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Visions of the Alfa Talakawa, from the Proletariat...Nigeria, as I see it

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

LETTERS FROM JERUSALEM



Honestly, I am fed up of getting angry at those stereotyping Nigerians as scammers.


Now, let’s talk, Talakawa, let’s talk, and when we’re done talking, should your ‘up-before-the-cock-crows-hop-into-my-work clothes-hard-earned’ cash go into the hands of scammers, ‘imma whup your butt real bad!!!’


Three hundred grand got moved from a friend’s account, and it hurts so bad.


The Robin Hood theory is beginning to nauseate real bad. I could understand Charles Davis Jr. (Abiodun Oyewole of The Last Poets)’s passion when he robbed the KKK to assist fellow revolutionaries (even though I have serious issues with two wrongs making a right), what I will never understand is the silly ‘reparation-by-fraud’ doctrine.


My reasons are clear, and I will illustrate with this: when the former-CBN-Governor-turned-Guber-Aspirant’s father was kidnapped, I felt sorry for the people of Anambra State, in particular if the ransom got paid. I hereby submit that the ransom is Anambra’s coffers ‘Cash-Advance’ in the event of the subject’s emergence as the Governor of the State.


The dilemma of the 21st Century Robin Hood is that when he robs the rich, the rich go out to re-rob the poor!

With sufficient whistle blowing, Letters from Jerusalem (the ancestor of the Nigerian Letter) and all cognate forms are beginning to lose popularity, people hardly reply those fraudulent mails, and so, the Con Man went back to the drawing board.


Electronic mails and Short Message Service (SMS) messages notifying prospective dumbos about lotteries-they-never-played-but-won and somehow, people parted with call-credit recharge vouchers among many other things; even in the dictionary, greed precedes gullibility!


Alas! Like the late Christopher Wallace (BIG) would have said, “Things done changed”. The game has moved up another notch and you don’t need to be a simpleton to qualify.


The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cards got compromised sometime last year and people started receiving alerts of ‘unsolicited withdrawals’ on their behalf. Some lodged complaints at the banks; I even have a friend who, while lodging the complaint, his ATM card in hand, the withdrawals continued right before the Customer Care staff! I personally do not think the friend in question has the gift of telekinesis; and if he did, his ATM card, to the best of my knowledge is not operated remotely, so, what really went down?


The ATM card has a magnetic stripe which contains routing data only. All personal information is encrypted through Triple DES (Data Encryption Standard) which is near impossible to crack; BUT that magnetic stripe data can be copied and used to print out duplicate cards and with the availability of cheap spy cameras, your PIN can be read!


I have seen people leave their ATM receipts behind, thinking it is of no use; just how dumb do we want to be? The debit card details are obviously on the slips for goodness sake!


I am trying hard to keep my manners here; ATTENTION SHOPPING FREAKS! You sure feel good swiping your cards over those P.O.S (Point of Sale) terminals, and you quickly punch your PIN and then, your account seems inaccessible, then you use another P.O.S. terminal and then it works, and you heave a sigh of relief. Can I scare you for a minute? What if you just punched over a card-reader? You think it is impossible? Go on and search!


What beats me is the seeming failure of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to put a check on these activities. I know you’d say they are not magicians, I am not asking them to flip any wand either. What baffles me is why, in spite of the fact that these machines have cameras that take pictures (which has come in handy in resolving some cases), pictures of these ‘unsolicited withdrawers’ have not made centre-spread of Newspapers, IDEAS, ANYONE???!!!


Now you can all breathe easy. No one needs to come after your cards anymore. Thanks to Phishing (pronounced fishing) and e-mail spoofing, a mail can come straight into your inbox allegedly from your bank, using your bank’s actual e-mail ID!


Here is an example (I have edited the link so you would not end up clicking the URL and ruin things for me):


Dear customer,

During our regularly scheduled account maintenance and verification procedures, we have detected a slight error in your account information.

This might be due to either of the following reasons:

1. A recent change in your personal information (i.e. change of address).
2. Submitting invalid information during the initial sign up process.
3. An inability to accurately verify your selected option of payment due to an internal error within our automated teller machine (ATM) processors.

Please update and verify your information by clicking the link below:

https://ebank.iremovedthenameofthebankforobviousreasons.com/netbanking/

If your account information is not updated within 48 hours then your ability to access your account will become restricted.

Note: Username (Account Number) and Password are numeric. Refer to your e-banking signup form.

Thank you

· Please do not respond to this email as your reply will not be received.


The irony of it all is that the URL is https, which is supposed to be secure! My friend followed a link like this and he was led to a well designed web-portal that even looks more authentic than the cheap versions the banks have themselves. He entered his details, and Bingo! He had sold his account’s soul to hell-hole! In less than 24hrs, he was 300 grand (in Naira) poorer than the previous day!


Verve cards which are meant to be more secure are taking over from the magnetic-strip based ATM cards, people are getting more careful about giving information online, and if you are still careless enough to use cyber-cafes and you don’t clear your browsing history and delete all cookies, the cookies will morph into dookie on your plate!


Backtrack to Sweden, January 2008.


A bank employee noticed that the mouse pointer on his system was moving by it self. He then quickly looked behind the computer and finally found under his desk a hidden device that was connected to the computer to remotely control his computer. Pulling the cables stopped a transfer of several million Swedish Kronor!


Nigerians did not notice, sorry, the average Nigerian did not notice. November 2009, Ekerette Esennubong Obot, Kayode Ogunmolade, Dele Ige, and Olanrewaju Ipaye were arrested following a tip-off from a bank official. The official was approached to help connect a particular hardware: Key Loggers


You heard that before? This is what it does:


It tracks the keys struck on a keyboard, typically in a covert manner so that the person using the keyboard is unaware that their actions are being monitored! Those boys came with hardware, but there are software versions of it that can be installed on your computer, even without your direct permission.


The scammers may use spam emails with attachment, pop-up ads, applications with malicious codes, free gaming and porn sites. The scammer may lure you to click the acceptance button of any so-called free software in order to let his logger creep into your system and start spying. The user will never know that something is settling on his system as the loggers are generally hidden and are usually considered safe by antivirus software applications and firewalls.


Key loggers have certain options like the hide-mode, where no icon is visible in the applications list. They can rename any executable file and change registry entries.


Do I need to say more? All you Bluetooth activators in ‘free-trade zones’…. DO I REALLY NEED TO TELL YOU ANYTHING ELSE?

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Slave Ships


Mr. Rainhargt Fleischer, an expatriate German technician of Julius Berger Plc, in the course of supervising the maintenance of a part of the Nigerian Senate building, kicked a Nigerian in the crotch so hard that the guy slipped into coma; and so freaking what???


We’ve all been and we still are kicked daily in the groin and that explains why we have been so unproductive.


The Berlin 1884-1885 Scramble for Africa will definitely not be the last time Africa will be up for sales in absentia; Slavery will never be confined the annals of history. The same way old fashion trends get recycled, the same way the Master-Slave relationship reincarnates with different names. Racism is alive, and to think otherwise is to believe the KKK is now admitting Blacks!


When Ahmadinejad allegedly denied the Holocaust ever took place, the whole world felt he was insensitive to the annihilation of 6 million Jews, but I would like to find out if any figure has been given till date on the number of African children killed in the name of vaccination! Pfizer’s Trovan experiment in Northern Nigeria would make Hitler’s SS Doctors green with envy because it will never be recorded as a war crime, nor as genocide, but what is it, really?


I am one of those with the conviction that the Union Jack would not have been lowered had the Oil discovery in Oloibiri been much earlier than 1958. Alas! Several other flags, each with trademark Skull and Crossbones have taken random turns to signal the handing over of the rudder to Pirates of various races and cultures.


With the bulk of Nigerian engineering graduates ending up as bankers and the ones in cognate fields working in multinational companies not having actual exposure to jealously guarded ‘trade secrets’ of such companies, is it not obvious we are programmed to self-destruct?


I weep each day I see the Julius Berger Blue Maria (for want of better connotation for that truck with makeshift cabin) conveying construction workers to site. I see these hapless people even exhibiting territorial behavior, their gular folds rising when fellow-slaves-who-do-not-belong-to-our-camp try to hop in for a free-ride.


It beats me for a Company committed to “the observance of all Health, Safety and Environment requirements in accordance with international practice”! This is why I personally do not believe the so called Neo-Nazi; there is nothing new about it at all, as a matter of fact, most of these taskmasters will out-perform Hitler, Period!


"We feel that serious consideration should be given to workers' welfare. To convey workers in the kind of containers that we have seen Julius Berger do over the years is deplorable and condemnable. In this 21st century, we feel that workers should be better treated.

This issue of using containers has been discussed over time. It is disappointing that up till now, the practice has not stopped. The Senate Committee on Labour will take serious action on this matter when we reconvene.” - Senator Wilson Ake


That was August 2, 2008.


Who remembers the 2006 indictment and shutdown of Julius Berger Pharmacies in connection with the sale of fake drugs which were imported from Sinochem Ningbo, a Chinese company blacklisted by NAFDAC, and the discriminatory and unethical practice of dispensing fake/substandard drugs to Nigerians and reserving quality ones for expatriates? I have always believed this Nation suffers from mass amnesia!


This is a Company, allegedly said to be indigenous since the purchase of 51% of its stake leaving only 49% stake with Bilfinger Berger Germany, with a Nigerian Chairman, that still segregates Nigerian staff! WE HAVE A PROBLEM!!!


Why would a drug banned in the United States become the right drug to treat children with meningitis? And how on earth were these drugs tested without verification? With all the ‘indigenization’ of pharmaceutical companies in Nigeria, how come no company has set up a basic active raw material manufacturing plant in Nigeria, not even for Paracetamol or Aspirin? Does it come as a surprise anymore, then, that any online search you do on the origin of HIV/AIDS now points to ‘Sub-Saharan Africa?


Let me move on. I remember a seminar a presented as an undergraduate on Oil-Shale as an alternative energy source. When it was time for questions, I recall a lecturer asking me why we should bother about an ‘Alternative Energy Source’ when we still have the Oil. If only they knew how close we are to exhausting our reserves!


What are we going to do when that day dawns? Who are those that will spearhead the drive to enhance our own technology? Those engineers that have been condemned to the claustrophobia-inducing four walls of the banking sector? The ones in the Oil companies who know next to diddly when it comes to the actual operations?


I find what we call ‘indigenous companies’ extremely laughable. One crony of the same set of soldiers that took Nigeria down this lane with the 1966 (add another 6 to get the mark of the beast that they are) ‘counter-coup’ gets the Oil Block which he knows nothing about, he brings in another stooge who pretends to know anything about it, the stooge brings in a ‘foreign partner’ who pretends to know nothing till he’s done milking everybody dry! Phew!


Do you see what I see? The Western Pirates have been identified, so we looked out to welcome the Asian sailors. What we fail to do is look closely at all the flags….because if we did; the only thing we were meant to see in the first place is Skulls and Crossbones! Ubangiji Kiyaye!!!



Tuesday, September 29, 2009

MY RESIGNATION


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!



Friday, September 11, 2009

IS THERE ANY VOICE LEFT?


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)”

Thursday, September 3, 2009

THE NIGERIAN THEATRE


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!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

niS sI noitacudE




Okay, Atlas Cove was somewhere nearby, yet I do not even know the names of the Naval Officers that got killed.


Today, I find it hard to rant, I can only moan. I try to write, but the numbness of my fingers as they hit the keyboard will make the man condemned to using the cyclostyle in this age of digital printing smile in cheeky triumph.


It is very unlikely that any of the so-called Boko Haram ('Boko' is Hausa for "western education" and 'Haram' is Arabic for "forbidden") sect would be reading this, afterall, they claim Western Education is demonic and to save your soul from infernal destiny, you should not bother to read nor write. Just be stupid, plain stupid.


Does Mohammed Yusuf (okay, I forgot the Ustaz prefix) of Maiduguri deserve a character from my keyboard? A ‘Western-Educated’ (he denied it....but at least he could quote the Encyclopaedia copiously) man that had lawyers, rode in SUVs, and lived the good life, reducing some disenchanted Talakawa to Almajiris!


Honestly, where were we when Boko Haram was founded in 2004? When they set up a base dubbed "Afghanistan" in the village of Kanamma in Yobe, close to the border with Niger? Now at the time I am yet to have up to a thousand visitors on my blog, these freaking dudes as at the last count had 30,200 hits in 0.17 seconds on google!


What exactly is the problem? Why would a Mosque be reduced to a fa├žade for a grenade manufacturing company to fight back the ‘invasion of Satanic Culture’ that has been on for over two Centuries? Did God go to sleep and now so much needs one Maiduguri pseudo-cleric to help him out? Why is this Ustaz speaking the ‘demonized’ English and fighting with ‘demonized’ grenades when he is yet to reprogram his mind that has been ‘demonized’ by Western Culture?


These were my thoughts, my frustration as I trod the altar of the Talakawa Temple feeling like a Priest that ran out of incense. That was when the walls around me began to spin, whirling me into its vortex. Then all was still, except for the sound of approaching footsteps. Then I saw him, or should I say it. The creature scribbled something on paper and thrust it in my palm, walking away so fast I had no time to contort my lips into forming any articulate word.


The paper read: niS si noitacudE. This time, I was moved to the verge of reeling a barrage of unprintable words; is this some Graeco-Latinic joke or what? The walls around me sensed my frustrations and I heard ‘read it backwards’. Soon as I did, I was transported right in the midst of a mob. Now, be careful what you wish for, because I was soon to find out that this mob is none other than the grenade-in-the-mosque-making-dagger-carrying-members of the I-am-more-popular-than-you-on-google Haram Boko sect!


Instantly I was bound, the now all-too-familiar blindfold intact and after some worrisome two hour ordeal in which all I heard were gunshots, angry noises, chants and rants, I was face-to-face in a dimly lit room with a man who introduced himself as the Ustaz himself.


Honestly, I had expected a man with horns and a forked tongue, with flames literally escaping every available vent in his anatomy each time he spoke; but I was sore disappointed.


‘You are the Alfa Talakawa, right?’ At this point, I could feel Scooby-Doo and Shaggy, standing on my shoulders, whispering ‘be very afraid’ in my ears. If this man thinks he could recruit me, he picked the wrong guy. The last time I hurt a fly, it was because I joked with its name! Okay, today, I pulled the bike of the dude that bumped my car a la Bruce Banner style, but that is my closest-to-violence record (that is on record).


He did not wait for my response; he just laughed, and laughed. ‘You really think I’d want you on my team, you, a worthless kaffir! He spat. ‘I only brought you here to tell my side of the story.’ I sighed, both out of relief and indignation. Ask me any question and that will be the pattern of our interview.


Are you freaking kidding me? I almost blurted out but managed to say instead: ‘Ustaz, What is Western Education?’


Ustaz: You must be either dumb and you managed to get a ghost-writer for all that you have written or just plain cheeky, wallahi! Soon you will tell me you don’t know Colonialism!


Undaunted by the insult, I went ahead to make my point:


Mathematics has more Arabic origins than English. For instance, ‘Algebra’ comes from Arabic word (al-jabr, literally, restoration) and Algorithm was derived from the name of the great mathematician, Mohammed ibn-Musa al-Khwarizmi.


Medicine; which the Nigerian core north has been robbed of, thanks to the complex conspiracy between the Masu Sarauta Governors and Multinational Companies and Pseudotalakawa Health Commissioners/Ministers and hot-headed ignoramus Alfas, has origins that date far back to the Ancient Hammurabi codes of Babylon and that points in the direction of the Arab world!


Now, to the democracy that you so much oppose; were there not primal forms of democracy even in Africa long before ‘Westernization’? In Yorubaland, we had the Oyomesi who regulated governance and no king approached the throne without the vote of the King-Makers. India had its own forms of democracy too, but it was actually the Greek model that the rest of the world built upon with time.


Ustaz: There you go! I was beginning to think you had some intelligence, before you added ‘Greek’ to the whole discussion. The Greeks, the Romans, Britain and eventually America are the ones that imposed Shaitan on the rest of the world! You Kaffir are quick to condemn us of violence, you are so ignorant you forgot about the Crusades and the number of people killed!


You have a point, Ustaz (I addressed him as such because I was within the proximity of his dagger), but tell me, is Islam not growing in America today? Are people converting to Islam because they have a knife on their throats? Even Christianity had more strength when people submitted to persecution and were fed to lions than when it was declared a State Religion. So why do you think it better that Islam be made a State Religion?


Ustaz: Bloody kaffir! You call the Islam of America Islam? You call the one you see in Nigeria Islam? kai! The Islam that people still go to Colonial Schools and take Colonial Medicine, the Islam that is not strong enough to take over the Country!


Ustaz, errr, have you ever heard this quote: ‘Say: O unbelievers! I do not serve that which you serve, nor do you serve Him Whom I serve: Nor am I going to serve that which you serve, Nor are you going to serve Him Whom I serve: You shall have your religion and I shall have my religion.


At this point, I was rewarded with a slap. I saw all the constellations at once and I was tempted to turn the other cheek (I mean the cheek of the other man) but discretion warned against it.


Ustaz: You dare to quote the Quran! If you really want this interview published with your blasphemous lips intact, you had better stick to the realm of our discussion!


Okay, sorry Ustaz, I said gingerly. ‘I like your wristwatch’


Ustaz: Thank you, I got it as a gift from Britain


Okay, I once saw you on BBC, and you spoke good English too.


Ustaz: What exactly is your point?


Ustaz, you are the wise one here, you drive SUVs, and you live in a Western Architectural Masterpiece, am I missing something?


Ustaz: I am in a good mood today and I will answer you. For me, it is almost too late, but I am raising a new generation from the scratch, hoping to redeem my own soul in the process. By the time we are done, Sharia will be entrenched in the Society and by then, I hope you would have been converted; I would hate to be the one to kill you.


Ustaz, who is your financier? Where did you get the money from? Why were you granted bail by the Abuja High Court earlier?


The Ustaz was livid at this point, he charged towards me with a dagger, that was when I opened my eyes and discovered I was sitting on my desk in the office. Ouch! I must have blacked out again, not again!


But really, I would have loved to ask the Ustaz why he was killed in police custody and his alleged financier, Alhaji Buji Foi summarily executed barely 24 hours after…is someone trying to hide something? MAMBM! (Me And My Big Mouth)