Monday, 9 November 2020

3 Lesson I Learnt from Okere Prison.

Thank God say police nor beat this fresh man😒

At about 9:00AM, on the 9th of November, 2020, I was seating on the floor outside Okere Prison,  quietly receiving being called a foolish man, a spy with gun and a hoodlum at Okere Prison.

In-case you are wondering why?

Here's a short true life story.

I observed the road was unusually quiet, but then i saw cars parked and a Black Honda moving ahead, my intention was to breeze pass that road to Mciver and then go to Robert Road. Then the Honda turned right and i followed to a cul-de-sac, reversing, a lady selling stuff said, "Bros, No road"

At this point in trying to reverse, a familiar Officer came to me, "Off that car, give me the key"

"Officer..." This once familiar Officer was aggressive, I obeyed, turn off the car and gave him the keys, followed him to the boot where he drag a brownish old four legged stool and he sat, leaning is rifle wrapped with red piece of cloth on the green painted wall, with is right hands dangling my keys.

Seating down, he said, "If dem send you come, we go know?"

"Send me come do wetin Oga?" i replied with irritation.

What followed next was torrents of insult and threats coming from all the other officer around.

This Young Yoruba ascent talking Commander stood up and two other officers followed and he came towards me raised his hand to hit me, "Oya seat down on the floor, you Criminal, we go shoot you here, this criminal"

"We go clear you today, Idiot, Today you don enter, you dey talk to my officer like that?" He screamed

It was nollywood playing out in my  very eyes, but this time i was the "Nkiru Sylvanus aka Ble-ble" in the movie.

I sat quietly on the floor listening to the silent voice in my head, saying Collins, don't say a word, Keep quiet. I obeyed till about 17 minutes or more, when i decided to disobey the voice and spoke out

"Oga, what can i do now, I need to go somewhere" Releasing those words from my mouth was like i adding fuel to the already burning fire.

"Okay? we come from Lagos to come eat rice here abi? Dem tell you say my wife nor dey cook better food?"

"Na dat place you go seatdown today, If you open your mouth talk again, we go drag you for ground and nothing go happen, criminal, officer searcham, searcham na" he ordered one of the scrawny looking officer to search me

"Oga...", I raise my hand in an attempt to defend myself, shut-up was coming from every side, then i kept mute again.

The scrawnyofficer walked up to me, "carry your hand go up" and started searching me.

"Criminal, you see gun forhin bodi abi? your own don finish, na court we dey go so" the commanded asked and concluded.

"Gun keh?" I said, "seatdown, bootam if he dey stubborn" The commander said.
I was stunned, is this a joke, i kept saying in my mind.

I stopped talking or verbally demanding for my right, Yes, at this point, I knew i was wrong to drive through, but then is that enough reason to make this kind of outrageous allegations, that i was with gun, or label me a spy or a criminal? what kind of joke is this?

I kept wondering and asking myself, if these allegations gets to the court, and these officers where called as witness, would these officers around corroborate the Commander's allegation or speak the truth?

In all i kept quiet, maybe if i had opened my mouth to talk back, he would have found a reason to show off his strength by physically assaulting me, as he has threatened to do, "I go do you anything and nothing go happen." He continue cursing and puffing

I had always thought it was only members of the defunct or disbanded SARS that says all these kind of careless threats, but as it turns out, it's a thing with "Nigerian Uniformed Men"

It's my hope that these lessons i learnt from the Nigeria Uniformed Men under the Commander and his boys, sent to bring Peace and Restore order to Nigeria Prisons Facility, Okere Warri, Delta State, after it was vandalized by hoodlums on the 22nd of October, 2020 useful in the future.

1. Impunity and tendency to oppress is not only with SARS alone, it's with "EVERY and ANY" Nigeria uniform Men empowered with firearm.

2. Nigerian uniformed men joke with the lives of those they are supposed to protect.

I got a first hand experience today, hearing my chief oppressor in anger saying "Oga for Abuja, dey talk say, How I take be Commander, wey you neva kill anybody?" 

3. For Now, (Until our uniform men is properly reformed mentally and financially) When you're with any Nigerian Uniformed Man, and they are more than one or two, obey them to avoid being beaten up or rubbished and ensure that you don't panic so you can be observant. The mob mentality works very well with Nigerian uniform men.

My experience with Men of Nigerian Prison services, got me thinking about the latest news of giving guns to FRSC men. In my head, if these men can do this to me, won't some young and hot blooded FRSC officer do the same thing or worse?.

After about an hour, another officer, "Idiot and foolish man, begam make you take your key reverse and go"

"Oga, nor vex, I sincerely nor know say d road was closed, I think say...abeg Oga nor vex, dem know me inside this facility, because, i dey bring teachers to come teach for the Adult school, so na just misunderstanding"


We've suffered enough from "Nigerian Uniform Men", I pray you and I don't become victims when FRSC joins the rank when they finally get empowered with firearms.



PS : The school inside Okere prison, was destroyed by hoodlums. In the words of the principal, Collins Seven years work destroyed. When normalcy returns, we'll do something about it, you can send an email or whatsapp to warrireads@gmail.com or +2348030448215 if you'll like to be part of it.


Friday, 5 June 2020

Urbansho, shopping and selling made easy.

Urbansho.com is an innovative ecommerce platform. Established in the heart of Warri, the online marketplace is the first of its kind in the most populous city of Delta State, Nigeria.

The ecommerce platform is built to international standards, urbansho.com provides its locale with high quality products at unbeatable prices and swift delivery. The website has a stock of items ranging from Grocery, Households, electronics, mobile gadgets, fashion and others.

Urbansho.com eliminates the time and hassle it takes for people to shop for groceries and other merchandise at different stores by providing it in one platform.

We are driven by a desire to provide affordable, high-quality products and swift deliveries to people around the Delta/Warri locale and create value for other vendors.

Urbansho.com aims to make life easy for you.  Whether it is for home, business or fun urbansho.com has got you covered!

Friday, 29 May 2020

How Well Do You Know Your Babies? By Abolade Odugbesan Olanipekun



Now that your kids are at home with you,
Have time for them.
I don’t mean just feeding and cleaning them up and leaving them alone to watch Cartoons.
Really have time for them.

Play with them
Get to know them.
You will be surprised at how much they know
And how little they also don’t know.
Bond with your kids
Your job as a parent isn’t just to bring them forth and leave the rest to God.
You should mold them, body and soul, character wise and their thought process.

Play chess with them.
Watch them think.
Don’t let them win easily, that way you are teaching them how to be strategic and analytical and that every action has consequences, either good, or bad.

Then help them on how to build their vocabulary by playing scrabble with them.
I promise, scrabble can be fun.
Monopoly is a beautiful way to teach them economics, they are not too young to know about money.

Then when you are bored with the educational games, you can move to the fun ones like the pay stations, ludo or even whot; Just imagine the excited look on their faces when they give you pick 2, pick 3, general market, hold on, suspension, last card, check up!
That’s family bonding! And we don’t have that anymore.
We just let these kids grow by themselves and have fun by themselves because we are too busy with making money and social media.

Read to these children. Take a good story book and read with a voice that undulates. You can also tell a folk tale filled with beautiful moral lessons. One of my fondest memories of my childhood is mummy telling us midnight stories about the tortoise and lions and wolves. About kings and about servants and queens and maidens. I always look forward to those nights when there will be no electricity supply, so we can all go outside for a fresh breeze and some midnight tales that would make us dream dreams.

Have time for these children now that you have them. They grow so fast, one minute they are tiny and all clingy and dependent and the next, they are big, and literally, on their own.

The worst thing that can ever happen to a parent is, not to know your child.
Don’t be a stranger, be their friend.
#happy children's day!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

BIRTHDAY IN HISTORY SAMUEL SOCHUKWUMA OKWARAJI (Sam Okwaraji) @ 56 by Dr. Rapheal James of CRIMMD Lagos

He would have been 56 today, for he was born today May 19, 1964, in Orlu in Imo State. While in primary school, he got a recommendation and congratulatory letter from the Korean government for one of his art works which was chosen as the best in a primary school art contest." He held a Bachelor's and Master's degrees in international law from the University of Rome. Apart from his traditional mother tongue, Igbo, he also spoke German, English, Spanish and the Italian languages.
First played for the national team against Algeria at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Stadium in Enugu in a Seoul 1988 Olympic qualifier and played a key role at the 1988 African Cup of Nations in Morocco, where he scored the fastest goal of the tournament against Cameroon in the group stages. He played professional football with NK Dynamo Zagreb of Yugoslavia, VFB Stuttgart and SSV Ulm 1846 of Germany. He also played at the Olympics in Seoul, he played about 10 matches for Nigeria and scored once. He was described as a thorough professional with a heart for Nigeria. Such was his patriotism that he was reported to have often played games for the country without requesting for flight tickets and match bonuses.

Prior to his death, a conflict had ensued between him and his club, SSV Ulm 1846, which was significant enough to attract the attention of the then Chairman of the Nigeria Football Association (NFA), Group Capt. John Obakpolor, who mediated in the matter to ensure his participation in the game. SSV Ulm 1846 had demanded $45,000 before it could release Okwaraji for the qualifying games as compensation for what it would lose in gate takings while Okwaraji was away with the national team. But Obakpolor was able to negotiate a deal for the country by paying a much lower $15,000 for his release. That was done without his knowledge and consent. He was reported to have expressed his disappointment with his club's action when he learnt of it and had told them that he will represent Nigeria without paying a dime, insisting: "I am a lawyer, you know I signed to play football under certain conditions but I don't think it included reselling my services to my country. You or your club cannot stop me from playing for my country. Let me tell you, I am going to represent my country in the World Cup in Italy whether you like it or not."

In what turned out to be his last game, playing as the Green Eagles midfielder, he was lined up alongside team mates David Ngodigha, Augustine Eguavoen, Sunday Eboigbe, Stephen Keshi, Obobaifo Osaro, Ademola Adesina, Uchenna Okafor, Humphrey Edobor, Etim Esim, Samson Siasia and Dahiru Sadi, who substituted Edobor in the second half to play the qualifying game for the upcoming Italia 90' World Cup against the Angolan senior national team.

In front of an estimated 100,000 spectators at the stadium, the game kicked-off at about 4 pm. The Green Eagles led the game with a 44th minute goal from its skipper, Stephen Keshi via a massive buildup initiated by Okwaraji in the midfield, all things seemed seamless for Nigeria until Okwaraji slumped and died exactly at the 77th minute of the game. During the August 12, 1989, FIFA World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria's Green Eagles and the Palancas Negras of Angola in the main bowl of the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, he suddenly slumped on the field of play. During the qualification campaign for the 1990 World Cup hosted in Italy. He died of an enlarged heart. He rest in peace, one the very best ever in Nigerian Sports.

Sunday, 17 May 2020

THE EFFECT OF COVID 19 IN WARRI by Avwerosuoghene Odjomah

Corona virus (COVID-19) is an infectious disease that spreads primarily through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose when an affected person coughs or sneezes, it is advisable to use the elbow as a covering.
As the name implies COVID 19, ‘CO stands for corona ‘VI stands for virus and ‘D for disease and 19 represents the year of its occurrence.
The COVID -19 Pandemic is considered as the most crucial global health calamity of the century and the greatest that mankind has ever faced. Till now there is no report of any clinically approved antiviral drugs that are effective against COVID 19. The worldwide disruption caused by the COVID -19 pandemic has resulted in numerous impacts on the environment. At the onset of COVID -19 outbreak, there have been significant changes in Warri and environs thereby posing enormous health, economic, environmental, and social challenges to the entire human population.
Due to the pandemic crisis, there has been a restriction of movement all over the world aimed at curbing coronavirus infections. Our main focus is to discuss the effect of COVID – 19 in the oil-rich city of Warri
ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
Delta state government imposed a lockdown in the state, in the month of April, (which has a few numbers of the coronavirus cases). Plethora number of people observing the COVID -19 lockdown in Warri lacked the resources that their families need to keep body and soul together. In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID 19, Government has implemented social distancing measures especially in local markets where many buy their daily food, markets were to open three times a week, my question now is what about those persons that wouldn’t have the cash to visit the market on those days, do you expect them to beg?   
When asked to remain at home obviously means no source of income for some working population because most workers live from HAND TO MOUTH, i.e. what whatever comes into their hands they eat at that moment. I heard of a woman and her little daughter, who were begging just to eat. She could no longer survive at home because her daily earnings were her only source of sustenance. This crisis will be very tough for wage laborers, street vendors, and hawkers. The pandemic crisis has disrupted the buying and selling activities.
The government has put in place measures to preserve the livelihoods of workers and business owners to ensure their families get through this very difficult time by distributing tons of food to vulnerable households affected, also most vulnerable citizens would receive an amount of money to sustain them during the lockdown.  But even with these measures, the modalities for distribution are vile because there are still some vulnerable people who are suffering due to the self-centeredness of the local leaders and this could lead to workers facing a high risk of falling into poverty and will experience a greater challenge in regaining their livelihood during the recovery period.
Another issue consequential to the pandemic is the recent hike in price of face mask.
It has been recommended by the world health organization that wearing of preventive face mask could help reduce the spread of the virus. These face mask which used to be very affordable became so expensive over-night and scarce. This has led local tailors to produce face masks using Ankara and all sort of materials which is ineffective in tackling the scourge.

SOCIAL CHALLENGES
The pandemic has negatively impacted religion in various ways, including the cancellation of worship services, the closure of Sunday school in Warri. Many churches and mosques now offer worship through live stream e.g. Facebook live, Instagram live, and most recently Zoom amidst the pandemic.
Most religious organizations now dispatch disinfection supplies, face masks gloves and food to members, and others affected.
The public health crisis has disrupted thousands of occasions such as burial ceremonies, birthday celebrations, and Once-in-a-lifetime events like Weddings. Missing out on these types of once-in-a-lifetime experiences can have a negative psychological impact on individuals. The budgeted money meant to be spent on the wedding would be spent on other things.  Right now, many people are anxious and scared and being sad about missing out on an important event which can exacerbate those feelings. But when life returns to normal, those feelings will most likely disappear, especially for those who would have the resources to cope with the disappointment.
Here also, the Nigeria center for disease control (NCDC) has updated its guidance regarding group gatherings and events in light of the ongoing effort to combat the spread of the coronavirus to Social gathering, the new NCDC guidance recommends against holding any events of gatherings of 50 and with less stringent, the NCDC notes that this guideline should not be considered to apply to the ‘day to day’ operation of organizations such as schools and institutes of higher learning.
Even with consideration of 50 persons, 80% of persons still won’t go on with their occasion reason because they’ve always dreamt of having a large crowd. We have few persons that appreciate small gatherings. Others are scared of being infected with the disease so have decided to wait till everything becomes normal.
Now this guideline is meant to slow the pace of transmission and reduce the chances of introducing the virus to communities where it isn’t present but at the same time discontinued the activities of schools and churches in Warri.
This too has affected the educational system in Warri, leading to the suspension and closure of schools. Examinations like BECE, SSCE, and others are now on hold due to the crisis. And I am so convinced that there won’t be any class of 2020 for students. Now students learn online via social media to limit the disruption of education. How is that teaching effective?
SOCIAL ECONOMIC CHALLENGES
CONDOM SHORTAGE.
Condom sales have reportedly been increasing in Nigeria and Warri to be precise. There may even be a ‘COVID 19 baby boom’ some expert says, proving not everyone is actually practicing social distancing. There are some persons that have actually returned back to school in Delta state all because they wanna be with their lovers. According to them ‘KONJI’ Na bastard.
When people are being confined in their various homes away from their offices, parties and other such distractions, it leads to boredom and people are likely to catch feelings in this kind of situation. Swerving between social distancing and close cohabitation, many thousands of couples in Warri are rediscovering each other as a result of the lockdown. With this increased intimacy, many pharmacies are reporting the rising sales of condoms while some are already looking at coronavirus baby boom. This pandemic has increased intimacy among couples who, caught in their busy lives, don’t find the time to be with each other.
So while the demand for food supplies, masks, and medicines has risen, so has it for Condoms and pills.
SO TELL ME HOW HAS THE PANDEMIC AFFECTED YOU?
Tell us how you and your families are dealing with the ongoing pandemic

Friday, 15 May 2020

THE STATE OF EDUCATION IN WARRI by Avwerosuoghene Odjomah

The entire Nigeria education system is faulty as a result, education in Warri is not an exclusion as this is our major focus in this text. The state of education in Warri is terrible and disheartening.
Just as communication is the life wire of an organization so is education the sure path to the development of any city.
These are my reasons why the state of education is poor in the oil-rich city of Warri:
EXAMINATION MALPRACTICE
Examination malpractice has spread into our basic level of education. Teachers are now the center of malpractice, helping students to cheat during an examination. During an examination, teachers write out answers for the students to copy. This is so absurd and unthinkable, why were they employed in the first place? Is it that they don’t trust what they’ve taught or what?
Parents too have succeeded in helping their kids to cheat. Why send your child to school, when in the end, you’re going to do the dirty work? At the secondary level, most especially private schools now have miracle centers.
Exam malpractice which is one of the major causes of the poor standard of education has not been tackled properly by the government. The Top echelons that are supposed to regulate the system have failed in their duties and resort to compromise.
The very foundation of Education needs to be redefined. Government, Teachers, and Parents have collaborative responsibilities to perform. Students should be able to pass through one class before been promoted to the next.

POOR TEACHING FACILITIES
Over 70% of public schools lack good classrooms with ill-equipped laboratories. Magic cannot be performed without the necessary and appropriate teaching tools. The primary and secondary level of education in Warri lacks the facilities for teaching e.g. Desk, Seat, materials, etc.
GOVERNMENT INSENSITIVITY TO THE WELFARE OF TEACHERS
The welfare of teachers has to be taken into full consideration. When the government treats teachers with a cavalier attitude then knowledge won’t be passed on, teaching becomes ineffective. When the government shows less concern about teachers, they begin to show divided loyalty.
Also due to this carefree attitude of management and government, there becomes a shortage of teachers in different subjects. This situation would be so terrible that one teacher could take four (4) teachers' jobs with the pay of one (1) teacher’s salary.

PARENT INVOLVEMENT
Parents too won’t be left out in this, inclusive of both illiterate and literate. The former wouldn’t know how to go about assisting their children academics. If a child runs to them for assistance in their assignments, they wouldn’t know how to go about it. Some even go as far as sending the child back to the teacher with the assignment untouched.
The latter who are expected to know better don’t make out time for their children especially the working class. Parents now encourage their children to drop out of school in JSS 2 and SSS 2 and prefer to stay home and attend evening lessons to prepare for their BECE and SSCE respectively. In reality, this is just a facade to avoid payment of school fees in JSS 3 and SSS 3 respectively which is relatively expensive in terms of finance and opportunity cost when compared to the evening lessons.
SMARTPHONE
It’s no news most secondary and primary school students now own a smartphone. These students pay more attention to their smartphones rather than their studies. Some of these students bring the phones with or without their parent consent to the classroom and use it to cause all manner of distractions even when there is a teacher in the classroom. Some students now depend on it to cheat during an examination.
CONDUCIVE ENVIRONMENT
The school environment is a vital factor to be considered in the choice of site for school, having in mind its influence on academic performance. The classroom environment is a teaching resource that should not be ignored. Students and teachers spend the majority of their day in school classrooms and it’s the responsibility of government and management to foster an environment conducive for learning.
Stricherz in Higgins et al (2005) stated that the school environment is an important factor that contributes greatly to the learning and assimilating level of the pupils.
According to UKEJE (1970), the health of the pupils is determined by how healthy the school environment is. Adequate space in the compound, toilet facilities, and other appropriate facilities assumed a healthy living in the environment. A dirty compound littered with rubbish by teachers and pupils, bad toilet hazard to the users
Apart from this, Akpan (1992) talked about the disciplinary aspect of the pupils in the school. He said that the discipline of pupils in school significantly depends on the interpersonal relationship exhibited by the headmistress. When interest is shown on the pupils, they are motivated to be effective, punctual to school, partake in curricular activities, and behave well. An environment that lacks discipline tends to breed irresponsible pupils and a high level of performance.
LIBRARY
The school library is a central hub supporting every student and staff member. Most schools especially primary and secondary has no library and students are not oriented about the usefulness of the library to their academic pursuit which has led to poor reading habits. As consequence students in tertiary institutions make little of no use of the library.

Thursday, 14 May 2020

FOOD AS PRESCRIPTION FOR GOOD HEALTH DURING COVID-19

Good nutrition is critical for health, particularly in times when the immune system might be under attack.

Limited access to fresh food may compromise the opportunity to continue eating a healthy and varied diet, even with the limited access to ingredients, one can continue to eat a nutritious and balanced diet.

In other to achieve this, make a plan to buy only essential and healthy products and necessities.
Prepare your meals as this will aid both cash management and health management, this action encourages you to add essential ingredients that boost the immune system and total body wellness. Examples of such are: garlic, ginger, and turmeric, to mention a few.
The portion control will be done by you to promote healthy living and guide against wastes.

During this Lockdown period and beyond, it is advisable, to be active with exercises, ensure strict portion control on sugar and salt, alcohol, and fat intake, do focus more on the consumption of fibers, vegetables, fruits, and water.

Finally, we cannot overemphasize the need to follow safe food handling practices as we have in mind food as our prescription for good health, Some of these practices include keeping your hands and kitchen aid utensils clean, wash raw food especially raw meat, fish thoroughly before cooking and keep raw food separated from cooked food, empty all waste products properly and regularly, use clean water and disinfect surface after use.

It is imperative to reduce visits to crowded places like shops, markets, and malls in a bit to fight against Covid19.

Written by Oghenetega Omaruaye of Tegilicious Caterers and Events