Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Dart Hits Me III: Not a Merry Xmas

Christmas Eve saw evil descend on Jos and Maiduguri. On Friday 24, three bombs exploded in Jos--two in busy Jos markets and one in a Catholic church. Over thirty people were killed in Jos; several more wounded. In Maiduguri, a church was burnt and a pastor and two others were killed.

My friend, John Galadima, lives in Jos with his family. John teaches Mass Communication in University of Jos, Nigeria. But he was in Ibadan this season to get ready for the final defence of his PhD thesis coming up soon. When John got the news that his hometown was in flames, he was totally crestfallen. He spent nearly all on him making calls to his wife and relatives. In the evening, John had to take a shot of local gin to douse his rising restlessness. Thank God, his family members were not harmed. Contrary to tradition, I decided not to send any SMS this year wishing anyone merry Xmas. It was not a merry Xmas.

What is sad about all of this is that there had been clear signals that there would be attacks during Christmas in Jos. Five days before dropping the bombs in Abuja on October 1, militants warned government; days before Boko Haram invaded the Bauchi prison and set their bloodhounds free, government got wind of it. All of the recent blasts, attacks, massacres were preceded by what is more than rumours of the atttacks. And don't think that the Nigerian security agents are dumb asses. They are simply overstretched protecting the rich political class. Merry Xmas?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

This Dart Hits Me--Part II (Darkness Covers the Land)

The promise of the Federal Government was to increase electricity supply to 6,000 megawatts by December last year (2009). Well, like many other promises from government, that failed woefully. Right now, the 120million people in Nigeria survive on less than 2,000 megawatts. I wrote on this in an earlier post on this blog: Home Sweat Home. Most Nigerians have adjusted to the darkness and frustration created by the absence of electricity--as well as to the hellish noise created by generators used by neighbours. For six weeks, there was no electricity supply to the building that houses my faculty. That did not bother me too much. What recently hit me was this: university students having to write exams with candles. It was an evening paper and by 6pm it was dark already. The lecturer in charge had to provide candles so that the exam could continue! See pictures following--if you can see anything! Tomorrow, the government will complain Nigerian students aren't performing as good as their counterparts elsewhere. They will lament that Nigerian universities aren't among the top 1,000 in the world. And they always blame lecturers for that.