A touch of grey in an otherwise blazing sunny sky is a relief these days. Matter of fact, you look to the sky, whisper “thank you”, and try to get away from under the sky while the respite is available. That touch of relief has been missing these past days.

Pump price has been performing high jumps; gymnastics that have kept petrol between N130, N140, and N150- an almost 100% spike over the official N87. This is despite that many State governments are owing civil servants many months of unpaid salaries; and the imaginable economic and financial consequences of that.

In the middle of this, a date rape by the 2015 Flash Fiction literature prize being organized by Etisalat, a telecommunications company, is keeping those relieving grey clouds further away.


Zebra Crossing by Michael Ajisafe Oluwafemi, is a satirical short piece entered for the prize and, was until its disappearance from the page of the prize, the story with the most votes- over 3,000. Surprisingly, links to the story started getting responses of “error 404”, “ccontent not found”, “abusive and insultive” yesterday, November 30, 2015. Letters have been written to the competition’s coordinators, but no responses have been received.

When would we stop making the sun shine hotter on others? Would it hurt Etisalat 2015 Prize for Flash Fiction to either fix the web glitch (if there is any) or explain what happened to the story? How, by the way, does a story go from being the highest voted to being “not found”? The questions beg answers; and because we are tired of the hot sun, answers would keep being sought until a grey cloud shows up somewhere. Enough of people making the lives of other people as tough as possible.

Some transparency, honesty, and integrity isn’t asking for too much… or is it?



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