Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba  currently lives in Medfield, Massachusetts.

Nigerian Olympic soccer team got to Rio de Jenairo just a few hours before their soccer match against Japan in the opening rounds of Olympic games. They did not practice even for an hour on Rio's soil; did not get rid of any jet lags from travelling many miles and sitting on air planes. They won but that fact should not make Nigeria forget that we sent the kids into battle without armor.

President Muhammadu Buhari has presented himself to Nigerians as a catalyst; a substance that enables a chemical reaction to proceed at a usually faster rate or under different conditions (as at a lower temperature) than otherwise possible; an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action. It will be recalled that it took presidential action to free the budgeted funds for the Olympic to the organizers. The late release caused the team a lot of inconveniences including being almost stranded in Atlanta USA and playing a game unprepared. This is a great opportunity for the president to teach the bureaucrats a lesson on why they should not invite the president for a visit. An investigation on why it took so long to release the fund would show the weaknesses in the system and demand correction. Those responsible would have to be asked to leave or be demoted for incompetence.

If this is not done, our president will be called often to be both the president and the chief clerk at the same time. Some people would see this as sweating the small things; but the purpose is to make sure that "small things" do not become "big things." Sports and Olympic Games are not national security matters; they are not economic crises; they are small potatoes. But by showing that even small things (mistakes) will draw the president's ire; big mistakes can be avoided in the future.

As BBC kept on repeating about the disputes over airline fees and changes in flight schedules those of us who were listening to the drama were furious what is the big deal here we asked. We were frustrated with the image of Nigeria on display. We asked is there anything that Nigeria could not screw up?

Nigeria may still win gold medals; but the start has been a little too scary. Nigeria has many talents but the management of the talents are lacking. It is the same reason these young talents when they "grow up" move to other nations and clubs in EU and USA where they shine and Nigeria remains in the doldrums.

What is true of sports men and women is also true of our doctors, engineers, scientists, professors, accountants, and other professionals.

Ever heard of brain drain? This what it looks like

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 5, 2016

Not many people would argue that engineers are very smart people or that medical doctors are also very brilliant. But would you hire an engineer to take care of your heart condition? Would you hire an anesthesiologist to build your house? The answers to both questions are "no." But that is what Nigerians did and what USA is trying to do. Mr. Buhari has been a soldier all his life and Mr. Trump has been a business man all his life. Both men are struggling with the political job they have sought and are being asked to do.

They seem unable to deliver. They keep rolling from one mistake to another.

As a soldier Mr. Buhari is used to law and order. He says to this man "come" and he comes and he says to another "go" and he goes. But not so in politics. The legislators have their own minds. The judges have their own ideas. Even the civil service has its ways and none of these organizations like to be dictated to by the president. To make matters worse the 108 senators each has his own believes. Negotiation is the only way to get anything done in politics. In the military you issue orders and any disobedient service man is dealt with summarily. This is what PMB understands. It does not help that he has run a country welding dictatorial powers.

Take the case of Nnamdi Kanu. PMB does not like the guy at all especially as Kanu wants to divide his kingdom into two. PMB had fought to keep Nigeria one and he knows the cost in men and material. So comes this upstart Nnamdi to upset the apple cart once again. PMB must stop Nnamdi by any means necessary. But alas there is this ugly document called the constitution which demands a process. In his old job he would simply have declared that part of the constitution null and void and issued a new edict. This time he cannot do it. But he is doing it anyway. Today Mr. Kanu is languishing in jail and no court decisions would get him out, not a lower court, not the appeal court. The general is in command and that is it.

It does not help that Nnamdi is Igbo. Were he one of the cattle herders who are actually killing people by the dozens it would have been a different story. But for a defeated Igbo, he must learn a lesson. Mr. Kanu has not even killed any Izika carrying mosquito but he is in jail. As for the murderers of 60 Nsukka citizens, they are free and about.

Compare PMB with Yar' Adua and Jonathan. Mr. Yar' Adua entered politics in the third Republic and became governor of Katsina state for eight years 1999-2007 where he learned the "art of the deal." He was succeeded by GEJ as president. GEJ, himself was a former politician and governor of Bayelsa. Both of them were faced with the insurgency of secessionist Boko Haram that wants to turn parts of Nigeria into Islamic caliphate. They also faced another secessionist organization called MENDS. They were quick to work out a settlement with MENDS which resulted in 8 years of peace in the delta region and which kept Nigeria's oil flowing. The deal also stopped the kidnapping and killing or oil workers and foreign investors. This was a departure from the efforts of OBJ who massacred an entire village in the fight against MENDS and killed the leader of BH (Yusuf) which energized the terrorist organization. OBJ was also an ex-soldier/general and he believed in the use of force. Both Yar' Adua and Jonathan were politicians in political positions and cut deals when necessary. OBJ and PMB are/were soldiers in political positions who had not learned the art of the deal. They are square pegs in round holes or engineers trying their hands in open heart surgery.

The result had been nothing but disasters.

Both were ministers of petroleum at the time they were president.

At the hands of PMB Nigeria has been sitting on the brink and its survival is now in doubt. PMB will deal with Avengers with a strong military hand, just as he is dealing with Biafrans. A soldier's first instinct is the use of force to overpower the supposed enemy real or imagined. In the process they often make matters worse. Imagine if OBJ had dealt with Yusuf as a human? We probably would not have BH or at least not as a constant threat to lives and property. There are now over 2 million internal refugees in Nigeria and tens of thousands dead. PMB is about to do the same thing with the Igbo and Biafrans.

The case of Mr. Trump is similar. A businessman who had owned and ran multi-billion dollar companies is seeking to become the political leader of USA. He wants to run the government using the methodology he used to run his business. A business leader is just a step down from a general. Both have immense uncontrolled powers. Because of their immense powers there are no needs to build alliances or to weld together different interests for common good. You get your way always. So the Donald does not care what he calls the Muslims, the Hispanics or the feeling of blacks or immigrants. He would deport 12 million of them; or build walls to stop them from coming in; he would force changes to or abrogate treaties already signed; and will trample on the laws of the land. If anybody goes against his idea of US interests, he would be captured, tortured and killed. Ditto to his families.

Any wonder why a lot of US citizens are raising alarm?

Mr. Trump like Mr. Buhari are not politicians and that is their attraction to their supporters.

But who would want a carpenter when he needs a tailor? There are reasons why people spend difficult years learning a trade. It is so that they would acquire the skills to deliver the services and products that meet the needs of the buyers cheaply. The skills are not interchangeable. If a business man wants to become a politician he must undergo the apprenticeship necessary to become a politician. If a soldier wants to be a politician he too must serve his apprenticeship before becoming one.

To believe that one would go from one calling to the top of another calling is an ego run wild. Both PMB and Mr. Trump should first go back and run as LGA councilors and after years of training, then they can run for the office of president.

Or they would bring ruin to citizens as we are seeing.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 2, 2016

In The Silence of the Lambs (1991), a young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims. I see the behavior of Nigerian intellectual elite in Diaspora as comparable. When I read the hundreds of emails that come across my email box, I look for essays of around 700 words that takes an issue concerning Nigeria and argues a position or tries to educate the reading public, but I seldom find them. What I find is “Afis is a thief”, “Inyamiris want your money,” Yorobas are untrustworthy and cowards,” Edo women are prostitutes,” etc. Once any of these statements or others like them are made, watch the internet blow up. Fowl languages flow; curses are placed on the entire tribe of the one making the statement; counter fowl languages and curses follow ad infinitum. When I look up the profile of the men (almost usually men) who write this garbage I notice a series of high level professional and academic qualifications: MD, PhD, VC’s, engineer, JD, professors in any field of human endeavor, CPA, CA, Rev., etc. And I wonder!

The authors are Nigerians in all corners of the globe; USA (a lot), SA, EU, Canada, Argentina, Brazil, you name it. They have many things in common: their Nigerianness; their high credential; their rudeness; their narrow-mindedness; and such attributes. I know that there is something called Mob Mentality or Herd Mentality which is described as:

The term "herd mentality" is often used to something that involves more conscious thought than herd behavior. This type of mentality can be influenced by things such as peer pressure, conformity, the need for acceptance and the desire for a sense of belonging. These things often cause people who are in groups to behave in ways that are similar to others in the group. For example, a person might choose to listen to different music when in a group of friends than he or she would when alone, because the others might make disparaging remarks if another type of music is chosen. Another example might be a teenager who drinks alcohol or smokes cigarettes because of peer pressure from his or her friends. [wiseGEEK]

What I fail to understand is why men of the pedigrees I described above are unable to overcome the pressures. What has their education wrought? Why have the counter pressures from their professional colleagues failed to control their behaviors? Is there a Nigerian DNA and does it overcome and conquer all things?

All is not lost. If one reads Elombah.com, Nigerian Village Voice, ChatAfrik websites there are Nigerians who write full essays and quite strongly defend their positions. You may not agree with them but for the most part they dispense with name calling. But the big popular websites that make up the home for Nigerian browsers is lacking on these essays. Could it be that they allow “anything goes” to fester on their sites?  Sometime ago I tried to recommend website moderators but I quickly saw that it was a very difficult thing to implement. We have and need freedom of speech. But can’t a PhD holder or a professor not apply self-censorship? Self-discipline? Why must every disagreement be personal?

Can Nigerians disagree without being disagreeable? Why must all the Igbo Yoruba, Hausa, Ishekiri, etc., be responsible for my “bad takes” or opinions on any matters?

Nigeria r’onu o; Nigeria chekwa ya eche e o

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts,

July 28, 2016

Conservative parties, be they called the Tory Party, or Republican Party, or Likud Party, have for the most part of the early 20th century to present advocated policies that seemed unreasonable but the world continued to vote them into office. These policies are often presented to the public lased with patriotic cinnamon sugars. And the public has consumed them with passion.

At the formative stages of the European Union, the conservatives urged Britons not join as Labor and other progressive parties pushed for joining European Union. General Charles De Gaulle’s opposition to Britain’s membership did not help but it was mostly internal British debate that stopped Britain from joining until after ten years (1975), when a two to one favor was negotiated and referendum held. Even after joining, the Conservative Party was still lukewarm in the association. It was this attitude that led some conservatives to propose that a referendum be held to exit. The leadership of the Brexit was mostly Conservative Party membership although the conservative PM campaigned against the exit. And when he lost he resigned and the new PM has proclaimed, loud and clear, that Brexit means Brexit and no attempt would be made to renter through a back door.

Across the pond in America, the conservative party here known as the Republican Party has also, for the greater part of a century, argued about American Exceptionalism; that America is different and special and does not have to be America; and avoided strong relationship with the rest of Americas; South America, the Caribbean, and even Canada. While there is some tolerance for Canada other Americas are treated with nothing but contempt, pretty much like British conservative treated their European neighbors.

In the Middle East their own conservative Party, the Israeli Likud Party also preached their own Israeli Exceptionalism. There will be no ties with their Arab neighbors and no arms to Iran, Jordan, Egypt or any Arab nation that might create equality with her neighbors. Israel must be superior to all just as America is and just as UK believes she is.

We may include the Apartheid government of South Africa in this category but since it has been defeated, we could take a pass for now.

There are many fundamental sub-themes running in the conservative politics no matter where it is found. They include

  1. Immigration is bad and should be contained or controlled
  2. Poor nations in Africa and Asia should be held in abeyance and brought into discussion if they have resources to be exploited.
  3. Veto powers of the United Nations must remain in place and are inviolate. In other words, except for the six or so nations that have them all others opinions or views of a restructured world would not matter unless these views please and are in favor of Euro-America. Africa, South America, SE Asia, or 75% of the world be damned!
  4. Past evils committed against humanity or the world should not be brought up and if corrections are necessary then EVERBODY should bear equal burden. Nowhere is this most glaring then in the current issues of Global Warming. As the WEST developed and went through the industrial revolution it pumped gazillions of waste matter into the environment which has now poisoned the atmosphere. These conservative parties are either in denial that any harm has been done or are blaming it the newly developing countries.
  5. ETC.

Like the Tory members who brought Brexit Donald J. Trump is about to bring about the same kind of revolution to USA. He wants US to build walls on its southern border (a kind of USEXIT) from America. He wants to deport 12 million illegal immigrants from the USA; to stop Muslim immigration into the US; abolish negotiated trade and political treaties signed by US; limit USA’s foreign investments, and build economic walls around USA among other policy proposals.

What is most ironic is the fact that under a different hat, conservative parties argue the very opposite of these policies, CP’s supports limited government, freedom of movement, freedom of speech, etc. To implement all of Mr. Trump’s policies would require a very strong government. Freedom of speech is OK in the world so long as the free speech of Africans in UN for example is not allowed; government should stay out of the people’s lives except in their bedrooms where it must monitor who is sleeping with whom, etc.

Another ironic thing about these moves is that the underlining facts of the development of nations where the CP exist is based on the very things they are desirous to stop. Great Britain was great when it was the center of the world. In any section of UK one would find great numbers of West Africans, West Indians, Chinese, South African, Indians and Pakistanis, Aussies. etc. Britain was the center of the universe. It was the limitation of these people or rather as these people started leaving Britain that it started to lose her importance. Immigrants bring in fresh ideas. Russia and China, it could be argued, did not develop as fast because they were closed societies. And CP’s made these arguments.

When these foreigners started leaving UK they started migrating to the USA. Today in USA just as was the case in UK one would see many various sections of Africans, West Indians, Hispanics, Asians, etc. Each group bringing along its cultures, its ideas, its businesses, etc., for the development of USA. Once more nobody knows this better than the Republicans for they had argued these same positions.

The beauty of the Rise of Donald J. Trump and the results of Brexit referendum is that they have brought to the fore the contradictions of conservative policies, The Tory seems to be running away from Brexit they had promoted from time immemorial and the GOP is seen also running away from the version of conservatism in US that they had advocated from Adam.

It is left to time to see how far each could get from their cherished desires.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

July 24, 2016

That Nigerian is a country with great promise goes without saying. Economically she is endowed with all kinds of resources: oil, gas, gold, coal and a thousand more minerals, solid and liquid. It has palm, groundnuts, cocoa, rubber, arable lands, and water, to name just the tip of the iceberg. Nigeria has the human capital in abundance, 140 million strong young men and women. And old people too! Name it; and Nigeria would offer it in abundance.

But Nigeria remains very backward and getting further behind. It is perhaps one of the few places where each generation is succeeded by a worse generation – educationally, in infrastructure development, in peace and harmony, in moral rectitude, in patriotism, etc. To illustrate. Consider the qualities/qualifications of the first Nigerian VC’s of Ibadan, UNN, Lagos, Ife, ABU. Do you see any current VC’s that would match their scholarship? Consider the FG roads of the 60’s and todays FG roads. In that age a 504 Peugeot 6-sitter station wagon would travel from Enugu to Onitsha in one hour. Drivers would make four or five rounds a day raking up a lot of money. They would recover their investments in a year. In those long ago days, another such wagon would do a turnaround trip from Enugu to Lagos in a day. Today a trip from Enugu to Onitsha or to Lagos from Enugu takes at least three times the time. There are similar instances in the West and the North.

As bad as the above examples are they did not prompt me to write this article. What forced my hands are the upcoming Olympic Games and the inability for the coaches and athletes to get their funding until two weeks to the event. The ministry of finance and the sports authority were aware of the event and budgeted for it. The legislature approved the funds and the president signed the bill into law. Yet the funds could not be released until the president intervened (assuming that it has been released). What a mess!

One area where Nigeria is one is sports. Nigerians from Efik, Ijaw, Edo, Kanuri, Igalla etc., enjoy sporting events with equal favor. All stadia in Nigeria are filed up during most sporting events even at a time like this when food money is under sever constraints. I have heard of presidential candidates who campaigned on bringing a world cup to Nigeria. It is hilarious often. But sports administration is yet very poor. Almost every soccer team overseas has at least on Nigerian in its first or second teams and yet the odds of a world cup soccer cup in Nigeria in my life time is no better than an Igbo president’s odd – close to zero. Very close!

The frustrating thing is that the talent exists at all levels. The under17, and under 19 teams do very well but the senior national teams are awful or is it woeful? Why? Nigeria has so much inferiority complex that Dr. Ozodiobi Osuji does not have clinical words to describe it. The coaches of the high schools teams, the coaches of under 17, and 19 teams are Nigerians. Yet when we get to the senior national teams we come to believe that these same coaches cannot deliver the goods. The country becomes a prostitute selling itself to second rate foreign coaches who despite large sums offered still refuse the offer of our bodies. And when they do they use the opportunity to insult us. Case in point; the coach that abandoned the team after world cup in South Africa or somewhere. Or the one most recently who said he could not live in Nigeria. The one time Nigeria tried a home boy Keshi he performed as well or better than the imported coaches but was cut down for no known reasons.

Questions abound. One of Keshi’s frustrations was lack of adequate faculties. Is one world cup soccer stadium standard maintained 24/7 in Abuja too much to ask of Nigeria? Is an Olympic standard stadium in Calabar maintained 24/7 too much to ask of Nigeria? Is it impossible to hire a capable Nigerian to coach the sports teams? Given that Nigerian coaches trained the same Nigerians playing in foreign teams and winning successive Under 17, and 19 world cups? What is the degree of difficulty of releasing approved funds on time for athletes? What is behind the failure in satisfying this one united Nigerian passion which costs next to nothing? Where are Nigerian “big men” like Dangote’s, Ibeto’s, Danjuma’s, et al?

Nigeria can do better and ought to do better. We have frittered away our oil, gold and peanuts. Must we also waste our human resources?

People of my generation have become angry old men and women.

Could PMB come to our help? Or is he up and about chasing shadows?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

July 21, 2016

Mr. Ozodi Thomas Osuji in an essay titled Donald Trump the Crude Nationalist and Hillary Clinton the Amoral Smooth Operator (http://chatafrik.com/articles/us-affairs/trump-the-crude-nationalist-and-hillary-the-smooth-operator#.V3Ul1rgrLIU) attempted to analyze both candidates with his most venomous words for Mrs. Clinton. It has been awhile since I have responded to Mr. Osuji’s essays but I find a few comments so far away from the truth that I feel compelled to point them out.
 
Mr. Osuji confesses
 
As noted, I have not been close to either of these two candidates and cannot say anything about their actual behaviors. All I have to go by is my judgment of people. Here is my judgement, do with-it as you like.
This confession is not needed because 99.99% of people who write about politics or any subject outside of sciences have no personal knowledge of their subjects but cull their facts from either publicly available information or from hidden sources. I have read Osuji’s diagnosis of mental health, religion, etc., of commentators on these forums without this confession, so there could be a reason for confessing now. Most good writers support their positions with facts. But supporting information was lacking is these assertions below and Mr. Osuji frequently dragged clearly defined terms into his assertions even when they are false.
 
An example:
 
Apparently,
in her mind (Mrs Clinton's) America now has a divine right of kings where the king and queen come from the same family.

The Divine Right of Kings is a political and religious doctrine of royal absolutism. It asserts that amonarch is subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. The king is thus not subject to the will of his people, the aristocracy, or any other estate of the realm, including the church. The doctrine implies that any attempt to depose the king or to restrict his powers runs contrary to the will of God and may constitute treason. (New World Encyclopedia)
Mr. Osuji here confuses hereditary tradition of kingship as practiced in many countries with a well-defined term. Perhaps to give the impression of a well-read writer (which by the way he is but not here).
 
Here is another unsupported assertion:
 
Hillary claims to fight for women’s rights but looked aside as Muslims oppressed their women, so she is not really a fighter for women’s rights,
 
Muslim’s alleged suppression of women is not supported by any credible information from history or current events. The chat below gives the lie to some of the West’s propaganda about the oppression of women outside the West. The highest office in any country is the president or prime minister. Note how many African and Muslim countries that have had female HoS/HoG. USA is not in this list but US shouts the loudest about the oppression of women elsewhere.
 
Name
Image
Country
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
   
   
   
   
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 
Here is another assertion without a monocle of evidence. In fact it flies in the face of available realities:
 
My impression of Hillary is that she is a typical American politician, a person with no inner core of beliefs and is willing to sell her soul to anyone willing to give her money. American politics
is the politics of muddling through, not really doing anything because one believes in its rightness.

How can one assert that Abraham Lincoln, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Raegan, Barack Obama, even Bill Clinton, to name a few, did not have convictions and did not do things because they believed in their rightness? How did America achieve its greatness, just by muddling through?
 
Amazing indeed!
 
Here is Mr. Osuji’s last word. I think he is right in saying that this is how he sees the world. You are to judge whether he sees the world as it is or sees illusion.
 
I deal with the real world as I see it. We are going to have either Trump or Hillary as our next president. What a bummer!

And I am,
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
Boston, Massachusetts
June 30, 2016
 
 
Have you watched the two presumptive nominees of the Republican and Democratic Parties, The Donald and Hillary? I have not seen either in person but over the years have watched them talk, especially deliver speeches.

Donald Trump seems crude, very crude; he is very inarticulate and not well informed on policy matters. He appears unable to talk about US domestic or foreign or military policies in detail. He appears lost talking about issues of gravitas. He seems like a street brawler, a thug.  He does not seem intelligent and well educated; he seems like your average Joe Blow.

On the other hand, Hillary Clinton appears like a practiced speaker; she is well informed on US military matters, foreigner policy matters and domestic policy matters.  By any ones political standards, she appears well educated, a product of the best of America's education.

On the basis of how they present their material to the public most people probably would vote for Hillary.

Alas, something tells me that Hillary does not believe in what she is talking about, that she is amoral and a smooth operator; she seems a lady who would say anything she could to seem nice but behind the scenes is a different person.

Those who have worked for Hillary say that she is the typical histrionic personality, a drama queen, and that she wants to be the center of attention and if she does not feel like she is getting her way she throws humongous temper tantrums and throw objects at things, including breaking windows and destroying furniture. She is said to behave like a two year old child who you try to take a toy away from and she throws a hissy fit, angry and demanding what she wants.

Hillary appears to have a sense of entitlement; she appears to believe that the presidency of the United States now belongs to her; she seems to believe that she had paid her dues by helping her husband become the President and now deserves to be the president. Apparently, in her mind America now has a divine right of kings where the king and queen come from the same family.

Perhaps, when she is done her daughter, Chelsea would become the president, too. The last time that I checked America is a republic, not a monarchy!

(See Gary Byrne's new book, "Crisis of Character"; Gary was a career secret service officer assigned to protect President Clinton and his wife, Hillary; whether what he said is true or not I have no way of verifying.)

As noted, I have not been close to either of these two candidates and cannot say anything about their actual behaviors.  All I have to go by is my judgment of people. Here is my judgement, do with-it as you like.

Donald Trump appears an American nationalist fighting for his country's welfare, especially for the segment of America that he identifies with, white America.  He probably will do some of the things he said that he would do: slow down immigrants, especially Muslim immigrants.

There is no doubt that many Christian Americans are feeling that too many violent Muslims are being allowed into their Christian country (that disingenuous liberals now tell us is not a Christian country); they feel that when the Muslim population reaches a certain critical mass they would engage in terrorism, exploding bombs all over America, using terrorism to arouse fear in Christians; Christian folk fear that Muslim Jihadists will make massive efforts to intimidate them into embracing Islam.

Christian Americans do not want this to happen and want the US to slow down the incoming of Muslims, to take time to socialize foreigners and transform them to Americanness before the country is overwhelmed by foreigners.

Multiculturalism and cultural relativism, Christians believe, appears a ruse to divide America and transform it into little fiefdoms that war with each other. America could be Balkanized into warring enclaves.

Hilary Clinton appears not beholden to any philosophy; she appears a philistine, a mercenary, an amoral woman who left the White House claiming that she and her husband were broke (they were supposedly so broke that friends bought them their house at Chappaqua, New York) and a decade later is a multi-millionaire. She is reported to have taken up to half a million dollars for a speech to Arab Muslims; as a result, the woman amassed incredible wealth in a short period of time.   She reportedly now has over $100 million dollars; all earned from selling access to America's political power.

Hillary claims to fight for women's rights but looked aside as Muslims oppressed their women, so she is not really a fighter for women's rights, she fights for her pockets.

My impression of Hillary is that she is a typical American politician, a person with no inner core of beliefs and is willing to sell her soul to anyone willing to give her money. American politics is the politics of muddling through, not really doing anything because one believes in its rightness.

Hillary is part of the American political establishment and will maintain the status quo. She will talk smoothly but under her watch nothing will change.

Under her administration, black American neighborhoods would still be the place of unemployment and crimes. Black youths would still kill each other as if they are flies and she would do nothing about it (she, in the 1990s, called black criminals "Super Predators" and demanded maximum prison time for them).

In my view, Hillary probably will not stop the globalization of the American economy thus shipping American factories to low wage countries in Asia. This will continue the evisceration of American wages; poorly educated white Americans will compete for minimum wage jobs; as for blacks they would not even obtain minimum wage jobs, for their felony records works again them from obtaining jobs.

Listen, I see Hillary maintaining the status quo but not making any significant changes in the American political and economic landscape.

Hillary will talk about the danger posed by Muslim Jihadists but lacks the resolve to fight it. She is  like the war averse Obama: they keep fiddling as Muslim terrorists  kill people all over the world; they will keep doing so until  Muslim terrorists overwhelm America and  cut off the heads of their  grandchildren (if they do not, under duress, convert to Islam).

So, which of these two flawed characters do I support?  I do not like Trump's implied racism; I suspect that when he talks about making America great, again he means the 1950s America where whites had it good and black folks were relegated to the back of the bus. The man does not seem to have the mental presence to understand that the world has drastically changed and that he cannot relegate black folks to second class citizenship; if he tried that nonsense America would see such upheaval that it would know no peace. Only treating all people equally, regardless of their race and gender, will keep America moving on.

I do not like Hillary's apparent corruptibility; I particularly do not like her keeping silent as America is transformed from a Christian country to a secular state where all behaviors are approved thus engendering a chaos that Muslims would exploit to impose their wished for world-wide Islamic caliphate ruled from Mecca.

I will, therefore, not vote for either candidate.

But would this not give the election to one of the flawed characters? What is the alternative to the two? There really is nothing else for me to do. I am between a rock and a hard place. It is a lose-lose situation for me and many Americans.

I wish that the American political system had third political parties hence offer us alternative to the two flawed characters. Ah, wishes, haven't I learned that my wishes do not alter a thing in life? My youthful idealism is long gone.

I deal with the real world as I see it. We are going to have either Trump or Hillary as our next present. What a bummer!

Ozodi Thomas Osuji 

Newton's laws of motion are three physical laws that, together, laid the foundation for classical mechanics. They describe the relationship between a body and the forces acting upon it, and its motion in response to those forces. They have been expressed in several different ways, over nearly three centuries. We are here concerned with the third law which states as follows:

When one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

For centuries now the West and the East have been exerting forces on each other. The latest in the series of events that are economic, religious, political and cultural started with the attack on USA’s World Center Towers, itself a result of perceived assault on Arab nations and their leaders by the West led by the United States. President Bush’s reaction was the invasion of Iraq (which had nothing to do with the attacks) and Afghanistan (which supposedly harbored Bin Laden). The regime change wars overthrew the governing structures of the two nations and sent the Middle East into both internal and external turmoil. Internal wars in Arab nations and between Arab nations were triggered, and fears led to more wars since then. The area has not had any peace with American forces among them. And when Mr. Obama withdrew most of the forces peace was still not attained.

It appears that the force exerted on the Arab nations by the West led by the US is producing an equal disruption in the West. The vote by Britons to quit European Union is the latest of the opposite reactions in the West due to the force Arabs are exerting. At the heart of the Brexit, as the secession is being called, is the matter of refugees. More Europeans have flooded Britain than the British had entered Europe. Millions of Arabs have entered or are trying to enter the West as they flee the disruptions in their fatherland because of the West induced disruptions in the own countries. It has been the classic action/reaction in progress. The disruption of the East by the West is followed by the disruption of the West by the East.

When huge segments of the world are in turmoil, it impacts the rest of the world. There is no quiet anywhere today. The world seems to be hearing a voice saying:

Still it cried, “Sleep no more!” to all the house.

“Glamis hath murdered sleep, and therefore Cawdor

Shall sleep no more. Macbeth shall sleep no more.”

Macbeth act 2 scene 2

Other ripple effects of Arab disruption was the so called Arab Spring with its hanging chads in West and Northern Africa. Nigeria is for example at the brink of falling apart although many Nigerians do not yet see connection between Jihadists and Boko Haram and the forces in Nigeria’s delta region. But with time all would see.

What does this situation portend to the world? Newton’s first law (1689) offers both hope and desperation. It states:

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by a net force.[

The desperation is in the first part of the law which says that the body will remain at rest or continue to move at constant velocity. This means that the world disruptions would continue. The hope is in the second part of Newton’s first law: “unless acted upon by a net force.” Therefore if world comes up with a net force it could avoid the disruptions which otherwise would continue.

And what could be this NET FORCE? God? UN?

Many in the world would say “yes” to God. It is as good a place as any to hang one’s hopes. But as this scribe does not believe that God interferes in the affairs of mankind he would look for other answers

The first place to look at is the United Nations. United Nations is of course the handful of nations that have veto powers dominated by the West. The question then becomes can a west dominated UN be considered a “net force or a third force”? Would it not be asking the vampire to protect blood?

There is no way here.

This will force us to look at international relations, particularly from the perspectives of capitalism. The fundamentals of capitalism are that property and work should be privately owned by individuals (or voluntary associations) and directed towards the benefit of the owner (Quora). Individuals, in the collective, is called nations. Thus we have national interests. When nations pursue their interests, it most often comes down to taking advantage of other individuals or nations. The Berlin Conference of 1884/1885 is a glaring example. It resulted in the partition of Africa by a handful of powerful European countries to the detriment of Africa. The pains of the exploitation of Africa is still felt by surviving natives. Another striking example of the pursuit of “benefits to the owner”, again from Africa, is the Slave Trade and the accompanying slavery.

It is these efforts to achieve benefits for the owner that has commanded the West to exert force on the Middle East and elsewhere. And as stated before, when one body exerts a force on a second body, the second body simultaneously exerts a force equal in magnitude and opposite in direction on the first body.

But we are looking for an answer/s that would stop the anger and disruptions by seeing if there is a way out. Newton’s first law says that things would change if and only if an external force intervenes. We looked at God, we have looked at UN and we did not see answers. The answer might be in Global Warming. Climate change is one area where the interests of all humans converge. As the waters overflow; and deserts widen; it seems that mankind could find a common solution that would not produce winners and losers as capitalism had suggested but a mutually beneficial solution.

Could this be the External Force? What do you think? Or are we in this forever? How long will the world: East and West live in fear; London, Paris, Boston, Belgium, Istanbul, Jerusalem, Palestinian territories?

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

June 29, 2016

Wednesday, 01 June 2016 02:39

Why We Must Take Donald Trump Seriously

The world must take Mr. Donald Trump seriously. Very seriously. I was among the many people who in the pre-season declared clearly and loudly that The Donald was not going anywhere. That was then. This is now. He has taken on the Bush Dynasty and crushed it. He faced off a fellow billionaire, with Massachusetts’ governorship experience, and with successful business experience and political DNA in his heritage (Mitt Romney) and crushed him. He has gone after the war veteran icon, war prisoner, a successful senator, heir to a great military tradition, and deal maker extraordinary, Mr. McCain and made him cry uncle. He has faced off with world political leaders from UK to Russian and each has blinked. Do we have to speak about the sixteen rivals that entered the race, each with very robust credentials, who he drove from the competition?

Mr. Trump does not have any political experience whatsoever. He was never elected or appointed to a dog catcher position in any county government, talk less of state or federal government. Trump did not study political science or law, or journalism, possible jumping grounds to politics. Without experience of any kind in the academic or on-the-job-training, he has swept every competitor out. Trump does not even have a well or even ill developed ideology that would explain his surge in the political field.

That is why we must take The Donald quite seriously. This warning applies to both the Republicans who he is representing and Democrats the last puzzle he would have to solve before January 2017. The warning also applies to other countries, for even though he will be the president of USA, on paper, in reality, the President of USA is the President of the world. All countries must deal with him. He has vetoes to exercise; huge military force including nuclear weapons behind him (Enyi kwum n’azu = I have an elephant standing behind me); and he has unequalled economic power to exercise for good or for ill.

The power that Trump could possess is immense and this compels mankind to know who to bestow such powers on.

Possession of superior powers in the wrong hands in human history had created miseries for mankind that continues even today. The last time a German chancellor had such powers resulted in the Second World War. Not just the Jews, not just the residents of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, but all of mankind can testify to what happened. According to some historians 66 million human beings perished in the struggle. That was 5% of the world population of that time. Then only one country possessed nuclear weapons and used it only once. Today many more countries have nuclear weapons and they could be used several times.

Nothing in the foregoing could or should be interpreted to mean that Mr. Trump’s ascension to office of the president of the United States would be bestowing immense powers to an unworthy person.

What is being suggested is that we as a people must try to understand why and how such a novice is having the impact that The Donald is having. Why is he motivating the young and powerless, the unemployed and the uneducated? We must find out why, for if we know the answers we would then give the powers he is asking for to him, ASAP, or if the data say otherwise we would do everything to separate him from the tremendous powers for our own good and for our own lives. Too much depends on the power of the President of United States.

The early part of the 21st century can called American century. Would that it continues as it has started without any dramatic left or right turn. The captain of the world ship should order “Steady As You Go.”

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 31, 2016

President Muhammadu Buhari completes his first year in office this today. In sports parlance this would be the end of the first quarter of a 4-quarter game. At this juncture he is behind.

Before we explore how and why he is behind we need to express some inalienable truths:

Nigeria is a country of over 100 million fractious people who fight over bread and butter issues, over religion, and over tribe and culture. She is a factitious nation nearly impossible to govern. Nigeria cannot be turned around on a pin. In this context a year is not sufficient time to see meaningful changes.

PMB came to power at the time that Nigeria economy was heading south due to the plummeting oil prices. A country which depends almost exclusively on oil will falter whenever oil prices plunge. Oil prices did plunge into the deep blue sea as PMB assumed office.

Nigerians were dissatisfied with the prior government and put too high a hope on PMB’s shoulders which PMB himself encouraged and fanned instead of damping down the flame. It has come back to haunt him.

The above are the excuses which have some fundamental truths. But there are many serious issues most of them of Mr. Buhari’s own making.

  1. He was not prepared. The greatest evidence of lack of preparation for the office is the lack of policy direction on day one. From May to December 2015, nobody could tell which direction PMB would take Nigeria. He had said that Nigeria was headed in the wrong direction and people were expecting a change in direction but alas nothing came out. Without direction the nation started drifting and is still drifting. He continued implementing Mr. Jonathan’s budget since he did not have any plans, but without GEJ’s top notch economic team, and the result was disaster everywhere. To make matters worse, when GEJ’s 2015 budget expired in December 2015, PMB began to operate without any budget for 4 months. Then presented a muddled up budget which the senate returned to the sender. PMB blamed “saboteurs” in his government, which was a ridiculous charge. It was evident that the proper reviews were not done. Nigerians and world gave up. He was not prepared.
  2. He focused on the wrong crises. PMB focus on corruption was ill directed for corruption was not the immediate crises or the one that can be resolved with political speeches or rabble rousing anecdotes. He had promised that once in power he would create a corrupt free nation; that he would recover pilfered money; and that he would arrest and prosecute all corrupt officials. He did not utter a word on putting into place internal control system and accounting controls that would make stealing difficult but easy to detect. The result has been that stealing continued which was why the first budget was rigged to the extent that he blamed it on the saboteurs. It is still not clear that the system has been restructured. There is for example provisions for salaries, in the passed budget, but the salaries are still not paid as and when due. And civil servants are suffering. Money is not flowing in or flowing out easily. The system is still clogged. Meanwhile not a single corrupt official has been completely tried and found guilty. We are still dealing with finger pointing and trials by news bulletins. We have heard of billions of recovered funds, but nobody has been able to pin down the total amount or to which project/s the recovered amounts have gone. There is strong suspicion that money was recovered from one thief but went into the pockets of another thief just as Abacha’s recovered billions disappeared into thin air in the previous administrations.
  3. Human rights abuses. The worst failing of PMB’s administration is the abuse of human rights. Mr. Nnamdi Kanu was arrested many moons ago and when the state presented him to court he was ordered to be release but the FG held on to him citing flimsy reasons. Dis obedience of the courts is the beginning of lawlessness. Mr. Kanu’s appeal to a higher court again resulted in the higher court ordering his release and again PMB’s agents disregarded the court rulings. Today Nigerians and the world do not know where matters stand. On the other hand alleged Fulani herdsmen are killing ordinary farmers in all territories south of the Niger River Confluence by thousands, and not a single murderer is under police detention. It is strange that a person who has killed nobody is in jail and those who killed in thousands are parading the streets with their AK47 in full display contrary to the ban on possession of guns. Mr. Kanu’s case is just one of the many cases where bails were granted to the accused but no release followed after the bail conditions were met. Mr. Fani Kayode’s case demonstrated the persecution of those with contrary political views. Indiscriminate dismissal of office holders is now the norm as illustrated by the sacking of university chancellors by the government just because they were appointed by GEJ. Top civil servants have faced the same. These are cases where there are well established processes for terminating a non-performing office holder. The old military dictator who decreed and it was done is calling up the tools of dictatorship. The old dictator and general is still alive and well. The reformed democrat was a fluke.
  4. The real crises have been ignored. The real crises are economic. Everywhere one looked there is decline compared with what PMB inherited. The volume of power supply has declined by more than 50%. Darkness at all times’ and in all cities is now the order of the day. Prices of all goods and services have quadrupled. Nonpayment of salaries by all governments from local government to state governments to federal government has reached unprecedented levels counted in months of service without pay. Petrol and gas are mostly not available and when available unaffordable. Food production is down at the time food importation is down, a double jeopardy for ordinary folks. Personal security is now a luxury given the Boko Haram efforts, the Avengers in the Delta, kidnappers everywhere, and the roaming Fulani herdsmen in the southern states. Yes these are all changes but they are not the changes that the people expected from a “change government”. To many they would rather have the old GEJ days than the new administration’s.
  5. Perception is the unkindest cut of all. As mentioned in the top of this essay Nigeria as a large nation and economy cannot be reversed by any master stroke. But one thing that could be changed positively is the people’s perception. If the people saw and believed that things are changing for the better, their mood would be different. They are not seeing things moving in the right direction and are becoming disenchanted every passing day. If one stands at any street corner of any Nigerian city and asks “how are things” the answer would be a resounding “BAD”.

The question now is what can PMB do to change things? There are no easy answers.

This writer believes that the disintegration of the nation is a real threat and this is where the administration must focus. In much of the south the combination of Fulani herdsmen incursions, the destruction of pipe lines and thus the economy, the continued detention of Mr. Kanu all make the desire to tear down this wall a viable option. There is need to reassure these people that they belong.

The sole administrator role is inexcusable. Right now there is no other name or face of the FG but the president. In both the foreign policy, and domestic arenas it is Buhari this and Buhari that. Where are the minister of foreign affairs and finance? Where is the governor of the central bank? Is Fayose, Amaechi, et al, in charge of anything or “ARE THEY JUST PARLOUR WIVES?” We need to see them, and hear from them. Is education an important priority? It does not seem so from the budget allocations. There ought to be a refocusing of attention from pursuing corrupt ex-officials without reforming the systems and institutions to bread and butter issues or as I have heard “amala and osikapa (rice) issues. Reforming systems and institutions must go before the fight against corruption as the honorable minister of finance was once quoted. That would be putting the horse before the cart.

PMB has still three quarters to go before the game is over. He may still have time.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 28, 2016

The outspoken Mr. Donald Trump is in many ways the best Republican in US. He is voicing the true republican feelings and beliefs and many Americans see the truth in his message. He is not always wrong and in fact he is right more times than he is wrong. That is why millions of Americans are voting for him and thronging to his events by the thousands. Baring a miracle, Mr. Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination during the Cleveland Convention in July in the first and only ballot. Those who do not like him or his style but want to vote for GOP must get on board before his train leaves the station. Mr. Paul Ryan the highest ranking Republican is one of those recalcitrant GOP leaders. He should be clearly in or clearly out. He cannot sit on the edges.

The reluctance to get into the Trump roller coaster has its roots in his manner of speaking and his boisterous attitude to some powerful American constituencies needed to win in November. He has alienated Blacks, Hispanics, Moslems, women, to name just a few. Taken together this is equivalent to 65% of the voting electorate. He must carry at least 35% of this segment to have a chance at all. This statement assumes that he would get 99% of the remaining White men, a tall order at best.

We can therefore say that on paper he would lose the coming election assuming that he would not accomplish the goal of winning 99% of white men. But that is on paper not the reality on the ground. It is easy to see upon further examination his attraction to the millions of his supporters. They have examined his message and found some truth in them.

Case 1. Women should be sent to prison for committing abortion. The Republican Party has been on record for opposing abortion for decades. In its extreme stand abortion is illegal even when pregnancy resulted from rape. It will still be illegal even if a woman’s life is in danger. In order words abortion is a very bad and criminal thing indeed. If this is the case why would a person who commits a crime not be sent to jail? If one hires a killer to kill his enemy and provides him with the necessary resources, is he not sent to jail as an accomplice before and after the criminal act? If GOP is true to its beliefs they should support Trump’s stand on abortion. Political correctness is hypocrisy in this matter.

Case 2. All 12 million immigrants have broken the law. They should be not be allowed any path to citizenship. Once more this is the Republican position on immigration. Trump once more accepts this position and puts it to practice. He would round them up and deport them. This is the only logical next step for those who believe that immigrants are law breakers. Like in the case of women, if immigrants are law breakers they should be sent to prison all 12 million of them and deported. Why allow 12 million law breakers on the streets while a kid caught with a few grams of coke is sent to jail? It does not make sense at all. GOP should be quite high on Trump’s message in this regard.

Case 3. Trump will be neutral on Mideast negotiations. Every American president has pretended to be an honest broker of peace in Middle East. They have subscribed to the notion of two state solution. But when Israel forcibly acquire Palestine territory and build new settlement in these occupied lands, US always looks the other way and eventually provide arms that enable Israel to hold off any Palestinian efforts to destroy the illegal settlement. Nobody in world believes that America is neutral when Israel is concerned in any matter. US uses its immense powers veto, to block, and to lobby in support of Israel. But both the Democrats and the Republicans claim the neutrality position. Trump wants to actualize this. Yet he is bullied to change position.

Case 4. Trump would negotiate with North Korea, with Putin’s Russia, and with all those nations and heads that US sees as horrible people and nations. If one does not talk to people one is in disagreement with, how will things improve? The cold war ended because both US and USSR talked. Iran’s nuclear deal is in abeyance because US after years of not talking talked with Iran. There are other examples. Why is Trump wrong when he says that he would negotiate? Does Americans desire to impose their will on other nations just because they can? Is Trump not telling it like it is?

Case 5. Trumps says he is a billionaire. By most accounts Trump is a billionaire. Why do we support those who are millionaires but speak as if they are poor? Why is truth so hard to be accepted by many people? He inherited a lot of wealth and multiplied it tenfold. This is a great accomplishment and he should be allowed to boast. According to Mitt Romney Trump inherited $200 mullion which he turned into billions. If we follow the Bible example he would be like the servant whose master gave 10 pieces of silver and when the master demanded accounting he showed that he had turned the 10 to 20 pieces of silver. The master rewarded him immensely and praised him. Trump’s father would be just as proud of his son.

The above five cases serve just as illustration that Trump is not always wrong but puts some of the GOP’s beliefs into actions. We ought not be surprised that he has such huge followings.

One thing that should emerge from Trump’s Presidential Campaign ought to be that GOP revisits it positions on some issues and change or reverse them or it should embrace them much more formerly. To be for it at times and against it at times will mean that their wishes and beliefs will never be accomplished, to say nothing about it being a way to mislead the nation.

In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a fan of The Donald. I will not vote for him even if he is the only candidate on the ballot. I will work myself to death to defeat him come November.

But truth most be told.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

May 24, 2016