Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Monday, 20 November 2017 16:09

I Fear For Nnamdi Kanu’s Life

We may not see Nnamdi Kanu alive any more. I hope that I am wrong for I think he has done great things for both Nigeria and Biafra. For Nigeria he is the instrument that is motivating Nigerians to rethink the type of governmental structure it has. Should the Handshake Across the Niger come to fruition it would be a result of Mr. Kanu’s bringing awareness to the Igbo and Yoruba (Ohaneze and Afenifere). For Biafra his assertiveness has made President Buhari listen to the Igbo problem (PMB has now visited Anambra, Ebonyi, and Enugu). These were states that PMB did not know they existed.

I digressed a little.

Those who were old back in 1966 will remember the long wait in vain to see Gen. Aguiyi-Ironsi. This is what is happening again. Nigerian military has captured Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and have probably killed him. A few days ago Mr. Kassim wrote a treatise on why he thinks that Kanu is not held by the Nigeria government. I bought his story hook line and sinker. But if you rethink recent events you get a better picture

Consider the following:

  1. IPOB was declared a terrorist organization
  2. Nnamdi Kanu was declared a terrorist. The above points are designed to make it possible for anybody to kill Mr. Kanu and for the world to accept his death. Most people in the world wish nothing but death to the terrorist.
  3. The silence of compromised Igbo leaders on the disappearance of Nnamdi Kanu (Governors, elected leaders of both the senate and House, etc.). These leaders have begun to see Mr. Kanu as a threat to their leadership.
  4. The new item about Mr. Kanu’s corruption such as the theft of millions of pounds which he is alleged to have steered into his pocket. Accusing an Igbo of love of money, sells well everywhere in Nigeria even among the Igbo. If Mr. Kanu does not have the Igbo interest in his heart then, he does not deserve to live. This accusation has one motive: to make the Igbo youth accept Mr. Kanu’s death. And therefore no violence when his death is announced.
  5. As an adjunct to the above, that accusation sets up a group of IPOB members as the killers of Mr. Kanu and absolves Mr. Buhari as the suspect. PMB gets away free and sets abroad on the land, Igbo vs Igbo confrontation. It is a clever move.

You remember the old adage: to kill a dog you must give it a bad name. Man and dog have been friends for a long time and if a man killed a dog his neighbors would think the killer is mean. But if announces that his dog is mad and a danger to the community; then if he kills the dog, the community hails him as a savior.

This is the story of Nnamdi Kanu. He is a terrorist, an enemy of the Igbo case, an embezzler, etc. Thank God he is no longer with us!

The Igbo would wait for Mr. Kanu as they waited for Gen Aguiyi-Ironsi and Col. Fajuyi in vain. Incidentally Kanu is also from Umuahia. The only missing piece is Fajuyi.

PMB would have killed two birds with one stone. He would have driven a sword of Damocles among the Igbo and would have killed Biafra again.

Well man proposes but God disposes. The Igbo thought Ojukwu was it. They did not think of Nnamdi Kanu. Who knows if there is an Okechukwu Kere somewhere else? Perhaps in some woman’s womb?

Biafra will not die!

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

November 20, 2017

Sunday, 12 November 2017 20:55

A Follow up to Handshake Across the Niger

The motion on the floor seems to be “the Igbo (Oha Na Eze) and Yoruba (Afenifere) should meet in Enugu to consider if they have a common ground in the effort to stabilize Nigeria.” On the “yea” side are Messrs. Attueyi and Kassim among others and on the “nay” side are Messrs. Kayode and Deinde and others. I am coming from the “yea” side. But first let me comment on what I hear from those opposed to the idea.

  1. A general distrust of the Igbo. This distrust is in statements such as

 I don't have to wait before I tell you what they are up to. I've read their minds and that's my conclusion. ..Corruption is like a bad tree with several branches. No matter how you cut the branches, if you do not cut down the problem tree, you will always have the same problem and more problems than you started with, because it will continue to grow beyond your imagination. ..'Handshake Across The Niger' or whatever you want to call it, is a symptom of corruption in Nigeria. It emanated from the clamour for division and the so called restructuring of Nigeria. The organizers have corrupt minds and hidden agenda. They're all hidding behind the veil of Handshake…

Kayode

 

  1. I assume that these sentences refer to the Igbo, one of the parties to the Hand shake.
  2. A general distrust of the ability of Afenifere members in negotiations. Mr. Kayode seems to believe that the 7ft tall, 180 IQ Igbo would confuse and win over Afenifere members even against the Yoruba interest.
  3. There is no suggestion on how to improve the country that is falling apart.
  4. A general acceptance that the status quo is OK or will change itself without human intervention.

To me Mr. Kayode may have not read or heard President Kennedy’s advice to Americans during the height of the Cold War. He advised, “let us not fear to negotiate and let us not negotiate in fear.” The Igbo and Yoruba in the proposal for a handshake across the Niger are trying to abide by this wise counsel. Each side is self-confident and believes that it will negotiate a deal that would be beneficial to both sides and eventually to Nigeria.

Another fact. Difficult problems are usually solved either by negotiation or by armed struggles. Afenifere and Oha Na Eze have chosen the path of negotiation instead of warfare. Mr. Kayode and others may have other ideas.

There is nothing that has been revealed that shows that Handshake Across the Niger is the final handshake in a Nigeria mired in inter-ethnic confusion at the expense of one Nigeria. The more likely outcome of the Igbo/Yoruba agreement is that such terms could be extended by another handshake at Lokoja, the confluence of Niger and Benue. A major contributor to Nigerian problems is the conflict between the Igbo and Yoruba. If the two nations can speak with one voice; it will be easier to reconcile this position with the single position coming from the North.

Negotiations usually accomplish at least two things. (a) The Yoruba position will be made clear to the Igbo and vice versa. If nothing else is achieved this clarity of positions would be a great achievement. (b) Both sides could at very least agree to a seize fire. Both (a) and (b) above would be great contributions to the Nigerian polity.

Another point that Mr. Kayode hammers on each time is the contribution of corruption to Nigerian governance. He seems to fall into the trap that Nigerian corruption is a moral failure. There is some element of morality in corruption but the Nigerian version is an economic failure that can only be cured by waging an economic warfare. Nigerians are like other people in the world. We have moral standards but we also adhere to the theory that survival is the first law of nature. If you are fighting a war of survival your morality will take a beating. A case in point is cannibalism at sea. Sailors are known to have killed and eaten fellow sailors as food ran short. When I was a higher Elementary school teacher, I did not ask for favors from my students because my salary could last me a month if I spend it wisely and I did and also had some savings. It was definitely true of junior civil servants, junior police and military men. Not one of these men and women can live off his/her salary these days. So they try to find alternative means of survival.

To fight corruption outside economic arena is a waste of time and resources.

I want to restate that Igbo and Yoruba should not be afraid to negotiate and ought not to negotiate in fear. Be bold for the Lord is with you.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

November 12, 2017

President Buhari will like his administration to be remembered as the administration that finally stopped corruption in Nigeria. He is deep into the third year of his government and where is his much publicized corruption war? Is he winning or losing this fight?

Mr. Obafemi Awolowo, the former minister of finance under President Gowon was quoted as saying that if two trees fall in the forest, one on top of the other; that the one on top needed to be cut up and removed before getting to the one below. Mr. Awolowo was speaking of the fight against corruption in the 70’s when the military was supposed to correct the civilian government’s corruption while military corruption was raging. Of course nobody paid attention to the sage. In the end neither the former civilian corruption, nor the then recent military corruption was put to an end. Perhaps because the military was trying to remove the tree below before getting to the one on top.

Another finance minister Mrs. Kemi Adeosun either heard of the sage’s advice or dreamed it up herself and said, that fighting corruption before fixing the system would come to nothing. Let’s see how PMB’s corruption fight is going.

So far we have been told that billions of dollars of corrupt money has been recovered. Nobody knows exactly how much. Nobody knows from whom the recovery was made. Nobody knows what the recovered money has been used for or where it is banked. One can only conclude that either no money was recovered or that the money recovered from Peter has been looted by Paul. The system was not/and is not being fixed. I pity Mrs. Kemi Adeosun. If Awo with all his charisma and stature was ignored those of us who thought that Kemi was up to something had/have exaggerated expectations.

Meanwhile corruption under PMB is raging much more furiously than even under GEJ or OBJ. We have the $21 billion case that seems to have been successfully hidden; NNPC contracts; Dambazzau scandal, we have Maina scandal that would soon be contained and many, many others such as millions of money in all strong currencies discovered in an empty house and untraceable.

PMB’s corruption war: quo vadis?

The short answer is nowhere. It is all smoke and no fire. No “big man” is in jail after trial; no “big woman’s” name has been soiled because a large loot was recovered from her. What we have so far is wild accusations and trial in the media which go on for a couple of weeks and then dies. Then as PMB’s administration tried to do in Maina’s case the accused surfaces in a new and bigger role to continue where he had stopped.

One way for corrupt officials to avoid prosecution is to declare membership in All Progressive Alliance (APC). All the suspected hoodlums in PDP are now leaders in APC and have received ministerial appointments, chairmanships of parastatal, or board memberships in large corporations with unlimited financial allowances. Smarter ones have been rewarded with oil blocks. The tree on top has been left alone and efforts are being made to remove the one below. Awo is nowhere to try to offer his counsel anymore. And the weak Mrs. Adeosun belongs, like Mrs. Buhari, in the kitchen and in the bedroom where she provides food and comfort to her husband. She is not in this administration where she is the token woman.

What to do?

  1. If anybody has the voice, let him/her draw the attention of PMB to the sage’s advice. It is still valid after 50 or so years. He could still serve from the grave, let’s call him up.
  2. Mrs. Adeosun should risk her job by insisting on systems reformation before continuing with the war on corruption.
  3. Abandon the war; declare victory; and move to agriculture, education, health care. If the people are well fed, and can rely on good health care system, they would forgive everything.
  4. Stop trying to reach the tree below and concentrate all efforts on looting done in this regime.
  5. Free PDP converts to APC and remove their shields.
  6. Or at least stop talking about corruption. We are tired of all talk and no action.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

November 3, 2017

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:00

Commotion in Enugu Schools

I write with a heavy heart. Reports reaching this reporter state that parents in Enugu are rushing to schools to whisk out their wards as soldiers and police are on premises trying to force students to get vaccination for monkey pox. The rumor is that the government is trying to use the threat of monkey pox to wipe out southerners.

Two things make this narrative/report pitiful. No government, not even Buhari's, would be that audacious in genocide. I can, sitting in my comfortable home office, dismiss this as nonsense, but for a less educated couple in Coal Camp Enugu, it is better to be safe than to be sorry. Hence the rush to rescue their offspring from a brutal dictator.

I fully understand the need for prompt action on the part of government, but perhaps as this is Nigerian government this must be bungled as usual. As I tried to persuade my relatives to participate and accept the vaccination because it is in our interest, they come back with the following:

Why is the government using police and soldiers?Is this not operation "python dance" in action?How come that vaccines are so suddenly available? Why Enugu and south only?There has not been any reported cases in EnuguWhy not start at Abuja and Lagos where the children of the "big men" live?etc.

I could not counter any of these points. Nigeria has long experience is trying to vaccinate against deadly diseases. Remember polio eradication program under Obasanjo. Northern Muslims reacted exactly like their Enugu parents. Why did we not use this experience?

PMB's penchant to use force is at the root of all these. Education is the solution of all these self inflicted wounds. Using public media the public would be made aware of the problem and the planned government actions. Using schools and churches and mosques the message would be driven home more clearly. The vaccinations effort would be led completely by health workers without police and military involvement as we are no longer under a military government.

PMB must try to earn the trust of the people or he would not be able to do the goods he intends and wants to do for his people. There is zero trust between his government and the peoples of former Eastern Nigeria and even among many southerners.

This lack of trust could imperil the health of Nigerians especially with monkey pox. Operation python dance and Crocodile smile may stand in the way.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 11, 2017

The news headlines for October 2, 2017 was that Nevada was the scene of the worst mass killings in America in modern times. This exact headline was used about a year or so ago when an American invaded a gay club in Orlando and killed young men and women who went out to have fun after a week’s labor in the vineyard. A modified version was used when another citizen visited Virginia Tech. University a few years earlier (2007).

We Americans must take guns off the streets or guns will take us off the streets.

Fear of guns are already taking people off the streets.

Since the massacre of worshipers in Charleston, I have been to churches where guards often called wardens or greeters are posted at the entrance to the church. Their ostensible role is to help visitors to the church; but the actual role is to be on the look-out for any gun welding citizen and warn the worshippers. I cannot help but be tickled by the irony of God’s people not trusting God enough to protect them but relying on human being to help in their protection. It is a strange world.

When my children were in school, a mere 30 years ago, I would walk into the principal’s office without notice and without search and hold discussions with him/her. Not anymore. There is now a get keeper often a police officer who would do the pre-screen before one can get into any school house. There are buzzers and searches. To make matters worse, teachers are being exhorted to take shooting lessons and to carry guns. These are the results of too many school shootings in Colorado, Connecticut and places in between. Once teachers are made to believe that they may have to kill one of their students, a major damage has been done to the relationship between a teacher and a student. Teachers are supposed to see their students as their own children. Teachers in Sandy Hook Elementary School demonstrated this relationship when their school was attacked. The gun lobby suggested arming school teachers and this seems to be the lesson learned. Strange, strange, strange.

Parents in some cities like Chicago, LA, etc. are now putting strict rules on the young ones about going out to play. It is “get out of the school bus walk straight into the house, do your homework and watch TV. No gong outside.” And even then some kids had been hit by stray bullets while inside. Growing kids need exercise to get rid of stored energy they have; they need streets to learn to run things like soccer teams and basketball; to learn “team work”; and learn to be adults. The homes and schools do not provide practical training grounds for these learnings. Take the kids off the streets and you remove the natural way of raising children.

In other words, fear of guns is taking our kids off the streets already.

There was a song that started with “Everybody likes Saturday Night”, the idea was that it was the night when people looked up to having a few hours of relaxation usually in a night club, bar, or concert. If these options are taking away from people, they would stay home. Without ever truly relaxing tensions will build in the home and sooner than later the homes would become Orlando or Las Vegas where shooting takes place.

The reason for the presence of guns in the streets is that it is a protected right of every American. The legislators and members of the Supreme Court have decided that it is what the nation’s founders intended. But they refuse to see that time has changed and that we will change also. The founders did not know or anticipate rapid firearms. They did not know or foresee that citizens would turn their arms against one another. The general rule had been that if a rule was abused the rule was changed to remove the abuse. But not our legislature or our court has seen the abuse and therefore the blood of the innocent concert goers in Orlando, Las Vegas; etc. are in the hands of our legislators and members of the Supreme Court.

So are the bloods of Sandy Hook Elementary School Children and the worshipers in the Christian Church in Charleston VA who lost their lives and all other places in USA.

More people have died in USA last year than the combined deaths from the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and other theaters of war US is engaged in.

It could well be that the enemy is within.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 3, 2017

Most budgeting and financial planning have two major components: Uses of Funds and Sources of funds. These components are also known as Ways and Means. The Ways are first considered before the Means. This approach would seem backwards to many people. But it is the right approach.

The reason we start with expenditures first is because no funds can be raised with any funder until one can express in detail what the sought funds would be used for and prove that recovery of the invested funds are highly probable. So in order to answer the question “what are you going to do with the funds you are looking for?” We start by taking a close look at the expenditures.

The goal of Trump’s tax reform is to lower taxes for the poor, the middle class and corporations. It is “feel good” approach but a close look at the expenditures would demand increases in tax payment by every class in the society.

Here are a few examples:

  1. A.  Defense Spending. There is a looming war with North Korea. If that war comes to fruition, it will add hundreds of billions (possibly a trillion dollars) to US defense budget.
  • The ongoing wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria has called for increased US presence in the region and the commitment of additional resources. Additional resources means a possible $100 billion dollars.
  • Terrorist organizations are more determined to attack US and her allies. Fear of such attack means more preparedness to defend US and her allies. Add a few more billions.
  • The above items are increases in current spending which would suggest a tax increase.
  1. B.  Emergency Spending and Rebuilding. This section could be labeled as Climate Change. Harvey is estimated to cost $60 billion, Irma is estimated to cost $100 billion, Maria a possible $40 billion if we do the right thing by Puerto Rico. And counting other emergencies such as earth quakes, tornadoes, winter weather. These are increases to the FEMA budget.
  • Such huge increases in FEMA budget demands increases in taxes not tax reduction.
  1. C.  Securing our borders and other Election Promises. We are going to build the southern wall to prevent Mexicans and other South Americans from entering the US
  • We are going to cancel North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) which would leave Mexico and Canada as the only signatories to the treaty. Both countries are the largest US trading partners. With the reduction in trades from these countries, US revenues would decline by huge amounts
  • There is consideration to withdraw from the treaty with Asian countries thus restricting and reducing commerce with Asian nations. China is the source of many cheap products sold in USA which means that our residents will spend their tax savings on higher priced products. Withdrawal from Asian trades will further reduce the revenues coming to US
  • Trade bans with Iran, and other so-called sponsors of terrorism countries will also reduce America’s commerce and influence.
  • Reduction of revenues would suggest tax increases which the Trump tax overhaul opposes.

ETC.

  1. D.  What is the idea behind the push for Tax Reduction? There are several explanations given:
  • US citizens already pay too much taxes.
  • A tax cut would result in tax savings for individuals and corporations and the savings would be reinvested and would spur rapid development and produce more jobs and a higher standard of living.
  • It is even suggested that the cuts would reduce budget deficits
  • ETC.
  1. E.   Almost everything in D. above is false. Take some of the expected savings. Mr. Cohn who is President Trumps Adviser explained that an average American family of four makes about $100,000 and would save $1,000. Such a family could buy a car or renovate their kitchen with the savings. The average American family only makes $55,000 and $1,000can neither buy a car nor renovate any kitchen.
  • Reductions in revenues and increased spending can only result in higher deficits which is what has been shown from the beginning of this essay. This idea demonstrates widespread misunderstanding of accounting and economics or a willingness to deceive American people.
  1. F.   What to Do?. There are only two options

Option number one. Revisit item A-C above and cancel projected spending on defense, emergencies (this is beyond our control) and the election promises or reduce all of them. Building the wall could be the starting point.

Option number two. Try to expand trades with other countries, cancel out trade bans and encourage immigration which brings in highly trained individuals that create jobs. Create an environment for world peace which would in turn decrease the need for terrorism and therefore decrease the increases in defense spending.

There might be option three which could be to come clear with the American people. This will be in the nature of saying that things are bad and we mush gird our loins and pay for the troubles we are in and ask them to accept tax increases. Or to say to them. We are suffering a lot already but must take the actions we are taking and we hope that our children and grandchildren would be able to bail us out. This American, has grandchildren, the youngest of them is a mere three months old. I will hate to leave Adanna a huge burden. Grandparents are supposed to smoothen the way for future generations; that is why we are trail blazers.

Mr. Trump has surrounded himself with a lot of Wall Street types. This will not be the first time Wall Street gambled with our money and lost. Those in the Main Street had to bail them out at a cost that nearly sunk everybody.

Can we let them pull this off again?

You be the judge.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 29, 2017

There is a great desire on the part of President Buhari and his henchmen to arrest, detain suffocate and may be even kill Mr. Nnamdi Kanu the head of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). The belief is that once Mr. Kanu is out of the way, Biafra would be killed. Those who think thus are unaware of the history of Biafra.

There was once a man by the name of Emeka Ojukwu who preached the gospel of Biafra. He was the most hated name in Nigeria except in the eastern provinces where he was worshipped. Ojukwu was forced out of Nigeria and Biafra seemed dead for a while. All the other people who were expected to take up the mantle of Biafran leadership were compromised and it appeared that Biafra was truly dead. All these happened before a young boy to be later known as Nnamdi Kanu was born.

Ojukwu was not an Igbo man really. He knew more of Lagos, Kano, London, etc. growing up than he knew Nnewi. I doubt that he attended any more than two years of primary/high school in Igbo land. Yet he got the message of Biafra. So it is with Kanu. He did not see any of the horrors of the first Biafran war. Like Ojukwu he was probably more at home in London than in Umuahia. He too got the call to come lead Biafra to freedom.

The lesson is that if Kanu is forced out of Biafra, like Ojukwu, Biafra will still not die. Biafra is neither Ojukwu nor Kanu. It cannot be killed with a bullet or in Operation Python, Lion, Tiger, Crocodile, etc. Dances. Biafra is an idea. Do not mess with an idea whose time has come. Biafra is an idea whose time has come.

Just as a man can be subdued by a stronger man so idea can only be subdued by a stronger idea. And this is what is lacking in the armory of President Buhari and his praise singers. Ojukwu’s Biafra consisted of what is now known as SE and SS. But Kanu’s Biafra includes parts of Benue, Kogi and of course SE and SS. Kanu’s Biafra is creating possible Free States of Oduduwa among others. Buhari should take note of the changes on the ground. General Brutai is not the answer. He has neither the military strategies, nor metal capacity to lead. As Chief of Defense he has recorded no military victories and has not proposed any known military philosophy let alone any political initiative. He is no General Powell. He cannot implement orders given him such as “defeat Boko Haram by December 2016”, and he gives orders that his officers disregard without consequences such as “capture dead or alive” the BK leader in forty days. He is neither a leader nor a commander.

All the current efforts to defeat Biafra will come to nothing. These efforts include declaring IPOB a terrorist organization. It will have no effect even when all the constitutional requirements are met. Buhari/Brutai military may continue or intensify their military solution; Operation Python Dance may be justified in their minds; it could even lead to the militarization of all of SS and SE that has already begun but they would not bring Biafra to her knees. Each has been tried before to no avail. Biafra is not a military problem. It is an idea.

There is a superior idea that will defeat Biafra and until PMB understands this idea he will die a frustrated man. He has fought Biafra since 1967 and he is no closer today than he was in 1967. This idea is restructuring the country to look close to what it looked like before independence. The structure then was a weak central government and strong regions. The regions were attractive enough for Bellow to remain in the north and to send his deputy to Lagos; attractive enough for Awolowo to remain in Ibadan. It was as premier of Western Nigeria that Awo made his greatest contribution to Nigeria; attractive enough for Zik to do his greatest work in Eastern Nigeria. It was when Nigeria started trending to a strong center that Zik and Awolowo left the regions for Eko and things have not been the same since.

If Nigeria is to be one again, we must follow the idea of confederation or at least a true federation, not a federation in name only as we now have. We must follow the worldwide trend. UK has moved to a federal government by the recognition of Northern Ireland Parliament with powers, the Scottish Parliament with powers and very soon Welsh Parliament. Quebec in Canada is now pretty much independent of Ottawa in many areas of governing.

Will Nigeria listen? Will PMB keep pursuing his lifelong dream of defeating Biafra?  Will General (?) Brutai stop being Brutai?

There is still time but not much.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 22, 2017

North Korea’s quest for nuclear capabilities is almost a fait accompli. And there is no easy way to roll it back. President Trump might try but it will be difficult to turn this might ship around diplomatically or militarily.

Why is diplomatic turn around near impossible? Several factors:

  1. There are a few or may be even many countries that do not like NK to possess nuclear capability but are non-the-less happy that Kim Jong Un is irritating the President of United States, Donald Trump. Here we must separate the president from the people of United States.
  2. Mr. Trump all through the campaign and even now as president does not speak endearingly of China. Words such as currency manipulator, copy right infringement, are irritating to Chinese leadership. His planes over flying territories claimed by China in the South East Asia Sea; his supporting of the other claimants to the sea fall under the expression that the friend of my enemy is my enemy. Thus America in China’s leader’s eyes is an enemy. When America tries to deal with Taipei, America is asking for trouble with Beijing.
  3. Mr. Trump is cultivating a good relationship with Russian’s Putin but Americans of all stripes are opposed to any rapprochement with Russia and have made it very clear via the congress that it will not happen. Putin and Russia feel like a lady spurned and would not mind using NK to “teach US a lesson.” So like China she would vote for any sanctions US may propose but will not enforce them.
  4. On economic grounds some countries like there economic cooperation with NK and to make them pay a price to make US happy is not wise. We must here recognize that US has made NK Question a US affair, a personal affair. Even though US should have no more interest in the matter than UK, France, China or Russia.
  5. Mr. Trump’s rhetoric does not help matters. When USA threatens to put both China and Russia under economic sanctions unless they embargo NK it makes the countries less likely to do so for their people would see it as US dictating acceptable global behavior.
  6. US under Mr. Trump is no longer seen as a strong supporter of EU or NATO or even a defender of the West. In other words America’s isolationist tendency is helping NK get stronger and stronger. “US first” should be the goal of every American president and has been but Mr. Trump is the first to say so in a way that makes it selfish.
  7. Etc.

Why is military action near impossible? There are several factors here as well:

  1. With the possible exception of Israel US would have to do so alone. The planes and pilots that will do the bombing would all come from US. And even getting the declaration of war document through US senate would not be a piece of cake. The people of United States would like to hold on to relative peace they now enjoy.
  2. US history is a baggage. The only time a nuclear bomb was dropped in the world was in 1945 by US and the only place it was dropped was in Asia not minding that the main theater of the second world was in Europe. It is not lost on the Asian people. US citizens would not like to do so again even to save the world. Unless NK first drops the bomb on US or on its allies.
  3. No Asian country including Japan, and South Korea would support preemptive strike. China is on record as opposing the use of nuclear weapons or even a war with NK. Russia is opposed too.
  4.  So without a signed accord there is an implicit agreement that an attack on NK is an attack on all NK’s neighbors. US cannot afford to start the Third World War.

How then should the Korean question be resolved? This question would be resolved by the world accepting the new kid on the block, North Korea. She should join US, China, UK, France, India, Pakistan, Israel, and others as nations with nuclear weapons.

The more countries that have nuclear weapons the more peaceful the world will become contrary to the theory that more weapons means more threats to peace. When USA and USSR were the leading nuclear war powers and almost at war with each other what kept the peace was Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). This MAD will still keep the world at peace. The day the world truly wants peace all the countries would destroy their nuclear capabilities. Iran will be the next country to seek membership. There will again be noise and commotion; but like NK they will be admitted.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 19, 2017

 

The twenty pound policy was an attempt by Nigeria to wriggle out of a messy situation it had in its hand because of failed governance; man’s inhumanity to man that resulted in genocidal behaviors, which led to a war and loss of millions of lives; and economic misery for what was/is known as Biafra. The policy was not intended to be fair or it would have been propounded differently; it was intended to be just or it could have been implemented differently; It was not intended to rehabilitate the Biafrans who had been defeated in the field of war and in spirit or it could had been implemented humanely. 

The intention was to teach Biafrans a lesson and to punish, especially those believed to have financed the rebellion and to ensure that they will never be able to do so in future. What could be another minor objective was to ensure that Nigerian economy did not collapse as Biafrans were being “helped out.” 

First the background.(a) In 1966-1967 a pogrom was visited on Easterners by vandals in various parts of Nigeria. The easterners (Biafrans henceforth) fled in droves from North and West of Nigeria and returned to Biafra. Those who had the presence of mind and time grabbed the most important things they had that can be carried including their bank passbooks. Others who did not have time or the presence of mind left everything behind including their passbooks. Those whose banks were in Biafra started operating their accounts as usual. Most transferred their accounts to ACB which was everywhere and started operating their accounts as usual also. 

First the background. (b). In Biafra of 1960’s only the rich and middle to senior civil servants had bank accounts. Banks were located only in the urban areas of Enugu, Onitsha, Aba, PH, Owerri, Umuahia, and Calabar (and Nsukka ACB because of the university). The only other financial institution was the post Office, but most people did no patronize them as financial institution. Most people kept their money under their mats and mattresses. 

During the war economic activities went on as normal as possible. The government printed paper money as needed which led to hyperinflation. Biafrans saved their money in their bank accounts sometimes and most often in boxes, cartons or in other storage places. There was plenty of paper money available to hustlers. The people who did not have them were soldiers, civil servants and old folks. The vast majority of male citizens were soldiers almost anyone from 13-60 years. 

One bright and sunny day in January 1970, the war ended. If you can conceive it, the real suffering then began. There was no effective government in Biafra. Nigerian Battalion commanders (in my village Major Dinka of Coup fame [Jet 22nd battalion Div. 1, NA]{he had an eye on my girlfriend}) became administrators. We officers surrendered to him/them. 

Post War. Nigerian money was illegal in Biafra and Biafran money was illegal in Nigeria; any Biafra caught with the wrong currency in either side was an enemy saboteur and the punishment was summary execution by the officer who caught the villain. Immediately after the war, NFG reiterated the illegal nature of Biafran money which was all everybody had. Commerce stopped. Or rather trade by batter was reinvented. But what do you trade for a gallon of gas assuming that you had a vehicle? What do your potential passengers trade for a ride in your vehicle? Biafrans figured out how to do these businesses. 

The Twenty Pound Policy. (a) The announcement was that all who had Biafran money should pay them into their accounts, But as there were no banks except in urban areas it was modified to paying them either into your bank accounts or to go to the Divisional offices and deposit them with the treasury. It was chaotic. Imagine 30 Million people trying to make deposits at one time. In what is now Enugu State the divisional offices were in Enugu, Nsukka, Awgu, and Udi. That is it. There were no roads or vehicles to move people around, and no money to patronize the vehicles that were available. Families and friends came together to sponsor a person to go make deposits. The combined pounds were deposited on one account and one receipt. The Aduba-Okorohugwo family for example, numbering hundreds had a mere four of us who had accounts. and we collected from our family and in laws and deposited millions of pounds in our accounts. It was the same in every family. I was connected so I could deposit portions of my collections in two treasuries. I therefore had two receipts and my account. There was no directive other than to make the deposits. I kept a record of who gave me what. Most people did the same thing. 

The implementation. Once all the money were in the banks and treasuries the plan was revealed. There will be two situations (1) Accounts that were not operated in Biafra and (2) Accounts that were operated in Biafra including the deposits in treasuries. Accounts that were not operated at all in Biafra would receive the full balance on the accounts in Nigerian pounds. The accounts that were operated in Biafra and those new treasury deposits will receive twenty pounds per account or receipt. 

The accounts that were NOT operated in Biafra. The holders of these accounts suffered the most in Biafra. They returned with no money in their hands and had to start all over with nothing. It would be good that they be fully compensated for their suffering. The reality was that many no longer knew where the passbooks were, since their houses had been vandalized; the passbooks stolen or eaten by termites; they no longer knew the account numbers or the balance in their accounts. Even those who were facially recognized by bank officials must provide documents as facial recognition was not what the banks home offices needed. It was anguish on anguish. Some did it the Nigerian way. They asked their friends in the bank to discreetly find out for them their account numbers and other information. They were the lucky ones. But many could not get their information. I do not know how their cases were finally resolved. 

The accounts that were operated in Biafra. This was where man’s inhumanity to man was best displayed. The total account was valued at twenty ponds. Were fairness the intent; a line could have been drawn on May 29, 1967. This would be the date before Biafran secession. All transaction from this date forward would be events in Biafra and could be valued at twenty pounds. All the transaction from that date back would be legitimate Nigerian activities and would be valued at face value. But the motive was robbery and punishment. For those who transferred the money from nonresident Biafran Banks, the balance on the transfer date would establish Nigerian transactions. But nay, everything became valued at twenty pounds. Punishment, punishment, punishment. 

The collection Announcement. One will have to assume that the total policy was thought through before the announcement. Why was the method of paying out kept secret? If people knew that each account would be worth just twenty pounds each person would have opened an account in his/her name. This Aduba would not have comingled other people’s money and would have received the twenty pounds on his own for his account and twenty pounds each for the two receipts for a total of sixty pounds. What he got was eleven shillings and change after twenty pounds were shared with the other people whose money were deposited together in his bank account; eight shillings from one receipt and another thirteen shillings from the second receipt for a little over one pound for all his monies and of course some peace of mind because he agreed to share equally with friends and family. Those who refused to share started fighting, some of the fighting’s are still going on in 2017and resulted in a divided family or divided friendships. The government could have sent treasury collectors to every village of say 10,000 to locally collect their Biafran pounds thus making it easier for individuals to deposit their collections especially because the government knew that transportation was a huge problem. This was how it collected taxes. But rehabilitating Biafrans was not the goal. 

Nigeria does not keep statistics. But if she did, it would show an outstanding number of deaths by suicide in 1970. Rich people who could not collect their life savings and earnings from banks, went back only to find that their properties have been considered abandoned by the people who drove them out and pursued them to their villages to kill them and have starved their grandparents to death and killed their sons in battle field could not take it anymore and they took their lives. Life was not worth living. 

Conclusion. I was an adult throughout this period, I had a Grade one Teachers’ Certificate, a higher school certificate (GCE A/L) and had a job. I therefore am in a position to tell this story of what happened. These incidents are carved in my memory and I am sure that those who lived in those times can confirm my story. There is no need to rewrite history for those who forget it are apt to repeat it. 

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba 

Boston, Massachusetts 

August 31, 2017

The above statement coming from me may be a blasphemy for I am not one of Mr. Trump's fans. Mr. Trump represents a political ideology that has not been tried in America before. Previous Republican presidents had represented what I might call traditional Republican views: conservative views; less government; power to the markets; capitalism; various freedoms; etc. Some of the luminaries like the Bushes, Rockefellers, Nixon, even Mr. McCain, are a little to the left of this point of view and others like Mr. Reagan (the government is the enemy) are a little to the  right of this view point.

Mr. Trump is Alt Right. He advocates American isolationism; Extreme American exceptionalism. If America is OK the rest of world could go to blazes.

This theory is held by a large segment of voters in US which is why Mr. Trump is he president today. The ideology of Alt Right has never been tried as a governing tool. If it works then America will be great again and if it fails, it will be thrown into the dustbin of history.

Mr. Trump came to office surrounding himself with an alt right advocates lead by Steve Bannon. During the first seven months of governing he put forward this ideology and by decries and executive orders he tried to isolate and insult every nation in the world (except, perhaps Israel); huge segments of America population, Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, immigrants, the poor, etc. and by his recent ambiguity on Neo-Nazis, KKK, White Supremacists, he may have even made Israel nervous.

Former President Barack Obama represented the exact opposite of Alt Right ideology and President Trump hates Obama with passion and always blames him for what is wrong with America and swears to obliterate whatever Obama did as president. Thus far Mr. Trump has failed to undo some of Obama's contributions.

The fallout from Mr. Trump's effort to govern as an Alt Right ideologue is a chaotic White House. Democrats, his avowed enemy, is opposing as Democrats had never done before. Mr. Trump has accomplished what nobody before him had ever done: unite the party. Mr. Trump's Republican Party is divided into little parties each with its own beef with the president. The former strength of the Republicans had been its single voice on most matters but no longer is this so. Even though the Republicans have control of the White House, the House and the Senate and majority in the Supreme Court, It is yet to accomplish a major legislative victory.

Why is this so?

The answer seems to be that the Alt Right ideology is not practical. It has resulted in the forced removal of it Trumps first choice of Advisers like Steve Bannon. It has resulted in the isolation of USA from world bodies including cool relationship within NATO allies; heads of large corporation are distancing themselves from Trump Administration initiatives; cooler relationships with neighbors like Canada and Mexico, reigniting the Cuban Crisis; disenchantment from the Caribbean's; etc.

With all these troubles facing President Trump little signs are beginning to show of a chastised Mr. Trump. The Alt-Right are either being forced out of the inner circle of advisers or isolated in the White House. Trump's speeches are often modified by his cabinet of other senior officers; his other extreme right officers like Jeff Sessions are becoming more moderate in their statements and even Mr. Trump's tweets have become rarer, and moderate opinions are now appearing.

If this trend continues, it will be that the Alt Right agenda has failed and a return to the more moderate Republican views will prevail. Should this become the new reality then several of the more Alt Right advocates would lose their seats in the chambers. And fewer people would campaign on this isolationist policies.

And America would be made great again.

But it is all too early!

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 23, 2017

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