Thursday, August 9, 2012

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN THE OLYMPICS

Being in the Olympics is a thing of joy. After all, countries like Madagascar and the Vatican City did not even make it there. So, we thank God. We thank God even though we participated in just eight of the 26 sports.

This is how to participate in a great event like the Olympics.

There really is no need to do all the long term, back-breaking work that countries like the US and China do. Especially China. Those mean guys get their athletes and start drilling them from the time they are two-years-old until they become Olympic-medal-winning machines. That is evil and unfair to children who should enjoy their childhood. Our Child Rights Act forbids that kind of thing. God will look into the matter of the Chinese. We must never be like them. Or like the Americans who have sport programmes in schools across their country -- students are supposed to be reading and doing serious things. It is important to preserve our Universities and secondary schools as places of learning, and not encourage young people to excel in sports. We do not need to spend any money on sports.

As we have shown by example, the best time to start preparations for the Olympics is a few months before it begins. Find a good number of the team from athletes and professional sportsmen and women outside the country who have Nigerian names or at least one Nigerian parent. They need to come to the rescue of their nation. We know they will come. Yes, some will betray us and play for countries like Great Britain, USA, France, even the tiny Island of Fiji (God will judge those ones and truncate their hustle), but the majority will come. With all the financial, social and political crises in our country, we do not have the luxury of spending years developing local talent. Find Nigerian professionals wherever they are. In a cool game like basketball for example, why send a local basketball player from Ogbomosho (who will need to have his English translated on international television) when there are all those Nigerian-Americans with nice accents that we can use? Why?
For those who are already too old, especially for the football team, reduce their ages by half. By the next Olympics, the footballer who was 23 this year will already be too old to even kick a ball, but that is not what matters. What matters is that we find a team today for this Olympics.

As you quickly put a team together for the Olympics, you must, as Sports Minister, publicly express confidence that members of Team Nigeria will win medals. Call our hurried preparations impressive. Because it IS impressive. If anyone questions your miracle of rigging an Olympic team in such a short time, God will look into their matter and judge them appropriately.

Delay the release of funds allocated for the team. Make sure they get the money as late as possible because they really do not need the money to prepare. We all know how money spoils things in Nigeria.

As you prepare to travel, do the most important thing: urge Nigerians to pray for the success of Team Nigeria. Because, among 167 million praying Nigerians, there must be at least one righteous person whose prayers will soften the heart of the Nigerian god and make us win medals.

When you realise that no one is winning medals, quickly declare that your best achievement has been that, unlike in the past, nobody is quarrelling and nobody is fighting with anybody. Nigerians all deserve medals because the Sports Ministry is not fighting with the Nigerian Sports Commission or the Nigerian Olympic Committee. For this, we must give God all the glory.

As a member of Team Nigeria, you must not let anything stop you from having fun in London. Not even sadness due to your woeful performance. Indiscipline might sound like a bad word but, trust me, in Nigeria it has its uses. In this context, I can identify at least two uses. First, it enables you to do things like skip camp and go shopping and sightseeing -- who knows when next you will return to London? Second, it gives the Minister a perfect excuse for a terrible outing -- he can blame everything on your indiscipline. Indiscipline makes everybody happy. But please, whatever you do, don’t get lost in London like those Cameroonians. It is so clich├ęd, and the Nigerian god really finds it irritating that after blessing your sweat-free hustle with juicy estacodes you would go hide like a rat in a crowded city like London. For tips on how to get to London through other less-objectionable means like applying for asylum, see my article, How To Get Asylum.

Most important of all, learn nothing from the experience when you return. It is too early to start planning for the next Olympics, plus you will be really exhausted from all the shopping and distributing things your Nigerian friends gave you money to buy for them from London. You need rest. If anyone insults you for a shameful outing in London, God will handle their matter.

We wish you a safe return. May you be cured of any injuries you may have sustained at the Olympics, or those you will sustain while unpacking. And may God bless your hustle.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

INTERVIEW WITH CHIOMA CHUKA

So, I got a tweet from a friend, Chioma Chuka, New Media specialist, content producer, blogger and owner of the © Fairy GodSister and The Chronicles of The Fairy GodSister, saying she wanted an interview. She had interviewed me more than a year before after the post election crises in the North of Nigeria in April 2011. You can read it here.
You can find the second interview here.

Reading both interviews now, I realise why I like them so much. Chioma. No one makes me talk like she does. The question find the answers in my head. The kind of answers that doesn't make it embarrasing to re-read one's thoughts. It must be a gift. 

HOW TO SOLVE PROBLEMS IN NIGERIA


Nigeria is a great country with great hustling people. With every hustle comes challenges that must be surmounted. We have perfected the art of keeping our decaying house erect, albeit with the occasional smoke and stench coming out the windows. We are problem solvers. This article is a general guide for new Nigerians, foreigners who have just moved in to Nigeria, Nigerians who have just moved back from foreign lands, and idealistic Nigerians who live abroad.

Ask God for help. Now, it doesn’t matter if you are religious or if you have one of those new religions not recognised by our law. We have one general god -- the Nigerian god -- to whom all solutions are outsourced. Ask for his help in choosing leaders; in changing leaders; in wanting PHCN to provide electricity for that match because your generator is bad; in wanting fuel tanker drivers not to go on strike; in wanting roads; in wanting bombs to stop; in wanting corruption to stop; and in wanting to keep our country one. This is the first necessary, sometimes most important, step.

Create a committee. Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government are of no use in solving problems. Once a specific problem has been identified -- for example, the presence of too many people selling boiled maize and groundnuts on the streets -- create a specific committee to tackle this issue. In the case of this example, the committee would have two sub committees, one for boiled maize, and the other for boiled groundnuts. Then when that committee is done, create a committee to implement the report of the first committee.

Create multiple solutions. So, if as a government official you have a problem with your public image, in spite of having a department of Media and Publicity, create a new department to handle the problem. Call it Public Image Affairs department or something like that. The more agencies attack a problem, the better. Never try to fix the inefficiency of an agency of public institution. Always create a new body. So, if the crime division of the Nigerian Police Force is inefficient, understaffed, underfunded, unskilled, and corrupt, do not fund, train or discipline them. Create a fresh body, like the ICPC or EFCC. There is nothing like fresh ideas in trying to solve a problem.

When you have a big problem like terrorism, especially when our dear President confirms that some of the terrorists are in the Police, you must look for solutions outside our diligent Police Force. Think of something smart. Like one brand new Police Force for each financially dependent state. No, we will not scrap the Federal one. They will exist side by side. Think of how many people’s hustles will be blessed when you embark on this project. New uniforms, new jobs, new cars with sirens, new guns. A new militia for every governor blessed with constitutional immunity. I mean, governors won’t need to have side armies and gangs funded in the dark anymore. Think of it this way; when indigenes fill up the new State Police, terrorism, bombing, corruption, and kidnapping will vanish. Don’t ask what will happen when indigenes and non-indigenes fight and the State Police is called to keep the peace. God will not let that happen. Never mind that there are wicked people who will come up with arguments like states already having problems paying civil servants, and governors already having state legislators in their pockets. In fact, I overheard some evil guy suggest that some governors might fill up their state police with people from their tribe or religion, thereby creating complications and mistrust in cases of communal, religious or ethnic clashes. God will judge that guy. He doesn’t understand that to solve the problem of an inefficient Police Force, you need 36 others. He doesn’t understand the power of numbers.

When a problem won’t go away or is too big, divert it or postpone it. This reduces the pressure of the problem. So, for example, if you have a problem of poverty, which results in slums and shanty towns, instead of wasting time and energy on things like resettlement, development, low-cost housing or creating jobs, do something effective, like demolition. Clear out the slums and let the poor people who want to give our country a bad name find somewhere else to call a slum. Demolition is also very effective if your predecessors in government have turned a blind eye and allowed people to build in unapproved areas. Demolition covers a multitude of sins.

When there are problems and you are in government, you must never allow anything to stop you from travelling out of the country. Travelling is very important because it gives you time to breathe, shop, and learn from other countries.

But if you really want to solve problems effectively in Nigeria, you have to outsource them. There are things that the Nigerian god prefers not to handle. Not that he cannot handle them, but you see, he is clean and doesn’t like to dance in murky waters. For example, if you need to convict or arrest powerful people who have brazenly committed crimes, outsource it to a nice foreign country. I mean, the British used us as a colony to get resources, why can’t we use them to get justice? Tit for tat. Anyone who doesn’t like it should go choke on cassava bread. All good people know that justice for Nigerians is Nigerian justice, whether made in London or Johannesburg.

God bless your hustle and make it problem-free.