An Economic Sermon

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By Kalu Aja

In the Bible, we read an interesting story of Spiritualism, Economics and Trade.

God speaks to Egyptian President by giving him a strange dream of lean cows eating fat cows.

Alarmed the Egyptian President summoned his Intelligence Agencies, his Cabinet and Special Assistants on Religious Affairs, all his top Advisers, but noone could decipher the message in the dream.

Then an Adviser previously in EFCC custody remembered a former inmate who was very good in analysis of data. He tells Mr President who summons Joseph. Joseph shaves, wears a nice suit and goes before the President. Joseph hears the data from the President, & responds;

A. There will be an oil boom that will increase the wealth of the Egyptian Government. The Government will make a lot of money for 7 years.

B. Then after 7 years, the oil boom will end and the world will enter a recession.

At this point, Joseph is now giving his own advise to the President.

Joseph tells the President;

“Set up a Sovereign Wealth Fund, save 25% of the oil wealth for those 7 boom years. Look for a man, discrete & wise to act as Chief Economic Adviser to implement the plan”

What Joseph did here was to identify the problem, give a solution, and then offer himself a pathway to becoming a man “discrete and wise” to implement the solution he advised.

Pharaoh agreed, made Joseph Chief Economic Adviser of the Federation. As recession swept across the world, Egypt became the center of the world, all nations came to Egypt to trade, Egypt became richer, Joseph became a Super Minister

The End

What is the lesson of this story?

1. President: You’re only as good as the Advisers your surround yourself with.

2. Pastors, its not enough to give prophesies, if God revels something to you, He will also give you an interpretation with clear dates & solutions, Prophecy without direction is useless.

3. Entrepreneur, referrals will make or break your business. Joseph was referred to the President by a client he “traded” with when he just a startup, treat your early customers like kings.

4. As a Person, Educate yourself. Joseph gave the “Spiritual”, but then followed up with the “Economic”. keep learning.

5. The Economy; every economic boom is followed by a recession, every recession creates opportunities for people that prepared during the recession.

In the Universe; there is no such thing as luck in wealth generation. it’s always planned. noone is lucky.

Egypt became wealthy because they stored grain for 7 years and became a trading post.

Dubai, Rwanda, Ethiopia and Singapore are today’s Egypt.

x

@FinPlanKaluAja1

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Sex For Grades: The Known and Unknown

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If you haven’t seen the recently viral BBC News Africa documentary ‘Sex for Grades’ then look it up before you continue reading:

Sex For Grades (Documentary)

THIS WRITE UP IS NOT A RESPONSE TO THE DOCUMENTARY, NEITHER IS IT AN IMPLIED QUERY. IT IS A GUIDED CONTRIBUTION TO THE LOUD PRETENTIOUS OVERTURES THAT FOLLOWED THE DOCUMENTARY’S RELEASE.

I’m going to make this write up as brief as possible, that’s possible for anyone documenting well over four decades of tertiary education life.

SO IF YOU ARE IN RUSH, PLEASE SKIP ‘DISCLAIMER, & QUALIFICATION’. BUT YOU JUST MIGHT WANT TO READ THEM AGAIN AFTERWARDS.

IT IS YOUR PICK?

DISCLAIMER

I. IF YOU READ ABOUT ANYONE THAT REMOTELY RESEMBLES ANYONE YOU SUSPECT, DON’T BURST YOUR BALLS, IT’S THEM.

II. IF YOU DON’T WANT TO GET INSANELY ANNOYED, PUSH OFF.

III. IF YOU DON’T HAVE AN OBJECTIVE MIND & YOU WISH TO CRITICIZE WITH PREJUDICE, BRING IT ON.

IV. LASTLY, THE LECTURERS ALREADY CAUGHT UP & EXPOSED, PLEASE DON’T BOTHER READING THIS BECAUSE YOU’RE DESERVEDLY IN THE ABYSS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ENDLESSLY RETRIEVEBLE HISTORY.

I DON’T WANT YOU THINKING; “Why didn’t this fool put this up before now?” Then running off to kill yourself. ALL LIFE MATTER & GOD LOVES YOU.

Just, maybe only HE might still love you now.

QUALIFICATION

Am I qualified to write about this?

You tell me?

I have; A combination of Thirteen years lecturing in six tertiary institutions in Northen Nigeria (mainly on part time basis), presently a senior Educational Administrator in a Health based tertiary institution.

I have; A cumulative period of just under twenty five years as a student at seven different Nigerian tertiary institutions studying programs leading to the award of Certificates, Ordinary/Higher/Post graduate Diplomas, Masters Degree. All these inclusive of those dropped, abandoned, completed & yet to be complete.

I have; Separately, Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or housemates or colleagues or relatives or in-laws. All of them with various levels of experience in the most diverse disciplines & professional callings.

I have; All my Fifty years of life time (thus far) lived in a family that lives & breathes tertiary education, with (as at the last count) all together; one of the oldest (still actively living) Professors in Northern Nigeria, Six times full tenure University Vice Chancellor (both within & out side Nigeria) Three PhDs, I don’t really know how many Masters degrees, we don’t have time & space here to list the number of first degrees & various assorted levels of diplomas & I haven’t the faintest idea how many undergraduates are still studying within & outside Nigeria. Most of whom I interact with continuiously.

Bottom line: I have lived, talked & walked Nigerian tertiary education all my literate life. To a large extend I know & have been part of the workings of Nigerian tertiary institutions for most of my life. And everybody knows that the core part of the tertiary education experience is the relationship between lecturers & all their many students; the young & old, the stupid & smart, the Good, the Bad & the Cute.

EXPERIENCE

After the roll of CV, I’ll limited this section to my experience with the opposite sex. (I apologize to the LGBT community because most folks don’t realize that when we say ‘oppposite sex’, we exclude other…. Hmmmmm, other sexes?)

So, by now you’ve worked out I am a Straight Male, about five decades old, considerably educated & someone who has been ‘all over the place’. And I mean ‘All Over The Place’. Don’t worry, you will work out what the expression means by the time you’re done with this section.

I have no romantic story of worth to tell from my secondary school days (Primary school was more eventful) But credit to me, I had put that woeful romantic experience to good use & scored a resounding distinction for unending effort. This experience taught me to talk my way out of every situation conceivable and as I ended my teen age, I perfected how to talk and endear my way into almost every cooperative female heart and in most instances, all the way beyond the depts of the female heart.

My romantic experience at the various tertiary institutions I was a student in was to say the least hyperactive & swinging. I will summarize it with this quote;

“THERE WERE NINE GIRLS IN MY PROGRAM CLASS AT ONE TIME AND I HAD THE SHAMEFUL RECORD OF SEPERATELY BEING ROMANTIC INVOLVED WITH ALL BUT ONE OF THEM IN ONE CALENDAR YEAR.”

I was more than just romantic with most of them. The level of coy & maneuvering that went into that feat was quite advanced and would make many war-time Generals envious. The single girl that got away escaped for two main reasons;

(1) I had saved her for last because she was always going to be the toughest nut to crack. The plan was to become ‘born again’ and join her church at the end.

(2) I ran out of time. The plan had worked out smoothly, we had become all brotherly and sisterly, started holding hands to and from places when time ran out.

THE RUB

I wasn’t your typical good looking lad, I was as black as soot & taller than a door. But I knew my positives and flaunted them.

I was a jock, played Basketball & football in the school teams, I was quite smart too. I solved calculus problems & explained complicated lecture notes, even those not of my immediate area of study.

I wasnt just at every party & live shows there was, I organized most parties and live shows.

I had my fill of the campus life. I was lord over the social life & called the shots. I was mindful that lots of my classmates & buddies in those days on campus couldn’t join in the rolling fun. They just didn’t measure up to the expectations of the girls back then. These were mainly the really smart ones. The Nerds, as Americans call them.

They either didn’t have the time, didn’t make the time, didn’t put in the effort, were shy, got discouraged or simply weren’t bothered for the social campus life way back then.

LET’S CONCLUDE

Here it comes:

Of the so many of the lectures I have come across in my ‘Thirty seven plus years of visiting, living with and having endless discussions with very close lecturer friends, hanging around with, partying alongside, holidaying with, as my lecturers or my close friends or house mates or colleagues or relatives or in-law’, a whooping 75% of them were nerds. They said so or I know so.

Do my math too;

Off all the clear cut Nerds I went to school with, all those I can remember or kept in touch with or met again many years later or followed their progression through life, all but three are lecturers now. Two of the three are dead & the one, I last heard was walking the streets in Benin (South central Nigeria) picking up trash & mouthing nonsense, mad as a tornado.

Make up your own conclusions:

Of all these so many nerds I knew and related with, that all became lecturers, a resounding 90% have either had some kind of sexual related incident with a female student or have indicated the tendency to indulge in illicit romantic dealings with female students.

This will blow your away;

I watched the Sex for Grades documentary and there on the screen was one of the nerds in the stats offered above.

I’m not surprised I know one of them & if you’re still asking why, then start reading from the top again

Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

October 2019

Future related reading & possible documentary subjects:

I. Whoring for Grades

II. Culture of favours for favours

III. Qualities of a lecturer

CC

Kiki Mordi @kikimordi

BBC News Africa @BBCAfrica

#SexForGrades #BBCAfricaEye

The lessons of President Xi Jing Peng of China

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I stumbled on this very enlightening titbit & thought lots could from it…. Enjoy!!

President Xi Jing Peng of China said:

“As a small child , I was very selfish, always grabbing the best for myself.

“Slowly, everyone left me and I had no friends. I didn’t think it was my fault and I criticized others. But my father gave me 3 sentences to help me in life.

“One day, my father cooked 2 bowls of noodles and put them on the table. One had an egg on top while the other bowl had none on top. Then he asked me to choose a bowl of noodles.

“Because eggs were hard to come by those days, I chose the bowl with egg! I was congratulating myself on my wise choice/decision and decided to wallop the egg. To my surprise, I saw that my father’s bowl of noodles had two eggs at the bottom beneath the noodles! With much regret, I scolded myself for being too hasty in my decision.

“My father smiled and taught me to remember that what your eyes see may not be true. He added that, If you make a habit of taking advantage of people, you will end up losing.

“The next day, my father again cooked 2 bowls of noodles: one bowl with an egg on top and the other bowl with no egg on top. Again, he asked to choose the bowl I wanted. This time, I felt smarter so I chose the bowl without any egg on top.

“Hmmmmmm to my surprise, there was not even a single egg at the bottom of the bowl! Again, my father smiled and said to me, My child, you must not always rely on experiences because sometimes, life can cheat you or play tricks on you. Never be too annoyed or sad, with situations, just treat experience as learning a lesson that cannot be gotten from any textbooks.

“The third day, my father again cooked 2 bowls of noodles, one bowl with an egg on top and the other with no egg on top. He asked me to choose the bowl I wanted. But this time, I told my father, Dad, you choose first. You are the head of the family and you contribute the most to the family.

“My father was very happy and he chose for me. He chose the bowl with one egg on top. But as I ate my bowl of noodles, to my surprise, there were two eggs at the bottom of the bowl. My father smiled at me with love in his eyes. He said,my child, you must remember that when you think for the good of others, good things will always naturally happen to you.

“I always remember these 3 sentences of my father.”

Xi Jing Peng

St. George’s: Old grand Church that will not be killed.

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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

St. George’s: Some Historical Perspectives and Fundamental Issues
The recent furore over a reported notice for the demolition of a 111 year old Church building in Sabongari, Zaria is not only a direct consequence of the residential segregation that started during the colonial era but part of the collateral damage caused by the religionalization of politics in contemporary Nigeria. A Sabongari is defined as “strangers quarters” or literally new town in an emirate. It is normally a designed layout populated by persons not indigenous to the host community and predominantly from the Southern Protectorate and other West African colonies whether Christian or Muslim. Sabongaris blossomed with railway development. That of Zaria is no different. It fitted into the master plan of segregation to maintain inter communal harmony by the British.
What eventually became St. George’s Church started in 1907 at the private residence of Mr. CA Kasumu an employee of Loco (Railways) located at 22 Yoruba Street. He was a tally clerk in the construction of the Baro-Kano and Bauchi light railway lines. Services were conducted in English and led by Mr. J Mcla Slove and Mr. CH Crabb, a Sierra Leonian and Ghanaian (then Gold Coast) respectively. The growing congregation moved to its present site in 1908 but it was not until 1912 that an ordained priest Revd Victor Johnson from Sierra Leone was sent over to take charge. By then Igbo and Yoruba services were included. The Igbo however relocated to what is today known as St. Michael’s also in Sabongari in 1946. But before then a primary school was built by the Church in its vicinity in 1930. It is now known as Ja’afaru Primary School owned by the Kaduna State govt. That school was expanded in 1949 to become the Northern Nigerian Archdeaconry Teachers Training Center with an initial intake of 23 students. It was renamed St. Peter’s Teachers College and moved to Samaru. It eventually formed the nucleus of the Nigeria College which is now ABU, Zaria. St. Peter’s relocated to Kaduna and St. Faith’s for girls opened near. Both institutions are now owned by the Kaduna state located in Kawo behind the WAEC Secretariat
St. George’s Church is an integral part of the Church of Nigeria. From 1932 to 1980 it was the District Church Council seat of what is now known as Kaduna Province of the Anglican Communion covering the 7 states of the North West geopolitical zone current headed by an Archbishop Most Revd Dr. Ali Buba Lamido from Wusasa also in Zaria.

The Mission hospital in Wusasa was the first Teaching Hospital of ABU at inception.
The religionization of politics in the North started in 1953. This was when the first four Lagos ministers and the three in Kaduna were appointed. They were all Muslims. Abubakar Tafawa Balewa vehemently resisted entreaties by the North’s Governor, Sir Bryan Sharwood Smith for a more balanced and equitable representation (See ‘But Always As Friends’ page 237) Eventually an agreement was reached and Mr. Peter Achimugu, Mr. Micheal Audu Buba and Mr. George Ohikere became Parliamentary Secretaries. It was not until 1955 the first Christian minister was appointed in person of Pastor David Lot. He was however in office without a portfolio. By 1950 there were only 3 colleges in the entire North. Government College Zaria (Barewa) Government College Keffi and St. John’s College Kaduna (now Rimi College) There were however 12 Middle Schools owned by government. The Missionaries owned the rest such that by 1962 there were a total of 8995 learners in these schools. Only 3227 were in government schools. As far as teacher training was concerned as at 1956 there were a total of 540 teachers of Northern origin: 224 in govt and 316 employed by the Missionaries.

What is the way forward? Permit me to quote from Sir Ahmadu Bello’s assurances given when he became Premier of the North in 1957 – “I want to emphasize one thing our Government is a government of Northerners, both Muslims and Christians…..I am pleased to know too, that the relationships between Government and the Missions have been cordial, cooperative and friendly. We cannot deny that there have been differences from time to time, but such differences in our religions need be no bar to our continuing to work together for the good of our people”
Next Governor Nasir el Rufai must live up to his own words. One expects with his quest for national assignment in view he should have outgrown “body bags” grandstanding by showing the kind of maturity commensurate with being called His Excellency.

At 12.40 pm the Kaduna Governor’s official Twitter on Thursday, 11th April 2019 declared “In Kaduna State, the Indigene/Settler dichotomy has been abolished. Every person resident in Kaduna State would be accorded all rights as citizens and indigenes of the state”
Then all Missionary Schools seized without compensation under the Public Education Act of 1971 must be returned to their rightful owners. Under such circumstances the issue of demolition of St. George’s Church would be moot. All states in the South have returned such schools. None have been so far returned in the North. Worthy of mention are those returned by then Muslim governors of Lagos and Ogun states, Bola Tinubu and Ibikunle Amosun respectively. The objectives of the takeover was to not only standardize but accelerate educational developed against the backdrop of an Oil Boom. The exercise woefully failed as it enabled moral degeneration giving rise to widespread exam malpractices and scandalous spike in diverse immoralities. The rest is now living history.

DON’T WE ALL

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Enjoy this thought provoking piece I copied from a facebook page.

“I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car.

I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to get out of work.

Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a tramp.

From the looks of him, he had no car, no home, no clean clothes, and no money.

There are times when you feel generous but there are other times that you just don’t want to be bothered.

This was one of those “don’t want to be bothered times.”

“I hope he doesn’t ask me for any money,” I thought.

He didn’t.

He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop but he didn’t look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.

After a few minutes he spoke.

“That’s a very pretty car,” he said.

He was ragged but he had an air of dignity around him.

His scraggly blond beard keep more than his face warm.

I said, “thanks,” and continued wiping off my car.

He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came.

As the silence between us widened something inside said, “ask him if he needs any help.”

I was sure that he would say “yes” but I held true to the inner voice.

“Do you need any help?” I asked.

He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget.

We often look for wisdom in great men and women.

We expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments.

I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand.

He spoke the three words that shook me.

” **Don’t we all* ?” *he said.

I was feeling high and mighty, successful and important, above a tramp in the street, until those three words hit me like a twelve gauge shotgun.

*Don’t we all?*

I needed help.

Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help.

I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare, but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.

Those three little words still ring true.

No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too.

No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help.

Even if it’s just a compliment, you can give that.

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all.

They are waiting on you to give them what they don’t have –

*A different perspective on life,

*a glimpse at something beautiful,

* a respite from daily chaos, that only you through a torn world can see.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets.

Maybe he was more than that.

Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise, to minister to a soul too comfortable in themselves.

Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a tramp, then said, “go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help.”

**DON’T WE ALL?*

Help somebody, you are only a custodian of whatever you possess.

*Good morning. Have a pleasant day

*copied

Girls at War: A Review

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This a personal & non-academic review of Chinua Achebe’s Short story ‘Girls at War’. Originally done for a Whatsapp book discussion group but which I’ve been encouraged to share far & wide. The Short Story ‘Girls at War’ is from the collection of Nigerian civil war time short stories of the same title by Chinua Achebe.

Let’s start with the title, I have always had thing for titles.

Have you ever seen teenage girls fight? Well, if you have then simply multiply the confused, abusive, scratchy, revealing spectacle a few times over & you have ‘Girls at War’. Girls play dirty & fight crazy. Maturity & civility goes out the window. Fairness remains a distant past, order is lost completely, wisdom a mirage & a ‘strip tease’ a strong possibility, very much expected by amused bystanders, who watch with keen selfish interest.

Even those who step in to separate the Waring ladies will have their motives questioned, especially if they are male. (And in these modern days, even female ‘referees’ get their sexual preferences scrutinized also).

Who to grab, where to hold, what to say, to laugh or not, how to behave, self preservation, (dangerously essential for guys with their two very fragile natural passengers to worry about).

Now if you’re the poor fellow the warring girls are in battle over, you’re not on your own for nobody minds their business anymore. Everyone is in your face nowadays. Blaming everyone & you, for the ‘hurt’ girl is always right by default these days.

‘Who rules the world?’, don’t ask Beyonce, just read the tabloids. “That time done pass. Now everybody want (their say). They call it (free speech). You put your number six; I put my number six.
Everything (is) all right.”

Nigeria was at war with Biafra, is the setting of the story & Biafra was doing quite badly. War is the art of survival. Which of the the two sexes is most dexterous in the practicalities of survival? Girls are at War, perpetually.

The manipulation in daily living is survival, one that is sired in us from that maiden race down a ‘penish’ tube, as we aim to win the fertilization laurel & indirectly cause the demise of millions of our first ‘spermy’ peers.

This a story of changing priorities, of changing times & changing people surprising themselves & but not really altering stereotypes & established perceptions.

The first hint of romance is carried through, ’till death do them part’. The young Gladys clad in khaki, searching cars at a roadblock in the early days of the war, changed into a reluctant battle field for troops to ‘not march in’. The privileged intellectualism of Reginald Nwankwo of the Biafran Ministry of Justice is reduced to the pettiness of the pursuit of luxuries everywhere, that will end with ‘drilling his troops’ in Gladys’ ‘battle field’.

The war efforts had commenced with enthusiast children ‘who marched up and down the streets at the time drilling with sticks and wearing their mothers’ soup bowls for steel helmets.’ Alongside them was the jest of the likes of ‘the contingent of girls from a local secondary school marching behind a banner: WE ARE IMPREGNABLE!’

By the time Gladys & Reginald crossed paths for a third & final time, eighteen months of ‘Death and starvation’ had long
chased out the headiness of the early days.’

Amidst the lackness in
blank suicidal resignation of multitudes, Reginald towed Gladys along to a party with the better-off few feeding off the war. Those ‘who had no other desire than whatever good things were still going and to enjoy themselves to the limit. ‘But unlike these strange lot, normalcy had not returned to the rest of the world. ‘Girls became girls once more and boys boys,’ only in the parties of these priviledges few, as the world around them ‘was a tight, blockaded and desperate world.’

Living in these war days made
heads of stockfish & tinned meat a very privileged luxury and the likes of ‘the dreadful American stuff called Formula Two’ heaped on the populace by international relief bringers. Reginald’s contacts kept him within easy reach of a variety of relief stuffs like ‘rice, beans and that excellent cereal commonly called Gabon gari.’ He has an official car & a driver to ferry him through the land & a bomb shelter within reach of his home to weather the horrific fear of air-raids.

Reginald Nwankwo is fortunate and not one of ‘the starved scarecrow crowd of rags and floating ribs’, reduced ‘by the independent accusation of their wasted bodies and sunken eyes’ as they perpetually hung around relief centres, making crude, ungracious remarks like “War Can Continue!”

Reginald did the best he could to keep the clutches of kwashiokor out of the reach of his driver’s (Johnson) home by making sure that whenever he got sizeable supplies he gave some to Johnson, for his wife and six or
seven kids.

At one pound per cigarette cup in the market, Gari might as well be caviar for most ordinary folks. Something has to give & always did. Priorities changed & things like respect & sympathy lowered in standard, so much that only pretty girls get rides in staff cars, not begging old women.

When gentleman say to a pretty girl, ‘I broke my rule today to give you a lift. I never give lifts these
days”, it’s not love or fondness, it is good old sweaty panting lust. When a girl braves bomb raids on the road to a major city during a war & tells you ;“I am going to visit my girlfriend,” it’s good old fashioned survival hunting.

Gladys got the bush meat she came out for in a comfy bed, party fun, good food & scarce money. Reginald got the ‘match’ he wanted to win for a looooooooong time.

“But your family is not there with you?” “No,” he said. “Nobody has his family there. We like to say it is because of air-raids but I can assure you there is more to it. Owerri is a real swinging town and we live the life of gay bachelors.” “That is what I have heard.” Gladys heard the hunting is good in the Owerri metropolitan bush and she came to get lucky.

In a real swinging party hosted by a Lieutenant-Colonel, in the real fun of the moment, she saw someone better than Reginald and fell in-love with what she saw in a man for the first time in Owerri & as it turned out, for the last time. While Reginald was ashamed of himself, hating the parties and frivolities to which his friends clung like drowning men, Gladys found her mojo.

Still it was always about taking a girl home for the classy dude & Reginald was always a classic guy who wants to get the babe. ‘And this particular girl too, who had once had such beautiful faith in the struggle and was betrayed (no doubt about it) by some man like him out for a good time.’

This personified the entire story for me. Gladys is the ‘Girl at War’ with the circumstances she has found herself in & setting out to make the best of it. Just like a young controversial nation at war with the circumstances it found itselt & making a whole mess of it. And five decades later, that region of the nation is still making a mess of the politics of it, playing the blame game still.

Their last morning together, Reginald felt better as he saw Gladys as ‘a mirror reflecting a society that had gone completely rotten and maggoty at the centre. The mirror itself was intact; a lot of smudge but no more. All that was needed was a clean duster.’ One that is still being awaited over fifty years later. And like the bold Biafran experience, Gladys ventured to be bold & heroic at the moment that called for it. Like Biafra, she ended her in a monumental crash of her world in a charred, smoking and entangled remains of the girl and that didn’t what ‘troops to match’ in her insides.

Sadly, the story is a comical but romantic take on how wrong it could be when it feels so right, like fighting a war to regain the peace the war shattered.

Yas Niger

Kaduna, Nigeria

Sculptor of God

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By an Anonymous Writer

Enjoy & meditate on it….

“A German once visited a temple under
construction where he saw a sculptor making an idol of God.

Suddenly he noticed a similar idol lying nearby. Surprised, he asked the sculptor, “Do you need two statues of the same idol?”
“No,” said the sculptor
without looking up, “We need only one, but the first one got damaged at the last stage.”

The gentleman
examined the idol and found no apparent damage.
“Where is the damage?” he asked.
“There is a scratch on the nose of the idol,” said the sculptor, still
busy with his work.

“Where are you going to install the idol?”
The sculptor replied that it would be
installed on a
pillar twenty feet high.

“If the idol is that far who is going to know that there is a scratch on the nose?” The gentleman asked.

The sculptor stopped work, looked up at the gentleman, smiled and said, “I will know it.”

The desire to excel is exclusive of the fact whether someone else appreciates it or not.

“Excellence” is a
drive from inside, not outside. Excellence is not for someone else to notice but for your own satisfaction and efficiency.

Don’t Climb a Mountain with an Intention that the World Should See You,
Climb the Mountain with the Intention to See the World.

Maiduguri: City of a Thousand Kings 👑

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Culled from Ahmed Yahaya Joe on facebook

There is this other side of Maiduguri we seem to have forgotten. Let the good times roll again in that great city. I was quite \fascinated when I read this uplifting piece that I stumbled upon online. Enjoy!
Origin and Meaning of Maiduguri:

The name Maiduguri is from the name Maiduwuri, the name Maiduwuri is referring to the present day Old Maiduguri in Jere local government Area of Borno state. So Maiduguri is a combination of two Kanuri words namely “Mai” and “Duwuri”. Mai is a Kanuri word referring to a King or a leader and Duwuri is from the word Duwu which means a thousand ;hence Duwuri is referring to the plural of a thousand which is thousands, ordinarily its like saying something is in the category of thousands (a thousand in ancient time is the peak of counting bc counting in millions was not known then). So literally Maiduguri (Mai+Duwuri) means “Thousand Kings” thus Maiduguri is a land of a “Thousand-Kings”.

Why Maiduguri is called the Land of the Thousand Kings: During the colonial and pre-colonial eras the African societies and even the global community is not as rich as it is today due to the effect of industrial revolution. In those days ordinary citizens apart from the King /ruler and his children or siblings all other people in a kingdom hardly owns more than One Gown cloth (Babban riga/Kuluwu or Malum-Malum) bc they are expensive thus they are not used as regular wears but rather ceremonial`. However contrary to this practices in the neighboring kingdoms to Kanem-Borno of wearing Gowns only on special occasions here in Borno (Old Maiduguri) which was a town with booming economy and having Islamic scholars as its leaders (the Shehu’s/Sheikh) who pays less attentions on their subjects on issues of who wears what made almost all the indigenes of Maiduguri then to be wearing. the traditional Gowns for their daily activities. So for visitors visiting Maiduguri for the first time as at that time normally gets surprise seeing everybody in the city dressed like a King. Therefor they feel that they are in a Land of a thousand Kings. So that is why old Maiduguri is called Maiduguri. To prove this claim just have a look at the Maiduguri society of today where people are still wearing one of the most expensive traditional clothings in the country when compared to their neighbouring counterparts or states. Just imaging how an ordinary man who is not a governor,a minister or even known to the society wearing a Zanna cap along worthing N 50,000 (fifty thousand naira ) or even above.

It is also important to note that the present day Maiduguri is also called Yerwa bc that was its original name before the name Maiduguri.
Why is Maiduguri called Yerwa : Yerwa is a name derived from the Kanuri word “HERWA” or “Herra “which means a promising or a blessed Land. Experts said it is called Herwa in the first place bc of its close proximity to the seasonal Ngadda River that still passes through it. Remember most of the Kanem Borno capitals like Ngazargamu,Kukawa,Monguno and others were either desert or semi desert cities , so water has a prestige in the kingdom in fact it is even a determining factors 4 creating new settlements.

Maiduguri, is still called Yerwa by its locals, is the capital and the largest city of Borno State in north-eastern Nigeria. The city as stated above sits along the seasonal Ngadda River which disappears into the Firki swamps in the areas around Lake Chad. Maiduguri was founded in 1907 as a military outpost by the British and has since grown rapidly in to millions in terms of its population.
A brief history:

The city was actually home to the Kanem-Bornu Empire for centuries. Maiduguri consists of two cities: Yerwa to the West and Old Maiduwuri to the east. Old Maiduguri was selected by the British as their military headquarters while Yerwa was selected at approximately the same time by Shehu Abubakar Garbai of Borno to replace Kukawa as the new traditional capital of the Kanuri people.
Maiduguri is estimated to have a population of 1,197,497 in 2009 as of 2007 and presently 3.3 Million due to the recent past unrest tht pushed the rural population to Maiduguri. Its residents are mostly Muslim including Kanuri, Hausa, Shuwa, Bura, Marghi, and Fulani ethnic groups.

The highest record temperature was 47 °C (117 °F) on 28 May 1983, while the lowest record temperature was 5 °C (41 °F) on 26 December 1979.

The Shehu palace:
The Shehu Palace was built in 1907 by the British. The original setleres who were relocated to build the Shehu’s Palace were the descendants of the former Mais of the Borno Empire including the great -great grandchildren of Mai Idris Alauma, some of them were initially moved to Shehuri North to enable the British create space to build the Palace which still stands at the place today. Construction work of the Palace began in the early 1900’s immediately after the defeat of Rabih az-Zubayr in 1900.

Economy

Maiduguri is home to three markets which include an ultra-modern “Monday market” that has a spectacular satellite or Umbrella like image view 4rom the above. It has an ancient museum and is served by the Maiduguri International Airport. The city has one of the best layouts in Nigeria. It is connected by road to the republics of Cameroon, Chad and Niger and from Maiduguri goods and services are transported to as far as Sudan and Bangui in the Central African Republic. There were existing historical records of trade with the North African nations of Libya, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon. A survey of property markets in Nigeria (2009) positioned Maiduguri as the third most expensive for buying and renting in the country next to Abuja and Lagos. Maiduguri is the principal trading hub for northeastern Nigeria. Its economy is largely based on services and trade with a small share of manufacturing. The city lies at the end of a railway line connecting Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kafanchan, Kuru, Bauchi, and finally Maiduguri. This rail lines were originally intended by the British to convey Ground nuts as well as Hides and skin to the coast of the Atlantic Ocean for upward transportation to Europe. Even though Nguru town of Borno in the present day Yobe state had its rail system as far back as in the 1930s, but Maiduguri got its own rail lines around the 1960s due to the fact that the elders of ancient Maiduguri prevented the rail lines from reaching Maiduguri deliberately through prayers . Because after their “ISTIHARA” (prayers) regarding the coming of the rail lines to Maiduguri it was said that they saw associated problems coming with the rail lines to the city meaning that it might bring with it associated trouble to the City . So their efforts prevented the rail lines reaching Maiduguri in the 1930s, 1940s and the 1950s. So we can now say that their guess is proved bc in 2009 the unrest that seriously affected the city actually started from the “Railway compound” behind State-Low-cost Housing Estate. I am not an anti-rail line person, but I was amazed with the level of the forecast or thinking of our illiterate Grandfathers as far back as some 70 years ago that manifested now having direct correlation with the sophisticatef modern science of today which has the ability to forecast future weather patterns ahead of time or even day’s b4 they happened using the most sophisticated gadgets and satellites of our modern technological advanced time.

Education:
Maiduguri is known to be a center of Islamic and Quran studies for the past 100 years. In fact for Islamic scholars from the Sokoto Caliphat including Sokoto,Gwandu,Kano,Zaria,Katsina,Hadejia and many others that have not come and studies Islam and Quran in Maiduguri they feel that their studies is somehow incomplete.
So it is not a surprise that Maiduguri based Scholars like late Sheikh El-Miskin,Sheikh AbulFathi,Sheikh Abba Aji,Sayinna Alhaji Bashir,Imam Upchama (Ba Liman),Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh,Sheikh Sherriff Tijjani and Mallam Usman Bida remained popular across the country or the entire sub-Saharan African region. In fact this is one of the reasons that made late Sheikh Mahmud Ja’afar keep acknowledging during his life time that he was greatly inspired by the teachings of Sheikh Abba Aji and the same Sheikh Mahmud Ja’afar after visting Sheikh El-Miskin’s library in El-Miskin house also acknowledged that he has never seen a library that has so much unique collections with some of its books not even obtainable in the market or in the other libraries that he has known in fact some of the books looks new to him.

In terms of modern education Maiduguri has one of the best-equipped university and hospitals in Nigeria. The University of Maiduguri attracts foreign students from neighboring countries especially Cameroun ,Chad,Sudan and Niger Republics. The College of medical sciences is amongst the top 5 best medical schools in Nigeria. Other higher institutions include Ramat polytechnic, Elkanemi college of Islamic Theology, Muhammad Goni college of Arabic and Islamic studies, Lake Chad Research Institute, College of agriculture and College of education among others.

As of 2011, the Future Prowess Islamic School provided a free Western and Islamic education to orphans and vulnerable children, was open to both boys and girls, and was free of charge.

Attractions of Maiduguri: Kyarimi Park,University of Maiduguri,Maiduguri Monday Market, the Maiduguri Museum, Shehu’s Palace, Imam Malik Islamic Center,Indimi Mosque,Deribe Mosque,Deribe Palace,Maiduguri International Airport, Maiduguri Sports Center and the Maiduguri International Hotel (Not functioning now).
The Deribe Palace which is considered as the most expensive House in Africa and one of the best in the World is in Maiduguri. Remember this house hosted King Carlos of Spain,Prince Charles and lady Diana as well as the American President @one time.
Maiduguri served as a home and remains a home to many great business men, scholars, military generals, academicians, technocrats and diplomats; Some of the popular names under this category are Sir Kashim Ibrahim, Waziri Ibrahim, Alhaji Mai Deribe ,Sheikh Elmiskin, Babagana Kingibe, Sheikh Aabba Aji, Professor Umaru Shehu, Shehu Mustafa Elkanemi,Alhaji Bukar Mandara,Alhaji Bukar Bolori,General Abba Kyari, General Mamman Shuwa,Major General Yusuf Brutai, Kashim Ibrahim Imam, Mala Kachalah, Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh, Mukaddam Bukhari, Alhaji Zanna Deribe, Muhammad Indimi, Alhaji Zanna Dipcharima, Ba’a liman upchama and Babagna Monguno among many many other great personalities not mentioned here that are either residence or indigenes of the city.

The geographical location of Maiduguri is @ Coordinates: 11°50′N 13°09′E. It occupies an area of 50,778 square kilometers. It remains center of trade, learning, culture, Daaba and home of tourism and history.

The Failure of Fathering

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By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

The circumstances behind this photograph are too painful and mind boggling to recount here. As the details have already gone viral but irrespective of the heinous actions these teenagers committed the truth is simply that no matter how hard we try to color or panel beat the situation the spike in kidnapping, rape, substance abuse, suicide, vandalism, crime and other forms of vice pervading our nation are all symptoms of the breakdown of traditional family values.

We are all responsible either by acts of commission or omission of making monsters out of these kids because the virus causing their ailment is what is known as “father absence”
Being a father is the world’s most difficult job. It is beyond the culmination of our lust and not a job description of just physical presence but of psychological relevance. It is being there taking responsibility, communicating and mentoring. Paying the bills and providing for them is mandatory but not enough. That is why the Biblical definition of being an orphan is fatherlessness.

Th

e main challenge is that no matter how well you package your children as long as those they hang-out with are badly packaged yours are in constant danger. It is called Peer Pressure. There is no perfect formula against it but being there for them is a good beginning. Then there is wisdom, tact and good luck. Being strict and vigilant monumentally helps. It is however a double edged sword because the teenage years are the most radioactive. At that age all systems are at peak performance and willing to experiment and be inventive. It is a precarious stage of experimentation.

What therefore is the best way forward? Fathers must take back their children by spending more time with them. What teenagers hate most is being judgmental on them. So create ways and means to channel their enormous energies and imagination. Back in the day there were outlets of positive character formation and confidence building Boys Scouts, Man o’ War and so on. Now its social media all the way!

It is within that double edged sword context that we must find the solutions. Fathers must become more media savvy and checkmate our young in the battleground that takes so much of their attention.
There is however nothing that beats spending more time with them that is why it is called “quality time” Give them freedom…….wahala don’t give them freedom…..wahala. I do not subscribe to the Hausa adage of “Ka haifi yaro, baka haifi halin sa ba” – Fathering a child does not make you responsible for his faults. Nothing could be further from the truth. This is a very lame excuse. Their faults are ours. Without teaching them about taking responsibility how can they transit from being boys to men? The teenagers in the above picture certainly have or had fathers. There must be a missing link somewhere. Exploring these missing links by all fathers is the most veritable solution for us despite our social class, religious and ethnic differences.

We are not perfect but as fathers we must constantly improve our brand equity. After all it was another father like us who ought to have known better that raped an underage Busola Dakola. This kind of double standard confuses young minds. Lord Have Mercy!