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CELEBRATING LAGOS @ 50

Lagos the city of aquatic splendor, centre of excellence, the citadel of swag, the commercial nerve of Nigeria. Eko akete ilu ogbon(meaning Lagos heap, city of wisdom). It has been 50 years of leading Nigeria into her dream future. The hustle and bustle of Lagosians in the morning is synonymous to the Cat-Rat race. One democratic governor to another has changed the way we see Lagos from 1999 till date.

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50 is a landmark, from lekki gardens, to shopping malls springing up everywhere, to the free trade zone, to BRT and LAGbus, to the little improvement in the education sector, to a better road network, etc Each of this was great but more applauds to the traditional 100 days accountability townhall that kept us abreast all the works of the government before it was suspended. Publishing the audited financial details of the government was a laudable stride to an open government that led to citizen trust in the government. Today, we are looking forward to the return of the 100 days accountability townhall/press briefing and the financial document on all government online portals since the current governor was auditor general  in one of the past administration.

I want to ask why we need to spend so much on Lagos @ 50 when there are still so many grounds to cover. The government is throwing celebration when we are in recession. Did they forget there is no money to spend? What value does this celebration have for the present and future of Lagos?

What value does this jamboree or felicity have on the provision of quality education, water, housing and et cetera? Why many economists keep advising a cut in cost of governance, politicians keep thinking about a rise in the cost of governance.

In a state where government can’t provide water for the citizen and even in the governor’s house (the state house uses borehole). Is celebration the next thing? In a state where many children do not have access to quality education, is celebration necessary? In a state where to cut the cost of governance we have to break the law (constitution) by installing sole administrators in LGAs and LCDAs, is celebration not adding to this cost? In a state where government audited financial document are hidden from the electorate, is celebration priority? In a state where health facilities are in shambles, is felicity a top list? In a state where depression and suicide are increasing because of the economic depression, is festivity our major concern?

Who is the celebration for, the elites or commoners? How much will be spent on the celebration? Who will fund this celebration? What is the value of this celebration to the ordinary man in Lagos? Are there no ways we can invest in the future to mark the 50 years of Lagos.

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Lagosian open or shine your eyes, when did our city of wisdom become a city of fools? We must ask question now from the government of the day on how the tax payer money is spent. We must demand compliant to the rule of law from this government. We must demand transparency and accountability from this government. The government owes us some explanation on how our funds are spent. We must ask now else we return to the dark days.

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Is Music Spiritual?

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Have you ever been confused on what to listen to? Many times the lyrics that are blazing from our radio, television and internet are hot, crispy and vulgar. I wonder why our songs are empty and meaningless. Little did I know that every meaningless song has a meaning. In the Music by Omawumi gives a summary of the power of music.

Music is the arrangement of melodious rhythm, rhyme, and sound from instruments and voices.(As defined by me) It throws me out of balance when in our world music and noise are living in close quarters. All we hear in our music now is the metallic beat.

Now to the matter, I have heard most time in the church that spiritual songs must be fast, the type that can activate revival. I have also heard that spiritual songs are supposed to be slow and solemn (like worship, please what is worship? Not for today). Now, this is my question, what genre is a spiritual song? Is it soul, reggae, afrobeat, hip-hop, rap, highlife, et cetera? (I listen to all these genres with the message of Christ)’

Every song is spiritual, waoh! You don’t know? No song is written without an inspiration from somewhere, no song is without a message, yes even the vulgar once. Every song has the mind as it main target either to activate the flesh or the spirit. Every song from highlife, to hip-hop, to rap, to afrobeat, et cetera are spiritual.

I can know the song you listen to from your character and words. Sex has sold well because it is in our songs. Pornography and violence has been sold to us through songs. Parenting is now very difficult in our world. Children learn lyrics faster than the A B C… (Alphabet). Music is education.

It is high time you and I watch and filter what we listen to. We need to check through our playlist, check out life and see that the playlist is a mirror of our life.

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My friend, you are what you listen to. Every meaningless song has a meaning. Every song was sung under an inspiration. Therefore, every song is spiritual. A song will do two things, steal, destroy and kill your spirit or revive and strengthen your spirit. Be wise in your choice. Music is SPIRITUAL.

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WHAT IS CIVILIZATION?

 

gizaWhat does civilization mean to you? How does civilization affect you? What is the difference between being civilized and uncivilized?  Is Civilization what we define it to be? Dressing half-naked, drawing tattoos, vulgar words, indecent music, and many more, are they civilization?

 

Let’s quickly check what is civilization? The society, culture, and way of life of a particular area. This simply means civilization is culture and culture is civilization. It’s synonyms are culture, cultivation, progress, refinement, edification. To be civilized in Yoruba means “OMOLUABI”. Synonyms of uncivilized is uneducated, coarse, uncultured, uncultivated, thuggish, unpolished, vulgar(source: Google).

 

The baseline for civilization is culture. Whatever we do that debase, go against, reduce, or put on process extinction of our culture is never civilization.

Our culture is our dressing, language, food, festivity, etc. The English man will never use hand to each rice, they call it etiquette. Why then will you a Yoruba man use spoon to eat Eba. What is wrong with dressing the African way? What is wrong with playing the African way? What is wrong with singing the African way? What is wrong with the African way?

Are we civilized or uncivilized? If civilization is progress of culture, what are we doing to our culture? Is our culture progressing or regressing?

Why do we count our lingua franka important than our local dialects? This and many more spin through my mind.

As a kid, I played several local games that informed my values, this has distinguished me among my equal. What is wrong with our identity as Africans? As critical thinkers, we should find the gray areas of our culture and modify it, not destroy it totally. We must protect our language, values and culture.

UNESCO says protecting our past history and culture is a key part of our identity to achieve the future.

It is time parents pass the value of African culture (baton) to their children. If we want to protect our future as Africans, we must teach and educate our children about the real African languages, values, dressing, songs, games, etc.

I am so sorry, oblige me to mention but a few Yoruba culture which are: enaa, owe, oriki, ere ile, ekun iyawo, alo apamo, alo apagbe, etc. All this are what have informed our civilization as the Yoruba Nation. It is time we re-think about what is civilization?

Thanks to Mr Subair and Mr Lateef(Ph.D in view) of M.A. Banire and Associates, who engaged in the intellectual discussion that informed this write-up.

Without the past (History and culture) we will not be able to sufficiently define our future in the present-Akinnike Michael Oluwatobiloba