Sunday, July 31, 2016


White stumbled about, looking for the pills the foreign veterinarian gave him recently. He had woken up earlier than usual because one of his farm hands had knocked on his door in the middle of the night to tell him about an ambush on a team of foreign volunteers by wild dogs in the North east of the farm. The foreign volunteers were helping to feed the emaciated animals there who were victims of the wild dogs, displaced and forced to live in camps with little food or water or health care. Animals were reported to be dying of malnutrition and hunger in the camps while friends of White in the centre of the farm were living large and coating their fur and wings with expensive oils. In the centre of the farm, officials in farm management had hardship allowances paid to them for having to drag their bodies and bellies bloated from excess food to and from work every day. 

“It is not easy to drag a well fed animal body to make laws for the farm,” one member of the animal committee in charge of checking White’s power declared. “There is a certain hardship about interrupting the process of nutrition and refreshment to discuss animals, most of whom are ungrateful anyway. So I think we deserve our hardship allowance. And I see no contradiction in having a hardship allowance while animals starve in the North-eastern end of the farm. First, no one asked them to go and live there. It is out in the middle of nowhere and they endanger all of us by being there in the first place. Second, we cannot question what the animal gods have destined to happen. It is what creates balance. Imagine if everyone had exactly the same resources. Meaning no one would need anyone else. No one would need to do anything. Is that the kind of farm we want?”

As White swallowed his pills and winced in pain (his anus had still not healed), the leader of the settlement of crocodiles, a feisty old crocodile with short legs and a red mouth called Sir Na was watching him with binoculars. He observed everything about White. He sent out flies and bees to feel the air and the mood of animals and whether they were starting to get tired of White. And what they would feel about him taking over. As he did that he told the flies to carry with them news of his performance in the crocodile swamp. 

“Tell them I am a great leader of the crocodiles,” he said. “I may have short legs, but I have cleaned up the algae-infested pools and made sure that there is no discrimination between alligators and crocodiles. I have even employed non-crocodiles to work in the swamp. In fact, there are animals that used to be on the menu for crocodiles who are now safely working in the crocodile swamp. I have done wonders in the swamp and so I can do wonders in the farm.”

And the flies felt the air across the farm for a readiness to change farm managers. And they spread the word about Sir Na’s suitability to become farm manager in place of White. But Sir Na did it discreetly so as not to clash openly with White whom he worshipped in public spaces. White also accepted his worship but knew that if Sir Na had a chance, he would depose him as farm manager. 

And some animals grumbled claiming that Sir Na was a crocodile supremacist and a divisive and hateful animal. 

Meanwhile, animals all across the farm built up personal defences to protect them against the failures of the White management. They would find ways to make up for his inadequacies. When they fell ill, instead of attacking White and asking for veterinarians on the farm, they set up boxes across the farm with the inscriptions #Save together with the name of the animal that was ill. And animals would drop anything they had in the boxes to save the ill animal and raise enough resources to take them out to another farm that had good veterinary doctors. After doing this, they would see no contradiction is dropping by for a Whitist prayer session. In fact when White had to travel to a foreign farm to treat his anus, they defended him and gave examples of other farm managers who left their farms to seek treatment elsewhere. Because it was not White’s fault. 

When the farm hand Dick-Tai gleefully did a bat genocide, it was not White’s fault. 

When animals did not get the resources they required to compete in the animal farm games, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of sport.

When darkness still covered the face of the farm, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of fire. 

When the value of products on the farm was falling, it was not White’s fault but that of the farm hand in charge of trade…

…for White is holy and above reproach…

And White continued to hide the pain he felt in public. 

And Sir Na continued to plot to become farm manager without becoming enemies with White.

And the farm continued without any proper veterinary centres (which was not the fault of White but that of farm manager before him and his farm hand in charge of health and his enemies and all the fucking animals who refuse to be loyal to him).

And animals continued contributing for ill animals to leave the farm for treatment and praising themselves for their good work.

And the foreigners who were attacked while bringing food to the emaciated animals in the North east got afraid and suspended their food deliveries.

And farm hands and animals on the committee kept growing fat. 

And Whitist priests and loyalists continued to worship White and pray:

In the name of the White father
And of the farm hands
And of the holy Whitists…

Bless us White for we have sinned
Bless our thoughts
Bless our desires
Bless our intentions

Blessed be thy name
Thy will be done in every quarter among every animal species
Teach us to love your will
Teach us to be teachable
Teach us to trust your will even when your will may not be clear
Teach us to defend your will before it becomes your will
For thine are the decisions, the thoughts and the glory
For as long as you choose to be farm leader


Sunday, July 24, 2016


So White came back. After all the hue and cry, after all the complaints of disloyal animals unbelievers White stopped travelling and put his tail down in his own farm where it belonged. His farm hands had told tales of how his travelling was useful, especially since Goodhead had ruined the farms reputation at home and abroad by pillaging the farm alongside his associates. White’s farm hands swore that there was no other way. 

On the farm since White returned things were changing. Fast. The promises White made were becoming harder and harder to keep. The cost of water was rising and even though White had removed the subsidy on the water, it was not as easy to get as was expected. But White knew what he was doing. 

In the southern marshlands of the farm, wild dogs increased their attacks on water pipes demanding that they have control of their marshlands and the water resources that emanated from their lands. 

“Our lands are flooded," they claimed. "We cannot plant. We cannot build. We cannot play. For allowing access to water for the rest of the farm, we have lost our homes and livelihoods. We want control of our water resources.” 

The new leader of a group of wild dogs - the Marshland Retaliators - spoke angrily and swore that if things did not change they would keep blowing up pipelines all across the marshlands and beyond. 

When White was a new farm manager he had sworn that although he intended to negotiate with the wild dogs in the north of the farm if they renounced violence, he would not tolerate any wild dogs in the southern marshlands. “We have had enough of wild dog terrorism in the marshlands,” he said. He said there would be no dialogue and that his genocidal army, led by farmhand Dick-Tai, was capable of handling any wild dogs that threatened the water supply of the farm. However, as time went on, it became clear that he could not just kill off the southern wild dogs the way his farm hand Dick-Tai massacred bats in the north of the farm. He could not just send in farm hands and shoot them down. They could not be found. They attacked quietly at night and disappeared long before anyone could find them. And because the farm exported water to other farms, it was important that no one interrupted the flow of water. So, faced with falling water prices, White broke down and said he would negotiate with those wild dogs. The problem was finding them. The first few groups White’s farm hands talked to turned out to be opportunist animals posing as wild dogs. But White knew what he was doing. 

Meanwhile the committee that was set up to look into the massacre by Dick-Tai had finished its work and submitted its report. 

The report stated that indeed, Dick-Tai and his minions did massacre bats in their hundreds. And that there was no reason for him to do so. It stated that although there was an altercation, Dick-Tai were able to leave the area and  made his minions to cordon off the area and kill the bats one after the other for daring to hit the chest of a farm hand. 

Even White had agreed with this. White needed to maintain the fear and control required to run a farm. There were too many disloyal animals, especially bats who were unpredictable. So White had tapped Dick-Tai’s back and told him he did well by taking care of the bat problem. 

Meanwhile Dick-Tai was found to have stolen money with which he built several nice barns in foreign farms far away. But not all stealing is bad, especially if you help sort out a bat problem and you are loyal to White. Loyalty. It does not matter if you are an animal who steals, but if you are loyal, it helps. Disloyal animals are terrible. Disloyal animals make it hard for White to have complete control. Disloyal animals ask questions. Like why the farm is dark. Why the price of water keeps increasing. Why the farm’s economy is in a recession. Why they deny that the farm’s economy is in a recession even though all the signs are there.

Loyal animals ignore reports. They ignore reports that say Dick-Tai massacred bats. That he secretly buried male and female bats together in mass graves. That some of the bats he buried were not even dead when he buried them. Loyal animals focus on the real issues. Issues like how two Committee elders insulted and spat at each other during a Committee meeting. How two female swans accused each other of chewing fresh marijuana leaves and being lesbian swans. Loyal animals only say the great and perfect things that White does. Because White is great and perfect. And when he is not great and perfect it is only because of the damage caused by Goodhead who governed the farm a long time ago. One can never forget a bad manager who spoilt things a long time ago. 

As loyal animals beat their Whitist drums and disloyal animals wailed in the corners, farms across the animal world were preparing for the inter-farm games. This was a respected event and farms went to great lengths to prepare their animals. There were flying, crawling, swimming, fighting, sprinting and hunting games for different categories of animals. Because of how much the previous farm managers on White’s  farm hated the games, they made sure no one had enough resources to prepare. Slowly many animals moved to other better farms and even played games for them. All across the games there were animals who were originally from White’s farm representing other farms. Although White had set aside resources for training and equipment, his animals got nothing and a few days to the games, animals had to go round the farms doing embarrassing things to get resources to be able to attend the games. Sports animals were preening birds, cleaning dogs and masturbating horses in order to make it to the games. And those animals who were good all knew they had to train outside the farm if they had any hopes of winning. But White knew what he was doing. 

And animals continued to position themselves to take over from White in the event that the pain in his side made it too hard for him to continue being farm manager. 

And White’s farm hands continued to steal bits from the property they recovered from associates of Goodhead who had plundered the farm. 

And Dick-Tai continued to lie that the property he owned outside the farm was purchased by grains he saved over the years. 

And the cost of grain continued to rise. 

And the wild brothers of White continued to roam free with blood on their fur. 

And White walked around the farm, hands behind his back, silent, only wincing from the slight pain in his anus. 

And as all of these were happening on the farm the loyal animals on the farm were poised and did not lose focus. Because they knew that White knew what he was doing. 

And they worshipped White and sang his praises and prayed: 

In the name of the White father
And of the farm hands
And of the holy Whitists…

Bless us White for we have sinned
Bless our thoughts
Bless our desires
Bless our intentions

Blessed be thy name
Thy will be done in every quarter among every animal species
Teach us to love your will
Teach us to be teachable
Teach us to trust your will even when your will may not be clear
Teach us to defend your will before it becomes your will
For thine are the decisions, the thoughts and the glory
For as long as you choose to be farm leader

Sunday, July 17, 2016


After the song Hello was released, I wrote about why the British superstar singer Adele needs to be banned in Nigeria. And since then I have discovered even more Adele songs that make me scared for all the millions of people who unwittingly consume her dangerous home wrecking philosophy. I have one conclusion: if you are in a relationship, you must avoid Adele. Let us look at her song Someone Like You, which, before I repented I used to put on repeat and hum along mindlessly. 

I heard that you're settled down
That you found a girl and you're married now.
I heard that your dreams came true.
Guess she gave you things I didn't give to you.

Ok. At this point you would think that she has gotten the message. I wont jump to conclusions and say she was stalking him or anything. You know how Facebook is. You can be sitting down on your own and someone will just post news about someone from your past. You can’t control it. Let us just say she heard of this on Facebook. 

I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited
But I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us pause for a moment here. I used to sing along, say these words, hum along and think that somehow I was still a good person. I apologise for all the times I sang this. I have given a lot  from my meagre earnings to charity to make up for this shameless condoning of evil but nothing can make up for the many months I have promoted this unacceptable behavior. Nothing. The only good thing is  that God forgives. At this point I can only revert to prayers and say that when our dreams come true, when we find that person that makes us settle down and gives us what no one else could give us in the past may the good and holy lord protect us from evil people from our past who feel like turning up out of the blue uninvited. These are agents of the devil sent to interfere with our happiness. They are like the Biblical Pharisees Jesus referred to in Matthew 23:13 when he said: 

“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in.”

You may not be a follower of Jesus but you can understand his illustration. It is apt. Adele is a pharisee. 

I had hoped you'd see my face and that you'd be reminded
That for me it isn't over.

This for me is the killer. She hears of his marriage on Facebook or Instagram. She clicks the link. She scrolls through her phone for his old number. Maybe the number doesn't work. She calls up old friends who know him. Asks them for his number. They know he is getting married. They know she is his ex. They know he has since moved on. They are reluctant to give her his number. But she tells them a lie. Tells them it is about work or something. And reluctantly they send it to her. She tries his number. He doesn't pick because he has Truecaller and sees her name…
At this point you are saying wait wait wait, how do you know all this? Look at these two previous lines:

Old friend, why are you so shy?
Ain't like you to hold back or hide from the light.

That is how I know. He has seen her number on Truecaller. He doesn't want to pick. Or maybe he is a nice guy and he picks but he quickly tells her please he has moved on and does not want to start any post mortem of their old relationship and hangs up. But then what does she do to this child of God? She shows up. No fear. No chill. She hopes that he would see her face and be reminded that for her it isn’t over. For her. Not a single line about him. All that matters is that she has heard the voice of the devil in her ear and has entered an Uber to go and look for someone whose dreams have come true. So, if he sees her and is reminded that it isn’t over for her, what is he supposed to do? Abandon his great love and follow her? Or live the rest of his life feeling guilty? 

All I can say is that may God protect us and our loved ones from Adele. 

Sunday, July 10, 2016


This last week has been bloody in America for black people as well as American law enforcement. Several black men have been shot dead, some in the full glare of passersby who recorded the events on video. Understandably, people globally were outraged at the senseless loss of life. I have said before that America has no value for black lives. In fact, I have suggested that if they do not want the black people they came to Africa to fetch in the first place, it is not too late to return them. We will just calculate how much work and contribution they have made to building American society and send their government an invoice accordingly. They don't have to pay immediately, we can give them a few years to pay. Money is hard to come by now. 

Nigerians on the internet also joined in this outrage, as they should have. They posted videos of the black men getting shot and used the appropriate hashtags. Look, it is important to get the right hashtag and I am proud that Nigerians did not disappoint black people worldwide. 

All of these events have made me wonder what the value of a black life is in general and what the value of a Nigerian life is in particular. Let us start with the value of a non-Nigerian black life. 

A black life abroad is precious. Especially if this black life is an American or British black life. There is something that crossing seas and oceans does to a black person. It insulates them from the indifference that is associated with black tragedy occurring in a black country. A black life capable of a British or American accent is worth a lot. Maybe not to white police officers. But to us Nigerians, it means a lot. I do not mean black lives who leave their black countries, go on one trip to attend a two-week conference and then come back saying wanna gonna. I mean black people with a non-black passport. Black people who were born in a non-black country. We are allowed to feel pity for them. We are allowed to demand human rights for them. We are allowed to say that it does not matter if they stole some items from a shop or sold illegal items. No one deserves to be shot by police extrajudicially. Not even when such a person has a prior conviction. The life of a foreign black person means a lot. 

In calculating the value of a Nigerian life however, we must never apply the same rules. We cannot afford to. Black lives in Nigeria are far more resilient and we do not want to spoil people by showing them too much empathy. It is important especially if they are not from our ethnic group or religion. It is not your fault if a person goes and chooses to come from the wrong ethnic group. 

You know Nigerians. The moment you give them an inch they want to take a kilometre. So it is important to reserve empathy for those who deserve it.  For those who do not go around asking to be killed and provoking people with guns. Not people like Shiites who block roads and constitute themselves a nuisance in civilised society. I am not saying that we should take up arms and kill Shiites. We have the army to help us with that - with killing them and imprisoning them without charge for indefinite periods of time. I am saying that when the army gets angry and decides to surround them, shoot them one by one, destroy their buildings and bury them (some of them alive), we must not do silly things like feel sorry for them or protest the killing of women and children and non combatant men. We must never never create hashtags because really, they are the ones who decided to go and become Shiites. Yes, we all block roads too when we are doing weddings and naming ceremonies and crusades. But we are not Shiites. The value of a Shiite life is not the value of a black American shot by white police officers. A dead black American deserves human rights even if he had a prior conviction. A dead Shiite deserves to be asked questions, about why they block roads like the rest of us. Or practice religion the way they do. 

The same rule applies to say, Biafra protesters. The value of a black life protesting for Biafra is not very much really. We must look the other way when the Nigerian army shoots them because we must let the army do their job. The army restores the balance of things. For example, when an empty street is occupied by Biafra protesters it is the job of the army to clear that street by any means necessary even if that means killing people who are carrying placards. They say a hug starts from a handshake. We must never feel empathy for a black life we do not like when that black life is extrajudicially killed by our beloved, hardworking army. Human rights are for humans. I am not yet sure that they are humans. They are yet to prove it to me. But Americans, kai, those ones are human. Their black lives matter. Our black lives matter when they belong to our religion or ethnic group. 

Ok. I am rambling now. I apologise. Let me reduce these last two paragraphs to one formula that is easy to use in calculating the value of a Nigerian life especially if that Nigerian life is Shiite, gay, female, Biafran, or maybe just poor.  The value of these types of black lives in Nigeria is a little less than the value of Jollof rice. Because we will never think twice about fighting for Nigerian #Jollof (especially against those damn Ghanaians but I will leave their matter for another day). 

So this is what you must do. Forget about all the Shiites that are still in detention nearly six months after the great Zaria army massacre of December 2015. Forget about the Amnesty International report about women and children buried alive. Use that time instead to show solidarity with America. Post the video of American police executions. Use the hashtag #blacklivesmatter. Because you care. You really care. 

Monday, July 4, 2016


Nigerians can be shortsighted. When the Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode recently decided that he would be banning all street hawking and imposing a fine more than 4 times the minimum wage (or six months in jail) people were all up in arms, even those who support his government. 

Some of us see nothing wrong with that kind of policy. In fact, Mr Ambode has foresight and is a man of wisdom. What he has simply done is open the market for street selling and buying and making sure that a cabal of street hawkers chasing after cars and buses in traffic does not control street trade. 

Here is how this ban will deregulate street trading, reduce corruption, help Lagosians and boost the economy of the entire state:

Not every person with a car in Lagos is living a great life. Some of them have to do odd jobs to make ends meet. Some of them steal from the offices where they work. With this ban creating an artificial scarcity of Gala and LaCasera, the cost will of course go up. Baba Rifkatu who used to steal stationery from the storeroom in his office will now just need to buy a carton of Gala, a carton of bottled water and/or LaCasera which, electricity allowing, he will freeze for the journey back. On his way back home he will drive close to a full bus or taxi. They will think he wants to bash their cars. They will insult his mother. They will insult his “father’s prick”. But instead of insulting their parents back he will dangle an unopened gala in the air. They will apologise profusely and beg him to sell it to them. He will pretend to drive off, increasing demand for his product. Then eventually they will honk enough for him to slow down. He will ask them to squeeze the money and throw it into his window. And he will throw the Gala to them. And the bus or taxi driver will be relieved and proceed to admonish his passengers while chewing on his Gala, about why it is not good to abuse someone’s mother or  someone’s father’s prick in traffic because "you never know who God will use to help you". The passengers will look at him chewing and ask him to drive close to the man “wey dey sell Gala”. Baba Rifkatu will not need to steal office stationery again.

So, smart business people will begin to put nice buses on the road that offer additional services. Now, Lagos buses and taxis are like those cheap airlines that do not serve you any refreshments on board. They can increase the fare a little and say that there will be refreshment during the journey. And especially if you will be in traffic for many hours as is common in Lagos, this will be an attractive option. You will use disposable cups to serve water and  LaCasera and cut the Gala in half to save costs. Of course some bus drivers will prefer to just sell their product outright. So Lagosians will have a choice of a higher fare with full options or just jumping onto a bus and hoping that the driver still has Gala and water left. Competition is good. 

Now most people find this to be a nuisance especially when you are on your way home in the humid heat. Yes you believe in Jesus and all but you do not want someone screaming to you about hellfire when really the bus already feels like hell. People are bound to shout down the preacher if he is interfering with a sale of Gala or “ice water”. This will mean that for bus preaching to continue it will have to diversify. A person can begin with the gospel according to Jesus but dangle the hope of purchasing Gala at the end of the sermon to support the work of the Lord. That way people can both sooth their consciences and stomachs. 

Now, imagine a situation where a freelancer (a person who just fills up their bag with Gala and LaCasera or ice water and just hops on a bus hoping to make sales on his/her way home) hops onto a bus and his sale is clashing with the drivers own sale. This can lead to quarrels. You want competition but not in the same vehicle. This can be resolved easily. The Lagos government simply needs to come up with legislation stating that buses offering added services must color code their buses so that freelancers can know which bus to hop onto. 

Mr Ambode does not need to work to reduce the traffic that makes people need street hawkers in the first place. Or organise street hawkers so that they even earn more and possibly pay tax. They are an eyesore. And he needs to ban them. All I can see from this ban is positive things. Because I am a positive person. Are you?

Sunday, July 3, 2016


The task of being the face and soul of Nigeria in countries abroad is a tough tough one. It is not easy to be a go-between for Nigerian businesses, support and negotiate for and on behalf of Nigerians, or deal with foreign governments. The job of being an ambassador or running an embassy is not one for learners. Only the best can or should be allowed to do this. This is why I have decided to put together a quick manual for running an embassy abroad. It also has something for Nigerians going to Nigerian embassies. 

The Contact Number
You know Nigerians. If you give them your correct phone number they will call you at midnight or before you have brushed your teeth in the morning to ask you a stupid question. They will call you to tell you they just wanted to greet you. They will call you to tell you their wife did not cook for them or their husband came home late. They will call you say they were just checking “if the number is working”. This is why you cannot afford to have someone always pick up the phone at the embassy. People must realise that you will not always answer the phone and this realisation will lead to urban legend that will spread among Nigerians abroad and discourage all those who want to call for foolish reasons. You should not be too easy to reach. 

When you finally pick up, there must be no doubt  about your irritation or impatience. If someone calls your cellphone with say an unknown number, you must, if you are magnanimous enough to pick the call, scold them and tell them how fortunate they are to be speaking to you because normally, you “do not pick unknown numbers”. 

We are Nigerians. We prefer physical visits to this Western invention called telephones. If they are lazy and can’t come to the embassy in person, make them see their folly. Let them know from your reluctance in speaking to them that you did not come there for play. You are only picking the phone number out of courtesy. And they should be grateful for this. Because in many public offices in Nigeria, the contact phone numbers do not even ring. 

The Embassy
The embassy building is a safe haven. It means that you do not want a place that Nigerians will not be able to recognise. You do not want a place that is so different from Nigeria that it gives citizens a culture shock. They come there to run away from the strangeness and forced order of the country they are in. They do no want a formal, unfamiliar space. This is why you should allow things like a restaurant that serves beans and dodo in some embassies. Yes, it may smell of palm oil and food when people walk in, but what better to showcase Nigeria than the smell of our food? Also, you want a place that is friendly enough to have children running around in and screaming. Because a quiet Nigerian embassy is not a good Nigerian embassy. 

Nigerians are not used to seeing someone at the desk at all times. They may start to feel policed and panic. They need to wait. They cannot leave Nigeria where they always wait and just come to a foreign country where Nigerian processes happen quickly. That would be discrimination against those living in and enduring Nigeria. Make sure that people wait. Nigerians know how to wait. They have been waiting since 1960 for something to happen. The embassy should not be different. 

You must make sure you have the minimum. Security doors and all. But you don't always have to use it. We are a hospitable people. People should be able to go in and go out easily, through the security door or beside it.

You can take a Nigerian out of Nigeria, but you should not be able to take the Nigerian out of him. Have embassy staff shout out to each other from time to time. This in addition to the children running about and screaming should raise the noise levels to something close to what it is in Nigeria. 

The embassy should be clean but not too clean. Never ever throw away old furniture or equipment. Pile it in a corner that should be out of sight but not too hidden. A determined person should be able to see the clutter and know that Nigerians do not like to throw anything away. 

Going to an embassy
As a Nigerian abroad, when you go to an embassy, you want to feel free. The country you are in, especially in those cold European countries, is unkind to you. It makes you unable to do the things you want to do - things you didn’t think twice about doing in Nigeria. Like slapping sense into your child. Or having conversations on the top of your voice. Or asking people what tribe they are so that you can speak about them in a language they do not understand. 

If your child messes up, give them a good beating. It is not like the police will come into the Nigerian embassy to arrest you. That building on that piece of land is considered Nigeria. And in Nigeria we beat our children. We beat any devilish behaviour out of the so they can grow to be responsible adults. 

If you have food in a takeaway pack, eat it while you wait for the person at the desk to show up. Laugh loudly. Ask people personal questions. Like "You get papers?". Because the embassy is home. And everyone should be able to do what they want in their own home. 

I know I have not covered the field, but this is a good place to start. God bless you as you engage with a Nigerian embassy abroad.