Monday, 22 August 2016 23:51

Death wish and calling your dog Buhari

Written by 

Regarding An Igbo Naming His Dog Buhari

There Is Something About Igbos That Make Them Do Dumb Things!

Ozodi Osuji

I have read where folks give disquisitions on the merit of a citizen naming his dog whatever he wants to; they used what they call constitutional law (whose constitution, American or Nigerian constitution?) to justify their positions. I am not a lawyer and will stay away from debates as to what is constitutionally protected speech or not.

I am a philosopher and would like to share with folks how this matter exercises my mind: why is it that whenever a Nigerian does a dumb thing the chances are that it is done by an Igbo? What exactly is the matter with Igbos, why don't they instinctively understand what is doable in human society and abide by it? Why do Igbos always go looking for avoidable trouble?

Let me give folks a little lecture on the nature of society and governance. My comments are predicated on the writings of Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan); John Locke (Second Treaty on Government); Jean Jacque Rousseau (Social Contract); Charles Montesquieu (The Spirit of laws); Nicolo Machiavelli (The Prince); John Stuart Mill (On Liberty) and my fellow  other political theorists.

Human society is composed of individuals; each individual has his own values; above all, each human being is capable of killing other people and they are capable of killing him.

Organized society (government and laws) is designed to protect people from each other's potential harms.

Law does not prevent a person who wants to kill you from doing so but after he has done so the law enforcement agencies may go after him, catch him, try him at a court of law and imprison him. This reaction to him is not going to bring you back to life but, may or may not, deter other people who have evil intentions towards their neighbors.

It is actually not only the law that protects people but peoples good intentions towards one another; since good intensions is encouraged by religion, therefore, most political philosophers say that society must have religion and if there is no religion the rulers of society ought construct one for the people (Machiavelli, The Prince).

Did you get the point I just made?  Let me see if I can put some sense into thick Igbo heads. Law does not prevent folks from harming you, Igbos, but would punish them, ideally, if they have already harmed you.

Because the law is generally a post hoc thing the sensible person understands that he does not have to alienate his neighbor if he wants to be alive, for law does not prevent his neighbor from killing him. This means that one ought to be sensitive to how ones neighbors feel about one. If one does what ones neighbors consider offensive to them one tries to avoid doing so for when push comes to shove your neighbors can exercise jungle justice on you, kill you.

Now, let us look at the naming of a dog Buhari.  Buhari is the name of the President of Nigeria. I do not need to go to school to understand the ethnic conflicts in Nigeria. I know that if a Hausa man called his dog by the name of the Yoruba icon, Awolowo he would offend Yorubas; if a Yoruba man called his dog Zik, an Igbo icon, he would offend Igbos (and the very Igbos now supporting the 41 year old man who called his dog Buhari would be the first to criticize him for doing so).

An Igbo calling his dog Buhari ought to have thought about the consequences of his action. The least that would have occurred to him, assuming that he is intelligent, is that he would have known that he would offend President Buhari's folks.

The man said that he admires President Buhari. And he expects rational persons to accept that he named his dog Buhari because he admires Buhari?

In what part of the world do people call their pets by the names of those they admire? Folks give their children the names of those they admire.  If he called his child Buhari that would indicate that he admires Buhari.

Calling his pet Buhari, in every rational person's mind, is symbolic of his contempt for Buhari. The man is making a public statement to the effect that Buhari is as good as his dog; that is the optics of his behavior!

In the USA people call their children by the names of their political icons, such as Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln and Roosevelt.  Now, suppose that an American called his dog George Washington, what do you think would happen to him?  Nothing, right?

Your neighbor sees you walking your dog and admires it and asks you its name and you say: George Washington.  That neighbor would be taken aback. Being civilized he is restrained in his behavior; he does not behave impulsively. Perhaps, he smiles and says to you: catch you later and quickly move away from you.

He thinks about your action and feels irritated but allows that the first Amendment to the US Constitution allows you freedom of speech and knows that there is nothing legally that he can do about you calling your dog by the name of his icon.

Now, suppose that that neighbor is an employer and you go seeking a job from his company what do you think would happen to you?  The chances are that your application would be thrown into the waste paper basket!

Thus, whereas you exercised your freedom of speech he exercised his freedom not to have a rude person around him. What is the point?

The point is that our private behaviors have public consequences so every rational person thinks about the effect of his behavior on those around him and if he thinks that his behavior has negative effects on people around him he self-censors, and not do it.

The man calling his dog Buhari exercised his freedom of speech; he also ought to have known that if speech is offensive to some people they have a right to remove its source.

If you called a woman a bitch and she shot you to death, death would be the consequence of your action (even though she would be sentenced to prison for her crime, you are still dead).

If a white person called a black man a nigga and the black man killed him he is dead even though the law may sentence him to prison.

If you called your dog Buhari or Mohammed, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna etc. you are trying to be offensive. Those you offended can take you to court.  In a civilized society the judge may ask you to change the name of your dog.

Recently, here in the USA, a parent called their child Hitler and a judge asked them to change the name (freedom is not absolute; offensive acts are not tolerated by people).

Failing to make changes that your neighbors would like you to make you have called upon them to discard civilization and revert to jungle justice and deal with you in accordance with the laws of the jungle, kill you.

Certain words are fighting words; if you use them towards other people you declared war on them and they will defend themselves and fight the best way they know how, legally or extra-legally.

Please do not forget that if your neighbor has a pistol or handgun and is a good marksman and he aims a bullet to your freedom seeking head, in six minutes your brain would lose oxygen and die.

That is right: you are only six minutes away from death at any moment in your life. Remember that fact as you make noise about your freedom; liberty and other such ideas have life and death consequences for you and those around you.

It is only savages, primitive and uncivilized persons who do not take into considerations what their neighbors think about their behaviors.

Freedom is not the same thing as license. In civilized society you do not have the license to do as you like; you have freedom but that freedom is circumscribed by what your neighbors consider decent behaviors.

For example, defecating is a natural behavior but behavior circumscribed by social mores, norms and rules and laws. Now, defecate in a public square and see what happens to you!

Disregard the opinion of your neighbors and they deal with you as they see fit, legally or remove you from their community.

Every community has its standards of accepted and approved behaviors; if you step outside them they would remove you from their community.

Society is not a jungle where you do as you please; if all of us did as we pleased what would ensue is chaos and anarchy; we would revert to what Thomas Hobbes called the state of nature (Leviathan) and each of us would be at war with all of us and life would be "nasty, brutish and short" for each of us. To secure personal security we all agreed to reduce our freedom, to do what our neighbors approve and to establish the leviathan, government and give it the power to arrest and punish offenders

The only option we have in the matter, if we want to live in organized society, is how much powers we give to the government to control our behaviors (see John Locke, Second Treaty on government, on limited government, not absence of government).

Government and its laws and law enforcers are absolutely necessary for organized society to exist; and we need organized society for our individual safety. Yes, in nature we are born free but in society, as Rousseau observed, we are all in chains (Rousseau, Social Contract).

Please remember the fact that in society we must be in some sort of chains the next time you are tempted to steal from your neighbor, or to kidnap your neighbor and hold him hostage until ransom money is paid to you before you released him; remember that as you do to others can be done to you by them; you can be stolen from or kidnapped and killed; you are not invincible; you are an idiot if you engage in anti-social behaviors!

An Igbo man living in Yorubaland ought to know that he is in a foreign country and behave in a manner that his hosts would approve (Yoruba land is not Igbo land...please do not talk to us about the idea of one Nigeria giving you ownership of any and all parts of Nigeria, for even if that were possible there are still cultural differences and you ought to respect peoples cultures if you want them to like you).

An Igbo man in any part of Nigeria (Nigeria is an artificial construct put together by the British for their national interests) ought to know that given the ethnic hostilities in Nigeria that to call his dog a Fulani-Hausa name is offensive to Fulanis-Hausas and that they would feel angry at him.

Since Hausas are currently ruling Nigeria he ought to know that if a Hausa person pulls some strings that he would be arrested, held in police custody and sent to court and that by the time he goes through the legal process to prove his innocence he would have to spend a lot of money.

It costs money to hire attorneys and go through legal proceedings. This particular dog naming case probably would take months, if not years, to resolve it. By the time it is resolved the defiant Igbo man could be broke or even dead!

That is correct; this man's singular act of defiance by calling his dog Buhari would subject him to so much social and legal troubles that the ensuing headache may kill him and destroy his family (his wife, children and relatives). He ought to have thought about these consequences of his (bravado) behavior before he did what he did. The fact that he did not think his behavior through before he engaged in it means that he is not a thoughtful man. Be that as it is, people do take the consequences of their foolishness; if you accidentally put your hand in fire it would be burned! Nature does not make allowances for one's irrational behavior and so is society!

If you packed your car on a hill and forgot to put on the break and the car rolled down and damaged another car you would still be charged to court; you would be lucky to get away with negligence as opposed to criminal behavior.

This man's behavior reminds me of the behavior of Nnamdi Kanu, the self-declared president of the Indigenous people of Biafra, IPOB). Kanu talked as if there is no such thing as the nation-state with its government; the man verbally abused the Nigerian state and its rulers.

Having abused the rulers of Nigeria, as an Igbo man, apparently, lacking foresight to realize that those he abused are angry at him and would like to get even with him, lay their hands on him and make life difficult for him, he returned to Nigeria. He walked into the lion's den.

You do not call a lion weak and then walk into his den; you dared him to demonstrate its power on you.

If the state decides to throw the book at you, apply all the laws on the books on you, you would not get away scot free! In management there is something called throwing the book at a troublesome worker, supervise him out. Every infraction of his is written up and after a few of those there is enough justification to let him go and his suing for unlawful discharge would do him no good!

Kanu is now clasped between a lion's jaws! He is now kept in prison. He probably would be kept there for as long as the lion wants him to be there and there is nothing the noise making about liberty would do to spring him out.

In case you believe that the USA is the Eldorado of liberty then write something negative about Uncle Sam and go seek a job that is considered important enough for the FBI to do background check on you.

The FBI does background vetting if you apply for important jobs; they read whatever you have written and if they read something negative of Uncle Sam you might as well kiss that job goodbye!

That does not mean that you should not write whatever you want to write; it means that you are supposed to know the consequences of your behavior and take those you want to take.

Here are examples. I write negatively about Uncle Sam. Years ago I applied for a job at Rand Corporation, Think-Thank that does research on national security matters; they asked me if I wrote some of the materials I wrote, now in their possession, in which I called the US government terrorists, and I said yes. I did not hear from them, again!

I was interviewed and offered a professorship position by a University in Washington State. Classes were assigned to me for the fall quarter. Just before classes began, I got a call from the dean of my school and he asked me if I wrote some articles that his secretary had read; in them I called George Bush's preemptive attack on Iraq terroristic; I told him that I did. He told me that his college cannot hire a person who construes "our country" in such a negative light (for he would pass that negativity to students). That was the end of that job. I consulted an attorney and he wanted to sue since I had already been offered a job. Upon second thought, I decided that the most I could gain is get some financial settlement and that would do me no good so I took the consequences of my behavior and let that job go.

I have been interviewed to be the president of universities and upon finding out that I am very controversial in my writings the jobs were not offered to me (on paper I doubt that many people have my credentials: PhD from a top ten world university, over fifteen years of top management experience, years of clinical and teaching experience and writings that even the best minds may not accomplish in several life times!).

The point is that private behavior has public consequences so one ought to think about what one says and does.

For example, I have written what many Igbos consider negative about their people (this paper included); regardless of the fact that my intention is positive, to help them grow up, the fact is that many Igbos do not like me and would not do anything to help me. If I am in trouble I would be foolish to expect Igbos to help me.

The point is that in saying what I said about Igbos I take the consequences of my action, rejection by Igbos, and not shift blame to them.  If you are going to state the truth you must accept that normal folks will reject you. This is called realistic behavior.

If you call your dog a name that you know is offensive to Hausas you must be willing to take the consequences of your behavior; if you say that you are exercising your freedom of speech then go to a theatre full of people and shout fire and see what happens: people would rush to get out of the joint and some would stampede others to death; you would be arrested and charged with murder!

Your freedom of speech and action ends when you relate to other people because when your speech and or action negatively affects other people they reserve the right to deal with you as the law permits or to deal with you as the law of the jungle gives them the right to do.


My question is this: how come it is always Igbos that do dumb things? Whenever a dumb act is done in Nigeria look into it and the perpetrator is likely an Igbo!

What is the matter with Igbos? Are Igbos born unintelligent or what? I do not get it. When will Igbos instinctively do the right things instead of merely presenting themselves as superior persons while behaving like Inferior persons?

Igbos take drugs to Asia to sell and make fast money. Any one selling drugs is addicting someone's child to drugs. The drug pusher knows that what he is doing is wrong. The country that he did the wrong in could arrest him, try him in their courts of law and shoot him to death. If he knows this fact and still wants to make quick bucks by doing the wrong thing I say he has death wish and ought to be arrested and shot to death. I have no pity for criminals.

If America gives you, an Igbo person, the opportunity to come make a living in it and flee from your squalid Mbaise where your people are starving to death and you decide to steal from America, I say that America ought to arrest you and shoot you to death. You are an ungrateful idiot and deserve to die.

What exactly is the matter with Igbos, are they really dumb niggas as white racists say that all black folks are?


The case of an Igbo chap calling his dog Buhari is representative of Igbos unbelievably insensitive behavior patterns. Igbos are always doing what offends their neighbors.

Igbos call Hausas and Yorubas put down names. In their minds they believe that they are superior to those they insult (no human being is ever superior to others and if you believe that you are, you are deluded, you are a mad man!).

Common sense ought to teach Igbos that all human beings are born and know that they would die, rot and smell like feces. Therefore, all human beings doubt their existential worth.

In their subconscious minds, all human beings feel like shit and cover up that feeling by putting fancy clothes on their bodies (bodies that are food for worms) and pretending to have social significance.

Most human activities are motivated by futile effort to compensate for people's underlying existential sense of nothingness.

Since people feel like nothing and live meaningless lives and pretend to have worth they want you to collude with them and give them the feedback that they have worth.

Tell people that they are important and they would like you and bend over backwards to help you. On the other hand, if you put people down, insult them you remind them of their repressed sense of nothingness; you arouse existential angsts  in them; their animal part takes over and they want to put obstacles on your way, make life difficult for you and failing all those, kill you.

Yes, if you injure people's vanity they react with efforts to assuage their injured pride (narcissistic rage).   Even children know this fact!

Indeed the more unintelligent Igbos deliberately want to shame folks. In Japan, where people fear losing social face, if you are shamed you may commit suicide. Therefore, shaming people means that you want to kill them!

If you want to kill people by shaming them you are evil and a murderer; those you want to psychologically murder reserve the right to kill you.  Those murderous Igbos want to shame want to kill such Igbos!  Many Igbos are psychological murderers; as a result they are murdered right, left and center; and yet they see their selves as innocent!

And I try to safeguard these folks and they see my as their enemy!

Igbos who are chronological adults behave as if they do not know how fragile the human psyche is: they go about insulting people and shaming people and thus making them feel angry at Igbos.

Igbos have so insulted other Nigerians that Nigerians are angry at them. I doubt that other Nigerians would ever vote for an Igbo President of Nigeria, for people vote for leaders who admire them not those who insult them.

Aware that they are now perceived as superfluous in the geographical contraption called Nigeria, that they are practically irrelevant in the Nigerian political world, many Igbos want their own republic.

In their fantasy they want to include some non-Igbos such as Efiks and Ijaws in their fantasy Republic. They forget that those neighbors hate them as much as other Nigerians hate them so those would not go along with them.

Let us assume that Nigeria breaks up; there will be an Alaigbo Republic, a piece of real estate about the size of Los Angeles metropolitan area.

From one end of Alaigbo to the other is not more than 150 miles. From Santa Barbara to Riverside and San Bernardino, the LA metro area, is over two hundred miles long (and perhaps that many miles wide!).

If there are over 25 million Igbos, Igbo real estate will not be able to adequately support them so Igbos would be left with no choice but desire to go to other parts of Nigria and Africa to eke out a miserable existence.

Some Igbos may find their way to Europe and America (the West is in a nationalistic mood and, sooner or later, will close their doors to foreigners).

Igbos keep doing dumb things and do not seem able to learn from their mistakes.   This is astonishing. They ought to start doing the right things, in this case, not try to alienate their neighbors by calling their dog a name calculated to put their neighbors down.

Igbos must learn to put people up and stop putting them down (in pursuit of neurotic false superiority).

The sign of mental health is the ability to respect all people; if you disrespect people you are mentally sick.

Igbos who insult their neighbors are mentally sick; they need to become mentally healthy by loving and respecting all Nigerians, Africans and human beings in general.

If you respect and love your neighbor you do not call your dog by his name! And if per chance you call your dog your neighbor's name you deserve whatever he does to you!  We, human beings, do take the consequences of our behaviors. Being arrogant does not make us not take the consequences of our irrational behaviors.


Ozodi Osuji

August 22, 2016

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(907) 310-8176

Read 440 times
Ozodi Osuji Ph.D

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

He can be reached at: (907) 310-8176