James Agazie Ed D

James Agazie Ed D

A retired college Professor  with educational backgrounds in law (JD) education (Ed.D, MA) counseling,( MS) and and mathematics.  Write on topics dealing with Nigerian families, marriages, education, and employment. 

 

Events described in this essay, though fictional, may actually be obtainable now in Nigeria. The Nigerian President spends uneasy time at home and abroad. He walks back and forth in his spacious apartment unable to sleep. He tosses and turns in bed, and places aching head on both ends of the massive pillow in order to think clearly. The Nigerian President worries so much about how to meet the nation's massive financial obligations to other countries. He agonizes over how to keep his tribesmen from killing those they consider to be infidels.

The Nigerian President feels threatened even in secured Aso Rock that is surrounded 24/7 by sharpshooters and men heavily armed with weapons that include uta (Hausa poisoned arrows). Unfortunately, very regrettably, and sadly, although  security men and women are duty bound  to protect the president and his family members, yet the arrangement does not guarantee Presidential health or freedom from worries, or overseas hospitalizations .

Of all the Presidents Nigeria has had since Independence Day October 1, 1960, very few were healthy while in office and fewer had perfect health that did not require overseas hospitalizations. This essay considers several  important issues that impact a President's life .This essay aims at explaining why the milk ain't clean.  What is worsening  the health of Nigerian Presidents while they are in office, particularly the health of Presidents from Northern Nigeria?

What factors are related to the frequency with which our leaders, particularly the Presidents of our country, give up the ghost? To give up the ghost is to expire, pass on, breathe the last breath, depart this life, go meet the Maker, or die. Asked in a more serious note, What is killing these people? What is chasing them away to distant lands to pass away?  Read to the end of this essay to discover what the Nigerians and their presidents ought to do to safeguard  health.

This essay is not an attempt to trash, belittle,  or make insignificant and light President Buhari's health. Nobody rejoices or ought to celebrate or express joy at another's ill health. While we identify  with Buhari's struggles and  are sympathize with the President's health issues, we are quick to point out that Nigerians wish they and their Presidents lived healthier lives. We also wish President Buhari   a speedy recovery. However, in the same breath, and if truth must be told, Nigerians  would want to be led by hale and hearty heads of State. Health is wealth to be protected at all costs. Like the sun that warms and the rain that cultivates nutrients, health is a birthright all of God's children ought to enjoy.

The fact cannot be overemphasized that Nigeria as a nation is destroying lives of her citizens by turning a blind eye to a serious issue of health. While presidents of many nations are living longer and healthier lives and able to pass batons of headship  onto younger leaders, African leaders, particularly those from Nigeria,  have had a difficult time staying in office without seriously suffering pitiable health as they make frequent trips overseas to seek medical attention.

It seems that as soon as a typical Nigerian leader appears on the scene to take an oath of the highest office, he falls ill and then vanishes into thin air under the most mysterious, mystifying, unexplained circumstances. Consider the cases of Abacha and Yar'dua.

Although Nigerian  public feeds its Presidents well at public charge and gives the Presidents  access to the best healthcare facilities in the country and abroad, yet many leave as soon as they  have read a post-election acceptance speech and received  a standing ovation. Don't they seem to  soon disappear from the Nigerian scene after their inaugural celebration is over? Additionally, this essay explores what we the people of Nigeria and our leaders themselves ought to do to extend the life expectancy and improve health prognosis of our dear presidents. How do we prevent early presidential incapacity  due to poor health?

Some of the most important functions the person occupying the position of Nigerian presidency is expected to perform seem to fall into 7 broad categories as follows.

He is a ceremonial  headHe is everything to every Nigerian man  or womanHe is the executive rule enforcer, putting down insurrections and armed  revoltsHe oversees the distribution of the national cakeHe is a shoulder on which sincere and insincere citizens cry for real and imaginary redressHe is the nation's representative at such important international as G-12, United Nations, ECOWAS, and so forthHe is the representative of the tribe to which he belongs and owes  oath of allegiance

Being a Nigerian President is not an easy walk around a picturesque, beautiful, charming, or chocolate-box pond behind Igumale Methodist Central School. It is not a leisure stroll though Ochanga Motor Park, nor is it like a man who just walks erect in a flowing Hausa-type gown and smiling broadly at every citizen who bows down , prostrates, or waves frantically. The President of Nigeria  is usually accosted by deeply challenging  events  and persons lining his path to ask for favors.  Granting these favors often pulls the president apart in many unforeseeable directions.

Some of the nods and smiles the President receives in his daily activities are fake and  come from ignoble sycophants. Ignoble denotes acts that are dishonorable, shameful, immoral, dastardly, base, low, reprehensible, or  just not good. A sycophant is a Nigerian who is toady or flatterer and who seeks undeserved favors.

The Nigerian President is buried under the most obscure duties. He responds to a plethora of mongo jumbo, including  the "give me this and give me that" demands from Nigerians from different tribes. He  may, for instance,  receive a request from some powerful  groups to build roads and bridges throughout a state while other states have no roads. It could be a demand to seize oil fields  and "let's give contracts to our oil middle men who would guarantee us some kickback" or the request may center on punishing  a tribe more severely for creating conditions that led to a Civil War.  Most assuredly, the requests center around money.

A group of dignitaries may be seeking the President's ear to prevent the loss of revenues belonging to the President or to a relation. Perhaps, it could be a witch-hunt by an envious group to wrest power from the hands of another group. The Nigerian President may be called upon to mediate "palaver" between warring groups. Efforts to deal with all such palavers may take a painful toll upon the President's health, peace of mind, and equilibrium. Equilibrium is defined as the President's balance, symmetry, or stability.

One who lacks equilibrium is said to be unbalanced, and when one is unbalanced one is disturbed, unhinged, unstable, uneven, lopsided, and crooked. An unbalanced person falls ill soon and does not enjoy life. A Nigerian President appears to be a hypochondriac also known as to have hypochondria, health anxiety or illness caused by anxiety or worry. The worst attack on equilibrium comes from knowing the Truth and failing to uphold Truth. A hypochondriac is Someone who lives in fear of having a serious illness, despite medical tests never find anything wrong, may have a condition known as illness anxiety disorder, more commonly known as hypochondria, or hypochondriasis.

A Nigerian President risks being removed  from office by assassination, poison, or other violent means. While the leader walks in the awesome corridors of power amid the trappings of opulence, affluence, or  wealth, don't let that fool you. Readers should be cognizant and remember that not all that glimmers and glisters is gold, or that everything presidential is not honky dory, meaning that if it is more than it is or more than meets the eyes or tickles the senses, the milk ain't clean. The Nigerian presidency walks gingerly, unsteadily, precariously, and erratically under a heavy burden. It is a curse to hold the highest office in the land of the Nigerians.

What is more burdensome is to carry the mkpo (Igbo for wooden walking stick) of the president or to eat n'elu ukwu ukpaka (at the top of ukpaka  tree). When a monkey climbs an iroko tree and feeds on the highest limbs, his ass is fully exposed to watchers at the foot of the iroko. An exposed ass gets shot at with a gun. Exposed buttocks can easily be impaled. To impale is to be pierced with a long javelin. To be impaled is to be fixed firmly or hammered onto a wooden cross as the Man from Galilee was. The farther you climb up a tree, the more you are likely to be stabbed with a spear, or run over  with a gwongwolo ( open wagon covered with tarpaulin) which traders use to haul yams and other traders.

William Shakespeare, in King Henry the Fourth, Part Two, says: "Uneasy lays the head that wears the crown". Shakespeare meant to say that one who has great responsibilities placed upon one's stiff and aching shoulders, such as the British Queen or the Nigerian President, has a problem. The Nigerian President  does not behave as normal persons do due to the cumbersomeness, unwieldiness or ungainliness of his burden. The person shouldering the responsibilities of being Nigerian President is in turmoil, constantly under pressure, worries a lot, and therefore doesn't sleep soundly. It is foolhardy to expect such a person to have a healthy life. The Queen is pain in the ass of every Nigerian President.

The Queen (thereafter known as Q)  and the Nigerian President (thereafter known as NP)  have two diametrically opposing things to worry about,  The Q is all smiles and elegance as she welcomes and  receives the NP to the Buckingham palace to sip tea. The NP is in visible pain as he reacts to Q whom he considers to be his "Boss Lady, Empress Extraordinary, and continuing owner of the colony of Nigeria."  There is the unmistakable superior-subordinate association, the oga-houseboy relationship.

When the  Q and the NP meet to shake hands, Q is demure, meaning she is decorous, sedate, reserved, and shy. The NP  is strikingly old but bold soldier/dictator appointed by the Queen to protect the interests of the Crown. The Crown is okpu eze (kingly hat) the Queen wears to symbolize the power of the British war planes, navy ships, and bombers. As Queen (Q)  and Nigerian President (NP) clasp hands in a greeting of recognition, words take on a  vibrant unspoken animus. The conversation an eavesdropper could hear may be as follows:

Q: "I haven't seen you for awhile since the days your days at our Sandhurst. How are  you doing, President of Sovereign Nation of Nigeria ?"

NP: "Thank God. I am doing well as much as I can, and –"

Q: "Please don't complain. I know what you are about to say. By the way, you haven't paid Nigeria's yearly colonial tax of 590 trillion pounds to the Government of the Great Britain. Do you remember?"

NP: "Yes, I do remember."

Q:: "Then, why are you behind in your payment when you had signed the documents with us as all Heads of all our Empire do?  What seems to be the trouble?"

NP: "No problems, Sir. Err. I mean to say Ma'am. Sorry. Sir.  I mean The Queen of England. We shall pay."

The Nigerian President spends uneasy time at home and abroad...

In England, the Queen rules but does not govern, meaning that although her powers are monarchical and ceremonial and she enjoys wide popularity and is revered by millions of colonial subjects both far and near, and  although her position is merely constitutional and traditional as figure head, the Queen does not have real political powers. She worries less and fears little, quite unlike the Nigerian President.

In the case of the Nigerian executive Presidency, the power is awesomely real, overpoweringly genuine, devastatingly political, crushingly militant, and tremendously significant. The office of the Nigerian President carries enormous political and financial consequences. The Nigerian President is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Therefore, the buck ends on the presidential laps.

The Nigerian President's biggest problem is his worry or isi owuwa (Igbo for headache) which comes from the Queen and the whole British apparatus of colonialism. Colonialism, like a mad man named John  Bull, constantly gnaws at the feet and shrieks in the ears of the Nigerian President day and night.

John Bull says:  "Look here, boy. You owe. You owe. Now, either you pay up or we are going to remove you and put your junior officer Corporal Gabriel Okonkwo (fictitious)  as your replacement. You may be killed as Gaddafi  was. Now, my boy. Listen carefully!  I am telling you now. Pay us the yearly 590 billion pound tax you owe the Her Majesty's government. Pay now"

There lies the riddle. Suddenly the Presidential office phones take on independent life of their own. They are ringing off the hooks with deafening crescendo, racket or rumpus. The calls are coming from  worlds beyond the four corners of Nigeria. The calls are from faraway World Bank, Bank of China, and Bank of Japan. Creditors of every color and language are calling for their money. They are she sharks whose bites are worse than the piranda's .

Each shark gives simple order:  "Boy, you have two choices. You either pay or we devalue your currency and create disturbances"   This is followed with a fear-evoking threat: "Your oil revenue is dried up, your unemployment high, your trade Unions are  at your throat, teachers are leaving classrooms, trader women demonstrating naked. and there's hunger in the land."

The following day right after the intimidation from China, Japan, and the British Queen, the Nigerian President receives a high-powered delegation  consisting of the Fulani heads, owners of millions of ehi (Igbo for cows).

President: How are you fellas  doing today?

Fulanis: Fine. We come to remind you of our Dan Fodio Plan to conquer and Ismalize the infidels the Anyamirins all the way to the seas. We have defeated the Yorubas. It remain the Anyamirins. Shall we say "Oshe bee"?

President: Look here,  felas. This job is killing me, and you are killing me the more by what you're doing".

Fulanis: We're your people. Are you refusing to obey the order of Allah and his Prophet Muhammad?

The Nigerian President suffers when external pressures from the Queen and British collide,  exacerbate,  and intensify and already spiteful animus, and when he  faces combined internalized  pressures from the Fulani cattle herdsmen,  from the beheaders of Christians, from Delta Avengers seeking to grab barrels of crude oil, from Nnamdi Kalu and "Biafra and Igbo President Now" organizers, it is more than one man can handle.

The Nigerian President  watches  his country disintegrate and threaten to evaporate in  smoky mist. The disintegration is not  in the form of a volcanic eruption. No, Nigeria is constantly a hot, torrid pot of herbs that is boiling at twice the temperature of hell. The pot is sweltering, scorching, roasting, steaming, and blistering.

What would this President do? He doesn't eat well any more. He doesn't trust his religion to guide him through his many trials, he begins to question his God that embellishes murder of children and rape of frightened pre-pubescent virgins,  and his interest in women is increasingly waning. His interest in women  eventually disappears kpatakpata (completely).  He does not exercise well. As his blood pressure rises as a thermometer filled with alcohol, and as he complains of malaria and diabetes, he sends for the Senate President, and demands to go on extended medical leave. The Senate dares not ask any question. He's the President, and the Constitution is behind him.

What Nigerian Presidents  can do to live healthier and longer

Nigerians, both Presidents and ordinary citizens are advised to keep a positive attitude, stay active and connected, have a healthy diet, and refrain from use of drugs such as cigarettes, cocaine, and alcoholic beverages.

Eat more fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and little or no animal proteins (such as cows, goats, erc)

Keep a healthy body through regularly exercise, including daily walking about 2 miles, swimming, horseback riding

Learn to speak conversational major Nigerian languages in order to converse comfortably with  the people.

Don't wait till one falls ill to begin the struggle to get well; schedule  appointments for periodic check-ups  with doctors to ensure the body functions well and there are correctable eye  problems (cataract), thyroid problems; heart conditions; stomach and colon problems (no  stomach or colon cancer)

Hold town meeting with Nigerians and let the people talk to them while he listens and learns.

What Nigerians can do to enable to palliate/improve Presidential health and longevity

All Nigerians with no exception  on the basis of wealth of family connection ought to be law-abiding and respectful of authority and fellow citizens; all should pay appropriate taxes and duties  as determined by the Federal or State Government

Submitted by Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blospot.com

This document is work product and personal property of the writer; it is protected by law and cannot be reproduced in any form without the  express permission of the author..

Nobody should be above the law, and nobody has the unbridled right to lie. Politician cannot live without  telling lies, and Nigerian politicians are the most mendacious. Like Donald Trump, politicians in my home are deceitful, two-faced, dishonest, insincere, misleading, double-dealing, or false. There can never be an end to adjectives describing lying politicians. Don’t follow a liar unless you enjoy  cock-and-bull story, fabrication, and trumped-up story

Standing alongside the Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny ahead of St Patrick's Day on Friday, and stressing the importance of American friendship with Ireland , the US president Donald Trump lies as he quotes his favorite Irish poem which he  said: " is a good one, this is one I like, I’ve heard it for many, many years and I love it.”   

The quote does not come from Ireland as Trump incorrectly alleges. Trump quotes from a poem written by a Nigerian Muslim named Albashir Adam  Alhassan. It is a marvelous thing that a Nigerian gave US President Trump the quote he was proudly mouthing for the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. A  poem written by a Nigerian Muslim contained the quote the US President was proudly using, while the US President was banning  Muslim entry into America. Throughout his campaign for presidency, President Trump was adding insult to injury as he denigrated, disparaged, poured scorn on, put down, degraded, defamed, belittled, maligned, and made fun of Nigeria.  

Let’s assume Billionaire Trump made a mistake because he has zero intelligence. Perhaps, Trump is the type who enjoys squeezing blood from tomatoes, and  it would not be impossible for Trump to raise camels on Mars. Such is the description of professional egomania, also known as obsessive preoccupation with oneself (I-Me-Myself) or IMM.

The IMM (pronounced imi (Igbo for nose), implies someone has ungovernable impulses to exploit, impress and intimidate others .  That Trump has undeveloped amam ihe ( Igbo for wisdom) is not a viable reason to excuse the billionaire because Trump feels he can marshal enough dollars to devalue Nigeria currency within minutes of taking office. What prevents  billionaire Trump from employing a muslim with the best Nigerian intelligence to be his speech writer on a  Salary of mere 982,000 Naira per month (2,000 dollars at the rate of 491 Naira per dollar)?

This essay aims at showing how such bombastic politicians like MBDT (Multi-Billionaire Donald Trump)  and sneaky Nigerian politicians have been thumbing noses, misleading,  and taking advantage of the little people . It is more than the usual way of doing business. it is a classic case of fraud, trickery, deception, and chicanery.

This essay appeals to Trump and Nigerian politicians  to desist from falsehoods. This appeal to desist from lies is made especially to all Nigerian politicians , including President Buhari, Goodluck, Amechi, Ekweremadu, Rochas, Obasanjo, Fayose, Obi, Fashola, Shema, Kwankwaso, Tinubu and all former and current politicians from all Nigerian tribes no matter how innocent they  consider themselves to be if they have taken a Naira from public coffers.

The Nigerian politicians are asked to learn all they can from The Trump on how to protect our oil and natural resources.  However, Trump and the Nigerian politicians are not allowed to lie to little children. Lying consists of fraud, trickery, deception, and chicanery.  Fraud has no place in a democracy; it is anti-democratic.

Fraud is the criminal act of concealing, or misrepresenting the truth in order to convince a person to give up rights. Trickery suggests the use of slick practices to fool or cheat others. Deception, on the hand, is the act of deceiving or bamboozling, and may suggest cheating or double-dealing, or simply the sleight/craftiness of hands created in some clever magician’s illusions. Chicanery implies under-handed dealing, and petty legalistic trickery. Why is Trump’s lying particularly offensive?

Trump  is  the most visible leader of the free world, and he is in the midst of the most embarrassing squabble with the rest of the world, standing tall and unabashed to steal honor from my country and give tribute or respect to European nation.

Trump is unabashed when his words and actions are definitely brazen, shameless, bold, blatant, forward, brash, forthright, or unashamed. It is one thing to win an election, not by popular votes but by little understood electoral college (a system set up by wealthy racist powerful landowners  to keep slaves perpetually disenfranchised,  castigated, pilloried, and in stocks or leg irons.  It is another thing to be truthful. Candor is considered a virtue.

Trump’s mantra is to “Keep America Great Again.” One wants to ask Trump  two questions. One is “Has America ever being great without standing upon shoulders of others and stealing others’ ideas and bodies?” Another question to ask Trump is: “Won’t America be on a giant heap of nsi nama (cow manure) if Trump kicks out all the Nigerians, ISIS, Syrians, Lebanese, and so-called Islamic?”

A Mexican illegal immigrant added hilarity to the humorous discourse when he said : “in my country we do not drink beer or use those bad drugs. We manufacture those cocaine and cracks for the Americans who keep demanding “Bring more cocaine, Amigo. Please bring much more of that sweet thing. Hahaha.”    

Talking about illegal drugs, one wonders if the Trump  smokes so much of that stuffs he goes on  wild goose chase to make up unbelievable fables that former Kenyan President Obama has powerful surveillances permanently planted on Trump Towers or that the British espionage was collecting and disseminating some Trumpnosistic-isi-mgbaka (brain- destroying information for BBO (Black Barrack Obama).

Trump has been thumbing noses at Nigeria for the longest by showing my country crass disrespect. Trump makes my ass hurts, listening to okwu asi (Igbo for lies), and I am already in bed with a jar of Preparation H. And before I apply the Prep H to my hurt, I am appealing to all Nigerian politicians who have been investigated, convicted for embezzlement (you know who you are) desist from lying and taking without permission.

Here is the Nigerian Muslim’s poem from which Trump stole a quote:

Always remember to forget, 
The things that make you sad, 
But never forget to remember, 
The things that make you glad.

Always remember to forget, 
The friends that proved untrue, 
But never forget to remember, 
Those that have stuck to you.

Always remember to forget, 
The trouble that passed away, 
But never forget to remember, 
The blessings that come each day.

Always remember to do your duty, 
And some kindness day by day, 
But never forget to live a useful and happy life, 
That is the only way. 

Poem written by Nigerian Albashir  Adam  Alhassan.

Essay submitted by Dr, James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

The purpose of this essay is to amplify the words President had for Nigerians upon his return from the medical treatment. To amplify is to intensify, increase, strengthen, augment, or enlarge. President Buhari spoke well as a wise statesman. His words had the capacity to encourage a people who are weighed down with seemingly insurmountable difficulties.

This essay is not meant to take away from gravity of my president’s word, utterance, statements, expressions, speech, or declaration. Rather, this writer is attempting to build upon, deepen the meaning of, step up the bite, heap on, or add teeth to the gravity or bite of Buhari’s words. Gravity is defined as  the seriousness, importance, significance, severity, enormity, magnitude, or solemnity of spoke words   

This is the time everyone in Nigeria ought to encourage one another. One who encourages is said to give confidence,  strengthen  failing hearts, cheer up slumping neighbors, lend support where there is none; strengthen in the face of dissuasion, egg on the runner at the tail end of exhausted marathoners, and promote those lagging behind.

Nigerians are a resilient people who need to be shown love and devotion. Resilience implies that, rather than being stiff and rigid as nkume (rock) or osisi (wood),  Nigerians are elastic, flexible, pliant, supple, durable, and toughened by constant bendy or malleable  experience,  Nigerians are a people waiting for a leader to cast a caring eye  their way, a nod however slight that would bring “Ahah” to the lips and a  mystery smile of Mona Lisa.  Here are President Muhammad  Buhari’s fatherly words and the meanings attached to them.

FIRST WORD:  I have not been this sick, even in the military

Since Health is uppermost on the minds of our people, we shall leave no stones unturned in our efforts to provide better health management to our people, including good hospitals, dispensaries, surgery centers, and maternity homes staffed by qualified doctors and nurses and equipped with genuine medications and practices. Good health management shall prevent Nigerians’ frequent travels outside the country and improve our foreign reserves. Nigerian politicians have been overseas and seen how healthcare is organized. What stops them from building good clinics  in Nigeria?   

SECOND WORD: Thank you, Christian and Muslim Nigerians, for your continued prayers for my health. I want you to please pray for the health and unity of our nation?

Prayers are good. Best prayers are those in which we ask God for wisdom and guidance as we attempt to solve our myriad problems. Nigeria has churches and mosques at every corner of each city. We should encourage church pastors and imams of each mosque to discuss issues affecting the people and ways to resolve the concerns. There should be faith-based initiatives the Nigerian government puts in place to obtain input from religious leaders. 

THIRD WORD: Even in hardship, Nigerians still support my government

Nigerians enjoy and will support an administration that shows concern and empathy, where empathy is defined as understanding, sympathy, or compassion. It is expected that Nigerians are more likely to respond to and support an administration whose ears are to the ground, listening and attuned to the local concerns  than one that turns a deaf ear. Leaders ought to make use of town halls and informal meetings to hear what citizens are saying.  Social workers and community workers should be trained and sent to every Nigerian town and village to help bring government to the people as well as bring people to the government. 

FOURTH WORD: I want to repay Nigerians , and the best way to do so will be to serve you with greater rededication.

It is admirable that Buhari is anxious to change from the ancient, autocratic military stance of the past decades to a more modern approach that is democratic, egalitarian, free, classless, equal, unrestrictive, uncensored, detribalized, and open. Nigerians love a good government that listens to their problems and does something about them. Good listening is effective even in situations where time and budgetary restrictions may prevent immediate solutions.  

FIFTH WORD: It is possible I might soon be re-admitted to hospital for follow up on my ailment

Hospitalizations and medications are not the answer to our health problems. God has made our bodies so wonderfully and fearfully constructed we can withstand diseases if we only learn how to take care of the structures we are housed in. Taking proper care of our bodies includes proper nutrition, exercising, and adequate resting.  Western drugs are harmful and have side effects that compound our problem and hasten our demise or death.

SIXTH WORD:

I am appealing to Nigerians to continue to pray for unity of our nation.

Nigerians are a praying people. Our prayers are not always answered because we are praying for the wrong reason, asking for wrong things, and not waiting enough for things to work out. Although there are churches and mosques at every corner of the Nigerian cities yet our problems persist because all we are interested in praying and serving God for is to receive material things, such as money, cars, or mansions. We ought to be interested in asking God to give us visions in order to find ways to serve our country men and women in ways God has prepared us.   

SEVENTH WORD: Osinbajo will continue to serve as Acting President while I rest some more.

Although Vice President Osinbajo is ably qualified to act in the absence of Buhari, Nigerians may consider increasing the number of Vice Presidents to 6 to represent the nation’s geopolitical zones created under Abacha’s regime.  A nation as large as Nigeria with a population of 190,305,502 (over 190 million) people, as of March 11, 2017, needs more than just a Vice President. We suggest 6 Vice Presidents, where a Vice president represents each zone in order to do justice to the entire population.    

Written by Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

The purpose of this essay is to discuss  how Nigerians ought to be wise and not foolish and how we Nigerians  have to grapple with the prospect of being looked upon as the most corrupt, the most foolish, and the most fucked-up nation led by the most evasive leadership Nigerians have been fools in more ways than one. Trump says Nigeria is a den of kleptomaniacs, stealing from their treasury and enriching their enemies.  Leaders of Nigeria, without exception, are authoritarian, using power to oppress and annihilate the powerless. Consider the mass beheadings of Christians in Benue State.  We mistake good governance with absolute cruelty.

Nigerian merchants keep their people sick and unhealthy by importing dangerous food and worthless drugs.  Because Nigerians love to eat rice and noodles, the Chinese are flooding Nigerian markets with plastic rice and noodles which the Nigerian stomachs cannot digest and which can only be removed surgically.

Trump wants to use the wealth of America to improve the lives of Americans. Can we say Nigerians are interested in bettering lives of our people by banning importation of essentials (such as rice, wheat, sugar, and medicines for malaria)  while not stimulating local production? Why do we sell our petroleum cheap to others to refine and sell back to us at exorbitant prices? Why do we bastardize our healthcare system only to send our ill to die in clinics overseas?  There are many ways in which we Nigerians have been foolish.

Trump extols/praises America and deprecates/lowers the ascendancy of competitors.  Ascendancy is the dominancy, superiority, preeminence, power, upper hand, or control others have over us. How more can we be foolish than to allow colonial masters to continue to control the very existence of empire servant? Trump would want all manufacturing concerns to relocate to America. Foolish Nigerians would rather give our good stuffs away  and go overseas to import useless luxury items that add little or no value to Nigerian economy

It is not always an insult when someone calls you a fool. What is foolish is to not stop to consider why someone should  have the audacity call you a fool. Were you actually behaving in a foolish way and deserve being called a nincompoop? Name calling is not often what it appears to be.A large proportion of ikonu (insulting name calling) can be a disguised blessing.  An India proverb goes this way:  "a fool stumbles over the same stone twice". How many times have we Nigerians stumbled over the same pebble?

Haven't we Nigerians stumbled 55 times if each passing year represents a stumble?.A stumble is defined as a slip, trip, lurch, or falter. How many times are we going to fall to in order to realize that we have fallen? In the case of Nigerian, we did not just stumble. We fell flat on our faces. We went plump! We went kapoop and are finding it hard to get up.

Many people reading this essay can remember this puerile song we learned in elementary school:  "Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown, And Jill came stumbling after." A crown is the earthen pot village girls used to carry water from streams in those beautiful, hard-to-forget days that are nostalgic, homesick,  wistful, reflective, melancholic, evocative, or regretful.

This writer has a friend who is Vice Chancellor at a large community college somewhere on the East Coast of the United States, and who called to rain abuses upon our recently elected US President, Donald Trump. This friend named Dr. O, says that Trump is, among other things, a fool, a poor administrator; a racist, intolerant of the disabled, egocentric, ethnocentric, and interested in running government only with and for the benefit of wealthy Americans. Dr. O and this writer agreed on one thing: Trump is xenophobic. Xenophobia denotes the fear and dislike of foreigners and other visitors.

The Vice Chancellor Dr. O argues that President Trump is egocentric  at best and extremely self-serving at worst. We further agreed that Trump's mantra "Let's make America Great Again" is created to obfuscate, to confuse or disguise the real message.   A mantra is a song, hymn, or tune President Trump has popularized. Trump's "Let's Make American Great" resonates an ethnocentric view that evaluates other groups according to the values and standards Trump and his Trumpets have set up in their own ethnic group.

Without judging Trump harshly and while giving him the benefit of the doubt, we realize that we cannot knock a man down for loving his country so much that he brags with gusto: "This is the best there is in the whole wide world ; all other places are bunkum, twaddle, hogwash, claptrap, or nonsense".  Coming back to ethnocentrism, it is the belief lurking in Trump's mind in the intrinsic superiority of the nation,  culture, or group  to which one belongs. Ethnocentrism is the dislike of competitive, gung-ho others. What lessons are many Nigerians going to learn from President Trump?

First and foremost, Trump, is a no-nonsense person who shoves back when he is nudged. Have we ever had a Nigerian president or, leader who fights for the rights of Nigerians? The rights of Nigerians have been trampled underfoot for too long  by so many leaders that an average Nigerian is beginning to see himself as the Invincible Man in Ellison's novel. The invisible Man is a nonentity to whom all sorts of evil are done and who affects nothing. Don't we Nigerians  have a right to clean water, good roads, places to buy daily provisions at reasonable prices?  The naira fluctuates like a yoyo in the hands of a devil.

One important lesson this writer Is learning from Trump is this: Nigerians ought to develop pride in their own nation. We would rather put Nigeria on a pedal and other places than in the dumps. Why must I swallow everything American and  British  and downgrade the Nigerian culture?.  President Trump is definitely proud of America for giving him the incentive to amass money and become billionaire. An Igbo proverb says: "ebe onye no ka ona awachi," meaning one fortifies where one lives. Am I proud of Nigeria for instilling in me such prideful values as honesty and fair dealing, respect for others, protectiveness of family, personal humility, and tenacity?  We Nigerians ought to wachie (fortify) our home.

To fortify is to make stronger, strengthen, reinforce, brace, buttress. One who does not fortify one's house is said to weaken his compound and let robbers in. The ancients built a fortress to protect their cities. Trump's threat to build great walls around the borders separating America and South America, though laughable, is not entirely frivolous.  The desire to build costly walls is motivated by the need to instill pride in Americans and prevent the inflow  of Illegal immigration, harmful drugs, and corrupting influences .

Trump wants to make America great as the bastion of hope and freedom . What is a bastion? A bastion is defined as  a stronghold, mainstay, fortress, citadel, support or supporter,  or promoter of good works. That President Trump is protective of America cannot be gainsaid, refuted, or argued with, though we may disagree with Trump's modus operandi . Trump would rather fight than flee to preserve the values that are America.

Trump would rather kick out all others than have others kick America into submission. Persons Trump would like to kick out include but are not limited to violent criminals fired up or intoxicated with murderous religions that are predicated upon it-is-either-mine-or-none-at-all philosophy. How many more helpless Nigerians  are to be murdered by herders and professional beheaders  before the House,  Senate, or governorship  steps in to say "enough is enough?"

By Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

Hunger is not an uncommon source  of stress in Nigeria. Mrs, Grace Edeh, a  35-year-old mother of  three and staff of the National Examination Council, was being quizzed by the Niger state Child Right Protection Agency for burning with hot charcoal the palms of her eight- year old house-maid, accused of stealing meat from the pot.

Asked why she committed the offense which contravenes Section 26 of the Child's Right Act against maltreating children, Mrs. Edeh explained that she had ill-treated the girl out of anger as the child was fond of stealing meat from the pot of soup. She said that the girl was also caught stealing meat from the neighbor's kitchen. . Read more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/02/house-maid-palms-burn-piece-meat/

To live in Nigeria, on the average is to walk though the valley of shadow of death. Life in my country is not just akin to shadow or silhouette of death; it is the real death.  Just as the advertisement goes  that  "Coke is the  real thing" so is stressful  life real for millions of Nigerians.  Who wants to drink Coke and who wants a stress-filled life?

Hunger is not to be confused with thirst for a beverage, such as Coke.  Coke is adulterated concoction invented with the aim of extracting wealth from the unsuspecting public. Death is onwu in Igbo language and hunger is aguo. Onwu and aguo are nothing to play with since both would strike a man dead like a bolt of lightning, though aguo is death resulting from lack of food, starvation, famine, appetite, or desire for something to chop (eat).

Nigerians often say that "a hungry man is an angry man." Could it be that Mrs. Edeh in incinerating her maid's hand black as charcoal was infuriated/ made angry when her 8-year-old maid took food from Madam's mouth? Taking food from someone's mouth is no different than wishing death on that someone. Hunger would make one do things that may be unthinkable, unimaginable, or clearly absurd.

Though the effect of stress from death and hunger is as unpleasant  as the other, food and death are not the same thing. Food is the edible or potable substance usually of animal or plant origin) and consisting of nourishing, nutritive (sometimes poisonous) components such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, essential mineral and vitamins, which (when ingested and assimilated through digestion) sustains life, generates energy, and provides growth, maintenance, and health. Not all types of food are good for human consumption

Living in today's Nigeria is living barricaded in a den with famished lions and lionesses.  You live under constant stress; you die at a younger age than people die in other parts of stress free world, and you are forgotten sooner than you die. The purpose of this piece is first, to identify some of the things that make life in a Nigerian community precarious and not worth living. A precarious life is shaky, unstable, insecure, uncertain, unsafe, unsteady  There are aspects of Nigerian life that fill the stomach with bitter bile and cut folks' lives short.

Life in Nigeria shortens the distance between the cradle and the grave yard in my beloved Nigeria. The second purpose of this essay is to suggest ways Nigerians and their governments can strive  to reduce stress at both the individual and national levels. What is stress?

Again, what is stress? Stress, according to the bulky 2129-page Webster's New International Unabridged Dictionary this writer picked up at a flea market for the cost of 5 bananas,  is the " strain, pressure, especially force exerted upon  a body that tends to strain of deform its shape." Not every stress is negative in the sense that it is bad or noxious.

Some forms of stress are beneficial because they help us to get organized in order to respond to perceived threats that enable us to have important tasks accomplished in our lives. For example, one has to strain to get out of the bed and house to go to work and earn income to feed the family.

Normal human life is undeniably stressful.  Human stress is the feeling one has when one is under pressure, strain, anxiety, constant worry, or nervous tension. It appears that the average Nigerian suffers a trauma similar to the extreme stress soldiers experience in the heat of battle. Post traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) is the result of extreme hassle requiring medical and psychological interventions. Nigerian is a population in a pressure cooker constantly under pressure.

As a college professor, this writer notices that American college students face tremendous stresses related to classes they must attend that their professors have scheduled at inconvenient times. These classes often encroach upon other enjoyable activities that militate against stressors, such as dating, loafing around, or eating favorite foods at preferred rendezvous. In the case of Nigerian college students, crimes provide outlets in that it is common to reduce stress through activities of gangs of students who especially are drawn to bank robberies, kidnapping, and sales of illicit drugs.

Life in Nigeria is a long unbroken stretch of stress-riddled events. As this writer was growing up in Nigeria, older adults in the neighborhoods often said: "Oyia Lagos bu oyia ego" (Lagos sickness is sickness caused by money).  It is safe to say "Oyia ego bu oyia Nigeria" (Money problem is Nigeria's sickness).  Money is at the root of a large proportion of stresses impinging upon  and likely to cut short lives of Nigerians almost in half.

Wait just a minute! May we ask:  Is lack of money the real culprit? No! Methinks the wrongdoer is the love of money. Nigerians love money and will do anything to acquire that money, including rob each other, prostitute their bodies,  kidnap neighbors, sell body parts, or sacrifice lives of loved ones at a voodoo priest's shrines. It is pitiful.  Nigerians' stress level is heightened by one thing, and that thing is greed. Greed is gluttony, or the habit of eating like a pig, and not knowing when one has enough and when to stop. Stress affects Nigerians in more ways than one looking inward from outside, can imagine.

This Nigerian trader at Lagos owns seven mansions at Abuja, Lagos, Awka , and in his home village. His home in the village is a mega mansion that he visits for just a week throughout the year. He has several large vehicles parked at each mansion.  He helps no one, pays no school fees for relatives, and contributes nothing to the community. The only contribution he makes to the world is the fare she pays for commercial fights to Dubai, Disney World, and London with his wife accompanied by children and a baby sitter.

Stress is evident when we are addicted to the pursuit of wealth and luxurious living. The more material things we acquire the more we remain unhappy and unsatisfied. The need to live large beyond reasonableness seems to be wired to our brains. It is always showmanship or competition with the Joneses to see who has more to waste.  Stories are told of Nigerians who have been overseas to witness Americans throw out cooked food. These overseas Nigerians send their maids out to throw foods such as rice, beans, chicken, and beef so neighbors would see and exclaim: "Ehe, they throw away food just as people do in America. Chei!"

We waste things and cannot manage resources well. We waste just to show neighbors that we have arrived from previous houses of poverty. For an example, Nigerian politicians are stressed to the extent they acquire the habit of stealing wealth by all means necessary even to the extent of wasting  it. These politicians steal not because they are hungry. They steal to impress girlfriends they are harboring in every Nigerian city and overseas cities, such as Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, London, Washington DC, Johannesburg, or Ottawa.

When a typical Nigerian politician gets in Vono bed with a wife he hardly spends time with or with a baby (prostitute) and because he  cannot fuck, he makes up for his deficiency with stolen loots. He cannot fuck. As his fucklessness  begins to  multiply,  he suffers added stress from multiple failed organisms. He cannot perform the sexual act for many reasons.

One, the politician is obese and out of shape and breath.  Two, he has diabetes, high blood pressure and an assortment of other health problems which renders fucking an impossible task and could kill him if he fucks harder than normal or uses more Viagra than needed. His family doctor could have easily discovered his illnesses and treated them iff (if and only if)  the unsuccessful fucker has  kept up with his regular medical check-ups. He dies in bed while fucking.

We make too many unnecessary commitments that make life stressful. A commitment is a promise, pledge, vow, obligation, assurance, binder, dedication, or loyalty.  We all have many commitments in our life, including commitments related to work, to our kids, and spouses,  to things we do at home and religious places of worship, other family, civic, side work, secrete societies, hobbies, online activities and more. These commitments come with tremendous amounts of stress.  For an example, a frivolous commitment leads  politicians to steal from the public treasury to purchase and furnish houses for a bevy of akwunakwuna ( prostitutes).

Other Stresses also come when we are too controlling of every face of Nigerian life. The poor Nigerian who named his dog Buhari was promptly arrested by overzealous security personnel, and while he was in detention, some defenders of Buhari burglarized his residence just to kill the dog named Buhari.

Our desire to be all controlling, makes any Nigerian with a measure of power want to be the Master of this Universe, the Chief Money Grabber or First Lady, Head of the Chief Nation of Africa. Trying to control situations and people can be so stressful it kills the body, and only serves to increase our anxiety. We have to learn to let go, and accept the way other people do things, and accept what happens in different situations.

The only thing one can control is oneself. We ought to work on controlling self before we can consider trying to control the world.  Also, we ought to learn to separate us  from tasks  that should be better delegated to others. A major step towards eliminating stress is learning to let go of our need to control others, or to dictate how things ought to be done.

Stress is seen in the way we loathe or hate helping others.Helping others, whether volunteering for a charity organization or just making an  effort to be compassionate towards people you meet, not only gives you a very good feeling,  it somehow lowers our stress level. Of course, this doesn't work if you try to control others, or help others in a very rushed and frenetic way. Let's learn to take it easy, enjoy yourself, and let things happen, as you work to make the lives of others better.

We are under stress when we  ignore  to eat healthy or fail at regular exercise: Good eating goes hand-in-hand with exercise to prevent stress. We ought to avoid being addicted to greasy food, that puts us in worse mood and contributes to stress levels immediately. Ample evidence is seeping out that coconut oil can and does lower one's chances of suffering AD or Alzheimer's disease

Ingratitude is evidence of being under extreme stress. It is amazing how we are an ungrateful people.   Developing an attitude of gratitude will help us to think positive, eliminate negative thinking from our life, and thereby reduce stress. Learning  to be grateful for what you have, for the people in your life, and see it as a gift from God. With this sort of outlook on life, stress will go down and happiness will go up.

We ought to cease being an undeniably difficult people. We are difficult when we disobey properly enacted laws that govern out conduct, when we disrespect,   insult or disobey persons over us, or when we engage in activities that make community life impossible. For examples, robbery of banks and other persons' homes, or kidnapping neighbors for ransoms increase the flow of adrenalin in our bodies and increase our stress levels.

We are procrastinators and disorganized   We're all so disorganized to the extent that even if we've managed to be organized something, and created a great system for keeping it that way, things tend to move towards chaos over time. But disorganization stresses us out, in terms of visual clutter, and in making it difficult to find stuff we need. .

We ought to manage our time well, be orderly, and respectful of all people.

Finally but not the least,  we ought to take pride in our country, speak the truth, especially where other Nigerians are being maltreated.

By Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , jamesagazies.blogspot.com

by Dr. James C. Agazie

Most writers and cementers, Igbos and non-Igbos,  have very little good to say about the Igbos. The purpose of this essay is to point out one or two things positive about the people known in Nigeria as the Ibo or  Igbos or Ndiigbo.  This essays concludes with a simple appeal to the conscience defined as scruples or sense of right and wrong. We Igbos can do without the well-meaning but misplaced, malicious, and condescending criticisms of detractors. We Igbos do not deserve to be over-psychoanalyzed.  Of all things the Igbos lack and need the most is the right to be understood and respected.

Two points need to be underscored amid current avalanche of detractors' deafening rhetoric against the Igbos.  First, detractors ought to realize that many Nigerians, particularly the Igbos, have  made many self-sacrificing contributions to what is now known as the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Without Ndiigbos, Nigeria would  not be what it now is.  Igbo contributions are indelible; meaning the parts Ndiigbo played and are still playing in the development of Nigeria and their contributions to many facets of Nigerian life are ineffaceable. The contributions are ineradicable, and they are impossible to ignore.

Therefore, it is advisable that detractors should resist the temptation to insult Igbo people because the Igbos allegedly are the vanquished, the losers rather than winners, in the 1967-70 conflict. Are the Igbos being punished for being the first to orchestrate the first successful bloody coup? Aren't Igbos being sidelined for attempting to secede? Are they being penalized for publicly parading hard-won wealth? Is the reason behind Igbo problems the jealousy of neighbors? Jealousy is defined as envy, resentment, protectiveness, suspicion,  or distrust . Human emotions can run wild.

Perhaps the purpose of current detraction is  to get Ndiigbo to do what detractors want done:  bury heads in sand and  forever be apologetic about engaging in war efforts or agitations for secession from so-called Federation. While we're on the subject, detractors ought to practice tolerance  for differences of opinion and imbibe the philosophy of inclusion, through use of effective positive reinforcements such as praise, smile, inclusion,  or a pat in the back, for examples if the aim is to help Igbos  want to become as much productive as the detractors  could  want to see or imagine.

We would add the third point of social observational learning. Let other Nigerians model behaviors they want others to emulate, including honesty, humility, respect, and generosity. If you want me to love you, you may first demonstrate somehow that love is beneficial to me, to you, and to the nation of 170 million citizens.  Hence, L = f (C+ I), where Love is a function of Commitment increased by Inclusion.

People cannot and should not negate the fact that Igbos were in the forefront of the struggles to modernize Nigeria before independence  and in the early post-independence  years.  Nigerians ought to realize that Igbos helped to pull  many Nigerian communities  out of the thralldom of superstitious darkness and backwardness.  As a baby, this writer spent his primary and secondary schools years with a family that  criss-crossed   the length and breadth of the backwoods of then Benue Plateau State. Igbos criss crossed the State cities like livestock herded by divine hands.

We were on missionary work under the Methodists. We built Igbo Camps and established the first primary schools, modern post offices, dispensaries and  local courts at oturkpo, Gboko, Igumale, Utonkon, Adoka, Egwugwuewu to name only a few.  Many Igbo men served as Catechists, choir masters, band leaders, and town criers. Mr. Nzurum was the travelling teacher, and Mr. Uba was the primary school headmaster. Papa doubled as preacher, Catechist, and ABC teacher of alphabet) children known as the ota akara (akara eaters) or pre- kindergartners.

The names of these Igbo teachers and preachers are to be recorded in the Book of Life and they canonized as saints. God will welcome them and accord them mansions in heaven as rewards for their zeal and self-abnegation, or self-emptying endeavors. They took on the daunting responsibility for propagating the unheard of Gospel of Jesus Christ in the by-ways and open markets of Nigeria. Early missionary work in Nigeria was daunting because it was fraught with unspeakable dangers.  The job was frightening, intimidating, overwhelming, disheartening, or scary. Igbos did the job no other group wanted. Igbos did it  for one reason and one reason only: there was a divine calling, and there was a need . If not Igbos, then who?  With bare hands and clenched teeth,the Igbos constructed school houses with mud walls and thatched roofs with grass and palm fronds.

Ears will pop and eyes dilate to twice  the normal size as stories are told of Igbo men who jumped into mud  pits, using thin legs as pestle to mix red and brown mud and water. They poured the  sloppy mixture into wooden boxes that were left to dry under the hot, scorching, baking, suffocating , blistering  tropical sun. The sun baked the mud which then became blocks that the Igbos used to build churches and schoolyards.

That the Igbos  propagated the Western education in Nigeria, is no small wonder . To propagate is to circulate, spread,  promulgate, broadcast, proliferate, disseminate, transmit, or publicize.  Two simple messages were being disseminated. The first was: "Send your children to us at school, that we may teach them the white man's ways"  Another message was: "Thou shalt have  no other gods besides Me Jehovah." The  Igbos took preaching and preaching very seriously. They had heard of the exploits of the twelve apostles, of the teachings of Saul of Tarsus, and of God's miraculous deliverance of Hebrews from Egypt.

As dangerous as teaching and  preaching  the Word was, we Igbos  felt very uncomfortable living in the midst of idol worshipers and their local chiefs who were incensed at the strange religion and learning Igbos were troubling people with. The villagers were highly incensed as they considered Igbo teachers ns preachers and religious converts as unwanted interlopers, intruders, impostors, or trespassers.

The villagers were incensed in that they were furious, irate, riled up, irritated, exasperated, or infuriated at Igbo families living among them. Who want to be told: "Your gods are nonsense, but ours is to be reckoned with?" Who can bear to hear: "Your god is nonsense, and  it is garbage, twaddle, baloney, claptrap, drivel gibberish , gobbledygook, or hot air. Religion is one thing people usually fight over , and to be told that one's religion is false or bullshit may result into a scuffle or exchange of blows.

Igbos  were the objects of hatred because Igbo preaching was direct and had the idolatrous natives irritated:  The Igbos preached fire and brimstone sermons: "Your gods are nonsense, and we bring you good tidings of the only true Jehovah of this Book."  The Igbos held up their Akwukwo  Nso (Igbo for Holy Bible). They declared "the Bible is the Basic Instruction Before leaving  Earth" The next thing you saw was this writer's daddy jumping upon yam mounds on which witch doctors had carefully laid out their clay bowls of animal blood and pieces of chicken parts as sacrifices to their gods.

The witch doctors had carefully placed their sacrifices and  charms at strategic  places ostensibly to ward off evil spirits from descending upon  the villages but truly to instigate villagers to downgrade  the new religion of the Igbos.  Clowning on yam mounds and destroying their sacrifices, Daddy aimed at attracting new Christian converts.  While Daddy was joyfully wild with his Jehovah, and demonstrating that gods made with man's hands  were less potent than the Jehovah of the Holy Bible, Mama and we kids covered our heads in shame. Villagers were expecting the evil spirits cast by the witch doctors to descend upon us and annihilate us with a tongue of fire.

We Igbos are not primitive; it is just that we are a high-strung, aggressive and indefatigable group on the outside, but underneath, are fearful, intimidated, and stressed out. Remember that Igbos are barely crawling out of  a terrible war as a brutalized, traumatized, and seemingly defeated  people. It is normal to expect symptoms of post traumatic stress syndrome to engulf us and thwart our personality. With time, oga adi mma (all will be well).  Call it making excuses, or begging the issue. You'll never understand pain until you wear the shoes and feel which toes pinch badly.

This writer was at Enugu at the end of the War as the Eastern Nigerian Government under the sole administration of Ukpabi Asika  as efforts were made to spearhead the repatriation of Biafran children from London and other African countries to which they were sent to escape Nigerian Army's weapons of war and Awolowo's starvation and attendant kwasiorkor. You would faint to notice the Igbo babies and surviving children were not provided with any type of adjustment or rehabilitation services.

The Igbo babies and teens  were just being reintegrated anyhow into society with families that proved to be exploiters and abusers. Their parents were either dead or unable to care for them. There was no food at home. The only option was haphazard adoption by men who seized the opportunity to marry underage babies. How these kids  survived to this day is magical, and only Chineke (God of the Igbos) knows.

We Igbos have survived so much for too long under the most inhospitable environments  it  believed we igbos can survive anything, anytime anywhere. The Igbos are resilient. Who said the Igbos are not mini gods that descended directly from heavenly angels? Ahh!

Of all Nigerian tribes, the Igbos appear to be the only group that hasn't been offered the opportunity  or taken advantage of the altruistic, help-your-brother programs the world had offered the Jews and Italians. The Yorubas take care of their own with the help of Awoists.  Igbos are still suffering the effects of the Biafran War. Igbo friends at Abuja's Federal Ministries had indicated they would rather prefer Hausa or Yoruba heads to one of their kind. I asked: "Why not fellow Igbos?"

Reasons given are many. They said that Igbos are taskmasters, and that ,Igbo bosses would underpay their fellow Igbo employees;They said Igbo heads are less likely to have empathy towards subordinates. They also said that Igbo bosses are heartless. The real reason is this: Igboland is so overcrowded the oppressed inhabitants would rather move out than suffocate There is not enough room to grow and experience freedom in Alaigbo (Igbo homeland). Igbo community represents a bucket of crabs grabbing each other by the hands with sharp claws that immobilizes and suffocates.

Remember the experiments psychologists have  done with mice in an overcrowded environment where electrical shocks were delivered at random? Like Igbos just out of a war with nowhere else to go, the mice experienced PTSS (post traumatic stress syndrome), resulting in maladaptive behavior that included homosexuality, cannibalism, with male mice attacking females and infants.

I admire the Igbos for surviving the atrocities of war and carrying on as though nothing has happened and being without extensive psychotherapy. Other groups like the Jews wouldn't be able to survive the ordeal without massive reparations and UN-sponsored rehabilitation programs. With time, we Igbos shall acquire such survival skills as politeness, resilience, loyalty, and all those good stuff. The Igbos need the kindness and encouragement of the world. We Igbos can do without the well-meaning but misplaced and condescending criticisms of detractors. We Igbos do not deserve to be over-psychoanalyzed.  Of all things the Igbo lack and need the most is the right to be understood and respected. After all, the Igbos are people too.

Dr James C. Agazie;  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com.

Dr. Odozi Osuji, through his persuasive contributions to this forum, convinces me  that indeed the Igbo of Nigeria is the very Christ in minds imbued with conscience or sense of right and wrong. Dr. Osuji  is a dear friend, a clever Professor, as well  as fellow Igbo  whose prolific essays I find to be very  helpful and insightful. .

However, for this writer and for many people, It is not too much to say that the Igbo of Nigeria is archetype of Jesus Christ the Messiah. Being Igbo in modern Nigeria is not an easy task. Igboism is the pain and discomfort of being placed in pillories and stocks in a tumultuous nation resulting in shocks so severe as to cause the Igbo to die prematurely. All in all, when all is said and done, the Igbo walks tall with grace and recherché nonchalance, insouciance, or indifference.

The purpose of this essay is to voice certain things about detractors of Ndigbo and then attempt to illustrate concepts with appropriate images. Why is everyone crying out and asking for the blood of Ndiigbo? What crime has this significant tribe in Nigeria committed to deserve the organized hostility of over 150 million detractors? A detractor is a non-supporter of Ndiigbo. A detractor is not simply a critic, enemy, attacker, heckler, disbeliever.  He or she is a serious  cynic, pessimist, or disparager.

Alleged crimes of Ndiigbo, according to detractors, include but are not necessarily limited to the following: One: Ndiigbo were the first to agitate for independence from colonialist Britain. Two: Ndiigbo were the first to orchestrate the first bloody coup in Nigeria right after independence. Three: Ndiigbo were the first to secede from the Federation. Four: Ndiigbo appear to be the first and only tribe to parade their wealth in the watchful eyes of jealous neighbors.

To single out is to separate an individual or individuals from a larger group for the purpose of inflicting  punishments  or some other negative consequences, such as denial of privileges and ostracism. Ostracism is a form of exclusion, barring, banishment, isolation, or non-inclusion.  A group that is singled out is sometimes castigated. Castigation is a shameful act and consists of  subjecting a person to severe punishment in the form of reproof, criticism, or even death.

In everyday conversations on the lips of Nigerians of every political or religious leanings, the Igbos are likely to be rebuked, admonished, chastised, chided, upbraided, reproved, reproached, scolded, berated, taken to task, lambasted, or given a piece of one's mind.

That the Igbos are daily put in pillories cannot be gainsaid or contradicted. What is a pillory or to put in pillory? The Igbos are put in pillory when attacked or ridiculed publicly. Igbo Nigerian citizens find themselves pilloried by others, such as when it is said "they are unschooled, stupid grabbers always after money." To pillory is to attack, criticize, censure, lambaste, condemn, denigrate, stigmatize, or denounce.

Sometimes, the Igbos are placed in stocks. What are the stocks? Stocks are wooden (sometimes metal ) devices that were used on slave plantations in colonial America as a form of punishment to immobilize victims who were often exposed in a public place such as the site of a market or open weather  to the scorn of those who passed by. The head, feet, and hands of victims sick out to e kicked or beaten by detractors.

Being Igbo in modern Nigeria is not an easy task. Igboism is the pain and discomfort of being placed in pillories and stocks which could be so severe as to cause the victims to die. All in all, Ndigbo is a modern-type Christ in Nigeria. This prompts this writer to intone that Jesus Christ is an Igbo with redeeming powers, walking  tall with recherché nonchalance or dispassion.

By Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

When we say: "Gifts can kill you kpata kpata," we mean gifts can cause the loss of lives as events  in his essay reveal. Gifts may create enemies for you, particularly when the receivers feel they are God's gift to you and you owe him a gift of your own. Some of our people have a dreadful horrifying sense of entitlement.  An entitlement is when the person being given the gift feels he/she has a right, power, prerogative, or claim to the gift. Our Nigerian relatives need to be cured of the DOE. This DOE is not the Department of Education. It is the Disease of Entitlement.

If you don't believe it, ta!k with neighbors of Mr. and  Mrs. Romanus and Christiana Odo,  residents of Majidun Awori Area of Lagos . Christiana stabbed her husband Romanus to death on Christmas Day, 25/12/2016, in the Ikorodu area of Lagos because he did not provide the gift expected of most Nigerian husbands. He did not give Christmas money to the wife and mother of eight children for the family December entertainment.

Why are we overseas Nigerians so gullible (stupid for a better choice of word) that we feel compelled to give away our wealth to people who do not merit our bleeding hearts?  Why do we give way away our hard-earned money to please people who don't like us to gain what they don't have?  Hey, Nigerians, listen carefully. We oughtn't feel guilty for being in America and working so hard for every US dollar we send home to seemingly dependent parasites we call relatives who don't appreciate our efforts. Let's rethink. Let's make it crystal clear that, although we believe in giving gifts as acts of love, yet is cannot and should not be done haphazardly or in a stupid way. We are not on this earth solely to cater to the demands of so-called family members who may be overly demanding of our time and hard-earned material resources.

Our people can be contemptuous, meaning disapproving, disdainful, scornful, sneering, or unappreciative . They show no gratitude and often are unthankful. For example, after  A  gave a gift of 100 Naira to B, B shoved the gift back to A and said: "No, Oga. I don't want the 100 Naira, but why can't you give me 100 dollars to be changed to Naira in black market?" As of today, one US dollar is equivalent to 480 Naira in black market,  and 100 dollars equal 48,000 Naira

Hey Nigerians, look here! We cannot let folks back home dictate to us what gifts to  give as though they were divine-right monarchs. Hell!  A beggar has no choice, does he? Our begging folks back home make us feel guilty that we are enjoying overseas while they are suffering poverty. Tough luck! Whose fault is it? Nigeria is not a poor county, and our folks are not poverty-stricken. Poverty is a choice of attitude and selection of mindset. Our relatives are manipulative suckers (motherfuckers) who waste resources, competing with the Joneses and expecting us to serve as their OBFN (Overseas Bank For Nigerians).

Consider the case of Mr. And Mrs. Odo. The abominable housewife was such she had been accusing the husband of spending his money on women outside the family and neglecting her and her children. While the wife was busy bitching and picking a fighting with the husband, the man dropped N1,000 on the floor, but the woman said the man should go to the market and get ife oriri (Igbo for   things to eat) himself with the amount, which she said was tiny and would not get anything worthwhile. vanguardngr.com/2016/12/woman-stabs-husband-death-demands-christmas-cooking/.

A gift or the lack thereof can create havoc in any Nigerian community. Consider boko haran fighting over demand for the gift of apiece of arid land to set up a shitty enclave. They want to establish an Islamic state in Nigeria and the introduction of Sharia law. Boko Haran movement has killed over 2,000 Nigerians, and uprooted 2 millions from their homes. The Delta Avengers are willing to give their lives for the gift of a few acres of polluted earth. The Christmas gift is something to be contumacious, meaning openly mendacious, false, rebellious; fretful, quarrelsome, or unreliable in matters concerning gifts.

Talking about killing a spouse for failure to give a gift,  can you fathom a Nigerian okorosimite (Idoma for Christmas) without the chicken  or the Easter family dinner without the usual osikapa egheleghe (fried rice), egusi and okra soups? Can you imagine having egusi soup without okporoko or pepper soup without ox tail or nkwobi (cow feet)?

It is easy to understand why a woman could kill  her husband because she feels entitled to a gift, though her reasons are morally bankrupt.  In her shallow, uneducated mind, the killer is saying: How do I a big  Nigerian femme, sweetie for the bedroom, a woman of timber and  substance celebrate this Christmas and do without the nama (Hausa for beef), osikapa eghelegwe (fried rice);  isi ewu ( goat head), and okuko (chicken) which I can turn into sweet mgwomgwo (pepper soup)? The reports had it that Christiana  murdered her husband  on Christmas Day, 2016, as neighborhood wives were cooking .

Nigerians are obsessed with giving and receiving gifts even when the country is going through hard times and unemployment of youth is stringent, rampant, and in two figures. Children go around asking family members and strangers to "gbaram Kristmas," meaning "do me Christmas," or "dash me some money for this Christmas." Do you ever wonder why asking or gifts is as bad  as demanding for a gift and as despicable as urinating in public against the walls of someone's million-Naira mansion?

Talking about bribery, commonsense tells you that bribery is a  forced gift. Aren't you being forced to gift unwillingly after inviting a girl from interior Nigerian village girl to America for marriage and she abandons you after you have paid her way through clenched teeth to train her for the CNA (certified nursing assistant) and then the RN (Registered Nurse certification)? You have been manipulated to part with your money for the promise of pussy.

What did you do wrong to drive your CNA wife away? Nothing. You gave her a gift, inviting her to America to provide you with sexual stimulation and bear children just to carry on your unpronounceable name. What have you done to deserve someone urinating against your million-dollar mansion's wall? You did nothing .

You have built a mansion as a gift to edify or beautify a community and raise the property value, and now someone is urinating on the works of your suffering, afflicted hands. But why? We want to know.  It is because you sent a gift in form of invitation letter and paid the Delta Airline ticket for the village girl, and now she is leaving you for another man. In your heart of hearts, you know the truth.

The truth is that you gave the wrong gift. You are impotent and cannot fuck the village girl well because years of drunkenness and use of marijuana have weakened your penis, and your sperm is like the thin miri akpu (white milky water cassava is soaked in) rather than the thick miri akamu ( corn starch). You dare not tell friends for they would laugh you out of town after eloping with your village girl to show her how to fuck.  Like we said earlier, gifts are troublesome and sometimes can mess you up and even  lead to your demise when you meant to do some good. You cannot sleep well after giving gifts to relatives.

What sin have you committed that the neighbors are tampering with your sleep and mosquitoes sucking your blood at Lagos? Nothing.  You arrived at Lagos, Nigerian, for a much-needed holiday. You cannot sleep because you are being eaten as dinner by the ubiquitous mosquitoes buzzing, buzzing, buzzing throughout the night.

In the morning, as you are about slip into the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep with its attendant unconsciousness, the front door bursts open, and here come relatives you never expected were still alive and unkempt neighborhood children you do not care for. They are in the middle of your parlor with one purpose in mind: to demand for the dollars you have brought from America.

They say, "Dash us" ( give us gifts). Whichever way you see it, my friend, you are besieged by a virus. A virus in no other than a gift in the form of cola nuts, bottles of Budweiser or Golden Guinea. Uncle Bankole saunters in unexpectedly, and you send Bamidele to the corner store to fetch cold beer.

Demanding bribery is no different than asking for a gift from someone under duress. Duress is defined as pressure, threat, coercion, constraint, compulsion, or force. Giving gifts can kill you. You are in trouble when you give, and you are in trouble when you do not give. What then do you do? Like money, gifts are fungible in that they are not exciting unless gifts leave your hands and go into the hands of some other person. Why did Jesus tell us "it is more blessed to give than to receive"? Didn't Jesus create the gift virus with the Nigerians in mind when he was delivering the masterpiece sermon on gifts on mountaintop?

Fights often broke out in many Nigerian communities when we were growing up as little innocent children at Oturkpo or Igumale. We were told it was the right thing to do on the Boxing day right after the Christmas Day. We were young, misinformed kids, and didn't know any better. We believed that Boxing Day was a day to box your neighbors' ear off if gifts were not forthcoming   It is believed  many fights related to gifts still break out today in many communities in today's Nigeria.  How did the name Boxing Day originate?  One school of thought says Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day.

The Nigerian Government often celebrates the Boxing Day as a public holiday. What a remnant of colonialism! The Boxing Day originated in the United Kingdom, and is celebrated in a number of countries that previously belonged to the British Empire, Nigeria and Canada included.  Another school of thought argues that the tradition began in churches in the Middle Ages when Parishioners collected money for the poor in alms boxes, and these were opened on December 26, the day after Christmas in honor of St Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

For many of us, Christmas is a time for giving, and giving is good for the true giver as well as for the proper receiver. It is advisable that one should know what to give, when to give, when to withhold gifts, and how much to give in order to remain safe, it is not always the  man or woman who asks to be given deserves the gift. Sometimes giving can come with fatal consequences.

A man on a monthly salary of N27,000 ($68) asked his boss for N15,000 advance payment so he could travel  for the holidays. When the boss said she did not have the cash and advised the employee to exercise patience, the man sneaked up on the woman at or around 10:30am and stabbed her to death for not effecting a gift.

How many times have you sent your hard-earned dollars to your folks back home in Nigeria  only to regret or feel sorry afterwards that you were foolish? Perhaps you shouldn't have sent home anything, not even a kobo. The receivers may end up insulting you. Some of your receivers may ask: "Is this all you can afford from a big person like you"?

Others may say in sarcasm: "After all, it is your duty to give me." Sending the money home to Nigeria can have a boomerang effect in ways that are unexpected and demeaning. The receiver my ignore you as if your gift does not matter .You are expected to call to thank the receiver  for accepting the gift in the first place.

A Christian woman this writer met while riding the bus had something to say about giving gifts that are not appreciated. She believed that if the gifts come from God's heart, it doesn't matter what the receiver does, says or feels after receiving your little gift. If  the giver gives the gift with a clean heart, and the receiver takes possession of the gift, that is the end of the case.  God blesses the transaction as He always does. The woman and I got into a disagreement.

ME: Why bring God into this?  The receiver ought to say thank you or show some appreciation.

WOMAN: Appreciation? To who? And for what?

ME: Appreciation to me for spending my time and money.

WOMAN: You are demonstrating pride by demanding to be worshipped, to usurp God's throne.

ME: I don't understand.

WOMAN: There are things you don't understand about God and His ways

One day, Emmanuel, a classmate of this writer called out of the baby-blue sky from Aba to say: "Send me dollars." I simply hung up the receiver and let the fool stew in his ignorance. It is disrespectful and the height of bad manners to demand a gift from someone you haven't seen in decades just because you happened to share a classroom in Nineteen-something.. Emmanuel didn't camouflage his ignorance with small talks about the weather in America or inquiries into my health or the wellbeing of the children, or news of happenings in Nigeria.

"Send me dollars" is unexpected from a  retired bank manager. Perhaps his demand for dollars was made in jest or moment of inebriation or drunkenness. Nigerians at home and everywhere drink unusually large quantities of alcohol to knock them out of misery. The Nigerians act out of obsession with being instant millionaires.

Consider the popularity of the South-East and South-South Nigerian governors who pride themselves on building beer breweries as a clever way to keep citizens so lethargic they are kept in the dark as huge sums of money from the government treasury accounts are made to disappear into private account. One is lethargic when one is so drunk as to be sluggish, tired, weary, languid, exhausted, or lazy.

Whatever reason Emmanuel had in mind for saying "Send me dollars" did not sit right with my spirit and would not sit right with anyone familiar with today's hard economic times. Here, in America, I work hard for my dollar. I find myself picking up coins as I walk around gas stations and shopping malls. I am looking on the ground. Gluing my eyes to the ground helps me to pick up pieces of money people throw away. I have picked up enough pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, and even dollar bills to send some Nigerians  the sum of 100 dollars. It is not unusual to come home with pockets bulging with coins

This 22-year-old Cameroonian, Joel Ludguo, who killed his employer, is currently in police custody at the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, Lagos State, for allegedly killing his boss, Miss Temidayo Adeleke for failure to make a gift. A man on a monthly salary of N27,00 ($68) asked his boss for N15,000 advance payment so he could travel for the holidays.

When the boss said she did not have the cash and advised the employee to be patient, the man sneaked up on the woman and stabbed her to death. .Neighbors said Adeleke,whose wedding was planned for early 2017, met Ludguo at her church and brought him to live at her house. She had been kind and generous to her help. She gave a gift of money and accommodation and then paid for it with her life.  http://punchng.com/cleaner-kills-boss-not-paying-salary-advance/

As we said earlier, the gift you give may not be appreciated, or it may end up being your undoing defined as a downfall, ruin, ruination, collapse, shame, or embarrassment. Let's consider a few ways to ensure our gifts do not hamper or daunt out peace of mind.

First, we oughtn't  give too many unnecessary gifts to children in our households or home. Children feel spoiled and pampered with too many unwanted gifts on each birth date, holiday, and special occasions. Some of the gifts to give our kids are not even taken out boxes before new gifts arrive knocking at the door. Children find it onerous and frustrating to take tabs of and manage busy schedules of unwanted gifts.

Possible solutions to problems associated with children's  gifts include: (i) make fewer gifts; (ii) demand that kids perform some chores when they receive gifts, such as wash dishes after dinner, clean their rooms or launder clothes, or pay for some family utility bills with money earned from part-time jobs.

We conclude this essay with the same opening paragraph. So we are compelled to give away our wealth to people who do not merit our bleeding hearts? Why?  Friends, I do not feel guilty for being in America and  working  hard for every US dollar I send home to bloodsucking parasites we call relatives. Let's not let folks back home make us feel guilty that we are enjoying overseas while they suffer poverty. Tough luck! Nigeria is not a poor county, and our folks are not poverty-stricken. Our relatives are manipulative suckers who waste resources, competing with the Joneses and expecting us to serve as the OBFN (Overseas Bank For Nigerians). Let them get off their lazy asses and do whatever they can to help make ends meet, like plant gardens, raise chicken, or start small business from which to make profits to be shared with us.

by Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies .blogspot,com

The Nigerian Federal Government ought to have the  encourage to strengthen our country 's educational  system by (i), emphasizing  Science, Technology, Engineering , and Mathematics curricula beginning from the early years in our public schools through the universities; (ii)  testing millions of our school children in order to separate about 20% of the best brains for special training at Government expense in Nigeria's Science Academies to serve as our nucleus scientists; and (iii repatriating millions of our best science brains from Western countries where they had gone to avoid hardships at home.

Any government , including the Nigerian  Federal and State Governments, is empowered by  virtue of the  eminent domain to do what is best for the country. Education is not a luxury but a necessity.  That includes removing brainy and creative children from their families and providing proper training, school lunches, mentoring, and getting them ready to champion scientific jobs.

This is not new.  China, Japan, North Korea, and India are followings the approach outlined in this essay and reaping huge, unsurpassed benefits . China, Russia and tiny North Korea are harvesting the best scientific brains, while Nigeria and many African countries are lagging behind, losing their best brains or just beginning to wake up from deep slumber punctuated with anti-science superstitions (voodoo mentality).

The purpose of this piece is twofold: first, to build on the educational philosophy and pragmatism  of Obafemi  Awolowo's and his indelible  contribution to  Nigeria's school system;  and second, to  categorically state that my country Nigeria is destroying the future of young Nigerian children when our instructive practices concentrate heavily on ineffectual programs that do not make a significant dent on our national development and that cannot  prepare the young for the future.

Awolowo's impact is indelible in that what he did for Western Nigeria is impossible to ignore or repeal. Awolowo's collision with Nigeria's education juggernaut is newsworthy. Awolowo's impact cannot be obliterate; it is  ineffaceable, ineradicable, permanent, stubborn, obstinate, unforgettable, or deep-rooted. It is like a tree's  mkporogwu (tap root) or your body's akwala (veins).

A nation like Nigeria needs to revolutionize its education in order to remain viable and survive as a nation in the next Century. Nigeria can survive by implementing  the STEM curriculum in order to make wise decisions that would benefit the masses. The Nigerian Federal Government ought to listen attentively, not askance, when science is the topic of discussion.

How can we use science to provide information and knowledge that can help Nigeria's Federal Government make wise decisions?  Science provides jobs for smart Nigerians in manufacturing, telecommunication, and agriculture. Science allows common people to work together to solve common problems affecting them such as providing enough food to feed a bourgeoning population.

Another problem needing urgent solution in Nigeria is how to place cattle herders and their cattle in safe enclosures in order to not allow them to forage, scavenge, or rummage at will, destroying people's farms and killing villagers. Science brings together people with similar points of view from different Nigerian tribes to make decisions to save their country. President Buhari cannot pretend he has all the solutions in his brain. No man or woman can. We need cooperative efforts, individual "I too know."

Specifically, what does science do for the average Nigerian on the streets?  You could use physics, which helps with engineering, to construct new and improved buildings and structures. There should be reduction in the numbers of Nigerians living in abject beggary and squalor and who have such communicable diseases as polio, syphilis, small pox, chicken pox, small pox, leprosy, and HIV/AIDS.

Chemistry helps scientists to create new compounds with better properties that would rid Nigerians of many of our illnesses and improve our lifestyle. Examples are carbon fiber, and lighter materials for use in planes and cars to make them more fuel efficient. Science enables us to better understand the world around us. Science can promote instant global communications.

We do not need Nigerian languages (Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, Efik, Kanuri , or Munchi, except to help us understand the scientific world  around us.  We do not need Nigerian  religions (Chistianty, paganism,  and Islam) except to entertain us  or to restrain us when isi mgbaka (insanity or craziness created by belief in various gods ) puts us on the risk of killing off each other. We need to think like Awolowo to rescue Nigeria from the bottom rail it has fallen to since Nigeria's educational systems have all but disappeared. We cannot fail to catch onto the vision of Awolowo's philosophy and pragmatism.

While we are still on revolutionizing the Nigerian educational  system,  Awolowo's theory and pragmatism jump at us and jumpstart  us in the right direction. Theory is a hypothesis, a conjecture, speculation, assumption, presumption, supposition, or guess.  Pragmatism is defined as practicality, expediency, matter-of-factness, uncomplicatedness, or simplicity. That's what the Nigerian school child is in dire need of; how to move into the 21st Century with the rest of the children of the world.

We give credit where credit is due. It is due to  Chief Obafemi Awolowo for having the foresight and forethought to come up with free Universal Primary Education (UPE ) in the West (now extended to the universities). That UPE gave the Yorubas  a broad headstart /jumpstart in the educational arena .It should do the same for all Nigerians regardless of tribe and State of origin

A headstart is an advantage, advance, start, leadership, or vanguard.  It is like the battery and jump cable that kick your dead car into life when the temperature falls below freezing point in Alaska. Let the Igbos and Hausas (nay, all Nigerians)  learn from Chief Awolowo. Let the Hausas and Kanuris embark upon and extend the philosophy of Awolowo whereby  Illiterate traders enroll in schools established in the middle of Enugu's Ogbete and Lagos' Alaba markets.

Chief Awolowo said: "Let there be light!,"  and there was  a great light in Western Nigeria. This light ought to be duplicated all over Nigeria. How? Travelling Schools on horses and camelbacks follow cattle herders along their routes, teaching their women and children to read, write, and compute.  Lorries packed  ndi nkuzi (teachers) ply the byways/side streets/lanes of Southern Nigeria. They  teach the poor, hardworking, long-suffering, sweating village woman selling akara balls in the hot sun  at Surulere or Utonkon. They teach  the basic computer programming language so the akara fryer understands how life is changing each passing minute.

Science can enable that akara frier to communicate with her son in Russia or Washington DC through hand-held computer or cell phone. Why can't she send a 3-dimensional picture of her image and akara  cooking in the hot palm oil to her son while she is learning useful skills in the blazing, sweltering, baking,  blistering, roaring, scorching, roasting, glowing, and burning  sun-baked environment? There is  no end to boookeeerrry (book learning).

The application of science is limitless. The application in the Nigerian context is immeasurable, unbounded, and inexhaustible.  Let some Nigerian geniuses translate calculus, differential equations, geometry, and topology into Nigerian languages (Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba)  to enable us get faster to the moon and back; to fix our roads, remove shit from our water to make it drinkable, and prevent our mothers from dying in local unhygienic maternity wards or travelling overseas for prenatal and postnatal care at prohibitive costs.

Because we are now becoming  global-minded rather than constrained in the village or regional, we need to be able to communicate with the world through a common language that would get us on the road to modernity. The common language shall come around iff (if and only if) we become immersed in the asusu (language or dialect) of science that traverses, goes over, or passes through regional boundaries. That language is nothing less that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).  The use of quadratic formula to solve algebraic equations  is the same at Enugu as it is in London.

A car drives anywhere in the world, doesn't it? An airplane files over all terrains, no be so? In order to survive in the next century, we need a steadfast, solid,  unyielding grounding in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Let every Nigerian say "STEM" throughout the land. Stem, Stem, Stem, Stem, Stem, Stem.......

What shall we do when our oil is no longer needed or yielding fruits? What do we do if our population continues to expand until we have no more arable land to grow cassava, yams, plantains, corn, or wheat? Do we curl up and die when no one needs our dirty oil that pollutes our environment, that infuriates Buhari to the point of sending hired assassins with powerful armaments to kill persons who are trying to save our environments, and who are saying: "Mr. President, there's a better scientific way than petroleum"?

Science will teach us to invest in driver-less  vehicles that do  not use Nigerian petrol, that use solar panels that trap energy from the sum.  It has gone beyond science fiction but it is happening today when solar energy gotten from the blazing sun is making kerosene generators from the Chinese as obsolete as outside latrines dug in the earth.  We cannot continue to walk around naked under uncomfortable heavy  lace when our future clothes are made from fibers that are as cool as cotton.

We need massive education in the sciences to avoid being  left behind  in the race to the moon; we cannot  be redundant or go back to the caves like our primitive fore parents  had lived, particularly as the Nigerians love to have multiple sex partners  and fill tiny huts with neglected children who are constantly coughing, sneezing, shitting  with bloated stomachs and who are frequently infected with malarial fever and dysentery.  Science ought to take care of our many problems iff (if and only if) we begin to cultivate scientific minds as a matter of exigency, urgency, or necessity.

As the Nigerian population explodes unchecked , aren't we at the point where we need to practice birth control and family planning? Do we need to pay the boko haram insurgents  to kill off 20,000 of us per day so 20,000 others can eat?. Who would feed us when there is not enough arable land to support Nigerians' obsession with starches (rice, cassava, garri, cocoyams, potatoes, wheat, to name a few).

All Nigerian educational system does is prepare us for a life of the past century; a life of abject poverty and dependency. We are rapidly becoming  a beggar nation that cannot feed itself;  but we lives hand –to-mouth pleading for handouts, particularly leftovers that others have rejected and  that are stamped "expired do not consume."

We Nigerians feed on remnants of poisonous foodstuffs swept into gutters of overfed nations. Come to think of it, we line up as suppliant and compliant vagabonds at the World bank and other exploitative lenders to fill applications for loans that have such excessive interest rates  that our  oil,  children, and other natural resources cannot pay off in 1,000 years. We cannot pay off the debts we incur as a result of lack of scientific knowledge in the lifetimes of our people. We shall not forever be indebted.

We cannot do without science education in Nigerian public  schools. Surely, we cannot do without science education in the Nigerian public schools. If we try to do without the science knowledge, we shall be virtual indentured servants or rent-paying occupants on slave plantations owned by the European slave masters. Yes, we Nigerians , some with PhD's in very impressive fields , are contented to be able-bodied Nigger servants who are property of Mr. Charlie at the head of the  manufacturing concerns of  superpowers represented by the Americans, Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, the French, and Germans.

So long as we are under-educating  or mis-educating  our young people in the science fields, we run the risk of forevermore remaining the Third World people who live in  superstition and darkness rather than light and enlightenment, who die young from preventable illnesses, and who forever remain consumer nation rather than producing people.  We run the risk of becoming non-beings from whom all exploiters harvested transplantable body parts  (heart, liver, kidney, pancreases, eyes, skin, and other  needed  components). Without science education in the  Nigerian public schools and without  practicing the philosophy of Obafemi  Awolowo, we are nothing. We are nonentity, unknown, insignificant.

Submitted December 31, 2016. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , jamesagazies.blogspot.com

Sunday, 01 January 2017 00:16

What Nigerians Wish To See Improved In 2017

The purpose of this write –up is to report on the scores I have in my grade book for three African countries, and what my fellow Nigerians wish to happen in their country in the New Year, 2017. Nigeria, under Buhari, is trying, but more is desired.  There is ample room for improvement. Nigeria ought to do much better in the coming year. After chatting with a few friends in Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe as a college teacher, here are the scores in my grade book:

Ghana has B:  Nigeria has C; and  Zimbabwe has F

I didn't chat at length with the Ghanaians and Zimbabweans due to telephone and time constraints. Here are the wishes of the Nigerians:

Stop the rising cases of hunger in the land by fixing the economy;  address the rising cases of hunger among Nigerians by "relaxing government's policy on importation of food items for a short term to stem hunger."

Tackle corruption successfully and end insurgency. Put a stop to attacks by Fulani herdsmen. Control the activities of cattle rustlers by not giving the impression that government support such uncivilized behavior

Restructure the country, ensure equity in governance and improve security of lives and properties

Stop importing petroleum products;  and stimulate local refineries to provide perrol.

Set up economic teams to study the sufferings of Nigerians and suggest remedies.

Fight corruption by building strong institutions rather than chasing after corrupt individuals.

Restructure the country by empowering the States and groups, including the youth and persons responsible for securing the lives and properties of Nigerians.

Be relentless in efforts to crush the head and brain of Boko Haram insurgency in the country

Improve infrastructure and rehabilitate bad roads and dangerous bridges

Assemble the right people in teams to get the country out of this recession.

Put a stop o high rate of unemployment, kidnapping and activities of militants by providing more employment opportunities.

Cease messing with the Judiciary, but treat the branch with respect as one of the 3 important watchdogs (executive,  judiciary, and legislative branches) so that the Judiciary's image should not be battered.

Bring Nigerian experts in economics to examine the nation's economy and provide suggestions.

Overcome nepotism, ethnocentrism and religiosity in government by looking beyond the All Progressives Congress to appoint competent persons.

Pay salaries on time; stop begrudging workers their paychecks for as long as 8 months, even if it means borrowing from  banks to pay salaries and reimbursing banks as money becomes available,

Ensure the security of lives and properties of Nigerians in 2017.

Reduce attacks by Fulani herdsmen and other militant groups in a manner that shows commitment to constructive and participatory governance, rather than authoritarianism.

Reduce suffering by reducing (a) government's inability to pay salaries when due,(b) prices of food items that went beyond people's affordability, and (c) and the withdrawal of children from school during the year because of parents' inabilities to pay school fees.

Treat all Nigerians, including Igbos, Ijaws, and other minorities like every other Nigerians by extending fairness in administration of equity and justice.

Assembled by  Dr. James C. Agazie; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; jamesagazies.blogspot.com

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