Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fuel scarcity? Rent a bike.

The Netherlands is quite an interesting country in many different ways, but what has captivated me most about this country is the bicycling culture. I was so amazed on a recent trip to Amsterdam to see the huge bike "flyover" in front of the central station that I had to take pictures. I have never seen so many bikes in one place in my life. And its the same picture all over the country.

Biking(and I don't mean Okada o!) would be a great way out of all the difficulties faced by Nigerians during the regular as a clockwork fuel scarcities in Nigeria. And before you rush to say that its unsafe biking on Nigerian roads and especially in Lagos, I recall reading various reports that likened Lagos to a ghost town due to a dearth of cars on its streets because of the inavailability of fuel.
Infact, this could even be a good business opportunity for some people. Imagine buying several bikes to rent out for a certain amount of money. Minimal maintainance, maximal profit. Almost every damage can be fixed by oneself. A friend of mine once said she had to ride Okadas in her estate because taxis and buses dropped people at the entrance to the estate and it was to far to walk in the blistering sun. Just visualise Mr. X owning a bicycle rental at the entrance to the estate. He would have railings to lock up the bikes both at the estate gate and nearer to the houses so people could return bikes they had borrowed from one end to the other "depot". Please go ahead, steal my idea. I'm eager for you to. The benefits would be great, no more environmental pollution, free exercise, no longer being at the mercy of Okada drivers, bicycle accidents are less fatal, I could go on and on. My people, the pure water business is so out, the new craze should be rent-a-bike. At least this one, it won't leave the roadsides littered with polythene bags.

In fact, I'm thinking of starting a Bike for survival initiative :)! The only obstacle I can see to it is our bigmanism culture, where some people would rather ride in death trap "taxis" or buy resurrected 30 year old Tokunbohs to cutting their coats according to their size and buying good old Kekes. But sha I have faith in the good old younger generation. Infact I think one of those wildly popular people just needs to take up biking in Lagos, and you will see how people will follow. Abeg, bikes are the new Jags.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Duke's blog

Now Donald Duke's blog is only open to invited readers. Mmmm.

Serena's back!

Whoopee!!!! Serana has proved her critics wrong again beating Maria Sharapove 6-1 6-2 in just 63 minutes to take home the Australian open cup . Those who said Serena can't play, would you like to say that again??
I'm so glad she won, Maria, sorry, better luck next year. I have to say though, Maria was extremely gracious in her comments. I'm looking forward to Serena getting back in the top 5 in the rankings again. As it is, with this win, she just moved from 81st to 14th position. Well done, Serena. Now the next big event I'm looking forward to is James Blake making it to world number 1.

Bring up a child in the way he should go

I saw a link for this new short story by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in the New Yorker on Uknaija's blog(thanks for the link) and I must say it is a must read. It reads like non-fiction, but even if it is fiction, it captures one of the dilemmas of modern day Nigeria very vividly. In fact, not just Nigeria, but the fact that the law is more buyable in Nigeria makes it worse.

Many parents care so much about what others think and say and because of that put their children's future in jeopardy by not making sure they are properly and adequately punished when they err.
Many teenage boys in Nigeria go through this stage of stealing and extreme misbehaviour. Their parents raise their hands in despair, and make raise up a lot of warm air, but do not really try to get to the root of the problem. I am speaking from the experiences of friends and family members.

Case 1 - A friend of mine in secondary school sneaked out his british passport and sold it to some mallams for 75000 Naira in those days. And spent the money in a few days. His parents were upset with him, after they finally dragged the truth out of him. They then took him to the british embassy and police station, claimed the passport had gotten stolen, got him a new passport and shipped him off to London. Tell me, is that the right way of dealing with such behaviour?

Case 2 - My cousin who repeatedly stole tens of thousands to take to school to show off. His dad threatened brimstone and fire, locked him out of the house one night, but his mother kept telling the father "jo rora", please take it easy. What was that amount of money doing in the house in the first place? Even today his poor mother is still in her old age making excuses for him. And outsiders are not buying it anymore.

Case 3 - A son who beat his mother up because she didn't give him the money he asked for- simply because he could not afford it. He terrorised his mother so much, brought guns into the house, his father just emotionally withdrew and acted like he was unaware of all the ongoings. He ended up finally being shot dead by policemen during a clash with cult gangs (he was a cult member).

Case 4 - There was a story carried by all the daillies last year about a commisioner in an eastern state who had been shot dead by her own son. This son had apparently been charged with rape years ago and the only fitting punishment his parents could find for him (probably in order to save face) was to ship him off to America, in order to prevent him from facing the music. Since a leopard does not change his spots, this young man soon got convicted of a crime in the USA, and after facing his prison term, was deported back to Nigeria. It was when he got back that he killed his mother and stole her car.

All the stories above demostrate failed parenting very starkly. Our people care too much about what other people will say, etc, so they let their children get away with things they should not be getting away with. And some are just too busy chasing after mammon to be able to carry a punishment through. For them, such behaviour is just irritating and doesn't fit into their well planned scheme. I don't want to generalise, but some Nigerian parents are not fit to be parents at all. In fact, may times the problems with their kids can be traced back to the parents. When a person has no respect for the sanctity of human life, treats other people as a means of getting what he want, does anything to aquire the most important thing to him (in Nigeria, that is usually wealth), has no principles, it is no wonder that the lives of many young people are being destroyed. After all, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. The sad thing is that, as with everywhere else, its usually children from well-to-do and middle class families who have these behavioural problems. When you outsource the upbringing of your children to God knows who, just in a bid to make more money - be ready to one day face the consequences. And blaming the moral decay on western society is just because we refuse to look deeper. Most of the blame rests firmly at the parents' doorstep. I remember my mother randomly checking my bag in primary and making me return every pencil or eraser that she did not buy for me and asking fiercely "where did you get that from?" - most times it wasn't delibrately taken anyway. There was no way you would come home in clothes my parents had not bought for you and it would not be noticed. In fact when my older cousin who lived with us started to do runs, he made sure to keep the newly acquired baffs well out of sight. He could be as cool as he wanted on the street, but dared not bring that past the doorstep.

Almost a whole generation has been destroyed by cultism and other ills, it is important for our generation to take our parenting tasks seriously. If you can't afford more than one child, don't have more than one so you can spend time bringing up your child properly instead of running three jobs to make ends meet and having no time for the four children you decide to have. Also be strict with your children. I'm not saying be a "god of judgement" type of parent, but even while being loving and striving to be friends with your children (as is the modern way- and it good too), remember your child is not your friend. You have a responsibility to God, your nation and your child to bring them up the right way. Otherwise, you'll have no one to blame when they turn out badly.

We are mirrors of acceptable behaviour to our children. If your child sees you beating up your wife or cheating on your husband, filing false tax returns, using a fake title you did not earn, taking bribes or using false documents, somehow, subconciously, it will take it for granted that things should be that way. When you start getting righteous when he steals from you at 16, its already too late to fix things. You need to be consistent from day one. If you do believe that stealing is the only way forward, then teach your child how to steal well, no pretences here. What does the greatest harm is the double morality of our parents. They do stuff which is obviously wrong, and then pretend like you are a fool and can't see it and start preaching to you and taking you to church. Thats why one sees some young people who despise their parents.

Remember " train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he shall not depart from it" Proverbs 22:6

Friday, January 26, 2007

A bit of good news after all that time in the wilderness!

After a long run of bad news, two relatively positive news stories about Nigeria in the international press.
The first is that Nigerians can finally fly at night due to the installation of more powerful radars. Now, hopefully they'll also fix the street lights and get robbers off the streets, then, I truly believe that Nigerians will start to fly at night in Nigeria.

The second news story is simply inspiring, because it is about someone who is using her passion to benefit others and improve our society. Read about Nigeria's "Lady Mechanics" here and maybe you'll feel a surge of hope like I did. It is wonderful to see that some people do not see a life of crime and cheating as the only way out. I am particularly impressed with how structured the whole project seems to be, with the girl's receiving Engineering classes etc.

I'm savouring these stories "well well", because who knows when next there will be anything positive about naija that will actually be carried in the international media.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

No spoiler for life

A spoiler is a summary of a narrative or part of a narrative which relates part of a plot not revealed at the early part of the narrative itself.(More Info here on Wikipedia)
Since part of the enjoyment of a movie or book is due to the surprise element, a spoiler could spoil some of the enjoyment one would derive from a book or a movie. So spoilers are generally not desirable.
Life is like a movie. Some of the things that happen are surreal and sometimes it takes hindsight to be able to fit the pieces of the puzzle together. When there are pleasant surprises ahead or life is proceeding serenly, I am glad there is no spoiler for life. There are times when I wouldn't mind a spoiler for life though. It would help make better choices sometimes.


I've been around, popping at different blogs several times during the day, but somehow, until today, could not put anything down. Not only because I've been busy, but also because I have not quite found the right way to say all I have to say. Now, if only I could be so restrained in real life......

At a Loss for Words

Caution - sleepy girl behind the wheels

Several times in the last few days, I have had close shaves on the way to and from work. I find myself driving past crossroads only to ask myself seconds later "was it green?". Today things got to a head, driving on reserve fuel and rushing to the petrol station before I would have to push my car myself- this is not Nigeria where you'll find a fine man who'll pity you and stop on the road to assist you. If that happened here, I'd be on my own. Anyway, as I rushed down the high street, a bus came in the opposite direction. He wanted to turn right and I also wanted to turn right. Instead of him to turn immediately, he slowed down, next thing I know, I'm turning before him, I mean, I still don't believe that it was my foot on the gas pedal. The bus driver was mad, he shook his fist at me. They kukuma think that they own the road sef, these bus drivers. Anyway, I for lose my license if anything happened. I hope this driving while half-asleep phase ends soon o.

I don't understand why it is that when I am afraid on the road, instead of slowing down and driving like a snail like a normal person would do, me I press the gas pedal as far down as I can go. It amazed and aggravated my driving teacher to no end, and it still amazes me today. Maybe it is naija ogboju using style to show face.

Naija blogville

The hot topic of the moment amongst Naijas is blogs. Everywhere, you see new hot blogs springing up, links to interesting blogs you haven't managed to find on your own yet. More and more talented Nigerian writers and rediscovered old blogs are in serious competition for my time o. Even on NVS, there are several threads and articles which have sprung up in the last few days discussing blogs all sparked by an article by Vera. It seems this fever is not limited to 20 something year olds, even some mamas and big aunties are into the thing o. Thank God sey no be only me sha.

On a more serious note, I can't forget the day I discovered blogs. It was in January 2006. I don't remember what I was searching for half bored on google when I stumbled on Naijablog and was jolted wide awake. I was so fascinated that I spent the whole night reading posts from his archives(ok, yes I know I no get work). The light of my laptop kept C.K. awake in our bedroom. He kept waking up and sleepily asking "what are you reading?", "are you still reading that page?". For months I only lurked and wondered who those people were who left messages. Then one day I discovered his "blogs I read list". And I was lost.

I remember printing out Soul Sista's entries at work to read on the train home and hoping no one would catch me, because it would have been very embarassing to have been looking so serious like I was printing out a confidential document only to have been found out printing a blog entry. One weekend sef, I printed the entry out and forgot to take it on my way out. I went back on Saturday ni o. I still have some of those printouts amongst my papers.

I am grateful that I discovered blogs. I had sort of lost touch emotionally with Naija, and reading posts from home, about home, and written by people both in Nigeria and away really awakened a part of me that had been asleep for too long. Or maybe it was just my gbeborun(inquisitive) nature exhibiting itself. I discovered Obudu ranch, th mountain race and the beauty of Calabar on blogs, the picture of Alams in his gele is one that still manages to draw a few chuckles out of me everytime I conjure up the mental image.
Right now, I wonder how I manage to get anywork done. I mean it seems like new naija blogs are springing up every second o. In fact, we should ask one of those people in statistics to tell us the real number.
I mean, can you beat the gist?Dem sweet pass novels, in fact some sef, dem pass M&B and if you know how much I loved Mills and Boon in secondary school, you'll know that is high praise indeed. Some are so educational, with well researched posts, I can relate very closely to some posts, they mirror life.
I like the fact that everyone can find their own spot in Blogville. If its red light district, we get our own, SUB(Student Union Building- where the politics go down) sef e dey. Marriage counsellors, comics, mothers, students, quiet ones, vivacious ones, expats, name it, we've got it. More strength to the elbows of Naija blogville and may your strength never die.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Pictures from the Calabar Carnival

One picture from the 2006 Calabar Carnival, courtesy of Nigerian Insider dot com. Click this link to see the tweleve other pictures loaded on the page. I would love to be part of the 2007 carnival, if there will be one after Duke leaves office. Meanwhile some clerics have seriously condemned the carnival, saying it has "evil connotations.

Low class behavior or racism?

Where does lack of class end and racism begin? Reading the entire furor about the behaviour of Jade and co. on CBB has given me a lot to think about in the last few days.
The issue of people not being able to pronounce or write your name properly, even though they pronounce Polish names with ten consonants after the other without battling an eye has always annoyed me. I saw a post by the editor of a German Expat newspaper about a couple getting married. The father of the bride, I think, was not German. So, basically, when the official at the registry was calling out the names- she prefaced saying the bride’s name with “ now here comes the tongue twister”.

Subtle racism at work

I get that at work all the time, with people giving excuses like “you know that is an unusual name for our European ears”- (yes idiot, your own name is also unusual for my African ears, yet I say it properly), or “Whoa… please spell that out”. My colleague, with whom I shared an office for a year, still spells my four-letter first name wrongly.

I moved cities for work, and had to go get registered at the city council, and my then boss said something like “ it might be a bit difficult, they might think you are an asylum seeker”. Now, I’ve lived in several countries and faced more than my fair share of racial abuse (see previous post Xenophobia in Russia) but nobody has ever seen me and thought I was a refugee ( nothing personal against geniune asylum seekers). So, I took offence to his words and he excused himself by saying that “I’m only trying to prepare you for the “public servant mentality”, your other east European colleague also faced this at the airport”. Well, I went to the town hall and registered and was done in five minutes, with no stupid questions asked. So, who has a mentality problem?

Relationships and racism

One of the reasons why I’ve been interested in seeing people’s reaction is that C.K. always says that I’m overreacting. Most of the time, I never react at those people, but get home and talk with him about what happened and why it upset me. And he says, you are overreacting, they are just badly brought up people and don’t know how to behave, or he says, ah, just ignore them. When I expressed my lack of enthusiasm about visiting his sister, whose favourite topic of discussion is black people (I am tired of being the conversation)- for him I’m just being too sensitive. They are only trying to learn, and I’m always too sensitive anyway and he has never met anyone as sensitive as I am. When I refused to attend the 80th birthday of his uncle who just sits and stares at me though, he didn’t make a fuss and just said he knew I wouldn’t go.


Now, C.K. is the least racially prejudiced person I know. Even I am more prejudiced towards black people who are illegal for no reason other than the fact that they think that in Europe the streets just flow with milk and honey. But his way of burying his head in the sand when it comes to racial issues scares me. Will he be able to stand up for our unborn child if that child gets taunted in school, or will he just tell him to chin up?
I mean, if someone calls a black person a Negro around him, he immediately says a sentence about "yeah and we europeoids..." or something like that, to sort of alert the person to the fact that he thinks its wrong, but still his usual reaction to racism is to become cool and snobbish with the person acting in the offensive way. Unfortunately, that only extends to strangers. For closer people, he always has an excuse.
This attitude worries me when I think about our life together on the long term.

Wie bitte?

Having lived in Russia, I do think racism amongst the unexposed is based on ignorance. A lot of my Russian classmates used to apologise before asking a question. They would say “you know we have no clue about these things, that’s why we are asking you. Please don’t be offended”.
I have an Ukrainian friend here, my main reason for becoming close with her was because I wanted to get the opportunity of speaking Russian on a regular basis so as not to forget the language. She saw some movies at my place one day and decided she wanted to borrow them. Two days later, she called me on my mobile and told me she had finished watching one of the movies and had found it extremely funny. So, I asked which one, not in my wildest dreams expecting what came next. “ The one with all those ni**ers”, she said. I was like “ wie bitte?” (as in “ excuse me?”). I guess she knew she had made a big blunder then, because I am very level headed and never react so violently. She then said, “ I mean the one with the mulattoes… with the coloured people… I don’t know what to call them!!!” she finally said, sounding very distressed. Now she is a bush girl. A literarily very bush girl, from the backwoods of Ukraine, so I sort of understood that she was uneducated about blacks etc, but, that was no excuse in my opinion. About a week later, she and her bf came visiting and I was cool with her. Close to the end of their visit, she called me aside and apologized for having offended me. She said “you know where I’m from and how ignorant I am about such things” .Of course I willingly forgave her and when I look back now, I find her distress and misyarns really funny.


Now, people like C.K.'s sister, who thinks she belongs to the crème de la crème and who still finds it okay to discuss race and colour condescendingly at every diner party in other to show how open they are, I have no excuse for them. C.K. says, they are not racist, see how they opened their home to you, they are just very open people, blah, blah- don’t take it like they are racist. One evening, this sister really overdid things in the presence of her other sister visiting from Canada. And at the same dinner, a childhood friend of theirs (in her forties) said in my presence that “we have always called black people Negroes, and I don’t see why we need to change now, after all, whether I call them black or coloured or Negroes, I still mean the same thing. Now, in German, the word for Negro is Neger, so you can see how a black person might find that offensive. The next day, his elder sister came to my house and apologized for her sister’s behaviour saying that the problem is with her not with me, as in she has always lived in this town and is unexposed to the outside world and that it was unacceptable (this sister had made her own blunder in the past though, more about that some other time). I think she must have had a talk with her sister, because there has been no recurrence since then. Although it could also have to do with the fact that I go there less frequently. Yet my darling C.K. still defended her behaviour. That occasion really made me see him in a different light. Even though he is ashamed of their behaviour (he admitted once, very long ago to being ashamed of his sister’s behaviour), he still feels the need to defend them. So basically, now, I’m very sensitive and too proud and always take things wrongly. See me see trouble o. I am the one who has been wronged, but am the one who gets the blame. So in all these narratives, does anyone out there think I’m overly sensitive?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Two killed in Niger Delta attack

According to the BBC, a Nigerian and a Dutch national have been killed and several others wounded in a gun battle in the Niger Delta. Coming barely a day after several traditional rulers and other civilian were killed, this is not good at all. The situation has gotten out of hand, and the "rulers" need to know that something has to be done, and very quickly too, to prevent an all out civil war. It is not enough to promise this and that anymore. In fact, I fear any action might be too late to prevent the almost predictable end to all these occurences. In fact the situation is already worse than in many countries where fighting has been going on for decades.
Nigeria is already up there next to Iraq on the list of places no one wants to go, even to work, in spite of the fact that the salary offers are more than one can imagine. If we are realistic, we know we are on our own if things get to an official war(as opposed what is going on now, which has not been officially declared a war). No military aid(they are all occupied in the middle east, besides nobody is interested in any country south of the Sahara if its not SA ), neither will anyone rush to give financial or food aid. I shudder at the mental images.

Like I said in a previous post, the cause is a just one, but it seems like the fighters are not men of principle.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Yahoo boys

The term “Yahoo boys” was one which I recently came across on the internet. I had vaguely wondered “why Yahoo!?”. Why not Hotmail guys or My Space guys. Now I think I know why.

I have used Yahoo! mail for years and years. When other people considered Hotmail to be the best (free) web-mail service available, I was overwhelmed by the Spam. Seeing that all my old mails were wiped out all because I did not log in once in several months, I guess I made the right choice to stick to Yahoo!.
Anyway, while exploring the new Yahoo! website, I came across Yahoo 360, which is the equivalent of Msn spaces. Yahoo 360 is supposed to be a tool for posting pictures, keeping a blog etc.
Just for fun, I decided to search for Nigerian bloggers since I am having fun on Blogger and I thought the blogs would be similar on Y!360. Big error.
Mixture of pidgin and English from supposed graduates, most of whom are seeking ladies in the USA or Canada, “sexy” pictures from girls and guys.

It seems amazing the number of people on Y!360 whose dad or mum is "Nigeria" and the other parent is "USA", and they live in Nigeria due to the death of one parent or the other. Why would one need to put so much info in a three-line profile? One guy claims to be a pastor looking for missionaries to come to Nigeria, West Africa. Like there are not enough people in Nigeria who can and are doing missionary work. Of course there are a few authentic bloggers, but they are overwhelmed by the large numbers of .....Y! boys and girls.
Most of the authentic people do not have too much information about themselves (or their relationship to God) on their pages.

One page came up which was owned by a middle aged American. According to him, he just moved back to the states after 13 ½ years working in the oil industry in Nigeria. Here’s a quote taken from his page:

"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... and how many want to get out! Tony Blair"

Guess which country he was referring to with this quote.

Friday, January 12, 2007

From my diary

Friends vs. God

After Months of pain and regret,
You finally find someone who makes you really laugh aloud again
The pain flees, the loneliness is gone.
But only for a season, till you realise that:
Only God can truly heal.

Life is a paradox that never ceases to amaze me.
If only I can find a "soulmate" , I think all my troubles will be diminished;
How shortsighted that I fail to realise that
New friends sometimes bring new troubles, that:
Only God can truly heal.

I'm so excited, I'm so busy,
Theres' dozens of activities all around:
Meeting new people, doing fun things.
Was it really me who was so lonely just months ago?
Now I'm having the time of my life and fail to remember that:
Only God can truly heal.

I put my trust in men like me.
In friends who care and others who don't care so much,
And then they fail and cause me despair,
I withdraw into myself start to grieve again and
All because I fail to realise that:
Only God can truly heal.

So now I'm trying to put my life in perspective,
to remember that friends are people too,
to love myself like I never used to,
to unwind, to relax, to always remember that:
Only God can truly heal.

From my diary entry for18/08/03

Thursday, January 11, 2007

4 things

A happy 2007 to everyone.

I've been tagged by April, so brace yourselves

4 Jobs I've had my life
1.English Teacher
2. Salesgirl
3.Sunday school teacher(that was a volunteer job)
4. Process Engineer

4 Jobs I wish I had
1.Air hostess
2.Web designer
3. Lawyer - I have been told times without number, that the way I can argue I would make a great lawyer
4. America's next Model

4 Muvees I could watch again and again
1. Something's gotta give
2. Amelie
3.Bend it like Beckam
4.Dirty pretty things

4 Cities I've lived in
1.Makurdi (Nigeria)
2. London(UK)
3. Lagos (Nigeria)
4. Moscow(Russia)

4 TV shows I love(d) to watch 1
1.Murder She Wrote
2.Comedy Central's The Daily Show
4. Kukli(a political satire on Russian TV)

4 Places I've travelled to 2
1.Strasbourg, France
2.Antalya, Turkey
3.Volgograd(Stalingrad), Russia
4.Canterbury, UK

4 Websites I visit daily
1.BBC news
2.New York times
3.Salon dot com
4.Blogger 3

4 Favourite dishes
1.Lamb Shakri Korma
2.Pounded Yam and Egusi soup
3. Salmon Nigiri
4. Russian blini and red caviar

4 things I won't eat
1.Cuisees de grenouilles (frogs legs)
3.Anything that is expired, even by half a second
4.Japanese food in Holland 4

4 Things I'd love to eat right now
1.Beans and Plantain
2.Lamb suya
3.Sea bass filet with potatoes
4. Fried rice like my mum makes it

4 things in my bedroom
1.Loads of books
2.A bed
3.My teddy bear

4 things I wish I had in my bedroom
1.A masseuse
2.Thierry Henri
3. A robot 5
4.More space

4 things I'm wearing right now
1. An old jumper
2.My four leaf clover earrings
3. A weave
4. Erm, a blanket

1 place I'd rather be right now
The English Lake district, and preferably, it would be late summer right now too!!!

1 fictional place I'd rather be right now
7th Heaven of delight

4 people I'd love to have dinner with
1. Nelson Mandela
2. Tai Solarin
3. Elena Hanga
4. Will Smith

4 things I'm thinking right now
1. This is interesting, I'm almost getting to know myself better
2. Who the heck am I going to tag, I bet almost everyone's done one of these
3. Thank God tomorrow is Friday
4. I really should get myself that robot, mmmmm

4 of my favourite things 6
1.My family (even if I don't remember it sometimes) 7
2. Candles, scented and otherwise
3.Teddy bears 8
4.Gosple music, like songs from Graham Kendrick, Don Moen etc

4 people I tag 9
Baba-alaye(boy, am I looking forward to reading what he'll write)

General Knowledge

1. I almost never watch TV nowadays. One more thing you know about me.
2. My middle name is world traveller
3. Okay, I admit it, " My name is Marin, and I'm a bloggerholic"
4. Ever again. Did it twice against my better judgement.
5. To fetch and bring for me.
6. When the dog bites

when the bee stings,
whenI'm feeling sad,
I simply remember my favourite things
and then I don't feel so oo saad
7. Note to myself: Tell the people I love how much I care over and over again
8. I like traditional teddy bears(preferably a Steiff- I like betta things;), not those ugly stuffed toys in a million different colours. An new friend once gave me a stuffed green crocodile with yellow and light green patches. Ugh.

9. I bet at least one of these people has already done this before!

Blood Oil

Reading the article titled Blood Oil on Vanity Fair brought a bitter taste to my mouth. For anyone with a conscience will be quick to admit that the cause of the Niger deltans is a just one. It is often said that Nigeria is such a rich country that no Nigerian should live in poverty. I agree - especially not the Niger deltans from whose land no end of foreigners and unscrupulous Nigerians have/are feeding fat. Yet I disagree with the way in which they are waging their battle.
Kidnapping foreigners is not the way to go in my opinion. Granted, a lot of foreigners come and strutt their stuff, doing the work that another Nigerian could do, earning ten times as much while living a pampered life with driver, cook, housemaids etc, only to come back to Europe and start complaining how terrible it is there etc, like someone forced them to go, and like they were not paid a minor fortune.
That is beside the point right now because like the Yoruba say, ejo o kii se ejo wan(its not their fault).
Its not their fault that we have such a corrupt ruling class. If your own people treat you like dirt, its a bit too much to expect better from outsiders. Driving away the oil companies will only cause problems for the common man. Irrespective of what part of Nigeria they come from, the average person is suffering. Instead of attacking oil facilities and kidnapping foreigners, if I were MEND, I would attack the unscrupulous politicians, people who get millions in budget allocations like Odili without making a difference to the lives of their people deserve to be punished more than foreigners who are just trying to earn a living. President, Vice-President, Govenors, Senators, local government, chairmen, councillors etc are all waxing rich and walking away without being held to account. If a war should break out in the Niger Delta, they all have homes abroad to move to, only the poor people will be left to suffer.
It is time to start to terrorise the ruling class, to make their lives a living hell, to go out and get them in their comfort zones in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Ota etc. People like Odili should be held to account. Instead of campaigning for the release of Alams, its time to ask him with one voice what he did with all that allocation to Bayelsa state. How come Bayelsa state is supposed to be one of the richest in the nation (at least in terms of allocation vs. population)and yet, nothing can be shown for almost 8 years of democracy in that state.
The only way that things can change is to start to hold our "leaders" to account, to show them that the consequences of heartless corruption are terrible. If the oil companies leave now (and inspite of all their investments, if things continue this way, its only a matter of time) only the poor people will suffer. Even the small amount of money which has trickled down from time to time will stop to.

The cause of the Niger delta people is a worthy one and it would be sad if it is hijacked by people who want to use this as their own get rich quick scheme, because such people will leave the people of the Niger Delta even more miserable than they met them.

We need a drastic change in Nigeria, if not Dafur will be child's play compared to what will happen.
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