Tuesday, April 29, 2014

April Recap: Standing up for the Weak

Hello guys!

The month of April is almost history. In many ways, April 2014 has been a bloody month. From the still-missing Malaysian flight to numerous other tragedies, man-made or human-induced, the world has been 'bleeding' literally. Incidents such as the earthquake in Chile, gunmen attack on residents in Gidan Aku in Taraba State, assault by a drunken police officer on two women in Lagos (when he should be protecting and upholding the law) have also been notable.

Add to that the ship mishap in Korea two weeks ago in which only 174 out of 436 passengers, mostly teachers and students, were rescued, the world has simply been counting losses. This is of course, in addition to the continued bloodletting in the northern part of Nigeria where the Islamic sect, Boko Haram has been relentless in perpetrating violence, another daring sample of which was the bombing of Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja about two weeks ago. To add grotesque gloss to that, two days later, the sect abducted over 200 school girls from a Federal Government College in Chibok, Borno State. More than half of those girls still remain in captivity or perhaps have met worse fate already.

 Amidst all of these tragedies, the menace of child abuse really bothers me. April is a month dedicated to Children who in various ways, continue to be abused by their biological parents, foster parents or just mere pedophiles. Child abuse is very real and very poignant. And it is steadily growing in notoriety. It breaks my heart to know that as adults, many of us don't tend to care anymore so long as it is not happening to anyone around us. I can understand why so many parents continue to live in fear and why many women would rather be stay-home moms irrespective of the lure in any public or civil service jobs.

Frankly speaking, we are not doing enough against this ugly trend that is fast eating into the fabric of our society. So as guardians, parents, uncles, aunts, brothers, sisters, etc, if you are well-invested in this evil, stop it. We can always do much better than take advantage of those we ought to protect. Mind you, there are always consequences to be suffered for this unwholesome treatment of children.

Here is hoping that during the out-going month, you have done your bit in protecting the children this month and that you will continue to commit to a life in defense of children's rights.

To those of us following on how the news of the abducted girls develop, may I tell you that It’s been alleged that the girls have been married off to men in Chad and Cameroon at the rate of N2000. As sad as it sounds, I really do not know where we are getting at with all of the craziness going around. So when you pray remember to say a prayer for the girls, and their families.

Here’s wishing you a fantastic new month ahead.

I love you my darlings :p





Monday, April 28, 2014

Jumping to Attention II

First off, I would like to thank my friends and (in advance) those of you who will hopefully join our bandwagon, for the outpouring of love and encouragement you guys showed me on my first post on this page! Suffice to say that I am indebted to you all for encouraging a lazy writer like me to becoming better ):

On a not-so-lighter mode, I want to share with us how important it is to be sensitive and attentive to our environment. I hopped a taxi on my way to work a few days ago around 8:10 am. Once in the taxi, I immediately told the driver that it was too hot inside the taxi, and asked him for the window winder (of course most winding levers in taxis and buses in Nigeria are always either not available or the only available on is kept with the driver). He ignored me at first, until I asked him to wind down the window for me instead. To this he replied with a sharp: "It's missing." Right then, I felt queasy and asked that he stopped moving the taxi. Next thing he went off the road to the shoulder/ curb (as we call it here in Nigeria), and the taxi came to a halt.

A drama of sort then followed at the end of which I could not but thank God for delivering me from what I would call ‘a lion's den,' although I am aware that some persons may term it melodramatic by me: In the bid to open the door, the other passenger (a middle aged man with a badly shrunken right arm which I didn't initially notice) moved over to my side in a split second, and tried to ‘help' open the door. In his other hand he had a N100 note. Then, stretching across my ‘frontal' or ‘oranges' as some of you would term those beautiful things that tend to cling unto a male-hugger (laughs), I felt his left hand go straight into my ginormous handbag that was securely hung over my left shoulder.

In horror I started to scream in Yoruba (much of which was in unprintables). I remember yelling: "let me out of this car, please" As God would have it, I saw two guys whom I measured to be in their early 20s, coming towards the car. They seemed so close to car's lights yet they couldn't even hear me. They were obviously too engrossed in their discussion to hear me scream. As they came closer to the back door where I sat, I yelled harder in plea and thankfully, they obliged and opened the door from the outside and I promptly jumped out.

It is interesting to note that the car in question being a ‘manual' car shouldn't have required a great deal of effort to open during those three dramatic minutes I was holed up in there. And now, in retrospect, there are a few questions I am still unable to find answers to even as I write this. What, for instance stopped the car's door from opening? We are talking here about a car that did not at all seem ‘rickety' unlike the other junks one gets to see on our roads all the time. This particular auto seemed to be in just the sort of physical state you would expect any decent car to be in. Moreover, the opening handle on the inside seemed fine. What would have happened if I wasn't paying attention or was busy chatting away on my phone? What if I had not sought for help from those guys? Would I have been hypnotised or placed under some sort of spell such that I wouldn't be able to speak until they were done stealing all they could from me or even worse?

Ultimately, friends I would like for us to ALWAYS be on guard. Vigilance should be your priority wherever you find yourself - in public or private surroundings. Truth is, evil lurks around even in small, seemingly innocuous settings. We should, therefore, always be present-minded enough such that potential threats to our safety could jump to our attention.


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Jumping to Attention

As a mother, I would like to say that majority of mothers who either call their babies such names by reason of intuition or love for their babies (not saying that kids who grow up without such pet names from their mothers weren’t loved by them). Before I digress too much, I was going to share a little with us how parenting has made mothers super-experienced at listening to their child, either when they coo or cry. We see that mothers are almost always available to attend to the needs of their child. Be it at night or during the day.
Where am I really going with an intro like this? With each passing day, even as adults, we are beginning to see the need to be at alert in our environment… I know some job applications often ask that the applicant explain how they pay attention to detail in the job they are seeking. This also applies to the current situation that we as a nation are faced with. When people see things going on around them, many a times we tend to pull off that ‘it is not my business’ attitude. And this should really not be so.
In the wake of the bombing incident at Nyanya Motor Park in Abuja, Nigeria, that claimed over a hundred lives and left about 70 injured people (May their souls rest in peace), I began asking myself what really happened with the bombers’ relatives. Didn’t they have friends and/or neighbours? Did any of those friends/neighbours/relatives get wind of anything before that evil day? If so, why didn’t anybody come forward to tell anybody? I mean like seriously. I still believe that a lot would have been done to avert the unfortunate tragedy.
While we cannot entirely turn back the hands of time, I implore everyone/anyone reading this post today never to ignore the need to always be attentive.
 Permit me to leave you with this anonymous quote I picked up a few years ago
“It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare.
It is because we do not dare that things are difficult.”