The Cycle of Good Education and Strong Institutions

Formal education is one of the most overrated things in human development people on the African continent can gain, maybe elsewhere too. Education in the formal sense is an “institutional thing,” i.e. the stuff of institutions. It is not just the stuff of classrooms and ivory towers. Institutions rely on education and education has to be meet institutional and societal requirements through governance for it to serve any useful purpose in society. The symbiosis of institutions and education is both valuable and undeniable. In a nation where institutions are unenforceable, we must expect the education curriculum to be inadequate in many senses. Education is not just the acquisition skills but also the awareness of the requirements of civil participation in a just or improving society.

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What Has Conservative Ideology Got to Do with Covid-19?

Ideology can be such a blinding and narrow-minded state of mind, individually or collectively. Accurate history informs us that plagues and pandemics have devastated the world several times and for millennia, long before socialism and capitalism came into existence and the human race is still here. But not because of the excessive passions that drive ideology. My conservative friends of Nigerian origin seem to think otherwise. Continue reading

The Leadership of Rotten Parts

The magic of Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has come from his citizens, but nothing of significance he has done as leader of the nation. Blamocracy (blaming past administrations for the impossibility of addressing present troubles) and claimocracy (claiming credit for the achievements of former governments) now have the regard of significant achievements in themselves. Many citizens claim that while the federal government is clean, competent and thriving, the states and local governments make up the rotten parts of Nigerian for governance. Leadership has become excused of responsibility by so-called voters. We take on the challenge to examine this sticky fallacy.

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The Perception of Development: Nigerian-Style

 

One of the most interesting but intractable things about development in Nigeria is the pervasive perception of both what it is and should be. What is development? Why are Nigerians always left behind? These are questions best answered indirectly. Continue reading

The Tooth of a Toad [Ako re’Oghwokpo]

There is an old African tale in former times used as a universal allegory. There was once a flourishing pond with an environ full of animals and provided enough for all their needs. Strife was minimal. A Monitor Lizard in the pond had a big reputation for perpetrating wickedness, slander and treachery against other animals that inhabited the environs of the pond. The pain of others was his chief daily joy. His stripes, complexion, eyes and movements made him look both alien and wretched – perhaps the source of his deformed personality. Lying by raising reasonable doubt or obfuscating facts was the essential deception he used to harm and ruin others for no good reason at all. He also had gotten many animals severely punished and banished from the pond despite their innocence. Above all, he was a master flatterer who could easily get former victims to support him and his many schemes. Alas, the animals that lived by the pond accepted the Monitor Lizard’s evil ways as inevitable possibly because they dreaded him. Then a day of reckoning emerged.

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Is My Name Okolo Too?

In the Summer of 2015, I met and briefly befriended an interesting and pretty British-Nigerian lady in London for a couple of months. She was a focused intellectual type and an ardent seeker of knowledge. She was introverted and I extraverted. For some inexplicable reason, there were many popular and unusual topics we debated for hours. Unexpectedly, in September 2015 she announced to me she had gotten a scholarship to study for a PhD in the USA and promised she was going to miss me. I was flattered. That was the last I saw of her and her company. Despite having spent so many hours talking with her about a variety of topics, we never exchanged surnames. It was a sincere Platonic relationship we had.

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A Song for Reassurance: Okpan Arhibo Verses

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Obor ri guono ughwume sonobrughwe rovwo na’a

Obor ri guono ughwume sonobrughwe rovwo na’a 

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Oruru ro w’egbedere ko taghra

Abortu ri guono ughwu r’Okpan Oghene rovwo na’a

Itu ri guono ughwume Oghene rovwo na’a 

Translation:

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Yankius on The National Cake

Windfall: Yankiokwa! Yankiokwa!!! Anytime you are this quiet we know you are up to something. How is you, Boss?

Yankius: Windokwa! The Windfall maker himself! Your potbelly has dwindled seriously. Is everything okay?

Windfall: Leave my stomach alone. I am curious. That bakery where the National Cake is being baked does still exist?

Yankius: The National Cake is crude oil. It still exists only nobody really wants it anymore. At least not for now.

Windfall: How can crude oil be the National Cake? Crude oil is a fossil fuel. Why do you have to be figurative about everything? Can you not just call cake what it is?

Yankius: In that case I will not talk any further about the National Cake. Continue reading

Yankius on Nigeria’s Looming Collapse

Deadly Cuts: O Pally, I am so scared for Nigeria at the moment. It is more than tragic what is happening.

Yankius: Corona virus is…

Deadly Cuts: Who is talking about Covid-19? It was bound to devastate Africa especially Nigeria one day. I was talking about the potential economic and political collapse of Nigeria now that oyel no longer has any value on the global markets. Hungry go wire Nigerians O!

Yankius: Oyel! Ha ha ha! All the trillions of dollars Nigeria made from oyel openly and solid minerals secretly was never treated as anything other the personal “kpoke”.

Deadly Cuts: What is kpoke?

Yankius: Pocket money. Money for luxury housing, luxury cars, private jets, designer clothing, luxury tourism, maintaining girlfriends and concubines, hosting grand parties, spraying obscene amounts of foreign currency. It was all pocket money, kpoke. It was never invested; all investments were funded by loans. Now Nigeria cannot service the over$100 billion it owes. Continue reading

Paramole Returns on His Birthday

 

Saturday the 25th of April 2020 was cold and blank in the Davy Jones Locker. A few sailors had passed through the rendezvous to the other side after becoming victims to Covid-19 and other causes but this Saturday there were no forgone sailors arriving. For the first time in my experience there, a particular case of forgone reversal occurred. The Great Door had open and solemn song could be heard accompanied by restrained okombo [drum] beats. I became very concerned and might have tricked myself I was not scared. The Great Door only opened when a sailor was about to cross the Great Gangway. Why had it opened without a forgone arrival? I began to hear footsteps, they got closer, and a man emerged, Paramole himself. About 7 feet away from me, he stopped. His face was listless. I was frozen all over with amazement, and he did not seem happy to see me where I was.

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