Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Make we join hands, to make Nigeria better

The inauguration of Yar'adua has come and gone. Although I condemn the elections that brought Yar'adua to power, I am realistic enough to know that if the elections were repeated right now, the same thing would happen. I do not believe that the bad, bad PDP rigged and cheated the poor honest other parties. I think that all parties cheated, and rigged. In fact, if they did not want to cheat, someone would cheat on their behalf, because that is how things are done.

I read somewhere today that Orji Kalu must be a good govenor because he is the only governor whose party won the governorship in two states. I laughed to myself - so, being a master rigger is now an accomplishment necessary to achieve praise as a Nigerian governor. The same people now proceeded to blame his underperformance in his state on Obasanjo. If Obasanjo had left him in peace, he would have achieved something in his two terms. Make I just no comment on that statement sha.

I think more can be achieved by reforming INEC and the system, and making sure that the next time things will be done right. Even though it might seem like cowardice, I am just thinking pragmatically here. If the elections are annulled right now and the elections are conducted over, with no reforms, the same circus will result, imho.

The many sides of Yar'adua

In trying to understand what type of person our new president is, I found this article a few days ago. I have since discovered that a lot of bloggers posted it sometime in 2006, so instead of posting it all over again(its quite long), here is a link to the post on Chxta's blog.

Battle of the wives

Meanwhile, it is highly unusual for Nigeria that not much information is available about his family. I have been able to find out that he is married to one wife and they have 7 children, but it seems his wife keeps a really low profile, no picture of her has popped up, in spite of my thorough web search. It seems Mrs. Goodluck will more than enough compensate for the lack of gra gra on Hajiya Yar'adua's part! I predict that things will be interesting in that area, me I dey go get popcorn.


Me I like my country
I like the land and people
Everything e dey for Nigeria
Make we join hand, to make Nigeria better!!!!

I like am, I like am ohhhhhhhhhh

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Picture of the day: Victorian Era Nigeria?


On a lighter note, was I the only one struck by the ridiculous outfit of the Chief Justice of the federation? Seriously though, this outfit is one relic of the colonial era that we need to chuck, and fast too. The ruffed sleeves made me laugh even more than that wig.
Okay I know that we are probably closer to the Victorian era than we think, what with the lack of basic modern infrastructure we face, etc, but the sun too hot for such attire now. If the poor man don quench because of the heat for there as Yar'adua dey repeat the oath, dem go say na someone do am.

Picture culled from Yahoo! News

The Nigerian Proclamation

Today, five months short of 47 years since Nigeria attained independence, the first democratic handover of power from one civilian to another has taken place. On this day, which was to be a history-making occasion, the farcical elections overshadow the important occurrence.
Since independence, leader after leader has fallen over himself, each seemingly in a bid to outdo his predecessor in destroying the nation further. Millions are hungry, in a land endowed with plenty. Many values have been lost to the expedience of survival. Basic human values have been sacrificed in the survival of the fittest that is the reality of Nigeria.

I am posting the Nigerian Proclamation, as part of a laudable initiative of Solomonsydelle's, in a sign of protest against the sham, which has been forced on us in the place of democratic elections. I will however not be true to myself if I do not state that the blame for the state of things not only rests with our leaders, but also with us as a people.

When we make excuses for mediocrity, and give bribes because “he also has to feed his family, the poor policeman”, when we put pressure on our friends and colleagues who have attained political office, when we get someone to “work” our NYSC posting, so that we get posted to Lagos and not some dead end village, when we harass female students, when we mistreat our drivers and house helps- treating them lower than humans, when we get an electrician to connect us to the NEPA pole without paying, when we charm and buy our way out of a mess, when we accept questionable gifts, when we cheat our way into higher institutions, when we live so far beyond our means that the only recourse is to be corrupt, when we do wrong things and then claim it is “God’s will” to justify it, when we see injustice being done and refuse to speak out “because this country is not worth dying for”, we are contributing to the mess that is Nigeria.

Nigeria might seemingly not be worth dying for, but it’s the only country we have. There is something deep down inside one which will ever be irreversibly linked to the land of our birth.

May this proclamation be taken, not only as an accusation to our leaders, but also as a wake up call for each one of us -

Arise O Compatriots, Nigeria’s Call Obey!


THE NIGERIAN PROCLAMATION

IN RECENT HISTORY, NIGERIANS HAVE BEEN OVERWHELMINGLY BETRAYED BY THOSE CHARGED WITH ADDRESSING THEIR NEEDS. INSTEAD OF SERVING THE PEOPLE, PUBLIC SERVANTS HAVE SERVED THEMSELVES TO THE DETRIMENT OF THE MASSES.

THE RESULT IS A NATION LACKING ADEQUATE INFRASTRUCTURE, ORGANIZATION AND SECURITY. THE INEFFECTIVENESS OF NIGERIAN LEADERS INDICATES A LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE CONSTITUENTS.NIGERIANS ARE NO LONGER RELEVANT TO THE LEADERS, THUS, LEADERS DO NOT FEEL RESPONSIBLE TO THEM.

THE RECENT FAILURE TO CONDUCT A FREE AND FAIR ELECTORAL PROCESS WAS YET ANOTHER ILLUSTRATION THAT THE NEEDS OF THE MANY ARE SECONDARY TO THE WANTS OF THE IMPORTANT FEW.FROM THIS DAY, ALL NIGERIANS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE FUTURE OF THIS GREAT & POWERFUL COUNTRY.

CONSEQUENTLY, ALL NIGERIANS MUST COMMIT THEMSELVES TO THE FOLLOWING:

- WE MUST DEMAND THAT ELECTED OFFICIALS BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS AND IN-ACTIONS.

- WE MUST EXPECT DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES TO BE HONORED, RESPECTED AND MAINTAINED.

- WE MUST BELIEVE THAT ALL NIGERIANS ARE EQUAL UNDER THE LAW AND SHOULD BE TREATED AS SUCH.

- WE MUST APPLY OURSELVES TO IMPROVING THE LOT OF EVERY INDIVIDUAL NIGERIAN REGARDLESS OF GENDER, RELIGION, TRIBE OR SOCIAL STATUS.

- WE MUST STRIVE TO MAINTAIN A UNITED REPUBLIC DESPITE OUR DIFFERENCES.

ONLY UPON ACHIEVING THESE PRINCIPLES CAN WE AS A PEOPLE FULLY LIVE UP TO OUR POTENTIAL AS A LAND OF GREATNESS. FOR OURS IS A COUNTRY RENOWNED FOR ITS ILLUSTRIOUS PEOPLE, AMPLE RESOURCES AND SHEER PHYSICAL BEAUTY.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Africans, North Africans, Black Africans........

I have just read this article on the BBC about the new french Justice Minister. The emphasis on this article is that she is now the highest ranking North African in France. It got me pondering about why the western media so loves to distinguish between the various types of Africans.
Africa is Africa, I think the constant division into Sub-saharan, or black africa, as it is known on cnn, and North Africa is an expression of the underlying racism in peoples minds. I have had people say " I've been to Morocco or Tunisia, but I would like to visit Africa."
Duh, Morocco and Tunisia are part of Africa. There are cultural differences and even ethnical differences, but I think in all African countries have managed to live very harmoniously with one another. I think in the west, where the notion of a multicultural soceity is a fairly new one, its impossible for them to imagine people living together peacefully, inspite of racial or ethnic differences.

In Sudan, they say its the Arabs killing the black Africans. While I agree that the Dafur people have a dark skin tone, in my opinion, it takes a large stretch of imagination to say the sudanese president is an arab. If being one or two shades lighter is what makes them Arabs, then , then many northern Nigerians and Malians and Niger republic people and Somalis have an even more visible claim to being Arabs. While I'm not saying that what is happening in Dafur is not genocide - it is, I think its quite unnecessary to say its arabs to black, when the parties involved are obviously all blacks. The genocide in Rwanda happened even though all parties were "black african" in foreign media speak! Instead of looking for other more obvious reasons for the horrors of Dafur, like desertification of the area and just oppression of the poorer people by those in power, it must be reduced to race.

Left to the west, there would be a three tier society in africa, with Black Africans occupying the bottom layer. Oops, I forgot we are already there.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Tales out of school-part 1

Reading about Mandy’s experiences in school brought back memories of my secondary school. I really loved my secondary school and I have mainly warm memories. All the same, there were some not so pleasant memories of this one teacher – Mrs. S whom everyone called “Mama”.

My first encounter with Mama was when at ten years old my parents dropped me off on the first day of form one. My school was a girls’ only school, and I was to start as a day student.
I had always wanted to be a boarding student- in fact I had recurring dreams about me in boarding school throughout my years in secondary school- but as their eldest child (eldest children are guinea-pigs!), my parents said either I waited and finished primary six before they would consider letting me go to boarding house, or if I so wanted to go to secondary school from primary five, then I had to be a day student.

Anyway, so our parents had to drop us off and we were herded off to a hall, where a woman called out names and sorted us into groups- different arms of form one. She called a girl’s name and the girl answered “ yes”. This woman barked “ I am not your mother’s age mate – you are to call me Mama and barked fear into our young hearts. There were legends about Mama, and it was generally acknowledged that the fear of Mama was the beginning of wisdom. I managed to steer clear of her for the first year, taking another direction whenever she passed.

Mama was my art teacher in form 2. Since I cannot draw to save my life (although I have been told that is a mental model I have to get rid of, that my art is like abstract art – another story for another day), Mama and I had a few confrontations. That is to say, she confronted me, and poor, timid and shy 11 year old that I was, I could never say anything to justify myself, all I did was mumble.My art work, painting, drawing etc was so bad that she taunted me regularly in front of my whole form, and sent me out of the class for daring to submit such homework. On one of these occasions, she sent F. out of the class as well, for not doing her homework. F. is a sickler, and she had been off school for a few weeks due to a crisis, so it was understandable that she had not done her homework. Mama said to her – “get out of my class, I won’t even bother to cane you, you will die soon anyway, and your family is only searching for someone to blame for your death.” In spite of the fact that she had humiliated me time and again, that was what made me start to hate this woman. I stood outside, an 11 year old and comforted F, also 11 at the time – “don’t worry, you won’t die, you will live and when you are an adult with a great education, I’ll help you hunt this she-devil down and we’ll remind her of all the hateful things she has said today”- or at least some childish version of that. The only good thing that came out of that episode was that F and I became really close friends. I am glad to say that she is well and alive and currently pursuing a Phd in the good ole USA.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Coo coo

It has been a hectic time since I last posted here. April was a hectic month at work; May has so far been busy as well. I have missed blogging, but was so fagged out that I could not put hand to keyboard. I have been worked really hard... all sorts of unholy hours, weekends as well... but I am really enjoying my job. I feel my confidence in my abilities rising. That is not a bad thing at all.....

Here's a happy birthday to all fellow Taureans, out there. I'm also a May girl, turned 29 at the beginning of the month. Had a nice get-together with several friends. I had not celebrated my birthday in several years, but I decided to see out my twenties with a bang lol. Got a huge bunch of 29 red roses from my hubby, I got so many flowers from people - I had not received so many flowers since my wedding day! My red roses are currently hanging upside down on my toilet ceiling - hoping they dry properly as a momento of the day. I really do not feel 29 - I always thought I'd feel older......A lot has definitely happened, grateful to be alive..

Spoke with many classmates from secondary school in Nig, several weeks ago. It was really great to speak with people after 5, 6, 7, 10 years and still instantly feel the connection. I have always gotten easily attached to people - sometimes even when I have not had any conversation with them. I remember after leaving Nigeria, feeling nostalgic for a guy who used to attend lectures with me, (and it was nothing romantic at all).
This issue of me getting deeply attached to my friends has always made it difficult to make new friends - because the older you get, the more difficult it is to become intimate with someone. It can also be a disadvantage because I feel things concerning my friends sometimes too deeply – as my mum liked to say “alara lara o ro un, olo ku arun…(lit. the owner of the body doesn’t say its aching, but you are saying sorry). One day I'll write about Adeola O. and the first time I got into hot water at eleven for taking someone's problems too much to heart, and for trusting them too much.

Started learning Dutch. Somehow I know deep down inside me that I'll probably never become good at this language, but I feel really mentally relaxed during the lessons, that I'll just keep on at it.

Met some Indian colleagues at a conference recently. It was really interesting to listen to the new generation still talk about arranged marriage like it was perfectly normal. Still I have to say, I think that Nigerians and Indians have a lot in common culturally -although we also differ in many ways. Anyways, I'm rooting for M, who is hoping to convince her parents to allow a love match(in India talk, that is when you get to marry the person you love and chose yourself as opposed to having an arranged marriage).

My best friend is pregnant. I am so excited, we've known each other for ever, she is like my sister, and even when we have not talked for ages cos she lives in Lagos, we are always comfortable with each other. We have taken most of our major steps in life at the same time, and she said "hurry up and get pregnant now". I can't admit to anyone that I'm scared of becoming a mother. I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone, but I love children so much and have always wanted to have a child so much that I'm afraid reality won't match all my daydreams. What if I can't be a good mother? What if I'm too strict? What if my child doesn't like me?..... I know totally stupid, most children love their mothers. Since my parents prayers are probably sounding with a hysterical frenzy now, I am hoping God waits a bit before answering them. Meanwhile, C.K. and I had a near miss in March. It was not funny at all. I only allowed myself nostalgic feelings after I was certain it was a miss.

I can't believe I have written so much, considering the fact that I have been having a blogger's block the last few weeks.
That's all for now folks.
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