Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Of the lesser evil

For those of my readers outside Nigeria who are wondering what all the facebook arguments and counter arguments regarding the forthcoming elections are about. Here is a one minute summary. The to contenders for presidency are:

1. Muhammad Buhari 

The country remembers him as a straight, strict man that ran a very disciplined regime earlier in our history. By virtue of this very tight style, his government was unpopular. Granted that it was also a military government at the time with little or no democratic restrictions, some of his policies then appear to have been observatory. However, in all the leaders who have governed this country, nobody is regarded as having more integrity. Even his enemies refuse to take that from him. As if to buttress this point, he was partly responsible for the appointment of the most celebrated public servant - the late Dora Akunyuli of the NAFDAC fame who went on to be a shining star even in the worst administrations. If we go by the "show me who your friends are" saying, then he stands in good stead.

His only offence, going by opponents of his presidential bid, is that he is from the northern part of the country (most of the past rulers have been), he is Muslim (more than half the past leaders have been) and that he has an Islamist agenda in a world where isis is making it clear that islamization is indeed a real concept. For a key country like Nigeria, these are heavy concerns. He had tried to allay some of these fears by picking a Christian running mate from the western side of the country. 

2. Goodluck Jonathan

The incumbent. Expectedly, being a sitting head of state is a two edged sword. On the one hand you have the most Control of the political process. You also are the more secure choice for political investors. On the other hand, unlike your contender, your work in the years you have spent in office is the only campaign you can do to the citizenry. No matter what you say, people only look to your record in office. Jonathan has risen on good luck through his political career. He came to prominence as a deputy governor of a state. Then the governor had issues and was removed. Automatically he became governor whether prepared or not. Then he became vice president to the late Yaradua. That one vacated office too and that's how fate foisted this gentleman on us. Nothing wrong with that. However, the general expectation from a man who many didn't think deserved the position by merit, was that he would have no alliances or loyalties and would firmly serve without fear or favour. 

Today as he stands for re-election, his legacy is of a seemingly clueless individual surrounding himself with the most detested political characters in the country and driven by the sole desire to maintain power at whatever cost. He has released convicted corrupt ex public officers, appointed questionable advisers who have zero credibility by the nigerian people and other than the routine mundane workings of government, has left nothing significant behind. The country is again indebted, scandalized over and over by publicly noted official corruption that has largely gone unpunished and in its most insecure state in my lifetime. For context, Nigeria was debt free and had an "excess crude account" just before he took over. This is equivalent to going from being millionaires to filing for bankruptcy in 6 short years.

These two men have divided the country along ethno religious lines. While most of those from the south part of Nigeria would prefer to maintain the status quo, those from the north are driving the chant for change. While buhari only offers integrity and a no-nonsense government, Jonathan is having closed door meetings with anyone that has a door to close. The soul of the country clearly remains for sale to the highest bidder, and this, dear readers is my ultimate fear. Nigerians love themselves more than anything else, even more than the country. We are not like Americans who prioritise the common good over Self preservation and value patriotism. "All man for himself, God for us all" is more like it here. And against that mindset, only the man with the most money or control thereof, stands a true chance.

I'd like to know if I've not captured the situation correctly. Love to hear your comments.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Of the same old pet peeve

So two things. One delightful, the other not so much.

Good news is I just stumbled on the "blogger" app on the app store. Epic. This means I do not need any more cumbersome sign in processes just to post. Sometimes that alone discourages you. You first open the internet browser then open blogger then sign in then click New etc etc. You get the drift. Now it is an app on my iPad that I've signed into permanently and all I do is click It open and type. Sweet! [in Eric Cartman's voice].

The trigger that got me to check for this app was a not so good one. I was there on Twitter trudging along peacefully when I saw the link to dr.sid new track featuring tiwa savage. You know I'll click anything with tiwa (don't judge a nigger). As usual she has most of the goods on display so no complaints there. However, again as usual Dr.sid remains underwhelming. From the beginning of his career he always strikes me as a benz being driven by my grandmother. He just seems to take the easy road with his music. There just seems to be so much more he is capable of but that he doesn't even put the energy to even try. Case in point, we spend the full one minute into the video repeating exactly the same phrase over and over. Not even a catchy phrase, just a random line about not turning him on our something random. D'banj and MayD do a better job of being tacky with barely shielded sexual innuendo. You either go big with anything or go home.

And then, although tiwa struggled to save the song through her display of ample bosom, I can't seem to get the picture of a tired married woman out of my head which made her repeated chorus of us wanting to take off her clothes and ending with licky licky something completely inappropriate. I know I'm majorly biased because I have beyonce's "partition" as my most played video on my iphone, so nothing against tiwa playing up the 'everybody wants me' card, but maybe in a song with her husband as the guy would not rub against my grain so much. No I'm not a prude damn it.

Anyway, I don't know why I keep having hopes for improved nigerian music but after dorobucci I could have sworn we were on track. Apparently not. New year, same old music. O well.

You can watch the video here:

Let me know if I expect too much in the comment section below.

Later peeps.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Of a new year...

I hate to admit that a past year was anything but exactly how it was meant to be. It kind of feels like an unforgivable act of not being grateful for all the things that could have wrong but that didn't. Eventually though, after crossing into the new year safely, i'm emboldened to be a bit more honest. However, 2014 was a year. There was no single day that did not come with its own news. It was sometimes hard to keep up.

I however find that in trying not to be labeled I altogether avoid expression of my faith. Yes, I'm almost ashamed to State categorically that I am Christian. Maybe because I am not the best example of a believer, or to preserve my usually unbiased online credibility for the moments when I have to hold a view... Whatever the case, I have shied away from making this clear. The natural implication is that as Christians are butchered around the world for their faith, I have somehow pretended that I am not any more alarmed than the next person. Alas I am.

So far, in my most private recesses though, nobody I know except my mum prays as much as I do. I literally pray about every mundane thing. My boss calls and sounds like there is trouble? I pray before going to her...a meeting I'm not certain how it will go or what I'm expected to say? I close my eyes and pray...year end assessment of my performance at work? you guessed it. On my way to court, or the airport for yet another flight, or to start preparing a presentation for my boss? Virtually everything. I also do my research to be honest but that's never enough as I've come to find.

And by pray I don't mean in my heart as I put my things together on the way out. No. I mean close my eyes type prayer. All the time. Where the circumstance permits, or in especially huge moments I run to the gents and lock myself in a steal and kneel down and really really really beg God to let me feel his presence and guide my utterances and help me find Favour. It probably sounds cheesy but I have no complaints so far on the efficacy of prayer. I think it is what you believe in that works for you.

As the year ended and I boarded a 11 hour trans atlantic flight back home, days after a mere 3 hour fight crashed into the sea, prayer never came in more handy. I prayed as I never before did. My faith was shaken and so I went on iTunes and found Sinach "the name of Jesus". If you ever ever feel like your heart may fail you, plug this in your ears and close your eyes. It works like magic... Or prayer.

So I've decided that this year, and going forward, I will openly and honestly express my belief in God. I will share my thoughts on religion and the atrocities committed under its guise. I will however be clear that despite the short  comings of the practice of my religion, it does more good than otherwise in a world that desperately needs good...and God.

Happy New Year.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

of a few thoughts...

firstly, blogger has been crap. for some reason, everytime i write a post and click "publish" it removes all the paragraph spaces and lumps the entire post together. i already get enough flack from ageing readers about my punctuation or lack thereof coupled with my aversion for capital letters so it will literally blow out some eyeballs if i now start posting with no spaces, but hey.

as you very well know, of the four major areas one can safely talk about, i stick with religion and technology (with a sprinkle of politics). im sure you are awash with sports, entertainment, music, fashion and business updates so let me stick to the extremely subjective areas. so whats happening lately in my areas of specialization? quite a few things.

from sometime earlier this year, i have been feeling increasingly like i have outgrown the company i have surrounded myself with over the years. in some funny way, all of the things that my friends used to do that i found incredibly epic, just seems immature raised to power 10. traveling abroad every chance one gets, talking endlessly about how much game you're getting, drinking out all night in the name of TGIF, slagging off your boss every chance you get, always planning to buy a car you can barely afford and refusing to dress age appropriate on the assumption that wearing white soled shoes just reduces your age by ten years, just now seem altogether balderdash to me.

so yes, i woke up one day and realized that being friends with some people will not let you grow to your full potential. this is because they live to remind you that you have "changed" just because you have some good fortune. trust me, i have nothing to prove to nobody and so i decided they had to go. not like i'm keeping malice like two house-girls fighting over the gateman, but i have ensured that there is as much of a physical disconnect as there has been a mental one.

tag this irrational spontaneous behaviour what you will: growing up, old age, midlife crisis has happened and i am loving every moment. it puts everything else in perspective when you block out the noise of people always out for a hang out or a good time or the beach or a party in the pretext of socializing. what i now need to figure out is how to fire my personal assistant and start doing stuff myself. i'd hate to be disconnected from reality when my kids come along. whenever that is...i don't want to hear your whining on me getting married etc etc. oprah married money, we are kindred spirits, moving right along.

so other than that a few things have occurred which i am not allowed to talk because they are Men of God. i often think to myself that men of the cloth are very fortunate because they have that insurance policy against public opinion and criticism in the bible. you know, that whole "touch not my annointed thing?", i think it has been stretched to levels of ridiculousness but hey who am i to talk. years ago when PAstor Ighodalo remarried, i had gone on a campaign about the bible standards around separation and divorce. apparently, even bible scholars and senior christians said that i was quoting the portions of the bible in isolation and that grace abounds that facilitates the exception granted to Men of God. right.

anyhow, you can therefore imagine why i have decided to ignore the other Men of God who have followed suit, whether or not they were the aggressors. Pastor Chris Okotie and now Pastor Chris Oyakilome. he best advise i have received is to "pray for them"...and thats exactly what i have done. but i expect that people who fanatically follow men of the cloth will also learn that they are human and cannot be the standard for christian living. the bible is the only standard. deal with it.

i hope everyone is doing great. i'm sure y'all already know i have more a few common sense thoughts around this whole ebola series in nigeria (playing out like telemundo) but i will let it slide. plus i sometimes wish i could talk about my work and my pesky colleagues and this new aquarium guy that transformed my house and my new nephews (i have three now) and the fact that i am getting the iphone 6 plus come what, yeah. see y'all around peeps. i hope to write more often again soon.