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Monthly Archives: October 2014

PROPOSED OKADA BAN, A COMEDY OF ERRORS

The proposed ban of commercial motorcycle (A.K.A Okada or Achaba) by National Council on Transport and subsequent endorsement by the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, is comedic and laughable.

It is irritating that those who ride customised public-funded jeeps seem to be so divorced from reality. Have they considered those living in city cul-de-sacks, out-of-nowhere villages and hamlets, forgotten, muddy and unpassable township roads? Every city in Nigeria – Abuja, Lagos and Port-Harcourt inclusive – have roads that are straight from hell.

I was in Lagos two months ago and regretted venturing into Akute area (an oscillation between Lagos and Ogun States). What I experience was unspeakable. The best form of transportation in that area is motorcycle. I saw tricycles that got stuck.

It is funny when people wake up on the wrong side of the bed to formulate anti-people policies. Construct access roads everywhere, repair bad ones, then you can ban motorcycles, and even tricycles.

Millions of Nigerians get to their destinations – offices, shops, schools, etc. today because of the access to Okada. Removing that will exacerbate their sufferings.

Thousands, if not millions, live on income from the same Okada. And many of these are graduates who resorted to Okada riding because of lack of job. It may be banned from major roads as is the case in Lagos; outright ban would create more problems.

Subjecting the hitherto poor and hapless Nigerians to further hardships is inhuman. The government should first provide necessary facilities and not formulate Machiavellian policies.

Femi Olabisi twits @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2014 in Opinion

 

NIGERIA’S 54TH ‘DEPENDENCE’ ANNIVERSARY!

Nigeria Flag gif

Nigeria don’t deserve Independence Anniversary!

I woke up today with barrage of messages on my phone, Twitter, BBM and Facebook, all from friends, families, subordinates, colleagues, financial institutions, etc. all wishing me Happy Independence Anniversary. Yes, today is Nigeria’s 54th Independence Day.

I replied most of these messages out of obligation. I don’t feel there is anything independent about Nigeria. I have witnessed over thirty of this so-called Independence Day. But what I have noticed is Nigeria’s steady descent into dependence rather than independence.

In fact, I don’t see why Nigerians cannot violate the norm. I don’t see why we cannot roll out the drums to celebrate ‘Dependence Anniversary’. We are a unique nation; it would just be one of our litanies of elevating the absurd.

Why we should celebrate ‘Dependence Anniversary’:

1. Nigerians depend of private power generators for electricity.
2. We depend on private security to secure our lives, homes, businesses, offices, etc.
3. We depend on foreign countries to secure innocent girls abducted by Boko-Haram terrorists. ‪#‎BringBackOurGirls‬
4. We depend on private water bore-hole and well water.
5. We depend on mechanics daily since our roads not only kill but damage our cars as well.
6. The nouveau riches depend on private universities or seek education abroad due to incessant strikes.
7. We depend on lunching and jungle justice because our police lack modern policing gadgets and are ineffective.
8. We depend on Civilian JTF to fight terrorists in Borno State because our military operate with pre-independence armoury and cannot match Boko-Haram’s.
8. We resign our fates to God since getting justice in our courts is always infinitely long and frustrating.
9. Etc.

We get ripped off daily by banks via ATM charges and SMS alerts, mobile network operators, power generation companies, insanely corrupt and kleptomaniac politicians, illegal police check-points and detention, military harassment, etc., yet we say we are free?

Let us roll out the drums to celebrate our litany of woes.
It is time to celebrate our ‘Dependence Anniversary’.

Femi Olabisi twits @Femiolas

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in Opinion

 
 
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