Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

The unfortunate Choice of Words by President Buhari on His Wife’s Outburst.

The President of Nigeria Mr. Muhammadu Buhari should have been much more diplomatic upon hearing his wife’s outburst about how he runs the country and the people he chose to help him. Men are wont to show a lot of bravado when talking about their wives. In olden times the worst fear a man had was to be labelled in vulgar language a “woman wrapper.” In order to avoid the label men have been known to show that no woman has wrapped them up. But that was then but not now. PMB’s statement that his wife belongs to his kitchen, or living room or the other room is very, very unfortunate. For several reasons:

  1. As the president of Nigeria all citizens are equal before the law and belong to the highest tier which is “citizen.” It is higher than any cabinet office, or any House of Assembly, or the presidency. Mrs. Aisha Buhari is a citizen. All citizens have the right to express their views on any subject about our country and their views have to be considered on their merits, not denigrated.
  2. As president PMB is our role model. We expect that he should show examples in the manner he talks especially on matters that are not music to his ears. He could disagree without being disagreeable. In Mrs. Buhari’s case he was extremely disagreeable and rude. It was once alleged that PMB is shy or uncomfortable among women. Could this be a manifestation of this lack of confidence?
  3. Women of Nigeria expect that their views should be worth something to the Nigerian president but the president’s words did not inspire confidence. If he could disregard the opinions his wife and mother of his children this lightly why would any other woman expect something different when dealing with him?

It is because of these reasons that the President’s choice of words in response to his wife’s opinions is regrettable. This is a very simple case where humor could have served PMB well. How about:

  1. “I love my wife very dearly” which did not answer any questions but stops well short of rebuking his wife. Or
  2. “My wife is a Nigerian citizen and is entitled to her views just like all of us”. Again he would have recognized his wife’s right to speak and would have been much politer. Or
  3. “We need a pillow conversation/talk where she would convince me as she always does.”
  4. Or such simple words

But we know that Mr. Buhari is not capable of laughing or taking anything in a lighter mood. We know that often he acts before he thinks, which is not a good thing.

There is another view point on this exchange between the president and the first lady. Men most often do not listen to their wives’ advise which very often result in tragic consequences for men. A catastrophic example can be found in Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar Act II Scene II where Caesar’s wife tried vainly to persuade her husband not to go to the Capitol because his enemies (his cabinet members) were conspiring to kill him. Caesar brushed her off relying on his very many conquests as proof that he was invincible. He went to the Capitol where he was killed. Had Caesar paid heed to his wife’s advice history might have turned out differently.

President Muhammadu Buhari may be making the same mistake that Julius Caesar made.

Women have what I will call the sixth sense about their husbands and family which most men lack. Because they live with their family and are deeply involved in whatever they do women can easily recognize a family member’s weakness and recognize when they are being taken advantage of. Most often they are ignored or dismissed as “woman talk” to the chagrin of family members. The unfortunate thing is even though women foresaw event and warned about them, they are not spared the consequences.

It is important to recognize that PMB was put between the devil and deep blue sea, or as the Igbo would say “my god asked me something and my father-in-law asked me for the same thing. If I do not give it to my god, he will kill me and if I don’t give it to my father-in-law he will take my wife back.” It is ugly. PMB felt that he had a choice to defend his cabinet members or to defend his wife. He did not reason scientifically for there is a third choice: to be ambivalent and use any of the suggestion above.

We hope that he will make amends ostensibly by publicly apologizing to his wife but indeed apologizing to all women and Nigerians. He can blame it on the press. That is what the press are there for.

When a sinner laments his sins and does that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 17, 2016

The Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and publicity, Garba Shehu, has revealed that the Department of State Services (DSS) followed due process before embarking on the raid of the judges’ houses. He is quoted as saying:

In a statement posted on his Twitter account, @GarShehu, he also warned the media to be careful of how they report the issue insisting that it is wrong to present the incident as a confrontation between the Executive and Judicial arms of government. “Reports by a section of the media are giving us cause for concern,” he tweeted. (The Will Newspaper)

There is an old saying that If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck it is a duck. When the department of State Security raids the homes of judges in six states at gun point and arrests judges there is no other explanations than to perceive it as an assault on judges. An arrest of one judge at a time may not be seen as a judiciary assault. But judges in six states? Give me a break.

The problem with this administration is its ability to forget the lessons learned from past activities. Or it could be that they did not learn from past experiences? When the Administration went to court to prosecute the Senate leaders (Senate President, his deputy and others) the world saw it as an assault on the Legislature. The administration eventually withdrew the case from the courts, but the reputation of the Administration was soiled already. That should have taught them a lesson about collective prosecution of the leadership of an equal arm of government.

The same goes to a planned mid-night gestapo-like assault on judges in six states in one night. From all available evidence so far each judge’s case is different from others. There is nothing about the judges’ collective plan to take bribes, so why was each judge not arrested when information on the alleged bribery was obtained? Why wait till SSS had obtained information on “enough judges” to begin to raid their houses?

The Chief justice of the Supreme Court has expressed opinion on the arrests; the Nigerian Bar Association has frowned and expressed disgust over the arrests; other judges have expressed publicly that the arrests were illegal. So when the matter reaches the court who will be qualified to sit in judgement over the cases? The fact is that President Buhari and his Attorney General have once more overstepped the boundaries of their authority.

According to Nigerian constitution Chapter III {VI}[292](1,2)

(1) A judicial officer shall not be removed from his office or appointment before his age of retirement except in the following circumstances:-

(a) in the case of:-

(i) Chief Justice of Nigeria, President of the Court of Appeal, Chief of Judge of the Federal High Court, Chief Judge of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Grand Kadi of the Sharia Abuja and President, Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, by the President acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the Senate.

(ii) Chief Judge of a State, Grand Kadi of a Sharia Court of Appeal or President of a Customary Court of Appeal of a State, by the Governor acting on an address supported by two-thirds majority of the House of Assembly of the State.

Praying that he be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct;

(b) in any case, other than those to which paragraph (a) of this subsection applies, by the President or, as the case may be, the Governor acting on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council that the judicial officer be so removed for his inability to discharge the functions of his office or appointment (whether arising from infirmity of mind or of body) or for misconduct or contravention of the Code of Conduct.

(2) Any person who has held office as a judicial officer shall not on ceasing to be a judicial officer for any reason whatsoever thereafter appear or act as a legal practitioner before any court of law or tribunal in Nigeria.

The Nigerian Judiciary need to regain its authority. Its authority is being usurped by several parts of the executive. The case of Obiechina VS Chime is one such example and the current arrests of judges is another painful dimension. The arrests of judges ought to be seen as a coup attempt the same way the arrests of the president and state governors would be seen.

According to published information, the Executive proceeded to take laws into its hands when the Judicial Service Commission (SJC the arm of government responsible for the removal of “bad judges”) failed to cooperate with the investigations) If a group of armed officers arrests the president (the head of the Executive body and his ministers) and holds them in detention even for an hour, it would be considered a coup d’etat and treasonable charges would be brought against the plotters. In this vein, the judges who signed the warrants, the officers that gave the orders to arrest the leadership of the judiciary should be seen as coup plotters and arrested and tried for treasonable felony. Ditto for the all who planned and conducted Enugu elections when the Supreme Court had not cleared the case before it.

This writer had warned before and often that PMB should proceed carefully on his corruption fight; that other issues such as hunger, payment of salaries, education and agriculture should be the focus of the country at this time. Without fixing the systems a corruption fight is a waste of resources.

The judiciary needs to be strengthened not weakened

What is about to happen is a constitutional crisis founded and funded by President Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria cannot afford a constitutional crisis at this time. PMB’s Attorney General is leading the country away from the path of law and order by misdirecting PMB. He must recognize that unlike all other ministers his (AGN’s) loyalty is both to the president and to the country’s laws. And the SUPERIOR of the two bosses is the Law of the Land.

The Senate should start looking into the president’s assaults first on the Legislature and now on the judiciary to see if they amount to high crimes and misdemeanors and therefore impeachable offences. It might be better to remove the president than to enter into constitutional crises.

Such a crisis would bring back the hated dictatorship.

PMB is putting the carriage before the horse

It will not work.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 11, 2016

Mr. Ozodi Osuji in his essay asked if God exists and concluded that he exists. It is a subject I have pursued off and on and have not reached any conclusions, primarily because my scientific knowledge is not what it should be. But I have found a comfortable zone to operate from. But it is not the meat of Mr. Osuji’s thesis that I take issues with. It is just the introduction.

He wrote:

the two religions that Africans currently have are Jewish religion! Obviously, this state or affairs is unacceptable to black folks. So, what do they do? Some try to embrace what they call Kemet religion. They fancy that early Egyptians were black and that their religion of Kemet is African religion. I have bad news for such black folks. Egypt is in the Mediterranean world; folks who live in the Mediterranean world are brown not black.  Egypt was not an African civilization; at best, it was a Hamitic civilization. 

(http://chatafrik.com/component/k2/does-god-exist#.V_m5X-ArLIU)

I took a course in Egyptology last summer taught by one of the foremost Egyptologists in the country. Current and earlier literature is clear that the Egyptian civilization was African. Even Mr. Osuji admits that Egyptian civilization was a Hamatic one. If so, he should see below. The civilization originated from the south (Sudan) and… It is African. It is part of the fabled Afroasiatic language group.

The Hamitic race seems to have originated in the south and migratednorthward down the Nile towards the delta.

Influences of Geographic Environment  Ellen Churchill Semple 

 Ancient writers have written about Egypt. Here are what they said:

Herodotus

The Greek historian Herodotus, for example, described the Colchians of the Black Sea shores as "Egyptians by race" and pointed out they had "black skins and kinky hair."

Apollodorus

Apollodorus, the Greek philosopher, described Egypt as "the country of the black-footed ones"

Ammianus Marcellinus

The Latin historian Ammianus Marcellinus said "the men of Egypt are mostly brown or black with a skinny desiccated look."

Diop

Diop also argued that the Egyptians themselves described their race as black and that there were close affinities between the ancient Egyptian tongue and the languages of Africa.

Finally, in 1974 UNESCO hosted a conference on Ancient Egypt and the conclusion was:

"It is more than probable that the African strain, black or light, is preponderant in the Ancient Egyptian, but in the present state of our knowledge it is impossible to say more." 

The key words in this conclusion are that the African strain, black or light, is preponderant in the Ancient Egyptian… It is clear from the above citations that Mr. Osuji’s bad news for Africans is false prophesy.

I do find his conclusion about God interesting:

 “…God exists; in fact, God is the only thing that exists; God is everything there is; nothing exists apart from God. But one must understand what is meant by saying that God is everything there is.

God is a wave of formless spiritual light (thought); it is simultaneously one and infinite particles of light. The wave and particles share one literal self with one literal mind.

Through the various particles of God universes are dreamed of. There are infinite universes.

In this essay, I considered three universes: (1) the universe of dense matter, our earth (2) the universe of light forms, seen when we tune out our earth, also seen after we die, and (3) the formless universe of God, our true self and true home, a permanent self and its eternal and changeless home…

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 8, 2016

A state does not become a failed state if only one of its legs buckles or fails. A nation with strong judiciary, a strong legislature, and a strong 4th estate will withstand a failed presidency. I venture to state that with a strong judiciary and a strong press, that a failing nation could still survive. It is difficult for a nation with a failing judiciary to survive. When people lose confidence in the judiciary they would seek other means to obtain justice. Such other means could include Coup d'état, kidnapping, etc. This is why it is important that the Nigeria judiciary should not fail.

The case of Obiechina Vs Chime in Enugu is such a case that would make people seek alternative ways to obtain justice. (http://leadership.ng/features/552748/obiechina-vs-chime-test-for-democracy-as-supreme-court-resumes-final-deliberation-on-enugu-governorship-case)

For those who are not familiar of the case, a brief summary would suffice. In 2011 Mr. Obiechina challenged Mr. Chime’s nomination for governorship. The case went through the normal court processes and reached the Supreme Court of Nigeria. INEC was one of the defenders in the case. The case stalled in the Supreme Court, but INEC went forward and conducted an election without the court resolving the dispute. By doing this INEC effectively over ruled the Supreme Court of Nigeria by handing the court a fait accompli. The case has now surfaced again and the court is saying that there was hanky-panky done to delay the resolution of the case.

The SC now has the following duties to perform:

  1. It will try to regain its position as the SUPREME COURT and make it clear to all that it has the final say-so in all matters of law in Nigeria. That there is no other way to resolve disputes except through its decisions. To do this the Supreme Court
  • Should declare the elections of both Sullivan Chime (2nd term) and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi as illegal.
  • Would sanction INEC with such severe penalties that no officer of INEC now, or in the future, would contemplate ignoring matters pending before the SC. INEC by its actions became both the defender in a case and the judge and had awarded the verdict to itself. This cannot stand.
  • The Court should investigate the circumstances that led to the 5-year delay. It implies that there are internal control weaknesses in the court systems. These weaknesses need to be corrected. If the hand of Satan is found in the delays of this case; such a hand, must be amputated publicly, as a lesson to the world that Nigerian Judiciary is not for sale.

The Supreme Court is the last fortress between the citizen and injustice. If this fortress crumbles anarchy would prevail. The order voice of the people is the 4th Estate and this is already compromised by big money, by big politicians and by corporations and by other “big people.”

Can the Supreme Court come to the rescue?

Would the Supreme Court get on the Obiechina VS Chime and do justice?

Justice delayed is justice denied.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

October 6, 2016

On October 1, 2016 President Buhari leveled with Nigerians, raising his hand to God he swore to speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. He said:

On this day, 56 years ago our people achieved the most important of all human desires – freedom and independence.  We should all therefore give thanks and pray for our founding fathers without whose efforts and toil we would not reap the bounties of today. 

  1.  On Security, we have made progress.  Boko Haram was defeated by last December 
  2.  residents in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States, as well as several neighbouring states go about their daily business in relative safety.  People can go to mosques, churches, market places in reasonable safety.
  3. Abroad, Nigeria’s standing has changed beyond belief in the last 18 months. We are no longer a pariah state. Wherever I go, I have been received with un-accustomed hospitality. Investors from all over the world are falling over themselves to come and do business in Nigeria.
  4. In fighting corruption, however, the government would adhere strictly by the rule of law.  
  5. The Third Plank in this Administration’s drive to CHANGE Nigeria is re-structuring the economy.  
  6. The country should be self-sufficient in basic staples by 2019.  
  7. For the first time in our history the country was producing five thousand megawatts.
  8. Roads Construction and Rehabilitation has taken off. 
  9. Notwithstanding the budgetary constraints, the current budget allocated two hundred and forty billion naira for highway projects against twelve billion naira in 2015. Many contractors who have not been paid for three years have now remobilized to sites.  
  10. Power generation has steadily risen since our Administration came on board from three thousand three hundred and twenty-four megawatts in June 2015, rising to a peak of five thousand and seventy-four megawatts in February 2016. 
  11. On railways, we have provided our counterpart funding to China for the building of our standard gauge Lagos -Kano railway. Meanwhile, General Electric is investing two point two billion USDin a concession to revamp, provide rolling stock, and manage the existing lines, including the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Line. The Lagos-Calabar railway will also be on stream soon.
  12. The programmes I have outlined will revive the economy, restore the value of the naira and drive hunger from our land.
  13. Finally, let me commend Nigerians for your patience, steadfastness and perseverance. You know that I am trying to do the right things for our country. 

 

In God we trust all others must pay cash

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba 

Boston, Massachusetts 

October 1, 2016

Truth is sometimes bitter but it must be told at all times. The truth is that Ahmed Bola Tinubu made Buhari the president with assistance from Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. As such they deserve a place at the table. The Igbo has a saying that “agbata ekehe eke n’abu nta.” Probably only the older Igbo will understand this wise counsel. It has to do with hunting where young boys help hunters by “beating the bush” driving games to where they would be shot and killed by the main hunters. The rule was that after the hunt, the meat is divided to all participants with huge shares to the hunters. But occasionally the “big men” deny the boys their share. When that happens the boys would not participate anymore and therefore the hunting ends. So the Igbo expression above says that when this happens (not sharing) collaborative hunting ends.

For many years Mr. Muhammadu Buhari’s current insiders tried without success to make GMB the president of Nigeria. They failed woefully three times. They even created Boko Haram to help next time, and still failed. It was not until the duo of Ahmed Bola Tinubu and Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi got into the fray that PMB was created. They like the boys in Igbo tale deserve recognition for their efforts. That is the truth and I dare say so. I am not a fan of either Tinubu or Amaechi, but my gosh, I will dare to tell the truth.

There is enough blame to go around. GMB knew that Tinubu was a conniving, thieving governor who has been charged with corruption and cannot enter USA freely. He also knew that the funds Amaechi was supplying him were stolen from the Rivers state treasury for Amaechi was not a billionaire before becoming a governor, and yet he decided to eat with the devils. The saying made very prominent by the former president Obasanjo is that even among thieves, there is honor. GMB have become PMB and should be honorable and give the devils their share.

Mr. Tinubu has his own blame. He became too ambitious. He always had this tendency. He wanted to appoint the Vice President, The Speaker and the Senate President. This plan would mean that the president would hold his office at his (Tinubu’s) convenience. Nobody would accept those conditions. PMB wanted to be his own master but was smarter and accepted Tinubu’s VP selection which was necessary before his coronation but once crowned he jettisoned the ladder that he used to get up there. Tinubu should learn to scale back his ambitions. He should have learned this lesson from his successor at the state house in Ikeja who he tried to make his errand child.

Mr. Amaechi was ambitious too. They all always are. He wanted to be VP too, to be Oil Minister if everything fails. He too got neither. He got the useless transport ministry, a consolation award. His ambition was limited and his punishment was limited. I hope that he is learning.

PMB must have read Machiavelli’s The Prince a few ties and understood the message and used it. But PMB has not read or understood Mathew 26:52

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. (KJV)

Messrs. Tinubu and Amaechi may be down; but possibly not out. And even if they are out there are other Tinubu’s and Amaechi’s. A president can be brought down in a democracy just as in a dictatorship. If and when the conspiracy to bring him down begins there are many people and organizations that would be willing to join. We do not know them yet but we should assume that there are people who do not like President Muhammadu Buhari. We can count on some of the dismissed VC, Permanent Secretaries, people under investigation, secessionists, opposition parties disgruntled APC men and women etc.

Mr. Buhari should find a way to make amends with Mr. Tinubu and Mr. Amaechi without conceding his throne. He might need them yet. His inner circle may not be strong enough.

Share to TwitterShare to PrintShare to EmailShare to More

Caesar:
Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.

Soothsayer:
Beware the ides of March.

Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 28, 2016

Sunday, 18 September 2016 17:13

The Myth of a Tight 2016 US Election

It does not matter where one turns, the headlines scream that the 2016 US election is tight. How tight? Like in Clinton 42% and Trump 42% according to recent polls. There are state polls showing that Trump is ahead in Florida, Ohio, and other battle ground states. In fact, we have polls that show that it is Clinton who has some catching up to do.

These are all myths to me and to any discerning newspaper reader or television watcher. We know that if X is a positive number and if Y is also a positive number then X+Y cannot be a negative number. With this little hypothesis let us explode the myth of US tight election.

Pollsters tell us that Mrs. Clinton has an 8-point lead among women. We know that women constitute about 51% of the electorate and that they vote at a higher rate than men. If this is true, then Mr. Trump has much catching up to do. The election cannot then be tight.

We also know that blacks make up 12% of the US electorate and that their voting rate is approaching white voting rate. We are also told that Clinton has 70-30 advantage among blacks. If this is also true, it would seem that Trump is falling further behind.

Nobody should be told that Trump’s speeches about the Hispanics has made him unappealing to this population segment. According to some polls Mr. Trump is trailing Mrs. Clinton 20-80 among the Hispanics. We know that Hispanics make up 15% of voters. We also believe that Hispanics are incensed by Trump’s characterization of Hispanics as rapists, criminals and worse and that this population segment is itching to show their anger.

Muslim population is at best 1% of the electorate and therefore insignificant. But this population has been the butt of Mr. Trump’s campaign. He would not let them into the country, and would closely monitor those already in the country. Muslims are more educated than Christians and follow politics a lot more closely. They feel threatened by a Trump’s presidency. Mrs. Clinton has approximately 100% of this 1%.

Catholics make up about 35% of all voters. Generally, Catholics do not vote as a block, but they also do not take kindly to anyone who disrespects the Pope. Mr. Trump has done that severally the most visible being over the Mexican Wall construction. When Pope Francis asked that we build peace instead of walls and that we welcome refugees Trump derided the peoples’ pope in his usual arrogant way. Clinton will pick up as much as 51% of the Catholic vote just because of this. Main line Protestant votes (Methodists, Episcopalians, Baptists, Presbyterians, etc.) often trend the Catholics votes. So expect Mrs. Clinton to capture 51% of these votes.

While on this religious digression please note that with Mr. Romney’s vicious attack on Mr. Trump followers of the Later Day Saints, the Mormons, will lean Mrs. Clinton’s way. We know that Evangelicals are strong supporters of Mr. Trump. With an estimated 25-30% of Christians this is where Mr. Trump gains ground on Mrs. Clinton. Some suggest that Trump would take this group 55-45. The inclusion of Blacks and Hispanic among evangelicals will dilute Mr. Trump’s strength here.

It is no secret that Trump’s grip on his fellow Republicans is not as firm as it ought to be especially among GOP leaders. I have observed 10 presidential elections in United States. Most often there are disagreements during the primary selection stages but all disputes and errors are forgiven once a nominee emerges. There was Teddy Kennedy/Carter ruffle as an example. But in 2016, the vitriol during the primaries has continued. Each week a new set of died-in-the wool Republicans come out to give reasons why Mr. Trump is not fit to be the president of these United States. These proclamations have impact. I venture to suggest that Clinton will capture up to 8% of Republican voters. If she captures any GOP votes there is no hope for Trump. Trump on the other hand is not going to capture more than 2% of the Democratic vote. The 2% vote would be some of the Bernie Sanders core supporters.

Finally, Trump is on the election trail all by himself, occasionally supported by his children who have no political following whatsoever. His wife has been withdrawn after a disastrous outing in Cleveland. But Clinton has a battalion of surrogates each with his/her own coattails: Bill, Obama, Biden, Warren, Sanders, to name a few. She has a well-funded grass roots operation on the ground in every state, and has more ground offices and a far larger bank account.

It follows that together; these analyses demonstrate an election which cannot be close at all; that a positive X plus a positive Y cannot be a negative number. Mrs. Clinton will win the popular vote by a wide margin.

But unfortunately US election is not really a popular election. The true election is performed at the electoral college which is where state delegates vote for the president after the masses have gone home. Looking at the electoral map things are even gloomier for Trump.

See the table below for the states with the most electoral votes according to apportionment data from the 2010 Census.

Rank

State

Electoral Votes

1.

California

53

3.

Texas

36

2.

New York

27

4.

Florida

27

5.

Pennsylvania

18

6.

Illinois

18

7.

Ohio

16

8.

Michigan

14

9.

Georgia

14

9.

North Carolina

13

9.

New Jersey

12

 

 

Only Texas (36) can be said to be solidly in Trump’s bag and even that is debatable with the Bush’s coldness to Trump. But California, NY, New Jersey (92) are Clinton’s. Clinton therefore starts with a 2-1 advantage. There is strong campaigning in most “red states” and very little in “blue states.”

The next logical question is who is pushing this tight election myth and why?

My guess is everybody but for different reasons.

To Trump a close election means that he has a chance and it would motivate his supporters if they believe that their candidate has a chance. It will help his fund raising capabilities as donors donate if there is a chance that the donation would do some good. So each new poll that shows tightness is given a strong boost by the Trump Campaign. Even Republican leaders who do not support Trump want to motivate their voters to turn out so as to prevent a turnover in both the Senate and House and therefore promotes a tight election myth.

Democrats are also promoting a tight election mythology to force their voters to turn up in large numbers so that they would take over both Houses. It also helps fund raising which will be distributed to congressional elections and in the states that they want to turn democratic. A foregone conclusion may force a low turnout which history has shown favors the GOP.

But the foremost pushers of a tight election are the media industry. My brother, a news junkie, is visiting and I no longer have access to my entertainment programs- sports, music, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune etc., as he has the TV on CNN and CNBC all the time watching the polls. And he is not alone. Not too far behind are the pollsters. They will be out of business if people lost interest. So they have obligations to their bottom line accountants to keep it close

There is a $3 billion super fund out there and some people and organizations that want a piece of it. If the election is already decided, the money would disappear.

It is in every body’s interest to keep the election tight so that the fund will keep growing.

Those are my views; yours are welcome.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 18, 2016

In an article published in the Premium Times (http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/headlines/210515-nigerias-president-buhari-in-fresh-plagiarism-scandal-of-obamas-speech.html) It is alleged that President Muhammadu Buhari has plagiarized Mr.Obama

I am not interested in whether President Buhari plagiarized president Obama or not. I will actually be in support if he starts imitating Mr. Obama for Mr. Obama is a man of vision. My beef with PMB is that his efforts at eradicating corruption is not genuine since it ignores the root cause of Nigerian corruption.  Nigerian corruption is a peculiar contraption. It includes the entire 140 million of us. Corruption, so perverse, needs a different kind of war effort. Corruption in many other countries is limited to those in power who have access and opportunity. It is not so in Nigeria. It pervades the entire country men and women from the janitor to the president. From the current administration (current budget padding, for example) to most of the past administrations since 1966.

To fight Nigerian Corruption (NC), we must go to the roots.

What is corruption?

Transparency International defines corruption as follows:

Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs.

Given this description we can see that Nigerian Corruption (NC) is different in the sense that we all have some kind of powers. The gate keeper who controls access to the big man’s house has power over neighbors trying to see his boss, the class teacher has power over his/her students, the police officer has power over drivers, etc. and each abuses his power for private gains. I think that TI has in mind people with superior powers. NC is pervasive. And in a sense I do not consider most of it corruption. I see most of it survival efforts, as economic survival.

If the PMB Administration has not paid Nigerian workers for 3 months it forces the worker to design how to survive and many workers make their decisions using the powers they have. Some may choose to steal pens and papers in the office, others may choose to sell forms to the public or accept bribery for services rendered. Does this qualify as corruption? Not in my books.

If a worker is paid N18,000 per month when a bag of 20 kg of rice that would last just a month costs N30,000 what is he supposed to do to feed his family, pay rent, get to work, etc.? Is he corrupt if he decides to supplement his salary with the proceeds from the sale of inventory he is in charge? And if this salary is withheld for some months, what should one expect? Who is the abuser and who is the abused?

The result of the above is that a cyclical corruption is created in the economy and the body polity.

The solution is not doctrinal like “The Change Begins With Me” Campaign. It is not an appeal to religious beliefs, not in the call for patriotism. Nigerians are very, very patriotic. But they must live in other to be patriotic. The change is in overhauling the economic conditions of the people. The billions of naira being spent on fighting corruption ought to be diverted to agriculture, to building infrastructure that will create jobs and to increased productivity of the population.

Which raises the quagmire: which comes first the chicken or the egg. I will recommend emphasizing the economic development over fighting corruption in the hope that if I start paying living wages as and when due the less greedy would come off the cycle and if I punish severely those who abuse their power after I had relieved their dire economic condition it would encourage others to not choose that path.

The current fight against corruption is being waged by corrupt people in the administration and is being waged against the children of a lesser god. The general leading the fight is surrounded by corrupt officers that excludes nonmembers of the family. And is being done with full disregard to the constitution. There has not been public education or discussion of issues and if anyone raises his/her voice he is quickly jailed. I tender the case of Nnamdi Kanu as exhibit 1.

If PMB is serious about fighting corruption let him disclose the amount already returned; the names of the people who returned them; and under what conditions they were returned. That is the definition of transparency. One cannot fight corruption without transparency as is being done presently. Let the world know why they were pardoned or if they would still be prosecuted. What are the conditions bestowing these benevolences?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 16, 2016

 

Nigeria’s President Buhari in fresh plagiarism scandal of Obama’s speech

September 16, 2016Samuel Ogundipe

 

FILE PHOTO: Nigeria's president, Muhammadu Buhari, and U.S. President, Barack Obama in Washington.

President Muhammadu Buhari’s ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign suffered a setback Friday following a newspaper report that the president allegedly plagiarised President Barack Obama in the speech he delivered while launching the project.

The government says the campaign will help curb “widespread act of immorality” by Nigerians.

The report, which detailed how Mr. Buhari allegedly lifted quotes from a 2008 speech by Mr. Obama, came on the heels of another damaging allegation that the ‘Change Begins With Me’ campaign contained elements belonging to another anti-corruption effort, ‘Not in My Country’.

Mr. Buhari on September 8 launched the ‘reorientation’ campaign in Abuja as part of his government’s strategy to make Nigerians eschew “dishonesty, indolence, unbridled corruption and widespread impunity” and embrace daily introspection over their “immoral” conducts.

He also used the occasion to sue for national consensus amongst Nigerians on issues ranging from spirit of service to patriotism.

“We must resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship, pettiness and immaturity that have poisoned our country for so long. Let us summon a new spirit of responsibility, spirit of service, of patriotism and sacrifice, Let us all resolve to pitch in and work hard and look after, not only ourselves but one another.

“What the current problem has taught us is that we cannot have a thriving army of rent seekers and vested interests, while the majority suffers,” Mr. Buhari said.

But facts have emerged indicating Mr. Buhari did not author those quotes.

Adeola Akinremi, a columnist with Lagos-based THISDAY Newspaper, was the first to spot possible instances of plagiarism between Mr. Buhari’s speech and a speech delivered by Mr. Obama when he was first elected in 2008.

In a speech delivered after his victory on November 4, 2008, Mr. Obama said to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters:

“Let’s resist the temptation to fall back on the same partisanship and pettiness and immaturity that has poisoned our politics for so long.

“So let us summon a new spirit of patriotism, of responsibility, where each of us resolves to pitch in and work harder and look after not only ourselves but each other. “Let us remember that, if this financial crisis taught us anything, it’s that we cannot have a thriving Wall Street while Main Street suffers.”

After highlighting the seeming plagiarism, Mr. Akinremi said the act was “unethical” and lampooned Mr. Buhari for allegedly indulging in it.

“It is immoral to plagiarize other people’s work, but even worse to use dishonesty to launch a campaign about honesty.

“When you use another person’s work without acknowledgement, you have plagiarized. You simply pretend as if it is your own. It is unethical. It makes a mess of the campaign from the start. That is what Buhari has done, nobody will believe in the ‘change begins with me’ campaign, because it was built on lies,” Mr. Akinremi said.

When contacted Friday morning, presidential spokesperson, Garba Shehu, said he was just becoming aware of the allegation and that the presidency would investigate.

Mr. Akinremi’s column was published a week after associates of Akin Fadeyi, creator of ‘Not In My Country’ accused the Buhari administration of stealing his concept to launch ‘Change Begins with Me.’

The associates said Mr. Fadeyi, a creative artist and former head of communications at Airtel Nigeria, met with the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, in December 2015 to intimate him of ‘Not In My Country,’ an episodic narrative that deploys humour to underscore societal ills and appeal to Nigerians to shun sharp practices.

They said Mr. Mohammed declined interest in the concept, only to turn around to adapt it for ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign.

But Mr. Mohammed denied the allegations, saying he started ‘Change Begins with Me’ before he was appointed minister.

“We started working on ‘Change Begins with Me’ before the honourable minister was nominated and we’ve been working with the agency that produced the campaign,” Mr. Mohammed’s associate said.

The ‘Change Begins with Me’ campaign had earned Mr. Buhari widespread criticism, with many Nigerians accusing him of shifting blames to them and wondering why they gave him their mandate if he would ultimately saddle them with the duty of effecting the change he promised.

But the government said the campaign became necessary to rally all Nigerians in the effort to cleanse the country of corruption and other malaise plaguing it.

Could Mr. Trump be a greater threat to United States civilization than external forces? When the current presidential candidates who will take charge of America’s future are asked what and who are the greatest threats to America they have consistently selected from a list that is headlined by Russia, ISIS, Al Qaeda, China, Iran, North Korea, etc. The list contains external forces, and is a shorthand for saying that all is OK at home, and that we should be on the lookout only for an invasion from abroad to destroy our civilization and influence.

There is a misreading of history in this choice list and because these supposedly knowledgeable people could be so easily blindsided by the desire to win elections; which in turn means not looking inwards for real threats; the danger of a miscalculation is scary.

After identifying countries that threaten US and after blaming President Obama for weakening America, the former Vice President Dick Cheney, and his daughter Liz Cheney in an opinion piece in Wall Street Journal see things this way:

We must begin at once to rebuild our military. This means ending sequestration and returning to a Defense Department budget built around defeating the threats to our nation. We must remedy readiness shortfalls, modernize and upgrade our nuclear arsenal, develop and build a robust missile-defense system, and invest in technologies necessary to maintain our military superiority, particularly against advances by adversaries like Russia, China, Iran and North Korea... http://www.wsj.com/articles/dangers-rise-as-america-retreats-1473461151

The Cheney’s thus join the list of most presidential candidates in this campaign cycle in seeing America from a mirror dimly.

Things may not be so bad if this misreading of history is confined to politicians alone; but available evidence shows that the military, Think Tanks, the general public, journalists, political analysts and commentators and others near and far have the same beliefs: that America is threatened from outside its shores and that the remedy is a stronger military; a more advanced weaponry; and a better trained service men and women.

The problem with this line of thought is that USA already has the most superior military in the world. It already has the most advanced weapons system than the next five powers COMBINED. It has the capabilities to project its power around the globe whether by air, sea or land. It has strong allies in all the continents and sub continents, it has more submarines, more nuclear weapons, more fighter planes and expect for China more troops in uniform. It definitely has better trained fighters. And of course a higher budget to say nothing about the patriotism of the men and women in uniform.

Where comes this inferiority complex in a nation so powerful? Why this inferiority complex in the world’s largest economy?

Inquiring minds want to know.

History teaches that civilizations fall in equal parts due to external forces and internal forces or rather more often from the internal dynamics that exist within the civilizations. Brandon Marion notes:

History reveals that great civilizations decline and fall due to internal erosion, not external invasion. Intrinsic corruption and corrosion invite outsiders to raid, rape, pillage, and plunder. Conquest is thus merely thecoup de grâce, a finishing stroke in the aftermath of prolonged dissolution. In most cases, conquerors appear more impressive than they deserve because the conquered first methodically, albeit unwittingly, lay the groundwork for them. Any species of predatory brutes can kick in a Maginot Line, and most do….http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/01/22/the-decline-and-fall-of-modern-civilization-8-simple-steps-to-squandering-it-all/#

Among the signs of decline Brandon lists are the following:

  1. Cognitive Dissonance – A cerebral malfunction resulting in psychological blindness.
  2. Denial – The matter become clearer and reality loses its blur, yet we stubbornly refuse to admit what the matter signifies,
  3. Delusive Ideology – Ideologues are prejudiced and their biases substitute for facts. Prejudicial lenses preclude deviant views from the ideologue’s mind.
  4. Aversion to Judgment – Decision-making becomes taboo. We are spoon-fed pap and gulp it down uncritically, abdicating the rudimentary responsibility to think
  5. Political Correctness – . The judicial ability is retained, yet we refuse to call a thing by its name so as not to cause offense. 
  6. Moral Equivalency –  Issues are discernible and named, but they are equated in value despite precise and glaring disparities. Relativism is the order of the day. Good and evil, right and wrong, innocence and guilt – all these binaries are deliberately confused 
  7. Identity Loss –  When the fundamental values of a society are attenuated, its ontology andraisons d’être are called into question. The resulting identity deficit, the diminishing of identity integrity, inevitably eventuates in disintegration.
  8. Surrender –   Befuddled by existential ennui and essential malaise, we fall prey to a complacent acceptance of the status quo. What ramifies throughout the societal ranks is the absence of willpower to resist the onslaught of barbarism. (ibidem)

American power started rising just before World War I and grew steeply during the war and became ascendant after World War II. It has had a rather long run and could still be predominant if Americans can listen to Brandon. The first place to start is item 7 above-identity loss. The most recent and most glaring example can be found in Mr. Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and in people like the Cheney’s who see American in decline and the remedy as in yet building up America’s military power which is already more powerful that the combined strength of the next five super nations. One of the reasons sighted for the collapse of civilizations is over extending military adventures and power that result in less spending on other necessities. The invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq has cost the nation $3 trillion. Imagine what that sum could have bought.

Just as important are items 2 and 3. Peddling fables like the inferiority of Blacks, Hispanics, Muslims, and other non-European white men belong to the concept of denial and delusive ideology which in turn leads and guides the nation into divisions and internal dislocations and therefore weakness. As Speaker Ryan told Mr. Trump that his view of a Hispanic judge is the definitions of Racism. Such bold rebukes might be what could still save America.

As America marches forward as a great nation, it must watch out for elements of decay that is gradually showing up in the form of delusive ideology initiated by the Grand Old Party and being promoted by its present presidential candidate and is supported by millions of his supporters. US must study the rise of Hitler and his rise in popularity among Germans of his era and make changes.

The good news is that the GOP leaders are seeing the handwriting on the wall and are distancing themselves in droves from a messy, fatalistic, and delusive ideology and ideologues.

Long live USA.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 13, 2016

Thursday, 08 September 2016 16:48

Who is Ike Ekweremadu?

According to internet sources, the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Willie Obiano at the just concluded World Igbo Congress convention held in New York asked “Who is Ike Ekweremadu?” I must confess that I was shocked that a governor of SE Nigeria and an Igbo does not know who Ekweremadu is. But since he does not know, it behooves us to teach him in the famous Igbo saying such as “onye amaghi ibe ezi ya (Ibezimako)”. If one does not know his peers should teach him.

Mr. Obiano, please permit me to introduce to you, Mr. Ikechukwu Ekweremadu, Ikeoha of Igbo land. He is from Mpu in Aninri Local government where he started his political career as LG member. He is currently the Deputy Senate President and the highest ranking political operative from SE, in Abuja Nigeria. He has been elected the Deputy Senate President three times by HIS PEERS and is either number 5 or 6 in the succession to the presidency. He has served as the Speaker of the Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS), a multinational organization. He is an attorney in his day job and practices with an earned Master’s degree in law and holds a PhD (I am not sure if it is earned or awarded). He has served as the senator for Enugu West since 2003. [Full disclosure: I have feuded with Senator Ekweremadu about his constituency services especially for his failure to use his considerable powers to get the only federal road that starts and ends in his Enugu West constituency, the Oji River-Awgu Road rehabilitated. It is major stain on his otherwise good record] But my feuding with him does not stop me from seeing him as a man of timber and caliber as the late K. O. Mbadiwe would say.

Yes, Mr. Obiano your hunch is correct. Mr. Ekweremadu is a WAWA man from Enugu state. He is the son of the carpenter.

Mr. Ekweremadu, please permit me to introduce Mr. Willie Obiano. Although you did not ask to be introduced to Obiano the rules demand that I do so. Mr. Willie Obiano is one of the current holders of the betrayal flag that was initiated by Samuel Ladoke Akintola who betrayed his mentor Mr. Obafemi Awolowo, and handed the flag to Mr. Chimaroke Nnamani who betrayed his mentor Mr. James Nwobodo, and passed the flag to Mr. Kingsley Chime who returned the favor to Mr. Nnamani and now passed the flag to Mr. Obiano who on taking office turned on his mentor Governor Peter Obi. Mr. Obi is/was arguably the best thing that happened to Anambra ever since the creation of the state. He was a man with considerable political skills who was elected as the chairman of Nigeria’s Governor’s Council twice even though he was the sole APGA governor among the group. The council has not been the same since his chairmanship. Mr. Obi ruled Anambra without a single member of his party in the House and was still able to build roads, schools, health institutions, spread development to Anambra East, West North, and South; was never suspected of looting, was humble and saintly. Yet Mr. Obiano failed to pay his respects instead he went to war to soil Mr. Obi’s name and legacy. As was common with the traitors already named in this essay, he believes that the way to the top is by tearing others down instead of standing on their shoulders to become a giant. Mr. Obiano like Mr. Buhari has favorite LGAs that desire and deserve his attention to the detriment of others. His day job is a banker. (Full disclosure: I am a fan of Governor Obi)

Gentlemen shake hands (even if you had refused to shake hands in NY)

What brought about Mr. Obiano’s ignorance of who Ekweremadu is?

  1. 1.   Uncontrolled youthful ambition. The type that plagued Akintola et al.
  2. Inability to join the queue but the desire to jump the queue. The desire to be the Igbo spokesman even though he has failed to stake out a position or make any well know statement on Biafra and other Igbo issues.
  3. Maybe inferiority complex. Otherwise why would he ever question his predecessor, Obi’s leadership?

We are all entitled to make mistakes. It is inevitable and mistakes should be forgiven especially if the villain learns from it. For Mr. Obiano the lessons from his constant quarrel with his superiors are (a) The Igbo do not need divisions. They need unity in leadership. His disrespect of Ikeoha Ekweremadu does not augur well with Igbo leadership. He does not necessarily have to agree with the senator but should do so without being disagreeable. (b) You build on the foundation laid for you so that your efforts lead to a new floor. (c) The history of a state, a nation, a people is a progression comprising of ups and downs. (d) What we called ITK in our Primary School days (I Too Know) is often bad. Walk gently and carry a big stick. If you are good; your turn will come.

I am glad that Mr. Ekweremadu eventually delivered the key note address at World Igbo Congress’s convention and that WIC did not succumb to Mr. Obiano’s entreaty and charm offensive. I hope that Mr. Obiano would have learned his lesson.

If he did it will be a good thing.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

September 8, 2016