In the socio-economic landscape of present day Nigeria, there’s hardly any other issue as pertinent and crucial as the sudden increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit popularly called petrol. The plethora of negative effects of the new pump price of N145 per litre has been the song on everyone’s lips. Vehicle owners, commuters, artisans, white and blue collar job holders, market women…you name it seem to be in a battle of who-can-lament-the-most. And who can blame anyone complaining? The N58.50k difference (especially with no palliative measures in place to cushion the effect) between what used to obtain and what we have now came as a shock to many.
As a writer and social commentator, some subjects take more out of you than others. Some topics drain you of emotion and makes you both reluctant and eager to discuss them. You are reluctant because you are afraid you just might let your emotions get the better of you, and end up not passing your message across the way you had planned to. It’s like writing about rape. I dare say there’s no way to discuss the proliferation of rape incidents without being angry. The mere thought has me scowling as I write this. On the other hand, you are eager to lend your voice in the midst of the cacophony of voices addressing the same subject because you feel you owe it to at least one person out there to speak your truth concerning the matter. Some issues are just naturally touchy and domestic violence is one of them.
In undoubtedly the greatest triumph in the history of the English Premier League, little known Leicester City Football Club won the 2015/2016 Premier League season. The Foxes won the title with two games to spare on Monday night courtesy of the 2-2 draw played between last season’s champions, Chelsea and this season’s relentless runners-up Tottenham Hotspur.
The high profile wedding of perhaps the biggest female pop artist in Nigeria at the moment which was contracted less than three years ago has been rocked to its very foundations within the past week. I have read many accounts of what happened and watched the video of Tiwa Savage’s interview concerning the matter. I have also read varying comments from different quarters- from celebrities and regular folks alike; from the amusing to the ridiculous to the downright insensitive.
The erroneous impression that things cannot go well without one’s presence or a job can hardly be done without a person’s involvement is one of those misconceptions that irks me to no end. It is commonplace. The staff with an over bloated ego who saunters around the office like he is the next best thing after ice-cream. The benefactor who carries himself like a Tin god because (unknown to him) he has been given the privilege to be a helper to the less privileged, and even the husband who sees his wife’s success as solely dependent on him. Well, today, I am writing to burst your bubble if you are in any of these categories. Contrary to your myopic notion, things can and will go as planned without you.
The bill for gender parity and prohibition of violence against women was presented before the eighth Senate for the first time by the Senator representing Ekiti South, Senator Biodun Olujimi last week. But it didn’t pass through the second reading before it was thrown out, to the surprise of many and plenty of hue and cry on social media. Many were rightly peeved by the unwillingness of the lawmakers who were elected into the house to protect and serve the interest of their constituents to pass the bill into law. I am one of the few people who wasn’t surprised by the actions of the Senators.
To say the last couple of weeks have been stressful for the average Nigerian would frankly be a gross understatement. The poor masses have found themselves spending more time on fuel queues and vehicular traffic induced by fuel queues than in any productive business. To make matters worse, power supply has been virtually non-existent in the last couple weeks. It is tantamount to going from one bout of untold hardship to another, as there had just been a bit of respite from the alarming downward spiral of the naira, when the recurring demon of scarcity of premium motor spirit reared its ugly head once again.
Today I am writing my 100th blog post. One hundred! A hundred posts of self-generated content! Even I find it hard to believe. It’s been about two years since I started this journey of pursuing my dream of taking up writing as a career path. From that unsure, tentative voice to a bolder one, I have to say that it has been an interesting journey. It seems just like yesterday when I published my first article on this platform. I was nervous about sharing it, I wasn’t certain how people would receive me. I had many doubts and worried about how I would sustain putting out original content every single week, while also holding a day job. I wasn’t sure I would last three months, but here I am two whole years later with a reasonable following for a blog that doesn’t post gossip.
“The older I get, the more I see reasons to speak less and listen more”– Ololade Ajekigbe
One of the major ways through which I conserve energy is by saying very little. The day I divulged this piece of information to my friend, she laughed and shook her head in that Lolade-and-some-of-her-unconventional-ways-again manner. Yet it was true, and is likely to remain true for a very long time. Sometimes, I would have some “hot gist” for a close friend, but when I remember the amount of time and energy it would require to give them a detailed account of what happened, I would put off recounting my story till a later time. I just find that I am one who would rather listen than talk, unless of course I am in a really chatty mood, or have something absolutely important to contribute to a discourse.
In the past couple of days, there has been some clamour for Nigerians to patronise made-in-Nigeria products. The hashtag “Buy Naija To Grow The Naira” was even created to drive its awareness on Twitter. The aim is simple – Buy locally made goods to save the naira from its current alarming slope downhill. For all intents and purposes this campaign has become imperative especially in the light of the dwindling fortune of the naira against the dollar. Since the price of crude oil has been on a steady decline for a while now, oil producing countries have had to turn their attention to other sectors of their economy to ensure that their gross domestic product does not plummet. In a mono-economy like Nigeria there were no such options.