Apologies, our dearly beloved, highly tolerant, constant readers. You see, we have no post today. We’ve been on some sort of extended sick leave. Sort of. 😉
Instead, we’ll give you the chance to go have some fun on our companion blog: ayosogunro.com and improve your career opportunities by learning how to be a trial lawyer. Doubtful? The article starts very encouragingly. Let’s show you.
The first time I appeared in court before a judge I was all a-sweat. I was sure it had nothing to do with tension—like my office colleagues teased—I simply had an uncontrollable glandular problem. Go on, Google it. It caused me severe dehydration for the entire day. I knew almost nothing about court appearances and not even my fine qualifications from both the university and the law school could reassure me. Anyway, by the end of the day, the case I went for went easy and smooth—and I even had the opportunity to coach the opposing lawyer on some items. So, how did I go from being a novice to being one of the greatest lawyers? And how can you also become a great lawyer with little or no formal training? All you need to know is the recipe that makes a person a lawyer, the stuff that separates a lawyer from a layman, and like most things like this—they are surprisingly simple. I assure you, if you can imbibe these few tips you are about to read, you’re on your way to being the next SAN!…
You get the drift? Continue reading it by clicking on the link below, or you can get back to work—which we recommend. 🙂
See you folks next week! Thanks for being cool.
Today, we will talk culinary things and fine dining: where to get good food, how to eat good food, and most importantly, how to avoid paying for good food.
In the tradition of vain imaginations and inane glorification that exists in this country, a lot of Nigerians think Federal Executive Council meetings are a gathering of serious men and women who meet every Wednesday to critically discuss how to fix national issues and solve existing problems in a sane manner—like an episode of The Apprentice, except without an asshole Donald Trump messing up the works. Sorry to burst your bubble, but FEC meetings are actually not that serious. Not in the way you think, anyway.
Now let’s leave the FEC for a moment. I know you’re hooked on reading on, but take a look away from your screen and ask any random person to give you three problems plaguing Nigeria and how these could be fixed. Any three problems, there’s a long list to pick from: corruption, insecurity, economy, infrastructure, health care, education, power, agriculture, oil and gas…
Simple exercise, right? Any Nigerian can give you, not just the problems of the country, but also a fair, if crude, idea of how these problems can be fixed. So why do we still have these problems around? Folks usually assume this is because the government has no clue on what it takes, and these nice folks are quite happy to educate the government on the way forward. But, I’m sorry sweethearts, that’s a fucking wrong assumption. The government absolutely knows every in-your-face, down-and-out, expert-approved, consultant-sanctified, blueprinted, mapped out, long and short solution to the problems of the country. They know it far better than you and I can theorise. But they are never gonna be inclined to use this knowledge. Trust me on this. Why the fuck not, you ask me with exasperation. Simple, because the real goal of everyone in government is to find food to eat for the day.
This is everyday life in Nigeria. The life of most Nigerians continually revolves around choosing between having food to eat in the short term and consequently postponing a pressing problem, or going hungry and fixing the problem. Take a look at the now cliched scenario of the N20 police bribe. The problem in that scenario is corruption, but the need common to the parties in the scenario is that of food. You can’t quite blame the lean looking policeman for disinterest in fixing corruption, and interest in eating. He joined the police not to secure lives and property–but to get a job to eat. Also, you can’t quite blame the danfo driver who is not inclined to fix corruption either, but wants to pursue his daily bread. The market woman is out to find money for food, she is not in the market to fix environmental problems. The lawyer needs money to be able to eat, he did not nearly sell his soul to raise the law school fees because he wants to fix the legal and judicial system. From the professionals who zoom out in cars in the mornings to the labourers on the field—everyone is looking for a means of livelihood. Bed and breakfast. Food to eat. No one leaves the house and says, today, I want to go out and solve a damned problem.
Now, let’s get back to that unserious FEC meeting. Imagine in the meeting, a fresh Minister for Works, excitedly outlining a proposal to construct a super metro system. When he is done with his yarn, the President asks him a few questions. (1) How long would the project take? Our Minister answers: 5 to 6 years. (2) Who are the proposed contractors? Some French engineers. (3) Who will put up the project money? Some Nigerian and international banks. (4) Will there be any profit? Yes, of course, from the commercial proceeds of the completed metro system. (5) Who will make this profit? Well, the Minister says nervously: the same banks that put up the money. (6) How, can we get our people into the deal? Errm, no way sir, this is strictly project finance, only the investors can make any money in the long term.
The room goes quiet as the President stares coldly at the Minister before he lashes out: “How the fuck do I explain to the contractors in the Party that I approved a multi-billion Naira project they cannot benefit from? Get your French engineers to construct a defense for me, asshole! Do you think we are here to joke around?”
And here’s the moral for today: the President, his ministers and the rest of the government are as Nigerian as you and I. They know the problems, they have the answers and they know how to implement them. But few problems can be fixed without someone giving up, or suffering, something. The elected official has no inclination to give up the perks or endure the suffering. Therefore, the government will only try to fix problems that excludes the government from the pain of the fix—and too bad if the masses have to suffer that pain. On the other side of the battlefield, and especially in these days of Twitter and Google, the masses are beginning to understand the long con, and since they want to eat just as well as the government, they will also resist these kinds of one-sided fixes. So the country doesn’t progress, and things remain the same. And that’s what Fela calls “stalemate”.
Naturally, the masses are not going to give up their hard-earned pleasures to please the government’s selfish projects. And that’s the real problem with Nigeria—no one wants to suffer the fix to a problem while someone else gets away with the food. That’s the real issue: not corruption, not insecurity, not the economy, not infrastructure, not health care, not education, not power, not agriculture, not oil and gas.
Of course, the ideal solution is for all of us, government and governed to endure the pain together. But who the hell is gonna start first? The general consensus of the masses is: let the government stop its selfish spending and selfish “fixes”, and show a willingness to trim its bloated belly to a reasonable size, then the masses will be willing to share the pain. Its not necessarily the nicest ideology, but folks wanna eat too. So, your move, government.
P.S. For our readers who look out for reference links, sorry for the absence today. Meanwhile, here’s something for you.
Now lets be clear about today’s lesson right from the start: this is a famzing article. And for those of you unfamiliar with that nicely rolling slang, this article is essentially an unpaid and unsolicited advertisement. You know, like those ass-licking felicitations you see in newspapers whenever a wealthy man achieves something remarkable in its ordinariness. Same as you lick at work everyday.
And now that we’re all clear on the famzing nature of today’s diatribe, the laws of decency and good breeding forbid you from pointing out that fact in the comments, or mentioning it to me on twitter or in person.
But what’s it about famzing that requires an apology, anyway? It’s not the famzing itself that should be worrisome; instead, like sharing a toothbrush, it’s the person you’re doing it with that matters. Or maybe that’s too far out an example. The point is: why should celebrating El-Rufai require an apology? It’s not as if we’re celebrating Doyin Okupe—and I’ve celebrated Doyin Okupe. (And if, just in case, you’re Doyin Okupe, please remember to reward me handsomely.)
Now for those of you who know little about art and culture, here’s a 5-second lesson that can broaden your knowledge. If you look up Google’s homepage today, you will see a doodle celebrating not just the sculptor, Auguste Rodin, but also his famous iconic work: “The Thinker“.
Today’s Google doodle celebration is significant to your understanding of the moral of today’s lesson. And now, here’s the moral of today’s lesson.
See, there’s no fundamental difference in the mental composition of the “white” man’s society and the African society. As a crude statistical summary, a white society of 10 people will ordinarily have 2 geniuses or above average intelligent folks, 6 averagely intelligent people and 2 people of below average intelligence. Take your African society too, the same crude statistics apply, 2 Smart Alecs, 6 Average Joes and then 2 idiots.
So what creates the glaring differences between the the white society and the black society? The answer is simple: the white guy has learnt that it is best to allow the 2 geniuses shape his society—from political ideology to arts and sciences. The 2 clever folks lay down the blueprint—and the rest of society follows it to the letter. Like I told you, its simple. That willingness to allow the best thinkers draw up the plans is what made America, for e.g. the country it is today—from the declaration of independence to Obama’s election, an ideology is always chosen and followed.
On the other side of the world, your average African society will rather hang the two geniuses by the neck till they are dead and choose its leaders and inspirations on the basis of age, wealth, tribe, inheritance, “divine” appointment, entertainment value or some misguided sense of good luck—and we all know how that last criteria ended.
And that’s why Nigeria has failed to mine Soyinka’s internationally recognised brain to the last drop; that’s why our professionals migrate to foreign countries, and that’s why we have chased away or killed off every thinker, intellectual, writer, artist or anybody else capable of raising our society’s intelligence quotient—-while we adore the Nollywood celebrities, Afro hip-hop musicians, jet buying pastors and inefficient politicians. We gave knowledge a well-aimed kick in the butt and made out with entertainment instead.
And that’s why I wasn’t too surprised when, on El-Rufai’s Twitter TL, I read tweets by a number of people eager to have his head on a platter, because, on a societal level, we’re really really suicidal in our choice of leaders.
Happy dying. 🙂