The Pilgrim at the Airport 

Her complexion & her disposition weren’t like the rest. She seemed different. She didn’t have the air others had- no family members accompanied her- or maybe I didn’t look hard enough.

Dad didn’t want me to be in the team, but he got convinced otherwise. It was November, 2008 and time for the pilgrimage to Mecca. After hours of waiting idly, it became apparent that prospective pilgrims weren’t getting airlifted that day. Or the next.

It was getting dark and the thought of where to pass the night crept in. Certainly not on the curbs of MMIA. Hotels were out of it because Hujaj- as pilgrims are called in Islam- are enjoined to stay together. Eventually, the airport mosque,  about 70 metres from the terminal, turned to our sanctuary for the next few days. That’s where I met her! 

Just about 5 metres from us, she lounged. She must have been in her 3rd trimester. With hundreds of Hujaj cohabiting, waiting for the announcement, it was easy to get apprehensive and bored- even for well wishers who came to see them off. I would stroll near the airport terminal to watch planes take off and land and sometimes, read the book, Hajj Mabrur to fend off the ennui. That was when she asked if she could read that book whenever I was done!

My life had mainly been triangular, but had been linear for the previous few months. I saw the same faces and had the same good discussions everyday. What I lacked in physical activities, I made up for in mental exuberance. Giving her that book sparked up a conversation. Having just finished secondary school, it wasn’t everytime that I met new people. I guess being a twin endeared me to her. She would rather call me Taiwo- only Mum calls me that! 

There was a feeling of trust. Maybe it was from the concept of tabula rasa– the immunity that being a stranger confers. There are only a few who’ve had such effect on me. I felt comfortable discussing with her. Felt like I could divulge some of my thoughts about anything to her- empty my mind in her front.

Then on that afternoon on Thursday, about 5 days after living in MMIA, the aircraft was ready to leave for Saudi Arabia, with the Hujajs onboard. The chaos- for me, ambivalence- that followed the announcement can only be imagined. Hundreds of pilgrims and an ocean of well wishers besieged the terminal, with a corresponding number of luggage. In the midst of this, she saw me and bade me farewell. 

‘Take care of yourself, Taiwo!’

The next few hours, while waiting to be driven home, can be summarised in one word- saudade.

Her name was ‘Tanwa.

Image: source

His Name is Omran Daqneesh.

​Even though he was surrounded by the bright orange colour, it was a heart-wrenching sight. He should never have been in the vehicle. He didn’t utter a word,  not even a whimper. He looked on, dazed. Those eyes tell a story of despair, of helplessness, of hopelessness, of trauma, of war.  When he looked down, like one shy, I lost it- tears streamed down my face. Legs outstretched, in the midst of the chaos around him, he touched his dusty bloodied face. No, it wasn’t because of an accident in school or during a visit to the mall. Minutes earlier, his home had come under a military airstrike.

What did he do to deserve this?

His name is Omran Daqneesh, a 5 year old boy in Aleppo, Syria. While his mates in other parts of the world wake up to the caring touch and sonorous voice of their parents, urging them to prepare for school, Omran wakes up to the horror of blood, rubbles, gunfire, ear-piercing noise, death. While his mates openly play on the park and complain about the taste of the berry, Omran plays in the midst of rubbles, with the sound of gunfire in the background. His innocence, blemished. No, he did not choose this life. He just found himself thrust into it.
But Omran is lucky. There are several thousands of children, his age or even lower, whose lives have been tragically cut short in the Syrian War. Sadly, Omran won’t be the last victim of this war. His 10 year old elder brother died from injuries sustained in the airstrike. Watching Omran sitting helpless in the ambulance, I genuinely wished I could hug and assure him everything would be alright.
Lonely and war-weary in the back of an ambulance, Omran stares helplessly at the world and the world stares back, leaving his at the mercy of the next airstrike.
See the video of his rescue here

Ooni, His Heavenly Father & Other Issues

Few nights ago, Twitter was agog with tweets about the Ooni. The Ooni had come under the radar after a video of him proclaiming Jesus Christ as his father had surfaced online. While some supported this, many others condemned it. I was indifferent until some tweets started springing up. These tweets caught my attention and pricked me. Twitter, being a conglomeration of people with different background, undermining, intentionally or not, of the king and/or the institution he represents was bound to happen.

His coronation about a year ago was greeted with much enthusiasm because as a modern and wealthy young man, he was more positioned to open to development, the sleepy, ancient town of Ile-Ife. His effort in unifying the Yoruba monarchs is immensely applauded. In an interview of his I watched, he claimed to have opened up hitherto sacred sites in Ile Ife for tourism. This will further open up the town to visits.

His travels around the world have raised concerns though. The monarch has visited quite a number of people including Atiku Abubakar and the Jagaban, Bola Tinubu; both of whom are politicians. However, his visit to footballer, Obafemi Martins seemed odd though. It raised a number of eyebrows. In the aforementioned interview, he admitted to be quite restless and a traveller when he was a private citizen, thus, giving the explanation for his bouts of travels.


Columbus who?

In primary school Social Studies, we were taught of the 3 major religions in Nigeria; Islam, Christianity and the Traditional religion. These 3 religions are mutually exclusive except for the former two, whose doctrines are slightly similar. The traditional religion is a collective term for the beliefs in the various orishas that abound. It is common place for monarchs to be custodian of the traditional beliefs. Chief among these custodians is the Oonirisha. History has it that the office started out as that of the Chief Priest; the custodian of all deities in Ile Ife. That seems to have sealed the faith and fate of any Ooni. Over time, the adherents of the traditional beliefs have been seen by the adherents of the other two as been diabolical and evil. No thanks to their dogmas. Heck! Aregbesola came under attack for declaring public holidays for the celebration of traditional festivals.

This got me wondering if the traditional religion is going extinct. This seeming defunctness also has a domino effect on culture. That’s where my fears really lie. For instance, a major cultural identity, language appears to be losing its relevance. Parents no longer communicate in their dialects with their children, thus, raising progenies with little or no cultural identities. Many wouldn’t be caught dead conversing in Yoruba in public, they’d rather speak pidgin. I’ve even had yearn to learn Mandarin and French because, according to them, they are economically viable. How myopic! There is a workshop that holds regularly in the US and Canada about African Linguistics. Yet, isn’t it ironic that the workshop hasn’t held in Africa before? Interestingly, the last one had less than 5 linguists from Africa in attendance. Talk about a prophet not being respected in his homeland! I won’t be surprised, however if, in a few decades, the Europeans and Americans are the Yoruba teachers in our schools. In fact, the celebration of Yemoja festival is already a mainstream in the Caribbean. While we hail them and brag about how advanced our culture is, we denigrate its aficionados at home. It has begun! People are rated highly because of their foreign affiliations. That’s how I view this. The subject is rated that high because of western validation; neocolonialism of the mind?

Finally, the Ooni can keep hailing his heavenly father but it really is a sign of the present state of our culture.

PS- Erhime, I’ve not forgotten my promise o! It’s coming up next 🙂

I Will Commit Suicide!

@abc tweets ‘Life sucks. Is it even worth living? The dead ain’t got to worry about shit’

@zyx responds ‘Lol. Is that a song lyrics?’

@ghi retweeets and adds ‘You this girl aff come again. Lol’

But an ostensibly lively ‘abc‘ is actually sending an SOS message. Her friends and colleagues see her everyday with a smile planted on her face. Ask them of her & they’ll tell you she’s chatty. Yet, this beautiful, athletic lady is actually suicidal.


You beautiful noose!

That’s what depression does.
It can be easily masked with a cheerful face. One can be the life of the party but in solitude, cut a sad figure. Some nights ago, a tweep tweeted some disturbing thoughts; while some were worried, some believed the lady was being dramatic. Who would blame the Doubting Thomases though? On Twitter, hoaxes have been shared. Nevertheless, people rose to find out what @LJ_mymusic was on about. I remember, vividly, how a lady shared the same worrying tweets years ago and ended up taking her life. In our society, problems like depression receive minimal attention. Heck! Some even see misfortune as a race.

‘See ehn! Your own trouble is even small sef. Me that I lost both of m…’

I’ve had several bouts of depression and its attendant mood swings. I still do. The most recent was on February 13, 2016- after the lively get together held at the Botanical Garden, all was vain again as soon as I reached home.  Even though, it hasn’t reached the suicidal phase, it came close in the later months of 2013. I was always sleeping. My parents suggested I saw a doctor for my sleep patterns. The subsequent one year really helped in relieving the pain. A major contributor to that is my O@TT. We had a great work relationship. I’ll forever relish my time there.

Even those with riches and fame and are believed to have it all have fallen to this monster. I watched a documentary on Basketmouth and he confessed to taking pills to deal with depression. Christian Bale, Halle Berry & Alicia Keys have had their shares. Depression no dey look face o!

Sometimes, I just feel like talking to a stranger- one who won’t judge; who I’ll talk to, without holding back. Repressed feelings are stacked up in my mind and they’re looking for escape routes. Maybe I’m conservative, but I still believe in the ‘problem shared=problem halved’ saying.
Cautiously though.

Image credit: Google Images.


Social Media: Promises & Pains.

The 2015 elections have come and gone. But events that happened during the campaigns still make me think of how far we’ve gone. An aspect of the campaign that was rampantly used was the massive use of the social media. This is the first time that the virtual world would have a great influence on our electoral process. Even politicians that do not know anything about the internet created social media profiles.


And why not?

With a sizeable number of the population classified as youths and a large percentage of such found on the internet, it was only logical to take the campaigns to their doorsteps, literally. For a few years now, the social media have influenced politics in the world (side eye to the Arab Spring). Here at home, the #OccupyNigeria protests can be referenced. The social media has also been used for meritorious and charitable causes. Funds have been generated via Twitter for those with medical and social needs.
With all these promises come side effects. During the electoral processes, the heavy use of the social media gave way for the use of propaganda. While propaganda isn’t a bad concept on its own, the use of same for misinformation evokes anger in me. Because of the wide reach of the internet, a tweet made in the corner of my mosquito-infested room in Iresa-Adu village in Oyo state can influence the thought process and decision of someone in her mansion in Eket, Akwa Ibom. Such is the power of the social media. This is in sharp contrast with the propaganda peddled at newspaper joints. That one is localized.
Then, there are the overlords. This is quite common on Twitter. These are tweeps with demagogic tendencies. During the 2015 electoral processes, they had minions who nod in approval to whatever they tweet.


et tu, Nasir?

Their influence might be derived from their follower count (which runs into several thousands), number of tweets (usually into tens/hundreds of thousands), sense of humour et al. These are the ones that the politicians use in achieving their aims. Their ability to create trending topics make them useful tools for politicians.

Another source of misinformation today is because of the proliferation of blogs. Anyone, sane or not, with internet access is able to open a blog and fuelled by the quest for AdSense money, traffic must be generated at any cost, even on a platter of integrity. Thus, outrageous news items are formulated. My ‘homemade’ antidote to this is to before reading a news item check the source- a funny name & it’s off my reading list. The politicians now use the social media to control the narratives, so as to condition the mind of the people towards a direction. Thus, claims and rebuttals are norms here. It’s now difficult to trust the news I read online now. Or maybe my standards are high- justifiably so. If you’re in the business of informing people, you hold the power to shape their mindset.


1- Armoured tank?? 2- Must be another Lagos.

Oh heck! You can create a mass hysteria. Thus, if I’m going to give you that power, it has to be deserved.

Looking for credible news in the myriad of blogs now seems like “looking for a needle in a haystack”. How do you find it?- Bring a damn magnet!

Social Media Bill?


Problem is... @SegunObasanjo is a parody account.



The time is 10:54pm; the day is October 27, 2015. Just a few hours before I add another year. Lying down here in my room, memories rush through my mind. One leading to the other like a chain. Inexhaustible memories. Nostalgia setting in. While some evoke smiles, others bring sighs. I’m just here trying to reconstruct my life since when I could differentiate my right from my left. Apparently, not all will be captured- some will be left out of the frame while some are conspicuously staring at you. Have you ever passed through a path, perceived a smell, seen a logo or listened to a song & feel nostalgic? Remember your time in some places/situations and/or your actions and you think to yourself ‘Was It Really Me In There? Was I Really That Stupid?’ . Where do I even start from? No other place than my years spent in Osogbo.
Even though I spent my first 10 years in Osogbo, events there still remain evergreen. I can still feel the chirps of the birds in the nearby bush, the distant noise of the grinding machine & the texture of the entrance door. Can such simple life be replicated? Life there was triangular- school, Ile Kewu, home. Even though I left Omolewa Nursery & Primary School in primary 4 when I was 10 years old, I still remember the faces of school mates- Kunle Odeleye, Seun Oyelami, Godwin Akpan, Bisi Akande, Yusuf Sodiq, Wunmi Amusa, Dare, Monisola. I remember how I used to cart away the first position prize every term. And I would wear my oversized brown coat, with my black shoe. I remember my first crush- her name was Islamiyyat. A very beautiful girl. Cynosure of all eyes. Her mother sold cosmetic products. Friends were always jealous because she was Hakeemat’s friend which made me kinda close to her. Dad was working in Lagos and came home during weekends. Weekends were always looked forward to. How I was usually punished almost everyday because of football. Playing football on sawdust then was bliss. An incident that keeps coming to my mind was when my N70 was stolen. Money I had saved for weeks meant for turning up during Ileya. I had a small blue purse I had bought from Sodiq. Both purse and money were stolen …*sniffs*. I still haven’t forgiven the thief.
Aged 8, I experienced my first and only funeral prayer, Janazah. Grandma died on August 5, Faizat’s 2nd birthday. With fondness, I recall going on ruku’u after the 2nd takbeer. On that day, armed robbers invaded our house in Osogbo but we were away in Ode-Omu. Unfortunately, they met my cousin at home. The blood spatter was on the wall for years.
Then came September, 2001. It was time to move to Lagos. Lagos was like heaven. The journey itself is an unforgettable experience. The longest distance I had travelled was Ogbomosho to Osogbo. Getting to Lagos on a Sunday night, there wasn’t much time to rest before resuming at a new school the following day. A new environment, a new state, a new school, a new lifestyle. Heck! I’ll now be entering school bus. This is a fucking first. Firstly, I want used to wearing socks; now I have to wear them everyday. Secondly, I wasn’t used to speaking English in school. Even though, Omolewa was a private school, our language of choice was Yoruba. Now in Pelade, no one would converse in Yoruba. That was a rude awakening. It wasn’t as if I couldn’t speak English or I didn’t know my tenses, but coming from an environment where Yoruba was spoken 80% of the time to where Yoruba wasn’t welcome. Arggh!!
January 27th, 2002- I was at Ile Kewu when The Explosions started. The memory is still crystal clear. Was it the end time? An uncommon coup d’etat? Invasion of Lagos? No one knew the answers. We all just kept going nowhere.
There are some memories we gladly share while there are some we ain’t glad of- like that year in Osogbo wh…

Hey! Look at a unicorn!

Secondary school will be the most memorable though- for obvious reasons. That’s where we are moulded and where the teenage life is spent. The pranks, the exam formations, the beatings- yup! I was a friend of Mr Bello’s cane because, Maths assignment, the hymns. I remember how Udensi used to compete with me in CRS exams because a Muslim shouldn’t get more than him in the subject. While some secondary schools claim to have more fun than the others, fun is relative & subjective. Memories from secondary schools are encyclopedic. They come in trickles. Each with an accompanying giggle.
Now, as I go to sleep, I’ve learnt that some strangers become friends and return to being strangers; some strangers become friends and remain friends while some strangers become friends and thereafter become family. I see me as a museum. Each scar and wrinkle, an artifact telling its story. And I, the curator.

And the evolution continues!


Of Forensics & Fighting Boko Haram.

The Boko Haram insurgency in the North eastern part of the country can be described as a crime against humanity because the sect’s activities carry the features of such and also carry genocidal tendencies. The sect’s ideology which is to establish an Islamic caliphate is such that all opposition to it is met with brutal violence. The sect’s mode of achieving this has been assassinations, bombings, systematic wiping out of people of other beliefs and recruitment of child soldiers.


In the light of this, forensic science can be of great significance in stopping this sect. Forensic science, which is a multidisciplinary field involving chemistry, psychology, archaeology, accounting, is a field that thrives on facts and evidences in order to prosecute offenders. For this deadly sect to be stopped, principles of forensic science must be employed.
A major aspect of forensic science that must be employed is forensic archaeology. This is because forensic archaeologists are trained experienced in using archaeology principles to solve crimes. The add value to forensics because of their techniques in discovering crime scenes and the systematic method of recovering evidence. Boko Haram sometimes bury the victims of their menace in mass graves. Forensic archaeology will come into play when recovering the remains from the graves and also the evidences buried in the grave– like bullet casings. Forensic archaeologists have been involved in this in countries like Rwanda and Yugoslavia where mass graves were located.
Another area where forensic science will help in solving this sect’s menace is the use of forensic anthropology. Forensic anthropology deals with identifying the victims as well as their manners of death. This information will be significant in prosecuting the perpetuators in the court of law because the crimes and the victims will thus not be treated in abstract.
Another field of forensic science that will be significant is forensic chemistry. This subfield is important because it usually links the perpetuator to the crime scene through evidences that will be analysed in the laboratory. Because of the sect’s use of guns and explosives, the study of such will be done though the ballistic analysis. Ballistic analysis, which is a subfield of forensic chemistry, will seek to know the types and properties of explosives the sect uses. Therefore, the origin of such explosives can be traced.
Furthermore, the sect has been discovered to use controlled substances like cocaine and heroin. Forensic chemistry can also be used to determine the origin and properties of the drugs. The result of this can thereafter be used in sentencing the sect’s members.
Terror activities are usually capital intensive because weapons have to be purchased and for other logistical activities. Thus, forensic accounting is significant in fighting insurgency. Because the financial activities of terrorist groups are usually are usually discrete (discreet), it is usually difficult to unravel their source of funding. However, with forensic accounting, the source of their finance and channelling routes can be exposed. In doing this, seemingly innocent organisations can be linked to terrorist activities. This aspect of forensics is usually employed by intelligence agencies such as the CIA to fight terrorists groups like Al-Qaeda.
The use of forensic botany can also be used in fighting the insurgency. This is effective in the events of mass graves. Forensic botany will be able to determine whether the location of the mass grave is the primary crime scene or the secondary crime scene. This will be done by analysing the plant materials such as pollen grains (which are almost indestructible) and other plant materials. Forensic botany, through the analysis of pollen grains found on the victims will also determine the season of death. The results of these analyses can then be compared with the timeline of the sect’s activities in order to have an effective sentencing in the court of law.
In addition, forensic psychology will be very significant in fighting the insurgency. Forensic psychology will seek to examine and analyse the motive and state of mind of the perpetuators. With this, a sequence can be formed and thus, helping to prevent further attacks. Forensic psychology will also be important in ‘de-brainwashing’ the child soldiers that have been recruited by the sect and also in rehabilitating the victims of the sect’s activities.
In conclusion, it can be determined from the above points that forensic science investigation is very important in fighting ‘Boko Haram’ insurgency. The evidences that will arise from forensic science investigations will be highly valuable in convicting the perpetuators of crimes against humanity.

NB: This was an exam question and I felt I should reproduce my answer here, verbatim. What would you score me?
Also, ballistics analysis doesn’t include explosives.

Photo credit:


Jollof Rice Life.

Okay, I really shouldn’t be doing this. Because, Ramadan. But this darling in front of me won’t let a brother be great. But, whatever…

Yup! I’m talking ’bout the mentor of foods. A food all foods aspire to be like. Jollof Rice. Those two words really is life. A food for all seasons.

In the dearth of patriotism, studies have revealed that jollof rice is the resource binding all tribes together.

Light-skin babe, Jackie Chan pon the bed, hourglass body, Spanish accent.. but can you prepare jollof rice?

This darling right here is the forger of friendship and a destroyer of same.


Husband Material: 1,000 yards

You don’t expect me to visit you after years and you serve me salad or pizza, after informing you of my visit. No, that’s where our friendship gets terminated.

Maifren, goan get me jollof, will you?!

I know Kenna on Twitter whose mode of celebrating feats is just to prepare jollof. That act itself is a feat.

All men are born equal, but not all men are born to recognise the greatness that is jollof rice – Hakeem, 2015.

Jollof is one food I know where the top and base part of the pot is loved. Some people love the burnt part of the pot. Cures impotency I heard! Ahmean! Nature, in its fairness, has made this food in such a way that it’s available for all societal classes. The poor man has his own version- with ata gigun and tomato paste, you’ll prepare jollof, albeit the inferior one. But at least, you are better than Warren Buffet, who in spite of his billions hasn’t tasted the king of foods.


One word: Deluxe.

Of what use are all the billions if your stomach hasn’t been visited by jollof rice. Cruising on the Greek Isles on a private yacht and vacation at the Serengeti got nothing on a meal of jollof rice. Of what use if Einstein’s knowledge (to him) if he didn’t taste jollof rice during his lifetime? Of what importance is the absolute power of Kim Jong-un, if he hasn’t heard of the gospel of jollof rice?

Haters will say jollof rice is overrated. I used to be angry at such opinion and regard it as a treason but experience has told me to sympathize with ’em because life can be hard for the blind.



But the holy grail of jollof rice is the party jollof rice. Goddamit! The aroma itself is capable of disorienting one… *shallows saliva*… But what really makes party jollof rice different? I can’t buy asoebi for your wedding and you’ll not serve me jollof rice.


I’ll demand a refund. Don’t hate the player, bruh. I didn’t make these rules.

So, have you had a meal of jollof rice recently?


2015 Elections: Conspiracy or Change?

Less than 3 days to the handover date and long after the inks have dried on the ballot papers, the election result is still generating ripples in the polity. The result was really a first in the country- a civilian handover between different political parties. Some supporters of PDP, the losing party, have opined that Muhammadu Buhari’s victory was a conspiracy against the South. More importantly, one against the minority, South-South. The election was seen as a contest between the North and the South. According to them, a contest between the ‘Born-To-Rule‘ & the ‘Neglected‘.

In reality though, the contest was the closest in recent history. Both contestants had almost equal chances. The incumbent president and a former Head of State, Muhammadu Buhari were the major candidates during the election. The campaigns were massive and well-planned. Even though, Muhammadu Buhari had contested in the three previous elections, his chances this time around were attractive.

Permutations before the election had placed the two main candidates on a scale that measured the strength of their support. Nigeria is divided into 6 geopolitical zones- North-West, North-East, North-Central, South-East, South-South & South-West .


The pre-election permutations have predicted Goodluck Jonathan to win in the South-South and South-East while Buhari’s major support came from the North-West and North-East. Jonathan hails from the South-South while Buhari hails from the North-West. Thus, the battle for votes was predicted to be in the North-Central and South-West. However, the South-West was slightly inclined towards the APC, Buhari’s party. This is because out of the 6 states that make up the region, the party controls 4 states. It is because of this that I am amused when some people say the South-West was a tool used by the North to ‘usurp’ power from Jonathan. The region has mostly been in the opposition and now that the opportunity to be at the centre presented itself, they threw their weight behind the party.
Now, I’ll attempt to analyse the voting patterns of different regions while comparing it with the 2011 elections where the PDP won with a landslide. The analysis of how the geopolitical zones voted for Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammad Buhari will allow us understand the mindset of those regions. Was it a conspiracy against Jonathan or not?


From the table, it can be seen that, expectedly, both candidates won convincingly in their regions of strength.


Back to the question of conspiracy against Jonathan, it is seen that Buhari did not get up to 90% of votes from regions he controlled, while Jonathan got a minimum 90.6% from the 2 regions he controlled. Moreover, the total percentage of votes Buhari got in the South-South and South-East is less than the percentage of votes Jonathan got in the North-West alone. So is it really a conspiracy? When the issue if conspiracy comes up, I ask if it’s expected that Jonathan wins in the North-West? Even at Jonathan’s peak of goodwill in 2011, he didn’t win any state in that region. In the North-East, however, he won 2 states (Adamawa and Taraba). Even in 2015, he won in Taraba, a state in the North-East. So Taraba has always been on lockdown for Jonathan.


2011 Presidential Election Result

On the other hand, in 2011, Buhari lost all the states in the South. In 2015 too, he lost all the states in South-South and South-East states. In fact, he had less than 10% in all the South East states, except for Imo state where he got 19% and less than 10% in all South-South states except for Edo where he got 41.7%. So, who conspired against who? The percentage of people that voted for Jonathan in the North-East (21.69%) eclipses the percentage of those that voted for Buhari in the South-East (7.29%) by 3. And we all know that percentage isn’t determined by the number of votes, right? Yet, these folks believe that the Northerners erred by voting for their man while it’s completely alright for the South-South to do same. I’m not supporting ethnic-coloured choice for national leadership but ‘he who must come with equity must come with clean hands’.

Those folks also accuse the South-West of betrayal by voting against a Southern man. My response to them is that the birthplace of APC is in the South-West. It’s also its stronghold. In fact, some people still believe APC to be a Yoruba party. This shows the extent to which the South-West have influences in the party. So, should it come as a surprise that the region voted along that line? Moreso, Jonathan won all the southwestern states in 2011, save for Osun states. Where were these conspiracy theorists then?

The conspiracy theorists also conveniently overlooked the campaign strategies employed by both parties. While PDP went on a mudslinging spree, it afforded Nigerians the opportunity to know more about the man PDP, the ruling party exerted so much energy to vilify. They also conveniently overlooked the issues on ground- economy, security, corruption, unemployment et al. It was on these basis that APC based their campaigns on. The implosion of PDP also contributed to their loss at the polls. The massive exit of chieftains took a heavy toll on them. I believe the allegation of conspiracy is an insult to millions of Nigerians who went out to vote without coercion. It’s an insult on their choices and decisions. Or how else does one explain the triumph of Buhari in Kogi and Benue states, states currently with PDP leadership and traditionally had always gone with PDP?

So, when next someone alleges conspiracy as a run reason for Jonathan’s loss, I’ll just giggle and walk away.


Xenophobia & Racism: The Black Man’s Scourge

‘To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others’.
                          -Nelson Mandela

Mayday! Mayday! Another brother down! I repeat, another comrade has fallen! He got 8 ‘warning’ shots in the back for a broken taillight. Using a sledgehammer for a fly analogy doesn’t even come close by a million mile. That’s not even the crux. Dude was framed for a crime he didn’t commit- lying lifeless on the ground, he was handcuffed to the back and a taser dropped by his side. Name is Walter Scott. He joined a long list of race-inspired murders in the US. A list that contained Emmet Till (a 14 year old African-American brutally murdered for conversing with a white lady), Trayvoy Martins, Eric Garner (murdered by a cop in a choke hold) & Mike Brown, amongst other unknown persons.


The US prides itself as being the free world. I don’t think residents of Ferguson agrees with that though. Here’s a town with a black majority population being policed by a white majority police force. I recall watching Faultlines on AlJazeerah last December, in the heat of the #BlackLivesMatter protests in Ferguson. The experience of the African-Americans there left me wondering if indeed the US was an equal society.
Racism didn’t start last night though. It was preceded by the slavery of Africans in Europe & America. During my visit to the Slave Museum in Marina Resort, Calabar, my horizon was broadened as to the events of that era. The life of Africans was worth a dane gun. Literally. Africans were dehumanized. Even after slavery was abolished, the black man still faced oppression. The Ku Klux Klan made sure of that.


Your eyes ain't deceiving you.

Freedom fighters emerged. While the civil rights movement, ‘led‘ by Martin Luther King, jnr focused on integrating the black man into the American society, people like Malcolm X emphasised on Pan Africanism & the need for people of African descent to return home. Decades after the demise of MLK II & Malcolm X, their ideas ain’t where they would have wanted it to be.
Pan Africanism, promoted by legends like Patrice Lumumba and Malcolm X, which emphasises the need for unity amongst Africans worldwide is currently been made a mess of in South Africa. The first time I heard the term, xenophobia was a few years ago when South Africans were maiming non-indigenes. Fast forward to 2015, the scourge has reared its ugly head again. Citizens of African countries are being attacked and killed. This time though, it was due to the speech of the Zulu king urging foreigners to return to their countries. That was the required push for an already sensitive situation. The attacks started in Durban before spreading to Johannesburg. Gory images took over the internet. The reason being that foreigners have taken over all the available jobs.
In a continent already plagued with poverty, illiteracy, wars & other vices, adding xenophobia would thicken the already unpalatable recipe more. Outside, some people see Africa as a country; thus, they’ll be surprised at the persecution ‘countrymen’ are facing from their fellows.
True to Pan-African values, African countries stood with South Africa during their struggle for independence from apartheid. Millions of dollars went into this struggle. Africa wasn’t free if South Africans were still under bondage. Africa was a body system- an discomfort to a part is felt by other parts. Now, the benefactors have become the enemies. The irony of this situation is that during the apartheid period, foreigners were persecuting indigenous South Africans. But the indigenous South Africans are now the one maiming foreigners. Not just any foreigners, but fellow Africans. Something about becoming the monster we tamed? It’s either these South Africans are bad students of history or plain ungrateful.

Is the black race cursed? Abroad we’re not at rest. At home, we’re not at peace with one another. While other races are advancing, we’re still battling with all these vices.