Archive for March, 2015

Nail Biting Suspense. Jega is a sadist! One more break I will shoot myself #NigeriaDecides

March 31, 2015

This is torture!

While many Nigerians including many of my friends rejoice at the possible election of Buhari….I shudder…

Still I am just one of 160 million or like Bright Simons so brightly pointed out maybe less than that but still some millions. Bright could it be a ploy to dominate the rest of the region?

More than half the country voted for Buhari but don’t forget almost half of them voted against him. There is still sanity in the land.

To my numerous friends who supported Buhari I would like to say the same thing I tell my Christian friends when they want to wnagilize to me. Keep your religion. Don’t try to convert me with prattle. Perhaps you can convert me with your character and your actions. At the moment I’m not impressed. Stop trying to bully everyone that does not agree with you into your religion.

I am a progressive. And I am a proud Nigerian. I have never had any other passport but a Nigerian passport much to the shock of everyone who knows me. While I may at times toy with the idea I really do not want any other passport. And that’s for me. I’m not judging anyone that has one. I’m just saying I’m alright with being a Nigerian. It ain’t that bad…at all at all. Don’t judge ME

I long for Nigeria to reach its full potential and for all her citizens to have the liberty and freedom to pursue their dreams. Whatever they maybe. But I know that these clowns are from the same circus as the old clowns. And I fear that they will do the country more harm than good in the long run. I was also being a clown. Sometimes I forget but hey….surrounded by clowns….and when we forget that it’s all just a cosmic circus…sometimes we take ourselves too seriously…

The election is over… let’s just be friends

That said I am indeed proud that maybe just maybe we will have a peaceful democratic change of government in this country.

That maybe just maybe elections reflect the will of the majority….even if they are deluded clowns.

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The Integrity of the Vote MUST Be Maintained #NigeriaDecides

March 30, 2015

Nigerians have voted. I stood in the sun with them and watched them vote. Their will MUST prevail whatever the IJAW, the IBO, the HAUSA, the KANURI the PDP or the APC think.

While it is undeniable that there have been many irregularities NATIONWIDE the observers are right – overall the entire process is credible.

It would be unconscionable for the federal government to seek to use the instruments of state to hold on to power once the people have spoken through the ballot box. The Nigerian civil society is vigilante.

Any politician that refuses to accept the manifest will of the people and calm his followers should be noted and reported for hate speech and inciting violence. Please note – your evidence maybe needed in a court of justice.

Let peace reign. Say NO to Violence.

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Hilltop Primary School, Umuaka March 28, 2015 The people’s votes COUNT

I’m Not Voting – Here Is Why #NigeriaDecides

March 27, 2015

I was in the UK during voters registration. I couldn’t register in the UK.  And I couldn’t come back to Nigeria just to register. Makes me wonder why in the 21st century I have to be physically present in my country of residence to register or even to vote. So that was how I was disenfranchised.

The National Conference approved voting rights for the Nigeria ‘Diapora’. But Andy Uba, Chairman Senate Committee on Electoral said that it wasn’t possible because Nigerian Embassies don’t have data on all Nigerians living abroad. David mark, Senate President said it the logistics are impossible and too expensive.

“Nigerians in the Diaspora have expressed their anger over their imminent disenfranchisement from the 2015 General Elections beginning on Saturday.” 

I’m not a ‘Nigerian in Diaspora’. Do you people even now the meaning of Diaspora? It sounds like a slave term. Like ‘mulatto’ or ‘half caste’. It is not sexy. Economic migrant sounds better. Or lets appropriate the white mans term – Nigerian Expatriates. Anyway. I was a Nigerian ‘in transit’. Absentee, not Diaspora. Not Expatriate. I was gone for a while. I didn’t even work. I’m not resident over there.

What I needed was an absentee voters process. I don’t think I need a constitutional amendment to get that done. I don’t think it will cost all that much. What will an extra 152 card readers at each embassy cost? And an online link? Some extra training? But I know it cant and won’t be done any time soon

There are a lot of things that can’t be done in Nigeria and wont be done till we implement a national identity scheme. The ‘rulers’ don’t want to implement it because then we night actually know exactly how many Nigerians live where and might actually start an equitable revenue allocation system.

We don’t have data on Nigerians living in Nigeria! Is Andy Uba a moron?

Until thats done, until someone at Aso Rock grabs his or her balls and does it even at risk of death by assassination or political death there will be no development in Nigeria. That should be the first promise from anyone that is sincere about reforming Nigeria and ending impunity and corruption. Not how many jobs you going to create. Who you creating them for? You don’t know do you?

This lack of a national registration system also hampers development in the private sector. I know entrepreneurs are getting creative to overcome the challenge but it imposes limits on a sector that needs to grow to get Nigeria out of its present doldrums.  We don’t even have an accurate census. Until we fix that one this will remain a zoo.

So, I’m not voting but I am going out there to observe and report on what I see. That is also my constitutional right as a Nigerian citizen.

Vote wisely And remember, we will do it again in 4 years. Its not a do or die affair.

Say no to violence.

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In Case You Been Wondering I’m In Umuaka for #NigeriaDecides2015

March 26, 2015

A lot of people been asking what I’m doing in the village. Maybe you thought about it but were to polite to ask. Its really none of your business but I don’t mind telling you … you know me…I’m an open book. I like to explain to people why my way is the best way…for me anyway.

It all started last year…or was it in 2013 sef. You know by now I spent the last two years knocking around south east England. Yes, imagine. That I had that kind of time and leisure. I am truly blessed beyond words. Don’t hate.

My first year In England I lived in a small village called Westmeston. Population 350. I couldn’t help comparing it to my village. Mind you in Umuaka per capita GDP is $3527 slightly more than the national average of $2800. In Westmeston it’s almost £40,000, well over the UK average of £27,100. The Westmeston population drive Ferrari’s, Bugatti’s and Bentleys. I stayed on a manor estate – Middleton Manor. When I went for walks I had to give way to horses.

A 30 minute walk from Westmeston is Ditchling – population 3000. And home to the nearest pub.

The car park at the Bull the local pub in Ditchling was always full of expensive cars. If you saw a regular Rover its because the owner left his or her Range Rover at home. My daily walks terminated at The Bull. I became a regular. They even knew my name. 

It was during those walks between Westmeston and Ditchling that I began to think of all the things that could be done in my village, Umuaka. I couldn’t help but think how focused Nigerians are on the federal Presidency in Nigeria and completely ignorant of our the local governments and most of our states.

While we chase the cat for stealing the cream, we ignore the mice that are stealing the cheese.

The building blocks of the nation, the 447 local government areas ARE the key to grass roots development. I want to find out up close and personal exactly what is going on right here in my village and my local government. Is there local government accountability? Are they creating economic opportunities? I want to know.

Whether we like it or not elections are not lost or won on Twitter, Facebook or even in Abuja. Elections are lost and won in the local governments and in the wards. Until we all start to pay attention to what happens in the local governments – politically and administratively – we can’t create the change we want.

Can we change the administration of local governments? Who can make Rochas  conduct local government elections? Who will penalise Rochas for withholding more than 80% of the local governments monthly allocation? What can be done about so called transition chairmen in Imo State going to kiss ass each month to get just barely enough to pay salaries including their own?

Let’s not be deceived by sycophancy, rhetoric and vitriol.

Vote wisely beautiful people. And remember, we get another chance in 4 years.

Diseye Tantua a talented Nigerian artist has made the molue the subject of a series of  delightful 'African pop art' paintings.

Diseye Tantua a talented Nigerian artist has made the molue the subject of a series of delightful ‘African pop art’ paintings.

Reporting Police Abuses from Umuaka in Imo State

March 11, 2015

This morning at about 10am I heard an altercation on the main road in front of Hilltop Primary School. Some of the children were playing outside less than 100 yards away. The altercation was between an illegal police check point right in front of the school where the road was bad forcing vehicles to slow down.

The police at the check point had tried to stop a G Wagon that was passing. The driver didn’t stop at first then stopped a little way in front. The police, apparently enraged, jumped into his car and seized the car keys. The driver, aware resisted them and before you know it shots were fired. More people gathered.

The gathered Umuaka Youths became restive. Calls were made, the DPO and the DCO arrived with a squad of police men. The DPO tried to convince the driver to go to the police station with them and settle the matter but he resisted. The crowd grew. The mob remembered the police. The police remembered the mob.

In 2006 twin brothers from Achara Umuaka that excavated sand by the River Njaba for a living – the only job creating industry in Umuaka and an ecological disaster – were in a tipper going to work. They had just dropped firewood for their old mother and before proceeding for the days work. They got to the police check point just before the Njaba bridge. It was always there extorting money from the industry.

The police stopped the tipper. The driver didn’t or couldn’t stop, a police man jumped up on the running board and shot the driver through the window. The tipper went out of control and rolled over. The twins in the flat bed of the truck were crushed under it and died instantly. The youths of Umuaka heard and a mob proceeded to the crash site.

That day was a day in the history of Umuaka. The youths burnt the police vehicle at the check point and went and sacked the police station. All the police officers ran away. The rioting youths broke into the armoury and took all the weapons. That night there was an air of celebration in the air. The occupiers had been defeated. But the feeling didn’t last for long.

The commissioner of police sent for reinforcements from Calabar. The next morning they invaded the community. Four battalions of anti riot police men drove through the town shooting sporadically. The citizens abandoned what ever they were doing and ran into the bush. An eye witness describes a siege and seeing the old and physically challenged running for dear life. The immobile were left behind.

After scattering and subduing the populace the police looted and destroyed the market. They broke into shops and scattered the contents, pouring vegetable oil into rice strewn across the street and mixing rice and garri from sacks. Only they know what may have happened to any money or other valuables.

Today a community leader faced off with the police, reminding them of the restiveness of Umuaka youths, questioning their wisdom in firing shots so close to a school and what may have happened if there had been a death. The DPO is new, he doesn’t know the history or he wants to win his promotion by subduing the restive town. That may be a hard sell.

Did I mention before that there is a ‘Biafra Command” here? I’ve asked what it means but no one wants to tell me. Is it because I am a woman? I laugh in Igbo.

I’m watching.

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