Friday, January 24, 2014

When Will Tomorrow Come? (The So-Called Leaders of Tomorrow, The Youths)

I have asked myself this question over a million times and today, I choose to ask again. When will tomorrow come in Nigeria? I am sure this is a question on the lips of millions of young Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora. It has been a dream, always a dream to see young Nigerians grow into position of leadership, strength and power, into positions that will justify the world famous line from the rhyme that we sang as kids. "…Parents listen to your children, we are the leaders of tomorrow…".

A good percentage of the children that were born in the year Gen. Muhammad Buhari was usurped from power are no longer in the rank of children today, they are daddies and mummies, either by choice or force, in subjection and response to their natural hormonal growth and bodily development that has committed them to going familiar. Even for those that are still in charge, they are Godfathers to so many children that they can hardly go in any direction without being called daddy. I am a good example. The eldest of my Godchildren will be ten in November 2014, I am still single but it's almost unbelievable because if I was a girl turned woman, I would be regarded way beyond my prime, and would be in the class of the so many praying by fire in the various camps of Pentecostal churches adorning the Lagos-Ibadan express way.

I remember writing in my essay that won Africa Regional prize at the World Youth Movement for Democracy contest in 2010.
"The youths have been a major part of the problem for too long, now is the time for us to become an integral part of the solution."
I was also forced to site an expression that was more of a truth than joke that I found on a friend's Facebook page during the build up to the 2011 election that same year when Buhari rolled out his campaign under the banner of CPC in the essay.
 “In 1984, my teacher told me that Gen. Buhari was a past leader, Gen. IBB the president, and that we are the leaders of tomorrow. Now it is 2010 and they are still leading. It is either my teacher is a liar or tomorrow is yet to come.”
That got me thinking in 2011 because the two men he mentioned were planning to contest again for presidency in the  general election that year.  I found a chronicle of  the rulership/leadership history of the unrelenting, fruitless reign of Bamanga Tukur spanning over forty years of Nigerian history on Rise Network Facebook page and it bore a hole in my heart. I began to wonder, what else has this old cargo got to offer that our forever clueless GEJ named him the chairman of Nigerian Railway Corporation NRC, after he was ousted as the PDP BOT chairman. He once held a similar position forty years ago, became the governor of old Gongola State for three months before the coup and dilly-dallied through politics for over forty years, causing numerous destruction and decay along the way, and he's still being fixed to continue his stealing streak. I'm bleeding!

This is 2014 and Buhari is still in the picture, a Bamanga Tukur is holding on with his teeth, Atiku is playing the gentleman in the background, OBJ wants to be relevant for ever as the Godfather and king maker, Yerima is shuttling between governorship and the senate like his cohorts, while a retard by design "Suntai" is still being put up as a puppet in Taraba, all of this men, not younger than 60, but they are still struggling and grubbing for political offices after 30 to 40 years of political careers that has seen them bring Nigeria to her lowest ebb, fruitless and devalued, even in the oculi of the nations she once fed, clothed and secured.  I kept pondering on the situation and concluded that truly, recycling must stop, but how do we stop it? 

We have numbers and strength but yet we put it to the wrong use, the big excuse is the lack  of the most basic of the needs of an average human been. Poverty as ridden the system off its hoof and the value of the life of an average youth is N5000 for his life, and N500 for her vote at the polls. The young, strong and agile force of this nation Nigeria has been the power grabbing and maintenance tools in the hand of the old, unworthy, never-retiring politicians of Nigeria. Our wrong participation in the polity of our dear nation as youth has remained the bane of our society and there must be an end to it. It is this shared force that we generate to do evil that we must synergized to win back Nigeria, BUT the question still remains "when will the proverbial tomorrow prophesied for the youths of this nation arrive?" When are we waking up from our dark nights to see that we are indeed the sunrise, the power and the rule of law, and not the fattened, frail and weak politicians that comes with a purse to dangle before us like a carrot, in an attempt to sit on the whole bank of treasure and resources that belongs to the nation as a whole alone?

I found this detailed analysis of our strength in numbers  by Tolu Ogunlesi , on the 20th of Jan. 2014, on the pages of Punch newspaper and here are some excerpts:

"If you think about it, there are millions of Nigerian teenagers who have come of voting age in the last three years, since the April 2011 elections. Let’s break it down. The voting age in Nigeria is 18. This means that anyone born after January 1993 would have been ineligible to vote in the 2011 elections (considering that voters’ registration was last done in January 2011). In 2015, those born in 1997 will finally be eligible to vote. What this means is that there’s a mass of Nigerians born between 1993 and 1997, who could not vote in 2011 but will now be able to vote in 2015.

In the mid-nineties, an estimated four million children were born annually in Nigeria. Even accounting for child mortality figures, the size of that 1993 – 1996/7 demographic should still be in excess of 10 million. That’s a sizable number, for any political party seeking to target new demographics. (This is where we have to give a nod to the Nigeria Tragedy: The fact that, going by our school enrolment rates, a sizable number of those young people will have never stepped inside a classroom; that they will be illiterate, destitute, frustrated, and completely uninterested in partisan politics outside of the context of thuggery and banditry). "

This statistics shows that we've increased by over 10million between 2011 as youths but it has been the same number of Babangida, Tinubu, Buhari and Obasanjo that are still running Naija dry. The numbers hasn't changed for them, in fact it has reduced because quite a number of this menace in our society already died during the course of this years that we've increased greatly, putting us at an advantage if we act right. Do we then sit down again and wait to be used as thugs or do we decided to participate at every level by all means necessary? Even if we have to fight and bite, let's be caught fighting for us and not for this over blotted thieves who are hell bent on draining Nigeria to the bone as they amass wealth at the peril of every average Nigerian, on their way to hell.

We can redefine tomorrow, we can make it NOW, we can stop singing the songs as we did in primary school, and secondary school. We can change rhymes and sing a new song as we move towards a new Nigeria. We've failed to see with our eyes open, the facts steers at us directly but we are too frail to focus even though we are the strongest and most advantaged in this equation. This men and women  we now worship got the first taste of power in their youths, but they preach the gospel of 50something to us and we smile. Gowon, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Murtala and others became presidents and Generals when they were barely thirty years of age so what are we waiting for, it is time to snatch it out of their old, feeble hands by contesting, participating and voting for ourselves instead of dying and waiting to be fed from the money they steal from us on a daily basis. Force is not required, tactics is all we need. I know it might be a challenge to find a credible youth in this time and age, but I believe that there is still more value left in us than them so I choose to be the change I want in 2014 to 2015,  from Ekiti to Osun and to other parts of the federated Nigeria. I will rather vote for an inexperience Tolu Ogunlesi, a fragile Japeth J. Omojuwa,  or contest as the undisputed Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo. Will you?

While we stand in joyful hope as we await tomorrow, let us lift up our holy hands in preparation for the coming elections. It is never too early, it is never too late to be the change we want to see. It is time to become the leaders of today instead of waiting for tomorrow that will never come, let us dare to be the change and become the tomorrow today.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Blameless CP Mbuh and His Holy Accusers

The  unfolding drama in that saintly South South state governed by Amaechi, Wike, Mbu, Dame and by proxy GEJ is getting more interesting day by day. It is taking different turns,  carrying the battle tag of the "Rivers Crisis" it has gone ballistic with rubber bullets and tear gas canisters adorning the chest of men and the streets of Rivers state.

The state Commissioner of Police (CP) Mbu, the man saddled with the sole responsibility of managing security in the state under the command of the state Governor Amaechi has been accused of partisan practices by almost everybody, including his supposed state boss Amaechi, and everywhere is in a smoke of truth and lies where everybody seems to be holy and blameless in the matter except GEJ. Perhaps you might wonder why I exempted GEJ, it is simple, he's the only one that hasn't bothered to say anything in self defense as far as I know.

All fingers are pointing at CP Mbu and GEJ, so the CP as decided to come out and unmask the monsters, standing blameless in his office by his own standards and judgement. According to Mbu:
       1.            The governor doesn’t like him because he refuse to fight his perceived political enemies.
       2.            The Police did not shoot Senator Abbe because according to him, the Rivers State command does not have rubber bullets, they only have live bullets and tear gas.

In the interview he granted a few days ago, he had this to say about Senator Abbe's attack

" We were informed that there would be rally, but no letter was written to us for permission. So I asked my men to take over the venue of the rally before that day. Senator Abbe met my CSP Operations at the venue and they were talking. Thugs were coming from the other side and my men had to release tear gas. The senator crossed the road and entered the church. Nobody shot Senator Abbe. He should show Nigerians the bullet wounds. The tear gas did not even touch him because he went into the church."

Then a few days later, in a video interview at his office he confirmed the receipt of a letter from the Save Rivers Group after the group came out with a signed and stamped copy of the letter they submitted to the state Police command.

"They submitted their letter to our office and it was stamped and received by the officers in charge, that is normal protocol when any letter is sent here but I didn't receive the letter directly, that is not my duty.
And he went ahead to produce the letter from his desk to show the newsmen. Please notice the words, phrases and sentences I underlined.

The Rivers State Police Command is the responsibility of Mbu, and he is answerable for the action of his office and men. At first he claimed there was no letter, but later he conceded to receiving and stamping a letter, and finally twisted it that it was not his duty to receive letters directly although his office received the document. Permit me to exonerate this great public servant who didn't know a letter was on his desk but was quick to mobilize his men to go take over the venue of a rally, harass civilians and disband a lawful gathering of Nigerians instead protecting the rallying citizens from harm.  According to his account, "Nobody shot Abbe," his men only fired tear gas at the thugs they saw on the other side. Thugs who probably had guns and presumably shot the senator when he was crossing the road to enter the church. I am more amazed than even CP Mbu at the sterling action and performance of his men. When did men of the Nigerian Police become so civilized that they were throwing "Tear Gas" at gun wielding thugs, policemen that will naturally shoot even harmless citizen at the slightest provocation now suddenly realize that they must be cautious, after they had already disbanded a rally that was legally assembled. The most surprising part of his testimony is the claim that the tear gas did not touch Senator. Mbu, as if the gas is "Akamu" that scatters on the floor and stays down when it is shot in any direction. Here is one of such tear-gassing spree CP Mbu personally led.

Indeed, this officer and his men are blameless and should be left in peace.

Far beyond his unconstitutional actions that he believes were right and probably in the best interest of the people of Rivers State as against the perception that it is in support of GEJ,PDP and other federal mercenaries that are perceived to be engineering him against Amaechi and APC, I feel the exodus of this gradually degenerating situation arrived with the tussle and friction between Mbu and his Governor on his arrival in the State. I once sojourned in Rivers in 2007, an election year, and I couldn't wait to get out of it. I stayed in Delta State too in 2003, a more volatile time and environment in Warri but filled with more accommodating people and I never wanted to leave. The people of this neighbouring states are as different as chalk and cheese and the level of contempt of an average Riverian is alarming, nauseating and very provocative, especially in the rank of superiority complex, pride and sense of duty, and I have only seen worst scenario of contempt in some part of northern Nigeria, although they are more accommodating when compared to the people of Rivers, all of this in my own opinion. I totally agree Mbu was treated the way he claimed he was by Amaechi because he obviously wasn't the bowing down, favour seeking type of CP, I have seen worst behaviour in the ordinary citizens of Rivers, and his claim of a cordial relationship with Ajimobi of Oyo State is only a proof of the minute sanity existing in some APC setup when compared to the confirmed tyranny of the PDP system from, starting the top to the bottom. However, CP Mbu retaliation attempt does not justify his joining camp with the big boss GEJ to frustrate democracy in Rivers State, rather he should suggest to GEJ to put Amaechi on the list and not the whole state in jeopardy in the name of "Order From Above" from "Oga At The Top". Now APC had enough goats to tame in her shed, it has now "Ko eran mo ero", I just hope APC have a lead on how to tame the mad PDP dogs that had jumped into its camp, or perhaps a leach for them, only time will tell.

Amaechi is definitely a power drunk politician in the middle of a tussle with higher powers, and CP Mbu probably an intimidated power wielding Police Officer, throwing below belt punches because he's got orders to do so, and his quietly enjoying it because he thought the umpires are looking away, or perhaps he's forgotten that the umpires are no longer the men in Abuja, but the people of Rivers State, and Nigerians as a whole. One thing is certain now that the "die is cast", somebody will be sacrificed on the altar of this political hypocrisy. Now we know the blameless CP is not blameless at all after confessing he ordered his men to take over the venue of a rally after his office has been duly informed, and gave a legal ratification, offering to protect the gathering, amongst other interference and infringement on the rights of the people. The holy Amaechi is also definitely not a saint by allowing his personal feeling to becloud is sense of judgement and duty as a governor, up to the point of allegedly offering the CP the offer of contracts aka bribes (as accused by the CP) if he will bend to his will instead of representing the interest of the State and her people. Senator Abbe has received the first shot and is supposedly "ritenuto"  in the pain of the plastic bullet wound. He'd sent a lengthy letter to his colleagues at the senate of his own account of the "12th of January Shooting", let' see who gets shot in return for it.

Here are some links to wet your lips

I am Abidemi Babaolowo Oderinlo
iThink, iWrite and iActOnIt
Twitter: @enyola

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Rule of Law, beyond our bias or prejudice -- A Nigerian case study.

"We are closed-minded about at least one thing, there is no man without bias or prejudice" -- Ademola Adesina --20/01/2014.

Without clinging too much on any arguments or topic, I will like to make clear some points, issues and debated opinions that are associated with laws, rules and doctrines guiding the conducts of humans in different parts of the world as defined by the laws of the land. I recently read a very sane argument in response to a topical issue (that I will try as much as I can to avoid) currently turning, twisting and distracting Nigeria from the reality of her situation and I have decided to first, redefine this comment and use it as a yardstick for my arguments.
  • §  Human rights are a subset of the permission granted by the law of the society in any given society and as derived or defined by the laws guarding such society, the norms, culture and tradition of the society as provided for by the constitution or institutions guarding the commonwealth of society.
  • §  The laws governs and stay supreme in every society, therefore crime, and associated punishments are defined by the legal system, as defined by the LEGISLATIVE, and in the absence of provision for such in the constitution or laws of the land, a supreme office or majority vote defines  the consequences of such in democratic manner
  • §  Laws, crime and punishments therefore differ from state to state. A crime in state A, is not necessarily a crime in state C. Neither are fines, or sentences. A good example of this application of the law is the legal and Judicial system in the United States of America. While it is legal to carry a firearm and display it in some states, it is totally illegal in other states, some states adopt the jury system while in others, the judges decides. Based on this, your rights differ has you travel from state A-Z, meaning your rights are subjective to the dictates of the Rule of Law in every society, and this rights are defined by the "Rulership" or Leadership of the society as stipulated in the law.
  • §  If the law says, "SMILING" is a crime, and thy punishment is "FROG JUMPS" for breaking that law, It is wisdom to conform, or relocate until such a time that the law is reviewed to accommodate smiling, or your views or personal judgement become popular enough to effect a change in the Rule of Law guiding the society.
Thanks to Daginie a commenter for providing me with the blue print.

A few days ago, BBC reporter Jon Sopel explains how explained with excitement how Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Prime Minister and Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, and constitutional monarch of Dubai had the aviation system of Dubai shutdown for close to an hour because he was having an interview, the BBC correspondent called it "Power" but I bet if it was Goodluck Ebele Jonathan that did the same in Nigeria, the BBC reporter Jon Sopel would have simply tagged it "Abuse of Power" in glittering words.

It is a crime for couples, married, single, dating, honey mooning etc to show public display of affection in the UAE (straight or gay), this rules are not written in "Neon Signs" at any airport or seaport in Dubai, Doha, Qatar or any other part of the UAE, and your nationality or naivety is not an excuse for breaking it. The same goes for homosexuality, alcoholism, brigandry, prostitution and others, with each of this crimes attracting not less than 10 years imprisonment. Imagine touching your spouse' cheek in a mall and getting arrested for it. I have read and heard of cases of European nationals, Americans and other citizens of the world being caught and punished for this acts but I am yet to read of any sanctions, threats or demands from this cock sucking imperialist concerning the "Laws of The Land" in this Middle East countries, but instead, Dubai was recently awarded the right to host the world at the "2020 World Expo" despite the fact that it is an antigay, anti-drinking, anti-prostituion etc... society. I heard Canada just called off the state visit of GEJ for reasons I will assume, and I've read about threats of sanction and comments from government and people across Europe and America…. Aren't we all just hypocrites?

I am waiting to hear the world famous excuses of my case study, UAE being an Islamic region. Only a fool will bring up this argument on the ground that Nigeria is a secular state. If Sharia is practiced in Nigeria and the government of the country spend tax payers money to send pilgrims to Israel and Saudi Arabia every year, then I will argue that Nigeria is rather a religious entity and should be guided by the tenets of her belief system at one point or the other.

The deceptive gospel of equality and oneness is preached from Abeokuta to Zaria, and a cloud of the non-existent unity shrouds us, a brain child of such gospel is the Unity Schools. The laws that preaches this equality and unity exhibits the highest level of inequality in this so called Unity Schools. 

A child from Yobe with a score of "5" in the entrance examination stands a better chance of gaining admission into a Nigerian Unity School than one from Akwa Ibom with a score of "150" and the one from Badagry is even doomed because he/she must score "250" to beat the competition from Yobe and Akwa Ibom because the law says so. I'm yet to see Nigerians come out en masse online and on ground to decry this illegality and anomaly in the name of educational opportunity imbalance, but here they are with the rest of the world discussing gay rights. Aren't we all just religious bigots hiding under the mask of human rights. Correct me if I am wrong, which of this two situations should be fought tooth and nail by both the local and international community, the Equal Right To Education or the Right To Pick A Sexual Partner, male or female which is supposed to be a totally private affair? Aren't we just so miserable?

A friend once wrote on his Facebook wall a few years ago when Barack Obama became the first American president to concede to homosexual rights, she said 
"In 1993 when I got to the USA, homosexuality was illegal and a taboo, over time it got less attention and in recent years became acceptable with a lot of people still frowning at it. Now it is legal, I better head back to Nigeria before this Nigga makes it compulsory, I love my shit hole tight"
In the USA, it is illegal to show anybody drinking alcoholic beverage in its advert even though alcohol consumption is legal, it is illegal to smoke in public in some countries while Smoking Point are built for smokers in others, I've even read about "Quickie Points" installed in public parks in France, while a "Propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations" an anti-gay bill was recently passed into law in July 2013 by Vladimir Putin in Russia, this will not stop Mother Russia from hosting the Winter Olympics.

Prostitution and Marijuana has been legal in the Netherlands for decades but I heard MJ is now legal in Colorado alone in the whole of the USA, while prostitution is still totally illegal. I'm of the opinion that prostitution should be legal all over the word, "it's our body we can so what we want to" like Miley Cirus said, we shouldn't require a license to sell it like they do in Netherland, and should be able to frolic as we like in the malls and beaches of Dubai.

We must all learn to dump the cloak of mediocrity and hypocrisy, put on the garments or wisdom and reality and learn to live and abide by the Rule of Law as stipulated by constituted authourity. If the Nigerian laws says smiling is a crime, you'd better learn how to frown permanently until you can influence it through participation, instead shouting and pointing to another country where the law says it is legal to smile, but if the shouting will keep you frowning, keep shouting, else relocate. 

The human right of Nigerians is defined by Nigerian law and will not be changed by ranting of the crown or the wailing of the northern continent. If indeed Nigeria is a member of an international body that nominates a particular way of life, she's also member of the commonwealth nations, so I ask a similar question Japheth Omojuwa asked in one of his recent posts, "Why should I require a visa to visit any Common Wealth state, or transit visa when going through their borders or pay thrice the tuition when I choose to study in the United Kingdom?" The answer is simple, the UK law supersedes any commonwealth law, putting her interest before the interest of others, therefore the same applies to Nigeria as a nation in the best interest of her people. Our spiritual mandate Nigeria is to subdue the earth, that's why my father gave birth to six and his brothers did more, same reason our goat headed senators supported teenage marriage and it became law. Get used to us, it is in our nature to be productive and fruitful. Selah!

Nigeria as a state is independent and posses the power and right to define her human right. The people have voted, elected or selected their rulers or leaders constitutionally either by hook or crook and have accepted the Constitution that places our legislators in a position to make laws and decide the polity, rights and rules of the Nigerian state, and therefore they are duty bound to live by the laws enacted by the legislative until such is ammended. Remember, I am bias and the Rule of Law is always wearing a mask, Full Stop.