Posted in Politics, Prose

Avoiding corrupting practices in anti-corruption campaigns


Noel Ihebuzor

Anti-corruption rhetoric and dramatics are now very popular in Nigeria. I totally support campaigns to rid this country of corruption but I also insist that such campaigns must carried with the right level of professionalism, detachment, neutrality, integrity and honesty. Anything short of these is plain dishonest. Anything short of these really amounts to the continued enthronement and celebration of corruption in efforts to combat it. where anti-corruption are not neutral, detached and honest, then they are likely to abuse their powers and influences, applying inconsistent rules and procedures in their treatment of persons and agencies. Double standards also represent critical threats to anti-corruption campaigns as they throw up different evaluations and reactions for the same behaviour. Such practices, where they occur, amount to corruption!

Here are a few reflections on this subject matter.

  • Double standards are outcomes of corrupt thinking. A nation of double standards will thus remain corrupt.
  • You cannot have one set of scales for persons in one party & another for persons in the other. Such a habit results from a corrupt mind set.
  • If you practice selective hysteria for allegations of corruption against persons in one party, then your mind is gradually being corrupted.
  • If you practice selective targeting in your campaigns against corruption, then your campaign is already steeped in corruption.
  • Anti-corruption practices must be fair. They must be conducted without any trace of favoritism or fear. Fail to do these and the campaign fails
  • To be credible, anti-corruptions must be consistent, even handed and transparent. They must be devoid of all forms of double standards.
Posted in Poetry, Politics, Prose

wEtin dey hAppen?


Noel Ihebuzor

Spiralling out of control, spinning,
tumbling into free fall,
our Nero chases rodents
his followers cheer on,
reason & vision drowned

I had just read a report of a Bomb explosion in PH this morning.

Yesterday, ChannelsTV reported that GMB made very critical remarks on the GEJ’s administration’s handling of the BH insurgency when the BBOG group, who were strategic allies in GMB’s campaign, came calling. He forgot to tell his audience that at critical moments in the GEJ government’s efforts to deal with BH, He (GMB) made remarks calculated to discourage any robust muscling up of effort. He forgot to mention that of some his unfortunate cooments sounded like poorly disguised apologia for the BH savages. Even worse was the fact that GMB was making those remarks at the BBOG reception against the backdrop of his own seeming inability to respond creatively to the recrudescence of BH carnage right under his nose and on his incipient 40 day old watch. I almost flipped. Your house dey burn, you dey chase mouse, playing blame games, looking for cheap popularity and offering hollow over-used excuses! So I hastily scribbled these incoherent lines in the poem above as catharsis. Forgive the imperfections.

Posted in Uncategorized

Flights of fancy and flights from reality – A million other things that damaged President Jonathan


Noel Ihebuzor

GEJ, a great president. a humble man, a silent achiever

This link line takes you to an article in TheCable that claims to examine “a million other things that damaged President Jonathan” in his re-election bid. It is wriiten by one Chidi Chima and was uploaded on Twitter via @thecableng #2015Elections .  Chidi invites his readers to also come up with and contribute their views on what they think “damaged President Jonathan”.

Chidi Chima skipped Region & Religion! The reader is invited to visit INEC’s results compilation for the 2015 presidential elections and to look closely at the votings in NE, NW & SS zones. Skewed Demography, Religion & Region were at play and were the real “damagers”. This is the harsh truth and we need to tell ourselves some of these hard truths, but Chima prefers to flee from them. If, for example, the SE zone had come out and voted and given Jonathan 750,000 votes each and kept Buhari below 10% of votes cast, as was the case in most of the NE/NW zones, the results would have been otherwise. So, the game changer and decider in these elections were once again Ethnicity and Religion, not any of these fancy reasons that Chidi Chima throws up! Finally, Chidi Chima will do well to study the results for the presidential elections for the FCT and Lagos where populations and religions are more heterogeneous – the results here could be taken to reflect a more balanced representation as to how a cross section of Nigerians inhabiting a common geographical space evaluated the Jonathan presidency.
Posted in Prose

What Buhari and his image polishing team should know

The Mr Clean image sell is not working and will not work. There are too many pointers that suggest GMB’s complicity and or connivance in not too clean deals. Check out the NNPC deal. Check out the “APC” deal whilst He was with PTF. (APC means Afri-Project Consortium. Amazing coincidence in the two acronyms!)

The Mr Fair Guy image will not work either. There is damning evidence of nepotism and influence of region and religion in his decision making in the past.  Check the apportioning and location of PTF projects in the country. Check out disproportionate treatments meted to different civilians under his watch.

The Disciplinarian image is not working. There is a difference between a disciplinarian and an unfeeling and uncaring dictator! Remember decrees 2, 4, Irabor, Ogendengbe, Papa Tai Solarin, Pa Ajasin, Lateeef Jakande and some other respected politicians from the south-west!

The Corrective leader image is not working too. A corrective regime is not the same as one that tramples on human rights.

The Democrat image is not working either and will not work. Anyone who can promulgate decrees 2 and 4 can never and will never be a democrat.

The Honest Military leader image is not working. Anyone who can backdate a decree to “catch” someone is cruel, callous, dishonest and lacks humanity.

The Caring Civilian image is not working. Anyone who refused to speak up in the 2011 post elections violence is a cruel and driven person with a callused conscience.

A media strategy revision is required and urgently. The current spins are not convincing.

Posted in Prose

The First Casualty in Any War is ….


Noel A. Ihebuzor

Aeschylus said that truth is the first casualty in any war. I disagree. Truths do not tell themselves. Truths are told by human beings. Lies, the antonym of truth, are also told by human beings. To tell a lie, a human being makes a first choice. That choice involves stilling the voice of conscience. It involves a deliberate choice to conceal the truth. It involves a deliberate choice to be dishonest. A deliberate choice to be dishonest implies the death of the human conscience. In any war, and at any of its phases, when men decide to tell lies and to raise the stature of lying, they are signaling that something – the human conscience – has already fallen casualty within them. The death of conscience then accelerates other deaths.

The first casualty in any war, indeed in any conflict, is therefore not the truth but the human conscience. The death of conscience then accelerates other deaths. Once the conscience dies, other deaths follow in quick succession and with depressing geometric progression. Conscience, ndo!

I look at Nigeria and marvel at the death of conscience in a number of persons who seek political offices. For such, democracy and elections are nothing else but conflict and war.  I marvel at the same death in their agents and their supporters. I marvel at the volume of lies that are churned out and hurled in the direction of the public, all meant to deceive and to confuse…and I am filled with a strong sense of dread. God save us

Posted in Poetry

The unasked question


Noel Ihebuzor


We came to the chattering room. 

we asked questions. 

flashes and smiles flashed

their Switches timed to perfection

and the question not asked
spoke of us the loudest! 



That unasked question

spoke, in silence so salient, strident

shattering the chattering dribble

of hollow voices of hollowed men

revealing their charter, their complicity

with a principal with no principle.

Posted in Prose

Tortoise, famine and the other animals


Noel Ihebuzor

Once there was famine in the land of the animals. Animals starved. Every animal was emaciated. Hunger played music on their empty stomachs. Hungry played tricks on their minds. Things got more desperate with each passing day. The tortoise, the wisest and most cunning of all the animals, suggested that each animal kills his/her mother. If they did this, the gods would be struck by the enormity of the sacrifice that the animals were making and perhaps end the famine. Besides, by eliminating their mothers, the heroic animals would be reducing the number of mouths to feed during these hard times, tortoise persuasively argued. Some of the animals – the cock, the dove, the elephant and the bat initially objected but gradually tortoise wore down their objections.  In the end unanimity was reached. Difficult times required difficult decisions; special situations demanded special sacrifices, tortoise had argued and real heroes and nationalists never hold back from making tough decisions and carrying them out. Only cowards and the short-sighted hold back when destiny beckons, tortoise pontificated. The animals all agreed. Fiam, gbam, gbum, kagbum – each animal went home and fell on his/her mum and killed her. Matricide became the sign of courage and belongingness.

Unknown to the other animals, tortoise had hidden his own mum in the skies. He had designated a spot on a hill where his mum would send a rope from the skies to enable him climb up to visit her, chat with and enjoy all the joys of a mother’s love and care. And he would go up in most evenings to send her portions of choice meat from the slaughter below.

One day, the rest of the animals found out what the tortoise had done. A mixture of shame, regret and anger took hold of them and they set off to go and capture the tortoise. On sighting them, tortoise took off and started racing to the spot where his mother would normally let down the rope. As tortoise’s mum sent down the rope for her son to climb up to the skies, the other animals caught unto the rope and the agile ones – the cheetah, the leopard, the chimpanzee – all started climbing up and chasing after the tortoise. Soon they were catching up with him. When tortoise saw this, he shouted to his mum to cut the rope. The mum cut the rope and all of the animals came crashing down to earth, including tortoise. Tortoise broke his back in the fall. He also got a good beating from the rest of the other animals for his deceit. His back had to be patched and stitched together in hundred places as a result of the fall and the beating that he got. This is why the back of the tortoise looks so patched up always.

The morale of the story is that people should always be very suspicious of the person or group of persons who tell you to kill your mum whilst they secretly keep theirs safe, alive and very healthy. As with Tortoise and the animal kingdom, so with contemporary politics, and those politicians who invite you to commit matricide whilst their own mothers are safe and alive.

Posted in Poetry

The politician


Noel Ihebuzor

The voice of the politician

is the same color

as that of the chameleon,

a voice  the color of which 

blends with wherever and every where

binds the unwary

blinds truths


his voice, his color and the likes of him

are the same as those of the environment

always changing, never constant, flowing like a river

slippery, his rolling tongue seeks to seduce,

confuse,  deceive and  ensnare,


The leopard free rides the plains

in zebra stripes

the hawk sings in the soft voice

of the dove, predation perfecting

preying on innocence and trust


The stench of his urine

stains the perfumed air of innocence

the stink of his empty words

mirrors the rot within

reflects the same emptiness

that fills his soul and being

the hollow nothingness of his person