What Pirate-Captain Entities Should Be Doing for Democracy

There is a keen fascination among young men particularly at leading schools and universities around the world with the “captain-pirate” mode of rebellion or disobedience against the injustices and excesses of the status quo in society. This is not surprising. While the literal meaning of a pirate and the piratical life is one of thieves and the means of thieving, respectively, its meaning in the context of fraternal orders of young men is consanguineous with the metaphor of Robin Hood – stealing from the rich or powerful to give to the poor or weak. The young or seasoned pirate, as he solemnly swears at his initiation, under the direction of his captain is thus necessarily an agent of social justice in society. The evolution of the captain-pirate mode of fraternal organisation has failed in Nigeria to remain relevant, even facing obsolescence and has become no better a than a ship that lost its rudder, ripped its sails and steered by the mercy of the tides and winds of the sea. This is tragic since more and more competent actors and voices are needed to help Nigeria’s struggling democracy mature with the hands of the masses holding it. But how have captain-pirate groups in other parts of the world remained very potent political entities in their democratic societies, whether for good or for bad? Continue reading

How to Measure the Performance of a Nigerian President

There are many able Nigerian analysts, commentators, pundits, academics and journalists who have earned a say in the Nigerian political arena; most are insincere, some swing and a few are truthful i.e. in their evaluations of state of political realities and performances of governments and their principals. All performances do have a benchmark for its measurement to be valid. It is then amazing to many how a president could score 50% on education or 60% on health or 50% on the economy without a consistent robust and accessible benchmark or any sensible work done. Spontaneously made up or believed in performance ratings are delusional but facts and figures are hard to find, by routine governance choice. A rule of thumb benchmark that accurately determines the ethos, vision and energy expended by a African government or leader on domestic governance is  sufficiently expressed not by a great book, great paper or great teaching but by a terse insightful unequivocal musing of George Ayittey in The Strange Case of Xenophilia that is very easily supported by metrics. Continue reading

Urhobo Blow (UB): A True Martial Art and Sport?

Urhobo Blow or UB, Ubi ejeh [meaning: service of punches] or Ohore r’ubi [meaning: battle of punches], is a traditional martial art developed or modified by the Urhobos for military purposes, originally, but has been witnessed in recent times as a ceremonial contest of strength by young males at annual or seasonal festivals. UB has its similarities with mainstream boxing but the differences are quite divergent. Many ethnic groups along coastal West Africa have their own idiosyncratic boxing and wrestling arts but the main distinguishing feature of UB is that the knock-out punch hand is placed by fighters on their backs just above the buttocks during fights. UB is gradually becoming extinct due to lack of both funding, organisation, and exposure but may make a glorious comeback as a mixed martial art of international importance. What makes UB special and worthy of attention?

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“Blame or Claim” Governance: Buhari’s Only Hope

There is an insightful article for those interested in governance by Taiwo Makinde titled Problems of Policy Implementation in Developing Nations: The Nigerian Experience. In the paper, the Makinde explains quite persuasively why policy implementation in Nigeria routinely fails with successive governments. He implicates, among other factors, a lack of continuity of policy implementation from a preceding government to a succeeding e.g. from Presidents Babangida to Abacha [or Jonathan to Buhari]. Ego [of the leader] is the reason he provides for this. The logic is simple, it is better for the current president to sabotage the good works of a predecessor and initiate his own that will place his mention high on the lips of posterity. This holds true for all forms of organisation in Nigeria. The great exception is President Muhammad Buhari and for unusual reasons; blamocracy [and claimocracy]. Continue reading

Yankius on Buhari’s Question to Obasanjo on $16 billion for Electricity

Tafia Hallelujah: Yankikpuzi! Way say you now!

Yankius: Any time you come around here, I know you have a quarrel for me. What is it?

Tafia Hallelujah: You didn’t event greet me or ask me how I am doing?

Yankius: Tafia: “Tafia We Thank God”, What is angering you?

Tafia Hallelujah: No be small o. Oga Buhari is asking Obasanjo what he did with the $16 billion that he voted and disbursed for electric power development during his time as president. The question don wound Obasanjo.

Yankius: I no fit laugh o, I no fit laugh at all. Buhari is just looking for someone to blame for his own dreadful failures again. It is true that Obasanjo, Segun Agagu, Liyel Imoke, Charles Soludo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iewala, Oby Ezekwisili and some others know about that $16 billion very well but why is it now that Buhari is raising the matter? The Senate raised the matter three years ago when Buahri just came to power but it died a very natural death. Predictably. Continue reading

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