Monday, September 26, 2011

Who Cares As Nigerians Are Butchered Daily?

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

Last week, I published an article in this column entitled “Where Are God’s People In This Land?” in reaction to alarming reports of daily slaughter of hapless Nigerians at the ever increasing ritual enclaves across the country.

Almost daily now, we hear from lucky survivors grisly stories of how some men with beastly minds, who have since parted ways with their humanity, would just capture their fellow human beings, take them to some secret houses in the bush, butcher them like fowls or goats, and then display their body parts dripping with fresh blood on tables and counters for sale!

The most saddening aspect of the whole gory and hideous business is, like I said last week, the widespread belief, based on the testimonies of survivors, that the most enthusiastic and wealthy buyers of these human body parts are drawn from the cream of the nation’s business and political elite, who use the flesh and blood of their cruelly slaughtered fellow Nigerians for money-spinning and (political) power-generating rituals.

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

 Now, if it is indeed true that the wealthy patrons of these butchers are the same people whose duty it is to order the security agents to go after them, would it not be na├»ve to expect them to wage any war against the very source of the very essential ingredients they use for the rituals that guarantee them uninterrupted flow of wealth and extraordinary powers for political ascendancy?

Following that article, a man gave me a shocking report of what happened in Coker in the Orile area of Lagos last week.

It was a bright beautiful morning, and a school bus fully loaded with excited little, tender pupils it had collected from their various homes was heading to school. Suddenly, as the driver slowed down somewhere, may be, due to the countless deep potholes that adorn our streets or for whatever reason, a man rushed at the bus, and with the speed of lightening, opened the door to the driver’s seat, pulled him out violently, jumped in, and zoomed off with the vehicle.

From Coker, he made to connect the Orile-Mile2 expressway through Alafia. But fortunately, near the junction, by Wema Bank, there was a small hold-up, and the children started shouting and calling for help. That area usually witnesses heavy human traffic.

Sensing that he might be apprehended by the people who had been attracted by the screaming of the now frightened children, the man jumped out of the vehicle and ran away.

That was what I heard from the man who also resides in that area last week. And until it is clearly established through eyewitness accounts that the driver of the “snatched” School Bus did not raise sufficient alarm to attract people when the incident occurred  (given that the area enjoys heavy human traffic), it would not be advisable to start making any hints at some likelihood of collaboration.

 But even though the kidnap attempt was successfully aborted, there would still be need for the driver to be thoroughly examined by experienced security agents, at least to reassure parents, who may still be too shocked to even contemplate what would have happened to the very children they had bathed, fed and dressed up for school that morning. All said and done, the Orile/Coker incident of last week should compel proprietors and administrators of nursery and primary schools especially to ensure that at least two other people accompany drivers as they embark on school run.  

Only two weeks ago, Saturday SUN carried this heart-rending story of a woman who had boarded a bus with her three tender daughters. Then the driver changed course and after a long journey took them to a secret house tucked away in a thick bush. There she was forced to take some concussions, after which she fell into very deep sleep. By the time she was woken up, two days later, famished and drained, two out of her three children were gone. Earlier, she had seen some other women and some children, just moping like morons, after some spells had been cast on them. I suspect that, for some reasons, the oracle at the ritual enclave had rejected her and her child, and that was why the men woke her up and sent her away. Now, the latest is that the distraught woman has left home, after leaving a suicide note in which she said she would also kill herself if she did not see her two kids. Since then, no one has seen her.

Commercial buses are fast distinguishing themselves as the most effective means of ferrying unsuspecting men, women and tender children to these slaughter houses. According to the testimonies of survivors, once people board these buses, along the way somebody who had all the while pretended to be a co-passenger would get up, spray some powdery substance over them, and they would all go into a very deep sleep.

By the time they wake up, they would find themselves in a compound surrounded by bushes, manned by beastly guards. And once they take the concussions they usually force on them, they would lose the will to resist, and would follow their killers to the slaughter slab.

Now, it is not only those who patronize commercial buses that are risk. People whose cars break down at lonely spots on the expressway or even at street corners, especially in the evenings, are juicy preys waiting to be snapped up. Even the commercial motorcyclists are not left out in this hideous trade of ferrying unsuspecting people to their most cruel deaths.

 A survivor recently testified that throughout the few days they were at the ritual enclave, commercial buses kept arriving in droves, discharging passengers and taking off again in search of new victims. We are regularly confronted with news of missing people nowadays. And many of the people declared missing may never come home. They probably have since been slaughtered and chopped up as items of lucrative trade.

There is also the report that in some of these slaughter houses, some energetic young men and young women whom they had captured are hypnotized and kept together in some rooms, where their business all day is to engage in ceaseless immorality. And while this goes on, their captors would equally be busy carefully collecting the things they are discharging during the act, which we hear are also in high demand for ritual purposes. They are able to keep the young men and women on this act all day-long with the enhancement concussions they usually give them.

Nigerians crowd during previous census

Crowd of Nigerians at an event

I wonder what would happen if a pregnancy occurs. That probably would be a bonus, because, they would then have both a neck to cut and hapless foetus to remove from the womb and pound to smithereens! Yes, a survivor had testified recently that once victims drink the concussion they are usually given and sleep off, the children among them are collected from their mothers and cruelly pounded to the death in large mortars, crushed and reduced to something like fufu and used for rituals.

What a heartless, cruel gang of beasts! What a barbaric people! Like I said last week: There is no way any nation where this kind of prehistoric savagery flourishes can ever survive and prosper, because, like in the case of Biblical Abel, the blood of these cruelly butchered men, women and tender children cry unto God daily, seeking vengeance.

I want to mention here that despite the proliferation of fakes and charlatans, there are still people in this land who have the ears of God, whose prayers are able to reach Heaven, because in their thoughts and conducts they honour God without reservations. They may not be known and revered by men, but God and His angels know them. They also know themselves.

We know that this human parts business operates under some demonic shield and powers. That is why they are able to turn people into morons and slaughter them without any of them attempting to make any form of resistance. But we also know that with fervent prayers offered from a regenerated heart that has repented of, and confessed to God any known sin, the dark powers that shield and empower these butchers can be neutralized. Examples abound where the mention of the name of JESUS by genuine believers had put the place in disarray and saved the heads of victims from being cut. Why then should the people of God keep quiet at this critical time when they ought to be raising their voices in prayers and exercising spiritual authority to break the dark shield under which this barbaric trade flourishes and run the sons of Belial behind it out of town?

Are we waiting for the government on this matter? Well, we may wait for eternity. Since reports about these cruel murders of innocent people began to appear in the mainstream media, can anyone recall exactly what the Presidency has said about it? Or like I asked last week, how many State Governors have set up special task forces to comb every bush in their domains to fish out these killing joints? Has the National Assembly or any State Assembly even deliberated on it? Would it ever qualify for a matter of urgent national attention? Has the police high command even deemed it fit to raise a special squad to combat the ugly menace?

 As you read this now, some people with flesh and blood like you and I are being slaughtered, cut in pieces and displayed for sale. And no one cares. Flashy cars are trouping in to carte away their chopped up bodies. And no one bats an eyelid. At these killing joints, young men are not even afraid to undress and desecrate men and women old enough to be their parents and slaughter them like fowls.

And no one yells: Hey stop it! Make no mistake about it: this unparalleled barbarism can only continue, unless something decisive is done. And now!


First published in 2008 on the back page of Daily Independent (Lagos) in Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye's (now rested) weekly column, SCRUPLES. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Our Broken Souls

By Moses Obroku
We have come home
From the bloodless wars
With sunken hearts
Our boots full of pride-
From the true massacre of the soul
When we have asked
‘What does it cost
To be loved and left alone’ "
-- Lenrie Peters
It would appear that Lenrie Peters, that great Gambian poet who only passed away on May 27th 2009, had the situation of today’s Nigerian graduate in mind when he wrote the above poem very many years ago. Indeed the situation of the Nigerian graduate is pathetic, very pathetic. For a while now, I have had nothing but deep respect for the majority of youths in this country. They are peaceable, strong and hardworking; with uncanny determination to succeed no matter what it takes.

President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Patience, during                                      an African Union (AU)  conference in Uganda (2010)

Many of Nigeria’s youths attempt external examinations even while they are still in high school, just to get a head start on the journey to success. No one will forget in a hurry the experiences at WAEC and JAMB offices nationwide!
Undaunted, the Nigerian youth proceeds to the university where he has to contend with heavy fees, lack of facilities, sometimes incompetent lecturers and the frequent disruption of academic activities by strike actions, where of course he is the grass between the lecturers and the federal government.
After being severely battered by the academic system and a year or two of his life forever wasted by bureaucracies, the Nigerian youth  finally graduates and the same insensitive  government still demands another year of compulsory National Service from him. Peaceable and cooperative, these graduates wear the NYSC uniforms with pride and are dispatched to the far flung corners of this nation.

Graduating Students at the University of Lagos
Some of them to places they ordinarily may never step into in this lifetime. But seeing victory in sight, these brave youths soldier on in service to fatherland. Many of them the hopes of their families that have been shackled by poverty, and have endured no small pain in ensuring such youths get what it takes to make a difference in their collective lives.
A few will meet violent deaths in National Service, caught in the cross fire of ethnic, religious, or political disturbances. The recent killing of some corps members in the northern part of the country during the last election in April 2011 is still fresh in our memories.
Armed with, their first degrees and  NYSC discharge certificates, these graduates quickly construct their CVs, and eagerly circulate them online and in hard copies to as many friends, family members and associates; as well as going from door to door of offices. They are that determined!
A few of these graduates manage to secure placement with some companies, but for the vast majority of Nigerian graduates, the harsh realities begin to set in. what they had thought would only take a couple of months before getting jobs soon start dragging on endlessly.
The jobless situation in the country has become so pathetic that the very insulting commission sales jobs for mostly needless products are now being brandished everywhere by budding entrepreneurs. Have you ever noticed those small squares in the pages of various newspapers advertising these commission based jobs?
Since the government has shied away from the responsibility of job creation, all manner of people who have highly exploitative capitalist tendencies, some of whom do not have any business being entrepreneurs are daily humiliating Nigerian graduates. With the way we are going, before long refuse collectors and septic tank evacuators would soon be recruiting graduates to do sales and marketing for them (God forbid!).

Nigerian Graduates during the one year compulsory
 National Service (NYSC
The proliferation of all manner of reality TV shows, talent hunts and pageants in Nigeria is a reflection of a careful target at the vulnerable unemployed graduates in Nigeria. Often time, applicants are required to register with substantial sums to become contestants.
There is no control whatsoever on the activities of these showbiz people. Sometimes, after collecting registration fees from unsuspecting candidates, the organizers simply vanish!
It is here that graduates of a discipline end up working in unrelated fields. I had joked with a friend who studied civil engineering but now works in a bank that, I think he is doing ‘financial engineering’ (maybe this practice is acceptable to the government that is why it is reflected in the ministerial appointments. Or what logical explanation can anyone proffer about the very lopsided portfolios given to our ministers?)
The Nigerian government has a striking resemblance to an uncaring father in respect of its policies towards its graduates. It has never shown any realistic interest in the welfare of the myriads of graduates churned out annually.
Not employing, it has not made the necessary enabling environment possible to bring about the much needed industrialization to cater for the millions of unemployed people milling about the country.

Queuing for non-existent jobs
Regime after regime has instead shown an uncanny proclivity for bleeding government funds white for personal gains. There don’t seem to be any hope in sight for the unemployed Nigerian graduate. It is simply a fait accompli as he seems to stand a better chance of escaping an apparition in a house of mirrors than relying on the government for jobs.
Disillusioned, these individuals are thrown out in the cold by the State that they have loved and served with diligence. They are mocked and humiliated by the state, stripped of any dignity and consigned among the heap of those who live below the poverty line in the country.
I once stopped a commercial bike operator at Victoria Island in Lagos, sometime in 2006 to take a ride to some other part of the vicinity. To my surprise, the fellow told me that he was a HND holder who had come to the Island to drop his unsolicited credentials in expectation for a job with companies around, and that he does the bike business to survive in the interim. While self help is encouraged, this fellow’s situation is a reflection of the experiences of many graduates of this country.

Any reward for this effort?

Surely, the Nigerian graduate deserves a better deal than these bone crushing experiences he is getting from successive governments of Nigeria. Whether it is clear to the powers that be or not, beyond the physical impoverishment these people face daily, is the mental degeneration that comes with not being able to put to use knowledge so painstakingly acquired in tertiary institutions.
For each working day they remain unemployed, they get further devalued and diminished, and ironically the nation gets diminished too. For as long as nothing is done to improve the situation of the unemployed, there is a systemic breakdown of the souls of these individuals who are supposed to be tomorrow’s leaders.
And the government should be more wary because most scary is the fact that there is no prosthetic for the broken soul.
Mr. Obroku, a legal practitioner, contributed this piece to this blog from Abuja.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Things Fall Apart Saga? 50 Cents Forced To Change Name Of His New Movie

Hip-Hop Artiste turned Actor, 50 Cent, has changed the name of his new movie title after the legal counsel of renowned African writer, Chinua Achebe, reached out to him.

Chinua Achebe

50 Cent was forced to change the movie title from Things Fall Apart” to “All Things Fall Apart” because it mirrors the name of Chinua Achebe’s classic novel published in June 1958.

INFRINGEMENT: Despite offering $1Million, 50 Cent's bid to use the name THINGS FALL APART for his latest movie was blocked by Chinua Achebe's legal counsel.

 A source said, Chinua Achebe was offered $1 million dollars by the producers of the movie but he declined and released a statement saying:

“The novel with the said title was first produced in 1958 (17 years before 50cent was born), listed as the most widely read book in modern African literature, and will not be sold for One Billion Dollars”

50 Cents

THAT CLASSIC NOVEL: Chinua Achebe released THINGS FALL APART in 1958, 17years before the birth of 50cent.

All Things Fall Apart was shot sometime last year, in the movie 50 Cent lost a considerable amount of weight in order to play a cancer victim.  

The movie is set to be hit the movie screens in the very near future.

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