Monday, 20 August 2018

“Rejigging Popular Culture and the Internet of Things (IoT) in Nigeria” — by SMB Sesan Michael Johnson

“Rejigging Popular Culture and the Internet of Things (IoT) in Nigeria” — by SMB Sesan Michael Johnson

Popular culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of norms, beliefs, and culture that are ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. It therefore has a way of influencing people’s attitudes towards certain issues in the society. Traditionally, the media for the sake of politics is often strategically staged to win the minds of the masses. Do you remember the idea behind ‘the technology of knowledge’ and politics fuelling production of knowledges in every society? Pushing this further into the realms of the sociation, physicality and interactivity of the new media, evident is the supersonic currency and acceptability of the popular culture buzzing out via this innovation. Then, what is the big deal (kini big deal na?) about the Internet of things and the social media?

The historiographical survey of the Internet shows a sea change in technological innovation and culturedness. The ever-shifting dynamism of this leveraging technology includes revolutionary migration from HTTP to HTML, Web 1.0 to Web 2.0 and other electrifying hard and soft protocols of the social media.

Evident is the accentuation in the catalogue of information and diarrhoea of conflicting narratives daily tormenting the people. In the same vein, there is increase in the momentum of the un-gated interactivity of divergent cultural curves which are always culminating into electrifying intrigues and nuances mediating and routing via popular culture and the attending sociology of the Internet as well as the Internet of things pervading our digital psychic and cognition.

The popular culture which is being staged ubiquitously and veraciously imposed by the elitist archetype on the citizenry is not only being unassumingly consumed by the credulous masses but it is also calculatedly consuming the masses. Without critical minds, many consume all they see and read on the social media not minding the sources and the motives behind the information.

Whereas amidst the cacophony of discordant crises prevalent in our polity, this imposed popular culture via the Internet/social media entails massive use of data to proliferate the data the elite want the masses to digest and believe; yet, the masses failed to even peruse and confirm the data.
Putting it differently, life is now staged to be driven by data. Everyone has now become contents producers (texts, audio, videos, graphics, etc). You can imagine the numbers of bytes of contents generated per second. For most individuals, data for connectivity is now ranked topmost on the priority list. Communication module of the youths is now more centred on data driven apps. Notably, the elders (50 years plus) are now becoming fams of this ubiquitous popular culture of connectedness via the new media.

On Nigeria’s cyberspace, there exist varied worlds and each world has its unique contortions, concoctions and culture. For instance, rumour often has its unchallenging preeminence on Facebook. Go to Instagram, you will conclude that Nigeria is a paradise but come to Twitter streets, fakes news reigns with continued contestation from real news thereby causing heated conversations that sometimes breed hatredness, causes and tintinnabulation.

Recently, Twitter, Facebook and whatasp individually agree to clamp down on fake accounts and handles. News has it that even some American celebrities such as Oprah lost over a million followers on Twitter. This is a case of living fake life (fake accounts) by the Internet users. Multiple identities and discordant representations that easily permeate into loving and living fake life. Hence, dis-harmonised lifestyles is now ingrained into the belief system of the people. This dysfunctional popular culture is having untold effects on the people’s value system and thought process. Suffice to remind us that when the scam known as ‘yahoo-yahoo’ started, the generality of the people frowns at it but it is unfortunate that unknowingly it is gradually becoming acceptable and excusable.

In terms of social justice and national development, we must rethink the ongoing popular culture of the social media and sociation of the Internet of things (IoT) currently characterising our polity. Fundamentally, this muse must not be considered within the framework of the debacle of binary debate of the elite versus the masses. It should also not be misconstrued as asking for the abandonment of this great technology. No doubt, this is digital age. As a digital evangelist I have for about two decades been advocating for ICT4D and Internet evangelism in Africa. Internet revolution has come to stay, therefore it must be romanced in positive light. Markedly, this muse is calling for strategic rethinking and refiguring of Nigeria’s popular culture vis-a-vis the social algorithms of the Internet.

“2019 Elections and Machiavellian Romantic Rhythms Between Buhari and Saraki” — by Sesan Michael Johnson

“2019 Elections and Machiavellian Romantic Rhythms Between Buhari and Saraki” — by Sesan Michael Johnson as published on July 24, 2018

Between 2015 and now, evident in Nigeria’s polity is the continuous row between the Caliph of Aso Rock (Presidency) and the Caliph of the Senate. Not too long, the Supreme Court exonerated the Waziri of Ilorin in a seemingly controversial circumstance. By the way, what has become of the alleged involvement of Saraki in the popular Offa robbery saga?

The Buharists opine that Saraki’s caliphate must collapse since it did not receive the blessings of Buhari’s caliphate. Without mincing words, the Sarakists see the anti-corruption blalala (whips) trolling their Caliph as political persecution in a Machiavellian style; though they could not prove that their principal did not commit the ‘offences’. What are the reasons for these contestations? Is it all about the interests of the state or the welfare of the citizenry? Why is Buhari afraid of the ascendancy of Saraki’s profile? Why is Saraki undermining the hegemony of Sai baba? These are fundamental questions that must be appropriated and interrogated within the framework of the complexities, realities and imperatives of 2019 Elections.

Unarguably, nPDP played critical roles in the ascendancy of APC into power. The same group has been undermining the leadership of APC. On the group’s exit buhaha, Adams Oshiomole and Buhari have been having series of meetings with the group (now rAPC). To some commentators this group should be allowed to leave APC — good riddance to bad rubbish (in their voice). According to them PMB will win the 2019 election without rAPC, since Mr President has done so well to deserve second term in office. They also argued that these are corrupt persons that must be pushed out of APC. After all, Buhari who is the leader of APC is Mr Incorruptible!

Methinks their cogitation seems to be premised on idealism and morality. But I believe readers know these Machiavellian politicians think and act realism. As mused recently by Dele Momodu; this is a case of Arithmetic of Politics. rAPC/nPDP literally represents 5 Governors of northern extraction, 30 Senators and over 100 federal honourable members. In terms of electoral votes, this is huge. Whereas, this is why PMB and Oshiomole are aggressively romancing Saraki and his cohorts (the picture below succinctly captures that).

With a censorious look into the electoral history of PMB (3 defeats and 1 victory), one may be tempted to conclude that 2019 is a forgone issue for PMB if the threat of rAPC/nPDP materialised. Anyways, within the remix of political permutations, differentiations and integration; anything can happen in an election.

What’s the stake of the citizens in the sophistry of rAPC/nPDP in line with 2019 election? Do you think they are determined to help the masses? Or they are doing it for God’s sake — nitori Olorun?

Why this current ‘rapprochement’ between the two Caliphs (PMB & Saraki)? Some are saying the fact that Mr President is now graciously romancing Saraki (The so-called Mr Corrupt) shows that after all Mr Incorruptible himself is corrupt. O ko pe aja lobo fun wa ni — naming the dog as monkey. I concur with them that this romance between them is eroding the little integrity remaining in Mr President.

What good will the separation of these two groups (APC and rAPC/nPDP) do for Nigeria/Nigerians? What about the settlement of their rift? These are questions begging for answers.

The electorates must understand the corollary and imperatives of the thinking and workings of politicians. In voting, voters must vote their conscience and shun the whims and caprices of politicians. The politics of 2019 Elections is going to be a complex puzzle to crack…. Only time will tell

Professor Akinkunmi ALAO on "History, Law and Society in Nigeria" as reported by SMB Sesan Johnson

Professor Akinkunmi ALAO on "History, Law and Society in Nigeria" as reported by SMB Sesan Johnson

In an auspicious and historical moment yesterday (Tuesday, August 14, 2018) at the Oduduwa hall of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria; Professor Akin Alao delivered the 324th Inaugural Lecture of the university. Significantly, it was the 11th by the department of History of the great university. Dignitaries included the VC of the university, other key officials, and professors from all shades of knowledge and from different universities. The president of the Historical Society of Nigeria (Professor Ogbogbo Chris B N) also graced the occasion. There were traditional rulers in attendance. There was an assemblage of great academia such as Professor Oyefeso Siyan, Professor Victor Edo, Professor Abimbola Adesoji, Dr Adetunji Ogunyemi, Dr Saheed Amusa, Dr Alimi Shina, Dr Remijius Obinta, etc.

The professor of legal history themed his lecture "History, Law and Society in Nigeria". Fundamentally, the crux of his thesis is the connect between law, history and society. He professed that the constitution of the nation has arbitrating roles to play in guiding the rubrics of relationships and actions of the people in an organic society like Nigeria. While historicising his thoughts; he pointed to the pre-colonial Yoruba's belief system of 'iwa' and 'omoluwabi' that helped maintained social construct and organic solidarity, as well as tranquility and harmony within traditional legal frameworks of the Yoruba organic society. However, he berated the fact that brutality of colonialism and westernisation had eroded these and replaced these with individualism and capitalism premised on the hegemonic grandstanding of the colonial master.

Professor Akin Alao cited historical instances in the post-independence era where the Nigerian legal system had failed in its constitutional duties to correct some anomalies in Nigeria's political history and conflicts on constitutionality. But he opined that harbingers of the country's laws must use it for social change and to uphold constitutionality. In addition, the law of the nation must be utilised to orchestrate the needed developments and progress the country needs.

Professor Akin Alao frowned at the delusion towards history and the study of history. He argued that history is germane to social change and nation building. Thus, in his disquisition, he opined that, inherent in african indigenous legal and political frameworks are distinctive methodologies and epistemologies that could be used in the service of economic and political liberation of the citizenry. He advanced his thought by demanding that even within the remix of localism and globalism, there should be a distinguishable autonomous legal hybrid that is African in its imprimatur.

Distinguishably, professor Akin Alao made case for pluriversalism in African historiography. He also promised to design programs that will accentuate the study of history, particularly legal history in Nigeria.

Significantly, his closing statement was that 'history carries the soul of a nation and any nation that neglects its history is a nation without a soul'.

I use this opportunity to say big congratulations to this great, dynamic, resourceful and erudite professor of history. I am proud to be one of your students, sir.

"History as an agency of development" - by SMB Sesan Johnson

"History as an agency of development" - by  SMB Sesan Johnson

With knowledge of the histories of constitutional developments, political alliances and elections in (Pre and Post-Independence) Nigeria, it's tenable to say one should not be aghast with the gales of defections, decamping and/or cross-carpeting. But in recent times, I am beginning to realise that post-1999 youths of this country lack basic knowledge of the differences between governance and politics. Whereas until recent intervention, history as a subject was removed from the curricula of secondary school education in Nigeria with its attendant effects in higher institutions. One of the arguments has been the connection between history and national development?

With the ongoing project towards reintroducing the subject, historical knowledge must be appropriated to promote human agency towards development. To move forward, history scholars must demolish all the pathologies and pedagogies of knowledges that undermine development in Nigeria; and rejig all shades of paradigms on politics and governance. Why must we do this? There's a high connection between history and development. We may not be able to necessarily provide all the answers to all the problems of today but our goal is to raise questions and also inspire citizens to raise fundamental questions that provide development templates for the nation. This will enable citizens to interrogate the policies and actions of policy makers and politicians in proper perspective. Historical pedagogies and epistemologies must not only amplify the elitist ideation but also use to elevate the welfare of the poor.

Amidst the cacophony of discordant narratives and dysfunctional political machinations pervading our political psychics, the electorates must be aware that all of these are to win the souls of the masses. As these politicians of all shades fight over identities, categories and personal ego, the electorates must remain focus on the agenda for sustainable development. As they remix their dichotomous fight of oneness and otherness (APC versus PDP or other political parties); the electorates must conscientiously look out for men and women endowed with integrity and competence

"A Clarion Call to Parents and Teenagers" by SMB Sesan Michael JOHNSON

"A Clarion Call to Parents and Teenagers" by SMB Sesan Michael JOHNSON

#SummerHOLIDAY #DevelopSkillsAndCapacity

Without mincing words, parents and/or adults will agree with me that certificates aren't enough again. Certification without appropriate skill sets can not make a candidate fly. I am encouraging parents and guardians to encourage their wards to pursue learning of skills during this summer holiday. This will help in the discovery of their talents and in its development. It will expose them to capacity building early in life.

Teens please don't waste your time during this long holiday. Learn new skills and upgrade your capacity.

Register with a technologist or technician (#apprenticeship) to learn new skills. Don't say the time of the holiday is too short. Skills can be learned in instalments. What you learn determines what you earn.

Volunteer to work with an entrepreneur (small or big) as an #intern to upgrade your capacity. Don't worry about cash, the experience will pay off in the nearest future.

There are many skills you can go for (Microsoft package, shoe-making, graphic designs, web development, fashion designing, social media management, costume making, digital marketing, plumbing, software development, carpentry, welding, event management, languages, music instrumentation, photography, video editing, etc). In a nutshell, use this holiday to upgrade and add values to your to your life in order to become valuable.