Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Once again on the seemingly intractable issue of power supply. The
primary question is, Why is Nigeria still in darkness? Is it due to the
ineptitude of our engineers? Is it due to a lack of financial wherewithal?
Or simply a want of political will?

I have to disagree with more distinguished Nigerians on the issue of
finances: I aver emphatically that Nigeria's inability to provide a
continuous electric power supply to her citizens is not due to financial
constraints. Lately, the international oil trade dynamic has benefited
our national coffers greatly. As for technology, engineers at NEPA/PHCN
are not being asked to (re-)invent the wheel here nor even to introduce
electricity to Nigeria. Thankfully the colonialists brought us
electricity; otherwise the situation on the ground might be even more

The developed world ushered in the electronic age in the 19th century
and here we are, simply and only, asking the engineers to maintain what is
on the ground, repair what they can, replace what they cannot and
endeavour to expand the grid of distribution so that more citizens can
benefit from this century-old techology.

Power generation and distribution is being done successfully the world
over. Indeed in neighbouring Ghana engineers would put our gentlemen
of NEPA/PHCN to shame were the latter capable of so humane an emotion.

Nigerians must realize now that forces of darkness are are in danger of
overwhelming us. There is an unholy alliance, between petroleum
marketers and government who have come to realize that it is politically
inexpedient to keep throttling the hapless citizens by raising the price
of petroleum products ad nauseam.

What then is the their solution? This
is what I call The Devil's Calculus. The genius solution is simply to
shut off power supply!

The citizens are then compelled to provide their own supply of power
even as they continue to pay their PHCN bills. The net result is that the
nation's consumption of petroleum products goes up quantumly thereby
achieving for this unholy alliance, through volume, what they couldn't
accomplish through pricing.

Through volume, the favoured importers are effectively guaranteed an
abundant margin of profit without touching the genie of price increase.

The profit motive, therefore, overrides everything else. Even as
Nigerians choke to death from Carbon Monoxide in ever-increasing numbers. Meanwhile government acts the ostrich with its head buried
in the sand. Notice the absence of any awareness drive to enlighten the
citizenry on the dangers of improper use of power generators, the
proper manner in which to handle the highly inflammable fuel that our
house-help and others are constrained to contend with in the dead dark of

It is time now to send a clear message to our leaders that this tragedy
has brutalized and traumatized the people enough. No more excuses.
There is no rationalizing this blight in this 21century. We must have
Nigeria on-line NOW and that means uninterrupted power supply from PHCN and
not from my three, smoky, overworked generators which are slowly
killing everyone with pollution.
Posted by chidi ejikeme at 9:20 AM 0 comments
Subject: Time Now to Fight The Forces of Darkness!

I write to add my voice to the rising cry against the trammeling of the human right to life and to health. Rising anger wells from the pit of my being against the new Power Holding Company of Nigeria which continues to throttle hapless Nigerians, giving every indication that we are still evolving a style of governance that is about a government of a few people, for fewer people, against the rest of us.

Without repeating the litany of woes that NEPA/PHCN have continued to bedevil us with (I, for one have lost more than a few relations, some bread winners; others bright young things in accidents directly attributable to NEPA/PHCN), it is necessary only to add that this calamity which has recently reached outrageous proportions is all the more disturbing because there is every indication that the present degeneration is not abating.

Since the new millennium, many ordinary households have realized that they are constrained to own at least two or more generators just to have access to a modicum of a contemporary lifestyle. What galls one is that the last millennium was known as the electronic or information age; thus to be in the dark still is to be, arguably, a few generations behind the rest of humanity; certainly information, which is power, is beyond our grasp and the powerlessness of the people is evidenced by all the usual economic and social indices which continue to show us as trapped in a dungeon called Nigeria.

To think that so many have died from breathing fumes from generators; that properties have been lost in electrical fires owing to wild fluctuations in supply and yet no arm of government has seen fit to embark on a nationwide enlightenment campaign to sensitize the citizenry on the dangers that can result from the use of personal generators. This is TOTALLY irresponsible and callous of government and PHCN, it borders on criminal negligence considering that it is due to their failure that the citizenry are compelled to use personal generators and not owing to an inordinate love of Carbon Monoxide!

I must emphasize here that we are not using generators because we don’t want to pay our bills; bills are usually paid because of the strong arm tactics that PHCN employs in compelling compliance and payment! Added to which they show no hestitation in increasing tariffs or indeed over billing the over tasked citizens at every opportunity.

Without wasting more words, my submission is that it must now become evident to all that WE the citizens must fight for continuous power supply with all the grim determination with which we fought for democracy!
The electronic age was the last millennium! Rather than down tools in response to fuel price increases, we must down tools to fight to bring electric power supply to our homes. That our families are forced to depend on diesel and PMS whilst continuing to pay for services even as we continue to endure incessant outtages is an inexscusable outrage.

If the politicians will not give us power, then it becomes incumbent on us to wrest this most basic service and prerequisite of a modern existence for our children if not for ourselves, from the forces of darkness. Otherwise many more lives will be lost, even more will be in jeopardy, a great deal of hard earned property will be lost and the education of our children will continue to be substandard! WE MUST ACT NOW!
Posted by chidi ejikeme at 9:09 AM 0 comments
Sunday, May 17, 2009
In The Crimson Sunset
BIAFRA: (in the crimson sunset glow)

Do you ever listen, furtively?
To the blood curling secretive moans,
Of the wailing wind,
In the loneliest nights when,
Only she knows,
Only skull and bones,
Will listen to the tales secretively,
Told by the Unresting Dead,
Who gave their lives for a country,
That defiantly,
Not to know,
And definitely,
Nought to show,
For their sacrifices,
But intensifyingly,
Unbridled avarices,
Voices drowning in gluttony,
And the consuming strident voices,
Of insatiable hegemony.
Oh, how the mighty hegemony,
Consumes the cowardly.

Look, up their in the Crimson Sunset Glow,

The blood of our brethren flow.
Posted by chidi ejikeme at 1:38 AM 0 comments
Labels: poem
Saturday, May 16, 2009
The Interview of an Unsuitable boy

In a bid to wrest a better life for himself through the means of an education at the expense of others, our young man and his clan, having little, or no means of vouchsafing an adult life on any one, least of all an abstraction like an education, our intrepid but gifted young man finds himself before a panel of potential benefactors, facing potential disaster as his unsuitability, in his perception, unbidden, slithers forth like an id, darkening the interview with Mephistophelean glee.

This begins to happen as the interview shifts focus from his accomplishments, to his background.

“So, do you have a brother?” asked the bright young man in brighter clothes of a value higher, possibly, than the cost of his tuition, and board for a full year. Our young man had noted imperceptible signs that the stern looking lady, who in fact seemed in no mood to benefit anyone not as benefactor, and, not especially a terrified urchin, who dared to bring his urgent youthfulness before her, not even with a smile.

“Do you have a brother?” she asked in a stentorian voice when his very brief pause became intolerable, to her. The words dropped like a horse’s hooves acanter on a cold city street; the shoes were pistol-shot sharp and peremptory.

“No sir and madam!” was our young man’s rather sharp response. He continued, “flawed, tainted, imperfect and unsuitable as I may be; I am the product of a marriage that produced myself only, so quickly did it fall apart, being as it was a liaison between a brilliant man but one ill fated to marry above his station. The inevitable breakdown, breakup, and divorce was a painful process that led to an attempted suicide but I couldn’t honestly tell you, good people if that attempt was designed to be a success, or a failure and therefore a sham, and or just an attempt to call attention unto myself, and perhaps stop the painful drift to disaster but I did survive, to a fractured life.

“My mother remarried, as did my father, she had two girls and he two boys. Now I don’t know if there is a clever reckoning that is beyond my ken, whereby: 2 half brothers = 1brother. But, in spite of any empathy I might have for that logic, I must insist that I do in fact, if not in logic, have two brothers.

“My dear boy, but I’ve heard you often said that in the light of the shortcomings, of your half siblings, that it was most definitely a case of a demonstrable 2=1!” this speaker was another young man every inch as bright and shiny as the first speaker. His airless voice, rich, sure and authoritative, stirred id and Mephistopheles even further; and the grim room acquired a gloom of gothic proportions, in the disconcerted mind of our young interviewee.

“Young man!” She shot him with that report of a voice. “Ill conceived and ill advised attempts at cleverness quite often leave one giving the frothing impression of being not only clever by half but desperate by a full measure! I strongly advise that you eschew all such demonstrations here. Retorts and syllogisms will do you no good here.”
Posted by chidi ejikeme at 9:24 AM 0 comments
Tuesday, March 10, 2009

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