Sunday, July 8, 2018

Read excerpts from the book The Adventures of Nihu on the Magic Ladder!

You can read excerpts from the book The Adventures of Nihu on the "Magic Ladder", a free reading improvement resource. 

To read an excerpt from click here: https://mlc.learningstewards.org/adventures-of-nihu/

To find out more about the Magic Ladder click here: https://mlc.learningstewards.org


mlc.learningstewards.org

Level 5-6: The Adventures of Nihu (Excerpt)


Friday, January 26, 2018

Buhari’s Low Bar of Governance.

Buhari has lowered the bar of governance so low that all it would take for any president who comes after him to impress us is to:

1. Constitute his cabinet within a few days of being sworn in

2. Appoint members of governing boards of government agencies in the first few months of being in power

3. Not be so incompetent as to appoint dead people in government—and living people without first consulting them

4. Periodically speak to Nigerians through the domestic media, not when he is abroad

5. Personally visit sites of national tragedy, show emotion, and make national broadcasts to reassure a grieving nation.

6. Have an economic team made up of economists and not, as Buhari has done, appoint a diplomat as an economic adviser and then push him to the gaunt fringes of the Vice President’s office.

7. Reflect token religious, regional, and national diversity in appointments.

8. Not lie shamelessly about self-evident facts.

9. Not budget billions for Aso Rock Clinic and yet starve it of basic medicines and then fly to London for medical treatment at the drop of a hat even for “ear infections” and “breathing difficulties”.

10. Not have a compulsive runawayist impulse that ensures that he travels out of the country at the slightest opportunity and for the silliest reasons.

11. Even pretend that the whole of Nigeria is his constituency—including those who gave him “97%” of their votes and those who gave him “5%” of their votes.
12. Add to the list...

Sadly, these are really basic things that we’ve had in previous governments that we thought were irredeemably bad. There is no greater evidence that Nigeria has regressed really badly in almost every index in Buhari’s less than 3 years of being in power than the reality of these grim facts. And he wants you to extend this national tragedy for another 4 years in 2019? Well, it’s up to you. If that's what Nigerians want, who am I to deny them the "luxury" to inflict self-violence on themselves?


Farooq Kperogi is a professor, writer, and columnist. Visit: www.farooqkperogi.com to learn more about him.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

KILL THE DRUNKEN POLICEMAN.

One sad day, I stopped at a printing press to pick some copies of my books. Then I decided to take Lawanson and connect Oshodi expressway through Itire road. I was alone in the car. After covering a good distance away from the Oba's palace at Itire, I ran into some policemen. About four or more were in a van and one was standing in the middle of the road. He was a monument in a vast land. I think it was his turn to contribute to the fraud of the Nigerian state that is a tragedy of a 21st century. He waved me to stop. So I slammed my leg on the brake and slowed down. My car rolled to the corner and parked few poles away from their van. 

Then the creature whose eyes were crimson red and his head shaven like an egg walked up to me. "Good evening,” he said. He smelled like a bar and let go a yawn that took some time to mix with the air. "What do you have in your boot?" he asked and kept a straight face.

"My books!" I said and flashed an exaggerated smile at him. 

My innocent smile could not win him over. He stared coldly at me and flung a glance at the back seat to see if he could find what could implicate me. There was nothing. And then he returned his gaze to me and cleared his throat. “OFF YOUR ENGINE!” he bellowed. “COME AND OPEN YOUR BOOT!”

I complied and placed the car keys in my back pocket. As he walked to the back of the car, I made for my wallet. These men worship mammon. A few naira notes could get a condemned thief out of jail. So I decided to take advantage of his weakness. Flash a few naira notes and be left off the hook. I got some naira notes so that I can be out of Surulere before nightfall. My plan was to beat the traffic along Apapa-Oshodi expressway. But I never knew that I was in for a long night.

He watched me opened the boot as his colleagues who sat in the van fixed their gaze on us. He was sweating and smelling. I could not tell if the weight of the rifle was killing him. Or the bewilderment that rules the heart of men who drown themselves in liquor was standing taller than the pair of legs that carried him. He could be a victim of both worlds. The rifle was old and it is a tragedy for a drunken man to be left with a firearm. Here, the law was out of my hands. I was not in the position to fix the problem. I was the victim. He was supposed to be my friend and protector. The man who the law has entrusted my life to his miserable hands was failing. He had betrayed the state and the people he had sworn to serve. I threw the boot open, turned to him and crossed my arm over my body.

He nodded, simpering and staggered to my side. He almost knocked me over as he tried to steady his already disorganized soul. He swallowed hard, licked his lips as he inspected the over 500 copies of my books in the boot. I proudly showed him my picture at the back of the book, my name on the front cover and my ID CARD. At least, I was proud to let him know I was a writer. But I received a rude shock. He had barely glanced at the ID card, when he yelled at me, "SO NA YOU DEY PIRATE PEOPLE BOOK ABI? I DON CATCH YOU TODAY!" He turned to the van and signaled the other men to come. About three policemen jumped out of the van and approached us as if they had caught a big thief. 

Before I could blink, he told them that I was a thief. They glanced at me and our eyes met. They smiled after he spews out the rubbish. Knowing that their colleague was drunk, one of them threw out a question, "Identify yourself, my brother."

I handed him my ID CARD. He checked it and looked at the books. And then he looked at my face. He nodded his head. I think he realized that I was clean. He returned my ID and ordered me to return to the car. 

But his colleague who was under the spell of liquor became furious. "WHY WILL YOU LET HIM GO?" he barked at the policeman. "HE IS A PIRATE. HE MUST BE ARRESTED."Then he turned to me, "IF YOU GO ANYWHERE, I WILL SHOOT YOU!"

Afraid that I could be robbed of life in the belly of the night, I stopped. Now, there was a struggle between them. Two of the policemen held the one that was drunk and tried to take the rifle from him. As they battled with him, he yelled at the top of his voice, "WHO GAVE HIM AUTHORITY TO WRITE? HE SHOULD PROVIDE DOCUMENTS TO SHOW HE IS A WRITER!"

I was a still water in my corner. Not long after, they disarmed him. One of the men walked up to me. He apologized for the embarrassment that the man had caused me. As he we walked to the car, He whispered, "Oga, find us something. Make you go."

I smiled. I gave him the naira notes. Entered my car and drove off. 

As I descended the bridge at airport road, my mind began to work. What would have happened to me if the policemen had not intervened? Likely the drunken policeman would have shot me. He could have harmed me or kill me!

I was lucky today.

Kill the drunken policeman.


Omoruyi Uwuigiaren studied Mass Communications. He is a writer, cartoonist, and a blogger. He has published several books which include The City Heroes and other stories from the heart of Africa, Giant in a Hut, Little Okon, Tom the Little Man. His short stories and articles have appeared on Moronic Ox Literary and Cultural Journal, Vanguard Newspapers and other literary journals. You can reach Ruyi @ ldsomoruyi@yahoo.ca

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Rapid fire Thoughts on Libya: What Africa Needs to Do.

I was on a national radio program here yesterday to offer my thoughts on the recent tragedy of black slave auctions in Libya. Here we go.

1) I am shocked and outraged like everyone else but I am not surprised.

2) I am not surprised that black Africans are being auctioned in broad daylight in Libya because I am not divorcing what is happening now as we speak from the overall history of the Arab Slave Trade in black Africa.

3) It is more fashionable to talk about the trans-Atlantic slave trade which moved millions of black Africans to the Americas. The history of Arab enslavers of black Africans is not well-known. It is hardly present in the school curriculum in Africa.

4) Yet, Arab Slave slave traders and hunters preceded European slave traders and hunters in black Africa by seven centuries.

5) For seven continuous centuries before the Europeans, Arabs traded in black bodies, routed them through North Africa to be sold all over Arabia and the Middle East as slaves.

6) The reality of Arab slavery goes hand in hand with a certain imaginary of race. Blacks are deemed inferior. In many parts of North Africa, belonging to Africa is treated like a geographical indignity.

7) In essence, what is happening in Libya is to be seen within the framework of historical continuities going back several centuries. It is only more outrageous now because of the power of the image - CNN and social media have brought centuries of the treatment of black bodies in North Africa and the Arab world to your dinner table.

8) The African Union and many African states are jackasses with no political willpower or moral authority to do anything meaningful about the tragedy in Libya, hence the largely disgraceful response from Africa thus far. They have not even expelled Libya from the AU.

9) The European Union, the UN, the West are the congenital hypocritical jackasses we have always known. They are making perfunctory noise and expressing outrage. When they want results in Africa, they know how to get results. When Robert Mugabe began to target whites in Zimbabwe, they massed on him, choked him with sanctions, and hastened the course he was already on - the destruction of Zimbabwe's economy. None of them is talking about sanctions against Libya and expelling her from the international body politic - the victims are expendable black people who would have become burdens on White Europe had Libya not done the needful! Now they are saying that the Libyan authorities have reassured them that they are looking into the matter. Shior!

10) Africans looking up to the West and asking where is the outrage must, therefore, cut the crap. Africans in Paris, in London, have been marching and protesting. Where are the protests in the capitals of Africa?

11) The Nigerian President is yet to hear of what is going on Libya although someone who heard in his government has ferried Nigerians home from Libya. The Ghanaian President is heehawing and blowing hot air on Twitter with no real action. I am the one who should be blowing hot air on Twitter, not the President of an African state. Uncle Jacob Zuma was recently honored with a statue in Nigeria by one of the most irresponsible state governors on offer in Nigeria. He is still basking in the fact that Nigeria accorded him worth he does not have at home in South Africa so he is yet to hear about Libya.

12) These are the characters in charge of the state in Africa. They are the ones that the citizens of Africa should hold responsible. They are the ones we need to put pressure on to act decisively about Libya - starting with Libya's expulsion from the AU. After all, their misrule of the continent is why our citizens are crossing the Sahara in the first place.

God bless Africa.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Pius Adesanmi is a Professor of English and Director, Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. He was previously an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature at the Pennsylvania State University in the United States. He is the inaugural winner of the Penguin Prize for African Writing in the non-fiction category