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Criticism and the growth of democracy in Nigeria (1)

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)

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)

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)

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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Femi Aribisala and his errand boy God

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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Demise of the eagle on the tallest Iroko tree

Having concluded the discourse on “The trouble with Nigerians,” it is time to pay tribute to the recently-departed icon of African literature, Prof. Chinualumogu Albert Achebe. Of course, the heading of that discourse was cloned from the title of Achebe’s pamphlet, The trouble with Nigeria, and a few of his views were used to buttress some major points made therein. Achebe was an accomplished intellectual, Africanist, humanist and teacher.

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The trouble with Nigerians (3)

This means that the President will make more decisions that, in his own calculations and those of his ardent supporters who are benefiting from the present situation, will bolster his reelectability inspite of how Nigerians will vote in 2015. Now, if the promises President Jonathan made to Nigerians when he was campaigning for election in 2011 are compared with his actual performance, campaigning for a second term would be suspect because he has not delivered on most of those promises.

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The trouble with Nigerians (1)

In his thought-provoking riposte on Nigeria entitled The Trouble with Nigeria, Prof. Chinua Achebe explained that the principal reason for the horrible state of affairs in the country has nothing to do with geography or climate or the kind of food Nigerians eat. Rather, he says, the trouble with Nigeria is the recurrent blizzard of mediocre and corrupt leadership.

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