Tag Archive | common sense

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!

American Politics_Oga* Donald, Softly, Softly O!

 

 

Is anyone observing the speed at which president Donald Trump appears bent on ‘reversing’ every trace of Obama’s legacy? All by executive orders?

First it was regulation on the mandatory provisions of ‘Obamacare’, the Affordable Care Act. Now the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal (TPP). Others are said to be in the pipeline.

If you care to know how effective these orders are, please go to, http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/01/24/executive-order-vs-presidential-memorandum-whats-difference/96979014/

Someone said to me that by the time The Donald is finished with his pen, Americans will struggle to remember what, if any thing, former president Barack Obama achieved in his 8 years as commander-in-chief!

I seriously disagree with this, even if I was not a fan of the last US president at all times. (Story for another post.)

The irony of all this ‘gra gra’* by president Trump is that no matter how he and some in his party try to erase every landmark trace of the Obama era, Barack Hussein Obama can not be easily forgotten. Why?

Because all president Trump is reversing or planning to reverse are the very things that brought America’s economy great gains in the last 5 years of the Obama era. As at the time he left office a few days ago, the US economy had good ratings. See http://www.npr.org/2017/01/07/508600239/what-kind-of-jobs-president-has-obama-been-in-8-charts

(Warning. Graphs included! Not for the Lilly livered!)

Guess what will happen with The Donald’s actions and his plan to cut taxes for the wealthy 1%? What will happen when he realizes he cannot decree American companies to shut down their factories overseas (where the have access to productive but cheap labour. He promises punitive importation tariffs against them, at the risk of increasing the cost of consumer items Americans are addicted to!)?

A struggling economy, that’s what! And then by whose work does he think he will then be measured? You guessed right! That of the immediate preceding president. Ask George W. Bush after he reversed president Bill Clinton’s taxes on the wealthiest 1% of Americans in 2003! Ask him what happened to the good economy bequeathed to him!

This new president and the Republican Congress are in for a rude shock when the first dip in people’s purchasing power arrives; as it would with the reversal of TPP for instance!

The drama has just begun. This is merely Act 1, Scene 1 of a long play!

It is rather revealing, is it not, that the last 2 Republican successions to good economies under previous Democratic presidents came via elections where the new president failed to win the popular votes cast?

Methinks the first of such succession led to serious economic recession should act as caution to the marauding gale wind called “The Donald”! Because he is bent of traveling that very same road!

*Oga. Nigerian colloquial expression for “boss”

*gra gra. Nigerian colloquial expression for ‘unreasonable haste”

© 24th January 2017. Adewale Adeniji.

Our Dignity_Cover Up, Please!!!

Once a girl bought an iPad, when her father saw it, He asked “What was the 1st thing you did when you bought it? 
“I put an anti-scratch sticker on the screen and bought a cover for the iPad” she replied.
“Did someone force you to do so?” “No” “Don’t you think it’s an insult to the manufacturer?” “No dad! In fact they even recommend using

a cover for the iPad” “Did you cover it because it was cheap & ugly?”
“Actually, I covered it because I didn’t want it to get damage and decrease in value.”

“When you put the cover on, didn’t it reduce the iPad’s beauty?”
“I think it looks better and it is worth it for the protection it gives my iPad.”
The father looked lovingly at his daughter and said, “Yet if I had asked you to cover your body which is much more precious than the iPad, would you have readily agreed???” She was

mute…..
Indecent dressing and exposure of your body reduces your value and respect.

May God guide us all.