The Imo 112

Another famous tag that will go down in Nigerian history, The Imo 112 and the unwitting rise of a star: the APGA Imo State gubernatorial aspirant, Sam Amani, who rose to the challenge when the state decided to prosecute the protesting and questioning women. A lot has been said on the issue with the leaning towards the fact that the women were protesting under the canopy of a proscribed group and so what did they expect? However, it can be argued that the women’s protest was a questioning one; moreover as citizens of Nigeria, they were very much within their right to protest. If they had gotten some convincing answer to their question, would they be on the streets protesting? This is the opportunity that Sam Amani saw and went for it. He got the Imo State Director of Public Prosecution to withdraw the case (which charges where a sledge hammer and frankly speaking an abuse of court) and release them unconditionally. If there’s anything that will come out of this present situation that we are in, it is that citizens are gradually rising up for themselves and for others. It is an awakening that will strengthen people’s understanding of their rights, a few landmark decisions that we sorely need for the evolution of our democracy, the repealing of laws that don’t help us and crafting of new ones that do. In what is hopefully an unrelated case, why would hoodlums burn law courts in Imo State? Scratch that. Why would anyone burn a Court of Law? Records? The irony is that when the perpetuators are caught, they will be brought before a “court of law”.

Let’s Get Walking, People

The president was onto something when his aides informed us that the president had walked 800m during the Sallah Day. Though he tried to downplay the issue of the walk as more a matter to pay respect to his followers that visited- (his aides really need to clear with the President his thoughts on matters before they talk), a good cause in itself, I think it is imperative to push home the good in walking. These days more people have become conscious of our health and people now have wristband reminders when they’ve been idle for a bit too long. The journey ahead for Mr President at nearly 80years is going to be arduous but cultivating a walking habit can help and this goes for the rest of the citizenry. We should encourage each other to walk. Here’s why. 1. Regular, brisk exercise of any kind can improve confidence (not to suggest he isn’t), stamina (everyman needs staying power and age ain’t nothing but a number), energy, weight control (he’s fine here) life expectancy (and here) and reduce stress. 2. It can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, strokes, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, bowel cancer and osteoporosis. (No official word on what health challenges he initially had but that seems to all be in the past, sha.) 3. Besides its physical benefits, are also beneficial for the mind, improving memory skills, learning ability, concentration and abstract reasoning (importance of this cannot be over emphasised). 4. Most importantly walking may also help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The Politics Of Demolition

The demolition of Yinka Ayefele’s Music House is an example of a combination of things; obedience to a set of laid down rules, laws and ordinances is critical to nation building and strengthening of institutions, secondly, proper governance, enforcement and timely intervention is the responsibility of government and three, we allow sentiments into everything that we do and this destroys foundations and institutions. There was drama about the demolition, accusations and counter accusations, only for powerful sons of the land to intervene and the governor and Yinka are hugging it out. And so, I’m wondering what in principle just happened?? Did Yinka contravene the laws or not? Did the government serve him the statutory notices within the legally stipulated time? Was he within the time limit given to him to make adjustments? Was the government overzealous in carrying out the demolition? What was the aim? If this had been any other person, would the governor have been available for a make up hug? How has this incident strengthened the state apparatus? The back and forth press conferences on this issue have distracted from the main issue. If indeed there was a contravention, notice and timeline of future activities to be undertaken by the government of Oyo State in reaction to the contravention, then Music House had it coming without the sentiments. On the other hand, when the government gave approval for the land, building and purpose, why wasn’t it supervising the building at which point the contraventions could have been corrected? And now there are discussions on interventions, pleadings, damage control and compensation. This is not how a government conducts itself. If this had been an ordinary person, a normal citizen of the state, would he have had the privilege of a ‘second chance’? We need something bigger than a reorientation that laws and rules are made to govern our behaviour and punish defaulters, wrongdoers and the like. It is because we don’t want to abide by what is right, no matter how uncomfortable, that we cut corners but we should realise that it always comes full circle. There is no right way to do a wrong thing if we want to be honest. Government has power not to use at its wimp but fourth, to be justifiable, accessible, available, fair, equitable and just to all. Alas! I still ask what exactly happened. I need that clarity.

What Does Having Electricity Really Mean?

Saying that we only have 90million Nigerians without electricity, is a misleading piece of information. That figure should be whatever the current population figure is rather that is without electricity. Being connected to a grid that is expected to supply 24hours light (in an ideal world of course) and being supplied electricity on a timetable that could even pass for a spiritual fast, is not being supplied with electricity!! Getting facts straight is very important. We, as a country, do not have power/ electricity/ energy, simple. The problem we have is that we have been so battered and conditioned that the little electricity we get supplied with, we are so grateful for it that the providers feel they have done us a favour. We have players in the industry who want to sell out plants (at a discount, set, hilarious).Let us call a spade a spade. This is another sector; the president might need to call for prayers too.