Posted in Uncategorized

Bloomberg on Naija 2023, on the candidates, credibility and competence

*Bloomberg* , a media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, has This to say concerning the *presidential candidates*

In a Nigeria where the curriculum vitae of some presidential aspirant is as opaque as the sky, birth details shawled in translucent towel, real name a subject of needless controversy, birth and parenthood a curious pouch fallen from space on an island nobody wants to touch, schooling history smelling like a miasma and wrapped up in a shroud, Peter Obi, the presidential candidate of the Labour Party, was born Peter Gregory Obi on July 19, 1961 in Onitsha, Anambra State.The most outstanding and worthy narrative about Obi are the records he left in public office. Obi is a refreshing breeze in governance space, leaving an unbeatable governmental footpath of prudence, probity and empathetic governance towards the people he administered as governor from 2006 to 2014. He was not loved by Anambra political vermin who could not stand his accountable governance and obsession for prioritising the welfare of the citizens of the state.

Obi disdains waste, whether at the personal or governmental level. Wealthy by any standard but, unlike the typical Nigerian politician who is enveloped in vanity, Obi lives a frugal life that shows that wealth is nothing except targeted at developing humanity. He abhors pretence and vain flaunting of wealth. When agents of the maggots-wriggling political order that has limited Nigeria’s growth for decades criticise Obi for allegedly flaunting inaccurate statistics, ask them when last did any of the senescent candidates they willingly offer themselves as their lackeys, ever attempt to bandy any figure, extempore? Of all the characters who strut round like turtle doves, pregnant with illicit ambitions to enter the office of the Nigerian president, none demonstrates or possesses Obi’s piety, grasp and depth. When you scrutinise those aspiring to preside over the destiny of over 200 million Nigerians, they have no destiny of worth aside their unaccountable wealth. On the moral scores above, it will be a crying shame that Nigeria ever allowed them attempt to square up with Obi for an office which, if we get it right, can forever change our dialogue with poverty and underdevelopment.

In records of fidelity to the public space where they all have all been at one point or the other, none of the duo of APC and PDP presidential candidates has Obi’s baffling records of abidance with the oath of governmental purity, virtue, goodness, decency, morality, decorum, modesty and wholesomeness. This is what public officers swear to uphold. Isn’t it a huge disappointment that the narrative of Obi’s investment of Anambra money is what engages these jobless political parasites and not the moral pedigree of those who totally filched investments in their care in office and who, God forbid, are poised to rule and ruin them?

When some Nigerians with ulterior motives now seek to justify the illusion of the Hobson’s choice before them by claiming that morality should play second fiddle in who becomes the Nigerian president in 2023, they must be saying this in their acute naivety of the cusp of Golgotha that immorality has taken Nigeria. For a country which ranked an all-time low position of 154th out of 180 countries on Transparency International’s 2021 Corruption Perceptions Index, we must not allow those who want to rule us in 2023 wriggle out of making corruption an issue at the ballot.

But *Bloomberg, a media company headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, in a piece published on June 22, 2022, said the candidates dare not campaign that they want to eradicate corruption. Except Obi. According to this publication, just three decades ago, one of the presidential candidates “fought a lawsuit in which the US government accused him of laundering the proceeds of heroin trafficking and eventually reached a settlement.” Bloomberg also claimed that “In July 1993, when (the candidate) briefly served as a Nigerian senator, the US government filed a forfeiture lawsuit in Chicago against bank accounts in his name, claiming there was ‘probable cause’ to believe they held the proceeds of heroin dealing. The case followed a probe by the Internal Revenue Service and other agencies into a trafficking network involving Nigerian suppliers.”

On the PDP candidate, said Bloomberg, he “brought tens of millions of dollars of ‘suspect funds’ into the US when he was Nigeria’s vice president in the 2000s, according to a US Senate report, and was implicated in a bribery case that resulted in the imprisonment of an American congressman. Neither episode resulted in charges against the man who is now the PDP presidential candidate.” The report also said that a report published in 2010 by the US Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations claimed that Jennifer, one of (his) wives, was complicit in helping her husband, who was then the VP, bring in over $40 million of ‘suspect funds’ into the US, ‘including at least $1.7 million in bribes paid by Siemens AG.’” As we speak, none of the two candidates has put up a rebuttal of Bloomberg claims* .

In all that has been written against Obi, none has been able to link him with dubiety in public service. A few put up are so laughable and effete efforts at placing him side by side his disreputable allies in the race. Indeed, Nigeria needs a capable leadership that can tackle insecurity, restore public confidence in leadership, bring Nigeria from its consumerist to production economy, lift up the people’s sagging morale and all that, but the mere realisation that an Ali-Baba-And-The-Forty-Thieves President inhabits Aso Rock will do incalculable harm to the image of Nigeria, thereby pushing the issue of resolution of the Nigerian graft conundrum far down the abyss. That is why corruption should be more urgent in resolution than, I dare say, restoring Nigeria’s economy to its shape. Western countries which have profiled the APC and PDP candidates as robbers of public till will most likely hold back in entrusting international funds in their care.

Attempts by vultures of the social media to demonise Peter Obi can be likened to a pithy saying in Yoruba which is expressed as a short anecdote of a sick man who apparently wishes those who tender him on the sick bed to be sick like him. When asked what he would have for dinner, the sick man demanded a green snake-made pepper soup and amala. Who does not know that killing a green snake is fraught with danger? This is expressed as, da bi mo se da baba olokunrun, to ni omi tooro abirusoro lo wu ohun je oka. The gambit is that, Obi must be brought to their inveterate level by all means. He must also have his own Alpha Beta where he collects 10% from the Anambra State government. His total existence must symptomise fakery. Some of these vultures even go to the absurd level of abusing him for leaving money behind in Anambra coffers, saying he was not elected to save money, unlike their own god who was apparently elected to plunge his state into eternal debts.

To be fair to those fascinated by, in the words of Oscar Wilde, the gutters and everything that is in it, an Obi presidency has the potential of signaling a nunc dimittis to public corruption in Nigeria. Going the other route with the progenies of corruption can only lead to infamy. In Obi is a leader whose life will be a mirror that the led will pattern their lives towards and there will be sanity in public service. Recruits of the Operation Pull Peter Down don’t just get it or are too naïve to connect with it. While no one is saying Peter Obi is a saint, the two candidates of APC and PDP are moral midgets beside an integrity colossus like Peter.

On the superficial, voting Obi looks like a waste of franchise. How can someone professing a disruptive leadership that will wipe clean wastage, corruption and elite gang-up hope to win a Nigerian presidency that is teleguided by people who Dele Momodu classically referred to as Owners of Nigeria and who are maggots that only thrive in a sewage? However, it is in the interest of the Nigerian political class to redeem themselves by, for once, stepping down from queuing behind same rotten characters who have kept Nigeria down and with whom there is no hope of redemption for the country.

Unfortunately, the so-called owners of Nigeria, the power demons, must favour one of these characters to be on the ballot. This is the time that the international community must openly support a quest for a better Nigeria which Obi personifies. On a personal note, my frustration about Nigeria being, head or tail, in a cul-de-sac of a Robin Hood-led presidency almost pushed me into despondency. It was reason why, last week, I had to seek a consolation in the APC, PDP candidates’ probable redemptive presidency.

However, the infectious awareness and mobilisation campaigns of the Nigerian youth, most of whose future has been rendered opaque by these same characters who collaboratively destroyed their tomorrow since 1999, has lifted my spirit. These same youths spoke in October, 2020 at the Lekki Toll Gate and in many parts of Nigeria where they were mowed down by agents of selfsame persons now asking for their votes. With a movement being coordinated by youths like Debo Adedayo Mr. Macaroni; Folarin Falana, Falz and others, optimism was born in me anew. In any case, whether Obi wins or not isn’t at issue. What is at issue is our collective antagonism against a decadent order. In any case, who says the ancient Latin maxim, Vox Populi, Vox Dei has lost its savour?

The attacks against Peter Obi are ostensibly from rabid supporters of both the PDP and APC presidential candidates. Bloomberg called these candidates “the two wealthy septuagenarians.” There doesn’t seem to be anyone who does not know that the two political principalities however transcend the baggage of their ages into exampling a rotten order of Nigerian politics.




If you listen to narratives by hunters who go into the heart of the forest in search of dangerous animals for venison, you will have a window into and explanation of our world. Hunters tell us, for instance, that when you hear the chirping noise of a squirrel, a snake is loitering by. Squirrels’ chirps are alarm signals given both to warn off a predator and to warn other squirrels of danger. When squirrels give out this noise repeatedly, the hunter’s gun must be at the ready. A viper, boa constrictor or rattlesnake is poised for a strike.

On the road leading to the 2023 election, Peter Obi seems to have cloned Rosa Parks. Like Parks who refused to accept the intimidation of the white establishment and accept racial evil as fait accompli, Obi is biting the bullet for us and our children yet unborn. He is daring these demons and maggots of power. Our children in universities are five months at home, idling their future away. Diesel is almost a thousand Naira. Nigerians are foraging debris containers for daily bread. Terrorists rip off our bellies at their whims. Our country has become alien to us. The almost 8 years of leadership tragedy that Muhammadu Buhari presides over is busy drinking cold fura and nunu. Peter Obi, on our behalf, is saying that our feet are tired. Nigerians should refuse to give up their votes to those who took us down this dungeon of hopelessness, damn the consequences by voting for who will reshape our lives.

FESTUS ADEDAYO’S FLICKERS
https://tribuneonlineng.com/peter-obi-as-nigerias-rosa-parks/

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Posted in Uncategorized

“Choosing Right – this is our chance” by Noel Ihebuzor

The right choice stands upright,
right before us
light beckons us
so does dark

How will we choose?
To choose dark
to continue to slide back
on the long rung of the ladder of despair
away from light
deeper into debilitating darkness?
Tufia kwa!

Between dark and light,

the choice stands clear;
Choose right!

To choose right is to choose light,
for light is life,
To choose light is to choose to arrest the rot,
to end the decay that destroys and limits us

for light will make us grow and glow, for light is right and is life.

The true voice within each us tells to choose right and live!

The voices of evil, of stasis, ring out loud and rowdy,
trying to seduce and confuse us as they seek to sell other routes, routes that will only further entrap, rout and reduce us.

Let us say no to these voices,
let us resist the lure of such voices and remain obedient to the right voice of reason and choose right this time
so that we may grow, and blossom and glow.

21102022

Posted in governance, Politics, Prose

Sobering reflections by Noel Ihebuzor


1 It is sad when people and nations choose foolishly and then blame fate or the gods for the consequences of their choices.
2. Experience is the best teacher but Nigerians are resistant to its teaching.
3. Huge traces of masochism must be embedded in the DNA of large portions of our populace when it comes to making political choices.
4. One bitten, twice seduced, thrice perpetually confused!
5. Rational Choice Theory (RCT) can explain anything including the worst forms of irrationality and that is its core flaw!

Posted in Politics

A fitting response to a bile driven obituary

Everyone’s obituary is inevitable.

Chuks Iloegbunam tells Sam Omatseye to cleanse his journalism

Some have called you foolish, dear Sam Omatseye. Others insist that you are plain stupid. There are those who hold you to be beneath contempt. Their howls of execration upon you are in reaction to your August 1, 2022 article entitled Obi-tuary (https://thenationonlineng.net/obi-tuary/). For me, however, you are a dear friend. Our friendship started in the 1980s at Newswatch magazine where both of us practiced journalism before you travelled to the United States for further studies. It continued upon your return and strengthened to the point that, sometimes, you get the producers of your TV Continental programme to connect me to field questions live. Besides, living in different states, we often chat by telephone. I demonstrated our amity again last May when I was in Nigeria’s commercial capital for the Lagos International Book Fair. I phoned you and, within the hour, you were at my stand where we spent quality time reminiscing about the good old days and prognosticating on the future of our dear fatherland.

Armed with this handle of friendship, I have just the one advice for you: Be careful. It is in elaboration of this counsel that I write all that you read hereon. Please look back to the time of the Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967 to 1970. You will find that, military or civilian, none of the political actors of that era is still in a position to fight elections today. The final curtain long fell for most of them. Of the lot that remains, some have become vegetables, or are propped up with a suffusion of drugs or would not find their way to the loo unless hired attendants or swearing relatives point it out. Together with the handful that is still blessed with something close to robust health, they have one thing in common. They are seated, restless or restive, in various existential departure halls, clutching fitfully at their boarding passes and waiting for that inevitable voice that cannot be disobeyed, to announce their flights into past tense.

In a broad sense, the departed leave their legacies, good, bad or ugly, for those standing in line and waiting their turns to also check out. What legacies, dear Sam, are you and I feverishly working day and night to leave for those coming in our wake? When you write an article that denigrates the Igbo nation of over 50 million people, and make nonsense of some of those things that mean the most to them, do you really believe that your disposition is justified by the pay and perquisites that accrue to you at Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s The Nation newspapers?

This is you: “The Biafran babblers are alive and well. They just swapped icons, rechristened the shrines and rewrote the rites. They left the prophet for a secular priest. They have had a switch of battle gear.” This clearly is a perfidious way of sentencing Ndigbo to the status of the bat that is neither bird nor mammal. Their fight for Biafra five decades ago was stopped. Their fight now for democratic integration impels you to call them babblers, i.e., people who are no more than endless talkers of nonsense. One would think that the bat sobriquet aptly becomes your Bola Ahmed Tinubu whose initials provide the BAT acrostic that he wears like a badge. I will sooner return to the BAT.

This, again, is your characterisation of the Igbo: “They can say they have a legitimate tribe and rhetoric. They may pretend to love Nigeria. They may claim to embrace INEC, cling to a political party no one in the police or DSS will harangue.”

Isn’t this the height of Igbophobia? We may go back in history. Before Tinubu, there were other Yoruba presidential candidates, including Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief M. K. O. Abiola, General Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Gani Fawehinmi and Chief Olu Falae. None of these personages indexed their presidential ambition on stoking inter-tribal animosity between the Yoruba and the Igbo. As a matter of fact, Chief Philip Ezebuilo Umeadi, Igbo and one of the oldest Senior Advocates of Nigeria, was Papa Awolowo’s running mate in the 1979 presidential election.

Why does it make sense to you and to your principal that the only route to his vaulting presidential ambition must be one that sunders two ethnic groups that have since before the amalgamation been living together in amity, harmony and peace, two peoples that have always, in peace or in peril, lent each other a helping hand?

At the height of the Western Nigeria political crisis of the mid 1960s that pitted Chief Awolowo against Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the former’s Action Group (AG) and Dr. M. I. Okpara’s National Convention of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) entered into a coalition that birthed the United Progressives Grand Alliance (UPGA). We have it on Wole Soyinka’s authority – see page 73 of his autobiographical You Must Set Forth At Dawn (Bookcraft, Ibadan 2006) that Dr. Okpara lent the then incarcerated Awo a voice by dispatching Mazi Anyogu Elekwachi Ukonu and a complement of seasoned broadcasters that installed a transmitter right inside Awolowo’s Ibadan home.

Ndigbo were not a part of Awolowo’s treason trial and his imprisonment for ten years. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe even said that he was the one that insisted on Awolowo being imprisoned in Calabar, rather than in Northern Nigeria where the chief feared that poisoning could end his life.

It was not the Igbo that nullified Chief Abiola’s victory in the 1993 presidential election. Rather, Ndigbo were in the forefront of the NADECO (National Democratic Coalition) struggle against the gross injustice. At least a third of those that formed the NADECO were Igbo, according to a list in Battlelines: Adventures in Journalism and Politics, Chief Segun Osoba’s autobiography published in 2020 by Diamond Publications Limited, Lagos. They included Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe, the late Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Okwadike (Dr.) Chukwuemeka Ezeife, Prof Anya O. Anya, Chief Ralph Obioha, Chief Empire Kanu, Chief Michael Anyiam, Chief E. Duru, Chief Vincent Nwizugbo and Dr. Uma Eleazu.

NADECO had an international arm. In the United Kingdom, its meetings were held in the late Raph Uwechue’s Africa Books Limited offices in Hammersmith London. Chief Uwechue was Igbo. Dear Sam, I do not know exactly where you were at the time, and I concede that, among Nigerian politicians, there is something known as selective amnesia. If, therefore, your Tinubu, who lived in London for a portion of his exile, does not remember Uwechue’s role in NADECO, I am sure that none of General Alani Akinrinade, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi and Professor Sylvester Monye will ever forget. All the Igbo fighters for June 12 were not dissuaded by the fact that their struggle was to actualise the electoral mandate of Chief Abiola, a Yoruba politician. Apart from incarceration, harassment by security operatives and the alienation of exile, some of these men paid heavily in other ways for their commitment to cause of justice. Chief Bobo Nwosisi died in exile in London. Chief Obioha lost his bank, the First African Trust Bank Limited.

In the light of the above, readers would have to judge for themselves whether or not it is right for you, Sam, to say the following of Ndigbo: “They have transferred the temperament of their former master into the new. And they have not spared any incoherence, any lack of finesse, and threats and tantrums, any show of rabid, primitive cants, or any ululations. They have abused, cursed, thrown imprecations. They have hugged lies about their candidate. They have pelted lies about others. They have distorted material. Obi has turned out to be an excuse for even closet Biafrans to betray open emotions about Biafra without being accused of it.”

To be sure, your writing is not an aberrant occurrence. On July 17, 2022, an Adedamola Adetayo posted on the Internet an anti-Igbo diatribe in which he said, among other things that “They have a POLITICAL ZIONISM already in play. It is in the thing they deceptively call Obidients. That Movement is going to RALLY the Igbos of Lagos in a way that they haven’t ever been rallied. THEY ARE SET TO DETERMINE THE LEADERSHIP OF LAGOS. The priority is to remove Tinubu first. In future they will call the shot. This is what Peter Obi is all about. He has no plans for any Presidency. I can imagine that the ZIONISTS already have their IPOB/UGM all over the places in Lagos, in the Garrisons called Markets, under cover, masquerading as Igbo traders.”

Years before this ranting Adedamola Adetayo, John Femi Kusa, who had been a script editor at The Guardian in Lagos, also showed his claws. In March 2019, he published an article on the Internet with this sentence of a title: Okota: The Igbo Question, Jimi Agbaje, Afenifere And The Rest Of Us. In it, he claimed that, “The major problem, in my opinion, is the Igbo penchant to wish to take over another person’s land…Lagos was either a colony or a part of Western Nigeria. But because of the generosity of Yorubas and the foresight of their forefathers which made this region the star region in West Africa, the Igbos would like the Yorubaman to believe that LAGOS IS NO MAN’S LAND. Can anyone say that of Benin without eating his pounded yam as raw yam?”

Dear Sam, your Obi-tuary piece is as incendiary as the hateful views of Kusa and Adetayo. Kusa, now well into his 70s will not physically go feeding the Igbo raw yam. But all the vitriol you guys have been pushing against the Igbo is the stuff that leads the M. C. Oluomos into mindless violence and murder and arson and brigandage. You pen pushers of evil are the ones that egg on the rabble into wielding guns and cudgels and massacring innocent people for transient political offices. Is it right to promote this permittivity simply so that Tinubu will attain his wild goose chase of the presidential crown?

Kusa schooled at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, earning a degree in Mass Communication. All through his years in the Igbo country, not once was he molested or denied his citizenship on account of his origin. Did his welcome at Nsukka lead him into believing that the town was a part of the Yoruba country? According to Facebook, the acerbic Adetayo guy schooled at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, and earned a degree there without abuse, let or hindrance. Maybe it got fixed inside his brain that Awka is an extension of Lagos, or that Azikiwe after whom the institution was named was his progenitor.

If there are Ndigbo who say that Lagos is a no man’s land, can one Igbo person be put up who simply seized a piece of land in the metropolis and converted it to his use? If Nigerians, including Tinubu’s daughters, who have being buying up choice properties in New England, United States, can own houses in Europe, North America, the Middle East and elsewhere, why must it rankle that Ndigbo own property in Lagos? Why must ownership of landed property in one’s own country lead to calumniation and physical harm? Is it not too steep a price to pay in order that Tinubu should become Nigeria’s president?

The Igbo were not responsible for the recent bloody massacre of congregants inside the St Francis Catholic Church in Owo, Ondo State. The Igbo are not among those sentenced to death by hanging for the murder of Afenifere leader Chief Reuben Fasanranti’s daughter. The herdsmen marauding, pillaging and plundering Yoruba land, looting, raping women, destroying farmlands and spreading death and destruction are not Igbo. The Igbo man did not kill a soul. He did not contest the governorship of Lagos. He hasn’t ever claimed ownership of Iga Idungaran. The Igbo always lived in peace with the Yoruba – until Tinubu surfaced with his divisive politics. Are the vociferous Igbo supporters of Tinubu no longer of the ethnic group because of their partisan predilection?

Sam, informed readers of your articles are aware that your allusions to classical Anglo-Saxon, Greek and Roman mythologies and literary divergences are no more than an egregious attempt at appropriating the intellectual centre circle. Otherwise, you would appreciate the importance of adding depth to your fulminations. Any owner of a book of quotable quotes or a glossary of literary terms can fill their verbiage with citations. But that is no scholarship, my friend. Look at you: “Obi is like Zik, Kanu like Ojukwu. One is a flair, the other a flare.” Yet, it doesn’t strike you as reasonable to accord some of Zik’s aptitude to Peter Obi, a man who earned an honours degree in Philosophy from Nigeria’s premier indigenous university that was built by the great Zik of Africa. And Ojukwu is no more than a flare. By impugning him with combustibility, you forget that in January 1967, Ojukwu went to Aburi, Ghana, not with an incendiary device, but with the sole purpose of putting out the smoldering fire that was threatening to become a national conflagration. You forget that it was not Ojukwu but those that reneged on the Aburi Accord that tossed a lit match in an ocean of gasoline.

I agree with those that have invested you with the coronet of a seasoned journalist. Except that your coronation disdains the fact that your brand of perceptive journalism is only seasonal. That explains why it bothers you that “Obi hops from church to church,” but means absolutely nothing to you that as Dele Sobowale reported in the Sunday Vanguard of July 10, 2022 “…Bola Tinubu has charged the Supreme Council for Sharia in the country to create a department of political affairs to create political awareness among the faithful towards producing a Muslim President in 2023.” Neither do you care a hoot that, as Dr. Sobowale added in the same article “Tinubu has followed up that injunction to the Supreme Council for Sharia, by making secret pledges to expand the reach of Sharia to more Southern States if elected.”

Rather, you call Peter Obi a hypocrite. But Mr. Obi gave his date of birth, the name of his parents, the town he hails from, the schools he attended and the businesses he is into. All were found to be correct. Not being at all interested in the truth, you threw Mr. Obi’s data out of the window because you must be seen to be frantically propagating a character of disputed age, of unknown pedigree, unascertained genealogy, unsubstantiated name, uncorroborated curriculum vitae, and unverified academic diplomas. You shout from the rooftops that Peter Obi is not fit to govern. But you posit as fit for the presidential palace a specimen of incontinence, tremulous lower extremities, slurred speech, unsteady gait and memory lapses. You cannot be serious, my friend.

Of course, it is your entitlement to advertise even ordure if that captures your fancy, but you may not carry on as though your readers are imbecilic. By raising the Biafran bogey, your intention was clearly to create doubt and apprehension. But your gambit only registered a calamitous failure. Jonathan was President of this country. It didn’t obliterate Niger Delta agitation. Buhari is president of this country; those of his people campaigning for the Islamic State haven’t thrust their swords in their scabbards. You have a fondness for excoriating Nnamdi Kanu. Excellent! Except that your seasonal flair for journalism has never prompted you into examining the Sunday Igboho phenomenon. You make yourself a laughing stock by encapsulating in ethnic strictures the pan-Nigerian Peter Obi Movement that is youth led. You reckon not one bit that the youths that are sick and tired of the sanguinary dreariness and aridity of your principal’s vanishing epoch.

Nonetheless, you cannot contest the truism that, in the last analysis, everything goes and turns round. All metals are bound for the anvil. We are here today – those, like Peter Obi and his equally competent and credible running mate, Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, that wish to place a new heart in the Nigerian nation; and others like your principal and his paid battalions of blinkered acolytes that, as Pa Ayo Adebanjo finely put it, are only interested in continuing and escalating the rot they inflicted on hapless Nigerians in 2015. Whatever tomorrow brings, you must continue to ruminate over the legacy you will leave for coming generations. Every one of us will have their entrance and their exit, it being a settled fact that obituary’s certitude rings true for all comers, not just for Peter Obi as you wantonly asserted.

 Chuks Iloegbunam is the author of the upcoming book on Mr. Peter Obi entitled The Promise of a New Era.

Posted in BIBLICAL EXEGESIS, Religion

Reflecting on the readings of the Fifth Sunday of Easter by Noel Ihebuzor

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/051522.cfm


Happy Sunday. Today is the 5th Sunday of Easter and the Sunday has interesting readings, once one overlooks the rather jarring send back in the choice of the gospel readings to Mundae Thursday!

Interesting readings indeed:
The first reading and the message that evangelisation involves sacrifice, long suffering and team work – quite a difference from the message and practice of prosperity driven Pentecostalism that is now rife in Nigeria;

the second reading from the Book of Revelations with its content that lifts our spirits and fills us with hope with its promise of making all things new – (renewal and its link to positive change) – one prays that this renewal touches our geographic space, a space currently trapped in a suffocating stasis and speedily retrogressing on most indicators!;

and the gospel reading with its message on the centrality of love as the distinguishing characteristic of the true believer/Christian. And any talk of love takes us to 1 Cor 13, 1-13 for its definition, meaning and behavioural implications!

Interesting readings!

Happy Sunday

Posted in corruption, Creative writing, hope, disappointment,, Literature, Aesthetics, Politics, Prose, Religion

Purple Hibiscus – a critique of patriarchy and misguided religiosity

By Noel Ihebuzor

Purple hibiscus is a tragic tale of lives and family destroyed by the effects of extreme religiosity, a religiosity that strays quite frequently into the irrational and the psychotic. It is also a tale on the dangers of patriarchy, of domestic violence (spousal and GBV) and what could happen when the battered acquiesce for too long in their systematic humiliation. I also see it as a critique of crude and arrogant Catholicism of the type practised in some parishes in Nigeria. The author of the novel, Chimamanda Adichie has certainly amplified that criticism in her recent address to the council of Nigeria’s, and thereby called out the church and its leaders on a public platform.

But let us go back to the story and see what it tells us – simply this – a fanatical father infected with extremes of religious belief engages in behaviors which systematically estrange from his family, his own father and his sister. In the end, he is poisoned by his wife who sees murder as the only route to end his reign of terror and her suffering.

Let us look at the characters – Papa, a Catholic and publisher of a newspaper, mama, his subdued wife who he humiliates at will, their two children, Kambili and Jaja, whom Papa terrorises and who live in total fear of his fits of temper and excesses, Aunty Ifeoma, Papa’s sister, a lecturer and a beacon of liberalism and radicalism, her two children and finally Papa Nnukwu, Papa’s dad and the children’s grandfather. Papa Nnukwu practices traditional religion and this reality creates a permanent tension between him and his son. The tension is such as that it stands permanently in the way of any demonstration of any bond of filial loyalty from our super Christian pater familias to his father.

Interwoven in this sad tale and in the lives of the characters are snippets of the social ills of Nigeria, including that of corruption, poor governance, abuse of office, wrong and aggressive policing, the corrupting and corrosive effects of a poorly examined religious life and what could happen when a young girl either falls in love with or fantasizes over her priest. The tension is intense and eventually leads to the tragic ending of the novel. The title of the novel ” Purple Hibiscus” is thus at variance with its content.

In the end papa dies from the effects of sustained poisoning by his wife but Jaja takes the rap for his mum. A family is destroyed because of the misguided religiosity of a domineering and aggressive father.

This is a troubling and troubled novel told with sensitivity and tact. One sees in it also the early signs of the author’s feminism, a feminism that has since blossomed as can seen in her positions and speeches on several social media platforms. But some questions persist. One of these is this – is papa a rounded character or a flat character? Does his characterization lean towards a single story approach? Remember that Adichie comes against single stories in one of her now famous lectures? What does the reader think?

Posted in Uncategorized

Fifth Sunday of Lent, first reading with some commentary

By Noel Ihebuzor

Today’s first reading says it all for me. There is nothing that God cannot do. Nothing! I survey our current tragedies and aridities, I contemplate the endless twisting and slippery road before us, I examine the wasteland before us, an avoidable wasteland caused by greed, incompetence, lack of vision, emotional aridity and lack of compassion…..yes, I see the suffering these impose on us – the suffocating climate of helplessness and rampaging despondency….and many more negative manifestations of these sad times….and I remember the qualities of our God, the qualities of our God who renews and who converts deserts to greens, who levels mountains and I tell myself, this current mess, these years of mess, these years of hunchback misery, this insecurity, this hopelessness, this bumbling inefficiency, this reign and triumph of arrogance and ignorance… yes, ALL THESE MUST PASS. Join me in a loud MARANATHA!

https://bible.usccb.org/bible/readings/040322.cfm