Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Grief is like a long, winding tunnel whose entrance is closed behind you, and the only way out is to go through it.
But to get through, you need to find that light at the end of the tunnel.
To me, that light was to free myself from those who have walked out on me, and pay more attention to the people and life I have here and now.
What I have learned is that in life, there are no endings, only new beginnings.
Wednesday, October 24, 2012
On to less important news, and the iroko of Ondo as he is wont to be called nowadays has won a second term as governor of that state. Mimiko fended off a spirited challenge from the PDP and ACN candidates to emerge as the favourite for another bite at the cherry. Here's wishing him congratulations, and reminding him to try even harder than he did in the first four. Not that Lai Mohammed of the ACN will agree.
But probably Mr. Mohammed may just have other worries as he spies the rest of the country from his hilltop home as the Ministry of the Environment has informed us that more floods are on the way. Just in case the last batch did not get you, well, here's your chance to catch up on some of those snap swimming lessons, as well as help your state become a Category A state which will not happen if you had too much sunshine.
Sadly though, sunshine is something that the football fans in Lord Mimiko's state won't be having for a while yet as their darling football team, Sunshine Stars were comprehensively dimmed by Egypt's Al-Ahly in last night's CAF Champions League semi final. And don't let the 1-0 scoreline fool you, anyone who watched that match will tell you that Sunshine were blocked by fog for large sections of it. "It was like the Egyptians had a highway through the centre of Sunshine's midfield," whimpered a bespectacled radio presenter on his sports show this morning.
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NEPA staff, fresh from celebrating Prof. Nnaji's ejection/voluntary withdrawal, have set their sights on a new target. They have told the government that any attempt, or group of attempted attempts, to hand over the power company to its new owners will be met with stiff resistance. "How will the government raise the
Senator Ahmed Khalifa Zanna cut a worried figure shortly after he received a text summoning him to the SSS dungeons for a tête-à-tête with the resident torturer. His impulsive response was to deny his sister's son. Nothing to worry about Sir, your fellow Senator, Ali Ndume was accused of worse, and he will be taking a look at how to increase allowances in the 2013 budget with you.
And in a case of stating the bleeding obvious, the head tracksuit at the Ministry of Sports has informed us that corruption is inimical to sports development. While we'd like to point out that his statement encompasses just about everything including sports, we'd rather sit down and await the next NFF jersey who will be outed by those pesky hacks at the Times of London.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Skilled manpower is at a premium in Nigeria as anyone who has tried to build a house will tell you. The lines are never straight, and the crevices leak at the first sign of rain, and that's just scratching the surface. In this report, Godwin Akanfe examines why it is so, and comes to a stunning conclusion: our artisans are ill-educated.
We may or may not agree with the conclusions reached in that feature story, but we will almost definitely agree with anyone who concludes that some PENGASSAN suits are either ill-educated or worse still, plainly full of mischief. Sanusi Abdulkarim, a PENGASSAN babariga in Kaduna told us yesterday that the current petrol hardship, which has put some of us in long queues for hours on end, is as a result of, panic buying. He went ahead to admonish Nigerians to stop raising false alarms over what we have sufficiently in the country.
Funny enough, we agree with Alhaji Abdulkarim, and are very grateful for his honesty. This is because the ironically funny (and bitter) aspect of our petrol situations whenever they happen to occur, is that you can find petrol to buy with young, unemployed men, usually just next to petrol stations. Maybe if they were better educated, they'd be building houses with straight lines, and not be either selling fuel, or looking desperately for ways to get out of the country.
Such was the lot of seven hair dressers who were so desperate to leave Nigeria that they were quite willing to go to the Ivory Coast and brave the Laurent Gbagbo vs Alain Ouattara fiasco there. Unfortunately, the aptly named Elizabeth Love who was to provide the dryers they would work with once settled in Abidjan, turned out to be a "big pimping". The girls were instead required to service some lecherous Ivorian men. Sadly for her, happily for them, a Nigerian pastor intercepted them, and because the justice system in the Ivory Coast still works, she was not lynched, but rather sentenced to break rocks for the next ten years. How's that for a happy ending?
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A survey by Patience (not Dame Jonathan) has shown that the latest attempt by the Lagos state government to get okada off the roads is not exactly helping commuters in the state.
Tomorrow's election in Ondo state will have 7000 extra bodies to either help with either ballot box snatching, or preventing ballot box snatching. Of course depending on how well hosted they are this night. Oh, by the way, we will be providing you with live coverage of #OndoDecides tomorrow.
Fresh off from having a meal of danwake, that Hausa stuff that looks like cow dung, Mazi Nwonwu thinks that choosing a leader in Nigeria is like eating danwake. In the background, Baby Ed wonders whether Mazi's danwake was laced with a potent herb from Kwale.
Do have a great weekend, and see you on Monday.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Moving on from a tale of alleged wickedness shown towards a have-not, to the tale of a definite-have who in a round about way is a have-not. Our First Lady touched down in Abuja yesterday, fresh from her "moment's rest" in Germany. She immediately proceeded to speak with the large crowd gathered on the tarmac waiting for her conquering return, and assured us (through them), that she had never heard of that hospital in Germany where it was rumoured that she had been in. She then thanked her "staffs" and "the man on the street" for standing by her throughout her six week "moment's rest".
A moment's rest is probably what the ichafo in charge of our economy will be praying to the Almighty for. The attacks simply refuse to stop coming. First, the legislators, fresh from their latest two month "moment's rest" have made it quite clear that they are not impressed with her pegging next year's budget at $75 to the barrel of crude, she replied that $75 is quite a good figure, and now, the Fiscal Commission is placing the blame for poor implementation of the 2012 budget squarely on the laps of her ministry. "Ministry of Finance does not keep to time," moaned FRC blazer, Sylvanus Mordi to a committee of carving knife sharpening legislators. Expect cuts in the 2013 budget, right after the legislators return from their next "moment's rest".
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The JTF is upping the ante against Boko Haram is that almost forgotten war in the north-east quadrant of our country. Following a shoot out yesterday (they always seem to win those), they recovered a cache of arms.
Good news for those of us who think that Nigeria does not have internet. The FG is to sell fixed-line licences next year. Expect internet services that remind us of GSM services soon.
ElNathan is back from his week abroad with various NGOs, and he has learned a lesson or two from them. He sets down those lessons on paper for us.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Floods have been in the news a lot recently, and as a matter of fact, one analyst claims that 30% of Nigeria's total land area currently resides under water. While here at Times Square, we won't stick our heads out for this particular analyst, we doubt that the people of Otuoke, that little village in Bayelsa state that produced our current President will believe that the analyst is wrong. 100% of their lands are currently under water, and that includes the President's country home. Such a scary scenario, that the government of Lagos state has had to come out to reassure us that it is prepared for flood emergencies. "We are prepared for emergencies, we have learned from the past to prepare for the future," Dr. Oke-Osanyintolu, a LASEMA rain coat hooted, as Iya Seriki emptied her trash in the gutter behind her house...
Yes, we know that emptying trash into gutters is a huge problem, not just in Lagos, but in Abeokuta as well. However, hearing about people emptying trash into toilets is a new one. And no, we are not talking about water cistern toilets here. We are talking pit latrines. Not so for an unnamed 46 year old however, who was so disgusted at the filth coming from his wife's mouth during an altercation that he chose to empty her into a pit latrine behind their house. Sadly this story will not have a happy ending either way you look at it, as Mrs. X was shuffled off the mortal coil by her husband's stupidity, while Mr. X is now a guest of the Ogun state police.
And speaking of state guests, Coxson Lerebori Lucky is now a guest of the police in Rivers state. You see, just over a week ago, Coxson was approached by four young men over a debt he allegedly owed one of them. Rather than face up to his debt and pay up, or at worst plead for an extension of repayment time, he chose to scream the following words, "Ole, ole". Four hours later, the four young men were dead. We know them as the Aluu 4. Coxson is one of 22 people currently cooling their heels in detention over that lynching, and all we can say to the police is "good job".
Sadly though, while congratulating the police with one hand, we are going to join the ANPP in dishing them a blow with the other. Remember that a girl was shot by a policeman in Abuja last week? ANPP parrot, Emma Eneukwu has actually gone one further to give us a litany of sins of the Nigeria police.
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For those of you master bakers, cassava bread is finally here. You can find out more about how to get trained in producing the stuff by going to a branch of the Ministry of Agriculture near you.
Expect more stay at home students at some point in the future if our teachers decide to beat the well worn path of strikes. Education suit, Nyesom Wike has told us that the FG does not have the cash to pay the chalk holders an outstanding allowance of N1.44billion.
Super Eagles legend, Dodo Mayana is out of coma and is getting well. We thank God for him.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Someone who can definitely count himself as worthy of the name though is our President. What with his meteoric rise to power through a series of well chronicled events that can only be described as lucky? Whether his luck will continue and keep him in power for x number of years is anyone's guess, but if it is left to PDP chief, Angus Uzoamaka, the luck should continue. For another six years. Please pass us that vial of fresh air.
You see, we will need the fresh air to breathe properly following the rather ludicrous claim by Lanre Ajanaku, a lawyer, that Prof. John Obafunwa, a pathologist of some repute, who also happens to be the top coroner in Lagos, stabbed the corpse of Titi Arowolo after the fact. The late Titi's husband, Kola is standing trial for her murder, and L.Ajanaku, being a good lawyer, is trying to get his client off. Obviously, the initial theory of suicide would not fly being that even if she were a masochist, Titi could not have stabbed herself 76 times. So while we are still choking, L.Ajanaku has to find a new scapegoat...
Hand washing has been fingered as the scapegoat in the rather high annual death rate of kids under age five in Nigeria. The UN's body for kids in a statement released yesterday said, "the very simple act of hand washing with soap can save hundreds of thousands of children who needlessly die every year ... in Nigeria, diarrhoea kills some 194,000 children under five every year ... 88 per cent of the diarrhoeal deaths are attributable to unsafe water, sanitation & hygiene world-wide." Time to reach for that bowl of water and cheer up. After all, the oil is still flowing despite an abundance of water.
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Smarting from a rather high level of criticism over the crude oil benchmark proposed in the 2013 Budget, the Minister of Finance has sent us a statement defending the proposed amount. We have reproduced the statement in its entirety for those of you armchair critics who know nothing about how to run an economy to pick over. For the records, the stockbrokers do not need convincing.
His head still in the clouds after climbing up high to score that header on 58 seconds against Liberia, Efe Ambrose is having dreams of winning the Nations Cup next year. Expect him to be brought back down to earth when we are drawn with Ghana and Cameroon in the same group. Oops, Cameroon failed to qualify. Tee hee hee.
The Lagos state government intends to impound bad vehicles. Maybe they can do that after fixing the roads which cause us to be quite friendly with our mechanics, or fixing the lights on the bridges (thanks Joachim), which cause us to crash cars on Friday nights.
Monday, October 15, 2012
Friday, October 12, 2012
Something that appears not to have panned out too well is Robert Kiyosaki's business empire. The writer of the world famous Rich Dad, Poor Dad franchise has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a US Court following a deal gone sour. Upon hearing that story, our resident Tarzan's monkey did a whoop, and gave out some high-fives. He doesn't like Kiyosaki much you see. However, as the old saying goes, the devil is in the detail. It turns out that Kiyosaki is filing for bankruptcy in order to avoid shelling out US$24million of the $80million he is worth. Essentially, his old company will bear all the liability of his misadventure, and a new company (which he has already set up), will continue business as usual, while the people he owes would be left holding their [snip - kids reading - DT Ed] in their hands. And you didn't think the law was an ass?
Speaking of asses, American gal Kathy Lunsford must be feeling distinctly more like the donkey part of the fabled creature than horse. You see, sometime in the course of the last three years, she handed over the sum of $9,200, or
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International watchdog, Human Rights Watch has announced that Islamist group, Boko Haram, has committed "crimes against humanity". Their 107 page report does not spare the Joint Task Force either.
Capital Oil chief, Ifeanyi Uba will spend the next few days cooling his heels in EFCC custody after a Magistrate Court Judge sitting in Lagos gave the EFCC leave to detain him and four of his henchmen.
And Cheluchi asks the question about whether Nigerians are happy with what we've become.
Whatever you do, do have a great weekend, don't drink and drive, and see you on Monday.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
First off, our apologies for this delayed newsletter. We had to wait until Emsaro got back from the National Assembly with the 2013 Budget which the President just read to the legislators punctuated by lots of back-slapping and laughter. [Phew that's a mouthful].
We want to doff our hats off to the President for giving the Education Ministry the highest proportion of the budget. The
However, a small highlight of the speech was where the President said, "We want to be self sufficient in rice production by 2015." Dear Prez, if that's the aim, then begging Malawi for rice is not the way to go. And that is the message being passed by farmers who want the FG to scrap the importation of rice. Expect a visit from the leader of Thailand soon.
Sadly though, in the short term it would appear that we indeed have to beg for our food, especially those of you in Lagos who love nothing else than to hunker down on pounded yam after a long day's stretch in traffic. As a result of the flooding brouhaha in 21 of our 36 states, yams are becoming scarce in the metropolis. Well, a good substitute would be that weed called cassava, who's farmers are about to get quite a chunk of money from the government. More eba for the boys ay?
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Funso Adesola (Ph.D.) has taken exception to yesterday's change of allegiance of quite a fair number of our citizens. He believes that we should have conducted a plebiscite, but was strangely silent about whether it should have been after the ICJ ruling we submitted to.
In more flooding news, schools in Bayelsa state have been shut down in order to protect school kids.
Pretty 'Dania Idam has gotten over her writer's block. Herself, Kelvin and Zainab all chose to write on broadly the same topic. The animals that make up Nigeria...
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
Yesterday, soldiers attached to the Joint Task Force, in retaliation for the killing of a member of their group, shot and killed 35 people in Maiduguri. Let me assure you that the perpetrators of this dastardly act shall not go unpunished, and no stone will be left unturned in bringing them to book.
I am happy to inform you all that this government won a great victory on the international front yesterday. The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has buckled to Nigerian might, and citizens of our great nation who were hitherto denied entry for the annual Hajj will return to Saudi Arabia at government expense to perform their personal pilgrimages. I want to thank the Speaker of the House of Representatives for his tireless efforts in making sure that this injustice was made right.
Sadly however, it is my duty to inform you that this government will not be appealing the International Court of Justice ruling on Bakassi. In the spirit of African brotherhood and as a good big brother, Nigeria will allow Cameroon's flag to be hoisted over the Bakassi Peninsula from now and for all eternity. Let me wish my former fellow countrymen bon voyage in your new home.
Yesterday, the Senate complained over the rise in the price of fuel in various filling stations across Abuja. Let me assure our distinguished lawmakers that all hands are on deck to make fuel crises a permanent thing of the past. Even now 11 ships have arrived in Lagos with petroleum products so that your ease of movement will be guaranteed.
I want to assure you all that this government is working very hard to make life easier for the average Nigerian and we are working towards becoming an exporter of labour. Nigeria is not only my problem to fix and I enjoin all of you to join hands with us and make our great country even greater.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I thank you all.
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In case you failed to wake up in time for the President's speech this morning, you can read it here, and you can find out if you are a member of the committee that he established by clicking here.
Having failed to get Anayo to pay for the multiple rounds of sex he enjoyed until the wee hours, Rita took his phones as payment. She will spend two months in jail, one for each phone.
The carnage on our roads goes on. This time in Oyo, a brake failure meant that a trailer dispatched eleven souls to the afterlife. We wish them a peaceful rest.
Monday, October 08, 2012
Friday, October 05, 2012
But then again, maybe, just maybe their 29-year old daughters can opt to play football. You see, it is one thing to send kids to school, and quite another to find jobs for the kids in an economy that is shrinking faster than vegetables immersed in water. You see, yesterday, a group of girls purporting to be less than the age of seventeen were kicked out of FIFA's age grade female footie tournie. They were representing Nigeria, and the girls that kicked them out, really age seventeen and below, were representing France. In real football, one of these countries has won the World Cup, the other has not. To be fair to the girls, if the rumours about their ages are correct, then one has to look into these stories that always follow our age-grade sports teams. Is the cause of the "constant cheating" economic? Or is there something pathologically wrong with us?
Someone who is definitely no longer at the edge of his seat is new Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA oga patapata in Lagos. Like many before him, Ibrahim Obanikoro schooled outside the country. Like few of those, he came back to the country. Like fewer still, he decided to dip his hands in the cesspool that constitutes our public service. Like even fewer still, he chose to run his business with an opposition party. Like most people who make such ludicrous choices, he was "beaten soundly" at the polls. Unlike most, he expressed faith in our judiciary, and cried to the courts. His faith was rewarded yesterday. Ibrahim Obanikoro, opposition party candidate, will be the Chairman of Ikoyi/Obalende LCDA in Lagos state. It's not often that you hear that the PDP is in opposition, but we must give kudos to the court for reviving the will of the people. This same paper had had cause to declare young Ibrahim(and others) winner of the elections a year ago when projecting the results after the vote, and like most people were shocked when the results were announced. Unsubstantiated rumours claim that young Ibrahim has been given a quit notice, but we don't deal in beer parlour gossip around these parts.
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Our Minister of Justice has shown a proper regard for constituted authority by (for the umpteenth time) failing to turn up to a summons. To be fair to the man, this time he did write asking for the event to be postponed. Our only grouse is that he is developing a habit for missing such tasty events. You know as journalists, we love drama.
The number two man in Taraba is no longer the number two man. Sanni Danladi was found to be diverting stuff meant for government for personal use. In swift retribution, the state House of Assembly decided that they wanted no part of such. Here in Times Square, we have at least four members of staff begging to be relocated to that model of an ideal Nigeria that is Taraba.
We are trying our possible best to keep the #MubiMassacre in the news. Deji in his weekly piece tells us the obvious. Nigeria eats up its inhabitants. We beg you to have a great weekend, and try to avoid being eaten by the Nigerian monster. We'll see you on the other side.