Category Archives: Thotz

House of Cards- Terror Unleashed

‘We don’t submit to terror; we make the terror’- Frank Underwood, House of Cards S04E13

They think we’re cornered. Their champagnes are waiting to be popped. Conway thinks his youthful ebullience, budding popularity and his social media exploits can match our experience and combined will, Claire. Hammerschmidt believes his article will change the tide and put us down. Remy and Jackie, breathing each other’s breath after a romp, think they’ve gotten back at us.

They’re all mistaken. This is a battle of survival and we hold a chunk of the ammunition. First off, let’s start with terror. Let’s attack the people’s minds. They’ll have no messiah to run to. All they’ll meet is us, Claire. Oh! Do they think Jim’s slaughter would be a one-off? Nah. We’re at war. Enemies come at us from all sides- like wolves encircle a wounded prey. But this prey isn’t done living yet.

America thought she had seen terror. How naive! No, that was the preamble. The real terror is about to begin!

This is what I envisioned would be Frank’s words to Claire in the East Sitting Hall on the evening after watching the killing of the Jim Miller.
The Underwoods now have to fight like they have never fought before. All their experiences and links in Washington and beyond would be deployed. Season 5 will be premiered on May 30, 2017. I believe Frank in his full glory of ruthless pragmatism will be seen in this season. 

Nigeria’s Underwood.

I can’t wait, fam! 

Islam Awareness: If Not You, Who? 

Back in secondary school, I was asked a seemingly funny question by a classmate. He asked, ‘Why do Muslims worship the moon?’. Taken aback, I bursted into laughter and asked Victor why he would think that. His reply was that he had been told that numerous times and that is why Muslims have the crescent on their emblem. Years later, more matured and armed with life experiences, I realize that Victor is not to blame- he only echoed what he was being exposed to.

Read!

In this age and time, the perception of Islam in the world is one in which a Muslim is not proud of. The perception of the deen as a violent, ignorant and backward religion permeates the polity. Right now, a Muslim, with his/her identifiable wear, is viewed with suspicion. Acts of terrorism taken in any part of the world have seen many innocent Muslims take a defensive stance. Many have been maimed and killed for being in the same religion with terrorists. The media has also not helped- with terminologies like Islamic terrorists and Islamic extremists, more people believe Islam is synonymous to a blood-thirsty monster.

According to Andrew Smith, people fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. Many of the people who antagonize Islam do so out of ignorance and few do it out of sheer wickedness. Using Smith’s quote, Islam can be seen as an unconquerable force that should be a source of pride for its adherents. However, despite this, it is still misunderstood.

The quest for changing mindsets about Islam should start with a conscious attempt at doing so. A working strategy should be in place. One of such is to embark on a massive intellectual discourse to change this notion. As it is widely held that it is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder, we need to raise our words and not our voice. It is not until one goes about shouting about how the deen is against all what it has been accused of that one reaches his desires.

In furtherance to this, one doesn’t need to be a conventional and professional writer for him to be able to make a difference. In this age of internet and the social media, a single blog post, tweet or status update can go a long way in educating the target audience. The social media has proven over time to be capable of influencing political and other important decisions. Moreover, this same internet have been used by enemies of Islam hiding under the guise of anonymity to misinform people about Islam. It will only be logical to use the same turf to elucidate what Islam really means.

It is pertinent to know that writing and informing people about Islam does not only target non-Muslims, Muslims and Muslimahs are also quite important target audience. The dearth of knowledge and/or laziness of the Ummah has greatly made many Muslims to be misguided. This unfortunate misguidance makes many to create innovations in the deen, thus, bid’ah is practised. The consequence of this is that even many innocent Muslims and would-be Muslims see these practices as being ordained by Allah and his Prophet.

Engaging in Islamic discussions geared at propagating pristine Islam requires each adherent to have a sound knowledge of the deen. Questions will be asked, both innocent and inciting ones. It is the knowledge that is reposited in the Islamic preacher that makes way for him in such situations. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said ‘Searching for knowledge is compulsory on all Muslims and Muslimah’. Seeking Knowledge in order to propagate Islam is a vital aspect of a healthy eeman.

Finally, even though Allah will protect His religion from mischievous acts, we should remember that He is also going to question us on the Day of Recompense how we used what He gave us (time, intellect inclusive). So, instead of waiting for your Imam to preach on the mimbar during Jumu’ah, you should realise that you also can do more to preach Islam to where your Imam’s voice cannot reach.

            ________________________________

This post was written by me more than a year ago for an Islamic magazine but it went unpublished. Came across it minutes ago, lying in my Evernote.

Peep how this lady responded when asked why Muslims do not condemn terrorism. 

Image credit: equranforyou.com

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.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES OONI OF IFE

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 🙂

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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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

Hakeem.

#TheHakeem

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!

Hakeem.

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.

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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: http://www.stpeterslist.cm

Hakeem.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Hakeem.

2015 Elections: The Days After.

So, my country has concluded its much anticipated elections- hopefully, there’ll be no rerun. Now, our lives will be restored to default settings. The past few months have seen our radios & TVs taken over by campaign jingles & political talks, the social media was on lockdown for campaign (the effectiveness of the social media in determining the electoral activities should be studied)- hashtags were a normal feature on Twitter. In fact, discussions followed the route of politics. Every action of the government was seen through the prism of currying favour from the electorates. Our national life was conditioned in a particular way.
The campaign period highlighted some factors that were absent in previous electoral campaigns. Even before the elections, the use of card readers and PVCs by the electoral umpire (which was a first actually) had caused the heating up of the polity. Concerns were raised on the feasibility and reliability of its use. Also, the campaigns for this election made optimal use of the social media. With the youth comprising the highest number of voters and many of them on the social media, it was commonsense that discourse on these platforms would be political. Twitter was the hardest hit. Hashtags sought to outdo one another. The election really showed the true colours of some. Some turned erstwhile friends to foes and some bridges were burnt. Also, a factor that contributed to the loss of GEJ at the polls stems from the acts of those whose duty it was to make friends for him making enemies instead *side eye to Omokri, Okupe & FFK*.

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Swaggu!

Like I discussed here, the campaigns were about mudslinging than issues. A casualty of this campaign was debate. In a society like ours where electoral choices are coloured by emotions, debates could only be of little significance. Interestingly, the candidates who dodge debates have always gone ahead to win the election -2003, 2007, 2011 & 2015. The elections also tested how unified we are as a nation. Many people saw the election as one between the South and North. Some saw it as an election between Christians and Muslims. The First Lady didn’t help matters as she disparaged the Northern part of the country. The Vice President, Namadi Sambo also referred to APC as a christian-dominated-party. The voting patterns also reflected this. Except that of the South West. There are positives though (even from the voting patterns). A christian candidate won in Niger state, a state dominated by Muslims. Also, an Igbo man won a seat in the House of Representatives in Lagos, a Yoruba land. The gubernatorial election in Lagos also caused some ripples.

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The utterances by the Oba to drown non-indigenes who do not vote for his candidate and the obvious ethnic-based campaign undertaken by the PDP are the major highlights.
Now that the campaign grounds are empty and ballot boxes returned to the stores, the incoming administration has to hit the ground running. There’s plenty of work to be done. The expectations are high; thus, there’s no room for disappointment. This election is a special one in the sense that it’s the first time since our return to civil rule that the incumbent would be defeated at the federal level. APC, a conglomerate of opposition parties, now has the majority seats in the legislature, controls the executive arm and controls the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Now, this is a kinda holistic approach to governance. The new government need to arrange a team of world-beaters with a sense of duty and patriotism. That’s the first step to a working Nigeria. With a new party at the helm, Nigerians hope to see a different approach to issues. All the campaign promises and party manifesto need to be lived up to. We really need some catching up to do. In the 21st century, there’s no excuse for a developing nation to still be grappling with electricity generation and distribution.

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Expectations hitting the ceiling.

The issue of electricity is one that cuts across all political, tribal and economic divides. Tackle this and many things will fall in place. It’s like a domino. One issue that contributed to PDP’s loss at the polls is the handling of the nation’s security vis-à-vis insurgency. One of the main goals of government is provision of security. Failure in this will consume the successes recorded in other sectors. People need to feel safe. In fact, it’s second on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Thus, the incoming government should know its importance.
The economy, the other half of the goals of government needs a serious attention. The outgoing government prided on Nigeria being the biggest economy on the continent. The irony is that many citizens disagree with that. The claim is seen as a paper tiger achievement. Only a few benefit from the economy. Thus, the new government has to formulate policies that affect the majority positively.

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Many people believe that the welfarist inclination of Buhari will ensure this. Well, there’s only one way to find out.
Conclusively, the major beneficiary of this election results is the Nigerian people. Many now have a renewed confidence in the power of the ballot. They believe they now have a say in who leads them. Whether change or continuity, elected officials now know they have to earn their position. Though there is still plenty room for improvement, the umpire, INEC, under Prof Attahiru Jega deserve some praise. Except for some skirmishes in some states, the election was adjudged free and credible. If the new government also messes up, the proverbial cane used on the iyale is lying patiently in the ceiling.

Photo credits: TwitterNG

Hakeem.

The Genius, Tinubu

So this morning, the Financial Times ran a headline hailing Tinubu as being the brain behind Jonathan’s loss at the polls. They called him the Nigerian Machiavelli. Also, when General Buhari collected his Certificate of Return from INEC affirming his victory, he mentioned Tinubu during his acknowledgement. So, who is this man? A man the opposition (how tables turn!) fears as much as they do Buhari.

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He has been hailed as a master strategist. A man whose street cred is on fleek. Not many politician can boast o such- probably his protégé, Aregbesola. This man changed the face of opposition politics in Nigeria. But how did he do it? His emergence as the face of opposition proves that quality thumps quantity.

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Jagaban Borgu!

Regional politics still plays a huge role in Nigeria’s political affairs. After the 1999 elections, the Alliance for Democracy (AD) controlled the South Western region of the country the All Peoples Party (APP) controlled the Northern region while PDP controlled the federal. During the 2003 elections, AD fell for Obasanjo’s schemes and lost all their states except Lagos controlled by Tinubu. This marked the incursion of PDP into the southwest and subsequent demise of AD. This placed Tinubu and Obasanjo on a collision course. With just one state under his control, Tinubu forged on. In the heat of this, the President suspended the monthly allocation to the state- a move capable of wrecking the state. But that only served as a catalyst for building a self-sustaining Lagos. If Tinubu had fallen for Obasanjo’s antics, there might have been no credible opposition in Nigeria.

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The state’s IGR went from hundreds million naira to tens of billions of naira. Tinubu held onto Lagos as if his life depended on it- and indeed his political life does. With the demise of AD, the Jagaban formed the Action Congress. It was on this platform that his erstwhile Chief of Staff, Babatunde Fashola, a relatively unknown man won the governorship election. The ascension of ‘Tunde Fashola to the Government House really was a masterstroke. He was hiterto unknown in the political scene but he performed to the extent that he was adjudged to be the best governor in the country and he became a reference point for performance.
During the 2011 elections, the party leveraged on Fashola’s popularity and clawed back the South Western states from the PDP, save for Ondo state. In all these, Tinubu’s handwriting was written on the party’s victory at the polls. Ogun, Oyo, Osun and Ekiti states became ACN states. With this, the ACN was positioned as the major opposition party in he country. Though the party presented a candidate for the presidential election, it was so obvious that he was going to lose. The priority wasn’t the control of Abuja but taking over states in the region first. That would then serve as a launchpad for ‘assaulting’ the presidency.
Insatiable as ever, the next action is to drop the tag of ‘opposition leader’ & gun for the top. This isn’t going to be an easy task. The ruling party, PDP had been in power since the country’s return to civil rule and thus, has solid and widespread party structures. Heck! They paraded themselves as the biggest party on the continent. To defeat this giant, coalitions has to be formed. There has to be a united front to confront the ruling party. Hence, the formation of the All Progressive Congress (APC). A coalition of 3 parties- ACN, CPC and a faction of APGA. CPC was a party formed by General Muhammadu Buhari to advance his presidential ambition. Thus, there wasn’t any solid structure. The party was run basically on Buhari’s goodwill and popularity. The faction of APGA that joined the coalition was the one controlled by the Imo state governor. So, the main party in the coalition was still the ACN, under Tinubu’s tutelage. In fact, ACN’s party symbol was adopted as the new party’s symbol. The party presented Gen Buhari as its presidential candidate. Even though, he had contested and lost 3 times, General Buhari was still the party’s best shot at the presidency. He was a cult figure. Even during his loss in previous elections, there were some states he had under control. States that mattered in elections as they had huge population- Kano, Kaduna and Katsina. I daresay no politician in Nigeria has the appeal of Buhari. With Buhari as a front for the party and Tinubu pulling the strings in the background, the party launched a robust and intimidating campaign. Social media was on lock down, the street was active, the jingles on the radio and television were creative and running. Buhari was packaged as a brand- a movement. The campaign presented Buhari in a way he hadn’t been presented before. The party also capitalised on the ruling party’s misgivings. Even though, the people’s votes determined the ultimate winner, Bola Tinubu provided the platform. And then, on the last day of March, 2015, General Muhammadu Buhari was declared the winner.
One fact I find funny is that Tinubu doesn’t hold a defined role in the party. He’s referred to as the national leader or party chieftain, yet his influence dwarfs that of the party chairman. The Lion of Bourdillon, as he’s called, finally became the face of the governing party after more than a decade of being that of the opposition. I don’t think there’s anyone that understands Nigeria’s political workings like him. It’s even believed that he was behind the emergence of a relatively unknown Prof Yemi Osinbajo as the party’s vice presidential candidate. His emergence was really a well planned move as it swayed some undecided voters. Osinbajo was a commissioner during Tinubu’s time the governor. Tinubu is reputed give people opportunities. Fashola, Aregbesola, Osinbajo et al are people that had their first political bite under his tutelage. Loathe him or love him, even his greatest foe can’t deny his political mastery. With just one state under his control, he assiduously won back some states in the region before gunning for and winning the presidency. Even with that one state, he was really a thorn in the Federal Government’s flesh.

Meanwhile, this is my best pic from the celebratory pictures of Buhari’s victory. Her happiness is infections.

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Hakeem.

My Hausa Love.

2014 was really a major learning curve for me. It was the year it was destined for me to have my youth service. And indeed I fulfilled an objective of the NYSC. The scheme is such that many people have used to shed their toga of arrogance and ignorance. During my service, I learn more about the Hausas than I had learnt throughout my 20-something years.

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I had them as friends, neighbours, comrades, students (how I miss Akim Navy Barracks), prayed in mosques where Hausa was used for sermons, ate in a Hausa-run restaurant (for the first time) So, it’s bound for conversations to follow the tribal route some times. And no, I didn’t serve in the north; it was in Calabar. An irony, right?
Being the most conservative of the major tribes in Nigeria, there is a high probability for misconceptions and misrepresentations to be rife. Now, I’m not saying the Hausas are the best thing to have happened since slice bread.
Heck no! Of the major tribes in the country, they are the ones with the lowest rate of getting educated. Does JAMB’s ELDS ring a bell? They are also prone to ethno-religious crises.

But there are some of their qualities I admire; qualities that distinguish them from other people. Cultural qualities. A cultural feature I love about them is their language. This is something he doesn’t joke with. So important it is to him that he feels elated when a non-Hausa understands it. It’s rare for one to encounter two Hausa men conversing in English of even pidgin. In fact, they can discuss in the language for hours without any input from the English language. This one no possible in the south o! A southern man cannot even talk for 5 minutes without him borrowing a word from the English vocabulary. And this quality of the Hausas isn’t limited to those born in the North. Most of my students in the tutorial I held in Akim Navy Barracks mosque were Hausa children who were born and bred in Calabar and there is none of them that can’t communicate in the Hausa language. Back in the south especially in Lagos, many parents don’t speak their language to their wards; it’s always English. Yoruba is seen as a vulgar language, one to be touched with a long pole. Numerous times have I encountered peeps who do not understand Yoruba and I just shake my head. I remember Aliyu , my friend from Sokoto telling me that no matter how educated an Hausa man is, if he sees a fellow Hausa man, their discussion would always be in their language. Down south, 3 Yoruba or Igbo friends would rather speak in English or pidgin. That’s a sign of poshness. Ladies would speak through their nose in one annoying accent.

Another feature of the Hausa is their sense of community. In Calabar, these folks have two major places where they live- Bogobiri and Nassarawa. In these places, you would not even know if you are in the South-South or up north. See ehn, throughout my stay in the peoples’ paradise city, I did not hear of gathering of Yoruba folks. An association of some sort. I don’t think there is a city in Nigeria where there isn’t Sabo. Is there?

The political life of the Hausa man is underrated. Especially with how many view them as illiterates. A popular saying is that no matter how poor an Hausa man is, he go still see money buy radio. In movies, they’re depicted as radio-clutching men. He’s not listening to the latest jam in town or celebrity gossips. Rather, he’s listening to the BBC or VOA.
Also, Charles Erukaa, a Channels TV correspondent, while reporting his experiences on campaign grounds all over Nigeria, said the most enthusiastic people about the election were Northerners. The campaign ground were usually busting at the seams. Even though, people on campaign grounds don’t guarantee victory at the polls, the region also recorded the highest rate of PVC collection.

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Pre-postponment stat.

Talk of putting your money where your mouth is, right? Even in the insurgency-ridden Maiduguri, the turnout for APC’s presidential campaign was huge. Sometimes ago, I read on a blog whose owner is prolly from the South, how she would not vote even though she has her voter’s card. This she disclosed with pride. Political apathy.

Conclusively, many southern folks see the north as a desert, arid land. A place crawling with cattle herders, with huts dotting the landscape. What a terrible stereotype! Was watching one Hausa movie with someone, when he saw a beautiful storey building & he mocked the north by saying ‘So Hausas sef get beautiful houses’. I just shook my head ni. The internet still can’t take the place of travelling in the scheme of cultural and anthropological knowledge.

Hakeem.