Sower that plants me,
shower that wets me,
Power that grows me,
mower that cuts me.
Sower that plants me,
shower that wets me,
Power that grows me,
mower that cuts me.
It was the morning,
She was wide awake.
Eating rich breakfast pudding,
picking the latest buy to make.
Her thoughts wonder before;
when cold, homeless and hungry,
fasting and praying away her woe,
with God’s long wait she was angry.
Obedient as humanly possible,
obvious promises she had made.
In luxury and comfort she’s unable
to live up, as time altered the shade.
In tears and sweat teeth gnash,
bearing man’s trials on hand.
Fear of the unknown so harsh,
as pride sits on faith so hard.
Man seeks the great illusion,
misspelling the obligation to live.
Shunning God, His only illumination.
Evil backwards only says Live!
Lit to glow and to flow,
Row down this miserable show.
To perch on the rock I know,
Time again only to flow and row.
How He copes and again sow
Belies His mercies for my loose soul.
“God did not make all men in his image. He made just one couple in his likeness and gave them the ability to procreate. It is this couple that brought forth other people and all sorts of people tend to mess up a good thing.
“I’m making a case for why good Christian folks turn out to be mean to people in need of assistance at their door steps.”
“The garden of Eden and the forbidden fruit in the middle of it, in the story of Adam and Eve, is really just the bushy forest between Eve’s legs and her vagina right at the center of it.
“Satan told Eve about her vagina, which she had no clue existed before he told her about it. Then Eve revealed its bounties to Adam, who naturally allowed her to lead him against the wishes of the almighty.
“All that talk of fruit and trees is quite nonsensical and was crafted to hide the true identity of the very first crime of sexual intercourse.
“That may sound like the most absurd interpretation you have ever heard. It will like feel you with rage or amusement with the crafty twist in the interpretation of the tale of Adam and Eve’s disobedience.
“On the contrary, it is quite logical. How else would anyone explain the sudden need for the first couple to cover their nakedness?”
By Ahmed Yahaya JoeAccording to Winston Hubert McIntosh the founder of The Wailers; He sings :“Don’t care where you come from,🎵
As long as you’re a black man,🎶 You’re an African🎵
No mind your nationality,🎶
You have got the identity of an African” 🎵The Bush Doctor otherwise known as Stepping Razor but more popularly as Peter Tosh nailed it in his Equal Rights album of 1977The Siddis or Habshi are fellow Africans inhabiting India and Pakistan known as Afro-Asians; “They are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region. Some were merchants, sailors, indentured servants, slaves and mercenaries. The Siddi population is currently estimated at around 270,000–350,000 individuals, with Karnataka, Gujarat and Hyderabad in India and Makran and Karachi in Pakistan as the main population centres. Siddis are primarily Muslims, although some are Hindus and others are Christians”Similarly; “another term for Siddis – Habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent. The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port.”To escape discrimination and racial profiling many Siddis have inter – married to dilute their identity. However, the Siddis should not be mistaken for the dark skinned Indians known as Dalits that mostly inhabit Tamil Nadu. I have visited their capital Madras now called Chennai
The caste system in India is chiefly based on birth and color – The darker the lower. The Brahmins (the priestly people) are the highest then the Kshatriyas (also called Rajanyas, who were rulers, administrators and warriors), followed by the Vaishyas (artisans, merchants, tradesmen and farmers), and Shudras (the labourer class) of which the dark Dalits known as “Untouchables” are on the lowest rungs“What is Wrong With Being Black?” is the title of Matthew Ashimolowo’s well researched and extensively referenced 2007 book that traces the history of racial discrimination with the economic rise of Europe through the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade replicated in the Indian Ocean with Arabs.Truth is discrimination of whatever kind is a strategic weapon to gain undue advantage over others. That is why within the same race there is a caste system or class structure, within the same religion denominational differences and even within the same family siblings are positioned by age or gender and so on.Hierarchy is an entirely human creation. All men were created equal but nobody in history has ever had the capacity to enforce that inconvenient truth thereby validating the ancient axiom; “I, against my brothers. I and my brothers against my cousins. I and my brothers and my cousins against the world”It is against this background that identity politics was invented and conflict entrepreneurs arose. Since then we have all been sucked into an endless vortex of hitting each other with ethnicity, religion and other means we find necessary to take advantage over each other
“Don’t go looking for fights – but if you’re hit, deck the bastard” – Roger Ailes
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
There is an overwhelming need to improve inter-communal harmony that has become so toxic in our dear nation. Religious hatred is a mainly product of ignorance and mischief. Both sides of the divide are very much guilty particularly against the background of political grandstanding. We currently live in tumultuous times. The ravages of the Coronavirus pandemic is no respecter for religious difference. Its economic fallout will not spare anyone while the political will be all encompassing irrespective. We therefore need a bird’s eye view on issues to pull through.
I asked the first Israeli I ever met, why the dickens Jews and Arabs in that highly combustible nation haven’t been able to work out an acceptable peace agreement between them for decades? She replied that the problem wasn’t actually religious as I had presumed but more about international power play, control and manipulation of spheres of influence as such it will be extremely difficult if not impossible to resolve the fundamental issues between them due to the various conflicting interests beyond their borders.
I still find my conversation with that secular Jewess in far away Singapore 31 years ago instructive as far as Nigeria is concerned Najran is the capital of the a southern administrative division of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the same name. Before 1902 there were 4 monarchical Sheikhs of 4 regions which Abdulaziz Al Saud of Nejd emerged superior and became overall King in 1932 up to 1953. All subsequent monarchs in Saudi Arabia to date are among his 36 sons that survived him based on seniority.
I first heard about the Pact of Najran through my good friend Ahmad Ramadan, a extremely brilliant legal mind who back in the mid 1990s was a practitioner at the chambers of Aliyu Umar Esq, later Aliyu Umar SAN now of blessed memory.
On the al-Masīḥiyyūn al-ʿArab in the historical Arabian Peninsula the background narrative is; “The visit of the Christians of Najran to the city of Medina in 631 is perhaps the most important noted interfaith interaction between Christians and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). At this time Muhammad (pbuh) had sent letters to different communities and their leaders, encouraging them to embrace Islam. In the case of the Najran, who lived near Yemen, about 450 miles south of Medina, the Prophet sent Khaled ibn al-Walid and Ali ibn Abi Talib to deliver the letter.
At the time of this diplomatic endeavor, Najran Christians had a highly organized religious system. As such, after considering Muhammad’s (pbuh) letter, it is unsurprising that few Christians embraced Islam. In reaction to this “failed attempt” of conversion, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) sent another representative to Najran, Mughira Ibn Shu’ba, who was meant to elaborate on this new religion called Islam. Intrigued by Ibn Shu’ba’s message, the Najran Christians sent a delegation of sixty people to visit the Prophet in Medina. The delegation consisted of about forty-five scholars and fifteen assistants.
When the Christians of Najran arrived to Medina, Muhammad allowed them to pray in Nabawi mosque where the Muslims also prayed. This invitation was not only the first example of Christian-Muslim dialogue, but it was the first time that Christians prayed in a mosque. While Prophet Muhammad and the Najrans were not able to reach common ground on all theological issues, he nonetheless gave them a place to stay near his home, and even ordered Muslims to pitch their tent.
Upon leaving Medina, the Najran Christian leaders told Muhammad (pbuh):
“O, Abu al-Qasim, we decided to leave you as you are and you leave us as we are”. But the Christians nevertheless left Medina with a pact (written guarantee) that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would protect their lives, property, and freedom to practice Christianity.”
No doubt the visit of Najran Christians to Medina is an example of religious pluralism. If so why are Al – Mu’minin (Muslims) and Ahl – al – Kitab (Christians) so historically daggers drawn? There is need to highlight the Pact of Najran;
“I hereby declare that my horsemen, my foot-soldiers, my armies, my resources, and my Muslim partisans will protect the Christians as far away as they may be located, whether they inhabit the lands which border my state, in any region, close or far, in times of peace as much as in times of war. I commit myself to support them, to place their persons under my protection, as well as their churches, chapels, oratories, the monasteries of their monks, the residences of their anchorites wherever they are found, be they in the mountains or the valleys, caves or inhabited regions, in the plains or in the desert.
I will protect their religion and their Church wherever they are found, be it on earth or at sea, in the West or in the East, with utmost vigilance on my part, the People of my House, and the Muslims as a whole.
I place them under my protection. I make a pact with them. I commit myself to protect them from any harm or damage; to exempt them for any requisitions or any onerous obligations and to protect them myself, by means of my assistants, my followers and my nation against every enemy who targets me and them”
Agreed there is controversy over the applicability of the he Pact of Najran beyond that specific Christian community the treaty was sealed with. Understandably, through the eras of the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, Mamluks, Safavids, and so on Ottomans right down to the Maliki revival of Sheikh Othman Dan Fodio a lot of water has passed under the bridge, lest I forget the intervening Crusades that spanned 175 years from 1096 – 1271.
We however have a monumental reference point in our own clime in the groundbreaking letter written by Shehu al- Hajj Muhammad al – Amin al – Kanemi (1776 -1837) on the 23rd day of Rabee-ul-thani, 1238 AH to the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Bello (1781 – 1837) who was Amir al – Mu’minin, Commander of the Faithful from 1814 -1836. After the usual polite and often flowering greetings, felicitations and best wishes the Shehu of Borno that was born in Murzuk, in present day Libya stated;
“Hence, the cause of writing this letter and the purpose of its lines, is to acquaint you that the bearers are English travelers; whose nation, out of all the other Christians, has maintained with the Mooslemeen uninterrupted treaties of religious amity and friendship, established since ancient periods, which they inherited from their forefathers and ancestors; and on this account, they penetrate into Mooslemeen countries whenever they please, and traverse all provinces and lands in confidence and trust, without fear. They came to our country, sent to us by our virtuous and accomplished friend, the Lord Yousuf Pasha, master of Tripoli, to see and delight themselves with the wonders of the Land of Soodan, and to become acquainted with its rarities, as lakes, rivers, and forests (or gardens) ; equal to which are seldom seen in other countries.”
The accomplished cleric and sovereign of the Borno empire that was of Kanembu ancestry of present day Tchad who upstaged the Sefuwa dynasty with its former capital in today’s Yobe state, ruled from Kukawa which he founded in 1814. Maiduguri was later established around Yerwa by the Ngadda River in 1907 after a treaty with the Germans, French and British.
“You are well aware of what is stated in Alcoraanic sayings upon the subject of the observance of honour, dictated by our Lord, the Apostle of God; and that the true Mooslemeen have always avoided shedding the blood of Christians, and assisted and protected them with their honour. Be then attentive to these travelers, and cast them not into the corners of neglect; let no one hurt them, either by words or deeds, nor interrupt them with any injurious behavior: but let them return to us, safe, and may the high God bestow upon you the best reward for your treatment to them, and insure to us and to you the path of righteousness for conduct in this life.”
For me this iconic attestation that accompanied the English explorers Major Dixon Denham and Royal Navy Commander Hugh Clapperton from Kukawa to Sokoto in January, 1824 is sufficient proof of the historical covenant between Muslims and Christians before even Nigeria was crafted into being a nation. It is on that foundation laid 196 years ago we must build a new Nigeria!
In any case the conclusion of the Pact of Najran emphasized;
“Christians must not be subjected to suffer, by abuse, on the subject of marriages which they do not desire. Muslims should not take Christian girls in marriage against the will of their parents nor should they oppress their families in the event that they refused their offers of engagement and marriage. Such marriages should not take place without their desire and agreement and without their approval and consent. If a Muslim takes a Christian woman as a wife, he must respect her Christian beliefs. He will give her freedom to listen to her [clerical] superiors as she desires and to follow the path of her own religion.”
In conclusion; You don’t have to be Hindu to enjoy Indian films or an Inca to watch Telenovelas or indeed worship Shinto to drive a Honda or Toyota neither have no religion to patronize any Chinese product nor be a Korean Buddhist to use any Samsung or be an agnostic to admire Nelson Mandela. Must you own an iPhone or any Apple product if like Steve Jobs that produced them you don’t subscribe to any particular religion?
Less 48 hours or so ago America despite its present health pandemic and economic woes launched a space mission called Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover; “That will search for signs of ancient microbial life, which will advance the quest to explore the past habitability of Mars. The rover has a drill to collect core samples of Martian rock and soil, then store them in sealed tubes for pickup by a future mission that would ferry them back to Earth for detailed analysis. Perseverance will also test technologies to help pave the way for future human exploration of Mars” – yet here we are in Nigeria still dividing ourselves over religion!
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The construction of Hagia Sophia church with its characteristic pendative dome was completed in the year 537. The project started in the year 360. Hagia Sophia which means – Holy Wisdom in Greek was the Constantinople seat of Byzantine Orthodoxy which had severed relationship with Roman Catholicism. When the ancient city where Hagia Sophia is located was captured by the Papacy during the Fourth Crusade in 1204 the church was converted to Rome.
In 1261, the Byzantines recaptured their city and church. Constantinople was named after Constantine the Great (227-337 AD) the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. However by 1453 the city became Istanbul and Hagia Sophia, a mosque under the Ottoman Turk, Mehmed the Conqueror. That was when its minarets were added and the crosses, icons removed with the images within plastered over with various Arabesque features.
In 1923, the historic edifice was converted into a secular museum by the founder of modern Turkey, General Kemal Atatürk. Most of its original imagery were then restored. The United Nations would eventually declare it as a World Heritage Site.
By July 24, 2020, Hagia Sophia would revert back to a mosque again. The Turkish presidential order has already been signed. Many in Christendom are worried, others concerned. I am neither for 2 main reasons. First,
I totally subscribe to the Solomonic axiom – “The race is not for the swift, Nor the battle to the strong, Nor bread to the wise, Nor riches to men of understanding, Nor favor to the men of skill; But time and chance happen to them all” Second, I remain an acolyte of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who told the story n 1989; “of a drunk who crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?” The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!” The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”
His Grace Tutu went on; “Where the other side of the street is depends on where we are. Our perspective differs with our context, the things that have helped to form us; and religion is one of the most potent of these formative influences, helping to determine how and what we apprehend of reality and how we operate in our own specific context.” The Nobel laureate eventually rested his argument; “My first point seems overwhelmingly simple: that the accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong. The chances are very great that if you were born in Pakistan you are a Muslim, or a Hindu if you happened to be born in India, or a Shintoist if it is Japan, and a Christian if you were born in Italy. I don’t know what significant fact can be drawn from this — perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith. You could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.
My second point is this: not to insult the adherents of other faiths by suggesting, as sometimes has happened, that for instance when you are a Christian the adherents of other faiths are really Christians without knowing it. We must acknowledge them for who they are in all their integrity, with their conscientiously held beliefs; we must welcome them and respect them as who they are and walk reverently on what is their holy ground, taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. We must hold to our particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, not pretending that all religions are the same, for they are patently not the same. We must be ready to learn from one another, not claiming that we alone possess all truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.”
Tutu concluded; “God is not a Christian, Nor a Jew, Muslim, Hindu…: God Dwells with Us, in Us, Around Us, as Us”
In the 1567 year history of the existence of Hagia Sophia it has withstood massive earthquakes in years 553, 558, 869 and 1344. This UN World Heritage Site has outlived wars, famines, plagues and indeed dictators, emperors and kings including presidents. It has been a constantly recurring decimal in the politicization of religion in Constantinople, now Istanbul at that crucial junction in modern-day Turkey where Europe meets the Middle East. Simply put the issue is beyond religion, it is another chess game in the “Clash of Civilizations”
Hagia Sophia will therefore outlive President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and return to its origin status as a church one day. Whether or not it happens during our lifetime is beside the point. So why bother? As the ancients wisely put it; “Only 3 things cannot remain hidden for long, the Sun, the Moon and the Truth”
Tick, tock, tick, tock…………
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
1. “Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe Lincoln. Possibly the most successful politician in American history – abolished slavery, united the country after the Civil War to preserve the union, modernised the economy and put America on a path to greatness. But Lincoln was not always a raging success.
In 1831 at the age of 23, he owned a general store in New Salem, Illinois. The town was booming. However, his choice of business partners wasn’t great, and the business was run into the ground. Abe then ran for the Illinois General Assembly. He lost. Lincoln then bought a half a share in another General store. This store also went bust, his business partner died, and Abe – who borrowed money to invest – was broke. He spent several years paying off the debt.
Lincoln ran for US Senate in 1854, but was defeated. In 1858, he ran for the Senate again and won the popular vote. But through a quirk of the electoral process at that time, the Illinois State Legislature chose Lincoln’s rival anyway. This guy could not catch a break. However, he managed to come back from all this and was elected President in 1860. He is generally considered to be the greatest American president in history. He was perhaps, too good a president. His achievements inspired a wing-nut – who hated Lincoln for abolishing slavery – to shoot him in the back of the head while at the theatre. A tragic for America.”
2. “In a boxing match, you can lose the first 14 rounds. All you have to do is nail your opponent in the last 10 seconds of the 15th round and you’re the world’s heavyweight champion” – Ross Perot.
3. “At the start of the Munich Games in August 1972, Lasse Viren, a 23-year-old Finnish policeman from the small village of Myrskyla, was not widely known. Indeed, the heats of the 10,000 metres were his Olympic debut. But when he stumbled and fell just before the halfway mark in the final his chance of victory seemed to have gone.
The Tunisian Mohamed Gammoudi (who had won the 5,000 metres at the 1968 Olympics) tripped over Viren and gave up two laps later. But the Finnish runner calmly got to his feet and chased his way back into contention, overtaking Britain’s David Bedford, the long-time leader, to not only win the gold medal, but set a world record of 27min 38.4sec. Ten days later, he also won the 5,000m (in an Olympic record time) – a double that he repeated in Montreal in 1976”
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe
The best way to contextualize the growth and transformation of Lagos is by looking at the same southeastern view of the Marina towards the Lagos Yacht Club across the strait separating Lagos and Victoria Islands centuries apart up to Wilmot Point and beyond.
I am surprised and disappointed that Lagosians have also been caught up in the crossfire of identity politics in Nigeria. I have always assumed the “Center of Excellence” was immune to the kind of xenophobic indigenes-settler dichotomy that has bedeviled the rest of our nation, Nigeria. This post is therefore inspired by the recent intervention of Omo Eko Pataki, a forum for “Original Lagosians” entitled; Lagos – The Imperative of Cultural Renaissance. I thankfully became aware of it courtesy of the esteemed Taiwo Ogunbote of Center for Human Capital and Democratic Development, an old Gregorian of Obalende and former officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD).
Anybody who is familiar with the history of Lagos would admit that the entrepôt has always been a culmination of external factors revolving around trade and commerce from its obscure days as an Awori fishing settlement to its hostile takeover by the forces of Oba of Benin that named it Eko (which means war camp), which the Portuguese seafarer renamed Lago de Curamo in 1472.
However, it was not until Royal Navy officer, John Beecroft in 1849 who became the British consul to the Bights of Benin and Biafra based in what was now anglicanized to Lagos; which became a major hub for the present South West hinterland, which had to bombarded to military submission by Her Majesty’s warships in 1851.
For Lagos to stabilize itself amidst the incessant crisis between the Akitoye and Kosoko ruling houses and transform the strategically located “swamps and lakes” port to the Atlantic into a commercial hub order had to be restored and a semblance of authority must be established. Simply put the Union Jack had to be hoisted. To pull that off 2 persons were crucial – Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who took up the matter at the British parliament through his fellow Anglican bishops and abolitionists at the House of Lords and Madam Tinubu who impressed upon the local elite the need to transit from slave trading to a more lucrative and less hazardous legitimate trade.
Bishop Crowther was from Osoogun in present-day Oyo state and Madam Tinubu actually Efunporoye Osuntinubu, an Egba of Owu ancestry from Ojokodo in present-day Ogun state. Arguably, without their intervention we probably wouldn’t know Lagos as it is today.
What has also been perhaps deliberately neglected in the history of the evolution of Lagos is the role of the amalgam of Hausa speaking people. The Male Revolt was a slave rebellion that took place in January 1835 during Ramadan in the city of Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. In Bahia, the Hausas were primarily identified with practicing Islam because they adopted the religion before coming over to Brazil. Over time however, with the Nago slaves they united to revolt. Some of the key figures important in planning the uprising were: Ahuna, Pacífico, and Manoel Calafate.
“The word Nago derives from the word Anago, a term that the Fon-speaking people used to describe Yoruba-speaking people residing in the kingdom of Ketu now in the present-day Benin Republic.”
The aftermath of the Male Revolt led to emancipation of slaves in Brazil many of which opted to return to Africa. In 1851, a pioneer group of 60 freed slaves chartered a ship for the then equivalent of $4000 to return to Badagry. These returnees became known as Aguda which by the 1880s constituted almost 10% of the population of Lagos. Others eventually joined the return to Lagos; the Amaro from Cuba and Saro from the Caribbean via Sierra Leone.
“On 21 April 1863, John Hawley Glover was appointed administrator of the government of Lagos Colony, he remained there till 1872. Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigeria’s Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”
Who are then the original Lagosians?
The Aworis or Binis or even the descendants of Glover’s Hausas, Agudas, Amaros or even Saros?
How do we situate the millions of Igbos in Lagos that arguably constitute one third of the population of Lagos? What about the Ago Awusa that were located between Epe and Itokin from where Madam Tinubu’s fifth husband Momoh Bukar hailed from before that Hausa camp was resettled in Alausa in present-day Ikeja?
Anyway the main grouse of Omo Eko Pataki is that; “the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and many top political office holders in the state are not natives of Lagos State”.
They further contend that ”the senators representing the state at the National Assembly – Oluremi Tinubu and Solomon Adeola; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji; and the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, are also not from the state” also that the “legendary accommodating openness” that Lagos State is known for was becoming a curse, noting however that they would no longer watch the state become “a no-man’s-land” The forum also claims “Lagosians are now reduced to almost “second-class citizens on their native soil”
For me the fundamental issue at stake is; The Tragedy of the Commons which is described by Garrett Hardin in 1968 as “All human relationships involve give and take, all such relationships breakdown when one or more parties do too much taking and not giving” Apologies to the Gbaygi of FCT.
“Isale Eko translates to ‘bottom of Eko’, was so named because of its location south of the area called ‘Eko’ (later called Lagos). Isale Eko started as the home of Aromire, a pepper farmer who was one of the sons of Olofin, an Awori settler, who was the chief of Iddo Island and the first Idejo (landowner) of Lagos Island. Aromire’s farm settlement, which was the first home of the inhabitants of Isale Eko, is today known as ‘Iga Idunganran’ (The Pepper Palace), the palace of the Oba of Lagos.” It was from this palatial surroundings the Oba of Lagos in 2015 threatened to sink the Igbo if they voted contrary to his political preference.
Unfortunately the joke is now on him as the Omo Eko Pataki under his royal nose are today poking their fingers at “the abberation which emerged since 1999”
In conclusion; Who build this Gada (Bridge)? This for me is a fitting metaphor for who built Lagos, a question asked by “Acksion Governor” Brigadier General Raji Alagbe Rasaki, the military administrator in Lagos 1988-1991 while inspecting a poorly constructed culvert over a flood channel. The Omo Eko Pataki needs to understand politics is a numbers game and must therefore skillfully negotiate their relevance even in their own domain by way of an issues based engagement. The 1999 Constitution is clear and unequivocal on the eligibility for public office and the right to residency anywhere in Nigeria. “Indigene-ship” is a colonial legacy for divide and rule.
Come October 1, it will be 60 years after national independence, so we shouldn’t be having this kind of conversation in our nation.
Eko o ni baje o!
By Abba Kyari: 12 January 2014.
(Sent: Sunday, January 12, 2014, 9:29:03 AM GMT+1)
Subject: Re: Religious Tolerance:
The centrality of religious identity in our society in the last two decades or so, fills me with grief, in a society where people lived together and socialised together.
Two Friday’s ago, I was in Wusasa for the funeral service of late Mrs Yarbaba Baikie, wife of Prof Adamu Baikie. The service was attended by both Christians and Muslims.Mrs Baikie, a Hausa from Kano was the only Christian in her family. Every Easter and every Christmas, her Muslim relatives will come to Zaria and join in the celebrations. Every Eid–twice a year too– she and her family will travel to Kano for the celebrations. That has been the practise until she died.
If you visited the Baikie household during the period of mourning, you will not fail to notice the age old practice of living together and socialising together. Not even Jerry Gana could tell who is a Christian and who is a Muslim, apart from the people he knows.
I attended St Paul’s College, Wusasa. It was an Anglican Mission secondary school but was 75% grant aided by the Northern Nigerian government without any interference in its running. It was an Anglican school.
Although the majority of the students were Christians, there were a few Muslims too. That was never an issue, we were all students, majority of us never knew who came from where. It was only last year when I went to Lokoja for the funeral service of a classmate’s mother that I discovered one of our classmates is from Edo state-47 years later.
In form one, when I chose to take Bible knowledge, I was denied, because it would not look like my voluntary choice. It was only in form three that i was allowed. Every morning, all the Muslims stayed out in an adjacent classroom during the morning mass before we were allowed into to the hall for general assembly. Every Sunday during service all the Muslim students must attend Muslim students meeting. Every Friday all the Muslims students are gathered and put in the the school van and driven to the juma’a mosque in Zaria City.
Every Ramadan Muslim students were woken at 3 am for sahur, for a freshly cooked meal and not leftovers. In my five years, we had two Head Boys who were Muslims. In all our social activities religion was NEVER an issue. It is only against the backdrop of what is happening today that one is recounting these examples, then they meant nothing.
About 22 years ago, I was the best man at a wedding in Owo between an Ibo catholic and Yoruba Anglican. It was not an issue. I am the godfather to the first son of that union.
The religion that is ‘dividing’ our communities, is not the religion of God, it is the religion of Nigerians, it is the religion mammon. It is all about fight for political and economic space by a very few people,creating chaos and bloodshed.
©Abba Kyari: 2014
By Evon Benson Idahosa
I remember falling asleep at a Tuesday evening church service as a 9 year old child. I had a tambourine on my lap and as I fell to the floor, it reverberated thunderously throughout the hall, drawing the attention of everyone who had been attentively listening to the dynamic preacher-man.
I awakened to piercing stares and side eyes- particularly from my father- whose message I had disrupted. Every Nigerian child knows that stare, that glare that silently speaks a thousand words, cloaks you in debilitating fear and assures your quivering being that there will be consequences.
Needless to say, it was a quiet ride home and for the rest of the revival week, I was ushered to the front row where I forced my eyes open, humming tunes to myself to stay awake.
Saying that I literally grew up in church would be an understatement. Week long revival services, such as the one I reference above, were customary. I was also in the choir, went to Sunday school before church services on Sunday, Agape Force Children’s meetings on Saturdays, mid-week services and the occasional 6:30 am morning prayer services, followed by our home bible study with Auntie B. And because my father was Archbishop Benson Idahosa, there were no negotiations. It just was.
At the age of 10, shortly after the infamous “tambourine experience,” the truth of those messages became real and I earnestly became a follower of The Way. And so, as news began to sweep the globe of the novel Corona virus and its import, I found myself immediately turning to my faith as a source of comfort and peace. I also called my mother, who now heads CGMI, the global ministry my father left when he passed away 22 years ago. Her words of encouragement and the tone of her voice assured me that, as we like to say in Nigeria, ‘it is well.’ And it will be!
But for now, the pandemic continues to rage, as thousands succumb to its will. First China. Then South Korea. Japan. An epidemic. Then Italy, the UK, the US. Thousands upon thousands of cases were being reported and every day brought the reality closer to home. Then it became a global pandemic and as it stands, the WHO estimates that there are 719,700 confirmed cases globally, with almost 34,000 deaths.
On February 28th, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, confirmed its index case of the Corona virus which arrived the country via an Italian businessman.
As I write, Nigeria’s centre for Disease Control is reporting a total of 135 confirmed cases and two deaths, having conducted just several hundred tests, even though thousands of passengers have arrived from varying countries since the index. Self isolation has been deemed an advisory, not mandatory.
Nigeria has taken what some would consider drastic, yet in this writer’s opinion, insufficient and strikingly Western style measures to address what is likely to come in the absence of a miracle. In addition to finally closing her borders from international travelers, including Nigerians, schools have been shut down, civil servants are being asked to work from home, “social distancing” policies are being enacted and several states, including my home state of Edo, have prohibited religious, social and public gatherings of more than 20 persons.
In a country where over 90% of her citizens profess to be religious, most Nigerians are accustomed to turning to their faith in times of crisis. The corona virus pandemic is no exception. Many who had strayed from God are now repenting of their sins and brandishing the sign of the cross as they leave their homes. Others are praying for a “Passover,” as CNN and other news outlets flood us with “end of the world,” doomsday messaging. As a result, many of us are yearning to collectively gather to pray.
Whether the desire to collectively gather is buttressed by denial (“coronavirus is not here” — “the spirit of corona virus is dead in Nigeria”) or stems from a deep seeded longing for God to show mercy to a healthcare system that is wholly unprepared to handle the worst case scenario, the fact remains that Nigeria’s religious faithfuls are unaccustomed to missing gatherings for anything. Services are considered sacred times to commune with God and to be encouraged by the brethren. Others hang on to every word of their clerics who, in some cases, insist on serving as a religious crutch- intermediaries between their congregants and God.
Many believers who engage with God on a transactional basis come bearing tithes and/or offerings in the hopes that God will hear their prayers. (He hears them regardless).
As such, the prohibition on religious gatherings of more than 20 (which essentially translates to a prohibition of services in general) has resulted in many Nigerian believers losing their ‘religion,’ i.e., left bewildered as to how to make the adjustment to a God who potentially exists outside the four walls of their churches; to a God who speaks directly to them in God’s long forgotten voice. Who, precisely, are Nigerian believers without our religions and religious houses of worship?
Could it be that for the first time in a long time, Nigerian believers are being presented with a church-less opportunity to develop even more meaningful personal relationships with their God; to ‘lay hands’ on themselves and speak words of healing into their children from a God who has always heard them? Could this pandemic serve as an opportunity for believers to be what Murray Bowen describes as a ‘non-anxious presence’ to those who may be paralyzed by fear?
To this end, some larger churches are offering their services online. However, for the working poor who faithfully make up the backbone of most Nigerian churches, internet connectivity and/or live streaming of an entire service make that option impractical and/or unaffordable. They are the ones, who because they live day to day, cannot afford to practice social distancing, “stay at home” and for some, even “wash your hands,” because soap becomes a luxury when one’s ‘daily bread’ is devoid of the ‘daily.’ If our government does not step up to courageously seek support that is tailored to our unique realities and then provide that support to those on the margins, the import of the corona virus in our beloved Nigeria could be felt by generations to come.
As such, could this pandemic present an opportunity for churches to fill the glaring gaps and practically serve the last and the least in a manner that reveals who we profess to be as followers of The Way? Might this be an opportunity for the church to put our egos aside and creatively heed Jesus’ instructions to ‘feed my sheep’, to apply the Balm of Gilead, by serving those who will be most physically, mentally and economically impacted?
Practically speaking, could we convert our sanctuaries to temporary hospitals or food pantries where those in need can obtain essentials? Can we use the funds of those who have faithfully donated over the years to buy ventilators and personal protective gear for our hospitals and health workers on the front lines? Can we purchase hygiene products and distribute them to those who may be confined to their homes? This, I believe, is our mandate.
At the end of the day, my faith in God runs deep. It has guided my life since I was 10 and I prayerfully trust that we will get through this. But as the Nigerian Church temporarily loses her ‘religion’ and her faith is unveiled in the face of COVID-19, she is presented with an opportunity to reverberate thunderously and rise up to be who she professes for such a novel time as this. After all, in the words of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, ‘the church is the church only when it exists for others…not dominating, but helping and serving’.
Courtesy Ahmed Yahaya Joe
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe (edited)
My thoughts start with the notion that the western world’s first day of the week (Sunday) is always the most segregated in Nigeria due to the number of ethnic and tribal association meetings that take place. No nation is built that way.
The attached picture is that of Morgan Freeman the host of The Story of God, a documentary of unforgetable 15 episodes asking very tough questions across the religious divide. Mr. Freeman also engages those that argue that there is no God. One thing that is obvious from that program is that there is a direct link between religious intolerance and ignorance.
Secularism, is defined as “indifference to, or rejection or exclusion of, religion and religious considerations” It also the “desire to exclude religion from social activities or civic affairs, banishment of religious symbols from the public sphere, state neutrality toward religion and the separation of religion from state”
According to a 2016 report in the National Geographical “The religiously unaffiliated, called “nones,” are growing significantly. They’re the second largest religious group in North America and most of Europe. In the United States, nones make up almost a quarter of the population. In the past decade, U.S. nones have overtaken Catholics, mainline protestants, and all followers of non-Christian faiths.”
So why are the numbers of those subscribing to no religion increasing by the day? It is chiefly due to increased economic prosperity, advances in medical sciences, improved standard of living and a man known as Christopher Hitchens that wrote a 2007 book entitled God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything.
In it Mr. Hitchens argues that organized religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children” A review of the book puts it that Hitchens “supports his position with a mixture of personal stories, documented historical anecdotes and critical analysis of religious texts. His commentary focuses mainly on the Abrahamic religions, although it also touches on other religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism.”
It is significant to note that the increase in the number of those that subscribe to no religion is in the US, Canada and Europe. While China remains majority atheist parts of Asia, Middle East and Africa are still very religious. The case of Nigeria is toxic. We breathe religion like oxygen yet every aspect of our national life is characterized by corrupt practices from top to bottom.
In his book Hitchens addresses a hypothetical question: if he were alone in an unfamiliar city at night, and a group of strangers began to approach him, would he feel safer, or less safe, knowing that these men had just come from a prayer meeting? Hitchens answers:
“Just to stay within the letter ‘B’, I have actually had that experience in Belfast, Beirut, Bombay, Belgrade, Bethlehem and Baghdad. In each case … I would feel immediately threatened if I thought that the group of men approaching me in the dusk were coming from a religious observance”
He gives detailed descriptions of the tense social and political situations within these cities, which he personally experienced and attributes to religion.
Will no religion reach Nigeria? It is inevitable due to the way and manner we distort and manipulate religion for our personal agenda, economic gain and political purposes besides one day economic prosperity and improved standard of living will finally arrive in Nigeria!
It is obvious this ‘No Religion’ talk will deeply worry some of my close friends and even relatives who took time to personally reach out to me with their concerns. I thank you all. Like I emphasized during your various visits, I am still on course but nevertheless entrenched in Thomas Jefferson’s dictum of:
“Say nothing of my religion. It is known to God and myself alone. Its evidence before the world is to be sought in my life: if it has been honest and dutiful to society the religion which has regulated it cannot be a bad one.”
Against that background may you find the following excerpts written by Festus Adedayo further instructive on my position. Have a great week ahead!
In Kano State, a highly populated & politically influential historical region in Northern Nigeria, the Umar Ganduje government announced a ban on street begging by Almajiris. Spokesperson to Ganduje, said:
“If Almijiri teacher thinks he cannot accept the new policy, he has to leave the state. When Almijiri are caught begging, it is not only that beggar (who) is caught, but his parents or guardians. Such parents or guardians would be taken to court to face the wrath of the law.”
However, in flagrant disdain of these emerging Northern mindsets against centuries of decadence in the North, the Kano State Council of Ulama deplored this move. Similar to this warped thinking was that of Lagos beggars. They were reported to have stormed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s office in ten buses and seven tricycles. Reports also had it that they barricaded the entrance to the State House of Assembly, demanding audience with the Governor. One would have thought the best persons to barricade their offices and homes were the hundreds of Northern leaders since independence who had abetted that decadent system of begging.
The above puts Madame Aminata Fall Sow, a Senegalese novelist’s The Beggars’ Strike at the centre of consideration. Like the beggars’ issue, which has been engaging the minds of perceptive northerners in recent time, issues like begging, polygamy, inordinate political ambition, superstition and strength in unity also engaged Sow Fall while writing the book, originally published in French, in Dakar in 1979, with the title, La Greve des Battu. Aminata, with her gripping, fast-paced satire, tells the story of the hypocrisy of society.
A variant of the imprisonment of the Northern Ulamas’ minds and indeed, their hypocrisy, can be found in Southern Nigerian rigidity to a divorce between it and unscientific reasoning. Recently, a 22-year-old female student of the Lagos State University, Favour Seun Daley-Oladele, was killed and dismembered somewhere in Ikire, Osun State by her boyfriend, Owolabi and her body parts made into pepper soup by a Cherubim and Seraphim prophet, Segun Philips Adeeko. The boyfriend was said to have contracted one Prophet Adeeko to do this, so that he and his mother could get rich quick. Similar methodology to this today in Southern Nigeria is how churches and mosques are besieged by aimless young men and women who believe that inside those places lie their monetary and indeed, existential redemption.
What links the Northern Ulamas’ and their Southern accomplices’ minds is an unscientific reasoning. Born in 544 BC, Heraclitus had been quoted to have said, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.” In the same vein, some precepts in the the Holy Bible, written for a people alien to Africa centuries ago, have to bow to a modern age if we are serious of being players in modernity’s roulette game. Or else, we will continue to encounter contradictions like our youth believing that if they sacrifice human parts, they would become millionaires or that if they stew in churches/mosques, God would make them rich like Mike Adenuga.
The truth is that, money-making is more of science than metaphysics. It is a deceivable opinion to believe that anything apart from mental exertion and careful planning, with a dosage of prayer, can bring wealth. The richest people in the world can articulate how they make their money scientifically. American business magazine, Forbes compiles world billionaires’ names periodically and I cannot see anyone of them who arrived at being wealthiest billionaires in the globe on account of their being embroiled in human rituals. I cannot see among those wealthiest people anyone who sleeps in church or mosques. Even Aliko Dangote or Mike Adenuga’s religious colour is at best opaque.
In 2018, 2,208 people made the Forbes list and that included 259 newcomers. Most of them were from China and the US. Sixty-three of them were under 40, with a record number of 256 women. The average net worth of the people on that list was said to be US $4.1 billion, up US$350 million from 2017. The 2018 wealthiest human alive, Jeff Bezos, with an estimated wealth of $131 billion, and his billionaire ilk, are not reported to sleep in any mosque or church or fiddling with human entrails to make money. The un-science mind infiltrates virtually every aspect of our lives. This is why we are under-developed.”
By Mohammed Babafari (on Facebook)
It’s exactly 6 years since Muammar Gadaffi was assassinated!
Muamar Gaddafi’s Prophecies:
“I will not go into exile to any foreign country. I was born here in Libya, and I will die here. This country was a dessert, and I turned it into a forest, where everything can grow.
“No one Love this land more more than its citizens. If Europe and America tells you that they love you, be careful. They love the wealth of your land. The oil and not the people. They are helping you to fight against me but, it will be more wise for you to fight against them because they are fighting against your future and progress.
“My message to you the people of Libya is, they are helping you to kill me but you will pay the price because you will suffer. And my message to you America and Europe is, you will kill me, but be ready to fight a never ending TERRORISM.
“Before you realise your ignorance, terrorists will be hitting you at your doorstep.”
COL. GADDAFI’S IMPACT IN LIBYA:
1. There is no electricity bill in Libya, electricity is free for all its citizens.
2. There is no interest on loans, banks in Libya are state-owned and loans given to all its citizens are at a 0% interest by law.
3. Home is considered a human right in Libya. Gaddafi vowed that his parents would not get a house until everyone in Libya had a home.
4. All newlyweds in Libya receive $60,000 Dinars (US$50,000) from the government to buy their first apartment.
5. Education and medical treatments are free in Libya. Before Gaddafi, only 25% of Libyans were literates. Today, the figure stands at 83%.
6. Libyans taking up farming as a career, they received farm land, a farming house, equipment, seeds and livestock to kick- start their farms – all for free.
7. If Libyans cannot find the education or medical facilities they needed in Libya, the government funded them to go abroad for it.
8. In Gaddafi’s Libya, if a Libyan buys a car, the government subsidized 50% of the price.
9. The price of petrol in Libya is $0. 14 per liter.
10. Libya has no external debt and its reserves amount to $150 billion – now frozen globally.
11. If a Libyan is unable to get employment after graduation, the state would pay the average salary of the profession as if he or she is employed until employment is found.
12. A portion of Libyan oil sale is credited directly to the bank accounts of all Libyan citizens.
13. A mother who gave birth to a child under Gaddafi, received US $5,000 as child benefit upfront.
14. 40 loaves of bread in Libya costs $ 0.15
15. 25% of Libyans have a university degree
16. Gaddafi carried out the world’s largest irrigation project, known as the Great Man- Made River Project, to make water readily available throughout the desert country.
If this is called “Dictatorship”, I wonder what type of Leadership Democrats have!!
Where are the microbiologists & virologists. Please bear with me a moment & follow my deduced line of thought..
I had been thinking about this for a while now. Actually, I started giving this much thought when it emerged that choloquine has a significant effect it curing the Covid19 virus.
Yes, there are a lot of learned minds that have not jumped on the choloquine band wagon, well not yet.
And their main reason for not agreeing with this rather hasty conclusion is;
“It has not been clinically tested.”
Are we not looking at this the wrong way?
Read the following quote
“The synergistic effects of Hydroxy Chloroquine significantly mitigates the inflammatory response to the lungs and kills the covid 19 virus.
Azithromycin kills bacteria that invades the compromised lung and other tissues from the destructive virus.
“Steroid & antibiotics will significantly interfere with the bodies ability to fight the infection; however, the Hydroxy Chloroquine is significantly reducing the inflammatory response to the lungs and kills the virus. The Azithromycin fights off the opportunistic bacteria.”
Then there is the radical treatment some have already adopted.
“A New York Doctor shared his Hydroxy Chloroquine/Azithromycin prescribed dosage as;
200mg 2x daily Hydroxy Chloroquine
500mg 1x daily Azithromycin
220mg 1x daily Zinc sulfate”
And his recorded success thus far;
“350 patients •
Breathing restored 3-4 hours •
Zero deaths •
Zero hospitalizations •
Then the noteworthy stats that can not be easily ignored;
“Below is the malaria map and the current virus map (side by side). You can see that the countries with the lowest recorded cases are also the countries prone to malaria and undoubtedly using (element of) Chloroquine to fight malaria.”
What does all this mean?
Are the antibodies that fight the malaria parasites harmful to the Covid 19 virus?
They must be, if the drugs that have proven to be most effective so far are those one will use to cure malaria.
So having any kind of immunity to malaria will greatly help to build resistance to the Covid 19 virus.
So why don’t we give everyone malaria & cure them of it.
MALARIA CURES COVID19
That is Simple common sense.
Nothing new here.
Moses did it for the snake bites.
We do it for most anti-venon.
And (laugh if like), THEY DID IT IN HOLLYWOOD.
So if everyone is talking about how prophetic the movie ‘CONTAGION’ turned out to be, well what about ‘WORLD WAR Z’?
I AM VERY SERIOUS PEOPLE!!
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?
1. The Boko Haram kidnapped girls and forced them to change their religion.
Islam says: “Let there be no compulsion in religion…..”
2. The Boko Haram have forcefully married off girls.
Islam says: “…..Do not inherit women against their will…..”
3. The Boko Haram are aggressive towards those who do not follow their beliefs.
Islam says: “IF IT HAD BEEN YOUR LORD’S WILL, all of the people on Earth would have believed [in one religion]….” (Quran 10:99)
“Let there be no compulsion in Islam ”
4. The Boko Haram have murdered thousands of Muslims and Christians alike in cold blood.
While Islam says: “….If any one slew a person – unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people…”
5. The Boko Haram use the cover of Islam to commit their mayhem and claim they are doing ALLAH’S work or JIHAD (HOLY WAR).
While Islam says: “…… BUT DO NOT TRANSGRESS LIMITS; FOR GOD LOVES NOT TRANSGRESSORS.”
6. The Boko Haram believes once you are not with them you are an enemy to them.
While Islam says: “O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other)……”
7. The Boko Haram have unleashed tyranny and indecency in the land.
While Islam says: “God commands justice and doing good and giving to relatives. And He forbids indecency and doing wrong and tyranny….”
Finally, upon all their false claims its clear to see that Boko Haram do not represent Islam in any way because, they are acting against Islam.
*Copied; Author Unknown
Question is, the non-Muslims do not get or feel the impression that regular Islam, as proposed & preached by the Holy Quran, is Defended by genuine Muslims as much as it is said to be Offended by Boko Haram.
© Yas Niger
That Friday night, I was supposed to be in the vigil leading the worship song but there I was in Fred’s bed moaning in painful pleasure as he cuddled and caressed me.
Being the choir mistress, I was the one to take the worship songs that night but I manoeuvred my way to his home.
“Can we go another round?” Fred asked teasingly.
“You don’t get tired? Oliver Twist,” I said staring at the wall clock. It was few minutes before 1 a.m.
“I need to join them in the church,” I said uncovering myself from the bedsheets and hurriedly picked up my dress from the floor.
“It’s already late and dangerous out there. Just pass the night here again please.”
“Akuna! It’s better late than never. Don’t forget, I’m the one taking the worship.”
“Do you want to get raped out there? The one I gave you is not enough for you, right?” he asked mockingly as he sat upright on his bed placing a pillow on his laps to hide his erected stuff.
“I won’t get raped because we are going together. Dress up please.”
“Have you gone insane?” he giggled. “I just finished feasting with the devil and you expect me to go to the presence of God? Come on babe, I still have conscience.”
“What are you insinuating? Are you saying I don’t have conscience? Thank you for reminding me that I’m Jezebel.” I said trying to ease the guilt.
I hurriedly picked my Bible and my scarf from the floor and dashed out of the room.
“Onyeche, wait let me see you off,” I heard his voice from a distance.
That was not the first night I spent in his house in the name of vigil, neither was it the second nor third.
You may think that was the worst thing I have done. No, I did worse than that. I aborted two babies for Fred, the assistant prayer band leader who was always leading the prayer section.
My father who was a well thought of elder in the church was glad that her daughter was burning for God.
I was not just deceiving my father, I was deceiving the members of the church, I was deceiving the pastor whose favourite I was.
Never had he ministered without me acting as the backup singer. He trusted and believed so much in me. And above all, I was deceiving myself as my self-worth was dwindling.
When I got to the church, Agnes was still leading the praise section.
It seemed she was stylishly waiting for my arrival to take the worship section as I was considered to be the most fire-branded member of the church.
As the choir mistress, I was supposed to be seated at the front seat, but I sat behind so that my incoming would not be noticed.
I glanced through the pulpit, the pastor’s gaze was on me and I trembled within as he signaled an invitation.
“Onyeche, what happened?” he asked affectionately.
“Daddy I slept off,” I lied kneeling beside him without any iota of the fear of God.
“I wanted to rest before time but when I woke up, it was already very late. I told myself that it’s better late than never.”
“I know you ‘ll come regardless what. Thank you,” he said smiling and patting me on my shoulder. “Hope you are prepared.”
“I’m always prepared daddy.”
Right at the pulpit I was confidently lying to the man of God. Yet, unlike the days of Peter, there was no discernment, I would have fallen dead like Ananias and Sapphira but there, I was being praised.
Like the pastor’s praise was not enough, when I climbed the podium, I was welcomed with a standing ovation by the congregation. They yelled and shouted my name. Others jumped to their feet shouting and clapping. My head was becoming larger like I was sharing the glory of God with him, that’s if I did not steal it all. Had they known that I just left Delilah’s lap, or maybe I was even the Delilah. Had they known I just left the dungeon of sin, just like the lady of Magdalene, they would have picked up stone.
I struck the mic with a finger and the sound was pleasant to my hearing.
“Alleluuuuuuuia!” I shouted into the mic, stressing my word and the crowd yelled even louder.
“Can we just compose ourselves as we worship the El shaddai, the Elohim, The King of kings, the Lord of lords, the I am that I am, mandalekatushaldaba,” I burst into tongue. “The Bible says, God is a Spirit and they that must worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth.”
As I was trying to elate the crowd, I saw Fred enter the church. Well built, muscular and light in complexion. Like the Biblical Joseph, very handsome and good to behold. I still doubt if I were the only one in the church he was having an affair with. Many of those young girls flopped around him calling him papa and M.O.G.
He was also very much adored and loved in the church because of his activeness yet, my partner in sin.
“Close your eyes and lift up your hands unto the Lord as we worship him.”
As I began to sing deeper, those emotional tears began to pour from my eyes.
Some of the people were also singing and crying while others were blasting in tongues.
I glanced at Fred, with hands akimbo, he was shaking and nodding his head in all direction as though he was translated to another realm.
His voice was louder than every other person. It seemed he was trying to tell them that he prayed in tongue more than any of them as he seldom pray in the language of men.
It may surprise you to know that Fred was not the only person I was sleeping with.
I did those abominable acts outside the church too. I was scared that my evil deeds would one day be exposed if I involve other members. So, whenever those decent boys in my church asked my out, even for a serious relationship, I will politely turn them down preaching the gospel to them. Telling them how it’s going to affect our relationship with God but there was never a no from me to the outsiders: the fallen brethren as they will never be in my church to see me pray or sing.
You see eh! You would want to blame me for this hypocrisy of the highest order. Go ahead. Judge me, condemn me. Cast the first stone but remember, you didn’t die for me. It is Christ that died. Yes, it is God that justifies.
You may think I did not feel sad for myself. You may think I loved what I was doing.
No, to me, it was also disgusting. It made me look so dirty like a pig. It made feel like I did not belong to the family of the true children of Jesus Christ.
I have judged myself enough, so you don’t have to judge me again. If there’s anything to do, it’s to pray for me because secretly, I was dying.
Just like the church of Sardis, I had the reputation of being alive but I was dead. Yes, I had the reputation of being vibrant and burning for God but I was on my way to hell.
You may think I was not born again. Well, I was genuinely born again.
I spoke in the tongues of angels, I’ve received the gift of the Holy Spirit, yet, I was swimming in sin.
On Facebook and other social media, I was an apostle of holiness as I never ceased preaching and posting scriptures on my wall. My WhatsApp status was always preaching Christ but my lifestyle was contrary to the faith.
Apostle Paul said that he’s the worst of all sinners. I don’t want to drag that position with Elder Paul but one thing is certain, nobody can drag the second slot with me.
My situation became critical when I became addicted to sex. Sex became my driving force.
I was always happy during weekly fellowship as it was the only opportunity to visit Fred before heading to church together.
After fellowship, we’d return to his home for more fun before he would see me off.
When I could not make it to Fred’s home, I resorted to masturbation.
There was no single day passed by without me masturbating as I began to find it more pleasurable than sex.
Even on Sunday morning, before service, I would masturbate at home before handling the microphone on the pulpit to lead the praise and worship.
Don’t think I ever felt comfortable at the pulpit.
I hated myself for what I was doing. I only needed a way out of my predicament.
I was always kneeling at the front of the altar for every altar call. But that same evening, I would be in my room thrusting myself with cucumber.
I have gone days without food and water in the name of fasting but to no avail.
You see! Haven’t I tried?
You that want to judge me, how many days have you gone fasting and praying for your own secret sin? Or do you want to tell me that you’re not battling with any private sin?
Man may not be watching you but God watches everything that happens even in the most secret place.
So, please don’t judge me. I understand hypocrisy already. Or have you not read that you should get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye?
Oh young minister, put yourself right with God first and then we can sit down and talk judgment.
There was this day I rounded off my seven days fasting and prayer. I made up my mind never to see Fred again, never to masturbate again and never to see any guy again.
My determination worked perfectly well for weeks but after a month, I found myself in Fred’s bed again.
Pathetic, right? Very pathetic indeed. Fred shouted at me with rage and almost hit me for keeping him for a whole month without sex.
He threatened to quit the relationship but I begged with tears. The only thing that calmed him down was when I promised to spend the night with him instead of going to the vigil.
When it was dawn, I carried my Bible and went home. I did not just return to Fred, I returned to my old way of life.
For years, I continued living such a wayward and bitter life until one particular night.
After satisfying my inordinate desire, I picked up my Bible as usual and began to flip through its pages just to fulfill all righteousness and ease the guilt I was feeling.
I read several pages randomly. The urge to study that night was stronger than the urge for masturbation, even stronger than the urge for sex.
I continued reading carelessly until I came across Psalm 145:18-19.
I read it over and over, then over and over and over and over. For more than a dozen time, I was reading just these two verses.
I read it until it sank so deeply to my innermost being.
As I continued reading, tears began to well up in my eyes.
These were not the emotional tears I used to shed at the pulpit. These were tears I even tried to control but couldn’t.
When my Bible was getting soaked, I closed it and dropped it on my bed.
The next thing that happened was mysterious. I found myself on the floor, rolling, crying and praying.
“Lord, it’s either now or never. I die here tonight.
“Tonight, I bring into captivity every thought and fleshly pleasure to the obedience of Christ.
“My strength, my ability, my will, my wisdom, everything has failed me. It’s just you now oh Lord.
“Lord, may I never see the rising of the sun again until I’m delivered from every devourer.
“Lord Jesus, except you want me to die in my sin, you will deliver me tonight.”
I knew I was disturbing my parents and probably, neighbours but my problem was bigger than one sleepless night.
I thought I was disturbing my parents, but it didn’t take much time before I heard them blasting in tongues from their room.
That night, I didn’t sleep. Even when I wanted to sleep, I could not. I prayed till dawn then slept off.
When I woke up, it was around 9 a.m. I switched on my phone and it was Fred’s message that came in.
Gud mrning lov,
D tot of U cudn’t allow
me sleep last 9t.
I mesmerized ova ur
beauty & ur magical
touch till dawn.
Wherever U ar is
exactly where I wnt 2 b
I’ve wasted too much
I dnt wnt 2 waste
anoda single day
without U & I’m ready 2
make it up 4 d lost
Baby do U mind
comin ova later in d
I no U wudnt mind.
I love U. Expecting U
I stared at my phone a bit confused if to reply or not. After a second thought, I pulled off my sim card and broke it into pieces.
“I’m starting afresh,” I murmured. And as if pushed by an external force, I opened my drawer. I stared at the cucumbers and the toys I bought and shame overwhelmed me. Slowly, I began to break everything. “I’m done with you,” I spoke to the toy as though it could hear. “I’m done with sin,” I continued talking to myself.
As I searched my room thoroughly for all the instruments of sin, a song came to my lips.
I’m no longer a slave
To sin (fear),
I am a child of God.
I sang only the chorus for hours reminding myself who I’ve become.
Days rolled into weeks and weeks into months, I did not go to Fred’s home neither did I do anything stupid.
I thought of Fred several times and the urge came powerfully sometimes. Of course, I’m human.
The urge was there but the power and grace to overcome was stronger.
I would stare at the mirror and applaud myself for not going back to the way it used to be.
I would use my right hand to shake my left hand in jubilation congratulating myself.
I still remember when I took myself out on a date. Funny, isn’t it? That’s what we called self-crush.
You may think I over acted. I don’t really mind.
You will never know what it is like to be free until you have found freedom in Christ Jesus. I am sure you will celebrate more than I did.
One of the mistakes the devil made was that he still allowed me to fellowship with the brethren even in my sin.
He still allowed me to pray and study even after committing those evil acts.
If he was wise, he would have cut me off from the gathering of the brethren.
Had he known, he would have sealed my lips from praying to God who was actually waiting for me to call upon Him.
And because he was not all knowing, he couldn’t stop me from praying and he couldn’t have ever stopped God from answering my prayer.
After three months, I found myself in Fred’s house again.
I was surprised too because I thought I’d never go there again but it’s like I was compelled.
No! It’s not what you are thinking. Haba na! I did not go alone. I went with the Most High. I went to offer him Christ.
I stood at the door feeling reluctant to knock. After a while, I did.
He opened the door and was surprised to see me. He stood at the door confused whether to let me in or not. We stood in total silence staring at each other.
After awhile, I broke the silence, “Fred, I’m….”
“No! No! No!” he cut in. “You don’t need to be sorry,” he said emphatically. I should be the one apologising.
“Onyeche, I’m sorry, it’s over between us.”
“Over?” I asked faking the surprise just to hear more.
“Please forgive me Onyeche, you’re now my past.”
“Fred, what happened? Did I do anything wrong?” The woman in me wouldn’t tell him the reason I visited. I wanted to feed my curiosity.
“No Onye, you didn’t do anything wrong. It’s just that I have found true love.”
“Fred will never change,” I chuckled. “Is that why you couldn’t even welcome me in? Is she inside?”
“Nobody is in,” he said paving the curtain to give me a better view of the room.
“You mean your love for me was never true? Where did I get it wrong Fred?” I enquired just to hear his opinion because from onset, I knew we were into an illicit love affair that will lead to nowhere except hell.
“Onyeche, I must confess, you were not my first love. I left my first love for you. I thought I could hold on to both of you at a time but it’s never possible. I’ve decided to return and start all over again with my first love.”
“Hmm! Who could that be Fred? You told me you love me and promised never to let me go.”
“This love is different from what I felt for you then,” he said confidently exuding great joy.
“This love is genuine. This love is pure. This love doesn’t fail. This love has covered my past and given a future. This love is shed abroad in my heart.” He was nodding his head as he spoke with total peace.
“Onyeche,” he called placing his hands on my shoulders. “I HAVE FOUND TRUE LOVE IN CHRIST JESUS. I have returned to my first love. Onyeche, there is no better love than the love of Christ. There is no love outside Christ. What have we gained from the sin we called love? What has fornication added to our lives? Why not give this love a chance to find its expression in your life?”
The joy I felt in my spirit knew no bounds when I heard those words from Fred.
“Fred, this love is what brought me here. This love found me some months back. I came here just to offer you this love but I’m overwhelmed with joy to know that this love has found you too. This is miraculous.”
“It is the Lord’s doing,” he said. “Do you mind coming in?” he added leading the way.
“No, I don’t mind,” I replied as I followed from behind.
This time around, I was not on his bed. We knelt beside his bed in prayer thanking God for His unfailing love, amazing grace and His undeserved mercy.
I was dead, and now alive again; I was lost, and found.
I am Onyeche, I only exist in
To all those in the church of God but still struggling with one sin or the other.
Don’t just relax in that sin. Hold on to Christ for a little while.
He is more interested in helping you than you are interested in helpinghelping yourself. Just one more prayer and you will see the handiwork of God.
Remain blessed. See a good follow up to that choir mistress story. Thank God that she repented, anyway.
We can speak in tongues and miss heaven.
We can win souls and miss heaven.
We can see vision and miss heaven.
We can prophesy and still miss heaven.
We can cast out devil and miss heaven.
We can perform miracles and still miss heaven.
We can read the whole Bible and miss heaven.
We can attend all church services, fellowship activities and camp meetings and miss heaven.
We can have anointing and miss heaven.
We can have all spiritual gifts and miss heaven.
We can be rich, prosperous and wealthy and still miss heaven.
We can give and sow seeds and still miss heaven.
We can wield power and be influential and still miss heaven.
We can have a powerful voice to sing and miss heaven.
we can also have fame and popularity and miss heaven.
•••But we cannot LIVE A HOLY LIFE and miss heaven•••
HOLINESS IS THE REAL DEAL!
Without holiness through salvation in Christ, one will not make heaven.
Forwarding this is Evangelism.
Let us win a soul for Christ.
With the recent crisis in Kaduna State, Northern Nigerian, which broke out on Thursday 18th October, 2018, the almost immediate spill over on Sunday 21st October, 2018, and then the Friday 26th October, 2019; this latest one following this breaking news:
“KIDNAPPED AGOM ADARA MURDERED
The king of Adara, Kachia LGA, Southern Kaduna, His Highness, Dr Maiwada Galadima, Agom Adara, who was kidnapped on the Oct 19, on his way back from a meeting with Gov El-Rufai has been murdered after the payment ₦5 million ransom.”
The criticism has been centered on this being a political killing….
Some want it to be known that the State Government under the leadership of Mal. El- Rufai has shown it’s clear disdain for southern sections of the State because of the incessant problem in these areas.
The Fulani herdsmen tagged conflict in these southern most part of the state has not fully abated & a majority of these sections had voted against the ruling party in previous elections, regardless of the official results announced after the last LG elections.
Governor El-Rufai’s utterances & actions, since assuming office has been said by some critics to have breeded the current crisis and killings going on in Kaduna state. To these persons El-Rufia’s utterances have always been laddened with hate for these particular section of the state.
Watch this video https://t.co/oyxtG897V5
But though El-Rufai is not known for moderation & tact in his blunt utterances, but he is not entirely wrong.
It is true that the narrative on BOTH sides has been lace with more exclusive undertones than unconditional peaceful overtures.
The Story of Kaduna’s reoccurring ethnic-religious crisis is that of endless reprisals.
I read the perfect most story recently that all the people in Kaduna must read.
A delightful cousin of mine had put it up on whassap.
“At the time of Obatala The King in Yoruba land,
Three people came to him dragging a young man with them and said to him:
Kabiyesi!!! (Your highness) This man has murdered our father.
Obatala: Why did you kill their father?
Young man: I’m a goatherd. My goat ate from their father’s farm, and he threw a stone at my goat and it died; so I also took the stone and threw it at their father and he also died.
Obatala: Because of this, I pass judgment on your charge of murder by sentencing you to death.
The Young man said:
I ask for 3 days before you execute the judgment. My late father left me some wealth and I have a sister to take care of. If you kill me now, the wealth and my sister will have no guardian.
Obatala: Who will stand for your bail?
Young man: Looking into the crowd, he pointed at Lamurudu.
Obatala asked: Do you agree to stand for him, Lamurudu?
Lamurudu answered, Beeni (yes).
Obatala enquired further: You agree to stand for someone you don’t know, and if he doesn’t return you’ll receive his penalty.
Lamurudu answered: I accept.
The young man left but after two days, and into the third day there was still no sign of him.
Everyone was very afraid for Lamurudu who had accepted to receive the penalty of death if the man failed to return.
Just before it was time for dinner, the Goat Herdsman appeared looking very exhausted and he stood before Obatala.
The Young man spoke up: I have handed the wealth and the welfare of my sister to my uncle and I am back to receive the penalty.
You may execute the penalty now.
In great shock and surprise, Obatala said: And why did you return after having a chance to escape the death penalty?
I was afraid, it will appear that humanity has lost integrity and the ability to fulfill promises kept”.
Obatala turned and looked at Lamurudu and asked him: And why did you stand for him?
I was afraid, it might appear that humanity have lost the will to do good to others.”
These words and events moved the brothers who had wanted justice for their father’s death very deeply and they decided to forgive the young goat herdsman.
In furious anger, Obatala asked “Why?!!!”
We are afraid, it will appear as though forgiveness has lost place in the heart of humanity.
I have also share this beautiful message and passed it on with the hope that it might be a reminder of how forgiveness is an integral aspect of peace. Such that doing good may not be ever lost to us.
I encourage all the sides in Kaduna to embrace peace, forgive & forget all the ills supposedly done to them in the past or present. Let it pass on, or else I fear that…. Our humanity is slowly being lost.
Be safe & God bless you always.
By Ahmed Yahaya Joe.
I personally took the attached photograph on the Plateau earlier this year in June on my way from Kaduna to Jos through Manchok via Vom. I was awed by the engineering genius in the road construction. Barely a week later that same road reportedly had become a killing fields of sorts particularly for delegates returning back to the North East from the APC national convention held in Abuja. That is how precarious that axis of Nigeria despite that many of us are still pretending that the nation is not dangerously sitting on a time bomb following latest events on the Plateau.
Call them potato chips or French fries you can’t have any without the Berom just as you can’t traduce the Fulani and still enjoy your Suya or Cow tail pepper soup anywhere in Nigeria. We are therefore all involved on the Plateau. That nevertheless it would be an act of deliberate mischief and reckless presumptuousness to box the Berom into a genocidal corner despite the circumstantial evidence recently found at a pond in Du District.
This is simply because an alleged crime scene is very much different from a suspected dump site. No doubt there is probable cause for complicity that however does not translate into credible evidence against the entire Berom. Truth is General Alkali and other hapless Nigerians suspected to be victims in the vicinity of Du are actually collateral damage of a longstanding proxy war of historic elite dynamics on the Plateau. That notwithstanding the suspected perpetuators of whatever led to Alkali’s car been found at the bottom of a Du pond must be fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law. Permit me to reemphasize that the rule of law must prevail. While that would bring some semblance of justice and temporary succor for the nation at large what of the fundamental issues that created the enabling environment for the dumpsite to exist in the first place?
The fire on the mountain currently on the Plateau is all part of the symptoms of a deeper malaise caused by the stubborn virus of religion. Merely treating its symptoms without ridding the underlying virus will continuously be an exercise of futility for the nation. If so what then are the fundamental issues bedeviling the Plateau? Jos is a Green Line of sorts which makes it the Nigerian version of Jerusalem. Jos is the home of the Izala sect founded by Samaila Idris a religiously controversial army officer that was forcibly retired in 1978 who hails from Bauchi’s Jahun Fulani clan. He set of up JIBWIS that his one-time teacher Abubakar Gumi became the Grand Patron of. The Sunni Izala is essentially Wahabbist and anti-Sufi. Their openly confrontational stand to all others that don’t subscribe to their teachings does not need further elaboration here.
Meanwhile Jos is also the home base of the Sudan United Mission that was the arrow head of missionary activities in the non-emirate areas of the North. That is one aspect. The other is Jos is the capital city of Middle Belt consciousness making the Plateau a perfect storm waiting to happen in the political North. Under such circumstances the truth and level headedness are normally the first casualties. With Jos being hotly contested historically between the Berom “Gwash” narrative and the Hausa-Fulani “Jas” counter narrative the battle lines are therefore well entrenched and rest is now living history. As the say in the Middle East if the talking stops the shooting starts.
The Northern Muslim intelligentsia and North’s Christian must find common ground in Jos or there will be much more General Alkalis which an endless number of Zaki Biams or even Odis can never stop. History has a curious way of repeating itself. First as tragedy then as farce.
The Nigerian Army on 15th January 1966 lost its present day equivalent of Chief of Administration then known as Adjutant General in person of Lt Col James Pam. He hailed from Du and his body was never found after he was abducted by mutinous troops loyal to the infamous “5 Majors” from his Ikoyi residence. 52 years later the same institution has lost another Admin chief in Du District under the same circumstances of inter-communal violence as one section of the Nigerian polity angrily raises up against another. Both chiefs have somehow become victims of the inherent contradictions of our nation building process.
Have we not learnt anything in 5 decades? Back then drums of war were beaten right now drums of war are still beaten. Back then also there was anger and revulsion in segments of Nigeria. Right now there is still that same kind of anger and revulsion. What historical inferences can we draw from the unfortunate incidences of 1966 than could serve for us as useful signposts in 2018? That should be the topic of conversation.
Every issue in Nigeria no matter how complicated has a big picture and a small one. In any case apart from its infamous pond what else is Du known for? Du is the home district of Lt Col James Pam, DIG Victor Pam and Air Cmdr Jonah Jang. The senior Pam was the 4th most senior Northerner in the army when the unfortunate events of 15th January 1966 unfolded. His esteemed seniors Maimalari, Kur, Largema also lost their lives alongside his good self.
He was the Adjutant General having taken over that office from his bosom friend Yakubu Gowon who had to proceed to Staff College in the UK. The police Pam was billed to by seniority succeed Gambo Jimeta as IGP but was seconded to the National Guard instead. He would later be Gbong Gwom of Jos in 2004. A tough cop he met the Maitasine sect eyeball to eyeball in Kano, Bulunkutu, Gombe and Jimeta. He also set up the Mopol school in Gwoza.
Many political pundits have put it that if his Mopol hardware ordered from abroad had arrived earlier the coup to topple Shehu Shagari would have failed. As the monarch of Jos he criminalized selling of any Berom land to non-Christians and any Christian parents whose daughter converted thrown out of the Church a source put it to me. He also attempted ridding Berom land of its famed Burkutu small scale industry. He woefully failed.
Little wonder before joining the police in 1958 he trained as a priest at the famous TCNN in Bukuru. Jang on the other hand if it would be recalled was Military Administrator of the former Gongola and Benue respectively under IBB. Shortly earning his first star he was appointed head of air force logistics then almost immediately retired. He is still bitter which trickled down to the rest of the Berom.
IBB ever the Maradona would then appoint Lamba Gwom a former Navy paymaster to replace Domkat Bali on the FEC to water down Berom anger. Worthy of mention is the “Langtang Mafia” that apparently came into ascendancy as the Berom star was dimming. They were AFRC members when Jos South and Bukuru LGs separately created to diffuse Jos North. That is why I had earlier mentioned elite dynamics and its overall effect on what is playing on the Plateau.
Without understanding the context and background of this multitude of diverse factors how can a veritable solution ever be crafted out on the Plateau? God bless Nigeria.
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.
Fever: The Origins of Fever (Book I)
Fever: Rising Temperature of Fever (Book II)
Fever: The Appetite of Fever (Book III)
Fever: Gentle Aching Fever (Book IV)
Fever: The Coldness of Fever (Book V)
Life is not everything, a shadow of me, exists out there somewhere in the sea. Breath is not everything, a slight tense, is making the waking dream come sense. Light is not everything, the new dark comes, for the lonely soul who think he has won. Dark is not everything, light burns the night away […]
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.
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.
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.
Fever: The Appetite of Fever (Book III)
The Poet in the Poem
Strangest explosion rocks the Karachi international airport just as a massive deployment of US marines arrived the busy airport. Stories of the victims and their relatives, responders and their purpose, perpetrators and their reasons, unfolds a tale of current resolutions based on old conceptions. The narrative tells of the most diverse colorful global characters surrounded with a good mix of friends and foes.
There is David Holden, the English Doctor who loves humanity more than his origins. His idea of getting use to scarcity in the midst of plenty paid off in his later years as a charitable medical doctor with the United Nations, WHO and Red Cross, while working with refugees all around the world.
Abdul Kazaar Ali is Doctor Holden’s opportunistic aged patient who lives out his perception of Muslim norms like he desires. In Karachi, bearded old men must daily demand the honourable respect only reserved for them after death. Only the living can tell the honour bestowed on them and the dead, the judgment they spent a life-time waiting for. Abdul Kazzar wanted his reward on earth and his son; Umar Ali, held much promise after he ran off to England and started working in London to learn the lucrative wisdom of the English.
Aaamu and her mother Rael are Kenyans with Somalian origins. They live by their wits as their circumstances allow. Ladies always come first in typical English fashion and Rael Amu is obsessed with being first but there are very few things in which a young Muslim maiden gets to be first in. Rael passed on her obsession to her daughter and gave her all the tools she needs to be first.
Then there is Fatima, who is smart enough to outwit her sexuality but too human to resist normalcy. From a tender age Fatima figured out that she only got a better deal when she isn’t identified as Arab or Muslim. In America the distinction between the two is inconsequential. Fatima only had to behave ideally in the care of her uncle, Suleiman.
Suleiman’s wife is a delightful gentle half-literate girl named Khadija. She is younger than Fatima and imported from Yemen especially for marriage. Khadija came to Suleiman untarnished by western ways and speaking some English, just enough. Partially caged-in, according to Suleiman’s mildly liberal interpretations of Islamic rites, who ensured Khadija isn’t more exposed than her elbows. But Khadija discovered a lot more than Suleiman cared for.
Ruth is the young Israeli genius whose Jewish father; Avi Jonah, gave her a lot more than just his name. She was born in Tel Aviv and grew up there into a strong healthy industrious lady. Ruth had a pleasant childhood, unlike her controvertial nation’s. All through history every true super power took its turn in bullying the proud Jews.
Avi Jonah is more Hebrew than he is Jewish, that comes across in his lessons to Ruth and her siblings. It is the Hebrews forte to be proficient in history and like everybody else, their history is always opinionated.
Lee is Ruth’s Chinese boyfriend and school-mate in London, who is trying out his fantasies alongside his opinions. Lee didn’t talk much and hated talking about himself to anyone, Ruth was the only exception. Lee spent most of his leisure time, while growing up in main land China, learning what most enlightened minds in the world had to say about things. His brilliant mind was full of information about diverse cultures from every part of the world.
Professor Henry Benjamin is Lee’s octogenarian landlord, a world renown, multiple award winning, retired academician with many reputable publications to his credit. The steady presence of Lee and his equally excellent girlfriend was a big plus for the aged man with a very weak heart.
Then there is Sean Samuel, the Irish-American reporter with a huge reputation he constantly seeks to live up to, like his proud American nation. Sean wasn’t ever much of a fighter, with his uncles’ tough reputation he never had cause to prove he is a descendant of an Irish gangster from Dublin who migrated to New York city to continue being a crook.
A MUST READ
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.
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
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.
Everyone Hates The English
By Yas Niger
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
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.
Everyone Hates The English
By Yas Niger
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
So tweet it, post it and get everyone to read this unique book that will surely get everyone thinking about why #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish or think they do.
GET A COPY NOW!!!
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 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.
The indigenes of the region are vastly non-Muslims and Animists. The festival they came for is an annual celebration, when local pagans made merry and feast all day long in honour of their symbols of worship. Kengua and the driver had to make twice the normal effort to find a local who speaks the uncomplicated Hausa they were familiar with. They were lucky and got a lot more than they had hoped for when they stumble into an English speaking fellow, seated alone in an old plastic chair. This fellow was only too happy to answer all their questions.
He is amiable fellow with a loud voice and the befitting cheery nickname of Bantimu. He offered to show them round and be their guide the next day too. Bantimu had gladly offered Kengua and the driver seats beside him. He gave them cold drinks and introduced his beautiful wife when she came over with the drinks. Bantimu and his wife were a delight to watch together. She mocked him for being a baby because he wouldn’t let her burst open a swollen boil on his knee. Kengua especially loved hearing Bantimu translate his wife’s words as she teased her husband incessantly with humorous gaily jibes. His translations got quite the rapturous laughing admiration of his impromptu guests and farther encouraged his wife to pester him some more.
Finally Bantimu succumbed and exposed his leg by raising the lower edge of the long Arabian robe he had on. He revealed a visibly inflated knee, to let his wife attend to the shiny turgid boil dead in the middle of his right knee. Bantimu’s wife sat on the floor in front of him, with a pin and some cotton wool. She pierced the boil and Kengua sort of enjoyed the sight of Bantimu’s brave facial expression as he dealt with the first wave of pain from the pin prick. He was however not as successful with the increased pain of the letting out of the pus from the boil.
“Good boy,” Bantimu’s wife coaxed him in her good mimic of her husband, imitating Bantimu rather than speaking English. She giggled as she stood up, after letting out most of the milky bloody pus trapped inside her husband’s swollen knee. She didn’t apply anything to the deflated boil before leaving the now gashed wound open to heal on its own, naturally.
The quite lyrical beauty of Bantimu’s conversation skills began to show as they sat in the fast aging day, sipping cold drinks and enjoying the view of the busy neighbourhood.
“Everyone’s life is like a swollen boil, isn’t it?” Bantimu started off on his first of many thrilling monologues of the day. “Many years ago, as a child, my friends and I had the misfortune of relying on a braggart older teenage fool to teach us how to swim in our local river. We had no idea he couldn’t swim either but because he was a lot older and taller than we were, we assumed he could. He would walk firmly but gingerly, with his feet touching the muddy slimy bottom of the not so shallow waters. I can’t remember his real name but everyone in our village called him Dada, because he had a natural growth of tightly dreadlocked hair. Well, we all thought it was only natural that a fellow like him should swim like a fish.
“Dada was a very tall fellow for his age and was able to barely keep his chin above the water surface with just marginal difficulty, as he almost effortlessly momentarily leaped and bounced off the rather close water depth for him. The lad simply tiptoed with the long reach of his strong athletic tall legs beneath him and moved with relative ease. He beat his arms through the water surface as he pretended to swim when he was actually just walking on the bottom of the slow flowing river. We couldn’t tell what he was doing because the greenish shade of the water made the rivers depth hazy and we couldn’t see beneath his chest. We merely saw a brave swimmer.
“Many months later, Dada lost his footing and slipped one day. The slight current of the river carried him further into the slightly deeper part of the water. When he got back on his feet, he had a shock. His head stayed submerged even when he leap. We could see his frantic waving hands as he gulped down large mouthfuls of water with each time he tried to call for help.
“Oddly, we had all become more capable learners than he was a reliable teacher and two of his best pupils swam over to his rescue. We pretended to accept his story about his feet being tangled up in some underwater reed and only laughed behind Dada’s back about the incident, more out fear than respect. He was a lot bigger than we were and could beat us silly.”
Kengua wished he had come along with his mini tape recorder, as Bantimu concluded his short story telling with a philosophical flourish.
“Two of us saved Dada’s life that day. If he hadn’t held us up in turns, inside the water almost daily, while we beat our feet and arms in swimming motions as he stood firmly up on the river’s muddy bottom, giving us his bogus lessons on how to swim, he would have drown that afternoon. He invariably saved his own life because he had taught us how to swim.”
Kengua naturally wanted to know if Dada ever learned to swim as they grew older. Bantimu shook his head negatively in reply. It is a common way of answering in the mid-west of Africa.
“He actually never did. Dada was too proud to admit he didn’t know how swim. It became increasingly difficult for him to reveal this as each one of his old students became very strong swimmer. He actually stopped going to the river all together.
“Dada’s life story likens my boil, doesn’t it?” Bantimu concluded. The philosophical end to the story’s message wasn’t much, but it was sort of worth the short wait, the smiling Kengua reflected. They stayed with Bantimu until early in the evening, when they returned to their hotel.
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.
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?”
It is inside us, just right within,
Where it sees through us so thin
And struggles to appear right out,
To roam and enjoy its world about.
Alive so well to breed its yield;
It pushes and urges us to build
A worldly home for it and us
To wait outside, in mutual loss.
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Kengua is a transsexual journalist and Laraba is his female colleague, who refuses to be evaded by him. They live out their race for a culled national prestige and their chase for emotional comfort in the intrigues of a demanding society and the diverse people traversing it. Their demand for objectivity is swallowed up in their parochial subjective nature as unconventional controversial persons.
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This is the story of Kengua, a transsexual journalist, and Laraba, (Strength of a Woman) his female colleague and suitor who refuses to be evaded by him. They are both impressive reporters and this is the story they both live in their race for a culled national prestige.
The tale tells of their chase for an emotional comfort with or without each other, in the intrigues of a demanding society and the diverse people traversing it. Their story takes a haphazard order, seemingly in the future but in a distorted lingering present, but still in a past not ended distinctly. This is their romantic tale, that of the aromatic irrepressible choking political complexities of the Nigeria they inhabit, the civility it borrows but does not keep or practices.
The story is particularly styled to challenge the accepted logical world patterns and its deliberately numbed obvious contradictions.Their demand for objectivity in every possible regard is swallowed up with their own parochial subjective nature as unconventional characters and controversial individuals. This is elabourately ordered to accommodate the magical realism in the bluntness of its entire encompassing exposition.
Nelson Mandela had an acute lung infection and was having serious breathing complications. He was ill and bedridden for months and kept hidden from the public eyes all through this time. This certainly meant he was in such a bad state and needed help to breathe well. He most likely was put on a ventilator or assisted by some artificial means.
This assistance had most probably kept him alive all those last few months he was alive. For how long was this the case, you wonder? If this assistance was finally taken away, wouldn’t we be correct to conclude that Mandela was finally allowed to die?
Whose decision was this & was it deliberately timed to suit someone’s own idea of the perfect time to let Madiba die?
What do you think?
Does Madiba get his Heaven?
God is our refuge and strength,
An ever present help in trouble,
Therefore we will not fear breath;
Though earth gives way and rumble
And the mountains fall and bolt
Into the heart of the sea and tumble.
Though water roam and so foam,
Mountains quake with great surge;
There is a river whose streams hum
To make glad God’s city and age.
Holy a place and the most high home;
God is within and she wouldn’t plunge.
He lifts His voice, earth melts away.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall.
God will help her at break of day,
The Lord Almighty is with us all;
God of Jacob is our fortress and way,
Come and see His works stand tall.
The desolations He has brought to earth;
He makes wars cease to the ends of it.
He breaks the bow and spears He melts;
The shields He burns with His heat.
“Be still, and know that I AM THE GOD,
I will be exalted among the nations;
I will be exalted in the earth as GOD.”
The Lord Almighty is with us, all nations,
Our fortress is Jacob’s own GOD.
Backwards please do go to pry,
From view points of each do try
To source each as they did emerge
From crude history true to its age.
Found will be too separate two,
From one clan each is so true.
With different names they came
And linage as privy not same.
Each lifted above earthly peers;
One leaning on another it clears
The difference that voids a union
In humans’ quest for dominion.
The likeness so falsely sought
In the faiths’ mingled thought;
To knit a very cloth-able peace,
Stresses the difference not at ease.
These differences peace they sort;
For Ishmael’s gift isn’t Abram’s lot.
The famous old birth of aged Sarah’s
Hadn’t the convenience of lowly Hagar’s.
The trail of a footprint will form
Always a route headed and from.
A lion will never eat any grass
Or sheep eat meat so as to pass.
He reigns and reigns,
Now as had always.
He reigns and reigns,
Over all and always.
He reigns and reigns,
Every time in all ways.
Always He reigns;
He reigns always.
It says it has again erred
In learning lessons it knows
And had over a time tried
To live in its faith so loose.
Clasped handed, kneel or like;
It finds pleasure in saying them,
These words that should only milk
Its soul’s truth and not its claim.
Soliciting for rights it can call
To make tangible intangible breath.
As the dead are without fear all,
It tries to bring to safety its faith.
Beating drums sing their faith;
Wailing faith’s revelry is late.
Tears of men will disappoint yet;
As prayers hover in endless wait.
Spirituality is not religion and
The spirit’s faith made the man.
For here hinges hope men sang;
They say who really is the pagan.