Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Biafra At 50: Lest We Forget

Biafra at 50: A call to remember.

We will not forget Biafran men like Mr I. S. Kogbara - Biafran Representative in London.
Mr Ralph Uwechue - Biafran Representative in France.
Prof Eni Njoku - First VC of University of Biafra
Dr Michael C. Echeruo - Director, War Informarion Bureau.
biafra flag coat of arms
Biafran Flag

We will not forget Tom Biggar Ojukwu, Chukwuemeka Ojukwu's half brother. Who died during the war at the battle field.
We will also not forget Major (Dr) Albert Nwazu Okonkwo. Okonkwo was a Major in the Biafran Army Medical Corps. He was trained as a physician in the United States.
Okonkwo was a Military Administrator of the Mid-Western State of Nigeria in mid 1967.

Dr Okonkwo feeding malnourished Biafran children
Dr Okonkwo feeding malnourished Biafran children
We will not forget the efforts of English-born fashion model and actress, Jean Rosemary Shrimpton.
Jean Shrimpton and others saw how their country and other influential countries were keeping quiet as millions of Biafran children dies, at a time when social media was not there to help inform and draw attention, Jean started 'Save Biafra Campaign' by signing petition protest and organising protest to help spread the message and stop the war.
We will forever remember.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

The State Of The Lions In Port Harcourt Zoo

When I saw the lions in Port Harcourt zoo...ma poor heart gave out.....

The hunger in the land is real.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

How Nigerian Elite Underdeveloped Nigeria


Amouna and Hauwa, two daughters of
Borno-born billionaire, Alhaji Mohammed Indimi graduated from the University of Lynn, in Florida.

Their joyous billionaire father donated a $14 million (N4.2 billion) complex named after him as "Mohammed Indimi International Business Center" to Lynn University as part of the activities of the University Commencement Day.

This demagogue made his billions in Nigeria from oil wells his military dictator friend dashed him. He is the Chairman, CEO of Oriental Oil and Gas and he is reported as the tenth richest billionaire in Nigeria.

The Borno-born billionaire, Mohammed Indimi has never ever donated a plastic chair to the University of Maiduguri or any university in the Niger Delta talk more of endowing a chair in any Nigerian university. But the irony is that he can afford to endow a chair and donate a $14 million complex to a US University, which by the way does not even need such gesture from him.

Hundreds of internally displaced people in Borno state needs his Robinhood-like assistance from what he has stolen from the people. But whosai!

Ladies and gentlemen, this is how Nigerian elite underdeveloped Nigeria, with due apologies to Walter Rodney,  the author of the book, "How Europe underdeveloped Africa."

Yeye no dey smell again?

Female Bashing And Shaming In Nigerian Markets

I saw on twitter where a black baby girl, just about one year old or a little under, looked at the mirror with her mummy filming and said 'I am gorgeous'. Her mummy said, yes baby, you're gorgeous.
Someone on twitter said, 'also tell her that she's smart, she's innovative, she's a leader' etc. Another person replied saying, 'that's all great, but right now we telling this baby that she's gorgeous. Right this moment, we letting this child know that she is gorgeous'.
That last response made my day.
Now, I've been taking a break from a lot of things, but this morning, I saw that Deoye had tagged me to a post and I read it, then read others that were sort of related and although triggering in many ways, I thought to give my two kobo.
You see, the people who say 'what about the male child, they also get molested' only when there's been a case of say rape or abuse on a female, or when a female narrates an experience? Those ones don't really care about the male child.
I'll tell you why.
Someone has never brought up issues that relate to the boy child and even when a case is brought up (by mostly females), you have males who talk about how awesome they would have felt if they had a hot teacher touching their penis at 15 (I can send you links of instances). They laugh about it, they stifle the boy and make it difficult for him to mourn the disaster that has befallen him, they make it a joke. But talk about a female rape case tomorrow and the same sets of people will ask you what about the male child? Not because they care, but because they want to shut you up, because they want to deflect. Say to them, alright, let us have this conversation, what about the male child?
They'll suddenly go mute.
I digress. Sort of.
I was born and raised in Onitsha. So I am very familiar with Main Market. I schooled in Enugu, so I am familiar with Ogbete Main Market.
At age 9, I went to market with my mother. One of the traders there held my hand tightly and told me how he wanted to marry me. He asked if I liked him the way he liked me. In Igbo. I struggled to break free but he held me there. My mother had walked on, thinking I was following her. As I struggled, my mother walked back there and in anger, slapped the man holding me across his face. This man jumped out and wanted to beat my mother, but some women there began to scream and insult him. The other men asked him to leave my mother, that she was a woman, and that some women are stupid. The man who had been holding me asked my mother to thank her stars. That if that's how she slaps her husband, she should not try it in main market. Nke a imulu, o nwa? This one you birthed, is she a child?
My experience as a child in Main Market was a struggle between my mother and the men. She'd drag my right arm away from a man who was holding my left, telling me what he'd do to me if he married me, or if I knew how beautiful I was, or if I liked him.
Many times when my mother stood to rebuke a trader, the other traders would shoo her, tell her to move along, that if she didn't want people touching her, she should not come to the market.
I have seen my mother shed tears at the market and only now do I know how deeply painful it must have been to have strangers touch your child inappropriately and then be bullied by other traders into shutting up.
We were usually at the market to buy clothes, things for school, foodstuff, etc. But somehow, at that age, I got the impression that being at the market was for the traders and touching me was a price I had to pay for being there.
It was not different in Enugu. Just a tiny bit subtler but pretty much the same set of humans.
Let's not talk about what I had to go through in those markets as a teenager, as an adult. The ass-grabbing, the boob-touching, the name calling, how you suddenly become ugly the moment you ask a man not to touch you, how you're told that there's nothing special about your dirty vagina, how you're not even Agbani. In Igbo.
Fast forward to two years ago, I took my kid sister (who's just like my child) to Main Market to buy things for school and my childhood played out right in front of me.
A stranger walked up to my sister, held her shoulders and began to massage her. My sister turned to look at him, at me, and then she started struggling to get away, but this man held her. My heart broke watching my sister cry. I asked the man several times, politely (even though I didn't need to be) to leave my sister alone. He did not stop. He insulted me while my sister struggled. Then he went on to slap me when I wouldn't shut up. He pushed me to the flooded road where I fell into a dirty pond and lost my slippers. The other traders begged him to forgive me, that I was just a girl. That maybe I was new to Onitsha and did not know how the market worked. They told me that I was in the market, that people will touch me, people will touch my sister. My sister and I cried our way home and I was barefoot, ashamed, shamed.
My mother probably went through the same thing, and when she saw it happen to me, she tried to fight. It happened to me, and when I saw it happen to my kid sister, I tried to fight. But we got shamed to tears. We were bullied to silence.
Now, people are telling their stories on social media, and you have the audacity to ask them about Yoruba men who insult them for wearing shorts?
The Yoruba men who insult us for wearing shorts may be wrong, but right this moment, we are talking about the Igbo traders who consider our bodies commodities displayed for their consumption in market places.
We're talking about the Igbo traders who touch us inappropriately and who shame us when we protest.
So you get to shut the fuck up, sit down and listen. You get to either empathize, join in on the conversation respectfully or move along.
I bet the day we decide to talk about the Yoruba men who insult us, some of you would go 'but what about the Hausa men?'
If Girl A says an Igbo trader touched my ass,
And Girl B says an Igbo trader touched my breasts,
And Girls C to P say Igbo traders touched my face and neck and hair etc,
And over half of the girls are Igbo,
Shouldn't/doesn't that tell you something?
My father was once a trader. His 'trader money' saw me through nursery, primary, secondary school and most of my Uni days. So when you come at me with all that 'not all traders' bullshit, you get to tell me what the traders who don't grab asses do when my mother cries in the market because a man touched my breasts, or when I cry because a stranger held my sister against her wish, massaging her neck and shoulders.
Sit down and let people talk about what they've been through you frigging enablers of crap.
Sit down, you ignoramuses who somehow make issues about you that was never about you in the first place.
Sit the hell down.
Talking about bashing your people. Am I not your 'people'? Haven't 'our people' been bashing my mother's body, my body, my child's body in the market places? What have you, 'my people' done about it?
Sit the fuck down.

Written by Uzoamaka Aniunoh

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Scores Dead And Injured In Suspected Bomb Blast In Manchester, UK

A number of people have been killed after a 'serious incident' at Manchester Arena. Witnesses reported hearing several 'explosions' moments after a concert by Ariana Grande finished. The 'loud bangs' sparked mass panic, with concert-goers screaming as they ran for the exits. There has been a huge response from the emergency services and Greater Manchester Police confirmed there are 'a number of fatalities' as a result of the incident. The cause of the explosion is said to be nail bomb.

A suspected bomb went off at 10.35pm on Monday. People reported a huge bang as they left at the end of the performance by US singer Ariana Grande. Friends and family unable to get in touch with their loved ones in the chaos were posting their portraits on social media in a search for information. British Transport police said that the explosion happened in the foyer near the ticket office.

The arena said that the explosion happened just outside the venue “in a public space”. It added: “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims.” It would be the worst terrorist attack in the UK since the London attacks in 2005, which killed 52.

Train services from Manchester Victoria station, situated below the concert arena, were severely disrupted, with no trains able to leave or arrive.

Britain’s threat level from terrorism is at severe, which means an attack is likely. In 1995, a massive IRA bomb exploded in Manchester city centre. Because a warning was given, only one person was injured but several streets were devastated.

An eye witness, named Emma, told BBC Radio Manchester that the explosion shattered glass in the foyer. She, her husband and two teenage daughters managed to escape: “There were bodies everywhere. I really don’t know how we survived it.”

The Greater Manchester Police are treating the explosion that rocked Manchester Arena in the city in the north-west of England as a terrorist incident until proved otherwise, however, eye witness from inside the arena claimed the attack was carried out by a suicide bomber.

CAC Stops Manual Registration Of Companies In 5 States

The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) on Monday announced the closure of manual process for company registration in five states and the Federal Capital Territory.

Business Day reports that the announcement was made by the Registrar-General, CAC, Bello Mahmud, during a media briefing held at the commission’s headquarters in Abuja.

Mahmud said the states involved are Enugu, Kaduna, Kano, Lagos, Port Harcourt, and Abuja. He added that the move was part of the efforts to improve the business environment and make Nigeria an easier place for businesses to thrive.

He said the implication of the closure is that the commission has now phased out the physical submission of new applications for registration.

As a replacement, he said a Company Registration Portal had been created where those seeking to register their companies can upload their applications online.

He added that the online registration process is cheaper, faster and more convenient as transactions could now be conducted from anywhere.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Places In Abuja That You Are Likely To Get Robbed

Public Awareness🚷🚯

These  are the black spots in Abuja where Robbers & hoodlums  perpetrate evil.

1. Behind Sheraton up to CBN Axis in Abuja. Evening times.

2. Areas around Mabushi  Bridge mostly at night very risky 🚷

3. Area 1 and Area 2 Bridge be careful at Nights don't walk alone , if you are driving lock the doors and don't stop even when someone bangs on your car 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻

4. Mabushi/Jabi under the Bridge Evening/ Nights be careful.

5.Between Galadimawa bridge to Jabi Airport junction please be careful Evening/ Night.

6. Bolingo Hotel Axis in Central Area be careful days and Nights. Be vigilante at all times.

Please avoid drawing attention to your self 👍 stay safe 🙏

Places In Abuja That You Are Likely To Get Robbed

Public Awareness🚷🚯

These  are the black spots in Abuja where Robbers & hoodlums  perpetrate evil.

1. Behind Sheraton up to CBN Axis in Abuja. Evening times.

2. Areas around Mabushi  Bridge mostly at night very risky 🚷

3. Area 1 and Area 2 Bridge be careful at Nights don't walk alone , if you are driving lock the doors and don't stop even when someone bangs on your car 🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻🏃🏻

4. Mabushi/Jabi under the Bridge Evening/ Nights be careful.

5.Between Galadimawa bridge to Jabi Airport junction please be careful Evening/ Night.

6. Bolingo Hotel Axis in Central Area be careful days and Nights. Be vigilante at all times.

Please avoid drawing attention to your self 👍 stay safe 🙏

Sunday, May 14, 2017

The Owners Of Nigeria Gathered Yesterday At IBB Daughter's Wedding

Someone said if you weren't in Minna yesterday for IBB's daughter's wedding, you are just a tenant in Nigeria.
The landlords gathered to wine and dine.
Someone complained about the number of private jets flown into the city yesterday as the Abuja-Minna road isn't motorable. Another one argued it doesn't matter. It was a class thing and it is rare seeing a JSS1 boy play ludo with someone writing UTME.
Someone also wondered why suicide bombers ignored these enemies of Nigeria and decided to attack University of Maiduguri, a citadel of learning where dreams are being built and nurtured.
Someone somewhere close to the wedding venue said he strained his eyes looking for the leaking PDP umbrella and the tiny APC broom yesterday and had to go home disappointed when he saw all of them hugging and smiling without talking about their parties.
Someone faraway in Abeokuta decided to analyze their sitting positions and nearly ended up in the hospital. His blood pressure rose.
Another one, a popular PDP apologist in Enugu, broke down in tears yesterday. He saw 'Bola Tinubu, the man behind his hero's political and electoral fate who still lambasted him days ago in Lagos, seated beside Goodluck Jonathan smiling sheepishly to the cameras.
Someone, an unrepentant APC loyalist, saw Ali Modu Sheriff and Ahmed Markafi stand together. He had always prayed for the total collapse of PDP. He couldn't eat yesternight anyway.
Someone watched Channels Television news and saw Governor Ganduje and his sworn enemy Kwankwaso seated inches apart. He is still praying to God to wake him from his nightmare.
Another one made sure he followed the news on radio waiting for any divisive religious matter to be raised only to hear voices of Bukola Saraki, a muslim, and Yakubu Dogara, a christian, screaming for those expensive wines. He is still changing stations with hopes.
Someone checked online media outlets yesternight and saw pictures of Yorubas, Hausas, Fulanis, Igbos all under one roof with their different tribal wears. There was no tribal statement. No tribal war. He broke the screen of his phone.
Here we are.
Continue defending these people who have divided you along religious, ethnic and tribal lines.
Continue witth your gullibilty.
Continue with your nonsense.
What we need is just your brain. Don't bother asking us why.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Babangida Daughter's Wedding


By Pius Adesanmi.

Oto ni ki eyan je iya
Oto ni ki iya je eyan

I don't know why the Yoruba conceptualize suffering as consumption. In Yoruba, you can eat suffering or suffering can eat you.

Mo nje iya (I am eating suffering)
Iya nje mi (suffering is eating me)

Both expressions are synonymous. Whether you are eating suffering or suffering is eating you, it has the same meaning in English - you are suffering.

What I don't like, therefore, is the combo of "mo nje iya, iya nje mi". That is when you are eating suffering and suffering is also eating you.

I hardly ever see this combo in Nigeria. All over the country, people are suffering. They are impoverished. They are either eating suffering or suffering is eating them.

One exception is Minna. I have seen slums in and across Africa. I have seen poverty and misery and hunger. I have seen the worst spaces of backwardness in many cities across Nigeria, I have never seen anything like Minna.

In Minna, they eat suffering and suffering eats them. Won nje iya baba nla iya si tun nje won.

My own Lokoja, backward Lokoja, is in the Stone Age - just as Lord Lugard met and left it. Yet, Lokoja is Dubai compared with Minna.

There is a space that looks like suburban America in Minna - manicured lawns, mansions, etc. It is about the size of two blocks or even less. Outside of these two blocks of personal wealth produced and sustained by the oil blocks of the Niger Delta lies an endless ocean of poverty and misery. I have never seen that level of poverty and suffering and backwardness in my life. The city is locked in prehistoric times and poverty.

Yet this city has produced two of the people responsible for her suffering and the suffering of the rest of Nigeria.

Thirty years after one of them went to treat radiculopathy in a hospital in Paris, his city is still in the prehistoric age with no hospitals to speak of.

His city hosted nearly all of the people responsible for Nigeria's misery today.

They crowded in that small part of town which looks like the 21st century - smaller than two blocks really.

And locked out the rest in the prehistoric age.

Friday, May 12, 2017


The celebrations are underway at the Hawthorns, with several Chelsea players on their knees and hugs all round. Antonio Conte is now grabbing everyone he can get his hands on! Wonderful scenes for the Blues, who have just won the Premier League for a fifth time.

Chelsea have won their 6th top-flight title and 5th in the PL era. Only Man Utd (13) have won more PL titles than the Blues. Champions.

If you're a Chelsea fan at the Hawthorns, football - or life - does not get much better than this. The Blues players and staff are in a corner of the ground right now, saluting their fans, hugging each other, applauding everything and everyone and doing interviews. What a time to be alive.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Nigerians Are Very Insecure

In Nigeria, we are an insecure society because we don't care for our neighbors or the truth.

You spend money on a lavish burial so people don't laugh or think you are poor.

You borrow money for a lavish wedding, feeding and entertaining strangers.

Who are you deceiving?

You borrow money to go abroad for childbirth and you think we are a normal people.

I don't go to these events; the last time I went to a burial, I was taking mental stock of the people who were eating 'burial rice' without remorse, one woman complained bitterly to the  daughter of the deceased, apparently she had 'ignored' her while serving pounded yam and 'afia efere ebod!'

You can't let a bereaved family grieve in peace because you are greedy and corrupt.

Corruption is an attitude and if you can go to demand pounded yam from a grieving person with such temerity, you can take bribes with a mindless efficiency.

Don't be insecure in an attempt to please the Nigerian society, don't impress anyone, life is short for a reason- so you can live your life for yourself to the fullest.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

African Class Mobility

Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire delivers a powerful piece on the intersection of class and narrative. Hear him and chew on every sentence:

Today I am coming out of my class closet. Although I have of late found myself more agitated than I have ever been about classism, classist exploitation and class prejudice, the 'higher' on the postcolonial class ladder I climb if we use those logics, and the more repulsive all this bourgeoisie lifestyle becomes to me, because I actually do not have a complete software for it, given my upbringing: I have actually never belonged to the working class, let that sink in, (has it?), the more enraged I become and the more urgent the need to destroy classism.

That I, who most times will use a class lens to understand people or articulate my concerns about things, do not have a working class background, sometimes is pointed out by a few who know know me, not those who think they know me, but actually refuse or have no software to know me, as a contradiction. It is not  contradiction, but let us first continue. Madre was never a 'blue-collar' worker. Her job as a primary school teacher makes her a lower middle class person. A so called 'white-collar' worker. A 'professional' than the so called 'unskilled' labourer.

Madre's position in the middle class is firm, actually. Her father, my grandpa, was also a primary school teacher and all that. You can see for yourselves where I am going with this. Padre on his part, has done the whole class mobility thing, but always, always stopping somewhere at the lower middle class. His class journey is zig zag. There were times in his life when he was a blue collar worker, in Idi Amin's time, working as a waiter in some dingy eateries in Kampala, I was born when he was a trader and local politician, he is one of those adult educators, there are few sensitisation projects that have happened in the village in which he has not been included as an educator. One day, I will write his story and how at some point, he identified as a peasant. He deserves a book. I am sorry for outing my people, my family and all that, with this coming out.

I am coming out of my middle class closet, however low it is within the bourgeoisie scheme of things because when I got access to this photo, shared here, I did not feel instinctively moved to share. In fact I felt a certain way about it. There is a reason. Similar photos I have shared before, I have done without thinking twice because they were true to my experience. I grew up in a rural area and most of these photos are true to the life we lived.

I once wore those pair of shorts with a hole somewhere and some boy would escape sometimes and get some fresh air. I was always keen to lick the mingling stick to cleanliness whenever Madre made posho or karo. I was such a lover of sugar cane. Although I could afford wearing shoes, slippers etc throughout, I was always barefoot because shoes were for church on Sunday, and for those not very regular trips to town, or to the grandma's place. Even richer kids on the village did not wear shoes daily anyway. We all went barefoot. There was something about the class dynamics on the village that did not focus on the differences, there was less prejudice. Or it is because by any standard, on the village, I fell on the privileged side, so it may be me using my privilege to understate the suffering of those on the other side.

Fetching firewood is not my experience, this is why I hesitated to share this photo. My earliest memory of me appearing in a tree plantation to fetch firewood, I lost a body part. Literally. Another long story. Madre could afford cooking on a charcoal stove. She earned a monthly salary, you see? I am sharing this photo nevertheless, because when I saw it on Pa Ikhide's timeline, it reminded me of my class privilege. The image of a child fetching firewood was familiar. My agemates did fetch firewood. It was their reality. Some missed classes to do that. The experience is not mine, though. When I fetched firewood, it was not because I had to, it was a leisure thing. Like, when I grazed goats, it was not because I had to, it was a leisure thing.

Fam, that is me standing in my truth, however ugly and inconvenient. That is who I am. I am not a lower class person. I do not come from peasantry. Peasantry is familiar, I lived around it, but I was never a peasant. I do not come from the working class either. Padre knows that life. Fam: this is why Amilcal Cabral's idea of class suicide is central to the gospel of any social revolution I want to be involved in. These class privileges must be shed if I am to be a conscious human being. If I am to live a life true to the equality I keep talking about on here.

I do not know how I feel about sharing this photo, even. What are the ethics of sharing a photo that is not true to your experience? It may be familiar, but it is not true. Isn't this some sort of fetishisation? I told myself I would share this as my coming out of my class closet thing. Otherwise, I would not have shared it. It would have been class appropriation. Yes, I think there is such a thing as appropriation of narratives even at the class level. People talk of cultural appropriation only in terms of race, gender, sexuality and other identity markers, but I think there is one based on class. Which is the only part of poverty porn literary criticism that I agree with. The label of poverty porn for me, does not apply to people's work, in cases where it is based on personal experience, whether autobiographical or just inspired by.

I agree that some stories are poverty porn, when they are narratives by middle class people, deliberately written to mine poverty (not their experience) for career success. Actually, the root of poverty porn is in the criticism of Western NGOs, the Oxfam types, who come to so called poorer parts of the world, get stories, in text and images, tear-inducing tales, for the purposes of raising money from middle class white people, to the NGOs. This analysis is true of some writers who write about social issues. But it is not true to those who are not appropriating other people's, those not in their class' experiences.

Pa Ikhide is right to rail at most of us African middle class writers for our continued mining of the poverty archive. But sometimes, like in 2011 when he applied the lens to Hitting Budapest and Butterfly Dreams, I disagreed with him, because well, those stories were not a case of writers writing about others' experiences solely for the benefit of their careers. I have not always known enough of the contexts and writing processes of all stories labelled poverty porn to make a judgment of my own. And of course people will be like, this is 'anthropologisation' of people's art, and all that, and of course I will just say to them, the same thing Ikhide says, please read Achebe's various essays to understand what is at stake. You must know why the description 'deodorised dogshit' makes sense. No, you can't opt out of reading them. Since you are part of this conversation on the politics of art, and its criticism, you surely must read all perspectives.

So, now that I have come out of my class closet, friends, kindly hold me accountable, publicly, privately, in writing, verbally, in person, virtually and any other means you have access to, to this pledge to commit class suicide. We must be human. The more we enforce classism, classist exploitation and prejudice, the more we dehumanise ourselves and those without the class privileges we have hoarded for ourselves. No, you can't be a humanist on this one. The only humanist option here is socialist. There is nothing humanist about capitalism and class elitism. To commit class suicide is to reclaim our humanity.


- Bwesigye Bwa Mwesigire
   May 5, 2017