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!

Continue reading “Of Christmas and Battlesome Reflections”
Kigali Memorial Centre
Change, Politics

A Straight Line from Rwanda to Nigeria

Of all the genocides in recorded history, the Rwandan Genocide of 1994 arguably takes pole position for the level of brutality and carnage that saw around a million persons (varying estimates) butchered within a period of 100 days. To put the scale of death in context, the Rwandan population in 1994 was about 6 million persons. Via a recent trip to Rwanda, I learned a bit more about the infamous genocide and could not avoid seeing parallels between 1994 Rwanda and today’s Nigeria.

Continue reading “A Straight Line from Rwanda to Nigeria”
Change, Politics

#EndSARS: 365 Days from October the Twentieth

French writer Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr declared in 1849 that “the more things change, the more they stay the same”. From a literal interpretation, if things that are changing end up being like the former state, how much more when no attempt is made at creating a change, or when such change, though promised, takes up residence in a large void filled with disclaimed promises. One year after the popular protests tagged #EndSARS, has anything really changed with Nigerian policing?

Continue reading “#EndSARS: 365 Days from October the Twentieth”
Change, Inspiration

The Privilege Vs Responsibility Divide

“Privilege is when you think something is not a problem because it’s not a problem to you personally”

David Gaider

The headline quote for this article is one that I think requires some deep introspection. But even if you were to undertake the shallowest form of reflection, it is easy to see at least one area of privilege regardless of how badly you think you lost the proverbial birth lottery. For me, my mind is burdened as I try to draw a line between privilege and responsibility. Permit me to selflessly unload my burden on you.

Continue reading “The Privilege Vs Responsibility Divide”
Lekki Toll Gate Massacre
Change, Politics

#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”
Change, Politics

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”
Change, Politics

SARS: When Lawlessness is the Law

“Beware that, when fighting monsters, you yourself do not become a monster… for when you gaze long into the abyss. The abyss gazes also into you.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

There is this crude joke by some Nigerians that should they find themselves being sentenced to hell, they would argue that God should not cause double jeopardy since their lifetime in Nigeria was spent in hell. While this joke may seem out of place, it highlights what some (maybe many) Nigerians think about living in a country where illegality is legal.  Continue reading “SARS: When Lawlessness is the Law”

Change, Randoms

Nigeria’s Many McCulloughs

The role of justice is to not only ensure that the guilty pay for their crimes, but to also ensure that the innocent is not wrongly punished. The scales are supposedly perfectly balanced, and manned by impartiality personified. In Nigeria, however, the judicial scales are obviously crooked, and manned by doyens of crookery. An American, Jack McCullough is presently celebrating his freedom, while many Nigerian McCulloughs continue to languish in decrepit jails for crimes they did not commit. Continue reading “Nigeria’s Many McCulloughs”

Change, Politics

#FreeEse: When The Constitution Is Not Supreme

Over the years, some incidents in Nigeria have tried to portray it as a theatre of the absurd. Periodically, news reports spring up, bewildering many Nigerians who wonder if the main characters lack commonsense, and the decency to save Nigerians the shame of watching foolish dramas. The #FreeEse incident is a quintessential example of a lot that is wrong in Nigeria. Continue reading “#FreeEse: When The Constitution Is Not Supreme”

Change, Politics

Kudos and Knocks for the Military

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”