Nine Random Feelings 

1.

Hugging someone you love and being hugged tighter in return. The feeling of home in a person. 

 2.

Staring through the window from the back seat of a bus and watching different persons walk by. You realize you’re one of a billion people in existence and maybe no one, not even the Creator cares you’re alive.  And in the appearance of perfection in certain transient beings, you suddenly wish your life was different and somehow you were older, prettier, richer, smarter or at least luckier. 

3. 

The uncertainty in your belly and constriction of your chest when you remember the first four lines of a poem from an English textbook in primary 4 even though you cannot recollect the name or face of your English teacher anymore. 

“What has fate in store for me, 

Riches , happiness and all the best?

 Poverty, misery and all the worst? 

 I must now have my future unfolded”

And somehow in your nine-year-old head you’re conscious of how unsure, full of doubt life is and how the fear of the morrow is the greatest of all fears. 

4.

Climbing the kitchen wooden stool to look through the mirror lens on the front door, wondering if someday you’d grow tall enough to see through without a stool. Contemplating if you’d ever be tall enough, big enough, old enough. Pondering if life would let you grow up. 

5.

The nostalgic feeling of wanting to be young again and reliving certain moments all over. 

-Hearing Don Williams and Kenny Rogers play from the audio player in your Father’s room and trying to cram the lyrics of “Cowards of County” and “I believe in you”.

-Being unable to sleep every afternoon, while praying everyone else naps for the next one year like the characters in “Sleeping Beauty” so you can continue to read a book, day dream or play with yourself alone on the floor in the sitting room, for forever

6. 

Walking a lengthy lonely road all by yourself. Kicking up dusts and thinking about everything and nothing. And hoping that suddenly, along the way, you’d meet a miracle that would change your life and bring a smile. 

7.

The numb feeling when you receive the news of a person’s death. All you want to know was their last thoughts. 

8. 

Trying to figure out when and how you’d die.

– Maybe while out swimming with friends, you’d feel a tightening in your chest from water trying to choke your breath. A certain form of cleansing, baptism – if indeed this is how it feels to drown. 

Or maybe on a sad, cold depressed evening you’d choose to overdose on pills because it’s easier and peaceful. 

And if you’re lucky, you’d perchance grow old with a glow at your side, after a lifetime together, hands clasped in true love that really was forever, as your spirits fly into the heavens. 

Whichever way it happens, you know it would be nice to get a notification before it’s time. Maybe then you’d do it right. Yeah, get to die right. 

9.

Lastly, finding yourself in darkness. After existence. And realizing there’s no heaven, hell or forever. It’s just you alone with your memories in nothingness. 

Preshy Lala 

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2017 – The Year of Learning and Relearning 

Happy New Year beautiful people of LaLa Land.  Yes, I know this is coming late as it is already nine days into the new year – I might have started this post a year ago and failed to complete it (these a year ago jokes really must stop lol) . I’d blame my upcoming school exams for the delay in completion. There really should be a law against writing exams in January and during harmattan. It is just not fair. 

For those who have been subscribers of my blog for the last two years – beautiful people, I appreciate you all – you would understand that my tagline changes every year. 2017 was tagged “discovering what really matters” and the tag came really late amidst waiting for the euphoria of a new year. There was me anticipating the sensation, push and difference that comes with a new year, wanting spontaneity, while watching days slip by until I seized responsibility for my existence and decisions.

Yet, 2018 is about being even more intentional and I have decided that my goal is growth. I understand that I am not who I was yesterday, this girl has learnt a number of lessons albeit amidst a lot of dissatisfactions and uncertainties.

 The Seven Lessons of 2017

  • It does not really matter

    The conclusion to my journey of discovering what really mattered was that it never actually mattered. Those sleepless nights I tried to figure out if stuffs would work out, had constant nightmares replaying my fear of failing, I really should have just slept. When I reeled in regrets over mistakes and wrong decisions, I really should have just let go and moved on. 

    I told my friend Olamide that the number of times I cried in 2017 was altogether more than all the tears I cried my whole life. Something always went wrong.  Early into the year, my PC crashed and I lost every single backup for over five years, a 20 page plus assignment, a journal and everything you can think of.  There was the persistent health battles and body pains. The falling CGPA and constant failures. The regular rejections even after a lot of hard work. In 2017, Buchi Emecheta, Don WIlliams, and Jennie died. Family law gave me a 56 out of 100. I had the weirdest set of roommates and for the first time I really hated the one whole year I had to spend in a room all through.I made and lost friends.

    I stuttered, stammered and gained confidence. I broke down over and over and over again. Yet in the end, I only learnt that it did not actually matter. The tears, anger, frustration and disappointments. The end was that it was going to be okay anyway and in a little while, it would just be a string of letters on my blog reminding me there was a time things were tough.

    For 2018 – worry less, praise more

    • Choose your day

    This lesson came to me the first part of the year and in a funny way, I forgot all through till the year ended. I let the actions, reactions and inactions of certain persons determine how I felt about everything else and never again would I let anyone except myself have that power over me. The plan is to make decisions independent of emotions, stop waiting for a spark to start, but rather be my own catalyst. 

    • Building the right friendships matters

    I never realized that I was one of those persons who found it easy to just refer to anyone as “a friend” until I received an extremely long lecture from Mo. I neglected to consciously separate acquaintances from friends and I had never deliberately chose a friend myself. Consequently, I was just really surrounded by everybody and nobody. In 2017, I made a mental catalogue of who were my friends and weren’t and what is left is a really tight list to those who actually matter.

    Thanks to Instagram for keeping this picture for me. February 2017, OAU. One of the many I lost when my PC crashed less than a month later. The day before I learnt the importance of the right friendships and valuing friends

    • It is really okay to cry

    In a year were seeds of disappointments birthed fruits of tears, I accepted that I was human and it was okay to meltdown. That crying doesn’t make me weak and breaking down simply builds me up stronger.

    • I think I don’t know law anymore

    I had my lowest grades ever last year and I immediately panicked. What if I really never knew Law and I had just been lucky? I only aced a law course and the rest was just a struggle for the lower grades. Of course, I was disappointed but there is me also being grateful knowing it could have been worse. Law please be nice this year and let me make my mom and dad proud. 

    • Things Always Fall into place

    Life never really happens the way we plan, if it did we would never have uncertainties and be scared of the ‘morrow. Imagine knowing everything would be perfect, there would no longer be a need for a God and life would just be a community of clashes worse than we have now. Different people with opposing needs would battle for the supremacy of theirs in a planet of pride, self and conceit devoid of both humility and love for others.

    Truth is, things take time and would happen when they are supposed to. There is no point beating yourself over past mistakes or unending questions of doubt.

    From my addiction to the popular BreakOrMakeup Instagram page, I observed that many girls got pregnant for the wrong person outside marriage and had to deal with being single moms. In my society, this is the ultimate stigma. Your parents would never stop the taunt with their eyes, gestures and sometimes harsh words even after they have forgiven you. And until you accept your flaws and mistakes, you would simply cry over and over wishing you had control over time.

    • God Speaks and Listens

    2017 was the first time I actually heard God speak clearly with accurate words of knowledge concerning certain things. A time in which my spiritual life was predominantly a fluctuation of the high and low, God spoke and listened. I am grateful for this miracle, for having a best friend, comforter and helper in the Holy Spirit. Most of all, for God’s word which is always a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 

    Dear 2018,

    The tag is Evolving and the goal is growing into who I’m supposed to be. 


    Preshy Lala

    This is definitely the best picture of 2017

    2017 Special Credit – O.E.O, the glow in my dark ♥ 

    Things Fall Apart To Fall Into Place 

    This is a three in one article and it might be lengthy, kindly permit me. The fact that I have not written in a while is not because there was nothing to write about but because I have truly been busy. Very busy. (Ps: I started the birthday writeup on the 30th of October and never got to edit and post)

    The birthday

    The time says 11:37pm and somehow, I hope I would complete this post before 12. Yet if I do not, I understand it does not really matter because I have grown and with growth comes understanding. Today, I turned 19.

    I believe it is a criminal offence to own a personal blog and not write a birthday post. Notwithstanding my other pending responsibilities, I write this even as the day comes to an end. Truth is, I planned to breeze through today, take time out to maybe quietly ruminate on why I have had pimples since JSS1 alongside other serious philosophical questions. Somehow, it turned out a whole lot different and yet I want to shout Eureka, I have found it.

    For those who do not know my age, I am 19. I learnt to pretend I was older than my age from secondary school and some way, I thought it was easier to get respect and escape the awful jokes made at younger persons by pretending I was the same age as the bullies. But truth is, while we all made awful jokes at Marvellous for being 14 and immature, I was also 14 too not 16. And slowly, I learnt to be ashamed of my real age, at being too young to be so smart and then lie I was older to be let into the adult jokes and escape the ridicule thrown at younger persons for simply being young. 

    But today I became 19 and today I have decided to be 19. I have decided to not care if anyone thinks I am too young to be a year 3 law student, to have achieved certain things or to be aiming to achieve certain things.

    Somehow, this is getting cliché on my blog but indeed I am grateful today. For religion, that makes death less fearful. For family, my origin and squad. For friends, ever supportive and full of love. For myself, because I have grown.

    A week back I thought my life was a mess because I had so many things to do and somehow it felt like I wasn’t in control. I might have cried a couple of times but this only proves I do not have it easy as it seems and I do deal with my fears, sometimes with tears. I have two debates coming up and truth is I am scared. Scared of that one thing I do not know yet when I would overcome it, failure. 

    They say man is evil, mean and wicked. But today all I see is beautiful people. Or maybe I have never met man himself. To call specific names of persons who made 19 worth looking forward is an avenue to commit the offence of omission and yet I have to call certain names. 

    Dear john, thank you for passing by one random Sunday and listening to a stranger. Dear Nifemi, thank you for always being the best you can be, it amazes me every day. Dear Moyo, thank you for reminding me of how much I have grown, sometimes I do forget. Dear Bakar, thanks for eventually being the one to make me cry, your beautiful words are inscribed in stone. Dear beautiful people, thank you for being beautiful people and reminding a girl of what love means. Dear Precious, thank you for being me and I you. Most of all, Dear God, thank you for being a father to a silly, lazy, confused 19-year-old girl still trying to understand who you are and how she fits into your plan.

    For everyone who described me as “full of life”, I would try my best to indeed live life and not disappoint you guys.

    Happy 19th birthday Precious Akinkuolie. Do not forget to value love and friendship. Do not take people for granted. Do not stop being you, even the newer version that evolves every day. And most of all, when it seems like someone has taken over the wheels of your life and you are not in control, remember you have two options. To either snatch the wheels, sit comfortably on the car seat and decide how you want your life to go or you can move to the other seat and calmly leave the fight for control to God while scrolling through Instagram and wasting your data on Maraji.
    The breakdown

    The truth is people who smile might not be happy and behind the laughter and excitement might be rivers of tears and a lot of breakdowns. I have reached that point in the semester where I start questioning the decisions that brought me to where I am. Though this time I do not question why I decided to study law and not psychology or sociology that I could have probably passed easily, but rather I wonder how I became involved in so many things that I really am unable to breathe. Actually, I literally am unable to breathe.

    The fact is most people consider me oversabi or too ambitious due to my interest in so many activities. At a point, I might have started listening until Diran said something like, “this generation does so little that when a person finally does a little more it seems like too much”. This stuck yeah and indeed has kept me going. But somehow, I cracked under the pressure and a little health issue might have played a huge role in this too. With so many tests coming up, a summit, the debates and the fact that I had only completely read only one course out of 7 and somehow my CGPA decided to sway to and fro like a tattered kite from the poem “boy on a swing” coupled with a terrible ex-best friend, I ended up with a mental collapse. But with good friends come strength to go through anything and if I learnt anything from this breakdown, it is to stay away from toxic people or anyone or anything that brings stress or problem in any unnecessary manner, not because I am self-centered but because I understand the importance of a good mental state to life. (just in case you are down, depressed or going through a breakdown, please stay away from drugs, kick out toxicity and hold on to beautiful and good friends). 

    The Failure 

    And yes, this is the best part. For those who know me well, this is my greatest fear and the reason why when I try new things I tell no one until it works out so when I fail I get to deal with it alone. I write this post about three hours after my debate at Jaw war and after a lot of tears (It’s hard writing so many personal stuffs here as it feels I’m saying too much and opening up too wide, yet I try to tell myself it’s important I come back a long time later to measure how much I have grown and see how far I have come).

    I have had two failures back to back and if I am to add my tort test where I used the wrong principles and cases especially describing a monkey as a non-dangerous animal and a dog as dangerous under the tort of strict liability relating to animals (if you don’t understand the legal jargons just skip lol), then we are counting three. The first was when I forgot my lines at a debate competition and ruined my partners chance of winning a large sum of money even when he gave a 100% perfect speech and the second, today where I lost a competition I worked really hard for. At this point, I can totally claim I have lost whatever speaking skills I have with this back to back failure and total wastage of every single hard work, sleepless night, horrible back positions I had to put into it.  But isn’t this disappointing Mr. Adeniyi and claiming his hours of trainings and constant belief in me in ss2 was useless? And maybe as my second speaker said today, “good things fall apart so better things can fall in place”.

    Truth is, I don’t think I have overcome my fear of failure or I will anytime soon but is insisting I want to speak again and try again a sign of progress? I really do not know.

    Just so you know, my heart did not drum today like it did the yesterdays and maybe someday I would wear my failure with pride and agree I have tried. But until then, I only pray that I don’t get disappointed, rejected or have to cry to sleep anymore because what I worked hard for did not fall into place.

     Dear beautiful people especially you who cared enough to read to the end, let’s live and not breeze through life, cry and not fake the smile and constantly remind ourselves we are greater than our very own imagination, shall we?


    Preshy Lala 

    ​It’s okay, for everything not to be okay

    When I was a kid, one of the first lessons I learnt from experience and on my own was that something would always go wrong. I didn’t have to read a motivational book or the sayings of an old man, I just figured it out before I learnt the pronunciation of “bouquet”. 
    In that tiny little mind of mine, whenever I was very happy or everything was working out well, I’d tell myself, “Calm down girl, it’s coming”.

    It was always a pattern, a painful one. Soon after I get my dreamed 90% grade in school, I’d break my mother’s mirror. Or after getting a thousand naira dash from an uncle, I’d eventually misplace my new earrings. It was a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good. 

    At first I was angry, especially at God. Growing up in a Christian family, I understood God controlled everything and he decides whether I burn at death or live in his beautiful paradise. I couldn’t hate him of course, who wants to burn for longer than they lived on earth? But I could be angry. 

    Why the hell did you make me break those eggs? Why didn’t you stop them from falling? If you parted the red sea, you could definitely save my eggs and spare me my mother’s wrath!!! 

    I think the annoying part was not being able to decide not to like God or believe in him, because you’d go to hell fire under the ground. So I’d swallow the anger, praise and thank him for the good because I had to go to heaven. 

    Back to the patterns. I think the beautiful part was knowing it wasn’t forever. Staring at the broken vase and knowing after the punishment, something good was coming. Soon, it won’t matter anymore, even if it took months or years. 

    I learnt to live through the bad moments, the disappointments and the frustration even as a kid (of course misplacing your school fees in primary school might not be as bad as losing all your investments now, but pain is pain and disappointment is disappointment). I didn’t expect ultimate happiness, or ultimate sadness. It was a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good. 

    …………… 

    Growing up, I forgot this. From praying really hard and attending churches that promised unending joy, I believed I deserved unending happiness and good. Thus when the bad came, it hit me harder. I had prayed really hard, believed really hard, hoped really hard. 

    So I’d hate life, fate and time. Life for not being fair, fate for not letting me decide and time for not going backwards. 

    But like Bakar says, the breeze blows where it wants. I’d relearn the lesson and expect the pattern. My prayers might never always be answered, but God always gives peace and the good is always next 

    ……….

    Thing is, there are moments the bad looks like it can never end. How does the pain of carrying over a course end soon? Or getting pregnant in school and disappointing your parents? Or even worse, being kicked out of school? 
    You realize even the pattern isn’t fair. The bad looks like it’s outweighing all the good you’ve ever had in your life and you just want to hurt someone or something in return for all the hurt you have to deal with. It might have been your fault or maybe not, it’s still not fair. Why must things go wrong, you deserve happiness 
    I’m not old but what I know is 


    It’s okay, not to be okay

    It’s okay, to be angry and frustrated

    It’s okay, to cry

    It’s okay, when things go wrong 

    But it’s not okay to forget that it’d eventually be okay. The good would eventually be next, it is a pattern: good – bad – good – good – bad – bad – good. 

    It’s okay, okay? 


    For Bakar, my friend with the beautiful heart. I don’t know anyone who lives as much as you do. I hope the breeze takes you to the top with ease, and life let’s you continue to live. 


    Preshy Lala 

    A little bit of reminder 

    It’s been months since I last wrote something, anything. There are voices inside me sometimes and I hear them whisper what I ought to write. They live in my head, unrelenting, refusing to leave. So I abandon my head for them and live outside my body. Outside my body is totally different from the head. In my head there are rows and rows of cabinets and they’re all arranged by alphabets except not alphabetically. Someway, they never follow the natural order of A-Z; beside the P there’s the R and then the E. 

    Yet my new home is a large hollow void. It has no beginning nor end, just darkness. I do not grope or struggle to find my way. I do not have any destination and instead I succumb to the darkness and become a part of it. We’re now one and the other. 

    I know I should go home and inside my head but I cannot answer those voices. All they want is to be heard, for me to be their speaker, but I just cannot. 
    I have to speak for myself first. And how do you lend a voice to the voiceless when you’re useless to yourself? 
    However, today’s different. Or I think it is. I do not remember my dreams after I wake but I remember the emotions. So when I tell you I had a horrible dream, I do not know whether I was chased or what by. But the bitter taste of helplessness and hopelessness would always accompany me to the land of the living.

    When I say last night’s dream was one of fulfillment, I cannot say how or why. But this I can know and feel – everything fell into place and I tasted contentment from getting all I wanted. 

    So I told Niyi because I remembered he had a little feature in my nightly drama. He then asks, “What do you want out of life”. 

    I stare around me at my dark empty not-so-new home. I cannot remember so much. I know I want a first class in the University and Law school and a lucrative job I’m good at. But that can’t be all. I cannot remember the rest. 

    This time, I start to grope in the dark, as if the answers are right before me waiting for me to grab it. 

    Who doesn’t know what they want???!!! 

    I feel there’s a genie and a clock ticking. Time has gone, he was never on my side. My wishes are not horses, I do not get a ride. 

    I’m indeed more lost than I had realize. The answer’s in my head, the home I left. I need to find my way home and remember what I want from life. 

    Dear voices, May I be your voice? 

    Writers note – Sometimes we do not write for the now but the morrow. Sometimes the aim is to look back and realize where we started from, the confusion we felt, the fear we dealt and admit that in a way, we have grown. 

    For this warmth 

    girl-and-the-rain-sad-songs-16929572-500-706-2

    There are many things to be grateful about in life, especially life itself and health. It’s really hard to understand the value of the everyday ability to stand up, eat, play and do whatever you feel like doing because it is something habitual, an ordinary routine. But when you fall really sick and all you want to do is cry because every part of you hurts and you can’t do anything, you realize how wonderful it is you’ve been well all through the year and you’re grateful for little blessings.

    Tonight I’m thankful for having a home and a family. There’s this violent breeze and the doors are swinging open and close. It is the type that accompanies the heaviest of rainfalls and you run to shut the windows because you know the  wind would convey rainwater.

    There is also a newly discovered leaking roof in my house that affects one of the rooms. Though you can’t see the opening and the drops come in slowly, it still feels really weird knowing your house actually has a leaking roof. I’ve read in newspapers about houses getting flooded and the roof carried away by powerful winds. There was the scene in the chess movie Queen of Katwe where her mom’s house got flooded and her little brother was almost carried away by the water. I shiver at this thoughts even as the rain becomes stormier outside. I’m warm and grateful I don’t live in a flooded house.

    Tonight I remember some years back when I felt firsthand what it meant to be homeless and alone, or at least that’s how I felt. I had gone to see one of my best friends and when it was time to leave, the clouds showed signs it was going to rain. I however wanted to buy popcorn on the street and I insisted we stopped to get it. She had to go back inside to get the money for the popcorn and by the time she was back and we purchased the popcorn, the rain had already started drizzling. I figured I could make it home in time as my house was about 15 minutes away. I was halfway home when the rain became really heavy and fierce. I could either continue running home under the rain or just wait for it to stop, so I decided to wait under  the covering of a locked shop. While I waited, the rain got more intense and I realized I was alone, cold and abandoned under the rain with popcorn and a wet phone. Then came the lightning and thunder, I hugged myself really tight.My skirt and shirt were wet to my underwear and all I wanted to do was cry.  Now that I look back, it would have been really comforting having someone else around. It felt like the world planned a party and left me out. There was that disappointed part of me asking God why he’d leave me alone in such terror and I think at that moment I figured I was alone in life and in the end I’ll fight my battles on my own.
    After what felt like years, the rain subsided a little and I went home in it, through the already flooded streets. I remember getting to my room, stripping off my heavy wet dress and eating soaked popcorn while crying. Being home was warm, but I couldn’t forget how it felt to be cold.

    Even now I shiver. As much as I love the rain, I don’t ever want to be deserted, soaked and homeless. I’m thankful for having a home and a family. I’m thankful for this warmth and everyday blessings.

    snapchat-1527303129.jpg

    Family

     

    Family ❤

     

    PreshyLaLa

     

    Environmental Change Is Everyone’s Responsibility

     

    Without inner change, there can be no outer change. Without collective change, no change matters – Kyodo Williams.

    While we differ in tribe, language, religion and beliefs in Nigeria, the one thing that binds the people in their diversity is the environment. The environment is the collective home of every man and thus the structure that makes a global family. The interaction of man with the environment is a natural necessity borne out of his biological makeup of psychological curiosity as well as his innate need to define, discover and develop his surroundings. Man, in a bid to survive and thrive has however left indelible consequences on the landscape and his home has now begun to fall apart with the outcome; environmental denigration, depreciation and possible destruction.

    With the rapid urbanization and industrialization in Nigeria, we are now faced with various environmental problems like desertification, deforestation, overpopulation, oil spills, loss of natural habitat and especially, pollution. While we might think these problems does and will not affect us personally, the fact is that the preservation of the environment is the preservation of us all and its destruction, our destruction.

    As reported by the Nations Encyclopedia, Nigeria lost 20% of its forest and woodland areas between 1983 and 1993 alone while Oil spills, the burning of toxic wastes, and urban air pollution are environmental problems in more developed areas of the nation. In fact, the United Nations Environmental Program in 2011 reported that the benzene level of the Ogoni people of the Niger Delta is nine hundred times higher than the World Health Organization recommendation.

    These reports are not the proverbial smoke without fire as they have led to deaths and health hazards in the country. In two news report by the World Health Organization, 1.7 million under five children die each year from diseases that are caused by air pollution and Nigeria has the largest number of most polluted cities in the world. In 2016, four Nigerian cities were further named as four of the world ‘s most populated cities – Onitsha, Kaduna, Umuahia and Aba.

    The fact is that environmental degradation is as serious a problem as corruption in the nation but while the latter enjoys loud public outcry and attention, the existence of the former is hardly attested to. It is apparent that though the average uneducated Nigerian understands that the reason why the price of a cup of rice rose from thirty naira to seventy naira is because of economic recession caused by looted funds of corrupt leaders, they are however hardly aware that the trees they cut for firewood and the waste they burn every morning outside their compound is environmentally dangerous. It is therefore apparent that urgent steps need to be taken to preserve the Nigerian environment.

    To start with, there is the need to create awareness as to environmental problems and their causes. Life is valued by men and this is why with a gun pointed to their head when asked to choose between their life and money, they unhesitantly choose to save their life. People need to be made conscious of the effect of their actions and inactions as environmental destruction is a collection of individual decisions. More so, creating awareness has helped to fight menace in the past such as the outbreak of the Ebola in 2014 and Lassa virus in 2016 wherein different organizations and institutions took it upon themselves to create awareness of the menace and people took positive steps to prevent their spread. With proper education of the public on the effects of environmental denigration and pollution, as well as its incorporation in the curricula of primary and secondary schools, we’re definitely moving towards a vehement social change of mindset and attitude towards the environment.

    Second, proper implementation of environmental laws is key in preserving the environment. Laws are important tools for guiding human behavior and ameliorating social order. There is no doubt as to the plethora of legislations regulating environment ranging from the National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) Act 2007 replacing the Federal Environmental Protection Agency Act to the Harmful Waste (Special Criminal Provisions) Act CAP H1 LFN 2004, the Nigerian Urban and Regional Planning Act CAP N138, LFN 2004, Oil in Navigable Waters Act CAP 06 LFN 2004, Section 20 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, amongst numerous others. Notable is the fact that pre-1988, there was no policy aimed at preserving the environment in Nigeria as the government had no concern about it. The Koko incidence in 1988 was however a waking call to the government when an Italian man approached a Nigerian to dump 3880 tons of toxic and hazardous waste principally made up of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs)whose discovery led to the creation of the Harmful Waste Decree and Federal Environmental Protection Agency. Thus, further legislations were made on environmental laws, protection and development over the years.

    Yet, an unimplemented law is of little use. Due to ineffective enforcement strategies and inadequate operating policies the laws are mere disregarded words on paper. The judicial system has also been a disappointment with delay in the court cases relating to upholding one’s right as a person to life and dignity and ability to implement decisions. The extra-judicial killing of Ken Saro Wiwa and other eight activists on November 10 1995 for daring to challenge Shell is one that remains inerasable in the history of the nation and raises the uncertainty of the ability of the courts to protect rights provided for in the law. Further disappointing is the case of Oronto Douglas V Shell Development Company Ltd & 5 ors (1999) 2 NWLR Pt 591 where the plaintiff sought a compliance with the Environmental Impact Assessment Act and the court held that the plaintiff could not institute the action since he was unable to prove direct injury caused to him. In the important case of Jonah Mpere V Shell Production Development Company & 2 Ors, where the court upheld that gas flaring was a violation of human rights, illegal and should be stopped, till date neither the oil companies nor the government have complied with the court ruling. This is a proof of the present unreliability of the Nigerian Judicial system thus necessitating a better structure for law execution and the need for just decisions. It is further proposed that there is stricter fines and punishment for violators of environmental laws. This is because injustice to the environment is injustice to all.

    Finally, there is also need for immediate societal proactivity. The society is the juxtaposition of the government, institutions and the people. A rise in action by these three forces is the collectivity that can control environmental degeneration. Most of the environmental problems in Nigeria are occasioned by the nonchalance of these trio. The agencies created by the environmental laws lack the finance to meet their obligations and perform their functions effectively as posited by Hakeem Ijaiya in his article,” Rethinking Environmental Law Application in Nigeria”. Policies such as Environmental regeneration, solid waste management, flood abatement, enforcement of pollution control for industries need to be put by the various levels of government into place in order to redeem the environment and enhance its value Thus, the need for the Nigerian government to allocate more funds for proper implementation of environmental policies and training of these agencies. It is also expected that they perform their function of equal and easy access to justice as provided for in the Legal Aids Act and Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for persons whose rights have been violated by pollution and misuse of the environment. Institutions, especially waste producing institution, should also take it upon themselves to promote advertisement and awareness of the dangers of pollution to the environment as was done during epidemic outbreaks. The fact is that we need to take responsibility and work together to create the difference we want to see. The people also can take the proactive step of whistleblowing and monitoring agencies as well as speaking up for their rights by instituting legal actions against corporations or government agencies in breach.

    As a national environmental family, we all need to take part in environmental actions and become agents of change for positive impacts on the planet. The combined initiative of creating awareness, proper implementation of environmental laws and proactivity of the society comprising the government, institutions and the people are strong instruments of preserving our environment, saving lives and making a difference for the generation to come. The regeneration of the environment is the collective responsibility of all Nigerians and it is high time we accept that individually we can make a difference and together, a change.

    ©Precious  Akinkuolie 

    Under the Sycamore tree 

    Tonight, we sit under the sycamore tree beside the Faculty of Pharmacy. It is a one hour walk from my hostel and how we managed to wander so far alone I cannot comprehend. It however didn’t matter, the solitude warmed the night. We gaze at the moon in silence, this night I do not want to talk about how confident and powerful she is. Instead we remember our mistakes, the yesterday that made our today and determines our tomorrow. There is an evocation of nostalgia in the air, under the sycamore tree in the Faculty of pharmacy. 

    My voice shaky, I whisper the unsaid words sitting heavily in our bellies, “Ugo, I’m scared of what we will become. I’m scared I’d disappoint everyone, fail school and fail life”.

    I cannot control the tears. 

    Ugo, my best friend in the world holds my hands tight. It feels right, it feels like home. 

    I remember the nights in Senior High when we sneaked out of our hostels to share my chocolates and sweets while laughing and dreaming in front of the dining hall. The university was supposed to be the stage where we played our script and ran our show ourselves. There, we conjured up the perfect tomorrow and the nights silently concurred. 

    Seven years later, four carryovers later, a third class grade later, two abortions later, one lifetime later; we sit and wonder whether someone else wrote the script that ran our stage. 

    The leaves sway as the breeze silently passes by, as if to say Yes, we were just actors in another man’s play. 

    I hear Ugo confidently say, as his hands clasps mine tighter, under the sycamore tree with the stars silently listening, “Ada let the worst come to the worst, we’d just teach in a primary school jare”. 

    From within my soul, I hear a crack and a deep hollow laughter begins to rise from my belly. 

    Everything was fine at home, under the sycamore tree with your best friend holding your hands. 

    For David Bestfriend, together we conquer life, conquer dreams, conquer tomorrow


    PreshyLaLa 

    You have now become proud 

    It was the early hours of this Monday morning. This time, I wasn’t interested in mesmerizing in the dawn, pondering on how the Morning remembers to wake up every single day and wondering what will happen if he oversleeps and resumes late one day. 

    Yes, I overslept and was late today. 

    I saw the young woman as I raced on with the bike man trying to beat time. Head tightly covered with a scarf, skirt almost to her knees and speaker in hands, I did not have to listen, she was trying to fulfill the “Great commission”, her major purpose on the earth as a Christian. I did not have to check my phone either for the time, it was 5:30am.

    All I wanted to do was scream:

    Aunty, people are sleeping. Someone stayed up till 2am doing something last night – working, loving, living, surviving. If you really cared about their salvation, you could wait till day or evening to condemn th

    em and remind them about how they lied last night and would have gone to hell if they hadn’t woken up. Oh sorry, you wanted to tell them about Jesus’ love? Hell! Why make it an alarm? 

    Then I realized I wasn’t who I used to be. Precious has changed and it seems this girl is now proud. A year ago I’d have shivered at speaking against the preaching Christian. Even if they were speaking nonsense in the bus, it was more important that they were preaching in public about God. Now, it seems I’m losing my salvation, criticizing the actions of the speaker of the “truth”. 

    Few months back, a friend had to inbox me. He says, A, B, C have gone mad. They do not believe in God, I do not want our friends to go to hell fire. 

    The who I used be would have panicked, immediately opened the scriptures, selected the verses of fear and damnatiom and passionately “converted” these mad men into the light. 

    However, Precious is now proud, so she says:

    A speaks about history of the Church, how they murdered so many people in the name of the gospel, altered truths and covered up certain things. He wants to know how to believe in such shady foundation of a supposed “truth” 

    B speaks about logic, discrepancies, faults in the Bible 

    C doesn’t have any tight religious background, so he’s a free thinker and believes in all religions and the existence of various deities and wants to know why your own belief should be supreme to the rest. 

    You cannot tell people not to ask questions, not to try to discover, because that’s why we’re human and have a mind. If you cannot answer their questions, leave them and let them believe in what they want to believe in. 

    He wonders, “Has Precious now gone mad too?”. No, she’s now proud. 

    Then last night, Dumz talks about the video of a woman who went to hell and came back to warn people. She says so many things are forbidden and we’re going to be tormented forever for every little sneeze, stolen match stick, slight blunder. 

    But Precious is now proud, so she hisses and says she doesn’t believe in these things. She can no longer live in fear of these things that held her bound for so many years wondering if she’d ever make heaven or would forever burn in flames. 

    I sit at the window of this faulty bus, staring at the passing vehicles. Different people on different journeys. Some with speed, some slow. Some learners, some experts. One with certainty of his destination, another asking for direction. 

    I sit here and remember the days where I shivered in confusion, breathed in the fear of eternal damnation and prayed so hard for a mercy I already had. 

    I’ve certainly not reached the stage where I can ask too many questions and try to discover too much. I sit in my little box of shaped beliefs, yet I would never again try to stop people from questioning what is seen as untouchable and I do not give evasive, hazy answers anymore. I do not fear speaking against acts I know isn’t logical because I fear hell. Hell, I now tell people to shut the hell up without calculating how many curse words I used altogether today. 

    Point is, I’m growing in this journey. Yesterday, I used to fear asking questions speaking out and thinking hard because I wanted to make heaven. Today, I’m no longer a slave to fear. I ask whatever I want to ask, say whatever I feel like saying and question whatever I want to question. 



    Because I’m Precious and I’ve become proud. 


    Tomorrow, I do not know for sure who I’d be. But yeah, I’m evolving and I see a stronger, prouder woman ahead. 


    PreshyLaLa


    01.03.17

    You gaze at the stars for hours in silence and solitude. Someone passes by and thinks, “deep thinker”.

    But only you knows how blank your mind is, with little fragments of scattered thoughts like the stars in the sky.

    The first day of every new month is like a checkpoint where you look back at where you started, look in at where you are now and forward at where you’re going.

    You do not understand how exactly two months crawled, walked, ran and then flew but you know for sure the year’s on a swift race and you have to choose whether you’re on the track or at the sideline.

    The long list of goals undone over the months stare at you, shaking their heads in the fashion of a Yoruba mother. O ma se o. It’s a pity.

    Your excuses smile sleekly at you with content, the expression on their faces similar to that which a rat gives you after helping itself to the bread you planned as your breakfast.

    2016 was rigid, I want 2017 to be more spontaneous, you say.

    But the thing about spontaneity and waiting for the right moment is that you’d wait forever for that divine push for motivation. There’s no check on your laziness to complete those half-written drafts or your nonchalance about opportunities slowly dancing past you.

    Let’s Review. 

    Basically, February was a great month for me. I decided to take certain risks, go the extra mile to remind myself about who I really am and what I seemed to be forgetting, tried to check up on old friends though I couldn’t keep up and I worked hard at ensuring I went for whatever I really wanted. However, I feel extremely under-achieved and rightly so. February was a bundle of half-written drafts, procrastination, making excuses and time-wasting. Positively, it turned out to be a month of love for me where I decided to let my butterflies flutter.

    Here’s what I discovered so far. 

    FriendshipI realized that I basically had no real deep friendship and all my relationships were superficial to an extent. I was at a point where I needed to talk to someone about so many things and I realized I really didn’t have anyone in particular I could comfortably let it all out too.  What if I was suicidal and on the verge of taking drugs, what friend would I call who would actually take me serious? I figured nobody. Isn’t it funny how we can be surrounded by so many people and yet nobody?

    FaithAt this point in my life, I’ve decided to block my ears totally to any form of arguments on faith, logic or what the scripture says. It’s mentally tiring to have people try to mess up your belief system and because you’re not so mature you almost begin to sway and the confusion starts all over. I’ve decided I would believe what I would believe in and draw a thick fat round line around it with me growing on my own. Whoever wants to join me is definitely allowed in but no one’s pulling me out of my own faith zone.

    DreamsTo be honest, I think I’m scared and too proud Continue reading