Thursday, October 30, 2014

Turning victory into defeat

About this time a few weeks ago, our army was turning things around in the battle against #BokoHaram. Then, without any warning, a "ceasefire" was announced, from one side, the side which to all intents and purposes, had the upper hand at the time. Following this "ceasefire" announcement, we were informed that some of our missing girls would soon be brought home. What has happened instead has been beyond the imagination, if you are a mammal. In Nigeria on the other hand, it's routine. The girls are not home yet, but would instead be marking 200 days as sex slaves tomorrow, while #BokoHaram has been widening the frontiers of their Caliphate. Mubi, the second largest town in Adamawa state, a mere three hours drive from Yola, the capital, fell to the terrorists yesterday. Oh, and lest we forget, the evil men have been taking more maidens...

But it's not just doom and gloom that the Nigerian imagination is capable of throwing up. Young Dayo, a few weeks after being slapped around a bit by some irate church members, was present in court yesterday to hear how same church members were very well behaved following the Wall of Jericho affair in Ikotun. But hey, suspension of reality is a good starting point in the process of wishing problems away.

Thus it is that two years after four young men were necklaced by an irate mob in Aluu over a debt, they have, well, their memory has been forgotten, or do I say, suspended.

Bits and Bobs
  • Today's morning tonic is not all bitter tasting. Nigerians love our Prez so much, so we have donated the money for his nomination form. Now THAT is commitment.
  • Tolu Akinbode of no fixed address and no known source of income decided that police custody was not to his tastes. He has ended up in Kiri-kiri instead.
  • Some workers in Edo state have had it with doing five months of pro bono work.
  • And for those of you who love a good show, enjoy this clip of the fisticuffs that APC members engaged in at their shindig in Abuja yesterday.
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014

    Changing lanes

    Oh to be a Nigerian politician. What is there not to envy in the job description? The adulation of a loving public? Check. A cosy, extremely well paying job? Check. Access to the best health facilities anywhere on Planet Earth? Check? Extended holidays for up to half a calendar year? Check. And the ability to change bosses when you feel like it, with almost zero consequence? Heck yeah! Of course, big gavel Tambuwal's sashay across the political divide did not come as a surprise to those who have been watching his winks and smiles over the last few months. What came across as strange was the strangely muted reaction from his former colleagues. Could it be that they are not so bothered because they never know when another defection will come in handy?

    Also strange is the lack of reaction, so far, from the PDP over the Lagos council yawa. See, a few years back, there were elections in Lagos who's results did not quite go as were expected. Then things changed. Then the, err, right guys got sworn in. But the undercurrents are still very much the same, so from a political viewpoint, it makes sense to err, have caretakers in charge until that small matter of a governorship election in February is out of the way...

    And that's the way the cookie crumbles in these parts, our politics is not about service, but about who, and how to, get access to the pie. Thus it is that this gem from Chikwe Udensi, who wants to change lanes from local leadership to state leadership, is our quote for today. Shortly after parting with the mere change of N2 millions, Udensi said, and this must be read in an Ngwa accent, "Only a microscope can show what Ochendo has done in Abia state."

    Bits and Bobs
  • Lest we forget, the inquest into the wall of Jericho affair at the Synagogue is quietly rumbling on.
  • And since we are on that, someone has taken the liberty to examine how those walls came down. Spoiler alert, it was not Hebrews blowing trumpets.
  • An unnamed, retired father of six in Asaba decided to get fresh with, err, some harlots (I've not heard that word in almost a decade). N2.3 millions later, and he's wondering what all the fuss is about.
  • Despite threatening to end their lecturer's life, Yabatech confra-boys, Tayo and Kehinde were let free to try again for the price of ten crates of Star beer.
  • Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    Structural adjustment

    Uche Chuta, better known as "Nnabros" to people of a certain vintage, is a youngish man, running, or pretending to run for the office of governor of Abia state. I say "pretending to run" because as far as I know, he does not have the means to get himself a nomination form, except of course, if he gets some godfather to purchase one for him, or err, take a bank loan. But nothing to worry about Uche, you are in good company. Why, even some of our esteemed gavels have looked into their piggy banks, and have started to shriek about the costs of nomination forms.

    But then everyone and their dog knows that we need some structural adjustment of our politics because the direction we are headed is very unsavoury. The question is, do we need structural adjustment of our economy? Well, the Ichafo seems to think so. Maybe our economy does, but given our past experience on "structural adjustment", not a few of us will be a bit queasy about this.

    Speaking of queasy situations, and the #BokoHaram thing appears not to be going away any time soon. A 63-page report by do-gooders, Human Rights Watch, makes for gory reading. Many of the abductees of #BokoHaram described how they were assaulted, raped, and forced into marriage after being made to convert to Islam. Yet, these are the people we are running after to make a peace that they clearly do not want...

    Bits and Bobs
  • A bus conductor was slapped into the afterlife by irate LASTMA officials. Then all hell broke loose.
  • Abiodun was entrusted with a pot of soup, then hunger made him misappropriate it. So he will serve some time.
  • Nigeria's football needs some structural readjustment lest it keep giving the world a headache.
  • Finally there is, it is claimed, a good side to the #Ebola epidemic. It's keeping Liberians honest.
  • Monday, October 27, 2014

    The danger of complacency

    There is absolutely no doubt that Nigeria did a great job in curbing the menace of the Ebola Virus Disease. What is a worry however, is the following doomsday scenario: buoyed by the news that Nigeria actually knows how to manage, and cure people with Ebola, thousands of at-risk people in the afflicted countries jump into the nearest mammy-wagons and head east, to Seme. The question becomes, what will they meet at Seme? Well, young Dayo went down there to find out, and found that they'd be able to literally trek across our border with only two tired health officials keeping a disinterested watch...

    But then again, Ebola may not be our most serious problem at the moment. There is the issue of all of us being expected to queue in front of white boxes in a few months, and selecting what captain will navigate the ship of our state(s) through stormy waters for four years thereafter. The build up to this queuing exercise is getting rather heated, and following a rather mouthy session by a former chum, people have reacted on the Prez's behalf, and told Broda Rotimi that, "The immunity which [you] currently enjoy notwithstanding ... be under no illusions: A day of reckoning will surely come when [you] will answer for all [your] actions and false allegations".

    So, while Chxta is sure you'll agree that these, err, beating drums of war are a big problem, Chxta is also sure that you'll agree that these, err, beating drums of war are not our biggest problem. Now consider this: Nigeria, currently has an unemployment rate north of 30%. Consider that not counted in that unemployment figure are okada riders, since they, err, earn an income. Consider that a lot of these bikes were distributed to these people as, err, a part of "poverty alleviation programmes". Now, someone wants to delete the entire bike parade in Nigeria. To be honest, I'm no fan of bikes and their riders, but just the thought of banning them with zero alternative employment opportunities is ridiculous.

    Bits and Bobs
  • Two weeks and counting after appointing a special adviser for "stomach infrastructure", my new best friend has finally gotten round to thinking it through.
  • Ejiro Gbenedio was not the most engaged student in his class. However social activities were his first love. Sadly, when he emerged for one of them, someone put a bullet in his head.
  • Ikechukwu was scared of others getting to know his three daughters before he did, so he knew them first.
  • Speaking of unemployment, there are 90,000 potential new okada riders on the move.
  • Friday, October 24, 2014

    New laws

    One of the little things that interrupted this morning tonic for almost 60 days was the location it is typically sent from. You see, when the rest of the world sees a Nigerian IP, all sorts of schemes come to their minds, hence you cannot go shopping on Target.com for instance, if you are in Nigeria. It turns out that there was no real incentive for cyber criminals not to practice their arts because our laws were, well, our laws. Finally, it may just be that our gavels are waking up from their slumber. A new law being proposed will see, if passed, convicted cyber criminals go away for seven years to think of more creative ways to make money. Whether it will be enforced if passed, is another matter. But let's have it in the books first, as well as new laws regarding offline pilfering...

    A potential problem with this new law though is that it may create a rash of unemployed, and sometimes unemployable youth to add to a jobs market which is already bursting at the seems. Well, to my mind, the next place they'd all make a beeline is politics. Frankly, the rewards of being a politician, in this err, geographical expression, tends to be far more than the rewards accrued from sitting in front of a computer and trying to get a maga to bite. However, for better or for worse, we do need more young people in our politics, and it appears that at the moment, only the PDP is taking that cry seriously.

    Sadly though, it's becoming clearer that if you're a young person, and resident in the north-eastern part of this land, you have two choices: either you hightail it out of there, or failing that, you have two choices: if you are a bloke, you get your throat slit, if you are a maiden, you become a, err, comfort woman for an evil man. Another two dozen maidens were taken away to add to the already brimming #BokoHaram harem. Now consider this - following a missing students scandal in Mexico, the governor of Guerrero state, has stepped down. A good example for Kashim Shettima? Oops!

    Bits and Bobs
  • Awwal Umar, a student union leader in the Abuja area, was shuffled off the mortal coil after being defrauded of the little amount of N7 millions. While Chxta prays that the Almighty grants him access to Jannah, Chxta also has to ask how a student union leader came to access such a princely sum.
  • Big brother Nigeria is sending hundreds of "volunteers" to help our Ebola hit neighbours. Chxta is torn between being a good neighbour, and remembering that these guys were not grateful for ECOMOG.
  • One reason Chxta likes Ayo Fayose is that he will provide Chxta a rich source of material for the next four years. In today's instalment, some of his friends have accused the Jagaban of throwing N800 millions into a toilet.
  • Women in South Sudan have hit on a novel solution to end their continuous civil war - deny their men of sex...