Inspire Segment: An Interview with Helen and Churchill Kayode

Hello guys,

Here is an interview that will challenge you. Some questions Helen and Churchill answer extensively.
Here are some questions they answered.
1. Why is preparation important to overcoming challenges?
2. How important is money, passion to achieving  heart desires?
3. How easy is it for middle aged people to migrate any where in the West?
4. Why is intergration into British society important for immigrants from Nigeria and Africa?
5. Why must Africans get involved in volunteering work?
6. Giving back to Nigeria… how do you do this?
7. Can money buy happiness?
8.  What is the importance of not giving up?



We Support Our Troops

The tributes continue
From across the country
Hearts are moved to the place where
You took your last breath
We lay floral tributes to
Express the one way we choose
To remember you.
Each flower, an angel of light
A comfort to those who mourn.
These flowers express a little of the
 Colour, beauty and hope your life
Brought to all around
Even though these flowers  will wilt over time
You will never die
Your bravery, your memories
The courage of your final moments
Will forever remain etched in our collective memories
Another flower, a Salute to
A life well spent
Rest In Peace
A link to  make a donation to the Help for Heroes Charity. Its the One Way we can show how much we care. Do consider giving here:

Drummer Lee Rigby : Rest in Peace

I have spent most of yesterday talking about, analysing, dissecting and thinking about the most gruesome way this wonderful soldier died. He could have been my younger brother, a relative or a close friend. No one deserves to die that way. We salute the women who cuddled and prayed with  him in his final moments. He has gone on now to a better place.

The British men of Nigerian descent responsible for his death  surely have mental health issues. Otherwise why would you run a man down viciously and then whilst he is down, severely injured, you set upon him, decimating him.  In broad daylight. Why?

The boldness of this atrious evil has been most unsettling and disturbing. A lot of people have weighed in on social media talking about the radicalisation of these stupid men, not a lot has been said about Mr Drummer Lee Rigby. He was 25 years old. He died doing a job he loved, working for a country he believed in. He leaves behind a toddler and a wife.   We may never know why these two demonic men choose him to kill. All we know is that they will face the full force of the law. They will not go unpunished.

This has affected me and every body I know in many ways. For starters, as a Nigerian, it is just awlful to be associated like this.  Being Nigerian, its uncomfortable to be associated with these idiots.  As a Nigeran living in the UK,  we cannot just sit, talk about issues anymore, we need to  get involved in issues which concern us. Active citizenship is now a necessity.  We need to do more to intergrate  into this society. After all, we have chosen to make England our home.  We need to do more to prevent British born and  bred young men from getting radicalised. But can we?

Surely, those close to them would have known of their intentions, the question is why  were they silent? Why didnt anyone stop them actively from carrying out this senseless murder? They were known by security services, I read, but why didn’t anyone see this coming? Why?  But, it must be said that the majority of Nigerians are peace loving people. We dont kill people. Hmm?

These boys were radicalised here in the UK unfortunately. They lost it somewhere.  I feel sorry for their parents.  I hear that they were born and bred here, that they have never been to Nigeria. Would their lives had been different had they been brought up in Nigeria?

We must actively  examine why a minority find radical Islam attractive?  We must  begin to engage our youths. We must  find out what their disaffections are and why they may feel marginalised if they feel so. We must get them to talk. Look, these boys made a nasty choice decision to kill. For this, they will never be forgiven.

Can I just say that their crime cannot be justified?  There can be no sympathy or understanding of their cause. My point though moving forward, as  Africans/Nigerians, we must begin to look into how, why and where they got radicalised and then to prevent other disaffected youths from walking down that line. Are there questions of intergration we need to ask? Can we do more within our community to tackle child/ youth poverty and unemployment? Can we sell hope and a future to our youths?

I know London has its problems of black on black gang violence, I know there are issues with racial tension, I know life is not perfect, but please, as a community, I think we need to begin to talk to ourselves and our children about the dangers of isolated hatred. We can all do more to spot mental health issues  like this before it gets too late. This has affects you as it does me. We are all not safe with idiots who think they can kill like this.

I never met this soldier. I may never meet his family. My prayers are that God will give them the grace to come to terms with their loss. I pray that somehow God will guide them through the darkness of this moment.

We will get through this. I pray it never happens again.

Rest in Peace Mr Drummer Lee Rigby.

Tundun Adeyemo

Journey of the Maggie


The death and burial of stateswoman Margaret Thatcher remind Nigerian women that there is a gender deficit within our politics. Even though we have some level of participation nationally, Nigeria is still decades away from a female Presidency. Our politics perpetrates and recycles some thugs and money politicians thus making the playing field for newcomers without cash impossible.

Admittedly, it takes a certain amount of courage to get involved in politics. The preferable option is to cheer from the sidelines, taking the proverbial sword from the comfort of our iPads, BlackBerries, tablets, laptops and desktops. Many people choose this option because they have realised that Nigeria is about ‘what you can get’; love for country means nothing. Nigerian politics is a dirty and complicated game. If you cannot beat them, you are lubricated to join them.

The death and burial of Thatcher posits a greater question: What would we like to be remembered by? She was a controversial leader whose death has been celebrated and mourned. Her divisive policies remembered, her legacies retold bitterly, Thatcher would forever share the glory of being the first and only female prime minister, PM, and the PM to introduce the poll tax.

Cities in the North like Liverpool have Thatcher to blame for the dearth of jobs and the stagnation of their economies. She killed off bully trade unions and effectively closed the mining and coal industries. Her policies embraced privatisation that made the few super rich. She placed London at the centre of international trade and business transactions, and is credited for turning Britain into a service-orientated economy. Say what you like about Thatcher, she was the one who initiated the policy of allowing people to buy their council homes. But scenes of riots from the imposition of the poll tax and closure of mines, which devastated many communities, are what some people best remembered her for.

A woman amongst women, uncommon of her era, she was in 1979 the leader of the Conservative Party. She won the general elections three times, spending over 11 years in Downing Street. Tony Blair was very popular, but even he could not achieve that feat. He only served two terms, beleaguered by an overambitious Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown. Brown himself was defeated in the elections in 2011, primarily because he could not connect with the British people. His involvement with the Iraq war cost him at the polls. The people at the time were also angry that the Labour government even under Blair had gone into a war against Iraq on largely what we know now to be lies. Brown’s loss ushered in a reign of austerity with publicly educated David Cameron and his elitist Chancellor of Exchequer George Osborne. Crudely, they are implementing economic reform with no thought or consequence to the lives of ordinary British people. Considering the animosity in some quarters at Thatcher’s death, one wonders how posterity will remember Cameron and Osborne.

Nigeria could do with a leader or two who are conviction politicians: male or female. Looking at our history, some women have stood out admirably; perhaps, the most distinguished Nigerian woman is Mrs Funmilayo Ransome Kuti (1900–1978). She was a teacher, political campaigner and women’s rights activist. Her efforts at justice saw the abdication of the Alake of Egba land. She dared and fought the tribal and monarchical tyranny of her time. The Nigerian government is yet to apologise and make amends for the way in which Mrs Kuti came to her death. Mrs Kuti is immortalised for standing tall for women in those dark days.

Kudirat Abiola is another conviction politician we need to learn from. She was a political activist and wife of the late winner of the 1993 presidential elections, Bashorun MKO Abiola. Unfortunately, she paid with her life, the price of her conviction. She was assassinated by a single shot to the skull on a Lagos street in 1996. Her work lives on through a non-profit organisation established in her memory, Kudirat Initiative for Democracy, KIND, based in Lagos.

Beset by staggering corruption, social and economic inequalities and the imperfections of a nascent democracy, another woman has been recognised. Josephine Odumakin was honoured recently with the United States Secretary of State International Courage Award. Odumakin, a human rights activist, has handled over 2,000 cases of violations of women’s rights in the past 20 years. She was one of those behind the Occupy Nigeria movement last year and she is at the forefront of a relentless work to make the federal government more transparent and accountable to the Nigerian people. Dr. Odumakin’s advocacy led her to be arrested and detained 17 times during the dictatorship of General Ibrahim Babaginda. Odumakin is currently the executive director of the Institute of Human Rights and Democratic Studies; president of Women Arise for Change Initiative; chairman, Task Force of the Citizen Forum; spokesperson, Coalition of Civil Society Organisations; and president, Centre for Participatory Democracy.

There are hundreds of men and women working relentlessly behind the scenes in Nigeria to ensure that the majority feels the ‘dividends’ of democracy. Our country’s stability is threatened by the consideration of amnesty for Boko Haram and coming to terms with the resurgence of the factional group MEND. Whilst the President is planning a jamboree to celebrate the centenary amalgamation of Nigeria, some people are revisiting a document, which threatens to break the fragile unity Nigeria has. The document has called for a renegotiation of the amalgamation in 2014.

The remains of PM Margaret Thatcher have since been buried. In the minds of her children, grandchildren and those close to her, she would be missed, but England as a nation stands divided as it chooses the best way to remember one of its own. Nigeria’s leadership can rest assured that their actions or inactions will be celebrated or scorned at their demise in one way or the other.

Tundun Adeyemo
Published in

Much to Do to Empower Women.

I d like to describe myself as a ‘woman’s woman’. Yet, in many ways, I am yet to be an established voice for women’s issues in Nigeria, Africa and around the world. If you ask me, I would love to advocate and work on behalf of women full time. Yes! but thats a future I can work towards. This article has been read a whopping 3,000 times on  I am grateful for this and for readers who find an expression of theirs in my voice.

Here it is…

Hadley Freeman, a columnist with The Guardian UK, wrote that “famous women can sing about independence, as long as they are wearing next to nothing” as a critique of Beyonce Knowles (Mrs Carter) who had posed in her underwear for the American GQ magazine. Beyonce, a woman’s woman, is on record to have said, “You know, equality is a myth, and for some reason, everyone accepts the fact that women don’t make as much money as men do. I don’t understand that. Why do we have to take a backseat? I truly believe that women should be financially independent from their men. And let’s face it, money gives men the power to run the show. It gives men the power to define value. They define what’s sexy. And men define what’s feminine. It’s ridiculous.”

Beyonce’s super stardom and diversified wealth tell many women that they can have what they want if they work hard for it. Mrs Carter’s world and indeed that of many women in Nigeria and the whole world are miles, if not centuries, apart. Nigerian feminism is still shrouded in basic human rights: equal rights to education, access to water, access to facilities, access to the banking industry, viable reproductive healthcare and so on. Coupled with rights issues, our women suffer from child marriages, lack of access to reproductive facilities, widow/in-law wars, sex trafficking, domestic/child abuse, gender-related poverty amongst other issues.

Explaining feminism, we must look at our society and our problems as opposed to Western preoccupation with same-sex marriage and dysfunctional ethics. We must begin to question cultural strongholds, which prefer male children to female. We must make a strong case that our females are useful in more places than the bedroom and kitchen. We must tackle the discrimination faced by unmarried women and single mothers constructively and positively. A woman must be allowed to choose whether or not she marries. Marriage and childbirth must no longer be yardstick for measuring any woman’s success.

In Nigeria, the disconnect between feminism and cultural expectations have exacerbated the plight of women. Whilst some women believe in equal pay for same work, they are constrained, tragically, by the limiting preferences of their husbands, brothers and patriarchal family ties. Apart from this, there is also the disconnect associated with the subtle class system in Nigeria. Rich women tend to look beneath their noses at other women at different levels of life’s cycle. A madam (educated, rich and powerful) is not likely to share her knowledge and experience with subordinates at work nor with house helps at home. She may offer her wisdom once in a while, but it is not ingrained in her subconscious that her destiny is tied to that of all other women yet to be liberated.

The problem with advocating for female empowerment in Nigeria is simple. Those who advocate it lack a unified common experience. For instance, domestic empowerment puts poor women at a disadvantage. Resources that are vital to meeting domestic commitments are scarce. In the average home, some Nigerian women and their children are obligated to search for water, firewood or coal as a daily activity of survival. Richer women have no such experience and as such unable to understand what it means to forgo meals so your own children can feed.

Women empowerment, in a nutshell, is gender equality. It is simply a society in which men and women are treated equally in all respects. Whether or not this exists in Nigeria is debatable. A universal issue, every country has its own variant of gender inequalities. According to data provided by CARE, of the 1.3 billion people who live in absolute poverty around the globe, 70 per cent are women. For these women, poverty does not just mean scarcity and want. It means rights denied, opportunities curtailed and voices silenced. The United Nations millennium campaign aimed at halving world poverty by 2015 reports that women work two-thirds of the world’s working hours. The overwhelming majority of this labour is growing food, cooking, raising children, caring for the elderly, maintaining a house and hauling water.

Asian countries are guilty of gender-specific abortions. China has its long history. Across the world, women earn only 10 per cent of the world’s income. Where women work for money, they may be limited to a set of jobs deemed suitable for women – invariably low-pay, low-status positions. The fact that women own less than one per cent of the world’s property makes the case there more compelling that women in these cultures need to be empowered.

Women make up two-thirds of the estimated 876 million adults worldwide who cannot read or write. Girls make up 60 per cent of the 77 million children not attending primary school. Education is among the most important drivers of human development and if girls are denied, 60 million Nigerians are illiterate. Of this number, 60 per cent are women. Given these reasons, gender equality is serious business as the development of any nation is linked to the development of its females. For a nation to grow and develop, women need to be active stakeholders. Thankfully, Nigeria has a history of women in leadership. We have women in the federal cabinet, women as deputy governors, women as bank owners, pastors, property magnates; as a matter of fact, the richest woman in the world is a female Nigerian oil merchant.

In Africa, Asia and Europe, the emergence of female leaders highlights the fact that more can be done for women. Unfortunately, in spite of the many obstacles women face in Nigeria, we are not united politically. A decade into our democracy, we are yet to produce a female governor or president. Empowerment cannot come to women unless all women work together to see gender-related growth in politics. Peripheral age-old limitations and political affiliations have drowned the common voice of reason women leaders in Nigeria should have. There is a gap in leadership on gender empowerment. Banks and organisations are replacing that gap. Access Bank, for instance, supports initiatives which promote gender equality firstly by embracing the Women Empowerment Principles, WEPs. These are a set of principles for business, offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

For us as Nigerian women, we must choose to empower ourselves economically, educationally and politically. Modern day feminism is when we consciously liberate ourselves from shackles of limiting religious, social and cultural expectations. Nigerian political and business female leaders must work together, setting aside petty differences to achieve equality for all women.

Tundun Adeyemo

Still on Nigerian Christianity

It is safe to assert that the worship of God in Nigeria is similar to the age-old practice of Baal worship. A lot of what happens in our churches cannot be found in the New Testament from where church modelling is expected to originate.

Sermons from the pulpit are filled with condemnation including lists of dos and don’ts. Holiness is sold to us as a life without external adornments. Yet, amongst all religions, Christianity is about grace. Is it fair to suggest that God will lock out of heaven those of us who refuse to give up our trousers, anklets, bracelets and nose rings? Is this what Christianity has been reduced to?

These days, people leave church condemned while condemning others less fortunate than them. The message of love is lost and long forgotten. People are taught to judge those with different or alternate lifestyles. So, in Nigerian churches, teenagers, pregnant or with kids, single mums and widows are often ostracised. People leave church filled with the insatiable urge to acquire more. The consumerist messages from the pulpits have essentially killed the gospel of our Lord. Traditions have taken the place of genuine spirituality.

Prayer is a conversation with God. When we talk to God, in whatever way, it is prayer. We can talk to God (whatever our notions of Him be) in different ways. Some people are calm and collected, talking to God conversationally; some simply kneel and pray; many don’t even speak in tongues yet God moves mountains for them. Others talk to God like He is their boss at work: stiff and formal. That is their business.

What we find prevalent in churches is the call to shout loudly to God in prayer. In most Pentecostal churches, you are encouraged to open your mouth, stand up on your feet and cry loudly to God, telling Him what you need as if He does not know or He does not care. In some churches, they go as far as to inform you that you cannot sit and pray to God, you cannot whisper a prayer or two, you have to shout! So you find people running up and down the aisle, screaming, singing and doing all sorts of acrobatics just to get God’s attention in prayer.

Symptomatic of Baal worship, Christians in Nigerian churches often assume they are heard for their many words. Yet prayer is a relationship with your Father in heaven and any way you talk to Him is just fine. He does not need to be called seventy times; He does not need to be awoken by bells or the smattering of unknown tongues. He desires to have conversational relationships (bilateral) with his children as opposed to the one-way prayer channel we are encouraged to have. Next time you are asked to shout and pray, ask yourself, ‘is this really prayer or showmanship?’

Another problem with the African/Nigerian version of worship is the adulation of church leadership. These men/women of God have layers of bureaucracy surrounding them, making it virtually impossible to get near them. Apart from this, their handlers shroud them from even the people they are called to serve. It is common to find some pastors having security agents follow them around in churches and their fans gazing in adoration.

Church leaders are also placed steps above us when we call them endearingly: ‘Mama, Mummy, Mummy in the Lord, Bishop, Papa, Daddy, Overseer, Man of God, Prophet, etc. These titles over time acquire their own meaning but they generally put the pastor in question, heads and shoulders above the folks in his pastoral care. If only they knew that they are literally worshipped, perhaps they might ask simply to be called ‘bro’ and ‘sis’ rather than ‘Mummy/Daddy GO’ or ‘Bishop’.

We have venerated the words of these men and women who are just like you and me. Fortunately, anyone can achieve spiritualism or a state of enlightenment. Anyone fool who can read the Bible will hear God if he chooses to. The church has become lazy. No one wants to read his Bible anymore. The study of Biblical literature is often given to these men and women of God who relish in the ‘rhema’ of their own interpretations.

Sadly, you find folks who cannot do stuff without consulting their ‘papas’ and ‘mamas’, they cannot get married unless their pastor tells them it is ok; they cannot travel unless their Mummy GO or Daddy GO tells them God is with them, and so on. This aspect of our Christianity has its history in cultural history of Ifa/Baal/Sango worship. These Christians would deny ties with animism and Satan worship yet their practices bear similarities with the occult.

It is cultic when you need to consult a pastor before you travel, get married, take a promotion, and so on. Obviously, there is a time, and place for counselling and spiritual wisdom, but the way it is done in Nigeria is rather unsettling.

It has become very fashionable now in Nigeria for those who can afford it to have a man/woman of God at hand – and in their pockets – for life’s needs. Sadly, some pastors and priests live below the bread line. If from compassion, you want to give to them, fine. But, for a priest/pastor to ask for money in return for prayers is bizarre. Mental laziness on behalf of parishioners has perpetrated this practice. People must be taught to seek God for themselves and that there is no magic to prayer.

Another problem with the Nigerian Christian leadership is that some of these leaders actually believe themselves to be gods. They act as though they are actually some special breed. Calculatedly, their prayers evoke worse fears and leave spineless Christians in their captivity.

When Jesus was on earth, he never had the first seat, those were reserved for the Pharisees and the Sadducees. The only privilege he had was to ride on a donkey, that is if you call that a privilege. But, you find that the most successful of our religious leaders have jets, planes, fancy houses in cities across the world; own the best schools and universities in Nigeria.

Finally, with all the poverty in Nigeria, the Nigerian church would do well to embrace a gospel that encourages people to think for themselves. Liberation theology is what we need in Nigeria. How can these happen when our pastors themselves are stuck in the past? All they seem to want is bigger and better cars and houses! Most of them don’t read wide enough to be able to intelligently address Nigeria’s problems.
Yet, the time is now for Christian leadership to stand at the forefront against youth unemployment, corruption, child rape and the many evils in our society. The question to ask is, what would Jesus do if he visited any of the branded churches today? Would he join in their praise and worship, accepting all the vanity, or would he walk away saying, ‘Depart from me, you evil people; I don’t know you’?

Tundun Adeyemo
Published in

Between Their London and Our Lagos

London is a city of shops and shopkeepers. People come to London for different reasons. Many are economic migrants, others students, business and health visitors. London is known across the world for the stability of its legal system and financial institutions. London attracted 15.3 million visitors in 2011. In the same year, visitors spent £9.4 billion, which is a little more than half of the total amount international visitors spent in the whole of the United Kingdom, UK, in the same year.

Nigerians enjoy visiting London. If you have money to spend, England is one of the best places to get value for your money. The city never stops. Transport links are excellent except on Christmas Day when everything shuts down. A country filled with contradictions. The people love you if you have money to spend, but politically, the country is especially wary of people from outside the European Union. The exception of course is when you have some serious money to spend in their economy and you are not a liability in any way.

In terms of its diversity, London is an established multicultural city. According to the 2011 census, 44.9 per cent of London’s residents are White British. London is the only place in the UK in which White Britons comprise less than half of the total population. With a population of 8.2 million people, 300 languages, 50 non-indigenous communities, 37 per cent of London’s population were born outside the UK. The crowds seen on the busy Oxford Circus and in parts of the city belie the fact that many of these people could be living in a scruffy room somewhere. Shared accommodation is common in London as the city is an expensive place for singletons and immigrants without financial support. It is left to the imagination how awful living conditions can be in these single/double rooms across the nation’s capital.

As such, it is quite easy to get consumed by London life. The rat race is as predictable for most as is the certainty of the London buses and London Underground. Most Nigerians, who live in London, work, go to church or university then home. Spare time is spent visiting friends and sleeping rather than making time to see the wonderful sights and sounds of the city that never sleeps. Sadly, many people who live in London don’t often take time out to visit the London’s biggest attractions some of which include: EDF Energy London Eye, the London Dungeon, Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Aquarium, Madame Tussaud, the London River Cruise, the popular hop on and hop off London Bus tours, Buckingham Palace, London Zoo and so on. Even though tickets for these attractions are not cheap there are times when seeking amusement and entertainment, is simply beneficial to the soul. The equivalent of this in Nigeria is the love for aso-ebi, attending wedding ceremonies for the entertainment, community and food (especially the assorted meat). These days, people go to cinema or treat themselves to retail therapy in our malls.

London’s attractions draw crowds every day. When the writer visited EDF Energy London Eye and the Sea Life London Aquarium recently, the sights were in full swing, sadly the weather was bitterly cold too but this was no deterrent. Why do so many people spend so much to come out on a bitterly cold day to entertain themselves? Boredom and a sense of adventure are two realistic answers. The consortium, owners of EDF Energy London Eye, has a variety of combination tickets at varying discounted prices. A combination ticket for a family of four (two adults and two children) for either the London Eye, London Aquarium, London Dungeon, London River Cruise and Madame Tussaud could set you back at least £100. This does not include the cost of transport to the Central London location of Waterloo Station, which is only 10 minutes away from London Eye, souvenirs and buying food on the day out. It is quite likely that one would spend another hundred or so to enhance the amusement.

The EDF Energy London Eye ticket comes with a free 4D presentation of powerful sights that make the city special. The queue to collect tickets itself is about half an hour. Another 30/40 minutes was advertised as the wait time in the queue to the London Eye carriage. It turned out that the queue moves along nicely depending on the time of day. The queues generally get better after 4pm. For us, the wait was a little over 15 minutes.

According to the wiki, the London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel situated on the banks of the River Thames in London. The entire structure is 135 metres (443 feet) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 feet). It is the tallest Ferris wheel in Europe and the most popular paid tourist attraction in the UK, visited by over 3.5 million people annually. When erected in 1999, it was the tallest Ferris wheel in the world, until surpassed first by the 160m (520 feet) Star of Nanchang in 2006 and then the 165 m (541 feet) Singapore Flyer in 2008. The London Eye is described by its operators as the ‘world’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel’. The wheel has 32 sealed and air-conditioned passenger capsules and holds up to 25 people, who are free to walk around inside the capsule. The revolution takes about 30 minutes and whilst you are in it, you get to see some of the most panoramic, breath-taking views of London.

Incredibly, when we were getting off the wheel, it did not stop. Apparently, the wheel does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level. It is however stopped to allow disabled or elderly passengers to embark and disembark safely. The ride itself is a very calm and soothing one and the stress of queuing was certainly worth it. The London Eye allows you to see North, South, East and West of London. From the highest point of the wheel, you can see as far North as the Wembley Stadium Arc.

We also visited the London Sea Life Aquarium. This is actually next door to the London Eye. People were keen to observe seahorses, sharks and crocodiles amongst other creatures. It was extremely busy and the enjoyment was restricted because of the heavy human traffic.

If we had some of these attractions in Nigeria, the world might just be attracted to visit us in droves. Imagine what all that money could do for our economy. Amusement parks exist in Nigeria. There was the Apapa Amusement Park in Lagos. The Lagos State government in conjunction with private partners are currently refurbishing the park to its ‘former glory’. In its hey days, Trans Amusement Park in Ibadan was probably the greatest park in southern Nigeria. Infested now by rats and garbage from the nearby Bodija market, Trans Amusement Park wallows in grime and indignity. The situation of other amusement parks in Nigeria is uncertain. What is clear is that no city in Nigeria can, at present beat the city of London, which is the greatest for attractions and ways to spend your money.

Published on the 15th April 2013.
Tell Magazine

Baga and Bama: lawlessness in the Nigerian State

I am sat here wondering what my response to the genocide in Bama and Baga this past week when this came in from the people at  Nigeria Health Watch.

Several points come to mind:
1. Its been three days since  70 security agents ( over 55 police officers and 10 operatives of the Directorate of State Security) have been killed and burnt to cold ash by the ritualist community of Ombatse in Nassarawa State and not one arrest have been made.

2 It is unclear what the state government has done to fish out the perpetrators of this heinous crime other than talking to the wives of these operatives to stay calm.

3. Before Bama in Nasarawa State, there were serious human rights violations in Baga,  Bornu State. Here, under the guise of capturing Boko Haram terrorists, soldiers killed, maimed wounded and burnt down houses of inncent civillians. Here is how  Premium Times puts it:
‘About 200 civilians were feared killed during a battle between Nigerian security forces and Boko Haram insurgents in Baga, Borno State. While the Nigerian Army claims only six civilians died in the clash, as well as 30 terrorists, and one soldier, residents of the town said they buried 185 people days after the incident. The Human Rights Watch later released a satellite imagery report which showed that over 2,000 houses were burnt during the crisis contrary to the Nigerian military claims’. Check out there report here:

Here is the BBC’s take on it:

4. With incidents like these common place in Nigeria, how long before large scale anarchy descends?

What remains clear is that the Federal and State government have become powerless and ineffective at the dangers posed by Boko Haram and their response at quashing the insurgency. Have a listen to some part of the conversation on Channels Saturday morning (11th May).

Tundun Adeyemo

Asari Dokubo and Nigeria.

I cannot believe its been over three weeks since I last blogged. I have been busy with life, work and every thing else in between.

So how have you all been?

I want to start with this bizarre Press Conference by Alhaji Ansari Dokubo three days ago.
Several questions that need answers:
1. I would have thought that Nigerians were the ones to determine if they wanted another four years of GEJ.
2.How can he be so bold and brazen? Is he a paid agent or just determined to teach the Northerners a lesson?
3. Fire for fire, bullet for bullet, is this what our country has turned into. Regional warlords battling each other. What roles does Nigeria’s security apparatus have to play in calming Alhaji Ansari and millions unsettled by this? What are your feelings about this?

More later.