Thursday, 19 February 2015

Reps Suspends Debate On Involvement Of Military In Elections

By Leadership

The House of Representatives on Thursday suspended the debate on the deployment of military personnel for election purposes in the country.

The House had been considering the issue following a motion by its Minority Leader, Femi Gbajabiamila (APC-Lagos).
In the motion, Gbajabiamila said it was unconstitutional for military personnel to be deployed for election duties in the country.
He also prayed the house to investigate the role of the military during the 2014 governorship elections in Ekiti.
He pointed out that the use of military personnel at election centres may intimidate the electorate.
According to him, the presence of military personnel in polling units and wards is capable of generating unwarranted apprehension that will scare away innocent citizens.
The lawmaker said that the action was capable of preventing voters from peacefully and wilfully exercising their franchise.
In his contribution, Rep. Sunday Karimi (Kogi-PDP) said that the matter which the motion sought to address could not be debated because it was in court.
“This matter is still a subject of litigation at the Supreme Court,” Karimi said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the All Progressive Congress (APC) had sought the nullification of Ekiti governorship election result for reasons, which included the involvement of the military in the elections.
Ruling on the issue, the Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal, directed the Committees on Rules and Business, Judiciary and Justice, to advise him on the matter.
“In view of the sensitivity of the matter and the unfolding events in the country, please I want us to take this matter very seriously.
“I will therefore direct committees on Rules and Business, Judiciary and Justice to advice the speaker, and come back to the house on Tuesday,” Tambuwal said.

Friday, 23 January 2015

Lets talk Adiche's 'Olikoye' and Nigeria today

Source: Bella naija 
Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche is one of the most avid and beautiful writers of my time. I am convinced that this is not an overstatement. She is a writer after my own heart. I am not a fan just because she is a Nigerian, and hail from the same coal city state as myself and grew up in Nsukka, a place I am proud to call home.

I love Adiche because in every piece of her writing she  doesn't leave me blind or confused. Adiche makes me see - painting real, vivid pictures of my immediate environment as it is. My love for Adiche's craft will not die.

Her latest short story, "Olikoye" is an epic. For me, it is the greatest tribute to Olikoye Ransome-Kuti - that paediatrician and health campaigner, arguably the best cabinet minister Nigeria ever had.

This will be our talking point as I set to release a post on this soon. Lets hear what you think about the story an its effect as it relates to current realities in Nigerian today.

Meanwhile, here is Adiche's beautiful Olikoye for your read.
Welcome!

Side note:we have some interesting discussions on my Facebook fan page. I use the platform often to crowd-source for my future posts.

So, if you want to be in the loop or even be mentioned on my blog, ensure you "like" my FB page and follow all the updates. 

Diary of a Lover

(For those broken hearts, that love find you yet again)

(art credit: Google)

The last word in my dairy was love. It was in bold, cap letters, I remember. My diary was kept a secret. A secret I kept from everyone else, for myself; a secret account of everything I feared and hoped for, of love and hatred, of pain and gain. I read it every day because it reminds me of everything I had and all I wanted to have. Basically, I kept diaries to express myself; to shout when someone tries to shut me up; it helps me to say everything. In my diary I sing, I laugh, I cry. In essence, my diary makes my muteness eloquent. Today, I am holding my diary in my hand – my secret book, thinking if some of the entries are mere accounts of my dreams. How things change! The last page was dated 16th August, 2008.

Saturday, August 2008.
My friend once told me that love is nothing but illusion; he calls it a mirage. He said it was something in your mind. “Just an imagination,” he would say. Fred is a coward. I like to think that he has no blood in his veins, no feeling. I don’t believe him. I am different. Somehow, I know love exists. I like to imagine that you attract what you think, and like Bob Proctor would say, “If you can see it in your mind, you are going to hold it in your hands.” I believe!
***                                                                  ***                                                                  ***
There is a hand somewhere beyond me, an infinite hand, I know. This is not me. I can’t believe I have this feeling for Osarome, a mere acquaintance, but for a few moment of unwilling conversation 
“I loved Ben with everything I had. I almost thought there was no life without him…. He was so sweet, before….before…” “Oh my God, why am I telling you all these? I mean am….
That was how, Osa, as I have learned to call her, broke the seal of silence that day, and shocked that she had surprised herself, she buried her face in her palms. I was a stranger after all. 

“I…I know how you feel.” I struggled with words too, obviously infected with her apparent emotion.
“You know nothing about me,” she snapped hysterically, her voice brazen and startling. And right then I saw her frustration.
“Am sorry but its good you talk about it. Maybe you could feel better.” She didn’t say a word, just staring into the plain wind.

I know there were so many things she had to say, but I am not the right guy to hear them; no, not about her devastating relationship with Ben, not the poignant tale of her father’s passing. I am just a stranger trapped in her pitiable emotion.
I want to tell her something about me; that I’ve been broken too, and ever since have been lovelorn. But how do I even begin? She seems allergic to the sound of this four letter word ‘love’. Will she believe me? I want to tell her that we have a common problem, and that we can help ourselves. But that doesn’t sound like a simple recipe to make her feel better or to assuage my own misery.

“Hey,” I began, clearing my throat. “I want you to know… see…you can love again.” There is an interlude of silence, before she turns to look me with unfeigned suspicion.  

This fleeting dialogue introduced the last entry in my diary. I titled it Osarome.

I met Osa on a mild Saturday afternoon at Fun Park, a recreation center in Abuja.
It is two years and eight months now, since that fateful day. The weather was unusually bright and clement, not much of the drizzling August rain. Her posture at the far end of the Park called me. She was alone, playing with a slim cell phone in her hand. I drew closer. “Are you ok?” I asked in desperate attempt to initiate a conversation. “…or you’re waiting for someone?” She didn’t say a word. Then, looking up she pulled a reluctant smile.

 “No. I just want to be alone.”  

Escape! 

Truly, sometimes you seek escape into some kind of life away from normal, especially when things seem to go wrong, or to inspire creativity. Often times when you are hurt, you retire into yourself, and in many cases to places so secluded; to shut your heart against the world, and perhaps be shielded from the piercing claws and cruel hands of life’s grinds. So you bear your burden, your pain, alone. Such was the case with Osa.

Moved by her pathetic stance, I let my bag on the ground and crouched beside her. “You can’t be alone. I mean you are not supposed to,” I said, my voice deep with concern. She feigned a smile. If lifting her out of her present state was the last thing I could do, then there was hope to sing eternally – a pleasant thought running through my head. Freeing a troubled heart could be a saintly disposition. I plunged on.  

I am seated almost head to head with her, a complete stranger. I don’t know how I got this close. But she doesn’t mind. I told her stories. They were fairytales, stories inspired by genuine intention to lift a soul from its miserable state into an unprecedented vivacity. The stories are touching, certainly. She looks into my eyes, a stranger’s eyes. I look away and return into her waiting eyes. There’s a reassuring level of peace and calm in her face now. She believes me, my stories. I nod in my mind.   

Now she is smiling. She is laughing. She pushes me and says “go away, I told you I want to be alone.” But she does that with a deliberate sense of reluctance. I grin. She understands she won’t make me go with that. “How easy to be happy,” I imagine her say. She leans forward to pick a stone, and throws at straying bird; a beaming, cheery countenance on her face. There is no more tension. No fears. No hard feelings. She no longer wants to be alone. We are no longer.

Later, we talked about some of the ‘pressing’ things in her life at the moment: her father’s passing, and then, Ben. Somehow, she was at the Park for the things she felt about them. She said Ben left her heart broken. “Ben doesn’t deserve any woman,” she said, her face to drooping. “He is a cheat. I loved him, but…” She couldn’t continue, polka dot of tears making a slow narrow tracing down her cheek. I ran my fingers across her delicately beautiful love-shaped face. This heart is truly broken! I see it in her eyes; the tears she cried, the moments she had spent alone seeking the return of peace and smile on her face. I see everything; and now, her father is gone, just a few weeks back. “My daddy was my best friend. Do you know how it feels now?” I put my hand on her shoulder and moved my head up and down. “Yes, I do. Am sorry for your loss” Now, her face is flush with tears.  She could not help it. I open my hands and close her in. “Am here for you” was all I could whisper. 

Our day at the Park ended. It ended well. She went home happy and new. She ran away from everyone at home, to nurse her pain alone, but found a companion and gained. Someone says fate is your destiny, and has a way of playing tricks on you. “Thank you for making me happy” was the last statement she made before she disappeared into a cab. I stood there, watching her now elusive figure fade into the green cab. Then, my emotions began to run. I could only stare. There were many things I wanted to say to her. But my mouth was heavy with words.

She is waving at me, saying goodbye as the cab started out. But her hand was not strong, not confident. It was hard to say goodbye. But she waved anyway, until the cab was lost down the steep, narrow street. Then she was gone, leaving me with myriad of thoughts and feelings jostling through my head. Nothing serious came out of my thinking. So, forlorn in the street, I gathered myself and headed home. That was the last time I saw Osarome. Since then, every other thing has been in my imagination and dreams.

To be continued…

Side note:we have some interesting discussions on my Facebook fan page. I use the platform often to crowd-source for my future posts.

So, if you want to be in the loop or even be mentioned on my blog, ensure you "like" my FB page and follow all the updates. 

Monday, 19 January 2015

I found a precious hand

Precious Chimnonso
Few days ago I was in Jos, Plateau state capital. I was there for something else, but my curiosity led me to a place where I found one of the most beautiful and astonishing things I have seen this this year; where I met a little boy  with a golden hand. He says, “my hand itches when am not drawing.” Hmmm!

Last week, I read what my friend wrote on her blog, omachies.blogspot.com, about her Itchy Fingers; how her fingers in time past dreamt of “how they would produce bestsellers before they moved out of teenage hood, how they would stun the world with the amazing things they could create”. She thinks her fingers had gone cold, but no. From what I read in that piece, it was obvious that her once fragile fingers (according to her) were either never cold/fragile or are getting stronger and firmer, and I didn’t hesitate to tell her in the comment box.

This story is not about Omachies and her itchy fingers. No. I found another hand that is gifted and precious, and this hand belongs to a young, smart lad. His name is Precious Chimnonso.
Precious is an artist I can boast; a 13-year-old boy who is not afraid but determined to follow the path he believes God has destined him. Though quite young, Precious is already carving a niche for himself. I started tracing him when his younger brother innocently told me “my brother can draw very well”. Then my curiosity got pricked. Really? I told him I would like to see. I asked a lot of questions but the little fearless boy had little answer. So I trailed them and found myself in their house. And this is what I found:
A woman breastfeeding her baby
(Art by Precious Chimnonso)
But that was not all. The young boy had other unfinished work he captioned ‘my dream car’. I watched him finish that piece, literally following the paint brush in his hand from the table unto the board. This, again is the result:
(Art by Precious Chimnonso)
And when I asked for a gift from the emerging painter, he  asked "what would you like me to draw for you?" "Any beautiful bird" I said. He made me a multicloured pigeon. I was patient to wait. And this is my gift from the boy with a gifted hand:
(Art by Precious Chimnonso)
Later, I had a chat with young Precious. He told me: “I found that this is where my future lies. It is my talent,” he said.
“I think drawing and painting naturally comes from inside. I started drawing when I was in the primary school, and it has not left me.
“Drawing to me is a hobby. When the environment gets boring, I just pick a paper and pencil and start drawing….”  

That evening I looked keenly at this little boy, his sincerity and love for this art; I thought of what could become of him in the next decade. Can you imagine? Hmm! I had just but a comment for him – “there is no limit to where you can go”. So, go, go, my little friend, the world is waiting!

Send us email via frankyiykman@yahoo.co.uk or iykman247@gmail.com if know any young person that is doing something worth celebrating, especially those who hasn’t got the platform to reach the world.


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Still on the Climb? Keep on

I have been a man on the climb. Though I may have been on a quite dawdling pace, which sometimes deadens my spirit, I still keep hope alive. I have fallen, I know. Yes, countless time. But I have always said no; always picked something each time, stood up and moved on. I have always believed. Resolute. Hoping. Trusting. I must have failed if I stayed down each time I fell.  No, I am not such a fraidy-cat. The prize is somewhere up there. I know. And that’s why I clime, making moves, taking decisions (right and sometimes wrong), trying,pushing - eyes on the mark, the prize to gain; and when the gold is in my grab, only then must I have attained. But would that even be the end? Oh! No. There would always be something for man to climb. I always do.
How about you; have you been climbing too; did you fall at any point? Still down? Oh, that would be tragic. Yea, 2014 perhaps came with loads of hopes, promises and even opportunities. But most of them, like straying embers, went off with the wind. Let them go! The good news is - God can make all things new…and then what is lost can be found. The year 2014 is in the past, but 2015 is here. You must let the past be and live for the now and the future. Make every moment count and keep your eyes on the mark. You must keep climbing, for somewhere up there is the prize, the beginning of the end of man’s endless scratch.
I like to imagine that success has neither a permanent friend nor foe. That it lived somewhere faraway uphill that men would always climb. If 2015 came with arduous tasks like the years past, then rejoice, for therein lies the secret of man’s happiness; for “no unwelcome tasks” writes Alexandra Maclaren “become any less unwelcome by putting them off till tomorrow. It is only when they are behind us and done, that we begin to find that there is a sweetness to be tasted afterward, and that the remembrance of unwelcome duties unhesitatingly done is welcome and pleasant….”


Keep working! Keep climbing!
Welcome to 2015.