THE ONE MY HEART WON…

East and west, took me years to find a nest;
My bitter heart rode like a stallion
The hurt inflicted by mermaids
Till I found you, my yolk.

Men who love in the waist of wanton women
They say waste away on their thighs
But for you, what is there not to want?
I want to waste away as perfume
In the breathe of your waiting arms

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2015 General Elections: Letter to my fellow Corps Members

By OJEKUNLE, Alex Aderemi
Corps Member, Akure, Ondo State.

Aduaya Corps members and good citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is with deep sense of modesty and high modicum of respect that I write to you today on the forthcoming general elections. This week, Nigeria decides and heads to the polling booth to make good their vote. It is very pertinent and germane to urge us to reawaken the spirit of patriotism and selfless service in this country, especially at this critical period in the history of Nigeria, towards upholding its honour and glory: a stage where we decide who governs and steers the affairs of this country for another four years. Whatever decision we make, we should be sure that it will have significant effect on us and posterity, either positively or the other way.

Our inputs as ad-hoc electoral officers during these elections will be a road map for the Nigeria we all aspire and desire to live in and expect our offspring to serve. Our actions during the elections should be more of a clarion call and our activities should portray that of a patriotic citizen of the country with the largest concentration of black people. It is our duty to shun every form of electoral brinkmanship, malpractices and violence.

The ineffable role of corps members, in all states of the federation and Nigeria in general, cannot be unacknowledged, understated or unheeded. Notwithstanding, corps members’ contribution to this nation, during elections, can also not be well compensated with political appointment, money, largesse or whatever Greek gift that politicians could push forward.

Our role in these upcoming elections is a duty that protects the mandate of the people towards reshaping the country to a better environment for you and I which will consequently provide an enabling environment for us all – job opportunities, better welfare, stable water and electric supply, among others which should not be traded for an immediate reward but for a reward that will benefit the nation, the economy, and coming generations.

It is on this note, that I enjoin all members of the National Youth Service Corps to be diligent, assiduous and morally upright during the elections in order to guarantee us a nation where travesty and parody of justice will go into extinction.

We can make the poll a credible and generally-acceptable election by being extremely wary, disciplined, indefatigable and conscious during the electioneering process.

We need to obey the clarion call to serve with good and pure mind.

God bless Nigeria.

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MY MOTHER, MY WONDER!

By Adesewa Olofinko

Woven into the fibre of my momma’s spirit is the instinct to deeply nurture, and fiercely protect
My name is Adesewa, and you can call me Princess (actually, that is what my Momma calls me). A little introduction; I call her Queen, and she is mother to 5+ 2 adorable children.

Let’s talk about the mother’s love – my mother’s love if you will.
Adesewa and Mum (Princess and Queen)

Just yesterday, almost everyone took to social media platforms and other forms to say something about their Momma. It was the mothers’ day. I celebrate Mothers’ day every 2nd Sunday in the month of May, so for me, this came a little too early. But then, wake me any time, I always have something to say about this gift of a mum.

Lots and lots of people have accused me of being too ‘one-sided’ with my mum. I often get comments on why I have been silent about my dad. Well, I am a gifted writer. And sometimes when I think about my mum, I can’t but put pen to paper. Plus, as a teenager, I was a spoilt version and I took it all out on my mum… I’m grown, and still haven’t been able to decipher what made me trash my meal those days, locked myself in the room just to spite my mum. Well, my dad is an amazing man, and yes, I’m currently writing his memoirs – he isn’t even aware of it.


Let’s get serious. The intensity of a mother’s love is legendary. Stories of things mothers have done in the name of preserving her children are written among the chronicles of unforgettable experience. Nobody messes with a mother’s love, especially not mine. I grew up wondering why my mum was so gentle, so compassionate, and unrepentantly loving. I felt people took advantage of that but mum wouldn’t budge. You got whatever you wanted, and if she couldn’t provide it, she’ll plead with you, and it often got me angry; “It’s not like it is so important, why are you begging him like that?!”
Life was way too simple for her. She taught me to love independent of my feelings. Love, she said, must be liberally given to all whether deserving or not. My mum taught me how to get uncomfortable with holding grudges (took me years to learn though), but thanks to the Holy Spirit who makes it so easy (I’m a Christian, yes, and no matter how much I avoid it, I get a little spiritual spice on my write-ups). Mum taught me to serve others. I thought she was people-pleasing; but in all, she drove home the lesson that “to kneel to greet a dwarf won’t make you short”.
Mrs. Agnes Olubukola Olofinko
Momma turned 57 in February… she doesn’t visit the spa (though she gets ‘home- treats’ once in months- my little sister is a pro at giving massages), nor engage in regular exercises (except for her evening walks), but she looks like she’s 40! From a woman who would do whatever must be done to ensure the well-being of her children, even if it meant going hungry or saying no to ‘owambe’ and ‘Aso ebis’! As a little child, I watched my mum lose friends at the speed of light simply because she would rather support her family than go all out cladded in the latest designs. She had grown up in affluence and later adjusted to starting small and humbly with dad through, both of which have produced 5 amazing kids who are fulfilling purpose in diverse fields. Woven into the fibre of my momma’s spirit is the instinct to deeply nurture, and fiercely protect. Allow me share a short story.

January 2013, my aunt who has 3 grown boys wanted a girl- child. So she came to Nigeria and adopted this cute little girl we named Motunrayo. While processing her travel documents, little Motunrayo had to move in with us. She was two, and mum’s sleepless nights would begin again. I feared for her. She had to feed, clothe, and risk little Motunrayo messing up the entire place (let me give this fact from TY Bello’s Ekundayo song, that 97% of children in orphanages never get adopted because there is still a stigma attached to adoption in Nigerian. What are we doing about this?). Eventually, mum had to visit the hospital more than usual because Motunrayo needed a surgery owing to the fact that she wasn’t fed breast milk as a child. Well, it doesn’t happen to all, but she was one of the few who had difficulty breathing because of this. To this end, she got all the attention. And silly me, I felt I have never seen my mum unabashedly protective. Well, a mother has got to be a mother, and to whoever is involved, the compassion is the same.


I’ve given you all so long a note to read…but do you know that Queen wouldn’t go to bed until we were all asleep? I have seen her go on her knees more than anything – The Power of a Praying Woman! Mum is a strong woman in all its definitions because even with tears in her eyes, she still manages to say with a smile ‘I’m okay’? Only a mother could pull off something like that. AND I would dare to say that the role of a mother is so powerful that the destinies of nations lie in her hands. Go all out and celebrate your mother. To those who never felt the affection of a mother, celebrate the mother figures in your life, and remember to say a prayer for all distressing mothers in the world. We celebrate those of the Chibok girls too.

My Mother, My Wonder.





Adesewa Olofinko is a graduate of Mathematics and Integrated Science from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria.  The writer cum radio-presenter enjoys a quiet life behind the scene positively affecting lives and enjoying every moment with friends and family. Connect with her on LinkedIn: Adesewa Olofinko or Dhewumieno1@gmail.com. Mobile number: 07031561052

HOW WORLD LEADERS’ SALARIES STACK UP

By Ivana Kottasova and Megan Pendergrass @CNNMoney
Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking a pay cut of 10% as his country’s economy sinks into a deep recession.
But how does his salary compare to those of other world leaders?
Here is how the pay of prime ministers and presidents of the big developed and emerging economies stack up, according to the most recent official data and converted into U.S. dollars at the current rate.Description: world leader salaries usa
President Obama leads the pack with $400,000 a year. The presidential salary doubled when George W. Bush became president in 2001.
In addition, Obama gets a tax-free expense account worth $50,000.

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Merkel’s salary as German chancellor is set at 216,000 euros a year ($234,383). The chancellor and her ministers got a 2.2% pay rise at the beginning of March, according to government documents.
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Description: world leader salaries uk
The British prime minister earns £142,500 ($214,782) a year. That includes his salary as a member of parliament, which is £67,060.
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The French president would have ranked much higher on this list, had he not taken a 30% pay cut the moment he took office in 2012.
Without the haircut, Hollande would have earned 255,600 euros a year ($274,522), second only to Obama. Now he makes $194,251.
Description: world leader salaries russia
In the face of his country’s worst economic crisis in years, Putin said last week he was cutting his salary by 10%. He now earns roughly 8.2 million rubles per year ($136,000) as Russian president.
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The Indian prime minister’s salary is just 1,900,000 rupees a year, which comes to little over $30,000. That’s according to an official response to a freedom of information request submitted by local media.
Description: world leader salaries china

He might be in charge of the world’s second largest economy, but Chinese President Xi Jinping’s salary is just $22,000. And that’s after a 60% pay rise at the start of this year.

ROBBING PETER TO PAY PAUL

By Admin

“In a larger sense, they are victims too. Everyone is only robbing Peter to pay Paul.”

Tales of policemen on Nigerian roads extorting money from both defaulting and non-defaulting users of the road has become a daily moonlight tales told by the media and all involved. It is not surprising when a friend narrated an experience last week as he saw meted out on a public transport driver. This made me go down hard on the practice, its causes and apparent solution.

Please do me a favor, please put yourself in the tight shoes of one of them and ask yourself these questions. Why do I need update my vehicular particulars that will probably cost me thousands of naira (plus bribe) when I could easily buy my way through with just a few hundreds? It’s strictly a survival business instinct I’m sure you must have used countless of times (minimize task to ensure maximum satisfaction/profit). Why do I need update the particulars the men in uniform don’t bother to check and yet extort from me my daily means of livelihood? Why do I need waste my time arguing with a legal goon in blue uniform who is hell-bent on siphoning out money from me while I pay the price because minutes or hours spent ‘maintaining and claiming their rights’ costs me lots of money? Note that their kids in school need their school fees paid, wives expect upkeep money, the society expects a certain standard of living from them, their extended families are expectant and even the six-feet nemesis is closer each day.


It is easy to sit around and decry the cruelties meted out on the roads by these men in uniform, but these drivers know something we don’t. They have experienced this decay first hand; they all have harrowing stories to tell. And as it is rightly said, “Only fools doubt fact”. Experience has taught them to know that it is futile to take them on their own.

Image credit: anonymous
Private car owners might have different tales of woes from the hands of police officers turn road marshals and traffic wardens, but the grueling experiences of these drivers does not leave room for our bookish kind of understanding. They don’t understand human rights, constitutional provisions, or social media awareness. All they need know and unfortunately know is right before their oculars dressed in blue with battered AK47s strapped to their sides. As you can’t teach an old tiger new trick, so also can’t the leopard shed its skin. Unless it’s dead of course. Funny enough yet is the fact that these men of the Force are currently agitating for an increase in pay and improved standard of living. Just last week did they express disappointment in the Inspector General! Funny things that happen in Nigeria!

However, we must not be blinded to the fact that the Force comprises of ordinary citizens who are as ordinary as the drivers they extortionate from and the citizens they are charged with protecting. In a larger sense, they are victims too. Everyone is only robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The answer is simple but difficult. Nigeria needs a complete overhauling of the system. No single stratum can claim a monopoly of Nigeria’s messianic solution. You really cannot fault the ordinary citizen trying desperately to make ends meet when the government goons are daily stripping naked the country and emptying its coffers. It will be unfair. The constitution that provides for certain unalienable provisions to battle this decay is in itself decayed. Its legislators create back-holes of escape at the slightest fear of detection. The society is piled with minimum citizens (respect to Sam Omatseye) who are not afraid to do in smaller measures what their role-models in government does in out-of-the-world quantities.

So forgive me if I partly share the activists’ enthusiasm. We all know what goes on in the streets. We must not shy from it. A coordinated revolt from serfs and peasants with masterly overlords and greedy, bloated capitalists will only create the generic impetus needed to transform all sectors of the State. All hands – rich and poor – must be on deck.

Together, let’s hoist the green-white-green flag and keep it dancing shoki in the air. God bless Nigeria.


@smart_solomon