Posts Tagged ‘RSVP’

I’ve been off Twitter for about a week now. Had a severe bout of the flu. I’m good now.

People who know me know that when I believe in something/someone I’ll run with it/them passionately, giving it/them my all. That’s till I no longer believe in them, till I feel like I’m being taken for granted, or till I get bored and decide to seek amusement some place else (third reason rarely happens).

In my short lifetime I’ve been involved in quite a diverse range of activities/causes; from organising album launches, press conferences, bake sales, even worked on publicity/branding for politicians as some point. Each of these events have one underlying factor that determined whether they were success or failures; whether all the organizers remained buddies or if we can’t bear to even think of each other now.

Trust.

This is what trust is NOT, and this is the best analogy I could think of (and not because I love beans)

a. We want to eat moimoi. We agree we will eat moimoi.

b. We (say 1000 people) decide (consciously or unconsciously) that Zainab will buy and pick the beans, Kudirat will grind and mix in the spices, and then Ifeoma will watch over the moimoi till it is ready.

c. We all go to the market with Zainab, help her carry the shopping. We all pick the beans, chatting while we work. Then we go with Kudirat to where she grinds the beans, maybe even argue about how much pepper and onions should be ground into it. On the way home, we buy garri and groundnuts we’ll use to eat our moimoi.

d. Ifeoma doesn’t call us, several hours after. In anger, we march to the kitchen to find that the stove’s cold, and Ifeoma’s not there. Our moimoi mixture is as we left it, uncooked. Furious but famished, we put our moimoi to cook. Later we find out that Ifeoma went to the neighbor’s to eat akara.

Trust.

Does Ifeoma think Zainab, Kudirat, or the 1000 will ever plan a meal with her again? It is for this reason, ladies and gentlemen, that I am heartbroken. Disillusioned. Disenchanted. Disgusted. Maybe even ashamed.

Samuel Johnson said, “the key is to get to know people and trust them to be who they are. Instead, we trust people to be who we want them to be, and when they are not,we cry”.

It is for this same reason I’m wary of the loudest voices since the protests started. ‘Saviors of the people’ have again risen up, denouncing the government (which is a brainless one by the way) in the strongest, vilest language possible. I see we’re also calling for the President’s head (which is justifiable in my book too) but have we taken a close look at the people chanting the loudest?

Let’s start with the individuals. Especially if you’ve been in government or in a position to make a change and you did nothing. You should hide your head in shame because sweet cheeks you are a part of the problem.

Still on individuals, sycophants, lying scoundrels giving wrong counsel to people in power for an extra buck. Shame on you. It just goes to show what you’ll be when you’re there.

Then, the ‘activists’. Once it suits your purpose, your battle cry is the loudest. You want the interviews, the international publicity; the power, maybe the extra follower on Twitter. If however there’s the slimmest chance that your interests might be harmed, you go oon self-proclaimed exile. And in doing so rubbish the credibility of your comrades on the altar of your greed. Shame on you.

The sensationalist. I would love to push this to the media but it is human beings who make that up isn’t it? And in these days of social media making citizen reporters of us all, kinda further widens the scope doesn’t it?  We publish/repost/retweet gore in the name of news, offend the sensibilities of everyone else with news that is as unfounded as it is ridiculous. Especially in times of tension or strife. Where is your conscience? Ok you’ve sold that. Did you sell your common sense too? “If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it” — Tennessee Williams. Same thing goes for dishonest writing/retweeting/posting/publishing.

Worst of all are the ones who are silent. Elie Wiesel said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victims. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented”. But perhaps it is this quote by Martin Luther King Jnr that expresses my thoughts the most, ” our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter”. Posterity will judge.

It is for these reasons I am heartbroken.

 

I remember telling my friends (you know yourselves) that I felt unhappy about not being able to register and vote in these elections, and for obvious reasons. I mean, I could fly in and out of Nigeria (because I am a Fairy) but I’m not one to show off *wink*

I decided to do what I know how to do, write about it, and hope that enough people would read and see the importance of actively participating in their democracy, not just sitting at home and whining every chance they get. So from how social media is affecting/has affected our politics, to the Nigerian artistes whose work during these times I respect, to knowledge of the constitution being necessary, and even using a story someone sent me on Facebook about the value of our votes, I wrote. And tweeted. And wrote, and tweeted.

When the elections were postponed from the 2nd of April, honestly I was apprehensive, and with good cause. The wave of revolutions sweeping across North Africa has been knocking on our door for quite a bit now, and I hoped we would answer with our thumbs pressed against ballot papers, and give that answer only. And so even though we knew the background of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega, how he is upright, ‘stubborn’, and does what he says, I was still worried. For over 87billion naira you should have locked down to the minute the timing and movement of all election materials; as far as I was concerned, there was no excuse for cancelling elections when the electorate had already spent half the day in the sun getting accredited. In spite of this I was very impressed with him accepting responsibility and apologising. At least he acknowledged that he (and by extension INEC) goofed, Maurice Iwu (immediate past Chairman of INEC) would have gone ahead with the elections and then declared them the ‘most free and fair since Nigeria’s independence’.

On the 9th of April, the elections into the ‘hallowed chambers’ of the National Assembly held in over 100, 000 polling units round Nigeria. Except for a few cases of foolishness by party agents, serving politicians, and the voters, the elections went smoothly. It was refreshing to see parties get seats in the house, and I’m looking forward to more fruitful debates, with varying opinions. It was also fulfilling working in the Social Media Situation Room (Abuja) with @bubusn, @debiemangut, @alkayy, @rmajayi, and @blazeotokpa; twas a really good feeling.

Saturday the 17th of April was the election for the highest office of the land, the Presidential elections, and based on the 9th, we inched towards the day with great expectations for a smoother, more credible process. Aspirants included Nuhu Ribadu of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Goodluck Jonathan, incumbent and candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Dele Momodu of the National Conscience Party (NCP), Muhammadu Buhari of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Ibrahim Shekarau of the All Nigeria People’s Party (ANPP), and 13 others.

Now I didn’t work in the situation room this time but I followed the elections closely on and offline. By evening, it was obvious that the ‘contest’ was between CPC’s Buhari and PDP’s Jonathan, with Buhari winning states in the North and Jonathan dominating just about the rest of the country. I prayed for a run off, and for three reasons:

  • because we’ve never had run-off elections before in the country (doesn’t count much as a reason I know)
  • to pool all the votes ‘wasted’ (in my opinion) on parties no one was aware of!
  • to increase the percentage of voters. A run-off would spike the interest of the electorate.
Those dreams were squashed by night when the collated results showed a gap in votes that only a miracle could cover. And since it is votes, and not miracles that count in this situation….
More results poured in by Sunday and a lot of people were already congratulating the incumbent on his victory and continued tenancy at Aso Rock. Foreign media had grown bored with Nigeria’s largely peaceful/uneventful elections and had resumed reporting on other troubled African countries.
And then we heard there were protests in Maiduguri, capital of Borno, a state in the North. Reason? The ‘people’ were unhappy with the percentage of the wins. The violence spread to Gombe and Jigawa later that night, where confirmed reports have it that a politician (name obviously withheld) lost his three children.
Monday morning, pictures of youths on rampage and the carnage they left flooded the internet as the violence several crescendos and spread to Zaria and Kaduna, both in Northern Nigeria. Emirs’ palaces, property belonging to stalwarts of PDP, churches, mosques, and INEC offices were torched; people were hurt, even killed, thousands displaced from their homes, youth corps members (who were ‘forced’ to volunteer as poll officers) were targets, it was just devastating. The youths were chanting (amongst other things), “sai Buhari, sai chanchi”, “we want Buhari, not an unbeliever”, etc.
And then it got into Abuja, with a bomb scare at the densely populated Wuse market, and skirmishes in other parts of
the city. And into Bauchi and  Benue States, more Middle belt.
Sadly, these weren’t the only hot spots; Twitter was literally on fire on Monday. Opinions (and the humans behind them) clashed, tweeps were blocked, feelings hurt, rumors and counter rumors peddled, and some outright inciting comments were made.
In all of this, I think we all agreed that the young people behind this destruction are hungry, and illiterate, and are causing this havoc on the orders of some politicians whose families are – as I type – spending extra time in gyms abroad in readiness for the summer holidays. Which is what delayed this chronicle till now….I doubt the rioters are both on the streets and behind their laptops to read this; or perhaps they are on the streets with a weapon in one hand and an iPad in the other?
I salute the government for reacting to the crisis (let’s ignore how long it took them to respond, at least they did at all) and evacuating people (especially corps members) from hot spots.  Just in case, these are the numbers for the National Security Agency; 09-6303520, 09-6303521, 09-6303522, 09-6303523, 09-6303525, and the SSS contact lines are 081-32222105, 081-32222106, 081-32222107, and 081-32222108.
While I sympathize with every family who’s lost someone in this crisis, I call on every one who reads this to abandon the blame game and channel those energies into brainstorming a lasting solution to this crisis. To the aspirants, this is the time to go back to the places where you begged for votes and beg them to stop this madness; use your influence over your followers to make yourself worthy of our votes in the next four years! Any grievances you have should be taken to the courts, especially now that the amended Electoral Act stipulates that the courts have nine months to address any squabbles from the elections.
To the media (local and foreign), this is not the time to be sensational with your headlines and stories. If you don’t have facts/confirmed reports, feel free to discuss health, fashion or fitness but do not peddle rumors or stoke the flames that are already overwhelming us. Please!
I’m looking forward to Saturday, only so we can get the elections over and done with.  As Gandhi said, “The cause of liberty becomes a mockery if the price to be paid is the wholesale destruction of those who are to enjoy liberty”.

So it’s been a little while I did a chronicle that wasn’t school and learning related, and that’s due to the fact I’ve gotten to that point where I’m pleading with God for extra hours at the end of the day…. It’s also because there’s too much happening! From Nigeria to Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe to Egypt, to Yemen, Bahrain, Libya, and Japan, it’s almost impossible to keep up!

Anyways, I’m back, and repeating my promise to give you something to engage with every week, and I’ll keep that promise; at least I’m not promising 50,000 posts in one day!

On to the business of the day; I’ve wanted to run interviews on this blog for a while because despite all the ‘sad’ things around us, there are young people who are doing exceptionally brilliant stuff! Especially the ones that if you’re not told of, you’d likely miss.

The idea for the first interview came about a week ago, when I was researching facts for an article that would show the impact social media has had/is having on politics in Nigeria and I stumbled on ‘Nigerian Constitution App for Blackberry’, developed by a Nigerian, Zubair Abubakar.

Zubair Abubakar, fine boy  abi? Brains too!

I found him on Twitter, asked for an interview, and below is an hour’s worth of our discussion, reproduced as taken off Gtalk!

Enjoy…!

FGS: hey, good evening!

ZUBAIR: hey!!!

FGS: good evening…… Nice day?

ZUBAIR: good evening ma, yes, I had a nice day. You?

FGS: yes, I’ve had fun, especially since I finished a report I’ve been trying to write since Wednesday

ZUBAIR: ah, great!

FGS: yup! So basically, I wanted to do this interview because as part of my research on Social Media and Nigerian politics I stumbled on @techloy’s site, and I saw your work

ZUBAIR: oh ok…..

FGS: And I believe that it’s a platform for people to get to know you, and the work that you do…and it’ll help our knowledge base so that our arguments and requests from government are backed with a knowledge of what we are entitled to..

ZUBAIR: ok, sure!

FGS: great, thank you. Let’s start with, what is the one thing you hate?

ZUBAIR: WOW, I love so many things, I cant even pick one thing that I hate…but I would say dishonesty from people and people trying to take advantage of others.

FGS: Ok, we’ll pick through your answer but please tell me three things you love, since you said you love ‘so many things’

ZUBAIR: I love to impact in peoples lives

FGS: that’s one…

ZUBAIR: I love reading and learning basically

FGS: that’s 2a and 2b

ZUBAIR: I love God

FGS: three! Ok, back to the things you hate, have you ever felt someone was taking advantage of you? Tell me (us) about it..

ZUBAIR: yea couple of times;well a typical example is the way Nigerian leaders rule over us without caring about be accountable to us(me)

FGS: Isn’t that a function of their knowledge of the fact that we didn’t care? I say ‘didn’t’ because we do now…

ZUBAIR: Well, exactly!

FGS: Why would you say then that they ‘took advantage’ of you, since you agreed with me that they had a reason to?

ZUBAIR: well, in the moral sense, because you have a reason or power to take advantage of someone doesn’t make it okay to do so!

FGS: Agreed…. Forgive my manners, I forgot I didn’t ask who you are, and what you do…

ZUBAIR: LOL, I guess you already know that

FGS: No(insert smiling smiley)

ZUBAIR: I am a web/mobile application developer, a TED fellow, a volunteer amongst other things.I currently work with connectnigeria.com as a lead developer

FGS: Wow….And your name is? I know your twitter handle is @zubairabubakar

ZUBAIR: you can get more here: http://www.ted.com/profiles/9272http://www.facebook.com/zabubakar,zubairabubakar.com,

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/zubair-abubakar/3/329/935. Zubair Abubakar is my full name

FGS: Have you always been a ‘techie’? By that I mean is it something you’ve always had a flair/skill for, or you studied and acquired it?

ZUBAIR: yes I have always been a techie, but my studies helped a great deal to develop the skills

FGS: What/where was school?

ZUBAIR: I first did a diploma in Information Systems Management at APTECH Computer Education, Lagos,then a BSc. Computer Science at Ashesi University Ghana

FGS: How long have you been building apps?

ZUBAIR: web apps or mobile?

FGS: both

ZUBAIR: since 2003, so that’s roughly about 8yrs!

FGS: Wow….what’s the first app you developed? (web and/or mobile). By the way, I was in first year for the greater part of 2003

ZUBAIR: oh really! Well, it was a web app, a diploma project, where customers can create accounts, deposit(virtually), check their account balance

FGS: neat…Can we digress a bit? How do virtual deposits happen? I can understand online transfers, deposits via ATM’s et al but I don’t really get virtual deposits, and I’ve been too lazy to google it!

ZUBAIR: a simple implementation could be the use of recharge cards

FGS:ok….

ZUBAIR: so a website may sell the recharge cards and ask users to buy a card of certain value (say N5000) and then load the value of the card into his/her account on the website

FGS: oh ok…

ZUBAIR: then the account reads that he/she has N5000 on the website and can use it to buy stuff or transfer to another user

FGS: Nice….is it in use now? The app?

FGS: Zubair? (he was gone for like 8 minutes)

ZUBAIR: hey sorry for the break in transmission…thanks to NEPA.. lol

FGS: that’s fine; one of the reasons we’re all going out to vote next month abi?

ZUBAIR: exactly! And no, the app is not in use

FGS: Did you register in February ?

ZUBAIR: no; in January, why?

FGS: January I beg your pardon… DO you have your voters card?

ZUBAIR: yes

FGS: Ok, I would have been very worried if you didn’t! That would have been one less vote…. What was the experience like? Easy, difficult?

ZUBAIR: well ok, could have been way better

FGS: ok, that’s what everyone thinks… What prompted the Nigerian constitution for BB app? And don’t worry, we’ll be talking about things other than work in a bit…

ZUBAIR: lol its ok. Well I was learning how to develop for blackberry phones at the time so I thought about what app I could develop to make an impact and coincidentally, I was lazily reading the constitution then

FGS: ok…

ZUBAIR: and then it occurred to me that Nigerians don’t read or don’t even have access to the constitution; what if I developed an app that would let them read it on their phones……and that was it!

This is what the app looks like, get familiar!!

FGS: neat!!! Now to the stuff that sells papers…how old are you?

ZUBAIR: lol, 27

FGS: ok, back to the app. Has it been successful, how popular is it?

ZUBAIR: well, I would say yes, I has been downloaded 15,000+ times, here you go

http://mobileappsnigeria.com/nigerianconstitution/ (that’s the link to download it guys)

FGS: wow…that’s a lot of downloads! @techloy did a little analysis of the amount of money you would have made if you sold the app

ZUBAIR: it has also set a record of most downloaded app in Nigeria within 72hr – 10,000 downloads

FGS: Yes, I am aware of that…kudos!!!

ZUBAIR: yep, I know right! Thanks; a big thanks to social media

FGS: How are you publicizing the app, because there are currently more than 80 million Nigerians using mobile phones; placing this app in the hands of even a tenth of that number would be great.

ZUBAIR: my plan exactly; so far its has been, bb broadcast, facebook posts, twitter, and blog posts

FGS: ok, nice. When you are building apps, what do you do?

ZUBAIR: do you mean when I am NOT building apps?

FGS: yes, excuse me

ZUBAIR: ok, well couple of things, reading, volunteering, sports, hang out with friends

FGS: Any ‘special’ friend?

ZUBAIR: LOL, wife you mean?

FGS: whatever…wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, cat, dog, you choose….

ZUBAIR:LOL, not really, I’m mostly a loner

FGS: are you lending credence to the saying that techies are ‘loners’?

ZUBAIR: yep to some extent :)

FGS:You’re not even trying to deny it! Anyways, my final three questions (and I must thank you for being a sport), what’s your favourite childhood memory?

ZUBAIR: lol, you are welcome

FGS: what’s your favourite childhood memory?

ZUBAIR: I’ve had couple, I think I first time on a plane would be the one

FGS: What’s your favourite meal?

ZUBAIR: tuwo rice with fresh fish stew

FGS: who’s your most favourite person in the world?

ZUBAIR: dead or alive?

FGS: You choose

ZUBAIR: Gandhi

me: thank you very much!!!

And that my dear friends, is Zubair, and the end of the interview (and this chronicle)… Feel free to talk to him on Twitter, he’s an easy, approachable fella, and please download the app, and forward the link! Knowledge of the law will enable us lead more productive lives, and ensure that no one tramples on our rights. Thank me later!

Below is a blog post I did for an event the MA Social Media class (my class) is organizing. The theme of the event is ‘We Are What We Tweet : From Birmingham to Cairo and local to global, exploring how social media drives change’. The agenda, speakers, and breakdown of the event is here www.wearewhatwetweet.com and you can register here; it’s free but you need to reserve your seat, and they are going fast!

I decided to reflect the changes (in my opinion) that social media has had/is having on politics and the polity in Nigeria, and my thoughts on where these changes will/might take us. Feel free to agree or disagree, but let’s talk about it!

Originally, I was to write on ‘Social media when internet access is low’, using Nigeria as a case study, and I had worked on the document, with some interesting insights from the research I did.

The focus changed on the night of the 17th when I received a BBM (Blackberry message) from a friend (and developer) introducing ReVoDa, a mobile app by the Enough is Enough (EiE) coalition that once downloaded and installed on a mobile device, enables eligible voters become independent observers from whatever polling booths they may be at during Nigeria’s general elections in April.

ReVoDa is a ‘social media solution’ proffered by EiE Nigeria to allow citizens report incidents of violence/fraud, police and electoral staff behaviour (proper and improper), and results of the elections in their polling units, all with a couple of clicks of their mobile phones. This is to checkmate the irregularities and fraud that have attended the elections in the country since it returned to democratic rule in 1999.

ReVoDa is ground breaking news, a major leap in the technology sector as it is the first of its kind to be developed in Nigeria, and by Nigerians. It comes close on the heels of the ‘Nigerian Constitution App for Blackberry’ which was developed by @zubairabubakar and recorded 10, 000 hits in the 72 hours. From a country where its first mobile apps development conference held in August last year, this is definitely newsworthy.

On the 18th of March, between the hours of 7 and 9pm, more than 80% of Nigeria’s population was glued to NN24, one of the newest television stations in the country, for a live presidential debate involving three of the eighteen aspirants who will be standing for elections in April. This comes on the heels of the vice-presidential debate which held and broadcast live a week ago.

For the aspirants to the nation’s highest office, that is but a prelude to the much publicized, twitter trending March 25th virtual interview to be moderated by two young people, Chimamanda Adichie and Ebuka Obi-Uchendu under the auspices of a coalition of youth activist organisations.

While I am concerned about the debate last night and the performance of the aspirants, I am more intrigued by the discussion and analysis of the debate on Twitter and Facebook. Using the hashtags #Presidentialdebate #NN24PresDebate, and making up more as the night wore on, young Nigerians analysed the strategies and policies that each of the aspirants discussed and as I scrolled through the tweets, …..miles away, it occurred to me that Nigeria is experiencing a revolution just as powerful as the Tunisian and Egyptian: A social media revolution.

Young Nigerians have suddenly realized that they make up the majority and are coming together to ‘take charge’ of their country. Politics and indeed the political arena has been flooded with young people who are not just interested in change but are in a hurry to see it happen. Youth led groups like Vote or Quench, RSVP (Register, Select, Vote and Protect), Reclaim Naija, What About Us, Cool To Vote, and a host of others creating awareness, educating, holding town hall meetings and calling on Nigerians to actively take part in selecting their leaders, the 2011 elections will not be left to politicians alone.

The efforts of these groups online (and offline) has not been without some success. In the just concluded voters registration exercise, 67million Nigerians registered, up from the 35million in 2007 (almost double) and the new ones are within the youth demographic.

These now viral online groups are riding on the success of the Light Up Nigeria movement that started in 2009 on twitter with the hashtag #lightupnigeria. Light Up Nigeria called for an overhaul of the nation’s power sector but simply said, ‘give us light’. Even though it was criticised as a ‘twitter campaign’, it got international attention, prompting the government to respond, and most importantly, has become one of the key issues any aspirant to any political position is getting tasked over.

What is new, and exciting about aspirants selling themselves to the electorate through debates? What is all the ruckus about young Nigerians and internet based campaigns? What does social media have to offer Nigerians, and Nigeria? To put this all in perspective, below is a little background on Nigeria and her history with ‘technology’ (read as interaction with the internet and forms of communication).

A country of approximately 150million people, Nigeria’s internet has been stunted by an underdeveloped and largely unreliable fixed line structure resulting in more Nigerians using mobile telephony as their preferred mode of connection, expensive as it is. The introduction of wireless broadband access (however scanty), competition by multiple GSM providers, and the promise of fibre optic cables have been the catalysts for the growth in that sector.

Between the year 2000 and 2010, internet user penetration shot up by an astounding 21, 891.1% with internet access for more than 43million people while the country in 2004 passed Egypt and Morocco to become the fastest mobile phone market in Africa with 87,297,789 users.

The prevalent and most subscribed to social networking sites by Nigerians are Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, in that order. There are currently 2, 985, 680 Nigerians on Facebook, ranking 39th out of 213 countries; above 70% of this number are aged 18 – 34.

Demographics of Nigerians on Facebook, courtesy SocialBakers

It is the realization of the strength that these numbers portend that young Nigerians are orchestrating the revolution the country so desperately needs, and ensuring that after the awareness campaigns, mass mobilization of their peers to register, their votes count (or at least the incidences of rigging and electoral malpractices are reduced) by ‘creating’ citizen journalists using instruments like ReVoDa.

Clay Shirky in his foreign affairs essay ‘The Political Power of Social Media’ said, “a public sphere is more likely to emerge in a society as a result of people’s dissatisfaction with matters of economics or day-to-day governance than from their embrace of abstract political ideals.” I couldn’t agree more. Conversations on real issues affecting Nigerians have started online, and continue offline in town hall meetings, concerts, religious gatherings and schools. It is obvious that regardless of who wins or loses, the April 2011 elections usher in a new dispensation of politicking that go beyond rallies, bribes, and noise to intellectual conversations about what people seeking office have to offer the people with the right/power to put them in those offices.

And while I personally do not believe that we should expect a ‘miracle’ because of massive campaigns (both online and offline), I can imagine that if only half (1, 492, 840) the Facebook community go out and vote, we would truly be able to say that our revolution is here.

So it’s 2.17am and this daughter of Zion still cannot sleep. It’s amazing how I could almost never stay up beyond 11pm back home but sometimes, up till 4am my eyes will still be ‘shining’ here! And I have tried to help myself, even going as far as stopping my late night mocha but nope, that I’m writing this now is testament to the fact that it hasn’t worked!

I think it’s because I have to make a little trip today, that always happens. I’ve found that whenever I have to make a trip, the night before I won’t be able to sleep, and I always wake up like four minutes before my alarm. All that means that whoever sits beside me on the coach/train/plane would be left wondering if I was drugged because from the minute I buckle my seat belt, that’s it o! I won’t wake up till we get to our destination. Except of course, if it’s a really cute guy (not)…that’s not even enough to keep me awake!!

Away from me and my sleeping habits, I’ve been thinking about Nigeria a lot in the last 48 hours, especially because I can’t wait to be back home, and more especially because of the elections that are closer than we think. There’s been a lot of drama around the aspirants to various positions, especially those vying for the ‘HNIC’ office. There have been accusations, and counter accusations, misrepresentations, and I would assume that tensions are running high at this time.

Flag-map of Nigeria

Image via Wikipedia

It’s a welcome development (without the violence of course), a clear departure from the ‘it’s not my business’ attitude we’ve had during the recent past elections we’ve had. People are actually beginning to ask questions, and our politicians are slowly realizing that they’ve got to do better than just promise to build 300 primary schools in 15 minutes and in the next breath send their nuclear family on a 4year ’round the world’ vacation with tax payers money!

It is in our hands now, a friend of mine would say, ‘you have the yam, you have the knife; if you cut and share, we will eat’. We own the thumbs, we have our voters cards, please people, go out and vote o!! Our votes will count, if not for anything, a vote by us for candidate B is one less vote for candidate A, abi? Imagine if 1000 of us vote candidate B? That’s 1000 fewer votes for candidate A! Who said your vote won’t count? Please o, so that you won’t be a ‘weiste’!

Most importantly, we know that evil triumphs/prospers when good people do nothing, these thugs, kidnappers, robbers, ‘riggers’ are our people, we know people who know them, we know them; for how long will we mortgage the future on the scruffy payments we receive to turn a blind eye? For how long? The money will finish (and quickly too) because there are too many issues to sort with it! Why not install the right people (based on their track records, ideologies, integrity) who will sort out those issues for everyone?

Away from my ‘preaching’, I stumbled across two videos recently, and I loved them so much I had to share, and I promise to go to bed after embedding them!

This is a collaboration by artistes in Abuja for Nigeria’s 50th anniversary celebration, and includes heavy weights like Lindsey, Styl Plus, Jeremiah Gyang, Six Foot Plus, Solomon Lange, Naydo, Bem Sar, Pherowshuz, Samsong, Dayo Laniyi Benjamin, and a host of others. Beautiful song….

This next video is a short film that’s pushing the ‘go and vote’ message and features Julius Agwu, Adaora Ukoh, amongst others. I salute all the organizations that have sprung up to educate people on the need to go out and vote, and protect their votes….I’m talking organizations like the Enough is Enough Coalition, Vote or Quench, Cool to Vote, What About Us, and every other organization, keep the flame burning people!!


Bottom line, we’re all better off voting o, and for the right people too!!! I’m off to bed…(praying I wake up on time, I can’t miss my train)!