June 12 Memories and Brazilmania

Good day people. I don’t know how important this is but I should mention that this is my first attempt at blogging. I’ve always seen myself as a writer, poet, and creative thinker. Laughable, right? Anyway, I have dabbled into one or two lines of what can only be described as pitiable attempt at poetry. Most importantly, ladies and gentlemen, against all odds, I have managed to put together a well-researched academic book titled Governance and Traditional Institutions in Nigeria. I’ll talk more on the book in a later blog. But, by all means I do not intend to sound self-deprecating, far from it. As far as am concerned this is a journey, a journey that hopefully will evolve into a brand and eventually, an everyday life-style. Impossible is nothing like they say.
My blogs will focus on societal issues, entertainment and sport with the occasional science/engineering related topics. What can I say? I’m an Engineer after all. I hope to make it a bi-monthly activity, that is, if my other life pursuits allow it.

June 12 Memories

With regard to the ominous sounding title, I can say I chose it partly because of the huge significance of the date in the lives of Nigerians and because today marks the commencement of the 2014 edition of the World cup football fiesta in Brazil.
So, today is June 12, otherwise known as Democracy day, at least in Nigeria. With it comes the annual recollection of what could have been, if only a certain Bashorun M.K.O Abiola, acclaimed winner of the 1993 presidential elections, was allowed to take up his mandate to rule this behemoth of an African nation. As for me, June 12 of every year takes me back memory lane. I recall the exact period the whole mess started. I was in JSS 2 and when I came home for the holiday, there was this palpable and infectious fever of excitement in the air. The military government was leaving and ordinary (bloody?) civilians taking over. I did not particularly understand politics then but I knew that two heavyweight political parties (SDP and NRC) were preparing to slug it out at the polls. I also knew that NRC had a gentleman from the Southern part of Nigeria, Tofa, as their flag-bearer while SDP had the controversial but wildly popular politician, business-man and philanthropist, M.K.O Abiola, as their flag-bearer. Even though M.K.O Abiola was not an Igbo man, I had already developed kindred spirits with him from listening to his speeches and reading about some of his philantopic works especially in education and sports,so much so that he was given the accolade-Pillar of Sports in Africa.
Maybe I was a bit biased because some of his campaign organizers came to my school at M.C.A, Uturu, Abia State and shared branded exercise books and the ever-popular Cowbell milk. The milk was later unofficially re-branded “Abiola milk”. Anyway, I felt his passion and understood his vision for this country from his speeches. His philanthropic gestures laid credence to the fact that this here was a man that had a “generous heart” unlike some of the politicians of today with bottom-less pits as pockets.
Back to the truss of the matter before I get carried away.So,one thing led to another, Abiola’s mandate was stolen, he was imprisoned for declaring himself President prematurely and the adjudged freest and fairest election in the annals of our political history, annulled. I also remember the chaos this situation caused and how my Uncle Donatus and his family had to relocate from Jos to our apartment in Enugu to escape the feared unrest and bloodshed that may result from this state of anarchy. We in the East referred to this unwanted migration of the Igbos in various parts of the country as “oso Abiola”.
Today marks the remembrance of that ignoble annulment and the death of an admirable man that could have led us to the much-vaunted promised-land amidst the pantheons of developed nations.
Let us also spare a thought for all those who lost their lives in the fight for democracy. To elaborate further,my blogs
These martyrs,heroes and heroines such as Pa Alfred Rewane,Mrs.Kudirat Abiola,Dele Giwa,Gani Fawehinmi (SAN),Prof.Humphrey Nwosu and so on, also deserve to be remembered and immortalized.
On a final note, because this is my first blog and arguably the hottest trending issue in Nigeria today,I think I should say this and probably blog comprehensively on it later-SHAME TO BOKO HARAM and all the people killing innocent Nigerians in the name of religious bigotry. If they still have a small vestige of humanness about them, they should stop all the wanton killing and bombings and as a matter of urgency, return the missing Chibok girls at once. Only God knows the trauma, those affected families must have been going through ever since.May God save us.

Brazilmania

Guys, the world cup commences today with the host nation Brazil kicking off the opening match with Croatia. Now, I’ve always liked Brazil as a foot-balling nation with the array of stars, they have produced over the years, such as Romario, Ronaldo (the real one), Rivaldo, Cafu and recently Neymar. I was quite excited for them they won the hosting rights for the 2014 edition of the mundial. However, the masses in Brazil are not finding the whole situation funny because of the huge sum of money, running into billions of dollars, so far expended to ensure the tournament is hosted successfully. The thing is this; Brazil is still a developing nation, as epitomized by their inclusion in the BRICS group of countries. Their health care system, housing, employment and other some other relevant sectors still operate below acceptable standards in the international community. So, one can understand the dismay, consternation, disappointment and utter disgust that had greeted the tournament so far, from some sections of the public. Be that as it may, we can not go back now. The show must continue and those issues should be shelved for now to ensure a successful and peaceful World cup. I doubt that though.
While we are at it, we should also pray for the Stephen Keshi-tutored Super Eagles to survive their group, at least. After that, who knows, football is after all, 11 players versus 11 players. And as they say in Naija, anything fit happen!

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