Sorry the title is misleading. I just needed your attention. It’s not spelt Sanussi. It’s Sanusi.

Now that I have it for a few minutes, let me share this.

Last year, I hosted a guy in my office who had just returned from a one year posting with the Joint Task Force Operation in Borno State. I knew him quite well, having worked with him the previous year on some community based issues.

He appeared in the office with his official uniform, something close to the camo worn during the operation desert storm. He however looked quite frazzled and I asked what the matter was to his surprised that I noticed. I eventually discovered that he had gone through a lot in the heat of the battle against the Boko Haram insurgents.

Wanting more evidence on what he had gone through, he brought out his phone and proceeded to walk me through horrifying pictures of absolute carnage. He suddenly looked like a ghost to me because I couldn’t imagine how he managed to survive such intense fighting. He said to me something like this “Oga, we kill them, kill them, kill them tire.” When I asked how many Nigerian military men he had seen killed in action, he admit that several were killed but because they were more equipped, Boko Haram usually suffered heavier losses during battles. He noted that a lot of these insurgents were not Nigerians but from Niger and probably Chad.
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As my pseudonym reveals, all things Calabar excites me. I literally go digging historical documentation to find something about my beloved city. Being a city that has a visible coloration of colonial foray, I literally drool over stories of the days when Efik men paraded themselves as the official mediators between the White man and black man.

I first came across this letter on an amazing group on Facebook called Nigeria Nostalgia. As hilarious as it seems, it opened a window into the years when the English language was separating the men from the boys in our colonial society. I recently came across it again while reading through other letters on the website called Letter of Note, and thought I should share the actual letter and also repost the transcript for those who might not be able to read the actual letter.

The letter was written in 1929 by a guy called Asuquo Okon Inyang to a government official in protest of his dismissal from work for laziness. His choice of words are quite hilarious, and I wonder if these words were actually permissible at the time.
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internet-business-ideasI was quite eager when the opportunity came to relocate to Lagos from Calabar after my secondary education. Despite opposition from some peudo-motherly quarters, I made the exciting trip by road to Lagos (with a bottle of non-alcoholic wine to celebrate). This threw me into a whole new circle of activities and contacts with new people, although my grandma was always there to stabilize my emotions. She was the reason I moved anyway.

Months later in 1994, I was invited to a Vacation Bible School, at the end of which I made quite a few friends and collected several addresses and phone numbers. Before now, I had only posted letters a few times in my whole life; a couple letters to my dad in Lagos, and one or two to my uncle in the United States. I was used to telephone conversations, which were far between in any case. I remember our NITEL phone number then was 087-222889. My brother and I used to randomly choose numbers from the telephone directory and prank calls, until the day my mum screamed at the phone bills.

In Lagos however, grandma had no NITEL telephone. My only options were to write letters to my new friends, or walk from Campbell Street down to NITEL tower at Marina to use the pay phone, which meant I would have to gather enough 10 kobo coins to place my calls. These were precious moments. To hear a friend’s voice at the other end and spending minutes conversing inconsequentially, or hearing the post man opening the postbox outside the house, was most times the highlight of each day.

It’s hard to look back and relate to those days, when communication was carefully planned and labouriously thought through. Today, we carry about fancy gadgets that instantly perform multi-functions, and we rarely think about what we channel via these devices. The rise and pervasiveness of communication technology has so sharply widened the gulf between our immediate past and today that I can’t even imagine how I stayed in touch or fixed appointments with friends.
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The year 2013 for me was one of discoveries and re-imagination. I set my heart to be taught and to learn from even the smallest of persons or situations. I carefully noted lessons for the year drawn from my activities both at work and home. So this is my attempt to summarize, with key points, what I learned in 365 days.

Some of you have left this level a long time ago. But pardon me for taking time to relearn some of these finer details of life and sharing them with you. I also thought I knew these until certain circumstances revealed my apparent divorce of knowledge and practice.

I have chosen thirteen of the several lessons and tried to shorten this note because I know folks are pretty distracted these days and reading through an article is painful enough. But like the internet promises go, “read this to the end and you will receive a miracle in 13 days.”  

So here we go.

1. NEVER MISTAKE YOUR HELP FOR YOUR SOURCE. The lesson here is often quite bitter for those who may know what I am talking about. This lesson has changed my perspective about how to treat people and the kind of attachments I have to their abilities and capacities. I thought I knew my source. In truth, I have even exhorted others about knowing their true source. In 2013, I understood by occasion who my source was, and that has also altered my lingo, for those who may perceive it. Nuff said!

 2. MEN RESPOND TO YOU BASED ON THE VALUE THEY PLACE ON YOU. You might think you carry value which others may need, but until such value is perceived and truly relatable to others, you are only as good as the newly moved in next door neighbor. So do not be troubled by how people respond to you. It only answers to the kind of value they place on you. Note also that when people make promises to you, their performance of such is limited by the value they place on you as much as their capacity to perform.

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Top African Countries for Investment – by

1. South Africa

Despite a troubled recent history, South Africa has quickly become a model of stability in Africa and an important voice on the world stage. It ranks second in the world for accountability of private institutions and third for financial market development, showing trust in its markets at a time when trust is hard to find. With a rapidly growing tourism industry, a wealth of natural resources and booming industrial production, South Africa presents a unique opportunity hard for some investors to pass up.

Cape Town, South Africa ThinkStockPhotos

2. Mauritius

Little-known Mauritius offers a strong infrastructure for foreign investors – particularly in the areas of ports, air transport, and phone communication. Coupled with strong and transparent public institutions, clear property rights and an efficient government that enjoys an independent judiciary (a rare find on the continent), Mauritius has high standards for investor protection.

Port Louis in Mauritius ThinkStockPhotos

3. Rwanda

The Rwandan government’s no-tolerance policy when it comes to corruption makes the country a strong contender for investment. High-functioning institutions and security infrastructure contribute to the package. Additionally, Rwanda is well known for innovation and efficiency, and has well-developed financial and labor markets compared to the rest of the continent.

Tea plantation in Rwanda ThinkStockPhotos

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Just a thought on the proposed National Conference in Nigeria

ImageA first question one should ask is how important a National Conference is to the progress of Nigeria. Over several years, many groups and individuals have agitated for such a gathering to negotiate or renegotiate the polity. I think this is very important and can never be said to be late if done now. Unity can be forced, especially when the gun is the article of enforcement. However, when the gun is rusty and broken, there will be an implosion, the kind we have witnessed in countries where force has been used as a tool to maintain peace. Lasting unity is one that is negotiated and agreed on. Humans and their groupings are interest-driven, making it inevitable for such collective aspirations to be the interfacing nodes with other individuals and groups. Nigeria is no different and in many ways a case in point on the need to bring all parties to the table for a more commonsense consensus.

I commend this government for taking this Bull by its horns and hearkening to the several voices of interests around the country. It takes real courage to initiative a process for which you cannot predetermine its outcome, even when you assume you can control all variables involved. However, I have noted with care the absence of the word ‘Sovereign’ from the proposed National Conference. This is critical because it informs us that the agreements produced by such a conference will not be binding on the active institutions, seeing that these decisions will not be made by a sovereign. This makes one very suspicious that this whole episode will be a charade and at best a cosmetic treatment to a festering sore. For this reason, the process is already limping from the start and commitment of the government is yet doubtful.

Although no government wants to be the one to summon a Sovereign National Conference, someone, at some point will have to get it done. The reality with a SNC is that even the government in place will be subject to the SNC since we cannot have two sovereigns at the same time, in the same geopolitical expression. This is tricky for any government. The SNC might as well decide that the present constitution be suspended and government dissolved, and that will be final. So it is understandable when governments push aside or away the responsibility for such policy finality. A simple National Conference places the weight of such critical decisions on a system whose measures are questionable. Let us however see how we make use of this opportunity to get the best of what this government has chosen to do.

The first step in setting up a committee to work out the modalities for the National Conference is a positive one, and the selected actors are in no doubt of proven ability to set things up. I will therefore suggest the following to this committee in implementing the conference.

  1. Let the people in each local government through their traditional rulers decide who will represent them. There should not be a regulated process to how each local people decide who stands for them. It is pertinent to begin the process by recognizing the rights of indigenous people to decide how and who represents them. The only requirement I would suggest is for a timeframe to be given and that the selected representatives be people of means, people who will not use this as an opportunity to seek personal profit. The latter is important considering the third point below.
  2. A defined start-to-finish time should be given for the conference. This should be so for the purpose of funding. We are at the point where every naira matters to every Nigerian, so transparency in allocating resources to this process should be paramount. In this light, the conference should hold in the year 2014, so the presidency can make budgetary provisions in the 2014 Appropriation Act as approved by the National Assembly.
  3. Also in funding the National Conference, only the transportation, hotel, feeding and general administrative bills should   be covered by the budget. No allowances or stipends should be paid to any of the representatives. This answers to         selecting people of means who will not be busy waiting for sitting allowances to be paid before they carry-out their         duties.
  4. The current constitutional review process should be put on hold and preference is given to the National Conference, as  the results of this will be less political as in the case with the National Assembly’s attempt at reviewing the constitution.
  5. Although I would have preferred that such a conference be held in a place (such as neighbouring country) far from any influence and control of the government, pressure groups and media, I recognize that this might be costly to                   implement. So efforts should be put into situating the conference in a place with minimal outside noise and                     interference. Also, external observers should be engaged to sit in through the process to verify the quality of the             conference and to objectively validate or discredit the outcomes of the conference.  

It is very significant that this discourse between Nigeria’s people be done in the year 2014. This is because it marks a hundred years since external powers amalgamated the North and South to form one political administrative unit. Like Babatunde Raji Fashola, governor of Lagos State aptly stated, Nigeria was not born in 1914. No! Amalgamation is not the same thing as a union. Amalgamation suggests the activity of a third party, while a union indicates the agreement between parties directly involved. If we go down this road, the very question of a Nigerian state can be totally questioned. For this reason we must not shy away or deride the chance at negotiating our togetherness so we can determine a common destiny as a country; a destiny which every part subscribes to.

I therefore support the National Conference and believe that it has the potential to begin a process of national healing. As an individual, I have opted to find ways to make the best of current circumstances, or use the present resources to achieve my intended goals. I think this is what we must do as a country rather than constantly discredit any government initiative due to our dislike or distrust of the government officials. So what we should be looking at is how do we make this conference deliver value to us, rather than kill it on arrival.




So what I have done here is to copy and paste and yes I know it is not arranged (No time to arrange it)…lol (From

However, I wanted to put it all in one place for easy reading. This is the list of all the proposed amendments that have been submitted by members of the public as well as organized interests. You can read and share.

1. Request for the creation of Toru-Ebe State out of the present Delta, Edo and Ondo States, from Toru-Ebe State Creation Movement.

2. Request for the creation of Adada State out of the present Enugu State, from Adada State Creation Movement.

3.Memorandum from Ijaw National Council to replace “Regions”  with “States” as federating units in Nigeria and devolve more powers to the regions.

4.   Jasawa Community Development Association on the aspects of the constitution relating to indigeneship, fundamental human rights, justiciability of Chapter 2 of the Constitution on Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy and state Independent Electoral Commissions;

5.   Mr. Anthony Okoligwe on the restructuring and re-organization of the Local Government System in Nigeria.

6.    Request for the creation of Lagoon State out of the present Lagos State by the Lagoon State Movement.

7.    Notice of Opposition by Itsekiri People to the inclusion of their land in the proposed Toru-Ebe State.

8.    Objection to the inclusion of the Territory and People of Benin in the proposed Toru-Ebe State.

9.    Request by His Royal Majesty, Oba Abdul Yekini Ayinla Ladipo IV, The Onikoyi of Ikoyi-Ile for the creation of a new State out of the present Oyo State with Ikoyi-Ije as its capital.

10.    Memoranda by Mrs. Saraya Agidi, State President, National Council of Women’s Society (NCWS), Nasarawa State Branch for inclusion of a provision in the Constitution to enable eradication of corruption in the polity and thus, promote good governance in Nigeria.
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