No artist is ahead of his time. He is the time. It is just that others are behind the time (Martha Graham)
The best way to keep something bad from happening is to see it ahead of time... and you can't see it if you refuse to face the possibility (William S Burroughs)
We need to work hard to ensure unity of the country. For peace to prevail, various groups must talk about it. We must negotiate our unity and togetherness because we are a diverse people. We have to agree on how best we can come together to achieve unity (Prof Dora Akunyili)
Continued from Part 9
t’s hard to reconcile utterances with the facts on the ground! It’s amazing how government’s dithering (irresoluteness) over the war against Boko Haram insurgents has been sold to the public as a meaningful success. The claim of killing the sect’s second-in-command, Momodu Bama, (aka Abu Saad) in Adamawa State, shouldn’t be so hyped-up, as long as the sect still has the wherewithal to slaughter many Nigerians when and any where it wants in the north-east. Nigerian security forces claimed to be winning the war against the insurgents, but, Boko Haram is still running roughshod over Nigeria’s northeast. The sect killed about 12 people on Saturday August 10 in Ngom village, while another 44 people, praying in a mosque in the same Borno State, were also killed by the sect on Sunday August 11. Even the sect’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, was in a boastful mood on Monday August 12, when, in a video, he brushed off any gains asserted by the security forces. In his words: "You soldiers have claimed that you are powerful, that we have been defeated, and that we are mad people. But how can a mad man successfully coordinate recent attacks in Gamboru, in Malam Fatori, slaughter people in Biu, kill in Gwoza and in Bama, where soldiers fled under our heavy fire power? We have killed countless soldiers and we are going to kill more. We can now comfortably confront the United States of America. I’m challenging Obama, French President Francois Hollande and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They are no match for me”. Shekau also vowed not to relent in the persistent attacks, claiming it is “Allah's cause””. This writer wishes someone can tell that murderer what John Locke (1632-1704) wrote in his book, Second Treatise on Government (Chapter 2) 1698, that "All men by nature are equal in that equal right that every man hath to his natural freedom, without being subjected to the will or authority of any other man; being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions".
Boko Haram claims to hate western lifestyle and civilization, but, based on what we’ve read so far, the members of the sect are living incompatibly with their preaching, as Henry Miller (1891 –1980) wrote that “Civilization is drugs, alcohol, engines of war, prostitution, machines and machine slaves, low wages, bad food, bad taste, prisons, reformatories, lunatic asylums, divorce, perversion, brutal sports, suicides, infanticide, cinema, quackery, demagogy, strikes, lockouts, revolutions, putsches, colonization, electric chairs, guillotines, sabotage, floods, famine, disease, gangsters, money barons, horse racing, fashion shows, poodle dogs, chow dogs, Siamese cats, condoms, peccaries, syphilis, gonorrhoea, insanity, neuroses, etc., etc”.
If Gowon had done the right things in 1966, all these problems besetting Nigeria should have petered out or tapered off by now. But, Gowon, who had biggest the opportunity to restructure Nigeria for the better, went to Aburi, agreed on something and even appended his signature to it, only to return to Lagos and jilted the Accord. Now, Gowon has just acknowledged that there’s something wrong with Nigeria, a fact Ojukwu told him about some 45 years ago and he ignored it. Gowon’s conscience has been judging him, and only God knows the psychological trauma he has been going through inside self due to his catastrophic failure as a head of state and the blood in his hands. Hear Gowon say “It's not late to redefine, reorder Nigeria”, that “An enduring way to tackle Nigeria's problems is to reorder the polity”. The Tribune of Monday, July 29, 2013, wrote that “Former Nigerian Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon, on Sunday, said the political and security challenges facing the country called for sober reflection from the leadership and the followers. He, however, noted that it was not late to re-define and re-order the country as it faced many challenges as a nation. Gowon stated this during the first session of the 11th synod of the Anglican Diocese of Owo, held at Saint Andrew's Anglican Church Uso in Owo local government area of Ondo State. Gowon said “In the search for a scapegoat to bear the blame of the multitude of challenges that confront the country however, many had opted to zero in on the hosting of the Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture (FESTAC) that took place in 1977” which his administration initiated . FESTAC 77, Gowon maintained, was neither to showcase idols nor promote idol worshiping in the country and should not be an excuse for the nation's malaise, noting that it was to showcase the rich cultural potential in the country and the entire black race, claiming ignorance of any contrary insinuation about it”.
Who knows how many evil spirits other countries dumped in Nigeria during and after the FESTAC? May be, some of those countries left their “good for nothing” spirits or gods behind in Nigeria after the festival! They must have been very happy to see where to dump their useless gods (which may have been helping in stifling Nigeria’s growth and development as a country since after the festival?) (lol).
On another occasion, Gowon told us why he allowed the three war commanders to hijack the control of the civil war from his hands, making it possible for Muritala Mohammed, Shuwa and Adekunle (the war commanders) to carry out genocide against Ndiigbo unperturbed, as nobody was there to call them to order. Gowon told Nigerians few days ago that he was only praying during the civil war (without taking charge of the war). No wonder! We just read how Gowon tasked President Jonathan to “Take Boko Haram's case to God, saying 'I did that with civil war'”. The Tribune of Monday, August 12, 2013, wrote that Gowon tasked President Goodluck Jonathan to take the case of Boko Haram insurgency in the country to God, adding that when faced with similar situation on Biafra, he consulted God in prayers before taking up arms against Biafra secessionists. The chairman and convener of Nigeria Pray made this disclosure in Sapele, Delta State, at the instance of the second synod of the Diocese of Sapele (Anglican Communion). The former Nigerian leader prescribed similar antidote to overcome Boko Haram and other terrorists hell-bent in capsizing the ship of the country. He urged Nigerians, especially Christians, to engage the fireworks of prayer and love to pull down the walls of terrorism”.
Gowon should know that praying without backing it up with action has led us to no where. He was praying while the war commanders and their men were busy slaughtering Igbo children and unarmed civilians while many Igbo women were raped and killed.
Irish Proverb says that “You’ve got to do your own growing, no matter how tall your grandfather was”. The recipe for peace and development of Nigeria is the regional system of government, where every region will contribute according to its ability, and will develop at its own pace, just in line with an Italian Proverbs that says “Let every fox take care of his own tail”. That was what the tenets of Aburi Accord were all about. The tenets were simply reverting Nigeria’s unitary system to regional system of government, but, Gowon, fronting for the Hausa-Fulani oligarchy then, rejected it in the dying minutes, and since then, Nigeria has never known anything called peace. No wonder that Thomas Paine (1737-1809), a US Founding father, wrote in his book, Rights of Man, that "Reason obeys itself, and ignorance does whatever is dictated to it". What Ojukwu wanted in Aburi can be summed in the words of a Latin Proverb that says “"Suum cuique" [To each his own, to each according to his merits]” As this writer summed it before: What we’re talking about here is the going back to the regional structure in place prior to 1966, where we had strong regions and weak centre. What we need now, in addition to the preceding point, are a national military, but, with strong regional commands; federal customs and immigrations; regional courts and police. The regions will then be funding the centre instead of the other way round (as it’s obtained now). All these will put away ethnic bickering and animosities, and will take away all the pressures on oil as the major foreign income earner. Prior to the exploration and exportation of oil, Nigeria boosted its foreign earnings through the export of wide arrays of cash crops, we should go back to them, and our soil can still grow them. With those cash crops before the exploration and exportation of oil in commercial quantity began, Nigeria achieved more development and helped its citizens the more than now. Even when oil alone is bringing in more money than all the cash crops combined did then, Nigerians are worse off now than then. Many of the landmarks that stood the test of time in Nigeria were built when Nigeria depended on agricultural products for export, and the citizens were happier and fulfilled then than now. There was then free education at all levels, Nigerians received free medical services, the infrastructure was at their best; paradoxically things are in the opposite now that we’re earning more money from oil.
Unfortunately, the leaders know what to do, but, they shy away from it. The President said on October 19, 2010, that any discussion about convening a Sovereign National Conference in Nigeria should be forgotten, noting it was "highly irrelevant and unnecessary at this time." The President stressed that what was needed was good and visionary leadership to move the country forward. In his words: "Any talk about a convergence of the different ethnic groups should have taken place after the amalgamation in 1914 by Lord Lugard, and not this time when we are four years away from celebrating our centenary (100 years) as a nation. I believe it is irrelevant at this time because we have a 1999 Constitution, and a National Assembly, that should make good laws to govern our country." This writer wonders why the president said it was a waste of time for Nigerians to be talking about convening a National Conference. This President is not getting it that the SNC issue would never go away, neither can anybody wish it away just like that. Nigerians want to discuss and determine the basis for their continued co-existence, and whether anybody likes it or not, there will be no peace and progress in Nigeria until this issue is resolved. This writer wrote in one of his articles “(Mr. President) SNC would have been un-necessary, if you're providing the visionary leadership you talked about, but, unfortunately you're far from that for now and things are not as they should have been in the country. The President took a vow (oath of office) to work for the upliftment of Nigeria and its peoples. Convening a sovereign national conference is an integral part of that job (for any president who wants to fix the problem called Nigeria). The Americans has predicted that if nothing is done to get things right; that Nigeria may disintegrate in 2015. President Goodluck Jonathan should know that if he misses this chance; if he fails to sort things out now, that a person from his south-south geo-political zone may never “smell” the presidency again after him. Power might revert to the north and may never leave there again”.
John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) once said that “The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were”. Ojukwu saw what was coming many years ahead. Those who called him names in the late 1960s, are now praising him for his foresight, just as Plato (429-347 BC) wrote that “Strange times are these in which we live when old and young are taught in falsehood's school. And the one man who dares to tell the truth is called at once a lunatic and fool." Ojukwu has become the reference point in Nigeria’s quest for solutions to its problems. Ndiigbo are right to say that “truth illuminates like the moon (Eziokwu n’agba ka onwa)”, concurring to an Inscription on the New York Public Library that reads “But above all things truth is victor”. Ojukwu has won at last!
When Ojukwu died, members of ethnic nationalities and groups from the North Central, South East and South-South geo-political zones of the country converged in Enugu to hold an all-night vigil. The coalition called Coalition of National and Organisations of Nigeria pooled over 3,000 of its members to attend the summit in Enugu and to pay a condolence visit to the family of late Igbo leader, Chief Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu. At Ojukwu’s house in Enugu, the president and leader of the coalition, who presented the mission of the group to Bianca, the widow of Ojukwu, regretted the degenerate state of the country, saying they are inspired by the way Ojukwu fought decades ago to institute an egalitarian society, a bid nipped in the bud by the non-realisation of the state of Biafra. The group’s president added that the coalition’s over 3,000 delegates from the three zones of the country were billed to hold an all-night vigil in Enugu during which they will deliberate on the state of the nation so as to tackle the current socio-political challenges facing the nation. The various speakers at the condolence visit, from where they went to the venue of the summit, referred to Ojukwu as their hero, just as many of them stated that it was regrettable that Ojukwu’s vision that led him to make a bid for the Biafran state could not materialize, yet the issues at that time have come to haunt the nation the more”. Speaking on that occasion, Dokubo-Asari recalled how many of his family members were killed and massacred for their support for Biafra. Dokubo-Asari said: “Today, if anything will stir me to fight, it is my belief that Biafra was right. When I was growing up, we were told a lot of things to hate Biafra. Maybe some of us were persuaded. But the more I grow up, the more I realize that it was the greatest mistake we made for not allowing Biafra to stand... You might not feel the pain that I feel, but if an Igbo man does not feel the pain that I feel, I am sorry for him. If an Urhobo man doesn’t feel the pain, I am sorry for him. What Ojukwu lived and died for, in the coming years, we will see it with our eyes because of the arrogance of a few people that were born to rule, and everybody accepts it. When you want to talk they say leave them alone. Why should I leave them? If you don’t bend your back, nobody will ride you. For the first time in history, the divide and rule tactics of those who have kept us down failed and the Igbo voted more for President Jonathan than the people of the South-South. Our gathering today is to bring the gathering of the dispossessed and oppressed people of the Middle Belt, Ndigbo people and the people of the Niger Delta together and we are going to move like a force. Let nobody be apologetic. What we want is political power. Political power is the key to our development and our dignity, and political power we must own come 2015”.
Unfortunately, it’s taking people such as Jerry Useni, Domkat Bali, Atom Kpera, Anthony Ochefu, Onoja and others from the middle belt, about 45 years to understand what the Aburi Accord wanted to achieve for Nigeria. That is after they were used and dumped by the Fulani. This column will also examine how some Ijaw, Ogoni and other south-south leaders have turned 180 degrees to sing Ojukwu’s praise, after they helped in killing the Biafran dream then. Before then, read how the United Middle Belt Youth Congress (UMBYC) bemoaned, by noting that “while it was disheartening enough that they were manipulated into a fratricidal war with the Igbo, the Hausa/Fulani 'were in Sokoto and Kano relaxing and watching the two of us kill each other.'”.
Read the whole article:
To be continued!
This writer felicitates with the family of Dr. Ben Onoh of Gensingen, Greater Mainz Area of Germany, on the baptism of their son, Master Obinna Onoh, this Sunday, August 18. Wishing them all God’s Blessings now and always! Most of all; may the Holy Spirit descend upon Obinna during the baptism. In Temple Chima Ubochi and Family, they will always have friends.
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
Continued from Part 9