NINE & A HALF WASTRELS – The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) & ‘Lesbian Football’.

And exactly how will they know which of the women players are lesbians? Will they just ask: ”Are you gay?”…or will they set up hidden cameras to catch them making out with other females?
…I wish FIFA would just do the right thing and just ban Nigeria as a whole from world football!…No need to ask questions. No long discussions.

This is one major drawback of over-staffing. When you have ten people doing the job of half a person, the remaining nine and a half persons will run outside to get sand & spray on clean surfaces just so they can busy themselves wiping & dusting the surfaces…they have to look busy.

The more profound among them consider ‘bigger’ questions…you know issues that have real future significance…like: If too many people walk past the gate of the NFF secretariat, they could wear off the top surface of the road. Solution? Petition for a law that people should only go past the gates in cars. Implication: Everyone will go buy a car, costs of cars would rise…but never mind the government will introduce more subsidies and waivers for importation of cars. Innovative critical thinking – Naija style.

Only a moron…of the variety only a Nigerian government employs…would not consider that women engaged in high octane sport like football could have (slightly) elevated levels of testosterone, which could make them manifest typically male tendencies…from aggressiveness…even to physical markers.

If the girls are not raping their team mates or others…if they are not bringing in their personal relationship dramas or having affairs in the camp…WHY should any sensible sport body bother its head about their private lives?

This is why other countries will always leave us behind.

We are children.

We can’t envisage a future beyond the plate of food in front of us. We throw away our future just because we have gorged ourselves with enough food at present.

Our government even bases policies that will affect our children in centuries to come…on any passing feeling…which they don’t even fully experience.

The question the NFF and those who for reasons of personal moral angst against homosexuality support this idiocy will have to answer is this…before we bring in unnecessary complications of whether FIFA is ”bigger” than Nigeria and her constitution…

– Are the Falcons and other female member clubs of the NFF losing matches because some of their players are lesbians…or could be lesbians? Yes or No?

– The players so deemed to be lesbians…HOW was this determination made?…On definite sexual acts…or on looks and ”odd’ behaviour?

I present questions like the first because that is what the FIFA and other sensible countries would ask.

I present the second as an addendum because that is what any person with a modicum of commonsense would consider.

I know the officials who pushed for the body into this misadventure are strangers to such musing. They are strangers to progress of any kind anyway.
…Sadly such people are increasingly in the majority in the public space these days.

Nine and a half symbols of wastage….of our collective wealth – financial, moral and mental.

What a crying shame!

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SEVEN DEADLY SINS (Part I)

There has been a lot of talk in philosophical and religious circles about the ”Seven deadly sins”. Some reel them out like ”The Ten Commandments” of the Christian bible, admonishing their world against these ‘’iniquities’’ that could bar access to their heavenly destination.

As usually obtains in a climate like ours where people are ‘medicated’ in lieu of being really educated – accepting as a friend concludes, ”revelation in place of investigation” as grounds for conviction – most of us really believe that the bible specifically and unequivocally commands against the ”Seven deadly sins”. Most believe the bible conferred this title on this class of human character attributes.

Some even use it in sermons for proselytizing. We have our bibles and could read to know whether there is list known as ”The 7 Deadly Sins”, before making it our life goal to admonish others that their souls are doomed for promoting ”something the bible warns against” …but that’s beside the point.
Truth is the Christian bible knows NOTHING about this matter. And this should give us pause…those of us who have been raised up on ‘’The bible is a life manual ‘’ mantra, I mean.
The so-called ”Seven Deadly Sins” palaver shows up our gospels for being man-made interpretations of what we conceive to be divine, and man’s quest for establishing order upon his universe in the chaos that being human, living among other humans ensures. But don’t take my word for it.
Each ”sin” taken on its own is a ”sin” only as per perspective.
The one who for instance, is arrogant enough to regard himself as ”humble”, villifies another as ”proud”. Therefore ”Pride” becomes a sin. The truth does not matter here. The truth really matters little to us anyway. We take our ”gut-feelings” as truth enough.
The tragedy is that millions have either been killed, displaced, abused, harmed in diverse ways…and will continue to be…based on someone’s ”gut feeling”, which of course brings us to the contrived ”sin” of ”Gluttony”….
…I really have to pause here. My own ‘’sin’’ of early morning coffee pulls too hard.
…By the way, coffee is banned in one of our popular private universities…one of the religious ones. Students, on returning to campus from holidays or outings have their bags searched by security men attached to the school. Having just a 10g satchet of coffee concealed in your bag, purse or any similar container could mean expulsion if care is not taken.
The reason for this is that the founder of the religious sect, to which this school is affiliated banned the consumption of coffee. There must be a verse or more in the Christian bible upon which this position rests, but that’s beside the point.

The point is, we have ‘future leaders of Nigeria’ as the mantra goes, most of them in their 20s and 30s, having to forcefully adhere to a dietary restriction placed by a man who has long gone to the great beyond. A man who didn’t hail from our side of the earth and did not know how growing coffee affects the lives of several families in this part of the continent. It does not matter whether coffee has any benefits…these students will not be researching that. The school has a mandate. Any studies done to perhaps give some scientific fillip to their obviously religious and political position would be found in leaflets and papers long written and re-edited far outside these shores.

We have the revelation. No need for the investigation.

….but then that’s beside the point…We were talking about the ‘’Seven Deadly Sins’’.

 

Spitting Fire…

There are over 200 mystical & religious philosophers of note through time right from when religion began. Any human on earth can read up on their history, see their works etc.
Some of them span fields outside religion, straddling both with dexterity. Their thoughts have been recorded and guide the education of others in various fields like politics, history, science, applied arts, music, economics, the humanities, etc.
Really few of the most noted of them are African.

None of them came from Nigeria.

Even with the fact that most Nigerian pastors now claim that they are ”re-evangelizing Europe” as per a ”mandate from God”, in 200 years to come, none of them will be remembered. Their jets will rust. Their cars will be forgotten.
Their clothes and jheri curls will become a source of ridicule or emulation, depending on fashion trends…but they will not be in history books.

Their (commercial) books, tapes and most fervent fire-brand sermons are the result of other’s intellectual grinding.

We produce nothing. We eat everything.

That’s why we are religious and yet have nothing to show in our economy, our communities…our universe; Nothing…just chaos. We have no grounding in what makes humanity what it should be.
We spit fire from our pulpits, but it is a fire which smolders to cold ash. There are no embers that others coming behind will use to light their path. They too will have to cast their eyes outside these shores for guidance and philosophy.

Christianity did not originate from us. Islam did not originate from us. Even mysticism which is available to every conscious human, our Christian & Muslim brethren were trained to villify, excoriate and tamp down on…violently.

The chaos then continues with our pure mysticism being pulled into the fray with adherents whose understanding of the noble philosophy of African Mysticism and Metaphysics begins and ends at the level of practice of the ‘’dark’’ occult…their purview limited in principle to the acquisition of political powers for selfish gains, co-opting of property, spouse & cattle of others, and perpetuation of personal heritage as communal terrorists.

The Freemasons built America. In Nigeria we only know someone has joined the Ogboni or ‘’Asigidi’’ fraternity when they encroach illegally on a neighbour’s land space…then the ominous clicking of fingers and threats of ‘’do you know you are playing with fire?!’’

…Yes. We Africans can create fire alright…just don’t ask us to use it for the betterment of our human race.

 

Sharrap!

We were ‘spring cleaning’. There was dust everywhere…on the window nets, window sills…

She was helping me dust the sills. She saw a dead dried up spider & screamed for me to remove it. I told her she shouldn’t be scared of spiders. Muslims believe the spider is a good insect, because once spiders saved the prophet of Islam by covering up the mouth of a cave where he was hiding while enemies searched for him.

She made her mouth into a moue…”so I should pet the spider then?…besides the real spider that saved Rasulullah…will it still be alive until now?” she queried.

I hissed. Annoying infantile rhetoric that always leads to endless arguments. I needed to save my strength for the mopping task still ahead.

She wondered aloud why dust was always everywhere in a room, even when you closed the door. I said maybe it’s because God made human beings from dust as they wrote in the bible…so dust is everywhere in the atmosphere…all around us. It made some sense even to me as I spoke.

I stopped short…considering…

Her next query jolted me.

”If God made human beings from dust, then why do we clean dust from the house?…Is it not human beings we are cleaning?”

I laughed. ”Repeat that question to yourself and tell me if t makes sense to you. We should pet dust like spider abi?…You see yourself now?’’ I crowed.

She looked chagrined…or so I thought…

Ehen…if human beings were made from dust, why don’t they just keep plenty buckets…no tanks of dust in the hospital so that if someone is injured or someone cuts his hand off, the doctors will just use dust and replace it...henn?!…why not??!” This time she’s screaming, arms akimbo.

I was suddenly annoyed.

”Sharrap and dust that window. I don’t have time for all these your questions today!”.
.
.
.
.
.She’s 7.

I need my child to be loved and accepted. I want her life to be easy.

No need stirring up this dust.

So I say: ‘’sharrap’’

 

Journey Mercies

She sat close to me in the ‘Hiace’ bus during a Benin-Port Harcourt road trip.
Before the journey began she had politely asked us, her soft tremulous voice betraying extensive formal education, that we bow our heads in Christian prayer…under her headship of course.

We did.

About 20 minutes into the journey she began praying again. This time she didn’t ask that anyone join her, but of course in the usual intensely vociferous manner favoured by the Pentecostal Christian wing, she was loud enough to be heard throughout the bus.
She took a couple of phone calls, telling the caller/s exactly where we were at that time. Then…”We thank God. Yes by his grace oh! Thanks…Amen. Yes oh! We are ”covered”…we’ll arrive safely in Jesus’ name!’’

She prayed at every landmark thanking God that ”so far” the journey had been smooth. She prayed especially hard whenever we crossed a bridge. She ‘bound’ ‘’water spirits’’ & asked for protection against ‘’mammy water’’.

She continued this drama until we got to PH. By the time she got ready to disembark, her attention obviously was on other immediate concerns – she wondered aloud whether *NEPA would have graced her compound with light in the complicated power distribution arrangement between her street and a few others. She needed to iron her work clothes for the coming week. One couldn’t be sure of NEPA she had mused.

One could only pray…but sometimes NEPA was arrogant enough in its omnipotence to be capricious. You permuted, you hoped, you studied the ‘light pattern’…you prayed that the heavens subvert the course of what you now see as ‘nature’…and yet NEPA covered you in shroud of darkness and invited its children – mosquitoes and heat to consolidate your angst.

I had wondered if I should query her on her unique prayer pattern. What was it about the murky waters of the delta that unsettled her so? And why did she feel the need to touch base with her God so often, congratulating him on the progress of the journey and quickly allaying any questionable impression that she could possibly be attributing the smoothness of the journey to the skill of the driver?

I had demurred though. Only those who have the right to demand that everyone else, never mind their personal comfort, belief or schedule – drop all else and ‘’bow their heads in reverence to our omnipotent Father, who being so gracious let us see this day, inspite of our grave sins, and instead took the lives of others because of the great love He had for us…and because he obviously hoped we would turn from our wicked ways’’ – only these could have a view of God. My own idea of Omnipotence, God, Mercy and Love had to be so odd as to be deranged…and so dangerous.

The incongruities between philosophy and practice have always bemused and confounded me. The best I could do was chalk this up to just another of those queer things that only the religious zealots are capable of pulling off with a grace and panache that stupefies my kind.

…I thought of those strident teachings by televangelists and ‘motor park pastors’. How they stressed the power and wisdom of God to be so vast as to encompass knowledge of the very hairs on a man’s head. I had always wondered as a child whether God knew the names of those unruly strands of hair on my head that made hair combing the most dreaded part of my daily routine. I had prayed that he turned them overnight to silky tresses so I could look like those pretty girls in ‘Bournvita’ adverts. I don’t think he heard.

…So now I wondered if indeed God knew the strands of hair on the human head, and if ‘he’ could extend this omnipotence to include every grain of sand, every blade of grass by the sides of the lush delta roads. And if God could also encompass pre-knowledge about other road users that we would encounter on our journeys, so that my elegant looking co-passenger who smelled like sweet oranges, could relax and go to sleep while the vehicle cruised along as smoothly as the numerous potholes gave leave to.

By the time I got home however. these psycho-spiritual musings were in the furtherest part of my mind. My generator had packed up. Petrol fuel was scarce and we had bought adulterated fuel from the black market, the kind commonly called ‘’condescence’’…now unless the omnipotent NEPA relinquished its hold on public power supply, his ‘children’ would be sure of a feast that night.

I did yet spare a thought for my elegant co-passenger though, wondering as I prepared for bed if like me she too had exchanged the tangy orange notes of her perfume for the lung-curdling smell of insecticide.

 

A VALENTINE EPIPHANY … 2

I spent Valentine’s Day with a young couple last year.

…They are in divorce court as we speak.

Spousal abuse is among the claims in those cold, aloof documents, bandied about by lawyers who couldn’t care how he once borrowed his friend’s car and taken an advance on his salary, just so he could drive thousands of kilometres to visit her on campus…how she had cried and laughed on seeing him that ”Val night”, a lifetime ago, after she had helped her friends who had dates dress up to go to town, her heart heavy underneath the insouciant smiles and jokes.

He had just got a new job then. The pay was low. She had excused him already, assuring him that the next Valentine’s Day would be better. She was praying for him. He’d give her the Valentine cum birthday treat of her dreams then. He had decided to surprise her.

They both agreed, their faces flushed from the excitement of shared memories, and the upbeat melancholy that only alcohol can deliver that that was one Valentine day and birthday too to remember.

Now all their child might ever know about that bullet scar on his mother’s arm is that armed bandits shot her. He may never know that she threw herself over his father to protect him from the robber’s bullet.

Love is too complicated, idiotic, beautiful, ugly, needless and fundamental to human existence to be reduced to this emptiness of red apparel on some day in February.

Now we have made a new deity to squeeze yet more meaning from living, and replaced reality with vapid symbolisms which we strenuously defend to those who wonder at the madness. Now hapless mothers run around on Valentine’s eve, trying to get that perfect red outfit for school children just so they can take their place on the stage in this puppet industry we now call life.

This Valentine’s day she worries that the gift her son exchanged with his class-appointed ‘Valentine’ is ‘too cheap’ compared to what she gave him in return. Her son doesn’t like his Valentine. He had wanted his best friend to be his Valentine.

Anger. Tears. Negotiations. Reassurances. Capitulation. Next Valentine’s Day will be better.
Another memory.

….We have killed love. Not satisfied, we are making accessories out of our progeny.

 

Perhaps…

Perhaps if we realised that our need for love and crave for attention could also be ‘undue greed and unbridled materialism’, we would have more healthy and respectful attitudes to our relationships.

Perhaps, we would treat every friend as a treasured gem and the value of our friends would not be mainly about how many ‘friends’ grace our landmark celebrations.

In the same way we’d not acquire acquaintances just so we can serve our egos.

Most people publicly extend a hand of friendship even when they hate the guts of ‘the other’. Most times they do this not because they believe in peace & love, but because they intend to make ‘the other’ appear hostile to peace. In this way they show up the other person in front of others as an enemy of the ‘common good’…that vague concept – peace.

I can think of only few things more vile.

 

Like the contemporary philosopher, Leke Alder holds ”Let’s agree to disagree” is a base on which hypocrisy in human relationships stand.

There are things that are too fundamental to us humans that having to break bread with those who spit on them would mortally wound us…in a psychic sense.

If we really stepped back to consider these things often, then the most popular area of agreement in human society wouldn’t be our consensus on the matter of ‘false friends’.

 

The first point of relationships is usually the most telling. Sometimes it’s just as subtle as the first word…or the greeting. Most times we go mindlessly into these ‘covenants’ without applying caution which our intuition or instincts as animate beings naturally set up to protect us.
When we get hurt, we turn around to wail.

If you keep attracting friends who keep hurting you, backstabbing you or ignoring you, then perhaps it’s time to ask yourself just how you attract these kinds of ‘bad friends’?

…or perhaps these friends are just same as us…they back stab, lie, cheat & abuse, as ”par for the course”….only this time, instead of some hapless common enemy…we are the ones on the ‘dinner table’ this time.

…Perhaps it’s not your friends that are the problem after all.
Perhaps they are just as they have been always…small-minded, disloyal, fickle, vain, selfish….
…If nothing maybe they’ve just honestly been their ‘bad’ selves and you are the one doing them a disservice by clinging tenaciously to your acquaintance with them, while denouncing them.

…Perhaps it’s you that abuses friendship and trust after all.

 

Perhaps.

A VALENTINE EPIPHANY

My neighbor wants to save everyone in his compound and on the street. Actually his targets are more global, but let’s just stick to the local for now…

He is a fiery born-again fire-breathing Christian now. He wasn’t always like this, but then life caught up with him and threatened to run him over. My neighbour decided to meet life head-on. He is a survivor. He should be admired.

Problem is…he wants to save even the Christians too. If you ask me, I’d say he wants to save ONLY Christians…since nearly everyone I know around here goes to some church.

We were good friends. We laughed long and hard with one another. Our children played together. His wife popped in and out of our house often. We shared recipes…or rather I stole recipes from her. She was born to cook and bake…that woman!

My neighbour was no longer satisfied with just being a good-enough friend and neighbour. He loved my family too much to watch us go to hell. And so he undertook the project to save our souls. I reminded him that we are both acquainted with the same myth & history…well that just made my case worse.

I should have kept quiet. I should have told him I was a Muslim…I mean Christians fear that shit, I tell ya. Those Muslims don’t play! Ask the late Gideon Akaluka* if you doubt me.

Well…I did the whole Namaste thing with him & I got to ‘learn’ that the Pope Benedict is the anti-Christ and that all Catholics will go to hell for worshipping a woman…Like I didn’t know all this before!

I guess it would serve no purpose to tell him that I have no dreams of a home in the skies. I don’t think he would understand that ‘spirits’ have no need of an abode, whether celestial or mundane.

Now we barely speak to each other. Our kids will never play together again…Relationships where respect for difference & consideration for the others’ privacy & right to their ”error” & unique madness is trampled upon usually go this way.

It doesn’t matter that his wife cooks a ‘killer’ okra soup with lots of pumpkin, bitter leaf, periwinkles & dry fish. The memory of putting up my feet in their living room as she buzzed around, placing different treats in front of me, to hold my appetite while she finished up in the kitchen, feels like a stab now.

I won’t go to their house again. Their associating with me means hell fire for them. I love them too much to place such a burden on them…their having to justify to God why they keep me associating with me. They in turn love me too much to watch me perish.
Let’s face it…I’m past ‘’saving’’. So in their wisdom they must have decided to concentrate their energies on more promising buyers for their holy merchandise.

We are sick! Humanity is sick! Nigerians…we are more sick because even our ‘souls’ are damaged!

…While the country burns…while our children’s future is not guaranteed in the hell hole the society & government creates with their every act & utterance…while the streets on which our kids rode their bikes have been gradually & steadily taken over by shops, banks, internet cafes, bars and ‘yahoo boys’…and in the twilight hours…the women who own the night; while we sometimes drive past our houses on reaching home just because of ‘’strange-looking faces’’ around the gate; while our kids grow paler & more restless from being cooped up indoors so a random kidnapper doesn’t take a fancy to them…while our spaces shrink daily & back us into ever stricter corners…while the once passable air we breathed gradually chokes us with ever stronger stench from blocked drains & dust from never-completed road constructions around us…

…What do we do?..Me & my neighbors…we stop speaking to each other.

We inherit a battle from somewhere…I don’t know…Israel, America, Europe…somewhere! What does it matter where now? We are in this tiny, continuously dwindling space in a Nigerian town, and in our battle to survive our shared world as best we can…
…we stop speaking to each other.

When we meet once in a while around the neighbourhood, we compete for whose smile is widest…just so we can assure ourselves that we are civilized, loving folks. At least my neighbour won’t have to battle with his God that he ‘’doesn’t love his neighbor as himself.’’ As for me, I walk away with my nose in the air, telling myself that in my almost inexistent religiousity, I am more loving than their self-righteous pompous backsides! We are both fooling ourselves…but what does it matter?

We can’t talk about our individual problems and our personal triumphs anymore. We no longer trust each other. The conversations going on in our minds would block out any unspoken pain, longing or need…and so neither would reach for the other and say ‘’I understand. Just hang in there.’’ No.

It has to be the preaching…that’s suffices for the indifference. And then there’s the resentment. We use our different ‘Gods’ to protect our hearts one from the other. We’ve been hurt by life…but since no one can rail at life to much effect…we rail at each other instead…with our studied silence…and yes. The names. The labels.

And of course…we put God in the middle. We tell ourselves that one’s ‘God’ is hurt by the other’s ‘Non-God’.

She once opened up to me and told me things I know she wouldn’t trust anyone with. She is very shy & private. She told me about her husband…a side of him that she and the kids alone see. It is not a good side…at least in society.

Now she does not talk with me anymore. 

Sometimes she waves cheerily when we drive past each other. If the space is smaller…like in the busiest neighbourhood supermarket, she would remark about how big my child has grown…and then our eyes fall away from each other’s…we mumble vague excuses about having to rush off, smile widely again, and say ‘’later!’’.

I fear that she regrets she was ever my friend. I fear she might lie awake some nights, wondering if I would betray her confidences in my new-found near-apostolic zeal to unearth reasons for every human mystery, and my sometimes myopic ‘stitch-in time-so-you-don’t--same-mistakes-I-did’ creed…and let her husband know that she has been ‘unfaithful’ to their marriage tenets – betraying him by laying him bare before a once-friendly stranger.

I hope she doesn’t regret trusting me.

We are moving away soon, and we might never see each other again. I’m sure both sides will permit themselves a huge sigh of relief for this.


I’d have loved to keep in touch though, just so we could swap stories about this ‘’the other side’’ they’re now so fixated on…depending on who goes first.


My child thinks that our irritation at the noise from their ‘home-church’ is what led to her not being able to play with my neighbour’s children anymore. I assure her it is not so…they have differing school schedules, and do home work at about the same time.
She asks why she can’t just do homework with them since there is always room on the large reading desk in their corridor, where they do homework. I say I can’t go over to help and their mother doesn’t like Math. She asks how her friends get their math homework done then. I say I don’t know.


I am ashamed that I can’t even pick up the phone and ask if she finally got the math teacher she had been searching for to help her children. I fear she could wonder if I had diabolical designs on her children’s’ brains and future, thus the question.


It’s not what she would think that bothers me. It’s the thought of her husband raising the tempo of their ‘’warfare’’ prayers and perhaps increasing the duration that scares me. Having to hear a litany of offences against them from 4.00 a.m every day is punishment enough for my eardrums and mind.
Their enemies never seem to die, and so we’re pulled into a vicarious battle with these evil men and women who won’t let my neighbour simply have peace of mind.


And so I parry my child’s queries hoping she would accept the inevitable soon and let the matter be. It breaks my heart sometimes when I see her cocking her ear to the sounds of their ‘morning devotion’, trying to make out her friends’ voices from the cacophony. Now she doesn’t have to bother. Father has introduced a microphone to the process…the fellowship is growing into a church.
Their tenants are mandated to attend their morning fellowship. The rent on their flats is reasonably low.


Their youngest daughter it seems is destined to be a gospel musician…at least in the parents’ estimation. My child knows the words to a lot of church choruses now. She at least knows that the Holy Ghost kills and destroys…and fire is his preferred weapon.

On my part, I am amazed that she can make out anything from that screeching loudspeaker.


Our moving away will settle a lot of thing I know. For one it would mean the decisive end to our farce of good neighbourliness.
It would mean a re-arrangement of our morning schedule, as our ‘church alarm clock’ would be too far away to rouse us up from dreamland.


…And sadly, it would mean any vague hopes of ever tasting my neighbour’s special okra soup again are perished for all eternity.

 

~ Temi Ahanmisi  

c. Feb 2013.

 

 

WHY?

Most of us have conditioned our present reasoning to concede that the white man in more intelligent than the black man.

Some of us buttress our position by pointing out the infrastructural and social differences in most western societies vis-a-vis our African societies in general.

Now bringing this home…some Nigerians point to businesses & name brands owned by foreign nationals (Whites, mostly) against those created by Nigerians in terms of perpetuity and success over time.
We grew up hearing names like ‘McMillan’, ‘Heinemann’, ‘Coca-Cola’, ‘Cadbury’ etc. to name a few foreign brands & we are yet surrounded by the products linked to these brands today & by extension our children & grandchildren are…and may be long after we are gone.
Most of their Nigerian counterparts by comparison are either long dead, been swallowed up or have paled into non-competition alongside.

Some attribute this to the nebulous ‘Nigerian factor’. This I am afraid may be further evidence of our ready recourse to over-simplification & a seeming discomfiture with intellectual rigour.
We seem to have this need to just put a tag on things & move on, determined to forge into a future we can neither define nor even apprehend. We never seem to ask ourselves exactly WHY those things so tagged exist in the first place…or WHY we even need to quickly tag them as we do.

I don’t believe for one nanosecond that an average white man is more intelligent than a black man. Intelligence is neither one thing nor the other. Intelligence is mostly felt than seen. It is felt in terms of its deployment. A pickpocket or armed robber or a ‘yahoo 419’ kingpin is not necessarily intelligent. We consider such persons as intelligent in Nigeria because we misunderstand the term.

We seem to start & stop at ACTION level. The average Nigerian doesn’t seem to have a healthy apprehension for a future that extends beyond a few months or at most a couple of years. Most have fed themselves fat on the erroneous idea that thinking in itself is not action.

Intelligence cannot be divorced from apprehension – apprehension of possible consequences of present actions…and which actions come from present thinking.
Right now all the projections of Nigerians in the polity are towards 2015.
So we vote a government in come 2015 & then what?

In the first place…have we ever REALLY asked…

WHY does our politics start out with much promise & fail time & time again?
WHY do we have the kind of governments we have?
WHY do public office holders steal the commonwealth?
WHY do we have so much financial profligacy even in our religious institutions?
WHY don’t a large number of Nigerian businesses outgrow their founders?
WHY are all necessary societal institutions caving in Nigeria today?

…The ‘’WHY’’ question is the most powerful question a conscious individual ever faces in his lifetime. It unlocks the door to a world of progress & future vistas of development. It is a question which other advanced & growing economies & societies have confronted in word & deed at some time in their history. As with the term ‘’Intelligence’’, its answer might not lie in one thing or the other, but we can see those societies instituting policies that move them in different directions than obtained previously.

I daresay Nigeria is where it is today because of the apathy of the average Nigerian to question his motives & the deepest reaches of his psyche. We are afraid to question ourselves. We fear the question WHY, so we busy ourselves with finger-pointing & labeling dogs to hang. We are lost in the WHERE & HOW of our present existence.

…WHY then should we expect things to change for the better?