Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

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.

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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

Before I go into discussion of Mr. Osuji’s assertions that are mostly false and uneducated, I want to mention a few observable facts about Mr. Osuji. He can work with just a few hours of sleep. I make this statement based on the volume of his writing and assuming that since he meets the basic necessities of life: food, shelter and clothes, that he must have a day job. So he writes at his spare time. The second point is that when he stays in the area of his training such as psychology and philosophy, he can make sense, but once he intrudes into other areas, he makes very uninformed assertions. I will debate him on few of these in this essay. I do not know enough of psychology to vouch that he makes sense when he writes on the subject, but to a neophyte he sounds, knowledgeable. He is a scientist, and perhaps because of it, each time he ventures into the realm of history and economics he makes horrific blunders. The third point is that he hates his people, Blacks, Africans, Nigerians and Igbo in an ascending order of hatred.

The points below are taken from

Before you rush to war think it through! http://chatafrik.com/articles/nigerian-affairs/before-you-rush-to-war-think-it-through#.V75PKZgrLIU 

Before reading my rejoinder I strongly suggest that the reader reads Mr. Osuji’s treatise first to put my comments in context.

I do not know which books Mr. Osuji reads but I sometimes wonder if he understands what he reads.

He says:

  1. 1.   Igbos had no prior documented history of going to wars as a nation state.

If this is true, it means that the Igbo have not been defeated in about 3,000 years of history before the advent of Europeans.

[Pottery dated at around 2500 BCE showing similarities with later Igbo work was found at Nsukka, along with pottery and tools at nearby Ibagwa; the traditions of the Umueri clan have as their source the Anambra valley. In the 1970s the Owerri, Okigwe, Orlu, Awgu, Udi and Awka divisions were determined to constitute "an Igbo heartland" from the linguistic and cultural evidence.[26( Wikipedia)]

If the Igbo have been undefeated for thousands of years, (that would make them the exception in history) it could only mean that they are/were not war mongers and their neighbors also learned not to mess with the Igbo. Or, the more likely scenario, that Mr. Osuji’s statement is false. I do not know why Mr. Osuji made this assertion but there it is. 

On the Nigerian/Biafran War (1967-1970) he said:

2. *****Nigerians came with modern military weapons, AK 47s, tanks etc. Upon the first shots fired by the Nigerians the savages threw away their machetes and ran away!***** 

I was old enough and fought in this war. It lasted almost three years. How could Mr. Osuji say that the “savages” (meaning Biafrans), threw away their machetes and ran away. Like all wars it had its ebbs and flows; territory gained, (Owerri) (Abagana) (Midwest) (Onitsha) and territories lost. It was fought on every square inch of Biafra and parts of Nigeria. But, in Mr. Osuji’s jaundiced eyes, it lasted a day. It is true that Nigeria had the better equipment in men and material but the gallant Biafran forces fought with heart and turned a police action into a full blazed war involving air, land, sea battles. Biafrans did not run away. They died, they were buried, and they were starved to death. 

Perhaps following from item 2 above Mr. Osuji made his worst blunder in the article by asserting: 

3.  ******Needless to say that at war the party with the best weapons probably will win.***** 

Nobody will dispute that the United States has the best military in the world now and since the second world war. But it is worth noting that the Second World War was the last war US has won (with the possible exception of the first Iraq Invasion under H. W. Bush). Yet US has fought many other wars and lost them all: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mozambique, etc. There has not been any Ticker-Tape-Parades in these territories since the end of World War II even though it had the best armed forces. It is also true that Apartheid South Africa had a much better war machine than the Africans but they too lost the war. Ditto for Rhodesia, Sudan, and many other wars in different parts of the world. And if one choses to go further back Britain had the best war machine in 1700’s but US colonies, and amalgam of untrained militia, under George Washington defeated them. The Russians in Afghanistan, and the French before them; The Italians in Ethiopia; etc.; were all defeated by rag tag armies. Who wins a war is a function of many small events and circumstances but Mr. Osuji has no time for details. He merely makes statements in a hurry. He is too flippant. As the Americans say: it is not the size of the dog in a fight; it is the size of the heart in the dog. 

In another segment in this essay Mr. Osuji insists that Africans are yet to be Christians and proclaims that:

4. *****African Christians will emerge in about five hundred years!****** 

I do not know his definition of a Christian or his definition of an African. But I do know that may Africans met Jesus alive and talked with him in person. I do know that after Christ’s death his disciples spread across Asia Minor and to Africa to found Egyptian and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Churches. I do not know if he considers these non-Christians or Non-Africans or just ignorant. In modern times many Africans had died because of their Christian faith. There were the martyrs of Uganda and Egypt; there are African saints. Many people in the world consider Archbishop Desmund Tutu a man of faith. Do these count as Christians; as Africans? If Christians have not yet emerged from Africa after 2,000 years, the probability of emergence in 500 years is very doubtful. 

In yet another of Mr. Osuji’s many slips he states:

5. *****Africans have no regard for each other, as shown by their history of capturing and selling their people to Arabs and Europeans;******* 

The Bible asks a rhetorical question “how many times would your neighbor offend you before you forgive him?” It answers the question as never too many times.  All old texts including the Bible are replete with slavery and slave trading. We do know that Joseph’s Jewish brothers sold their own brother into slavery; we do know that there were European slaves in American colonies first before the African slaves were brought in. How could a man who quotes Jung, Aristotle, and other ancient writers not know these well publicized stories? Is he so blindsided by his hatred of Blacks, Africans, Nigerians and the Igbo to the extent that his scholarship flees from him? Dear Mr. Osuji objectivity is the first order of scholarship. You are a scholar live up to you calling! 

Here is Mr. Osuji in his many sorry efforts to turn history upside down” 

6.  ****The other races of mankind consider black people unintelligent; this is because Africans have not contributed much to science and technology***** 

He has made this assertion so often before and I have tried to correct him so often that I wonder if he forgets the corrections or does not care for the truth. It is once more difficult to know who he considers African. We know that the Egyptian civilization was led by Africans of Egyptian-Sudan. They built pyramids that the modern world is still unable to duplicate. We know that Africans invented fire and that all recent energy development is based on fire principles; we know that Africans domesticated most of the animals we now rear for food as well as domesticating much of the plants. We know that all the animals in African forests have been studied by Africans and named and their habits and reproduction process established. We know that Ethiopians invented their own writing, that Egyptians did the same and introduced the world to papyrus or paper documentation. We know that they built boats and sailed in the rivers and seas in their neighborhood. We know that the alleged discoverer of source of River Niger, Mungo Park, sailed down the river on a boat loaned to him by Africans. The examples I just listed spams all aspects of studies: biology, engineering, maritime, education, history technology, science etc. Are we dealing with a person so badly indoctrinated that he cannot tell fact from fiction about his own people? 

This will be my last comment on Mr. Osuji’s essay because it might be the only thing that makes some sense:

7. *************At this time, it seems to me that the most doable thing is to renegotiate Nigeria and restructure Nigeria and have each large ethnic group rule itself within a federation called Nigeria**************. 

I think that after rambling for over 5,000 words something clicked and Mr. Osuji wrote the above. It makes sense. Nigerians should consider this proposal for its future.

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 26, 2016

The handwriting on the wall says

mene, mene, tekel, parsin

According to The Book of Daniel 5:26-28 the interpretation was:

Mene[e]: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.

27 Tekel[f]: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

This is the message to King Belshazzar of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari which the US Secretary of State will deliver to King PMB. Presidential watchers would have noticed that it has been two months since His Excellency has not traveled abroad. He is becoming less welcome overseas.

Why would the supervisor of Nigerian affairs, the USA, number the days of PMB and bring it to an end?

  1. If you can hire you can fire. US hired and are firing.
  2. PMB has been weighed on the scales and found wanting for example:
  3. The economy has gone bonkers and South Africa has once more overtaken Nigeria as the most dominant economy in Africa.
  4. PMB announced the BH has been virtually defeated and it is now clear that he lied.
  5. Not only is BH still around the Avengers have emerged and are even more menacing than BH and is a greater threat to the sovereignty of Nigeria
  6. Biafran agitation for independence has re-emerged and PMB has handled it like an amateur by imprisoning the leader Mr. Nnamdi Kanu without due process in the PMB;s Gulag.
  7. Human rights of the citizens are constantly abridged from the north to the south: murders of unarmed Biafran protesters; massacres of Shiites on a peaceful religious procession; killings of farmers by the marauding northern herdsmen on the farmers’ farms in their villages (60 in Nsukka alone) without consequences; etc.
  8. Insecurity. US has declared 20 states as unsafe for Americans, some are in the south and some are in the north. This makes it difficult for American businesses to do business in Nigeria.
  9. Corruption! Oh corruption! It has progressed from corruption to “FANTASTIC CORRUPTION” in a mere 15 months. There was first a budget fiasco. Then another budget fiasco and now budget padding. Nobody knows what is in the budget. Funds for salaries are not released, funds for Olympics are not being released, even defense funds to pay for US military supplies are not available. GEJ was bad but not this bad.
  10. The other corruption, the probe. Nobody knows how much has been recovered or from whom. PMB in collusion with the looters decided not to let the public, from whom the funds were stolen, know who robbed them. How can you hide the patient from the doctor? There has been no change in the system that enabled the fraud in the first place and that is enabling the budget padding to continue. No trials and convictions. Zero progress.
  11. Dictatorship tendencies on the upswing. The most visible officer to the world in any government is the foreign minister. Does PMB have one? Why is he not meeting with his counterpart but instead his counterpart is meeting with the Northern Governor’s Council? Why is the Secretary of State not addressing the combined House and Senate? US could work with Mrs. Okonjo-Iweala, under who the economy grew by 6%, and who was very visible. Her replacement is as invisible, as the rest of the cabinet. A one-man government is a dictatorship. The convert has reverted to his heathen beliefs and ceremonies.
  12. j.    ETC.

Mr. Kerry will has announced the punishment of Daniel 5:28: 28 Peres[g]: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.”

Who are the Persians? The first choice is the Northern Governor’s Council. During this trip the secretary would interview the governors to see who would be PMB’s replacement. They have the rights to first refusal. If he finds one US would start in time to groom him (there is no she in the council). If there is none US would turn to the gentiles. As for PMB he is now a former president 2015-2019.

Can PMB be rehabilitated?

It is an uphill task. The first is that his reputation for getting things done has been destroyed. He did not demonstrate that he could get anything done. He misses Col Idiagbon too much and has not been able to find a suitable replacement. Mr. Tinubu could have done played the role for him but he finds Tinubu too conniving to trust him.

The second reason why it is an uphill task is that PMB has lost the popular support he gathered at the election and inauguration and wasted. Today if he were to re-run against GEJ, he would lose by a landslide.

Another reason why US would have doubts is the PMB is not a man of his words and is living above the law. He announced that there would not be foreign medical check-ups and when he had sore throat he ran to London while denying others with more serious ailments the required foreign exchange to do so. He asked those who have students abroad to bring them home as no more foreign remittances were available but his daughter has continued her studies abroad. He promised to release his assets but the report is nowhere to be found. ETC.

Among other problems is PMB’s health. It is not clear if he is sick or lazy. But it is clear that he is not up to the day-to-day management of the government. The required weekly Executive Council Meetings is now held by weekly; visits to crises locations (Nsukka, during killings) are not undertaken; public speeches and interviews are not held; nor town meetings conducted. There is not public education of the direction of the government and therefore no room for public participation in the management of the nation’s affairs.

Add the dysfunctional Legislature and you find you have a country that is not going anywhere fast.

Mr. Obama will be out of the office in five months. He is bound to remember Gen Colin Powel’s advice: “if you brake it; you own it” Obama broke Nigeria by imposing PMB on the people and he owns it. He is making sure that the country does not fall completely apart.

Is it too late?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 21, 2016

Mr. Toyin Adepoju in an article titled “Nigeria Needs Ethnic Self-determination for Its Constituent Nationalities” (https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/IgboWorldForum/conversations/messages/290849) asserts that the breakup of Nigeria is the answer to Nigeria’s manifold problems.

He asserts as follows:

  1. Breakup into smaller nations (does he mean ethnic nationalities?)
    1. The country is a farce, created by a colonizer, and run largely by soldiers of fortune.
    2. The culture of everybody for themselves and their cronies is the core of corruption
    3. 4.   The welding of a nation by force is not working. All the ethnicities should decide how they want to move forward.
    4. Those ethnicities who wish to be on their own or form national coalitions should do so. But to insist on this current nation, perhaps even in the name of so called restructuring, looks to me like looking for more of the vampirism represented by legally entrenched blood sucking manifest in ridiculous incomes for politicians and the recurrent terrorism flows from the Muslim North – the latest being state-supported Fulani herdsmen militia and random murders of Christians in the North.

Mr. Adepoju’s words would be music to many ears including this scribe but on second thought the essay needs a little more clarifications. For example:

  1. Breakup into smaller nations. There are currently about 350 ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Although he says that each nationality would then decide to do it alone or form coalitions but at which point would this take place? After the breakup or before then? When would assets and liabilities be shared? How does Nigeria determine borders and ethnic nationalities? Are we sure which people are Urhobo, itsekiri, Ijaw, Ikwerre, Igbo? In Kwara state which people are Yoruba and others? It will not be easy to breakup Nigeria into ethnic nationalities.
  2. The culture of everybody to themselves and corruption. We know that the looters of Federal Nigeria come in all ethnic clothing. We also know that looters in the state governments come from all LGA. What makes anybody think that an Oduduwa/Biafra nation would be free of corruption? Or Fulani Republic of Sokoto? The root cause of corruption as I have asserted in more than one occasion is not ethnicity but poverty. Social and economic security structures do not exist so people who have opportunity try to ensure that they would never lack. Nigerian corruption is an opportunity crime. People of all ethnic groups who have the opportunity steal. If it now looks as if the northerners are the most corrupt, it is merely because they have had more chances.
  3. The welding of a nation by force is not working. Mr. Adepoju is on the money here. Force ought not to used to hold a people together. But how to undo what has been welded together is the challenge as seen in part (a) above. It is here that the restructuring which Mr. Adepoju had taken out of the table is called for. But I completely agree that arresting Nnamdi Kanu and holding him in jail forever is not any type of rational thing to do. Killing Biafran agitators in the name of keeping Nigeria one is a misguided policy.
  4. Blaming the North/Islam for everything: Mr. Adepoju is correct up to some point. The north has ruled Nigeria for all but 18 years of its 56 years of independence and even under OBJ’s first 8 years the north had him in a stranglehold. It was in his last 4 years that he had a kind of leeway. So there is sufficient reason to blame the north. But the north had enough southern collaborators in ruining Nigeria.

If Mr. Adepoju’s suggestions are difficult to implement what is the alternative proposal?

We have to start from the knowledge that there is no simple solution. Mr. Adepoju stated the obvious: the welding of a nation by force is not working; The country is a farce, created by a colonizer, and run largely by soldiers of fortune; Right wing Islamists as dominate Northern Nigeria cannot coexist peacefully with anyone else. Their only condition for peace is that they dominate you and do what they like with you, such as killing your people anytime they wish.

Giving these conditions there is need for some actions. Another difficult possible solution would be to add a secession clause to the constitution. Any group that wishes to part ways with Nigeria would after a referendum be allowed to secede. The beauty of this is that Nigeria would remain as a unit while the disintegration is going on. There would be no need for a division into 350 units and sharing of assets/liabilities and then coming together of groups. If a population of a homogenous group of up to 100,000 like say the Ikwerre voted against secession the unit would not be part of the new nation.

Even this simple idea would be difficult to implement especially in President Buhari’s time in office. PMB is like Prime Mister Churchill who was asserting in November 1942 that:

"I have not become the King’s First Minister in order to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire."

Yet less than five years after Churchill’s defiant speech, the British Empire effectively ended with India's independence in 1947 and the end of the British Mandate in Palestine in 1948. And in 2016, another major setting of the sun seems to be taking place in what has remained of the British empire.

So PMB might try but may not be able to stem the tide.

My opinion; yours always welcome

 

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 9, 2016