In his book, Gravity’s Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon added a thought-provoking quote: “If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.” Getting citizens to look at the wrong places has been a key operating principle for governments around the world disinterested in true accountability nor doing right by their citizens. Trying to get at a problem without asking the right questions is like trying to diagnose pregnancy by asking if a mosquito recently bit a lady. Unfortunately, Nigerians flirt with such irrelevant questioning. Continue reading “Alex Ekwueme: Asking the Wrong Questions”
Tag: Human Rights
Charles Darwin’s evolution theory and its upliftment of the doctrine of “survival of the fittest” may have painted a picture of a human race primarily consisting of selfish humans only interested in themselves. However, people have repeatedly showed that humans are not some overtly self-centred species lacking the capacity for compassion, but that in the midst of a fight for survival, many humans would stick out their necks to save others, even if those needing salvation were random strangers. It then becomes sad when we see humans acting like a herd of giraffes that leave the weakest for the stomachs of approaching lions. Continue reading “When Humaneness Goes Missing”
A quote attributed to South African-born Mokokoma Mokhonoana says that “You cannot really shame a man who sincerely does not care what others think of him”. To feel shame, a person must have the capacity to not just understand what shame is, but also recognize that an action or a spoken word is beneath dignity standards. This is where the South Africans and their Nigerian comrades have shown unrepentant deficiency. Continue reading “The South African Dance of Shame”
“You have freedom of speech before the speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after the speech”. This sentence and different variants has been attributed to Uganda’s Idi Amin. Although one may not be certain if he actually said that, the sentence captures the attitude of many persons in a world that continues preaching the existence of free speech. Maybe free speech is real, or maybe it is a fantasy, and some speeches may just come with expensive price tags.
Yesterday, January 15, was Nigeria’s Armed Forces Remembrance Day, a day set aside to remember the roles played by the armed forces in various aspects of the Nigerian polity. Whereas the commemoration ceremonies centred on praise, I think a blend of kudos with knocks is better—kudos for the good, and knocks to correct some wrong sectors in the military’s head. Continue reading “Kudos and Knocks for the Military”
Were Wilson Tagbo of the “One Week, One Trouble” fame to be a living person, he would be amazed at the pitiful attempt of Nigeria’s political actors to imitate his exploits. Theirs however, is more like “One Week, One Affront”. This week’s affront is a plan to gag Nigerians. Continue reading “Parliamentary Gag”