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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dancing with the devil pt 2

Well, many moons have past since my last post and events as usual have unfolded.

Why do thugs take over in broad daylight and get away with it?

Easy, the bigger thugs in power hire, pay and support them. Many folks forget that the police report to politicians and a policeman is just like any other man on the street, he wants his job and a salary at the end of the month. Arresting Oga's thugs is not the way to preserve his job.

People in PH were suprised at the way the takeover fizzled out but it was quite simple really, pure economics. The people doing most of the chanting and shooting etc were on daily pay, their source of funding was cut off an dmost of them by day two were reduced back to petty thievery (two bikes were taken at gunpoint outside my gate), by day three, it was 'to your tent, O Israel' situation.

Anyway, it seems the world has not ended when locked up kingpins were not released! Suprise, suprise!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Dancing with Lucille..pt1

You guys should have heard of the take over of Port Harcourt from late Tuesday Sept 20 till late Thursday.
Well, I did not hear about it, we had a live seat to the whole proceedings. The epicenter for the 'boys' is 277m from our office (Line of Sight) and 402m following normal roads. The HQ is between my route from home to office and I had first head experience of some of the actions.

Morning hours, Wednesday. On bike to work and met a road block along Agudama street in Dline. Like any self respecting Nigeria, I took the detour no questions asked. Came out at other end of street and met lots of bikes and cars juggling for position. Made my passage thru. Hd to stop for a car doing an 11 point turn and saw in my mirror someone running towards my direction with a machete raised. No alarm since most people along the street by then had guns, machetes and all sorts of weapons anyway.

Mr. Machete stopped by my side and demanded ' Who you talk say go run, enhh?, who go run when police go come, who?

While I was trying to locate who he was addressing and stuff, Mr. M gave me two sharp blows on the back with his weapon.
When I asked him why, the guy went ballistic and gave my back two more blows.
I guess the non reaction on my part further enraged him and he changed to my head, which took 2 blows.
Still no good response and he went for my face.
At that point, the car in front had finished turning and there was no need to find out the next spot for the machete.
Off I went and the guy and his partners hopped on bikes to give chase.
I rode to the nearest Police station where I was advised to go treat my injuries since the police could not go near the boys to effect an arrest!
I had on an armored bike jacket, full helmet, armored and padded riding pants and the jacket and helmet did their job. My face was not so lucky and now I have designer diagonal line with a jump over the eye. There goes my modeling contract! (sob)

Interesting turn of events.

Part 2 is coming with a background analysis of the incident, why a group can brandished guns and other weapons in broad daylight and night, detonate bombs in full public view and get away with it.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

'young blood' in old belief system

A black out car. No plates or some 3 letter plate number. Lights on. Driving on the centre of the road.
Stops at a Mr. Biggs. MOPO comes out and salutes. Engine left running. Guess who comes out of the back seat? Not an old breed pot bellied politician but a youngish (35 - 45) young member of the house or some broker who can afford the day rate for a MOPO.
How come the so called yound blood are even worse that the old brigade?
What makes a perfectly normal (at least on visual inspection) person to grow BIG HEAD overnight?

Inate megalomania? insecurity? scarcity of cialis?

Stupid Hurts - Carnage on the roads

What happens when a 4th world person gets behind a vehicle wheel? Instant transformation into a super-hero with a negative IQ. Invincible, indestructible, all seeing, Godlike powers are instantly bestowed on him/her. And passengers if a commercial vehicle, slavish defense of their candidate, all other drivers are stupid except theirs!
Result- interesting accidents.
So many accidents that could have been stopped if one party had any bit of sense left.
And in one vehicle accidents, you wonder what the driver was thinking!

This classic designer one was between 2 trucks trying to squeeze into the space left by a broken down truck. The two trucks were traveling in opposite directions due to one lane of the two lane expressway being closed to traffic.

The Benin Lagos expressway is one 3 hour adrenaline rush. Smooth 5km that begs to be taken flat out and when you are just hitting the gas, some designer pothole all across the road!

Fish Farming Benin style

Went thru benin last week and this week by road (Today is July 6, 2005) . Bad Idea!!!
The one and only road across town - East-West direction has been turned into a fish farm.
If (and this is a big if) your vehicle can make it thru the flooded portions, be ready for like 2 hours wait minimum. What a nice achievement by the people in charge!. All over the state, one struggles to see what (if any) thing is being done to maintain present infrastructure - dont dream of anynew stuff my friend.

Return trip, I took the northern ring road around the town.

At least, we can write thesis on 'Tilapia mortality rates in an urban, stagnat pool with high concentration of tar like materials'

Monday, June 20, 2005

Public Utilities: Quick Fix

Not likely to ever be implemented but I can dream, right?

NEPA or PHCN - Sell off entire organization. Split generating, transmission, final distribution. Split into three blocks West, North and East. Allow new companies to set tariff via market mechanism. Sell off by public auction.
Result, constant power supply within 2 years. Why two years? New generating companies may have to setup up extra generating capacity and transmission and distribution companies may have to abandon some old lines and lay new ones.

Net Effect: Increase productivity across all facets of the economy! We are talking orders of magnitude increases here!

Why not likely. Vested interest making money from present inefficiency and gross corruption
Innate mass stupidity- most people think privatization, commercial company = higher prices

NITEL Pay MTN or whoever is interested say 10-Billion Naira to take over company with its liabilities. Set aside another 10Bn Naira to pay all staff and lay them off!. Split company into bacbone services, regional telephone services, value added services as needed.

Net Effect:Dramatic, more than GSM services, improving in phone services, real take off in IT and related services. Improvement in GSM services since no one needs GSM for house and business if land lines are Ok.

Why not likely. Yeah, dream on. Folks are making close to 50Bn a year from NITEL and the government pays for everything, you think they will forgo this constant source of revenue! Not likely

There you go.

next, a real working security system.

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Killing Fields

A friends mother died last week from Kidney failure.
A sister to our girlfriday lost her baby during delivery.
Everyday, thousands in this country die from common causes and ailments with cures that were known since the early part of last century and we still celebrate the latest display of looted wealth by the chosen ones!
The last time I went to a teaching hospital (Univ. of Port in PH) I had the shakes for a week thinking about the conditions there. Admitted PH has the worst possible teaching hospital in WA but still, you can't help wondering how the masses survive. No wonder churches are the fastest growth category in business now.
How many lives and improved lives can one Mercedes coupe make? How many antibiotics can a Hummer SUV buy? Have we not passed the stage of looking passively by as ex convicts, ex motor-park touts drive our race into the dust!
I read the 'Turner Diaries- strongly recommended reading BTW' last month and could not help concluding that the scenario there can play out even now with no input from us.
Our destiny is in our hands and we have willingly surrendered it. We deserve no pity for what-is befalling us.
And it all drives down to a passive acceptance of our fate. God decides who will live not man! Ha!
Starting from the smallest group, we should strive to change our system which is based on LOTS of erroneous beliefs - Elders are right, stealing from govt. is good since its government MONEY, Long life is Gods gift etc.
Good healthy living is not a gift, its something people have worked for and are working to sustain.

Monday, May 30, 2005

The People You Meet

It looks like folk wisdom is based on truth!
I have done several motorcycle trips around Nigeria and you can see peoples attitude shift as you cross state boundaries. Ill talk about the positive ones.
When you hit Benue, Kogi sates and the states above them - that is going Northwards, the petrol attendants are more -friendly/honest etc. They give you the correct change. So if you buy fuel of 770 naira and give them 800, you get back 30 naira. Now this sounds normal but in Port Harcourt and around , you never get change of less than 50 naira back unless you ask strongly and you usually get the xcuse, WE NO GET CHANGE. The aggressive ones will add, how much be your change sef?

Even the policemen are friendlier, and actually wave at you. More on police in different states later.
Are behaviour conditioned by the environment or people are just made that way?

Brain Donors - A potential export industry

If you r so stupid when alive, would your brain cells be useful when u die? Can we solve this stem cell controversy once and for all by harvesting brain cells from stupid people?

You ask, how can we identify them?

In Nigeria at least, pick any (s)elected government official with an official car and a convoy and you have a good candidate.

How can a reasoning human being, in a 10 car convoy along a major not busy interstate road be running in excess of 140-km/h, all the cars in the middle of the road with siren blaring away? I've looked at various explanations and all don't wash. The only one I like is lack of brain cell activity!

And do you hear them speak? Arrrgh. A member of the house of unrepresented nigeria was shot, fellow house members (please remember to put the title honorable before their name - even in the bedroom!) asked that their mobile police escorts be increased. The great masses can do without a single policeman in their neighborhood but the great un-rep must have 10-mobile policemen at all times.

Or seen a car/bus/vehicle with a police escort? The drivers actually believe that the presence of the policeman in the front seat will overturn the laws of physics, reports of several convoy deaths makes me think the laws f physics at least concerning objects in motion is pretty safe!

I did a motorcycle trip to Jos an Abuja last weekend (May 27 to May 29), report later.

Friday, April 01, 2005

False Hope or a new dawn?

Why is OBJ tormenting us? False hopes.

First, we go public with the 55m scam and names are named. No political solution. Then today's (Friday, April 1) papers carry the news that the President has revoked the sale of houses at Ikoyi to 270 people including virtually all members of his wife’s family and the VP. Interesting prices for those house- 80K naira for a house in Ikoyi!

Is this real?

Oh now I remember, today is April fools day. Well, one can hope, cant we?

Maybe, another 2 months of this and we can start really thinking, 'things can actually get better'

Me, I think as many as can be exposed, bring it on. We take our hits as we see them.