Author: Noel Ihebuzor
On “good and bad losers” by Noel Ihebuzor
On “good and bad losers” 1
Saturday’s presidential election introduced Nigerians to good losers and bad losers! Bad losers are those who call out inconsistencies in electoral processes and results. Good losers are those who remain silent in the face of gross irregularities, abuse of trust and misuse of power by organs of government.
On “good and bad losers” /2
Good losers acquiesce easily to offers of settlement, economic inducement and cultural pressures. They readily fling principles out of the window as expedience, considerations of personal gain and positioning are their principal decision making drivers; bad losers insist on the enthronement and the supremacy and application of principles of integrity, fairness and justice on all election related processes and decisions!
On “good and bad losers” /3
Good losers cringe readily before the threat of the use of power and force; bad losers recognize the supremacy of a recourse to legal means to resolve election disputes, such a recognition founded on a belief that an uncompromised judiciary is the rampart of all genuine democracies!
Salt of the earth and light to the world!
Sharing something I wrote 12 year’s on the theme of the gospel reading of today 5th Feb 2023. Truth perdures.
06 February, 2011, 19:50:04 | Noel Ihebuzor
I have now linked these reflections to what I scribbled and shared this morning on justice, peace and love below.
Reflections on the First of the Sunday of 5th Feb, 2023 by Noel Ihebuzor
Today’s readings are special in many ways. One of them is the clarity of their messages and the beautiful economic case they make for good conduct.
Open the link and savor their special charm!
If ever there were readings to be shared with persons aspiring for elected political positions, these are the ones!
If ever there were readings capable, if and when their key messages have been put in practice by all, of healing nations, these are the ones.
If ever there were readings that point a nation, a people and a continent to the path of salvation, of development and of greatness, then surely these are the ones!
if ever there were readings that challenge us in our dual capacities of leaders and the led to challenge the evil present for a more assured future, then these are the ones!
If ever there were readings that put social justice, equity, inclusiveness, care for the poor, the sick, the destitute, the afflicted at the core of their messages, these are the ones!
If ever there were readings that challenge us to shine the lights of liberation, to stand up and stand out and become beacons of freedom and agents for positive change, these are the ones!
The promises are clear – if we do this, God will do that…care for the poor, remove oppression, move away from lies, deceit, false accusations and distortions – and God will raise you, justify you, vindicate you and become your defender!
Pursue sound and inclusive macroeconomic policies and God will elevate you as a nation.
Institutionalize good governance, transparency, rule of rule, free and fair elections and God will respond by ushering in a reign of happiness and stability where all the gloom of of the past would be no more!
Two words deserve some comment – Salt and Light – as they are closely linked to this vision moral rectitude, transparency, cleanliness, and social responsibility that the readings stress.
Salt is noted for its taste giving and seasoning value. In addition, too, salt does have purifying and sanitizing qualities when used in the right proportions. In some instances, salt is also used to preserve and conserve. As salt of the earth therefore we are called upon to add taste and purity to all engagements we find ourselves in – be it the home, the work place and in our communities.
Light stands in oppositional relationship with darkness. Light clears up darkness, rolls back the frontiers of obscurity and ignorance, reveals that which is concealed, conduces to transparency and illuminates the path and brightens the soul. Whereas darkness can cover evil, light reveals it and takes away its hiding place. As a light of the world therefore we are expected to light up the way, lead the way, become social crusaders for justice, speak up, lend our eyes and voices to the blind and voiceless and push back against all the evils, malpractices and social ills that hold men and women captive.
What God wants us to do is clear.
Let each of us have a soul and a life fired by a social vision.
Let each of us live life fired by a spirit of care and compassion.
Let each of us live a life driven by the eternal virtues of truthfulness, honesty, sincerity, simplicity, justice and a dedication to higher values, perpetually seeking the light…and rejecting and fleeing darkness, saying no to greed, falsehood, deceit, vanity and all vices.
May the power of the spirit of God animate us with wisdom to choose to live by these words, to act them out in our daily lives and embolden us to share their message of justice, fairnmess and liberation to all, amen!
May we be that city on the hill…and may our lights shine wipe away all that is done in darkness and all that is evil, Amen, amen, amen!
Reflections on the First of the Sunday of 5th Feb, 2023 by Noel Ihebuzor
The first reading taken from the book of the prophet Isaiah is powerful and speaks to our world where peace and justice are in acute short supply. If you are in doubt, just look at the way injustice, selfishness and greed have combined to botch the current currency notes change exercise in Nigeria and are now creating serious hardships for millions of people in Nigeria. Can the mind be at peace in such a situation?
Isaiah lays out in very clear terms what we must do for peace and justice to reign. The starting point is a love that gives and gives. When we begin with such love, the road to human centered development opens and the SDGs become realisable. But such love means we must master and dominate our selfishness or it will dominate us. Such love means we must dominate our greed because it is greed that makes us steal from the commonwealth. Such love means caring and sharing. Such love means a commitment to address the drivers of poverty and exclusion. Such love means that we become messangers of fairness and equity.
Filled with such love, we then act in our individual capacities and our different ways using gifts that God has endowed us with to reduce poverty, hunger, illiteracy, poor health, gender discrimination, joblessness, exclusion and injustice. Tall order, you will say, but nothing can stand in the way of an endeavour driven by love, nourished by faith and sustained with hope. Love, as we know, na conquer mixture. Take a generous sip of it today and see how new energies will immediately begin to seep out from every pore of your being, and fill your environment with its surge. With these energies, we can and we will renew the face of the earth.
The gospel reading touches on a theme I had discussed in a blog post some years back – the theme of the salt of the earth! I share the link to this post at the bottom of the current post.
Happy Sunday from Amizi.
Noel – Onye Nkuzi
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
“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?
Between dark and light,
the choice stands clear;
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.
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!
Nigeria’s newest export
Kashim Shettima My Foot
Kashim Shettima My Foot https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2022/08/05/kashim-shettima-my-foot/
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.