Saturday, April 25, 2015


You have done well. Fought gallantly in the dense, dangerous, unpredictable forest that is Nigerian politics. You have grappled with wild animals trying to take you down, been bitten by poisonous snakes within your camp betraying your cause, and tried to cut through the thick vegetation of prejudice, sentiments and bias. And although you gave it your best, your party lost the elections. It is painful, especially if the winners gloat when you are down. But you are only down. Not out. This is how to make sure you do not recede into political oblivion or worse, ignominy. 

Especially as outgoing president, you need to deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with defeat. You do not want to be driving through the streets seeing your  smile and campaign pose in all the billboards around town. Your campaign billboard that says Vote For Me, standing after you have lost, is like a man who, upon being turned down by a woman goes to camp outside her house, even when he can see that she has chosen and married another man. You are not that desperate. Order the removal of all your campaign billboards and posters. Not just for your peace of mind. For the people. Your love for the people will not allow you to subject them to the perpetual guilt that comes from constantly staring at the face they rejected at the polls. Many people will look at your face and regret the fact that they either didn't go out to vote or voted for the other, lesser candidate. Who knows what that guilt can lead to. You do not want to be the cause of depression and suicides. Also, because you love the country so much, you do not want the incoming government to bear the cost of taking down your awesome billboards. They will all ultimately regret the mistake of not electing you but in due time, your absence in their lives will make their hearts grow fond of you. 

However, this magnanimity does not extend to the idiots from your own camp who contributed to your downfall. Animals. Those ones must be dealt with. Sack the ones you can sack and ask those who took money from you without delivering to return the money. No need to be ashamed of this. The Hausa people say, “jin kunyan mara kunya asara ne". Meaning, feeling shame in dealing with a shameless person is a waste [of time]. 

As a presidential aide whose principal has lost power, life can be tough. You have spent years insulting the evil enemies of your boss. You have called some people children of Satan and likened your boss to Jesus. Because let’s face it, some people need to be identified as children of the devil.  You have confirmed time and time again that indeed God was personally involved in the campaigns and your boss was surely going to win and shame all his detractors. But somehow, it didn't quite happen the way God had prophesied to you and your boss lost the elections. God works in mysterious ways.

Do not let your heart be troubled. Although it is hard for an aide to get a similar position in a new government after all those insults, all hope is not lost. Use the new freedom you have to better yourself. Go to Harvard and do one of those short courses they design for people who can and want to pay lots of money for a paper with Harvard written on it. Write a book about all the good things you did while you were in government while exposing all the bad people. When you return to the country in one or two years, Nigerians will have forgotten how strongly they felt about you and you will just be an ex-presidential aide. Organise a book launch and invite all the people you used to know in government and let them all donate to offset the cost of printing 1,000 copies of the book in Dubai or China or India. If you are lucky you may even make a huge profit. 

If you are in the big league and somehow a lot of money went through your hands while you were in government as a Minister of head of some parastatal, and your party is no longer in power, someone in the new government may accuse you of theft. That is what victory sometimes does to small people. It makes them see everyone as a thief. But you are not a thief. God knows and your supporters know. However, to prevent anyone soiling your name, quickly hold meetings with the new people and try to reach a deal. Let me be clear here. The fact that you are trying to make a deal to return some money in no way implies that you are guilty of any crime. It is like a marriage. Sometimes you concede or apologise in an argument with your spouse not because you agree or were wrong but because you want peace in the home. Being at peace is better than being right. You want peace in Nigeria. So if the need arises, return vast sums from your personal savings. The idea is to prevent a situation where, one day while you relax in your mansion, having champagne and watching the new season of Game of Thrones, some rude EFCC people will be sent to harass you. You know the worst part about those EFCC people? They do not take their shoes off when they enter your house to arrest you. I mean, do your arrest, but show some respect for the rug. 

If you did not contest elections at all, it may just be easier to look for an opportune time to decamp from your party to the new ruling party. People may scream, but you know that Nigerian political parties are like restaurants. Sometimes, the restaurant you always eat at may suddenly stop getting the snails you love eating and you may have to try another restaurant. Someday when the first restaurant resumes selling snails you can go back there. No one will judge you for changing restaurants just like no one should judge you for changing political parties. 

It is my hope that after your political sabbatical, you return energised and ready to  reclaim your spot in the limelight again. God bless your hustle. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015


An Act to prohibit any form of stinginess by persons shamelessly invading the houses of their neighbours with the smell of delicious fried plantain to the detriment of good neighborliness and peace in Nigeria.

1.       A person who fries plantain shall be mandated to share the said plantain with all those who by olfaction have come in contact with the delicious smell of the said fried plantain.

2.       A person commits the offence of Malicious Frying of Plantain (hereinafter referred to as MFP) if –
(a)    S/He blatantly and rudely undertakes the frying of delicious smelling plantain in a kitchen or in an open space and finishes such frying without sharing the fried plantain with neighbors who have been visited with hardship by enduring the smell of the said fried plantain
(b)   S/He employs a cook, or otherwise commissions a third party to do the acts described in 2 (a) above.

3.       A person commits the offence of Aggravated MFP if
(a)    S/He blatantly and rudely undertakes the frying of delicious smelling of plantain with no intention to share the said plantain with a person who witnesses such frying or is in the same house at the time the frying is being done.
(b)   S/He employs a cook or otherwise commissions a third party to do the acts described in 3 (a) above

4.       It shall not be a defence to MFP or Aggravated MFP that the victim is a family member or a spouse.

5.       A person commits the offence of conspiracy to commit MFP if they witness the acts described in section 2 of this Act without promptly performing a citizen’s arrest or reporting same to the authorities.

6.       A person commits the offence of conspiracy to commit Aggravated MFP if they witness the acts described in section 3 of this Act without promptly performing a citizen’s arrest or reporting same to the authorities.

7.       Where a person is charged with an offence under this Act, they shall undergo psychiatric evaluation as well as therapy to discover the root cause of such wickedness.

8.       A person who commits an offence under this Act shall be liable upon conviction to 14 years imprisonment where they shall learn the virtues of good neighborliness and plantain sharing.

9.       A person who is a victim of an offence under this Act shall be entitled to therapy to heal them from the hurt that results from MFP and Aggravated MFP, during which period they will be served generous portions of delicious fried plantain. The cost of this therapy will be borne by the person convicted of the offence under this Act.


An Act to reduce air and sound pollution, to provide for punishment for stupid neighbors with loud generators and other matters related thereto.

1. Notwithstanding decades of irresponsible leadership and sabotage which has situated most parts of Nigeria in perpetual darkness, and notwithstanding the rights of citizens to seek alternatives for power supply, no citizen shall irritate or abuse his or her neighbors with the sound of his generator.

2.  It shall be an offence to cause sound pollution with the use of noisy generators.
a.  Seeing as air pollution is pollution of air, water pollution, pollution of water, the correct term for infractions covered by this Act shall be “sound pollution” and not “noise pollution” which is a nonsensical term. The only other term allowed for pollution of this kind will be aural pollution.
b.  Persons who use the term noise pollution shall be liable to frog jumps for using a term that makes no sense.

3. It shall count as a defence to culpability if the perpetrator of sound pollution via loud generators allows his neighbors to tap from his electricity.

4. It shall NOT be an offence to pour water, salt or other damaging substances into the fuel tank of an offending loud generator belonging to one’s neighbor.

5. Persons who cause sound pollution with their loud generators shall not bring an action for damages or bring a criminal report to the Police in the event that a neighbor who as a result of being irritated by sound pollution, destroys the engine of a generator by secretly or openly pouring water or salt in the fuel tank of an offending generator.

6.  Persons who cause sound or aural pollution with their generators shall be liable upon conviction to a term of imprisonment equal to the length of time they have cause sound pollution with their generators.

7.   Heat is not a defence to the offence of sound pollution.

8.   A crucial football match shall be a partial defence to sound pollution, capable of becoming a full defence ONLY if such person invites his neighbors in to watch the game together. The presence of cold drinks at this event shall be an added advantage.

9.  Anyone who causes sound pollution at any time past 10pm at night or before 7am in the morning commits the offence of aggravated sound pollution and shall be liable upon conviction to forfeiture of the offending generator and wearing rumpled clothes to work and other functions for a period not less than one month.

10. Silent generators and large generators shared by whole compounds, estates or complexes are exempt from this Act.

Saturday, April 18, 2015


An Act to promote generosity by persons able to purchase Orbit chewing gum and decide to carry same about, prevent greedy ingrates from shamelessly pulling out multiple pieces of Orbit when offered the pack to take gum from and to provide for punishment for chewing gum greed and matters related thereto.

1.   Interpretation
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires-
      Orbit means Orbit chewing gum in a pack of twenty, Orbit in a blister pack or any other type of imported chewing gum.

2.   The offence of Orbit Greed
(1)  A person commits the offence of Orbit Greed if
(a)  He or she, upon being the beneficiary of the generosity of an Orbit owner, decides to greedily take out more than one piece of gum from the pack
(b)  He or she asks for Orbit chewing gum again after already being the beneficiary of the generosity of an Orbit owner who has hitherto on the same day offered him/her Orbit chewing gum.
(2)  A person who commits the offence of Orbit Greed shall be liable upon conviction to public flogging for one hour every day for three weeks.

3.   The offence of Aggravated Orbit Greed
(1)  A person commits the offence of Aggravated Orbit Greed when he or she commits Orbit Greed more than once in the space of the same 24 hour period with the same person.
(2)  A person who commits the offence of Aggravated Orbit Greed shall be liable upon conviction to public flogging for three hours every day for three weeks.

4.   The offence of Serial Orbit Greed
(1)  A person commits the offence of Serial Orbit Greed when he or she commits Orbit Greed more than once in the space of the same 24 hour period with different persons.
(2)  A person who commits the offence of Serial Orbit Greed shall be liable upon conviction to public flogging for three hours every day for three weeks in three different communities around where the offence was committed.

5.   Attempt to commit Orbit Greed

(1)  A person who attempts Orbit Greed commits a felony and is liable upon conviction to daily frog jumps on a highway of the courts choice, for 7 days.


South Africa has been in the news all week following what has been described as xenophobic attacks on mostly African migrants, triggered by a speech made by Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini, who said foreigners “should pack their belongings and go.”

King Goodwill is a learner. It is not a big deal to say nasty things about other people. We all do. It is a big deal when you do not know where to say those nasty things. Look at Oba Akiolu. He understands Nigerians. He knows that he can say nasty things to Igbo people and nothing will happen. He knows that he can say nasty things to Igbo people while endorsing a candidate and that candidate will still win elections. That is why he was bold enough to be captured on video talking about lagoon-bound opponents. In Hausa they say: “Wani ya yi rawa ya samu tafi, wani ya yi rawa ya samu mari.” Meaning: while one person may dance and get an applause, another may dance and get a slap instead. King Goodwill needs to learn Hausa. Then he would have known that South Africa is not Nigeria where hate speech begets applause and even wins elections. He would have known that in his country, foreigners, instead of being poorer than residents and begging for food and favours like sensible, grateful foreigners do, have decided to have shops of their own. You do not come to a person’s house and sit on a stool higher than the householder. It reminds me of the rumour of a certain ex-governor in north central Nigeria who allowed his commissioners sit on the floor around him, for fear they may be higher than him while sitting. The said ex-governor also allegedly had an unspoken rule that cabinet members never dress as nicely as him. 

But you know, I understand those South Africans who are trying to expel foreigners from their country. To start with they have certain exemplary qualities. They are great listeners. They listen to their king intently. They also know how to take initiative. The king only said that foreigners should pack their bags and leave. He did not mention how they would leave, whether by boat or air or fleeing machetes and fire. But they listened to King Goodwill and decided to take matters into their own hands and chase presumptuous foreigners away. They follow by example. The South African government has recently created stiff immigration rules that have made it hard for many people who were previously legal migrants and students and workers to continue living in the country legally or have their families join them. They are finishing what the South African government has started.

If just ten percent of the Nigerian population were as diligent in their followership as those South Africans, Buhari would not have to do very much to rid Nigeria of corruption and indiscipline. Because let’s face it, Nigeria’s problem is not its leaders alone. It is the persons who beat traffic lights, who pay for their kids to pass exams, who demand bribes to give people employment, who fill up public establishments with people from their ethnic group, who discriminate against people from other religions, who refuse to follow queues, who have no respect for privacy or personal space, and those who greedily pull out four pieces of Orbit chewing gum when you offer them the pack instead of just showing some self respect and taking only one. Especially that last group of people. Nasty human beings. They will be one of the problems of the Buhari administration. They deserve to go to jail. 

On behalf of all those foreigners who do not know their place in South African society I want to formally apologise to the good subjects of the Zulu warrior King Goodwill. I know how annoying those foreigners can be. I apologise for them wanting to get a better life. I apologise for them having the audacity to own shops and want to make money off South Africans who really, by virtue of their special position in this continent should be getting things for free. I apologise for the worst among them, the disgraceful  foreigners who try to steal South African women. Horrible people. 

Just to be clear, I am not one of them. If I ever apply for a South African visa in the future, I promise to pay my repatriation fee, not try to work or find love, and leave as quickly as I finish whatever took me there. In fact, I promise that if a South African woman does so much as come near me or offer me a compliment, I will spring up and say in a loud, unmistakably aggressive tone: “Get thee behind me”. And walk away very quickly. Because I have respect. Because I care. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015


I like to make the best of every situation, good or bad. Life is too short for negativity. A lot has happened this week that has highlighted ethnic tensions around the country. The Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, self acclaimed owner of Lagos, even went as far as saying that any Igbo person who voted for the opposition party in the state was going to perish in the lagoon within seven days. A lot of people were filled with outrage and there was no shortage of condemnation. I have had time to think about it all and I think that the Oba actually did a good thing with his diatribe. Wisdom sometimes means seeing the good in a terrible situation. Let me list a few ways the Obas speech was a good thing.

The word “Igbo” trended for a while on Twitter the day the audio and video of the Oba’s statement got to the internet. I was excited about this. Before the Oba spoke, I could not have a conversation using that word that did not somehow end up in people arguing whether the name of the ethnic group is “Igbo” or “Ibo". There seemed to be some unanimity associated with the condemnation of the Oba, that the ethnic group is rightly spelt “Igbo”. We have the Oba to thank for this. What if the Oba was sensible and refused to take sides in politics? Hundreds of thousands of people would have been spelling it “Ibo". The proactive nature of the Oba has contributed positively to Nigeria. God bless the Oba for letting his mouth run. 

We now know who the real owner of Lagos is. If you travel to Lagos or speak to people who live in Lagos, you no doubt have heard different ethnic groups claim ownership of Lagos. Some Yorubas would claim that Lagos is Yoruba land. Again some non-Yorubas would say, like Orji Uzo Kalu allegedly said, that Lagos is no man’s land. Me, I don't like to put my mouth in people’s quarrel so I cannot say if Lagos should belong to any ethnic group. All I know is that I now know whose name to call when I am asked, who owns Lagos. The Oba of Lagos did not mince words when he said: “for the time being, I am the owner of Lagos.” I don't know about tomorrow but for the time being, the quarrel of who owns Lagos has been settled. We thank the Oba for being bold enough to come forward and settling this quarrel. For the time being. 

We now know that someone is bigger than Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is very important. I was beginning to think that in my lifetime no one would challenge his power and hold on politics. In fact the Financial Times calls Tinubu Nigeria’s Machiavelli. The Hausa say, “gaba da gabanta”. There is no one so big that he doesn't have someone bigger than him. The Oba made it clear that “even Asiwaju cannot disobey” him. Now we know that if the APC leader gets too powerful there is someone he cannot disobey. Instead of criticise him we should befriend him for when will need him in the future. Because who will call Tinubu to order when he starts misbehaving?

It has boosted the Nigerian economy in the most unusual way. I am sure that before the Oba threatened to arrange for death by lagoon drowning for anyone who voted his “blood relation” Jimi Agbaje, people who sold life jackets had slow, sleepy days at the office. Suddenly, by way of protesting the Obas words, dozens of people purchased life jackets. Imagine what this has done to the life jacket market. Now those who sell them will have more sales which will lead to more profits, which will increase their purchasing power, which will in turn inject needed funds into the Nigerian economy. Just by one speech. The Oba should be put on a retainer. 

More people will learn how to swim. Think of it this way. You may not immediately see it, but if there were Igbos in Lagos who had been procrastinating about taking swimming lessons or letting their children learn how to swim, this will encourage them to take it more seriously. More Igbos learning how to swim. More people who teach swimming getting work. Economy getting better. More children, especially Igbo children becoming good swimmers at an early age. And importantly, possible international medals for the country in swimming. They say black people can't swim. The Oba is changing all that. Revolutionary if you ask me.

Most people did not realise that the two candidates were related to the Oba of Lagos. One is his chosen boy, the other is his blood relation. People might listen to this and realise that in the end, whatever the outcome, they will all sit in the Obas palace settle this like family members over cold drinks. This will make people less violent about their support and lead to peaceful elections. If you look at it this way, the Oba was actually advocating peaceful elections. 

I think that instead of screaming about dragging him to the International Criminal Court, we should be nominating Oba Akiolu for the Nobel Peace Prize. He deserves it.

Saturday, April 4, 2015


I do not know how to feel about this. President Goodluck Jonathan is being suggested for the Mo Ibrahim prize for achievement in African leadership, for his singular act of placing a phone call to General Buhari. Knowing how many times I have tried to call President Jonathan, Mo Ibrahim should think of a concession prize. A Mo Ibrahim prize for perseverance, for those whose many phone calls go unanswered. But that is not what this article is about. It is not about me. Because I was raised well, I will rejoice with the president when he wins the 5 million dollar cash prize. However, I think that he must share that money with a few people who all contributed to this almost-award-winning phone call. Permit me to explain why, how and with whom this money must be shared.

1. General Buhari
The first person who should receive a part of Goodluck’s 5 million is General Buhari. For picking up the phone. It would not have been a phone call if the other party did not participate. Buhari could have been in the loo, or had his phone on silent when Jonathan called. Buhari could have lost his voice due to wild celebration. Imagine that. Say Goodluck called and Buhari’s voice was half gone, and Goodluck couldn't hear what he was saying. That could have been construed as aggression and Goodluck might have changed his mind about conceding and activated his people to subvert the entire process. Imagine if like David Umar of Niger State who refused to pick all seven of Governor Babangida Aliyu’s congratulatory phone calls, Buhari did not pick when Goodluck Jonathan called. Buhari must get at least one million for taking that call and for speaking clearly. 

2. Power Holding Company or Nigeria(PHCN)/ Chinese manufacturers of mobile power banks/ Importers of generators
Imagine there was no electricity leading up to the elections. You can say, well, we could have used generators. So, imagine there were no generators. And imagine that even if there were no generators, Chinese people had not flooded this country with mobile power banks for charging handheld devices. There would have been no phone call and Buhari might have gotten angry on one side and Goodluck angry on the other and who knows, we might have been at war now. PHCN, the Chinese, and importers of generators need at least 200,000 dollars each. 

3. Telecoms providers
Now, imagine everything was right: Buhari had his voice, had his ringer on and phone charged, there were generators and power banks just in case, and there was electricity. Then imagine that in spite of all of this, the telecoms provider that Jonathan or Buhari was using went off. No network. And imagine that the telecoms provider gave that wrong message of a phone being switched off or being out of network coverage. Especially that “out of network coverage” one. Jonathan might have thought that Buhari had fled the country or was maybe in Libya or something. It would have made Goodluck declare a state of emergency or give an ill-advised speech about Buhari running away and how this implied defeat. Then Buhari would have done his own speech and, boom! We would have been at war. Whatever telecoms provider Goodluck and Buhari use, they each deserve like 500,000 of Mo Ibrahim’s dollars. 

4. The person who gave Buhari’s phone number to Goodluck Jonathan
Imagine if he or she had gotten the number wrong and Goodluck called the wrong person. Imagine if, by coincidence, the person Goodluck called was a northern sounding person, who could have been construed to be Buhari, and the man said, “This is not General Buhari.”  Or worse, if the man just started speaking Hausa, unable to understand what Goodluck was saying. Goodluck would have panicked and thought that already, before even being sworn in, Buhari had already begun trying to northernize the country. Goodluck would have thought that perhaps if Buhari was sworn in, he would change our lingua franca to Hausa and force all Nigerians to use it or be flogged or jailed. And this would have made him call in the service chiefs and declare a state of emergency. That would in turn have triggered violence across the country. CNN would have had a great time reporting from yet another conflict zone, emphasizing that as predicted, Nigeria was incapable of transferring power between civilians and had descended into chaos. Their reporters would have unpacked their helmets and blue bullet proof vests with “PRESS” written in white. CNN would have been hailed for their great reporting of the mayhem and killings and perhaps even gotten awards for brave journalism. We must thank the person who gave Buhari’s phone number to Goodluck Jonathan for getting that 11-digit number right and give him at least 500,000 dollars. Because a lot can go wrong in 11 digits. 

I hope that Jonathan can wisely invest the remaining 1.9 million dollars that will remain after this distribution. A lot of good can be done with 1.9 million dollars.