Saturday, 18 September 2021

DEATH IN THE POT

 


I was thinking this morning...... Returning from Church one Sunday morning, I was desirous of having fruit salad. On getting to the fruit shed at the junction of my street, I noticed something bizarre. I observed the 'aboki' trader pour some sachet detergent into a bowl of water, stirred it to foam and then started dipping the pawpaw and pineapple in and washing them like a piece of dirty shoe. In my shocked state, my head spurn as my thoughts screamed.

Then I recalled the incident of 26th August in Umueze, Umuahia North LGA of Abia State, where seven members of the same family died after eating the popular barbecue known as suya, with an undisclosed brand of juice drink. Ahh! What's going on?

As I pondered days ago, I watched a video of how a stockfish (okporoko jabajaba) seller was seen using the popular Sniper insecticide to preserve stockfish at Oyingbo market in Lagos. As the lady that caught him on video lamented and asked the aboki why, he responded 'No any fish wey dey for Nigeria wey dem no put this medicine.' Really?

Sniper insecticide belongs to the DDVP chemical family (dichlorvos) and is adjudged by many as being potent in killing cockroaches and other insects. It has also become the handiest chemical used by suicide victims in Nigeria to terminate their lives. Yet, the aboki says 'No any fish wey dey for Nigeria wey dem no put this medicine.' Chai!! Oh God, there is death in the pot.

I have watched videos of fruit sellers washing the fruits in open sewer drains (gutter). Another video showed a petty trader sprinkling a detergent solution to hydrate his tigernuts before tying them in small packs for sale and consumption. An unsuspecting buyer will buy these contaminated fruits and nuts, not realising that 'there is death in the pot.' God abeg o!

We've focused on death from guns (bandits and BH) and death in the air (Covid), but we've been silent on 'death in the pot' that is causing all manner of diseases including cancer in Nigeria.

Who will deliver Nigerians from this death in the pot? Now I am scared of mama-put and party food. Should we stop eating food that we know not the source of the ingredients? Should I start subsistence farming to harvest the food I will eat or should I just port from Nigeria? Whatever the answer, I join my voice to that of the sons of the prophet in 2nd Kings 4:40 'And it came to pass, as they were eating of the pottage, that they cried out, and said, O thou man of God, there is death in the pot.'

Please join hands to kill the ignorance and not Nigerians.

#safefoodfornigerians

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 11 September 2021

MAN AND NICKNAMES

 


I was thinking this morning.... as I listened to Pst E.A Adeboye give his sermon last Sunday at the dedication of Rev Esther Ajayi's new church in Lagos, I went down memory lane thinking about the multiple nicknames or aliases I have been known by since birth.

For most people, your dominant nickname depends on the phase of life you are in. After I was born, my parents gave me the Itsekiri name Oritseweyimi meaning 'God's got my back.' But as a baby, I am sure many called me 'bomboy' because that was the name Warri people called every male child.

As I grew up and ready to begin school, it became obvious that I wasn't as tall as my mates. That immediately gave me another nickname as adults started calling me 'ete' (short man) or smallie. Though I found this alias quite annoying, there was nothing I could do. The alias stuck through primary school until I got into secondary school. As my academic brilliance shone, a new nickname emerged. For some reason, my parents and uncles chose a profession for me and started calling me doctor. Depending on who is doing the calling, one might wonder if the aim was to see me become of medical doctor, academic doctor or native doctor. Lol...

Finally, I got into the University and for the first time, had the opportunity to influence what my nickname will be. It was after we did Botany 204 in our second year that we had to give ourselves scientific names. Having been intrigued by such names as Mangifera indica (Mango) and Bamboosa aridinarifolia (Bamboo), I chose 'Weyimiliscus Kpoliae' birthing my alias for the next 20 years. Friends and those that knew me from university started and still call me 'Kpoliae' which was derived from my family name, Kpoli. Others called me Wemo.

As time went by, I joined the corporate world, began writing and became an author. I upgraded my alias to be 21st century compliant and was now to be simply called Wey Mey.

As I started a family and became a leader in church, I was now being called by new names. While my children call me daddy, in church circles, they call me pastor or bishop and sometimes 'daddy.'

Fact is, when you are young, people call you by what they think of you. When you are of age, you determine what you should be called but as you get older, people will call you by the impact you make on their lives. The difference between 'Baba-agba' and 'Baba-agbaya' is impact. Which would you rather be in your latter years? Are you making the right impact, because whether you like it or not, people will call you a name. No wonder Jesus asked in Mark 8:27 ' Who do people say that I am?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 4 September 2021

NAIJA HIRED ASSASSINS

 


I was thinking this morning.... Nigerian clergyman and actor, Mike Bamiloye, of the Ishawuru fame, has posed a humorous question that got people talking days ago. The 61 years old founder of Mount Zion Movies and Faith Ministries, had written on his Instagram page 'You dressed seductively to church, you dressed to kill. You danced suggestively to praise and worship songs. You danced to kill. You tag yourself 'Slayqueen' in the house of God. Are you a HIRED ASSASSIN?' My answer is yes, they are Spiritual Hired Assassins.

As I mused, I realised that there are many other hired assassins around us. So many uneducated entertainers and yahoo boys have been pushing the narrative that 'school na scam.' This was made worse, when we see scarcely educated touts becoming politicians and ending up being members of the state and national assembly or even holding other critical executive positions. What kind of message are we passing to the younger generation?Situating it with the Slayqueens, these people are 'Educational Hired Assassins.'

I visited the hospital last week. While waiting to be seen, a car drove in with a patient breathing with the aid of a cylinder of oxygen. He obviously had Covid-19 and was being prepared for ICU. I understand  that treatment of Covid-19 patients in private hospitals in Port-Harcourt cost about N3m while in Lagos it costs between N5m to N10m. Yet, the Government allowed the resident doctors and health workers to go on strike (10th time in 6 years) at the peak of the Covid-19 third wave. How else do you describe our leaders if not as Public Health Hired Asassins?

On Thursday, the Social Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) presented a 61-page report stating that over 27 million Nigerians earn less than N100,000 per annum (i.e $0.5 per day). When they pointed at budget fraud, procurement fraud, embezzlement of funds among other illegal actions, as being responsible, I nodded and said 'Economic Hired Assassins.'

It is obvious that we are a society of hired assassins with our actions and inactions resulting in the death of people all around us. One big mistake the government is making is focusing on the fight against the 'religious Boko Haram' in the North-West  while ignoring the silent hired assassins and circular Boko Haram all around the country. Mathew 18:7 says 'For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!' My question to you is 'Are you a HIRED ASSASSIN?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 28 August 2021

EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY

I was thinking this morning.... As I stepped out of my compound last Thursday, I immediately met my neighbour with her dog out for convenience break. I got close to them and said 'good morning ma.' Suddenly, the dog barked and charged at me. I froze even as my neighbour shut him up. I smiled and facing the dog, I asked, 'don't you want me to greet your madam?' As I walked away, I wondered why this bingo was so protective of its madam. Later that day, I found out that Thursday 26th August was International Dog Day, set aside to appreciate the love and value that dogs bring to our daily lives.


Why would anyone even think of showering his or her love on a dog rather than a human? In understanding why, I discovered that a dog is so reliable in keeping humans safe working for the emergency services and supporting people who are blind, deaf, or disabled, yet we have humans working as security guards who will connive with robbers to rob their host and nurses and caregivers who will abuse and maltreat their patients.

There are dogs that protect our safety and freedom by detecting drugs and bombs, as well as those that pull victims from wreckages and tragic situations, yet there are people entrusted to fight evil that became the evil, by conniving with terrorists to bomb and harm innocent citizens. Oh what sort of humans are these?

There are many stories of people that have been backstabbed by someone they trusted. Someone they loved and gave their all. Humans have proven time and again that they can't be trusted. Many have been seriously hurt by their spouse, some by someone they call 'my bestie' or brother. Others still by someone they invited into their homes.

Having been badly burnt, many have withdrawn from society and decided to trust no man ever, while some have turned to having a pet they can love. It is a sad commentary that dogs are more loving and trust worthy that some humans.

I know there are many that can be trusted, the question is, are you a reliable friend or brother? Is the friendship of a dog more valuable than yours? Think about it. Proverbs 20:6 says 'Many claim to have unfailing love, but a faithful person who can find?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 21 August 2021

THE RACE FOR CORONATION

 


I was thinking this morning... As Itsekiri sons and daughters resident in Lagos gathered at the Skyline Hall of Oriental Hotel Lekki, yesterday the 21st day of August, in the 21st year of the 21st century to be part of the coronation of the 21st Olu of Warri, I made sure not to pass on this glorious opportunity to witness a major milestone in Itsekiri history and a time where all Itsekiris from far and near look forward to a celebration of our rich cultural heritage.

I settled for the gathering in Lagos because it was the next best thing to being live at the venue at Ode-Itsekiri, in Warri. Moreover, with the Delta variant still very much on rampage, I am a lot more comfortable in a controlled environment than a huge crowd that could potentially be a super-spreader.

As the coronation is being live streamed from Itsekiri-olu (the Itsekiri term for Big Warri or Ode-Itsekiri), we were treated, at Lekki, to scrumptious traditional food in a nostalgic setting with Itsekiri dance steps and an exhibition of the rich cultural heritage of the Itsekiri nation. As the revered crown was raised, I pictured how it has moved from Ginuwa to Irame, Erejuwa to Ikenwoli, and now being placed on the head of Omoba Utienyinoritsetsola Emiko.

Suddenly, I was transfixed and the Hall transmogrified into a celestial realm where I saw in a flash that life is a race for coronation. By definition, a coronation is the act of placement or bestowal of a crown upon a monarch's head. 

Right from when you are born, you begin a race to your coronation either in this life or in the after-life. Some enjoy the double honour of being coronated both in this life (business and career) and in the hereafter, while only very few enjoy the triple honour of being coronated in their career, community and afterlife.

What determines whether you get the crown on earth is grace and diligence, but to get the crown of life you need endurance and love of God. Many chase, fight and kill over the earthly crown at the detriment of the heavenly. What an error.

James 1:12 says 'Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord had promised to them that love him.' Tsola Emiko has received his earthly crown and shown that he is working towards the heavenly, what about you? The race for coronation is on. Run wisely!

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey 

Saturday, 14 August 2021

E GO REACH MY TURN

 


I was thinking this morning... I was leisurely browsing social media on Friday evening when I stumbled on the tweet by DJ Cuppy. She had tweeted 'DuDu decided that 6 people from twitter will win N60,000 each to celebrate his birthday.' For those not familiar with DJ Cuppy, she is the musician and millionaire daughter of billionaire businessman Femi Otedola. Months ago, she acquired two pomeranian dogs as pets and named them DuDu and FunFun Otedola.

While I was still wondering how someone will give out N360k in celebration of the birthday of a dog, one fan of Cuppy wrote 'So, dogs don start to dey do give away and I never even see 50 naira dash pesin.' Some will call it excess cash but Warri man will say too much pepper.

At another level, the average oyinbo man when blessed will give to charity. But when the money is too much for a lifetime, then they look out of this world to spend it. Space travel made international headlines in July as both Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Virgin boss Richard Branson flew to space in crafts made by their own companies. Not to be outdone, Elon Musk's SpaceX plans to launch an all-civilian crew into orbit in September. Chai!! Space is now the playground for the super rich.

When I learnt that Branson's Virgin Galactic plans to begin regular commercial services to space in 2022, and already has 600 reservations at around $250,000 a ticket, I threw my hands in the air and prayed 'Oh Lord, bless me to overflow.'

Fact is, we all have money, the difference is in the volume. I am confident the Lord will bless me to overflow in this life, and have a fair idea of what I will do with the billions. The question is, when you pray to 'hammer', have you considered what you will do with the excess money? Close your street in celebration of the birthday of your dog, fly to space for $250,000 or just 'cubana' it for a burial ceremony? Whatever you choose to do is your prerogative.

I believe Genesis 12:2 that says 'And I will bless thee and thou shalt be a blessing.' Therefore, without doubt, I know my turn go soon reach. But when you are blessed to overflow, do not disappoint the God that gave you the power to get wealth.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

Saturday, 7 August 2021

LIFE IS NOT PS4

 


I was thinking this morning.... Last Tuesday, in my usual effervescent manner, I had responded to an email aimed at driving improvement in one of our processes. What I didn't realise was that I had slighted a colleague and friend by the mail. He responded very robustly without betraying his emotions. When I called him to discuss, I understood his anger and he saw that my response was in the integrity of my heart and innocency of my hands. We laughed and thanked each other for not allowing the email exchange to become an ego trip.

As we conversed, we wondered how people struggle and fight about earthly things and in the process hurt themselves. Have you considered why there is an epidemic of high blood pressure? Have you wondered why there are so many incidents of sudden death? What we call 'uku gbain gbain' in Itsekiri.

Within the last two weeks, I heard very shocking cases of sudden death that got me thinking and made me calm down. Two weeks ago, a pastor in Port-Harcourt while preaching in back-to-back services collapsed during the third service and died shortly after. Last week someone I know quite well was sitting with his family in church while the service was going on and passed on, while everyone thought he was sleeping. Days ago, another person I know slept and passed on without any major medical issue.

What exactly is going on? In my musing, I realised that for many around the world, living has become very difficult considering the stressors people face daily. Tough economy, Covid impact and other general problems are sources of stress and affecting their mental health.

Nigerians face even bigger challenges with failed governance and 'village people' adding to the wahala. For Port-Harcourt residents, it is double jeopardy because even breathing has become a huge problem. The danger of Coronavirus in the air is child's play compared to the black soot from 'kpofire.'

The challenges life throw at you today is enough to stress you out, so don't add to it by your actions or inactions. Wish no man evil. Be at peace with all men (Rom 12:18). Like an old song from my childhood says;

Jeje o, my friend o. No rush life o, you hear
Jeje o, my friend o. Take am coolee o.

Please take it easy. Don't stress over little things. Scale back on the adrenaline rush. Know your body and when to rest. Live life, rest and don't die. Life is not PlayStation (PS4) where you can replay.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey