​From West to East

By: Moshood Muhammed 

BEFORE JANUARY 24…

I remember waiting to be mobilized for NYSC and it never came until January. That was Stream II, 2016 Batch B. While waiting, many jokes were made of our situation. Many tauntingly referred to the stream as “the longest stream in the world”. Lol.

After waiting for weeks since deployment of the Stream I PCMs in November 2016, the waiting eventually came to an end. I was deployed to the eastern part of Nigeria. At last, it finally came. The once anxious Otondos were relieved and preparation began in earnest. 

As an ardent information seeker, I randomly  dropped my mobile number on Facebook groups, with a view to getting added to other information channels – mainly WhatsApp, asides NYSC sources. I clicked on few Whatsapp links as well. While I was invited to some, others did not go through. All the numbers I dropped were on request by some unknown individuals, who were either representative of a group in camp, fellow PCM or interested serving Corps members.
 

In one of the groups I belonged, having clarified my state of deployment, a participant, presumably a female serving youth corps shared a tormenting post. In that arrow she threw, according to her highly powerful source,  majority of the Stream II corps members would be posted to village because the town had already been occupied by the Stream 1 corps and the Batch A guys.

Curiously, many participants threw barrage of questions at the sender, she assured everyone never to be worried, provided they were ready to cooperate. If a certain amount is paid, she would help us secure good postings. I felt jittery. How would I pay for good posting? 

All these were a few days to my resumption to the Awgu orientation camp.
 

So, I chose to talk to the link in person. I slid into her DM, and I was assured again of good posting, provided I was ready to pay the good sum within a specific time. I was dazed. 

Membership of platforms like that is not entirely bad. There are genuine and reasonable fellows. Even though I couldn’t make friends on those platforms, due to some reasons best known to me, I participated in discussions when it was necessary and I must say, I was ‘info-tained’. I got enough dose of information and entertainment. Impatience and ethnic issues were some of the the reasons for many disagreements. 

On leaving camp on the 13th of February, I was not only posted to town, but, got a reasonably fair PPA. All at no cost. Yet, most of those who parted with their hard earned nairas had grief fill their hearts. For them, fetching water inside a basket is not as wasteful as their kidnapped sum. 

More to come… 

If you’re reading for the first time, read other accounts from #WestToEast on this blog. 

#CoalKopa #CoalCity #NYSC #Enugu

​NIGERIA DENTISTS AND OODLES OF PROFESSIONAL ERROR 



By: Samsideen Ajadi
Tooth decay is the primary cause of toothaches for most children and adults. Bacteria that live in the mouth thrive on the sugars and starches in the food one eats. These bacteria form a sticky plaque that clings to the surface of the teeth. Acids produced by the bacteria in plaque can eat through the hard, white coating on the outside of teeth (enamel), creating a cavity. The first sign of decay may be a sensation of pain when one eats something sweet, very cold or very hot.

Other causes of toothache can include; accumulation of food and debris between teeth, especially if teeth have spacing between them, infection at the root of the tooth or in the gums and well as trauma to the tooth, including injury or grinding your teeth.

Typically, the tooth is lifted using an elevator , and using dental forceps , rocked back and forth until the periodontal ligament has been sufficiently broken and the supporting alveolar bone has been adequately widened to make the tooth loose enough to remove. When teeth are removed with forceps, slow, steady pressure is applied with controlled force.

The other way is surgical extractions, which involves the removal of teeth that cannot be easily accessed, either because they have broken under the gum line or because they have not erupted fully. Surgical extractions almost always require an incision. In a surgical extraction, the doctor may elevate the soft tissues covering the tooth and bone and may also remove some of the overlying and/or surrounding jawbone tissue with a drill or osteotome.

Frequently, the tooth may be split into multiple pieces to facilitate its removal. Surgical extractions are usually performed under a general anaesthetic.

Meanwhile, removal is always an option but not the only option. Extraction is rarely the only or best option.

However here in Nigeria, in respective of the severity of the depth  of the problem, the only option is extraction. Patients, from past experiences are not helping the matter either. Anyone having toothache easily calls the dentists to inquire the cost of extraction, rather than going for proper check up and diagnosis. Today’s Dentistry Researcher, Dr. Darryl Marsh, attests to this view. 

Speaking on his Nigeria experience, Dr Darryl Marsh, says when one has toothache, the severity of the depth of the problem will generally determine the treatment that will be required. In his words, “The worst case is that the tooth is in savable  and that you are going to need to have it extracted but often there are other situation that are aren’t  as dire as drastic as that”.

Meanwhile, not knowing that not all cases require extraction. Some needs filling and some might be  something that is not a toothache at all, it could be a muscular problem.

Teeth extraction are done in two ways: simple extractions are performed on teeth that are visible in the mouth, usually under local anaesthetic, and require only the use of instruments to elevate and/or grasp the visible portion of the tooth.

Further more, toothache may result from an infection that can be prevented rather than needing the tooth for extraction. The following are cases where this may be the case: A gum infection, A bite on the tooth muscular spasms and trigeminal neuralgia: a nerves infection on facial nerves.

It must be stated here that, Nigerian dentists community should engage in proper awareness to educate Nigerians on the importance of diagnosis before treating any teeth related issues. In other words, there is a need for massive orientation of Nigerians towards their teeth care. 

Similarly, it must be pointed that the dentists community must play their part and be awake to their responsibilities. 

​COUNCIL ELECTIONS AND SHAME OF DEMOCRACY

By Samsideen Ajadi 

Announcement of conduct of elections into local councils in Nigeria have always been a sharp contrast of the reaction and preparation that greet the pronouncement of national or state elections. 

It has been observed that, rather than the usual competitive nature of those elections, council elections are won by political party in power, in an utterly charade, posited and masked as electoral process. 

It is on record that Ekiti PDP cleared all seats in its council elections while the APC led government in Ogun State claimed the unpopular victory in its own version of selection, rather than election. 

Yesterday, it was Lagos standard. Many had predicted it will happen and it happened.

The cause of this is because the elections are conducted and financed  by the state governments and because he who pays the piper calls the tune, the APC again had its way. POWER! 

To say local council elections are now conducted for formality sake is not to state the obvious. Each state electoral body dances to the melody of an hidden drummer. What a shame of democracy!

Though, it did not start yesterday. The opportunity to cover up for such was taken for granted and here we are. 

Although, it is a statutory right for States to establish electoral body to conduct elections for chairmanship post and councillor. However, to restore sanctity to the electoral process, the power so betrothed to state governments should be withdrawn and elections into local council should be done by INEC.

Things should not go on this way…

​BETWEEN HATE SPEECHES, BATTLE FOR THE SOUL OF NIGERIA AND US


By: Moshood Muhammed


Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that. – Martin Luther King Jr.

In the build up to the 2015 General Elections, caution was thrown into the wind and modesty spanner got lost in the can of oil of exuberance by many, including the supposed highly placed individuals, public office holders inclusive, in their usage of words on other people. This saw many prophecies by those tagged as “agents of doom” pronounce the break-up of Nigeria while international community had their attention shifted to happenings in the country.

Then, campaign of calumny, derogatory statements, advertorials, and all sorts became arrows in the hands of the ruling class and the then opposition. They flew freely, from all corners across the polity. No one perhaps would have doubted the prophecies, as fears in the land for a possible military coup heightened, as another school of thoughts believed. 

Religious and traditional leaders among others were a part of this dastard and divisive prone act. A king in Lagos state, with reference to the state’s governorship election and in a bid to make his choice candidate known made a statement that caught a serious backlash across the country. That was the magnitude of the shameful act, it did not spare the highly reverred stool of an Oba – king, a well respected position in the land. 

Two years into the leadership of the country, led by the President Buhari, the trend has continued unabated. And no doubt, it has become widely spread like a fire during harmattan, and it has become a norm, to the regret of the current leadership of the country. This time around, it has taken a new but more serious dimension, especially as the call for a sovereign state of Biafra by Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) goes into head. 

Asides the ethnic nationality coloration hate speeches has successfully courted, religious individuals, groups, mass media and online platforms have also lent shameful dancing steps into the trend, whether overtly or covertly. Media platforms owned by politicians and their allies have been used in doing the BAD JOBS.

More recently, social media have become the new hotbed, as the popularity of the internet-facilitated communication platform has further promoted this ugly trend. Anonymous, wrongly attributed messages are spread across, either cautiously misleading or unconsciously popularized by various individuals, with a view to sowing ember of discord among various nationalities and groups making up the country. 

Sadly, all these events have further weakened the unity of the country and the peace being enjoyed is likely to be sent to its early grave.  

Speaking recently on this rather unfortunate situation and possibility of another round of civil war, going by the recent provocative events, a former military administrator, Rt. Gen. Ibraheem Badamasi Babangida, said hate speeches was one of the reasons the country engulfed in a civil war years ago and warned that such may repeat itself, should the barrage of odium comments go unchecked.

In view of the foregoing and considering the dangers inherent in the ugly monster rearing its head, the government and its various agencies should ensure that a proper orientation of Nigerians is done, while law enforcement agencies should employ the relevant sections of the country’s constitution in prosecution of ANY individual who uses, promote hate speeches, regardless of how highly place such may be, including social media users. The giant of Africa and most populous black-skinned state in the world is not a lawless country. Law should be made to take its course!

Religious, traditional and sectional leaders should be weary of their actions and inactions, serve as worthy peace ambassadors to their followers, preach tranquility and ensure grievances are settled without raising dusts. Even IF there will be a break away, as being clamoured for, it can be civilly done. Like a sound fellow once sounded, wars are no picnics!

Similarly, mass media and indeed Nigerians must also see the call for oneness, unity and peace of the country as a collective business and assignment. Messages that are capable of undermining the relative peace being enjoyed by the country must be discouraged. 

Nigeria is and will always be a prosperous country, when her people stand together as an indivisible entity. The diversity of the country is an uncommon blessing. It is beautiful! #standwith9ja

May God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria!

​OUR MANY TRAVAILS AND THE NEED TO CONSOLIDATE OUR DEMOCRACY

By: Moshood Muhammed

Generally speaking, the people constitutes mainly the element, admissible and permissible in democracy, the Nigerian system of government, with whom the decision of who becomes what, get what and at what time is taken and for.

With reference to the definition a former President of United States of America, Abraham Lincoln, participation of people, who are an indispensable element of government and leadership of a country, is believed to be non-negotiable. But, reverse is sharply the case in the issue of Nigeria, the most populous black-skinned people country in the world.

The rare magnanimity of the then military ruler and Head of State, Rtd. General Abubakar Salami saw Nigeria return to democratic rule in 1999 with Olusegun Aremu Okikiola Obasanjo as the democratically elected President. After he exited office, Nigeria has successfully transferred power from one leader to the other and most recently, from a political party which Nigeria started with, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the now ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), in a very peaceful and uncommon manner, alien to the African politicians and its many years of political sojourn. This remains one of the feats we have achieved as a country.

On return to democracy eighteen (18) years ago, expectations were high, no thanks to the ‘nightmares of military rule’ and having seen what democracy infers in other climes. Nigerians could not hide their joys when the Obasanjo administration came on board; many were promised with very infinitesimally done so far and nothing done in many cases, even by successive occupiers of the Aso Villa and other public positions in the yesteryears up till now.

Power supply has remained consistently out of supply in many homes, villages, cities and factories, forcing Nigerians to make darkness their neighbours, while many businesses went out of operation, with others relocating to neighbouring countries; education is yet to recover from the colossal damage done to its structural and administrative hitherto strong rooting. Same is the case with Agriculture, which was formally our source of national financial muscle depleting into a business of very few with little concentration from government, not until recent time. The list is endless.

As much as it incontrovertible that all is not so well, coupled with corruption fast becoming regalia of our political actors, it does not translate to the end of the road for the country. The country has despite the political upheavals that greeted the preparation for last general elections among other issues emerged, a united country, though with affray from some parts of the country.

As Nigerian democracy gets a year older, concerted efforts must be made by all in seeing the birth of the new and assuring country Nigerians would be proud of.
Now, the leadership of the country and government structures across board must be sanitized and made to work in the interest of the people, while the trademark of corruption on most political office holders is ‘confiscated’. Our leaders must be aware that if everyone who has at one point or the other occupied the office did not leave, they would never have the opportunity to get there.

Furthermore, the central government must not surrender in its struggle for a well respected country in Africa and beyond, flush out, in sincerity the demonic corruption tendencies, that has almost brought the country on its knees, out of the country; wipe out the inkling Boko Haram insurgence stint, rescue the remaining Chibok School girls, get back home Nigerians leaving like foreigners on the own soil, neighbouring countries. Also, our economy which somersaulted must also be revamped, with the diversification plan executed speedily while ensuring an enduring, stable and uninterrupted power supply to all nooks and crannies of the country. This will do doubt help recover our hailing economy and set us forthwith on the path to prosperity.

On the other hand, Nigerians must see The New Nigeria project as a collective assignment, on which the destiny of millions of our country men and women are tied to, and indeed that of many generations yet unborn. Should the war against corruption be won, proceeds recovered and ultimately pumped into the economy, Nigerians can be certain of a speedily developed country. Hence, everyone must resolve to join the campaign, reject proceeds of crime and never be involved corruption. Charity they say begins at home.

Similarly, our parents, families, religious leaders, teachers and schools must note that they are either partner in crime or partner in progress, depending on what they make of the flock in their care. There is therefore a great need to have them support government and by far, the popular view, rid the country of many rots she has found herself in. This implies that the song of anti corruption, transparency, accountability, hard work and perseverance should be continuous on their lips.

The truth is, should we fail to augment our resolution for the ‘hell-lots’, vent our displeasure with the widely affirmed abysmal state of things, by participating meaningfully in the affairs of the country, our complaints would be mere noise. In other words, our political affairs, call for accountability, responsive and responsible government should not be left in the hands of politicians and the acclaimed ‘opposition’ parties, we must all make Nigeria work for our good. The rumoured military take-over is not and will never be in the interest of majority of Nigerians. As such, we must all defend our democracy and make it stronger.

Though, all may not be rosy for us as a country, it is never a time to give up; our participation in governance should be strong, defiant of oppression tendencies of any public office holder, bad governance, misrepresentation among others, like never before. Surely, we would get there.

If you are not participating, it is not making sense. #Standwith9ja

God bless Federal Republic of Nigeria

​Isn’t this Insanity taken too far? 


By: Moshood Muhammed 
Surely, everyone wishes to survive, even as hard time bites harder. Yet, how do we place the inanities and insanities that have pervaded our clime this long? 

Wrongdoings such as killings, kidnapping for ransom and drug peddling is mostly common among youths and the men folks. Though, our mothers and ladies have joined the bad wagon. But, how do you place it when grannies ingest wraps of illicit drugs, for delivery abroad? 

The long arm of law recently caught up with two grandmas (60 and 59 years of age)  when officials of National Drug Law and Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) arrested them, while preparing to leave the country for New York and Saudi Arabia respectively. 

They blamed their involvement on financial crisis and the need for them to survive, alleging that they were “cajoled” into the business. 

Asides being ridiculously bad, for people of their age, going by our culture as Africans, activities like theirs have continued to give our country a bad image out there. Nigerians who travel abroad still lament the  “special treatment” they get in hands of security operatives in Obodo Oyinbo. Lives as well have been ruined by that business of theirs while capital punishment remains the stance of most countries of the world, for those who engage in such venture. 

Beyond this, however, is financial incapacitation enough a reason for people of that age range to engage in such act? 

What sort of legacies are they leaving behind for their grand children? 

How will society receive and perceive children from those homes? I don’t understand!

Can someone help me?

​RELEASE OF 82 CHIBOK GIRLS AND QUESTIONS BEGGING FOR ANSWERS


By: Moshood Muhammed 
So cheered to hear the “rescue” of 82 Chibok girls who were hitherto held by the Boko Haram Sect.

As much as it is important and impressive that we have got them, while hoping we get more and the rest of them in the next few days,  I feel very sad that those girls were actually and indeed, as reported by media swapped with “suspected” Boko Haram soldiers. 

To this end, I have kept asking myself these questions. I hope someone will be generous enough to help my ignorance. 

If “suspected” terrorists could have been swapped with girls the whole world had hoped for their release for three years, what has been happening to those terrorists (suspected) since all these years? 

If we actually knew that they were terrorists and could be exchanged for our dear girls, why were they not negotiated before now? 

Why were these “suspected” terrorists not tried, considering the damages their activities have done to us? 

Will the remaining girls be swapped with these deadly beasts called Boko Haram? If yes, are we not preparing for another show down? 

Would the release of some of these “suspected” terrorists not further empower and strengthen the “technically defeated” Boko Haram boys to cause more harm to the country, days after the leader of the sect, “Shekau” debunked the insinuations of his murder in an air strike? 

Hope some people are not secretly smiling to the bank with activities of these Boko boys and will continue to do with the swapping of the “suspected” terrorists?