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BUHARI & THE POLITICS OF 2019.

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INEC says that it is too early to begin the campaign for 2019 presidential elections in its reaction to the declaration of Governor Ayo Fayose for president.

Even though this may be as stated in the Electoral Act, this comment by the INEC Chairman shows, with respect, political naivety. Reality is that campaigning never stops in politics, in one form or the other! Even a politician’s utterances (or silence!) amount to campaigning.

Which brings me to the kernel of this piece. In the recent past, there appears to be a cacophony of voices who have suddenly constituted themselves into ‘friends’ of President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), urging him not to re-contest in 2019; either (a) to take care of his ‘fragile’ health, or (b) to take the ‘Mandela option’ of being president for just one term, or (c) warning him that those encouraging the president to seek a second term are his ‘worst enemies’.

There is another group who try very hard to interpose their views as the aggregate views of Nigerians by claiming that, (a) a second term for Buhari would be ‘strange’ indeed, or (b) PMB does not deserve to second term because the economy has ‘performed badly’, or (c) poor masses are suffering etc., or (d) the war on corruption has been lost, or (e) cattle rustlers are wrecking havoc all over the place, or (f) the president’s party, APC has been unkind to its chieftains who helped the president into office; and a plethora of other arguments.

Interestingly, I have seen that most of these commentators are either those who, in the height of the president’s health challenges, condemned him to a crypt prematurely and rejoiced that their nemesis is on the way out; those who think the president has affected their free access to our public commonwealth; or those who truly appreciate that with PMB’s block vote in the North is unassailable and likely to be replicated despite how the economy performs; or active participants in the government that was in office for 16 locust years!

Well, news flash!

(1) PMB is constitutionally allowed to try for another 4 year term in office as President, Commander-in-Chief!
(2) NIGERIANS, not ‘opinion shapers’ would ultimately determine who their president would be, through the ballot box.
(3) It shows the panic of many, does it not, that now that the economy is slowly showing signs of recovery, they all of a sudden deign it wise to ‘counsel’ PMB on what is best for him. There was even this political operative who had been an active participant in the worst rape of our democracy who now thinks he knows what’s best for Nigeria! What insult on my intelligence!!!

I have no apologies to say these:

(1) God sparing his life and mine, I intend to be an active campaigner for a second term for PMB. Does it mean we have no better options? You may disagree, but for me, yes. Why? Because contrary to the norm, we have for the first time a president who is determined to get it right! Has he got it right yet? Far from it! But he’s had just TWO (2) years at trying! I’d rather a fellow who has shown unusual commitment to the cause of Nigeria in practical terms than folk who promise to get it right but whose antecedents show they really DO NOT GET ANYTHING RIGHT, even their families!
(2) I am equally ready to spend and be spent for his re-election, as the future of my children and grand-children (who want to live in Nigeria, and not go to ‘the abroad’ despite being so privileged) depend on it!!! I understand that you may have your preference for president – and I respect that. All I ask is that you respect mine too! It is only fair, right?
(3) I will intervene and air my views where I see anyone try to malign this president as is within my capacity to do. Why? I am tired of subterfuges, innuendoes and manipulation of Nigeria’s fault lines of ethnicity and religion by politicians and their followers, just to get ahead. It may work with others, but by gosh, it will not work with me! Stake out your stall, offer your goods, and if it appeals to me, I might buy (but I seriously doubt it!)

Above represents my personal views, and I humbly state that I have no apologies for them. Why? I have functional faculties by His grace and I can make up my own mind, THANK YOU VERY MUCH!

And by the way, I am not interested in being a public office holder; so I am not angling for political appointment; which if offered I shall reject, as I have a better task master!

#AsNigeriaDecides2019 #Buhari2019!

Our Nation_Dino’s Hullaballoo.

 

I have watched in amazement the manifold reactions to Senator Dino Melaye’s theatrics, past and present.
 
If some are to be believed, the Senator for Kogi West is just being himself – down to earth and truthful, a ‘defender of correct ethos in our body polity’ (as some folk put it!). Some others would argue that he is exactly what the nation can ill-afford at this time of serious crises: a vapid, attention seeking, vain-glorious side kick. (No space to discuss on the “many trials” of his main kick here)
 
Say what you will about the guy, he is what he is, body, soul and spirit. And he has never hidden that fact!
 
Senator Dino is not new to our public space, for good or ill. That he is ‘colorful’ is not new. That he walks in, and rides in rarified circles is also well known! Also not new are his controversies. I remember a love-child saga with a prominent actress, I remember a torn-vest incident in the House of Representatives, I remember… I remember …, to mention a few. So, we are so jobless that we now spend valuable time discussing his academic credentials, or the lack of them? *sighs*
 
So, why the sudden hullaballoo about Dino and his myriad of issues? Elections 2019, simple! For himself, his main kick, and their ilk! Simple, but shocking that many do not see it in that light. On whose side would he and his rabble rousers be? Would their collective scheming not throw ‘sand, sand’ into other people’s garri*?
 
Now, if you locate the cacophony that has trailed Dino recently in the above premise, you get this simple fact: THE STATE OF OUR NATION’S POLITICS CANNOT BUT SPEW UP CHARACTERS LIKE DINO, AND MANY MORE LIKE HIM! Why? Because they represent the sum total of who we are as a people, don’t they?
 
And the humbling thing is that many make it seem as if WE ARE HELPLESS IN THE FACE OF THIS REALITY. But we are really not! That is the silver lining.
 
Before we see what we can do, I need EVERYONE OF US (critics and fans of Dino alike) TO LOOK IN THE MIRROR! Let us ask ourselves these following questions:
 
(1) How in Iroko’s name was this Senator the best nominee his party could field for the 2015 NASS election?
 
(2) Are we (take this seriously, please) any different IN CONTENT than this guy – in our own lives, private or public. Note, I did not say in form, but in content? We may not be verbose or melodramatic as he is; but are we truly different, Am I truly different?
 
Truthful answers to the above questions might make you conclude as I did a long time ago – THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO POINT IN HARANGUING DINO or his ilk. They represent the best and worst in most Nigerian!
 
But what we can do? The only solution I can see right now lies in wisely exercising your franchise the next opportunity you get, shorn of primordial tendencies like ‘na my person; make him do am’*. Dino has happened, and as is wont in more developed democratic climes, the best way is look forward. The damage has been done!
 
Le jo ba ku s’Ake*!
 
*Garri – Cassava derived flakes. A Nigerian staple food.
*Le jo ba ku s’Ake – An Egba aphorism that translates, ‘Nothing else to say’. Are was the seat of authority of the Egba Native Authority, and often cases were compromised there!
*Na my person, make him do am – Nepotism.
© Adewale Adeniji, March 2017.

Our Nation_The ‘Mumu’ In Us, Part 1 – Religion.

{Disclaimer: 
I love God. I am proud to shout it on top of my lungs, without shame. I have also served at the highest level of the church, creditably by others’ accounts. I am also conversant with the 3 Abrahamic religious faiths – Christianity, Islam and Judaism, having been a continuous student of their texts for a very long time. End of Disclaimer.}

I needed to take that out of the way because this write up is definitely going to be controversial, as I mean it to be. Not in a bad way, but to provoke serious thought and engender mature discuss. So, if while reading this, you feel offended, please understand that I have no time to devote to explaining my views; which the last time I checked, all the three major religions I mentioned above encourage!

First, let me define the word ‘mumu’. It is Nigeria speak. As a noun, it means a foolish person. As a verb, it means acting foolishly. Chickena. My definition.

Nigerians, all of us, irrespective of the faith we profess (or lack of it), including me, are all MUMUS! Now, this is where you stop, shake your head for me, and move on to another story ……

If you’re still reading this, then maybe you want to hear how we have been foolish, when it comes to things of our faith? Okay.

First, we have allowed our foolish adherence to religion deny us focus on the true object of our faith – God. Christians, Moslems and Jews all believe in this Omnipotent being, whether you call Him Almighty God, Allah or Yahweh. Not only that, if you profess any of the three faiths, all springing from Abraham (Ibrahim), then you have subscribed to a monotheistic faith, meaning you believe in just one God! You have also subscribed to the belief that people should pray to and worship this God, often.

Despite this that we have all subscribed to (Christians, Moslems and Jews), we have given our love to something else – RELIGION. In case you do not know, God has not prescribed any religion, regardless of what any pastor, imam or rabbi may have told you! No where in the Bible, Quran or Tanakh says you must be a Catholic, or Baptist or Pentecostal and their various sub-divisions; or Sunni, or Shia, or Kharijites, and their various sub-divisions; or Reform, Orthodox, and Conservative and their various sub-divisions.

All these holy books say, without exception, is that THERE IS ONLY ONE GOD, WHOM ALL BELIEVERS MUST WORSHIP TO THE EXCLUSION OF OTHERS. Yet many faithful have elevated custodians of the platforms of worship- pastors, reverends, imams, rabbis to a god-like status, have we not? Lives have now been placed in the hands of these mere ‘rides’ than in the Rider Himself, the Lord God Almighty; so much so, that many have allowed these religious leaders interpret the Bible, Quran and Tanakh as they see fit, not as God meant.

Many have been led astray, because we are MUMU enough to trust in the man of God, than in the God of man! If you are in this category, sorry you are a Mumu (noun).

Second, in a country where we have more churches, mosques and synagogues than places of work and enterprise, and nothing is being done to reverse this trend; and that makes us all (including me), MUMUS.

It is even more disappointing when you realize that some of these places of worship were once factories, offices and places where income was generated or distributed! Yet, we want our Sovereign God to miraculously turn the economy of Nigerian around without reversing this! Who were those who granted permits to convert these places of mass production that fed many to those of personal production for a few?

What are they? You got it right … MUMUS.

As if that is not bad enough, every time there is an economic downturn (read RECESSION), people who can barely make ends meet are encouraged (in some instances harassed) into filling the coffers of these religious organisations with that which they should rather use to keep body and soul together! And they sheepishly do so, despite the fact that what the major faith texts teach is for the poor to be cared for instead!

Help me here, what should we call such people? Thank you! MUMUS?

Am I railing against God here? NO WAY! I love God! My angst is against modern day Pharisees and Sadducees who we have allowed to appropriate God for themselves, and hose of us who have allowed them to do this to us! I am against many who profit on people’s ignorance of the WORD, and against those lazy enough not to know how to access God’s presence and faithfulness for themselves without these fleecing intermediaries!

Something must be wrong with us as a people, when everybody now suddenly have the call to be a reverend, pastor, imam or rabbi! Look around you, every other person unable to secure gainful employment now has a ‘shop’ opened, the ultimate object of which is to ‘grow big’. And on whose back do you reckon that ‘shop’ operating under a canopy in the hot sun will convert another factory or warehouse to a mega mosque or church or synagogue? You got it right – on the back of MUMUS!

Let me finish this 1st part of my MUMU series on this point. Our ineffective leaders have suddenly discovered a tool of perpetual oppression of the poor. What do you think it is? Organised religion of course! How? Go to any place, and grouping of people. When issues of good governance or lack of it arise, within a few exchanges, someone MUST introduce religion, either to justify his/her position, or where (s)he has a weak hand, to condemn others with superior arguments!

How do our leaders use this as a tool? If the leader is of one faith, nobody of the other dare criticise him (her), without the sceptre of religion being raised. And adherents of the same religion will like Zombies jump to his/her defense; even when the leader’s action or omission is killing them slowly!

What should we all call ourselves? Yep. Baba nla MUMU!

My Recommendation(s):

AS A MATTER OF URGENCY, WE NEED TO BEGIN TO TAX ALL RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS. TO HAVE RESOURCES TO BUILD OUR ECONOMY.

YOU NEED TO GROW UP TO HAVE A DIRECT, ONE ON ONE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD?

There are many solutions to this malaise. Please share your solution(s) with me. Let us engender a public discuss. You do not have to agree with me, please; but let us be civil about it. We can at least disagree without being disagreeable.

Next: Our Nation_THE ‘MUMU’ IN US – ECONOMY.

© Adewale Adeniji.

February 13 (Remembering Murtala Ramat Mohammed)


Day that surely in infamy lives.

Murder so brutal on open street

Dawn of work, workers afoot

Bukar Suka unleashed

mayhem so vile,

Ramat’s life and many more be lost.

 

 

Drunken sucker then declared,

Dawn to dusk curfew for vile act of dawn!

Suka Dimka unleashed,

a can of worms that the top reached.

Bequeathed us he did, angst across the land;

that not even his neck could assuage!

 

 

Rest on, Ramat.

Our best revenge – them Hassasins

have long been forgotten!

But you we see everyday, in many ways

in all homes, markets and piggy holes!

Even aluminium tubes fly outta you!

Rest on Ramat!

 

 

© 13th February 2017. Adewale Adeniji

Alagbafo! (Washman)


Alagbafo! Alagbafo!! Alagbafo!!!

This man must be deaf o.

Alagbafo! Must I shout for you?

All these dirty clothes,

many Agbadas, Danshikis, Boubous, Abadas,

hooded tops from the main room;

crying for very clean wash. All you seem

to care about are bedsheets

and pillow cases from dark crevices

ladden with filth and gross like larceny!

 

 

Even for those you prefer to wash, there

you are with a sprained hand today,

painful knees tomorrow; and who knows?

Soft heart the next day? Mscheew! Was that

why you came to me for employment?

To waste my time? Remember I sacked that

bumbling hat-clad middle-aged guy

to take you on. Alagbafo, can you not speak?

Holding your tongue will not cut it, man!

 

 

You call me Alagbapo? Washer man kwo? Yo wa*.

And I heard your calls, loud and clear.

But I need a clear head to wash.

This no be ordinary wash fa.

If I wan wash am for sokoto*,

I have to wash am for Buba too!

Na to wash every thing, spotless, clean

To miss this opportunity na to die o.

 

To wash, you have to be carepul!

Bright, gross colors, not mixed with whites.

It takes time to do it. Na Ka ‘dan ka ‘dan* stylee I go use.

Otherwise… whites too will be quickly soiled.

Kana jin harshen*? Na softly, softly.

I will wash, and who will let?

These colors must bright be again.

Green go show, white go shine..

So, why hurry me; you fit hurry yourself?

 

Lo ba tan po*!

 

Glossary.

*Alagbafo – Yoruba for ‘Washman’

*Yo wa – Hausa for ‘Okay’.

*Sokoto – Pair of trousers

*Buba – Blouse like top, worn by both sexes.

*Ka ‘dan ka ‘dan – Hausa for ‘Small, small’

*Kana jin harshen? – Hausa for ‘Can you hear me?’

*Lo ba tan – Stalemate.

 

© 8th February 2017. Adewale Adeniji

Our Nation_Republic of Thieves.

There should come a time when the emotion called shame should arrest a man’s attention – when the unthinkable becomes the fashionable!
I am ashamed of being within the same geographical location where impoverished people celebrate certified crooks! Are you not?!
Something must be seriously wrong with our psyche as a people, when we would assault and burn (yes, immolate!) one man for stealing N500, while we bring out the drums for someone not accused, mind, but actually JAILED for stealing millions in US dollars; the common patrimony of the same impoverished who now celebrate his deported ass!
The heavens must wonder what clay this set of humanoids were shaped from! How in Iroko’s name would you eulogize your tormentor? Have we no modicum of shame at all? What message are we sending to our children, to all who serve in little spaces, diligently?
It is bad enough that we cheat our bright children of higher institution admission on the altar of quota system, cheat competent civil servants of deserved promotion because of ‘positive discrimination’; but must we also traumatize victims of hospitals that are mere consulting rooms, able-bodied, employable youth now unemployed in their millions, by now venerating a common criminal whose action and/or inaction contributed all this morass?
I refuse to join that lot. So, I shout it from the top of my lungs, JAMES ONANEFE IBORI, you are a thief! A convicted criminal! If Nigeria were China, your head will have rotted on its stake a long time ago.
I solemnly undertake today, any politician who celebrates this condemned criminal will hear from me. What I can do? I will call them out as larcenous accomplices! 
That is me. What about you? Will you celebrate this deported felon? It you do, and you are listed as my friend, I WILL NOT ONLY BLOCK YOU, I will also call you out as as accomplice? You will sue me? I will happily plead justification. A court of competent jurisdiction already judged your hero!
Shame no dey catch us? Haba! 

Our Nation_Protests, Or Not?

 

 

We have been inundated with opinions and counter-opinions on the planned protest against the Nigeria’s government on the economic woes facing Nigerians. As usual, discuss on this has taken a primordial twist, by proponents of either side; pulling as usual the ethnic and religious fault lines of Nigerians.

I have ignored the back and forth till now, because frankly, I am at a loss as to why this should be an issue in the first place.

For one, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria guarantees right to gather and associate for specific purposes. There are international charters guaranteeing the same, so what is the problem? So, as long as the necessary preparations are done in line with the law, there should be absolutely why the coming protests should not hold.

For avoidance of doubt, we cannot claim to be a democracy and stymie dissents, protests or even the right to lampoon our leaders. And it is the duty of the state to guaranty the safety of lives and property during the planned protest. So, it baffles me why people are quick to condemn protests and their organizers. This government will be doing itself a disservice if it places a bar on the proposed protest march or any other one for that matter!

So what if the target of the protest is our president, Muhammadu Buhari? As American politicians are wont to say, if you cannot take the heat, stay out of the kitchen! All public office holders must be held accountable for their actions and inactions – and it is not only at election times that we should do so.

Second, I find it hypocritical for some folk to criticize president Donald Trump of the USA and egg protesters against him on, while arguing to shield another president from the protest of citizens of the nation he governs! Pure, unadulterated hypocrisy! And, with respect, such folk should be ashamed of themselves.

I even hear that supporters of the president are planning a ‘MEGA’ march in his support to counter that being planned? That is also their constitutional right, and supporters of the first protest would also be hypocritical to condemn such moves!

Nigerians should loose, once and for all, this big man syndrome that our leaders are immune from criticism. It will not happen again, not with the shenanigans of leaders past! Grin and bear it if you are the butt of jokes and derision, while in power.

I often tell my politician friends who moan about the use of social media to pummel them this: THE BEST REVENGE TO CRITICISM IS TO OUT PERFORM YOURSELF IN OFFICE!

Do that and you’d be ‘venerated’! Simple! You cannot claim the privilege of public office (lucrative one at that!) and wish your citizens to ‘leave you in peace’!

Ko le se le o!

So, for all bent on exercising their rights to freely gather and voice their opinions, which ever side of the argument you belong, WELCOME TO YOUR OPEN SEASON!