trae_z has left the building



Technically I’ve not yet made my exit but by Tuesday September 5th I should be off to the Benue State orientation camp for my one year youth service (National Youth Service Corp-NYSC 2006 Batch B).

A while back I used to be excited about the service thing. I had done my home work on what to expect and I was more than ready to go. But now I’m kind of far from enthusiastic. Minus the three weeks orientation camp fun, the shakara you get to do with your khaki and the little privilege and respect bestowed on you as a corper the scheme is basically a continuation of your suffering while in the university. (NYSC = Now Your Suffering Continues). Especially for us guys. We’re to spend one year working our butts off while collecting peanuts as salaries. The word “cheap labour” comes to mind right?

Anyways I’ve learnt that it’s all in the mind so I’ll try and proceed with a positive spirit. Hope to get to know more about the country, contribute my own part to nation building, make some new friends, grab some happy hours and make that money. I don’t know how the cyber situation will be in camp so I can’t say if I’ll still be regular online. But while i'm away you know the drill: say your prayers, brush your teeth and keep the peace ;). By the way where’re the good people of Benue State at? You know the number, holla at your boy.

My bro who'll also be serving designed this website for NYSC Bida zone (Niger state). Check, check, check it out. I don waka, peace!

Hey Beyoncé, wanna sleep in my T-shirt? My dad owns Nasir Yakubu Shipping Company you know :)

Julius Aghahowa and victimized Nigeria


Category: ,

When life fails you be sure that your football team will follow suit. Famous words made known to me by Mr Soccer for Suckers. But now I’m experiencing a pain of another kind; the pain of seeing your favourite player being gradually phased out from your national team. In my case Julius Aghahowa being the player and the Super Eagles of Nigeria being the team. Aghahowa’s name wasn’t included in the team list for the Nigeria-Niger Ghana2008 Nations Cup qualifier to be played in Abuja on September 2nd. Coach Eguavoen doesn’t seem to like him or to be political correct thinks his time is up. But this is made all the more painful by the fact that Obafemi Martins has been getting an undeserved starting shirt in the last few games the Eagles have played. I know that it’s the normal sequence for most players (You know there’s always a time to rise and shine and a time to bow out. At your peak you’re boy-wonder but than months or years down the line you’re doing a lot of training but no playing and it goes down hill from there) but I just can’t seem to get over it. I’ve loved Aghahowa since his Nigeria’99 days; he grew on me probably because he dons my favourite number: 17. But no doubt about it the guy delivers. No other Eagle since let’s say 2000 has made a career out of scoring when it matters and scoring really crucial goals! Evidence abounds: the Nigeria-Senegal game in 2000, the Nigeria-Sweden game in 2002, and the Nigeria-Gabon game in 2005 to name but a few. That’s why he’ll be remembered for years to come.

By the way big ups to our Under-20 girls doing us proud at the ongoing FIFA tournament in Russia. The last minute win against Canada was sweet! Beautiful goals, beautiful and feminine girls for a change, plaited hair which allowed ease of play, “youthful looks”…what else can I say? Bring the damn cup home girls!

This article by Aba Boy and the comment flow in it between Chxta and Errata motivated me to go on this roll. Minus the fact that we speak the same language with the US and England (thus we’re more in each others business) our large population of over 120 million people is the other major reason that adds to our being easily victimised (given a bad name) as a nation.

Let me break it down for you. A large population = a greater chance of a richer economy = more importance on a global scale = foreign influx and citizen out flux = more international media local headquarters = more news time = more bad press. I mean when last did you hear a story about Equatorial Guinea? There’s more: as a parent when are you more likely to get a call to report to the station that your child is in police custody; when you have two kids or when you have seven kids? When you have seven. You guess correctly.

But it’s a pity that as Nigerians ourselves we’ve allowed the negativity to possess us. I saw a C-class celebrity, a guy from the Star Trek Talent Hunt Show performing on TV with a live band. I was naturally happy for him but I was gob smacked when I realised he was a Fela wannabe doing some Nigeria-bad-this-our-leaders-corrupt-that rhymeless, uninspiring singing. Don’t get me wrong he’s free to do that and he’s speaking the truth to an extent but when it reaches a level that you hit out at the nation solely to blow up and to score cheap points as being a conscious artist then something’s wrong. In the same vein when one makes a career out of seeing only the negative than something must also be wrong. A bad story, oh goody-goody something to blog about, a good story oh boring not blog worthy. I know a few bloggers like that. They’re good but too damn one-sided. I eat up their shit light heartedly and balance it with other info if not I’ll end up a pessimist.

Nigerian Presidential election/candidates 2007: my two kobos



We’re nearing election time in Nigeria. And so in the spirit of the season I’ve drawn up a list, made up of people who to the best of my knowledge have declared for the presidency, those I think are serious contenders for the presidency and those who in my opinion are worthy to hold the highest office in the land. The analysis and opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone and are based on what I know about the people in my list. The criteria I used in ranking are 1) charisma, 2) eloquence, 3) intellect, 4) accomplishment, 5) political experience, and 6) election success possibilities. The ranking is in descending order of worthiness and voting possibilities. By voting possibilities I mean the chances of me casting a vote for them at the polls. Yep I voted in the 2003 elections. On that note let’s rumble!

D = Declared. Those who have declared their intention to run for the presidency
ND = Not Declared. Those who have not declared their intention to run for the presidency
WVF = Won’t Vote For. Those that you won’t catch me voting for

1 – Nasir El Rufai (ND)
Presently the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, El Rufai has done very well in office and has made Abuja a much better and orderly place to live in. Although in the course of his work he has also rendered thousands homeless and jobless, something his opponents are quick to point out. But in a place like Nigeria an attempt to restore order unavoidable means you’ll step on toes and make some unfortunate people suffer. All in all the man is intelligent, hardworking and eloquent and would make a really good president. Besides he’s familiar in political circles and in the media so he’s good to go.

2 - Dora Akunyili (ND)
Presently the Director General of NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) Dora Akunyili is a blessing to the nation and a wonderful worker indeed. Rendering the magic she did in NAFDAC to the whole nation would be fantastic. No doubt about it she’s presently the most popular female in the country; she’s brave, bold, upright, intelligent, a feminist’ dream come true and indeed a great material for the presidency.

3- Donald Duke (ND)
Presently the Governor of Cross River State the Youngman is charming but more importantly has done an excellent job in his state environmentally and tourism wise. Donald Duke has a sort of clean slate and has not involved himself in the religious or North-South bullshit that possesses a lot of Nigerian politicians. Of the thirty six governors in the country he’s most suited to the presidency in my opinion.

4 – Orji Uzor Kalu (D)
For reasons best known to President Obasanjo, Governor of Abia State: Orji Uzor Kalu has been seriously victimized in the life of this administration and I’m really bought over by his courage. In these days of EFCC swoop if he’s really bad why then has he not being brought down. Take nothing away from him the man has done well in office scoring major points in sports (football) promotion and has good business acumen. He’s one of the major Ndigbo leaders and the most realistic option for Igbo presidency. But unfortunately outside of the South East he might struggle for votes.

5 - Peter Odili (D)
If you’re talking of Governors in the good books of the president, Peter Odili Governor of Rivers state will be amongst the first names. He’s in the media a lot and seems to have done well in office. But some other people will tell you that the phrase “all that glitters is not gold” aptly applies to him. Nonetheless in these days of pro South-South presidency he’s the forefront contender.

6 – Buba Marwa (D)
Retired Brigadier-General Buba Marwa who hails from the North but did very well as Military Administrator (in the military years. Equivalent to Governor) of Lagos State is one to be taken serious with in the presidential race. Presently an astute businessman (although it seems he benefited from the years of military financial misrule) he’ll make a really good consensus candidate. If he gets the blessings of the kingmakers he could really sweep the polls.

7 - Jerry Gana (D)
Before Femi Fani-kayode and Frank Nweke Junior there was Jerry Gana. The man who people say is a Chameleon has survived many administrations as a high political office holder. Presently he proclaims he’s born again and uses it as one of the core points of his campaign. Personally i'd say he’s not such a bad choice for president and as a Northern Christian who is popular in the media he stands quite a good chance at the polls.

8 - Pat Utomi (D)
Pat Utomi is the Director of the Lagos business school and one of the heads in Nigerian economic circles. But me thinks he’s dull, lacks charisma and is the greatest enemy to his own current affairs TV program: Patito’s Gang. He shouldn’t dream politics and is better off continuing in his present career. But if you go by opinions in the other school of thought he’s a gem whose brains is needed in the administration of the country.

9- Chris Okotie (D)
The greatest if not only quality of Reverend Chris Okotie is that he’s a man of God and so will rule the country in a God fearing and upright way. But his opponents say he’s more of a businessman then a pastor. Currently and in the near future he has no realistic hope (especially in the Muslim North who might be uncomfortable with him) of being president but he relentlessly pursues his goal (he stood for the elections in 2003).

10 - Rochas Okorocha (D)
The only thing that can be said about Rochas Okorocha is that he’s a Youngman with money to spend. His campaign strategy is centered on the fact that he’s a philanthropist (which is in no doubt). Maybe if elected the national cake will be distributed more evenly and the poor would get a better share.

11 – Abubakar Atiku (D, WVF)
Abubakar Atiku is the current Vice President but unfortunately is not in good terms with the President. Thus he faces an uphill task in his quest to step into his boss’ shoes. He’s also receiving heat from some section of the public who seem to hate him. In my opinion much of the hate is unjustifiable. But on his part he made little use of his opportunity as Vice President achievement-wise. His only notable accomplishment to date is that he was anti-third term and thus gave a lot of people courage to oppose Obasanjo’s sinister moves. He won’t likely run on the platform of the PDP and he won’t likely win on the platform of any other party.

12- Ahmed Sani Yerima (D, WVF)
Ahmed Sani Yerima is the Governor of Zamfara State and the foremost crusader for the Sharia legal system in Nigeria. An attribute which has made him the most Popular (popular as in everyone knows him) Governor from the North. There’s little else to say about him except that his presidential ambition will not be fruitful because he’ll get little or no support from the South.

13 – Bashir Tofa (D, WVF)
Bashir Tofa was M.K.O. Abiola’s opponent in the June 12 1993 presidential elections. Not much has been heard from him since then. And I don’t know where he suddenly woke up from but I think it’s in his best interest (financially) if he goes back to sleep.

14 – Muhammadu Buhari (WVF)
Retired Major General Muhammadu Buhari is a former Head of State whose years in power were not at all wonderful. He’s also a known hardcore Muslim, an aspect which will work seriously against him in the South. He contested against the incumbent President in the 2003 elections, using the late Chuba Okadigbo (his running mate) as back up to see to his dreams. Personally I think he should quit bitching about his defeat and do something else with his life. He’s not worthy to be president at all

15 – Ibrahim Babangida (WVF)
Retired General Ibrahim Babangida a.k.a Maradona or The Evil Genius is a former head of state that’s famous for annulling the results of the June 12 1993 presidential elections. To this day he has refused to apologize or explain his actions and is thus unforgivable. A man who calls off a widely free and fair electoral process has no moral right to stand for elections in another one. Besides when he was in power he didn’t do much. His only friends in the media and in the public are the sycophants and the easily gullible and I don’t think he’ll declare for the presidency as a lot of people say he will.

Who rules the country come 2007? Your guess is as good as mine.

Extra: An animation inspired by this post.

Cocoyam Republic


Category: , ,

You must have heard about The Vatican, Neverland and the Kalakuta Republic. But it’s time to forget them all. Today I present to you the Cassava Republic…sorry I mean the Cocoyam Republic. It’s the land of the Wondering Wanderers nonetheless it’s not a place; it’s a state of mind. On this maiden tour of the Cocoyam Republic we’ll be exploring the issues of Orientation, Power shift and what to do when your company sucks.

I’ve always wanted to talk about this issue but the time was never right, but now it is. I’m really annoyed that no one ever took time out to orientate a brother, teach a kid a few things. In primary school quiet as I was I was always drafted into the debate team or one group or another. Little man as at then didn’t wholly grasp the relevance of a debate. Torturous as it was I went through all them stuff to make people happy. In my senior secondary years the words on people’s lips were JAMB UME and priesthood. Didn’t know what the heck JAMB UME was about nor did I understand the next line of action in the other lane: priesthood. How then did they expect a Youngman to have a purpose in life? I got to know the koko about JAMB UME in my final year and I’m still learning about the priesthood path. On to the university nobody properly schooled me on the course registration system or the result computation bureaucratic dynamics. Had to learn from my mistakes and some of them sure were costly. Sex education; forget it. The first time I heard the word sex from my parents was after secondary school when my Pops told me that I should be careful, because now if I "touched" a girl I could get her pregnant. Looking at all this someone might say I should not have been shy, that I should have asked questions and that way people would not have made assumptions. But my brother in this country children are to be seen and not heard. It’s not as easy as it seems. Presently most of the stuff I know is because I’m naturally inquisitive. The Internet has done a lot to feed my brain. People please take two and pass (teach someone). Life’s too short already; don’t make it worse for someone by letting them live in ignorance (ignorance which they’ll grow up to regret).

In these sharing of the national cake and rotational presidency days I wonder what’s up with hardcore power shift people. Don’t get me wrong power shift is a good thing; it lets a country get the best of both worlds at different times and it makes everyone happy. If fighting for South East presidency or for governorship to come to the North Central zone of a state it’s ok with me if you’re fighting because you know you’ve got a suitable leader to lead the country/state. But in reality most people are not fighting because they feel they’ve got the right leader, they’re fighting because they want a share of the national cake. Well politics is a dirty game so I guess it’s all good. But the part that really sucks is when I see a common man who has no links with any politician (Such that if an Hausa man, or a man from his town or Fidel Castro comes into power life will still be the same for him, he’ll still collect the same old poor salary) raising his voice and arguing loudly for power to come to a man from his place. Well what can I say, Nigerians love to talk politics.

Have you ever been in a situation where you know that the company you work for sucks? And to make it successful some staff would have to be done away with and fresh minds recruited. But the thing is that you’re in good terms with those that you think should be sacked and you wouldn’t want to see them out of their jobs. Plus when you go out and your company is being talked about on reflex you defend it/prop it. But in your heart you know the company sucks and that your competitors are way ahead of the game. Worse still you wish you were working elsewhere but you can’t leave because you’ve got no where to go. Ever been in such a situation? What did you do or what would you do?

The Cocoyam’s all in the mind baby, it’s all in the mind.