Thursday, September 6, 2012

What Happens

What Happens? Times without number I wonder what it's like thereafter Many times I ponder in my mind The deep mysteries of life Ever thought of what it's like To be gone out of this life? Ever had the feeling of dying? And it seems you are flying Because you are leaving this realm To sojourn among the dead Sometimes I get curious About what will happen after the horror? Of plunging into the abyss of total darkness When your sojourn in this world ends And the dark clouds of death descends To grip you in their vicious tentacles What happens? Will everything end as it starts? Or will life be gone in a flash? Care to know what follows? After death has dealt his final blow If you've ever had the experience Of that special moment When you transcend And get out of this natural form Then tell me what lies beyond.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Ada's Dreams. Episode 3

"Ada!" She lifted her head and saw him. She quickly wiped her tears as if she was embarrassed that he had caught her crying over him. "You are all the same. You men are all the same; to you this is just a game." He moved closer. "I can explain" She shook her head slowly. "Well, I knew from the beginning that it was all fantasy, it was too good to be true. But I started hoping against all logical reasoning until I had my heart crushed. I was so silly to almost fall into the same trap, a second time.” There were tears in her eyes. "I am sorry." he moved closer and tried to hold her. She jerked off his hand. "Go back to your girlfriend. She is beautiful, sophisticated and---" “And I don't love her!" he yelled. He held her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. His eyes suddenly became sad. The same eyes she had seen that night and fallen in love with. "Ada I don't love her, I never did. She was the cross I had to carry all my life." his voice became solemn and sad. "I had to put up with her all these years because of family pressure. My family couldn't accept my marrying any other person but her. But when I imagined how married life with her would be, all I saw was hell" Ada started listening to him and suddenly she felt sorry for him. He continued. "When my father fell sick, he made me the managing director of the family business and made me promise I would marry Debbie. I had no choice but to agree. I didn't want to break his heart. Life became gloomy and dull. I took my mind off my troubles by living a carefree life. Then I came across the most precious thing I had ever wanted in my life and everything changed. I fell in love; I fell in love with you." He was looking directly into her eyes and the passion in his eyes was glaring. Ada took a deep breath. It seemed a huge weight has just been lifted off her. She looked into his eyes, they were filled with love. Finally, she was free, from all self-imposed barriers. She was in love with him and he was in love with her. That was all that mattered. With tears in her eyes, she flew into his arms. "Oh I love you too, I love you. I was so scared of releasing my heart, but now it belongs to you." He held her in his arms and rocked her like a baby. He kissed her lightly on the forehead and she felt the whole world fading and all that mattered was that finally, she was in the hands of her love and nothing would change that. He kissed her on the mouth and it seemed she was alone with him in the whole world and every other thing was distant. She snuggled against him, tasting the full sweetness of his mouth. She didn’t want to let him go, even for a moment. She didn’t even want to breathe. But he released her lips and said to her with his usual mischeivious smile; “You make me hungry.” She winked and replied. “Then eat me.” She winked and replied. “Then eat me.” And he did eat her. He turned her body into a landscape of pleasure. With his touches, with his kisses, he made her body quiver and crave for more. Her body was a canvas and he was the artist. He took her close to heaven several times and brought her back. He kissed her everywhere imaginable. Slowly, patiently, he explored her body; kneading, kissing, caressing as she held him closer, her hunger increasing with every touch. He was a mathematician and she was his equation. As his lips roamed towards the centre of pleasure, she let out a low groan and pulled her head closer. She wanted to feel him down there. She longed for his tongue to connect with her wetness. When he finally spoke into her core, it was bliss. He was a musician and she was his musical instrument. She sang to the tune their music with her moans. The music he made with her body was too sweet, she couldn’t take it anymore. She wanted to possess him as he had posses her. Gently, deftly, she removed his cloths. Then she started kissing him all over. He was giddy with pleasure. When he could take it no more, he lifted her and proceeded into the bedroom. A few minutes later, their bodies united as they held on to each other in bliss. Their clothes were on the floor. They tasted the sweetness of each other’s body as they made passionate love with utmost urgency. She felt him in her, so deep it penetrated into her core. Their lovemaking was music; it was pleasure, it was sheer bliss. As she climaxed, he reached out to her and whispered into her ear. “Baby I love you.” Minutes later, they lay side by side on the bed, their sated bodies gleaming under the bedroom light. She snuggled against him with satisfaction. He kissed her on the fore head. “I wish we could be like this forever.” Her voice penetrated the blissful silence. “We will be together forever, until death do us part.” She looked into his eyes. “What do you mean?” He smiled lightly as he played with her tousled hair. “Let’s get married.” She couldn’t say anything. The joy she felt in her heart was too big for words. She could only smile and nod her head. There would be problems, challenges but together they would overcome them and show the world that nothing could be stronger than love. For once in a long time, she felt a sense of awakening, of refreshing. As long as their love remained strong they would sail through the storm. He slept in her house that day. The following morning, he held her hand and led her out of the house. “Where are we going?” “We are going to my family to introduce you.” “As what?” “As my fiancĂ©e” She laughed for the joy in her heart was abundant. He laughed too, for he had finally found the most precious thing he had ever wanted. This time nothing would come in between him and his love, not his background, not even family sentiments, for their love was beyond sentiments.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Ada's dreams Part 2

The kiss had been brief at first. He lightly brushed his lips with hers. Then chemistry had set in. He had kissed her again as she felt herself melting into his arms. She had responded with equal fervour. She had tasted his lips, then his tongue, and it had all tasted sweet. She had felt her lines of defence crumbling. Somewhere at the bottom of her mind, something reminded her that she shouldn’t be doing this. But reason couldn’t prevail at that moment, not for her and not for him either. As they kissed, he had put a hand behind her to support her. They soon broke contact again as they sought to take breathe. Then the moment of reason had set in for her. As he brought his mouth close for a third kiss, she had mustered the last defence in her body and resisted. She had held her finger to his lips and shook her head to stop him. “Please stop, we shouldn’t be doing this.” she said desperately. The ride back home had been silent. She had scolded and chided herself for allowing it to happen. She had promised herself she would forget about him. She had not known how wrong she was until now. She looked at herself in the mirror and realized she couldn’t fulfil the promise. She had to see him one more time. She picked her wallet and brought out his complimentary card. She was going to surprise him this time. As she approached his house, she saw his favourite blue Porsche. But she also noticed a shiny, black Cadillac, parked close to his car. Perhaps he had a visitor. She walked up to the door and rang the doorbell. The door was opened and the sight that met her nearly shattered her heart. She found herself looking into the face of young woman around her age, wrapped in a towel. She was fair, pretty and sexy in a sophisticated way but she had on a cold, arrogant smile that made her affluent background obvious. She looked like someone that was used to getting what she wanted. “Hello, who are you?” the lady asked her For a while, Ada just stared at her, at the towel wrapped around her body and the arrogant look in her eyes. Imaginations started flashing across her mind. She finally managed to mutter out something. “I–I-am Ada. Pl–ease can I see Tunde” The lady smiled again and eyed her like one would eye a pestering insect. But she seemed to be enjoying her discomfort. “Tunde is in the bathroom. I am Debbie, his girlfriend, I just moved in yesterday. You can come in” Ada felt a tightening growing in her chest and the urge to cry grew in her. This was stark reality smacking her hard on the face. “No– there’s no need. Just tell him I checked.” She took one last look at the lady and fled the house with tears welling in her eyes. She had come to tell him how she felt about him, hoping that he would somehow tell her he felt the same way. But she now realized that she had never been in his mind at all. Everything he did or said around her was just a fling for him. Probably she was just a break from boredom; something to keep him occupied before his gorgeous girlfriend arrived. How could she have fallen for that? How could she be so stupid? She went straight home and sat curled up on the sofa, trying very hard not to cry.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Ada's Dreams

Throughout her time in New York, Ada never forgot the guy that had kissed her at the party. She could still remember his well sculptured face and his haunting eyes; piercing eyes that seemed to have their own touch. How could she forget such a person? How could she forget such a kiss? It didn’t seem real; it was like something that happens when someone is under a spell. The more she tried to erase him from her memory, the more she kept remembering him. Yet, she wondered what is so special about someone she happened to meet on board a plane and became acquainted with. Well, what was special was that she had allowed him kiss her on a first date. Just a brief encounter and the effect still lingered on like the after smell of a strong fragrance. But when she remembered how it felt when he gazed upon her, his delicious lips exploring her expectant mouth, she knew why. Maybe she was just being over reactive; a product of some hormones that might have been dormant for a long time, but now were suddenly being excessively secreted. Yes! It has to be chemical. She had not been intimate with any man for a long time since her break up with Bayo. Maybe it was natural to be reacting to an association with the opposite sex the way she was doing now, considering that she had been out of touch for a long time. Though she knew this was not a viable explanation for what was happening to her, it served as a kind of assurance that she was still normal and nothing strange was happening. Perhaps he had seduced her. The food was nice, she could remember, but the wine had tasted even better. The wine had made her drunk but it was his eyes that had made her weak and susceptible to his charms. They had eaten in silence. She was afraid she would say the wrong thing. After the meal, he had stood up and eyed her with a mischievous grin. Shall we dance?” He requested She had offered a weak resistance initially but he had persuaded her. He had led her to the dance floor while she followed like a sheep. They had danced slowly, close to each other, feeling the rhythm of each other’s heart. She had inhaled the fragrance from his body; sweet like the scent of roses. She had felt comfortable having him close, so close she could feel his breathe. Then he had shattered the blissful silence with the prodding statement; “Ada, tell me about your life.” There and then, she had trusted him and thrown caution to the winds. She had told him everything about herself; her family, her education, her past relationships, her heartbreaks and sweet moments. He had held her close with her head lying close to his chest and spoken soothing words into her ears. With deep, sad eyes, he had beckoned on her to bare all, to allow him share in her sorrow and help sooth her pain. She had trusted him more, deciding to tell him all. She had told him about the lowest point in her life, the most painful heartbreak, the love that had almost killed her and what had brought her to New York. She told him about the biggest secret of her life, she told him about Bayo. He had listened all through without saying a word, yet his eyes had spoken louder. His hands had rocked her like a baby and consoled her. The memory of sorrow had brought back pain so intense she had shuddered. She had clung unto him as if he was a lifeline. She had held unto her as if he was there to save her. Then he had kissed her.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Africa and The Ideology Predicament

It was the honourable nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, who defined a nation as “A unit of humanity bounded together by a common ideology.” In his book, the man died, soyinka explains that nations are defined, not just in terms of geographical boundaries, but also in terms of ideological boundaries, in which the latter is more important. It is against this background that I will conduct my analysis.

According to the Longman dictionary, a nation is a country, considered especially in relation to its people and its social or economic structure, or a large group of people of the same race or language. This definition is quite general enough, and it is convenient enough for the layman, who sees nation building from a narrow point of view, especially when we are not considering the context of national identity. This is not far from the definition of a country as an area of land that is controlled by its own government. Yet, the dictionary is considerate enough to create a distinction between the two; The nation and The country. One is geographical, the other is ideological. An ideology is a set of ideas and attitudes that strongly influence the way people behave. From Soyinka’s definition, it is easy to conclude that people from the same nation should behave the same way. Yet, the reality is a different story today.

Some fourty- something years ago, in the sixties; the great era of African liberation. Most African countries were granted autonomy from their colonial masters and became sovereign nations. There was great rejoicing, and much hope for the future. Africa was now ready to take her place in the league of nations. There was much optimism that the new African nations, having digested the heritage of their European colonialists, would develop at an even rate and at least be able to stand up to developed economies in the nearest future. A country like Nigeria was seen as a beacon of hope for the third world; a world that would become a respite from growing tensions in the tired economies of Europe in the future. The people braced themselves for the task ahead, numerous projects were embarked upon by the pioneer governments, and various political reforms were carried out. At first, everything looked good, the African economies managed to sustain stable economic development for a decade. Suddenly, there came a period of political crises, right from the mid sixties to the later part of the decade. For some countries, the crises started in the seventies and escalated at the middle of the decade. There were civil uprisings, political reforms were overturned, and economies suffered huge depression. Inflation soared at an alarming rate and sub-Saharan Africa was thrown into a serious economic crises that she has never recovered from. Since then, it had been a story of economic recession or redundancy, except for South Africa. It was as if the retreating colonialists had set a time bomb that was detonated in the seventies, and it’s chain reactions still manifesting in the 21st century. By then, the once tired economies of Europe and North America’s easy going economy were light years ahead, while that of the East Asian nations, whom the Africans thought were no better, were already aeons away. It became a sad reality to the world that Africa has been automatically left out in the scheme of things on the globe and it was going to take a frantic effort for her to recover and become a player, that’s if the world is not playing a different game entirely by that time. Of course, the rest of the world tried in their best capacity to rescue Africa. There have been several attempts at salvaging the struggling economies of sub Saharan Africa, with the developed nations, always playing their big brother roles. It seems that by the end of the last centuries, it was clear to them that there was little or nothing they could do, except to benefit more from Africa’s predicament. By this time, the Africans themselves had awakened to the reality that if they don’t help themselves, no one will. Several questions have been asked about why the much promising African states failed despite the efforts of their pioneer leaders. Though, we have examples of struggling economies all around the world, Africa’s case is quite unique, in that it is a crises that has engulfed an entire subcontinent. There have been several suggestions regarding what can be done to save Africa from this mess. There have been many attempts, and they have either failed, or resulted into another crises. The mystery of sub-Saharan Africa’s socio-political and economic misery has become the legendary Gordian knot that has defied all innovations. The most recent of such innovations is the IMF induced and capitalist oriented panacea ; deregulation, which allows for the price of commodities to be free of certain regulations. This, like its predecessors, appear not to have solved the problems, instead, leading to high rate of increase in fuel price and steady increase the rate of inflation in Nigeria, where former president, Obasanjo had instituted it as part of his reform agenda. In the light of this analysis, it is obvious that we have to look beyond the physical reality of the African states as we see them today, and study the African situation in terms of socio-political ideology. We have to see Africa as a people and not as a geographical milieu. This arises the need to differentiate between a nation and a state.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine's love fashion arena

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fuel Subsidy Removal; Why we must not remain silent(Part 2)

Before the end of the last year, while the government was proposing to introduce the new measures, arguments had sprung forth for and against the controversial fuel subsidy. I followed many of the debates and listened attentively to both sides. It suddenly occurred to me then, why the government would be desperate to remove the fuel subsidy as soon as possible. The dictionary definition of subsidy says it is money paid by government to reduce the cost of producing goods so that their prices can be kept low. In the case of Nigeria, the commodity being subsidized is petrol while the money is being paid to oil marketers that import fuel in large quantities. The true definition of subsidy throws up the reality that fuel subsidy is not exactly the problem. The basic problem is the situation and system created by the feudal powers at the centre that makes it inevitable for government to subsidize fuel. Fuel subsidy is not the real problem and a times, it could be seen as a diversion from the main issues. What, therefore are the main issues?
Nigeria is one of the ten largest producers of oil, with large crude oil reserves and millions of barrels produced daily, yet petroleum products are not freely available and affordable. This is because the refineries in the country are not functioning and marketers have to import fuel from other countries, including non-oil producing countries like cote-divoire and Liberia. Therefore, when oil price goes up in the international market, Nigeria makes a lot of money exporting crude oil to other countries, but spends far more in importing refined fuel from these countries. The system makes fuel price vulnerable to market forces and the whims and caprices of greedy oil marketers, many of whom are aligned with government officials. The oil cartel that imports the bulk of Nigeria’s petroleum products is made up of capitalists. Like other businessmen, their sole aim is to make profit. Sometimes, they hoard fuel if there are prospects that oil price will increase so that they will be able to make more profits. In a normal society, government regulates the activities of the capitalists and keep their excesses in check. But in Nigeria, government simply pays them to keep the price in check and that is why we had not seen an astronomical jump in the price of fuel in the past. Nigeria is a true case of the oil paradox, whereby the citizens have not benefitted from the natural resources extracted on their land. Rather, they have suffered neglect, pollution, fuel price hike, poor electricity, and the obvious looting of their resources by their so-called leaders. How did things get to this? How did Nigeria become such a big mess to itself and the rest of the world?
A nation is a group of people bounded together by a common ideology. Therefore, a nation should not be described by the geographical boundaries of its land or the artificial state created to govern it. Rather, the nation should be defined by its peoples and their common, shared values. What this means is that Nigeria as a nation is not the geographical milieu around the river Niger, nor the mess of a government that oversees it. Rather, Nigeria is the people that populate this land and their identities; the igbos, the yorubas, the hausas, the fulanis, the ijaws, the itsekiris etc. I can categorically say that the Nigerian state was not formed from the collective ideology and aspirations of these people but from the forceful amalgamation of their lands and resources so as to serve the interests of the colonial masters then and our feudal aristocrats later. Nigeria therefore is not a nation. The unity we have is a fake unity and the nigerian state was doomed to fail from the onset. Yet, history has given us opportunity several times to look into this problem and address it, yet we have refused to act. Now, another opportunity has presented itself for us to address these fundamental issues.
A true federal nation is based on the fusion of component units, whereby different entities or ethnic groups come together to form a united government, giving out of their powers to this so-called central government. But in Nigeria, the situation is different. You first have the country and the powerful centre, then you start breaking it into artificial components. Check out all the states Nigeria, they are all artificial creations, and that is why the ethnic and religious tensions in places like Kaduna and Jos will continue. Our leaders in the past have had opportunities to conduct referendums, convene a sovereign national conference and review the faulty federal structure we have been operating. They have refused because of the personal greed and selfishness. My people, they will not be moved to act if we continue to keep quiet. They are benefitting from the status-quo. This is an opportunity for the downtrodden masses to rise up against this system and overthrow it. Let's call for a referendum now.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fuel Subsidy Removal; why we must not remain silent( Part 1)

I woke up in the New Year to the news that the controversial fuel subsidy that has generated heated, intense arguments in recent times has been removed. Besides, a state of emergency has been declared in four northern states and the borders with Niger, Cameroon and chad have been closed. Immediately, I sensed that something unpleasant was unfolding on the Nigerian landscape. The last year brought about series of violent events that tore at the fabric of the Nigerian society. As we enter the New Year, Nigeria is gradually falling apart. The spate of bombings is increasing in geometric progression and we are beginning to see the prospects of an all-out conflict as the north is becoming increasingly militarized. Meanwhile we still have the half-solved problem of militancy in the south-south and armed robbery in several cities in the south. Things may fall apart sooner than imagined if the people start carrying out reprisal attacks in the south; an omen seen in the recent Sapele explosions.
We live in interesting times. Indeed, we live in dangerous times and we are treading on a dangerous path. Yet, of all times, the government have decided to go ahead with such a controversial policy as the fuel subsidy removal. The manner by which the president announced the policy, blatantly ignoring the voices of millions of Nigerians as if our voices don’t count is bad enough. But what gets me into livid rage is the response of the ordinary citizens of Nigeria who are suffering the hardship of the arrogant, wicked, selfish policies of our leaders.
I woke up on the second of January to discover that petrol is now selling for between 120 and 150 naira per litre. I boarded a taxi as usual to my destination. The transport fare has soared to double the normal price. As I sat at the far corner of the taxi, ruminating over the situation, I heard the other passengers complaining. Each passenger had something to say about his own ordeal in the face of the new, harsh policy. Then somebody asked; “What do we do now?”
The answer was almost a chorus among all the passengers. “There is nothing we can do but pray to God that we are blessed enough to be able to afford it.”
I was angry. What nonsense! I looked around their forlorn faces; it seemed as if they were all resigned to their fate. They had lost hope and surrendered their right to resist oppression. What is wrong with Nigerians? Why do we feel helpless and hopeless in the face of such denial of our basic human rights? Why do we feel it is our fate to be continually deceived and oppressed by our greedy, selfish leaders? Shame on you! Shame on all you Nigerians, who keep silent while you are being blatantly abused. The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny, says the Nobel prize winner, Wole Soyinka. Why are we silent? Why are the labour unions and pressure groups watching as the gangsters in power plunder our land?
I am angry, I am sad. I am angry because this country was built on lies, greed and selfishness. I am angry because the people in power have taken advantage of the pervading, potent lack of trust among Nigerians to perpetuate themselves. I am angry that the selfishness and greed of the Nigerian elite is tearing this country apart. I am angry because the gangsters that have controlled our resources for the past fifty one years have only thought of themselves and their immediate families. They are like parasites, feeding fat on the collective toil of millions of Nigerians and the crude oil in the Niger delta. All the political officers use free things. They ride in free cars, eat free food, drink free water and drinks, live in free houses; all provided for by the toil of Nigerians and the free, natural resources on their land. Is it not logical and moral that they should serve the people who put food on their table? Instead, they have sought to enslave them. I am angry because the collective exploitation of Nigerians by the elite has become so potent and pervasive that it has become a norm. The citizens expect to be cheated and deceived, the leaders want to fulfil their imaginations. Money is glorified in the society. We celebrate thieves and nonentities in the society without questioning their source of wealth.
Nigeria is one of the most religious countries in the world, yet it is also one of the most impoverished. More than half of the population live on less than one dollar a day. A dog in the United states has a higher standard of living than most Nigerians. The roads in the country are some of the most dilapidated and dangerous in the world. Several people die on these roads every day from accidents. Infrastructure has collapsed. Pipe-borne water is a mere figment of imagination for many, while regular electricity seems impossible. Yet an average Nigerian believes tomorrow will be better than today, despite having no logical plans to lift himself out of poverty. Each day, we look at each other, our smiling faces masking the suffering and hardship we face. We smile to numb our hearts to the pain and shame we feel within and tell each other ‘E go better’ This blind optimism in the face of such misery is what Fela Kuti referred to as ‘Suffering and smiling’
Nigerians love God. They love their religions. They love their religious leaders to a fault. If the average Nigerian Christian puts as much energy into fighting the injustice and deceit pervading our society as he prays in the church, then Nigeria would be e better place. Every week, and sometimes during the week, we troop into our places of worship; mosques and churches and shrines, our bright, eager faces a stark contrast to the degradation of our society. We sing and dance in the church, we chant and bow in the mosques and the shrine. We lift up our arms to the almighty and beg for him to provide, expecting miracles. Yet we fold our arms and do nothing but struggle to feed our mouths with the little crumbs we can get and hope our bosses will be more benevolent to increase our wages. We have slept off, while the vagabonds in charge of our collective resources are busy looting. We have kept silent and so the oppressors and the cheats think they can get away with anything they do to us. They have not only stolen our resources, they have stolen our pride, they have stolen our hope and left us deflated. This is the time to rise and get back our pride, this is the time to get back our hope. Nigeria, arise and fight!