Inspiration

2023: A Defining Moment

“Happy New Year!”

If at 00:01am on January the First, someone had told me it would be three weeks before I get a chance to scribble my first article for the year, I would have said, “all things have become new”. But here I am, finally typing these words after a combination of several factors, ably captained by workplace orders, conspired to keep me on the defensive from the zero hour. So, let me start by saying welcome to a defining year for everyone.

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Change

Of Christmas and Battlesome Reflections

The Christmas Season is upon us. Whether you celebrate it or not, the season is one that surely makes a mark on the greatest number of persons on earth, cutting across all countries. Some might see it as just another overblown, commercialised holiday, or argue that it was appropriated from a pagan festival, hence, should be ignored or re-appropriated. But for us, it is a season to reflect on life, the gift of sacrifice, and gratitude for our lives’ journeys and the privileges bestowed on us. So, let me start by wishing you a truly Merry Christmas!

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Inspiration

Grace and Another Birthday

A popular hymn says we should “Count your blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done”. Many Christians sing the words, but I wonder how many of us understand that you can only count as a blessing what you acknowledge is a blessing, or that you can only show gratitude for something if you do not feel entitled to it. With this settled, this birthday article begins.

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Randoms

Wicked Doctors Leaving Nigeria in Droves

There was a time when Nigerians were so proud of their country that they would hurry back home to build their careers, preferring the simplicity of their homeland to the ill-gotten wealth of yonder. But what do we have today? A young Nigerian is admitted to an ultra-subsidised university, merely suffers a little sprinkling of strike actions, gets awarded a MBBS degree, begins the stipulated medical internship and immediately starts plotting to leave the land that trained him. How much more wicked can we be?

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Change, Politics

Underachievement Has A Face Draped In Green

Achievements are an extremely subjective sphere of discussion; so nebulous that any attempt to discuss them should first try to define an acceptable framework, yet whatever framework is crafted could still be argued as unfair by some. This applies to almost everything, including countries, though for sovereign confines, we may borrow from businesses to define “national imperative” as the requirement for nations to perpetually seek the betterment of their people to match or exceed other nations with similar endowments and constrictions. It is on this basis that we will judge Nigeria at 62.

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Energy

When a Right-of-Way Becomes No Man’s Land

There are a lot of things that happen in Nigeria, that if this were the proverbial saner climes, we would be debating whether to commit people to a sanatorium or a penitentiary. Or, if we wanted to spice things up a bit, we would haggle over how many neck-ward strokes with a USB cord would suffice. But before you accuse me of brutal intent, can we explain why anyone is building a petrol station above a high-pressure gas pipeline when suicide is still illegal in Nigeria?

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Change, Politics

Who Made It Anathema to Move On?

The only time a competitive swimmer can benefit from having a weight attached is during training when strength is being enhanced. Beyond that time, any swimmer who chooses to compete with a weight attached, except where the competitors are neonates, would have to be content with negotiating the terms for the last place, or if the weight were weighty enough, risk injury or even drowning. As physicists would say, such person would have a lot of displaced water from flapping arms but hardly any directional displacement. This seems to be the condition of the African community.

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Politics, Travelling

For the Love of Bans

In January 2020, the Lagos State Government announced a state-wide ban on commercial motorcycles for a range of offences, including causing many road users to lose limbs and other body parts. Whereas the ban was on all motorcycles, it was perceived as a move against Gokada, Max, and similar startups, especially as conventional bikes were soon back on the roads complying with the daily extortionary and ultra-official cash fees paid to enforcers (“agberos”) on the roads. Effective 1st September 2022, there is now another ban covering many parts of the state, which extends an earlier ban that had fewer areas included.

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Change, Politics

Nigeria and a Season of Tough Decisions

We start today with three strong assertions. First, “Nigeria is in a mess”. Secondly, “There is no Messiah to fix Nigeria”. Thirdly, “Nigeria can be fixed”. We would go further to amend the third to say, “Nigeria can be fixed with good leadership that can make politically-ruinous choices and citizens willing to allow the necessary compromises”. If you understand the import of those twenty words, we can continue the rest of this article.

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Change, Energy

Saudi Aramco Made $48 Billion in Three Months, So What?

You see a link to the same article in different unrelated WhatsApp groups and start wondering what the fuss is all about. In one group, it is infographics used to encode the same message, then in another group, someone drops a link to the article and asks what can be done for the Nigerian version to deliver massive petrodollars like its Arab egbon. As views begin to pour in, you decide to find time to craft a fluffy treatise for what is clearly a big deal.

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