Sunday, 4 December 2022

THE NIGERIAN POLITICAL WORLD CUP

 


I was thinking this morning.... about the frenzy of the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Qatar and the Nigeria political season. With each Match day of the group phase, I could see similarities with our political season.

As I looked at the Nigeria political space, I could see a number of politicians who have no plans to win but playing the role of spoilers for targeted politicians. They fight hard and can give their lives to ensure the rival politician don't have a seat at the table. When the competition starts, they disappear into oblivion. These are the Political Ghana, that knocked Nigeria out, only to come last in their group. Mtchew! Spoilers.

I looked again and could see politicians with potentials at the National and State levels. They feel entitled as incumbent or host and are confident of winning having spent loads of money in the run up. When Match day comes, they will lose at every turn. Disgraceful. These are the Political Qatar, that lost all their 3 group stage matches despite being the host.

There are the politicians that hit the ground running killing political giants on their way. Few months into the campaign season, they lose steam and suffer back to back losses and end up not moving to the next round. These are the Political Saudi Arabia, that defeated the mighty Argentina but still could not progress.

Then there are those politicians who seem to have a good chance at moving to Aso rock. They play well and even win the big points that should qualify them, only for them to discover it is not enough. These are the Political Uruguay that won the big match against Ghana by two goals but still got knocked out.

The Political Belgium are politicians with prospect of winning, having a Lukaku, the sweating machine, with so much action but no result, in their team and at the end of the day, they crash out.

The political game is still on and come February 2023, the final match will be played. France, Argentina, Spain, Morocco, Portugal and Brazil all stand a chance. Which country represents your favourite political candidate? Consistency, character, grit and God’s mercy will be key in arriving at a winner. Romans 9:16 'So then it is not of him who wills, nor of him who runs, but of God who shows mercy.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 27 November 2022

DILO BEFORE YOU JUDGE



I was thinking this morning..... As part of our year end Family Safety Campaign, we had an event tagged 'Day in the life of (DILO) a working parent, where we arranged for families to visit their Daddy or Mummy in the office. This was to afford the children and spouses the opportunity to not only see where daddy or mummy works but to also give them an idea and first hand experience about the kind of job they do to put food on the table daily.

It's so easy to assume you understand someone without really taking time to walk in their shoes. Some men go out all day in search of daily bread for the family but when things don't work out as expected, they are called lazy. Take a day out to shadow him, then you will truly understand he is doing his best.

So many men do not appreciate what their wives go through juggling both work and home front. If you DILO your wife, you will never disrespect her again.

I believe the reason many of our political leaders lack empathy for the poor is because they can't appreciate what the poor pass through daily. If only, every aspiring leader will be made to truly spend a full day or week living the life of the very poor, they will take decisions that will be people oriented. Eating corn on the streets with the masses as election photo op is not DILO.

Before you judge or condemn anyone for not delivering, make sure you've at least DILOed him or her. Even God sent his only Son to have a DILO of man, so he could save us. Hebrews 4:15 'For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.'

Don't be in a hurry to judge. First seek to understand. Plan a DILO today.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 20 November 2022

MUMMY, TERRIBLE SANDWICH BY THE WAY

 


I was thinking this morning.....  I recently saw a video of a little boy aged about 3 or 4 years returning from his first day at kindergarten. He got off the school bus to the welcome of his excited mum saying 'Hehehe.. you did it.' The little boy's immediate response as he looked the mum straight in the face was 'Mummy, terrible sandwich by the way.' And the mum responded 'Thanks for letting me know.' As the video went viral on Tik Tok, the mother defended the son by writing 'I am a terrible sandwich Mum. Not my kid going viral for roasting me.'

I am sure you are thinking that this cannot be an African mother and son. Of course, they are not African. African kids know better. I imagined telling my mama in those days 'mama, your soup no sweet.' There will be instant retribution, the best of which will be a horn-producing 'konk' and the worst, 'go and look for your mama that will cook for you henceforth.'

African mothers take no nonsense. One can even say, on the issues of discipline and morals, they take no prisoners. To the extent that there is a pidgin English adage that says 'No pikin go say im mama soup no sweet.' E get why.

The world today is completely different. Where do we draw the line between encouraging our kids to speak up and deliver negative feedbacks and the demands of respect? In the world of Lai Mohammed what that little boy told the mum is nothing but Kindergarten hate speech.

We must train our kids to be respectful in words and deeds particularly if they must give a feedback that is negative. Life and everything that comes with it is a gift and should be appreciated. A son that cannot see the blessing of having a mum that makes a sandwich for him and calls the sandwich terrible, will likely end up being a husband that will never appreciate the wife. He will probably not appreciate God for giving him a Mercedes instead of Rolls-Royce Boat Tail.

The world is in need of grateful adults and not critical ingrates. 1st Thessalonians 5:18 says 'In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 13 November 2022

WHO'S PLAYING THE MUSIC?

 


I was thinking this morning..... the 11.8km long Third Mainland bridge over the Lagos lagoon, has become an altar of sacrifice of sort having witnessed a series of suicide cases in the last four months. Every of such incident I read reminds me of how I dreaded some rivers in Warri those days because of the sacrifices we see traditional worshippers do by the riverside.

Just last Thursday 10th November, a young lady with Department of State Services (DSS), alighted from a Uber taxi car on the Third Mainland bridge and plunged into the lagoon to her death. What was shocking to everyone as information started coming out was that this lady seemingly had a good job, was recently proposed to by her fiance and just a few months ago received a letter of commendation from the Director General of DSS as the best-unarmed combat operative in her set.

As many wondered how and why someone so blessed would kill herself, concluding that mental health challenges are real, I remembered the quote by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche 'And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.'

There is no doubt that those that are suicidal are dancing to some music others can't hear. We have interrogated why such persons dance to the music and how we can prevent them from dancing. However, no one is asking 'who's playing the music?'

You may be a driven supervisor that crushes anything and anyone on your way to achieving a goal. If your actions are weighing down a colleague, then you are playing the music. A girl named Ruth may have disappointed you in the past. Today, you are ruthless and brash to ladies without recognizing the emotional damage you are causing. Should any of the ladies decide to dance to the music and commit suicide, be aware that you were one of those that played the music.

Be intentional about how you treat people. People are going through internal conflicts, don't add to it. Show empathy. Speak kind words. Luke 17:1 says 'Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 6 November 2022

THIS LIFE NO BALANCE

 


I was thinking this morning..... I was going through Facebook days ago when I saw the following words on a friend's wall: 'We cry for the dead, keep malice with the living, envy the successful and avoid the poor. This life shaa no balance at all.'

But is it true that this life is not balanced? Think about it. Anyone that read the news of how Femi Otedola rented a super luxury yacht for N2.2 billion to celebrate his 60th birthday in a country where civil servants retire at 60 with N2 million gratuity that may not be paid, will conclude that this life no balance at all.

I know of a very successful, God-loving man who has been believing God for a child for over 20 years, that has a mean domestic staff that can't afford to care for his wife, yet has 10 children. Chai! One will say, truly this life no balance.

We live in a country where political thugs are paid millions of naira and politicians earn hundreds of millions of naira, yet school teachers and University lecturers that are supposed to mould future leaders are treated with disdain and paid peanuts. I can hear you say this life no balance.

As I examined life, I discovered that the poor see the rich as thieves while the rich regard the poor as lazy. Truth is, you cannot hold a grudge against a man because he is rich, neither can you judge another for his misfortune . Everyone is absolutely responsible for the outcome of their lives. Because some have and others don't, does not imply life is not balanced. What you are and what you will become are dependent on the choices you made yesterday and are making today.

When you understand that the life of a man does not consist of the abundance of his possession and that the choice of whether to love or hate is in the power of man, then you will agree with my friend that says 'Life balance, na human beings naim no gree stand well.'

If you are standing right in your thoughts and action, you will discover that life is balanced. 1st Corinthians 10:12 says 'Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall.' If you feel life is not balanced, I urge you to examine your posture. Na you no balance.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 30 October 2022

ESUSU MANAGEMENT SYSTEM (EMS)

 


I was thinking this morning..... I grew up hearing my mum say 'When I pack esusu next month, we will do this or that.' For the non-initiates, Esusu is an Ibo word that refers a fund to which a group of individuals make fixed contributions of money at fixed intervals and the total amount contributed by the entire group is assigned to each of the members in rotation. These savings schemes also called Ajo in yoruba and Adashe in the north has the unique benefit of providing bulk money to each of the contributors.

I heard recently of how some blue-collar workers in some organisations where free lunch is provided, have devised a smart way of reducing the cost of providing food for their families using the Esusu Management System (EMS). A number of colleagues agree to contribute their meat (viz chicken, beef, fish, cowleg or kpomo) each lunch and one person takes it all home. The next day will be the turn of another until it goes round. The pot of meat collected by each person is taken home to prepare a pot of soup for the family. Wow! Apart from the challenge of food hygiene, I find the idea quite creative.

The Esusu Management System is most beneficial where there is shortage of resources. No doubt there is shortage of love and goodness in our world today. For a father to beat and broke the arm of his 2 month old baby because he was being disturbed tells us that all is not well with him. We are too consumed by the rat race of succeeding that we fail to see that our brother, friend or colleague is drowning in pain. Love, like dollar, seems scarce in our nation today.

It's time to deploy the Esusu Management System. This time, not for money or meat but for love and goodness. We belong to several social media groups that focus on chatting more than showing genuine love. If we aggregate a little love and goodness in each of us and shower it on one member each week or month, I believe it will go a long way in lifting people out of the mental health challenges they are faced with today. Luke 6:31: Do to others as you would have them do to you.

We have seen money Esusu and kpomo Esusu, it's time for Love Esusu. As we do esusu with our love and goodness, I believe the world will be a better place.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 23 October 2022

VACANCY: LIVING HOUSEHELP NEEDED

 


I was thinking this morning..... as I went out for a cross-neighbourhood morning fitness walk yesterday, I came across this advert board that reads 'Female House Help, Living, 18 - 25' somewhere along Peter Odilli Road in Port-Harcourt. I smiled as I assumed the advertiser meant he was looking for a 'Live-in Female Househelp', but then I thought again 'Wait a minute. What if it wasn't an error? What if the 'Living' was intentional?'

As I walked along, I recalled reading stories and watching videos of househelps that abuse the children they were employed to care for, with some going as far as starving or poisoning them. Someone that is alive and has blood flowing in her veins cannot be that savage na, haba!!! One must be dead to be that wicked. No wonder the advertiser was looking for a 'Living Female Househelp.' As far as the advertiser was concerned, the main qualification to get the job is that the young lady should be alive.

The wisdom of that advertiser need to be borrowed by corporate organisations and our Civil Service Commission for use as a recruitment criteria. Many workers are just not alive to their responsibility. You cannot be alive and are okay with spending the whole day in the office doing private business or gossiping and still feel okay to collect a salary at the end of the month. Like that advertiser, employers should be writing 'Vacancy: Living Accountant required' or 'Vacancy: Living Clerk required.'

In the same vein, we need living Nigerians as our chief servants come 2023. A leader that is not moved by the infirmity of the people he was elected to serve cannot be alive. A leader that is cocooned in opulence while the masses starve is not living. Like that advertiser at Peter Odilli Road, I beg you, come 2023, we need Living Senators, Governors and President, so that we all can be alive in Nigeria.

The suffering and deep poverty Nigerians have been through have already made many dead to humanity. Please do not allow the problems of life overwhelm you to the point of becoming a living dead. If you must be dead, please be dead to sin and corruption. Romans 6:11 says 'Count yourself dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 15 October 2022

TOUCHING THE STARS

 


I was thinking this morning….. It was a night of honour and glamour at the 2022 Grand Award Night for The Nigeria Prize for Science and Literature tagged ‘Touching the Stars.’ From the red, sorry blue carpet, to the music, it was a night to be much remembered.

As my young wife and I sauntered into the expansive hall of Eko Hotel and Towers, I was initially intimidated by the sheer glitz of the beautifully decorated hall. The multi-coloured stage lightings, three large LED screens, chairs and tables well draped in glittering black and silver and a crew of cameramen from NTA, Channels, Arise News and others tripping over themselves left no one in doubt that the organisers were aiming to touch the stars.

I remained humbled and subdued by the dignitaries in attendance. From his excellency, President Olusegun Obasanjo to His Imperial Majesty, the Amayanabo of Bonny to the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Senator Adeleke Mamora, the hall was graced with notable personalities. I however found my mojo in the midst of familiar faces at Table 45. Now relaxed as I took a sip from a glass of cold apple juice, I had no doubt I was going to be inspired to think of touching the stars.

In minutes, the hall was full and everyone seated. The crowd was truly Nigerian devoid of tribal and religious sentiments evident by the babarigas, etibo, wokor, senator and agbada that dotted the hall. As I pondered on the perfect blend of the Nigerian culture and spirit, I imagined a Nigeria united in creed and colour. Truly we would’ve been touching the stars.

Then came the awards recognizing those that have excelled in science and literature. Again the short list was pan-Nigerian with emphasis on nothing but competence and excellence. The panel of judges did not care about the state of origin and religion of the contestants. What they looked for was the best of the best. As the winners were announced and we stood up to applaud them, I mourned for our country Nigeria.

When the night was ended and the morning broke, the winner of $100,000 prize for Literature had announced that he will be giving $10,000 each to the other two contestants. Wow! What a spirit of brotherhood. These young men have again taught us, particularly our politicians, that service by sharing rather than self aggradizement is the surest way to touching the stars.

We are on the march to selecting the chief stewards for our dear nation, Nigeria. Oh I wish we could base our selection on competence, there is nothing that will stop us from touching the stars. Daniel 12:3 says 'Those who are wise will shine like the stars for ever.' Please be wise, so we could touch the stars together.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Don't Switch Off Your Light

 


I was thinking this morning.... It was Friday evening as I walked into my room after work. I turned on the light switch but noticed the light didn't come on. I turned the switch off and on again, but still no luck. This light bulb has burnt out so quickly, I thought, as I reached to switch on another.

As I settled in, I wondered why light bulbs don't last so long these day. I remember a light bulb we had in a mum's room while growing up that never got burnt from as long as I can remember till I became an adult and moved out. That bulb must have lasted for over 20 years. Is that a strange occurrence? Maybe not, because I recently found out that the world's longest-lasting light bulb is the Centennial Light located at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California. The bulb is at least 121 years old (installed 1901) and has only been turned off a handful of times.

Why do some bulbs last long and others short? The reason is astonishing. The major reason for the longevity of so many longest-lasting light bulbs is because they are so infrequently turned off. Most of the wear and tear that leads to burnouts in incandescent light bulbs is caused by turning them on and off, not by burning them. Each time the bulb is turned on and off, the filament is heated and cooled. This causes the material of the filament to expand and contract, in turn causing micro stress cracks to develop. The more the light is turned on and off, the larger these cracks grow, until eventually the filament breaks at some point, in non-spectacular fashion, thus causing the light to burn out.

Like light bulbs, we glow when we do good works. If so, why do some faint in well doing and others don't? Do you frequently switch your love for humanity on and off? Is it because you feel your good is doing no good and probably wasted? Some have been good to people but their good have come back to hurt them, so they decided not to help again.

Please don't switch off your light, it is causing you more harm than good. No act of kindness, however small is ever wasted. Be like the Centennial Light by being good all the time. Being hot and cold with your love for God and humanity will burn you out like light bulbs. No wonder Galatians 6:9 admonishes, “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.”

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 1 October 2022

Mum, Dad, Sorry I am Late

 


I was thinking this morning..... A little girl grew up sleeping between her mum and dad right from birth because she was an only child. When she was 5 years old, her parents tried weaning her from that habit by tucking her in bed in her room at bed time. She will however get up at midnight, tiptoe into her parents room and slide in-between them. To her, 12 midnight was an appointment not to be missed.

Every night, her parents looked to the day she will grow up, be an adult and sleep in her room, but their little girl enjoyed the warmth between her parents. She does this religiously every day, week, month and year until her 10th birthday. It was 12 midnight on her 10th birthday and dad and mum was expecting their beloved daughter to slide into their bed but she didn't. They waited for another 30mins and didn't hear the creaking sound of the door announcing the arrival of their midnight visitor. At this point, they heaved a sigh of relief and concluded that their daughter has finally grown up. As they gradually drifted into dreamland at about 1am, the door opened, the girl snuck in-between them, looked at both parents and said 'Mummy, Daddy, sorry I am late.'

I remembered this story as Nigeria celebrated her 62nd Independence yesterday. The world, for 62 years expected us to grow up but, like that little girl, we still behave like a child enjoying the warmth of her parents. We squander our God given resources like the prodigal son, go aborrowing and then return to United Nations asking for debt cancellation.  What we are saying to the world at a time they thought we've grown is 'Mummy, Daddy, sorry I am late.'

Just like Nigeria, there are many Nigerians that are adults with the mindset of children. One would've expected that with what we have gone through, the major considerations for selecting the next set of leaders will be issues based. Usai! Many still play money and tribal politics synonymous with looking you in the eye and saying 'bro, sist. Sorry I am late.'

My prayer is that as we celebrate our 62nd Independence anniversary and get into 2023, we will grow up as individuals and a nation. We are not designed to be children forever but to grow and mature into adults. We have acted like children long enough, it's time to grow up (Deut 2:3).

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 24 September 2022

BE PATIENT IN WAITING


I was thinking this morning..... I spoke to an old friend this past week. After she hung up, I couldn't but ponder on the value of patience. Why so? She got married many years ago but wasn't blessed with a child for 18 years. Her husband stood by her through that horrendous time as they believed God, fasted and prayed for God's visitation. Shockingly on the 18th year, the husband strayed and fell into the laps of a strange woman (real life soyoyo) that ended his marriage. Blessed be God, my friend had gotten pregnant at the month her husband fell. Months later, she delivered a handsome boy that is today her joy. Her husband lost all he had waited for so long.

He had waited for 18 years and a few more months would've birthed his joy but the devil sold him the thought that he had wasted 18 years of his life. He never knew waiting time does not amount to wasting time. Just one moment of impatience ruined the beautiful family God had planned for him. He waited but was not patient in waiting.

Have you ever waited for something so desperately before? It seems your life is on pause while the rest of the world moves on. I once waited for a promotion for 8 years. My contemporaries moved but I marched on the same spot. During that difficult time, I learnt that when I compared myself with my colleagues ahead of me, the burden was heavier and almost drove me to give up, but when I looked back to where I am coming from and those I am privileged to be ahead of, my patience held. Waiting is good but patience in waiting is the ace.

'Waiting for wetin?' It can be tough. If you have been waiting for a spouse, fruit of the womb, career breakthrough, healing or any other blessing, I pray God to give you the strength of character to be patient as you wait for your change to come. As you wait, look to no man and compare yourself with no one. Waiting is a journey and patience is the vehicle that carries you on the journey. Patience is what gives legitimacy to waiting. Without patience, waiting is a torture.

Patience can be a tough virtue but the result is always soothing. The value is not in the waiting but being patient till your change comes. Job 14:14 says 'If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come.'

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 17 September 2022

Stomach Vs Climatè Justice

 


I was thinking this morning..... Recently, I was in Stockholm, Sweden, just a few days to their Parliamentary elections to fill the 349 seats in the Riksdag, Sweden's highest decision-making assembly. As I looked around the city, I ran into a massive protest by students and civil society groups at the City centre. 'What could they be protesting for or against?' I wondered. As I got closer, I struggled initially because most of the placards were written in Swedish, but then I saw one in English, looked again and was stunned. They were protesting for Climate Justice. Like seriously? Of all things to hold the government accountable for, Climate Justice? Na wa o!

I was still pondering on this days later when I saw the headline 'US Plans $12bn for Climate Action in Nigeria.' The US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry, had led a delegation from his country to different ministries in Abuja and stated that Nigeria was one of the nations in Africa that would suffer the most by climate crisis if nothing serious was done to avert the consequences of climate change.

If what Kerry said is correct, why is Climate Justice not top of the agenda as we inch towards 2023? I interrogated the major highlights in our political space and it was obvious that the main issue for us is econonic. Na person wey im belle full go talk about climate justice. With Nigeria being the poverty capital of the world at some point, you cannot blame the people when they fight for Stomach Justice rather than Climate Justice.

With the death of Mama Charlie (Queen Elizabeth), the evil and injustice of colonialism reared its head again. While many complained, I thought about the many layers of ethnic, religious and political injustices in Nigeria and concluded that we have to settle our local injustices before we can fight for Climate Justice.

The sad thing is that while the rest of the world moves on dealing with issues of global impact (strong meat), Nigeria and Africa are looking for who to blame. Hebrews 5:12 says 'For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.' I hope that post 2023, we will no longer be fighting for Stomach Justice but for Climate Justice.

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 10 September 2022

All Men Die (AMD)


II was thinking this morning.... as I sat watching Sky News last Thursday 8th September far away from the UK, I mused on the life of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, as news rolled of her being hospitalised at Balmoral Castle, Aberdeen. Suddenly, the news anchor paused and with a lugubrious look said 'Buckingham Palace has just announced that Her Majesty The Queen has died.'


For a couple of minutes, I was sobered up, not because she died at 96 but because in my memory, I know not of any human (Anno Domini) so blessed like Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was born into royalty and became Queen at an early age of 25. She reigned for 70 years, married for 73 years, lived a scandal-free life till she died at 96. Her husband died at 99 years. As old as she lived, she never buried any of her children. She was blessed with excellent health as she stood strong to perform her royal duty of anointing her 15th Prime Minister two days before her death. With her enormous blessings and extraordinary longevity, one will think she is immortal. No, eventually all men die. The Queen dies.

There has hardly been any head of government as powerful as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. She was Queen of the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth realms. She was queen regnant of 32 different sovereign states and served as monarch of 15 of them at the time of her death. With such power, one might wonder if she will depart like all men that lived. Yes, eventually all men die. The Queen dies.

So many great men and women have been given the title Greatest of all Time (G.O.A.T) in sports, science and other human endeavours, but Queen Elizabeth trumps them all. She was Britain longest lived monarch of all time. The most loved and photographed Monarch of all time. The most famous human in modern history and many more. Surely, she was the grandmother of all G.O.A.T. No wonder, the world mourns. From the Empire State building in New York to Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, landmarks across the world lit up to honour the passing of Queen Elizabeth.

If a personality like Queen Elizabeth can die, why do some live like we will not die? You are not head of any government, yet you are playing God. Why do we steal, kill and destroy another like we will live forever on earth. Whatever you do, just remember that if the powerful Queen Elizabeth can die, eventually all men die. When you come to that realization, you will fear God and keep His commandments, for that is the whole duty of man (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 3 September 2022

God Abegeth Thee

 


I was thinking this morning...... Nigerians respond to evil reports in different ways that are mostly monosyllabic. Chai! Ewo! Shuo! Jesus! Goodness me! My God! are common exclamations. Recently, Nigerians have started combining exclamations with prayer. One such prayerful exclamation is 'God abeg o!'

'God abeg o!' is a pidgin English exclamation that urgently seeks the intervention of God. However, with time, as situations became dire, some persons are looking for quicker ways of getting God's intervention. One of such is the belief that God responds to the language of the King James Version (KJV) faster than modern colloquialism of queen's English and pidgin English. Consequently, instead of 'God abeg o!' what you hear is 'Oh God, Abegeth thee.' Hmm!

It takes a serious issue like the oil theft situation in Nigeria to switch to this KJV-Pidgin mindset. It's been reported that Nigeria loses about 700,000 barrels of oil daily to oil thieves. To underscore how bad the situation is, one of the Oil  companies reported pumping about 35,000 barrels from one of its Wells but received nothing but air at the terminal. All the crude volume pumped through the pipeline was stolen along the way.

It is estimated that Crude oil thieves steal about 40% of our commonwealth at source. When the 60% that gets to the terminals is sold, the politicians steal the revenue. How have we become a nation of thieving leaders and followers? As I reflected on how this large scale theft is bleeding this nation to death, all I could do was exclaim and pray 'Oh God Abegeth thee!'

'Happy School Fees Week' is what I wish parents with children returning to school. Oil theft, fraudulent subsidy regime and burgeoning external debt have resulted in inflation-pro-max in Nigeria. With about 40% increase in fees across board, many parents are really struggling. While some have bitten the bullet and downgraded their children's school, others are faithing it and praying 'Oh God Abegeth thee.'

Truly, these are perilous times (2nd Timothy 3:1) but also a critical time in the life of our nation as we approach 2023. I therefore implore you to join me to pray for God's intervention for us to get it right this time by saying 'Oh God Abegeth thee!

Stay hopeful. God's got our back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 27 August 2022

Passport of Mediocrity

 


II was thinking this morning...... In July, I had cause to renew the International passport of a family member. After paying for premium service, a date for data capture was confirmed for mid July. We showed up on the said day, only for us to be told that the date on the computer was end August as against the 15th July on our slip. How can this be? I protested. 'Oga, there is nothing we can do. This error is from Abuja.' My contact replied in frustration.

For 4 weeks, I followed up with Lagos, called Abuja and pushed every button I knew but the error could not be corrected until my lad departed Nigeria without renewing the passport. Time wasted and money lost. Speaking with others with similar experience revealed that renewing your International passport has become a prayer point for many.

As I reflected, I wondered why we have to fight, lobby and pray for something as simple as renewing a passport. More so, this is meant to be a paid service and not free. Why should producing a passport I have paid for be synonymous with solving world hunger? In the words of an Immigration officer I complained to 'Oga, even me I tire for my people.'

If you rely on public service in Nigeria, truly, the poor service will weary you out. For weeks, public power in my estate has been 'half current.' Even my 5th wife (sorry WiFi) which is privately provided is so epileptic that I am considering a 6th. The downside of these poor services is not so much the failure but the air of arrogance with which the operators wear the badge of mediocrity. Chai!

I know a lot of efforts are on to improve on public infrastructure particularly with privatisation and the introduction of technology. The challenge is, systems hardwares are being upgraded without commensurate attention being paid to human hardware. You can't deploy analogue workers to run digital assets. It won't work. Some of the analogue workers are bent on sabotaging the system to maintain their racket.

The difference we seek is in us. Until you improve on your mindset and be the change you desire, what you have is a passport of mediocrity. Colossians 3:23 says 'And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 20 August 2022

The Urgent 2k Phenomenon


I was thinking this morning.... about “The urgent 2k Phenomenon.” If you are yoruba and don't belong to the Generation Z, you probably will be asking 'Kilon jebe?' meaning 'what's that? 'Urgent 2k' is a term used by mostly young Nigerians to explain the unplanned loan request gotten from friends or loved ones, to meet very basic personal needs. It's usually between the range of N2,000 to N5,000 hence its name.


The Urgent 2k phenomenon used to be common with the poor but has quickly become a thing with the Middle class who according to African Development Bank (AfDB) data, makes up about 23% of the Nigerian population. A strong Middle class is the backbone of any economy, because of their spending power. This is changing.

If you run a home with more than 3 adults, then you will appreciate how high cost of living had gone. Serving bread for breakfast has to be carefully considered because a teenager can eat a whole 'Ojile bread' (only legends from Warri will understand). Feeding the family has become a major line item on most incomes. Working fathers and mothers used to be known as 'Bread winners,' but today, the income that was once very good can hardly win bread and is gradually falling into the class of 'Urgent 2k' that can only meet urgent basic needs.

Have you tried booking a flight recently? If you are married with three children and have urgent need to travel from the South-South or South East to Abuja or Lagos. You should be planning to cough out about N1million for return tickets. The alternative road trip will mean thinking seriously about how to raise money just in case the K4R professors strike. If you consider what you earn and the cost of the trip, then you will agree that your job is fast becoming an 'Urgent 2k hustle.'

With the declining value of the naira, most young Nigerians are no longer working to be rich, rather they are doing so for Urgent 2k. As I mused, I prayed that any agent or system working to reduce my hard earned income to 'Urgent 2k' will fail. Instead, I will keep faith with Genesis 26:13 that says 'and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 13 August 2022

Godmarks and Birthmarks

 


I was thinking this morning.... Growing up in Warri in those days was fun. We were always outside playing, most times shirtless. As we did, we saw ourselves for who we are and observed skin spots which we simply referred to as Godmark. We believed it is a mark given by God to identify a person on earth.

With time, we found out these spots are called birthmarks, which is a skin abnormality that’s present when, or develops soon after, a baby is born. Examples include Mongolian spots and benign nevi.

I remembered Godmark yesterday when a friend told me of a friend of his that lost his wife some years ago. This happened after he had lost his first son and his daughter in quick succession. How can such tragedy befall just one man? Was he marked out for evil?

As I mused, I came to the conclusion that while not everyone has birthmarks, every human and nation has Godmark on them that are indelible and invisible and that these marks mark one out for certain unique experiences in life.

Frane Selak (1929 – 2016) was a Croatian man who was known to have cheated death seven times. He was involved in a plane crash, train crash, bus crash, car crash and fell from a mountain but he survived. While he's described as either the world's luckiest or unluckiest man, I am thinking 'Godmark.'

Nigeria, Singapore and Malaysia were once third world countries struggling to come out of poverty. While others got good leaders that turned their nations to First World countries, Nigeria seems to be blessed or should I say cursed with bad leaders that are continuously dragging us down. Why? While many Nigerians ask 'Na who do us this thing?' I am thinking 'Godmark.'

Godmark could be a mark for greatness or for punishment like was placed on Cain. It is looking like the mark placed on Nigeria was for punishment with bad leaders and 2023 will go a long way to prove or disprove this. Whatever it turns out to be, one thing I believe are the words of Galatians 6:17 that says 'From henceforth let no man trouble me: for I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Sunday, 7 August 2022

RUNNING WITHOUT UNDERPANTS

 


I was thinking this morning..... In the just concluded World Athletics Under-20 Championships in Cali, Colombia, 18-year-old Italian decathlete, Alberto Nonino, competing in the 400m race suffered a wardrobe malfunction. He was forced to complete the race with his privates hanging out of his loose-fitting shorts, and ended up coming last.

Alberto Nonino blasted past two rivals in terrific style on the last bend in the race, but in the final straight he slowed down and was filmed grabbing his crotch. His competitors then went past him and he finished at the back of the pack. Spanish-speaking press were quick to claim Nonino’s slow 51.57 second 400 metres was the result of him opting to run without underpants. Hmm! Funny but serious.

Life is a race and most people have something very personal to hide. Like is common with humans, they jump into the race without adequate preparation or too much assumptions. It doesn't take long before their 'privates' spill like that of Alberto Nonino.

The recent ousting of UK Prime minister Boris Johnson was primarily because he suffered wardrobe malfunction and his 'privates' during the Lockdown Partygate spilled. He was forced to abandon the race.

We are in another election cycle in Nigeria. It's still early days into the race and we are already seeing candidates grabbing their crotches, because their 'privates' such as certificate scandal, drug cases, past corruption cases, health challenges and many more, are hanging out in public glare. The reason is simple, they are running without underpants. Unfortunately, like Alberto Nonino, Nigerians are not known for abandoning any race, they will rather suffer the disgrace and die than quit.

Truth is, we all have done something in the past we may not be proud of and may not want to share with the public. If that is true with you, then do not enter the race for public office because your past, present and future will be scrutinised. And if you must run, please wear underpants.

As for me, Philippians 2:16  is my watchword and it says 'Holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labour in vain.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 30 July 2022

JUJU BREEZE

 


I was thinking this morning..... As I sat with my Hussey College classmates in Warri on Friday, suddenly there was a gust of wind and memories of the good old days flashed. One experience from the past that stuck with me is the sight of a whirlwind which we popularly called 'Juju breeze.' We ignorantly called it Juju breeze because this moving column of air is so fast that it moves almost everything on its path and leaves everyone in awe by its impact.

When our very own Tobi Amusan broke the women 100m huddle World record twice in one night last Sunday in Eugene, Oregon, the world stood in awe. The feat was so amazing particularly for an African that some started questioning the record and suggested the feat may have been due to wind or equipment malfunction. How can a petite African broke the World record by a huge 0.08s? To now do it again at the finals by 0.14s? Nooo! Something ain't right! As I read different reactions, it was clear in my mind that many non-Afrcans will be thinking that it was the African 'Juju breeze' that propelled her to victory.

In their racism corrupted mind, nothing good can ever come out of Africa. While they were fishing for reasons to discredit the achievement, little did they know that six years ago, Tobi had written the following words on her timeline 'Today I am unknown, one day I will be unforgettable'. Truly, today she is unforgettable, not because of the force of wind or Juju breeze but because of the force of diligence and positive confession.

The night before she broke the World record, Tobi had again written on her friend's wall on Instagram 'Incoming World record holder.' Hours later, she was the World record holder, not because of Juju breeze but by self belief and positive words.

Danielle Williams of Jamaica had said 'Tobi literally spoke her victory into existence.' Hmm! What you think and say of your yourself is crucial. Don't speak defeat into your life because of your present circumstances. You can change your world by changing your words. When you do, like Tobi, your success will not be from Juju breeze, but your positive response to John 1:22  that asked 'What do you say about yourself?'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 23 July 2022

ENJOY!

 


I was thinking this morning..... I had the opportunity of attending another Leadership Programme at Lagos Business School (LBS) this past week and was again enthralled by the excellent service of the Catering team. Some have argued that most students that have gone through LBS remember the food more than what they were taught in class. While reflecting on why, I discovered that the way a meal is served influences its savour. At LBS, every steward handing you food and water will never do so without ending with a smile and saying 'Enjoy!'

It is common practice across Africa for a wife to serve her husband his food kneeling down. This is not just considered a sign of respect but a demonstration of love which influences the savour of the meal. No wonder some believe that when a woman kneels to serve your meal, you will eat the food with glee even if it is poisoned. Like they say 'E get why.'

It is this trick that our politicians engage when serving their poisoned candidates on a platter. They smile, dance, beg and even kneel to bias your judgement. Many are carried away by primordial sentiments, while others sell their votes for 'agbado.'

Four years later, Universities are shut down and students are at home for 5 months, while the politicians are attending the graduation of their children abroad. When I hear the masses complain, all I can do is smile like LBS stewards and say 'Enjoy!'

With the global economy going gaga, our managers are lost as per what to do. Borrowing more than we are making, the economy collapses. US dollar exchanges for N650, Petrol sells for N179, Kerosene N850, Diesel N900, Interest rate rises to 14% and Inflation rate 18.6%. As the hardship squeezes, so are the faces of the people. When everyone grumble and curse, I can only smile and say 'Enjoy!'

While some will call it packaging, the 1964 Musical/Family movie 'Mary Poppins,' puts it another way in a song with a line that says 'Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down in a most delightful way.' So whether in business, socials or politics, when you are presented with a well packaged 'meal' with a smile, please ensure it is clean, balanced and healthy like that served at LBS. 2 Kings 4:40 warns us of the poison in the pot. So don't be deceived by the packaging. Just enjoy!

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 16 July 2022

JUST LOOK UP

 


I was thinking this morning.... Driving around Nigeria with an eye for the abnormal is a good way of relieving stress. The vehicle pictured above is one of such. I smiled at the comic mind of the owner and wondered why he decided to put his License (number) plate on top of the bus. I was even more curious as to why he wrote 'Look up' at the location meant for the License plate. Like my young wife will say 'Nothing Tola no go see for tollgate.'

As I doubled down on the thinking behind the driver writing 'Look up,' it occurred to me that the natural tendency when you don't find the number plate where it should be, is to assume it fell down. Hence, the driver was intentional in letting us know that it didn't fall down but moved up.

It is natural to reason in sync with the law of gravity and assume things going down instead of up. Our mindset is wired to look down and not up. Yesterday, a friend wrote about his trip to Singapore on Friday. He left Nigeria and upon his arrival in Doha to connect his flight, a lady with walkie talkie was waiting by the exit of the plane with his name boldly written. He went to her and identified himself. She said 'Please follow me.' He asked himself, 'what did I do again?' Nevertheless, he followed her even as they bypassed queues and went through expedited security screening. He was still wondering what he has done wrong, when the lady said 'You’re a Silver Customer, I came to welcome you and lead you to the VIP lounge.' Chai! Why was he looking for himself on the ground instead of looking up? Why did he think he had done something wrong instead of right? I guess we are wired to think that way.

While it is true that gravity naturally brings everything down, it is even more true that divine grace moves people up. So the next time you can't find someone at an expected position, please do not assume gravity and look down, think grace and look up. If you are used to seeing me at 'God is Good' bus terminal for interstate journeys and no longer. Please don't assume I am now trekking, just look up, I am now flying. Job 22:29 says 'When men are cast down, then thou shalt shall say, There is lifting up.' Just look up.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 9 July 2022

BYE-BYE APPLAUSE

 


I was thinking this morning.... It was Tuesday 5th July 2022 and we were all gathered at the International Conference Center (ICC) Abuja for the opening ceremony of the 21st edition of the NOG Conference and Exhibition. After the Welcome address, the Honorary Conference Chairman, H.E Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, the OPEC Secretary General, was called on stage to give his keynote address. For the next 30mins he held the audience spell bound with a view of world energy politics like I have never heard before. Wow! Excellent presentation.

When he was done, Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman of IPPG, came on stage and told the audience how as Nigerians we have not given honour to whom it is due. He mentioned that at the CERAWEEK Energy Conference each year, our very own export to the world, Mohammad Barkindo will always be given a standing ovation after his speech. He therefore requested everyone in the hall to stand up and do same. We all stood and gave this colossus a loud and extended applause. A short while later, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylvia, came on stage and told us how the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had also given the outgoing OPEC Secretary General a standing ovation just that morning.

When we left the hall, the team including Dr Barkindo went round the different booths for the exhibition. They visited our stand and was again given the deserved honour. The day closed past 6pm and we departed. I woke up the next day to the news that 63 years old Mohammad Sanusi Barkindo, had died at 11pm, same day he had received series of applause from Nigerians. Wow! Everyone thought he was being applauded for his excellent job at OPEC, we never knew that he was being applauded as he transitioned to higher plains. Life really is ephemeral and transient.

As I set out on my way to the Day 2 of the Conference, I imagined the sort of applause I will get and for what? You will not be applauded for how big your house is or how fat your bank account is but by how many lives you touched and how you improved the wellbeing of society. There will be no applause for how many titles you acquire or for how mean a politician you are.

Even if you buy men, like political delegates, to applaud you, would you be applauded by the angels and saints when you arrive eternity? Think on these things. 1st Corinthians 15:19.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 2 July 2022

NO REPLAY BUTTON

 


I was thinking this morning..... Last Tuesday evening I had taken my cherished spot on the sofa when I heard a knock on my door. I welcomed the visitors in as my favourite soap on TV was beginning. By the time my friends said goodbye, I had missed a good portion of the episode. But I didn't have to worry as I picked up the remote control and simply pressed the rewind and replay button.

As I did, it flashed on me that for the most part, life has no replay button. I stared at the framed family portrait on the wall behind the TV and flashes of the childhood days of my children came to me. Children toys at every turn, crayon marks on the walls and constant noise from their energetic play are no longer an experience. Taking them out to play and teaching them to ride a bike. No. That ship has sailed. The children of yesterday are today's adults engaging me in serious conversations. Oh how I wish I can press the replay button to savour that experience one more time. Life says 'No. I have no replay button.'

I remember my days in Hussey College Warri like I was in a reality show on TV. Some days were uneventful but there were lots of beautiful people that made the experience feel like a classic soap opera. Some of the main actors had transitioned to glory, while others are scattered around the world. In my quiet moments, I am sometimes tempted to want to press the replay button just to enjoy the care-free good old days, but alas, life has no replay button.

There are many times when one misses crucial opportunities. You had a once in a lifetime chance for a dream job. You prepared long and hard but got into the interview and could not string your thoughts and answers together. You came out perplexed and wishing you could just press replay. Life promptly responds with 'Sorry. I have no replay in me.'

Because life has no replay, enjoy every moment of today. Spend quality time with family and friends and take time to enjoy nature. If tomorrow you look back and are tempted to press replay, let it be that the first time you enjoyed premium view and experience. Ecclesiastes 5:18 - 20.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 25 June 2022

THE CATFISH EFFECT

 


I was thinking this morning...... about fishy things. Yesterday 25th June was National Catfish Day. I thought of joining the celebrations with a bowl well-spiced catfish peppersoup, but as I pondered on the dish, my attention was drawn to an interesting fact that Catfish have over 100,000 taste buds. The taste buds are located all over their bodies to help them sense where food is. Because they swim in murky water, their sense of taste serves as tool to find food when they can’t see well.

Wow! As I pondered on this fact, Nigeria politicians and their tendency to jump from one party where there is no longer food to another where there is food, came to mind. They work for AGIP (Any Government In Power). Nigeria politicians are not ordinary politicians, they are 'Catfish Politicians.'

Some people refer to themselves as 'foodie.' They love good food and will not miss on any opportunity to relish an experience. That's okay. However, when you have a friend that shows up at your home only when food is ready, he or she is not just a friend but a 'Catfish friend.'

According to Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), Nigeria is the world's largest producer of catfish with the catfish industry worth over N262 billion. As I reflected on our huge consumption of catfish, I began to worry that it may be causing a condition called 'Catfish Effect.' How else do you explain one man stealing over N80 billion of our commonwealth because he was the Accountant General if not because he has taste buds all over his body to smell money? Our politicians are showing the same tendency for legendary avarice.

2023 is an opportunity to deliver our nation from Catfish Politicians but what do we do with regards to the Catfish effect? Maybe we should switch from consumption of catfish to dogfish (a shark) to save ourselves from this disease. Otherwise, 1st Timothy 3:3 admonishes, 'Not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous.'

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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

Saturday, 18 June 2022

Fatherless Fathers

 


I was thinking this morning..... As I drove towards an office complex last Friday, the gate was opened by a senior man probably in his late sixties. For some strange reasons, he reminded me of my dad as my mind drifted to the mid eighties. It was a difficult time for my family. My dad worked as a service personnel at an Oil terminal in Delta state. His salary was not enough to feed the family not to mention paying our school fees. Yet, we looked to him to perform the magic.

How can he meet all the needs of the family with his meagre income? To us as children, that was his headache. My dad will leave for his offshore work with empty suitcase but return with a 'provision store.' How? For the 4 weeks my dad will be at work, the meal meant to nourish him and give him strength to do the job, he will exchange for canned/non-perishable foods, so he could take home for his family not to starve. He did not eat his meal because he wanted his children to eat. He sacrificed his needs to fulfil our wants. Real fathers are heroes because their code is family before self.

Real fathers love and care for their wives and mother of their children. I once drove a pregnant woman in labour and her husband to the hospital. As the would-be father used words to sooth the pain of his wife, she snapped and slapped him saying 'No be you do am?' Chai! What fathers go through. After the baby is born, the mother will be given maternity leave but no one thinks of the father. He doesn't even get paternity leave to rest from his labour.

The most heartbreaking of all is that after years of fathers sacrificing their energy and time fending for the family, at retirement most fathers are ignored. While mothers go for 'omugwo' around the nation/world, fathers remain at home with care-givers. They are now fatherless fathers. Oh fathers!

As I remember the role fathers play, I am reminded of the greatest Father of all, our Father in heaven. I couldn't but hum the song of Mosun Olaitan 'Olorun to Tobi Olorun Baba Agba' 🎼🎵🎶

Fathers, stay hopeful. God no go shame us.

Happy Fathers Day.

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

Saturday, 11 June 2022

I WANT TO BE LIKE YOU

 


I was thinking this morning..... A man took his 10 year old son before the mirror, smiled and asked 'Son, what will you like to be when you grow up, a doctor, lawyer, pilot or an engineer?' The little boy stared back at him through the mirror and said 'Dad, I do not want to be any of the above. I want to be like you.'

It’s been said that Nigeria's biggest problem is the political class. They are corrupt, selfish and sometimes wicked, yet their children want to be like them. The children of Abacha, Sule Lamido, El-Rufai, Ibori, Uduaghan, Ganduje, Okowa and Fayose all contested the last primary elections for APC and PDP, just to be like their dads.

I watched Seyi Tinubu running around supporting his father before and during the just concluded APC convention and the viral video of that irresponsible father smoke shisha with his 2 or 3 year old son holding the pipe, I remembered the story of the 10 year old boy that wants to be like his dad.

Do you really want your son or daughter to be like you? I mean, the real you and not the facade most parents put out when they are in public. Whether you like it or not, you are the first role model for your children and they will in some way be like you. If you are not a picture of what you want your children to be, then change today.

Think about Proverbs 22:6.

Stay hopeful. God's got your back.

Happy Sunday.

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