Olabisi Ladele: Adetoun; The Love I Never Had!

ADETOUN; THE LOVE I NEVER HAD!

17th September, 2013 presented a bright afternoon in Bodija, the obvious heart of Ibadan. In case you have never heard of West Africa’s largest city, Ibadan, it is the soul of the southwestern states and the educational capital of my dear Nation, Nigeria. My appetite was nowhere to be found as I concluded I was not having lunch. I sank into my seat with the intention of taking a nap within the break period. As I closed my eyes, the seraphic image of this young lady filled my head, I could hear the sonorous sound of her calculated steps, I imagined her silent giggles and angelic smile, it was just five days since I last saw her and to me it was like forever.
A hard slap on my shoulder jolted me back to life, as Samuel, a friend at work said;

“Oga its Tuesday, aren’t you going to the usual place?”It’s Monday, I replied with mild anger lining my voice as I went back into daydreaming. “Yesterday was Monday and a public holiday, today is Tuesday ogbeni”, Samuel said. I could feel my heart beat faster and my glands secrete more sweat as I shifted the mouse of the flat screen HP desktop computer in front of me, it was indeed Tuesday. I scrambled for my car keys and jacket as I ran out of the banking hall of the bank where I work. I was heading for a canteen.

A man without appetite yet rushing to a canteen!
She takes the last morsel of amala hurriedly because she wants to give a reply to what her friend just said to her as she chokes. I wish I was close enough to give her a glass of water, but it would have been silly to travel all the way when her friend could easily hand one over to her, which was exactly what she did. I am done with my own meal too but am taking it slow with my drink, they laughed over what? I wouldn’t know! I just wish I could get close to her, I wish I could say a word to her, I wish I were the one holding her arm and smiling with her, instead of this fat; fat is a mean word so I’ll say plump friend of hers.

God please help me, it has to be done today because I can’t imagine what would happen if I never see her again. God forbid! For the past 3weeks she comes in around 1:30pm for lunch only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It was very boring for me last week Thursday when she didn’t show up as planned. Oh, did I say as planned? I meant as usual. Thank goodness last week is history. I waited till 3pm, hoping she would show up, had to leave when my boss called that a query would be waiting on my table if I turned break period from 1-2:30pm to 1-3:30pm.

What if she decides to change her lunch spot, the thoughts of last week mustn’t repeat itself that is why I must get her phone number today. Thanks to her loud-mouthed friend I know her name, but am clueless as to who Adetoun really is? I think she is a born again Christian, the only premise for my conclusion though I haven’t exactly concluded yet, is that well she prays before eating her meals and two weeks ago I saw a Bible sticking out her unzipped bag. I know it’s shallow to think that she is born again as result of this, but don’t blame me what can I do but hope for the best. The more reason why I need to approach her!

The problem is I am not used to this kind of situation. I don’t meet girls as complete strangers, I prefer someone introducing me, but sadly there is no one to introduce me to Adetoun. What other name for a dazzling beauty, she definitely looked like a princess even in a simple black knee length gown, if I met her as an astronaut in space; I would conclude she is not human, but definitely an angel. One would have thought that the black colour would dim the brilliance of her beauty, but I do believe that it must be her fair skin that retains the brightness around her.

I remember how I trailed her like an undercover agent when she left the canteen two Tuesdays ago,and this was not my first time. You may call me a stalker, but if you have ever been in love with a total stranger, you would know better, I just had to. Unfortunately I lost her again while I was stuck in traffic. I wonder if the sleek metallic car she drives really belongs to her, her fat, sorry, plump friend who drives it sometimes or her husband.

What if she’s taken or conquered like Samuel often says. There’s no ring on her finger so am not going to conclude. Fate must smile on me today! She is moving towards the counter to collect her change, this is my chance, I planned to meet her at the door. As a man eating without appetite, I swallow hard as I could feel a lump in my throat; she turns around and makes her way towards the entrance, her friend is still at the counter making usual jokes with “Alhaja”, the owner of the canteen. I could feel a trickle of sweat rolling down my spine as I was a few steps behind her, saying a silent prayer from my rapidly pumping heart.

I closed in but then she stopped moving, I slammed my brakes hard. I thought, now is the time. As I took a step further, she came falling right into my sight as I ran to save my queen from falling. My world stood still, it felt like a dream come through, I was at the gate of paradise gazing into the eyes of my pearl. I was oblivious of the pandemonium all around me, before she could see the passion in my eyes, before I could say a word, before our love story could begin, light was out of her dazzling eye. Breath betrayed her seraphic frame! It was the end of our love story that never began. Adetoun was the love I never had.

**special appreciations to Tijani Mayowa for helping to put this story into shape

Olabisi is a lover of God and his Christ, a Law graduate aspiring to provide one of the best company secretarial/legal services ever in Nigeria. ff on twitter @labissy

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Osho Samuel Adetunji: Nigeria: Independent by Words, Slaves by Action

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NIGERIA: INDEPENDENT BY WORDS, SLAVES BY ACTION

Musa, this search for job is getting frustrating, o! Obi remarked.
What do you mean? Musa asked cautiously. The two University graduates had been on the move combing the busy streets of Lagos for a job. They were now in front of InterContinental Hotel, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island and they were both enjoying the scintillating view of the tallest skyscraper in West Africa which went into the heavens.

‘I should have stayed back in Onitsha and shuttle between my Father’s farm and fishing at sea with my cousins, I would have earned at least N2000 at this time of the day, Why can life be so cruel?’

‘Musa, I think getting out of this country will be the best solution to all this kata kata, or what do you think? I am tired of this endless journey!’ Obi replied in a harsh tone

Musa let out a dry smile. ‘I have been thinking of a mischievous plan but am skeptical about its possibility of working. Have you heard about the exploits of the stowaway kid, Daniel Oikhena? What do you think about hiding in the wheel compartment of an airplane heading for Dubai? At least we are older than Daniel; we should get the job done in a better way.’ Musa remarked.

‘Bravo! Brilliant plan, one of my Uncles works as a security operative at the Muritala Mohammed Airport, I will just need to offer him some bucks and am sure getting into the premises will not be a problem at all. We will need to do a concrete surveillance and probably watch some high-tech movies before carrying out the plan’ Obi answered with a bright face.

Age is not the yardstick for maturity; it is just an opportunity to get matured. Actions they say speak louder than words, if you are matured then prove it to me than tell me your age. Such is the case of my beloved country Nigeria. The euphoria precipitated by the Independence Day celebration has veiled our eyes from seeing the true realities facing our country. Do you call a man begging for bread at the age of 53 an independent man? You dare not say so. If you don’t beg for money, will you owe any debt? An independent man lends out to others, not resort to begging. Nigeria at 53 owes a staggering debt of $58.04bn and yet we are beaming with smiles.
No doubt about the fact that we celebrated independence with strong optimism for a better tomorrow and we yearn for a Centennial celebration in 2014. The nation is clothed with an apparel of independence yet acts like a slave. The great dependence on foreign countries is glaring from the entertainment industry to the manufacturing industry to the oil and gas sector amongst many others. We beg the Whites for almost everything we need and yet we pay for them. Apart from the obvious dependence, we also have the penchant for travelling out of the country in search of the so-called “greener pastures”. This behavior is usually exhibited by majority of Nigerians.

It is often said that one of every four Africans is Nigerian. According to Wikipedia, over 3million Nigerians live outside the country and they live in the US, the UK and South Africa amongst other nations. If you do not value the enormity of 3million people; countries of the world like Qatar, Cyprus, Fiji and Reunion are not up to a million. You can have a slight idea of how many countries that have pulled out of Nigeria to other continents. Despite this huge population, many Nigerians are still eager to leave the country; a good example of this is the young boy who crept into the tyre compartment of an Arik Airplane moving from Benin to Lagos, the boy thought the plane was going to the United States of America. You can imagine such a level of desperation. The question is what would a young boy of his age do in America? A cleaner, a house help, a laundry boy, that is if he was not deported to Nigeria. Some can even sell all their properties to get a VISA to America, getting out of the country is seen as a huge achievement. The slaves love their Master’s crib.

An average Nigerian youth would like to pay at viewing centers to watch Chelsea play against Manchester United than a free match between Enyimba and Sharks. Will you blame the young lad? NO! The powerful desire to watch top leagues in Europe was borne out of the appealing and attractive nature of the leagues. You don’t see dastard acts such as fans beating up referees, no throwing of broken bottles into the pitch during play, no breakdown of law and order. And if at all they show up their ugly heads on rare occasions, necessary and prompt sanctions are delivered. Nigeria Professional Football League is underdeveloped, unattractive and bereft of development. Hence the football fans depend on foreign leagues for entertaining matches. The slaves love to pay bills where their Masters pay to relax.

A trip to convocation ceremonies will intimate you about the vast majority of graduates who are yearning to leave the country at the slightest opportunity. They want to pursue their Masters and Ph.D abroad and not in Nigeria. Gone are the days when you are bold enough to tell your friends that you are running a Post graduate course in an indigenous University. Employers do not believe you are well equipped for jobs once you have not tasted education outside the shores of Nigeria. It only reflects the pathetic state of the country’s educational sector. Nobody wants to stay at home for three to four months because of industria actions popularly called strike. Slaves love to read where their Masters became Professors.

The eminent leaders of the world’s most populous nation drive the latest flamboyant cars and yet the country has no indigenous manufacturing plant for cars. Imported cars flood our major cities and metropolis and newly released cars usually make the headlines at discussion joints. Majority of our youths are more interested in Hollywood and Bollywood movies than Nollywood films. In a bid to look like our colonial masters, we have trampled on the core values of our culture. This is evident in our dressing, marriages, choice of food and use of language. Nigerians just love to crave for anything foreign; we crave for their cars, download their movies, wear their clothes, eat their food and pay through our noses to get their type of phones.

It is a shame our leaders take pride in going abroad for medical consultation and surgical operations. There is no need to count the number of governors, ministers, senators, commissioners and Presidents that have been outside the shores of the country to seek medical attention. Why seek for medical services outside the country if we are independent? Our actions depict one who is not independent.
As the number of Nigerian emigrants increases by the day, as they search for greener pastures like a flock of sheep without a shepherd; the question is: are we truly independent? Are we not professional slaves? If at all we are slaves, when shall we be a truly independent nation?

Samuel is seasoned writer who loves to use the pen as a tool to inform, impact and change lives. He is a final year student of Mechanical Engineering, University of Ibadan. ff on twitter @inisamosho

Tokunbo: Thrusts of Revenge; Baba

Each thrust, a memory unrepressed, each grunt, one regretted. With everyone of her screams, Baba aired out his frustrations. The more she groaned,the more he pushed in with just the same force as a woman in labour. Releasing himself of his anger,his resentment;ridding himself of his pent up frustration and misery. With all the bottled up emotions inside, he needed a channel to let them out : he needed Baby.
As he tightened his belt and zipped his fly, he listened to her cry and felt his usual grim satisfaction from her tears: She was weeping for him. She felt his pain, his sorrow.Each time he entered her, he dragged her into the past. It was like she was in sync with his memories ,as if she understood his shame. Every moan, grunt, whimper and scream she made was for him. She empathized with him. He shook his head as he could not get himself to look up at her. At least he had done something right, he thought, she was his one good contribution to humanity.This at least,he could feel good about. Or could he?
He needed space, air to clear his head. He took his jacket and stepped out of his house for a stroll, one footstep at a time, a footstep back in time, to the things that could have been, away from the things that were.
“Here I am, 64 years I have spent in this world with nothing to show for it. My colleagues would say to me after work each day, “Baba, you are in a hurry to go back home to the madam, Abi? God will give us this your ‘strength’ to perform when we are your age as well o!” I would laugh and agree with them with a wide smile pasted on my face. I might even throw in a witty comment or two for a good laugh! But they don’t know that just like the adage goes, “the mad man who seems to be running after you, may just be running away from the things chasing him”. It was more of what I was running away from. The happy family was only a figment of all our imaginations! I crack jokes, especially the ribald ones about libido and women! But I always itch to leave the office. With everyday the pretense is eating me up; I’m choking on the facade! Its eating me up but I’m the one choking on it. The whitewash, that I’m happy with who I am or what I am, is killing me! But hold on a second…who am I?
I am an old man who missed an opportunity to make something of himself because I was too scared to take the risk; the fear of the unknown was my biggest obstacle. Still is. Now, I am a ‘sales boy’ at my ‘best friend’s’ company! ( Sales Manager, he likes to say but we all know better) My friend who took the risk. He left the lucrative dependable job we both had and started his own company. He made me an offer to be a partner with him but I declined. I was so pompous then, expecting him to fail and come crawling back on his belly to me. He didn’t! His business flourished and the bank that I worked for merged with another. Retrenchment reared it’s ugly head and cut mine off!
I thank God for my boss, he saved me when I was at an all-time low. Thanks to my wife, he offered me a job which I pelted at like David’s stones went at Goliath!
I worship him most of the time but in truth I loathe him. At work, I prostrate to the floor for my friend who I am 4 years younger in age . I hate myself a million times more for this. Every time I go down low for him or look up to him at work, I console myself with the fact that Baby would do his going down for him at home. He greets me like I am a servant but he knows I know. He knows.
He is sleeping with my wife and I can’t do anything about it!
The only thing I know I did right is my daughter, she’s 15years old and looks nothing like me and very much like Yele, my boss! But I still call her mine because even though she may not be mine in the sense that counts, Baby is very much mine in another…many other ways than one!”

In the hospital, a few months after
Two adjacent rooms,
With opposing stories
An old man, Baba, giving up life
A young girl, Baby, bringing in life!

About Tokunbo: Passionate, is what I am in one word! I love the arts and I am most particularly interested in music and writing. I love Nigeria, and I’m an avid believer in the Nigerian culture.

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Yusuf Abdulkareem: HAPPINESS

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What is happiness? Does happiness really exist? Have we felt it before? Do we actually know what it means to be happy? Is happiness a distinct feeling that can be described and explained? For a long time, I have asked myself these very questions. From the little research I did before writing this, I realized that there are so many explanations and views as to the concept of happiness. There was one view going on and on about how happiness was already inherently in the soul, and that we didn’t have to look too far to find it. I find this view rather boring. I found something more interesting on a certain website though. There, happiness was explained through the context of Buddhism.
According to the article, what we refer to as happiness is really just the absence of suffering. In Buddhism, unease or suffering can be roughly translated as “dukka”. It goes further to say happiness, as we conceive it, doesn’t really exist, at least not in the same way suffering does. Suffering in the Buddhist context doesn’t mean great pain or despair. From a Buddhist perspective, it refers not so much to outright catastrophe as to the persistent, low-intensity feelings of dissatisfaction or yearning that human beings feel most of the time. Happiness is what is left when you take away unhappiness. Since the problem we have is the presence of unease in our moments and not the absence of anything, happiness itself doesn’t really exist. It’s no different than darkness, which itself is nothing at all; only a way of describing an absence of light. Light is real, darkness is just a concept.
Now, I find the views expressed in this article very interesting. I have always felt I would eventually study Buddhism, because I think it is not such a bad way to live. However, until then, I think I have slightly different opinions. I think happiness does exist in some form, and the explanation that it simply is the absence of suffering or pain is rather too thin and simplistic. If we can all agree that we know what pain feels like, why should we deny the total existence of its opposite? I do not buy the idea of happiness simply being the inexistence of pain or suffering. Personally, I believe there is an emotional state of equilibrium most of us are at any given time. It is probably different for everyone. On either side of this state of equilibrium lies our “happiness” or “sadness”. The absence of pain or suffering is not happiness for me, but being on that state of equilibrium in which you are neither happy nor sad. Then, something happens which tips the scale to either side.
While I can’t precisely define what happiness means, I would just say it is one of the sides of our “emotional state of equilibrium”, and sadness is obviously the other. Therefore, if we choose to call it happiness, well, that’s fine. I suppose there are many different reasons that could make different people “happy.” The only thing is that, they are so ephemeral that it is gone before we are really able to capture the feeling. For example, the euphoric moments after finally getting that girl to go out with you, or getting an A in your exam, or winning the lottery. Undoubtedly, either of these examples would make anyone happy. From these examples, we can’t say happiness was from the absence of a particular thing, can we? Maybe we could say it was the absence of failure, but isn’t that stretching it a bit far? Why must we be negative about it? Why can’t we just be positive and say it was the presence of a particular thing, victory or success? Anyway, what do I know? I have probably been ignorantly rambling on from the beginning. Opinions and thoughts are welcome


Yusuf is a weird young man with sometimes crazy ambitions, he is a crazy good music lover, a Law graduate and aspiring Diplomat. ff on twitter @Monknumerouno

#Paarapo Tech Corner: Hamza Fetuga: 3D Printing: What’s the Fuss All About?

3D PRINTING: WHAT’S THE FUSS ALL ABOUT

There’s so much about 3D printing on the internet nowadays. The technology which gradually gained prominence in recent years has attracted the tech enthusiasts all over the world with its innumerable uses and the hazard it poses. 3D printing or Additive printing is a process of creating a 3-dimentional product by printing material layer upon layer based on a digital model as opposed to the traditional subtractive printing common in industries which involves the removal of a part of the base material through cutting or drilling till the desired shape is formed. The major advantage 3D printing has over the latter is in the ease and speed in which production occurs and in the infinite forms that can be achieved using this process.
This technology has been around for a while actually, as Chuck Hull of the 3D Systems Corp invented the first working 3D printer in the year 1984. After that year, engineers started working on newer and more efficient versions of this machine based on various technologies like stereolithography, DLP projection, material jetting, material extrusion, fused deposition modelling, binder jetting to mention a few. The various manufacturers of these printers employ the method which best suits their goals during production with the big names being RepRap, MakerBot, Airwolf etc.

The process of printing is quite simple and straightforward just like traditional printing from a computer. For an object to be created, the user is required to upload a .stl file which contains the 3D design of the object to be created which is then imputted into the machine which prints out the product layer by layer and eventually fusing them together as specified in the design. However, the specifics of the technology utilized vary as aforementioned from printer to printer. There’s a smorgasbord of materials in which the printed object could exist with the common ones being plastic, rubber and metal depending on the kind of printer used.

This impressive technology was only available for large scale commercial production until a few years back when smaller version were made available for household/personal use. The cost of 3-D printers has decreased dramatically since about 2010, with machines that used to cost $20,000 costing less than $1,000.[ For instance, as of 2013, several companies and individuals are selling parts to build various RepRap designs, with prices starting at about €400 / US$500. The price of printer kits vary from US$400 for the Printrbot Jr.(derived from the previous RepRap models), to over US$2000 for the Fab@Home 2.0 two-syringe system. The Shark 3D printer comes fully assembled for less than US$2000, same price range for the most common laptops around. This has resulted in a sudden buzz which is quite evident on social network, tech blogs, and broadcast stations and all over the internet. Also, this technology seems to be getting attention due to its negative side which shall be discussed later in this writeup.
3D printing’s importance cannot be overstated as its uses cut across all occupations and spheres of life. It can be used for prototyping and modeling in the fashion industry, education, architecture and real estate, manufacturing field, medical and dental industries to mention a few.

Companies such as Hot Pop Factory are printing jewelries. Retailers such as New Balance are printing shoes. Designers such as Ron Arab are printing sunglasses. These pioneering innovations are exciting, but what’s a 3D printed necklace without a shirt or dress to match? 3D Printing and Fashion only met a couple of years ago, but their friendship is off to a promising start. With this technology, virtually all fashion accessories can be printed as a whole or printed in parts and assembled. Imagine you had this very important meeting only to discover you’ve lost a couple of your shirt buttons. All you need do is download the design file from your fashion designer’s website and connect to your printer and you’ve gotten your game back in no time. Due to the limitlessness of creating designs, designers can come up with a one-of-a-kind outfit for customers with special requests and we know how crazy ladies are about that! 3D printed dresses have started hitting the runway in some countries. Dutch designer Iris Van Herpen has been taking her 3D printed dresses and shoes to the runways since 2010. Mannequins of various shapes and sizes could be printed to model clothes also design files of parts like buttons and zippers could be uploaded on the company’s website for customers who might need a spare.

The romance isn’t restricted to the fashion industry alone people! Recently, Nokia showed their support of the technology; by releasing design files (.stl) enabling Nokia Lumia users make cases for their phones. However, to get the design files, users must have registered with the phone company. Nokia believe that 3D printing is likely to bring about phones that were “wildly more modular and customizable” and there is an opportunity for the company to sell a phone template allowing entrepreneurs to use that to produce handsets that satisfy the particular needs of their customer base.
The medical industry is not left out of this love affair either. Doctors have been scoring points in the life saving game through the application of 3D printing to healthcare. Some dental labs have for some years been using 3D printers to help create appliances, with envisionTEC selling its Perfactory Digital Dental Printer for use in the creation of crowns, bridges and temporaries by dental technicians. Using this technology, even long-term temporaries can now be created, meaning that 3D printers can quite literally already print you a new tooth! envisionTEC 3D printers are now also widely used by many major hearing aid manufacturers to produce ear moulds and shells for final consumer use. The medical guys are quite adventurous with this technology. Scottish scientists have invented a cell printer that squirts out living embryonic stem cells which is a big boost to regenerative medicine as scientists can test new drugs on printed tissues and even print new organs. Medical scientists have started treating patients using 3D laser printing and printing of human stem cells, human arms for patients with muscular disorders, external human ears replacements for accident victims and lifesaving implants.

The manufacturing and engineering fields benefit immensely from 3D printing. Prototyping just got easier and cheaper, engineering firms can produce machine parts to see how they function and if they fit perfectly before mass production is considered. Engineers at the University of Southampton recently 3D printed a flyable aircraft (well, aside from its electric motor). Rolls Royce is also currently running a project called MERLIN with the goal of using 3D printing in the manufacture of civil aircraft engines. A driveable prototype of a new electric car called the Urbee has also been 3D printed. Mainstream automobile makes are also already in on the DDM act, with Audi now 3D printing parts of its cars using Objet Polyjet 3D printers. Architects can create vivid building models without having to go through the stress of gluing and cutting cardboards. Also, it is a huge shot in the arm for small scale industries as packaging of produce and creating of parts have become less tedious and less expensive.

However, the technology comes with its bad effects as people have the liberty to print virtually anything ranging from clothes and machine parts to arms and ammunition. There has been apprehension over a Youtube video which showed a man shooting using 3D printed gun. The fear has even deepened due to the rate at which gun crimes are being committed in the US of late and with this technology everyone now has prospective access to a gun without proper licensing or supervision. It is going to be quite difficult for the government or makers of the printers to control what the printers are used for. Another danger posed by 3D printing is in the violation of copyrights and patents. Concerns are being raised about the possibility of massive increase in intellectual property infringement in years to come.
I must say, 3D printing has a very promising future with users coming up with more and more reasons and ways to use their printers. FOOD printing yeah , you heard right, is also on its way considering efforts made to print chocolate in various shapes, pasta, breakfast cereal and burgers. Also, food packaging could be improved. The possibilities are endless! You can even print a 3D printer with a 3D printer (this is actually impossible in the full sense of printing because the ICs and electronic components cannot be printed). So much can be done with 3D printing. For more info, the internet gives lots of uses of this technology. Who knows? We might just be able to design and print our homes ourselves.

Hamza is a tech enthusiast and an engineering student at the University of Ibadan. ff on @biodunalfet

Joseph Udofia: The Gap Between Digital Activism and Reality

In recent times, bars of digital activism have been raised higher. In is not unusual to see tweets written by Nigerians from the comfort of their rooms, bothering on germane issues and what have you. Protests are initiated online as civil society groups identify a lapse in governance and pull supporters through various social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. These supporters are expected, together with the initiators, to mount pressure and create national and international awareness on anti-people governmental policies, in a bid to put an end to such policies.

However, a huge gap is easily identified between digital activism and reality. It all started with the Occupy Nigeria protest, trending on the hashtag #OccupyNigeria. Social media activists tweeted details of locations and other necessary information about protests, cajoling thousands of their followers to come out en masse. Millions of people throng out of their houses, occupying major parks to express their grievances over the hike in pump price of petrol.

Unfortunately, some of these activists served as mere “conductors”—directing protesters without being a part of the protest. Their excuse is simple: They have spread the message which is more important.
Soon after, Nigerians displayed how myopic and unenlightened they are when the ill-fated “Child-not-bride” campaign started. Many put up display pictures condemning the Senate for “passing into law” a bill ratifying under-age marriage when this was far from the truth. The short-lived e-protest got international attention, but the Senate never gave a hoot about it, and till date have done nothing to the controversial Section 29, subsection 4c of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This clearly is a pointer to the fact that activists, rather than educate the citizens cum protesters on the underlying reason behind their action, pounce on the level of illiteracy to pull the crowd, just to get the job done.

Most recently, #OurNass- a hashtag used to create awareness about the outrageous salaries of our lawmakers, trended in Nigeria. Sequel to this, a protest was organized to State Houses of Assembly nationwide, with little or no impact, depending on your viewpoint. In the Lagos State House of Assembly for instance, protesters endured the scorching heat of the sun and were given little attention by the lawmakers.
The efficacy of protest should be reviewed by organizers as many of these protests in my opinion, yield little or no success, except if the yardstick for measuring success is awareness. The failure of a protest would undermine people’s availability for another one. Thus, to ensure a high level of success, digital activists should create platforms to educate the masses on the underlying reasons before embarking on any protest.

In civilized climes, major roads and industries are brought to their knees as this is the only way to get the government’s attention. Trend at no one on twitter, the Nigerian Government will only be moved when it directly feels the impact of the protest. It’s high time digital activists came to terms with reality and not just organize protests but carefully educate the populace and plan the course of action of a protest, and be physically present during such protests, as this will be a drive for protesters. Only then, would protests make maximum impact.

Joseph is a passionate Nigerian contributing his quota to national development via creative writing. ff on twitter @joeycynosure

Bamgbose Janet: A kind Gesture turning Awry

It is understandable that the dream of any vision-orientated administration is to make a difference and be unique. In fact, successive governments always try to outwit one another in providing amenities for the people.
In Oyo, there is the substantiation that the Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, is trying to make life easier for the people of the state. Many have commended him for the provision of employments to the hitherto teeming redundant youths of the state through his YES-O programme, and recently, the provision of buses to convey students and workers from one destination to another at little or no charge.

However, it is a reprehensible human nature to misuse an opporunity to the extent of warping the very purpose for which something is provided. The buses provided by the Ajimobi’s administration called ‘Ajumose buses’ have in several ways eased students, mostly in public schools in Ibadan, the tortuous ‘leg journeys’ made to and from their respective schools arising from lack of transport fare, the same applies to some workers in the state capital. All they need do is stand at the designated bus stops.

A twist to this kind deed of the governor is the rush with which people, especially students, board these buses. It is not uncommon to see students pulling and pushing one another, even when the bus has not stopped. In wanting to get inside these buses, people, including small children show their punching skills with aggression. Yours truly witnessed a scene opposite the University of Ibadan one afternoon, where students were shoving and dragging one another. It was a miracle one of the kids was not smashed by the rear tyre of the bus.
It won’t be untruthful to assume that the provision of these buses has made some cavalier parents deny their wards transport fare since there are Ajumose buses to convey them. Even the kids provided with the fare are most likely to spend it elsewhere due to the availability of ‘Oko Ajumose’. Hence, the pushing and pulling is now an everyday occurrence and at this rate, there is the likelihood that there will be a casualt(ies) one day.
Human beings do not struggle for the same thing when it is in abundance. The state government provided these buses and they’ve got to provide more to the swarming commuters.
Also it needs to orientate these students to board the buses with symmetry. This can be done by their teachers instructing them in School. In larger part, they would be learning how to be organised citizens as well.
The provision of these buses shouldn’t be a curse. The state government should be proactive not reactive.
No one wants to see these children push themselves to death all in the name of boarding a bus!

Janet writes from the University of Ibadan

Makinde Sinmiloluwa: ‘He’s still a Man’

Most of us contribute to the downfall of our clergy men. We believe that they are “superhumans” and that they cannot be tempted. And whenever they fall, we publicise it as if they are one superficial body.

We wouldn’t say we want our clergy men to fall but our intentions points very heavily to that fact that we always want them to stumble:

How do you describe the girl that wears short skirt and tops that reveals large part of their frontal endownment and yet sits at the ‘frontest’ pew directly in front of the pulpit. Unless the Minister is an angel, don’t you think something will move him?
You know that pastors must not take alcohol but you entice that clergy man by giving him a gift of a wine that has ‘little’ alcoholic content! Is that right?

And you also know ways in which we try to make our clergy men stumble. Sure they ought to know how to control themselves and ought to know when sin is knocking. But do you think it’s right to have a hand in their downfall! We should always remember that the most anointed man is still a man.
Most people not only cause their Pastor’s downfall but nail them to their coffin. When a man of God is doing something wrong, instead of correcting the person we think that since he is a ‘superficial being’, he must be mocked and ridiculed. I won’t beg us to stop this! He that has not sinned should cast first the stone *so says my bible*.

Some people even go to the extent of committing the sin with the clergy man.
What we ought to understand is that when a man of God sins, the church have disciplinary plans guided by the Holy Spirit so we should not interfere.
If you are not a church member, you should mind your own business. Why? Simply
because people who have businesses don’t have time to poke their noses in other’s affairs.

The man of God has his own relationship with God, we have ours. How far have we gone in our relationship with God that we judge our clergymen?

Sinmi is the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Press Organization, University of Ibadan. ff on twitter @sinmimakinde

Joseph Udofia: In Defence of Agagu

“Why didn’t they transport Agagu’s carcass by road. Why air?”

This is a question posted by a friend on a social media platform. Another rose to his defense saying that “Agagu should have constructed good roads during his tenure as Governor of Ondo State”. These questions and comments capture a bulk of comments posted by many on social media platforms. Many were quick to say that the money used to fly the corpse will have made more impact if used to repair the road from Lagos to Akure. One asks “Is the road from Lagos to Akure, a state road”?
The road from Akure to Lagos links up with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, a federal road. The road was never under Agagu’s jurisdiction during his six-year stinct as the Governor of Ondo State.
However, the Akure wing of the roads was under his care. Late Olusegun Agagu served as Ondo State Governor between May 2003 and February 2009. Considering the thousands of vehicles that ply the road, and our poor maintenance culture, if that road was in good shape four years ago, it would no longer be in good condition, save an intervention from the incumbent Governor, Olusegun Mimiko. So why blame Olusegun Agagu?
To make matters worse, many suddenly realized that Olusegun Agagu served Nigeria as the Aviation Minister. Many didn’t realize this, two weeks ago when he died, but were quick to showcase their prowess at history, or say, using Google, when they suddenly emerged with that fact. Tweets like “Agagu was a former Aviation Minister”- though ambiguous could mean one thing: “Good for him. He embezzled funds meant for catering for the Aviation sector and has to bear the brunt. Nemesis has caught up with him”. If so, then God should not listen to your pleas of forgiveness as fate should also orchestrate your death as retribution for the errors you made in the past.
A time like this calls for sober reflection. Nigeria just marked its 53rd year of Independence amidst turmoil. Boko Haram insurgents, industrial actions, epileptic power supply and plane crashes. One can only pray and hope for the best for the country and actively contribute his quota towards national development. This is no time for gibes or jokes. “Agagu is a Liverpool fan, he never walks alone” apparently saying that Agagu had to pull along others to the great beyond is uncalled for. If one’s friend, family or loved one was a victim of the plane crash, the funniest joke will have no iota of humour.

Let us thus cease to speak evil of the dead, and pay tributes to a man who served his fatherland, while praying that God grants the nation, family and friends, the fortitude to bear the loss.

Joseph is a passionate Nigerian contributing his quota to national development via creative writing. ff on twitter @joeycynosure

Omobitan Ifedolapo: PRECOGNITION

PRECOGNITION

I staggered in like a drunkard, fell on my welcoming bed,stared at a dim flag by my bed..it has green and…..finally sleep stole me away.
…..A green field
Monkeys hopping from one tree to the other,Birds make a high pitch noise,
Butterflies display their colours,Children clasps their cymbals
Skipping here and there
Lovers in romantic atmosphere
A cocoon of a caring family
……Sounds of heavy foot steps
Gbam ! Gbam ! Gbam!

Nearer and nearer it approaches
Sounds like the dance of mortal and pestle.
Its here they say!!
Its first step on the field turned the green field into a brown field,Cracking bones of animals fell.
Closer and closer it became,
It’s first glance took away the light,
Darkness filled the earth.
Its heavy feet popped into the water
And behold!…dry lands.
It bent low on the children, lovers, fathers and mothers, clenched them together and squashed them.
Humans we’re weary,sick and pale.
It has abducted our domain.
….It walked past me but didn’t see me
A pulpit, it held tight onto and spoke with a horrible voice
…”I am the dictator”….
…”I rule your world”
Suddenly breeze blew my white gown and light crept in from my hidden spot and shown on its face
..He turned his massive body’
Behold a fat, tall, bald looking monster
Who are you he roared?
…Out of fear came a voice…I am the voice of the youth that refused to be drowned,
why do we run this relay and the baton has refused to pass?
Why have we allowed this monster pierce our future?
Must we at all times allow our innate abilities to be held in a curfew
Our future has lost his lustre
We need our lee-way
Let’s reach our eyrie
And stop them from giving us carnards let’s stop this old fuddy puddy monster
Let our straining voices be tuned to high pitch
Let’s kindle a fire
Let’s beseige the power
Until its withdrawn unto us
Until the light shines upon the world
Until our voices are heard
Until water flows are unstoppable
Until our sick regain strength
Until our fields are ever green

Ifedolapo is an optimist, an event planner(CEO bittany events services), a writer and a poet, she writes mostly on love and sometimes on politics