Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Prayer Ministry and "Adoration Centers"

The complicity of our silence over the New Phenomenon of Healers and founders of the so-called Prayer Ministry  and their "Adoration Centers, -  including those  of the powerful "priests-healers" in our Catholic Church in Eastern Nigeria (Old Onitsha Ecclesiastical Province), and other parts of Nigeria, is too dangerous for the future of Christianity in our land:

There is no gain-saying the fact that one of the greatest dangers facing the church in Nigeria today, especially in the Old Eastern Region, are the activities of the so-called healers or founders of the "prayer healing ministry" and their distorted "Adoration Centers". 

Just in the last few days alone, the social media is awash with video clips and all sorts of posts detailing the embarrassing activities of some of the self-acclaimed priest-healers as well as the emerging women-foundresses of prayer healing centers in our land.

1. For instance, just last weekend, we were all shocked by the posts of one Chika Uzim, a mother of three who runs what she calls a "Divine Mercy Ministry" in Obosi, Anambra State. 
She claims to be both a Bishop and Priest  in her ministry, and yet, a Catholic?

The most curious thing about this lady is that she uses and blesses members of her congregation, majority of whom are young women, with the Monstrance for the Blessed Sacrament. 
This is the most embarrassing and bizzarre aspect of this comic lady and her so-called "Divine Mercy ministry".

Nothing is yet clear about this lady, her intention and what exactly her Divine Mercy ministry is all about. But the fact is that she has a lot of followers already, especially among the women folks.

The ecclesiastical authorities of the local church where this lady and her ministry operate is yet to issue a public statement on the issue. 

One would suggest that a Public statement from the constituted church authorities is very important in a matter of this kind so as to help protect the fragile faith of our poor and distressed local Christians, who are often the easy victims of these charlatan pastors and founders of healing ministry prayer/Adoration Centers. 

2. Also within the last weekend, we were also greeted in the social media by the advert-post of one lady called Sr. Favour M.E, advertising her crusade at her "God's Favour Prayer  Family", Nkwelle. 
She dotted her invitation card to the purported June Crusade  with beautiful photos of three young Catholic Priests, who unfortunately, are also engaged in the same type of prayer ministry and healing crusades.

 Although the three young priests have denied any link with this lady's ministry and purported crusade invitation card, and a kind of recant apology of the lady's God's Favour ministry is circulating online since last Sunday, yet  public statement of the ecclesiastical authorities is necessary to clear the air and protect the faith of the local faithful. 

Because associating Catholic priests with a prayer ministry of a lay lady of this kind who has no ecclesiastical approval is very dangerous for the perception people may develop about our local church. 

Already, there is confusion on the air since that invitation advert with photos of three young Catholic Priests surfaced online in the social media. 

3. In all however, the most painful aspect of the whole scenario are the activities of the so-called priest-healers or miracle workers. 

A) We are already tired with the utterances of the young man at Enugu who became a lord unto himself, that he abuses both his Bishop and state governors and presidents. 
Till date, no public statement worthy of note has been issued to dissociate the local church from the menace of this young priest and his so-called "Adoration Center."

B) The most comic of all is the video post trending online now about another young powerful priest-healer at Uke, Anambra State, who in the video clip is seeing in his clerical vestments, leading members of his Congregation - "Holy Ghost Fire Adoration Center", in an acrobatic "Mkponkiti" type of dance. 

After seeing such a thing, one begins to wonder whether this a Catholic Church ministry/function or not? And if this young man is still a Catholic Priest?

This is a prayer ministry center that many people had died in a stampede few years ago.

Looking at the stupidity that led to that unfortunate  stampede, one would have thought that the authorities concerned could have issued a serious warning to these powerful priest-healer, Marchall out stringent  regulations about his unorthodox activities and these acrobatic shows during liturgical celebrations, especially, as concerned the regular abuse of benediction with the Blessed Sacrament done in his healing prayer center.

C) Not long ago, the world was greeted with the news of that young priest from Uyo Diocese who announced himself that he had resigned from the Catholic priesthood because he wanted freedom to dedicate full time to his healing ministry. 

The young priest runs a tele-evangelical kind of healing ministry in Calabar. 

However, not long after he made his announcement of resignation from the Catholic priesthood did we see him wedding with a young lady in a Pentecostal Church. 
The rest is now history. 

D) Lastly, but not the least is the news of how one Fr. Chilaka in an hospital in Owerri, framed a story of how he raised somebody in the mortuary from dead.
The priest in question was even seeing testifying and telling the crowd who gathered at his healing center how he performed the miracle.

Howeve, it was not long when the hospital personnel began to deny that such a thing happened in their hospital, and that it was also framed up by that priest and those working for him.

Considering all these, it is clear that healing ministry, especially the unorthodox activities of these priest-healers and other founders of prayer-healing centers, pose the greatest danger to Christianity in Nigeria today, especially in Eastern region, that is regarded as the most Christian zone of the country.

It is therefore, a great challenge to the local church.

All this means that: 
Attention must be given to the type of formation candidates for the priesthood receive nowadays in our local church.

This is because, looking at some of those young priests engaged in Prayer-healing ministry, it is interesting to note that they share almost the same age-bracket of years of their seminary training.

Most of these priests are those who studied in the Seminary from between early 1900s and 2000 onwards.

Although, one is sorry to say it, the truth is that by early 90s, and especially, by mid-1990s, most of those model seminary professors, well-experienced and educated for seminary formation and teaching, and who took over the mantle of seminary formation leadership in our region immediately after the horrors of the Nigeria-Biafra War, have started to be reassigned to areas or post outside seminary. 

For instance, by early 1990s such great professors my generation met and who taught us philosophy at Ikot-Ekpene and Theology at Enugu, have started to leave the Seminary:
Frs.T. Okere, T. Ihejiofor, P. Iyang-Etoh, B. Eboh,  Ndigbu, among others at Ikot-Ekpene.

At the Bigard theology faculty at Enugu, by 1990, Fr. P.D. Akpunonu, one of best and most energetic Rector Bigard had had in recent times,  was transferred to CIWA.

Again, this was the period some of the lecturers were chosen and consecrated diocesan bishops, e.g. Bishop L. Ugorji, among others.

Some who didn't become Bishops returned to their respective dioceses or went for foreign missions.

Thus, the problem started with the lost of the cream of those priests who studied in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s and came back to teach in our major seminaries, immediately after the civil war. 

These cream of priests and Seminary professors gave their entire-self in forming the young people in the Seminary.

There is today the feeling that some, not all, however, of those who succeeded these priest-formators from the 1990s were very sympathetic to the then prominent  powerful priest-healers in the region.

 I remembered how in the early 1990s, Seminarians of Bigard Seminary Enugu complained about one prominent priest-healer their new Rector had invited to conduct their annual retreat that year.

In fact, things began to fall apart after this retreat conducted in the Seminary by this powerful priest-healer.

It was even alleged that the Rector of the Seminary frequent the healing-center of this man so often to assist in the healing ministry.

These are now the role models Seminarians then had started to emulate. The result of which is what we are seeing today.

In any case, though the above point needs to be looked into, one question needs to be asked: 
where are all the studies in Catholic philosophy and Theology as well as the human and spiritual formation these our young priests engaged today in a bizzarre healing-ministry, have spent their years doing in the Seminary?

Again, what is it that attracts them into this type of prayer ministry?

 For experience has chosen that a good number of these young priests who engage in the prayer-healing ministry do so primarily, because of their inordinate lust for money, power and influence!

In conclusion:
The damage these priests healers do to the authenti Catholic faith and tradition in our land means that all hands must be on deck to check-mate their excesses. 

Again, our ecclesiastical authorities should review the program for seminary formation in our local church. 

Attention should be given also to the calibre of priests been approved to teach in our Seminaries. 
Any priest that exhibit those traits of healing ministry should not be allowed to train our seminarians. 

Again, seminars and theological conferences should be organized for Parish  priests and others in different dioceses for a re-orientation on health-care and healing ministry in the Catholic Church.  

Our local Catechism should have a section on health care and prayer-for-healing in the church.

It is painful that up till now the local Catechism in use in our local church has no sections dealing on some of these situations of our particular concerns in our land: eg. Healing ministry and Christian-Muslim Dialogue as well as inter- ethnic dialogue and co-existence in a pluralistic society such as Nigeria.

These are issues the local may need to look into for the future of authentic Catholicism in our land.

Written by
Fr Oborji, from Archdiocese of Onitsha and a lecturer in Rome


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.



Il massaggio Shiatsu che si effettua tramite la pressione delle dita, dei palmi delle mani e dei piedi e dei gomiti su tutto il corpo, agisce sui punti energetici considerati dall'agopuntura. Stimola la circolazione sanguigna ed il flusso linfatico, agisce sul sistema nervoso allentando la tensione muscolare più profonda, rimuove le tossine dei tessuti, risveglia il sistema ormonale e sollecita la capacità di autoguarigione del corpo.


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