Monday, 16 November 2015


     The journey to Iwo was a funny one. Yesterday was my sister's convocation and I had to find time out of no time to go celebrate with her - am a busy man you know.
     And so as we journeyed: my three cousins, my grandmama, my self and the driver, we met officers on the road. I had seen them from afar and I wasn't sure this driver of ours' had a driver's license and the 'likes'. And then we reached the check point. I looked at our driver as he boldly retrieved a twenty-naira note from his pocket and slipped it into the officer's left hand.
     'Safe journey oo,' the officer yelled grinning.
     I sighed where I was seated beside my three little cousins.
     'So these adult officers too do collect money?' My Grandma asked shaking her head.
     The driver laughed loudly and said,'Everybody wants to eat Mama.'
     That is right, everybody wants to eat. The question is: 'Does everybody care whether the source of the food is right or not?'
      No one said a word after that, we all kept quiet until we approached our destination. Then we met officers again. (permit me to use that word) But these ones were working for the University and so we passed without dropping a kobo.
     'Why did this one not collect money?' my little cousin asked looking at the officer as we passed as though he had done what she had never seen any officer do before.
     'Because he is not corrupt. And what they are collecting is not 'money', it is called ''bribe'' and it's illegal'. I said firmly. Better these little ones know the right thing now before they take everything as normal
     'No, not bible, BRIBE.' I corrected my cousin.
     And then I asked myself why should the officer not collect bribe? Then, I asked myself again, what if the officer refused the bribe, what would we do? Obviously, our driver did not have the required 'particulars', and so we should be happy that the officer collected our 'chicken change, shouldn't we? After all if he had rejected the bribe, perhaps we would have been delayed and then probably miss the interesting part of the convocation program. So I was thanking the officer in my mind for collecting the bribe.
     And then something struck my mind: how many drivers were ready to submit their particulars for checking? How many even have?
     And so that's where the problem starts: You don't want to the officer to collect your money, but you are not ready to do the right thing. Imagine, an officer stretching his hand for the usual Muritala Mohammed and you hand him your particulars, what will happen?
     1. He will be surprised.
     2. You might be delayed 'unnecessary'.
     3. The officer might still find a way of collecting a larger amout, maybe by demanding to see your fire extinguisher or something. He may eventually collect Ahmadu Bello or Nnamdi Azikiwe.But the thing is, if you have all the required things, you need not fear.
     'He who does no evil needs fear no evil'
     They stretch their hand, you hand over your papers. They tell you to park, you concur. They ask for everything, you give them more than 'everything'.
     Then they are like 'Oga, drop something now,' and then you are like 'Well done, good job.'
right? But I tell you unless you are ready to do all these, then you are not the different from the uniformed guy by the road. Not only is collecting bribe wrong, giving it is also wrong.

Friday, 6 November 2015

Never Envy the Evil...

"Shall the hungry pride even the happy band?
Shall the hungry hyena ever envy the cow of his grass?
Shall the righteous ever envy the evil of his wealth?"

In the extract above, the poet is passing a very important message. And what is it?
             When I was in college, I made up my mind not to be involved in any form of examination malpractice. However, whenever we had exams, I saw many of my fellow students cheating. This used to annoy me, and I used to feel like exposing them. That's not bad anyway. Now here is the bad part. When the results comes out and I see those cheating friends of mine getting better grades and higher scores than me, I envy them. Now that shouldn't be.

              In the extract above, the poet makes us to understand that no matter how hungry a pride (a group of lions) is, they will never envy the band (a group of monkeys). Why? Because they know they can't do what the monkey is doing to get filled. Monkeys are herbivores, and they eat mainly fruits. The lion on other hand is the king, and he feeds on flesh. Now imagine a scene where a monkey enjoying himself on the top of a tall tree, eating bananas and then a young lion searching the jungle for meat sees him. You can't expect the young lion to beg the monkey for banana or to be envious of the monkey. It can never happen. Yes, the lion is hungry and the monkey is enjoying but he is getting his enjoyment from bananas. Mere bananas! That, to the lion, is junk.
Same applies to us. If you see a thief buying goods shoes, latest cars and beautiful mansions, you must not envy him. Why? Because the source of his wealth is evil. Most of those colleagues of mine who cheat during exams pass excellently. Sometimes, they get better grades and higher scores than I do, but still I must not envy them.
          Here is another extract from the concluding part of the same poem:
    "For when the monkey reluctantly receives his reward,
     Not even the dying cub will covet his couch.
     For when the wicked is being visited by his wickedness,
     Not even the righteous beggar will beg for his bread."

Did you see that? The poet is telling us that 'when the wicked is being visited by his wickedness,' that is when he is reaping the bitter fruits of his labour, not even the poor beggar will beg for bread from the wicked. Why? Because he doesn't want his own end to be like that of the wicked.

     So my dear friends, when you see people getting right answers through the wrong methods, ignore them! No matter how hard the process may be, go through it. You might get there late, but I can assure you those you will meet there will be lamenting because the right answer without the right methods leads to destruction!

      Now let's answer our poet's question:
"Shall the hungry pride ever envy the happy band?"

Poem: Never Envy The Evil by Michael I.O

Monday, 2 November 2015


      Courage, also called fortitude, is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty or intimidation [1]
      Fear can only be confronted with courage. In life, a time will come when you will be afraid of so many things: failure, death and even the future. Being courageous does not mean all these won't affect us. However, it means when they came, we will deal with them with maturity and make the best of them. As they do say, courage is not the absence of fear, it’s the ability to utilize fear for your own good,
      Pain: Either emotional or physical, pain will come, it’s left for us to deal with it -just like fear. However the thing with pain, especially the emotional ones, can land us in the wrong hands. When we feel pain, perhaps because our hearts have been broken, or because some things haven't turned out as we wanted- we should not make ourselves vulnerable to deception. During these painful times, we are always ready to take anybody who is able to console and sympathize with us as friend, which is wrong. Perhaps you've heard the story of Johnny. Johnny went for an exam and his failed. He got frustrated and wanted to commit suicide. Then this good looking guy, saw him and advised him against suicide. Then the guy encouraged him to prepare harder next year. Johnny was grateful. Then the brother told him to walk him to a place while they keep talking. Johnny concurred and ended up in an ‘occultic’ lair.
      Point: Never make yourself vulnerable as a result of either physical or emotion pain. We told you some days ago that there are wolves in wool.

    Danger: The possibility that someone may be harmed or killed.[2]
He who has lived a good life needs not fear death. Simple!
    Uncertainty: I have always believed that what makes a good leader is the ability to handle uncertainties. There are some things that just pop up and need to be attended to almost immediately. When these happen, most people either make the wrong decision in a hurry or leave the issue unattended to out of fear of doing the wrong thing. What then do you do in a situation like this? In the dictionary of a courageous man, there is nothing like 'unexpected.'

    Intimidation: If you are intimidated, you are frightened or made to lack confidence in yourself so you would obey certain commands.
Believe in yourself and never stop doing so. You carry power and life. If you can master fear, pain and intimidation as we have advised above, intimidation would be a simple thing to destroy.
The brave man is not he who feels no fear,
For that were stupid and irrational;
But he, whose noble soul its fear subdues,
And bravely dares the danger nature shrinks from - Joanna Baillie.
References: 1 -Wikiquote. 2- Collins CoBuild Advanced Dictionary. 3- Wikipuote.