Ola Rotimi’s Ovonramwen Nogbaisi: When History Becomes Drama by Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

Ola Rotimi’s Ovonramwen Nogbaisi: When History Becomes Drama

OBARUDUAGBON. Today is your day: tomorrow belongs to another!

ESASOYEN. Indeed: the Whiteman who is stronger than you will soon come! (Ola Rotimi 6)

The above reminds me of the words of a great Zulu Chief (Chaka) to his assailants. The difference this time is that the setting is the ancient Benin Empire and the words are not coming from a dying king but from subordinates who have just been sentenced to death by their Oba for murdering his trusted adviser. Nonetheless, it is a great inciting action for Ola Rotimi’s eponymous play, Ovonramwen Nogbaisi.

You might not like Ola Rotimi’s other plays, but Ovonramwen Nogbaisi is a play I am sure you cannot help loving. Aside Kurunmi (another historical drama by Ola Rotimi), this play is for me the best from the playwright. Ovonramwen Nogbaisi is a play that further establishes Rotimi’s talent as a great African dramatist. His ability to rework history and breathe life into it on stage leaves me with nothing but admiration.

It is ancient Benin Empire and the ruler is Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, a young king who does not wish to be taken for granted by his subject considering his young age, he pronounces death upon the first set of rebel chiefs arrested in his kingdom to serve as a deterrent to others who might be thinking of toeing the same path of rebellion. The still defiant chiefs prophesy the conquest of the kingdom and the coming of the white man who would effect it. Against pleas by both the chiefs and the palace jester, Ovonramwen insists that his decision would not be rescinded.

There are troubles within the empire as little towns under Ovonramwen’s kingdom are beginning to show signs of revolting yet Ovonramwen quashes these troubles to keep the kingdom a united entity. Since Ovonramwen succeeds in repressing internal rebellion, would he succeed in suppressing the aggression from external forces?

As prophesied by Esasoyen, the Whiteman came; with the intention to trade in rubber; but Ovonramwen is not impressed by the Whiteman’s antics, was it not them who went about fixing a different price for oil after the Oba had chosen a certain price for the same commodity? How could the Whitemen call themselves his friends when they went about encouraging his people to rebel against his authority by selling commodities for different prices? This settled the issue for Ovonramwen and he refused to sign the trade treaty, neither would he accept the gifts of the Whiteman whose love only shows on the face but not in the heart.

Despite Ovonramwen rejection of the trade treaty, the White man’s greed for the untapped resources in the Benin Empire would not let him turn his back to it as he makes another attempt to see the king but he has come at a wrong time; it is Ague ceremony and culture and tradition forbids strangers or visitors from making an incursion into Benin throughout the period of this ceremony and neither is the king allowed to see nor entertain visitors. The insistence of the group led by the Whitemen to make an incursion into Benin despite the refusal of the Benin police would lead to the group being attacked and killed by the warriors of Benin who take away the heads of the Whitemen as part of the spoils of war.

There is a reprisal attack from the British authority and it is terrible, with it came the fall of the Benin Empire and the takeover of the Benin Empire by the European authorities in the land. Oba Ovonramwen was arrested after attempting an escape and whisked away to Calabar, the colonial headquarters.

The play is a historical presentation of the fall of a great king, it describes a clash of interest between two opposing forces (the Benin Empire and the British Authority cum colonialist), it also shows the disregard and disrespect shown by the British authorities for the African cultural norms and traditions, and it reminds us of how African artifacts now deposited in European museums were looted or (to use the right word) stolen at the behest of an insensitive and greed inspired conquest.

Ovonramwen Nogbaisi was forced off his throne and land (an abomination!) , so was Jaja of Opobo, and so Nana of Ijekiri, all kings who refused an unjust trade system introduced by British authorities. In Ola Rotimi’s Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, we are reminded of these great men who stood up and said “nay” when fear made all others say “ye”.

The play is replete with the rich use of various Nigerian languages, such as the Benin language, Yoruba, and Hausa language, aside from the English language used in producing the play–Ola Rotimi’s love for various Nigerian languages is obvious, being from a mixed race himself (Yoruba and Benin), we see a better incorporation of various languages in another of his play, Hopes of the Living Dead. Also, the ornamentation of dialogues and speeches with myriad proverbs leaves one marvelling at the depth of the writer’s knowledge of the oral repertoire, along with the various songs, they make the play a beautiful piece!

“Ikpema! Oba gha to o kpere!”

Rest on Ovonramwen Nogbaisi, the home leopard, rest great king!

© Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy 2017

Advertisements

Hatred by Another Name: Unmasking the Band of National False Heroes by Chin Ce

Avid speculations by the liege of Asari Dokubo are rife that the Nigerian president recently returned from United Kingdom on health exile is a clone of a brain dead original. So goes the report in the Daily Post of October 3, 2017. But clone or no, evidence abounds from his antecedents in office of a quietly vicious and unrepentant jingoist using so called non-negotiable Nigerian unity to foist parochial interests upon a bulbous nation, and to the detriment of the south for which he had always had deep-seated contempt mingled with jealousy. 

The evidence lies in his short lived military adventurism in 1984.

A sleaze of promotion to the ranks of generals in the Nigerian army was revealed by the BBC in 1984 as skewed in favor of mainly northern officers. No singularly qualified officer from the south east was deemed eligible for promotion, the BBC reported. 

The gestalt was following the well laid script to perpetually ‘hold down the south so the north can climb’. 

In response to the damming evidence, the junta quickly did a face saving volte face only two weeks later by having the then chief of staff Tunde Idiagbon decorate one or two Igbo officers to the rank of brigadier general, but not without a swipe at BBC that the Nigerian army was united and not to be divided along non existing tribal ethnicities which the BBC was trying to foment. 

How ironical such avid denial by core northern oligarchs of their own paranoia and ethnocentrism even in the face of evidence. 

I have written severally about the nauseating hypocrisy of half educated men like Buhari, Abacha, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, et hoc, and the dangers they frequently posed to the growth and evolution of all Nigerians along the egalitarian path of justice and equity for the constituent parts of their federation. 

That danger lies in the collective lazy elite mindset foisted from the Murtala Mohammed counter coup that eliminated a clueless general Ironsi but saw an imbecile Yakubu Gowon climbing the throne of head of state of Nigeria’s new federation based upon the plan of perpetuating northern dominance in the management and jurisdiction of the country’s national and international affairs. 

Thenceforth it seemed that every semi-literate that came to rule Nigeria must hail from a conclave which rested its life force on the seizure of political power. 

Even the various constitutions were skewed to allow dubious primary school leaving certificate holders to become presidents because a primary school certificate seemed all that northern Nigeria could offer by way of modern education.

 It should always be remembered that Boko Haram meaning ‘western education is forbidden’ is a philosophy of an atavistic Islamic North, not just that of the murderous jihadists of the same name. Till date, ‘Turenci’ meaning English is still anathema in core northern states and it is the dream of these parochial and self serving irredentists that Hausa will one day become Lingua Franca for the whole of Nigeria even if Islam does not make it to be the major religion. 

One only needs to read the verbal sleight of hand of the present Buhari misadventure in politics to interpret this essentially northern hypocrisy: One of his broadcasts to his nation while almost dying in the United Kingdom was in Hausa. Gowon did the same during the 1966 pogrom against the Igbo. Using Hausa had always meant to reaffirm the mindset of northern indivisibility against the threat of opposing forces from a south they had always dreaded might one day shake itself loose from the bondage and exploitation of an arrangee order. In the incipient Buhari era, the opposing force was coming from the rising profile of his vice and acting president Osinbajo – from the south! 

Such is the hypocrisy in the present dispensation of the cabal led by Buhari who had ridden into our hearts only with the promise to fight corruption, impunity and squander-manic mindlessness of the Jonathan years. But his vicious ethnic survivalism at the expense of the progressive but disunited south was on hand to be exploited to the fullest as soon as he was made president. 

Many Buhari haters in the south east were informed by his antecedents as a fanatical core-north cabalist stooge. The recent events unfolding across the spectrum of the former British colony, climaxing in the branding of a whole people as terrorists, seem to have proven them right. Only the idealists like us had believed that the dawn of a truly egalitarian society for Nigeria was long overdue and could be realised under a regime that had promised accountability and change. 

For now that idealism is Morning Yet On Creation Day, as the great rebel and father of African Literature, Chinua Achebe, wrote years ago. 

To my mind, and even to a casual observer, it would not take a clone of Buhari to implement the grandiose exploits of a hateful conclave of ombudsmen intent upon dominion and parasitism in Nigeria’s affairs. It only needs the revitalizing of the original Muhammadu Buhari, added to their robotic parroting of unity and indivisibility, to implement the agenda that one section must continue to dictate for Nigeria the pace and momentum of change which, in their twisted logic, can only mean the globalization of elite tyranny and religious backwardness upon the fortunes that stupid Mr. Lugard and the bloody British had bequeathed them in West Africa.

Fortunately that backward progress as envisioned by a hateful breed of irredentists is almost come to an end. 

Roused by the irrepressible conscience of the South East, Nigeria is poised for the great spring of generations unborn. 

The ethnic chauvinists masquerading for One Nigeria and their band of anti-Turenci bigots of the conclave are finally at the end of their tethers in the manipulation of history and employment of brute military force for unmerited advantages. 

The nation they yearn for their grand exploits is clamoring for Restructuring.

And, oblivious to even his finer instincts, the Hypocrite had gone to the United Nations to further the cause of Restructuring by calling for a Restructured UN. 

There again this leading Hypocrite of National Unity had also canvassed for the right of self determination of the Palestinian people. 

Both cases of dramatic irony lie in such synchronous parallel with the southern debacle that faces the clueless general.

Buhari’s end of the road as a bigot and hater is nowhere more graphologically poignant than in the IPOB agitation which he vainly hopes to decimate by military fiat. The world has called on him to negotiate with the legitimate aspirations of those whom he had hated since the quirk of his birth. And negotiate he must. 

The era of the band of national false heroes that have ruled this country from Balewa through Buhari is finally at its overdrive. 

That era will soon be buried as renewed agitations engulf the Buhari sultanate from every nook and cranny of each and every Nigerian sub nationality. 

Chin Ce forwarded this piece from Abia state in South East Nigeria. 

A. M. Mainasara’s The Five Majors: Why They Struck is Mere Ethnic Propaganda by Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

The First (Igbo) Coup d’etat in Nigeria–A. M. Mainasara’s The Five Majors – Why They Struck is Mere Ethnic Propaganda

–Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy

 

I read Adewale Ademoyega’s Why We Struck a long time before now and found it an interesting and informative account (from an insider and an active participant in the coup) of the events that necessitated the first coup d’etat which took place in Nigeria. But when I came across A. M. Mainasara’s refutation; The Five Majors-Why They Struck; I found myself scuttling back to Adewale Ademoyega’s Why We Struck to ascertain the validity of A. M. Mainasara’s facts, or perhaps opinions.

To A. M. Mainasara, the first set of coup plotters in Nigeria had no honourable , noble, or patriotic intentions. Rather, their concern was to wrest political power from the north which they assumed had become some sort of threat to the political existence of Nigeria. Let us hear him:

Redemption of the country was not their aim. Their purpose was to prevent a section of the country, the North, from effective participation in the governance of the country. This was to be accomplished through the physical elimination of the entire political and military elite of the North, beginning with the top leadership; the Sardauna of Sokoto, Premier of the Northern Region of Nigeria, the embodiment of the soul of the North and all that it stood for. The final solution of the so called Northern menace was to be effected after the conspirators had seized control of the government of the Federation. (A. M. Mainasara 9-10)

It is highly disturbing that some educated Nigerians prefer to distort history for the sake of ethnic propaganda. It is this kind of Mainasara’s form of distorted history that is responsible for giving young Nigerians wrong notions of what transpired in the country’s political past. An example is contained in the letter recently addressed to the acting president of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo by the Arewa Youths Forum which in part states that:

“Our doubts are informed by the following historical antecedents that have characterized the behavior and conduct of the Igbo in Nigeria and previous efforts at containing them.

“The Igbo of Eastern Nigeria manifested their hatred for Nigeria’s unity barely five years after we gained our independence from the British when on January 15, 1966, their army officers carried out the first-ever mutiny that marked the beginning of a series of crisis which has profoundly altered the course of Nigeria’s history.

“By that ill motivated cowardly and deliberate action, the Igbo killed many northern officers from the rank of lieutenant colonel upwards and also decapitated the Prime Minister and the political leadership of the Northern and Western regions but left the zenith of Igbo leadership at the Federal level and the Eastern region intact.

“In line with the Igbo plan, General Aguiyi-Ironsi took advantage of the vacuum and, instead of returning power to the remnants of the First Republic government, he appropriated the coup and attempted to consolidate it for his people.

“Army officers of the Northern Region were eventually compelled to execute a counter coup on July 29, 1966 following a coordinated series of brazen provocations from the Igbo who taunting northerners on northern streets by mocking the way leaders of the region were slain by the Igbo. This unfortunately resulted in mob action which resulted in the death of many Igbos.

“And when Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, from the North took over as Head of State following the counter coup, the Igbo through Lt. Col. Ojukwu, characteristically refused to recognize Gowon. Ojukwu declared the secession of the Igbo people from Nigeria and the formation of the republic of Biafra on May 30, 1967 resulting in a civil war that led to the tragic deaths of more than 2 million Nigerians”. (Culled from https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/06/northern-youths-write-osinbajo-beg-allow-igbo-go-biafra/)

See, young people are getting things wrong! To the northern Nigeria educated youth, the first Nigerian coup had to be about Igbo officers killing the political leaders of the North, yet it is more than that. This kind of misconception is invented because some writers; such as A. M. Mainasara; choose to underscore facts or tell half truths for their words are biased and reek of ethnic bigotry. Their facts are meant only for the dim witted and those who fail to evaluate events from various angles by getting hold of available historical documents.

A. M. Mainasara’s view of history is slanted and should be regarded as nothing more than mere ethnic propaganda. He had set out to refute the claims of Adewale Ademoyega and Ben Gbuile in their written accounts (Why We Struck and The Five Majors respectively) of the first Nigerian coup d’etat and their roles as active conspirators and participants but had unknowingly  proven their facts to be  correct as a result of his slanted diction and approach to issues.

Maybe A. M. Mainasara does not know, but Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu had more of the Hausa traits in him than being an Igbo man. He was born and brought up in the North, even bore the name “Kaduna” in addition to his Igbo names, he regarded himself first as  Nigerian before identifying with any tribe, religion, or region. Here is what Adewale Ademoyega has to say about Nzeogwu in his book:

Living with Nzeogwu gave me a deep insight into his character. He was the son of a civil servant. His parents hailed from Asaba in the Mid West (now Bendel), but he was born in Kaduna, schooled there and grew up there. He spoke HAUSA very fluently and he understood and HAD MANY HAUSA TRAITS.

I knew him to be extremely straightforward, open hearted and open handed. He spoke freely, hiding nothing. He gave generously. He was a good Christian (Roman Catholic), and attended Mass regularly. Unlike most single officers, he did not go around with girl friends. This surprised me, for, although we both agreed that there was no question of getting married before the revolution, I did not subscribe to total abstinence.

Nzeogwu was a good leader of men. The same could not be said of 90% of the officers. He drew the younger officers irresistibly to himself, endeavoring always to awaken in them both political and revolutionary consciousness and above all, patriotism. He spoke amusingly and all the young officers that had passes through his hands in the NMTC cherished him and held him in high esteem. Throughout 1965 Nzeogwu spoke freely and openly to some young officers about his intention to stage a revolution which would bring Nigeria to the path of greatness. All the young officers loved the idea and came closer to him. But the same could not be said of the middle level and senior officers, that is, Majors, Colonels, Brigaders and above. [Assented words are mine] (Adewale Ademoyega 68-69)

Judging by the words of Adewale Ademoyega, it is obvious that Nzeogwu had lofty ideas and was a detribalised Nigerian, unfortunately the same could not be said of A. M. Mainasara!

Nzeogwu was respected by his colleagues in the army including junior and senior officers that even when he died fighting on the side of Biafran forces during the Civil War, he was given and honorable burial benefiting a hero by the Federal Army. Nzeogwu died, not as a Biafran but, as a Nigerian.

We kept up our correspondence until the outbreak of the war on July 6, 1967. Three weeks later, I heard it over the NBC that Nzeogwu had been killed in the Nsukka sector of the war. I was utterly chagrined. Hours later, Biafra denied the report over their own radio. Later on, the Federal side confirmed the report and claimed that he was given “a hero’s burial with full military honours”. Pictures of him were displayed in the papers. Gowon also paid tribute to him saying “he was a gallant soldier, with principles.” Many other Nigerians paid glowing tributes to his memory and everybody believed that he died a Nigerian, though fighting on the Biafran side. Of course, the Federal authority knew that it was they who had confined him inside Biafra, totally against his will. If the Gowon Government had released the whole lot of us detained by Ironsi, surely, Nzeogwu and the remainder of us would have returned to the places of our choice in Nigeria. Not one of us would have been involved in Biafra. (Adewale Ademoyega 201)

Now, I wonder why the Nigeria government then led by northern elite and soldiers would give a heroic burial to a man who A. M. Mainasara describes as a arch rebel and assassin in his book of refutations. The idea that the coup d’etat was only targeted at Northern leaders was mere propaganda in the hands of deceitful politicians to fuel the ethnic crises for their personal aggrandizement or to get hold of power. Yes, more northerners lost their lives in that unfortunate coup than any other group of people, but I also know that the premier of the then Western Region (Chief S. L. Akintola) and Finance minister, Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh also lost their lives in that coup, yet these were not northerners.

The crop of officers in the Nigerian army of those days were brewed from the barley of patriotism, they were uncommon soldiers and their kind is no more to be found in modern Nigeria. It is unfortunate, therefore, that A. M. Mainasara is still buying into the propaganda that led to the pogrom in the North, a counter coup and finally culminated in a Civil War and it is even more worrisome that this is coming many years after the execution of the first coup, when we should have been able to asses situations with a clear mind and an analytical approach to issues.

However we choose to see it, the fact remains that the British government introduced nepotism into the newly independent Nigerian government and they favored the north over other groups. Till date, the system is still not balanced and perhaps it is why we hear of agitations here and there, the latest being the demand for the sovereign state of Biafra.

If the coup was an Igbo coup as A. M. Mainasara seemed to presume, how come it was still Igbo officers who frustrated it and arrested the perpetrators? If we are to go by Major Ademoyega’s account, the roles played by Lieutenant-Colonel Odimegwu Ojukwu, Alex Madiebo, and General Aguyi Ironsi were instrumental to the unsuccessful completion of the coup.

Again I ask that if Nzeogwu had wanted power for himself and wanted northerners out of the political scene totally, would he have willingly accepted to function under a government headed by Aguyi Ironsi and handed over the reins of the Government of Northern Nigeria to Lieutenant-Colonel Hassan Katsina?

At the Brigade Headquarters, a short ceremony was staged. There was a parade. Nzeogwu took the salute and formerly handed over the reins of the Government of Northern Nigeria to Lieutenant-Colonel Hassan Katsina. It was a public ceremony. The press, the radio and the television were present, together with the world press. Hassan made a brief speech in praise of Nzeogwu. He lauded the selfishness of his fight and principles.

He also promised to stand by those principles and purpose for which Nzeogwu fought. After that, he embraced Nzeogwu and both of them parted as comrades-in-arms. Nzeogwu went from there to the airport and flew to Lagos. (Adewale Ademoyega 137-8)

Is it not then an irony that Lieutenant-Colonel Hassan Katsina (a northerner) emerged one of the major beneficiary of an Igbo coup?

Lastly, even it were Igbo officers (which is not even the case here for Adewale Ademoyega for example is not even an easterner, talk more of being Igbo) who conspired to run northern elite and politicians out of government, does it justify a reprisal attack, a counter coup, and the total annihilation and persecution of the Igbos in the north? While the coup plotters might have destabilised the north, we cannot but affirm that the greater damage had later been carried out by the northern elements. Historical records are always there for proper confirmation.

To A. M. Mainasara, the Hausa-Fulani has an advanced system of government when compared with other sections of the country and this might likely explain why they found favour with the British colonial administration:

Without doubt, the people (Hausa people) benefitted from the enlightened rulership of the Fulani and the reform of the social political institutions of the land. Meanwhile, the Igbo and other peoples in the South were leading a life of ignorance, indulging in all sorts of practices such as witchcraft, juju and cannibalism while the Northern peopled style of living was comparable to other peoples who are advanced to similar level. The conditions against macabre practiced and other acceptable rites performed out of a terror of the unknown or for material gain.

These pagan practices still occur in parts of the South as the story in the Daily Times of Wednesday 17th March, 1981 on the discovery of two near fresh human skulls at Murtala International Airport testified. [bracket mine] (A. M. Mainasara 20)

Wonderful! So A. M. Mainasara is in essence saying that the colonial administration found it inconvenient handing power over to the “pagan South” due to the preponderance of pagan practices and lack of civilized ethos cum existence! Just wonderful! Yet, we know how civilized the north is, even in this new millennia. It would be foolish to enter into an argument of civility over an issue such as this, I would rather hands off! However, I wonder why Mainasara had no foresight to see that a statement such as the one above validates the idea that the political existence of Nigeria was manipulated by the British to favor the North?

A. M. Mainasara calls the officers who constitute the inner caucus of the coup plotters “an Igbo cast indeed, except for the presence of only one Yoruba officer” (23). Yet, that singular exception makes all the difference and invalidates the idea of the coup being strictly an Igbo coup. The writer also calls Aguyi Ironsi a true Nigerian yet he does not blame the northern officers for staging a coup that had him shamefully executed and betrayed by his trusted allies, the north! Mainasara would later assert that Aguyi Ironsi was spared in the first coup simply because he belongs to the Igbo tribe! Perhaps, he did not read Adewale Ademoyega account of how Aguyi Ironsi narrowly escaped Major Ifeajuna or did he purposely hide that fact in order to peddle false opinions and ethnic propaganda?

A. M. Mainasara goes about using uncouth language on others yet claims to be a part of the civilized northern society. Such language runs through his book of refutations. For men as Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Sir Ahmadu Bello, he has appellations as “great” and “noble” for them in his book but Nzeogwu and his co-conspirators can be no more than “assasins”, “arch rebels”, “murderers majors” etc. Who is Mainasara seeking to impress? After reading Mainasara book of refutations and Adewale Ademoyega’s account, it becomes totally obvious that A. M. Mainasara is guilty of ethnocentrism and tribalism both in language and thoughts.

While I have much respect for Sir Ahmadu Bello, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and other notable great men killed in the first Nigerian coup d’etat, I also have great respect for the executors of the first Nigerian coup for their intention to pull Nigeria out of tribalism and nepotism. I believe both groups had noble intentions for this great country, it was only in approach that both groups differs.

However, what has happened has happened. Should we remain stagnant licking or nursing old wounds, there might never be progress. The need to look towards a great future is pertinent and beckons on us all to show responsibility towards such a cause. This is where I still favour Adewale Ademoyega over A. M. Mainasara. Ademoyega provides blueprints in his book that can move the country forward while Mainasara went about issuing threats and identifying rebels in his. His slanted version of history should be seen as nothing more than what it is, mere ethnic propaganda.

I end this essay with one of John Pepper Clark’s poem entitled “Seasons of Omen” to show the sentiments expressed by many Nigerians immediately after the January 15, 1966 coup was executed

When calabashes held petrol and men

    turned fagots in the streets

Then came the five hunters

When mansions and limousines made

    bonfires in sunset cites

Then came the five hunters

When clans were discovered that were not in tue book

    and cattle counted for heads of men

Then came the five hunters

When hoodlums took possession of police barracks

    in defiance of bullets

Then came the five hunters

When ministers legislated from bed and

    made high office the prize for failure

Then came the five hunters

When wads of notes were kept in infant skulls

    with full blessing of prelates

Then came the five hunters

When women grew heavy with ballot papers

    delivering the house entire to adulterers

Then came the five hunters

When a grand vizier in season of arson turned

    upon bandits in a far off place

Then came the five hunters

When men lost their teeth before they cut them

    to eat corn

Then came the five hunters

When a cabinet grew so broad the top gave way

    and trapped everyone therein

Then came the five hunters.

Works Cited

Adegboyega, Adewale. Why We Struck. Ibadan: Evans Brothers, 1981. Print.

Clark, J. P. “Season of Omens.” Full Tide. Ibadan: Mosuro, 2010. Print.

Mainasara, A. M. The Five Majors – Why They Struck. Zaria: Hudahuda, 1982. Print.

Vanguard. “Northern Youths write Osinbajo, beg him to allow Igbo go with Biafra”. https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/06/northern-youths-write-osinbajo-beg-allow-igbo-go-biafra/. Ret. Sept. 17, 2017.

© Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy 2017

 

Meet the Reviewer

 

Ubaji Isiaka Abubakar Eazy is a literary critic cum reviewer, poet, and writer.

In Every Oppressed Lives a Kanu by Ernest Enobong 

The biblical Moses was a mass murderer. Gentlemen don’t come meeker than Jesus, or Buddha, the Christ, yet Jesus was said to have got so exasperated at some point with the system in the synagogues that he flipped a table. He eventually changed the religious configuration of the world for better. 

Conformity and subtleties have rarely cut it with dysfunctional systems and their purveyors. What panacea have our more cultured countrymen not prescribed for the Nigerian system? How many national conferences have we not convoked? What has it availed? 

History has often been changed by those who dare to be different in their approach and perspectives. An uncouth Nnamdi Kanu just made history where our taffeta countrymen failed to make an impact. It’s a rogue and pyrrhic succeess alright, but a good trigger for holding talks.

Every family finds use for the black sheep sometimes. It’s only the rascally who can break the taboo and eat of the food sacrificed to the gods and prove it harmless. Nnamdi Kanu has become a metaphor for that untamed, suppressed child in you that pops up when you’ve had it to your elastic limit. 

One may envy his guts and wish he spared us the hate speeches which also targeted other innocent victims. The South West, the long suffering South Central region, the Middle Belt and even some sections of the North are equally yoked with this ponderous and undynamic Nigerian system, just as the South-East. Only that the rest of us have accepted our fate with seeming equanimity, lest the applecart be upturned. We would rather fall on our backs and bare our throats to vandals like the Fulani herdsmen so that peace would reign and Nigeria may continue as one indissoluble sovereignty. We may grumble in our bedchambers but manage a straight face in public and make politically correct statements then sit back in consolation to count the number of persons that like our facebook posts. Rather a hypocrite than offend the status quo.

It is the same way that Nigeria’s northern elites secretly empathise with their Arewa youths but publicly condemn them for verbalising what we all know are equally the elites’ secret position or machination. This house must not fall though its foundation rests on quicksand.

Similarly, our churches have continued to sweep the debris of gratuitous attacks on them under the carpet and turn the other cheek. They prefer to pray to God to touch the hearts of our evil leaders to get their sums right. 

But how much has changed over the decades? 

Until the Niger Delta youths took up arms and took to the creeks it was easier squeezing water out of the rock than squeezing a Goodluck Jonathan into the corridors of Aso Rock or getting the current sitting president to listen to their demands.

Today who remembers NADECO’s Radio Kudirat? Its broadcast content wasn’t exactly love ballads but mostly potshots at the the infamous military dictatorship of Sani Abacha. Was it effective? Yes. Of course they stopped short at hate speeches and divisive rhetoric. 

During the 1960s the ANC in South Africa resorted to arms struggle when their peaceful protests failed to achieve the desired result to end the apartheid regime. Margaret Thatcher of Britain and the government in America declared ANC a terrorist organisation but failed to put adequate pressure on Pretoria to effect reforms.

Pray, what’s to be expected when a system has a history of ignoring civil and lawful agitations for a review of the operating manual but would negotiate with, and grant amnesty to, militants with financial rewards to their tag?

Mr. Kanu has served a need; has plugged a gap, albeit in a rather unfortunate manner for which we share the blame. Our complacency and the inefficacy of our ‘peaceful and acceptable’ methods brought our shadow alter ego to the fore.

There is a Kanu in you too, but long comatose. So you can keep silent in the face of a tyrannical Nigerian system either for some gain, sheer cowardice or kindred spirit with the current Aso Rockers. Or, perhaps, erroneously and hopelessly, you join in believing that someday a non-existent auto correct mechanism will kick in. Or you may simply bask on in your desire to be ‘liked.’

Any which one, there is a Kanu in everyone. 

For, as an African proverb states quite aptly: Even the buttocks can make a noise under pressure from within at the risk of bringing shame upon its owner.

Ernest Enobong can be reached on Facebook 

​Last Eight Months Prove United States a Bonafide ‘Regime’ – written by Neil Clark 

Elected to the Oval Office as a harsh critic of US involvement in costly Middle Eastern conflicts by a war-weary public, The Donald has turned out be just as much of a war president as those who went before. He’s ordered the firing of 59 Tomahawk missiles on a Syrian government airfield and dropped the “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan. That’s in addition to threatening North Korea and Venezuela and escalating US involvement in the bombing of cholera-stricken Yemen.
The millions of Americans who voted for Trump, hoping he’d be the president to bring the troops back home, have been cruelly disappointed and are certainly feeling betrayed. They shouldn’t be at all shocked, however, as American political history shows us a clear pattern.

The sad, inescapable truth is that it doesn’t matter who gets elected as president and what they say on the election trail; the policies on the issues that matter remain the same after the inauguration. What the last eight months have proven, to anyone who still had any doubts, is that the US is not a “democracy” that changes course according to the public will, but a full-blown regime, governed by the Wall Street/CIA/Endless War Party which never loses power regardless of how people vote.

Even if the “wrong” candidate somehow gets elected, as Trump did last fall, the Wall Street/CIA/Endless War Party, working in tandem with their close allies embedded in the US mainstream media, still have plenty of tools at its disposal for making sure there‘s no significant departure from regressive policies that enrich the elite, but leave everyone else worse off.

We’re encouraged to see Trump as the big problem (if only he’d go away everything would be alright again!), but in fact, The Donald is only the latest POTUS to “revert to the mean” when in office. We tend to forget that back in 2000 a certain George W. Bush was hailed as “The president who wouldn’t meddle” after years of Clintonian interventionism. What happened? Dubya meddled more – and even more disastrously than Bill Clinton.

In 2008, Obama was the president who would break with the neocons after the Bush era. He would “Stop the War” and reset relations with Russia. He was even awarded a Nobel Peace Prize. But guess what? He followed exactly the same policies of regime change and interventionism.

Going back 25 years many progressives believed the election of Arkansas governor Bill Clinton, the boy from the “wrong side” of the railroad tracks, would mark an end to the greed-fueled excesses of the Reagan/Bush I years.

But Bill only deregulated further and the super-rich got even richer. While Clinton did Wall Street’s bidding at home, he also did it abroad, targeting Yugoslavia, with its socially-owned economy, for destruction with a bogus “humanitarian” bombing campaign. Practically the same thing was replicated by Obama and his NATO allies against Libya exactly twelve years later.

The striking thing about American politics over recent decades has been its continuity. The wars against resource-rich independent states in strategically important parts of the world have carried on, regardless of who’s been in the White House. The one percent continue to get richer , and the poor poorer, whether we have a boo-hiss nasty Republican or a nice “progressive” Democrat in the Oval Office. Every incoming president pledges to do something about inequality and to improve the lot of the middle class, and everyone fails.

Despite this, people still talk about “the US administration” or obsess about individual presidents as if they matter. By playing the “Democrats are better than Republicans/Republicans are better than Democrats” game we only help to keep the charade going. This is also true if we indulge in “If only x, y or z had won the nomination or presidential election” hypotheticals.

Do we believe President Gore would have been able to resist The Regime’s push for war with Iraq, post 9-11? Or that President Dole would have worked out better for ordinary Americans than President Bill Clinton?

The last eight months have provided us with a valuable insight into how the US regime operates.

Trump was opposed by the Wall St/CIA/Endless War Party not because of concerns about racism or sexism (that’s what they wanted us to think), but because of his criticism of an interventionist foreign policy, and his expressed desire for a rapprochement with Russia. The Regime needs to promote the myth that Russia is a “threat” in order to sell the latest military hardware to European states – and give NATO a reason for its continued existence.

Additionally, the WallSt/CIA/Endless War Party is keen to punish Russia for blocking their plans for regime change in Syria and for standing in the way of their plans for total global hegemony.

A fact-free “Russiagate” smear was peddled to derail Trump’s election bid. Then, when he was elected, over The Regime’s favored candidate, the proven Wall Street-friendly warmonger Hillary Clinton, the smear campaign went into overdrive.

The aim was to threaten the new president with impeachment, to get him to tow the line on foreign policy.

It was revealing that as soon as he bombed Syrian government forces in April, Trump began to receive establishment praise.

The Donald would obviously have noted that and realized that if he wanted to ease the pressure on himself, he had to do more bombing and threaten more countries. Previous presidents have reached the same conclusion.

The American mainstream media plays an absolutely crucial role in helping The Regime maintain its grip on power.

“Experts” from neocon military-industrial complex sponsored “think-tanks” dominate television debates while antiwar voices are deliberately excluded. Pro-war pundits scare their readers with stories of the “threat” posed to national security by the latest official enemy. In 2002/3 it was Saddam Hussein’s non-existent WMDs, in the last few years, it’s been the “threat” from Russia. Note how these pundits, even when their articles are revealed to have been total hogwash, keep their columns. Those who call them out for always being ‘wrong’ are missing the point: being “wrong” – and promulgating WallSt/CIA/Endless War Party fake news is actually a key part of their job.

Any public figures who threaten The Regime, either from the anti-imperialist left, or the isolationist/libertarian right, are subject to relentless smear campaigns, which usually leads to them being branded a “conspiracy theorist,” a “denier” of this that or the other and/or an “agent” of the “official enemy.” The irony is that those doing the smearing are, given past history, likely to be agents themselves.

Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Carl Bernstein revealed in 1977 that over 400 American journalists had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.” “Within the CIA, journalist-operatives were accorded elite status, a consequence of the common experience journalists shared with high-level CIA officials. Many had gone to the same schools as their CIA handlers, moved in the same circles, shared fashionably liberal, anti-Communist political values, and were part of the same ‘ old boy’ network that constituted something of an establishment elite in the media, politics, and academia of postwar America,” Bernstein wrote.

That was in the old Cold War; it’s inconceivable- I think you’ll agree, that the CIA ( and allied intelligence services) don’t have’ journalists’ working for them in the new Cold War of today.

All things considered, The Regime must look back at the first eight months of 2017 with great satisfaction. A president who could have been a problem has been neutered. The coup de grace was the War Party’s representatives in Congress coming together to promote a bill imposing even tougher sanctions on Russia (and Iran)- and curtailing the president’s ability to lift the sanctions.

If Trump refused to sign it, then it would be taken as proof that he was indeed a “Russian agent” and had to be impeached. If he caved in, then it was game, set and match to The Regime.

Not only has Trump been brought into line on Russia, he’s also accepted a McCarthyite purging of White House staff/advisors who rejected or opposed the War Party’s hostile stance toward Moscow. One by one, these people have been replaced by those acceptable to The Regime.

It’s tempting- when looking at how Trump has buckled, to say “If only Bernie had won,” but that would be falling into the trap of thinking that individual politicians can make a difference against the machine set against them. That doesn’t mean though that genuine Democrats should give up on attempts to challenge the status quo.

Instead of focusing obsessively on Trump, we need to be turning our attention to where the power really lies in America. Today Americans are marching over historical statues, which suits the WallSt/CIA/Endless War Party just fine. The sort of protests which would really worry them would be marches demanding the president keeps good the pledges he made on foreign policy before his election, and calls for people to boycott the entire political system as it currently stands. That would really put the big cat among the hawks as it would show to The Regime and its operatives that they’ve been rumbled. However, at the moment “progressives” are doing exactly what the people behind the curtain want them to do, namely regurgitate War Party smears about Trump being a “tool of the Kremlin” and indulge in futile establishment-encouraged “left-right” culture wars, which don‘t harm the ruling oligarchy, and won’t stop the next “real” war against the latest target state.

Everything is done to try and prevent us from noticing and reflecting on the killer fact that US policies remain the same regardless of who is in the White House. The WallSt/CIA/Endless War Party has engineered illegal “regime change” operations around the world. But for the good of the world, and the majority of ordinary American citizens, the most pressing need for a regime change is in the US itself.

Reprinted with permission from RT 

Copied from Ron Paul Institute 

Russell Crowe on Dangers of the American Lawsuit against key Nigerian Officials

A landmark civil damages and human rights lawsuit has been filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia by U.S. attorney Bruce Fein against sixteen Nigerian officials for their direct or indirect complicity and in the extrajudicial killings or torture of some Igbo group who were protesting marginalization based on their ethnicity, political viewpoint or religion. The Igbo organized themselves as the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), which is as nonviolent as, if not as symbolic as – for instance – the ‘agitation’ for Republic of Texas, or of California in USA; and even Scotland that its own Premier is the one leading the charge for a referendum of autonomy from Britain. In all these cases, the agitators are not being shot at, tortured or killed by the army and police.
A post by Dean Ikechukwu Onwubuya on FB social media shows American writer and analyst, Mr Russell Andrew Crowe, reportedly stating from his inquiries that service of the summons and complaint, as well as the initial orders has been accomplished by certified international courier on all defendants. They are currently in default for failure to file a response within 21 days of service as stipulated in pertinent United States federal rules of civil procedure. The lead defendant is Nigeria’s army chief, General Tukur Buratai.
The claims of the plaintiffs are grounded under two muscular United States’ statutes – the Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA or ATS – the Alien Tort Statute); and the Torture Victims Protection Act (TVPA). Both laws have extraterritorial reach, meaning that they allow US federal courts to assert long-arm jurisdiction that extends beyond the borders of United States.
Alien Tort Claims Act (ATCA) provides that ‘the district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action by an alien for a tort (or civil wrong) committed in violation of the law of nations or a treaty of the United States’. Since 1980, courts have interpreted this St noatute to allow foreign citizens to seek remedies in US courts for human rights violations for conduct committed outside the United States.
Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991 is a statute that permits civil suits in the United States against foreign individuals who – acting in an official capacity for any foreign nation – committed torture and/or extrajudicial killing.
Both laws, especially the TVPA endow individuals or their legal representatives to sue foreign individuals, including officials, to collect damages for extrajudicial killings or torture committed “under color of foreign law.”
In Crowe’s opinion, the defendants would be foolhardy to believe this lawsuit will be difficult to win in the United States or stultify and drag on as might have been expected if filed in Nigeria. Judicial independence and the rule of law, as well as speedy trials are the hallmarks of United States jurisprudence. There are legions of US judicial precedents pointing to the high likelihood of a summary judgment for the plaintiffs.
Defendants will have no defense of official immunity because they are being sued in their individual capacities and as officials who purportedly ‘acted under color of law’. They are not sovereigns or diplomats. Further, extrajudicial killings or torture are crimes against humanity. Upon the prompting of the aggrieved, US courts will task any foreign government officials that perpetrate atrocities of the kind visited on the Igbo of Nigeria. It’s not a secret that Nigerian officials had, in the past, engaged in misconducts that resulted in monetary judgments against them – in the millions of dollars – in the United States. This case appears bound for the same predictable result, unless handled differently from the inexplicable bravado that doomed Nigeria in the previous suits preferred against its officials in the United States.
The factual case against the defendants is convincing. All Nigerians know of the widespread beatings and slaughter of some Igbo by elements of Nigerian security forces for merely and peacefully exercising their fundamental human right to protest marginalization and urge a new political dispensation. Indeed, beyond Nigeria, Amnesty International and other credible foreign sources have confirmed those killings and torture; and to be sure – their reports will be deemed probative and admissible under standards of evidence long established in US federal courts in cases of this nature. Plus, plaintiffs are all on standby in the United States to air their tearful testimonies in open court. It even makes it worse that the Nigerian army is reported to be denying and covering up an atrocity that was so open and notorious.
It doesn’t make it any better that the Nigerian government – so far – appears to have condoned the wanton killings by failing to publicly discipline the officers that pulled the trigger or the commanders that gave the order. It’s even worse that President Buhari, upon his return from vacation, reportedly ordered his troops to renew their crackdown on Igbo protesters. That VP Osinbajo gave no such orders when Buhari was away is noticeably demonstrative of the widespread notion that Buhari – a Fulani core Muslim – has profiled the Christian Igbo for persecution because of their ethnicity, their love of freedom, and the perception that they did not vote for him in the 2015 election that saw him to power.
At present, the savage mentality that is directed against the Igbo in Nigeria of this era is widespread and underscored by the notorious threat to expel or destroy millions of Igbo residents and seize their property in the Muslim northern states of Nigeria if they refused to surrender their right to reside and work peacefully in that part of the country. And the federal, state, and local governments appear as spectators to the looming genocide – a spectacle that is not lost on a wary international community; and which might as yet make Nigeria a ‘state actor’ in the ultimate fallouts. Such fallouts will surely raise the specter of an International Criminal Court intervention that may engulf the present crop of Nigerian leadership at the very top.
In Crowe’s analysis, the Nigerian defendants are mistaken if they believe they can defend from the safe confines of Nigeria. If the case goes to trial, they will be required – under penalty of default or even contempt – to appear in a United States court to testify under oath and dangerously probing cross-examination that will dwell on the details of the Igbo killings and the complicity of other unnamed Nigerian officials, which shall include whether they received their orders from the presidential levels of security leadership to use lethal force on unarmed protesters. This evidence could be used in a sequel criminal prosecution before the International Criminal Court or a special court of the likes employed in the prosecution and conviction of Chad’s former dictator, Hissene Habre in Senegal. The State governors – of Abia and Anambra – where these killings largely occurred will also be ensnared by virtue of being the ‘chief security officers’ of their States. Those two governors are also listed as defendants.
If the defendants refuse to appear, notes Crowe, default judgments will be entered against them, in addition to the prospects of undefended huge damage awards that will run in the millions of dollars. The ultimate loser – diplomatically and financially – will be the Nigerian and State governments that presumably control the officials who acted under color of state law when the Igbo killings occurred. In the end, it may snowball to the government of Nigeria being listed as a state sponsor of terrorism in the same manner as was done with Sudan, etc. In the interim and despite the continuing menace of Boko Haram, the United Nations Security Council (or the US – under the Leahy Act) could vote an arms embargo on Nigeria to prevent the diversion of military weapons that could be geared to perpetrating more official violence against the Igbo people.
Crowe also notes that Christian lobby groups in the United States were largely responsible for making Sudan a pariah state, which culminated in the creation of South Sudan through a referendum organized and supervised by the United Nations. And like Nigeria, Sudan had also fancied itself indissoluble just because its Constitution said so. That same political dynamic will be at work against Nigeria if the TVPA/ATCA litigation is not resolved amicably before Nigeria’s dirty linen is exposed at trial in an open United States courtroom for the entire world to see.
However, Crowe’s analysis offers better yet, a third way – a time honored window of opportunity the defendants can exploit to end the case early and avoid the severe rigors of a foreign trial. US trial lawyers and the courts within which they operate are known to have a proclivity for encouraging any alternative dispute resolution path that brings closure through a pre-trial fair settlement of suits. Though this suit has progressed to a point of some disadvantage to the defendants, says Crowe, it’s not too late for them to begin now to seek out plaintiffs’ lawyers and start talking to them.
Reacting to Crowe’s exposition on the issue Aloy Ejimakor argues that beyond Igbo or Biafra, it’s this sort of intervention that helps check the enthusiasm for excesses when governments deal with dissent in their societies. Considering the credible reports on what the Nigerian security forces did to IPOB in, particularly, Aba, he predicts that the plaintiffs will prevail in this suit which, in the interim, will make Africa’s security forces and their commanders more circumspect when dealing with opposing groups.
It is however my humble opinion that this suit, if real by any circumstance, be pursued to its ultimate conclusion in the categorization of Nigeria as a country in sponsorship and support for internal terrorism, ethnic cleansing and genocide against the south eastern and core southern delta nationalities, probably culminating in a United Nations sanctioned referendum for determination of the sovereignty of the affected regions. No third option, window of opportunity, should enable, as Chin Ce had stated, draconian reptilians,  reprieved murderers and violent religious extremists posing as security personnel, military commanders, chief security officers or presidents and heads of state, to escape justice from the bestiality of their crimes, directly and indirectly, against any species of humanity upon our planet.

—–

Join Zito Brown on Facebook 

Buhari: The Imperative Of Abdication – by SOC Okenwa

After 38 years of an authoritative presidency, the Angolan strong man, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos (74), has just abdicated power having appointed a successor, former Defense Minister, Joao Lourenco, one whose loyalty to both the ruling MPLA Party and the retiring old leader is never in any doubt.

Dos Santos relinquished power voluntarily when he discovered that his health was deteriorating, and could therefore no longer cope with the rigor of the exalted office. The President had been in and out of hospitals in Lisbon and elsewhere much like our own ailing President Buhari, the Zimbabwean nonagenarian, Robert Mugabe, and so many other dictators across the continent.

Earlier this week, Angolans went to the polls to elect their legislators since the constitution of the Portuguese-speaking country stipulates that the party with a majority in the chamber would nominate the president. The MPLA won as widely predicted. In a few weeks, Dos Santos would be replaced in a parliamentary system of government. With petrodollars flowing in (much like Nigeria) but poverty ‘terrorizing’ the majority of the population, Dos Santos’ stewardship could be said to be mitigated by the creation of wealth for family and friends leaving the masses to continue the daily struggle to eke out a living.

Yet, despite whatever anyone could say for or against his methods and tactics, the wily despot in Luanda has made history by quitting when the ovation is still audible enough. It represents threading a path of honor many old-generation gerontocrats in Africa hardly follow. There is indeed life after power, but few appreciate this fact or play politics with shame. Even when qualified doctors prevail on them to quit given their fragile health, they hardly hearken to such medical council — much to their peril!

The late Nigerian President Umaru Yar’Adua was advised by his doctors reportedly to resign and concentrate his energy on nursing the syndrome afflicting him, but he spurned that medical opinion of professionals. He died without any formal transmission of power to the then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan. Today, we remember the former lecturer from Katsina as one imposition on the country by the Aremu of Ota, whose third term gambit was defeated by the legislative arm of government despite huge bribes.

In Algeria, President Bouteflika is still playing God, and refusing to cede any power even when he operates from a wheelchair! As a strong man, he has dominated the political landscape in Algeria for decades. In Harare, the Mugabe muddle has since become a conundrum as the old Bob goes from one medical vacation to another in Singapore and elsewhere. Sometimes he dozed off in the middle of crucial meetings or manifested signs of sagging health, but he has refused even to appoint a successor leaving the political space open to all kinds of brutal behind-the-scene schemes and maneuvers by aides and ministers of the ruling ZANU-PF Party jockeying for the imminent post-Mugabe Zimbabwe.

Resignation (for whatever reason) is never considered significant or patriotic by anyone concerned in this part of the world. When the health of a president is failing, he would cling to power until the grim reaper removes him from office. When a minister or a legislator is caught, for instance, lying shamelessly or stealing, he or she is less often than not named and shamed, but resignation is out of the question or equation.

As a people, we are so corrupt morally and immune to shame and dishonor that we see holding power or office as equivalent to making money or commanding and controlling the lesser mortals. Instead of using our positions to render service to our fatherland and suffering compatriots, we see it as an opportunity to loot and pauperize the people even further, empowering few cronies and smiling to the banks.

President Muhammadu Buhari (74) returned back to the country recently after over hundred days in London attending to his health challenges. Upon arrival, supporters lined the streets of Abuja to catch a glimpse of the emaciated “lion-king” rumored to have been on a life-support machine or to have given up the ghost! The retired general is back home triumphantly, but he is still not hale and hearty. Perhaps the prayers of the faithful had been answered by Allah! Or the Londonian doctors should be given the credit and not the supplications?

We saw President Buhari drained physically and almost at the end of his tethers. Though not on the fat side in his prime, we could deduce from seeing him that he was humbled by the ailment, whose nature we know nothing about. We saw a hard man almost reduced to “skeleton” by a serious malady never before witnessed in his entire life — as he had confessed during his first medical asylum in London. Watching him on the television online making that early morning broadcast to Nigerians, one could notice that Buhari’s best option would have been to honorably abdicate power in his best interest and that of the nation he loves and serves. A quiet retirement in Daura, far away from the prying eyes of pressmen and probing questions of Nigerians would have been a great act of patriotism.

Alas, there he was issuing orders and insisting on one Nigeria. He told us about how hosted the late Biafran warlord, Emeka Ojukwu, in Daura, and how they reached a conclusion that living together was better than separation. That was a good point to the pro-Biafran elements in the south-east, but restructuring Nigeria may be easier an effort than preaching unity no one believes in. Power corrupts good manners! And the cabal around the general would not let the man go home to have some deserved rest for they are afraid of losing certain privileges.

Unlike Buhari who detests corruption and corrupt enrichment, Dos Santos is stupendously wealthy. He had amassed a huge fortune for himself and family members in a poor country like Nigeria with natural wealth. His daughter, Isabelle, is said to be one of the richest women in the continent. She has her hands on the oil and gas industry, telecommunication sector, and other juicy state investments. Nepotism in Angola seems to be an accepted way of life.

Dos Santos could be said to be comparable to Nigeria’s former dictators, Ibrahim Babangida, the late Sani Abacha, and former President Olusegun Obasanjo. But who stole more among them is better left in the realm of imagination. Fiddling with the treasury in a closed society like Angola means practically nothing to poor Angolans who live dangerously in a Marxist-like enclave where the secret police are ubiquitous.

For Muhammadu Buhari, we hold that there is this imperative of power abdication waiting to be activated officially. The sooner he does that the better for the socioeconomic political health of our nation. Otherwise, the prevailing otiosity of authority at the center will continue to cripple governance in the country.

Original post 2017/08/26 17:05:00 at saharareporters.com

 

​The Hypocrites of Unity, Peace and Progress – by Chin Ce

It is inconceivable the public indignity of having to listen to bogus utterances by Africa’s failed leaders such as Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida and Yakubu Gowon on what’s good for Nigeria’s unity. If these leaders hadn’t squandered the opportunities for national peace and eliminated progressive voices that sought to hold them to different account, Nigeria and, indeed, Africa would not have seen the mess it is today. 
In his recent statement, two-time head of state, Obasanjo, true-to-type, averred that he has no apology, but explanation, for their past self-serving misdeeds which included prosecuting a needless civil war wherein they massacred two million innocents. In civilised societies these tyrants ought to spend the rest of their lives in exile and meditative silence. And such may have been why a member of the cabal of national failures like Shehu Shagari retains a writer’s regards for the introspective dignity of his silence, in tacit acknowledgement of his having messed up four to five years of national opportunity for democratic greatness under his generation of co-travellers.

But not so for Olusegun Obasanjo.

A man of deeply rooted clumsiness of mind and body, correctly analysed by his erudite kinsman, Wole Soyinka, as suffering from incurable inferiority complex, every accidental escapade of this human creature in uniform and agbada has seen unmitigated disaster for the Nigerian nation.

Obasanjo will be remembered for his brief three-year tenure as military head of state after the assassination of his superior commander-in-chief Murtala Mohammed in the Dimka-led coup. In those three years, his lame-duck foreign policy witnessed reversal of the brave declarations of the Murtala initiative that saw the final nationalisation of British Petroleum in the fight for a free and independent Angola and all of Southern Africa. In Obasanjo’s uneventful, unremarkable cabal-teleguided tenure, positive action was replaced with infantile boldface, such as the ludicrous declaration on a Thank-You visit to Ogun state in 1979 that Nigeria will become one of the ten leading nations of the world by the end of the (twentieth) century. His OFN programme, Operation Feed the Nation, soon became kindergarten sing-song among civil servants and school children. OFN’s only memento may have been his acquisitionist adventure at Ottah farms that could not even feed the general himself until regrettable intervention by meddlesome political interlopers brought his rather undistinguished portraiture back to state house in 1999 as ‘civilian’ president. 

Notice the quote on civilian, because experience has taught Nigerians the harsh truth that there can be nothing civilian in anyone whose avowed career and temperament have been inebriated in reptillian automated mind-control mechanisms of the armed forces which they keep calling ‘patriotism’. Let it be our collective resolution that after the present Buhari misadventure no retired general of any Nigerian army, navy, air and eternally corrupt police force should be allowed the commanding heights of our national leadership ever again. But this is beside the point now. 

That end of twentieth century which Obasanjo had predicted for Nigeria’s rise to world status was to culminate under his presidency in harrowing eight years of national corruption, abuse of power and fraudulent sale of government assets in the name of privatisation and monetisation policy. Allied with an insane bid to alter the constitution to allow him a third tenure, Obasanjo’s twice-failed leadership offered nothing to actualise the potential of a nation or improve the lot of the suffering majority of Nigerian people. Lacking in true leadership compassion and stoked in occult demonism, Aso Rock slipped in positive international rating  by Transparency International and descended in odium as one of most corrupt governments of the world. His Financial Crimes Commision became ordinary witch-hunt machinery for intimidation of political opponents while a satanic band of his preferred sycophants and toadying hangers-on fed fat on the cabalism and mediocrity of his civilian dictatorship.

After sponsoring corruption at senate and bribing assemblymen to have his less-than-nationalist way with national issues, Obasanjo’s second leadership of Nigeria ended ignominiously but not until he had succeeded in turning himself and his scandalous cult followers into millionaires from misappropriation of state resources through fraudulent privatisation exercises.

It is the forgiving spirit of Nigerian masses that still allows failed leaders like this Orwellian Napoleon to continue to strut freely around the country, attending FEC meetings and making a hogwash of pronouncements which further cast question marks on his real objective for national integration.

Next to Obasanjo and, perhaps, the more infuriating of the hypocrisy of Nigeria’s failed leaders, is Ibrahim Babangida. This man’s corrupt ‘You-chop-me-I-chop’ regime, like Obasanjo’s, presided over serial liquidation of Nigeria’s intelligent citizens. The apparent official complicity in the gruesome murder of Dele Giwa signalled the end of bold investigative journalism for Nigerian media. Today’s mainstream traditional and online media are awash with quackery, mediocrity and dumb, sensationalist trivia, replete with poverty of professional vision and studious copy-editing housemanship, simply due to the horrendous despatch of Dele Giwa by military parcel bomb under Babangida. While true patriots who cried wolf and sought justice like Gani Fahewinmi were being hounded and jailed by his gulag, inflation from the clueless Shagari Austerity Measures spiralled under Babangida’s Structural Adjustment Programme. Cronies and cohorts of queer psychological orientations ruled the nation, making millionaires of debauched minions across the length and breadth of a twice-impoverished country. A pervert gimmick of compromising credible Nigerians became his pet game. Wole Soyinka, Tai Solarin, Humphrey Nwosu became unsuspecting victims of one man’s bid to widen the corruptibility and ultimate reductionism of progressive elements into lap dogs and hedonist ego worshippers of the emperor. Finally and most unforgivably came the reversion of a nation whose people had united in tolerance, unity, faith, peace and progress. Babangida’s junta annulled the only credible, free and fair elections of 1993 since the history of Nigeria for the simple unacknowledged reason it was won by a powerful, independent-minded Moshood Abiola from Nigeria’s west and not the clueless nonentity, Bashir Tofa, from Nigeria’s north. 

Till date these two commissioned agents of Nigeria’s backwardness and ridicule in the comity of civilised world have not had the moral imperative, let alone the introspective self realisation of old age, that should have seen them publicly apologise for their roles in extinguishing Africa’s biggest hope. Gowon, Obasanjo and Babangida have preferred the old mind rut of farcical dissembling of their criminal historical culpability.

This is why Africa is slow to heal. 

It is a continent of chronically deranged megalomaniacs, psychopaths and kleptomaniacs masquerading as state leaders and fathers of nations. Till date their current legacy is the kakistocracy they have endowed upon their continent: the government by the most worthless people, as evident in Nigeria’s senators,  assembly men and sitting governors.

Somehow, at present, Atiku Abubakar who was part of Obasanjo’s civilian regime spawned in paramilitary mentality of plunder and back-hand conversion of state resources into private pockets is assuming the only northern candidate with plausible claim to debonaire democratic credentials. Recently the opportunity of his emerging a credible nationalist voice from the North is shoring up with his progressive posturing on the urgency to restructure the country along the lines of true fiscal federalism and restoration of citizen rights and initiative under a just, equitable, egalitarian society where no section of the country is kept in the marginal fringe as now obtains under an APC-led regime that has disappointed Nigerians who voted for change. But Atiku’s seemingly benign direction in future progressive leadership of the country come 2019 requires that he turn from the hypocrisy of past and present leadership cadres and develop stronger moral commitment and consistency of wholistically detribalised and selfless vision that can endear him to thinkers, opinion managers, research fellows and, indeed, Nigerians from all sections of the country. 

Unfortunately his recent Freudian slip regarding hate and extremity movements is a drawback to his assumed profile as the bridge of understanding that many believe will heal Nigeria of its present fragmentation should he earn a presidential mandate. His press release on Vanguard media, Saturday 08/07/2017 glibly avers that “It’s important for Nigerians to respect leaders who played defining roles in Nigeria’s development”. This may have been in reference to the virulence with which Obasanjo’s vitriol on the Biafra question has been matched by implacable IPOB clones like himself. But pray, what kind of defining roles did Atiku and Obasanjo play in the thwarted years of their disagreeable reign?

Atiku Abubakar should have known that since Obasanjo remains a discredited elder, a hypocritical voice, in Nigeria’s march to greatness, any statement which deigns to exhume some respect for the ghosts of spent and lifeless gerontocrats, conniving to insist upon their relevance in a new order for which they are innately incapable of providing Nigeria’s majority, is bound to backfire. Atiku should have noted more boldly that in denouncing the call for restructuring when overwhelmingly greater sections of the country have severally highlighted its best course for national reintegration, Obasanjo has proven to remain the problem and not the solution to the fate of the endangered majority of Nigerians. 

Such is why the image and memory of Nigeria’s past leaders, especially Obasanjo’s, Babangida’s, Abacha’s, Abdulsalami’s, these hypocrites of African unity who extinguished progressive voices under their watch, must remain so sordid, so contemptible, so morally reprehensible to our collective sensitivities, as to be completely ostracised and finally exorcised, by every means necessary, from our private and public domain. Where it is inevitable to engage our discourse on these vile group of humans who incarnated upon our national space, no self-respecting writer, journalist, lawyer, historian, educationist and academic should fail to remind their readers, listeners, students and successive younger generations the amoral legacies of these reprieved murderers, literally and figuratively, these desecrators of our brightest minds and national estate. Only when these ugly facts of their history are established upon the collective conscience that we the people of Nigeria may begin to breathe some new air of enlightenment and, therefore, rise to the moment of enthronement of justice and lasting progressive change with the coming new order that we have vowed to bring to existence through a restructured federation.

President Should Take a Bow – by Chin Ce 

Avid reactions may trail the address to the Nation by Nigeria’s President after over hundred days of health-imposed exile from the political administration of his country. Buhari came back with little, let alone effusive, apologies for his absence, no comments on the excruciating hardship suffered by millions of the talakawa – ordinary Nigerians – who had voted for him in the hope that change had come to a nation sundered in corruption and enslaved by a cabal of political ex-this and ex-that who had cornered the billions of the nation’s oil resources in manic acquisitionism. 

Instead, what was clear from the speech, as scripted by his stereotypes in their professional sycophancy circles, is the same old threat that unity is not negotiable. 

In a lame, tangential argument almost devoid of basic human introspection, the Nigerian president reminded the nation that Ojukwu, rebel leader of Biafra separatist war of 1967, had dined in his Daura mansion in 2015 and had agreed that Nigeria remained united. Yet fifty years after Biafra, the Nigerian military school trained general could not apologise honestly how he and past leaders had failed to unite the country on true egalitarian principles of fairness and justice. Till date, the south east and the delta are the pariah region of successive governments led by every northern Nigerian army general. 

Buhari’s own present political dispensation has been most horrendous in army-sponsored murdering of dissenters from the south east and in Christian dominated southern Kaduna. His internal security apparatus, Police, DSS, Immigration and Customs service all led by his Hausa and Fulani compatriots of ‘One Nigeria’ remain as corrupt and full of impunity as in the years of clueless Jonathan and more clueless Obasanjo preceding him. 

Recruitment and promotion scandals trail his DSS, Immigration and Police. Nigeria Police – they still call it “Police Force”  contrary to civilised world practice – still extorts money from millions of Nigerians  for bail while forcing them to sign the bond that Bail is Free. Buhari knows this, yet he insists that his motley psychotic kinsmen remain in control, issuing useless executive orders from time to time in mimicry of the other sitting ignoramus at America’s White House. 

It is inexplicable that this man who became president by unprecedented public goodwill from home and abroad has had a lifetime honour of interacting with some of the brightest minds of the firmament, like Wole Soyinka, with whom, weeks after assuming office in 2015, he had met for four hours behind closed state house doors, ostensibly in a discussion on the future direction of the country through a restructured, economically viable and politically stable federation. Yet the brilliance of such rare personages endowed upon Africa to illuminate its depressing horizons could not rub off on the remote reaches of this president’s somewhat archaic intelligence regarding nationhood and policy. 

Irrespective of the rash of enthusiastic toadying by his political stalwarts and social minions going on now, the president’s speech to his countrymen and women can be adjudged arrogant by any critical media standard. An entry on Facebook social network states categorically that when  Political Arrogance begins to script its offensive Homily, let the Leader resign. “The president’s speech promises nothing but insult on public intelligence. There can be discerned, no real, compassion for the suffering masses of this country, save the irredentist mindset of we-versus-them. 

“We have come riding on the wave of 16 years of misery, the promise of change, anti corruption fight-to-finish, and providing sound education and security for our teeming youths and defenceless women,” states the post. Of course these are impossible without true federalism which his APC political party had promised in the very beginning, and which he and his party have now reneged upon in the antic of a shameless gigolo. 

Now what we see is the same arrogant tenacity for sectional dominion. Now we battle with cabal greed for state capture which had goaded every momentum toward public repression of human will, supported by the ever pandering retinue of sectional, political and religious interests.

Today, nemesis is on the wings once again. Buhari should take a bow; he has nothing more to offer. Because Heads up, or Legs first, history will repeat for leaders like him who do not learn. The era of state capture is over for this nation and, indeed, all nations of the world, be they America, India, Syria or Turkey. Millions of awakened humans are now vigilant. 

With skepticism and positive action defeat of the dark forces who believe in their enslavement and predation of perceived others is certain, and victory of the light is assured. 

The Falsehood of Religions and Politics – by Fely City 

In his Facebook book post on 19 08 2017 Christed debated the knowledge of human beginnings on planet Earth noting how scientific and religious communities of the east and west conspired to keep humans in permanent ignorance about their true beginnings and divine heritage. Religion is allied to falsehood, he always writes. Humans have been lied to several times from age to age through religious and political doctrines, and robbing the people of their money is the reason for these scriptural and constitutional lies. 

Christed quotes from the best selling book of Matthew and Suzanne Ward that “ostensibly all religions originated their own dogma to benefit the peoples. But, in fact, accurate historical recordings show that a few people who wished to control the many peoples deliberately devised falsehoods that enabled this control. 

“Very long ago,” says Matthew, in his book Revelations For A New Era with Suzanne Ward, the religious leaders made up stories to confuse and mislead the minds searching for an understanding of their Beginnings. 

“The leaders saw that the truth would allow people a closeness to God that did not require money or intervention by other humans, and that did not suit their purposes. 

“So to satisfy their greed and desire for control, the leaders contrived layer upon layer of distance between God and the individual heart and soul. It is their false information that you revere and hold most sacred.”
Matthew avers that “Worshipping God is not kneeling and feeling lowly, it is looking within and exulting in the knowing of your inseparable God connection.”  

Inseparable God connection is the key phrase here, meaning that every human is created from the same God fabric as any other and has equal direct connection with the Creator if he /she so freely wills it. But in a world filled with countries ruled by mad men where, for example, the North Korean boy child is playing supreme leader supported by godless China, where the United States old man President is a revolting Christian fanatic who hates Muslims, and Nigeria and indeed all of Africa are headed by fanatical Muslim Christian and tribal bigots, how can the world’s masses ever begin to read and understand the great disservice of ignorance their religious and political leaders are doing to them? 

As someone named Terry comments on the Facebook post, there is only confusion, and truly, more confusion everywhere you look among the blinded followers, another Facebook user, Ernest, supports that Matthew Ward’s message is the truth, and nothing but the truth. 

Will human beings rise with one voice and mind to reject the uncountable number of greedy politicians, pastors, bishops, imams, prophets, and rabbis who have aided the politicians in turning them blind and senseless zombies from generation to generation? 

The answer remains with time.