Tony John, Port Harcourt COTRA: Chairman of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers (COTRA), King Suanu Baridam, has thanked Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State for restoring peace in Ogoniland and other parts of the state. King Baridam also expressed satisfaction with the developmental strides of Governor Wike which, he said, had brought massive transformation…
If I were to write what is on my mind today, I just might qualify as the first scapegoat of the new hate-speech regime, not with all the barely concealed anger that I saw oozing out from every pore on the president’s body, as he made his short broadcast of last Monday.
As the Warri people would say, “E be like say the man dey provoke.” Everybody can see it! And everybody (including Ayo Fayose and Nyesom Wike) is falling into line, at least, for now.
It is not now about whether one is right or wrong. It is all about timing and political correctness. If those who asked to know the details of the president’s ailment have since been branded “disrespectful”, “unfeeling” and “unpatriotic” (and outrightly tear-gassed to unconsciousness), only God knows what would be the fate of those naïve enough to fault the content of that six-minute broadcast, which took all of 103 days to put together.
Since I’ve never pretended to be anything but a coward, I’ll want to leave criticism of the president’s record-breaking short speech to the likes of Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB, Shetima and his Arewa Youths, Avengers and other Niger Delta militants, as well as the likes of Femi Fani-Kayode, whose seeming death wish dispositions have been more tested.
For today, therefore, let me play safe by throwing this space to you, readers of FRANK TALK…
Steve, I can see the Solomon in you in your outing today on “The Ozubulu in all of us”. You have always hit the nail on the head on every trending issue you choose to deal with. I wish we could all be as Solomonic as you.
-Chief Alwell Anyanwu, 08037118121
You have always given something to read and keep me thinking all day. Your Frank Talk today will last long in my memory. Keep writing – 08134716263
Your piece in today’s Daily Sun is a must-read. Honestly, you have said it all. Those who have ears, let them hear. And those who do not have ears, should expect more from the bad boys of Ozubulu (God forbid!). Ego na achi uwa. May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen. As for those who are wounded/hospitalised, I wish them quick recovery.
– Obi, Suleja (Niger State), 09053351001
Good day, sir. I just read your column. But why link the South West with the planting of Indian hemp, sir? I may carry placard on this o! My dad’s cocoa farm remains an exception. May God continue to increase your wisdom.
– Akeeb, 08033287534
Honestly, today’s contribution is nothing but frank talk, as truth can never be hidden for long. – Barr. Chidi Njoku, 08033284948
Your column in today’s The Sun was apt and concise. The black spots are everywhere in Nigeria. Go to every nook and cranny in Mushin, Agege, Oshodi, Yaba, Bariga, Ojota, Ikorodu, Isashi, Agbara, Badagry, Ajegunle, Onipanu, Okota, Egbe, Igando, Iyana Ipaja, Ayobo, to mention a few, if you wait for 20 minutes maximum, you would see either a police or military personnel coming to smoke or collect money. I can say this with all confidence; 80 per cent or more of our policemen and military smoke cannabis and are pally (friends) to the criminals.
If there’s any robbery in which a policeman (or a relative) is killed, such robbery gang will be apprehended. This Yoruba presenter of “Stop the Crime,” Taju Ojuelegba, has been shouting, all to no avail. I think good people like you should team up to rid our society of this menace. I’ve interacted with RRS commander in Lagos and the CP, they are good men, but what can they do with some of their officers and men, who are the majority?
…And from the social media:
Things may get worse as long as our philosophy remains “the end justifies the means.”
– Christopher Uba
My friend, Steve, you’re frank here. This also extends to political loot. l think we should start talking in our various communities to save our children. – Paulinus Udeze
I love all your write-ups. We should call a spade a spade. – Olabisi Quadri
This is clinical, Steve. It has become a Nigerian syndrome to not bother about the source of your wealth. Just build roads, churches, mosques, hostels, offer scholarships and establish a phony foundation, and, pronto, you have “arrived”, your murky background notwithstanding.
It is pathetic for the hapless people of Ozubulu who had to sacrifice innocent blood for a crime they knew nothing about, and for a feud that could have been avoided if the elite of Anambra State in Awka and Nnewi had risen to combat the Ozubulu ringworm before it became leprosy. Even the Anambra State government admitted it knew about the feud, in South Africa, between two drug barons of Ozubulu, before they shifted the battleground to their hometown. The Ozubulu saga reminds me of the Yoruba saying,“Omo yin o sh’agbafo, oun k’aso wa’le; Eer’oju ole, e o mu (Your son is not a washerman, yet he brings home clothes; you’re just protecting a thief)”.
But before anybody starts pointing fingers at “the boys from the East” as drug dealers, I say remove the plank in your eye first. Is not a man wanted for drug crime a Senator from the South West in the current National Assembly? The Ozubulu tragedy should rekindle the moral virtues our forbears were known and admired for. As for the Church and looted money or ‘drug money,’ may God forgive us our sins, deliberate or inadvertent.
– Ajibade Fasina-Thomas
This script captures our situation aptly. We are nearly all involved.
There in no segment of our society that is completely clean; not even the church. Who will bell the cat? Every part of our institutions is being manipulated to serve self against the interest of the greater number of us.
Let’s go to the maternity wards and the kindergarten and pick children to groom for a saner society of tomorrow otherwise we shall not get it right.
…The situation is not entirely hopeless.
That is why we are discussing solutions but the task is enormous.
There are two approaches to the catch-them-young redemption concept: peaceful method; and reactive method.
Regarding the peaceful approach: we need to consider infusing our primary school management system with management consultants whose performances must be guaranteed with financial instruments like bonds. Their performances are to be measured by key indices at specific periods and milestones.
The earlier missionaries played this role very well because they were bonded to God. But since the devil joined worshippers, money and greed took front pews in our places of worship. The missionaries of today are therefore tainted and not as godly as before. Yet, they remain our best local option to solving the problems.
Anambra State is an example worthy of study. Schools were handed back to missionaries and the state has started registering remarkable pupil and student performances. The issue of male dropout is now a thing of the past. Crime has dropped significantly; never mind the Ozubulu massacre.
Anambra can boast of number one teacher performance in Nigeria today.
The other method involves continuing on the present national trajectory until it implodes. Thereafter, greed, ethnicity and emotionalism will give way to the humanity in us.
The Rwandan reactions to genocide is a case study. They have now reached the point where greed, ethnicity and emotionalism are no longer instruments of manipulation.
You can see the progress they are posting as a nation; very impressive. – Kevin Dike