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In order to slow doen the anti corruption crusade the national assembly has failed to confirm the appointment of the Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr. Ibrahim Magu.

Like the national assembly the other arms of the government have not keyed into the anti graft policy of the Buhari administration. The ministers and other top officials of the government who have been linked with corrupt practices have been given a clean bill of health without any investigation. Instead of charging some indicted ministers to court the state governments which are the complainants have abdicated their constitutional duty to the federal anti graft agencies.

On their own part some of the anti graft agencies have kicked against the promotion of accountability and transparency in government. For instance, in spite of the clear provisions of the Freedom of Information Act the Code of Conduct Bureau has continued to deny access to the asset declaration forms submitted to it by public officers.

Apart from lack of interagency collaboration for effective performance the anti graft agencies have concentrated attention on the recovery of a few billions of Naira allegedly stolen by politicians and military officers. In spite of the pressures of civil society organizations the multinational companies involved in large scale looting have not been questioned. The anti corruption policy of the government requires a comprehensive review while the fund recovered so far should be managed by a Committee whose members are drawn from credible civil society organizations.

The criminal diversion of public funds by the ruling class pales into insignificance when compared with the amount of capital flight promoted by western governments and multinational companies. Curiously, the Buhari administration has failed to address capital flight and round tripping by financial institutions. Otherwise, why has the government been reluctant to ask the EFCC to recover and sanction the oil and shipping companies which underdeclared the crude oil worth billions of dollars shipped from Nigeria under the Jonathan administration?

Why has the government failed to recover the $20. 2 billion withheld from the Federation account by the NNPC and some oil companies from 1999-2012? Why has the government not inquired into the allegation that the sum of $25.4 billion was laundered and illegally taken out of Nigeria by a telecommunication company?

Why has the government failed to recover the looted wealth of the nation which has been traced to financial institutions in the West and the United Arab Emirates? Why has the CBN failed to recover the $7 billion deposit and N600 billion bailout given to the commercial banks in 2006 and 2008 respectively? Instead of intensifying efforts to recover such huge funds the government is determined to take a loan of $29.6 billion.

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Nigeria’s Image of Corruption

To further appreciate the enormity of the role of corruption in the perversion of natural resource that could have otherwise been a blessing into a curse, it may be useful to ponder how Nigeria is perceived externally. Dozens of foreign scholars, experts, journalists and other observers have written volumes about corruption in Nigeria especially in the oil sector. For some of them Nigeria has simply become a metaphor for resource curse.

We may choose to ignore some of the cynical and sometimes prejudicial comments from abroad such as the one made recently by former British Prime Minster David Cameron that Nigeria “is fantastically corrupt.” However, a distinguished university audience such as yours cannot afford not to ponder sober observations by scholars from abroad on the ruinous effects of the resource curse on the political economy of Nigeria.

For instance, an American noted political scientist, Francis Fukuyama, in his recent book entitled “Political Order And Political Decay”, devotes a whole chapter on Nigeria to make a point about how corruption could be a cause of political decay.

Hear what Fukuyama said about Nigeria: “It is estimated that from the 1970s to the early 2000s, Nigeria took in about $400 billion in oil revenues. Unlike the East Asian export-led economies, this money was not ploughed back into investments in either physical or human capital (that is education). Nor did it have much of an effect on the incomes of ordinary Nigerians: indeed poverty rates, and other indicators of development, such as child mortality rates, barely budged…

“So where did all the money go? The answer, not surprisingly, is that it went into the hands of Nigeria’s political elite. The elite centres on a series of ogas, or Big Men, and their patronage networks. Some of the ogas are descendants of the traditional elite that ruled prior to the arrival of British colonialism, but others are self-made men -former military officers, businessmen and politicians who succeeded in using the political system to enrich themselves.” Can you imagine, even Fukuyama talks about the “ogas”!

As we discuss the cancer of corruption on Nigeria’s development fabric, it is important to think about the immense reputational damage in the global arena that the activities of the corrupt elite have caused the nation. So lawyers, journalists, scholars and other professionals who attempt to rationalise the problem or divert attention from it should think seriously about the image of Nigeria.

In spite of its commitment to promote accountability in governance the National Assembly is apparently determined to frustrate the prosecution of politically exposed persons. Having not been allowed by the Nigerian people to confer immunity on themselves from criminal prosecution the national assembly members have usurped the powers of the President to appoint the members and staff of the Code Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal. With respect, the national assembly members were not properly advised in the circumstance.

Otherwise, they would have known that the purported amendment of the Code of Conduct Bureau and Code of Conduct Tribunal Act by did not take cognizance of section 154 of the Constitution which has empowered the President to appoint the members of both bodies subject to the confirmation of the senate and section 156 of the Constitution which has conferred powers on the Code of Conduct Bureau to appoint its own staff.

The amendment has also sought to amend the Constitution by insisting that no charge will be filed against any public officer who has not been confronted with allegation of the breach of the Code contrary to the finding of the Court of Appeal in the case of Bukola Saraki v Federal Republic of Nigeria. Since the relevant provisions of the Constitution have not been amended the purported amendment of the CCB/CCT Act by the national assembly is of no legal effect whatsoever.

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The example of Botswana has proved that natural resources need to be a curse in a country where planning and visionary leadership are in place. The second example is the oil-producing Sao Tome and Principe. The country’s Prime Minister Patrice Emery Trovoada spoke at a forum here in Nigeria last year where he proudly declared that revenues from oil could only be “a bonus” to the budget as the country relies principally on agriculture and tourism.

He said he had no cause to lose his sleep because of fall in oil revenues. The focus of the tiny country is on human capital investments. It is tempting to dismiss these exceptions as small countries without the huge economic problems of Nigeria. You must, however, recognise that they are small countries with big ideas about the future. They are small nations on the path of a huge progressive development.

In contrast, Nigeria is a big country with a limited vision. Oil has become a negative factor of underdevelopment of Nigeria for some reasons. First, development plans were abandoned because of the cheap source of revenues from oil. Lip service has been paid to agriculture, industrialisation and even technological and scientific advancement.

Secondly, the corruption in the Nigerian state could survive on the royalty from oils without revenues from any other source including taxes. Thirdly, investments in human capital –education and health- have declined. The more petrodollars roll into the public treasury, the more poverty exacerbates. This has been the familiar narrative especially in the last 30 years when the ruinous Structural adjustment Programme (SAP) was imposed by the military regime of General Ibrahim Babangida and corruption became institutionalised.

Corruption, a Curse Fuelled By Oil

Corruption is doubtless a curse planted on the path of Nigeria to development. The fuel for this menacing curse is provided by another curse that is the curse of the historical mismanagement of the natural resource including oil and other resources. If you take a graphic look at the profile of corruption deriving from the oil revenues in the four decades, you would see a burgeoning problem. In 1980, there was a massive outrage when the matter came up in the National Assembly that N2.8 billion of oil money was missing.

About 14 years later, the Okigbo Report said the figure of oil money not accounted for by the regime of General Babangida was over $12 billion. Another dictator, the late General Sani Abacha enriched himself to the tune of $5 million. By 2011, the nation was treated a theatre of the absurd when hundreds of billions of naira were allegedly taken by fuel subsidy merchants without importing fuel. In the latest report of the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), about $20 billion remains unremitted to the federation account by the oil companies.

No one is being tried for this alleged economic crime. It is interesting that government is not enthusiastic enough about recovering the looted funds. Its focus is on borrowing against which the future oil revenues could be mortgaged. Already Nigeria is talking of signing a crude-oil contract with India for $15 billion. With that India would have access to cheap oil from Nigeria for years to come.

Meanwhile, the money that should be spent on schools, hospitals, roads, bridges, water supply, cheap transportation and potable water supply has been looted and taken into safe havens. The money has been spent on mansions abroad and private jets. With this trend in a nation, the blessing of natural resource has been perverted. It has become a curse. Such a nation is on the path of underdevelopment.

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However, each of the economic programmes has enriched a few at the expense of the majority of the people. Having failed to invest the oil wealth in the years of abundance the governments are now broke. The Buhari administration has blamed the economic crisis plaguing the nation on the fall in the price of crude oil and the looting of the treasury by the PDP government.

Since these are manifestations of the pseudo capitalist system operated in Nigeria we do not share the baseless optimism of the federal government. In any case economic recession has always been with the poor in Nigeria. The Constitution has not helped matters. Section 162 thereof provides for the sharing of the oil revenue without imposing any duty on the governments to invest such revenue in infrastructural development.

Resource Blessing and Its Perversion

Oil, gas, solid minerals and other natural resource that Nigeria precariously depends upon are non-renewable. This is an indisputable geological fact. Yet it is frightening listening to our economic managers discussing the nation’s economic debacle with oil as the first and last words. Economic management has been reduced to monthly sharing of revenues accruing to the federation account. You then wonder if Nigeria will disappear from the world map if a geological accident happens tomorrow morning and the crude oil deposits vanish.

Indeed, all of us have cause to worry about the socio-economic (and by implication the political) future of Nigeria. Yet the bitter truth is that the oil wells would be exhausted one day. Maybe this eventuality will happen in the next three decades. Meanwhile, Nigeria even lacks the capacity to determine precisely how much of the crude stuff is extracted by the oil companies, which exclusively own the requisite technology of exploration and drilling.

Nigeria is also reportedly lacking in even the meters to gauge the oilrigs. So the prognosis for the future is scary given the current trend of killing corruption and abysmal lack of planning. You would even be more disgusted when you compare the giant of Africa, Nigeria, and Mauritius, a small island off the east coast of Africa.

Mauritius has no mineral resource. But education is free up to the university level. There is free healthcare for all including free heart surgery. Transportation is free for all children. About 87% of the people own their homes. The nation places a high premium on the social safety net. It is remarkable, that former Chief Economist of the World Bank and Nobel Laureate in Economics, Professor Joseph Stiglitz, has recommended the “ Mauritius Miracle” to other countries including the United States and nations of Europe.

About 51 countries have been identified by experts as natural resource –rich. Ironically, some of these resource-endowed countries are among the poorest on earth in which basic needs of the people are not met due to gross economic mismanagement. They are susceptible to the curse of oil, gas, gold, bauxite, copper, uranium etc. Nigeria is prominent in the inglorious list of nations chronically afflicted by the resource curse.

But let us look at the highly inspiring exceptions of two small countries in Africa, one is rich in diamonds with other minerals and the other has some oil deposits. Botswana is rich in diamonds, cobalt, copper and other minerals. As a matter of socio-economic planning and law, revenue from the exploitation of natural resource is devoted to capital expenditures. Expenditures on education and health are included in the capital budget because they are regarded as human capital investments.

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“As a result, the nation becomes overly dependent on the price of commodities and the overall Gross Domestic Product becomes extremely volatile. Additionally, government corruption often results when proper resource rights and an income distribution framework is not established in the society, resulting in unfair regulation of the industry. The resource curse is most often witnessed in emerging markets following a major natural resource discovery.”

In a way, that sums up the position of those who actually see the natural resource as a curse. This school of thought does not share the optimism of the blessing otherwise embodied in the natural resource.

Our focus in this lecture is a critical examination of the role of the forces that conspired against our people to turn the exploitation of natural resource into a curse. The forces include politicians, bureaucrats and the oil multinationals. By the way, it should be noted that the American Investopedia doesn’t include the role of the oil multinationals in turning the blessing of natural resource into a curse.

If you ask the Ogoni people of Rivers State how oil became a curse to their land, they would tell you the sad story of their interaction with Shell, the giant oil multinational. The role of foreign banks and other institutions in facilitating the looting of the oil money and providing safe havens for the loot ought to be factored into a comprehensive definition of the resource curse.

The curse has internal and external dimensions. This is by no means an attempt to shift the blame abroad. Nigerians in the public and private sectors have looted oil revenues and in the process they got willing helping hands from corrupt individuals and organisations in the metropolis.

Crises of underdevelopment

Even though agriculture was the mainstay of the economy in the first republic the post independence development model was influenced by the former colonial regime. As industrialization was deliberately not promoted Nigeria remained a producer of raw materials to feed the industries in Europe and the United States. Indeed, the crisis of underdevelopment was compounded by successive military regimes which squandered the oil wealth.

Thus, in spite of the abundant wealth from crude oil and other raw materials the military rulers could not manage the economy in the national interest. In fact, one of them actually confessed that the problem was not how to make money but how to spend it. No doubt, lack of planning and over reliance on pro imperialist economic prescriptions paved way for the pauperization of the people. With large scale looting of the treasury the ruling class had to resort to borrowing from western multilateral institutions.

A convocation lecture delivered by Femi Falana (SAN) at the Oduduwa University.

To repay the loans and fund the budget the military dictators introduced austerity measures.

The profligacy of the political class in the second republic led to the promulgation of the Economic Stabilization Act by the Shehu Shagari administration. As the civilian wing of the ruling class could not implement the harsh economic programs of imperialism the military returned to power in December 1983.

But as the Buhari/Idiagbon junta resisted the takeover of the economy by imperialism a palace coup led by General Ibrahim Babangida was executed. Three years later, the IMF/WB engineered the imposition of the Structural Adjustment Program on the nation. With the ruination of the economy by SAP the Sani Abacha junta came up with vision 2010 while the Olusegun Obasanjo administration opted for NEEDS.

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please Always Click Feature when you posted a topic

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wrinkle on his nose as if he couldn’t stand his own scent. He had a goatee. Lord knows I hate goatees. We are going to have to work on his image. Shave off the goatee, make him look presentable if he is going to be my husband. This man was a gold mine, no doubt. He may not be worth much now, but that his uncle he always tagged along with had a factory on the outskirts of town that would be his one day, by customary law on their side. That’s why I’m marrying him, I reminded myself. Not because I love him. If there had been other suitors, I wouldn’t have even thought about him. I had allowed for myself to get older, while entertaining thoughts that one day Thomas would come marry me. And as you get older, the suitors all drop off one by one. Till you cannot get to make a choice anymore. But I’m okay with this man. And if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be compensated. And I will still be happy, anyway. After all, Thomas will still get to see me. Unfortunate that we couldn’t get married. But he had to marry someone else because of his father, who was a chief. But he still swears that he loves me. And I believe him.

I smiled, aiming the smile at him. But it wasn’t him I was smiling at. Thomas was on my mind of course. The funny thing is, my goat of a future husband smiled back. If only he knew…

“…My dear brothers and sisters, we are all gathered here on this day, for a simple cause…to help in the writing of yet another love story…

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As soon as I get home from school, I run to the bedroom to greet Mama. Sometimes, she’s asleep but I shake her and she wakes up. I sing the songs Auntie Rhoda taught at school that day. She helps me with my homework. She says I’m clever and she wants me to become a lawyer. But I want to become a doctor.

I want to wear a white coat and inject people. I wanted to be a teacher before, like Auntie Rhoda. I wanted to lash all the bad boys who sit at the back and disturb and bully, like Attoh Graham and Quaye Michael. But the last time Daddy and I took Mama to the hospital and I saw a doctor wearing glasses and something around his neck, I just wanted to be a doctor.

Mama knows all the rhymes Auntie Rhoda teaches us so she sings along. Mama can sing oh, she can sing very well. Yaa too can sing, but she doesn’t know rhymes.

Do you know Auntie Fofo? She’s the best aunt in the world. She visits us often, especially since Mama’s sickness. She brings fruits and herbs for Mama and biscuits for me. Sometimes she brings biscuits for Yaa too. She has big eyes and big cheeks. She’s fat, but not obolo. I like her car very much. It’s a Benz. I’ll buy one when I grow up. I love her very much. She calls Daddy Ken and calls Mama Adoley.

On the day of the funeral Auntie Fofo asked me, “Where is Mama?” and I said, “Mama is in the box.” Then she was smiling but tears were flowing from her eyes. She pulled me to her chest and hugged me tightly. I asked her why she was crying and she said she was not crying. I also began to cry and she told me to stop crying but she was still crying.

flashfictionghana.com

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Re: “Homework” By Andrew Teye. by iamseun: 11:18pm on November 21

You like that paa. You too you like that paa! You are someway papa. You too you are someway papa! I won’t say anything. Me I won’t talk. I’m going to come. I’m coming. I’m coming right now okay? Go tear, it is sweet. Herh! Who spoke vernacular? Only English! Speak only English!

Who Fla-tu-lat-ed? Flatulence. Farts. Boys at the back. Maybe girls at the front. Do females fart? Does Queen Elizabeth fart? Who knows? We never know. Nobody ever knows.
Farts. Silent farts. Loud farts. Smelly farts. Korle Lagoon farts. Lavender Hill farts. Oblogo borla farts.

Mosquito romance. Tease the girls. Chase the boys. Chase him all around the classroom. Slap him in the back! Pinch his arm! Oh no! There is a teacher! Oh yes! There’s a teacher! Sir, he was teasing me. He was teasing me, Sir. I don’t like that. I do not like that-o. Yoo.

Our day.
Digestive. Hob Nobs. Rich Tea. Shortbread. Coke. Fanta. Sprite. Oh, gimme some of your Malt ehh?
Speakers. Microphone. DJ. Dancing Floor. Dancing Competition. Jams. Who let the dogs out? Wo! Wo! Wo-wo-wo! Oh nananaana! It is our day.

Vacation classes. Vacation classwork. Vacation homework. Home-work. Go home and work.

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Our fallen hunter meanwhile was busy looking for stones to direct their victim’s run if it didn’t favour the pursuit. The youngest boys charged without care at the dog. It stopped in a cloud of dust, danced this way and that in a moment of confusion, and dashed in the opposite direction, right into the other flank.

Or so I thought.

In a moment of instinctive brilliance our dog made for the gap between both flanks. The nonchalant leader of the gang broke into a run and swung his club once, twice. There was a howl. A human cry. He was floored. His stick flew from his hand and landed worthless a distance from him.

The dog bolted free from the attackers and made for the left corner of the field, towards the farther goal post. There the fence was lower. A few leaps to the end of the run the dog collapsed in a tangle of its own legs, in dust, and with a cry that caught my breath. The fallen hunter spun another stone at an angle. It must have hit the beast right on the spine: after another cry, it stopped moving entirely.

The ten year old who had closed the gate was reaching over the fence, stick in hand. The hunter with the stones gestured to him to get back. Instead, he rushed to the dying dog. He smashed its head in with his stick. I counted all six blows without flinching.

The five boys, dusty from the hunt, walked towards their prize.

My phone vibrated the frame of my bed and pulled me out from the surreal tragedy. I reached for the lit screen like a jewel in the dark, my thoughts alive again with Okyerewaa’s name.

flashfictionghana.com

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A red arrow on the signboard points toward my house. Malam Issaka doesn’t live with us, no. His enterprise is actually behind our wall. You skirt the razor-wired fence till you meet a footpath. It’ll lead you to a large gutter that has three wooden planks across it. Crossing that bridge takes you behind my house and into my favourite attraction.

Anytime the lights are off, I sit by my window and look across the gutter. There’s a forest of TV antennae sticking from the roughest housing I know. There’s a dusty, fenced park with two wooden, faltering goal posts that displays talent better than our premier league. There’re the loose girls who sit on the boys at Fuseina’s and cackle loudly at jokes I cannot hear from the distance. When I don’t want to think of Okyerewaa, I sit there and distract myself.

Today was a slow evening: the sun had beat us all to submission. Two old men drank quietly at the notorious spot. A pretty girl bathed her little sister in a basin in front of their house. I panned to the left. The park. Six boys sat on benches near the imaginary touchline, bored as I was. Perhaps the blackout had driven them out too.

A dog strayed into the park. A seventh boy, barely ten from his height and manner, closed the park’s gate. He stayed outside.

The boys inside the park stirred to life. It was then I noticed two of the oldest playing with two large sticks. What conversation they were having grew more animated.

One boy broke from the group and walked toward the nearer goal post. I did not notice when he picked up the stone. He had already broken into a light run. Then he stopped and turned to his friends, like he was about to say something. He spun and flung the rock hard as he could. It struck the dog dead on its thigh. The creature howled – I heard it – and broke into a run. The hunter chased after it. He had another stone in hand.

The dog crossed the center line and made for the farther half of the field, edging closer to the touch line. It might have noticed the fence was too high. It made a large arc near the right of the penalty box. The hunter cut across the arc and stopped the hound in its tracks.

The dog barked and bared its teeth. The hunter teased attack, brandished his missile, faked another run to confuse his target. He feigned a run to his right, then threw the second stone with his left. The dog, more agile, sprung toward the missile, which only grazed its back.

The hunter slipped and fell in the sand. His cohorts were roused. Five strong men broke out in two flanks. The eldest held the center. The dog ran down the touch line toward the nearer goal post, howling all the time. The hunters chanted back a vicious chorus as the two youngest ran to meet it head on. They had no sticks, no stones, only intimidating faces and savage grunts.

The two older boys meant to intercept the dog as it tried to get away from the younger boys. The oldest, trotting along with an aura of experience brandished his staff with haughty flair. He was meant to clean up operations when both his flanks failed.

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A child

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More .........

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4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him
.
4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.


The only way you will be left behind in the Rapture
is if you have not received Christ as your Savior.

www.gotquestions.org/left-behind-rapture.html

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1) GEJonathan during lectures at the University of Port Harcourt in 1977

2) GEJ as a pioneering student during his matriculation at the University of Prt Harcour


www.fastdatashare.com/2016/11/picture-of-forma-president-goodluck.html

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[ @Ernest777: ] .
I actually expect nothing less because the level of education in Nigeria is in debris ever since that bubu has been sweared for. By the way Happy Sabbath bro.

Wish you the best of it

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Don't even understand how education is going in this country

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After I modified it for you @sirneij

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Try and edit you post well by given it paragraph
See below that your original post

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and now you found it

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All Along the Watchtower

"There must be some way out of here" said the joker to the thief

"There's too much confusion", I can't get no relief

Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth

None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.

"No reason to get excited", the thief he kindly spoke

"There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke

But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate

So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late".

All along the watchtower, princes kept the view

While all the women came and went, barefoot servants, too.

Outside in the distance a wildcat did growl

Two riders were approaching, the wind began to howl.

opera.pulse.ng/books/bob-dylan-3-beautiful-poems-from-the-musician-to-celebrate-his-nobel-prize-for-literature-id5602926.html

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Like A Rolling Stone

Once upon a time you dressed so fine

Threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?

People call say 'beware doll, you're bound to fall'

You thought they were all kidding you

You used to laugh about

Everybody that was hanging out

Now you don't talk so loud

Now you don't seem so proud

About having to be scrounging your next meal

How does it feel, how does it feel?

To be without a home

Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh you've gone to the finest schools, alright Miss Lonely

But you know you only used to get juiced in it

Nobody's ever taught you how to live out on the street

And now you're gonna have to get used to it

You say you never compromise

With the mystery tramp, but now you realize

He's not selling any alibis

As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes

And say do you want to make a deal?

How does it feel, how does it feel?

To be on your own, with no direction home

A complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ah you never turned around to see the frowns

On the jugglers and the clowns when they all did tricks for you

You never understood that it ain't no good

You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you

You used to ride on a chrome horse with your diplomat

Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat

Ain't it hard when you discovered that

He really wasn't where it's at

After he took from you everything he could steal

How does it feel, how does it feel?

To have on your own, with no direction home

Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone

Ahh princess on a steeple and all the pretty people

They're all drinking, thinking that they've got it made

Exchanging all precious gifts

But you better take your diamond ring, you better pawn it babe

You used to be so amused

At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used

Go to him he calls you, you can't refuse

When you ain't got nothing, you got nothing to lose

You're invisible now, you've got no secrets to conceal

How does it feel, ah how does it feel?

To be on your own, with no direction home

Like a complete unknown, like a rolling stone.:lol:

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10. Inspiration is everywhere:

US singer Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature, becoming the first songwriter to win the prestigious award.

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7. Keep your private lives away from social media:

8. Be gentle with people:

9. Art is beautiful:

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4. Take care of your memories:

5. Detest idleness:

6. Be yourself:

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On the walk back to the office, we discuss our worst temp jobs. Hers was the one before this one. The boss kept trying to fuck her. Also they had this photocopier she's pretty sure was possessed by Satan. Also it wasn't near any good lunch places.

"What about you?"

"The one before this one." Actually, it's this one.

"Satanic photocopier?" she offers.

"Fax," I say, looking at how the long white line of her neck is offset by a cheap black choker.

"Ooh," she says. "Worse."

When we reach the office, before we head to our respective cubicles, she turns to me, her lips and her cheeks still flushed from scone, and says, "text me later okay?"

"Okay," I say. Then she trots off a little ahead of me, and I see how her little heart back seams are perfectly aligned down both calves.

All afternoon, I have the waking dream where she gets so fat on scone, she explodes.

At home, I eat the other half of my M&S salad with the other half of the honey Dijon dressing it came with. I make sure to draw the curtains first.

I didn't used to, but then I caught the owner of the Turkish restaurant next door staring at me from his upstairs window, smoking, just as I had finished my post-salad ritual of dragging all my finger pads over and over again across the empty plate and sucking them one by one.

It used to be he would say hello when I walked past him in the street. Now he looks at me like he's familiar with the details of my most unfortunate pair of underwear. Has fingered the fraying, scalloped edge. Waggled the limp pink bow. Held the Made in Cambodia tag between his teeth.

Post-salad, I try on the French Connection bodycon, followed by the Bettie Page pencil skirt and the Stop Staring! halter. In all cases, I'm no closer but I'm also no further, which is not news at all. Then I just sort of stand in front of the mirror in my bra and my French cuts and attempt to come to grips with certain irrevocable truths. Then I eat several handfuls of flax cereal and 15 raw, unsalted almonds.

Later, while I lie awake in bed, I think of the perfect come back to the salad-y remark. I put us both back in the teashop and I make her say that I'm salad-y with clotted cream in each corner of her lip. But instead of replying, Am I?, I lean in and in a low voice I say Listen, you little skank!

Not all of us can eat scones and have it turn into more taut littleness! Some of us are forced to eat spring mix in the half-dark of our bachelors and still expand inexplicably. Some of us expand at the mere contemplation of what you shovel so carelessly so dancingly into your smug little mouth.

And the way I say it, leaning in like that, with all this edge and darkness in my voice garnered from years of precipice-induced restraint, makes her bow her head in genuine remorse.

Continue reading @ www.postroadmag.com/27/fiction/awad.phtml

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“But son, you should not have gone drinking akpeteshie because you failed this exam! I am surprised at you!”

I hugged him back. I did not know how to tell the story.

This flash fiction was culled from flashfictionghana.com

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I follow his eyes to see the light that shocked me into thinking the gods were calling me. It’s attached to a Big Canoe, a looming wooden structure wedged in the wet sand at the shore. In the dark, I make out the figures of other men from our village craning their necks from their crouched positions behind the thick-stemmed palms to watch the Big Canoe.

A thing emerges from behind the light and I hear the quickly gathering breaths of confused people. It looks like a man, two hands and two long legs like my father’s. But it is different. Its skin looks like the inside of a freshly cut yam and its hair runs down its back in waves, just like the sea. It reaches the shore and we stare in puzzled amazement. And then it screams. It did not speak Fante or maybe I haven’t fully regained my hearing because of the water that still stands stubbornly in my ears.

After it screams, other things like it jump down from the Big Canoe and tread towards the shore. The last thing I notice is the different colors of their hairs as my father yanks me up from his lap and drags me along, barely missing the palm trees. On his face is a look of pure panic, possibly terror. I have never seen him look so scared. We speed as fast as our legs can carry us to the house of the king to tell him about the things we just witnessed on the shore. The king must know what they are. He knows everything.

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They were late.

At first, he thought the sun was setting earlier than usual. It was nearing the cold season after all. He tried to lift himself upright but paused halfway. The laughter and chatter were not as loud as always, but they were familiar. It was the school children. He sank back into his chair.

They had just laughed off a quick round of jokes and inadvertently toned down their voices to near silence as they approached his compound. Then they heard him call.

A hoarse version of the same sukuu nkwadaa they often heard older people call them. School children, he called out to them again. They stopped, momentarily unsure of what to do. He called them over as any old man would – in a tone of cordial invitation with a tinge of authority. They bashfully moved their human caterpillar towards him.

It was nothing after all. Just old people talk as usual. What were their names? Where did they attend school? What classes were they in? Who did they want to be in future? He mentioned that he had been trying to get their attention every time they walked past his compound, but they never seemed to hear him above their racket. They respectfully apologized. He accepted their apologies and made them promise to greet him tomorrow. Then he dragged his left hand behind his chair and pulled out a black polythene bag.

As was evident on the tree, the mango season had started. He was gifting them the first ripe fruit he had plucked himself. He joked that he was an expert tree climber. They giggled, shy at his grey humour. He counted them. Four boys and two girls. There was a mango for each. They thanked him profusely as they would their own grandfather. He nodded his approval. He would see them tomorrow. His regards should be extended to their parents, he added with a wobbly wave.



************



Two of the children managed to speak before they, like the others, foamed at the mouth and danced for the last time.

When the wailing brought the entire neighbourhood together, when everybody learned what the children had said and where they had last been and what they had last done, a furious whirlwind of bewildered men and women swept towards the old man’s house. They stopped short at his compound. Silence fell on their numbers. They only gaped, the venom drying in their throats.

A street lamp shone brightly on the mango tree. Two feet like ripe fruit dangled low from its branches. Some young men straggled to the tree to bring down the body. A single loud wail pierced the dusk and broke the silence. A torrent of ululations followed.

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They stood on the doorstep, framed by the arches of the veranda. They had stood there countless times on days they escaped outside when their small house became too hot inside. The doorstep was Augusta’s favourite spot. It was there they sat on Fridays after work to eat kelewele bought from the woman down the road. It was there they spent evenings with no power, and, with just a candle and a mosquito coil between them, cursed ECG and anyone else responsible for the unending dumsor.


Augusta walked past Kwasi towards their front door. He had anticipated what she would need. Four suitcases stood near the door. One of the suitcases was made from a synthetic beige material with red stripes. It had remained pristine over the years. It was the suitcase Kwasi’s family brought to her parents’ house the morning of their engagement. It was the one they had packed with kente and cloth she hadn’t yet taken to her seamstress. All these years she’d kept the suitcase covered with a large see-through plastic bag. Now, she had to drag the suitcase on the muddied cemented ground to her car.
Again, Kwasi thought ahead of her. He grabbed hold of the bags and packed them into the car.

“Goodbye,” he said, as he slammed the boot shut and made to walk back towards the house.

“I’m sorry,” she said, as she placed a hand on his arm. Then, encouraged by the softening in his eyes, she leaned over to trace the angry lines on his forehead. He flinched when her hand touched his face.

“Just leave,” he said, and Augusta quickly got into the car, realizing his patience would not last.

She pushed the gear into reverse when he entered the house. Her left leg shook as she lifted it off the clutch. She had all her belongings, but still it felt like she was leaving a part of herself behind. The car stalled. She put the gear again into reverse, and pulled out of their yard. She did not stop even when she looked back and thought she saw Kwasi step out onto the doorstep.

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Unlike you and I, Enam hadn’t the presence of mind to evaluate such trivialities in the face of her overnight pregnancy. And life wouldn’t even give her the chance to worry about this. A more immediate inconvenience was approaching from downstairs, whistling as its footsteps grew less faint.

She shouldn’t have screamed. It was too late. She couldn’t help it. My husband is coming.

She was almost saying those words when the dissonance struck her. What a foul croaking voice she had! She reached her neck and massaged the folds with her fat, little fingers. What is this one too! She thought aloud, examining her long, purple painted nails.

Hajia! Hajia did you say something? The whistling was loudest now.

Jesus! Enam instinctively made the sign of the cross and reached for the crucifix usually lodged in her cleavage. Sweat and air, that was all her fingers found.

Sweetheart I heard you shout oo. Came the voice from the corridor. He sounded like a school boy. He turned the door handle and forced it open.

It did not budge.

She could breathe again. ThankyouLordJesusthankyouLordJesus awo Ewuradze woe is me! under breadth with her hands over her head, her eyes darting across the room, wondering what in the universe was happening to her.

She got up. Quietly. Mustafa’s breathing was audible behind the door. He must have climbed a good distance. Was their house that high?

He knocked.

She pretended not to hear, though she was sure he could sense her panic anyway. She cradled the thing in her womb and looked round. The dresser was at the far corner of the room, in front of her, the mirror tilted at an angle so it showed more of the ceiling and less of whoever was standing next to it. Behind her was a door that led to her bathroom. The door was left open.

Beside her were the two large windows that announced the day’s events. Those she approached, seeking some sense from the outside world. Or at least, some perspective. Nothing made sense inside her head, and inside her room.

Three storeys below, two boys, aged ten and eight, in matching jalabiyas, swung sticks at each other in some violent play near the red visitor’s gate. A short way off, to their left, a teenager squatted beside the right front tire of a 2010 Land Cruiser Prado, scrubbing it like his father would let him take it to town when he finally got his license. He splashed soapy water at the rascals whenever they came too close. A girl, no more than six, naked except for the hairline string of beads round her waist, sat on an empty flower pot picking her nose, watching the action, tracing circles on the pavement with the heel of her little left foot.

Hajia’s husband was still knocking when she drew the curtains shut and slid into a resigned heap on the soft, persian rug, without making a sound, in the darkness of their master bedroom. She rested her head on the cold white, oil painted walls, wrapped her hands round her unborn child and fixed a perplexed gaze on the fading display of lights on the ceiling panels.

Odo me di car ne be ma wo, Odo me di car ne be ma wo… the missing iPhone started to sing.

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Re: “The Beggar” By Jeff Cudjoe. by iamseun: 4:52pm on November 19

“Hello brother”, the man said. “Do you have the tally?”

He reached beneath his clothes and handed over the scroll he had been sent to fill. Every person, every suburb in Accra, for five years. He’d managed to test them all. It was amazing how many people you could ask for money if you kept long enough at it. The man in black tutted as he unrolled it and scanned it briefly.

“You barely made a hundred souls this time my brother and most of the names on this list are children. What happens when they grow up and get corrupted?”

“They are still a hundred names” The beggar rose, unfurling his wings as he got to his feet.

“and that means you don’t get to have your little fun. Brother.”

The other man drew himself to his full height, and around him the darkness grew a little deeper.

“Just a hundred names out of the millions that could be here. A hundred!” He calmed down, but the darkness around him began to swirl even more.”They sin and commit offenses against our Father. They take advantage of His benevolence. They must be punished.”

“Rules are rules brother. And just as you are meant to punish, I am meant to find the hundred by which they should be spared. You have them in your hand. There’s nothing for you here”

The darkness settled, and the man in black rolled his shoulders his composure finally resurfacing. He gave a cocky grin and bowed dramatically before turning around. The words that came from his mouth as he walked away were faint, but the beggar heard them clearly

“I’ll see you at the next town. We’ll see if there are any souls worth saving, brother”

The beggar kept standing. He looked around, ingraining every last piece of the area into his mind then bent down to pick his battered tin cup. He started walking in the opposite direction from which the man had come. It was a long way to the next town and a worthy hundred names was not an easy thing to find.

flashfictionghana.com/

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5. When a date with your book is even more awesome:

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4. The never ending argument between e-books and physical books:

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