Wednesday, 31 December 2008

National Cake: a source of corruption

Corruption is not an independent factor rather; its existence is based on the essential availability of human players. In other words, corruption is absolutely dependent on living entities who allow it thrive in an atmosphere where unnecessary compromise exists. It is almost impossible to find a communal system that contains people with flawless characters. That is why corruption is found in every society. This dishonest act can never occur where humans do not exist. Therefore, if corruption were to be a disease, it would be appropriate to call human beings its favourite hosts.

But, regardless of corruption’s dependence on human players, it possesses a subtle ability that enables it creep into any system inconspicuously. Hence, no matter how clean a system is, it remains vulnerable to corruption. The presence of corruption could be as intangible as the ignorance of the legislative arm of the judiciary. Furthermore, corruption could be as hideous as the interruption of public funds at the gain of personal interest. The more vivid the examples of corruption as displayed by some representatives of the Nigerian Police Force or the Nigerian Ports Authority are not the only ways to confirm corruption’s invasion into a system. The simple act of age falsification as practiced by several American youths who engage in alcohol and drug consumption is another appearance of corruption. A problem does not have to seem unsolvable before it is identified as one. Since, a problem is a problem if it causes complication or brings total stoppage to progress; corruption is corruption whether huge or small.

Even if we saw the facts, we could still tell a lie; that is another way to describe corruption. The issue of national cake is only an excuse for making the wrong choices when the right ones were obviously available. When we say we are partaking of the national cake, do we consider what happens to the vast number of people who are left unfed? The term, National cake is a mere distraction and perhaps, an effective disguise that we create as a means of justifying our deficient character. When the issue of national cake comes up, relevant and vital questions to ask ourselves are: “who will share or dispense this cake?”, “who baked the cake?” and “who really needs to partake from it?” However, such questions would only possess validity if “national cake” was regarded as a grammatical representation of due benefits. Otherwise, the norm would remain its best interpretation.

The common use of national cake readily brings the issue of corruption to mind because its normal translation symbolizes selfish interest and in some other cases, sentimental interest. But, this is clearly opposite to the necessary or supposed meaning of evenly distributed national profits. When a group of people leading a much greater number of people illegally compensate themselves with diverse unnecessary goodies, the end result is usually the arousal of a commensurate desire in those whom they lead. You cannot exhibit corruption and expect diligence in followership. It is a natural phenomenon for humans to reap what they sow therefore, when government demonstrates weakness in terms of indiscipline, it is excusable for the citizenry to also show such in its handling of duties. An example of this is what governmental workers exhibit in the fulfillment of their official duties. And this is one of the reasons why the mismanagement of government infrastructure, state facilities and local properties has become a consistent challenge in Nigeria. All those three problems are rooted in the mismanagement or embezzlement of public funds.

It is automatic for them to frequently occur in our nation so long our leadership exhibits its indiscipline. Consequently, it is not enough to see transparency in governance but more importantly, the masses need to observe obvious discipline. If we cannot learn it from our leaders, we can at least teach it to them. It is not that discipline is the way out, but unfortunately it seems to be the most appropriate weapon we can use against our prevalent desire for national cake. An inordinate desire to personally possess what ought to be shared among several millions is usually encouraged by indiscipline. If most of our leaders were disciplined, we would have lesser number of unqualified figures of leadership.

Discipline is not easy to imbibe because it has to be learnt overtime. Constituents of discipline such as hard work, tenacity and consistency in good conduct hardly coexist with the real characters of a principled leader. As a matter of fact, it is totally impossible for such to happen. So, the first option we have is to create a disabling environment for indiscipline. If there are protocols that guide the general conduct of a leader while he is incumbent, I opine that our leadership would seem more effective if not, truly efficient. However, in doing this, we should be careful not to build an office that is too rigid to be functionally productive.

The other alternative would be to catch them early. If the most leaders had gone through a well-grooming training in their past, they would not come into office and mess themselves up. Hence, it should become not only parents’ responsibility to raise leaders in their homes but also the society’s and indeed a national responsibility to encourage good citizenship thereby discovering potential leaders. With such efforts, I believe we will surely transform the unfortunate meaning of national cake into national benefits.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Vain Merriments

Hear them chanting, singing and dancing
See laughter lurking beneath their mourning faces
They are panting like leopards running races
With both legs under their thighs shaking
It is obvious that peace is far from them

Deceptive smiles under hideous imperfections
Crazy partakers of retrogressive evil impartations
They walk around dirty shrines like herbalists chanting incantations
Like infections, sowing seeds of ominous recessions

The tree has given up its health and life
Yes, the tree of conscience within them is dead
With countenance like that of a slave that has lied
Even when his master is ready to take his life

Nevertheless, the end will come and life will quench
Evil doers and ruthless offenders will die
Like seeds die when they enter bad soil will they die
And when in the grave, their rotten teeth, they’ll quench.

By James Lisandro Jnr.

A familiar Breathe

( A poem written firstly, for a friend and then, my friends. And finally, a poem dedicated to life, zoe, iye.)

The breathe of a stranger might cause a snare
A smile from a stranger will I not spare
For like ghosts dressed in horrible attires
The breathe of a stranger frightens more than deadly spiders
But, a familiar breathe could calm a troubled heart

I dare not stare a stranger in the face
I dare not set unfamiliarity into racing pace
No, not that my ways are as unclean as homeless pigs
Neither have I really purposed in my heart to keep away from pigs
But, it’s all because of the presence of a familiar breathe

My heart is heavy and stationary at a stranger’s intrusion (imminent silence)
My mouth is filled with seeds of silence-growing with essence
My intellectual mind goes blank with total emptiness
Oh! What could rescue me from this horrible filthiness?
I know no nearer remedy; no better antidote; no quicker healing
than the breathe of a familiar life

When my heart is filled with drought and emptiness
And it seems to have lost every impression of happiness
I desire no other cure for this enslaving disease of blankness
For, no other remedy promises me instant redemption
I say, none does it like the assuring presence of a familiar breathe

I have seen several eyes and numerous hairstyles
I have perceived countless mindsets from distant miles
I have noticed diverse gifts and talents locked up in various human personalities
And, I too have received several attentions with joyous lifting of elation
But none has lifted my soul like the flow from a familiar breathe

Thursday, 3 July 2008


Once I met a strange man on the street next to mine
I realized that knowledge could be a better resource than a goldmine
For though a mine could bring riches, knowledge attracts wealth

The strange man had the habit of making people wise
In fact, he himself-the strange man- was a habit
A living habit yet, a character of bookworms

He would acquire information and apply them to situations
He would then relay his experience and enlighten others
Indeed, his association with me is an advantage

If you happen to host him, count yourself lucky
For the knowledge of how a thing is created is better than its possession
Just as it is better to learn a trade than to receive a dime

My great friend is called reading
He plies every quiet and serene road to the mind
Have you ever met him?

Morakinyo Ayo.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

The Journey: the depth of confidence

Confidence is not a virtue everyone you meet on your way to destiny will possess.In fact, anyone who has got enough confidence to be themselves picked it up their way up. Many of us, either decided to obtain it through consistent practice or got it into us through some past experiences we've had.

Personally, I feel there's more to confidence than moderate self-esteem or optimum way of thinking. I think it has more to do with knowing who you are , where you're going and how to get there rather than with positive thinking. In fact, in my own opinion, confidence is a value that comes with consistence practice of good habits and characters that help an individual attain a higher level in the hierarchy of goodly personality. Simply put, confidence is being certain that whatever comes your way, you'd always find a honest way out.

We all need it ! Confidence is an essential value we must all possess or at least, endeavour to possess. It takes confidence to overcome storms such as those which life exposes us to.We all need it.We can all have.But, we need to work towards it! Ciao!