N a i j a m a n i a c

...nuts about Naija

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Attempted Forestalment of Immunization In Damaturu

On Monday, June 21 2010, a group of youths attempted to forestall the immunization of children against childhood killer diseases in Damaturu, Yobe State. The youths who fought the immunization officers trying to prevent them from immunizing their younger ones also destroyed a good quantity of the vaccines in the process.

We are happy however, that the Nigerian Police Force was up to the task and forestalled what would have been a full blown crisis perhaps between Christians and Muslims as it is always the case.

The Emir of Damaturu, Alhaji Shehu Hashim Ibn Umar El-Kanami in a swift reaction sued for peace and called on all Muslims to bring out their wards to be immunized as he is convinced that the vaccines are safe and will ensure the survival of children.

It will be recalled that a few years ago, a similar incident was witnessed in Kano where children were denied immunization for no just reason.

Last year, the richest man in the world, Mr. Bill Gates visited Nigeria. Bill Gates through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had joined the crusade against polio in Nigeria by supporting it financially. On his visit to the country recently, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) recounted that through the efforts of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in conjunction with other Non-Governmental Organisations and the government; only three cases were witnessed in the country out of the 288 cases of polio cases witnessed last year. Kano State which had hitherto been the centre of polio in the country has not witnessed a single case in the last 17 months. This goes a long way to prove the potency of vaccines administered in the country.

It is disheartening that healthy youths who benefitted from these vaccinations while they where young instead of using their energies to campaign for the vaccination of their younger ones to also grow healthily turn around to put them at the risk of contacting some of these incurable diseases.

Our youths must resist been influenced by desperate politicians seeking selfish gains to the negation of life. Immunization against child killer diseases is a worldwide practice.

All vaccines used in the country are certified by the relevant government agencies like the Ministry of Health and National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC). These institutions comprise both Christians and Muslims. It will be wrong for a group of people to assume that impotent or rather poisonous vaccines will be channelled to a particular group of people for suspicious reasons that cannot be ascertained. Moreover, there is no state in the federation that is inhabited by a single religion.

Nigeria is amongst the few countries in the world that have high infant mortality rate with 94 deaths per 1000 live births.

All hands must be on deck to ensure that this record is overturned.

The youths who were arrested must be interrogated and brought to book alongside their instigators or sponsors.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Amusing Naija Snacks

Unless one is born again, one cannot enter the kingdom of God. The Holy Bible further reveals that to be born again, one must be baptised by water and the Holy Spirit. This includes anointment in some Christian doctrines.

It may surprise you to know that for some typical Naija snacks to be consumed, they first must be baptised or anointed.

This afternoon, I witnessed an amazing incident where a young man performed the spiritual rite of anointing a snack before consumption at a roadside kiosk in my neighbourhood.

The young man who was obviously at work in a nearby construction site, tiredly walked to the kiosk in his ragged piece of dirty white shirt and brown colour three quarter trouser. He picked up a big loaf of bread, held it in his left hand, requested for a chilled bottle of coke, popped it open with his teeth, and said a short grace before meal before sipping a pint. He dragged out a stool from beneath a nearby table with the loaf of bread in his left hand and sat down.

Keeping the bottle of coke between his legs on the ground, the hungry young man without loosening the bread from the polythene bag held the big loaf of bread in both palms and halved it. He looked around and kept the piece in his right hand on a leaf beside the stool.

Turning his attention to the half in his left hand, he created a little opening in the middle of the bread with his thumbs while holding it with his nine fingers. He picked his bottle of coke and anointed it before biting off a hunk of the bread and munching on. He looked up, caught me smiling and murmured discreetly in a language I couldn’t comprehend while shaking his head and I replied; enjoy!

In Nigeria, depending on which part of the country, there are different types of snacks patronized especially by the lower class although a few persons of the high class strata also consume such having imbibed it while growing up from lower backgrounds.

If you are in the Northern part of the country, chilled Zobo or Kunu with Bons may just be the right therapy for cooling out after trekking or perhaps after lectures on a hot sunny afternoon.

At work in the South-South region of the country, cucumber and groundnuts could just do a good job helping you out with your work while you munch. Banana and groundnut can be an accepted substitute just in case you don’t enjoy cucumber or can’t find it around.

You can also have fun chewing biscuits and groundnuts while sipping on a bottle of coke. I tell you its so much fun especially if you’re cracking a crackers biscuit and freshly fried groundnuts well prepared with the right quantity of salt.

Bread and coconut could simply pass for a driver while on a journey. It does not obstruct driving. Just keep your loaf of bread and coconut on top of your dashboard. Pick one at the time and munch with either of your hands while looking straight ahead. A bottle of water will push it down, no sweat. Now you’re heading from Lagos to Sokoto and you will arrive in time.

I thought Guguru (locally prepared popcorn) was out of existence until I got to Akwa Ibom State. Is your pocket holed? Guguru and groundnuts is just the perfect snack to keep you on a balanced diet of 1-0-1.

Garri is the most popular. With Garri you have nothing to worry. Perfect snack: Good for people working in fields and construction sites. With high contents of carbohydrate, you are guaranteed enough energy to get back to work. Garri and milk or groundnuts are the widely accepted combinations. Recently I have been thinking of how Garri and milk or groundnut or even any other combination can be packaged in disposable cups and sold, so it can be consumed on the go. This, I think is an unexplored business idea. Imagine walking into MacDonald’s or Walmart and picking up a cup of Dangote Cflakes. Made in Naija for real.

The Deposed Monarch

The Deji of Akure, Oba Oluwadare Adepoju Adesina (Osupa III) was recently deposed by the Ondo State Executive Council.

Oba Adepoju was found guilty of assaulting one of his wives. The decision to depose him was arrived at after he answered a query issued to him by the state council of chiefs.

It is very embarrassing that a monarch who should be the judge of his people in domestic affairs was engaged in such a show of shame by assaulting his defenceless wife on the streets.

Adepoju’s challenging of the state government at an Akure High Court only show how recalcitrant and remorseless he is and further justifies the decision of the state government.

The decision of the state government to depose him must be commended. It reflects some tenants of democracy: the rule of law, equality before the law, fundamental human rights and supremacy of the law.

For men who still believe that paying the dowry of a woman makes her a material property to be used as a punching bag, the battle line have been drawn. The women who have cried foul for so long a time against similar acts can now sigh with relief.

This singular act shows that the state supersedes the marriage institution. Senator Yerima must know this fact.

As we approach the 2011 elections, Nigerians expect that traditional rulers who allow politicians to use their palaces as election rigging grounds will desist. A repeat of this immoral act as witnessed in the 2003 and 2007 elections must not hold. If this happens, the full dignity of some of our traditional rulers will be restored. Our traditional institutions must be sanctified.

The ongoing constitutional amendment should also include roles for our traditional rulers. The recommendations of the presidential committee on the review of the 1999 constitution as submitted in February 2001 will suffice.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Strength of a Mosquito

A mosquito can be stronger than a human being. Doubt it? Ask Bem Max. Barely four days of publishing this blog with the mission of uploading materials on a daily basis, had I got my vision blurred by acute malaria. I was so sick to a point I became a ‘drug addict’.

While on my sick bed, all I could think of was how disappointed you would be after spurring your reading appetite. I appreciate your followership and will live up to expectations.

Today, I woke up hale and hearty. Hopefully, new write ups will be posted before the day runs out.

The vision is now brighter than a laser beam.

Remember to use your insecticide treated mosquito nets, so you do not get hit by the 50kg punch of a weightless insect.

Thank you for your understanding.

Friday, June 11, 2010

...Naijamaniac: Why I Hate Soccer

...Naijamaniac: Why I Hate Soccer

Why I Hate Soccer

How do I explain why I hate a game you are perhaps so much obsessed with. I wouldn’t be far from the truth to contend that you cannot remember the last mouth-watering and finger licking delicacy your mum served you, but you can remember how 20 years before you were born Manchester United wrecked Arsenal in Highbury.

This game (soccer) of yours, no doubt has been a fountain of joy to your life that you prefer to discuss it than your studies. At the crossroads of your life, you chose to watch your favourite European team play or discuss their chances in lifting the trophy rather than preparing for the examination you will soon write. A classmate of mine in the university once had a carryover because he missed his paper for a premiership match transposing the time for both.

Some years ago in Taraba state, the Wukari Local Government council in Taraba state banned Arsenal and Manchester United fans from viewing matches in the same hall. The reason was not because the Tiv and the Jukuns were at war for a parcel of farmland again but because some ardent fans of the two clubs had a disagreement while watching a match together. The arguments that ensued while in the hall, reached an uncompromising point where the fans turned the viewing centre into a boxing and wrestling ring. Three fortunate souls had to see God, one became Cyclops while the other unfortunate ones where confined to the unending comfort of the wheel chair.

I will not bore you with the story of a friend who fractured his skull from a ceiling fan while celebrating a goal let alone two Manchester United fans that got crushed by a trailer on the Zaria – Funtua expressway while celebrating their victory against their famous rivals in the premier league in a few years ago. I am not a doomster but I know you can remember the grief your most cherished game once put you in.

In 2007, just because a soldier in my neighbourhood in Zaria had in a fortnight bought a bike from money won by predicting a certain number of soccer games, sold all his property, borrowed money from friends and embarked on a dreamland millionaire fool’s paradise project of pool. The soldier all of a sudden became omniscient that he could predict a certain number of matches that will end in a draw score line in Europe. Deaf to all the pieces of advice that everyone around him had to offer and mad at his wife for trying to stop his prosperity. He roamed the streets of Basawa Barracks a wretched man in a derailed state of mind until he gave up the ghost in 2009.

In 2008, the Director General of the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria (BON) allegedly lost his job because he attempted to restrict the transmission of premiership matches in Nigeria – a move he envisaged will help develop the local league in the country.

Obviously, the easiest way to make Africa remain at the back yard of development is to set up more viewing centres in the villages so that youths can spend all day watching TV than go to work. Our mothers were once told that it is healthier to feed their babies with milk from “John Holt” and “WAMCO” rather than breast milk – that was during colonialism. We are at liberty to enjoy the glamour of unending European soccer competitions on TV while we forget that a local league is in existence. I am not a sage, but this is neo-colonialism.

While we sit back and blame our fore fathers for being feeble-minded to have allowed the little things of the white man such as gin, mirrors and pieces of fabrics to give up their people into slavery and coordinate the smooth take off of colonialism. We would be more feeble-minded to sit down all day discussing soccer rather than think of how to develop ourselves.

Perhaps, I do not even hate soccer, I am not just obsessed with European soccer the way you are.

The 32 National ‘Waving’ Flags

32 National flags are now waving in South Africa. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa has just officially kicked off. It is the first World Cup ever to be held on African soil since its debut edition in 1930.

The 18 carat gold Silvio Gazzaniga designed trophy will be the ultimate prize of the battle between 32 nations. Africa is represented by hosts, South Africa, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria and Nigeria.

Unsatisfactorily, only one African will coach at the home World Cup. He is Rabah Saadane of Algeria who will be coaching his country.

However, it will be 30 days of intense excitement all over the world as the tournament lasts.

The South Africans and other Africans at the tournament must continue to show the visitors the ageless hospitality of Africa that has been taken for granted especially by the West.

Already, the host country has given the tournament the most exciting hype in history.

The World Cup theme song by the Somalian born hip hop star, K’Naan has said it all: we have lost our inhibitions. We should now courageously ask for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council. This will enhance the fair representation of Africa in deciding world events and decisions.

We must commend all artistes who have taken time to compose wonderful inspirational songs for the fiesta. Worthy of note is R. Kelly’s Sign of a Victory; Akon’s Oh Africa; and Shakira’s Waka Waka (this time for Africa).

For the Super Eagles, Banky W. & M.I. have said it all on the remix of the World Cup theme song. “...this is our chance of victory, we have to take it now...if we believe it, we can achieve it...”

Wave your flags high!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Year's June 12

June 12 of each year is commemorated by many Nigerians to recollect the infamous decision by the General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida's administration to annul what is considered the freest and fairest election in Nigeria’s 96 years history since its creation in 1914 by Lord Fredrick Lugard.

This year’s June 12 is significant in more ways than one. First, the appointment of an erudite professor of political science and Vice Chancellor of the Bayero University Kano, Professor Attahiru Jega (OFR), as the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and Secondly, Nigeria’s opening match against Argentina at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

The appointment of Professor Attahiru Jega has been hailed by those who have worked with him in various capacities as well as students under his tutelage. However, Prof. Jega must realize the task that lies ahead of him.

Having worked with Professor Maurice Iwu as a superior officer in the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) between 1988 – 1994 and a consultant to INEC under Iwu’s administration; it is expected that he must have known Iwu’s weak points as an administrator and rise against his flaws.

Professor Jega must also resist the temptation of dubious Nigerian politicians who will soon besiege him with juicy offers of oil rigs, contracts and Ghana must go bags.

The government of the day must also ensure that the Independent National Electoral Commission is truly independent in all ramifications.

Nigerians expect that if Professor Jega could turn down his nomination for appointment as a minister under the General Sani Abacha military regime, he should be able to do more in a democratic Nigeria by resigning his appointment should any attempt be made by the government of the day to bargain away his hard earned reputation.

On the other hand, the Super Eagles must play out their hearts in their opening match against Argentina at the first World Cup to be held on African soil.

President Goodluck Jonathan’s presence at the opening match should be an honour to boost their morale.

Nigerians must look beyond the weaknesses of the Super Eagles and their technical crew and speak positively about the team as there is no better way to support them.

The Making Of A Naijamaniac

The Naijamaniac bill was initiated sometime in August 1982 by Engr. Michael Wuese Nomor who after a hard day’s work retired to the hollow chambers of his bedroom but under the binding spell of Eros, could not resist the excitement of “forwarding the bill” to Mrs. Elizabeth Yanguchan Nomor for consideration. In unison, she nodded that she had conceived the idea also.

Nine months later, in the wee small hours of 12 May, 1983 the draft copy of the Naijamaniac bill was delivered in the Labour Room of General Hospital Makurdi. It was welcomed with joy by many who day by day trooped in to peruse through the draft copy. Been convinced that he had initiated a laudable bill, Engr. Michael Nomor pronounced it to be truly a bill of peace hence the name Bem.

The “first reading” of the Naijamaniac bill passed through Tiny Tots Playgroup Kindergarten and Primary School in Makurdi. Tagged “nothing but the best”, the bill was expeditiously forwarded for a “second reading” at St. James Minor Seminary Gboko while just in Primary Four, having proven to have acquired a perfect understanding of the three R’s – reading, writing and arithmetic.

Expectedly, it successfully passed through three years of morality and cleansing at the St James Minor Seminary Gboko. From there, the bill was forwarded to Airforce Secondary School Makurdi for a second reading. Efficaciously passing all patriot and defence tests, its qualities where certified to be in consonance with its dogged motto - perseverance breeds success and hence forwarded to Anglican Secondary School Makurdi for scrutiny and further amendments if necessary. Been convinced of the quality of the bill, it was registered for the Senior Secondary School Examinations (SSCE) with the West African Examination Council (WAEC) where it passed through the “committee stage”. Without hesitation, it was forwarded to the “committee of the whole” to also be considered by the National Examinations Council (NECO).

The “result stage” was rogered to the Ahmadu Bello University Zaria via a nod by the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board (JAMB). Without ado, on the first list of its consideration, it was certified to be of suitable academic standards and recommended for a third reading at the department of history.

The Naijamaniac bill while at the “conference committee” stage came in contact with different courses and various lecturers undergoing scrutiny amid strikes by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). It was finally harmonized and forwarded for “accent” on a 2:2 (second class lower) degree basis in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts in History.

The bill was accented to sooner than expected and that same year forwarded to undergo the required one year compulsory national service with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC). It successfully served in Akwa Ibom State and is currently about to be witnessed in full force in the entire country.

The Naijamaniac law is now popularly referred to as Bem Max which literally means maximum peace because of its gentle, simple and calm nature of enforcing justice.

It has been tested and confirmed to be the need therapy for the various aspects of human life having been tasted by most states of Nigeria and a good number of West African countries.

The south-south and south-east region of Nigeria is currently where Bem Max is causing terrific waves of excitement flowing like the River Niger down the Niger-Delta and pouring out torrents through Radio Akwa Ibom 90.5FM.

Turn on your radio - listen; switch on your TV, Bem Max appears in your area soon! It’s a worldwide phenomenon.

Bem Max is a 3D graphic image. Study Bem Max like a college degree and imbibe his strengths of desire, determination and direction - the driving force of a Naijamaniac.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

...Naijamaniac Don Come O!

Ladies and gents, finally the much anticipated blog is just been created.

The blog is 100% Nigerian with referrals to other parts of Africa.

Works along the lines of the mission and vision of Naijamaniac will be published here in features, opinion, news and editorial style with pictorial illustrations where necessary.

Msugh ne kpishi...lu nen dedoo....Wait a minute, that isn't Chinese. Its a Nigerian language, Tiv language to be precise and it simply means, thank you all so much...be good!

I'll be back in a jiffy....