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. 

 

Sunday, 17 May 2015 22:12

The Second Coming Of Odumegwu Ojukwu

Just as the old Ikemba seems destined for history’s dusty books, followers of Ojukwu are resurrecting his most  defining insights, making it possible to reinvigorate daily pilgrimages to Ojukwu’s grave. We Igbos shall surely rise above our present circumstances.  We shall not be kept down forever by any distraction or obstruction. We shall certainly rise to build the Igbo Nation. The hard times we are facing are temporary, redeeming, and transforming. They shall not last. Nothing, not even the menace of Muslim fanatics nor the conspiracies of the Western world can derail us. They will not, shall not, and should not deter us or daunt our resolve. We shall rise from the ashes of Biafra. The blood spilled at all places Onyeigbo was killed shall transmogrify into a blessing by Chineke Nke Eluigwe (God of Heavens). We shall mount up with muscular wings of eagles, and we shall build the Igbo Nation that will surpass anything the world has ever seen. This essay intends to instill esprit de corps, a sturdy Igbo group spirit, a new rise-up-and-shine determination in the heart of all Igbo-speaking people and lovers of Igbos  the world over.

Yes, you did not misread the title of this essay. The spirit of Ojukwu shall revisit. The Igbos shall rebuild their Nation. The spirit of Ojukwu shall return along with strength of mind of past Igbo leaders such as Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, K. O. Mbadiwe, Dr. Akanu Ibiam, Mbonu Ojike, Dr. Michael Okpara and brave soldiers of Biafra. Mmuo Ndiigbo (Igbo spirit) shall rise again in the hearts of true Igbos. Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu did not live his life in vain; he shall come a second time in the spirit. While we're on the subject, this is not a mirage, or auditory illusion; it is not a picture of the ocean in a desert; it is not a hallucinatory experience under psychedelic or mind-altering concoctions, a delusion of grandeur or fantasy. It is REAL! Who tells you that Igbos shall not rise from the ashes of Biafra or that building the Ndiigbo Nation is sheer hallucination or that the spirit of Ojukwu shall be forgotten? Didn’t the Boers build a nation in South Africa and practice apartheid? The Jews are building a nation in Israel, aren’t they? Wasn’t Biafra a successful attempt to forge a nation in the midst of chaos? Go to Zimbabwe and witness Joseph Mugabe and the white farmers squabble over arable land. Do you ever stop to ask:  why are these white European farmers still struggling to build a nation in a hostile African environment rather than go back to Europe and why are the Nkrumaists attempting to dismantle vestiges of colonialism in Africa?

That the Igbos can and will build a nation is not far-fetched. You may dismiss it as wishful thinking if you like. But a wishful thinker just wishes and does little else, not even meaningful thinking. A journey around the world starts with one foot instinctively put forth ahead of the other with a well thought-out plan. The battle of the future shall be in the mind of man. Wasn’t  Einstein’s theory developed from a figment of Jewish thought process? Therefore, the rise of the Igbos and the building of the Igbo Nation will commence with taking just one small purposeful step. It is a thought, and that’s all. That thought will transform to a vibrant, vivacious, animated, pulsating, and effervescent act. The spirit of the Igbos shall not be dimmed. We say this with power embossed in every cell in our being. We shall then gleefully sing:

All machinations aimed at Ndigbo shall not succeed; all guns pointed shall jam and not go off. Can Nigeria survive without Ndigbo? Can one bite the feeding finger or suckling breast that keeps one alive, and can a mouse eviscerate the property owner? All contracts the enemies have set up as traps against Ndigbo shall boomerang and fall on the heads of the plotters. All plots against Ndiigbo shall prove ineffective, along with victimization from the Yorubas; strangulation from violent Muslim jihads; and marginalization from politicians  whose views are triangulated by narrow-mindedness.  The snare shall be rendered null, void and ineffectual. The precious blood of our children sacrificed in Biafra at Muslim’s machination and Awolowo’s command shall rise from the earth to cry:“We the children of Biafra cannot be forgotten as sacrificial lamb; for we shall rise as children of the Chosen People...”

Getting back to our topic, the Igbos shall rise again.  The Igbos attempting to build the Igbo Nation are in an enviable position to assert themselves and control their destiny, especially in modern Africa. First, let us enumerate reasons why building the Ndiigbo Nation is not an impossible dream. The Igbos have distinguished, still are distinguishing, and shall continue to distinguish themselves in all the right areas that are conducive to the building of a mighty nation as well as to the accumulation of massive wealth. All the Igbos need to do now is fine tune attitudes and acquire self-effacing habits that would catapult them to world preeminence never before thought possible. We say this with a lot of conviction parked in every fiber of our being. We use the terms we, us, and our to indicate our resolve and earnestness.  To repeat our theme: Ndiigbo will triumph in the battle of the future that will be fought and won in the minds of men.

In order to facilitate Igbo liberation from minor irritations or detractors, we advocate four liberating principles of Ndiigbo Igwebuikeness, Ndiigbo Ogbunigwenization, Ndiigbo globalization, and Ndiigbo traditionalization. Igbonization states that Ndiigbo shall imbibe the concepts of umunna or unity based upon common experience and destiny. It is the unity of the Igbos nourished from disciplined, stern, uncompromising attitudes. In order to survive as Igbo Nation, the Igbos must stick together as inseparably as aziza (broom) just as the Jews do. Igbonization derives from Igwebuikeness, the concept that demands that Ndiigbo marinate, fuse, fasten,or gum together into indistinguishableness  until egocentrism, envy, and narrow parochialism become things of the past.

Ogbunigwenization  states that it is time Igbos undertook research to develop weapons of mass destruction at least to deter enemies wishing to annihilate us. No one dares to attack a man who in a fortress who is prepared to unleash retaliatory counteroffensive. The old turn-the-other-cheek stance breeds inferiority. The Jews teach that if you want peace, you must prepare for war. A warrior goes on the field with nothing in mind, except to deter, dissuade, discourage, daunt, dishearten, discomfit, or devastate.

Under Igbo Globalization, Ndiigbo shall indigenize as well as globalize the Igbo language and culture with a delivery system well entrenched in Igbo vernacular. Igbo language shall be popularized as a lingua franca around the world so much that Ndiigbo youths will be encouraged to  master Asusu NdiIgbo (Igbo tongue) from the Kindergarten to the PhD. Speakers of Igbo language shall delve into major Nigerian languages, including Yoruba, Hausa, Fulani, and Kanuri in order to understand the working of the minds of local oppressors within Nigeria, as well as French, German, Arabic, Italian, Chinese, and Russian in order to understand the dynamics of potential international oppressors.

The survival of Ndiigbo shall depend on scientific education that would increase the knowledge of the dangerous illnesses introduced into Africa by the Western world  (particularly by Britain, Russia, China , and America), the knowledge that would forestall  the fabrication and distribution of lethal drugs in Africa. Ndiigbo  research scientists should end  the West’s monopoly on nuclear energy; they shall pre-empt  or obstruct the West’s attempts to use African people as guinea pigs for drug experimentation or African continent as dumping  grounds for radioactive materials. While we're on the subject, Igbo scientists ought to endeavor to manufacture eco-friendly drugs from African herbs, fruits, roots, and tree barks. It is believed that drugs made from African ingredients would be more effective in treating tropical diseases with less serious side effects than the poisons spewed out in Western laboratories.

The health of Ndiigbo shall be the focus of massive research and practice. Nothing shall stand in the way of establishing Igbo Medical Conglomerate with centers  in London,   New York, Atlanta, Enugu, Aba, Owerri, Osumenyi, Onitsha, Awka, and Umuahia, such that we shall expect our Igbos health providers to have very large offices in both the Western world  and Igboland and throughout Africa. There should be a steady exchange of medical specialists between Igboland and the Western nations. Medical students preparing to serve in Igboland should consider studying remedies for such tropical diseases as leprosy, river blindness, chicken pox, small pox, HIV, AIDS, malaria, yellow fever, meningitis, Japanese encephalitis, African, trypanosomiasis, Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever, dysentery, cancer, among other areas. It is time we permanently wiped out malarial-carrying mosquitoes from Igboland through massive fumigation of forests and drying out of standing water that breeds mosquitoes. We shall institute the practice of maintaining personal hygiene and grooming, starting with cleaning our immediate surroundings and communities. Attempts shall be made give a high priority to preventive medicine  that emphasizes the relationship between proper eating and exercising and optimum health.

Under Ndiigbo Traditionalization,  Ndiigbo Marriage Satellite Centers shall be set up in every Igbo community to provide premarital trainings and counseling for young Igbo men and women considering marital unions and bearing children, and to put in place measures to prevent wife abuse, abandonment of children, and person trafficking. Human behavior experts shall work tirelessly on strategies to combat typical inferiority complex among Igbo men and women which allegedly is related to low self-esteem suspected to be the root cause of broken Igbo marriages. Igbo men and  women should receive training in proper nurturance of spouses and children, and in providing unselfish love, companionship and support for their mates.

The establishment of Alaigbo or Ndiigbo Nation is not wishful thinking nor is it building castles in thin air. It is a mistake to write Ndiigbo off as you would a barking toothless bulldog.  The Igbos shall rise up and surprise themselves. The development of Ndiigbo Nation shall be accomplished in some gradual, steady, and stroboscopic motions, but it shall not fail to actualize.

James C. Agazie (JD, EdD, MS, MA, BA) completed his primary and secondary schools in Nigeria before emigrating to the United States for advanced degrees in mathematics, education and law. His teaching and counseling experiences have taken him to primary schools in Nigeria, Enugu IMT, several secondary schools and  undergraduate and graduate universities in the United States. Dr. Agazie lives in and writes from Georgia, USA.  Please check website www. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   for some of his other essays.

Every effort my country Nigeria makes toward recovering  the economy and bringing back our glorious past elates me. Take the Nigerian Railways for example. It was discontinued because some Nigerian politicians thought  that a few gwongworo (lorries) they owned would lose money if passengers continued to ride trains. Nigerian politicians and a few traders  believed that killing the Nigerian Railway System would put money in the lorry owners’ pockets. The early Nigeria Railway Company was finally killed due to inadequate maintenance and lack of support from  the Nigerian and Western political heads who thought Nigerians did not deserve better transportation than lorries and trekking. During the years the Nigerian trains operated from the North to the South, we Easterners and Westerners depended upon trains to ply goods from Kaduna to Port Harcourt and from Lagos to Jos and other cities.

The trains moved tons of goods, hundreds of goats and chicken,  and thousands of people each day. My Papa and Mama rode the train to take me to see Dr. Anyaegbulem at Enugu General Hospital. Sure, my parents  ferried some yams, cassava, and bags of rice on the trains to sell in distant cities to help pay for my secondary school fees and buy our malarial medicines. Those were the “ sweet good ole days” when my train rides to Enugu during Christmas were the happiest in my childhood memories. To my Mama, it was the Suburban. Papa would sit with me at Utonkon Railway Stations till midnight awaiting the arrival of Through Train. Mama named it Suburban. Neighbors said it was Locomotive. The Station Master was so friendly he allowed children to sleep on mats spread on the floor.  Shaking us violently, he would rouse us up as the majestic Suburban pulled in.

Oh, how I miss those coal-burning trains of yesteryears.  As a secondary school boy, bits of coals would fill my teary eyes and penetrate my running nose as I gazed intermittently out the burning  windows at the undulating forests of Kafanchan and over rivers where children and  adults bathed in the nude.  Oh, how as a little, wide-eyed lad I enjoyed those enchanted Suburban rides, eating boiled corn and peanuts the traders brought to the stations. Utonkon Train Station was my favorite, and sleeping throughout the night until I arrived at school two days later was the greatest gift of all times. I enjoyed catching one of those adult toys that travelled all day and night  to far-away Northern cities. Choo-choo!  Choo-choo! The coaches died for decades due to neglect and abandonment. Halleluiah! The trains  are coming back. Thanks to President Jonathan. Let’s get out of our selfishness and narrow mindedness and celebrate  the dawn of New Nigerian Railways. Let’s support our very own Nigerian Railways Company. Here is a little poem I wrote that captures my childhood imagination.

JUST PASSING THROUGH

Methinks life’s what my fellow Ibos of Nigeria call the olili (orlee-le)

You visited your neighbor for as long as Mama or Papa allowed

Then you left your neighbor’s kids with teary eyes and hunched back

Knowing perfectly well it was just what the Ibos call the olili

A fleeting, transitory, temporary, or strictly momentary visit

Much like Suburban Train that passes through the rural countryside

Reaching the northern destination and returning to the southern town

Carrying human and animal cargoes with energy supplied by burning coals

Suburban knows neither respite nor resting place, and no permanent abode

A homeless man it was, Suburban Train had no domicile, no habitat

A choo-choo here and there, it rolls through rocky hills hewn with sweat

Over River Okpokwu near the Methodist cemetery, and forbidden forest

Where twins, once thought of as ogbanje, were cruelly sacrificed

For the ogbanjes die shortly after birth only to revitalize, reincarnate

Returning to hapless wombs mockingly with “Aha, here am I again”

Robbing connubial women of matrimonial bliss and conjugal ecstasy

Controlled by wayward conductors and cross-eyed engineers, Suburban

Surburban stockpiles moonshine to deaden throbbing headaches and sore feet

But Suburban is plagued with insomniac pickpockets and sly money doublers

Its journey continues day and night through blithe towns and sleepy villages

Its gateway is on parallel steel tracks that diverge  as far as the eye can see

Converging into the horizon as a mirage and playing tricks on the unsuspecting

So is life, a perfunctory, mechanical, unthinking period that soon ends in death

Thank God that the Suburban is finally resurrecting from the dead.

I read about Aisha Jummai who is now the first ever female Governor-elect in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It was a very encouraging news. Then I asked myself and my friends: "Why can't Nigerians have Woman President?" Read More: http://www.nairaland.com/2252367/meet-first-female-governor-elect.

It's about time a woman became the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Old traditions are quietly and rapidly breaking down at the Nigerian men's greatest consternation, alarm, and anxiety. While Nigerian women are making giant strides in the Nigerian universities and the professions, the Nigeria men are drinking Heinekens and lagging so far behind the women it is pathetic. Nigerian men are sleepwalking and dreaming of becoming millionaires Aliko Dangote and Mike Adenuga, or President Jonathan's replacement. Nigerian politicians are male brutes unable to love their country; they are fixated at robbing their people sightless and leaving the country waterless, in darkness, and without drivable roads. Nigerian men ought to heed the writing on the wall: "Oga, move out of the way and let the lady come in." Two things Nigerian men (Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Fulani) are excellent at are embezzling government funds and murdering people they consider their enemies.

We predict a Nigerian woman will emerge as Woman President not too far from now and do mighty exploits for my beleaguered country. A Nigerian Woman President would at least bring needed sanity and order to an anarchical system as well as bring the 300 abducted schoolgirls home. Nigerian politicians stand in the way of women's progress, and they hold their countrymen down as Yorubas, Fulani, and Hausas are jealously retarding Igbo progress. Because the Nigerian women appear to be more intelligent than their men among the Igbo, Yoruba, or Hausa subgroups, they are bound to survive better than the clueless men. Women in general can rule with kindness, respect, egalitarianism, and milk of love flowing in their breasts. A large percentage of Nigerian politicians known to rob the nation are men who have betrayed positions of trust and who cannot love or get along. They have lawless hands that pillage the money bag. I was thinking that the greatest battle man can fight is guilty conscience until I discovered that Nigerian men's conscience is dead.

Nigerian men are violent. Consider Abubakar Shekau. Consider followers of Ojukwu of the Biafran War, Boko Haram criminals, murderers of Igbos during Northern pogroms, MEND captains, Fulanis dropping dead people into wells during Jos massacres, and so forth. What do all these murders have in common? The common denominator is this: Nigerian men, with no exception, are brutal, meaning they are bad, vicious, wicked, evil, vile, or cruel. Consider the violent performance of our so-called Nigerian leaders: Obasanjo, Buhari, Awolowo, Babangida, and Jonathan. Think of the failing grades of the quarrelsome former and present governors of Igboland (Ngige, Chime, Okorocha, Obi, Elechi, Orji).

Take account of the tribalistic, Igbo-hating Yoruba men (including their Obas, and Yoruba governors in the West, and take a look at Governor Fashola of Lagos, for example. What do these have in common? For one thing, Nigerian leaders are ethnocentric and hate citizens that are outside their immediate tribes. They hold memberships in a club where discussions center around how to marginalize a subgroup, waylay funds budgeted for development, and kill persons who dare to question or disagree. Ethnocentrism is defined as the attitude that one's own group is superior. Nothing excites Nigerian leaders more than seeing their nation bleed and die.

These Nigerian men and by extension most of the African leaders) are unprogressive. Visit South Africa and hear the squabbles about how President Zuma squandered millions of tax payers' dollars beautifying his private residence. Sabotaging funds meant for worthwhile public projects are African men's hobbies. It is safe to conclude that Nigerian men are wicked remnants of humanity devoid of love of country. Devoid means these men do not possess, are untouched by, or destitute of "ifunanya" (Igbo word for love). Self-centeredness is most descriptive of Nigerian and African men. They carry billions of dollars away to develop America and Britain. Bastards! Then they run overseas to die from overpriced medical procedures while beloved Nigeria frails falters, teeters, tethers, totters, and titers in space-like oblivion.

Chinekem-oo (Oh , my God!) Atamaja (I de chop sand). Don't these men see electricity 24/7 in London and Washington where water runs in bathrooms? Do they see and wonder at good roads prostitutes take to come to visit them in swanky hotels in Washington DC? Do they see light shine at London's Barclays Bank as they dump stolen treasures? Don't tell me they do not see water flush out their shit in white man's latrine. You would have a hard time convincing me that these men are uneducated. They have more doctorates to make Harvard and Oxford cry out "Chei, chei!"

Nigerian leaders are miserably unhappy men. Can you see Buhari's face on the internet? Why is he always angry and never smiles? Doesn't Buhari always look like he is about to choke life out of someone as it is alleged he had done during his regime? Where is Islamic Barbaric Brutality Babangida? Isn't Babangida's cup of tea filled with kola nuts made up of frozen blood of those he is alleged to have slaughtered in cold blood? Didn't IBB and Buhari have the worst tenures in the highest office? Why can't Obasanjo answer the recurring question on everyone's mind: "Baba, where have billions of unaccounted funds gone?" I ask because I am Nigerian and it is my property. How much has Jonathan stashed away against the day he decides to resume teaching zoology?

If you don't know it, I hate to tell you this: I am fed up with travelling on Nigerian bumpy roads and bouncing like a sack of cassava; and sleeping with mosquitoes that swarm around me like unpaid prostitutes to give me burning malarial fever. I am tired of drinking impure water that comes from op3n sewage, causing me to have watery diarrhea and remain on toilets throughout the night. I hate watching friends die from common cold because my so-called leaders did not do what they were supposed to do for their people, and that is to hire qualified doctors and not stock hospital pharmacy with fake drugs manufactured in China. Are Nigerian men learning from their women and do they ever realize that knowledge is power? Nigerian women like to keep things clean and orderly, while men like pigs scatter things around.

The Igbo, Hausa, and Yoruba governors are no better than the average school boy who steals cookies from the jar faster than Mama puts them in. The Nigerian governors are uneducated men who masquerade around like clowns with doubtful doctorates they bought from degree mills in India or from local Nigerian universities whose Chancellors have been intimidated into granting dubious diplomas. Watch out for those Nigerian federal Ministers and Commissioners who can't read or write but who call themselves Doctor So-and-so. Shame, absolute shame. Consider gworo-chewing Kano Governor Dr.Kwankwaso who I would swear didn't go beyond completion of a weekend course in Arabic Studies in Saudi Arabia or Sudan. It is scandalous, disreputable, appalling, and shameful. A nation ruled by unlettered Dr's, Sir's, Oba's, Chiefs, Malams, Ohaneze's, Igwe's. or some other primitive titles.

Nigerian politicians ought to stop gloating: "We are better than women because we are MEN and have the long ropes hanging down between our legs." It takes more than genitals to rule a country, or to learn to be a human and a leader. If Nigerian men were humans and had travelled beyond the confines of their backyards, can they figure out why there are jokes about Nigeria around the world as a place where schoolgirls disappeared for months and there was news the girls had been sold, married off to violent men, or turned into sex slaves? I have heard many Nigerians superficially mouth smattering insults and put-downs of women like Mrs Jonathan and our Oil Minister, and Finance Minister. Will someone please tell these Nigerian men: "You cannot lead by killing people, oppressing women, or marginalizing the Igbos"?

Nigerian women are more sincere and have greater sense of purpose than the Nigerian men but are being corrupted by men with money. Do you notice the absence of Naija women in the MASSOB, MEND, Boko Haran, kidnappers, or 919 (the advanced 419 practitioners)? Women, on the other hand, excel in domains that lead to survival in the present age that include intelligence, physical and emotional health, sensory perception, sociability, and longevity. Do you know that more professional Nigeria women are in pharmacy, nursing, science, engineering, and medicine and refusing to marry Nigerian men whom they consider to be lazy, chauvinistic, and dishonest? The Nigerian professional women are marrying foreign black and white men from Germany, Spain, West Indies, and America. Why do Nigerian men have such low self-esteem they feel threatened and unable to deal with intelligent professional Naija women? What most Nigerian men care most about is marrying multiple wives and having senseless underage sex. Chief Oseaka leaves wife in Washington and is getting drunk with several widows in his Anambra village. Heheheh! Alhaji Shehu Shiege flies to Egypt with ten thousand dollars to bring home 12-year-old bride to replace his aged fourth wife. What a scandal!

Ii is time to elect the first Nigerian Hillary Clinton. She would not do any worse than what we have had so far. She would account for our money better than Obasanjo; she would kill less people than Buhari; she would be less quarrelsome than the Igbo governors Obi, Orji, Elechi, Chime, and Okorocha, and less neurotic than Fashola and Kwankwaso. Men would stop massacring the innocent and listen to Lady President if we voted one into power. Yes, Nigerian Woman President would respect my rights as Igbo, Christian, agnostic, or Hausa, and would not let Nigerians be slaughtered with impunity by boko cannibals as Jonathan allegedly had been doing, and as Babangida, Awolowo, and Buhari had allegedly done. Surely, a Nigerian Woman President would consider my rights as a Jehovah-worshipper before she would commit my country's funds to gain Nigerian membership in the Arab League of Nations as Muslim leaders Babandiga and Buhari are alleged to have done.

Why are the Nigerian Muslims keeping women down with sharia law and secret police and why are Nigerian men of all religions generally putting down and insulting women? It is because Nigerian men are fearful of being upstaged by women. Take note of these: (A) Nigerian women are surpassing men in living longer and healthier lives. while Nigerian villages are filled with widows left behind after the men folks have abused themselves with food and alcohol and chosen early graves; (B Women are surpassing men in academia, grabbing more accolades in science, engineering , and mathematics; (C) Women are heading over 50% of households while jobless husbands without money and unable to create self-employment are sexually molesting underage girls and hapless widows in the villages; (D) More women are trading on vegetables to earn incomes and bring food to the dinner tables while the Nigerian men are busy visiting voodoo priests, drinking noxious concoctions, and dreaming of becoming millionaire Dangote or Dantata? One man was riding a bicycle with a sign that read "Future President." Hahahah. Anwualam—ooo (I don die-oo). Biko (please) give me a Nigerian Woman President any time to rule over me, and save my country from total Armageddon predicted to happen in 2015 but delayed as a result of the Nigerian women's prayers.

If you or anyone you know had experienced the events recounted in this essay, please write us to share your story of the Nigerian women's struggle to trap suitable overseas husbands continues daily with intricate twists and turns. Is it true as often said that all is fair in love and war? Do you know that the money Nigerian men wire from overseas to girlfriends and wives back home, end up in the pockets of other men? Who are these other men? The first recipient of your money is the Dibia (medicine man or witchdoctor) who prepares charms to trap and hold you the husband or prospective husband and force you into a wedding. Whether the charms work or not is beside the point. The point is that Nigerian women are "working the roots" on you. The effect is in the eye of the beholder. The second mystery man to whom your Nigerian woman goes to hand over your money in order to trap you to marry her or renew your commitment ( if you had married her and are overseas to complete your studies) is the clever, foxy, smooth-talking Pastor whose tongue is laced with Scripture verses and prayers that allegedly can bring the dead back to life.

Things have taken a very difficult turn for the 33-year-old Fumilayo and 30-year-old Paulina. Both women are unmarried, having been sexually exploited and deceived by Nigerian men residing in America. The Yoruba and Igbo suitors Fumilayo and Paulina are hanging their hopes on, are playboys bent on having pleasurable times and breaking hearts of Babes. As you may well know, Nigerian playboys are legendary playmates who see themselves as exclusive picks of hot girls you see parading the Ikoyi Hotel and trendy spots of Lagos Abuja, and Port Harcourt.

Fumilayo and Paulina have finally come to grips with their predicament. They've  seen the writing on the wall. They are dealing with ferocious playboys who do not pity their victims. Playboys spend little time worrying about marrying any of the Nigerian women they keep dangling at the end of their fishing poles. The playboy's life is a malicious concoction of lies, tall tales and  coupled with the notorious "5-F method of operation".  A Nigerian friend from Okigwe I went to graduate school with at a Southeastern US  university explained how the 5-F method worked. In the 1st F, you find the girl through a mutual friend or on your visit home. In the 2nd F, you fool her with US dollars, clothes, earrings, and fancy shoes in order to keep her hooked at the end of the fishing  line but just below the sink. In the 3rd F, you feed her with rice and wine at some expensive restaurants and clubs of Lagos or Abuja.  In the 4th F, you take her to a quiet hotel or roadside parlor to f—ck.  In the final F, you simply try your best to forget her and look for a fresh conquest. The F-F-F-F-F method seems to work best if the practitioner plays his game well with the skill of Garibabbas the magician.

Garibabas was a real Nigerian man we children knew as we grew up at a small village in former Benue-Plateau State. We couldn't figure out if Garibabas was Igbo or Hausa because he spoke both languages with remarkable fluency. All the Igbos residing in the Igbo Camp believed Garibbabas was a magician.  His claim to be a money doubler was widely believed, and he could divest you of your belongings through magical incantations and sleight of hands. He did that while your eyes were quite open. Rumors has it that he was commiserating with people's wives who would offer him sexual favors in exchange  for the effects of his walking fingers on a woman's body.

As the biological clock is ticking fast signaling the approaching end of child-bearing period, these women (Fumilayo and Paulina) are desperate, meaning they are frantic,  hopelessly worried and distraught, Competition with younger girls half their age with lovelier and shapelier physique, not only compounds these women's dilemma, but adds a new twist  that requires enlisting the help of outside forces. This is where Nigerian pastors and witch doctors come in.

Fumilayo and Paulina fluctuate in that they vaccilate between a rock and a hard place, between two villains. Both Pastor and Witchdoctor demand money for their services. Therefore, the money Nigerian men send home from overseas is hurriedly paid to the Igbo or Yoruba pastor, depending on whose prayer is considered to be more potent.   This requires the young ladies' daily pilgrimage to the church of whichever Pastor is considered to be more efficacious. If the witchdoctor wins the woman's service contract, trips to the groove must be undertaken often under the cover of darkness. Pastor provides words and affirmations to be repeated daily. Witchdoctor prepares medicines to be added to men's foods or transported magically overseas to unsuspecting Nigeria playboys.

Fumilayo emails Tunde an ultimatum: "Marry me now or else....."You can figure out the rest of the story. Paulina's taunt to Simon takes the form of a telephone call: "You're enjoying while I'm suffering."

Copyrighted 2/21/2014. Author is Marriage Coach. Opinions expressed are strictly those of writer.

Monday, 13 April 2015 01:39

Why Are Igbos Falling Behind In Nigeria?

 

My former student and I had a heated discussion over  "Why are we Igbos falling behind in Nigeria?" Dr. O and I are Igbos of Anambra origin and have had the knack of bantering over the progress of our people. This time, Dr. O disputed every argument I presented since he believes Igbos in Nigeria  and abroad are faring rather poorly in every aspect of human endeavor.

 

ME:  "What of Igbo progress in education?

 

DR. O: "No, Igbos are making no strides. In fact, they are regressing educationally".

 

ME: "Don't Igbos have  money?"

 

DR. O: "Not at all. Their money is useless without doing anything for their community. They build castles in Northern Nigeria and then are chased away while their home states remain largely undeveloped."

 

"What else?" I asked  in desperation.

 

Dr. O:  "Nothing else, Doc, You see, Igbos may end up being the underclass in Nigeria as they are hated by all the other tribes ".

 

He went on to discuss the exploding numbers of non-Igbo (Yoruba and Hausa) physicians, engineers, scientists, mathematicians, bankers, politicians, billionaires, and manufacturers scattered in Nigeria all over the world.  Throwing my hands up in desperation, I asked my assailant: "Do you know that without Ndiigbo pioneers, Nigeria would not be where we now are educationally?"   I repeated the question much to Dr. O's amusement.  He thought I should know better than that.   I am tempted to concluded  that Ndigbo are falling behind because they are not interested in helping  others and  all this is happening  while Igbos are neglecting some important personality issues that might be stunting their progress. That happens when Igbos  are so busy chasing after "toro na afu" (pennies), just as the old proverb used to say "penny wise pound foolish".

 

Many Igbo professors  I  have known to be working at various American institutions of higher education have recently been dismissed before attaining  tenured positions of full professorships. But there are scores  of Yoruba Deans, Vice presidents, Vice Chancellors, and Provosts. I called two Yoruba men I know, a Vice President on the east coast and  Associate Vice Chancellor at a large community college system on the west  coast to ask "What are you doing right that the Igbos are doing wrong?" More Yoruba professors and professionals in the USA appear to be quieter, less troublesome, and get along better with spouses, colleagues, and the Americans in general. Some  Igbo professionals appear to be louder, more quarrelsome and argumentative, more ostentatious, self- aggrandizing,  and showy when displaying material stuffs like vehicles and houses. One Igbo Department Chairman had the habit of arguing  with his university President at staff meetings until he was replaced with another  mathematician. One Igbo physician had the engine of his Rolls-Royce running on display outside his office while attending to his patients.  This doctor was more interested in acquiring best automobiles than in providing best patient care. He had to quit his practice in America and move to Nigeria when old patients moved away and new ones  weren't forthcoming.

 

On US college campuses, Nigerian professors tend to look down on students, comparing them to Nigerian students they had taught much to the annoyance of faculty and staff. Though Nigerian  professors are considered to be very intelligent, the Igbos  tend to be held to lower esteem than the non-Igbos due to personality issues, including infighting. I saw this happen to three Igbo young men who obtained their PhD's from the same university in the same discipline and taught at the same university. They were from Enugu, Imo, and Anambra States and got on well in graduate for four years, often entertaining white faculty at their Nigerian parties to which they invited their white professors and other Nigerians. Trouble started after the Imo man graduated first and was hired as Department Chairman of a State school, and he hired the other two as Assistant Professors. The first two years of working together were fine until hell broke loose in the third year. The chairman turned autocratic, becoming openly confrontational, and being accused of bearing tales to the Dean to engineer dissent among the Department employees and have his friends fired. "Watch out," he told the Americans, "these Africans may take over the Department."  He was right because the Nigerians were plotting to hire other  Nigerian professors to  form the majority and gain promotions and tenures through each other's recommendations  A bitter war ensued, culminating in the Chairman's inability to function and eventual resignation.  When I tried to mediate since I knew all three of these Igbo men,  the Anambra man warned me to  keep out. What happened was the Enugu professor relocated to Florida after former Chairman from Imo escaped to a quieter Texas city, leaving the lone Anambra professor to figure out the cause of bickering. I told him he was the fool and chief instigator of palaver.

 

Incidentally, I  am tempted to initiate a blithering indictment of NdiIgbo and their leadership at home and abroad as cause of why Igbos are falling behind . Igbos do not get along in any organization. Bitter infightings are the order of the day. Petty jealousies, love of money and obsession with chieftaincy titles add up to render Ndigbo further disunited. We condemn the Igbo governors for failure to take care of the rest of us at the difficult times in our history as the Yorubas and Hausas have done for their people. We denounce Igbo parents and elders for over-emphasizing the pursuit of money over and above respect, education, and igwebuike (community unity) as instruments for Igbo nation-building.  We accuse Igbo religious leadership of its unfaithfulness in abandoning their calling and prostituting  (being akwunakwuna) after prosperity. We condemn Ndigbo in general for their excessive pursuit of "ebe  onye si bia" (where one comes from). Ndiigbo have excessive clannishness   (Abiasm, Enuguism, Imoisn, Anambraism, Ebonyism). We fault Igbo people in general for their abandonment of technical education that generates employment, and we condemn Igbos for their fixating on excessive use of defeat in Biafran War as unwarranted excuse for developing the inability to form relationships across tribal boundaries and for being lazy and remaining in deep stupor, trance, coma, daze, state of unconsciousness.

 

Having said this, why are Ndiigbo falling behind In Nigeria and in the United States? Are the Igbos discouraged in their circumstances? Are they brow-beaten as a result of losing the Biafran War? What is the cause of their feelings of being trapped, downtrodden, subjugated, broken, oppressed, demoralized, or exploited?  Can we trace the demoralization of Ndiigbo to post traumatic syndrome (PTS) suffered from defeat, or atrocities of Biafran War?   It is safe to believe the Igbos didn't suffer a defeat in war; they simply gained the opportunity to regroup, rethink,  re-strategize, and return stronger and more resilient. Igbos have always bounced back. There is nothing shameful about falling down from time to time; but it is discreditable to remain on the ground after a fall. Isn't what seems to keep us Igbos down for 44 years since the Biafran War ended is that we are not united? Are we Igbos less likely to lift both ourselves and each other up after a fall? Are we carrying unnecessary baggages consisting of guilt, "mmegbu" (oppression);  "anya ufu" (jealousy), "anya ukwu" (greed), and "obi –ojoo" (bitterness)?Let's look at some of our glaring problems.

 

In education, fewer Igbo children and adults are going to schools than they once did, than the Yorubas. More Igbos are interested in making money and dreaming of becoming billionaire Dangote  or politician President Goodluck  than they are in acquiring education for the love of it. More Yorubas  are acquiring higher education to the PhD level than the Igbos. There are fewer Igbos in SEM (science, engineering, and mathematics) and technology (plumbing, air conditioning, airplane mechanic, etc) than there are in the other Nigerian tribes. In employment, more Igbos are unemployed and unemployable than the other tribes because Igbo employers are quite unwilling to employ other Igbos, and when they do employ, their Igbo employees would be robbing the business owner or doing their own businesses within the master's business.

 

Do the Igbos get along? No. Igbo States are more likely to be hot-beds (or boiling pots)of dissent, with strings of Ngiges, Ubas, and Rochas, Chimes vying for power in the midst of "esem okwu" (troubles). If you are Igbo Nigerian running for dear life from boko-controlled North, you are more likely to be denied employment in Igboland and asked to go to your state of origin than if you ran to Yorubaland. You are more likely to be robbed, kidnapped, or even killed if you venture into Igbo majority places than if you seek refuge  in Igbo minority areas. If you were  one of the 72 destitute Igbos in Lagos that Governor babbatunde Fashola deported to Onitsha bridge, other Igbos would most likely ignore  you and not come to your aid, or you might end up being a bloated corpse  floating in Ezu River. Self hatred,  hatred of others and wickedness seem to be the hallmarks of the tribe Hausas refer to as Anyamiris. Igbos are drinking large quantities of Star lager, Heinekens, Extra Stout, palm wine, and burukutu to self-medicate. Igbo men are developing large onyeagba pot bellies that make men appear to be pregnant. More breweries are being built in Igboland and Ndigbo are likely to deaden their frustration through becoming alcoholics rather than they are to nourish their bodies with proper diets and exercise.

 

No one can compellingly argue against the fact that Ndigbo of Nigeria  are a force to be reckoned with. Though Ndiigbo did amazing exploits before Nigeria became the Nigeria it is today, long before the granting of self-governing in 1960, today's  Igbos  are now as dormant as inactive volcanoes under the seas.  Though Ndigbo did achieve tremendous, "forward ever" strides during the 60's, 70's, 80's, and  90's, the happenings among today's Igbos reflect "backward ever" syndrome.  Think of the schools and cathedrals the Igbo did construct throughout Nigeria. Do you remember how Igbos provided the early manpower Nigeria needed as she marched towards sovereignty; the teachers, merchants, administrators, health workers, and miners? And if you add the fact that the Igbos have always loved education and are skilled in the accumulation of wealth, you'll begin to appreciate these people's indomitable spirit and adventurism. Indefatigability seems to be a better choice of words. To be indefatigable is to be incapable of being tired out; to be tireless, unflagging, unrelenting, unfaltering, remorseless, tenacious, resolute, inexorable   Isn't it true that, all things being equal, some animals are more equal than their neighbors? It seems the Igbos are steadily becoming less equal in a country of 170 million souls.

 

Money alone cannot give Ndiigbo needed predominance. The question is : how much of Nigeria's money is controlled by Ndigbo? Let's say Igbos control over N930 trillion. A trillion  (or a million million) is 1 followed by 12 zeros. A trillion is  1,000,000,000,000 to be exact. It's fair to wager that Nigeria would not be Nigeria without "ego Ndigbo" (Igbo wealth). My former student Dr. O  wasn't impressed when I attempted to amaze him with a breathtaking estimate of Igbo wealth from the internet;  it fell off his brain like water rolls off the back of a thickly feathered duck. Igbo investments are" hugomongous": not less than N600 trillion in Abuja; N10 trillion in Kano and Kaduna each; N5 trillion in Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa States each; N15 trillion in Plateau State; and there is no Nigerian state where Igbo investments do not exceed 5trillion.

Read: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/07/the-igbos-have-more-at-stake-in-nigeria  It is said that no Nigerian State or town can survive without Igbo economic contribution. What does it mean in terms of nsopulu (respect) and ako na uche (commonsense)?

 

Granted Igbos have so much Naira it comes out of their ears and mouths. The question is: what have they done with all that money? Economic power without political power to accompany it is as good as soup without salt. In conclusion, in order to overcome feelings of marginalization or of falling behind the Ndigbo must prioritize goals in the order of significance. Time is running out. School should take greater priority in Ndiigbo scheme of things than emphasis primarily on trading and acquiring naked cash. Child development should include training in self-respect, respect of others, working in unity, humility, honesty, and unselfishness. Education should focus on scientific and technical education aimed at full employment of the youth. Strengthening Igbo families would have the advantages of preventing crimes and violence as well as creating a secure environment.

 

We congratulate both Jonathan  and Buhari on accepting to lead my people the Nigerians for the next few years. However, whoever wins the election has important tasks ahead: how to accomplish onerous tasks described in this essay.

Nigeria needs a leadership that would guarantee real freedom

The people of Nigeria need to have a bundle of freedoms, including freedom from unreasonable searches of their persons, safety in their homes and neighborhoods, and liberty to express themselves in speech, writing , and association without being threatened with arrest or violence. Unfortunately, my people have been denied freedom for so long they are beginning to wonder if freedom is European invention only read in storybooks. You might not be surprised if you try telling a Nigerian man or woman that in America or England, there is something defined as personal liberty, autonomy, lack of unnecessary restrictions, self-determination, independence, free choice, freedom from unfair prosecution, or sovereignty, and he or she says: “You say what? You don’t mean it.”

Nigeria needs a leadership that would unify tribes and effect real reconciliation

After decades of denials, finger pointing, and obfuscation, Nigerians have come to “square one:” how to deal with the guilt of murdering millions of men, women, and children  in cold blood and pretending that “all is well.” It is not well. Time has ended to continue to pretend that no evil was done or that forgiveness has been earned. Pretense has got to stop There is a need to set up a National Peace Conference similar to South African’s (Bishop Tutu’s) Truth Commission to make significant discoveries. Who have been offended? Who are responsible for what offense? How do we go about achieving real reconciliation (rather than punishment) and restoring goodwill?

Nigeria needs a leadership that would purge the country of sin

The Webster’s New universal Unabridged Dictionary (2nd ed, p.1693) defines sin as “any voluntary transgression of a religious law or moral principle; moral depravity; wickedness; iniquity.” The Webster’s goes on to distinguish between sin of commission (willful violation) and sin of omission (willful neglect).

  • Nigeria has committed and is still committing the greatest of all sins in the shedding of  blood of innocent men, women, and children under the hypocritical guise of religion or political convenience.
  • Nigeria is guilty of the sin of commission by actively soaking her hands and soul  in blood that has turned poisonously crimson; there is no greater sin than the spilling of innocent blood because, once spilled, life is irreplaceable.
  •  Nigeria commits the sin of omission by its active failure to put in place measures to extend the quality of life of its men, women, and children beyond mere eating and using latrines. Nigeria is blessed with enough and human and natural resources we ought to be in the forefront of providing our people’s basics (defined as needs that are  essential, critical, fundamental, indispensable, vital, crucial, central for the maintenance of quality life), including water, electricity, adequate housing, affordable healthcare, quality education,  and medicines to combat common illnesses, such as malaria, sickle cell, high blood pressure, polio, leprosy, and other debilitating  diseases.
  • Nigeria is committing the hard-hearted, revengeful  sin of banishing a segment of its populace, particularly some minority tribes from full and active participation in the political process, and thinking that such banishment is fair punishment for real or imagined act, such as the Biafra War or Delta disturbance.
  • The killing of 3.2 million Igbos during the pogroms, Biafra War, and  riots in some Northern states in Nigeria is an event to be brought to the surface for public discussion and not swept under the rug in the attempt to pretend that such killings did not occur or that the evil will simply go away.
  • The frequency with which murders are being perpetrated in Nigeria makes the activity seem mundane, not prohibited by law, or simply a recreational activity to be emulated , or a right de passage.
  • The killings of Nigerians are inexcusable even when done in a fit of jealousy or righteous anger since it would send a wrong message to politicians and ethnics that “you can kill the person you dislike from any tribe or religion with impunity and receive no sanctions whatsoever.”
  • Keeping Igbos or other unpopular groups out of significant Federal and State positions (president, vice president, governors, commissioners, central bank governors, etc) is unconscionable and would send a wrong message to other Nigerians leaders that these disliked groups don’t count in the scheme of things, and should easily be dispensed with.

Nigeria needs a leadership that would stimulate healing

The Webster’s Universal Unabridged Dictionary (2nd, p. 836) further defined healing as  “the act or process by which a cure is effected.”

  • Nigeria ought to  put in place sound fiscal system that would monitor the country’s wealth and plough such wealth back into society’s health; as opposed to looking  the other way while unscrupulous politicians and devious pirates have a field day.   
  • Nigeria should not go about pretending a sin was not committed when a significant proportion of her citizens are being wiped out by violence in some Northern states.
  • Nigeria ought to ascertain the numbers of Igbos, Christians, Muslims, and other persons that perished at the hands of militants during the pogroms, Biafra Civil War, and massacres carried out by boko haram terrorists, including the numbers of other ethnics who suffered irreparable losses.
  • Nigeria ought to determine how much reparations or compensatory payments to be made to citizens who experienced massive sufferings, disruptions and post-traumatic changes, including compensation to be paid to families of men, women, and children (of all tribes) who were slaughtered in cold blood in each of the many ethnic cleansings  our people had suffered.
  • Nigeria ought to pursue the “anti-majoritarian” policy that recognizes the important efforts of minorities whose contributions, though in more subtle and quiet ways than  the deafening machinations of the majorities, are nonetheless just as important. The chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

AS MY COUNTRY NIGERIA GOES TO THE POLLS, WE REJOICE WE SAY:. “GO FOR FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS. GO, GO GO GO.”

CAN BUHARI  DEAL OPENLY AND HONESTLY WITH THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS? Despite his vast experience with  the military rule and accomplishments as Major General, can the man Buhari put in place a process that would help solve Nigeria’s problems of inadequate food, poor employment opportunities for the youth, lack of light, impure water, roads full of potholes, and inadequate healthcare, field day for armed robbers and kidnappers, and of course endemic official corruption?  Will Buhari  be able to marshal intelligent plans to demonstrate his mission statement, goals ,and methods he hopes to use in turning things around in the great nation named Nigeria? Buhari should be able to put solid nails on the coffin containing the allegation that he supports terrorism, or at least explain convincingly that he is not,  was not, and shall not be in a position in support of the criminality associated with  of boko haram that has abducted schoolgirls and destroyed  lives in many villages. Buhari can speak to his capacity and plans to prevent poverty and promote quality education for all citizens of Nigeria, and not just the North.

CAN  BUHARI KEEP HANDS OFF THE PRESS? The press is the watchdog of the nation, the soul and conscience of the governed. Therefore, Buhari  may consider it advisable to avoid giving the impression that the press is  a mortal enemy, an unnecessary appendage t o be dealt with with  an iron hand. The press is sacrosanct and should be tolerated  and encouraged to express  divergent views and opinions some of which Buhari might find to be threatening. Buhari’s  Minister for Information and Press Secretary are charged with giving correct information to the public regarding Buhari’s actions.  His Press Secretary  is charged with the responsibility to create  press accessibility to the President and  arrange news  releases to and meetings with members of the press. Buhari  should  seek ways to work amiably and amicably together with Nigerians of all walks of life through the press releases and scheduled bull sessions for the betterment of all Nigerians. To be safe, Buhari  is advised to encourage meetings with  the press at every opportunity to explain what he does and why.

HAS BUHARI FOUND WAYS TO WIN OVER DETRACTORS/CRITICS? No good government will exist without constant struggle associated with so-called enemies demanding  that the immediate needs of the people be met,  just as no family will succeed when the needs of the father, mother, and children are neglected. Therefore, Buhari ought to develop a thick skin to withstand  critics’ distractions, a humility born of self-abnegating servant hood as Public Servant Number One, without resorting to imprisonments or cruel punishments meted out. He ought to find ways to  deal with people who don’t see things the way he does  and who may be critical of Islam. Will Buhari be able to combat the apprehension of Nigerians that he would not be interested in upholding the rule of law and the Constitutional separation of religion and state? Since Nigeria is a democracy with constitutional limits imposed on the key governmental players- president, legislature, and judiciary- Buhari should be able to abide by the Constitutional constraints, keep his religious fervor in check, and still respect the other co-equal governing bodies and persons who may consider Islam a thing to be avoided at all costs. A good government is tempered with mercy and understanding. Does Buhari have a mixture of tolerance and turn-the-other-cheek required of a leader?

WILL BUHARI BE ABLE TO DESTROY THE PERCEPTION THAT HE WAS AND IS A TYRANT? Nigerians have long held the impression that Major General  Buhari  has led a government that that came to power from a coup that was hasty, nasty, cruel, brutal, and with a merciless “war against indiscipline” stance supported by whip-wielding soldiers Buhari has to admit that his previous rule was nasty, brutish and mercifully short. In appreciating the fact that Nigerians now are highly educated, and have traveled the world, Will Buhari be able to accept that Nigerians want a government that is redemptive rather than despotic and vengeful, enjoyable rather than restrictive, and democratic rather than autocratic?. It is often said that, though uneasy lies the head that wears the presidency, yet dealing with a country’s ills requires tact and understanding rather than brutal response that was characteristic of the front-line combat zone, Nigerians want peace, quiet, and a live-and-let-live society.

HOW WOULD BUHARI DEAL WITH THE CHRISTIANS’ FEAR HE’S DETERMINED TO ISLAMIZE NIGERIA? Nigerians want to enjoy the uninhibited freedom of religion in a country divided 50-50 between Islam and Christianity.  Buhari should support the view that Nigeria is a multi-religion society that opposes the imposition of any Holy Book or foreign domination of a religious cult emphasizing the literally interpreted Quoran as fundamental to Nigerian. Buhari  may find it necessary to adhere to the principle that Nigerians  enjoy governing themselves and resolving issues in civil  courts rather by Sharia courts or under the direction of a sheik  who answers to members of the royal family of a foreign nation. Anyone, including Buhari, must realize that toying with Nigerians’ religious preferences would necessitate an all-out war that cannot be easily won.

Monday, 23 March 2015 03:51

The 13 Signs you are truly a Nigerian

To me, it’s an honor to be a Nigerian, to be from a nation that nurtured me and gave me my unflattering personality. If I am arrogant and mouthy, I like it. I ask the readers to bear with me; there’s a reason why I am this way. I am truly trying to evolve to be truly a Nigerian   It is not easy being truly a Nigerian, a citizen of that Great Land populated by 170 million people and divided  50-50 between Christians and Muslims. To be exact, true Nigerians form friendships across tribal and religious boundaries. They belong to a class set apart from the rest.  They are citizens of the world marked with soigné significance and recherché’ nonchalance. In Nigeria, we are open, intelligent, argumentative, and forthright to the point of eccentricity. And that’s what makes us the people we are. You can spot a Nigeria as soon as you enter a restaurant, Kroger, Wal-Mart, or airport in Anchorage, Alaska or Tokyo, Japan,  Here comes a Nigerian, and you can pick him or her out with the stylish hair, flowing  attire, and accent so thick you could cut it with a pair of scissors. Nigerians are tough, individualistic, unconventional, and rebellious. In short, for loss of words, Nigerians are maverick.  One of the most striking features that mark my Nigerian is the woman’s radiant energy, and the man’s get-up-and-go. You are truly a Nigerian when certain unique signs show up in you. 

  1. A true Nigerian values education and seeks to acquire more knowledge than he had the previous years. He or she enrolls in academic or technical courses to improve skills, brush up on deficiencies, set up a private business, or to prepare to enter the labor force. If you are a Nigerian, you aren’t truly successful  until you have the Bachelor’s degree  (BA/BS) after being in America for 7 years; or Master’s (MA/MS/MBA) after being  overseas for 10 years;  or the  doctorate (PhD/MD) after being outside Nigeria for 15 years. You may argue that education is not that important or that it is not as valuable as money. My answer is this: Knowledge is power and he who has it has my respect. Conversely, ignorance is no bliss. The pen is mightier than the dollar. Anyway, get education while you can. It’s better to have it and don’t need it than to need it and don’t have it. I see Nigeria’s palaver ending when we are educated to respect ourselves.
  2. A true Nigeria gives equal opportunity to all people irrespective of sex, tribe, income level, or religious leaning. To be a true Nigerian, you cannot discrimination against females in education or employment. Today, in many Nigerian communities, education is such a valuable asset marriage is sometimes delayed until a person graduates from secondary school or the university. Many Nigerian millionaires and thousandaires prefer marrying educated girls to the uneducated. Four of my personal friends are businessmen and importers  who have no university diploma but whose  wives  are practicing barristers and physicians.  Though Chief Onyekwere may not read, write proper grammar like Nsukka honors graduate, or calculate fractions like Okonkwo a PhD in mathematics, yet his wife Dr. Monica Onyekwere  is a London trained internist.
  3. A true Nigerian values education for girls. In the past, in the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and up till the first part of the 90’s, most Nigerian  boys were sent to schools  while the girls were groomed to marry early to men who would take care of them. The result was a plethora of poor households headed by illiterate widows.   Today, things are changing in Nigeria as a result of the emphasis on girls’ education.
  4. A true Nigerian values family life that includes a wife, husband , children, and assorted extended family members. Social events and festivities are said to be best enjoyed when celebrated within the context of the family. The husband with the encouragement of the wife builds a safe nest from which needs of each family member are met.
  5. A true Nigerian is a nurturer of the young, a model for his growing kids, a sculpt for her neighbors’ children,  and active participant in relevant social clubs that promote unity and  family values.
  6. A true Nigerian subscribes to the democratic ideals in the home and community. He or she  is interested in a stable Nigerian government that is free of corruption and where insecurity does not proliferate. He or she is diametrically opposed to autocratic rule or a government that trivializes human rights, or that utilizes use of force, intimidation coercion, or terrorism to rule. True Nigerians should be protesters against tyranny or injustice anywhere its ugly head is reared.
  7. A true Nigerian supports honesty in private dealings and government functions; he pays his taxes and water bills on time, gas or NEPA (electric) bills promptly; he or she neither gives nor accepts bribes. Bribery is stealing and should be highly condemned as immoral.
  8. A true Nigeria is both optimistic and egalitarian, not willing to give up on the idea that Nigeria is only experiencing growing pains of maturity but will metamorphose or change strikingly with  the appearance or character or something as if by supernatural means .  A true Nigerian is he or she who remains steadfast to the very end in the belief that my country, my Nigeria, will eventually be a nation of calm, peaceful, and prosperous people. The true Nigerian is genuinely interested in events taking place in Nigeria. He or she reads  up on current Nigerian news from the internet, discusses these readings with others and attempts to proffer an opinion that would resolve troubling issues, unlike boko haram criminals who would add fuel to a combustion. True Nigerians call their elected officials to lend support to profitable measures and oppose solutions that are divisive.
  9. A truly successful Nigerian seeks to serve on the country’s  armed forces or in whatever capacity his/her training and experiences best qualify him or her as a politician, teacher, civic leader, importer ,exporter,  house wife, stay-at-home husband, or consultant.
  10. A man or woman who is truly Nigerian does not neglect spiritual growth. Though they believe in the existence of God, true Nigerians aren’t so fanatical they become oppressors of those who don’t share their religious views. True Nigerians are tolerant, charitable, broadminded, and lenient towards others with differing religious inclinations.
  11. You are truly a  successful Nigerian if you have a positive bank account, never in deep debt, and are able to pay for your family upkeep, including expenses for transportation, healthcare, housing, entertainment, and leisure activities.
  12. A truly successful Nigerian possesses good attitudes and habits that are conducive to healthy living  and longevity, and these habits include but are not limited to: no  cigarettes smoking, moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages, no use of habit-forming drugs, no spousal abuse,  regular visits to their physicians; and regular physical exercise.
  13. Lastly but not the least, every truly successful Nigerian ought to be informed of the customs and traditions of his/her Nigerian community, and be able to impart same to his children.

Long Live Nigeria! Wishing peace and prosperity to all Nigerians

It is both shocking and pathetic that so many of my African brothers are being killed on the streets of these United States. A homeless man, who had no name for a long time and who was finally identified as Mr. Keunang a Cameroonian  on skid row, was shot and killed on the streets of Los Angeles while allegedly attempting to grab a policeman’s gun.  That was a tragedy seen on national television. This man was accused of entering America falsely under a Frenchman Charey Saturin Roinet’s stolen identity and had served a prison term under the same false name for bank robbery. His alleged attempt to grab a policeman’s pistol in a confrontation with a team of policemen had resulted to this Cameroonian’s death. Read more here: http://news.yahoo.com/man-shot-police-skid-row-identified-031600061.html  The death of this one African diminishes us all because he didn’t have to die like a homeless dog  if certain erroneous ideas in the minds of countless Africans had been caught on time and corrected. Many Afrikan immigrants hold several erroneous ideas pertaining to America, including (1) misguided impression of America as land of limitless opportunities; (2) misperception of effectiveness of the American rule of law and legal system; (3) misconception of proper ways to make money in America; (4) misunderstood failure of the American system to guide its immigrant workforce.

First problem is the misguided impression that America is land of limitless opportunities. The United States has some very serious limitations in the  opportunities portrayed in the economy. There are Mexicans seeking to crash the borders to get in to grab jobs; there are shrinking menial and non-farm job opportunities left to be grabbed; and Americans are jealously guarding the few remaining jobs for their people. Because a large number of Africa’s 1.2 billion citizens (projected to increase to 2.4 billion by 2050) have undying ambition to get out of poverty and emigrate to world’s so-called green pastures overflowing with milk and honey, America has become that focal point/utopia/ paradise that increasingly draws Africans as a magnet. As a 14-year-old  band player in the secondary school Boys’ Brigade (scouting), my interest in America was sharpened after a band leader taught us to sing: “Come and see American Wonder Come and see American Wonder, Come and come and see….”  The song was magical, and little did I realize upon landing here that life in America would not be a paradise, a delightful rapture, or never-ending ecstasy. It was hard work. A new African immigrant in America has to contend with obtaining proper documentation while living a law-abiding and productive life and while obtaining a good education/training leading to a career.

Second problem is the misperception of the American judicial system’s effectiveness. Most Africans emigrating to the United States  come from environments  where the rule of law is blatantly absent, where people with power and influence do not obey the law, and where one breaking the law can easily buy/bribe his way out of punishment, and where being “a big man or woman” counts heavily. In Africa, “big mannism” or being from a wealthy family shuts the mouth of law.  Americans take their laws seriously because of fearful feelings  they are being surrounded and infiltrated by such enemies  as the violent Islamic jihads, IS, and ISL. America’s documentation system is rapidly improving with speedy computerization and tracking system to weed out external threats.  You might escape the dragnet for a while but you’ll be eventually be caught. If you are going to be a crook, at least be a good crook, but stay low, get in some educational program to hide for awhile, drive within speed limits, and avoid risky behaviors such as wild parties, and armed robberies, Americans frown at vagrancy/homelessness, identity thefts, illegal activities (eg bank robbery, prostitution, and illicit solicitations for the sale of harmful substances.

Third problem is the misconception of proper ways to make money. Cameroonian Mr. Keunang didn’t have a legitimate means of earning a living other than robbing a bank. A few Africans coming to the United States for the first time have not learned proper ways to earn money legitimately so they live out what they see on old wild Western movies that feature the swaggering violence, drunkenness, vagrancy, gun-toting bandits, and taking property by force.  They aren’t exposed to proper ways to acquire money through training that leads to careers.  Many Nigerian secondary schools lack career counseling for students as well as strong programs in the science/technical/industrial education that American industries value. Therefore, a Nigerian or Cameroonian has nothing to tap into upon arrival in America. This seemingly insurmountable difficulty can be easily remedied when new African immigrants are channeled into American community institutions with trainings in such impressive fields as mining, engineering, electricity, building construction and maintenance, plumbing, air-conditioning and heating , among many other lucrative careers.

Fourth problem pertains to the colossal failure on the part of American government, educational institutions and industry to properly assist African immigrants seeking work . America ought to encourage Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leon, Sudan and other African countries known to have dictatorial governance, human rights violations, high unemployment, and inter-group conflicts to seek ways to combat these problems that impinge upon the economy because they lead to brain drains, and force citizens to seek emigration to other lands some at great risks of rapes or enslavements and drowning in oceans. Gnawing poverty, massive unemployment and underemployment rates no doubt had contributed to the deaths of many Africans such as Mr. Keunang the  Cameroonian .

Conclusions and recommendations: Although America benefits hugely from the contributions of African immigrants who work as teachers, industry personnel, and owners of businesses that generate jobs for American citizens, little goes back to these praiseworthy unsung heroes. It is time that America took time to reciprocate.  Alien registration of Africans coming to America should be carefully undertaken to ensure proper documentation of country of origin, appropriate embassy, next of kin’s address and phone numbers. This database should be regularly updated each year from information garnered from the individual’s country of origin, embassies, educational institutions, postal addresses and places of employment. Immigrants providing false information or caught showing signs of delinquency or violations of the law should be fingerprinted and promptly deported to where they came from irrespective of country objections or family influence. We recommend that the new Office of Africa Immigrant Integration(OAII) be established as part of the Department of Home Security responsible for overseeing problems experienced by African immigrants legally admitted to the United States and as liaison between the U S educational institutions and  employers whose industrial needs are met with skills these African immigrants possess.

SUBMITTED  March 13, 2015.

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