Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Issues and Policies Debates In Nigerian Presidential Elections

Issues and Policies Debates In Nigerian Presidential Elections Written by Paul I. Adujie Esq. The Nigerian presidential election is scheduled for February 16, 2019 and today is July 2nd, 2018. There are therefore, barely six clear months before a major general election. Yet, Nigerian national issues which are exceedingly and glaringly urgent, are profoundly absent from the lips of the political leaders of the more than 60 registered political parties in Nigeria! There are many issues of concerns to me, just me, merely an individual or one person out of 180 million Nigerians! Yet, as I write this, Nigeria is in a continuing, seeming slow-motion Civil War in the North East of Nigeria, which is also known as the Boko Haram insurgency. This mindlessly violent Boko Haram insurgency has been festering and percolating for too many years. A second and perhaps now more virulent variant sort of insurgency, it is spreading across the whole nation. I am referring to the so-called Herdsmen’s and Farmers’ frequent clashes with its religious and ethnic trappings and colorations. Thirdly, amongst urgent challenges in national policies, is the continuing downward spiral of the Nigerian National Currency, the Naira. The Naira has in my life time withered like roses in the sun. The Naira, since September 30, 1986 has lost 720% in value, and as such, everything which is imported into Nigeria has become more expensive by a factor of the multiplication and division between our national currency and the American Dollar. Fourthly, there is mass unemployment in Nigeria. The unemployment rate is more than 60% among graduates of tertiary institutions with their National Youth Service Corps discharge certificate in hand. There is therefore plentiful, but idle human capital without requisite productive industrial capacity. To absorb these would be useful energies to innovate, create, make and add value to Nigerian lives! Essentially, Nigeria is currently an atmosphere of confluences and convergences of fundamental absences of ideas, poverty of ideas and deficits in all important spheres of human life. There is a dearth of public infrastructures. Roads and bridges are decrepit. Many airports in Nigeria have become relics of their former selves. A visit to most Nigerian airports induces, tears, and heartache from those who truly still love Nigeria. Mass transits and other forms of public transportation are non-existent nationwide. There is hardly a transportations system to speak of, throughout Nigeria. There are no trains or any other public transportation system(s) which are established, operated, supported or subsidized by municipal, state or federal authorities! There are no efforts to make the lives of the citizens more convenient or a little less painful. The lives of citizens are not valued at all. A majority of Nigerian highways are death traps. Nigerian Expressways are abandoned and neglected in disrepair. Nigerian roads and maintenance, repairs, remedial measures and care, cannot be mentioned in the same sentence! There are no maps or labels or signage announcing towns, populations, name of rivers and bridges or extent of distances calculated as there are no established distances landmarked as you travel highways and expressways! No pointers, no arrows, nothing! Electricity is still non-existent. Electricity in Nigeria is, at best, still uncertain, unpredictable and epileptic. Electricity is the engine-room of every individual and commercial entity undertaking production, and yet, electricity is still the most unreliable service in Nigeria. Is electricity not a topic for campaigns or electioneering in Nigeria? Then, there is the mother of all, of Nigeria’s challenges or problems. It is known as corruption! Corruption is the derailment-in-chief of all Nigerian private and public efforts, Nigeria’s ultimate national enemy, corruption is, it is still alive and well, corruption still has vigour, energy and capacity to decimate and debilitate Nigeria, and corrupt is doing so. Why then, is it, that, in the midst of all the above burning national issues, many policy issues, in the midst of all which currently ails Nigeria, these multitudes of issues, which requires urgent attention through debates, discussions, and then, policy formulations and implementation in connections with gapping national needs, needs that are, extremely urgent, and even dire. Why then, is the Nigerian political class, like Emperor Nero of Rome of yore, fiddling while Rome burns? As an example, let President Buhari and his political party the APC and its entire leadership tell us, Nigerians, the voters, what has been accomplished during these couple of years, during which President Buhari and the APC have been at the helms of Nigerian affairs. Thereafter, let President Buhari, the APC and supporters articulate national policy positions regarding the sundry issues raised above, (though number of national issues are not exhaustive) but articulate policy positions regarding the many issues facing Nigeria. Furthermore, even as we take the ruling political party to task, Nigerians similarly expect the other approximately 67 registered political parties in Nigeria, to espouse the programs and policies to the electorate; while explaining, in specific exactitudes, what policy forays these other different political parties and their crops of leaders will undertake on behalf of Nigerians, to make Nigeria a better place for all. Subsequent to such expositions, Nigerians will have the opportunity to compare and contrast, and be in a position to thoroughly scrutinize the different political leaders and their political parties to determine how such leaders, their parties, programs and policies differ from what Nigerians have witnessed in the preceding sixteen years of PDP, and, the current APC administration. In this way, Nigerians are able to determine that President Buhari may continue as he and his team are doing such an outstanding job of administering Nigeria (based on the facts). President Buhari should then be re-elected and permitted by the voters to continue into a second term in office as president of Nigeria. Or, alternatively, upon thoroughly scrutinizing the manifestoes of the current government and measuring such programs, policies and performance, the Nigerian voters may decide that another political party and its leadership deserve a try at the helms of Nigeria’s for the next four years on behalf of all Nigerians, also, again, based on the facts, without the usual extraneous factors of region of origin, religion and, or ethnic group. This alternative will therefore arise from a clear understanding by the Nigerian populace. In particular, the voters, , upon comparing and contrasting the mission statements of other competing political parties in Nigeria, that such other party as the Nigerian voters may so determine, is more suitable, ready and able to meet the totality of our current national aspirations. Such conclusions would be national issues and national interests driven. Unfortunately however, as the general elections draws nearer and closer, none of the over sixty political parties in Nigeria are engaged in issues driven campaigns or electioneering! The political class in Nigeria are presently conflating Nigerian national issues with the selfish and personal interests of some highly placed political office holders. Where the arrests of a couple of senators by security agencies, for offences, is turned into an imaginary national security issue upon which Nigeria’s democracy is dangling precariously. A majority of Nigerian political class are self-interested, egoistical and narcissistic, while being distracted or consumed by personal greed and self-aggrandizements and without a care for Nigerian national priorities. Nigerian political class have never demonstrated a care for the concerns the average Nigerian citizen. This is precisely why no member of the Nigerian political class is concerned with the Causes and Effects of mass migration by Nigerians into Libya, Spain, Italy and other European nations via the treacherous desserts and the Mediterranean Sea! Nigerian mass migrants flee the parlous and desperately hopeless human condition which Nigeria has become, and it is worsening! The current generation of the Nigerian political class is mindless and careless about the future of Nigeria and Nigerians! Otherwise, there would be vigorous debates, campaigns and electioneering on how to tackle corruption, mass unemployment, uncertain and unreliable electricity, absence of public infrastructures nationwide! If the current Nigerian political class care at all, there would be an urgent discussion on how to strengthen the Naira. The Naira, our now worse than useless national currency, which exchanges very poorly, and as a consequence, this makes importing a car, a computer or construction or farm equipment too expensive. If the Nigerian political class were alert, aware and awake to their responsibilities, they would be campaigning and proposing programs and policies to stem or even eliminate ethnic and religious frictions nationwide. Indeed, if Nigerian political leaders were normal and similar, in comparisons to their reasonable counterpart political leadership elsewhere, there will be urgent public debates and proposals programs and policies on how to tackle the Boko Haram scourge and other festering insurgencies in Nigeria, which are now becoming ‘normal’ Were there to be a real political leadership in Nigeria, there will be urgent debates, programs and policies being formulated on how to have stable electricity supply, the bane of Nigerian industrial development efforts. Only inane political leaders would expect foreign investments, research and development, in a nation without electricity. Only a naïve political class would be mouthing platitudes about Foreign Direct Investments as many airports are closed or in a state of disrepair, Makurdi, Port Harcourt, Benin Airports are quick examples. Nigeria is currently, sadly, ignoring and neglecting every aspect of Nigerian life which are critical. No nation can ignore and neglect investing in higher education, research and development, and then, hope for national progress and advancement. No nation can neglect investments in public infrastructures and expect magic in her economic growth. Yet, Nigeria is in the middle of, and at the cusp of a presidential election next February 16, 2019, but, no member of the political class, no one, is interested in campaigns, debates, discussions and electioneering about Nigeria’s extremely urgent national priorities and the way forward. It is so sad! All in all, Nigeria is a wonderful nation with so much abundance, Nigeria is bountiful and replete with opportunities for citizens and foreign investors alike. However, it is held hostage by an absent minded, vapidly corrupt and extremely greedy political class. The 2019 elections is a chance to chart the way forward for a better Nigeria. Nigerians must pay attention and take the political class to task!

Monday, July 2, 2018

Global Asylum and Refugee Crises; A Ticking Time Bomb!

Global Asylum and Refugee Crises; A Ticking Time Bomb! Written by Paul I. Adujie Esq. There is a burgeoning global refugee crises and it requires action from all nations of the world. It is critical and crucial that there be a robust and coordinated global response to the mass migration crises which is spiraling out of control in all corners of the earth. Global mass migration is causing restiveness on the part of those in mass migrations on the one hand and, on the other hand, aggressive or fierce resistance by the receiving communities across the world. African crises such as actual violent conflicts, economic and social dislocations are major factors motivating mass migration from the African axis. Then, in Asia, the many decades long war in Afghanistan and the arbitrary removals of Rohingya Muslims by the Myanmar government has caused the dislocation of some 600,000 persons in one fell, swoop. In the Middle East, the wars in Syria, Yemen, Iraq and the precarious human conditions which persists in Palestine, have combined to create an increase in the numbers of refugees and displaced persons in the Middle Eastern region part of the world. Similarly, in North America, particularly in the United States, the refugee and migrant crises are fueled by Latin and South American economic and political crises, with accompanying instabilities, which have culminated in the so-called “zero tolerance” asylum seekers and refugees policy by President Trump of the United States. The current migrant crises in Europe first got out of control in 2015, and garnered the world’s attention, when the number of desperate mass migrants trying to cross into Europe through the Mediterranean Sea reached two million persons, at which point, European nations acting through the European Union, sought to stem mass migration, particularly from the African continent, through arrangements or deals with Libya, Italy and Turkey, as European nations struggled to outsource mass migration crises. Since then, these actions targeting mass migration from Africa, have seen a dramatic reduction from two million persons in 2015 to approximately 43, 000 persons in the first quarter of 2018. Thousands of deaths through drowning at sea and frostbites have bedeviled these hapless African mass migrants. European nations are closing their national doors or borders to African mass migrants, whether the migrants are categorized as asylum seekers or refugees (economic or political)! European nations through combined efforts, have taken drastic measures, including refusal of berthing and landing rights to ships with multitudes of rescued mass migrants in death defying attempts to enter Europe. In recent times, Italy, Spain and Libya have engaged in blockades of ships bearing African migrants. The Aquarius with over 300 mass migrants, was denied and refused entry into Spain in June 2018. Consequently, The Aquarius lingered on the high seas for an extended period of time. Soon after the incident involving The Aquarius, there was another incident in which the global shipping company, Maersk rescued hundreds of mass migrants who were rescued on the high seas by Maersk a mercantile or commercial containers company, which was now stuck with the stranded migrants, as no European nation was willing to accept the rescued migrants who were now on Maersk ocean merchants ships or ocean going vessels. The government of the nation of Israel, has sought to deflect her African migrants challenge through outsourcing, Israel formulated a policy in which Israel would pay a willing East African nation to receive and house African migrants for five thousand dollars per person, irrespective of the African nation of origin of such Africa migrant. There is clearly a global migration crises, and consequently, various regions and nations have unfurled varied policies to eliminate or reduce the migrant crises. Some policies have ranged from the inhumane and cruel to extremely harsh. In effect, most nations are acting in complete disregard for human lives, dignity and even international laws and United Nations Conventions regarding asylum seekers and refugees. President Trump in this regard, recently emphatically stated that mass migrants to the United States should not be accorded The Rule of Law or Due Process! In all of these, and quite unfortunately so, there has been no public debate in African nations in connection with this global crises of asylum seekers and refugees. This is so, despite the fact that African mass migrants are a major component of this global crises. There are injustices, oppressions and inequality in their extreme on the African continent. There are plethora of human conditions on the African continent which makes millions of Africans seek health, wealth and happiness outside of Africa. There is mass unemployment amongst a large segment of the African population. In particular, mass unemployment is especially severe in African youths below the age of 30 years. There is absence and or dearth of public infrastructure. Democratic institutions are either completely absent or fragile in nations of African continent. There is abject and extreme poverty, and there are glaring inadequacies in the areas of The Rule of Law and Due Process. Legal systems are not solid and the judiciary is not as independent and autonomous as it should be. There is a poverty of ideas. In the circumstances, too many among the African youth feel, rightly or wrongly, more assured about sturdy systems outside the African continent. There are no certainties of reward or punishment guided by individual efforts. In Africa, it is the case that, all too often, there are no consequences for stupidity, and such an environment quickly leads to impunity in attitude, behaviors and actions. Most African governments are steeped in, entrenched and ensconced in corruption. They are also engaged in maladministration, bad governance, mismanaged economies, conflicts and social-political dislocations. These same African governments are surprisingly, the governments which are not debating, planning or formulating policies addressing the root causes of mass migration from African nations. What is worse, African governments are ignoring debates or policy formulations and implementations in order to prevent the consequences faced by citizens of these same African nations through miserable deaths inflicted on African citizens by a treacherous and unforgiving Mediterranean Sea and the newly refortified African migrant entries into Europe. Ignoring Causes and Effects of mass migrations by citizens of African nations is a clear illustration of African governments’ inability and or, unwillingness to protect and serve African citizens. It can even be said that the African governments’ inactions regarding mass migrations and attendant consequences, is the best indication of the null value which African nations seem to assign to African citizenship. A war torn Libya, with ragtag military and sundry opportunists in Libya, has resorted to what CNN’s Nima Elbagir has described as modern day slavery in which Libyans sell desperate West Africans to the highest bidders, and currently, the nomenclature of what stands for what can be called the government of today’s Libya, cages and quarantines thousands of Africans and treats African mass migrants worse than prisoners of war. The Libyan authorities have been unable or have been unwilling to prevent the current criminal enterprise involving human trafficking in which African mass migrants are the victims, as they are either killed like flies, raped and abused or sold, in auctions reminiscent of the slave trade of more than one hundred years ago! The leader of the government in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, a fervent supporter of rights of refugees and asylum seekers, has been compelled in recent times, as she is under domestic political pressure to shift her position. Her position now closely resembles and reflects the anti-refugees preferences of her local political opponents in Germany, and in fact, her government is barely holding on in a coalition partnership, as her political opponents, hitherto a minority or at the fringes of things, has gained prominence in the politics of Germany. Globally, the fortunes of asylum seekers and refugees have sunk, as conservative political leaders have assumed leadership of governments in the United States with the electoral victory of President Trump, and the election of ultra conservative candidates in Italy, and the upsurge of conservatives across Europe. The world is currently mired in mass migration crises, and no region is exempt. This global mass migration crises is becoming a ticking time bomb. The world is walking a tightrope towards a mass migration precipice or Armageddon. Africans mass migrants for several years, have borne the brunt of rejection by Europe. African mass migrants, asylum seekers and outright refugees are routinely denied entry in the Americas and Europe as well. Blunt discriminatory language or verbiage is often directed at African mass migrants, as they are denied, rejected and disparaged as economic refugees undeserving of being considered for asylum and refugee statuses. The United Nations recently reported how the EU in cooperation with Libya has led to 'unimaginable horrors' for African mass migrants “EU-backed agreements between Italy and Libya have reduced the number of migrants reaching EU shores. But the cost has been "unimaginable horrors," according to the UN human rights commissioner” The European Union's (EU) policy of helping Libyan authorities in detaining migrants has been "inhuman," UN human rights commissioner Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said on Tuesday. "The suffering of migrants detained in Libya is an outrage to the conscience of humanity." “UN inspectors had seen "unimaginable horrors" endured by nearly 20,000 migrants during visits to four migrant detention centers in Tripoli, Libya in early November the commissioner said. “Zeid added they had seen evidence of widespread torture, rape and forced labor. At one point, the inspectors saw "thousands of emaciated and traumatized men, women and children piled on top of each other, locked up in hangars with no access to the most basic necessities." Hundreds of migrants left in limbo in the Mediterranean “The fate of hundreds of migrants rescued from the Mediterranean is up in the air after they were again barred from landing on Europe's southern shores. Two ships, the Lifeline and the Alexander Maersk, are currently left in limbo in the Mediterranean” Consequently, there are feelings of conspiracy, collusion and connivance as harsh actions and maltreatment of mass migrants unfolds daily, openly and unapologetically. These mass migrants, are now subjected to extremely inhumane, brutal and horrible treatments, so much so, that these populations must not be blamed if they question why death and indignity has become their ultimate end or lives’ outcome. It is the case that there is so much affluence, wealth and opulence in the world. There are certainly enough resources to provide for the health, wealth and happiness of earth’s present human population of over 7 billion persons. After the Second World War, there was rescues for the economies of Europe by America, and it was known as the Marshall Plan, it helped to stimulate economies which were decimated by the war. Again, after the 2008 global economic meltdown, there were Economic-Financial Bailouts, which once more, stimulated certain economies. The African continent and the Southern Hemisphere, where the bulk of mass migration flows from were not included in the orbits of the Marshall Plan, and the Economic-Financial Bailouts already mentioned above. Reengineering and Resuscitating the economies of the Southern Hemisphere may be the surest and best policy or way out of the current global mass migration crises. These crises will not be wished away! Asylum seekers and refugees globally, are feeling forsaken and forgotten. Asylum seekers and Refugees are feeling abandoned and rejected at all entry points in America and Europe. Pronouncements by persons such as President Trump of the United States, the current Prime Minister of Italy, conservative politicians such Marie Le Pen of France, anti-immigrants movements across the world can only make matters worse! It doesn’t have to be this way. History or posterity will judge humanity harshly, as the extent of our human refinements is measured by our current asylum seekers and refugees who are essentially the underprivileged, the oppressed and the less fortunate persons in the global populations. As I write this, a boat, sank in the coasts of Libya, the boat is said to be old, rickety and poorly maintained and overloaded with 120 African mass migrants, 100 of them have been confirmed dead by Alazeera Television Network which showed videos of dead babies fished from the sunken boat! Another 100 African citizens dead in their efforts to flee from the hardships, sufferings, abject extreme poverty and sundry dire human conditions in Africa! And today June 30, 2018, it is being reported that the European Union have agreed to tighten asylum and refugee rules, even more! Asylum seekers and refugees are beleaguered and they need our help and support in their hour of need. The plights and predicaments of asylum seekers and refugees globally, is dire and precarious. The time to act is now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Health, Hygiene, Fitness & Nigerians

Health, Hygiene, Fitness & Nigerians Author: Paul I. Adujie | Good hygiene, physical fitness and good health should be seen as a matter of life and death. These are particularly more so for Nigerians and other Africans abroad as we tend to have very healthy appetite to indulgent levels. It is crucial that we are alert to the attendant perils of what and how much and when we eat. And bearing in mind that a great deal of the foods consumed by Nigerians nay Africans in the Diaspora are over-processed foods. Over-processed foods are frequently stripped of their natural roughage or fiber, those natural regularity inducing particles or elements in foods. Most foods abroad, unlike in Nigeria, are laden with artificial preservatives, and sweeteners in order to prolong food shelf-life through the rigors of manufacture, distribution, sale and kitchen table end journey with consumers. Food is plentiful and cheap in the Diaspora, at least in America. Foods are also gradually, but steadily, getting genetically engineered or modified as well; more care is needed in our consumption pattern. Even food items as simple as apples, peaches and pears, are often laden with and coated with an assortments and combinations of chemicals; from bee-wax to Alar, and as a result, discerning consumers must thoroughly was, even fresh fruits before ingesting them. Life abroad, is, or can be very sedentary. From riding escalators to elevators to the car to the train or public buses and airplanes etc. It is therefore a matter of a particular effort and discipline on all our parts to maintain physical fitness through regular exercise or physically vigorous activities. Fitness and good health in the circumstances should be actively sought after. Time is frequently unavailable to engage in extra curricular activities, after long hours of daily schlepping, which is what life in the Diaspora entails. Imagine then that Nigerians who are having to compete with myriad factors of life abroad, must then have to be alert to quality and quantity of foods which could induce adverse heart conditions. There are over-sweetened over-sugared foods in their abundance in America, and the sweeter the foods, the cheaper they tend to be too, and there is a correlation between sugar-added foods and the amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol such foods contain. Fattening foods are so cheap and available, whereas whole-foods or organic foods comes at premium prices. It is a double whamming for anyone who eats mounds of these sweetened foods, and then, worse, if such persons are averse to physical exertion, coupled with the relative ease of life in America without physical efforts requiring sweats or perspirations, the risks of fattening foods is therefore heightened by physical hassles-free life. Mental stress may result from adjustments to new life in a new land, but sweat generating muscle movement are frequently unnecessary around here. Considering all these aforementioned issues, it is of little surprise to me therefore, that a preponderance of Nigerians in America tend to almost invariably become overweight Nigerians at home and particularly abroad, need to be very attentive and become more particular about good health through consumption of good food and healthy serving size. We need to watch the quantity and types of foods that we pile on our plates. I am always amazed at the size of the mountain of food on some plates at Nigerian parties! Overeating is no favors to yourself. As a matter of fact, you should deliberately share your foods, that is a better favor to yourself, you will avoid unnecessary calories in the process. Engage in calories and fat avoidance program-policy, give some of your lunch to your colleague or friend or family or save some of it for the homeless guy at the train station, he will be glad to see you, on your way home from work! Nigerians need to be particular about good health through fitness, which in turn enhances longevity. We need a more physically active lifestyles. Enroll at gyms, we need to move; engage in long walks and whatever else it takes. Exercising can be fun. I thoroughly enjoy my exercise time, I create the fun out of it, by listening to my favorite songs. I take the chore out of my workouts by listening to songs that moves and uplift my heart and spirit. We need to pay detail attention to quality and quantity of foods we eat, this is the most delicate way for me to say that we need to eat less, no more gobbling. We should probably ease up on the oils, fats and salt, all of which are a source of and are contributing factors to why too many Nigerians in America have become super-sized and extra-large persons! As the cliché goes, we are certainly what we eat, and how much we eat! Nigerians abroad may need to consider changing some old social habits, such as eating of foods that can feed more than one person. We must unlearn eating late in the evening or at night and shortly before going to bed. It is advisable to eat last meal of the day before bedtime, several hours before night rest. The old advice of eating breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper remains a wise counsel. We must unlearn such aspects of our culture which suggests or presupposed a fat man to be a man who is living-well; we do not have to literarily live-large, that is not living-well at all, it instead, courting adverse heart events or even sudden death. There are old habit which are in dire need of changing, for instance, I recently came across a debate on the Internet by some Nigerians in which foul body odor was the culprit. And, the need to use deodorants and the necessity of shaving under-arm hairs or arm-pit hair that is. It is equally important to add other items such as shaving or waxing genital area hairs or pubic hairs, for it will give you, that smooth-all-over-cleanliness feeling! Men should shave their facial hairs daily, as a matter of course. But shave under-arm and between-thighs hairs weekly, or bi-monthly. We should cultivate the habit of using dental floss at minimum, once a day, it rids in-between teeth of food particles or residues which result is foul smell of some mouths, when food residues are allowed to reside for several hours or even overnight without flossing. Personal hygiene through dental floss and use of deodorants would get rid of unnecessary odors, which our friends, family and professional colleague will not have to endure any further. My late father used to tell us kids that it took a good, a true friend to mention your bad breathe to you, but, it is still, a delicate matter, even at that. Shaving or waxing unnecessary hairs in visible and in concealed regions of the body complete the body�s sweet smell efforts. Nigerian guys must lose the beer belly and the so-called love-handless and thick-back of neck; Nigerian women must trim down and lose weight before fussing about 100 percent human hair-extensions imported from China or is it Hong Kong! There is a need to be more physically active, for instance, by joining gymnasiums, by participating in physical exertions and sundry physicality. Regular long walks with your spouse, girl or boy friend, would suffice. It may actually lead to closer familial relationships amongst our people. In the interest of our good health and physical fitness, we must exercise and be active. Just move! Regular exercise is a proven and reliable fountain of youth, without ingestion of chemicals, botulism or some other concoctions. Regular exercise has been established as capable of regenerating brain cells, for better memory and sharper mental focus. You will feel a better mental attitude, and people around you would notice the difference in your uplift. Regular exercise has spectacular benefits that are at once tangible and intangible as well. Regular exercise cure for lethargic morning awakenings, and it can reduce our feel of fatigue considerably. It has enhanced my physical and mental endurance or stamina; reduces stress and anxiety of modern day work and life. Regular exercise has cured some persons of irritability and even insomnia. Regular vigorous exercise regimen can improve your sex life, with prolonged foreplay, and stems premature ejaculations. Winter is not my favorite season of the four seasons, but, I have been able to reduce my winter-blues or through regular exercise. I lost 40 pounds and moved from my size 40inches to size 36inches trouser waist requiring the re-tailoring or refitting of most of my wardrobe. I have a permanent better mood. But of course, I mind what I eat, it is a lifestyle change and work in progress! We must eat less. Eat better quality foods, eat less fats, use less salt and oils. We must eat more fruits and consume more vegetables. And when possible, eat less of over-processed foods, and avoid junk foods like the plague! I personally favor foods from the earth, whole foods, whole grains and prefer fresh over their refrigerated cousins etc Personally, I make deliberate efforts at avoiding or excluding certain staples and condiments such as cheese, butter, mayonnaise, sugar, I let the fruits and vegetables in my salad do the flavoring of my salads, no salad dressings or creams for me. I might use a tinge of extra virgin olive oil; I eat spinach steamed, no cream. When I eat cereal at all, I use banana, or strawberry or some other fruit to season instead of using sugar. We may not become vainglorious or become anorexic, but, we must watch our weights, size and body mass. Fitness and good health is amply helped by good personal hygiene, fitness and good health is a matter of life or death. Here is to fitness and good health! Our lives and our longevity depend on these! Written by Paul I. Adujie Paul I. Adujie is a Nigerian lawyer resident in New York, United States and a member of the International Bar Association

Grieving in Gaza and Jubilations in Jerusalem! Are Palestinian Lives Worthless?

Grieving in Gaza and Jubilation in Jerusalem! Are Palestinian Lives Worthless? Written by Paul I. Adujie Esq. Palestinians are being slaughtered like birds by the Israeli military. Israeli military occupation has been captured on video as gleefully using Palestinians for target practice as sitting ducks! Our collective humanity is being demeaned and devalued daily with the unchecked murders of Palestinians by the Israelis. The world appears to have made peace with the unsanctioned and uncensored murders of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers as the United States enjoys and basks in scuttling every effort to check Israeli military excesses, extra judicial killings and war crimes. In effect, efforts at the United Nations and elsewhere to restrain Israel have been blocked by American vetoes. On May 14, 2018 over 60 Palestinians were killed by Israel in one day - these Palestinians were civilians without guns! What other nation on earth would kill 60 civilians engaged in peaceful protests and no eyebrows are raised? But, a slap on the wrist as always, is what Israel gets? Palestinian lives are taken as valueless, worthless and meaningless, while President Trump, as the rabble rouser in-chief, has now added accelerants to a raging inferno with his relocation of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. Last month, Israel also killed 31 Palestinians and the world prevaricated. The United Nations toothless wimpy bulldog could not even establish a Committee to investigate the unwarranted killings of Palestinians! In 2014, according to the United Nations, Israel killed 2,104 Palestinians but the Palestinian leaders put the killing at over 2,500 Palestinians and the world has looked on impishly and sheepishly. At the United Nations and elsewhere, the current mantra is clearly that power or might is right. As such, Israel is allowed to constantly use its Sledge hammer to kill mosquitoes, with winks and nods from America and some other Western powers. There is also the elaborate handwringing, such as when the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Tuesday May 15, 2018, gave a convoluted public statement in which, in a tongue twisted process, she blamed the killing of 60 unarmed Palestinians on Palestinian political troublemaking! The world is however aware that, it is the case that, if any nation on earth kills 60 British citizens in one day, if any nation kills 60 Americans in one day, or if any nation kills 60 Israeli in one day, these Nations will invade such a Nation with full scale war and occupation. Yet, Israel routinely , repeatedly and incessantly kills Palestinians in record numbers without any consequences or accountability! Israel has created systems of endless sufferings and dehumanization which have been described by former President Jimmy Carter of the United States, as apartheid ; the walls of separations erected in order to segregate Israelis from Palestinians into separate communities. Israel has been operating an apartheid system which is similar to what obtained in South Africa during its apartheid years, with natives confined to Bantustans, Soweto and other dehumanizing shanties. Israel has maintained a trenchant, obstinate and obdurate stance because America supports Israel's illogical and illegal behavior. This is despite criticisms from the United Nations over Israel's occupation of Palestinian territories and the unabated continued expansions and economic, territorial, political, complete usurpation of Palestine's sovereignty. Israel repeatedly annexes lands in Palestine, with illegal expansions in complete disregard of the timid and tepid United Nations resolutions and nary condemnations which have become worse than useless platitudinous inanities! Israel has acquired illegal territories upon illegal territories, lands recognized by International law as properties of Palestine in a would be, should be, two-nations solution between Palestine and Israel, the predicate for lasting ,enduring peace between the two peoples. Israel has amassed Palestinian lands through arbitrary military actions and illegal confiscations. Israel now also has Jerusalem as conferred on it by the king of the jungle, President Donald Trump of America! Why will Israel listen to anyone or negotiate with Palestinians? Israel has through a pyrrhic victory, conferred on itself Palestinian land and the award of Jerusalem as its potentate capital as declared by Mr. Donald Trump! Why would Israel be humble or negotiate peace with Palestine? Israel has all it wants and all the aces! Mr. Donald Trump has given Israel a poison chalice and temporary peace, a toxic peace, an acidic victory! The current status between Palestine and Israel is contrary to logic, common sense, International law and internal order. Endless conflicts or recurring wars between Palestine and Israel are being essentially guaranteed, with the current stalemate, in which Israel has been given all she wants through the backdoor, and at the expense of Palestine, with the unreasonable expectation that Palestinians should accept these injustices as a fait accompli. Should the Palestinians just smile and bear their fate at the hands of Israel while the world looks askance and helpless? In the meantime, and in the middle of all of these, Saudi Arabia is more interested in wars of attrition against fellow Arabs and Persians, in Yemen, and Syria. I wish that the Arabs and Persians would unite with one voice in advocating Sovereignty and National Independence for Palestine. The time is now - Palestine, the Arabs, Persians and others worldwide do not need the United Nations , United States or Israel's permission to declare Palestine a free independent nation! Tenants have the right to exist. Tenants must recognize and respect a landlord's identical rights as well and they may not act in diminution of the landlord's identical rights. So much for the rights of rights and interests of the tenants, let's also consider the rights of the landlords! He who comes to equity must come with clean hands. This is a legal mantra and maxim! Email at : Please Google these related articles on the checkered history between Palestine and Israel : 1. Israel is an Outlaw and Lawless Nation by Paul I. Adujie Esq. 2. Palestinian Lives Are Meaningless & Valueless? 3. Palestine Nationhood Imperative As Israel Meets the World 4. Israel in Lawlessness, Defies the World, Murders Innocent Humanitarians 5. Iran Regime Change, Invasion, Occupation and Re-colonization Is Imminent?

Saturday, October 14, 2017

The Calls for Restructuring: Cacophonies of Complete Confusion?

The calls for Restructuring: Cacophonies of Complete Confusion? Written by Paul I. Adujie Esq. What is the purpose of the Nigerian National Assembly? Should it be dismantled as irrelevant? Should Nigeria constitute a parallel law making body? If so, how will its members be selected? These are the vexing questions which, begging for attention and answers, these are the elephants in the room being ignore since the onset of the National Conference and Restructuring noise-making in Nigeria! At first, it was the so-called Sovereign National Convention, then the National Political Confab and now, the mother of all jaw-jaws : the Restructuring or True Federalism Conference during the tenure of President Olusegun Obasanjo and President Goodluck Jonathan respectively. These litanies of debates, real and proposed, quite often have different definitions or meanings, and too often, these multiple definitions are replete with negative-common-denominators among Nigerians; negative-common-denominators ranging from region or states of origins, religions, ethnic and linguistic divide. Nigerians from the Southern parts often hinge these loosely defined and loosely understood schemas on Resource Control acting as prodigal sons of Nigeria; while Nigerians from the Northern parts argue for the retention of national power structure, which is determined by their Southern counterparts as lopsided. In the past, I have written reactions to these National Debates in which I argued that Nigerians from both sides of these debates ought to focus on making the National Assembly serve its purpose. The purpose of the National Assembly is to make and amend laws, including the fundamental laws of the land, the Nigerian Constitution. All those who are seeking a parallel organ which would make laws for Nigeria, in order for restructuring to take proper effect, seem to be talking over the heads of the very existence of the National Assembly! We might as well be asking for the National Assembly to be dismantled! The Sovereign National Conference and now, Restructuring have become cannon fodder, monumental distractions and a potpourri of deceit by the most corrupt, inept and inefficient politicians and public officials in Nigeria. Whereas, corruption is an existential threat to Nigeria, and tackling and decimation of corruption should be job number one. Those who should be focused on tackling or solving local, state, and national issues such as mass unemployment and the dearth, neglect and abandonment of public infrastructure, now hide in these nary debates as excuses for their absence of plans and passion for public service. States and Local or Municipal authorities which are headed by completely inept politicians and public officials, who neglect to perform basic governmental functions or tasks, such as garbage removal, sanitation, traffic controls, drainage and other elemental forms of government in the village and town levels, blame their monumental failures on the structure of Nigeria. Clearly, the current structure of Nigeria cannot be the reason why Nigeria has slipped into complete national dysfunction and regression. It cannot be that, the only time systems in Nigeria will be effective and efficient is when every ethnic group has a nation named after it! It is the case that within the 36 federating states and Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria, many of these localities have distinct ethnic, religious, cultural and linguistic groups. Taking the argument to its logical or sequential conclusion therefore, we may extrapolate that a state must be created for the Urhobo, the Itsekiri, Isoko, Ndokwa and the Ijaw in the current Delta state and, separate states created for the Etsako, Bini, Esan, Owan etc in the current Edo state. Differences in languages, religions or cultures are certainly not the reasons why Nigerians are unproductive, inefficient and corrupt. If these were the predicates, then, how is it that America is a nation where productivity, efficiency and transparency are watchwords, despite her diversity? Following this line of argument, the Nigerian military would never win a war as it would lack cohesion, absent similarities in our national variables of languages, regions, and religions as is being conversed and canvassed! Perhaps the reason for Nigeria’s poor performance at a majority of International sports events; is the absence of linguistic, regional and religious similarities? But, could it be as a result of neglect of the sports subsector of the Nigerian national life? Serious competitors train daily and often with state of the arts equipment, dedicated athletes, coaches and administrators, with governments willing and able to make needful investments in sports development, long term, no ad hoc basis, not when it is three months before the Olympics or World Cup, as every Nigerian government has always done! Many states in the Northern parts of Nigeria, must also have colonies of states created for Hausa, Fulani in the current Borno, Kano and Sokoto states etc. Similarly, separate states must be created in the current Benue state in order that distinct colonies could be formed for the Tiv, Idoma and Igala respectively! I do not want war in Nigeria. I do not want war between Nigerians as a consequence or resultant effect of religious, ethnic or regional differences. But, all too often, our National debates are subsumed by undertones of these multiple variables which I have previously termed negative-common-denominators. Our national narratives have been hijacked by an unstated “Us versus Them”. In my opinion, nothing is wrong with Nigeria or Nigerians, but, perhaps our political class need to move, therefore, if I were interested in any wars, the war which really interests me is a class war! This is because I am thoroughly familiar with the fact that the needs of the average Nigerian citizen are essentially the same, regardless of regions, religions and languages. A plurality of Nigerian citizens are interested in every strata or level of the Nigerian government finding solutions to national security emergencies such as unemployment, inflation, power failure, terrible/deplorable road networks in Nigeria, absence of potable drinking water other than sachets and bottled water. How can anyone, how does anyone maintain personal hygiene without water from waterworks? Nationwide, the ubiquitous Mai Ruwa have become substitutes for Water Board or Public Water Works of old, these are all evidences of regressions in every sector of our nation. There is currently no Nigerian political subdivision, with reliable or modern waterworks, and there is currently no political subdivision in Nigeria with steady electricity. There is currently no political subdivision in Nigeria where there is a decent hospital with adequate resources and state of the arts equipment, hence the rush by Nigerians to medical tourism to India, Germany, Dubai, America etc. There is no political subdivision in Nigeria, North or South which makes me proud by its stellar performance or achievements in any sector whatsoever! So, what are we talking about? Someone should inform me of any governor in the 36 Federating states in Nigeria, who does not have excessive numbers of Prado or similar luxury Sports Utility Vehicles in their regular convoys. It is the case that the Nigerian political class are by their salaries, allowances, and spending on themselves, are identical and similarly impervious to the human conditions in their terrain, nothing to do with North or South! Abject and extreme poverty in Nigeria appears not to concern the Nigerian political class, regardless of the region, state, language, religion, or even political party of affiliation. Each Nigerian political party seems populated by men, mostly men; and women, who are self-interested, self-absorbed persons, who have no core political ideology or philosophy, and could never explain their manifesto coherently! Most members of Nigerian political parties were former members of the ‘other’ political party! Party membership is simply a matter of unbridled opportunism and voyeurism, no principles! Why the camouflage and façade of religion, region and language? The Nigerian political class should wrap themselves in our National flag, and not religion, region or language. Nigerian citizens all yearn for the same things, and desperately so. Give Nigerians clean water, good roads, good hospitals, good airports, good railroads and waterways. The Nigerian political class should keep their primordial shenanigans to themselves. They should keep their religions and their parochial chauvinism to themselves instead of injecting those negative-common-denominators into the polity, to foster discords, anarchies, wars and even possible disintegration! Restructuring debates amounts to wagging the dog distractions, or seeming to fiddle while our nation suffers, and fiddling, like Emperor Nero of ancient Rome, who was decadent, ineffectual and worse, engaged in silly distractions as Rome suffered catastrophic fire! Nigerians must demand and insist that the political class get to the urgent business of serving Nigerians and Nigeria. Google search: 1. Constitutional Amendments Are Better Than Conferences 2. Clamour for Sovereign National Conference 3. What Are the Functions of the National Assembly 4. National Conference Not A Panacea or Cure All

Friday, September 8, 2017

Constitutional Amendments Are Better Than National Conferences

Constitutional Amendments Are Better Than National Conferences By: Paul I. Adujie New York, USA June 19, 2003 I have watched the renewed debate in connection with the so-called National Conference with complete amazement and incredulity! I had assumed that the elections and the inaugurations that followed would end these political grandstanding and hot air, sound and furies that all amount to nothing of substance! Nigeria currently has Senators and House of Representative Members for all the states of our federation? Let them be the conferees! What is more representative and democratic than Nigeria's National Assembly already duly constituted? What section of the Nigerian constitution provides for SNC? Why will any Nigerian and any person for that matter think the National Assembly incapable of resolving Nigeria's political, economic, social or constitutional reform? What exactly then is their job description? Why do some Nigerians seem to think the so-called sovereign national conference is a panacea to the crises? I strongly believe that the way forward is Constitutional Reforms through Amendments this will be a reform of the rules and processes that could sustain our nation for 400 years or more, this as opposed the hogwash and slipshod of a national conference day-dream! A Sovereign National Conference is an ad-hoc measure, a stop-gap, that would not endure, its a band aid/bandage to a gaping wound, it will amount to a waste of time and resource and it will surely produce more anger and disaffection and hotel bills! Democratizing Nigeria requires hurrying slowly! Let us reform the constitution, the laws, the rules and processes and democracy will take firm roots! We should continue to oppose ad-hoc measures, including the fabled SNC! Because, Constitutional Amendments Are Better Than Political Conferences that will just satisfy a clique of Nigeria elite that have been demanding SNC. There has been a stampede and shrill shouting marathons orchestrated by the advocates of the so-called national conference (de facto) constitutional amendments as opposed to a (de jure) which is the preferred constitutional amendment that that they suggest, which is what an SNC will mean. The trouble is that, the advocates of national conference are so LOUD! Perhaps that is clear and is the reason that the presidency may yield to the pressure and blackmail? I hope that political expediencies do not act to subvert our constitution and our laws! Some Nigerians instead of making the system and process work and fine-tune itself, they rather engage in quick fixes and unnecessary tinkering! It is not clear that Mr. Obasanjo is now for the conference thing, I see what has been reported as mere speculation, but even if he does, it will probably be because of the shrill shouting that I referred to above, it will be a matter of regret! Should Mr. President be unyielding and defiant? Even when he is clearly right in resisting unconstitutional tinkering? When he is adamant? He is called names, when he is amenable or magnanimous? He is equally called names! Uneasy head lies the head that wears the crown? If Obasanjo continues to resist National Conference; some would say he is a dictator, If Obasanjo now say: let's all of NIgeria have a talk; some are saying he has an ulterior motive, What should Obasanjo do, and how can we now move Nigeria forward? Nigerians should let the system fine-tune itself, let the rule of law, rules and due process sort out the issues of the great Nigerian debate. Constitutional Amendments are much more preferable to ad hoc tinkering with the Nigerian structure. Constitutional Amendments will help to establish a well grounded democracy and help to sustain the system and individual rights, resource allocation, prevention of group domination by other group etc. No Fire Brigade tinkering please! The complete disregard to the rule of laws as mentioned has led Nigeria to the current state of affairs since during the last thirty years, Nigeria should not and cannot have Sovereign National Conference; that will take power away from the established Constitutional order, the SNC completely negates the constitution! We should not have National Conference, when the National Assembly can deliberate and make recommendations, the NASS can deliberate national issues, agree on them and make them into laws, this can only be done by the National Assembly not a so-called national conference or a mimic of the NASS! If the members of the proposed National Conference are not nominated by local communities and civil authority and instead elected, what modalities will be used to conduct elections, and who will fund such election? Will all these not amount to a duplication and waste of efforts? Especially in Nigeria where there are so many project competing for few available resources? Why should Nigeria create more rigmarole? The National Assembly is already assembled to tackle all national issues! Why can't the Nation Assembly be allowed to have the onerous tasks of dealing with structure of the country, the economy, constitutional amendments etc. Why would Nigerians after elections and inaugurations, now hire somebody else to do the job of the president and the national assembly? Is the marginalization of ethnic nationalities responsible for the fact that the last four years, the House of Assembly members of Enugu state were fighting? And in two factions? Ndigbo Assembly persons in Enugu were in factional fighting because of Hausa/Fulanis? Or Lord Lugard creation? Or resource control and marginalization? NO! It is political and the democratic process in teething or growing pains, the rule of law, due process and democracy are not fine-tuned in short-order, or overnight and the benefits are not derived is short gestations period! A National Conference is unconstitutional, the constitution does not provide for the duplication of NASS the people's representatives and the constitution is the supreme law of Nigeria, any other impositions will be extra legal and fraught with clear danger! All Nigerians should accept democracy and its rules and practices, and begin to lobby, write letters or visit their elected representatives and insist on accountability on the part of public officials and office holders at all levels of government. Demand everything through your elected persons, she or he represents your constituency and if you want a law made of changed or reformed or you want the Nigerian constitution amended? AHA! Talk to your elected representatives, that is, your Councilor, Local Government Chairman, your Senator, House of Rep member, your Governor and our president! Do not truncate the system! Reform it, Nurture if! Nigeria is not a one party state and will not become one under a democracy, Nigerians are too impatient for that sort of thing! In a country where everyone wants to be a president or governor etc.? What will happen to the thirty different political parties that are just several months old? Fizzle out so fast? In OBJ's next four years? You guys are presuming that OBJ will succeed himself? Nigeria has already had our "Federalist Conference" Our constitutional Conferences and Constitutional Assemblies Nigeria must now fine-tune the constitutional that arose from those previous constitutional/national conferences, amend our constitution as necessary. Some Nigerians exhibit incredible impatience, it is the source of most of Nigeria's challenges, it has always been and it still is, even now! What is the job of our elected representative in the National Assembly? To get car loans? Furniture Loans? Stay in the best quarters in Apo Village at Abuja? Fight the President? Why can’t some Nigerians let our elected representatives (Senators and House of Reps members) amend the constitution as need arise? All Nigerians should reject ANY attempt to appoint anyone on our behalf for a national conference! Nigerians should prefer the elected ones, even if the elections were imperfect! Let all Nigerians say no to ad hoc! And say no to any tinkering with our country present and future. Nigeria's current National Assembly already hold National Conferences every time that they assembly to conduct Nigeria's national business, on all our behave everyday in Abuja, when they meet to discuss Nigeria's national interests, contrary to what some now say, Nigeria was not concocted in hell, Nigeria was ordained in Heaven and THE TASK TO KEEP NIGERIA ONE IS A TASK THAT HAS BEEN DONE, ask the former President Gowon, many Nigerians made the ultimate and supreme sacrifice to preserve Nigeria, Nigeria is moving forward to a better, prosperous and greater nation, where no one is marginalized or left behind Keeping Nigeria One Is A Task That Has Been Done, It will not be undone! Nigeria's National Conference has been assembled and seating since May 29, 1999, the National Assembly is our institution that will endure and resolve our national issues, in cooperation with the other arms of government, there may be new elections and new inaugurations, the structure of Nigeria is the same and will remain so, In Sha Allah Paul I. Adujie is a Nigerian Lawyer and an Information Technology Professional

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Biafra Is Dead, Buried And No More!

Biafra Is Dead, Buried And No More! First Published or Posted on October 5, 2005 by Paul I. Adujie Esq. Exigent circumstances exist in Nigeria which make ethnic agitations possible or sustained. And so, Nigeria has had to contend with the collective nuisances of ethnic militia and their agitations, and sometimes, these agitations take on militant and violent tones, as with OPC, MASSOB and NVPF of Mujahideen Dukubo and others? I must state quickly that I have no preference for any ethnic chauvinists, whether they are ACF, MASSOB, OPC, Egbesu or whatever, so long as they pursue parochial interests that are not necessarily Nigeria’s national interests or consistent with Nigerian oneness. Nigerian causes have not been advanced or helped and will not be helped by ethnic chauvinists. Whether such chauvinists are Hausas, Ndiigbo or Yorubas and all the other ethnicities that are embedded in, and of which Nigeria is diversely comprised. According to Dr. Okenwa Nwosu in his article “Is Biafra Alive, Dead Or On Life Support?”, ‘Amongst the Igbo, therefore, Biafra continues to be a subject that readily elicits profound emotions despite the fact that the Civil War ended more than 35 years ago. On one end of the spectrum, we have those who are willing to bet their lives on the fact that Biafra lives and offers Ndiigbo a clear path to their redemption while on the other end, the Igbo political establishment operates with the mindset that Biafra belongs to history?’ Allow me to be the first to admit and acknowledge that the word Biafra is an emotion laden word. It conjures the best and the worst among disparate peoples. Biafra is a very delicate and sensitive word particularly among Ndiigbo, and that is understandable. I for instance, have repeatedly and publicly stated my raw emotion of about 38 years ago, when for the first time, I saw my father bawl and wail as if a child, as he notified and received the sorrowful news, a notification to the effect that Christopher, his second son, my brother, was killed by Nigerian Third Marine Commandoes at ‘Abagana Sector’ and until that day, I did not know that grown men cried, and if they did, it could not include my father, our family protector, our family fortress and my father, my family’s lord of stoicism. It remained a strong imprimatur in my indelible child mind, hence wars still elicit an almost automatic rejection response from me when people talk carelessly about needless wars that they seek to foist or impose on Nigeria? As an impressionable child, I saw the gory effects and horrors of war! I saw soldiers with guns and bayonets, I saw trailers and lorries hauling dead bodies or corpses, some part decomposed and dripping fetid body liquid of decay and decomposition of war dead, and I was deprived of so much, I was not allowed to play in nearby bushes as my parents feared and heard constant machine gun fire, sounds of which I can still recite precisely, they sounded tooooook, tooook-kaaaay, gaaaar, gaaaar, toooook, tooook, tooook, gaaaar, gaaaaar, gaaaar day and night, more so at evenings and nightfall All children of my neighborhood were forbidden from entering bushes and shrubs for fear of running into soldiers or weapons or booby-traps set between Biafra and Federal troops, but for us children, we all just wanted to play, but the frequency of bursts of machine gun fire usually drove home our parents’ concerns to us, sounds that I still recollect so clearly, it is scary! They do not know what the horror and barbarities of wars are like, and they do not know the magnitude of personal loss to families, the collateral damage, in today’s parlance and euphemism. And warmongers are unable to understand that war is senseless! War mongers are unable to reject the Clauswietzian mantra of war is pursuit of policy by other means. No, war is a horrible machinery and a most brutal instrument of failed policy, and warmongers are oblivious of ultimate sacrifices made by many, sacrifices that I do not wish even upon my enemy now. Regarding Nigeria, there have been this developing trend, a troubling trend, by some, some too young to know what the suffering was like, among the families like mine, who took no direct hit or felt the impact of the Biafra Nigerian war in a very personal, more than national sense! A developing trend whereby threats of war are issued as a means of nudging ahead important political negotiations or as means of fending off perennial marginalization, but war is not friendly. War is Horrible! It is horrible horrible! We must negotiate our future and Nigeria’s future without war, without the threat of war or promise of anarchy upon ourselves or anyone? We must negotiate smartly, even if we have to hold our noses! Even an imperfect peace is infinitely better than war! I have been equally troubled by this trend, just as Dr. Nwosu indicated in his very analytical article, as he described this seeming ambivalence amongst Ndiigbo, a feeling of to-be-or-not-to-be and a sort of crossroads feelings of not being entirely Nigerian and not being entirely Biafran! And this hesitation is a distraction and time consuming, I have myself wrestled with these and have wanted to make a public debate of it since and most recently, I was dissuaded from doing so, as I was told that I will promptly receive the hostile treatment meted out to Olisa H. Osita, just because he dared to be different and think outside the box perspective-wise, regarding Biafra and such other issues Ndiigbo. Just as I also worry that Ndiigbo has not started to tally presidential hopefuls and rally round a possible consensus candidate, despite the explanations or defense mounted by Chief Joe Achuzia, the Secretary-General of Ohaneze in his recent news briefing in preparation of this year’s Igbo Day Celebrations. Chief Achuzia suggests it is a matter of strategy, and that time is not yet ripe for Ndiigbo to announce a consensus candidate(s) but other political gladiators are already getting name recognitions, as they have already thrown their hats into the presidential bid ring. Chief Achuzia, of course, also mentioned another worry, what he described as ‘Part of our problems as Ndiigbo is the emphasis on individuality’ even as he urged unity and cohesion amongst Ndiigbo. It must be pointed out, that there are already dashes in the race for 2007, in leaps and bounds, hence, there should be no snoozing on the part of Ndiigbo, even now. My first draft of this article was several months ago, what motivated me then was an article by a Nigerian who referred to himself and adamantly stated his preference to be known, and described as a something he called Biafra! I have variously thought of this subject matter and title in different ways. Eventually, I refrained from completing and sending my first writing of this article for publication because I was dissuaded by another Nigerian who I had intimated of my frustrations with the Mr. Biafra and those with similar inclinations and mindsets as his. The advice that I got was that I should ignore the ranting which amounted to nothing instead of appear to give it more importance than it deserved. But ranting and raving got louder and even violent. But so much has transpired and changed since I received that advice, including the fact that a so-called Biafra Pound now circulates in Nigeria and most of West Africa! And there were some Nigerians of Igbo origin, who were celebrating the existence of the illegal and worthless Biafran Pound Sterling, some such celebrations were for pure nostalgia, while others, used it to perpetuate fraud upon the gullible and unsuspecting simpletons. Something that is worse has also occurred. MASSOB has ostentatiously announced its intentions to disrupt Nigeria’s Population Census formerly scheduled for November and even disrupt the dry-run by the Census Commission. MASSOB has also c hosen to identify with the Osama bin Ladin loving Mujaheedeen Dukubo, a Robbin Hood wannabe and a very violent version of it, at that! So handshake between Dukubo and Ojukwu! More and more pronouncements are being made by advocates and adherents of the dream or make-belief nation of Biafra. I know that I am now walking into the lion’s den or the equivalent of a snake pit, full of venomous vipers, but this must however be said and done in the interest of our national interests, our oneness, our benefit in unity and diversity in our collective Nigeria-ness, Ndiigbo genuine aspirations and that of all other ethnic groups of Nigeria, in Nigeria, are realizable within the confines of the potpourri of Nigeria’s wondrous diversities, without bullets flying or without firing any weapon. And without invoking or threatening mayhem and anarchy! The time has therefore come to speak up, time for those of us who believe in one indivisible Nigeria as sacrosanct, time for us to raise awareness and perhaps raise alarm as well, regarding the increasing specter of the spread of the phantom excitement thing that, is, the so-called Biafra! Some of us Nigerians are sadly consumed by dead and useless causes. I have been in rooms where people made incendiary statements like Nigeria should still not trust the Igbo because of the declaration of Biafra and the civil war that followed…and such discussants are quick to gloss over the antecedent grievances that led to or culminated in the Nigerian civil war… Biafra and now MASSOB, but those who harp on separation, of Ndiigbo as Biafra and away from Nigeria, give Ndiigbo’s detractors ample ammunitions, to classify Ndiigbo as non-Nigerians undeserving of presidential powers. A reading of the article “I am Biafra” is a symptom of the contradicting aspirations by some Nigerians! How else would anyone excuse, let alone explain the obvious ambivalence of some who would seek and should concentrate on producing the next president but are also engaging in the irritatingly futile efforts of clamoring for the moribund and long defunct and dead fabled republic of Biafra? What a useless exercise indeed? Why are some continually engaged in these self distracting exercise, which has done no good but defeat the main purpose? While at the same time busily offending every friend and well wishers? We cannot afford to be simplistic or be dismissive of feelings…raw feelings that existed….we all need to reconcile or to reconstruct and heal and we can neither fan embers of hatred, we cannot act as if we are not full citizens, even if that is what others wish that we feel. African Americans and Jews are good precedents for what I suggest here. These groups have been devalued and defined downwards, but these groups continue to define themselves and hold their heads high as full citizens of the world, with meaningful contributions to make to the world, Ndiigbo is similar. It is now time that all Nigerians say enough to these energy sapping and dissipating dispiritingly useless mutual suspicions, which only ensures a backward march for us as a collective and as a nation with purpose and for Nigeria as a nation that must advance to its destiny for greatness. In my opinion, those who continue to fan the sores and scars of events leading to the declaration of Biafra, and its demise, actually make life difficult for all Igbos, regardless of belief or support and non-belief and non-support of Biafra as it then was, and as it is now hoped. My father of blessed memory spoke Igbo Hausa and Yoruba and he like Azikiwe, IK Dairo and Aminu Kano and Fela and Enahoro believed in one united Nigeria and so do I, and so will I, until I die! I am an Igbo man, as I am a Hausa man and a Yoruba man! For I am Nigeria and Nigeria is me! We accept that Nigeria is complex, just as our families are and the world is. Even among Igbo families, there can be differences. Abum and Awum onye Igbo! And among the Igbos in my family, some actually claim superiority to the other Igbos! Because those from Nnewi in the former Anambra state are always accused and labeled as peripheral Igbos by my other family members from Oguta in the former Imo state, who shamelessly assert their authentic Igbo-ness, Ndi-Imo, which they insist is superior to the ‘adulterated’ Igbo-ness of Anambrarians, as poor Anambrarians are accused of being too close to the Bendel people of the lower, and across the Niger Bridge, possessing only flimsy claim to Igboland, but we all joke over this these days! It is a mini Nigeria when my family gathers! Where everyone is superior in our equality and equal-ness, we are all equal in my family as Nigerians are all equal, my family constantly argues, just as Nigerians at large argue about our place in Nigeria and our rights, duties, obligations and responsibilities of full citizenship, etc., and our competing and sometimes conflicting interests. As is often the case in multicultural and plural societies, Nigeria is no exception. A time will come when religion, region, ethnicities, such ancillaries and seeming extraneous prefixes are no longer major factors or determinants of political and economic outcomes in Nigeria. But unfortunately, Nigeria has not matured economically and politically as yet. Apparently some NIGERIANS never received the memorandum or e-mail? We are all God’s children, whatever ethnicities in Nigeria we may claim or belong, or have as our heritage. All Nigerians certainly need to be patient with other Nigerians! Nigeria is God’s and in so many ways, the story of my family, is the same as Nigeria’s. And this is the story of Nigeria… We are all God’s own and we are assuredly needing patience, with each other, so we can co-exist with all fellow Nigerians, just as all Nigerians reap the benefits of our Nigerian-ness, and unity of our national purpose….Forget Biafra, Biko! In the past I have written in a series of articles “Genuine Aspirations; Ndiigbo and 2007” again, “From Biafra to MASSOB What Do Ndiigbo Want?” expressed my desire and opinion in seeing a citizen of Ndiigbo become president come 2007, but now, it has become difficult to harp on such. Utterances and actions by those who should be marshalling and corralling others to the aforementioned presidential efforts are busily insulting everyone else with seemingly immature public discourse that has only inflamed national nerves I cannot fathom the logic or rational of those who are adamantly advocating a cause that is NOT coming to fruition even in a million years! We ought to pay more attention to what is attainable, reasonable and possible, as opposed to a dead dream, and the pursuit of this dead Biafra dream, some give weapons to those who would distract us, and detract from real and worthy goals. Ndiigbo ought to focus on what is really important. So much energy has been dissipated by those who ought to be working assiduously and most diligently in the attainment of the more worthy cause of full citizenship in our national scheme of things? Ndiigbo ought to be engrossed now, in earnest, plotting strategies and drawing graphs for 2007. There ought to a clear demand, an insistent demand for respect for the collective will of Ndiigbo as full citizens of Nigeria, within Nigeria, not outside of it. But what we have instead are some of our citizens who seem to be more interested in annoying the daylight out of would be supporters and well wishers in the more plausible cause, making one of our own, from Ndiigbo, president of Nigeria, for all Nigerians in 2007! This is what Ndiigbo need, from Biafra to MASSO B, Ndiigbo? Genuine Aspiration Within Nigeria!