Get me a knife let me cut off my tongue because my tongue let me down today. How I wish life has a rewind button I would have done things differently. Damage has been done right now but lesson has also been learnt, the hard way I guess.
Sometimes I say more than I should and end up regretting. The tongue is no doubt a sensitive part of the body which we need to guard so as not to fall in big trouble. My carelessness with my tongue is the reason why I feel bad. It hurts so bad now thinking about what I said this morning.
I have a good friend at work that I have a cordial relationship with. Something happened today and I just quickly made an innocent statement about that friend of mine which to be fair didn’t come out well. The statement didn’t correspond with my real intention. Thankfully, that friend heard what I said and asked me why I made that statement. I made my explanation but can’t even say if my friend was satisfied. I can’t also tell if my reputation has been damaged in the eyes of my friend due to what I said. I can’t say many things but one thing for sure is that I am disappointed that I allowed my tongue let me down.
Al-Hassan (RA) was reported to have said “He that did not safeguard his tongue did not understand his religion.” My religion has spoken so much on the need for us to mind what we say as on the Day of Judgment, we will be accountable for all that we say. The Prophet also said: “The people with the most sins are those who most frequently indulge in conversations which do not concern them.”
I am not perfect for sure but I still feel bitter today not just for what has happened between me and my friend but looking back at all the sins I have committed with my tongue, I really feel I should just cut it off but I will not do that. I will rather be careful next time by ensuring that I speak only on matters that concern me. Help me Allah and thanks for reading this.
I woke up this morning with the news that over the weekend, 185 people were killed and about 2000 houses razed in Baga, a border town in Borno State North East Nigeria. This brutal act of insensibility was reported to have taken place on Friday, 19th April 2013 and as I type this, the Federal Government has not issued any statement on the incidence neither has the President visited the town where this crime against humanity was committed.
Just last week, the attention of the world was on the state of Boston in the US when two bombs two bombs exploded near the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Nigerians watched how Barack Obama demonstrated his competence by staying on top of the situation right from day one. This was what Obama said while addressing the nation after the explosion, “We still do not know who did this or why. People should not jump to conclusions before we have all the facts, but make no mistake, we will get to the bottom of this… and we will find out who did this and why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups, will feel the full weight of justice,”
Barack Obama also visited Boston and commiserated with the victims. That is a leader in my opinion. It didn’t take the security operatives in the United States forever to identify the brains behind the act, Tsarnaev brothers. Boston was shut down because of the bomb blasts that killed three people and left many injured. As I write this, things in my country look normal even when 185 people were killed over the weekend. The news of this massacre is not even the headline in most of the national newspapers. Since morning, the radio stations have been playing love songs while the television stations have their normal programmes running. No signs of mourning, no respect to the departed. It is sad that in my country, if you are not a prominent member of the society, your death goes unnoticed. It doesn’t matter how you die. You are just a bloody Nigerian.
Nigeria may not be a failed state yet but I am so sure that we are almost there. Wikipedia says the common characteristics of a failing state include a central government so weak or ineffective that it has little practical control over much of its territory; non-provision of public services; widespread corruption and criminality; refugees and involuntary movement of populations; and sharp economic decline. Is the Nigerian government weak and ineffective? I live in a country where the citizens are left to provide all the basic needs of life for themselves. No power so we depend on generator, no security so some of us have to hire private security firms to guard our estates, to even get a job in Nigeria you have to pay, water, you need to dig a borehole. Nothing works in this country yet each year, government budgets money running into trillions of naira to take care of all those basic needs.
It is about 6pm right now and Nigeria’s President Jonathan has not visited Baga and has not offered any statement. I hate the way I feel right now. Nigeria is my country and I will die trying to make a difference. I will never be like the present man in charge. Never will I be. May the souls of the over 100 souls who died in Baga rest in perfect peace. May God give their families the fortitude to bear the loss. We will not forget them just as we will not forget all the innocent lives that passed away in the hands of the terrorists and the JTF. May we see the end of this soon.
The Journey to Borgu
I wasn’t looking forward to the journey due to so many reasons. Bad roads, lack of proper planning and the fact that I was going to miss my friend’s wedding. I will remember the journey as one of the most uncomfortable in my life because of the terrible condition of the road.
The car was also overloaded and so there was no smile on my face from the start. To the Glory of God, we arrived at New Bussa in the night, around 8.30PM. I need to say the famous Kainji Dam caught my attention, I smiled as we drove pass the Dam. “This is the place where Nigeria’s power is generated” one of the passengers said to me. I nodded without looking at him as my eyes were fully on the dam watching the water flow out of the dam ferociously.
The best shot I could get of Kainji Dam
The Opening Ceremony
I woke up Thursday morning fully energized and looking forward to the event. We got to the venue of the opening ceremony and with no regards to African time; the event got started as soon as the Emir and his dignitaries arrived.
It was fascinating watching the different traditional dance groups showcase their culture. I was lost in excitement that I had to snap, snap and snap more pictures. I wasn’t the only one who got carried away. The corps members also joined the groove; they danced with the Igbo cultural group. Apart from the Speech by the host Emir and the Shehu of Borno, the dances were the high-point of the opening ceremony to me.
In the evening we got back to the venue and watched the traditional wrestlers do their thing. The wrestlers from Niger Republic kept defeating their counterparts from Nigeria one after the other with so much ease. My admiration for the Niger Republic made me approach one of them for a shot which he accepted. The wrestler had a frown like a stone while I was attached to his side like a fan excited to see his idol.
Don’t you love this picture?
Day 2 / Sight seeing
The second day was actually a sightseeing day as my friend and Tanko took me on a wonderful ride round the town. We first went to his house, a house built in the days of Sardauna according to his father. I was told the houses were constructed by the government after the people were relocated from Old Bussa to New Bussa. It is worthy of note that after so many years, the houses still look solid as rock.
We also visited the Air Force Military Base which didn’t live below my expectation. The Air Force got a vast land which most people are not happy with according to some people I spoke with. “They seized land meant for farming and other activities all for themselves” one of them told me. The other source tried to tell me the story of how their grandparents weren’t in support of the Air Force having their base in Bussa but I didn’t pay attention. The reality now is that the people of New Bussa should see the Base as a plus just like the Emir rightfully stated in his speech at the opening ceremony.
New Bussa is home to Kainji Dam, and so when you call it the “PHCN town” you will not be wrong. We went round the PHCN quarters which reminded me of my days growing up at KICOE Staff Quarters in Maiduguri. The Houses, the people, the cars, the trees, everything about the PHCN Quarters just made me feel we were back in the 90’s and I was that popular shy boy in Maiduguri.
This reminds me of my past
Bussa is also the town of fish which is why they have two schools of fishery owned by the Federal Government ofcourse. I was at the Federal College for Fresh Water Fisheries Technology and even snapped pictures. Federal Government Girls College New Bussa is also another place you can’t miss out. It is located by the road side and is just the typical unity school with the staff primary school right by the side.
The central Mosque in New Bussa I was told was built in the 60’s and for so many reasons I love it. I admire the old architectural design of the old days and also respect the people for maintaining it and not attempting to modernize it. The building makes you have a feel of the 60’s in the 2013’s.
The Bussa Central Mosque
I was also at the Mai Borgu’s palace but was disappointed to meet an empty white edifice with just some palace guards at the entrance. I was told that the present Emir chose not to live in the main palace instead, he has converted his personal house to his palace for reasons I don’t know. It is a shame really in my opinion.
With my eyes closed infront of the empty palace.
The closing ceremony was colorful. It had so many dignitaries in attendance. Sultan of Sokoto, Shehu of Borno, Etsu Nupe, Mai Potiskum and many other traditional rulers from the North.
The closing ceremony was also spiced up by the presence of Muhammadu Buhari, Bola Tinubu, Bisi Akande, Aminu Bello Masar, Ghali Na’abba and other politicians.
Some of the politicians and traditional rulers at the closing ceremony
The venue was filled up with men, women and children. The sun was blazing hot; it was as if it also came out to see what was in store for the closing ceremony. There was a display of various cultural dances from the Borgu Kingdom as well as other parts of the country. Praise singers had a great moment at the closing ceremony as they sang songs of praises to the dignitaries present while they splashed cash on them. One of the singers was even lucky to get a car!
Traditional wrestling and the Durbar were the most interesting part of the closing ceremony to me. The Horse riders came all the way from Benin Republic and they really thrilled the crowd. There were also camel riders with so many other side attractions. Time flew so fast and the ceremony ended just as I was totally exhausted. I snapped a picture of myself which I deleted almost immediately because of the way I looked. Yellow eyes, my beards scattered, my clothes squeezed, I was just looking like a mad man.
Journey back home and conclusion
I had the scariest journey ever. We left New Bussa at about 2pm and got to Abuja at about 2am. Our vehicle was over heating and had to stop after moving for a short while.But it was fun travelling with Oga Kamoru from ITV, Sa’da from ITV, Mr. Austin from Pilot Newspaper and his colleague that I don’t know his name. We became best of friends on the road and these are people, I would want to meet soon.
My tired face after the car made one of its many stop overs on the road back to Abuja
My conclusion on the festival and New Bussa is simple, if you want to have a memorable time, New Bussa should be a place to consider. The people, the culture, the monuments and perhaps the scorching sun are all things that will make you have a time to remember.
The story of deception
No you are not welcome
This is not your home
The master of maneuvering
Skillfully scaling over the fence
There was no stopping you
Mistake made from the onset
Your smile was instrumental, it was the missing charm
You became an addiction
Overdose of you just wasn’t enough
How did you get here?
Soaked in blood
Tears crying a river
The story of deception was written.
Mr. Tee, 8.4.13. 6.10pm
The world is sleeping
Just the young Princess in her pink palace
Alone in her world, alone in this quietness
Eyes of the world closed
No one can see what’s on the mind of the Princess
Even with the silence of the world, her voice still won’t be heard
She is shy and wouldn’t want to risk singing
When the world sleeps it is all that you hear
The sound of silence
Peaceful and tempting
The time when you want to hear the Princess sing
But it is also the time when the Princess claims shyness
So all you hear is silence ….
*Mr Tee, 30th March 2013. 2:02AM
To rise and shine
To live right and pure
To embrace happiness and pursue it
This is the life! The dreams of my father. The one he passed through me in his blood
To heal a broken heart and fall in love once again
Force a smile on the face and make dreams come true
Two hearts become one, one heart the source of happiness.
The happy life, the reason why you said YES
To answer the call of the one in need
Head the world because it is your own
Selfless service to humanity
Learn from the best
The best man in the history of human existence
Through his action you have the key to the ultimate goal.
Paradise. Where we all want to be.
Life is too short. Life is hard. We are here on a journey, not aware of when it will end. We smile and laugh this moment and the next moment it is tears and sorrow. Life is unpredictable; life is a puzzle we may never find the answers to. Life is just something complicated. Yet, for all the difficulties life brings, we still love it so much. We love life so much that we get carried away most times and forget the purpose of our existence. To be honest, not all us believe that we are year for a reason, not all of us believe in God and the hereafter. I don’t blame those who don’t. Life gives us the freedom to do whatever we want. Good or bad, you do what you feel like because surely it is your life after all. You came alone and you will leave alone. Come to think of it, you started this journey some years back and here you are at this point, not sure of when this will end. What does that say you really? There is a master, the creator of heaven and earth and the One who knows tomorrow. He owns your life, he owns my life and He expects so much from you as you live this life that we can’t even define. Live your life right so that the tomorrow you don’t know will be better.
It is quite a shame that we really don’t get to appreciate the lovely people around us until we turn around and notice their absence. It is at that point that we say things like “had I known, I would have treated them better”.
Goodbye Yaaji. It is truly hard to die. Your death has left so many people mourning and wishing it was all a dream.
I still have memories of you smiling at us as we played football with your children in your compound at the College of Education Staff Quarters, Maiduguri. Your house was indeed my second home because that was where I used to spend all my time playing. I was too playful when I was small. I was always knocking on your door as early as 7 am so we could play with your children, Musty and Yana. You gave me so many funny nicknames and it was not hard to notice the admiration and love you had for me. You were like my own Mother because you treated me just like you did to your own children.
During the Holy month of Ramadhan was when you were at the peak of kindness. You cooked different delicacies and encouraged all the children in the neighborhood to come eat with your family. It was a fanfare of some sort as we always came in our numbers. We would eat and leave the plates there in the sitting room but you never said a word, your joy was to see us smile, laugh and play.
As a young child back then, I watched how much you loved your family. You worked extra hard to provide for them. I was too young to understand but I growing up, I got to realize that what you showed to us was the value of family, the importance of a parent protecting their kids and raising them properly. The result of your total commitment to the proper growth of your children is obvious. Look at Musty your son, my childhood friend who is now happily married and successfully working. Yana and Aisha are also doing good while it’s been long I heard of BB, your last born.
We left Maiduguri in 1997 when I completed my primary school. I tried to keep in touch even though I could have done better. Each time we met, you always reminded me of my childhood adventures. We would laugh and say goodbye in peace. I always had you in mind, thinking I was going to surprise you someday with something special but how was I to know that you were the one to surprise me with something bitter and sad. You left silently and all I can do now is pray for your soul. May Allah bless you with Jannatul Firdausi. So much love I have for you.
It was February 14th; I was in SS1 and feeling all excited. All the big boys in my set bought valentine cards for their girl friends and I wanted to feel among even though I had never ran PG (Private gist with opposite sex usually in privacy) with a girl before. I still ordered for the card because of the only girl on my mind at that time, that yellow house chick from the North who was just a year behind me. The card came and I had her name written with the best ink. “With so much love from Tahir,” I signed.
I wanted to deliver the card to her by myself but I changed my mind. It was the norm for the big boys to send junior students to their babes so why should I be an exception? I came around her class and made sure I could see her from where I stood. Her seat was by the window and she was looking beautiful in her green and white. I smiled as I gave the junior student the card. “Go and give it to **** *****” I said to him. I watched as he handed the card to her. The expression on her face I will not tell you.
But after that, I never went back to her. To be honest, I deliberately avoided her till the end of the term. That was how I missed out on having my first ever girl friend and I wonder what she feels about my stupid act. Well that’s all in the past now.
Looking back at what happened, I really don’t blame myself. I shouldn’t have sent the card to her because I wasn’t in love with her but just because I wanted to feel among; I sent her a love card and made myself stupid.
This is the reason why I dislike a day like this. I have always wondered why we must wait till 14th of February to shower love on our friends and family. I personally feel we overrate this day. Why wait till today before you tell me I am special? Why must it be February 14th before taking her on a date? Why?
Our country needs love more than ever before. As young persons, we should be the ones leading the way in showing love all through the year. Love shouldn’t just mean the feeling you have for the opposite sex. Love for your country, love for parents, siblings, colleagues and neighbors and above all the love for God.
If we can have love as our watchword every day, I feel it will be a huge step in making our society better. Make each day special, let each day count. You have what it takes to make a difference. No stress, just your smile, your words and your action. Just like the preachers will say “Love your neighbor like you love yourself” and that love should be nonstop and unconditional.
Is life not beautiful? Yesterday I was sad and to be honest, I was sad for a stupid reason. A situation I should not have found myself in. I left the office angry with so many things on my mind. The world would crash on me I thought but just a call to my Mum, and my problem was solved at least for a while. I thank Karl Lagerfeld who said “The only love that I really believe in is a mother’s love for her children.” I totally agree with him because the quote is a representation of what my life is all about. At 27, I can boldly say that no woman has loved me unconditionally like my Mum. Through good and bad times she’s been there.
I have so many fond memories of her. She is my friend and confidant. The one I feel very much comfortable with. I feel blessed to have her as my Mother.
Recently however, my Mum has been sending me signals (directly and indirectly). What signal you may wonder, well my Mum wants me to marry. She wants her first and only son to bring home a lady and say “This is the lady I want to marry”.
I know the day I’ll do that, my Mum would be the happiest woman in the world but how soon will that be? Who is that woman? Who is that woman to share my heart with and start a family with? Mrs Tahir Hassan, the mother of our kids and the grand children to my Mum.
I started by saying life is beautiful and I will conclude by giving you another reason why it is. We are all here living, unaware of what will happen the next minute. I am here typing, unaware of who will be my wife someday. That to me is one of the most exciting mysteries of life. You have a future and unless it happens, you can’t be certain of who you will spend the rest of your life with. Only God knows.
The aim right now is to enjoy each moment of the present while hoping the future is bright with a better person as the other half. That way, I will live a fulfilling life and my Mother will be ever so proud.
I quit the life I was living yesterday to the one of today
I quit thinking about what the world thinks of me, all that counts is how I serve the creator
I quit being selfish time to think about the other person
All the procrastinations of those days I quit; now I am all about getting things the right way
I quit taking after you, now I truly understand who my role model is, Prophet Muhammad (SAW)
No more lies, the truth shall be the guide even if it against me so I quit
The pursuance of material things I quit, all I crave for is happiness and containment of my heart so I don’t go beyond the limit
I quit the gossips and the unnecessary talks
I quit being the old me
To this new life, I quit all those things to start afresh
What a way to end the working day. Sometimes they say the little things in life make the biggest difference. Aisha Aliu (Mrs) just left my office. She dropped by to present me with a bottle of wine for being there for her especially by standing in for her on sports news.
Aisha Aliu is a young lady with the News Directorate of Voice of Nigeria. I met her about a year ago when she was employed and we gradually became friends. She covers sports and I have told her a million times how I admire her dedication and commitment to the job but she always say I am full of flattery. I hope one day she will understand that I really mean it when I say she inspires me.
I am with the Programmes Directorate of Voice of Nigeria and I am a very busy guy (busy doing nothing). You’ll see me all around 6th and 7th floors of Radio House doing different things and I always end up as the last guy to leave my office. Some of my friends think I am killing myself softly but they don’t know that this is one of the few things that make me happy. I feel complete doing what I do here.
For a while I have been helping Aisha and her Boss Lekan Sowande with the sports news especially on Saturdays. I do that voluntarily as it is not part of my primary role here but I love doing it. Things changed during the festive period. With Lekan on leave, Aisha had so much on our hands and needed me more often. Somehow, I was always there. I never said no to her but she was always feeling uncomfortable asking me to stand in for her in her absence. Each time she calls, I will smile and say “I’ll do it” with no hesitation and I’ll also ask her not to thank me. So I found myself doing so much, I always got home tired, very tired that I can’t ping with my friends or gist with the guys at home.
To be honest, I worked extra hard in December standing in for Aisha but like I said, I don’t regret doing that and so it was a big surprise when Aisha came into my office today with a bottle of wine as a way of saying thank you. I was almost speechless because I have told her times without number to stop thanking me. To me, that is what friendship is all about. You sacrifice for your friends. I extended my working hours for her; I came to work on weekends for her. I did all that not expecting promotion from the office or recognition by my colleagues or anything from her. I did that for the respect I have for her and the love I have for sports.
Now the reason why I am writing this is because I am truly touched that she went out of her way to buy me a bottle of wine. This is very significant because I hardly get gifts from people. I can’t even remember if I got anything on December 7th when I clocked 27 so I can’t forget this wine.
This is a call to you my friend. Make out time to assist your colleagues, friends or family when they are in need. Make them smile; make them understand the value of friendship. Help out when you can. It is the little good acts that color the world beautiful. I don’t know if I made sense with this write up but the message I want to drive home is for us to develop that spirit of love, sacrifice, respect and friendship with those around us. Religion , gender, age or region shouldn’t matter …
Dear Susan, you are a heart breaker. I can’t believe you successfully played on my intelligence. I am Tahir, the guy you met last night at UBA in Area 8. I went to make some transaction at the ATM and you were there on one of the machines. You greeted me as I made my way to the ATM opposite you. I instantly knew something was up.
Susan, I didn’t say a word to you when I heard you say “How can we go cashless with a system like this?” I did not respond because I did not know if you were talking to me or talking to yourself. Before I was done with my transaction, you were beside me looking desperate and sad.
“Sir please I need a favour from you. I bank with Stanbic IBTC and I have been trying to withdraw since but I keep getting Issuer not available.” That was what you said to me. Susan I asked you to try their ATM at Area 3 but you were quick to tell me that you drove all the way from Area 3 trying about 9 ATMs in the process without success. I now asked how I could assist you…
“This is very hard for me. I feel embarrassed doing this but this is a matter of life and death. My sister is in the car outside bleeding and in serious pain. We were at the hospital and we need money for her to be admitted. I have N10, 000 and all I need now is N5, 000 to save the life of my dying sister”.
I believed every word that came out of your mouth. I kept saying in my mind that it could happen to anyone. Susan you told me you are a serving corps member teaching at Government Secondary School Garki and that made me want assist for you the more. I was moved by the love you have for your ‘dying’ sister and so it wasn’t hard for me to offer my assistance. You watched me empty all I had in my wallet and you were so much grateful as I handed you the money, Susan you must have used jazz on me. You collected my number and said you were going to call me to refund me. I also got your number and watched you leave me alone in the dark.
After you left, I guess I came back to my sense. I just got duped! That was what came to my mind as I ran out of the bank to call you back. But Susan you were so fast and by the time I got to the gate you had already crossed the road and I watched you enter the parked taxi on the opposite of the road.
Wait a minute, what if she is real? I consoled myself on my home that you are not a fraudster and I was going to meet you the next day. I was wrong Susan…
I spent the whole night thinking about you. I was wondering if I was stupid and dumb or maybe I was just being the Good Samaritan. I slept not convinced that I did a good thing by emptying my wallet for you, a total stranger.
It wasn’t a surprise when I called you this morning and you denied meeting me last night. You are rejecting my calls now and I am left with no option than to mourn the passing away of my hard earned money I gave you last night, lol. I do feel bad right now and I am full of regret.
The money I gave you is not the reason I feel bad. The fact that you made me believe you, the fact that you chose 419 as a profession instead of doing something meaningful like what other young person’s like you are doing is the reason why I feel bad. What will you tell God Susan? That you have all the problems in the world and the best way out is to defraud innocent people?
If you ever get to read this, please know that I will be praying for you to change your ways. I don’t know if I can forgive you right now because I gave you ALL I had last night. All the money that would have lasted me some days went to your stinking selfish self. You lied to me and now you deny me over the phone.
What you did will not stop me from assisting those in need but I guess I need to be careful next time. I will be careful next time but the truth is one can hardly tell between a fraudster and a genuinely stranded person. Take care Susan, I hate your ways.