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FOR SOME REASON(S)

Once again I grip my pen to write something to my community. But my thoughts are jumpy; I am pregnant with the voice of disqualification to send the message. I ran close to the rocks to question the sudden feeling of incapacitation somewhere in between my tongue and my chest but for some reason the rocks were mute. I am Black – for some reason I learnt this by rote till my subconscious dined in graceful relaxation at the sight of coal skins I saw on Google. Without exactitude as to subject matter of this letter, I place my holy book close to my thigh that my eager fingers mislead not my community to a web of confusion – could be a sanctimonious move, source of inspiration, or self-deceit, but the intent is all that matters. So with unnecessary iteration, I verbalize that the colour of my skin is Black and my ink floats to staining point on my manchii, black men with every black issue, community, squeaky clean black apples I enjoy when left in vagueness – each mention in no particular order. So after six nightmares in one night, I am led by my flight hormone to state unreservedly that I am not qualified because I suffer what we all suffer. Be it from the throne of hypocrisy to slimy lies; from the black confusion to fury fist fights; from believable activism to underground nepotism; from the ironies of October first’s significance, to over 700 million US dollars dependence and shit! Someone has to write, someone has to accommodate the stones of hypocrisy if a change in today’s reality is to be swallowed by the perfect ideology of the black slaves. It is raining hard here that I cannot here my thoughts but I am not sorry all the same if my message has a drum full of maze and hyperbole that dribbles you to frustration or if its truism leaves you unrepentantly disgruntled.

At the mention of the word TRUTH, what comes to mind is the problem as it is… inasmuch as solace should not be given to that interpretation, it may be pardoned because the black issues have oiled the solutions to dusk. For some reason, there is the need to stop the clamour for racial bonding because if we moonwalk back to Obama’s campaign, the black community was keen on voting because Obama was a black man who had a torch of ancient narration mirroring the travails of an average black man. The controversial theories and emotional outbursts of black Americans did not leave the niche of the white government is interested in none of our interests – some placards carried by the blacks displayed Obama’s image but the holders of the placard were too excited that they thought it arrogant to do a dig up on intellectual Obama. But what is the point? The year 2012 was a trying time for the erstwhile president of the United States and the Blacks lost hope and tiptoed to the realm of a niggotry raging syndrome – the remark despite his start-but-not-finish projects that he was confident to win again if there was a slot for a third try, was a grotesque and creepy moment that scared the shit out of some black men in Connecticut and typical black villages. So if history holds that the level of nepotism in the white race was at a GP tank level, Wiki should be quickly updated to include the black man fought the good fight to out rank the US in nepotism slot. Nepotism is just favouritism – it is a contagious virus that seems right in the eye of the practitioner as it has a mellifluous way of pummelling the gifted hands and accepting the inept fingers of persons knitted by consanguinity or affinity, tribe, or sex. If we want to be seen by the world to have a favouritism-free outlook, then we must start seeing every tribe beyond a stereotype – it is achievable to my mind, I understand your giggle. 

The Eastern part of Nigeria has been the gist on Facebook – the diatribe on social media all geared towards a call for secession. The seventh verse of the third chapter of the book of Proverbs frowns at the appalling folly of the leadership of the corruption activist, and the London-based Easterner on a mission to presenting a mirage to the amygdala of his minions. If the allegations stand as a matter of truth that IPOB have for themselves a garrison with sophisticated cannons, then I have saved for myself a black robe to mourn the washed brains of people who think the miracle of war in arms and the man and david and goliath is attainable course meal any time soon. For some reason the youths who never saw or participated in the civil war of 1967 are finger happy airing their voices via messages on the media – the internet has become the voice of the voiceless – on why a split is fair and apropos. But who is asking the question whether Kanu intends to rule as a democrat if there becomes a country? For some reason the youths have stopped thinking – if at 57 years Nigeria is still accused by our internal recess of decaying at infancy, how feasible is the expected happiness of these justifiably emotionally bruised homogenous indigenous peoples whose homogeneity over time never spoke with one voice? Have they imagined their one year old? By necessary implication, the agitation seems to be politically inspired and clothed with a people pleasing rubric called MARGINALISATION. And maybe for some reason the Easterners feel they should have a shot at presidency hence the ruckus for a break up, but the constitution seems fairly penned on election matters without the motive of hurting the feelings of the finger-counts Eastern state. If the first man of Nigeria had masturbated wisdom into his inner cockles, the python dance should have never known reality – to err is human after all, but continuous folly is the configuration of a man into a bleating sheep. Bullying the people in the East violated their fundamental human rights and to show why there is difficulty at a settlement, the South Eastern Governors are cold porridges and meteorically wiping their hands off the agitation to safeguard their level of belligerence to the man that wielded political muscle – for this reason, it is comprehensible why one should barf at the obtuseness of these Governors (and yes…with all due respect). The restructuring agenda and enhanced peace talks is the banal solution to the sensitive conflicts, but the Government needs to understand this trite solution line rather than bask in further bugs like proscription of agitating group to be a term still suffering due definition. For some reason we have been wise in our own eyes, it is for this we ever retrograde and behave like cannibals with little regard for human life. But then, do you not disagree with me?

I read Clinton’s article on the young people’s bill and for some reason I took sides with Destiny’s comment that the youths are not ready for leadership. If it is not a manuscript carrying the heading of a suggestive erotic manifestation, or the gossip news of whose nip slip did not escape the flash of a tech camera; then carriers’ of solution tips to salvage the economy are called mere preachers – for some reason it is inductive, but maybe it can be understood an angle as history chose to preserve the past activism of the Dino’s to the present extravagant credo of same personality. But just look inwards and see how tawny and morally depraved we have become. Will I not be a bloody hypocrite to petition Google to have the porn sites ensure that no free sexual performances be on display? But we know the reason for our depravity is because we have worshipped the feet of idleness. For some reason it should not be misunderstood that I now take to calling the black youths porn addict; the point made is that there are lot of ways we can add value to our society rather than dwell in yucky creamy spill overs for personal aggrandisement or its equivalent. I see a youth with the vision to reforming barren laws like the unsavoury wordings of the code on defilement which allows for two months for the offence to know the court record books or no more. There is a lot of impact if for some reason we realise that we need to rise above hypocrisy and blame games – we should not wail and depend on the unborn babies with magical wands to cause a change. 

For some reason we need to tell one another that self-centredness is the way to perish. The entire favouritism and power tussle is all in a bid to enrich oneself. For some reason my paragraphs are like excerpts of three different texts reflecting the need to be less hypocritical, united, and vision-driven. But what do I know? If for some reason you managed to read to this point, please join celebrate the wisest man and father of this scatterbrain-a-writer. For some reason God has kept you pops…. THE VOICE is lucky to have known what Earth looks like through you. Love you!

OKOCHA OBED

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THE CHASE

Stop wasting my time, drunk Trinculo. You clearly have no idea what staying alive entails. You know, I have watched you from a distance and your level of debauchery require a thirty thousand word count for a proper synopsis – oh such a failure; expected debacle no doubts. The barrels you emptied into your protruded stomach suggests you are basking in the realm of surfeiting yet living small with a crumbled marriage and deserted twins all choked in your state of mind that the kegs have tried but will ever fail to take away. Do not think me confused as to the identity that will surely have to choose between the pellet gun in my left hand and the short gun in my right hand. Your name is Andrew Opete. A very promising young man when you were much younger. I watched you from the years when you were skinny with dull eyes. Your every return from hunting, were met with smiles despite the deep lesions on your skin as long as you slayed a rabbit. You grew into a tough man with sinewy physiognomy; I watched you bathe behind the mud house when you were still sixteen years only to watch you bathe girls older than you in size and age – your dexterity at throwing about your huge penis must have brought them close to you at such a rather young age. You were the Okonkwo of your community from twenty two; you won all local contests as well as the heart of your Obi (king). His daughter (the princess) loved your biceps and you admired her waist line. She became part of the profusion of Cinderella’s that had a slot in your bed – you probably must have called your intercourse with her, a royal rendezvous. You remember how your popularity waned after the princess caught you declaring puppy love for Idongesit in your tent, and mourned the loss of her virginity to an insatiable bull? – of course she called you that in her father’s palace. You were supposed to have your head dismembered from the holder, and your stomach wall, dilacerated till red was the only thick liquid available to wash your isolated head as was tradition. But I saved you not then by not pulling my trigger. I regret it.

Look at you now. You have grown to appreciate misery like a spoilt child having a swell time in the dark. You now smoke big pipes and have smokes escape from every necessary aperture in your body. You officially became a recluse whose companion became cheap grog of eight or nine bottles at the usual pothouse. You surely must miss your wife – I hear she parades the market square twice in a month wearing sack clothes, and swallowing her breasts with her palms cussing the day she met you. O Andrew, your children are seven years of age. You know. They have been declared wanting in three villages and have taken to hiding in rat holes or affordable motels in a strange land. But here you are chasing a fetid hobby as perversion. You had a chance to be a good father, you know, but you chased puerility at a rather ripe age. Not like I do not know why you carried different women and called your wife your beloved sister – on days when she attacked your disturbing behaviours, you never ceased punching her and compelling her big buttock to satisfy your defiled cannon with two eggs, spitting on her face calling her a witch. I watched you go mad but you watched you control your affairs – a simpleton you had become. There really is no need to weep my friend. The death will be with meteor and you won’t have the opportunity of examining the torn tissues and lesions that will manage to constitute a nuisance in your corpus. Let me end your miseries so you won’t one day writhe on the hard earth after discovering the grog will never make your operose heart any lighter but light headed.

Here on my left is a pellet gun with blank cartridges and sealed gas vent created not to necessarily aid the excretion of a shad cutter from a barrel. But with deft hands have I perforated the gas vents to accommodate aluminium pins housed beside the blank cartridges so that the pins come out from the flat side and not the ogive side of my barrel. With red wax applied around the vent, there will be pressure upon the intercourse between the primer, the breech, and the barrel. To your left chest will it be – the muzzle just firm on your body. The pins will penetrate your pericardium from side to side and the heart. Do not be tempted to ask if the dumb police officers will find the saver, the pins are not bullets and so there will not be trace to any popular revolver as a pellet gun is just a manufactured dummy gun (laughs). I have never experimented this kind of imposed salvation on a man before so I brought a short gun, it is rifled, and it maims victims – call it mutilation if you so wish, Andrew. Do not be tempted to ask the same question because the saver will once again be saved as the barrel of a short gun leaves no striation or marks on its bullets. It is just an abnormal gun, good for kicking hard against pricks of your kind. It will be your salvation tonight once you make a pick – stop the wailing, you know your soul wants death. Do not mind the flesh, it craves for hope for a no-hoper; I have killed a hundred of your kind to know this. But as is my culture, let me say you a prayer.

The chase of a man to concern things that do not yield fruits is death inducing – so is the fate of this unclean man, Andrew. The chase of a man of such kind, dear Ariel, is a no chase – this is as you taught, great Ariel. The chase can only take three forms which are the chased, the chaser, and the man not chasing; great one, you taught that the chased is the individual that has a dream and lived or is living it, while the chaser is one who has a dream and hopes to sit with the chased someday by zeal and work. You taught that the ones not chasing are those who wake up every day with no expectations; they are the souls that lost their way and created a shindig in their dark route. Some chasers grow with their mature dreams only to dash it away because of a misconception that life is a bed of roses for those who labour; so they find their path in the foyer of the regular no-chasers unfortunately – the dreams die, and they mourn their nothingness with every stipend they get. They burn their chests with hot drinks, urinate on their trousers when drunk, and cuss the day they were born. They all want to die, the grog hardly kills them. You taught that the trio eventually leads to one solid equation. The equation where even the chased keeps chasing more purpose because a man has an insatiable desire always; the equation where the chaser is being chased by discouraging elements; the equation where the no-chasers are chased by the cold hands of a soul-desired death. O I pray that the bullet or aluminium pin will go right into every no-chaser who has chosen to live a purposeless life. Let my bullet or aluminium pin serve as salvation and a grant of the wishes his body language suggested all through his miserable fifty and one year on earth. Because it is normal to have those that will chase and become rich; those that will chase small dreams and be happy with their crumbs; and those that will not chase because verily only a few persons are big dreamers, I pray that upon the fire of whichever weapon of harm this no-chaser chooses, it shall be for him eternal peace in the interim pending the final abode you, dear Ariel, will appoint jointly with Apollos and Abadnoha. Accept the soul of a simpleton who did not multiply the talent given him by you. Thank you for trusting me with errands of this nature.

You may say amen in your mind, Andrew. You pick the pellet gun? I cannot hear you and I do not intend letting out my short gun off your mouth. Fine, I will pick for you (engages trigger of short gun). Goodbye buddy, this time I do not regret ending your wasted life.

(Gun shots)……..hunter walks away.
THE END!!
©OKOCHA OBED

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IMAGINARY CONVERSATIONS; ON NIGERIA AND HER DOLDRUMS.

DR NKULU:  What is it that makes our country so bad? I often wonder you see – these questions keep revisiting my subconscious with a consistency like that of the menstrual offing. I find myself sauntering into deep thoughts often, contemplating why we have become professional wailers in a country so blessed and in a land stuffed with limitless potentials. Much as I have reasoned, I find myself often bereft of any particular and certain explanation for our seeming proclivity for underwhelming mediocrity. I find this reverie of mine most tedious an enterprise, and yet so necessary a penance, so I think and think; its all I do!

GURU (Stroking his beard); I share your sufferings my good man. I too have severally  applied myself to thought; hoping to understand why we waste away with such finesse. Our largesse of political gaffes and our economic woes, often striking a fine halo of ignominy over my balding head whenever I think about our domicile. To tell you the truth, too many persons have proffered reasons why we fail as a country and too many suppositions have been submitted like mountainous propitiations at my feet. Yet, i am still at loss. I can not find one thread that ties the pack; the reasons person give often do not coincide with my preferred perspective. Most person blame some abstract like corruption, greed, poverty, over-abundance, ethnicity, nepotism and the rest as reason for our failings. But in all this, as much as I concede that these items are immediately affective of our situation as a country, I think them more as branches on the tree of our ever so wretched malaise than as the root cause of our problem. What say you Nkulu?

DR. NKULU; By all mean I agree with you great sage. These things person mention are the immediate causes of our suffering and underachievement as a country. But are they so much as their own roots? I think them not to be! If corruption is our major problem; how did it become so? If greed is our human frailty manifest as our bogeyman, why only us? The westerners are greedy too. To be human is to be flawed. How did our own flaws become so magnitudinal? If ethnicity is the reason behind our recurrent slumps, why so? Did we not learn in school that the Balkans of Western Europe was made up of Croatia, Serbia, Montenegro, Macedonia, Bosnia, Herzegovinia and a host dof other nations? We are not the only ethnically divergent state for christ’s sake. Before the fall of the Ottman, she encomopassed as many as a century of diverse people. Yet, the Ottman that fell in 1918, was perhaps more developed than our country in 2017. It is one wondorous confusion chirping in my brain!

GURU: Now that you mention it, I am reminded of the argument of one of my aquinances, MR DUIE, who recently, made bold to asseverate that our country is young and cannot be expected to be developed or as developed as other countries. I found his argument as bereft of any wisdom, as his scalp was bereft of the succor of fiber. If the age of a country was anything to go by, then the United States would not be the ace of the world. If a country which became independent in 1776 can be the major world power, then even sentiments should not allow any proper thinking person, with a total embracement of their wits, aver that a country at 50 should have nothing to offer to her citizenry, talk less about the Razzmattaz of the international camaraderie.

DR. NKULU: (smiles) Ah! America, the land of civilization. One begins to wonder, if we would ever become as developed as that country. 

GURU: We could be, only they would have far out bettered their current standard by the time; perhaps in a millennia, that we eventually heave all the way onto their current pedestal.  Intresting, it is how fast and how generously the United States developed…

DR. NKULU: It is actually attributable to her foundation as a state. You see, the United States was raised on the cornerstone of knowledge and the pursuit of development. Her founding fathers, created a standard of intellectualism and pragmatic knowledgebility, which came to become the very nationalistic food substaining the country. The U.S was built on the tenets of dedication, hardwork and nationalism. The Country’s foundations was forged with the blood of the many who died for her independence. He very first leader’s iunitated a culture of sacrifice, selflessness, development and true, unadulterated proactiveness.

GURU: So what you are saying is that the foundation of any state determines its subsequence? And that the U.S had perhaps the best of the lot in this regards?

DR. NKULU: Yes and no. Yes because the foundation of a country is imperative. No because, the abscense of a proper foundation does not constitute a latent death knell. 

GURU: If I were to relate to your reasoning, I think I may have found an answer to my nagging questions about our country’s woes.

DR. NKULU: Do share!

GURU: Our problem is rooted in our foundation, just like the U.S has her successes rooted in her foundation. Ours was a country built on greed, corruption, enthincity and the a grave list of malaises. We were inculcuated with the worse of vices from our very onset by very malevolent leaders. Our first instances as a counrty was characterized by double-speaks and schemings. But like you said, the foundation of a country is only imperative and not inexcusable. The genesis of our problems might be in our faulty foundation, but the exodus of our woes is in our reluctance to change. We have refused to discard the shackles which our fathers mounted on us by implication; and thus we waste. 

DR. NKULU: Of course! But then again, it is not as much about our reluctance to improve, as it is about our satisfaction with the status quo. Our leaders are conformtable in high places; they are the leech to our loss of blood and apparently, the lot of us are satisfied with the promises of heaven or paradise or of a better future somehow or someway, and will not move to alter this most callous orthodox of debauchery and wickedness. We live on promises celestial or earthly; we are comfortable in hopes. Alas, when hope becomes an odious opium.

GURU: True. We must rise above our comfort, and attack this madness that is quick replacing our definitions of sanity.

DR. NKULU: But who will take the first step? We are used to a culture of inertia. Perhaps, if someone was to move, we will be affted to brace up and join them.
GURU: I for one, am too old to take any such steps.

DR. NKULU: (Looking away, apparently loosing interest in the tete a tete) I am on the other hand, too young to affect such a grave and antique malady that has eaten into every crevice of our polity.

GURU:(scoffs) And that my friend, is why we remain afflicted by our ailment. The inertia of the visionaries and the diligence of verdants. Come Nkulu, I must tell you the story of the wise hare and the old lion. Perhaps when I am done, you will understand the nature of the conundrum facing our country.  

     

                                                                                                                                        Der_Vinci authored this mind blowing work of art.

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ASHES

What is the worst thing in life if not to drown in waters of great depth? What is the most satisfying desire of the excessively distracted, if not death? Why is it difficult to give one’s life a proper shaping? There is only one truth, and too many philosophies suiting different consciences. I am distracted. It is an habit that if it were to be a good thing, my teeth will be on quick display while my right hand swings carelessly like a prize should come to me for having such a permanent cuss. My mind wanders so much that I thought I was a superhero at some point. But the comic was not real, the mimic of Professor Charles Xavier was too absurd at adulthood – the dreams took turns like spinning stars above my head, and it keeps spinning like a lottery. But maybe the whole idea behind superheroes is the selfless nature they possess. They want to put you first without you furnishing a consideration. I thought I was being selfless in those years of joining excited hands in renderings kicks and blows on some wrongdoers; it was like a gathering of the justice league suppressing a public enemy. I felt the impact would be just as good as a church deliverance as the blows were for cleansing for the betterment of my nation – exactly what I forced my conscience to believe whenever it pushes the guilt card. Similar situations arose, and my butts remained on the lower bunk; there was no cheering or vituperation from my lips, there was just awe at the way belts were lashed at the back of the popular pilferer.  My conscience proved its point; the scene became as scary as the Nigerian horror movies of old just without the shedding of blood. Years passed, and a similar situation surfaced. I wept in my soul at the excitement of the mob set for the lynching. A boy had stolen, but he did not have his fortuitous boots on. He could be killed if he was not saved came my thoughts; he should be killed if to quell the harm pilferers have brought to the soil – so I judged them as hypocrites, I judged them as heartless people with all available legal peanuts I could chew albeit in the midst of less incited observers. Were we not both erring? Can a hypocrite call another hypocrite? This is gauche. But this gauche was the path I threaded with uninviting sweats and a commentators splitting saliva that hot evening. Judging them was not a duty I enjoyed, it was God’s. These were persons that had the part of me my conscience arrested, the act was wrong but I was not different from them. If it hurts me like a broken knee when given counsel, why do I think it nonsensical that the mob would dent my face till I sing the savagery anthem if I choose to admonish them?

So she walked past with her buttocks noticeably of big frame and tenderly. It was tender from its easy destinations to eight bus-stops repeatedly with her short skirts being her only commuter. It disgusted me. But was the disgust borne out of the fact that she walked with the men notorious for extravagance? I remember telling myself that she needed Jesus – my face all rough like I heard my mum call me to run errands. I cannot forget her private message on instagram after I liked a picture of her displaying her cleavages although with moderation for the first time – other times she would have her tatas struggle with a cloth I felt was her youngest sister’s due to the provoking impression it left on her like rotten fries or a mouth in dire need of a wash. But I was not queasy that the lady I felt needed divine encounter found me some hello from nowhere. I remembered Galatians 5, but I gave it a brotherly interpretation – I said the loggerheads between the flesh and spirit can be resolved by understanding why the flesh is not with the spirit. So it was about some talks that were fleshy-friendly, the atmosphere was conducive for such, the harmattan could accommodate talks that could send the legs clasping and doing a rub against each other after a chat beep. I drowned with so much pleasure but continued convincing my conscience that I was a smooth criminal aiming to grab this sinner by the jugular when she least expected to hear the spelling of Christ on my dry lips – the conviction waned due to the nudities my eyes drank like one eye drop too many. Then it became certain that there was so much vexation in my soul just because I had possessed every feature of a perfect gentleman to have deserved too many hi pals; I was never against an elongated conversation to the potter of the wheel, her mass, and her advances. At some point I was but when she winked my opinions zapped into the trash can – I got distracted.

There are times we beat our chest and say we are proud to have been among the class of smart persons. The feeling of being important; the expression of unnecessary impressions to ladies in order to see what to grope under desks; or to brainstorm on which blockheaded ginormous nates would be date-worthy before examinations. The abuse it had been when a bad-mouthed gang and I descended mightily on someone we would remember to call raca even if we were brain-wiped. It was the ritual – give that dude some insults for his lack of knowledge, there was nothing he could give as a counter as he had appreciated his limitations and did nothing about his crashing grade points. The fun was so unthinkable; I sensed the self-love feeling of eating goat meat with a big mug of tequila whenever a tear accompanied the concerned face of the sufferer of insults we had called fool by words or conduct. But there was a day I joined my gang in calling my classmate something of similar semblance to being foolish. I knew the boy was right so my participation was not loud. I defended him speaking coolly thinking the intellectuals will remember I am one to have proudly joined the class. They had me as brunch instead, that I began to hope what I held in my head as right was indeed correct. I was to feel like a fool and indeed I felt exactly that. It was not a good position, it could really destroy a bloke, and it may erase the chances of goal-getting of low self-esteemed victims of my gab. So foolish I had been to have defined knowledge to be acquiring facts for personal consumption without adding the need to impart and not distract those that find things a bit tough to grasp. They realised I was right eventually, but the action was not forgotten though forgiven. If they are still in the practice, I will be foolish to say they are foolish because a wise man is one who is able to open mind to another man’s view. I try to but I am most times distracted whenever my ears hear my voice dominate on poetic lines. If this is foolish, then I am not to call theirs foolish. But is it possible to work close to perfection that hypocrisy is not found under one’s armpit? I was not asking the behaviourist.

She loved me back then. I was there when she could not have shyness permit her to say she loves me, and I was there when she stepped up erotica by screaming tuck me in. They were all outbursts of emotions; she echoed my name to all and sundry. I was sure I had her mother’s blessing. She was everything good, but someone wanted to have more boats on the high sea. The walls leaked my flirtatious advances; my dirty linen had encountered the mud. She used to see me as her angel because I wore the apparel of perfectness – I was a paragon of gentlemanliness with the curse of a chameleon. She called it quits, I chased the other – the fishes did not want fresh air that season, my fishnet had suffered smudge. I hurt her but I am not sorry that there was a split. Something was always going to split us because my instability as to choice is the dickens I sucked with my mother’s colostrum nine months after my delivery. I am distracted; I should be more concerned with this issue.

Maybe we are our own problems. Is it ever possible we think about our vices? We have the fanatics with big bible high on Mosaic Law like they took a box-full of narcotics behind a kiosk. Everyone is a victim of something. Many persons have too much moth in their eyes; it is never possible to be filled with vices and accuse another of same. Maybe there is a solution to being a better person; maybe we just need to balance our virtues and vices so that we do not become belligerent in the sake of being virtuous, or stuck with the phobia of running a partnership venture because of the belief in trusting only your guts and wife’s delicacy.  Garba shehu was on air recently. He spoke the truth. He said PDP failed and embezzled. But did he not lie immediately to have said Pr. Buhari has ended corruption in Nigeria? Will I query the act and say he is a liar when I still tell lies that are not press worthy? In the end activism is not supposed to be politicized; these days we want to write an article that makes the Government we accuse of being filthy, give us big contracts. Who are we deceiving with the profusion of self-deception? In the end, we eat from the same saucer of distraction. A distracted mind is one that has not acquired the skill to convince his body and soul to walk just a path – but is there such a skill shop? It is about being better for ourselves individually if we must collectively contribute our quota to the world we live in. We could become superheroes if we act and do so timeously, but we are definitely ashes – we respire to expire beyond repair. If we must die, let it be heard that we encouraged someone, helped each other — I agree with Debbie, even doctors need doctors.

OKOCHA OBED

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A SWALLOWED HEAVEN

 Some dramas that unfold that are too heavy for the tongue are advised to be kept inward lest there be a blackguard owing to bile commentaries. It is safer to express with ink as there is the presumption that one had time to think of the consequence of his choice words – be it a diatribe or a sweetened cabin biscuit. Should I start by saying there is a stifling in my emotional pessary, will it not be mistaken for a swell time in pen artistry? Particularly why I am in a dilemma even though it appears I am at ease with the pen-a-story. Life is seen as the bitch, while we the humans are the victims of the eventual malady that she is alleged to bring, poco-a-poco. I pick a side. The earth vomited hardship all around with a super kick on the chest of man till he coughed blood and had escaped-urine from his flesh flute due to fear of a subsequent spank. Man eternalised hardship to become tougher; man united to ensure communalism brought food for their offspring. Even anthropologists believe in the leviathan. They hold that man sees himself as equal in the state of nature. If mama will forgive my early beginnings and misconceptions that man’s abilities served as gateway to the niche where the ability is so required, I would be surprised because that is all she preached since my intercourse with recollection. The fault in our stars was more of man’s doing than the cuss Earth forced down our throats. This is because someone saved the last descendant of Jezebel – he is the crow that has now grown wings to so threaten the farmer off his own land and has now stepped up the chase by contaminating the seeds sown below the soil. He is the priest with the cloak; the priest without the episcopal traits. The godfather did not show contentedness in the godson’s entire activities – if he did, he still wanted to dominate the other man under him who he wished he could call son. The other man was popular for his humility and wits but ironic was the perplexing histrionic from priest-now-godfather that the other man was a hireling to loyalty. For want of domination, he had his cloak off to attend a vestry meeting with other saints. He told them a story; he reminded the famous pastor of the fruits of leadership he shared with the other man, and the pastor bought the item from the truth shop that he turned away from other goals he had earlier nursed. The other man must have shown too much loyalty that it became an itch on the skin of the priest who felt loyalty need not be so displayed; or the other man left the priest to drink from the cup of envy. You are not loyal, you are not loyal, that is why… This serves as the justification for evil practices; guised as a punishment, but meant as a mala fide. When the pastors sin, are they at that point, altar-worthy? No. We are blessed to have read law, so a sin is a sin when we cannot justify a blatant bad intention on a moot theory. Is that not the new church?

The other man had a star. Troubling it had become that he was loved by a majority for his humour and wisdom, that the ministers of God included a president of an olive branch to the planning committee – they thought him useful especially after a revelation of his false message to some of his disciples that the other man was one who misrepresented his abilities and was thus like an overhyped English team. Six men decided the fate of a decaying corpus; the people weeps, they spot all illegalities, but what is done is done. The other man could not give the loyalty demanded as even in its demand, it was not explained in English – the other man could not give what he did not have. The pastor emerges a victor, and goes nude swerving his hip bone as David danced – who says a pastor cannot play politics? Not me. In quick successions, the decaying corpus will now watch the best man lose; the sufferers are expected to cling to hope. Maybe there will be an admonition from these clergies that the corpus will be revamped if we fast and pray. The message that massages me is that the other man still breathes and still has his every element. With certainty, the priest will wear his cloak soon enough and preach Christ’s loyalty even to the cross; he will preach that spite or envy should not be fostered. Truly, one that stands election can lose or win. It is for politicians irrelevant, the behind-the-scene, how a man emerges a victor especially in a free and fair election. But will it remain irrelevant if the question was thrown to the priests and his helping hands especially couched in a manner to include is election clothed with envy, politics? Rabbi, please do not tell me about the cathedral or free your skull from the necessary heat saved by your cap, just to say you are disappointed. I mourn the swallowed heaven; not because the priest touched the G-spot of the other man, but because the other man is the servant of possibilities that could have taken the decaying corpus a step away from menopause. The priest is rumoured to have begun his exodus; he will be forgiven, he will not be forgotten. I will join my catholic brother, and it is good they pray through Mary and not to Mary.

OKOCHA OBED

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THE LEGALITY OF ANTICIPATORY ACTIONS IN SELF-DEFENCE; AN UNSETTLED PRECEPT

The settled digest of legal linchpins as regards the whole letter of the UN CHARTER has remained that Article 2(4) and Article 51 is most significant most probably because of its sorely attribute and distinct discourse. Before attempting an inward look at anticipatory self-defence, the sojourn to the exegesis of the umbrella word, “self-defence” becomes necessary. Self-defence under the charter supra was captured in Article 51. It had in black prints that “nothing in this present charter shall impair the inherent right of self-defence or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a member of the United Nations…” This is clearly a break away from Article 2(4) of the charter which preaches abstinence from threats or use of force. What can be said therefore is that where peaceful settlement cannot be met vide Article 2(3)UN CHARTER, then use of force within the roof of self-defence becomes apropos – hence no inconsistency as long as the eventual attack knows proportionality and necessity vis-à-vis initial armed attack. It becomes a situation where retaliation is fuelled from threats. Why it is a situation is due to the supposed wilful omission of the word “threats” or its imminence in Article 51 UN CHARTER which had for “armed attack” and no more. It is on this score that we look at the legality of pre-emptive strikes as a constituent of self-defence in International law.

It may be gleaned upon close surveillance at the entire charter that only armed attack can activate the self-defence resort. The upholders of this view have argued that until the charter lives to know an amendment, it remains unlawful to share in the communion of pre-emptive strikes. The view is anchored on the premise that since the charter allows for reliance on grounds of an existing armed attack, any other justification is just political and in La La land as far as the definition of self-defence is concerned. But will it be argued in this same light when the lawfulness is drawn from state practice or from rationale the justices can so patter down? The case of US. V. NICARAGUA is worthy of mention here because it is in this case one can best appreciate that despite arguments from agents of Nicaragua that their sovereignty was disregarded by the militia of United States, it became the way of the Justices that United states can so enter the territory of Nicaragua to possess the nuclear weapons if indeed the act was done in the interest of the world. The crux of this is to show that lawfulness of an action rests in the judgement of the courts as much as it rests on the convention that sets up the lawful act or otherwise. This takes us to the 1837 Caroline case if anticipatory self-defence is to be given a smidgen of a justification in the clothing of legality.

Scholars who support the right to anticipatory self-defence trace the existence of the right from the Caroline incidence between Britain and the United States. The facts have that during the first part of the nineteenth century, an anti-British insurrection was taking place in Canada which at that time, was under the British rule. Canadian rebels were using U.S. territory as staging ground from which to attack British forces in Canada. The rebels used a steamer called Caroline, owned by US nationals, to transport themselves from the U.S. side of the Niagara River to the Canadian side. Meanwhile the United States and Great Britain were at peace. On the night of December 29, 1837, while the ship was moored on the US side of the Niagara River, British troops crossed the river, boarded the ship, killed several US nationals, set the ship on fire and set the vessel over Niagara Falls. This prompted a strong objection from the United States and a series of diplomatic exchanges setting forth each State’s position. In one of the exchanges, Daniel Webster, the American Secretary of State, sent a note of protest to the British government and warned that the incident would result in a demand for redress. In response, the British Government claimed that they were acting in self-defence as well as argued that their action was necessitated by the fact that the ordinary laws of United States were not being enforced at the time, and that the laws were, in fact, overtly overborne by the rebels. In further correspondences, Webster postulated that Britain’s action would be justified if it could justify that there was a necessity for self-defence, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation. It will be for it to show, also, that the local authorities of Canada – even supposing the necessity of the moment authorized them to enter the territories of the United States et al – did nothing unreasonable or excessive; since the act justified by the necessity of self-defence, must be limited by the necessity and kept clearly within it. Though pleading, in effect, anticipatory self-defence, the British government apologized and the dispute ended.

The long and short of the fact supra is that despite the express provision of Article 51 of the charter which has for armed attack, the Caroline’s case suggests that there is a good ground for self-defence in the event that an armed attack is launched, or is immediately threatened, against a state’s territory. The rationale behind this is that there are prevailing circumstances where a state is put under imminent threat of a devastating armed attack thus the way out being to act pre-emptively albeit within the templates of reasonableness. It may be argued that how can one determine proportionality and necessity when the armed attack is yet launched? To this, it should be underscored that the state that has resorted to anticipatory self-defence should only engage in such pre-emptive strikes when it is crystal that other means of dispute settlement will prove abortive; as regards proportionality, it is not expected that such a state blow up lives and properties of citizens of the state suspected to have so threatened. It is in fact nonplussing if the threatened state chooses undue impulse as necessary cause of action and opts to quell their fear of danger by destroying the entire race – this never accounts for reasonableness and is in fact, punishment-worthy. Oppenheim must thus be agreed with when he mentions that “while anticipatory action in self-defence is normally unlawful, it is not necessarily unlawful in all circumstances, the matter being dependent on the facts of the situation including in particular the seriousness of the threat and the degree to which pre-emptive action is really necessary and is the only way of avoiding that serious threat; the requirements of necessity and proportionality are probably even more pressing in relation to anticipatory self-defence than they are in other circumstances.” This answers the question concerning the role of the necessity and proportionality test in the place of anticipatory action in self-defence – it is of higher onus to show the court the proportionality of an armed attack to an imminent threat. The legality therefore being one yet covered by the charter itself is drawn from the precept of international law that an act remains lawful where a viable justification is on the table; even, the legality of such pre-emptive strikes is evinced from all muscles of reasonableness as one does not expect a state under the imminent threat of a mind-blowing armed attack before it, fails to quell it with the use of force if such force is the only option available that peace might so reign and citizens, protected.

The gospel remains that the international community recognizes the respect for every state’s territory and so any armed attack on any state is presumed an abuse or a breach of international precepts vide the corfu channel’s case (UK. V. ALBANIA). This presumption is a rebuttable one upon the existence of justification that can so fly. The point never subject to moot is that it is always a tiring and strenuous process to convince the court why one engaged another state with pre-emptive strikes because if the justification is not water tight, the state using such mode of self-defence will not escape liability. Be that as it may, even with the diverse state practice as regards anticipatory self-defence, the modern international law has its whole essence to be to preserve the sanctity of state and its people. It will thus be difficult to see how a state can validly be denied the right to defend itself in an extreme case of threat of force that puts the very survival of the state in jeopardy. This paper avers that the charter indeed excludes threat of force, however, it needs be circumvented that the mere fact that threat of force was not included in the same line as armed attack vide Article 51, does not go to bring it to state of illegality as far as international law is concerned. It can even be queried on this light that cyber-attacks is not in its strict sense within the veranda of armed attack and as such a state should not raise its claws when attacked via the internet and yet call it self-defence. Since that must be flawed for want of reasonableness, it suggests then that if such cyberattacks can be placed well within the intent of Article 51, then it is safe to say that the word armed attack has a general meaning and as such, the intent of the drafters could not have been to oust a threatened state the power to bite where the perceived danger is overwhelming and capable of quenching the state’s existence. The ratio in Caroline’s case accords with common sense and fairness as anything short of this reasoning is the assemblage of an iniquitous inequity. The only adjuration should be that many states may so abuse this lawful act and go about striking enemy states for no just cause yet claiming anticipatory self-defence. It is because of the demerits that there is no unanimity in diverse states as far as this point of law is concerned; it is because of this demerit that it be agreed with Oppenheim that the test of proportionality and necessity be given a higher degree due to the uniqueness of the situation and circumstances behind its usage.
The use of pre-emptive strikes is therefore lawful as a matter of law. Its exclusion from Article 51 does not mean its exclusion from modern international tablets. The position of the law remains that an act becomes unlawful upon looking at the existing circumstances of the case. An anticipatory action in self-defence becomes an illegal act where the armed attack does not pass the necessity test. The justification behind the action is what the Justices of the International Court looks at since a high regard is usually placed on every state’s territory – a violation which arouses a comeuppance.
© OKOCHA OBED

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FREEDOM; A JOURNEY OF A THOUSAND MILES

Old man once said we can only have a last unencumbered smile when we accept to preserve our tear for a mile. The faded color of flag the warship flagged, the number of casualties and spoils grabbed. It was a quest to end slave trade and suffering, Old man’s sticks against the White man’s warfare was on becoming. We brought the war to them, lost old man, lost the war; at least we showed them our united hearts knew freedom. Not all combats must be won, but every war passes a message. The ability to suppress the chain of bondage and think differently is an acceptation of the footprints of liberation. A freedom fighter that fights war without a conviction that he is above bondage is like a headless cock running into broken bottles. I make bold to say that no timid man can make bold to say that he wants to go against the sophisticated weapons and packaged military uniforms of an army without certitude or positiveness that helotry has long ceased to be a matter of his heart. Dom is a suffix denoting rank or status, the lost souls party in serfdom and equating their embrace of thralldom as freedom – such misconceptions that many fail to see or see but are too scared to scratch it off their poverty peeled skins. We just must salute the wit behind the phrasing that freedom is not free. A trip to bringing a limitation-free dream into reality must have a keg full of right strategies. A journey is a plan which comes after conviction of self the purpose for which freedom needs to be attainable. I have bathed with fate and her cousin, Faith, to know that maybe there is the existence of fate but it is of no preponderance when freewill walks in. Freedom is a sojourn that is best appreciated when fought for with tears and a big heart which faith only brings not fate. The journey of a thousand miles is what many now call unworthy verbiage; they look at me with wrinkled faces and curse me for inexorably persisting that I am under no delusion to scream freedom. Freedom is a pastor; he has the conviction that he has Christ-control. He fights because he wants to share his liberation to those without virtues – his fight becomes his journey, his life becomes his secondary. Old man died last year and I cry no more; he died for a purpose that I have swallowed as pills. Not every materialization of freedom on this terre firma involves blades and bows; some is a conditioning of the mind. Where the freedom does not come to us, we go to it.

We now block our ears when the national anthem is on air. We are guilty of losing hope, we are guilty of calling a lucid NO a YES on grounds that we are with feeble knees to begin the freedom walk, we make excuses like we cannot correct the wrongs with a thunderous vox suffering a mighty cough. We have abandoned our mother tongue and betrayed our Fatherland. The wounds she nurses because of our omission and bad decisions have we showed no concern to. We cannot stop evil and her corrupt practices – that is surely cheap talk, but we can grow men with purpose. It is true that all words have been spoken but it remains untrue that all words have been delivered to a man’s amygdala and in fact registered in the thoughts and deeds of same. Not all words should be digested but it will be nonplussing if matters of freedom are reeled out from a radio or a rubric and not inspiring at least. “To serve Nigeria with all my strength” were words in our Nation’s pledge but many read it with no sensitivity. It was supposed to preach patriotism and the SERVICE was not limited to those in power. It was supposed to equip us with a mind that we are to strive to be of value to our country, wealth acquisition being a secondary concept. A man who is lukewarm in body and soul is worse than a cold being for the sole reason that he knows the country is suffering but chooses not to fight for the necessary pills held by the cold hearted for a billion flimsy excuses. He calls this wise, and so suffers with the dying country that can now produce bad blood from her breasts and spoiled food. When a country retrogrades, the culprits become the rulers and sufferers, we civilians. Modern slavery has come to stay on the cradle bed of that born baby, it has come to register its interest in our way of life – a nouvelle cultural heritage which must be passed on to our children and grand children if we stay indifferent despite the dominance of oppression. Sometimes I wish I could go back in time to die beside old man who fought against subjugation until he went six feet. But no, I can’t persist in such wishes as that is saying I have no hope in my generation. Our problem is that we bother how the society will give up corruption instead of us being the change. At some point in our lives, we had a reason to smile after accomplishing a difficult task. The effort put into such tasks must have been with an ultimate purpose, the end. A look into the history of our Fatherland evinces a house on fire and lot of souls willing to burn and put more fire in it. Maybe it is rightly said that we got our independence too early or maybe our freedom was not free. A man who has not been able to live above cupidity is a man of gall headed for the rocks with a poor state of mind having no peace in his veins. Freedom comes with a price – a price is a will to give up something for the greater good. My old man said people perish because of false evidence against reality. He said people picture reality to exclude a give back to their country. Our land is blessed but is displeased with the imposition the man with gun spits on her. We may not want freedom for ourselves but we can do some things for our country. I am dead; I am dead to contrary reasons. I refuse to be a minion to the oppressors; I am not moved by the threat of bullets or assaults, I died yesterday so what am I yet to hear? I love Nigeria and I can fight not because I want to, but because I need to. The wrinkled face woman will curse because she had her time to say something but subscribed to the will of those that bully under the political platform guised as democracy. Maybe we cannot change the world, but maybe we can change someone’s perspective. Freedom is not living life without self control, parental control, to mention a few, as that is what the free dumb without perspicacity must say. Rather, freedom is leaving life with a conviction that your inner mind is without bondage or oppression and dying trying even, to rub such idea on Earth’s face – it’s a legacy, it is fighting for your right, it is protecting your country’s pride, it is calling the promises of the evil man lies and vanity. Not encouraging we lose our lives, but we can start asking HOW with optimism. We outnumber the oppressors but remain in disunity so I say I am willing to start my journey to freedom as Jesus and Mandela but I believe we can do it together. It is a matter of what a man can do and cannot do – we can achieve internal freedom, and it is a matter of what a man is willing to do – it starts with a journey. It starts with us.

© OKOCHA OBED