“ECONOMIC LIBERALIZATION; THE PATH TO NIGERIA’S ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT”

Published September 16, 2016 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

economic-recession

Like i promised earlier this week , my faithful readers need not go for long without having their succulent posts from The AMAZON ! and so far , i am keeping my promise, so keep yours by faithfully reading( as you usually do) and of course commenting.  Now , this post is peculiar because it has me dabbling into troubled waters. Lately , we have all been assaulted with   the use of the term “economic recession” , so i looked through my hive of unpublished Articles  and found one that best fits this situation.

Ironically, this article is another entry in an essay competition, however , it was particularly chosen because it embraces policy solutions which simply put is  our  “way forward”.  Please read and comment.  Let’s hear your views . You just might be the “change” being sought for! And while you’re at it , always remember, my amazing quill loves you 😉

 

 

 

Economic liberalization is simply the lessening of government regulatory control in a state’s economy, either through restrictive policies or mandatory dictates, in exchange for major participation by private enterprises. Succinctly put, liberalization is “the removal of controls” in order to encourage economic development.
Like shackles on horse feet stills the progressive race of the animal, the sometimes suffocating embrace of governmental policies on the market economy may not only prove stifling , but may altogether stagnate any form of development which ought to ensue from a free market economy.
The Nigerian economy, has over the years been fraught with undue governmental involvement. In an effort to modernize the economy, the early political leaders adopted a development planning strategy which allowed the country to to produce some of its consumables locally and in effect reduce dependence on external sources for the supply of such items. However the insatiable urge to quicken the pace of development gave rise to heightened demand for imports. Consequently, governmental trade policies were enacted to restrict and moderate import demand pressures and are present till date.
To effectively restructure the economy, a most viable solution is Liberalization. Economic Liberalization would require the removal of barriers to international investing since investing in emerging market countries can sometimes be an impossible task if the country has several barriers to entry. These barriers can include tax laws, foreign investment restrictions, legal issues and accounting regulations that can make it difficult or impossible to gain access to the country.
The economic liberalization process begins by relaxing these barriers and relinquishing some control over the direction of the economy to the private sector. The primary goal of economic liberalization is the free flow of capital between nations and the efficient allocation of resources and competitive advantages. An increased flow of capital into the country makes it cheaper for companies to access capital from investors as a lower cost of capital permits companies to undertake profitable projects that they may not have been able to with a higher cost of capital pre-liberalization. This may lead to higher GDP growth similar to the spurt witnessed in China in the late 1970s.
Economic liberalization is a beneficial and desirable process for developing countries and Nigeria ought to avail itself of its benefits.

DIFfEREnT…

Published September 13, 2016 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

Women

It has really been a while! The good news is..i’m back!!! So here’s a new piece for my faithful readers. Its actually my short story entry for a competition. For those who missed reading it, do enjoy the musings of The Amazon. And remember my amazing quill loves you *winks*
I am different.

Not a different “being” precisely but a different expression of what the conventional African female should be. Growing up, everyone always seemed to talk about how different I was from my peers, like how I often asserted my views (“which to most, was unbecoming), or how my life would be miserable if after all my years in the academia with scrolls of certificates to my credit, I still do not bring home a man to call “husband”. Yet I stubbornly refused to conform.

I attended the best schools, graduated with the finest results, followed my innermost desires, explored my greatest talents, never allowed society dictate and quite frankly… Never got a man!
It was then I realized I had everything that kept my dream man away, so conform I did.

Without much ado I found a great guy and intentionally became submissive to make him secure. It never seemed enough though, for the more I gave the more he wanted, the more I sacrificed, the more he requested. There was no physical violence, just verbal but it was enough to weaken my essence.
So I called up Aunt Feyisayo and she ominously warned “…Oko won lo de o” which is Yoruba for “Husbands are hard to come by”
Her words proved that I had to fight for this relationship.

As each day passed, my confidence waned, flickered and eventually burnt out. Gone was the Amazon who trudged through life with determination and hope. She was no more the free spirited gazelle who had the world at her feet. Hers was a world that revolved around one man and ‘twas his to manipulate. I had to get married!
Years rolled by, but he never popped the question. I mentally attacked ME. I wished I could trade my beauty and coveted wit for some quality “homemade attitude” sold only in the departmental stores in my head.

Finally, after years of being with “Mr. Bae”, he said the words that released me from my self-inflicted sentence… “I fell in love with the woman you once were…I’m sorry”.

# PROJECT REACH-OUT

Published June 3, 2015 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

DSC_0056Hello Readers,
Its been ages i must confess!!! The Amazon has been quite involved in a lot of hunmanitarian activities for the benefit of World youths. Here’s something i’m quite sure you’ll love to read about.
Ever heard of the ODELL INITIATIVE??? Well, its a non profit organisation that seeks to empower youths in various rural communities in Africa.
Emmanuella Odum , is the Founder/Lead volunteer of this initiative. WANT TO KNOW MORE? Enjoy this post reblogged from the ODELL INITIATIVE’s site. You can also find out more by visiting their blog @ wwww.odellinitiative.wordpress.com.
Nothing but the best for my readers will do … and always remember , my amazing quill loves you !

odellinitiative

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The above picture tells its own story. It is the image of an empty school hall, void of not only the students but of adequate technical facilities to create a viable learning atmosphere for its intended occupants. This great hall played host to over 150 students in the just concluded training workshop,

#Project Reach-out organized by ODELL INITIATIVE in conjunction with ACI Computer Education.

A need to be met?

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In Africa, by United Nations statistics, only one-fifth of the population will have access to the internet by the end of 2014! Whilst other continents such as America, Europe and Asia will have an impressive penetration rate of over 75percent of internet access!
Think about the wealth of academic opportunities that will be lost on the remnant population who either do not have access to the internet or cannot walk an efficient path online!
It is indeed a dire situation for…

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THE PRESIDENTIAL INSULT -Prince Daniel C.D .Onyemaka

Published January 14, 2015 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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THEAMAZON’S Note : Happy New year to all our readers ,thank you for making 2014 a blissful year for us on our blog, here’s wishing you all a prosperous year ahead.
Its 2015 ! Yes, the year of the anticipated  Nigerian Elections. As special as you are to us , we shall not hesitate to provide you with intriguing articles from talented writers across the globe. Support us by commenting on our posts regularly. we welcome your opinions and constructive criticisms as well. Don’t forget to tell a friend too!
To kickstart this year , do enjoy this  brilliant piece written by Prince Daniel C.D ONYEMAKA ,National President, Youths Across Nigeria (Chuxdavix@yahoo.com). Only the best for my readers will do. Remember, my amazing quill loves you ,*WINKS*

Like failed manifestos and vague promises erected on empty platforms of inconsequential annexation of helpless Nigerians, the attacks and blood-letting have remained incessantly unstoppable. We now live in the wake of a dawn of another promise heralded by the President and his spoke persons whenever such attack is launched on innocent Nigerians. The question therefore is, when will the occupants of Aso Rock run out of consolidation messages which they reel out to the people whenever  such a dastardly incident occurs without conscientious actions to arrest same.   One would have wished we had fought a civil war three years ago, at least, it would have probably been abated and freedom and safety won’t be locked up in a political cellular by now unlike the unpredictable recipe which we now face with our steps being calculated and counted like those walking on a field littered with fragmentation of bombs set to explode. Without mincing words, it is now crystal clear that the war that is being heralded and meted on Nigerians is not selective unlike the popular belief which the generality of the country once harbored.
The activities of Boko Haram are not just a target on the Christians but also on the Muslims. Innocent people who went to worship in their mosque met their early deaths due to the activities of miscreants whose line of action has been embattling the country for over three years now. If politics is not at play in these whole pretentious effort of tackling and curtailing Boko Haram, we would have long left the scene of continuous consolidation with fake message of hope which greets the image of the country whenever this obvious incident occur. The question therefore is: when will the presidency run out of this annoying and sadistic message of “we shall conquer Boko Haram?” Enough of the presidential insult!

Since the crisis in these Northern states has remained a puzzle despite the presumed effort made by series of the leadership at the upper chamber, it therefore implies that certain groups of foes whose ambitions are yet to be fathomed are bent on making the once peaceful country in Africa, a living hell.   Villages and houses has been sacked, more than 700,0000 are in the refugee camp and over 13,700 innocent citizens have lost their lives in the once assumed minor crisis which has now climaxed to the height of  intolerable siege of unstoppable and consistent abysmal killings. Our hope of a better tomorrow seems to be gliding into a hallow of hopeless hope and uncertainty.  Tomorrow has become an unachievable mirage as everybody in these regions sleep with their eyes open.
The question therefore posing fiercely on the platform pleading for attention is: where did we get it wrong? Who are the patrons of this evil conscienceless group called Boko Haram? Whose administrative antecedents did this evil that has beguiled the image of the country into the state of incomplete disorder gain momentum and emanated?  What is the view of this adamant and recalcitrant daft group whose only ideology is to kidnap, kill, maim and destroy lives and properties?     There are so many questions left unattended to and these questions may never get answer till the world ends. A Lot of complex issues that ought to have served as an alibi for proactive change of political attitude over the activities of Boko Haram by some disgruntled politicians are swept under the carpet and since change which happens to be the only constant thing in nature has been refused a leaflet into sight, these changes may never occur because the adverse effect of its mother factor was eliminated and dead on arrival.   If the truth is to be told, it will be very imperative to align our analysis with the popular opinion of what the basis of this incessant act of rebellion is all about.   The arrogation of fake and empty hope of safety by the federal Government and the absolution of ignorance not to keep same is tantamount to a charade and facade of sequential oblivion which is left unsolved after such promises are made. The lives of Nigerians are no longer safe and rather than going about our normal duties, everybody now walk on the streets with not just ultimate care of consciousness  but every bit of suspicion. It is no longer news that we are under serious attack by unknown enemies who don’t wish Nigeria any good but have her major aim tailored towards annihilation and extinction of our very existence.   It all began like a joke and now it has climaxed to its credulous crescendo leaving almost everybody dumbfounded, hapless and helpless with no valve and vision of hope light at the end of the tunnel. The law is sacrosanct and just like the right to life of every human being exiting under the surface of the sun, hence effects have been dwindled into the dark ray of soliloquy.   If the aforementioned is as true as plain, it then depicts that its objective has long been defeated in all dimensions.
It is therefore worthy to note that; with these present and unpredictable ventures Nigerians find themselves, the future of our safety is not just bleak but murky and highly acrimonious.   Before now, it was this popular belief of alluring ethnic diversification and religious jingoism as being promoted by some greedy politicians who apply such gimmicks of deceit to mislead the people whenever they fail in their duty to provide what is due to the electorate. When they lost their sense of commitment to the people, they resort to cheap blackmail and plant seed of discord among the people just to divert attention from the original stable issue on ground and make them embark on a war of ethnic and religious superiority. This is typically against the evil deeds of these miscreants from a strange world because their operations and activities are not secluded, selected or manned in targeted coordinated spheres as no religion is spared.

28th November 2014, greeted Kano State with a black cloud for over 120 persons lost their lives and 113 were badly injured. It was a black Friday which will forever go down in History courtesy of the deadly bomblast that claimed the lives of innocent Nigerians who went to register and submit their supplications to their Creator at the Mosque, all traceable to Boko Haram.   Until the people rise up to reality and come to terms by agreeing to the fact that we are under serious attack from unknown aliens and imbibe the habit defending ourselves and rendering assistance to security agencies and begin to eschew this man made hatred that is illusive, the fate and hope of harmonious cohabitation among Nigerians will be forever far-fetched.

We have to live together and forget the empty promises made by the President and his group of confused charlatans and psychophants who take pleasure in giving hopeless security hope to the masses. The affairs as it stands a now doesn’t bite them one bit because they are not directly affected. Enough of Presidential insult and failed promises of crushing Boko Haram!   He and his failed cabinet are busy planning for next year’s election without making the people they will govern as their utmost priority. I then ask: who will they govern if everybody is dead?   Let every Nigerian take heed : we are simply under highly powered coordinated attack by yet to be identified syndicate and wet blanketed faces whose purposes are yet to be fathomed succinctly.
The double acrimonious jeopardy that took place on the 14/4/2014 might have been seen by many as normal with same level of surprise which usually occur whenever an event takes place. The sad Nyanya Bus terminal bomb blast that claimed several lives and the taking into hostage of over 200 female students residing in the  hostels at Government college in Borno State at the early hours of 15/4/2014 and May 1st repeated bomb blast at same Nyanya still reverberates on our encephalic cellular. These innocent girls whose fate can best be described as a wish fall into dark doldrums are nonetheless on the forgotten lane. Yet, we have a president that is the commander of the armed forces, a president that is always quick to make a consolidation of hope as though hope truly beams at us, a president whose only major focus for now is to retain his occupant at Aso Rock, a confused personified leader who keep telling Nigerians bomb blast is not peculiar to our country.   Having birthed our hope of calmness, repeated incident took place on same month of May 18th on Kano which claimed many lives and several others which we have lost counts. These whole sad occurrences and fumitory calls for total revaluation. Helpless Nigerians has remained bemoaned by these incessant events that took place on quick succession. As helpless as they are, they do nothing order than to sleep under the stethoscope see through of AK47 and possibly hope on the creator whose mercies they have retained their trust of surviving the night and witnessing another day.   With this incident, one will begin to wonder the qualities imbibed by our soldiers who succeed in quelling dangerous upheaval in other countries and what actually went wrong with our own method of it not been combated despite the effort put in place by these men in camouflage who have sacrificed a lot. Obviously, the root debated cause of interests frustrating the fight against insurgency being pioneered by some high powered VIPS are yet to be brought to book.   The President should stop batting an eyelid and come out in full to tell Nigerians what the real matter of selective involvement in tackling these crises is all about. With the obvious pattern of suspending the massive weight of military hardware on these miscreants who has made the country a living hell, it will not be wrong to accentuate and possibly conclude that the supremacy of the powers of the President is partially shaded and not mounting her wrath on these bloody activities can best be described as a ploy of his ambition come 2015. This act of in fecundity justifies my earlier position of the subject matter; subjecting and sacrificing the lives of Nigerians at the altar of his ambition come 2015.   It is a huge shame to be sobbing when we already know the root cause of their negative sagacious act of indoor war. I remember in my family,  as a pupil during my days at Primary and Secondary school,  you dare not come home crying over the defeat of a beating by a fellow boy , if you dare do that, be sure of receiving double portion of general beating by the full house. The message depicted in that family act is that; live up to your counterparts and never report home with any pitiable remorsefulness, stand in defence on your feet and fight to reclaim your image as a true member of the family.   Even as at the wake of 1st December, 2014, after the killing of students in Damaturu University, house to house slaughtering followed suit with little and late reprisal response by our military. The president should stop insulting the intelligence of Nigerians. I do not take the lies of fake promises offensive but the insult on my intelligence is what I find hateful.
With these show of lack of respect for human lives by the terrorists, the act is a despicable and highly unjustifiable threat to our society. The question many Nigerians are asking is: how big is Sambisa Forest that it has refused and rejected to be conquered? This nightmare abode has done lots of harms to the image of the country and our dear President keep reassuring Nigerians that all will be well. It’s so painful that even at this juncture, Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan lacks the sight and vision to  combat our wars and secure our borders. Let the president do the needful and draw up a pen and paper and write down his name in gold rather than ending on a shameful line wistful leisure.

Enough of this Presidential insult!

MAY THE BEST WOMAN WIN!

Published December 20, 2014 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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In the wake of the ground breaking declaration of a running mate for  APC’s presidential candidate, Gen Muhammadu Buhari, unabashed shouts of approval have continously rent the Nigerian political airwaves as the party supporters reaffirmed their unwavering support fervently emphasizing that the Professor of Law, former Lagos state Attorney-general and a representative of the Divine, Pst. Yemi Osibajo was indeed an ideal choice. This move may undeniably influence the ruling party to return to its drawing board and desperately sketch a plan aimed at quenching the seemingly growing support for its rival, in its bid to retain the coveted seat of power in the forth-coming elections.
Consequently, one may overtly assert that whatever the criteria may be in choosing an able “vice” for the presidential candidate in any political party, the issue of gender will certainly not be recognized!  As disturbing as this trend of relegating our women to the background may seem, it is nevertheless considered the norm as women are globally viewed as mere opportuned participants in the governing process of a state .However to placate the injured feelings of the female citizens, paltry reasons such as the need to present a formidable individual (in other words “a male”) to create a balance of personalities at the polls will be adduced. Other premises including the desire to ensure that the party is not unfairly ridiculed or unduly mocked, for presenting a proposed female vice-president will also be tendered. Since women aren’t known to depict ingratitude, we must appreciate the little crumbs that fall from the master’s table even when our prowess at holding leadership roles cannot be denied (as evidenced in the laudable success stories of Late Professor Dora Akunyili , Mrs. Diezaini Allison Madueke and others). These little crumbs which come our way are often cloaked in the almost –insulting title of “women leader”, or the “juicy ministerial appointments” and the increasing spate of “deputizing roles”. Oftimes we are mummified as stooges to perpetrate the act of distracting the electorate with a view to depleting the votes of an influential candidate!
Governance isn’t a term ascribed to the opposite sex alone, yet women have fought admirably to attain the silent nod of respect from their male counterparts in almost every issue beginning with the few leadership roles given as a compensatory gift. Hence for every feministic action which deviates from the accepted norm of female docility , the story of a heroine is told and recorded in history as a feat which “must never” be repeated and not necessarily one which must further depict the equality of the sexes.  To buttress this view, an apt example is the daring Elizabeth Smith Miller, who in the 1850’s rebelled against society’s hypocritical derision of women adorning “male apparels” and invented the “ladies bloomers”, a type of female baggy trousers consisting of a skirt and loose fitting pantaloons. This invention which formally birthed the ingenuity of trousers in high female fashion of the civilized world obviously riled and still does upset the proponents of certain factions with chauvinistic ideologies, yet history celebrates her not just as a woman who dared the unthinkable but whose actions must remain in the minds of society as just that … unthinkable!
In the field of leadership and political governance, the same pathetic notion is pervasive. A she-male who possesses that peculiar innate strength and capacity to govern a people, against all societal odds of gender discrimination, is virally celebrated and this is targeted at  underlining the near impossibility of attaining the seat of power even when it is a vivid reality that the she–male can indeed do it better.  It is an undeniable fact that the best candidate to adorn the regal robes of a nationally acclaimed leader is usually the vivacious and passionate female, giving the salient attributes of male domination which includes extreme corruption in the highest echelons of power and an obvious break down of Law and order. However if indeed females are better leaders, why then do we celebrate the very few women who are “opportuned” to rule (and do so impressively) whereas men are conventionally understood to be the “divinely ordained” rulers and thus need no exaggerated celebration? Could this festival of deceit be done with the aim of conveying a silent message to other women, that it is indeed a rarity to be conferred with the mantle of authority and should never be taken as a given? I think so!
In summary, it is trite to assert that most of society’s conventions and norms possess an influential origin, whether mentally warped or scientifically illogical. Tracing the origin of many of these norms has become a pastime for me especially where issues regarding the female are concerned. For most of the planet’s age, the complex matters of the FEMALE has featured in the sometimes twisted minds of society’s male dominated jury. Thus whether by religious injunctions or by scientific dictates, the female is and has always played second fiddle or sometimes been a non-existent fiddle in the creation of the harmonious melody that is life.
Think about it and while you are at it , I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you! * winks *

Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh : Nigeria’s unsung centenary Hero!

Published December 7, 2014 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

“As a thoroughbred professional, Dr Adadevoh remained firm & clear headed. She was however intimidated by the threats of law suits and diplomatic rows…Yet, we all knew Dr Adadevoh. She was thorough, incisive, competent & compassionate.”
– Dr Benjamin Ohiaeri (CMD First Consultants Medical Centre)  .

The headlines were bold, unequivocal and startling. The dreaded phenomenon in the sub region had glided silently and surely into the already burdened confines of the Giant of Africa… Rumours grew by their dozens, fear s multiplied and tension ate into the very foundation of our beings; Yes! EBOLA was here. After 20 recorded cases and 8 deaths since the ill-fated entry of Patrick Sawyer into Nigeria, the World Health Organization declared Nigeria Ebola-free on Monday – October 20th 2014, with country director Rui Gama Vaz  referring to Nigeria’s containment of the virus as a “success story”.   
Undoubtedly, this story has a plot director; the University of London trained Endocrinologist- Stella Adadevoh. In an era of loud outcries for female empowerment /clamour for Nigerian women to occupy the front row seats of decision making, Adadevoh’s swift response to an unanticipated situation saved Nigeria from being ruthlessly torn apart by EVD.
Having examined Patrick Sawyer when he was brought to the First Consultants Medical Centre, Adadevoh as Chief Physician called for an incident committee to ensure that the appropriate tests for Ebola were carried out. The patient (though arriving from Liberia) had denied any contact with any Ebola patient upon questioning. He panicked greatly when he was informed of the Ebola tests being run; yanking off his intravenous line, spilling blood all over the room and insisting on proceeding to Calabar for an ECOWAS Convention. Dr Adadevoh stood her ground, maintaining that keeping him within the confines of the hospital was necessary to prevent other unsuspecting Nigerians from a possible infection.   Pressure mounted on our strong heroine as she began to receive “irate calls” from the Liberian Ambassador – Al Hassan Koike, who requested that Sawyer be released immediately. At this point, Dr Adadevoh had a choice. She could have released Sawyer and selfishly asked “wetin concern me?” as many Nigerians instinctively do when confronted with challenging “the powers that be”.  Instead, she chose the highway and refused to release him.  
In 36 hours, it was clear that Nigeria had “welcomed” her index Ebola case: It was a true relief that Sawyer had not been allowed to have physical contact with anyone else outside the hospital. However, this victory did not come without a huge price. FOUR members of staff at First Consultants Hospital eventually died from EVD – including Dr Adadevoh, who died on August 20th 2014 (exactly one month after her first contact with Sawyer) leaving behind – her husband, son and the entire nation she had gallantly protected. Gracefully, Dr Adadevoh departed mother earth saving Nigeria and comfortably wearing the shoes of a natural hero. She left us with a lasting example of the debt that all Nigerians owe Nigeria. Indeed, she gave us undiluted hope in our motherland…A hope that should be paid forward by all Nigerians (living and unborn) in centuries to come. Sleep on ma, Nigeria celebrates your deep sacrifice.

Ps : The above piece is an entry at the 2014 Young and cerebral essay competition, written by Olaoluwa Abagun, A foremost advocate for girlchild rights and founder of the “Girl pride circle” . Discover more about this organisation by clicking this link ======>(http://youtu.be/_yJ_2mBMvPA )
Only the best for my readers will do ! *winks*. I remain TheAmazon and my amazing quill loves you.

#BRING BACK OUR GIRLS #BRING BACK OUR MOTHERLAND !

Published June 17, 2014 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

“God,
the things that are done in your name-
I mean, the things that are undone behind
The flimsy façade of Your name.”
Kobena Eyi Acquah

“keago” as she was fondly called was a woman who loved GOD. Yes, God! That Supreme Being who has been touted to know and see all.
As a childhood friend, I was fortunate to be privy to a lot about her, for little did I know that my friend would fleetingly make the headlines someday. She went about, daily evangelizing the works of the Almighty, through words and deeds, in places where angels feared to tread. Undauntingnly, she bore her cross in the valley of death, which in this case was in YOBE, a state in Nigeria where she had been called to serve.
Keago, like the Queen she was, regally fell to the onslaught of bullets fired from the murderous weapons of the hitherto faceless fanatics. She made the news briefly and was heard no more.
Friends and family were aggrieved, angry youths chimed war songs over social media and strangers expressed the requisite due shock. But what could I do? Armed with naught but my pen, I was helpless. And like the sprinkling of water on a kindled flame, this story, like subsequent tales of this nature was doused away.
IT began with a bloody trail of incessant but muffled protests, persistent killings and selected explosions that we all termed insignificant. Mere firecrackers that snuffed away strangers’ lives, lives we knew and cared nothing about. Its steady growth in murderous intentions was fed by our disbelief and our careless undermining of the beauty of resilience.
And so it was believed to be another “Maitatsine”, the remains of which shall be locked away like those of the legendary protestant. Maitatsine , another koranic scholar who claimed to be another renaissance in the emancipation of the supposedly “lost flock” , whose sad but expected end is merely muttered in hushed tones within the eerie stillness of a cremated glassware in a laboratory!
ALAS! This gory story doesn’t happen to be that of “he” stated above but of the erstwhile faceless ones who seem to have adopted another modus in the redemption of their lost adherents. One characterized by continuous bloodshed and the all too familiar wailings which reverberate our auditory senses.
Hence the questions pour forth continuously as the masses direct their queries to these masked fanatics… what have we done to deserve this?
As a little girl , I was raised to respect the tenets of my religion and for those religions I didn’t know or couldn’t quite fathom, I was made to understand that , as a general rule for the supremacy of peace to prevail, we must tolerate that which we do not understand , for we are consistently being tolerated every day. I was taught as a woman in higher institutions of learning that Religion seeks to be that agent which deters the criminally minded from perpetuating crime. It is that opium craved by the masses which promises tranquility in times of political or social unrest. However, reverse is our case in my Motherland , as Religion is used as a weapon to untimely snuff away lives , persistently delude adherents and adequately ensure the victimization of the masses , all for a precise and selfish cause…POWER!
Ironically, it has been defined as “the opium of the masses”, however it has certainly had no tranquilizing effect on the adherents so far. Day after day , imposing edifices are erected in the guise of institutions of learning and places of worship. Edifices that steal not only our breathe away in awe but also every penny earned by the poor deserving masses.
From the pastor who preaches Prosperity and fails to pay his Tax, to the smoking nuzzle of the religious fanatic’s weapon, the tenet of every religion is mocked.
From the human ritual site at SOCA, in IBADAN, to the endless tabloid stories about the financial indecencies of our churches, the aim of Religion is destroyed.
From the threats made by power thirsty politicians to the kidnap of innocent young girls from their erstwhile safe haven, the weapon of religion is used. From the misguided Idiosyncrasies of the religious fanatics that despise western education, (yet who sadistically utilize the ammunition made from a wealth of western knowledge), to the blood thirsty intentions of the basic criminal, the Nature of Religion is manipulated. And in the throes of this passionate display of Religious Deceit, political unrest and financial corruption. Our MOTHERLAND remains the greatest victim of all.
Every sphere of religion is culpable and none can be exempted . It is however not a lost cause for we may yet fight to regain lost ground . we may yet question disturbing , unhealthy and myopic choices rather than blindly following. We may probe the “overtly righteous” and demand answers to our queries and not answers that may not be queried. We may create a special kind of madness. Kobena Eyi Acquah in his poem , “In the Navel of the Soul” stated
“They say we have gone all out of our mind
If madness nurtures such lucidity
God , make us mad-
Make us even more mad”
Refute these endless ponderings like , When did we miss it? Was it during the brain washed worship or was it when we turned a blind eye?
The solution is merely attitudinal.
Think about it and while you’re at it, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you!
…In Loving Memory of Eucharia Nwakaego Remmy.

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

OUR CONVENTIONAL “GOOD” GIRL

Published March 7, 2014 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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GOOD …”
An impressive term.
One which is sentimentally soddened with the saturated teachings of societal hypocrisy yet aches with a clandestine urge to literally extinguish its almost extinct significance. Ostensible? Philosophy opines that it is not, neither can its value be weighed accurately for the scales of prejudice doth lead us forth …further into the isles of subjectivism.
Since the dawn of time, primal man has crawled… tottered …walked and he may yet fly whilst His discipled mate in the same vein has adhered to Master Nature’s beautifully crafted script and done likewise. This Rite of Passage has been irreversibly altered by Nature’s male generation as the barely disguised urge to initiate a change in the ubiquities of life inhabits the heart of Man. Dreams of soaring the skies with metallic wings troubles his adventurous side, coveted know-how plus the mysteries beyond his knowledge, beckons to his unknown genius. The summons of life’s perks cannot be refuted as it is undeniably a challenge that mustn’t be turned down. Like a Man, he retrieves the baton of continuity and by so doing he interrupts the chain of normalcy. As audaciously shocking as this may seem, he is so permitted by Mother Nature!
In the midst of this change, the female instinctively knows her time is yet to come. She is teleported to a time when humanity’s exceeding applause for her unwavering support to mankind will warm her meek bosom. Hence her never-ending submission to her ordained partner. Her total surrender to his whims are visible through her veil of strength and her sober acceptance of Nature’s cruel dictatorial ritual is a sacrificial game played in a bid to appease the Fates who have threatened to expunge man for his betrayal. This sacrifice thus created the word …GOOD.
Who is a “GOOD” girl ?
The above passage has given an inkling that suggests who can be bestowed with the desired title of a graceful woman.
Religiously,a good female is meek in her ways … a symbol of physical and divine purity. She is a chaste being who snubs the attention of the material world. Most importantly, she is a submissive partner. Thus said, she remains the loyal wife who stays steadfast to “his” ambition to achieve and pays no attention to her secret desire to be just like him, just like a boy would wish to be like his father !
Our ever effusive society has its definition of a good female… she is one who begins her days with gratitude to everyone around her (whether habituating in sheer amity or not!) And she always wears a readymade smile for every pious individual or vampire. She is decent in manners and dressing and by so saying, she stays pleasantly calm despite the unfairness and bias displayed by life‘s obvious favoritism for the male folk. She adorns herself in unattractive robes ,which aim to conceal the luscious tendencies of her innards. Her garbs are sociologically selected from her overfilling societal pretentious wardrobe , thus she is adequately coiffed. She is the ideal female who never has dealings, whether platonic or sexual, with the opposite sex. Yet, she excels in her studies (like she is supposed to do) ,marries the wealthiest bachelor on the planet and somehow manages to please him in bed and out of it… how she does that, we (society), do not CARE!! And To further cap society’s laughable criteria, she is but a mere “normative” partner. Normative, in that, she merely wears her last name to constantly resound and reverberate the presence of her Man and must never be found in a healthy rivalry with him.
Again (which is usual), society fails to understand the workings of the female mind. It shall forever err in continuously stipulating and unrealistically demanding certain forms of behavior for the Woman. Ironically, Science also defaults by merely giving estimated and calculated results of the many needs of the Woman and thus posits peculiar trends associated with the “she-male”.
ALAS!!! The severance of the chain of norms and defaults that characterizes Science and Society’s prediction remains the greatest weapon Feminism has ever produced !
Yes! Gone are the days when we sit at home and rock that lonesome cradle waiting for “papa” to come home. The demure clothings which were worn for us have been trashed and we bid a warm welcome to the influx of lush feminine wears that guarantee a delectable look. Gone is the shame of our innate Sexuality , FOR now we flaunt what was once treated with a look of disdain. Our astounding intellect … once regarded as irrelevant…has saved Humanity ,Science and even Society! No more shall we hide the desire to be “like the man” for we feed the flames that consume his Ego. Together we have altered Mother Nature’s predigested rituals, and like our counterparts , we have been permitted!
I honestly wish this is where the story ends, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. For Feminism hath betrayed her followers. Our strikes against the world for locking us up in their claustrophobic holes have been duly noted and we are partially free. What previously seemed ethically wrong, now attracts the ovation of the crowd, therefore extremities have seeped in.
Therefore to the one who dares the most, the prize is given. For every girl who shuns the apron and the cradle , awards of dexterity and ambition are bestowed. For every woman who struts the streets in a risqué , sometimes, naked apparel, a lecherous and wealthy husband is awarded. For every female who dares challenge the opposite sex, her effeminate self decreases. The biggest losers remain those who stayed glued to that Era when women were known for meekness and submissiveness. Those who refused to call society’s bluff when it was most needed, those women who refused to dare.
Who is our conventional “good” girl? The one who sacrificed her vast potential for her man and got trapped within the walls of her essence… or she who escaped???
Think about it and while you do , I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you.

The “Paid” Piper

Published September 21, 2013 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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“GODFATHERISM” as a concept, is relatively notorious in today’s emerging global political comprehension. It connotes a subjectively asinine method of indirect power acquisition which seldom leaves the legitimate ruler with the Mosaic staff of authority to lead an enslaved, puppy-eyed electorate, who massively chime their support for a multi-faceted regent. Ever wondered how our old bed time stories objectively hit the mark in displaying the realities of the modern world and its conventional norms?
Well, occasionally I am compelled to muse about the realistic tendencies of mythical fairytales and the legendary stories of the past. Oftimes I am inclined to proffer that the themes of our seemingly childish stories which are supposedly immersed in farce are in the actual sense of it more “REAL” than we can ever comprehend. Take for instance …CINDERELLA ,there’s no gainsaying the fact that there is a sickening convention (albeit induced by Society )amongst many females ,that the lucky and successful one is the lady who marries a rich and powerful “prince” as the case maybe. SLEEPING BEAUTY…? It certainly pays to have “happy” and influential friends who save us from the hassles created by wicked step mothers, which in this case is, LIFE! Therefore to keep their loyalty, don’t assume martyrdom by telling them the truth…that they are DWARFS!!!
However, this piece attempts to enunciate the erstwhile dim connection between the popular fairy –tale, THE “PIED” PIPER and the “kudos-driven” political ideology of GODFATHERISM. The term “Godfather” has ,without an iota of doubt, come a far distance from what it was originally acclaimed to be (which was: the male sponsor of a baptism or the head of the Mafia). It goes without saying that the only KIND of baptism or Mafioso that these modern political godfathers engage in …is one that irreversibly ensures the transfiguration of the “godchild” from a living being to a puppet!
Once upon an unfortunate period in fairy land, rats were inured as the recalcitrant rulers of Hamelin. These pesky rodents made life virtually impossible for the rightful inhabitants and so the “erstwhile” rulers thought it a sage act to employ the services of a piper to play a special tune which was different from the conventional melodies: one aimed at luring the rats out of their hidden abyss and out of the village. In shocking comparison with the circumstances above, our generation hasn’t fared any better as it has undoubtedly been victimized by the tyranny of her leaders and this is depicted by the vivid fact that the beautiful melody of democracy has been altered by the incidence of “Godfatherism” in politics. The Political Godfather salivates, not merely at the thought of obtaining power, but at the very notion of wielding the staff of office and ripping the regal garments from those who have painstakingly grasped the slippery trust of the electorate. The pipers amongst us who are naturally gifted to surge our nation forward with laudable ideologies are handsomely paid to reel out specific tunes …not to provide harmonious music for our aching ears, but to fulfill an obligation suitable to “he who pays the piper”.
Analogically, the rats are subjectively perceived to be a menace to the rulers majorly because they have wittingly acquired power by taking centre stage, to warn the people of the failure of a government upon whose shoulders they had piously laid their trust!
For the villagers (masses), the rats are a reminder of the unwanted truth that they are helpless against the deteriorating state of their nation. Clearly, the rodents are despised both ways, by the people and their rulers!
To that effect, the masses are inured to permit a commoner like them… in the guise of a PIPER …, whose duty it is to provide melodies: melodies which aim to recant a period of merriment and plenty: melodies which soothe the soul …to divest them of these benefits. The PIPER who ought to be a source of hope and inspiration trades his conscience for the appeasement of his auditory senses and sensory nerves with the clanking of gold coins and the perverse weight of bulging pockets. By that process, he loses out and so do the masses. Only one body remains the sole beneficiary in this plot of thievery and betrayal…OUR GODFATHERS!
These “Fathers of god” are apt to concede that they blaze a trail of infamous deeds, a trail that ought to inevitably lead the arm of the Law into their coven where cauldrons of evil have been left to boil… Despite this “set back”, the unfettered urge to repeatedly remain within the corridors of power stays overwhelmingly strong, hence the need to sponsor a guileless candidate who possesses the support of his people.
However corrupt they are, they certainly aren’t stupid! Therefore, the plan to stage a marionette on strings is created for the puppet-show!
Yes it is a puppet show… our piper who possesses a genuine passion to salvage his people and put a smile on their grim faces is paid to play an eerie dirge that would further enlarge the pockets of our hidden fathers and cause untold injustice worse than the “rat like” infestation of socio-economic breakdown. His life hangs on strings controlled by our “big-daddies” and when the faintest wisp of rebellion is perceived by these powerful, cautious and over –sensitive bunch, the strings are tautly pulled though in warning but sometimes taut enough to snap life‘s essence out of the hapless piper.
Regardless of this melancholic situation, hope shines through yet, for in THE PIED PIPER of HAMELIN , the ruler reneges on his part of the agreement and all hell is let loose as our converted piper plays another tune , not one familiar to the village but one which calls out to the savage , caveman like instinct of the village children . They scurry out in droves as the tune promises a trip to another place better than that which they leave behind. The children of Hamelin follow their new found guide to the Promised Land, leaving behind hopelessness as Hamelin loses her next generation.
Presently, the pipers in every sector of our nation have their hands well oiled and their backs well rubbed, that to lead such a rebellion would be an act of ingratitude to the powers that be! THE AMAZON shall not indulge in the never –ending game of “finger –pointing” and etching culpability on Politics alone. Godfatherism is one trend that is well fixated in every section of society! Brilliant ideas are left to die and the carcasses feasted upon by vultures into non-existence because there is a high “risk” that it would irreversibly hurt the already dented image of the Godfather of such a sponsor!
Writers are warned to desist from using the best weapon known to man…THE PEN, to sensitize the public about a trend that is gradually reducing the fragile comprehension of PATROTISM amongst its ever-willful citizens. We are told , time and time again , that if we must write …if our artists must be heard …if our families must be kept safe from oppression, it must be to put a smile on the asinine faces of authority!!! The PRESS exists no more, for they are wont to reveal the tragic phenomenon of our “OGAs at the Top”
Despite it all, one question gnaws at my inquisitive side…if these are “fathers of god”, who are their ancestors and where are they? Who are their fathers?
The truth is we all share the same paternal custodians, therefore, we are BROTHERS!!! As shocking as that may sound, this view has one undeniable merit… WE ARE EQUALS. If they can opt to pay our trusted piper, we can afford to take up flutes of Positive radicalism!
If we emulate the actions of THE PIED PIPER OF HAMELIN, we may yet play our tunes in harmony and call out the next generation before they are turned into puppets!!!
And while we ready our flutes, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you! *winks*

DECADENCE !

Published August 7, 2013 by EMMANUELLA ODUM

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At the risk of projecting pessimism, I fear for my fatherland.
The above view articulately encapsulates the apprehension and distress evidently imprinted in the heart and mind of every patriotic citizen of Nigeria. This fear isn’t necessarily expressed by words at every opportunity; however, it inhabits and reposes luxuriously in a vibrant section of our brains and the hidden vestiges of our hearts. Subconsciously we accommodate this pain, develop it, nurture it, until eventually it reveals itself by our actions… resulting in the decadence we all behold.
“Balanced on Horseback is the only way to view the splendor of the state of Texas, USA.” So goes the famous American cliché. However I have coined it to suit the Nigerian Terrain… “Seated in a DANFO or MOLUE, is the best way to observe the deteriorating state of her territory”. You cannot understand the pain of her people, when you relax in the comfort of your private jet or better still in the sheer affluence of your endless convoy. You cannot relate with the desolate atmosphere which pervades the entire community when you aren’t within her once ample bosom of surplus milk. But I can! Thus, I enjoin you to take a trip with me, I do not promise an easy ride, I guarantee an enlightening one.
DANFO is the title given to the common and often rickety commuter buses which ply STATE roads. Although, it can hardly be termed luxurious however it is essential for the everyday hustle of transporting oneself to the various and desirable ends of the state. From the windows of my habitual “DANFO”, I can vividly behold FILTH in all its glory!!! . “Potholed” streets brimming with endless rows of shanties peaked with rusted corrugated iron roof tops and furnished with bare floors. These shanties are filled with the exuberance of laughing occupants, haggling with customers and chatting at the top of their voices, oblivious to any surreptitious observation from Pries. Not far off, there is a continuous stream of refuse, clogged with the mashed remains of improperly disposed “pure water sachets” and hashed with other condiments of waste, giving off a tantalizing stench to the hapless souls living around the vicinity.
Nearby, overflowing gutters languidly spill forth septic water which seeps into neighboring homes, warmly greeted by the toothless grins of crawling infants who derive so much fun from swimming within its diseased morbid depths… for all too soon, we lose our babies to the epidemic of decay.
As though the murky depth of filth isn’t sufficient disaster, NOISE is an all too familiar nuisance. Its deafening sound is attributed to salient sources like commercial stereos … obviously another gimmick by the vendors of musical CD’s to improve sales. Noise, from loudspeakers belonging to our ever faithful social and religious homes overtly resonates, as the righteous seem to be calling on the supreme to intervene in the societal situation which they are probably benefiting from! Whatever the source of the deafening noise, the inhabitants seem to derive a certain unexplainable joy from the familiar debris surrounding their immediate environs and so they couldn’t care less. Ironically in this despicable environment , I am granted ,by the rusty sheets of the bus’s window, glimpses of political posters of aspiring statesmen, praising themselves for a job “not” done and promising more of the on-slaught if voted in for a second term! I shake my head in despair.
The convulsive jerking of the vehicle disrupts my reverie as I lift up my head just in time to see the driver struggling with the brakes in an attempt to avoid the huge craters on the road. He finally comes to a cough spluttering stop behind another bus. Irate passengers’ rain curses upon the tired looking old man who should have been within the confines of a socially maintained old people’s home, had the authorities been sane enough to provide one. He defends himself by advocating that it is no fault of his that the road is beyond redemption and rather than continuously flogging a dead horse, they should all prepare their buttocks to sit out the traffic jam. Well, that’s one advantage of BAD ROADS, at least it causes such a snail speed traffic which will enable us look out the window once more to see more of the derelict terrain. I turn my concentration outside again and this time around we are on a different street.
This street however seems slightly different, as it exudes a modicum of affluence which is noticeably absent in the previous street visited. One common feature possessed here is the vast array of buildings and undoubted reverence given to the supreme being as it is manifested in letterings boldly written on storey buildings … “GOD IS GOOD”: “IN GOD WE TRUST” however in the midst of this passable wealth and evident reverence of the most high, there still lies traces of POVERTY and “slum like” characters showcased by the poor living amongst the middle class. One can only wonder if there are any brothers’ keepers’ around as instructed by the holy books!
I can’t help but notice that, although arranged in an unconscious manner, there seems to be an orderly assemblage of buildings which earmark the distinctions in the societal classes…for beside every tall, well built structure lies another erection which is laughable in contrast (little wonder it is popularly known as “face me I face you” as it is burdened with pitiable living conditions. The imposing buildings almost always possess high quality security brass gates and tall fences to keep the thieves away while the latter revel in the knowledge that “he that is down needs fear no fall”. It is obvious that the middle class owners of these impressive structures strive to display their wealth, and ironically, it is done in the midst of undeniable penury and such lack, that their efforts seem trivial. This view bespeaks the desire of all and sundry to adopt not just the bank accounts of the Rich, but also their lifestyle …whether it is done in sheer stupidity or total ignorance of the fact that wealth in the midst of poverty is Poverty itself!!! .
Crudely, I am again forced back to the present as there is an atmosphere of heightening excitement in the bus. The High-schoolgirls amongst us giggle excitedly and their pointed fingers direct my roving eyes to the crisis taking place outside. Nothing prepared me for the shock I witnessed as secondary school students like an army of vengeful ants confidently thronged across the express road, violently brandishing weapons and threats at the unfortunate drivers ordering them to stop and forcefully collecting money from them, at the same time other students in various uniforms seem to delight in this rising frenzy as the passengers of the affected buses, including mine rush out, in search of refuge. If not for their uniforms, I would have ultimately assumed them to be the usual MOTOR PARK TOUTS popularly called “agbero” who always harass bus drivers for a certain unexplainable levy. However their demand is usually characterized with screams of ‘owo mi da! Owo mi da!” meaning ‘where is my money , where is my money” which often made me wonder if there was a secret agreement between the drivers and these touts that the drivers would hold or keep money meant for these miscreants! , but upon further investigation done on foot, realization dawns on me that there are no high pitched cries of “owo mi da”, rather the traders around seem unfazed as they relay to me that, this is a normal occurrence and nothing for me to get worried about, as the young students are merely organizing a street carnival soon and they needed funds for it! CARNIVAL???!! CARNIVAL! What? Pray tell, occurs at these silly carnivals that would be beneficial to these youths? …Beneficial enough to cost their lives if such casualty had occurred in the process of getting funds? Has decadence finally arrived at the doorsteps of our educational system or has it already been ushered in…? Methinks the latter has occurred! For what then would obviously result when these “leaders of tomorrow” find themselves idle as they are wont to be, given the endless strikes that disfigure the once buoyant tertiary education system in the country? Again , I shake my head in despair and as is commanded bibilically I shake the dust off my feet as I quickly navigate my way out of this hellhole called a street in search of another danfo to continue my journey…for there are Certainly no brothers’ keepers to be found on this street!
It’s pretty difficult to get another danfo and I have been advised to walk down a straight path before I may be opportuned to join another commuter. Since I’m in no particular hurry, I begin my stroll. On this particular path, lying conspicuously on the mud –streaked ground are miles and miles of snake-like power cables and I am careful to avoid its morbid coil. Looking up, it’s easy to know that these cables have been detached from their countless mother poles by the staff of the power company conventionally called NEPA (even though they have long discarded with that name). As my ever voracious and hungry eyes take in the scenery, the line of cable appears to stop at a certain pole. However, my sigh of relief is cut short as it turns out that, the line doesn’t just end, there is a staff of the company upon that specific pole threatening to continue his business amidst pleadings and overtures from the defaulting consumers of electricity.
“We will pay, we promise , Oga”,they chime. The man in question looks adamant and holds his ground defying the pretentious woe-be-gone expressions. “Na so una they talk”, he replies. His frowning face is suddenly wreathed in smiles as he cunningly “shakes hands” with the people and hurriedly climbs back on the pole, the reason behind his abrupt glee isn’t hard to find as shouts of UP NEPA!! UP NEPA!!! rent the air. No further discussion is needed, no trivial explanation expected, for what has just gone down is the common phenomenon of BRIBERY for services temporarily supplied. Bribery, one cankerworm that has effectively eaten up the thread of society’s clothing, is a menace that prevails in every sector and is pervasive amongst the classes. Illegal road blocks are mounted indiscriminately as money exchange…, swifter than the speed of light, are carried out between drivers and our uniformed officials; illegal contracts are awarded to non meritorious members of the public following another exchange of benefits while our “ogas at the top” snap blind eyes shut and cover already deaf ears!
No one cares to know whether it is a crime or not, it is sufficient if it guarantees a temporary solace. And for those who even care, they are powerless against its ubiquitous fame as Bribery is a common error, one which is often made and has become the norm thus we have embraced its evil tentacles!
But then we may choose to exalt ourselves in the art of tom-foolery and pure deceit by asking each other who really is corrupt amongst us… I mean, I’m not, are you? None of us ever is, yet we reap the fruits of our hand-sown seeds of corruption…,
For every time we lift our eyes and direct our gazes to the people, campaigning for the next sorry political administration as our entertainers are usually paid handsomely to do…;
Every time we falsify state figures to enlarge our lean pockets;
Every time we convince ourselves that we are too weak to fight against the tempting lure of corruption… we ultimately remove the tightly bolted nails in the coffin of DECADENCE, for we may irreversibly resurrect a mummified motherland.
Think about it, and while you’re at it, I remain THE AMAZON and my amazing quill loves you *winks*