Let me set the stage for this article by juxtaposing quotes from two American politicians.
Continue reading “COVIDIOTS, COVID-19 and a Question of Trust”
“The real cost of corruption in government, whether it is local, state, or federal, is a loss of the public trust” Mike Quigley
“We can only have true public safety with public trust”Betsy Hodges
The famed novelist, Salman Rushdie once opined that “Two things form the bedrock of any open society – freedom of expression and rule of law. If you don’t have those things, you don’t have a free country.” If these two are essential ingredients, then it may be debatable whether Nigeria, “Africa’s largest democracy”, is a “free country”; “free” in the sense that citizens are assured of the government and society’s commitment to the rule of law. Talking about commitment to the rule of law, Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Retd.) was just released after four years of confinement, with serious questions about the place of the rule of law in Nigeria.
Continue reading “Of A General, His Colonel, and Justice”
The iconic painter, Pablo Picasso, is acclaimed to have said that “Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” If there is any validity to Picasso’s claim that a properly implemented plan is the only route to success, what then do we say to individuals and institutions that act like planning is anathema to success. Maybe such persons know something the rest of the world is ignorant of, or maybe the ignorance, wilful or accidental, is in the other direction.
Continue reading “Nigeria’s War Against Holistic Planning”
I’m typing this article sitting outside my apartment while a throng of fireworks litters the skies. I expect that for much of this night, sleep might be either downright impossible, or thanks to my neighbours, socially unacceptable. So, while I spend time with some neighbours, let me conjure an article. Continue reading “2019: A Fresh Start”
After reading my last article on issues affecting Port Harcourt, a certain friend of mine called me to discuss the main ideas in the article. In a one hour-plus WhatsApp call, this Nigerian “externally displaced” in the United States, made the point that my article was trying to solve a problem by complaining about the symptoms. Whereas I did not necessarily agree with his entire viewpoint, a key idea stood out—his application of Jesus’ Parable of the Prodigal Son to events in Nigeria and Africa. Continue reading “Still Washing Pigs”
There is a popular proverb in Nigeria which states, “The person who has never left his father’s farm thinks the farm is the biggest in the village”. If the meaning has not jumped at you, here’s another version: “Until you leave your father’s house, you will think your mother is the best cook on earth”. There’s some kind of epiphany that happens when you go outside your conventional zone and get to experience life in other areas. This has been my experience with Port Harcourt. Continue reading “Cry, My Beloved Port Harcourt”
On Friday, 23 November 2018, a seven-storey building under construction in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, collapsed. With conflicting figures being bandied about, one sure point is that there were a lot of persons in that building when it collapsed because that day was a payday for workers and suppliers. As at the time of writing this article, ten days later, many persons, dead or alive are still trapped underneath the rubble. Continue reading “One Emergency Away from Doom”
When I decided to write this article, I roamed in search for a suitable quote to set as its façade. Two quotes tugged at my shirt so much that I couldn’t decide which to denominate, so I’ll leave the choice to you.
“The only animal capable of giving man a fair fight is man. Actually, among ourselves, we fight unfairest of all, and the more we practice, the nastier we get.”
“Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence.”
Continue reading “America’s Unfair Fairness”
I have had this article on my mind for a while but I just never came around to composing my thoughts until now. In checking for a quote to launch this article, I came across one attributed to Plato, which I think captures my aim for this article.
“No law or ordinance is mightier than understanding”
— Plato Continue reading “Much Ado About Seat Belts”
Let me begin with a quote attributed to Howard Dean: “I’m just disappointed that once again, we may have to settle for the lesser of two evils.” This quote was issued with respect to the 2004 US Elections. Applying this quote to Nigeria, especially in light of the fast-approaching general elections, a reader would be forgiven for quickly linking it to the presidential election. However, that is not my intention here. The presidential election, unlike some would argue, is not a choice between two evils. Continue reading “None of Two Evils”