May 30, 2012

Nigeria’s Democracy at 13

When Time Magazine included General Olusegun Obasanjo as one of the persons that shaped 1999, it was an outcome of his victory at the polls to become the democratic President of the world’s largest black nation after a difficult period of struggle against military rule that lasted for more than a decade and half.

Obasanjo, though an accomplished military General, was involved in the struggle against military rule leading to his arrest and incarceration by the military regime of late General Sani Abacha in 1995. His struggle and tribulation during the era of Abacha was rewarded by a victory in 1999. As the new President, he declared May 29th as Democracy Day. On May 29th Nigeria again celebrated the 13th anniversary of Nigeria’s new democracy that held a lot of promises to the people in 1999 at its dawn. It is only natural to take stock to see the progress that has been made within the period.

The most developed nations on earth are nations that were built on a foundation of democracy, freedom and justice. Looking at those nations as proofs of the gains democracy can bring, Nigerians placed a lot of expectations of the good democracy can bring. Thirteen years after the journey, Nigerians are of the opinion that the new era has not lived up to their expectations. They have thought Nigeria will begin to close the gap between it and those models of democracy. Thirteen years after, the gap only seems to have widened. Most persons that should give account of how the resource of national time and money that have been spent so far insist that the democracy is still an infant from which nothing much should be expected.

Bamanga Tukur, the National Chairman of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in his anniversary message said the PDP has remained in power wining election after election because of the people’s acceptance of its leadership. President Goodluck Jonathan in his anniversary speech made further promises and went on to rename the University of Lagos as MKO Abiola University something that did not go down well with students of the institution who came out immediately to begin demonstration. Late Abiola is a well respected figure in the South-Western part of the country where the PDP has failed to establish a strong hold. The interpretation is that he was trying to buy the political conscience of the people of the region in preparation for the 2015 elections that rumors say he still wishes to contest against promises made to persuade northern political class whose turn it was to produce a president within the period starting from 2007 to 2015. Former President Obasanjo blamed the National Assembly who he referred to as ‘rogues and armed robbers’ for the failures of Nigerian democracy. President Jonathan in trying to defend his administration noted that his administration did not create the problems it is working to fix.

There is no doubt that the progress brought by democracy in other nations where not a result of luck. It is just that those nations recognize that democracy is not flawless and the players need to be cautious to ensure they play by the rule. Had Nigerian politicians played by the rule in the last thirteen years, there is no doubt that Nigerians would have had reasons to smile. It was former UN Secretary-General, Boutros-Boutros Ghali who said that democracy does not begin and end with the polls. Rather what happens at the polls is just the beginning and in the course of the journey care should be taken to ensure that all arms of the government truly remain independent. If Nigeria were to achieve just this in the first two years of our democracy and then sustain it, which would have amounted to a huge gain of democracy because once that is achieved all other things should fall in place with ease. The government would not have had to scavenge for what to present as proof of its good application of democracy.

The result of modest performance according to Nigerians is the failure of the government to provide just basic needs such as water, electricity, good school, satisfactory health care and the general improvement of the standard of living of ordinary Nigerians.

Normally, elected leaders should be able to think deep to understand what the problems of a nation are prior to mounting the seat of power or even aspiring for leadership. My secondary school teacher of history use to say, ‘understanding a question is part of the solution.’ Had the administration understood well enough the problems of the nation, the story would have been different. A critical part of the life of the nation that should have been given the desired attention, for instance, is the judiciary. During the long period of military rule, the judiciary suffered neglect and it was a first huge mistake for the administration not to have noticed that reforming it was the right step for an administration that truly wanted to reform a nation. According to Barrister Solomon Dalong, an attorney who also lectures at the faculty of Law at the University of Jos, a huge portion of the blame for the sad situation of the Nigerian judiciary should be placed at the doorstep of the executive arm of government for constantly rocking the boat of the judiciary to enable it to perpetrate illegality. This is in addition to the poor funding of the judiciary, he says. Dalong likened the judiciary to a pyramid whose base suffers as a result of what goes on at the top. To a lesser degree he says, members of The Bar have played their roles in throwing the judiciary into the huge and filthy ditch in which it has found itself. He said that in Nigeria, some members of the bar has put money high and above professionalism thereby polluting the pure waters of justice by unnecessarily working to delay and frustrate the delivery of justice in situations where they are aware of the guilt of the person they are defending. The police, according to him, cannot exempt itself of blame as far as the comatose state in which the Nigerian judiciary has found itself. The police sometimes deliberately fail to present a suspect in court against the instruction of judge as doing so will hurt their own personal and selfish interest. That is not to mention the police’s insistence of payment of bailing fee in a country where the constitution provides that bail of a suspect from the custody of the police shall be free. At times police deliberately keep a suspect in custody even for months just to allow time for his relations to raise the money for his bailing, even in cases where the detained person may be innocent. Sometimes the police even detain people just to give the society the impression that they are working. All these challenges are judicial issues that an emerging nation must tackle to demonstrate that it is indeed willing to remake itself.

Critics of the powers that ruled during thirteen years of democratic rule blame the series of administrations within the period for taking for granted the need for an alternative source of revenue to supplement oil revenue and make more money available for state governments to carry out development programs. Agriculture, tourism and solid minerals development are areas that should have been taken seriously to generate the additional revenue and create the desperately needed jobs for the unemployed that are now reacting with extremely bitter consequences. In the last thirteen years, attempts have been made to exploit the huge economic potential in these sectors but no meaningful success has been recorded.

Education is another critical area that needs the attention of leaders who sincerely understand that the nation had retrogressed and the reversal of the ugly trend is the motivating factor that pushed them into politics. Good leaders should be able to understand that education is the only means that can change a mentality with the potential to hold a nation in the mire and if we must move away from the stagnation then education must be given its due recognition and treated as such. The history of neglect of education in Nigeria dates back to the early eighties and the trend has only gotten worse as the years roll by. The last thirteen years opened a new chapter in the neglect of the sector as it is during this period that wealthy and influential Nigerians started the culture of educating their children in other countries. This is an implication that hope has been lost on the possibility of good education in Nigeria. The sad thing is that even our leaders see it as a culture of the rich and influential for which they cannot be left behind. Some of the destination countries are even smaller and poorer nations of Africa. A good government that is committed to rebuilding its nation should be able to see beyond obstacles and able to overcome the urge to join trends that will hurt the nation.

Nigeria in the last thirteen years has grown to become more corrupt compared to the level of corruption prior to the coming of democracy. According to OPEC, Nigeria’s oil export in 2011 contributed 87% of total revenue for that year. The implication of this is that the Nigerian budget was largely based on oil revenues. This has been the case since the oil sector became fully developed in the seventies. In May 1999, when Nigeria’s reigning democracy was born, the price per liter of crude oil was $15.22 per barrel. As at April 30th 2012, a barrel of crude oil sold for $118.66 per barrel representing an increase of 679.63%. Despite this, children in Nigerian cities often go to school late due to time wasted in search of water, especially during the dry seasons. During the last thirteen years, the frequency of industrial actions has risen remarkably demonstrating that the period has been the least productive with lots of man- hours lost. Electric power supply has not improved, the trains are still not moving and so on and so forth. While the provision of social amenities has been unsatisfactory within the period, there have been a corresponding increase in cases of corruption within the same period that could explain the drain into which the staggering oil revenue generated within the period has been lost. Some of the most recent include the corruption case in connection with the stealing of pension funds where one of the suspect was found to have hidden N2 billion in his house, the oil subsidy scandal, the recent sentencing of the ex-governor of Delta State, James Ibori to thirteen years imprisonment in Britain over cases for which he was discharged by a law court in Nigeria. Other cases in the past are the Patricia Ette’s case in the National Assembly, the Police Pension Fund case, the $16 billion USD meant for the improvement of electricity supply during the Obasanjo administration. This is just to mention a few.

Thirteen years of civilian regime in Nigeria has worked to entrench a culture of violence that started during the clamor for the implementation of Sharia law in Northern Nigeria early within the period to the Niger Delta crisis, ethno-religious violence in the central part of the country and terrorism also in the north. Most of these can be tied to expression of frustration over the cycle of failure of the administration.

The ordinary man in the street of Nigeria has his own criteria for the appraisal of the progress made or otherwise within the period of active practice of democracy. Food prices have only gone higher, the streets have not become as brilliant as the ones they see on TV and the Super Eagles of Nigeria have continued to descend in FIFA rankings.

May 27, 2012

Security and Life Pattern in Jos

If you have been away from Jos in the last seven years at least, you will be astonished with the degree with which the poor security situation in the country has reshaped life in the city. Previously the major security challenge in Nigeria had been due, largely, to activities of armed bandits. The emergence of militias in the Niger Delta and their modes of operation which involves the kidnap of ‘lucrative’ victims in return for monetary compensation from their family or the oil companies they work for, led criminal gangs to realize that kidnapping is a far better option to making money than outright robbery. Thus kidnapping replaced armed robbery as a major security concern in the country. The next security challenge that emerged after kidnapping is linked to ethno-religious conflicts in many parts of the country. Then came Boko Haram that started by fighting members of the Nigerian Police Force, then other Muslims who don’t buy their idea of Islam, then government agents and finally the general public. In Jos, security issues had centered mainly on ethno-religious fighting. With the gradual spread of the activities of Boko Haram fundamentalist Muslims to other parts of Nigeria however, it has became obvious that the activities of this religious fundamentalists has become a second security issue in Jos where several incidences of bomb attacks have been recorded.
The conflict in Jos has led to segregation of Christians and Muslims in residential areas, markets and schools. Above all, there exists a strong absence of trust among members of these two religious groups. As the activities of Boko Haram gradually spread from the North-Eastern part of the country, where it originated, to other parts of the country, it has affected life in Jos too. While ethnic and religious conflicts have often led to the deployment of Joint Task Forces (JTF) who mount roadblocks on the highways, the fear of surprise attacks by Boko Haram members have modified the nature of the security check points erected along the roads. At the roadblocks currently, protective walls made by piling up sand bags are very common. The walls narrow the road compelling motorists to drive slowly and causing long traffic queues. You are not a patient man, you cannot drive in Jos especially during late hours when people are coming back from their offices.
Since Boko Haram members are known to make their quick get-away on motorbikes after launching attacks, police have come up with an order mandating all riders of motorbikes and their passengers to disembark and push their bikes with the engines shut down at such roadblocks. If you are coming to town and unaware of this new rule, you will be greatly astonished if not frightened by the large population of persons dragging motorbikes with passengers trekking along with them at certain locations.
The poor security situation has led to worsening poverty in Jos too. Due to incessant security problems in Jos-North, Jos-South, Riyom and Barkin Ladi Local Government Areas, President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state-of-emergency in the areas. What the public don’t understand however, is the refusal of the Federal Government to release monthly subventions these are entitled to since the declaration. The result is that nothing happens in these local councils of the affected local government areas. If you are a staff of any of these councils, you have to find money elsewhere to take care of yourself.
The fear of Boko Haram, has led to the closure roads leading to churches with huge stones on Sundays. Once these roads are closed, you can never use them until the worships are over. Church members are also mandated to park their vehicles far away from the church location and finishing the completing the journey to church on foot. On a humorous note, this could be said to have worked against persons who come to church merely to show off the expensive vehicles they own. The directive coming from the state security council followed the third incidence of congregational attacks within five months by persons claiming to be Boko Haram members in Jos. Armed soldiers are also posted to major church premises while Sunday church services last.
Commercial vehicles in Jos are often apprehensive of loading their vehicles with goods fearing that some may contain concealed explosive materials.
After second bomb incidence at football viewing centers, police have also banned football viewing centers in the city.
At banks, people have to be inspected thoroughly before getting in and bags must be placed very far away from the buildings.
The presence of members of the JTF has affected the manner of delivery of justice in Jos with bitter consequences. Members of the public who are fed up with Nigeria’s often distrustful and unsatisfying path to justice have resorted to engaging members of the JTF to settle disagreements that are usually centered on money. Recently, a soldier beat up a culprit to death. The victim was reported to the soldier by his own sibling. When irate youths tried to react, the soldier opened fire in self-defense, killing more persons.
Huge gatherings especially in late hours are seldom common in Jos these days as they could provide the right atmosphere for the killing of many, using explosive materials. Thus the status of the Jos Township Stadium and Polo Field as host venues for huge gatherings has also changed.
It is sad to see how the lifestyle in Jos is changing. It is the beginning and many fear how it will end, whether pleasant or otherwise especially seeing how the federal government has demonstrated gross incompetence at handling the security problem across the nation as a whole.

May 14, 2012

Jos: Business Momentum Grows

With the exception of night attacks in some villages in Barkin Ladi and Riyom Local Government Areas of Plateau State recently, it could be said that there has been a long a period of peace in Plateau State. People seem tired of fighting. It is the reason why they would not want violent incidences in remote villages to disrupt their activities in the cities. The result is that normal life is returning, paving the way for normal businesses to return as they had been before fighting got to the peak.
Businesses grow only where there are huge populations of people that interact freely. The conflict in Jos has worked to polarize the people along ethnic and religious boundaries. At the peak of fighting, the populations of the diverse religions have moved to live in separate suburbs. What that means is that Hausas who are predominantly Muslims will conduct businesses only among themselves while the other tribes that form the bulk of the Christian population will conduct businesses only among themselves.
The main occupation of Hausas is trading. They depend on the patronage of large Christian population in Jos for their businesses to thrive. As a result lack of interaction between the two religions in Jos makes Hausa businesses to suffer reverses. Since there are certain commodities such as cattle that are supplied mainly by Hausas, the implication is that if there is no interaction between the two sides, only a limited supply of meat will be available to the Christians leading to high prices of the product. This scenario hurts business badly in the city.
In the town of Bukuru in Jos South, the gravity of conflict was so grave that Christians opted out of the common market in the heart of Bukuru to establish a ‘Christian’ market in Gyel, one of the mainly Christians suburbs surrounding Bukuru town. The only option left for the Hausas is to find a way of reaching the Christian markets. The long period of peace has made it possible for some Hausa traders to begin to re-establish contact with their Christian customers by daring into the predominantly Christian markets.
It is at one such market that I met Mohammed Alhaji Ado Mai Doya. He was born in the town of Bukuru and started meat selling in 2004. As a result, the series of conflicts that followed affected his business and those of other Hausas so badly that the only option left for them is either to flee the state or to find a way of reviving their businesses by reaching the Christians. Mallam Mai Doya said that it is important for all traders to come back to a common market as it has been since experience has shown that the idea of separate markets is not good for the progress of business in the town. Furthermore, he said there is the need for the authorities to work hard to ensure that fighting does not recur as it is the single reason why the progress recorded will be lost again. Part of the reason why fighting keeps reoccurring is the fact that you don’t see offenders getting punished, he says. He is therefore calling on the government to work hard to ensure that people are punished when they start problems that lead to the escalation of fighting in the city.

Jos: Keke NAPEP Finally Comes

On Thursday May 11, the Plateau State Government introduced tricycles as a means of township transportation in Jos and Bukuru towns to replace commercial bikes known as Okadas.
This is despite a strong opposition from Okada riders and the passengers they carry. The argument that has been made against the ban on Okada business in Plateau State has been that it has held back the urge of the youths to join criminality in addition to making the lives of ordinary people easy. It was the argument that motivated the government to start looking for alternative means of empowering the youths which will, at the same time, serve the transport needs of the people that led to the idea of tricycles. The tricycles are given as loans to be paid back monthly installments at banks. The riders then take full ownership of the tricycles. As part of this scheme, the government had about two months earlier, released 500 taxi cabs.
Another argument that has been made against the replacement of Okada bikes was whether any substitute the government will bring would be as universal and affordable to the commuters as Okada has been. No one knows the exact population of Okada bikes within Jos and Bukuru towns but it is believed that they run into scores of thousands. With the release of the 500 tricycles however, a lot of people are becoming convinced that they will be able to satisfy the demands of passengers as you hardly walk along the road without seeing them passing. Since one tricycle carries a maximum of three passengers, perhaps an additional 500 more would finally suffice. Purchasing these additional tricycles should not be a problem to the government since the cost of purchase will eventually be paid by whoever is purchasing it.
In terms of affordability, there don’t seem to be any problem going by how much I was charged when I rode on one. As I matter of fact, I was able to save N10 from what I would have paid on Okada.
While I rode on the tricycle, I was able to gauge the reaction of people along the road. The tricycles seem so novel to people as they watched with conspicuous show of acceptance on their faces. Some even waved.
Commercials motorcycles, known as Okada, which the government intends to replace, started commuting in Lagos in the 1980s when its convenience in beating the notorious Lagos traffic congestion became obvious. Gradually, young unemployed persons came to see the ease of using it as a source of income. It then spread to other parts of the country, becoming a culture.
With time the business of Okada riding gradually built for itself a bad reputation. Most of its riders are seen as outlaws and junkies who are reckless on the road, causing accidents that maim a lot of people. When Nasiru El Rufai became the Minister of Abuja in 2003 and decided he was going to reorganize the city to reflect its original master plan, Okada with its appalling reputation was considered a misfit for an international city like the dreamed Abuja. Thus the business of Okada was banned in Nigeria for the first time in Abuja. Gradually other states started banning the business, citing criminal reasons as a motive behind their actions. The indication that Plateau State Government may ban Okada business became obvious in 2008, when the State Governor Jonah David Jang made a suggestion indicating he would have loved to ban the business during a press conference. Eventually cases of Boko Haram members using bikes to get away after killing their victims compounded the already mucky reputation of Okada riders. In Jos, bomb attacks by Boko Haram fieldmen on Christian congregations on Sundays started paving the way for the final ban of Okada in Jos. The government built the momentum towards actualizing this by banning their operations on festive holidays like New Years, Easter, etc. Eventually it announced Okada will be replaced by tricycles called Keke NAPEP (National Poverty Eradication Programme bikes). On Friday May 11, the state government distributed 500 tricycles to former Okada riders. The government had made similar pronouncements in the past without the success of enforcement but the coming of the tricycles might give the government the moral justification to finally stamp Okadas on the streets of Jos.

May 12, 2012

Groundnut Oil Versus Petrol Oil in Nigeria

Argument in Favor of Agriculture
Statistics in Nigeria show the northern part of the country to be the poorest Sokoto State, in the North -West with 71.5 % compared with the poor in the South- West with recording 59 %. This is despite the fact that for more than forty years since Nigeria’s independence from Britain, the country was ruled by people from that region. Successive governors of the nineteen northern states have often been blamed for the trailing and embarrassing economic status of the region too. Critics of these governors say that the governors are only interested in the power and glamour of their offices and since there is oil money to sustain these attractions, the governors have always shown lack of interest in anything else.
According to these critics, people of a larger area of these regions are traditionally farmers and traders. It is the reason why the governors ought to direct the momentum of their administrations in the area of agriculture. Furthermore, they argue that up to about 70% of the land within the region are arable lands that have remained fallow since creation.
In a recent debate organized by the BBC Hausa recently, advocate of agriculture as a panacea to economic emancipation and poverty alleviation in the region, outlined numerous international agricultural institutions that have shown interest in joining hands with the governments of these regions towards the development of its agricultural potential. The administrations, according to the discussants, remained adamant despite the willingness of these institutions to pay up to 85% of the financial commitments involved.
The discussants who strongly favored agricultural investments as a solution to the region’s economic woes and its aftermath demonstrated the advantage of relying on agriculture over reliance on petroleum products by comparing the financial implications of producing a liter of groundnut oil and a liter of petrol fuel. According to them, investing in agriculture does not cost the nation the type of overhead cost involved in bringing oil sector expatriates and the equipments they bring with them. The process of petroleum development, according to them, starts from exploration to appraisal, drilling, production, laying of distribution pipes to refining and marketing, all of which lead to huge overhead cost for the nation. On the other hand, they argue, the process of development of agro-oil eg groundnut oil which the region has produced before the oil boom, needs local manpower using local technology, leading to minimal overhead cost. At the end of the day, a liter of petrol oil costs N97 ($ 0.65) while a liter of groundnut oil costs about N150 (~$ 1.00) showing that investment in agriculture has more economic benefits to the nation than investing in the petroleum sector. At this point, one may also add that agro-oil is renewable and is safe to the environment while petroleum products aren’t.
However, the truth about the economic woes of the north cannot be totally placed at the doorsteps of successive regional governments. Some of the problems that have held the north in its economic quagmire find their origins in cultural practices of the people of the north that is always in collision with western civilization and its dynamism. Education, for instance, suffers from comparatively lower enrolments in the region than elsewhere in Nigeria. Since most girls must marry at age 13 or there about, a limit is placed on the progress they can make in education. The age of 13 allows one to have at most basic education which in Nigeria is an impediment when one considers the competition brought about by the southern region of the country. Education is however, very fundamental to agricultural development. It is true education that the best agricultural practices leading to high educational yield can be achieved. The governments of the region understand that a modest educational development for the region is never good for its people and have been trying to improve this through a number of ways. It is in the north that governments have come out with free feeding in schools to encourage school enrolments.

May 10, 2012

Rashidi Yekini: A Nigerian Superstar of Many Sides

Yekini
The evening of Saturday 5th was one of mixed feelings for me. I came home at about 7 PM local time and immediately tuned to BBC World Sports, knowing that my favorite football club Chelsea will be playing in the English FA Club finals. I received one bad news and one pleasant one that evening. The first was the news from the sports show that Chelsea had won the English FA Cup finals. Later in the same programme, the BBC journalist who anchored the show Russell Fuller broke the news of the death of Nigeria’s most accomplished scorer, Rashidi Yakini, who died the previous day.

Yakini was a Nigeria footballer who rose to the summit in the local league in Nigeria and abroad but also in the National Football team, the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

Football is referred to as a beautiful game. The Nigerian style of football plays this beauty up more evidently and explains why Nigeria football, like the sun, has universal visibility. At the international level, Nigerian football especially the senior male team, the Super Eagles may have been recording reverse fortunes in the last decade and half with a drought of trophies; it has nonetheless remained classical in terms of its ability to sustain its attractive playing pattern. Rashidi Yakini was one man who played up this attractive football quality remarkably. The effervescence in a football stadium comes when there is a goal. Yakini was the most consistent goal scorer in the history of Nigerian football. He was so skilful that he jogged with the ball while on the run with the world’s best defenders pursuing him. My most memorable moment of Yakini in the field of play was strangely in a match that ended in a scoreless draw. It was a match against the Pharaohs of Egypt in Tunisia 94. At that unforgettable moment, he received the ball with his head in mid-air, controlling it to his chest, lap and taking the shot that sent the ball flying like a rocket and colliding with the post. This caused panic among the opponents in the field, the stands and at home. It takes skill, courage and experience to do this knowing that defenders are pursuing you.

The other memorable moment of Rashidi Yakini in the field of play was undoubtedly when Nigeria scored its first goal at the World Cup in USA 94. The spectacle of Rashidi Yakini clutching and shaking the net was one that became popular around the world, demonstrating that it was not only memorable to Nigerians but all football fans as well. Before USA 94, Nigeria had tried over the decades to play at the World Cup to no avail. The feeling that got into the minds of Nigerians after this long period of frustration was that perhaps nations that went to the World Cup and even scored goals had something Nigeria and its footballers did not have. That first goal changed that feeling in the minds of Nigerians. That goal made Yakini to realize that there is nothing previous World Cup scorers had that he didn’t have. He was world class after all. That was the motivating factor behind that kind of goal celebration at the Bulgarian goal post.

Besides remembering Yakini for his role in the development of Nigerian football and the entertainment and pride he brought to Nigerians, the star will also be remembered for his outstanding humility. He was a Muslim and lived up to its teaching that adherents should live modest lives. It is also a big lesson for many Nigerians to learn from. He chose to drive a modest 505 Peugeot car in contrast to the ostentatious cars his contemporaries preferred. Daniel Amokachi was, for instance, said to own a private jet with which he flew around the world. On completion of his career abroad, he came back to Nigeria and played with local clubs that included Julius Berger and Gateway football clubs, something that is rare among Nigerians footballers. I remembered how the stadium was field to the brim when Julius Berger, featuring Yakini, honored an away fixture at the Rwang Pam Township Stadium in Jos, demonstrating that the turnout at the numerous stadia across the country could be improved upon if Europe-based footballers choose to exhaust their last trace of gas at the domestic league.

It is a general belief that without football, Nigeria would have disintegrated into shreds. Yakini played a mountainous role in Nigerian football and is the reason why there should be a huge statue of him standing somewhere in Abuja.

Wande Cole Misses a Goldmine

Wande Cole
Wande Cole is that Nigerian music artist and an affiliate of Mohits clique that sang the song bumper to bumper. He is a protégé of D’banj and Don Jazzy, the pioneers of Mohits clique. His music has wide acceptability in Nigeria and beyond. He has made quite a number of songs, one of which is ten-ten.
Ten-ten is actually the subject of this article of mine. Of all the songs that Wande Cole has made, ten-ten is the single most important song that has refused to go off my mind because of a certain peculiarity in it.
The beauty of the world’s pop music is its diversity in the sense that global music is made up of many different genres. Some of the greatest genres are becoming extinct. If we must sustain the beauty of the world’s popular music, then we must continue to invent new styles of music.
What makes a style of music outstanding as to become a visible genre recognized by music fans? A style of music is outstanding when there are patterns or cultures that have become part of the identity of the music exclusively. During the formative years of Soul Music in the US and Reggae in Jamaica, Nigerians where not left out as Juju and Highlife were being invented in Nigeria concurrently. Juju and Highlife also became popular around the world as these other foreign styles did, selling Nigerian cultures from the southwest and southeast of the country respectively. There was also the big one, Afro-beat, invented singlehandedly by the late Fela “Anikulakpo” Kuti.
Since Juju, Highlife and Afro-beat, music inventors in Nigeria seem to have gone to sleep. All we hear is Afro-hip hop and Afro-reggae. Nigerians will be able to create an impact if what is created is head-over-heels home-made and original.
The song ten-ten by Wande Cole as said in the preceding parts of this piece of article, seem so peculiar that it can easily would have formed a lead to a new style of music. All that Wande Cole would have to do is to make a whole album in which the songs have similar patterns to that of ten-ten.
 It is not late.

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How Grilled Meat Became Suya

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