources. We buy ‘pure water’ (even though you can see particles of dirt inside it) instead of bottled water (why spend 60 naira on something you can get for 5 naira? Money doesn’t grow on trees, you know), we walk half the journey (under the blazing sun) just so the bus fare reduces, we buy fairly used clothes instead of brand new ones and so on. Inspite of all these Jackie chan movements with money, they removed subsidy.

Let me make one point clear. Subsidy is the only thing our government provides o. As a Nigerian, you provide basic amenities for yourself. We call it ‘on your own (OYO)’. You provide your own healthcare, pay for electricity and yet live in darkness, no provision of water (if you don’t have a borehole in your compound, you are in for it), no roads, no security, no schools, no jobs, no housing scheme, no nothing. Absolutely nothing.  And they removed subsidy. And the drama began.

‘We no go gree o, we no go gree’! The nation protested. Oh sweet Jesus! How I loved it! Nigerians were fighting back. God bless us. But of course, we didn’t get the results we had hoped for but God dey. The President then came up with the SURE programme to help cushion the effects of the subsidy removal. But just a few weeks after, said it was not feasible. Ehn?! I said to myself, “here we go again”. And that is how Nigeria has been experiencing, ‘one week, one drama’ sometimes, even two or more a week.

From the fake yellow fever certificates and the deportation of Nigerians from South Africa (dem no go gree siddon for their country) to the retaliatory action of Nigeria, to the current drama of spending 850,000 naira on food in one day (na allegation o, ehen) by Ms Arunma Oteh, the DG of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Herman Hembe’s (Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Capital Market and Other Financial Institutions) request for a bribe (a whopping sum of 39 million naira), to his own version of being offered 30 million naira by the DG, to his recent resignation. Na wa!

We wouldn’t have recovered from one drama series when another takes place. I try to be current with the happenings in Nigeria but I can’t even keep up. From one wahala to another and each always has a comical side so even though you’re discussing it seriously, you can’t help but laugh and shake your head. Maybe because that’s the only thing that keeps me sane in the midst of insanity. Seeing the humorous side of it helps to soften the shock and seriousness of the situation. I’m waiting to see how the war between the SEC and the House of Representatives ends but I bet my family house in the village that another drama will soon unfold. I siddon dey lookImage.