Thursday, January 26, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
The game was played between the Federal Government of Nigeria (as white) and the Nigerian masses (who regrettably was represented by NLC/TUC, as black). White opened by pushing e4 (declaring removal of fuel subsidy on the 1st of January 2012). This move was not expected by black who had thought that white was going to play c4 (flank opening) based on older games. Black therefore had to take a while to respond to white’s move. Black responded with e5 on the 9th of January. Considering the situation on board, it was the best response to white’s opening move as it meant a head-to-head approach to the game, a fight for the centre. Many commentaries were run on TV, Radio, Newspapers and social networking sites. Many of the predictions were in favour of white, 1-0, while others predicted a draw but there was no prediction of a win for black. The game continued for 5 days with so much vigour and exuberance from black while white hoped to cash in on his “first-to-move” advantage as well as his positional (authority) advantage. Black on the other hand drew upon all his goodwill, knowledge of white’s tendencies, courage and determination towards the game. At the end of the 5th day, the representative of the masses began to lose stamina and negotiated with white (who initiated the negotiation). Black was urged to rest/refresh for the weekend and suspend the game to continue on Monday, the 16th of January to allow the representatives broker a good deal for the game and if white was unyielding, the game was to be continued on the 16th of January.
Negotiations went on for long hours and many of black’s fans were quite expectant of a good deal. White was expected to give a speech on the night of Sunday, the 15th of January at 9pm which should give information to the audience about the outcome of the negotiation but White did not show up and kept the audience in suspense till they all slept off. They only woke up to the announcement that the game has been agreed to a draw to the advantage of white (white took home the trophy). Black also announced on Monday morning that he would not be showing up at the game venue and also urged his fans to stay home as white had deployed armed personnel to the various locations where the game was being watched. This move by white also changed the dynamics of the game and there was clear intimidation of all black fans and supporters. It was later learnt that black had given in to white’s threats and lures.
During my public opinion gathering, I found out that quite a number of black’s fans were irked by his withdrawal from the game. Some believed it was prearranged to go that way (like a script being acted out). They reasoned that the representative was given too much to handle and was not mentally and physically strong to persist for a long term game. They openly advised that the representative should not be given to NLC/TUC for subsequent games. Many of the fans opined that black would have won against white if the representative had not given in. However, they were quite encouraged with the turnout of their members who showed solidarity to the black’s club. They however mourned the loss of a few of their men who were brutally taken down by white’s men. They were deemed heroes of the struggle.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Happy subsidized 2012, lol.
The events of the past eight days which stemmed from the announcement of the Federal government of Nigeria that the subsidy of PMS (Premium Motor Spirit) or popularly know as petrol has got me involved in a lot of discussions on facebook and other media so much I put aside any update on this blog. The melodrama which got the term "Occupy Nigeria" has infused a lot of life into the political life of otherwise "docile" citizens. Many people came out (willingly) enmasse to occupy various places in different states of the federation. Information travelled at the speed of light through all the various media within the Nigerian space - Facebook, Twitter, Newspapers, Blackberry, Radio, Television (Channels TV was on top of the reporting and interviews). The normal conversations among neighbours were taken over by the dicussion about leadership, corruption and the impact of the subsidy removal on every item/service one might want to purchase. It was such a heated period, the anger and tension was palpable in virtually every Nigerian as the issues are discussed.
One highlight of the event was when a group of non-muslims in the North formed a barricade and watched while the muslim folks observed the jumat prayers and consequently the muslim went into the church on Sunday (15th January 2012) to solidarize with their christian counterparts. This is the climax for me and it was exhilarating to see religious walls being brought down to pursue a common cause. There are so many people with the walls still high up inside them but this singular example has shown that it can be overcome.
After much negotiations between government and NLC/TUC officials, the govt later proposed N97 and the tempo lost steam for the representatives of the Nigerian masses. They must have been overwhelmed by a lot of factors which are not immediately obvious to other folks who were not in the negotiating room. The factors may include death threats, Ghana must go bags of untold large sums of money, offer of juicy government positions, or simply unwilling to go another week of standstill since many people were unable to access banks for money to refuel and restock as planned for the weekend of Saturday and Sunday (14th and 15th Jan). The initial stance of NLC/TUC was N65 or no end to strike action. One would then understand the disappointment of many Nigerians when they heard that the strike has been called off on the afternoon of Monday the 16th of January when there had been an earlier announcement of a sit-at-home strike in the morning. The change in tactics was attributed to security threat as soldiers were seen deployed to strategic places in major cities which had hosted successful protests in the previous week.
I am quite satisfied with the result achieved and I believe a statement has been made loudly in the ears of those "cabals" who have held the people captive over many years in the name of governing them that power indeed belongs to the people.
So many articles have been published regarding the so-called fuel subsdiy, here is a link of my view written on the 24th of October 2011 when the government first hinted at the removal.
Monday, January 9, 2012
WHY ARE THEY THIS WAY? An article by Prof. Niyi Osundare (Relationship between the state of the nation and religion)
A number of reasons. The first one is religion. The kind of religion we have in Nigeria is one that puts you to sleep, and after that, puts you to death. It’s not the kind of religion that’s after social justice; it’s not the kind of religion that is after the welfare of the people and the independence of their existence. Particularly guilty in this regard are the Prosperity Gospellers of the Pentecostal variety who hawk faith on the air and convert religion into superstition. If you have no job, we are told, it must be because of your sin. Your poverty (or pauperization) is a result of the offence you have committed against God. Blissfully indemnified are the rogue-rulers whose greed has corrupted and ruined our social estate; those whose policies or lack of them have made job creation impossible by sabotaging our productive capacity? So, if you have no job, blame your sins; if you wallow in poverty, you only have yourself to blame. In the thinking and preaching of many of these latter-day evangelists, every scoundrel in power in Nigeria is “God-chosen” and must be treated as such. Religion in this country is a dangerous opium; really dangerous opium. And that is why our rulers are encouraging the building of churches and mosques all over the place.
When in December last year the newspapers carried the picture of a kneeling President Jonathan with a ministering Pastor towering above him in prayerful supremacy, we were presented with an image so symbolic of the relationship between the state and religion in Nigeria. No picture could have been more emblematic! Religion has killed rational thinking in this country. I say this all the time, our country is still in a pre-scientific era. That is why things are like this. We don’t think logically; that is why any ruler, any fool would seize the reins and rule us, because we would always find an excuse for being ruled or being led by the nose. Not long ago a pastor said he was between two cities and he discovered that the fuel in his car had run out. He actually checked and saw the fuel in the car was completely gone. But because of his act of faith and on the strength of his prayers, he was able to do two hundred miles on an empty tank! When he declared this testimony, people clapped and shouted “ Hallelujah!” I never heard anybody say how can? Nigerians don’t ask questions; that is why the imams and the pastors lead them by the nose, and the politicians also complete their humiliation and disempowerment. And between the clerics and the political functionaries, there is a very close liaison. It’s a kind of power structure; one controls the political, social realm, the other controls the spiritual, metaphysical realm and they are together. Many Nigerians are not rational, interrogative people. In fact, in this country today, if you are the interrogative type you are easily labelled, branded, and condemned. People even wonder: why are you always asking questions?’
When the blessed Tai Solarin was alive, he agonised and agonised over this issue. The way he was misunderstood, the way he was misinterpreted and his anger at the way many of our people were going - that we should be up in the streets. Another problem: well, our people are docile and the reason why they take all kinds of cheating is that many of them envisage themselves in the position of power someday, too. If I am X and the oppressor is Y, and the oppressor is oppressing me, stealing all the money, and making life difficult for me and my children, I am not likely to attack him. I’ll pray to God to let my own “miracle” happen so that someday, he will go and I will be in his place. No; I am praying for him to go but for the structure to remain. This is the social psychology of Nigerian politics. So many people don’t see it as wrong. When they see it as wrong, it’s because it is putting them at a disadvantage; they are not really concerned with the social order or the commonweal. That’s a very important issue.
If our rulers were people with a sense of shame, they wouldn’t be talking about subsidy at all. They should cover their faces in shame and apologize to the Nigerian people; for if anything, it is the Nigerian people that need some form of hardship allowance from their incorrigibly incompetent government. And our President and his officials have been going from church to church (have they called at the mosques yet?), asking for God’s blessing for the kind of socio-economic mayhem they are about to unleash on the Nigerian people through the removal of the so-called subsidy; asking the pastors to pray to God to make Nigerians compliant to and accepting of their impoverished situation, begging Almighty God to soften the minds of Nigerians. But no one entered a plea for God to smash the incubus of corruption and mismanagement that has brought this country to its knees. Our President never asked God to grant him the courage and candour to make a public declaration of his assets as required by the constitution of the country he rules...