Thursday, 27 October 2016 00:39

Are Nigerians an inferior people who can only desecrate each other?

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When I wake up in the morning I pick up my tablet (computer) and read my emails and check out the news of the day. Thus, on the morning of Monday, October 24, 2016 I woke up, picked up my tablet and looked at it. After reading the news section I went to my email.

A Nigerian guy (I will call him nameless) wrote several pages of stuff on me. I had not written anything about him, certainly not in months so I was surprised that he saw it fit to write a missive about me.  I took a look at it. He wrote about his perception of me (his views of me are the views of himself that he denied and projected to me); in his gabbled English he said that I am poor, that my parents were poor and that my village is poor and folks living in my village live in mud houses and that, as such, I am dying of shame.

My first encounter with this guy was about ten years ago. Someone referred me to Nigerian Internet forums and I made a comment on a subject that they were talking about.  The man responded to my comment with several pages talking about me. He called me an Owerri drunk (apparently, from my name he figured that I am from Owerri), a homosexual and other insulting names. I asked who this guy is. He had not seen me in his entire life yet he was writing about me as if he knew who I was. He wrote with certainty and authority that any one reading him would think that he is saying the truth. Somebody told me that he lived at Everett, about 26 miles from Seattle. I invited him to my office in downtown Seattle. My intention was to do what we call mental status examination on him and see if he is mentally ill. And if he is mentally ill, I and my friend, Dr. Davis, would place an involuntary hold on him, call the police to cart him to the nearest psychiatric ward.

I could not believe that a person would write the nonsense he wrote about me without knowing who I am. Of course, he did not come to my office.

The man continued writing his rubbish but I ignored him. I learned from folks that just about every member of the forum considers him mentally ill; they always respond to his outlandish write-up by asking him if he forgot to take his medications before writing.

Many Nigerians are really mentally ill but are not being treated; this is very sad. At present there is no cure for mental disorders but if placed on medications they tend to be stabilized. This man needs to be on anti-psychotic medications.

Why does the man believe that I feel ashamed because my folks live in mud houses are beyond my understanding? How does he know what is in my mind? Is he a mind reader to know what I think and feel?  Only psychotics presume to know what other people think. The hallmark of psychosis is belief that one knows what other people are thinking; the man is clearly psychotic; he has bipolar affective disorder and probably was in a manic phase when he wrote his gibberish.

Obviously, he is talking about his self; his folks probably live in mud houses and he feels ashamed of them and denies his shame and projects it to me. He is a study in the psychodynamics of a sick mind.

Let us suppose that what he wrote is true, it is not true, what is the point of writing them? What difference does it make if I am poor, my parents are poor and my people are poor; what has that got to do with the present social discourse, corruption in Nigeria? Are poor people not human beings and don't have a right to live? Is he now god who decides who lives or not? He is the psychotic god!

His apparent goal was to shame me. Apparently, he felt that if he wrote as much lies as he could about me, lies that put me in a negative light, that he would shame me in the public. His goal is very obvious, to humiliate me.

I asked: but why would he want to degrade me? What motivated him to wake up one fine Monday morning and decided to write a fiction and present it as the truth to those he considers his readers, his fellow Igbos (his language skills is what you would find in special education students in elementary school; he appears mentally retarded). So why did this man feel a need to write such nonsense about me?

I thought about it for a while and got it. In his mind he sees me as a man who has written what he believes is negative stuff about his people, Igbos. Seeing me as a man who desecrated his people he felt a need to desecrate me. No amount of lies about me is too much, he believes. He is engaged in a kind of primitive propaganda; like Joseph Goebbels, he believes that if he told big lies about me that they would be believed by his audience; his goal is to tarnish my name.

The man probably drank some alcohol and or smoked crack cocaine to scramble whatever brain is in his thick skull and then typed his made up story about me.

For some reasons, Igbos and Nigerians in general, are focused on folk's academic qualifications. They do not worry about what folks do with their education but merely talk about their paper degrees. They are proud if they have paper degrees. Thus, an Igbo with a doctorate degree would want you to know about it and call him Dr. Unable to govern his people. He wants you to see him as some kind of big deal because he has degrees given to him by white men's schools.

I only want to know what people are doing with their supposed education; in fact, I do not give a hoot about folk's academic degrees.

I do not append my degrees to my name. Ozodi Osuji is good enough for me, thank you. Somehow, this man and his fellow Igbos always talk about my education or lack of it.

The nameless one said that he wanted to know where I went to elementary school, secondary school and undergraduate college and if it is true that I have a doctorate degree for me to prove it to him.

I asked: what is it to this man where I went to school and why would I want to prove it to him? What is he to me? Who is he that I need to explain my background to?

Did he send me to school? Did he pay my school fees? Does he do anything for my survival? If the answer to those questions is not affirmative why would I bother proving myself to him?

Apparently, he does not know that a human being is relevant to others to the extent that he serves their social interest.

Since he does not serve my interests he is not relevant to my survival. For all I care, he is nonexistent. That is correct; he is a dead man talking.  To me, he does not exist, period. He is a ghost so why should I explain myself to a nonexistent apparition masquerading as a person?

For me to explain myself to him requires me to seek his attention. And why would I seek attention from a man whose writing skills make him out as an illiterate, an Aba motor park boy? Why would I do that?

Folks often desire to seem important in other people's eyes. It is Alfred Adler's individual psychology 101. If one feels inferior and desires superiority one wants to seem important in other people's eyes. If one does so one is a neurotic, a mildly mentally sick person.

A mentally healthy person does not go about seeking other people's attention and admiration, nor does he want to seem superior to any human being; he just accepts his self as is, without judgment of him being good or bad.

As Carl Rogers (Client Centered Therapy) pointed out, a mentally healthy person accepts his self and other selves in an unconditionally positive manner.

It is the neurotic (in extant psychological language, the personality disordered and or mentally ill) that accepts his self and other people conditionally: only when they seem important and rejects his self and other people when they seem unimportant.

Neurotic Igbos accept themselves and each other only to the extent that they seem achieving and important. Thus, they steal from the public sphere or from each other (kidnapping for money is rife in their world) to get money with which to pretend importance. Never mind that their bodies, as are the bodies of all human beings are food for worms. Human sense of worth and significance is pretended, make belief and not real.

Would I want to seem important in the nameless abusive man's eyes? Why would his attention make me feel important? Indeed, why would attention from his fellow tribe's men, Igbos, make me feel important?  What are they to me? What do they do for me? Do they feed me or in any way or shape make my survival possible? No. Their existence is not salient for my survival so they are of no particular concern for me.

Psychotherapy 101 tells us that if one depends on other people's attention to make one feel important one is not important. If other people's attention can make you feel important they can also withdraw that attention and make you feel unimportant. Thus, pure reason tells you not to seek attention from other people.

A healthy person does not care whether you, other persons, give him positive or negative attention; your (other persons) opinion about him has no relevance for his survival.

Albert Ellis' Cognitive Behavior Therapy, building on the Roman stoic philosopher, Epictetus, tell people to desist from seeking other people's attention, to not judge their selves with the parameters of what they think that other people would approve in them; other people are not responsible for one's survival; only one is responsible for one's survival; other people's opinion of one is superfluous.

It should be noted that all opinions are based on incomplete information. None of us has the entire information in the universe or about people. Each of us has incomplete information; therefore, what one says about other people is rooted in incomplete information and is not true. So why should one bother with other people's opinion of one seeing that it is rooted in partial information about one?

Only a fool worries about what other people think or say about him! I would be a fool to concern myself with the opinion an illiterate Igbo man has of me.

A healthy person, Dr. Ellis writes, should not even for a second consider what other people think of him but should only consider what is the right behavior, as he understands it, and does it.

Responding to the gibberish that the nameless jungle denizen wrote about me is actually not my motivation for writing this piece. My motivation is to ask if Igbos, Nigerians, Africans and black people in general are inferior human beings. Why ask that question?

Any reasonable black person knows that Africa is badly governed and ought to ask: why is it that wherever Africans are in charge things are not done Well.

In the past folks provided excuses for why Africa is the shithouse of the world. White liberals and their products, educated Africans, gave us gazillions of reasons, excuses, really, why Africa is backward. If it is not due to slavery that carted Africans to the Americas to use their labor to develop the Americas, it is colonialism and neocolonialism that is responsible for Africa's underdeveloped status.

Modernization scholars told us that the Center, The West, is carting the resources of the periphery (Africa and Asia) to its metropolis and making sure that the periphery does not industrialize. It is the white master and his African compradors that are responsible for Africans backwardness. Walter Rodney in "How Europe Underdeveloped Africa" made these pseudo points.

Today, folks are no longer interested in hearing rationalizations of why Africans are the laughing stock of the world. Asians were ruled by Europeans and got their independence right around when Africans did. Today, Asians are living in conditions comparable to Western conditions; they have nearly caught up with the white man.  Africans are still living in their shithouse, always seeking excuses to explain their shiftlessness.

After almost sixty years of post-independence self-rule (the British was in Nigeria for only sixty years, 1900-1960, the same amount of time that Nigerians have governed themselves, sufficient time for them to have corrected whatever mistakes the British made) Africans ought to have begun entering the modern world. Instead, they have actually retrogressed to behind where the white man left them in 1957 (when Ghana got its independence).

Look at contemporary Nigeria; it seems that the Nigerian government is composed of thieves; folks go into politics to go steal from the public treasury but not to go do anything for the people.

The man who wrote about me is from Imo state. Let us go to his Imo state and see how it is governed. When you get to Owerri, the capital of Imo state, you are greeted by mountains of garbage on the streets (germs from those refuse reduce the peoples life span to about 43). It is as if nobody is actually in charge of the city. The whole damn place looks like it is in the Planet of Apes, not human beings.

The only logical conclusion you would draw upon visiting Owerri and other Igbo towns is that may be inferior human beings, if at all we can call them human beings, are in charge of the shithouse.

But instead of feeling ashamed that his people do not seem able to govern themselves well this nameless man feels that the only important  thing for him to do is write fictions about me.  Putting me down is more important than figuring out how to govern his primitive society.

As we talk, a Nigerian that goes by fictitious names is writing loads of negative material about another Nigerian. Apparently, the chap he is writing about supports the current Buhari government of Nigeria and he supported the old Jonathan government. He takes out his anger at this other guy for supporting Buhari by calling him unprintable names. Daily, he posts information on his enemy's supposed criminal activities in the USA. His goal is to rubbish his name. I ask: why not concentrate on how to govern Nigeria well, why go about insulting each other?

If you think about it, Nigerians are cowards; they tolerate abuse from their thievish leaders and know only how to insult each other. If Nigerians were courageous folk who are unafraid to die they would pick up arms and fight for a just government in their world. It is easier to just insult one another and do nothing to correct their misgoverned shithouse. The guy who abuses me does not lift a finger to bring about good governance in his country.

He and his fellow Igbos make themselves out as godlike but the evidence before our eyes is that they are unable to properly govern themselves; surely gods could pick up garbage and cart it to garbage dumps?

In my past writing (I have actually not written on Igbos for years now), I pointed out what is wrong with Alaigbo. Apparently, what I wrote deflated Igbos presentation of themselves as gods with feet of clay. I damaged their neurotic sense of omnipotence by pointing out their inability to do the easiest of things, such as run their cities and states well.

Apparently, the nameless one felt shamed by my past writing and decided that he has to shame me. To shame me he had to write loads of lies about me.

His lies are so egregious that I wondered if actually he expected his readers (if they can stand his atrocious language) to believe him. Did he really expect his readers to believe that I am what he wrote that I am: a bum?

Even if he is drunk and his brain is fried and confounded by alcohol would he believe that folks who read me would believe that I am the street urchin he wants to make me out as?

Anyone with a bit of university education who reads any of my writings must guess that I, at least, have college education. If he is intelligent he would correctly guess that I teach at the college level.

The level of information exhibited in any of my writing is not what you find in the man on the street, as our nameless chipmunk believes that he has made me out as.

Let me ask, again: is he an inferior human being? And by generalization, are people from his neck of the woods inferior human beings?

Africans, Nigerians, Igbos, black folks are not an inferior breed of human beings. They are equal and the same with all people. If so what makes them behave in the manner they behave, such as their inability to govern themselves right?

I believe that it is because they are a primitive people. They did not go through the various historical epochs that the West went through to get to where they are at today.

Africans are at, perhaps, 2000 years behind the West in material culture. They are operating as Europeans operated at the beginning of our common era, first century AD, primitive (if you read the history of Romans conquering the Celtic and German world, the world they conquered two thousand years ago is reminiscent of Africa of today).

The problem is that Africans are exposed to the modern industrialized and scientific world and they have no understanding what to do to survive in that world. They try using the skills appropriate for a primitive world to adapt to the exigencies of a modern industrial and or postindustrial world and necessarily fail.

Instead of doing what has to be done to develop their countries, Africans talk as if they are in their preliterate societies, talking for the sake of talking. Many of them actually believe that mere talk affects people. Thus, the nameless chap believed that his silly talk could shame me.

Who is he to shame me? Can a jungle dweller shame a civilized person? As it is, I am having a difficult time seeing him as a human being; I am trying very hard not to see him as a savage! Yet, he feels that he can shame me.

He cannot shame me regardless of what he writes. His writing is the outpouring of a manic-depressive psychotic, in a euphoric mood; in his manic mood his writing does not make sense; he needs to be on anti-mania medications such as Lithium or Depakote to calm down his excited nerves before he can make sense; alternatively, he is on excitatory drugs, such as cocaine or amphetamine, and does not make sense (those street drugs induce delusion and paranoia in those on them).

His writing is not relevant to my survival but makes me ask why he and his people refuse to address the matter of governing their world but instead exist to merely talk about other's supposed wealth or poverty. He bragged about how many houses he has; I am impressed; he is in his sixties; there is Mark Zuckerberg who is under age thirty and already has fifty billion dollars! The coxcomb is impressed by his chomp change!


In the modern world folks are supposed to demonstrate what they are made of by what they do; in the West folks make contributions to science, technology and business. From their contributions society benefits and some of them make names for themselves. Thus, you are important because of what you contribute to science, technology and society.

Africans are so backward that they are not yet able to make contributions to science and technology. They are not yet a part of the world of science and anything hence derive a sense of importance from their contributions.

Africans are human beings and, as such, desire neurotic importance. It seems that the only way many of them found to gratify their neurotic sense of importance is to tear each other down. They desecrate each other with vengeance. They are literally like vultures tearing each other down, eating each other.

The nameless one woke up one morning and decided that he had to tear me down; he wrote everything in his power to do so. In doing so he probably felt superior to me and saw me as inferior to him (in doing so he came across as a savage and if at all I had any kind of respect for him he lost it for only a primitive could write what he wrote, a rational person writes to lift up the spirit of people not to tear them down).

Lacking positive means of gratifying their neurotic desire for social importance, many Africans seek to obtain it by desecrating each other and in so doing destroy each other's self-confidence hence Africa remains a continent where no useful ideas come from.

How can a people who destroy each other's self- esteem come up with creative and useful ideas? They cannot. We just have to wait for this and the next few generations of Africans to die out before rational Africans who do things to uplift each other come into existence.

Ozodi Osuji

October 26, 2016

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Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

Ozodi Thomas Osuji is from Imo State, Nigeria. He obtained his PhD from UCLA. He taught at a couple of Universities and decided to go back to school and study psychology. Thereafter, he worked in the mental health field and was the Executive Director of two mental health agencies. He subsequently left the mental health environment with the goal of being less influenced by others perspectives, so as to be able to think for himself and synthesize Western, Asian and African perspectives on phenomena. Dr Osuji’s goal is to provide us with a unique perspective, one that is not strictly Western or African but a synthesis of both. Dr Osuji teaches, writes and consults on leadership, management, politics, psychology and religions. Dr Osuji is married and has three children; he lives at Anchorage, Alaska, USA.

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176