Stockfish and cement – and more, in today’s news round-up with Cheta Nwanze

by Cheta Nwanze


Truth is that different grades of cement have different uses, same way, stockfish was caught fresh, and there are no chemical additives. So if cod caught in Norway will impair my fertility because it was caught in Norway, then cod caught in Otuoke will be worse because it has swallowed some crude oil along the way.

Stockfish is unsalted fish, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks to be preserved and sent around the world. It happens to be the longest sustained export commodity for the Scandinavian country, Norway, and is particularly popular in Italy. Actually, it has been popular among the Italians for centuries. Including during the baby boom which happened there post World War 2. Now, Italy, is suffering from declining birth rates, like the rest of Europe, and maybe, just maybe, the reason is stockfish. At least that is what Nigerian lab-coat, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, would have us believe. The problem to my uncultured mind is this: birth rates in Nigeria have actually been rising, and well, two years ago, we had more kids in this err, geographical expression, than in the entire continent of Europe. This brings more questions than answers.

Could the sudden discovery that stockfish is bad for already prolific Nigerian men be linked in some way to the same kind of mentality that will have us ban a certain kind of cement for protectionist purposes? Now do not get me wrong, I am all for protecting our local industries, but be honest about the reason you want to protect them, and don’t sponsor superfluous studies. Truth is that different grades of cement have different uses, same way, stockfish was caught fresh, and there are no chemical additives. So if cod caught in Norway will impair my fertility because it was caught in Norway, then cod caught in Otuoke will be worse because it has swallowed some crude oil along the way.

Bits and Bobs

The Prez has again displayed his almost unlimited capacity to forgive, and then reward, former political enemies. There’s hope for me then. Expect the attitude of our men-in-black to become even worse as they watch what is happening to the widows of their compadres. Now I know what was responsible for the unhealthy traffic on Tuesday. The culprits are in court.

Finally, the Reps have asked the birds to return those cars which have never been seen. No word on what will happen to the money if/when it is finally recovered.

Right of Reply

Chinedu Okorro wrote,

Ade Pedro’s response is indicative of why I consider any attempts to hold Nigeria together as an exercise in futility akin to keeping the tide at bay or stopping the sun from rising and setting.

Sometimes, words should be taken at face value and either accepted as stated or discarded. Sometimes, they should be deeply examined to reveal the workings of the mind that made the utterance. Ade is of the opinion that only an indigene of a state has the right to run for political office in a state. This would rule out residents who had lived in a state for all their lives at the expense of indigenes who could have lived in Australia for the vast majority of their existence but then ended up parachuted into a position of authority in the state on the back of political connections in high places. Political power by birthright in other words rather than by association underpinned by contribution (taxation) and residence.

However, Ade’s most telling contribution was the accusation that this case was the Trojan horse that Igbos had been seeking in order to gain power in Lagos. My response may be too verbose to be listed in your bulletin but I feel compelled to point out that this sort of attitude is inimical to a harmonious union. The tone suggests a conspiracy, an evil plan being hatched secretly by Igbos to takeover Lagos. It casts Igbos as outsiders, somehow untrustworthy purely by virtue of their ethnic origin – power – hungry and devious. It would be tempting to put the expression of these views down to a sudden uncontrollable affliction of paranoia but this is an attitude that afflicts far too many people in Nigeria for our union to remain viable in its present state. Even some uneducated people understand that you cannot tar an entire village with the same brush.

What hope does Nigeria have if in the age of the Internet, in the 21st century, literate and ostensibly educated people do not understand that you cannot and should not ascribe negative characteristics to people based on their ethnic origins? For the record, I would support a Yoruba man running for office in Asia state provided that there was clear evidence of his association with the state and that he had contributed to the welfare of the state and that he was committed to developing the state in a fair and equitable manner. Good luck to those of you battling to hold Nigeria together. I think we should start preparing for life afterwards. The attitudes espoused by Ade Pedro are too widespread to make a union feasible or pleasant for anyone from a different ethnic group when this sort of distrust cuts across all ethnic groups and all strata of society.

Chigozie wrote,

My sister in law a secondary school principal in Aba reliably informed me that they have not paid salary since Feb an Abia indigene. So sacking IMO state(bad omen) indigenes didn’t change anything and no development whatsoever in that state.

Segun Balogun wrote,

So a document has to be sworn in court before perjury can be enforced? I see that you know so much, may be too much, to remember that some forms do have DECLARATION section where you one sign to attest that information contained in the form is sworn to be true.
“Ambode, by declaring his intention to run for the office of governor of Lagos, has clearly stated his state of origin” really? and you want to be taken serious?

Chxta responds,

According to the dictionary, “perjury” is the willful giving of false testimony under oath or affirmation, before a competent tribunal, upon a point material to a legal inquiry.
Yes, I intend to be taken serious. Though I don’t mind if people with your mindset don’t take me serious. I prefer forward thinking people, not people stuck in an insular and provincial world-view.



Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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