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Category: WeekendStarter

BreakingNews: MIN Ambassadors Visit President Buhari in London!

“Agba to so agbado modi, lo so ara re di alawada ediye” Yoruba Proverb

Buhari is clinically dead. No, Buhari is dead. No, Buhari is dead and his handlers wouldn’t let us the people of Nigeria, we voted for him overwhelmingly in the last presidential election, mourn a good man in peace. He actually was an evil man, but one doesn’t talk ill of the dead. He deserved all the good and badwill, he worked his life off gathering them in tons. He was part of Nigeria civil war by the war, a repeat of which Nnamdi Kanu is not calling for, but this same president is encouraging with all his body language and actions, right from Nigeria to London in his dying hours.
Meanwhile, two people from MIN, don’t ask what that is, just Google, (MIN is a very powerful group feared by the Aso Rock Cabal on and off Facebook, if that description epps)they visited Buhari in London, the same Buhari that the Cabal prevented our Dearest Aisha, the wife of our dying president, from seeing. The two MIN ambassadors saw him.


President Muhammadu Buhari

First of all, he’s taking his Nigerian drugs, I mean Buhari is taking his drugs, no fears, the ones that our doctors packed in his aeroplane parked in London hanger, very expensive place to sleep for a Nigerian aeroplane and strange too. No sun, no rain, nothing, nada for the poor aeroplane. We will come to that later.
Meanwhile, Nigerians, knowing what hell the poor creature is facing, have been calling for his immediate retrieval home, I mean the aeroplane, not the person it carried across the ocean, but Femi Adesina, the mouthpiece, whose son is now a pilot, not that the son flew Buhari to London o, he’s not involved, but his father has been talking about him plenty of times these days since Buhari absconded office, it was this Adesina who said Buhari is not dead, as if we needed any confirmation of his being alive, and that tje aeroplane should wait there, not considering what the people are saying. He said many more things which this book cannot contain.
Back to MIN, they saw him and laughed out loud, with the president of course. Who wan die laughing at a sick president! One of the MIN ambassadors is a man disguised as a woman, the president didn’t notice, he’s so sick. If not, he would have been wondering who brought a kitchen material into a hospital space. No respect. Our president is that tactless, no respect for Angela Merkel, Germany’s powerful Chancellor. It was in her presence Buhari shamed his own wife, the wife he married in the right way, Yoruba will say, nisuloka, with yams and yamflower. Poor Aisha I cried when I heard the news and saw the video for myself .
Anyway, this is not about my emotions, back to the president matter. He’s hale and healthy, even Asiwaju is short of words at the moment, Asiwaju The Great. Yoruba oni gbagbe e lailai! It was Obasanjo who gave us Yaradua. Asiwaju topped that in record time. Another dying president sold to us in a beautiful package! APC! The packaging powerful! How did we buy the elephant in the house?! Just how?! All our great people, the intelligentsia in America and Europe and the abroad, they are now calling it what it is, a bad market, but before now, they swore on their own lives that we had no better alternative at that moment.
Meanwhile, one MIN member back then was shouting so loud he lost his voice. He said and I quote: “my people, vote for Jonathan and go and vomit thereafter, it will not kill you if you vomit early enough.” He said so many other great things, like, let me quote again : “APC and PDP are latrines, my people, I advice you as a proud MIN, choose the latrine with two P in it, the one that featured Jonathan as president.” End of quote.
Not that Jonathan was the best Nigeria had to offer, but this MIN member was sincere enough to admit we were already screwed and Jonathan would screw us slower than this unlimited screwing we have been enduring from Buhari since that we can’t take it no more. As I was saying, many many quotes, check them out yourselves on Google, they are everywhere. They littered everywhere some Cabal blocked this selfless Nigerian self for the great effort to save Nigeria from us. That’s history.
Now back to the visit. Buhari spoke not in Hausa this time. He was polite he chose Edo, the language of the Gods, a dialect of The Great Yoruba Language. Alright. Alright. Is alright. No quarrel, yet is not about language or dialect that is not dialect or important, that discussion will come later. For now, it’s about the body language of the president. He’s suffering from speech impairment. Sahara Reporters don’t do fake news. They are real. To be sincere, the president is in bad shape. I have known and seen people in his condition. He deserved all the pity and prayers in the world.
The latter will help no more though. He cursed the Gods too many times they have chosen to ignore any of the latter that involved the name of our president. A tip: When saying a prayer for him, do not mention his name. I repeat, avoid mentioning his name. Just pray.
Some badbelle people are saying the photos from the MIN people are photoshopped. Others say, and so what?! We are okay with them like that. All we are saying is for President Buhari to come home hail and hearty. We love him that much. Dead or alive, just bring hin home, his family doesn’t deserve this shame. Let a good man be brought home with dignity. President Buhari is not like this. It’s people who have been laundering his image since he happened to our public consciousness decades ago. And till today. Lies! Lies!! Lies!!! Imagine how quick bad names stick. Only that in this case, Buhari did all the bad bad things people said. At least, this presidency is a nightmare already, and people are saying this is even childsplay, it pales in comparison to the terribleness of Buhari’s first coming. Is like, the more we are screwed, the juicier it gets for the old and new brigade alike. The politicians and their sidekicks, the people.
I am speechless but not speech impaired. Thank goodness. Anyway, before we lost thread of the conversation, we are still looking for our President, someone said he’s in hiding, seeking asylum in London, some said he’s dying. We are not sure sha, but we know he’s dying. All our Great Dibia from the North are not seeing good things. Imams from the East are speaking with one voice, not seeing anything different. According to Ifa priests from where they are from, there’s tunnel at the end of the darkness. The Babalawo of Osborne is at rest, he believes the Imams and The Dibia and The Ifa priests. Nothing evil, no evil shall happen to our president. Ten thousand shall fall by the right, tens of thousand by the left, none of this shall befall him. I believe too, like the #halleluyahchallenge, Nigeria will survive it. Let us pray.

Taninomo’s Piece of Mind (TPoM): Joy Isi Bewaji vs. Hallelujah Challenge Brouhaha (JIB vs. HCB)

Don’t throw the child away with the bathwater. While many of you are calling for Isi Bewaji’s head because of her rant against the Halleluyah challenge, you seem to neglect the salient lessons. She was wrong to have interfered in the religious business of faithfuls who decided to come together to worship their God. It was not the Ministry of Science and Technology or the Ministry of Education that called the challenge, it was a group of Christians and that is why they called Christians. But she was also right in the rant; religion has to a large extent adversely affected us. It has made us more selfish, close minded and unquestioning.

So, I went to an ‘SU’ secondary school, those schools where the proprietor is an ultra-religious adherent. We had a long list of dos and don’ts. The school directress, who at that time was running her PhD in English, told us not to read Festus Iyayi’s Violence, a NECO prescribed text. Her reason: it was ‘corrupt.’ The intolerance was top-notch; these were people willing to kill with the rod in order to bend you to the mould they think is right.


Hand-in-pocket: Oluwaseun Tanimomo of TPoM

In general, it seems besides salvation a number of Nigerian churches have no other good to offer. Church here means an organized body of people on earth who gather in a place regularly to listen to a scriptural exegete. What obtains in the religious circles in Nigeria and some African countries is different from the reality in Western countries, where Christianity and churches appear to be compassionate. In Germany for example, I know that the Catholic Church and the Protestants have scholarship stipends for students. They have hospitals and organise conferences and fairs. In Nigeria we build big churches and organise big programs year after year. How do you explain to the people that they are the real church when we spend millions adorning buildings? And are those private jets really for evangelism or for jetting out to world capitals where the honorarium is heavy and enticing? Do our super-pastors travel to the villages in Adamawa, the poorest parts of Malawi and Mozambique to preach? It seems to me that the good news is only for the super-rich. That is one other thing I like in my German church; offerings are collected to travel to the very poor, for ‘development aids’. Just look at the good Pope don’t you like him?
Religion for a number of us is a tool for control; a tool to force people into your line of scriptural interpretation. It is the reason we are so quick to fight for our God. Imagine! In my second year at the Obafemi Awolowo University, I had picked a Quran to read, so this boy called Maxwel, who we had all thought to be Ibo and consequently Christian told me to drop the Quran. I smiled and thought the bros was joking until he picked a knife. I like my life! I dropped it immediately until another good Muslim friend, Damola is his name, explained to me that they don’t treat their holy book the way we did ours. I asked Damola why he chose not to stab me instead. After all, they are both Muslim . Damola condemned the action of the violent Muslim.
Still in my second year, a group of student-religious leaders decided for the whole hall that it was wrong to watch adult movies in the common room on Friday nights. They succeeded because they added violence to their quest. This was a hall of residence for students majorly above 18 years. adults. Anyways, we went on a two week break after that, we called it Mojo break.
As a child of about 8years, my mum once left her work to come pick me and my siblings at my grandma’s place in Ijoko-Ota because the Gods of the Ota people did not know it was the dusk of the 20th century. Businesses shut down and a pin-drop silence accompanied by a palpable fear enveloped Sango-Ota area, a midway city to Ijoko-Ota, and its environs. The Oro festival was being held. Talking about Oro festival, I once attended a vigil as a child and Oro visited. They charged at us because there were women in the church. Women should not see Oro. Well, our Pastor’s wife and also a family friend said she was not going to hide that she had rights. Fearless woman! Whether you interpret this as a Westernized Christian woman, disrespectful of her culture, standing in the way of tradition. Or a fearless woman standing for her rights against a patriarchal religion is another matter. I choose the latter.
Family members, friends complain about the gridlock along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway from time to time. True, it might not be the responsibility of the churches to build roads, but I believe these churches have enormous influence on governments.
Whatever shape or form religion takes in Nigeria, it seems that those at the helm of its affairs are one way or the other complicit in the oppression of the people. Our ancestors had seen the tyranny of religion and concluded that religion or whatever deity we choose to serve must be able to save us and make our lives better. Orisa bi o le gba mi, se mi bi o ti ba mi, our ancestors warned. In the act of our ancestors, they preempted a danger of an unbridled deity, hence the insertion of the freedom clause in the design of our Gods. The freedom to choose is important, saving which the head of a particular God may swell and tell adherents to kill or punish non-adherents so that (s)he can be more God.
Christianity, Islam and our traditional religions sure have many positive sides. But to be a slave to religion is to be a slave to unreason. Religion should help and not be a problem. In fact, I am against this seeming adopted Westernized religious manicheeism in Nigeria that clearly divorces reason from feeling, and religion from science. Fact is, science and religion can walk hand in hand and lead humans to a more humane world. It does really not have to be this manicheeism kind of approach as it is presently in Nigeria.

the water-walk

We rolled tyres in sheer abandonment, in company of children from i-don’t-know-where. Only the moment mattered, we were happy to be alive. We sang. Songs we never knew how they came to be. We heard them sung and we joined in, they became part of us, and never left us. Whenever I sing, I remember my childhood, and my growing up is brought back to me. Hear me sing of three children accosted and abused by a soja.

Awa meta lanlo. Loju titi. Apade soja. Oni awawe. Alawa o we mo o. Ofowa leti. Eti mi o. Eti mi o. Bisi ba mgbeyo. Oko Bose.

Songs accompanied our daily living. The song of three children accosted and abused by a soja accompanied us once we were out in search of water. We sang as loud as we could. One late afternoon.

We went through a narrow path. Mechanics littered the path, it was their workshop. Hot silencers. Firewood. Charcoal. Burnt metal. Thick air. Master called to Apprentice. Apprentice ran over with the Master’s bidding. Fearing for no apparent reason. Hoping he brought the right tools.

We walked past them, and there in a corner sat men. Not too far away were women, mothers and wives, babies strapped to their backs, bare-chested girls, wrapper-tying women, two or three plaiting hair, talking away the hot afternoon while the day gave way for the arrival of the night.

And the sitting men. They played ayo-olopon. One of the men lived in our house. was one of them. His wife complained about him. He would not look for work, how would a man not look for work!?

We came to a wider road with open gutters. Buckets and bowls dangling. We carried no water yet. My small bowl in my hands had its back to my stomach. The journey was just about to start.

We went past The Photographer’s shop. I peeped. The doors were open, but the curtain shot out outsiders. One or twice we had come to the studio. The Photographer took us family shots. Sometimes he came to our house, into our room, and took us shots. Mother would have arranged his coming, so that hours before he came, we would be busy wearing clothes, choosing and unchoosing our best of clothes. Sunday clothes. Occasion clothes. Or just Readymade. His arrival often met us unfinished, unprepared for the shooting.

I remember one of the photographs, very cute it turned out to be. Mother sat on the blue chair, the chair was placed so the window could be seen, my sister stood beside the chair to the right, my brother to the left, and I stood in front of my brother. I wore my cherished somodobo and a t-shirt. My lovely t-shirt. My red canvas from Bata. My sister wore her gown of evening dreamlike pink, somewhere around the waist a small bag. Mother was in her best, the headtie covered the jerrycurl in part. My brother’s t-shirt was with yellow stripes.

We were instructed to smile. The Photographer could have spared us this instruction. It made it harder to get the smile out of our happy faces. We smiled but before the click of the camera happened, the smiles fled our faces, too scared to withstand the camera-click. When the picture was brought, my brother had his lips supressing a smile. When we knew the picture was to be sent to Daddy, we dotted more on it, it became one of our most treasured possessions.

We went past The Photographer and joined a tarred road. On the road we were joined by other water-searchers. They in their group. We in our group. We talked in our group, and they talked to each other. Then we increased our pace, wanting to outwalk each other. When the walking gave neither group an edge, we ran until we scattered. At the end of the road, we branched into Mr. Jerry’s street. We had been told there was water there. The queue was long.

We heard screams. I came before you. It’s a big lie. You cheat. You liar. Get out. Get in. Leave my bowl alone. No I will not. A fight broke out. Solidarity. Peacemakers. Onlookers. Laughter. And more laughter. The queue moved a little. The fighters finished their fight, and brought back their bowls, and we moved back to where we were.

After the fight. Then the talks. Bad water. The water we fetched was contaminated. We must boil it before we drink. Or not drink it at all. We could bathe with it, wash our clothes and cook. We would boil it before we cook. THe boiled water in the orange bucket back home began to make sense. Mother had boiled water and instructed us not to come near it. It’s very hot. If you do, you will be burnt. Stay away. Mother must gave heard the contaminated water-talk.

It was our turn. We fetched water. The sun had retired for the day, cool breeze blew out the heat, walking us back home as cold water fell in lumps. We made to balance our walk and the water on our heads.

Walk gently. You. If not. You will get home only with empty bowl. You. You will not come with us tomorrow. You. You don’t hear word. See. You. You are running. That’s why the whole water is pouring away. Take it easy. You. You see. You have just wasted a whole day’s queue.

We walked past the roads and their many people. Before we knew it, we were home.

Alhaji Raimi Street

Growing up. We were not poor. And by this, I mean every word of it. I will be clear from here: I am talking about me, about myself, about those that gave me life, it’s about us, and about all those who can identify with my story. It’s not fiction. Our happiness was real, it’s still real. The memories are beautiful, of a childhood well spent, of fulfillment and of good tidings. Thanks to my mother, and my dad too, who made it possible. Dad was, and still is, a great guy. I am sure he never would have wished for a different wife.

Let me begin with my MAT memory. MAT is a multimillionaire. He is a business tycoon, he is one of the first major distributor of Nigerite Asbestos roofing sheets before many many other distributors caught wind of the business and flooded the market. MAT owned big trucks. All of them very big. We children called them Trailer MAT. And this is what they truly are! We would stand by in awe counting all of them as they retired to our street in Orile Agege to sleep for the night. The day’s work was done and their big big rocklike tyres walked into our world to complete our expectations before we ourselves retired into the night on our mats spread out in the nightly moon in attempt to escape mosquitoes and heat of our binukonu house.

Many of the trucks arrived before nightfall, so that Brother Peter could still wash them. Bro Peter was a giant, very tall, his mother was one old woman, whos face and beautiful look I still have in my memory till today. She sold pepper in lambebe and other aworobo in front of her house. She was such a gentle woman. A complete contrast to Bro Peter’s loud nature. Bro Peter was loud but not ruly nor unwarantedly rough. He would fight nobody if the fighting partner had not first found his trouble. I remember one case like that when we saw some new people washing the trucks that were normally carwashed by him. That was one day I will not forget in a hurry. His rage came with such loudness and roughness the people did not wait to see it land on tthem before they disappeared into thin air.

Later news spread that some people, apparently his foes, had gone to MAT to badmouth him there. They said he did not carwash the trucks clean enough. We all knew this is a wicked lie. Is it not Bro Peter who would collect Omo from his mother and fetch water without end to carwash these trucks? Trucks that drove intoin our streets very dirty and after which Bro Peter would carwash them so well that we see our pictures glister in their newness!? Why would anyone tell this kind of lie against our giant? Bro Peter was all tears as he carwashed his beloved trucks that evening. I never saw him cry like that, not before that time, and not again thereafter. We even heard that these new people did not even wait for MAT to decide the matter before they set out to begin carwashing the trucks that particular evening. It all infuriated Bro Peter even the more. It hurt him too much.

Many times, it was after Bro Peter finished washing that MAT himself drove into our street. Our street led to Abeokuta Street. Ours was Alhaji Raimi Street. He preferred connecting his house via our own street because it was wider than Abeokuta Street. He had a Jeep. His name was the platenumber. I am not very sure now, but I think he drove with a peculiar sound. We children knew this sound way too well. We needed no reminder who it was when MAT appeared around the corner into our street. All of us children on the street would burst into jubilation, praising him, shouting his name. I am sure he saw us through the fully tinted glasses of his Jeep. His driver always drove with extreme care because we were everywhere on the road, busy with all types of children games of our time.

We played Suwe. We played soccer. With unripe oranges. We played Rubber. We did TenTen. And we sang ChiChi O Emego! The bigger ones played table tennis and some of us hung around the table tennis table watching them play to win big bet monies. There were enough games to busy all the roads and streets so that the sound on MAT’s Jeep was actually a good thing, and the slowness was to safe us from accident. In anycase, we loved him so well because he was our multimillionaire. He lived among us. He was one of us, just like us. We would gather behind the Jeep shouting MAT! MAT!! MAT!!! How I so much enjoyed these times.

His first wife, Alhaja, was a friend to many women in the street. We heard his wives don’t work. And this is true. Because I was there once when Alhaja told my mother she had to go home before Alhaji returned from office. His wives called him like that. For us, he was MAT. She had come out of the house to tell my mother she would be buying a very expensive cloth that the women chose for an occasion. They talked about other trivialities before she left. I could not cease looking at her face. She was old and young at the same time. Her skin was fresh and she was softspoken. We used to know that MAT’s latest wife followed him in his Jeep in the morning and that they returned together in the evening. Each time when he drove past, different kinds of new rumour about him filled the air, passing from one mouth to the other, before we finally settled back into our many disrupted games on the roads and streets.

His fame only grew stronger when he single handedly pursued thieves with his double barrel gun out of our streets. The legend had it that MAT jumped down from the penthouse built like watchtower ontop of his storeyed house. He jumped right into the midst of the thieves and scattered them. The thieves could not wait. They took to their heels and he pursued them! He chased them all out. That was before he relocated to his new house in Okekoto Area. He left the old house for his first son, so we heard. He moved into a much bigger house. In my child mind, I agreed he moved into a mansion. And a big house it was indeed. We used to see the light from faraway Okekoto in our street.

Lest I forget, it was because of MAT that a powerline was brought into our area. So, those of us who were sure of the thickness of the wire that carried the powerline on the electricity poles would point them to those of us who did not know. I was awed when I finally recognised the thick powerline. Each time light went off, and MAT’s house was well lit, I concluded it was the powerline that gave him light. Also, when the other line in the powerline gave up light, standby generators took over, keeping the supply of electricty constant in MAT’s house. A legend had it that he left because the thiefraids on our streets were becoming too many and a nightmare for his safety.

Let me spare my first time experience in the hands of armed robbers for awhile and tell of many other blissful times in Orile Agege. There was one unforgettable one like that. It happened at Ile-Osa. We were a handful playing football on this open space, undeveloped because it was a sacred space. Its sacredness notwithstanding, we had not been able to deter people from turning this space into wastedumpyard. So, when we saw that day somebody coming with a big bowl on his head, we were all tensed, waiting to pounce on him if he dared to dispose his waste right before our korokoro eyes while we played. He pulled a smart trick on us though.

So, he came, and before our own eyes, removed the big bowl from his head and placed it on the floor. At once we gathered around him to tell him to carry the dirt immediately. We had barely gathered when he pointed our attention to something none of us had noticed before then. He shouted: “Look! Look!! Look!!!” And pointing his fingers while he did. We followed the direction of the fingers in surprise at this new thing we could not figure out. Out of curiosity, our gaze removed from the wastebowl in the floor, focused on the new unseen threat. Then, like play like play, this wastecarrier took to his heels in the direction of his fingers. We were still not sure what he saw there it was pointing at, but we were carried away long enough for him to run away leaving us with the wastebowl. When our consciousness returned back into our body, we were left with the stranger’s wastebowl. The stranger had long run out of sight. We could not stop laughing at our own stupidity. He got us was all we could say!

So, talking about the nightly moons. Those were beautiful times. I swear they were!  If I ever was born again, I swear I would not hate it if I came back to that same street. At about 7pm, depending on how soon night broke or which family was first to bring out its mats, we all would sweep different spaces in our frontyard, spread our sleeping mats, and laid on them. We children moved from mat to mat, playing all plays imaginable, shouting our voices coarse for excitement. We told stories and sang songs. We recaptured the day’s occurrence, individual or common experiences. If there was any act of valour, we relived them again in the night, we talked and laughed about how many of us lost their afternoon food to the game of Kelegbe.

I bet, nobody would think it fun when a friend just happened on you and caught you and your afternoon food pants down! Imagine this: your friend caught you with your favourite food in your hand, or anything valuable, and you must give it up, because you both had an earlier gentleman agreement that either of you, who in that moment is caught without a piece of broom hidden somewhere in his hair, so that he can counter you with “Motayo!-response” when he charged at your possession with a Kelegbe!-declaration. So much fun we had playing our fun games. This and many more busied our night. We jested, we fought, we smiled, we laughed and told Ijapa stories abd many more. All under the moonlight.

I am coming back tomorrow to tell you of the story of The Dog who hid His Mother in The Sky although it was agreed that all animals kill their mothers for meal due to the famine in the land. But let me tell you first of our deep freezers. The joy that entered our whole house when the deep freezer arrived. It was on one afternoon like that. None of us children suspected mother was going to buy one. We would have been caught unprepared all the same to welcome such a huge change in our room, but our surprise would have been lesser. Mother caught all of us unprepared. It was not a Tokunbo. It was brand new ThermoCool Deep Freezer. It was a playmate who pointed my attention to mother stepping out of the transporter and the people dragging something towards us. The whole house erupted into ecstatic jubilation. Mother was being praised from right left back front and centre. The next day, I carried my books to school in the packagebox which had housed the electricity stabilizer. The stabilizer was bought alongside the deep freezer so that irregular power supply doesn’t spoil it. I placed it proudly on my head and walked to my primary school.

It was in this same house we shared our sorrows together. Like when Wasiu died. It was like we all died. We sorrowed like there was no tomorrow. Same way we jumped and ran to the hospital when we received news of Aunty Muji’s accident, or when we heard Bro Nojimu had fallen off a bus. He was a busboy. We were more than happy to receive him back into our midst. Our love and attention nursed him back to health. We were immeasurably happy when the wife of the younger brother of Bro Semiu put to bed. We all went to the hospital. We all trekked, talking loudly. We were happy. Very happy. We were simply being us. She brought home her baby and she became part of us, growing up with us in who we were!

Before I forget these two, let me drop them here: (1) the night we heard the bakery at the other end of Abeokuta Street invented a new bread. Solo Bread. We stormed the bakery, bought so many, ate them. And bought again. And ate them all. Because we could afford them. It was such genius. The Cocacola Company had just brought a new product into the market. The Solo Coke. The name and price inspired the new bread. We enjoyed the hotness and freshness of the bread. And we enjoyed the idea even more. I am not sure how much a piece sold for, but I bet it could not have been costlier than one Naira. (2) The night an adult brought the new one Naira coin and other coins in lesser denominations home. They were new. Babangida had just killed our beloved one Naira note and many more. We comforted ourselves in the newness we held in our hands. We passed them around. We all wanted to have a look.

It was not all fun in Alhaji Raimi Street. We had our differences. We fought each other. As in bitter fights o. But our bitterness never outlived the night. We resolved them. And I mean every word of that. The adults did. The children did. We all did. We were bigger than our bitterness. We never allowed that to destroy us. How else could our unity despite our differences be nade evident other than 1991/1992. The years that preceded the Hope ’93 project. Iya Funlola was the SDP in the house. She was the lead vanguard of the people’s party. We couldn’t have enough parties in the house. Whenever Iya Funlola returned from The Airport where she worked for FAAN, the whole house would be agog with praise and singing of all songs imaginable in support of Chief MKO Abiola and The Horse, the symbol of the party.

On the other hand, Baba Shamu, the man in charge of NRC in our house, not to be outdone, would roll out songs, invite more than enough people from other streets to join us in celebrating the victory of The Party with The Bird as its emblem. Chants of Egbe Eleye loni competing to outdrone voices of Egbe Elesin! In the middle of all these were us, children, living our happiness right there as it happened. We did not know the difference. We were only happy. And we lived it.

End of the year. I remember two spectacular occasions. One was super cool, one was not. The bad one first, and that very short. We went for a watchnight service. On our way back home, the high tension wire on poles began this terrible spark. We did not know what triggered this sparkling. Thank Goodness we escaped. I held mother’s hand as we ran away from the sparkling high tension. It was such a thin escape that we were not struck. Now to the good one. I dont know how it started, it sha started. We were at our backyard in our street. Was it Iya Tope or Iya Omopenu who had killed a chicken and we were all gathered to look at the defeather-ing process, to be followed by the careful cutting into small pieces. Someone fetched water to fill his empty drum somewhere close to the kitchen. Some bathed their children while some did nothing in particular. Iya Funlola’s voice joined the song blaring from a stereo in one of the rooms. It was the traditional end-of-year-song. Then, one of us joined. Another joined. Yet another joined. Until we were all singing and rejoicing that we were going to see the new year! The revival that descended on the househouse lasted hours. Iya Funlola only stopped us at imterval to feed us with more reasons why we must be thankful. And we indeed were. We raised our voices and sang even louder. Our religion never mattered. We were just all happy and thankful for the new year.

I can continue to tell of many many beautiful times while I was  a growing. They were great times, for real. But I don’t want to bore my readers so I will stop here for today. I will continue tomorrow. Then, I will tell of that armed robbery experience. It was a trauma, no doubt, but many other memorable moments far outweigh it. Times that cannot wait to be told. I will tell of these good times and memories. And many many more. Tomorrow.



Hand-in-pocket: Oluwaseun Tanimomo of TPoM

Because it is fast, short and life-altering, sprint-athletes spend years steadying and hastening their paces before big events. Planning, self-denial and discipline are some of the recipes for success in such big life-time events. Who builds a house without counting the cost? So, it is surprising that the Buhari presidency delights us with stories of unprecedented corruption in high places that marked the immediate past government. As a result, we are encouraged to believe the journey to Eldorado will be slow but steady.

Being Nigeria’s president is not childplay but a post that exerts carefully coordinated campaigns in outwitting opponents, it is preposterous therefore that after months in office, many supporters of the president still delude themselves in the slow and steady discourse the media team of the president forced down their throats.

One would have expected that within the first months in government, the APC-led government would have departed or at least distanced itself from some of the policies it criticised the former ruling party for. For one, what are the plans of the present government as regards the autonomy of the Local Governments? What steps is the government taking in making sure that Nigeria becomes a true federal state as repeated by the APC during the PDP administration? Is the presidential hanger still adorned with numerous PDP-purchased aircrafts? Who exactly in the whole of the APC-government complains about the jumbo pay our elected politicians earn? And what happened to state policing?

The in-due-course narrative that the government has sustained as a visage for its slow progress is both tiring and excruciating. His first months might have been greeted with unanimous stories of frequent power supply and general public service sit-tightedness, many took this as a sign of progress and bought into the slow-and-steady business, months after it is beginning to look like business as usual. My theory is that many of these civil servants sat tight because the No-Nonsense President was in town, President Buhari should have rode on that momentum. Iron bends better when struck hot. As it is, it seems that a number of civil servants who were used to a laxed lifestyle under previous administrations have fallen back to their old selves to their shells.

At the coronation of the Emir of Kano, Lamido Sanusi, President Buhari (then presidential aspirant), evidently miffed, had asked “what is Boko Haram!?” His anger seemed to demonstrate a deep understanding of the menace and a detailed line of action. Unfortunately, months down the line, Boko Haram has claimed by a rough estimates at least a sixth of what they did under President Goodluck Jonathan. While our soldiers have shown great commitment, audacity and tenacity in bringing this menace to an end, more can still be done. What we have in the NorthEast is a full-fledged war and the government should not be reluctant in assembling the full might of Nigeria Military in handling this imperilment. Another question: Will our girls be brought back?

The economy has not recovered and as at the time of writing this, the Dollar exchanges for well above 200Naira, close on the heels of 300Naira. Unemployed youths still roam the streets unattended and customs and immigration officers at the airport still ask for bribe though now in a mild manner. The government should focus its energy on fixing paralyzed sectors, and revamping the economy. The presidency should as a matter of urgency attend to the fuel crisis; thankfully there are fewer queues. It is time to implement those electricity policies that the government promised during the elections.

It is worth noting that the media has been favourable to this administration. As an instance, the war against Boko Haram has not been reported in the same light as during the Jonathan administration. But support soon wanes when there are no noticeable improvement. The pervasive recklessness and cluelessness of the former administration does not help matters so that a call for action in this present administration reroutes you to the Jonathan years. This administration seems in many regards knowing of what to do, so it should move beyond semblance.

In fictitious spaces and imaginative realms, the tortoise can outrun the hare but in real life, complex and sophisticated situations, slow and steady does not win car race neither does it help a country develop. A lesson to be learned from the fable: the tortoise won because the hare lacked strategy, was lazy and overconfident. In my humble submission, our president can be fast and steady. We celebrate countries like Canada, Singapore, Georgia because out of nowhere they have risen and towered high in record time.

It is almost 2016, if we are still stuck on basic infrastructural development when will we start talking about other pressing issues that concern us like ecological problems? When will we have trains that run from Aba to Zungeru? When will we have well-lit streets, drainage or national health insurance scheme for every Nigerian? When will there be social plans for the very poor and foreign aids to other countries? When will we be able to call the police and expect to see them at the door within 10 minutes? My spirit tells me that if an African country gets it right others will follow suit. I want that country to be Nigeria.

LiterarySaturday (LS): The Seizures

cricket-clip-art-cricket-clip-art-8I saw things, many things. Only me saw them. When I was a child. I thought they would go away all by themselves. With time. I was wrong. They kept coming back. Let me start with a magic. I will then tell you of my seizures. Only about my seizures. There was a game we played on any flat surface, with four stones or any other objects so small. So, it happened one stone fell and rolled under the bed. What I did surprised me: I wished the stone back to the flat surface, and it happened! I was still unsure if I performed a magic when mother’s money dropped on the floor. “Oh! My money just fell”, she said. Confident I could get back her money, I applied my magic formular, and it worked! “How did you do it?”, she wanted to know.”I only wished the money back into your palms, and it worked!”, I told her. Later I could understand my magic power. I could see things people around me did not see, there were times I visualised within me a particular moment, and just like that I saw it before me in the fullness of time.

I used to have seizures; my breathing has been bad since I was a child. Before every terrible moment when I got thrown here and there as is wont for a fistful rage, I saw it coming, only that I could not help myself. I saw animals and insects. There was a time I saw a pig; that was the last time I saw one before a seizure. Almost all the times I used to see a cricket, then one cricket became two, two three, and four, and five, then a crowd. Before I could say jack, I was foaming from the mouth. It was that bad. The crickets terrified me with their noise.

There were times I passed out, only to be revived when I heard mother’s cry; those were times when the agony of a mother brought me back. I am not sure I knew what agony was then, only that I did see mother dressed in rags, ashes on head, crying out her eyes to have me come back to her. On one side were beautiful children, smiling, almost jubilant, that they saw me, on the other side was mother in her condition. It often happened that the jubilant children became angry whenever I was not allowed to join them. “See, your mother is crying. Go back to her, you are not a wicked child. Or are you?“. Then against my will, and against the wishes of the spirit children, a force much powerful than my body brought me back to life.

One time like that, it was Yeye who brought me back. I had by then mastered the pattern. I was bent on joining the children no matter what. I saw mother crying. I cared less. I had seen before this seizure this would happen, so that I fortified myself against being impressed. Another plus for my decision, the force which always begged me to return was not present. While mother sorrowed to convince me on her own to come back, I was far gone into the world of the spirit children; our joy was beyond jubilant, I could not describe it. We went past gates. More gates opened to us. We strode on in pride; my own pride knew no bound because I was carried in a chair. Our path was lined with beautiful trees, some gave us shades and others fruits, there were flowers and butterflies of varying colours; their fragile wings were a wonder to behold. I bet no one would have wished not to carry on. I did not care anymore. It was not until I woke in mother’s arm I realised I did not make it this time around too. Of course I did not tell mother what happened. I was still in shock that I did not wake up where I had visualized before the seizure.

It was when she told me of Yeye’s exploit on reviving me it became clear who hindered my success. Mother’s eyes were pale and red from crying, she looked tired and worn out. I hate to see her this miserable. “I will leave you to rest a little now that you are out of danger, let me go prepare what Yeye instructed so you can eat. Close your eyes, no fears, ok? I will not be gone for long”. I wondered what she wanted to cook, I did not ask. I smiled at her love. It was a faint smile. She smiled back, and I saw love.

That was in the village. That night when I slept, I saw what shall happen when we return to Lagos, I saw mother was going to take me somewhere. For deliverance, I concluded. And she did. What I did not see was the detail of what shall happen on our  way to the Celestial Church of Christ. Allow me tell in brief what happened on the way. I am sure that is why I could not see it while I slept that night. Everything worked together for good, at least for mother; reason being that if I had seen this I would have wished away this Celestial Church visit. And I am sure mother would have been disuaded if I wished it!

Well, to cut it short, the journey was beyond rough, the molue that took us was overfilled, the passengers were most unfriendly, the conductor was a horrible being, he seized the slippers of a passenger who paid him half the fare and cursed him as he pushed him off the bus. He then threw the slippers out the window down the bridge, when the passenger was well out of sight. Almost immediately he picked a fight with another passenger. “You better pay in your own interest.” “And what will you do if I don’t?” The passenger was about to call the conductor bastard in another sentence when his own word stuck in his mouth. The conductor had responded to the first question; the response was short and weighty. “Kill you, of course”.

The whole exchange had been in Yoruba. The countenance of the conductor betrayed no joke. There was a brief silence in the bus, then like one fighting to stay alive, the passenger was unstoppable, he shouted at the top of his voice, he bragged and bragged that the conductor could do him nothing! “Thirteen of you are not enough to do me anything. Who are you, bastard!?” He finally used the b-word. His rage was unendable, but looking beyond his wild outburst, I saw a shigidi who insisted on being thrown into his own death; I knew he feared for his life. All through, the conductor answered nothing and he did not threaten to throw him out. It was at the last busstop we realised the conductor indeed meant to kill him. I only saw the cutlass the driver removed from underneath his seat, he charged at the man, the conductor held him because he struggled to escape. Mother walked faster while she dragged me along with instruction not to look back. We only heard shout of oroooo! and yeeeee! and many indistinct voices shouting haaaaa! o ma fe pa looto ni ke! Mother took a bend and the Celestial Church of Christ was in sight. It was just like I had seen it on that night.

“Madam, don’t worry. The word of the lord will safe your child. I have been assured he shall see them no more! For behold, these Egyptians you shall see no more!”. I was wondering what he meant, mother kept saying amen, the prophet’s voice grew louder and bolder, as if encouraged by mother’s amen. He looked me in the eyes and repeated what he had said. Right there I concluded he was a charlatan. I almost wished mother and me out of his presence. “I have prepared water. Here is sponge. This soap is special. Bathe him with it there”. He pointed to a bathroom. “Come back for more prayers. It is well with you both.” His voice was louder than I could bear. I began to cry. I was almost wishing for another seizure. Mother did as instructed. Thereafter we set out for home. It was a long day.

I was sure I will be seeing crickets again. I told mother what came to my mind, “I will be seeing crickets again, very soon.” “What?” “Wait and see. That prophet. Throw away the soap. I don’t like it.” I hoped she made no sense of what I said. Before long I was asleep on her laps. cricket-clip-art-cricket-clip-art-8

MayDay…BlahBlahBlah!…Raw Potatoe…!

MayDay is good. 24 hours to live my life my way. Holiday. And I did. My two daughters learned to ride bicycles, my son drove his scooters, screaming like an excited overfed puppy behind their back. I love him like kilode! And he knows too. He is my Number One Fan. For real. I busied me with my new hobby, photography. I will photogist you of my new-found love very soon.

See the joys of fatherhood as I see them make those bold moves, pressing hard to pedal to emancipation. If I had them where girls who ride bicycles at their age must have mothers, who tell them to close their legs because they are girls, I would never be happy with myself. This is my message to my girls as they daily live their lives: See, hapiness is doing what makes you happy. So be happy!

The last time I took them to Mass, I needed to ask the priest to forgive my foolishness. Ibukun was more than loud. She ran everywhere, the Mass held amidst the chaos and the priest mumbled words I can never remember. I don’t even know why I took them there. She had protested she never wanted to be part of my old life that has refused to let me be. It was like she threw back my own injunction at me: Pa, if Mass makes you happy, go there, I have every right to shout in Mass because I had never wanted to be part of it anyway.

This girl will not kill me! Hehn! New discovery: She is not a vegetarian. I would bet she’ll never be. Each time I munch my leaves, she reminds me emphatically how strongly she detests salad like leprosy. ‘Child, I never wanted you to be anyway. Thanks for being what I wanted in a girlchild: BEING YOU!’

Twenty years ago. Nawarudeen Primary School. Ijoko-Ota. On an open field, I rode a bicycle for the first time. I had thought Bro Tope still got my back. Long before I realized he left me alone, I was pedaling as fast as I never could imagine. Yay! My joy knew no bound. I have never stopped riding since. Rest in peace, Bro Tope.

For years, I and two best friends stole water money to rent BMX bicycles. Five naira for a thirty munute bike-rental ride would become two hours of riding around because we were scared like shit to return for fear of loosing shoes as fine for our foolishness.

‘But why do they make shit here?’ That was my son asking to know what rights have the bird to dirty our street. ‘Look, this tree houses the birds. You know they live up there. They do nothing wrong to empty their bowels under this tree. Only dogs are not allowed to do that. We once talked about naughty dog owners who would not clean-up their friends’ shit, you remember?’

I am a happy man. Finally, I can live forever in peace! My children care about animals, their environment and all that etc. The other time I heard Ibukun warned my other daughter never to scare rabbits again. I was all smile. I love those beautiful creatures gaan gidi.

If I see paradise, I know. Here in Dortmund, birds don’t run too far away from you because they know you wont stone them to death. Few days ago, two rabbits hopped few centimeters from me to allow me pass, then they returned back to continue their play. One jumped forward, the other jumped after him, and on and on they jumped till I lost sight of them. I suppose they know about sugarcandy mountain.

I have told few people of sugarcandy mountain. Now I will tell you all so you know what and where that place is: This is where animals go when they die, an afterlife paradise for these helpless creatures and friends. How do I know? Yeah, it was a day like that when I saw too animals, a dog and a tortoise, they talked and I overheard their sadness.

They were in doubt as to where their end shall be. I did not know how to comfort them, but a squirrel came to the rescue. She had just returned from a journey where the air tells you of things to come, so she knew what she was talking about. The wind had told her about the no-more sorrow palace where the souls of dead kins(wo)men go when they leave us. For real, words could not express the joy like a river I glimpsed on the faces of both animals.

Like now, I take my time to tell anyone who cares why I love flowers so much. I do because I do! Like cooking, they literarily saved my life two years ago.

Imagine this: You have prepared that same Eba the wrong way all your life! One day you cooked her right, then Eba, knowing what you have done, sprang to her feet, looked you in the eyes, kissed you real hard, and tell you to your face: Thank you Dear for doing me right! For once! I hope we do this again.

Meanwhile you did not know you have been in the wrong all your life. It wasn’t your fault, but neither was it Eba’s fault either. She never could talk until that moment. Would you have forgotten that?! I bet you never will!

The same way I was forgiven by a flower who opened my window one morning like that, she never minded I lived on the tenth floor of a skyscaper, walked right into my life and declared: I forgive you for ignoring me this long! I love you. Henceforth, live this life as if I only mattered to you. I fell in love with this new kind of kindness on the spot!

If you know a man who threatened to eat raw potatoe because a woman did not return his love, don’t ignore him. Help him pill the thing, cook it, add salt, if you have oil, add it too. If there is time, watch him eat your love or feed him while you wipe his tears. Your warmth will do him good. Good men deserve good love.

Open Letter to Prof. ‘Remi Sonaiya by Isiaq ‘Deji Hammed

Professor 'Remi Sonaiya was KOWA Party Presidential Candidate in Nigeria's 2015 Presidential election

Professor ‘Remi Sonaiya was KOWA Party Presidential Candidate in Nigeria’s 2015 Presidential election

Dear Prof. Sonaiya,

Five months ago, if I had written this open letter with this same caption, a deluge of questions would have poured in. Who is the addressee of this letter? Why is an open letter addressed to her? What relationship exists between the writer and her? Of what concern is the letter to us, members of the public? Just name it. Any question an inquisitive mind could elicit.

Today, by that singular audacity, you, Prof. Comfort ‘Remi Sonaiya, have saved me the stress of having to proffer answer(s) to satiate the people’s genuine curiosity. This audacity, encapsulated in your eight-word motivational statement, “Ordinary citizens like me can be President too”,  resonated across the length and breadth of our nation. With that epochal electoral participation, Mrs. Sonaiya has etched her name in gold in our History books as a woman Presidential contestant in the male-dominated Nigeria political terrain.

By garnering 13,076 of the total votes cast, which were spread across the 36 states of the federation plus the FCT, the KOWA Party candidate trounced two other male contestants out of the other 13 male hopefuls in the March 28 historic Presidential election. As modest as this may appear, it is definitely no mean feat most especially for a woman and a new comer to the rocky and bumpy  roads to the highest office in the land. Today, Remi Sonaiya, this name of an “ordinary” Nigerian with an “extraordinary” dream rings a bell, from the far north to the near south. From the remote east, to the proximal west. That in itself is a resounding achievement. It offers a rare springboard for a more forceful comeback and a leverage to sweep to victory in the future.

Still about the future, General Buhari’s triumph at the polls was a symbolic defeat and demystification of moneybags politics. The dedollarizaion and denairalization of our political space were a necessary rite of passage which we had to undergo as a people so as to guarantee a level playing field and ensure the enthronement of meritocracy among the political class. Never again will financial inducement of the electorates be so potent as to fetch undue advantage for unpopular and mediocre political desperadoes to lord it over the rest of us. Henceforth, it will be foolhardy and naïve to rely solely on buying votes as a means to get to power.

It was the need to ensure that paradigm shift that made a number of us to pitch our tents with Gen. Muhammadu Buhari. We understood that by siding with him, we were supporting a man who possesses and depends solely on the strength of his character and willingness to serve  as a means to get the people’s mandate. We understood that the former Head of State was not the best, but definitely better than those currently misruling us. We understood, like the Yoruba proverb captured it, that trees that fall on each other should be sorted out from top downward. Buhari was therefore a means to an end. And not an end in itself. He offered the tool with which the masses vented their anger and taught our present crop of (mis)leaders the lesson that never again should the people be taken for a ride.

Isiaq 'Deji Hammed. An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. 'Deji came to us READY-MADE! He is a giant contributor.

Isiaq ‘Deji Hammed.
An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. ‘Deji came to us READY-MADE!
He is a giant contributor.

In effect, we were, perhaps inadvertently, paving way for the emergence of “ordinary citizens” like me and you in occupying, why not, the highest office in the land. With the corrupt politicians’ buying dollars put to shame, and with massive rigging drastically checked and reduced, the coast to the Presidency is more than ever clear for the likes of Sonaiya who were hitherto shortchanged for being unable or unwilling, as a matter of personal principle, to go on dollars’ spray. I hope we will consolidate on that paradigm shift.

That is not all. The unwritten north-south power rotation pact as well  as power zoning between the six geopolitical regions is another hurdle we must cross. Moreover, the level of our sociopolitical evolution and sophistication as to embrace the idea of a female President is still subject of contention and cynicism. For a  patriarchal nation like ours with deeply rooted male chauvinistic tendencies, it will at best remain a tall order.

However, none of the hurdles is insurmountable. Like you rightly pointed out in one of your pre-election interviews, serving in the incoming administration may not be out of place. In my estimations, most of the personal principles and sociopolitical norms and values that you hold dear are not anathema to the President-elect. Without you cross-carpeting or compromising on the KOWA Party welfarist ideology, taking a political appointment will afford the opportunity to showcase your leadership prowess and endear you more to the electorates. That will also silence the skeptics who were cynical about your leadership credentials and experience. Hillary Clinton, Oby Ezekwesili, Late Dora Akunyili etc all offer shining examples in this regard.

Alternatively, our dear Professor of French language and Applied linguistics turned politician can focus on building KOWA Party to become stronger and by so doing deepen our democracy while serving as watchdogs and constructive critics of the ruling party. I completely agree with these lines in your post-election statement:

I am also convinced that there is a quiet majority out there who see the truth in our message that only a leader with strong values and an independent mind can give us the change we need. As such, I intend to spend the coming years working with other members to grow KOWA Party and establish it as a solid and attractive platform of excellence for politicians of character and integrity.

The road may seem long, tedious and unending. I dare to think otherwise. The most difficult was having the audacity to embark. That you have done. By mere coincidence or not, General Buhari’s twelve-year journey to Aso Rock Villa started when he was sixty years old. You are also starting at that particular age. How long yours will take still begs for answer. An answer that only Providence has a clue about. In the months and years to come, we can only wish you the best of luck and assure you of  our unwavering belief and unflinching support of your noble dreams for our nation and the common man.

Isiaq ‘Deji Hammed

WeekendStarter by Isiaq ‘Deji Hammed: Buhari’s Presidency is a Dream Come True

General Buhari

General Buhari

As some rightly put it, on the 1st of the Fourth month of the year, Muhammadu Buhari became the Fourth elected President of the Fourth Republic at his Fourth attempt. Mere coincidence!? Certainly this ascension to the highest office in the land by the first Opposition leader since Nigeria’s Independence in 1960  is jinx-breaking. The advent of the Nigerian Abraham Lincoln has forever demystified the Almighty incumbency factor at the central government.  The self-styled Africa’s largest political party, the PDP, taunted to rule for sixty consecutive years has been rebased to the “Africa’s largest opposition party”, albeit after just sixteen years. Perhaps they misheard their Seer’s prophecy and mistook six-teen for six-ty, or the said Seer is simply non-seeing.

One thing is definitely certain. Nigeria just opened a new page in her democratic history. A new dawn has broken. As the President-Elect aptly captured it in his acceptance speech : “You voted for change and now change has come”. And if these heavy-laden words are anything to go by, then Nigerians have just succeeded in replacing a bloody revolution à la Arab Spring with the broom revolution through the ballots.

Talking of averting bloodshed, and that will lead to the President Jonathan’s phone call, concession speech, and the subsequent heroism hoopla that trails them, records must be set straight here.  Indeed there was a pre-presidential election and also a post-presidential election. Concerned citizens counseled  President Jonathan not to thread the Gbagbo’s path and not to yield to unpatriotic pressures from the hawks in his entourage. Mr President hearkened to the warnings. And by that singular show of sportsmanship and display of humility in defeat, President Jonathan doused tension and saved the lives of innocent Nigerians. And if that is not commendable, nothing else should. President Laurent Gbagbo refused to concede defeat in 2010 to his rival, President Ouattara. The consequence of which was a full blown post-election violent conflict which sent over 3000 Ivorians to their early graves within the space of four months. If we would condemn him for his obduracy and self-centeredness, and treat him as a villain, then for doing the opposite, Jonathan should be commended. Fairness and not being hypocritical require nothing short of that from us.

Isiaq Hammed An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. Isiaq Hammed came to us READY-MADE! He is a giant contributor.

Isiaq Hammed
An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. Isiaq Hammed came to us READY-MADE!
He is a giant contributor.

However, commendation has a limit. There was indeed a Pre-election Jonathan who descended to the lowest of low in his desperation to clinch a reelection. A President who, together with his spouse and their cronies, threw all known decorum, modesty, morality and Presidential restraints to the dustbin. Under no circumstance should President Jonathan become a national hero overnight and through the backdoor. That will amount to a brazen denial of the pre-presidential election and  a sordid insult to our collective memory. Beatifying him as some have taken it thus far is tantamount to a reckless and heinous betrayal of the Chibok girls, the dozens of youths who lost their lives in the immigration job screening sham, the coldblooded murder of the Boni Yadi school boys, the over thirteen thousand massacred Nigerians, several millions others maimed, rendered homeless, hopeless and helpless therefore living as refugees in their own country and elsewhere, the stolen $20 billion and a whole lots of other financial frauds and scams under his nonchalant watch. The list is just endless. Unless we are a people who are so heartless as to forget their recent past, a people condemned to demand so little from those in to whose hands so much is entrusted,  and cursed to celebrate and sing the praise of their underperforming callous rulers to high heaven.

His was a trying time for our nation, second only to our excruciating experience during  the civil war. And we are so eager to turn this painful page of his and usher in a new era in our nation. And Providence, through our well-utilized votes, has confided that onerous task of heralding that national rebirth in to the hands of General Muhammadu Buhari. We believe he will not let us down. His several failed shots at the Presidency and his succeeding at the fourth attempt is a testimony that such a rare determination  can only come from a patriot who has noble dreams and plans for his compatriots. For the first time, Nigeria got a leader who truly wanted to be one and toiled for it.

To succeed where his immediate predecessor failed, Mr. President-Elect only need to be the direct opposite of what Jonathan Presidency was. Our out-going President gave no damn. You, give a damn. His cluelessness went beyond what anybody could have a clue of. Sir, take a clue from that. His was Presidential insensitivity at its peak. General Buhari, be sensitive. He surrounded himself with confused sycophants who in his own words confused him the more. President-Elect, surround yourself with our best hands and our best brains. He was most unfortunately a spendthrift. Muhammadu Buhari, nothing stops you from being our Jose Mujica. He hobnobbed with fugitives, thieves and criminals and kept them within his inner-circle. Sai Baba, we know you can’t be comfortable in the midst of the worsts of us. In short, he was simply incredibly unpresidential. Your Excellency, be Presidential.

We can only imagine how far the legendary Pa Obafemi Awolowo, our first and foremost opposition leader, would have taken our nation if he had the chance that you have today. The same dream Late Chief MKO Abiola had and almost actualized but was denied of unjustly. This is a golden opportunity for General Muhammadu Buhari to become the Father and Architect of Modern Nigeria. A rare come-back and a chance to  become the Nigerian Nelson Mandela and why not a Lee Kuan Yew that will put Nigeria back on the path of stability, growth and unprecedented development.

We have the All Progressive Congress party’s manifestoes and  your various electoral promises held close to our chest. They will either testify for or against you. We will surely judge your performance based on your delivering on them. It did not take us more than 6 months in to the Jonathan Presidency in 2011 before we realized that we have entered “one chance”. He refused to declare his assets publicly and scornfully threw it to our face that he does not give a damn about it. His first derailment was shadow-chasing a self-serving six-year single tenure when the hope of the Nigerian masses who identified with his “shoeless” humble background was at all-time high on him. The rest is history.

One sure way by which you can achieve so much within so little time is forgetting about 2019. Be the President of our national reforms  and renaissance. Bury the idea of a reelection and you will go far. It will make you care less about stepping on big toes, all for the sake of Nigeria and Nigerians collective interest, if the need be. Leave your reelection fate in our hands. Let us beg and implore you to go for it when 2019 comes. For this is because the historic March 28 and the heroic Professor Attahiru Jega have taught us that power indeed belongs to and emanates from us. We give it and we can as well retract it when we so will. And to whom much is given, much should be required.

Isiaq ‘Deji Hammed’s Poetic Peep into a Buhari’s Presidency

General Buhari

General Buhari

In to the future, I take a peep

Peeping with my prophetic eyes, I see a drastic leap

Leaping from where we are, to where we ought to be

Being our resolve, to align with he

He, the atypical Muhammadu Buhari

Buhari, the symbol of our collective quest to hurry

Hurry our nation in to its rightful positions

Positions of envy in the comity of nations

Nations, of Africa, of the World, await

Awaiting the Black Giant’s cease to abate

Abating and derailing from what they used to know

Knowing fully well that Nigeria is not meant to kowtow


When, in to the Buhari’s Presidency, I take a peep

Within the next four in the years of leap

We would have turned the pages of impunity, together

With those of corruption, indiscipline and larceny, altogether

He, the no nonsense Muhammadu Buhari

The symbol of our thwarted 14 Febuhari

The symbolic date of our resolve to demonstrate that indeed

We, the people, to us power belongs, indeed and in deed

Will bring in to fruition, our Past Heroes’ aspirations

Will bring in to fruition, our future expectations

With our renewed collective will for the March 28’s bet

With him, Change we want, and Change we will get

Isiaq Hammed An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. Isiaq Hammed came to us READY-MADE! He is a giant contributor.

Isiaq Hammed
An elephant does not pass by and you describe his presence with a wave of hand. Isiaq Hammed came to us READY-MADE!
He is a giant contributor.

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