Friday, October 11, 2013

Libya: Better or worse?

I saw in the news recently about the Libyan Prime Minister being kidnapped. The leader of the country was abducted by gunmen inside his official residence in the country. I only repeated that to hammer in the absurdity of the situation. He was at his residence in the luxurious Corinthia in Tripoli, the country’s capital when a group of gunmen went in and seized him to take him to an unknown destination. They said they held him on corruption charges. They decided he was corrupt, they decided to abduct him, and they did!
I know the western world has always seen African countries and some Middle Eastern, Asian and South American countries as inferior but please understand that Libya is a stand-alone country, self-governing and with citizens who have fundamental human rights to live, let live and have some form of happiness. No matter how puny Libya is thought of, it should be safe to say or assume that it’s a country like other countries. Can you imagine Obama being abducted from the white house, Enda Kenny from Steward’s Lodge, Goodluck Jonathan from Aso-Rock villa, David Cameron from number 10 Downing Street, I could go on and on and I would be very surprised if the answer to all these is yes. My question then is, now that it has happened, doesn’t the level of security in a country that has been ‘liberated’ frighten anyone or everyone as a matter of fact. Yea, the point can be raised that Libya is thousands of miles away but can’t we all take a minute to consider how Libya got to where it is? Is what happened to them really that far-fetched that it can’t happen to anyone?

PM Zeidan: Abducted in his own country.

Libya was a country that had a semblance of normalcy in its infrastructures. Emphasis on the words ‘semblance’ and ‘infrastructures’ because the place was governed by a dictator. Like I’ve said before, I’ve lived in a country under military dictatorship before and it’s in no way pleasant. Dictatorship being bad however, is it worth getting rid of the entire country to rid it of dictatorship when the alternative is worse? Yes, the prime minister is now friendly enough to grant Christiane Amanpour an interview but a whole lot more unsafe than when Gaddafi was there. In place of Gaddafi’s single army of terror, there are now many militias who terrorise the citizenry of the country. How much cajones must you possess to go and take the country’s leader and carry out a smooth operation? Now, imagine the country having may more groups like that jostling for power? How can that be a good thing? Dear international community, is this the freedom you promised to the Libyan people?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Child Marriage, Seriously?

It’s near impossible to have an act without both positives and negatives. An action that offends no one or that impresses no one. I have learnt enough from my time on this planet that there are two sides to every story and almost every deed would have some bit of applause and ridicule. Can there however be something wrong, just wrong? An action that is just plain wrong and no matter how much it’s beamed under the spotlight, the can be no shred of good sense in it. Well, step forward the Nigerian Senate and prove me wrong.
I don’t know which is worse, what they have done or what they have refused to do. The fact that they have refused to tackle the issues affecting the citizenry or the fact that they have chosen to legalize child marriage. No, you didn’t read that wrong, they made it legal for children to get married. Well, they should be in hiding then, right? They should lay low till it all dies down, ehn? Nope, not these shameless pot-bellied things. I read a quote attributed to the mastermind of this move recently. ‘His excellency’, Senator Ahmed Yerima. The buffon. If my memory serves me right, this is the same rag-skull that introduced sharia law. He was also the one who imported a 13 year old bride for himself. Hear him:
“..For those who wonder if I can give my daughter(s) out in marriage at the age of 9 or 13, I tell you most honestly, I can give her out at the age of 6 if I want to and its not your business. This is because I am a Muslim and I follow the example of the best of mankind, Muhammad…”

And the above, ladies and gentlemen is not from an interview in which he was rushed to give an answer, it was a press release. How sick can a public official be? How sick can anyone be as a matter of fact? He can give out his 6 year old daughter in marriage? This man is a freak. I mean freak. He makes Freddie Krueger look like Prince Charming.

Yerima: Do they get any more freakish?

I don’t know many things and my young head might not be aware of a lot of things, but I know child marriage cannot and should not be allowed in Nigeria. It should not be allowed among human beings. I’m not a medical doctor but I’ve heard of VVF and it’s a different kind of evil if these poor young girls suffer from it through vile rapists who commit these abominable acts in secret but to then legalize it and make it acceptable under the law? Come on! How can a girl who is barely a teenager have to make a decision on whom to spend the rest of her life with? Gosh, what demonic being has the effrontery to sleep with a girl whose idea of fun is ice cream while watching power puff girls? How can it be right for a girl to have to pick out baby clothes when her peers are picking out Barbie dolls?

What’s coming next? Legalize murder if I don’t accept your religious beliefs? Or maybe ban bacon because your holy book says I shouldn’t eat it? I can’t even think of anything viler than this unholy law this house of pain just inflicted on our country. Reverse this travesty now or the hottest parts of hell, the VIP section, next to Adolf Hitler’s apartment might just be round the corner as opposed to the seventy virgins you’re expecting. And oh what surprise that would be, ehn Ahmed?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Government of Pseudo-elites

I read Bode George, a political heavyweight in our dear country recently say the PDP had set some kind of record by giving the country uninterrupted democracy for 14 years. I didn’t know whether to smile or cry. We got independence from the Brits in 1960 and a public figure comes out in public to say his party should be lauded for having given us our longest streak of democracy of just over a decade. Reading the article further shows the only sense the old man made and that was pointing out the flaws of the alternatives to the PDP. The ex-convict was dead right on that one. If PDP was likened to taking a stroll in the Sahara and the ills that come with it, then the ACN was sunbathing at the gates of hell and who knows, maybe the APC would be chilling out in the hot furnace of hell itself.

Bode Gorge

We saw recently the show of shame that went on at the Rivers State house of assembly. A man who is meant to be representing the people hit a heavy metal material on another’s head in full public spectacle. Taking a second to ponder on it, isn’t that attempted murder? I’ve seen enough CSI (both fictional and real) to know he deserves to be in jail for that, but hey, it’s Nigeria. And this Chidi Lloyd person, I can almost be assured he will not be brought to book. So I get asking, do these our so-called leaders have any sense of decency at all?
Transparency International currently rated Nigeria the 8th most corrupt nation on earth. Honestly, the only surprise to me and probably many people is that there are 7 nations on the surface of this planet more corrupt than Nigeria. So , putting it all into context, we are corrupt, our leaders are literarily trying to kill each other in front of camera, our social amenities are non-existent, the state of Security is alarming, unemployment is almost becoming normal and a public political figure comes out laying claim to credit as giving us the best we’ve ever had. Folks, I think the problem is bigger than we thought! The problem isn’t our leaders doing wrong, it’s our leaders not recognizing wrong! Shouldn’t they all be hiding their faces in shame? Should they be giving press interviews?

We seem to be a country where the ones with little or no sense of decorum make up the elites of the society. A first lady who according to what I’ve read used to be a lecturer in an educational institution can’t speak English to get an extra kidney. A federal cabinet that claims things are getting better. A senate that have allowances probably bigger than every other one in the world. A police that is.. well… scarier than robbers. Public officers that are more interested in getting to office than looking after the people. And worst of all, we’re getting used to all these. I feel scared for my country. The only sense of consolation I get is that there are good Nigerians out there. Everyday people that have it in them to do what is right for the country. Living in diaspora and within the shores of Nigeria itself. A Nobel laureate, Hollywood actors, business giants, academic heavyweights and the likes. The smart ones are called common and the crass ones are called elites. I call them pseudo-elites. Unfortunately these pseudo-elites are the ones governing us.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Thatcher: Divisive icon?

I have a discussion session with some of the youngsters in my local church every Sunday. I was asking them this last Sunday what they thought of Margaret Thatcher and the overwhelming response I got was silence and the ‘who’s-that’ look on their faces. Now, while the current generation don’t exactly give two hoots who she is or what she stands for, older ones had little choice but to give more than a thousand hoots.

Mainstream media outlets have done the best they can to tell us she was a modern day lady of sacred hearts. CNN, BBC et al have tried to tell us all she was one of the best things to happen to mankind as far as political leaders are concerned in the 20th century. I know enough however to know these corporations are being controlled behind the scene very likely by those who profited from the views and causes she championed. The rich!
Now, I was not around when she was the prime minister to be able to give an accurate opinion this way or that but I like to explore things from different perspectives.

We must resist the attempt by politicians like her and the commonplace media to give her credits she does not merit. If she was such a great leader, why would Britons rejoice and party over her death? Many celebrated that the leader they loved to hate had died. A Trade Union leader did not spare words in condemning the role she played in the politics of England. Chris Kitchen said: “We've been waiting for a long time to hear the news of Baroness Thatcher's demise and I can't say I'm sorry. I've got no sympathy for Margaret Thatcher and I will not be shedding a tear for her. She's done untold damage to the mining community. I don't think Margaret Thatcher had any sympathy for the mining communities she decimated, the people she threw on the dole and the state she left the country in. I honestly can't think of anything good I can say about Margaret Thatcher.”

Thatcher was until death the most divisive and controversial Prime Minister in British history. The ordinary British people, whose lives she shattered while at 10 Downing Street, hated her even in death. Nevertheless, those who benefited from her free market policies that enriched the rich and impoverished the poor and those who shared in her racist and oppressive ideology loved her until death.

Margaret Thatcher

Thatcher’s policies towards Africa, especially South Africa was imperialistic. I guess if she had her way she would not have minded recolonizing Africa. She was a staunch supporter of Apartheid that ravaged that country. At one point she had the audacity to call Nelson Mandela and all those fighting against white brutality, terrorists.

Notwithstanding the emotions surrounding her death, no one can take away from Thatcher the fact that she was one of iconic personalities of the 20th century and still remains the first and the only female British Prime Minister. Her death however reminds us of the mortality of man, no matter how powerful such a person is or was. People who find themselves in the corridors of power should use their position to engineer enduring social change and not to perpetrate special interests. The evil that men and women do lives with them and after them as we have seen with Thatcher’s death. 

Police brutality

It was like a bad movie. A man was chained to the back of a van and dragged through the streets. In broad day light. By the police.

I guess being chained and dragged is a crime big enough to lose faith in humanity, but that it was done in broad daylight and then by people who are supposed to serve and protect the citizenry is just plain demonic. I don’t care why it was done, it simply is wrong. And as if fate just chooses to take a pee on all of us while smoking a Cuban cigar with a James Bond villain laugh, the reason for all these? He was wrongly parked! 

Not nice. Not nice at all.

Mido Macia, a 27-year-old Mozambican, was dragged close to 30 miles by the South African police for parking on the wrong side of the road. He later died from being beaten inside the police station. Simple enough fact! The question then is, if those you are meant to report violent crimes to are the ones perpetrating it, who do you report them to? The authorities? Well, in South Africa, think again. In 2008, with racial tensions high, South African Deputy Police Minister Susan Shabangu urged a shoot-to-kill policy, insisting, “I want no warning shots… You have one shot and it must be a kill shot. You must kill the bastards if they threaten you or the community. You must not worry about the regulations. That is my responsibility. Your responsibility is to serve and protect,” Shabangu told police in Pretoria. The argument can be made that he was carried away with the zeal of protecting indigenous south Africans, but is that just cause for a man in authority to spew put so much venom with the backing of his high office?

We are fortunate enough that the GardaĆ­ are not exactly that rough-handed in their approach to any form of crime fighting but with the world increasingly becoming a global village, what if anyone goes holidaying in other parts of the world?

Rodney King become sort of the poster boy for police brutality in 1992. King was tasered twice. And he was beaten. Well beaten. He was surrounded by 5 LAPD officers. In a country where freedom and justice is meant to be prevalent. Yea. The land of the free and home of the brave. Where democracy is supposed to be the watchword and shining light. That, I suppose clearly shows police brutality isn’t some third-world syndrome. 

Rodney King: No caption needed

A point of argument to justify this method of policing is that it serves criminals right. That criminals can’t be treated with kid’s gloves. That I do agree with. But policing like a bunch of heroin fuelled evil clan from a sci-fi movie, treating everyone in the community like animals in anticipation of crushing the activities of a bad few can be likened to killing a rat with a bomb. Yes, the rat dies, but so do a couple of human beings and valuable property. Won’t we all be better served using a club of chemicals to kill the rats instead? Why go all GI-Joe on people who are just trying to live through what is already a difficult economic environment? It’s wrong. Very wrong. Like we say where I’m from. There’s only one way to describe what’s wrong; It’s wrong.

Consider others

I see us as a people who are too busy looking up while moving forward forgetting we might run into others in front of us or even worse trample on those lying down. It seems almost adamic, embedded in us humans to take into reckoning only those of our class and ilk and ignore completely those that are below our level in class, status, financial, spiritual or whatever other inclination you choose to judge by. How about we try looking forward from time to time while looking up?

In the same world where there are those who live on two dollars per day, millionaires go into depression for not being on the Forbes list of billionaires. In the same world where others struggle to have any form of connection with a spiritual side, other ‘anointed’ ones join issues with God for giving them less anointing than a fellow ‘anointed’ one. Churches are too busy ‘sinner-hunting’ to care about the homeless. The guy with two children is too busy wanting a third to spare a word of encouragement for the barren.

And we wonder why it’s a dog-eat-dog world? And we wonder why wickedness persists? No one spares a thought for those less advantaged in whatever ramification. If the only ones we consider human or permit into our private worlds are those who have something to offer, is there any wonder why those left out of the human circle – sometimes due to no fault of their own- will do anything to become significant? We wonder why third world citizens that are neglected become urchins or cyber criminals in the developed world? Isn’t it inevitable? See, human survival instincts are enormously unbelievable and if you choose to show off your food to a hungry man without giving him to eat, he will rob you of it. Simples!

I condemn crime in the strongest possible terms. Not just for my religious beliefs, but from a personal moral standpoint of view as well. But you just see some things coming. A girl who chooses to wear skimpy clothes even Nicki Minaj would consider scandalous and chooses to pass the night if she’s allowed in a prison block of hardened criminals knows what’s going to happen overnight. But no, in the world we live in, the silly girl will still come out and press rape charges. Seriously? What did she think they’ll do with her? Bible study? Play twister? When the ruling class choose to trample on the lowly classed, create no jobs, make life unbearable and they turn around to claim they are being robbed when they drive through certain places, what did they think would happen? Prayers for them?

A line in MJ’s We are the World says:
“There’s a choice we’re making
We’re saving our own lives”

And saving our own lives is exactly what we’ll be doing in lending a hand to those who need it. A shoulder to those in tears. A glass of water to the thirsty. Warm clothes to those in need of warmth. It might mean a lot for you to let it go but it certainly means more to those who are receiving it. Someone once said the poor will one day become so poor, they’ll have nothing else to eat but the rich. And I tell you, we’re moving towards that place. I hope we don’t get there but for my wish to come true, some things have definitely got to change.

I hear people tell me of the ills in doing good. I hear of the backlash that might potentially come from being good to others. And I know more than most actually, of being paid ill for good. But should that put an end to doing good? Shouldn’t that just mean we should be careful in doing good? I think many people just want excuses to stop doing the uncomfortable.

Spare a thought for the less privileged. God likes it. Humans like it. And you just might be doing yourself some good.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What will it take

What will it take,
To rid our planet of injustice?

Is there a fight to fight?
An ocean to swim?
A race to run?
A hill to climb?
To get rid of untruthfulness?

Cheating abounds in the name of winner-takes-it-all,
Lies fly around in the name of diplomacy,
The weak are killed in the name of survival-of the fittest,
The rich get richer and the poor poorer.

As 'they' see it

The powerful take every opportunity they get to flex their muscles at what ever cost,
And no one comes to the aid of the weak and lowly.

Oh justice where is your face,
Once so full of life you were,
Now you lie frail and fragile in a land in ruins.

Why are we as a race and people so full of guile and despise for our own creator,
Why can’t we see it’s ourselves we’re hurting?
Why should I hold on to what I don’t need even though it looks like you’ll die without it.

Is it just going to continue this way?

A part of the world has more than enough,
Children grow up with machines to run errands for them,
And eating is as basic as walking upright,
Yet on the same planet,
The very height of luxury is having anything to munch on at anytime during the day.

Rich poor divide well laid out

Animals on one part have houses to sleep in,
Food and water aplenty,
Even clothing to shield away the bite of the cold,
While humans on another side have access to none of these things.

Why can’t anyone see the unfairness in this?

Is it laziness?
Wrath of God?
Climatic conditions?


Its just injustice,
For the meantime,
Many theories will fly around as to why these things happen,
While pretending they don’t know the answer,
But I won’t,
I’ll say what it is,

Its just unfair!!!!

And I ask in the depth of my heart,