Thursday October 30th, 2014
Thursday October 30th, 2014
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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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Nigeria’s Centenary celebration and its discontents (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:34 am   /   Comments

Centenary-leaders

Penultimate, week, the country’s ruling elite led by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan held the centenary celebration of Nigeria as a single geopolitical and economic unit. From media reports, about twenty-eight heads of state or their representatives attended the event held in Abuja. As a bona fide Nigerian citizen who knows that billions of naira must have been spent for the occasion, it is pertinent to ask pertinent questions, answers to which would help clarity the propriety or otherwise of the celebration.

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Reflections on Nigerian politicians (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:27 am   /   Comments

APC-visit-obasanjo

This is one of the root causes of politics-with-bitterness, largely responsible for the notion noted at the beginning of this discourse that politics in Nigeria is a dirty game. If politicians conduct themselves within constitutional bounds, political excitement is less likely to cause problems. But our politicians are yet to internalise self-restraint, democratic culture and patriotism that will dampen the urge to cause trouble by channelling political excitement to harmless or less destructive outlets.

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Reflections on Nigerian politicians (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:10 am   /   Comments

*New PDP:  From Left, Rivers State Governor  Rotimi Amechi , Niger State Governor Aliyu Babangida , Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar , New PDP Factional National Chairman Abubakar Kawu Baraje, Kano State Governor Rabiu Kawankwazo at Press conference announcing new PDP  Factional Leadership in Abuja.   Photo by Gbemiga Olamikan.

Rivalry is another strong motive in politics. It involves competition between at least two individuals or groups. In moderation, rivalry is good because it tends to foster healthy competition. However, if it becomes pathological, as in when an individual considers winning elections at all cost an end in itself, then many negative things are bound to happen. For example, there is some reason to believe that unhealthy rivalry between Dr. Azikiwe and Chief Awolowo was exploited by the Northern Peoples Congress, led by Alhaji Ahmadu Bello, to make political inroads in Western Nigeria, which eventually caused breakdown of law and order in the region in the early sixties.

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Reflections on Nigerian politicians (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:04 am   /   Comments

APC-Atiku

In Nigeria, it is customary for people to say that politics is a “dirty game.” That negative assessment stems from the fact that since the country began experimenting with modern forms of civilian governance, most key players in the political arena have tended to sacrifice the nobler forms of politicking on the altar of primitive egoism, crude Machiavellism and bulimic materialism. Therefore, description of politics as a dirty game in this country underscores the fact that a typical Nigerian politician is willing and prepared to do virtually anything possible either to win an election or get a lucrative appointment in government.

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An old sour wine in a new wine bottle

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:45 am   /   Comments

President Goodluck Jonathan wave to the crowd shortly after the conferment of se -lo-lia (Star of the Nation) on him during the courtesy visit to the king for the burial of the first Lady's mother , Madam fynface Oba in Okireka , River state ...yesterday

By Douglas Anele Largely, President Goodluck Jonathan is a man under intense pressure, notwithstanding his cool, calm and dapper looks in newspapers and television. I strongly believe that our political leaders deserve opprobrium for their outward show of opulence and indulgent materialism when a vast majority of ordinary Nigerians are facing severe existential challenges daily.

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A report card on Alagbo’s burial

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:24 am   /   Comments

In last series of this column entitled “Yuletide experiences and acknowledgments,” I wrote about the death of my father, Alagbo Ebere E. Anele, at the age of ninety-four. Before travelling to the village on December 27, 2013 to commence preliminary preparations for his funeral, I was a bit apprehensive because the stress of my late mother’s burial about three years ago was still fresh in my memory.

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Yuletide experiences and acknowledgments (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:07 am   /   Comments

Christmas-today

What is the student-teacher ratio in state schools? Can the meal subsidy buy a decent meal for the children? We have already noted that the roads constructed by the state government are substandard, which means that, ultimately, the money spent in constructing them is wasted. To worsen matters, the poor quality of governance at the executive level is replicated in the Imo state House of Assembly.

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Yuletide experiences and acknowledgments (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:25 am   /   Comments

Christmas-today

The year 2014 is about three weeks old. All over the world, both Christians and non-Christians are recovering from the excesses of Christmas and Near Year celebrations – excessive spending, eating, drinking and other ostentatious debaucheries that take a heavy toll on the health and finances of people.

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How religion underdeveloped Nigeria (4)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 2:09 am   /   Comments

Sultan of Sokoto and Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, CAN President

Apart from direct dangers to the mental and physical well-being of individuals, the two dominant religions in Nigeria tend to engender hatred, division and enmity in families, villages, towns, states and the country as a whole.

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How religion underdeveloped Nigeria (3)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 3:12 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

In fact, despite the hysterical shibboleths of sycophants, broad sections of Nigerians believe, correctly, I am afraid, that President Jonathan’s administration is among the most corrupt since independence. If religion were a force in fostering good leadership, Nigeria would have been the greatest country in the world, even surpassing the United States, given her incredible human and material resources and clement weather conditions.

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How religion underdeveloped Nigeria (2)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 1:11 am   /   Comments

*The Lord’s Chosen Church headquarters after the sealing

In-between are the complex cultural practices associated with religious worship. Of course, human beings exist, but the question concerning the existence of a supernatural being called God is yet to be settled finally one way or the other since no definitive proof is available on each side of the debate. Therefore, acceptance of the reality of God is a matter of belief and faith, leaving open the tantalising possibility that the supreme object of religious worship might be imaginary, although I think that the reasons for rejecting the existence of the God of religion are far stronger than arguments for belief. Before the advent of Christianity and Islam into the various indigenous communities that eventually became Nigeria, the various peoples had evolved what is generally referred to as African Traditional Religion (ATR).

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How religion underdeveloped Nigeria (1)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:05 am   /   Comments

Christmas-today

Although our discourse today involves a critical examination of religion as one of the most significant causes of Nigeria’s underdevelopment, we shall begin with a few comments about Christmas.

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How lecturers underdeveloped the universities (5)

  /   in Sunday Perspectives 12:08 am   /   Comments

Unilag

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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