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Quick scribble: Visit the more important things first, religious sites later

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It’s been a while since I dropped a piece — rant or otherwise. The blame won’t go to erratic power supply or busyness this time, rather I’ll attribute it to my preparations in the previous weeks and my eventual trip to Israel for erm…what’s it called now…a day with christ for my country — since christ is nowhere to be found within our immediate 923,768 sq km anymore. In case you’re wondering, no, I didn’t go with Bros Jones and his caustic grammar-laden chéri.

I’ll quit playing around and get straight to the point. I bet you didn’t believe that trip to Israel baloney (please don’t)… but you get the point. I’m right here in my PPA sitting in my room with a pot of beans on fire, and the thoughts of many Nigerians translated into sensations driving me to use my fingers to type a brief one.

Of course, prayer is a very good thing; a key element of progress as a matter of fact. However, I believe in another combination which is undoubtedly a better thing: Ora et labora. Yes, work and pray. I believe in miracles, but praying and hoping for one isn’t just expedient on it’s own…unless we work to get there.

Switching to “sunday school teacher” mode…

Brethren, faith without works is what…? Dead! Yes. Thank you.

The wall of Jericho didn’t just go down by mere shouts. The strategic marching for days plus the carrying of ark and trumpets of rams’ horns, and the eventual blowing and shouts went a long way…and it doesn’t sound like easy tasks to me. Does it? It wasn’t just a silent murmur or monument seeing.

Three weeks ago we celebrated marked Nigeria @53 and of the truth, it was the dullest since I was old enough to notice. Do we still need to unwrap the reasons? Nah. Decaying infrastructure, insecurity of life and property, unemployment…and yes, I won’t forget, legendary ASUU strike exudes from the foil already; bricks of our very own wall of Jericho.

There are (at least) two sides to every story. I’d like to believe that our number one citizen is on a mission towards the right course to discharge his duties as appropriate, with the intention of starting with prayers (I like this version). Thus, I’m saying amen to his prayers, wishing him and everyone else a safe trip back, and expectant of a change soonest…

….just as it is expected that my beans should be done by now.

God bless Nigeria.
Your comments are welcome.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

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Nigeria… The Giant Of Africa

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I know a nation that stands tall
The giant of Africa she’s called
Although that sounded like a misnomer
I’m mistaken perhaps
But giants behold short and dwarf from above
I’m yet to see that happen
Except in some areas I’m not proud of

Here’s what I see:

I see a giant african snail
She’s big and popular
Blessed and prolific;
Give her a field and she turns it to a colony
A survivor of limited equals
Even in dearth she thrives
Silently she sleeps when the time is hard
Such flexibility and ingenuity in a calcareous shell
A beautiful sight in a nutshell

Often I choose the beauty
Even if the reality is a pickle that prickles
But for how long?
Not when the tingles persist
Now I see more
I see the giant that voraciously consumes the green till it’s gone
Anything goes for her;
The dirt and the rubbish alike
Then she moves on when there’s none
Truly she’s a survivor
One who doesn’t pick cues from better survivors;
The ants that work and save for the rainy days
Tiny ant prepares for the adverse
But this giant beauty sleeps in the worst
Until nature smiles on her
From birth she grows with haste
To the point where she waits
The shell that protects also limits
She doesn’t really want much
So long she eats and begets more to finish the flush
I see a creature that can sleep for Africa!

Of course she can change
A set of instincts she must drop
Conservatism is not always bliss
It’s time to evolve and ditch the yore
To move beyond the past at a quick pace
Not as the giant that she was or is
But as a giant she should be
The moment is now
Nigeria awake

Happy independence.
God bless Nigeria @53 and beyond.
God bless Nigeria again.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

Corruption: The Crystal Menace

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In the usual high pitch I said, “Corruption must stop…” and they all replied, “…starting from you.”

Rewinding to a few months before this time…

It was the third month of my service year. Despite putting in for the Red Cross group in camp (as my to-be CDS group), I finally found myself in a town where Red is a trance, and Cross, a dream. Such simply doesn’t exist there.

Good got better when I was posted to the ICPC CDS group just upon my arrival. The acronym stands for Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (sure you know that already). The CDS group’s principal objective being the sensitization of all on corruption; preaching the 3Rs of ICPC — Reject, Resist and Report corruption.

Fast forward to the immediate past…

It was another sensitization programme. A secondary school in the LGA was the location. I had just finished a speech on corruption and I decided to conclude it with a catchy note using the slogan. I got the response I expected and the applaud was nice. I felt good, but as I approached my seat I felt something more.

“Corruption must stop, starting from you.”

The words echoed deep within me. It mysteriously dawned on me that I’ve just been saying it like another mantra; well articulated in the mouth involuntarily, but with meagre meaning in the heart.

The question I asked myself was if the move to stop corruption had actually started from me, because any answer apart from a YES would only mean I’m preaching what I don’t practice.

This moment…

In reality, the answer to that question is a NO, at least to a large extent. A few times we’ve done things not really in line with the acceptable ways that conforms with ethics and societal code of conduct; my simple definition of corruption.

A number of times I’ve answered NO to the “Four-Way Test” (fellow members of the Paul P. Harris family will get this faster #Rotaract). Society abuses and curses dirty leaders in power (I think they deserve worse things…no apologies), forgetting that corrupt leaders of today are often times, evolved privileged corrupt youths of yesterday.

A fraudster, scammer or yahoo boy can conveniently open many tabs on his laptop, begin “business” with his “clients” on some tabs while simultaneously reading about political scandals and embezzlements on another tab, writing comments like; “Wxgwrtyh should be hanged. Blaawdy thief!” “Phtydxzyns is kleptomaniac. Shameless pig!” “Preposterous! We need a change.” Really nice and apt comments, they sound like fair justice. A better justice, however, is to hang that “Blaawdy” reader as well for that change to come to fruition. [What do you think?]

Several role reversals. Haven’t we seen upholders of justice who bribed their way to the top? Haven’t we seen school counsellors who impregnate students? Executives who embezzle? Nepotic employers? Crooked jurors? Policemen who commit, aid, and abet? Bankers who falsify? Law-makers who manipulate? Reprobate religious leaders? The list is infinite.

It is high time the pot took some quality time to bleach before reproaching the kettle with blackness. Neither pot nor kettle has the right to melanophobia; except they change to those in standard 21st century kitchens — the desired transformation. Be and practice what you preach.

Relax. Self-examine. Before you point fingers and complain about rampant poverty, unemployment, injustice, insecurity of life and property, and decaying infrastructure which are the common features largely attributable to the high incidence of corruption, understand that several rivulets make a river. We have individual roles to play. Reflecting the ideal individually, and daily corrupt-free living is a sure-fire purge the society needs.

If I don’t dishonestly pay to get favour and there’s no one at the receiving end, will there be BRIBERY? If you are empathetic with others, will EMBEZZLEMENT exist? If he treats others the same way he wants to be treated, will CRIMINAL ACT and INJUSTICE survive? If she desires equality and quality, will NEPOTISM be a topic? If we all strive individually but in oneness, we definitely won’t have to discuss CORRUPTION.

I’m not painting myself a saint, I only have what some lack; conscious and continuous effort against the aberration. I can’t hoard it, there’s plenty to go round. I did I’m doing my part. Be contented with what you have. Shun immoral and illegal acts. Love all as you love yourself. Do your part and spread the news.

Reject, Resist and Report Corruption.
Corruption will stop, if it starts from you.

Photo credit: Google images

Photo credit: Google images

Be social. Please share.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

#ChildNotBride

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Ordinarily, I most definitely won’t do this. It’s just that this is not ordinary, and I really want to make sure I join in spreading the news. Yes! The news. The same one that has been trending for days.

The crux of the news is a very shameful one, at least to individuals with as little as an ion of humanity left in them. It’s all about a clause or provision in the constitution which grants the “full age” status to a married girl even though she’s still a child.

I will not go into details again because so many writers and concerned Nigerians had written about that already (get more of the details HERE). Rather, I’d like to briefly elaborate the scenario using a simple illustration.

First, I must commend all patriotic Nigerians on their reaction to this. At least it’s safe to know that there are still some good natured citizens in the country, in contrast to some privileged sadistic personalities in authority. The various pictures, broadcast messages and posts on blogs have spread the news like wildfire and prompted the response and publicity it so much deserves.

Nobody told us to give a young calf quality time to mature and grow into a cow before it is butchered and consumed. I’ve also not seen a sane person who will go to the market to get a 3weeks old cockerel for immediate consumption. We all know there is a ripe age for doing either of the aforementioned. Why then, can’t we wait for that child to come of ripe age before chasing her around with an erection?

It is not just a simple case of child abuse, it is also an inappropriately legalised rape!

I’m not God so I won’t say “I’m sure God detests paedophiles.” Religion aside, I’m yet to find a society or an ethnic group that welcomes paedophilia with warm embrace. It’s just morally wrong.

Childbirth deaths, infant mortality and poverty are the likely end results of her abuse. The fact that she’s young, immature and underdeveloped as a woman makes her and her baby very susceptible to labour death and infant mortality respectively.

Surviving the feat does not mean she has scaled through. She’s most likely going to drop out of school to take care of her kid and herself at such a tender age. Then another version of the vicious circle of poverty kicks off. She’s not or half educated. She has responsibilities she’s too young to carry and with no job. She contributes little or nothing to the economy. She’s a liability!

Why deprive that child of proper mental, physical, and physiological development she deserves?

Why drag her into motherhood and force a child into her when she’s just a little child herself?

To the “big men” in support of such cruelty, would you have become a senator today if you were a woman and had been married off and dragged to bed at the age of 13? Can you give your mate your 11year old daughter to marry?

Although I don’t know the exact source(s) to reference for these words, I plead to put them herein in pursuit of the achievement of this cause.

“She’s a Child, not a Bride.”

“Give her Pen, not Penis.”

“She needs Education, not Ejaculation.”

“Ask her for Books, not Boobs.”

“Pay her School fees, not Bride Price.”

“If she can’t vote, then she can’t marry.”

Join patriots in spreading the news by sharing this. Send paedophiles to exile!

Please proceed and sign a petition against the utter nonsense.


#ChildNotBride

God bless you.
God bless Nigeria.
Be social by sharing.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

The Ubiquitous Syndrome

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Silently walking through the field beneath the huge mango trees, dripping and sending cold shivers through, I advanced towards my abode. The breeze was extremely soporific; a sleep was definitely in view.

From afar, I could faintly hear some voices; one sounding more like a distress call. With each step I took the voices got clearer, until I finally arrived the scene.

Picture this: a tall moderately built boy, shabbily dressed, cornering another boy—a very short and frail one—to the wall. The cornered was struggling and pleading for mercy. Another watched as the drama unfolds, aiding the tall, abetting the act, blocking the short whenever he attempts to bolt. All in uniforms.

The culprits made efforts to pretend it was just a play at the sight of the fourth party by trying to turn into talented movie producers…. or what do you call someone who tries to turn an horror movie into a comedy-romance movie with just one scene? It unequivocally proved futile; too late now. Even if they had tried harder, the mien of the victim says it all.

BULLY!!!

I’ve seen scenes like this during my high school days. I know exactly what it’s like. I just don’t know the terrible nonsense is still in much practice.

After much thought, it occurred to me that those scenes from the past are simply long things. We see and come in contact with bullies and the act of bullying everyday. It has proved ubiquitous and epidemic, calling it an endemic is bias and insincere, another long thing.

Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. If bullying is rightly defined as an intimidation of a weaker person, then I believe it is not just limited to schools…. or silly students in uniforms. Permit me to be a little dramatic in the few paragraphs that follow.

The home is a good start. I’ll call it scene one. I’ve seen parents who chase their kids away from the comfortable three-seater chair in the living room just because they want to relax comfortably (at the expense of their very own child). “Junior, move on to the other chair, Daddy wants to rest.” That’s where it starts! You’re probably thinking, “Aww! That’s not nice.”

Bullies are not nice. That’s a fact.

Scene two presents the child above in his school with a ruthless macho-boy in his class who demands his food every break time (some even complain the food is small or not so delicious)… else Mr Macho hits someone repeatedly, probably break something. You’ll see advanced version of this in most tough boarding schools, just ask the victims.

Bullies are simply cruel…and that’s another fact.

You will agree with me that we are not all privileged to have (rich) parents who drive their child(ren) home from school everyday in cars (posh or punished). To all whose childhood and secondary school days ever involved “lapping” in commercial buses (two to three students per transport fare…on one seat spot), this is for you us. We all know how inconvenient it used to be. Another scene is present therein…

A little hindsight I beg of you. On one of such glorious days you’re fully loaded in the bus (the usual packed-like-sardine) and on a queue in a filling station. You’re sweating already, anticipating movement because the weights on your laps are crushing and fresh air won’t circulate (except the odoriferous version). The sound from a siren got your attention and in no time three police vehicles claimed your spot (abi you wan’ tok?), fuelled, then zoomed off.

If you see no bullying in that, I agree with you. They are government workers…Yes.. They need to discharge their duties speedily…Yes. The nature of their job requires that…Yes. Bla-bla-bla, I know that. Please hold on.

Your bus finally refuelled (the regular 5litres…or less) and moved a short distance, allowing you to adjust briefly before it stopped. Three familiar police vehicles on a check point caught your attention, causing further traffic congestion. The men in uniforms were really discharging their duties; pocketing twenty naira notes is not an easy job (I think they’ve upgraded to fifty naira now).

Yes, bullies are inconsiderate. They can be are thieves!

The instances are so vast as it pervades practically all major parts and institutions of the society. So many political bullies; countless executive bullies (execu-thieves); even religious bullies. Putting them all down in scenes can be likened to writing a season film in a blog; a pretty long thing!

The combination of several scenes like these begets that drama/film I detest; BULLYING. That doesn’t bother me so much. What bothers more is that it is gradually becoming a best selling film. You need the stats? It’s not far-fetched. Painstakingly observe your environment for one week. Hopefully, you won’t feature in a scene or two yourself.

Really, the statistics and figures are not as important as the way forward. Again, if bullying is rightly defined as an intimidation of a weaker person, then I believe that a move towards being a stronger person is a good start. Stronger in this context means uptight standing, awareness of individual rights, disposition to appropriate bodies…among others. An addition to that is proper and commensurate sanctioning of bullies irrespective of their station (e.g. not giving an option of N250,000 fine to someone who embezzled N32.5billion pension fund). Ridiculous, isn’t it?

I almost forgot to tell you, I punished the two good-for-nothing-fool-at-fifteen-maybe-sixteen miscreants. Six strokes of the cane each (not doled out by me, I only arranged it as a good project manager *EvilGrin*) and three days of interesting exercise on the school field (the kind of exercise done with a cutlass).

Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Be social.
Please comment and share.
Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69

Respect

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“Show respect for all men, but grovel to none.” – Tecumseh

Over the past few days I’ve been thinking about that simple two syllable word; Respect. Although I was so tempted to write in some other directions, I realised it is one critical aspect that is important but taken with so much laxity. Now (draws seat), I would really like to briefly share my opinion…

As a typical yoruba man, I know the look on the face of an elder whenever a young boy passes him by, as if the boy is not aware that someone’s there (you know the deliberate I-don’t-know-you-from-Adam…even-Eve expressions).

I know how it feels when you call someone Segun (as if you attended his christening or once changed his diaper) even though you know he’s much older than you, and as such, deserves to at least have a ‘Brother’ before the Segun (again, as a yoruba…not as a foreigner).

Picture a pastor with the white collar around his neck, and imagine how he’ll feel if he gets the greatest beating of his life in an attempt to settle a dispute or fight (no offence, just an example). I bet it’s not a good feeling. No doubt, the three parties would feel hurt.

The Oxford advanced learner dictionary defines respect as the polite behaviour towards or care for somebody or something that you think is important. Respect simply means showing esteem or honour for someone or something. It involves acknowledging and showing regards to someone/something of certain qualities, or considered important/superior in some ways. Thus, an elder is superior to a young boy by virtue of age; a pastor is superior by way of his status as a leader.

Practically everyone hates to be insulted, but then I wonder why we disrespect others and feel it’s nothing. It marvels me when people crave for so much respect without actually willing to give the respect that is due unto others (I have no idea where they left reciprocity).

The fact remains that respect is reciprocal (even 9ice sang it). Take the cases of the pastor and the old one above. It is expected of the latter to respect the former even though she/he is old enough to be his grandparent. The onus is also on the pastor to respect the older party. Simple! Same goes in all walk of life.

Nowadays, we have no respect for one another. We only treat ourselves without regards and pretend it’s nothing. There might be a ton of reasons for this (I really don’t know), but I’m certain of one; PRIDE.

“There’s no respect for others without humility in one’s self.” – Henri Frederic Amiel

The moment the mind is full of pride and bloated with so much oodles of ego, the vacancy for respect cease to exist. Have you noticed that proud people enjoy being respected but find it condescending to respect others? (If you hiss or Mtttcheeww-ed I’ll understand).

I can actually understand why some rich individuals are proud and therefore have no respect whatsoever (at least they’re better financially, not enough justification though). I can’t—and I’m sure I won’t—just get why some “not-so-rich” people still venture into the same trade (business failure of life!). Perhaps we don’t understand some basic things. Please be patient and read further.

“When we show our respect for other living things, they respond with respect for us.” – American Indian Proverb

I recall a few post-NYSC orientation camp activities (please click here and here) which had given me a closer view of people’s reactions when they are sincerely respected (not out of fear). The simple summary is that respect for someone can make the person respond favourably in return. It can automatically get you graces and take you places you ordinarily wouldn’t have access to. Now, who doesn’t want that?

Respecting someone doesn’t make us less of a person. It doesn’t bring down one’s station. I believe that’s actually the idea in the yoruba proverb that says that “To prostrate for a dwarf doesn’t make you short when you stand.” (except juju…or black magic is involved). We all know what’s right, abide by this principle and you’re good to go.

Well, I’m good to go.

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Adewoyin Joseph || @Jossef69