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Opinion : in Whose Interest is JAMB Lowering the Pass Mark for Gaining Admission into Higher Institutions in Nigeria?

As the statutory examining body saddled with conducting examination for prospective students who wish to further their education beyond the high school, the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), had some months back conducted its yearly Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for the 2017/2018 academic year.

It is a modification of the old method of conducting separate examination for those going into either the university or polytechnics.

Now the logistics are streamlined and the exercise cost efficient.

Taking the process forward, precisely on the 20th of August, 2017, the board equally announced the highly anticipated pass or cut off marks for university, polytechnics, colleges of education, and other institutions of higher learning respectively.

Why this is necessary or not has been a subject of heated debate for God knows how long now.

Bearing in mind that once upon a time in this country our institutions of higher learning themselves were the ones conducting exams, fixing of cut off marks and interviews for prospective students.

As such they have the historical experience and academic pedigree for things like these and should not be bothered by all sorts of limiting centralized arrangements like quotas system, cut off marks and catchment arrears.

This year's exercise comes as usual with some measure of liberty for the individual citadel of higher learning vis-a-vis the doctoring of these requirements to suit their peculiar circumstances.

And this would come by the way of post JAMB and interviews to be conducted by the various higher institutions themselves through which the most suitable applicants are selected to fill existing openings in their various departments and faculties.

So it is, after all, nothing cut in stone as being peddled.

This year, the board had fixed 120 for the university, 110 for innovative institutions and 100 for polytechnics and colleges of education which has not gone down well with a lot of people who strongly feel it should have been the other way round.

I could recall that last year, the pass marks hover around 200 for university and 180 for polytechnics or thereabout respectively.

So why is the reduction?

According to JAMB, in a recent statement, the decision to review the cut off marks downward was reached at a meeting with the stakeholders drawn from across the country and not one was unilaterally taken by the board.

Ordinarily you will expect that such clarifications would douse the tension; instead, it has kindled the fire the more because obviously relevant stakeholders like ASUU, VC's were not part of this decision-making process.

And come to think of it who else should have been the first to be invited to such an August meeting if not the like of ASUU and VC's.

A clear case of proffering solutions to problems bedeviling the institutions they were superintending behind them.

And that is most unfortunate and above all unacceptable.

It would then mean that the so call stakeholders and the meeting is referred to by the board are at best ghostly or comprised of aliens to have taken a decision so strategic to our educational progress in such a sloppy manner.

Expectedly, they have come out to condemn the move in very strong terms.

First of all, while I am not holding brief for the examining body; but all I can say they are trying to do is get a good number of prospective students to the gates of the universities of their dream regardless their scores.

And by so doing pitch them against the so call smart students and see what happens at the end of the day.

You never can tell we might just get a couple of upsets on our hands, which would really be good.

After all, examination like we always say is sometimes not a true test of knowledge.

But the way and manner they have gone about it arouse the suspicion of not a few people.

Be that as it may, the cut-off marks for this year has continued to generate controversy among stakeholders.

As we speak, it is widely seen by many as being ridiculously low and a slap on the nation's drive for educational excellence which for sometimes now has been on a downward slide.

On the other hand, some do see it as nothing to be hypertensive about.

To this set of people, it is just cut off marks and the first hurdle to be crossed by those who applied to go to the university or other similar institutions.

If they cross this, nothing guarantees that they are going to cross the next, they argued!

Imagining that all this is coming at a time when the country universities are still battling to reclaim their past mercurial positions among the global university elites.

It is also coming at a time when there are deafening outcries that the bulk of graduates being produced by our higher institutions are not employable.

In most cases, they still require some in-house training to be effective on the jobs.

The near general consensus finally for sometimes now is that our education system is withering away at an alarming rate.

And going by available evidence much of these problems are as a direct result of repeated policy summersaults by one administration after the other.

Still on the matter at hand, going by universal grading standard in the academic circle, 120 marks out of possible 400 marks is a pass because it represents around thirty percent of the total score.

I hope my maths is correct.

If so, it is definitely not enough to advance the cause of a student studying in the lower level of the educational system not to talk of the university whose responsibility it is to develop manpower for the various sectors of the nation's economy,

I ask again whose interests was this decision meant to serve?

Of course, it could not have been for the highly motivated students from across the length and breadth of the country.

Many of whom over the years have consistently been scoring well over 200 marks.

Everything being equal, it points only in the direction of some lazy crowd somewhere so desperate to go to the university even if it means dragging everybody down their miserable pedestal.

And come to think of it, they are been helped on politically speaking not minding the consequence it portends for the future of the beneficiaries and the nation in general.

Because it is one thing to graduate; it is, however another, to be able to compete in the professional environment without some affirmative actions being taken that seek to correct the imbalance created by an unwilling people who must be forced to the stream like some hesitant horses to satisfy an academic thirst they do not even have in the first instance.

It has always been a counterproductive option.

It never worked in all entireties.

At best what you get is the disturbing of the peace of the academic stream thereby making other abler and willing to drink from a muddled up academic water.

It brings to naught the genuine efforts of well-meaning personalities across the country who stand for educational meritocracy because it is more rewarding than the cheap populist agenda being shamelessly championed by some faceless minimalists in our midst.

By and large, I think it is a bad policy to continue to reduce entry requirements into our institution of higher learning.

I honestly think if the body cannot raise the bar out of fears that the chances of some people or sections of the country will be negatively impacted then it would only be proper to retain the status quo.

And this they have not done thereby making their recent action a questionable one and must be opposed by every legal means possible. God bless Nigeria!

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Opinion: Understanding Why You Should Be Wary of Nigerian Police Personnel Bearing Firearms

It is no gainsaying that the Nigerian police boast some of the most wonderful, the most courageous, the most professional officers and men that can rival any from around the world.

And no one can deny the reverse too that there are more than enough bad eggs in its basket too.

It's only normal you might say after all out of every twelve there is always a Judas.

In spite of this natural mix, it has always managed to achieve resounding successes at the international stage thereby putting the country on the global focus for the right reasons.

Representational photo of Nigerian police personnels

The potential is always there, one may argue!

But if the force could harness it overseas why not here.

After all charity, they say, begins at home.

I mean why take the trouble to give your best when on international duty say the UN peacekeeping mission and cannot replicate the same on the home front.

Bearing firearms, history and experience have shown us that they are equally some of the most dangerous if not the most dangerous in the world.

They are more of a threat to innocent citizens than to men of the underworld whose crime rings they were primarily recruited, trained and deployed to bust before they unleashed their dastardly acts.

And I say this with a deep sense of concern and responsibility.

On duty particularly he shows some degree of touchiness, overbearing and at most easily predisposed to wreck undue havocs at the slightest provocation.

From Sokoto to Bayelsa; from Lagos to Borno tales of their infamous exploits abounds that one may not be able to exhaustively deal with from now till eternity.

And I'm not exaggerating.

Stories abound of policemen who had resorted to pointing the gun at bus and cab drivers on the account of their refusal or reluctance to part with miserable amounts.

Over time, a countless number of drivers, innocent passers-by, commuters and people traveling with a substantial amount of money on them has been downed by bullets from many of these wilful, criminal minded and trigger happy police personnel for some of the most trifling reasons one can think of.

Men of the Nigerian police force have had cause to kill and will kill over a dispute centered on money that is as low as fifty naira or less.

And whom it involves does not matter.

Now imagine if the money that runs into several thousand or more is involved. He automatically transformed into a heartless killing beast.

As such, there is the need as always for the citizenry to be wary when interacting with an arm bearing ones.

So I'll advise that you shouldn't joke with a Nigerian policeman that's armed especially in case you have cash and other valuables on you.

Even in a normal stop and search situations still, be wary.

It can't be too much.

You never can tell.

He might be having personal or mental issues.

He might also be having issues with his colleagues or his boss which can predispose him to commit an act of transfer aggression.

And with a gun in his hands, he is more deadly.

He might even be high on alcohol, marijuana and other substances for it is not out place to see police personnel hanging around spots where these items are freely sold.

It is not even out of place to see them requesting for alcoholic gratifications from familiar everyday guys who eagerly oblige them because of their professional badges.

For these reasons, he is more likely to misbehave than not so don't take chances on your expectations that he should always be on his best human behaviors and professional conduct.

Perhaps you missed a related story that breaks earlier this week of a police inspector who killed his boss, a DPO, over guess what, one hundred and fifty thousand naira in the South-west part of Nigeria.

This, of course, is the latest addition to the overflowing basket of its professional malaise.

According to the story, the inspector had been summoned by the DPO who have it on good authority that the inspector had collected the sum of one hundred and fifty thousand naira on a case he was handling.

And he was said to have been ordered by the inspector to return the money.

Obviously, this got him infuriated.

A heated argument between the two was said to have ensued.

The inspector was said to have stormed off the DPO's office only to return with his service rifle and gun down his superior.

But he immediately realizes the enormity of what he has just done.

So he jumped into the well right within the premises of the station and he died in the process.

If a policeman can have the audacity to kill his boss over money; tell me who such a man cannot kill. And they have killed many before and they will still kill if money is involved.

So I repeat the fear of an arm bearing policeman is surely the beginning of wisdom.

Be wise I'll insist when dealing with men of the force.

Never underrate him when he threatens because he might be getting funny feelings from other sources beyond his control.

While there is no denying that there are many policemen with an impeccable professional track record in the service; the fact still remains that there are many others too with questionable even roguish antecedents.

In fact, many of them are hardened criminal, depressed, drug addict, alcoholic and are on the edge at all times to commit one act of atrocity or the other.

And until the force finds a way to flush out these bad eggs from the service; improve on its recruiting and training methodologies; perhaps improve on the welfare of officers and men of the force, I'm afraid instances like these may be a recurring decimal in our national existence for a long time to come.

As a consequence, finally, it will worsen the degree of distrust that already exists between it and members of the public whom it has consistently been wooing for support in the discharge of the onerous task of national security provision.

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How to Quit Your Odd Jobs, Chase Your Dream and Become Who You Really Should Be.

Hey, now don't get me wrong!

Menial or odd job, so to say, isn't something that I totally dislike.

But making a career out of it consciously or unconsciously is.

Come to think of it, we all someday hope to put up our dream dwellings and these are the guys who will turn the mortar, move the bricks and assist the masons.

They're quote on quote the five and six spanners of the dirty jobs and hardly get the hail.

I think we should also remind ourselves that there are a litany of other odd jobs both around the home and office which we simply cannot execute on our own without the help of these hands down the ladder at a fraction of the rates,

And so getting involved in processes so fundamental to our continued existence on planet earth, you might argue shouldn't be a bad idea altogether.

I didn't say so, and never will.

In fact in the journey of life, this is one sure stopover for a lot of ordinary folks including myself starting out fresh unsure where to go or for lack of bankable skills or when life roughly happens to us.

But one of the tricky parts is leaving it especially when a substantial adjustment has been gained.

Another is because the pay is daily it tends to appeal more to people because you don't seem to lack money.

Which is where lies the deceptive pitfalls many people aren't aware of until it's rather too late.

Once more let me say a big shout out to my guys who are honorably grinding out life in back streets and far-flung sites. You killed it!

Let me concretize this further with the story of my early life.

After high school, I'd my time at a gas station belonging to an in-law who unreservedly loved and wanted the best for me.

But I was should I say too young to realize this until the opportunity was gone.

I think I make a mess of that golden platform.

That's my humble confession which I'm not ashamed to publicly bare.

I moved on nevertheless, and guess where I found myself shortly: a brick making job among hobos not so proud to brag about what they do for a living.

I thought I've made the right decision but it turned out to be an illusion.

For several years, I labored junketing from one state to another wallowing in lamentations, misery, anguish, and indecision until the Barbershop come to fruition after many failed to take off attempt.

It was my first entrepreneurial experience, and one that comes with a lot of lessons too.

And you know the saddest part?

It failed after six or seven years thereabout!

I didn’t stop there though.

I immediately returned to the university.

And today, I'm doing something that I believe I was made to do naturally having repeatedly ignored the bold signpost in the past.

Though I hold it to be true that there's dignity in labor hard or not; but as regards the theme of this post, 'my take is to do your bits and move on.'

But in as much as many would love to the truth however is, they simply can't.
Instead, they overstay their welcome worse still.

And consequentially, they get overrun by a rush of untoward developments.

Until their life is literally wasted on drudge that neither give them fulfillment nor financial freedom they so much crave.

Like the Yoruba will say "when one delays on the wrong stuff, one stands the risk of been crashed into by more of the wrong stuff".

This shouldn’t be.


Of course, that's often the mouthed desire of many that I've met all my life.

Except that only a fraction of this number gets close to realizing it.

Agreed, there are pockets of wicked, even overbearing bosses everywhere you turn.

But none can stop you from achieving your incredibly lofty aims and objectives in life no matter how hard they might try without your consent.

And by consenting directly or indirectly I mean taking no action.

And here we're talking precisely of and about menial jobs which in all entireties I can't remember having disengagement package no matter how hard you worked, how long you stayed with the employer.

So why stay on?

The best many of the hard laboring guys that I know of have gotten from their employers were insulting and acrimonious departures.

No befitting farewell; No monetary rewards; no matter how token.

What more can be demoralizing for a laboring man than becoming prey of a system while he preys on nobody?

What I've discovered most time is people serve more time than required on jobs they seem not to like but endured.

They spend more time blaming others while the basics are left untouched.

And this is the root of their miseries and anguish.

In error, they stayed on because the jobs guaranteed some flexibility and the pay seems good in their estimations.

And every day they talk of the business owners as bereft of human feelings, exploitative and selfish.

As if they're getting nothing in return for their sweat as laborers, they speak in a sentimental tone that they are just working for their bosses who are seen as some kind of wretched slave drivers.

But I ask you if you're to swap roles now and you become the boss, won't the same thing be said about you?

Won't you boss people around in some ways too?

Would you close your eyes and allow people to mess up your business?

Would you pretend to be nice when there's no need to be?

In spite of all these, all hope is not lost for whosoever truly desire to move up the ladder of life; whosoever truly have the vision to pursue, run with.

Hitting the ground running?

From the example of my life, even as I concur that no two lives are the same; but our ability to promptly deal with the negative forces pulling our lives in one direction while we desire another is key to succeeding in our choosing career path going forward.

At this point, I’d stress that understanding spiritual dynamics to life is key and the individual peculiarity to it as well if things are to be taking care of from the onset.

The key word is being spiritually alert or ready. I cannot emphasize this enough that life is spiritual and it should be so treated.

We’re all products of some spiritual causes and effects as they were.

Battles have been and are continually being waged for and against us.

Let he who has ears let him hear. A word they say is enough for the wise.

Like our people would say ‘no good thing wishes you accomplish it’.

It’s all down to how much you wanted it.

"You might be familiar with the sing-song in the Nigeria music environment for instance where the bulk of musicians sing of and about becoming like Dangotes, Otedolas, and Adenugas of this world.

Forgetting the Yoruba saying that those who don't know the secret/recipe behind the successes of their contemporaries, stand the risk of dying running a needless rat race."

What is the right time to quit, one may ask?

And I'll say when the ovation is loudest!

And when is the ovation loudest?

In the prime of our youth when our energy level is still at the optimum!

When there is more latitude for experimenting with career options in order to know which get stuck at the end of the day.

And not when we've become both physically and mentally exhausted.

In no particular order, below is the strategic road map code name: 'running with your vision' to achieving your short or long term life goals.

Step 1: discover yourself

Believe me, this is one thing that's fundamental to the success stories of most people that I know of whether it's in business, entertainment, and sports.

Self-discovery entails knowing your endowments. Because like the bible says to some we give one talent, to others two and so on and so forth.

Doing so will help you to plan your life accordingly.

At least it'll give you a clue about where to concentrate your efforts instead of just throwing things around and hoping they stick.

Step 2: have a goal.

There’s an age long saying that he who doesn’t stand for something will fall for anything.
So nothing defines life more than goals setting.

Some inspirational speakers have even said we should set achievable/realistic goals.

I guess what they are saying, in a nutshell, is we should set goals that take realistic cognizance of our abilities innate or acquired.

But before any goal can be tagged unachievable it must have been conclusively taken on without success.

We have seen in the past people setting out to achieve hitherto improbable things and others have called them foolhardy and other unprintable names.

But in the long run, they have brought them to fruition.

A case in point is the 'Wright brothers and the flying machine.'

That's for that.

For the purpose of this article, I recommend that you set goal in line with your talents and leave defining it to the critics.

Whatever it's called is a function of the shape of their mind.

And it's either they have a small or big mind.

Step 3: kill procrastination.

The perfect metaphor for procrastination is 'thief'.

And like the real-time thief anywhere he appears stealing and destruction is the rule.

So, the best a man with a dream can do it is to kill it at the slightest appearance.

Step 4: save

To begin any business venture fund is important.

And in this wise, a way must be devised to source for money.

One of the ways to source for a fund is saving. Another is borrowing.

I suggest you set aside a fraction of your earnings it doesn’t matter how small.

It would surprise you ‘how a trickle of water becomes a mighty ocean’ in no time.

Secondly, a fund can be sourced from friends and family to augment whatever you’re able to save yourself.

It’s safer like that because such monies are usually interest-free which helps your business in the long term.

What I‘d advise you avoid, however, is borrowing from financial institutions say the micro-finance banks so you don’t go a-sorrowing in the end like the bible admonishes.

The interest rate is not only killing; by the time you finish paying back, I can bet it nothing would be left for your business. It happens to many startups that I know at close quarters.

You know why?

Your business is new and it takes time for a new business to actually hit the ground running.

At most, it takes a minimum of six to one year of serious hard work.

And you know micro-finance institutions by their modus operandi won’t give you or your business that precious latitude. Repayment for all I know is immediate.

It’s not uncommon to hear from many that have run afoul of this narratives that monetary facilities from micro-finance banks have some kind of diabolical connections. Get the gist.  

Step 5: see the big picture.

While I know there are many who would prefer otherwise, starting small I need to emphasize is the way to go in business.

The big picture is the final destination regardless of what happens on the way up.

It doesn’t matter what people say of your vision.

It doesn’t matter also what they say of you.

Picture the chicks from the hatchery and how they slowly they transform into money-spinning cockerels and broilers. In the interval, there is an investment to be made in terms of time and nurturing.

Finally, in the big pictures, there is God.

If you don’t believe in him yet this is the perfect time to start.

Step 6: get some training.

All that we have said so far is nothing without it.

The knowledge of your industry is a sine qua non to your success.

But then it’s a question of percentage.

Fine, if you can afford to access hundred percent instructions/certifications as regards your industry.

If not make do with what you have and build slowly up.

It’s not even out of place to learn on the job from your employees. The thing is it takes a lot of humility to do so because it comes with disrespecting undertone.

It’s not also out of place to build on your natural endowments too.

Let assume you’re passionate about dressmaking, barbing, hairdressing and the like; it’s very possible to professionalize it in no time.

I personally don’t believe you can learn everything you need to power business to success in one fell swoop. Knowledge is not only incremental it’s a lifelong undertaking. So be ready and willing to learn new things.

Be that as it may, I’ll insist you get some know-how of your business area so you don’t play into the hands of mischievous journeymen/aides who might expose you to some degree of uncertainty should they take a walk without prior notices like they often do.

Step 7: show enthusiasm.

This is the high spirited disposition you show towards what you do even when things aren't just okay mid-stream.

It might be that the patronage/pay/income /turnover is meager at startup.

It might be that the situation is nervy and daunting.

It might even that a client is making an unrealistic demand on you.

And come rain or sunshine you must radiate self-motivation/morale that you are thereby informed choice and not merely by following the crowd.

It’s made more remarkable with the professional readiness to take on a new challenge with renew/unwaning vigor or deal with poorly executed jobs returned.

Step 8: show commitment.

Commitment is the avoidance of distractions that may arise to test/try your resolve to get a task completed according to schedule.

It’s the faithfulness you bring to bear on your career vis a vis your willingness to improve on what you do or aspire to do.

It’s equally the ability to take criticism from clients/supporters/patrons alike in good faith; work on your deficiencies in other to gain the necessary adjustment.

Step 9: Persevere.

It would not always be rosy on your way up.

To everything in life, there is a season. There is a fortune season and there's a misfortune season.

So the ability to weather the storm if things aren’t going according to plan is one attribute of all successful men and women.

And it’s one you must court if your hope/desire of becoming like your super duper business hero or star of the gridiron would be any fruitful.

Step 10: succeeding.

Success is relative because no one has it all.

To some, success is the participatory joy.

To another, it’s being healthy.

To others, it’s having plenty of money, cars, and properties.

To some it’s taking the ultimate prize; overtaking their arch-rivals in competitive engagements.

Whatever it is to you, you’re well within the mark.

To me, success is being able to do what you do with a relative degree of accuracy, being able to adequately provide for yourself, your family, support your friends and community where and when necessary.

In all of this money and character play a big role. That’s to say financial and moral successes are key to the overall definition of success.

In all you do folks get this at the back of your minds. Be fair to your clients, listen to people who criticize you constructively and appreciate you as your wishers, above all.

They are the primary reasons you’re doing what you do.

And finding innovative ways to satisfy their many needs is the one sure trigger for your own ultimate success especially in business.

Above all, be resolute to see through your plans even in the face of a deluge of diversionary calls that are bound to come your way.

See you at the top!

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Opinion: In Defence of Under Attack 9ice's Song the 'Living Thing'.

Okay, I'm sure you've listened to 9ice's 'living thing' from the album ID Cabassa many times over.

You must have dissected the lyrical content too, a word for word, a sentence for sentence and verse for verse with a view to appreciating its thematic direction among others.

I've too, and it's not just because I love the singer but because I love music generally.

And from the intro to the very end the song pointedly speaks our individual aspiration primarily as living souls or things to use the exact word of the singer except but to the pretending or hypocritical few who prefer to live in denial of their
existential realities.

Below I quizzically paraphrase the intro as follow:

"As a living thing, don't we all wanna be on top of things; doing things; controlling things and finally be enterprising"? Sure, I want to and I believe you too want to.

Summarily a world of unlimited possibility is what the song is talking about.

And who doesn't desire something so noble?

To get familiarized with what I'm saying here you can view it on YouTube.

First and foremost, taken as a whole, you cannot help but agree with me that it's one great piece of music going by how much airplay and views on YouTube it has garnered.

Second, I'm of the opinion it's something in the class of 'Gongo Aso' which shot the singer into international stardom some ten years or so ago.

On the other hand, it's equally one piece of a song that has continued to generate lots and lots of controversy pitting fans and reviewers alike against one another inevitably.

And what's or are the bone(s) of contention here?

The contention arises out of the belief in some quarters that the song is outrightly promoting fraud and fraudsters going by interpretations giving to some of the singer's choice of words and scenes from the video.

Besides the mention of the word 'Google' in passing, there are also two other words central to the ongoing debate.

And the Words are 'Wire Wire and Sase' respectively.

For non-Nigerians, I think a brief explanation of these two words at this juncture will be appreciated.

As far as my knowledge of banking is a concern, the word Wire-Wire is associated with inter-bank fund transfer whether locally or internationally.

But it has been given a Nigerianized connotation in recent times. It now literally means fraud.

While 'Sase' on the other hand is a Yoruba word denoting procedural deftness, skilfulness, or sleight of hands at professional tasks. Or simply put to do something as required.

I've seen our people especially those in the field of traditional medicine both in the past and present repeatedly make use of the word pre or post rendering incantations to the gods in any of the four sacrificial premises namely expiatory, appeasement, redemption and conciliatory.

I think it means exactly as highlighted above today.

But over time the same words have come to gain some notoriety with Internet variant advance free fraud. Nowadays, it's not uncommon to hear every Tom, Dick, and Harry use the words in relations to one deceitful task or the other.

Because of this, critics are quick to point to the singer's use of these words to mean he's simply promoting fraudsters.

More so the fact that he makes specific mention of persons whom to them are kingpins in the world of advance free fraud regarded in local parlance as 419ners. Of course, they have no evidence to back such claims.

An action they see as going desperately overboard. To them, he's overtly celebrating people whose sources of wealth are questionable. But how true that assertion remains to be ascertained.


419ners, by the way, is a notorious numerical nomenclature crafted out of decree 419, a constitutional provision which seeks to put in check fraudulent acts in the country from way back.

And that was even before the advent of the Internet and its negative deployment that we're seeing today.

While there is a general consensus that the song in question is a beautiful piece from one of the finest singers Nigeria ever produced;

One thing, however, still remains as we speak, and that's the non-abatement of squabble as to whether the singer is actually promoting fraud and fraudsters or not among the sharply divided opinionated public affairs commentators and entertainment enthusiasts.

Perhaps you've formed an opinion too concerning the message in the song or you're simply the carefree type to whom all that matters is rocking to its rich percussion till fade.

Whichever you've elected, it’s your right which I'm not disputing.

What I'm, however, disputing is the insistent attempt by some to impose on us their negative opinion of the song as against a more balanced view of it.

The artiste in the eye of the storm has in different interviews rejected the accusations that he's quote on quote promoting Internet fraudsters or fraudulent activities through his song 'living thing' as widely believed.


Instead, he stressed that the positive should be the focus of listeners. His choice of words he insisted should not be taken to expressly mean encouraging anybody to go into an act of criminality.

So far his efforts seem to have had little or no impact on the belief system of people especially in the purist camp so to say and I wondered why.

Though the double premise on which critics have their foothold namely that he makes mention of 'wire, wire, and Sase' respectively do not hold. But it takes people with a 360 mindset to be persuaded otherwise.

Because in the song 9ice clearly elaborated on hard work and due diligence. For instance, he was emphatic about the fact that money doesn’t fall from heaven which is saying indirectly that hard work is the way to the top.

In other lines too, he also denounced stealing as an act which diminishes the dignity of the human person.

What's more, he personally exemplified this by his rag to riches story.

But his critics have remained fixated in their position and would not buy any of such.

They held that the people he mentioned are all fraudsters.

And I ask what gives them the impression that they truly are except that they have information which many of us are not privy.

To my mind, they are engaging merely in guesswork based on the fact that Nigeria is a country long bedeviled with the evil called corruption at both the low and high level of our body politics.

The Internet thing only came into the picture of late.

And today we're a people prone to conclude without a second thought that every rich guy is either a fraudster or has something to do with Otokoto. I mean money ritualist.

But then as an entertainer, from what I know of the trade 9ice has no control over who he sings for especially at a social function. None has and you can begin to name names here. It's an all-comers affair.

You’ll all agree with me also that nothing can be more embarrassing if not impossible than for any musician to start vetting their prospective clients about their sources of wealth when he isn't a police officer or anti-graft personnel.

Definitely doing so will be tantamount to scaring his fans and admirers away and into the waiting hands of his competitions.

Even our elective political office holders are worse than the so-called Internet fraudsters whom many of us hate to love and love to hate for obvious reasons.

Whom they have been sending to jail since God knows when; while every means possible is being deployed to ensure there is immunity for themselves well into their graves if possible.
In all sincerity, I'm not in any way supporting Internet fraudsters or fraudsters generally; far from it.

Rather in a matter like this, I only want to urge people to refrain from drawing negative conclusions like we have seen so far before all the facts are in. It’s not only judgmental but unacceptable too.

And I'm saying again let the people key into all works of art like 9ice's latest song 'living thing' with a 360-degree mindset so all the perspectives are not lost on them.

For the purpose of art to which music belong is primarily to mirror life as it is, but above all to entertain us.

The song, Living thing, has done just that and let’s not over flog what it has communicated rather suggestively.

As far as I'm concern finally all the negative meanings people have so far deduced from the song are simply connotative in nature and not as denotatively oriented it, I believe, by the artiste himself.

So far he has insisted its all positive and I believe him in totality.

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Opinion | What Is Johnson Bassey Doing On Top Sports On Top Radio?

Trust me; nothing that I say here is personal.

Deservedly so, it's of the essence my honest and unreserved opinion of him based on my observation as an ardent listener of top sports on top radio, a daily sports show anchored by the ace journalist, Godwin Enakhena.

Until only a few weeks back, God bears me witness, I don't know Johnson Bassey from Adam.

I don't know his parents; his upbringing; his education and the likes.

So it's not like because I don't just like his face or something that's why I'm picking on him.

I’m really picking on him? We shall see.

Except that the name 'Bassey' strikes a familiar chord from way back in Nigeria sports journalism fraternity.

But I could be wrong. After all, not every 'Paul is a Bassey'.

As it would turn out listening in on the show a few weeks back I got a hint that the young man is the son of the famous sports journalist and administrator, Paul Bassey.

As the show progresses, no disrespect, I realized that he is a stammerer somehow to my utter dismay.

Not his fault though. It's one of many genetic accidents that could happen to anybody.

And I'm not out here to disparage him based on that; far from it.

You know what; he could've been a prophet just like Moses in the bible.

I know from my book of bible stories that Moses was a stammerer too. And had on that account unsuccessfully tried to dodge the messianic commission placed before him by God knowing how important speech is in directing the affairs of men.

He was prevailed upon by God and would go on to become one of the most powerful vessels for his higher divine assignments.

But definitely not sports commentary.

There and then, the question that readily popped up on my mind was: 'what business has he got being on a medium that relies solely on speech for effect'?

Could he just be hanging out with friends as it is?

Could it be that he's learning the rope?

However, I tried to think through the first poser I just couldn't gloss over the 'big Bassey' connection in all of this.

I'm of the view that the show's regular anchor, Godwin Enakhena, got him under his wings as a recompense for what his father has done for him in time past starting out as a young journalist.

Again I might be wrong because his father too is a publisher and well connected.

*File photo: Godwin Enakhena,  the legendary anchor of Top Spots on Top Radio.

Getting him a job elsewhere wouldn't pose a problem I theorized.

Because for crying out loud, this guy struggle unending to string words, phrases, sentences, and thoughts together day in day out on the show; no disrespect to his humanity.

Come to think of it, we all have our flaws.

I've mine too. But I'd be the last to expose mine in an industry where it is the least requirement.

"Like the blind who went to the cinema, what a sheer joker he is because he can only hear the noise from others and won't see anything.

And when the leprosied is home alone, there is the tendency for him to feel nobody is like unto him among his peers."

If you ask me, I think he only makes up the number and hasn’t done enough to earn his place on the show and in the gang for obvious reasons.

Above all, he's not cut out for a career in broadcasting on the account of his speech flaw.

Whosoever is keeping the young man on the show is doing him a great disservice thereby making him an object of ridicule in the eyes of the public.

Personally, I just can't stand him hemming and hawing trying to pick his words in order makes his points heard.

Many of which he never make as far as I know. And it's a shame.

On the part of Godwin Enakhena maybe it's all down to preferential treatment.

I could recall that in time past, people have called in requesting that they are featured on the show even as interns. And I remembered that Mr. Godwin has always turned them down for lack of openings.

While I agree that opportunities around him, though glamorous, are few and far between; I nevertheless believe the available ones should only go to qualified persons strictly on merit.

And not dole out to oil the wheel of friendship and comradeship as it were.

Anything short of this would only portray Godwin Enakhena as bias and nepotistic person which he is not.

In all entireties, I know stammerers do make a good musician.

The logic still beats my imagination even as we speak.

The late Fuji music icon, Chief Sikiru Ayinde Barrister, was a classic example.

But I can't remember any stammerer who is a broadcaster.

Para venture you know of any, please don't hesitate to let me know.

I would be more than glad to report it to the world as a reference point for the likes of Johnson.

But for now there’s none and I hope Johnson knows this and stopped embarrassing himself on a national radio trying to be what he cannot be till Kingdom come.
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