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LEAVE YOUR KIDS ALONE!

I once lived in a part of New Jersey called North Bergen. It was quite European by design in most parts and was obviously an escape for all who had a phobia for the clutter of New York City. Most people, including me, worked in the City and the morning and evening commute was a social phenomenon to be observed. I liked it though. I was constantly drawn to the evening and weekends of the North Bergen life, which I have come to appreciate as a microcosm of big City conurbations.

Some evenings and weekends, I go jogging or biking in the park and derive my motivation from the older populations who display such pleasure at keeping fit than a fledgling male such as this writer. After combusting the calories I will usually sit on one of the park benches, earphones in place to pump some good low notes, and begin my careful observation on one of the highways of human activity. In doing this, I was particularly drawn to kids who were at the park training at one sport or the other, in particular Baseball and Soccer. Standing and sitting at the sidelines were several parents watching carefully over their wards.

During my many evening trips home from work, I had passively noticed that the parks were always bubbling with people exercising and parents who had brought their kids for after school training in their chosen sport. These are the baseball moms and soccer moms that wield so much influence in typical American sociocultural and political life. I recalled this from my park observatory and moved my attention to the several parents who were screaming and cheering from the sidelines and I thought how beautiful it was to see parents who are so involved in the lives of their children, something we scarcely see in this part of the world.
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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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ON RIBADU AND OTHER MATTERS…

I agree to a certain extent with the analysis of some who claim a Ribadu-Adeola (Muslim-Muslim) ticket will not fly because of the primitive tendencies of the voting population. This is political realism in Nigeria due to the abuse ordinary Nigerians have suffered from our early politicians who chose to play ethnic and religious politics rather than on ideals and purpose. Its no surprise then that at a time when we should be allowing the intellectual likes of Pat Utomi and Donald Duke create a niche for idea-politik, we are still grappling with ancient and tactless strategies.

For those who premise the similarity of this ticket to the Abiola/Kingibe ticket of 1993, they forget too soon that the political reality then is far removed from what it is today. Every Nigerian was united in booting out the military by any means; even if it meant a Gorilla from the forested slopes of the hinterland was to be presented on a party platform, we were ready to vote it in. So we are in a different season, when the heterogeneous filaments and antennae of the average voter is hyper-sensitive (as some commentaries have already sounded the marginalization of Ibos). Things are different now and we shouldn’t ignore this reality.

But since I assume that everyone in this localized cyberspace is rich in comprehending matters of higher concern to the nation, we must never at any time be tempted to disregard the ideal and trade it for existential issues. Yes Ribadu and Adeola are both Muslim, but does that really matter? Shouldn’t we in this heavy discourse be analyzing thoroughly what their manifestos contain to see how strategic these men are in articulating the desire of the common Nigerian? Since our universities have failed to exert influence on the system by organizing national debates as done in other countries, then we as verified loyalist to Nigeria’s cause must raise this issue to the fore and educate ourselves before we make choices based on cosmetic ratings.
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