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NIGERIA: THE BEGGARS COLONY

This is one of those rants I cannot but punish you with because I am getting really sick and tired of its frequency. Almost anywhere you go in Nigeria, you are faced with beggars begging right up to your face and totally crowding your space that you feel your only escape is to settle them. I am not talking about the poor, haggard, and destitute soul on the street without a home to go back to; not the physically maimed citizen crisscrossing go-slows to tap on your car’s window screen for their sustenance. It is not even the poor person in the neighbourhood who has genuine need and shows up at your gate on a weekend. If it were just these, I would understand for even Jesus said we will always have the poor with us.

My concern is with the pervasiveness of subtle beggars who trudge our corridors of service, demanding privileges that they do not exactly deserve. They are everywhere from the supermarket you frequent to the professional offices where they don the most formal attires. Anywhere you go it seems you are bound to encounter what feels like an organized mob of commercial inducers, asking for settlements for all kinds of spurious reasons ranging from ‘weekend money’ to ‘big man status money’. The latter is very upsetting because you now have to pay for looking affluent, as though it were indicative on the flesh.

The matter has become very embarrassing (or ‘embarazzing’ for emphasis) to the point that I am suddenly put on the offensive every time I request a simple service. Even when I am not asking for any services, usually some freelancer suddenly appears and imposes a service for which you have to cough out something. I drive into the parking lot of a public facility and the security man directs the parking process, a role for which he is also employed along with securing the vehicle. The profuse greetings you get from the security man on alighting your vehicle has its cost implication. The doorman usually almost prostrates before opening the door even though he sees your fully functional limbs. You have to factor all these into the expense to be disbursed at your location – of course not forgetting the tips you have already given for services in the inner sanctum.
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Live in Lagos – Can I help?

Help by force!

I arrived Lagos like an Israelite carrying the half-baked dough into a determined exodus. I had absolutely no idea what to expect, particularly how I will react to the weather, coming from extreme conditions like we saw this year in the Northeast US. Nothing really changed about the humid conditions, even at 8pm the wind was warm and slightly noxious. But hey! I am used to this, just have to acclimatize a bit. Err…I will dare not talk about Murtala Mohammed Airport, else it will be the rantings of a raving lunatic. Lekki Airport to the rescue!!!!!!!!!!

The road from the airport still is the famished road. It is fast becoming a bush path and reminds me of the road from Onitsha to Owerri in the late 1980s into early 1990s, It may soon need the kind of old Mercedes-Benz 9-11 trucks to ply it. It still amazes me that the government expects people to encounter that road first on a visit to the country through Lagos. Again it may be one of those roads that fall into the grey divide of Federal and State roads and no one is responsible for it. Very soon I will get dangerously upset to code red levels and will fix it. If the government refuses, private business making a fortune refuses, very rich men whole have stolen us blind also refuse to act socially responsible (at least to save face and the impending anger of the State), mere men like me will one day carry a digger and shovel to repair the road. At least beyond our children traveling safely, the police checkpoints will run smoothly and not be afraid to stop more vehicles and harass tired travelers. I have an idea, I will first start by asking my neighbour from Borno, who owns an active barn in his backyard (suitable to shoot a medieval movie), to lend me his cattle so they can graze the weeds shooting from the islands on the entire stretch of the airport road.
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HOW TO GET A JOB: TOSIN’S TESTIMONY

You know we sometimes underestimate the power of seeking God first before taking any major action. We sometimes study the outlook of things, particularly the socio-economic environment, then jump into action. The latter has its place, but there remains a high chance of grievous mistakes that take time to correct. However, I have rarely seen people who commit their ways to God making mistakes. Tosin’s testimony below is a worthy encouragement in this regard and I can relate to this having walked that road severally. You should read below, in his own word’s, how he landed his current position.

This is my testimony in full on how I got a miracle job at Cadbury Nigeria Plc even before my youth service.

After my much awaited convocation in July 2010, I made up my mind not to stay idle till November; when my call up letter was scheduled to be distributed. A couple of places and things that could engage me dutifully paced through my mind; I took out time to seek God’s face on what exactly He would have me do and He replied me. I became convinced deep in my heart that my place was in Cadbury Nigeria Plc.
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THE VALUE OF PEOPLE IN NIGERIA

Would you kindly for a moment glance through the pictures shown below. While doing this think about what kind of facility this is. After that please read through the note below the pictures. I will make it short enough and directly buttress my point to allow more discussions on the matter.

I am carefully reminded of one of the greatest questions of all time: What shall a man give in exchange for his soul? whereas the answer is obvious, the question also points to a greater reality which I want to highlight here and make inferences about my country, thus provoking our thinking on how we can reverse a societal ill that threatens to reduce our future possibilities as a people. I am by no way conclusive on anything but on what we must do to to change a existing wrong that I seem not to know when it made an inroad into our values system.

There is nothing on the face of the earth as precious as a human life and no argument can alter that position. This is why the summation of all human struggles is simply to improve the conditions of human life and living. Whether living or simply existing, there is a constant quest to improve the parameters for which such realities are nurtured. These struggles for a better life can be seen either on the group level like in most African societies, or on the individual level as evident in most western nations. This shows that there is an innate value that every person carries, which is recognizable by we all as we engage each other. We work to ensure our kids have a better life, our parents live well in their old age, we can give ourselves anything we want, and that nothing about us or ours should be devalued.

Although pricelessness of a person is most important to us, we somehow manage to downplay the value of another to create and enhance our own concepts of personal value. The ‘misms’ and ‘isms’ of our personal agendas messes with the value we then place on the next person we see, seeing them as a non-responsibility or over-responsibility in our path to give betterment to our human person. This is so real in Nigeria that people now have a blatant disregard for one another because we have lost the sense of value we each carry. We are primarily blinded by each ones absolute engagement with the race up Maslows’ ladder and seem to display an uppity in our attitude towards each other. Crazy! People don’t even mind packaging powdered chalk into capsules and sell as drugs for others to buy and assuage their ails when it’s not a placebo.

I am so sorry that these has become even the predominant attitude of even the government. When it comes to the point that people groping in darkness is of no concern to the powers that be, we can easily assess the level of value they place on their citizen. Some things are just not discussable because they are tied to the fact that humans must be valued. Electricity, Housing, Water, Food, Health, Transportation, Justice, and Jobs are not to be celebrated when provided. These are a must simply because Nigerians are human beings who must be valued. Public officials in the assembly are busy voting huge budgets to add value to their living conditions and allocating lands in the Capital city for their cronies, while the yawning wastes in our infrastructures lie as an epitome of a broken government and dysfunctional leadeship and you tell me they value Nigerian??? See how much they spend to secure political power. Of course their intentions are not to fight for people but their abdominal desires and debased ambitions.

If you haven’t seen the pictures above before I am sure you would guess wrong as I did after seeing the first few images. Those are pictures of a Prison in Austria. Prison??? Yes I wil say it again PRISON!!!!! If you like slap your face. I reckon that that society must definitely value the lives of its citizens including the social misfits. When will Nigeria start valuing people like this abeg? I am tired of Nigerians looking down on each other and placing no value on the life of others. We insult each other, shout on the streets, have no courtesy towards another, defraud each other, smear ourselves, and worse steal the justice of the poor. CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SHOW US HOW TO VALUE US!!! If we don’t value ourselves, how do we expect someone else to value us?

Very frankly my friends, there is a veracity in this claim: SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH THE NIGERIAN MENTALITY!!!

I ANGRILY REST MY CASE.

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