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Friday, December 3, 2010

I PLEDGE TO NIGERIA MY COUNTRY


During my secondary school days, I was naughty, and every student was. We were naughty and ignorant. It was just the perfect way to display childishness—so we thought. We had different versions for each song, and the national anthem was not an exception. Hmm, and the pledge? That was the height. Our own version was “I pledge to Nigeria my country, to be faithful, loyal and honest. To serve Nigeria is not by force… ” Our teachers thought we were just being the children that we were, but the truth is as childish as we were, we sang it straight from our hearts, when we place our hands on our chests, we almost made sure we felt our heart.

As far as I know, nobody taught us that song. It was simply observation; what we saw with our child’s eyes, what our parents always complain about the situation of the country, and what musicians compose in their songs. Were we naughty? Because till now even if we don’t say it, we act it. Nigeria is dying: no problem so long as we are not dying, if everything is going bad is not our business as long as we are sharing from the national cake. We are all guilty, me, you , us, everyone . Some people do not even think anything good will come out of our ‘Nazareth’ called Nigeria.

I was hit by the first ambassador of Africa for UN, Adetoye Oremosu’s word about the attitude of Nigerians. I had to recite the pledge to my self, I sang the national anthem again and again and it occurred to me that these powerfully packed words of commitment has been reduced to mere formal recitation.
I pledge, I pledge, a promise of a life time; indebtedness. Each time that I recited those words, it occurred to me that I am simply saying, ‘Oh! Great Nigeria, I am loyal to you and I will protect and serve you.’ Hmm and how many times? Tsk tsk, too bad.

Back to us. I find it very funny and its laughable how we talk about other countries. Recently, I was talking to a friend and the way she sounded about other countries made me to ask ‘oh! So did the leaders of these countries you mentioned work magic. Or human beings, patriotic citizens who also pledged to their country worked with them?’ These countries are not fantasy land or wonderland where things work on their own. Citizens worked, they were committed. What commitment have you shown, what is your pledge? I am Nigeria, you are Nigeria. The earlier, the better Nigeria.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

BEFORE GOD AND ‘A NIGERIAN’ MAN

scrrrrrrrrrrrrch, the car hissed to a halt as Mela approached the traffic, he had maneuvered his way around the Island to make sure he beats the traffic but to no avail. He finally stopped and wound down angrily to let in air, his face glittered with sweat and he wiped it with the back of his hand cursing under his breath. This is the only Nigerian situation that sings sweetly to him you are home.

Mela had barely relaxed his huge frame on the seat of his car, when he saw a young man approaching his car, his sunken eyes had turned red from smoking and the bears on his face were scattered like an untrimmed lawn; thinking he was one of those touts that work for the police, he slipped his hand into his trousers pocket and brought out a hundred naira note instead of the usual twenty naira: this is one of the troubles he wants to avoid.

‘Oga’ his voice came, pleadingly.

Mela withdrew his outstretched hand, seeing that he is not a tout, ‘yes’ he answered as he met the gaze of the man. The man licked his cracked lips as if to prepare for the words that he is about to say, ‘oga abeg help, am a muslim student. I dey for my three hundred level, I am studying islam.’

‘ehen’ Mela prodded

‘dem call me yesterday, they said my house is burning at Ijora and my three year old daughter dey inside’ he paused and Mela nodded for him to continue, his countenance still calm.

‘As me and you dey talk now, my child is lying at the General Hospital’ Mela didn’t know how to explain the man’s transition from pidgin to English, ‘so what do you want me to do?’ Mela asked.

‘Oga na help I need, abeg. I no be beggar na circumstance cause am, am a student of Islam’ he paused to watch the effect of his story on Mela’s face, then he continued effortlessly, ‘I no fit lie, before God and man na the truth, I know dey beg na condition cause am’ he finally ended.

Mela raised his head, his eyes focused on the man, while trying to take in the story he had just heard. If it is truly before God and man, he is sure to believe, all that he has said. But before God and this Nigerian Man, who thinks he already had an alliance with God because God can never lie, a man who went from English to pidgin, Allah to God. This Nigerian man who rasped out words quickly like they have been formed for this incident, ‘Hmm’ he let out softly. This was the same story Kachi his cousin told him about a man who went to different locations in Lagos telling different stories, he is known in his profession and people don’t bother to listen.

‘you say na where your daughter dey?’ Mela asked

‘Oga, na for general hospital she dey’ he said

‘Okay make we go there make I pay for the bills’ Mela said and bent as if to put on his shoes, but the man didn’t say anything. Mela raised his head only to find out he was out of sight, he looked around from his car but he was out of sight. Mela smiled, ‘Nigerians’ he said and drove off as soon as the road cleared.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I'm Home


Away for so long...

Times have flown and days have gone.

I have missed my home, where I can laugh and play;

be merry and free.

where whatever i do will not cost me my blood but my pen and mind

Being at home is just 'homly'

Singing, dancing, just doing the rounds in my home

I'm home in my blog!

And it feels sooooooooooo good. Aha!

May the soul of Dagrin and the soul of the murdered journalist rest in peace... AMEN

Friday, March 12, 2010

HEART TO HEART

Dear friend,

My burdened heart, is filled with one thousand and one confused thoughts.

Tiny bits, pieces and pieces; too many— may be just worries , or many sorrows; real pain that I have to bear.

This is from me to you, may be you would help:

For fifty years I have being trying to stand on my own and be a WOMAN of integrity, through out these years, I have tried many paths that always have one route.

Let me make it clearer.

If for fifty years I have tasted civilian rule, military rule, and back to civilian rule; then am just fifty, no change. I am still stunted and piling up numbers.

And for these fifty years those I have put in charge have one story to tell me:

First it was secession, and it was termed Biafra.

And then I heard Abiola race; the story that took away my first chance of having a real good election.

This went on…

After twenty- seven years dictatorship by the military regime, I didn’t know the twenty- three years of civilian rule will also amount to nothing… a silent dictatorship, more brutal than the former.

Well, Abacha left and I was ready to start anew.

With a man, whom I thought too good to carry on. But all I got after eight years was a third term and more confusion than there have been.

Again, a man was introduced to me, I was not ready to give up, at least not after he declared all he had.

I thought it was time to reap all that I have sowed, hmm, too bad.

This man dragged me slowly, and I thought I might turn cripple. He explained though, and said it was due process.

I tried to be patient.

You would think that the due process worked, but this is the story after three years of due process:

Seven pointless agenda

Insecurity; roads have become death traps for motorist and even robbers have capitalized on that.

Darkness is now a way of life, it does not matter anymore.

Just recently, I recorded another long strike for a man that was once a lecturer.

Do you think I just worry too much as a fifty year old? Or I should be patient till
I am sixty at least, or may be eighty?

Because right now, this man has not only disappeared for almost eighty days and back, he has returned on rechargeable chips to tell what to do, may be.

What do I do?

These are what bothers a fifty year old who is not better than a five year old, I am not sure anymore, may be I should just give up.

If a man that can barely shift on his bed says he wants to take care of a fifty year old, what hope do I have? I am not trying to be pessimistic, this is the truth.

Oh! I almost forgot; or is a jezebel trying to take over?

This is what this heart has been bearing for fifty years.

Just thought you should know, may be your prayers might work even when I don’t believe anymore.

Yours Sincerely
NIGERIA… good country, still hoping.





27years military, 23 years of civilian rule.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I HAVE LOST MY LITTLE FEET



The first time I saw my little feet was when I visited Afara Leadership Centre recently. I had gone there for the first alumni meeting of the Leadership Development Programme (LDP), where I had a one- year leadership training. It was small yet so beautiful, I wondered at the sight of the little feet, carefully impaled on my friends shirt. What could this mean? I thought, it does not look like an accessory but was beautiful and had this mysterious thing about it that keeps drawing you back to it. I tapped my friend and asked her what the little feet broche is all about. Yes. I thought it was just a broche at first, but I became curious because I kept turning back to look at it. Toke explained to me later that the little feet is an awareness broche for the campaign against abortion. Oh! I gaped, trying to cover my already O shaped mouth, I had already thought a ten week old unborn baby’s feet as a broche (that is how it seems to me though). A thought crept inside me, as I held the tiny feet in my right hand; this is how my feet actually look like when I was ten weeks old. These feet could be anybody, at least I passed that stage. Immediately I was endeared to these feet, I felt like I was carrying a tiny soul in my hand (call me omomomo; a child) this is my first close encounter with it. I was eloped with a sudden kind of responsibility to protect this child in my own little way, I decided to tell anyone and everyone, especially girls about my little feet, and how I want them to protect it.
Eager to have mine, I went to Peju, a friend at the center who was giving it to out to other girls as long as you were willing and confident to talk to people about abortion (and also pray for these little feet). She gave me mine and I hugged it; don’t ask me how. (I am going to be a mother soon, and if I do not feel any pity, I don’t know what else to feel) These feet just kept making me ask questions, What if these little feet were Barack Obama’s; at least that could have been possible considering the fact that his father was a Kenyan and his mum an American native, the marriage was not totally accepted, and to add his father left him at a tender age. You know what this means? That Americans would not have been boasting of a black president (it is just a thought) and many, many more thoughts came. More like what anybody would have logically thought of, you know. Just a thought.
Alas! Few days after I collected it, I lost my little feet at the crowded Yaba market on my way from work, did you say ah? I spent close to ten minutes looking for my little feet, my friend Tayo joined me after I told her what it means. She felt the same way, too, it was not just me after all, we searched the whole place but didn’t find my little feet. Abortion as I know is battling with morality; some countries must have legalized it (I am not sure), so that it becomes right at the expense of innocent sweet tiny souls who never asked for it. Abortion is never the answer (I know so). Personally, I think these cuties should be sent to orphanage homes after birth (if their mothers cannot cope with them)at least the issue will be to cater for these kids either through adoption or other means of support. And for the married women, family planning is the option but if it mistakenly comes, don’t you think that the child is meant to stay? I read recently in a Sunday punch that a 35—year old woman (married) died during abortion, and to think that this woman had only one child (not four or five), I find this amazing and I am still trying to find out why? Whatever reason it is, this child should not bear the consequence, he wants to live too, like me , you and every other person.
Please, if you see my little feet, can I have it back? And while it is with you protect it. An abortion could mean, the murder of an important personality, it does not even have to be, at least he is a human—he should live!

Monday, February 22, 2010

I HOPE FOR LUCK, NOT GOODLUCK JONATHAN


After almost eighty days without a president, we have been given a new acting president; Goodluck Ebele Jonathan. Again, we have started hoping that something good will come out of this new leadership , something to hang the future of Nigeria on. I was almost too sure that the former president will start the Nigerian dream, after declaring his asset, he looked prepared and ready to take Nigerians to the next level; no doubt, today Nigeria is on a next level to becoming a failed country, one without hope. And I have one thousand and one versions of his state of health.
I am happy we now have a leader, at least, it is a new way to start again and pretend nothing ever happened, no fuel scarcity, no Jos crisis, no confusion in the country; the country is now healed of an eighty days illness. I am more happy because of this new president, though nothing remarkable. I am hopeful that he will bring luck to Nigeria, he might not need to work hard or have an eight point agenda (who knows, he might want to do more than his predecessor). Goodluck Jonathan has always been lucky, or what do you think? He has never struggled or campaigned for any election. He was the Deputy Governor of Bayelsa state in 2005, when the Governor, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha was arrested for money laundering, he was impeached and president Goodluck became the Governor of the state, and on the 9th of February 2010, this same Goodluck was made the acting president of Nigeria owing to the health of the former president, Umar Musa Yar’ Adua. Whatever luck this is, it is definitely a good one to Goodluck Jonathan, even if it is at the expense of his predecessors.
What Nigeria needs right now is magic, miracle; good luck and if we now have for a president, a man that has such luck; it is only normal that I hope against all doubts that something good will come; against some Nigerians, who do not care much and have come to accept whatever comes. And the Niger Deltans? They are very excited of course, they are expectant and the president have decided to continue where his predecessor has stopped. He definitely will not fail in this because they expect to see him work, he can not disappoint his own, not now when he has power in his hands; not now.
I do not expect much from Goodluck Jonathan though, but I expect much luck. I pray that we will not see anything different or less, I am indifferent because I have never heard anything remarkable. As far as I know, Jonathan is a quiet man, which to me might be logical, tactful; and also deadly too. But I hope for Good luck.