Saturday, May 23, 2009


It is like a baby implanted in a mother's womb, incubated and nurtured a full life. A seed is dropped on the ground by a bird, through a storm or from the waste products of a feeding animal and the seed is eventually covered by dirt. With heat strong enough and a released potential energy, the seed opens up and shoots out tentacles refusing to move out of the area. For days, the energy stored previously long ago in combination with other factors are now released to nurse the infant roots that are now emerging and looking for food in the dirt. Soon, the roots become stronger and start feeding profusely to nurse another part of this early life of a growing tree. Now, the seed case had been discarded, the roots are firmly attached to the ground and the new born that sprouts out of the seed is ready for a full life. In no time, the art of breathing, manufacturing, transportation of water and nutrients as food are fully developed. Henceforth, the sun, rain, and air will play a big role for the young Iroko tree. As for the leaves, their greenish properties are what they will use to harness the sun's energy through photosynthesis. Where this young and vibrant tree was brought to life, others had already matured and are confident to stay alive for many years on the earth. If the humans don't come calling to cut or totally destroy and the other animals don't feed on it, our young tree then begins to grow at full speed, becoming strong and nurtured by underworld of percolating water nitrogenous wastes from the earthworms. Earthworms? Yes. How can those roots feed the tree successfuly with many confronting odds? The dry leaves falling off of the matured trees in the forest, the discarded branches of the other trees, the birds droppings on the floor of the forest, those shedding skins of the forest snakes, the waste products left behind by those snails mixed with last year heavy down pour of rain and the decayed falling tree brought about by the strongest storm recorded years back have all been worked on and rolled into a black manure soil, rich in nutrients through tens and hundreds of burrowing earthworms! All of these will become the source of nutrients for our young tree. On watching how vibrant the tree has become, one sees a young tree full of life. It is not going to be a stunted specie, therefore, it needs to find its way up and above all trees. The penetrating rays of the sun within the forest will not be enough for the Iroko tree. It must feed fast, grow fast and strong among the roots of minor trees. Around that would have to be compromised and die off in the process to give way for an Iroko roots. When you have one or more of the same tree, then, interlocking compromise must be the order of nature. The roots of the Iroko tree will cross paths, they will have to decide on where to point their branches, geotropism, phototropism become a path of survival - survival of the fittest. Now, you could wonder how those nutrients and water are transported from those microscopic cells of those roots to miles up there to feed the branches and nurture the leaves of the giant Iroko. The same way humans develop their venous and arterioles existence, so also the tree had refined and perfected survival thousands of years to this day. That tree will breathe, eat, drink, manufacture, store foods and produce flowers and seeds all for survival.

Photosynthesis that is now been duly copied by humans in harnessing sun's energy by using voltaic cells or solar panels had been thought off and perfected by those trees for years. When you see a tall, strong and heavy trunks of an Iroko tree, think of how it got to be so. When you enter a thick forest during a summer day and you encounter a cool, wet, serene or a noisy atmosphere by happy birds, romantic animal calls and activities within the forest, think of natures gifts and of course Iroko befitting empire. The world is now crying for green revolution, realising the need to give nature its befitting accolades. The oxygen and carbondioxide air exchange between plants and animals, a delicate balance of nature, must be respected and guarded diligently, otherwise our planet earth might be doomed. Plant a tree and save a life.

Written by Dr.O Almaroof

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Nigerians are killing and maiming themselves all in the name of making a living. The menace of "Okada riders on Lagos roads are enough to sicken the hearts. The State Government claims the effort to regulate the activities of 'Okada' riders on Lagos roads is working.

Is it really working? An " Okada rider was on a last leg of dropping his passenger, looked back to negotiate a corner, lost control and on a head-on-collision completely lost his right arm that was completely severed from his body. He was taken to Lagos University Hospital, not by paramedics or ambulance but by other "Okada' riders who separately transported his arm and his body to the hospital.

Another Okada rider lost control on a narrow crowded street, ran into a 47 year old lady standing in front of her house; instantaneously, the Okada man , without a head helmet died; killed an innocent bystander and injured two more pedestrians on the same side of the road.

My colleagues at home are claiming that the orthopedic beds in the hospitals are almost out of reach to other patients after being occupied by injured Okada riders, the passengers and their victims.

On a Sunday afternoon, a lady and her grown-up daughter returning from a church service, flagged down an Okada for a ten -block ride back home; two blocks to their destination, a truck, trying to avoid collision ran into them, both mother and daughter were almost thrown into the opposite traffic. They eventually ended up in a near hospital with several stitches on their heads and for closing other lacerations.

When will these stop? A very serious, unending accidents due to the menace of Okada riders or operators are now issues to be taken up by all concerned citizens. What does it really take to construct roads and add more buses for commuters? "Cry my beloved Country". It reminds me of my last trip to Nigeria, I was seeking for a lawyer's advice to take three states , Lagos, Ogun and Oyo , joined with the Federal Government of Nigerian, to court for them to explain why Lagos- Ibadan highway remained the way it was and continued to claim lives young and old, rich and the poor over many decades.

Interstate roads are the responsibility of the State. When the Federal Government shies away from taking responsibility, the State moves in to fill the void and constitutionally demand for money expended for federal responsibility.

Until we all can come to terms with civilized games of politics, activism, telling truth to power, organizing to file papers in Court and forming pressure groups, will life be better for younger generation.

Written by Dr. O. R. Almaroof.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


No matter how we analyse the forces that came to play leading to the election of Senator Barack Obama as President of the United States of America , his election was a political miracle with him as the chief performer.
Starting from his victory over Senator Hillary Clinton in the most keenly contested Democratic primary in history and his victory over Senator John McCain of the Republican party , Obama was his own man. He remained focused and confident throughout and remained his own chief campaign organizer without diminishing the capability of his campaign team which was par excellent working to the letter in achieving its goal deserving credit for every of its step. It was fantastic and would remain a useful intellectual case studies for political organizers for many many years. His campaign team outfit was unbelievably perfect working to target scientifically beating all odds making a lie of traditional political analysts.
Did race play a part ? Yes. Nothing in America is racial free but Obama demonstrated ,
that he knew America, being the product of white and black America , and knew how to manipulate the negative factors to achieve positive results.
And Obama has more than a fair share of negative factors.
Besides being a black American, his father was a foreign Muslim with a living Muslim mother living in a north African country of Kenya at a time America was engaged in war against two Muslim nations fighting terrorism inspired by Islamic fundamentalism. To make the matter worse, Obama shares the same name with the much hated Saddam Hussein and his name Obama has a resemblance to the much dreaded Osama Bin Laden that it was miswritten Osama in some of the ballot papers. The election of Barack Obama as President must be a miracle in more than one aspect of defeating the Clinton machinery in the democratic party primaries.
To say that he was voted in because he was a black man with an African father can not be scientifically defended but it can not be totally without merit. It is possible that Obama born by a white American mother and an African Immigrant father, was able to demonstrate that though he is an African American , he did not share the bitterness that goes with the temptation to revenge for historical slave relation racial prejudice. Until his inauguration speech, he did not orchestrate his paternal back ground or his middle name Hussein even though he never at anytime denied them . When his opponent wanted to draw him to discuss his African background by publishing the picture of his African grand mother to demonstrate his 'foreignness', he tactictifully denied them the opportunity to make it a campaign issue by playing it down. Instead, he focused on the lessons he learned from his maternal background, his white grand parents and their contribution to his upbringing thereby assuring the white voters that he would not be a 'black' President. On the other hand he was effectively using the blackness of his parents -in- law, his wife, Michelle herself, to remind the black community that he was one of them always reminding them how he sharpened his political sword through serving them in the South side of Chicago as a community organizer.
And when his white grand mother was sick, he demonstrated how indebted he was to her by suspending his campaign to visit her on her sick bed and this must have registered positively to independents and some republican white voters that he was one of them.
Nevertheless, Obama did not act white but refused to be drawn into 'blackness' realm of black nationalists of the type of Mayor Andrew Young, Rev. Jesse Jackson and indefatigable Rev. AL Sharpton. And this is understandable, as Rev. Al Sharpton would defend him, he was running to be president of the United States.
To demonstrate his blackness at one occasion, when Obama was asked if he believed that President Bill Clinton was the first 'black' President, he tactfully responded that he would only judge him by the manner of his dancing if he was a 'brother.'
One must give credit to his wife Michelle, and all his campaign team especially his Campaign Manager, Mr. David Plouffe, for strictly following the footstep of Candidate Barack Obama throughout the campaign .
The black community demonstrated a kind of behavior that did not alienate the white voters throughout the campaign and it must be credited for this.
It was difficult for many of us to see the change coming so soon but every change is always a surprise and can only be engineered by the freshness of the youths who are usually the agent of such change which was the case with the election of Barack Obama as President of the United State of America.
Obama's victory should be seen in the context of the cummulated struggle for the emancipation of the black race in America, an epitome of which is the human rights movement championed by Martin Luther King, a hero of all times. His election should be seen as a pride to black race and a victory to America.
By Bari Salau