Tuesday, 30 June 2009

The Necessary End....

Funny thing; death.

It is certain and yet, as unpredictable as the female of the species. Actually, I will withdraw the latter half of that sentence, as I am not in a hurry to prove the former half. Seriously though, why does death always have to come knocking? What is the big thirst that it quenches, when it literally quenches us one by one? Why can’t it just bugger off and leave us alive? And can someone tell me what is the deal with sparing the bad and the ugly, whilst the beautiful and good get chopped in their prime? Why does the Grim Reaper leave us the likes of Mugabe, whilst the likes of Thomas Sankara are cruelly taken from us? Why take Michael, Luther, Barry, Aliyah and leave us Lil Kim and Lil Wayne?! Ooops...went too far with that last part, right?

Seriously though, I wonder where you stand. Are you of the Mark Anthony (or is it Shakespeare) school of a necessary end? Necessary end indeed! What is so necessary about it? How necessary is it that loved ones get mowed down with terminal disease and medical complications or as it is in some cases, just get mowed down full stop? How necessary is it that young children, women and men have to spend what began as a full life, in loneliness and misery. I don’t know about you, but if I had a way to avoid it, I would. Be honest, people. You work hard all your life and just when you want to start reaping your harvest, what happens?

Personally, I am a student of the Nigerian School of Life, which states quite clearly that all death is the devil’s handiwork! Whether the deceased is newborn, young, middle aged or wrinkled, Satan is responsible! It is not misplaced in Nigeria that when an old man dies, his old widow is ridiculed as the guilty witch. Nigerians are so anti-death, that the evangelicals amongst us spend countless hours every day screaming ‘I will not die! No weapon fashioned against me shall prosper!’

Call it positive thinking, but when you consider some of the real dangers Nigerians have to outmanoeuvre on a daily basis; I think the chants might actually be working. In Nigeria there is no such thing as an unexplained death. Died suddenly? Unexpectedly slept in the Lord and the piece de resistance; passed away peacefully?

Please pull the other one!

And for those who still believe death is a necessary end, can we have a show of hands please, anyone who will like to pass away peacefully right now?

Saturday, 27 June 2009

It Comes to us All!


"When beggars die there are no comets seen;
The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes."

Julius Caesar (II, ii, 30-31)

In the wake of the MJ tragedy that has shaken the world to its foundations, a good friend and supporter of this blog, sent me the above quote. He asked if I could incorporate it into one of my entries to temper the dark mood of the last few days. So, here is my feeble effort to that end.

Trust me, death is a confusing and debilitating phenomenon. It will test you to your limits and give you the impression that it is indeed; like a thief in the night, but of course, the truth is slightly different....death is all around us and in the end, it is only when it snatches from us that we convince ourselves that it is light or sticky fingered. As someone who lost a sister less than 7 months ago(she was only 33!), I am more than aware of the anguish and confusion that accompanies the flower-bringing, but perhaps this latest universal loss is my opportunity to connect with the resulting captive audience and review certain realities about life:

1. Some people will cry more when a celebrity dies, than they will for their own blood!

2. Just like we are all born, one day, we will all die.

3. Once in a while, God sends us individuals that help us to appreciate his Majesty, Grace and Mystery.

4. Everyone is a star, but those that burn brightest, eventually expire quickest - hence the saying; the good die young! I know Mandela and Mother Theresa bucked the trend, but there it is ;-)

5. Death and Life are twins! Unidentical, but twins the same....

6. If we really connect with our maker, we will not query, when death comes calling.

7. A life of 20 years, could actually be more beneficial and purposeful, than that of 70.

8. We never know where the next MJ, Bob Marley or Elvis is coming from, so we learn to encourage spotted talent everywhere we see it.

9. That talent in question could be your child, friend, spouse, sibling or neighbour.

10. As one door closes, another one opens. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.....

End of!

Monday, 22 June 2009

The Eastern Promise....

I have to admit last week turned out to be very interesting, especially on the back of the blog entry relating to the Igbos and the Nigerian Presidency. As I was keeping up with the fallout on Facebook, I was also having telephone conversations and the amount of people who don't want you to know what they are really thinking is scary! Word of no lie, a long-time Igbo friend, went as far as to say; 'my friend no one will admit to this, but we don't see ourselves as part of Nigeria! People will never tell you that we see the country as expirable(?) and pretty soon too!'

Now, that blew my mind, but that was probably down to my being Yoruba and shamefully, not knowing as much as I ought to have known about the Igbo history. Theirs is an irrepressible and dynamic culture, that some say reflects their ancestry which can be traced back to the Jews!!! Well, I am not that hot in history, but I do acknowledge the ability of the Igbo to do exactly what the Jew has done all through history - leave home and prosper in some distant land. Their ability to adapt and tough it out is legendary, and their history is littered with moments of severe loss, both human and otherwise, in those foreign environments.

Right, I am not certain that my friend's words were 100% accurate, but I am aware that the scar of the Civil War is permanent on the Igbo psyche (You don't get it? Read Half of a Yellow Sun - Ngozi brought it home!), much like the Holocaust is on the Jews. Although, I cannot on the basis of his comments, which he claims is 99% representative of Igbos (I found that hard to believe, as Igbos definitely don't have a herd mentality, but then neither do the Jews except on the Holocaust!) decide that the future of Nigeria is in the balance, but I can bear witness that my friend's parting words which did leave me cold;

"Look Castro, no Igbo man will thank you for bringing up this issue. If one of us goes forward to contest for the Presidency, we will never vote for him en masse. We prefer to vote for the Hausa or Yorubas. Na dem get the country, we just dey tag along until the thing finish!'

Personally, I want to believe he's in the Minority......or is there a little of him in every Nigerian?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Of gods and men...

On the back of my blog entry yesterday and several hours of telephone conversation, it seems the issue of power in Nigeria remains as clouded as ever.

What clearly stood out in the feedback, was the variance in the individuals considered to be the nation's most powerful people and why. I was always(naively) of the opinion that certain obvious individuals would make the top ten, but imagine my surprise when someone mentioned Rtd General Wushishi in her top three!

Before you start laughing, please consider that the contributor of that brain-bender, is someone who enjoys that rarified air, reserved for those whose families have been richly involved in all things Nigeria post 1960.

It did take me a few minutes to close my mouth, but I regained composure enough to ask how IBB was not on her list. Now, that I found astonishing! Perhaps, I do not know much about this country that I keep rabbitting on about.

My flab was to be further gasted when an 'uncle' of mine insisted Henry Okah, the imprisoned leader of MEND, was in his top ten! His inclusion of Okah (who just happens to be my old school mate from FGCL) convinced me that it was quite possible that people had begun to confuse Power and Influence.

A point that I put to my uncle.....his reply was lightning quick; 'There is no difference. They are identical twins!'

For the record, this is my top five:

1. Sultan of Sokoto
2. IBB
3. OBJ
4. James Ibori (surprised?)
5. Umaru Yar'adua

I guess when it is all said and done, it's all done to opinion. I will be glad to see your list.....

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

The Fela Prophecy.......

I have often been a participant in discussions focused on the topic of whether Nigeria is governable.

These forums like most things Nigerian, rarely end with concensus, as most contributors are themselves cycnical about the concept of 'One Nigeria' and all things that point to a robust nation. Rather, it seems to be an entrenched belief in the mind of most that we are unsuccessfully forging an uneasy union of regions, which are ostensibly nations in their own right. Let's for just a minute take this to be the case, are we then saying federations are inexecutable and as such a myth? Or are we just saying the Nigerian federation is the myth?

Yes, it is self-evident that the subject matter is sensitive, but is there any credence to it? For it is accepted that most things worth fighting for, often demand a high degree of risk and inevitably, sacrifice. The risk to ask the unaskable and the sacrifice of possibly being slaughtered (hopefully, just by print and verbal exchanges) in the process.

Is it true that the very foundation of the Nigeria we know and love today, is suspect and based on cycnism? Did the British really advise the Northern leaders to enlist their subjects heavily in the armed forces to counteract the evident academic and natural resource superiority that existed in the South or is this just a figment of the imagination of conspiracy theorists? Is it also the case that the stiff upper-lip cabal led by Lord Lugard, recognised the natural ability of the Northerner to rule and decided it would be beneficial to the continuum of HM's Empire economic royalties, if their 'natural' allies kept political power north of the River Niger and Benue? Were they really forewarned of the possibility of Southern secession and advised to do all within their means to quash it? Did these things really happen? Is it a mammoth myth that Sir Ahmadu Bello, the then Sardauna of Sokoto and great, great-grandson of the revered, Usman Dan Fodio, visibly snubbed all Sandhurst recruits of Southern Nigerian origin, to the benefit of their Northern counterparts, on a state visit to the celebrated millitary school? Or is this another great white lie?

In the end, what does it take to rule an anomaly like Nigeria? Is it a country that is eternally remote-controlled from outside our shores or is it an entity that can only be directed by ultra-powerful indigenes? If the latter is the case, could this be the reason why the likes of Obasanjo, managed to make some headroad in terms of reversing some of Nigeria's destructive brain drain and recruiting the likes of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to join the crew navigating the creaky vessel, whilst our current President is struggling to even implement a re-branding campaign?

Politically, did OBJ's time as a millitary Head of State give him access to the true corridors of power an as such an advantage over UYD, who just happens to come from one of the most inluential political families in the North (actually, Nigeria as a whole)? Where does the real power lie? Is IBB the most powerful man in Nigeria, or is it still the Sultan of Sokoto (although, Abacha's treatment of Dasuki must have shaved some clout)? If indeed OBJ and IBB are two of the most powerul men in Nigeria, how come they couldn't solve the power crisis or is the continuation of such crisis, at the very heart of 'holding on to power' in our dear country? Don't look so surprised, I am sure you must have heard this mooted before!!! Will God's command to 'let there be light,' illuminate, expose and ultimately stiffle the real captains of our leadership?

Well, it is an idutiable fact that all things done in darkness, will eventually be revealed in the light and even though we remain uninformed, unaware and basically kept 'in the dark,' someone somewhere, knows the truth and to paraphrase Fela;

'One day go be one day......'

Monday, 15 June 2009

Morning Rage....

I have to confess to starting the day in a viciously bad mood! A Monday should be a day for fresh beginnings and new hopes. A day to look forward to the rest of the week and a time to cast away any blues from the week before. So, you can imagine my fury, when I was awaken (having only gone to bed at six, writing another chapter of my new novel) by a royal prick from Mumbai or somewhere similarly far-flung, asking if I wanted home improvements and worse still, didn't have the bloody decency to pronounce my name properly?!

"Hello, you have won a conservatory! Can I speak to Mr Ohyakakanamani Ahyeeedia," he asked with the brazen effrontery of someone who actually paid my phone bill!

My reply was in line with my frazzled mental state.

"No such person here and please do not bother to call back, we are emigrating," I screamed as I dropped the phone.

What a tosser! How did I get to win something when I didn't even enter a competition? Does this fool realise I grew up on the streets of Lagos, when 'boys were boys' and 'men were men'? Where nothing goes for nothing and we always stay far from being timid? Why doesn't he take his conservatory and stick it where the sun don't shine! Okay, that is probably excessive, but I am sure you get my drift and understand the ire running through my veins right now! The only other time I have felt this outraged, was when a so-called friend was trying his best to convince me that I was better off renting one of his Lagos flats, than staying in a nearby hotel.

"The cost is just too much bro! Here all you need to worry about aside from the reasonable rent is diesel," he said with such relish.

I could not believe the size of his balls.

"Really, na diesel you just call like dat? In the hotel, I no dey worry about nada and until I get my own place, I think I will stick to that thank you very much!"

His reply was as expected, harsh, to say the least.

"Well, it's your funeral. You know you are a millionaire and like all big boys you must live in luxury. Abi, no be so?"

I wasn't having that.

"My friend, I no be millionaire, but even if I was, I won't still rent this sorry excuse for accommodation! The finishing is terrible, the fittings are hideous and I will have to be terribly desperate to live here, but saying that, maybe that's what you are looking for. Desperate people!"

Suffice to say, we don't talk much these days. The thought of it all still pisses me off!

Arrrgghhhhh, my fervent hope is that my day gets better.....

Thursday, 11 June 2009

The Power of the Inevitable....

The Former Minister of the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-rufai, in his recent speech titled “Nigeria: Political Dynamics and Prospects for Reform,” given at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C, gave the usual lengthy stone-throwing at the Yar'Adua government and expressed his doubts, at any prospect of the current regime implementing any tangible progress.

In truth it was a good speech and to be fair, it included some suggestions for change, rather than the customary negative appraisals which inform us of the problems, but seem to be bereft of any information related to solutions. Of course, in speeches like El-Rufai's, there will be the odd nonsense thrown in for good measure and he did not disappoint, as he ended the speech with comments concerning recent plans for President Obama to visit Ghana and not Nigeria. Apparently, like most political observers, he believed the President has done this because of the quality of governance in Ghana, which is clearly lacking in Nigeria.

Well, I doubt if you will find a bigger Obama fan in the blogging world than myself (I spent 8 months pretending to be the great man - www.obamadrama.blogspot.com), but I hope he truly did not snub Nigeria due to the governance issue, as his recent choice of destinations does not seem to be in line with his purported 'preference' for the Gold Coast. Yes, Nigeria is suffering from ill-governance and endemic corruption, but I do not believe the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt (yes, I know the Middle East crisis dictated his itinerary!), hold any 'paragon of governance' status when compared to the Nigerian nation.

Unspeakable things are being done by both countries' governmments to maintain the fragile stability they display to the world and if Obama has truly decided not to visit Nigeria due to her dodgy government, then I am afraid he is obviously applying the most sophisticated form of double standards! Saying that, we do not have proof that this is the case, but we are ready with our reactions if it is ever confirmed.

We know Nigeria is an incredibly challenged country, with a seemimgly self-destructive character, but I am certain a man of Obama's intelligence is aware that his appearance in the country, rather than the opposite, is the propellant needed by the masses to demand change and for the goverment to initiate a turn in it's direction. Forget vsits from the Dai Lama and the Pope, this is the world's most powerful man, who just happens to look and walk like us and most importanly, one who achieved what most thought was impossible (no different from the current Nigerian mindset). In the end, we are talking of the world's most populous BLACK country! It is not a maybe for him, it is just a matter of when.

Mr President, we are expecting you.......don't let us down.

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

The Tale of the Clever B***h

Orobator being led away after sentencing

Hands up anyone who believes Samantha Orobator is not an innocent drug mule, who has been caught up in a cruel web spun by heartless drug fiends. I am guessing there are a lot of you out there and if not, I can declare that I happen to belong to the cycnical camp. I am not inclined to pity, understand or empathise with any drug-smuggling affiliated individual. It's just not the done thing!

Unsurprisingly, she has now been imprisoned for life and must be thanking her lucky stars that her 'pregnant' stunt has allowed her avoid the usual death sentence! Orobator should have received the death penalty, but Laos Penal Law states it is forbidden to uphold the death sentence on a woman who is pregnant, so the court had no choice, but to give the lesser sentence.

Why am I returning to this issue? well, when the initial news broke about her plight, a trailer load of people were convinced she was an innocent drug mule, who just happened to travel to Laos (that wonderful tourist destination!) and found herself victim of the worst type of stitch-up. Yeah right! I was cynical then and my mind hasn't changed, as I believe Samantha is nothing more than a conniving, greedy and despicable character who is desperate for quick riches, but cries wolf, when she got caught!

How else could you describe her brilliant plan to get pregnant? It doesn't read like the work of someone lacking in intelligence, does it? It has now been confirmed by Orobator and the Lao authorities that she conspired with another prisoner, Mr John Watson, to secretly obtain his sperm (via a syringe), which she used to impregnate herself. When officials took her for a pregnancy test on April 4 this year she was found to be 17 weeks pregnant. Watson, a lifer, has been described as overjoyed about the pregancy, and his mum in the UK, has expressed the family's delight! I guess they feel their son, whose life seemed to be wasted, has now not only sired a child, he has also saved a life - literally!

Ahhh......the wonderful world of the get rich quick!

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

The Dogs of War

Visitors to my blog will confirm my incessant critique (the unfavourable kind) of the Nigerian government and for that matter, any government that has not shown it's desire to improve and alleviate the burden their people find themselves under.

I have spent hours arguing and engaging in verbal and written slugs, all trying to catch the ear of those in the know, to see if we can find a solution to the mangled image of my beloved country, but slowly it has started to occur to me that perhaps there is a need to change tact, for what we all want is progress and if a tactic is shown to be flaccid and ineffective, new ammunition might be the way forward.

I came to this juncture, as a result of long days spent asking myself some pertinent questions. For instance, can I really be sure that the likes of Obasanjo, would really not want the advancement of Nigeria? Is it truly possible that he would not want constant electricity and drinking water? Does he really enjoy the tragic state of our roads, which by the way, have claimed many outstanding lives? I only ask because, if I was President, it will be my fervent wish that I be remembered as the man who brought all these good things to Nigeria. I find it difficult to comprehend why a man who has ruled that dynamic country or 12 years would like to be known as despicable administrator, when he can do good and be showered with the praise reserved for the likes of Fashola in Lagos state. It is a riddle to me.....or is it?

I think Nigerians both at home and in the diaspora, should now begin to prop themselves into a mindset that those who actually direct the affairs of our nation might actually be unseen and unheard. Yes, I know I am spouting old news, but one has to reaffirm these facts, to fully understand the challenges we face. Ask yourself, if a man could direct a repayment of our Paris Club (a crippling debt that enslaved us), why would it be difficult for him to solve our infrastructure issues? What or who is it that makes the government's task so impossible? Are there shadowy characters who see any progress as an impediment to their own selfish progress or are we just farting in the wind and trying to find a non-existent enemy?

As a once signed-up, but now releuctant member of the diaspora, I wonder if those of us who live abroad, are actually missing a trick and thus unaware of our influence in the direction of Nigeria. In the end, the amount of money we pump into the society more than puts us in a prime positon to sway a change, by engaging with those who wear the crown. Our cerebral bank is being spent venting on our government, whilst we invest our future to various Western societies...how long can this go on for?

I only ask because, I just want progress. The likes of the ultra-respected Sahara Reporters expose all the shenannigans going on in the corridors of power, but is true change happening? Are we just teling Nigerians what they already know, i.e. there is unbridled corruption in high places? Maybe it is time to tell them what to do to bring comfort to everyone. Is it time to engage the juggernaut and work with the powers to be? If I have to dine with the Devil to bring a just society to a vibrant nation like Nigeria, then so be it! What do you think? Is it time to use our talents to fight the good war and stop all the rabid, ineffective barking? Or have i just committed the constant sin of too much talking, when quiet action is needed?

I am open to suggestions.....

Friday, 5 June 2009

The Future is Brown....

James Purnell looking at Gordon Brown and wondering whether he knows what he's doing

As a committed student of politics, I always love the intrigues that characterise the corridors of power and the treachery that emerges when the situation becomes tough. Of course it's a shame that the transparency needed to enjoy the theatre is missing in my own nation, but all through the political history of major nations, individuals of outstanding candour and heart have shoved their way into the hearts of their respective electorate, cementing their place in history in the process.

Irrespective of your politics, one has to doff their hats to dogged politicians like Margaret Thatcher (stubborness), Churchill (inspiring), Bill Clinton (outrageous charisma)and Obama (well, genius...perhaps). It takes an incredible amount of chutzpah, to battle your way through what has been described as an impossible task and then in the process succeed to convince millions of people that your way is the way to go. It is a God-given talent and as we can see quite clearly with the current Gordon Brown crisis in the UK, it is also a trait that is very limited in circulation.

Whilst we fawn over the oratory and screen-idol looks of Obama, we are left with nothing but sheer discomfort when we observe Mr. Brown. A man of incredible intelligence, but cursed with the facial expression of your neighbourhood mortician, poor Gordon is like the neglected grumpy big bear stuck in a private zoo with little cute furry animals, who attract the majority of visitors. He is constantly irritated by what he must view as cerebral cretins who kiss his arse to his face and do otherwise, once he turns his back!

In the end, I happen to believe Mr. Brown has the tenacity to deal with the ongoing furore and will therefore weather the storm. The parliamentary Labour party cannot afford a leadership election (they are terribly expensive!) and there isn't anyone except Alan Johnson perhaps, who has the nerve or the gravitas to emerge as a formidable force to repel the oncoming Tory army. And so, even as minister after minister resigns (and there will be more...trust me!)and their leader is festooned and beleaguered, I just somehow have this feeling that it will not be enough to get the man out of Number 10.

I still believe the future is Brown.....

Thursday, 4 June 2009

The God Business (Part 5)

As torrents of economic drought and anorexia lash the pockets and stomachs of the average man from New York to Siberia, many have said the situation was signed, sealed and delivered by the greedy fat cats and 'get rich quick' brigade. I recall a conversation with some rather agitated acquaintances last week, where someone actually called the current situation; a battle between evil and good. A scenario that has now arisen (according to the same person) due to the nonchalant nature of those who represent the so-called 'good'.

Apparently, lawyers and bankers were wrongly seen as the 'new' priests and holy men, and 'making a buck' attained the same gravitas as having a decent and upstanding character. The speaker went on to condemn the ubiquitous 'rich lists' developed by the likes of Forbes and The Times, which have now, accordingly to him, become the commandments that Mankind has decided to live and die by(?!!) It was a poignant night which meant the conversation never recovered from the gloomy, downward trend introduced by Mr Good vs Evil, although his passion for the topic was infectious to say the least. I only began to appreciate the remarkable slant of the gathering, when those involved set off a full-fledged navigation of the complete morals and ethics landscape, before ending in that dreaded one-way conundrum; doubting the existence of God!

Don't open your mouth so wide. The amount of people who are beginning to join the atheist army is alarming and yes, there are fully registered Nigerian conscripts within. The theory is simple......how can there be a God, who will stand aside and watch so many desperately suffering and disadvantaged? If he really exists, is he really in control? If he is in control, what exactly is being controlled? The Good or the Evil? Blah, blah, blah....

Well, as you can imagine, it wasn't exactly a mild chat and I contributed my two pence, by stating quite clearly and loudly that I felt our current dilenma was endemic of the 'end times,' which is clearly predicted in the only holy book where I can lay claim to some affliation......you never know, there might have been an angel passing by!

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Coffin in the Sky

A crew member monitors instruments, in this photo released on June 2, by the French Defense Ministry, during a search mission over the Atlantic.

In the wake of the Air France tragedy, it seems inevitable for the issue of air safety to resurface in some quarters. As an incredibly bad flier (anyone with Nigerian blood should join me, especially in the light of our air travel record), I have always believed that any vessel that can carry hundreds of people and tonnes of luggage and still take off and stay in the air, sometimes for fifteen hours is definitely prone to catastrophic possibilities.

I have actually addressed the issue in one of my previous blogs and received a full length reply from a seasoned pilot who assured me that it was by far the safest mode of travel. His argument, like those of most people who love flying, was that when one considered the amount of people who fly every year and then looked at the percentage of casualties, it was a very low indeed. Well, my reply to him and those who share his views is this; what is the percentage of survival on a crashed aircraft?! This recent tragedy has claimed a 100% and that number has been replicated through the years, with high survival in crashed flights being in the extreme minortiy.

In the end, with all the science and gizmos, air travel is still an unknown sphere for the human mind. I know we have all the so-called experts with their well prepared statements; 'this aircraft is the safest in it's class and we have never had any electrical problems on this plane, blah, blah, blah.' All of it is little relief for the bereaved and hot air to the us bystanders and potential customers.

The truth is the science of planes is not as exact as we are led to believe and whether we accept it or not, it is still a business and irrespective of any tragedies, the money-making has to continue. How else could it be possible, that we are now being told that we may never know the true cause of the Air France flight 447crash? So, no bodies for the relatives, no explanation of the relating circumstances and no effect on the constant stream of people needing to take another plane......hmmmm. What was the greatest trick the Devil played on mankind again?

Air Travel? Could it be the greatest trick man ever played on man?

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

The God Business (Part 4)

I have just emerged from what I can only describe as an extremely sensitive argument, relating to the potency of good and evil or at least that is what I conceived it to be about, until one of the verbal pugilists dropped the killer hook and asked the most impossible question; 'If God exists, is he aware of the evil pervading the world at the moment and if he is, can we then say this God is in really in control or have things overtaken him?

It was a roadblocker then and it's still a roadblocker now! I am still conjuring up my arguments and will return to the topic soonest, but in the meantime, it is a poser I am putting out there. My advise is that in reply, we refrain from scare-mongering and predictions of doom being visited on anyone who might have views different from ours.

Looking forward to the wordslinging!

Monday, 1 June 2009

Same country......different Flag!

After an unannounced and eventful one-month sabbatical, I have decided to return to my creaking laptop and freshen up my backlog of commentary on the state of the 'Enigma' that is Nigeria. My time away has been spent publicising my novel; 'A Candle in the Sun', travelling to Lagos and starting the draft of my second novel. Prior to the time off, I had been engaged in several verbal clashes regarding my blog entries. A few of my peers took exception to what they saw as excessive vitriol directed at our government and wondered why I hadn't cut them any slack.....so I decided to chill out with my keyboard. Alas though, things ain't really changed, so it's the return of the Hack ;-)

To be frank, it has been a refreshing, enlightening and damn right enjoyable break for most of the time. There have been lows (Liverpool throwing away the Prem), highs (Barcelona outclassing Man U!)and the odd average day (MPs getting exposed at last). As for my time in Nigeria, well, it continued to confirm some of the fears I have harboured regarding her direction, although, the greenshoots of progress - though hard to see - can be observed slowly coming through. Of course, it was difficult to ignore the decibels generated from the 'US destabilising Nigeria' palaver, saying that, it must be said that the average man on the streets, would probably welcome any kind of foreign takeover, as it could never be worse than what most are going through on a day to day basis.

I am not really sure about the efficacy of the source of the 'destabilising' rumour, but it is worth asking whether it will be such a bad idea if Nigeria was destablised (for the better)? Aside from the loss of national pride and being the victims of some international ribbing, what else could we lose? I guess the situation is quite clear-cut; if those given the manadate(?) to rule Nigeria continuously fail and those of us who are their subjects, refuse to do anything about it, then, is it not viable to let a proven state like the US take over? For one, it will be a million miles more transparent and symbiotic, when compared to the ridiculous situation we have found ourselves with the Chinese! We speak the same language to a large extent, we share a federal system of governance and our legal and democratic structures are not dissimilar. Definitely less takeaways for sure!

Okay, on the downside, we will become a rather big 52nd state (actually, isn't that position already taken by the UK?), but hey, who cares as long as we have a strong armed forces that can protect the nation and kick the hell out of the Niger Delta millitants. Now, couple that with uninterrupted electricity, constant water suppy and a booming economy?

In the end, isn't that what we all really want?