Top nine of ’09

    I wanted to send-off 2009 by listing ten things that impacted me. I started with five things I really hated about Lagos in ’09 but to prove that I am not all about hate I decided to maintain some sort of balance because, hey maybe Lagos isn’t all that bad (I’m pretty sure it is, but just roll with me). So I completed my list with five things I absolutely loved about ’09. Unfortunately my balance kinda got askew. Instead of five by five I ended up with six things I hated and three things that I truly loved (fine I kinda liked them) Hey Gidi will surprise you like that. So at the risk of sounding like Miley Cyrus’s Seven Things, where the number I advertised ten, is actually more like nine. I decided to just keep on writing. Here are my nine:
  • 1. Barack Obama, I know weird but its just what he stands for. When people in corny movies say things like ‘you made me believe in people again’, I can finally understand. So I’m taking my new found hope for change and applying it to LIGHTUPNIGERIA. If a black man can become the president of the United States of America against many odds, then crazy dreamer that I am will continue to believe that 24/7 electricity is around the bend for Nigeria.
  • 2. Nicknamed Fash, the current governor of Lagos has actually taken steps to improve our city. I am not just talking legislation, but things you can actually, touch and feel. Of cause people are saying he won’t get a second term, that because they are not eating the public’s money anymore. I pray that he helps Lagos beyond what we Lagosians think is possible.
  • 3. The NYSC 15 (This is the polar opposite of the Freshman 15) due to a lack of freedom, sanitary conditions and food of any nutritional value. I lost in just two weeks what I could never shake in my whole college career. (my mother is currently attempting to undo that)

    ON THE FLIP SIDE I REALLY HATED

  • 4. The fact that there is still no light. Seriously, within hours of a rumor guaranteeing light in 2010 the minster of power refuted it. If only he was just as effective in finding a electricity solution.
  • 5. The continuous inability of People to keep time, though time is money and it time be refunded, still it remains a shame that talking to other Nigerians about keeping time is just a waste of … well time!
  • 6. Our Christmas day terrorist. I just want to thank Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab for tarnishing our reputation. As if Nigerians were not already hated by airport and embassy personnel alike. Getting a visa now will be beyond difficult. Just looking at his stats many more people now fit the terrorist profile.
  • 7. People remain unfair, you have to be someone before anyone cares. This becomes more and more clear to me when I continue to witness things like religious issues and ethnic prejudices that are purportedly on the way out. Try finding a job based solely on your qualifications in an industry were you ethnic group are in the minority and see what happens.
  • 8. To simply say ignorance, would be to undersell my point. My sister witnessed a sick child (she suspected he was one year old at the most) being bath in cow dung and blood in Abatoir market right here in Lagos. Worse than that the culprits were acting under the medical suggestion of a traditional healer and no one seemed even a little bit bothered by this
  • 9. Political unrest particularly rumors relating to President Yar’adua. I seriously lack the words. But I found an online dictionary helpful. Despair defined as a verb: To lose, give up, or be without hope e.g. to despair of humanity. Insert Nigeria between ‘of’ and ‘humanity.’ After getting over my depression I remember that I can still choose to be an optimist and that’s why I’m still here.

Tweet for better light!

    For those of you who don't know my stand on twitter here it is: it's stupid! it's the new facebook, like facebook was the new myspace/Hi5. Only now its better suited to the short attention span of basically anyone outthere capable of stringing words. Right here I am using the word 'words' lightly because I'm not at all sure if 'B4, thnx, 10Q, L8r' etc R [hehe] actually words.

    It therefore bothers me to announce that I will soon become a twit start to tweet. As all sell-outs my defense remains: it is for a good cause, because what greater cause is there than bringing efficient light to the Nigerian masses.

    The most positive comeback I have received so far was from my dad, he said, “get ready to commit to this for the rest of your life.” My dad is in no way a pessimist. No sadly, he is too familiar with the disappointment that comes with waiting for Nigeria to get off her ‘sleeping giant’ butt and show some moxie.

    The rest of Africa will not look up to Nigeria unless something worthwhile happens. So what if we have some very rich men, so what if we happen to police a good chunk of Africa. Add all that to our reputation for fraud and all you get is a good deal of people who are weary or downright afraid of Nigeria.

    Nigerians need to stop trying to one up each other and instead cater to the country’s real needs, like better roads and education to mention a few. I propose we begin with light.

    Think about it, at some level in any field of occupation in Nigeria, some level of electricity is required. To power the most simple, to the most complete machines. Billions in Naira, not to mention time are wasted in the pursuit of something that should not require more effort than a simple paying of a PHCN bill. And a reserve of diesel for weather related blackouts. This cost is acceptable, according to certain companies and their aids in government. Said people just happen to make their money through the importation and sales of generators and generator paraphernalia. That’s the current conspiracy, however I personally see no connection(cough).
    No imagine conducting a workday without the added burden of fuel and generator pursuit and costs. We can always wait for government to find a solution or we can brainstorm ideas and effect a change.
    This is why I tweet. CNN and sometimes Sky news occasionally do stories on the most tweeted subjects, you know the lil crazy stuff people are doing. I personally don’t mind, trying to shame the government into action approach. Something about how Nigeria has the money, technology and capability to no longer live in darkness. Maybe then we will see the light.
    To get more information or simply to exchange ideas check:
  • The facebook group Light up Nigeria
  • Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Church is organizing a Walk for Light. The law [what law] requires all electricity produced by a state to be uploaded to the national grid when it surpasses a certain amount. What Pastor Adeyemi proposes is for the government to allow states to produce their own electricity by using their natural resources. Whatever is most prevalent in each area i.e. where there is wind, build wind turbines, and water, build a dam and coal, I guess coal powered electricity [belated disclaimer: I am a blogger, not a scientist] but you get the point, maybe we can finally use our gas. I personally would favor an idea of producing electricity for Lagos through the slave labor of okada drivers, indentured because of the accidents they have caused. Those who cannot produce power can buy from their neighboring states. I feel that mainly on a competitive level, if one state does well, the others will step their game up. For this to happen the law must be changed.