Wednesday October 22nd, 2014
Wednesday October 22nd, 2014
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Ebola virus disease and belief in an omnipotent good God

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:12 am   /   Comments

A seller of bananas walks past a slogan painted on a wall reading "Ebola" in Monrovia on August 31, 2014. Liberia on August 30, 2014 said it would deny permission for any crew to disembark from ships at the country's four seaports until the Ebola epidemic ravaging west Africa was under control. AFP PHOTO

Ever since the Ebola virus disease (or EVD) bumped into public consciousness worldwide in March this year, a lot has been said and written on the subject both by experts in the relevant fields and those who know very little about the disease.

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Shibboleths and refutations (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:01 am   /   Comments

*Ihejirika

The celebrated playwright declared, “In the process of our inquiries, we solicited the help of a foreign embassy whose government, we learnt, was actually on the same trail; thanks to its independent investigation into some money laundering that involved the Central Bank. That name, we confidently learnt, has also been passed on to President Jonathan. When he is ready to abandon his accommodating policy towards the implicated, even the criminalised…we shall gladly supply that name.”

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Shibboleths and refutations (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:42 am   /   Comments

Jega-cartoon-2015

How can Jega or anyone for that matter rationally justify the following: (1) none of the southeastern states got 1,000 new PUs out of the 12 that did;

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Shibboleths and refutations (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:03 am   /   Comments

Igbo-men

Anytime I suggest, with good reasons, that successive federal governments have systematically marginalised south eastern Nigeria since the Biafran war ended in 1970, some critics allege that I am over flogging the marginalisation issue, that I must be a tribalist, and that my claim is tantamount to making excuses for incompetent and corrupt Igbo political leaders.

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On the manifold faces of death (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:28 am   /   Comments

If the former Director-General of NAFDAC could resurrect temporarily and read the encomiums from some highly-placed Nigerians, she would be disgusted by the hypocrisy of it all – the very people that truncated her political ambition now eulogising her to high heavens! President Jonathan was very generous in praising Dora Akunyili’s achievements. Yet, he did not include her in his cabinet but merely appointed her member of the just-concluded National Conference at a time she was very ill. Mr. President’s action in this regard is consonant with the hypocritical attitude of members of the ruling class we highlighted earlier. That said, the best way to honour Akunyili’s legacy is by emulating her exemplary performance as a public servant. It is meaningless to praise someone to high heavens without making genuine efforts to exhibit those qualities that made him or her outstanding.

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On the manifold faces of death (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

Death-cartoon

According to Sherwin B. Nuland, author of the illuminating book, How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter, everyone wants to know the details of dying, although few willingly acknowledge that fact

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Truth, reason and nation building (5)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:40 am   /   Comments

Collectively, Igbo politicians, especially since the return to civilian rule in 1999 have failed in this regard. Nothing emblematises the decadent political leadership in Igboland today, and therewith the decline of South East as a liveable human space, more than the horrifying decay of Aba, once a flourishing centre of commerce. Presently, Aba is one of the most neglected urban centres in Nigeria, a paradigm example of arrested development, a glorified refuse dump. Former governor Orji Uzor Kalu and incumbent governor Theodore Orji deserve imprisonment for the deplorable state of Enyimba city. I grew up in Aba, when it was one of the most hospitable places in Igboland. Now, after fifteen years of mediocre governance, the city is a grotesque shadow of its former self. In my home state, Imo, the quality of work done by Rochas Okorocha’s agbata ekee administration is decidedly sub-standard; it is as if good governance has gone holiday. Hence, Igbo youths should rise up now and demand responsible leadership from politicians, instead of accepting crumbs from them euphemistically misnamed “empowerment.”

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Truth, reason and nation building (4)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:32 am   /   Comments

But Ojukwu, overwhelmed by personal ambition and popular support, decided that “an early practicable date” meant “four days later,” without detailed preparation for the worst case scenario – war. In the early hours of May 30 1967, he declared the transformation of Eastern region into The Republic of Biafra. Looking at the issue dispassionately, although Ojukwu was under tremendous pressure to pull Eastern region out of Nigeria, he lacked the necessary political experience and sagacity to neutralise the understandable anger of his people and explore less extreme or disruptive approach for resolving the conflict between Eastern region and the federal government.

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Truth, reason and nation building (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:08 am   /   Comments

confab2

In fact, the delegates went further: they wanted a secession clause inserted in the new constitution that might be generated from the conference. But something remarkable happened after the governor of the region, Hassan Usman Katsina, came around: the delegates left hurriedly for the North their home base, and the conference was adjourned.

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Truth, reason and nation building (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:05 am   /   Comments

Artists representing Nigeria perform during the opening ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, held before the Group A football match between Brazil and Japan, at the National Stadium in Brasilia on June 15, 2013.  AFP PHOTO /

The sporadic violent uprisings between 1945 up to the eve of independence in which Southern Nigerians resident in the North, especially the Igbo, were attacked by their Northern compatriots, the lopsided colonial political arrangement which favoured the North despite its educational backwardness and economic dependence on the South, pernicious inter-ethnic suspicion and political rivalry among politicians from different parts of the country, indicated that the Nigerian federation which emerged on October I, 1960 was far from being a unified colonial amalgam

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Truth, reason and nation building (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:18 am   /   Comments

Artists representing Nigeria perform during the opening ceremony of the FIFA Confederations Cup Brazil 2013, held before the Group A football match between Brazil and Japan, at the National Stadium in Brasilia on June 15, 2013.  AFP PHOTO /

Ordinarily and in our daily transactions, truth is not a difficult concept to understand, because most people operate implicitly and explicitly with the correspondence theory of truth, according to which truth is the correspondence of beliefs and propositions with reality

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Understanding the role of emotional intelligence in corporate success (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

At the personal level, self-knowledge, attitude and behaviour are crucial. Knowledge or self-awareness in this context involves accurate understanding of our own feelings, preferences, goals and values, grasping how others feel about us and applying that information in our daily transactions. A positive attitude for success grows by cultivating a “can-do” or winning mentality and believing in ourselves, overcoming self-doubt and taking reasonable risks, being assertive and not aggressive, being goal-motivated, admitting mistakes, and moving on after each setback. With respect to behaviour, the focus is on how to act appropriately in stressful situations, putting our emotions under reasonable control, adaptability and balancing rational and emotional considerations.

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Understanding the role of emotional intelligence in corporate success (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

To explicate the role of EI in the quest for corporate success, we shall use the insurance industry as an illustration. This is because an overwhelming percentage of Nigerians, including the educated ones, are yet to embrace the practice of insuring themselves, their loved ones and their belongings. Secondly, since insurance is typically concerned with compensation for every form of damage or loss incurred by the insured, the emotional factor plays a preeminent in insurance. The questions that naturally rise at this point are, what is insurance?

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Understanding the role of emotional intelligence in corporate success (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

Emotional intelligence (or EI afterwards) is one of the most exciting concepts that appeared occasionally in the literature of psychology in the 1970s and 1980s. Therefore, it is fair to say that the concept is relatively new when compared to more established Freudian and behaviourist notions such as Oedipus complex, superego, reinforcement and conditioned reflex among others.

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Notes on the origin and nature of religion (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:21 am   /   Comments

*Muslims at prayer

The things we long for, or dream about, sometimes correspond to an object in reality – for example, the glass of water we obtained in a dream – and sometimes not – for example paradise on earth. A belief constitutes an illusion when a wish-fulfilment is a prominent factor in its motivation.

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Notes on the origin and nature of religion (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 7:17 pm   /   Comments

For example, the notion of projection cannot account for the psychology of fear and devotion associated with religion. Besides, human nature is multi-dimensional and difficult to define. Therefore, if the idea of God is just the projection and worship of human nature, what determines aspects of human nature that are projected unto God and the ones that are not? It is difficult to answer these pertinent questions based on Feuerbach’s theory.

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Notes on the origin and nature of religion (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:38 am   /   Comments

From left: Co-Chairman, Nigeria Inter-religious Council (Nirec), Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor; National Co-ordinator/executive Secretary,  Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, and Co-Chairman, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa'ad Abubakar III, at a meeting of NIREC with President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja. NAN Photo

Nigerians are among the most religious people in the world. But most of them hardly spend time to reflect on the origin and nature of religious worship. Moreover, they accept the doctrines of Christianity and Islam uncritically, and hardly deviate from the religions of their parents or of the society to which they belong. Given the recurrent problem of religious intolerance and recrudescence of fundamentalist violence in Nigeria and in different parts of the world presently, it is important that believers should periodically reflect on the essence of their faiths. This is because such reflection can lead to better understanding of the purpose of religion as a means of attaining spiritual enlightenment leading to a better practice of life. To trigger the much-needed reflection is the major objective of this paper.

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Notes on the beautiful game

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:37 am   /   Comments

Iran's defender Khosro Heidari and Iran's midfielder Andranik Teymourian (C) fights for the ball with Nigeria's midfielder John Obi Mikel (R) during a Group F football match between Iran and Nigeria at the Baixada Arena in Curitiba at the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 16, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JEWEL SAMAD

“Iron gate Emmanuel Okala throws the ball to Chairman Christian Chukwu. Chukwu taps the ball to dean of defence Yisa Sofoluwe; Sofoluwe sends a telegraphic pass to midfield maestro Mudashiru Lawal. Muda Lawal dribbles two opponents and sends the ball to mathematical Segun Odegbami. Odegbami dilly-dallies, shilly-shallies, and locates elastic Humphrey Edobor. The storm is gathering near the opponent’s goal area, and it would soon rain a goal. Edobor turns quickly to the right and returns the ball to Odegbami. Odegbami kicks the ball towards quicksilver Sylvanus Okpala who shoots an intercontinental ballistic missile from outside the penalty box. It is a goal! It is a goal! Nigeria has scored!”

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Homoeroticism: A plea for rationality and tolerance (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:15 am   /   Comments

Most people who believe, uncritically, that there is a normal or natural sexual relation proper for humans do so on the basis of taboo morality derived from antiquated and superstitious religious doctrines. Biologically, human beings may be classified as such without imputing any normative considerations whatsoever. As we already noted, there is no rigid human nature. Human beings as sentient creatures with the capacity to use language and the power of self-consciousness are culturally emergent beings whose values are intimately connected with the doctrines, ideologies and ideals of the societies in which they grew up, all of which are subject to change.

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Homoeroticism: A plea for rationality and tolerance (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:11 am   /   Comments

Homoeroticism or homosexual relation, simply put, is erotic desire for, and sexual activity between, members of the same sex. Most traditional accounts of the origin of eroticism attribute it to supernatural beings that created woman and man for the purpose of procreation.

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The mystery of death: An essay in memory of Professor A.B. Sofoluwe (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:26 am   /   Comments

Prof Sofoluwe, VC, UNILAG

When I mildly protested, he smiled and said, “Oyinbo man, you are not working hard enough. I will buy you a drink after doing what I asked you to do.” About twenty minutes later, the waiter placed a chilled bottle of Star lager in front of me and said “from the VC.”

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The mystery of death: an essay in memory of Professor A.B. Sofoluwe

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:09 am   /   Comments

Prof Sofoluwe, VC, UNILAG

TWO weeks ago, the second annual memorial lecture in honour of the 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, late Prof. Adetokumbo Babatunde Sofoluwe (fondly called ABS by some of his admirers), was held at Afe Babalola auditorium in the main campus of the university

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Criticism and the unmistakable signs of a society in decline (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:11 am   /   Comments

Prseident Jonathan, Senate President david Mark and other at the scene of the blast at Nyanya , Abuja, Monday. Photo: Olamikan Olugbenga.

In the fight against corruption where he could have made a good impression, the President’s achievement is far below average.

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Criticism and the unmistakable signs of a society in decline (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:01 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan and President Paul Biya, Cameroon

Therefore, it is largely a frustrating and futile exercise to recommend solutions to a group of bulimic politicians preoccupied with acquisition and retention of power at all costs, and sustenance of official avenues for primitive accumulation.

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Criticism and the unmistakable signs of a society in decline (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

A mammoth crowd at the Liberation Stadium for the rally. Eleven individuals died following a stampede

Therefore, it is largely a frustrating and futile exercise to recommend solutions to a group of bulimic politicians preoccupied with acquisition and retention of power at all costs, and sustenance of official avenues for primitive accumulation.

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Criticism and the unmistakable signs of a society in decline (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

jonathan office

Last week, I received an arrogant SMS message from a certain Dr. Nelson in response to my essay entitled “The anti-intellectual character of Nigerians,” in which I lamented the overbearing anti-intellectualistic influence of religion in the consciousness of Nigerians. In the text, Dr. Nelson claimed that “Nigeria is in need of people who can give advice and solutions to its many problems.

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The anti-intellectual character of Nigerians (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:21 am   /   Comments

File photo: From Left; Pastor Folu Adeboye, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and President Jonathan at the 2013 Holy Ghost Congress, Friday night.

I strongly believe that when the President, governors and other top public office holders regularly solicit for prayers and attend extracurricular religious programmes, superstitious emotionalism is being substituted for strategic thinking as the best approach to the challenges of leadership.

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The anti-intellectual character of Nigerians (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:23 am   /   Comments

Jonathan arriving COCIN church in Abuja, yesterday.

Notwithstanding overemphasis on publications by the system, I give priority to good performance in the classroom, lecture theatre, and laboratories where students are expected to learn from their teachers.

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The anti-intellectual character of Nigerians (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:05 am   /   Comments

Crowd at the  Abubakar Gunmi Central Market in Kaduna State on June 24 after relaxation of 24hrs curfew engendered  by multiple bomb attacks which killed many in the state  Photo by Olu Ajayi.

Last week, I received a text message from an anonymous critic (Mr. X for convenience) who responded to my riposte on the national conference going on in Abuja. In the text, Mr. X called me a hypocrite for criticising the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) anytime it embarks on indefinite strike to press home its demands from the federal government while at the same time complaining that lecturers are not well paid.

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Profligacy and Aggravated Intelligence Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:05 am   /   Comments

CONFAB

When I read that each of the mostly President Goodluck Jonathan’s handpicked delegates to the national conference going on in Abuja right now will collect N12million at the end of their three-month meeting, I was outraged. My reaction was based on the following considerations. First, as a very senior academic in one of the best universities in Nigeria, my emolument in a year after sundry deductions at source is less than N4million.

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Nigeria’s Centenary celebration and its discontents (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

Centenary-leaders

At this point, let us discuss one of the main reasons for having a low-key centenary celebration, namely, our inability to tame the octopus called corruption and indiscipline, whose ugly tentacles have spread to every facet of our national life, including the judiciary, the purported “last hope of the common man.”

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Nigeria’s Centenary celebration and its discontents (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:20 am   /   Comments

Centenary-leaders

They point to the big brother role Nigeria has played, and still plays, in the West African sub-region and in the African continent as a whole. One can concede all that and still maintain, correctly in my view, that although the country might be beautiful abroad, she is ugly at home. Even so, Nigeria’s standing in Africa, and in the world generally, has nosedived since the 1990s. For instance, the irritating subordinate status accorded Nigeria during the burial of Nelson Mandela is a telling demonstration that things have fallen apart with respect to her rating by other African countries.

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