Exclusive: How Feminist Coalition Started

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Successful people always talk about launching projects and figuring out the fine details after. We hear this and usually never apply it, out of fear of failure. For the Feminist Coalition, we spent months planning our launch as a women’s rights advocacy group and yet our roll out was nothing we could have ever predicted.

It all started during a women-only party that Wine & Whine hosted for over 200 young Nigerian women in December 2019, where a friend pulled Damilola Odufuwa aside saying “this could be something more”. A few days later, Damilola proposed to Odunayo Eweniyi the need to create some form of grassroots movement that brought a community of women together to organise around the social, economic and political equality for Nigerian women in a more sustainable way.

While these conversations were ongoing, 2020 happened. COVID-19 came with an increase in gender-based violence in Nigeria and across the world. In June 2020 all Nigerian states declared a state of emergency over rape and gender-based violence and many concerned women, activists and organisations sparked online and offline protests and raised funds for victims and the need for immediate action grew even greater.

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There was a sense of disillusionment and anger about the treatment of women in Nigeria and an even greater urgency to do more.

So in July 2020, Damilola Odufuwa and Odunayo Eweniyi decided to kick off their idea to create a coalition of feminist women with a vision of a Nigeria where equality for all people is a reality in our laws and everyday lives. They approached other women who they considered exceptional leaders who were equally passionate about changing our country and the role of women in it.

Around this time, Ozzy Etomi was also thinking along the lines of how to make organising around women’s issue’s more sustainable and impactful for millions of women across the country, as opposed to the one on one cases that filtered their way to Twitter.

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According to Ozzy, when she read the introductory email from Odun, at that moment it clicked that this sort of organisation was what she had been looking for.

Many have wondered how the founding members were chosen; Odun and Dami had worked with many of the founding members through their individual activism and through Wine & Whine, and so they had a sense of not only their work ethic, but that they were committed to advocating for gender equality. In addition, they carefully selected women who possess strong skills and expertise across various sectors. The shortlist had women who had done work across grassroots community organising, tech, media, public health, non-profit, fintech, gender advocacy and more. Most importantly, they carefully chose women with similar views on feminism and who understood the urgency in the fight for women’s rights in Nigeria.

During the first call, it was quickly agreed that the mission of the Feminist Coalition is to champion equality for women in Nigerian society with a core focus on education, financial freedom and representation in public office.

So how on earth did we get involved in supporting the peaceful #EndSARS movement?

On October 9th, going through social media like everyone else we were upset at the violence unarmed citizens were facing at the hands of police, especially as that same day a woman was shot in the face by a police officer — and we believed that without structure, the protests could turn violent and women would be the most affected.

“What I also know though is that if we lose this SARS fight, women will be the biggest losers still”, Odunayo said to Dami when we debated if we should get involved in the October 2020 #EndSARS movement. The women in the group all agreed and we set a one hour meeting for 9pm WAT/ 8pm GMT on October 9th to strategise and organise.

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We’ve had monthly meetings since our inception in July 2020, but we had not started on any projects yet. We joke that this was a baptism by fire — We designed a logo, set up the website, got some copy assets together, set up our social media, set up the donation accounts, the request forms, the tracking sheets; Fem Co as it’s known today, was literally a reality overnight.

The meeting ended up running for 2 hours and the conclusion at the end was clear.
We would help crowdsource donations for the peaceful End SARS protests. Focusing on food, water, medical, legal aid etc. More details here (P.S. you need a VPN to access this)

The first night we announced the Feminist Coalition’s decision to play a supporting role in the #EndSARS protests, we started the pot with our own funds. As a group we made monthly donations to ensure we could tackle our women’s rights projects but as End SARS became our first project, we pulled some money into it. In a few hours after announcing our decision to support the movement we had ₦807,000 and by the next day (October 10th) we had received donations of over ₦5 million from well-meaning people who believed in the movement.

The support for the movement and the growth in donations was a shock to us. We had zero expectations. In fact, part of the reason we didn’t reveal the names of the founding members was because we know how feminism is perceived in Nigeria and we weren’t sure how much support we would get if our identities were known.

But Nigerians and well-meaning people around the world supported us and for a few days we all felt so proud of the collective passion and kindness Nigerians were displaying.

But a few days later, the reality of the country set in. We woke up to calls from well-meaning people letting us know we were being watched by security agencies and our phones had allegedly been bugged. We all left our homes to seek protection, scared, confused and wondering why a simple request for human rights was being treated as a national security threat.

This didn’t stop us. Many Nigerians were still offering their support and ‘decentralised’ was truly the word of the moment: Before Fem Co decided to support the movement, others were already on the ground providing food, medical support and more for innocent unarmed Nigerians exercising their constitutional rights to protest against police brutality. Our actions spurred more people on to independently help out wherever they could, providing support to fellow Nigerians.

It was a strange combination of feeling like we were making a huge impact, but also not nearly enough.

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Over the week of October 11th 2020, we spent all our days working on different parts of Fem Co — from running our social media, to checking DMs to verify protests, paying bills and setting up a network of lawyers. We worked with other organisations like End SARS Response, Legal Aid Network, Food Coven etc. We were exhausted, juggling full-time jobs, motherhood, family and the paranoia of being targeted by security agencies.

Obbie recalls the seemingly endless overnight phone calls and the early morning statement reviews, the fear, the anxiety, the many glasses of wineIn the thick of it, we were all barely getting any sleep. Odun remembers sleeping about 2 hours a night because like all of us, she was now juggling two jobs — she still had a fintech company to run and suddenly Fem Co had become this fully formed organisation overnight. But juggling roles always means someone will be let down and Tito felt she had to choose: her company or her Fem Co sisters. There was no time, strength or emotional bandwidth to equally support both. For Layo, it meant taking on Fem Co as a second full-time job, sleeping at 5am most days and up by 7:30 again. Laila knew it was her duty as a journalist to cover the protests to the fullest extent and she wasn’t going to let anything stop her from achieving that. But she also had a duty to directly help peaceful protesters and doing both simultaneously was much harder than she thought it could possibly be.

Karo talks about starting and ending everyday with a phone in hand, even making food while on calls with the group, and still having to show up to other parts of her life. For her, Fakhrriyyah and Ire, being abroad, somewhat safe, made them feel guilty as they worried about the safety of the other women in Fem Co and also felt there was a limit to how much support they could offer.

But this didn’t only affect us, it affected our loved ones too. For Dami, seeing her close family members panic every time she picked up her phone or relayed a new update to them was extremely heartbreaking. Jola had to fight off feelings of crippling paranoia and anxiety, so as not to panic her parents. Ozzy recalls times when she thought in horror she may never see her son again.

The fear and exhaustion went into overdrive on October 13th 2020. But we had started and people were counting on us. We realised restrictions had been placed on the Nigerian bank accounts we were using and our payment link with Flutterwave was deactivated — it went into ‘maintenance mode’ and never came back up. Many people who had donated to us or received donations from us have also alleged and complained of restrictions placed on their accounts by certain banks. This forced us to move to decentralised payment platforms and only accept donations in Bitcoin using BTC Pay.

People often ask us, why bitcoin? As a group of tech-savvy women, some who work in the crypto industry, across fintech and also invest in crypto assets, bitcoin was a no-brainer. It came naturally to us because of the many use cases & advantages: remittance, cross-border payments, privacy and transparency to name a few.

Initially, we thought this would slow donations down in great volume. However, with a simple tweet of support and a retweet from Jack Dorsey, we believe we were able to encourage donors to both learn more about cryptocurrencies and continue donating. Thank you Jack. Not only have you supported us, but all young Nigerians who are pained and aggrieved yet awakened and determined to hold our leaders accountable. You lent your voice to the cause and stood with us, encouraging many to feel validated and heard.

While the support from global figures was encouraging, we had our fair share of trolls on Twitter — men determined to spread misinformation about who we are and what we stand for. You know who they are, you saw their vitriol. We strongly believe being called cultists, witches, insurgents, lipstick terrorists and being blamed for sponsored violence (when ALL our efforts were focused on the peace and safety of all Nigerians) was not only damaging, but dangerous. This put our safety at risk and encouraged the intimidation and bullying we endured for weeks from various authorities. We are a women’s rights advocacy group and our mission and vision are clearly visible on our website.

(P.S. our website is still blocked on a number of networks across Nigeria and is inaccessible without a VPN).

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We remained anonymous until October 17th because of the valid concerns for our safety. However we felt we were safer in the public eye and by remaining open and transparent as always. But even revealing our names came with a lot of drama and career losses for some founding members. Since October 22nd, the day we put out our last statement around the End SARS movement, some private organisations (who were very supportive prior to October 20th) have cancelled work events with founding members and their respective women-focused NGOs because of association with End SARS & Fem Co. Ayodeji described it as feeling as though fighting injustice was a crime in itself. She experienced being bullied by organisations she was affiliated with, with demands that she desist any engagement with Fem Co.

The impact of this work on our mental health has been tremendous. As a group, we had a therapy session and each founding member recounted their fears over the month of October — struggle sleeping, anxiety, depression, anger. We were completely exhausted and devastated by the events following October 20th. Seeing so many people affected — family members lost, medical needs, people being arrested etc.

This is why although the recognition our organisation has received in such a short time has been remarkable, it’s also bittersweet. It’s great that we grew in such a short time and that our work is being recognised, but what started out feeling inspiring quickly spiralled to nationwide horror with the unfortunate violence in which many lives were lost, and that leaves a hollow feeling.

But we feel the Feminist Coalition and all Nigerian women who supported the movement against police brutality, have probably made one of the strongest cases in recent Nigerian history of why women deserve to be represented at all levels of leadership. We work hard, and we get the work done. Most of us were doing this while still working our full-time jobs, some while running companies, and also caring for our families.It just lends credence to the fact that women are still very much an underestimated and under rewarded asset both globally, and specifically in our society.

We always joke that Feminist Coalition has sanitized the word feminism for Nigerians. Kiki Mordi recently tweeted“2020 was the year the word feminist was on the front pages of mainstream Nigerian newspapers and it wasn’t an insult.” and we all agree. Ire Aderinokun knew we wanted to incorporate the fist in our logo, which has become a symbol for fighting for justice, with something to symbolise the fact that we are a women’s rights organisation. But when she designed the logo, we never expected to see so many men having the female symbol as their avatars and on t-shirts on the street, and women who were previously scared to associate with feminism embracing it proudly. It was really quite a moment for us.

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Since our October 22nd statement, we have done exactly what we said we would: donated funds for medical to End SARS Response (₦20,114,087.25), mental health to #EndSARSMentalHealthSupport (₦6,121,678.73) and allocated funds to the Legal Aid Network (₦15,741,459.59). We spent months researching and have now successfully donated ₦500,000 each to ~70 victims of police brutality and the families of the deceased, totalling almost ₦35 million. Our target is 80 victims before the end of the year (with a total of over ₦40 million disbursed). We will not be releasing their names for their safety. We also funded a memorial video for the many innocent people who lost their lives to police brutality. RIP to our fallen heroes.

We remain focused on our mission to champion equality for women in Nigerian society and on December 16th, we organised a food drive in Lagos, Nigeria: providing bags of food for 1000 women and their families. We provided bags filled with rice, sachet tomatoes, whole chickens, maggi, salt, face masks (donated to us by C.E.E Industries LTD) and bottles of cooking oil. The entire project — food for 1000 families, transportation, bags etc — amounted to almost ₦8 million and was possible through our personal donations and people who have donated to the work Fem Co is doing specifically for women (and outside of End SARS).

What if I Want to Die! Tems Protests Detention In Uganda

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A video wherein Tems, Nigerian R&B vocalist, could be seen turning down pleas to eat amid her ongoing trial in Uganda has surfaced online and gone viral. 

The ‘For Broken Ears‘ singer was arrested alongside Omah Lay, her Nigerian colleague, over their involvement in an unauthorised concert that held on Saturday night in Ddungu Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala City.

The pair were thereafter remanded in police custody alongside four Ugandans after they were arraigned before a court.

In the now-viral video, which appeared to have been taken inside the courtroom, a woman could be seen pleading with Tems to eat.

But the Nigerian singer, who seemed unhappy with the ongoing ordeal, replied that she would not eat any food.

Not satisfied, the woman appeared to have lectured the singer on the dangers of starving herself.

Tems, whose real name is Temilade Openiyi, however, maintained her earlier stance, noting that she can decide what to do with her body.

https://twitter.com/iveinzell/status/1338552338391429121?s=20

The development comes after Omah Lay also cried out in a Twitter rage, alleging that he has not been given a fair hearing.

Abike Dabiri-Erewa, the chairman of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), had earlier assured that efforts are ongoing to ensure the two singers regain freedom.

Source: TheCableng

Clearance to Die

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Let me tell you guys one small story. I have a small what’s app group called the Duke’s Sales Hub. It brings together young people who are interested in Sales. We discuss sales and its challenges in an economy where the exchange rate is as volatile as a scorned mistresses’ heartbeat. One of the most vibrant young men on the group who is organising an Award ceremony this December posted a picture of himself and Femi Adeshina on the group and spoilt it by saying ‘I admire him’.

The attacks were immediate. He was pilloried. People forgot the fact that for such a young lad without the usual connections’ having the Presidency listening to him was such a remarkable thing.They verbally slapped him in a way and manner that if it was physical he would be a permanent resident at the Igbobi Hospital by now.

He ran to me for cover and I gave him the killer blow. I said ‘ bro I think this person you are admiring has wiped off any good he has done in his past career with the things that is happening now’. With this, he just collapsed and apologised and removed the picture. Right now, he is struggling with the group to regain his credibility as members have vowed not to attend his show.

Such is the low ebb that the people of Nigeria are taking this administration and its errant officials. And with statements like these, you will begin not to blame the people.

Are this people mad? Please forgive me. Who makes that kind of statement even when drunk from the juices of a diseased prostitute’s decayed tunnel. Who wakes up and in his right senses to utter such gory and imbecilic statement in the face of such a dastardly and wanton destruction of lives especially  with the administration’s seeming helplessness.

This is why I had said in the recent past that the only thing we can do right now is to hunker down and wait till 2023 since any attempt at protesting will now be taken as an attempt at regime change.

Funny abi, the Boko Haram overlords and the bandits taking lives at will and destroying infrastructure and the rest are not doing regime change o, it is the people who will just be standing and raising their voices and hands in tears, plea and supplication that are now enemies of state.

Make we just siddon, cover our heads with rags and wait till 2023, he no too far again.

Na wa.

Words by Duke of Shomolu

Its A Boy ! Bluetoolz Media Congratulates Ooni of Ife

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We at Bluetoolz Media extend our hearty congratulations!!! to His Royal Majesty, The Ooni of Ile-Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi and his wife, Olori Moronke Naomi Silekunola who both welcomed a son.

The excited father took to his official Instagram page to share the good news, also stating that both mother and child are doing well. He said,

To God be the glory great things he has done. Hearty congratulations to the entire House of Oduduwa and Olori Silekunola who today birthed a Prince to the Royal throne of Oduduwa. Mother and child are doing well to the glory of God Almighty.

Twitter Disrupts With New Feature! “Fleets” I See How To Use

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Twitter has joined other platforms like Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram on the ephemeral sharing train as it introduces “Fleet”.

They’re basically photos, videos and texts you can post on Twitter but they’re not actual tweets. Fleets live for 24 hours and disappear. Yeah, just like stories.

According to Twitter, it believes this will encourage more people especially new users who hardly tweet, to express their thoughts more freely.

Users might not want to tweet more “casual thoughts,” so maybe they’ll Fleet them:

Those new to Twitter found Fleets to be an easier way to share what’s on their mind. Because they disappear from view after a day, Fleets helped people feel more comfortable sharing personal and casual thoughts, opinions, and feelings. These are early findings from our tests and we’re excited to learn more about how Fleets are used by you.

How does it work? According to Fast Company

1. Tap the “Share” icon at the bottom on a tweet.

2. Select “Share in Fleet.”

3. Add whatever you want—text, photos, videos, emojis, etc.

4. If you choose to, customize your background and text.

Cashmore Empowers more Nigerians to earn Millions From Their Recharge

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This was made known during the launch of the multi-level networking and Value Added Services (VAS) earning platform. The Executive Director, CashMore, Caroline Omotosho expressed her excitement as she recounted the limitless possibilities CashMore holds for Nigerians. In her words: “CashMore represents a deeper significance to show Nigerians that each of their actions counts. The platform provides individuals with the opportunity to collectively build wealth and attain financial freedom at their own pace.” 

CashMore is a Virtual Top-up (VTU), data and utility payments (VAS) provider offering everyone the chance to earn passive income from recharge, transactions and referrals. On CashMore, users earn between 4% – 0.35% on every transaction and that of their referrals. 
Abegunde Adeogo, a Network Leader described CashMore.ng as easy and trusted. He stated that: “All the questions I had in mind coming to this launch have been answered, I love the intelligence that went into the CashMore platform and I commend the management. It is easy to use and for me, any platform that is easy as this can be trusted”. 

The Group Head, CashMore and VAS also iterated that: “In a country with over 100 million active sims and about 50% of the population are urban dwellers, Nigerians make daily unsuspecting transactions in millions, empowering the banks and telecoms companies. That is why CashMore is here to spread the wealth and give Nigerians a fighting chance towards their financial freedom.” CashMore is a product of CapitalSage, an integrated digital financial service group, providing people-driven empowerment and inclusive solutions for individuals and businesses for sustainable value and wealth creation in Africa.


Unlike any other platform, CashMore.ng is powered by robust technology and partners, allowing millions of Nigerians to earn daily while they make instant airtime and data top-up, Pay-TV subscription and utility bill payments. Visit www.cashmore.ng to start earning, also click here to download the CashMore App on Google Playstore.
Instagram: @Cashmore_Nigeria
Twitter: @Cashmore_NG 
Facebook: CashMore 

Alleged Hacking Of DSTV, GoTV: Good Use Of PR

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Some Nigerians on social media have been making claims that systems belonging to Multichoice PayTV platforms, DStv and GOtv, were hacked on Sunday October 18.

Many on Twitter claimed that some hackers who simply identified themselves as ‘Anonymous’ were behind it.

‘Anonymous’ became popular on Twitter recently, claiming responsibility for the hack of the social media accounts and websites of some government agencies as part of its support for the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.

TheCable had earlier reported how the group had hacked the Twitter account of the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) as well as the website of the Nigeria Police Force..

Before now, the number of DStv and GOtv channels accessible to users is determined by the package one is subscribed to.

However, all channels available on the platforms were available to customers irrespective of their subscription status or bouquet.

As a followup to this DSTV trended massively on twitter with mixed reactions.

When contacted on Sunday, DStv told TheCable that the development is due to an “upgrade in its billing, payment and self-service platforms”.

“Dear customer, please be informed that we are currently carrying out an upgrade or our systems, hence our billing, payment and self-service platforms are all unavailable at the moment,” it said.

“Regular business operations would resume tomorrow, October 19, 2020. Thank you for choosing DStv.”

Checks on DStv’s website also revealed that there was a notification informing users that its systems would be subjected to an upgrade between 11pm on October 17 to 4pm on October 19.

Over and above, it was a win-win for DSTV as it was a subtle use of good public relations.

Ndigbo To The World: Okonjo-Iweala On Final Shortlist For WTO DG

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Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, former minister of finance, says she is yet to be declared director-general of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The final shortlist for the office of the WTO DG was released by the trade body on Thursday.

Okonjo-Iweala and Yoo Myung-hee, former South Korean minister of trade, are the two final candidates for the top position in WTO.

Whoever emerges between the duo will become the first female WTO DG since the organisation was set up 25 years ago.

Following the announcement of Okonjo-Iweala as a final contestant for the role, information has been spreading on several platforms across social media that she has been declared winner.

But in a statement, Paul Nwabuikwu, Okonjo-Iweala’s media adviser, said the ex-minister has not been declared winner.

Nwabuikwu said the race is ongoing, adding that a winner will be announced in two to three weeks.

“The race for the WTO director-general is still very much on. Contrary to inaccurate information released online by an unidentified source, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is yet to be declared winner,” The statement reads.

“As announced by WTO, the former managing director of the World Bank and South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee are the final two contestants left in the race.

“The winner should be announced in two to three weeks. That remains the correct position.

“Dr Okonjo-Iweala is appreciative and energised by the enthusiastic support of Nigerians. And she is urging all to keep praying until the final whistle.”

OPINION: Why Laycon Won Big Brother

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Dorathy hugs Laycon after he is announced as the winner of Big Brother Naija Lockdown

A reality TV show aiming to name a king at the end is supposed to be suspenseful. But there was no suspense at the BBN 2020 Finale, only a theme: Laycon’s Coronation. Bring your tuxedos, wear your agbadas, tie your gele.

It was obvious for weeks—at least for anyone on Twitter. His name with some random suffix was on the list of trends weekly. People just liked to talk about the guy.

Sure, his record label appeared to have pumped some money into his campaign. But many many tweets were not the generic content you get when you pay a platoon of influencers. A lot of it was people praising his talent, taking his side in a fight, or admiring his composure.

But, of course, the motivation behind all of these was just under the surface: Laycon didn’t win because he was exceptionally gifted; he won because he was exceptional in being unexceptional. He was the ordinary guy in an ordinary country.

Of the housemates lodged in Big Brother’s house, he was the representative of Nigeria’s most frequently encountered demographic: male, averagely educated, neither ugly nor breathtaking, possibly under-employed, certainly under-paid, “sexually enthusiastic”, likes hiphop music, and falls for pretty girls. You know this man. In fact, every Nigerian man below 45 has at least two of those qualities, and every Nigerian man not born to Otedola or Dangote or someone within that tax bracket, looks in the mirror and sees or has seen Laycon give or take some musculature.

There are only two ways of preventing such a representative person from winning a reality show like BBN in a poor country: a contestant with crazy obvious level of talent/charisma, or an equally relatable female contestant.

In the conspicuous absence of the first, enter Erica.

***

For women in the spotlight, beauty can be a double-edged sword. It can propel ambition, but it can also spark envy in the hearts of the same people you need to thrive. Miss Nlewedim is one of the fortunate ones with the type of beauty that feels grounded. (“Girl next door” is a tired but apt phrase for the lady.) It is almost certainly why Laycon figured he had a chance with her rather than with, say, Nengi, a woman who, to the average guy, would seem of surreal dimensions and carved—or, ahem, surgically created—out of unattainable material.

Erica drew viewers in. They liked her. And, to my mind, if BBN votes were only for those who watched the show religiously, Erica would have won. As it happened, this year was one of those years where drama in the house forces non-watchers to get heavily involved. And in a year where football went on a break and entertainment options were few, everybody and their uncle had a fill of the major narratives in the BBN house. Suddenly, it was a battle between the regular David and the pretty girl Goliath.

This was an incredibly profitable thing for the organisers of Big Brother: not only would people vote and vote to ensure their favourite housemate stays, but they would do so just to have bragging rights over fans of a rival housemate. In reality TV’s business model, love might be good business but love + hate is way bigger business.

And by not revealing the voting pattern until the end of the week, the model ensures fans have a motivation to keep voting blind, hoping that that little extra can take their favourite contestant over and above her rival. We would never know now but Erica and Laycon’s votes were probably about even until the Gordon’s episode.

Erica’s gin-soaked rant had two consequences: it got her evicted and deepened the Goliath vs David narrative.

A beautiful woman with a growing career vs a very average guy hustling his way into Africa’s biggest self-advertising platform. Plus, the guy kept smiling throughout the tirade, pissing his adversary off but winning fans over.

The underdog kept his head, and when clips reached social media, the underdog story was fully written. Goliath will kill David in the material world, but here was a chance for viewers to help rewrite an underdog’s story. Men, many of whom have probably had a beautiful woman destroy their romantic dreams, rooted for their avatar Laycon in droves. Erica won no new fans because women were already watching the show and voting for her. And because she couldn’t keep her rage under control in a controlled environment, she got disqualified.

Following Erica’s disqualification, the road to victory was clear, because no other housemate had created an equal emotional deposit in the hearts of viewers like Laycon. As even Laycon fans must admit, there would have been no 60% landslide for Laycon with Erica in the house. Nobody else had inspired deep hate or intense love.

Sure, people liked Kiddwaya’s chill demeanour, but how many Nigerians see their own stories in a billionaire’s son? Sure, Ozo was articulate, but Nigerian men are not raised to show his kind of vulnerability to Nengi so publicly. Vee/Neo were sealed in their own hermetic chamber, barely visible to both audience and housemates; Neo didn’t even get nominated throughout. Dorathy was also loved but, pardon the pun, she wasn’t fierce: she was never really the centre of a sustained conflict.

So for someone whose win was inevitable, Laycon subverted conventional wisdom: The one-eyed man might be king of the blind but unless he’s incredibly favoured, one of the blind is almost certain to be the most relatable. In 2020’s Nigeria, that person is Laycon. Laycon was all of us. But because of all of us, he is no longer one of us.

And that is just fine. The question now is: what next? It’s your move, Laycon. You can be Ebuka or you can be Efe. Whatever the case, Icons and the rest of us will be watching.

Photo CreditAfricaMagic

Words by Oris Aigbokhaevbolo is an award-winning writer, media consultant and creative entrepreneur. He runs the writing academy Write with Style and the boutique editorial and media consultancy firm C&B, which helps young filmmakers/musicians/artists shape their brand and get noticed locally and internationally in a crowded media space. He’s on Twitter: @catchoris. And Instagram: @catchorisgram

FIREWORKS: Obaseki Tells Edo People To Reject Tinubu

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State

A media aide to Governor Godwin Obaseki, Crusoe Osagie, has said that the former Lagos state governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, cannot extend his political empire to Edo, adding that the people of the state are determined to end godfatherism in their domain. Osagie was reacting to a viral video of Tinubu asking the people of Edo state not to vote for Governor Obaseki.

In a statement issued in Benin city, the Edo state capital on Tuesday, September 15, Osagie said: “Tinubu, in his quest to extend his political dominance and empire to Edo State, decided to take over the role of Edo people to choose through the ballot who to govern them for the next four years.”

Osagie noted: “It has become obvious that the spirited fight which Edo people have put up against godfatherism has sent tremors beyond the shores of Edo to the likes of Tinubu, who has for years sustained a stranglehold on Lagos and other states in southwestern Nigeria. “Hence this desperate, last-ditch effort to rescue the unproductive political instrument, now popularly referred to as godfatherism, with which he has feathered his nest and built his political empire at the expense of the people.”

Stressing that Edo people are committed to ending godfatherism in the state, he said: “Tinubu knows clearly that come September 19, when godfatherism would have been dismantled in Edo state, the people of Lagos may just have found the recipe and formula for removing the chokehold placed on their collective destinies for decades by Tinubu, hence the inciting television broadcast.

“He should take note that Edo people do not yield their will, liberty and power of choice to oppressive figures because they are perceived to have economic and political means.

“We always chase noble causes and a little study of our history should show Tinubu the indomitable spirit of the Edo person. “We call on all Edo people, friends of Nigeria and all lovers of democracy to disregard all the comments by Tinubu, as the allegations about the Edo state House of Assembly and other claims in the broadcast are completely false.

“We urge the irrepressible people of Edo state to disregard the threats and come out en-masse on September 19 to vote for Governor Godwin Obaseki and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), as their voice and vote are supreme in the governorship contest.”