In my almost 4 decades on the surface of the earth, I have never visited a dentist! I am sure most of you may be surprised. My path and that of a dentist have never crossed. As a child I had a lot of issues with my teeth stemming from eating of sweet things. It was an excruciatingly painful experience, yet I did not have the luxury of being attended to by a dentist. It was not because I did not want to see a dentist, but for paucity of financial resources. My barely educated, but resourceful late mother (the one I fondly call my ‘rich teacher’) came up with options so that I would not lose any of my teeth. She gave me ‘orin ata’ (literally translated as pepper chewing stick) each time I complained of toothache. And it worked like talisman of India, as I never lost any of my teeth. As effective as ‘orin ata’ was for my case, can I offer the same to my children in this 21st Century, when we are more westernised than the westerners themselves? The answer is obviously ‘no’!
That what worked for me is no longer fashionable now played out when my first son complained of toothache. I could not give him orin ata as he would have bombarded me with litany of questions. So, I opted for the option of a dentist since I can afford it. Hence, my first visit to the dentist. At least, when you are in Rome you behave like the Romans. The kernel of this piece is not the visit, but the lessons of life I learnt from the experience. Read more…
By Darasimi Oshodi
In my last post, I started giving reasons why I think Nigeria is a case study in absurdity. The first reason I gave was the way our politicians change parties without caution. They even seem to get a kick out of their actions. I cited the examples of Nuhu Ribadu, Atiku Abubakar, Femi Fani-Kayode, Rotimi Amaechi and many others. I mentioned the governor of Ondo State, Olusegun Mimiko and likened him to Nicolas Anelka due to the way he has been hopping from one party to another. And to justify this name I gave him, the governor last week decamped again. He has returned to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). In a related development, former governor of Plateau State, Joshua Dariye has revealed he is also returning to PDP. With the rate at which defections are taking place now in Nigeria, it seems the political transfer window is now open and the political clubs with the biggest offers are likely to sign on new players for the 2015 political season. Didn’t our president go for medicals in Germany recently? I am not insinuating that he wants to transfer to another political club but maybe his current club wants to be sure of his fitness in order to avoid a very costly mistake it made some seasons, sorry, years, ago when it fielded an obviously physically unfit person as its presidential candidate.
In this post I will be exemplifying another phenomenon which makes our country a case study in absurdity. A senior friend had suggested that instead of ‘absurdity’ in the title of the last post I should have used ‘wrong norm’. His argument was that I can only call a situation ‘absurd’ if I can provide counterfactual evidences. He posited that what we have in Nigeria is the acceptance of wrong norms. That is, we have come to acknowledge the wrong norms as right. So anyone who attempts to observe the right norms will be seen as the abnormal person. But I am sticking to ‘absurd’ in the title of this post because it’s a continuation of the last post. So my second reason for saying Nigeria is a case study in absurdity is because in Nigeria we celebrate questionable characters, corruption and criminality. I present below instances to substantiate my assertion. Read more…
By Darasimi Oshodi
Could it have ever occurred to Hillary Clinton to defect from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party when she lost her presidential bid to Barack Obama? I am almost certain it couldn’t because theirs is a rational society where decisions are taken based on principles. So, former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, recently defected from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the party that emerged from the merger among some political parties including the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) which fielded him as its presidential candidate in the last presidential election in Nigeria and some Nigerians are still reacting to his action. While the legality of Ribadu’s action is not in question, I am not totally sure about the morality.
When a senior colleague asked me what my take on the defection was, I told him I had come to a point where I didn’t allow anything to surprise me about Nigeria’s politics. Yes, I don’t allow anything to surprise me again in this nation just like I cannot be surprised by developments in the football transfer market. The day David Beckham left Manchester United – despite the circumstances that surrounded his exit – was the day I ceased to allow myself to be surprised by football transfers. So as a fan of Arsenal FC, I was not surprised when the legendary Thierry Henry left Arsenal for FC Barcelona or when the hugely talented Cesc Fabregas left the club, also for Barcelona. But I must confess that though I still have huge respects for Henry, it is not the same about Fabregas. I still admire Cesc though because of his undeniable talent but within me, I am wishing that he does not ‘click’ at Chelsea FC. Read more…
Four over months now, more than a hundred schoolgirls have been abducted from a school in Chibok, Borno State and there are no signs of them returning anytime soon. Some parents of the girls have died, with other apparently going through untold pains but the government seems to be at a loss as to how to secure the freedom of the innocent girls. What the girls are going through in captivity is best imagined. The deprivations they must be experiencing and the reality of being forcefully separated from their loved ones must be overwhelming for the girls and this is the reason I am giving 21 reasons why the government must #BringBackOurGirls NOW:
- It is long overdue.
- The girls have done nothing wrong by going to school.
- The girls’ morale would have been totally destroyed
- The girls may become brainwashed and dangerous to the society.
- The temptation to abuse or rape the girls by the abductors increases every day.
- It will show that the government still places some value on human lives.
- It will demonstrate that the government is still in charge of every part of Nigeria.
- The parents of these girls have been through serious emotional turmoil and psychological stress.
- The parents of the girls (and even the girls) can enjoy sound sleep.
- Girls in the northern part of Nigeria will not be afraid to go to school.
- Failure to secure their release will have negative consequences for the Peoples Democratic Party.
- It will save the president’s face a little in the forthcoming presidential election.
- It will send a strong signal to Boko Haram that they can’t get away with abductions.
- Everyone who has been involved in the agitation for the release of the girls will be able to divert their time and energy to thinking about ways to move our country forward.
- It will restore our pride before the international community.
- Government will stop spending money on efforts geared towards securing the release of the girls.
- Malala’s visit to Nigeria would have been a success.
- The First Lady’s tears would not be in vain.
- The president and his wife will no longer be bound by their promise not to sleep until the girls are found.
- Government spokespersons will have no reasons to misinform Nigerians about the girls’ situation.
- Law enforcement officers will no longer have a crisis of conscience since they will no longer be asked to arrest innocent #BringBackOurGirls campaigners.
By Darasimi Oshodi
This piece is an attempt to write down some of my thoughts on some things I have noticed in my environment. The two sections are from two different trains of thought and that is why I have demarcated them. Enjoy the read.
I have come to the categorical conclusion that Nigerians are hard-working. We are industrious. We want to make honest living. We want to work for our money. Our youths are not the lazy type some adults have been portraying them to be. Anytime I see people hawking, especially in traffic, I usually shake my head and mutter to myself: Nigerians are hardworking. Or how do you explain the actions of men and women, boys and girls who run after vehicles, risking their lives or limbs just to make end meet? Have you noticed that some of them hawk only foams and nothing more? Foams, yes. Foams cut neatly for domestic use. How do you explain what makes a person trek long distances with a heavy load on their head, back or shoulder just to eke out a living? Have you seen old men (and women) with bent back going to or coming back from their farms? Have you seen pregnant women sweating under a sweltering sun just to fend for themselves and their families? To me, all these are demonstrations of Nigerians’ willingness to do something that will bring money into their pockets instead of resorting to crime or begging.
But I usually wonder at how they are able to sustain themselves from their earnings. How much will selling foams only fetch the seller? How much? Yet, you see these people outside everyday going about their businesses. Who then says Nigerians are lazy? I dare say that the number of those people who are ready to sweat for their money is more than those of people who are involved in crimes like cyber fraud, armed robbery, etc. My country men are honest. They are industrious. We are not loafers or idlers. We are a diligent, productive and energetic set of people who expect the government to do its part by providing basic amenities like constant electricity, potable water, good roads, security and so on for us so that we can enjoy our beautiful nation. We expect the government to give our children good schools, support our farmers, encourage SMEs and do all the other things responsible governments do for their citizens. When this will be? When will our government become responsive to our needs? The truth is that I do not know. Read more…
by Darasimi Oshodi
The World Hepatitis Day was recently observed. So this post is my own way of contributing to the sensitisation on Hepatitis.
The First Service in my church on Sunday is tagged ‘Empowerment Service’, where issues like entrepreneurship, academics, health, wealth, purpose, etc., are addressed. At one of our services, a medical doctor, spoke on the deadliness of Hepatitis infection and its prevalence in Nigeria. A staggering revelation the speaker made was that Hepatitis infection is deadlier than HIV and costlier to manage. Hepatitis B, he said, is incurable while Hepatitis C can be treated but can you imagine spending 30,000 naira per week on treatment for 48 consecutive weeks? That should be around 200 dollars per week. Please try to calculate what that amounts to. How many people in Nigeria can afford such a treatment? It is however surprising to know that vaccination for this disease is not supposed to be more than 1000 naira (that should be around 7 dollars) and I want to hazard a guess that many people are not aware of this. What is painful about this disease is the fact it is prevalent in Nigeria and many people are ignorant about it. How many Nigerians have died from Hepatitis infection with the death attributed to something else? Read more…
by Mickie Ojijo
After ten years of futile effort to persuade Kenya Government to review its decision leading to closure of the Tourism Marketing offices in Germany, Kenya Development Associates-Germany will launch a private bureau to market Kenya in August.
It is the public domain Kenya’s tourism trade has been plagued with an assortment of problems and has been operating below expectations since the late 1970s.
Every successive government since independence has raised the bar, making the country the hub of hunting/tourist expeditions in the entire east and western parts of Africa.
The journey to success however, is fraught with government ineptitude, greed and lack of patriotism. Many believed the devolved system of governance in the new Constitution would transfer tourism marketing docket to the relevant county governments, to the contrary, the central government, has unfortunately, remained adamant – not wishing to cede its hegemony.
Numerous excuses have been advanced as to why tourism trade is stagnating. This has not cut it because there are several examples of countries operating under the same adverse circumstances of political squabbles and insecurity but flourishing in their tourism trade. It was for this reason in 2003, Kenya Development Associates (KDA) plunged itself in selling Kenya as the only answer.
As a patriotic Kenyans, through our experts, we know the answer lies in effective consultations with the German tours and travel agencies and not the armchair state marketing agency, which more often than not, continues to replicate anachronistic sales strategies that has seen the country’s tourism sector, plummet to worrying levels.. Read more…
by Yinka Ogunlana
The effects of professionalism can never be over-emphasized in developed nations around the world. In this vein, it is imperative to look into Nigeria; the biggest, largest, most populous and biggest oil-rich country in Africa, which is equally blessed with both immense human and natural resources. Most times, one begins to ponder on the devastating, dehumanizing and deteriorating conditions faced by Nigerians and even the country as a whole despite its wealth and enviable resources. One of the major challenges which is not only affecting the growth of the country but is also a dent on the nation’s
integrity is unprofessionalism.
It is disheartening to note that a country with about 170 million people and to some reasonable extent values education as it records over 7,000 graduates and 2,000 M.Sc. holders every year is unable to
boast a reasonable level of manpower in most of its sectors. But then, for Nigeria to record the desirable success in every of facet of her national life, it is my thinking that professionalism is crucial
towards re-branding and rebuilding the country.
As a matter of fact, unprofessionalism is unarguably that microscopic flu that has eaten deep down into the affairs of the nation and is on the verge of destroying the economy though many will easily look at
corruption as the bigger flu; but it’s important to know that corruption is a product of unprofessionalism. A right-thinking individual won’t expect an agriculturist to serve as a doctor; this
also applies to most of our leaders. It has become a chorus on almost everyone’s mouth that corruption is that common and infectious disease confronting the county but as an average professional Nigerian will not only help to re-build the economy but also make sure that there is an equitable distribution of resources as he won’t want to involve in corrupt acts. Read more…