Category: Change

#EndSARS: A Nation in Need of Healing

#EndSARS: A Nation in Need of Healing

“It has been said, ‘time heals all wounds.’ I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone”

Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy

On 1 October 2020, Nigeria marked 60 years of independence from British colonial rule. Unknown to merry makers and observers, barely a week later, a sequence of events would lead to young Nigerians demanding independence from a faux democratic elite symbolised by the infamous police unit, the Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS). Within two weeks, events have evolved from peaceful protests led by an educated base to unmatched rioting and looting led by the uneducated thugs we love to fear.

Continue reading “#EndSARS: A Nation in Need of Healing”
Nigeria at 60: A Thousand Words in a Graph

Nigeria at 60: A Thousand Words in a Graph

On 1 October 1960, the landmass internationally known as Nigeria was granted independence by its erstwhile “colonial masters”, setting the stage for a journey that has now spanned sixty years. There are already a tonne of viewpoints and articles evaluating the sexagenarian with in-depth analysis, but I have chosen a different route. Instead of making a judgement call, I would present data and let you decide how Nigeria fared over six decades. After all, they say “a [graph] is worth a thousand words”.

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Continental Builders Called the African Youth

Continental Builders Called the African Youth

When I was contacted by an advocacy group, The Reformers, to join an online panel session on International Youth Day 2020 (12 August), I wondered why anyone would want to hear me talk about “The Role of African Youths in Building the Africa We Want”. Accepting their request laid the foundation for today’s article, which draws from my research and thoughts about the issues, blended with insights from other panellists and participants.

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“Not for Sale”: The Dysfunctional Normal

“Not for Sale”: The Dysfunctional Normal

We begin this article with two quotes that should set the stage, and may even be adequate as a concise summary for the day.

“Man [Nigeria] is not suffering by external forces as much as his [its] own dysfunctional mind and self inflicted negative stimulus.”

Aditya Ajmera

“When a big vision meets a dysfunctional system, the dysfunctional system wins every time. Fix the system and success will flourish!”

Daren Martin
Continue reading ““Not for Sale”: The Dysfunctional Normal”
Of A General, His Colonel, and Justice

Of A General, His Colonel, and Justice

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”
Nigeria’s War Against Holistic Planning

Nigeria’s War Against Holistic Planning

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.

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Still Washing Pigs

Still Washing Pigs

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”

Cry, My Beloved Port Harcourt

Cry, My Beloved Port Harcourt

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”