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I discuss Nigeria and the world at large because I strongly believe MyOpinionCounts!

Month: May, 2014

OAU School-Fee Hike: The Necessity of Cautionary Activism by Oladapo Ajayi

Mr. Oladapo Ajayi is Nigerian and Master student resident in Germany. He is the initiator of the TACTProject, a NGO practically committed to giving poor children a fair chance at education in Nigeria. He is an activist and a grassroot political and community organiser

Mr. Oladapo Ajayi is Nigerian and Master student resident in Germany. He is the initiator of the TACTProject, a NGO practically committed to giving poor children a fair chance at education in Nigeria. He is an activist and a grassroot political and community organiser

By the grace of God and fate, I attended Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) Ile-Ife, I could not have wished for more in the context of the available choice schools in Nigeria. There is something about OAU that transforms her students. Such factors make you believe in the deeper truth that resonates in OAU anthem, namely *Great Ife* beyond the rhetoric.

Historically OAU was founded in 1962. This period, historically, was the good old days of Negritude. The period emphasis was placed on Black’s beauty. It could not have been an accident to have named OAU the most beautiful campus in Africa. The founding fathers had a clear mandate and vision, that is, to have an indigenous culture of African scholarship. The institution is supposed to compete favourably on the world stage. As a social-welfarist leader, Chief Obafemi Awolowo built with the defunct Western region’s tax payers fund an institution for the African race.

OAU did not only become a testimony to this vision. A new academic culture of de-colonization evolved, self-esteemed and confident principles are infused into the psyche of an average student of OAU. This reactionary academic culture becomes a ritualistic responsibility for every generation of students that tread the campus. This responsibility will mean, firstly, to live the culture of pride in one’s identity. Secondly, to be critical of what is *the other* or *the order*. These two word may not be easily separated from colonialism and oppression.

Therefore, for every generation of OAU students, there is always a battle to fight, there is always *the other* and there is always *the oppressive order*. Historically these have proven to be true. Even when Nigeria was under a military government occupation and in the currently *make-believe-democracy*.

These ideals have their own price. For some generation, it requires not only suspension and expulsion but even blood. For my generation, we can say that we walked on the sweat and blood of legends amongst equals like the great Activist Iwilade (aka Afrika). This is the truth: struggles and students militancy are generational inheritance of OAU students.

In truth, the challenges faced by students since the 1980s are very similar. The challenges are unseparable from the nation’s leadership problems and the systemic decay; and even, the collapse of the nation’s public institutions in the face of a fast growing population.

However, with a persistent and constant source and mode of problem there is a shifting factor of time. Time is a very interesting aspect of history, it not only marks history and events, it shapes even the future. Interestingly, OAU students have magically (but understandably; through sweat and blood) defiled the role of time for most part of history. For example, OAU students of 15 years ago will boast of how they pay the sum of 90 Naira for a decent student accommodation. A student like me will boast of how I paid less that 3,000 Naira for a bed space till 2010. In truth, we benefited from sweat and blood.

Ironically, these seemingly beautiful experiences do not necessarily translate to beautiful academic experiences again, neither do the beautiful experiences mean good academic atmosphere. In fact, it does not guarantee a stable academic calendar. As a matter of fact, this will result in having sub-human living conditions and overstressed school facilities due to lack of maintenance. The lecture theatres are irritatingly disfigured and are less functional. The sport-centre with the Amphi theatre is turned to a lecture space and just like Nigeria’s pride, OAU’s pride diminishes yearly.

It is very easy to completely put the blame of the decay on the state of the nation, but it will not be enough if we consider other parameters. An obvious parameter for me as a close observer is to compare the academic and living condition of an average University of Ibadan (UI) student in the last 12 years to that of an OAU student. We need not talk about UI’s upgraded library financed through Mc Arthur’s foundation. Let’s not see the new post-graduates hall of residence. In fact, let’s not see anything that may strip our *Great Ife* of its pride. Let’s just walk into any hall of residence in University of Ibadan and compare with that of OAU.

You may be forced to ask why the need for education in such condition after all. I will be quick to say that the living condition in University of Ibadan’s hall of residence is bad enough. Unfortunately, that of OAU is even unsuitable for sub-humans. Neanderthals had it better. The halls of residence is a total eyesore!

As a proud OAU student, I returned in 2012 for a master’s degree in Public administration; of course, I was sure it was the cheapest I could get in Nigeria as usual. Regrettably, my experience was a shock; I realized how much I was shielded from the reality of OAU’s academic decadence due to my less-populated undergraduate department. That is not to say my undergraduate department was functional even with her few number of students! There was no language laboratory during my stay, departmental toilets were defective, departmental library looked like a store-house. The resource-room where most lectures were given, was soaked with water at some point.

So, readers can imagine if with this experience, I could be shocked 2years after graduation in the same university because I felt I had worse conditions for a master programme! The rest is history. I dropped out of the course without remorse or regret. I am still trying to make sense of my world.

All these premises built above are to make case not as a *capitalist*. By the way, anyone who have a different understanding of what is acceptable is best classified by OAU student as a capitalist apologist. As Great Ife student you learn by heart that the school authority is part of the oppressed class, in fact all the lecturers except for Dr. Dipo Fasina and any Lecturer with a leftist ideology. As an OAU student, you learn to identify agents amongst your mates. Anyone who has a different opinion on issues is likely to be an agent of the *ruling class*, i.e. *the other*.

So I will clearly say that having considered the risk of being tagged, at least the following statements are true about me. I am not a Marxist; I am not talking from a privilege point of view because I have never been privileged in the sense of being privileged. I am always interested in new ways of seeing things and getting problems solved for the benefits of people without bias. I know that I try not to be sentimental in my views.

I am aware that OAU fees have been reviewed upward. in fact, in some cases to the tune of 500 percent increment; it is such an unfortunate case. I believe and support students’ reaction to this and I hope they will be determined and strategic enough to at least have a considerable reduction in the fees. However, I will like to implore the students to consider the role of time at this historical period.

Time in this case, is of two sides. it is the time I initially refer to as a determinant of a people’s position in history. On the other hand, time is also that material period that is required to catch up with the fast moving world that is beyond OAU.

The time as a determining factor will help the current students appreciate the fact that students’ militancy is naturally going bankrupt, outdated and unpopular. This time will help the students realize that marching on sweat and blood is becoming unpopular. Time in this sense will help the students to know that education in OAU and in Nigeria at large is unapologetically nothing to write home about.

This time will help the students realize that, ideas rule the world now and tactics must change as all the university management cannot just be out to increase the fees for the purpose of stealing. Time should prevail in our reasoning that happiness, personal fulfillment and a purpose driven life are not necessarily a certified life. Time should help the current generation realize that the Nigerian society is in danger from all angles and it may cease to exist sooner than we are prepared for it. This time should help us realize that most students in the university today are not all entirely the children of the masses.

As OAU students, we learned the rhetoric of the masses and oppressed, so we tend to fight for the right to educate the poor masses that are supposed to be OAU students; in recent times, OAU like every Nigerian university has created a sorting system that helps them control the class of undergraduates in the universities. The Institution now has a pre-degree programme where the candidates pay as much as 150,000 per year. This institution has become so competitive that over 33,000 students were screened for less than 5000 spaces in 2012! The entire Nigerian education system is now working in a way that million of the masses in public secondary schools cannot and may not be able to pass their final examination not to talk of qualifying for a university matriculation examination. In the end, they might never qualify to write OAU entrance examination, after all.

The current generation must reluctantly admit that in life *something must be given up*, our parents must stop taking Ankara, recharge cards, rice, burial ceremony and wedding ceremony aids from the politicians. They must brace up to the fact that education naturally is designed to create hierarchy in the society, so that the space for the most qualified becomes very limited. They must learn to fight to climb the ladder without sentiments. Youths must now read about Prof. Ojetunde Aboyade. We must learn from Afe Babalola’s stories. These two men like many others pulled through without statutory help of the government.
As for many Great Ife Alumnus, I have an interesting puzzle for us. Are we going to pull the house down completely? Knowing that we actually do not have a ruling class that cares? Are we going to get stuck to the identity and culture of the past without learning and re-inventing? Are we going to make the current students fight for a decadence we never fought for and make them pay with more blood? Are we ever going to shift attention to the likes of Oronsanye’s report that the Federal Government is implementing policies to cut down cost heavily on public spending? When are we going to stop seeing every Vice- Chancellor as anti-masses-agent?

If the standard of education in Nigeria must be improved, there is a price to pay for the long negligence. Everybody must be ready to help. Let’s just have 20,000 OAU Alumni that will provide the sum of 5,000 Naira for this university we all are falling to die for on social media. I believe we will generate 100,000,000 Naira annually. Let us identify the real masses in our University system and subsidize their expensive fees to the extent of their need. Let‘s help them get attention from their local government chairmen and governors. Let’s stop fighting for the wrong cause! More than half of the current population of students in the University today are not actually children of the masses we claim to be fighting for!

Aluta Continua! Vitoria Acerta!

Attention: The views and opinion represented in this article are solely those of the author. They do not necessarily represent those of http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com or the editorial policy of the blog. Comments will be forwarded to Mr. Ajayi for response if necessary.

Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): Home is Where the Heart is!

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Ranti bends over his window, his 3rd floor room gives a vantage view of theneigbourhood. It is his 8th year in the country of happiness. He had left home in the Summer of 2002 hoping to return after his doctorate to pursue an academic career in one of the universities.

 He picks a strayed leaf from a nearby tree that hangs on his window. It is Autumn. The beginning of the long lifeless season he has learned to endure in the last 8 years.

He remembers his first experience of Autumn, October 2002, three months after he arrived. It wasnot the falling leaves that troubled him but the rude dense atmosphere that greets him every time he left his room on Amberton Street.

He did not like Autumn, he could give half his wardrobe to have his Harmattan back. Harmattan, that season he dreaded most back home now created in him a sense of nostalgia. He longed for Harmattan and craved the dryness and wind it brought, not the dense cold of Autumn and its nascent deaths.

Now 34, Ranti is armed with a doctorate degree from one of the best universities in the world. Ranti shrinks from those Naija things he craved for in the Autumn of 2002; back then when he had wanted to return home.

Home is now a distant land, a vacation spot he visited only twice since he arrived in the US. Images of war which he disputed as not been the entire African story now form his perception of home. It isnot his fault.

The last time he went home was two years ago when he went for an interview at the Federal University. He was employed but subsequent days in the now hostile country gave him a rethink about settling at home.

In those few day at home, he dreaded the road he travelled, he dreaded the police after he saw men in black harass a middle-aged woman in front of a bar where he took his favouriteOdeku-Beer, he dreaded the meat he saw in the market; piles of meat left open for flies to feast on, while the meat sellers talked-on. They showered their wares with spittle from their Kolanut-tinted teeth.

He hated it all but thought he could endure it all- he had survived Government College Igbonla (GOVCO) when boys smoked weed in the forest behind the school field, he had survived the rough life- the early morning waking-up, the beating from senior schoolers who run GOVCO a military-barrack-style.

He had survived the weevil-seasoned beans, the reservoir-tanked water he drank years un-end! He had survived it all before he moved to America. He was back and would surviveit again, he thought.

If Naija consumes anybody, it would not be him. One week into his work, the reality dawned on him, it has been years after he left. A lot had changed:Secondary school students now form the nucleus of various cult groups.He has to endure hours in traffic jams to and from work. That means he has less time to read. To worsen the situation, things didnot look like they were going to change soon considering the crop of politicians in the country.

So that Friday night during Ramadan, after he had endured the long tenuous preaching of a man that emanated from very loud speakers from a Mosque justfew houses away he tried to force a sleep.

All through the preaching, he was infuriated with the Neanderthal-dimension the man approached his preaching. The man preached about a man who was presdetined to die by a car accident and henceforth avoided cars only to be killed by the tyres of a lorry!

 He couldnot have had 10 minutes of sleep when it was disrupted again. A shout of*Somebody Praise the Lord* emerged from the speaker of the church beside his house!

He had to endure the thunderous screams of *die*, *die*, *die* and other chattering he could not decipher.

When he had it to the throat, he did something that would later surprise and make him laugh when he thinks about it; he bombarded the roof of the church with stones. For a few seconds, the church seemed to have succumbed to his bombardments as they mellowed the noise.

Unexpectedly like school students trying to pick their voices after a menacing teacher left the class, the congregants resumed their chattering with even louder and bigger voices.

*Can you see what I mean?*, the leader of the congregants declared. *Our enemies have decided to get physical with*, he added. *You will pray that every arrow of the enemy, back to sender and please do not pray in English, this is warfare, the enemies of your life donot speak English, fight them in a language they understand, now!Pray!*

They resumed the prayers with stronger fervor. Ranti regretted ever throwing those beautiful stones. He needed no soothsayer to tell him that his continued stay in the country of his birth would eventually run him mad!

The following morning, he sent an email to the chair of the Computer Science department of University of South Georgia to ask if he could still return to take up an offer that was opened before he travelled.

He waited three days to get a response. The offer was still open.He would get a little less than he is being paid in Nigeria, not to talk of the high accomodation cost in America. Notwithstanding this financial sacrifice, he chose to return. He returned to the country of happiness-The US.

*Days climbed on top of days* *Months climbed on top of months* Years climbed on top of year*

It is 2014! A cloudy morning! The yearning to be home never really did leave Ranti all these years! He considers returning again! It might probably work this time around! The nostalgy is back!

He calledfriends- Matthew, Remi and Ikechukwu. They live in Nigeria.The friends really donot seem to care much about the tumult in the land. After all, they are not directly affected. It is therefore not their business.

Matthew lives a relatively good life in Lagos. He works in a bank. He has three used-cars. Matthew answered: *Oh, the kidnappings? That is a Northern affair, Ranti. Forget about it!*

Remi earns 40 thousand Naira as a school teacher in Ikotun, a surburb of Lagos. He believes God will save the country, for sure!

*What if the country is already saved, so that Nigerians only need allow the salvation to become a reality!* Ranti had first thought of saying this to Remi, but he perished the thought.

He reminded himself he was talking to Remi,who had rationalized the death of his mother as the will of God leaving out the fact that the poor woman had actually died as a consequenceof being taken to a quack clinic in the neighbourhood. The appendicitis operation could have been successful if done somewhere else.

Ikechukwu is of the opinion the political tumult is the plot of Northern Elite to tarnish the image of the president. Ranti told him his piece of mind. Ikechukwu insists it is an ethnic agenda to discredit the president.

The nostalgia washed away gradually. It might not be in his best interest to return yet again after all. The vision of his first return came back. He would not want to relive those nightmares again. He made a choice! He will stay in America!His children will remain here! His children’s children will too!And the children of the children of his children! This is home!

The Proverbial Crocodile and A Crooked Dame: On a Scale of Sincerity!

Undoubtedly, the latest display by Nigeria’s First Lady is in a class of its own, if considered in light of her usual comedy-like theatrical appearances in time past. For those who know her, this is enough to spur them to practically jump into the internet for a glimpse of her unique First-Ladyship! Seriously, an attempt to characterize this latest with words might be a challenge too daunting for literature!

If anyone is yet to see Dame Patience’s recent act, imagination will certainly not disappoint such fellow just at first guess what manner of episode she must have delivered. I recommend very quickly a google-search. They certainly would not want to miss Dame Patience performance!

For a better grasp, this is what happened: The First Lady practically broke down while she addressed a meeting she called to talk about the over 200 missing schoolgirls in Nigeria. A tissue was at hand to quickly salvage the situation. She at once removed her eyeglasses to wipe clean her tears!

It must not be left unsaid that her voice grew louder and wilder with every shout she made. Apparently in a move to emphasize her sorrow and state of bewilderment! After all, these were over 200 girl-children missing! Her Excellency is a mother (the First Mother!) and was once a girl!

Not to forget, also involved in this problem is Dame Patience’s husband, whose job and government’s integrity are at stake! The burden on the president’s shoulder at the moment could not have been better put on display in practical terms than the increased cleft of the First Lady’s voice while she delivered an episode that was not much different from a cast-down soul bewailing a loss too great to bear! Who would want to or could come to terms with such loss!

Voices were heard, apparently from those present uttering words of comfort. They must have been caught off-guard with the seemingly frustrated and broken First Lady. They forgot that this is a person whose emotional stability might not be medically unquestionable going by her various appearances since her assumption of Nigeria’s First-Ladyship!

In any case, it need be said without mincing words that saving the wailing of Her Excellency, no tear was sighted. It will certainly have been to her better advantage if she had made a successful attempt at shedding the proverbial crocodile tears, and ensuring for the sake of the media, that the *proverbial crocodile tears* were sighted before being wiped off with the tissue offered her!

Notwithstanding this little mishap in execution of the soap-opera-like short comedy, the goal of the short prop was achieved.

As a matter of fact, the handlers of the First Lady, particularly those who authored this theatre of the absurd must be commended for a well-done job. They have once again exploited fully the Femme fatal personality/unusual-woman-power character of the First Lady, and that very successfully. The emotion-prone First Lady was very useful for the singular purpose at hand, namely, diversion away from the heated polity of the moment. The comedic tint for which the First Lady is known was also a tool in this regard.

Come to think of it, it is over two weeks since the uneventful abduction of the schoolgirls, the cluelessness of the presidency has only gotten worse by the day, and the military is not any better in combating the insurgency. Conflicting statements from the presidency and the military on the (un-)successful release of (some) girls and consequent withdrawal or re-framing of the wordings of the press release could only worsen the predicament of the Jonathan Presidency. In a time of total loss within the rank and file of the presidency over the handling of the kidnapped girls, which is fast becoming a problem that cannot be ignored for the government, the First Lady’s show of shame came in very handy, a sort of temporary relief and a tool to weep up sentimental support for the president’s unfortunately helpless situation.

Apart from the diversionary purpose, her appearance is also a continuation of the blame-game. It is very convenient to shove fingers in the other direction to underline one’s innocence. One can be sure the handlers of the First Lady have since returned to their kitchen-laboratory to cook up yet another episode of the never-will-end-comedy-pack!

While this latest faux-pax is making rounds on various social media and has become a subject of serious discussion among the intellectuals, the First Lady had in actual fact reached her targeted audience with the kind of message she wanted to pass across! In fact, the higher viewership the video gets, the faster she reaches her desired group of Nigerians.

It should be noted that the audience of the First Lady is neither the (highly/superbly) educated social media users nor the better-informed citizenry like readers of this piece! I am certain many in this category were *pissed* as it is evident on various social media platforms and from comments and op-eds. These (well-informed) Nigerians are angered!

Has it ever occurred to anyone to ask if the First Lady cares about these Nigerians of good taste? To say the truth, she does not *give a damn* (if I may borrow that from President Jonathan’s vocabulary chart!). Her targeted audience is the easily bought-over type. This audience will/can much identify with her predicament. I refer to them as the *Put-Yourself-In-The-First-Lady-Shoes-Category*. This is one typical excuse which sells well among the fan-base of Her Excellency.

Their argument is this:
If I were the First Lady, I would have done same or worse to protect my husband’s interest!
This is a job that feed the family!
I am the First Lady! I would do anything to keep my husband on the job o!
Etc.

These Nigerians would shout you down if you happen to attempt to talk them back into common-sense regarding the urgency of the task at stake. Were they alone, which meant, they happen to be thinking alone, it would take them lesser time to convince themselves that the First Lady had done the right thing! Therefore, she must be right! Other self-convincing thoughts might follow. Before long, the president is forgiven and all his transgressions are blurted out. He is now being looked at with a flowery eye-spectacles on!

With reference to the proverbial crocodile and the First Lady, the former would be better placed if sincerity is a yardstick. Come to think of it, the crocodile shed the proverbial tears, not because the animal willed it into existence. To the crocodile, the shed tears is an unavoidable means to an end in that they were unavoidably shed! How else could she (the crocodile) have been able to crush the bones in her meal but to let the tears flow freely!

Now, fact is, the other of the pair, namely the First Lady, she had long figured out she was going to cry in that piece she acted. She knew what to do and how to go about effectively timing when she would break down! She could as well have started crying before the meeting began, but she did not! She held back her tears for the camera. She could as well resolve to a daily dose of wailing and tear-shedding to underline the genuineness of intention! No, she did and would not! Really, the First Lady would have won me over if she could show she had not slept since the girls were kidnapped or that she has not stopped crying and wailing since after that scam and sham of a meeting ended!

Further on the duo, apart from the sincerity of intention for which the crocodile is the better and sincere of the two, both of them clearly enjoyed the shed-tears. The shed-tears for the crocodile is a confirmation of how much she enjoys the food being crushed/eaten. The pleasure the crocodile derives from her tears can and is only comprehensible when described in orgasmic terms! If she could laugh and cry aloud, she could have done so to underline how pleased she is for a good meal!

Take it or leave it, like the crocodile and her tears, the First Lady did enjoy that show of shame she put up for the camera. Her brokenness is insincere. Readers should view it in this light: What exactly is the purpose of the meeting? Did she seriously mean to discuss the missing girls? Did she really have any reasonable solution or suggestion at hand, which she has since not discussed privately with her husband? Let us be clear: The First Lady’s pretended brokenness is a farce. I hope the Nigerian public is far better informed to be taken in by this farcical show of emotion which is best described as fraudulent emotional trickery.

Seriously speaking, one would do well not to discuss this First Lady at all, because she is a very unfortunate happening to Nigeria and a real waste of precious time! One is best advised to follow the Nobel Laureate’s wisdom when asked by Christiane Amanpour of CNN for his opinion of Nigeria’s First Lady.

Prof. Wole Soyinka aptly responded: That one that calls herself the First Lady of Nigeria, I don’t want to talk about her!

I second the Nobel Laureate.

Students and Professor Susan Arndt Hold Multi-Cultural Campaign in Bayreuth Germany to Bring Back Our Girls

A multi-cultural solidarity campaign was held at the University of Bayreuth, Germany on 7th May 2014. The solidarity campaign was conducted to press home demands for the release of the over 200 Nigerian girls adopted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.  Prominent Professor of Anglophone literature, Professor Susan Arndt was one of the initiators.

A multi-cultural solidarity campaign was held at the University of Bayreuth, Germany on 7th May 2014. The solidarity campaign was conducted to press home demands for the release of the over 200 Nigerian girls adopted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram. Prominent Professor of Anglophone literature, Professor Susan Arndt was one of the initiators.

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A multi-cultural solidarity campaign was held at the University of Bayreuth, Germany on the 7th of May 2014. The solidarity campaign was conducted to press home demands for the release of the over 200 Nigerian girls adopted by the terrorist group, Boko Haram.

The campaign which included a prominent Professor of Anglophone literature, Professor Susan Arndt, Fellows and students across disciplines had the Bring-Back-Our-Girls message translated into different languages to further drive home the point.

The campaigners were drawn from different parts of the world as a way of sustaining the international discourse and if possible garner international help needed in rescuing the abducted girls from Boko Haram captive.
Messages of love, hope and solidarity are sent to Nigerians.

Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): Exemplary Bastardization of The Favour-Phenomenon à la Jonathan!

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

Mr. Tanimomo is a scholar resident in Germany. He guest-blogs on http://www.ahjotnaija.wordpress.com He is author of the popular bi-weekly: Tanimomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM).

While the story of his non-possession of shoes was helpful to clinching the presidency in the last General Election, however sublime it was, another motif that ran through the victory story of President Jonathan in the 2011 presidential election is the theme of (G)goodluck and favour. So we heard that our good president swam in goodluck right from his primary school where he *goodluckily* toppled his head-boy. He repeated a comparable feat in his secondary school and enjoyed comparably same good fate in the Bayelsa state house. He must have the magic wand and this was quite easy to believe with his *Breath of Fresh Air Message*. It is now almost three years into his tenure as the president and history bears witness; this presidency has strayed into the darkest moments of our collective existence as a country.

Nigeria’s economy may be the largest in Africa – and I do not think the president should be thanked for that, thanked be those teeming young entrepreneurs who dare the odds and take risks to venture into the murky waters of business in Nigeria. Fact is, poverty, wanton indulgence and insecurity are the hallmarks of President Jonathan’s administration. This government will be a best runner-up should there exist a tabular placement of the most corrupt governments in Nigeria; his administration only trails closely after the brutal and corrupt regime of General Sani Abacha. It even becomes worse when his first lady assumes administrative responsibilities and decides to question civil servants on matters that her husband refused to tackle as the Commander-in-Chief-of-the -Armed Forces.

Unfortunately, it is not only the economy, among other sector and issues that suffers as a result of the Jonathan presidency, Nigeria’s and Nigerians’ psychology suffers too! Hard work, a virtue which was once held in high esteem among Nigerians of different faiths and beliefs, has been watered down due to the *goodluckyed* election of the president. Truth be said: the corruption of this virtue did not start with his presidency. It was only further and alarmingly worsened by his *goodluckyed* victory into the presidency.

There is that feeling of I-don’t-need-to-be-good-at-all to get to that position up there and when I seem to be overwhelmed by the duties and challenges of the office, Nigerians must understand because I am basking in God’s favour.
Favour is not for the lazy! Actually, President Jonathan did not get to the presidency as a result of favour, he rode on the gullibility, docility and naivety of Nigerians!

We celebrate mediocrity all in the guise that the president is humble and God-chosen due to the circumstances that led to his emergence as president. It still beats my imagination on how after the president’s catastrophic actions and inactions, Nigerians still resort to *God will deliver us!*.

Has God not delivered us? When exactly are we going to act our parts of the deliverance? When are we going to tell Mr. President that he might have rode to the highest office on the backs of luck and gullibility, it is high time he sat down and worked!

In the Biblical-lore, when the ark of God was going to be built, Moses, The Prophet, was instructed to contact particular people who were SKILLED in the craft. The Biblical deity did not rely on favour to get the job done. He sought for the best.

Let me ask: do you because of the fact that you are favoured stay at home when looking for a job, waiting for the job to come meet you at home? Some folks visit uncles countless times to remind him of the job he promised to help get! We have heard stories of others who slept with bosses to get jobs! If some can go that far to get a job that will feed them, then why can’t Nigerians give even more for a far more credible course, i.e. To the process of electing responsible and duty-conscious politicians into offices. This concerns us more; this is a process that affects present and future generations of Nigerians.

Let the hypocrisy stop. Our hands need be put to the plough more responsibly. The bad men must be told in clear terms of their dirty and terrible ways. Nigerians must show them the red card!

The bastardization of FAVOUR must stop! The truth is the current president is inept and this is a democracy, not a theocracy. A (wo-)man is at the helm of affairs for a reason. The truth must be upheld at all times and due process followed. Only then will Nigeria’s unborn children not loudly curse the past and this present generations over a destitute country that we (shall) leave behind for them to battle with!

2015 General Elections in Nigeria: What really Matters!

There has never been doubt in my mind that President Goodluck Jonathan will never do anything good for Nigeria. If anything has changed, it is that my conviction that President Jonathan is a disaster for Nigeria has been made even surer in the years following his assumption of office. The president has by his actions and inactions made even more established my opinion of him as a no-good-choice for the country.

While we make to confirm that the president is a never-do-well for Nigeria, we must not forget those who forced him down the throat of Nigerians. Nigerians must be clear by now about the fact that their choice of a president, and consequently their votes, is a pre-determined outcome à la deal-cutting by the kingmakers in the country. If any Nigerian is yet to accept this, I can only wish (s)he gives up any other Utopian assumption. The presidential choice has often been, and is still, a pre-determined given! Pure and simple!

Thus, that we are in clarity about the fact that a Vice-president Jonathan was personally handpicked by Chief Olusegun Obasanjo is a fact. President Jonathan’s eventual ascendancy to power is therefore not unconnected to his benefactor and installer, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo. We must not forget to to include faces like those of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo among many other nationally important nonentities/power cabals whenever we disapprove of President Jonathan’s irresponsible approach to national governance. Our disapproval of the incumbent is an indirect indictment of these people’s choice for the country. Let us always keep this in mind.

Unfortunately, the fact that President Jonathan has fallen out of favour with the Nigerian people is about to push into the background many more important issues which Nigerians have to confront as a country in the march to rescuing the nearly dead or good-as-dead country from the hands of the present president. One of these issues is the inevitability of a content-based choice for the replacement of President Jonathan come 2015!

As a reminder allow me to restate the fact that Nigeria’s problem is greater than the incumbent president. I have once written a piece on this. We must constantly remember that Nigeria’s problems date beyond him. The tendency that the problems will outlive Jonathan’s tenure as president is a sad and simple reality. This sad truth confronts us more urgently than before as the 2015 General Election draws closer. Nigerians must be clear about this: President Jonathan is only a confirmation and continuation of the irresponsibility in governance that Nigerians have been living with for a very long time, long before Jonathan’s assumption as Nigeria’s most-clueless president. Yes, he is the most-clueless, but we need be careful we do not replace a most-clueless with something worse. The Yoruba proverb of a deceased breadwinner of a family, who died bed-ridden, but whose replacement is unfortunately another bed-ridden fellow underlines the impending danger of a misfit/*mis-choice*!

My fear is not in the re-election of Nigeria’s most-clueless president. My worst nightmare is in the continuation of this irresponsibility in whoever the choice of the office of president falls on come 2015. There is this paradox of even the most-uncommon/most-promising candidate/choice for the occupation of Aso-Rock suddenly becoming a promoter and the face of anti-people policies and programmes. A reminder that President Jonathan once had no shoes would suffice in this regard!

Now, let me be clear, I will never push for a return of President Jonathan in any way imaginable. President Jonathan deserves to be removed by any means legitimate. This is the singular truth. Nigerians must by now realize that the past three years of President Jonathan are lost years! The last year is unlikely to be rescued from failure! The choice of his replacement and what exact policies will this replacement pursue ought therefore to be the utmost priority of the citizenry by now.

*Before I go on, let me divert a little.*
This diversion is a necessity to underline a point. The diversion is Boko Haram. I have sparsely commented on the Boko Haram insurgency in the country in my articles, apart from Facebook updates and pieces of mind on the inhumanity of this sect. The truth is, like many Nigerians, I am altogether lost for words. The atrocities of Boko Haram are, like I have described at a time, beyond barbarism. They are simply too cruel that even the word cruel under-qualifies them.

Having said this, I need say this too: there is more to Boko Haram than meet the eyes! While many believe that President Jonathan might have, and in fact he has, met his waterloo in this insurgency, in that he might not be returned as president come 2015, the greater looser are in actual fact Nigerians in that the Boko Haram insurgency currently beclouds so many issues that need be addressed, especially those that matter in the choice of a replacement for President Jonathan. All Nigerians are busy with right now, including the presidency, is the combating of the threat posed by Boko Haram. Who would do/have done otherwise?

There is no mincing words that Boko Haram is a shame and terror Nigerians live and daily grapple with. Another fact is the dominance (effect) of the Boko Haram sect of other issues/discussions worth having concerning the forthcoming 2015 General Election. Everybody or at least those who do not support a repeat/return of the Jonathan presidency is occupied with the problems generated by this irresponsible anti-state agent, rightly so, but they seem to have forgotten that a replacement of President Jonathan might be a worse-off replacement if we do not begin to negotiate what exactly we want in that replacement. If care is not taken, Nigerians would only be able to negotiate blindly, like one is wont to whenever one is under pressure to get rid of an unfortunate situation like the incumbent in Nigeria.
*End of diversion.*

Candidates who wish and demand to replace the monumental failure in the person of President Jonathan must be asked to bring to the table one by one what exactly he intends to do and achieve within the first four years of his presidency. (S)he must tell Nigerians how (s)he intends to bring these (good) intentions about.

I, like many other Nigerians, are tired of giving consent by sheer trust and questionable (past/present) records. The assumption of the leadership of a country goes beyond a wishful desire to serve. It must be a well planed-out journey. In my opinion, only a candidate, who not only make promises, but tells Nigerians very carefully how he intends to achieve his/her intentions and propositions deserves a serious consideration for the office of president come 2015. This candidate must take into account all possible hiccups and political problems (s)he might encounter in the course of his presidency. The candidate needs be aware that Nigerians are not unaware of these problems, which are likely to make his tenure an absolute failure, so that if (s)he tells them (s)he intends to turn Nigeria into a paradise in the next four years, they know that (s)he is a joke and must be thrown out without a second thought!

What exactly does this boil down to? Here is my hypothetical candidate: as matter of fact, I would gladly and proudly give my vote to a presidential candidate, who would come up to tell me (s)he intends to combat only the problem of, say, constant electricity supply in Nigeria for the next four years. This candidate must also tell me exactly how (s)he intends to achieve this, bringing across the explanation of the *intention* and the *how-to-achieve-this-intention* in a kindergarten-styled manner and manual! Sincerely speaking, I would be ready to convince anybody to vote such a candidate!

In the Nigeria of today, the hypothetical candidate in the above paragraph is simply what it is: a political hypothesis which cannot happen in Nigeria! Actually, it is not an exaggeration to demand this kind of approach from (Nigerian) politicians because this is exactly what good politics is about. Any serious country and her politicians know this is what is needed to move the country positively forward, realistically and politically. Anything short of this, is a short-changing of the masses and a national joke!

A very good example to consider in this regard is Germany in the formation of her latest government after the 2013 General Election. The incumbent chancellor won a near-absolute majority in the election, but still short of the needed majority in parliament to govern. Alongside with the intending coalition partner, Dr. Angela Merkel’s party, Christian Democratic Party (CDU) and the Socialist Democratic Party (SDP) dialogued for weeks un-end in a retreat to write the coalition contract, working out point by point what the coalition government intends to achieve in the forthcoming government/legislature period. Mind you, each party tried as much as possible to accommodate all the concretely proposed projects promised during election campaign as much as possible in the contract, while compromising as little as possible. At the end of the coalition discussion/retreat, the partners came up with a binding contract, which every interested German can see for himself/herself. In this contract are clearly written all political steps that shall be taken for the next four years and how these steps will be taken. Take note: when I say point by point, and step by step, that is exactly what I mean!

Now, a good question to ask is this: is it asking too much from a presidential candidate in Nigeria to tell Nigerians one singular issue (s)he intends to attend to while in office and how (s)he intends to attend to this issue successfully? Mind you, this candidate would not be asked to attend to any other issue than this particular one. It will neither be asking too much to choose for such a candidate the exact issue Nigerians want him/her to attend to. I am very confident I will be speaking for the people of Nigeria if I dare say that this singular issue should be COUNTRY-WIDE 24-HOUR ELECTRICITY SUPPLY!

Considering the above proposition, I see a problem already, one which sincere supporters of any political party would not deny. Presently, there are two parties which can be taken seriously at the presidential level, going by the weight of those behind them. The All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP). Even if we put aside all prejudices, which Nigerians legitimately hold against the leaders of both parties, thus giving the parties the chance to come up with a singular project, which (shall) affect the lives of the masses, take for instance constant electricity supply, I doubt it if the supporters of these parties will be ready to swear on Ogun (The Yoruba god’s of Iron) that any of these political parties will come up with a realistic goal/target for the next four years.

I need not remind Nigerians that President Jonathan promised more than President Obama had to promise for his re-election into the White House! President Jonathan promised heaven and earth during the last general election. Really, left to President Jonathan and those who imposed him on Nigeria, they would have gladly promised their lives to get Goodluck Jonathan elected as president! This confirms how unserious the PDP is. President Jonathan, and very clearly too the PDP, is a monumental failure. There is no doubt about this. It must be said however, I am very much in doubt if an APC-president will be different if elected using the same format which the PDP has always used and will use again, namely election promises and more election promises!

So far, beyond the usual jostling for political nomination, negotiations and endless meetings, one is yet to see any serious indication that even an APC-presidential candidate will do beyond giving endless promises, upon which (s)he intends to be elected into office of president come 2015. Agreed that these meetings and negotiations are normal routine in politicking and and party-dialoguing, there is certainly nothing stopping serious candidates from making public what they intend to do and how these goals shall be achieved. We are about a year to another presidential election for crying out loud! And by the way, the candidates should please keep in mind that Nigerians would not want unrealistic promises/goals/projects. One would even think such a move will make them more credible candidates! Alas, we are in Nigeria, where clearly other yardsticks matter more than realistic projects and goals!

Given that the presently most-touted candidate in the APC, who might likely get the presidential nomination of the party for the 2015 Geneal Election, die get the ticket, it is most likely we shall have to rely on the usual format/template to get him elected into office- promises and endless promises without clear pathway to realizing them!

Given the choice between two evils namely, President Goodluck Jonathan and the said most-touted candidate of the APC in the person of Rtd. General Muhammadi Buhari, which will most likely be the choice Nigerians shall be confronted with in the forthcoming 2015 General Election, I am certainly forced to choose the latter, but I strongly must make clear that mere promises are not enough and shall not be enough! Nigerians deserve more than these (empty) promises! It is hight time the APC and her most likely presidential candidate begin to address issues à la German style to underline their seriousness and sincerity of intention(s).

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