Category Archives: Experiences


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I had just taken my truancy a notch higher. This latest act sealed my fate as a budding outlaw. Big Cousin had instructed me to torch the school building. Apparently, it reminded him of his failings. I started from the chemistry lab; setting fire to a jar of unknown chemicals. The commotion thereafter pumped my adrenaline into overdrive. The guards were on my tail but their motivation was no match for mine and I left them in the dust.

Within minutes, I was done with it. I felt a sense of accomplishment as I dusted off my shoulder. Big Cousin would be proud of me. Outside the burning building, I heard approaching footsteps- non-aggressive ones. Turning, her red lipstick was the first feature I noticed. Then, her white pleated shirt which accentuated her chest region became clearer. She was petite and fair complexioned. I’d never seen her before. She talked first- wanting to know why I had committed this arson. She said she worked in a media house in one of the office spaces in the school building. A slight feeling of remorse dawned on me, but not enough to douse the adrenaline still in effect.

“I’m Funmi… Funmi Atunbi”, she said, introducing herself.

“You’ll have to find out yourself”, I quipped, before leaving her there.

The brevity nevertheless, our meeting was a sort of balm I needed. We met days later at an enclosed market, like Watts. Sobriety had kicked in now. She sneaked up behind me and with a grin, inquired to know me more. She believed I was a diamond in dirt. Joined by an old friend, we headed to a school down the road, willing to become an atunbi. I warned Funmi of the risk of being seen with an arsonist. I wouldn’t hold it upon her if she doesn’t want to go but she insisted on going.

With a reputation like mine nonetheless, I made a positive impression on the proprietress. An old guard sighted me and tried to make a serious case before the owner not to admit me. No, I won’t let this pass. I returned to defend myself like Jessica’s defence of Leonard Bailey. I would totally understand if she doesn’t admit me though. I’ll just keep on searching.

The woman sighed and reached a verdict.

“Hakeem …Hakeem, it’s time for Zuhr.”, I woke from my siesta to hear.


“Dreams feel real when we’re in them; it’s only when we wake up that we realise something was actually strange”

-Leo DiCaprio, Inception.

Image: Source

April 4th, 2008

I had even forgotten about it- momentarily though. But the belated message, despite being cryptic, twitched my memory.

Nothing seemed out of the routine. The camry V20 had seen better days but it still delivered satisfactorily. Engaged with my phone in the passenger seat, nothing I d me for what was to follow. My heart nearly 4e my cyhest. My life literally flashedj before me.

Ehen! So this ees how e use tu happen!

It was a rainy Friday afternoon. There were 4 occupants in the car, including the driver. Descending the slope, just before the statue of the Three Wise Men of Lagos, the road wet, all was set for it to happen. Just like that, we collided with another vehicle, got pushed forward but restrained by the seat belt, momentum made me hit head on the glass, car swerved to hit the culvert and bounced back to the main road. Apparently, the steering wheel had lost connection with whatever it was supposed to connect with. Brake seemed not to work at that moment too. The exclamation of yee! yee!! from the driver did little to assuage the situation.

Me: So this is how I end?! 

All within less than 10 seconds. We drove for about another kilometre before pulling over at a fuel station to access the damage. Rain wasn’t going to stop anytime soon.

Day wasn’t over yet, the bridge had gotten flooded to the extent of vehicles wading through it like a regatta. A journey of less than 7 minutes took close to 4 hours to complete. Many stopped working when the floodwater invaded their engine. Survival of the fittest couldn’t have been more apt. Well, the good old camry waded through like a veteran, while revving like a roaring lion.

Got home to the warmth of my bed before shutting my eyes after an eventful day.


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 … Continue reading

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 him at the mercy of the next airstrike.
See the video of his rescue here

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.



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!


2015 Nigeria Elections: Iriri Mi


See ehn, if I don’t write about my experience during this election, posterity will not be pleased. I didn’t plan to write this as I had something different on my mind before but the temptation to share my experience was too much to resist. The political atmosphere before the election was already charged but that isn’t even my point. I’m here to talk about the election itself.


So, I arrived the INEC office where we were supposed to take off to the RAC on Friday. I got there around 11am. Being a very familiar face there, I quickly got to work. I wasn’t just an ad hoc staff; I knew some workings of the commission. I helped with the postings of electoral officials (and no, I didn’t influence mine) & some other miscellaneous activities. By evening, I helped with announcing the postings. Election materials were still being sorted & corp members were just loitering around. Some voters also came for their PVCs though. The security personnel comprising of the military and the police provided security. Corp members & other electoral officers were asked to pack the non-sensitive materials outside. My SPO told me to stand guard over the sensitive materials. Yup, we were close laidat.

The location of the office is such that one can’t get food to buy nearby. So, majority of us battled with hunger and weariness. In fact, by 9pm, what I had in my stomach was the bread & tea I took before leaving house in the morning. By 11pm, we all left for our RACs. Mine was the town hall which was just less than 5mins from the office. At the RAC, all the materials were allotted to their respective PUs. Sleeping spaces were limited and I had to make do with the seat inside a bus, when I decided to sleep by past 1am.


The noise from the megaphone woke me by 3:16am. My stomach was still complaining. Peeps have started getting up to have their bath. The SPO, with some folks had kept vigil distributing election materials to their respective PUs. I later joined and it was discovered that some materials (non sensitive) had been taken to another RAC. We arrived the PU by 7:23am. A female police officer, female NSCDC and male FRSC officers were assigned to the PU. After settling down, the first challenge was that the Voter Register in our possession belonged to another RAC entirely, while they had ours. A voter volunteered to convey me on his bike to the location.


A journey of about 7 mins. After retrieving it, I returned only to discover that the card reader was acting funny- shii wasn’t ready to accept the password. It later stopped the joke and accepted the password. Accreditation that should have started by 8:00am started around 10:00am. The accreditation went on smoothly until sun pursue us comot our location. I had to remove that fishnet they call jacket. Oru n mumi mehn! Did I say that my stomach still hadn’t entertained any food? Everything went as planned until the card reader started its hide and seek again. It resumed after about 15mins though. Accreditation ended around past 3pm when it should have ended by 1pm. Stomach was still grumbling o! At that moment, I just told myself that I was going to have ulcer. No way i was gonna escape it. I’ve gone without food for more than 24 hours. One category of people you see at a PU are those who claim to have been voting since the 19th century; so they try to dictate how to work to he electoral officials. There are also the elderly who despite explaining how the voting should be, in Yoruba, are still at a loss at what to do with the ballot papers. See ehn! If a political party wants to rig, it’s easier done in rural areas where the illiterates and elderly abound. There are some of those elderly who ask electoral officials who to vote for. Because consideration has to be given to the elderly (they aren’t expected to join the queue), those on the queue started grumbling. My job description during the voting was to make sure that ballot papers are dropped in the appropriate boxes. Thus, I was one my feet throughout the period. More ballot papers were brought to complement those available. Boom! The sky thought that the land was dry and decided to make it wet a lil bit. The downpour was frying pan to fire. The arrangement was disrupted. Now, I was battling with fatigue, hunger, shouts from angry voters, elderly voters and ensuring the ballot boxes didn’t leave my sight. After about 45 minutes, the sky in its wisdom, thought the land was wet enough and stopped its supply. What a relief!
‘Oga, ballot papers don finish o!’– came the voice of the APO III. Shet! How come? I called the SPO who promised to bring more. The time was past 6pm and the crowd was already restive. Someone even threatened to beat me because I giggled when he said INEC was conniving with some people to rig the election, hence, the ballot papers allotted was small in number. The dude was already planning with his goons on how to deal with me. Haha! Shey someone cannot giggle in peace again ni? Abi izzit your giggle? The senatorial candidate of APC visited but stayed in his car throughout. Why did you now come abi you wan show us your G-Wagon ni? You cannot even drop something for awon boiz. *rme* Your motor is fine sha. That was how one policeman who followed him told me to leave the place because party agents shouldn’t be near the ballot boxes.

‘Haha! Officer, shey you no see INEC ID card for my neck ni?’

I no talk am o before we hear stories that touch.
When the SPO brought the ballot papers some minutes to 8pm, it was exactly the amount of people who were on the voting queue. See how people swarmed him like Lagosians swarm a bus on a Monday morning at Iyana Oworo. This man hasn’t seen a minute of sleep in the last 30 hours or so. I con dey pity am like a malaria patient in a hospital pities someone who was just rushed in; temporarily forgetting his own predicament. Voting sha resumed and it ended like an hour later. Did I mention that we, the electoral officers didn’t know our names? It was awkward. Calling each other by job title.
Ehen! Another work don begin. Ballot papers have to be sorted before counting. The seals on the ballot boxes were broken. The headlamps of a Hilux van belonging to one of the parties provided illumination for us during the counting. We were now actors on stage with eyes focused on us. Stomach was still complaining though. After sorting (HoR to Senate to Presidential), counting began. All these on our feet o! The dude counting hadn’t also had anything since morning, thus, his voice wasn’t audible enough. Those around still heard to effrontery to ask him to speak louder. Are you guys nuts? After everything sha, the winner was declared. It’s a funny scenario because if a party you support doesn’t win (or wins), you gotta keep a straight face.
Back at the collation centre, all materials had to be returned intact. That one na another task on its own but we sha surmounted them. That was when I got to know the names of those I worked with. Time was already some minutes to 11pm. I had to appease the gods in my stomach mehn! Later found a roadside joint where noodles was sold. If I hadn’t, I might not have seen the following day. When I returned, one parole was already wai…. nvm. Peeps were now finding it difficult to find where to sleep. See corp members just dey dorikodo dey sleep on top plastic chairs. Some even go sleep for bus. I also slept inside a bus the day I arrived. Me, I just spread my blanket jejely on the bare floor. Not everytime mattress, sometimes floor. One girl sha come to share the blanket with me. Because oju lon roju shanu. Eyan le need help any fucking time mehn!
Finally closed my eyes around 2:00am.


Chess, Politics & War.

Even if I forget everything about Estaport secondary school, my experience with the game of chess can never be forgotten. It was the first time I heard the term, ‘CHESS’ and played the game. Within a few days, I was hooked. Break time were not to remain the same again. Looking back now, armed with life experience & more knowledge, I can say it was worth it while it lasted. And now, comparisons can be made.



Chess, both in its gameplay & structure, is quite unique (Not every time Call of Duty, sometimes a brain-stimulating game). Inferences can be made to real life situations. Chess playing flourishes on the ability to be one step ahead of your opponent. And boxing him to a corner. Pawns are those pieces which are the least powerful- usually put in the line of fire. Those pieces behind the pawns have more powers. The King is the ultimate piece of the game. The survival of the king is dependent on those pieces who surround him. Ironically, they have more freedom to move than the King. Take them out and the king is a sitting duck. The Queen’s movement is towards all direction and to any length. She is the one whose ability encompasses all others safe for the sly Knight. Take out the queen and the kingdom is weakened. Now, let’s juxtapose between real life situations & the game.

The theory of Social Contract states that man cedes his power to the state. Here, the state makes laws to guide his existence. If Hobbes’ Leviathan is it, then the subjects are tools to achieve a goal. Even without Hobbes’ absolute government, the citizens are still subjected to the whims of the ruling class. Pawns. During crisis, it’s the citizens that bear the brunt of decisions of the ruling class, as IDPs and refugees. Sacrificial lambs they are.
Since the game of chess thrives on thinking ahead, it means that the your opponent is forced to do what he wouldn’t have ordinarily done. Laying a trap. This act was perfected by Talleyrand during the defeat of Napoleon. A former minister of Napoleon, he masterminded the Napoleon’s escape from prison and eventual defeat at Waterloo. Knowing the importance of crushing Napoleon & knowing Napoleon’s ambition, Talleyrand merely baited him into going to war he knew he couldn’t win while he sat behind watching events go as he planned.
Forcing your opponent’s hand is divided into two parts-
-A false sense of control
-Make forced decisions
The first one gives him the impression that he’s in control while in reality, he acting the way you want. This technique was used by Henry Kissinger on Richard Nixon. Knowing Nixon to be insecure, Kissinger would present range of options to him in such a way that the one he favoured always seems the best solution compared to other options. This gave Nixon a false sense of authority.
The second one means making your opponent play on your turf, where you control all options. This was used by John Rockefeller when he created the oil monopoly. Instead of owning oil companies, he took control of what all the oil companies needed to exist- transportation. So, indirectly he forced the oil companies to play according to his dictates.

The emergence of Hafez Al-Assad as Syrian president was pure chess tactics. Hafez was a man who many believed wasn’t as ambitious as his contemporaries; he seemed satisfied being just a team player. Salah Jadid and Muhammad Umran seemed more ambitious. But by biding his time and scheming, Hafez became the president while Jadid was imprisoned and Umran assassinated. Assad did this by keeping his intentions and getting loyalties from key actors. In political scheming, there is generally a sense of mistrust. Everyman has an intention for which he’s in politics for. Selfish most times. This is how Louis Bonaparte came about ruling France. He was considered by Louis-Adolphe Thiers to be a stooge material. As soon as his hand reached the eku-ida, he did away with his proprietor.


War is the continuation of politics by other means.

         – Carl von Clausewitz

Advanced politics if you wish. In fact, I have always maintained that for an army general to be successful, he needs to have the knowledge of chess. This is because the game has similarities with warfare. The military, like chess, is mechanical in nature and workings. Roles are assigned. This seeks to ensure effectiveness.
A strategy of chess usually employed by the military is baiting. In chess, a player seeks to bait or sell a dummy to his opponent to make him expose his vulnerability and strike where it hurts most. One act soldiers usually watch out for on the battlefield is ambush. This singular act is capable of decimating a large army and striking fear into generals. Ambush takes the form of booby traps which make use of seemingly harmless objects, thereby making the soldier relax his defence and/or see himself being in control. This was one tactic the Vietnamese used against the American troops during the Vietnam War. Similarly, the Japanese used it against the Russians in 1905. By spreading propaganda against the Russians, the weaker Japanese made the Russians come to them with the objective of wiping out the Japanese with a decisive blow. But this journey made the Russians weak and the inexperienced Japanese took them out. Related to this is the use of dummies by the military during the World War II where the both the Allies and Axis employed the tactic to outwit each other. Military dummies have since become mainstream in military formations today.

Also, a rule of chess is that a pawn will be promoted once it reaches the other end of the board. This is an uphill task as the pawn is the least powerful- thus highly improbable for it to escape the ‘gun fires’ on the chessboard. In the medieval times, a soldier is recognised based on the number of kills he’s had. He transforms from a (probable) peasant to a warrior.

The victory in chess isn’t determined by the movement of the King. Rather, it’s by that of the other pieces. This validates Douglas MacArthur assertion- ‘A General is just as good or just as bad as the troops under his command make him’.

I think I need to polish my below average chess performance. You folks need to read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power.

Photo credit: Google Images.

PS: Watch this video. It’s packed with meanings concerning how chess is related with war and the politics of war.


NYSC: 314 Days of Impact.

Smiles, giggles and laughter everywhere. Camera flashlights flashing from all corners. Everyone is decked in a uniform. Some corp members have just passed out from the scheme.
On November 5th the previous year, an orientation camp in the sleepy town of Obubra had welcomed these lot. Oblivious of what the camp had in stock for them, they sojourned and spent 3 weeks. Gruesome weeks for most of them. In those three weeks, amidst the parades and drills, relationships were forged, friendships formed and enemies made.
Being the social beings we are, we come across various people everyday. Our interactions lead to imprints being made. Some are like footprints on a sand dune; others are like a footprint on a cement paste left to solidify. Positive or negative. Few people leave the positive former in your life. Look, I’m not into going on a reel of praise singing like Fuji musicians; i suck at it. But some people just make you wish you were a Fuji musician. Here I compile a non-exhaustive list of those who I’ll never forget in this lifetime for their impact resonates even when I’m in a windowless room.

1. MI JEFE: In terms of percentage, she singularly takes 60% of the impact exerted on me. Yeah, she was that influential. A graduate and worker of UNICAL, no one knows the campus better than her. A supervisor I’d gladly work with again, she’ s got this mien that makes her easy to relate with. Ours was the Specter-Ross work environment. Without the suits tho (pun intended).
Guess who I discussed my post-NYSC plan with! Her advice and enthusiasm to help achieve them are such that ONLY my parents can offer. No exaggeration! It’s rare to get a mother-friend-boss figure in one individual. She combines these effortlessly. Her only regrets over me is that I wasn’t able to converse in Efik. But not to worry, I’m learning the language now. I hope to visit Calabar again if our plan moves in sync with God’s.


Sosono, ma’am. Abasi eyedion fi!

By the way, Mi Jefe is spanish for ‘My Boss’.

2. AMEER: My first encounter with him was when he was the compere of the Camp Paradise Night in Obubra, an alternative programme to the Camp Fire Night. Little did I know that we were going to meet again in Calabar. Even before he became the ameer, his personality was such that endeared him to many. One hallmark of his administration was his willingness to listen to opinions; he consulted a lot. As such, the administration was one that carried many people along. A lawyer by profession, his commitment to MCAN never wavered as he made it seem as if he would be there forever. During his time, we had many ‘firsts‘. A language enthusiast, his knowledge of Yoruba language amazes many even though he hails from Niger state.

3. Rilwan: This one ehn! Na confused corper. Originally posted to Akpabuyo Local Government, he spent 99% of his service year in Calabar, practising his profession, law. Due to the lack of work in an average Nigerian local government secretariat, he had to put his service year into good use.


At the Nigeria Law School, Enugu.

He served as the General Secretary of MCAN CRS and Legal Adviser to MCAN South/South zone, so he was quite busy. Something I learnt from him and as emphasised by the Ameer during one of our meetings is his commitment to work. I remember his excitement when he won his first case in the court.

4. Ibrahim: A graduate of Chemical Engineering, Obafemi Awolowo University, the dude was quite popular on the lodge.


Old Residency Building @ the background.

He usually acted as the peacemaker, a mediator kind of (I’ve my reasons for saying this). Originally posted to Akamkpa, he redeployed to Calabar and worked at the state’s water board. Though he served as the Project Chairman in the first dispensation, he became more active during his stint as the Welfare Chairman. One thing about him is his desire to improve himself by optimizing opportunities available. D’Formless as he likes to be called is a die-hard Chelsea fan. A Mourinho-lic. He blogs here.

5. ‘Deji: In summary, this one na the troublemaker of the lodge. He served as a lecturer at the Cross River State College of Education, Akamkpa, though he spent majority of his time in Calabar.


During a visit to Bakassi.

I call him the utility player of the lodge and was the one I was closest to on the lodge. One quality I admire about him is his readiness to help and offer his advice when sought. And yes, he was my partner in crime as regards Ngozi and Mama Uwem.
He blogs here.

See y’all soon.


NIS Test: My POV

Travelling for 3 hours from Calabar to Obubra, armed only with a faulty phone, in the midst of people conversing in a language you don’t understand, is anything but interesting.. Only succour was being able to play and fondle with my mind. Unconsciously, my mind wanders away and dwells on some abstract issues. My mind has developed a mind of its own. Independent. In the midst of this, my ears pricked up, when in pidgin English, heavily laced in Efik intonation, the driver in his mid-fifties complained about hogwash codenamed the NIS Aptitude Test, that held the previous Saturday. His nephew had gone for the test. That event was a national embarrassment; one capable of making a responsible government cower in shame.

No, it's not a footie match!

No, it’s not a footie match!

But the Nigeria’s government and ‘responsible’ can’t be be found in the same sentence, unless the latter is preceeded by ‘Not’. Alot of vituperations and venomenous submission have been placed at the doorstep of the Federal Government, but when hundreds of thousands of people apply for a government job of about a few thousands, then something is right. Or wrong. Can it be said that we have thousands of people willing to serve the nation? Can it be said that lots of Nigerians are more patriotic than it had been earlier thought; that they were willing, and some indeed, paid the supreme price? Can it be said that compatriots were arising?
Or can it be said that the crowd that day is a litmus test for the mindset of Nigerians? Employment with the Federal government ensures job security, that is. A notion common with my country people is that job with the government is not strenuous. The strenuousness is a factor of your personal ambition which is subject to your whims & caprices. A common belief is that it’s an avenue for earning extra income. Legit or not is another case. I remember a friend relating to me what a senior army officer told him- if one joins the Nigeria Army as an officer, one can become a millionaire in months, as long as one is willing to ‘je aramu’. Check that shii out.
After all said and done, our mental state is all that matters. Our government is an offshoot of our environment. Just like Islam preaches, the people get the type of leaders they deserve.