Aunty Grace flogged me for eating on the road

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Aunty Grace flogged me that day. I’ve ever lived to remember that. It’s the day grandmother sent me to the market. She said that I should use the Kobo and buy moi-moi and eat. It’s when moi-moi was foiled in plantain leaf. Milk cup wasn’t then used to make moi-moi.

Author: Odimegwu Onwumere
Author: Odimegwu Onwumere

When Aunty Grace caught me on the bush path eating the moi-moi while going home, she leveled the entire cassava stem in the nearby farm on me. She said that I was a disgrace to her brother, who’s my father. She said that her brother was a disciplined and a middle class man.

When passersby came to my rescue, she said I should promise her that I would never eat again on the road all my life. That caution over 30yrs stuck to date. But to my chagrin, I see well-dressed persons eat, trekking on the road, either masticating corn, plantain chips or licking orange or something. I’d thought that Aunty Grace was wicked, but she saved me from this nuisance.

When I brought this experience before friends on Facebook recently, a lady who resides in Canada opined that she did not see anything wrong in eating in the streets, but it all depends. ?I don’t see anything wrong in eating on the road. So long as you are doing it responsibly. For instance on Thursdays, I?m so busy that the only break I have is just 10 mins.

?And that break is walking from class to work which is approximately 10 mins. Shuffling food down my throats as I rush to work is the only solution, if not, I will have to wait till I get Home. There are so many people their lives are like that, especially in the developed worlds…

?You get so busy that sitting down to eat during the day is a lot of wasted time…. Here, we eat in classes. But how dare you eat in the class in Nigeria, especially when the lecturer is teaching!? she said.

A diplomat with notable organisations around the globe said that we Nigerians were raised up with the view that it does not add up to eat in the streets, but reiterated that eating food deserves some dignity too.

?Well I was shocked arriving in New York for an international assignment and seeing all my colleagues drinking their oatmeal along the street and heading off to work! I couldn’t adjust as I had to learn how to not take breakfast at home but either at work or buy a carry-food box for my breakfast. To see a papa bom-boy drinking oatmeal or tea and biscuits along the road took a lot of adjustment for me,? the diplomat expressed.

The diplomat continued, saying, ?Well I returned back to Nigeria for short-term assignment with the UN in Abuja. Since I formed the habit of being at office at 7am I continued that way showing up at work by 7am with my oatmeal cup and biscuits which I will be eating heading up the stairs or the lift. This was before the BH bombed the place!

?So one day one hard-nosed and no-nonsense Secretary asked me this question; “Dr. make you no vex. I wan ask you question”. And I said, ?Yes?. Then she goes on this way; ?Oga wetin dey drive you away from the house that you show up here every 7am drinking oatmeal, abi you no get wife for house? If you no get, please let us. This is embarrassing for a big oga like you”.?

The man said that he just laughed but she went on saying it is serious. So this madam secretary has already judged him and his status and placed him in the category of big man who shouldn’t be found racing to office too early and on top of that taking oatmeal breakfast to office.

?Big Oga takes time to eat at home the breakfast prepared by the wife. In fact every big oga must be married! Culture is variegated and shaded so much ? diversity doesn’t capture it,? he enthused.

However, if you ask me to mention a people who have manners and attitudes to lose, I would mention the West. Laws and laws in that place have caged the people to be respecters of laws but abandon the moral and morale etiquettes.

Of what glamour does it add to a man to wear his clothes in the street because he wants to be quick to office? My people, amorality has no maternal home. Diplomacy has to go in line with decency. Decorum should not be subjected to repression and we call the later civilisation or lifestyle.

I was taught to always uphold decorum and will never distance myself from morality. It is important that the dignity of human being is upheld all the time. Countries should teach their people how to live a life of constructive and co-operative.

Eating in the streets is madness sound, just as we have wave sound. If films have decorum in order to reach to a wider audience, why can?t human being be respected and given orders that should elevate their status instead of denigrate them.

 

Source: ?Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer, Rivers State. ([email protected]). Tel: +2348057778358.

National Almajiri Education And Its Significance

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The social significance of the almajiri schools has been a subject that analysts are yet to reach to any definite characterization. In the northern part of the country, this school system is Utopia regardless the neo-definition of education by the Boko Haram sect in the north as a sin. Against this backdrop, those who are not from the north have been worried that while the almajiris wander the streets in search for support from people, they pose a threat to national security as they could be feasible to the indoctrinations of the Boko Haram terrorists group.

PIC.14.  PUPIL OF  ALMAJIRI  TSANGAYA MODEL PRIMARY SCHOOL,  DURING THE INAUGURATION OF THE SCHOOL  IN BAUCHI ON SATURDAY  (2/11/13).

It was perceptible that 30 per cent of Northern youths were almajiris, even though that Katsina State was among the first place in the regions that made up Nigeria where the first college in the northern Nigeria was built. President Goodluck Jonathan affirmed this when he visited Katsina State for his 2015 electioneering campaign on Tuesday, January 20 2015. The president said that the Federal Government established 38 Almajiri Quranic schools in Katsina State with 19,000 pupils? enrolment.

This is apart from accounts that Borno State is reverenced as a centre of Islamic learning, with 389,048 almajiri pupils. From records, Kaduna State has 824,233 almajiris. By October 2012, the Federal Government had said that it had completed 64 out of the 89 Almajiri schools in the northern part of the country, yet the number of almajiris in the north was not reducing. In making sure that there is an incorporated education that would encompass basic Western education alongside Islamic education as a means of plummeting the level of illiteracy in the northern region, which was seen as the causative factor of the incessant uproar in the north at any slight provocation, the Federal Government built seven Almajiri/Tsangaya schools in Niger State alone and handed them over to the state government, even though that observers later found out that the number of almajiri schools built in the state were far lower than the population of almajiris in the state.

By February 9 2014, it was revealed from a survey conducted by the Niger State government, in which it was found out that there were no smaller amount than 57, 281 almajiris in the state. Two almajiri schools that were built in Birnin Kebbi and Argungu as at the year in quote were reportedly left closed since finishing point two years ago. It was not certain why the relapse in the programme whether as it was the agreement between the FG and the states government that the former would take care for about 70%, while the state takes care of the rest 40%. What has delayed completion of the schools in some states was, according to explorations, the states concerned were not playing along with the federal government in making sure that the project was achievable. By April 2012, the Federal Government had spent N5 billion on 35 model almajiri primary schools being built across the nation, said Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETF, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, in Sokoto.

As at May 13 2014, a statement by Mr. David Apeh, Public Relations Officer of UBEC, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said that 103 of these schools have been completed and handed over to the SUBEBs, while 22 were at various stages of completion. It was believed that the Federal Government came up with the idea of the modernised almajiri schools when it was being recurrently criticized for the insecurity in the north, with Nigerians on this criticism job also not restraining an accusing finger that the Boko Haram threat in the North was for the lack of qualitative education in the area.

With the entire attendant racket by the government, a group known as the Grassroots Development Network on January 7 2015 said that the Almajiri schools cannot provide qualitative teaching because they are underfunded. This disclosure was made by the National Coordinator of the group, Yusuf Garba in Kaduna. According to Garba, about 127 almajiri schools across the northern states lacked essential teaching and learning facilities and the nomadic basis which is the core lifestyle of the almajiris. The group was invariably talking about statistics presented by Arewa Youth Mobilisation, AYM, as at April 26 2012 that there were 1.6 million almajiris in 26,000 tsangaya schools across the 44 local government areas of Kano State.

Yet, President Jonathan had assured Nigerians at the inauguration that his administration believed that the time has come for the country to build on the moral foundations of the traditional school system by providing the almajiri with conventional knowledge and skills that would enable them to fully realise their creative and productive potential. However, some opinion leaders had divergent views, describing the almajiri practice as ancient practice in the north where indigent children were colonised by Mallams to be begging for arms in the streets for them.

Nonetheless, some schools of thought believed that such school had worked in the past, but now, ?an avenue for the mass production of miscreants, thugs and vagabonds.? El-Amin Zubairu, Coordinator, Peoples Advocacy for Human Rights, PAFHR, a Northern-based group had told newsmen: ?As far as I am concerned, the Almajiri system should give way, we no longer need it in the north. I am a good Muslim and I know how my religion admonishes us to treat the poor. A lot of indices point to the fact that almajiris are now tools in the hands of those who use them to perpetuate evil. So, whether it is Almajiri education or not, the system should be confined to history.?

Some public affairs analysts had characterized the project as a waste of Nigeria?s scarce resources. They believed that the money should’ve been expended on the fight against some diseases ravaging the northern part of the country such as cholera and blindness. These Nigerians added that they knew that even if the country preferred to invest its money in the almajiri school project, the almajiris and their sponsors would rather prefer rankadede (which translates to begging). Other Nigerians had slammed President Jonathan that he was indirectly not regarding the north as part of Nigeria by his administration?s encouragement of almajiri schools in the north. To this set of people, they frowned that promoting almajiri schools was invariably promoting Islam over other religions in the country

It is on record that the Senate had in 2008, made an attempt to end the almajiri debacle by proposing a bill for the acting-out of the National Commission for the Eradication of Child Destitution in Nigeria. Known as Almajiri Bill, it was sponsored by Umaru Argungu and 31 others. In their mindset, they required that any proprietor of an unregistered tsangaya school should be punished with two years jail term. It is perceivable that the efforts of the Federal Government in spending billions of naira to build almajiri schools across the 19 Northern states failed, as Boko Haram terrorists that have been ravaging the northern part of the country, are recruiting young suicide bombers in their fold; mostly children who are picked from the streets in the north begging for arms, suspected to be the almajiris.

Although, the children in the almajiri schools were so glad when in May 2014, the Federal Government, in association with the Universal Basic Education Commission, distributed 50 per cent of the cost essential for the acquiring of school uniforms to them. President Goodluck Jonathan under whose leadership the project was being executed had said in Sokoto city, the Seat of the legendary Sokoto Caliphate that he would have been an almajiri if he was from the north, because he owned no shoe as a kid living with his poor parents in the hinter region of Ijaw.

The aim of the National Almajiri Education initiative was to re-dress the out-of-school children syndrome at the grassroots. It was believed that the programme was to guarantee that children at the early childhood stage had access to education, which was one of the statutory functions of the commission, hence 125 almajiri model schools were being constructed by the Federal Government under the National Almajiri Education Programme.

Source:
Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer,
writes from Rivers State. ([email protected]). Tel: +2348032552855.

Inheriting ?A Dead God?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

When you say “A dead God” and “A living God” what do you have in mind? Obviously, from the Nigerian Christians’ periscope, they refer “A Dead God” to represent the numerous Gods that Africa has and use “A living God” to quantify the God that is called Jehovah/Yahweh.

church

While we will be exploring to understand the misinformation the West has for ages been using against Africa and Africans against their Gods and majority of our people have swallowed their lies line, lead and sinker and many are still swallowing, in 2012, I had excerpted some lines contained in Robert Obioha’s Column, Friday Sun, Oct. 12, 2012, Pg 19, for us to understand if our traditional peoples worship ?A Dead God?.

In that wonderful piece, Obioha writes: “All religions including the received Christian and Islamic religions and African indigenous religions acknowledge the need for prayers in the life of the individual, the community and the nation… Nigerians did not hear of God and prayer from the white missionaries or their Arab counterparts.

?Our forebears had been praying and worshipping their God on the terms they knew best before the unwarranted incursion of these intruders. Yet after praying for good crop yield, they go to the farm and till the soil. They work and pray. But today, Nigerians literally depend on prayers that only prayer controls their lives. They pray to God to heal them of headache, malaria and cough…”

In 2010, I had written in other fora that Professor Molefi Kete Asante in his article titled ?The Future Of African Gods: The Clash of Civilization? (July 10, 1998) wrote that ?Those who speak to us of Christian and Islamic morals have often been the very ones who have defiled our ancestors memories and called our sacred rites paganism.

?Malcolm X once said that the world pushes the African around because we give the impression that we are chumps, but chumps, weaklings, falling over ourselves to follow other people rather than our own traditions?.

In the words of Asante, ?This is what the Chinese and Indians have fought to keep at bay. While we have often embraced our enemies? gods they have found those gods to be anathema to their interests. Show me the gods we Africans worship and I will show you the extent of our moral and ethical decay?.

In the same year, I had written that: Professor MAC Odu in his article titled ?Obama?s Significance? (Sunday Independent (Nig), October 25, 2009), didn?t sing a different song. He wrote that, ?The entry of Barack Obama into White House as President of United States of America has immense significance in the world history.

?It has happened to shut down nearly 400 years of world history that evidenced greed of Europe. It has provided the White World an opportunity for remorse for its past in broadcasting wrong principles in the world for earthly benefits.

?The world was made by Europe to believe that the Black man was less endowed than his White counterpart. That wrong principle is now dead and buried…. Zimbabwe, South Africa, Angola, Congo, Australia, New Zealand etc. are nations imbued by creation with unique features, and Europeans moved in to pollute with their craving for earthly gain and subjugating human beings allocated such lands as their heritage during their temporary sojourn here?.

In the above highlight, I must say that many people are dead in Nigeria in the name of religion, even though that they are living. They are ?dead? due to the religions that the West and Arabs introduced in the continent of Africa and they grabbed them with their two hands and legs and chests tied around the alien religions.

They do not go beyond what they were told in order to see if there are stories behind their colonized and spoon-fed minds. While they see ?dead God? in the African spirituality, yet, they call the dead ancestors of Europeans and Americans to assist them in their prayers. I want to scream sometimes, when I hear our people referring to any aboriginal things here as devil or associated to the Christians? invented demons that do not exist anywhere in the world except in the savagery mindset of the sect about spirituality.

Against that influence, it is obvious that many of our people are running away from who they are and embracing what the West wants them to be. In 2012, I had excerpted some lines that were contained in (Musician) Segun Akinlolu?s (known as Beautiful Nubia) wisdom.

Akinlolu had said in an interview in Friday Sun, Oct. 12, 2012, thus: “I am who I am. Many people are trying to run away from who they are. They are running away from who their parents are, from the heritage that is theirs. I embrace my heritage, where I’m coming from, the language they speak, the values they uphold like honesty, selflessness, uprightness, self-pride, truth and communal spirit…

?That is my package; I embrace traditional values… What some people are running away from; what they are calling too archaic, I go towards it… What the West gave us that we are trying to run toward, that all of us are trying to adopt, has its own values, advantages and disadvantages…

?What we inherited from our forefathers, ancestors are values and advantages. As somebody who has been exposed to the two, I should be a perfect agent and know the one that is superior.?

Today, ?they? are not telling us about the “Osiris” and “Horus” stories, whereas in archaeological and anthropological proofs, they were replayed down through history and attached to a host or “redeemers” like ?Tutankhamun, Chrishna of Hindostan, Budha Sakia of India, Odin of the Scaudinavians, Zoroaster and Mithra of Persia, Baal and Taut, “the only Begotten of God,” of Phenicia, Indra of Thibet, Bali of Afghanistan. Jao of Nepaul, Wittoba of the Bilingones, Thammuz of Syria, Atys of Phrygia, Xaniolxis of Thrace, Zoar of the Bonzes, Adad of Assyria, Thor, son of Odin, of the Gauls, Cadmus of Greece, Quexalcote of Mexico, the Divine Teacher of Plato, Adonis, son of the virgin Io of Greece, Quirinus of Rome, Prometheus of Caucasus, Mohamud, or Mahomet, of Arabia, and finally Jesus of Nazareth…?

At present, the West apparently is telling us that it is superior to Africa and in one of their biblical injunctions, told us that the Egyptians we see today we shall see them no more, whereas the same Egypt was the cradle of the world?s cultures and traditions and from where even the Christian traditions were re-phrased by early Greeks and Romans for political reasons.

Nowadays, those political policies are hoodwinking our people into believing that ours is always ?A dead God? but ?A living God? for the West. I had written in another forum in 2010 that in the light of that, Meshiyach Yahzitere Yahmarabhi in his article ? ?Hard Truth? ? (published in The Moonlight newspapers, Nigeria, April 20-26, 2010), said ?… we still see their churches and mosques as salvation chambers while those things were consciousness we inherited as slaves?.

He further opined that the African race can never see civilization if they continue playing the scripts written for them by the western world, and he maintained that ?…truly liberation in Africa can?t be meaningful until a strong and truthful religion emerges from Africa and dominate the world….

?Walter Rodney, an African-American stock in his epic socio-scientific thesis named ?How Europe Underdeveloped Africa?, Yahmarabhi said he prophesied the perpetual domination of Africa by Europe, unless Africa looked inward to thwart the evil mechanization of the imperialists and neo-imperialists. (But he was tagged a nincompoop).?

Just as Rodney was tagged a radical (by Europe), a Marxist and a social scientist with little relevance to human history, in another era, Frantz Fanon in his book ?Wretched of the Earth?, Yahmarabhi said, ?Fanon exposed the annihilation scheme of the imperialists to turn Africa to a mere economic zoo, where Africa as a suppressed specie of human beings will turn to robots… likewise Fanon was regarded with loathsomeness at home and abroad.?

In what the West has told us is the Ten Commandments of God, has been exposed as not such in many ancient proofs, which shall be dissected accordingly as we burgeon in this discussion. According to Xenophilia, a website for (True Strange Stuff), ?The Ten Commandments, eight of them at least, were taken from the Egyptian Principles of Ma?at written at least 2000 years earlier.?

The investigation goes further: ?Written at least 2,000 years before the Ten Commandments of Moses, the 42 Principles of Ma?at are one of Africa?s, and the world?s oldest sources of moral and spiritual instruction. Ma?at, the Ancient Egyptian divine Principle of Truth, Justice, and Righteousness, is the foundation of natural and social order and unity.

?Ancient Africans developed a humane system of thought and conduct which has been recorded in volumes of African wisdom literature, such as, these declarations from the Book of Coming Forth By Day (the so-called Book of the Dead), The Teachings of Ptah-Hotep, the writings of Ani, Amenemope, Merikare, and others?

?One aspect of ancient Egyptian funerary literature which often is mistaken for a codified ethic of Ma?at is Chapter 125 of the Book of the Dead, often called the 42 Declarations of Purity or the Negative Confession. These declarations varied somewhat from tomb to tomb, and so cannot be considered a canonical definition of Ma?at.

?Rather, they appear to express each tomb owner?s individual conception of Ma?at, as well as working as a magical absolution (misdeeds or mistakes made by the tomb owner in life could be declared as not having been done, and through the power of the written word, wipe that particular misdeed from the afterlife record of the deceased).

?Many of the lines are similar, however, and they can help to give the student a ?flavor? for the sorts of things which Ma?at governed?essentially everything from the most formal to the most mundane aspect of life. Many versions are given on-line, unfortunately seldom do they note the tomb from which they came or, whether they are a collection from various different tombs.? ? (Wiki).

Tiger Lily responded on January 3, 2012 at 2:27 am concerning the distorted Egyptian 42 Commandments:

I don?t mean to be rude, but this is not about black or white. This is a post about the history of theological beliefs. Moses was indeed adopted by the Egyptian royals and would clearly have known the laws of Goddess Ma?at. He would have used that knowledge to convert his followers. You see, people don?t always follow a completely new idea. Often there has to be some form of familiarity to convince people to a new way of thinking. Moses did that. Christians later did that to Pagans?etc. It?s actually very political. He wanted an uprising. He wanted people to follow him. He needed to convince them. How better than to preach something they already knew? So this has NOTHING to do with white or black and I find it so infuriating that someone always makes a racist remark. It?s politics. It?s theology. But this is not black against white or vice versa.

In my article titled, ?The stolen African literature? (2010), I had made the following informed comments:

The Ameer Spiritual leader, and Pan-African Movement leader, Writer/Poet Naiwu Osahon, in his masterpiece titled ?Bible Calls God Satan?, amongst other things, had the same view with the above writer. Osahon wrote that ?the Bible is made up of the Old and New Testaments, and is the canon of the three branches of Christianity: Roman Catholic, Greek and other orthodox sects, and the Protestant groups. Judaism and Islam put premium on the Old Testament, which came from a wide range of ancient manuscripts written in archaic Hebrew, Aramaic, and Chaldean languages, with their problems of modern interpretations.

?Some of the books misquoted, distorted or misinterpreted to assemble the bible included: The Book of the Dead (African), which the British Museum gave their own title of (The book of the Coming Forth by Day and Night), in 1895. The book of Divines (African); the Book of Judgment (African); the Heart of Judgment and such other works.

?Also included in the list of documents, of course, was the Jewish Old Testament. Two of the most important documents the church fathers distorted and suppressed while putting the Christian religion together namely: The Coptic Scrolls, sometimes called the Nag Hammadi literature, were found at Nag Hammadi in 1945, while the Dead Sea Scrolls (supposed to have been produced around the 9th or 10th Century, were dug out of a cave near Qumran in the Judean desert in the 1950s?.

Researcher Ben Noah also talked about such books, and he wrote: ?Books such as: The Egyptian Book of the Dead (originally titled The Book of Coming Forth by Day and by Night) by E. A. Wallis Budge; The Coffin Text and The Pyramid Text; The World?s Sixteen Crucified Saviors by Kersey Graves; and Christianity Before Christ by John G. Jackson, among others, have recorded these various stories and all you have to do is read them to see this evidence for yourself.

?Some Egyptologists feel that the triad of deities: Amon, Mut and Khonsu, at the temple in Karnak, were copied by the early Christians to form the present Holy Trinity. I kid you not when I say that “all roads lead to Egypt and not Rome”. Rome has just lied about it…. As a side note, according to most Christian scriptures, Jesus was said to have been born in Bethlehem, or Nazareth.

?In the Coptic writings, where the oldest Christians called Copts still reside (Kemet and Ethiopia), and according to Dr. Yosef ben-Jochannan, a Kemetologist, born in Ethiopia, Jesus was said to have been born in Kemet (Egypt). In Matthew 2:15, it still says, “Out of Egypt shall I call my son!”

?Contrary to written sources, Kemet (Egypt) is where Christianity was born, while Ethiopia built the first Christian Church and was the world?s first and oldest Christian nation. Christianity was originally an African religion, as was the Hebrew African religion called Judaism?.

Juxtaposing to that, the erudite writer/poet Osahon stated that ?The Scrolls incorporate ideas from very ancient Pagan times in Egypt, and The Dead Sea Scrolls include Isaiah?s materials dating back to the second century BCE. These were all doctored while being translated into European languages.

?For instance, the Jews while translating the Hebrew religion into Greek text fraudulently spelt one of their deities or idols, with the capital letter ?G? for ?God? while spelling the idols of other nations with the small letter ?g? for ?god?.

?Seventy Jewish scholars gathered in Alexandra, Egypt, around 200 BCE to perpetrate the fraud. They found that although Judaism was preaching monotheism, they were in reality serving several deities or gods of the Canaanites?.

Osahon reiterated that what the world today refers to as the ?Most High God? was the Canaanite God: ?El?.

?The Canaanites deity was El (or El Elyon),? he said, ?Whose subordinates or sons were spelt with small letters as in: el, eloah and elohiym. None of these deities, not even El, was considered the Supreme or Universal Being.

?They were all deities with El as their superior or Father or the only God that could be spelt with the capital letter ?G?. These deities were actually super human beings who had at one time or the other lived on earth and are now ancestors who took charge of several individual nations. El Elyon (Black, Father or God of all gods), allocated the nations of the world to the deities?.

Yet, while many of us refer to our aboriginal Gods as ?Dead?, Xenophilia, the website for (True Strange Stuff) has this to say: ?Here is a different translation showing how ?THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT? correlate with the 10 commandments.

?Moses, if he existed, (there is no undisputed historical/archaeological evidence that he did), was an Egyptian. According to stories, he was adopted by an Egyptian royal family. If that were true he would have been familiar with these principles. If there was no historical Moses, then others most likely borrowed a few of the Principles of Ma?at when composing the Ten Commandments.?

Read the below:

THE 42 COMMANDMENTS OF ANCIENT EGYPT

I.
Thou shalt not kill, nor bid anyone kill.

II.
Thou shalt not commit adultery or rape.

III.
Thou shalt not avenge thyself nor burn with rage.

IV.
Thou shalt not cause terror.

V.
Thou shalt not assault anyone nor cause anyone pain.

VI.
Thou shalt not cause misery.

VII.
Thou shalt not do any harm to man or to animals.

VIII.
Thou shalt not cause the shedding of tears.

IX.
Thou shalt not wrong the people nor bear them any evil intent.

X.
Thou shalt not steal nor take that which does not belong to you.

XI.
Thou shalt not take more than thy fair share of food.

XII.
Thou shalt not damage the crops, the fields, or the trees.

XIII.
Thou shalt not deprive anyone of what is rightfully theirs.

XIV.
Thou shalt not bear false witness, nor support false allegations.

XV.
Thou shalt not lie, nor speak falsely to the hurt of another.

XVI.
Thou shalt not use fiery words nor stir up any strife.

XVII.
Thou shalt not speak or act deceitfully to the hurt of another.

XVIII.
Thou shalt not speak scornfully against others.

XIX.
Thou shalt not eavesdrop.

XX.
Thou shalt not ignore the truth or words of righteousness.

XXI.
Thou shalt not judge anyone hastily or harshly.

XXII.
Thou shalt not disrespect sacred places.

XXIII.
Thou shalt cause no wrong to be done to any workers or prisoners.

XXIV.
Thou shalt not be angry without good reason.

XXV.
Thou shalt not hinder the flow of running water.

XXVI.
Thou shalt not waste the running water.

XXVII.
Thou shalt not pollute the water or the land.

XXVIII.
Thou shalt not take God?s name in vain.

XXIX.
Thou shalt not despise nor anger God.

XXX.
Thou shalt not steal from God.

XXXI.
Thou shalt not give excessive offerings nor less than what is due.

XXXII.
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor?s goods.

XXXIII.
Thou shalt not steal from nor disrespect the dead.

XXXIV.
Thou shalt remember and observe the appointed holy days.

XXXV.
Thou shalt not hold back the offerings due God.

XXXVI.
Thou shalt not interfere with sacred rites.

XXXVII.
Thou shalt not slaughter with evil intent any sacred animals.

XXXVIII.
Thou shalt not act with guile or insolence.

XXXIX.
Thou shalt not be unduly proud nor act with arrogance.

XL.
Thou shalt not magnify your condition beyond what is appropriate.

XLI.
Thou shalt do no less than your daily obligations require.

XLII.
Thou shalt obey the law and commit no treason.

On July 27, 2013 at 5:05 pm one Ahabyah Of’Zion made the following confessional statement in response to the above on the website, buttressing how the subject ?God? came into existence and opens a new mind of how Africans inherited the concept ? ?A Dead God? while the West ? ?A living God?.

Ahabyah Of ‘Zion said, ?First of all, do you people not know that those of old reverence themselves as ?Gods? ?Goddesses?? Every Law they set was inspired by self… The word ?God? in the past reference that one was in control, leader, or one of authority which means if Obama or Beyounce was back then he (or she) would be a ?GOD/Goddesses?.

?Thank the Most High he has given me revelations that go far beyond what so many of you simple people understand. You all would worship anything and everything except for the right thing.

?That?s why the world is in chaos today. You don?t need a ?God?, ?Goddess? or the spirits of old to reach the father. If you search deep within yourself with true love for the creator and put away foolish traditions he would find you. You wouldn?t have to go whoring around with the ?Book of the Dead?, King James Bible or other idolatry to reach The Most High??

Correcting the later oversight by Ahabyah Of ‘Zion, Lorraine Voss responded on the same page on May 12, 2014 at 1:25 am: ??and the ?Book Of The Dead? is the title that the Europeans named changing the true Book?s name the ?Coming Forth By Day, and by Night? in 1835 (remember what Osahon said. Mine), because of their misunderstanding, as usual?. and it?s a book that documents all of the papyrus found by archaeologists on the walls of stone written by the ancient Afrikan Kings, and Queens. You will learn this if you do the research that it?s all kept in the British, and Cairo Museums, history, and artifacts?Hotep.?

In October 2014, I had written that the so-called ?Most High? is not separated from man. And I wrote: ?Much as I know, man is of three substances or elements: the body, the soul and the Spirit. The Spirit is uncreated and this differentiates man from man, and man from animals. The early Igbo knew about this truth and they have the maxim: Onye n’Chi ya (Everybody has his own Spirit/God).

?This Spirit/God is not externalised. However, the dis(organised) religions of this world have tied this Spirit/God in the ecumenical politics through which the different dis(organised) religions cropped-up. This Spirit/God was known to be a Spark in everybody and was not externalised as it is today.

?Conversely, the Spirit/God has been shackled and imprisoned against (its) will through (ORGANISED) dogmas and doctrines of all these book-religions, thereby making man to look at his Spirit/God as something that is too far to be reached. The Spirit/God is “uncreated antimatter spark” chained up in a body and envisioned by the soul.

?Every man has control over his Spirit/God, without which “man would never have stopped being a hominid”. It is this Spirit/God that makes man to evolve. The Spirit/God always goes out with the soul when a man transits.?

To sum up this treatise, another commentator on the website on September 22, 2013 at 9:39 pm said, ?Egypt is our culture. We were Kings and Queens, we are Gods. There are things in this world no one would ever understand, because the man has them thinking with a closed mind. Open that third eye? (Our Creator) gave you and see things for what they really are. Black men and women are the most special beings in the first five galaxies including this one. We can do amazing things once we stop (not being who we originally were. Mine).?

Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348057778358. Email: [email protected]

The Many Lies Of Orji Exposed

By? Odimegwu Onwumere

The rains are here again bringing to public glare the many mendacities of Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji government of Abia State, concerning the once ubiquitous Ariaria International Market in Aba area of the state.

 

ariara international marketThe market has become a gloominess of itself losing its once allure of international presence. It has not only lost its international quality, but, to a large extent its local quality, as traders find it scratchy trading in the market anymore, due to surging flooding that covers the entire market when it rains, damaging goods and property worth millions of naira.

 

The dilapidated environment of the market is ever ready to pull down tears from even the eyes of a stonehearted person, except the governor. When this writer visited the market for first hand information, it was wailing and gnashing of teeth by not only the traders, but, also, those who came from far and near to buy one item or the other in the market.

 

It?s imperative to declare that the governor does not understand the importance of the market to Ndigbo and, the world at large. Therefore, he is bent on using multiple dishonesties in responding to the plight of the traders and buyers in the market.

 

The ghastly catastrophe of the government is that it has refused to eschew greed, self-centeredness. It does not do the right thing! There is no pliable roads in the market except those Nigerians have read in the newspapers that the state government has told the world that it has built in the market, which in reality does not correspond with the reality on ground.

 

It is all living jokes in and out of the market, unlike what the Governor Akpabios of Akwa Ibom State would have done using a matching contractor like Julius Berger to do a fantastic work in the market, if Ariaria were to be in Akwa Ibom State. Rather, all that Governor T.A Orji and his cluster of ballyhoos know about is to collect levies and taxes from the afflicted people in the market, without having anything to show for the victims? hard-earned money.Bottom of Form 3

 

In 2012, the Abia State Government through its now fired, barefaced and shamefaced Chief Press Secretary, Ugochukwu Emezue made bogus claims of how the government had prepared to revamp the market and, contracts amounting to millions of money awarded to contractors in making sure that the market enjoyed enabling environment.

 

But, all of that are today known as story that was dished out for the dogs.The Abia State Government had told the world through the garrulous Emezue thus: ?Definitely, the hallmark of this administration is sincerity of purpose. Anybody working for the state government is working towards one goal ? to take Abia State to the next level. This is something that has not been in place before.

 

?The economic importance of the Ariaria Market remains the fact that it is the place traders go to buy and sell and if you look at some of the things that are being done in Aba, you will discover that the Market has an overwhelming economic importance within the South East and by extension Nigeria…?

 

The state government through Emezue also had confirmed that the problem with the market is neither with the traders nor with the buyers, as it said: ?The traders here are skilled and have been providing employment for youths in the area. For us, that place is a hub of economic activities in the state…?

 

With what is happening in the market today in term of environmental decay, it is necessary to state that the Gov. T.A Orji government had lied through Emezue, saying: ?The state government is trying to make sure that whoever comes here (Ariaria Market) is comfortable and at the end of the day the state benefits?.

 

It is on record that this market which started its commercial activities in 1976 has not experienced the menace of environmental woes as it is experiencing in this government. It?s not the belief of the founders of the market that traders would be experiencing its current fate, which was what they suffered in a market its name was given as Aba Ikoha Market, which gutted fire enhancing traders to relocate to Ariaria.

 

With over 30, 000 stores, Ariaria now suffers congestion to its brim. The government hardly remembers that it had said through Emezue that ?When you have accessible roads it makes it possible for people to come this place to transact their businesses under a favourable condition. If the place is not accessible who will come to patronize your goods??

 

Apart from the gullies and flooding in the market, another heartbreaking side of findings is that many of the traders are gearing up to relocate to perceived favourable neighbouring states like Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Rivers, even Cameroun. One trader told this writer that, ?Cameroonians were before major buyers of leather products, particularly shoes manufactured in the market, but they are no more again today, as the numbers of Cameroonians that come to the market are insignificant. If at all any still comes!?

 

It was renowned through a source that the government of Gov. T.A Orji had mapped out a sum supposedly to be in the tone of N50million and awarded the contract for the construction of seven internal roads in the market. Yet, there are drainage and road problems in the market, making the roads impenetrable as the rains are here.

 

Another trader interviewed lamented that the market was better of when it was beforehand governed by Aba North Local Government Area of the state, before the state government decided to take it over with allegation that the Aba North Local Government Area was incapable of managing the market adequately.

 

Not even a committee that was set up by the Abia State Government through the State Ministry of Commerce has lived up to the expectation of manning the roads and drainages in the market. The management board seemingly headed by one Chief Francis Duru assigned with the work of ?collecting revenues accruable to the market for the purposes of maintaining standard there? was unable to ?bring about a turnaround in the physical development, revenue generation and standardization of the Market in no distant time.?

 

Duru reportedly had said when his committee was assigned with the job that, he was very happy with the governor of the state. Duru had also believed that with the government supposedly handing over the leadership of the market to the traders of the market, there would be improvement in the infrastructure reconstruction, rehabilitation and reformation of the market.

 

He apparently had said: ?My government will buy three compressor tractors that will be in charge of refuse disposal, three tippers that will be going round the market to collect refuse so as to ensure that the market remains clean at all times.

 

?We have started the scooping of all the gutters and drainages and I believe that by the time we finish the construction of the roads, this market will regain its lost glory in the state and beyond. I will specially thank the Governor because of the timely intervention on the issue of road in the market…?

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: [email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Can Gov. T.A Orji Be A Saint?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

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Gov. T.A Orji
Gov. T.A Orji

Today, the world is becoming more aware everyday of how Gov. T.A Orji operates a government of blackmail and falsehood against nonconformists to his views of governance. Reading The Nation online, April 2 2014, one could not but agree that what this governor does is to be mobilizing media-buffoons, who go about creating blogs online and using some established websites to disseminate falsehood against any of their targeted preys and, using pseudonyms for the simple purpose of misleading the general public and, with the aim tarnishing the image of the person they want to blackmail.

?They have been doing this to individuals and groups and think that they were lucky, but they are not lucky this time with such act against the Imo State Government. Remember that there was heralded information that the convoy of Senate President David Mark was attacked in Orlu Zone of Imo State, when he attended the burial of a prominent son of the state.

?This has been confirmed as blackmail and the handiwork of the Abia State Government. It was in a bid to paint the Governor Rochas Okorocha Government in bad light, due to some skirmishes it has with Imo State, that Gov. Orji and his media-immoralists created the comment and dished it out for public consummation, as they are wont.

?In a statement by Sam Onwuemeodo, the media aide to Governor Rochas Okorocha, the Imo State Government has given a strong warning that it needs an unreserved apology from the non-performing Gov. T.A Orji, for using such a sensitive story to score contemptible political stupidity against the Imo State government.

?It was noted that after police confirmed that the convoy of the??Mark was not attacked in Imo State, as had been portrayed by the Abia State governor himself, Okorocha through Onwuemeodo, said: ?We had expected that after the Police and other security Agencies in the country had confirmed that the convoy of the Senate President was neither attacked in Imo, the Abia State Governor would have in the light of the facts, apologized to the Government and people of Imo State over his uncomplimentary remarks and insinuations on the incident which the Imo state Government had considered as a blackmail.

??It is now obvious that the Executive Governor of Abia state, and the Chairman of the South-East Governors Forum spoke in a hurry, which is of course human, but one had expected that he would have added fiber to the nation?s growing democracy if he had apologized to the Government and people of Imo state for talking in a manner that had given the impression that he had blackmailed the Government and people of the state, using the alleged attack on the Senate President?s convoy as tool.

?

?Apologizing to the Government and people of Imo state, would not have done any damage to the image and office of the Abia State Governor, rather, the apology would have portrayed him as a humble and courageous leader, and it does not also show weakness but strength of character. The state government is worried that more than two weeks after the facts of the claimed attack had been known, Abia Governor had not shown any remorse by apologizing to the people.?

?Do you shudder that such a comment that Mark?s convoy was attacked in Imo State could come from Gov. T. A Orji? Do not be surprised! The governor wants people to be afraid of his government; hence his boys and him are bent on blackmail of critics of the government and opposition politicians and others, like we can see in the case of Imo State.

?Remember that a staunch APGA leader in the state in the recent times slammed a court suit against the government of Gov. T. A Orji, demanding N10b, for activities of blackmail the man said the government had experimented against him. The man?s name is Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba. This disclosure was made on his Facebook page, maybe in other avenues too.?

In a sane democracy, the government of Gov. T.A Orji was not supposed to be against the people, through intimidating forceful moves, as if there is an on-going slave trade in Abia State.

?It is apparent to say that Gov. T.A Orji and his media gangsters are bereft of sound ideas, hence they resorted to blackmail and propaganda as ?bulletproof?.??The story they have to tell in the state and about the state, are just lies. They have been using blackmail against critics of which this writer is a victim of their much blackmail and today, their mask has been revealed and shamed before the comity of Nigerian populaces.

?It is a shame! They lack knowledge, which is like air that should not be denied anybody. Yet, they would not allow those who have the knowledge to share free-of-charge with them. When you do this, the next thing the Abia Government media-goons would do is to rush online and circulate heinous and mischievous and fictitious stories against the person giving the knowledge to the government. They see sound knowledge as criticism!

?Because the governor lacks integrity, just as we have seen in how he betrayed his estranged political mentor, his boys and him want to tarnish the image of others, whom they perceive that have integrity. Just selfish! They forgot that lies sell for a little and will never be bought.

?As Gov. Okorocha has found out that Gov. Orji operates a government of blackmail, the last inch of Gov. T.A Orji government shall perish. Gov. T.A Orji had thought that he was that oppressor who would accept the conscientiousness over our lives that we should have accepted for ourselves.

?He had thought that by taking power and doing nothing, we would give away our resilience, even when his government was leading us through turmoil and, critics and journalists through ?slaughterhouse?.

?

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348032552855

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Who Ordered The Arrest Of Ebere Wabara?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Mr. Ebere Wabara?With the emerging denials here are there by the Abia State Government of not being responsible for the unlawful arrest and illegitimate detention of the Associate Editor of The Sun, Mr. Ebere Wabara, Friday 28 March 2014, the question is on whose order was he repugnantly arrested and who is the plaintiff on the suit charging him for??sedition.

?While in the hospital after he was released from the gulag at Umuahia?on Saturday?night on the said orders of the Inspector General of Police, IGP, it was learned that Wabara was on Monday 31st?March 2014 charged to court by an?Umuahia Magistrate Court in Abia State. There was also an order to arrest Chuks Onuoha, the Abia State correspondent of The Sun newspaper and others the suit described as ?at large.?

?The ?sedition? noise clamped on Wabara was that he authored certain articles which those charging him for ?sedition? did not found favourably. But without mincing words, who is the plaintiff in this matter in which Wabara is being charged to court for sedition in absentia, where he is also brazened-out with 10-count charge that the court said bordered on sedition, defamation of character and intention to cause dilemma in the state?

?The court was not seeing that it was a sheer anarchy on the side of the police who acted to effect the arrest of Wabara simple because there was a rumour that someone wrote a petition and without verifying the foolhardiness of the petition, the mesmerized police swooped into action which some Nigerians who are lawyers are saying would cost the police and whoever that instigated them to act unlawfully, dearly at last.

?As it could be deduced, the Abia State Government is playing hide and seek game in the matter of the criminally arrest of Wabara as it vehemently denied being part of the arrest?on Sunday, after Wabara was arrested and released, saying in press statement by Mr. Charles Ajunwa, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Theodore Orji of Abia, to News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, that the state government was not aware of the arrest of Wabara.

?But the NAN had written that in an interview with NAN?on Sunday, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Geoffrey Ogbonna confirmed Wabara?s arrest. Does this not go a long way to tell the world of the government of pretenders that we have come to endure in Governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji?s Abia State?

?Does it mean that the said ?seditious? articles that Wabara wrote were against the police or the court? If no, why are they so inquisitive to defend truth with mendacity?

?Who is the prosecution counsel Chief Chukwunyere Nwabuko representing in this matter since the Abia State Government had denied knowledge of Wabara’s arrest? Does it mean that the alleged articles said that Wabara wrote “along with others at large”, on March 10 in The Sun newspaper, page 21, entitled: “T.A. Orji?s seven years demystification of Kalu? and others were against Chief Nwabuko?

?Without hiding their faces in shame and apologise to Wabara and Nigerians of good will for their unpleasant abuse of human rights and abuse of Wabara, the sources that are bent on dehumanising Wabara on Monday 31 March, made their blundering claims (very bogus) in the newspapers that Wabara has ?jumped bail?. This is just that he was unable to report at the police in Umuahia on thatMonday, being the dictate of the police, when he was released from police cell that?Saturday?night.

?The sources and forces against Wabara did not even respect the said letter that the counsels of Wabara wrote to inform of his hospitalisation following the strains he earned as a result of the indignity he suffered in the hands of the said seventeen police men who besieged his Lagos residence and whisked him away in a most ignominious manner not befitting a democracy.

?The police which can be said are doing a hatchet job in this matter; the Network on Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN), in a press statement issued by Okechukwu Nwanguma, National Coordinator of NOPRIN shortly after Wabara was arrested, said: ?Sedition was a colonial offence used by the colonial authorities to suppress opposition and to repress the freedoms of speech and the press. It has since been expunged from the Nigerian law.

??Curiously, the Nigerian Police authorities continue to charge media practitioners and critics with sedition in spite of its non existence in the Nigerian law. It is the same way that the police continue to rely on the colonial Public Order Act ? which has been declared by the Appeal Court as unconstitutional and illegal and unjustifiable in a democracy ? to repress freedom of expression.?

?It is essential to say that with analysts? observations on this matter that both the police and the court that are fronting the prosecution of Wabara did not and, are not, following due process. They failed before the case started by going to a far place like Lagos State, from Abia State, to unlawfully arrest a man who was not a common criminal, but a journalist, without a prior warrant order.

?Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Nigeria Govt Doesn?t Understand Climate Change

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

weather patterns
weather patterns

?The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change, Hon. Eziuche Ubani, speaking in an occasion in Abuja, said that government has not done its best in terms of proper responses to climate change.

 

At a meeting with officials of the Department of Climate Change, Federal Ministry of Environment, October 2013 at the National Assembly, Ubani after going through the budget recital on Environmental matters, said that from the low funds being proposed for climate change, Nigeria is in danger of being left behind.

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PROBLEMS

There is lack of information and knowledge about climate change and Nigerians are reluctant to accept the reality. There is low level of awareness about climate change in Nigeria, and the way it is presented to the public.

 

?Government policies have not really encouraged and supported the contributions to adaptation of individuals, households, community organizations and enterprises,? said a Port Harcourt-based Journalist.

 

?More than half of bush burning throughout Nigeria is deliberately lit, costing millions of naira damages annually,? said a source.

 

?In its budget last year, the department of climate change in the Ministry of Environment had a budget that was under N500 million, and the whole country was to be managed climate challenge-wise from the microscopic budget,? Ubani lamented.

 

?This was a big blow to the ministries of agriculture, transportation, aviation, water resources to make their budget climate change mitigation-compliant,? enthused a source.

 

CHALLENGES

Part of the dangers to climate change is gas flaring, which?the Nigerian Supreme Court in 2005 saw as illegal having formally banned it in 1984 and declared it ?unconstitutional?, yet statistics showed that companies operating in the Niger Delta region have not stopped, but have only reduced flaring to 10% since 2007.

 

Ubani had said that this goes back to the country?s lack of understanding of the climate change mitigation in all its ramifications.

 

?Some of these gases stay over 100 years before they dissolve. Even those on ground don?t actually dissipate or dissolve, they have a long life span with severe consequences.

 

?Some contaminate underground water. The ones that go to the atmosphere like carbon have the potential to impact the ozone layer, which is why we have shifts. Impacting the ozone layer means that there is distortion in the balancing, resulting in varying weather patterns,? said Ubani.

 

UNFULFILLED PROMISES

The House of Representatives in a testimony in 2009 set December 31, 2012 as the new date for the achievement of zero gas flaring in the country. But an Act to amend the Associated Gas Re-injection Act, No.99 of 1979 Cap.A25 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,?was later exhausted.?Less than 50% has been achieved.

?

“Nigeria is burning off an equivalent of USD1.4 billion dollars annually, but this is profoundly in a most contemptuous disregard to laws and judicial declarations against gas flaring…

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?We are not talking about the dangers of fumes from generators to human health and climate change,” a Port Harcourt-based Engineer Philip Owhonda said.

?

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison-Madueke on Monday, March 4th, 2013, said that the country has a ?new target?, which is not to bring a total end to gas flaring but to meet 22 per cent of gas flaring reduction by 2017, which is characterised as ?on the short-term?.

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The World Bank said that while flaring has been cut by 30% since 2005, $50bn worth of gas is still wasted annually.

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Ex-head of State Yakubu Gowon, pointed out in 2011, how Nigeria had lost her leading role in Liquefied Natural Gas production to countries such as Qatar and Australia.

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The Bureau of Public Enterprises study, estimates Nigeria?s losses to gas flaring at between $500 million and $2.5 billion a year.

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?The lackadaisical approach of government to climate change has become a problem to even food supply and loss to biodiversity and, fuelwood unavailability. Government is instigating off disaster in the environment by not upholding to its promises,? decried an expert.

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CATTLE GRAZING

The Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Climate Change also admonished on raising cattle that it should not be about the continuous movement of animals in the bush.

 

?They can be compelled to be in some kind of location where some incentives are provided for the growth of pasture,? he advised.

 

He believed that the herdsmen have to embrace mechanised farming or the country has to devise other ways for which pasture can be grown much more quickly, so that in a very small area a lot of pasture can be grown that would sustain a large number of livestock.

 

?If we don?t do things today and decide to leave them for?tomorrow, the cost and consequences will be bigger. The choice before us is to say, let everybody continue to produce and graze and then let the desert be coming. Let us be having desertification up to a point we are not able to even grow or raise one herd of livestock,? he counseled.

 

According to him, there are ways that these can be managed through irrigation. ?If there is irrigation in place that means that they can have pasture.?

 

Ubani held that people thought this might be capital intensive and the illiterate nomadic farmer can?t flow with such an idea, but ?it is feasible if everybody understands the dangers posed by adverse climate change.?

 

SOLUTION

Although, Nigeria has signed up to the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change, Hon. Ubani presupposed that what the citizens need to do is to have the wakefulness that there are changes in the environment and that they need to understand the causes.

 

?We need to understand the actions that we need to take in the policy process to be able to address them at the national, state and council levels?

 

?We have to check the way we hand permits for logging in the rural areas for example. This is just one example of the things that require changing. These are the sorts of action as opposed to the understanding of the causes and what we need to do,? Ubani stated.

 

He adjoined that there is need to mainstream climate change mitigation in the country?s budgets and bring that into the country?s development process to say that for instance in 2020 or 2050, carbon emission must have been driven down to a particular level. According to him, there should be the creation of organisations that would preside-over climate change mitigation.

 

?This is the governance architecture that we need to put in place, which we do not have now. This means embracing programmes that would contribute to the quantum of efforts to bring down Nigeria?s emission of Green House gases or to respond to those changes that we know. Rather than just budgeting, like that to say, they can also say that okay they are planting a number of trees to bring down carbon emission. Those are not quite in place now,? Ubani said.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere?is a Port Harcourt-based Media Consultant.

Tel: +2348032552855

Nigeria Fulanis Causing Sophisticated Mayhem

Fulanis

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Nigeria FulanisIt is an?inquisitive thing that Fulani herdsmen are apparently taking laws into their hands in Nigeria. From their occupation in the rearing of cows across the bushes and lands in the country unsolicited, but especially in the forests and lands of the South-East and South-South zones, they have become merchants of death anywhere they went, as gory stories of their sophisticated mayhems rent the air.

Over 150 people were reportedly killed recently, by Fulani herdsmen in an attack on three villages of Ugwar Sankwai, Ungwan Gata and Chenshyi, in Kaduna State. Their killing sprees in a place like Berom of Plateau State, have taken precedence. The killings against Christian Southerners and Northerners are a story for another day, so that no one is pushed to cry.

The sad side of it is that the affected villagers from the villages these Fulani herdsmen cum gunmen have meted out their shoddy acts, say that the herdsmen opened fire on them immediately they entered their villages. Initially, these Fulani herdsmen were known for the little knives they hold around their waists while herding their cows. But today, they are armed with AK 47 rifles. Terrorism everywhere!

On March 10 2014, a sitting Governor of Benue State, Gabriel Suswam narrowly escaped death. His envoy was said to have been ambushed by assumed Fulani mercenaries. They engaged Suswan and his security aides in exchange of gunfire at Tee-Akanyi village in Guma Local Government Area of the state. The herdsmen had earlier sacked those within the Uikpam-Mbabai. The attack on Suswam?s convoy compelled the governor to say that it?s a real war and beyond the Fulani herdsmen.

Without hiding for the fear of arrest, the Fulani herdsmen after they had spilled the blood of the innocent people arrogantly declared that the violence should be blamed on Suswam. It?s the National Vice President of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association, Alhaji Hussaini Yusuf Bosso who was credited with such a goofing statement for whatever reason. Needless of going to look for who the sponsors of the marauders were, Bosso might tell Nigerians.

Police who were supposed to bounce on the statement made by Bosso and make arrests, have rather been busy urging Fulani herdsmen and Benue Farmers in February to embrace peace. That was after over 35 persons had lost their lives in the Gwer West local government area of Benue State in that month, in the hands of suspected Fulani herdsmen. Over 80,000 people were reported to have been displaced in the outbreak of the attack. Is anybody mouthing the police? But if Ndigbo were the Nomads/Herdsmen that have been killing countless innocent people in different parts of Nigeria, police would have been set on motion to be arresting anybody found with cows across the country and there could have been legislation to the effect that rearing of cows, is part of terrorism and the rearers, terrorists.

Go ask the MASSOB members what their experiences are in the hands of the Nigerian security men and women and how many of their men and women have not been lucky with their lives in the hands of the security people, even when the MASSOB is a non-violent group. The members? sin in the hand of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is that they said they need Biafra.

The killing spree continues to be the new found love of the Fulani herdsmen. In 2012 a serving senator, Dr. Gyang Dantong, and the lawmaker representing Barkin Ladi in the state house of assembly, Gyang Fulani, were killed by suspected Fulani herdsmen at a mass burial in Maseh, Plateau State. Yet, governments at all levels behaved and are behaving as if they did/do not have a feel of the dastardly act, except in the newspapers.

Not even the deaths of such glaring prominent people have brought peace between the herdsmen and their host communities where they feed their cows without paying any remuneration. The other time, the women of Ubima (Governor Chibuike Amaechi?s place) in Rivers State protested to Government House, Port Harcourt to lodge their grievances that the Fulani herdsmen were allegedly raping them in the farms and using dangerous weapons to harass them whenever they complain that the cows were destroying their crops.

The same story is applicable to all the villages and towns in the South-East and South-South zones of this country where the herdsmen have become the Lords of Manor. They do not listen to anybody against the backdrop that their cows destroy crops; and the government is even, always mute to react or act, whenever the people lay their complaints against the herdsmen.

Gradually, the uncalled-for-attitude of the Fulani herdsmen is turning into terrorism. Their cows are terror to farmers? crops and to the environment, while the herdsmen have become terrorists to human lives at a slightest provocation. Where are we going in this country? This is very unfortunate! And the government security apparati, like the police that should not relent to curb the menace, as we have seen above, were using plea as the new way to fight crime in Nigeria.

Calculating these killings, it has become pertinent to say that the lives of the cows being reared by the herdsmen are preferred by the rearers than the lives of innocent people who advise them contrarily to their already programmed mindset of: ?we better kill villagers who ask us to pull our cows out from their village?.

While the Fulani herdsmen brag of the number of people they killed in any village they invaded, the problem with Nigeria in checkmating their excesses becomes intelligence. Imagine that in some of the stories, these Fulani herdsmen would group and take uniforms to attack, and no security person would halt them.

Let the government be alive to its responsibility. The government should stop being busy always changing top security personnel, without any iota of change in strategy and new approach to curtail the nuisance of the Fulani herdsmen and their supporters.

In a civilised clime there will not be noise to it as even trained dogs can arrest the activities of the herdsmen. When some goons took to activities such as the herdsmen?s and wanted to take over the South-East, local vigilante group that was called Bakassi, was formed and arrested the situation.

Government should do something about the Fulani herdsmen-initiated killings and harassments of Nigerians in any of the areas they graze. The worst is that when they are provoked, they even attack in a broad daylight and yet go unhurt.

Source ?Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

?a commentator on public? affairs, laments the spate of killing of Nigerians across the nation by Fulani herdsmen, and urges the Federal Government to urgently and decisively tackle the menace which is fast getting out of hand?

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:?apo[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

So, People No Longer Keep To Their Words?

Majority of people no longer keep to their words. The result of their promise is lies. Even when the person they have lied to brings it to their notice, they do not care. You call their phone lines and write emails to them, they neither pick nor reply.

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The sad side is that these people with ?deformed behaviours? are persons we so hold in high esteem, not that they are faraway fraudsters or gangsters. I?ve always told people that in human relationships, ?distance is not measured in miles, but in affection.?

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I?m not sure they even know the cost of their aberrations. I feel like the ground should open, when I placed calls on people I have something to do with and, they did not pick or replied the ?missed calls?. Or, even when I wrote emails, they did not reply, because they were dodging.

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I feel that I have lost myself a lot in the process of loving and being honest to others, whom I would later found out have ruinous tottering-manners. Then-again, I have often found consolation in the words of a Woody Allen, which say, to love is to suffer. To avoid suffering one must not love. But then one suffers from not loving. Therefore, to love is to suffer; not to love is to suffer; to suffer is to suffer. To be happy is to love. To be happy, then, is to suffer, but suffering makes one unhappy. Therefore, to be happy one must love or love to suffer or suffer from too much happiness.

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Some would pick the calls and quickly tell you how busy they were and that they were going to call you back shortly, when their intension was to ?discharge? you. You would wait for their calls that would never come, till eternity. And somebody who finds it very had to fulfill his or her promise of ?I?m going to call you back?, how would the person, have the time to reply your emails?

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My worry is that people do not know the commitment of their words. Even when they knew, their belief is that they can easily pray or ask for forgiveness from their ?God? at will. While they have this mindset, they do not care about what pains their actions have caused the person they have wronged.

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My belief-system is that without honouring your fellow humanbeing with your word and action, it would be very had to honour any sky God or underground God. You can?t say ?I honour God in everything I do? whereas your fellow human being is dealing with the pains of your betrayal of him or her. Not one, two, three, or four times!

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I?m easily convinced by people?s words, but I?ve found out that many people, we think we respect in the society, are just liars and cheats. They do not regard your integrity. Rather, they see a man with integrity as a fool, because he does not cheat with words and, always believes in his fellow man.

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I can remember as a kid that all people needed to keep to business were a handshake and word. These were seen as sacred. Some of us grew up like that, but into a society that is windswept of quality character and principle. Many people today do not or, have refused to recognise that a man?s word is his bond that should not be played with.

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Rather, they see how fast and often they sermonise their religious principles as the bond, without which they feel that they are incomplete, whereas they are gnarled of humane manners. Wonder why the society is falling apart every day? People are ever ready to risk their relationship with promises they can?t and won?t keep.

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In marriage, I laugh when I see people make promises on the altar they cannot keep, at last. I have suffered in the hands of people who made promises to me in business transactions, but later they unashamedly dishonoured their personal word and, without bathing their eyelids.

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And they do not make any attempt to salvage, in order to show that conscience is not only a word in the dictionary, but that which should also be the guiding principle of every living man. It is imperative that we keep to our words. To me, I see this as the essence that we live as human beings, not as beasts. I have had cause not to relate with people deeply, but on the thought that one man does not make an island, what could I do.?

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People should understand that words are the tenets that should prove how honest a man is, not how often he goes into the streets to win persons to his religion. There is no ?reality?without people keeping to their words in this world.??I have suffered dishonesty in the hands of many people. And when I sit down and ruminate, I wonder what influence these people were creating in the society.

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I wonder if people know that the best of impacts in influencing the world is to keep to words. I tell people not to always want the honest man in their lives, but have to also be honest theirselves to help encourage the world with healthy ways of co-habiting.

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It is sad that many people want an honest man around them, upon that they do not have what the honest man needs. They incessantly betray the honest man with lies and cheating and also call him a fool in their closets. Nonetheless, a Alan Greenspan said that regulation ? which is based on force and fear ? undermines the moral base of business dealings. (People think) it becomes cheaper to bribe a building inspector than to meet his standards of construction…

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Conversely, for healing, I?m taking succour in the words of a Belinda Taylor, which say, don?t mire up in self despair of your losses, learn from them and move on to other good things in life. Don?t stop allowing the sunshine in, because of the fear that winter will come and engulf the warmth. Hold it close to you to help you through those cold winter days.

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Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel:?+2348032552855

Email:?[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Virginity Test Costs School Principal Dearly

Some men with very low sperm counts can father a child through fertility techniquesProtest was the disposition of the students of Ajuwon Senior High School, Ajuwon, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun State, after their school Principal, Rev. Olufunke Oladeojobi supposedly ordered that virginity test was conducted on them, having suspected promiscuity among some of the students. ?

 

The year was in 2012. Precisely December. It was distinguished that the Principal did not use scientific method, but her fingers, for the test. One of the students who did not give her name, but was in the Senior Secondary School 1, SSS1, vehemently indicted the Principal of using her fingers for the act.

 

But the Principal denied the assertion, saying that medical professionals were contracted to conduct the test on 10 students, only. It was all-the-same gathered that exercise book, was given to each of the students, after the virginity test exercise; perhaps, as remuneration.

 

Another student prosecuted the Principal that she requested that all the SSS1 female students marshaled out at the assembly ground. According to the student, the Principal made the announcement in their class.

 

At the assembly ground, where the students had pulled-together, she apparently asked that those, who were yet to lose their virginity, should stand separately. With the assistance of the staff, the Principal seemingly marched the students into her office.

 

The student also whispered that they were threatened in the office by the staff and the Principal that any of the students, who refused to partake in the exercise, would have her name written in the ?Black Book?. Hence, they were grouped into three groups: 10, 15 and 13.

 

One of the female students who did not give her name for fear that it would appear in print, said that the SSS1 students were over 500, of which about 280, were females, and the virgins among them were about 38.

 

After the virginity test, the Principal was purportedly boastful of finding out who the ?promiscuous students? were. Conversely, the parents of the students did not take the Principal?s deed, with a pinch of salt.

 

The principal was dragged to the police for not having sought for their consent, before ?forcing? their wards into her office, for virginity test. The Principal, who was known among her students as a rigorous disciplinarian, was later quizzed by the police.

 

But some moralists added their voices and, were of the view that the parents of the girls should be ashamed, for not bringing up their daughters self-effacingly. They said that morale mothers would want to send their daughters to such school that the Principal was regarded as a highly principled person, who didn?t want rot in her school, but wanted her students to graduate as virgins, not as wayward.

 

On December 19 2012, the Ogun State Government suspended the Principal, for gross infringement and abuse of the rights of the students, saying that she had no right to conduct such a test on her students.

 

The suspension of the Principal came after a panel that was set up to investigate the matter circled-in a first-round account and outcome, which pinpointed that the principal had no such right. The state Commissioner for Education, Mr. Segun Odubela confirmed the unpleasant incident, but reiterated that the Principal was not quickly suspended.

 

A fair hearing of 14 days was given to the Principal, according to Odubela; she was examined by a five-man panel consisting of officials of both the ministry and Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM), set up to advance investigation into the matter and recommend ways on how to handle the issue.

 

“It’s inappropriate to subject pupils to a virginity test. It’s a barbaric act that should not be tolerated or accepted. A broken hymen is no longer medically proven as evidence of sexual activities,? a sexual abuse specialist reportedly said.

 

?How can a principal deep her dirty fingers inside the private parts of her students without the consent of their parents? This is a sexual crime! Since when was a principal vested with the power to conduct virginity test in Nigeria?? said a public affairs analyst Ajayi Olu.

 

?This woman should be jailed; she went too far in her rights as a principal,? said Ehi Hum, a teacher.

 

?Ritual kind of a thing it sounds to me. Maybe, she is collecting whatever liquid there for ritual. Simply put, she should be expelled,? said somebody who would not want the name in print.

 

?This Principal must be a very idle one to have had the time to perform this despicable act at the expense of the schools? time,? said a woman who simply gave her name as Agnes. ?Unless this was part of the school curriculum as prescribed by the national body, the Principal needs to be relieved of her duty.?

 

By January 22, 2013, the Ogun State Government directed that a psychiatric test be conducted on the Principal. She was not only recommended for a compulsory psychiatric test, but, also, an evaluation submitted by a three-man board headed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Ambaliu Ishola, suggested that the Principal be demoted to grade level 15 from grade level 16.

 

Also, according to the evaluation, she should go back to the Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM headquarters, if given a sane-bill by the psychiatrist and, the two health workers who assisted the Principal in carrying out the virginity test should be passed-on to the Ministry of Health, for corrective action.

 

Findings are that while Odubela, and Chairman, Teaching Service Commission, TESCOM, Bukunola Onabanjo, were directed to meet with and address members of the Parents Teachers Association, PTA, staff and students of Ajuwon High School, the affected students were to be referred to the State General Hospital for appropriate medical check-up and counseling.

 

The medical test conducted to determine the mental state of the Principal came out and substantiated that she was sane and suffered no serious mental complaint. The state government had said the medical test on the teacher was essential to decide her mental state. Odubela stated the result of the medical test on Friday, February 22, 2013, which was conducted by Consultant Psychiatrist Timothy Olaolu Adebowale, Special Grade 1 with the Neuro Psychiatrist Hospital, Aro, Abeokuta.

 

?There was no evidence of impairment of reality testing, or gross personality defect, as she currently expresses realistic views on issues regarding the whole incident in her school and her referral for this assessment,? stated the Psychiatrist?s report as at?January 29, when the Principal was assessed.

 

?With these decisions, we have finally laid to rest the issue of Virginity Test in Ajuwon High School. The decisions addressed all the problems and all the affected persons. We hope we can all shift attention to the developmental projects that the state government is undertaking to provide affordable qualitative education for our people,? said the state Commissioner for Education.

 

Meanwhile, Odubela had said that the government was always concerned about the welfare and interest of the students and, therefore, would not tolerate any act that would compromise their fundamental rights or jeopardize their future.

 

?Government should offer free Condoms and Sex Education to our youths. That said, what the principal did is absolutely wrong and I suspect foul play. Could it be that she wanted to use them for ritual?? an analyst who gave his name as James said.

 

?We equally believe in the need to maintain discipline in our schools and to follow due process in the handling of this particular case. We appeal to the parents of the students involved to be patient and allow us to handle the case as dictated by the law of the land and service rules,” Odubela categorically explained.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Was Kalu Enticed To Join APC?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

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Chief Uzor Kalu
Chief Uzor Kalu

The All Progressives Congress has made its denial look childish as the news making the rounds has it that it has debunked the claims that it was wooing former Abia State Governor, Dr. Orji Uzor kalu, to join its fold.

Whether Kalu and the former vice-President Atiku Abubakar have had political frictions in the past is left for the duo and, should not have been a yardstick for some bootlickers in the APC to downgrade Atiku and Kalu. It was speculated that the former was calling on the later to join APC, when he paid Kalu a visit to his Abuja home recently.

It is known in Kalu?s charisma that he would not join the APC?s foot-soldiers that called him names. Kalu has a lot to do in making sure that Nigeria gets to her destination. He has no time to join words with some languid folks in the APC fold. Anybody who has been following Kalu would attest to the fact that he has always earned and is earning the respect he deserves without intimidating anybody to do so.

He is a man that cannot be discriminated, but with the comment of the APC against Kalu means that the party wants Nigerians to see and take it as one party that has generalised itself as a bench for pseudo-democrats. If not, how on earth would such a high-ranked party debase itself to the base by saying that it did not send Atiku to woo Kalu to join the party, when many political parties know that number makes a political party.

Deliberately, it?s not certain that the APC chose to stay the wrong course against Kalu, when the dude has always said that he remains in the PDP. Who is sure if the APC is able to withstand through times when it is down and able to live up to times when it is up.?It was Aristotle (384 BC – 322 BC), who said that if liberty and equality, as is thought by some are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

Kalu has always taken a step to and in the right direction and, would always betray the thoughts of those in the APC who perhaps were condemning him to see if he would make comments to the contrary that APC is burgeoning to dictatorship. Kalu has a prowess of the interest of Nigeria at heart and does not engage in unnecessary wars gingered by slothful politicians who are looking for relevance by blackmailing advanced politicians.

Kalu has always been accorded his rightful position in the country. He has always stood a ground in the discourse of this country where many dared not stand. He has always told the world exactly what democracy ought to be: free of bitterness. It behoves Nigerians to note that the comment by the APC has shown that some Nigerians are Nigeria?s enemies by vomiting issues gratuitously, because they feel they can.

It is observable that APC has seen itself as one party that many Nigerians have applauded hence it is allowing ego to brood in its tyro brain. Instead of look for ways to see if the mega billionaire would join it and use his wealth and knowledge to compel the party to the acme, it is making derogatory statements against Kalu that are capable of launching the Nigerian people against the party for the exaltation of any other political party.

No wonder Sir Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965), Hansard, November 11, 1947, once said that many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.

What was expected of APC was to apply psychological approach to address issues and not to talk like some market women who do not care how wide and wild their comments are. A political party is not only intended to win in elections, but, also, to educate its followership on how to be civil and approach the government and the people without making bias comments and waywardness to things.

The idea of a political party should be the process of wooing people to join and not the process of insulting those who do not want to join. Kalu should always see the APC as a new party where everybody is doing everything to outsmart the fellow for cheap political gains. He should not pick holes in their thoughtless comments against him. Rather, he should lend a helping hand and continue to educate Nigerians on how to be democrats and good citizens.

Kalu should know that he is one man who believes in Nigeria so much and does not care what contrary opinions are when he is operating in tandem with the rules and regulations as prescribed in the Constitution of the federation.

Let him continue to fight those who substitute democracy for election. Let him not raise his voice against the APC, because doing so would amount to raising it to the level of wisdom from the level of silliness it wants Nigerians to believe it is at present. Let all know what HL Mencken (1880 – 1956) said: Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Feminists are haters of Men

By Odimegwu Onwumere

man-looking-at-woman-looking-awayI’ve seen that this feminism of a thing is becoming another religion that is gradually creeping into our clime that many people would be killing each other for soon, if not now.

Just that Americans shouted ‘Feminism!’ our ladies jumped into the race, without understanding what it actually means.

I must say that the sex-drive of men, which do not, most times, allow them to stay with one woman, not fault of theirs, has really set a motion for women to envy. In the Europe and America, they started this discrimination against men, by canceling polygamy. Yet, polygamous homes are being discovered in Europe and America.?

In our clime, this issue of Feminism is causing a lot of troubles on marriage, women, children and men. The proponents are swimming in the euphoria of building an egalitarian society. Then, men are deprived of their ?masculinism? right. Men are discriminated against.?

While some wayward women prefer to be known as feminists, they label the men misogynists, when the men who are not towing their never-contented agenda lend a voice contrary to their thoughtlessness.?

The ladies who themselves have failed, would prefer a man who would seek for their permission before he uses the toilet. This is the type of Feminism that the lady-Feminists here, who most of them are failures and gangsters, are teaching to the world, hence destroying a generation.?

To these ladies, they just need a man in the house and are ready to pack and go and continue with their poison elsewhere, when the man did not condone them.?

While the ladies are proud to be known and called feminists, they do not know that they are sexists. They hate men, who do not wake up in the morning and put on their pants for them and dress the bed and cook in the kitchen and kneel down requesting sex from them.?

What else is the meaning feminism in our clime, which has deviated from its original agenda for ?women?s economic independence”, ?political and legal equality of women???

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State. Tel: +2348057778358

The reassurance of Kalu, Jonathan and Abia people

By Odimegwu Onwumere

orji_uzor_kalu (1)?There should not be simplistic arguments that Abia people from all walks of life recently, reassured their support for former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, at his Igbere home town.

One million man-convention from the 17 Local Government Areas, LGA, was said to have converged to give Kalu their unflinching support ahead of 2015 elections, despoiling all the supposedly attempts by his political opponents that were geared to seeing that the rally was not a success.

Judging by the mind-blowing degree of support the people have shown to Kalu, he in return pledged his conviction that the elections of 2015 in the state will be free of rigging and any iota of intimidations or harassments of the electorates. He also charged his maximum support for President Goodluck Jonathan for the 2015 presidential election, should the president show interest to contest.

But the one million man march has not ended without hassles. There is an information making the rounds that the Bende Division of the Nigeria Police, Kalu?s locality, has been directed by the state government to cordon off all the roads leading to or out of Igbere. According to a source, the shoddy move was aimed at preventing a socio-political group ? Reality Organisation ? known to be in total submission to Kalu, from attending a compassionate protest, which was supposed to be convened by Mrs. Eunice Uzor-Kalu, the mother of the ex-Governor.

Without minding such clatter by his political foes, Kalu has never been away from the politics of the country for awhile. He has said that he is bent on salvaging the country of prolific corruptions and that those who are part and parcel of the government should live by positive examples, to help in deciding the faith of civil Nigerians.

It is believed that now that Kalu has publicly expressed his support for Jonathan, all Igbo will do same. He does not say that he is giving his support for Jonathan for the simple reason that Jonathan is from the Niger Delta, a region known for contributing 95% to the country?s economy, but that Jonathan has exposed some qualities, which seemed a step towards a right direction.

Kalu does not want other countries to continue to make fun of Nigeria. This does not mean that he hates people from other regions who may be gingering to contest in the said elections. Besides, this is not the first time that he is giving Jonathan his support.

In 2010, Kalu took a stand and supported Jonathan. He said then that there were so many reasons why he wholeheartedly urged Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to throw his hat into the ring for the 2011 presidential elections. Kalu believed that should Jonathan contest in 2011, majority of Nigerians would vote for him, which would make him win (by the grace of God).

Kalu also believed that the victory of Jonathan would ensure continuity and completion of the patronising programmes his former boss, the late President Umaru Musa Yar?ardua, had started. According to Kalu, Yar?ardua and Jonathan were voted into Aso Rock, as a package. From all indications, Kalu had said, that package could have gone for a second term had the late president lived till 2011; unfortunately and regrettably, one half of that package was gone.

Giving Jonathan his support, Kalu had said that he thought it was only fair that the remaining half was given the opportunity and the support to continue and complete the eight years; anything to the contrary was against natural justice. Kalu henceforth asked a salient question to perceived persons, especially those from the north, who did not want Jonathan to contest, saying that he was worried that perhaps the people saw the Niger Delta region as a people only good at producing the wealth of the country, but not good enough to produce a President ? a manager of that wealth.

Kalu clamoured that there was nothing in the constitution of Nigeria that excludes Goodluck Jonathan, or Ibrahim Babangida, or Atiku Abubakar or Orji Kalu or Bola Tinubu, or Muhammed Buhari, or Ebitu Ukiwe, from contesting for the presidency in 2011, if they were nominated to do so by a political party. Against that backdrop, Kalu could also be saying today that those who are opposed to Jonathan?s candidacy in the event of the 2015 elections on the fact that he should not go for a second term are wrong and have ulterior motives.

He, however, advises that the president must simply ensure for a transparent elections, taking a note from the not-too-far familiarity in Ghana, Republic of Benin and Siera Leone, which have shown that all it takes to accomplish a convincing election is an in-parallel minded adjudicator who is equipped to achieve election according to the law of the land and say-publicly true results which may not always be in favour of the sitting president.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Kalu and Obasanjo unending wrangle

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu
Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu

?jonathan_goodluck3Human beings are politicians by their speech. A John Mason Brown said that nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason and invective for documentation than in politics.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State reminds one of a George F. Burns?s statement thus ? too bad all the people who know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair ? when on March 11 2014, he said that ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo is the worst of presidents that Nigeria has ever produced.

In January 19, 2014, Kalu at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, had expressed worry that the $16billion power sector fraud was perpetrated under the watch of Obasanjo. He also said that when Obasanjo found pleasure in letter writing and wrote to Mr. President and, President Goodluck Jonathan replied, the former was supposed to have been arrested and, not allowed a free man in the street.

Kalu?s irritation about Obasanjo was that, according to him, Obasanjo used his position as the president of Nigeria, within the people of 1999-2007, to hound opposing views to his. Hence, for Obasanjo to suppress his political opponents, he was shutting down their businesses down.

Business outfits like Hallmark Bank and Slok Air, where Kalu was said to have had mouthwatering shares, were closed by Obasanjo, due to the former?s stance against certain misgivings of Obasanjo, as president.

It was learned through Kalu that in 1999, when the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, was in dire need for money, he borrowed from the now defunct Hallmark Bank, which he single-handedly financed the PDP with, by lending it N500 million.

But instead of get a substantial return from the party and Obasanjo, who was then the leader of the party, he rather got the shock of his life, which was that Obasanjo directed the then PDP national chairman, Chief Barnabas Gemade, not to repay Kalu.

Kalu wept at the lecture on youths empowerment and good governance, at the University of Nigeria Nsukka, UNN, saying that the inimical attitude of Obasanjo on his businesses did not only affect the growth of his businesses, but, also, hampered the future of many Nigerians, who could have benefitted from the moribund businesses.

Kalu gave the numbers of the people who could have gainfully been employed in the companies till date, to 38, 000 Nigerians.

In May 19, 2013, Kalu had revealed how he gave another N100m to the Peoples Democratic Party for its registration prior to the 1999 elections, but instead of being given bonus, the scuttled third term ambition of Obasanjo, which Kalu was among the fighters, earned Kalu the vehemence of Obasanjo.?Ego!

As at May last year, instead of Obasanjo to set the story straight if he had thought that Kalu lied about his claims, all that Nigerians heard from Obasanjo was, ?Kalu not in my class.? In Obasanjo?s jaundiced approach to serious issues such as Kalu?s, he also added that Kalu is a man lacking in ?credibility and integrity.?

By that comment, many people were not lazy to remind Obasanjo that he represents that political statement by one G.K. Chesterton, which is that when [a politician] is in opposition, he is an expert on the means to some end; and when he is in office he is an expert on the obstacles to it. In short, when he is impotent he proves to us that the thing is easy; and when he is omnipotent he proves that it is impossible. (Till date, Obasanjo has not said to the contrary of Kalu?s claims).

It?s obvious that Kalu had every reason to have said and called for the arrest of Obasanjo, as the worst of presidents that Nigeria has ever had, because with the year preceding to the 1999 elections, while Kalu could be perceived was busy strategizing on how the PDP he so cherished, could win in the elections and lead Nigeria to the next political generation outside the military, Obasanjo was only satisfied with the drift that Kalu was the money bag in the party. Nothing, more!

Kalu, again, knew that it would hurt the PDP to lose in the election, but Obasanjo was experimenting the worse: To perpetuate himself in the office immediately he succeeds with the money, which Kalu was pumping into the party then.??Obasanjo operated his political controls as a generalissimo he is and, never operated to produce collaboration between the likes of Kalu who were in the party.

Obasanjo wanted everything, must come from his compulsions and desires, with the view that Nigeria was still under a military government.

However, Nigerians know that Kalu and Obasanjo might likely end up like the story told by one Jean Paul thus: Two aged men, that had been foes for life, met by a grave, and wept ? and in those tears they washed away the memory of their strife; then wept again the loss of all those years.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Where is Wike?-II

By Odimegwu Onwumere?

The soul of Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister for Education, is wedded to tribulation. Nigerians are not sure when he would disdain his gullibility, droopiness, condescension, fluctuation, amongst others.

Ezebunwo Nyesom WikeIn February this year, Wike in his contemptuous manners to annihilate Governor Chibuike Amaechi?s political career and democracy, attributed the catastrophes in Rivers State to Amaechi?s decision to join the opposition.

Wike said that such decision was against the pro-People?s Democratic Party civilisation and chronological backdrop of the state. He made this statement, while speaking on a Channels Television?s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily. He also said that the state had enjoyed political peace until the governor came into office.

Known as a man who speaks from the sides of his mouth, Wike did not see in his jaundiced eyes the political troubles that Amaechi came into office with, when he served the governor as Chief of Staff, till he was appointed Minister, from where he feels that he has the backing of the presidency, to ferment political troubles in the state.

It means that if there has been any trouble that was associated with the state government, Wike was part of that problem. He has hardly done anything to correct the mirage of the troubles he said that have characterised the state, order than causing his parallel of troubles, kicking on sideways and, reminding Nigerians that trouble to him is like an old friend that one stays with in awhile, having missed the friend for many years.

Operating with old political mentality, Wike fumed that the state had not experienced or been in the opposition since 1967 of its creation except as Amaechi came into office. But it is either Wike?s brain was failing him or he was untruth with the reality.

Amaechi had not defected to the All Progressives Congress, as at the last Nigeria Governors Forum?s chairmanship election, in which Amachi floored the candidate of Mr. President.

Nigerians know the fate that Amaechi suffered in the hands of the likes of Gov. Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State before and after that election, which upon his promises to deliver Jang, who was the preferred choice of the President, lost out to Amaechi.

It was then that the mathematicians in the PDP told the rest of us that 16 were greater than 18.

Amaechi was still in the PDP, when a court passed what analysts regarded as a kangaroo judgment that ousted the state PDP chairman G.U Ake and instituted Felix Obua.??Amaechi was still in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) when in 2010 Mrs. Jonathan came to Okrika and scolded Amaechi as if he was her school pupil. Amaechi was in the PDP, when he was suspended by the party. Amongst others, what is Wike talking about of the crises in Rivers State were the result of Amaechi?s decision with the APC?

The comments that Wike has been making on Rivers State are undemocratic. He feels that by citing Amaechi against the people, he will be making a head way with his political plans, but this is not true.

While accusing Amaechi of trying to impose his will on the people, Nigerians now know Wike as one rabble-rouser, who has done many shoddy attempts to impose himself on Amaechi, but the residents of Rivers State, know better today.

While Wike is chasing shadow on Amaechi and insinuating that Amaechi operates un-democratically, the governor upon his glaring stubbornness, has not made such wicked statements as Wike?s, which is that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party will rule for the next 50 years.

This is the type of ?democracy? that Wike wants to sell in Rivers State and indeed in Nigeria; hence anybody who refuses to buy his ugly trade, must be hounded and fought against.

How Nigerians had wished that Wike was making such crass statement in favour of Nigerian schools, that they will not experience strike in the next 20 years, at least. Today, some university lecturers in the Federal Universities are boycotting classes again after the six months strike that was just ended under Wike?s supervision of Ministry of Education.

What does Wike know how to do best, except order the lecturers to compulsorily return to school or face his shilly-shallying way of administration.

The lecturers anger was that they have not been paid their salaries, yet, Wike is making blare in Nigeria, when he was supposed to cover his face in humiliation and resign from the position that Nigerians have seen that he?s unfit to man.

The embarrassing something about Wike is that he counts August in the place of September. This leaves discerning minds to wonder why he has not since been relieved of his job. What a funny and humourous Wike!

His uncouth way of playing politics keeps enlightened personalities astonished. You meet Wike at any hotels or functions in Abuja or elsewhere, the only song on his lips is the pride he takes in the crises in Rivers State.

It is sad that, perhaps, it is only in Nigeria that a Minister of Education loves war to peace, which is not the reason of being educated.

(Look out for Part 3?of this article).

SOURCE

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Rivers: Where is Wike?

His voice has gone grave since his friend, Mbu Joseph Mbu, was tossed out of Rivers State, as the Commissioner for Police in the state, under obtrusive circumstances. That?s Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, the Supervising Minister for Education.

 

When Mbu was in the state, Wike?s voice resonated always like a growling lion, in prey of Governor Chibuike Amaechi. Wike made so many rackets that people were confused why Amaechi appointed him minister in the first place.

 

Amongst others, a group known as Council of Orashi Ethnic Nationality in Rivers State insisted for an apology from Governor Amaechi and the people of Ikwerre ethnic nationality, for proposing the Wike, to President Goodluck Jonathan, as a minister.

 

Wike locked in a concentrated political battle for the soul of Rivers State. No one heard him delivered any lecture on education at any functions, as the Minister for Education. All that were heard of Wike at any functions was how he would make Amaechi and the rest of the people sleep with their two eyes open.

 

He was always going to the media to deny any allegation that was made against his interest and would tell whoever that cared to listen that such allegation was aimed at soiling his name, without realising that he had already soiled his name with his uncalculated political hullabaloo and tantrums.

 

When the Save Rivers Movement (SRM) rally in Port Harcourt turned acerbic and a sitting-Senator Magnus Abe was allegedly shot by the police, Wike denied the allegation of influencing the police and, did not condemn the police for the brazen act, either.

 

He never condemned the perceived recklessness of police in Rivers State under Mbu, against any pro-Amaechi rallies. Wike nearly became a Special Adviser to Mr. President on Amaechi affairs.

 

He was always defending the president against Amaechi. While the education of the country ramshackle, it was either Wike was in Rivers State going from one Local Government Area (LGA) or the other instituting his Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), or he was at the airport to receive the wife of the president, who was either going to Okrika her home town in Rivers State, or going to Bayelsa State her husband?s place.

 

If the time that Wike has spent at the airport waiting for the wife of the president and the time he has stayed at his ministry are checked, the result would be amazing. He swaggered for enjoying the support of President Goodluck Jonathan and the wife of the president.

 

Even when his voice was cut on tape and many radio stations in Rivers State re-played his voice of making Rivers State ungovernable, Wike who played the brave with the attitude of a coward would deny any outcome of his supposedly vicious script against the state and would say that the governor?s supporters should count him out of their ordeal and stop flipping issues.

 

It?s obvious that Mbu attempted bringing all the activities of Amaechi down, but did not succeed in any. Mbu made frivolous statements of which one was, according to him, how the state pulled under the cover of tinted vehicles to commit crime. He mentioned that such crimes were, amongst others, assassinations.

 

Although, Mbu was christened ?an unstable character? by some stakeholders in the state just as Wike; the later has been fingered of using the baseless statement of Mbu to foreworn the new Police Commissioner of Police Tunde Ogunsakin, to look-out for government-owned tinted vehicles.

 

Much as that sounded thoughtless, Mbu who called himself a professional police man never made any arrest of those he saw in his mirage tinted-vehicles. He, rather, turned himself from a Commissioner of Police, to the Chief Security Officer of Rivers State, which Amaechi was supposed to be known for.

 

It was very annoying from any angle that one stood to look at it that Wike turned politics in the state and at the federal level, as an art of looking for trouble. He diagnosed politics incorrectly and was applying wrong political remedies that have now rubbished him as a diplomat he was appointed to be.

 

Barr Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike allowed himself to be rubbished by sycophants and their praise, while he was effortlessly and unconstructively criticising Amaechi. But Governor Amaechi did not allow all that to pull him down. Amaechi was always not showing a sign of weakness, but was gathering strength and showed that he had no trouble sleeping always.

(Look out for Part 2 of this article).

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email: [email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Why Nigerian Journalists Are Left Out In Data Driven Investigations

By Odimegwu Onwumere

?Entry for the 2014 edition of Data Journalism Awards (DJA) started in January. April 4th?is given as deadline for submission. Organiser of the awards is the Global editors Network in collaboration with the European Journalism Center. Total prizes of US $21, 990 are up for wins.

It is on record that 2012 was the first year for the international Data Journalism Awards; an event which had ?45,000 in prizes. Prior to its launching in January 2012, over 300 applications were received from 60 countries.

In 2013, ?15,000 prize-fund was to be shared between eight winning entries. Also, over 300 applications from all over the world were received. On Saturday, 27 April, 2013, at the Perugia International Journalism Festival, 73 finalists were announced of which eight winning projects were selected in June.

The shortlisted candidates were those of 19 different countries; Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Chile, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Kenya, Romania, UK, United States, and Venezuela.

A renowned data Journalism expert, Paul Steiger, who is the Founder of ProPublica, acting as the President, led the experts of jury for the 2012 and 2013 editions of the awards. No Nigerian journalists was on the lists of the 2012 and 2013 editions of the competition christened the ?Pulitzer Prize of Data Journalism,” and, subsequently, due to lack of engendering facilities to espouse data driven investigations in Nigeria.

Media analysts in Nigeria opined that nowadays, complex headlines have-a-need for supporting information. News media in countries like the United States of America and Britain had since the mid-2000s signed-up programmers to devise data-driven news projects within their newsrooms. They are called ?programmer-journalists,? according to a source.

The source worried over the need for computer-assisted reporting in Nigeria, as had become a tradition in a country like the US, beached in the supposition that data can help journalists to set stories through the expose of public issues.

Declan Okpalaeke, a Nigerian Three-time winner of CNN’s African Journalist, who?s the Chairman of the African Health Journalists Association, International Centre for Journalists, ICFJ Knight Fellow, viewed that the immensity of stories done by Nigerian journalists and, by extension, African journalists, illustrate a lack in data application.

He?s ensuring that newsrooms become less reliant on peripheral platforms, gain control over manifestation and the data they collect over time for public consumption. A tool known as?Datawrapper?was introduced to journalists in Lagos, by Okpalaeke and his team, who were positive that the?Datawrapper?would bring a new sunrise to data reporting across newsrooms in Nigeria.

Okpalaeke believed that there are so many figures built into clumsy data out there that need to be distilled for the public?s interest that only the journalists may have the time to follow through. According to him, more than ever, there is a heightened desire for health and development information backed by credible data by the public that put most newsrooms on the edge;?Datawrapper?solves this easily.

Oluseun Onigbinde, who?s also a Nigerian Knight Fellow of the ICFJ, believed that the tool helps them get perfect idea out of the inundation of data out there by making usage of modern visualisation libraries simpler and faster, taking the coding out of the publishing process.

The?Datawrapper?was said to be non-commercial, open source software, and licensed under the MIT License, and developed for ABZV, which was journalism training organisation associated to BDVZ, the German Association of Newspaper Publishers. Okpalaeke and his team affirmed that most journalists in the country, when they use data at all, take the data given to them by whatever sources and bang it as it is, what is called ?cut and paste?; they do not seek to understand what the figures are saying, do not analyse the figures, what stories are behind the figures and do not construe what the figures represent.

The team whispered that using?Datawrapper?and other tools for mapping, network visualisations and other forms of visualisation is a way to the future, using data to build in-depth, trustable reporting and to provide better context about what is going on.

Data-driven journalism often uses graph to relay its message, order than the mere understanding of data-journalism as a process of gathering outsized datasets to derive useful information by an average Nigerian journalist, which is geared to inform clearer on a matter through stories. An account said that data journalism can be used to create stories on varieties of subjects such as fire department response time to an emergency, evaluation of deforestation, voting records to trail alterations in public policy predilections, and many others.

It?s expected that all data journalists need a resolution for combining and weighing their data, because a drift in dissimilar data can pilot to unexpected stories. A journalist in Nigeria who would not want his name in print said that Nigeria is lagging in the use of data journalism no matter the clattering by Okpalaeke and his?Datawrapper, because there is hardly software that will enable journalists to harmonize many bases of data and inspect them speedily and systematically with expected results in the country.

The journalist stressed that he examined from a source different from Nigeria that ?In 2012, the discovery of an instance of illicit human tissue trafficking in Ukraine precipitated a data-driven journalistic inquiry into the case by ICIJ reporters. The story ultimately turned into a disruption of an illicit global trade in human body parts. Software was used in the investigation to explore and visualise how tissue was taken from the dead, how it moved through illicit networks, and where it ended up in other human beings.?

The journalist went further: ?In September 2007, the Center for Public Integrity (CPI) and Georgetown University?s Journalism programme launched a programme to investigate a number of unanswered questions related to Daniel Pearl?s murder. A software enabled programme analysts to build out a network of people and organisations suspected of being involved in the high-profile crime.?

Wikipedia introduces Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963 ? February 1, 2002), as a journalist with American and Israeli citizenship, who was kidnapped by Pakistani militants and later murdered by Al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan.

Nigeria has not risen to the occasion of using data journalism to unravel hard issues, which most developed countries and organisations are using. The journalist also said he knew that a group in Europe used data journalism to partner with CPI to investigate Medicare fraud. Probably, according to him, fraudulent activities of doctors were unearthed and more than $10 billion dollars was recovered in Medicare billing errors.

?Developments like the MP Expense Scandal (2009) and the 2013 release of the “Offshore leaks” reveal the potency of data-driven journalism in taking an investigative role, dealing with surreptitious data on instance,? the journalist intoned. ?Otherwise called “ddj”, “computer-assisted reporting” (CAR), or “precision journalism”, the later based on a book by Philipp Meyer, published in 1972, this form of journalism was campaigned for the use of techniques from social sciences in researching stories.?

Many Nigerian journalists have won awards locally and internationally, but certainly not in data driven investigations, which has appeared to be a mystery to many, although not fault of theirs. But the unfavourable governments at all levels that have not made strict efforts to reaching this new approach of service for the public like assisting shoppers, executives, officials to appreciate strategies and make pronouncements based on the findings.

Connoisseurs in the media profession in Nigeria consulted for this investigation, said that this area of the 5th?Estate in the business of Nigeria is not flourishing, because of the lack of in-depth information and many of the investigative reporters in the country, do not know how to obtain, clean, and analyse ?prearranged information? in this digital world; those who know do not have the availability of the necessary software needed to carry on this onerous task.

How to come out of the conundrum

A select group of journalists at a conference in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, droned that the country must initiate a programme like the National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting, which is a project of Investigative Reporters and Editors, launched in 1989, which trains reporters around the world on how to use data, as part of broader investigations.

According to them, manuals on data journalism have to be created for journalists in the country to master the art of interrogating and questioning numbers knowledgeably. They also said that Nigeria has to queue in to the programme of the International Journalists? Network, and maintain blogs of the latest trainings, tools and resources, for journalists in the country to be using data effectively.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Wike?s lasting Burden

By Odimegwu Onwumere

?Even a child in the primary school should not be told about who the supervising Minister for Education, Nyesom Wike is. The Nigerian populace knows him better as the arrow head of the crises that have been rocking Rivers State, than as the Minister for Education he was supposed to be. Supposedly, he is better known as a rabble-rouser than a diplomat.

wpid-nyesom-wike-30.jpg?His incessant showcasing of affront in the politics of Rivers, offends every sensibility. His recent remark that Governor Chibuike Amaechi of Rivers State would go to jail in the event that President Goodluck Jonathan wins in the 2015 presidential elections, put Wike?s reputation in question. It does not meet the eyes why Amaechi will go to Wike?s mirage-jail.

Conversely, this statement shows that Wike has exhausted all the avenues he knew to remove Amaechi from office. Wike had leaned on the cases that Amaechi had with some opposition members concerning the 2007 and 2011 gubernatorial elections in the state to make his boast of removing Amaechi, but when he has seen that that did not work, he prolonged his boast to 2015; a tactic he has been using to hoodwink his unsuspecting marooned followership in some Local Government Areas of the state.

It is left for those who still take Wike seriously to continue to follow him. But the in-thing is that if there is anybody who may be heading to the gulag before or after 2015 for impropriation of office, that person is invariably not Amaechi, but Wike. No matter what Wike thinks, the government of Amaechi has been in the full swing of administration since its inception of office, whether performing creditably of not. But just a fraction of the Nigerian institutions, such as the Ministry for Education that Wike was appointed to man, has been in total ramshackle and, the minister was busy chasing after grasshopper round Amaechi?s building, hoping to hear when Amaechi would say stop.

Wike?s swagger that the Port Harcourt International Airport and all the land and sea boarders in Rivers State would be shut down immediately the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) announces the victory of President Jonathan in 2015 to prevent Governor Amaechi from escaping, is a vacant show-off. Nevertheless, the statement shows that the second term of Mr. President would have more to vendetta than work to alleviate the plight of the hundreds of millions of Nigerians the unenthusiastic brag such as Wike?s, has jeopardized their future.

It is essential to state that Amaechi has given Wike the fight he least expected. Wike?s initial aim was perhaps, having been the Chief of Staff to the governor, he knew some of the loopholes around. He did not realise that Amaechi is a ?Ninja? whom close associates of his have said has a way of surviving in any catastrophe. It would be Wike who would be locking himself in shame in 2015, when he would see that Amaechi was still bouncing and making his obdurate comments against opposing views that are discourteous and not constructive.

The issue is that Wike, instead of accept with courage that he is afraid of the political sagacity and dexterity of Amaechi, is making statements to the contrary. Wike continues to expose himself to public ridicule by saying that Rivers State is PDP, instead of accept the fact that the party he belongs to has been slammed into being an opposition.

Against all odds, Wike least expected that he would be in the opposition political party in Rivers State, therefore he is making every unprintable comment against Amaechi, so that his ill-fated followership will continue in his misleading of them. What Wike does not realise before sending Amaechi to his prison in 2015 is that the state apparatuses are not complaining; they are of the statement that Amaechi has been accounting for every bit of his stewardship, consequently he has no reason to be afraid of any probe.

It is understandably that Wike has no account to render on his own education stewardship order than how he has been fighting hard in making sure that Amaechi was removed and sent direct to the prison without any forms of trial by a court of competent jurisdiction. When Wike said that Amaechi would be sent to prison in 2015, it rings a bell that the minister has a trademark in sending people to the prison without first sending them to court for trial.

Wike?s comment shows that he is still living in the past, where might is always right. Through the periscope, Nigerians could see that Amaechi has boxed Wike into a box, and Wike is raising his hands out for help.

Wike has shown that he draws his support from unfriendly comments and actions to survive in politics. If the national leadership of the PDP says that the party is now accommodating, Wike has obvious problems of using vicious comments and indiscipline behaviours to address issues besetting the party in the state before Amaechi left the PDP. Wike still continues! And these inconsiderate behaviours continue to go unchecked by the PDP at the national, simple because Wike enjoys the support of the presidency against Amaechi.

It saddens the heart of any keen stakeholders of any national discourse that Wike out of political overzealousness has decamped from sane attitude and is now toasting the disgruntled persons in the state with volcanic statements such as he would make the state ungovernable and the residents shall sleep with their two eyes open. And he is living up to that! This is a man that Jonathan and his wife hold in high esteem to deliver Rivers State in the 2015 presidential elections.

But Wike is a man who lacks patriotism to his home state, without the presidency minding the glaring critical factor. A reach within the inner mind of Wike shows him as a man who is incoherent and has no value for decorum, except to wander through statements upon statements that befit street urchins, especially during interviews and during his Grassroots Development Initiative rallies in Port Harcourt. Wike has shown that anywhere he belongs to suffers.

Education in Nigeria has really suffered under Wike?s watch the same way he wants Rivers State to suffer because he wants to be controling the power in the state from Abuja. Results today are that Wike does not make coherent statements, except those of war, kill and bury. This is a man who says that he is a barrister and in such a delicate position as education minister teaching the whole world how to use violence to achieve what ought to be achieved through diplomacy.

The Amaechi that Wike is today looking for his head was it who made him the Obio/Akpo Local Government Chairman in 2004. That decision was not welcomed by all, but Amaechi put in his head and Wike became chairman: from where he became rich and forgot all those who added to his uplift, when he was but rarely anybody.

Aside being the LGA chairman, Wike fervently became noticed when he was appointed as the Chief of Staff to the governor and subsequently minister; the later being the position he has turned to his guerrilla base, from where he takes off to bomb Amaechi with unedited words and hopeless political strategies aimed at ousting Amaechi.

Such a man like Wike does not like advise, but for the benefits of others, he should go back and learn the principles of education, not schooling, because he lacks the refinement to accept the realities of the moving times. Wike?s speech on topical issues should stop being tigbuo-zogbuo anywhere he went.

Gov. Chibuike Amaechi might not be totally a better man, but the carriage with which Wike carries himself, the late Sani Abachi might not be a dictator to where Wike is, should Wike happens to see himself as governor of Rivers State someday.

Let President Jonathan and all those concerned with the wildness of Wike in Rivers State know that once he is unable to achieve his political aim under the cover of Mrs. Jonathan, he will begin to expose them the way and manner he has tried to expose Amaechi, but had nothing to expose. Wike should first rejuvenate the education sector, before casting venoms and vituperations on Amaechi, to spare Rivers residents the shame that one of their own is incapable as a minister.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

A Prayer to Karma

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Karma, I’ve been humiliated by some persons

who are not stronger than me

but I cannot fight them.

Their acts make me cry

about their humiliations against me.

They have had their ways around and against me

but I know you have a way against them.

Their humiliations of me make me cry harder

but I’m of the belief yours will make them

cry the hardest.

They have chosen wicked ways against me

as their highest occupation

but you will in due course make them

understand that they are their weakness.

In introspection, I remember you, Karma.

Come and build my happiness

on the unhappiness of my humiliators

who make the life so sweet to taste painful.

You are ever loving Karma, because

you pay everyone according to his or her deed.

(They humiliate me not for the cause of mine

but for their selfishness).

You hardly react immediately

when people treat others with good or bad

to challenge your potent powers.

You do not give up when people hearten or dishearten you.

You continue to push and win at the end.

You come after everyone has forgotten that you exist.

You do not allow people to get away with their deeds.

You serve the world the revenge they deserve.

Let my humiliators get what you are preparing for them.

Some are already suffering your unbiased gift to them.

Thank You for living for today, tommorrow and forever.

Thank You, Karma!

?

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Abia wants Gov. T.A Orji to Run

By Odimegwu Onwumere

?Even though that the Abia State governor, Chief Theodore Ahamefule Orji has recently said that there were diverse calls for him to run for Senate in 2015, but he was yet decide on the calls, there is every suggestion that he has such an ambition, but for the fact that he knew he has botched the people?s hope in him and would run away from the state after his tenure as governor, he was making flippancy excuses, saying at the National Council of State meeting that he did not authorise the alleged posters that have swarmed the state capital, proclaiming his senatorial ambition.

 

Gov. T.A Orji
Gov. T.A Orji

As a man known for his twofold-speaking on every issue and is not stanch, Gov. Orji told newsmen that the posters were placed by curious people, who wanted him for the senate; a statement that invariably showcased the governor to be in the-know of the people, who were placing the posters. Not trusty as Gov. T.A Orji is, he said that he could not stop the poster-pesters, because they were expressing their opinion, as far as such was within the purview of the law.

Yet, this was a man who had taken to visiting the National Secretariat of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Abuja, to seeing that his co-travellers and him influence the national leadership of the party not to formally re-admit his political mentor and former Governor of Abia State, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu (popularly called OUK, among his peers), whom he served for eight years, as Chief of Staff.

There was no how Gov. Orji could decide for the senate, because he knew that our people have lost hope in him, as a man who knows the proclamation of the rule of law and how to develop a state, but sadly only in the media.??He knows that the Abia Central senatorial zone and the entire Abia people are fading up with him and are regretting how he blatantly became governor again in the 2011 elections, when Dr. Kalu had apologised to our people that he regretted using his hard-earned money to campaign for the elections of Gov. Orji in 2007, and he became governor.

Mr. Femi Adesina, the Managing Director of The Sun newspapers in one of his decent essays on his column dubbed Gov. Orji an ingrate, owing to how quick the governor forgot how persons like Adesina and Mike Awoyinfa traversed the city of Abuja to pressure for his release from prison and he came back to occupy the seat as governor and started seeing ghost in Dr. Kalu, in all things. The All Progressives Grand Alliance?s chieftain, Ochiagha Reagan Ufomba vehemently told newsmen on February 3, 2014 that why Gov. Orji is misbehaving is because he (Orji) stole his mandate in the 2011 elections; and what Orji has got in that supposedly miscarriage of habit are bad governance, booing and molestation anywhere he went, for stealing his (Ufomba) mandate.

Only those without shame and good conscience can behave in the way and manner Gov. Orji is behaving. This is a governor who cannot give a tangible account of all the money he has received from the federation account in his stewardship mounting to nearly eight years now. All that he is bent on doing is to be frequenting Abuja to romance with President Goodluck Jonathan in order for Mr. President to see him as a loyalist and trust him in his future political career.

What President Jonathan should know is that Gov. Orji cannot be trusted, because it is glaring that he bit the finger of Dr. Kalu that fed him and wants to destablise Dr. Kalu in all ramification of life, not only on the ex-Governor?s political escapades. Gov. T.A Orji is unrepentant on how to delude those like Dr. Kalu that once trusted him to a fault. Mr. President, beware!

From all indications, Gov. Orji can only take an oath in the church and go free that he does not know anything about the posters bearing his personality for senate making recent news in Umuahia; he cannot take an oath before Amadioha and go free of being ignorant of the sponsorship and funding of the posters.

One sacrosanct aspect of these calls that Gov. Orji has been telling the world that different people and groups are calling him to come out for the senate in 2015 is that, the governor has not been hearing clearly. What the people (not those he has been sponsoring to arrange his poster around Abia State for senate) are calling for him is to run away from the state, because he has pummeled the state to the ground and has run the state aground with his family members and his cronies and unprincipled media aides.

Even persons who have not been to Gov. Orji-led Abia State knew through the complaints of the people that the governor has not performed as a governor and that his clamour for senate is the height of jokes in the 21 Century. He?s the one creating the news that our people want him for senate. What the likes of President Jonathan should know is that Gov. Orji cannot be relied on.

It is in history that he ran away from the PPA, on which platform he became governor to the APGA. When what he went to APGA in 2010 did not favour him, he did not stay upto a week and ran away to the PDP. Today, his ambition would be to run to the All Progressives Alliance (APC), when the national leadership of the PDP must have formalised the re-entry of Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu into the party Kalu was a foundation member; Kalu having willingly given the party the sum of N500, 000, 000 in 2008 for the formation of the party, when the likes of Gov. Orji could not boast of N20, 000 in cash.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Who think Mbu is enforcing Law and Order?

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The news came like a thunderbolt. The newspapers of February 4, were awash that the beleaguered Commissioner of Police in Rivers State has banned political rallies in the state under whatever shadow or name. The statement was reportedly made by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr. Ahmad Muhamaad. The Commissioner said that the decision was to checkmate what he said was the increasing political tension in the state. Since the statement was made, a lot of commentators have argued in favour or against the decision. But I do not think that the Commissioner has such a right to enforce the order if he as well had no constitutional right to sway for curfew in a given state.

 

What I think Mbu Joseph Mbu, the Commissioner of Police is doing in River State, is political mistakes. This was how ex-IG Tafa Balogun was calling the shots then with impunity, but was used and dumped; a fact that Mbu does not realise, because of the lucre of federal power and support he enjoys, with thought that he is holding the government of Governor Chibuike Amaechi down.

 

While those who are fomenting and writing the scripts that Mbu is playing are enjoying what he is doing, they forgot that when unconstitutionality is abetted in a given society today, it becomes a constitutionality by tommorrow. They forgot that Amaechi is the chief security officer of the state, but they preferred to support Mbu, whose preoccupation outside his professional calling is the height of undemocratic tendencies, as we can see. Last time, a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria was shot at, in rally in Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, by alleged Mbu?s boys.

 

In the eyes of Nigerians, Mbu want to paint a picture that his men are on ground in Rivers State to render security to all and sundry, when in some remote and open areas of the state, hardcore and petty criminals have taken to the streets in jubilating moods, because hardly do police show their presence in such areas. I can observe that the job Mbu has taken solely to do in Rivers State is to be marking Amaechi anywhere he went. The presence of Amaechi, as still the governor of the state, is giving those who want him out uncomfortable atmosphere and at the same time making them to expose their crassness to public ridicule.

 

From my calculation, it is of note that Mbu and his co-travellers are afraid of the mobilisation prowess of Amaechi, hence they are using the futile ban on political rallies to see if they could stem the accelerando with which Amaechi is moving politically. The ban has made the likes of Mbu to look uneducated about the rule of law and the law of the land, tending to be the governor of the state. The seemingly war that the governor was supposed to declare on any erring person or group is what Mbu is doing. Mbu does not want to recognise the authority of the governor, therefore becoming lawless himself. It behooves any states commissioners of police to send whatever proposal to their respective governors of the states they are serving for proper action, but this is not the same in Mbu?s police in Rivers State.

 

Many law and human rights pundits have been hinting in the media that no section of the citizenry needs police permits before gathering peacefully, but Mbu sees such to be belonging to the Ariel. To him, it is better he plays the tone of the piper than listen to the rhyme and rhythm of the constitution and hardly are those who deployed him to Rivers State are talking but are praising him that he is carrying out his professional duties.

 

No one should tell me that Mbu is applying the ban to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, and the All Progressives Congress, APC. The in-thing is that the PDP in the state, which said that it would go for a thanks giving if Amaechi defects, knew that it has failed since he defected to the APC. So, in order to ramshackle the powers and velocity with which the APC is mobilising in the state, is the thoughtless ban of political rallies, as we can see in the state. But, the question remains: will Mbu not allow elections to be conducted in the state as well. Hooey!

 

What Mbu is doing in Rivers State calls for condemnation, because his actions are not far from impunity and lawlessness to already lay down rules that govern the state and the country? The IG once banned any sorts of gathering at the airport, because of Rivers State, whereas not banning political rallies all over the country for the sake of peace and order they said they want. This is the police that say they are friends of the people, but will not allow the people to exercise their constitutional rights to/of gathering.

 

While it is not out of place that police have the right to maintain peace and order in a given environment, the case of police in Rivers State is preposterous, because they churlish an elected governor, who was supposed to be the chief security officer of the state, and enforce laws that he does not understand how they come about and how he will interpret them.

 

The type of policing that Mbu is practicing in Rivers State, which the IG and the presidency give their support, has shown that the country under President Goodluck Jonathan is practicing dictatorship politics instead of democratic politics. Mbu should stop being Rivers State Commissioner of Politics instead of Commissioner of Police he was supposed to be and, which people knew was his title.

 

Governor Amaechi did not break down any law or order in Rivers State, it was police that politicised and publicised the political brouhaha in the state to look like there was a war. Amaechi has never shot any teargas canisters at the police, but police has shot teargas canisters at group of persons and even into the Government House, Port Harcourt, when there has never been physical political turmoil in it.

 

Mbu should stop painting Rivers State a disorderly place, when everyone is going about their normal endeavours without any confrontation. The police should stop crying wolf, when it has refused to let the cat it is holding to go. Mbu should know that there is only one secure way to attain peace he has eroded in the state: a genuine, deep relationship with the governor. This will carry him through all his stay in the state, instead of allowing storm to rage where there is none.

 

Mr. Mbu Joseph Mbu should let love flow instead of turmoil his type of policing has created in Rivers State since he came to the state, showing empty ambitions and material interests. Mbu should know that his moral and constitutional obligations as a senior police officer in Rivers State are not to bring political turmoil resulting to economic bankruptcy, but to protect our liberty.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tambuwal?s political Language: the Sign of Good Things to Come

Alhaji Aminu Waziri TambuwalBy Odimegwu Onwumere?

Much as Nigerians know, liberal politicians are very rare in Nigeria, but here is one in the Speaker of the Nigerian House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal. He is a politician who welcomes new ideas without unyielding reactions, cares for the democracy of the country and, not the democracy of political parties, and wants for Nigerians? civil rights and their civil liberties.

Not perturbed by the rain of defection from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last two months, where over 42 lawmakers in Nigeria?s National Assembly ? the Senate and the House of Representatives ? defected to various political parties, Tambuwal has shown that he is a democrat per excellent, not minding the comments from some quarters against him.

Believing in a relatively equal society, Tambuwal looked at the authorities of the PDP in the face and said that defection from one political party to the other is not wrong. This comment by Tambuwal, invariably, supports institutions that limit extremes of politics for rule of law to be fad and for many Nigerians to be liberals to a certain extent, by not abdicating conservatism, where deemed necessary.

Enlivened by his comment, Tambuwal has expressed that he is not a politician who could not learn from the past, unlike many in his caliber, who couldn’t stop living in the past. He has shown that while others are realigning themselves ahead of 2015 elections, he is repositioning the country with potent words, laced with unbiased perceptions.

While he is doing this, he is taking all sorts of abuse from his rivals in and outside politics and from political demagogues. But if he is not a democrat enough than a politician, he could have been using his supposedly great power to make the House a rubber stamp of the political party he is a member and the presidency.

On December 19 2013, Tambuwal reaffirmed the hope that many Nigerians had in him, when 37 lawmakers elected on the platform of the PDP defected to the APC and, the PDP told him to declare the seats of 37 defecting Reps vacant. There were speculations in Abuja, which argued that the 37 member were supposed to lose their seats, in what was taken as a thoughtless move in renouncing their memberships of the party.

But in his democratic wisdom, Tambuwal jumped and passed the seemingly trap, saying that it was not in his power to stop the defecting politicians. Tambuwal is thinking intelligently, whereas many are just goofing on a big issue such as defection, because of party. He has avoided being distracted by the comments of many eventually collapsing politicians, because it was long that the country has had a lot of promises from many politicians, without significant change transpiring.

Democracy is in danger when politicians turned parties? insurgents, derailing from the ideologically definition of democracy to parties? extremists, which is disdainful of the innate social and economic policy of democracy. Tambuwal sees as scornful the conventional misunderstanding of facts in democracy for parties? lucre. He has declined in many ways to declare a war against democracy.

Tambuwal has civic virtues and is more ideologically centered and diverse, open to incremental changes in positive policy.??Even if the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria in section 68 (i) (g) reportedly clearly spells out the consequences of cross-carpeting when there is no division in any party, the rule of law is aptly better explained by the courts of competent jurisdiction and not by the House that its main occupation should be to bettering the lots of the different constituencies the members represent.

Evident is that it was not in the powers of Tambuwal to stop the defecting politicians. For instance, when the House of Representatives took over the functions of the Rivers State Assembly, following a protracted breakdown of order in Rivers State, a court nullified the move,???contrary to the provisions of the constitution, which empowers the House to do so.

Tambuwal did not shy away, but reaffirmed the House?s commitment to sort the nullification out at the Court of Appeal and possibly, the Supreme Court. He did not begin to abuse the court, for the reason that the House had such powers to oversee the functions of the Rivers State House of Assembly, as provided in the constitution.

As a wise politician and a respecter of the rule of law, the House leadership appealed against the court?s decision. The Senate also joined the House of Representatives in actually taking a similar decision. So, it was a National Assembly joint decision to take over the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly. But because the matter is subjudice, Tambuwal has refrained from commenting on the matter, pending the appellate court?s decision.

It has not been the same story as usual. Tambuwal did not only sought for appeal, he also was curious to liaise with Senator David Mark on how to provide security in Rivers State and across the country, without any personal interest attached in taking over the affairs of the Rivers State House of Assembly.

In earnest, democracy in Nigeria is not sliding from right to left in the House of Representatives that Tambuwal is the leader. He visibly cried for Nigerians on December 18, 2013, when he fingered that the Ministry of Finance and the Budget Office of the Federation were to be held responsible for the poor level of infrastructural development in the country, for depriving critical projects of necessary funding.

It could be recalled that his ire was misunderstood by some persons, who redirected his views to mean that there was a crack in the relationship between the Green Chamber and the Executive. The Presidency has hence thought that adding its voice by berating Tambuwal?s comments would stop the leadership of the House from further probes of President Goodluck Jonathan?s body language, which purportedly encourages corruption in the country.

It was not unfortunate that Tambuwal could say that, but unfortunate that the presidency has not risen to the occasion to demonstrate to the country that it was ready to fight corruption. Without politics of sentiment, it behooves on Nigerians to note that Tambuwal is a better fighter of injustice and corruption in the country, because he has always spoken out against such, but those opposed to his views are on a shoddy job against him of how much they can destroy his image before the public, than how much they can destroy corruption, which he is bent on fighting.

There is no sense that the fights of those against Tambuwal are for democracy, but for selfish reasons.??Let Alhaji Aminu Waziri Tambuwal continue to fight for the democracy of the country, but with an open conscience. He should continue to tell the Federal Government that Nigerians are very poor and hungry and wouldn?t know why it continues to say it?s saving money.

While many people are of the view that because Tambuwal is a member of the PDP so for that he should not be exhuming the ills of the government, they should also know that he is a man of freedom and progress. Alhaji Tambuwal should continue to fight whether the PDP or the APC and make sure that Nigeria becomes a place of sane government.

Nigerians want to know between the PDP or APC, which of them is a ?Party of freedom and progress?. As stated by a Frederick Douglass, and narrated by one Elbert Guillory, Douglass called the Republicans in America, ?Party of freedom and progress?. Alhaji Tambuwal should tell the PDP that Guillory said that the first Republican president was Abraham Lincoln, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Guillory reiterated that it was the Republicans in Congress who authored the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments giving former slaves citizenship, voting rights, and due process of law. The PDP is like the Democrats. According to Guillory on the other hand, Democrats were the Party of Jim Crow. Like the PDP, it was Democrats who defended the rights of slave owners. It was the Republican President Dwight Eisenhower who championed the Civil Rights Act of 1957, but it was Democrats in the Senate who filibustered the bill.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Stupidity of many normal people

My problem with the today-dislocated world

is that my admirable grandparents

who brought me up ?in the 70s to 80s

and the members of the enlarged Nze Onwumere family

taught me to be simpler with the things of life,

saying that good name is greater than ill-gotten wealth,

saying that I should uphold value and virtue

for the sake of the family?s name.

 

I was told that a man who is not contented

and aspires to achieve more in not-unique ways

is a fool to fortune.

 

I?m spending a lifetime holding onto these no-less precepts,

other than it seems that many people who have crossed my way

were not brought up in this direction, hence it is impossible for me

to accept and interpret the people and the world of today.

 

They tell me to let go those precepts of my grandparents

and the members of the enlarged Nze Onwumere family,

saying that they belong to the Homer.

 

They tell me that one thing that remains permanent is change.

 

I do not comprehend what they mean by ?change?,

if they mean that I should eschew these values and virtues

for a place of wrong and prejudice.

 

Unlike the precepts of my grandparents

and the members of the enlarged Nze Onwumere family,

this world has erroneously plunged self

into depression, desire for evil at will, ego,

fake, falsehood, fame-and-fortune…

 

Many people do not care to know their future,

but their fortune.

 

They see this as the greatest life motivator,

and not values and virtues, which I was taught

are greater than this stupidity of many normal people

that has become the occupation of the world.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email: [email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Infusing Character Education into Nigeria?s school Curriculum

By Odimegwu Onwumere

?Apart from the immediate family setting, the school is the next most important agent of socialisaton. But with eroding family values as a result of ?errant and absent? parents, the school is fast becoming an indispensable character molder of children. The next in line after the school is the religious bodies where children go for spiritual upbringing, but due to the fact that children spend so much time in school than any other place, the school can be argued to be most the important socialising agent in a fast moving society. The early knowledge they get in the school prepares them to being what they become in the society. Research has shown that kids tend to believe their teachers even more than their biological parents. Thus, the influence of teachers in molding the school kids into adulthood cannot be glossed over.

?Galadima0There are many arguments that the school environment, with the attendant knowledge has placed more emphasis on human and individual rights to the detriment of even the age long societal mores and norms. Where the society wants to put down its feet on the ground to enforce its unwritten behavioral code, the products of these institutions repudiate such moves. This explains why even with higher degrees and varying certificates, many of the recipients of these certificates lack the wherewithal to cohabit in a traditional society. They do not apply the matrix that outside the home there are rules and regulations. They behave the way they feel they like. The ill-manners of many schooled persons call for concern.

?Martin Luther King Jr., who was a Baptist minister and social activist that led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his assassination in 1968, saw the behaviours of some persons and warned that intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. He de-emphasized on the acquisition of multiple university degrees, saying that the direct benefit of acquiring higher education is also the acquisition of expensive and expansive houses laced with costly cars, which according to him does not improve the course of the society. It is obvious that the indoctrinations that are gotten from school affect many negatively. Many did not know that the day they entered school, the process of total indoctrination had started. Doris Lessing in ?The Golden Notebook? warns that humanity has not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. ?We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be.?

Lessing continues that ?you are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust and individual than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself ? educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.?

It is very sad that in the school, we are rarely taught to understand virtues and values, but physics, mathematics, English Language, religious studies, chemistry and so on. These are the main influences that control our lives and not, virtues and values, which many people in the modern times see as belonging to the primordial. They speak especially the English Language very well without character to show for their fluency.

It is imperative to state that the schools in this country do not mold people to understanding their moral identity, character formation, and letting people understand who they are; instead they are taught to believe in what they are. Theodore Roosevelt who was the 26th President of the United States once said that to educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Martha Graham, also, an American, was a modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence Picasso had on the modern visual arts, was quoted as saying, ?I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, and a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.?

While school is supposed to invite the perfection desired in tandem with the virtues and morals of the society, it seems to be doing the contrary. It only functions as a facilitator of people into logics and not how people deal with the nuisance school aid them to create in the society. Ray Bradbury who was an American fantasy and horror author reportedly rejected being categorised as a science fiction author admonished: ?I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries…?

Many graduates from different schools do not read as if they want to live forever, hence they do not develop fully as individuals with good character and high moral standard. Against this backdrop, it is left for the authorities to check if they would integrate character education and ethics into the country?s curriculum. The character to use the libraries sounds to many Nigerians as a tale from the moonlight. They prefer going to school and not, using the libraries for extensive knowledge acquisition. How people imbibe global perspectives threatens the perseverance of character education.

Mahatma Gandhi, considered as the father of the Indian independence movement saw the need for character education and he warns that ?Seven Deadly Sins” are Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Science without humanity, Knowledge without character, Politics without principle, Commerce without morality, Worship without sacrifice. However, many people of higher learning today do not have character outside what they were taught in school. This is why Abigail Van Buren warns that the best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

Helen Keller an American author and political activist tells us that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved. We must accept and practice character, empowerment, love, pleasing, self-discovery, self-esteem, self-respect, truthfulness and wisdom.

We must stop struggling with the sensation of being schooled whereas we are sipping through the cracks of disorderliness; it worth the onus to change for profound characters and drop the shoddy ones. We should know that being schooled is different from values and, that character is commencement of facts and values. We should not eschew the fact that values are the foundations for character.

If the school cannot teach us first the values before teaching us Mathematics and English Language in the context of molding us, then the society is served menace to preserve. We must discover our own ignorance, which should be first the progressive idea of going to school, while we aim for success and move forward with our lives. One Epictetus says that school may have been ? or still be ? boring, a killer of creativity or downright awful for you. But education is still important because it opens the mind and expands it. And if your years in school were bad or boring you can still educate yourself now… It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. Like Martin Luther King Jr. would say, ?I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.?

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Whose Interest Is Ohanaeze Defending?

orji_uzor_kalu (1)By Odimegwu Onwumere

?Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State is one man whose sincerity of purpose drives out darkness. And, many know that darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light, which Kalu represents. He is a man of peace and not a dreamer, but somebody who sets goals and gets them. He is a man who forgets pains and does not, show those who might have betrayed him revenge, as a way to pay back. He is an apostle of Mahatma Gandhi?s statement, which states that an eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.

 

Having researched on the dude and understood what he believes in and what he does not believe in, it did not come as a surprise when news filtered into the skinny air that he made certain comments, when Ohanaeze Ndigbo had a meeting with him for several hours in his Abuja home freshly. The meeting was to compel him to drop his supposedly presidential ambition come 2015.

 

Mazi Gary Nnachi Enwo-Igariwey it was who said to newsmen in Kalu?s premises that he was there to urge Kalu to drop that purpose, having dialogued with Kalu six months ago. In what sounded like a publicity-stunt to restrain Kalu from his ostensibly presidential ambition, Enwo-Igariwey reportedly said that Kalu should join him for Igbo unity and shelve that single purpose, so that the Igbo could speak with one voice. Enwo-Igariwey further said that the Igbo no longer want a situation where they speak with individual divergent views, but that Ndigbo should operate a single agenda in Nigeria. In the interest of peace, Enwo-Igariwey said that Kalu should shelve the ambition until such decisions were made.

 

Kalu in his charisma responded amongst others that he considered whatever Ndigbo have agreed as superior and have to abide by their decision, because he believes they have their reason for resolving so. Their reason might be more superior to what he thinks; it?s not only the Ohanaeze that have been making the appeal to him; there were so many other Igbo elite, sons and daughters both in government and the private sector.

 

 

The appeals had come from Lagos, Abuja and the Diaspora. Since it?s like that, who?s he to say no to their appeals. He couldn?t turn down the appeal from Ohanaeze, because he doesn?t have anywhere to run to for support. So long as Ndigbo will not derail, he will abide by the discussion with Enwo-Igariwey, which he doesn?t want to make public. Kalu said that he would not contest for presidency, because the Igbo must speak with one voice and he won?t divide the Igbo nation. He holds the Ohanaeze in high esteem and he wants to make it clear that Ndigbo don?t have any other faction of the organisation. There is only one Ohanaeze.

 

Kalu might have spoken well and holding a clause that he would not make public what he discussed with Enwo-Igariwey on the purportedly presidential ambition, which means that there is more to what Kalu has in mind than what has been fed us in the media. Well, there is one gray area that Kalu should hold at heart about the Ohanaeze?s president even though that he does not believe that there is a public office holder who is not labeled to be corrupt.

 

After reading the conversation between Kalu and Enwo-Igariwey, the News Express of 27/01/2014, came to mind. It could be that Enwo-Igariwey was not speaking his voice owing to the weight that Kalu garners in Igbo land and across the world. Enwo-Igariwey, perhaps, was sent to hoodwink Kalu, hence using Ohanaeze, knowing full well that Kalu is one man who does not joke with the Igbo nation and whatever that would go for the interest of the Igbo. Kalu showed such mettle in a paid advertorial in 2011 before he dropped his presidential ambition, because he believed that his Igbo people had spoken through Ohanaeze that all Igbo should support President Goodluck Jonathan.

 

But before Kalu should pay heed to anybody or group to contest or withdrew his presidential ambition (if he has any), he should check how trustworthy that person or group is. This is because the dated edition of News Express alleged that Enwo-Igariwey was rewarded with N1.2 billion for the role he played in helping Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to win Nigeria?s presidential ballot in 2011. And if this is true or anything to go by, it means that Kalu is the person who bearsthe brunt for withdrawing his apex-political career for the glorification of one man, thinking that he did that for the interest of the Igbo nation and love for fatherland.

 

Kalu should know that the media outfit was not just writing, but referenced a letter that the???Ohanaze Founding Secretary General/Chief Executive, erudite Professor Ben Nwabueze wrote to Chief Goddy Uwazurike, President of the Igbo think tank, Aka Ikenga. News Express said that the letter containing the N1.2 billion given to Enwo-Igariwey for helping Jonathan?s ambition was dated 15th January, 2014, and the sharing of this money composited the crisis in Ohanaeze.

 

Knowing that Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is a peaceful man, the visit of Enwo-Igariwey should be well cross-examined if it were in-line with the mission for the giving of the alleged N1.2 billion. Prof. Nwabueze, if he wrote that letter, Kalu should know that such a personality is not one who says something just for the fun of it, but for the reality in his words. He should be seen as one writing to tarnish the image of the organisation. Ndigbo may not achieve the purpose of speaking with one voice if truly that money is changing hands in Ohanaeze leadership for Mr. President?s presidential ambition. Let Kalu not allow anybody or group fight, hurt, take his inner-peace, peace, permission, strength, trials etc., for selfish purpose.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

The Bug In Nigeria?s Palm Oil Industry

wpid-oil-palm.jpgBy Odimegwu Onwumere

?One of the points raised in a letter that the National Chairman of Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria, VEOPAN, Mr. Okey Ikoro wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, was that Nigeria was the principal producer and exporter of palm oil palm produce and allied products in the 60s. This was in relation to 27 per cent of the global market with 167,000 metric tonnes in 1961. But Ikoro frowned at the abysmally declination of Nigerian production in 2008 which was put at 25,000MT, while the world production increased from 629,000MT to 33.3 millionMT within the same period.?TheVEOPAN, nevertheless, called on the Federal Government to support the setting up of N100bn Oil Palm Development Fund to revitalise the palm oil sector.?

About 75 percent of the export of palm kernels in 1832, came from Nigeria. And by 1911, ?British? West Africa alone exported 157,000 tonnes. Malaysia, which has surpassed Nigeria in this business, was not originally a palm oil producing country. In the 1870s, British administrators took the seedlings to that country and in 1934, Malaysia became the largest exporter of the product. Nigeria and Zaire were originally leading the world in the production and export of palm oil throughout the first half of the 20thCentury but in 1966, Malaysia and Indonesia had surpassed Africa?s total palm oil production.

SOCFIN S. A., founded in 1912, was the first industrial company to plant oil palm in Africa and Indonesia.?Palm oil was the mainstay of Nigeria?s economy before the crude oil was explored. There were stringent strategies used in palm oil distribution in various markets across the country. The local markets were not pre-tested before palm oil could be sold. Many marketers did store the produce during the peak, while many did not. There used to be high and low storage by marketers. A large percentage of men and women were involved in the business. Prices varied during the peak period and during the tilting season.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina in a discourse stressed that it was disgusting that Nigeria, which was leading the world in palm oil production and distribution is today, importing crude palm oil. Angered by this development, he vowed to reverse the trend. In 2012, Nigeria started the distribution of sprouted oil palm nuts and gave 1.4 million sprouted nuts free. The farmers, according to him, have to recapitalise their plantations. He asserted that the Tenera seedlings are high-yielding. He also declared that two of the best performing stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, are from the oil palm industry and the government intended to guarantee that it stays so.

It used to be a profitable venture, when palm oil was sold in drums, jerry-can, and bottles in the local markets in a large quantity. Many people were gainfully employed in the business despite bad roads which made transportation very difficult and lack of extension services. It was not easy then. The good news today is that there is a?N10billon palm oil refinery being constructed by PZ Wilmar Limited. The company ostensibly described the refinery as the biggest in Nigeria. The refinery has state-of ?the-art technology with a capacity of 1,000, 000 tonnes per day.

In a recent interview the chief executive officer of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Mr. Christos Giannopoulos, said that the palm oil refinery is situated in Ikorodu, Lagos State and supported with a 50,000 hectares of plantations. With the investment of about N100 billion over the next few years, the refinery would create about 11,000 significant jobs and over 32,000 circuitous jobs at an-assortment-of skill levels. There are companies like Wilmar Ltd with expertise in international palm oil business, which is partnering with Pz Wilmar Limited to revolutionise the palm oil industry.

In November 2012, the company had commissioned a 32,000 hectare palm plantation in??Cross River State, with over 600,000 high yield??palm plants been??transplanted with 2.1million of seedlings at four nursery sites.?To build?capacity among stakeholders in the palm oil industry in the country, a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Africa Roadshow was organised in Nigeria on September 24, 2013. It was a two-day event aimed at creating awareness and capacity building among partners in the industry, like the Solidaridad West Africa and Proforest Initiative (UK), supported by RSPO-Nigeria National Interpretation Initiative.

Not too long ago, the Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria presented a Draft Bill to the National Assembly seeking for the establishment of an Oil Palm Development Fund with the aim of fostering the production, processing, utilisation and exportation of oil palm in the country.?The?Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria are of the opinion??that the?N100bn development fund??sought has become very necessary as the country urgently needs viable alternatives??to crude oil in the country?s economy.

The Okomu Oil Palm Company, with a surveyed area of 15,580 hectares out of which 12,500 hectares supposedly could be planted with oil palm was established in 1976, by the Federal Government with the aim of rehabilitating oil palm production in Nigeria. But this initiative called ?Pilot Project??failed to achieve its aim.

Okomu Oil Palm Company was incorporated on December 3, 1979, as a Limited Liability Company. The company had ongoing plantation operations in places like Cote D?ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya and Indonesia. By 1990, the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC) privatised the Okomu Oil Palm Company on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Nigeria has lately been aspiring to develop her oil palm production on sustainable and universally acceptable principles to meet targeted period when investors in the agro-sector are to have their products officially-stated. Stakeholders in the business of palm oil in Nigeria are also raising consciousness on the best practices to improve palm oil production and marketing of the produce in the country, especially, in the?24 producing States of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna (Southern Kaduna). The?stakeholders in the business of palm oil in Nigeria?include growers/millers, processors, associations, NGOs/environmentalists, financial sector, development agencies, state governments, federal ministries, government parastatals and manufacturers/end-users, amongst others.

With the glaring lackadaisical approach of the Federal Government to implementing serious business-oriented measures that would drive the local palm oil, the neighbouring African countries saw this as an opportunity to enter the country with their own palm oil. The Federal Government through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on June 1, 2013 bemoaned how statistics firmly showed that the closest West African countries to Nigeria, flood Nigerian market with most of the palm oil they import from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and others duty-free; thereby displacing locally produced palm oil from the market and suffocating the Nigerian oil palm plantations.

Adesina maintained that it is possible for Nigeria to become self-reliant in palm oil production, giving his experience with the pressure mounted by interest groups on the President for waivers on rice and his refusal to grant same. Nigeria, he said, is on its way to self-sufficiency in rice production. He said that such stringent measure has to be applied to the palm oil industry if Nigeria must revitalise the industry, because every country must do what is in its best interest.

Stating the obvious, Adesina said that Nigeria should be producing and exporting to those countries. And this succinctly has shown the reason the National Chairman of Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria, VEOPAN, Mr. Okey Ikoro was snivelling.??Adesina added that Nigeria should not be using those countries as passage areas.

Regional trade, he said, does not mean that there must be importation into Nigeria, like the neighbouring West African countries whose crude palm oil import far exceeded their needs. A good example is Benin Republic whose local production stagnated in the past ten years while their import increased by 1,018 per cent.

In his figures, these countries import increased by 1,084 per cent of crude palm oil. Ghana?s production was also stagnant for the period. Their?export?rose by 62 per cent. Cote d?Ivoire production declined by 20 per cent during the period, but their?export?rose by 74 per cent. From all the evidence Adesina said that he had seen, it appeared they?re re-exporting into Nigeria, which is killing the oil palm industry in Nigeria

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tonye Princewill: A Nigerian Star I Know At 45

Tonye Princewill
Tonye Princewill

I know a Nigerian star. His name is Tonye Princewill. We first came in contact in 2008, at his residence in Port Harcourt. We became friends. He was 39 years old then. His name resonates in and outside Rivers State, like a clapping thunderstorm in autumn. He has touched many lives through his humanitarian projects. But he frowns at exposing himself to the public, whenever he renders help to individuals or group.

 

Barely a toddler in the Nigerian politics in 2007, Princewill was nominated as the gubernatorial candidate of the then Action Congress, AC, for the governorship of Rivers State. This came in the midst of known contenders for that position.

 

Being a newcomer in politics, how Princewill got the contact of the former Vice-President of Nigeria and the AC Presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, is still a subject to ponder till date.

 

Atiku gave him and still gives him every support. The former Governor of Lagos State and National Leader of the defunct Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, also gave him and still gives him every support.

 

The overwhelming support Princewill enjoys gave him the sobriquet ? ?de Eagle?, ?de Rock? and ?de Prince of Niger Delta Politics?.

 

Princewill frowns at extremism and any theory that supports violence and its instigators. He loathes ‘a do or die’ brand of politics that most politicians play in Nigeria. Greed for political positions, which has become the migraine in our democracy, is not associated with Princewill. He loves humanity and Nigeria, more than any positions or the individual.

 

He would tell anybody that he was rigged-out in that election, but he went to the tribunal. The person who was declared the winner of the election latter lobbied him with the sum of 1.5 billion naira, to withdraw his petition at the tribunal, but he declined the offer. Against this backdrop, if we must take seriousness by its classical interpretation, we will agree that Princewill is a very serious Nigerian and star, who is accentuated by the love for humanity, than the love for money.

 

As a Nigerian star I know, one of Princewill?s philosophies is: ?In temporal politics, deliverance is gradual and, as I have said, often painful; and deliverers don’t arrive on white horses with thundering hooves or swoop down from the heavens on silver clouds. The growth of nations occurs, not as radical leaps and bounds, but as gradually diminishing imperfections averaged out in political time.?

 

At the age of 39, Princewill was the youngest out of the 28 persons that was mandated with the duty of carving out innovations that would better the economic policy of Rivers State, under the leadership of Governor Chibuike Amaechi. He was not even an appointee of the government.

 

But on behalf of the state government, he brought the Silver Bird Group, a private entertainment outfit in Nigeria, to partner with the Rivers State Government. This saw to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), for the construction of a Multi-Purpose Entertainment Park in Port Harcourt, worth about N20 billion. This was on 4th?December, 2007.

 

Inter alia! In 2012, Princewill, who is the leader of Princewill Political Associates (PPA) and chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), set up Rivers Music and Arts Project (RIVMAP) to explore, nurture and groom young people with raw talents in the state.

 

He said that it would be an annual event designed to take youths residing in the state that may not have the opportunity to be promoted, to rub shoulders with the best in the entertainment world. He sets to promote the champions in each segment ? Music, Comedy and Dancing ? to USA and Europe, to have the best exposure in their respective industry, with the hope that they will become some of the best performing in the world.

 

The alluring attraction about this Nigerian star I know is that hardly do people believe that he is from a royal family, owing to his unequivocal humility and humane social dispositions. But Tonye Princewill is a prince of the Kalabari Kingdom of Rivers State, born on 4th?of January 1969.

 

His father is King T. J. T. Princewill, the Amayanabo of Kalabari Kingdom of the Amachree Dynasty, a former Professor of Medical Microbiology. Conversely, because of Tonye?s kind-heartedness and refined mentality in the business of Nigeria, people do believe that he is of the United Kingdom educational stuff.

 

He started his early education in that country, before returning with his parents to Nigeria. According to him, he was enrolled at Hillcrest High School in Jos from 1976-1980; then attended Federal Government College (Port Harcourt). He took BSc in Petroleum engineering at the University of Port Harcourt; a Master’s degree in Mineral Resources Engineering at the Imperial College London. Tonye Princewill also holds a PRINCE 2 Project Management Practitioner Certificate from the United Kingdom.

 

He has worked at Shell, as a Reservoir and Well-site Petroleum Engineer and also, worked with the UK’s Oil and Gas Regulatory Agency, the Department of Trade and Industry (United Kingdom), as Risk Analyst.

 

In the United Kingdom, he was also the Chief Technology Officer of Panasonic and served, at the Global Asset Management desk of Citibank. When he moved into private business and established the Riverdrill Group of Companies (Nigeria), where he is Chairman, with business interests including oil and gas, information technology, aviation services and consulting, he has been doing great.

 

As a Nigerian star I know, Prince Tonye Princewill is a leading advocate of youth empowerment in Nigeria, bringing about numerous initiatives that seek to inspire the youth population in the country. His willpower is different from a movement in Nigeria that uses youth, predominantly during elections, for violence and thuggery. He makes sure that he addresses Nigerian issues with the public such as infrastructural development, behavioural change, safety, health, academic advancement, through his weekly column in the Vanguard newspapers.

 

Happy Birthday, De Rock!

 

Odimegwu Onwumere?is a Poet/Writer. He writes from Rivers State

Tel: +2348057778358.?Email:[email protected]

Unkind Postures of the Boss

Some of our ‘Ogas at the top’ behave as if they do not need love from their ‘Boys at the bottom’. They loathe showing kindness to their boys. What they see as the showing of kindness is the pittance they give to their boys, even when the boys must be working tirelessly for recognition and upliftment.

The boys exhibit the most kindness, but are rewarded with a lot of pain. This act demoralises the boys, showcasing their Ogas as persons, who do not need love and do not recognise love, when given them. The boys are the ones who take care of the Ogas? every need, but are not taken care of in the appropriate manner that would make them to smile, when no one is around.
Ogu
Many of the boys have only been rewarded with tears they shed, when no one is around them. In the relationship between the Ogas and the boys, the former see it as something that the boys alone must be giving, without them showing love, forgiveness, kindness, compassion to the boys, when they need them the most.

The Ogas eschew the advise that was credited to one Og Mandino, who remarks, ?Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.?

Another has it: ?For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.? The life the Ogas live is the continuous keeping of the boys at the level they were picked; the Ogas prefer feigning a life of completeness and purity, by only helping those of their friends and cronies, who already have enough; they do not help the boys, because the boys have not helped them financially.

The Ogas would prefer to hurt the boys, because of preferences. The Ogas are knack in showing friendship in words alone to the boys, without their hearts burning with loving-kindness for all the boys, who crossed their paths, for a change to come their ways. The Ogas have refused to be lectured to understand that kindness means the quality of being kind and not, the quality of amassing wealth and owning conglomerate of cartels and business empires.

To be an Oga does not mean to have a large crowd of boys, who do your works for you, but to also be kind, considerate and generous to them, so that they could enjoy the legacy of having their own boys by tommorrow, whom they would in-turn show kindness, generosity towards in order to become Ogas. Being an Oga should go with Kindness and meaningful generosity, not for political or cheap publicity, but also for virtue to foster humanity.

It was written: ?Little deeds of kindness and little words of love make the earth pleasant like the heavens above. A part of kindness involves in loving people more than they deserve. Everyone responds to kindness.? Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), German writer, philosopher and scientist, was it who said, “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”

The Ogas are much interested in making more money and rich friends and not, in becoming really interested in the affairs of their boys and trying to get them uplifted. The Ogas are ready to go for the kill if reminded of the prudent saying of a George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), Irish playwright and journalist thus: ?If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.?

They go for this kill to remain at the top. And while the Ogas make progress by the efforts of their boys, whom they hardly take to cognizance are smarter than them, they do not create positive force field of attraction that repels the anguish of the boys, so that the boys would one day be like them. They prefer to create a negative work force against the boys by creating fear, lavishing blame on the boys, instead of wealth. And they forgot that when the boys are not happy, the work is internally not given the best.

The attitude of the Ogas to their boys shows that they are only interested in self, and not group. They are suspicious, always showing unlovely traits. Even when the boys are on their best behaviours, the Ogas have bad behaviours echoed all about them. The Ogas want to be understood at all the time by the boys, but hardly understand the plights and desires of the boys.

From childhood, Yours Truly has been told that ?No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted?. As an adult, many kindnesses shown to many persons seemed wasted, because they misplaced them and took Yours Truly as a fool they have tricked and dumped. In this aspect, such reward from those shown the kindnesses is what makes some persons become wicked and begin to reward the world with wickedness evermore. In their families, they would become the fingered, when the word wicked was mentioned and are, not ready to be cordial and well-mannered to strangers.

Conversely, it pays to be kind. This makes persons to be citizens of the world. Let the Ogas learn to show kindness to their boys for their direction in life. The Ogas should understand that “a single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees”. (Amelia Earhart, Magic City Morning Star, Jun. 1, 2005). They should not be making their boys to regret that their efforts of kindness are wasted. The Ogas should know that there is no law in the world that is greater than kindness.

In “Helps to Happiness”, Nicias Ballard Cooksey, says: Kindness is helpful to the happiness of both recipient and giver. Who does not feel happier on showing kindness to others, and who does not feel happier on receiving the manifestation of kindness? Deeds of kindness shown in the little things of life constitute man’s chief happiness. Many are not able to do any great things for others, but all can find abundant opportunity of showing little deeds of kindness which will add much to the happiness of mankind.

“The Healing Power of Kindness” by Jean Maalouf says: More than anything else, kindness is a way of life. It is a way of living and walking through life. It is a way of dealing with all that is ourselves, our bodies, our dreams and goals, our neighbors, our competitors, our enemies, our air, our earth, our animals, our space, our time, and our very consciousness. Do we treat all creation with kindness? Isn’t all creation holy and divine?

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358
Email: [email protected]
www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Nigeria and the Leadership Shortage

What many opulent Nigerians term as leadership is the exhibition of their exotic cars, power bikes, mansions, companies, pictures from foreign lands they went for holidays, their glowing wives, husbands, children and concubines. They show-off these on the internet, newspapers, TV and, make commentaries on the radio for self-exaltation. They see leadership as titles and not, how many of their loved ones and followership they have positively influenced or would do. They see their gallery of wealth as the influence they are giving to those who look up to them. Since the wealthy in the society see these things as leadership, there has been tremendous leadership shortage in the country.

 

Because of this type of mindset to leadership, the consequences are where we are at present: virtually everybody is shortcutting what used to be the gradual process of living to attain a height of financial wealth. While many are doing this, they do not know that they are like those who ignorantly use pills to reduce weight, oblivious that they are digging for more danger to their lives than the natural weight they had thought was unbecoming.

 

Shortcuts have consequence. A critical look at it would attest to the fact that it?s this reason that governments at all levels in Nigeria have not gotten anything right. They implement policies that are not formidably executed; they read yearly budget that do not commensurate with the on ground works, and so on. Due of leadership shortage in Nigeria, many things are now worse, than any emergency approach given them.

 

Gaining influence is just the meaning of leadership and not, showing of influence. Many Nigerians do not think about the next step to take in order to uplift humanity here, but the next exotic car to paint the street red, the next mansion to build in order to intimidate the next neighbour, the next holiday picture to post online in order to compel family and friends to begin to bite their fingers.

 

Those the leaders want to cheer them are hungry and many do not even have hope of where their next meal would come from, where money for their next house rent would be raised from. What some of these leaders define as leadership is just the addiction of showing their wealth to their hapless followership, as if they are employees working very hard for promotions.

 

While they want the financially poor masses to be promoting them, the only agenda they have for them, are those intimidating outings they make for the poor to be lavishly glaring at and admiring them, without a twinge of conscience of where they placed the poor in life. Their acquisitions mean a lot to them and not, the welfares of the subjugated masses.

 

Leadership shortage has made many Nigerians to be sitting on the bare ground today. The leaders want the led to see Nigeria as a country that should mean a lot, without them leaders seeing the poor to mean anything to them. Rarely is there any opportunity that would enhance the growth of the poor individual like it is wont in the so-called developed world, where the level of opportunities to school appropriates the level of corruption in Nigeria.

 

In Nigeria, many people?s understanding of the concept of ?God? is just political. They use ?God bless you? in order to make people accept them as godly people, whereas they find blessing anybody really good somewhat hard thing to do. Apart from their gallery of wealth, the next thing they so much show in the public is ?God?. They do not have a more realistic view of theirselves. They see the act of leadership as a correlation between wealth and amassing of it; not a relationship between leading and the masses.

 

Because leadership has been assumed to be the position of those with much wealth, the poor would no longer guarantee self as one capable of being a leader. The poor has been so much intimidated by the rich to always believe that leadership has a residence with those that call the shots in the society. This is a widely misunderstood fact. Leadership is not a position, but an activity, not like the idea that the highest bidder goes with the prize, but an act of showing comprehensive examples for others to follow in the promotion of humanity and not, when there is something that has to do with politics and business alone.

 

Perhaps, this could be the reason a Vikas Swarup, the author of The Accidental Apprentice (and Slumdog Millionaire), was quoted as saying: “Leadership is the one competency that cannot be learnt in management school. A manager is trained to do things right; a leader does the right things. It is not a matter of training and preparation, but one of instinct and conscience.”

 

Therefore, the conscience of leadership has to be reborn; not the everyday reborn of titles and showing-off of acquisitions. Nigerians at all level must make the citizenry better by eschewing the love to obsequiousness. It is a killing behaviour, when anyone sees the promotion of exotic cars as leadership or those who purchase such cars for the simple purpose to intimidate others as leaders.

 

It is time Nigerians began to see these types of leaders who do nothing but to exhibit their numerous wealth as persons who have limited contributions to make for the wellbeing of Nigeria. Remove those material items from them and be amazed how empty they are. Everybody can have positive impact and become a leader. Against this backdrop, leadership must be seen as an art for influencing another in direction for the wellbeing of the society and not, for the individual buttering. We must take the advise by a John Izzo, PhD, whose write-ups suggest that Leadership is not about what your business card says, what your title is, or where you sit on the organizational chart in your company. Leadership is a posture, it is a decision that you want to have influence over others in a positive way.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Rivers State quintessential Information Manager

There is a rapid growth in the business of information management in Rivers State. The modern days technologies are really helping in no small ways for easy transmission and dissemination of information. But without a capable hand to handle how, what and where information is intended to reach, the idea of inventing the technologies is defeated. And it would cause social, economic and political ruinations to a given society. The proficient management of information in the Rivers State Government has shown that Ibim Semenitari (Mrs.) stands out.

 

There are overwhelming advantages to how she captures the rapidly changing business of politics in Rivers State. Pinpointing this, her methodology portends the concept of a business environment, where there are competitions and the best brains add innovations to their business ideas for a competitive advantage, which do not hamper profit ? the expectation of every meaningful entrepreneur.

 

It behooves people to know that a government with a weak or hypocritical information mercenary does not really do well and does not develop adequately in all ramifications of its enterprise. This is not the idea with the Commissioner for Information Rivers State. With Semenitari, the uncertain social, political and economic atmosphere in Rivers State, have not been thrown into undue pressure, which wasn?t the traditional management style of operating and organising information strategy.

 

How she came to reach this kind of integration policy and investing on it is known to her. One would say that with the new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) that anyone can be as competent as Semenitari. The truth is that while the ICTs are the devices to making available resourceful communications of business information among organizations, Semenitari?s knowledge-based professionalism has been improved upon with adequate methodologies.

 

The methodologies have brought Rivers State closer than any divergent view might think the state is in disarray. Any perceived disarray in the political landscape of the state could have been heated up more than the flames of bigotry rending the air, if the information commissioner and communications of Rivers State is loquacious and takes side in the call of her professional duty. But she remains in business, streamlining its operatives in cohesive functionality.

 

A keen observer would attest to the fact that this woman of substance serves to enhance the state?s communications and to reduce human tension, but support the wellbeing of all in and outside of Rivers State that are either connected to the state by blood or by visitation. Semenitari has not only brought the people closer to the government and together (don?t mind the minute political fighters), but has also allowed the state to become an independent thinking system, by bringing down barriers of linguistic.

 

Rivers State can therefore be said to have a good Information Governance approach, with Semenitari using powerful discovery tools that are not only useful to the state, but also to all individuals and groups that are in the information management affairs. Semenitari has been able to adopt internal regulations enforcement process, which implements a quiet environment, and doesn?t seem to portray what demagogues and traducers expect the world to imbibe as the case in Rivers State.

 

The masses of Rivers State are not propelled into recognising the government out of deceitful information, which does not give room for total freedom. Rather, the people are allowed to see the state through their own periscope, which allows room for constructive criticism and for change to be enhanced.??In some cases, there are communications Czars, who misapply information or use incomplete information, for the sole aim of creating endless possibilities to duty, not minding that it would not be exciting sensation if the people found out at last that such information was only meant to deceive.

 

Semenitari is not cheaper, quicker in handling information, but more efficient. She does not exalt herself like her exalted office. Those who know her have said that she is one government appointees, who communicates with anyone around the state and beyond through text messaging, emails, on any discourses that has to do with on-the-spot response about the government of the Rivers State. It is not easy that Semenitari is flourishing with information governance in the midst of political quagmires in the state, without losing self-consciousness or become mingled with opposing views or becoming the government?s attack dog. She is straightforward, without losing focus in these times of hard challenge.

 

Semenitari, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Rivers State, who was 46, on May 27, 2013, shares the same birthday with the creation of Rivers State in 1967. On June 10 2011, she was among the six new-Commissioners that were being sworn in by the Rivers State Governor Chibuike Amaechi. Having shown her mettle in the position before, this was after the dissolution of the state executive in which she was prior appointed on October 7, 2009.

 

Inter alia, her media excellence bagged her ??Most Outstanding Government Spokesman 2012?? by Andy Briggs Report Award, at the Le Meridian Hotel, Port Harcourt. She is also an award-winning investigative journalist (CNN African Journalist Award in 1997). She has been a writer and editor and publisher of over 22 years, with some of Nigeria?s and America?s media platforms, which amongst them were the Daily Times newspaper, Newswatch Magazine, Sunray Group of newspapers, Broad Street Journal , and the Tell group.

 

Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, as once Journalism Trainer/Editor with the BBC World Service Trust and a hardworking woman, has to continue with her work in covering areas of being, belief, citizenship, collectivism, culture, democracy, development, equality, freedom, government, human, humanity, ideology, information, mass, motherland, nobility, noble, patriotism, peace, people, person, philosophy, politics, rights, socialism, society, state, statehood, and amongst others.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358

Email:[email protected]

www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com