Friday, February 29, 2008

Re: One Nation

I'd like to publicly thank Aba Boy for his post from some weeks back which reintroduced me to Third World's Lagos Jump. I've been annoying my flatmate with it for a while now. Also included in that post is Felix Liberty's Ifeoma. Damn! These tracks took me back to my childhood and BBS, Benin. Nna imela.

A new blogger has stormed into the Nigerian blogosphere and at the very least she makes up for those who have left (
Nkem I still dey vex o), and her first few posts make for engrossing reading. Introducing Silent Screams.

One of her articles, One Nation got me thinking, and I responded to her as below. It is interesting that people are beginning to talk seriously, openly and intelligently about the little issues that divide us, and not just beer parlour kind of knee jerk reactions that end up causing trouble. It is also interesting to note that our 'rotational' system of government which unfortunately sacrifices merit in favour of ima madu may probably be the string that has held us together as a nation. At the very least, each of the major zones of the country has someone in an important and influential position, so we all have to deal with each other on the one hand, and on the other, we all get to have a feeling of being among, no matter how many people crawl out of the woodwork to demand for more. Let's see how it goes post Yar'Adua, but one question I'd like to ask is this: who would have ever thought in 1979 that an Ijaw man could be the Veep?

I will have to take issue with your first sentence because we are indeed one nation, and have been that for almost a century. That the British amalgamated us for their own selfish reasons, and that we were kept together but apart in a brutal divide and rule system for another 32 years after the amalgamation is also a fact. That a lot of our peoples have refused to move forward and accept each other for what we are, human beings, is also another sad fact. However Jinni made a valuable point in his response viz-a-viz the gradual decline of traditional Hausa/Fulani society, which in what is today Nigeria is one of the last frontiers to 'modern' progress. That society will surely crumble, and when it does it would be absorbed into the mainstream of Nigeria.

Think about it this way, 40 years ago people would rather introduce themselves as either a Hausa man or an Igbo man or a Yoruba man. It was a rarity to find someone introducing himself first as a Nigerian before anything else, and that was because of the times (and conditions) that the overwhelming majority grew up in. Nowadays more of our children are growing up in a cosmopolitan mix of the ethnic groups (Abuja, Jos and to a lesser extent Yola and Kaduna in the north, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Benin, Asaba, Owerri and Calabar in the South) and see themselves first as Nigerians, this despite the efforts in many cases of their parents still attempting to indoctrinate them with the old stereotypes. It is from this generation that the personality called the Nigerian has emerged, and with this new personality, we are beginning to see a lot of the traits of eine volk (thanks Adolf), such as a distinct culture that you can call Nigerian culture as epitomised by our music and movies.

What you have to understand is this: old habits die hard, and the people who have profited from the way things are set up and who stand to lose the most if things change are not going to stand by idly and fold their arms. They would do all that they can to prevent those changes from happening. I think, and strongly too, that they are fighting a loosing battle. But those of us who want to see change must realise that a sudden change has never been good for anyone. We must be patient, bide our time, and seize the moments when each one of them presents itself. Habit is habit, not to be thrown out of a window, but coaxed down the stairs one step at a time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

This age thing

This is in response to Aba Boy's post on David Moyes's comments, and is also down to the fact that some people have been trying to pin down Naija's failure at the last Nations Cup to the over-aged nature of our footballers. Hope I haven't gone on a tangent...

That age falsification existed not just amongst Nigerian footballers but in Nigerian society in general is true. That is still exists now is what is open to question simply because of the awareness about it now. I always point to a personal example, the footballer Chinedu Ogbuke. I've heard stories that the boy can't be younger than 27, and when I hear those stories I shake my head. Why is that? Chinedu has an elder brother, Henry, who is two years younger than I am. In between Henry and Chinedu, there are two siblings, who are not twins. I am 28 in a few months, so how is it that Chinedu is older than his brother and sisters?

Again, people always love to knock the Japan '93 Golden Eaglets that included the likes of Kanu as being age cheats. In doing that they forget that of the 288 players that played in that tournament 15 years ago now, less than 10 are still playing active football, and of the 6 who are still active: Kanu and Oruma (Nigeria), Buffon and Totti (Italy), Jankulovski and Sionko (Czech), 2 (Kanu and Oruma) are Nigerians. A few months ago it was 3, but Babayaro is no longer active. My point then is what is the probability that more of the age cheats went on to have successful and longer careers than the 'honest' folk, especially the Argies who cried foul all those years ago?

When France beat Naija in the final back in 2001, people complained about the Naija boys (for the record I think some of them embellished their ages), but seven years down the line, and the only players who have gone on to shine are Tevez and Mascherano from Argentina, and Torres and Iniesta from Spain. The entire Nigerian team has faded away, and we don't hear anything of Sinama Pongolle and Le Tallec anymore. But they had all the best training thrown at them.

We have already started hearing cries of wolf from people about the last set of Golden Eaglets, but people forget one very important fact: take the top three players from that tournament, Chrisantus, Kroos and Bojan. Both Kroos and Bojan already have a head start on Chrisantus in their footballing lives simply because of the kinds of clubs they are in, and not because Chrisantus is 'over aged'. All this over-age cry is just another way of avoiding the truth: we are poorly organised.

Repost: When Silence is not at all Golden

Came across the following articles on some Ghanaian website (links here, here and here). First I must doff my hat to her husband who went ahead with the wedding despite what she went through. I wish them all the best.

What jumped out at me in the three articles was the section below:
When the news came out last year that she had been raped and robbed (before the sodomy confession), many people blamed the rape ordeal on her Promiscuous dressing and behavior. Mind you, imagine a knife being held to your face and being raped twice. The Ghana public should have had more sympathy for this girl.

It is much the same in Naija. A lot of perpetrators of crimes against females go unpunished because of the way our society treats the victims.

Below is the article I wrote some months back about similar attitudes:

Synchronicity is the feeling of two or more events occurring in a meaningful manner at or around the same time, but are normally unrelated with each other, and are inexplicable to the person experiencing them. These occurrences in most cases give rise to a feeling of design by a higher order that something big is indeed about to happen. The concept was first postulated by Carl Jung, and was used to great effect by the Nazis, leading to allegations which the man (he was Swiss) never successfully shook off for the rest of his life.

Personally, Chxta first heard about the concept when Chxta read Jack Higgins's The Eagle Has Landed. According to the book (excellent work of fiction by the way), when the Nazi's successfully sprung Mussolini from arrest, Hitler suggested to Canaris that they dispatch a commando force to kidnap Churchill. Canaris thought it was a bad joke, but nevertheless assigned a member of his staff, Radl to do a feasibility study. Then synchronicity reared its head, and it turned out that an insignificant German agent in some backwater village in Suffolk had provided a dispatch the day before stating that Churchill would be passing through that very village a week from then. 'At any other time, this information would be utterly useless,' says Radl to his assistant Karl, 'but at this time, just after the Führer's request, it is utterly vital.'

That is the concept of synchronicity.

Why has Chxta gone through this round? Well only two days ago, Chxta talked about Chxta's little cousin who got his head broken at school, and has so far refused to speak up against the perpetrator. Chxta finds it instructive that this incident happened on the exact day that Chxta and Chxta's uncle were speaking about the black community's tendency to protect its criminals by refusing to speak with the appropriate law enforcement authorities. Make no mistakes about it, back in Naija, one can understand to some extent the refusal to cooperate with the police given that the Nigeria Police Force is corrupt from top to bottom. In this part of the world however, you are more likely to get justice from the police without having to settle some constable to do his job, hence Chxta can't understand why members of the community refuse to 'rat', thus providing a blanket for criminals to hide and continue perpetrating their nefarious activities.

Well, this strange concept of loyalty has reared its head in another place, the internet forum Naija Ryders.

Now, in Chxta's normal mode, Chxta likes to keep the internet internet, and real life real life. That means essentially that until Naija Ryders, Chxta has not set out to purposely meet people Chxta met on an internet forum in real life (exception being C0dec). However, NR changed all that, and Chxta has met quite a few other members in real life, some of whom Chxta finds extremely agreeable.

On Friday, one of the more agreeable members called Chxta, and it was apparent to Chxta that the girl was distressed. The reason is this: there is another member of that forum whom has been stalking her online. It began in another forum, and according to her, she got him banned there. Then it continued on NR. Fair enough it is the internet, so no worries, especially given that the same fellow treats some other female members in much the same way. Hey, for Chxta it was all part of the fun of being in a social forum (my first subject inspecific forum).

What became worrying however, was that this guy, who happens to be based in Naija began to take his behaviour to another level. He began to stalk the girl in real life. According to her, he obtained her phone number by posing as someone else, he obtained her family home address in Lagos from her website, and visited her family home without her permission. Then he began to text her and call her at odd hours. Some other female members of the forum had earlier complained about the same thing but were shouted down with phrases such as, 'You must have encouraged him'.

Things reached a head when Chxta tried to talk to the fellow in question in private. Unfortunately, the guy not only rebuffed Chxta's efforts, but actually went ahead to publish the details of his private conversation with Chxta. Was he trying to ridicule Chxta? In any event, Chxta's response was to open a new thread detailing all that had happened.


That thread got a large response, but eventually got locked (rightly) and deleted (unfortunately). Why was it rightly locked, and unfortunately deleted?

It was rightly locked in Chxta's opinion because a lot of people came into the thread and began to trivialise the issue on ground. Some making disparaging comments such as 'she must have encouraged him', 'she wants him,' etc. For the sake of clarity, even if a girl gives a prospective toaster the green light initially, when she says STOP, he ought to stop. We should also know when to draw the line between a joke and a serious issue, and invasion of privacy is no joking matter.

It was unfortunately deleted because such things have to be kept as a record. We can be so typically stupid when it comes to such issues. There are certain things that should not be buried in the hope that they would simply disappear. No, they should be kept there exposed for all to see so that they will not come back. Sweeping stuff under a carpet has never in history worked as a solution to the problem. Such things would eventually resurface, and would be more entrenched by then.

Let Chxta make one thing clear here. Chxta has sisters, and were it Chxta's sister that was at the receiving end of this kind of behaviour from some idiot, Chxta would make sure he gets arrested (in the UK), or gets beaten to near death or death itself (in Naija). That is what a lot of the guys who have made light of this issue have refused to think of. What if it were your sister? Then later we would wonder why girls get raped in Naija and refuse to even admit that a crime took place.

In any event, one of the things that has made Chxta so sad in this issue, is the silence of certain people who should know better, and who would have been in a position to clear this thing once and for all. In legal terms there is a maxim that says qui tacet consentit, it means silence gives consent. As is in the case of Chxta's cousin refusing to speak to the police, as is in the case of people who should know better in this issue refusing to speak, as is in the case of rape victims in countries like Naija refusing to report such crimes, their rather deafening silence has given consent to the actions of the perpetrator, AND IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN.

If you are interested in what happened next, the girl in question left that forum, the guy who was stalking her remained for a while until he fell foul of some powerful interests there. It was only then that he was kicked out. As for Chxta, Chxta is hardly a full time member there nowadays, except when Chxta is bored. Chxta has noticed that Chxta learns a lot more from a certain other forum...

Juve watch

The board have written an open letter to those morons in the FIGC demanding a stop to the refereeing shenanigans that are threatening to destroy our season. About time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Super Tuesday: Coming to a theatre near you

The question now becomes this: in the unlikely event that the court concludes that the elections were so bad that it needs to be done again, the sitting president would effectively become a lame duck, and given the amount of time (and resources) that would be needed to go through with the entire exercise, we would be facing an unacceptable period of ‘transition’, essentially an intolerable vacuum that would hamper economic growth.

Source

So the judiciary has finally woken up to its duty and is bringing down our (s)elected public officials left, right and centre, the most recent person to be brought back to Earth is David Mark, erstwhile Senate President.

While on the one hand I believe that the judiciary is doing the right thing, I still believe that it is sadly mistimed. Here's hoping that the verdict doesn't kick Yar'Adua out and plunge Nigeria into a period of chaos.

Mac Air vs Lenovo X300



If I had my way (or do I say the dough), I'd definitely be buying an X300. The X300 is slightly thicker than the MacBook Air, and Lenovo has used that extra thickness to good advantage. While the MacBook Air’s extreme thinness makes it gorgeous, it left no room for an Ethernet jack, a removable battery, a built-in DVD drive or a cellphone modem. The X300 has all these things, either standard or as options, plus three USB ports, compared with just one for the Apple. For me those things are indispensable in a computer.


Juve watch

Why is it that ALL OF JUVENTUS'S LOSES this season have been down to one controversial decision or the other? The latest was yesterday's debacle at Reggina where we were denied a clear penalty at one end and within seconds Reggina were awarded a very debatable penalty!

I am too pissed off to write coherently about it, but the reactions on the Juve live thread on Juventuz, the commentator's reaction on Bet 365 (that's where I watch my Serie A), and the normally affable Gigli's reaction says it all. Why are we still paying for Calciopoli after two seasons and all the other guilty parties including Inter Milan are being left to go?

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Felicidad


Serial international management failure Berti Vogts has quit his job as manager of Nigeria. "I don't have any faith in the president of the Nigerian federation anymore," he deadpanned, returning the favour...


Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Brilliant!

Music made using only the scheme sounds from Windows 98 and XP!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Customer service

My sister went to Naija and came back Saturday...

I went to Heathrow to pick her up, and being female, she had brought back more than both of us could carry, so we had to take a cab. The first few drivers we saw were Naija guys, so being patriotic Naijas, we decided to use one of them. All of them insisted on £40 as the fare from Heathrow to Ealing, so we said alright and picked one. Do you know that this eejit took us to his car, and then told us he was going to pay for parking, then left us in the vehicle for an hour. Because my sister and myself were chatting, we didn't really notice time pass until she asked where the guy was. That was when I looked at my watch and realised that we'd been sitting in the car for an hour. Damn!

At that point, we came down from the car, found a trolley and offloaded her stuff. As we were headed back to the terminal, we saw the guy with another passenger. He had left us in his car, and gone to find another passenger headed in our direction because Ealing is too near so he won't make as much money. We told him we were leaving and he started getting angry, so my own madness came up as well, what rubbish!

Eventually we used an Indian cabbie to Ealing for a metered fare of £35.

I know that that Naija guy would make token noises about how our people don't patronise their own (he had already started heading in that direction during the shouting match), but this is where we get it wrong. How will we patronise our own when they have no idea of what customer service means? How can you abandon your charges in -1 Celsius for an hour because you want to make the trip worth your while? What about the customer?


Juve watch

We beat Roma 1-0 to move to within a point of them in the race for second place and that automatic Champions League berth. Methinks the title has gone to the crooks at Inter now, at this stage in the season 11 points (for Roma, 12 for us) is too much to cover barring a spectacular collapse by the Inter pieces of merda...

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Funniest ish I've seen in a while

Saturn's orange moon Titan has hundreds of times more liquid hydrocarbons than all the known oil and natural gas reserves on Earth, according to new Cassini data. The hydrocarbons rain from the sky, collecting in vast deposits that form lakes and dunes.

Then check the first comment, pictoral evidence below...


Remember Iraq?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Browsers under attack!

It's been a while since I wrote anything tech based. I was going through my Slashdot feed, and the following caught my attention...

IBM has released the findings of the 2007 X-Force Security report, a group cataloging online-based threat since 1997. Their newest information details
a disturbing rise in the sophistication of attacks by online criminals. According to IBM, hackers are now stealing the identities and controlling the computers of consumers at 'a rate never before seen on the Internet'. 'The study finds that a complex and sophisticated criminal economy has developed to capitalize on Web vulnerabilities. Underground brokers are delivering tools to aid in obfuscation, or camouflaging attacks on browsers, so cybercriminals can avoid detection by security software. In 2006, only a small percentage of attackers employed camouflaging techniques, but this number soared to 80 percent during the first half of 2007.

Recommended reading: Viruses and Spyware

Facebook shenanigans...

The New York Times has an article on how Facebook is so sticky it is nearly impossible to get loose. While the site offers users the option to deactivate their accounts, Facebook servers keep copies of the information in those accounts indefinitely. Many users who have contacted Facebook to request that their accounts be deleted have not succeeded in erasing their records from the network. 'It's like the Hotel California,' said Nipon Das, a user who tried unsuccessfully to delete his account. 'You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.' It took Mr. Das two months and several e-mail exchanges with Facebook's customer service representatives to erase most of his information from the site, which finally occurred after he sent an e-mail threatening legal action. But even after that, a reporter was able to find Mr. Das's empty profile on Facebook and successfully sent him an e-mail message through the network. Facebook's quiet archiving of information from deactivated accounts has increased concerns about the network's potential abuse of private data, especially in the wake of its fumbled Beacon advertising feature.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Ostriches or Mosquitos?

"He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him." ---Proverbs 13:24

I have said it before and I will say it again that a lot of our vices as Nigerians were learned from our colonial masters in the United Kingdom, and events in the news constantly bear me out. The difference probably is that since English is their native language, they are masters of using simple words to cover transgressions, while on the other hand we make use of superfluous words, the result it becomes obvious that we on the one hand are doing something untoward, while they appear to be doing things aright.

Good example is the recent case in Parliament where an honourable member, the aptly named Derek Conway was caught in bare faced nepotism, and further investigation revealed that it is common practice in Parliament. There is no doubt in my mind that had his transgressions not been made public, he would still be doing what he does best today. This kind of behaviour in Nigeria is called nepotism, or more colloquially, ima madu. The Brits on the other hand have a very cute name for it. They call it networking. Same difference, I get to a position because of someone that I know. Happens everyday here, no one is dead yet, country is 'making progress'. However, the similarities in our dark nature is not the main thrust of this write up. What I am interested in is one of our sillier similarities, the fine art of burying our heads in the sand.

In the news today was a story about a campaign to ban the 'Mosquito' device. According to the device's Wikipedia entry, the Mosquito is a product made to drive away teenagers from no-loitering zones. You see, teenagers have the ability to hear high frequencies which an older person can't hear because of presbycusis. This device works by emitting high-frequency tones at approximately 17.4 kHz. The tones can definitely be heard by people younger than 20 and almost never heard by people older than 30. It is claimed that exposure to the device has little effect for someone entering a store where the device is externally installed, but the sound becomes very annoying for those wishing to be around the immediate area for longer than 10 minutes. Although it will not force people to leave the area, due to a limit on volume (75 dB) it is effective at deterring random loitering.

The Children's Commissioner for England, Al Aynsley-Green, has started a campaign called Buzz Off aimed at scrapping the use of the device. One of his reasons is that it is discriminatory to all young people, another is that no one knows the real long term effects. He also argues that there are better ways of disciplining young people such as ASBOs. I agree with him in all of his reasoning except his suggestions on how exactly to deal with young people in this country.

I have been a victim of wild youth on the rampage before, and what I see each time I look out of my window is not exactly comforting. All this talk about ASBOs and 'talking to the kids' is not going to help out at all. As Jeremy pointed out in that article: "Yes something has gone badly wrong with parenting in the West. It all begins when little Timmy and Emma are allowed to choose their breakfast cereal from Tescos and start squealing when they don't get what they want - the birth of the little monster begins. Children don't learn table manners (a crucial boundary-setting device historically in the West) and are no longer disciplined for talking back. Its all a bit of a mess. So many people make terrible parents, trying to bring up kids with mom and dad stressed and tired from work, and always-on-tv the babyminder."

The question that arise for me is as follows:
How many of my Nigerian contemporaries would have gone totally haywire were it not for a few well timed slaps?

Hell, Chxta might have ended up an armed robber if not that on more than one occasion my mum tore me a hot one, then reported me to my dad when he returned, he in his turn tore me a few hot ones, and depending on the severity of what I had done added a few lashes for good measure. In my view it is quite simple: when a child (like we all once were) is younger than a certain age (methinks 12 is about right), you can't really reason with such a child. The best way to let him know what is right from wrong is physical discipline. So that he would be afraid of committing an offence not because he really knows why it is wrong, but because he knows the consequences of his committing that offence. As he grows older and his reasoning capacity increases, then the parent can begin to explain to him the why of right and wrong. Respect for elders, something that is fundamentally lacking in this country, isn't something that people are born with. It is put into you as you grow up by setting boundaries and meting out the appropriate punishment as and at when due. That is where the UK has lost the plot.

He's back

Read him here...

Monday, February 11, 2008

Only 3%!

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country." ---John F. Kennedy

First off congrats to the Egyptians for their splendid tournament triumph. They have shown how it is done. An indigenous coach who knows what's up, an FA that is organised, and above all players who know the score. Aboutreka, Zidan and Zaky are names that would be mentioned for decades to come, while Yakubu, Yobo and Olofinjana would be forgotten somewhere along the lines. Mikel and Taiwo still have time...

I am still to get over the shock that in a tournament that Naija participated in, and 99 goals were scored, Naija could account for only 3, and one of them was a penalty kick! We have hit a new low. We needn't have bothered turning up...

There are theories out there which claim that the woeful performance of the Green Eagles is only a reflection of all that is wrong with the Nigerian state. From the first day that idea was pushed out on Cyber Eagles by one of our resident 'Biafrans' there I never agreed with it, and the four semi finalists in the AFCON just concluded bore me out in more ways than one.

This is not to say that there are a lot of things fundamentally wrong with our ability to organise anything in Naija, but relating a national tragedy like the debacle in Ghana to Naija's internal problems is yet another exercise in being an ostrich. Of the four semi finalists, only Egypt is in perhaps a better state than Naija in terms of standard of living and other economic and industrial indices, and we must point out that during the tournament, a Ghanaian (football is over, so they are no longer Ghananese) player had to be flown to Naija for an MRI scan. We heard rumours in Naija as far back as 6 years ago (if not earlier) that Ghana doesn't have power problems anymore (in fact one of those tales clearly stated that Ghana under Rawlings had just celebrated a year of constant power supply), but the Mali-Benin game put paid to those tales. The Ivory Coast has been wrecked by the fight between Gbagbo and the rebels in the North, and a lot of evidence proves that Houphet-Boigny was not exactly the father of the nation figure that legend suggests he was, but yet another egotistic and greedy leader, the kind of which our continent has sadly become infamous for. There is no need to even begin with the kind of crap that Paul Biya has done in Cameroon since 1982!

Despite all of this, there is something that footballers from other African countries seem to possess that our own do not, and that problem apparently affects all of us, we seem to carry our Nigerianess like it is a burden. Watch Mahammadou Diarra or Seidou Keita or even Frederic Kanoute (who wasn't born in Mali). They always play for their clubs with an arm band that has Mali's colours. This applies for the Senegalese players. Ivoirian players celebrate their Ivorianess, as do players from other African countries. Nigerian players? The only time Yakubu Aiyegbeni would want to remember that he is Nigerian is when he is refused a work permit by the Home Office. Then he would start running around to get the same incompetent NFA to bail him out. In another year he would qualify for residency, and after that I sincerely doubt that he would be bothered to turn up for Naija games. In any event he is one very indisciplined bugger as he was axed from Everton's game on Saturday because he apparently got lost in transit between Accra and Liverpool. The man's problem is that plain and simple he has no clue what the word 'discipline' means...

But that 'lack of love' for country is not a problem that affects only Nigerian footballers. It affects us 'mere mortals' as well. When you come out of Norbury train station in South London, there is a Ghanaian shop on the London Road just ahead of you, and on more than one occasion I have seen a large Ghanaian flag drapped out for the world to see. At Wazobia restaurant in Hendon, and Mama Calabar in Wembley, I have never seen a Naija flag. (We can forgive Mama Calabar as it is now run by a Ugandan). In much the same way I see people from other African countries proudly flying their national flag on occasion but a lot of Naijas don't even have a flag. I was a rare Naija flag during the Hogomany celebrations a while back. Why?

My best guess at the moment is that for the average Naija person there is a god which as far as we are concerned is higher than such 'base' things as country: self.

The average Nigerian (and that includes our footballers) is far more interested in being the personal top dog, being the biggest boy around, even if it is to the detriment of others around him, hell, even better if it is to the detriment of others around him so that he can oppress them with his status. How else do you explain a student of History in the university telling you that his aim is to work for an oil company (undoubtedly the largest salary earners in our skewed way of doing things)? He wants to hustle and get himself into an oil company where his skills aren't needed because he wants to be able to show off to those around him that he is a big boy. And this same mentality affects our footballers. Our footballers like ourselves have no clue as to what truly matters in life, which is what you leave behind. If they did, they would put in a lot more effort into their national team football.

I was livid when before the Nations Cup our team captain Joe Yobo and his Everton accomplice Yakubu Aiyegbeni failed to turn up in camp on time because they wanted to get Everton into the final of The Carling Cup! Two things: 1) what the fuck is the Carling Cup as compared to the African Cup of Nations? 2) after all said and done, did Everton get to the Carling Cup final? Has anyone ever wondered why people like Ryan Giggs and George Best are football legends only in the English speaking world, and even at that, only to the 'limited' fanbase that Manchester United offers? It is because they didn't make it in the international game. The reason we know them is because the English are good at hype, but nevertheless, the legend of George Best for example is already on the wane. The legend of Pele on the other hand is not. Neither is the legend of Diego Maradona. And the legend of Zinedine Zidane is assured. The common denominator here is that their legend status was achieved in their national colours, gold for Pele, blue and white stripes for Maradona, and blue for Zizou. Yet these men all had vastly more successful careers than Yobo and Aiyegbeni. Can anyone remind me what George Weah is best remembered for? Yes, you got it. His dedication to duty in a Liberian shirt! What of Nwankwo Kanu, a fellow Nigerian? He is the most decorated African footballer ever, even has more medals than media darling David Beckham, but people don't remember him for his Champions League win with Ajax, or his EPL wins with Arsenal. People remember him as the bloke who took down Brazil on that day in Atlanta 12 years ago...

While we are on the subject of 'over achieving' Nigerian footballers, Dan Amokachi is remembered not as the guy who scored the first ever UEFA Champions League goal, neither is he remembered as the guy who helped Everton win their most recent trophy, but he is remembered as Nigeria's bull.

As I said earlier, this is a Nigerian thing, not limited to our footballers, and that probably is where we have gone wrong as a nation. No one is interested in doing things for the country, no one is interested in leaving a legacy behind (except perhaps Olu Obasanjo), and that is the problem. From my point of view it is rather simple: if you acquire all the wealth in the world, one day you will die and leave it all behind, then people would forget you. You'd have made no impact. On the other hand if you in your own little way do things that make people happy, and manage to touch the lives of thousands, or if you are lucky millions, you will never be forgotten. The analogy I always used was this: no one remembers Croesus, but everyone remembers Cyrus the Great.

Just a thought.


Juve watch



Our season appears back on track after recent slip ups. Meanwhile I find it interesting to note that that most anti Juventus of all newspapers, Gazzetta have published a 'corrected' Serie A table in which all the questionable refereeing decisions of the season were taken into account. Juve tops that table which you can view here. I now find myself agreeing with conspiracy theorists who feel that the Italian establishment is out to make sure that for this season at least, la vecchia Signora doesn't win the title because it would make them look stupid for relegating us in the first place. How else do you explain that again yesterday Inter won their game as a result of poor refereeing decisions?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

End of an era

It's funny how the predictions I made here came to pass. Methinks this Ivory Coast team has gone as far as it will ever go. Sad they didn't win anything as a group, but such is life. So long and thanks for all the fish.

Why I hate Cameroon

Very simple reason: they are terrible guests. Cameroon more than any other nation has knocked more hosts out of the African Nations Cup...

Alright, hate is a strong word, but I have a very grudging respect for them. To my Cameroonian friends, Tina and Uruo, congrats.

The 'rule of law'

Got the following email from a forum I belong to. I've had it for a little over a week and still can't verify its authenticity, but given the fact that Lord Yardy ordered that the Kogi speaker be sworn in as acting governor with immediate alacrity, and that he has also backed the removal of the immunity clause, I felt that I should publish it for y'all to read.

The following questions have to be asked: is this man just playing to the gallery? Does he believe what he is saying? Does he have it in him healthwise to see it through? But most importantly in my opinion, does he have the will to see it through?

And that question is especially important given the kind of attorney general he has. Is Aondonakaa trying to stop the EFCC's crusade from becoming a monster? Or is he trying to sabotage it?


Recommended reading: Solomon Sydelle's Person of the year 2007.
...................................................................................
Dear Chaps,

As you know the President of Nigeria has been in Switzerland meeting in Davos (Switzerland). I had the pleasure of honouring an invite by the Nigerian Ambassador to attend a dinner in honour of the President. The following is my personal experience.

Yardy walked into the room about 30 minutes late due to traffic problems. There were already mumblings about African Time etc. I feigned disinterest but deep down I wanted to see the man behind a million photos. The man who Ohai had almost bored me to death with his daily (oft misdirected) invective. The man who I now called Yardy even though I hadn't a clue who he was. As the room quietened down, I noticed the green uniform of his aide-de-camp and then in he camp. We stood as a sign of respect and I looked at this man, who walked with a slight limp and didn't look the healthiest amble his way into the room. He was followed by a coterie of minister. He took his seat and looked around. I caught his eye as he was less than a meter from where I was and he nodded (or I imagined he did !) and then sat down. After the normal welcome address by the ambassador, Yardy got up to speak. He started slowly, unscripted and you had to concentrate to understand his Hausa accented English. His grammar was perfect, his concentration unwavering. I found myself nodding as he addressed all the known problems in Nigeria. He spent a while on the "respect for the rule of law", before moving on to his seven step program.

Somewhere during his speech, I stopped being a cynic. This man really believed what he was saying. The problems of Nigeria are in the main caused by endemic corruption he said. There will be no broad-brush solution. Any solution would have to follow the "rule of law" he said to groans from all those attending. He noticed this and explained the whole issue of the "rule of law". Democracy cannot survive if the "rule of law" is ignored, even in exceptional cases. There should be no-one above the rule of law, not even he, the president himself. I smiled inwardly as he said this and embarrassingly for me he noticed and pointed to me asking why I was smiling. With my left leg trembling, I stood up and said that it was very difficult for me sitting there in this cosy environment knowing that the president's mandate was based on one of he most corrupt rigged elections in the history of Nigeria and we were now talking about the rule of law. He didn't smile and I could see the Ambassador looking at his feet. I suddenly had damp armpits.

Yardy looked at me and I quote, "I understand your comments. Even the President of Switzerland asked me last night about the electoral processes in Africa. What I will tell you as I have said many times is the rule of law will apply to me too. If the courts in Nigeria uphold any challenges to my election, I will respect them. I had a life before I was President and I will have one afterwards. While I am here however, we will try to improve some of the damage that has
been done in 50 years of misrule and that starts by getting ALL Nigerians to respect the "rule of law"."

I said "thank you, Sir", and he continued with the rest of his speech.

After dinner, we had a little tête-à-tête networking and I got asked the question by one of his ministers if I would consider working in Nigeria. I thought back to my post on here a few hours before and smiled inwardly saying "it depended on what I was asked to do".

I got home with a different view; having had the fortune to meet Obasanjo a few times over the years, having lived next to Abacha when he was GOC, 2nd Infantry Division and having met a couple of IBB's children in the line of my work here in Switzerland. I can tell you something now which is not hearsay. This man Yar Adua IS different. I doubt he will succeed as I am not sure he has the health or stamina to see this through but he definitely has his heart and mind in the right place.

Btw, I would have added some photos and video but the functionality is diabled on this group.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Two nuns

Saw this somewhere, hehehe...

There were two nuns..

One of them was known as Sister Mathematical (SM) , and the other one was known as Sister Logical (SL) .

It is getting dark and they are still far away from the convent.

SM: Have you noticed that a man has been following us for the past thirty-eight and a half minutes? I wonder what he wants.

SL: It's logical. He wants to rape us.

SM: Oh, no! At this rate he will reach us in 15 minutes at the most! What can we do?

SL: The only logical thing to do of course is to walk faster.

SM: It's not working.

SL: Of course it's not working. The man did the only logical thing. He started to walk faster, too.

SM : So, what shall we do? At this rate he will reach us in one minute.

SL: The only logical thing we can do is split. You go that way and I'll go this way. He cannot follow us both.

So the man decided to follow Sister Logical.

...........................

Sister Mathematical arrives at the convent and is worried about what has happened to Sister Logical .

Then Sister Logical arrives.

SM: Sister Logical ! Thank God you are here!
Tell me what happened!

SL : The only logical thing happened. The man couldn't follow us both, so he followed me

SM : Yes, yes! But what happened then?

SL : The only logical thing happened. I started to run as fast as I could and he started to run as fast as he could.

SM : And?

SL : The only logical thing happened. He reached me.

SM : Oh, dear! What did you do?

SL : The only logical thing to do. I lifted my dress up.

SM : Oh, Sister! What did the man do?

SL : The only logical thing to do. He pulled down his pants.




SM: Oh, no! What happened then?

SL : Isn't it logical, Sister? A nun with her dress up can run faster than a man with his pants down.

And for those of you who thought it would be dirty,

Say two Hail Marys!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Sack Berti now!

A man up for the last 30 minutes. And Berti Vogts failed to make the substitution that would have won us the game.

In other news Chxta is temporarily moving out of his flat. His next door neighbour is from Ghana.

I don dey shake...


Just over three hours to kick off...

The logical part of me states that it would be a tough game with Ghana favourites to win, the sentimental part of me has only one thing to say: UP EAGLES!!!