Posts Tagged Abuja

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It is quite a contrast when a couple of your loved ones have the grace to celebrate the blessing of new borns in their families right in a period when some two hundred girls have been missing for more than a fortnight.

Bad enough that 234 girls got kidnapped from school and most remain missing ever since, the girls were taken by Boko Haram but worst of all, the country seems powerless in bringing the girls back home alive.

Once upon a time, the Nigerian military used to be reverred as arguably the best foot soldiers in the world yet if the case now is about one military man allegedly giving testimony of his time at Borno and lobbying to not return there because the insurgents they went after are better equipped… which way then for the military and Nigeria?

It is even more worrisome that there could be moles in the military giving away their plans to the insurgents, a thought which has been alluded as a reason for the insurgents successfully ambushing our military men who come after them.

If such is the case in a highly sensitive situation, then it is well past the time to start pondering on what to do in the event that these insurgents decide to make their hobby of chaos a truly national dilemma; ‘truly’ because in the view of some, the absence of the insurgents’ violence in their parts of the country means it’s not really a concerning issue.

But when an explosion occurs in a crowded motor park too soon after the SSS office, right by Aso Villa, came under siege… less than three years after the explosion at the United Nations building, all in Abuja… the nation’s capital, clearly makes the current situation a national concern that must be dealt with.

Those incidents along with the others attributed to Boko Haram in the last three years surely makes one see the true nature of the issue we must deal with before it consumes us.

As at this moment however, it remains apparent that the President doesn’t see the matter as one not to take lightly and thus, questions the Commander-in-Chief title that comes with his office. Instead, a politicising of the problem seems the way this government is taking.

It is then left to we the citizens who ‘put’ him in that position to take sensible steps towards reuniting the girls with their families first, then putting competent people who will actually serve to make the system better afterwards.

That said, the cry for and hope that our missing girls get found and returned home safely as soon as possible is not just stemming from their kidnap alone but their kidnap is an unfortunate crux in a wide fiery complex threatening to unleash a chaos most of us have not experienced.

Bringing our girls back home would not only restore the happiness of hundreds of despairing parents but also begin to assure them (somewhat) and the rest of us in the country that we can feel safe again.

For now, it is a major worry that insurgents can resist and even defeat the nation’s military and one only hopes, for the sake of the new borns and young ones who have little or no idea of what is going on, that matters don’t descend into a state that can only be brought about from an abyss unimaginable.

It is well.

Note: The second Nyanya explosion happened about 30 minutes after this post was published.

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Random Yarns – Men with Eiffel Ambitions


Being driven through the streets of downtown Mainland in Lagos on a Sunday afternoon, passively taking in the view of… well, of four year olds getting bathed by the roadside and of the driver; of a bus I presumed was travelling to Abuja, ordering another shot of what certainly isn’t the content of your everyday bottle of Sprite.

*sigh*… ‘journey mercies’ quipped my mind as the car made a turn while I hoped the unassuming passengers of the bus weren’t sent to face the most High on account of one human’s urge to be in touch with another high.

I got startled from my random thoughts, though by my brother’s change of radio stations, as my attention was grasped – and his as well having stopped changing stations – by the voice that we now heard off the speakers, a voice I’d not heard in about a year.

Larry Izamoje’s door to true prominence opened when on October 1, 2002, his Brila FM officially began broadcasting from the top of the Eleganza Plaza at Victoria Island as the first ever sports radio station in Africa; a very laudable feat from a man barely off the 5-foot mark as regards his height.

Before founding Brila (a merge of his and his wife’s names; Bridget and Larry), Mr. Izamoje made use of quarter of an hour time-slots on existing radio stations to propel his pretty unique style of delivering his sportcasts to the listening audience. And when he earned the freedom to make use of his unique way of presentation at Brila, it wasn’t long before some others that joined the sports radio took to the style and hence, Brila’s in-house style of presenting was born.

On this fateful Sunday, the second occupant in the car that conveyed three; with me assuming position of the third occupant, questioned mine and my brother’s certainty that it was him (Izamoje) talking on the radio. We let it known to her (women!) that while others may have ‘expertised’; copied very well, his style of presenting, there was no mistaking the voice of Larry at that moment.

Later that Sunday, my brother and I went to the barber shop and while he didn’t necessarily need a haircut, I was overdue for one having then only had two haircuts in the year. Getting there, ‘Austino’ had become ‘Tino’s Cuts’ and boy, things sure had changed since I last was there.

Dude now had a 32-inch flat screen television showing the Mtv Base music channel off a DStv decoder in a more spacious set-up for his trade. Last time I was there, dude had a 14-inch television showing the Mtv Base channel off the Stv channel in a partition adjacent the entrance to the building the shop inhabited.

Certainly, uncle Austino, who stood at 5-feet and 7-inches or thereabout, had come a long way in his barbershop business and his sidekick; with whom I prefer to leave my hair at his blades’ mercy, hasn’t disappointed over the years.

My brother’s much used to the place, being a loyal Sunday Sunday customer but I only just got to appreciate the growth of uncle Austino’s business in the decade years it has been running.

Goes to show, at length, that one can excel on a path that is unoften treaded and not advised to be treaded in this country in order to be successful. Izamoje on his part has seen himself go to various locations in parts of Africa and Europe being the sports enthusiast he is.

Uncle Austino, well I wouldn’t know about his travel arrangements but he looks a man content with how life has gone for him so far; from the humble beginnings of fifty naira haircuts to four hundred naira per head. And after getting home, haircut and all, I truly hoped those passengers would get to their destination safe.

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