How to get a Nigerian (International e-) Passport; the common sense approach

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Hello, interested in getting/renewing your Nigerian passport without paying any extra charges? Then you’ve come to the right place. Enjoy reading this do-it-yourself guide. Thank me later!

I’ll teach this class drawing from my experience obtaining the passport in 2008, and renewing it in 2016.

For adults aged 18-59, the passport costs only N15,000 for the 32-page booklet type or N20,000 for the 64-page booklet type. The only other additional money to be spent is N2,000 for address verification and N600 service charge. That’s a total of only N17,600 or N22,600 depending on booklet type. All payable online.

Requirements for renewals:
A) Duly completed application form
B) Passport payment slip
C) Passport acknowledgment slip
D) Application letter for extension of validity of e-passport

First go here https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/passport/epassport and fill the application form. Do make sure you print the form upon completion.

When you’re done filling the form, make payment with your bank Naira debit Visa or MasterCard. Print out the payment slip and acknowledgment slip when you’re done paying.

Pen your application letter for extension of validity of e-passport. Address it to the Comptroller General of the Nigerian Immigration Service and be sure to quote your passport number and expiry date.

Interview dates…dates for photo capture are no longer given (you might be given an interview date in 2020! Lols), so proceed to the nearest Immigrations office of your choice for photo capture. Go with your expired passport and all documents listed above.

When you get to the Immigrations office, there’s a lobby where applicants sit and are addressed before 9am. Sit there and inquire from the officer in charge how to go about the photo capture. In my case he was genuinely surprised I did everything myself without going through a third party. And in the Buhari anti-corruption spirit (in his own words), he helped me put my file together and quickly ushered me to the photo capture room.

Photo capture is free. When you’re done you’ll be given a date for passport pick up. Mine was 7 working days later.

Requirements for first issue:
This requires more work but is really nothing to be afraid of.
A) Duly completed application form
B) Passport payment slip
C) Passport acknowledgment slip
D) Guarantor's form sworn before a commissioner of Oaths/Magistrate or High Court Judge. (Attach a photocopy of your guarantor's Nigerian Passport Data page. And either his/her Driving License or National Identity Card. As well as 1 colour passport photograph of guarantor)
E) State/Local Government letter of identification
F) Birth certificate/age declaration
G) 2 recent colour passport photographs
H) Marriage certificate where applicable

The process is the same as cases for reissue. But the guarantor’s form can only be printed after filling the application form. Click here for the guarantor’s form https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/passport/PassportGuarantor . Take the completed guarantor’s form to the court for stamping/swearing. It costs only N500.

You don't need to travel home to get the State/Local Government letter of identification. It can be issued to you at your State's Liaison Office in any State of your residence.

Thanks for reading. Click here for official guidelines https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/passportguidelines and here to get to the passport application start page https://portal.immigration.gov.ng/pages/welcome . Cheers!

The Ambassador; An autobiography of CRE - Forward by Trae

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Update!: Thanks to my friends: my crowed-sourced editorial team, this foreword (yes, i now know the correct spelling) was eventually put right! :-)

This is my draft forward to my Dad's upcoming autobiography. Feedback please after reading. Thanks.

With my big sister Cle at Dad's Call to Bar; 14 Feb 2012

It was the great Bob Marley in his song “No woman, no cry” who sang the world famous lyrics: “In this great future you can’t forget your past”. A phrase, testament to the fact that in this constantly evolving wonderful world, a thorough understanding of the past is essential in navigating the future.

Chikwado Raphael Ezeokafor, my father…my dad, knowing that, and inspired by several other autobiographies birthed this book you now have in your hands at the ripe old age of 77. Those who know him like I do would not at all be surprised, being a man with a knack for documenting and analyzing every single step of his life, every blessed day.

A quite amusing but at the same time invaluable trait. A trait which I have grown to greatly appreciate as being amongst the later issues of his offspring born in two batches-a decade apart, this body of work is an excellent historical tool for my young mind as can ever be.

This book is also an invaluable tool for any reader, as a dig through its pages teaches the lesson that hard work pays. And that success is inevitably the end result when opportunity/luck meets preparation.

It chronicles the life of “The Ambassador” as he is affectionately called as he struggles despite all odds to get an education, rides on the back of his scholarliness surviving the Biafran war all the way to a job in the Nigerian Civil Service and is eventually singled out to work internationally rendering over a decade of service to the Nigerian High Commission London-UK and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Uganda.  Topping it all with a call to the Nigerian Bar at over 70 years of age.

I highly recommend this autobiography and hope it inspires, particularly my countrymen Nigeria in these perilous times of ours and motivates who ever reads it for excellence such that in our old age we would also have such great stories to pass across to the generation ahead.

Much peace, love and respect as always.

Tochukwu R. Ezeokafor
(Trae Zeeofor/@trae_z)
Benue State, Nigeria
November 2015

Nigerian Driving License Renewal/Re-Issue; the practical experience

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This piece is particularly meant for people renewing (DL expired) or getting a re-issue (DL missing) of their driving license. For fresh applicants you just might have to bow to the Nigerian God.

Most times in this country of ours things are never what they seem … no thanks to graft. And thus one can sadly often not prepare for a task based simply on laid down guide lines. I pen this thus to give a realistic view of what happens nowadays when one attempts to renew or get a re-Issue of his/her Nigerian Driving License. I do this drawing from my experiences getting a re-issue in 2012 at Osogbo, Osun State and a renewal in 2015 at Mabushi, FCT Abuja.

Having good relational skills aside the only two prerequisites you need to attempt this task are 1) Open your head 2) open your computer. Yes, use your brain and familiarize yourself with website of the body in charge. Ensure you understand the guidelines (https://www.nigeriadriverslicence.org/), fulfill all and ask questions where you don’t (google any difficulties-nothing is new under the sun, ask friends who’ve done such before and ask officials if you know any). These things are actually much easier than we think; the process has been refined severally towards perfection that you really don’t need a middleman. Learn to do-it-yourself or you may end up being the frustrated Nigerian who goes abroad to find out there are no maids and that he’s condemned to use a map and his mobile phone to navigate his way around. I applied and got my passport on my own in 2008; for visas and college admission this rule still applies.

The Nigerian Driving License costs only N6,350. But due to ignorance a lot of people end up paying almost twice the amount going through middlemen. And yet there is no significant difference in time spent processing. The only actual additional cost doing it yourself is that you may end up giving a little tip here or there (N200, N500) just to get the officials to DO THEIR JOB! Nigeria we hail thee! The process is so automated that “runs” is only possible before the capture stage. Once you’ve reached the capture stage you’re home and dry.

                                                                    Re-issue
1] I had to get a police report or court affidavit showing my driving license was missing. I chose the courts. The payment for the stamping is suppose to be at the bank into government coffers but trust the corrupt clerk to claim bank confirmation takes weeks and to insist you pay directly to her.
2] Fill the form on the website and pay online or at the bank. Easy; I made payment using my bank debit card and printed out the necessary confirmation.
3] Get the Board of Internal Revenue to give you confirmatory receipt. Not so difficult, just had to wait a little for the staff in question to be on her seat back from whatever duty (official or not) she went for.
4] Get the VIO (Vehicle Inspection officer) to certify you fit for driving. Easy; the guy asked a few Highway Code questions and signed my form expecting me to shake body. I smiled, thanked him and went on my way.
5] Presented myself and necessary forms for capture. Given an appointment date and 30 days after that I picked up the original.

                                                                    Renewal
1] Filled the form on the website and paid using my bank debit card. Made sure to print out the necessary confirmation.
2] Went to the VIO office at Mabushi to enquire about Board of Internal Revenue receipts confirmation. VIO officer told me to first come forward for testing instead. Tried to cower me into fear by dazzling me with Highway Code questions but after finding out I had already made payment and thus graft impossible he signed my papers and asked for a N500 tip instead.
3] Presented myself for capture the next day, given temporal driving license and told to check back in 60 days for permanent. I hear you can text “NDL STATUS LICENSE-NUMBER” to 33811 to confirm readiness. LICENSE-NUMBER being your actual license number; in my case something like BWX1234XX5.


N/B:
From the Federal Road Safety Corps Facebook page these are the officials steps to take towards drivers licence renewal and obtaining a new driver’s licence:

Drivers License Renewal
STEP 1: Apply online at https://www.nigeriadriverslicence.org, print out the form after filling the required fields and also print out the payment form
Step 2: Pay the License fee online or at the Designated Bank
Step 3: Present your form to the Board of internal Revenue Officer or VIO at the DLC for endorsement
Step 4: Proceed to the Federal Road Safety Corps Officer at the DLC for Biometric Data Capturing
Step 5: You will be given a temporary drivers license that is valid for 60 days

Obtaining New Driver’s License
Step 1: Attend training at accredited driving school
Step 2: The Driving school will present you to the VIO for driving test
Step 3: Pass the driving test and the VIO will issue you a Certificate of Proficiency
Step 4: Apply in person at Driver's License Centre (DLC)
Step 5: Pay the License fee online or at the Designated Banks
Step 6: Present your form to the Board of internal Revenue Officer or VIO at the DLC for endorsement
Step 7: Proceed to the Federal Road Safety Corps Officer at the DLC for Biometric Data Capturing
Step 8: You will be given a temporary drivers license that is valid for 60 days.

On a personal high

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So yesterday evening I somehow found myself at the Dunamis International Gospel Centre. And after all said and done I can't but stand with Karl Marx that religion is the opium of the masses. It's a really strong drug that mammoth of Nigerians are addicted to. A drug which in itself does nothing for the society but to take the inhaler on a personal high. It's a drug people go to extremes to get their daily dosage of, even if it means shoving and fighting each other to get into the auditorium. People just want to be "in his presence", sing, speak in tongues and shit. And when service is over it's back to the rat race. Government workers, politicians and everybody else shortchanging the system, yet still wondering why Nigeria's not working, and playing the American Visa Lottery like our lives depended on it.

Nigeria we truly hail thee!


Through the trees for the wood

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Preface: “Wood for the trees” as an idiom means not seeing the big picture (woods…aka forest) because you pay so much attention to the little details (trees). Barzini was probably right in quoting the opposite “the trees for the wood” as it implies seeing through the big picture/Western propaganda to understand the little detail that matters, how Western powers are innocuously using brain psychology to make us believe Africa is doomed and salvation comes only from the white man’s intervention.




Like the world of virtual reality goes Sylvester Bane Barzini was but my Facebook friend. We had about ten mutual friends between us and so he cropped up while looking for cool people to connect with. Had all the qualities I liked in the online crowd of people I positioned myself to associate with: great sense of humour, intelligence and originality in ideas. And so I sent the friend request in October, he accepted and the rest was history.

Wouldn’t be eulogizing this but for the fact that he just passed, having failed to recover following a supposed terrible road accident a week or so ago while on the job. Remembering my own very similar ordeal in July 2012 and how being God’s son I pulled through, I sigh. It’s a horrible, horrible thing when the good and interesting are gone too soon. More so being he just got married over a month ago it’s even crazier; my condolences to his loved ones. Barzini I pour libation to the gods on your behalf; thanks for everything, see you on the other side while I remember our last Facebook contact from January 27th:

Trae Zeeofor:
Re: The macabre sex chamber of Libya's Colonel Gaddafi Uncovered; where he raped girls and boys as young as 14

In honesty I took the article with a pinch of salt. Could very well be true as absolute power corrupts absolutely. But I'm quite sure the whole story carries much more allegations than fact. And that the whole stuff has just being blown out of proportion in the way Oyibos like to do; painting Africans black and keeping mute on their own atrocities.

Read in between the lines. It's Gaddafi today, it could be any other African leader past or present tomorrow. But in the eyes of Oyibo's, all Western leaders past and present are angels.

Down with colonialism and media control. Up with Afrocentrism; let's learn to love our own!

Sylvester Bane Barzini:
You see through the trees for the wood brother. Many Africans decide to obliterate their mental faculties for the calumny of western propaganda.
Colonel Gaddafi (may his soul rest in peace) was summarily executed but that was fair trade for the West. Their treachery has turned a once peaceful State into an enclave for terrorist, rather than question their wicked deeds they seek to push the limits of sanity by digging into the past of a man they assassinated in his homeland.
I found the piece sullenly vindictive and without place in the land of humans.
A time cometh, when the tragedy would be at the doorstep of every foreign soul that conspired to throw that African state into anarchy. A time comes.... and it comes soon. It would wake them in the morning and cover them when they sleep at dusk.

Usernames and passwords; a personal history

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So my mind went wandering (as its’ naturally want to do) as I was jamming and doing my laundry Saturday morning, and I tried to take stock of the various online aliases and passwords I’ve used in my life’s journey through the internet high way. In the end twas a sweet reminisce which eventually led me making new decisions. Below though is the reminisce reproduced in print just for the fun of it.

The first 5 variables are passwords used, with only the base word of the password given. Actual password used is usually a corrupt alteration.  The remaining 5 variables are usernames, with only the first 3 letters given. The rest are asterisked for security reasons, lols. Top marks to you if able to guess correctly.

lovemedo
This was actually my first password ever. Chosen back in 2001 in my first or second year at the University when the internet bug finally reached Nsukka. Love me do was the title of a song by The Beatles. Back then I was a skinny little 17 or 18 year old with delayed puberty who didn’t have many friends. One of the things I liked to do in my spare time was go to the Nnamdi Azikiwe Library (as it was in its’ old form behind the present building) and read up books on sociology, psychology or the arts. Which back then consisted largely of old books from 70s, 80s and 90s America/Europe.  It was during one of such visits I took an interest in the Beatles whom I had heard of as a child, read up a lot of their memorabilia. So when password choice time came I wanted something personal to me and lovemedo it was cos back then I really just wanted to be loved.

1enugu1
This has become my standard initial password used (lest I forget) before changing to something else when a firm decision is reached. I think it started on my first job when instructed by the IT guy Yinka to choose a number and letter password combination I went with the familiar. Enugu, the State I schooled in at University, and the 1 at the front and back to make it harder to guess. Lols.

shakaraINC
Madonna was the only other girl ever I had made a firm choice about and would have married at the drop of a hat. Met her at work in Makurdi in 2008 and kept on and off on her case through Jos, Abuja and the South West up until 2012. I finally dropped out of the chase when the “she’s just not into you” message finally sunk in. Shorty got married last year to some other lucky guy though. Shakara because of the challenge it was to me which in its’ whole form was heavy an institution like “Murder INC” was when Ja Rule ruled the hip hop air waves.

illbliss
This was chosen as my first portable Wi-Fi hotspot password in 2012 when I went totally Android mad. Illbliss because the semantics is just totally cool in a Hip Hop sense. And Illbliss because the Nigerian rapper who goes by the moniker is an Igbo brother whose flow I totally respect and feel.

liquiddeep
This is my present day Wi-Fi hotspot password. Top hats to you if you find yourself surfing beside me when I’m on my phone or laptop. Liquiddeep because I totally adore the South African band and isha Allah will have them play their hit track “still” at my wedding.

Sal*****
We used to have Tom and Jerry, The Two Mouseketeers episode as a child which I loved watching. Towards the end of the episode after Tom is executed, Nibbles (Jerry’s nephew) exclaims in French: "C'est la guerre", meaning “that’s war”. This username was my interpretation of the spelling of that phrase. A phrase I was very fond of quoting as a child while playing with friends.

Sor*****
This username also goes back to my first or second year at the university. My roommate then Chike used to have this Sony CD player, which was the student rave of the moment at that period. And it so happened then that Wyclef Jean’s “guantanamera” was one of the favourite tracks we loved playing on repeat. Wyclef’s love interest in the song goes “Soy una mujer, sincera” which in Spanish means “I am a sincere woman” to which Wyclef responds “Do you speak English”? This username was my roommate Chike’s attempt at mimicking “Soy una mujer, sincera” which became a common alias we started referring to ourselves as at the time.

Nwo******
This one was pure vendetta like shit. The Facebook moniker of some fake ass dude who cramped my hustle a few years ago. The moniker, in my opinion a funkifysation of an Igbo name. A funkifysation I found very cool and eventually found myself using. I also used this as a password at some time.

Kwa******
This one came about from my first visit to Kano. An impromptu unexpected life lesson learning visit. It’s a combination of two words. One the Hausa word for an Islamic rite, and the other the Hausa word for a common fast food up North. This name packs so much meaning to me and is a constant reminder of times past.

Ken*******
This word was born in my consciousness at the end of the Westgate shopping mall attack in Kenya, September 2013. When the Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta addressed the press. Such eloquence, clear thought, calmness, passion and charisma won me over totally and got me wishing I could feel such pride in our own president, Goodluck Jonathan for even a day, **sighs and resigns to fate**.

A beautiful story

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Giving the toast

So I had my first ever best man gig yesterday. Would have been the second but for my car accident last year (Long story short: broke my leg in July, missed out on the wedding in November). Twas my immediate elder brother's (Ebele) wedding; twas fun and I think I pretty much performed my duties satisfactorily. Here's the skeletal of my toast speech presented below to add to the body of work already available on the subject matter; hehehe. Smoothly scripting it over the weeks to deadline, but despite that still immensely grateful to my big sis Cle for chipping in a bunch of suggestions that polished off the work.

-Good day every one; you could be anywhere in the world today but you’re here with us; thank you for making this happen.

-My name is Tochukwu, a lot of you know me as Trae; I’m the younger brother to Ebele.

-There’s a popular saying about chess; that it takes a day to learn, but a lifetime to master! Trust me on that! I learnt to play chess over 10 years ago but my play today is still very much like a beginner. This can be compared to relationships and marriage. Like chess you could meet someone new today and fall in love in a couple of hours, butterflies in your stomach and all what not. But for you to decide that you want to spend the rest of your life with the person requires months of getting to know and understand each other just like with chess. So I’m glad ladies and gentlemen that this is what we’re seeing today with Andrea and Ebele after about three years. Theirs like their program brochure is themed has been “a beautiful story”.

-One great thing about Ebele is that he has always been a dependable fellow and someone you can always count on. There are numerous times while growing up that he has been there for me in many ways than one. I remembered being flat broke and knocked out in Jos some years back and he coming to my rescue to pay my rent. Ebele is simply reliable! Likewise Andrea is a very good hearted and likeable person, and I’ve always felt that way right from the first day I knew her. Together they’re two of the best people I’ve ever known.

-On that note I'll like us to raise our glasses to the bride and groom. Andrea and Ebele these are my wishes for you, and I’m sure in doing so I speak the mind of everyone here. Wishing you prosperity, a lifetime of happiness, lot of babies and may this your beautiful story be ever alive. To the bride and the groom!!!


With the little bride

Moment of clarity

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The closing words here of Techcabal’s Bankole Oluwafemi inspired this:

“PS: I don’t care about how many people I’m following, and hardly unfollow people because I stopped reading my timeline a long time ago. Created an ultra curated list for my sanity ages ago.”

1. If we love ourselves we must kill our inner narcissism. Following so many people so they can follow you back and you can grow your followers list… #TeamFollowBack things is so not cool. Really what does it profit you to follow so many people on Twitter yet at the end being scared of reading your own timeline?

2. I don’t want to have to go secondary and use lists just to enjoy Twitter. It's like downloading an app to get the best out of your mobile phone battery instead of going all out to get a phone with great battery life from start. Like the alpha male would say "what’s the point of marrying a wife when there’s no food on the table at the close of work and you still have to subject yourself to eating out on the regular"? Go for the best from the start so you don’t have to force yourself to adapt to mediocrity.

3. On social media I don’t do the follow back shit. I let it be my prerogative alone to choose my friends. Fake things (not being real to oneself) to me are having like over 1,000 Facebook friends, over 500 connections on LinkedIn, following over 500 on Twitter etc. I don’t make friends for making sake…or to grow my digits. If I dig you on social media (want to call you my friend) I want to be able to get a steady stream of your thoughts on a regular basis and be happy while doing so. Truth is, time is money and in this internet age we really need to embrace those habits which will help us guard our sanity and prevent information overload.

4. Real recognize real and the sooner we start to understand that the better for us. Like they say bull shit might get you to the top but it won’t keep you there. Real staying power or popularity on social media is not dubious; it’s saying or doing stuff that makes sense to others.

5. If your excuse is that you’re popular you still don’t have to let your fans overwhelm you. On Facebook for one you could activate the subscriber feature, accepting only people you consider your friends and letting all others be subscribers. Plus for private stuff you could limit the view of such posts to only friends and all other stuff to the public or friends of friends as the case may be.

Eventually, nothing surprises you

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So I spent some time in the police station last week and at the end of the episode I just shook my head and wept dry tears for my Country Nigeria. The whole place stunk of corruption; and the sad part was that it was seemingly impossible to distance one’s self once you stayed affiliated. It was a total disgrace and reminded me of all the reasons I hated my country.

As Tim Newman the British expatriate who recently completed a job stint over here said in his article -The End Of An Assignment In Nigeria- “The corruption, theft, and graft can take many forms...the list is literally endless. There is no beginning or end to corruption in Nigeria, it is a permanent fixture...You name the scam, it is being done in Nigeria. Eventually, nothing surprises you.”

Nothing truly surprises anymore.

-From the Yar’adua Part 2 drama series playing out in Taraba staring Danbaba Suntai.
-To friends and associates celebrating in absentia in Delta State UK-jailed convicted criminal James Ibori’s birthday.
-To the ignorant Rivers State lawmaker Evans Bipi calling his unlearned colleague Mrs. Patience Jonathan his “Jesus Christ on earth".
-To the hypocritical Governor of Plateau State Jonah Jang claiming electoral victory despite polling 16 votes as against his opponent’s 19.

All these phenomena, fanatical Christian youths are want to term “end time things”.

In the midst of the madness what has always kept me sane is clinging to any sense of intelligence and reason. A development that might have adversely affected my social and work life as I don’t go beyond acquaintances in many cases and keep my circle of friends compact in the virtual Facebook world and in reality. Little wonder I stuck to my guns and went all out becoming the only voter that casted a ballot for Ibrahim Shekarau at my polling unit during the last presidential elections in 2011.

I constantly get lost in the world wide web and on occasions when I stream clips of past leaders like Odumegwu Ojukwu, Johnson Aguiyi-Ironsi, Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. etc. feeling the raw intellect hit me and comparing with our present day Ogas-at-the-top like the NSCDC’s Shem Obafaiye I get enraged at the now prevailing mediocrity. The difference is akin to comparing night to day. That’s why I fantasize that if I should ever orchestrate a coup these are the following policy decisions I will immediately implement:

1) Free and compulsory education up until SSS3 for all children. Education is the stepping stone we need to get kicking in the third world and any Guardian whose ward(s) are found to be going against this decree will be immediately jailed.

2) Making queuing/lining up sacrosanct. Possibly it’s poverty fucking with our minds but our people (…when in Nigeria) have lost all sense of decorum and transfer same to our kids. From sharing food at weddings up until buying kerosene at the filling stations. When I’m Head of State everyone must compulsorily form queues and line up. Everything must be done on a first-come-first-served basis. Going against that earns you jail time and community service instantly.

3) Entrenching a culture of merit. All employments must be deserved and man-know-man influences immediately eradicated. Application fees for employment into government jobs; State of Origin and Federal Character policy immediately cancelled. Federal Character will be considered only for deployment (of resources) and not for (work) engagement. Also on the road of return to civilian rule consensus candidature and godfatherism will be eliminated as public debates for aspiring politicians will become compulsory under a system of one-man-one-vote.

4) Starting a Two Child population control policy akin to China’s. This is self-explanatory. We need to make much better use of our human resources.

5) Immediate ban on State sponsoring of religious pilgrimages. Government expenses must be of immediate benefit. If self-actualization for you is only found overseas then you should put your money where your mouth is and sponsor the trip to Mecca, Jerusalem, India or Syria yourself.

6) Strict execution of our secular state ideals. Reason and rationale will be the only grounds for formulating laws. So cases akin to permitting child marriages on religious grounds will never arise. Opening and closing prayers at government functions will also be frowned upon. It’s like we have substituted our brains as a people in exchange for a book of Bible stories or its’ equivalent. Our conscience must be nurtured by reason…always!

7) Cost cutting in government expenses. This will be of very high priority as salaries of legislators and office holders will be drastically cut while salaries of men of the armed forces will be increased to raise work morale. Consequently banning of check points and reorienting their minds away from bribe collection will also be done. Perpetuators of revenue leakages (kickbacks etc.) will also be decisively dealt with as a secret shopper system will be set up and any offender will immediately forfeit such ill-gotten wealth to the State. Finally all agencies with duplication of functions will be merged into one. Example: The Police, FRSC and Civil Defence will become one entity. Many special advisor roles will become deprecated as well as many groups, societies, associations, and unions by executive fiat etc.

8) Entrenchment of tenancy laws. Possibly because we are our own government providing many basic needs/amenities ourselves the rent is too damn high! And so we’re living a dog–eat-dog world (especially in places like Abuja), moving about in a vicious cycle. But in my reign a policy akin to the Lagos State Tenancy Law will be drafted, assented to and vigorously implemented. Offenders forfeiting their property to the State for a period of 5 years!

Ada Chinedu

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Ada Chinedu once upon a time ... Circa 1990

Lost my eldest sister… “Ada Chinedu” as Dad liked to call her on July 30th

Had a seizure and passed away, though she hadn’t been too strong these past few years.

Always was a quiet one, even prior to ill health, not asking for much but giving out a lot when she could.

True she had been occasionally erratic during the same period but one can only function so well at half strength.

Unlike my mum, I feel so bad our last interactions weren’t the most pleasant of memories. Couldn’t give her a ride on July 6th when I briefly visited ABJ. I was raised and self-taught to be extremely great at lending a helping hand (…what more to one of the same blood); and that has never departed me. My hands were tied then…forgive me.

I’m immensely grateful to her for her enormous contribution to my minding amongst a million other stuff. Wouldn’t be me today if she didn’t play her bit.

Thanks for everything; see you on the other side. Adios!

With Chinedu at the Vom Christian Hospital in Jos where she was for a while in 2010.