Tuesday, November 1, 2016


I am still at a loss for words over the utter disrespect recently shown to Nigeria, by Turkey. Over 50 Nigerian students were arrested in Turkey on the eve of our nation’s independence anniversary, on the orders of the Turkish Government. They were detained in some crampy, dirty room under the flimsy excuse of being ‘students of a terrorist organization.’ Then some of them were made to sign documents giving consent to their deportation back to Nigeria…some were eventually deported back home! How preposterous!
For those who might not understand the genesis of this brouhaha, I will attempt a brief explanation. A coup took place in Turkey on July 15th 2016. It didn’t last long though; as the coup plotters were overpowered by the citizenry. By July 16th, it was over. But then, it left in its wake, 200 dead, and thousands injured. Immediately, the Turkish President, Recep Tayip Erdogan, embarked on a crackdown of those suspected of instigating the coup; and in the same vein, he pointed fingers directly at an exiled moderate cleric, Fatullah Gulen, as being the mastermind of the coup. Erdogan demanded his (Gulen’s) extradition from the US- which has so far not been granted- and began shutting down all institutions and organizations connected with the Gulen movement.
As part of his revenge mission against Gulen, Erdogan did not just seek to shut down institutions associated with the Gulen movement within Turkey; but even outside Turkish shores. The Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Hakan Cakil, a while ago, requested that the Nigerian Federal Government shutdown 17 universities for alleged links to Gulen’s Hizmet movement. For all intents and purposes, Nigeria did not grant that request- and rightly so! I mean, the request went against all norms of diplomatic association and conduct! Foreign powers do not get to call the shots in another SOVEREIGN nation- not in peacetime! More so, there was no single established evidence of terrorist activities to incriminate any of the proprietors of the 17 schools!
Thus, with the request denied and Turkey probably feeling slighted, it resorted to embarrassing our students in its country…students who had committed no crime against the Turkish state! How disrespectful!
Will Turkey do this to American students? Will Turkey even do this to South African students? I doubt this. So, why do this to a supposed friend- Nigeria?
Turkey and Nigeria have had bilateral relations since 1962, when Turkey opened its first embassy in Lagos. Both nations have MOU’s in areas of politics, trade, education, and security. In terms of financial aid, Turkey doesn’t give dollars to Nigeria. So, is it the training of Nigerian policemen, or the pledge made months ago to aid in the fight against Boko Haram, that would cause the Turkish Government to flex its muscles in the affairs of a sovereign country like Nigeria in the most disrespectful way? Turkey’s actions would be expected from some failed rogue state with an erratic dictator at its helm *side eyes at that madman in North Korea*; not a card-carrying member of the NATO alliance with one foot in the Mid-East and the other in Europe! As a citizen of Nigeria, I am appalled!
I read that a diplomatic row may be brewing between Nigeria and Turkey- as it should at this point. I mean if this stunt had been pulled with students of other nations (say Russia for example), the Turkish Ambassador in that country would have been expelled! But our Nigerian Government is still towing the path of civility; even though none of that civility was accorded to us by Turkey. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs dragged its feet before summoning the Turkish Ambassador to give an explanation…and there has been no news since as to if the Ambassador obeyed the summon! *shaking my head*
Nigeria is not a failed state. Nigeria is a democratic sovereign republic that should be accorded all the respect of all other sovereign republics in the comity of nations. And if we don’t show to other countries that we are not push-overs, who knows who would decide to pull this sort of stunt on us tomorrow? Maybe Niger Republic! I know that seems far-fetched; but it’s a small world…others are watching…and learning.
We don’t have to go to war with Turkey over the issue, but I dare say we must take resolute action quickly to show that we would not be treated with such disdain. Besides, what do we have to lose? Our policemen can get trained elsewhere- not as if their overseas training has yielded genuine positive results so far...they're still sleeping on duty and collecting bribes *Oga/Madam, anything for the boys?*! Besides, It’s not as if Turkey is giving us anything for free. Turkish Airlines flies 3 routes into Nigeria weekly- Lagos, Kano, Abuja- so they’re also gaining from us. And like I said before, the agreements between both countries are ‘bilateral’- they gain and we gain…we probably even gain less.
In conclusion, enough is enough already! This is the Federal Republic of Nigeria; and in the voice of Birdman, Turkey must learn to “put some RESPEK on our name!”


In my heart of hearts, I am a good person. I was born ‘good’ and I intend to die ‘good’. Now, I may not look like it, and I do admit that I have become jaded by the facts of human nature and may have added some tinge of ‘bad’ discoloration to my ‘good persona’ as I have aged; but in my heart of hearts, I do know without an iota of doubt, that I am good. How do I know? Simply because I know me! Or will you say you know me more than I know myself? Ehen, so since I am telling you that I am good, just take it like that…no questions asked!
You see, good people like me are also born with an inherent gift…the gift of knowing others who are just like us. Let me demonstrate this now: I know my mother was good (because of her life’s work and how she associated with people), I know my father is not so good (but that’s not the subject of this discussion, so let’s move along), I know for a fact, that my primary school math teacher at Chrisland Nursery and Primary School, Opebi, was definitely not good (simply because he flogged students so much. I mean, who does that? When our parents paid so much in fees even at that time? Haba!) And then, apart from my mum (who is now deceased…God rest her beautiful soul), you know another good person (who is still living) who I know? - President Muhammadu Buhari. And how do I know this? Well, one, for obvious reasons- our President just has a good look…I don’t mean his facial features (even though let’s face it, the President has aged, but dude still looks good), but I mean his aura. There’s just something about Buhari that is inherently good. Now, whether you like him or not, you cannot deny the fact that he has superb moral characteristics; and in my ‘superb opinion’, this makes him good. But apart from his good aura, another reason I know he is good is because his Deputy- another ‘good’ man- Yomi Osinbajo, always tells us that he (Buhari) is good! And for me, a Pastor’s word is as good as gold- okay that’s not true, I’m clearly exaggerating. I do not have a soft spot for Nigerian Pastors, but let’s move along.
Since assuming office, there are certain things which have been reiterated by VP Osinbajo; namely, the evils perpetuated by the GEJ administration, the innate belief that Nigeria will rise again, and the inherent goodness of Muhammadu Buhari.
At a recent meeting with a delegation of Pastors from Taraba, Osinbajo again lauded the virtues of his boss. He said, “This morning, I had a meeting with the President and he repeated to me twice, he said, ‘at my age, there is only one thing I am looking for, I want to see a great Nigeria.’ He has no other objective, and I feel very inspired by that.”
Three days before that, at the interdenominational church service to commemorate Nigeria’s 56th independence anniversary, Osinbajo said, “God saw the nation when he decided to put the leadership of Muhammadu Buhari, a leadership that would take the nation across the red sea.”
And then, in June, when he received Dr. Kumuyi, the VP said, “we are very happy that we have a President who is honest, a President who is straight forward, a President who is operating from the genuineness of his heart, this is the kind of leader that we need now.”
What did I tell you? The President is good! And why? Because I know he is, and because the VP- who is also good- tells us too, all the time!
But now, to the crux of the matter- has Nigeria fared better by virtue of the (established) fact that her leader is good? Rotimi Amaechi- who I can’t really tell if he’s good or bad- might answer “yes”; but I doubt that majority of Nigerians would share his sentiment.
When a bag of Rice is sold for upwards of 20,000naira, would you still think your President is good? When petrol hovers between 141-145naira/litre, would you still think your President is good? When one dollar equals over 400naira, would you still think your President is good? When Tomato jumps from 50naira to 100naira because of Tomato Ebola; and traders refuse to revert back to 50naira after the disease is eradicated, would you still think your President is good? When CBN decides to tax you 65naira ATM charges even when you don’t have up to 200,000naira in your account, would you still think your President is good? Well, if you’re like any of the Nigerians I meet everyday, I’m sure you don’t think so! But if you’re like me, you probably still think he is…if you’re like me, your belief in the President’s inherent goodness is not doused by the present misfortunes of our country…but then if you’re like me, you also know that even if the President is good, just being good is not good enough!
It’s not good enough that Buhari is good, if Nigeria is seriously ill. It’s not good enough that Buhari is good, if prices of commodities keep rising while minimum wage remains 18,000naira. And worse still, it’s not good enough that Buhari is good, when his Ministers are largely ‘clueless’ as to how to bring us out of this present predicament!
My brothers would tell you that I am a good person with good intentions- they have no choice; I’m a domestic terrorist. I’ll give them hell if they say otherwise…lol. But they’ll also tell you- if they are being totally honest- that my good intentions do not always translate into good actions…but I won’t go into more details, because this is not about me!
Like Olamide would say, “who good epp?” You see, if good intentions do not translate into good actions which would reflect in all aspects of societal life- especially in the daily lives of average Nigerians- then it is of no use! And so, in my ‘superb opinion’ *wink wink*, I would say in conclusion, “It doesn’t matter what I and VP Osinbajo know about Buhari’s inherent goodness…if it does nothing to better the nation’s economy, then it is simply not good enough!”