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Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Corruption. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 April 2020

COVID-19 - THE HARD TRUTHS FROM THESE TRYING TIMES



If someone were to tell me in December 2019 that there would be an occurrence in 2020 which would lead to a near collapse of the financial markets, nearly wipe out the global transportation and tourism industry, put almost all the nations of the world on self-imposed lockdown, I mean basically ground the entire world, I would have simply taken the person for a clown, and if they were to insist on keeping their position, I would have recommended a psychiatric evaluation. Such was the strength of my faith and belief in the social, mental, scientific, and technological evolution of humankind that I could not foresee all of us abandoning life as we know it and scampering for shelter far away from other humans as much as possible.

Let us face it, the world will never be the same again, even after we have been able to arrest the Covid-19 pandemic, but then, why should it remain the same? The current situation has brought to the fore the indispensability of many of the issues essential to the dignity and respect of humankind and how we have for a very long time paid lip-service to them, and that was when we were not outrightly denying their importance. Issues of affordable universal healthcare, social safety net, fit-for-purpose public infrastructure, public programmes planning and execution, and social integration as a whole have been totally neglected, and we can see in real time how nations and societies are paying the price for their laxity. The US is leading in Covid-19 death rates because their healthcare system is broken, and they have a leadership gulf at the very top; Nigeria is struggling to stem the tide because the health and social infrastructures are grossly inadequate and we cannot even effectively give financial palliatives to those who need them because we do not have genuine and verifiable data, and of course we have a leadership gulf at the very top too; and the Northern European Countries are handling the situation well because they have always been structured and they have social safety nets such that they didn’t need to change much to cope with the pandemic.

Brace yourself, even when the Pandemic is over, the fear will remain for a long time, the fear not just for ourselves, but for our kids, our siblings, our colleagues, for all our loved ones altogether. What will be gone though is the trust of social existence – partying, clubbing, even lounging in open spaces such as bars, beaches, and malls will no longer be trustworthy, and we might find ourselves going back to living like cavemen, coming out for sunlight once in a while. Of course, I kid, but when you consider the fact that we were already talking about going to live on Mars, and we already have shuttles which can make such trips multiple times like your normal airplane, you will understand that going back to not being able to gather in public or use public transportation to cover distances of a few kilometers is like a thousand-year regression. Brace yourself, wearing of face masks will be compulsory for months to come, at least wannabe ninjas will be happy at these.

Now back to the hard truths from this pandemic – we the masses have suffered the most and we will suffer more, unless we change our perception and approach to governance and leadership. When we abdicated our responsibilities and left leadership and governance to demagogues, charlatans, misfits and rogues, of course they cannot suddenly develop competence during a crisis, they can only respond to the limit of their abilities. We all have to be involved in choosing those who lead us, in determining those who chart the course for the present and the future, in keeping on their toes who we have surrendered our individuality and personal preferences to in exchange for the social contract of having the freedom to live and pursue happiness. We owe these duties to ourselves, and we will be doing ourselves a great disservice if we leave those processes to the misfits in the society. Most times, we delude ourselves with the fact that we can create enclaves with others who have broken free from the inhuman drudgery of daily struggle to make ends meet, and we have this false security once we go into our gated estates, but the reality as highlighted by the menace of “the One Million Gang” and “the Awawa Boys” during this lockdown is that no one is safe within the vicinity of heartless and hungry miscreants who have been armed by unscrupulous politicians. We are all in this together, and we have to fix it together.

As a parting shot, now that you know that everything is possible, it is now up to you to hold people around you accountable when they tell you it is not possible. Governments all over the world who said “Healthcare For All” is impossible are able to find funds to finance this Public Health Emergency; Governments who said “Guaranteed Monthly Incomes” are impossible are finding funds to provide Financial Palliatives to Businesses and Citizens; Preachers who said you must come to Churches and Mosques to prove your faith are now conducting ministrations online; Employers who would mandate you to suffer through hours of traffic on daily basis to  and fro the office are now encouraging you to work from home and use Zoom and Skype; lovers who told you they were always busy driving, in meetings, in open offices, and so on are now working from home, so what is their excuse for not keeping in touch now? Think about it. While thinking about it, continue to act safe and be safe. Together we will beat the pandemic.


Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash

Sunday, 15 March 2020

THE DANGEROUS NECESSITY OF SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER


Let's start this trying to tackle some misconception - did Ganduje have the power to dethrone Emir Sanusi? Yes, he does. Governors have the right to remove First Class Traditional Rulers, and for those Traditional Rulers who are “unlucky” to be below First Class, they are on the stool at the whim and caprices of the LGA Chairperson, and they could be removed by the Chairperson at any time. To quote Abubakar Rimi, a former Governor of Kano State, "A traditional ruler is a public officer holding a public office, who is being paid by public funds, and whose appointment is at the pleasure of the state governor and who can be dismissed, removed, interdicted, suspended, if he commits an offence” This can be summarized as Elected Officials give the "staff of office" to Traditional Rulers, they can as well collect them back when they wish. And of course, many kings have been deposed by the Government across our history, from the colonial days, all through our post-independence days – the British deposed and exiled Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin in 1899, the revered Obafemi Awolowo dethroned Alaafin Adeyemi in 1955 for differing on the grounds of political affiliation, Sir Ahmadu Bello dethroned Emir Sanusi in 1963 on the grounds of mismanagement, Abacha deposed Sultan Dasuki in 1996, because, well, it was Abacha.

Now to a rather pertinent question - should Ganduje had dethroned Emir Sanusi? Of course he shouldn't have, no Political Office Holder should trample on Traditional Institutions in such a manner, but of course, politicians see themselves as demigods, and backed by the Constitution, they go ahead and rubbish Traditional Rulers - cue in Ajimobi who elevated 20 Family Heads to the level of Olubadan in 2017, just to belittle the Olubadan Throne, a tactic Ganduje also deployed in Kano in 2019 by dividing the Kano Emirate into 5 equal parts, just to reduce the influence of Emir Sanusi. A little tidbit – Ajimobi and Ganduje are in-laws, Ajimobi’s Son got married to Ganduje’s Daughter in 2018. Just think about it. When we consider that as a people, we have lost sight of our culture and lost track of our history, what we should be doing is embarking on massive reorientation of our values and reclamation of our culture, and the best avenue to do that is through the traditional institutions. No system of significance in Nigeria reflects our culture or embodies our history, not education, not legal, not economic, and not political. For the Government to keep stripping bare traditional institutions proves that those we have handed the reins of leadership to basically have no idea about social reclamation, self-realization, and national reorientation. This is what happens when we conclude that politics is dirty and we leave it to the dregs of the society, we will be left with scoundrels running our present and reprobates deciding our children’s future.


For Sanusi, I first took note of him as the CBN Governor, and one quality you can always ascribe to him is "consistency". He has always been "a principled man who speaks truth to power", and his fracas with the Jonathan Administration was based on exactly the same issues as his problems with the Buhari Administration as spearheaded by Ganduje. His message has always centred on "decrying profligacy, preaching accountability, and advocating social changes", those messages have not changed, but obviously, the politicians are tired of hearing them. Whether Sanusi appeals to you or not, you cannot rationally say that he has not been consistent in his positions, flip-flopping is not a jibe you can throw at him. Let me categorically say I always agree with Sanusi's positions, and I love the fact that he shares them at every opportunity he has. That is what I believe people who have podiums and audiences should do, use your platforms to call out the ills in the society, it will come with some sacrifices, but there is no gain without pain. For those who faulted his decision to become the Emir in the first place, claiming he had was too educated, too intelligent, and with too much finesse to go and hide all that within the confines of a palace, we have to understand that it was a lifelong dream for him, and if we all try to understand the concept of "self-actualization", we will understand that it was what he had always considered as the peak of his achievements in life. After earning a Bachelor and a Masters Degrees, he actually went back to the University to get another Degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies, to prepare himself for when he ascends the throne of his fathers - his grandfather and great-grandfather were both Emirs in their lifetimes. Did he know the pitfalls that such a move will present to him? I believe a man of Sanusi’s intelligence would have known, but he might have underestimated the ruthlessness and haughtiness of Ganduje once the lifelong politician got into office.

Now that he is free of the heavy cloaks and the mountainous turbans, Sanusi can choose to join forces with International Organisations like most intellects edged out of public relevance by our sordid politics, or he can even choose to seek an elective office in Nigeria to try and change things from within, but he must continue to speak truth to power at home, because therein lies the freedom for Nigerians. The more people with means and intellect who challenge the devilish political hegemony, the more the politicians continue to reveal their sinister capabilities, the more the people realise that the politicians are worse than vultures and scavengers, and maybe, just maybe, that will push us into action and take the country back.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi
Instagram: @theaspiringsage

Monday, 29 May 2017

…OF A NIGERIAN YOUTH AND THE QUANDARY OF ETERNAL OPTIMISM

This is the month of May, today is the 29th, and the appropriate greeting as a Nigerian is “Happy Democracy Day”, but I guess saying “Happy New Year” is not out of place, since I was here last in the year 2016. Yes, I know, I have promised I will not disappear several times and I actually did disappear, but if you know me very well, you know I usually keep my promises, and it is because I try so hard to keep most of my promises
that I have not been able to keep this one – you know, promises like never let the family lack, never let my day-job suffer, never let stress send me to the hospital, never pass up an opportunity to network in real life, etc.

So, here I am again confused as to what to write about, not as much what to write about, but what to write about it – I want to write about the future of those of us Nigerians forty years and below-  should I join the others and continue to wail and rail against the our present sad situation, or should I, like an eternal optimist that I am, choose to tell people that things are improving and they will continue to improve even when I know in reality we are moving at the pace of a faulty unicycle, when we really need to move with the speed of Virgin’s Booms. Let me make this very clear, I am not laying claim to superior knowledge, but I can boldly say it without any qualms that the youths are definitely not ready for the change we all crave.

The premise of my assertion is my interactions with the youths, they more often than not leave me feeling the situation is irredeemable because the discussions are never logical and the larger part of the time is spent arguing for superiority by tribe, age, religion, education, and political affiliation, they rarely display intellect or discuss ideas. They spend most of their time defending those who have put them in this quagmire of existence and I am always confused as to if they do not realise that those who constitute the political elite are the same people who have thrown us all into this abyss of wavering hope.

Societies grow when there are systems and structures which allow ideas to thrive, multiply, and morph into tangible development. Structures such as economic, education, healthcare, judicial, and so on. Those structures exist around here but only in a state of flummox. We have schools but not education; we have hospitals but no healthcare, we have a government structure but no economic development or judicial confidence. I fervently hope the youths realise that most of those who make up the political elite will not be here in fifty years, but most of us under the age of forty today will be here with our children, our grandchildren and possibly grandchildren. What kind of country will we have by then? One where the majority are uneducated, and sick, and uncouth, and unable to contribute meaningfully to the economy.

This is the time for the youths not just to stand up and be counted, or profess eternal optimism, but to get involved in grabbing the reins of leadership from the charlatans we have at the helms now and chart a new course for the country, for our children, and for generations unborn.


NB: Subsequent articles will detail my suggestions on how we take over our destinies.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Sunday, 11 October 2015

...OF PARADOXES AND MORE PARADOXES

I have mulled over a befitting title for this post over a million times (I kid, maybe just over a thousand times), and I have not been able to settle on one as at the time I am writing this first sentence. I want to write about something very real and ever-present, and I want to write in my style of fluid narration, with in-depth description/exposition when necessary , all conveyed in a vehicle of subtle humor and satire, with the very serious message in there for all to see and appreciate. I want to pass across a very important message, but without boring you to death or scaring you to hell, I want to sound funny and interesting without coming across as a clown, I want to make people simultaneously laugh and think, and then go out to contribute to making a positive change to themselves and the society afterwards. This is the Paradox of trying to be a Conscientious Writer.
Interestingly, President Buhari, who strode into Aso Rock hailed as the “Uprightest President Ever Liveth” kept the nation guessing and anticipating his Ministerial List for four months. He kept moving back the release date like Davido’s sophomore album. We were all anticipating the “Baddest” List, but when the List finally dropped, it felt like Wizkid’s “Ayo” Album - made up of materials we have not just grown accustomed to, but also tired of, because they have been circulated as “Official Singles” or “Leaked Singles” in countless DJ mixtapes.
In fairness to the President, he defended the eternity it took for the List to be released:
In fairness to Nigerians too, it was the President’s handlers, loyalists, and sympathizers who kept inundating us with tales of how the President was scouring the length, breadth and the nethermost parts of Nigeria to unearth untainted and incorruptible androids to work with him in bringing about the much vaunted change; so do not accuse of insatiability when we complain after seeing names like Audu Ogbeh and Rotimi Amaechi on the List. The lesson here is: the APC is now in charge, we need less of propaganda, and more of implementation of policies, this is not hip-hop, so we do not need to roll out the hype-machine and try to sell Wizkid as the new Fela. This is the Paradox of running a Government: it should be less of hip-hop style promotion, and more like whatever else is big, serious, broken, affects a lot of people, and needs fixing... something like Nigeria.
In similar vein, accusations have been leveled against the President that he is running a Gerontocracy. Of course, the accusations are not completely baseless, but we need to look at both sides of the coin here. Nigeria, towards the end of Jonathan’s administration had become rudderless and directionless, we were actually on the verge of an implosion, and most of the ills were brought about by the conscienceless people President Jonathan surrounded himself with. As such, if the new Sheriff in town is only comfortable working with only the people he can vouch for, I think it is understandable, and considering the President is a Septuagenarian, it is only logical most of the people he can personally claim to have close affinity with will be within the age bracket sixty to eighty years. This however presents another conundrum: how will the Youths garner the experience to take over the reins of Leadership in the nearest future? I have heard many “Young Ones” blame the “Old Ones” for how the Youths are today, claiming the erosion of our value system is the fault of those who have been steering the ship of the nation since Independence. I quite agree to a large extent that role models are scarce, but when you look at most of the Youths who have been in positions of authority, you realize they are not different from those they blame. In this blame-game, the “Old Ones” consider the “Young Ones” inexperienced and untrustworthy; while the “Young Ones” believe the “Old Ones” are archaic and immorally-entitled. This is where the Paradox of Leadership in this dispensation emanates: how do the Youths garner experience and enhance their reputation to step up into higher roles if they are not given responsibilities?
Pervasively, there are so many paradoxes around, so many that we have come to fully accept them as normal: we build beautiful cities and then spend more money providing security in the cities than we spend providing education for children in the cities; we have many smart gadgets now, but we cannot say the same about human beings; we drink alcohol both when we are extremely happy and when we are extremely sad, and everytime in-between; we make advances in technology, and we seem to simultaneously take equal giant strides in birthing or unearthing humans who seize the technology to terrorize us all. Maybe this is how our existence is to be: to always pursue happiness but never catch up with it; to always preach love and show apathy or outright hate; to always promise freedom and deliver bondage. I guess this is the Paradox of our Existence which Shakespeare captured succinctly in the first quartet of Sonnet XXXV:


I think I will simply title this piece “Of Paradoxes and more Paradoxes” and sign out till next time.
Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

A HEARTLESS GOVERNMENT. A TACTLESS PRESIDENT.

HEARTLESS: Listening to the President speak during the last media chat I dare not say my President is stupid. No, no, I dare not. The statement uttered that corruption is not the number one problem of this nation can only come from a head that thinks nothing but ogogoro. I have not seen corruption so pronounced in my years of existence in this country than it is under this ‘transformation agenda”. How can just few people that are employed by us, paid from our collective revenue tell us we are not seeing what they are seeing?’ Ask the Coordinating minister of the Economy’ the President retorted; that is, talk to the Prime Minister, Ms Okonjo-Iweala.


The recent Oduahgate is long expected when many of us did not deem it fit to talk about the shams that are being done at the airport, especially Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), and we started praising Ms Oduah for her adroitness. Good work my foot. Billions were quoted for the renovations but what do we have to show for it: Leaking roofs, dark passage way to the tarmac, nauseating toilets, I know we all are thanking God that finally our airports are getting the much desired facelift that will make them to be regarded as world standard but in all we are much scammed than served, I think, this time worse than in the past. Billions have gone but our roofs are still leaking. They should have stuck to the earlier claim that Madam is rich enough to buy the armored cars worth 225 million naira from her personal purse, after weeks of noise from Nigerians, we would have swallowed that better. I would not want to talk about the blood sucking vampire in her because how can a reasonable person submit that these excusable air crashes are God’s doing even when we all know that God does not do evil. I am waiting to know the outcome of all the Administrative and Investigative Panels set up to investigate an obvious case of scam that the blind-cum-imbecile could even attest to. Anyway, it is typical of this government’s Transformation Agenda for billions to get missing and not a single pulled off the perpetrators. Oil Subsidy Scam is a current and will be a recurrent example. SURE-P is another, I wonder how Baba Christopher Kolade allowed himself to be so used in this regards. Baba!


They said we are not broke as a nation but only having issues with Cash Flow. Madam Prime Minister, I don’t get. Why do some people try as much as possible to present black as white? Aunty, it is obvious we are in a mess as it has been obviously stated by the Governor of Central Bank and Governors of some states as they said never have their allocation been so delayed and deducted like under the present dispensation.


We have accusations and counter-accusations. The economy is affected by about 400,000 barrels of oil being stolen everyday by oil thieves. One would wonder if the NNPC and the almighty Minister of Petroleum could give us an estimation of barrels of oil being stolen, how come we do not even have an estimate of oil that is legally being taken out of our wells to be refined in other countries. I have searched records I have not found such account anywhere. Please, if anyone has it, I will be glad to have a copy. I looked with so much anger as Ms Diezani fondled herself in front of millions of Nigerians, dipping her arm inside of her blouse and caressing herself during the Subsidy Regime Investigation Panel in the National Assembly and I asked what happened to decency? Was she practically telling the men or whoever on that panel ”let me go free and I service you free”? That attitude could only come from a whore, and that kind of buttresses the insinuations of the great services she renders to Mr President which makes her untouchable.


Promises upon promises but this government is never ready to deliver on anyone of them. Our universities have practically been comatose for months due to the government irresponsibly reneging on the agreement entered into by ASUU and the Federal Government in 2009. “LET YOUR YEA BE YEA IN ALL YOUR DEALINGS WITH ONE ANOTHER”, so says the Bible and one would have believed that after a return from Israel the President would have thought to act in line with the admonition of the Bible in dealing with people. The President, rather than honour agreement, foot-dragged to the point where a life was lost in the bid to finally resolve the crisis, a life taken by a government vehicle, on a road neglected by the government. Professor Iyayi, God bless his soul, paid the ultimate price.


TACTLESS:  Governors have been deified, the G7 Governors most especially. Take Amaechi for instance, he has become more popular than he was before the President picked on him wanting to make him a scapegoat but like the story of the donkey that fell into the well and refused to die shaking off the pieces of earth meant to bury him and turning such to make steps that brought him out of the well. Such is the case of Amaechi. He has used the media so well making him to be seen and read by all and sundry even in the remotest parts of the country and the world at large. I wonder what the aides of the President do. Any student of politics will know that sometimes in politics you court the friendship of your purported enemies in order to drown their popularity. Obasanjo Vs Tinubu and Obansanjo Vs Osoba should be case studies for them. I am using recent events so that the President’s aides will see themselves for the inept clowns they are. In the former, Obasanjo refused to give Tinubu, an opposition Governor, the allocation due to Lagos state on the premise that Lagos state created more local governments than enshrined in the constitution, the intention was to muscle and starve Lagos state of her allocation believing the state will not be able to perform well enough to be credible enough to win the next election so that the almighty PDP will take over the state. Tinubu being a tactful politician sourced funds internally and he left a mark that stands him out, such that even till today Lagos state has become a model for Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) that other states in the country look up to, inadvertently making Tinubu a godfather. Rather than Tinubu going into oblivion, Obasanjo’s muscle made him to realize his potentials to go beyond the ordinary. Today, Bola is a political superhero, take it or leave it.


On the other hand, during the 2003 Gubernatorial Election, Ogun state, the homestate of Obasanjo needed to be “captured” by all means to give the sitting President, Obasanjo, the credit of delivering his state to his party. Obasanjo devised what I call “eat from the same pot but poison the enemy” tactics. He went to Ogun state on the day of the election, invited his brother, Osoba, to his home, they ate, chatted and played the game of draft while the election was ongoing. That is, Obasanjo courted Osoba’s friendship and doused his vigour on the day of the election so that he won’t be able to make any last minute moves he might have had up his sleeves.


These current President’s aides are not even trying to rescue their boss’ image from the pit of incompetence where it is currently wallowing. They are making him look so incapable of playing the politics that is expected of him. The years of “wet e” politics are long passed. What is happening in Rivers state is just making Amaechi more prominent because he is not coming back for a re-election so he has nothing to lose in a way but it would have been a plus for the President if he has one more friend in Amaechi. Muscle does not beget friendship especially when you are playing this game called POLITIK.

 
Ms Okonjo-Iweala, when she came during Obasanjo’s government, helped in negotiating many deals that took us out of our deficit quagmire, but lately I do not think this Madame Prime Minister is doing what is right. She is the only one seeing that the economy is good even when her brother in CBN is saying otherwise. Kudos should be given to Obasanjo, though he is a man fraught with  faults, he should however be commended for standing his ground by not allowing anyone to come with CVs to intimidate him and today it is obvious that he himself did some brain work , I think more because he had shoes when he was in the military so nothing must have entered into his system to have gone to affect his thinking to believe that once you have a CV that reads IMF, AFDB, and some numerate skills that do not translate to obvious developments and growth of the common man, then you should be taken as the almighty even when you yourself claimed to have a PhD.

I will urge the President’s aides to let him know that one does not cut a red tape at the foundation laying of a house, but until such a building is completed; one does not talk from both sides of the mouth, such will betray one’s mental acumen when as a sitting President you respond “I don’t give a damn” on national television to an issue bordering on national malaise. They need to arrange his schedule to allow him do some reading and get him books on topical issues bothering on nation building because it is demeaning for the office of the President to refer questions on job creation and national growth to a private individual. “Dangote has said he will help us….”


Please let the President do more brainwork that will translate to national development so that he can salvage his present sorry records.  The world is a civil place where election and re-election is based on records and achievements respectively. And I must confess that people are wiser and will not fall for I HAD NO SHOES the second time.


ADEBAYO COKER

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

KISSING-AND-TELLING IN HIGH PLACES

I know! I know!! I know!!!

I did promise I would not disappear again, but I only went and reenacted my own remake of “Gone With The Wind”. I apologise again, and as my people say, it is this hill here that blocks my view of the hill over there; therefore I have put structures in place to ensure the hill over there will be bigger than the hill here to counter-balance the view-blocking, hopefully. But it has been good news all this while: between the last time I was here and now, I have become both a HUSBAND and a FATHER. That might imply I have more and bigger responsibilities, which might also mean lesser time for blogging (obviously, I have less time for blogging already), but that might also imply I have more time (finding something else to occupy my time when Wifey and Mothers have taken over the TV and the Remote), let us just wait and see. #FingersCrossed

Now to the question that jolted me out of my blogging-inertia – kissing and telling, why do people do it? Personally, I believe whatever a man and a woman do together behind closed doors, as long as it is consensual, should remain locked behind doors, I mean no one has to see or hear it. Naturally, the participants do not have to tell us, and we do not want to know; but going by Ese Walters’ piece which I have taken the creative liberty to retitle “An Epistle on Self-Inflicted Pastor Abuse”, and the visibility the said piece has been accorded in cyberspace, it seems I am the only one on the queue waiting to board the bus to “I-Dont-Care-If-You-Kiss-And-Tell-Land”.

Kidding aside, I would not have been riled if people had just left comments like “LOL”, “LOOOOOOL”, “LMFAO”, “ROTFLMAO”, etc but seeing people swallow the bait of “abuse” and hailing her like a modern day Joan d’Arc really got me pissed off. Come on folks, this babe deserves nothing but the Bradley Manning treatment. Someone please explain to me how Ese Walters was abused in that story? Don’t get me wrong please, I am wont to believe her story, partly because I consider most of the so called men of God, or are they gods of men, as frauds; and mostly because I know stuffs like that go down in many places where people dress to kill, talk to be noticed, walk to be assessed, spend to impress, and act to outdo everyone else - church atmosphere nowadays is just like a party without the alcohol and tobacco. I am not going to try and paint anyone as wrong or right in the prelude to how the two of them ended up under the sheets, but for Ese to start crying “abuse” afterwards is beyond hypocritical to me. If you have placed someone on such a pedestal that you collapse when they blow air in your face, would you not be mumbling like a baby’s toy with a bad battery when you start crying foul when they have consensual sex with you? I don’t think I need any level of grace to label Ese Walter a CHARLATAN. I am not saying Ese Walters is right or wrong; neither am I saying Biodun Fatoyinbo is wrong or right, but the word “abuse” is a blatant misnomer in that story..

More disheartening is that even in the realm of politics and the discussion of national unity, we cannot seem to escape the kiss-and-tell merchants. If I ask the pertinent question: how do we unify Nigeria? I bet the majority will mention football, music, and good governance. But according to Femi Fani-Kayode, the solution is quite simpler than that – Let us all have "long-standing and intimate relationships" (innuendo caught FFK, well done) with as many people from all the other tribes as possible; that way, we (Nigerians) would all have become detribalized. We all know one of the major problems with Nigeria is ethnicity/tribalism, and if as a public figure you are accused of being ethnocentric, I am wholly behind you when you go all out to defend yourself. Such was the case for Femi Fani-Kayode whose seldom-rational but always-scathing expositions have brought the tag of “a tribalist” on him. In refuting the tag, FFK reeled out names of three women of Igbo extraction whom he has had "long-standing and intimate relationships" with and concluded that those sexual relationships definitely exonerate him from being labelled a tribalist. I am sorry FFK, you might not be a tribalist, but you are definitely a scummy and uncouth specimen of a lesser animal than a human being. You are nothing but another idiotic kiss-and-tell goat. How could you embarrass women you had consensual sex with like that? Seriously??!! That was the only route you could ply to redemption?? Of course, he did some damage limitation by coming out with an apology; but someone really needs to plank this clown on the head; maybe his brain might be realigned and he would start thinking before talking.


I think I have ranted enough for one post. I hope to be back very soon, but just in case I disappear, you can simply assume I have taken it upon myself to embark on a journey to unify Nigeria the FFK way. I need to “know” –I mean know in the Biblical usage- at least one babe from every tribe in Nigeria. You bet that is not an easy task; from every nook to every cranny of Nigeria I need to fish out women to roll in the hay with, and by the end of my sojourn, I alone standing would have become a detribalized Nigerian and an epitome of inter-tribal unification. Someone really needs to plank my head too from the four cardinal points.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

THE POLICE IS YOUR FIEND


The recent news of the arrest of @eggheader by men of the Nigerian Police for taking pictures of an uncompleted windmill in Katsina has jolted my memory and brought emotions pouring out like tears from the face of Rachel Oniga. For clarification purpose, @eggheader is a high-ranking official of the Nigerian Twitterati and his arrest generated the expected brouhaha on the internet: from the netherworld of surprises, attractions, and confusion called Twitter; to that open court called Facebook; and the haven of opinions called blogosphere, the news was broken, disseminated, analyzed, dissected, buried, exhumed, and at the moment is simultaneously lying-in-state in different parts of the internet.

I have to confess @eggheader is a lucky man, he was told why he was arrested, he was questioned like a gentleman, his belongings were not seized, and he was released on the same day, these were the luxuries that were not afforded to yours truly when the Police offered a taste of their friendship to him at around 8:30pm on Wednesday, 14th February, 2007. It was a breezy Wednesday evening but I defied the elements to go and watch my beloved Arsenal play against Bolton Wanderers in an FA Cup replay match at my favourite viewing centre on Old Yaba Road in Ebute-Metta, my hood, where I grew up. Arsenal won the match 3-1, with two goals from Adebayor and one from Ljunberg, but I did not see the match live because I was rounded up by the Police on my way to the viewing center.

It was a commando style attack that would have rid Nigeria of criminals if they are deployed on the right people at the right places. It was like reliving that scene from the movie 44 Minutes where the cops came in from all angles, blocked all exits and focused the high light beams on the criminals, only that these policemen were sporadically shooting into the air, and the light beams were danfo headlights, and we were not criminals, just innocent bystanders and passers-by with neither weapons nor criminal intents. We were all rounded up and loaded into the Danfos with gun-toting policemen hanging on the doors like lawless bus-conductors. I quickly called Lakers to inform him of my predicament, unfortunately, he was not around and it was then that it dawned on me that I would be spending that night in a police cell. We were all taken to Adekunle Police Station, beside the State CID popularly known as Panti, in Ebute-Metta. On getting there, men who could afford it were let go after greasing the palms of the policemen around and the rest of us were relieved of our belongings and shirts and herded into cells already filled-up with some other guys who I am reluctant to refer to as criminals considering how I came to find myself there.

Exaggeration aside, that was the longest 10 hours I had ever spent in my life, before I spent another 17 hours in a “The Young Shall Grow Bus” from Lagos to Sokoto for NYSC Assignment. The cell was like a village playground with red dust on the floor, with the smell of sweat and the odour of filth permeating everywhere. To maximize space, we were all made to sit with our legs spread wide apart and then bent upwards at the knee such that the back of the person in front rests directly on the stomach of the person at his back and his arms rests on his bent knees. The experience was all like a dream and I kept trying to recall how the day started and how I managed to end up in Adekunle Police Station. I had spent the whole day indoors hugging my GMAT Study Guide in preparation for Aptitude Test at Zenith Bank the following day, I only left the house in the night because of my undying love for Arsenal, I guess we can say Arsenal owe me some barrels of happiness. It’s a fair exchange.

People started flocking to the station around 6am to do what they had to do and take their people home. The policemen kept coming to call people out the way a nurse normally calls patients in to go see the doctor. My Dad, who lives in Alagbado in Ogun State, eventually came to the Station around 7:30am and did what he had to do and I was called out of the cell. While I was waiting for my belongings which were taken from me the night before, the policemen emptied the cells, brought all the inmates out and make them sit in a semi-circle; from nowhere, different weapons ranging from daggers, home-made pistols, automatic weapons, rounds of ammunitions, and several sacks of marijuana were all packed in their front; a television crew from NTA Tejuosho started filming, and a spokesman for the police started explaining to the reporter that they got a tip-off about a criminal hotspot in the heart of Ebute-Metta which they followed up on, and with their expertise and tactical nous they were able to apprehend the criminals and recover the weapons and drugs on display. I was astounded and confounded! How could people be this heartless?! These were innocent passers-by and bystanders who were rounded up, some right in front of their houses! I was lost for words and I kept looking at all the policemen trying to convince myself that they were actually human-beings.

Like lightning, the reality of the ordeal I had just experienced hit me at that point, and all the pent-up emotions had to be unshackled and I broke into tears and I continued to weep uncontrollably for about 30 minutes. I imagined the cheap publicity I would have earned for a wrong reason. For a brief moment, I imagined all the ladies I have eared my collars up for while explaining to them why we should be together. I envisioned what my family and friends would feel upon seeing me being ‘advertised’ as a hemp dealer and user. @eggheader is a lucky man. Deep in the heart of police cells across the country are innocent folks who today are incarcerated for just "walking around" on their streets. It is not an experience I wish to recount again or wish any innocent Nigerian experience. Each time I see a police man, several thoughts rape my mind. In my private moments however, I process the thoughts of who they are clearly. They are members of our society. They belong here. They were not imported from Mali or from Kabul. If suddenly the police force in Nigeria is friendly, we should be afraid. It is tantamount to the kind of fear mixed with surprise you feel when suddenly you have power in your house for 24 hours. That’s UnPHCNish! @eggheader, if it is the Gangnam Style you prefer, please help yourself. If it is Azonto, please feel free. You are a lucky man.

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!

Twitter: @SirRash
Facebook: Rasheed SirRash Adewusi


Monday, 20 August 2012

LONDON 2012 OLYMPICS: A PATRIOT’S VIEW


The London 2012 Logo and the Medals at Stake
The Olympics have come and gone, at least until 2016, but Nigeria’s dismal showing is one that has called to question once again the thorny issue of patriotism. The Olympics is a quadrennial event that serves as a meeting point for elite athletes (for most sports) to compete and aspire to win. Realistically, with about 11,000 sportsmen and sportswomen competing in 302 events, not all athletes will make it to the podiums, but for most that do not, it would still have been a good show. Let us be honest with ourselves, we did not deserve a medal at the Olympics, and getting one would have been a travesty and a rape on hard work and preparation. But in dissecting this woeful performance, everyone involved must not be lumped together, the wheat and the chaff needs to be separated so to each we give its own.  The roles of Administrators, Sportsmen and Sportswomen, and Sponsors in this national disgrace have to be assessed individually.

The Joy of Great Female Olympians who did themselves and their countries proud at London 2012

The Nigerian athletes must be commended for having the patriotism and courage to line up and compete against those athletes from USA, China, GB, Russia, South Korea, Germany, France, Italy, Hungary and Australia who had been preparing for the London 2012 Games from earlier than Beijing 2008; who had prompt and sufficient funding from their respective governments and corporate sponsors alike; who benefited from public sports institutions where they could train with the best equipment and facilities; who had access to the best trainers, physiotherapists, doctors, nutritionists and sports psychologists; who were highly motivated for personal and national pride; who were treated like ambassadors/envoy of their countries which they were in reality. Little wonder they were always happy to flaunt their national flags upon achieving success. Of course, we have all heard about the N2.3 Billion spent on the Olympics by the NOC, but we heard about the N1 Trillion spent on Fuel Subsidy too, didn’t we?
The Joy of Great Male Olympians who did themselves and their countries proud at London 2012

With speed that will challenge Usain Bolt’s, the Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi called a Press Conference and solemnly informed us all that “TEAM NIGERIA HAS FAILED” - as if that was breaking news. He raved, rambled, and ranted, but in the midst of the entire rabble, I was able to unearth these action plans:
1. Identify five sports that give us competitive opportunities.
2. Restructure the Federations of these Sports to make them more democratic, accountable and efficient.
3. Develop a Sports Calendar that will ensure year-round sports activities both within and outside the schools.
4. Initiate strategic engagement with the private sector with the aim to improve funding for sports.
5. Strengthen our coaching and training capabilities by developing strategic partnership with national and international bodies.
These action plans are laudable and commendable, in all honesty we couldn’t have asked for more, but it will not draw any applause from me because this is year 2012, and this is not what we should be discussing. This is what, like in other countries, should have been done ages ago, and the result we should have been reaping for some time now. Another reason I am not filled with optimism is because this is a well-worn path after every sporting failure, we are fond of coming back to the “drawing board”, reviewing the performance and coming up with “blueprints” and “white papers” to forestall a recurrence, only to repeat the cycle after the next avoidable disappointment.



The only time the Nigerian flag was held aloft
Naturally, just as we are late bloomers in almost everything, we are also slow to realize that sports goes beyond recreation. Sports is not just about winning medals and setting records, it is an avenue for national glorification and global recognition. The global media will always stick to the norm of "bad news is good news" and "if it bleeds, it leads", but with commendable performances on the tracks, fields, and pools, each country can tell its own story in its own words. The battle for supremacy among the USA, China, GB and Russia was there to see and that should tell us sports goes beyond mere running and jumping. Excelling in sports will surely put a country in the spotlight with everybody to see in real-time the positives that comes out of the country - Sports is an avenue to flaunt Patriotism and Nationalism. Now that the Minister of Sports have realized that, we can only hope it is not just lip service but a real intention and determination to propel Nigerian sports forward. 

Thank You!
God Bless Us All!!
See You Next Time!!!


Facebook: rasheed.adewusi

Monday, 18 June 2012

NIGERIA: REINFORCING “LUDICROUS” SINCE 1960

Never mistake motion for action.  ~Ernest Hemingway
With the benefits of hindsight, we can absolutely say the marriage that birthed NIGERIA was not built on love or affection. Though the courtship lasted all of 46 years, not much of interaction and integration took place to create an amalgamation in the real sense of the world. The amalgamation, in its conception and in its execution, was just a paper union that made it easier for the Colonial masters to carry out their plunder; it was not to make the ethnic groups a unified major group with a sense and feel of National Identity. In essence, the emergence of Nigeria as a Nation-State in 1960 was a mismatch in its crudest form.
Alas, that was just the extent to which we could blame Britain for our woes. For the deplorable state where we are today and for the ignominious history we have been able to pen for our nation since 1960, Nigeria and Nigerians must take full and absolute RESPONSIBILITY. For the history, I will not dwell on that, smarter brains and sharper minds than mine have put all that in textbooks, in magazines, in newspapers, in journals, on tapes, on websites, and on so many other other means of storing information for the sole purpose of posterity. The past cannot be changed, neither can it be re-written, we can only learn from it, something we have not done up to this moment. I am concerned about the present and what it reflects and portends for the continuous existence and the desired prosperity of Nigeria.
Nigerians, individually, are industrious and hardworking. Nigerians have always learnt to ignore their government and depend on themselves and their neighbours to find solutions to their problems and forge ahead together. Nigerians, through Community Development Associations (CDAs) contribute funds to buy transformers, poles, cables and meters from PHCN, they even pay for the workmanship to get everything fixed, fitted and erected. Then, PHCN refuses to supply electricity, and Nigerians will still go and get power generating sets and start generating their own power. Nigerians have grown accustomed to not asking questions and not demanding for their rights. Typical Nigerians build their own houses which has its own bore-hole or well; its own power generating set in form of Mikano/Lister/Honda; its own security in form of private guards/maigurads; and every other thing needed. This on the back of huge and multiple taxes they pay at source, especially when they work in the private sector, and most especially when they reside in Lagos state. Nothing works in Nigeria. The Hospitals become death traps, Nigerians patronize private hospitals and pay through their noses. The schools are closed, Nigerians send their children to private schools and pay through their noses also. Nothing works and no questions are asked.
Disheartening the more, those were not the only traits Nigerians share. Majority, and I am talking about a very large majority, of Nigerians are the archetypal specimens of bigotry, tribalism, and religiousness. These are etched into the consciousness of Nigerians to the point where nothing gets done because Federal Character will not make it work. Every interaction is conceived in Tribalism, executed in Bigotry, and sustained in Religion. Little wonder nothing gets done.
It is well-known and amply documented that the myriads of problems that drove Nigeria to this “Precipice of Hopelessness” where we hover at the moment can be traced to Institutionalized Corruption; but the final push that will plunge Nigeria into the “Abyss of Disillusionment” is Institutionalized Inaction.  Do not get me wrong, there is action everywhere: corruption in high places is still sewn into the fabrics of our daily lives, and terrorism has become the order of the day to the point where I believe there is a template on the desktop of the President aide’s PC which only requires them to change the date and the location whenever a man-made disaster strikes, because what we hear every time is the same mumbo jumbo. The President has recently even gone to the point of saying he is powerless, quoting Psalm 91, but the last time I checked, we do not run a Theocracy. Mr President, like the Jews say: do not be wise in words - be wise in deeds. When the government borders on non-existent, through its inaction, that is a huge tinderbox waiting to explode.
Nigerians are capable of protecting themselves, but if they have to stand up and do it by themselves, that is the end of Nigeria as we know it. It will lead to Anarchy, probably Military Intervention, and worst case scenario a Civil war with its attendant horror of wanton destruction and genocide. I am not a doom-monger, I am only pointing us to the past in a bid to point us to a future which should not be allowed to become a reality. What happened yesterday in Kaduna is reminiscent of the two coups of 1966, and it is as simple as Newton’s First Law of Motion. If the President allows Nigerians to take actions into their own hands, that might be the end of Nigeria as we know it. The President came to power on the back of a campaign of hope, themed with the popular “I had no shoes” slogan, and promising a better future through his “Transformational Agenda”… Like the Italians would say “Between saying and doing, many a pair of shoes is worn out.” …A year has rolled by, but the only things that have transformed are: government ineptitude, institutionalized corruption, and terrorism; they have transformed into gigantic multi-fanged monsters gearing to consume the whole nation.
Nigeria, now is the time to ask questions; request answers; and demand actions.

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