Monthly Archives: September 2009


Dear All,

They said counting imaginary sheep jumping over a pen is a cure for insomnia.

But tonight, I won’t be counting sheep; I would be counting the number of Nigerian journalists murdered on a Sunday.

Should that be insufficient, I would count all murdered Nigerian journalists and add the geometrically progressive list of unresolved murders since the blasting away of Dele Giwa of Newswatch on the 19th of October 1986. It was on a Sunday.

I closed my eyes, instead of seeing sheep jumping over a pen, I saw Abayomi Ogundeji, Godwin Agbroko, Omololu Falobi, Bagauda Kaltho, Tunde Oladepo, Krees Imodibie , Tayo Awotusin….why should those who live by the Pen die by the Gun?

Is it hate, or the desire to instill terror that motivated those who killed an Assistant Editor of The Guardian newspapers, Mr. Bayo Ohu on September 20, 2009? Why did they use the caliber of bullets that will make an elephant beg to die voluntarily?

Freedom of Speech is not a myth in Nigeria; however, this ‘freedom’ has a conjoined twin: Freedom to be suicidal!

On this note, I tender my resignation, details of which I shall give later. I want to make every moment count because things will never be the same again.

The Pen is a Penitentiary. You are sentenced without the right to any hearing at all; you just get up one day and discover you are in it. The Pen has made many rich; at the expense of the prisoner everybody calls the ‘Gifted Writer’ because he is more than often the poor victim trapped within this Pen to the extent he lives in Penury!

The pen is that Pendant that hung on Frodo the Hobbit’s neck (Lord of the Rings, anyone?), the ring of Sauron that weighs heavily on the bearer and often brings him to an unwilling fate…is this a rant, or some feeble attempt at Poetry? Could this really be coming from Plumbtifex Rantimus, the Prolific Priest of the Proles?

Is there anybody that really wants to die?

My submission is that even the suicide bomber has to be ‘rightly motivated’ to make the prospect more appealing; from the promise to have wide-eyed houris at your beck-and-call in the hereafter to the promise to take care of the martyr’s family in the all too certain event of his/her demise.

So what is the motivation for the man of the pen?

Is it the take-home peanuts from the boss that knows next to diddly about journalism? Or the ‘job satisfaction’ of putting up a ‘masterpiece’ that went over the heads of the numb audience like one of those KKK hoods? Could it be the knowledge that promises that more than often go unfulfilled will be made to your widow and fatherless kids (if you had them before you got dispatched) and you will be mourned on the pages of the same papers that drank your ink while you were at it and eventually made the sand-macadam-rug-anyothersurface drink your blood? Or, the fact that even those that hired the assassins will mourn you publicly and the Police will blame it on armed robbers (an indirect way of telling the ‘numb audience’ that your case is closed long before your casket was)?

Even the Average Nigerian Coward (ANC) knows he’s going to die someday; his only problem is that he desires to hang on a little bit, sing some more Te Deum Laudamus, gripe in silence a little more about how bad things are, hoping things will change by some stroke of design. Need I also add that he doesn’t want to go violently?

For those that are wont to profile people based on their nationality (a safer way to be racist and get away with it) and tribal affiliations, Bayo Ohu throws a poser to you all.

If you followed my previous post, you will realize I admitted that more often than not, the Yoruba tribe in Nigeria fits more into the ‘ANC’ mould. Now, among the Yoruba, a man from Oyo is seen as the one who prefers to say ‘the absence of pigmentation’ instead of ‘White’. An Oyo man is perceived the king of cowards (and consequently treachery) among those that are generally perceived as cowards.

Bayo Owu was an Oyo man, and he DID NOT fit that bill. That is an aside anyway.

I recall the irony of a late Nigerian Army General who, when asked if he actually begged a subordinate (lying prostrate on the floor) for his dear life, responded “I will not deny that I begged, at least I am still useful to somebody today” he eventually died shortly afterwards as a result of a ghastly motor accident. I couldn’t help wondering if getting two to four more years is a good bargain for a perpetual reputation as a coward (oh, I forgot the man once governed Oyo State!).

In any case, plotting a coup (phantom or not) tells me that the culprit is fully aware of the risks, and the pecuniary gains of a success scenario is what we can all attest to (if in doubt, ask Babangida or Obasanjo). So, what is the pecuniary gain inherent in being a writer? You would be quick to mention J. K. Rowling (the Harry Potter dude), James Patterson or Stephen King, and I will be quick to tell you that even a vendor can be a millionaire.

That explains why pen men are taking government appointments with all their soul.

What are the viable options in a Country where a business man whose sole contribution to the Country is installing and uninstalling Governors like they are some driver software, has twenty five (25) Police Aides (and I could swear those 25 would have lobbied for the ‘lucrative’ job)! To think the Federal Executive Government had the nerve to announce the withdrawal of security detail to Nigerian judges (I don’t give a hoot if there was a change in position on that)!

In a Country of jumbled priorities, I hereby announce MY RESIGNATION.

I resign to my destiny and purpose in life and I embrace it with all of my heart. I resign to the Penitentiary that the Pen (and lately the keyboard of this HP that is fast wearing out my finger-print) has locked me in, the solitary confines of my Brain Cells with myriads of ticks in my head. I resign to the burden that this Pendant is. Should I come out of the Pen to live in a resplendent mansion, complete with a Penthouse, should my Pen become so powerful that even the entire defense resource of the Pentagon can’t withstand, I am bound to it, bound to the inspiration that moves my ink.

Why then should I continue to fight it? I RESIGN!



On Saturday, the 5th of September, 2009, a man died of Stage 3B Lung Cancer. It is considered inoperable, but treatable.

He never smoked, never was a factory worker, nor lived in an aerially polluted environment.

He had the chance to go abroad when Nigerian Doctors, within the limits of available facilities and an unreadable chest x-ray, diagnosed ‘Heart-Failure’ (same way they traced my friend’s partial paralysis to tuberculosis, whereas all he did when he had to travel abroad was undergo some therapy that had the use of his limbs restored); rather he stayed back, till it was ‘too late’.

This is a man whose death and mourning made week-long headlines, who was mourned in every part of the nation, a man that commercial motorcyclists (they played an active role in his unsuccessful Presidential bid) and beggars mourned openly.

He was not a President, no, Nigeria has a remarkable ability to fail when it comes with crowning their best in their life-time, he held no political office, he never enrolled in the Army; yet, we may never find someone else who fought to improve the plight of the citizenry, and whose passing away at the age of 71 evoked tears and inspired so many articles like he did.

I am talking of AbdulGaniyu Oyesola Fawehinmi (Gani).

Had I the opportunity to be the one to write the epitaph of this author, publisher, philanthropist, social critic, human and civil rights lawyer, politician, Senior Advocate of the Masses and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN, the equivalent of the rank of Queen’s Counsel in the United Kingdom), I would write:

‘Here lies the man to whom the health of Nigeria meant more to him than his own’

Someone once remarked: ‘If you want a letter to get to Gani, send it to the Nigerian Prisons, he is either in, recently out, or on his way to one’

If you believed nothing changed in Nigeria since the end of Military rule in 1999, one thing at least changed: Nigeria’s MOST JAILED lodged more at home (instead of prison) from then.

With a jail record of 32 times (including the dreaded Gashua Prison) that would have made him a certified multi-platinum hip hop album seller if he had been a Queens Bridge, New-York native, one would be tempted to say Nigeria deserves every ridicule that has come her way till date.

Treasury looters get federal honors and receive court injunctions that keep them from arrest and prosecution, but someone got locked up 32 times for standing for what he believed in.

Going by what he said himself, the 1989 Gashua one year incarceration would be what took him down the path to the only battle he would lose: The battle against Cancer. With several tear-gas inhalations in several rallies, and the spraying of his cell in Gashua with undisclosed substances, it is actually a miracle that he made it to 71.

Prison wardens were warned to make sure he had nothing to read, by the time he was out, he could recite what was written on the label of a particular beverage because that was the only ‘readable’ material a sympathetic prison warden could sneak in for him. I shudder to think of what will happen if I were in his shoes.

A lot has been said of this man this week alone, and I sincerely do not want this to be just one of them, but for a man I got to know of and admired all through the Dele Giwa murder saga, the Ken Saro Wiwa mockery of a trial which he had to pull out of because staying on the case is to lend credibility to a trial whose results had been pre-determined, up to his rejection of the OFR national award in his dying days.

I have heard lawyers who would never have been one had it not been for Gani, I have heard scholars who would have been something else if they had not benefited from his Scholarship awards. If there ever would be a man close to the ‘Died Empty’ honor, it is this man. He virtually poured himself out till he was empty for this Country.

At this point, I proceed to slap myself and hope my tear stung eyes resonate in your minds; WAKE UP NIGERIA!!!

If health-care remains as it is and we lose our gems to poor diagnosis, Gani died in vain. If the next elections get rigged and everyone goes on as if nothing happened, if you keep paying water and light bills for non-existent services, if Banks keep giving you silly excuses for not giving you your hard earned money upon demand, if you ever tolerate any form of injustice, if you still urge a bus driver to allow the Policeman extort him so that you all can ‘go’, Gani must be the most stupid person that ever lived and his words ‘stand for the truth, even if you are standing alone’ would be mere ranting of the deranged.

At this time that politicians and political-jobbers are seeking to out-perform each other in eulogizing this man, even though a good number of them contributed to his eventual death and some are inwardly heaving a sigh of relief that their ‘accuser’ is gone, there is no amount of ‘verbal contortion’ that would suffice to honor what he lived and died for.

I am yet to hear someone speak so passionately about Nigeria like he did. His was the plight of a committed husband to an unfaithful bride.

A man with a widowed mother (by the time his mother passed on, his worst ordeals were over) and children eventually numbering up to fourteen (14) does not fit the bill for a risk taker. A man who has made substantial income from Law Report Publications would not strike you as a man willing to go everywhere with his toothpaste and brush in anticipation of arrest and detention. His profile represented that of the Average Nigerian Coward (ANC): Yoruba (I am from that tribe myself), financially ‘comfortable’, mother (optional), wife and kids (or hopes to have some soon), yet, one word you can never use to describe the late icon is COWARD.

He was a Mai Surutu (trouble maker), who took his fight to the Temple of Justice armed with one weapon that the worst dictators feared: HIS VOICE; and it hurts that one thing the Cancer took away before he eventually bowed out was that same voice.

I really don’t give a hoot if you have the most mellifluous baritone in the world or you sound like a nightingale, if your voice has done nothing to improve the plight of those who cannot speak for themselves, I really wonder what you are doing on this planet.

Is it not a shame that Forbes billio-debtor-naires did (and still (will) do) nothing for their community and some still had the nerve to dissuade people from accepting the scholarships this man single-handedly awarded? He benefited from no government-induced-lucre, yet he GAVE.

At this point, I am seriously considering the existence of an incurable African malaise: OPTHALOCASHAEMIA. Now, don’t Google yet, I invented this term to describe the desire to have cash just for the purpose of feasting your eyes on it. How else would one explain why looted funds by individuals are to the tune of billions? One would think they hope to be buried in some Gothic mausoleum or mummified a la Pharaoh Tutankhamen (King Tut), please don’t give me that crap that they are stashing it for their descendants, because it is extremely dumb to stash for a generation yet unborn when by their actions, a generation immediately before them might just as well be annihilated.

I say this because I have been on the same project with the son of one who earned notoriety for a mortgaged conscience. I noted the appearance of armed security detail that disappeared soon as the boy had to change hotels. Before my very eyes, the boy denied his father, even though the surname is a very uncommon surname in Nigeria (in spite of the fact that his father came around physically to make plans for his son). God forbid my name becomes a liability to my descendants! (Have you noticed that most of them do not have a John Doe type of surname? You don’t just pick an Abacha surname on the streets, for instance).

One other rare trait I found in this man was the fact that when it came to issues dear to his heart, he had neither permanent friends nor enemies.

From taking sides with the Military Regime of Buhari when tribunals were set up to try civilians and a decree which attracted death penalty for narcotics peddlers was backdated to execute Benard Ogedegbe, Bathlomew Owoh and Akanni Ojuolape (this caused a rift between Gani and the Nigerian Bar Association), to being the thorn in the flesh of the same tribunal (compare this to his pulling out of Ken Saro Wiwa’s trial and you will understand the difference between Buhari and Abacha).

Even his long time ally, late Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti came under his vocal hammer when he received foreign funding. Olu Onagoruwa was not spared either when he chose to serve under Abacha’s despotic regime.

I cannot forget how he took up Bola Tinubu on the ‘University-of-Chicago-Chicago-State-University-are-you-kidding-me-which-is-which?’ drama (Salisu-Buhari-Toronto-Certificate, anyone?).

I read a well-meaning (I presume) remark by Retired General Muhammadu Buhari that Gani should be given a post-humous award, now that he is in no position to reject it. My only reservation about that is what Gani himself said when he turned down the OFR (Officer of the Federal Republic):

“…..In the light of the above, I cannot accept the ‘honour’ of OFR. WHETHER NOW OR IN THE LIFE BEYOND. How can I wake up in the morning and look at the insignia of honour bestowed on me under a government that persecutes anti-corruption effort, particularly those of Nuhu Ribadu? (Emphasis mine)”


I have always maintained that the pseudotalakawa are the most pathetic breed to ever evolve in Nigeria and anywhere else in the world as a matter of fact.

Is it not awful ridiculous that Forbes billionaires owe banks to the point of insolvency? In the Middle East, you should fear a ‘terrorist’ who intends to blow you into oblivion, but in Nigeria, ‘Fear not he that can blow you into oblivion, rather, fear he that can owe you into oblivion and blow you if you don’t permit them to owe you!’ (That is the Talakawa gospel, ‘happy are ye if ye abide’).

At the time District 9 got added to the growing list of Hollywood movies ridiculing Nigeria, it hurts to see the level of greed and avarice that blossomed between 1999 and 2007 alone. It is therefore, only natural to ‘rejoice’ that Five Nigerian Bank MD/CEOs (Mr. Sebasti(an)(ne) Adigwe (Afribank), Mr. Okey Nwosu (Finbank), Dr. Erastus Akingbola (Intercontinental Bank), Dr. (Mrs.) Cecilia Ibru (Oceanic Bank), and Dr. Bath Ebongwere (Union Bank) were fired in a fresh attempt by the new CBN Governor to restore sanity to the Banking Sector.

What actually hurts is the fact that it is still hard for the Talakawa to see that they are being entertained again.

I had earlier remarked in my June 3 post (TRANCE COP) that “True to type, the Talakawa must be entertained; therefore a Gladiator must kiss the sands of the Coliseum”.

That is the first amendment to the Maxims of the Talakawa.

I know that in every crime, an accessory is equally guilty as hell, what leaves me confused is why the accused struts the town, shakes-hands-and-let’s be friends-again with friends-turned-foes-turned-friends-again and to pacify the blood-thirsty audience, returns part of the money he borrowstoled (you won’t find this in any dictionary) while the once hailed First and Second Ladies/Men of Banking get some VIP (Very Important Pseudotalakawa) treatment in EFCC Hotels and Accommodation.

I have never doubted the showbiz capacity of the Farida led EFCC, what I never expected was the Red Costume they wore as they led the Gladiators to the Court Coliseum; Are you not Entertained??? Is that some gang sign flashing or what?

In the midst of all the thumbs down and the baying for blood, can we just have a moment of silence?

Close your eyes, open your mind, else you will be left on the same spot the day the entire game gets played out.

How did an individual get to owe N88.3 billion? Was he trying to outperform good ole’ Bernie Madoff? Why would an I-used-to-be-obscure-MD/CEO be the guilty one when he is actually eight steps down on the economic food-chain of the Board of Directors? I will not tell you the answer, I would only ask you to Google Falcon Securities Board of Directors….after all, we are in the season everyone is economical with truth!

In an economy that trades money with money a la Stock Market and Share Certificates are used as collateral, what do you expect? Honestly, I need answers. Nigeria, We Have A Problem!!!!

Where did the funds used in the last Campaign that brought in the present administration come from? This is where we all are culpable. If you bought shares with the intention to trade, fall in line. If you deposited your money in the bank (where else would you, anyway?) the joke is on you too. By your failure either in voting for the stooges or by not voting at all, you are equally culpable. Mrs. Cecilia Ibru and co. are not the only ones being docked; WE ALL ARE!!!

If you still spent your money buying newspapers at the time the media became a profit racketeering venture, if you cheered as your bank, aren’t we all dumb? We call it our bank simply because we surrendered the rights to our money to them…does your daddy own a fraction of the bank? Excuse my manners please. If you cheered as your bank got those Awards, you are culpable too.

Intercontinental Bank Plc emerged overall best winners at the Maiduguri Bankers Clearing House Dinner organized by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) this same year and carted away four awards: Best Clearing Bank of the Year, Best Promoter of e-payment, Most Punctual Bank and the Best Error-Free Bank Awards for 2008 at the same event; so what went down in-between May and now? I’d tell you: NOTHING!!!

How come the banks that had the blessings of the ‘gods’ that even had ‘Divine Accounts’ tailor-made for churches to get loans for state-of-the-art equipment are the culpable ones? So, church, fall in line!!! These same people that had their hands soiled one way or the other are the ‘cheerful givers’ that had a good place in the heart of clerics! And I will eat my head (apologies to Mr Grimwig of Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist) if we didn’t have among them, those that helped build mosques too.

What happened to the 716 cases comprising 672 civil and 44 criminal cases that were disposed off along with Abacha’s Failed Banks Tribunal? Where on earth is that Forum Bank dude that fooled us all by getting revered Nigerian actors on the advert and pioneered building architectural masterpieces as banks? He vanished into thin air and left holes in so many hearts, literally.

It is awful sad that the gloomy days of dictatorship did not succeed in dragging Nigerians down this deep; there wasn’t a District 9 Movie, Sony did not have a nerve to ridicule us in a PlayStation advert…but to borrow from the late Christopher Wallace (BIG), ‘Things Done Changed’.

And so I add, if you ever bought a Nigerian CD glamorizing crime, you contributed to all this mess! And if you never bought a CD, you also did! How??!! You still don’t see? At a time good music that is value driven is not ‘selling’ in the market and a good number of Nigerians prefer to buy pirated versions or burn from another CD, these artistes had to look for ‘Corporate Endorsement’ and where did they get it from? Those election jingles; where did the finances come from? You must be living in the ‘Boko Haram’ age if you think it came from someone’s hard earned cash!!! I need to correct myself here; yes it is someone’s hard earned cash, the money we all dumped in those places dreaming of fat returns…that is the Plight of the Proletariat!

However, I must thank Madame Hilary Clinton for rubbing in what we all knew: Our Institutions are not corrupt, CORRUPTION is OUR INSTITUTION! If nothing, Ms. Waziri found a job to do at last asides warming an Abuja seat, the House of Representatives had a chance to amuse us by displaying their wanton ignorance about the same Law they are said to be makers of and had to be tutored by the Bow-Tie-wearing-CBN-Governor, I solemnly declare that if Lamido Sanusi decides to vie for a Legislative Seat with Lagos as his constituency, despite the fact that he is Fulani, I WILL VOTE HIM IN!

This Nation is in a Theatre of sick absurdities. At the time all those clowns could say about the Benin-Ore Road that has claimed lives in unprecedented numbers is:

“…using the Benin-Ore road is ACTUALLY ENCASING or ENGAGING IN A MACABRE DANCE!….And this is really a sardonic situation!

This ANOMY has to be looked into with grave URGENCY!

The whole state is LUGUBRIOUS!..”

and up till now nothing has been done about it, we know we have a problem. The Bank’s Gladiators are the ones in the Coliseum today, the dust will settle soon and it will be another Gladiator’s turn…I dare to submit, at the risk of being contradicted is that the best we would get of all this is one word: ENTERTAINMENT!