Thursday, March 23, 2017


The first CHAT GROUP I was added to was one by coursemates from my Alma Mater. I did decline a few others when I was approached to be included by other groups I belong to. However, I set up the one for my "Village Association"in Lagos, but made others administrators while I remained more like an observer than administering the group, allowing others I made administrators control things there. I have been invited to several others since then but declined, also removing myself from the one set up be former classmates, and leaving only the Village Association one, mainly because I'm a member of the executive, and it isn't a good example to set by staying away from it. This however hasn't stopped me from gleaning experiences from other people who belong to two or more Whatsapp groups to spice mine.

With the school chat group from which I didn't waste time removing myself, it was with the constancy with which the message poured in, putting a strain on my battery's life, at a time I was away from my location for days on end, on a business trip, that caused my angst with the group initially. Even if I had muted their conversations it would also have cost me in data, especially as some members of the group appeared to turn the forum into their family affair, discussing things that they could easily have done privately, in public (space of Whatsapp Chat Group). Feelers since I left, just days after the group was set up point to the fact that I missed nothing hence I hadn't made any mistake removing myself, and would only miss knowing what my peers are presently up to, though I definitely wasn't interested in the unofficial competition amongst group members in showing off their stations in life, and seeing those less fortunate as disappointments or beneath the "CHOSEN" in the way they respond in condescension to comments to those they deem to not have arrived, when they decide not to ignore them.

Like I said earlier on, I couldn't remove myself from the one setup by my village association because of my position, as well as the fact that I set it up for the group. However, my experience has been quite frustrating to say the least. The very day it was set up, some guy who wasn't even at the meeting where it was decided that a Whatsapp Chat Group be set up, inundated us the whole evening after the meeting with pictures of products of his trade, even in to the night till the next morning, after seeing that we had added his name, as with others. It didn't take long before some members of the group started removing themselves. I thought about blocking him, but I wanted others to react, especially the other administrators. Fortunately, the chairman belled the cat by politely asking the offender to stop posting the pics. That temporary relief was soon broken by other nuisances among which included a few guys who would ensure to post at least two pictures just to say GOOD MORNING to

members of the group. The constancy with which one member in particular posts these pictures every morning, is such that once when he failed to post one for the day, members suspected that something must've happened to him. Luckily, most of the pictures don't take too much data, but they fill the phones' gallery, that I now have an extra chore of having to delete these pictures as often as I enter my phone's gallery to do one thing or the other.

Another source of annoyance is videos, especially from those you know aren't active on social media, posting videos that had gone viral years and months back, like it just happened, but thankfully I simply delete them without even watching because experience has taught me that either I could never be interested in the kinda video that will be posted, or I'd have seen it elsewhere, especially on Facebook. Then the audio messages mostly from clergy of the churches some group members attend, and the many fake news, and long tales, many of which are unverifiable tales, a few of miracles that I simply don't bother to read. So, these days, once I'm going to be away from my phone especially before falling asleep, I simply put off the data service, so that chats hang till I wake to screen them, and respond to those I deem worthy of my time.

The most annoying on instant messaging platforms in Nigeria, or amongst Nigerians for me is the penchant for and rampancy in the distribution of alarmist information. You can never get enough of these from the fearmongering army that's made Whatsapp and other Instant Messaging apps their home, who on a daily basis dish out misinformation and disinformation geared at setting readers and believers of their missives on edge, and in perpetual FEAR OF THE UNKNOWN. The situation has assumed an alarming proportion, such that if what these purveyors of falsehood say about what we eat is true, for instance, then we'd be well off engaging in eternal fast, or live solely on water, which have also come under their microscope for condemnation as not being as pure as we thought, when they murmur about how water contains unseen chemicals capable of reducing our lifespan, even when apart from them not being scientists, present nothing but some flimsy test devoid of evidence of adherence to a strict scientific process, in cases when they intend to present their claims as not just mere hearsay, as proof that their lie is true. These set of Whatsapp users, when they are personal friends I totally ignore, while I warn a few at the risk of blocking them, but when such messages/videos appear on group chats I simply ignore, and allow the purveyors of alarmist news to continue to make a fool of themselves

before other members who also know that nothing such people say could be true or deemed as incontrovertible fact. Unfortunately, it must be, that the silent treatment has been interpreted by them to mean that they indeed have an audience, besides the few people who engage them in some conversation to ascertain the  authenticity of their claims. Luckily, there are better people than these on IM spaces that makes the place an ideal setting for the exchange of ideas as well as a nidus for the agglomeration and coalescing of thoughts, the reason why I still remain very active on such platforms, regardless of the nuisance continually posed by those who wish to sacrifice a technology built to further advance human communications and relations on the altar of mediocrity and charlatanry.


Monday, March 6, 2017


Honestly, I had thought that I wouldn't have cause to write anything concerning the ongoing Big Brother Nigeria Show on DSTV, besides the regular pieces I put out on social media. To the extent that severally, I have avoided the temptation of airing my views over controversial events, opting rather to read other people's views on those matters, while keenly watching the show, when free at work, and back at home especially when my bout of insomnia strikes, as well as following reactions especially on Twitter.

I was not one of those Nigerians who viewed what was going on in the Big Brother House as "immoral", not because it isn't, but because of the legendary hypocrisy of Nigerians, relating some of the things happening in the House to the likes of what I (as well as many Nigerians) experienced during the one-year mandatory National Youth Service Corp, NYSC programs post graduation from Nigerian universities, of which many who did ignominious acts especially during the three-week camping period, have turned out to be done of Nigeria's most adaptable of individuals, excelling in the various fields of endeavour, including as pastors, and imams. When a popular comedian asked a pastor who had criticized the program and prayed that heaven visit calamity on the organizers of the program, I agreed totally with the former when he asked the pastor to organize a Christian reality show if he was unhappy with @BBNaija, rather than ask heaven to deprive people of their source of livelihood should his prayer come to pass. Besides, he has a choice not to watch in the first place.

I doubt that any adult that's sexually active will be locked up in that house, without having "agro" build up so much that it will take more than divine grace not to look for an outlet to "let off steam". Some, like "Thin Tall Tony" have managed to find in Bisola a receptacle to lodge a quantum of his DNA, on more than a regular basis, that could possibly explain why Nigerians have managed to ensure that eviction eluded them (because of the "SHOW behind the show" they provide when they can),

besides their personal efforts, like getting to become Head Of House and avoid eviction, but some others haven't been that lucky. So when Kemen tried to "finger" an apparently "unwilling" (because she was asleep) and unconsenting (in waking up and turning over in a bid to ward off the wandering fingers of Kemen) TBoss, it didn't feel right at all when I eventually saw it online, not live after learning on Twitter that such had taken place in my absence.

I have heard arguments to the effect that if TBoss didn't want anything to happen, he shouldn't have allowed Kemen to lie beside her seeing that Kemen is no eunuch, but that's much like saying that a half nude lady walking on the street is asking to be sexually harassed, molested or even raped. Rape can even be claimed when there's already sexual intercourse, and the woman says she's had enough. Yea, exactly just that, and it's incumbent on the man to at that stage, pull out! Now, seeing that this happened on foreign soil, South Africa to be precise, with lawyers waiting to lurch at opportunities like this, unlike where this could easily pass had it been Nigeria, the bigger implication is that the organizers of Big Brother Naija may need to have some sort of legal paperwork done, or some insurance to prevent anti-rape groups from accusing them of aiding and abetting rape, which may have influenced the action taken by @BBNaija in disqualifying Kemen, and evicting him from the house with immediate alacrity, once the fact of the act became evident.

That is how the BBNaija accused of immorality by a large section of hypocritically "religious" Nigerians, taught the same people a lesson in sexual rights, that they otherwise will simply shove off with a wave of the hand as nothing significant and a non-issue. By this singular act of BBNaija, I will now devote more time to seeing the program live over just the highlights, now that I'm sure that there are legal boundaries that won't be crossed. Interestingly, it's beginning to look like a backlash is building up against TBoss in the house, and outside of it as Nigeria's Twitterati have noticed that every housemate that ever laid on TBoss bed have somehow managed to be evicted. This makes the show all the more interesting, as long as the lessons to be learnt isn't lost on the viewers.


- YouTube


Wednesday, March 1, 2017


I must confess that I've been having sleepless nights since news made the rounds that the Lagos State Government plans to introduce new "Combi" buses and phase out the yellow "Danfo" buses that's been one of the images of Lagos for decades.

My fear wasn't unfounded, because over the years the mode and means of transportation in Lagos have experienced changes, leading to the phasing out of the Molue long buses (much like the American school buses though with rugged appearances, that was largely an eyesore to Lagos, at the time they were phased out) and replaced with BUS RAPID TRANSIT SYSTEM, BRT buses, which have their

dedicated lanes and corridors on major Trunk B roads, from which other classes of vehicles where banned from plying in the state, without any form of resistance either from the commuters or from the the operators, drivers, or from the umbrella body, the National Union Of Road Transport Workers, NURTW.

The success somewhat, of the BRT buses must've encouraged the Lagos State government to go a step further, to foray into the territory of the small buses, but I doubt that they'll find the exercise as hitch-free as it turned out with the phasing out of the Molue years back, and the reason isn't

farfetched. The reach and route of the BRT buses are limited and for obvious reasons (size), and the fact that the Danfo competes on those same routes with it, hadn't been much of a problem, seeing that until recently the BRT charged less for the same journey, with less abrupt stops that's synonymous with the Danfo buses, and people had a choice and peace reigned in the land. The recent increase in the BRT bus charges for different locations that took effect today, have meant that commuters must've reviewed their options, especially as the Danfos have largely kept to their old charges, which was once considered more expensive compared to the BRT buses thereby giving it leverage over the small buses before now, leading to situations where commuters didn't mind long queues to go by the BRT bus than struggle at rush hour to board a Danfo bus for more to the same destination.

Though the state government has yesterday denied it intends to phase out the Danfo buses, what it says it plans to do, according to the Commissioner of Transport, hardly looks any different from doing away with Danfo buses, as I can't envisage Danfo buses as presently constituted having free Wi-Fi, being air conditioned and the likes. Unfortunately, even the BRT buses that came air conditioned initially with in-bus entertainment have largely discarded them, with a few of them become reminders of what obtained in the past with the Molue. As recently as two years ago, I was in a BRT bus that was cockroach infested, hence I find it difficult to envisage how the so called buses that the state government will introduce, with all the "effizy" gadgets will remain in that condition for more than a few months without falling to disrepair and damage, due to our poor maintenance culture, especially when  government is in control, or as envisaged in a Public-Private Partnership, PPP arrangement, as has become unfortunately norm with everything Nigerian.

Let me go now to the human capital aspect of things. I have earlier on stated that since this made news, I have had sleepless nights, but this is due to the fact that I'm a stakeholder in the Lagos transport sector, and I see many in my shoes getting knocked off if this plan sees the light of day. The training of graduate drivers already to drive these buses for a fixed salary, already knocks off a large section of the non-graduate driver pool that makes up the majority of drivers in Lagos, besides how people who've lived their lives as they wanted, will now be coerced into living a salaried existence is something I'm waiting to see play out, especially in this situation, without sowing seeds of a future showdown between such drivers and the company that will manage the drivers. I don't even know if it's a ploy to checkmate this policy that informed the decision of the CONDUCTORS UNION (which before now, I didn't know existed) to decree uniforms for their members, but surely this policy will also render many of these "good" men out of jobs, especially if ticketing will follow the pattern of that with BRT buses.

Then the case of the motor park touts, popularly called "Agbèrò", who have also carried their business to the roadsides and middle of highways, becoming a menace to road users, including the miscreants amongst them, whom many Lagosians would not mind missing, comes to mind.

An enforcement of this policy will mean their total disappearance from the streets, roads and highways of Lagos (good riddance to bad rubbish), however imagining what they will now set their hands to once they are forced to relinquish their grip on the roads is a scary thought to ponder. Experience has shown that so far nothing the Lagos State government does for the benefit of the masses, especially those the already impoverished masses have to pay for comes cheap, and I mean that for all the sectors.

What I think should happen now is that the state government must pay attention to enlightening it's public on their intentions for the transport sector in the state, rather than wake up and impose policies on the people at their whim. Maybe there was a public hearing before approval of such was given, but the way it came as a shock to a large section of the Lagos populace, when certain aspects of the plan was made public at an event by the Governor (Akinwunmi Ambode) days back, and the rebuttal (that looked more like the same thing) that followed yesterday, shows that not many people knew about the government's plan.

If you asked me, I'd say the status quo should be maintained, and road transportation left in the hands of private individuals but regulated by government only. What's wrong with having the "Danfo Bus" as the face of Lagos (as seen in the latest installment of CAPTAIN AMERICA - "CIVIL WAR" war),

just like New York's Yellow taxis? The state government should simply stick to completing the intra-state light rail project whose conception, and execution commenced more than a decade ago with the launch date now suffered several postponements, while encouraging Lagosians to travel by the numerous waterways by slashing the cost of commuting by ferries, as well as tackling the safety concerns of that mode of transportation in the state. Any plan in my estimation, that does not carry along the members of the powerful NURTW will fail. As for me, I need to go check my blood pressure, I cannot come and go and kii masef jare!