Dearth of Reading

Hmmmmmm. Taking time out to write this. Just woke up this morning with the desire to write and put down my thoughts. It all came as a revelation, but yet it wasn’t a revelation, but a trip down memory to my childhood. This article is dedicated to my mother, NONE is like her. Yes, all children adore their mother but mine is special and unique. I adore her and see her as a mantra to inspire me.

Recently we had one of those rare mother-child outing, and passing a mini bookshop, my mum stopped and perused the books for sale; sighting Wala Ademoyega’s “ Why we Struck”, she became excited and purchased the book immediately. I on the other hand was fascinated by Chinua Achebe’s “There was a country”, which I also purchased immediately. Yeah, its no big deal, but then it didn’t occur to me what had happened, I was more concerned with dodging the expletives from mum, berating me and my brothers of destroying and losing all books she got for us when we were younger. But, now the bigger picture manifested before me.

My love for books, and that of my brothers was instilled in us by my mum. Growing up in Onitsha, Anambra State, my mum forced me and my brothers to read from quite an early age. Every week, she bought books and gave us all a week to read and summarize. I was introduced to titles such as ( Chike and the River, One week One Trouble, Eze goes to school, The Slave boy etc). We always had a new book to read every week. I recall when I was in primary four, and was reading Camara Laye’s “ African Child”, a book being read for WAEC during that period, a teacher saw me with the book and took me from staff room to staff room, telling teachers what I was reading. I felt that I had committed a big crime, until one of the teachers called me aside and told me to never stop reading books. I have never stopped that and today, am so happy.

child reading

They don’t make mothers like mine anymore these days. I witnessed this during my service year and I realized one thing about our society is this, we have allowed the tide sweep us aside, focusing on irrelevant things. Most kids these days spend their time either in front of the television or pinging. Gisting about that latest track, or video or artist, but you never hear them talk about books. The society doesn’t encourage them to read, but rather spend their time on things that affects negatively. You find out our kids can’t construct a simple sentence correctly, but can sing in tune with wizkid or kaycee.

ASUU have been claiming that our universities churn out half baked graduates, I laugh, because these graduates were churned out of a half baked primary and secondary institution, and expecting them to become the full product within the four or five years they spend in the walls of the university seems to be fool hardy. What happens to those years they spent in the primary and secondary institutions learning basically nothing? Never forming the habit of reading?

The reading culture is dead in Nigeria and we have allowed it. What remains is finding a solution before it becomes too late.



The past few months have

seen the polity of the country take a strange path, the likes of which has never been seen in the country (though it has to be said that it probably happened in the early 60’s, but nah I didn’t witness it). The merging of three political parties (ACN, APGA, CPC) to form a mega party (APC) has been one of the focal points, boosting our democracy in terms of a stronger opposition to the ruling party (PDP). Also the travails of the Rivers State governor, Rotimi Amaechi has provided another form of entertainment and awe for the masses.

Rotimi Amaechi

Rotimi Amaechi

Still reeling from these events, the country yet found another event to capture their attention, the “deportation of non-indigenes” from Lagos, which the particular tribe affected has designated as “no man’s land”. Of course this issue should have not attracted much attention (as we have witnessed various forms of deportations in the country) except for the trump card played by the affected tribe; Tribalism.

This word gives me the shivers as it cranks up pent-up emotions and anger within individuals, and if pushed further is a ticking time bomb, willing to implode and claim casualties. Thus, began the e-war , which intensified with the entrance of FFK who decided to make it out to be a case of who achieved what first, kinda reminds me of the games we played while in kindergarten and primary school. FFK authored an article that later on he would tender an apology. One would think that he shouldn’t have involved himself in the debacle, rather he would have afforded himself the designated (self) role of an elder-states man who should have tried to quell any tension, instead of fanning the embers of hate.

Enough about FFK, though more on him later. A few days ago, on the 31st of August,2013, the PDP held a special convention. Now that is no big deal, however what stole the headlines was the walking out of certain key persons in the party. These persons not only walked out, but created a new faction within the party. The persons are none other than, Atiku Abubakar, Olagunsoye Oyinlola,Abubakar Kawu Baraje,Dr Sam Jaja and seven serving governors; Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso of Kano, Muritala Nyako of Adama,Babangida Aliyu of Niger, Abdulfatah Ahmed of Kwara, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, Aliyu Wamakko of Sokoto, and Sule Lamido of Jigawa.

Atiku Abubakar

Atiku Abubakar

Olagunsoye Oyinlola

Olagunsoye Oyinlola

Already vital positions in the new faction have been filled with Baraje the Chairman, while Oyinlola is the Secretary. Interestingly this is not the first time such would happen, however as time goes on, we will know if this faction will grow stronger than they are now. Already, 22 senators and 57 house of reps members have declared for this faction.

Reading a lot of opinions both online and in magazines, it would seem like the PDP is done for and the ambition of GEJ to run for a second term has been blown to the winds. Not necessarily so, as the astute ones will tell you. This current event has the markings of a hubris, but for which faction I can’t say. The next maneuvers of GEJ in the coming weeks will make or mar his ambitions and portray him for who he truly is, a weak president as said by many, or the tough president many believe he is. In all our calculations for what the future holds for GEJ, a salient factor that holds sway for GEJ is the power of incumbency. This is GEJ’s best ally and I am sure he will capitalize on this. To counter such, the new faction have tendered four points for reconciliation, chief among which is that Jonathan drops his ambitions for a second term.

Interestingly, these governors are all in their second term, so why begrudge GEJ of this particular honor. Also, they have demanded that EFCC drops all investigations into governors affairs. I am forced to ask “what are these grown men smoking?” so, embezzling funds with impunity is what they really desire?  Or is it just a smoke screen to hide their true intent?

To avoid the mortal sin of jumping from one topic to another without concluding, I will tackle these issues, one after the other.


Muritala Nyako, Gov Adamawa State

Muritala Nyako, Gov Adamawa State

Funny name, same set of individuals, with same set of ideology (do they even have an ideology?), bereft of what it takes to move this country forward. Now, what went wrong where?

Carrying out research on the genesis of this infighting revealed that this is not the first time such an event would happen within the party,  however the previous times such happened, issues were resolved (metaphorically speaking; the rebellion was quashed), so I expect that this would soon be resolved.

A few weeks ago, just before the emergence of this new faction, rumour had it that these new faction had registered a new party, which they bluntly denied, however, what they have done is to choose the divide and conquer technique, which in this instance is to get their own way within the party. I salute their courage of course, for we are all humans and as such share diverse views even if our opinions run together in a parallel form.

                Therefore, these individuals came together, because they shared the same views (for now), that the party was being run in a dictatorial way (by Tukur)

Bamanga Tukur, PDP National Chairman

Bamanga Tukur, PDP National Chairman

and that the President was not keeping to his end of the bargain (an alleged agreement on GEJ serving just a single term).


Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

This is where it gets confusing. What exactly is Rotimi Amaechi doing in their midst?  I would prefer to describe him as a victim of circumstance, and aligning himself with his colleagues from the north, has spoken much for the level of politicking found in the country. His case seems like that of the goat who travels with a pack of wolves; eventually one thing or the other will happen, either he is turned on by the pack of wolves or they break up ways.

The United States external think tank, Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) has this to say about the new PDP faction “the new PDP highlights North-South Dichotomy, since most of its members are northerners and Muslims”. This assertion supports my view that Amaechi has unwittingly dug himself a trap by joining forces with the new faction. This does not bother on tribe or religion but rather, on the basis that Amaechi wishes to strike a deadly blow and thwart the machinations of the presidency towards his own ambitions. However as much as this step makes sense, one can’t help but ask “ Amaechi, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?”. For it is quite plain to see that there is a gulf between Amaechi and his cohorts, so time only will tell if this gulf widens or narrows. Meanwhile the opposition are circling round, happy about this crisis and seeking ways to deal the death blow to the PDP, interesting times we live in indeed.


Muhammadu Buhari



Asiwaju Bola Tinubu



Olusegun Obasanjo

The Ebora of Nigeria himself, the maestro whose masterstrokes over time has seen the country marvel also seems to have a stake in the ensuing drama, as according to reports, he masterminded the crisis, and “can’t have the hands of Esau and voice of Jacob” his yes man being Oyinlola, being the one to bring about peace. As at the time of writing this article, GEJ is said to have called the bluff of Baba, but won’t this become another case of “Jonathan? I dey Laugh……”

What I can comfortably say is that we live in interesting times and events as they unfold will have various outcomes, but who becomes victor or vanquished depends on the way the person dances to the samba beats that has taken over our polity.