Posts Tagged 'ethnicity'

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

By

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.
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Achilles unchained

By

Noel A. Ihebuzor

 

Achilles rode headlong into

headlong battle,

riding in a cranky chariot of straw and smoke

vision dim and dimming,

still he charged into the fray,

in loosening losing circles

against imagined enemies

 

And in the ever widening void of his mind

he battled them all,

he disgraced them all,

he speared them all

with his blunt sword

soaked in the iron oxide

that dripped from him,

he spared none

He staked all,

the impostors, the stateless,  stake-less stakeholders,

pretenders, false claimants, heritage grabbers,

ingrates and gate crashers,

the uncultured, the crude,

their women, his “claimed wenches”

 

Their battered remains,

he drags in rags round his city walls

a conjecture and structure,

spawns of a fertile but fetid imagination,

where truth is tried, tied down, tortured

and twisted tall tales are told and sold

 

The blue sheen of the filling up moon,

Blending with a seething red and

a sickening dull green,

swirling and swelling within him

fill his mind, dulling and lulling his thoughts

 

The battle words he froths now,

the battle incantations he speaks

are all whisperings from what he hears

the moon speak to his dangling mind

the enemies he sees outside are from within him

sad but gleeful denizens of the forest and bush

he carries in his darkening soul, demons –

a thousand and one of them

who prey on, void in and void his mind

and put his own heel in his mouth

Femi Fani-Kayode as the servant of truth

By

Noel A. Ihebuzor

I read Femi Fani-Kayode’s article and I am responding to the claims in the excerpts below. (I prefer to leave responses to other sections in his very revealing write up to persons with about the same skill sets and mindsets as he has).

The igbo had little to do with the extraordinary development of Lagos between 1880 right up until today. That is a fact. Other than Ajegunle, Computer Town, Alaba and buying up numerous market stalls in Isale Eko where is their input”?

“for Chinua Achebe records in his book, and we can roughly confirm that there were not more than a few thousand Igbos in Lagos before the civil war”.

The excerpts are amazing and reveal a lot. One thing they reveal for sure is how much economics and history Mr Femi Fani Kayode actually knows. For one thing, he appears to ignore the fact that contributions to economic development can take several forms – hard and soft. Some soft contributions, in the form ideas and the projection of certain work ethics can and do catalyze development even more than the building of infrastructure. Secondly he does not recognize the facts of multiplier effects. Thirdly the claim that there were not more than a few thousand Igbos in Lagos before the war would be more meaningful if the reader was informed of the population of Lagos and the distribution according to ethnic groups during the same period. Were the other ethnic units in their millions in a geographical space where the total population was in its thousands? (The total population of Lagos was 272, 200 in 1952 and 665,000 in 1963 according to the Federal Office of Statistics). Fourthly, concerning the ethnic supremacist claim that one ethnic group’s efforts were largely responsible for what Lagos is today, were the industries in Lagos established in the industrial estates in Apapa, Mushin and Ikeja the work of one ethnic group alone? What of the Federal Government infrastructure that helped facilitate growth and development in Lagos – The Port, the Airport and the Railway – were these the work of one ethnic group alone? Fifthly and coming to the present, there are quite a number of institutions with Headquarters in Lagos which are either fully owned by persons from the South East or which have strong South East ownership. These include quite a number of successful high street banks and financial institutions. One can easily list a number of insurance, oil marketing and several South East owned SMEs companies operating in Lagos and making invaluable contributions to the development of Lagos State. These institutions pay taxes, provide employment and their presence creates secondary employment and a number of other ripple effects with net positive development impacts on Lagos State. Mr Femi Fani Kayode either failed to take such contributions into consideration when making his dismissive and sweeping statement or he was simply not aware of them.

I could go on and on citing such non-indigent contributions to the development of their host states inspired by the need to present commentators on public issues with information which could help them to push back the frontiers of bias and inaccuracies. Inaccuracies (half-truths and untruths) and bias in articles arise from a number of sources – one of these is the tendency to want to rush to be the first to publish, a tendency which causes quite a number of persons to leap before they look and to talk before they think. Sometimes too, they result from the fact, that over time,  some people have become impervious to facts and truths and become resistant to the time tested methods of searching for them. There might not be any malice in such people. Such people deserve prayers and compassion, not condemnation.

Incidentally, Mr. Femi Fani Kayode is always at pains to inform his readers and listeners that he is a historian. He tells us so in this article as he also did in his comments on late Chinua’s Achebe’s TWAC.  I am sure he also aspires to be a good historian. Good historians are “slaves”, not just servants, of truth and facts. Good historians are never servants or slaves to emotions. True, there is a role for emotions in life, but in contributions to discussions on important and sensitive matters of national importance, emotions should always be reined in and disciplined by facts and truths. To do otherwise would be to court folly.

Noel

@naitwt


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