Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

By Prince Charles Dickson

I love Nigeria, I sincerely do because I possibly have no choice, I could love America, England, Poland, or even neighboring Ghana, become a Nigerian-Arabian or Israeli born Nigerian it makes no difference because we are Nigerians, we are who we are…very special in our own way.

So, I love Nigeria, the land where everything, anything, all things are possible, it depends only from where you stand and what you can benefit.

From Lagos, our own New York, to Abuja, the expensive London with Beverly Hills homes only for the rich and mighty to Ekiti, our own cowboy Texas…We have own Chicago styled Police, then we have so many Bronx sites where you could get anything from fake passport to late Abacha or Abiola’s signature.

Nigeria…God’s own country in black Africa, how many times have I been told that even God is Nigerian especially when we have goofed and expect a miracle, or when we are loosing a soccer match.

In the last two years we have demonstrated why we are Nigerians; with the APC administration it has been more of the same. While it could have been worse, it’s not any better.

So, did Hammed Ali wear that uniform, can anyone be kind enough to tell us how that whole drama played out, how much the did the actor and boss interregnum add to building the nation. All that noise about a million-dollar car imported by Mr. We-We of Them-Them Association.

Several months have passed and we have forgotten the Magu of EFCC versus We-no-go-gree club of the National Association, the hush and push, and the take one take two, all which has been relegated to the bin.

Which reminds me of the dudes at ICPC, where are they ‘sef’, looks like they have been overshadowed by the action of the boss acts, the dramatist and shenanigans at the EFCC and DSS, while the Code Of Conduct Bureau has provided us with non-ending epilogues.

The budget padding ended as a paddy-paddy arrangement, it was one of the many noises that its echoes are reminiscent of what the current administration is; ECHOES!

For believers/unbelievers, the actors and boss in Boko Haram continually to be technically wiped out but its last breath is dangerous, and we are divided over the technical fall of Sambisa, and the Chibok episodes.

We have been treated to the movie Coordinating Minister in the past, and now part two is out and already selling as Coordinating Acting President.

The National Assembly is never one to be left in the lurch, it has in its fold actors like “shaking like this and shaking like that”, and boss like Dinostica, and those that specializes in chasing babes in the US.

The Wikes, Fayoses, Fans Kayodes, Jewish-Nigerians and Arab-Nigerians like Nnamdi Kanu, Dr. Junaid, Ango Abdullahi continue to make sure that we are not short on Baba Salas of the Awada kerekere to lighten us with their tragic comedy.

We cannot hold anyone liable; we remain expectant, with expectations as high as believing that heaven in Nigeria is not far away. Some of the promises now denied even sounding like the ability to bring back our fore fathers to life.

The actors and the boss constitute less than 3% of the population but they are the tiny tin gods we have them situated everywhere, they have been exchanging carrots at our collective expense because they know us, we are Nigerians.

They know most of us only want a measure of salt, rice, few yards of cotton materials with their heads on the fabrics. They know us, they know we cannot do without them, some of them feel without their heads, or mischievous smile on papers no one would buy the morning newspapers. They know we feel humbled when they tell us they care.

They know we are gullible, we love life and cannot resist their Isi Ewu and bottle of Gulder politics in the East, neither can we go far from the amala and obe ewedu welled laced with assorted beef in Ibadan, and for us up, the more Tuwo Shinkafa the more we nod positively to their lies. They tell us that it is about us, and getting there, they have forgotten us.

It is only in Nigeria that while it was not raining, they offered their umbrellas and when the rain comes, they collected it back, they brought brooms and the house now is even dirtier. Do we know them, I doubt very much, although sadly when events are weighed vis a vis the past it is obvious that we know them, we just refuse to accept the truth.

We cannot say we do not know that all these drama is just for a piece of the cake of relevance, and rehabilitation.

They know how docile we are, and how we cherish the little luxuries of life pinched to us rather than taking our right in whole. They know that our so-called activists will betray us. They simply know way too much, so they manipulate us, make us worship them and make us glorify their stupidity.

They know that we do not know, and even when we know we keep silent, so the maze continues, we keep going the vicious circle and still keep searching for what we did not loose. We do not know that we are part of the entire puzzle, we do not know why. So they owe us no explanation when they move from party to party because they will always have followership…it is poverty of the mind not just the pocket.

We do not know our collective worth, we do not see our strength, they know so they exploit our weaknesses and always they win, like they are almost doing again.

For how long, is there change in the horizon; is there anything to hold on to, are we going to be knowledgeable at least this once to change the course of our destiny? The actors and the boss…The politics of Nigeria, the politics of depravation, a bitter politics run by a bunch so easily confused…the future is bright and ours for the taking but then do we know or we are again leaving it to them—Only time will tell.


By Prince Charles Dickson Ph.D.

Over the week my friend Ohonusi Samuel shared the story for which forms my admonition for this week…he tells a narrative about his friend…I have made a few additions

My CEO friend, runs a successful Nigerian mining concern, operates a quarry in a remote part of Ogun State, Nigeria. He had taken me there in the early phases of the prospecting and investment analysis. The site was motorable up to a point. Along the way, we saw primary schools that had been established by the late visionary, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, way back… Give it to him, Awolowo did try for his people! (In those days they all tried for their people, whether it was Ahmadu Bello, or Azikwe…the question still remain till date where did we get it wrong, or maybe we were never right…but I recall very well then we ate rice only during Christmas, an special occasions)

We parked his SUV up to the motorable limits and waded through thick tropical brushes, bamboo forests and rough slopes to the project site. We were dressed for the occasion.

I took time to give you this detail because you cannot describe my disbelief to get there to find a Chinese Company operating a massive quarry in that extrasolar environment! They worked and sweated 24/7. There were heaps of finished stones waiting evacuation to customer sites. The Chinese, by design, have abnormal testosterone levels!

As we made it back to the bustling city of Lagos, we stopped by a ‘mamaput’ restaurant close to the massive Redeemed Camp, a religious camping facility stretching several kilometers length and breadth. Nothing yet invented by man compares to a hot-pounded yam with egusi soup decorated with assorted ‘obstacles,’ after a bush trip.

In between swallows, I said to my colleague, “I still haven’t gotten over the shock of seeing the Chinese in those god-forsaken bushes!”

That was when he blurted out a marble-worthy quote I won’t forget in my entrepreneurial lifetime.

1329857892kids over a rare bowl of rice.

Said he, “While the Chinese and Lebanese are in our bushes picking millions of dollars every day, fellow Nigerians are in religious camps shouting, ‘Oluwa dide, Oluwa gbo!’” Meaning: God arise…

And I wondered which “god” are we talking about, is it the god on the Plateau that we keep fighting for and on behalf while the same stones are moved out of the Wase axis of the state by the same Chinese.

We are nation where the government has to explain the rational of giving or not giving of concessions to persons going to pray to “their gods” and citizenry are bothered that if it was done for faith A, then why the noise of faith B.

This is the country of plenty parties, the sweet life, loud music, order in disorder, we cry at the about of dollars that is expended on getting us rice to eat, like that is the only staple or cheapest food…alas the truth remains that while wealth abounds all around us, we are either Boko-ing ourselves or avenging some haram done to the Niger Delta Region.

Things where better when we ate rice with those eye-popping beef on Sallah, it was the era when Christians could not wait for the Eid to come because we would see the Ram-fights, and partake of the ‘kaza’ (meat). They were the good times, no one thought or was afraid of Islamization. I dare remind us, that then China was a pariah nation.

We suddenly started killing ourselves, we got it all messed up, or maybe we never even got it right, the years rolled by, and Nigeria, the nation where the problem wasn’t the money but how to spend it, could not even produce a light bulb, was importing pencils and pens with which her leaders stole them dry in all sort of manners.

It was the days of Nigerian Airways, the good old Nigerian Railways that owed salaries only compared to it’s equally old Daily Times, then we ate rice only once in a while but what happened, the Chinese came and if they were not repairing or building new railroads for us, they were now bringing made by prisoners in China ‘adire’ (Yoruba Fabric) for us.

We even started teaching Chinese in some of our schools, everyone was and is leaving Nigeria and we are still shouting Allahu Akbar and asking God to arise and let His enemies to scatter when indeed we are our enemies, we are the same people denying ourselves greatness by both our actions and inaction.

We have taken religion to a new nauseating high, while we are people bent on self-destruct, and ever increasing hate ratio. We are only united by our mutual desire for rice, and ‘god’, but divided on who wants to work for it, who should be work, whether we should be working.

We still are dependent on everyone but ourselves for everything and most things, the sad reality is we remain the goldmine; we remain the great potential that could have been great. We remain unsure what we want whether regionalism, restructuring, we do not know whether state and religion are one and the same of differently the same, when stealing is not corruption, padding is neither, we keep soldiering on, praying with the same lips we lie with, until we know that there is no food for lazy man and resort to working out the true Nigerian spirit, will prayers with work achieve anything—Only time will tell

Let us pray for Nigeria

Posted: March 30, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

Buhari: I like coke

Opposition: Buhari declares war on Pepsi

And soon afterwards we chorus let us pray for Nigeria

So, on this particular day last week, the baby in my house who is just 9 years was taking the lead in prayers. As he prayed he got to the point…”we pray for the President Buhari, we ask God help him to do this, to do that…sincerely I cannot say that I was listening to every prayer request he was making of God on behalf Buhari.

For me, I wondered if God was even listening to our prayers as a nation. Reflecting on my son’s innocence I wondered how many Nigerians really pray for Buhari and what the prayers would be.

So, what prayers are we praying for Nigeria, when you remember Kachukwu and his flippancy on when we would get fuel, and if we would get it…when many recall that they spent the Easter holidays at the gas station?

Are we going to sincerely pray for the 27 state governors that cannot pay salaries, really what prayers does one say, when you work for a government that insults our collective intelligence by making assurances that January salaries will be paid at the last week of March?

Nigerians are so religious and really we are just a jolly-happy-go people. No matter the way they treat us my namesake Charles Ike-Okoh captures it this way “we no get wahala. Even if light no dey we dey smile. Even if petrol no dey we dey laugh. Even if government people chop all our money, God dey. Even if naira turn 500 to dollar, baakwomi. So long as life dey we get hope say one day e go better. We go go church thank Hod for the one we thief or share from the politicians. God deyEven if Kachikwu tell us sharap we go sharap. Even hungry, fuel starved, light denied Nigerians still dey tell me happy Easter. How?! How the Easter take happy? Abegii!!!”

The Easter and everything Nigerian is happy because we pray, so when we drive on pot-hole ridden and coffin open roads, we pray that accidents are not our portion. I know several ministers that have stopped wearing belts tell us to pray and tighten our belts.

So let me pray, I pray for those who are excited at Mr. Buhari’s speech to his party’s NEC, I pray for those that are celebrating Tinubu’s strong counsel to Kachikwu on the fuel crisis, I love equally pray for Nigerians that have busied themselves on the RUMOR of the Governor who slapped his deputy and deputy return one hot slap back. I pray for those busy deceiving Nigerians on loot recovery and the dramatics. I pray for Amaechi and Wike for they are alive and that poor Corp member died. I pray for us as we feign ignorance at the Agatu killings…I pray for Nigerians as we mark two years of the Chibok schoolgirls abduction: for those who believe that it happened and those that say it’s politics. For us all my prayers are may it never be your portion the consequences of these prayers…

I ask are Nigerians praying that our schools will get back to the standard of the days of yore, or we are praying that dollars would come down for school tuition for our kids in Ghana. Are we praying that our hospitals will work again, or we are hopeful that the budget will translate to money in circulation so that we can resume our medical tourism.

So, I am in thoughts what kind of prayers would we pray for Fayose, if #I standwithBuhari, what should I pray for Aregbesola, with my salaries no where to be found. Do I pray my ancestors to deal with Fashola, as the megawatts continue to drop, or will thunder fire Jonathan and his crew who got us here, and hailstones hammer Buhari and his apologists for a lack of direction?

Tell me a minister that has not been paid his February salaries and I will pray for him, show me a governor who in the last month has bought fuel from a queue and I will pray for that governor. Including the common sense senator show me a legislator who is experiencing difficulty paying tuition for his/her ward and indeed I will not only pray but fast for such lawmaker.

Fridays and Sundays we cause a traffic in heaven bound movement by our prayers both Muslims and Christians but our actions are repulsive as a people the next day as we seek to outsmart each other, as government keeps lying to us, while we lie to ourselves.

Well, I will end this way…I pray that our leaders’ children are abducted, I pray that our leaders those that stole, and those currently stealing will suffer a form of hardship. Citizens that are bent on exploiting fellow citizens, you will be exploited in multiple measure. Each time you close your eyes or bow to pray whether to God or Allah…ask him to measure the same prayers you have prayed out, back to you.

While the efficacy of these prayers remains debatable. One unavoidable fact remains, no matter how much prayers we offer, good or bad, curses or blessings. We must know that prayers did not create a United Arab Emirates or Singapore, even with persons like Apkors aka Donald Trump in the United States, it is not by prayers but by the concerted and well drawn out purposeful leadership of great men and women that these countries are envied.

Are we ready to build systems and structures that can work, are we ready to run a nation founded on equity, justice, freedom, with both fiscal and structural federalism or we want to remain situated in federal character, quota system, blaming Messrs. Jonathan and Buhari, blaming each other and praying for miracles–only time will tell

By Prince Charles Dickson

“And, since they are theater people, they are all talking. All of them. Simultaneously. They do not need to be heard; they only need to be speaking.”

― John Green, Will Grayson, Will Grayson

And so my friend tells me that he cannot recall when last he bought fuel at the regulated price, nor at the gas station. His cousin says he cannot recall the last time he had six hours of electricity. The youngest wife of the clan adds that if the situation was just forces of government ineptitude, it would have been better: But nature through a very hot weather won’t allow anyone sleep well.

So, what happened to the power generator, with a wry smile, my colleague asks: “when there is no fuel to run the car, how do we run the generator”?

We equally are in the clime that inflation has hit double digits, and every imaginable item has hit the roof in terms of costs, including packaged water. The wailers are wailing, and the defense attorneys for government has continued to defend.

And last week, one group told us that Nigerians are no longer happy people, due to reasons X, Y, and Z. The news was received with two templates, first the wailers who said, we knew it, and the praisers: who said all these is to get at the President, and his change government.

While I ruminated on project Nigeriana, a friend strolled into my thoughts, “don’t worry Oga Charles, everything will be fine soon, you know it is not easy to build, unlike when we want to destroy, a task which is far easier.” As he explained he pointed at a building to drive home his point.

All that came to my mind was only some five years ago, a Jonathanian was pontificating on how the Otuekean was building what had been destroyed and it would take several years to build. And nine months on the road I am hear the same sermon again.

So as I simply nodded, and my briefly glanced at my phone, I saw a Broadcast message asking that I pray for some Nollywood diva called Ibinabo Fiberisima, that was the second one I was receiving, I had some weeks ago received a “copied whatsapp message” alleged signed by her son asking for understanding and all that…

My mind wondered, this case must have followed a trajectory, why did they allow it to get to this point before asking for prayers.

The truth remains that as a people we are religious, we don’t joke with our Fridays, and Sundays. We don’t joke with our “juju” either. We love music, we are intelligent and yes, we excel in many a thing we put our hands to do as a people.

We are resilient, while people talk about the American dream, we as Nigerians are not dreamers, we are simply lucky, to the point we have often than not got leaders by sheer luck than preparation.

Amongst us are the ethnic jingoist and nepotic parapoist, we have those that do not see beyond faith, creed and clan. We divided on many fronts, united in soccer and corruption. However we are equally a dramatic nation, one full of drama, with so much suspense.

One hell of a telemundo if you ask me, if one section is not disturbing us how Oloye Bukola Saraki the Senate President is about to circumvent the course of justice in his CCT trial, El-Rufia is not only carry his Dane gun looking for Sani Shehu but equally about to Islamize or kill religious freedom in Kaduna.

Then did you hear that the whole of Osun state got in allocation just a fraction of the millions one Onitsha businessman has in his account, and that simply means salaries wouldn’t be paid again.

I do not know these days, when Mr. Buhari is in the country or out, but so did Obasanjo and his shuttle diplomacy. Anyway, it is all drama, to important issues, how about the missing budget, will it be signed this month or the drama would continue.

We are forgetting gradually all the noise about increase in tariffs for electricity, the same way we will forget the CBN employment of children of the nouveau riche and the Ese Oru and Yinusa thing is fading into other scenes and acts are overtaking the episodes.

And I do not know if we have agreed to devalue or revalue or if we have simply accepted that the dollar is bigger than us. Maybe all that was one big drama too, like the Dasuki arms-gate is gradually fading and becoming a only court day news, to the point that in recent weeks, it is no longer even making front page news anymore.

As a nation everything about us, seems to be gradually turning out to be like the drama queen in reverse as we not only now habitually responds to situations in a melodramatic way, but we are also melodramatic about serious issues. I sincerely believe that we are not ready for project Nigeria, we do not really have a template as to where we want to be, how we want to and when we want to get there, and are we showing signs or we are still dramatizing—Only time will tell



By Prince Charles Dickson

“The idea of the change mantra the way we see it should be to free the country from the clutches of a few that are manipulating the system, which of course has brought the country to its knee. The pains we bear today are needless if the people in authority are serious and wish to do something positive about it.” Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama President, The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC)

The truth is that there is a global oil glut. I know and recall that the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) had issued a warning that fuel might become very scarce, due to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s (NNPC) inability to import enough petrol into the country.

Another fact is that the dollar has flexed its muscles, so fluctuations in the foreign exchange market have discouraged more marketers from continuing with petrol importation. Therefore the NNPC has become the biggest importer of petrol into the country as a result of her special access to the country’s dwindling foreign exchange reserves and can arrange for swapping the country’s crude oil for processed petrol.

Another sad fact is that as a nation we did trade by barter with “we oyel” in a “give us petrol-we give una crude” deal, but that arrangement has hit plenty mosquitoes.

So, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, whom Nigerians believe speaks Mr. Buhari’s mind, as senior Minister said rather than trade by barter, we do something he called Direct-Sale–Direct-Purchase (DSDP) arrangement. The new DSDP arrangement would save the government over $1 billion, he said, and it was adopted to entrench transparency into the crude oil-for-product transaction by the corporation in line with global best practices. However all just seems like the noise of the irritating mosquito.

Painfully for a fact we all are living witness that we have yet another fuel scarcity due to a decline in the product’s supply. Not just because Nigeria, one of the biggest producers of oil in the world, does not produce its own petrol, but also because we are all emotional people who believed a theory called “body language” just as we believed we were in for “fresh breath”.

So, let us examine more truths, and permit me to put it in a “Did you know format”.

Did you know that if a mosquito has bitten you, it was a female? Male mosquitoes make do just fine with plants, but females need a blood meal before they can lay eggs…If you knew this fact, it means you are aware that none of our Ministers stay on the queue to get fuel, they do not even know how the fuel comes, the most they do is provide money if need be, their convoys are fuel-ever-ready.

Did you know that a mosquito could drink up to three times its weight in blood? Don’t worry, though. It would take about 1.2 million bites to drain all the blood from your body. And Female mosquitoes can lay up to 300 eggs at a time. Usually, the eggs are deposited in clusters – called rafts – on the surface of stagnant water, or they are laid in areas that flood regularly. If you knew these, you must have realized that the hardship the fuel bites gives Nigerians translates to high food prices, increased transport cost and in the end, more than 300 forms of hardship.

Tell us something; the hardship that the fuel scarcity has left in our nation is akin to that you feel when a mosquito’s wings beat 300-600 times per second. The reason that irritating buzzing sound you hear just before a mosquito lands on you and bites.

And do you know what Lai Mohammed says about the hardship…”the economic situation in the country has gone completely out of the control of government as the global economic meltdown is having a negative spiral effect on it.”

He explained that this was so because Nigeria cannot determine the price of crude or gas. (Like we have ever really determined the price)

Berating critics of the administration as mischief-makers, he said Mr. Buhari’s frequent trips abroad, especially to the oil-producing nations, became imperative because of the urgent need to rally support for the stability of the global oil prices and also to attract Foreign Direct Investment FDI into the country.

Finally what has made the current situation in the land unbearable is one that hangs on the shoulder of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, the charge-de-affair of electricity abi power.

I would only remind Mr. Raji that he told Nigerians in 2014 that; “A serious government will fix the power problem in six months.” Like Raji, like Lai, like Nnaji Barth, like Labaran Maku. What all these dudes reminds one is that the age old fact of government being a continuum is very true in Nigeria when it involves the negative and giving excuses, they are often than not same difference. In ’99 while campaigning Mr. Obasanjo had said in his unpolished nature and Hausa “ba wuta, ba ruwa, ba mai” meaning “no electricity, no water, no petrol”

And on this note, I end saying: Dear Buhari, again there is no fuel and there is no electricity in Nigeria, so much goodwill brought you to power, the change mantra came like fresh breath code, and the change is towing the fresh breath trajectory. Don’t be deceived by the praise-singers, and don’t be discouraged by the naysayers and wailers. However you have a job to do, and for now Mr. President you have not done it, and whether you will do it—Only time will tell




By Prince Charles Dickson

For the uninitiated and those that prefer to remain old school in terms of food; Quickly let me explain, finger foods are popularly referred to as small chops.

They are appetizers served mostly at parties and special events. They are basically the classic Nigerian snacks made into bite sizes. Back in the day, these were limited to Battered Fish, Mini Sausage Rolls, Snails, Peppered Gizzards, Barbecued Goat Meats (Asun), Puff Puffs and the like.

But these days, some imported world recipes have joined the Nigerian Small Chops family. At first read, I am sure you must be in thought…is this a culinary column or some essay on how to prepare “small chops”

Well this is the thrust of my admonition this week; I am on one long track of official assignments that will see me crisscross a couple of African capitals and then Obamaland. And while en route I busied myself reflecting on several small chops and the wahala in Nigeria.

I do not need remind us that when the appetizer is bad, one looses appetite completely, in many cases a bad small chop makes for plenty wahala with the small house inside the big house, so let me quickly share with us the following “small chops”

Battered Fish and Arik Airlines

So, for those that do not know, the Jos Airport still functions, but operators have come and gone, from Aero to Arik, name them. However the Arik guys have kept faith, they fly the route once everyday, but sadly they hardly ever fly it on time. Most times a 3:10 flight would leave at about 4:30 and the day the Lord deserts one, it would leave at 5-6pm, and God help you that you have are connecting to another flight which is not Arik–This small chops will purge you!

However nothing prepared my mind for the terrible thing that was about to happen on the fateful day, after my tickets were bought via their e-ticket platform. The boarding pass was completely written in pen as in handwritten in “BIRO”. Maybe I should add blue biro, although the lady writing was pretty, it did not remove the fact that small chops look beautiful but can also be a source of pain.

How did we get to such level of inefficiency or ineptitude, what kind of joke was this. First Arik staffer said, “na so we see am, we don complain” he even added “maybe na dollar”. I don’t take such slip kindly so I even asked a member of the crew, is it this bad…her answer “maybe their printer is bad”.

Well the flight may have been okay but where are the authorities, those responsible to seeing that every aspect of flying is taken serious–Well I simply shrugged, why bother, thank God that you did not disembark from the pane in Lagos via a “LADDER”.

Peppered Gizzards, Abba Moro, and US

While on my sojourn I hear that the former Internal Minister, and best men to one time Senate President was quizzed, and arraigned for the Immigration jobs scam, where a few paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Let me state, many may won’t to disagree, I dare say it was one of the factors that led to Jonathan loosing the General elections last year. Sadly a source told me that they simply bought houses with proceeds of the money.

Now this is the koko of the small chops, those in authority (and here I mean, immigration, the minister, consultants, government and related agencies) knew that they had barely 2-5 thousand applicants to pick; yet they sold forms in excess of a million.

Abba Moro and their likes should have a long lease in Kikiri if found culpable. However in a double speak, what did Abba do wrong, when currently the Nigerian Airforce, Navy, and others are doing the same…dishing out applications in 5 and 6 zeros figure when all they require is a handful.

It’s unfortunate that a nation rather than get a working social security system, exploits its unemployed via an established small chops racketeering structure, simply put there is big wahala, in cracking down on established corruption.

Puff Puffs, NASS, DISCO, plenty wahala

So I equally was intimated on the order of the National Assembly ordering the Distribution Companies to revert to status quo on electricity tariffs. Our legislators can be clownish, to imagine there are lawyers amongst them…first there is nowhere they have all that ordering right. All these shakara do not cut it!

The DISCO coys are simply crooks, several years ago I stated that a lot needs to be done in our electricity sector, not all these change of name, and sales of assets to friends and cronies.

Because the government is not really interested, they don’t understand that it is practically impossible for a man who earns and N18k salary to commit N10k to paying for unavailable electricity.

Finally all na dollars

Even garri sellers are blaming the dollars for rise in price. And emergency patriots are preaching #buynigeria #madeinnigeria and all sorts of ad hoc sloganeering. Well good news is that the price is coming down, and as the economic gurus, financial wizkids and witches continue to debate devaluation, revaluation of the Naira.

The dollar is not our currency, so next time anyone tells you na dollar, tell the person to shut up! We need to find a way out, and we need to cure Nigeria, before we can think Nigeria. This once big giant of Africa is no longer sleeping, it is only pretending to be big, and also pretending to asleep, for how long—Only time will tell.

Why We Voted Buhari

Posted: February 18, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

In the book “A Little Bit of Everything For Dummies” Chapter 7 talks about Leadership, I would use the introduction copiously to drive home this admonition.

Leadership begins with the willingness to accept responsibility. But to what end? Does responsibility mean, for example, that you have to involve yourself in the personal lives of the people you’re leading? Do you have to be all things to your group, wearing all the hats at all times? Accepting and dealing with responsibility are so fundamental to leadership…

The central responsibility of a leader is to provide the climate necessary for creating growth and success. You can do many things as a leader, but ultimately, if your group’s mission isn’t successful and you don’t manage to grow something–whether it’s the skill and knowledge in a group of kids you’re mentoring or the profits of a major enterprise–then you have failed in your most basic responsibilities as a leader.

Defining the central responsibility is simple. But for your group to be a success and to accomplish growth of some sort, you’ll have to do a lot of other things along the way.

So whether it was rigged, whether the chess-playing generals of yore (remember that picture of ‘the men” in uniform playing draft), or the West did not want Jonathan is all subject to conjectures. Whether he failed as president, was clueless or a buffoon like some Nigerian writing for “oyinbo” paper called him is not the matter.

The fact, which cannot be subjected to opinion, is that, Jonathan called Mr. Buhari, congratulated him and today we are in the hemisphere of change. Before we came to this junction let me refresh our minds in a most cruel manner, and forgive me, as this is not on intent.

We voted Buhari because he was seen as a symbol of moral rectitude, he was/is “mai gaskiya” the anti-corruption czar. Christians and Muslims voted him, above-and-under age voted him, both real and ghost voters with and without card readers agreed it was time up for Jona-Jona.

We voted him ‘cause we were tired of the “fresh air” or was it “fresh breath”. We voted Mr. Buhari, because some persons who now had many shoes were bent on leaving majority of us without legs. We equally to an extent had lost empathy for the umbrella, and anything that it represented was treated like an outcast. We all voted Buhari, and anyone whose head shared poster with him…He was simply the poster boy for the word “change”.

We voted him because we were promised an end to Boko Haram (in how many hours or days, many cared less). We voted because we believed that at long last social security in the color of N5K was on the road to our banks whether we work or not.

Many of us voted, ’cause we saw a new Nigeria on the horizon, and trust me, I am no pessimist, and I still see a new Nigeria. However it is at this junction I need veer off the road. While the current administration met a falling nation, met enormous problems, a collapsing construct. Mr. President needs to understand, he was not elected to come tell us the problem or who caused it, but to solve it.

Nigerians want miracles, to say that Nigerians should exercise patience, would be like telling the Lion not to devour you because you are a vegetarian. To say that Nigerians should accept that we are going somewhere because some thieving big boys who simply have grown white beards are being tried on the media is not enough.

To spend precious energy TSA-ing, and aggregating emoticons on how Jonathan is under probe, Obasanjo is in the middle of a probe, or Chief of Witchcraft is above probe belabors the truth that this administration is yet to sincerely take off.

And though it remains a debate, and would be aggregately an exercise in futility to say how successful Jonathan, Obasanjo, or Yar’adua (who could not wait to get enough stick as Nigerian President) was. We all almost agree that after they leave the office almost all Nigerian President suddenly have something they know which their predecessor did not know…in reverse they all know the problem and possible solutions until we give them power.

And this is because many times, our leaders when it comes to responsibility, they strongly underestimate the enormous nature of the task they embark on. While Jonathan blamed those around him, and spoke only in Church, Mr. Buhari blames Jonathan, and everyone, but himself, and then speaks only abroad.

Our leaders need to start taking some responsibilities. We voted Mr. Buhari to bring about change, beyond partisan affiliations, we need to see change, real change…not the handover to a veepee while going on a five-day vacation. We need to see that kids of high worth public officials are finally attending good public schools; we want to pay for consumed electricity. We want to see Wike allowing Amaechi to work on our trains, airports, and roads.

Nigerians need go to sleep knowing that the Aso Rock clinic is not getting more money than Teaching Hospitals, we all, at the end of the current drama need to see the names being paraded around as corrupt in jail after a due judicial process (not that I mind them being thrown to Jupiter to be burnt)

Four years is not a lot of time, like the voice of that dude in “Who wants to be a Millionaire”, Mr. Buhari’s time does not start now, it’s has already started. Nigerians are not smiling, many cannot pay school fees, even my friend that wants to get married complained that the dollar is on the rise, and to think of it, he is from the village, and marrying a villager (wetin concern dollar). However the truth is that there is disconnect…one, which the mechanics at the change workshop need to start fixing.

I love my country; I would criticize its leaders including Mr. Buhari, so that they can do well, I shall not engage in some needless praise, or sycophancy. I am neither a Buharist, nor Jonathanian: I am a Nigerian and in my criticisms, and admonition, all I crave is a better Nigeria, not a messiah, because there are none, so we either continue making excuses again like we did for Jonathan or get Mr. Buhari to really start working, our choice—Only time will tell.

By Prince Charles Dickson

This week, I would be dwelling on the topic of corruption in Nigeria in my treaty. Very quickly let me state that I am one of those that believe that the problem in Nigeria is not necessarily corruption. I equally am of the opinion that Nigeria and Nigerians are not anywhere near the most corrupt in either the world, Africa or West Africa.

I also believe that while Dasukigate and all other gates are issues, there are several issues beneath our corruption malaise. And I would crave our indulgence in following me, but first let me tell us the two following narratives.

The first is one that I read about a private investigator in the United States who would knock on the door, show his badge to whoever answered, and say, “I guess we don’t have to tell you why we are here.” Many times, the person would look stunned and say, “How did you find out?” then go on to describe an undiscovered criminal act committed long ago.

Writing in the Smithsonian magazine, Ron Rosenbaum described the reaction as “an opening for the primal force of conscience, the telltale heart’s internal monologue.”

Gandhi in Watkins Masters of Wisdom narrated the second episode I will share with us…”There is an incident that occurred at the examination during my first year at high school and which is worth recording. Mr. Giles, the educational inspector, had common a visit of inspection. He had set us five words to write as a spelling exercise. One of the words was “Kettle”. I had misspelt it. The teacher had tried to prompt me with the point of his boot, but I would not be prompted. It was beyond me to see that he wanted me to copy the spelling from my neighbor’s slate, for I had thought the teacher was there to supervise us against copying.”

The result was that all the boys, except myself, were found to have spelt every word correctly. Only I had been stupid. The teacher tried later to bring this stupidity home to me, but without effect. I never could learn the art of “copying”.

We all know things about ourselves that no else knows, so it’s not okay if we defend Dasuki, or debate on the rule of law, or contend that the issue is Amaechi equally being corrupt, or if Fashola helped himself to the cookie in the Lagos jar.

After all, whether we agree or not, there is hardly anywhere we don’t have a form of corruption or the other, Americans even add the swag of calling it “organized crime”, in India if you are married to a policeman, it is advisable to have money in your pocket before going to bed, ’cause your policeman hubby could just wake up in the middle of the night and ask for a bribe. With all the Chinese pill treatment given to their citizens, the men from chinko province are not any better if you get my drift.

So, are all Nigerians corrupt? The plain answer is no, and whether APC, PDP, our politicians and leaders like it or not, there are millions of Nigerians that are not corrupt.

There are millions of Nigerians who like Gandhi will not “copy”, they will not receive or take bribe or gratification, not because they do not have the opportunity, but simply because they simply won’t.

There are several millions amongst us that will not change several sworn affidavit of age, and different ages in different resume. There are millions that will not take an indigenous certificate for a place they do not have a root, just to be politically correct or for political gains.

We have scores of corrupt cops, military personnel and paramilitary, but despite their blackness of heart, there equally exist, countless security operatives who are not tainted, that would not take promotions that have not earned or accept gratification to do duties which tax payers have earned.

Many Nigerians pay their taxes willingly without compulsion though our leaders engaged even in a higher form of corruption by denying such persons basics such as electricity that has been paid for, security, which is a right and all other fundamentals.

Many Nigerians still get admitted into the University, high schools, and various institutions without paying either cash or kind. And good grades have been obtained without waists swerved or bank till shaken…while many buy the jobs they have today, there are those who are on the job legitimately and carry it with fear, favor, ethnic jingoism and parapoitic behavior.

In our beloved nation, we change our nine-year-old son’s age to eleven so that he’s legible for high school. We then buy question papers for the lad, so he can’t fail. If he fails, we pay those concerned, and he gets admitted. And that is the practice till he becomes a doctor, lawyer and he gets the perception of “his right”. And we all suffer the corruption at this individual level. However, truth be said, millions are still incorruptible, and won’t blink, nor shift.

Husbands bribe their wives, girlfriends are corrupt with their partners, and fathers bribe their kids. Daughters and sons buy their parents from proceeds of their “trade”. Communities, and religious bodies celebrate thanksgiving fir the corrupt, and encourage freshmen to out steal and out corrupt his predecessor.

Not all journalists collect envelops of many colors, neither is it all doctors won’t treat you until you have part with a deposit. Not all our teachers plagiarize, or sell handouts or trade admission. We need systems and structures that work, we need institutions that are incorruptible, run by content people that earn a living wage.

We need a class of Nigerians that won’t copy, but that will set high moral standards. Nigerians that have nothing to fear when the investigators come calling, there are millions of them, and Mr. President, while the debate continues whether corruption is stealing, kindly note that we are not all corrupt, and to the incorruptible ones, keep standing tall, if we have done enough—Only time will tell



By Prince Charles Dickson

So, I went last week to buy a “reliable” made in China Casio calculator, it even had the benefit of also being a scientific calculator too. I just could not trust my regular calculator; the one on my phone as an application, I use that to calculate how much I need to give madam, girlfriend, religious obligations, family trench, utility bills like NEPA abi na DISCO, I use it to add, minus, and multiply especially this January when all kind of fees have to be paid; from school fees, to daily, weekly fuel waka…the expenses are plenty, and indeed income not as plenty.

But truth is I needed this NEW calculator, and to Okechukwu’s Bookshop on Ahmadu Bello way, I went with my friend Adegoke as witness to buy it. After parting with a few lower notes, I was a proud owner of the product.

Wonder why I have teased us with the last two paragraphs on purchasing a mere calculator, I will share with us my admonition on this “calculator” ordeal.  Kindly bear with me, as we go through the next few paragraphs.

First despite my Casio being scientific, there was no scientific methodology to really guide me, and you–my dear reader would pardon my clumsy arithmetic, and my mumbo-jumbo procedure but please stay with me briefly, and we will be done.

With my calculator, and a long sheet of plain paper, and a cup of green tea, laced with pure blossom honey, and wheat bread, I was bent on “enjoying” what I predicted would be a nasty exercise.

I started with a few of the Abacha loot that was returned in the last few years…they read like $65,$300, $40, $37 all in millions, and that’s like $442million according to my calculator.

We remember that movie shortly after the oil subsidy protest…it featured a certain Otedola, Farouk and a few special appearances, and $3million vamoosed, only a few days in Kuje, and a visit from members of the Kano legislative house, Farouk went away and sinned no more…Total$445million

How many of remain, the James Bond series, yes James Bond, because any oil related theft is often than not a James Bond sequel…It involved Dan Etete, and his cast, and crew, after all said and done, the Malabu oil deal made sure that $1.1billion developed wings…Total$1.5billion, or before I confuse, 1.1billion dollars jam 445million dollars.

Okay, lets leave dollars small and deal in Naira; I will come back to it.

Do we recall Abubakar Kigo dude, of the ‘police pension things’, he escaped with N33billion, and then Abdulrasheed Maina then disappeared with another N195billion from “pension things” things. TotalN228billion

I am sure we have forgotten that Steve Oransanya, he was supposed to correct something-onething in the civil service or so, by the time he was done, N123billion was allegedly done and gone too. TotalN351billion

At this point, my tea don dey cold, and bread tasteless, while my calculator was getting hot, and I had not reached halfway.

I refused to add the missing “oyel” money during Diezani and Sanusi war, as some say money no miss, and others say money miss but e no reach so-so billion dollars. I rest my case.

I refuse to add the Donatus Dasuki ATM dispensary arrangement because (1) the money no reach me, (2) People are still confessing, returning, and maybe, just maybe, we may hear that APC also have a similar bazar. However I hanged the $2.1billion in one column as “tattered” sorry Chartered Accountants do in Nigeria.

It only gets interesting, as my plain sheet was become littered with figures and zeros in countless repetitions, I came to the governors, there were cases of the known, while other were the unknown.

For example, IN THE KNOWN COLUMN: they” say Joshua took a few millions from Ecological and other funds, James also increased his, it was up to a few billions, the late Alams also helped himself. And Goje printed OXFORD or was it CAMBRIDGE dictionaries for several millions. Add, the Jolly man from Taraba, and my friend Boni, and the bubbling Susan, and his predecessor, just to mention a few. We all remember that Ribadu said that one Sharia dude like that even refused to use a bank, he packed his own dough raw. Infact, in those days some $15million was offered as bribe—Chai, and if Ribadu is to be believed some 30 governors were thieving.

Hence I do not agree with the former EFCC helmsman, let me just do this simple maths, based on the KNOWN COLUMN: Let me say only 20 governors stole, and each stole N1million per month, that would be N12million per year multiplied by 16 years that would equal N192million and then multiply that by just 20 governors, that would be N3.840billion. I added this to our N351billion and we got N354.840 billion

I was beginning to feel dizzy, as I added Perm Secs who stole a few millions, heads of parastatals who helped themselves with some crazy sums through ridiculous subheads, like I recall how millions were in the NNDC budget for funerals, like every staff in the organization must die.

I added the monies that disappeared in millions from Funds, like the Educational Trust Fund, Petroleum Trust Fund, Ecological Trust Fund, Industrial Trust Fund, just check, if the name ended with an F, funds were stolen. I added the ones stolen by our lawmakers, even though it was “stolen legitimately” either via third term, or some allowance or money to do onething-something or buy some car with five tyres. I also added monies that were stolen by local council runs-men and women, monies that disappeared in Ministries.

At this point, my calculator was HOT, RED, and could barely even sure the regular ERROR message, even the scientific part of the calculator was not working, as I had converted the dollar to Naira, and was trying to add up, all my eyes could now see on the once plain paper was an endless count of zeros like big heads.

And in Fela’s words, need “I wonder how this country come take get big head”. My calculator could not continue, I just stared in trance, at how Nigerians were undoing Nigeria, I had barely touched the surface of monumental government stealing, and we are arguing, who stole less, or more or justifying that everyone steals. I end this admonishment asking, oh ye foolish Nigerians, for how much longer—Only time would tell.

Does Nigeria concern you?

Posted: January 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

By Prince Charles Dickson

“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” -Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

We grab a dog with the hands and it escapes; thereafter we beckon it with two fingers. (If both hands cannot detain a dog, two fingers from a distance will not bring it to where it escaped from.)

Sometime in 2012 I wrote under the above title, “How Nigeria take concern me”. A lot in that particular admonition still resonates with us, and I see it important to remind us with a few lines in that essay, and in the light of a new year.

‘Concern’ is an English word, used both as a verb either reflective or passive, and as a noun.

1. Concern means to relate to; to be connected with; be of interest or importance to; affect: The state of killings ‘concerns’ us.

2. Used in the passive, to interest or engage: We should ‘concern’ ourselves with how we are governed.

3. To trouble, worry: Are you ‘concerned’ about how much will be spent feeding persons in the villa?

4. As a noun–something that relates or pertains to a person; business; affair: Nigeria should be the ‘concern’ of every Nigerian.

5. A matter that engages a person’s attention, interest, or care, or that affects a person’s welfare or happiness: ‘Concerning’ Nigeria, there is need for government to provide social services.

How does defining ‘concern’ concern you…interestingly the word ‘concern’ finds home in our local lingua called pidgin and in my admonition this week, I ask in local parlance taking into cognizance the working definition and the thread meaning– does Nigeria ‘concern’ you, how ‘e take concern’ you, Nigeria dey worry you…?

Is there need for apprehension, are we drifting towards distress, should we be perturbed, troubled or bothered about the construct called Nigeria and her people?

For example, how ‘e take concern’ me and you how a man of ‘god’ chooses to display his wealth, or are we ‘concerned’ by the fact that in the midst of lack a lot of folks will spend money in crude fashion to obtain passports to heaven. The reason why Nigerians are more concerned about the early year prophecies from the many “god” of men around, than whether the government is on the right path.

I don’t know about you, but I am concerned and uneasy that we still have ghost schools, ghost teachers, fake graduates, and in a nation that seeks PhD teachers, we get PhD drivers by default of availability not choice. Indeed we talk trucks because the nation lacks an efficient train haulage system, so we strain roads that are already death traps. So I am concerned about Buhari’s train-promise…

In almost comical fashion in one mouthful we are all concerned in unison that ethnic nepotism, parapoism, sickening ‘unfederal discharacter’ is a major ill in our society. But in typically crying more than the bereaved or showing more concern than the ‘concerned’ attitude. We get anxious and disturbed by the terms, ‘they, them, us, our, we, their, those’ all depending on convenience and yet we want a united Nigeria to ‘concern’ us.

My friend and brother, Benjamin Aduba, in Boston puts it this way and I rephrase in this manner…”Nigerians want change, so long as the change no ‘concern’ them, …for others to change but not for me to change”.

We are all concerned about corrupt politicians and persons are punished, but as long as the culprit is our enemy.

We show concern in very queer manner by honoring same people that have turned our collective harvest to personal fiefdoms with institutional awards, traditional titles, as long as the person is from our side, all other things should not concern us.

We are concerned to paranoid if the government is to build or do something good, which is rare, it must be for us, with us, and by us or else it is not good. It concerns me more than anybody…if Dasuki’s rights are violated but does it concern us about the many that are in cell without even a case file.

Does it concern you that we generate power individually, buy portable water, educate our kids privately, provide healthcare for our families, both immediate and extended, run micro welfare and social security systems for family, and relatives, and still create other infrastructures despite being milked in taxes from a meager 18k stipend for those being paid that much…and still some governors even muse a reduction.

The problem with our ‘concerns’ is a top-down, down-up systemic failure. Like we are programmed towards grinding to halt, rather than repair, we are so accustomed to cosmetic dressing, ala Dr. 90210… So we focus our ‘concern’ on leadership, when it is as much a problem with followership.

Do you feel concerned that we are raising a dangerous mixed grill society with kids largely ‘schooled’ abroad, with allegiances to other nations and a home bred population of children denied education outrightly?

Don’t we feel irritated that, it is the same five and five pence from Umuahia, to Jos, Oshogbo to Minna, Sokoto to Eket, same political class and patrons displaying stupendous wealth in the ‘ very before’ of lack?

If one is not concerned, if you don’t care, if we are not bothered, we may be behind our comfort zone, there may be ease but it’s not calm…I may not be worried, you may not be troubled or see distress in Nigeria, you may be the eternal optimist, or cautious optimist, our hope may cloud reality, however let us remember that the leopard’s stealthy gait is not a result of cowardice…our actions or inaction is being stalked.

The Yorubas say “were were nikan njele” meaning slowly, slowly is the manner in which termites consume a house, our inconspicuous and imperceptible problems in time are piling…if ‘e no concern you now, e go concern you soon’

We have very little history of who we are as a country, at every turn in national discourse like the axiom, aki í fi ìyá ẹní dákú ṣeré, we joke that our mother has collapsed, always trifling with serious matters, playing with a loaded and primed gun. Forgetting that one does not hide something in one’s hand and yet swear [that one knows nothing about it]. We know our problems, but does it really concern us– only time will tell.