Tag Archive | common sense

Our Politics_ATIKU ON THE MOVE AGAIN!

 

Atiku Abubakar

 
It is not in doubt that Turaki Adamawa, Atiku Abubakar is a politician with gravitas. A former Vice President of Nigeria, he cannot be called a novice, neither can he be accused of lack of political sagacity. In fact, former President Obasanjo, one of Atiku’s greatest critics, would be the first to admit so much. For those in the know, Atiku almost made OBJ a one term president! So, I acknowledge Atiku as a great politician. So, he would be a FORMIDABLE opponent to anybody any day. But he has been without desired success for the ultimate price so far …
 
If it is not fake news, then we have just heard that he has moved from the APC to PDP, completing as it were a cycle, having begun the 4th Republic politics in the PDP, serving as the second most powerful (some would reckon the most powerful) political leader in the land. Waiting for him are PDP colleagues who saw him ditch the PDP, first for Action Congress (AC), then for the All Progressives Congress (APC) in hunt of that Golden Fleece – keys to ASO ROCK, the seat of Federal Executive power. And all of them know that he is still waiting for Godot regarding the said Fleece! So, they know what his motives are, ab initio, regardless of the reason adduced for his leaving the APC!
 
Every political strategist should know that you ought to obfuscate your real intentions in a game of thrones scenario! But now, he has lost that element of surprise! His potential rivals for the same Fleece can see him coming from a mile off! And the knives would be sharpened, would they not? What do I know? Am I even a politrickcian? (No error in the spelling, please).
 
But the real point of this piece is this: HOW WOULD WE AS A PEOPLE NORMALLY DESCRIBE A MAN OR WOMAN WHO CHANGE PARTNERS AT THE DROP OF A HAT?
 
The answer, my friends, cannot seriously be that because others do it, then it is alright! Otherwise, we all would be hypocritical, wouldn’t we? You do not agree? Tell me this, truthfully:
 
WOULD YOU AS A MAN OR WOMAN TAKE BACK A SPOUSE WHO HAS GONE ON A CIRCUMNAVIGATIONAL LOVE ROUTE? Would you say, yes there is freedom of movement in the constitution, so welcome back great lover? REALLY?
 
A truthful answer to that question IS THE POINT ABOUT TURAKI’S LATEST POLITICAL MOVE!
 
Pray, what will happen if he contest for (as is most likely) and still does not get the presidential ticket for the PDP?
 
I WISH THE TURAKI WELL, BUT HE WOULD NOT BE HAVING MY VOTE FOR THE REASON ADUMBRATED ABOVE.

African Politics_Crass Opportunism of ZANU-PF

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As a young man, I invested a lot of time, energy and my meagre resources to understand African political Renaissance, post-colonial era; and I believe I still understand the dynamics. So, my take on the crisis the major state that evolved from the Monomotapa Empire – Zimbabwe – is a bit deep.
 
That Robert Mugabe (now only de facto president of Zimbabwe) has overstayed his welcome as leader of this great people, is commonly accepted by all. Apart from being dictatorial (which many seem to focus on), he is also too old to understand the nuances of his nation and appears bereft of understanding what the real economic issues are anymore. On this last bit, Zimbabwe’s economy is comatose, primarily due to his inability to understand the major role free agricultural enterprise (read Zimbabwean white farmers) has with the overall well-being of the country!
 
But he alone cannot, and should not be allowed to carry the can, for this misrule of almost 4 decades! Main point of this piece.
 
And many are complicit, from his contemporary, Joshua Nkomo, who has since long gone; but under whose watch Zimbabwe slid into dictatorship, when he lamely consented to his ZAPU party to be swallowed by ZANU to form ZANU-PF (Unity Accord of 1987, pursuant to the GUKURANHUNDI – low level civil war between Mugabe’s government and the opposition). What if he had withstood the persecution but stood firm for the sake of Zimbabwe; after all evil thrives were good men keep quiet!
 
Also complicit is the so-called Zimbabwean National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA). From their waged ‘war’ against white farmers (who were truly also Rhodesians/Zimbabweans) which led to the death of a once thriving agricultural base for the economy, to their active persecution of real and perceived enemies of Robert Mugabe, leading to a state of fear. What if they had as priority Zimbabwe and not Robert of Zimbabwe?
 
Also complicit is Morgan Tsvangirai, who traded the electoral victory of his Movement For Democratic Change (MDC) in the 2008 parliamentary elections to become a frustrated Prime Minister, in a brokered deal, only to lose in an official landslide to the party (ZANU-PF) he defeated 4 years earlier! What if he had not consented to South Africa’s pressure to trade his victory and opportunity of becoming president for the title of PM? Mugabe would have been long gone!
 
Then comes the ZANU-PF party itself. Carved in the image of Robert Mugabe just after the war of independence, it became the machine through which the enterprise of state was conducted with its attendant systems of patronage; thereby weakening state institutions! If Zimbabwe failed, a bulk of the blame should lie at the feet of the ZANU-PF!
 
Zimbabwe’s economy lies comatose, not just from the misrule of Robert, but from the collaboration and connivance of most of the leaders and bodies mentioned above, causing to fall flat on their faces these once proud Shona and Ndebele peoples.
 
So, you see my disbelief that these set of fellow travelers in ‘Bob’s’ party now seek to throw just their president under the proverbial bus! If Mugabe is liable to be kicked out of office, so should they all be thrown out! Where were they before Grace Mugabe became Robert’s wife? Were they not the same lot who said Mugabe’s first wife and revolutionary partner, the Ghanaian, Sally Mugabe, was a foreigner, not fit for government role? Yet they watched as Grace schemed her way into politics and verged on presidential power that threatened their collective survival before they woke up?
 
They are complicit in what Zimbabwe has become today, all these leaders, and particularly this party. They have no moral ground to abandon Bob of Shona land!
 
© 20/11/2017. Adewale Adeniji

Our Nation_Social Media & The Mob Mentality

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If you use the social media platform for work, ministry or just to socialize, you will have fallen into this trap of “shooting from your hips” on hot and topical issues. Been there, done that!
 
It may be trolling supporters of football clubs you do not support, or on relationship issues, or on political/economic issues. On football ribbing, ask me as a supporter of Arsenal FC! On political/economic issues, the easiest lightening rods today being presidents Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria and Donald Trump of the United States.
 
And the comments and/or contributions would usually be acerbic, regardless of facts to the contrary. Some would think this good fun, and/or exercise of their freedom of expression. The reason (s) for this state of affairs should be a research field for social psychologists, to ascertain why we all are so eager to vent ourselves through hot button issues from settled prejudicial positions and not with an attempt at objectivity.
 
ReadIng threads of post can be very interesting, and many times a tad frustrating! Our rush to judgment is truly amazing! It bothers on mob mentality. Truth, however, is that for a few, their initial vituperation begins to soften after reading and considering contrary comments; which is very commendable and noble.
 
But equally true is that for many, no matter the superior and obvious truth of contrary comments, they will NEVER see the obvious error of their own comments; and then this happens – they cuss those with contrary views, and/or resort to Nigerians’ perfect excuse and justification for our own inadequacies – push the tribe and/or religious button!
 
Many would, without any proof, conclude that for having contrary views, you must either be a stooge to ventilate opposing views or a tribal irredentist. What about a fake so-so ‘Christian’ or “Moslem’!? Super Nigerians!
 
Chisos!
 
What is the essence of our reasoning faculties if we cannot appreciate contrary views, even when we do not agree? Must our default defensive position be abuse? We are easy to push our fundamental rights to freedom of expression, yet we seek to deny it to others with contrary views! We say our views are in support of democracy and good governance, yet we block those who express views contrary to ours and cuss them to get off our walls! Why would you post on social if you do not want people’s comments? Nigerians can be holier than thou sha!
 
This much I know – it pays to reason out issues within ourselves, and tarry before we comment. And this is why:
 
Any competent Mentor should teach his Mentee that “your first thought or impression on any emotive issue is usually not the perfect understanding of the issue. So, save yourself the embarrassment of being wrong the first time!” It takes introspection to reach a fair viewpoint, even on hot button issues. Doing otherwise means you allow yourself to be corralled into a mob!
 
PS:
This piece is not relevant to paid commentators, but genuine users of social media space to ventilate personal views! Why? For the obvious reason that it is better for the brain, not the pocket to speak!
 
Now, let me sit back and be amused by the abuse sure to follow. 😂😎😄🤣
 
© Adewale Adeniji. 24th October 2017.

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.

Marrying Who? Part 1

Marrying Who?, 01

Its our wedding day, great expectations…

All roads lead to us, our own unique moment.

All hail the groom, decked out in his best!

All hail the bride, decked out ….

Wait a minute. Where is my Egwu Eji*, my Amaria*?

Who, perchance art thou, lady in white?

What? Idonbilivit!

Is that you, my love? What happened to your face?

Decked you are all right, but is that you behind the mask?

Yes, I know it is called ‘make up’ now, but…

Is that the nose I still tickled last week?

Mba*, mba, mba! Ko je je be* now!

Ok. Where is the mouth I used to, you know…

Why is so pout? Blotting out your winsome smile?

Ha ha. Am I dreaming like Alfa Sule*?

What color is your skin again? Chai*! Te mi ba mi*!

To be continued ….

Glossary:

*Egwu Eji – Igbo language for ‘outstanding beauty’

*Amaria – Hausa language for ‘new wife’

*Mba – Igbo language for ‘No’ 

*Ko je je be – Yoruba language for ‘It cannot be’

*Alfa Sule – A local comic.

*Chai – Wow.

*Te mi ba mi – I am in trouble.

Literary Cautions:

This is a literary work. No offense is meant to any specific gender, please.

Photo Credit: Boscoe Holder.

© 14th March 2017. Adewale Adeniji

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!