#BABAGOSLOW : WAKE UP

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Happy Eid al-Adha, Mr President. As a concerned Nigerian citizen, I wonder how many of these black jallabiya you have. Are you in mourning? Travelling upandan will present photo photo opportunities, will you always be wearing black cloth? An excerpt or maybe the full speech during the UNGA copy pasted off Linda Ikeji’s website is represented below:

Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I welcome you to this important event. Let me express Nigeria’s sincere appreciation to UN-AIDS for the support and collaboration in organizing this event.
2. We are on the threshold of history as world leaders adopt the successor development agenda to the Millennium Development Goals. For over 30 years, HIV as a public health challenge has been causing havoc and untold hardship in virtually every part of the world. To date, several million children have been orphaned and some communities have been devastated, while economic activities have been disrupted.
3. Unfortunately, Sub -Saharan Africa bears a disproportionate burden of this epidemic. The good news is that the effort of the global community has resulted in greater control, less spread and better management.
4. Furthermore, we have made significant progress towards the interception of mother to child transmission of HIV. In 2014 alone, over 3million pregnant women were tested for HIV and 63,000 of these tested women, accessed anti – retroviral therapy.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
5. What is required in our continued fight against HIV/AIDS is improved health delivery system, education, and cheaper production of anti – retroviral drugs through technology exchange. Our countries should also look at the whole field of medicare and strengthen our partnership with all stakeholders including the civil society, inter- faith and cultural bodies for education and dissemination of information at all levels. Nigeria will also like to call upon all pharmaceutical companies for more cooperation and understanding in reducing the cost of anti – retroviral drugs through production of generic items.
Excellencies, Distinguished Delegates.
6. Nigeria will continue to work with development partners and key stakeholders to strengthen the means of implementation of the SDGs as elaborated in the Post- 2015 Development Agenda. At the continental level, Nigeria remains fully committed to the outcome of the Abuja process as evident in the 2002 Declaration, the Action Framework on Roll – Back Malaria. In addition, the 2013 Abuja + 12 Declaration is a strong commitment towards eliminating HIV and AIDs in Africa by 2030. Globally, the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS of 2011 is a major reference point for intensifying efforts to eliminate the epidemic.
7. Nigeria appreciates the support of our development partners for their support and commitment to the total eradication of HIV/AIDs, Tuberculosis and Malaria as well as other deadly communicable diseases, for example Ebola, when an epidemic arises.
8. I therefore encourage you to continue in your efforts to sustain the fight against infant and maternal deaths, HIV and AIDs, Tuberculosis, Malaria and other communicable diseases, high on the global development agenda.
9. Let us work together to make HIV and AIDs history by 2030.
10. I thank you.

Amongst the 17 new SDGs being canvassed for 2030, your speech writers decided to deliberate on hiv/aids, the number 7 MDG (which is just a part of number 3 SDG).  And we were imploring the west to work with us? On HIV&AIDS? Your speech claims 3 million pregnant women were tested last year. Oya El Presidente where are the 63,000 that accessed anti retroviral drugs? What is the drug called? Empty boasts of declarations and no actual facts/success stories. No report on our success in polio eradication, and subsequent removal of Nigeria from polio inflicted countries in this same general assembly you attended. Would it not have made common sense if we presented a paper on poverty, prevalent in your north which has led to youth embracing boko haram.  Alternatively we could have talked about hunger which is even ravaging the IDP’s all over Nigeria. But we decided to talk on HIV/AIDS, and we are still appealing to the west as our development partner? As for the other SDGs, can this government deliver on quality education or gender equality? What will be the proposed indicators or targets for these goals.This is 2015 oooo El Presidente. Corruption is not our major problem. The major problems are Unity and Faith, emblazoned on our coat of arms. They can be defeated by this goals if you have the heart to tackle them. Please consider how all dis oyibo men really percieve you. You have been fortunate to have had 12 years to plan for this presidency. For the past four months, Nigeria has been in limbo as #Change seems a mirage The people spoke when they elected you. Some say your body language has brought nepa light, yet street lights are not working. If your body language can do that, what will your speech do?

Photo credit 1: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WOnGqgUPBz0/VgglSZVSMQI/AAAAAAAGtXw/OCdpCWZRwJg/s1600/1.jpg

Photo credit 2: http://pulse.ng/politics/muhammadu-buhari-president-meets-german-chancellor-other-world-leaders-at-g7-summit-photos-id3841424.html

Photo credit 3: http://lindaikeji.blogspot.com/2015/09/photos-of-buhari-addressing-un-general.html

©Ndi Charles 2015

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Who is OJ?

3d human try to take a photo

OJ locates the bank headquarters via Google maps. Looking through the rear view mirror, OJ makes his practice speech after parking. OJ likes people friendly banks. From the white towering columns to the security man, doorman and cashiers, OJ knows he casts a striking figure walking across the banking hall. OJ’s deals like this one involve risk or opportunity, sometimes both.  OJ walks over to customer services.

Good morning Sir, how can I help you? The lady asks, as another customer approaches.

Please tell me the options in getting cash cards. OJ is a charming man because of his lust for life. Genial, he easily puts people at ease. OJ is of intimidating bulk with a few excesses. OJ drinks heavily and is considered a ladies man. Service is prompt, and OJ leaves the bank with his cover as a Benin Republic based businessman intact. OJ heads for Lekki phase one and turns into a connecting street adjacent Sailors lounge. OJ parks beside a kiosk operator, noting he is northern from his dashiki. Growing up in Warri, whenever OJ heard Hausa, the images that came to mind were of abokis, gatemen, beggars, shoe shiners or child voters. He wondered why they claimed rulership. The aboki rises from his supine position and OJ purchases a Schweppes bitter lemon. OJ is observing the group under a tree. They are sighing as Mani in the middle makes utterances. OJ began his career as a mugu for one of Warri’s top hk. Bright can tell a potential maga from his email address. Mani is excellent for good reason. He was trained by Bright same as OJ. If Bright could be regarded as the holy church of all hustlers, Don Fred his benefactor was the pope. They are gathered around Mani, mugus looking for pointers yet hopeful for lucky streaks.

With four quick strides shrieking police, police, OJ lands in their midst. Mani’s nimble hands have clamped the laptop shut as the mugus scurry upandan. OJ’s 6 feet 4 frame with bearded face and broad shoulders are taken in by Mani’s eyes which widen in surprise as OJ takes off his native cap. Ojukwu?

Manito wetin you de do with dis mugus?

Omo e de red ooo, mugu must shine eye. Dis your police catch thief risky oo, Mani scolds mildly.

If your format make sense, maga must fall. You de game for big bucks?

Last time you talk like dis, e involve travel. Which deal de dis time?

I go tell you after we do d intro. We need bar for d springboard.

Springboard still de exist?

Na for school I de do intro. Last time you see me for club, na my security company de provide bouncers. I de provide body guards for musicians and visiting celebrities. My boys de well trained, some more than our army sef. Dem neva sue me for sexual harassment yet. Some sha de sell secrets go tabloids, but that one na normal mata.

Oya me I de interested? Wat next?

We go enter Abuja next week.

Photo credit: https://technostories.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/camera-man.jpg
©Ndi Charles 2015

Something Like Love

genevieve

When OJ and Tunde met, they hit it off. This surprised Oke. When he asked Tunde about it, Tunde said: he’s a talker, I’m a listener. Oke then asked OJ, who pondered the question then said: you don’t have to be careful around him, he has no hidden agenda. Even though OJ and Oke had a tough time convincing Tunde, he pulled through. OJ’s instinct tells him Tunde has a veiled hatred for Nigeria. Tunde was brilliant, he convinced the third secretary in charge of speech writing to the minister to replace a company in the soon to be printed contract award list. She seemed impressed a young man was willing to invest in the mining sector. Tunde possessed documents showing involvement in contract staffing of several companies and corporate social responsibility across the country. Tunde added the sweetener through a sealed white envelope.

Habiba’s flight is delayed, but she finds Tunde waiting at the airport on her arrival in Abuja. Since it is early evening, they will leave for Kaduna in the morning. Getting to Tunde’s room in 40 – 40 hotels in Wuse, Habby proceeds to the bathroom. Air travel, even for a few minutes always leaves her stomach flustered. Habby can hear Tunde turn on his radio, as she watches the last rerun of Empire on her Ipad. Habby flushes the toilet, washes her hands then enters the room. The shrill radio static invades the quietude. Tunde gets to a phone-in program. Is dirtiness enough reason for divorce?
A caller is speaking. Yes it is enough reason for divorce. The woman is definitely not teaching the children cleanliness.
The moderator speaks. Shouldn’t the husband have known his wife’s qualities before marrying her?
What if the woman was brought in through ‘arranged marriage’ which is still prevalent? The caller asks in return.
Tradition teaches cleanliness, this is evident in arranged marriages where both families ensure the transition of shared values.
What do you think habby? She looks up from her Ipad. Tunde takes a picture of Habiba with his SOLO phone.
Why should a woman be dirty? If a woman, who menstruates can’t keep a house clean, obviously she can’t keep her body clean. The man’s to blame for shooting in a dirt bin.
Hahahaha, you’re something else. My heart’s been doing the Fulani dance over meeting your family.
There’s nothing to be nervous about, even though Maigida is a lecturer. The worst which can happen is you’ll stay in a hotel. I already told them I am coming with you.
How did you tell them?
You want to know the exact words ba?
So I know what to expect.
Okay, my younger brother Dante called with endless questions on what particular time I would be home. To him, my convocation is an extension of his birthday which was weeks earlier. He asked after my friends. I told him they were in KD already. When he heard I was coming with a yoruba boy, he shrieked. Hope you haven’t married him ooo? Alhaja came on the phone and asked about you. I ended up telling her about us. She wants to meet you and told Maigida also. Are you happy now?
Yes
Dante asked if you were cute though.
Hope you told him you’re bringing the beast.
Am I your beauty?
Indeed you are, think deep on my proposal.
What do you like about me?
Aaarggh. Why do you ask egocentric questions? I like your reserved mien, your effortless grace and style, but the one which makes me smile is you’re YOU. Your name, your physical good looks, your mature and appropriate dress sense, your smile. I miss our arguments when am not with you. When I am with you, life feels worthwhile.
Washer man you have resumed duty.
I am still here in Abuja because of you. Doesn’t this tell you I mean everything I have said?
No, it doesn’t. Men can be funny.

Tunde walked up to Habiba, looked into her eyes saying: I’ll never forget the first day I met you in the clinic. It seemed like I was outside on a rainy day, and the sun suddenly broke through the horizon. I said one thing, you said another. Next thing is I want to spend my whole life in this conversation. I feel you are the one. You’re completely open and sincere, beautiful too. The bad news is, I don’t know how to be with you. This scares me because we might get lost out here, in twists and turns. People have a way of blinking and missing the moment which could have changed everything. I have no reasons to convince you on why you should waste your time on me. My friends say you make the best plantain and eggs. Does that count? Tunde leaned and kissed Habiba. The sheer joy of touching her was so sweet he could do nothing else. Habiba began to tug at his shirt buttons, she did so gently, running her hands over his body. Kissing him back, she gently pulled him into the bed.
Tunde makes love with a passion he has never known existed. Her skin, the gentle curve of her belly, her breasts with darker nipples, her grey eyes – a kind of light. Her warm delicate mouth, her breath, her gasps when he enters her drive him to urgency. Habiba has to stroke his face for him to slow down. He does not let her go, even after their climax. They lie intertwined, then begin again. Habiba is more active than before, like it is a contest. Finally they drift off in slumber.
Habiba wakes up with a start, Tunde is trashing upandan. He’s mumbling incoherently, arms flailing in the air. Please turn off the water. Tunde’s voice sounds childish. Habiba shakes Tunde awake, walks him to the bathroom. Tunde rinses his face and mouth.
What were you dreaming about?
Habby am sorry, this has been going on for years. Tunde says, his bushy eyebrows and deep eyes look worried. It always begins with me on my way home from lesson after school. The sandy play ground is on my route home. Johnny waves ecstatically for me to join his team. They are one short of the required five for monkey post duties. I join, playing with my Cortina shoes. In jubilation of the goal I score, a spectator kicks the ball. It lands, then skids into the marshy swampland. Drifting slowly away carried by the water current. It is Johnny’s birthday ball from Uncle Tony, his mummy’s elder brother. The only way to get the ball before it joins the stream is through the unpainted see-through gates. The area is secluded, some important person lives around. The security post is unmanned so we quickly hurry to the last lot which leads into the stretch of swampy marsh. We wade in, retrieve the ball and are heading out when two abokis beckon to us.

Photo credit: http://news2.onlinenigeria.com/entertainment/333738-genevieve-nanji-is-a-sweet-girl-hakeem-kae-kazim.html

©Ndi Charles 2015