2015 Law Dinner Review By A Cornel Hater

Looking at the title, one would expect me to immediately launch into viliying remarks about the 2015 law dinner and its main organiser Cornel Gabriel. And it would indeed be in keeping with the title for that is what haters do when they review events organised by those they ‘hate’ on. However this will be done a bit differently from how you expect.

So instead of a hateful and scathing review of the dinner, what I will give you is a frank, candid and honest analyses of the dinner that is totally devoid of any favouring bias whatsoever. As it will be understandable why I will have none being a hater. The dinner was widely criticised both in the before and after. Before, it was hailed as being impossible to pull off, likely to flop, too big a project, unnecessary, and exorbitant. After the dinner, a hundred flaws were identified and nitpicking went on to no small end. Well what do I a hater have to say about this? Did the ‘hated’ do as badly as we hoped?

I am sorry to disappoint me and all my fellow haters but it did turn out to be a fine ass dinner. Pardon my saying so. Let us look at the points that arose against it before the dinner. We heard things like too expensive, unnecessary, too big, other priorities. Since when did ambition become a sin? When realising it is not being gone about in an improper manner? And do we really have other priorities? When law students are mentioned, what first comes to mind? Humble people? Caring, humanitarian? No. For we are not doctors. The first things that come to mind is grace, style, panache, class. We are a vain people who put great stock in decorum and appearance. To say otherwise would be to lie blatantly. Being this kind of people, I see no reason why we should not have the grandest, the biggest, and the classiest dinner that can be conceived. And this is all our hated president sought to furnish us.

I will not say whether the hate on our erstwhile president is justified or deserved. But I will point out that this is a law dinner review and not a Cornel review and my fellow intelligent haters should be able to separate a man from a deed and judge objectively. Having this ability will doubtless come in handy in their legal or other field they decide to go into. In the end, we had a fantastic dinner. A prestigious dinner that did much to up the standard of law students the institution over. A rep we all collectively benefit from. So enjoy the glory and crucify the bringer? For shame fellows. I beat my chest.

But let us talk about the actual dinner. It was held in Eko Hotel and Suites, the most preferred hotel this side of the continent. Something that should be beyond the reach of students and lie in the realm of impossibility. There were buses to bear those who were ready to take advantage of this humble service. The bigger boys and girls and most of the older wigs went in Uber cabs and private cars though. We would eventually arrive to an evening of excitement and fanfare. Highlighted by joyful eating and drinking and entertainment.

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The food was fab. No doubt about that. The peak of the dinner I would say was a wonderfully exciting performance by Banky W no less, an A-list performer that would cost us thousands and take millions to see. To crown it all, we had a sitting governor come in to address us in person. Is our vainglory and pride as law students not bursting at the seams? I know they certainly were as we came back to myriads of pictures being uploaded on Instagram and various other social networks. If you were to log on to instagram now and search the hashtag lawdinner2015 you would see solid evidence of law students enjoying themselves excessively.

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Did it end there? Nah. The fabulous dinner was further eclipsed by a not at all unexciting after party that was by all accounts fun. Finally one would think we would end it there. And leave it at that. But no. That would be far too easy. Like the obstinate children of Israel, we came home to murmur and castigate the dinner that had been a source of so much merrymaking and happiness. We began to hear all sorts of reasons why it was not good. This was bad, that was bad and that was bad. So no it wasn’t a good dinner.

That my dear fellow haters is totally laughable and an absolute load of bull crap. Oh a lot of things were said. Some even valid. But none of these enough to make it a less than excellent dinner. Did a girl with very poor oratory skills come forward to read the governor’s citation? Yes. Were the fonts on the projector too small to be legible? Certainly. They say there were no tables upstairs. This may have been true, but the floor was adequately decorated. And food plentiful there. Perhaps those who came by 10 for an event that was written to start at 6 didn’t get the choice seats. Surely you can see why, being 4 hours late and arriving at a time when the event should have been winding down. The food was said to have finished? I don’t know about this. I do know I saw people carting away bottles and bottles of beer to take to the after party. I did cart some away myself to be honest. If food did finish, I’m sure it was no less than an hour to the end of the event. Fie for those who expected food from beginning to the end of the event. It’s a dinner. Not a gorge fest. And to be frank some of us did gorge ourselves. Our scales will attest to this.

There were no end to the things said in an effort to discredit the dinner. I even heard that the floor was not swept. Really. Eko Hotel floor, Iris and Jasmine hall was not swept. I laughed in elvish when I heard that one.

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That is the floor. See any heaps of sand anywhere? Maybe the sand was too small to be in heaps. How then the complainers could have noticed it when they were wearing shoes I have not the faintest idea. Or did anyone see any people without shoes at the law dinner? I would have noticed.

They say the tickets were expensive too. At three thousand naira. Three thousand naira for an all you can eat buffet at Eko Hotel, with top tier performance by an A-list artist and record label head and appearance by a state governor. You know, three thousand wouldn’t even get you into coke studio to see Yemi Alade perform. Five thousand might. But you would stand, on the bare grass. And not have chairs not to talk of upstairs and tables.

If you were to attempt to get food with three thousand you know what three thousand would get you? Nowhere near the Island. Out of school yes. But u would not cross Unilag junction. A quick right would have taken you to Abule oja, straight down to 047 and a quick plate, no more than one, of catfish peppersoup and two bottles of beer. Instead you got the chance to show off your fancy suits and dresses, ooh and aah to Banky’s ‘high notes.’ And come back to adorn your ig handles with the tale of the beautiful night. A bargain to be honest. Did I mentioned the event was covered by S.TV? There.

For those not yet in the school and thus unaware? The last time a dinner this close in magnitude was organised waa about 5 years ago. During the faculty’s 50th anniversary which coincided with our law dinner. It was a joint dinner organised by the faculty of Law and the University of Lagos itself. While it was organised in the same place, there were no performances. We can discount Chuddy K coming at the end of the event when everyone had left. There was no state governor or dignitary of that level there. That one was organised by the school which possesses a bank account of gigantic proportions. Now a student. A mere faculty president dared to take them on and not just take them on but do something even grander. Even if you hated the guy and were blind to anything good you can see that he has done just that.

Unswept floors, if those are possible, bad citation, any other minor hitch you can think up do not detract from its awesomeness. The points that make for a good dinner, good food, fine drinks, important dignitaries, awesome entertainment, all these we had aplenty and all else is dust and stardust. All they serve to prove is the already widely known point that perfection is unattainable. Inspite of this success still is achievable. Despite perfection’s unattainability. And I do say even from a hater’s standpoint that it was achieved here. I personally do not like the fellow involved, I have a lot of things against him yet. This should drive home the fact the the success of the law dinner is not even open to debate or discussion. Unless you are something beyond even a hater and devoid of all honesty or reason.

In comparison to last year’s law dinner though, I will say the anticipation for this one was a bit suppressed. Who knows if it’s because of the unpopular nature of our infamous organiser and president. Perhaps. The anticipation for the last law dinner was definitely higher. Maybe it’s because it had been pending for two years. Also the preparations for the last one was definitely higher. While the last was a smaller event, the attendees definitely pulled out their big guns and came in dressed to kill. The outfits and attires were somewhat more mellow here.  Not to say they weren’t good. No matter. Perhaps you should judge yourself…

I wonder what this new administration has in store for us. The bar has been set so high. Are we going to be drinking in the sky? We do have our fingers crossed. Perhaps it should look to help from the members of the last law dinner committee and the former social secretary Jide Williams who managed to pull of the impossible and organise the grandest law dinner in lss history.   They definitely did an outstanding job. That said, my final ratings for the dinner has it as a first class dinner. I will post how I arrived at it below. Feel free to drop yours and contradict. It’s a free world afteral. Even for a hater.

Food: 4.7
Entertainment: 5
Organisation: 3.8
Final Ratings: 4.5

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Re: As I Lay Dying By Joshua Omenga, A Critical Analyses by Victor Ubaka JSC

Joshua Omenga’s As I Lay Dying

Victor Ubaka’s Reply:

The article, ‘As I Lay Dying’ by Joshua Omenga is an attempt to capture the state of mind of an average religious person in the hour of death, but I must warn that the article has great connections to religion, the doctrine of Life Hereafter, the state of a soul, whether conscious or unconscious in the hereafter. Around this subject is the entire thought woven. Although, the doctrinal posture taken in this article influences in great measure my analysis, appreciating this piece from that point will be too deep a thought to convey, being a complex spiritual subject the truth of which lies in recorded Scriptures. I will approach the analysis from the persona’s disillusionment with religion and the vanity of man’s sojourn in the present life.
When we consider the implication of lines 1-14, we understand that man’s existence, toils, cares, choices, achievements, labour and devotion amount to nothing when death is set to strike. Why does the persona on that account believe everything? He does so because of his belief that in death his once conscious existence becomes nothingness and so not only does he dread this state of non-existence, he is negatively fascinated by the mystery that lies behind the curtain of Life. In looking at religion principally, a vanity in the persona’s estimation, it appears to be a fact from the persona’s position that a religious devotee and his opposite figure end up in the same state and by virtue of that it matters not which road both may have taken or travelled, whether good or evil, and that the only abiding truth is that both end in death which in his perception equals nonexistence. The persona strongly implies that he deserves something spiritually promising than the unbeliever and as such death for both renders his ‘labour in the affairs of religion’ vanity.
The lines, ‘Now I see clearly the…road taken and the road not taken lead in this inevitable hour lead to one end…’, reveal a self-examination of the persona’s choices in life (both good and evil) and the startling insight that he gains in his dying moment, which is that irrespective of the path taken to arrive at those choices, death plays down the consequences whether of punishment or reward. The persona proceeds to question the voice of his conscience in the lines: ‘wherefore is that voice that in life warns man of making bad decisions? Is this not the fruition of it all? this narrow end at which all life’s journeys converge?’ and mocks the moral and spiritual function of the Conscience on the human mind, thus, the ‘conscientization’ process by which the human mind is guided on the path of good is worthless if at the end of making him a religious and moral bigot he is destined to end at the ‘narrow end at which all life’s journey converge.’
In the lines: ‘Oh Child, do not wet my deathbed…weep instead for your life’, the persona’s intention is clear but he goes on to enjoin his offspring to learn from his ‘unvarying tale’ so that the ‘mist’ of sentiments may clear from their eyes to enable them grasp the truth early enough that all life’s end is the same.
He buttresses his position by reminiscing the activities of his life which in his perception mean nothing in the hour in which the knowledge of past deeds accounts for nothing.

The lines: ‘when I shall close my eyes to all affairs, sensation and knowings (sic)’, capture the doctrinal issues and controversy of the subject and establishes clearly the persona’s belief in the state of man’s soul in Hereafter, which is that the soul of man is unconscious and non-existent, being utterly devoid of knowledge and sensation. He continues to lament the experience of being dead by comparing the uselessness of the memories held for him by his children when in actual reality he will be devoid of these memories.
On that position, the persona questions the Biblical allusion to Psalms 127 “CHILDREN ARE AN HERITAGE OF THE LORD”. Although the phrase, “ETERNAL HERITAGE”, does not exist in recorded Scripture, nevertheless, the persona alludes to that chapter of Psalms incorrectly to question the testimony of David.
The lines: ‘these children which this closing night will erase their memory from my head’, still underlines the persona’s belief but it goes further to claim that all knowledge, deed, devotion will be erased from his consciousness (the Seat of Intelligence) in his soul. Whether this belief has any Biblical foundation is another discourse on its own and of which elevated minds can grasp the truth of Consciousness or Unconsciousness in the Hereafter.
The piece contains very strong sentiments on the futility of Life, wisdom, religion, acquisition in the hour of death; it vigorously concludes ‘ALL IS LIE…’, there’s no difference between the brute and the sage because their end is in death.

The Persona moves to attack religion for making nonsense of labour and devotion to religion in a crucial time when he is to pass on to the great beyond. In the succeeding lines, he denies religion and its place in a moral society and upholds a humanist philosophy built on the altar of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS. In other words, morality, immorality, evil, and good are all nothing but temporal subjective choices which should never have been sold to humanity as IDEALS.
The implication then is: the standard to measure society’s global outlook changes, the notion of good and evil is systematically eroded and that notion is to be seen from the prism of ‘individualism’.
Thus, in the lines: ‘shun the voice that tells you to love good; shun the voice that tells you to live evil; shun all voice but yours…”, the persona vigorously enthrones an ULTRA-LIBERALIST PHILOSOPHY similar to the phrase famously associated with 33rd degree order freemason, Aleister Crowley: “DO WHAT THOU WILT”.
In the same vein, the line ‘Choose that life you will and live it’ reinforces the position that every behaviour, idea, policy, decision, theory, action, or knowledge is justified on the basis of POLITICAL CORRECTNESS and individualism and for which nothing must be condemned as good or bad, with the result being that social order, moral and religious PRESCRIPTIVISM that sustain the fabric of society be decimated.
His frustration mixed with fears leads him to not only ask God for insight into this ‘inexplicable journey of his embarkation’ but also to doubt the very existence of God.
This latest thought-induced frustration may reveal the spuriousness of his prayer for guidance on the authority of the fact that in the preceding lines his eventual conclusion of the subject matter is expressed thus: “ALL IS LIE…ALL THE THINGS YOU HOLD SACRED ARE NIHIL…HOW CLEARLY I SEE ALL THINGS NOW”.
The persona continues on a pattern of self-abnegation, questioning God on the concept of Spirit-essence which he resolutely believes is an incomprehensible abstraction. He argues in other words that he not only EARNS HIS SALVATION (the labour in affairs of religion) but also that the process by which God confers righteousness (self-denial and penance) are unjustified and in his estimation makes no sense as a choice if he is to please God. This realization is very crucial in that the disillusionment with even God is complete. Having reached its climax, he goes on to infer that following God in a religious system is a blind decision and that he rues the opportunity to turn back the hands of the clock and retrace the ‘road not taken’ for according to him ‘I cannot turn back and follow a different route’. His regrets continue: ‘one may plan and PRAY and still come to the same abysmal end.’

In the course of the analysis, I stumbled on a particular Biblical allusion to an end-time PROPHETIC EVENT called RAPTURE of which the persona alludes strictly to the Rapture apportioned for DEAD SAINTS otherwise known as the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD IN THE HOUR OF THE TRUMPETS BLARING.
The persona questions the logistics of that prophetic event. The unbelieving Persona requests the preservation of his PHYSICAL BODY in the resurrection and cares not that his Soul; his Spirit essence, be damned. Apart from considering the hypocrisy of the request, there’s a fundamental misconception responsible for the persona’s warped understanding of the word ‘BEING’ seeing that he equates the physical body without the soul to the BEING of Man.
The word BEING refers to ESSENCE, EXISTENCE or anything material or immaterial that can be conceived as existing. In other words, when we speak of a material being, we refer to a physical entity with the ingredient of LIFE, the consummate unity of soul and body. Thus, a cadaver cannot properly be referred to as ‘being’ having lost the quality of LIFE, hence the words ‘body, remains and corpse’ exist in vocabularies to capture that thought.
The persona goes on to reject a purified version of his soul to preserve his old imperfect self and still dreams of immortality which only purified souls can enjoy, for nothing unworthy can walk with God.
The succeeding lines as we consider their immense significance reveal a STAGGERING DISCOVERY by the Persona.
The lines: ‘I look but I cannot see, I listen but I cannot hear, I touch but I cannot feel; everything is melting away, nothing remains but this chasmic feel’ strongly suggest that the Persona is encountering a NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE which brings him to a point where he can be properly described as DEAD. In his uncertainty, he appeals to a Higher Intelligence for revelatory insights into what he is to face in the hereafter.
One thing is clear: the miserable state of the persona’s soul is characterized by frustration, fear, rebellion, unbelief and distrust.
As his Soul leaves his body, his spirit-essence feels lighter as it gradually ‘melts away’ from the physical body. It is very crucial that we determine precisely the point of the persona’s death to enable us appreciate the staggering discovery as we will see in the final analysis.
The lines ‘I look but I cannot see, listen but cannot hear, touch but cannot feel’ identifies exactly the point of death and his arrival into the realm of the Afterlife.
On a religious plane, the whole concept of retribution in the hereafter is denied when the soul of man is thrown into nothingness and can suffer no punishment or reap any reward for choices taken in mortal life. And upon adopting this truth – ‘choose that life you will, live it’, there will be no regrets in the hour of death as nothing will count in the end but annihilation of body, soul, and knowledge. In in other words, it will not have mattered if one lived according to the dictates of religion because in the final analysis death ends all. 
This conclusion captures the decimation of religion’s influence on the people’s choices as PRINCIPAL ESCHATOLOGICAL DOCTRINES lose their hold on devotees of religion.

When we consider the lines: ‘what dreams I will encounter in this eternal sleep I do not know’, the persona starkly contradicts himself and his belief by implying that the state of death is akin to eternal sleep. Whether this phrase is literal or metaphorical will facilitate a deeper understanding of the persona’s belief regarding its consistency.
The lines: ‘I hear the Voice’, we are forced to ask a material question: Is the Persona hearing a voice after death when he believes that there is no sensation or knowledge in death? Or better yet: is he having a Near-Death Experience which of course is a reasonable consequence of his religious inclinations in his mortal life. The latter view seems more plausible but we find out almost immediately that the persona uses this ‘vision’ to discredit his entire religious experience, labour and sacrifice to God.
He chides the whole concept of righteous living in return for eternal reward in the lines: ‘but what is religion when I close my eyes…the living who hope to reap the reward of their devotion when they are dead? Whose then is God – the dead who will not have him or the living who will die for Him…’
Now we examine the first-hand experience of the persona in this other realm: on arriving on the other side, the persona carefully describes the sensation to be one of ‘peace, ineffable bliss’ and a floating soul in vast space. There are strong reasons to suggest that the persona is thoroughly confused as he struggles to comprehend this staggering discovery vis-à-vis his belief that there is no knowledge, sensation, or consciousness in the afterlife.
When the Persona describes himself as an ‘unfeeling being’, his falsehood is all the more annoying as an unfeeling being cannot experience ineffable bliss, peace and even see a dazzling luminary.
The lines: ‘I strain for this ethereal sight’ authoritatively indicates that the persona retains all qualities of his consciousness (the five senses) and of which the physical body is designed by God to enable the soul interact in a material environment.
Now we are faced with resolving the persona’s dilemma, and so we ask the question: How can we reconcile the persona’s beliefs with what he actually discovered in the afterlife?
The only explanation to this is that the persona’s belief which operated as enlightenment in the hour of death is nothing but a HUGE LIE.
It is quite funny that the persona retains the sense of taste even though it would not be out of place to know what he is tasting. The discovery in the spirit realm exposes the grand hoax that the persona has sustained until now.
The lines: ‘around me they circle, no they are me, but there’s no me’, furnish great occasion for the poet’s confusion to be manifest as he questions and doubts even his own existence.

Omenga, through the instrumentality of the persona, has pulled a grand hoax although momentarily as this analysis exposes the objective truth that the human soul exist and is conscious after death. There are vindications to that effect with recorded Scripture being the only Authoritative source of all Absolute truth: the biblical account of Saul, Samuel, and the Witch of Endor; the parable of Lazarus and the Rich man and Jesus’ descent into Hell to preach to spirits of dead saints (from Adam to the thief on the cross) prior to his crucifixion.
My projection is further vindicated when we consider that the persona’s soul represented by the word “I” continues to exist even after death (see the stunning number of times “I” appears in the last 30 lines).
The last line: ‘Ah, this…where…may I…O?cr…h…’ is a failed attempt by the persona to suggest that at this point the soul goes into unconsciousness or nothingness. We have seen before now that this cannot be true as the persona believes that at death, consciousness ceases for the soul.

In conclusion, the analysis reveals a grand hoax thoroughly woven around a very warped perception of Consciousness in the afterlife. Joshua Omenga, through the persona, paints a very false picture of the concept; his inconsistencies are masterfully hidden in philosophical poise and can only be detected by a very perceptive and analytical mind, even though we must give him credit for vicariously pulling such feat.
Outside of the analytical implications of this piece, Omenga reflects in this piece the thought process of a religious bigot so to speak who is disdained by the fact that all life, whether brute or sage, is destined to end in the same manner and consequence for which he questions everything sacred, including challenging God by His existence to justify his religious labour in the end; this ‘haughtiness’ is exemplified when he scorns a purified soul in favour of his old imperfect self and dares to dream of immortality on his terms.
He masterminds a great LIE which he himself is not thoroughly convinced of in the end as he questions his belief in the face of that staggering discovery – ‘but there is no me’.
In the final analysis, this is an attempt to capture the persona’s utter disillusionment with religion in the hour of death and reveals a staggering discovery in the afterlife: that his disappointment was a self-orchestrated hoax at the expense of his eternal destiny, a truth which the persona desperately seeks to deny even in death.