You probably have heard or read this story before. I just saw it again recently & it suddenly had a whole new meaning under the present circumstances.
Bear with me a while & read it fully yet again, so you can appreciate my cute Covid19 ending.
“A mouse looked through a crack in the wall to see the farmer & his wife open a package. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap. Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed the warning: “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!”
“”The chicken clucked, scratched & said, “Mr. Mouse, I can tell this is of grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered.”
“The mouse turned to the goat and told him, “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The goat sympathized, but said, “I am sorry Mr. Mouse, there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers.”
“The mouse turned to the cow & said “There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!” The cow said, “Wow, Mr. Mouse. I’m sorry for you, but it’s none of my concern.” So, the mouse returned to the house dejectedly to face the farmer’s mousetrap alone.
“That same night a sound was heard throughout the house – like the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey. The farmer’s wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did not see it was a venomous snake whose tail the trap had caught.
“The snake bit the farmer’s wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital & she returned home with a fever. Everyone knows you aid a fever with fresh chicken soup, so the farmer took his knife to the farm house for the soup’s main ingredient.
“But his wife’s sickness continued, so friends & neighbours came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the goat.
“Finally, the farmer’s wife died.
So many people came for her funeral & the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them.
“The mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.”
The morale of the story;
Next time you hear someone is facing a problem and think it doesn’t concern you, remember when one of us is threatened, we are all at risk.
Mouse: Common Citizen
Crack in the wall: Ghetto
Farmer’s wife: Expatriates
Neighbors: Social Media
Chicken soup: Lemon
Farm house: Quarantine
Mouse trap: Covid19
What’s remarkable about this story is how anyone can make their own completely different list of appropriate characters.
My wife, daughter in-law & niece had their own very scary list…
Trust women! 🤦♂️
Check out their own choice of characters;
Crack in the wall: Hospital
Darkness: Conspiracy theories
Snake: Unprepared Authorities
Farmer’s wife: Wuhan
Goat: Europe & America
Neighbors: Social Media
Chicken soup: Chloroquine
Funeral: New world order
Farm house:Social Gatherings
Mouse trap: lockdown
There is hidden mockery in their “Friends – for Sports” choice, it’s directed at me & my son.
They actually enjoy that there is no football now & like the troubled are always asked “Where are your friends now?” They mean actually mean, “Where is your sports now?”
Their ‘Cow – Africa’ scare the shit out of me.
We’ve had our serious laugh, now it’s your turn to make others laugh, ponder & wonder.
By Ahmed Yahaya JoeWhy I am not bothered about the present escalation of tension in the Middle East? Well to start with according to Carl von Clausewitz,
“War is the continuation of politics by other means”
War is also big business for the military industrial complex and not me. My primary concern is therefore the Nigerian economic outlook in 2020 because I barely scraped through 2019. To me what is happening between the US and Iran is as clear as mud as Aubrey Bailey puts it:
“Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in the fight against Islamic State (IS) We don’t like IS, but it is supported by Saudi Arabia, whom we do like. We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him. We don’t like Iran, but Iran supports the Iraqi against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting against our other enemies, whom we want to lose, but we don’t want our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win. If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And all this was started by us invading Iraq to drive out terrorists who weren’t actually there until we went in to drive them out. Do you understand now?”
Simply put Bailey is reminding us of the initial US justification of invading Iraq to search for “weapons of mass destruction” and topple Saddam Hussein that was based on “Known knows, known unknowns and unknown unknowns” I also find the following narrative highly instructive:“Alexander the Great marched into the Middle East graveyard about 2,500 years ago. Easy to march in, hard to march out. His words. He and his mother wrote to each other all the time. One day, he got a letter from her saying: “What the hell? You conquered most of the known world in a day and a half, what are you doing bogged down there?” He grabbed a bag and shoveled it full of dirt and had it sent back to Greece with a message to his mother: “Take this dirt and dump it around the palace, see what happens.” So Alexander’s mother spread the dirt all around the palace. Later that night, a couple of attendants showed up to make sure she was alright. One says: “Go ahead, after you.” And the other says: “No, after you.” And the first one says: “No, I insist.” And the second one says: “Don’t you tell me what to do.” They pull their swords and go at it till they kill each other. Alexander’s mother watched all this and wrote a note to him saying: “Okay, okay, now I get it.” And he wrote back saying: “Even the dirt is hostile, dogs fight dogs, birds fight birds, men kill men”In conclusion, life can be summarized in just 3 words:
It goes on.
If the world survived the First and Second World Wars why wouldn’t it survive a Third?
👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻👆🏻US automated missle defense system that defended the 2 American bases in Iraq. 3000 rounds per minute of crazy scary precision. About 10 missles were killed on arrival.
UK & USA Reject Presidential election results, threatens to remove Buhari .
Read full story….
The U.K and USA has rejected the Presidential election held on Saturday.
The Urhobo Kingdom (UK) representing Irodo community in Delta State And the UKwani Student Association (USA) also threatened to scatter the INEC office in Irodo and UKwani, two small communitIes where only about 100 and 300 people registered to vote
The new government in charge in Nigeria has embarked on a long overdue campaign against corruption. While the main focus is on the bigwigs, it is rather strange that ordinary folks appear to feel the crunch of the latest anti-corruption drive the most. Just maybe, more than ever before, Nigerians will come to terms with the reason why to the rest of the world, corruption is synonymous with Nigerians, not just the Niger-area they live in.
In an atmosphere where a large population doesn’t have simple answers to the most basic problems of their nation or indeed the slightest inkling of what the problems really are that are responsible for the overwhelming symptoms of such despicable magnitude, rectifing problems become hopeless. The entire nation seems to be calling out for any kind of lingering respite to a problem they don’t actually understand fully.
“The Niger-area calls out its people to arise as compatriots, to answer the call and obey, to serve diverse yearnings with their quest for spoils of all kinds. The people’s labour of long past shall never be in vain, as long as they serve with might and heart, to function based on little selfless wisdom and plenty of eased up selfish insanity. ”
The Niger-area is the freest region on the African continent, if not the world. Its people laugh at the slaves of freedom in the west, who are not aware of what freedom truly gives them, if they are not really free to do as they honestly like. The many limitations that come with the organized lifestyles of so called developed nations render their long tested freedom styles tasteless and makes them a rich tasteless meal, exotic only because its classy whiff is an attachment of convenience to be eaten with only the right kind of cutleries.
However, in a land where business is not about service too, but primarily for the profit craved for, then profit is not the two way traffic it ought to be. Profit should satisfy both ways, and not some individual obsession of those who are able to dominate everything and everyone in everyway. The discipline people show in their business is packed full of the opportunities they create for only themselves. It is this kind of orientation they comes along with functions in the Niger-area’s civil service, where and when the public servants bully their way into roles that further enslaves the common people they already dominate in all aspects of daily living.
The larger percentage of the Niger-area public servants’ stewardship continues to seek personal profit first, as they indiscriminately excel in their private pursuits mainly. The civil service is all about serving others and not self, hence a conflict is eminent at every turn of the people’s daily quest when those paid to serve their interest only serve themselves instead. This trend doesn’t follow the concept of separate entity which business and private ownership thrives on steadily.
It is the peoples’ life dependent desire to suffice amidst a mounting list of inabilities that forces them to react with cooperating with the corruption than solves their lack of fair opportunities. These corrupt civil servants, forcibly imposed military leaders and highly favoured politicians, deny the people their simply right to public service. The people of the Niger-area simply live in a mazy enclave of a grand collusion of all brands of public authority, functioning mainly in the most practicable means of corruption known to civilized man the world over.
The people’s labour for a fair opportunity to live comfortably is denied them by the lustful abilities of the nation’s leadership, represented not just by the elite but even the ordinary folks in simple places of authority. The simple rewards most privilege people receive for work done is full of abnormalities. The typical civil servant in the Niger-area can oddly afford to live well beyond their official means. They accomplish this feat against all odds because literally the land is full of partakers in this national pastime, in one form or another. It is an insurmountable anomaly that is ironically both cruel and favourable to all and sundry across the board, from an objective point of view. The lucky employed people’s capacity to do their work is continuously polished by everyone else, at the expense of the nation’s credibility. The nation appears to breed a long continous line of similarly gifted and well groomed corrupt people. It is a frustrating experience to abolish corruption in the Niger-area because everyone agrees they are not corrupt but thrive on corruption either directly or indirectly; everyone and everybody. The people of the Niger-area thrive from corruption, more than they do without it. For every single thing lost in the proper form, there isn’t a replacement in the improper form to supplement. Planning has to be on a last-card basis, few risks ever taken.
The nation’s leadership lost out on the key point of note. They failed to realize the importance of creating genuine honest opportunities for employees at the best rates of remuneration. It is the best way to reduce corruption, if there is a genuine will to do so. In the depth that makes up the core of the swelling problems of the nation is a deep set adherence to the reliable unwritten laws of corruption, which always sees to it that both the masses and the elite get through their common difficulties of getting even the simplest things done. It is the readily available factor which can be enlisted as the means of the practical aid needed to overcome basic problems of basic origins. Corruption is boisterous and exuberant in being so appropriate in providing solutions where there are none in sight. The people have always faulted corruption for many of their woes, hypocritical adjudging their assumed or presumed high standards for what they consider as fair and justified. They generally speak ill of the same corruption they rely heavily on to get undue advantage over each other at every given point they feel stuck, which is often.
Almost every time in the most corrupt circumstances, it is the undeserving person who deserves but is made unfortunate for purely manipulated reasons. The elite and the masses alike, readily use their privileged placings to their advantage and utilize bureaucratic bottle necks to their personal favour and this is always to personalized effect. The whole nation has stereotyped its view of institutionalized entities as a complex world of activities that render specific selfish functions to those within it that are favoured. Member of the society forget that what constitute an organized setting is basically the people. Formal entities are made of separate single individuals that function in their own personal capacities of family and at community levels first, and these are practically informal. Their daily functions as separate micro units are guided by their orientations and relationships with others.
These play a huge role in the manner people present themselves, within a larger context. This also includes how they represent their selfish desire to explore every possible means to get the upper hand at all times, irrespective of who is most deserving. Their efforts always buttress those actions that are constantly seeking to unset the perceived advantage of rivals. All visible encouragement obviously given to this trend is strictly insinuated by the general popular acceptance it receives. This is so especially from the inactions of the multitude concerned with it, the same people that get the bad end of these constantly reoccurring discreet corrupt practices. It is these same clearly disadvantaged persons who actually cheer the numerous gains of corruption and they identify with the reverence it gets in their communities that claim to abhor corruption. This irony is not only contradictory to their verbally professed beliefs, but it is also genuinely complex in revelation. It is completely opposite to what the aspiration for their nation as a whole is.
The country has become filled up with steadily growing perpetrators of the ills of corruption, so much that it is so hard to tell which form of it is derogatory and which isn’t anymore. Corruption has lost its bad face and with its constant gains as a sure means to get firm results; deservedly or not, its human vice status has gained more public appeal and taken on a popular human face. Corruption has bought itself an esteemed status with its visible gains and encouraged more and more people to partake with increasingly conscious intent. With its new air of acceptability, corruption naturally leads the whole community, with a visibly conscious flair. Almost everyone but not everyone, lives in the Niger-area with the honest knowledge that given the same opportunities as those in the most privileged positions, most of those now disadvantaged will happily do the same corrupt stuff, the very same corrupt things they are noisily criticizing others for doing presently.
The ordinary folks readily make all the other less privileged people around them as disadvantaged as they are and don’t think twice about it, because they see through the smoke screens and identify with the origin of their indigenous corrupt tendencies. The ethical origins of corruption are still evident in its manifestation as it was the case in the old days. Definitely the archaic and primitive ways of doing things had not been alone in bringing out the odd need to seek favours from those who can deliver and to gratify their own personal natural needs and lustful wants for merely doing so. Their resolve is to ensure that they follow their lust for selfish gains and still adhere to the dominant national principle of taking advantage of others always, and letting others take advantage of them on the same parallel.
They pay for these corrupt practices in every possible way, through varied and quietly unclear means, with clearly stated or insinuated terms. The insinuation is always clear even if the mode of payment isn’t always. The generous nature of all the perpetrators of corruption deceives by its actions and the lies it tells are quite intentional in every sense of it. All the benefactors are fools because they are used to satisfy a bigger need than they could provide for themselves and are thus only a means to another person’s brief joy, which they can not claim to enjoy too.
That is the only telling streak of corruption that is never necessitated by its course of action, an action not initially viewed as the selfish act it is. It is an action that always resumes its pull for a solution within the sphere of human attraction for individual needs first of all, and then a desire to maximize gains by all workable means. Each lie used to achieve this goal is a generous tool that is evidently steered towards that singular purpose of offering an insinuated insult to the individual who yields to corrupt advances. By succumbing to these advances, the individual is lowering the logical sense of value of their individuality. What credible worth that accrues to an individual is tainted and lost in due course with corrupt practices.
The Niger-area is heavily dependent on corruption and its civility lives within a peaceful anarchy, as a direct result of this. Civility endures the pains of justice when it is denied and suffers the roughness of a terrain it has no exact control over but must still live in. Strangely, it is unfairly just because it appropriately makes a case for the kind of prosperity the society finally attains. The kind of value the society gets at the end of the day characterizes the value it attaches to its well-being as a knitted modern society. A massive majority of the people represent this rude truth that runs in the essence of the nation. More than anything else, this speaks for the holistic national character of the entire nation, if nothing else does.
The popularity of corruption is cultural in the Niger-area and its visible effect makes it an accepted norm, embraced mainly because of its success, employed for its viability and endeared for its reliability. It lingers on for this simple reason as the whole country stares with awe as nothing else steadily brings a logical end to corruption without also ending established cultural norms, as they have always existed. Corruption has taken on the same meaning as what was erstwhile proper in the people’s custom. It has suitably taken on a similar face, like the use of faith and belief interchangeably. By admitting this contrasting advantage and shortcoming of malicious corruption, both perpetrators and critics of corruption simply affirm its strengths. The futility in the people’s competing selfish thinking and eventual deeds always comes to the fore even when it is negatively accepted. This likens how true faith always takes root with the illogicality of hope, while it is logical to assume that the reasoning of hope establishes individual and collective faith.
Corrupting became excusable in a land that symbolizes despots as successful icons, where incredibly expensive luxuriously reliable strong four wheel drives and huge standard utility vehicles aren’t only symbols of waste but essentially convenient means of transporting ostentatiously paid important public servants over badly maintained old highways. In a land where hard working people who desire to work for their earnings and have no wish to achieve anything from being lazy but from the harsh unpleasantness of earning an honest living, nothing has proven to be as resourceful to the diverse people as ramifications of corruption has.
Nothing fashioned against the resounding might of corruption prospers in the Niger-area because nothing has as yet replaced or promised to replace its real abundant achievements for the people who grew up relying on it for succor. If the people as one whole identifiable package, with the same single identity, do not have guaranteed legal access to the benefits of their nationhood and they must remain as one entity, then they will obviously take it without any consideration for how legally they do. They will stream out of their shores in search of the golden fleece they know they world offers and will look from it to the ends of the world. The people of the Niger-area will search in the most obscure lands, much poorer than their local villages, which they ran away from. They search in streets that are dirtier than their toilets or refuse heaps, look inside jails more hostile than their indigenous battle fields, in communities that hate them for just visiting. They look for more the only way they had learnt at home; the only way they see work.
The people’s determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake, just like the leadership they always follow. They mimic a wrongly expressed sincerity and they have raised a banner that says as much to themselves and every other onlooker. Theirs is a fakeness that is too pronounced to be viewed as something else. They reek of shame as a people but individually claim holiness. A whole tradition altered itself to suit its fakeness and finds itself functioning not like it envisaged but like it fraudulently dared to, only so that it can sustain itself, as it calls itself.
There aren’t pinpoint developed or under-developed nations. The difference in development levels of nations are classed according to proximity to the best examples of the two extremes of the stages of development. Thus the term developing is firstly relative to both extremes. The seemingly endless process of developing is still quiet evident at both extremes. This fact is open dispute and debate.
Stagnation in under-developed nations isn’t permanent either, but the term aptly describes the state it appears to be in presently, just as being termed developed doesn’t describe the former. Development isn’t an infrastructural state, principally. Development is mainly attitudinal; a state of a culture and not the process it had under gone to get where it is. Development isn’t a stage a nation is but the state of the circumstances that surround the entirety of the national entity currently, not where it is at. Development isn’t a stage but a process, it isn’t ever finished but dynamic.
Here is a poem by Portia Nelson that might help us see that if we ever want this misconception of what development really is to end, we must do things differently not merely shutting little people up when they crave for true development.
There’s A Hole In My Sidewalk
I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in. I am lost….I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the side walk.
I pretend I don’t see it. I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But it isn’t my fault.
It still takes a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I fall in….it’s a habit…but my eyes are open.
I know where I am. It is my fault.
I get out immediately.
I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.
The complete absence of choice is the complete absence of humanity. In the absence of freedom is the absence of choice and in the absence of choice is the absence of reason, which creates the most ideal atmosphere for anarchy.
Suspicion breeds curiosity and inquisitiveness is the keenness kind of knowledge creator. Simple baseless faith tends to cloud reason and render the few designated roles of human senses useless to personalized existence. Choice keeps life bubbling with its common logic. It is after all fear that compels sensible caution the most, manages to preserve all kinds of life forms, irrespective of intelligence. That most naturally reflects choice the most. As surprisingly silly an assertion as it might appear, this facile truth dandled the length and breath of life in all is ramification.
Like the borderless hues of rainbows, chioce is the true reason for change and change is the sole continuum of all life. Choice is fully absent in the peripheries of the most emotionally touching incidences that concludes a life and in the most frequent basic incident that sustains it, but it is everywhere else in all of every lifetime.
Winning ways sought
Speak for their sort.
In their earliest thought
They very often do not.
From many we choose
With lots more to loose
And in all this huge fuss
We thrive more confused.
So with cares of lusts
We live out their costs.
In picking from lots
Best chances are still lost.
Most current leaders in the black race personify a notable class of people in the larger society that most profited from secular and spiritual corruption. Business men are successful because they are connected and got the most compelling undue advantage to enrich themselves. Clergymen would personify those that had become mythical in their every thought, speech and actions because of the prestige and respect they enjoy from the increasingly popularity of worshiping vague celestial divinities. It is globally the turn of black people to predominantly fear and revere everything termed sacred and the black race have since owned it, more than any other race or people before and now.
This divine slavery has advanced to such an extent that the state of superiority enjoyed by a revered deity is used only for personal advantage. Rogue tendency of being holy is currently more commonly exploited by all types among every brand of the darker races and their leaders. It is their turn to copy the old well tested antics of the white elite.
It goes to show why clergymen shouldn’t be secular politicians, no matter how many good men before had successfully done so. There are more harmful possibilities to it than there are good ones. The confessed faiths of clergymen can only be bias to their beliefs and where they must fairly administer over persons in a secular setting with competing diversely held beliefs, then they must be hypocritical in their desire to be fair, thereby failing to be true to their own faiths; the very basis for being considered ideal for public office in the first place.
Written by Jacob Ibrag She wanted more than he could give her. He asked her to meet him half way. ‘Never, I refuse to settle.’ Walking past her peripheral, he turned back one last time and tried to remember every single detail of their night. Black dress with red trim. ‘Pink lips that I’ll never kiss again.’ Photographer Unknown
One strange thing about the drunkenness of power is that it leaves no trace of a hangover because it never really intoxicates in the first place, instead it infects like an ailment. What it does is put the mind in a state of make believe stupor. It lies to the person, telling him he is indeed invincible and that he can walk naked on a busy road without being seen by the ever present pretentious crowd. When a mad man walks around naked, it is only because he doesn’t logically know he is naked until he is healed. This is quite unlike the drunk man who is always fully aware of what happens to him, if he is still consciously awake while drunk. Then by all intent of purpose, the powerful man lives in that state sandwiched in the mystical void between insanity and drunkenness, while actually being neither of them. So when this borderless state concludes its hazy mazy course, it still leaves behind a lot to rationally reflect on, unlike madness which leaves nothing of its past or drunkenness which leaves no immediate memories or vivid perspective of the past.
Power’s negativity leaves regrets, shame and disgrace, because it can be remembered as it was. In its selfish ways, power has an impulsive mind which with steady time has the tendency to become unwaveringly firm in its will to pursue a course it had lashed on to by its proud faith in its perceived abilities. It takes up a nature rightly construed to be initially foreign to its natural one and summarily makes it its own. Power denies its perilous positions because it doesn’t see it clearly like it ought to. It is an enigma that inserts a conjecturable attitude in itself.
Power is an attitude with an enticement induced with dubious intentions as the cost of most of its decisions are usually more than less not what it is personally prepared to pay for. The potentials of power are commonly not fully tapped and when applied unwisely, never really realized in its entirety. They almost never get fully achieved. The dubious craft of making power create wealth is thus never fully achieved when it is considered that wealth isn’t the attraction in itself, but what the wealth represents always is the absolute objective. It is predominantly such an overpowering desire.
Many years ago I wrote “THE MASTER’S BILL”; I concluded my mutterings about the lonesomeness of human existence with wondering on how patient and tolerant the good lord is & reasoned that it is a price He must pay.
How alone can one be?
Looking around, one can only see.
Life is one big school,
Lectures are missed by the fool.
Indeed the friend is in need,
Wisdom in the foe only bid.
The whole world could be wrong
And not hear a word in your song.
For fear hasn’t a say
Where bare hands cut hay.
The master’s wishes are His will
And only He writes down the Bill.
But then man created religion to identify with his style of worship….. And like with everything man starts, there is always some element of competition & the inevitable conflict.
Religious conflict has a perception of sincere truth and righteousness that doesn’t circumvent its warring parties’ hypocritical egocentric desire to be perceived as simply being neighbourly. It instead forcibly and bluntly thrust the reality of the parties’ lustful differences on their pretentious faces, enforcing it on their neighbours in a manner that shows off what each faith wants as against what they claim to profess. It should be obvious that a religion that advocates peace needs to suffer for its submissive principle. It must pay a humiliating price it can’t even humbly mention. When a religion’s ideals and principles aren’t as principally evident as it advocates, it is actually only openly good natured for the sake of achieving its quest to be dominant.
Then it would have to result to violence to stress its misgivings or show off its disliked for other opposing religions that seek to be themselves and exist alongside it. Religions must co-exist because no religion ever exists alone, on its own. A religion that hides under the guise of peaceful co-existence to impose itself is thus quite superficial and only yearning for communal peace ahead of lasting personal inner peace that would ordinarily precede first.
Such a religion has not yet made a wraith of human trans-religious harmony feasible. It has instead rendered the most sacred personality of its loud attitudinal faiths nebulous. It turns each and every one of them to be more of wholesome fact-less histories, that can never be elucidated than the proven faiths that they each aspire to be accepted as. The fact that there is only one shared common principle the two main contesting religions of Islam and Christianity sensibly have in common, makes them ever more incompatible than compatible, and pushes rather than pulls them apart. Their common principle is expressed as a common faith in the existence of a single supreme deity.
Supremacy makes it a contestable divide and not an undeniable bond. The people argue and fight over their diverse beliefs in the archaic fate of a quite varied interpretation of the same original scriptural text and thereby murder the very essence of their religions’ being in doing so. They both miss the very point of having the single attribute they each ironically lay the most loudly admitted claim to.
It is so ludicrous and incongruous that the same dog barking aggressively is actually only chasing after its own tail in circles and not really going anywhere but racing against it own self.
In all of Africa, corruption is that quiet old pre-independence illegal small structure, built with dry wooden walls of sticks with a thatched grass roof. The earliest native semblance of civilized governments had met the frail hut and turned it into the big personal brick mansions in the outskirts of their villages. The post independence created democracies copied badly because they didn’t naturally evolve and the military dictatorships bullied their way in and institutionalized corruption. They renovated it completely into a massive block of high skyscrapers, with reinforced concrete walls with solid steel fittings and aluminum and glass trimmings, and site it in the middle of the big new cities.
Corruption has taken on a permanent imagery in Africa, much like natural mountains that had been there all along, like immortal living emperors of old reigning over frightened domains, showing love for their land by keeping their subjects alive only to work for them.
(Excerpts from ‘Sporting Chance’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)
All sports are really silly juvenile play in a sense. Partakers and spectators alike, love competitive sports because of its semblance of a life of manageable fun and the larger human drama it samples. It is a sequence of testing controlled effort against visible resistance in established circumstances. The thrilling mysteries in the unending sequence of match ups and the unpredictability of the results of all games, adds to the fun. The fun in sports is not suppose to make sense, all kinds of play shouldn’t. Play is fun because it is illogical and only saddists empathize with the naïve old Indian village Chief who thought he had solved a perennial football problem by comically recommending that the twenty two players on the pitch are given a soccer ball each to end their pointless running around like a herd of mad cows.
The purposeful running around is what Vijay loves the most in football. Vijay is crazy about football, considering it the king of sports with the best all round athletes in every regard. He agrees football is indeed a gentleman’s sport, played by hooligans because it teaches manners and tests character. Rugby truly likens the hooligan’s sport, played by gentlemen because it alters character and in its very physical fashion, it emphasizes brute force ahead of skills and intelligence. Golf is a long walk on the grass, cattle do that. Polo is the kings’ sport and only the horses are really skillful. Horse racing is for servants of kings, with the royals ever present to observe their subjects and domain. It is unfair to call horse racing a sport, unfair to plowing bulls and the slaving peasants whipping their beasts into line, without their fellow impoverished brethren betting and cheering in the trees.
Then there is the similarity of the common footballer to everyone else in the world that wishes to excel in life. Footballers are typical average athletes, they are amongst the world’s most selfish people and their work is just doing yet another of the world’s selfish hypocritical jobs. They are talented and a bio-engineered reality that manifests as a combination of highly skillful performers and acting stunt men. Footballers have to make out they care about the billions of passionate fans who actually do care about them, their physical, emotional and healthy state. At the pinnacle of their careers, footballers are incredibly well paid to do what they would ordinarily do for virtually nothing in return. If they don’t get a penny for doing their jobs, they will still get the same jobs as unpaid players, until they can’t do so.
Like millions of their less fortunate colleagues who don’t get opportunities and fall on the wayside, all footballers still don’t aspire for anything other than a paid job. Vijay always knew he wouldn’t do anything else but play football and when he discovers he finds little fun in playing football then he will get out of it. But the truth is, he wouldn’t truly enjoy doing it if he is not being paid to do it. The thrill of the game is sublime yet as addictive as the gospel to a Jesuit. The referees can go to hell with their calls and the spectators can chew their nails to the quick with tension, but the world of the footballer is his alone, nothing else exists. Families must wait, friends must worship for notice and religion is best handle like underpants, you might have one on or not, it doesn’t matter. Life is the game first.
SPORTS FOR PLAYERS
The Coach isn’t selfless but human too,
He is the person with a plan for everyone.
With abilities as experience all learnt anew;
He is an optimist, patient as sure as the sun.
The Player obeys the norms and urge,
Enjoying the dreamt up living, yet real.
Dancing to all songs with a new surge,
Blinding days are lit with a light to feel.
The Sport is heartless and demanding,
All companies it keeps are envious of it.
Consuming lust filled, never satisfying;
On its sure ride it will keep every bit.
The Game is simple and easy to chase,
Embraced in choices to choose and make.
Stages of gains at every level of the race
Made the whole thing Sports for players’.
To some young single girl, married men are ever comfortably understandable, matured and polite in their fair and unforced disposition. However the wanton desires of these young girls never warns them that the intentions of these much older men does not always look as fair as they are always pretentiously justified to be, in their deceptively natured maturity. The woman’s all-embracing monstrous natural need to be overwhelmed by a man, who aim to get the better of her, justifies her consanguineous attachment to her eternal older brother, the man.
The honourable older married man always has the most desire to be secretive in such relationships. While the younger single girl would likely show some pride in her bigger achievement, the setting would hurt him with an odd sort of feeling afresh with old emotions of being an unworthy person. His older and more honourable world would notice his failures, even if it identifies with his expression of it. When he is certainly found out and has to confront his critics, the older married man could simply hold his head high and be proud of his shameful freedom while the world he has conditioned will fall silent snugly, presumable out of interfering in his business, as the public end up secretly more embarrassed than he ought to be.
WILL YOU MARRY ME?
These intimate songs we sing
Blend aged dreams into a ring
That weds our gendered stew
In matrimonial oneness not new.
The simple people are always confronted by the complex ones, who always seeks to tint their simplicity and make it more complicated. It is a tough struggle to remain simple, surrounded by a world of complexities. Personal lives have gone beyond live and breed.
Man works to walk, not walk to work and he inevitably strives to out-walk the next man and the next, again and again.
And in all life, the most shaded lot are the people
THE COLOURED SHEEP
Bah, bah black sheep, they always point you;
Wolf in your clothing or something ever new.
Rainbow and gold pot in your closet is true,
If you’re concerned, skies aren’t ever blue.
The skeletons you cupboard are there for show,
Honeycombed for Bees, your Bearness will shoo!
A nation where the extensive roads are barely wide enough for the huge over loaded and over used trucks of all sizes, where highroads are as narrow as foot paths at the height of the raining season, when tall grasses narrow down highways with every curvy slope. A nation where paved roads are as old as the hills they cut through, where highways cratered like the best hostile fighter pilots deliberately make enemy runways after carpet bombing. In a nation where drinkable water is bought only in flimsy transparent packs, sold because it is a huge favour to retailers and drinkers alike, for there are no safer alternative under these circumstances.A nation where the next fellow lives off the sweat of others.
Time flows like ocean waves. No two waves are alike but they all are of the same nature. Time reaches the shores of the Niger-area like floating dead fish caught on the high tides, crashing on rocky coasts, with the many compromises of the perpetual sick west African republic. The waves hold little promise, yet plenty of scented hope ever fills the air with a smell that never seems to materialize to something the people can see. The people wait for their hopes to become meals but they are not assured dead fish can serve as seedlings. The coastal hard rocks are not the complicated destinations they are made out to be but personalized obstacles the people must surmount to reach their objective of a harmonious federation. The visibly stressed state of the people of the Niger-area renders their hope impotent. Their faith in the daunting prospect is inadequate to lift and aid them towards reaching their most desired place of complete national comfort.
Dead fish is soon bad and will serve no good purpose on the meal table after a short period of neglect. The nationhood suffers neglect and the people hadn’t set out on a good bright day, long in the gone past, to catch the fish but wait ever again for a wet rainy stormy night to pick up the dead fish at their rocky coast lines of difficult politics, laced with nepotism and tribalism, with bias politicized ethnicity, pack full with pessimistic cultists, passed off as traditionalists, academics and religious voices, as they all wait for the predestined future until it fails to arrive.
Separate persons complicate the polity with cynicism that covers up the rough outer wrapping of nationhood with little sincerity that doesn’t give a clue to what negative repulsive selfish intent is packaged within their nature. Their love for their diverse principles consumes them and profusely stinks up their country. This is revealed to the detriment of the same nation they don’t claim to sabotage like they know they are doing. They live a lie they know but will never admit it.
The whole concept of a single national identity was conceived on this disjointed selfishness and that is why the country’s coast is full of bad smelly inedible repugnant fish. That ever burning and ever consuming fire of time has been deployed to destroy all the past good deeds of fellow countrymen by those that come after them. The old memories of the currents successors own moments of cruelty, meted out in reprisals to those of other countrymen, easily forgotten in the midst face serving praise. The people’s general ability to beckon at reciprocal acts of kindness with that interested indifference that hints their want for it, does not expose their pressed, penned up yearning for it. Pretence has shamelessly made the people appear all spent and dried up like the well seasoned dried harden foreign fish the people favour so much. The treated European dead fish they crave.
They are all alike in this regard, in their deficiencies not in their uncommon preference for the well stocked fish but more so for their compared similarity to it. They are well stocked up old common fish, seasoned and rendered lifeless by their dogged preposterous desire to be relevant for ever so long, even if they are aware that they will end up dead, dried and dined by they very own fellow countrymen. The people of the Niger-area are as yet politically useful to all but themselves, with nothing to show for it. The sight of an offensive nature that was lurking within them for so long in their nation-ship isn’t good to see. Since it is the secret of providence that it doesn’t respect destiny, theirs appears more of a tragic shallow experience, as against that of other nations with very similar origins.
The leaders of the Niger-area simply replay the same old music they learned long ago from their colonial masters. The indigenous rulers divide and rule still, like their colonial leaders did. The little bit of success they register or merely claim to have achieved, doesn’t really show that they deserve recognition for those small gains either. The leaders and the led alike, lack the courage to speak up for the good in the face of the bad. The seas were simply filling up with dead fish and it has more to do with the action or inaction of the led than the selfish management of the leadership, because they had built dams to hold back their overflowing rivers of prosperity. The led masses wallow away in the cruel patience of wait, as they pant their tasked calmness, as if they had actually ran a race physically. They wait still and wait and wait still. They are panting their tiredness with the rage of the wait and not the struggle of it that they know nothing about in their lazy comfort.
The people are still holding on to a vibrant confidence that still assures them that they will be richly rewarded and that their perceived cowardice doesn’t flush their struggling resilience, still resisting their final ultimate defeat. They have endured the deception of many of the same kind for long. They have heard and seen each time as yes is maneuvered to mean no with shameless ease, and have come to accept that most times maturity is the diplomatic ability to disguise a lie as the truth. Still they related well when there is no way they could heed the need for caution without requiring to justify their obvious refusal to be sheepishly led and appear unethically rebellious. They have inevitably reached a point where and when every single simple harmless grudge will grow and become a deep set angry ancestral feud. They had witnessed their striped linen of nature so reduced, simply because it had always been taken for granted and it shows in its inadequacy.
Man ever shies away from the good things he needs to do and he knows this well. Vaguely though, it is because people are of the misguided conception that it makes them appear endlessly physically weak and mentally soft by doing so. Yet clearly they acknowledge it isn’t.
People are thus destined to a gloomy life of decayed doom, as proof of the perpetual state of atonement which couples the meanness that reigns supreme in the world of endless restitution they created. But then it is man’s subsequent death, and only his death that has the final erratic say. It is a prevenient reality that reveals itself in a lethargic manner, which ever lacks where it shouldn’t.
Like the story of the little duckling hatched by a hen and grew amongst little chickens
THE HEN’S ODD CHICK
The grass blades shake off droplets
As she led on her mild yellow train.
Her own adorable dozen little pets
Squealing within their own tiny rain,
Before the morning dew finally melts
And all the worms go deep down again.
She beaks a large borrowing worm
And they crowd round her as quick,
Wrestle the struggling stringy form
From her higher and bigger beak.
They pieces it all amongst their sum,
Except again that weird odd chick.
Scratching off the sandy soil top
To pick and feed on the grains sort,
The serious Hen and her low troop;
All except that chick which does not.
Strangely though in a marshy mud top
It walks easily as fed with its beak blunt.
Then it happens like it does always,
Her dozen subtracts after and after.
At the stream where a worm ever plays
Danger is more and always there to alter.
The odd chick water takes in its ways;
Strangely it floats on, to the Hen’s whimper.
(Flash back to Occupy Nigeria Protests in January 2012 when this article was first posted: 8th January 2012)
Don’t mind the title; I had to grab your busy attention from the onset. But really, are we sure we are not all Corrupt in the true sense of the word? Corruption, corruption! All this talk of not trusting our leaders, even when they make policies that are sensible is rubbish. Okay we are corrupt in Nigeria. But do you think we are more corrupt than the Italians, the Chinese, the Indians or the South Africans? We are just a whole lot more lazy, it would appear. We prefer easy Government jobs that guarantee steady salaries and afford some privileged Nigerians the opportunity to sit around doing nothing for weeks without end, giving them time off to do their own personal stuffs at the expense of public funds, allowing them to go on pointless labour strikes for any reason at the slightest prompting.
They incredibly get to buy very expensive modern cars they can not ordinarily afford with five whole years of untouched regular wages. Nigerians spend huge fortunes on festivities and live well beyond their formal means. Most ordinary Nigerians are indeed as corrupt as the worst politicians and actually even more dubious in their own micro sphere of operations than is popularly admitted. A whooping eighty percent of working Nigerians, in every sector are just like their leaders that rob them. The only difference is that they can only nick the odd naira off fellow Nigerians as a mere bribe or as the unwarranted overpricing of essential items. Some of Nigerians are even worse because they as easily kill their own neighbors in their worship places and burn up their fellow citizens’ homes while they are in bed, for the flimsiest reasons. Their leaders do not do that to their neighbours but they easily give them pittance to murder their fellow masses.
At this juncture let me define corruption from the Nigerian’s general perspective, which incidentally doesn’t differ from the conventional one but emphasizes one Nigerian’s misgiving and particular distrust for another Nigerian having the means to exercise their advantage over him. Corruption to the Nigerian means ‘having undue advantage’ and the definition of the phrase ‘undue advantage’ is relative to the individual, his orientation or bias. Already some Nigerians have started exercising their advantage by making fellow citizens pay over hundred percent more than they ought to after just a few days of no fuel subsidy, making them pay more for stuffs that don’t even have anything to do with fuel.
We blame everything on Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan because he is the president and rightly so, but then we find ourselves completely blameless for the pains we inflict on our fellow citizens and our own lazy carefree-ness, for craving so much more than we earn. We need a pinch in the arm so that we would wake up and grow up to the reality of things. When we grow up to our own simple honest responsibilities then maybe we can have the moral right to “Occupy Nigeria” as progressive citizens and not the disoriented, cheapened & perpetual government welfare population we have made of ourselves.
It is such a pity that so many intelligent people can not understand the simple economic advantage of removing oil subsidy. It is such a pity that they actually chose not to because it quite conveniently fits into their larger plan of discrediting this president for either fraudulently ‘winning’ an election, or ‘hijacking’ the PDP apportioned Northern Nigerian presidential slot! It is a huge insult to our teachers who had painstakingly taught us the viability of market forces. We either conveniently dumped their lessons on demand and supply, with their elastic curves or actually failed our O’levels school certificate.
If we would just study the GSM progression in Nigeria and the glorious demise of NITEL as a direct result of this, we would draw parallels on why the over pampered civil service is in the forefront of the Pro-subsidy campaign. The old NITEL staff had tried to compete with the flock of new telecommunication companies then. NITEL floated a GSM venture (M-TEL) and it was always destined to be a stillbirth. With this deregulation drive, the old NNPC and old NEPA entities seem destined to go in that direction. It will be a pleasure to see this because it would mean an efficient market driven economy with less idle civil servants to pay with public funds for inefficiency.
I have woken up to the fact that a lot of Nigerians are hell bent on having an economy that is predominantly dependant on government policies and not on market forces. The former (Government Policies) is prone to corrupt practices while the latter (Market Forces) is mainly in the hands of the people. The developed world has since come to terms with the fact that there is no substitute for a market economy. This debate has since left the realm of academic theories and transmitted into proven practical facts. The demise of USSR and other nations of the Soviet bloc is an eternal endearing case study.
Presently the Chinese are cheating their way to world dominance through the rewards of demand and supply; cheating because they steer the factors to ensure that it is more of the western world’s demand and their supply. The simply practicality of market forces makes it virtually impossible for prices to go beyond adjustments of Productivity, Availability, Profitability and Acquisition (PAPA). We must discipline our minds and perspectives.
Nigerians prefer the former because they love to demand and wouldn’t bend over and supply. Most Nigerians lack the personal discipline to be progressive and task themselves to persevere under a strenuous regime of creativity and its prolonged lingering changing effects. This is plainly because of the popularity of the age old quest of hanging to the past way of doing things and lying to ourselves that we live in a market driven society.
We grew up hearing tales of new university graduates driving into waiting jobs in brand new company cars. We learnt of; and sparingly got, education scholarships from the Government and glutted on how easy life should be if it isn’t. The persons who had shouted to the roof tops about our corrupt officials are now old in Government and they are worse than those they complained about, when things were a whole lot better that they are now. As such it seems better for most Nigerians to just sit back and watch, while amassing more fraudulent wealth for themselves and their kith & kin. Thus the corruption hydra would only thrive if the status quo remains as we endlessly pursue a vicious cycle.
We are still under the impression that Nigeria is rich and we can some how get all our stolen money back and have incorruptible diligent leaders in waiting to take over and take us to the promise land. We are dreaming still. For these reasons I am therefore so sure the Occupy Nigerian movement will lose in the very end, if it indeed succeeds in getting the status quo back. We will go the way of Greece, Ireland & Iceland when our corrupt cronies are done with us and we haven’t taught ourselves to market our resources and trade amongst ourselves but to rely on the flow of our abundant oil that is dwindling fast.
We also forget that we have a lingering sentimentality problem which is ceaselessly harnessed by a small portion of our parochial ethnic, religious and political elite in pursuit of their own selfish quests for relevance and dominance. So it is very difficult for the typical Nigerian to rummage through all these factionalized mess and determine the reality of thing as they truly are. It is important that we are not fooled about the true state of things about our national economics as they are now. These facts are in summary;
– The Nigerian nation is broke; how or why it is broke doesn’t change this fact.
– Nigerian can not gamble that things will change if they remain as they are.
– Nigerians must pay their way through this period ultimately, now or later.
– The Government is unreliable and can not be depended upon, now or later.
– The people can not guarantee fuel subsidy but can determine every price.
– Market forces will empower Nigerians economically and thus politically.
– Only empowered Nigerians can change the nation with their votes and activities.
Nigeria needs the price of fuel to be determined by market forces more than it needs anything else now. A lot of things rest on this, from the price of a cup of Gari to the exchange rate of the US dollar. The capability to determine the unit prices of every single item in the country should be in the hands of the final consumers of these items, to a very large extend! With proper handling the Nigerian economy will explode and we will stop stocking dollars indoors and waiting for its dilly dallying exchange rates to guide us. As it is now the dollar continues to have a dual rating; an unrealistic pegged government one and another unrealistic Black market maneuvered one, both playing games with us.
We will weep for Nigeria if all is lost when we refuse the present truth because of the old lingering lies. The world economy is not healthy, why do we think that somehow we will be immune to that effect. In the last five years Fuel prices in Nigeria has been fixed and unchanged. Within the same period every other price elsewhere soared and it is amazing that a lot of intelligent people can not understand the need to put an end to this uncertainty. Just as the decision to favour either creation or evolution theory is beyond the academic minds of a lot of very educated persons, they likewise find it difficult to see how increasing a price today will make the same price to fall and stay down tomorrow.
Already the fuel pumps that were selling fuel at crazy astronomical prices after the first few days of subsidy removal have dipped their prices by as much as 5% after a single day, without Government interference. That is unheard of before now. Also a majority of the urban commuters that paid rates increased with 100% overnight were confronted with newer rates reduced with as much of 40% after just one day! That is market forces at work, reflecting the simple fact that commuters reduced and transporters bought less fuel. There were even early signs of the naira gaining on the US dollar because confidence in the world economy toward Nigeria soar suddenly, making the Nigerian economy a potential home for more foreign investors orphaned by the financial crisis in the west.
Now the almighty Nigerian Labour Congress decides to sit back at home again for so long, because their predominantly civil servant members’ salaries are fully guaranteed to be paid while all those daily earning masses suffer the strike they call for. Everybody that is Pro-subsidy forgets the fact that any other president that wishes to have an easy time in office will gladly keep the subsidy in place with a brave face and leave office a small hero. The nation suffers eventually with a lean purse, huge debts and angry citizenry still.
President Jonathan is considerably unpopular up and down the country because he is sitting in a northern Muslim‘s presidency and he is not a Yoruba or Igbo southerner. These are the three major factions in the country that form popular opinion. It is now common knowledge that this president inherited a mine field for an economy and those who know better agree that the end to all subsidies is inevitable. There is hope still, if we could put measures in place to fix the real trust and corruption issues we all have against our leaders. Once empowering the masses is prioritized, subsidies will not me craved for.
Most feelings generally accept that removing the subsidy is not in itself wrong, but many people had emphasized that plans to subsidize mainly the transport sector and agriculture while enforcing existing laws that are presently ignored, will curtail excesses amongst those saddled with managing public resources. There must also be a drastic reduction of the crazy fraudulent overhead costs of government. As it stands now, it just amounts to ostentatious waste that gives the impression of blatant thievery. Still this endless Government intervention in prices only empowers the black market, it only enthrones a dual economy in parallel contradiction, discourages investment because of the lack of confidence in the profitability of returns and that ultimately transmits into less viable paying jobs for the teeming unemployed. With the right handling, this subsidy removal would make Nigeria‘s economy more viable and definitely more realistic; at last.
In Nigeria, all prices go up around the end of every calendar year anyway. Business would then slow down around mid to late January and the prices start to fall. Hence this hike in prices fitted into this period snugly, making a good unexpected cushion for the increase in fuel prices. The timing isn’t the best but what timing will really be, honestly? The people in Government and the rogues in the Black market are persons that only seek to please themselves firstly, so the masses can really only rely on their demand and supply to force the hands of everyone else, even the organized private sector. Also a free market will ensure competition and not a monopoly that is impossible to regulate.
As long as the old practice of the federal Government, the informal Black marketer and a monopolistic sector continue to controls prices in Nigeria and not the real market forces, the masses will never have a real say in these matters or any for that matter, no matter what impression is created by some aspiring future government leaders who are still making unrealistic and utopian economic promises to the naïve and gullible masses.
A partial removal of subsidy is as good as useless. Actually it will possibly be the most detrimental outcome if the present pro-subsidy campaign results in such a compromise. History should teach us this lesson best of all. Every single time the military regimes of old and their civilian successor removed a tiny piece of the subsidy, prices still soar by as much as fifty percent at least; much more in some regards, irrespective of the percentage of subsidy withdrawn. This has over time been the sole driver of high inflation in the Nigerian economy. As such a partial removal will virtually have the same effect on prices as would a full withdrawal, without the many gains of the finality of a full withdrawal.
The people can only control market forces and the complete removal of fuel subsidy is the only certain way we can end the annual year ending fuel panic buying, hoarding and price increases. It is the first essential step in ending the habitual inflation gallops based on the arbitrary surging of prices in general because of our huge reliance on fuel. Market forces also guarantee diversification of the economy, investments and jobs. These are all devoid of whatever any government would promise now. This is the only true substitute for the removal of fuel subsidy, which will actually empower Nigerians more, rather than further enslave them. Keeping the subsidy is mere postponing the inevitable anarchy.
“Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.”
The recent loudly revisited agitation for a Biafran state from Nigeria calls for another look at my poem “Fever” and excerpts from my Fever Series (Books I-V), where I told a somewhat fictional historical tale of the Nigerian state. I am currently rewriting the series and almost done.
Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.
The mighty broom swept so long a mile,
Still dirt abounds as its proud fruitfulness.
Mourning tears leave this feeling of numbness.
Eras of evolution has not changed the egg,
The needs of man same and ever will be so.
Maybe a broom will kill lizards on a clay keg
And not break it too like the stick did before.
In this concoction only soluble particles’ temperatures soar.
Promise of the lands are all pointing,
Yet the future is hot food in the mouth.
Bodies buried and alive, had and are, waited and waiting,
For the joy in swallowing and satisfaction they sought.
Over hard filled years waiters without appetite rot.
The dogs in this story are the traitorous pigs,
Their patriotism is fake like sweeping grains with a rake.
Locusts that plunder the field leaving tiny dry twigs,
Their determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake;
These dishonourable gentle heads that ache.
The locusts ate the grains, the rake wasted the rest.
The broom was left so little in its fold.
In this farm, pigs serve dogs for it’s their best.
The egg will likely shatter in hands that shouldn’t hold.
They chest indifferently the agony of the rest in the cold
Excerpts from Fever Series Books I
“Through eventful years the sticks of time ever pile, just like the people, what they represent and what represents them. The people have become a loose fitting collection that isn’t a strapped up and bonded broom, just like their land that is rich and rife with such inspirational promise.
“Nigerians are willing to be bonded up as one unit but they couldn’t possibly give an ear to the assumed wisdom in the words and experiences of their past. The people have since learnt the hard way that the sweets they have are actually sour and the sour taste is soon made bitter by their refusal to swallow their constant rejection of dependence on any sort of bonding.
“Though Nigerians are reflectively one and their historical past the same, the people can only remonstrate together over trivial issues, reminiscent of their ancestors and their quaint past that they endlessly repeat in their infantile present.”
“The world is full of loud commentators, with deceptive commendations their many willful listeners obviously find aptly admirable and not coy. But I am an exception to the norm, among the few appropriating critics who equate affirmation of evidence with the clearly advertised ruse with serious concern,” Cyril started.
“You and I know that getting into Europe is the easy part. But living in Europe in the most sub-standard conditions, a far cry from illusions perceived, assumed, created and forwarded, is the real tough part. Africans integrating into evidently hostile economic and social European societies that segregate against foreigners, as they increasing learn to abhor migrants for clogging their systems and worsening their already precarious situations, is the reality of things. I will rather accept the fair situation I can manage right here, than pursue an elusive pot of gold at the end of some European rainbow.” Cyril was assertive and Mr Bill was impressed.
A fellow intellect, the English man thought. Then the elderly man tarried at the door to explain further. He felt Cyril has earned the right to understand why it is only fair that Africans escaping war torn regions or economic difficulties or simply seeking to better their lot, must get a chance to pursue a life anywhere they desire without any hindrance from those who seek to make choices for them, yet again.
“I am not doing this for the money,” Mr Bill said. “I am doing it because it is the right thing to do. For centuries European slave merchants own Africans and traded them across continents as they pleased. Everywhere they took them, the prosperity that was gotten through their unpaid work for centuries funneled into making these European nations the model economic and social communities they are today. Then there was colonialism, when European nations arbitrary siphoned the wealth of African nations for free and incessantly bullied them with the same effect, which resulted in making large economic powers of European countries.
“A lot of people consider the abolition of slavery and subsequent independence of the African nations as an act of charity, a favour granted the most belittled and unjustly treated people in all history. No it is not and any thing that remotely offers a whiff of reparations should be encouraged and milked till it is drained. What do you think the world’s racial history will be if the black man was styled as the clear antagonist? Just consider that before you write off your siblings.” Mr Bill ended.
“You should consider that most of those going over will end up as liabilities. The long established tedious ways for Africans to legally get into Europe ensured only the best Africa can offer do migrate. The new trend only dumps from the dregs of the continent. At this rate Europe will be full of the sort of people that it needs the least. It is like allowing locusts to rest on your farm because they also have a living right to feed. But maybe the English do not really care and it is a continental Europe problem, since England is still an old independent island, still on it own while playing to be part of Europe. Still with its currency in place, as the presence of the Queen imprinted on it.” Cyril remained every bit as steadfast in his opinion.
“Good people do bad things for good reasons, my friend.” Mr Bill said.
The desire to right the wrong of another by embarking on the very same quest they had undertaken usually ends with behaving exactly like they did. It may be best not to criticize those who criticize you, instead give yourself less reason to, if you could manage it. Living as best as you can is more than often the most suitable remedy to handling unfair criticism.
But the world is full of lies and people living their lies.
Those who curse the dog’s wet nose,
Let them please cast the first stone.
It can’t wag its tongue mouth close
As they commonly do on their own.
It barks its reason like all of those
Who do but wouldn’t leave it alone.
Extracts from “The Man in the Moon” in “Everyone hates the English”
“These classifications of races we use are flawed. They do not identify us like they ought to and are only popular by default. The term Caucasian got redirected to refer to the European race. It was devised as Caucasoid and initially only used to describe the people native to Europe and not North Africa, Asia, North and South America. Caucasoid was originally used for Europeans without regard to their different skin tones. It was used to denote one of the three manufactured classification of human races, the others being Negroids and Mongoloids. These three races are still in use, regardless of inaccuracies.” More pedestrians tarried and stopped to listen. Leroy raised his face and voice.
“The origin of classifying white people as Caucasians came with the discovery of the Georgian skull in the sixteenth century, it was used to hypothesized the origins of Europeans. Caucasian was coined by Christophe Meiners, a German philosopher, and got widely circulated in intellectual circles amidst criticism of its correctness. Meiners proposed only two races; Caucasians and Mongolians.
“In comparison to Mongolians, he described Caucasians as more physically attractive, with pale skins and Caucasians as more sensitive and morally virtuous than Mongolians. Christophe Meiners made further distinctions within Caucasians, deducing that his indigenous Germans are the most attractive and virtuous of all, claiming their region to be the epitome for the Caucasian race. His classification is not based on any scientific criteria. The classification was more subjective than objective. Meiners posed that Caucasians had “whitest, most blooming and most delicate skin” and Europeans with darker skin are “dirty whites”, tainted with Mongolians. Skin pigmentation is still regarded as the main difference between the races and Adolf Hitler had borrowed from Meiners’ logic.” The numbers of listeners grew. The black leather jacket steered at the back, his shaven head’s eyes narrowed. Leroy smiled and relished the discomfort he caused.
“Later the expanded human races were spread into five, based on skin colour, justified with scientific coincidences like cranial measurements and facial features. Caucasians the ‘White race’. Mongoloids, ‘Yellow race’. Malayans, ‘Brown race’. Ethiopians, ‘Black race’. Americans, ‘Red race’. Later still, the importance of skin tone was down-graded when it was observed that peasant Caucasians work outside and had darker skins through a lot of sun exposure and darker skins are a natural feature of Europeans around the Mediterranean. Still there was never any scholarly consensus on this findings. However scientists maintain racial categorizations of colour works. In the twentieth century it was increasingly used to justify political policies based on prejudice, like segregation and immigration restrictions.” Around thirty five people now stood in front of the sixty year old migrant from Jamaica, who has worked as a handy man in the same London elementary school for thirty five years. The attraction was swift and they listened with rapt attention, taking in his every word like the mild sunlight shining on them with little warmth.
“Races are presently classified based on colour, skull collections based on cranial features and anthropometric measurements. Caucasian traits are accepted as a narrow nose, a small mouth, thin lips and a balanced facial angle. These features are recognized in contrast to that of others. Caucasians have minimal protrusion of their lower faces with retreating cheekbones, making their face look pointed. Their hair texture vary from straight to curly or wavy, contrasting the Negroid’s springy and the Mongoloid’s coarse and sparsely distributed varieties.”
Leroy tugged at the remnant of his bushy hair as he said ‘Negros’s springy’. In a classroom of six year olds, his hair will make a perfect teaching aid. But these are not kids, just misguided grown ups. Another thought flashed through his mind.
Leroy: People age but remain like six year olds till they die, still learning.
“It is a fascinating tale of a culturally engaged street corner preacher, a usually misunderstood necessary oddity in major metropolises built upon colonial legacy – where the non indigenous culturally marginalized, some of them forcibly brought to build the same thing they, now, are blamed to have polluted. It is, a story said from its characters and supporting onlookers’ perspective, an insightful fiction.
“The character development focused on three actors who kept on yanking the story into motion. It is like a pyramid standing on Leroy – a self-anointed ambassador of a motley group that he himself reveals his estrangement from, depending on its state of affairs – as revealed by his following statement “… I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African …” Therefore, it is safe to say that Leroy’s sense of belonging, vis-à-vis Africa, is selective, although there is a dose of Garveyism in his preaching that all black people are from Africa. His consciousness, which was supposed to be the key to his inner peace, might very well be considered as the basis of his tragic state of being.
“Then comes Mrs. Gregory, the essential story spinner – a provoker Leroy couldn’t live without, who summarizes the bad and the good, the two sides of the coin, of western civilization – the target of Leroy’s preaching; and then Henry, a dog given a humane characterization, a dog with a mind, caprices, and feeling; he too helped run the story to its destination. As much as they get along, there is a deep-seated love and hate. To me, it seems that Leroy loves Barbara but hates Mrs. Gregory. On his fateful day, he accepted Barbara’s invitation – as Leroy the man, but Mr. Freeborn got ambushed by Mrs. Gregory’ Caucasian embedded anxiety about black men’s motives.
“I knew, and mingled with, some Leroy Freeborns; fascinating people to be with, While perching on their stage – under the bright sun, until it is time to get home, when the sea is done swallowing the sun and the moon’ reminder that it is time now to have an inner preaching with one’s pillow, to say the least, or the time to cuddle and nurture love ones; and then you wonder whether they would prefer that the sun will never set on their day to day reality. He is the man in the moon, while standing on his pedestal, fading into the ghost of his shadow just a step down from his makeshift launching pad.
(Some excerpts from “The Man in the Moon” Everyone hates the English)
“It is not an insult to call me black, it is purely descriptive. Africa is firstly a geographical location, an address. It is a continent with more than one race on it, Negros and Arabs are indigenous to it. Without the slightest risk of sounding the least controversial, you will agree that there are Caucasians native to it, that means Caucasian-Africans. So when you call someone an African-American, you are also referring to Arabs and other Caucasians of African origins. But don’t you only wish to refer to the blacks, when you say African-American?” Leroy shouts at the top of his voice. The opening remarks ought to be delivered loudest, so pedestrians can hear him clearly as they go by. But the words are as important as the volume.
“The origin of the term black for Negros is indefinite. It is easy to guess that Negros were the first to call themselves black. All through history, naturally occurring darkness with daily year round nights in the tropics, has been associated with blackness and it is ideal to use black as a synonym for extreme darkness. The trend remains still, even if black is considered improper. The degraded imagery deduced from the term black can only be expunged by the achievements of those who can not escape it, if they wear it and must live with it. Skin colour can not be removed like some piece of clothing.” Leroy was being just assertive enough to reel in listeners. The first few pedestrians paused and veered closer to hear more.
His next line determines if they stayed. It is imperative to retain the earliest callers, their interest tends to attract others and a steady increase in numbers builds more interests. People are habitual copy cats, they only linger if others do. The material he delivers will do the rest and Leroy Freeborn always has good material.
“The most descriptive term best suited for the Negro’s visibly dark complexion is black, just like white is best suited for Caucasians.” Leroy spoke forcefully, then he repeats a summary of his earliest words, for the immediate benefit of the new arrivals joining the first few who heard him commence his rant for the day.
“Even if a popular law stops the formal use of blacks to identify Negros in its entirety, black will still be used for those purposes it is best suited for. The truth is, Negros are best identified as blacks and the home of all black people is Africa, our proud mother land. But going by the recent expression of freedom in our beloved Africa, I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African.”
A collective groan from the dozen or so people already listening in front of Leroy’s small raised platform, greeted his last words. As usual, the indefinite insinuation of the shared groan didn’t fully register approval or disapproval.
Twenty five years of standing on the same spot on the broad sidewalk, with the kind permission of the late owner of the nearby toy store, under the blue morning skies of England’s capital city, every Saturday in summer, spring and Autumn has taught the sixty year old native Jamaican the ropes of the demanding talking trade.
Leroy appeals to the intellect of just anyone, from unkempt homeless bums to unemployed graduates, from housewives on shopping runs to tourists, who only speak enough English to understand directions. Leroy can work a crowd into a frenzy and answer reasonable questions or hateful queries hurled at him with the articulate elegance of age and much knowledge. He had regulars, some have heard him for over a decade. A few regulars arrived and increased the growing numbers.
Leroy acknowledges a few nods from familiar faces and continued his tirade. It was going to be an interesting day, the small crowd appeared genuinely interested.
“I own the name Black Man! It is me, I claim it as mine and my proud identity. But who are you sir?” Leroy points at a white man in the front, not one of his regulars. The man smiles back at him, amused. It was a normal response.
“Come on people, don’t be shy. Someone speak to me. Are you white, if I am black?” Leroy looked at yet another white man, a recent regular. Then at another, but still no answer was offered. They were being careful not to walk into a trap. They were there to listen to his harangue and not to engage him in a discussion.
“I am Caucasian,” a male voice from the back said.
Obscured from Leroy’s veiw, the fellow didn’t reveal himself but it was easy to tell the voice belonged to the man in a black leather jacket. His clean shaven head gave him away, not the plain uninterested mien he unsuccessfully tried to pass off.
Vital tip Leroy: Those crazy bald heads don’t keep straight uninterested faces.
Think about this? It is quite human to be greatly annoyed by certain aspects of life, by an individual or group of people. People habitually associate exhibited characteristics with specific persons, people or their orientation.
For centuries the English have dissatisfied the most people across the globe. But as diverse as the reasons why Everyone Hates The English are, the world still respects and simply enjoy the English the most. The tales in this book say as much.
The stories in #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish will capture your imagination and steer your emotions like few other tales of books ever did before now.
Everyone hates something and most people actually think; #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish #EHTE
It is conventional for one group to be dissatisfied with another they regard as different. Usually the displeasure is as a result of other people not conforming to expectations, not necessarily because they are different.
Being irritated or irked by certain persons is predominantly a personal feeling, which then builds over time and grows into the psyche of larger groups that share the same traditions, social and economic orientation and status.
Hating something or someone means being highly peeved and greatly upset by them, such that it causes discontentment and makes one continuously unsatisfied by these things or persons. It is a marginal feeling that builds into an extreme angered state, a perpetual disgruntled condition.
Everyone experiences this disappointed state of unfulfilled expectations for varied emotional, social, economic, political, cultural and religious reasons. As diverse as our reasons for hating others may appear to be, they all share two things in common. The majority of reasons people get offended and angered are personal to others and trivial to them. These are reasons enough to understand and respect others, or simply just to laugh at our reasons for hating others. But not summarily hate others because they are different or because we are just as different too.
Everyone hates something that displeases them. Let us start with understanding and respecting, or simply enjoying the English, while laughing along with the reasons why #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish or think they do.
In SHADES OF BIRDS the English had just lost the American civil war and still managed to win over their best allies ever. In ALTERNATE D-DAY the English lost the second world war and got ready to take over the world, yet again. MRS QUEEN, MISS KING are a few simple letters that appears to speak for the popular English monarchy and its enduring legacy of detached respectability.
Then comes OPTIONAL SLAVERY and the wave of illegal migration from seemingly everywhere to almost anywhere in Europe, but good old England. And in England we meet THE MAN IN THE MOON, yet another economic migrant that is proud of the heritage he escaped from but didn’t really live behind. In the same city THE ASSASSINATION OF OBASANJO took place, the guests of the hospitable English gave them a tastes of life in one of their so many old colonies.
The IMPROPER CONDUCT that culminates in Karachi tells the collective tale of diverse individual offshoots of English legacy across the whole world, over so long a time. With THE THREE VIRGINS the English help merged three major people into yet another United Kingdom without a care for their preferance or indeed their reluctance. Finally a young Indian footballer got a good SPORTING CHANCE to be more English, just when he succeeds in being less English.
It was dangerously late and cold outside. There were signs of an impending thunder storm too. The Call girl was obviously terrified by the prospect of facing those horrendous conditions outside. She hadn’t been lucky and didn’t catch the fancy of any of the male guests the previous night. She was so desperate to earn something that she waited till it was too late for her to leave and it would cost several times more to transport herself home that late and she could afford it. So she hid in a deserted corridor, hoping to stay out of sight until it was dawn and she could leave quietly, pretending to be leaving a guest’s room. The receptionist had discovered her tucked away behind a massive curtain and some decorative floor pots and insisted she left.
The stranded Call girl offered the receptionist a bribe in cash and kind, but the cagy young man wouldn’t play ball. Kengua found that last bit amusing as the Call girl reached out to the receptionist with loving probing hands, pleading with him to assist her. The young lad was adamant, obviously he was more concerned about keeping his job than he was about getting sexual favours. Kengua had to offer the receptionist some cash to let the Call girl stay. The young man agreed and the girl was relieved to be able to stay on within the secured premises of the hotel, until it was bright and safe in the morning. It hasn’t been safe around the entire country of late and the Call girl was more than willing to explain this farther to her rescuer. Kengua had no choice but to listen politely as she went on to tell him things he already knew about.
“There has been spades of night killings of local people, since ire Muslim youths went on a vengeful campaign in retaliation of the multiple bombing incidences, alleged to have been carried out by the local Animists youth in the area,” she reported in very good Hausa.
“The recent spate of violence had started when Animist youth were purported to have used a powerful locally assembled incendiary bomb on a Friday afternoon, at the largest Mosque in the town during mid-Friday prayers. The explosion had killed over five hundred men at once. It was the first bombing in the immediate area but not in the entire country.
“The other bombings of its kind had killed much less victims, but cumulatively the casualty rate was getting so high because the Muslim community doggedly refused to suspended their big Friday prayers, insisting it wasn’t an option. The fanatical local Muslim clerics kept preaching that those who died as a result of the Mosque bombings were headed straight to paradise to parley with the almighty God, his dead prophets and immortal angels for all eternity. So the more the Muslims refused to stop congregating on Fridays for mass prayers, the more the casualties.”
Kengua listened to her without saying a single word in reply.
“I’m not taking any chances,” she concludes.
Kengua deduced she is obviously a Hausa Muslim girl from the region of the country around the capital city where Kengua stays. She was only making a living the best way she could, in the part of her country more hospitable to what she had to do to get by. She was only marginally dressed in a flirtatious fairly large brassier she was passing off for a mini blouse top and in the highest possible white mini skirt. Her bright red panties kept showing in crimson flashes against her dark skin. No matter how hard she tried to keep her underwear hidden and from being seen by others around her, she was always doomed to fail because her skirt was too high up. She kept clasping her thick thighs tightly, crossing and uncrossing her short plump legs to no avail.
There were traces that she had attempted to bleach her dark skin into something lighter in the past but she must have given it up when she couldn’t afford the pricey creams any longer. She now had amber coloured streaks of stretch marks around her very visible thighs that Kengua found nauseating. It was obvious that she didn’t flaunt her thighs in the afternoon, only at night.
She had the most colourfully thick application of cosmetic make up on her face and it made her look more like a Japanese opera actress than a serious prostitute. It was little wonder she got no offers, Kengua thought as he kept his eyes away from looking directly at her. Dressing up and looking like that is simply just a necessity for her trade, in her opinion. She and her sort had been so badly indoctrinated over time and she was particularly too illiterate, to know better.
It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart. Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors.
Sitting next to the talkative girl most of the night, into the earliest morning hours, Kengua realized how stereotyped his treatment of Laraba affections towards him was. He reflected on the silliness of his assumptions and concluded he had no right to decide for Laraba before he told her his sexual predicament. He wasn’t even in a bad state and she would most probably be delighted by the experience. Meanwhile, there was no stopping the Call girl from talking on.
“I didn’t even know how to say the alphabets until I started this work. The very first teachers I got were actually members of a French NGO. They came to the brothel I worked to educate us on the dangers of HIV/AIDS. They kept making us repeat the letters ABC, which they went on to explain was an acronym for Abstinence, Being faithful to one partner and Condoms. We had lots of fun memorizing it but then they got a rude shock when they discovered we didn’t even know what the original ABC stood for or is used for. So they taught us the basics.”
Kengua learnt the Call girl’s name is Hajo, when she kept repeating her own name in her haphazard story telling. She sometime refers to herself in the third person as she chattered away, completely mindless and uncaring that her sole listener wasn’t contributing or enabling her with nods or even looking her way. She was simply satisfied he was awake and appeared to listen. Out of sight but still in the lobby, the loud snoring receptionist slept soundly on the floor behind the reception raised wooden counter. That also reminded her of yet another story she had to tell.
“The girl snored louder than this young receptionist throughout the night we were locked up in the cramped jail. We had to be locked up with some male criminals in the same tiny cell. It is the only one the police station had and the cops didn’t trust us enough to leave us sitting on our own behind or beside their open duty post, while they slept away their night duty hours.
“I was barely two weeks into this trade then, when we were unfortunate to get caught by the police men on patrol. The police had raided our regular hangout at a local bar to possibly round up criminals and it turned out that the proprietor of the place had fallen behind in his regular security payments to the local police chief. The raid was actually a timely reminder.
“Our fellow work girls who had enough money on them, had summarily paid their bail money up front before they even got arrested and those who had boyfriends amongst the raiding coppers, got off on good behaviour since they had good reliable character witnesses.”
Hajo giggled alone to her witty summation.
“There were twelve harden criminal men in that tiny cell room with just the two of us, off duty Call girls. The criminals waited until it was all quiet outside before they woke us up to the duties they had in mind for us, all night long. They whispered threats and demonstrated how they will snap our frail necks with their massive hands if we dare call out. I was terrified but the other girl dropped her panties and took a missionary pose like she was out to spread the gospel.”
Kengua started to find this story a lot more interesting.
““Hajo,” the other girl called out to me from beneath the first rogue that stepped forward and mounted her. Her name is Mina and she is a veteran from many years of active whoring.
““Just try to sleep.” Mina encouraged me but I was too scared to even look at her any more. It meant six hefty guys a piece and there was no telling they would stop at just one turn each. I just swallowed and braved up the onslaught. It was slow going and I stopped counting at ten. The men just kept taking turns at sampling both of us. They went about it silently and the coppers just a few feets away from us didn’t hint they knew what was going on while we had no choice but to resume work right within the belly of the law, under its protection.” Hajo giggled.
“I was soon very bruised, hurting and bleeding. That must have irritated them because the few that were still up to it, concentrated on Mina onwards and she laid back almost perfectly still. I was worried for her at first, scared she was unconscious. Not until I heard her snoring.
“She actually slept all through the ordeal and when the morning duty sergeant let us go by dawn, Mina simply stood up, yawned like she had a good night sleep and walked out as steady as a reigning queen. She certainly must have handled about thrice my portion without noticing it. I was really hurting afterwards. I walked funny in my anguish and wasn’t the least embarrassed to spread my legs apart with every stride I took, like a big slender crab. The criminals in the cell and the policemen had a big laugh watching me go when we were released in the morning.”
Kengua laughed politely too.
“Though I was bruised and couldn’t walk properly or indeed work for weeks afterwards, I got the last laugh. It became known that most of the guys we were locked up with were part of a notorious armed robbery gang that had killed a number of citizens and policemen in the area, running into a year before they were nabbed. And their case was swift and highly publicized.
“Mina made me go with her to the robbers’ well attended court case . Mina said it would be a therapeutic experience for me to see the men that brutalized my source of livelihood get what they deserve. Mina had become my closest friend after our common police sanctioned gang rape. She had been so nice to me afterwards and practically nursed me back to good health.”
Kengua’s thought briefly veered elsewhere. He was wondering if the priest’s wife had returned to her room. It was just a couple of hours before dawn and Hajo had been talking non-stop for more than two hours. Kengua’s mind returned to Hajo’s narration soon enough.
“The gang’s trial was held in a huge hall at the edge of town, not the regular courtroom. Three federal judges were assigned the case as the government made an exhibition of the trial because it was an election year and the politicians were in a very showy mood. The judges took turns in calling out the years of jail terms they were sentencing each of the criminals. They made it sound like the number of years they were calling out were just hours or even days, not years. Not 365 days or 52 weeks but a staggering 25, 30, 45 and 50 years were called out for each count, and there were as many as 12 counts for each of the twelve defendants.
“Each of the three obese judges seated behind a massive table on the raised stage had alternatively returned to called out the sentencing, until each judge had a fourth turn at it. Then finally the usual concurrent adage to the final sentence of the verdict instantly made amateur mathematicians of everyone in the court room, as a majority of the spectators in the hall tried to work out the number of years each of the criminals would spend in prison.
“Predictably, Mina had erroneously arrived at an incredible 150 years each and voiced her joy out loud but she was greatly disappointed when a elderly man seated nearby explained to us that concurrently meant none of the robbers would be in prison for more than fifty years. I was watching the youngest member of the gang closely. He was almost in tears. I wasn’t sorry for him. He had mounted me too and I especially recollect he was heavily endowed and tore me up. He sat back and counted out his own share of the decades of incarceration in one hand, with his other hand. He went over each of the five fingers repeatedly by briefly holding each finger of the first hand between the forefinger and the thumb of the second hand, touching each finger lightly.
“He starts from the smallest finger and ended at the thumb each time, repeating this six times over. He must have ended up with the same utterly wrong heart wrenching figure of over a hundred years doled out to him because he visibly broke down and wept. I felt sorry for him and it made me reflect that I was no different from him in many ways. We were creations of our last resort and just as he is physically endowed to be brutish, I was also hollowed to be whorish.”
Hajo had conclusively made a very salient point that resonates around what Kengua knew to be true. He felt sorry for her and as if he were paying her for keeping him company, he gave her a generous helping from the thick wad of the very low valued local paper currency he had in his wallet.
She wasn’t pretentious in her surprise when she received the money and offered to quickly give Kengua part of his money’s worth of service right there on the large leather sofa he was seated in. He declined and the disappointment he saw on her face was also quite genuine. She actually pleaded with him to reconsider, assuring him that she was safe and he wouldn’t be disappointed. He was adamant in his refusal. She was ecstatic as they said goodnight, though it almost dawn. She hugged him as he stood up to leave, before he was even remotely aware she might. He was stunned but didn’t cringe or feel repulsed. She needed the sympathetic hug.
The Whore https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/451311 http://okadabooks.com/book/about/8481
The ashamed bitterness that hung in a hidden cloud over Labara’s immediate family for many years had finally dispersed with the birth of a baby boy. It was a long wait that is erroneously recounted as lasting just slightly under half a decade; the number of years between Labara’s immediate younger sister and their parents’ last child. That is a total of four long years, with four miscarriages for their mother.
Sometimes the four earlier tensed up years between Laraba and her immediate younger sister are included or further back still, the swift two years between Laraba and her immediate older sister is added. But in reality the long wait started from that impatiently hurried single lonely year separating Labara’s immediate older sister and the family’s first born. It was from this onset that the despairing clouds started to gather, when their parents’ desire for a son didn’t happen at the very next time of asking, since it didn’t select so do so the first time out.
As inconceivably stupid as it sounds in this more advanced century of Biology, it is still widely entertained that their mother was at fault. As such she had been made to live the silent shame of being termed responsible for that elusive male child’s refusal to grace them with his entrance. It agonizingly took so long that she made sure she doctored the final home stretch to suit her own circumstances.
Laraba claims she wasn’t eavesdropping but it wasn’t ever a tenable fact. However her version clearly reveals that she heard her mother twice talking to their ever fashionable and eternally unmarried aunt, about having the right sex on the very next child she would bring into the world. True enough, after each time she heard them talk about it, there was always an immediate miscarriage afterwards.
Aside from the two instances of note, it was rather odd that of all the four times Labara’s mother had miscarriages, before a boy finally came along to the relief of everyone, her mother’s ageless, unmarried, fashionable younger sister was always around just before it happens. It was too much a coincidence for even a kid. Though a lot of slack wouldn’t ordinarily be allowed Labara’s father in the sphere of general intelligence, but even he couldn’t be that naïve in these days when a fetus’ sex is clearly not its secret alone until it emerges with it.
Laraba is that sort of girl with more intelligence than conscience and her father is the complete reverse. He is that meticulous sort, whose timidity is deemed as stupid because he always uses proper, kind words. To him, it probably was inconsequential that his wife and her sister chose to misrepresent miscarriages to him, and quite rightly naming the circumstances while insinuating they named the procedure. It seemed his mind locked him out of common sense, but he is in fact only happy to let them deceive him, even as he wasn’t compelled to let them know this. He would have been quite prepared to let them go through with it anyway.
The family had latched onto the idea of having its own mini man before it actually did. The fervor of this heighten expectation was not the type to redeem if not realized. The family had been disappointed for so long and it not only rebelled mentally but with sickening good cheer, it admits this quite openly too. Labara’s mother rebelled secretly and did away with as many girls as she kept, making way for the boy she got desperately readied for, by the world she lives in.
As if by the perversion of natural justice, aptly termed as poetic, the alert and readied older sisters of the baby boy soon slumped into the reality of having their lives being lord over by a helpless new father they must cater for jealously. The family openly shifted all its focus to the new born king and this triggered off the demise of a once held indelible dream, which still dazzled them, up till the point when the sisters realized they had become second classed in their very own family. As expected it made them more receptive of the honest truth of their existence as mere women. The reality of the situation dawned on them farther as the boy aged. Hitherto every single one of the family’s four girls was a daily recipient of such wondrous, untarnished affection from both their parents. Then the illumination of the true character of things was ushered in, in the darkness of the ageless sexist periods of old, the red flag went up at the same time as the checkered flag.
The anticipated arrival of a baby brother came with the true realities they actually were born into. It dawn on them that his belated entry into their sweet world was actually a blessing because it made them recognize clearly their minority status. Inasmuch as the four girls’ parents tried hard to show some equality, it was always clear that their world now revolts around the baby boy.
The sisters just had to hold on, heave and spin their lives around for the boy child. This metaphor is appropriate in this context, because the girls’ demeaned world literally became the boy’s merry-go-round, without a shadow of doubt. The sisters’ basic needs took the back stage of servitude, while they indeed continued to be handled with laced laxity. But that wasn’t really their main worry, as they showered their own honest love for their sole male sibling while concealing the overwhelming debris of their envy for his gloried presence, that brought their own heady days to a labourious close. The boy presented other worries of crucial note.
Labara’s parents found themselves prioritizing every detail in a scale that heightened the value of their sole male child ahead of his four older sisters. They prioritized easily enough because they created these priorities. It was somewhat a belated redemptive measure they couldn’t resist in the tense atmosphere the late arrival of the boy had put them in, one that was pervaded by rumours and the like.
Oddly though, as they blundered along ignoring the innocent suffering of their daughters, their close and careful approach reduced their once quite glorious family into a nervy apparition. They wasted much time on trifles in the self-inspired troubled setting they didn’t have any real control over, as their longings yet grew into the same diseased craze eating deep into them. The family was slowly ravaged and it became a reflection of its once single oneness, bounded in mind and body. It took to functioning as if it was being eaten by a very harmful addiction, copied but not contacted from the world all around it. The parents rudely lost track of what the majority within it really is and the part this majority actually play in the life of the more recent revered existence of the minority amongst them. The parents thus created a young prodigal chap, as their only son turned out to be, making him the subtle arch-enemy of his four sisters.
The parents especially lost track of the uniqueness Laraba represents and her absolute manner of refusing to be subdued by anyone. This is a hugely expensive oversight since it is always Labara’s desire to scrutinize every available detail and employ even the most painstaking method to achieve her quest to establish her absolute authority. She is dogged in this regards, even it if it belittles all others.
There is no grudging the natural fact that the boy initially fitted into the scheme of things like any other new baby would, needing a lot of care. But because he is also a boy, all the possibilities showed through to their fullest potentials with time, as he was weaned, started to walk and talk. His older sisters’ soon reluctantly succumbed to the reality of his present and future assured dominance, though they still wondered why it had to be so. They came to terms with it with time, as all the experienced narratives they heard assured them it will remain so all their lives.
Even as a wee baby, their brother had the status of the dominant stag and the future assured them only the prominence of bereaved female mourners in his funeral cortege, as he will then as surely oppress them in death as he does alive. His ability to crawl into mischief wasn’t much of a worry but his fast increasing ability to speak meant he was able to state his worries and demand privileges, and these were always going to be those he learnt from his parents. His needs were always going to be those that class everybody in his immediate family; other than his father, as his subordinate. His earliest comprehendible utterances had that subtle speech impediment of children, but as he spoke more clearly and properly, the nature of his spoilt personality showed through.
Labara’s baby brother started to openly show his arrogance, it became more evident in how he spoke. He badly copied his father’s masculine manner of speech, only his words were more of scampered phrases and not clear cut sentences, but still they could be understood well enough. To those outside the family, the hastily gabbled words sounded like drowsy murmurings most times. But his parents easily condoned his deliberate rumbling and his older sisters had to adjust to it. The girls couldn’t do anything like hustle him into making an effort to be more comprehendible and God forbid they hit him. The onus was always on them to make the effort to understand him, as he sounded like he was struggling to read out badly written nonsense, which made sense but never makes pleasant hearing.
The sisters repeatedly got a glimpse of the future ahead of them with the little bits of mean things their younger brother arbitrarily does. They debated about ways to curtail his present excesses but there was always that looming reality that hung unseeingly just over the horizon, a burst of reality that assured of the piercing insight of truth in the form of a rising tiny star son that acts like the rising sun.
Everything promised the girls a lifetime of being permanently subordinates to their only brother. The three other girls took it in their strides but Laraba wasn’t done with fighting for her prominence yet. The four sisters would spend their hard gotten time away from their daily chores, to have prolonged chats about the very consequential matter of handling their brother’s excesses. And as he grew older before their eyes, they discussed his future dominance over them. They couldn’t revolt out of respect for their parents, but that only enabled him still.
The sister couldn’t come to a clear cut agreement on how best to handle him discreetly. They tried to avoid doing the numerous unbecoming things they needed to do, choosing not to soil their hands and conscience as they trash out the grey areas they never seem to conclude on. The sisters knew they need to be firm in their resolve but some of the girls actually believed their sole male sibling is messianic, like their parents ardently do. Laraba certainly didn’t, she was instead enraged that her sisters weren’t on the same wave length as she is.
Each time Laraba tries to emphasize her grievance with this blatant regime of inequality they live out, the sisters end up with heated quarrels about a dispute they all actually do believe is stacked against them. Soon she got tired of trying to win over her sisters and assessed the precarious situation on her own. She has had her fill and aim to end their kid brother’s relished humanized God-ship status.
He pretentiously appears and acts a lot frailer than he looks or feels. He became increasingly snobbish, making his many demands known to every one of them in the rudest way possible for a child, a mere six year old. Even the parents were not spared the starkness of his disrespectful excesses. But obviously because the parents were quite tolerant of him in the presumptuous pretext that they only just love him and not worship him, they condoned him needlessly.
The two older sisters grew a lot less preoccupied with their parents’ obsessive affection towards their youngest sibling. But they still limited their expressed disparity, as they were secretly quite vocal about their displeasure. All the sisters equivalently loathe their brother’s ways but their main concerns were still unclear in a fuzzy way, like sight in a dark night. They all cast aspersions they couldn’t defend as they mainly chose to let the uneasy peace reign than tamper with it.
The annoying boy wouldn’t budge from his lofty perch when urged to do so. His refusals were always spiced with the most degrading insults. He repeatedly gets his way since parental rebuke is literally absent or is presented as some form of subtle pampering, scavenged from within the conscience of his parents, empty of the venom it needs but full of contrite promises that indirectly hurt his sisters. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/383812
In starting such covert ventures, having an accomplice is helpful. But at times the accomplices can jeopardize the whole thing if not selected rightly or protected from their own naivety. It is imperative that the selected partner doesn’t revert from being beneficial to being detrimental to the entire scheme of things. As such, a full disclosure of the plans to a willing partner would be best only when deemed absolutely necessary, even if they prove to be the staunchest allies ever.
If timed well enough, this delayed exposure just could expunge all the apparent worries that loom over the issue, before they even start to surface. Doubtlessly so, finding out what Labara’s plan is about is ever imminent, in any case. The tacky thorny bit is apparently when Laraba chooses to entirely expose her plans to her chosen accomplices. Early disclosures would naturally breed some reluctance in some of them and this needless hesitation will eventually sire remote contempt.
This would mean a pointlessly diversion of scarce resources to convince them and her being sidetracked. This could jeopardize the entire operation before it even starts. It would then be advisable to merely keep the accomplices sort of appraised, living them somewhat blameless but sweetened by the deception of the empty shallow knowledge of the plan, but not the details of it. In such cases, the devil is not always in the details but in revealing all the details. It is really a small deal, much like getting them to assist in digging up the small grave but not letting them know if it is for the difficult dog of a neighbour or a six year old male sibling.
The accomplices should be allowed the disillusioned luxury of plausible deniability at the earliest stages. This ties up and strait-jackets the setting, such that their choices remain with the whim of the real owner and harbinger of the full secret. For the safety of the secret and its future revelation, the prevailing reason for keeping them in the dark never fully diminishes until at the very end, when the swinging hammer hit the nail on the head, with the already aptly prepped up accomplices set to hold the nail and assist before being brushed aside again.
In such an atmosphere that cheapens the necessity of prompt urgency and contradicts the veracity in the essential reason for the measures sought after, disputes would hold things back and finally bring disrepute to the whole enterprise. Hence only the sudden bold intrusion of the final deed, without considering the ever present alternative views of all the others, would be appropriate. Varied views are too conflicting to be instantly practicable. They guide trustworthy ventures into set pitfalls of incompletion. The winds of sudden change are so turbulent that they make dazed people fall bottom first on their own familiar rain slicked home streets.
The ever changing facet of truths has always taken on a vague shade that proves to be too relative to the circumstances leading to its revelation. Thus it is the one demerit of all kinds of human counsel that it tends to confuse more than it really truly assists with it generous overstressed tilt of opinions. The repressible clarity of advice is largely inscrutable in its nature. Investing so much time into it is most time an act tainted with the grossly comical attempt to respond to other peoples’ personalized overtures. Their suggestions would more than often not give the initial direction needed. They would make more pronouncements on trivialities as they hamper on issues that were originally being disregarded at the onset. The advisers’ own personal desires would make them exercise the choice of either being proponents of the views proposed or not.
In the crackling bonfire of subjective emotions and coy disguises of logic, the objectivity that truly comes from the reason that originates the entire issue’s derogatory sounding aspersions, are more acceptable to its aspirations. The remodeled views suddenly appears more traditional than previously proposed or already in use. Just grasping the truth will thus become the main interest under the circumstances and not the urgent need of implementing an unpopular action.
The very disagreeable venture of sampling advice before implementing very passionate ventures is, to use an abrasive phrase, coldheartedly irresponsible. It most times literally makes its ill-advised partakers resort to a sort of hasty crafted solution. In this context, evil is best served early not late, when it is expected. https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/383812
It is more than a shade easier for a girl to be corrupted sexually, than it is for a boy. A girl is naturally more endowed with the implements to lean back on and conveniently make a living off in the dark, more than her male counterpart. Besides, her clients are naturally conditioned to pour in, in droves. Most times, the girls are culturally pressured to play along when economically tasked. It is a merry go round legacy they inherit and grow up to bequeath to their successors. When they are hounded out by circumstances, covered and wrapped up in uncertainty’s mist, they avert the gaze of morality and succumb, expectantly. The spurious infallible laws of most customs appear to be in one long corroboration mode with nature to shortchange the woman.
While the woman cannot fathom the unending impertinence to the legality of her fight, she recognizes them easily. To some degree, this dependency of hers is harnessed for her, such that she perceives them as right. She feels as virtuous as compelled. On the other hand, the man’s indignant antecedents are never realigning their reliability. Even when the woman excels and is allowed to glut, she endlessly feels more of a consultant than a senior employee in this living enterprise. It isn’t an issue of semantics or shades, it is purely double standards by nature. It is as simplistic as that. It never ceases, even when possibilities are marginally upped or proclaimed. Even when the possibilities that abound for her are marginally upped or proclaimed and redeemed, they continually humiliate her painstaking efforts still. But the woman is nevertheless passionate in her continuous efforts, never abandoning her tedious trials.
Yet at the peak of her fiercely gotten triumphs, her rich tapestry would still feel like her man’s discarded rags. It feels destined that men will manage to mount the wild cow of the woman’s fears and boldly grab her swaying horns into submission. The irony of it all is, at the right time for her to make a decision to split open his dominance, she never actually does. Instead, obsessed by her peculiarity, she omits to be steadfast, prune her potentials, squint naturally, not wink pretentiously. His sun shines on her eclipsed moon and leaves no traces again. As far as life is concerned, the sole weapon nature endowed her with is submerged within her and confined to her thoughts only. The very core of her difficulty is a theorem nature had solved long ago, which time and man hadn’t yet changed, though they never stop trying.
The man cannot ever emotionally harm himself with pictures of the woman he conjures up in his mind. It is only this folly he might choose to try to cringe from, he is either hooked up or not. His broken heart is misinterpreted to atone nothing and to wrestle away from his dominance, the undercut tactics the woman can resort to and rely on; tends to neglect the fact that it can’t quench the thirst it slakes. The woman remains the smelling monstrous carcass in the man’s dreams. He only needs to wake up every morning and go on with his life. She is only an eye witness to his dreams and cannot step into his living world, unless he decides to enroll her. The turbulence that is her apprehension for some control gathers momentum to be slighted.
The key central delight the woman enjoys the most for all time is her procreation grant, and only because the natural trepidation of time uses her with it. Even then the consternation involved in bringing forth a physical marvel someone else had sired inside her, is apathetic. It is like a badly crippled spider delighting on the spoils provided by another spider’s cobwebs. She endlessly baffles at how easily her active role is truncated. The passive contribution of the man hinders the glory of her pain. Unclouded by the impersonation of her man, in the flurried act of birth, the fierce heat of subtle neglect by tradition always insults her ultimately.
The man ever lives on, strutting along in accepted honour for just being a cameo of sorts. While the woman can merely dramatize her emotions, still only skeptical whether she is honoured or not, abhorred or exalted. She never really knows and can tell quite little.
The diatribe lingers, intruding incessantly on her real position as the harbinger of life and love. She has to rely on this bias acceptance which she is infinitely chastised and castigated for. It is perplexing how the eccentricity of the situation belittles her, when it should celebrate her. But there is an eternal good in all this, granted that this portrayal seduced her. It understandably ought to make her deficient of undying love. It would make anyone else inescapably furious. Being so indulged in this solitary abstraction is quite punitively irritable. Dot on the spot, it scotches logic with tentative and doubtless ease. Still well acquainted with not just insinuated, outrageous accusation of it being a mere tool and not the worker, she remains doggedly devoted.
She exhibits an earnest and distilled shine of love and extraordinary dedication. Trembling with genuine affection she actually reinforces her floundering faith in her man, lavish him with some more of her branded selfless love. The spontaneity of which is not tarnished with any misplaced aggression on her part. The calculated belittling of her is conspicuous. But the conviction of all this natural, as well as artificially crafted cruelty notwithstanding, it triggers of what become a bloom of mild beautiful eruption. Regardless of whether the woman is treasured and receives a big bequest, she is fascinated by her masculine distractor. Her dedication may stumble and still it deepens into an overall vital part of the man’s wellbeing. She delved into living this way fully, only hesitating to sparingly investigate a partner.
Whether she unearths a chunk of coal or a gold nugget, is inconsequential to her. She gives the man his ratcheting room, to make up his mind if he would mug or protect her and her interests. Rather than dawdle about, wondering which kind of person he will be, she decides which kind of person she is.
Justice isn’t always what it seems. Justice isn’t always meted or aborted in human terms as local authorities are of the wrongly guided opinion that justice is best served on individuals based on communal terms and not general human ones. But it is reassuring that justice tends to resurrect subsequently and put everything correct again. Justice is enduring and it places destiny in both the hands of the particular individual and still puts fate in the unclear whirl and thrill of luck.
It is thus proper to let certain persons impose and administer their particular version of justice; oriented in a principle reasonable to them in their limited perspective. True justice is within the single individual’s intangible faculties, in their oriented conscience. It is what is said to the mind in the secrecy of the inner self. Once it is equally imperative for everyone to respect it, justice thrives. Justice is not misplaced when ignored, but still quite tenable. Justice can be ignored but its influence is always still very evident, even when it appears to be absent. Justice has an all encompassing grip over a person’s conscience, which can never be missed.
The recent international phobia and fear for justice; where a quick spade of peace is sought without having a thorough redress of the injustices already done, is the main reason why renewed cases of injustice are increasingly repeated. When leaders keep the peace by failing to seek out erring parties and force retribution on them, then they endlessly need to make temporal peace in an increasingly violent, lawless environment, authorizing common folks to take the law into their hands.
The genuine disciple of the law is required to sustain every remote morsel of justice. But because of the sensitivity of good justice, in a society that wants to attract credibility in its leadership by bringing in more pretenders than blunt realists, these best laws are denied the ideal national acknowledgement, respect and recognition they deserve. The society is heavily dependent on a failed system of justice and its civility lives on in a sort of peaceful anarchy as a result of this.
Civility endures the pains of justice when it is denied. It suffers the roughness of its course on a terrain it has no exact control over and must still live in. It is unfair but just, because it appropriately states its case by the kind of prosperity it finally attains. Whatever definition people might choose to accept for civility, it reflects a reference that would do it the justice it requires if different stands give and their perspectives don’t agree in the same society. If the same people remain bias to their oriented principles, principles will always be personalized.
Without compromise, bad laws get repeated over again, most times shuffled at unreasonable discretion, without pity or fairness or justice, with inscrutable considerations. Life would then indulges itself with ill timed prognostications that would remain unwarranted and righteously cruel by any logical standard.
In this way the colonists’ continuous racial, intellectual and economic dominance was farther enhanced with wizen humility. The colonists took this lingering administrative stance that wasn’t as apparently forceful as it appeared to be civil and polite.
It was all meant to appear like they had basically sought to train, guide and subsequently allow the indigenes to take over the governance of their own regions without any strings attached. But it was actually only effected to ensure that the colonists’ many economic and military interests were served efficiently and their business potentials enhanced farther. Their generally assumed act of humility was actually just another act of smart dominance oriented tutelage, pursued like it was supposedly started. It was perpetuated in the early stages of the discovery of continents, when the imparting of religion and civilization traits fronted for the real deceptive exploitive ones of commercial trade, macro property commandeering, blatant thievery of resources and the dubious acquisition agenda that was actually being meticulously pursued.
The colonists had followed that through with a systematic gusto that didn’t appear much like the ruthless punitive activity it truly was. The bright complexioned, self-styled educated and civilized race had thus sowed a trend they have continually nurtured in a steady manner across the world. This trend doesn’t belie their initial, and still prevailing, intent to remain the revered superior race. At every stage they appear to alter and fairly equalize their obvious considerable advantages. They had simply repeatedly gone ahead to activated the next stage in this continuous sequence of theirs, which had been strictly characterized with incessant deceptive assertions.
The sequence of stages include their laughable claims of the discoveries of already inhabited territories around the world, barbaric slavery and racially bias colonization, looting of resources and the thievery of anciently owned territories, their elitist indirect rule and global downsizing of induced independence, their tight resource utilization by way of economic reliance, monopolized trade in-balance. It finally matures into a crafted financial and political dependency. The flexing of their attained might by the colonists, continues extensively in their coerced guidance of the quantity of skilled labour and in their manipulated drainage of quality labour.
Mere administrative free colonies were indoctrinated into being political communities, embracing tenets not remotely traditional to their cultures, making their reliance to democratic ideals unrealistic. In the native’s misapplied efforts, their emerging nations ended up with basically unsustainable spades of advocated shady corruptible organized bureaucracies. These pathetic forms of administrative tenancy reeked of falsified enticed hope as they excel mainly in the equality of entertainment their politicking produces and not the purposefulness of its produce.
This more ideologically rather than geographically classed westernized race, that constituted the colonizing masters, made sure their own lifestyles were branded and trended, such that their ways continually captivates the disordered focus of all other races not of their original biological linage. The colonists fundamentally ensured their lifestyle is predominantly copied worldwide.
Soon the colonists’ versioned civilized wisdom was adapted were they chose to plant it, and they sowed it everywhere. The tenacity of their purpose paid off as their lifestyle became the norm the world over. In most places the colonist’s ways were taken to with an enshrined inescapable adherence. Soon enough, everywhere the colonists had been, the local traditions lost out as their western ways took firm root. The impact of this was felt the world over, with an intoxicating humbled awe. The indigenous continent of the dark shinned race was no exception.
The colonists’ western ways dominated yet this didn’t appear to give others the same end result as it seems to give them, principally because of the obvious excellent effectiveness with which they follow through their agenda to subjugate everyone else. But this enduring quest of the colonists’ is only as vivid as the light of comprehension that shines on it and reveals it to be.
The ruse they surround it in is always pointing out tomorrow will be brighter here, when it is already tomorrow on the other side of the globe the sun had already risen in. Everyone else wants the brightness now, so they garnish the inner disunity of others in one massive selective all encompassing fool’s paradise. The paralyzing effect will only get to overcome itself with more confusion as the colonists ready themselves to leave, arranging to substitute one method with the semblance of it, with similar crystal clear pattern. What they leave behind to be administered by the local subordinates they had trained in their likeness, is best described as a legacy of perpetual racial dominance based on the basic humanized rights they advocate.
Through eventful years the sticks ever pile,
Hopes with the trunk that vomits emptiness.
The mighty broom swept so long a mile,
Still dirt abounds as its proud fruitfulness.
Mourning tears leave this feeling of numbness.
Eras of evolution has not changed the egg,
The needs of man same and ever will be so.
Maybe a broom will kill lizards on a clay keg
And not break it too like the stick did before.
In this concoction only soluble particles’ temperatures soar.
Promise of the lands are all pointing,
Yet the future is hot food in the mouth.
Bodies buried and alive, had and are, waited and waiting,
For the joy in swallowing and satisfaction they sought.
Over hard filled years waiters without appetite rot.
The dogs in this story are the traitorous pigs,
Their patriotism is fake like sweeping grains with a rake.
Locusts that plunder the field leaving tiny dry twigs,
Their determined whispers stir reasoning ideally fake;
These dishonourable gentle heads that ache.
The locusts ate the grains, the rake wasted the rest.
The broom was left so little in its fold.
In this farm, pigs serve dogs for it’s their best.
The egg will likely shatter in hands that shouldn’t hold.
They chest indifferently the agony of the rest in the cold.
(excerpts from Boko Haram: Western Values are Forbidden; Chapter 7)
This is a tribute to the over two hundred girls abducted by Boko Haram from the north eastern Nigeria a year ago. You might find the following excerpt rather unsettling, but be advised that though the deductions are based on actual facts, what you are about to read is a work of fiction. #BringBackOurGirls #ChibokGirls
“But what message do you have for the Nigerian people and the rest of the world who were hopeful that they were rid of Boko Haram?”
“This is the calm before the storm. The long dormant seed of Boko Haram has germinated and grown into a massive oak tree that can not be uprooted with mere hands of the Nigerian Armed forces. The Western world must recognize this fact.”
“Boko Haram abducted more than two hundred Nigerian school girls that have not been heard of as a whole again. Do you know what has become of them?”
“That is a very funny incident for me personally.” “Funny?” The black reporter asked in amazement. The Sheik was sweating profusely as the reporter gasped.
“Yes funny, because it wasn’t made an issue that these girls had actually been gathered together by elements in the Nigerian Western Educational system; with the approval and sponsorship of their parents and guardians. They hid them away from the Nigerian authorities so they can secretly carry out their acts of gross examination practices. This is a very common practice in Nigeria. While the Nigerian authorities claim they weren’t aware of this, Boko Haram didn’t and took the initiative to put and end to it. They took away the girls and gave them more meaningful lives to live.” The reporter had no idea his mouth had stayed open.
“Incredible! So the innocent school girls were saved by their abduction?”
“Yes and like I told you earlier, the concept of ‘Innocent Victims’ it too vague. In this case will you call these girls, their parents or their school management or educational authorities innocent victims? They were all complacent and actually exposed in the act of defrauding their very own sick Western educational system.”
“But are the girls all alive and living somewhere else presently?”
“No, many of them are not. Some got the most glorious martyr death of suicide bombers. Some escaped, some were killed by the bombing of the Nigerian Armed forces over the Boko Haram positions. Some are with their good Muslim husbands around the world, enjoying their lives as good faithful obedient Muslim wives.”
“They were sold as slave wives?” the reporter asked and the Sheik laughed.
“If you like. In your view all dowries are payments for female slaves then?” The reporter didn’t recognize the ingenuity in the first and only joke they shared.
“I also found this so called abduction of the school girls funny for another reason,” the Sheik continued. “For centuries disgruntle militant fighters have abducted massive numbers of young innocent school boys as their main source of recruits and over hundreds of years forcibly turned them into ruthless fighters who terrorized local communities with relative ease. But there has never been such a worldwide out roar or a whole scale international effort to rescue them.
“Maybe if the militants had instead been taking young school girls in such huge numbers, there would have been genuine efforts to end it all. The abduction of young boys by militants actually pose more danger than the abduction of young girls because the boys instantly get directly involved with the fighting, becoming future militants themselves. Western values has lots of misplaced priorities, some of them out-rightly illogical. I remember reading about how decades ago the Jewish inventors of suicide bombing had bombed and killed lots of Germans. This was about a decade after the holocaust. But the Germans just wouldn’t retaliate.
“”Because we are Germans and they are Jews.” That is the reason a German federal minister gave when asked why they weren’t retaliating. That is stupid! The elimination of millions of Jews in the holocaust is the single most laudable act of the Western world and it should have been continued with equal zeal and craft.”
“Don’t you feel there are consequences for all actions, especially killing men?”
“It is because we will eventually face the consequences of all our actions that every one of our action must be as Allah wills it, for we exist for His pleasure. Gladly this concept is acceptable to all Abrahamic religions, only Muslims act on it.” The reporter succumbed to the urge to say something in defense of liberality.
“Still you must admit that the common truth about your kind of people is they are predominantly Muslims. What is it about your brand of Islam that makes you think it is justified to use deadly force and kill people, to make a point? One will think there is a distinct teaching in all Islam that encourages this sort of it?”
Boko Haram; Western Values Are Fobidden….
Available from the links below
Still on those upcoming explanations from government officials about their stewardship, this time I reflect on how most African nationals truly view their experience of military rule as against democratic rule. What are the gains or the loses in each regard? Where nations better off under oppressive military junta or under the governance of corrupt politicians?The glory seeking elite in most cases, are still evident whatever the governments. But in which case do the people gained the most? The promises are never fulfilled in most cases, but in which case are the common people actually better off?
Once more I urge you to enjoy the following fictitious interview with an ex-military man, with political interests. Remember Governor Fashola of Lagos State Nigeria once had an ‘incident’ with a military officer on the streets of Lagos? Well, you might want to read this interview for that reason too
(excerpts from The Whore; Chapter 6)
He had come into public limelight as the intelligence Colonel that supposedly slapped the influential executive Governor of the nation’s most economically viable state and prematurely retired from the Army just for popularly infamous insolent act. The Governor had just got nominated as the running mate of the presidential candidate of the ruling party. He brought in tow with him a massively popular following from his regional and tribal section of the country.
As the leading presidential candidate of the third largest party in the nation, he already had a laudable track record as a state Governor. A fishy deal was struck with the largest party in the land producing a joint ticket between his sectionalized party and the ruling party. The ruling party’s presidential candidate was the serving vice president, who was always billed to take over the mantle of leadership after the constitutional expiration of the second of two terms of his boss.
The Governor had accosted the highly decorated full Colonel, aiming to make a publicized unconventional citizen’s arrest. The setting was just perfect to boast the public appeal and dutiful credentials of the politician but it was by pure accident that the senior military intelligence officer had fallen victim of this publicized showmanship. It was purely coincidental.
Kengua had met the once disgraced officer at a private function in the United Kingdom a number of year later. Kengua had been invited there to supposedly meet a group of notable Nigerians in the diaspora. The Colonel was quite aware that he was talking to a high profiled Nigerian journalist and it seemed he felt it was his turn to tell his own side of the story. Kengua was immediately taken to his simplicity and decided he ought to make him look good.
It naturally felt right to start at the incident that had unfairly made Nigerians aware of the military intelligence Colonel’s existence. The now retired highly decorated secret operative officer is Colonel Sylvan Inalegwu Samuel, with the catchy pronounceable initials of SIS.
Kengua had set about telling the story like he initially heard and read it but the retired Colonel’s filling up the gaps sufficed into him telling his side of it. The piece Kengua had in mind wasn’t going to linger on that matter. Not on the injustice or not, of the manner it was handled into making this special officer look bad while making the Governor a near living saint.
It had all started on a very ordinary Saturday morning, the last one in the month. Those Saturdays were set aside but a pronvincial government edict, making it compulsory for the general public in that state to clean up their immediate environment. Movements of vehicles were strictly restricted for the three morning hours of seven to ten. Only vehicles on essential official services were allowed on the street during these official monthly sanitation hours.
Colonel Inalegwu was to be the honoured best man at his colleague’s church wedding, to be held that same morning, in the same commercial city. He had barely made it into the city in the very early hours of that morning, from yet another top secret mission for the Army. It was his fifty-sixth operation in a quite glorious military career spanning twenty very eventful years. That is not including six gruesome African sub-regional wars and nine peace keeping campaigns for the African Union and three for United Nations. He was just forty-three then and the most decorated infantry officer ever in his rank, worldwide. Little did he know that he had just concluded what was destined to be his last mission for that Army, but not his last ever.
Dressed in full Army ceremonial regalia and driving the official staff car of his commanding officer, which the General had borrowed him for the day, it was assumed he had to be on official essential duty and naturally waved through every checkpoint. He had an hour’s drive ahead of him and left his quarters in a rush, hoping to beat the dense city center traffic that would be unleashed as soon as the sanitation hours were over. He kept looking sideways frantically, looking for any sign of a tailoring shop or a hint of a boutique, praying he will find one open.
He had discovered his unused ceremonial sword belt was loose-fitting across his jacket. He hoped he could convince a willing clothes’ merchant to sell him a safety pin to fasten the sword belt with. With the corner of his eye, he saw a tailor’s signpost as he sped by deserted streets, without a single public or private transport on the quiet roads and very few pedestrians.
He stopped and reversed the staff car. Sure enough, there was someone sweeping inside the closed glass doors of a tailor’s shop. So he parked on the paved road side, at the very edge of the curb. He then walked across a wooded single plank bridge, over an open blackish green slime filled gutter, knocked on the shop’s glass door and an elderly lady let him in. She was very helpful and it took a lot of persuading before she accepted any payment for the single safety pin. The Colonel also bought a pack of hair clips for girls, she said her granddaughter makes.
He was about leaving when he heard a commotion in the street behind him, near his parked staff car. Two men of roughly his age, dressed in the official bright lemon-green loose vests tops of the designated municipal sanitation workers, were standing next to the military staff car he had parked on the street, shouting angrily and hitting the car severally with their open palms.
The audacity of the picture is unheard of, the oddity of the scene extraordinarily difficult to fathom at first sight. It is completely unimaginable that a mere city municipal sanitary worker will muster enough courage to hit a clearly identifiable senior Army officer’s staff car. They also had the guts to continue shouting obscenities at the approaching fully dressed Army officer in his highly decorated outfit, with the full accomplishments of his tags and numerous medals.
Colonel Inalegwu was furious and shouted back worded thunder before he got to the car and a brief shouting match ensued. Inalegwu threatened, as also did the two men in sanitary workers’ vest tops. They were incredibly querying the Army officer for parking on the marked out lane designated for public transport only. He pointed out that he was there only briefly and after all, there were no public transport about yet. He didn’t see the need to go on wasting his time with these suicidal maniacs. He made out to get into the borrowed staff car to leave the scene, when suddenly the slightly older and well-spoken one of these unusually bold Nigerian civilians, said he was going to make a citizen’s arrest, insinuating he would detain the Colonel for violating municipal traffic laws. It was so unusual sounding, almost out of a Hollywood comedy.
The military officer smiled at the obvious joke of it and leaned on the parked car good-naturedly, looking subdued and less menacing. He intended to humour these efficient men, who were clearly over enthusiastic about doing their menial work but obviously quite confused about their personal status and his far reaching immunity to certain aspects of state laws. Inalegwu noticed their little heated banter was beginning to attract the attention of bystanders, so he opened the driver’s door and stepped back to enter the car. That is when the less articulated man did the unthinkable. He pushed the well-dressed Colonel back against his borrowed staff car.
The collective sigh of utter amazement from the gathered spectators nearby, was quite audible from where they stood. It was such an unimaginable travesty to behold. The officer turned around in a flash, reacting with the coordinated physiological speed of years of military training and action. The soldier lashed out, swung a swift open right handed venomous slap at the face of the idiotic common civilian that dared to blind side him and shove him against the car. But before the Colonel’s slap had traveled the two feet between him and his retreating target, the other more articulate man had made it halfway into the gap between the slap and its intended target and accidently took in some of the force in the swing, with the back of his head.
The slap had continued to hit home squarely though. Incidentally, both the actual intended vengeful slap and the uncharacteristically siphoned residue force of it, had managed to quite effectively achieve the most impact possible. Both the bashful sanitary officer; the pushing brute that was the intended target, and his articulate arresting colleague; who unfortunately stepped in the way, were instantaneously knocked off their feet and sprawled in undignified postures on the asphalt ground like they were overnight drunks who spent the night on the street.
It turned out that the articulated and slightly older man, who intended to make a citizen’s arrest, was the serving State Governor. He was out on a covert mission to inspect the public’s adherence to the state’s sanitation laws. So the Executive Governor unfortunately got accidently knocked down. He was hit as he came between the angered law breaking military officer and the imprudently rash senior city municipal worker accompanying him on his official escapade.
Kengua loved the detailed description of the incident so much that he decided to print it separately as a different article. It was be the opening piece that ushered readers into the world of Retired Colonel Sylvan Inalegwu Samuel. The way that incident was handled by the Governor’s publicists and the favourable press the Governor ordinarily got as a result of his tagged unselfish dedication to duty, had made Colonel Inalegwu look really bad. Set against the already quite unsympathetic perspective of a majority of the public towards military officers, Inalegwu was always at a huge disadvantage. Nobody really wanted to even hear his own version of the story.
“Did you ever get to that wedding?” Kengua asked.
The retired officer laughed heartily, finding it funny that it is the first time anyone bothered to ask him that question, so many years later.
“I had a full plate already and wasn’t any longer looking forward to the wedding reception as soon as I realized I had just hit the man going to be my next vice-commander-in-chief.”
Kengua laughed along this time. That light-hearted remark simply set the tone for the interview. They progressed into the other areas of life Inalegwu had ventured into later on, following his premature discharge from the Army. But before then, it was only fair to allow the man to vent about how badly he felt he was treated, following that unfortunate incident with the Governor. It had unjustly painted him in bad light and changed the remaining of his life.
“Normally, this sort of thing is not heard of. The soldier is protected by the Army and dealt with within the workings of the military. His identity is not revealed. However, a generality of these cases never involves one of the most favoured political candidates in the history of the country. Even my colleagues were wary not to be seen to be sympathetic to my position.”
“And what was your position.”
“Well, I almost had none. I just waited silently like a good soldier. I obeyed orders and didn’t complain. The little I could do to make immediate amends for what happened, I did. I tried to undo the damage I had done. I did that on the spot, on that day.
“I did what any other soldier would have done; recruit, NCO, junior or senior officer alike. Any other smart officer would do the same. My reaction in the form of instant multiple salutes and repeated apologies to the Governor did me good in the eyes of my mates and superiors by all regards. It seemed good enough initially as the Governor appeared to let it pass and had let me go on my way. Then pictures emerged in the press later and it became such a huge mess.
“So I became the identified pampered senior Army officer who habitually parked a tax payers’ given staff car inside a restricted public transport lane, specifically persevered for the use of only the poor masses, which they weren’t even allowed to use when I parked on it for just five minutes, while breaking a state edict by not staying at home to watch my Army orderly clean up my house, within a federal military barrack where state laws are completely useless.”
Kengua then contributed to Inalegwu’s summary.
“That is as it concerns the law, but then you are the officer who punched the Executive state Governor and slapped a senior member of his staff with one stroke of your deadly lethal, military trained arm. The same arm you had killed thousands of people with while fighting wars all over the world. Then you merely said a casual sorry and drove away like a maniac to a wedding.”
They both laughed again. Then Inalegwu took a brief moment to further expand the humour and sarcasm intended by Kengua with some serious reflection on the whole incident.
“That was the exciting thing about the incident for the media. The possibilities for scandalizing every twist and turn of it were boundless. They hoard bits of truth, told some, altered others and strangely fabricated some other aspects to fit into the easily recognizable picture of the top military guys thinking they are untouchable and can get away with anything.
“They didn’t even point out their own contradictions. I was the highly decorated and very rich killer officer that is above the law versus the celebrated public serving politician.
“To the press I wasn’t the Nigerian civil war orphan, the only child of a killed federal infantry soldier and a subsequently crippled mother, who was as a consequence forced to be a rural dwelling peasant subsistent farmer, until she worked herself to death putting me through school. I wouldn’t have, against all odds, strived to incredibly get into the very prestigious military officers’ academy on pure merit, if I had another choice.
“Without any ready and clear willing sponsorship for a tertiary education; which I was more than adequately qualified for with an exceptional national record equaling college result, the officer training academy was the best option if I wanted to excel. But to the media, the Governor isn’t the ninth son of a very wealthy polygamous traditional high chief, who had conveniently publicized his conversion to Islam from traditional occultism because it served his immediate business interests and political future, for his seven wives and thirty-six children.”
Kengua quickly came to the Governor’s defense because he is not the type to have any one’s public image tarnished for reasons that had nothing to do with the individuals own actions or utterances. Kengua has always felt that it transcended from the fair to sheer irrelevance, when opponents unfairly deploy the strongest criticism, manifesting as mere sprouts out of their targets’ early origins. He takes a steadfast position of complete disregard and disinterest for such defamatory degrading details. He firmly believes that when the later emergence of purely old superficial vials of uncontrollable natural occurrences are encouraged to create an atmosphere of credibility doubts, then the rational assessment of a subject is compromised. Subjective untruths wade in, get a foothold and slow down progressively fair objective logic.
Kengua also abhors blame being apportioned for just unlucky mishaps that are humanly extraordinarily difficult to avoid. He doesn’t query them because they just emerge like hiccups, unplanned and not as a result of conscious deeds or a deliberate neglect of knowledgeable action. The truth prevails when contemporary cliquishness is ignored and the relevant essentials are made more prominent, as it concerns every issue.
“What has the Governor’s father got to do with this?” Kengua fired. “It isn’t his fault his father was the way he was.”
“Indeed. But he is clearly an offspring of the massively influential old money of his family. It ensured he never went hungry for a day in his life and ensured he got the best possible education in prestigious local and European schools. It secured financial security for him above the average comfortable standard and established a good political platform for him. It put at his disposal a huge background of subjective followers to enable him have an almost wondrous rise to political and administrative fame. My critics didn’t see it fit to draw this lopsided parallel?”
“I honestly don’t see why they should either.” Kengua bluntly offered and it must have sent a disconcerting tingle down Inalegwu’s spine but still Inalegwu continued to disagree.
“But I feel that exception wasn’t deliberate. That ought to be evident to a man of your reputation. The media just chose to buttress his advantages over me and ignored mine over his.”
Kengua pondered that Inalegwu just might have a point there, but still it is manipulatively natural that the professionally proactive and very well paid Governor’s political machinery had seized the opportunity that particular incident provided to booster their candidates public image. The Colonel was just doomed from the very moment the mischievous roaming state Governor stumbled into the parked Army staff car on that sanitation Saturday morning.
At the Governor’s incessant prompting, Inalegwu was simply unstrung by the senior military hierarchy. Even they had to be seen to be favourable toward the serving political bigwigs. The Army left Inalegwu all alone, to dry on his own, publicizing his erstwhile top secret activities, without any hesitation. His Generals merely chose to spite their noses to save their faces.
For the sake of their plumb jobs, careers and ambitions, the head of the most decorated professional young senior officer is worth sacrificing, by their reckoning. Military loyalty is not an edifice like most civilians assume, it is ineffectually an invisible ruse. Most top military brasses simply absorb more of the hypocritical civilian characteristics they must function around. Thus they metamorphose into gruff aged men whose years of coy administrative and political meanderings make them a lot more crotchety and brusque than liberal and honourable.
Inalegwu’s recall of his ceremonious betrayal brought a flushed look upon his light brown face, which he momentarily supplemented with what he thought will appear as expressionless. But a slight tremble of confidence still showed through, even as he continued to speak. He was wounded by the way the media had hounded his previously very private life, once the license to do so was insinuated. Everyday a new damning detail emerged about his indiscretion. With time he ceased being shocked by the daily emerging bad news in the press about his incredibly manufactured abusive wryly remarks concerning the state Governor’s sacrificial deed.
He became disillusioned by the incredulity of it all as every side he turned, he felt both berated and humiliated. When he attempts to put right this seemingly inexhaustible barrage of lies, he was so easily misinterpreted. As he was increasingly depicted as woeful, the public barely reacted with any surprise when he was kicked out of the Army with eloquent prejudice.
This conformed to a pattern which had its origin years back, when an equally highly talented and decorated Air force officer was summarily executed by a firing squad for allegedly joining a rogue mutinous band in the armed forces. That renowned fighter pilot had lost his life despite the best attempts of numerous desperate top grade military forces from all over the developed world. Their offers of handsome compensations to the then Nigerian Military Government to secure the condemned man’s services and spare his life were rejected. This time around similar foreign interests just waited to gain from the Nigerian authorities’ conscious wasteful loss. And true to character, the Nigerian Army sought to act in tune with what they considered as locally popular.
The Army bigwigs made their priorities apparent with the rather hasty decision to dispense with the services of the phenomenal Colonel. Then the interview easily veered into the area Kengua wanted it to, because the talented Colonel had gone onto much bigger things.
“So being dumped by the Nigerian Army became a guile blessing in disguise, it turned out.” Kengua fished.
“Like they say; ‘Hasty actions err the most.’ The Nigerian Army made the mistake of not only losing my services but most importantly, my impeccable knowledge of its entire functions”. Inalegwu’s doubts, that were initially almost tangible with caged in expectancy in the booming sound of his voice, abated. He revealed how hurt he was in those long passed days of such pain. That feeling was completely gone and replaced by the supremely wondrous confidence of that euphoria of being the most sought after man in the military world, all of a sudden.
This is a man who thought the unduly imposed fervor of guilt that was crushing his existence was going to kill him. But he ended up being amazed by how well he adjusted and lived with it. It frightened him to learn the potentials he had. This had led him into living a life he had only dreamed of previously. The exuberance of this switch was quite intriguing.
His light complexioned face was flushed as his excited facial expression unscrewed the tensed worry that was pasted on it just minutes before. On a black person’s face, a blush is not registered with a change in the shade of skin colour. The lining of the brows are not quite helpful either, hence the commonly popular deduction that a Negro does not ever blush.
A tingle of anticipation came over Kengua as he readied himself for the real juicy stuff to come as he replaced the almost filled up tiny tape in the mini recorder with an empty one.
“It must have been like a pathetic excuse for an apology when the Nigerian authorities conferred a National award on you, recently. One you are yet to accept or reject.” Kengua had started this phase of the interview with the most recent twist in Inalegwu’s long tale. He merely hinted where he was headed. Colonel Inalegwu’s choice to dispense with instantly answering the question Kengua had just asked him, hinted of more to this interview than met the eye.
Inalegwu’s choice propounded a vista Kengua had not envisaged. The panorama suddenly had dynamism of its very own. Ultimately, the main question to be answered turns out to be that of Kengua to tackle on his own. Was he being used by the Colonel to get back at the current second term Nigerian Vice President? They already had a very well documented history together, when the VP was the highly influential State Governor and the Colonel was at his mercy.
It turned out that the retired Colonel had literally become the most influential intelligence operative on the African continent. He now has all the right intelligence contacts to throw spanners in the political works of the VP, who was paused to commence conversing for the Nigerian presidential seat in a few months. Clearly the VP had gotten the wiser of it and put out his reconciliatory hand, with the government’s suddenly conferring a highly exulted national merit award on a previously disgraced and discharged senior military officer. The ambitious Vice President wasn’t leaving anything to chance as he made his move upwards, yet again.
The VP simply reprioritized his activities once more, trying to make a friendly corner stone out of an old stepping stone. It was now obvious to Kengua that this interview is too timely to be anything but vengeful. It reeked of those Biblical Jewish mothers’ dispute, King Solomon had arbitrated. Just this time, the bereaved mother who killed her child, also embarks on smothering her mate’s to death, rather than steal and claim it. The creative imagination of vengeance almost always appears to fall short, compared to the initial act it is meant to be a reprisal for. But as an intelligence officer, the Colonel was obviously out to show how versed he is in plotting revenge.
Long ago, the opportune boldness of the state governor was met with the instant repentant submission of the erring Army officer. But it didn’t end there and the ambitious governor had sought to score cheap points in his engineered favorable press review of the incident. He also used his strong political connection to get helpful credits in the powerful eyes of the military, thereby influencing the handling of the matter by them. The VP’s actions discredited Inalegwu without any regard for what he is, a senior military officer in the most influential branch of the armed forces in a huge third world country. There are different facets to his experience.
As a full colonel, Inalegwu is like a teacher in the hierarchy of any school, not a pupil certainly. He had the equivalent of an honorary national award to the majority of his fellow citizens’ mere national identity cards. He was directly responsible for loads of vital national security stuff and international secrets that a whooping ninety-nine percent of the rest of the country’s people don’t even know exists. And for such a person to have been embittered by being treated in that way, it is natural that Inalegwu would want his pound of flesh.
Inalegwu naturally felt he shouldn’t have been so casually belittled by persons who haven’t ever risked their lives for their country in the slightest. It may be his poorly paid job to risk his life for his country, but that ought to come with the privilege of some respect. That is why the constitution allows him a separate court, as long as he remains in the military. He has a license to kill identified enemies of his nation as directed by his commander-in-chief without being prosecuted for it, no one else in the whole country does. He belonged to a tiny clique of citizens that can legally be accusers, judges & executioners, all in one instant, with no qualms.
But because society connives to favour some privileged member of its political class rather than him, it becomes his duty to also make this same belligerent quarrelsome and confrontational nation, change its exaggeration of wrong priorities. He has held different viewpoints from a lot of his people for so long. It is time he shows how right he was by making those who wronged him look silly. Kengua readied this preemptive conclusion. He had to be ahead of the game if he wanted to know what this highly experienced intelligence operative was on about.
The question Kengua had asked Inalegwu earlier on would be simple enough to answer, but the Colonel is no ignorant fool. His answers wouldn’t say as much as Kengua will want to hear. Inalegwu knows the industrious journalist is always fishing for more than others are willing to reveal. All press men naturally get to learn a simple fact in due course. They learn that the real important answers never get heard, they have to be deduced like they are insinuated.
“Tell me Colonel, what happened to you and what have you been really doing all these many years since you were forcibly retired from the service of the Nigerian Army?”
Inalegwu just smiled, and then curtly asked, not answer.
“What do retired military men do after being retired?”
“Oh I don’t know, maybe join other ex-service men in the private security sector and start off where they all left off?” Inalegwu chuckled and vaguely answered the next question.
“You were then sought after by the armed forces of the United States, Canada, Great Britain and South Africa. That much wasn’t a secret. But you didn’t join any of them, or did you do so secretly and opted for one of their secret services?” Kengua had asked.
“Yes that’s right; I didn’t join up with any of them,” Inalegwu answered.
“You didn’t join one secretly and just won’t say so because no right thinking intelligence operative says he is one.” Inalegwu laughed briefly but actually tried to explain.
“Offers did come in fast and quick, fat and thick too. But because virtually all of the very lucrative packages these foreign armed forces were offering me were practically for positions in their military training schools, I concluded that I could still do all of that, collect the big pay packages they proposed, and still do my own thing on the side without all the unnecessary pressure of being fastened to the shackles of their military administrative hassles.”
“So you taught in military schools?”
“Yes I did! Virtually all the important military schools in the western world have used and are still using my expertise on sub-Saharan warfare.” Inalegwu said quite proudly.
“And you don’t do anything more than just teach?”
“I did nothing more.”
The two men maintained their stares silently for three more seconds before Inalegwu emphasized his answer more firmly.
Indeed, the real important answers never get heard, they have to be deduced like they are insinuated, Kengua thought to himself.
“Then you started a military consulting firm?”
“That is in partnership with a retired US marine general, an interesting Texan. That is the guy who infamously made a near exact replica of the renowned World War II Nazi wrought iron archway entrance into its Human Extermination Camps; HEC. The infamous Death Camps.
“His own replica of the sign still hangs over the entrance into his huge farm at the edge of the South American Amazonian jungle. It was made as a publicity gimmick and it works rather well too; not only for the farm and its turnover, but for him and his popularity. He had copied the design from an internet printout and included the exact three German words too, in full. Only he had defaced the middle word with a boldly white painted metallic X, crossing out the still legible middle word. It was done in such a way that the original words were still fully readable.
“The original German words were ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’; meaning ‘Work Makes Free’. Thus the defaced replica sign the Texan had made would read in English as; ‘Work — Free’”.
Both men laughed at the seeming idiocy of it.
“It took a while for it to catch on but it caught on soon enough, once the larger local community got the gist of it. They embraced the lopsided morale the unorthodox coinage had advanced with its somewhat cynical but still eye-catching symbolism. It was such a huge hit. It was such that not only was the farm identified as ‘Work-free’, the new phrase in due course aptly became the Texan’s alias. It even attracted tourists and was hugely popular with all who saw it. His friends tried using the initials but abandoned the attempt because W. F. was such a mouthful and did not serve the abridged purpose it was meant to. So they were stuck with Work-free.”
Kengua further learnt the Texan’s Amazonian farm had since served as the official headquarters of their military consulting partnership. All the covert training of Special Forces is done on the farm’s ideal grounds. Then Inalegwu digressed to offer a personal insight.
“You know in a strange sort of way, these multiple tried ‘Work Makes Free’ ideologies suffer very natural deaths at the persistent steps of the belittled ‘Work-Free’ ideologies. When they are handled and borrowed metaphorically, they actually symbolize the ideological struggles of the entire civilized world, over its very long period of regulating economic systems. It is the reoccurring extended victories of the freest minds over the most coerced minds in the world.”
“That is human wisdom set against human intuition; the natural need to dominate versus the spurious compromise of allowing unprivileged people an equal opportunity to empower themselves so that they can in turn not do the same to you.” Kengua offered.
“I couldn’t have put it any better myself. Take the freest nation in the world for instance. It is only natural that the American state should turn out the way it did. It is in every sense of the term primarily; and still considerably for all intent, a migrant state. So its national conscience is still very much that of the typical average migrant; which is excusable for the fundamental reasons that make migrants what they are in the first place.
“These are simply revivification and the ramifications of the opportunist, escapist, rebel and adventurer. Americans thus reveal to be daring, brave, determined, hardworking, patient and tenaciously vengeful. They are all of these sorts and the likes of it, all comprehensively such; in that passively or actively and positive or negative qualities, respectively.”
“You mean when their highly principled thoughts are contrasted, they actually reveal to be more at a continuous state of being at Crossroads, than being on the free highway.”
“It is unfortunately the Double-edge sword of truth most liberals do not even like contemplating more less discoursing. The inoperative logic dimly entertained here being that by empowering the right kind of person with the wrong natural tendency to tenaciously survive by dominating everybody else, they are simply directly being reinforced to do the very same thing they were being reoriented not to do, not to dominate. Consider a perfect example, the dangerous logic behind the rather idiotic ‘Mutual Assured Destruction’. Only the human covetous nature could possibly make it tenable for world peace to be actually balanced on this razor sharp edge.”
“I couldn’t agree more. I guess the acronym says it all, doesn’t it? It is indeed unarguably and quite pointedly MAD!”
They paused for refreshed drinks. It was now clear the rest of the gathering had no intention of disturbing their open side attraction, which was actually the reason for the whole meet. Kengua has been emboldened into steering the interview into those sensitive insinuations concerning the huge amount of international influence Inalegwu now has at his disposal. It must be considerable, if the current Nigerian government would all of a sudden publicly announce it is conferring a big national merit award to the Colonel. It is obvious this is a very pregnant move.
“Before we go any further Colonel, how did you become aware of the conferring of the national award on you?”
“Like you must have, I suppose. I heard it in the news.”
“You mean you weren’t given an advance notice of what was in the offering? One would have thought they would let you know in advance, at least try to win you over to their thinking, get your thoughts about the award, know if you would accept or not?”
“No they didn’t say or do diddly-squat and I don’t think they would be interested in any foreknowledge of what my reaction will be either. The way I see it; it might as well be ramblings in the tabloids, since I’m yet to get official word from the Government.”
“I assure you sir, that you have been listed in the official website of the Nigerian federal government as one of the latest nominated recipients of a National merit award.”
“I don’t dispute that, but I haven’t been invited to accept or decline such a nomination; if that is what it is. I also haven’t been invited to collect such an award. When I am, then I will have a response ready of course; via the very same channels.”
Kengua smiled his comprehension. It was clear that his interview is meant to be Inalegwu’s express response to the current Nigerian government and especially its main candidate for the next presidential elections in a few months. It is Kengua’s duty to see this clearly.
“Feel free to make any deduction you wish from my remarks, just as it is the government’s prerogative to do same.” Colonel Inalegwu quickly added with that wryly grin of his.
“Do you have issues with the way Nigeria is being led presently? I notice you virtually never comment on this topic.”
It was time again to rally round his other sentiments, to make the cagy Colonel slip up into criticizing the current Nigerian leadership. Kengua felt he just might get lucky.
“Leadership is always a difficult thing. People easily get sensitively bias about how they interpret governmental policies. I guess the sort of impact the policies have on the people is the major determinant in this matters.” Kengua was fishing but Inalegwu wasn’t biting.
“Nigerians think their government is totalitarian in it policy making. The way our democracy works, with the dominant class making all the policies being mainly of the same privileged and corrupt sort, nothing that is beneficial to the masses ever comes through and is accepted as law. This is because aside from these people being evidently the dominant influential factor in every political party, they also dominate the civil service, the judiciary and the legislature. Therefore, the so called three arms is indeed just one trunk.” Kengua proffered.
“In Nigeria, there is the all too powerful fourth arm of government my friend; the civil service. This is massive in the structural hierarchy of the totalitarianism we are all querying.”
“You do agree then.” Kengua boosters the momentum of what is likely a glimmer of criticism from the cagy Colonel.
“The totalitarianism of policies actually does make them unsustainable. Capitalism has always made money and wealth supreme, fascism makes the state supreme, Nazism made the race supreme and Communism made an ideology supreme. A measure of most has to be balanced to carry everyone along.” With that bit the brief glimmer of criticism dimmed.
“Your Texan partner is very influential politically in the US, isn’t he? He is quite chummy with the ruling Democrats that there is talk of him being too Democratic to be a Republican.”
Inalegwu laughs at the now quite familiar joke about the retired US marine general he is in business partnership with, a very vocal cowboy rancher with questionable racial favoritism.
“He is a very controversial one, that one. It was he who brokered the deal between the very conservative Republicans and the very liberal Democrats years ago. That deal had successfully ushered in a setting where either a first black president or a first female president is swept into that exulted office in one bold history making move. The outcome is history now.
“The Republicans just had their worst ever presidency prior to that. Popularity and business boasting wars had turned unpopular and economically unsustainable. The world economy was at the brink of complete chaos. A huge change was inevitable and Americans looked elsewhere.
“Democrats represented obvious change. But they had to have an unusual leader in every physical ramification, someone easily identified with by the rest of the world now leaving inside the US. From what I understand, the idea was this; since the US was passionately hated across a huge section of the world, more than it is loved across another shrinking section, it became paramount to position one of these firsts to ease that tension. So the Republicans fielded their worst presidential candidate ever and gladly made a good show of famously losing to change.”
“Would you say it worked?”
“Maybe internationally, but it only brought forth the true nature of the American people and divided the nation along the line of the so-called Conservatives and so-called Liberals.”
“Are you with the Liberals?”
“I’m of the opinion that American Conservatism is just a necessity in the world right now. I’m not a republican, in the sense of full party allegiance. But really, you can’t help but understand that the ideals of the founding fathers of America and the true values of the American state are best represented by the Republicans. So I rather deal with a person that is a lot more true to his ideology than some self-styled ‘Liberal’ who is in essence, just a subtle charlatan in the guise of a Democrat.” It was quite the analytical response.
“This is the ‘Pretentious trading places’ you had termed as Crossroads earlier, I suppose?”
“Not quite so. I had aptly forwarded earlier that their highly principled thoughts are confused when they get compared with those of their founding fathers. Contrasting issues abound, as clearly insinuated in the close allegiance to Christianity for one.
“In ‘God we trust’ they say and not show it. There is the Same-Sex issue and the massive war like nature. When these Liberals try to adhere to these precepts then they actually reveal to be at a continuous Crossroads than actually being decisive.”
“Most liberals will disagree and argue that it is this kind of thinking that made America quite unpopular and hated.”
“It actually made America great. It is the big deviation from it that made America weak and common, note that fact. The Liberals refuse to see it this way. Their logic doesn’t even remotely entertain a simple fact. By empowering the right kind of person with the tendency and communal orientation to tenaciously survive by dominating everybody else, they in fact simply directly reinforce their natural rivals, and I dare say; enemies too. They let them do the very same things they keep reorienting themselves not to, becoming weak and dominated.”
“Maybe that is just the soldier in you talking, Colonel.” Kengua summed up. In response, Inalegwu chuckled and repeatedly shook his head sideways, in disagreement.
“That’s far from it, I assure you. I just understand how the Conservative American thinks. Don’t talk of peace to these Americans. They are after all from very violent stock and so obviously they are of the violent sort. Are you familiar with the words of their national anthem? They probably are amongst a trio or so of modern nations that still clasp their healthy beating well-nourished chest, look up a flag pole and proudly sing of ‘perilous fight; rocket’s red glare; and bombs bursting in the air’ and with very patriotic tears in their beaming eyes.”
Inalegwu meant every single word he said and Kengua wasn’t surprised in the least, surely you will expect no less conviction from a Texan’s business partner.
“But America is changing,” Kengua made a last ditched effort.
“No it is the people inside America that are changing, not America. That wouldn’t happen till hell freezes over.”
“But Americans are America.”
“That may be so in the past, but certainly not the case in the present day USA. In the past, the migrants that constituted the people that created and made the US what it became were driven by different things from those now partaking from their creation today. Economic interests are of course constant, they always are. But the ideological principle has greatly changed. You now have people actually coming into the US or being born in it merely to change and destroy what it represents and not because they admonish and advocate what it signifies.”
The last thing Kengua wanted was to get into a debate with the retired military officer seated across from him. But he had to point out his own convictions, if only to hear Inalegwu’s.
“As the world changes so does the US. Civility has now become synonymous with democracy. The people in the world are coming to terms with true freedom and demanding it.”
“You think?” The Colonel deferred in opinion clearly and he when ahead to expalin.
“Civility is really diminishing steadily. Old democracies would experience a surge of selfish demands on them, demands that will not readily seat over tea and talk things over endlessly. The countless innocent peaceful marches carried out by citizens of the west, to garner support for their diverse courses of interests, will suffer from violent changes as people accept negative outcomes of their popular choices. Majorities will successfully elect democracies and yet electoral victories will not provide succor. Continuous flow of migrants from other systems with democratic defective orientations, sired by bashful ways, will forcibly task the civility in these old democracies. Inevitable chaos is afoot and the only recipe for order is being neglected.”
“It is inevitable that these western societies are losing the way of life they are always defending. But it can’t be helped because the world is now a global village and must feel like it.”
“I always wonder how easily we accept the single merit of that term ‘Global Village’, without actually acknowledging the numerous damning demerits that comes with it also. The world as we once accepted it has been narrowed down to a simple information unit like it is in an ordinary village. It became that single interconnected forum as made by the World Wide Web. The Global village is thus an apt internet expression. But otherwise, the backward rudiments evident in a village like barbaric uncivilized jungle justice, cruel autocratic leadership, clan and clique favouritism, and selfish pettiness all crept into the picture as civility slowly leaves it.”
“That is a humongous misconception and you know it.”
“Is it now?”
“Yes it is!”
Both men’s demeanors paused for an argument. Kengua wasn’t about to let anyone shake his conviction and the man he was interviewing appeared to be on a course to not only sell his archaic and outlandish ideology to Kengua’s readers through him, but also to alter Kengua’s very own believes as well, while he is at it. Kengua set about changing the interview’s direction, determined not to be thrown off course once again. It seems that tiny stumble in temperament had exuded a burst of self-control into him and once more he became thankfully focused.
“Colonel, you talk of the US like the whole nation isn’t constituted of migrants. Every single one of these Americans is an illegal emigrant of sorts. Did the indigenous Indians of the American continent give any original pioneer even a tourist visa?”
“Then we shouldn’t recognize the American state for that reason. It in effect, has a worse case for its legality than the Jewish state because Israel can point to scriptural documents.”
“I’m not saying that.”
“Of course you’re not. Look my friend, let us bring this to a head. Going back in history to justify any action that has now led to an established form, entity or pattern, only digs up dirt of injustice and the most uncivilized behaviour ever. The world has always had and will ever need these big busy-bodies to check the excesses of others like them and those beneath them as well. It has to be so in the bullies’ hierarchy of survival of the fittest or else utter chaos will reign.
“Bully nations are like the large carnivores of prehistoric times. Their effect on the food chain maintains order in that cruel uncivilized harsh but naturally quite necessary manner. If they are unchecked well up on the food chain, there wouldn’t ever be enough to go round, not only for them but also any layer beneath them in due course. It is a fact of nature.”
Kengua went over Inalegwu’s short early civilian past in his head. The young lad’s entire childhood was spent in the sparse bushes surrounding his midland Nigerian village. He had to hunt almost every meat he ate and bush rats consisted of the main game available. There couldn’t be a better orientation for a soldier and a pro-gun trotting buff. He grew up like a pre-American civil war Texan. So his perspective is quite natural to him. Inalegwu also lost the last of his remaining close family members in the brutish civil riots of northern Nigerian. His only aunt’s entire family was murdered in the outskirts of Kaduna, in a particular suburban area called Rigasa. The entire non-Muslim residents there were evicted out of their homes for good.
Inalegwu had tried to look for survivors from amongst his aunt’s family. He searched the entire metropolis and combed all the military barracks, rummaging amongst all the refugees, but found none of them. Finally, he saw his aunt’s names in a compiled list of the dead but he never found any of the others. He was devastated for a long time. He had held the most extreme political views ever since. Life in the military had made him curtail them, but what made him political wasn’t as much that. Driving to work through slums daily, he rationalized that any child growing up in such neglected pig infested suburban area would be politicized too.
In the endlessly developing third world countries, the suburban areas are actually the ghettos. They don’t host posh rich people like in developed countries. It is in these places that the less privileged citizens have learned to live according to their faiths. They have surrendered what remains of their belief in the state protecting them and taken up basic arms to defend themselves. Oddly though, once the entire unsettled metropolis has wholly surrendered to living like this, relative tranquility became more sustainable. It became a way of life in no time.
Life in these cities became like the middle-east setting in Palestine and Israel. The common places were banks, markets and offices, where a kind of respite for foraging a living takes place. Once a riot starts, the rabbit and the ferret comes into play as the scrapple for safety commences. Christians dressed up like Muslims on Fridays and head for the safety of their homes before mid-Muslim prayers. Later, Muslims avoided Christian communities on Sundays too. Those who got caught out in the wrong side of town during civil riots are almost certainly lynched and killed.
After years of holding back his secret thoughts as a loyal soldier, Inalegwu doesn’t need to hide his controversial opinions any longer. He had it all clear in his head now who are is friends and who are his foes. He made his move and it was now his long time enemy’s turn to play his hand. The Nigerian government will have to work out if Inalegwu will accept their offer or not. The Vice president needs to have the influential Colonel to stand down and not secretly work against his aspiration for the ultimate prize of the presidency, even if he would not openly support him. A lot stood in the balance when Matters carried the Inalegwu interview and story.
It is always interesting to hear how government officials answer questions about their stewardship, before they get into power and after they leave it. Reflecting on how Nigerians will for the very first time experience what it is like to have a democratically unseated government explain how it failed to deliver, I pondered on the novelty of the experience that awaits us. This time around there will be no group of inheriting stooges in the incoming government to cover for the past government. Instead there will be a pack of roving glory seekers very eager to point out the past governments countless shortcoming as well as edging to make a notable difference of their own. Some of the promises the in-coming government made during its campaign sounded juvenile and naïve, now is the time to explain those away and substantiate the change they promised, while emphasizing the difference they will make. The major difference this time around is that a majority of Nigerian had a say in who does what explaining and all the politicians, across political divide know that the people have to like all their weighty explanation.
While we wait for the first of these explainations, enjoy the following ficticious one.
(excerpts from The Whore; Chapter 5)
“The infantile joke in the citizenry’s attitude towards very essential measures taken by government is appallingly so naïve most time,” said the government’s minister for finance.
Laraba was momentarily stunt, wondering what the guy was up to. She didn’t ask him to repeat himself or clarify what he actually meant. Doing so would give him an opportunity to either correct himself or attempt to soften the blow of the blunt and rather unguarded remark he had just made. She already had her mini tape recorder rolling away and had the vital advantage of being able to review what she knew she had just heard, again. The mere thought of the magnitude of this potentially damning bashful blunder and the silly rashness of the minister’s openness was elating. Laraba had already started toying with the limitless possibilities of this single statement, made only two question into the proposed two hours long interview.
Her concentration seemed to waver and his gaze pierced into her thought fruitlessly, as he contemplates clarifying what he had just said. It didn’t feel quite right and with the tactful use of a combination of coy reasoning and logic, he could tactically withdraw the remark. She sensed this and didn’t give him the chance by clearly pretending not to have registered the remark. She deviated into another aspect, dear to the boastful minister. She almost beseeched him to again briefly explain for the umpteenth time, how he had effortlessly got the nation such a massive foreign debt reprieve for a full decade. He fell for it like a winter starved Bear to catching jumping salmon slowed at a cliff edge waterfall, on their seasonal breeding trip up stream.
Tanimu Lawal was the Nigerian minister for finance and he has always thought the world of his looks, mainly because he appeared to attract a lot of interested stares when he walked around or spoke publicly. Clearly he needed to be reminded that badly dressed ugly people do attract even more looks from appalled spectators, than well-dressed, physically attractive people would ordinarily do. He wasn’t just qualified for his plumb job, but as a third generation professional international banker, one whose influential northern Nigerian family is continuously represented at the very top echelon of the federal government, he already had enough training and experience in international monetary dealings for his present job, before his early thirties. So that elegant mannerism of handling a simply press interview comes naturally to him, almost like a shaven coiffure to a balding young man. His rich folks gave him a lot more than life, they also gave him the kind of life to live as well. His family’s historical position gave him a living to live life with.
Laraba let him indulge himself, going over details that were not quite important to her, since the whole financial world had certified them as laudable and massively beneficial to the country. She waited patiently, making the right noises to both encourage him and put him at ease for what was to come. This interview was slated to be Kengua’s, but honourable Tanimu Lawal had insisted she handled it instead, he was that sure of himself. It was always going to be a duel between them and they both knew it. She had resisted doing the interview. Kengua didn’t mind in the least and Lawal was increasingly persistent she did it, even as she resisted further.
Finally she had cunningly made out she had only accepted to take the interview reluctantly, but she had actually just made the minister less ready for their duel. She hid away the advantage she had and made him feel comfortable, with the wrong impression. If he was under the illusion he would stroll through their two hours session because he is the darling of the financial world, he had goofed. As the latest wiz-kid on the block, he was to know better soon enough, she thought. Laraba is a butcher and fattened cows only come to the butcher for one reason only.
Lawal looked into Laraba’s eyes & smiled.
“My will is cast in hope re-enforced prayer,” he said. “Hope for my nation to flourish with a viable economy that will be envied the world over.” He had quickly added.
Laraba nodded, sensing he was about done with blowing his shiny trumpet. Lawal became uncomfortable, the interview was going too smoothly for his expectations. Even he knew reputations are not mere hand bills but solid structures that command space and respect.
“I merely did my little bit,” Tanimu Lawal concludes and waited expectantly for the fiery salvo he knew was certainly coming his way. Laraba didn’t waste any more time.
“Surely Mister honourable Minister Lawal sir, you don’t think most Nigerians are stupid, do you?” The glint in her eyes and the brief twitch on the right side of her lips is her tell, when she sets about ruffling up some one. But he didn’t know and had no way of telling.
Lawal curtly responded with an unqualified, uncertain Yes!
His answer hung there on its own, un-accompanied with more expansive elabourate clarification for an uncomfortable brief while, a couple of nervy heart beats too long. It wasn’t really a reply like it ought to be and Lawal looked unsure but Laraba though it was vague enough to be ideal for this purpose. When words get in the way of expressing real thoughts and feelings, unlike how they quite expertly express fake ones, they serve some real purpose all the same, as deceptive tools. He moved uncomfortably in the cozy armchair he was seated in, inside his huge office. He reached out his right hand for the glass of water on the transparent clear glass stool.
It gave him some time to think. Laraba had kept her eyes on him all along, as he refilled the already half empty glass with water from a half full jug. She enjoyed his effort to hide his visible discomfort and wondered if she wasn’t even thirstier than he was at that instant; thirstier for his famous prestigious blood. As both their gathering thoughts collect, hers permeates her mental notes for a better way to home in on him for the ultimate clincher. His thought sought to cathartically expunge the impurity in his earlier seemingly damning statement. Their separate motives were apart and ill-aligned to be anything but opposites. Their movements were only destined to be perpendicular and the interview was ever going to end with some dissatisfaction.
But it was yet early to tell still. Lawal filled up his glass and seemed to have received the misty glass with his eyes before he picked up the obviously cold drink. He swallowed nervously before downing the liquid content with visible relish. Being interviewed by Laraba is a hot proposition any day. He still had the half full glass in his hand but was just leaning forward to put it back on the glass stool when she asked the same question with completely different words.
“Isn’t naivety stupidity in this context?”
He instantly saw the opportunity for a rebound and she knew she had just unconsciously handed him a good strong life line. One he could use to either pull himself out onto solid ground or hang himself up with. But Lawal merely elabourated further.
“No, it is actually impatience, rather,” he answered and swallowed.
“If we say we will stop flaring up gas, they cheer us up. If we say we will burn up the gas in huge motored furnaces to generate electricity for the general public’s use, they jeer angrily. If we say we will stop using the gas and sell it, they cheer us up yet again.
“When the electricity they get is expensive, because we cannot use the cheap gas easily available to us, they jeer at us yet again. They cheer us, they jeer at us, then they cheer and again jeer, repeatedly like babies.” He had hung himself, but he had clearly made sense in doing so.
Was he taking a bullet for a sitting President because it is in his job description? Or was he being bold because he had such faith in the bulletproof vest of laudable financial achievements he had on? It was clear from the way he developed his argument that he meant well though, but Laraba has her own job description, which is satisfying her readers and upholding her reputation.
He waved eloquently in his argument, confident that his rational reasoning was clearly not as flawed as his critics make them out to be. Mentioning contrary views to his appear to have caused him plenty of aggravation. He would emphatically condemn these perspectives as; “Unfathomable logic, clearly biased to selfish sentiments, devoid of common sense and made by persons who have not acquainted themselves with recent world economic and social trends.”
Laraba instantly realized the amiable federal minister was on self-destruct mode. She only needs to let him talk freely and he will spill the beans. He is clearly the sort that truly means well but has to dishonourably befriend all the neighborhood’s meanest bullies with presents of stolen sweets. This allows him to do the little good he can, like save trapped kittens and rescue weaklings from severe trashing. She toyed with him, preparing him with ideological niceties.
“Maybe there is no such thing as a common good or even common bad. Maybe just from some perspective it exists, but not in any general real term. I mean it is either good or bad to some and bad or good to the other, not all good or all bad across the board. What is your take?”
He hesitated and sized her up.
Clearly he was trying to figure out her approach, but true to his character, he did let fly.
“I disagree. Certain things are commonly good, others commonly bad. Maybe perspectives will see them as mainly good or mainly bad. It really comes down to the context it is viewed in; No rain and a drought, too much and a flood, that kind of thing.”
Mild conscious start, Laraba thought.
Then almost out of nothing Lawal fired out.
“It is quite silly, really. All the harsh criticism we get is unfounded most times and you wonder sometimes if some of these grown up Nigerians actually know what they want”.
“You do mean, ‘What they need’ don’t you?”
“No, I do mean what they want!”
She realized once more she didn’t need to interrupt him, he wants to talk.
“Nations are like individuals. Where its citizens fail to successfully establish their core financial independence, nations will most certainly fail socially too. The merit and demerits of microeconomics are like those of macroeconomics. Parameters must be set in key areas of the economy to let it blossom on its own naturally. The whole Nigerian economy had really grown when it was finally decided to massively subsidize the steady input into electricity production and make power available, alongside all agricultural inputs; disregarding the western world’s threat not let Nigeria to do so. Then government removed all subsidies.
“The government removed subsidies on commercialized fossil fuel derivatives and produced electric power; disregarding all the politicized selfish local agitations not to do so. Luxury items and personal incomes were meticulously taxed but simultaneously, all basic modern living essentials were untaxed. These key steps were so unpopular with large sections that consider them inimical to their preference. We lost some foreign trade because of agricultural subsidies.”
“But the cost of living then doubled with the withdrawal of fuel and power subsidies.” Laraba pointed out quickly. Lawal shook his head, disagreeing with her.
“Actually we later gained twice the foreign trade we lost. The big economies shunned us but the smaller economies trooped in because we could offer stuffs at lesser prices. Then investors tripled as did employment and domestic income, all around.”
“Things didn’t get any better for the ordinary man still.” Laraba insisted.
“It’s just the lingering indefinite recession, so to speak.”
“So to speak, you do not consider this a recession?”
“I do. Just it is best described as a financial meltdown. Don’t you wonder why almost all the nations in the world are in debt and where all the money has gone to?”
Lawal started to explain further.
“As elementary as the answer might sound, it is indeed true that all the public funds have manage to go private. That is why there are more seriously rich people and corporations now than ever before. There is this massive accumulation of money stashed away for rainy days. It isn’t rendering the services most required now or creating nearly as much jobs as needed now.”
It was Laraba’s turn to reach for her glass of water, he just continued without breaking off.
“Also this breakdown in world finances was inevitable. No one continues to spend what they don’t make without the utopian fanfare ending abruptly at some time.” He just went on.
“‘Adache’ is a northern Nigerian close community thrift arrangement. It always ends after a very brief spell and it runs for only a short while at a time, repeatedly. People get to spend more than they are worth at a particular point in time, but not more than they can guarantee they can pay back within the specified period of the thrift’s session and repeatedly.
“It all depends on the slot beneficiaries fit into in the agreed sequence of collection. Some participants could literally be taking short, completely interest free loans from their group friends or colleagues. While others might just as well be saving up in a free fixed deposit bank account, with no access to it until the specified time elapses. It is very simple and very effective.
“Compare this to something only recently researched here; activities of an old failed arrangement in southern Nigeria decades back, where a smart banker ran a loose thrift set up.”
Laraba nodded, recollecting the particular reference.
“He duped a lot of people of millions in accumulated personal funds, I recollect.”
“That’s right. The smart banker had duped deserving gullible greedy people, if you ask me. His fraudulent bank; or something like that, was actually paying one hundred percent interest rates on any investment made within a year. Incredible as it sounds, the chap actually paid up for a couple of years. It was apparently a very huge success for a number of years and naturally, all went burst. That’s your world financial meltdown presently, and I am not exaggerating.”
Laraba saw the need to steer him away from his comfortable topic of world finance and let the bragging federal minister throw some more stones at the Nigerians he serves.
“You once said, ‘There is little good in most Nigerians.”
“That was taken out of context.”
“Then what did you actually say then?”
“I said just that, only I referred to most Nigerians who readily seize opportunities to paint government in bad light when they either didn’t do better when they were in government or don’t even remotely proffer better solutions or forward any constructive ideas to the problems they are arbitrarily bad mouthing so freely, regardless of the many successes they see being achieved.”
“So it is not possible for such criticism to mean well?”
“I am of the strong belief that all reasonable and logical virtues can be applied by or revealed simultaneously in one individual. As such their actions will speak as loud as their words. If they meant well and do mean well, it will show through. It doesn’t in these cases.”
“But these are very important people with loads of national and international experience in governing this country and international agencies, that you’re not giving any credence.”
“What they have is priority grades for their own selfish requests and attention. They are your VIPs; Very Important People. IPs: Improper Professionals. SPs: Special People. VSPs: Very Special Persons. These are all glossy personifications of corruption.”
Laraba scribbled down her first notes since the interview started.
She reassured herself that her mini recorder was still rolling and smiled at the thought of the material she already has.
Lawal had more creative quotes for her.
“It has been written once: There is bedlam and delirium and felicity for all. That is our Nigeria and the typical Nigerian.
“This country has it all wrong in its logic, sentiments and tastes across the board.”
There was no end to the controversial quotes he kept giving her.
“Nigeria may probably be the only country in the world where coins will never again be used, not ever again. And it has nothing to do with government policies.”
She simply led him on.
“Bankers always wanted a cash less economy, right?”
He chuckled at her joke. She joined in for good measure. Then Laraba tried to generalize.
“That is true indeed, but the entire world also has its logic all over the place. We have made water a commercialized commodity like we made conditioned air much earlier. Already all food kinds have been patented. Ultimately breathing would be branded as well, thus completely licensing life altogether. Is this the rise of the corporate world you envisage?”
“You make it sound like it truly isn’t and you know it. The world is changing and priorities are confused. But the Nigerian state has polished its bad and silenced it good.”
“Corruption, it is always corruption.”
“You have a country full of the best praise singers and the meanest critics. The irony of it is that these quite diverse functions are jointly exhibited, practiced and directed at only individuals of some perceived lofty economic and political standings, and oddly by the very same individuals of questionably coy repute, repeatedly. It is endlessly practiced by all and sundry across the length and width of the land. Its perverse tempo only heightens or reduces, depending on the occasion and place. Praise singing is a real national public pastime, which is mainly used to win favours from those pointedly praised and criticized inversely.”
“Are you insinuating that corruption; praise singing as you also tag it, is encouraged nationwide by Nigerians?”
“Most Nigerians will never readily admit this, but corruption is too widespread. Praise singing is the most visible form of corruption. Honest criticism is mainly undertaken in the private domain, when only obviously dependent relatives, harmless friends and domestic pets can discreetly hear and nod in fearful agreement, just like the good praise singers they also are.
“It is a cultural thing, I guess. The worst thing about the covetous need for this sort of hypocrisy is the lack of any real coercion. No one really needs to be so agreeable with thieves if they are not in harm’s way. This hypocrisy is purely a reflection of the internal corruption that encourages ‘praise for gain’. This is all towards gaining undue advantage cheaply, rather than to criticize appropriately or be ostracized and left ‘on your own’.”
Clearly, Lawal was on a roll and earning Laraba’s miserly given respect as he went along. She could see it now, all that privileged cozy upbringing he had, amidst the very gripping harsh improvised reality in the vastly visible suffering around him, must have pricked his conscience. It tugged at his literate sense of self efficiency in reasoning. It had made him question this disharmony, lack of moral uniformity and blatant fiendish wickedness so easily condoned.
The abrasive and rude concordance of this society had ingrained his self-promoting faculties with torrents of enmity for the system. There is also doubt in his capacity to effect genuine change without corrupting himself in the process. And because it didn’t ever take him far enough in doing the right thing sincerely and quite honestly, he made up for his groundless deficiencies by mating flawed affiliations. In order to impose his own laudable set of norms, evil entreaties won, making him responsibly responsive to what he considers as improper. Thus ultimately, Lawal had collaborated with the ploy of unassailable bad, only because by doing so, he continued to fester in his own imaginary world, in which he represents some good.
Laraba is familiar with the disposition of anchored fear and deep seated worries. The buzz of it reveals as an enticement disguising itself amidst the haunting shortcomings of energized good intent. It apprehensively proclaims itself, inside that solely unhappily insatiable and gloomy individual who surrounds self with the proudly rewarded dregs of society. The very same he is in defiant response with, but is still largely forsaken by them.
In this setting, whether they are in or out of government, the honest critic who speaks out and pushes for honest change, is all alone and on his own. He gets only verbal solidarity and nothing solid in his hour of need. Instead he is more flurried than frenzied into being a bitter person if he refuses to rest on his oars. He really only has his conscience to battle against, and all is covered with the must staggering unswerving disloyalty. Even the people he ought to trust assail him with overriding demands to lay back to let the status quo be and also belong. His renewed and refreshed perspective is cheered openly but chided for being a cynical attitude in the closet, as the entire world seems to come together to form bodies in protest.
Lawal was a revelation. He had seriously set out to and had jarred some usually unrevealed emotions. The anxiety his flippant remarks causes certainly will mostly attract the fiercest opposition in the most secret quarters. Laraba was sure even before the interview got published, that it will dwell and linger in the news scene for a long time. He had most definitely interposed.
His devastating bluntness presents a clash in the interest of the same clique he is criticizing but one he quite clearly belongs to.
A critique which they now cannot deny isn’t true, one they can’t put off but must deal with instantly. The anxiety his cronies would nurse will show through their worries. It would bother them mightily that Lawal loudly listed his worries like core dislikes and not principled opinions. This only fostered a continuous hesitancy in policy making, on the side of government. The direction of his critique assure of a tremendous impact. There surely wouldn’t be any retraction. This sort of interview always began a new adventure for both the personality and the journalist. They were both bound to get busy after it comes out and they weren’t set to be bored by the continuous petition for their comments afterwards.
What is more interesting about it all is the personality Lawal presents is bold and daring, almost beguilingly like a badly voiced over cartoon character. He looked implacable with a straight faced expression that doesn’t look any way like one with diverted attention. Yet his voice and utterances are those of the famished man whose perspective is increasingly fickle and unreliable. His eyes darted continually, only momentarily concentrating on something else other than the ball of huge responsibility he held as the federal minister of finance.
He attacked both the leaders and the led, with no distinction. It is after all quite natural to show interest in other people, that is what classifies all higher intellect animal as social animals, with people being fore mostly classed as the most advanced of the whole lot. Lawal states his views in a manner that sounds almost like they are some sort of divine manifesto of an ancient mythical deity. He looks to voice them out like they had no frailties of their own. But though they come out strong minded, they are actually weary calls for some justification.
They say they are not righteous alright, yet they are good. They are like the bold loud encouragement shouted out to a young healthy promising sprinter, by a spent old timer who has atrophied leg muscles for not exercising. He puts himself out as someone who had squandered his chance once and appears to be saying that his productive age has passed on for good. He envisages a new approach to fraternizing with the evil characters that abound everywhere, being doggedly above board in clear transparency, watching out for the needy. There is no stopping him as he unraveled what will probably be the new benchmark for the government he served.
“Look, let’s stop this lying to ourselves and face things the way they look. Nigerians are corrupt by their orientation and they will most probably always be corrupt. Kick out the entire heralded ruling class in governance, in one swift move if you like and replace every single one of them ten times over again with fresh Nigerians with untarnished credible images publicly. You will still have something not very different from the present lot.”
Laraba had to speak out in some form of defense.
“Are you saying most Nigerians are corrupt?”
“Yes indeed I am.”
“Isn’t that deeply harsh and an unfair generalization?”
“But is it?”
Lawal knew he could make something out of all this and he readied himself for such attempts to dissuade him from his rather extreme views.
He is aware that once this comes out, it would fully identify his true person finally. There will never be a lull in the clamoring chatter over the scandal that will ensue.
“The system simply churns out corruption and corrupt people successively.”
He allows a brief pause for effect.
“Not just singularly corrupt persons but in a vast majority of multitudes in every recognizable facet of life. Our great grandparents were less openly corrupt and more bias in their sentiments, they ushered the whole trend. Our grandparents and parents were corrupt, we are more corrupt than they were and without being in danger of exaggerating, our children have only naturally made corruption a way of life for they also know no better too.”
Laraba smiled back a tacit agreement as he went on.
“There is no aspect of our polity that isn’t tainted to a sooty dark screen of falsehood by corruption. No Nigerian; I repeat no Nigerian, is completely capable of being fully steadfast to a belief in the Nigerian project any longer. At least not without being unduly biased to their own personalized aspiration for the nation. If that isn’t corruption, then what is? This is the worst form of corruption because everyone simply transmits any sort of remote privilege they have into being subjective to issues that favour their very own orientation, ethnicity and religious leanings.
“Thus every Nigerian is corrupted by these constituted psyche of his person that he is taught to hold dear and use as a yardstick to measure his relationship with all other Nigerians.”
Laraba starts to worry Lawal would contemplate a possible doubt and ultimately some future denial of at least parts of what he has already said. But there is no hold on him big enough to dull the moment. He seems to know no bounds at the moment.
“This is however a very optimistic assessment and not a shut out pessimistic one, because Nigerians are mainly barking up the wrong tree when they tag this elite customized corruption as the main reason for their woes. They are choosing not to rightly blame their commonly diverse personalized inhibitions for their self-induced worries. It is a big contradiction of logic.”
It seemed he had completely forgotten that he was talking to possibly the most outlandishly cruel journalist in the country. Laraba is one journalist who wouldn’t break a sweat to make his subtle bad pronunciation appear like some blundering insult deliberately direct at her specific faceless readers. It completely baffled her why he was being so loose with his words. Clearly he wasn’t terrified of what she represented any longer. Apparently he has passed over that early fear of her huge reputation. Without being remotely scared of her as a very influential person, he continued to make his snide remarks, unperturbed.
“Historically, Nigerians have since time immemorial attached importance to social status, revering and respecting all forms of symbolic power and wealth.”
Lawal simply went on, not minding her perception. He was making the most of this opportunity to say it like he thinks it. He hinted treachery without evident dishonesty.
“Nigerians make every effort to get undue advantage from everyone; their siblings, parents, relatives, peers and their religious intermediaries and elders. They grew learning to solicit favours with physical gifts, paid homage or some other showy expressive behaviour, either in the simple act of greeting or pretentious show of allegiance. Even the Nigerian child now recognizes those who have and those who have not. The youngest Nigerian soon learns that the latter are fair game, while the former are noble hunters of the latter’s comforts and murderers of their rights.”
There wasn’t any need for more questions, any longer.
“Every chance I get, I tell even my relatives and closest friends that virtually all Nigerians must accept this fact about their nature. Accepting this fact about a majority of Nigerians is like agreeing that there is a God without requiring a regal booming heavenly bass voice calling down a damning sentence for every act of disobedience from the skies every morning.
“If the nation wishes to correct this wholesome abnormality unique to it and not wrest away advantage from one sect and hand it over to yet another, then Nigerians must have a system that immediately accommodates the real fact about the naturalized state of its corruption, quickly!
“To even start doing something about this problem entails being completely truthful about the hybrid culture of pretense and corruption created in the typical Nigerian’s gene.”
“Surely he was rounding up now,” she thought.
“Right now, what is happening is one set of thieves are lining up to take over from those thieves currently in power.”
“That means your set of ‘Thieves’ is the former?”
She couldn’t resist capitalizing on the glaring opening he offers and she even inserted the inverted commas with both her hands. But he was ready for her and matched her easily.
“Yes”, he agreed and smiled confidently.
This definitely has to be the clincher. The current federal minister of finance just branded the collection of persons that constitute the entire federal government he serves in, as a ‘Set of Thieves’. Even he couldn’t possibly surpass or out-do that!
“This is a fact and includes the long multiplied line of like-minded Nigerians, all the way down to the babies in their parents’ arms now. It is a fact Nigerians deny at their detriment.
“The Nigerian community must stop this charade about fighting corruption with witch hunting. This is only another way to give undue advantage to one thief against another.”
Laraba made a mental note to look up an authorized definition of the word ‘Thief’.
It would certainly prove to be essential.
“The nation is indeed represented in its legislature by its likeness. Look at those that deliberate on Nigerians’ behalf in the law making houses right now. Are they Nigerians? Oh yes they are in every sense of the identity. These are the most imminent Nigerians!”
“Who do you want them replaced with, you?”
“If our legislature is flawed, what or who replaces it?”
“Not the system; it is the people in the system that are flawed.”
“They are also ‘Thieves’?”
Again she gestured the inverted commas and for a brief while here, Lawal appeared to express some hesitation. But his subsequent words showed it was impatience.
“Please Miss Thomas, don’t bother discussing this with anyone but yourself. Right now inside your mind, will you honestly admit that you would only turn out to be a shade different? That is hardly ideal as you seat here in front of me.”
“I would expect I will fare better.”
“I thought so.”
“And your point is?”
“If we all think it, expect it from all and still are failed by all, what makes me, you or anyone else any different then?”
“It is a common problem everywhere, trust?”
“But here it is not just some bad apples in the barrel. It is the whole orchard that is infected and that is where we all fail, in admitting we are all ‘The Problem’; not just some part of it.”
It was his turn to insert inverted commas in the chill air. It brought a toothy smile to Laraba’s face as she acknowledged Lawal’s ingenious use of sarcasm.
“We are only victims to one aspect of the problem, while we actually victimized others.”
This wasn’t the inescapably mean individual with the self-made supreme air of importance Laraba was used to, neither is he without blemish. He is indignant to his enthralling version of the grim picture he paints vividly. He didn’t look or sound remotely like the sort to desert friends when he is needed. Clearly he didn’t see it like letting his friends down for he was never amidst friends. The penned up frustration he existed under had kept building up and now vents out. He was now letting off steam. He bore a grudge for so long with the echoing disservice that the polity had become so very accustomed to. Amidst the general loss that had become irreparable, the citizenry were alienated and estranged from the truth unsteadily dawning on everyone.
The system is rotten beyond the system. The sanctity of facts lost its sting in this country and all the leading proponents of truth lost out in their battles for the supremacy of sincerity.
A variety of plots, schemes and plans can easily turn a spurious manipulation into the God spoken truth. It isn’t a paradox to unravel from the mystery that encapsulates it. But the question is, was honorable Lawal merely depositing his versioned truth on her?
“This is where you offer a solution, in theory at least,” Laraba mused and Lawal giggled mildly. There was a quick glint on the worn out tiny silvery Alma Mata coat pin on his jacket collar flap, as it caught sunlight from the open window. His stomach is visibly flat and taut.
He wasn’t the type to be saddened because it is clearly insinuated that he is just ranting. Maybe if he was convinced that his solutions were not tenable, he would have been.
She busied her eyes with pretending to read her notes but her thoughts were momentarily engaged elsewhere. The outpour of words from the frail looking man before her demanded her close listening. She definitely represented a sure way for him to either lose plenty or gain more of the public affection he obviously craves for. She reasoned, why else would he want this interview and use it to lay out quite astonishing, blundering blandishments that she could easily use to bury him? There is no covert unanimity in their plain and simple arrangement to have this two hours long interview. The length of it was an indication of how extensive it was meant to be.
She was however free to use all the material she got from the interview like she pleases.
So she sat in front of him, a petite lady, with small hands and fitting tiny fingers, dressed in a rather tight fitting dark green gown, which looked exquisite despite the dull colour of it. This is because of the expensive suede fabric it was made from. She appeared well poised to either make yet another high profile person either dislike her a lot less or much more, it is always a present and imminent dual possibility with her, one she subtly threatened.
“You asked for my theoretical solution? It is simple. I said this is an optimistic assessment didn’t I? Hence the ultimate solution is in accepting the wholesomeness of the localized Nigerian corruption, then we can start to solve it. Now that is where the solution is, right there.”
Her gaze rose to penetrate him. Their countenance each conveyed their instant thought. There is by now no barrier to their discourse to gloat over. He wasn’t apparently saddened by how the process is going because he is now convinced he had been successful in leading the interview in the direction he wanted. Laraba’s guidance has been genuinely curious, with no ulterior intent left in it, once she realized she had a real talker.
After many years of handling so many controversial issues, Laraba has since learnt that a certain criterion repeatedly resurfaces in the most outlandish form in such matters. There are two of them. Firstly, all real possibilities of trashing the speakers’ so radically defined performance goes out the window from the very early stage of the interview itself. And secondly, definitely any likely bias fragmentation of the manner in which the entire interview turns out to be crafted by the writer is as a result also dashed, for the temporal permit for innovation is also lost.
There is always something that stretches credulity in these sorts of interviews. A kind of comradeship bounding grows out of it, as both speaker and writer lean on each other for good measure. Laraba recollects she once did a piece on an expatriate medical practitioner from an impoverished Asian country. He was doing brisk business within Nigeria, providing the most qualitative advanced medical services, which is completely not available in his own struggling tiny island nation of origin. He honestly admitted it was because his people couldn’t afford it.
Laraba was naturally shocked with this unforgivable insensitivity to the plight of the poor. She was also surprised to a mouth gaping stupor when she learnt that it was during that interview, he realized that Penicillin is not yet a century old. Laraba’s thoughts were visible in her awe filled eyes as the almost cream complexioned elderly man had wondered out loud, what on earth was used as antibiotics only a century ago. She didn’t break a sweat in making that interview huge and Lawal’s was billed to be a whole lot easier, by a wide margin.
“Nigeria is presently irredeemably corrupt and most Nigerians of virtually all ages are too. In their bashful nature, all Nigerians want what is due to them and most will not really mind shortchanging other Nigerians in their pursuit of it.” Lawal knew he couldn’t possibly achieve anymore from this interview than he already had. But the unbothered way he went on to make one blunt statement after another that could literally end his public life, made Laraba cringe.
She was likely writing his public resignation, so Laraba decided to improve on usual rule of sending hard copies of the transcripts and copies of the tapes to her subject a few days after the interview session. This is to reassure them only what they said will be in the published piece. For Lawal, she also sent the finished article too, days before it was published. She wanted to hear this guy try to take back some of the things he said. Not that it will matter any way.
Every reader will make their own mind about him, like she did. It seemed he was dying on the spot he spoke from as he talked like he was achieving more at that moment than ever in his entire privileged life. Laraba made sure he same last words concluded her piece on him, it was befitting in more ways than she could have ever made up herself. It was his moment and he had picked the words that spoke volumes for him and what he represents.
“Let us not pretend to treat one another with a sort of fake sincerity. Being true to ourselves is the way out. We don’t live in harmony now, all of us. Let us just make it official and actually start singing Nigeria we hail thee when we stop pretending to mime Arise O compatriots!”
Again it has come to pass that a century of geographical existence, including a progressive topsy-turvy fifty-five years of notable nationhood, hasn’t taught Nigerians to choose from among its best credible citizens to govern and manage its potentials.
Even when Nigerians unite, they still manage to select the option that divides them.
“That (cramp and constraint) very uncomfortable taxi ride isn’t ever taken willingly in Nigeria, but is has to be taken. The typical Nigerian would rather drive alone in his own personal car and boast of his status. The unchanging terrain of many faiths and allegiances dissipate the oversized ego bottled up inside the separate people and their diverse adversarial advances. It is a feeling they never actually renounce, even when it clearly consumes their vast intellectual capabilities. The renunciation of their quest to always usurp the next person, doesn’t remotely appeal to them.
“A majority of Nigerians would appear unduly worried for their lack of true unity, yet their very intimate thoughts remain lethal, without any of them really changing. Their relationship with each other doesn’t notably alter from the rudiments of its onset. They still hold the same aspirations dear to their own hearts, and that commonly entails still holding a low opinion of one another. Though they like to make themselves and other neutral onlookers think they don’t. But over all they were, are and will always be competing. This is obvious and evident in the overall failure of order in their joint existence, for there is never real cooperation in an atmosphere of competition. They are each forcing their ideals on each other with stealth and failing to conceal their subtle dislike for each other.
“They like to believe they would succeed in making non-existent the similar threat of dominance of their fellow competitors in the overlay lurking and demeaning their nationhood. They refuse to take the hindermost notice that bitterness is tastefully harsh as it comes across with a whiff of wicked aroma. It is impracticable for them to dispassionately observe fully that their competitive dislike for each other hinders their advances progressively, in complete irony to the unity they loudly profess. They hoarded up their misgivings and kept it compressed for that final inevitable huge unrestrained outpour of their noxious emotions.
“When momentarily the incongruity of their culpable situation hits their stupidly elusive hope forcefully, they still incredibly fail to firstly recognize and then secondly acknowledge, that they have completely lost their objectivity. Instead each renewed incident arouses more anger and fiercely the foolhardy experience only increasingly dissociates one social despot from the other. It makes them ever more abhorrent to the eccentricity they have come to be easily identified with, the resonant antisocial syndrome they have come to be contended with.”
This weekend’s Nigerian Presidential Election is a selection, being made from among two mainly subjectively perceived lesser evils, as deduced by a diversely oriented population, seeking sectional and fractional interests and not the nation’s. Period!
READ THE WHOLE BOOK FROM ONE OF THE FOLLOWING LINKS:
‘Nigeria is like a wonderful lie a sincerely misguided old mentor told his protégé to placard his impatience towards doing daily chores he must learn to do. Problem is the protégé believed the lie because it was never disproven and the apprentice has since taught his own pupils to believe it to. Generations had grown used to loving the fable that was made off the huge living lie and complex relationships has since been built on this old aging lie. And because someone ever gains the most in every relationship, the lie remains true to those who gain from it.
With uttermost regard for the honour and painstaking memory of their founding mentors, generations have flawlessly adhered to this lie. Decades passed and they are in too deep to ever surface again for the truth that their one ingrained belief is based on a lie. It is now a solid national structure and not a mere law to be simply abrogated or shredded confetti for the gutters’.
Nigeria exists as a national entity and it is the responsibility of all Nigerians to make the old lie an enduring truth. It is the dream of generations of the people of the larger Niger-area to actualize the ‘Will of Wishes’ their ancestors left for them to build on. Like the glorified bastards their obscure origins make them, the international identity of all Nigerians depends on it. WILLS OF WISHES
She is an old village;
Naïve, crude, not low in age.
She understood very little,
Wasn’t sure if trust was so simple.
From the refined distance he came;
With strength he showed his shame.
With feeble resistance she succumbed
And all that’s hers he well combed.
Because she paid well he kept her
And married her from leagues afar.
She never nodded or was asked
But remained his and tasked.
They got a son after a while;
The bastard was proud in his smile.
With time he knew mother and father
And truly had cause for bother.
Claiming justice the father withdrew,
His loyal son he let rule like he knew.
The complication wasn’t at first obvious.
As time tells, it also is very envious.
The mother weeps for her dear son,
For the father has the whole person.
Their bastard is what he knows
And in this nature all does grows.
Tomorrow’s sunsets come inevitably,
Carrying vague identity’s loyalties happily.
Nursing dreams of his father’s riches;
Their bastard made wills of wishes.
Fallen men always have messed up eyes that say much more than they did when still propped up by the proud arrogance of affluence. As the only true instruments of communication for a messed up and ruined person, the eyes of a fallen person say they have finally seen pride as a tangible commodity that can be found and lost in a world that identifies and recognizes with material success and failure mainly. People mostly equate every virtue or substance in their selfish terms of elaborately ransomed pledges. This passes off as such a vain concept to all those who are yet to experience that implying divorce of real materialism from the physical object they have been in strong emotional attachment with.
Man hasn’t yet redeemed himself from this despicable existence of perpetual desires, needs and wants, sprinkled all over his manifesting hypocrisy of a normal existence. It is like the perpetually incomplete tower he is ever setting out to build, ridicules and teases him so that he shouldn’t complete it. Ultimately each man surpassed a simple respectable existence with forcibly contemplating political ideologies and shamefully endures their self-inflicted unpleasant consequences.
It is by surrendering its wool to shearers that the sheep still walks the earth free of the guilt it shouldn’t have had. It only lives on for this reason and can redirect its focus to again growing the wool it repeatedly owes its life to.
As death wooed me for that brief moment in time, I was momentarily glad; quite selfishly, that I wasn’t going to see (my wife) leave me like I have always dreaded she would some day. In the quiet torment of the mazy-whirls of my mind I saw my father dying all over again and all my old unanswered questions came up for answers again, questions I have always wanted to ask him, especially after he died.
‘Baba, mutuwa na da wuya? Mun amince duniyar ka da wuya.’
‘Father, is it hard to die? We now acknowledge the hassles of your world.’
I have since learnt that with life’s many diverse wards, there always lingers and roams a lie and that we all are ordinary reproductions and effigies of these many lies. We are all choking in the presence of the grip this glaring falsehood and still the inscrutable crux is never familiarized by us. Now that I know all fate is death and yet all knowing, I will love to know from him what is the best thing to do.
‘Do we sit out the stages of life’s ending trip, like you did in peaceful love for all that wasn’t recognized by those you showed real love or do we ignore it all?’
From the initial maiden cry each baby wails as it enters the world, to the difficulties of life it grows to experience as cruel lashes from mindless whips, these tastes we all come to know, own and inherit with time, age and experience.
‘But say oh father, is there better to merit?’ I would want to know this.
Baba, mutuwa na da wuya?
Mun amince duniyar ka da wuya.
Father, is it hard to die?
We acknowledge the hassles of your world.
With life’s wards always roams a lie;
We all are reproductions of its mould.
Choking in the presence of its grip,
The inscrutable crux not familiarized.
Do we sit out the stages of its trip,
Like your peaceful love that wasn’t recognized?
From the weep the baby wails
To the whip’s lashes life hails,
These tastes we own and inherit.
Say oh father, is there better to merit?
So Obama’s Father Served in WWII!
(DOES THIS MAN LIE OR IS HE JUST TOO DUMB TOO THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLECAN NOT DO THE MATH…)
Another slap in the face to U.S. Veterans.Obama’s father served in WW II, really?
Is he a compulsive liar? Were there no reporters who checked or double checked these statements and called the party on this? They did for everyone else. Why not him?
Like it or not, here are the facts:
Barack Hussein Obama Sr. (Obama’s father)
Born: 4/4/36 Died: 11/24/82 at the age of 46.
He was 5 years old when WW II started, and less than 9 1/2 yrs old when it ended.
Lolo Soetoro (Obama’s step father)
Born: January 2,1935 Died: 3/2/87 at the age of 52.
He was 6 years old when WW II started, and 10 years old when it ended. He must have been the youngest Veteran in the war.
Watch the video. RIGHT OUT OF HIS MOUTH!!!
And the media doesn’t say anything. If you doubt it, Google both of these guys. It appears this guy doesn’t know how to tell the truth — or he doesn’t care about telling the truth — or perhaps he doesn’t know when he isn’t telling the truth (which is also a very scary angle). Talk about STOLEN VALOR!!!
Had this been Bush, the media would still be on this!
The CNN clip of Obama is surprising. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that this lie wasn’t uncovered, questioned or debated before the Nov. 2008 election.
Oh well, he must have just “forgotten” the facts, again.
Or perhaps he really doesn’t even know the difference between truth and fabrication?
On this very sad Father`s day in my home city of Kaduna Nigeria, where three seperate bomb blasts had killed a number of innocent worshippers inside their respective churches during morning service, starting off a spade of angry vengeful violence, I suddenly recall an old conversation I had with my late father about two decades ago.
He had wanted to know what I thought our country would be like in a decade. That was in 1993 and I thought I was being clever when I said; Our country will be a land our founding fathers would be very proud of in ten years time.
I was so wrong and in a strange sort of way, I am so glad my father did not live long enough to see how wrong I was. It would have killed yet again to see the mess Nigeria has become. This land he had taught me to love and cherish like he did, is today the very opposite of what our founding fathers wanted it to be.
Baba, mutuwa na da wuya?
Mun amince duniyar ka da wuya.
Father, is it hard to die?
We acknowledge the hassles of your world.
With life’s wards always roams a lie;
We all are reproductions of its mould.
Choking in the presence of its grip,
The inscrutable crux not familiarized.
Do we sit out the stages of its trip,
Like your peaceful love that wasn’t recognized?
From the weep the baby wails
To the whip’s lashes life hails,
These tastes we own and inherit.
Say oh father, is there better to merit?
(This the last of a four part essay on corruption)
One common misrepresented assertion by leadership, is the emphasis of the unconditional unity of the governed. It is a commonly embraced mistake. It appears straight forward and basically advocated as reasonable. Who will have anything against unconditionally unifying different ideas to smoothen and ease the act of governance? Everyone will wish for such a luxuriously pacifying state, it makes things obviously easier.
But this is only a utopian dream. Man is too different to be that agreeable. Hence we would agree only for the instant purpose it serves. But in our agreement is a very obvious yet subtle disagreement that serves only our purpose. There must be that inevitable sense of compromise holding together human unity for it to be comfortably binding. To rely on this circumstantial relationship as the foundation of any policy is to have faith in only one direction of wind to steer a ship on the high seas.
People will always rely on their very own selfish judgment first of all and when the whole community of the governed are being considered, unity is then too unreliable to be an exact policy. Shrouded in his old traditions are man’s thoughts, which are fundamentally tutored to be bias to his very own personal ideals.
The principle of ‘the longer it lasted, the longer it lasts’ was not coined after some rare scientific experiment or sociological evaluation. It is a human certainty that is as old as humanity. Over an extended period man has managed every area of his activities in ways he considered appropriate to his immediate circumstances, with regards to his particular orientation. This is as traditional, as it can be simply broken down to its barest.
An individual’s thoughts and deeds are guided by what is traditional to his own immediate physical and emotional environment. These are major determinants in the reaction of man in every given setting and basically predict his actions, or in-actions. The perspective of the misguided will always be hunted by their traditional orientation and this will pull their sentiments in directions they unconsciously do not have complete control over. In devising an acceptable line of thought for any group, it is essential to consider their prior orientation.
It is important to weigh their special particular sentiments and adjust their methods of choice to their comprehension as well as capabilities. Neglecting this fundamental option is always counter productive and to a considerable extended destructive too. The nature of man’s assorted cultural settings has schooled his customs and ensuing norms in a huge collection of highly imaginatively imposed regulations, even as they evolve.
None evolves without some form of basic communal want that is being advocated for or protected from undesired possibilities. In achieving these quests of managing an embraced system, man’s norms simply develop. They develop into a standard form of behaviour and the immediate community normalizes these as is usual and expected. These norms have shackled the capabilities of any form of government within a society.
They are not necessary ill-conceived enacted laws; which they evolved into with stealth, when not put aright fundamentally. They are mainly conceptions of bias origins. Norms hinder the progressive work in any liberalized institutionalized society. The ethnic origin of man’s sentimental choices has made him unreliable as he is. Man is naturally prone to constant bias at times of decision making. He is completely incapable of continuously taking decisions devoid of sentiments.
Man embodies a life of abject subjective choices and all his apparent or obvious efforts to appear otherwise are actually just as bias. Man is a slave of his feelings and he is in a state of this perpetual captivity. The only possible escape is when he is subjected to his own communal cooperative dictates, which ensures that he functions within a life sustaining spherical confine of behavioral norms, which govern his actions.
This established confine, loosely but recognizably, keeps human action within a manageable state at all times of relative organization and thus man’s bias excesses are managed. This is a mythical spherical form, not unlike his limiting atmospheric earth. And is as complex as it is likewise simple in its revelation.
It is this common compromise that is reflected in the stated communal cooperative organization, which when legally united, forms a defined administrative body that can act as a managerial unit. This group’s natural behaviour incorporates management. The constant bias apparent in their functions actually binds and thus ensures their continuous existence and apparent success as corporate management, based on its practicability.
Man’s state of affairs is too complicated to be given a definite solution at every twist and turn. But true to his nature, man will always respect his need to be bias to his selfishness and when this is determined by norms his very sentiments hold dearly, he is selfless. In the mazy hedge of his emotions and decisions underlines the fact that, if he seeks to succeed he must only show this dogged ‘Bias selflessness’.
(This the third of a four part essay on corruption)
One unique feature of religion is its tenacious adherence to fixed and definite principles. These principles are the basis of its existence as a religion and are fundamentally the seed that gave birth to its very essence. The idea will most probably not make rational sense but the most rational being will support and defend it sensibly and at the peril of his own sanity, physical comfort and even his very existence.
Religion is not the faith in the principle that embodies it, but faith in the mystical entity that signifies it. The dictates of this mystical entity are conveyed in the principles adhered to at every physical and mental cost, with an attempt to constantly de-emphasis self and enhance the prominence of the symbolized entity of the faith; be it human or inanimate, or just mystical.
The formation of an organic entity to personify religion gives religion an attitudinal face. The revealed and related activities of these faces give the religion a logical form. Very few persons have really enjoyed the true luxury of choosing a religion. From time immemorial, religion chose man and found him; by force, by region, by clan, by race, by trade, by tradition, by history, by birth, by orientation or de-orientation, ironically.
Nothing calms and still agitates man like his faith in something he regards to be bigger than himself. Religion had given him reason to reason, and answers to ponder and wonder, erroneously or correctly. Religion is honestly a matter of acceptance and conviction, yet confusion as well; individual opinion. One irony of religion is its singular and as yet, unduplicated ability to truly unify all its conquests in a common course without relying on any democratic dictates.
There is nothing democratic about religious overtures. It is the most dictatorial from of human management ever used or applied by the human race. Truly, the obvious belief in its perceived non human origin would have ensured that it is seen as not human and thus beyond the comprehension of humans. But the fact remains that it is basically and entirely administered purely by human beings. Whether influenced or not, the instant choice of believing, complying and adhering is always human.
Hence man administers religion. This, as stated, has been largely successfully done within the religious communities, all in the absence of a democratic fabric. The fact that the back bone of every faith and religion is still the same today as it was at its onset and infancy for millennia past, points to another key feature of religion; it is unequivocally dynamic in every nature.
Religion maintains its structure but adjusts and fits itself rather well in all its many diverse travels, moulding both its conquests as itself to accommodate its conquests and still remains its unique identifiable self. This isn’t easily replicated. And as such this democracy that is being clamored for and that had, with such trendy popularity, thrust itself into more societies, is rarely recognized for what it truly is; a new religion.
It is relatively new to all other religions and foreign to their dictatorial and parochial principles. One can choose one god from another, democracy preaches. One can change anything one does not like, democracy teaches. All this as long as majorities agree that it should be so. Majority rule is the true definition of democracy. One individual’s choice takes the back seat and watches helplessly but vocally, for as long as he and his like opinioned cronies cannot convince the most from the other divide to accept their own opinion and stance.
They wait for democracy to choose them, like the religion with many deities it functions as and it is. Democracy doesn’t point at one deity; instead it has minor ‘gods’ that expire with their tenures. Governments don’t listen to a particular ministration but to their collective individual might; collectively expressed. Governance is stirred by the dictates of a few individuals.
A consensus is established when the empowered individual works with the majority. In practice this has been altered to fit circumstances and does not float down stream in most instances, but is pulled up stream, against clear popular wishes by certain pressures it must register, accept and comply to. If it desires to remain relevant in its present state, then it must succumb.
Each time a government is determined, it simply implies that power had been given to a small group. The government is a custodian of represented power. Its mandate, man-power and management have to be cooperated with by the people; if it is to be successful. Where there isn’t such cooperation, then its success is not established and tangible but just fragments of its imagination. Common sense shows that people based governments had administered within the confines of its own dictates pulled and pushed to fit its own determined policies.
Even popular governments have sipped from this pond of self-righteousness. The success of any given governance endeavour is strictly determined by the cooperation it gets and its objectivity; the former is as prominent as admits the latter. Their symbiotic romance harmonizes the polity and practically vindicates cooperative administration.
(This is the second of a four part essay on corruption)
So many times the blatant fact is assumed but not proven, that the rich are arrogant and that humility is with the poor. But ignored is the reality of pretence being more evident in the poor or the less privileged. Isn’t it predominantly so evident that ‘Humility is the worst form of conceit’? Deceit is disguised in readied pretence predominantly. The vice of the rich being arrogance is akin to that of the poor, humility under duress.
In the weakness that is prominent in the poor, lies a quiet strength that is subtle. In the rich’s arrogance is sincerity and in the poor’s humility is a sinister compromise. But a virtue that makes a unique blend of these perceived extremes is leadership. Learnt or taught, experienced or developed, entrusted or made, given or denied, earned and won; leadership formulates its deed.
Leadership swings like a pendulum, in an arc that represents its own distinct interests; interests that subsequently direct its course, its aims, its objectives and its final achievements. Leadership is resourceful and commands resources in a manner that reveals its interests. If not in practice, it does eventually when it has run its course or ends its tenure, term and time.
Resources abound all over and finders are keepers. But then resources are nothing if they do not translate into a means of leadership. If authority has responsibility, then responsibility has authority. If leadership has resources, then resources have leadership. The resource is not beneficial if those who earned it do not lead it. If it leads them, then though resource has leadership, leadership doesn’t have resource and simply put; he that earns doesn’t get to pay his bills. When the earners are different from the payers, then a contest ensues.
A struggle ensues and subsequently grows out of a tussle for basic rights, borne out of an obvious desire to lead the resources that had been earned or won, by earners or payers, respectively. The disconnection is so evident in the chaos that ensues and nothing is as crippling in any clearly established setting as the corrosive effect of disorganization. It wears and tears with a persistence that suffocates and extinguishes the positive force in any establishment. Hence a contest fundamentally disorganizes.
Competition does not exist alongside cooperation within the same concurrent pair of settings. The presence of harmony represents compromise for shortcomings. And leadership must give a little here and there to enable it keep the flame of the force that powers its establishment. What makes conflict prominent is not the competition itself or even the perceived immediate material dividends of success imbedded in such contests. The attraction is the recognition that comes with it.
Most of the led are not bothered with who leads, but what leadership delivers. In a like manner, most of the leaders are not bothered about what their leadership actually provides but what the led think of what their leadership provides. This is leadership’s interest as it reveals itself now. This interest response easily to pretence and thrives solely on the feedback it gets from those around it. Most times the feedback is filtered through its cronies, who surround leadership and concentrate on giving it the kind of response that ensures their own personal existence and comfort, while not necessarily forwarding the actual response that strives to reach the leadership.
Leadership is thus misled and its interests with it. The elite are not as unsympathetic as they appear. They are as humane as every other being of every other economic class and status. The reason for this conclusive perception is however not far fetched.
The unquenchable desire to always have and keep protected that power gotten, has made the elite appear heartless. They strive to ensure that the sorts of lifestyles they enjoy are not reversed on any account. They have come up a steep road they see again and again; altered here or there, but very easily recognizable.
It is quite easily recognizable as a similar road that would take them downwards, if they are unwary of this fact too. Wealth and fame is like health and game. The big and strong appear fit but will become ill and die if careless and unlucky. The famous are loved today and hated tomorrow like a winner today loses or ends his winnings tomorrow. Mindful of the cold they could get, the elite will rather kill to stay warm, unsympathetically so.
The common man’s simplicity has made him blind to the difficulties associated with or being daily considered by the elite class. His decisions are mostly straight to the point, so much that the complications evident in being something else is not recognized and appreciated but instead simply taken at their clear face value and not scrutinized with proper analysis.
Evaluation is in itself an act of analysis and the two cannot be pinpointed divorced successfully. The led criticize easily for this same reason and leadership does not, for the same reason. The interest of leadership has to take a lot into consideration and most times, some of the things considered can not be publicly highlighted but still are very essential. Compromise at that level is mandatory, for every single detail. It is for this reason that a state of leadership is attained in the first place and will even be remotely and extensively exercised.