Sunday, May 6, 2018


 This lengthy discussion between a Zambian and an American in a flight to Boston will lighten your spirit and agitate you.

Every Patriot in Africa should read this article; penned by US-based Zambian media practitioner and author. He is a PhD candidate with a B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism, and an M.A. in History.

They call the Third World the lazy man’s purview; the sluggishly slothful and languorous prefecture. 

In this realm people are sleepy, dreamy, torpid, lethargic, and therefore indigent—totally penniless, needy, destitute, poverty-stricken, disfavored and impoverished. In this demesne, as they call it, there are hardly any discoveries, inventions, and innovations. 

Africa is the trailblazer. Some still call it “the dark continent” for the light that flickers under the tunnel is not that of hope, but an approaching train. 

And because countless keep waiting in the way of the train, millions die and many more remain decapitated by the day.

“It’s amazing how you all sit there and watch yourselves die,” the man next to me said. “Get up and do something about it.

When I first discovered I was going to spend my New Year’s Eve next to him on a non-stop JetBlue flight from Los Angeles to Boston I was angst-ridden. 

I associate marble-shaven Caucasians with iconoclastic skin-heads, most of who are racist.

“My name is Walter,” he extended his hand as soon as I settled in my seat.

I told him mine with a precautious smile.

“Where are you from?” he asked.


“Zambia!” he exclaimed, “Kaunda’s country.”

“Yes,” I said, “Now Sata’s.”

“But of course,” he responded. “You just elected King Cobra as your president.”

My face lit up at the mention of Sata’s moniker. Walter smiled and in those cold eyes I saw an amenable fellow, one of those American highbrows who shuttle between Africa and the U.S.

“I spent three years in Zambia in the 1980s,” he continued. “I wined and dined with Luke Mwananshiku, Willa Mungomba, Dr. Siteke Mwale, and many other highly intelligent Zambians.” He lowered his voice. “I was part of the IMF group that came to rip you guys off.” He smirked. “Your government put me in a million dollar mansion overlooking a shanty called Kalingalinga. 

From my patio I saw it all—the rich and the poor, the ailing, the dead, and the healthy.”

“Are you still with the IMF?” I asked.

“I have since moved to yet another group with similar intentions. 

In the next few months my colleagues and I will be in Kenya to hypnotize the Raisi 

I work for the broker that has acquired a chunk of your debt. Your government owes not the World Bank, but us millions of dollars. 

We’ll be in Lusaka to offer your president a couple of millions and fly back with a check twenty times greater.”

“No, you won’t,” I said. “King Cobra is incorruptible. He is …”

He was laughing. “Says who? Give me an African president, just one, who has not fallen for the carrot and stick.”

Quett Masire’s name popped up.

“Oh, him, well, we never got to him because he turned down the IMF and the World Bank. 

It was perhaps the smartest thing for him to do.”

At midnight we were airborne. 

The captain wished us a happy 2015 and urged us to watch the fireworks across Los Angeles.

“Isn’t that beautiful,” Walter said looking down.

From my middle seat, I took a glance and nodded admirably.

“That’s white man’s country,” he said. “We came here on Mayflower and turned Indian land into a paradise and now the most powerful nation on earth. 

We discovered the bulb, and built this aircraft to fly us to pleasure resorts like Lake Zambia or lake Kenya .

I grinned. “There is no Lake Zambia or lake Kenya 

He curled his lips into a smug smile. “That’s what we call your countries . You guys are as stagnant as the water in the lake. 

We come in with our large boats and fish your minerals and your wildlife and leave morsels—crumbs. That’s your staple food, crumbs. 

That corn-meal you eat, that’s crumbs, the small Tilapia fish you call Kapenta/omena are crumbs. 

We the Bwanas (whites) take the cat fish. 

I am the "Bwana" and you are the "mtu".

I get what I want and you get what you deserve, crumbs. 

That’s what lazy people get—Zambians, Kenyans, other Africans and the entire Third World.”

The smile vanished from my face.

“I see you are getting pissed off,” Walter said and lowered his voice. 

“You are thinking this Bwana is a racist. 

That’s how most Zambians & Kenyans respond when I tell them the truth. 

They go ballistic. 

Okay. Let’s for a moment put our skin pigmentations, this black and white crap, aside. 

Tell me, my friend, what is the difference between you and me?”

I said 

"There’s no difference.”

“Absolutely none,” he exclaimed. “Scientists in the Human Genome Project have proved that. It took them thirteen years to determine the complete sequence of the three billion DNA subunits. 

After they were all done it was clear that 99.9% nucleotide bases were exactly the same in you and me. 

We are the same people. All white, Asian, Latino, and black people on this aircraft are the same.”

I gladly nodded.

“And yet I feel superior,” he smiled fatalistically. “Every white person on this plane feels superior to a black person. 

The white guy who picks up garbage, the homeless white trash on drugs, feels superior to you no matter his status or education. 

I can pick up a nincompoop from the New York streets, clean him up, and take him to Lusaka and you all be crowding around him chanting muzungu, muzungu and yet he’s a riffraff. 

Tell me why my angry friend.”

For a moment I was wordless.

“Please don’t blame it on slavery like the African Americans do or colonialism, or some psychological impact or some kind of stigmatization. 

And don’t give me the brainwash poppycock. Give me a better answer.”

I was thinking.

He continued. “Excuse what I am about to say. Please do not take offense.”

I felt a slap of blood rush to my head and prepared for the worst.

“You my friend flying with me and all your kind are lazy,” he said. “When you rest your head on the pillow you don’t dream big. 

You and other so-called African intellectuals are lazy, each one of you only going for leadership;  just to fill their own stomach and steal from the poor.

It is you and not those poor starving people, who are the reason Africa is in such a deplorable state.”

“That’s not a nice thing to say,” I protested.

He was implacable. “Oh yes it is and I will say it again, you are lazy in your minds.

Poor and uneducated Africans are the most hardworking people on earth. I saw them in the Lusaka markets and on the street of Nairobi selling merchandise. I saw them in villages toiling away. 

I saw women on Kafue Road crushing stones to sell and I wept. I said to myself where are the Zambian intellectuals? And in kenya l saw women as bricklayers. Where are these intellectual men?

Are the Zambian or Kenyans engineers so imperceptive they cannot invent a simple stone crusher or a simple water filter to purify well water for those poor villagers? Or sort out the drainage system to make Biogas or rivers  purification systems.

Are you telling me that after thirty-seven years  or more of independence your university school of engineering has not produced a scientist or an engineer who can make simple small machines for mass use? 

What is the school there for?”

I held my breath.

“Do you know where I found your intellectuals? They were in bars quaffing. 

I saw with my own eyes a bunch of alcoholic graduates. Calling themselves policy makers

Zambian, Kenyans , other African intellectuals work from eight to five and spend the evening drinking. We don’t. We reserve the evening for brainstorming.”

He looked me in the eye.

“And you flying to Boston and all of you Africans in the Diaspora are just as lazy and apathetic to their country.

You don’t care about your country and yet your very own parents, brothers and sisters live there.

Many have died or are dying of neglect by you as democratic government .

They are dying of AIDS because you cannot come up with your own preventive measures. Too much immorality.

You are here calling yourselves graduates, researchers and scientists and are fast at articulating your credentials once asked—oh, I have a PhD in this and that, so what? 

What next? Handouts from IMF? Then repay? 

I was deflated.

“Wake up you all!” he exclaimed, attracting the attention of nearby passengers. “You should be busy lifting ideas, formulae, recipes and diagrams from American manufacturing factories and sending them to your own factories. 

All those dissertation papers you compile should be your country’s treasure. Why do you think the Asians are a force to reckon with? They stole our ideas and turned them into their own. Look at Japan, China, India, just look at them.”

He paused. “The Bwana has spoken,” he said and grinned. 

“As long as you are dependent on my plane, I shall feel superior and you my friend shall remain inferior, how about that? 

The Chinese, Japanese, Indians, even Latinos are a notch better. 

You Africans are at the bottom of the totem pole.”

He tempered his voice. “Get over this white skin syndrome and begin to feel confident. 

Become innovative and make your  own stuff for God’s sake.”

At 8 a.m. the plane touched down at Boston’s Logan International Airport. Walter reached for my hand.

“I know I was too strong, but I don’t give a damn. I have been to Zambia , Kenya , other African countries and have seen too much poverty.” 

He pulled out a piece of paper and scribbled something. “Here, read this. It was written by a friend.”

He had written only the title: “Lords of Poverty.” 

Thunderstruck, I had a sinking feeling. 

I watched Walter walk through the airport doors to a waiting car. He had left a huge dust devil twirling in my mind, stirring 

I remembered some who have since passed—how they got the highest grades in mathematics and the sciences and attained the highest education on the planet. 

They had been to Harvard, Oxford, Yale, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), only to leave us with not a single invention or discovery.

I knew some by name and drunk with them at the Lusaka Playhouse and intercontinental hotel, safari park  Kenya and Central Sports in Lusaka 

Walter is right. It is true that since independence we have failed to nurture creativity and collective orientations. 

We as a nation lack a workhorse mentality and behave like 13 million civil servants dependent on a government pay cheque. 

We believe that development is generated 8-to-5 behind a desk wearing a tie with our degrees hanging on the wall. 

Such a working environment does not offer the opportunity for fellowship, the excitement of competition, and the spectacle of innovative rituals.

But the intelligentsia is not solely or even mainly, to blame. 

The larger failure is due to political circumstances.

Knowing well that King Cobra , Kenyatta, and others will not embody innovation at Walter’s level let’s begin to look for a technologically active-positive leader who can succeed them after a term or two. 

That way we can make our own stone crushers, water filters, water pumps, razor blades and harvesters or dig our own boreholes without IMF being involved.

Let’s dream big and make tractors, cars and planes, 

or like Walter said, forever remain inferior...

A fundamental transformation of our country from what is essentially non-innovative to a strategic superior African country requires a bold risk-taking educated leader with a triumphalist attitude and we have one in YOU. 

Don’t be highly strung and feel insulted by Walter. It is like shooting the messenger.

Take a moment and think about our country. 

Our journey from 1963 has been marked by tears. It has been an emotionally overwhelming experience. 

Each one of us has lost a loved one to poverty, hunger, and disease. 

The number of graves is catching up with the population. 

It’s time to change our political culture. It’s time for Zambian, Kenyans, Nigerians and other Africans intellectuals to cultivate an active-positive progressive movement thath will change our lives forever. 

Don’t be afraid or dispirited, rise to the challenge and salvage the remaining.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

'KILLINGS OF CHRISTIANS ARE LIES' ...Buhari tells the world


Trump was misinformed about killings in Nigeria, says Buhari

Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Washington DC
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that President Donald Trump of the United States of America was given wrong information on recent killings in Nigeria, describing those behind the report as ‘mischief-makers’.
According to President Buhari, the information that Christians were being killed in Nigeria was untrue as similar incident that happened in the Benue Church, where two priests lost their lives, also happened in the South East and the North, where the herdsmen were alleged to have been behind the killings.
President Buhari disclosed this when he granted interview to Aliyu Mustapha Sokoto of the Voice of America (VOA), Hausa Service, in Washington DC.
The President, who began by saying his engagements with his American counterpart were just discussions and no agreement was signed, however, said their discussions centered on the killings in Nigeria, farmers/herdsmen clash among others.
Asked what other agreements Nigeria and US had apart from the jet fighters, President Buhari said, “Not agreements, just discussions. The first one is the information being given to them that Christians are being killed in Nigeria; but what happened in the Church also happened in the South East and the North and they just say it is herdsmen that are killing them.
“Those making these allegations against the herdsmen know that herdsmen as we know them only carry sticks, going about with guns is a new thing and those making the allegations knows that conflict between farmers and herders has a long history even before we were born.
“Therefore, it is wrong to say the conflict is between Fulani and Tiv or other tribe like in Taraba. What of Zamfara where more people were killed than in Taraba and Benue put together.  People need to understand that it is mischief that makes people to bring in religion or ethnicity.”
President Buhari, who gave reasons  why he honoured Trump’s invitation, again recalled how President Barrack Obama’s administration refused to allow Nigeria buy weapons to prosecute the war on terror.
He continued, “The US government understands the importance of Nigeria in Africa and the world at large. Got instance, during Obama era, we tried to get some jets to help us in the fight against terrorism in the north east which was declined.
“But as soon as President Trump came into office, he gave the green light and advised us to make funds available. He said the US will sell the jets to us; we had each approached Brazil and the UAE, but they told us that based on the agreement they had with the US, they cannot sell or give anyone these jets until the US agrees; but the US refused at the time until the arrival of Trump who granted out request and gave us price.”
Asked other measures in place to curb this menace of insecurity, he said, “Measures being taken is to increase the number of police officers and to equip them well.
“I have asked the Police to recruit 6000 more personnel and that they  should recruit across the 774 local government areas in the country instead of going to motor parks and markets to just pick people anyhow.”
On State Police as demanded by state governors, President Buhari said, “I want the Nigerian Constitution to be consulted first and see what it says. If it says they should be allowed, then they should be allowed but don’t forget the number of times did we have had to release money to states in the name of bailouts to enable them pay salaries.
“How many states are able to pay their workers in time? And you want to add the police to them? People should look at this matter very well.”
Asked if he was not convinced about State Police, President Buhari said, “No I am not convinced. We should have solved the current insecurity in the north east and south south by now. Can the states be able to shoulder the burden if the Police?
“You cannot just give someone guns and ammunition, train him and refuse to pay him, you know what will eventually happen.”
Asked other measures he was taking to curb corruption aside TSA, bribery and the likes, he said, “Well there is no any other measure other than to ensure that whoever is arrested is prosecuted for all to see.
“We should have had a lot more arrests and prosecution by now; EFCC has done a lot; they will investigate and send accused persons to court and Nigerians would be adequately informed.
Those who are saying we have not done enough in that regard are right.  What we don’t want is to take people to places where the judges may not be able to convict them appropriately.
“Now we will select those who will dispense justice well and give them time and necessary evidence such as the bank balance and properties owned by these individuals in comparison to their wages.
“They will be asked how to prove how they acquired the difference, otherwise, everything will be taken away and they will be prosecuted.”
On the fears that he plan to deal with offenders and the measures are the administration plans to take, he said, “By the time we set up these special courts and prosecute offenders, I am sure citizens will know that we are serious.  Those who embezzle public funds should be ready to face the consequences.”
On his controversial statement on youths during the commonwealth meeting, President Buhari said, “You know they say we are over 180 to 200 million people in Nigeria and 60 percent are the youth below the age of 30.
“In the north for instance, most have not attended school or they abandoned halfway. If not because we had favourable rainfall in the past two seasons; most of them have no job, just idling away.
“People like them even if they go to the South for instance, what they will make will not be enough to even pay their rent not to talk of feeding, clothing and transport back home.
“That has not been explained enough and you know the media, especially the Print are simply doing whatever they like.
“We had two successful farming seasons, people went to farm and did very well, but no one is talking about that; only insults.
“That is why the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed had to respond to the letter of insults released by Obasanjo. We spoke about it and I asked him not to respond but he refused and said he would just respond by stating the situation we met the country, where it is now and what was done in between and the monies we are getting.
“Recently, I had to come out and state that from 1999 to 2014, anyone who carries out a study here in America or Europe or India will know that we were producing 2.2 million barrels of crude oil daily at a price of at least $100 per barrel.
“In those 16 years of PDP rule, Nigeria was getting 2.1 million x $100 every day, every week, but when we came on board, the price fell to between $37-38 and hanged around $40-50.
“I went to the CBN; -the governor of CBN is here-and asked him how far and he said nothing was left apart from debts.
“I said but this is what the country made? And he said yes, he knew, and I asked him where is the money? All gone.  Nigerians know that there were no roads or rail lines, there was no power, despite the billions of dollars spent. Only God will judge this thing.”
Asked what he was planning to do differently as he seek re-election, the President said, “We have not even finished what we are doing now. Insecurity is still a problem. The worst thing that Boko Haram are doing now to get small girls, hypnotize and put on explosive devices in them to go and detonate in Mosques, Churches, motor parks and markets and kill people.
“However, they are not able to take over any territory now, although, even today, I read in some newspapers that Boko Haram are still holding territory. Well they may still be somewhere in Sambisa Forest, but the Nigerian Army have prevented them from coming out.”
On how he relaxes, he said, “I don’t get to listen to music but I find time to rest. When I was a General, I give orders, but bow, I receive orders. The Doctor is here, he always insists that I eat well and rest. That is why many are surprised how quickly I recovered,” he concluded.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Drama as I was walked out of stakeholders’ meeting at Abuja By Dr Modestus Ezenwa

For asking what appears to the officials of the Federal Ministry of Education a hate-filled question, I was asked to leave the venue of the 19th Stakeholders Meeting on Unity Schools/Colleges. The order came in such an uncharitable, direct and malevolent manner! It matched the same venom that gave vent to it. I was not allowed to pick up my files and say a few words to colleagues. I must leave, and leave immediately within split seconds.
What did I say?
Priscilla Ihuoma, the spokesman of the Minister has just announced what appeared to me, the information that brought me to Abuja. I was waiting for this announcement. I got it. I predicted the minister. She played into my hands. I had waited for an opportunity to share my thoughts on my hatred, opposition and stance against Unity Schools and the injustice in Nigerian education system. I missed the opportunity in 2016 and 2017 to present my views. Then, the meeting was a hushed one. This time around, we were told the meeting would drag to two days. And stakeholders who have views could easily share them as the Minister would entertain such.

Mrs Ihuoma, the announced the breakdown of the registrations for the 2018 Common Entrance Examinations. A total of 71, 294 young boys and girls were registered for the examination, a little shortfall from the 81,930 that registered in 2017. Lagos State hit the top with 24,465, FCT came next with 7, 699. Of course you know why? Igbos in Lagos and FCT are included! Then, she murmured a well rehearsed statement: Zamfara 28, Kebbi 50, Taraba 95. These three states came first from behind.

She went ahead to tell us the obvious: that the nation has 104 unity schools; that most of these unity schools dont get up to their carrying capacity; A budget, running into billions of naira goes into their maintenance each year and that The Unity Schools take up to 45% of the budgetary allocation of the Ministry of Education.
I was bitter. I was overtly burning with rage and hate. I couldn’t wait for the question and answer session. I did all I could to get hold of the microphone and finally, I got to the aisle, looked directly to the raised table and heaved a sigh of relief. I glanced through my notes and let loose the canons:

Why do we have 12 Unity Schools in the East where more than 50% of candidates come from? Mr Minister, why are kids from Igboland not given admission to those Unity schools that don’t get up to their quota/carrying capacity? Honorable Minister, can you explain why A young girl from Imo state,seeking admission into any of the country’s 104 Federal Government Colleges (Unity Schools) must score 139 points out of a possible 300 to stand a chance of being taken. But her counterpart from Zamfara state only needs to guess two answers right?.Why does the young boy from Abia be denied admission even when he scores 198 while his counterpart from Gombe who merely wrote the examination ( but scored zero) is allowed to study in any unity school of his choice? Why do we have only 2 Igbo principals in the 105 Unity schools in Nigeria? Does this reflect intellectual preparedness or merely a reflection of the wishes of the leadership of the nation and that of the ministry? Why must the federal government set up a well funded advocacy team to persuade villagers, traditional rulers in North and clergy to encourage their citizens to send their wards to unity colleges while efforts are not made to accommodate thousands of kids from the East who are denied admission yearly. Our Minister, I hope you are aware that Last year, Nigeria’s four Federal Government Colleges did not produce a single candidate that scored five credits that included English and Mathematics, needed to gain admission into the university.
Hon Minister, i hope you are aware that, Federal Government Girls’ College, Bajoga (Gombe State); FGGC, Bauchi (Bauchi State); FGGC Gboko (Benue State), and the Federal Science and Technical College, Kafanchan (in Kaduna State) did not produce a single pupil with credits in English and Mathematics.
Honorable minister, I hope you are aware that In 2013, human rights lawyer and former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba, filed a suit at a Federal High Court in Lagos over admission inequality in Federal Government Colleges. The court declared as unconstitutional, the decades-long state-based, quota system admission into federal government colleges. John Tsoho, the trial Judge, in his ruling declared that the action of the Minister of Education in prescribing and applying different requirements for candidates seeking admission into unity schools is in violation of Section 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution. If this is the case, and definitely that is the case, Why, does the Minstry of Education under you refuse to adher to the court ruling?
Why does, Zamfara State, with 28 candidates for the 2018 common entrance examination have three Unity Schools, while my state of Imo has only two!!! Why do we have three Unity schools in Taraba ( that has only 95 students this year) while Enugu State has only two. Hon. Minister, I can go on and on to…

It was at this point that heavens was let loose. Stop there!!! Voices form the elevated table raged. It was amidst claps and jeers, heckles and clear disapproval from those whose benefits have been threatened; acclamation from those whose grievances have been let loose, that i was ordered and whisked away from the ICC, venue of the stakeholders meeting. No harm befell on me. I retired to my hotel room, got enough rest and made a Lagos-bound journey. I am sure, the organizers wouldn’t invite me to subsequent meetings. But who cares?
From Dr. Modestus Ezenwa.


Thursday, April 5, 2018



The Yoruba Council of Elders is right that Nigeria’s biggest security problems are concentrated in the North and these problems are draining the country’s resources. Are the Boko Haram terrorists not Northerners, mainly from the Northeast? Is religious violence not concentrated in the North? Are Muslim fanatics that attack Churches and loot Igbo shops in the name peaceful protests not Northerners? Are these mobs that extra-judicially lynch non-Muslims for alleged blasphemy not Northerners? Do Yoruba Muslims take the laws into their own hands by lynching others for alleged blasphemy? Don’t the Southwest have Muslims? Why are they not behaving violently in the name of religion? Why is religious extremism and violence concentrated in the North? Are the violent Fulani bandits not Northerners? If you argue that the violent herdsmen are foreigners, then why are foreigners claiming right to grazing land in Benue State by violent means, which led to introduction of anti grazing laws? Are the notorious ethnic militias that murder children and pregnant women not Northerners?
While the Niger Delta leaders have always played active roles in the achievement of peace by talking their youths out of violence, why have the Borno Elders, the ACF, the Northern Elders Forum and others failed to play any effective role in ending the violence that engulfs the North? These Northern groups are more active in terms of calling for the return of political power to the North and retaining power than in ending the violence for which the region become notorious.
In May 2014, when former President Jonathan offered amnesty to the Boko Haram terrorists, what efforts did these Northern leaders make to give the initiative a fillip? Virtually nothing. Instead, they were accusing Jonathan of being behind Boko Haram to “depopulate” the North for the so-called political advantage.
When the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua offered amnesty to the Niger Delta militants, the leaders of oil producing region had proved their relevance and influence by persuading their youths out the violent agitations. Not only that, they also persuaded their boys to lay down their arms and they did and peace returned to the region. Instead of giving Jonathan’s amnesty offer for Boko Haram a push, Northern leaders were living in denial about the reality of the terror group being a Northern problem, despite the fact that Kanuri boys dominate the membership of the gangs of mass murderers. In fact, some even ridiculously believed that it was a CAN agenda to destroy or eliminate Muslims, despite the fact that Boko Haram suicide bombers were targeting Churches almost every week or day. The so-called Borno Elders were busy playing politics with the issue while the monster was getting stronger and crueller.
The problem with us Northerners is that we don’t want to acknowledge the reality of the problem on our hands. We always look for excuses to comfort ourselves, from religious fundamentalism, violent extremism and the menace of the herdsmen. Instead taking a stand against these evil realities. If you say herdsmen are not Nigerians, why should foreigners claim a right to land in Benue State or anywhere else, and kill farmers that resist their encroachment? There are Fulanis in Mali, Chad, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and other parts of Africa. Why are not engaged in the massacre of the people in those places? If they are obeying the law elsewhere, why are they behaving with impunity in Nigeria?
We should not allow murderers to ruin our peace and peaceful coexistence because of ethnic, cultural, and linguistic affinity. Nobody will come from another place to solve these problems for us. It is our baby, we must deal with it, it is time for action. It is time Northerners spoke with one voice over these evils that have blighted the progress of Northern Nigeria, a region that ranks lowest on the ladder of the development index.

Friday, March 23, 2018



By Anayo M. Nwosu
It was about the second week of November 1907 when the town crier announced that the attention of the adult men and women of the entire Ọkpụnọ Otolo Nnewi community was required at Obi Ezechukwu; that some whitemen needed to address them and to also distribute some gifts to the members of the community.
It was an Orie market day hence many people were in attendance. The meeting conveners must have been advised not to fix the meeting on Nkwo or Eke market days. Nobody would have attended as Ọkpụnọ people didn't play with those two market days.
Reverend Moonlight was very courteous in his gait and was too condescending for a whiteman as he tried to shake the hands of all the titled men in attendance. He could tell the titled men by their red caps adorned with one feather or more depending on their ranks.
The whiteman's interpreter, a fellow Igbo man from Opobo, thrilled the audience with his eloquent interpretation of Rev Moonlight's speech. The natives wondered how long it took him to learn, interpret and speak the whiteman's tongue.
Rev. Moonlight started by telling his audience that he and his organisation were not part of the colonial government; that he came to introduce them to a superior being who created the world and who all human beings must worship. He told them how God sent his only son into the world to save mankind.
After ten minutes, the whiteman paused and asked his assistants to start the distribution of clothes, combs, mirrors, shoes and wrappers. They started from the titled men then to the women and the youths. The visitors ensured that majority of the people in attendance got one item or the other.
The gifts enlivened his audience especially those that got mirrors. For the first time, they could see themselves more clearly, much more than they ever saw themselves as a reflection from Ụbụ stream or from a pool of rain water. Also, the elderly who got wrappers tied them there and then as it was the height of the harmattan season.
When Rev. Moonlight recommenced his message, he had before him a happy audience but he chose the wrong topic.
He decided to tell his audience about 10 Commandments of his God.
All went well until he got to the 6th Commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery.”
"You should not have sexual intercourse with any other woman besides your wife", the whiteman explained to the disapproval of the adult males present.
"Dunu Ụmụagbala, ị na anụkwọ ife nwoke anyarị a na-ekwugheri?" meaning "did you hear the nonsense oozing out of the mouth of that albino", Nzeribe Ámáoké asked his friend.
The 6th Commandment didn't factor in the age long practice of Iko or Agịlị in Igbo land whereby a married woman was expected to have a married male friend known as her Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị.
The female Ọyị or Agịlị had the right to visit her friend at his home without the man's wife raising any eyebrows.
However, male Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị were not encouraged to visit theirs in their husbands' houses. But, no man killed his wife for having a sexual relationship with her Ọyị or Iko.
But the husband must approve of his wife's choice of Ọyị, Iko or Agịlị even as some women might decide not to have any Agịlị or Ọyị expecially the proud, frigid or contented type. But, it was very rare to see a man without an iko or agịlị except "ndị ume ngwụ" or men who ordinarily couldn't do long distance races.

Whenever a man went to market to buy clothes for his wife, he wouldn't fail to buy some for his Agịlị.
The Ọyị, Agịlị or Iko system ensured that no woman became barren because of the inability of her husband to impregnate her. This was in line with Nnewi adage that "onye egbe ya nyụrụ ọkụ e nyere ya aka" meaning "someone would have to help another man whose gun has failed to discharge bullets".
At that time, no greetings or pleasantries was complete without asking a man about his "ezi na ụlọ". Ezi represents the man's Agịlị while Ụlọ represents his immediate household.
Therefore, the elderly men could read the mischief on the face of the Opobo man, the whiteman's interpreter as he kept on shouting "akwana iko ma ọbụ agịlị", "ayịna ọyị"! All meaning, "don't commit adultery"
The interpreter knew quite well that the happiness brought about by material gifts distributed by Rev. Moonlight would soon disappear with the criminality the 6th Commandment would bring to the people's long-term sweet cultural practice of Iko or Agịlị.
During the question and answer session, Dunu Amaoke had the last word, "Rev. Moonlight, I'm glad to hear you say that your God answers prayers. Please ask him and his son to modify the 6th Commandment for us to cover only the unauthorised access to a woman's honeypot without paying bride price or without the husband's consent which in our land is also a taboo. We call it "ije ohi ọtụ" and it is not tolerated.", he paused as he adjusted the feather on his cap.
"I so request because ọkwa mba na-achị na olu na olu", meaning that "because we are different tribes or races, we are bound to have different cultures and shout in different tones", Dunu Amaoke ended to a high sounding applause from all adults present.
By Anayo Nwosu

Thursday, March 15, 2018



You must have heard, seen or know someone that is a victim of the on going daily sad news across Nigeria. 
In case you haven't, let me run a brief lines: 

  • Over 1,000 houses burnt in Kaduna in a clash between Muslims and Christians, 
  • Boko Haram kidnapped 110 Dapchi schools girls, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill hundreds in Benue, set houses and farms aflame, 
  • Fulani herdsmen set Olu Falae's farm ablaze in Ondo, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill scores at Nasarawa, 
  • Fulani herdsmen kill hundreds and burnt down house in Plateau, 
  • Gov. EL-Rufai paid the Fulani herdsmen to stop killings in Kaduna, but the killing continued.
  • Militants threatens to bomb oil pipe lines in Niger Delta, Militants clash with Nigerian army. 

I can go on and on and on.
But, just pause a minute, reflect back to history and ask yourself, what was actually the Biafrian War all about? 
The Biafra war was all about Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu drawing a map and saying all people of the old Eastern States, since you're being slaughtered like a fowl, come over to this land and be safe. Simple. 
But, Yakubu Gowon, Danjuma and the same people being slaughtered today refused. 

They abused the Igbo man and called us names. From Kaduna South, Jos Plateau, Benue to Nasarawa, men took up arms to force the Igbos back to Nigeria. 
One Nigeria we're, One Nigeria we remained.

Any true student of history will tell you that the nation has never been this divided. Even during the Nigerian Vs Biafra Civil War, you will discover that at a point, virtually all the other ethnic groups were united against the Igbo people.
So, it was a matter the Igbo verse the rest of Nigerians. This is unlike what is happening today, there's virtually division, identity crisis, ethnic division, extrem religious bigotism , cultural division along all the ethnic groups in Nigeria. Courtesy of Buhari, most of the people who use see themselves and belive that they're part and parcel of Northern Nigeria are feeling betrayed. They woke up in the middle of nowhere and they cannot explain what hit them. Nigeria today is a time bomb waiting to explode and another 4 years of Buhari leadership will set the nation on fire.
Before Buhari, the various ethnic groups in the north use to feel proud to be tagged and associated with northern Nigeria. But, since Buhari came to power, the level of killings going on in some part of Northern Nigeria has made most people from those areas to lose their sense of belonging.
The absolute absolute hegemony the Hausa/Fulani use to enjoy in the North. The One North philosophy has been rubbished.
The Nupes ethnic group located primarily in Kwara, Kogi who are the dominant group in Niger State, and in the Middle Belt who use to keep calm when they are counted as northern Nigeria, are feeling betrayed. They want a sperate identity from the Hausa-Fulani.
The Zaurus people in Kebbi State who are predominantly Christians, as a result of the persistent killings don't want to be associated with Hausas or Fulanis anymore.
The Igalas in Kogi state are not speared either, though they're in smaller numbers in Anambra, Edo, Enugu and Delta. And, they are predominantly Christians, they equally fought against biafria, but today feeling cheated and leftout, they don't want to be identified as Hausas or Fulanis
The Igbiras that found in Kogi, Kwara, Nasarawa and Edo States who are predominantly Muslim, are equally being slaughtered by the Fulani herdsmen. They're equally now pushing for a strong case for the separation the Middle Belt from the north.
The Oculus people found in southern Kaduna are cursing their stars and regretting why they ever fought Biafra in favour of Nigeria. Over 50 years after, they are now sharing the biafrian ideology of demarcation of a safe land, where Fulanis cannot come and kill their people anyhow and take their lands.
The Alago and Idoma Nokwu people of Benue and Nasarawa States are in tears. Just few months ago their leaders were ridiculing Nnamdi Kanu and calling biafrian agitators jobless people. Today, courtesy of President's leadership that has brought about the worst insecurity in the history of the nation, they're are slaughtered like chicken. Their lands are being taken over by the Fulani herdsmen, being aided by the federal forces. They have joined the Biafrian ideology train. They want a nation of their own.
The Egom who are found in Nasarawa, Kaduna & Benue States, have seen fire. Destruction and killings is the thank you they got from the Hausa-Fulani people for their support. Given another chance, am sure they will not fight the war on Nigerian side.
The Bajjus in southern Kaduna who are predominately Christians are being slaughtered by the same Hausa-Fulani they supported. They too now share the Biafrian ideology. So also Kaninkon people who are found in southern Kaduna.
We take a trip to the Bassas who are found Plateau and some parts Kogi State, and ask them how far? How is their One Nigeria doing them for body?
One of the worst hit are the Tivs, Idomas and Igedes from Benue State. As the security agencies look the other way, Fulani herdsmen are killing them and taking over their lands. The doctrine of One Nigeria sounds like a nightmare to them now. While the Biafrian ideology has started to look ideal.
As we land in Taraba State, we will first of all pay a courtesy call to the palace of Gen. Theophilous Danjuma and and ask him, how market? This is because of what the Wurkums from Taraba has been going through in the hands of the Hausa-Fulani.
All also feeling betrayed and being slaugthered by the Fulani herdsmen are the Nupes, Babur, Margi, Kilba, Lunguda and Michiko people who are found in Borno  &Adamawa. The same faith is what is confronting Kare-Kare, Bole, Tangale and waja people from Yobe and Gombe.
Now, this systematic ethnic cleansing are being targeted at communities in the old North, who fought on the side of Nigeria only crime today is that they're northern Christians mostly, and that they're not cure Hausa-Fulani.  
Most northern leaders has noticed that the Buhari regime is deeply dividing the old north as they use to know it. They're aware that in time to come, in the not too distance future, this division will come to hurt the electoral power of the north. 
What the South is going through under Buhari is temporal, but, in time to come there is likely going to be a joining of forces by these ethnicities that are feeling betrayed in the north. They are going to reject Nigeria as it is presently constituated, they're already asking for a restructured Nigeria. 
It was the same thing Ojukwu asked for in Aburi and insisted on that they gathered to fight him that they're waking up over 50 years after to request. Now we are all Biafrian

You can call it restructuring or what may fancy you. The truth is that four more years of Buhari, and the herdsmen killings will get worst in their attempt to gain as much grounds and villages they can before Buhari leaves power. There's going to be so much tension in the land that the same people today who are rejecting restructuring will go on their knees begging for it, and it will be nowhere to be found. 
Now that we are all Biafrians why don't we come together and first  render an apology to the Igbo man. He was an oracle that saw tomorrow.
©Peter Agba Kalu

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