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. 

 

We have been writing  for awhile on the poor educational climate in Nigeria in general and specifically in Northern Nigeria . This writer had served as teacher and headmaster in primary schools in then Benue Plateau State. Readers should  please check out our featured  essay (How Do We Educate the Children of Northern Nigeria?) at jamesagazies.blogspot.com. 30 May, 2015.

When Governor Nasir El-Rufai of kaduna State sacked about 21,000 teachers who had failed a recently conducted examination in the state, there was a huge hullabaloo.   See https://dailytimes.ng/features/kaduna-el-rufais-burden-teachers-failure-national-emergency-2/decision. The Governor buttressed his decision by sharing the results of some of the primary 4 competency test scripts conducted for primary teachers in Kaduna State.

Though the teachers’ performance on the test was pathetic, there is still hope that things would turn around with a little work. Kaduna State cannot throw the baby out with the dirty bath water. There is  a lot of salvaging to do. To salvage is to save, recover, rescue, retrieve, recoup, reclaim, or re-claim. Of all the definitions of salvage, to retrain comes readily to mind. We recommend:

(1)    Mandatory In-Service Programs for teachers during the week after regular hours of work and on weekend in order to strengthen teachers’ knowledge base and test-taking skills, where teachers may be provided with small stipends for participation.

(2)    A massive retraining of teachers during the months schools are closed aimed at strengthening skills in reading, writing, computation, and teaching area, also with stipends.

(3)    Teacher Certification Examination that requires teachers to pass a proficiency/competency  test in basic English, science math, and their teaching fields, where teachers pay a fee for the examination.

(4)    Teachers who fail to make acceptable scores on the Teacher Certificate after 2 or 3 attempts are asking to be dismissed, and those who pass should be the pool from which future employment decisions are made.

The dereliction of education in Northern Nigeria took years to come into fruition, and it will take a little time and planning to correct. Dereliction refers to years of neglect, disregard, negligence, carelessness, recklessness, failure, abandonment. Leaders and policy makers in Northern Nigeria ought to cease fighting against education of young people. It takes more than just money to educate young learners; it takes caring and nurturance. Nigerian schools should be user-friendly places that are inclusive of all learners,  where teachers are paid well and encouraged to be creative,  and where interesting lessons are related to the child’s culture and experiences.

Nigerians should learn a bitter lesson from Sir Ahmadu Bello, Premier of Northern Nigeria , who must be recognized as the notorious father of efforts to destroy education in the North. While this writer and other Nigerian secondary school students were preoccupied with completing the WASC and enrolling in the Higher School Certificate institutions  in order to gain admissions to the three available universities at that time  (Nsukka, Ibadan, and Zaria), the Sardauna was promoting vitriolic anti-Igbo messages and  promulgating the Northernization Policy aimed at kicking Igbo children out of Northern schools. 

The Northernization Policy shall not mean watering down the curriculum or hiring unqualified Northern teachers when qualified others are available . It does not mean hiring Northerners who failed WAEC examinations or NCE and paying them higher salaries to teach primary school children when qualified Southerners can be hired.  It shall not mean saturating the Nigerian armed forces with persons who have failed the WAEC and other examinations.

Uneducated military is a bane rather than a boost. Northernization shall not mean protection of inefficiency in Northerners or discrimination against non-Northerners in hiring and compensation. Rather, Northernization  policy shall mean strengthening  the quality of teachers  at both the pre-college and college sectors in all of Nigeria.

Efforts should be made to augment President Buhari ‘s efforts to weaken boko haran whose insurgency has killed hundreds of teachers and thousands of school children, in addition to displacing millions of villagers. Fear should not be allowed to grip teachers and parents whose support is needed if our children’s education is to succeed. Fear of violence shall not continue to drive Southern teachers and children away from Northern schools.

How could the North catch up with the South in education when the North’s leaders and parents  had formed  very negative attitudes towards education in the 50’s, 60’s, 70s, such that while this writer and thousands of his 3-5 year-old classmates were learning the multiplication tables and English alphabets in mud walled windowless schoolhouses in Benue State, the Muslim children were encouraged to look down upon the Western education, as they were gloating over their special relationship with conqueror Ottoman Dan Fodio.

It is time we placed education of all Nigerian boys and girls at the front of our national priority and scheme of things, particularly in the Northern Nigerian schools, Girl students will no longer be considered only as an afterthought or postscript. Girls are more important to society than we realize, and much more significant than just being concubines, domestic help, or sex slaves. Girls are equal partners with the males. Gone are the days when girls and young women were relegated to the kitchen and “the other room.” Girls have important roles to play in society as cherished mothers of the nation.

The quality of the teaching staff and learners will improve in all of Nigeria when we emphasize equality of the sexes and the importance education plays in the health and well-being of both the individual and the nation as a whole. Educated citizens make better employers and employees, and they make more suitable marriage partners. Educated Nigerians are better tax payers and vote in elections with greater understanding of issues. Educated persons are less likely to be poor and unemployable than the less educated. It is better to trust educated people and hand over the task of governance to them than we would the uneducated.

We ought to divest or strip education of its religious overtones by teaching the reading, writing and ‘rithmetics in secular schools, without appealing to religious sentiments and indoctrination of the church or mosques.  Education ought to be secular.

 Secularization means education should be earthly, worldly, and nonspiritual.  In other words, all religious teachings and religious indoctrination ought to be left at the door of the Methodist Church , Catholic Church,  Mosque, or other houses of worship. Let’s emphasize science, technology, engineering, agriculture, and mathematics (STEAM) in schools above other considerations.

The Nigerian Constitution should provide for a complete separation of state and religion. There should be no more  boko haram dictating policy or kidnapping female students from boarding schools.  Boko haram and all it stands for should be wiped out of Nigeria. Every attempts shall  be made to create a safe school environment. We should cease the use of school buildings or school property for non-school activities, such as army camps, barracks, military deployments, weapons, ammunition, and supply depots.

Teachers and students shall be safe at schools and universities. Schools ought to be built in safe places where teachers and students shall be guaranteed a measure of protection and security.  Reasonable people would agree that no meaningful teaching and learning can take place under stress and  duress, or threat of violence or insecurity. There should be immediate cessation of all attacks, and threats of attacks, that target schools, students, teachers, school administrators, and other civilians.

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

Monday, 11 December, 2017

Friday, 08 December 2017 23:22

When Man Says: "I'm God"

The purpose of this essay is to warn, to tell my countrymen and women to stop seeking a god on a white horse to rescue the nation. There isn't a single god in Nigeria or anywhere in the whole wide world (www). The prayers for a Savior have gone unanswered. What we see are men and women seeking opportunities to exploit and lay to waste. The U S Trump is an example. I support respecting and honoring ourselves and others, and I will give honor where honor is due. But one thing I would never do is to allow a man, a mere insignificant speck of dust, a mortal like me, to usurp the throne of God . It is something I would not allow.

Despite how honorable a man is, he is not my God. My God loves me, wants the best for me, looks after my wellness, and would even let Himself die, if need be, in my behalf. The Igbos name their sons Maduabuchi (man is not God), Onyebuchi (who is like unto God?) or Onyekachi (who is greater than God?). The Igbos have a point worth noticing: Man isn't and cannot be God by any stretch of the imagination

Like me , a man is mortal, he eats like I do, uses the toilet like I do, loves money like I sometimes do; and can become jealous and evil like we all are, and when we die we all go 6 feet under the earth. So, what is the big deal? Man cannot replace God. God does things with equity, meaning God does things with fairness, evenhandedness, impartiality, justice, justness, or parity. My God is not a Nigerian or Ruropean. When will Nigerians begin to recognize what I and many others are recognizing too late? Man is not god.

Man, no matter the degree of his popularity or length of the scroll on which his accomplishments are written, is not fit to be called God. Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto , would have been considered the Fulani god if he had not allowed deep-seated hatred of Igbos to be his Waterloo. Odumegwu Ojukwu came closest to being a god who attempted to save his people who were at the mercy of hateful jihadhists. Non-Igbo Nigerians hated Ojukwu with a passion for that. Ojukwu wasn't the god I would admire because he didn't face death with the people whose cause he had championed. He ran away. That leaves Nnamdi Kanu. Where is Kanu?

Obasanjo is not god because he selfishly sought the third term in office. Buhari is not god, and if he were, he was a cruel, sickly and hateful god who ruled through slaughter and vile violence . Yar'dua was not god, and Jonathan was far from being an Ijaw god. Babangida, the self-styled Muslim deity, is watching while his country perishes, goes to waste. What other gods do Nigerians go to polls to elect to continue to murder, pillage, and violate their rights?

I am offended when men arrogate to themselves the titles and qualities only reserved for Chukwu or Chineke (our God). A famous example of arrogation is Herod the Great, ruthless ruler of the Jews, who sat on the throne of Israel and commanded his subjects to prostrate and pay obeisance to him with such words as: "He's God; it is the voice of God." Herod usurped the throne of God. He said, "I indeed am God."

And what happened next? The usurper turned into a basket of ikpuru (worms), and there was a stampede that was massive and fear-inspiring. If I were there, I would initially run out with the crowd, to save my life. I will eventually return to where Herod was sitting before becoming ikpuru, I would clear the seat off of the hideous, crawling, swarming maggots and drag the golden throne to my hut.

And no human being would ever sit on a throne again. And any woman who calls herself Mrs. Agazie, attempts to disobey me, I will not lay my hands on her, but would be in her village the following morning loudly demanding that my dowry/bride price be given back to me with immediate effect.

I may consider sitting on the throne myself for a brief moment after telling my family, "Look, my name is Papa, and don't ever call me God. Do you hear?" And that will be it. Would I be tempted to sit on the golden throne for a brief moment to see if the feeling of being God would fall on me? I might, but then I would not because the job God does is awfully hard, the job of dispensing love with equity and equanimity is impossible for Nigerians and Europeans.

The Atlanta Journal –Constitution of Friday, February 3, 2012 (pages B1, B3) carried a ludicrous story of a ceremony at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta, Georgia, in which Bishop Eddie Long was carried upon a throne, while self-purported rabbi named Ralph Messer of Colorado proclaimed: "He is a king. God has blessed him" before covering Long with what was purported to be a 312-year-old Torah Scroll said to still have the dust of Auschwitz and Beckerman. What nonsense! Bishop Eddie Long died a few years later of HIV. His followers claimed it was cancer that killed the Bishop.

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

December 8, 2017

We have been writing on enslavement of dark-skinned Africans by the Arabs. Check out our Feature  Article of December 16, 2013, entitled "Aren't Racist Muslims Enslaving Uneducated Africans?" Read more at  jamesagazies.blogspot.com.

The CNN reports this month that slave trade is alive and well in Libya. No one knows how long the  selling of Nigerian and other African slaves  has been going on. I told a friend in Abuja and he says: "is not only Nigeria but also Ghana." The world knows of the nefarious trade in human beings but keeps silent because "it is a problem of black folks, and not whites."

We say to Africans to please remain. One, remain at home and pressure your government to change  bad policy, and create conditions that enable employment to take roots, including roads, electricity, and infrastructural  renovation. Two, remain in your country to make things happen. Three, remain in schools and acquire needed training in the science, engineering, mathematics, and technology fields where jobs are being advertised.

If bad comes to worse, go to other friendly ECOWAS  African countries rather than journeying to the unfamiliar terrain in Europe. Remain where you are. Be  law-abiding and respectful of other people. Resist the get-rich-quick-so-soon stupidity that makes Africans (particularly Nigerians ) the pests they are. Nigerians are not the only group going through hard time.

This writer is suspecting that darker-skinned Africans had been forced into slavery for centuries, starting with the Arab slavery where Africans served as indentured servants, gaining momentum during the Atlantic Slave trade where Africans were sold as chattel, and continuing till this day.

Sale of black slaves didn't just exist during the reign of Gadhafi and his oil fields. Sale of black African slaves has been ongoing, and persists beyond the fall of Gadhafi. It is reported that black Africans have been bought and sold in Timbuktu, Saudi Arabia and in many corners of the Arab world .

It is such a shame that African nations are so poor that their citizens have the urge to become slaves in Europe in order to make a living under the most inhumane conditions. Many Africans die of hydration while trekking across the inhospitable Sahara desert. Some die of drowning at sea when their rickety, overloaded boats capsize or run aground. Those who make it through the perilous journey end up being auctioned off at slave markets.

The purpose of this essay is first to call attention to the plight of black Africans who suffer rape, brutality and painful death while seeking to escape poverty in their countries. All right thinking people the world over should decry exploitation of Africans.

We deplore the conditions responsible for the deaths of our people. As the Civil Rights icon Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere."  Additionally, we should demand that  African nations and human right organizations take steps to end the exploitation of Africans.

African leaders are urged to resign their positions or be forced to go as President Mugabe was if they cannot boost their economy in such a way as to guarantee their citizens some form of minimum wage employment that would prevent loss of lives of citizens who leave their homes in search of greener pastures.

We encourage young Africans to mount pressure of their governments until  more Mugabes resign or be put under house arrest. Young people shall use persuasion to demand that their leaders create enabling conditions for employment to take roots. Enabling conditions include building roads, providing electricity, renovating infrastructures. It is advisable to remain in the country to make things happen; to remain in schools and acquire needed training in the science, engineering, mathematics, and technology fields where jobs are being advertised.

A combination of greed and poverty has led Africans to seek passage to Europe usually at great risks that include shipwrecks and drowning at sea; rapes and brutality at the hands of cruel traffickers and pirates who pluck Africans out of dangerous waters only to sell them. It is reported that over 3, 000 Africans drown each month in the Mediterranean Sea . The situation leaves them particularly vulnerable to human trafficking, sexual violence, predatory cold-hardheartedness, torture, slavery,  and in some instances, death.

Africans who arrive in Libya, numbering over 1,000,000, are stranded, unable to pay the cost of their passage, and having  no money to get back home. An African caught in the Libyan slave market has the option to pay up or be sold into slavery. Men sell for $400 usually to farmers or miners, while women go to men seeking sex slaves or prostitutes to work the streets.

Slavery of Africans begins as poverty drives masses of Nigerians and Ghanaians  to leave home in search of the proverbial golden fleece. These Young men and women leave home with the blessing of families who believe children should take care of ageing parents. The parents are usually the poor, illiterate, and uneducated who occupy the squalid tenements of Lagos and many African cities.

When one is unlettered, one is easily persuaded to believe pie-in-the-sky sermonizing about how money can be gotten in Europe. Since the Naira and most African currencies have fallen miserably to the point the ordinary citizens cannot buy their staple food items, so what can they do? When the Africans see the Dollars, Pounds, Franks, and Yuans waxing strong, the enticement  by trafficking agents and entrapment  by exploiters  become real. Exploiters  promise to take them  to the sources of ego oyibo (the white man's money).

The agents are usually human traffickers who charge exorbitant fees upfront and give no guarantee they would deliver. After collecting the fees, the traffickers disappear or find someone to lead the young people to lead the victims to untimely death, trek the Sahara Desert where they perish from dehydration  under the blazing, sizzling, suffocating Equatorial sun.

Those who survive dehydration pay extra money to ride the boat in the Mediterranean Sea where they go down in watery graves. It is murder with no clear motives and no one to fight for the dead. It is needless to say that the boats are not maintained and usually parked with more human beings that the vessel can safely hold

When these young people arrive in what they think is the Promised Land, they are disoriented, ready to give up, hungry, penniless, and unable to get back home. The rest is history. They are shipped to Spain as slaves or prostitutes.

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

Wed, 6 December, 2017

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 00:28

And His Name Was Naija

No one knew that one day the world would need oil no more

There was once a Man.  His name was Naija. And he was a prodigal.

Wasteful, reckless, profligate; his friends were the trusted Europeans.

He drank oil, he slept in oil, and he smelled of oil always and everywhere he went

His enemies were fellow citizens; he ran to the white men to learn to govern his people

They say, "Don't worry, Sir. Please don't worry; you have oil in a glut, abundance superfluity"

They thumb their noses at him, laugh behind his back, and call him Nigger

His confidence was buoyed, and he had overinflated, overflowing Mr. Big Stuff assurance

He didn't know that the age of oil is coming to an end, though he still cooked with firewood

No one told him about North Korea's Fat Boy or that the age of nuclear is dawning

Who would sell Naija the technology needed to advance beyond greasey oil?

The Americans won't sell, and neither would the Russians, Chinese, or the Arab countries

They say: "Sir, you don't need it. It's too hard. Call us to do the work for you. Just pay us"

The older he grew the more Naija wasted his resources, living as if there was no Tomorrow.

He abused his children, gave bribery magical powers, and neglected to build roads

Why build schools when rich kids were sent to Eton, Harvard, and schools in Europe?

Why bother, why worry or lose sleep when Oil was the balm that greased the elbow?

Yearly Road Contracts, like Lagos-Onitsha,  were shared among those running the government.

With hospitals closed and pharmacy looted, Naija  journeys overseas for every ailment

Farming came to a standstill, groundnuts stopped, no one knows the minerals in earth's belly

The man Naija used Religion to divide and conquer; Tribe and State became measuring rods.

Oil was siphoned off to private refineries in distant lands and sold back at 300%

Some men sold commonwealth to friends, and awarded lucrative contracts to foreigners

In exchange for kickbacks, threads of chickenfeed, and a handful of small change.

Man named Naija put education on back burners, and says: "Western education is satanic."

He elevated bribery to art form, borrowed from the World Bank and the IMF

He says; "I have oil to pay now, and my children will pay in the future. Why worry?

His European friends tell him: "Don't worry, Sir. Borrow more. Pay later. You have good oil"

One day, the CNN, NBC and BBC come up with startling news: World Needs Oil No More

Price per barrel of oil drops  rapidly to  50 dollars, then to 30 dollars, and finally to 10

What would Man named Naija  do? Would he swallow his oil in one giant gulp?

Can he compete in the production of non-renewable sources, such as

Natural gas, coal, nuclear energy, fusion, shale oil, tar sands and extra heavy oil?

Where would Naija stand in the race for production of renewal sources of energy, such as

hydro-electrical energy, biomass, geothermal energy, wind energy, and solar photo-voltaic?

Would Naija survive when schools are neglected and science education forgotten?

Who would sell Nigeria the technology needed to advance beyond greasy oil?

The world's oil reserves by country by millions of barrels have Nigeria near the bottom.

They are 1. Venezuela  (300,878) 2. Saudi Arabia (266,453) 3.  Canada (169, 709)

4. Iran (158, 400) 5. Iraq (142,508) 6. Kuwait (101,500) 7. United Arab Emirates (97,800)

8. Russia (80,000) 9. Libya (48, 363) 10. United States (39,290) 11. Nigeria (37,062)

12. Kazakhstan (30,000)  13. China (25,620) 14. Qatar (25,244) 15. Brazil (12,999)

16. Algeria (12,200) 17. Angola (8,273) 18. Ecuador (8,273) 19. Mexico (7,640) and

20 Azerbaijan (7,000)

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

November 4, 2017

What a wild time to be a Nigerian!  It is a time of crises . Our families and nation are at a crossroad of whatever. The very fabric of Nigerian society is under attack at various fronts, including leadership led by a hateful religious group, crimes perpetrated by nomads, the use of state apparatus to intimidate young protesters, and violence unleashed upon unsuspecting groups. Drugs coupled with indiscipline are everywhere.  Read to the end of this essay to see useful suggestions to combat problems discussed herein.

Under Buhari, our ship is unsteady. In fact, the vessel is wobbly, shaky, rickety, wonky. The question being asked is how to help. We help by laying the foundation of honesty and positive psychology. Positive psychology is the pursuit of happiness in the face of sadness, deaths, unemployment, underemployment, and divorce, 

It seems to that when the going gets tough, the psychologically and positively tough people get going. Positive psychology is an umbrella term for the study of positive emotions a person gets from  being happy and  at peace with how one’s life has gone  in the past, is going in the present, and will go in the future.  

This paper focuses on some of the factors that are related to the unhappiness of young people in Nigeria, particularly in urban areas. It appears that like Charlie (fictitious), Nigeria’s young people are not focused because of loss of direction. Young Nigerians are drinking large quantities of alcohol to deal with frustration and lack of direction. They are dabbling in occult and other questionable get-rich-quick schemes. They need to be taught positive psychology or ways to extricate self from extreme dishonesty.    

The conclusion is not far-fetched that, although life is hard, things are not as bad and unmanageable in Nigeria as people want us to imagine. Difficulties of life are not meant to make us bitter but better. Young Nigerians are often heard to complain a lot about how life is tough at home.

Of all the things that retard progress and make things not go right in Nigeria, dishonesty and greed top the list. Corruption is the chief. Corruption is defined as deceit, deceitfulness, fraudulence, lying, untruthfulness, treachery, or duplicity.  

The challenge for all Nigerians  with love of Naija in their hearts is this: How do you teach honesty in the face of the leaders and parents who are lying, deceitful, false, untruthful, fraudulent, corrupt, unfair, and insincere?

Some Nigerians  would like to be under a government other than Buhari’s, and others prefer a government that has a bag of panaceas. A panacea is a cure-all, magic portion, magic bullet, or universal remedy. One who waits for a panacea is a believer in fairy tales and one who does not mind waiting forever.  A panacea is for those who do not believe that hard work pays off or that honest labor bears a lovely face

Our relatives would like to have us living overseas to wire money to them by Western Union as often as possible. Can life be so unbearably hard that a little thinking, knowledge of positive psychology, and shift in attitudes would not help? Who would like to have a bunch of crying babies who are perpetually unable to quit moaning, wailing, or pulling on Momma’s apron string?

The idea for this essay germinated during this writer’s two-week visit to his village in the former Eastern Region where he communicated with several relatives he was committed to helping and who seek assistance to better cope with some of the problems the relatives are facing in their daily living activities. This writer does not mind helping if and only if relatives will do the right thing.

In conversations with the relatives, there was a sincere desire to help rather than an attempt to laugh at, belittle, or make light of a relative’s difficulties. The conversations did not involve insults or unpleasant comparisons, such as “You’re lazier than I am, and if I were you I would do this and that”or “In America, we do it like this.” Such conversations yield resentment and complaints.

Nigerians have a habit of always complaining. They are often expecting the government and others to do everything for them. They also expect financial support to pour in to them from around the universe, especially from relatives living overseas in Britain, and America. We know friends who are under compulsion to rescue “starving” relatives. The well-meaning but misinformed friends I had contacted about this essay keep telling me: “there’s hunger in the land.”

It is a dangerous thing to keep helping relatives who believe one helping them has an inexhaustible supply of cash. Relatives soon become dependent and lose respect for persons doing the helping and when further freebies are not forthcoming or when the perks, handouts, or giveaways cease falling down from heaven as manna fell during the Exodus of Moses, the people you are helping are apt to get angry with you, attack you, or rob you due to their attitude of entitlement.

Rampant complaints obfuscate the real issues. A 45-year-old relative named Lillian (fictitious) complains of the difficulties she is having to stretch her teacher’s monthly salary of N90,000 (250 dollars) to cover the cost of a two-room flat she and her husband are renting at N250,000 (695 dollars) per year.

This writer had paid N83,334 which is exactly one-third of the yearly rent last year while the relative and her husband were responsible for the remaining two-thirds (or N166,666). In Igbo, there is a thing called afo ojuju or satisfaction that comes when the stomach is filled with foofoo. Relatives are rarely satisfied.    

When Lillian and her husband did not have afo ojuju, and were asking for further assistance with rental fee this year, we suggested a budgeting system whereby the couple could set aside 10% of the rent (or N25,000)  each month. They should save the rent money in a bank. They are told not to keep the money hidden in a secret place in the rental property where visitors, housemaid, or landlord can gain access to it.

Because Lillian has a college degree in education with a concentration in food science, it was suggested that she ought to look into supplementing her income with other activities, such as selling baked foods such as cakes, chin-chin, pies, akara balls, and moi-moi on weekends.  

Lillian can also provide nutritional information for a fee as a dietitian. She could help people seeking nutritional advice on how to reduce weight or feed their families better than the usual four starchy meals of garri, pounded yam, pounded cassava, and yam porridge. Akamu (corn starch) is usually taken for breakfast.

Why can’t Lillian look into starting a tutorial center or daycare for which her training in education has prepared her? Nigerian schools are often closed due to teacher strikes owing to nonpayment of teacher salary or some other disagreements.

The Nigerian governor and his hand-picked thieves serving on the board of education can decide to invest money meant for teachers’ salaries in a private business that earns profits for the governor and his ilk while teachers suffer in silence. Schools can be closed for weeks or months when teachers are not compensated for their services.  This writer saw several children in the villages playing unsupervised around the open eye-sore gutters during the two weeks schools were out.

A little tutorial or coaching in mathematics, reading, study skills, and science at Lillian’s private school would go a long way to enable Nigeria’s children to retain skills which might be lost during the periods schools are closed.

Why Nigeria’s  teachers are unwilling to consider opening day care or private schools which others can manage while owners are at work, beats my imagination. On inquiry, this writer discovered that the reason why teachers are not opening private schools is the problem  of the dearth or deficiency of trusted employees. It takes a thief to know a thief. The persons you employ to run your business might be stealing from and destroying your business.

It appears that everyone in Nigeria is busy robbing everyone else. Nothing seems to matter or move well in an atmosphere of crass dishonesty. Kleptomania is a better term. In Nigeria, a person infected with the cancer of kleptomaniac dishonesty is insensitive, tactless, stupid, obtuse, inane, ridiculous, gross, and blundering. Dishonest affects men and women, wives and husbands, in specific ways.

Charlie,  is a 50-year-old father who is responsible for taking care of his 8-year-old daughter, his wife Lillian, and 12-year-old baby sitter. He is a petty trader whose retail business is not thriving well. He is failing in trading because, according to Charlie, his business was started with inadequate capital, and Lagos is a very competitive, dog-eat-dog, retail market environment.

We cannot overlook a simple truth that Charlie has failed to be honest with an uncle who helped to start the business for him. He refuses to provide an accounting or profit-and-loss statement of his business five years in a row.

Although honesty and loyalty are absolutely necessary in business, they are rare commodities to find in Nigeria, particularly among relatives.  This writer started an electrical supply retail business for a relative with the understanding that relative would provide periodic statements of profit and loss and apprise the writer of the progress the business is making. 

Charlie has not shown what he did with money he was given to start the business. Two of Charlie’s cousins had been in the electrical supply ventures for years and are very successful. The cousins were asked to help start a similar business for Charlie with the money this writer donated.  Charlie avoids discussing the business with the writer. He thinks he is clever and can fool the writer. Like most traders in Nigeria, Charlie is illiterate, having not attained the equivalent of the West African Examination Council (WAEC) or the General Certificate of Education (GCE).

Because Charlie dodges straight talks about the business and refuses requests to show the writer the location of his retail shop, I have backed out of backing Charlie in the business. The result is that there is no opportunity to assist Charlie to expand the business, and as such, this writer has stopped dealings with this relative. It is useless to continue to throw a gold ring at a swine.

It is said that a bad workman often quarrels with his tools. Dishonest relatives are the scum of the earth. Charlie complains of undercapitalization, and inability to obtain loans to expand his business, and he comes home most days with the story he has not made sales. He often says: “Business is not moving well today.”

It appears that Charlie is permanently unable to perform duties of a petty trader and ought to consider other lines of work. We suggested that he take on other duties, such as running errands for others, being a delivery man and chauffeur. Other options include raising chicken or pigs in the village. Knowing Charlie and his pride, it is doubtful he would consider leaving Lagos for the village. Big Lagos is addictive.

Monica, another relative, is a 55-year teacher who earns N90,000 (250 dollars) each month as a primary school teacher. Monica is single, and has no child to take care of. She says that she has no cell phone with internet access, and lives in a building with no light provided by a generator.

Monica presents a special problem in that she resists every suggestion she is given . She says: “This does not work in Nigeria,” or “This is not how we do things in Nigeria.”  My response to Monica is “if you knew what works in Nigeria and knew how things are done in Nigeria, why don’t you do it your way and stop asking for help?’

We suggested that Monica enroll at a nearby university for the Master’s degree  in education while continuing teaching in the classroom. She ought to figure out how to catch buses to and from a nearby university campus.

Charlie is coping well with his college-educated wife, and continues to take care of his daughter, baby sister, and to get along with neighbors. He uses positive psychology he has learned to get through the difficult time of bad business. Charlie says he is able to make it through by maintaining optimum happiness, optimism, resilience, and knowledge of what is behind hardship in society.

Nigeria’s young men appear to be lost; they are not focused because of lack of faith in their nation They experience loss of direction, and they are drinking large quantities of alcohol to deal with frustration and a sense of hopelessness and helplessness. They are dabbling in occult and other get-rich-quick schemes. They do not know themselves. They don’t know positive psychology or ways to extricate self from  extreme dishonesty. They say: “We’re poor and need employment.”

Positive psychology works well when the person being helped is honest and willing to accept and implement suggestions. Can they put useful suggestions to work? Positive psychology involves the courage, resilence, curiosity, knowledge of self, and integrity. Positive psychology also involves positive benefits one gets from the community institutions, such as the family, church , and peer groups. The more positive the emotions one gets from the community resources, the higher the level of happiness. Honesty is a critical factor in positive psychology.

Resilience is an important aspect of positive psychology. Resilience is what creates happiness in a person as a result of the person’s pliability, flexibility, elasticity, buoyancy, spirit, strength, or toughness.  Despite difficulties associated with their minority statuses in America, blacks appear to be happier than whites, though they have less social support than the whites. Blacks have better resilience than whites. Southerners, particularly the Igbos and Yorubas,  appear to have greater resilience than Hausas who have been shielded from toughness which life provides. Is that why Muslim men turn to violence to replace rigidity or lack of resilience?

Positive psychology is much more than positive thinking in that while a positive thinker thinks all is well, a person sold on positive psychology knows and is  conditioned  to always expect all to be well.  Positive psychology involves equipping oneself with the arsenal to combat boredom and unhappiness with the past by using the wisdom of the ages: having gratitude and willingness to forgive others as well as to let go the unfairness of life.

Positive psychology examines whether we have wisdom and knowledge, whether we have courage and spirituality;  whether we love humanity; and whether we have a sense of justice and temperance. With  an outlook of happiness, one who believes in positive psychology seeks strategies for dealing with negative emotions by building hope, endurance, and optimism. He seeks to increase happiness in the present rather than dwell in the pains of yesterday or fear of tomorrow.

This essay leaves some useful suggestions, such as:

  1. Nigerians ought not ignore or forego education as a life-long pursuit. We should pursue education at all ages since the benefit outweigh the drawback, and when an educated man is more likely to succeed in life than his uneducated counterparts.
  2. Adult education should be available in the cities and villages until Nigeria has at least the 50% literacy rate.
  3. Young Nigerians seeking to go into trading should first obtain at least the WAEC or GCE and preferably an undergraduate degree to improve chances of succeeding.
  4. Evening classes should be organized for those seeking to attain university degrees.
  5. We congratulate the Nigerian traders who obtain the MBA’s and law degrees while buying and selling their goods in the market.
  6. Young unemployed Nigerian graduates should continue to the graduate schools for advance degrees in order to provide leadership  in mathematics, science, engineering, and technology fields with the hope that employment opportunities will improve in the future.

Nigerian churches and mosques should get off emphasizing materialism and attendant corruption, and get on with the business of preaching the virtues of honesty, morality, uprightness, trustworthiness, rectitude, integrity, and correctness. Nigerians ought to abandon religious organizations that rob the poor while feeding parishioners with false pie-in-the-sky sermons and pastors fly around with jets bought with blood money.

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

Among the mental health professionals, it is often said: "The mind is a terrible thing to waste." If I am sitting at  a public place dressed in rags and armed with a drum which I incessantly beat while singing out aloud, what do you think?. Your first thoughts would be: Here's a crazy man! There is a popular Nigerian (Igbo) song known as  " Akula! Obu Onye Ara" (Do not beat  he/she's  a crazy person) . Are the minds of Nigerians  being terribly wasted? Are we a crazy people?

We are not crazy in the sense of being silly, unwise, foolish, or stupid. Rather, we are irrational in our thinking and behavior; destructive in national life, and do not give a damn about whose ox is being gored. The idiom "whose ox is being gored means that Nigerians do not care for neighbors' feelings  so long as our selfish needs are indiscriminately satisfied even at the expense of public good or in  direct disregard for the nation's well-being

The purpose of this essay is to emphasize the point that we Nigerians do not enjoy good mental health. This is not meant for an insult. There is much truth in this. What do you think of the violence perpetrated by the common man, the kidnappings for ransom, the embezzlement of the entire budget by persons acting as fiduciary on behalf of Buhari and the suffering Nigerian populace?

The non-payment of teachers' wages, the rigging of elections, and frequent strikes by the university staff all tell us that all is not well with Nigerians. We may be suffering some forms of mental  illnesses.. There is a reason to lament the increasing number of Nigerians with psychiatric problems.

The Africa Today describes the number of mentally ill Nigerians as  being "frightening" (Africatoday80gmail.com, November 29, 2011). Figures coming from Nigeria indicate that in a particular geographic area of Nigeria, the mentally ill patients increased from 28,000 in 2009 to 42,000 in 2010. If the statistics accurately reflect the situation, then it is safe to say that Nigeria has enormous numbers of mentally ill persons, perhaps in the millions.

It is very, very  shameful that, Nigeria has only 130 psychiatrists, 4 neuropsychiatric nurses, and 8 neuropsychiatric hospitals that attend to 170 million people. There is a direct link between poverty and mental illness such that poor countries tend to have larger segments of the population saddled with psychiatric issues. Read more: http://thinkafricapress.com/health/mental-health-remains-invisible-problem-africa

The ratio of psychiatrists to patients in Nigeria stands at 1 per 1million (that is, 0.01 per 100,000) as against the following U S statistics: 31.1 per 100,000 (Massachusetts); 16.5 per 100,000 (USA); 12.3 per 100,000 (in Augusta, GA); 12.14 per 100,000 (State of Arizona); 9.3 per 100,000 (Atlanta, GA); and 4.6 per 100,000 (Idaho).

That means that Atlanta alone has close to 1,000 times as many psychiatrists as the entire nation of Nigeria. Even the small potato State of Idaho beats Nigeria 461 to 0 in the number of psychiatrists. This is a shame on my country. It is a shame, disgrace ,embarrassment, dishonor, humiliation, indignity, ignominy, infamy, rather than a thing of pride.

The purpose of this essay is to pronounce shame on the Nigerian medical professionals in the West. What a shame for Atlanta Nigerian communities for sitting dormant while our people are losing their minds. It is urgent that the Federal Government endeavor to lure surplus psychiatric professionals from the West. Of the 506 African psychiatrists in the United Kingdom, 214 (40%) are Nigerians.

It is reported that Lagos State government has placed the number of its mentally ill patients at 2 million or 14.1% of the population. There are no figures for Anambra, Imo, Abia, or Ebonyi but we would suspect that the number of psychiatric patients in the former Eastern Nigeria would far surpass, double, triple or even quadruple that of Lagos State. Why?

The reason is because the States in the former Eastern Nigerian were heavily desecrated by the killing of Ndigbo in the North; debased by sufferings Ndigbo endured when they ran home with bodies of dead relatives; and further despoiled by malnutrition and kwashiorkor occasioned by Chief Awolowo and Adekunle

Despite the horrors of Biafra, there is no evidence that Ndigbo children (now adults) have ever been treated for post-traumatic syndrome. These Nigerians are still suffering the devastating effects of the Civil War 50 years after the tragedy. SHALL WE SALUTE THE IGBOS FOR OVERCOMING THE HORRORS OF WAR WITH LITTLE OR NO ASSISTANCE FROM THEIR GOVERNMENT?

Experts blame the deterioration of mental health in Nigerian on "institution-based care practice" (involving hospitals, doctors, nurses and drugs), perhaps as opposed to "community-based care practice" (which involves health-care professionals, the patient, family, and entire community). Nigerians consider mental illness as a source of shame and embarrassment; Nigerians hide their mentally ill relatives in the villages when they should be seeking help for them. Nigerians living in Lagos, Abuja, Lagos, or Port Harcourt want to look and smell good by locking mentally ill relatives up in villages.

Therefore, ignorance of the causes and treatments of the disease of the mind helps to render the situation more hopeless. The mentally ill Nigerians are locked out of the public view.  Other possible causes of mental illness among Nigerians can be a number of the following:
(1)There are real stressful socioeconomic conditions in the country (akin to running from one part of the bush to another during the Biafran War in order to dodge bombings, and avoid being killed by Nigerian soldiers);

(2) Bad governance at all levels coupled with massive unprecedented corruption;

(3) Helplessness and hopelessness children and adults experience on a daily basis (leading to low levels of self-esteem and increased drug use);

(4) Violence connected with cult, boko haran, witchcraft, kidnapping, MEND, MASSOB;

(5) Abject poverty or pennilessness ( $1 a-day wage pushes adults to engage in 419 and youth to robberies and extortions);

(6) Anxiety created by constant insecurity and apprehension (leading to depression or neurotic behavior);

(7) Superstition is endemic in Africa: in the West, mental illness is believed to be genetically inherited or caused by some chemical imbalances in the body.

The African believes mental illness is caused by specific enemies or the ancestors, so you go after the enemy and kill him/her, and appease the ancestor through bloody sacrifices (one mentally ill Yoruba man was recently reported to have eaten the intestines of a woman on his witchdoctor's advice), ostensibly as a cure for his malady As we look around the Nigerian communities in Atlanta, Lagos, and Abuja we see people trying hard to cope with mental difficulties the best they could, at exorbitant costs.

Nigerians consume large quantities of alcoholic beverages everyday as self-medication for mental imbalances. These Nigerians are alcoholics who go to their jobs with hangovers each day and manage to perform their duties and hold families together because society expects them to do so;

Nigeria is the clearinghouse for various types of illicit drugs coming from Asia on their way to the United States and Europe, and the number of Nigerian young users is skyrocketing;

There are thousands of "shanty" bars everywhere in Nigeria and people frequent these at odd hours of day and night to drink their sorrows away; There are hundreds of brothels (ashawo houses) along roadways and private houses of prostitution in residential areas where people go to ease the pain of bewilderment: One goes to "ashawo" and complain about your problems and she tells you, "Oga, make you pay me your money and make your worry go."

Domestic violence is commonplace with men maiming or inflicting serious life-threatening injuries on wives (with fire, firearms, or machete) due to superstition, frustration.  Divorces and separations are frequent and unreported and often blamed on witchcraft and financial difficulties, as a man may kick one wife out and bring in another younger one in the attempt to resolve psychiatric issues. Neighbors encourage the habit by calling the wife-changer "Big Man"

Nigerians  spend countless hours plotting to amass wealth which they put to no good use other than to throw parties and "spray Naira", while constant pursuit of money gives one a false sense of mastery over personal failures in some areas;

Outdoor restaurants and beer parlors provide relief from worrying over personal and national problems: everyone aspires to the beer distributorship license.

Mental illnesses are treatable, and there are effective therapeutic interventions available, but the patient and family must seek help at the hands of modern professionals, not quackery.

Why must we hide diseases of the mind just as we once did with gonorrhea when we can openly treat these as easily as we treat malaria or headache? Ignorance is no longer bliss. Life is hard as it is, and every effort must be made to live it as comfortably as possible because "the mind is a terrible thing to waste".

COPYRIGHTED 11/29/2011. PLEASE DIRECT COMMENTS TO Dr. James  C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , jamesagazie.blogspot.com

 

Essay contains some profanities. Readers' discretion is advised.

Frank was jealous of his wife's Pastor. An older Nigerian student who had emigrated from Nigeria a few years earlier and was enrolled at a college located in this writer's Georgia community, Frank was such a  remarkable character he could not be easily forgotten, The big news was that Frank knocked the front teeth out of Pastor Smith's mouth in retaliation for simple loss of consortium.

Consortium is the benefits a man derives from being married to his wife. The benefits include but are not limited to sex, companionship, groping, association, syndicate, and consideration,   Frank said his wife was performing wifely duties meant for him  to another man, and he did not like it. Not one bit.

Frank's wife was an ardent devotee who enthusiastically was addicted to the pursuit of a pastor and his Pentecostal brand of sermons. Frank, described himself as a Catholic Nigeria-American who had served the Biafran army as Ojukwu's aide de-camp; he was noted for doing the most unheard of, the most unthinkable, and the crudest thing the Nigerian community thought a student was capable of doing. He gave an upper cut and Pastor Smith's teeth sounded like broken glass as they fell on the marble floor.

Readers ought to be mindful that, since my family has a long list of pastors, I find it uncomfortable, painful, a scratchy pain-in-the-ass for a student to drag a college official into a  private war against pastors. I have often avoided such embarrassment until Frank made one startling statement that was provocative and inflammatory. It was also rabble-rousing at the age when women are derailing men's careers with sex harassment charges. Frank  said he didn't like men to mess with "my pussy." He shouldn't have said that, coming from an older Nigerian.

"What did you just say, Frank?" I asked half amused and half annoyed..

"I said I don't want anyone to tamper with my very own pussy, didn't I say that? " He responded defiantly.

Look trouble! Didn't I say I didn't wish to be entwined in Nigerian students' palaver with women? That's what I said. In my long career as Professor and Director of the Office of International Students on several U S campuses, the thorniest assignment I had had to contend with was  break up fights among students over such silly stories as "this man  stole my pussy" and "that bitch's pussy used to be mine."

Nigerian men have developed sudden interest in American women since the last time I heard women from Nigeria were not better than, and in some cases, not worse than their American counterparts in discernible ways.  Already, Nigerian men do have problems with women from their home, and the situation is disheartening when the same Nigerians men are also having problems with American women.

Getting back to Frank's statement about someone tampering with "my own pussy," the statement  was particularly troubling. Does a man have a vagina? Who would want to mess with  a man who had a vagina? What did Frank mean by "my pussy" and "my very own pussy"? Pressed to elaborate, Frank went on to qualify his statement with another parable which was equally nonsensical. He said that "a wise monkey is a monkey who does not monkey with another monkey's monkey."

Look at trouble again! This writer is not good at interpreting parables, and certainly not used to dissecting a folktale or allegory from any one of those Nigerian tongue-twisting languages. Frank's parable about a wise monkey monkeying or not monkeying with a monkey's monkey, stuck in this writer's mind like chicken pox stuck to you as a child when your parents thought you were dying from oko na  aru oku na isi awuwa (Igbo for body itch, fever, and headache).

The purpose of this essay is to talk about monkeys and how a particular monkey monkeyed around until there was a repercussion. The moral of the story is that men seeking to be husbands must beware of pastors who, like monkeys, are creating problems in the community from the pulpit. The problem has come to be known as the PPP (pulpit people palaver). It is time we found ways to hammer a ceasefire between pastors and warring complainants.

The complainants are the boyfriends or husbands of female church goers who, like flies, flock to churches their husbands have marked as "no fly zone." Paying attention to this essay would create a better relationship between pastors and their parishioners, as well as prevent an embarrassing altercation from escalating in the future to the point where teeth are knocked out.

The monkey altercation is not a friendly chat. It is not just a childish argument, quarrel, disagreement, or exchange. It is an adult dispute, confrontation, or clash in which a monkey is asserting inflexible rights over those who are being accused of monkeying with this particular monkey's monkey.

A right asserted in a monkey business is an inflexible one in that the assertion is unbending, uncompromising, obstinate, unyielding, intransigent, or simply strict. Such was the situation Frank was in as he protected "my very own pussy." Complaints about pastor's incursions into homes or pastor's  instances of misbehavior are rampant, widespread, fecund. And it is not new.

Pastoral misconduct has spanned generations, having originated at the Garden of Eden with our doting Great Grandparents.  Adam and Eve had Paradise all to themselves along with the right to do as they chose. They had a blithe, untroubled existence. Their only restriction was "don't eat from that particular tree". What that fruit was is the subject of this essay, if readers can exercise patience and a spirit of discernment or perspicacity as the story unfolds.

Our Great Grandparents were the luckiest human beings on earth. Trouble came when  jaywalker Pastor named Serpent strayed from his path and sauntered into an area Serpent was not supposed to be. Satan was an uninvited guest, a meddler, a trespasser, and thief. He often lied. As expected, trouble always comes na mberede (Igbo for suddenly, unexpectedly, surprisingly, or all at once).

Frank's trouble started quite capriciously in stages: In Stage One: a monkey sees a monkey he likes. In Stage Two: the monkey interferes, hinders, restricts the movement, attempts to interject or obstructs a monkey's freedom of association.  In Stage Three:  a serious attempt is made to steal a pussy, and here is where frank comes in with his boxing gloves or bare fists.

In Stage Four, the thief is apprehended, or caught red-handedly. In Stage Five: an altercation (palaver or commotion) takes place. Why did Moses or whoever wrote the book of Genesis use an apple as disguise, mask, camouflage, masquerade, cover, cloak, front, or veneer to illustrate a point, namely, the danger of monkeying around with a sex organ belonging to another?

Why didn't the Bible call a spade a spade, or just call a pussy a pussy? What is so shameful about calling pussy by name, such as otu, ikpu or vagina?  Didn't the Lord create it just as He had created the ear, nose , pubic hair, or clitoris?

If you really want to know why the hiding and falsification of a body part, you'd better take it up Moses or Joshua who took assumed leadership after the death of Moses and who led the people into the Promised Land. If you are still not satisfied with the answer you have, you may take it to the Emory University's Candler School of Divinity before a committee of Professors of Old Testament.

The point is that Frank knocked out the teeth of Pastor Smith (fictitious ) who was fiddling with his wife's vagina. Frank called Pastor Smith a serpent, and believed the serpent that deceived Eve was a pastor who had a habit of monkeying with an unwary male monkey's female monkey.

According to Frank's theory, many people have historically dreaded or hated agwo (Igbo  for all poisonous snakes) for obvious reasons. The hatred extends to all snakes, and emanates mostly from  the snake's  serpentine disposition. A serpentine is a person who is winding, meandering,  twisting, bending, roundabout, circuitous, or indirect like a poisonous snake or Pastor who uses sermons to steal pussy.

Who better captures that serpentine character than the clergy? The protagonist in this essay is a pastor. He is the main character. He plays the leading role as the hero. The only difference is that this hero is not the good guy. He is the BBB ( big bad bully) that steals pussy when owner-husband is not watching.

From the story of Adam and Eve, Frank would have us believe that the Pastor and Serpent are two sides of the same coin. According to Frank, Mr. Pastor turned into Mr. Serpent when he told Grandmother Eve: "Hey, there! Don't mind your husband and don't believe the story he tells you that God said 'Don't eat that tree's fruits'. There's nothing wrong with the fruits. Eat them. Go on!"

Grandmother Eve said to her Pastor Serpent, "Oh, dear, I believe you. Our men are liars." Serpent then said rather authoritatively: "Woman, never should you ever believe deceptive stories your men weave like spiders webs inside the home to control you and hinder your movements outside the home,"

"Step out," the Serpent ordered Eve, "B e mine.. Become my monkey, not your husband's servant. Experience the freedom!"

Frank's story shades light on Serpent's deception. The aim of this story is to assist monkeys whose monkeys are being monkeyed with to resist pastors' encroachments. Monkeys are advised to take better ownership of their homes and to wrest control from pastors

One way to wrest control is to be very assertive in ordering the Serpent out of the property through forcible ejection or direct commands ("Get out of here right now!"). Husbands should avoid saying "Would you please leave my property alone?' You do not have to beg for what is yours. Be assertive, self-confident, and forceful, self-assured, confident, emphatic, and insistent

Frank did not like pastors.  I say "did not like pastors" because Frank has since passed on , leaving behind a daughter and American wife.  Frank and this writer had agreed on many issues affecting American churches but had  very strong disagreements  about  American pastors. It was Frank's opinion that  pastors draw women to the churches by special magic as magnet pulls a needles, and that the women who fill pastors'  front pews each Sunday morning – under a  specific spell-have one purpose in mind: to have sex with pastors. Frank did not like pastors to trespass upon what he considered to be "my pussy' and "my very own pussy."

Trespass is defined in law by the act of knowingly entering another person's property without permission. Such action is held to infringe upon a property owner's legal right to enjoy the benefits of ownership. Criminal charges, which range from violation to felony, may be brought against someone who interferes with another person's legal property rights.

Criminal trespasses, depending on the venue of jurisdiction and case circumstances, fall under Criminal trespasses, depending on the venue of jurisdiction and case circumstances, fall under different subsets of law. When a trespass is carried out against another person, rather than against his/her property, the trespasser is likely to be charged with assault or battery. Actions violating the real property another are handled as Trespasses to Land. Violations to personal property are handled as torts.

Under Tort  Law, a property owner like Frank may bring a Civil Law suit against a trespasser in order to recover damages or receive compensatory relief for injury suffered as a direct result of a trespass. In a tort action, the plaintiff must prove that the offender had, but knowingly violated, a legal duty to respect another person's right to property, which resulted in direct injury or loss to the plaintiff.

Frank had neither the time nor the patience for the law. He didn't have the money for litigation. Frank simply took the law into his Nigerian hands. "The worst offenders," Frank said, "are the women who sit in front rows with short dresses and who keep legs ajar for a pastor to look under." When asked why this was so, Frank  said: " Women see pastors as gods that are visible to the naked eyes." Frank's special dislike  for pastors was absolute, meaning outright, out-and-out, utter, and unalterable.

"When I marry a woman", Frank said,  "the pussy is all mine." That was  Frank's belief as he narrated a litany of the transgression of pastors, He decided to punch Pastor Smith

Frank's wife was a fervent aficionado of preaching and preachers. She was a habitue' of clergymen,  meaning she made a habit of frequenting a certain pastor's place of work for some reasons. While Pastors' sphere of influence ought to be limited to saving lost souls rather than to be in amorous relationship with another monkey's monkey, sometimes strange things do happen a times. Frank had made it very clear to his small circle of friends,

"I am the king  of this place,  and I provide for and I protect this place from outside harms, especially from bad pastors." To Frank, a bad pastor is a monkey that monkeys with another monkey's monkey.

This Anambra businessman named Mike O had a serious problem similar to Frank's. Because Mike's Nigerian wife runs to her Pastor for everything before she runs to Mike,  Mike  enlisted this writer's help the activities of a wife. Mike's wife (Monica) goes to this Nigerian man's church, despite her husband's warning "to cool it." To cool it meant Monika should not ignore to cook Sunday breakfast before rushing to Sunday School. She should also cook Wednesday and Friday dinners on days the Bible studies are held.

Monica dumps her entire nurse's paycheck and on the pastor's laps, though Mike needs some of that money to run his tire shop. Monica's car is first in line at the head of a motorcade-like procession that takes the pastor to dinner on his birthday. She is a cosigner of the bank loan that purchased a luxury SUV for the pastor. She is the PFC (the principal financial cornerstone of the Cornerstone Evangelistic Ministry.

Mike begged and this writer agreed  to pay a surprise visit to Mike's wife's  church where several  Nigerian women, including Monica, served as the deaconess and stewardesses. These women wear immaculate, expensive diamond-studded lappers and matching blouses; their shoes are like Cinderella's  as they parade in front of church in the vicinity of the pastor's podium.

Are they competing  for the pastor's attention? Why was it that as the pastor preached and the choir sang, these Nigerian women would leave their seats and walk to the platform where they dumped large wads of money and gifts wrapped in little boxes?. They seemed to vie for who would outdo the others or to catch the pastor's attention with the amounts of money and the number of wrapped goods they drop at the podium.

Married men are losing their wives to vultures in priestly clothes also known as Ndi Okwu Chukwu (Igbo for People of the Word of God). They are known by other names, such as MOG (Men of God). Frank said Bishop Smith belonged to  Ndi Mmo Ojo-o (Igbo for People of the evil spirit or Satanic powers).

The trouble started when  Frank's wife Elsie got a job as elementary school  teacher  and later moved on  to be Assistant Professor at State College in which Frank was enrolled as undergraduate student in accounting. Frank made history when he became the first foreign student to marry one of the College's professors. He was also the first to graduate with the highest distinction in accounting, and the first to set up accounting business immediately after graduation. Elsie and Frank fell in love. They had a big wedding on campus. A baby was soon born.

All went well until Elsie developed a strong interest in a Pentecostal church and joined the membership. She sang well in the choir, and performed other duties, which included Pastor Smith's church secretary. Bishop Smith liked the cakes and pies the new secretary baked and  brought behind the sanctuary Many mistakes had been made..

Mistake One  was that Pastor Smith fell in love with a church goer. Mistake Two was that the church goer  was Frank's wife. Mistake Three was that Frank hated all pastors whom he accuses of stealing women's pussy.

Pastor Smith was an ugly African-American veteran with broad nose and puckered face. He had  retired from the military and he had a rhetoric that magnetizes women. One thing going for Bro Smith was he was a good orator who expounds on the Word of God in ways that had women crying and hollering.

A few things about this Frank thing often confused me and kept me smelling a rat, not just  worrying. Frank was older Nigerian man just coming to Ameican college campus after serving as aide-de-camp  in Ojulkwu's  Biafran War. Wonders would never end in this world. What got into the head of a friend to go to parsonage,  to knock at the door and wait, and  when the pastor opened the door, the friend stepped in as if he were a guest invited for Sunday dinner?

His fists were clenced, and he was a stocky, thickset, sturdy, stout man, and he regularly drank the bitter Stout beer and the Heinekens as he did in Biafra. Frank lifted the pastor up in the air with his left hand. As he set the pastor down, Frank landed a powerful blow to the pastor's mouth. Pow! Frank said that he knocked out the pastor's teeth along with some blood.

Something else bothered me about Elsie, the American woman, was that she had a child out of wedlock before setting eyes on Africans she was to marry. She hid the child from Frank until the day of the wedding. A good thing going for Elsie was that she had the MEd (Master of Education degree) and was hired as middle school teacher in town. Another thing was that set Elsie apart was that she was  seductive and had huge hips, tiny abdomen and very generous breasts. Friends said that Elsie had the Figure 8.

Under the Pentecostal denomination, there is  no prescribed training for preachers. You just "answer the call" and you learn under male pastors on how to set up your own house  of  prayer. If you are lucky and work hard under the church owner you are likely to be ordained as pastor in a matter of days.

An impatient man who drove taxi and did deliveries for local businesses and airports, Frank repeated the knock at the pastor's door. He stood at attention with right hand balled in fists behind his  back. As soon as the door opened, Frank stepped in. Frank faced the pastor, Frank lifted the pastor up in the air with his left hand. As he set the pastor down, Frank's balled fists jerked forward from his right side, and  landed a powerful blow to the pastor' s mouth.

Mike has not gone as far as Frank had gone. But anyone can understand Frank. It is a painful thing for a man to work his ass off on a job and another man is sucking his blood like a vampire through his fanatic wife who looks up to the Pastor as if he were God, and who  dresses the Pastor better than she dresses her husband.

Mike says his wife buys a silk suit made in China or japan for the Pastor while Mike wears  the cheap  stuff made of  polyester. The result is this: Husband works and Pastor enjoys. Husband is jealous, of Pastor. Husband thinks: "Oh, he smells better than I do. Perhaps, his penis is thicker ad longer than mine."

Frank took a quick action  and made a quick exit, while Mike, like Adam,  foolishly stood there, helplessly watching events go by. You've heard it said that a wise monkey is a monkey who does not monkey with another monkey's monkey.

Monday, 13 November 2017 02:57

How Do You Love God You've Not Met or Seen?

HOW DO YOU LOVE GOD YOU'VE NOT MET OR SEEN?

A mutual friend introduced us (she and me) to each other. We live miles apart in North America. She is in New York, and I and I am in Georgia. We've never met face to face, though we had spent hours on the telephone, chatting and catching on news about home, our families, and tidbits on our checkered lives. Time came to say good bye, and as we were preparing to hang up, something happened that provided the purpose of the instant essay.

SHE: We'll talk again.

ME: How do we get to know each other?

SHE: We'll talk.

ME: And how do we get to love each other?

SHE: We'll talk.

ME: How do you love God whom you've not met or seen?

As soon as I clicked the cell phone off and was about to stand up, one of my sons walked into my bedroom. He did not just walk in . he did something else. He barged in and I was glad my son bulldozed in. To barge is to rush, charge, push, elbow, burst, surge, or shove. My son did not make any physical contact with me. He did something that was more appropriate, and that provided the impetus for this essay, impetus being the motivation,  push, incentive, energy, stimulus, impulse, energy, or spur.

I turned to my son and fired questions that had been disturbing me and that were meant to slow the bulldozing.

ME: Have you met God?

SON: No response

ME: Have you seen God?

SON: No response

ME: Do you love God?

SON: Yes, I do love God. I do.

ME: How do you love God you've not seen or met? How do you?

SON: When I see me I have seen God.  I meet God when I meet me.  I love God because He is in me, and I love myself. In a way, I am a god!

QUESTION? What has this got to do with how you feel about yourself?  Your spouse? About Nigeria?

Dr. James C. Agazie, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , jamesagazies.blospot.com  11/12/2017

We who pray are aware that God is real and really answers prayers that meet His acceptable conditions. This essay argues that not all prayers are answered, that God isn't under any compelling obligation  to grant our requests, and finally that a prayer shall meet certain conditions before being answered. Nigeria has not met the conditions and .until she does so, she would continue to flounder, wobble, quaver, quiver, and sway as the nation faces more trying problems

This is not to rehash what is already known about Nigeria. Ours is a nation the world has considered to be the most corrupt  place on earth. It is also the most sinful , wicked, aberrant, immoral . Why must God answer prayers from sinful lips when He has destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah?.  In order to receive answers to prayers, Nigeria must meet strict conditions and be unlike Gomorrah and Sodom.

This essay suggests  that Nigerians' prayers are vain, inconsequential, nonentity  and may not  be answered because these people are not making a valid promise which requires fulfillment of conditions God' finds acceptable. Nigerians have nor shown a change of heart. God is holy and shall be worshiped with a change of heart in truth and holiness.

First, we cannot come to God without first expressing belief and faith in God (Mark 9:23). Secondly we must come in the Name of Jesus Matthew 6:9. The third condition is that we cannot expect God to answer our prayer  if we have not confessed sins in our lives (Psalms 66:18). Next, we cannot expect the Lord to answer our prayer when we are not living for the Lord (Proverbs 28:9), We cannot expect God to answer prayer when we are not doing His will (John 9:23). God does not answer  prayers of those who are not at peace with each other (1 Peter 3:19). The fifth condition is that we must be persistent in our prayer. Finally, for our prayers to be answered , we must forgive those who offend us

Come to think of it, what surprises us is that Nigeria, the so-called  giant of Africa is quivering as she marks time behind the rest of the African nations in her ability to reach goals set on important indices of progress, such as education, wealth, trade, agriculture, and industry. Why is it that although Nigeria  is 50 percent Christian and the Nigerians believe in and pray fervently to God in different languages which include but are not limited to Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba to save their country from the quagmire or predicament the nation has fallen into, including bad leadership , and looting and management of resourses, nothing seems to work and things are getting worse?

Nigerians do pray  a lot quite alright. Granting their churches and mosques are crammed to the brim with throngs of worshippers who seek miracles, divine intervention, deliverance, and reversal of malaise or  quandary, they do not  see their prayers  being unanswered.   Things fall apart; the center cannot hold, and the sink hole is widening with every passing minute. Their problems continue unabated. Has God, abandoned my nation ? Has He moved from the front to the rear of a frightened tribe as he did in in days old (Exodus?

Although Nigerians are saddled with oppressive leadership issues and the people are hedged in by endemic  PUSH  (poverty, unemployment, sectionalism. and hunger), and tormented with  frequent power outages that turn  into hours of total night-long darkness, their God seems to  go about His business. ignoring  rather than acknowledging their pleas for help.

The IPOB cry out in anguish; the Fulan gnash murderous teeth; and the Yoruba run frenzy with stories of real and imagined marginalization Yet, Nigeria's problems continue unabated. Concerned observers once thought it was possible that the  Nigerians' prayers were offered in guile and dishonesty or to  gods that are unknown, fake, false, bogus, counterfeit, phony, sham, or akwala (a term  made up to describe a broken down Raleigh bicycle).

Things continue to deteriorate as usual. One wonders if the prayers of Nigerians are ineffectual or if they are offered to  an unknown god rather than to the Omnipotent. Have  prayers leaving the mouths of the people become silence that falls on deaf ears?  Is Nigeria the house built on a sandy foundation which  the storm battles and topples at any moment?. Behold the fall of the mighty! Has Nigeria the capacity to  erect a stronger structure  that withstands the squall?

In Psalms 127:1, the Bible writer says: "unless the Lord builds the house they labor in vain that build it," meaning  that Nigeria , as a man, prays, prepares,  and  proposes or intends to build a nation but God disposes/organizes the building. To pray is to request, implore, plead, beg, crave, ask, entreat, or urge God to do us some favor. God responds to man's prayer with an answer which may be Yes, No, or Wait. An answered prayer shall be authentic, meaning true, reliable, trustworthy, faithful, accurate, genuine, and not okwu ashi or okwu ugha (Igbo for lies).

When God answers  with a " Yes", He is saying" I will do it because the request is consistent, in agreement  or harmonizes with My will." God answered positively to Prophet Elijah who prayed for rain to fall on a thirsty land who stretched himself three times upon dead body of the widow woman's son  in order to drive out death. Didn't God divide the sea and create dry land when Pharaoh's army pursued former slaves? God answered Jonah who prayed himself out of a whale's stomach. Hannah the barren woman prayed for a baby, and God gave her Samuel. With a prayer, Elisha blinded an army sent to conquer a city. These are only a few examples of answered prayers.

The answer to a prayer can be: 'No, I will not do that because doing so violates My nature or what I stand for."  Jesus prayed to avoid a painful death  on a cold, bare and shameful  cross, and God answering  refused and ordered : "No, I cannot change My plan. Drink the cup; It is My will  that the cup shall not pass Dying  a humiliating death is the reason for you coming" The answer was a No when Moses prayed on the mountain to be allowed to enter the Promised land with former slaves he had led for 40 years.  God's answer was: "No. Look here, Moses, you shall not enter because doing so would force My people to worship you rather than Me who brought them out of Egypt."

Is God telling Nigerians this: You cannot have the answer you want when you are not doing enough to have a peaceful, non-violent nation. This is the wrong  time to ask, not the right moment. You are not yet ready to call yourself a democracy. First, get your house in order. Now, you'll wait for the right or the most appropriate moment and circumstances.  First of all, deal with your terrible robbery;  stem your crazy witchcraft; solve your heinous murders and kidnappings; discipline your have excessive greed  and appetite for money; work on your  in-fighting,  and divisions among tribes; your evangelists are deceitful and  full of lies; and there is the  stubbornness of politicians. No, Nigerians, you are not ready! You must wait for full confession and transformation!."

The Nigerians continue to suffer in silence since they appear to be receiving no answers to prayer, whereas Kenya, Ghana  and other African nations with the same size and circumstances as Nigeria seem to thrive. Why?  It is because Nigerians are not really praying to God in the truest sense of the words, and If perchance they were praying , their prayers are lacking in sincerity. Perhaps, they were faking or pretending . They may be praying amiss, or they were praying to persons other than El Sheddai, the Great I Am, the Omnipresent, the Omnipresent, and the Omniscient.

Why is it that the prayers of Nigerians are not being answered? It may be because Nigerians were beholding and praying to Buhari or some other politicians whom the Nigerians believe would save them, or who Nigerians feel are man-made gods holding  onto the purse strings of cash or political  muscle in the Senate and the House.

Chimo-oo!  (Oh , my God !). Nigerians  forget to ask themselves  questions, such as :  Did Buhari or Jonathan, or Obasanjo create Nigeria? Does Buhari or Obasanjo own Nigeria as they own a million cows, hectares of Ijaw land or the Ota Farms , respectively? Nigerians pray a lot to gods only for what they want and can get rather than for what they need. Nigerians do nor pray for strength to on obtain  needs that would benefit the largest number of citizens.

There is a vast difference between want and  need.  The Nigerians' prayers  of  "I want"  consist of an endless list  of give me, gimme, dash me this and dash me that.  The "I want" Nigerians are in the business of manipulating God into giving them such things, as money, children, promotions, or closeness to a favorite politician. The "Gimme" Nigerians  want to turn God into an errand boy or office messenger to whom they say, "Hey, Godwin, go get me water and groundnuts, and don't forget to bring some bananas, too. Do you hear me, Godwin.?"

Therefore , Nigerians' prayers end with  "May Thy kingdom and power in heaven  come down to dwell among  us earthlings so we have plenty of money" . Popular Nigerian preachers fly jets after a serenade of their pie-in-the-sky prosperity sermons.. Nigerians fall into the clever preachers' money traps. Tawoon! The Nigerian preachers are "wayo" mongers who steal parishioners' tithes to invest in private businesses and laugh their way to the banks.

Nigerians do not say prayers that are in accordance or agreement  with God's conditions of answered prayers.as outlined in 2nd Chronicles chapter 7 verse 14. The people  are used to offering prayers  outside of God's plan.  Don't we Christians know that we know that we know , and truly know  that the God we worship is Holy; He is  the Great I am, the Jealous One, the Ancient of Days who keeps promises (vows) from time immemorial  and who wants to be worshiped alone   "in Spirit and in Truth?  God is telling us: "Love Me for who I am , not for what I give you. Owe allegiance to Me and to no other."

Allegiance is defined as ntukwasi obi (Igbo for trust or putting your heart on someone). Allegiance is  loyalty, and faithfulness, If a man owes allegiance to God for blessings why does he pray as prostitutes  who owe allegiance to many suitors for brief moments of defilement, do?  Unless the Lord builds the house called Nigeria, the money gathered to build it is stolen prior to the laying of foundation. The Nigerians  buy the building materials and both materials and contractor disappear overnight.

God is our Father and we are His children. We are not prostitutes chasing after false suitors, such as  the Hausa with money as some Nigerians often do. While suitors break agreements, God does not break vows. He does what he says he would do.  His promises are Yes.yes, yes in the form of contract. Contracts control everything we do from buying, selling  marriage, education,  and development of careers.

Contracts are made in Truth and in the Spirit, written in living blood.  Doesn't a home owner buy a house through a promise made to a builder to pay builder some money if builder  promises to allow buyer  to occupy builder's house? Almost everything we do is governed by the  giving and receiving  of promises. It is a  promise –for--a promise arrangement.  G od is a promise-keeping  Diety.

If we know that, why then is it that our prayers to God  are not answered and we still sink deeper into the quicksand of poverty, persecution, penury, cynicism,  and violence? There is no one on earth who does not believe in the existence of Supreme God. Consequently, Chukwu (Igbo's Almighty God) is supreme.  Muslims call Him  Allah. Others call him alusi (Igbo for pagan' s wooden idols).

We worship God in accordance with  the bilateral promise that goes this way:" I promise to do A and you promise to do B." In the Bible's II Chronicles   7:14, God promised: "if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land."

Nigerians have to make confessions of their sins in killing thousands of innocent, they are to ask for forgiveness of those whose family members were slaughtered in pogroms, in Biafra and violent acts in Kaduna, Jos, and Umuahia.  They are to make amends. These  are conditions that are  precedent to (not subsequent to) God's redemption.  Precedent means to come before, and subsequent means to come after. For a prayer to be answered, certain conditions ought to be fulfilled. We cannot manipulate as we influence our local village chief.

Nothing happens when the Nigerians are calling upon their God despite how strenuously, powerfully, persistently, determinedly, energetically they pray. The Nigerians are not dealing with the sins that must be confessed and forgiven. They are covering  sins which pileup to the sky, while they are building churches everywhere and sending  missionaries worldwide.

What do they want from all their  activities? Why do they make  incessantly cries of "God, God, oh my God "while  they worship money, and while they worship powerful  persons who are only man-made idols> The Igbos name their children Maduabuchi (man is not God), Onyekachi (who is greater than God?),Jehovah. The Nigerians want peace in the land without being peaceful themselves.  They want prosperity, youth employment, friendly neighbors without feeding the children, providing employment for the youth  or taking care of the handicapped.

Nigerian preachers lack Elijah's spiritual calling by the Holy Spirit. Nigerian leaders don't wait for the anointing or indwelling of the Holy Spirit, the Inner Self or Life Force. They just get up and go to Aso Rock (Presidents)  or the pulpit (preachers) or to the Government House (politicians)  dressed arrogantly in ridiculous garb.  They expect to own a fleet of Mercedes and a row of mansions.

The Nigerians are ashawo, prostituting after money.  The leaders of Nigeria struggle to wield influence over a foolish and gullible people. The Nigerian church goers are foolishly gullible in that they are too trusting  and susceptible while owners of the churches are the jet-flying Nigerian thieves masquerading  as evangelists, Bishops, and MOG and WOG (men of God and women of God).

Except  the Nigerians and their  leaders (1) humble themselves and (2) observe a national day of atonement/ apology, their nation  is in total disarray.  Despite their prayers, the nation of Nigeria remains the same or worse since the day independence was granted to the colony nearly a century ago. God seems to ignore the prayers of His Nigerian supplicants. A supplicant is  applicant, aspirant, petitioner, mendicant, beggar for something to be done.

The purpose of this essay is to point out that it is not  a conundrum  or puzzle  that the prayer  the Nigerians offer up  are empty and not deserving  of an answer for obvious reasons, that include dishonesty, greed, witchcraft, and wicked spilling of innocent blood. Nigeria is making " much haste and no speed" . All is vanity unless the Master Builder shows up.

Some Nigerians and their preachers, who do not seek the face of God, are so empty of decency they seek the face of man; they worship tribalism, talisman; witchcraft, and engage in victimization of minorities, in addition to exploitation of women and children of poor families. Nigerian prayers are all about "give me money, give me mansions, give me this ,and give me that". They forget their Jesus says, "It is better to give than to receive."

What are Nigerians giving in return for the gifts they are asking to receive? Are the Nigerians moral? No, they have killed countless numbers of Igbos, they rob the treasury,  neglect children, and women; and they abandon he poor, the needy and the disabled. Are they loving and forgiving of persons who wrong them? No,  vengeance is their stock and trade.  Are the  Nigerian Pastor and Christians like their Master Jesus Christ and His disciples? No. they are the exact opposite.

While Christ slept  in caves and simple houses and preached from mountaintops and borrowed boats, today' s Nigerian pastors sleep in and preach from magnificent buildings that are palatial, extravagant, luxurious,  opulent, and grand.

While the early followers of Christ observed fasting to strengthen spirituality, their modern counterparts in Nigeria would rather feed on Naira, Dollar and Pound Sterling gathered from stealing, corruption, drugs,  money laundering, and investment of church goers' ten percent in private business. Why should they complain when God would not answer ungodly prayers absurdly offered from unholy, blasphemous, and unconsecrated lips?

Nigerian Christians and Muslims carry the Bible and Koran around respectively  yet they do not carry it in their hearts.  The Muslim holy book has nothing like "I love  you" or "Let me forgive my brother ." While Muslims emphasize land grab, enslavement, and jihadist  violence, the Christians are going ga-ga after money and regard  the Bible as a talisman or lucky charm to waylay/intercept/bushwhack the unwary masses who do not read the holy books, let alone understand the words written therein .

Praying Nigerians want to mix the worship of God with the worship of man and selected idols in order to move the hand of God to  grant their ephemeral desires/wants,  (particularly money), and . ephemeral goods are only short-lived, transient, momentary, temporary fleeting, passing, or transitory,  We shall say the following payer, we and our children.

, Lord, give us Your Holy Spirit. and Your good nature

In ways that are sublime and consistent with Your ways

Teach us Your humility and sincerity to rectify our failing economy,

Let us build better infrastructures  and provide better amenities so that

These struggling masses and the little ones and those yet to come

May  suffer no  more but will remember us as good shepherds

Who made a difference so they would be  proud to be Nigerians

So help us, Lord.

Unfortunately, some Nigerian  governors have joined the local preachers in a syndicate whose aim ostensibly is to move the hand of god to act on behalf of the nation, but in actuality they are fierce  lions in the clothing of timid sheep. They are thieves.  God seems unwilling or not interested in taking sides with acrimonious political jabbering and fake/sanctimonious prayers

The local Christian and  fake  preachers reach out to their Muslim counterparts in  erecting Muslim mosques in the vicinity of Christian churches. Other politicians have erected statutes of South African President Zuma  in a nation that has been traumatized by Zuma's drug lords. Nigeria is beset with poverty, religious intolerance, violence and corruption.

One cannot help but ask these perplexing questions "Does God exist all over the world except in the land named Nigeria? Why does God want to hear prayer from  a people desirous of genocidal  elimination of a  tribe,  whose  Civil War brought about the starvation of helpless children? If you were God =, would you bother about the  gory, disgusting,  horrible, Civil War whose  aftermath includes  armed robbery ,kidnapping, raping and terrorism perpetrated by herdsmen from the leader's  ethnic group, buoyed, sustained or maintained with military gear and financed by the Nigerian Government?

How come that, although Nigerians call upon their God (Chineke in Igbo, or Allah in Islam) day and night and spend billions of dollars erecting places of worship (including cathedrals, churches and mosques, their God appears to turn deaf rears to their suffering?

We  can count several verifiable times this God  abandoned this  people. One can find ample reasons to conclude that indeed God hates Nigerians in several ways. First, Nigerians are  confused about the essence of  democracy, they  mix religion with politics as strange bed fellows in a nation where the Sharia law and the Common Law operate side by side and they are so confounded they  elect weak, sickly and neurotic leaders to rule over then. It seems  that my people are  undeserving of God's  mercy and kindness, hence unanswered prayers.

This essay is written with certain assumptions. The first assumption is that Nigeria is a  nation of believers, including Muslims, Christians and followers of other traditional faiths . The second assumption is that Christians Muslims, and followers of African faiths are religious persons, and most religious people believe in the existence Person of God known by different names , including Yahweh, Jesus or Allah.

The third assumption is that Christians, Muslims and believers in traditional African religions hold their deities sacred and are enjoined to observe prayer. To  enjoin is to order a believer pray, to instruct one to observe moments of supplication, or to call upon the name of one's deity. Christians are ordered to pray without ceasing, and Muslims are required to pray six times daily while facing Mecca.

There is never a day that this writer and millions of other Nigerians do not worry about the difficult problems  that plague Nigeria  and Nigerians ranging from endemic poverty to pervasive instances of corruptions in high places, specifically among the inner circles of officers of  the Presidency, including the Senate and the House.  The church and judiciary are not exempt or untainted.  The behavior of the average man or woman on the street is influenced for better or worse by what they see the government and church leaders say and do.

This essay suggests  that Nigeria's prayers are vain, inconsequential, nonentity  and may not  be answered because these people are not making a valid promise which requires fulfillment of conditions of God's acceptance. Nigerians believe in the power of money rather in God and therefore their prayers do not reach the ears of God.

(1) we cannot come to God without belief and faith in God (Mark 9:23);

(2) we must come in the Name of Jesus Matthew 6:9);

(3) we cannot expect God to answer our prayer  if we have not confessed sins in our lives (Psalms 66:18)

(4) we cannot expect the Lord to answer our prayer when we are not living for the Lord (Proverbs 28:9)

(5) we cannot expect God to answer prayer when we are not doing His will (John 9:23)

(6) God does not answer our prayer of those who are not at peace with each other (1 Peter 3:19);

(7) we must be persistent in our prayers;

(8) for our prayers to be answered , we must forgive those who offend us

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

10/27/2017. Posted  11/7/2017

The purpose of this essay is to narrate what happens when one is unarmed and to counteract the notion advanced by Dr. Osuji and other apologists that life  is safer when citizens are without  guns. See Dr. Odozi Osuji's essay in this forum entitled: "White Americans Like to Carry Guns Because They are A Fearful People. "   Americans of all races do not agree with Osuji and would strongly disagree with his logic.  We the law-abiding Nigerians would like to have the right to bear arms inserted in the Constitution of our country.

A few years ago as a young professor at one of Nigeria's newly established colleges, this writer was rudely awakened up at around 2:00 am when a group of robbers broke into my two-room dwelling place. They ransacked the whole place, scattering papers around and making away with my college diplomas and a few possessions I had brought with me, mostly baby's clothes.  I had just returned home after being in America to pursue an education. What pained me more than the stuff I lost was the abuse and intimidation. The robbers had weapons, and I had none.

While robbing me and putting my family in a great fear, the robbers ordered us to cover our heads. They lifted my three-month old child out of  the crib to look for money, Thinking that the robbers were taking the baby away for sacrifice, my maid raised her head up. For that, Lillian our baby nurse was hit with the flat of a machete.

We heard one of the robbers blaming me and saying: "This man was overseas enjoying while we are suffering here in the country". I was being blamed for getting an education and for the robbers' predicament, namely, for their choice of criminal career.  Was I to blame for being the victim or for going to America or for obtaining college degrees that included two doctorates and 2 Master's degrees? Did I force the hoodlums  to make a career out of armed robbery?

The game of blaming the victim has been going on forever. You blame me for carrying a gun to protect myself, and you also blame me for having no gun and being a victim of a gun carrier. Which way do I go?  Read  William Ryan's  Blaming The Victim(ISBN 9780394722269, July 12, 1976,  Mass Market paperback , published by Vintage).

Contrary to the opinions of proponents of gun-less  Nigeria, the right to carry guns ought  to be a topic of immense discussion. Killings have been going in Nigeria for the longest by gun-toting hoodlums who are determined to keep Buhari in power, including Fulani herdsmen, boko haram, armed robbers, and kidnappers. The right to carry firearms  to protect self and family should be enlarged in Nigeria as it is done in America  rather than be abridged or curtailed.

To enlarge is to increase, extend, broaden, widen, amplify, or made bigger. Why are there frequent reports of mugging, kidnapping, raping, and other violent crimes against Nigerians? Do not look any further than commonsense, if you are sincere. In Nigeria, crimes against persons and involving personal property are rampant, widespread, fecund, proliferating. rambling, or flourishing. Unarmed Nigerians are at the mercy of armed hoodlums. What does it mean? It means the good people are being maneuvered by the bad ones.

Why did a group of riff raffs choose to rob a man with a young family just returning from America to his nation in the middle of the night? It was just because I had no gun and was as naive as Dr. Osuji and the over educated gun control wiseacres who masquerade as messengers of patriotism, chauvinism, nationalism, or boastful and belligerent jingoism .

The issue of armed robbery is a clear case where one uses commonsense. You are more likely to be assaulted with a weapon if you are weaponless than if you had a gun.  Accept this fact and let's move forward.  Assume this writer is in his  garden minding his business with a fully loaded gun by his side when  Amadou, Buhari's  chief herdsman comes to graze his cows on this writer's bed of tomatoes, with the intention  to rape the writer's granddaughter and carry her away. If you think this writer would live to see his granddaughter taken away as a sex slave, keep thinking.

The aim of this essay is to advance reasons why this writer implicitly believes in and is wholeheartedly and comfortably in support of legislation that guarantees the rights of Nigerians  to bear arms. The right to bear arms is related to the issue of being a bona fide member of the Nigerian communities. The right to live freely implies the right to enjoy the benefits of citizenship, including safety and security in the community. One who has achieves security and safety in his country is said to have awesome greatness.

Dr. Osuji advocates the removal of guns from the people under the mistaken theory that (a) fearful persons carry guns to protect themselves; (b) fearless persons who do  not perceive threat all around do not carry guns for protection; and (c) loving people who have the sense of love and security do not carry guns to protect themselves.  One has the right to live in a fool's paradise so long as one does not intend to be a meddler or interloper into the other person's affair.

If you mess with me, I will mess with you. While ruffling my feathers and rubbing me the wrong way, Dr. Osuji seems to reason that if I carry a gun,  I am likely to discharge the bullets into an enemy. He further infers that because I am a fearful man, I am apt to carry a gun to banish  terror.  I disagree for the simple reason that fear  is a common denominator. It is the commonest and extremely  powerful  emotion humans share with other human beings.

Fear powers a range of human behavior, including the fight and flee action . Indeed, fear is at the nucleus  of human survival instinct.  Fear keeps mankind out of harm's way until man figures  out how to minimize the dangers involved in what man is about to do

We spend billions of research dollars before launching a spaceship towards the moon .Isn't survival (self-preservation) regarded as worthwhile goal? We spend billions to deter aggression. As we are discussing this, President Trump is sending  troops and warships equipped with weapons to North Korean borders  just in case.  Deterrence is a war strategy.  Like a gun, deterrence means "don't do it or I'll fire."

That's why I must buy a gun, procure the  gun license and practice shooting at the range, all in the attempt to prolong  my days on earth  in order to live and let live. Just in case. Just in case  is a preemption, prevention, restriction, limitation, or dissuasion, rather encouraging aggression

To carry guns is to safeguard personal freedom. To choose freedom  is not violence. It is an expression of liberty. Americans carry guns to maintain national liberty from foreign domination as well as  to control lawless others, Carrying guns, for most Americans,  is an inalienable right that must not be bridged.

What greater right solidifies citizenship status than the right to bear arms? To own a gun is to achieve greatness, and to be great is to be fortified.  An armed man is somebody rather than nobody. An unarmed man is a nonentity. He is banza, unknown, mediocrity, nobody, insignificant, or nothing.

A man is great when he's  armed in self-defense. For William Shakespeare, greatness is the ability to stand tall in the face of aggression. Shakespeare advises: "Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them." {Twelfth Nights}

When one feels  free and secured as a true citizen of Nigeria or immigrant of the United States of America, one cannot take that freedom for granted. Because there is nothing free about freedom, one must realize that that freedom must be guarded enviably and protected forcefully Ownership of guns is a way to ensure that freedom is not lost. Freedom is a badge of honor, respectability, and greatness. That  right to  achieve greatness ought to be embedded or enshrined in the Constitution of any nation that truly advances or advocates inalienable rights in a  democracy. A man armed with a gun is expressing inalienable  right.

A right is inalienable if it is absolutely essential, unchallenged, incontrovertible, indisputable, or unassailable. It is heard in the battle cry: "Give me freedom or give me death." Removal of guns is an abridgment of one's right to protect oneself. To be a citizen without guns is to be no citizen at all or to be in state of homelessness. We are not meant to be vagabonds, are we? I must carry a gun as personal expression.  That's why I must buy a gun, obtain  the  gun license and practice shooting at the range, all for the purpose of prolonging my days on earth , to live and to let live.

I disagree with anyone who comes  around attempting  to convince me that fearful  persons perceive threat all around them  and, therefore, carry guns to protect themselves.  I do disagree because I live among disagreeable persons in a world that is becoming increasingly militant, dangerous and disagreeable.

We live in a world that is dis-likable and cantankerous, defined as being  irritable, crabby, argumentative, complaining , unreasonable, or belligerent. Belligerence may lead a certain trigger-happy  man or woman  to Walmart's  department store,  show a  driver's license and  purchase a gun to rid himself of the "devil that made  me do it." To do it is to use a gun on me or someone else as a target.

Do we need someone  to convince us that we live in a world that  is becoming increasingly ugly and that one needs to walk circumspectly in order to live and be safe.  One who proceeds circumspectly does so, not haphazardly. He does things cautiously, suspiciously, watchfully, charily, cagily, vigilantly, or carefully.  It is increasingly necessary to protect  myself with a gun. Guns do not kill per se. People kill. Therefore, people need to protect themselves  against potential killers.

Finally, we ought to stop saying that it is the good fearful  person who carries guns to protect himself. That's a lie. It is the bad, fearless and  criminally-minded  man, who in the first place carries a gun to bolster confidence in order to intimidate, terrorize, frighten, or coerce others. We congratulate Dr.Odozi Osuji on his courage to tackle some of those thorny, foul-tasting issues in our society, but we find his position on gun control distasteful and unacceptable.

Let the Nigerians For The Right to Bear Arms raise their voices and be heard!

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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