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Sunday, 11 September 2016

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A MUST READ FOR ALL FATHERS!!!!!!!!! Take Your Time and Read Through.

1. In the lifetime of most Nigerian family settings, there are 3 Dispensations of Power.

2. The 1st is the first 25 years in the life of the family  (father, mother, children) where power indisputably rest with the father.

3. The 2nd is after the kids have grown & started working when the power shifts to the mother.

4. The 3rd is when the kids move out of the family house or start their own families when the power moves to the children.

5. We'll start from the 1st Dispensation. Total dominance of the father. He is the Lion of the Tribe of his House. The boss.

6. During this dispensation, the father rules with an iron fist. He barks orders & determines what does or does not happen.

7. The father often mettes out corporal punishment to the recalcitrant children. They grow to fear him more than they love him.

8. The father is the provider for the family & everyone is aware of that fact with all attendant consequences.

9. Then the 2nd Dispensation sets in. The children have finished school and have started working. Power shifts to the mother.

10. When the children start earning their own money, for some reason, it's their mothers they decide to look after. They are closer to her.

11. While the father was in charge, he was busy with the business of providing. He didn't have much time to be a friend to the children.

12. They spent more time with their mum and invariably grew closer to her. They also see their mum as co-victims of the father's tyranny.

13. The mother takes centre stage at this point. She is the first to know what's happening with the children & she has advantage.

14. Should any of the daughters give birth, she is the one that goes for babysitting and the children spoil her with gifts.

15. At this stage, the father is wishing for some bond with the children like they have with their mother but that boat has sailed

16. Because the mother doesn't rely much on the father for her needs at this stage, she is less likely to tolerate his lordship. Friction.

17. Then the 3rd and last dispensation. Power has shifted to the children. They are self-sufficient, live on their own & have own families.

18. More often than not, whenever there is a quarrel between father & mother, the children side the mother.Years of joint-victimhood at play

19. Children have been known to come to the house to warn their father not to 'disturb' their mother. Next thing, extended visitations.

20. Woe betide the father if his finances are precarious at this stage. You will be humble by force. The gang-up is real.

21. This causes most men to fall ill & develop different complications. By the time the forces are arrayed against you, you will think well.

22. Stroke, Hypertension, High-Blood Pressure. The man has a large family but no relationship with them in later life. Troubling thought.

23. Moral, dear men, while the power lies with us, let us wield it with posterity in mind. It won't be with us forever.

24. With the way you are treating your wife now, how will she treat you when power shifts to her?

25. What relationship do you have with your family? Loving dad or despotic, tyrannical provider?

26. Remember, the children always side with their mother. Aim to do enough to at least get a fair hearing in future moments of family strife

27. Invest wisely for the future so that you won't have to beg to be taken care of if despite your best efforts, you find yourself alone.

Parenthood is not easy despite its joys. There is no manual on how it works.

May God help us to make the best of a really tough job.

When its your turn please rule right!

Have a blessed day.
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Monday, 29 August 2016

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A Fulfilled Life of Service: Arthur Mbanefo

The book:

In packaging this book, the publishers have exhibited excellence in craftsmanship. The cover page showed one of the finest pictures of the graceful Chief. That picture reminds me of Odu’s extreme kindness which many would discover once they associate closely with him. The Book is an exposé of Odu’s innermost persona- a kind hearted man. The face of charity, of a generous Odu. It is as if the picture were saying softly, “so how can I be of help?” The serenity in those eyes exudes love and charm. Then the colour contrast and separation blends with this image of beauty.

The title: ‘A Fulfilled Life of Service’

At first this might sound immodest. But this is the Truth. The Author depicts honour and integrity. Odu will say it the way it is. Once it is the truth. I also wondered, could it have been “An accomplished life.”But no. “Fulfillment” goes beyond “Accomplishment”. For while the later comes with a lot of efforts and hard work, the former goes with happiness and effortless giving of oneself in service.

The arrangement and style:

As Odu would say, “the reference point is oneself”. The book has been perfectly arranged in four distinct but related parts. The order speaks eloquently of the author’s discipline and orderliness, which makes the book an easy, read. Preceding the narration is a well-selected eulogy of the author and the book by eminent and distinguished men of diverse calling.

The prologue:

This part of the book brings true meaning to what Odu represents- Service to mankind. In keeping with his humility, he chose to write in the third person and avoided the “I” syndrome. It also reminded me of the striking attributes Odu III shared with his late father, Chief Isaac Anieka Mbanefo (Odu II) who wrote a book at the age of 92. The author edited this book in 2010, which gave out as souvenir during his 80th birthday. I requested for a copy of the late Titan’s book, ‘A Friend of the gods’. This was the forerunner to the present book.Various aspects of the prologue effectively conveyed what to expect as one reads the book.

Naturally, the part where Odu gave compliments to ABC Orjiako put a smile on my face. But what the author did not say is that all attempts I made to bring authors from both Nigeria and London yielded no fruits as none of those I brought could phantom even the peripheries of Odu’s life. Consequently, the “A Fulfilled Life of Service” became an autobiography, the masterful piece we are presented with today. And rightly so because, having read the book several times over, I came to the conclusion that the project could not have worked otherwise. Meanwhile, the author maybe planning another book “before his 92nd birthday.” Like father, like son.

Part one:

This covers his parentage, birth, growing up, education and professional training. The opening page of this part leading to the first chapter, displaces a magnificent picture of a young and handsome Arthur at 26, in England 1956. Chapter one of this book has direct bearing with ‘A friend of the gods’. It elaborates the rich pedigree of the author’s including the progenitor of the Mbanefos, Egbuka Mbanefo Iwegbu, his great grandfather and the 5th in the long lineage, which makes the author the 8th in his generational lineage based on the combined accounts of the two books.

In Chapter 7, in search of American professional experience, 1965, he demonstrated his abilities and scored another first. The first black man to work at Lybrand, Ross Brother & Montgomery. During this time, he came face to face with professional divergence between Accounting in England and America. Arthur stood his ground.

The Biafran Shuttle Diplomat and Ojukwu’s Special Envoy

This section of the book evokes a lot of passion and emotions, especially for a Biafran boy like me. This part clearly provided numerous evidences of heinous war crimes, purposeful starvation of innocent Biafran children. The author’s multiple engagements during this time portrayed him invincible, for want of a better word. He obviously was gallantry in executing the various tasks assigned to him in absolute confidence and trust by the Biafran Leader, General Chukwuemeka Odimegwu Ojukwu.

Role in the service of Nigeria as an ultimate diplomat at the United Nations

Obviously, the author’s life has been eventful from the onset. His achievements are monumental. But his UN outing where he served for 45 months was distinguishing.

For not only did His Excellency, Ambassador Arthur C. I. Mbanefo (Odu), interact with men and women at the highest global echelon, he excelled among peers. He stood taller than most people both in height and the legacies he left behind. He interacted with the high and mighty and gave a good account of himself and represented Nigeria, Africa and the developing countries excellently well. He emerged the natural leader of the diplomatic corps. His appointment by President Obasanjo was a surprise to him because unlike many political appointees he never lobbied for the position.

Orjiako, Chairman of Seplat Oil, writes from Lagos

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Thursday, 25 August 2016

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Apply for the 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships now!!!

The Chevening Secretariat is accepting applications for 2017/2018 Chevening Scholarships and some Chevening Fellowships from 8 August until 8 November 2016. Chevening Scholarships are awarded to individuals with demonstrable leadership potential who also have strorest of their academic backgrounds. The scholarship offers financial support to study for a master’s degree at any UK university and the opportunity to become part of an influential global network of 46,000 alumni. 
The call for new applicants follows the selection of some 1,800 scholars who won an award to study at a UK university this year.

These scholarships represent a significant investment from the UK Government to develop the next cohort of global leaders.

Speaking of the opening of the new application window, the Director of the Chevening Secretariat, Michael Scott-Kline, said: ‘Those who step forward to apply for a Chevening Scholarship are already demonstrating the kind of ambitious forward-thinking that typifies Chevening Scholars. The potential rewards for applying are unquantifiable. Not only do scholars receive a first-rate UK education which can open doors in their respective careers, they also join a strong global network — a network they will draw on and contribute to for the rest of their lives.'

Once successfully selected, Chevening Scholars arrive in the UK where they experience the best Britain has to offer academically, culturally, and socially.

‘Scholars can choose almost any master's course at any UK university,' Louise Thomson, Programme Manager at the Chevening Secretariat said. 'As well as an unparalleled academic experience, scholars enjoy exclusive access to year-round opportunities to familiarise them with the UK, its history, institutions, customs, and people.'

'Recent scholars have taken in breath-taking views of the UK, experienced Britain’s heritage and history through its stately homes and castles, discussed international policy at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and interacted with high profile academics, politicians, and even royals at a range of academic, cultural, and social events. Whether they're inside a lecture theatre or not, scholars are constantly learning.

Applicants are reminded to check that they are eligible, and are urged to start applying for their courses as early as possible. The deadline for all Chevening Scholarships applications is 12:00 GMT on 8 November 2016, and the selection timeline is available publicly.

Michael Scott-Kline, Director the Secretariat, concluded saying: 'Applying – or encouraging a friend to apply – may turn out to be the best decision you ever make. Everyone who has ever benefited from being a Chevening Scholar has one thing in common — they had the ambition to simply apply.'

Click here to apply now!
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Tuesday, 23 August 2016

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The Federal Inland Revenue Service FIRS 2016 Recruitment

The Federal Inland Revenue Service as part of its consolidation strategies, wish to engage the services of early starters with integrity, drive and desire to win professionally, to strengthen its workforce. Applicants are to note that regardless of the position advertised, the following are minimum general requirements for all applicants.

Minimum Qualifications/skills base

A Bachelor or Master’s Degree in Accounting, Law, Economics, Banking & Finance, Engineering, Geology, Statistics, Computer Science or other relevant discipline in the quantitative field OR A Higher National Diploma in Accounting, Economics, Banking & Finance, Engineering, Geology, Statistics, Computer Science or other relevant discipline in the quantitative field.

Computer literacy and conversant with Microsoft office, Web Applications and the use of relevant applications for efficient delivery of service, Strong leadership and management skills, Strong team spirit and ability to effectively delegate, Strong interpersonal and communication skills, Strong Analytical skills, Knowledge of the Nigerian Tax Laws and appreciation of their application and understanding of the regulatory framework within which the FIRS operates;  Knowledge of business/industry environment within which taxpayers operate, Ability to work as a regulator with the courage to ensure full compliance with laws.


FIRS considers computer proficiency a key requirement for anyone who aspires for a job in the Service. Accordingly, Applicants are expected to fill their applications online. The official application details is attached below. This FIRS application portal will be available with effect from Monday, 29th August, 2016. Please follow the instructions to fill in your application. Only applications in respect of the advertised positions would be considered.

All individuals are expected to apply to only ONE position. Multiple applications by one candidate for more than one job will be disqualified. Upon submission, applicants will receive an acknowledgement containing a reference number which must be quoted in all future correspondences.

Deadline for submission of application is six (6) weeks from the date the web portal is available (Monday, 10th October, 2016) Only shortlisted candidates will be invited for interview.

Download the official advert for more details below:
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Friday, 12 August 2016

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Meet Nigerian woman who has no formal education but lectures at Harvard and other top varsities.

Not many in her homeland appear to know about her unique story. But in other lands, especially Europe and America, she is a ‘goddess’ whose works are cherished by kings and presidents.
Without a doubt, the story of Nike Okundaye, the face behind the huge success story of Nike Arts Gallery, located in Lag
os, Abuja and Osogbo, is as compelling as it is inspiring.
At a time when young Nigerians are in desperate need of a role model and inspiration in what self-belief and hard work can achieve, Nike’s rise from the status of an unknown village girl born into a seeming insignificant family in a rustic village to a globally celebrated icon would make an A-list inspirational novel.

Born in her native village of Ogidi, Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State, young Nike had high dreams about what type of future she wanted for herself. But her dreams were truncated even before they could take form when she lost her mother at age six. “I was six when my mother died,” she said with a tinge of sadness.

With the blow inflicted on her dreams by her mother’s death, young Nike was taken away to live with her grandmother. At the time, many believed that by going to live with an old woman, the young girl’s future had been compromised. But events have since proved that destiny may indeed have been at work in her journey through life.

She had her first contact with the world of arts through her grandmother, who at the time, was the leader of cloth weavers in the community.She said: “I come from a family of craftsmen. My parents were crafts people from Ogidi in Ijumu Local Government Area, Kogi State. My life as an artist is something that I was born with. I started weaving at the age of six. “I started with weaving different things, including adire, a traditional Yoruba hand-painted cloth design. As a matter of fact, I can say everything that had to do with textile. They taught me how to weave, using a little calabash. Gradually, I graduated to using bigger materials.”
Though Nike was six years old and barely able to tell the difference between her left and right hands, she already had a picture of the kind of future she wanted.“My grandmother was the head of all the weavers in our community. So, even as a little child, I already had a dream that I would own a big studio when I grew up. People came from different areas to buy the cloth from her. So, at that time, I already sensed that I might not have the opportunity to go to school.”

With the death of her mother, her grandmother, whose responsibility it was to look after her, did not pamper her in any form. She ensured that the virtue of hard work was instilled in Nike’s young, impressionable mind.

At that time, young Nike, unaware of the reason behind her great grandmother’s action, would cry, believing that she was being unnecessarily punished. “I would cry and lament because I thought she was wicked and punishing me. But today, I always thank her for inculcating in me the virtue of hard work. It was through her that I learnt that you must persevere in whatever you do and never give up on your dreams.”

Although she lost her mother at a time she needed her most, Nike believes that destiny might have been involved in the way her life played out, including her mother’s death. According to her, the mother was a very hard working young woman who would have spared nothing to ensure that her child got a good education up to the university level.

“Even at that young age, I knew that my mother was very hard working. And I am very sure that if she had not died, she would have trained me up to university level. My father was a farmer. He also did several other things like basket weaving to supplement his income. So, definitely, I would have been educated very well if my mother had not died. “But today, I look at my childhood and all that I went through as something designed by destiny. Who knows, maybe if my mother had not died and I had gone ahead to be educated, I may never have had the kind of opportunity that I have today and may never have risen to the level that I am.”

Nike never went to school to study art, the vocation that has brought her to global spotlight.

Vocational training in art was passed down to her by her great grandmother, the late Madam Ibikunle. Watching her great grandmother in the art of adire textile processing and helping her out, Nike walked up the line to become an expert in adire making, dyeing, weaving, painting and embroidery.

A product of the famous Osogbo Art Movement, Nike is today a world acclaimed artist and textile designer. She brings vivid imagination as well as a wealth of history and tradition into the production of adire. Her works are celebrated in major capitals of the world, with her designs exhibited in countries like the USA, Belgium, Germany, Japan and Italy, among others.

Nike spent the early part of her life in Osogbo, a recognised hotbed for art and culture in Nigeria. During her stay in Osogbo, her informal training was dominated by indigo and adire.
Nike’s romance with international exposure began in 1968 when she had an exhibition at the Goethe Institute in Lagos. Since then, she has grown to become a major name on the international art circuit. She is most outstanding in paintings and design of adire, beadwork and batik.

Among Nike’s proudest achievements was her invitation to Italy by the Italian government in 2000 to train young Nigerian sex workers on how to use their hands to engage in creative ventures. Her invitation was as a result of complaints to the Italian government by the young Nigerians that they left Nigeria in search of work, not knowing what they would be forced into. When Nike got to Italy, she taught them skills in craft making and many of the women became self-reliant in no time and stopped their old means of income.

In 2006, she was awarded one of the highest Italian national awards of merit by the government of the Republic of Italy in appreciation of her efforts in using art to address and solve the problems of Nigerian sex workers in Italy.

About two years ago, her adire painting was accepted at The Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum, located in Washington DC, US. Some of her works can be found among-st the collection of prominent personalities around the world, including the White House.

While little is known about Nike and her works across the country, two former presidents of the USA, Bill Clinton and George Bush, were so enthralled by her works at various times that they sought audience with her during their visits to Nigeria. Much more than just meeting and shaking hands with the two former presidents, it was Nike that decorated George Bush’s room in Abuja during his stay in the country.

According to Nike, these two incidents, were some of the best things to have happened to her.
She said: “When President Bill Clinton of the US visited Nigeria, he asked to meet the woman behind Nike Gallery, and I was taken to Abuja to meet him. It was the same thing with President George Bush. I was invited to meet him in Abuja during his visit to Nigeria. I was the one that decorated the room where the president stayed during the visit. What honour can be greater than this? I feel accomplished.”

As an accomplished artist, Nike has taught in several universities in the US, imparting the knowledge of her traditional adire designs in thousands of eager students from across the world. Her teaching exploits, she disclosed, have taken her to revered institutions like Harvard and Edmonton in Canada.

“I have lectured and held workshops in several noble institutions across the world. Some of the universities include Harvard, Columbus, Edmonton, Ohio and in Los Angeles, among others.

My first experience with teaching was in 1974. At that time, I taught people with doctoral degrees.”
Interestingly, all the education she had at the time, according to her, was the traditional education that parents pass onto their children.

“The type of education I had at the time was the education that is passed from parents to their children, not the education you get in a classroom. It was the practical type of education,” she said with a wry smile.

In 1983, she established the Nike Centre for Art and Culture in Osogbo, Osun State, where trainings are offered free of charge to Nigerians in various forms of arts. The centre was opened with 20 young girls who were picked from the streets and offered a new life in arts. So far, according to her, more than 3,000 young Nigerians have been trained at the centre.

The centre also admits undergraduate students from many universities in Nigeria for their industrial training programmes in textile design. The centre now admits students from Europe, Canada and the United States of America. International scholars and other researchers in traditional African art and culture also visit the centre from time to time for their research works on the processing of adire fabric and African traditional dyeing methods.

But she says the true story of the gallery started in her bedroom about 47 years ago.

“The gallery you see today actually started in my bedroom in 1968. In 2008, we opened the one in Lagos, and my husband was always the motivator. It was intended to give the young and old a platform to hear their voice.”

As she spoke, with signs of fulfillment splashed on her face, her husband, Reuben Okundaye, a retired commissioner of police, who had remained quiet since the interview started, suddenly joined in the conversation.

He said: “It is with practical education that she has continued to teach and impart knowledge into people with doctoral degrees and masters in Fine Art. Some of these people even come here under the cover of night to seek advice from her. Yet, some would say she is not educated.”

Speaking about another experience, Mr. Okundaye said he once had an encounter with a prominent Nigerian who told him that his wife would have been made a minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria if she was educated. Surprised, he said he took a swipe at the man, telling him his wife was better educated than most of the people that were being flaunted.

He said: “You can imagine, I was discussing with one big man the other day and he said that my wife would have been made a minister if she was educated. I was angry and I asked him what he meant by that. Here is a woman who teaches people with doctoral degrees in higher institutions all over the world, yet you say she is not educated. But when the chips are down, they come to her for advice.”

Asked how she feels whenever she teaches in the classroom, Nike looked up as if relishing her achievements, and said: “I feel fulfilled. It was a very high sense of fulfillment. Imagine, a little girl who grew up in a rustic village without any sign of hope for a good future. Now I stand before PHD holders and teach them. I have been invited to meet presidents of foreign countries. I think I should be proud of my little achievements and be grateful to God.”

In spite of her seeming low education, she insists she has no regrets about not attending school. “I have no regrets at all. I give thanks to God for making all these things possible for me. I also thank my husband for standing by me all these years. I must confess that it was not easy coming this far. You will agree with me that for a woman to be recognised, she has to work three times harder than a man.”

Reechoing his wife’s position, Mr. Okundaye said Nike could not have had any regrets, having attained the heights sought by many across the world. “You asked if she has any regrets. How can that be possible? What kind of regret was she supposed to have with all her achievements? She is fulfilled in every sense of the word,” he enthused.

Expectedly, the couple was attracted to each other by their mutual love for arts. “I have always been an arts lover. I have some of her works. Perhaps, like you said, maybe it was destiny that brought us together.”
With a sterling career as a police officer, which saw him attaining the rank of Commissioner of Police and serving in more than four states, the couple has in the last 20 years of their coming together enjoyed the beauty of marriage and weathered the storm together.

Nike, who would be 64 in a couple of weeks, has also successfully created an identity for herself. Her most treasured clothes, she confessed, are adire fabrics. And it is not surprising that she cannot remember the last time she wore anything other than that.

“You may be right if you say I have created an identity for myself with my adire clothes. It is the only thing that I am known with. I don’t wear any other clothe, even when I travel out of the country,” she said.

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Sunday, 7 August 2016

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Equip your Library with Britannical Encyclopedia Global Edition, 30 Volumes

The Britannical Encyclopedia Global Edition, 30 Volumes
Sunshine Bookseller presents the Britannica Encyclopedia, Global Edition. Developed specifically to provide comprehensive and global coverage of the world around us, this unique product contains thousands of timely, relevant, and essential articles drawn from the Encyclopedia Britannica itself, as well as from the Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, the Britannica Encyclopedia of World Religions, and Compton’s by Britannica
As you know, no library in the world is complete without a complete set of Encyclopedia. For more than 240 years, Britannica has been continuously serving the world with richest source of updated information. 

Whatever your interest, Britannica has the answers!
From children to adults, students to professionals, and from the committed researcher to the casual browser-everyone can get so much from Britannica’s unrivaled accuracy and facts, figures and revelations that make it the first port of call for whatever you need to know.

  • 30 volumes in an easy-to-hold, hardcover compact format
  • Updated and current information from global warming to the iPhone to Barack Obama
  • Over 40,000 in-depth articles written by international experts and scholars, including Nobel Prize winners
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  • 16.5 million words providing global coverage
  • 8,500 photographs, maps, flags, and illustrations
  • Volume dimension: 5 3/4" x 8 3/4"
It’s a Perfect reference for:
  • Research for academics and students at secondary school and higher education
  • School projects and presentations
  • Exploring your interests further
  • Broadening your general knowledge
  • Quizzes and competitions
  • Answering just about any question on any subject
We have just 5 sets left. First come, first served. Act fast now!!! Be one of the lucky owner of this great but rare collection. 

Pay on delivery available if your delivery address is within the South West States. 



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Saturday, 16 July 2016

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Yejide Kilanko’s ‘Daughters Who Walk This Path’ Shortlisted for 2016 NLNG Prize for Literature

We are proud to announce that Yejide Kilanko's novel, Daughters Who Walk This Path, published by Farafina, has been shortlisted, along with 10 others, for the 2016 Nigeria Prize for Literature.
Daughters Who Walk This Path tells the coming-of-age story of spirited and intelligent Morayo, who grows up surrounded by school friends and family in Ibadan. Morayo must learn to fiercely protect herself and her sister as young women growing up in a complex and politically charged country.
In this excerpt from the novel, young and idealistic Mr. Tiamiyu faces off with older, richer, more popular politician, Chief Omoniyi, in a local government election. Enjoy.

Two hours after the election was supposed to start, four electoral commission officials arrived with the ballot boxes and their other paraphernalia.
Shortly after their arrival, Chief Omoniyi marched majestically into the voting station surrounded by praise singers. I watched the electoral commission officials prostrate flat on the ground before Chief Omoniyi. Relinquishing their tables and chairs to him, they moved their ballot boxes and sat under a nearby tree. The praise singers accompanying Chief Omoniyi were beating their talking-drums with such intensity that the veins on the side of their heads stood up.
“Omoniyi,” the talking drums called. “He, who says that when you go out you will not come back, is whom you will not meet upon your return.”
Chief Omoniyi sat down while a steady stream of people paid homage to him. Even Mr. Tiamiyu’s elderly father went over and prostrated before Chief Omoniyi. “Shief, I am very grateful for all the business you have sent my way this month. May God continue to prosper you.”
When Chief Omoniyi saw his opponent’s elderly father flat on the sand before him, he turned and sent Mr. Tiamiyu a victorious look. Then he relaxed back in his chair and his wide mouth curved into a smile that did not reach his beady eyes. “Ha! Baba Vulcaniser, please get up. I am just a very young boy. I should be the one prostrating before you ke.” But he made no move to stand up from his chair.
Baba Mufu picked himself up from the ground and dusted the sand off his body. After he replaced his cap, he hobbled back to his son’s side of the compound.
His angry wife hissed at him. “Baba Mufu! Why would you go and prostrate in front of that man? On today of all days! Rubbishing your only son in front of everybody.”
“Must I join your son in biting the hand that fed him?” Baba Mufu snapped back. “When this madness of his is over, are we still not going to eat?”
The angry woman turned her back to her husband.
Mr. Tiamiyu looked at his parents and rubbed his hand over his head. Aunty Morenike placed a hand on his arm. I heard her whisper softly to him, “Your father meant no harm. He is just a product of his time.”
Mr. Tiamiyu stared back at her with eyes that were full of hurt.
Shortly after Chief Omoniyi’s arrival, one of his political thugs brought out a table from a school building and set up a food takeaway station right beside the electoral officials. Those lining up to cast their vote for Chief Omoniyi were each given a small loaf of bread, two akara balls, and a sachet of pure water. After casting their votes, they each received a numbered cardboard from Chief Omoniyi’s men. With the piece of cardboard, the voters were entitled to a hot meal of amala and ewedu soup in front of Chief Omoniyi’s home later in the evening. The political thugs soon ran out of the cardboard and started using ballot paper collected from the willing electoral officers.
As I watched men and women old enough to be my parents stand in line, I wondered if the food was a fair exchange for leaky primary schools, unsafe roads, and dry taps. Even we children knew that the money allocated for these programmes and services went towards maintaining Chief Omoniyi’s harem of women and sending his children to the top schools in the United Kingdom and the United States.
Despite the rising heat, Mr. Tiamiyu continued to smile, walking around to thank the few people who came out to vote for him. But it was obvious to all that it was Chief Omoniyi’s day.
Aunty Morenike had not given up. She continued to whisper to the women as they walked into the school compound. “My sisters and mothers, let us show that we are not children to be bought with food. Whatever we eat today, we will purge tomorrow. But our problems will remain the same. This is our chance to fight for our children’s future.” She put her arm around their shoulders. “Come, let us cast our ballot for a new beginning.”
By late morning, I was growing tired and hungry. Aunty Morenike had brought some food with her, but she was still talking to the women. Then something unexpected happened. An old blind man led by a young child walked into the school compound.
The little boy stopped in front of Chief Omoniyi’s table. “Open your ears and listen!” he said. Instantly, the whole compound fell silent as if it was under a spell.
The blind old man turned his face in Chief Omoniyi’s direction and began to speak.
“Omoniyi is the name your father gave you. Why do you live life as if your name is Shame? If truly your name is Omoniyi, you must know that your life comes with great worth and dreams. Why do you live as if it does not? If the name you were given was Strife, you could continue to live in conflict and blame it on the intense urgings of your name. But your name is Omoniyi. Your mother carried you gingerly on her back, danced around, and sang your name with pride. Why do you live your life as if your name is Greed? Living life recklessly as if you own tomorrow and snatching food from the mouths of innocent children. Feverishly building up wealth that brings no honour and only invites disgrace. Living life like the hunting dog who forgot his master’s call. Living without purpose as if your name is Lost. Will you remember that your name is Omoniyi? A child of great honour and hope. To the promises of your name, you must be true.”
The blind old man turned to the little boy. “Child, take me to Mufutau’s table.” Everybody in the compound watched in shock as the blind man pressed a shaking thumb into purple ink to cast his ballot for Mr. Tiamiyu. When he was done, the child quietly led him by the hand out of the compound.
The crowd continued to stare at Chief Omoniyi with their mouths wide open. What was he going to do? Who could have brought about this great insult to their benefactor?
Chief Omoniyi looked around like a cornered rat staring at the metallic gleam of a cutlass. Then he turned, looking in Mr. Tiamiyu’s direction with smouldering eyes. Everybody in the compound followed his gaze. But of course! This had to be the handiwork of that defiant boy Mufutau.
An angry murmur swelled up from the crowd. Some men from Chief Omoniyi’s camp moved purposefully towards Mr. Tiamiyu. Frightened, our little group moved back, huddling together. The crowd was grumbling: Did this young scallywag not go around shouting that he will bring running water to every household? Is that not foolish talk? How do you bring running water to streets with no water pipes?
To Chief Omoniyi’s credit, it was not as if he did not try to bring water to his people. Did everybody not see the shiny new water pipes dropped off at the local government headquarters? Who could have known that armed robbers would raid the warehouse just two weeks later? That poor night watchman—both his legs were broken.
But even babies knew that this was the handiwork of Chief Omoniyi’s political enemies. It was also mere coincidence that two months later, Chief Omoniyi’s brother-in-law, Agbabiaka, opened a shop where he sold brand-new water pipes at Ekotedo Market.
No one said he was a saint. Who was?
But who could send this young man, Tiamiyu, with such tender bones, to the pack of jackals at the state house? Tiamiyu would be torn to pieces in just a matter of months. Chief Omoniyi—despite all his flaws—was the man with the wisdom and stamina for the hard job of ruling the people.
Hearing the snarls, I looked around with concern. The only exit out was blocked by Chief Omoniyi’s thugs, who patted down the men walking into the compound.
Chief Omoniyi sat back in his chair. The smug look on his face told me he knew that the people whose stomachs were still full with akara and pure water would fight his battle for him.
As the Chief’s men moved closer, the men in our little group asked the women and young children to move to the back. My heart began beating very fast. The crowd was growing irate, calling out for Mr. Tiamiyu’s head.
Then Chief Omoniyi stood. “My people! Listen to me. This is not the time for violence. You all know that I am a man of peace.”
The crowd stopped.
“It is true that the house mouse that spares the sheath but eats the knife is bent on provoking one.” He laughed mirthlessly to himself. “But it is impossible for anyone to carry the wind. Mufutau is like all my other enemies—he cannot succeed.”
Flapping the arms of his stiff damask agbada as if he might take flight, Chief Omoniyi’s voice shook as he sprayed those standing around him with a shower of saliva. From the looks of adoration on their faces, it could have been sprinkles of holy water.
“My faithful followers, instead of fighting with our fists and clubs, we will destroy our enemies with our ballots.” He punched the air with a raised fist. “We will boldly stare down our enemies and we will WIN.”
The people began clapping their hands, thumping their feet on the ground, raising clouds of dust into the air.
Chief Omoniyi’s voice continued to rise. “We the great people of this local government will be a shining example to all others! We will show that right here in our great community, the dream of democracy that has eluded so many others is alive and thriving!”
The praise singers increased the tempo of their drumbeats, driving the crowd into a frenzied dance of victory.

Daughters Who Walk This Path is sold in Sunshine Bookseller, 08028708577(whatsapp)
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Wednesday, 13 July 2016

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King Jaja of Opobo (1821-1891)

Born in Igboland and sold as a slave to a Bonny trader at the age of twelve, he was named Jubo Jubogha by his first master. He was later sold to Chief Alali, the head of the Opubo Annie Pepple Royal House. Called Jaja by the British, this gifted and enterprising individual eventually became one of the most powerful men in the eastern Niger Delta.
The Niger Delta, where the Niger empties itself into the Gulf of Guinea in a system of intricate waterways, was the site of unique settlements called city-states.

From the fifteenth to the eighteenth century, Bonny, like the other city-states, gained its wealth from the profits of the slave trade. Here, an individual could attain prestige and power through success in business and, as in the case of Jaja, a slave could work his way up to head of state. The House was a socio-political institution and was the basic unit of the city-state.

In the nineteenth century—after the abolition of the slave trade in 1807—the trade in slaves was supplanted by the trade in palm oil, which was so vibrant that the region was named the Oil Rivers area.

The Houses in Bonny and other city-states controlled both the internal and external palm oil trade because the producers in the hinterland were forbidden to trade directly with the Europeans on the coast; the Europeans never left the coast for fear of malaria.

Astute in business and politics, Jaja became the head of the Anna Pepple House, extending its activities and influence by absorbing other houses, increasing operations in the hinterland and augmenting the number of European contacts. A power struggle ensued among rival factions in the houses at Bonny leading to the breakaway of the faction led by Jaja. He established a new settlement, which he named Opobo. He became King Jaja of Opobo and declared himself independent of Bonny.

Strategically located between Bonny and the production areas of the hinterland, King Jaja controlled trade and politics in the delta. In so doing, he curtailed trade at Bonny and fourteen of the eighteen Bonny houses moved to Opobo.

In a few years, he had become so wealthy that he was shipping palm oil directly to Liverpool. The British consul could not tolerate this situation. Jaja was offered a treaty of "protection", in return for which the chiefs usually surrendered their sovereignty. After Jaja's initial opposition, he was reassured, in vague terms, that neither his authority nor the sovereignty of Opobo would be threatened.

Jaja continued to regulate trade and levy duties on British traders, to the point where he ordered a cessation of trade on the river until one British firm agreed to pay duties. Jaja refused to comply with the consul's order to terminate these activities, despite British threats to bombard Opobo. Unknown to Jaja, the Scramble for Africa had taken place and Opobo was part of the territories allocated to Great Britain. This was the era of gunboat diplomacy, where Great Britain used her naval power to negotiate conditions favorable to the British.

Lured into a meeting with the British consul aboard a warship, Jaja was arrested and sent to Accra, where he was summarily tried and found guilty of "treaty breaking" and "blocking the highways of trade".

He was deported to St. Vincent, West Indies and four years later, he died en route to Nigeria after he was permitted to return.

Ironically, Jaja's dogged insistence on African independence and effective resistance exposed British imperialism and made him the first victim of foreign territorial intrusion in West Africa. The fate of Jaja reverberated through the entire Niger delta. Amazed at this turn of events, the other delta chiefs quickly capitulated.

In addition, the discovery of quinine as the cure for malaria enabled the British traders to bypass the middlemen and deal directly with the palm oil producers, thus precipitating the decline of the city-states.

King Jaja's downfall ensured a victory for British supremacy, paving the way for the eventual imposition of the colonial system in this region by the end of the century.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2016

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African Writers Series: How many have you Read?

African Writers Series is a series of books by African writers that has been published by Heinemann since 1962. The series has ensured an international voice to major African writers—including Chinua Achebe, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o, Steve Biko, Ama Ata Aidoo, Nadine Gordimer, Buchi Emecheta, and Okot p'Bitek.

Founded in 1962, the series created a forum for many post-independence African writers, and provided texts that African universities could use to address the colonial bias then prominent in the teaching of literature. The books were designed for classroom use, printed solely in paperback to make them affordable for African students. They were published by Heinemann Educational Books (HEB) in London and in various African cities.
The idea of the series came from Heinemann executive Alan Hill. The first advisory editor to the series was the Nigerian Chinua Achebe – who became one of Africa's most famous writers. Achebe focused first on West African writers, but soon the series branched out, publishing the works of Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o in East Africa, and Nadine Gordimer in South Africa. Achebe left the editorship in 1972. James Currey, the editorial director at Heinemann Educational Books in charge of the African Writers Series from 1967 to 1984, has provided a book-length treatment of the series.

After a fairly successful beginning, the series faced difficulties that mirrored those that faced the continent. By the mid-1980s, Heinemann published only one or two new titles a year, and much of the back catalogue fell out of print. By the early 1990s, however, the series began to revive—having recently branched into new work, republishing originally locally released texts, and releasing translated works.

It is another challenge of mine, to read all novels in African Writers Series.
What about you? Are you interested in reading novels in the AWS? How many have you read? What is your opinion about them

Many of the African Writers Series are available at Sunshine Bookseller just imported many of the African Writers Series (They are the original copies) and this is an opportunity for you to equip your library with these beautiful series again. There are over 50 titles to choose from. You can pay on deliver if you are in Lagos or Ibadan. Not too many copy per titles are available. Order your own copies while stock last.

Click Here to Get Them.

Aloko Adewale Peter
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Friday, 24 June 2016

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We Are All Biafrans -A Participant Observer’s Intervention in a Country Sleepwalking to Disaster By Chido Onumah

We Are All Biafrans is a collection of essays focusing on the crisis of nationhood in Nigeria.

In this book, Chido Onumah argues that many, if not all, of the problems of Nigeria are rooted in the structure of the country. He makes a case, as he did in his previous books, for the socio-political restructuring of Nigeria. He argues that the country needs to engage episodic political convulsions that threaten its very foundation, including Biafra, June 12, Boko Haram, the “National Question”, citizenship rights, and “militocracy”.

In We are all Biafrans, Onumah takes on Nigeria’s indolent and reactionary ruling elite – civilian and military – and their allies, as well as bandits in uniform, scoundrels posing as statesmen, and conservative ideologues, religious bigots and ethnic chauvinists posing as patriots. He raises fundamental questions: What is Nigeria and who is a Nigerian? If Nigeria is a federal republic, what constitutes or should constitute the federating units? He posits that the different manifestation of Biafra may well be a metaphor and, to that extent, we are all Biafrans as long as we seek to confront the clear and present danger.

The author notes that we can’t achieve any meaningful progress as a people until we come to terms with the reality of our existence – that Nigeria is a deeply flawed nation – and sincerely and selflessly confront it.

Forging a nation out of the disparate and often antagonistic entities, in the author’s view, is perhaps the greatest challenge confronting Nigeria.  

This book, a compilation of my articles published in traditional and online newspapers in the last three years (2013 to 2016), is divided into five chapters.

The first chapter, “The Politics of 2015”, deals with the high-wire politics of the 2015 election which, given its zero-sum character, was rightly regarded by many as a crucial factor in the survival of Nigeria as a country. As it turned out, the election was concluded without any major crisis.

The second chapter, “Dancing on the Brink”, focuses on the issue of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC), a controversial subject that splits Nigerians right down the middle, but which the rulers of the country have not been bold enough to confront in a fruitful way.

The third chapter, “Unmaking Nigeria”, highlights those phenomena that not only constitute an ugly phase of our history, but also expose our pretence to being a nation.

The fourth chapter, “Of scoundrels and statesmen”, is a narrative of some individuals and groups in and out of government whose actions have either enriched our polity or reinforced it as “the giant of Africa” only in name.

Chapter five, “Last ‘Missionary’ journey”, is again a reminder that unless we sit at a table to negotiate the terms of our co-existence as a people, our country, to quote the late human rights activist, Dr. Beko Ransome-Kuti, “would continue to go round and round”.

Can anyone confidently say that so far Beko’s prophesy has not been the dominant feature of our country’s destiny?

Indeed, in the last fifty-five years this country has been saddled with a cycle of bad rulers whose main preoccupation is enriching themselves, their families, and their friends, instead of initiating clear-cut strategies for taking the mass of our people out of poverty.

Blinded by their frenetic obsession with primitive accumulation and conspicuous consumption, these rulers could not recognize that the only way to build a nation from a multiethnic and multi-cultural society like ours is to construct a national philosophy that will ensure equity, justice and the inclusiveness of all groups, no matter their size.

The failure of our rulers in this regard has only guaranteed that today Nigeria remains nothing but a nationless state. Every action, consciously or unconsciously, that our rulers have taken since independence has only served to amplify our fault lines and unmake Nigeria. Yet, they expect the country to be one united, indivisible and progressive nation.

Of course, the status quo cannot be sustained for much longer, given the growing agitations in different forms across the country.

This book, seeks to trigger the debate that will eventually nudge Nigerians towards kick-starting the process of a genuine re-invention of our country.

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