ChickenBones: A Journal
for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes
The woman has said repeatedly that due process was followed in the award of the contract
for the renovation of her official residence and that of her deputy, Babangida Nguroje.
However, the opposition leaders in the House denied having any knowledge
Ettehs House of Area Boys
By Hakeem Babalola
It thrills me whenever I watch our lawmakers exchanging blows either in the House of Representatives or in public. The gentlemen and ladies of the Lower House recently turned a supposed House of intellectuals into Boxing Arena. The tournament was the continuation of the hitherto cold war between the pro- and anti-Etteh groups at the State Box. But instead of allowing the star of the match to show her artistry, the spectators decided to enjoy their own five minutes of fame.
The fracas was in Abuja, Thursday September 20, at the sitting of the panel to investigate the #628 million House “re-renovation” dirt involving the Speaker, Patricia Etteh and her deputy, Babangida Nguroje. It was drama, excitement, and machination as lawmakers turned the House into delirium. They sweated, they ran helter-skelter, they tore each others clothes. It was a day in which the area boys in them manifested.
I am not a bit disappointed at such show of honourables. Anyone who understands politics would have had the premonition of whatever snowballed into physical fighting between them. Nigerians should realise that #628 million is not small money. Such money could even make a rich man crazy talk less of ragamuffins scrambling for the remnants. It is a confirmation of the caliber of people Nigerians have chosen to “woman” their affairs. So let no one shed crocodile tears. I still maintain that the hullabaloo stems from the fact that some male chauvinists find it hard for a woman to head them. Go figure it out.
I need to confess that I often rejoice at this kind of scenario. I am addicted to watching Nigerian public officials misbehave. I love it when they slap one another instead of deliberating on something profound. It makes me proud of them. It makes me think that, after all, my criticism has basis. It intensifies my argument that most Nigerian public officials do not know what service means. It reminds me that Nigerians themselves are not ready for normalcy since their representatives are their mirror.
Though they call themselves gentlemen and ladies, their behaviour is rude and boorish. The funny thing is that such churlish attitude is expected of them any time any day. That is why theres no reason for them to be ashamed. Etteh is probably having fun with all this attention focused on her.
“I have no regret over contract,” says Madam Speaker. It is part of the game to remain relevant. Her predecessors enjoyed the same feel. I think its the nature of the position. They spend their whole tenure fighting over somethingsomething ostentatious and vague.
The media is not exempt from this madness of purpose. Already the affair has been termed EttehGate. I wonder why it is EttehGate and not something else. And this surprises me more than a male senator slapping his female counterpart. The media should have coined another phrase other than Americanize one. What about EtteHouse or EtteHair. Any phrase could have been better instead of copying Americas Watergate. When shall we start inventing our own thing? When YarAdua leaves? When Etteh practices her real profession?
The woman has said repeatedly that due process was followed in the award of the contract for the renovation of her official residence and that of her deputy, Babangida Nguroje. However, the opposition leaders in the House denied having any knowledge of the award of the contract which has become controversial. I believe Etteh because she must be very stupid not to have followed due process. After all, the man who installed her as Speaker followed due process throughout his tenure. So what kind of student is Etteh if she did not follow due process in the contract of this magnitude?
Nigerians should just hold their breath because they aint seen nothing yet. There is reason to fight for, and this seems to be what most Nigerians have not grasped. The Reps must fight because they do not get as close to #628 million, which an ordinary hairdresser commands in such a short time. Here is the details of the kick-off. Immediately the referee, David Idoko, invited the Speaker to the ring, there was applause obviously from her fans who had filled up the venue.
Not to be over staged, one Emmanuel Jime representing Benue State and his team started shouting ole, ole (thief, thief). This is an insult too many. Where did these people see thief? Who is the thief? Patricia Etteh, the Speaker of the House? What did she steal? This is slander or libel at the least. I entreat Madam Speaker to sue these madmen who are bent on destroying her hard earned reputation. No one groomed by Obasanjo becomes thief because theres always honour among thieves.
Besides, fighting among our lawmakers is not news. Some years back a male senator brazenly slapped a female senator. Recently, we were fed with the news that two female lawmakers, Honourables Abike Erewa and Sadatu Sanni, fought in public. So tell me what is honourable in the personality of these representatives! As I said earlier it is simply the nature of the job. When you work too much, there is the possibility to be stressed up, thereby making one crazy about little things especially dough.
Nigerians just like to make a mountain out of molehills. Exchange of blows is part of our lawmakers duties. ″Theres nothing strange about the exchange of blows by some members of the panel,″ says Hon. David Idoko, Chairman of the House of Representatives Panel investigating the #628 million contract scam.
I dont remember who among those eggheads that said Nigerian public officials must be forced (I would rather use encouraged) to undergo psychiatric tests. I would add that background criminal check should also be included.
And that any would-be lawmaker should be made to testify before the oath saying, “I Hon so…so…has never been an area boy/girl in my life and I shall not become one after assuming the exalted office. I shall not disrupt the House or call any member of the House a thief because I believe we are all one. I shall maintain esprit de corps. I shall fight only if they by-pass or cheat me in the allocation or award of contract. May the Almighty whom I worship everyday help me shun corruption and stealing and jagidijagan”.
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Note: The term Area Boys means thugs in local parlance. Etteh is Nigerian Speaker of the House of Representatives who is being investigated over 5 million dollars contract scam. At the sitting of the investigation, her fans applauded while the opposition booed. The result is fracas in the House.
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Nigeria: Patricia Etteh Quits Lower House Tuesday, October 30, 2007Madam Patricia Etteh, the first female Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, resigned Tuesday, following her indictment over the misappropriation of public funds in multiple contracts of N628m (US$5 million) for the renovation of her official residence and the purchase of 12 official cars. The Representatives had exchanged blows as they fought over the case and Dr. Aminu Safana, the House Committee Chairman on Health, slumped during the pandemonium. He was rushed to National Hospital in Abuja where he died shortly after and the Speaker was accused of causing his sudden death. She ignored and dismissed calls for her resignation until Tuesday. Nigerian Times
Hakeem Babalola is currently teaching English Communication in Budapest, Hungary. He loves writing, a vehicle by which he rides to relieve himself of certain emotions. His articles have appeared in Nigerian newspapers including Nigerian Tribune, Daily Champion, Vanguard, Daily Trust respectively. He is also a contributor to several online magazines like Nigeriavillagesquare.com, Chatafrikarticles.com, voiceofnigerians and a host of others. Hakeem is a member of Association of Hungarian Journalists. firstname.lastname@example.org
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#1 – Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark #2 – Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree #3 – Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane #4 – Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper #5 – Stackin’ Paper 2 Genesis’ Payback by Joy King #6 – Thug Lovin’ (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark #7 – When I Get Where I’m Going by Cheryl Robinson #8 – Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby #9 – The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane
#10 – Covenant: A Thriller by Brandon Massey
#11 – Diary Of A Street Diva by Ashley and JaQuavis
#12 – Don’t Ever Tell by Brandon Massey
#13 – For colored girls who have considered suicide by Ntozake Shange
#14 – For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree
#15 – Homemade Loves by J. California Cooper
#16 – The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper
#17 – Player Haters by Carl Weber
#18 – Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare
#19 – Stackin’ Paper by Joy King
#20 – Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey
#21 – The Upper Room by Mary Monroe
#22 Thug Matrimony by Wahida Clark
#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark
#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber
#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter
#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson
#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History by Ahati N. N. Toure
#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley
#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell
#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore
#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit by RM Johnson
#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins
#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell
#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle
#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard
#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris
#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice
#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields
#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class by Lisa B. Thompson
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By Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons knows firsthand that wealth is rooted in much more than the stock market. True wealth has more to do with what’s in your heart than what’s in your wallet. Using this knowledge, Simmons became one of America’s shrewdest entrepreneurs, achieving a level of success that most investors only dream about. No matter how much material gain he accumulated, he never stopped lending a hand to those less fortunate. In Super Rich, Simmons uses his rare blend of spiritual savvy and street-smart wisdom to offer a new definition of wealth-and share timeless principles for developing an unshakable sense of self that can weather any financial storm. As Simmons says, “Happy can make you money, but money can’t make you happy.”
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By Michele Alexander
Contrary to the rosy picture of race embodied in Barack Obama’s political success and Oprah Winfrey’s financial success, legal scholar Alexander argues vigorously and persuasively that [w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it. Jim Crow and legal racial segregation has been replaced by mass incarceration as a system of social control (More African Americans are under correctional control today… than were enslaved in 1850). Alexander reviews American racial history from the colonies to the Clinton administration, delineating its transformation into the war on drugs. She offers an acute analysis of the effect of this mass incarceration upon former inmates who will be discriminated against, legally, for the rest of their lives, denied employment, housing, education, and public benefits. Most provocatively, she reveals how both the move toward colorblindness and affirmative action may blur our vision of injustice: most Americans know and don’t know the truth about mass incarcerationbut her carefully researched, deeply engaging, and thoroughly readable book should change that.Publishers Weekly
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Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis
Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . . Cited by a literary critic in 2004 as “the seminal study in the field of Afro-Hispanic Literature . . . on which most scholars in the field ‘cut their teeth’.”
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From The World and Africa, 1965
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posted 26 September 2007
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