Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bloody Christmas: How Long Will This Continue?

The scourge is terrifying and the pallatives have all proved abortive. It was a day of uncommon significance for all christains. It was Christmas day, and with it came the glitz and the razzmattaz that always attends the event. Thus, parishoners of St Theresa's Catholic Church, Madalla, Suleja, in Niger State, went to usher in the 'baby Jesus'. However, they were ushered into mayhem, and got what they never bargained for. Undoubtedly, this was a Christmas that will be remembered for all the wrong reasons. Again, it was one attack too many. Again, it was Boko Haram reeling in it's finest hour, a case of crass madness. Again, it was a incident that reminded us that our goverment cannot meet their basic responsibility of protecting our lives. Indeed, the unfortunate scenerio demanded a swift response of resolve, intent and condolence from the presidency, but did we get? A presidential statement that puzzles the mind and befuddles reason. Our president had the effortnery to say that 'This was a burden we must learn to live with'. Which leader displays such unspeakable cowardice when his nation is in distress? Pathetic! It is no longer news that Nigeria is now a haven of insecurity, and that our security operatives is as porus and toothless as a cursed child, however, one begs the question: For how long will this wreckage linger?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nigeria And Her Catalogue Of Problems...

I cringe for this country. The odds are simply daunting, terrifying and enormous. The air so nauseating that you wonder where the 'fresh air' that the Jonathan led administration promised us, has absconded to. The signs so bleak that it astounds the cloud. No doubt, Nigeria is at a crossroads, emashed in a fix, being governed but rudderless in more ways than one. As the Boko Haram plague remains intractable, with Nigerians living under it's shadows in 'thick' fear everyday and in the reality of it's evil, the worst looks like it is yet to come. As if the indignity of poverty for many Nigerians was not enough, the Jonathan administration seems poised to compound our woes. The fuel subsidy debate has lingered on. Each day ushering the reality of the impending doom. Removal of subsidy by the government will simply skyrocket the prices of virtually everything in the nation. Inflation lurks, poverty awaits. Yet, this is the transformation Jonathan and his cohorts promised us. At a time when steady power supply seems like a distant dream, the government of the day is bent on adding salt to an already bleeding and open sore. What a jester of a country this is! The administration insists that removal of fuel subsidy will flourish the nation's economy, but they are yet to explain how this will be. Until they tell us how subsidy removal will put food on the table of the average Nigerian, improve power and booast education, then the idea will remain a charade. In addition, just in case you have not heard, in the 4.7 trillion naira 2012 budget submitted to the legislature, 977 billion naira was allocated to security. Put simply, that's 2 billion a day on security. What a joke! When did more money start to guarantee the security of lives and properties? We simply never learn in this part of the world. Indeed, we have already witnessed the Arab Spring and no one should write off the possibility of a Nigerian Harmattan. President Goodluck Jonathan might have had a great affair with lady luck in the past, but he might run of that luck if he dosen't retrace his steps!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Reality Check As 2011 Fades Away...

It is that time of the year when both governments and institutions take stock and tell themselves the home truth about what the year has been for them. However distressing this inquiry might be, it is both salient and pertinent for the future. As individuals, we are bound to make a reassessment of the twelve stints that were doled out to us in January. For some, the year was a masterstroke, a tale of achievements that streched them to their goal. For others, it wasn't the happy ending that they had envisioned. Whatever side of the divide you fall, there is the need to look at the brighter side of things, and keep your resolve to succeed. Life, as some of us have learnt, is a voyage to be embarked looking forward, not backward. You might have been racked with hard knocks, ruffled by acute mistakes and deflated by miserable occurances during the year, yet, it's no use remaining in this pathetic state. You must muster the courage to move on. It is worth remembering that courage is not the lack of fear, but the mastering of it. Having said that, there is the importance to take a reality check, and examine why the year did not pan out the way you had anticipated. For those that had a sublime year, it will be foolhardy to sit on your laurels. Indeed, there is always more to aspire to, more records to smash, more lives to touch and more battles to conquer. As 2011 presents us with it's last days, we can only pray that God will grant us the hindsight to know where we've been, the foresight to to know where we are going and the insight to know when we are going too far.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ojukwu And History!

For anyone with a paltry sense of Nigerian history, the name, Dim Odemegwu Ojukwu needs no introduction. Rehashing in mere words, the historical travails of the Ikemba of Nnewi will surely distort the facts. However, what needs to be stated was that Ojukwu while still in his youth, led a rebellious 30 months war that failed to see the broad daylight. Ojukwu's conviction was hinged upon the fact that the Igbo race does not deserve to be treated as second class citizens in their own homeland. Of course, Biafra lost the war of secession. But this defeat was only in the battlefield, for Biafra still found a home in the hearts of many of her sons and daughters. Though Gowon made a 'no victor, no vanquished' mantra after the war, We now know enough to see that post civil war Nigeria was a tale of vendetta, a classical case of throwing away the baby with the bath water, and an apt scenerio of giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it. Ojukwu's life will forever divide opinion, but one thing is certain, He will be remembered as a man who chased his dreams and beliefs, even through the shadows of death. As a country, it is worth mentioning that rebellious acts still persist. From MASSOB to MEND to Boko Haram, the intents might differ, but the song is the same. Government has continued to be insensitive to the plight of it's people. Perhaps, the 'prima donnas' and the 'cremé dé la cremé' of our society should remember that when there is nothing else for the poor to eat, they will eat the rich!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Villas Boas And His Chelsea Cross!

Blessed or cursed betide the day Roman Abrahmovic decided to acquire Stamford Bridge? Depending on who you support, your answers are bound to be polarised. However, few can dare to deny that Roman's billions brought Chelsea into the sun. But even this came with a price. He called the shots, doled the sack letters at will, and never compromised his ego. Seven coaches in seven years suggests managerial insanity, but such is the unquenching thirst for instant success that Roman cannot control. Andre Villas Boas is a product of Roman's latest wielding of the big stick, which saw Carlo Ancelloti exist Chelsea, despite an incredible debut season. For Villas Boas, his reputation preceeds him. Just only 34, he was a monumental success at F.C Porto. But, as Andre must have found out, Chelsea is a different kettle of fish. He has lost four out of the first eleven league matches. His Chelsea side is in dire need of a surgical operation, and it's a cross he must carry. The once sublime Petr Cech, now looks like a complete shadow of his old self. Frank Lampard now cuts an image of a player living on past glories. Dider Drogba has lost the 'drog' in him, while John Terry has surely seen his best days gone past him. Andre Villas Boas must fix all these and more, and must do it quickly. Patience has never been a virtue to be associated with Chelsea. Thus, Villas Boas must find a temporal solution to what looks like a permanent problem at Stamford Bridge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reuben Abati: The Man That Returned To His Vomits!

He was once famously referred to as a 'potent government critic', 'a fine journalist', and an 'excellent columnist'. These accolades were praises he had earned in an impressive career that has spanned over two decades. Indeed, like the English would say, Reuben Abati knows his onions. A first class honours degree holder, Abati served as the Editor-in-Chief of Guardian newspapers. During his stint with the paper, readership skyrocketed, and even his collegues were full of praise for him. The hallmark of Abati's days as a 'penpusher', was his radical views on the government. His punditry was uncompromising. He criticized without caring whose ox is gored. In sum, he was the ideal journalist. However, the bait was thrown at him by the Goodluck Jonathan administration, and as it's typical with most Nigerians, Abati threw reason to the air and grabbed the 'chance to fortune' without a second thought. Abati now became the Special Advicer to the president on Media and Publicity. From government critic, Abati has now become a government apologist, massaging the egos he once kicked. Such is the rapidity with which people sell their consciences for power. It is perplexing to know that Abati will ever be part of the PDP led government. This is a party he once described as 'People Deceiving People', 'Papa Decieving Pikin'. In fact, he famously declared that the 'PDP has done great damage to Nigeria and it's people'. Yet, he now sings a different song and like the oracle of Delphi, he now speaks from both sides of his mouth. It will suffice to state here that Reuben Abati's case is a harsh reminder that power truly corrupts, and power can also make a snake change it's skin.

Friday, November 18, 2011

What Has Life Taught You?

Life is often described as the University of Hard Knocks. Here are twenty things that it has taught me so far: *Life has taught me that beyond the pursuits of this world, God is the ultimate. *Life has taught me that you will always regret the things you didn't do far more than the things you did. *Life has taught me to jealously keep my true friends, coz they are difficult to find. *Life has taught me to always embrace change. As uncomfortable as it is sometimes, change allows us to stretch and grow. *Life has taught me that self confidence opens doors and works wonders *Life has taught me to never regret. If it's good, it's good. If it's bad, it's experience. *Life has taught me that you will never attain true success if you set out to become somebody you were not born to be. *Life has taught me that no one can take advantage of you unless you let them. *Life has taught me to always look at the bright side of things. *Life has taught me that whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. *Life has taught me not to ever write off anyone. *Life has taught me to always celebrate the beauty in every moment. *Life has taught me that when it comes to the things of love, I should always follow my heart. *Life has taught me to never ever forget family. They are the one that counts first. *Life has taught me to often surround myself with positive people. You’ll feel different. *Life has taught me to always cherish my health and stay healthy. *Life has taught me that, in order to get ahead in life, you need to get out of your comfort zone. *Life has taught me that it sometimes gives people a second chance. *Life has taught me that forgiveness is not cowardice. Rather, it's maturity. *And finally, life has taught me to always keep going! So, tell us, What has Life taught You?

Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Vanity Of Life

As I returned from what can only be described as a memorable service in church, my thoughts began to prick me. Lately, I have passed by countless obituaries. These posters have been so numerous that I have actually lost count. Obviously, it is easy for us to shed a thought for these departed souls, even if we never knew them. However, we can never aptly feel the beleaguerment, the grieovous demise, the hurtful end. Of all the obituaries that have lately befuddled my heart, one in particular strikes me. It is the tale of a 24 years old 2011 fresh graduate, who finished from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He bagged first class honours in the department of Mathematics. In fact, the story was that he was the second best graduating student of the year. Yet, what did life reward him with? Death! His academic sublimity became a futile pursuit. His dreams were shattered beyond recognition in that ghastly accident. It was an accident that claimed excellence. It was an accident that closed the page of a promising life. It was an accident that led to an unhappy ending. And like Shakespeare will say 'Life became a walking shadow'. Is it not glaring that it's just life. It is a time to remind ourselves of some home truths. When our wealth shall be worthless, when our academic qualifications shall owe no more significance, when our gruelling pursuit for money shall end, what will be left of us? Will we be found worthy of a glorious eternity? Life is too short, and wisdom is to live everyday like it will be our last. While we get entangled in the hustle and bustle of this life, let us remember that one day we shall all go home. That one day is not for us to tell. The moral of the story? May we not jeopardize eternity with the actions of our short stint here on earth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Short Story: Follow Your Passion!

There are few occassions that could contest with the aura and razzmattaz of University graduation. For Nkem, it was a dream come true; a dream that once looked like a mirage. He had toiled for five years to etch his name in the enviable annals of men who had come to be known as Civil Engineers. It would have been a perfect story for him if he had not narrowly missed the coveted first class honours. 'I still know my worth though', Nkem reassured himself in words that sounded more like consolation than confidence. Within two months of completing his youth service, Nkems' brilliance had landed him a dream job in a frontline bank, with a pay that many at his age will kill to earn. It was the holy grail for many graduates to find a white collar job with juicy renumerations, and Nkem had just attained it with minimum fuss. Some of his friends and relatives wondered how a Civil Engineer ended up at the bank, but Nkem marveled at their foolhardiness. 'This people don't seem to understand the kind of country we live in', Nkem soliloquized. Five years later, Nkem had grown in fortune. His pay was nearly in six zeros. To those who were watching from the outside, he had arrived. However, on this faithful morning, as was the case with most of his mornings, Nkem woke up with a knack to leave his job. As he entered his SUV, ready for work, he was determined to end his five-year miseries and penury once and for all. For five years, he had tried to see if he could bring himself to love his job. But every effort he made to develop a penchant for his job, led him to further dislike that job. Nkem cried in his SUV. This was not the future he had bargained for, and he was determined to end the deceit. To the chagrin of everyone, Nkem resigned from his bank job. His parents wondered if he was under a spell. No one but his own heart could comprehend his decision. Within months of resignation, he set up his own Youth NGO, which was his first and only love. He galvanized youths towards nurturing their voice and abilities for nation building. For Nkem, this was the only thing worth living for. His life had been a tussle between pretence and passion. He admonished the youths in his NGO, 'Follow your heart, for it's your life and you will only live it once'. He continued 'From Civil Engineering, to the bank, now with an NGO, I have found purpose. I might not earn as much as when I was in the bank, but I have found a reason to wake up every morning with joy and sense of purpose. Follow your passion'.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Stephen Keshi And The Poisoned Chalice!

It is dream job on paper, but a nightmare in reality. It has defied the tactics of some of the game's best tacticians. It has put a huge daint upon the Resumé of some of the game's best coaches. This is the dreaded terrain that Stephen Keshi has just stepped into by accepting the job to be the coach of the Nigerian Super Eagles. Some have called the job a pandora box, and rightly so. The task before Keshi is an enormous one. He will be under no illusion that this will be a bed of roses. He only needs to look at the short stint of his predecessor, Samson Siasia, to appreciate what awaits him. Only few months ago, Siasia was believed to be the messiah to lead our football to the ever elusive promised land. But, his inability to lead us to the 2012 Cup of Nations, the first time in 25 years, has cost him his job, rubbished his antecedents, and has made him a national ridicule. Such is the swiftness with which one could fall from stardom to dust in Nigeria. Even though the failure of the Super Eagles is not entirely Siasia's making, he beared the consequences as the manager and begs the question 'Is Hiring and Firing the way to go?' It has been suggested that part of Siasia's sins for which he was sack, was his astute conviction never to compromise standards. Whatever be the case, he is now history. The rebuilding process of the Super Eagles must commence now, and only time will tell if Stephen Keshi (a former victim of sack himself by Mali and Togo), has what it takes to succeed where his predecessors failed.

Nigeria: A Nation and her burdens!

These are gruesome times in the history of the most populous black nation in the world. It is true that bad news is good news in journalism. However, the plethora of unpleasant news that often churns out of our country leaves plenty to be desired. The gang rape saga lasted for weeks. The issue simply made a caricature of our ailing system. Then the fuel subsidy bouhaha. What started as a paltry issue, has degenerated into a major bone of contention. And just when we thought we have heard enough, a 20 year old boy in Bayelsa state was killed in the most inhuman circumstances by the police who 'should be your friend'. What was his sins? He cautioned them on the sabbath day against exortions. Such is the daunting reality of the perilious times we live in. Nothing seems to exicite our national spirit these days. Nothing helps in inflating our fading hopes. Nothing suggests that our turmoil will soon be over. It is true that the Western world are also going through uneasy times, but the Nigerian quagmire is a case that defies reason. From sport to politics, it is the same tale of doom, avarice and misfortunes. One wonders if the sins of the past and the anomalies of the present, will not constitue a real burden for the future!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What Next For Libya?

As the dust settles upon the demise of a 42 year old regime, what do you think the future holds for post-Gaddafi Libya?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Power shift in Manchester?

Who says money cannot buy success in football? Man City is the evidence (albeit, temporarily). Old Trafford has witnessed many sublime moments through the years. The ground has lived up to it's tag as the theater of dreams. In this turf, United have subdued their opponents, tormented their rivals and rewrote the history books. Just a stone throw from this ground, is the home of their hitherto miniature neighbours, who ply the same trade with them but lack the dexterity of United. Yet, this smacking reality was ridiculed by Manchester City recently. With the injection of Sheikh Mansour fortunes into the coffers of city in recent years, a brighter fate has befallen the blues, and sunday was a leap of that fate. City humilated and mauled United at their own home by six goals to one. It wasn't just another three points in the bag, it was a victory that transformed the noisy neighbours to competative neighbours. It was a result that inflicted the great Sir Alex Ferguson with the greatest daint in his intimidating resumé. It was a result that will leave the United fans wondering. Indeed, it's not yet uhuru for City but anyone that never gave them a chance in their quest for stardom, will have to seriously have a rethink.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Letter To Nigeria At 51

Dear Nigeria, kudos on your 51st birthday. Need I say that you have really grown into a man? Even a lunatic will admit that. I remember those gruelling days when you were in the womb of the British. They ruled your thoughts, and like a chisel, they divided your wits and wrenched you in derision. Alas, they concieved you out of compulsion, and you became a maverick of your own. But, did your beleaguerment end in 1960? Today, you are 51. An age that demands responsibility and progress. Yet, you tend to have failed your many children. You denied them of an education that is worth something. You barely provided food, water and shelter for them. You sent them to perish in death-traps you called roads. Eletricity became a luxury to give them. You have dragged the name 'NIGERIA' to the mud and many now see your kids with an effigy that elicits pain. As if the misdeed was not enough, you bereave them of their consciences? Many of your sons have led the family. Yet, like people bearing an incision mark, they have all led with the same recklessness and destruction living in their bones. Dear Nigeria, you have become a caricature of other families. None wants to associate with you, because they dread that they might be pliable to your cancerous attitude. A bulk of your children now desert you for other families. They now hate you with a penchant at it's peak. Dear Nigeria, 51 years after your conception you have grown in your foolishness and cowardice. How did you become so bad? Nothing about you gives reprieve to the heart. Look at your neighbour, Ghana. You taught her to crawl. Today, she flies while you still crawl. Even your few children still habouring hope that one day you will be better, have become gutted. You tarnish their dreams, yet you extinguish their hopes. Are you not really ashamed of yourself? Dear Nigeria. I will have love to write more to you, but even my ink marvels at your idiocy. On a parting note, I still believe things can be better for you. Yes, you have strayed so badly, but your case has not become unsalvageable. Moreover, you pride yourself with kids who are more than capable of altering your fortune for good. But, do they have the needed will for this daunting task? Are they ready to stand up and fight for their future beyond the pages of facebook, twitter and 2go? I pray for you everyday. With love, from an optimistic son.ling days when you were in the womb of the British. They ruled your thoughts, and like a chisel, they divided your wits and wrenched you in derision. Alas, they concieved you out of compulsion, and you became a maverick of your own. But, did your beleaguerment end in 1960? Today, you are 51. An age that demands responsibility and progress. Yet, you tend to have failed your many children. You denied them of an education that is worth something. You barely provided food, water and shelter for them. You sent them to perish in death-traps you called roads. Eletricity became a luxury to give them. You have dragged the name 'NIGERIA' to the mud and many now see your kids with an effigy that elicits pain. As if the misdeed was not enough, you bereave them of their consciences? Many of your sons have led the family. Yet, like people bearing an incision mark, they have all led with the same recklessness and destruction living in their bones. Dear Nigeria, you have become a caricature of other families. None wants to associate with you, because they dread that they might be pliable to your cancerous attitude. A bulk of your children now desert you for other families. They now hate you with a penchant at it's peak. Dear Nigeria, 51 years after your conception you have grown in your foolishness and cowardice. How did you become so bad? Nothing about you gives reprieve to the heart. Look at your neighbour, Ghana. You taught her to crawl. Today, she flies while you still crawl. Even your few children still habouring hope that one day you will be better, have become gutted. You tarnish their dreams, yet you extinguish their hopes. Are you not really ashamed of yourself? Dear Nigeria. I will have love to write more to you, but even my ink marvels at your idiocy. On a parting note, I still believe things can be better for you. Yes, you have strayed so badly, but your case has not become unsalvageable. Moreover, you pride yourself with kids who are more than capable of altering your fortune for good. But, do they have the needed will for this daunting task? Are they ready to stand up and fight for their future beyond the pages of facebook, twitter and 2go? I pray for you everyday. With love, from an optimistic son.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Poem: A Hurtful Demise!

Sixteen odd years it was, in the dark day of september, at a time when the sun gave it's radiance in paucity, and the wind doled out it's strenght in vexation. Sixteen odd years it was, when the breath of my beauty was siezed, for reasons only death could tell. A harsh fate was to be my lot, a beleaguered reality was my inheritance, a poisned chalce was all that was in my pandaro's box. Sixteen odd years it was, when I last beheld the beauty only her face could conjure. I remember the telling look in her gaze that day. The smile she faked to curb the flood from gushing out of my eyes. The laughter that was only a mere facade and the lullaby she chanted to ease my perturbed head. Sixteen odd years it was, she battled her fate, she wrestled her waterloo. Like a gallant fight, she streched her body to a breaking point. She fought with sheer conviction, but the battle was an herculean one, one that could not be won, a lost course. Sixteen odd years it was, I remember how pensive my spirit was, as I envisioned her saying her final goodbye. The brisk nature of her movement was traded for the long wooden casket. Her fists folded in timidity and there she was, hapless, motionless, lifeless. Old and young filtered the air with their tears and wailings, some in sincerity, others in mockery. Sixteen odd years it was, yet, the memory has not lost an iota of it's vividness. The thought still resonates in my mind. The hurt and pain still reminds me of their presence. The gloom still hangs over me like a cloud and the feeling still plagues me like a raging ghost. Sixteen odd it was, I truly will never forget because it is not in my power to forget. My star, trust you are resting in serenity and peacefulness. Please always remember that I hate that you left. But, I shall stick to the fight like you always taught me. I shall guard my dreams, like you guarded me. I shall be my best like you tutored me to always be. Rest well in the lord, rest well in my heart. Sixteen odd years it was, adieu once again, my hearthrob, my gem, my treasure, my radiance, my salt!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Untold Story Of Religious Intolerance In Nigeria

Often described as the opium of the people, religion has become an integral and focal part of the existence of every individual. However, any attempt to vividly define the concept is likely to be an effort in futility. Freedom of worship is a fundamental right of every individual in Nigeria. Despite this glaring fact, religious tolerance in our country has remained elusive. The tussles and skirmishes between the christain and the islamic religion is one that often reoccurs, and any attempt to do a rehash here will be painting a myopic picture. Suffice it to say, christainity and islam are the two dominant religions in the country. However, the clamour for religious tolerance in Nigeria has often taken a fallacious approach. We often here of muslims stoking the fire by burning down churches, and christains formenting trobules in reciprocation. However, it is a pensive anomaly that none of our national dallies or television stations have deemed it fit to give voice to the African Traditional Religion that has often been subjected to unfair ridicule, deceptive scrutiny and sheer neglect by society and those who should know better. In more cases than one, dieties that exist in several parts of Nigerian society has been equated with babarism and evil. This notion has been defeated today in the light of educational enlightment and by the help of historical hindsight. However, a lot still needs to be done in protecting these dieties and their devotees. Dismissing their belief as devilish will be making a caricature of the freedom of worship right enshrined in our constitution. It is a norm to hear christains say that 'darkness and light cannot exist together.' But, by whose standards do we define which religion is light and which is darkness? The misconceptions abound, but the crying need to give the African Traditional Religion it's place in society, is an issue that should not be treated with kid gloves.

The Fallacious Nature Of Religious Intolerance In Nigeria

Often described as the opium of the people, religion has become an integral and focal of the existence of every individual. However,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Nigerian Youths In The Nigerian Dream!

It will be a sheer waste of ink to doubt the fact that the youths hold a critical and potent role in the overall development of any nation. For the sake of clearity, youths refer to those between ages 18 and 35. However, while history is replenished with tales of revolutions and social changes trigged by youths from several nations, the case in our country will pass for a tragic sonnet. Today, the Honourable minister of Youth and development, Bolaji Abdullahi, hosted a tweet-meet conference on twitter, to engage youths on issues affecting them. The apathy displayed by numerous youths on the social networking site who had a chance to contribute in formulating a blueprint for the Nigeria of our dreams, was one that beats the mind. Although about 500 youths were involved in the discussion, many others on the site appeared to be uninterested. It is a harsh reality that millions of Nigerian youths have lost absolute confidence on governace, and this trend is in dire need of a reversal. The youths cannot continue to just be content with being armchair critics or apolitical in nature. Perhaps, it is worth reminding ourselves that when time and age have caught up with the current crop of leaders, the challenge of leadership will be entrusted on our shoulders and the gauntlet will be thrown at us. To keep displaying apathy to national issues, will mean throwing our future to the wind. Beyond the frenzy entertainment offers, the youths must realize that their tommorow is much more imperative than the latest songs on the top ten billboard chart, and that his future counts more than the latest result of the el classico match between Real Madrid and Barcelona. The time to find our tamed and wrecked voice, is now. The time to train that voice and make it find it's unity, is now. The time to send a clear message with that voice, is now. The time to quit the lackadastical attitude and get interested in the polity of our nation, is now. If the Nigerian ship will flourish again, then we must be the captain in that precarious ocean.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Victory In The Face Of Life's Odds!

Five donkey years ago, my father taught me a fundamental lesson. One I was going to remember on a day like this. I vividly recollect the day he said that. The clouds were pregnant with tears and the sun hoarded it radiance. 'Jideofor,' he whisphered my name, in a tone that was hallmarked in uncertainity. I hurried and sat by his side. My ears were anticipating and my eyes exposed it's nakedness. 'Jideofor', he continued, 'If you are going to be the man of your dreams, then you must be ready for daunting, unfamiliar and precarious odds.' Five years later, I was in a fix that demanded my dexterity in bravity, and temerity in a beleaguered situation. This was the tale of my final year project defense as a graduate. As I stepped into the hall ready to keep my lecturers in awe and astoundment, an unusual occourance happened and I was sent out in an indignation that was too grievous for words. Almost all of my classmates all defended before I was given a second chance. As I entered the hall, I was sent out again. And finally, I was given a chance. My spirit tended towards dampenness, and the confidence I once exuded, eluded me. But, my father's words came back to haunt me. I conjured courage, and defended. When the result was out, I was one of the best. Indeed, I realized that days of diverse odds like this, are what creates the stuff of which our character is built. Dearest friends, what odds are before you today? Stick to your convictions and almost remember that, the darker the night, the brighter the dawn. Never forget, that the trails of life are intended to make us better and not bitter. I end with the words of my exquisite father again: 'If you are going to be the man of your dreams, then you must be ready for daunting, unfamiliar and precarious odds.' How ready are you?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodluck Jonathan: A President And His Reactiveness

First it was INEC office at Suleja, then Police headquaters, and now the UN building at Abuja! Our leaders simply never learn. Their DNA have been programmed not to, and this sorry tales are threatening to tear our nation apart. The recent bomb blast of the United Nations building in Abuja was another slight on our national image, a despicable story, and a reminder of the retards that pride themselves as our leaders. A pathetic happening of such magnitude was met with sheer reactiveness and deplorable response. First and foremost, this was an avoidable occourance. How many similar events does the president require to convince him that the security agencies in the country is in dire need of a surgical operation. Effective security does not depend on the numbers of road blocks and check points erected at virtually every where one turns. The need for intelligence has been treated with kid gloves by those who should know better. As if this was not enough misdeed of lack of proactiveness, the president and his cohorts were reactive in acting when the deed had been done. The world waited in futility for the consoling and reassuring words from the country's number one citizen. Instead, president Jonathan kept mute and only asked his Media Officer, Reuben Abati, to release a statement that did little to salvage our image. What has happened to servant leadership? Didn't Jonathan see the reaction of the British prime minister during the London riots? Or the astuteness of the American president to the recent Hurricane Irene? Yet, when he was needed in Jeans to send the right message to the international comity, he was elusive. These could be early days to start passing a verdict on the president, but the signs are not good, unpalatable and porous to say but the least! However, it goes without saying that the pepetrators of these acts should remember that karma has no deadline.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Last Days Of Gaddafi?

A 42 years reign of terror and power intoxication has come under immense siege in 6 months, and defiant as he might be, Gaddafi must now confront his greatest fear of what life after power will be for him. The protracted uprising in Libya now appears to be meeting it's belated end. The major twist was ushered in with the rebels defying the odds to hijack the country's capital, Tripoli. It was a move few saw coming, but in a nation that has been engulfed by sheer uncertainities of late, there are indeed plenty that has eluded our sight and ridiculed our proactiveness. As if taking Tripoli was not enough to trobule the Colonel, the enthusiastic rebels stormed his home, the Bab al aziziyaa. This was an action that once seemed inconcieveable. Muammar Gaddafi remains at large, but events proves that this can only be for a while. On a different note, many have been questioning if the rebels have truly not been a joker in the hands of the West. Perhaps, it is not foolhardy to conclude that the unforseen hand is that of the West, and the loud voice, that of the rebels. It is salient to ask: What happens in a post Gaddafi Libya? With so many rebel groups currently fighting the common enemy now, what will happen when 'the mad dog of the desert' is no more? Will Libya become another Iraq or Afghanistan? Will the west, having spent a fortune not seek for means to leave Libya bankrupt? These postulations might be putting the cat before the horse as Gaddafi and his loyalists remains a real threat. However, beyond the ecstacy of the revolution, some 'home truth' has to be uncovered.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Short Story: The Dilemma Of The Black Skin!

His exictement had logic embedded in it. Several attempts to get into Harvard Law School had proved abortive in the past, and now, with one final trail, he had scaled the daunting odds that calls itself examination, and was now ready for the interview phase. The eve before his big hurdle, he basked in the company of his friends. He had a certain knack that this was his time. 'Moreover,' he poundered, 'Obama's success story has killed the racial condurum in America.' He tried to remain confidence. His rich educational prowess in Nigeria was enough to get him to his holy grail. As the day gave way to the paltry but soothing brightness only the moon can muster, Emeka laid on his bed. He tried to conjure sleep, but expectations about tommorow would not allow his head to rest in solace. He switched off the light, but sleep remained elusive. He simply gazed at the darkness and followed every movement of the clock. The big day finally came and Emeka began his earnest preparations. As he dressed himself to perfection, he heard the knob of the door hurriedly moved to the right. There was his American room mate, Jason Michael. 'Stop decieving yourself Emeka. You are black and can never be admitted into Harvard. How can't you see it?' Jason asked with an expression that made his case sound valid. Emeka remained undettered. 'I have come too far to give in to such pessimism' he muttered as he left the house swiftly. They were about 50 that came for the interview on the day, and much to his chagrin, he was the only black. He was even more stunned to know that of the 5,000 applicants that made it to the interview stage, he was the only African. 'Whatever happened to the Obama renaissance?' he rhetorically uttered. Also, all the other interviewees had their moment before him. But, he called that an oversight. Finally, his time was here. 'Emeka Nwigwe' the white secetary pronunced his name with an accent that betrayed the name. Emeka walked into the room to the twelve preying white faces that feasted on him. 'You all look scary,' he said within himself. One of the interviewers offered him a seat with a courtesy that had disdain written all over it. As he sat, he tried to keep a straight face, but fear and exictement made a meal of his looks. As they studied his resumé, he prayed within himself. Finally, one of the white faces spoke. 'For a black guy, I must say that this is an impressive application.' He took that as a compliment. 'But,' the white face continued, 'You are black and we can't guaranty the sanity and civility of you black minds. We are sorry, try applying at other universities.' Emeka felt his ears were playing pranks on him. He took a long glance at the twelve white faces, and in disbelief, he used the door. As he walked home, he saw a sticker at the back of a parked bus that read 'Goodbye to racism, this is America.' Emeka ran to the bus and to the amazement of the pedestrians, tore the sticker. Before he knew it, he was surrounded by three white police officers. As they whisked him away, he heard one of them say 'You black people are never proper humans.'

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

United Remains The Benchmark For Other Teams

As the awe that only Wembly conjures stood in it's glory, Sir Alex Ferguson once again, had the last and best laugh over his 'noisy neighbours.' The community shield presented a platform for both teams to give an indication of how ready and poise they are for the new season, and after 90 gruelling minutes of football artistry, it was Man United's instinct that had the better cutting edge over the expensive but incoherent Man City side. A couple of goals by City in the first period aggrevated fears over the potency of the Red Devil's new golden hands, De Gea. The 20 year old spainaird could be forgiven for naive on his debut competative match. Time should bring temerity for the youngster. However, the excesses of De Gea was the only sore point for United. The second half was a different kettle of fish. With a team with the average age of 22, United turned on the style. Their pace were electrifying and their imperious finishing reminded us why they are champions. It was a comeback that vindactes Fergie's faith in a youthful but strong team. At the other hand, Roberto Mancini's conservatism with his luxurious City side was on display again. The team undoubtedly possess the talent but lack the chemistry that champions are made of, and the stern to forge them into a formidable side. This anomaly could be ractified with time. However, for Sir Alex and United, it was a performance that will inflate their confidence, and without unequivocation, instill a certain fear in their rivals.

United Remains The Benchmark For Other Teams

As the awe that only Wembly conjures stood in it's glory, Sir Alex Ferguson yet again, had the last and best laugh over his 'noisy neighbours.' The

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Tenure Elongation Tussle

Barely two months after being saddled with the daunting task of steering the turbulent ship called Nigeria, president Goodluck Jonathan finds himself embroiled in a quagmire, one that was very much avoidable. It was a shocker that was bound to raise dust, when Nigerians woke up to find the front pages of the national dallies, all with a unanimous creed: 'Jonathan to send bill for a single six years tenure for president and governors.' Whatever his intentions were, they certainly defy logic and were very untimely. At a time when the Boko Haram puzzle was proving a hard nut to crack, one expects that president Jonathan will make that his priority. Rather, he has decided to stoke a fire, he might never be able to put off. The nation is fraughted with a plethora of ills, and the tenure elongation issue should have been down on the pecking order, at least for the moment. Perhaps, the president is bringing this up to distract us from our many problems? Perhaps, he has been ill-adviced by his new special advisers? Or does he have an ulterior motive? The permutations are more than a handful, but some of the criticisms are not unfounded. Even if one is to give the proposal a thought, some clearifications and questions are imperative and sacrosanct. What will happen to the governors that are serving their first term? Wouldn't this bring about more desperation among politicians? Moreover, even though the president has told us that he will not run in 2015, we know how power can intoxicate. The proposal might have been the brainchild of a myraid of political parties, however, for the president to accept it hook, line and sinker, questions his dexterity in office and temerity to take a stance. Only time will tell when all these will end. Yet, it goes without saying that this issue is the least of our problems at the moment.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Messi: A National Flop?

Only a cynic of the highest order, will deny the ingenuities and exquisite wizardy that Lionel Messi possesses. However, his previous and recent outings with Argentina has made many to question the potency he embodies. Indeed, Messi has nothing to prove at the club stage. His laurels with Barcelona are very enviable and intimidating. He has won every prize that club football has to offer. Having said that, Messi has continued to lose his mindas touch whenever he plays for Argentina. He toils to reinvent his magic. Several reasons have been adduced for this. The apologists maintain that Argentina lacks the ideal manager that will bring out the best in him, and that the pressure whenever he plays for the national side is so much that it can make any player crack. For the skeptics, Messi's expliots with Barcelona is a sheer product of the craftiness of Ronaldiho(when he was at Barca), Xavi and Iniesta. They insists that Messi has been lucky to have always played alongside exceptional midfielders over the years. This arguement might be extreme, but it cannot simply be dismissed as untenable. However, Messi still has age on his side, but the consensus remains that he has to prove himself with the Argentina national team before he can truly consider himself as one of the greatest that the beautiful game has ever produced.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Time Ticks For Team Jonathan

After weeks of intrigues, horse trading and sycophancy, President Goodluck Jonathan finally appionted his numerous sidekicks, charged with the daunting task of transforming the nation and creating a new lease of fresh air. The ministers and special advisers have been appointed from a plethora of men and women from different walks of life. However, some of the names on the list leaves plenty to be desired. More than a handful of them are a sheer product of Nigeria's politics of favoritism and ethnicity. However, credibility still found it way into the list. The choice of Ngozi Okonjo Iweala as Finance minister, is a masterstroke. It will be incredulous to doubt the integrity and competence of a woman that has proven herself beyound the shores of this entity. Also, appointing Reuben Abati as special adviser on media and publicity, is an exquisite decision that upholds meritocracy. Abati was before his appointment, the gaffer of Guardian newspaper editorial board. An academian per excellence, he will easily pass as the finest in his craft over the past decade. However, if fears coming from the pessimist is anything to go by, then Abati must be very cautious not to become a mere puppet. The Jonathan team is hallmarked by same faces of old. However, he deserves the benefit of the doubt to prove to us that he has assembled the best hands to finally lead us to that elusive promise land. Suffice it to say, Jonathan and his cohorts must recognize that time has started ticking for them. Thus, the aspirations of a hundred and fifty million Nigerians rests on their shoulders.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Second Half Of 2011 Is Upon Us!

Time surely flies. At times, at a speed of sound. While we all still have fresh memories of the year, reality suggests that it has grown old. Old enough to be stripped of it's 'Happy New Year' dictum. Now, the concern should be you. The first half of the year has passed on, and it is sacrosanct that you take stock and then launch into the second half. Life is a game of two halves. The epoch of childhood, not only in years, but in the mind. The second is the spell of maturity, the era when you discover purpose. The question is: What half of your life are you in? 2011 came with so much expections and six months into it, you have to evaluate yourself. Nobody attains success by the sheer hand of providence. No one amounts to something merely by going to bed with lady luck. The treasures of life are configured in a way that only those who desperately seek it, who are ready to defy the odds, to go to a breaking point, to give all and even more, will surely unlock these treasures. Are you ready to pay this price? Perhaps, the first half of your year collapsed like a pack of cards. Perhaps, it was hallmarked by a myriad of obstacles. The good news is that the next six months could still be the best of your life. Remember that even in a football game, if a team trails at half time, that team can stage a remarkable comeback in the second half and steal the result. In the same vein, July to December could be that next 45 minutes of your life when u dust yourself from the limitations, and live your dreams. But, you must be willing to do things differently, to change the tactics and play with a renewed swagger!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Chelsea fc: A New Era Or A False Dawn?

As the exquisite and elegant looking Andre Villas Boas put pen to paper to complete his signing from F.C Porto to Chelsea, many have lauded the appiontment and called it a mastersroke. However, some have handled the decision with caution. Villas Boas became the sixth manager to inherit the coaching shoes at the Bridge. He certainly has the luxury of youthfulness and the advantage of a polished english language in his arsenal. However, he must have been aware of the demands of his new job. He has the unlucky fate of having a boss with a short patience, and an inordinate obsession with the Champions league. Moreover, he inherits a team of players in their last legs, and with age closer, or above his own. As if this is not enough, he has the burden of satisfying a fan base that have becone used to winning laurels and seeing their team succeed. Indeed, the odds are stacked against him.

However, there is something about the Pourtugese that suggests that he will be a star at the Bridge. He booasts an impressive C.V, and shares the inevitable merit of working alongside the famous Bobby Charlton, and the special Jose Mourinho. For once since Jose left, Chelsea suddenly looks intresting again. Even though he possesses a knack for winning thropies, Sir Alex must be having some sleepless nights, while Wenger must be hoping that this is not another Mourinho in the making. Villas Boas has all the makings of a genius, but only time will tell if this is a mere smokescreen or the beginning of a famous dynasty.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beware Of Friends!

They might be the most priceless pearls to have, but they could also bite with more venow than a snake. Without mincing words, friends are one of the most integral part of our lives. They bring a certain ray of hope to our existence and help to ease the cumbersome journey of our lives. However, history affords us with a plethora of analogies to see that friends could be the architect a man's colossal fall. From the legendary Julius Caesar to the famous Bill Clinton, they all had a turbulent experience with those they call friends.

It has been said, and not without reason, that our close friends are really our true achilles heel. Being an integral part of your life, friends can easily concieve jealousy and hatred. It takes a friend that is made of sterner stuff, not to generate envy for his successful friend. This is true because your friend often expects both of you to move at the same pace in life. The moment it appears as if you have moved in a speed of light, leaving him at a snail's pace, he begins to hatch plots that will lead to your monumental fall. Suffice it to say, friends are really the closest persons to us. They hold our secrets, they know our fears, and they are fully aware of our flaws.

Before you go to find succor in that person you call your friend, never forget the English saying that reads "Never think that anybody loves you." This does not mean that you should either be cynical, sceptical or critical about people, its just a necessity in a world that is polluted with callousness and sheer resentment. Remember, friends in your life could make or mar you, build or destroy you, create or break you! Thus, a reassessment of those you call friends is imperative if you must attain the glorious future that you envisage.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Dilemma Of Boko Haram

Just when the novel adminstration was hoping to heal the deep wounds inflicted on their opponents who were taken to the cleaners at the just concluded elections, it appears that the new government will have to contend with an unfamilar foe, Boko Haram. The Islamic extremist group presents a turbulent torn in the flesh of president Goodluck Jonathan and his co-horts. While it is true that our nation has been hallmarked by a myriad of daunting challenges in the past, the very thought that terrorist threats will join that infamous list, is very scary. If the Boko Haram group can penetrate the citadel of security, then there is much truth in Jonathan's assertion that, 'Everyone is a target'. It is pathetic that ours' is a nation where laws are brought to its knees and security is a distant dream. Thus, Jonathan and his team must raise up to the new challenge of Boko Haram, and stop paying mere lip-service to the issue. What then is the essence of government if it cannot protect? This is not a time to start flaunting amnesty, as if it is a license to insanity. Cowardice by those in authority that promised to protect us, is a misnomer we must not condole. Having said that, it is high time the Inspector General of Police, Hafiz Ringim, and his team, show some dexterity in their duty. Emphasis should be more on intelligence reports and less on the erection of numeration road-blocks, as if we are a people in servitude. Boko Haram and their linchpins should remeber that, to endanger peace has never, and will never be the best way to state your point!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Tribute To A True Legend, Kanu!

Bidding his final goodbye to the game that had brought him fame and fortune, he fought back tears in a scene that could best be described as completely emotional. Kanu Nwankwo finally hung his magical boots at the Teslim Balogun stadium on the 11th day of June 2011. As he dazzled with the ball for the penultimate time, fans chorused his name and wished he had the legs to spare some more years for the Super Eagles. However, like everything that had a beginning, Papilo's glittering footballing career was bound to come to an end. Players from several nationalities converged to honour the lanky one. Kanu's legacy might have began on the football field, but it will surely not end there. A better part of papilo's fortune, he gave back to charity. Today, he has several foundations and companies that are solving some of societal problems. Despite attaining enviable heights in football, Kanu's humility was a beauty to behold. While his contemporaries lost their heads, Kanu kept his, being the ideal role model for not just his generation, but also for posterity. Little will doubt that Kanu was not a special player. His vision on the field was made of eagle stuff, his movement was unrivalled, his touch was class and his passing was simply clinical. He remains the greatest Nigerian player to have won the most laurels. And to think that there was a time when doctors said he was never going to play football anymore! His career is a tale of doggedness, a victory of will over limits, a triumph for determination over odds, a study of excellence in the face of daunting trails. It is a career that begets inspiration. In the words of Larry King, Take a Bow, Good Son!

The Albatross of Dimeji Bankole

The uncertainty that is power, has again been proved in the murky waters of Nigerians Politics. The travails of Dimeji Bankole is a reminder of how swift one can dwindle from the glitz of power to the incredulous depths of shame. Of how fast one could go from the comfort of luxuries to the discomfort of lack. Bankole's enviable educational background and youthful nature, endeared him to the Nigerian public and made him the epitome of a new era. However, those that percieved the former speaker as a face of change, appears to have been clutching on shadows. His recent ordeals has soiled the image of his dynasty, and it boggles the mind to think that Nigerian politicians never learn. Bankole's immediate predecessor, Patricia Etteh, was ridiculed out of her role as speaker due to a 628 million naira scam she was embroiled in. Yet, not even this recent history held any lessons for Dimeji. In addition, considering the fortune he takes home as salary and allowances, one wonders why his greed wasn't tamed. As his stink permeates the political terrian, his godfathers appears to have deserted him. When he most covets the influence of the powers that be, they have all turned blind to his travails. Though time might still vindicate him, not even Bankole would have bargained for this harsh fate that have befallen him. Is this the making of some cronies he had rudely stepped on their toes, while acting as the speaker of the House? Or is this karma having it's pound of flesh. Only time will tell where this will lead to!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poem: It is time to dream again!

Cuddled by the burden of the past, yet the piercing brightness cannot be a false dawn. Sins of a trobuled land hovers like a cloud, yet the day of atonement screams for recognition. Eyes pregnant with tears, memories tainted with gloom, heart bleeding with no reprieve. Whispers of pains, sours of old wounds and scars of yesterday all conspires, yet the voice finds it message: it is time to sail against the tide, to defy the odds and live the dream. Mind sucking on new conviction, the days of wishes finally lurking around. It is time to dream again. Fasten your will, oil your conviction, massage your hope and embrace your vision, for the land have found a new resolve, the creeks and the vallies have learnt to smile, the mountains and the hills are spurred to reward. Hurrah, the days of lamentations have met their end. No longer will the roads threaten us with death, no longer will power pose a luxury for us, no longer will portable water be a distant dream for us, no longer shall our children toil to get jobs. After epochs in the dark, posterity must know that we lived to see the days when the green white green colours commanded enormous respect. Quit your despondency and dream again!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Exquisite Barca torments United!

It was the kind of night that reminded us all why we fell in love with the game of football. It was called the match of the decade by many pundits, and so it proved to be. Wembly was the turf for two of football's greatest gladiators to battle for size, tussle for glory and contest for a place in the history books. At the end of 90 minutes of glorious art of football, Barcelona had the last laugh, and Manchester United were left to wonder what could have been. It was the old wizard, Sir Alex Ferguson who declared that he knew what went wrong with his team in 2009, after they were outclassed by the immense craftiness and undettered dexterity of Barcelona. Two years later, it is either Fergie learnt nothing, or that he couldn't apply his lessons to twart the sheer class of the catalans. It was an humilating defeat for the red devils. They had no reply to curtail the wonder of Messi, the inventories of Xavi, the creativity of Iniesta, the genius of Pedro and the beauty of Villa. As Barca caressed the ball with a touch that equates sublimity, the likes of Rooney and Vidic toiled in futility. Rooney's equalizer in the first half gave United a ray of hope, but like a false hope, it vanished within seconds. United were held in the awe of Barca's class. At times, they wondered what had hit them. Not even having the advantage of playing at Wembly could salvage their pathetic display. As Fergie delighted in his gum-chewing, he mirrored the image of a man tormented by a myriad of forces, yet had no answers. His 70-year old body began to tell on him, as his heart raced at a pace that beats the speed of light. His legacy remains intact, but his nemesis will always be remembered to be Barcelona. For Pep Guardiola and Barcelona, they are etching closer to that tag of being 'the greatest team ever'. They ooze a class that engage the imagination in perpetual wonder. The luxury of talents in their team beats reason and begs the question: who can match them? Indeed, it was the sought of night that reminded us all why we fell in love with football in the first place!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Premiership Season Waves Goodbye!

The last ten months have been a tale of intrigues, a story of sheer twists and turns, and moments of football at it's finest. The curtain has been finally drawn upon the 2010/2011 Barclays English Premier League Season, and irrespective of the team that turns you on, it has surely been a memorable season. Conventions were brought to it's knees, as Manchester United defied the odds to win an unprecedented 19th league throphy. United's emergence as champions was due to a matrix of reasons. The dexterity of Sir Alex Ferguson, the inconsistencies of their rivals and the sheer will of the team, conspired to make them champions again. For Chelsea, it was a season of regrets. From churning out 'playstation' football in September, they became a bunch of mediocres by December. Not even the record-breaking signing of Fernando Torres could conjure the Champions League trophy. Just hours after the season ended, Carlo Ancelotti's reign as manager was halted. Fate consigned him to the pathetic ending of his predecessors. Indeed, Manchester City was also another team that had an exquisite season. The blue half of Manchester only bargained for a place in the top four. However, their money gave them more. The team finished third, and as if that was not enough to get the party started, the 'noisy neigbhors' also won the FA cup. For Arsenal, it was same old story. In January, the gunners were in all competitors, but by the end of March, their hopes were vanished, and the six years wait for a throphy lingered on. There are a litany of excuses to plead Arsenal's case, but the fans have probably heard them all before. Even Arserné Wenger admitted these flaws in his vastly talented but extremely vulnerable team. Without mincing words, the season was an unmitigated disaster for the gunners. Although the rest of the teams in the league also have their own stories to tell, this was the summation of the top four teams performances. The 2010/2011 season has been a great advert for the beautiful game of football. It has toiled with our hearts at times, it has brought us untold joy at times, it has rewarded us with heartbreaks at times, it has raptured us to the seventh heaven at times, it has made us go bonkers at times. In all, it was superb. We can only hope that next season can beat it, in terms of drama and exictement. Bring it on!!!

Friday, May 13, 2011

The NYSC Puzzle!

Established in 1973, the National Youth Service Corps scheme was the brainchild of then military head of state, Yakubu Gowon. The idea was hinged on the need for national integration and service to the nation. However, 38 years later, the scheme appears to have outlived it's uses, and the amount of criticisms that have trailed it are simply too much that attempting to do a rehash here will be presenting a loopsided picture. The pain in their eyes said it all. Their hearts were torn beyond repair, and untold tears became strange bedfellows for all of them overnight. Hosted in the luxury of Aso rock, they refused to taste any substance. Not even the thought of the president being their host was enough to bring them solace. And after being consoled by rhetorics of how they have become fathers and mothers of national heroes and heroines, a paltry PROMISE of five million naira was doled out to each of them. That was the pathetic story of the families of the slained Corps members. The Corps members were victims of a battered democratic system. The latest uprising in the north that led to their cruel fate has become an issue of national concern. Thus, a mere promise that the pepetrators of the mayhem would be brought to book is one that should be taken with caution. Though a panel has been set up to investigate the issue, this uprising in the north has become one too many. Moreover, if history is anything to go by, then the chances of we seeing the pepetrators being brought before the law, is very slim. What have become of the investigations into the death cases of Dele Giwa? Bola Ige? Funsho Williams? To mention but a few. Without mincing words, the feasible options to solving the NYSC quagmire will be to allow graduates serve in their geo-political zones or for the scheme to be entirely scrapped. What the final outcome of the debate will be remains to be seen. However, for Jonathan and his 22 man panel, this is not an issue to be treated with kid gloves, this is not a case to play politics with, this is not a matter to spare sacred cows. Justice, and only justice will do.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Poem: Where Did He Come From?

Where did he come from? He who touched our hearts and vanished. He who held our moments, he who piloted our vision. In scorching sun, he was like a patch of shade, in screaming rain, he was like a poise cover, in an endless desert, like an oasis, on a bruised heart, like a soothing balm was he. He wandered lonesome as a cloud, he held a dream that our hearts could not contain. He kindled and departed, he sparked and eloped, he dazzled and fizzled out. Before we came into today, he saw tommorow. He dared conventions, altered notions and defied paths. Adieu seems the hardest words to conjure. Even in all your ingenuities, you forgot to wave goodbye, at least, that could have kept our minds abreast of the impending doom, your demise. Now, our faces will wander to find it's smiles, our hearts will stray to find it's sparkle again, our days will toil to find it's rhythm, and our nights must now find comfort in strange hands. Journey in peace, and always remember that our thoughts, our fond memories, our tears, they all travel with you!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Short Story: Nigeria, the beautiful...

Her eyes feasted upon the paintings that graced the wall, a wall that held bitter memories for her, a wall whose sight provoked the formation of tears in her tender and innocent eyes. It was upon this wall that her parents were killed the hard way, in one of the excruciating ethno-religious conflict that occured in her country. That was a score ago, and the battle with the thought had led her away from Nigeria, to find peace in the cold hands of the uncertain. In the land of the skyscrappers, she sought to find love beneath the silky skin of the whiteman. But, all her attempts to divorce herself from reality had only succeeded in compounding her woes. With a conviction that transcends all doubts, she returned home. Her straying imaginations that were trapped on the paintings upon the wall were led back to reality by the taxi driver that flaunted his trade just outside the airport. Dressed in an attire that betrayed his occupation, the taxi driver with immense politeness led her into the car. She marvelled at this courtesy that came from one that was suppossed to be rash. As he drove her to her destination with panache, she was amazed at how the country had changed. From a land she once knew as a haven for everything that was bad, it had now become an el dorado. She wondered at the good roads, the cleanliess of the streets, the orderliness in which the pedestrians conducted themselves, the lighting everywhere. She wondered if her eyes were decieving her, if those sily imaginations were playing pranks on her again. As if the taxi driver was reading her thoughts, he assured her that things had changed in the country since the new transition in governance. As she came off the taxi, the bright sun of Lagos poured it's richness upon her ponytail hair and the fresh air that was once an illussion in the country greeted her tired body. Now, with a resolve that beats scepticism, a will made of stern and a conviction that shocks pessimism, she was poised to be part of the change in her nation, Nigeria, the beautiful!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Broom Revolution In The South West

Known as the progressives, they are tough, they are radicals and in the words of President Goodluck Jonathan, they are rascals. The Action Congress of Nigeria is the new political hurricane that has swept the entire south west region. Lagos, Ekiti, Osun, Ondo and Edo states were joined by the duo of Oyo and Ogun states, as the days of the PDP dominance in Yorubaland became a mirage. This revolution is a testimony to the ideological basis upon which the ACN is built. Unlike the PDP that deals in money politics, ACN has built it's fortress upon the creed of democracy and change. Many might dismiss the party as being too pro-west, but not even the strongest of their detractors can begrudge them their merits. The party parades administrators and statesmen. Men that have walked their way to the top through hardwork, sheer conviction and an exquisite will. From the imperious Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state, to the dogged Adams Oshiomole of Edo state, these men have not bought their reputations, they have earned them. Though Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is a man with his own excesses and flaws, he is also a man of ideology, and the ACN victories could partly be attributed to his enormous influence. Away from the shores of the south west, the PDP must now find new territories to conquer, and in their bid to do this, the odds are against them. The tide of change that has dawned upon Nigerians is one that they certainly will not be able to alter. No doubt, the PDP is still the largest party in Nigeria, but if history is anything to go by, then we know that it is only a matter of time before the East and the North follow the path of the West to demand for a change that has gone belated.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Dora: Bites the dust at last

Dora: Bites the dust at last

The Anambra central senetorial district election was bound to be a centre of attraction after the intrigues and mystries that had previously trailed it. Without mincing words, the major gladiators were Chris Ngige, a former governor of the state and Dora Akuyili, a lady who needs no introduction in the national affairs of the country. The candidatures of the duo was simply outrageous that all other contestants were regarded as pretenders in the race. However, for once in her impressive and staggering career, she is forced to lick her wounds, and the murky waters of Nigerian politics has become a harsh turf for the former Minister of Information. Though the margin with which she lost was very paltry, the truth remains that not even the political influence and potent weight of the incumbent governor, Peter Obi, could salvage her from the cruel fate that has befallen her. Indeed, if ever this defeat will hold any lesson for Dora, it is that getting appiontments is a different kettle of fish from winning elections. For concrete or unfounded reasons, Dora seems to covet a personality that tends to appeal to the hearts of many Nigerians. Be that as it may, popularity in this terrain is not a guarantee for victory in politics. Despite the daunting odds that threatened to tear him apart, Chris Ngige of the ACN showed that he has not forgotten the old tricks that once made him a governor. While his personality will always be shroudded in controversy, Ngige proved that experience still counts in politics. For Dora, she will forever wonder on what could have been.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Gem Called Mourinho

You might love to hate him, his guts might get you infuriated, his style might instill disdain in you and his ego might drive you crazy. Whatever be the case, you can't ignore him. Jose Mourinho has come to become one of the few ingenuities that the beautiful game has produced. A winner per excellence, Jose's rise to stardom is one that defies limitations. From a paltry start as a translator, the Portugese seized every opportunities that walked his path by the scruff of the neck. He led F.C Porto to an unprecedented success and left with nothing else to prove, he ventured into the precarious terrian of English football, where he defeated all the odds to give Chelsea their most glamorus epoch in their entire history. With nothing else to prove, the rigidity of Italian football became a temptation Jose could not resist. While in Italy, his long affair with success continued, winning the first ever treble with Inter milan. Jose refused to walk in the intimidating shadows of his own overwhelming triumphs. Spain was the next water he was poised to taste. Determined to alter Barcelona's dominance, he took up the coaching job of Real Madrid, often described as a poisned chalice for all managers. While the job has not been all rosy for him, he has won a first throphy for the Madrid side for the first time in four years. Surely, it is still early days to confirm his stint in Madrid as a monumental success. However, it will only be the peak of idiocy and a sheer subterfuge of reason to deny that Jose Mourinho is a manager of olympian heights.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

An Election And It's Burden

Just when we thought that the good days are back in our political life as a country, the hostilities that have become a core of our chequered unity came back to haunt us. An election that was adjudged to be the freest and fairest in our country for decades, was marred with sporadic fightings and violence. Perhaps, it was inevitable that President Jonathan will have lady luck smile on him at the just concluded presidential elections. However, his good fortune have been greeted with venom and an hatred that beats sanity. The supporters of the conquered rivals have taken to the streets in the north with a fresh conviction to battle the legitimacy of the polls. The annoyance of many of them is that they cannot understand why a man that has rode his luck in the political terrian of the nation should outrightly win the polls. Some of the claims put forward by these disgruntled individuals are either outrageous or very unfounded. If ever the elections have thought us anything, it is that immense divisions exist in our country. As much as we hate to say it, the painful truth remains that a strong polarisation still persist in our country, and long after the dust have settled upon this inferno, the trobule should once again be revisited.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Chelsea And The Obsession Of The Champions League

The one throphy that Roman Abrahmovich covets remains elusive. It's eight years since the Russian purchased Chelsea football club, and no doubt, he has experienced many successes. However, the one success that his billions appears not to be able to buy, is the champions league crown. This seemingly desperation for the throphy has seen him change six managers since 2004. Even the self acclaimed special one, Jose Mourinho was not spared. Chelsea's latest travails in the competition was inflicted by a Manchaster United team that was their albatross in 2008. That was the year Chelsea were within seconds of lifting the cup. History was on the horizon, but John Terry's boots had other ideas. His panting legs conspired with the harsh rains in Moscow to leave Abrahmovich, heart broken. Now, in 2011, same Manchester United came to hurt the blues again. As the Russian watched from the stands, he embodied the image of a frustrated rich child, who could not understand why all his father's riches could not buy him his most cherished toy. For Carlo Ancellotti, twice he had tried and twice he had failed. He might just be heading the way of his predecessors. His decision to start Torres ahead of the ever potent Drogba seemed costly, and as he looked from the touchline, even his once defiant eye brows, was beginning to sink into uncertainity. Torres must be wondering why the back of the net which he once had a glorious affair with, has decided to desert him when he most needed it. For Chelsea fc, the painful wait lingers on.

Monday, April 11, 2011

The Beginning Of An End In Nigeria

You just know that the times are changing when for once, the political feathers of OBJ have been ruffled, the self acclaimed godfathers are licking their wounds, the once sublime PDP are beginning to lose their invincibility and for the first time in our chequered past, international observers are giving us thumbs up for an election well done. Indeed, election anomalies have been a cankerworm that has bedeviled the nation since it's independence. These anomalies have become of greater trajectory since the dawn of the democratic era. For 2011 elections, it was percieved as a make or break chance for the charade that have become elections in Nigeria. Only a week ago when Jega postponed the NASS elections, many cried blue murder, some called for his head, while others were quick to highlight a litany of Jega's inadequacies. However, with the kudos the elections finally got, Jega has become a national hero. Such is the nature of the Nigerian public, a people that have had to endure a plethora of maladies from those at the political heights in the country. While it is not yet time to sing the lord's song, the signs are surely good. So far, Jega has shown that he is not afraid to step on toes. Big wigs ranging from Dimeji Bankole, Iyabo Obasanjo, Orji Uzor Kalu, Nnamani Chimaroke and OGD, have all lost their bids to be in the legislative houses. This scenerio was hitherto this time, a mirage. Indeed, Jega has started well, but the elections ahead will tell us if the shockers experienced at the NASS elections is only a flash in the pan or a change that have come to stay.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Man United At The Threshold Of History

It has indeed been a strange season. But even in it 'strangeness', the trophy looks to be heading to the red half of Manchaster. Sir Alex and his devils are now the only obstacles on their path to lifting an unprecedented 19 league trophies. In a season where everyone appears not to covet the trophy, a sincerely porus United team through performances that even though had been anything but exquisite, had truly been efficient. The blue half of Manchester, after splashing cash as if it was going out of fashion, may have to linger on before seeing it's dividends. For Tott'Hotspurs, it's either they are mere pretenders, or a work in progress. Champions Chelsea will perpetually wonder how the trophy left their hands. From playing 'playstation' football in September, hard fortunes have been the fate of the blues ever since. For Arsenal, the drought continues, the wait lingers on, and excuses of old still stands. Only in January, the team had four thropies within sight, but as have always been the case with the gunners, not even one appears certain anymore. It is true that United have a busy fixture list ahead of them, but history stands at the side of Old trafford to once again become champions.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Jega: Troblue At First Hurdle

Like a bump on a log, many were indeed dazzed. The despondency that marred the hearts of many Nigerians on a day when they left their abodes to perform their civic responsibility that have in the past been treated with kid gloves, is beyond words. The postponement of the NASS elections till monday by INEC, is an action that have torn the opinions of many Nigerians. Many have been swift to come to the defence of INEC boss, Attahiru Jega. Their reason is hinged upon the fact that instead of doing a shabby job as many in his shoes would have done, he had opted for a postponement to get it right. Moreover, they claim, it wasn't Jega that failed, but those under him. Surely, these are points that could make a case for him, but at a time when we thought that excuses in our electoral affairs have gone extinct, the cankerworm returns to hunt us. At the first time of asking, Jega and his co-horts could not deliver the goods. While it is a truism that he cannot supervise every polling station at the same time, the demands of leadership makes him a sacrifical lamb. This is a bad omen for the remaining elections, and the fears that materials had already gone out before the announcement of the postponement, thus, a leaway for rigging, cannot be dismissed as untenable. Indeed, even at our state of gloom, it a expedient that we give Jega the benefit of the doubt and wait till monday before we write his epitaph. However, one thing is certain, you cannot get a second chance to create a first impression.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Politics Of Debates

As the much anticipated April 9th presidential election hurries to the scene, the inevitable intrigues that hallmarks such periods appears to be here again. There have indeed been much ado about the decision of the top northern presidential candidates to bycott the debate organised by BON and it's assiociates for the aspirants. The trio of Ribadu, Buhari and Shekerau have decided to get their own pound of flesh from President Goodluck Jonathan, after the latter failed to participate in the NN24 debate earlier conducted. With barely two weeks to the polls, it is pathetic that flimsy issues as this is dominating the polity. Aware of running the risk of sounding like a Jonathan's advocate, a critical examination of the quagmire vindicates the PDP aspirant. NN24 it must be said, is a Dstv t.v station and that begs the question, how many Nigerians have such luxury? The president's camp claims, and rightly so, that there is no need engaging in a debate that millions of Nigerians will be denied of being a part of. Moreover, it will be merely dispensing cherished time and needed energy, holding two debates that will encompass the same subjects. It is easy to conclude that president Goodluck is simply fretful to face the occassion, but this assertion will be going beyond the bounds of the issue. Surely, one expect the northern aspirants to be vindictive, but if sentiments are truly dismissed, then the tussle over the issue is unwarranted. Perhaps, what needs to be added, is the fact that participation in a debate is simply a matter of choice. However, it is expedient that the people who they are meant to serve, have a vivid knowldge of their diverse blueprint. Penultimately, the issue of the presidential debates is only making a mountain out of a molehill.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Destiny Beckons For Nigeria!

Beyond the frenzy that was the campaigns, beyond the razzmattaz and intrigues that have accompained the past few weeks. Beyond the crude politics that shenenigans disguised as politicians have engaged in, reality falls upon us once again and like a flash in the pan, the time has finally come. A time entrenched in the sands of time. A time whose demands for change constitues a burden, not only for the battered mind of Attahiru Jega, but for millions of Nigerians. It is not going beyond the bounds of reality to unequivocally say that this is a defining moment in our history. The demands to get it right like never before, is so strong and potent. The candidates have all outlined their blueprints, some fictious, some a complete charade and others, worth buying into. As we flood the polls to answer the perturbing call of destiny, let us drop every ploy and intent to sell our mandate. Let us remember that 50 years is no child's play and how long shall we continue in this path of ruins? Like a change whose has come, we must vote with posterity at heart. Sentiments of what ever mould is only a mirage. Shall we let 2011 be like other years? God forbid! Oh yes, God forbid!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Libya: The end of an uprising?

If signals coming from Libya are anything to go by, then an epitaph is imminet at the graveyard of the Libyan uprising. With events in Tunisia and Egypt acting as a fore-runner, many thought that Libya was bound to go the way of the other two North African nations. But, a revolt that began with so much venom and slight appears to have been brought to it's knees, and the earlier momentum that greeted it seems to have eclipsed. Much to the chagrin of the western world, Gaddafi's feathers might have been ruffled, but they have certainly not been pulled out. It is a charade to suggest that the Tunisian and Egyptian uprisings were similar to that of Libya. In the former, it was simply a change in personnel, but not in the ideological formation. Hosni Mubarak, a stunch apostle of the west, was discovered to have outlived his uses to the capitalist world in advancing their interest in the Arab world. Thus, a change in candidature was formented with a facade of 'public revolt'. Little wonder his former army chief succeeded him. Same could also be said of the Tunisian uprising. However, in Libya, Gaddafi has always been bent on pursuing an anti-western agenda to ensure that his empire does not become a puppet of the west. Indeed, some are of the view that the reason why the Libyan revolt has attracted so much media attention, was as a result of the capitalist world to portray Gaddafi in bad light. This arguement might lack efficacy, but cannot be entirely dismissed as erratic. Though one must outrightly condemn Gaddafi's many atrocities and his inordinate quest to die in power, it appears that there is more to the issue than what meets the eyes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Patience Jonathan: The making of a first lady

A mother par excellence she might be, but there is a crudeness about her panache that betrays her office. Dame Patience Jonathan, first lady of our turf, who like her husband, has rode her luck in the precarious scenes of our politics. It is disturbing that the first lady has become a theme of discourse on several social networking sites and forums, all for the wrong reasons. Her pathetic command of the english language and absurd dress sense has made her a laughing stock to all those that wish to have their ribs cracked. While some might dismiss these claims as a sheer attempt to unsettle the feathers of the Dame, anyone that has bothered to make news and events around the country his or her forté, will agree that the first lady constitues little more than a joke. Some of the criticisms might be extreme, but they are not unfounded. The office of the first lady demands a blitz and razzmattaz of some sorts. Patience might not naturally possess them, but she has to work on it. Her english is certainly not up to scrath, and it will be suicidal to think that this has not occured to her, her better half, and all those that make a living surrounding her. She might not conjure the panache that late first ladies, Maryam Babaginda and Stella Obasanjo commands, but at least she should work on the basics that her portfolio demands and save the country some ridicule.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Obasanjo: A Man For All Seasons

Feared by many, adorned by his contemporaries and revered by his godsons, the wits and poise that Olusegun Obasanjo commands is one that beats the bounds of reality. He might have passed the mantle of power, but for mysterious reasons, he still holds a large stake in the soul of Nigeria. Baba, as he is fondly called, is a character that polarises opinion. What is pathetic is that he has choosen to remain on the scene till he finally kicks the bucket. Unfortunately, this is not ideal for the Nigerian state. In America today, more than two past leaders are still living, yet, not one of them stalks Obama, or make the White House their second home. Bill Clinton and George Bush remains American legends, yet they hardly make the headlines. Ours is a different kettle of fish. Obj makes the news. From the incident of 'i dey laugh o' to the 'madman at the airport scene', down to the intrigues of Ogun state politics, Baba is always at the thick of the action. This perennial act of impudence by a man that has seen it all in the 'farce' that is Nigerian politics, is utterly unacceptable and highly condemnable. We might be a backward nation, but that has not affected our sense of civility. So often, Obj has treated us like babies in need of vivid attention and the sooner the 'powers that be' curbs his excesses, the better for the future of our nation.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Shattered Dreams For Arsenal!

Football can be cruel, but ask the fans of Birimgham, they will tell you to tell that to the swines. Arsenal's long wait for a throphy will linger on and Wenger will probably be left to pounder on what could have been. It was a game that Arsenal were expected to win, but like most expectations we have had of the gunners, they blew their chance and compounded the woes of their faithfuls, who have all desperately tarried for this moment, to lift the carling cup and silence their many critics. The defeat was twice a bitter pill. Arsenal dominated for most of the game, and the goal was one that should never have been. It was odd that the much maligned Nigerian, Obafemi Martins should grab the winner, but such has been Arsenal's ill fate for years now. Yes, Fab and Walcott were injured, but those excuses are over-use and simply sour grapes. Birmingham are not the sought of opposition where Arsenal could use those excuses. Now, with Barca in sight, it is difficult to see how the gunners will pick themselves up from this smashing defeat. God bless the magic of the Carling Cup!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Gaddafi's Downfall: Only a matter of time

Even the mind struggles to accomodate the thought of how one man could hijack the destiny of a nation for 42 years and yet, unleash terror on his people when they ask for a change. Such has become the cruel fate of Libyans, a people that have endured the sting of tyranny, and have for over four decades, nursed the can of worms that a poisned government has brought. Indeed, aware of the antics of the west, even their greatest detractors will agree that Gaddafi might well have bitten more than he can ever chew. As if his 42 years reign of terror was not enough, he is now killing his people at random, with a ruthless verve that betrays reason. No doubt, the fears confronting the self acclaimed 'colonel' are numerous. Not only is he fretful over the precariousness of life after power, he is also afraid of his battered shadow and his numerous sins. While Gaddafi's rule appears like one that will linger for eternity, history reminds us that every tyrant, no matter how sublime they seemed to be, met their inevitable end. Thus, it is only a matter of time before the forces of change becomes too strong that none of Gaddafi's cohorts or his own very instincts could resist it. From Tunisia to Egypt, and now Libya, the song is the same. Like a scalded cat, the hurricane is sweeping fast. Is it only a matter of time before Nigeria sings the same song?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The End Beckons For Carlo Ancelotti!

How things can so quickly change! Barely seven months ago, Carlo Ancelotti's unprecedented strides in English football made him the envy of his many rivals, and ensured that the ghost of the 'special one' was gradually fading. However, seven months looks like a long time ago now, and the honeymoon for the Italian appears to be officially over. Say what you like, winning the league and the F.A cup last season was a feat that the blues truly earned. Not only were they able to crush their rivals with minimum fuss, they scored goals aplenty as if it was going out of fashion. Now, reality seems to have taken it place, and the cracks which some Chelsea faithfuls feared at the bridge, has finally revealed itself. From five points clear to twelve points behind, this is the hard fate that have befallen Carlo and his team. A pathetic run of form that have seen the Stamford Bridge outfit grab just one win out of ten league games, is a fact that beats the mind. Explanations as to why this prolifigacy at the bridge, are polarised. Many points to the controversial exit of Ray Wilkins as a tenable alibi, while others are of the opinion that injury to key players is a plausible excuse. Whichever sides you choose to believe, it does not fully justify the dip in form. Not even the purchase of Torres has changed the fortunes of the blues. For Carlo, out of contention for all the thropies in England, he must now conjure all the ingenuities his impecable experience can muster, and ensure that the blues finally have the one trophy their owner have so coveted, the champions league. Otherwise, he should be ready to use the exit door at the bridge, a curse that has plagued the past six managers of the team in less than a decade.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A can of worms for Sulivan Chime

Some say it is karma, others call it fate, and yet, a few think that all these is simply making a mountain out of a molehill. Whatever conclusions you draw, these are not the best of times for Enugu state governor, Barrister Sulivan Chime. Deep shock struck the camp of the incumbent governor, when his name was delisted from the governorship candidates list of the PDP, released by INEC. Depending on who you choose to believe, details as to why this dramatic event is unfolding, are polarised. Now, Chime, having won in the battle for wits against the former PDP chairman, chief Nwodo, he must now conjure all the dexterities he can muster, if his dream to remain governor come may 2011, is to see the broad daylight. The pathetic thing for Chime is that, he is fighting on so many fronts, and these events might play into the hands of his detractors, and numerous rivals. For the moment, a certain Mr. Anayo Onwegbu is presently parading himself as the legal PDP candidate to contest the polls. It has been said, and not without reason, that the ill fate currently bedevilling the governor might have a link to chief Nwodo, who many believe, is poised to get his own pound of flesh. Only time will tell, what becomes of the aspirations and ambitions of governor Sulivan Chime. At the moment, he could only hope that lady luck crosses his path, one last time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Poem: This Love I Know

I hate days that disguise like they care, moments that pretend that they are memorable. But, this love i know, concieved in the altar of purity, devoid of the vices of life's prank, bereft of the lust of the times. This love i know, that limits are fictions, that possibilities are realities. This little love tank of mine, come and drink, until stupor plays tricks with you, and your eyes in another realm. Yet, your instincts crave for more. But, unlike the drinkard that ends up at the gutter, i find you in my heart. This love i know, away from the worldliness that is Val, free from the madness that is lust. I feel it in my bowels, caressing my fragile heart, with a touch that beats reason, and a smile to scron all frowns. This love i know, it is a love that will always make you mine! Hapi Val people...

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Man-United: Beaten at last

They say some things don't last forever, and even in the trobuled waters of football, this saying holds sway. Some doubted if Manchester United could go the entire season unscratched. However, none could have envisaged that their quest to rehash Arsenal's invincibility of the 2003/2004 season, would be twarted by a team that is rocking the bottom of the table, Wolves. Perhaps, it is this sort of episodes that makes the premier league the most adorned in the world. Though defeated at last, it will take a hard stroke of luck to see them surrender their place at the summit of the table. More importantly, this was a defeat that vindicated the fears of many United faithfuls. A team that constantly relies upon the last legs of veterans such as Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Edwin van der sar, was always going to find it difficult at some stage. The subtle truth remains that United have been able to go undefeated for a larger part of the season, not because they have been vintage, but because of the will and fear that follows the red and white jersey. However, make no mistake about it, this is still United's trophy to lose.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

THE WRITING WORLD OF SAMUEL OKONKWO: The Voter's Registration: matters arising

THE WRITING WORLD OF SAMUEL OKONKWO: The Voter's Registration: matters arising: "While some have sustained untold brusies and endured a long wait, others have been shown the exit door in their various jobs, all in an atte..."

The Voter's Registration: matters arising

While some have sustained untold brusies and endured a long wait, others have been shown the exit door in their various jobs, all in an attempt to get registered for the upcoming April General Elections. With a fortune already invested into the coffers of INEC, it is extremely pathetic to witness so much inadequecies and unprofessionalism. For reasons that will be too polarised to rehash here, a majority of the citizenry are poised to register, and ensure that their votes count. And for all the eulogies about the integrity of Jega, the lapses already witnessed in the ship he is steering, is a bad omen for the electioms. Even with a week extension given, it remains to be seen if a better part of Nigerians will get a chance to register. Having said that, any further extension, would mean an outcry from the majority of students in primary and secondary schools, currently being denied access to their classes because of the entire process. Another intriguing point that has raised eye brows, relates to the driving force behind the convictions of a bulk of Nigerians to register. Surely, sycophants abound; those willing to trade their votes to the highest bidder, yet, cry blue murder when reality finally dawns on them. However, it does not negect the fact that many Nigerians are determined to see that good governance is enthroned, and that the issue of mediocre leaders, becomes a thing of the past. Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Short Story: The Fight For Sleep

It was one of those nights for Him. He haggered Himself out of the clothings that have engulfed Him all day, and poised to make the most of His anticipated rest, but this was not to be. Just when He thought He had won the battle for sleep, flashes which He could not explain, forced His perturbed eyes open. 'The noise must have woken me up', He wondered. A noise, whose roots He could not fathom. He laid on His back, glancing at the fan as they performed their duties. He cursed the night, as if it was responsible for His trobules. Down but not out, He left the bed and went to find fresh comfort on the bare floor. But even this, did not work. Tears began to form in His eyes, as a certain pain came piercing at His fragile heart. It was a tussle for sleep. Yet, this very activity that seemed normal for all mortals, had decided to tortue Him. All His efforts to covet sleep, ended in futility. And as He lay on His couch, He could feel His eyes asking to be shut down. But just then, the cock crowed, to remind Him, that the morning he dreaded has come, and the hell of a routine day must now begin.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Dwindling Fortunes Of Reading In Nigeria

This is certainly not a strange theme in public discourse. But, like most salient public debates in our turf, this issue has often suffered the unkindly fate of being swept under the carpet. Gone were the days, when a book conjured untold vaule for the readers. When reading elicited exictement and real pleasure. But, as it is often said, those good old days are well behind us. Reading, has come to be percieved as a cumbersome venture that is both too tasking to engage in, and extremely unnecessary to call important. Some of the youths tend to prefer hiding under the disguise of the popular cliché that 'times have changed'. It is true that technology has come to facilitate our efficiency and change the way we do things, but, to suggest that technology has come to act as a substitue for reading, is a sheer act of self-deciet. It is even more pathetic that most youths today, have made social networking websites their second home. Indeed, this piece might run the risk of going un-noticed, or even being percieved as mere rantings, and much ado about nothing. But, if this ugly trend persist, then, there is little to convince the mind with, that the future of our country is truly bright.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Racism In Africa: The burden of a continent

By all sorts of names, we are being ridiculed. They call us the 'Dark Continent', they paint us as the 'White man's burden'. And as if these were not enough to bleed the African soul, they call our land 'The Whiteman's Graveyard'. These inimical viewpoints of Africa has been a lingering plague, that has hung over us like a cloud. Only the Heavens knew what the European poet, Rudyard Kipling had in mind, when he called the African 'Half child, Half devil'. The Continent might be in chaos, but we are nothing close to what they make us look like. Is it not an irony of the highest order, that a Dark Continent will produce the likes of Nelson Mandela, Camara Laye, Chinua Achebe, Kwame Nkurumah, Chimanda Adiche, Kofi Annan, and the endless list of men and women that has been a beacon of light to not just their nations, but to the world at large. Having said that, necessity beckons on Africans to help salvage this battered image by getting it right. We will continue to be potrayed as such, when President Gbagbo has refused to heed to the voice of the electorate in Ivory Coast, when Tunisia has made themselves a beehive of political rest. This is the future. Enough is Enough!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

ARSENAL: NOW OR NEVER

The team is still young, injuries to key players, refrees hate Arsenal, it is not all about throphies. Without sounding too critical, these are all over-used excuses Arsenal. Six years have elapsed, since a throphy was last lifted at the Emirates. This throphy-drought have led to fierce criticism and contempt for not just the team, but also for their dogged manager, Arsené Wenger. It is a paradox of the game, that a team like Arsenal, that plays exquisite football, have no throphies to show for it. However, no matter what the detractors say, this has not forced Arsenal and Wenger to compromise their philosophy of football for anything else. But, the fans are getting worried. A throphy, no matter the calibre, is desperately desired at the Emirates. At least, to restore some form of confidence. This season provides a great opportunity for Arsenal to break this spell. The team is presently in the last four of the Carling Cup, with teams such as West Ham, Birringham and Ipswich. Even in the league, they are within reach of leaders, Manchester United. Then, the enormous task of defeating Barcelona in the champions league, not to talk of the wonderful chance that the FA Cup presents. It is a make or break season for Arsenal, and with their destiny firmly in their hands, only Arsenal can stop Arsenal from winning something this season.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Atiku And His Broken Dreams!

Once bitten, twice shy. The unkindly fate of former vice president, Atiku Abubakar is a reminder of how swift one's political fortune can take a nosedive in the murky waters of Nigerian politics. Born to a family of note, Atiku's travails in the political scene has been a story of the good, the bad and the ugly. Things began to fall apart for the Adamawa state indigine, when He couldn't guard His inflated ambitions to become president. This act of impudence battered relations with His then boss, Olusegun Obasango. OBJ, a godfather known for His vindictive and ruthless nature, appeared to have sworn never to forgive Atiku. However, emerging as the Northern consensus party brought a ray of hope for Atiku, but, it was shortlived. The last straw of the camel's back was broken when He was taken to the cleaners by President Goodluck Jonathan, in the PDP's Presidential Primaries. It is pathetic that he even lost in his own state. Indeed, the party that his family helped concieved, has become a nightmare for Him. Now, He is faced with the daunting task of picking the remains of His shattered dreams and forging ahead to a bleak future.