Saturday, 22 February 2020

Marriage Election



I was thinking this morning..... about election. This past week I read an interesting news from Giade, Bauchi State of one Khadija that fell in love with two young men named Inusa and Ibrahim. She found it difficult to choose who between them to marry and neither of the young men was ready to accept defeat without a contest. The elders of the town, at Khadija's request, then decided to conduct an election, which Inusa won having scored the highest number of votes. He was therefore declared 'Husband-Elect.' Interesting, right?


As I pondered on the news story, I wondered why Khadija and the elders of Giade decided on an election in this season when the Nigeria Supreme Court is overturning the outcomes of elections like elections are accursed. Why didn't they consider other traditional methods of deciding between two options like tossing a coin or clutching the two options in both hands and singing 'Tubu tubu baskelebe iya amala pun, amala amala pun pun.....' But in my area of Warri in those days, our version is 'Tubu tubu mess am, akarakara mess am, Ubaloshe banuwe....' Hmm!!! If you know, you know.

For many Nigerians, elections have become a conundrum because all our elections are marred with ballot box snatching, vote buying, over-voting, violence and outright manipulation of results. For Khadija, in spite of all, she believed in election in the truest form and it worked for her.

Khadija, having seen the sham election has become in Nigeria, could've opted for a more scientific approach of selecting her husband. She could have engaged a consultant to research both Inusa and Ibrahim and request a water-tight recommendation be made on who she should marry or she could have applied the US Iowa Democratic Caucus approach backed up by technology. But no, she opted for the less complicated Option A4. Unlike in Iowa where technology failed and it took days to announce the results, Khadija got her 'Husband-elect' in minutes.

I am thinking, why can't we all make election in Nigeria as simple and workable as that which produced the 'Husband-elect' for Khadija? We can even learn from Khadija and use the election approach to resolve some other dilemmas we face. For example, your child is due for college and you had narrowed your choice to two schools. How do you choose? Gather your family together and do an election. You got into a shop to buy a pair of shoes. Two pairs caught your fancy. What do you do if you can't afford both pairs? Gather everyone in the shop and do an election. Khadija used an election to overcome her dilemma and she got her 'Husband-elect.'

We need more Khadijas in Nigeria that still believe election should be simple and it should work. Election was designed to work and we must play our part to make it work. Romans 9:11 (ESV) says 'Though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls.' There is always a purpose for election, whether by man or by God and like Khadija if we make it work, Nigeria will be a better place. Remember, you may not be a Husband-elect or Governor-elect but you can be God's elect.

Happy Sunday. 


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

Saturday, 15 February 2020

An Appeal to Coronavirus



I was thinking this morning....about Coronavirus. Should it visit us in Nigeria or not? During this past week, I was drafted into a workstream to put together a preparedness plan in response to the threat of the Novel Coronavirus. As we deliberated, I wondered why we are bothering ourselves because the Nigeria Minister of Health had announced that Nigeria is ready for the virus. Choi!


As a typical Warri boy, I am surprised that there is so much noise about this Corona virus. Why is the Corona virus behaving like an 'ogbologbo?' Afterall Corona is not new in Nigeria. We already have Corona Schools in Lagos and Toyota Corona cars in Nigeria. Is it because it is from China that it is raising shoulders? Bursted! We already know say China products no dey last. 

But seriously, the World Health Organization (WHO) is contributing to the scaremongering, by declaring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern. Haba!!! If they are worried about other countries, they shouldn't lose sleep about Nigeria because our Health Minister has declared that we are ready for the virus.

It has been reported that the number of confirmed cases in mainland China has more than quadrupled to close to 60,000. As at yesterday morning, more than 1,523 people had died from the virus. And the media will not let us hear word. Can you imagine? Only 2.5% death and they are panicking. Our Minister says we are ready to receive the virus and he is right. Didn't you see how we dealt with the Lassa fever virus? According to Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), in this new wave of Lassa fever outbreak, we have recorded 472 confirmed cases with only 70 deaths. A mere 15% mortality rate. Corona virus, please come, our Health Minister says we are ready for you.

People are worried that we do not have the infrastructure to manage the virus should it visit. Yes, China built two new 1000 beds hospitals in 8 days. Is that an achievement? We can build a 10 bed hospital in only 8 years, just two terms. Afterall, according to Chartered Institute of Project Management, the total value of abandoned projects in Nigeria stands at a mere N12 trillion. Our Health Minister says a whooping N680 million has been voted to fight the Coronavirus. The sum is so big that even though we know that N650 million will be stolen from it, the balance N30 million will still be enough to protect 200 million Nigerians. If the N30m is not enough to build hospitals, it can buy face masks. Abi? Please, Corona virus come, our Health Minister says we are ready for you.

Coronavirus, in this season of love, our Health Minister may love you enough to say he is ready for you. For the rest of us, there is no love lost. My appeal is that when you come, please go straight to those government officials that have stolen the funds meant for healthcare and other infrastructure and not the common man. As for me and my family, we are holding unto the words of Exodus 15:26 "I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians (or Chinese): for I am the LORD that healeth thee." After visiting these special Nigerians inviting you, please find your way back because the rest of Nigeria is not ready for you.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 1 February 2020

Little Beginning to Great Ending



I was thinking this morning.... about little beginnings. I remember clearly that Sunday morning 11th January 2015. In one 'AHA!' moment while in church, a thought crossed my mind which I decided to pen down later on, not to anyone in particular but on Facebook. I had written after the service 'While in church this morning, two seemingly similar words came to my mind, INVISIBLE and INVINCIBLE.' I poured out my thought and went quiet on Facebook until the next Sunday, 18th January 2015, when I penned another thought, this time beginning with 'I was thinking today.' That was the birth of the 'I was thinking this morning...' series. 

I continued my musing every Sunday morning with more of my Facebook friends liking and commenting on my posts. Then the Nostradamus' amongst them woke up. One of them commented, 'You should consider writing a book (with a possibility of series) from your weekly thoughts.' In my typical Warri response, I was like 'Shuoo! To write book no be beans o. Who una think say I be na? Wole Soyinka?' I didn't give it a second thought but decided to let time tell. Somehow, I found this grace to keep thinking and posting on Sunday mornings even when I was in far away nations with a huge time difference with Nigeria. 

I started with one article, continued thinking and writing every Sunday and have not missed a Sunday in the last 5 years. Wow! Next Saturday 8th February 2020, BTGOG, I will be unveiling the first in the 'Thoughts of a Certain Wey Mey' book series. This volume being a compilation of a selection of 75 articles written between 2016 and 2018. As I looked back, I discovered this journey gave me an unscripted commitment to a cause that I love. I have not been as consistent in anything I have done in all my life like I have been in penning down my thoughts on Sunday mornings in the last 5 years. If I have learnt anything during this period, it is to respect humble beginnings and stay consistent because you never know what the future holds.

Someone had told me that Solomon in all his splendour, riches and exploits is best remembered by the three books he wrote; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Songs of Solomon. I am sure he did not wake up and decided to just write these books, he probably started by writing down the wisdom nuggets God has blessed him with. Similarly, if you take that first step and keep on with it, you will be amazed how great it might turn out in future. Zechariah 4:10 (NLT) says 'Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin' Take that little step today and stay committed because only the disciplined ones achieve result. Let the work begin!

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 25 January 2020

Everyone Deserves an HD Colour Moment




I was thinking this morning.... I was invited to the traditional wedding of a friend and colleague during this past week. For the over 10 years I have known this young lady, she has not invited me to any celebration, not because she has not had reasons to celebrate but because she has chosen to live a simple and quiet life. As I walked into the venue of the traditional wedding somewhere in Lagos, it's like walking into a colour splashed canvas. There was the draped tables with lush green palm trees on each table. The rich pink napkins stood out like an oyibo man would in my mother's village of Gbokoda. The ushers smartly dressed in sky blue on navy blue 'oleku' was a pleasant addition to the picturesque scenery. Well dressed men and women adorned with dirty pink (I wonder why a colour should be referred to as dirty pink) and navy blue outfit walked around brimming with smiles. Then the big one, my friend, whose life in summary could be described as 'black and white' walked in dressed in coffee brown (splashed with red) satin buba and iro, smiling and dancing to the beat. Observing all, I smiled and concluded that everyone deserves a high definition (HD) colour moment.

When you walk into an electronic showroom that sells HD TV, you cannot but be wowed by the bright and lovely colours from the TVs on display. That was how I felt in that hall that day. I thought about it and realized that for most people, the only time in their entire life they splash the colours and celebrate is their wedding day. Great, but there is life before and after wedding. We work so hard from January to December each year. Sometimes going on for years without celebrating anything. We see no reason to celebrate making life seem like it comes only in black and white. Having attended my friend's wedding, I agreed that everyone deserves a HD colour moment.

After getting married and having children, our focus shifts to caring for our children and planning to pay the 'armed robber school fees' the private schools in Nigeria are asking for. We are careful not to celebrate and splash the colours because we want to conserve funds. But after last Tuesday, I am convinced that everyone deserves a HD colour moment once in a while.

For many, the only other time they splash the colours aside their wedding will be during the burial of their parents. It need not be so. I am not advocating for one to engage in frivolous celebration, but for a deliberate effort to add colour to one's life. Adding colour also don't have to be throwing a party but for friends and family to celebrate your life. If you look closely, life does not have to be in black and white. It comes in HD colour. Ecclesiastes 5:19 says 'Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 18 January 2020

Who Drank all the Alcohol?




I was thinking this morning.... about alcohol. No, I am not thinking of taking alcohol this morning. Shortly after leaving University many years ago, I was invited for several tests for Management Trainee positions at a number of multinational companies, including Nigeria Breweries Limited (NBL). I did the tests for NBL, passed and was invited for interview. During the interview, I was asked a strange question by one of the panelists. 'Do you drink alcohol?' he asked. 'I don't sir' was my reply.' 'Then how do you intend to promote the products of the company you want to work for?' He followed up. I tried providing a response, but deep down in me, I knew I will not get the job and I didn't. Since then I never gave NBL and alcohol a thought until last week.

'So what happened last week?' you may ask. This past Thursday, I read the news story that Nigerian Breweries Limited (NBL) recorded sales of almost N300 billion in 2019 while Guinness is expected to record sales of N275 billion totaling almost N600 Billion (about $2billion) which is about 3% of Nigeria GDP. Wow! Note that Nigeria Breweries has 26 products and only eight are non-alcoholic. So I was thinking, where did all the alcohol go? Who are those drinking N500+ billion of alcoholic beverages in one year, when the majority of Nigerians are either Christians or muslims?

I kept thinking about where all the alcohol went. Could it be that some people used it as fuel for their generators or we use am wash plates? As I was digging in, I read the report by the Forensic team investigating the NDDC that almost half a trillion naira worth of emergency contracts were given out in 2019 without due process. I shuddered. Even worse is the confirmation that there was little or no evidence of what the money was used for. Wondering how a few will loot the people's commonwealth in the midst of abject poverty, I couldn't understand why. Then it occurred to me, 'it must have been the alcohol.' It is only alcohol that can reduce a man to this level of insensitivity. No wonder NBL made N300 billion sales in one year.

I remembered the violent elections of 2019, the kidnappings, ritual killings, armed robbery and wondered 'How have we become so savage as a people?' Then the answer was whispered to me 'it must be the alcohol.' N600 billion sales in one year by two companies with alcoholic beverages as their major products? Wow! Are you saying nothing spoil? Then think about the unaccounted sales of other assorted foreign and local alcoholic drinks like paraga, skian, ogogoro, ogidiga, regal, orimalu, jedi, monkeytail, dongoyaro, alomo, agbara, babyoku, laliga, kerewa, striker, bajinotu, shine, kick and start etc. If you add it all up, then you should worry whether everyone around you was not under the influence in 2019. 

Well, I don't know how much you contributed to NBL N300 billion sales in 2019, just make sure you keep a clear head this year to achieve your dreams because Proverbs 20:1 says 'Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 11 January 2020

Panty Liner Drink, Panadol Pepper Soup and the Dangers in Shortcuts

Fruit-infusionWater Bottle 

I was thinking this morning.... about the dangers and futility of shortcuts. A few weeks back, I resumed at my desk focused on clearing the pile of work as 2019 wound down. My colleague arrived soon after and set out on her routine of filling her fruit-infusion water bottle before logging into her computer. On her return from the pantry she said, 'Mr Weyimi, you won't believe what I just heard.' 'What?' I asked looking away from my computer. Looking stunned, she said 'A lady saw me filling my water bottle, stared at the bottle and asked if it was panty liner that was inside.' 'Whoa!!! Where was that from? Was that a sick joke?' I followed up in quick succession. She told me that the lady revealed that some people use panty liners in place of fruits for infused water recipe. The reason is not for flavour but as a weight loss therapy. She concluded by saying 'You have to think about this bizarre act on Sunday.' Panty liner drink? Wonders shall never end!


As I thought about it, my confusion deepened. There are established weight loss measures including dieting and exercise. And if you want to enjoy while losing weight, then you can join the keto diet program. But that someone will believe that putting panty liner in drinking water is a shortcut to losing weight is rather disgusting and sheer madness to me. Why are people so ignorant?

Yes, it is an ignoramus that will drink a panty liner-infused water because it is self-inflicted, but it is only a demon that will serve customers 'panadol pepper soup.' 'Kilon je be?' My yoruba friends will ask. I read the report of the new craze in Uyo, now also happening in many other cities, where caterers use panadol (paracetamol) to cook goat meat to tenderise it. Nephrologists have reported that this practice has led to an increase in kidney failure. I will never get over the idea of 'panadol pepper soup.' Chai!!! That someone will even imagine to add panadol to cooking goat meat because they want the preparation time from killing of the goat to serving the pepper soup to be less than 30 minutes, is satanically ingenious. A killer shortcut indeed. 

It is amazing how much time people waste, putting themselves in danger in the process, looking for magic shortcuts to success. The year is just beginning and the wise are already working towards a successful year. Many with spiritual mindset are fasting and praying while others are developing their detailed annual plan with specific details of what to do to succeed this year. But the slothful and foolish will be looking for shortcuts to becoming rich, or like they say 'dem wan hammer or blow overnight.' It is this shortcut mentality that will make a young man kill his girlfriend and together with his mum eat her heart for money ritual. 

I beg you, in this 2020, avoid shortcuts, whether it is for weight loss, preparing goat meat pepper soup or making money. Proverbs 21:5, NLT says 'Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.'

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Vision 2020 or 20/20 Vision



I was thinking this morning..... about 2020. I went visiting the eye clinic on Saturday 28th December 2019 for routine check of my prescription glasses. As usual, I was asked to read some letters on the screen with decreasing font sizes, while the optometrist checks out the best lens. Having selected what he thought was the perfect lens, he handed me a laminated sheet and asked that I read the smallest print at the bottom of the page. With some ease, I read out the following words aloud 'If you can read this print, then you have 20/20 vision...' As I walked out of the office of the optometrist, I could not but spare a thought about 20/20 vision, moreso because it was a few days to Year 2020.

I checked out the meaning of 20/20 vision and found out it means normal vision, while some say it is perfect vision. Hmm!! Fast forward 3 days and we were all shouting Happy New Year, clinking charged glasses as we celebrated the dawn of not just a new year but a new decade, 2020. The 2020 we talked and dreamt about yesteryears is finally here with us. As the celebration died down, I started thinking of the many faces of 2020.

First was the Nigeria Vision 2020, where the previous and current administrations had declared their intention to pursue the vision of placing Nigeria among the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020. When the declaration was made then, I looked forward to 2020 with high expectations believing that year will be when Nigeria finally becomes our Eldorado. I still can't believe this is Year 2020 and we are still the way we were. 

Then was the WHO Vision 2020, a global initiative that aims to eliminate avoidable blindness by the year 2020. It was launched on 18 February 1999 by the World Health Organization together with more than 20 international non-governmental organisations. Twenty one years after, we are in 2020, and we are still recording incidents of avoidable blindness.

But why have we failed to achieve our vision 2020 both individually and collectively? If it is true that 20/20 is perfect vision, then why are we still short sighted in year 2020? The answer is in the proverb 'Hindsight is 20/20 vision.'

I discovered that reading the optometrist sheet with ease, Nigeria Vision 2020 and WHO Vision 2020 are all 'now sight.' Now sight can never by perfect vision, only hindsight is. I had asked before, that if hindsight is 20/20 vision, then what is foresight? As 2020 progresses, if you rely on your 'now' ability, you surely will need to be changing your lenses yearly, like I literally do with my prescription glasses. If you need perfect vision to achieve your dreams this year, then you will need both hindsight to know where you had failed and foresight to know what to do. The foresight I mean is that only God can give. Jeremiah 29:11 says 'For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' 

With the benefit of grace to look back (hindsight) at 2019, draw from the foresight of God and you will enjoy 20/20 vision (perfect vision) even as we progress with 2020. Wishing you a success filled 2020.

Happy Sunday.

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