Wednesday, 16 September 2009

And justice for all?

Is it really possible to get any sense of justice from these two? Who is the Attorney General there to protect? Who is the EFCC Chairman there to protect? Is there a citizen of Nigeria who really believes they are on his\her side despite their public posturings? Who believes that any of the sacked managers of the failed banks or their accomplices will ever see the inside of a cell again? Who believes that all the debtors were actually listed? Or that Ibori will be convicted of anything in our lifetime despite all the supporting evidence? Yes. Me neither. Which is a shame. Especially under a President who spouts rule of law as a mantra.

Monday, 14 September 2009

The things I take for granted......but shouldn't

Waking up in the morning
Having food on the table
A roof over my head
A family that loves me
Parents that love me
Parents that are still alive and well
Healthy kids
My health
Access to money
A supportive loving wife
A forgiving God
My many many blessings
My life
My siblings love
My family's understanding
My accomplishments
My friends
The list goes on.

Shame these things are only brought to the forefront of our thoughts only when we think about losing them as I thought today after a health scare. All is well Insha Allah but I will be more careful with all the above in future. So should you.

Thursday, 10 September 2009


So I was standing in the car park outside an office complex in Accra a couple of days ago when I heard someone call my name. I turned to see a familiar face walking towards me. The digital photo library inside my head started shuffling through desperately looking for a match to the face even as the distance between us narrowed and I tried to retain a neutral but still welcoming look on my face.

"Long time no see" he said which helped as I immediately jettisoned all the faces from the last five years off the index and dug further back in time. It took two or three minutes for the penny to drop and I finally placed Charles as a chap I had worked with briefly 20 years ago. 20 years. Now that is what you call long time!!

So Charles. Once I had placed him, all the memories came flooding back. We had worked together for about three months but in those three I had got to know him well. Whist Ghanaians are generally humble compared to Nigerians (but then who isn't?) Charles had set for me new benchmarks in humility. He was one of those guys that really did tiptoe lightly through the tulips. I never saw him stressed, swear, or even shout. You hear people say "he wouldn't hurt a fly" and this was definitely apt for Charles.

We exchanged some quick pleasantries and contact details as he was dashing off and promised to catch up next time I was in Accra. In my taxi minutes later I got a call from a strange number. I answered it and it was Charles. "Toks, so sorry I was wondering if you needed a ride?. I know you are visiting Accra and it was rude of me to have left you there in the car park." I told him I was alright and that I already had a hire car.

The point of this is that despite what we see on Sky, CNN,Fox etc there are still some decent people in the world. People for whom doing good and being good is a big part of their DNA. For some strange reason Charles' actions immediately made me want to perform a random act of kindness for someone else (so I took myself out for an extensive meal. Aha am I not someone?). Between him and Gani it has surely been a great week for good people. It is nice to know they exist. It reminds me of the closing words from Desiderata. It is still a beautiful world. Strive to be happy.

It is important to remember that in these days of banking crises and other nonsense.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Good person. Great Loss.

Gani Fawenhimi was on my mind sometime last year. I just could not shake his image out of my mind. I kept wondering how is it that one can dedicate their life to a cause where there does not seem much return. I mean can you imagine giving your heart and soul to trying to save Nigeria? I was puzzled. Did the man have a complex? Was he insane? How can you outmanoeuvre the so called “Maradonas” that dominate our every breath (I prefer to call them Muppets but to each his own). Could he really make any sort of dent, any impact at all on the rock of Aso?
To be honest, he did and still does make me feel worthless as I sit on the world wide wonder pontificating about this and that and that and this. Not for me the cold cells of kirikiri. No, coward that I am I prefer to “fight the power” from the calm, cool confines of Lekki.

I recall my mother cursing NEPA\PHCN not long ago and I wondered if this was our destiny. Despite all the vigour of the fight the bastards still had\have the upper hand. A whole generation passes away and nothing changes. I write this only through the benefit of a diesel burning, environment polluting, generator. What hope is there for my generation? We who made such loud revolutionary noises in university but who have greedily succumbed to the status quo – Chief, Senator, Minister, MD. We who have mortgaged our principles for the latest beemer, merc, hummer. It is these thoughts that always takes me back to thinking about Mr Fawenhimi.

If a man gives most of his adult life to fighting for the right of the common man up until his very last breath surely this is a life worth celebrating. And emulating. Maybe one day I too will find a cause that gives this life meaning. Till then. Mr Fawenhimi. I never met you but I salute you sir. Good Person. Great Loss. May your soul rest in peace. The bastards may have won the battle but they will not win the war.