Democracy – The Nigerian Illusion

Hello World, it’s been quite a while. Well, here’s a new story on a theme we’ve never shied away from covering on this blog.  It’s a personal experience of a close friend of ours. It is both enlightening and thought-provoking. Enjoy your read . . .

Gist Editor, Gistoscope

Now I’m scared that my Nigeria . . . Our Nigeria, may never be better.

I had a firsthand experience that has eroded my faith in our government, its policies, and its numerous ‘feedback mechanisms’ to know the people’s plight.

Two weeks ago, I was chosen to represent Zamfara state Corpers in Abuja during the National Corpers Forum aimed at getting feedback from serving Corps members from the 36 states of the federation and the FCT on how the scheme could be improved from the Corps members’ point of view. Four delegates per state were selected and 6 from the FCT. For  three days, we sat and pointed out pertinent issues bothering Corpers security, welfare, community development projects improvement and mobilization issues. On each of these topics, we made observations and resolutions which we typed and submitted to be moved on to management for consideration.

From the welfare communiqué group, we told them blatantly that a transport allowance of 1000 Naira and bicycle allowance of 1500 Naira was unrealistic; as times have changed, that sizes of Corps members should be collated before mobilization; so that we could stop the shameful practice of giving people oversize or undersize kits, that either they pay a certain amount as medical allowance monthly or implement a health insurance scheme for Corpers like most schools are doing now; instead of having me pay my medical bills and then start writing to Abuja for a refund which may never come. We even said they should stop using Corps members during elections as cheap labour since it exposes them to risk of loss of life, as, more often than not, violence erupts. We had a long list from the welfare point – from issues of inadequate camp facilities, to lack of accommodation provision by employees. Other groups made their resolutions too.

To my chagrin, however, these people had come up with a resolution they wanted, and threw away all that we said and put in theirs. They even said we advocated for better taekwondo in camp! Whaat???! Next, he was moving a motion to adopt our resolutions as amended!! Right in our faces!!! Some of us cried out immediately. I jumped to my feet and told him with all due respect that this final resolution had been greatly watered down, and that it did not represent what my people had sent me there to say. A couple of people raised their hands and came out to voice their opinions that a lot was missing from this resolution. The Corpers who produced the final document confirmed that a staff of the NYSC was set on them, and he was the one who literally produced the contentious resolution.

Furthermore, and in a bid to mock democracy even more, the chairman said all those with issues about the resolution should come out. He then gave us the mic to each say what we wanted. Then he sat, locked heads with his colleagues and kept gisting away, barely listening to us, till the last of us ‘riffraffs’ made our point, with him taking no notes or cognizance whatsoever. Then again, he moved for the adoption of our resolution as amended.

By this time, the Director-General had come and gone, the press had taken their pictures and video clips and gone and there we sat, helpless. Next on the news. we’ll hear a Corper say a word, then a couple of short videos here and there and they’ll show a Corper moving the motion for adoption and Nigerians will think – their voices have been heard, the international world will say – ‘Wow!, the people really have a say in matters affecting them.’ I smiled to myself and said ‘this is Nigeria and this is why we are where we are today’.

The chairman told us our welfare demands were frivolous . . . as if he could boldly say the bicycle he bought his son cost him 1000 Naira, or that transportation from Lagos to Abuja costs 1500 Naira. He told us it was ‘impossible’ to make uniforms and boots to size. My question is – ‘If I can fill in my date of birth, gender, course of study, LGA etc before mobilization, why can’t I fill in size 45 as shoe size so they can know how many size 45 shoes to send to each state? Why should a graduate be paid 19,800 Naira . . . when he’s an equivalent of a grade 8 level officer in the civil service, buying from the same market, and in a strange land, all in a bid to heed the clarion call?

Now friends, I’m not just angry because our voices were not heard. No, I’m bitter because they knew they would do this. They knew they didn’t want to listen to us ab initio. So, why make us all come down to Abuja for a forum such as this? Why feed us for days, provide ‘conference materials’, sit me down for hours, pay our transport and give us other financial benefits, wasting taxpayers’ money in the process; just to come there, hear us rant and then do nothing about our most pressing needs. Friends, they knew they would not listen to us, they knew they already had their resolution, they knew our opinion did not matter one bit, so why make us come? What if one of us died in transit? Would it be for this? This sham?

This is what we inherited, friends – a nation that pays a lot of money to NOT listen to its people.

So next time you listen to the news, kindly take it with more than a pinch of salt.

By Anyiam ‘Don-Moj’ Nnaemeka . . .  A guest writer and a true patriot

He’s on Facebook too, so check him out when you can.

Legalizing Underage Marriage: My Nation’s Latest Abomination

I have never been one to write about Nigerian politics and the very sordid state of affairs of my dear country’s ‘leadership’. I have practiced ‘denial’ for so long. It’s not that I have dug my head in the sand like the ostrich when faced with attackers and believed that nothing was actually going wrong. No, on the contrary, I have always felt that there was very little I could do to affect the current shambles of a system and have rather focused on writing about other things which wouldn’t hurt my head as badly.

Today however, I will be writing about an act so preposterous, so perverted, so downright immoral that it is a mystery that anyone with an ounce of education or morality would ever consider it, talk more of seriously attempting to turn it into law. I’ve never been one to get too emotional and would rather prefer to analyze things from a completely logical standpoint. On this issue though, both the logical and emotional side of my brain are aggressively screaming NO!!! A very big, infuriated NOOOO!!!!

Legalizing underage marriage is a very big NOOOO! as far as I’m concerned. I could add more Oos to the ‘NO’ if I knew it would help but in this absurdity of a nation, the rulers elected to represent us seem to not only be uneducated but to be so grossly out of touch with their nation and the wishes of the people who ‘elected’ them into their offices.

Our nation is riddled with countless problems. From the massive elephants in the room which happen to be corruption and insecurity to the other less noticeable but equally debilitating cankerworms which exist in the form of the abysmal state of education and subsequent unemployment. Nigeria has way too many more significant problems to consider and to put right. If issues worth deliberating in Nigeria were arranged in a list according to importance and subsequently deliberated giving a day to each topic, legalizing underage marriage should not even near the discussion table even after a million years. Apart from the fact that it stinks of shocking immorality and downright perversion, it is not in any way worth the time and salary we afford our ‘representatives’ considering all the nation’s bigger challenges. Imagine an individual under attack from African Killer bees, a man-eating lion, and numerous other diseases deciding that rather than saving his neck, he would instead, clip his toenails so as to look neat!!!! That man is even wiser as in a way, cutting toenails is actually helpful, legalizing underage marriage is not.

Now, onto the primary bane of the situation, it is wrong on all levels for a forty-year old man to be attracted to a ten year old girl. It is ludicrous that this same forty year old individual is not ashamed of this fact or at least willing to keep it a secret. It is totally insane that this individual as well as others who share his twisted mentality are actually willing to attempt to turn this into law because due to massive corruption, they find themselves in a position to do this. It is perverted, it is immoral, it is scandalous, it is unimaginably nauseating. . . I could go on and on and never run out of negative adjectives to qualify this debacle.  I look at the eight year old daughter of my neighbour who is playing with her Barbie dolls downstairs oblivious of life’s troubles. Then I imagine the predatory, pervert of a senator being sexually attracted to that innocent little girl  and willing to say with a straight face that ‘she has come of age immediately she is married’. If they subscribe to this school of thought, then in a similar vein, they should also vote to allow bestiality and every other whim of the next pervert to reign free and become a law.

The whole fiasco becomes even more bizarre when it’s shameless proponents try to argue that a certain religion allows it. Oh Yes! Every religious rule should become a law because ‘we have freedom of religion’. Just because tenet X of some random individual’s religion says he is free to steal from the rich means it should be legal for him to rob the highways as he pleases in order to exercise his freedom of religion, right?! No, you say?!  Why is that?! Oh, that’s different? Of course it’s not, you hypocrite, the two opinions are as ridiculous as each other.

I honestly grow weary of trying to analyze why this shouldn’t even be an issue that this nation should mention, talk more of seriously consider. The rest of the world is shaking it’s combined head in a mix of worry, amazement and downright disgust that a nation with numerous other more germane challenges are committing their severely limited time to considering an issue that should provoke even the most morally detached of individuals to wince in disappointment. I shudder to think that up to thirty!!! ‘educated representatives’ of the various constituencies of our nation are willing to actually support this bill. I am not an avid student of government and it’s working procedures but I believe that eventually, only the president can veto this bill and pass it into law. So if through whatever nefarious means, these thugs and perverts disguised as our ‘representatives’ eventually get their will and this bill gets into the hands of Mr. President, I expect him to do what every rational human being and the rest of the World expects from him. I expect him to rip it up and tell them to go f**k themselves. . . with a scowl of unabashed disgust on his face. As many have said ‘if she can’t vote, she can’t marry’ – Simple and Short.

By I.V Okata . . . I really love my country

Follow him on Twitter @IzutaDGaffer

UPDATE-20/07/2013: It has been brought to our attention that the actual law being deliberated at the time has little or nothing to do with the actual legal age of marriage and more to do with the ability of an individual to change his/her citizenship. Nevertheless, strict laws are not yet in place to prevent marriage of underage girls through religious or customary laws as the constitution provides an exception for this. Therefore, while the mass furore might not exactly have been properly directed, this is an opportunity for Nigerians to rise up and pressure our ‘representatives’ into setting an acceptable legal age for marriage which doesn’t provide a loophole for marriage under religious/customary laws. Thank you for understanding.

Guest Article 1: My Phone, My China

If you want to write a guest post on gistoscope, check below this article for details . . .

I say ignorance is a virtue. One that gives you freedom. . . The freedom to do whatever you choose without any iota of guilt or feeling that you might be doing things in a fashionably incorrect way. Do note that the fact that an act is classified as incorrect doesn’t necessarily equate to it being wrong(but that’s a discussion for another day).

As humans , we constantly strive to improve ourselves, meaning at almost every point in time, we are in a constant battle against the bliss that is ignorance. With our constant wish to improve and advance ourselves, we need to place ourselves in the best position to take advantage of opportunities that might come our way. In my sojourn into the world of knowledge, I have realized that humans(myself included – I’m not an alien, you know) pick up ideas in every nook and cranny and have the capability of learning the most profound and eminent of lessons from the least expected of places.

Archimedes learnt about floatation and density while taking his bath and Isaac Newton’s relatively arcane Law of Gravitation was famously motivated by an ‘innocent’ apple. That apple could and would probably have hit every other one of the six(abi seven) billion people in the world today and would in probability, not elicit a similar reaction. However, it did for Newton. And not only because he was a genius but because he had  a solid, unique foundation in that field and was poised to take advantage of such ‘luck’. I digress though. Not every one of us is or could be a Newton. However, each and every one of us can and should try to stand out in whatever way we can. I learnt this lesson from the cell ‘phone war’ in my country.

It started in the year 2000 A.D when our dear OBJ allowed the importation of the GSM- for some reason, we still aren’t manufacturing them(sad really and also a discussion for another day). The brand names at the time, no matter what they were, were not placed under any sort of classification by we, the consumers. All of them were classified as GSMs, phones or cellulars. Those were the days before coloured screens, polyphonic ringtones and MMSes. During those dark ages(yea, in hindsight, they were), the phones were not even capable of texting up to 160 characters.

3597870-used-old-gsm-cell-phonesThe first set of cell phones . . nice, right?

Before I get distracted on memory lane and forget the message at hand; the fact is all types of brand names, without any sort of bias were made available to the public whether it was Nokia, Alcatel, Siemens, Motorolla or any other phone. All were appreciated without any favour or fervour accorded to any.  There was equal competition for the massive market yet unexplored and this led to the first ‘Phone War’.

Then the time came when SMSes were no more enough for us. We wanted more and we got the MMS. Soon after, we needed cameras on our phones as well as better ringtones and so many more features. It was at that point my father’s Siemens A35 started becoming antiquated. It was also at that time I started hearing, for the first time, about JAVA. Being an ardent reader, I still wonder how it was that I ever got to misunderstand the acronym to imply a game software or something of the sorts. I guess it was because I kept seeing said acronym whenever I launched a game on a ‘china phone’.

15_27_08_Motorola_Talkabout_180There was a time when this was the symbol of ‘swag’

Did I say ‘China phone’ ? Of course, I did. I can’t believe I got there so soon. Well that single name was the cause of a lot of controversy at the time. How it came about is as mysterious as practically every other market trend. In other words, you could find out for yourself as I have absolutely no idea since these were not the only phones which were made/manufactured/coupled in China. But what I saw happen, although not a phone owner at the time was this;

china_phonesClassic China phones

The first casualties and victors of the first ‘Phone War’ emerged. The victors worthy to be mentioned were Motorolla, Samsung and Nokia. Of which, only the latter two still remain of relevance in the contemporary Nigerian phone market.

Soon after, we began to have the stand-out brands and imitations. At that time more people could get their hands on phones,  and as is typical of all mass propelled actions, the issues of fashion came into play. True, the imitations or ‘china phones’ as we called them were not as good as the brands. They were known only for their unnecessarily lurid lights and similarly strident sounds. Nevertheless, they were not as bad as most made out and still displayed admirable creativity. After all, they did introduce the Two-Sim idea and produced significantly cheaper phones. However, despite mine or any other person’s opinion, you could not be a ‘fly guy’ while using a ‘China phone'(crowd mentality, huh?).

Since then, the market has evolved and Blackberries and iPhones(hopefully, I’ll live to see the iPhone 5,000s) are the big dogs who now run the roost with the aforementioned duo of Nokia and Samsung offering stiff competition. Funny enough, most ‘fly people’ now use a branded ‘China phone’ that goes by the name of Techno, and at the rate this ‘China Phone’ is growing, they could be a major player in the market very soon.

Futuristic-iphone-concept.previewNow, this is a game changer . ..

So what’s the moral of this relatively long-winded story? Well, here it is: no matter who or what you are, no matter the sector or area you find yourself in, distinguishing yourself will always place you at a distinct advantage over bias of any sort. So, be unique, try to stand out, carve a niche for yourself, be known for something. The moment you have your own forte, your own brand, is the same moment you start your journey down the glorious path to greatness. It is only then you become truly noticeable, significant and worthy of discussion. As a famous Nigerian musician once sang; ‘If nobody talks about you, then you are nobody’.

‘By Chika ‘GC-Cgp’ Obani  . . . A guest writer

You could find him on Facebook @facebook.com/obanicd

N/B: For Interested Guest Writers;

Every Wednesday . . . hopefully . . . we’ll post an article from a guest writer. So, if you feel you’d like to contribute, just send in your article and it will be published on the next ‘available’ Wednesday. By available, we mean there are some regulations we follow when posting guest articles and the next ‘dated’ Wednesday might not be ‘available’. Therefore an article sent in on Friday this week, for instance, might not make it up to the blog by next week Wednesday. 

Also, please endeavour to write articles between 500 and 1000 words on ‘relevant’ subject areas. The editor will get back to you with the final piece before it is posted on the blog.

Here’s the email to send in your guest posts- rainbowsixplus@gmail.com .

We look forward to receiving your posts. Happy Writing.

Gist Editor, Gistoscope

The Experience of a Life Time, Part One

The morning of 4th March, 2012 was a Sunday morning and I had to wake up early just like I did on every other Sunday morning since Childhood . . .  However, on this one occasion, it was for a different purpose. It was the day I was scheduled to collect my NYSC call up letter . . . sounds weird, right? well na so me sef see am o! Unlike the other Sunday mornings, I woke before my alarm clock and looked at my Rolex wrist watch; it read 5:30am and yes, it was a real Rolex, not an Aba-made one, Lolz. I knew I needed to be at the Faculty office as early as possible to beat the crowd that would most definitely be there because it was also expedient that I travelled home that day. Of course, that was the same thought everyone in my faculty shared.

Camp was to start on Tuesday that same week and for reasons unknown to us, the issuance of our call-up letters was delayed till that Sunday. We were all eager to know our fate and keeping us that long to find out wasn’t funny at all. Most of us had started having nightmares about being sent to bokoharamic states. I could still remember my friend, Peter who would always joke about it. For whatever reason, he was hundred percent sure he’d get posted to Lagos state and as a result, would brag incessantly and wish other ‘less desirable’ states on us. I vividly remember him taunting me, asking; “Mexy, my Lagos don sure na, I know say your own go be Zamfara, abi na Borno you want?. . . (Now, picture a beardless slim fella saying this with an Igbo accent).We’d always laugh over it while secretly wishing this proclamation never came through.

I quickly brushed my teeth, took a bath . . .ok, you got me there, skip the bathing part . . . I hurried down to the faculty because Mr. Eze, our faculty officer had promised to forfeit church that day in order to share the letters to us as early as possible. Imagine, a sole individual distributing call up letters to the entire faculty . . . well, I hope you now see the reason why I had to skip my bath. It was a very cold morning and I walked briskly clutching my jacket. I could hear the chirping of the birds and the very annoying croaking of the frogs. Nevertheless, on this particular morning, they seemed to blend well with the sounds made by the crickets and it all sounded like music to my ears; a good omen, I concluded.

Ah Ah!! did you sleep at all?!!  The words startled me, I turned back and saw Moses. I must have been carried away by the lovely morning as I didn’t hear his approaching footsteps. I smiled and asked, “you nko?” He laughed and we begun to walk down towards the faculty. Moses was one of my course mates who would normally arrive for a class just in time or late but like me, was trying to beat the crowd. Moses was and remains a very peculiar character. Irrespective of this, he possesses this unique trait of walking at a speed that would make Olympic athletes jealous. Moses walks as fast as Usain Bolt runs, maybe even faster. This particular morning wasn’t any different as I was literally running just to keep up with his pace, thank God it was a cold morning or I would have been sweating profusely.

We got to the faculty around 5:48am and surprisingly there were other students there already. By then I was already panting, no thanks to Moses. I exchanged pleasantries with a few friends and acquaintances then joined an already considerable queue just outside Mr. Eze’s Office despite the fact that Mr. Eze was not yet around. At about 6:13am, he arrived to meet virtually all the students of the faculty waiting a tad impatiently already. As is the status quo in most Nigerian queues, I realized I was gradually moving down rather than up the line as people in front of me allowed their friends and friends of their friends stand in front of them. I was beginning to get really irked when from behind me, the most pleasant voice asked; “Please, do you mind if I stay here?”  As I turned to match a face to this sensuous voice, I beheld the pretty smile of Chidinma waiting expectantly for my permission. I couldn’t say no. Don’t judge me, but she was too beautiful to say no to(Guys, una understand na). So she stood in front of me and we had a little chat as we waited for Mr. Eze to usher us in.

 “I wonder what that man is still doing inside” I said to Chidinma as it was almost 6:25am and he was yet to start sharing the call up letters. As though he heard me, he immediately stuck his head through the metallic burglary proof door and asked the first twenty people on the queue to enter his office. I couldn’t get in with the first batch and no, neither could Chidinma who stood rather pensively in front of me. We waited and after about ten minutes, the first twenty began trooping out gradually. Frank was the first to come out from the office and from the look on his face, one could tell he was unhappy. Frank, like most of our course mates, probably paid someone to get posted to a ‘favorable state’. He desperately wanted to serve at Abuja and for some reason, it backfired. Before I could, I heard Chidinma excitedly ask “What state were you posted to?” “Kwara”, he said disappointedly before walking away. By this time, most of the twenty had come out of the office, some beaming with smiles, others less so. I think I even spotted a tear or two on the face of one petite girl as she hurried away. I stood there hoping that mine wouldn’t be bad enough to elicit a negative reaction from me. I wasn’t disappointed.

“The next twenty please” as a loud bass voice brought me back to the present from my wandering thoughts. It was Mr. Eze calling in the next set.  This time, there was a little struggle as some people behind me tried to get in ahead of their turns. I was too quick for them and I made it into the office just before Mr. Eze slammed it shut . . . Chidinma also did too. The office was big enough to contain the twenty of us comfortably and had a wider-than-normal window meaning there was sufficient air circulation for the place not to seem stuffy. Mr. Eze was seated behind a long table with what appeared to be the call up letters neatly arranged on them. It seemed they were arranged according to our departments. “Line up according to your departments” he said as we quickly formed queues. I realized you could check the posting of anyone in the faculty while you searched for yours and immediately, my eyes darted down the list searching for Peter’s name. I had not seen him that morning. He was probably planning to come when the crowd had dissipated to collect his letter and head to Lagos the next day. I’m not a wicked person but as I scanned the list searching for Peter’s name, something within me didn’t want to see Lagos on his letter. And there it was, staring me right in the face. My face unconsciously lit up, as a wicked grin spread from my mouth. Katsina State! Not only did he not get posted to Lagos, he got posted to one of the aforementioned dreaded states!!  It was a glorious sight. My anticipation doubled as I searched for mine and not because I was yet to see mine, but because I was anxious to be the first to spill the beans to Peter. I envisioned the expression that would form on his face as he would realize that I wasn’t joking and that his well laid plans had failed so catastrophically. I held the thought as I eventually found mine, ‘Rivers State’ it read. I smiled ruefully, collected the letter, signed for it and dashed out of the office.

As I exited the office, my eyes automatically scanned the crowd for the one person I was so desperate to see (I’m sure you can already guess who). I saw him discussing with some of his friends away from the disorderly crowd that had formed in front of Mr. Eze’s door. With a face so straight, a meter ruler would feel crooked and with joy bubbling uncontrollably in my heart, I shouted, ”You were posted to Katsina, Hahahahaha”. It seemed I was not the only one that was as happy at his misfortune, as all who heard the news burst into laughter. Unfortunately, I couldn’t stay long enough to enjoy the schadenfreude. I had a seven hour journey to Abuja ahead of me and so I had to leave as soon as possible. I’d then travel to the ‘treasure base of the nation the next day’ to begin my service to my nation. As my bus took off en route Abuja, I smiled. ‘This year will be good’, I muttered to myself as much needed sleep overcame me . . .

…..TO BE CONTINUED

By Emeka ‘Mexy’ Madubuko . . . It was a great year

Follow him on Twitter @supermexy

The story continues here → The Experience of a Lifetime, Part Two →

Judas-es! Everywhere!!

In ancient history, a certain man’s actions against his master caused this man’s name to forever remain synonymous with sabotage and betrayal. This man was called Judas, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ. It has become cliché to hear the phrase; ‘among every twelve, there is a Judas’. Little wonder then that we, Nigeria-Africa’s most populous nation, have an incredulous number of moles residing within our borders. From basic arithmetic, we can calculate that if there is a Judas in every twelve Nigerians, then there are at the very least 14 million ‘Judases’ among our 160 million Nigerians. Recent developments within and off the shores of this humongous country have given uncanny support to this claim. Not so long ago, we were inundated with the bizarre pronouncements by the president that he had moles within and outside his cabinet. The Eggon massacre, the ambush of some Mali-bound soldiers at Okene and numerous other spurious criminal activities have gone a long way to confirm this seemingly absurd claim. All these worrying turns of events have one thing in common- ‘A Judas Factor’.

Sometime ago, the president made a startling revelation that his cabinet has been astonishingly infiltrated by moles working against the general good of the nation. Many attacked him for showing weakness through such a declaration forgetting that even Christ himself knew that Judas was going to betray him and still did/could do nothing to divert it. These moles are so powerful, so influential and so highly placed that even when discovered, very little or nothing can be done to remove the threat they pose without severe repercussions. In the last administration, the incessant strike actions by NLC was attributed to some elements so elevated that they could get hold of top decisions and secrets of the then government and pass such to the leaders of NLC. The most probable reason for this treacherous act was to create a distraction thus affording them the chance to steal and divert the funds of the ministries or whatever agencies or organizations they were heading without reprisal.

In more recent times, on January 19 this year to be precise, about 190 Mali-bound soldiers were ambushed a few kilometers from Okene in Kogi state. This heinous attack took place at about 6:05 am Nigerian time. A number of insurgents cut through a convoy conveying these soldiers and started spraying it with bullets and IEDs. Eventually, these soldiers were able to repel these hoodlums but not before they had lost two of their comrades. A logically thinking Nigerian should have already begun to draw parallels and must have deciphered now that these kinds of attacks cannot be orchestrated without inside help. This was confirmed by the chief of army staff, Lt-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika on May 22 when he asserted that a soldier conspired with the insurgents to facilitate the attack by supplying them with information about the soldiers’ movement route.  He went on to say that the saboteur soldier had been apprehended and that people could calm down. However, this indubitably was and remains a perturbing development and one which must be investigated with alacrity.

Ultimately, the apex of the sabotage was reached when some 96 security personnel, including 10 intelligence officers were brutally massacred by the dreaded Ombatse cultists in Eggon, Nasarawa state. As despicable as it was and still is, the deplorable discovery that these officers fell as a result of help offered by one of their colleagues who appallingly divulged information about their mission to arrest the leader of the cult to the cultists is even more nerve-wracking. I cannot begin to imagine what these fallen officers faced in that thick forest without any means of calling for backup all because of one of the many ‘Judases’ that seem to have overrun my beloved  country.

I cannot help but ask- ‘is Nigeria heading to doom with this scandalous ubiquity of moles scattered across the nation?’ How can we expunge these snakes who seem desperate to lead our country to ruin? I plead with every tom, dick and harry out there; if you have any idea (effective or untested) as to the ideal way to eliminate these moles, please do not hesitate for a second to make your suggestions public. Help save our dear country before we get run over by the traitors!!

By Steve Arum . . . a concerned Nigerian

Follow him on Twitter @sirbohr

Power Corrupts . . . Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely

Just as I was about crossing the road, I was accosted by a stern, mean looking man clad in an all-black attire and carrying a horrifying gun. I began wondering what I could possibly have on me that would convince this austere individual to waste his money, time, and even risk his life to rob me. While I was still lost in my thoughts the man spoke up, “come! u no dey see? Abi u don blind? Your sense no tell you say this road dey blocked”? It was then I realized he was just a security agent and I relaxed my nerves. But then I said- “oga no vex o, wetin be the reason”? he replied “you no know say local government oga wan pass”?. I was shocked. I said to myself that if this road was blocked just because one corrupt chairman was passing by, then Nigeria is gone. Such is the prodigious amount of power our leaders have amassed in this country.

It is time and again said that the problem of this country is corruption, but I say it is rooted in the awe-inspiring amount of power our public leaders wield. I may not be old enough to know how Nigeria was governed pre-1999, but certainly I have witnessed enough since 1999 to conclude that our problem is hinged ninety percent on the goliath-sized power our leaders, most especially, the president and governors possess. During Obasanjo’s administration, it was an open secret as to the manner in which he used all the agencies of government to brandish terror, maim, molest and intimidate all opposition and all those who dared to differ publically from his own political ideals. ‘Baba’ did this expertly. He used EFCC, the Nigerian police, military and all other necessary government agencies to exercise his political vendetta. Governors and some other people who did not share the same views as him at the time were brazenly abused and as sickening as it was, nobody could do a thing. The apex of this abuse of power was when ‘baba’ practically imposed an extremely unhealthy man on Nigeria as the president as ‘punishment’ for his failed third term bid.

obj2Baba showing off a little ‘power’

Recently, the exasperating excesses and undue powers of a president can be seen in the disqueiting tussle between the president and the incumbent governor of Rivers state- Mr. Rotimi Amaechi. Their misunderstanding dates back a few years but took a fresh twist lately when the president started using NCAA and FAAN indirectly to investigate a plane owned by the governor. These agencies alleged that the plane operated without a license; a fact they were privy to all these years but refused to act on till the president needed to fight an ‘enemy’. In addition, the president, once again working behind the scenes succeeded in biasing his party leaders against the aforementioned governor. This subsequently led to the recent suspension dished out to the governor and the in-house fighting within the previously unified governor’s forum.

85595185-president-goodluck

GEJ . . . flexing his excess political muscle  

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Amaechi shocked by power tussle

I strongly aver that those clamoring for and pioneering the fight against corruption as a way to normalize the nation should also consider and explore all available avenues to curtail the excesses of the power our public office holders so autocratically wield. What is one to expect when a president single handedly chooses the INEC chairman? It is difficult to imagine this president ever losing any election he contests or has a vested interest in. What do you expect when a president chooses the CBN governor without any checks from other arms of government? Of course, this president will control the economy alone. What can be expected when the head of all anti-graft and law enforcement agencies are selected on the sole whim of the president? Surely, they will definitely dance to his tune and aid in controlling the society the way their oga wants. The astonishingly copious powers of our leaders must be curtailed else the extremely deleterious effects it is currently having on Nigeria and its people will continue.

By Steve Arum . . . a concerned Nigerian

Follow him on Twitter @sirbohr