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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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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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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Randoms

To Japa or Not to Japa

Life is a potpourri of numerous choices we make, of which some decisions are key because of their overreaching impact on how our lives shape up from that point. In today’s Nigeria, especially among people who fit certain criteria, one such decision is whether to leave Naija (“to japa”) or stay back within its territory. As social media continues to be regaled with a nouveau popular meme announcing a glassy welcome to a new dispensation, we may draw some wisdom from an adaptation of author Julie Kagawa’s writing that “there are no good choices …only those you can live with, and those you can work to change”.

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Change, Politics

A Nation in Need of Redemption

In November 2018, over 100 Nigerian soldiers were gruesomely slaughtered at a town called Metele by a contingent of Boko Haram terrorists. That sad event influenced an article in which I argued that losing that many soldiers in one sitting should mark a turning point in existing attempts to exterminate the murderous gang. But Metele was brushed aside and almost four years later, Nigeria continues to face existential threats to its continued existence and a loss of faith by citizens that the people who should know, know what they should know.

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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?

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