Thursday July 31st, 2014
Thursday July 31st, 2014
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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (5)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:08 am   /   Comments

Unilag4

I still remember the travails of late Professor J.A. Omotola, former VC University of Lagos, who worked tirelessly to ensure that the university became the primus inter pares among tertiary institutions in Nigeria. Despite mistakes here and there, Professor Omotola tried so hard to ensure massive positive transformation of UNILAG within the shortest possible time.

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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (4)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 11:01 am   /   Comments

Asuu-cartoon

I know some brilliant and dedicated lecturers in several universities who have been in the same academic position for over a decade, whereas their less knowledgeable colleagues are promoted rapidly because the latter have godfathers and are able to play dirty sleight of hand academic politics that elevates mediocrity above meritocracy.

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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:22 am   /   Comments

asuu-fg

However, and this is the crux of the matter, those responsible for running the universities on daily basis have, through financial rascality, misused available financial resources. Wastages and corruption in the system are legion. They include explosive increase in the purchase of official cars, frequent unnecessary trips by top management of universities many of whom are senior academics, huge allowances and gifts for members of university councils, lavish convocation ceremonies, overpriced contracts awarded to relatives, friends and cronies of VIPs in various campuses most of which are poorly executed, and so on.

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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

asuu1

Most lecturers who detest frequent indefinite strikes are pusillanimous about speaking out openly; they prefer to hide their real opinions rather than endure intemperate verbal attacks from vociferous pro-strike colleagues. In most universities nowadays during congress meetings to decide on strike, lecturers who refuse to jump uncritically into the ASUU bandwagon are derided as pro-government saboteurs.

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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:08 am   /   Comments

asuu1

The title of our discourse today is cloned from Walter Rodney’s incisive critique of the brazen exploitation of Africa by European powers entitled How Europe Underdeveloped Africa. But despite huge differences in the content of Rodney’s work and our analysis, there is a fundamental intersection: just as the developmental trajectory of Africa was adversely affected by contact with Europe, quality education in Nigeria’s public universities is steadily being eroded as a result of unwholesome attitude to work by an increasing numbers of university teachers.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (8)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

*Gowon and Ojukwu

There is a deafening silence about the civil war in public discourse and we want to draw attention to it so that Nigerians can ascertain where the rain started beating them and take corrective measures to avoid being drenched by another downpour in future. Thus, in our analysis, you can replace ‘Igbo’ with the name of another ethnic nationality and ‘Northerners’ with ‘Southerners’ and my argument will still hold. The major point readers who might accuse me of unnecessary bias ought to bear in mind is that wickedness and injustice are morally reprehensible universally, and no genuine humanist should condone any of them no matter who the perpetrators and the victims were.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (7)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:25 am   /   Comments

*Gowon and Ojukwu

Col. Ojukwu proclaimed the Republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967; but instead of Awolowo fulfilling his position to lead Western region out of Nigeria if the East secedes, he accepted appointment into Lt. Gowon’s Executive Council as Vice-Chairman and Federal Commissioner for Finance, and asked the Yoruba to support Gowon fully. Gowon was deposed by a military coup on July 29, 1975, exactly nine years after the revenge coup in which Ironsi, Fajuyi and scores of Igbo military officers were murdered. Anyway, during the war, Awolowo, Anthony Enahoro and other hardliners in Gowon’s cabinet enthusiastically supported starvation as a weapon of war against Biafrans.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (6)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

*Gowon and Ojukwu

Furthermore, why would stoppage of the country’s drift towards “utter destruction” be something that would cause great disappointment and heartbreak to sincere lovers of the country? The truth is clear in this sordid episode, notwithstanding the afterthought Gowon inserted at the end of his speech. Lt. Col. Gowon and his co-conspirators from the North backed away from their original secession plan because it would be economically disastrous for the North without revenues derived from Southern Nigeria.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (5)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

A group of maidens presented a dance representing the traditional marriage rite of the people of the community during the event.

Analysis of promotions in the army between January 15 and July 28, 1966, as documented in official records and well-researched historical sources, demonstrates that Ironsi was fair to all parts of the country. Allegation that he refused to punish Nzeogwu and others implicated and detained for the January coup because most of them were Igbo cannot be sustained; it is a mischievous falsehood peddled by half-baked historians to justify the senseless and bloodthirsty revenge coup of July 29, 1966.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (4)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello

Although the visit was cancelled eventually, it did not prevent the Kano riots in which scores of Ndigbo were murdered. Therefore, it is very clear that during the colonial period and shortly after independence, the British colonialists were obsessed with maintaining what until now is euphemistically referred to as “One Nigeria” for her own neo-colonialist agenda, notwithstanding the centrifugal forces of ethnicity and religion pulling in the opposite direction.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:07 am   /   Comments

Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello

Balewa’s control of the national government placed the Northern region at an advantage over the other two regions because NPC, the party representing its interests, had power over federal revenue and other important national institutions. Expectedly, the NPC used its dominant influence to determine, in favour of the North, developmental projects to implement, where to site such projects and contractors that would execute them. Northern political leaders wanted power at the centre desperately out of conviction that the NCNC and AG, if allowed to control the federal government, would likely allocate more resources to the Eastern and Western regions at the expense of the underdeveloped Northern region.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:56 am   /   Comments

File: CENTENARY—From right: Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; former President Shehu Shagari; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and President Goodluck Jonathan at the Nigeria Centenary flag-off ceremony in Abuja, Monday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

Hence, the Warrant Chiefs appointed by the British and vested with arbitrary powers hitherto unknown in Igboland were thoroughly disliked by the people. It was not surprising that most of them became tyrants who abused their authority with impunity. The use of these unpopular chiefs for taxation led to the Aba women riots of 1929.

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Nigerian history and the morbid obsession with national unity (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:33 am   /   Comments

File: CENTENARY—From right: Former Head of State, Gen. Yakubu Gowon; former President Shehu Shagari; former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar and President Goodluck Jonathan at the Nigeria Centenary flag-off ceremony in Abuja, Monday. Photo: Abayomi Adeshida.

Sometime ago, the federal government announced that it would celebrate the centenary of Nigeria. When I read that in the newspapers, my mind went to work.

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The new Neanderthals (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

To repeat, many passages in the Holy Bible and Holy Koran prescribe intolerance against non-believers, although there are numerous texts in both scriptures that promote peace, love and solidarity as well. Therefore, it is incontrovertible that one cannot grasp fully the underlying causes of religious fanaticism in Nigeria without appreciating the role played by the “holy” scriptures in projecting the culture of religious exclusiveness.

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The new Neanderthals (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:03 am   /   Comments

fani-Igbo

Herd mentality is a necessary concomitant of primitivism. Evidence from psychology indicates that certain personality types are prone or easily susceptible to herd mentality and obsessive attachment to blood and ethnicity, irrespective of their educational and socio-economic background.

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The new Neanderthals (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:17 am   /   Comments

Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola

The ill-advised action of Lagos state government with respect to the deportation from the state of some destitute of Igbo extraction sometime ago has once again brought to the front seat of public consciousness one of the gaping fault lines in the geopolitical contraption called Nigeria – pernicious ethnicity.

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The difference between running the country and running the country down(2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:40 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (m) juggling the Suckett Football to electricity (a new invention)

As David-West observed, shame is an important human emotion that enables normal human beings “to recoil from evil and bad behaviour, and so tread the path of rectitude and honour.” Shamelessness immunises one psychologically from the pain of evil conduct: the mental disposition allows so-called eminent Nigerians to “wine and dine” with former dictators who almost ran the country aground.

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The difference between running the country and running the country down

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:47 am   /   Comments

cartoon-a

It is very unfortunate that Nigeria continues to be a paradigm case of a richly endowed country in the cesspit of arrested development.

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Philosophy, unceasing quest for the good life (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:47 am   /   Comments

*Gaskiya Senior College, Badia

Therefore, we interpret the idea of love contained in Russell’s definition as containing the elements highlighted by Fromm. However, making allowances for the turbulent and deep emotional attachment characteristic of romantic love, the kind of love intended by Russell involves tolerance, kindness, and feeling of solidarity for fellow human beings. Now, thinkers have hotly debated the problem of knowledge since the earliest beginnings of philosophy.

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Philosophy and unceasing quest for the good life

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:04 am   /   Comments

Arms-n-Ammunition-uche

Philosophy, since its academic canonisation in ancient Greece more than two thousand five hundred years ago, has had a chequered history. Aside from being a relentless quest for wisdom and for the ideal life, philosophy provides the intellectual backbone for momentous events in history.

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Why I am against ASUU’s frequent indefinite strikes (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:08 am   /   Comments

Protest: Polytechnic students protesting against ongoing nationwide strike, on Ikorodu Road, Lagos, yesterday.

It is therefore not surprising that a large percentage of lecturers across the universities appear incapable of examining repercussions of frequent strikes critically and comprehensively; it is as if they are stymied by marginal improvement in salaries after each strike. But as we argued last week, there is no clear evidence that such improvement has translated into enhanced quality of teaching and research

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Why I am against ASUU’s frequent indefinite strikes (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 3:45 am   /   Comments

Asuu cartoon

Once again, another round of insensate indefinite strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has paralysed academic activities in federal and state universities nationwide.

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Mr. President, enough of sermonisations please!

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 8:35 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (4th r) leading other fathers in the presentation of a special song during the 2013 Father's Day celebration at the Aso Villa Chapel Abuja on Sunday (16/6/13).

At the official commencement of the national Christian campaign on social transformation tagged: “Be the change you want to see”, put together by the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), President Goodluck Jonathan claimed that a lot had gone wrong in the family, schools, churches, and the society generally, and that there is need to bring about transformation.

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The spiritual poverty of Nigeria’s ruling elite

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:01 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan (4th r) leading other fathers in the presentation of a special song during the 2013 Father's Day celebration at the Aso Villa Chapel Abuja on Sunday (16/6/13).

One fundamental point that emerges from our discourse on criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria is that the ruling class does not really care about the wellbeing of ordinary Nigerians who have been enduring manmade hardships occasioned by mediocre leadership especially since the reestablishment of civilian rule in 1999.

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Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:06 am   /   Comments

Corruption1

Corruption in Nigeria is not restricted to the executive branch alone; its destructive tentacles reach all institutions of government. For instance, the legislature is a very important arm of democratic governance saddled with the responsibilities of making good laws for national development and oversight on the executive.

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Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN PRESENTING HIS ADMINISTRATIONS MID-TERM REPORT AT THE 2013 DEMOCRACY DAY CELEBRATION IN ABUJA ON WEDNESDAY (29/5/13). STATE HOUSE PHOTO

Moreover, October 1 is more appropriate for marking Democracy Day, assuming there is need to celebrate democracy, taking into consideration the landmark national events that took place on that day. The most significant dates in Nigeria’s political history are 1914, 1960 and 1967. Of the three, October 1, 1960 is the most relevant to our discussion for two reasons.

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Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:15 am   /   Comments

democracy

Wednesday last week was a public holiday because, according to the federal government, 29the May is “Democracy Day”. The choice of that date and the political significance it has acquired are due to Olusegun Obasanjo whose inauguration as a civilian President took place on May 29, 1999. Since Obasanjo left office in 2007, his successors, namely, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and Goodluck Jonathan, have retained the public holiday he introduced fourteen years ago.

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Facts and fallacies about marriage (4)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:04 am   /   Comments

Young  couple  relishing  the joy of  having  a baby

Indigenous Nigerian cultures, Christianity, and Islam recommend marriage for everyone. For instance, Christianity teaches that he who finds a wife finds a good thing, and obtains favour from God (assuming that such a being exists). Because The Holy Bible appears to have been written from a fundamentally masculine perspective, there is no mention of a wife finding a good thing if she gets a husband. Islam also encourages marriage, while according to native customs and traditions, an unmarried state for both men and women is an abomination.

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Facts and fallacies about marriage (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

religions

All this indicates that those who look up to religion for guidance on the issue of marriage are liable to make serious mistakes. There is strong evidence from psychology most especially psychoanalysis that obsessive and irrational condemnation of sexual freedom by most founders of religion is due to a combination of superstitious beliefs about sex and thwarting of natural sexual impulse in early life.

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Facts and fallacies about marriage (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:00 am   /   Comments

wedding1

Moreover, religious stipulations on marriage reflect the culture, worldview and experiences of the society from which the religion in question originated. As a result, although there are commonalities across cultures that legitimise generalisation of few particularities of each culture, it is definitely wrong to believe that the nuances of Jewish-Greco-Roman and Arabic cultures in the Holy Bible and Holy Quran must command complete or universal assent from everyone.

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Facts and fallacies about marriage (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:03 am   /   Comments

MR-&-MRS-Marriage-Counsello

It is virtually impossible to know exactly the number of marriages that take place all over the world daily or weekly. What is certain is that an overwhelming majority of men and women still consider it appropriate to formalise their close relationships one way or another through wedlock.

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Femi Aribisala and his errand boy God

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

In his essay entitled “The God Who Does Not Exist”, published in Sunday Vanguard of March 31st, Pastor Femi Aribisala responded to an article I wrote several months ago in which I declared arguments for the existence of an intelligent divine creator or First Cause invalid. More pointedly, I defended my conviction that God does not exist, and cited briefly the views of some philosophers and scientists to back my claim. I would have ignored Aribisala’s opinionated response, but doing so might create the erroneous impression in the minds of readers that probably he is right or that I find his arguments (insofar as he marshalled any) so compelling that I decided, as the old idiom says, “to let the sleeping dogs lie”.

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