LAGOS BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

LAGOS MARINA BEFORE
LAGOS MARINA AFTER

The best way to contextualize the growth and transformation of Lagos is by looking at the same southeastern view of the Marina towards the Lagos Yacht Club across the strait separating Lagos and Victoria Islands centuries apart up to Wilmot Point and beyond.

I am surprised and disappointed that Lagosians have also been caught up in the crossfire of identity politics in Nigeria. I have always assumed the “Center of Excellence” was immune to the kind of xenophobic indigenes-settler dichotomy that has bedeviled the rest of our nation, Nigeria. This post is therefore inspired by the recent intervention of Omo Eko Pataki, a forum for “Original Lagosians” entitled; Lagos – The Imperative of Cultural Renaissance. I thankfully became aware of it courtesy of the esteemed Taiwo Ogunbote of Center for Human Capital and Democratic Development, an old Gregorian of Obalende and former officer of the New York Police Department (NYPD).

Anybody who is familiar with the history of Lagos would admit that the entrepôt has always been a culmination of external factors revolving around trade and commerce from its obscure days as an Awori fishing settlement to its hostile takeover by the forces of Oba of Benin that named it Eko (which means war camp), which the Portuguese seafarer renamed Lago de Curamo in 1472.

However, it was not until Royal Navy officer, John Beecroft in 1849 who became the British consul to the Bights of Benin and Biafra based in what was now anglicanized to Lagos; which became a major hub for the present South West hinterland, which had to bombarded to military submission by Her Majesty’s warships in 1851.

For Lagos to stabilize itself amidst the incessant crisis between the Akitoye and Kosoko ruling houses and transform the strategically located “swamps and lakes” port to the Atlantic into a commercial hub order had to be restored and a semblance of authority must be established. Simply put the Union Jack had to be hoisted. To pull that off 2 persons were crucial – Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who took up the matter at the British parliament through his fellow Anglican bishops and abolitionists at the House of Lords and Madam Tinubu who impressed upon the local elite the need to transit from slave trading to a more lucrative and less hazardous legitimate trade.

Bishop Crowther was from Osoogun in present-day Oyo state and Madam Tinubu actually Efunporoye Osuntinubu, an Egba of Owu ancestry from Ojokodo in present-day Ogun state. Arguably, without their intervention we probably wouldn’t know Lagos as it is today.

What has also been perhaps deliberately neglected in the history of the evolution of Lagos is the role of the amalgam of Hausa speaking people. The Male Revolt was a slave rebellion that took place in January 1835 during Ramadan in the city of Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. In Bahia, the Hausas were primarily identified with practicing Islam because they adopted the religion before coming over to Brazil. Over time however, with the Nago slaves they united to revolt. Some of the key figures important in planning the uprising were: Ahuna, Pacífico, and Manoel Calafate.

“The word Nago derives from the word Anago, a term that the Fon-speaking people used to describe Yoruba-speaking people residing in the kingdom of Ketu now in the present-day Benin Republic.”

The aftermath of the Male Revolt led to emancipation of slaves in Brazil many of which opted to return to Africa. In 1851, a pioneer group of 60 freed slaves chartered a ship for the then equivalent of $4000 to return to Badagry. These returnees became known as Aguda which by the 1880s constituted almost 10% of the population of Lagos. Others eventually joined the return to Lagos; the Amaro from Cuba and Saro from the Caribbean via Sierra Leone.

“On 21 April 1863, John Hawley Glover was appointed administrator of the government of Lagos Colony, he remained there till 1872. Glover formed the nucleus of present-day Nigeria’s Army and Police with 10 Hausa runaway slaves on 1 June 1863. The group was known as Glover’s Hausas or ‘Glover’s Forty Thieves’. Glover went to great lengths to develop bonds of personal loyalty with the Armed Hausas. He personally trained, commanded, and chose his successors, ensuring their loyalty. In return for their loyalty, Glover rewarded his troops with land and dwellings. He raised their pay and provided them with smart uniforms that broadcast their status of free men and agents of the British colonial government.”

Who are then the original Lagosians?

The Aworis or Binis or even the descendants of Glover’s Hausas, Agudas, Amaros or even Saros?

How do we situate the millions of Igbos in Lagos that arguably constitute one third of the population of Lagos? What about the Ago Awusa that were located between Epe and Itokin from where Madam Tinubu’s fifth husband Momoh Bukar hailed from before that Hausa camp was resettled in Alausa in present-day Ikeja?

Anyway the main grouse of Omo Eko Pataki is that; “the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu; his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, and many top political office holders in the state are not natives of Lagos State”.

They further contend that ”the senators representing the state at the National Assembly – Oluremi Tinubu and Solomon Adeola; Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Folasade Jaji; and the Head of Service, Hakeem Muri-Okunola, are also not from the state” also that the “legendary accommodating openness” that Lagos State is known for was becoming a curse, noting however that they would no longer watch the state become “a no-man’s-land” The forum also claims “Lagosians are now reduced to almost “second-class citizens on their native soil”
For me the fundamental issue at stake is; The Tragedy of the Commons which is described by Garrett Hardin in 1968 as “All human relationships involve give and take, all such relationships breakdown when one or more parties do too much taking and not giving” Apologies to the Gbaygi of FCT.

“Isale Eko translates to ‘bottom of Eko’, was so named because of its location south of the area called ‘Eko’ (later called Lagos). Isale Eko started as the home of Aromire, a pepper farmer who was one of the sons of Olofin, an Awori settler, who was the chief of Iddo Island and the first Idejo (landowner) of Lagos Island. Aromire’s farm settlement, which was the first home of the inhabitants of Isale Eko, is today known as ‘Iga Idunganran’ (The Pepper Palace), the palace of the Oba of Lagos.” It was from this palatial surroundings the Oba of Lagos in 2015 threatened to sink the Igbo if they voted contrary to his political preference.

Unfortunately the joke is now on him as the Omo Eko Pataki under his royal nose are today poking their fingers at “the abberation which emerged since 1999”

In conclusion; Who build this Gada (Bridge)? This for me is a fitting metaphor for who built Lagos, a question asked by “Acksion Governor” Brigadier General Raji Alagbe Rasaki, the military administrator in Lagos 1988-1991 while inspecting a poorly constructed culvert over a flood channel. The Omo Eko Pataki needs to understand politics is a numbers game and must therefore skillfully negotiate their relevance even in their own domain by way of an issues based engagement. The 1999 Constitution is clear and unequivocal on the eligibility for public office and the right to residency anywhere in Nigeria. “Indigene-ship” is a colonial legacy for divide and rule.

Come October 1, it will be 60 years after national independence, so we shouldn’t be having this kind of conversation in our nation.

Eko o ni baje o!

The Kano Pigs in Gala

By Ahmed Yahaya Joe

This was reputed back in the day to be the largest piggery established by Kalil Maroun in Kano to cash in on the massive animal protein demand for allied troops during the Second World War. By 1959 the facility was transporting up to 36,000 swine annually by rail to Lagos for processing and packaging at a plant located in Apapa. That is why in 1962 when “Gala” was first introduced to the Nigerian market there were the pork and beef varieties. Soon after Satis set up shop producing sausages and bacon. In another part of Kano was a corned beef factory. A modern day abattoir including a livestock development agency and cold storage facility were also built in that ancient commercial city by the 1970s. Back then there was no need for Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore because the supply chain was to come from a herd of cross breed of Friesian cows with our local breed at the Farm Center where also a mechanized dairy plant producing export quality fresh milk, cheese, butter and yogurt was established.

The imported cows were fed from the by-products of “Double Crown” and eventually “Power Stout” from a brewery located in Bompai commissioned by the Sardauna of Sokoto in the early 1960s. Now the piggery of K. Maroun & Company is partly a motor part and the Farm Center grazing grounds a GSM market.
Today in Nigeria a kilo of iced fish from Norway is cheaper than its equivalent of locally produced beef. We even import Pizza. Meanwhile the shipping cost of a 40ft container from China to Tin Can Island is N900, 000. That same consignment costs N700, 000 and N1, 500,000 to reach Alaba and Onitsha respectively.

A combination of factors has led Nigeria to its present prostrate position. That is why I deeply sympathize with those that expect a quick fix to our problems. There is however a starting point which is simply to create an enabling environment for business to thrive. What attracted Mr. Maroun from the Juwaiyya region in Southern Lebanon to Kano in the first place is not unconnected to the business friendly nature of that ancient city guaranteed by local authorities. As early as the 1900s Ilyas Al Khuri arrived in Kano where the textile merchant district still bears his surname. Every economically vibrant society must open its hands to welcome a wide variety of outsiders. Unfortunately we are becoming more insular from Ijawnization to Fulanization.

However capital investment is essentially a coward that easily gets scared. It hates insecurity but likes accommodating leaders that point at the right direction like the generation of Governors Audu Bako of Kano and Samuel Ogbemudia of Mid-West. Those guys had imagination. Benin’s Ogbe Hard Court was on the global tennis circuit just as how the Argungu – Kano Motor Race predated Paris- Dakar Rally. Nigeria was back then on the world map for all the right reasons. Nobody gave a damn where you came from. Today governors are better known for being unaccountable for enormous security votes and tinkering with traditional institutions. With the combined resources of their states and those of local government subventions which they always corner, these governors are supposed to cumulatively outspend the Federal Government Naira for Naira in developmental projects. The real damage to our national economy takes place at state and local government levels.

Regerettably all eyes are on Abuja.

UK & USA Reject Nigerian Elections

Breaking News:

UK & USA Reject Presidential election results, threatens to remove Buhari .
Read full story….

The U.K and USA has rejected the Presidential election held on Saturday.
The Urhobo Kingdom (UK) representing Irodo community in Delta State And the UKwani Student Association (USA) also threatened to scatter the INEC office in Irodo and UKwani, two small communitIes where only about 100 and 300 people registered to vote
Details later….

Happy new month with blessings

Why Cricket Lords Over Football

cricket 1

(Excerpts from ‘Sporting Chance’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)

Indians will always prefer cricket to football.

Vijay understands the Indian’s passion for cricket, he really couldn’t imagine a more fitting sport for the mainly frail creamy intelligent tigers. But the English’s craze for that weaklings’ sport alongside a maddened hunger for football and rugby is to say the least, quite baffling.
The artistry in the dexterous requirements in the football craft are very English, just as their heavy beer drinking and brawling nature is captured in rugby, which is tastefully quite English.
cricket 2
Vijay struggles to place the lazy pretentious athletic guise of cricket in the rugged Isles of the Brits. With their woodlands for Archery, their vast greenery across the broad island screams for racing horses, their neatly cut lawns fitting for tennis and golf, their long coast line and rivers demand to be rowed and raced in. But it baffles Vijay where the idle desire to spend an entire afternoon watching able bodied men, fully dressed in surgical whites and safari hats, just to repetitively throw, whack and catch a wooden fist size ball, over and over again, comes from. It beats the imagination and is simply juvenile to have grown ups endlessly count the number of times a ball is thrown, hit or caught repeatedly. It feels like teaching erring adolescences to count while punishing them for doing their sums badly.

Vijay’s conclusive theory is the English lords had simply wanted a ball game of their own that can rival football. The rich lords of old England hated the advent of original football and the trampling of their vast green lands by their peasant tenants it encouraged. The lords hated that it curbed their fox hunting and pony jumping. It also disturbed their arrow shooting. They also hated the fact that football evolved into quite a popular pastime amongst their rebellious subjects who chose to still revere their lordships, even as they pretend not to by openly governing themselves democratically. So the English lords sought for a way to be seen as taking to the field on their feet, running and throwing, hitting and catching too, like in football.
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It had to be on their terms, completely non-contact sport, one befitting royalty and allowing them to be well dressed, with sitting ladies watching out of harms way, like in polo. The thought of it being otherwise is appalling, to say the least. Cricket is paced leisurely, in usual unrushed aristocratic manner and its lingo also comes from established elitist pastimes. Visiting teams are tourists and half-time is tea time etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

Enter Cricket for English royals and landlords.

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EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH

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Forgive and Forget

Obasanjo
(Excerpts from ‘The Assassination of Obasanjo’ in ‘Everyone hates the English’)

“In the popular quest for change Nigerians were yet again willing to forgive the acts of evil committed against them. With this singular act they simply continued their life long legacy of letting thieves, bullies and killers escape justice for their respective acts of stealing, treason and murders. It is little wonder that the Nigerian nation has repeatedly suffered from these many crimes, when the countless perpetrators are always assured of getting off scot-free.

1JbEdG-SNp-109x109

“Strangely though, of the two acts that starts a revolting sequence of prolonged feud, the most damaging is always the second, not the first. The first starts it off and could as easily end it at that, if the second does not see the need to revenge the damage the first act had started. Second act establishes and revitalizes the sequence when it retaliates.”

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EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH

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THE MAN IN THE MOON (From Everyone hates the English)

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A review by Faye Diabel https://fayediabel.wordpress.com/

Yas Niger’s “The Man in the Moon”

“It is a fascinating tale of a culturally engaged street corner preacher, a usually misunderstood necessary oddity in major metropolises built upon colonial legacy – where the non indigenous culturally marginalized, some of them forcibly brought to build the same thing they, now, are blamed to have polluted. It is, a story said from its characters and supporting onlookers’ perspective, an insightful fiction.

“The character development focused on three actors who kept on yanking the story into motion. It is like a pyramid standing on Leroy – a self-anointed ambassador of a motley group that he himself reveals his estrangement from, depending on its state of affairs – as revealed by his following statement “… I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African …” Therefore, it is safe to say that Leroy’s sense of belonging, vis-à-vis Africa, is selective, although there is a dose of Garveyism in his preaching that all black people are from Africa. His consciousness, which was supposed to be the key to his inner peace, might very well be considered as the basis of his tragic state of being.

“Then comes Mrs. Gregory, the essential story spinner – a provoker Leroy couldn’t live without, who summarizes the bad and the good, the two sides of the coin, of western civilization – the target of Leroy’s preaching; and then Henry, a dog given a humane characterization, a dog with a mind, caprices, and feeling; he too helped run the story to its destination. As much as they get along, there is a deep-seated love and hate. To me, it seems that Leroy loves Barbara but hates Mrs. Gregory. On his fateful day, he accepted Barbara’s invitation – as Leroy the man, but Mr. Freeborn got ambushed by Mrs. Gregory’ Caucasian embedded anxiety about black men’s motives.

“I knew, and mingled with, some Leroy Freeborns; fascinating people to be with, While perching on their stage – under the bright sun, until it is time to get home, when the sea is done swallowing the sun and the moon’ reminder that it is time now to have an inner preaching with one’s pillow, to say the least, or the time to cuddle and nurture love ones; and then you wonder whether they would prefer that the sun will never set on their day to day reality. He is the man in the moon, while standing on his pedestal, fading into the ghost of his shadow just a step down from his makeshift launching pad.

(Some excerpts from “The Man in the Moon” Everyone hates the English)

“It is not an insult to call me black, it is purely descriptive. Africa is firstly a geographical location, an address. It is a continent with more than one race on it, Negros and Arabs are indigenous to it. Without the slightest risk of sounding the least controversial, you will agree that there are Caucasians native to it, that means Caucasian-Africans. So when you call someone an African-American, you are also referring to Arabs and other Caucasians of African origins. But don’t you only wish to refer to the blacks, when you say African-American?” Leroy shouts at the top of his voice. The opening remarks ought to be delivered loudest, so pedestrians can hear him clearly as they go by. But the words are as important as the volume.

“The origin of the term black for Negros is indefinite. It is easy to guess that Negros were the first to call themselves black. All through history, naturally occurring darkness with daily year round nights in the tropics, has been associated with blackness and it is ideal to use black as a synonym for extreme darkness. The trend remains still, even if black is considered improper. The degraded imagery deduced from the term black can only be expunged by the achievements of those who can not escape it, if they wear it and must live with it. Skin colour can not be removed like some piece of clothing.” Leroy was being just assertive enough to reel in listeners. The first few pedestrians paused and veered closer to hear more.

His next line determines if they stayed. It is imperative to retain the earliest callers, their interest tends to attract others and a steady increase in numbers builds more interests. People are habitual copy cats, they only linger if others do. The material he delivers will do the rest and Leroy Freeborn always has good material.

“The most descriptive term best suited for the Negro’s visibly dark complexion is black, just like white is best suited for Caucasians.” Leroy spoke forcefully, then he repeats a summary of his earliest words, for the immediate benefit of the new arrivals joining the first few who heard him commence his rant for the day.

“Even if a popular law stops the formal use of blacks to identify Negros in its entirety, black will still be used for those purposes it is best suited for. The truth is, Negros are best identified as blacks and the home of all black people is Africa, our proud mother land. But going by the recent expression of freedom in our beloved Africa, I much rather say I am black and proud, than I am a proud African.”

A collective groan from the dozen or so people already listening in front of Leroy’s small raised platform, greeted his last words. As usual, the indefinite insinuation of the shared groan didn’t fully register approval or disapproval.

Twenty five years of standing on the same spot on the broad sidewalk, with the kind permission of the late owner of the nearby toy store, under the blue morning skies of England’s capital city, every Saturday in summer, spring and Autumn has taught the sixty year old native Jamaican the ropes of the demanding talking trade.

Leroy appeals to the intellect of just anyone, from unkempt homeless bums to unemployed graduates, from housewives on shopping runs to tourists, who only speak enough English to understand directions. Leroy can work a crowd into a frenzy and answer reasonable questions or hateful queries hurled at him with the articulate elegance of age and much knowledge. He had regulars, some have heard him for over a decade. A few regulars arrived and increased the growing numbers.

Leroy acknowledges a few nods from familiar faces and continued his tirade. It was going to be an interesting day, the small crowd appeared genuinely interested.

“I own the name Black Man! It is me, I claim it as mine and my proud identity. But who are you sir?” Leroy points at a white man in the front, not one of his regulars. The man smiles back at him, amused. It was a normal response.

“Come on people, don’t be shy. Someone speak to me. Are you white, if I am black?” Leroy looked at yet another white man, a recent regular. Then at another, but still no answer was offered. They were being careful not to walk into a trap. They were there to listen to his harangue and not to engage him in a discussion.

“I am Caucasian,” a male voice from the back said.
Obscured from Leroy’s veiw, the fellow didn’t reveal himself but it was easy to tell the voice belonged to the man in a black leather jacket. His clean shaven head gave him away, not the plain uninterested mien he unsuccessfully tried to pass off.
Vital tip Leroy: Those crazy bald heads don’t keep straight uninterested faces.

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EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH
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EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH

#EveryoneHatesTheEnglish #EHTE
EVERYONE HATES THE ENGLISH
Think about this? It is quite human to be greatly annoyed by certain aspects of life, by an individual or group of people. People habitually associate exhibited characteristics with specific persons, people or their orientation.

For centuries the English have dissatisfied the most people across the globe. But as diverse as the reasons why Everyone Hates The English are, the world still respects and simply enjoy the English the most. The tales in this book say as much.

The stories in #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish will capture your imagination and steer your emotions like few other tales of books ever did before now.

#EveryoneHatesTheEnglish
Yas Niger
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/559891

Everyone hates something and most people actually think; #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish #EHTE

It is conventional for one group to be dissatisfied with another they regard as different. Usually the displeasure is as a result of other people not conforming to expectations, not necessarily because they are different.
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Being irritated or irked by certain persons is predominantly a personal feeling, which then builds over time and grows into the psyche of larger groups that share the same traditions, social and economic orientation and status.

Hating something or someone means being highly peeved and greatly upset by them, such that it causes discontentment and makes one continuously unsatisfied by these things or persons. It is a marginal feeling that builds into an extreme angered state, a perpetual disgruntled condition.

Everyone experiences this disappointed state of unfulfilled expectations for varied emotional, social, economic, political, cultural and religious reasons. As diverse as our reasons for hating others may appear to be, they all share two things in common. The majority of reasons people get offended and angered are personal to others and trivial to them. These are reasons enough to understand and respect others, or simply just to laugh at our reasons for hating others. But not summarily hate others because they are different or because we are just as different too.

Everyone hates something that displeases them. Let us start with understanding and respecting, or simply enjoying the English, while laughing along with the reasons why #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish or think they do.

Everyone Hates The English
By Yas Niger
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
https://www.createspace.com/5650770

Bean
In SHADES OF BIRDS the English had just lost the American civil war and still managed to win over their best allies ever. In ALTERNATE D-DAY the English lost the second world war and got ready to take over the world, yet again. MRS QUEEN, MISS KING are a few simple letters that appears to speak for the popular English monarchy and its enduring legacy of detached respectability.

Then comes OPTIONAL SLAVERY and the wave of illegal migration from seemingly everywhere to almost anywhere in Europe, but good old England. And in England we meet THE MAN IN THE MOON, yet another economic migrant that is proud of the heritage he escaped from but didn’t really live behind. In the same city THE ASSASSINATION OF OBASANJO took place, the guests of the hospitable English gave them a tastes of life in one of their so many old colonies.

The IMPROPER CONDUCT that culminates in Karachi tells the collective tale of diverse individual offshoots of English legacy across the whole world, over so long a time. With THE THREE VIRGINS the English help merged three major people into yet another United Kingdom without a care for their preferance or indeed their reluctance. Finally a young Indian footballer got a good SPORTING CHANCE to be more English, just when he succeeds in being less English.

snake charmer
Everyone Hates The English
By Yas Niger
Copyright 2015 Yas Niger
http://okadabooks.com/book/about/9867

So tweet it, post it and get everyone to read this unique book that will surely get everyone thinking about why #EveryoneHatesTheEnglish or think they do.
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GET A COPY NOW!!!
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