Monday, 24 December 2012

The optimism of 2013 and the realities for Nigerians

Telling how far a nation goes is largely scripted in her national plan and agendas. The 2013 budget is one piece of such plans that clearly highlights the direction we intend taking as a nation. With a budget of 4.9trillion naira, it is indeed the largest in our nation’s history but how will this reflect on the lives of ordinary Nigerians in 2013 is a different ball game entirely.
The 2012 budget was 4.6trillion naira, therefore the begging question ought to be; how has its performance been thus far? Of cause government will tell us all kinds of tales but Nigerians are the once who have felt the harsh reality of it all.
As 2012 comes to its end, Nigerians most certainly will throng their various places of worship to thank God for seeing them through the rough road of the year and ask for Gods’ divine direction for their life in 2013. In fact many will brace up for a positive New Year as usual and make all kinds of New Year resolutions.  Whilst been optimistic about the future is a wonderful thing and should be encouraged, the reality for Nigerians in the coming year is one that we all must critically reflect on.
In the year 2013 Nigerians will still worry over the poor state of electricity, they will complain over the raising prices of basic food items; even another increment in fuel price is not in doubt given the antics of our political leaders especially with the antecedent of  2012 still fresh in our mind.  High cost of transportation is not in doubt still and the bad shape of our roads will probably remain the same no matter how much allocation earmark for them, at least the Lagos-Benin ore road proof to be a pointer to that fact. Affordable housing for Nigerians in 2013 will be another issue we all must prepare to debate about, just as the falling standards of education will take centre stage giving opportunities for politicians and pastors to build expensive citadels of learning that even their members cannot afford to send their wards. Kidnapping in 2013 will take a much more sophisticated approach just as Boko Haram will continue to make itself more relevant in our national life by proofing to all that it is indeed the angel of death. This to a great deal is the reality for most Nigerians.
On the other hand, 2013 for some Nigerians will be blissful. It will be a time where more state governors and pastors will acquire private jets to improve their already glamorous life style even as Nigeria is already rated as the country with the most private jet still we don’t manufacture any of it. I won’t be surprise if local government chairmen join the list of private jet owners in the coming year. 2013 will be a year of smart corruption and money laundering creating more space for EFCC and transparency international to make their usual noise and in the end nothing comes out of it or better still it will be resolve as family affair ways. The coming year will be a period where the Nigerian army will continue to proof its mettle on the continent of Africa while at home its unable to quell domestic and sectarian violence that threatens our collective existence as a country.
2013 will again be another year where president Jonathan makes his way to the redemption camp to re-echo his state of the nation speech  like he did in 2012 and the entire congregation will sing his praise before he kneels down before ‘baba’ for prayers, after all the almighty God is a loving and forgiving father no matter your sins.
4.9 trillion naira is enough to share and go round and whatever is left of it, definitely ordinary Nigerians will manage it and pray for a better budget in 2014. Who knows it could be 10trillion then so long as our oil is the world’s favourite.
Upon reflecting on the complex process of nation building such as ours, i came to this resolution that until our leaders see political power as that sacred trust vested upon them to carry out the legitimate aspirations of the people, then we are still in the same old vicious circle.......................................................................compliments of the season’s people

An observer
Twitter: @yekeme

Monday, 12 November 2012


one can hardly imagine what is going through the mind of Mr Nuhu Ribadu as he watches those who called him to come chair this committee criticise his entire effort without giving recourse to the original intent of the task force in the first place.
At the end of the day what seem to be a genuine investigation to the crises in the oil sector is finally been politicised exactly as the powers that be wanted it to play out in the first place. Mr Ribadu, I truly weep as you did; only if the Nigerian people knew what is going on behind the curtain, they will not only cry but seize the momentum and ask for proper probity.
As I watched in awe the level at which Mr Ribadu and Mr. Orosanya trade words on channels TV, it became clear to my mind that this Ribadu’s committee report will not make any meaningful impact going by the level of mockery the findings of the committee is been subjected to, otherwise how would one explain the authenticity and credibility of the committee’s work whose members are already appointed into the board of NNPC, An organisation it was supposed to investigate to the latter. To any discerning mind it therefore means that the committee’s work have been compromise and that is the last thing Mr Ribadu would want Nigerians to believe in. Going by the way Steve Orosanya spoke in that telecast, it is clear that, either the man is planted in that committee to be the spoiler or cover the track of vested interests. Otherwise why does he seem silent to the allegations of Mr Ribadu?
As the day goes by it is becoming clear that the protest on oil subsidy in January where few Nigerians sacrifice their lives was never really going to change anything after all. We have a president that appears to portray himself as a saint but surrounds himself with some of the worst advisers and aides whose interest always comes first before the interest of the nation. These are just some of the reasons I thought Mr Ribadu should have considered first before taking up the job as chairman of the Task force investigating the oil industry. If this whole exercise was an attempt at destroying the image and personality of Mr Ribadu, my candid advise for him is, weep not Nuhu Ribadu for Nigerians saw all these coming.

An Independent Observer 

Monday, 5 November 2012


In every age and time man has always been confronted by challenges. Sometimes it may seem insurmountable but the moment man finds a way out, he becomes ever better compared to where he was coming from.
Today Nigeria is faced with its own fair share of challenges from corruption to poverty and underdevelopment but none of these issues are more pronounced than the menace of Boko Haram which stands to threaten the basis of our collective existence as a nation except we find a creative approach out it.
 How best Nigeria should relate with Boko Haram becomes a fundamental question that stares not only the political authorities in the face but every concerned citizenry.
The history of this country is replete with examples of how we have overcome challenges that sought to tear this us apart. Two typical examples of such was the civil war and how the ‘‘no victor no vanquish’’ stance of Gen. yakubu Gowon brought us out of the war, another is the recent Niger delta militancy agitations and how the then president creatively engaged the youth of that region with an amnesty initiative. Thus curbing the restiveness in the Delta.
To this end therefore, a solution is possible with Boko Haram if we look in the right direction. Obviously finding a way out of this challenge that Boko Haram pose is impossible without understanding the factors that have led this group to evolve from just individual assassinations to large scale bombing, turning many state capitals in the north to theatres of war.
These factors hold the key as to how best Nigeria can relate with Boko Haram thus finding feasible solution to the reoccurring hostilities of this group.
The most fundamental factor to the threat of Boko Haram is the political side to the entire equation. Truth be told, politics and politicians in the country today help create this monster that threatens us all in Nigeria. The recent call by the group that it wants Gen Buhari to lead its peace talk with the federal government speaks volume as regards the level of political colouration of the violence so far. At least every discerning mind would clearly agree on this. On the other hand, the political option seems to be one of the most potent factors we can use to relate with them only if men of proven pedigree and character lead such an effort. Then the nation is can be said to be on the path to peace.
Another factor is the economic dimension to this entire situation. A large percentage of the young men recruited to carry out these attacks are largely jobless making them vulnerable to these kinds of enticement that is leading many of them to their early graves. Again we can relate with Boko Haram through economic empowerment. No society anywhere in the world makes meaningful progress where its active young population is idle. This is the case not only true in Northern Nigeria but throughout the country. When government fails in this task one begins to ask what then is the basis for it, even where the preamble of the 1999 constitution clearly direct that the purpose of a constitution was for the promotion of  ‘‘.........good government and welfare of all persons.........’’
Also, another significant factor we can use as a means to relate with Boko Haram is religion. The need to lay emphasis that Islam is a religion of peace and not war is of utmost significance too. In line with this view, we must let them know that this is a secular state and that everyman is free to find God the best way he deems fit. True worshippers of Allah know that the fundamental tenets of his teachings are ‘peace, harmony, love for your neighbour’, Boko Haram by virtue its conduct, is in clear violation of this principle

an observer

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

A Bitter Taste Of The Nigerian Police In Oyingbo Market

It was a fateful sunny afternoon on May 16th 2012 at oyingbo market. I and my friend Emmanuel were on our way for an assignment. There at oyingbo market bus stop, were we negotiating with an okada rider to take us to our precise location, some group of persons rounded us up as if we were common criminals they were waiting for from an hideout. Immediately, I took a thorough observation of the men. First they were not putting on the regular black police uniform but instead they were on okirika polo.
One of the men came to me and showed up an ID card that I could not read its letters because it was probably done with those olden days type writers. He claimed to be a police officer.  At first Emmanuel and I were embarrassed and I thought how degrading the Nigerian police had degenerated into. There was virtually no courtesy, not even  manner of approach.
With mouth oozing with the smell of ogogoro and cigarette, the so called officer ordered that I should disclose the content of the bag I was carrying while his other partner interrogated Emma abusively.
As infuriated as I was on the inside, I remain calm on the outside. Then I ask him again, “can I please see that ID card of yours again officer?” he brought it out and as I stared curiously at it, he immediately put it back to where it came from, and immediately made a stunning gaze at me. His partner in this presume stop and search who held a rusted AK 47gun began telling Emma to corporate or they will deal with the both of us. The ever busy market was bubbling with its usual trading with people. Yet, no body seems to be bothered with harassment going on. May be they are used to this visits of extortion by the police and so ours was nothing special to warrant any attention from any passerby.
As the okada we intend hiring drove off the scene, the police officer with the gun came to me and shouted at me to open up my bag for inspection. I told him the same question I already asked his tired colleague who looked famished and urgently needs to eat. This officer said that he did not have any ID card with him and that since I can see a gun with him why am I bothering on asking him for an ID?
How callous this police officer thinks Nigerians are, so because you carry a gun in broad day light and parade the streets of Lagos qualifies you for a police man? I thought to myself. The officer looking warnout then said:
“you no dey see the gun way him carry, why u go dey ask am for id card eh! Make you dey there they blow gramma ok na here una two go tanda” 
As embarrassing as this experience was for me, I began reflecting on the caliber of persons recruited to police our cities. No wonder when criminal tend to rob in broad light, police on duty run for their dear life, but when it comes to molesting innocent Nigerian they are ever ready. May be that is why “police is your friend”
Emma was already tired and been furious as I was. Then I asked both officers “can I see some warrant authorizing this stop and search exercise they claim they were engaged in?”
This time around, they were not ready to listen to neither myself nor Emma, the other grab his properly in a bid to threaten us. Then I said that to Emma, if these people don’t know how to be civil and that any attempt at forcing us would be a violation of our fundamental.” Emma nodded, but was ready to give in to their demand. Unknown to us their aim was to accuse us so as to lure us into a waiting yellow Lagos commercial bus parked distance away and filled with innocent people who fell for their antics.
In the heat of the argument an elderly baba walked into our midst, and as God would have it, the baba made the officers realize their action was wrong, I thought maybe he was an ex-soldier from the depth of his analysis. In the end, baba pleaded with me to open up the package I was carrying so as to stop the quarrel that has ensued. 
I did as baba instructed because of my respect for the wisdom of the elderly and since nothing implicative was found, Emma and I was let go.
The officers immediately jumped into their bus that has already approached us and it speedily drove off probably to another location to hunt down unsuspecting innocent Nigerians………….
As this experience lingers in my mind, I began asking questions with obviously no one around to answer. Why have the Nigeria police been reduce to this level of begging in streets without understanding its constitutional role to society? If this is what the future of the police is in this country, then none of us is safe anymore in the land.  


Sunday, 12 August 2012



One tweet i saw on twitter yesterday night that inspired this piece reads thus ‘‘No gold medal, No silver medal, No bronze medal......... at this rate we might not even get a certificate of participation’’. As funny as this statement may sound, it clearly reflect the character of Nigeria and why we got nothing at the Olympic.
As the Olympics come to an end, serious minded countries have started making plans and preparation for the next holding in Brazil. This is how you know nations who truly prepare for success. As for Nigeria we are never in such proactive state in our National evolution, which is why we get this kind of humiliation.  The show of mediocrity by Team Nigeria at the London Olympic truly indicate that until we remove politics from our sports activities, Nigeria will continue to encounter this type of embarrassment inspite of her abundant sporting talent in the country.
Rather than we concentrating on getting the best hands to run sports administration in this country, Nigeria prefer to make mockery of the entire process by recruiting charlatans to handle this sector. To this end, i don’t think we should be surprise or complain of our poor outing so far. We deserve what we got u may want to say.
As much as a lot of us don’t like our outing so far, many will still go about their business without probing into why we ended up in this path.  If indeed we cannot separate politics from our national life then we should ensure putting the right persons in public offices so that they will make decision that will truly bring national pride and not this show of mediocrity.
The minister of sports must be made to answer some questions as regards this unfortunate happening. What are the minimum criteria for the appointment to sporting administration in the country? Do we still make appointments base on ethnic sentiments? If this is the case then am sure those who made it to representing Nigeria are not the best quality of material the country has got to offer. One would begin to wonder the kind of feeling going through the mind of the top dignitaries and politicians that went along with team Nigeria to give them that courage letting them know their father land is solidly behind them. My guess, we all loss in the end......


Friday, 3 August 2012


AT THIS STAGE ONE IS LEFT TO SAY God help the people of Syria as they face the reality of a regime that is truly intent on obliterating its own people all because they choose to speak out against tyranny. The U.N is at this stage left with a scar it created on its own, as Kofi Annan steps down from this unfinished assignment. Could this be a calculated attempt to let innocent civilian die just because the U.N is unable stop the blame game that has kept it from taking decisive action against the Bashar al-Assad regime?
What better description can be given to the rights of Man if he cannot decide what becomes of his own destiny by his own accord? The Syrian experience clearly shows that when the people become desperate, social norms and order may be subjected to immense stress, leading to the destruction of the fabric of society which at this stage many will agree to as the situation tenable in Syria. The question left to ask is, Why did they {the big boys} choose to remain silent while one man attempts to commit acts liken to genocide? Or is this another U.S – Russia show of its might?
Kofi Annan’s resignation as the UN-Arab envoy to crisis torn Syria simply depict that the powers that be merely pretended to show interest in the  initial stage only to abandon the Syrian people to their fate, but how do we expect an unarm civilian population to confront a government armed military force that has been given orders to kill? If Mr Anna can declare that his job has become a ‘mission impossible’ and therefore the option for him is to resign honourably, simply tells us that the world should expect nothing but the horror and carnage of death as Mr Assad is ever ready to proof to the world that his got everything under control in Syria. This is so because Assad’s action in recent times shows that the man is not ready to relinquish power any time soon. The west and America must act in the interest of justice, good concise to protect these people from massacre since the diplomatic options appears to be failing it.
On his part, Bashar al-Assad must begin to realize that even if he stays anytime longer than he has already done; the hands of the law will caught up with him and so it is best he step down now an act that will be seen heroic. So that the people of Syria can decide for themselves the kind of government they want. If he truly claims he loves his country, then that is an option still open for him to consider.  
Dept of philosophy, Unilag

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

BUHARI AND HIS BLOODY 2015 PREDICTIONS: The fallacies and realities

Can we say that the outburst of Gen. Buhari is a true reflection of the state of the nation or another political gimmick aimed at heating up the polity? One may tend to comprehend the General’s concern but his usage of words creates room for suspicion about his intention. How can a former Nigerian leader declare the govt of the day is “the biggest Boko Haram” when we all truly know the aim s and objective of the group, Boko Haram.
Truly Buhari’s unguarded alterances calls for a rethink on the kind of men and women Nigerians intend to elect as their leaders. Does Buhari truly love the Nigerian people he earnestly craves to lead again? If he does, then one need to ask him why does he wish them a bloodbath if all do not go well in 2015? Statements such as these are not the qualities of a true democrat that Buhari wants us to believe he is.
Who does Buhari aims to threaten by these statements? Why has Buhari continue to portray himself more as a Northerner than a Nigerian and yet he wish to lead a nation as diverse as Nigeria?
The CPC should urge its former candidate not to continue on this path because such behavior will dampen the image of the party rather score political points like it wants to achieve with this acts. It is high time our politician stop this war of word and get down to business by discussing critical issues as they borders on our collective existence as a nation.
Democracy as it is practiced in advanced societies portrays a transparent look for all to see. Even the opposition in such places contributes meaningfully to the advancement of the govt in power. Here the case seems to be the opposite. With the Acn joining the cue of rash statement made at the presidency, it is even more alarming to here Northerner governors supporting the call Buhari is making.
If the North cannot accept the fact that a minority is leading this country, then what is the basis for this democracy where individuals are allowed to rule base on where they are from? Indeed such a process will not last long and I want to think the PDP is truly learning from its mistakes caused because of the way it handles its “family affair”.
It is quite clear that there is a lot of loopholes with the kind of system we operate here but that cannot resolve our problem if we keep heating up the process with threat of bloodbath as the General has promised Nigerians. Buhari as a leader and elder statesman should not allow his ambition for power becloud his sense of reasoning. As the only legacy he can leave behind is to ensure that the tenets of democracy takes it root in this country and not with this outburst of his.
The PDP on its part must gather the moral fiber if it has any left to question and sanction the spate of corruption going on in this country. If it can tackle this, then a better day is ahead of Nigerians.

Dept of philosophy,
University of Lagos.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012


The story made headlines both locally and internationally about the doggedness and resilience of the Edo people, but the most profound of it all is the man in the centre of this historical election, Adams Oshiomhole.
Despite the odds comrade Oshiomhole show us that he is indeed a man with a lion’s heart ready to challenge the status quo and the PDP Federal might. These happenings truly reflect that when good men go to sleep then the people will bear the consequences of having mentally and morally bankrupt men lead them. This victory is a clarion call to the sleeping giants in Nigeria to rise up to the occasion and save their people from the shame brought upon them by men who lack substance and character.
There is no doubt in my mind that with the triumph of Oshiomhole, men of pedigree will emerge in our political space to take over from these charlatans that parade themselves as political leaders in the country. The political dynamics is fast changing in the land and i hope that many of these so called untouchable politician will discern the mood of the people and give up their cling to power else the new breed of politically conscious Nigerians who now see and understand the inherent values of democracy will push them out of power.
Democracy is the most feasible system of governance that reflects the mood of a people; this is why the struggle for democracy in the continent of Africa is every day gaining momentum. To this end, elections such as the Edo experience will send a strong signal across the length and breadth that the people can no longer be taken for granted.
As Gov. Oshiomhole settles down to led his people for another second tenure, he must avoid distraction, put the people first in his fiscal policy formulation for Edo state and above all, work assiduously to ensure the further entrenchment to democratic culture in Edo so that when he leaves office the people can better decide for themselves who can carry on the mantle of leadership.
I strongly hold that the Edo experience is indeed crucial to future elections in Nigeria, this is why we must salute the bravery of Adams Oshiomhole and the attitude put up by the Edo people to ensure their votes do count.

Yek keme
Dept of philosophy
University of Lagos

Sunday, 20 May 2012


How embarrassing can it get, Rolex wrist watches another tool for corruption as we have seen and heard so far. If the so called prof. Ndi-okereke knew the implications of her behavior while at the while at the Nigerian stock exchange according to the nation’s editorial may 15th “she would bury her head in shame”.
This is Nigeria where even those whom we know to be corrupt still carry themselves as leaders and elder statesmen. So Ndi okereke cannot be an exception. She is truly behaving the proper Nigerian way, knowing full well that she would get away with it. Irrespective of whatever we say or know about this Rolex wrist watch drama.
Just because of the bad decision and conduct of some in the helms of affairs in Wall Street leading to the failures and financial losses in corporate America, many want to jail. For me that is a society that would not joke with the hard earned money of the American people. That is one big lesson for us here on this part of the world……….
The fundamental strength of the Nigerian stock exchange is largely built on the confidence and trust of the investing Nigerian public and with madam Ndi-okereke making such unguarded statement; she further diminishes that trust repose on the stock exchange by the Nigerian public. Such mannerism is really uncalled for, especially in a country like ours that wants to make herself an investment destination for both foreign and local investors.
Many may not see the immediate effect of the okereke Rolex drama but in the long run when the NSE wants to boost her image and increase the worthiness of the financial market then we would understand that this little episode means more than what it seems.
 If what they are telling us is true, one would ask, why spend such money (189million) on such luxury just for some awardees? That act in itself is corruption inducing because objectivity and due process may be thrown to the wind when next transactions occur between both parties. This to a large extent is what is responsible for the failures and losses witness in recent times in the Nigerian stock market.

Dept of philosophy
University of Lagos

Friday, 4 May 2012


Justice is one of the major concepts in political philosophy that still lacks a univocal definition, yet it is a vital ingredient for the survival of man as a social being.
Indeed, justice has shaped the world but the question is how has man come to see the true meaning of this conception. Many hold that it is as a result of the complexities attached to the social being of mankind makes the term increasingly intricate and difficult to pin down because of mans cultural variation and linguistic usage.
It is therefore the aim of this piece is to take a critical look at the nature of justice and the role it has played in turning society around and shaping the world for the better.
The survival of the human race is predicated on the template of justice. This is true because a critical examination of the hypothetical state of nature as espoused by philosophers such as Hobbes and Locke shows that if not the coming together of wise few who championed for the coming together of the rest in some kind of social contract, man would have long gone into extinction because in the state of nature, life was short, harsh and brutish. It was a dog eat dog world.
In their coming together, they set the pace for the emergence of a civil society regulated by concepts such as Law and justice which brings among others natural justice, socio economic justice e.t.c
Human civilization through the ages have had one form of justice or the other ingrained in its culture and mode of existence from the primitive stage of man to contemporary times of the rule of law.
It is justice that coordinates all what man has and will be, therefore justice is the panacea to mans and solutions to mans miseries in the context of human social evolution.
As a result of human rationalization, the codification of our laws aims to achieve this (justice). Hence man design constitutions charters, treaties e.t.c. Again how far has all these workings of man faired in the light of the challenges man is faced with in the 21st century? Could one say that justice is a live experience in these modern times?
 However placed the argument is, justice truly has shaped the world. It has affected human psyche so much   that even our daily activities is geared toward attaining it. The most fundamental of it all is that justice has separated man from beast. The essence of our civilization is because of our gradual understanding of justice and our future will be determined by how much justice truly affects human social intercourse. Therefore, international organizations (the U.N), regional bodies and national governments must take urgent steps towards spreading the message on justice as a way of preventing wars and help the future challenges that await man in her match towards greatness.

Yek keme
Dept of philosophy, University of Lagos

Wednesday, 18 April 2012


Former Governor James Onanefe Ibori who was perceived to be a god in the Nigerian political space has finally been brought to his kneels. A man who transverse the entire political terrains like a whirl wind and often described as a godfather and a hero has finally been shown to the world by the U.k court as a “common criminal”.
Clearly this sentencing has revealed to us (Nigerians) once again that the greatest obstacle impeding the collective growth of our nation is corruption. Many may celebrate the fact that Ibori finally got what he deserved but the question is how can the Nigerian state purge itself of these kinds of “common criminals” occupying political offices across the country? This is fundamental because we have seen from the Ibori episode that one man political positioning in society is capable of destroying the destinies of millions of people if he is not checked. The Nigerian state has often been taken for a ride by these elements for too long and now I wonder what lessons we can truly learn from this U.K court sentencing. The U.k is simply telling us that it has the moral fiber to sanction corruption if it rears its head away in their domain, a virtue the Nigerian system completely lacks.
For me, corrupt leaders will continue to rear their ugly head in our polity unless we ourselves take concrete and drastic measures against corruption and not wait until foreign countries prosecute our own leaders for such. What a shame on us.
This assertion therefore buttress the fact that our enforcement and judicial institutions are not only weak but they also aid and abet the corruption circle we all see today amongst the political class.
From Kaduna to Asaba, Nigerian court made a charade of this same case and discharged and acquitted Ibori but right there in the U.K, the almighty James Onanefe Ibori confessed to criminal charges and abuse of office. This therefore leaves me to wonder on what kind of  judicial institution we are building in this country?
Judgment such as this indeed proofs that the west will no longer tolerate leaders who will impoverish their own people and then steal from them just to go gallivant abroad. The U.K has clearly taken a bold stance, let us hope and pray that America, Canada and other European countries will follow suite in prosecuting these kinds of persons who will destroy their home countries and take to such places as safe heaven.
This should leave serious concern to us as a people, what kind of persons do we all give our mandate to lead us? Is this system of governance truly the best for the Nigerian state? How can our judicial institutions reflect itself as an impartial umpire in its judgments’ so we can truly get justice?