September 27, 2015

Pope Francis Inside A Philadelphia Prison, Sept 2015

Notice how this pope has, with his choice of tour sites during his 2015 visit to the US, called attention to the world's homeless and to the world's imprisoned.

He has been making a difference in our world, not with pompous words of canonical self-righteousness, but with deliberate action that calls on us all to return to the fundamental principle on which Christianity was built: LOVE


September 25, 2015

This pope has, by his words and actions, consistently given form and expression to my long-held view that Jesus did not come to this world to found a religion; he came to establish an ideology. He did not come to get us to acknowledge his divinity; he instead came to get us to value our humanity. He did not come to prove to us that God has anger management issues; He instead came to teach us that every human language understands love, tolerance, affection - because these ideas need no knowledge of semantics in order to be communicated. In a word, he came to teach us to care for one another.

I think Pope Francis has a very similar agendum.


September 18, 2015

I have just received a message from the Most High. Someone please take this message to the leaders of The Lord's Chosen:

Thus says the Lord:

In the beginning, I created Time. And that was the beginning of the Beginning. I created everything out of nothing. I have created things you have seen and things you cannot fathom. I have given you capabilities so that you can use them to fend for yourself.

You sin grievously when you give murderous instructions to those who choose to come to me through you. You belong with the Father of Lies when you tell my children that I said they should not take medications, when you stop them from getting medical help when they are sick, and instead lock them up and needlessly pollute the atmosphere I created with the noisy ruckus that you like to call prayer.

I created man. I created all men. There is a reason I created Newton. And Fleming. And Shakespeare. And Florence Nightingale. And Ben Carson. And Lionel Messi. I have given each man his own gift, each man his own talent. I have even given you - some of you - the gift of oratory. Do not misuse it by employing it to lead other people to needless deaths.

I will hold each of you responsible for every single death you cause. Every single one. This caveat applies also to your colleagues at Faith Tabernacle.

If I were anything like some of you, this is where I would use what you people like to call an expletive. But, you see, I am not.

One more thing. I have chosen everyone, and appointed to different people different roles. Do not keep telling my children that they are the ones I have specially chosen. That is pathetic. None of them - and none of you - is even a non-Gentile!!!


I pray everyday that in my quest to expand the frontiers of my own knowledge and to cultivate in my friends the habit of asking questions without borders, I may not forget the reason I set out on this quest.  

Image source:

That which I seek may appear to some to be a shadow at the moment, yet it is my objective, my goal, my substance struggling upward and outward from its many surrounding shadows.

And sometimes, the difference between this substance and that shadow is made by the lighting.


August 07, 2015

When you become accustomed to profiling everyone you meet based on certain preconceived notions, you may be in danger of making grave mistakes - mistakes that could accompany you to the grave or even qualify you for an early trip gravewards.

By profiling, I mean such unfortunate generalizations as “Every Black man is a thug,” “Every White man is “civilized”,” “Every Igbo man is avaricious,” “Every Calabar girl is a pervert,” “Every Yoruba girl is dirty,” “Every Hausa man is an islamist terrorist,” “Every Edo girl is a Nigerian ambassador to Italy,” “Every Ghanaian…” I guess you get my drift.

A woman in her 50s - who, judging from the style of her headgear, might have belonged to the Deeper Life Church - came to see us on account of her fibroids. After having a chat with her, we had her taken to the ultrasound scan room where we intended to run a transvaginal ultrasound scan for her.

We noted that when she came into the room, had been properly positioned for the scan, and the scan was underway, her eyes rested on something behind and above the level of our head and her face dissolved into different contortions of sheer horror. But she did not speak, and we did not prod. We had a job to do; our business was with the ultrasound scan monitor, not with her facial features.

After the scan, she was in a hurry to leave, barely waiting to pick up the scan result and declining our attempt to discuss our findings with her.

After her abrupt departure, we wondered what it was she saw that discomfited her so. So we returned to the ultrasound scan room and looked up at the place where her eyes had been - and burst into laughter.

There, sitting innocent and proud on a shelf, was a box of condoms.

The condoms we use on the probes for the ultrasound scans.

Yea. Did you know that? That condoms have uses other than the one most popularly listed on their USES résumé? And that one of those uses is as cover for the ultrasound probe when you go in for a transvaginal ultrasound scan?

I bet she didn’t know that.

Now you do.

As for the lady, she must have left, convinced of our reserved place of honour in Hell, at the right hand of Lucifer.

Not every Nigerian policeman is corrupt.


Moore Numental | Facebook | August 04, 2015

The Deputy Head of Mission 

Embassy of Spain 

Accra, Ghana 

26th April 2015 

Dear Sir: 

I applied for a short-term visa to attend a medical conference in Barcelona from 26th April to 29th April 2015 and by your response dated 22nd April 2015 I had been denied an entry visa to your country. As was written in your rejection letter, I have an option of lodging a contentious-administrative appeal at the High Court of Justice of Madrid (Spain) within a two-month deadline counting from the date of serving. Since it is nigh impossible for me to get myself to Madrid and lodge my appeal I have decided to personally write to you for some clarification. 

The reasons for denying me an entry visa were that the information regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable and also that my intention to leave your country before the expiry of the visa could not be ascertained. 

I know it is your prerogative to decide whom to grant a visa to but I feel personally insulted for the reasons you have given for the denial. 

I am a highly trained orthopedic surgeon with specialty interest in orthopedic sports medicine and complex joint reconstruction. I have been a doctor for the past 20yrs. My current positions are: 

1. Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon at the KorleBu Teaching Hospital 

2. Lecturer at the University of Ghana Medical School 

3. Fellow of the West African College of Surgeons 

4. Consultant for West Africa Rescue Association (WARA). (I treat patients from the expatriate and diplomatic community including quite a number from Spain) I am sure if you were to injure yourself, am the most likely surgeon that you will be referred to. 

I have attended medical conferences in Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, Japan, Canada, USA and Norway. Incidentally all these countries found my purpose for travelling justifiable except you. The letter of invitation I presented to you was written by a renowned surgeon in Madrid who trained in the same institution as I did in the United States. But I guess you did not find a letter written by such a person credible enough. 

I find it laughable that you think I will not return to Ghana and end up as an illegal immigrant in Spain where people of my skin tone are treated as second-class citizens. I have a wife and children whom I do not intend to abandon. Although I do not consider myself wealthy, I am very comfortable economically and have investments in property and other assets in Ghana. How did you ever come to the conclusion that I was a flight risk? 

May I kindly remind you of some basic facts about your country? 

1. The unemployment rate in Spain presently is 25% and youth unemployment tops 50%. Why will I leave a stable job and to go and join the unemployment ranks in your country. 

2. From January 2009 to end of 2013, 400,000 Spaniards emigrated to look for work outside of your country. And this is expected to rise in the coming years. 

3. Doctors in Spain are the least/worst paid in the whole Euro zone. Why will I want to go work in a country where my counterparts are leaving in droves for economic reasons? 

4. In the year 2012, it is on record that 2405 medical doctors applied for certification to work abroad, according to The Medical Spanish Association – a 75% increase compared with 2011. 83% of doctors seek jobs in Europe (mainly the UK and France) and 7% America. 

5. In 2009, the Health Ministry warned that there was a shortage and that the country needed around 3,200 more doctors. By 2025, at the present rate the shortfall will be around 25,000. The Spanish government has talked of increasing the number of university and medical school places, as well as making it easier for overseas personnel to work here. 

Sir, as a representative of the country of Spain, you have failed woefully in your responsibility to promote the interest of your country by denying me a visa. My skill, knowledge and experience will be invaluable to the Spanish people even if I decided not to come back to Ghana. Furthermore my budget for this conference topped €5000. This is the amount of money that would have been injected into the Spanish economy in a week. Can you imagine the economic loss if all the doctors from all over the world attending this conference were denied entry into Spain? I was due to present two papers and since I was not able to go I have informed the conveners of the conference of my inability to attend. This is an international conference and can you imagine the embarrassment your compatriot doctors will feel when it is announced that I could not present my scientific papers because you denied me a visa? Never mind that I cannot get a full refund for my ticket and my total booking for the hotel is not refundable. 

Given the reason for visa rejection, a detailed explanation on which aspects of my application did not provide sufficient evidence that I will return to Ghana is most welcome. I am particularly curious to know of the lofty economic standards set for Ghanaians to visit to Spain when Spaniards themselves barely meet these standards. 

Yours truly, 

Dr Agbeko Ocloo MB.ChB FWACS 

Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon 


The Ambassador 

Emabssy of Spain 

Accra, Ghana 


July 30, 2015
Two things:

I am thoroughly against same-sex marriage and any redefinition of marriage from the traditional definition that includes both the words "man" and "woman" in any order. I am also against adoption of children by same-sex couples and by single parents. I am also against any legislation that attempts to give backing to either same-sex marriage or to child adoption by same-sex couples or single parents.

I am thoroughly in support of legislation that clearly decriminalizes consensual adult homosexual behaviour AND clearly criminalizes a discrimination against anyone on the basis of their sexual orientation WITHOUT PREJUDICE to the definition of marriage in a way that makes it the exclusive preserve of a man and a woman.

In other words, fuck who you want to so long as you are (both) old enough and you (both) agree. The word "both" is in parentheses in deference to those others for whom threesomes are the lowest they can do in terms of number of participants in one sexual session.

If you want children in your life however, kindly do the needful. Pay a nuptial visit to a human on the other side from you of the gender divide.

Luckily for the rest of the world, I am just one out of six to seven billion people. Would have been terrible if there were too many people who thought like I did, like I do.

Ah. That explains the terrible terribleness of our world. Too many of my kind are yet living. Yet to go to hell.


Moore Numental | Facebook | June 13, 2015

Note: This story has been uploaded as picture posts. Feel free to tap on each of the pictures to read the entire story.


Ben Murray Bruce | | May 27, 2015

In the run up to his inauguration, President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, has been telling the nation of his plans and policy direction and one of those policies is his stated intention to resume the search for oil in Northern Nigeria and specifically in the Lake Chad region of Borno State. Ironically, Borno is one of the states ravaged by the scourge of terrorism which has set that state and the entire Northeast region back in almost every index of human development. 

If oil is found in the Lake Chad region, it will go a long way in reviving the economy of the Northeast. However, Buhari’s plan has met with some criticism especially in the South were a number of pundits and analysts see the plan as an expensive wild goose chase that would not yield anything.

I believe we are being short sighted when we criticize such a plan. Nigeria needs multiple streams of income now more than ever. And if Niger and Chad have struck oil in commercial quantities, it stands to reason that the chances of oil being found in Northern Nigeria and especially the Lake Chad region are higher than we had previously thought when we abandoned the search for oil in that region over a decade ago.

Any student of economics will tell you that Nigeria will be more balanced if we can find commercial oil deposits up North.
It is just natural. Nature abhors unipolarity and favours bipolarity. That is why things come with a balance. Night and day, hot and cold, up and down, bitter and sweet, fast and slow are examples.

The world was a much safer place because of the Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD) doctrine which saw the then Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) now Russia having an almost equal ability with the United States to assure each other’s destruction which meant that they would never go to war directly against each other. They balanced each other out.

However, there was a brief period when only the United States had nuclear weapons and that was the only period in human history when nuclear weapons were used.

Do you see how it works? When there was no balance, there was nothing to stop the US from using atomic weapons. But when nature or the divine corrected that imbalance with the rise of the Soviet bloc there was a check on West and vice versa.
Balance is a good thing.

We can relate this to Nigeria. As long as the overwhelming majority of Nigeria’s revenue comes from oil which is located almost exclusively in the Niger Delta and states contiguous to the region, Nigeria will be vulnerable to shocks of a unipolar economy.
Anything that affects the oil bearing region will continue to threaten the rest of the nation and once the actors in that play have tasted this power and no what it is to take action that affects global oil prices, it is going to be hard to persuade them not to use such influence when they feel wronged.

It is just like the saying that when all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
But if we are able to find oil in commercial quantities in the North as Buhari hopes, then Nigeria would have a balance of scenarios such that if there are tantrums being thrown in one of the theaters, we could afford to damn those actors and push ahead in the other theater until things return to normal.

Such a situation, in my opinion, will ensure that neither side has any incentive to initiate a crisis.
It is like a plane. The reason why planes have two engines is not because an aircraft requires both engines to fly. No! A plane can fly and land at its destination with one engine.

The problem is that if that engine should fail in the air, the plane would crash, so it is safer to have two engines such that if one of them fails the other becomes the back up.

The reason our economy is looking like it will crash, with perhaps half of the states in Nigeria owing workers salary and refusing to take responsibility for it and instead blaming the Federal Government, is because we have only one stream of major income coming largely from one region.

In other words, we have only one engine! We seriously need another engine and if Buhari is the man to look for that second engine for Nigeria then he has my support and deserves the support of all Nigerians.
Because if he is successful (and the chances are good that he will) Nigeria will enjoy the opposite of what the USSR and The US had, a Mutually Assured Restoration.

It is not surprising that Buhari’s plan to invest funds in the search for oil in the North is unpopular in the South.
Many Southerners erroneously think the North is dependent on the South. In actual fact, the reverse is the case!
The most basic human need after oxygen is food. If the North is dependent on the South for foreign exchange, then the South must know that she is dependent on the North for her food security.

Nations can survive without oil, but they cannot survive without food and many of our staple foods be it Rice, locally grown wheat, cows on the hoof, tomatoes, peppers onions etc, come from the North.

The point I am trying to make is that we need each other and we have to move from a philosophy of competition between North and South to one of cooperation.

And many of the stereotypes we hold of Northerners down south are not true at all.
Many Southerners see the North and Northerners as a backward Muslim people adverse to Western education who would rather not stay in Nigeria except that they cannot survive on their own without the South.

So when Southerners read that a community like Chibok, in the core North is overwhelmingly Christian, their stereotype is challenged.
When they become aware that the richest black man and African on the planet is from the core Northern state of Kano their stereotype is challenged.

When they realize that a very large proportion of the population of the North is educated, that stereotype becomes questionable.
And, yes, a very large proportion of the North is educated!

The issue is that because we see education as a Western phenomenon we fail to look at it holistically and historically, thereby believing that if you are not Western educated then you are not educated. But that is far from the truth!

Centuries before many in the South learnt to read and write in the English language, our Northern brothers and sisters have been writing in a quasi indigenous script called the Ajami script.

Hausa has been written in ajami, since the early 15th century. There are centuries old literary material and letters written in this script and you must have respect for people who developed intellectual learning methods long before Western civilization came to our shores.

Many of us read about Uthman Dan Fodio in history, but unfortunately, contemporary history has limited his role in Nigeria’s evolution to that of a jihadist fighter. In actual fact, Uthman Dan Fodio was a scholar. Even that word ‘Fodio’ is Fufulde for scholar or learned one.
His own mother, Hauwa and his grand mother, Rukayya, were also ‘fodios’ and taught others. This is in the 17th century mind you.

The fact is that long before Western education arrived the shores of Southern Nigeria, Northern Nigeria had already experienced centuries of indigenous and Arabic education.

So let us begin to shatter our stereotypes of each other and accept each other based on the fact that if God did not desire it to be so, we would not be Nigerians.

Having found ourselves as Nigerians, let us make the best of it by using our energies to work together so we can make progress, rather than using if to fight each other in a Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD).

I am all for a Mutually Assured Restoration and I urge all Nigerians, both Northern and Southern, to understand our differences (because it is foolishness to think that we can forget them) and learn to coexist in peace and prosperity.


Nnanna Oketa | Facebook | May 26, 2015

A woman who becomes pregnant due to an act of either rape or incest is the victim of a horribly violent and morally reprehensible crime. Although pregnancy as a result of either rape or incest is extremely rare, there is no getting around the fact that pregnancy does occur in some instances.

It is argued that in these tragic cases the great value of the mental health of a woman who becomes pregnant as a result of rape or incest can best be safe-guarded by abortion. It is also said that a pregnancy caused by rape or incest is the result of a grave injustice and that the victim should not be obliged to carry the foetus to viability. This would keep reminding her for nine months of the violence committed against her and would just increase her mental anguish. It is reasoned that the value of the woman's mental health is greater than the value of the foetus. In addition, it is maintained that the foetus is an aggressor against the woman's integrity and personal life; it is only just and morally defensible to repel an aggressor even by killing him if that is the only way to defend personal and human values. It is concluded, then, that abortion is justified in these cases. 
Despite its forceful appeal to our sympathies, there are problems with this argument.

It is not relevant to the case for abortion on demand, the position defended by the popular pro-choice movement. This position states that a woman has a right to have an abortion for any reason she prefers during the entire nine months of pregnancy, whether it be for gender-selection, convenience, or rape.To argue for abortion on demand from the hard cases of rape and incest is like trying to argue for the elimination of traffic laws from the fact that one might have to violate some of them in rare circumstances, such as when one's spouse or child needs to be rushed to the hospital. Proving an exception does not establish a general rule.
Since conception does not occur immediately following intercourse, pregnancy can be eliminated in all rape cases if the rape victim receives immediate medical treatment by having all the male semen removed from her uterus. The catholic belief is that life begins at conception, and I subscribe to that.

The unborn entity is not an aggressor when its presence does not endanger its mother's life (as in the case of a tubal pregnancy). It is the rapist who is the aggressor. The unborn entity is just as much an innocent victim as its mother. Hence, abortion cannot be justified on the basis that the unborn is an aggressor.

This argument begs the question by assuming that the unborn is not fully human. For if the unborn is fully human, then we must weigh the relieving of the woman's mental suffering against the right-to-life of an innocent human being. And homicide of another is never justified to relieve one of emotional distress.

Although such a judgment is indeed anguishing, we must not forget that the same innocent unborn entity that the career-oriented woman will abort in order to avoid interference with a job promotion is biologically and morally indistinguishable from the unborn entity that results from an act of rape or incest. And since abortion for career advancement cannot be justified if the unborn entity is fully human, abortion cannot be justified in the cases of rape and incest. In both cases abortion results in the death of an innocent human life.
The unwanted pregnancy flows biologically from the sexual act, but not morally from it. Hence, this argument, is successful only if the unborn are not fully human. The question would now be..when is a foetus fully human? From conception I suppose!!

Some pro-choice advocates claim that the pro-lifer lacks compassion, since the pro-lifer's position on rape and incest forces a woman to carry her baby against her will. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is the rapist who has already forced this woman to carry a child, not the pro-lifer. The pro-life advocate merely wants to prevent another innocent human being (the unborn entity) from being the victim of a violent and morally reprehensible act (abortion), for two wrongs do not make a right.

A child does not lose its right to life simply because its father or its mother was a sexual criminal or a deviant.Furthermore, the anguish and psychic suffering caused by rape and incest has been treated quite effectively.

Professor Stephen Krason points out that…

"psychological studies have shown that, when given the proper support, most pregnant rape victims progressively change their attitudes about their unborn child from something repulsive to someone who is innocent and uniquely worthwhile."

The pro-life advocate believes that help should be given to the rape victim…to make it as easy as possible for her to give up her baby for adoption, if she desires. Dealing with the woman pregnant from rape, then, can be an opportunity for us—both as individuals and society—to develop true understanding and charity. Is it not better to try to develop these virtues than to countenance an ethic of destruction as the solution?


Jibrin Ibrahim | Twitter | May 24, 2015

  1. Thank God a new administration would come into power this week, sadly they will find a failed State.
  2. Pres Jonathan has done everything humanly possible to produce a failed State in Nigeria. He did not do it to spite the new administration.
  3. Jonathan fully intended to rig the elections to continue in power. Were he the one to be sworn in, he too would have found a failed State
  4. State failure is when the structure, authority (legitimacy), law and political order have fallen apart and must be reconstituted.
  5. Pres Jonathan needed a competent technocracy to induce State collapse. He had it in the form of two highly skilled ladies and a wily man.
  6. First Ngozi Okonjo Iweala used her vast knowledge & int connections to bankrupt economy and undo all the good work she had done earlier.
  7. Ngozi ensured the debt burden under Obasanjo was significantly reduced but under Jonathan she build up an unsustainable debt burden.
  8. Ngozi Iweala destroyed the economy with the type of vengeance and commitment that had not been seen previously in Nigerian history.
  9. Min of Petroleum Dizeani turned goose that lays Nigeria’s golden eggNNPC into a vault that emptied directly into pockets of Ijaw looters.
  10. Minister of Justice Mohammed Adoke then provided the legal edifice to cover up and justify the process of destroying the Nigerian State.
  11. As State destruction progressed Jonathan believed he was the founder of modern Nigeria transforming country into first world development.
  12. It was for this reason that Nigerians correctly labelled him the “Clueless one”; he did not have a clue about what his regime was doing.
  13. Gen. Dambazau expressed his astonishment seeing Jonathan on TV glibly explaining that the country does not need a minister of defence.
  14. For 2 years with war spreading Nigeria did not have a defence minister. Boko Haram of course got stronger.
  15. Military commanders were given millions of dollars in cash to go and buy arms and of course most of the money was pocketed.
  16. Following the seizure of millions of dollars in cash by the South African authorities, Nigeria became the joke of the world cash for arms.
  17. How can a State with requisite institutions find itself flying from country to country with cash looking for arms to buy?
  18. What are we to expect when the same regime handed over the provision of security for our most vital asset, oil pipelines to militants?
  19. The armed forces were told to stay in their barracks while militants whose only experience was destruction would provide security.
  20. Recovering the State will require a return to its basic function, the production of necessary public goods and not mega looting.
  21. A series of basically criminal gangs have taken over the State and run it for their own purpose. We must recover our states and assets.


    Tahmima Anam | The New York Times | May 21, 2015

    PEOPLE trapped in Dhaka’s notoriously gridlocked traffic have developed various coping strategies. Some take naps. Others work or catch up on social media.

    My mother likes to text me to complain about the traffic. “Still stuck in Mohakhali,” she writes. “Two hours from Gulshan to Banani!”

    But one thing binds all commuters together: Make sure you use the toilet before you set off, because there won’t be anywhere to go en route.

    If I could, I would write a book called “Where to Pee in Bangladesh.” It would be a useful but very short book. It would tell you, for instance, that in our capital city, there are 67 public toilets for over 15 million residents. And of those 67, many have no running water or electricity. According to a 2011 study, only five are fully functional.

    The Dhaka City Corporation, which built new public toilets as part of a 2005 sanitation program, leased them to private contractors because it wanted to outsource their maintenance. But this system has not worked because the contractors often use the buildings for selling drinking water or washing cars. Sometimes, the space is rented out for people to sleep in. Some offered no sanitary facilities whatsoever.

    Although the lack of public toilets in Dhaka affects both sexes, men have the distinct advantage of being able to take to the streets. They can be found squatting at roadsides, in alleyways, by railroad tracks or over ditches. When it rains, you can see a line of umbrellas next to rows of men as they crouch over a drain. And walls everywhere are treated as urinals.

    The ubiquitous signs in Bengali that say “Do Not Urinate Here” are ignored. Moves to impose fines for public urination have come to nothing.

    The anthropologist Mary Douglas famously defined dirt as “matter out of place”: What we consider polluted is merely a question of context. Now the Ministry of Religious Affairs has found a way to tackle the problem — by changing the context.

    Its technique is to pepper the walls with Arabic script. Because, the logic runs, people won’t pee on what they consider holy.

    The campaign, devised by the advertising agency Grey, features a video called “Language Matters.” It shows people painting over signs in Bengali and replacing them with Arabic. Almost no one knows what the words mean because few Bangladeshis understand Arabic. A patronizing voice-over explains, “Arabic is the sacred language of the people.”

    The video shows men approaching the freshly painted walls, noticing the Arabic signage and slipping away guiltily. The men are shamed into feeling that if they were to urinate there, they would be committing an unholy act. The minister for Religious Affairs has urged men to use public toilets in the nearest mosque. I suppose he thinks he’s doing society two favors: getting men to stop urinating on the streets and getting more of them to go to mosques.

    This may seem a reasonable form of behavior modification, a classic “nudge.” But the approach is deeply insensitive, because in Bangladesh, language has long been a matter of national identity.

    The very seeds of our independence movement were sown when, in 1948, the government of Pakistan declared Urdu, not Bengali, the official language of East Pakistan, as Bangladesh was then known. And during the 1971 war of independence, faith and language were pitted against each other in the struggle over nationhood: The Pakistani Army would randomly stop people and ask whether they were Muslim or Bengali — as though to speak Bengali precluded being a true believer.

    So the writing on the wall today contains an echo of that old conflict. It tells Bangladeshi citizens that it is acceptable to urinate on their own language, but not on Arabic. At a moment when the shadow of Islamic fundamentalism looms large, the subtext of the signage is to declare the conservative religious forces triumphant in this symbolic struggle over language.

    Predictably, the ministry has been heavily censured. Critics argue that the government should spend its money on building toilets, not painting signs. And people comment sardonically that the walls of Dhaka may be covered in Arabic, but we still have nowhere to pee.

    It is estimated that by 2025, Dhaka will be home to 20 million people. The government has a duty to ensure that these urban citizens — garment factory workers, rickshaw drivers, shopkeepers, truckers; in short, the people who make our city work — have access to the basic facilities they need to lead a dignified life. Researchers estimate that up to 5.5 million urban poor workers are outdoors in the city for between five and eight hours a day.

    Even if the city corporation built more toilets, though, it would not begin to address the real sanitation crisis in Bangladesh: the near-total lack of access for women. In Dhaka, men can commit this private act of urinating with impunity in almost any public space. And when they do so, they are expressing their absolute freedom to do as they please — on streets where women’s basic safety is not guaranteed.

    The Arabic lettering campaign focuses entirely on getting men to do their business elsewhere. Overlooked is that women can’t use the streets at all, reinforcing the social norm that public space is controlled by men and off limits to women. The invisibility of women’s needs is all too apparent in the minister’s proposal, for women are effectively barred from most mosques.

    Any campaign to address the public nuisance of men urinating on the streets should also tackle the absence of facilities for women. Otherwise, we are simply saying that our streets belong to men, and our walls to Arabic.

    Tahmima Anam, a writer and anthropologist, is the author of the novel “A Golden Age.”


    Naijaman | May 21, 2015

    She turned at the gentle touch she felt on her shoulder and found herself looking into the sad eyes of the girl who had several weeks ago introduced herself as Hafsat. Hafsat, the dark, slender girl who since then, would talk to no one else in the camp but her. And when she did talk to her, it was usually just to whisper yet another number. Looking at Hafsat now, she remembered how this all started, this counting.

    It was one of those many nights during which some of the Servants of Allah forced themselves on her, forced her to, as they said, perform her wifely duties. On that particular night, their hunger sated, they had let her go and purify herself. So she had gone to the section of the camp that had the pit toilets, had been sitting on the floor near one of them, trying to clean herself up with one edge of her wrapper, to clean up all the dripping traces of the past few hours as they coursed their way down her legs and left in their wake that wetness from which she recoiled, trying not to cry because she was not sure whether she remembered how, not sure whether she was supposed to, whether Allah would be angry if she did, and whether the punishment for that would be a knife to her throat like Fatima got, or a live burial as was Sekinat’s case, or an immolation. Not that she minded dying. Indeed, sometimes she longed for it, prayed for it. But that night, as she cleaned herself up, she had had another prayer. She had prayed she would never get pregnant here. Not in this camp. Not for these Servants of Allah. That night, enveloped in the blanket of the thick desert darkness, she had been cleaning herself up just as she had many times over, many times since The Night Of The Taking, many times since she became wife to different Servants, new “husbands” taking over as previous ones died on the jihadfront or were executed for sundry misdemeanors. And then, in the darkness just ahead of her, something had moved.

    And as she froze, she had heard a voice. Hushed.

    "I am Hafsat. I was Christine before The Night. Today is Day 287 since we were taken. If we are still alive and here by tomorrow, tomorrow will be Day 288".

    And then silence. She had waited. Nothing.

    At length, she had stood, moved toward the spot where the voice had come from. No one. Nothing. It had been too dark to see if there were footsteps in the sand. She had hurried back to the camp, convinced she had been hallucinating. She always thought she was hallucinating, ever since The Night. The following day, as all camp dwellers gathered to witness yet another execution - this time, of a man who was to die by stoning - a dark slender girl covered in the hijab that had been provided by the Servants had approached her and said:


    And everyday, as she rose and slept, through all the Quranic verses, the whippings, the executions, the recently more frequent, more frenzied encampments and disengagements, through it all Hafsat had counted and she had listened. On the day she had counted as Day 357, Hafsat had asked her her name. She had not replied. Hafsat had then said:

    "We will be rescued one day. This bad dream will end and I will return to Chibok. Till then, I will keep counting, and if I die before the rescue, you will keep counting. You will also tell my parents how I died."

    Again, she had not responded, but she had felt one part of her already dead self die even further. Hafsat was very convinced about a rescue and so kept counting, yet was very aware of the proximity of death. She could not understand how Hafsat could at once be so hopeful and so hopeless. She too had hoped, in the early days after The Night Of The Taking. Oh, how she had hoped. Right up to the seconds before the Servants made sure she could no longer lay claim to her virginity. And perhaps, for even a little while afterward. Until they had discovered she had been a virgin, and then twelve, maybe fifteen of them had taken turns...

    Hafsat’s voice brought her back to her present.

    "Four-Zero-Two. Today is Day Four-Zero-Two."

    Save Me From Church


    Hymar David | Facebook | May 17, 2015

    I don't know if your pastor has studied( not read, not googled for quick sermon notes) the Bible from Genesis to the Book of Warning and Damnation more than once. I dunno, but I have.

    Lol, yeah. Way back when I wanted to be a pastor. Before I realised I have fast fists and a faster mouth.

    So, here is the deal:


    I think it is not fair how pastors( most of whom I respect and dobale to) would go 'if it didn't work, then it is not faith because faith always works. Faith can never fail.'

    Amazing grace, how sweet the eyedrop that opened my eyes. I was once lost but now I am hiding from bullshit on purpose, was blind but now I can at least squint and see men as trees walking.

    Faith Can Fail. Jesus hinted at that.

    Let us go to Luke 22:31-32. Jesus was talking to Simon Peter just before the Passions.

    “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift all of you as wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."


    Jesus prayed that Peter's faith should not fail. Before you come with spiritual Brighter Grammar, ponder on this: Jesus recognized what was in Simon Peter as Faith. And He knew that Faith wasn't infaillable. He knew that faith could fail.

    Faith works, but when it fails to work, we do everything to exonerate the pastor, we blame the person.

    " Haba, you no see how the pastor pray seriously for am sote e dey sweat de kain sweat Wey fit full tank? Na her fault Jare. She no get faith."

    Just leave it already.

    I believe God is Almighty. Sometimes I get annoyed that He doesn't respond as He should. What will it take to make everything alright if not a simple "Let there be wellness!' God is God like that. But if God wants us to faith it, fine, we will faith it to the best of our limited abilities.

    There have been times I knew I had faith and nothing happened. I just had to grin, take my pills and bear it. And there has been times I didn't really have faith but things worked out.

    Sometimes I look up and wonder what kind of mischief God is up to. 
    I think the purpose of faith is to get us to be more God-conscious in our everyday lives. But some people can become so God conscious that while they are in the spirit, their lives on earth are falling to pieces( maybe that's why famous pastors divorce and have issues in their families and relationships) I think we need to find the balance.

    Faith works but it can fail.

    Faith will fail where common sense would have sufficed. Faith won't take the spoon and put your breakfast in your mouth, common sense will move your hand to do the job.




    Caesarean section unto caesarean section.

    Render unto Caesarian section the baby that might kill the mother if it comes out the normal way. Do not use faith to commit murder and later blame the dead(Jehovah's witnesses anti-blud transfusion, the 'doctors/medicine are evil' spirikokos, I dey eye una) Even God no go shake your hand when e meet you for heaven's door.

    Why TB Joshua Is No Friend Of Mine

    Hymar David | Facebook | May 17, 2015

    As a child, TB. Joshua gave me the creeps. I mean, dude made my skin crawl.

    I dunno. I was like 7 or something when I got ill. Doctors kept misdiagnosing and it kept getting harder to speak. Or breathe.

    So, Papachi gave mama money to take me to this place that smelled of holy water and too many sick people. Mama bought a bulletin with TB Joshua's face on it and told me, 'this man, e go do am.'

    I took one look at the bearded face staring back at me from the front page of the bulletin and knew I was in trouble.

    I don't like his beards, I don't like his eyes. I thought 'him dey use merisine' e dey use juju. Later, the screens around the auditorium showed him performing miracles and I disliked him more. I thought his theaterics were mere voodoohoodoo hyptonizing. I hated how people would fall down and start to roll on the floor, pull at their hair or run around the place. I imagined that happening to me and I just wanted to run away. Leave mama and run for my troubled life. Even till today, TB Joshua remains my personal bogeyman. Before I go to sleep, I check under the bed for TB Joshua.

    It took like eight trips from Ogun(where we lived then) to Lagos before mama got a chance to a front-row audience with the man( I have a hard time adding 'of God'). I clung to her as TB Joshua passed to and fro, spitting the word into a mike. That day, I remember being so afraid. So frigging scared. And even though, looking back now, I know my fears may have been exaggerated, I sure as hell know that anybody who can put that much fear in a kid just can't be it.

    There is this in-built sensor in children that goes haywire when something wrong is in the air. That day, my sensors didn't go haywire, my sensors were exploding with energy!

    Sermon over, TB Joe prepared to minister to us. He asked those who were not sick to clear the arena. When mama started leaving, all I could do was stare after her with horror. I couldn't cry. I couldn't get his attention. I was numb. I moved the place like a zombie, like a lamb to the slaughter, holding up a kinda placard that said what they thought was wrong with me.

    He started ministering. I saw a woman's scarf go flying as he stretched a hand over her. She seemed to fall into a trance, recoil, hit her head against the wall, hop on one foot and go down. I remember thinking, na winsh dey worry this one.

    He kept getting closer, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Sometimes, for some reason, he skipped somebody and moved on to the next one. There was no pattern. To this date, TB Joshua's ministrations remains the most disorganised I have ever had the chance to witness.

    When he came to me, for some reason, I stared back at him, stared him in the face, stared in the eyes I was so afraid of and held his gaze.

    I dunno. Maybe I thought if I gotta die, I should at least die like a true son of my Papachi and not some whimpering Mama-I-wan-piss kiddo.

    So, I held the placard, and looked him back.

    Did our eyes meet? I can't remember. I think he was looking at the placard, he was looking at what was wrong with me. The story of my life in medical yadda-yadda.

    And then he went right to the next person.

    I think I almost shouted 'Hallelujah!'

    On our way back home, I couldn't understand why mama looked so downcast. And I bet she didn't understand why I was all bright and radiant and chatterboxxy. As if I had been touched by God.

    Looking back, I get irritated. Pissed and irritated. I picture that scene over and over in my head: TB Joshua standing and staring at a little boy with some kind of illness that befuddled the doctors, holding the microphone in one hand and standing there and staring as if deciding whether this one was serious enough to warrant a wave of a hand, a tap on the forehead. And apparently deciding it was not, he moved on.

    Looking back, I felt rejected. By God.

    And later, I would have to deal with two body organs shutting down and the 'what ifs' would rise.

    It would take me years and years to get over that. But sometimes, just sometimes, men claiming they are representing God can do so much damage. Too much trauma.

    But hey, this is not a Bash TB Joshua post, so take your insults and pettiness elsewhere. I am just saying what I have never told people for like forever. Feels good letting this out.

    *skips to chat with Grandma*

    Africa - Their Beautiful Dream, Our Living Nightmare

    When I look at Africa, many questions come to mind. Many times, I ask myself what would happen if Mwalimu were to rise up and see what is happening. Many times, I ask myself what would happen if Kwame Nkrumah and Patrice Émery Lumumba were to rise up and see what is happening.

    Because what they would be confronted with is an Africa where the Democratic Republic of Congo is unsettled – there is a war going on there, but it is not on the front pages of our newspapers because we don’t even control our newspapers and the media. As I speak to you, the Central African Republic is at war, but we talk of it only mutedly. As I speak to you now, in South Sudan – the youngest nation in Africa – the Nuer have risen against the Dinka. As I speak to you now, Eritrea is unsettled. As I speak to you now, there is unease in Egypt as there is unease in Libya. In Niger, it is not better; in Senegal it is not better; in Somalia, it is not better – Africa is at war with ourselves. This is what they would be confronted with.

    They would be confronted with an Africa which statisticians and romantic economies say is growing, but which in truth is stagnated; that is the Africa that they would be confronted with.

    They would be confronted with an Africa, which, as Professor Mlama intimated in her presentation here, is an Africa which is suffering from schizophrenia. She does not know herself.

    They would be confronted with an Africa whose young men and women have no interest and no love for their continent.

    They would be confronted with an Africa where young men and young women are constantly humiliated at the embassies of European countries and of the United States of America, as they seek the almighty green card. They would be confronted with an Africa where young men and women from Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali, and Mauritania drown in the Mediterranean as they seek to be enslaved in Europe – this time around, Africans are not wailing and kicking as they are taken away to be enslaved; they are being seen wailing and kicking as they seek to be enslaved in Europe and America. This is the tragedy of Africa.

    They will be confronted with an Africa where people have lost their self-pride, an Africa where Africans are not proud of their things; an Africa where, in the hotels of Dar-es-Salaam or Nairobi, even food has foreign names. When we fry potatoes, we call them French fries – even when they are fried in Dar-es-Salaam! That is the Africa that they would be confronted with.

    They would be confronted with another Africa – an Africa which does not tell her story; an Africa whose story is told by Europe and America – the CNN, Radio Deutschewelle, Radio France – that is the Africa they would be confronted with.

    They would be confronted with young men and women who have no pride in Africa; when they want to enjoy themselves, they sing the praises of football teams from Europe and America – it is Manchester United, it is Arsenal, it is Real Madrid,…and Barcelona – not Yanga, not Mvulira Wanderers, not Gormaiah, and not FC Leopards…no! That is the Africa that they would be confronted with.

    They would be confronted with an Africa which does not enjoy its theatres and dramas, but Africa celebrates Leoardo di Caprio, it celebrates Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt; the Africa does not celebrate Genevieve Nnaji of Nigeria, or Rita Dominic or Olu Jacobs of Nigeria; it does not celebrate Bongowood or Nollywood or Riverwood - it celebrates Hollywood. That is the Africa with which they will be confronted. They would be confronted with African women whose greatest source of joy is cheap grade B Mexican soap opera, La Patrona, La Mujer De Mi Vida, The Rich Also Cry…

    Why must we remind ourselves of these realities? 

    Because throughout the ages, the battle has always been the battle of the mind. If your mind is conquered, then you are going nowhere. And that is why in the Age of Enlightenment in Europe, the great René Descartes said: “Cogito, ergo sum” - I think, therefore I am. And therefore if Africans are to begin to make a contribution in their affairs, Africans must begin to think. But the question is: 

    “Are we thinking?” 

    We have universities in their numbers - Tanzania has universities including Dar-es-Salaam, Nairobi has universities, as indeed Kampala, as indeed South Africa (Johannesburg) - we have all these universities. 

    We have engineers, but our roads are not being made by Tanzanian civil engineers, it is the Chinese who are present in this assembly who are making our roads. So we have engineers who cannot even make roads! 

    We have doctors who we have trained, but when we are sick, particularly if we are of the political class, depending on who colonized you - if you were colonized by the United Kingdom, you rush to London; if you were colonized by the French, you rush to Paris; if you were colonized by the Portuguese, you rush to Lisbo;, and if you were colonized by the Spaniards, you rush to Madrid, Spain - and recently, because the Asians are beginning to get their act together, we run to India; and very lately, because the Arabs are also beginning to get their act together, we run to Dubai, notwithstanding that we have the Kenyatta Hospitals of this country, the Muhimbilis of Tanzania, the Chris Hani Baragwanaths of South Africa, and the Mama Yemos of Kinshasa, Zaire, or the Democratic Republic of Congo...but we have no faith in our doctors! 

    In the area of education, we also don’t have faith. Our political class introduced something that they call free education, that is free indeed - free of knowledge! It is because they are so suspicious of those institutions that the typical African politician would not dare take their children to those schools. Their children will be educated in the British system; in the American system; so that when they graduate, they go to the United Kingdom, to the United States, - not that there is anything wrong with those institutions, but the agenda is wrong, because our leaders long lost the script and ought to be described for who they are - our misleaders.

    But we are co-authors of our own misfortune. Whenever we are given an opportunity to elect our leaders, we are given a blank cheque, and if you permit me a little latitude, and if you give me a blank cheque, and you allow me to analogize, and you say that I am given the blank cheque to buy a Mercedes Benz, what we do is that when we are called upon, having been so empowered, we buy what one calls a tuk-tuk (Nigerian readers, keke napep, other readers, tricycle) from India and expect it to behave like a Mercedes Benz. How does that happen? Because what we do is to elect thieves - we elect hyenas to take care of goats, and when the goats are consumed, we wonder why.

    This is my transcript (from the audio) of a speech attributed to Mr Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba, former director of Kenya’s Anti-Corruption Commission (Sept 2010 - Aug 2011) and currently Director, Kenya School of Laws.

    Fellow Nigerians,

    Today, we take a very significant step on an all-important trip. We find ourselves today on the modern leg of a very ancient journey; a journey that begun from time immemorial, by people whose travels have taken them through seas, land, air, and space. Many discoveries have been made as our forebears have progressed on this voyage.

    We have discovered fire, devised means to harness the power of water and wind for our uses, discovered iron… We have discovered religion; we continue to try to discover God; in that endeavor, we have built – and then shaken off – the dictatorship of superstition, and replaced it with a culture of asking questions. Our questions have revealed to us that our world is round and not actually standing on four pillars. Our questions have revealed to us that the sun does not actually rise in the east, nor does it really set in the west. We have asked why it is that whatever goes up must come down and that is how we discovered gravity. Following that discovery, and following all the advances we have made in better understanding gravity, we have ended up producing materials that can go up…and only come down when we want them to. That is why we can now fly from Abuja to Abu Dhabi, why we may yet fly from Dutse to Dubai, why we may some day lift off from a cosmodrome in Imo and dock at the International Space Station. We have discovered electricity, and today we are so heavily dependent on it that some people in some parts of our planet today almost cannot fathom a world without it – probably because they have never visited our part of the planet. Because our world is so dependent on electricity, because of the immense power with which it is associated, we have named it power, we have gone beyond merely discovering electricity and have gone on to discover different ways electricity may be generated. Now we use water, wind, and even subatomic particles – particles that we cannot even see with our unaided eyes – to generate this all-important resource that we call power. We have discovered the generosity of Nature in her degradation of once living matter into fossil fuels that become useful for still living matter – that gift from Nature that we like to call crude oil is a gift that we so heavily profit from today – although Nature herself, by the consequent environmental pollution, suffers from the untoward effects of her own kind generosity. We have discovered how to keep ourselves alive for longer, and how to protect our health better. We have discovered how to use the power of sound – in frequencies that cannot be heard by the unaided ear – to diagnose ailments within the human body, as well as to get pictures of our babies while they are growing in their happy-go-lucky fluid-filled world that we call the womb. We have learnt that light consists not just of the light we see but also of rays like X-rays gamma-rays, rays that while invisible to our unaided eyes, are being used to do things that are making our world a better world. In short, we have discovered – as we have continued on this ancient journey begun by our ancestors – that the senses with which we are born – of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch – impose on us such severe limitations that, for our world to be a better world, we must break free of those limitations. That is what we have discovered and what we discover every day. And it is a discovery that bodes well for our journey. For this journey that we are on, this journey that has progressed through centuries and millennia, this journey that has seen Homo sapiens truly dominate Earth and begin to attempt a conquest of the universe, this journey that is now ours, this journey in which we today execute an important leg, is our journey to human freedom.

    But we have made all this progress because we have asked questions. We have refused to take things for granted. We have asked why; how; what if; and if not; we have not only asked those questions, we have actively worked to get answers, and then we have questioned the answers we have gotten. We have refused to believe that it is well simply because it looks well. We have a better world today because we have always striven to make our today better than our yesterday. We have refused to be content with the strides we have made. We have always looked ahead, always recognized that there are more miles to cover; refused to be held back or bogged down by the contentment of those who would bask in self-adulation over the achievements of years gone by; been steadfast in our belief that we have a duty to consistently change our world for the better, and that in the discharge of this duty, time will not give us a second for an ego massage.

    So today, in Nigeria, against the prophecies of the prophets of doom, against those who would set us against each other by trying to enslave us to their doctrines inspired by ethnic insecurities and religious bigotry, against those who would prevent us from voting by whipping up sentiments of intolerance, against all these people we march.

    We march in defence of our freedom. We march to our freedom. We march along the road to freedom that our fathers have marched. We break new boundaries and make new additions to the chest of discoveries already made by our forebears, to the advantage of our progeny, for they too will continue on this sacred road, they too will continue this sacred march to freedom.

    In insisting that things must be better for our children than they were for our fathers, we continue a tradition that has been handed down to us from generation to generation. In asking questions and in holding those we entrust with governance accountable, we adhere to the same principles of asking questions and questioning the answers we get that have today given us computers, mobile phones, and drones, our ATM cards, and the Internet. In insisting on voting today, we declare that we will never again be so enslaved to any set of ideas as to be unable to think independently for ourselves how we can make our tomorrow a shining light that beckons us from our today.

    We will not be dissuaded by those who refuse to vote – for those ones who choose not to vote even though they can have no attribute worth emulating in that respect. At a crucial time in our history, at a turning point in our trying to build a nation from among a gathering of nations, they had no opinion. They had no decision. They chose to be on the losing side of history, on the wrong side of history. History has no patience for those kinds of people, and neither should we. In these elections, the only losers are those people who could have voted, but refused to vote.

    In this election, the only winners are the Nigerian people, and by extension, humanity. The only winners are the Nigerian people because by these elections, Nigerians do today what Martin Luther tried to do in Germany in the Middle Ages; what Frenchmen did at the Bastille; what Americans did by declaring their independence from Britain – Nigerians march in pursuit of freedom, in defence of freedom, to freedom. But by Nigerian people, I refer to the man and woman on the street who go out to get accredited and vote in the way and manner in which I have come out and am waiting to get accredited and vote, and who after voting, do not resort to violence because they did not get the results they had hoped for. I do not refer to those who institutionalize corruption, who emphasize the things that divide us for political gain, who allow things go wrong because, in their political calculations, that earns them political capital. Not those, for those ones have, in my opinion, lost their claim to humanity and cannot in good conscience claim to be with us on the march to human freedom.

    I would love to continue writing, to continue pouring out to this phone my thoughts as they come, but other things need to be done. The line moves and I need to be accredited. I may be unable to go back to re-read these lines and then tie them all up together in a way that will make my meaning clearer. I may not have the opportunity, and in these circumstances, I certainly cannot boast the patience. I have poured my thoughts as they have come, standing in line, waiting to vote Buhari for president, chatting with someone who intends to vote Jonathan for president, and agreeing with him that we shall have a beer together tonight.

    We want our nation free. Free from those who would have it in chains. We may disagree on how to get there, but let us agree on the destination…

    …because this destination has been fixed for us already from time immemorial.

    Never again shall we be let ourselves be enslaved to the ideology that my brother can do no wrong. Never again shall we bind ourselves or allow others bind us to shackles of hate. Never again shall our decisions of right and wrong be based on whether the players in question are muslim or Christian, catholic or protestant.

    For beyond all these divisions, we are human…and we today march in defence of human freedom, to human freedom.

    I must stop now…

    God bless Nigeria and everywhere else.

    Disclaimer: The publication on this page of posts authored by others does not imply a complete endorsement on my part of the views they have expressed. Some of these articles have been reproduced here because of the distinctive style in which they have been written, others for their informative value. The author of this blog accepts no responsibility for conclusions drawn or actions taken based on conclusions drawn from the contents of this page.

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