Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Transforming Nigeria?

Do We Have The Courage For National Re-invention?

It seems to me that the things we need to do in this country are the things we would never have the courage to do. Still, we dared to take a chance on some people who are ruling us today. Why not really go all out and experiment? The flame of taking chances is burning so, why not really dare? How much worse can it get? We've had non-starters manipulated upon us as rulers, and in spite of their idiosyncrasies we are still standing and occupying our space. What have we to be afraid of?

You know I never really came to terms with the reason Mr Ben Bruce was not allowed to run for the governorship of Bayelsa State in the last election. I think it was said the man had a dual citizenship status. So what? So do many really black Nigerians who vote and who have run for and held offices.

I have known Ben Bruce as a teenager through their Domino Stores on the then Commercial Avenue, Yaba, Lagos. Now if, through the years, Nigeria's electoral system has permitted the man to vote people into our offices; then I think it is a terrible act of segregation to not allow him to run for office, whether in Bayelsa or on a national platform. Who is afraid of his color? Is all this not because he is an half-cast?

Well, Jerry Rawlings is an half-cast, and he redeemed Ghana. Lets face it, it takes black and white to get some major or fundamental things right in Africa. Mr Ben Bruce is a Nigerian, born and bred. When he stood to run for office in Bayelsa, I wished he was from my state because of what my gut feeling told me he would accomplish if he got in. But alas! PDP did not allow him. Sadly, when we look at Bayelsa since then, one's heart aches for what could have been!

Well, we still have Mr Ben Bruce with us even today. And I see a Nigeria where Mr Ben Bruce is President, and Mr Aliko Dangote as Deputy thriving and really transformed beyond what the failures of today's government has disillusioned us from imagining. I see a new Nigeria where we'd stop in our tracks and wonder that we could become so pleasant a place, even in our days.

There is a clamoring for a return of a Niger Delta origin President. Mr Ben Bruce is a Niger Delta man. And Mr Aliko Dangote is a northern man. Surely, we the people of Nigeria - North and South and East and West - for the need to get our country working can bury the hatchet and do this one last experiment; for the love of Nigeria.

I think the Bruce / Dangote Presidential pair is just what this country needs. But do we have the courage to allow it? Well, we should. Time is over for doing the government of sharing money into personal accounts and pockets.
As we have allowed some faceless greenhorns from nowhere to gamble away our time in recent years, merely going through the motion of governance; what have we to lose if we gave these two gladiators a chance? I am sure that we, the teeming masses of this great nation so extravagantly blessed by God, will finally be truly satisfied as we eat the good of our land.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

PHCN, This is Robbery!

It is bad enough that we don't get electricity to use as and when we need from Power Holding Company of Nigeria, but it is a gross abuse for them to discard the legitimate meter reading taken by their field officers every month and replace it with estimate billing just so that they would achieve their revenue expectation.

Every business owner knows that you'll need to sell more to bring in more revenue, barring leakages. It is fraudulent for PHCN to make customers pay for electricity when they did not supply it. This abuse has been going on for as long as ECN through to NEPA and through to PHCN. One is concerned that as PHCN is looking to be handed over to private owners, this obnoxious culture of taking money without giving value should not be continued.

It is robbery when someone or an organisation forcibly takes money from me purportedly as payment for goods or services which they did not, nor would subsequently provide to me.

Our politicians misuse our national wealth without remorse, and inefficiently run government agencies, like PHCN, are used to further rob our pockets of our insufficient spend-ables. One of these days somebody will have to pay for this injustice!


Saturday, November 24, 2012

Tony Okoroji and his Vendetta against the Nigerian Musician!

Age does not seem able to temper down Tony Okoroji's craftiness. For someone who likes to associate himself with Nigerian musicians, talk-less him pushing to be our messiah, he sure has awkward ways of going about it.

I first met Tony Okoroji in the early days when EMI was at Oregun Road, Ikeja. He was part of the A&R team there and Odion Iroje was the rave producer of the moment, having been lucky to have run into Chris Okotie! 

Tony Okoroji, always the user, seized the insider advantage to make Juliana and flogged it to the limit with all the muscles that EMI had as a big and foreign record company. Tony Okoroji never did anything worthy of note musically after that. But, he is a born politician and knows how to take advantage of positioning. Oh, regarding EMI hiring him as A&R man he was able to approve one Dizzy K Falola of all the lot of talents that came his way.

After many years of being musically inactive, Tony Okoroji  warmed his way into the PMAN leadership, he and his train of users he calls partners. And it marked the worst years of the ever-fledgling musicians' body. 

Tony Okoroji after being deposed left and disappeared for awhile from music circles. I hear he sold spare-parts. But, business didn't seem to pay as well as manipulating issues concerning musicians, so he returned.

Then he came back with TOPS = (Tony Okoroji and Partners) and organized the then award for musicians. And you can be sure that a lot of money and goodwill rolled in supposedly for musicians on account of that. But guess who cornered it all?

The next, we started hearing of a musicians' rights organisation springing from the foundations of the big record companies. They called it PMRS, and Tony Okoroji was used to front for them. How on earth would record companies ever be trusted to protect the rights of musicians in anywhere, let alone Nigeria?

PMRS fought tooth and nail to destabilize MCSN which was founded by the fathers like late I K Dairo and living legend KSA, to mention but a few.

Ironically, people in authority seem to always fall for the manipulations of Tony Okoroji to the exclusion of the generality of the true army of musicians that abound in this country. One then asks what could possibly be in it for government officials in NCC to want to nullify our known and internationally-affiliated MCSN so to impose their own contraption of musical rights body on musicians? Do we have government subventions like for NFA or NFF that they would like to corner for themselves? They now believe there is money to be got from administering the rights of the created works of musicians, yet they treat and look down on musicians like we are riff-rafs!

PMRS eventually collapsed. But Tony Okoroji did not let go. Now we are hearing of COSON and seeing advertorials by it on TV stations like LTV8. And the agenda continues to run aground the true and genuine MCSN, so that usurpers can sit on the only aspect of music in Nigeria that musicians are not yet aware can make all their heartaches from making music worthwhile in years to come, when they do not think there is anything left for them anymore!

Tony Okoroji, our one-album, one-hit-song colleague at PMAN, should please stop this vendetta against whomever  at MCSN because he is using the lawlessness of our land to abuse our collective rights as musicians and spoiling something that has positive prospects for Nigerian musicians now and for tomorrow.

Tony Okoroji should search himself had, if left to administer our rights, would he not abandon us and run away again when his hands are full? Please, let the professionals trained and committed to this service do the job. If you have reservations about their integrity, institute action to audit them. 

Lets begin to get one thing right, at least, for music in Nigeria.

Those of our colleagues who seem to be exploiting and enjoying the present limelight, this matter concerns you all too. Don't keep aloof to the body that makes you count! Generation goes, generation comes. Be involved. Join PMAN today. Join MCSN for your rights. There are many ways your songs make you money that you are not claiming because you don't know.

We all know that those of us who dare to go into music are looked upon as loafers and less quality members of regular society. But we know better. Musicians are rhythmic people. We live by the beat. We keep time. We can't do wrong even if we tried! We'd be out of sync if we did.
SO, LETS ALL STAND UP FOR PMAN and MCSN today and take our due pay for our creations in this land and ALL over the world.
Thanks for agreeing with me, or at least, giving it a thought my musical colleagues to the left and to the right!!
Windie Storm.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

That Justice Be Not Miscarried!

Any Good Men Left In Nigeria?!

I have been assimilating the information being unearthed on the above national tragedy and, in as much as it would seem suicidal to hold a contrary opinion to the bandwagon, I do have a number of things to say so that justice be not miscarried on the issue.
In my mind, when I considered the likely length of this submission I was discouraged. But when I also thought that a lot of people who feel differently about all the hue and cry being raised on the matter would probably do nothing and thereby let more likely innocent people be sacrificed in satisfaction of public or bandwagon sentiments. So, I am going to write as briefly as I can and expect you to think through the rest.
1. The Police should not have so self-righteously immediately bundled the arrested people to court. I imagine that no legal representation would have been found for the accused people, nor thorough investigation made. Their lack of thoroughness accounts for the embarrassing conflicting public statement they made before findings revealed otherwise. What makes them so sure that they, the Police, should not be joined in the suit as encouraging the act when it was in their power to stop it.
2. The NBA's protest is a clear ground for a plea of mis-trial because they are seen to have espoused the notion that the Aluu community have done an indefensible wrong. I am not a lawyer, but my sense of natural justice and fairness tells me that such a sensitive professional body should not have allowed itself to be propelled by emotion. The lawyers that are going to be in court all belong to the NBA. You might as well go ahead and hang those people without trial.
3. What has been the standing relationship between the 'Uni Port' and the Aluu Community. The University administrators, the police and the community members would dispassionately throw some light upon this from historical records. I say this, because one does not just wake up one day and see fire burning. It would have been festering, smoldering over a period of time until that opportune spark! Is there a history of the Aluu Community suffering some form of loss, abuse or threat to life suspected to be from the student community. What did the authorities do about issues and complaints that may have risen between the students of the school and this particular community, as well as others also around the school? You see, if justice had been hard to obtain in the past, it would frustrate a people into taking the law into their own hands. What makes for harmony in society is if we can get fair redress for wrong suffered. Where this is absent, society turns lawless and it would be unfair to punish any one for the omission or failure of system.
4. The Students of Uni Port also committed a crime - arson. It does not help dispensation of justice to excuse one crime while condemning another. In the light of fairness, the students would be deemed to have extracted their own pound of flesh! Although it did not bring back the dead, and innocent people may have suffered the subsequent loss; they have taken the law into their hands nonetheless - the same offence. Why is everybody keeping mute over it, the Police, the NBA, the Press. You are eager to show your kangaroo court to the world without genuine investigation. Even though nobody bothered to video the burning of the property at Aluu, we know that it was done by the Students. Should they not be arrested too and speedily charged to court? That is why we have a system failure in Nigeria. Justice must be black or white, no shades in between! And I was beginning to think  Mr Mohammed  Abubakar was a finer breed of officer.
5. Parental Failure in the Land.  
My genuine condolences go out to the mothers and fathers of the lynched young men, but I came across a telephone conversation between one of the mums and a certain TV station where she owned up to knowing the other 3 young men as friends to her son. pretty much like they were family friends, they took their friendship home. The boys followed themselves to death. Why did all four of them go to make a demand on one man? Seems to me like a threat party, gang-style  They threw a stone from a glass house and got it back! Possibly they have been carelessly indulged by the parents without check, till the fatal moment. What a pity. We should not spare the rod on our children for, on the day of reckoning, it might make the difference between life and death, as in this case. Four jolly good friends, but none with the good sense to escape the lynch experience. It also brings forward the need for us to pay attention to the company our children keep. How could all of them suffer such fate if something is not amiss? No matter how affluent or lacking you may be, your world is not in isolation to society. We must all conform, accommodate and respect the rights of others in the world.
I really think the mother under reference missed the issue. She seemed to think that because her son has a room full of i Pads and gadgets that makes it preposterous that her son was accused of stealing laptops. It's very much like saying 'I bought an helicopter for my son, how can he think of stealing a Honda car?'. I actually heard her say '... do they even still use laptops these days....?'  Meaning it's worthless for her level. So the lowly owners should be grateful that her son and friends ever considered  relieving them of such offensive burden!  It's thinking like this that probably misguided her boy. Parents should mindful the life they live before their children because our children become us ultimately, unless God intervenes.
6. What is the outcry about? We have been willing to look away while people are being kidnapped for ransom  which are often paid; while the armed services do nothing.
We have always looked away while government officials embezzled monies meant for projects that would save lives or make life more livable  And we just settle for making TV talk shows out of them. What are these four un-lived lives worth against the many who die unaccounted for from such unprovided services?
Was it not four months ago that about 170 lives perished from a plane crash in Lagos, but we have so quickly looked away and it is back to life as 'un-usual', if you allow me.
Lamely and weakly, just like our president, we have accepted that the group, Boko Haram, should as it pleases them target and bomb to smithereens any of us they take a liking to during religious services, especially christian. Commentators have said they are politicians. And I say, wouldn't it have made sense taking their war to the politicians, particularly the ones in office!
We live in a land where duties are required of us, yet the most basic of rights, right to life and safety , is not guaranteed us by the state. But we look away!
Just before the Aluu killings, 40 plus students were called out by name and executed in a polytechnic in Mubi by unknown gunmen. And we looked away. What makes it right for them to die, and not these Aluu accused?! At least the 4 were accused before being killed. What was the case against the Mubi 40?
I think that those who are feeding fat going through the pretense of running our government do not want to accept they have no control over the land anymore for that would mean their giving up their ceremonial offices and all the easy life.
They don't love Nigeria. Are we too blind to see that? But I pray that the spirit of our fore fathers will rise up and wrestle  our land and life from these strangers who are pretending to govern the land.
The government schemers know how to take advantage to score a political point. Killing a few innocent lives to assuage public anger is nothing compared to the ones that they have already allowed to die so that they should continue in the foolery they call governance.
Other than the Police men who shirked their duty, if anything should be done to anybody from Aluu it should be after finding such a person guilty beyond absolute reasonable doubt!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Nigeria, To Be Or Not To Be? Running Towards 2015!

Congratulations Nigeria! I hate to say 'I told you so!'
Truth has been murdered in your public square.
Jonathan's government is looking very much like Shagari's. Oh! forgetful Nigeria, is Umaru Dikko not a senator even today?! Let me remind those who are aware that he once said, as a serving minister under Shagari, that not until he saw Nigerians scavenging food from waste bins would he believe that poverty was in the land, back then. Shehu Shagari was neither here nor there, but the world was an easier place to live in than today. 
Jonathan is also a 'free-for-all' ruler, and looters are having a field day. By the time he is done with Nigeria, you will not have much left to call Nigeria. Wouldn't that be in 2015? The year prophesied by an American that Nigeria will no longer exist?! Is Nigeria not running towards fulfilling that prophecy? 
If Nigeria wants to live, she should get OBJ off the back of Jonathan. The Chief is pulling the president like a puppet. Why are you burying your heads in the sand, oh foolish Nigerians?! Do you not see the usual trademark of Obasanjo in all that has transpired lately?
All probes will end up against Obasanjo, if they are allowed to run their full course. Whichever side you are on, and everyone really needs to take a position on goings-on here; the Yorubas should make up their minds if they will not interfere with exposing, disgracing; and if it comes to it, destroying the man that is known to have publicly declared "no one will tell me how much to sell my oil!" The man who appears not willing to let go the reins of office perhaps until he dies. The man is Chief Olusegun Aremu Mathew Obasanjo. 
Enjoy your bumpy ride ahead! 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dr John Omoniyi Dara Is Top for the job of the Nigerian President

Nigerian politicians are all claiming to be agents of  change but who really are the true change agents. Incumbent, Dr G E Jonathan has since shown himself to be no different from all the others. Indeed he is just another politician after votes for whatever it takes.

However, the debates which Dr Jonathan cowardly avoided has brought previously unrated candidates to the fore. One of them is Dr John Omoniyi Dara of the National Transformation Party ( N T P ). Now if the people of Nigeria really want a change, Dr Dara is a man I would put my money on. He spoke of specific strategies which he would adopt to solve the nation's problem as per the NEDG debate of 29/03/2011.
Dr Dara is the change agent we await. I hope the people of Nigeria would see through the propaganda of the ruling party and see their option which has been made very clear now, more than ever before.

From the self-debate or forum which  Dr Jonathan attended 30th march, he showed himself to be a ' company man' He kept saying  his party would do this and that. He did not seem willing to think out of the box. And that is just what we need now- someone who will dare to step out of the usual way of doing things. Should we have the misfortune of  returning the incumbent President to Aso Rock we would have signed away again our next 4 years as a nation. Worst part of it is that the lives that are being killed daily for which no action has been taken by this government to stop would likely become a common place thing.
The ACN man Ribadu brings nothing really to the table other than mere wind and sound. Rtd. Gen. Buhari has not been able to show us he has anew song really, and too bad the man he could have used to sell himself to the nation, Pastor Bakare also avoided their much needed debate.
Prof P O Utomi  of the SDMP had a tie with Dr Dara for the job of the nation's president, however unfortunately Prof Utomi  was reported yesterday to have asked his supporters to vote for Alhaji Shekarau
probably being convinced that his party did not have the geo-spread required. However, I feel he gave up too quickly. Those who are looking for the fresh man for the job sre spread nation wide and would have seen or heard the debate.
Dr John Omoniyi Dara is therefore the man for the job of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Illegality and Illegality and Illegalities! When Will the Nigerian Federal Government Return the Monies Seized from the so-called 'Wonder-Banks' to the Subscribers?

Those who read my posts have often asked me why I pursue the issues I write about. They say such topics do not bring in the money, so what could be in it for me, they ask. And I myself have often wondered about it too. Still, I cannot help it. I only write what I have a feeling for; and that seems to be to champion causes. Although the people I am speaking for may not even be aware of it, it is just for a good conscience that I write such as this. I hate unfair treatment. I hate illegalities.

Some days ago, I saw on STV (Nigeria) some men discussing their frustration by the Nigerian Government in getting their terminal benefits due from their former employers who had been shut down by her agency, the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN). The men used to work for some of the closed Banks; closed down because they did not meet the recapitalisation standard required in 2005. They had formed an association of 14000 members - the total number of staff members displaced by the forced closure. Professor Chukwuma Soludo, the predecessor of the present CBN governor, apparently had guaranteed the displaced staffers the payment of their terminal benefits should their banking institution not make it through the recapitalisation exercise. They had been seeking to obtain a performance of the promise, but nobody was paying attention. Not the CBN governor, Lamido Sanusi,  not the Minister of Labour, not the Senate President; and Mr President, Goodluck Jonathan himself ignored them too.

Well, one argument they brought forward which I took away is the fact that the banks did not die a natural death. They were closed down by the Central Bank, not for committing an offence, but for not being rich enough. Since when did not being rich enough become ground for extermination? But of course, since they look to be the under-dogs no body is considering answering to their needs.

This is so unjust!!! When the custodians of our national conscience do not take a stand for the down-trodden what hope is there for the ordinary man in the street?. Only when the big shots get tangled in the ropes do we see government bodies responding. Why do we fool ourselves in this country. Justice is given only when it will create sensationalism, only when the recipient is one of those 'deserving it'. When will every citizen of this land be accorded the recognition fundamental to their status as bona fide human beings who also bleed blood?

Very much like the case of the bank workers whose employers' offices were forcibly closed down is the matter of the so-called 'Wonder-Banks' of 2007. In much the same way as the killed Banks, these firms of  fund managers were hounded like criminals, man-handled and exploited by the Police and the armed forces at the instigation of the Central Bank of Nigeria, in the main. They claimed they were out to protect the  investing public. They closed the shops of the Fund Managers, froze and confiscated their accounts which held subscribers monies, and to this moment none of the agencies responsible for breaking up these firms has thought it fit to initiate a process of refunding the subscribers their monies, even if they want to do it by themselves.

If you asked me, I'd tell you that abuse and corruption do not come any clearer than this. While the finance agencies of government claimed they were out to protect the public, they were the ones who registered these companies. They knew they were fund managers, and they knew what fund managing entails. I guess, they just did not imagine that they would be that effective and successful.

The Fund Managers, fondly called 'Wonder-Banks' by the government agencies and their detractors, did not fail. Just like the banks closed down from the recapitalisation exercise of 2005, they did not die a natural death. They were frustrated by the agencies of the Finance Ministry as a personal vendetta against some of their very well known successes, like Alhaji Yusha'u Maiyaki, Managing Director of NOSPETCO  OIL & GAS LTD. This man's humane posture in sharing with his subscribers the profits that the multi-nationals usually distribute among themselves riled the princes and capitalist king-pins so much so that they blackmailed him into the list of 'wonder-banks'. How dare he give riches to the slaves born to work their capitalist mills?!

The government of Obasanjo had no issue with these firms. But it was the stooges of Obasanjo, who pretended to be under him who then ran berserk to strike the death hammer. While I will not deny the government the right to make policies, I refuse to agree that the government has right over my rightfully acquired property. This is the way I mean it: If I am given to drinking, for example, the government has no right to  seize or steal my money from me on the grounds that they want to keep me from drinking. It is my money and I do with it whatever I choose, as long as I do not hurt anyone else doing it! The government, by not responding to these issues, condones the unjust actions of her agents. They have no right to sit on investors monies all these years just because they say the investment product is risky. As things are, the government is the one who has brought in the element of risk; it did not come naturally in the normal course of their business.
But Nigeria Central Bank has seized investors monies in the said 'Wonder-Banks' for  near four years now on the pretext that they want to rescue investors. Investors who were not in danger of any sort in the first place.

Since this is a land where very few people speak the truth, it has become necessary  to call on all the good men of the land to ask the government for these monies to be returned to their owners before this matter becomes statute barred. The EFCC, Mr. Festus Keyamu, Barr.Falana, Pastor Tunde Bakare, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, Chief Aremu Obasanjo, President Goodluck Jonathan, and all sincere and honest leaders of thought of Nigeria should rise up now and address this long lingering issue. These people, who are equal citizens as we are, deserve justice too. Some of them may have died over these four years, still, let them be refunded their monies now. At 50 years of nationhood let us begin to see men and women who will stand for truth, justice and fairness.

The time has come to stop living for self, always asking 'what's in it for me'. This land is bleeding, filled with people whose right have been trampled upon one way or another. Let us begin to right the wrongs we have caused over the years. Let justice not be for only those who can pay for it. In this perpetually green land let it be known far and wide that justice is for all – freeborn or slaves, strangers or indigents!