Friday, November 30, 2012

I want to be a big boy

Hat-tip to Olaitan Hamza for pointing out that the word Parastatal is actually an adjective that has been in the dictionary since 2009.

Also hat-tip to Chude Jideonwo for calling a few minutes ago to complain that his medicine had not arrived. Sorry boss, I won't be so recalcitrant next time. You shall have it at the dot of midnight, and I will send a bill too...

However, Chude's order that I get to my keyboard and write this newsletter got me thinking of what I actually want to do with my life. I want to be a big boy.

You see, being a big boy would enable me to be like Bi-Courtney lead sokoto, Wale Babalakin, who like a certain former governor of Rivers state, has used the legal system to, well, to halt the legal system. You see, the EFCC had conveniently recovered Mr. Babalakin's file the day after his pension fund was revoked by the FG, and had charged him to court over some deeds he had carried out on behalf of a certain Queen's guest at HMP Long Lartin. Mr Babalakin's wig, Wale Akoni, had quite reasonably argued that the sudden appearance of his client's file after quite a while in the wilderness was funny at best, and suspicious at worst. Like Justice Idris did, I kinda agree with Akoni. The EFCC have been barred (for now at least) from prosecuting Don Babalakin.

However, Justice Idris's order was apparently not heard by the EFCC's own wigs. Network was down you see, so they proceeded to court anyway. That meant that Don Babalakin pulled out another card that is usually reserved only for the big boys. He suddenly developed one of those assorted illnesses that prevents them from the undignified spectacle of sitting in a dock. And in true big boy fashion, the case has been adjourned for two weeks.

A lot can happen in two weeks as Dr Joe proved two days ago when that contract awarding council that he presides over sat for the latest round of money sharing. You see, in the #MediaChatNG from just under a fortnight ago, our President informed us that his government was the best ever in fighting corruption since Nigeria was born. The chaps at Premium Times do not quite agree however, and following the award of a contract worth N2.2 billions for a party venue, and the FG Minister's claim that the short distance of 2km was too much for the Presidential feet to be burdened with, PT boys went online to Google Maps and making use of assorted rulers, compasses and measuring tapes, came up with the outrageous claim that Bala Mohammed, Minister of the FCT told a few, err, untruths in his statement. I'd like to point out to PT that their efforts at taking us back to school are wasted. You see, Nigerians have sadly lost all sense of outrage.

Were we capable of feeling outrage you see, we'd have been at the National Assembly in our thousands yesterday after the Petrol Minister, yes, she who accepts reports from committees set up to investigate her, informed that National Assembly that thegovernment would spend the healthy sum of N6.2 billions on media campaigns informing us about the new Petroleum Industry Bill. 

6.2 billions? 

Three things immediately jump at me here: first, on almost every website I visit these days, there are ads from a nebulous website informing me about how much better than sliced bread DAM is, despite the fact that I just bought petrol at the black market just beside a petrol station. The second thing that jumps out at me is that that same website tells me that the current occupant of Aso Rock is the “best loved President” Nigeria has ever had. I would agree with that one considering that he won the last election by almost a landslide, so this is a classic case of Nigerians getting the government that we deserve.
However, the last thing that jumps out at me from Madam Allison's presentation to the legislators yesterday is the amount being budgeted for a media campaign. It suddenly occurs to me that I am a media man, so I am probably wasting time on this computer criticising Madam when I should be at the head of a queue with my bowl in hand waiting to get my paws on some of that N6.2 billions. See you next time when I splash water on you with my private jet...

Bits and bobs

Still on the theme of big boys, a judge has more or less informed Civil Society Organisations that they should forget about ever suing one of Nigeria's biggest ever boys. The cash that missed under his watch is just too big.

Another big boy is still receiving treatment at the big boys' hospital in Germany. The small boys who were on the plane with him when he forgot where the brakes were have been shepherded back. We are told that they are hale and hearty, but we were not allowed to see them.

Our Reps are still smarting from SLS's comments. While in the background, the price of a bag of rice rose by 20% because of increasing recurrent expenditures, they opined that SLS and his motor mouth are the problem with the economy.

Boxing fans at the ongoing National Sports Festival are now forced to watch sweating pugilists strut their stuff in the sun as NEPA has remained, NEPA. Is it a wonder why our boxers failed to win a medal in London? It was too cold...

Thursday, November 29, 2012

On the subject of waste

First off, my apologies for the fact that this daily service has not been working. There have been technical difficulties with the Daily Times account. However, the amount of vitriol I have received has forced me to at least start doing this on a personal basis until normal service is restored elsewhere, if ever. A bit of a disclaimer: I cannot promise that this will be a daily news summary, but I will try my best. I have to apologise to the people who asked what happend: Mummy, Tweeny, for a start, then in alphabetical order (personal friends only), Ade, Bruno, Chuka, Dania, Elokah, Favour, Godwin, Hildah, Ireti, Jeremy, Koko, Lola, Mercy, Omon, Peter, Sope, Thaddeus, Victor and Zino. Thanks for your concern. When the bill for this comes, I'll forward it to you.

Yesterday, the National Assembly, irked by the fact that their allowances have (according to rumour) been strolling in late, took a critical look at President GEJ's SURE-P parade and finally screamed what a few million other Nigerians screamed some months before. Yes, the lawmaking kaftans have suddenly realised that SURE-P is a duplication of the efforts of different ministries and parastatals*.

The legislators came to this shocking realisation a full day after the CBN's lead bow tie had informed us about the bleeding obvious, that our rather over-bloated Civil Service, and the Legislators themselves are an economic menace. Who knows, maybe it was that statement that got the honourable gentlemen up in arms looking for another source of waste. Not the Civil Liberties Organisation though, they would rather have Don SLS's head on a plate. As would the NLC and other assorted Civil Society Organisations who though they claim to be fighting the good fight, are really interested in preserving the status quo ante.

You see, the status quo is what led us to this sorry pass where large amounts of Nigerian Nairas are thrown down the proverbial toilet because people do not have something better to think of, or are worse, simply incapable of thinking. Thus it was that yesterday, the FG informed us that N6.3 billions will be spent on yet another ID card project. I don't expect to receive my new ID card, which will be number three card that is lost somewhere in some bureaucrat's bowels. Hopefully, maybe, just maybe, INEC can do a better job of giving me a card that lasts than the civil servants. But I'm not holding my breath.

Bits and bobs

Go and hide in shame all you rumour mongers. Contrary to the spiteful tosh that was being circulated, the two most powerful women in Nigeria remain best of friends. Just ask Dr. Abati.

It turns out that teachers in Ogun state have been at the vanguard of teaching students how to forge papers. Well, just 1024 of them. Now they have been nabbed and suspended. The question is this, will the matter just be swept under the carpet?

Roll over Boko Haram, JAMBS has come to display its bravery. While the BH boys are content with taking pot shots at the police, the guys from JAMBS claim to have been the ones to roll into the SARS HQ in Abuja. Is this what students who fail JAMB turn into?

Fresh from acquiring a new means of locomotion, sorry, levitation, CAN's whitest collar has decided to turn his attentions to all things legal. CAN will be taking Boko Haram to court. If the Judge decides to attend the hearing that is...

*Did you know that "parastatal" is not an English word?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Gender issues in Nigeria

A bit of an explanation. I work for some news organisations, and my job involved improving their online presence. When I see something that is interesting, I spread it. If the link belongs to one of the people I work for, I include the link in my tweet/BBM because that's a great way to generate more traffic for my employers. If the link belongs to a competitor, I simply spread the story, but not the link. 

Earlier today, I talked about 91% of women in the South-West thinking that wife beating is okay. I saw the story on the website of a competitor, so as usual, I didn't send out the link. A lot of people have queried my integrity as a result. I'm not too chuffed about that of course, so reproduced below is the story in full, minus the link to a competitor's site.

A survey of attitudes in the community toward domestic violence in Nigeria, attests that the most frequent victims of violence usually turn out to be unmarried women in the southern states, with figures as high as 70 percent in some places.

Data from the study, published recently in a British Council, Nigeria report entitled "Gender in Nigeria Report 2012: Improving the Lives of Girls and Women in Nigeria, Issues, Policies, Action" notes that women in the "never married group" are more likely to have suffered physical violence than women who have been married or are married.

Information on the physical violence women experience and public attitudes towards such violence, reveal that the level of gender-based violence against women in Nigeria as revealed by the 2008 DHS data shows that in the South West,47.5 percent of 15-24-year-olds who have never married, experienced violence, compared to 43.7 percent of those married at one time or the other. Corresponding figures for the South South are 33.4 percent and 28.8 percent respectively

The survey also shows that 91.0 percent of women in the South-West, who have ever been married, and are aged 15-24 years, think wife beating is completely justified, compared to 6.0 percent among women who have never married and 6.8 percent among all 15-24- year-olds in the region. Figures for the South South are 93.5 percent, 2.6 percent and 3.5 percent respectively.

The Report says further investigations are desirable to explain the trend, while revealing that the highest proportion of women who experience physical violence is in the South-West and South-South regions while the North-East and North-West report relatively fewer cases of domestic violence.

The Gender In Nigeria Report, showcases how tolerance of physical violence against women in Nigeria is generally higher in the regions where the highest number of women experience the violence, and reveals that a surprisingly high number of married women tend to say wife beating is justified.

"Up to a third of women in Nigeria report that they have been subjected to some form of violence, including battering and verbal abuse, emotional and psychological abuse, marital rape, sexual exploitation, or harassment within the home," the Report noted.

Physical violence

Observing that one in five Nigerian women has experienced some form of physical violence, the Report which exhibits data originally captured in the 2008 National Demographic Health Survey, NDHS, observed that much of the violence experienced by women range from physical, sexual and psychological violence that occur at the hands of family members, especially husbands, partners and fathers.

These are women who are married or have been married at one time or the other, and are resident in the South-West and South-South regions of the country.

According to the Report, the National average of women who have ever married and are aged 15-24 who think wife beating is completely justified, is 16.5 percent, compared to 7.8 percent among women who have never married and 22.8 percent among all 15-25 year-olds.

The Report, which recognised that certain forms of violence are institutionalized, said much of the blame is on the plural legal systems in the country. It noted that organisations such as the CEDAW, an NGO Coalition, laments that the law as currently constituted, does not offer women and girls adequate protection from violence.

While progress has been made, for instance, the Violence against Women Prevention, Protection and Prohibition Act 2002, only Ebonyi, Jigawa, Cross Rivers and Lagos states have enacted domestic violence laws against Female Genital Mutilation, FGM.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Good news from NPF

Saw this on a forum and laughed my head off. Hope you like it as well...

There was a robbery in my neighbour's house and I called them... next thing I heard was .
Welcome to Nigeria Police Emergency Center.. for English press 1, for Igbo press 2, for Yoruba press 3.
Then I pressed 1... then another voice came up....For car accident press 1, for armed robbery press 2, for boko haram please hang up....
Then I pressed 2, anoda voice came up....
...If they're with knives press 1, pistols press 2, AK 47 press 3, machine guns press 4, bomb press 5, all of the above press 6...
Then i checked and saw they were with all of them then I pressed 6... anoda voice came up sayin....
Hmmmm...! My brother, if ur brother dey police u go gree make im come?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Can two people make love if they aren't in love?

Currently deep into the twelfth round with a sparring partner on this one, with neither relenting. Both bloody-nosed on the stall, paying no mind to the scantily clad charlatan parading the round card.

Roll on round thirteen.

Brethren, your thoughts and theorems on the above.

Keep it clean and above the belt. Can two people make love if they're not in love?

Speakers, to your positions.