Posted in Burning Platform, Poems, POLITICS, Prose, Stories




To Maiduguri we were drafted

Sixty six of us with shaven heads

After six gruesome months in Zaria

We were caged in the land of no return

It was there we went through metamorphosis


In six 911 Mercedes military Trucks

We were sent to six different Battalions

To defend the six Geopolitical regions

And prevent us from splitting into six pieces

Our job was to keep the peace


I went to hell and I survived

I see, I saw and I conquered

For not all that went to the hell I went

That returned to tell the story

Of how we were dehumanized to attain glory


I was trained to maim and annihilate

With the bare hands I could strangulate

To endure the pain with eyes on the gain

All for the honour and glory of my mother land

Nigeria we hail thee, our home and mother land


As I clutched my Riffle beneath my chin

Waiting to kill or to be killed in the jungle

Flashed of home disturbs my concentration

My mother awaits my return from the Depot

My siblings await to see their hero


My Casandra who expects to see me every tomorrow

And my friends who wait albeit in sorrow

My inherited lands for too long have fallowed

Loved ones pray and fast and God they hallowed

That someday they will see me home when peace will follow


But today I am far away from home

Far from the love and care of my own

In the forest of Sambisa we have made home

Our quest is to make Nigeria a home


Ratata! Ratata! Infantry Guns barking

Kabum! Kabum! The sound of the Artillery

Flying shrapnel, writhing bodies, smoking nozzles

Screaming Soldiers, screaming Rebels, the race for life!

AlahAkba! Sweet Jesus! We called before we died


A man who believed in a cause

A cause sworn to uphold

To lay his life for his father land

And he turned his back against all he hold dear

For a Soldier is duty bound to serve his country


So I as lay wrapped up in bandages

My legs gone from the exploded mines

I remember my Colleagues

I see their faces as they screamed

I see as they ran and fell to the Enemy


I see as enemies tie them up and slit their throats

Blood and water oozing as life takes leave of them

I see them being charred like goats

And the tears poured down my eyes

And I weep for my fallen Compatriots


Family and friends we will see no more

Dreams and aspirations were cut short

Because we swore to serve and defend

When will this madness stop?

How can this house stand?

When siblings lift up arms against each other!








Posted in Burning Platform, Literature, Poems, POLITICS

My Country, my honour!


To Maiduguri we were drafted
Sixty six of us with shaven heads
After six gruesome months in Zaria
We were caged in the land of no return
It was there we went through metamorphosis

In six 911 Mercedes military Trucks
We were sent to six different Battalions
To defend the six Geopolitical regions
And prevent us from splitting into six pieces
Our job was to keep the peace

I went to hell and I survived
I see, I saw and I conquered
For not all that went to the hell I went
returned to tell the story
Of how we were dehumanized to attain glory

I was trained to maim and annihilate
With the bare hands I could strangulate
To endure the pain with eyes on the gain
for the honour and glory of my mother land
Nigeria we hail thee, our home and mother land

As I clutched my Riffle beneath my chin
Waiting to kill or to be killed in the jungle
Flashes of home disturbs my concentration
My mother awaits my return from this limbo
My siblings await the return of their hero

My Casandra expects to see me every tomorrow
And my friends who wait, albeit in sorrow
My inherited lands for too long have fallowed
Loved ones pray and fast and to God they hallowed
That someday they will see me home when peace will follow

But today I am far away from home
Far from the love and care of my own
In the forest of Sambisa we have made home
Our quest is to make Nigeria a home
Where all tribes and faiths will live as one

Ratata! Ratata! Infantry Guns barking
Kabum! Kabum! The sound of the Artillery
Flying shrapnel, writhing bodies, smoking nozzles
Screaming Soldiers, screaming Rebels, the race for life!
Alah Akba! Blood of Jesus! We called before we died

A man who believes in a cause
A cause sworn to uphold without a pause
To lay down his life for his father land
And he turned his back against all he holds dear
For a Soldier is duty bound to serve his country

So I as lay wrapped up in bandages
My legs gone from the exploded mines
I remember my Colleagues
I see their faces as they screamed
I see as they ran and fell to the Enemy
I see as enemies tie them up and slit their throats
Blood and water oozing as life takes leave of them
I see them being charred like goats
And the tears poured down my eyes
And I weep for my fallen Compatriots

Family and friends we will see no more
Dreams and aspirations were cut short
Because we swore to serve and defend
When will this madness stop?
How can this house stand?
When siblings lift up arms against each other!

Who is this enemy? I ponder
Is he a foreigner? Is he an alien?
Nay! Nay! He is our Brother
We speak in the same tongue
We call upon the same God

Suleman killing Solomon
Ibrahim slaughtering Abraham
Daudu burning up David
Maria pointing fingers at Mary
A house divided against itself!

Posted in Burning Platform


I was sipping my second bottle of the Ultimate beer when they sauntered in discussing and gesticulating frantically.

He is a very selfish man! Can you believe that our father trained that idiot to school to the detriment of the rest of us?

Really? His partner asked.

Yes nah! You think say I dey lie? Asked Mr.  A.

But why is he now behaving this way? Mr. B asked.

Mr. A: it is the wife! That witch! Since he married that girl from Okirika things have changed in our family! He has stopped caring for us! Before now he used to send money to us monthly! He visits more often than now! That woman has bewitched my brother!

They sat on my table where I was jejely minding my business. They ordered for their brands of beer and the discussion continued.

Mr. B: that your brother wife must be heartless!

Mr. A: more than heartless! She is a witch! Very wicked Okirika woman! I warned him not to marry from Okirika then! I told him to marry an Ogoni woman!

Mr. B: was he dating any Ogoni woman then?

Mr. A: I don’t think so! But he could have gotten one if he wanted. He has the money. With money you can buy any woman you want from any where!

Now he focused on me and asked: Oga no be so?

He should not have invited me to meddle in his life palaver. They brought their beers and they poured their drinks. My second bottle was almost empty.

Give our Oga here another bottle! Mr. A ordered. Oga abi you don tire? He asked me. Surely this man wants friendship.

I never tire! I fit drink eight bottles of Gulder on a good day and still drive from here to Sokoto! I said.

Chairman! Chairman! The two men hailed me.

Bros you see ehn! People are wicked! My own elder brother has abandoned us because of a woman! Common woman o!

Wetin really happen? I asked.

My elder brother na the chairman of Eleme L.G.A. but he married an Okirika woman! The guy don abandon us! We dey suffer now for the family house! He said.

Hmm, I pondered. You dey suffer and you dey buy beer for me and your friend. isokay!

I asked him for just two million naira to take complete my house project. The guy says he doesn’t have it!

Two million naira? I asked.

Yes nah! He can afford it! I know his worth! Mr. A countered.

Ha! Bros! His brother is a millionaire o! He has a lot of contracts he is handling. He even gives Mr. us contracts to execute from time to time. Like now Mr. A is handling the Obigbo road project worth twenty nine million naira!


My beer came, courtesy of Mr. A. I opened and filled my glass. I watched the rich white form head of the beer as it gathered on the tumbler and I wished the hearts of humans are this white. I gulped down a long one and wiped off the foam head from my mustache. I belched out. Nothing like a chilled bottle of Gulder! Time to talk.

My friend! Thank you for the beer. My name is Ayo.

Oh! We forgot to introduce our selves earlier! I am Emeke and my friend is Alalibo.

Good! Emeke! This your elder brother, na which university he go? I asked.

University? He asked laughing out loud.

He no go any university o! Na secondary school he stop!

But you said na only him your papa train for school? I asked.

Yes nah! Na only him finish secondary school amongst us! The rest of us go learn trade.

And today this your brother na millionaire and a Local government chairman?

Yes o! He replied sipping his beer.

Hey! Wey this waiter? Emeke shouted. Bring pepper soup for us I beg! Three plates!

Which trade you learn? I asked

Under water welding! He said.

Wow! That na correct hand work o! You suppose dey one rig dey hammer now nah!

The guy don work for rig tire nah! Na today? His friend Alalibo offered.

Really? I asked.

I don make money for rig tire! Emeke said. I don leave that job for the younger boys now. Na Contractor I be now.

How you take get those rig jobs? I asked.

The L.G.A Chairman get oil servicing companies nah! The guy na multa eh!

So na your brother help you get the rig jobs! In fact na him company you work with? I asked

Yes nah! Emeke said. Hey! He shouted. Una no get music for this bar? Wey the pepper soup nah?

Emeke you don marry? I asked.

They looked at each other and laughed.

Wetin happen? I asked.

Emeka get three Children from three different women!

Hmm! Na wa o! I said. Emeke! Emeke! Emeke! Na how many times I call you?

They both laughed out loud again!

You dey call me like my brother dey call me. He said.

Is your friend Alalibo married?

I am married with two beautiful daughters!

Where is your family? I asked.

They are here with me nah! My wife owns a hair dressing saloon in G.R.A and my children attend private schools.

And where do you work? I asked.

Which yeye work? Emeke asked laughing. Na washer man he be!

I own a laundry outfit on Bonny Island. I have seven staff members.

I poured the remaining beer in the glass and drank. I got up and adjusted my belt. The steaming plates of pepper soup came. It was served. I looked at the robust tempting pieces of assorted meat in the plate. This could go with another bottle of Gulder. But I was angry.

Look Emeke or what ever you call your self, you are a big fool!

What? He screamed. Every other customer in the Bar focused on us.

I pulled the empty bottle of beer closer to me.

Yes! You be mumu! Big fool! You dey here dey heap blames on your elder brother for not helping you or the family! But you are here buying beer and pepper soup for people! Even to a stranger like me!

You have three Children with three women and you think that is life? What have those Kids eaten today? Do you know? Are they in good schools? What is your plan for the future? Your brother helped you to get jobs on the rig! He gave you the contract you are currently working on! Yet you dey complain say the man no try! You! Na who you epp?

Emeke removed his hands from the plate of pepper soup slowly.

Your greatest enemy na him sidon with you so! Alalibo na devil! Alalibo na your bossom friend! He dey help you spend your money on drinks and frivolities! Alalibo Children dey go private schools! Where your own Children dey go? You no know!

Alalibo wife get salon for G.R.A! A whole G.R.A! Do you know how much they charge in such salons? Where your own wives dey work Emeke?

You dey call Alalibo a common washer man! But Alalibo said he has a laundry outfit on the expensive Bonny Island with seven staff members whom he pays salaries monthly! Which company you get Emeke? Yet na you dey buy beer for Alalibo! I am sure that the money that Alalibo used in setting himself and the wife up was gotten from you! Why did he not advise you to set up something for your self?

You dey blame the Okirika woman! Fool! My wife is an Okirika woman! The first lady of this country is an Okirika woman! My dear, if you don’t know, Okirika women are wonderful women! You are lucky she has not banned you from seeing your brother entirely. Look at your enemy besides you!

The Bar was turned upside down. I picked up the bottle of Gulder quickly as Emeke crashed his bottle of beer on Alalibo’s head and poured the plates of pepper soup on his head.

My eye o! My eye o! Alalibo was screaming as Emeka pounced on him.

So to all those lazy Lager louts out there who would rather criticize and castigate relations and friends for their predicament. You! Na who you epp?

Posted in Burning Platform

A stitch in time!

I knew it would come to this! I knew eighteen years ago when I was just a young under graduate. I had made my stand know to the family.

Yes I was the fourth child, yes she was my elder sister! She was older by four years yet I had made my mind known on the issue because it was very salient.

My elder sister had married a widower of forty six years who had three kids already. She was just twenty six years old while I, twenty two was then a year two student at the University of Ibadan.

What on earth could lure her to fall in love with a widower almost twice her age? A man in the age grade of our mother. Is this actually love? I had wondered.

My sister had just graduated with a degree in linguistics from the University of Benin. She was serving at the Nigerian ports authority in Lagos and had met this man. Coincidentally, the man is from the same village with my mother. He was a staff of NPA. So he told her.

I had insisted that she looked for a man her age, a single man, a friend and not a daddy.

They said I was a small boy! They said I do not understand life! My mother wanted her to replace her in her Village since my father is from another state. My father is Ijebu while mother was ijesha. My sister said older men are better and could take care of a woman better because they are experienced.

I had asked them how many more years does this man have to work? What is his educational back ground? What are his prospects? How well is he taking care of his older Kids? What does he do after work daily? What kind of friends does he roll with?

I asked my sister, Auntie what do you discuss together? This Man is old school while you are new school, can the two blend? This Man would be better off with a Widow like himself or an old mistress, the two would blend well together.

She said love conquers all, she said age was just a number.

Auntie! This man’s first child is almost my age mate! What has blinded you? You are young with a full life ahead of you! Why tying yourself to this man? Do you know what killed his first wife? What do you know about him? Is it because he takes you out and buy you petty gifts? What happened to Bayo your campus boy friend? What about brother Kunle our family friend who has been wooing you for years now?

Forget all those guys! They are small boys, she had said. So I let you be.


Today you are in my house with four desperate teenagers! Seeking for refuge. The old hag had shown you his true colour. He lost his job two years after you had your first child. He refused to look for another job. I was the one that raised you some money to set up a restaurant. He comes to your shop to eat three square meals daily. He had chased off all your eligible customers either by begging them for money or accusing them of going out with you.

He does not bring any money home, how could he? He has no job. He sits at the vendors stand discussing politics and national economy. He knows the names of all the members of the house of assembly, he knows the name of all the players of Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester united. No one wins him in an argument and at the end of the day, he retires to your shop to eat and drink and later at night, he mounts you to relieve his pent up agro.

You have changed from the radiant ebony beauty I used to know to a scraggy looking old woman. You tend him, his Children and your children. You have become a man all of a sudden! For eighteen years you have been living in hell. You weep every night before sleeping. You weep every night he mounts you in drunken orgy. Yet you stayed put. For better for worse you said you signed.


So what are you doing in my house? I asked.

I am married with Kid now! I have my own family and personal responsibilities to take care of!

Bridget is sick! You said. Her father wants to use her for money ritual! You said.

How? I asked.

Everywhere I went to, I was told the same thing! You said. The sickness has defiled all medical prescriptions! We went to houses of God and I was advised to go on seven days fasting in other to save Bridget! Her father has submitted her as sacrifice to get rich! Bridget has been sleeping in the church since then! I am advised to leave the man else he might harm me because I am obstructing his mission! Please my dear brother! You are all I have! I have not eaten in two days! Even yesterday when I broke my fast, it was Garri that I drank! Look at my Children! They have been drinking water since yesterday! No food in their stomach! My shop is grounded! My Customers have all gone! My brother, the past eighteen years have been a hell hole for your sister! Look at me nah! See what I have become! Who would believe I am just 43? I look like a sixty year old widow!

But I told you Auntie! Did I not tell you eighteen years back? You said I was a small boy! You said I did not understand the meaning of love! Where is mummy that was edging you on back then? Where is uncle Gbade that was encouraging you to date his friend then? Why did you not go to them now? Why me?

Bayo your Campus Boyfriend then is based in Abuja with his family now, he is doing very well. Uncle Kunle is with NLNG at Bonny Island, he married your friend Aminat, and he is a big boy today! Look at you! Look at your Children! You look like refugees in your own country! You bring your Children to my house, what do you want me to tell my wife and Kids?

I am your sister! I am family!

Yes you are but I have my own nuclear family too and I am committed to them first before anyone else. I do not want a rival for my wife! There is no way you would live with me in my house, my wife would never be comfortable because you are older than me. She cannot serve me and serve you and your children too. She has her hands full already!

Ha! Ayo. What are you implying?

You cannot stay in my house! You will go to our father’s house in the village! That is our family house. This house here belongs to another woman! I will give you some money as I have always done. But I cannot accommodate you. I am sorry.

Ha! Ayo! I will die here o! I am not going anywhere o! You are my blood o! You are my brother! You have to take me in o!

You wept and rolled on the floor, your children joined you. What a pathetic sight. But I know you my sister, I know you very well. You are just like our mother, once I allow you in, you will take over my house. I do not want that.

I knew this day would come. I knew it eighteen years ago and I have firmly resolved to resist it whenever it comes. I do not want to bring my wife into the picture so you do not say she influenced me. I have rehearsed this scene over and over, through the years.

It is either you will go back to your husband’s house and allow him to use his child for money ritual or you go home to meet mummy in the village, after all they put you up to it in the first place. How can the Church advise you to leave your husband? Eighteen years ago it was the same Church that encouraged you to marry this man! You told me you had prayed about it and the pastor said you were destined to be man and wife! You said you saw it severally in dreams, you said it was shown to you in visions. He is your husband.

You are a prayer warrior! You could pray and fast for days!

But you have prayed and fasted amiss! Faith without work is dead.

There are basic natural principles that prayers cannot alter. ‘You reap what you sew’. Prayer or not!

You have been praying for change for the past eighteen years! You had your first child

No change!

You had the second child

Still no change!

You had the third! And the fourth!

Are you normal? Were you bewitched or something? This jobless lazy man had three Kids already!

Why did you not stop procreating after the first or the second? You were praying for change!

What physical effort did you make to change? What did you want God to bless in your family?

Your husband refused every job offer with lousy excuses, you became the bread winner, working tirelessly and praying endlessly. The Kids were growing, responsibility was increasing, you husband was aging, you are ageing also.

Now you are running out of your home abandoning your 64 years old husband. He did not use your Child for ritual when he had a full life ahead of him! At sixty four he has few more years to live so why would he kill his own daughter now?

What you should have done my sister is to cry to his family with the church revelation. Tell them that if your daughter dies, your husband should be held responsible! Tell them that if he comes into sudden wealth after the death of your Child, the whole world should know the source of his wealth!

The truth is that you cannot take it anymore! You cannot see any ray of light at the end of this unending tunnel. The fantasies of your youth have given way to the realities in life.

The church advised you to run away from your husband! The church said no one should put asunder!

The church has hit the brick wall in your matter! They cannot help you get a miracle after eighteen years of fasting, praying and tithing. Why did your church not establish a business for you? Why did they not help you to secure a better job? You are a graduate for God’s sake! The G.O of your church has two secondary schools! Why did they not recruit you to teach in one? Don’t you think? My Sister what has come over you? Why are you so blinded to reality and the way things work?

To be continued..

Posted in Burning Platform, Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Prose, Stories

The Abandoned Child…Season 6



Welcome to the real world Bolaji! I saw this coming when that woman started giving you lame excuses about your money. I knew something was amiss! My dear, no one gives a damn if you are an orphan or if you are somehow incapacitated, whether you are duped or swindled, no one cares! You are even lucky you could still raise some money from your grandmas’ properties! Even with the little money with you, you are still better off than millions of people in this country! Some people will still rob you off that money with you after listening to your pathetic story. My boy, this world is a battle field!


I was expecting to hear consolatory words from Mr. Adegoke but these words of his were strange and it left me confused.

My boy! He continued; it is all left to you to make a difference! To change your story and your situation! Life is like a relay race competition, grab your baton and bolt! Don’t look back! You may stumble and fall! Don’t look back! The facial construction and determination of the other mans’ face may scare you and you loose hope in your own ability! Even if you fall, even if your baton drops, pick it up and continue the race! Remain focused, gun for the finish line tape and ensure you complete the race!


He paused in his pace to and fro the office, and then he looked at me with an expression I could not interpret


Bolaji! He called


Do you know you can make a difference in this world?

No sir!

Get an education! Never back down! With education, you can make a difference in today’s world!

But sir, how can I get an education with what has happened to me! I have narrated my ordeal in the village to you; I have lost all hopes of survival financially. The scholarship granted to me only covers tuition fees alone.


Hmm, Bolaji! Do not focus on the problem any longer, it will build up negative energy in you and that can destroy you. Don’t allow what happened too confuse and throw you back to the dirt’s Modupe said you always fall back to! You will never be able to forge ahead when you wallow too long in the wilderness of negativity and impossibility, in the abyss of sorrow and disappointments! Then you will be stuck down there!

Free your self my boy! They may have stolen your money but not your brains! They may have cheated you but you still have a chance at life! You are alive my man! Use your brains! Sometime ago you could barely speak English! Sometime ago you could barely solve a simple mathematical equation! Sometime ago you could not eat with a set of cutlery except your bare hands! But look at you today! You are refined; you are one of the best students in the school! My boy! Show the world that you are born to succeed! Get an education at all cost! If you must slave to get an education, then slave it! If you have to hunger and thirst to get an education, then so be it! My boy! You have got potentials and I do not want you to blow it! If you have to be humiliated, abused and trodden upon to get an education, face it! As long as it does not kill you, you shall overcome.

Bolaji stand up! He snapped.

I stood up! I was charged. I felt goose pimples all over me.

Say after me Bolaji; I will succeed!

I will succeed! I replied

Say it like you mean it! I can’t hear you!

I will succeed sir!

No! No! No! You are not talking to me! Say it to Bolaji Afolabi! Say it to yourself, you will succeed!

I will succeed! I will succeed! I said repeatedly beating my chest and meaning every word of it and that instant, I made up my mind to let go of the past and move on with my life taking each day as it comes but with a determination to be the best.


I moved into Mr. Adegoke’s boy’s quarters during the holidays and I attended extra tutorial lessons. I was a science student. My friend Kazeem opted for the social sciences because he wanted to be an accountant like his farther. I wanted to be an engineer so I stuck to the pure sciences.


My senior secondary school years were very engaging as I buried myself in my books. I continued to be the class captain and in SS3 I was made the school’s senior prefect. I represented the school in all academic competitions and we excelled. My spoken English improved tremendously and I lost a lot of my Ekiti accent, though not totally.


Mr. Adegoke combined farming with his teaching profession, so during my holidays, I assisted him in the farm. He had a daughter and a son who were still very young and were in primary school. I was like a younger brother to him and he offered me shelter, food and protection. He was not super rich, but he was comfortable, he was also studying on part time at the University of Ibadan for his post graduate degree.


I continued to top my class, I was an overall ‘A’ student and when I wrote my senior secondary certificate examination (SSCE) in 1990 (The first set to write SSCE) I was very hopeful of a good result. After my SSCE I was living with Mr. Adegoke helping out in the farm and working part time as a teacher at the Tutorial School I attended. I was teaching junior classes and SS1 students.


My joy was full the day Mr. Goke came back from work and brought out a sheet of paper from his bag, he stretched the paper at me grinning from ear to ear. See your result! He said; my heart beat skipped an instant as I held my breath and clasped my hand over my mouth in shock. I was scared but for the smiles on his face, then he said congratulations my boy! You made me proud. I quickly glanced at the paper and all I could see was ‘A’ parallel! Even in yoruba language.

You are the overall best he told me as I leapt into his opened arms. I know you could do it! I know you could do it! He said patting my back as I cried for joy.

His wife came out and saw us; she collected the sheet of paper from me and glanced at it.

Jesu Christi o! She screamed; ‘A’ parallel! How come? Come! Come! Come! She hugged me and congratulated me. Wow! Congratulations BJ! You are indeed a genius! She said. My joy was indescribable. What remained then was my JAMB result. I had opted to study electrical and electronics engineering at the federal university of technology Owerri (FUTO). Mr. Adegoke said that FUTO was one of the best universities to study electrical engineering in Nigeria. I was optimistic that I would also do well.


Two months later, the result of the JAMB examination came out and I scored far above the cut off point for electrical and electronics engineering department.


The day that Mr. Goke brought home my admission letter from his mail box was the day some banks in Nigeria were announced to have gone distressed and it included the bank that granted me scholarship from secondary to university level, and even promised me a job upon graduation.

All the branches of the bank in Ibadan were sealed up. Security men were detailed at the banks to prevent people that have converged at the banks from having access to the few staff available at the bank. Mr. Goke took two days off work and together we travelled to the head office of the bank at Akure city. We met some officials at the bank and when we presented my case, we were told that the bank had seized to exist as a corporate entity, in other words, the bank is dead! The bank has no obligation to anything or anybody until the courts say otherwise. We returned to Ibadan exhausted and disappointed. Even Mr. Goke for the first time since I met him lacked words to use and encourage me as I cried. He allowed me to cry.


It was hard to imagine how my hope that was raised so high was squashed and my life was turning into a quagmire of sadness and confusion. Where do I go next? What do I do? Mr. Adegoke was just managing with his nuclear family and still sponsoring himself at school. I could not afford to be an additional burden to him, he cannot sponsor me in school for he does not have the resources.


I fell sick; I was hospitalized and discharged after five days at the hospital. I lost hope, I lost appetite and I lost the zeal to move on. After struggling and burning my candles at both ends in order to gain admission into the university, here I am with no means to survive in the university.


I was fully recovered two months going when Mr. Goke woke me up from sleep in the middle of the night and told me to prepare to leave for Owerri in the morning.

He said I should take my destiny in my hands and move on to face the world. He brought out some money and gave to me. It was the money I realized four years ago when I sold of grandma’s properties. I had given it to him for safe keeping but I assumed he must have spent it all these years while taking care of me in his house.


Take this money and go to Owerri to claim your destiny! Do not allow any obstacle or force on earth to stop you from being the man God has made you to be. Just go and get your self registered first! Then look around you and find a means of survival. You could survive by teaching your fellow students and helping them in assignments and projects! Write to me regularly and let me know how you are doing, my wife and I will always pray for you. I do not have money to give to you but take my advice seriously and dare to succeed.

“Dare to succeed” that was why I left Ibadan the next day and travelled all the way down to the eastern part of Nigeria on my own. To dare to succeed!


































1991-University environment was so different from any environment I have been in my twenty two years of existence. It was a case of multi socio-cultural mix up.


No one gave a damn about my age! In fact I was not the oldest in my class of seventy students at 100 levels. I had married men and women as class mates! I had my age mates and younger ones too, no one cared about age and that feeling was soothing to me unlike what I passed through in my secondary school where my class mates and the whole school tagged me an uncle.


The social life was something else though. I had to adapt. For instance, I needed to stop bowing too low or try to prostrate while greeting someone that is older than me. I needed to curtail the excessive use of “yes sir” while discussing with an older one, be it student or lecturer, I could start a sentence with “yes sir” and end it with “sir” it was strange to the eastern people when I discuss with and older person and show so much respect. They laugh at me, they say I am local.


Another thing I observed here was the public show of affection between male and female students. I was always carried away when I see a boy and a girl taking a walk hand in hand or worse still when a girl seats on the lap of a boy discussing in public. I would forget myself and mope at them until they either shout at me or they shy away from my presence. It was not easy for me to stop looking at skimpily dressed ladies exposing their luscious cleavages and thighs in public, people were so free. No class prefect or school prefect to bully you.  The class captains here were mere stooges for the lecturers.


There were joints where we go to buy snacks and soft drinks. One could also go to town in the evening to drink alcohol or whatever pleases you. The evenings were my favourite moments as I would go out and sit close the school gate to watch the array of visitors trooping in and out of the school to pick up our girls. I saw exotic cars in their numbers; cars I had thought only existed in foreign movies, porch cars with convertible roof blaring out loud music and occupants dressed like movies Stars.

I would watch girls dressed for the night walk out of the school gate to board taxis to town. My favourite sit out was at Mallam Musa’s Kiosk close to the gate, I normally buy groundnut or biscuit and a bottle of Fanta as I sit and feed my eyes.


In my first year, I rarely went to the school joint. It was not meant for my type. I had no money to spare, the two times I went there was on invitation by a friend called Maduka. He had insisted I accompanied him there for a snack. When we got there, it was a beehive of activities. Every table was occupied with students’ spending money, eating and drinking. We had to wait for some students to finish eating and leave before we took over the chairs they sat on. I saw a student commanding the waitress to serve about seven other students seated around him with whatever they want.

I also saw wastage of food and drinks. Many of the girls that ate at the joint did not eat up their snacks, they barely drank half of the soft drink and bite off half of the snacks, the only item I know they ate up was meat. I hardly saw any left over stick meat. I wished I could pack up all the left over’s and take to my room. It would do me for a couple of days.


Year one was like an extension of secondary school. I did so well in my courses because I was already good in physics and other science subjects before entering the university.


The school was quite affordable because it is a federal government school. I was in the dormitory and we ate at the refectory while some of us cooked. I did both.


Mr. Adegoke and I were still in touch through letter writing and I always looked forward to reading from him.

Yes! Lest I forget, I had problems pronouncing the names of Igbo friends, names that starts with “Chi” I would pronounce as “she” it was practically impossible for me to change that tone, even when I tried to pronounce it right and it sounds right to my hearing, they still laugh at me and said I couldn’t get it right. I would call Ikesukwu instead of Ikechukwu. It irritated some of them and they would rather I called their English names while it amused others. All in all, it earned me the name “Omo Yoruba” in my first year. I am Yoruba by tribe and my accent stood out.

In the hostel I was quiet and reserved. I do not exceed my boundary, I do not mingle. I simply coil up in my bunk and dig into my books. Mr. Adegoke had told me that I needed to start working on my grades from my first day in school so I do no miss classes, I do not miss assignments and tests and when the second semester result was published, the name “Omo” became a force to be reckoned with. I cleared all “A”s and my CGP was 5.0.


I stayed back in the hostel during the holiday. I had no where to go to. Few students stayed back also. My money had run down and I was wondering how I would cope in my second year when school resumes. I could still pay my school and departmental fees, but then I would be left with very little to feed.


I went into town; I walked the length of Okigwe road to World Bank area looking for anything until I saw a vacancy advert posted on a gate. It read “Holiday Tutors wanted “. I knocked at the gate; it was a private school that needed Science teachers for students on holiday as well as preparatory classes for SSCE and JAMB examinations. I got the offer to teach Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics to SS1 and SS2 students. I started work immediately. It was fun and engaging but the pay was good. I solved every question the students threw at me to test my capability because I looked young and inexperienced.

Within two weeks of my working at the school, the number of students doubled. I have my ways of teaching that it made the student to want to be in my class, I told them that if a Village man like me with the least support in life could clear all “A”s in my SSCE then it should be an easy ride for them that are in the City and have every family support they need. I made the students to solve equations themselves. I gave them home works and the next day we solve it together. The students looked forward to my jokes and my accent too, but in all, they got to love the subjects that I taught.


The most important aspect of teaching was that it also opened an avenue for me to research and improves on myself. I had to read wider to prepare for those naughty students who liked to disgrace lecturers by bringing problems that are out of the curriculum for the lecturer to solve. Some will ask irrelevant question just to embarrass the Teacher. These were children of the elites in Owerri. Spoilt Kids.


I made more money during the November General Certificate Examination GCE. The private school where I taught during the holidays was an examination centre for the GCE. The proprietor hired me to assist the students that were writing the examination at his centre. I was kept in a secured room and question papers from the examination hall were brought to me to solve and provide answers for the students. I went on different days to provide answers for Physics, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics questions. I was sure the Students would clear those subjects with “A”s. except the student that refuse to pay up. I was rewarded handsomely for my effort and on resumption for school in 1992 at the age of twenty three, I was ready for school.
























Posted in Burning Platform, Drama, jokes and humour, Literature, Poems, POLITICS, Prose, Stories, Uncategorized

The Abandoned Child Season 4



We resumed school in October 1986 for the transitional term in preparation for the new 6334 academic system promulgated by the federal ministry of education. This implied that we would be staying 6 years in secondary school instead of the former 5 years but those students already in forms 4 and 5 would graduate after five years. Modupe would graduate this session.


Modupe was appointed the Girls senior prefect of the school and my friends were congratulating because of my supposed affiliation with her. I could not really tell what I did to Modupe that made her change towards me, I have thought it over without any clue so I decided to keep my distance from her to avoid further embarrassment.


There was a day Modupe was going from classroom to classroom with her cane in hand looking for noise makers or any non conformer. She entered my class, I was discussing an assignment with Kazeem but we all stood up and greeted her. She waved the class to sit down and she pointed the cane at Kazeem and me.


You two! Stand up! Come out here! She commanded


We went to the front of the class


Why were you two disturbing the class? She asked

Senior, we were not disturbing, we were working on an assignment! Kazeem replied.

Shut up! Big head! She barked. Do you do assignments with hands or your mouth? Oya, the two of you, go and kneel in the sun kia! Kia! (Quickly) she commanded.


There was a soft wave of murmuring in the class room.

What is it? She asked the class; or do you all want to go outside and kneel with them? She asked


Yes! Yes! The class chorused. Uncle is our Class Monitor and he does not make noise! Someone dare to say amongst the students.

Who is talking? Come outside this minute! Modupe commanded angrily.


It was Joseph that came out, the boy I slapped sometime ago.


Oh! You have the guts to talk any how to me abi? Modupe queried.


But senior, the class was quiet when you came in, and even if uncle B was talking, it was on a low tone and moreover, he is our class captain! Joseph explained.


By the way, who is uncle B? Modupe asked him, though she knew he was referring to me.


Uncle B! Uncle! The class chorused, pointing at me.


Modupe turned to face me; she poked my chest with her cane.

Hey! They say you are uncle B! Are you not ashamed of your self? Your age mates are in the university and here you are with the age mates of your children! And you are happy that they call you uncle! Agbaya lasan lasan! (Old fool) my friend, go out! Go out and kneel in the sun with your hands up in the sky! She screamed as she flogged every part of my body with the cane. We ran out of the class onto the open field and quickly knelt down. Hands up! Hand up! She was upon us flogging frantically. We obeyed even as we tried to block the canes with our outstretched arms.

Where is that other foolish one that has a big mouth to talk to me any how? She screamed as she charged back into out class room. She flogged Joseph out of the class to out kneeling position.

Common kneel down! Kneel down! You know how to talk abi?

Joseph joined us weeping and writhing in pain.


She did not come back to release us until the close of school when students were rushing to the assembly ground that my English language teacher saw us and told us to stand up and proceed to the assembly ground.


There was another instance when some of us came to class in the morning. The school’s time regulator was the duty prefect and she told us to kneel down as punishment for coming late. Modupe came around and saw that I was amongst the kneeling students: she immediately summoned the Labour prefect and instructed him to take us to the school football field with our Langalanga (long flexible cutlass) to cut grass through out the day. We missed classes that day.


Severally I contemplated confronting Modupe to ask her to forgive me in whatever form I have wronged her but anytime I see her, my heart beat skips and I scurry away before she sees me. My social life in class 2 was very poor and bitter because of my fear for Modupe.

I also recall the day she disgraced me in the presence of the whole school during our monthly “social night” gathering that holds in the school hall every last Saturday of the month. I was representing class 2 in the “Mr. Macho” competition and have scaled two rounds of screening already.


It was my third and last round of flexing muscles and posing amidst cheers and cat cries from the students. I was sure of victory as my shiny body glistered under the florescent bulbs that laminate the hall. We had rubbed our bodies with Vaseline jelly. After my act, I got a resounding ovation and I was all smiles until it was time for the oral interview. The judges of course were a selection of school prefects. I was given a wireless micro phone to answer questions directed at me.

It was the social prefect that asked me the first and only question that shattered my night.


Bolaji! Aka uncle B! He called and the hall went agog again chanting uncle B!

Uncle B!


He gestured for the students to calm down and he continued; if you win the 1000 naira prize for this competition and you are told to give it to any girl of your choice in this school, who would be?


It was a simple question and I answered quickly;

Of course I would give it to my sister the SP girls!


Modupe got up from her seat and walked briskly to snatch the microphone from the social prefect.


Who is your sister? She asked me: are you okay?


SP! I said calmly, are you no longer my sister? Are we not from the same village?


Look! Look! Look! She countered, pointing at me; I know where I am from o! I know my village very well.  My father told me everything about my lineage before he died and you or your family was not mention by my father! Look! I know my father and I know my mother! Do you know yours? Answer me! She challenged, do you know your father or your mother?


I was answering her but the words did not come out as I took the microphone to my mouth to speak. My tongue felt glued to roof of my mouth. I desperately struggled to say something but the words weren’t coming out.


Oh you can’t talk abi? She continued; please for your information and to set the records straight, I am not from the same town with you! You were brought from Lagos at birth by your prostitute mother and dumped with your retired prostitute grand mother before your mother ran back to Lagos to continue her profession! Is it true or false!?


The whole hall went wild with laughter. She handed the microphone back to the stunned social prefect. I wished for the earth to open up and swallow me as I stood there in shame wearing only a boxer and crying with my glistering face. It was Kazeem that came from the crowd and pulled me back stage. Once back stage I broke down and wept like a hungry baby


You brought this upon your self uncle B! Kazeem said.

How? I asked crying

You know this girl does not like you! Couldn’t you have called any other girl in the school or any of our class girls? Why someone whom you and I know hates your guts? Kazeem asked


Kazeem, how am I to know she resents me that much? I did not do anything to Modupe that would make her humiliate me so badly. Do you know that the fortune my retired prostitute grand mother left for me is with Modupe’s mother? She invested it in her business. I gave her my everything so she could be a mother to her children and me. Her mother and mine were child hood friends.

I also gave Modupe’s mother the reward our state government gave me for helping to recover some stolen bank money. During the last holiday, I asked her mother for some money but she told me my money was put in a fixed deposit and was not mature for withdrawal. She said she put my two hundred thousand naira in a fixed deposit account! What about the raw cash my granny left for me that she invested into her business? Couldn’t she spare me some pocket money while I was on holiday? I did not pry further because I felt she may not have physical cash with her. I had to word as a hired labourer in other people’s farms in other to have some pocket money while on holiday. I wailed as I explained all these to Kazeem. Ha! See how Modupe finished me publicly in my nakedness!


I did not return to the stage, I wiped my body dry with a towel and went into my class room to think about certain facts about my life. Like, who is my real father? What is my real surname? Where is my mother? What does she even look like? Why did she not look back and come for me after all these years even after being told that her mother had died? What does she think had become of me? Does she have other children? Who really am I?


Those were the questions I asked Mr. Adegoke my English language teacher when I narrated my experience on the social night to him in his office on Monday morning during recess.


He felt so sad and expressed his disappointment at modupe’s attitude towards me. However, he gave me some words of encouragement. He told me not to focus on all the negative issues in my life, he mentioned some notable citizens of the world and Nigeria in particle who had very terrible childhood. He encouraged me to try and re-write my story so that my children will not go through what I have gone through in life. He said to me “Bolaji, you do not have any one in this world except your self” the only way you can change your story is to be the best in all that you do! “Failure is a bastard but success has many relatives” you must succeed! You must pass your WAEC in flying colours! You must go to the university! You must graduate with first class honours! With these, you will get a good job! When you get a good job and you are comfortable then you will see another face of the human specie! Once you are successful, you will realize how important you will be! Every one that has mocked you will swallow their words shamelessly! Even the so called Modupe will worship you and she will apologize for all she has done to you. She will try to justify all the wrong she did you. That is human being for you. But do not allow Modupe to shatter your dream rather let it challenge you. I bet you Bolaji, when you become someone in life, your elusive mother will go through the desert to reach you! Bet with me! He gave me his right little finger, I gave him mine and we betted. He gave me a pat on the back as he stood up and walked out of his office. I have a class to teach after the recess, he said.

Mr. Adegoke’s words were like the balm I needed to heal up. I made up my mind then to be more close to Kazeem so he could help me to improve in my academics.

By the end of class 2, I passed with an overall average of 88%. I got an A in English language and a B in mathematics











Posted in Burning Platform, Literature, POLITICS, Uncategorized




May his soul rest in eternal peace, Sunny Okosun ask this salient Question in the 80’s. The Video Clip of the music showed the rot and decay prevalent in the then Nigerian society. He said,” many years after independence we still find it hard to start. How long shall be patient before we reach the Promised Land”? He asked!

I am still asking that question today, which Promised Land was Okosun referring to? At least the Israelites knew their promised land was called Canaan and they endured their travails till they got to it. My father told me then when I asked him, he said our promised land will be a ‘New Nigeria’ I asked him how, he said “ New Nigeria” will be the envy of all other nations of the world, a country where food will be in abundance and affordable, a country where all graduates will be gainfully employed, cost of living will be low, a country where your take home salary would take you home and remain with you till the next pay day, he said the new Nigeria will be ruled by Civilians and Politics will not be a do or die affair, social amenities will be intact and functional, no long queues for fuel, Diseases and sicknesses will not be a scare, he said every Nigerian would view the other like a brother or sister not withstanding religious affiliation or ethnicity, we would all sleep with both eyes closed at night. My Father promised me that the new Nigeria would be a tourist state, a haven for foreign investors, new Nigeria would be an export oriented state and our naira and Kobo would stand tall in global economy.

Today, my father is a pensioner and resident in my Village, the new Nigeria his generation promised mine is still elusive, in fact the situation has degenerated.

As a young Boy in primary School when Sunny Okosun sang that prophetic song, I still remember vividly how life was then, we were living in 82 Division Army barracks Enugu then and as Kids we  were hearing about austerity measures and the war against indicipline only in the radio and television, we did not feel it.There was surplus of food; Ten kobo was too much to take to school as daily pocket money. I still recollect how we traveled a lot by Rail because my father was always being posted from one state to the other; I remember the economic activities that took place at railway stations.

My Mother was a Seamstress; she had a Shop at the mammy market with not less than fifteen young Women as apprentices at every point in time. They spent a time range of six months to two years to learn all my Mother had to offer ranging from, Sewing, Knitting, Pomade, soap and Cream making, Cake baking. Etc.  On graduation a certificate is issued to them and they are free to set up their own establishments and train others too. My Mother built a house in our village before my father. At close of School we the Children will go to Mummy’s Shop and help out and as a result we learnt all that she knows too.

School used to be fun those days. I attended Army Children’s School Abakpa Barracks, we trekked to and from School and it was fun playing along with friends till you get to school, we feared arriving at school late to avoid being reprimanded by, flogging, picking papers round the school premises or kneeling down with hands stretched up under the sun, if one fails a promotional exam, he or she must repeat the class, there was no two ways about that. You get flogged for failing an assignment or failing to answer a question right in class. Our Teachers were professionals and were proud to be. Some of us desired to be Teachers when we grow up.

Hardly were there private schools those days, because the Public schools were good, well equipped and sufficient.

There used to be so many foreign investors, living with us without fear of being kidnapped.

That was when Enugu was actually a Coal City, Coal camp was actually a Camp for Coal miners, Railway quarters at Artisan market was actually inhabited by railway workers, there were Companies like Anamco, Emmenite, Bilante, Bata Shoes, etc Enugu Zoo and Polo park was a beehive of activities during public holidays.

Those days when water rushed freely from public taps, when we approach any tap that seems dry we use our mouth and suck hard on the Tap nozzle, sometimes we get water, sometimes we don’t.

Discipline was in our system those days; I remember the war against indiscipline crusade (W.A.I). I was a member of the W.A.I Brigade and our Job in School was to ensure other Kids do not urinate of defecate indiscriminately, any uncouth attitude was generally frowned at, the aim was to ensure cleanliness and orderliness in all facets of our life. If the W.A.I crusade had stood the test of time, corruption would have been nipped in the bud.

Today I am, married with Kids. I refuse to tell my kids that there is a new Nigeria somewhere; I refuse to give them false hope. The state of Nigeria when Okosun sang his Song was by far better than what we have today.

Where are those Expatriate investors? We chased them away, we said we wanted to manage our resources by ourselves; they left and took their ideas and initiatives with them. Where are the Trains and railway lines that connected all the regions of Nigeria? What happened to all the Business activities that took place at the Train stations?

What is the status of the skilled laborers in Nigeria today? Where are the textile mills? A textile mill employs a minimum of Three thousand workers; imagine the number of mouths being fed by the textile mills when you look at the multiplier effect! Where are the shoe industries? Bata and Lenard! The vocational jobs are left at the mercy of those that started it, Our Fathers! No continuity plans because our generation was not taught to learn a trade or acquire a skill to be self reliant. The mechanic workshops, the Plumber, electricians, brick layers, shoemakers, tailors, carpentry and furniture workers, hair weaving and braiding, barbing and hair dressing, welding, vulcanizing, catering etc are all dearth of apprentices. The old proprietors are fizzling out; they will die with these skills because our generation does not want to work dirty.

Where are the play grounds in our schools? What happened to those prestigious public schools? Where are those teachers that never spared the rod? What happened to the free medication we received in Military and Public hospitals? Are our Medical Practitioners still proud to be called Doctors and nurses?

I hardly see the public taps anymore! Are the Taps still flowing or has the water run dry permanently? What is the stance of our Naira and Kobo in global economy? Can salaries still take you home and sustain you and yours?

It is so sad that Okosun died with no one to answer his questions, Andy was advised not to check out because he was promised “ Nigeria go better” today Andy is dead ( Enebeli Enebuwa) he survived in Nigeria by rediscovering himself and his imbued talent. But Nigeria don better? I ask!

Today, Musicians  are still remixing the same question. Same question my father’s generation could not answer! Are we not making the same mistake? Shouldn’t we use another approach?

If we do not know our way forward as a nation, at least we know where we are coming from. Our past was by far better than today and it might get worse as I cannot see any blue print to guarantee a better tomorrow. “Which way Nigeria”? I still can see no way!

So my People! Let us retrace our steps, let us go back to when we had good public schools, the influx of private owned institutions have not helped us! Our schools are now money making ventures in the hands of capitalists! No discipline, a teacher cannot correct a child for fear of the parent withdrawing the Child from the school, a child would not repeat a class if he or she fails considering the enormous amount spent on school fees and accessories! Parent pay money for organized examination malpractices! W.A.E.C, N.E.C.O, J.A.M.B are now arranged. Those days the highest score in Jamb was in the range of 200 to 260 points for the very brilliant students. Today Students score over 300 points in J.A.M.B and when you interface with these students, you wonder how they ever scored that high. That is why the universities now organize their own entrance examination for entrants after J.A.M.B has declared them eligible for admission. It was not like this before. So many graduates with wonderful grades are today wallowing in the labor market; imagine a Nigeria where a PHD holder applies for the position of a Driver!

Let us go back and develop entrepreneurial skills, so we can be self reliant, let us revive the ailing industries by equipping ourselves to fill in the imminent gaps, we can bring back, Bata shoes, the garment industries, Textile Industries, we can bring back made in Nigeria clothes, shoes, furniture, we can rekindle exportation of these products and make our generation different.

Let us stop talking the talk, its high time we walked the walk. All of us have left our farm lands in our home towns for our frail fathers. We are clogged in Cities looking for white collar jobs, we are pursuing too few jobs in our numbers. This is the major reason why salaries can never be attractive! Because there are too many laborers looking for too few jobs, any Capitalist can hire and fire at will!

My people say that “The Farmer is King” We are loafing about in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt  looking for oil Jobs, telecom jobs, banking Jobs, etc even a graduate who spent four years in the university to read education wants to work in an oil firm  and refuses to work in a school! The graduate of Agriculture wants to work in Shell and Zenith bank!

Let us return home like the biblical prodigal Son! Let us stop eating food meant for pigs while we are Land Lords in our home towns. We can resuscitate the withering cocoa Plantations, the abandoned plantations, our Fathers lands have been left to fallow for too long. Let us establish fish farms and Poultry farms. Agriculture is bedrock to manufacturing industries. Availability to raw material is one the criteria for establishment of industries. The land is green but our youths are too blind to see it, we are all looking up oblivious of the opportunities that abound around us!

A secondary school leaver that does not clear all of his Papers at once resort to Okada Ridding instead of learning a trade while attending extra moral lessons to rewrite his papers, the money he earns from his Okada trade makes him forget that as he grows older, his responsibility increases and by the time he realizes it, it is too late. He cannot go back to school and he feels too old to learn a trade so he resorts to social vices and becomes a menace to society.

Our generation should stop thinking of what Nigeria would do for us! Let’s start thinking of what we can do for ourselves first, then what we can do for Nigeria, for it is better to give than to receive.

Nigeria has no business importing food stuff! Ours is a youthful population! The land is GREEN! Our national color is green white and green, we should feed the world! What happened to operation feed the nation? Obasanjo Farms alone cannot feed Ogun State let alone the world. We should be exporters of Cocoa, Cotton, Palm produce, Grains, fruits! Why traveling to Sokoto to get that which is in your Shokoto? Imagine Nigeria importing poultry meat! Why should this be? We have farmers in Nigeria making millions from selling poultry products but they cannot meet the demand of the people consequently we resort to import to close the demand gap. We should fill this gap locally. The fact that we import these products shows the magnitude of its demand in the country.  Notwithstanding the ban placed on the importation of these products our people still smuggle them in. We do not need millions of naira to start a poultry farm or a fish farm! If you cannot build ponds, you can use plastic Tanks. Recently I bought two Plastic tanks for N20,000 and placed them in my compound, there is a bore hole already so I had no problem with water, I had a plumber run pipes through the tanks to the gutter so I can dispel polluted water, I bought four hundred pieces of cat fish juvenile at N15 each, after five months I had spent N80,000 for Sixteen bags of feeds and I sold off the fishes for N360,000 naira, today my wife and I receive calls from retailers and Customers asking of when the next harvest is due. The land is green! You can start on small scale and grow this business due to demand pull!

My submission and answer to Sunny Okosun’s question is this. There is no “New Nigeria” any where! All we must do is look inwards and retrace our steps to when our flag was green white and green, today our flag is turned to black, red and black. (Oil, turbulence and Oil)

China with her high Population had to build the Berlin wall to rediscover herself, when the wall was opened, they surprised the whole world, India is highly populated too but today we run there for Drugs and medication, she rediscovered herself. Nigeria is highly populated but what has she got to offer the World?

I deliberately left the Politicians out of my discourse because they are a distraction. let them be for we are in this together, if we sort ourselves out. Politics will naturally be sorted.

Thank You.

Dom Awoleye