15 Apr 2015

TOLUWANIMI LAZARUS, THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA

LAZARUS TOLUWANIMI
S.S.3
QUEEN’S SCHOOL, IBADAN

THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA
Nigeria, a land of the good and bad is a land with an abundance of human and natural resources. All of her wealth has however landed her nowhere simply because it is suffering from the chronic disease of bad leadership. With the 2015 elections swiftly approaching, political parties in the country have conducted primaries to choose their flag-bearers who would vie for political posts. With the two major parties, the People’s Democratic Party (P.D.P.) and the All People’s Congress (A.P.C) fielding Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and General Muhammadu Buhari respectively as presidential candidates, there is little doubt that Nigerians will think twice before voting.


I firmly believe that General Muhammadu Buhari is the round peg that fits the round hole of Nigeria’s topmost leadership post – the presidency.
General Muhammadu Buhari who was the military Head of State between 31, December 1983 and 27, August 1985 was a no-nonsense leader with zero tolerance for corruption. He condoned no acts of misdemeanor by government officials. Nigeria is currently riddled with corruption which has been growing in leaps and bounds. Buhari, with his deputy, Tunde Idiagbon created the War Against Indiscipline (W.A.I).


W.A.I has been sustained with Thursdays set aside to observe it with environmental sanitation, Nigeria is now a better place.


In addition, General Muhammadu Buhari is the only former Head-of-State who stole no money from the government purse. Nigeria’s leaders are undoubtedly world-notorious for embezzling funds, demanding bribes and inflating the amount of money needed to execute contracts. Most of them go for medical treatment in world-renowned hospitals, buy choice property, drive posh cars, eat expensive dishes and purchase state-of-art household equipment. Buhari is the only Nigerian former leader who does not own a house in Lagos, the nation’s business nerve-center. To crown it all, he has only two houses. What an extraordinary exception!        
Furthermore, Buhari’s experience as a soldier and general in the army is enough evidence that he is capable of combating the surge in national security. The Boko Haram sect is no doubt one of the most ruthless terrorist groups in the world. Showering innocent Nigerians with sorrow and fear is its sole aim. Nigerians believe that having a leader with prior military experience is a panacea for the national challenge of insecurity. Buhari surely knows the military strategies to employ to end the massacre of innocent Nigerians. Bomb blasts have become a part of the daily news. Kidnapping, rape and arson are the order of the day. This is another reason to vote for Buhari as president simply because he is the man for the job.


Godfatherism, an evil thriving in Nigeria is of no value to Buhari. Only weak and foolish leaders have godfathers or godmothers. In a recent interview, Dele Momodu, owner of Ovation Magazine said that Nigerians have been brainwashed into thinking having a godfather is one of the tickets to political success. This is sadly true but Buhari can stand on his own two feet without any pot-bellied man backing him. This evidently shows that Buhari is a visionary and purposeful leader.   


Coupled with his high sense of integrity is his age. Though many people say he is too old for the post, an old man is the right choice for the presidency. An old man would not take rash or hasty decisions. This will help Nigeria a lot in these perilous times. How can a man who did not steal while he was young learn to start stealing as a septuagenarian?  


If Nigeria’s twin troubles are exterminated, Nigeria will change for the better. Corruption and insecurity are the two monsters waging war against our progress. The man to lead this war is General Muhammadu Buhari. The Chibok girls are still bound in captivity and people are dying. The educational institutions are no longer safe. People in the North sleep with one eye open and the other shut tightly in terror. Buhari is from the North and legally handing him the reins of power through our votes is giving him the authority to stamp out the evil Boko Haram sect.


In conclusion, I am totally convinced that General Muhammadu Buhari is the Moses that will lead Nigeria to our Canaan, the promised land overflowing with the milk of peace and the noney of money.

13 Apr 2015

MUSTAPHA ADEFILA, THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA

Name: Mustapha Adefila Opeyemi
School: Diadem college


THE BEST ALTERNATIVE FOR THE NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN NIGERIA


Due to some history i have heard from both my parents and other people about general mohammedu Buhari’s tenure when he was ruling Nigeria and some of what I have noticed in the past 5 years. I think General Muhammad Buhari would be the best option for the next presidential election because of some reasons stated below;


         I. His former tenure in 1985, General Buhari first tenure has the president of Nigeria during the military regime was a peaceful one which made Nigeria a very peaceful country though it was a military regime.


       II. His personality in the Northern part of Nigeria, General Buhari is a very popular and well known person. And he is known as a cheer giver, helping the poor feeding them are things he does for them and this made him highly respected by them because they believe in his trustworthiness.


     III.  His presence in a good political party: The political party he stays or participate in is also a factor because APC is a very good political party which are becoming popular nowadays because of the good work they are doing and their patriotism while PDP are been hated and are their only well known viral.


    IV.  The absence of a better competitor: General Buhari is the best option because none of his competitor are better than he is. So therefore, there is a possibility of his winning.
But due to some factors which might hinder him from becoming the president will be discussed below;
  1. His ruling in 1985: General Mohammedu Buhari government in 1985 was a 20 month tenure i.e it lasted for only 20 months. This government was overthrown by a bloodless military coup led by army chief of staff Gen. Ibrahim Babangida and other top-ranking officers.


This coup was Nigeria’s sixth in 25 years of independence did not radically alter the composition of government but it modified it structure. After the coup Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was named president.
But during Gen. Buhari’s tenure there was a public execution by firing squad on April 10 of three persons convicted of cocaine possession.


       II. His background: General Buhari was born on December 17, 1942 which means he is 71 years old and he is a retired Major General in the Nigerian Army. He also was a military ruler of Nigeria from December 31st, 1983 to August 27th, 1985. His ethnic background is Fulani and his belief or faith i.e religion is islam. He is a native of Daura in Katsina.
Our present president, president Ebele Goodluck Jonathan would have been a better choice but because of these problem which will be mentioned below he is not the best choice;
         I.The removal of fuel subsidy: on the 1st day of January 2012 President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan removed subsidy. After a lot of protest and some killings President Jonathan still refuses to reduce the price of fuel this made a lot of Nigerians angry and furious. But later in the year he reduced the price to N100 form N140.


       II. His lack of concern to the country’s problem: President Goodluck Jonathan has been acting less concern about the country’s problem lately. The kidnapping of the chibok girls, the killing and bombing of states city, and so on by the sect Boko Haram has not been attended to which is a sign of insecurity of Nigeria.

     III. The political fight he caused in the house of assembly: Last 3 weeks, on a Monday morning, the president told the police to block the senate president from entering the house of assembly and he also rejected an offer sent to him by the house of assembly. This made people, I mean a lot of people hate the political party called PDP which might affect the president.

10 Apr 2015

VICTOR SALABIU, THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF NIGERIA (ESSAY COMPETITION)

SALABIU VICTOR
S.S. 2
BRILLIANT STARS COLLEGE
The next president of Nigeria, what do you expect from the next president of Nigeria. It is an indisputable fact that Nigeria is a very big and blessed country, but it is a shame that countries that are not as endowed as we are more developed than we are due to the fact that we have dishonest and selfish leaders.

In this coming election, the person I would love to win the election is not a Muslim, a Christian or a traditionalist, what we need now in Nigeria is a God fearing, honest and loyal president. An altruistic president. I want the coming president to provide security. We want to live in a country where we would live in safety and not fear that we will get bombed or attacked by armed robbers. I’m sorry to say this but Nigeria has turned out to be like a ‘jungle.’ The northern part of the country is no longer safe. People have been rendered homeless, lost family members; Poverty rules over there now because people are afraid to carryout their daily activities like farming, buying and selling, etc. the Chibok girls have been found till date. We keep hearing different stories from the government. Their parents are hopeless. If this girls have not been found till elections, I’d love the Chibok girls to be the first item of the president’s agenda. Government needs to curb the issue of armed robbery in this country because it’s rising at a very high pace.

I want and I believe every Nigerian also want a government that would provide clean pipe-borne water for the nation. In other countries like the Gambia, people don’t need to buy water to drink. There is clean water that run throughout the country. People don’t have to spend money that they should be using for something else, to buy water. You hardly see a compound without a well or two and we see this as normal. It is really bad. Nigeria is more than that. We have all what it takes to have clean water.

Another thing that is our problem in Nigeria is electricity. It is very sad that with all the resources we have in Nigeria, we’re still leaving in the dark. You got to some areas and they’ll tell you that they haven’t had power for a month or even more than that. The government are indirectly impoverishing the citizens, because ‘light’ and ‘water’ are very vital to human life. People generate power for themselves by buying generators and at the end of the month, they still pay bills, which is very unfair. Fuel prizes rises everyday, people have to buy fuel to generate power. There’s air pollution in the country because every compound has up to three generators or more and the smoke and voice these generators make is really bad for our health. The next president should really work on this.

All the former presidents and governors have promised us good roads, others tried their best and others didn’t, but its high time that we have good and quality roads. Most of our business depends on good roads. Farmers for instance need to transport their farm produce for distribution, but most of them have been bankrupted because of the poor state of the roads. Travelling has also been hindered because of our roads. There are certain areas that are completely worse, they have very bad roads. One thing that the government fails to see is that indirectly, this also has a negative impact on them because some of them also run their own private business. We need a government that will take action and not a government that procrastinates.

Another thing that is making us large behind and the next president needs to act on is ‘employment.’ There is a very high rate of unemployment in Nigeria. It saddens me to see graduates sitting around doing nothing or doing works that are not fit for them. Everyday the government officials tells us that they’ve provided jobs and yet still people are unemployed. We just keep hearing figures but it’s like it has nothing to do with us. The Nigerian youths are unhappy because they’re not been catered for by their government. The families expect them to take up responsibilities but how can they do so when there are few or no job opportunities. The next president has to understand that in order to curb the issues of insecurity and armed robbery the youths have to be engaged in something meaningful and genuine. It is said that “an idle mind is the devils workshop.” When they’re tired of going to interviews and nothing comes out of it, they turn to the next thing available. They end up stealing and join terrorist groups just because they want to have a daily meal. A lot of families depends on these youths as their bread-winner and since the government doesn't care for them they look for the next alternative. The president empower youths by investing more into farming and other things. These youths are the Nigeria’s tomorrow.        

I want the next president to make sure that the policy of the Rule of Law is practiced to the core, without this we will go no where in this country. I seen and heard of several cases where the rich oppresses the poor and weak and when the case is taken to court, it takes forever. There is no equality before the law and it seems some people are above the law in this country. Some rich people children kill and go against the law but because of their status and wealth, the case is swept under the carpet, which is injustice. There is high level of favoritism and tribalism. The something applies to employment. The poor children suffer to before raising money for school fees and after studying with good qualifications but job are only offered to the rich children. Even gaining admission into federal universities is another issue. It is hard to gain admission into universities without having good relationship with the top university officials even if you meet up with all the requirements. The Nigerian government are really frustrating us the citizens.

Finally, we Nigerians are sick and tired of corruption that has turned out to be an everyday thing. Corruption has grown deeply inside us Nigerians that it is very hard for one to achieve anything without being corrupt. People believe so much in bribery and corruption. People in charge of pensioners money, bribe their members and use the money meant to pay the pensioners and nobody is taken to book. We just hear about it and that’s where it ends. Government officials spend public money and nothing is done about it, but when a poor citizen is accused of stealing a small amount or accused of something trivial, they are given long term sentences or even killed. There is so much injustice going on and I’d love the next president to try as much as possible to reduce the rate of corruption by removing corrupt officials.
The president should also endeavor to make sure his officials follow up on their policies and actions because the government’s efforts won’t be recognized if the people that are assigned to do it, don’t carry out the works and they’re not questioned. The government may have been providing jobs and funding certain sectors but if the people assigned to carry them out don’t carry them out and only satisfy their own selfish interests, the people won’t know how much the government has been doing.

It is not like we are asking too much from the government but these are basic things that the presidents ought to do. I hope the next president look critically into these points named above and does something about them for these are the things that will make Nigeria the true Giant of Africa and will make us Nigerians to be very proud to be called NIGERIANS.

8 Apr 2015

We Have A New President.



NIGERIA HAS A NEW PRESIDENT

On Tuesday the thirty first of March, the Chairman of the National Independent Electoral Commission announced the results of the Presidential election conducted on the twenty eighth and twenty ninth of March, Nigeria had successfully transitioned from one democratically elected government to another, General Muhammadu Buhari of the opposition party had won the election with an overwhelming  two million votes over the incumbent president. Dr Goodluck Ebelemo Jonathan.
This brings to a close a hotly contested election that was fraught with worry and fear for the future of Nigeria and a race in which for the first time since Nigeria attained democracy in 1999 there was no clear favourite to win the election. The elections this year was radically different because of three things, the advent of social media and its wide reaching impact on information dissemination and as a platform for concerned citizens to cross geopolitical, ethnic and religious boundaries to form a viable, self policing community bent on ensuring the election race was made as transparent and accountable as possible. It also was changed by the wide spread education that marked the entire process. All across the board efforts were made to educate the citizenry about their rights and their duties to the nation, the implication of violence or electoral disruption and the power the citizens have to choose their leaders in a democratic dispensation.

Three months ago, 9jEducation had conducted an essay competition in a number of secondary schools in Ibadan City as part of it’s Work Study Program asking who the students thought would be our next president. A good number of students chose the now President Elect, General Buhari. While we at 9jEducation are not partisan, we believe in the process of Democracy and the benefits it brings to nations where it is practiced, particularly the advancement of education across all levels. We were happy to see many young people actively forming an opinion on how they are governed and who governs them and we loved that they were able to articulate their thoughts and expectations for the new president.

Our essay competition brought us a lot of interesting essays and while it was a tough choice, we chose three essays as our best three. Over the course of the next week, those three essays shall be put on the site for your perusal, because we want to celebrate these future leaders and encourage them to read more and write better. The winner of the challenge will receive an Infinix phone as well as mentoring from the WorkStudy program of the 9jEducation team. We are very proud of the students who participated in our essay competition and consider all of them winners. We also would like to make the essay competition a regular event to encourage students to not only read but express themselves through articulate speech.

Our top three are Victor Salabiu of Brilliant Stars College, Lazarus Toluwani of Queen's School and Mustapha Adefila of Diadem College.

We are also using this platform to announce that the blog will be taking a short break to allow for a little restructuring to ensure that the blog continues to provide our readers with educative, intelligent and fun articles that challenge them to write and do better in the personal and academic lives.
So far the blog has run impeccably thanks to the help of our able campus representatives, Akinwale Akinyoade, Ezim Osai and Damilare Falowo under the direction of our managing editor, Segun Razaq Sobulo.


Thank you for following us through this journey and your loyal readership. We will come back bigger and better. 

From us it's Hello.

Okolo, Edwin
Alum. 

6 Apr 2015

Poetry: Words Started This Apocalypse.

WORDS STARTED THIS APOCALYPSE

infantile selfishness & an insatiable curiosity
caused the fall of man
lame monkeys, they fall to the same vices
Words foretold of the apocalypse
but ears were stoppered with wax & self conceit
not when embalmers painted the pyramids
and cast golden runes as odes to the slain
Heads swung away from the gates of Ashteroth
and her beasts of fantasy & bas-relief
they carried more fearsome monsters within
they engorged themselves with delphic prophecies
subsumed its delirious smoke & exhaled it unheeded
Olympus fell, with it Greece and Rome
still they sat, stone hearted
Red and Black and Saffron Skin
soiled by the Englishman's invasion
the warning and wards of forebears
forsaken for lures of looking glass & tinder & shell
the announcer's anguished commentary
dirge for fireworks abloom from the Challenger
still Orwell's '84 gathers dust on shelf
all words did was quicken the tragedy
rouse the stampede off the cliff


Words started this apocalypse
quips uttered in ear shot
like a measure set in quicksand
stones in trough rising thoughts to the surface
Words foretold this apocalypse
prophecies in the guise of passing observation
the depths to which they resonate underestimated
jagged shards transmuted from China once whole
Simmering that leaves a charred, black heart
gashes on thigh and arm dripping into the dark
vicious slurs slung thoughtlessly at an easy target
the incendiary that lights the hidden charge
horror is the aftermath
as the implosion spreads outward
consuming others in this final act of immolation
hindsight is glaring on his scarred flesh
and journals scrawled over with apathy
Words started this apocalypse
they conceived and nurtured it
encouraged and then made jest of it
sheltered it in pretty rhetoric until it festered
and when it grew rotten, urged it to its death
and words will analyse it
In startling detail will they immortalise it
and indifference will be the grave under which it's buried.



3 Apr 2015

The Farafina Creative Writing Workshop 2015



The opportunity is here again.

The annual Farafina Creative Writer's Workshop chaired by stellar Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and organized by the Kachifo Trust has asked for entries for the 2015 class. Alumni of the class include Nigerian Writer and Social critic El Nathan John, Winner of the Inaugural Etisalat Prize for flash fiction Uche Okonkwo and many others. It's a brilliant platform that not only connects writers to potential mentors, it also elevates the profile of amateur writers. 

Here's what the Farafina site had to say.  


Farafina Trust will be holding a creative writing workshop in Lagos, organized by award-winning writer and creative director of Farafina Trust, Chimamanda Adichie, from June 16 to June 26, 2015. The workshop is sponsored by Nigerian Breweries Plc. Guest writers who will co-teach the workshop alongside Adichie are the Caine Prize Winning Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina, National Librarian of Norway Aslak Sira Myhre, and others.
The workshop will take the form of a class. Participants will be assigned a wide range of reading exercises, as well as daily writing exercises. The aim of the workshop is to improve the craft of Nigerian writers and to encourage published and unpublished writers by bringing different perspectives to the art of storytelling. Participation is limited only to those who apply and are accepted.
To apply, send an e-mail to Udonandu2015@gmail.com. Your e-mail subject should read ‘Workshop Application.’ The body of the e-mail should contain the following:
  1. Your name
  2. Your address
  3. A few sentences about yourself
  4. A writing sample of between 200 and 800 words. The sample must be either fiction or non-fiction.
All material must be pasted or written in the body of the e-mail. Please DO NOT include any attachments in your e-mail. Applications with attachments will be automatically disqualified.
Deadline for submissions is April 30, 2015. Only those accepted to the workshop will be notified by June 2, 2015. Accommodation in Lagos will be provided for all accepted applicants who are able to attend for the ten-day duration of the workshop. A literary evening of readings, open to the public, will be held at the end of the workshop.
Please make sure you enter. A chance like this shouldn't be overlooked. 
Okolo Edwin, 
Alum. 

1 Apr 2015

Short Story: The Lady and Her Dirge


The sounds came from beyond the bright multicoloured lights mounted on black lacquered tubing and trained on the small stage, a swelling murmur speckled with bellowing laughs and slaps to the thigh. He caressed his microphone and smiled for more his benefit than anyone else’s; he couldn’t see past the stage lights if anyone was smiling back. The lights dimmed on cue, as he tapped the microphone head to see if it was on.
“Nous sommes la Dame et son chant funebre.”
The sound didn’t come from his nose, his head or his belly, but from the soul beneath. It was a mellifluous whisper of words in Yoruba, the cooing of a mother to her child.
Ebun mi wa re o
Ebun Oluwa
Ebun mi ma re o
Ebun Olorun mi
The murmur calmed, replaced with shuffling of feet and scraping of stools underfoot. He ignored the distractions and kept his eyes closed as he sang into the microphone, the first and only song of his set list. The musical frisson crawled over his skin and tickled his gullet as sounds came out of him, mimicking the chords plucked gently with long fingers on the guitar cradled in his lap. The words flowed, switching between the fluent Yoruba and the broken English of the girl at whose feet he’d first learned to sing, Dolapo. His thoughts went to her now as he sang and his longing for her tinged the progression from his low whispery bass to a rich powerful mezzo soprano. He sang in her English of forbidden love and loss. His voice faltered as he repeated her pet name for him like a talisman,
‘Ebun, Ebun, Ebun mi...’
The drums provided a heart to his rhythm, a steady reliable thumping on which his guitar could moor itself as his voice travelled the tonic-solfa scale. He sang above the piano that provided dark heavy flesh to his scant guitar, of being torn away from his love and the days that had followed, waiting and wondering what parts of the things she had said to him and what parts she had said out of pity. A female patron clutched at her partner’s hand under the table and squeezed in solidarity. He didn’t see but He sang on.
“Ore mi, you left me with nothing but a lament.”
The saxophone burst into an alto wail, starting like and following through to a gravelly finish. He stood from the stool provided and swayed, pushing the guitar to his back. The microphone clutched in his hands like some secret sceptre. He let the melodies serenade the crowd, shielded his eyes and chanced a glance at the audience. They were all turned to the stage, to him. The pot bellied expatriates, sallow skin contrasting against the dark unveiled skin of their scantily clad companions. The smartly dressed couples in the tables close to the stage, looking like they fell out of American lifestyle magazines. They were all watching him, waiting for what he would sing next. He fought the nervousness and doubt that stood just out of the reach of the stage lights and taunted him.
No one is listening, they sang.
You brought yourself to this fancy French restaurant on the island, took the bus and wore a head wrap and a fancy buba pretending to be something you aren’t.
 She lied; your songs are no good, they only amused her.
Your grief has turned into one of those men who become fools because they can’t let go.
He faltered from all the scrutiny. They saw but dismissed it as a singer’s quirk. He closed his eyes to the doubts and dove in again, whispering the scripted lines garnished with impulse adlibs into the microphone as though they were still in bed and it was her eager ear. He spoke of how his love still grew strong and he was gathering it and saving it to lavish on someone else, someone she would approve of.
“I will hold her as I held you, I write for her, her own songs, because this song will forever belong to you.”
The music died away too soon and all that was left was his voice, whispering his talisman in a soothing rhyme and the women swayed under the pall of the mysticism he had cast over the smoked filled room. He said it one more time for good luck and stepped away from the microphone, his work done. Silence held the room in ransom for a few seconds before it was overthrown by triumphant applause. The men were on their feet, and women clapped earnestly, stopping every other second to clean the tears that streaked their mascara. He turned to leave but he felt the hands of the compere wrap around his and spin him back around.
“Another round of applause please for 20 year old Tosin, the voice behind The Lady and Her Dirge. Isn’t he amazing? I almost can’t believe that this is the first time he is performing, EVER!!!
“Please clap! Clap!!!”
Tosin took another bow, his head high as he descended into the dark underbelly of the club’s backroom. Dolapo was right after all.


20 Mar 2015

INFOGRAPHIC: THE ELECTION PROCESS.

We at 9jEducation understand sometimes  pictures speak louder than words. So we are ecstatic to find a visualisation of the election process on the INEC website we want to share with you.

This is the INEC approved election process so we are aware before next week's elections.





More pictures after the jump.

18 Mar 2015

Mother's Day Reflections.


Sunday, 15th of March was just another one of those days for me as I woke up as usual and first thing I did was to reach for my Smartphone. In this day and age, it is very understandable that for many young people and even some people from the older generation alike, the phone is their first port of call in the mornings. After silencing my alarm that woke me up, the next stop was to check my message on my instant messaging platform BBM and that was when it hit me, the day was Mother’s Day.

16 Mar 2015

P.V.C's and the 2015 Elections.


Technology is finally coming to play in the Nigerian electoral process.

Since Nigeria attained democratic governance in 1999 the legitimacy of all subsequent governments have been marred by accusations and evidence of electoral mal-practice. The process of allowing the electorate (which comprises all people of voting age) the right to participate in the process of choosing their leaders is a cardinal cardinal tenet of democracy. With every election the process has slowly been fine tuned with the supervision of external observers and the support of the United Nations and the federal government. For the 2015 elections the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) received 120 billion Naira. Though recently, there are concerns as more than half of the budget isn't released yet, the body has forged ahead under the command of Alhaji Attahiru Jega and made some remarkable progress.