Yahaya Bello will go, but Scholarship will remain. Let’s Preserve it. By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

July, 15th. 2017 
I doubt if anyone with a modicum of conscience or education can give thumbs up to the government of Kogi State. The state especially under the current administration has consistently showed its incompetence – how grossly incapable it is to effect any worthwhile deliverables. 
In fact, I’m constrained to submit that it does not posses the conscience to get embarrassed even if the entire institutions in the state closed down throughout this sad, ignoble and unhappy regime. 
They do not appear to possess enough dose of honor to process the implications of our collective disaffection and agitations. I stopped writing about them a long time ago because they won’t be around for ever, will they? 
I will forgive Bello and his gang a thousand times, than accept the debasement of our scholarship. I often can’t easily let go each time any member of this community regales in unscholarly indulgences. 
I have received some bashing for my position on the ASUU – government imbroglio. While I do apologize for appearing insensitive to the plight of the unpaid staffers, I believe the concerns raised were probably unclear (I also take responsibility) or deliberately misread. 
That being said, the import of this update is never a rejoinder, but a passionate observation on over a trend that I believe are not in our best interest. Within my extremely limited experience, I believe we must call out this trend for what it really is. 
It is simply unfair to lump up an entire demographic which takes opposing viewpoint over a particular cause as representing the problem of Nigeria. In fact, quite on the contrary, this represents the hope of a just intellectually mobile and liberal future we all aspire for. Any effort to make them feel worthless is intellectual banditry that must be promptly jettisoned. 
The tens of thousand of students who have taken a position over the protracted strike in the state’s tertiary institutions have been demonized in the most unfair and undignified manner. 
What the older generation owes this demographic is an honest, a humble (not condescending) and consistent analysis, education and engagement. And professors Andrew Efemini, Pius Adesanmi, and other progressively minded folks like Olusegun Iselaiye must be highly commended for their quality enlightenment efforts. 
I think it’s important that our university teachers be reminded how strategic their profession is to the development of an informed and tolerant society. And it cannot be achieved through the paternalistic approach which unfortunately pervades the Nigerian campus space. May I suggest that the critical stakeholders unmount the high horse of exclusive stakeholdership and duly recognize the interest of others and their rights to hold divergent views. 
You see, scholarship got badly injured the moment our academics became too intolerant to opposing views. The arrogance that made transparency become a matter of convenience, is no less a trouble for progressive thoughts. College teachers now have a feeling that they owe no one any explanation for actions or decisions they take – much less the students (the very reason for their engagement/employment). It is on record that historic movements began on college campuses – probably by young and inexperienced people – which presupposes that the concept of tolerance, free speech and an operationalized understanding of education was in force. I do not know how many of our academics still believe that peaceful protest is within the rights of students as procured by the constitution of the Federal Republic and the international charter. 
The current youth population has been repeatedly bashed for daring to give vent to its convictions. The disdain with which the older folks now treat opposing views is to say the least unintellectual. Rather than engage, they victimize; rather than present helpful and superior arguments they demonize. Where then is the difference between them and a government that opens fire on protesters? I once told my sister never to be part of any antigovernment protest – sadly I had to give same advice to my brothers who are university students. They could get withdrawn! 
Evidently, ASUU KSU does not deem it a matter of obligation to reach out to its internal and external publics particularly its students and their parents. Sadly still, pro – ASUU sentiments on various media platforms would rather decry the misguidedness of ‘our youth’ than engage with relevant information. 
Teacher – student mutually respectful engagement is neither a concession nor condescension. It is a duty. And if you believe they don’t have sufficient intelligence to understand, perhaps it is time to interrogate what they are being taught. 
We must fix this.
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Lekki Chooses You, Ten times over Ambode. By: Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

No matter the economic status of any individual; rich, wealthy, poor, real poor, we have been rich enough to have lost something valuable. We’ve also been ‘poor’ enough to have known the pain of loss. 
Poor or rich, when the realities of any material loss dawn on us – either as individuals or groups – the succour we draw from loved ones has proven to be invaluable. Pretend all you can, we crave the love and warmth of people around us when things go wrong. This soft side of us does not respect the direction which the arrow in your bank account is facing. 
Pretend all you want, you feel let down when people you call yours appear silent when you need their voice. We’re social beings. 
The havoc wreaked on ‘us’ by the #Lekki flood is an example of how man can be devastated due to no actionable fault of his, thereby surging his need for something more powerful – love. 
The warmth provided by love is unequaled by any known force. Indeed, it is unrivaled. And it is a mystery! This is why it is the most suitable antidote for any loss, real or imagined. 
We read in the news daily of how communities, organizations groups and GOVERNMENTS set up relief camps to cater for disaster victims’ material and emotional needs. While it is merely a moral issue on the parts of organizations, groups and communities to show concern to people in distress, that cannot be said of governments. 
The government has a sacred duty of making life and living attractive to its citizens. To do this, people elected to run government will often have to sacrifice their personal comforts. And except when an OFFICIAL engagement becomes too urgent, leaders at the appropriate level must  visibly identify with victims; press releases, press conferences, donations, updates, fundraising and tweets must reflect the mood of the moment. There must be visits, too. 
I’ve watched videos of the deluge both from verified and unverified sources. The water is massive. Individual efforts are frantic. Sadly, I am yet to see our first responders. There used to be an organization called NEMA. Wonder where they now are. 
Yet, in all these failings, a citizen must not attempt to rival the government in it moral bankruptcy. We must unite, rally around ourselves, show ourselves some love. 

Call your friends and relatives, call the council people, call the church and the mosque, build them tents, send relief materials send SMSs, cards. And don’t say they are rich enough. 
Send Lekki your heart, let be sure someone cares, remember she’s chosen you ten times over a party going Ambode. 

Don’t Ship the Raw. Hey, Don’t! BBy Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

I’m particularly impressed by the interest of Nigerians in many of our indigenous products. We’re clearly fascinated by what we’ve got. From Naija aṣọ ẹbi clothings to food varieties, our music and drama to our brand of comedy and gists – you just know ours is a population that admires what it’s got. 
It gets equally exciting when your friends and relatives abroad flaunt items Nigeriana with such poise and carriage that is simply unmistakable. There’s something deeply satisfying about this. 
This achievement, aside its intangible gains of national pride and dignity has also assisted in pooling our homegrown ideas and creativities into the global marketplace. The economics behind their explanations as  potential foreign exchange earners certainly does not require a PhD. 
For example, the production of indigenous fabric by a significant indigenous fashion population which has met and exceeded local consumption simply becomes export ready. Dollars will simply exchange hands. This has been happening. 
This was the major emphasis of the Emir of Kano in a recently concluded Kano Economic Summit. He made clear his disdain for a Kano that’ll keep exporting hides or groundnuts or any of its raw materials. 
You weigh his calls against a recent announcement that Nigeria is exporting RAW (and I mean UNPROCESSED yams) tubers of yams to the UK and sigh. 
Perhaps impressed as I am, the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, led by Mr. Audu Ogbeh, tried lamely to replicate the examples set by the real champions of our economy – our fashion designers, beadmakers, visual artists, our filmmakers and musicians, our comedians and other #SMEs whose homegrown creativity are export ready. I was shocked that  Mr Audu Ogbeh led MARD’s knowledge of economics – particularly export – is that basic. I also read some French and I will tell anyone who cares to listen that being a French graduate does not excuse you from basic economics. 
The economic crazy idea of shipping every raw material out of our country is the saddest joke. I’d forever hoped uncle Ogbeh wouldn’t allow this happen in the ministry he principals. Watching him speak eloquently earlier in the year about his understanding of production driven (sic) agriculture made me fall for him absolutely helplessly (I remember my friend Akinlolu Olojede trying to talk me out of trusting our present crop of leaders). Sad that this very noble ministry hasn’t yet come to terms with processing agric produce. The shit is still watery. 
All the resources in which the federal government has major stakes are shamefully shipped offshore; talk of the over 20 different deposits in Kogi, the mammoth cocoa in the southwest, intimidating grains supply in the North and an oceanic petroleum in the South-south, the government of the Federal Republic has a terrible history of economic irresponsibility. 
Something has to change. 
Think we need some elementary econs. 
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Thanks for reading.

Your skills, what are you doing with it? By: Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

It’s becoming a cliché to tell a young person to acquire a skill. This particular topic has been flogged over and over as long as I can remember. 
No thanks to the kind of education we have – where the hallmark of our learning centers around how much of Pythagoras, Aristotle and Mcluhan you can get your head stuck with, rather than how much you have been trained to be able to think outside the box. 
I speak regularly with young people, many of whom I know are really smart and creative and I shudder at how many of them have become detached from these abilities that really set them apart. You talk with them for several minutes and they’d never say a thing about these things – are they freaking trying to be modest? I don’t think so. I really think they’d sacrificed so much on the altar of academics. And this hurts. 
Arts and crafts are great ways to give expression to those abilities God has put into each of us. Young people particularly have to seek desperately for ways to give expression to this. 
Each time I see the beautiful handiworks of friends like Joy Kays, David, Abalaka Monday, OlaRotimi Visuals, Sabjoz Beauty WorldZuleihat, Andy Ryms, Ifeanyi Arena Candy etc I feel highly elated that we have folks who have chosen to make the labor market less tensed up. They are working things out with dignity and are emerging as reference points as far as excellence is concerned. Guys, I may not have personally done much in commending you, but believe me, you are the best. 
So how then can we get the fire of skills to burn more brightly? How can we bring expression to the loads and loads of abilities that have been stymied by the unhappy collaboration of our patently incompetent policy makers on one hand and the sort of parenting that is now in vogue? You know about the government, but I bet you may not know this thing about our parents, right? OK I’ll explain briefly. 
Don’t get me wrong, our parents are fantastic. 
Imagine John, 10 year old. JS 2, he goes to school by seven, returns by five. Mondays to Fridays. On Saturdays, Clement arrives the house for home lessons. At the home lesson, John is not being taught Music or instruments, he’s not being taught Italian, French or Spanish. No carpentry, machine tools, tailoring, baking or soap making. Not even event or interior decors. John’s parents, just like the Aisha’s believe the young man has to be taught and retaught the same things he’s learnt all week; Mathematics and English. Eku ìṣe sir, wehdon. 
John also plays his own football not on the pitch but on the TV screen, not with his legs but with his keypad in hand. 
This, sadly, has assumed a status symbol. 
I believe a new understanding of education is dawning on us as young people. Today we have a lot more opportunities and information available to us than as never before been seen. This makes it easy for me to easily suggest to you, young man and woman to look within, what are you good at? What do you most effortlessly do? What inspires you? What are you passionate about? Probe into yourself, get your friends to tell you what he or she believes you’re good at and then get a training. 
Such training may not have to be formal (though this helps), but ensure you pay for it. Giving a token for a skill learnt often increases your pride in, and respect for what you posses. 
Start today.
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Thank you

You and I in the Cyberspace. By; Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

The Internet as a platform has democratized the cyberspace and the *cyberage , offering every single one of us the power to actively participate. Anyone with tools as basic as a smartphone can now produce and share media contents with an ease and speed that is incredible – his feedback is equally as easy and immediate. A technical term for this advancement is known as the Web 2.0.
Our liberties are now more freely exercised. This is sweet, if you ask me. 
As common with any libertarian regime, there is popular participation. Expressions are always in huge volumes – good or bad. But when you consider man’s natural inclination to abuse just about anything, especially liberty, you just know he needs ‘help’ to safely enjoy this enormous liberty. 
While I’m not about to suggest a muzzle of any sort, for I acknowledge an unhindered online expression – the crazy, the kind, the desirables and the deplorables – as a veritable part of democracy (even though I believe everyone MUST take responsibility for his actions), I’m compelled to suggest safer and dignified ways we can use the cyberspace. 
It is not uncommon these days to see lots and lots of news sites and headlines screaming and sometimes winking for our attention. A lot of times these sites present very enticing headlines and offers just to ensure that you click. It is called Click bait. 
These click baits come in most audacious and also in the creepiest ways. And the user often feels taken advantage of. Imagine your frustration, when for example, you’re trying to fill out a form online only to be redirected to a some frivolous site where you naturally wouldn’t have gone even in your lowest moments… , you’re also ‘treated’ to a crazy barrage of news and the alternative news! 
Sifting through thousands of online newspapers, magazines and blogs poses a huge challenge to an average Internet user, as the ability to craft headlines and leads – which are the windows to news items – is no longer an exclusive skill of the mainstream media. In fact, amateur sites are just as skillful with this as their professional counterparts. 
So what must a user do? How does he play safe amidst an army of ‘news sellers’, money doublers, ‘middle belt repairers/rejuvenators’ etc. whose claims are often not verifiable? How does he live life on this same cyberspace where he’s only a click away from danger?
I believe Online/Internet advisory service people have said so many things on this. I hope to collect some of their pieces of advice and share later. But if you’re able to lay your hands on them before I do, kindly post and tag me for wider circulation.
The need to stay safe on the Internet is as important as ‘important’ can get. A frivolously lived life on the Internet predisposes you to injury; mentally, socially, financially, morally, spiritually, academically, relationally and LEGALLY. 
Needless battles on these eight fronts should be avoided.
And so, we must take necessary precautions, always! 
Happy holidays.
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“Urbanization, Security and Development Issues in Nigeria” My thoughts. By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

Yesterday I attended a public lecture titled “Urbanization, Security & Development Issues in Nigeria” which held at the Assembly Hall, ABU, Zaria. It was eye opening. A brief remark by professor Enoch Oyedele in whose honor the lecture (& a Festschrift) was organized and presented, showed how unsustainable Nigeria’s urbanization is. To him ours is a growth without development. 
Another thing the erudite professor of history and development (I hope I am correct) lamented is the total neglect of the rural areas. The countryside are lacking in basic amenities, effective security etc. thereby causing a worrisome rural-urban migration. 
I cannot agree more with baba Enoch. And I do know that the problem is largely a policy issue. But I am optimistic that it can be addressed. 
Why on earth will a young Nigerians rush to Lagos or Abuja or Por’arcourt if the serene countrysides of Agbani, Igbaruku or Gantsa are furnished with life’s basic necessities?
Life in Lagos, Abuja, PHC and elsewhere in Nigeria’s arrogant urban centers are plagued with overstretched facilities, high cost of living, high crime rates (as a result of high population density). In fact these represent very distressed cities pretending to be happy – as facilities are overstretched so are the people. 
2019 election is therefore on this note very, very important. I call it the ELECTION of DESTINY. Parents must vote in leaders who will put a stop the enslavement of their children. 
Youth, you must show your love for your mom and dad by casting your vote for someone who is WILLING and ABLE to make your life BETTER. You need a stable job, you need to marry and lead a responsible life. It is your right! 
We must collectively insist that;
Good schools, 

Comprehensive Healthcare, 

Stable Power supply, 

Smart Internet connection, 

Sports (& sports centres) 

Libraries*

Good road networks, 

Storage facilities, 

Security, 

Public fun places (not hotels, necessarily) etc. are made available to the rural population and everywhere. 
Do NOT vote anyone without a demonstrable ability to pursue (& deliver) this. 
It is possible! 

~Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

June, 2017

What the Industry needs and our Schools won’t Teach. By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade. 

As a freshman with high hopes of coming top in the career I’ve chosen – communication, I was very excited to belong to a university – the world’s highest institution of learning. To have a grasp of what really laid ahead, I read a huge collection of materials; some journals, books and other learning resources especially on the Internet, newspapers and magazines. I remember getting a satellite TV receiver for this purpose. Thanks to Yemisi, my big sister. 
I was really keen on advancing this hope. The hope of building myself into a reputable figure, post-university. 
I had jumped ship, leaving a college of education for the university with hopes of a more intellectually engaging and industry readying experience. 
Sadly, what I expected to see at the university was not matched by what I saw. I had expected a distinct learning curve that was really, really unmatched. 
I concede there is some difference between these two environments. Especially when you consider the fact that in a college of education you could have as much as twenty-five or more credit units on your hands in a single semester. Spending more time wondering how to cope with over a dozen courses than really learning. 
Either as a result of an unbridled hope, exuberance or sheer naïvety, I found our course contents not compliant with what I have read about as requirements becoming a media/communication executive in the 21st century. 
The course content which I believe reflected the Nigerian curriculum felt very detached from  reality, detached from the emerging challenges and prospects of the millennium. 
My major disappointment with ‘realities’ as classroom suggested, came when I went on internship at DAAR Communications Ltd in Lagos. I worked in the newsroom and was alarmed by the enormous amount of ‘real realities’ that was eluding our education system. The privilege of being with the big names in the industry who shared freely great practical knowledge, the hands on experience etc. appealed more to my sense of purpose.
After familiarizing myself with the nuances of the work, I was able to consolidate on the knowledge I’ve picked up from these giants within few weeks. It was at first difficult sifting through the things I’ve been stuffed with and a reality that now stood before me. Thankfully, the grace of learning prevailed, and the experience the industry offered fitted more smugly. In three months of my stay, I’d worked on hundreds of assignments to the admiration and commendations of my supervisors. 
I wrote many news stories which were broadcast over and across the company’s vast coverage.
I must also mention that the Industrial Training Fund ITF did not not pay me my allowances for which the federal government devotes billions of Naira yearly. I hope the EFCC or ICPC, beam their searchlight on this organization. 
It is disappointing to see employers getting very upset with the inadequacies of the Nigerian graduate. At every recruitment season, these organizations commit millions of Naira helping the Nigerian graduate unlearn his deposit of defective knowledge he’d suffered so much to acquire. 
They call it graduate internship, hmm. We know what it is. 
The world is changing and I expect our country to fashion out a curriculum that recognizes this. 
I believe our institutions of learning should constantly connect to the industry. By this, our  schools will produce graduates that are truly employable. 
Disclaimer: This observation is my opinion, it is not an indictment on my teachers. I’ve been blessed with very smart and forward thinking teachers from primary school. 
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Man, Hmmm, Pity his Amnesia. By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

Man, Hmmm, Pity his Amnesia. 

By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 
The human mind is terribly complex. It remembers what it should forget and forgets what it should remember. 
Often times we get really mad when people we have encouraged and shown love and care suddenly seem to have forgotten our show of love. 
This, sadly, is a phenomenon that has characterized human history. In fact, this amnesic feature plagues man so badly that he forgets the good done him by his God. 
Don’t be tricked into believing that man is deliberately being forgetful and ungrateful, no! For he often fails to bring to mind the good he has done to himself. 
His fears, his panic, his doubt and his depression are a result of the terrific things about himself that he has forgotten! 
OK, see, a man has God that is All Powerful, but forgets this the very moment he faces a challenge. He forgets the very thing he needs to remember.
He has a unique ability, but he forgets this when he needs to manifest. He sadly even goes ahead to envy others. 
He even has a beautiful and kind wife whom he’d always adored but forgets to appreciate her. May even cheat on her with a ridiculously ‘inferior’ one – don’t blame him; oti gbàgbé ní. Ó mà ṣe o!
Man may have killed a lion but may lose his balls the next minute when faced with a cat! 
The battle to keep in mind what we should is a daily fight. We must consciously bear in mind that we are special; that we have what we need ; that we are unique and that there is no basis for comparing ourselves to others. 
We must never forget to remember the goals we have achieved, no matter how small they now seem. We must deliberately celebrate ourselves. It can appear silly or insignificant, but, you know what? Celebrate still! 
And, very importantly friend, acknowledge the Lord God every single step along the way. Without Him you are nothing, anyway!

The gem in Jonah’s recall process. By Oshaloto, Joseph Tade 

I am especially happy that the Nigerian electorate is now realizing the power that she has. We see in the news and movies how elected representatives carry themselves in civilized societies, and are saddened that the reverse has forever been the case here. 
Political office holders over there duly recognize the people as their employers, effectively armed with the power to hire and fire, and are constantly trying to please ’em. Ours tend to please their pockets and their bellies. They only seem poised to servicing their wantonness… 
Get it folks, Dino to me has not done badly as a legislator; at least judging by the Nigerian political weighing balance, but that is immaterial. If a larger majority of those he represents do not share my sentiment, he is simply not popular enough to serve.
Rather than lament an imminent sack of ‘our son’, I would rather, we, and I mean the entire Nigerian population rejoice that democracy is gradually assuming its full features. Finally moving from nascenthood. 
For some of my unemployed friends who are on DM’s payroll, I would say a big sorry for this threat to your monthly stipends, but you will survive trust me. You are therefore by this piece encouraged to respect the will of the majority – seeing democracy is a game of digits. Do not get killed for any politician o. 
Remember you too can someday become a president. 
Whether Jonah survives this recall or not, I believe this will sound a strong message to every elected representative.
They will sit up. From ward council to the presidency, they will firm up! 
They will by this historic move (and several other to follow) learn to respect us. The people’s fear will fall on them. And they will sit up. 
This is the inestimable gem that must not slip. 
Image: Julius

Who is deceiving Kogi West? By Ilésanmí Oshaloto 

It is quite unfortunate that someone somewhere has been able to reduce our people to engage in a political war, a war that cannot be won. 
It is also a thing of surprise that the people who are considered to have suddenly woken up from political slumber could recall a senator who has done nothing wrong in his legislative duty in the upper house. 
I think there is a lack of legislative understanding  among the people. This lack of understanding may be due to the fact that a ravaging poverty is very much present among the people caused by non payment of salaries and pension. 
People’s minds were easily bought with stipend and were asked to sign a signature against a performing senator. Or what else should be the duties of a law maker? Payment of salaries? Opening institution of higher learning?
With total neglect of the people and with high level of hunger created by Yahaya administration, such a rapid response to this type of recall and many more are just an evidence of high level of poverty in the state. It appears that, next election and reelection will be based on who gives what – rice, garri, flour. This of course is the political strategy of the incumbent governor – making the people his willing tools. 
Who to recall. 
There are members of house of assembly who should have pressured the governor to pay salaries,  pay pensioners, and open schools and allow lecturers do their jobs,  allow medical doctors and health professionals do their best to the people. 
The people should recall members of house of assembly for not moving for governor’s impeachment, for making the state first in all black books. 
I see no wisdom in “our people” the latest display shows that political wisdom is far from “our people” and the understanding of legislative functions is equally far from “our people”. 
Nigeria’s ‘constitution’ should be amended. Signatures of only those that voted for a candidate in a party should be given the opportunity to recall. As against registered voters. You cannot seek for your approval from your enemy. 
Dino may have his shortcomings has a human being, but has he been doing his legislative duties well? This should be the most important thing to “our people”. How has Dino offended you? 
Bello not Dino should be the concern of “our people”.