Thursday, July 29, 2021
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FEARS OF A BROKEN NIGERIA IN THE FACE OF THESE AGITATIONS

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It is unlike the normal Nigerians, who at times keep quiet over certain political conflicts and poor implementation of the manifesto promised by the past and present administration, the wake of other troubling political scenes and social deterioration, have begun to provoke every sensible Nigerian either to speak out or write in tears their horrendous experiences every day.

The usual conception of ‘it will get better, has been tortured by the countless killings and ejection of indigenous occupants of so many towns out from their homes. Uninterestingly, the vehicle of peace has been taken away from Nigeria with the installation of anarchy and carnage heavily mounted at various locations of the State. And for a country, that is politically governed by religious acrobatics and bias, it gets unpleasant to witness the scores of people who die out of security tensions, and the death of constitutional rights, the individual thus, has begun to employ certain measures in order to safeguard themselves, whereas a good number of other citizens are swallowed by fear and uncertainties.

The problem with present Nigeria may not be necessarily the issue of leadership, as Achebe once stated in his book ‘The Trouble with Nigeria’. Why the Nation called Nigeria often fails as populated by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson are when the Government look away from the predominant cultural differences and religious sects that pitch their tent in the country. Daron and Robinson articulated two types of institutions: extractive — aimed at excluding the majority of society from the process of political decision-making and income distribution, and inclusive — aimed at including the widest possible strata of society in economic and political life. And in the absence of these pluralistic political institutions, achieving Federal peace, security and sustainable development, will be impossible. It should not be taken for granted that the political understanding of a Northerner is unfortunately different from someone in the Southeast, because the country as a Democratic institution, is yet to see the realities of this segment. It could be however the reason why the various calamities punching the legs of the Nation, which include the suffocation of particular interest of others who are politically excluded keep making rounds. When there are fractions of people, who are deliberately extracted from political appointments, conversations on the economy, social cohesion and educational growths and most notably security knowledge, it becomes inimical that popular opinions would begin to centre on one phase of people. This exacerbates the situation of the country and draws the bars of its profound advancement to dust. 

Many states in Nigeria has been experiencing a cold war, which became very prominent lately after the stale attempt of certain unidentified gunmen and the soldiers. However, it can always be traced that the present government has been quiet over the complicating security lapses, which frequently has overwhelmed the citizens of the Nation. For an administration that guaranteed the security of her citizens, and later on, turned to feed on the blood of her citizens is quite a hostile change. The recent security crisis has initiated a terrible feeling for everyone who lives in the country. While the poor security system has frozen the movement of the people from one state to another thereby providing little access for marketers to convey their goods to many places of sales, it also posed a horrible danger on the lives of those who are professional workers in the country. And this has forced people living around the auspices of Orlu, Owerri, Onitsha, Awka, Enugu, Abakaliki and Aba either to work from their comforts or going back home as early as possible, in order to bypass the incessant shooting.

The former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan once remarked when he was addressing the issues between Palestine and Gaza that “the present conflict in that part of the world can never be resolved by nations and institutions taking sides. It can only be resolved by those living within the borders of Israel and Palestine taking time to understand each other until they come to a place where they can coexist, co-prosper and eventually cooperate”. This means, that as far as the Government of Nigeria does not put to stop to the sponsoring of a certain group of people equipped with arms and directed to fight a minority group in the country, the continuous records in the killings, may not end. For that to happen, what is needed, in the immediate term, is a ceasefire, followed by massive confidence building on both sides, Goodluck hinged.

Recently in Anambra, one of the states in the Eastern region of the country, the various communities in Ekwusigo Local Government, have been spending their nights outside their homes. The report also stated that a certain group of people invaded the local community and have started terrorising them with guns and fearful arms. If you recall, in 2018, the said community experienced such devastating effects and there was no word from any of the country leaders. A few words which appear like icing sugar, came from the state Governor, maybe because he feels that his silence may define a collection of negligence and would worsen his political career. Ibrahim Babangida, tweeted a few weeks ago one of the comments of Sani Abacha that ” any insurgency that lasts more than twenty-four hours, the government is aware of it”. It is an indication that the Buhari-led administration is aware of the genocide attacks going on in the corners of the Southeastern region, where majorly the Indigenous People of Biafra are residing. And it recently confirmed that after the President tweeted that “Many of those misbehaving today are too young to be aware of the destruction and loss of lives that occurred during the Nigerian Civil War. “Those of us in the fields for 30 months, who went through the war, will treat them in the language they understand.” What more could these words mean, if not that the President is collectively pushing for another war?

In the different corners of all Igbo states, the Federal government with the collaboration of the State government have imposed a mandatory curfew. This has witnessed a lot of restrictions and could be very difficult to determine what to be done in cases of emergency or a fraction of the state experiencing a tough time against their rivals. One of the disturbing aspects of this curfew is that there are poor security distributions to localities that are prone to be attacked. A few days back, a youth was sharing with a Newspaper reporter that the fear that grips the residents of his town and other neighbouring towns is unquantifiable and could cost them their mental health.

Events over the last few months of insurgency would define how the country is faced with the terrible language of divorce from every region hunting for freedom. It is very important to say that the more these concerns are not addressed, it is likely to shut down the country and that could obviously come as a repetition of what happened in 1967. And if the war would set in, it will carefully break down the walls of indifference that cause terrible havoc in the leadership of this country. Not long ago, the Senate has come with the thought of Constitutional review, knowing very well that one biggest problem of Nigeria is the lack of unification of the Constitution. A Constitution is not made to consider the religious beliefs of people while standing in the arms of one Nigeria. There are no people who continue to exist with biases and ungodly sentiments. A Constitution that has constrained other religious sects from freely practising their beliefs, is headed towards unhealthy distortion of good governance. Nigeria is not the only multilingual Nation. There are many other countries in the world that don’t practice one culture and are open to the different establishment of religions, yet they are noted for their progress and interesting advancements in all strata of their lives. Nigeria as famished of economic growth, due to poor economic strategies, are sacrificing the lives of innocent civilians who could be a better resource to the economic stagnation and these same instruments of change are butchered every day with no value to constitutional rights, which is to live.

I feel desperate to watch these events unfold and I will like to borrow from Goodluck Jonathan to say that the Government should permanently ceasefire. Every attempt to cushion this fear should be employed, insofar as it doesn’t jeopardize the interest of the good people of the country. The cost of living is on an increase and the primary cause of all these is coming from the inability of the Federal Government to lit a light of peace to every section of the country. I will like to pick a review made by Warren Bess on Why Nations Fail that “You cannot force people to think and have good ideas by threatening to shoot them,”. Of what interest would the activity of sporadic shooting and maiming offer Nigeria as a country? There is no way to development, when the country instead of evaluating other milky means to care for his people, go around seeking on how to destroy them. If the Federal government intends to depopulate the Christian people in order to populate the Nation with the  Islamic republic, they should be mindful that while they toe this pathway, they should be informed that the Christian people are like seeds planted and they keep bearing fruits, regardless of how troubled the land they are sown challenges them to death.
The country is tensed and it can only be doused if the Government of Nigeria can dole out profitable resolutions. The various institutions that are politically motivated to fight for their rights, because of the slim distribution of Federal character should as a matter of fact, given a referendum to experience their freedom.

Nigeria may be scared to another level of frustration, which certainly will be very difficult. Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan would say “When you deprive people of their right to live in dignity, to hope for a better future, to have control over their lives when you deprive them of that choice, then you expect them to fight for these rights.” and this is just like an acquiesce to what Nelson Mandela said that “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity.”

An article written by Princewell Okwuoha and published at Rex Newspaper, Aba on the 27th of June, 2021.

WITH BURNING WORRIES: A PLEA TO CATHOLIC BISHOPS’ CONFERENCE OF NIGERIA (CBCN)

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When Hitler rose to power in 1933, majority of Germans were overwhelmed with joy without knowing the reasons behind his words and actions. By 1937 the real Hitler could no longer be hidden.

People were worried but handicapped. Opposition voices were sought and completely clamped down. Those without the ‘real German blood’ were marked out for extermination. Physically and mentally challenged citizens were rounded up and never seen again. The reign of terror was institutionalized. No one was allowed to ask questions, give answers or make any comment on any of Hitler’s policies. Spies infiltrated all associations to know who would violate any of these rules. So many associations were banned. Many people were incarcerated in prisons and many others were executed. But there was one group who owing to their nature, structure and mission that could not be silenced: the Catholic Bishops’ Conference.

The German Bishops sent their delegates to the dying Pope Pius XI on his sick bed and made him aware of their sorrows in the hands of Hitler. Only a few days later, the worried pope issued an encyclical titled: “With burning worries” (Mit brennenden Sorge), the first papal encyclical to be written in German.

In this passionate and touching encyclical which was read in all Catholic parishes in Germany on the Palm Sunday of 1937, the dying pontiff inter alia thanked the bishops for their courage and for their love for the church and humanity. He condemned in its entirety the inhuman ideologies of Hitler. It was this encyclical that indeed exposed the nefarious acts and intentions of Hitler to the entire world. More still, it highlighted the unwavering position of the Catholic Bishops and of the Church.

Hitler saw the successful writing, printing, dissemination and reading of the encyclical as a big sabotage. But with the stance of the Church having been defined, the resistance against Hitler’s ideologies began to gather force till he was defeated.

Our dear cardinals, archbishops and bishops, members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN), no other group is powerful like you in Nigeria. You do not only represent the church in Nigeria but you are a branch of the Holy See, the Vatican, which is a sovereign state. You are not only the ambassadors of the Church but also that of a sovereign state. You do not only have a moral authority but a robust “political” influence too. You remain till date the most networked, stable, educated, internationally connected, respected and beloved organization in Nigeria. Not even the federal government can challenge you on these.

I must commend you for the roles you play in the defense of human rights and the promotion of the dignity of every Nigerian. I must commend you especially on your last letter to the government and also for the successful peaceful protest against the killings in Benue. But that these two actions have not changed anything in Nigeria with regard to protection of lives and property means that other strategies have to be tried out as well.

Imagine the number of people that have been killed by the untouchable herdsmen since your last letter and the mass demonstration. Imagine the number that will likely be killed before the end of this year. We cannot do anything about the lives that have been wasted than to bury them (if ever we get access to their remains), but we can really do much to protect those yet to be slaughtered and those yet to be dispossesd of their ancestral lands.

Before us the security forces have become the thugs of the ruling party. We saw the election conducted in Ekiti state recently where 30,000 policemen and women were dispatched and yet election was turned into a Bazaar where the highest bidder bought the highest votes. Where do we go from here? What do we expect from all these? Should we call such a situation an act of governance or mis-governance? Are you not worried about the future of our country? Are we not to be frightened by the implications and consequences of these events?

We are living at a time when the government (as always) has failed to live up to her responsibilities. I speak of the government who with their security arsenal has failed times without number to protect the lives of Nigerians in Benue; the same government that had security men dispatched to Ekiti during the recent elections; and the same government that controls the military that was said to have ‘technically’ destroyed Boko Haram. This same government with their security apparati will also have to supervise the 2019 elections. The same INEC that conducted a Bazar-election in Ekiti state will still conduct elections in less than one year from now. Are you not worried, dear bishops? Can we really sleep comfortably amidst all these?

Everything appears to have collapsed: security, education, judiciary, health care delivery, job opportunities, leadership. Poverty has quadrupled, crime, sickness, death have skyrocketed. Besides, the goverment has no solution to any of these.

Many Nigerians believe that restructuring is the only solution to our intractable malaise. Many others talk about seperation. What are your own antidotes? What is your position? If it is restructuring please do let us know, and if not, let us know your solution, and then you can go ahead and present it to the government. There is nothing wrong in having a well thought-out solution and position to the socio-political problems of our country especially when the protection of human lives and property are concerned. Our Christian faith even obliges us to do that; just like the German bishops saw it as a duty to draw lines during the time of Hitler.

This not time for apportioning blames or blowing big grammar or being politically correct but a time for proffering immediate but deeply-reasoned solution that will save the lives of our people. Paying a visit to the pope should also be on the agenda as a way of leveraging on your global network of solidarity.

Our dearly beloved bishops, we need you now before we all perish. If you don’t help no one else can. We all know what it means to be a prophet in times like ours. That is why we will never stop praying for you and the Holy Father. This is a time to be prophetic! It is a time to defend the wounded Jesus who came that “they may have life, and have it to the full”.

Source: Rev. Fr. Angelo Unegbu

The Victim of Bandits, A foreign Medical Doctor Today

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  • Chukwuechefulam Okwuoha

I know a few years ago, that while we were making a decision and taking a career in fields more familiar to our yearnings, there were much of what we thought that never materialized. It didn’t nullify our ascent to finding meaning in life. It rather helped majority of us, make a proper resolution and seeking for professional counsel to arrive at a more potent result in the future. This is what I knew and that is what I feel to tell you.

When we vacated the senior secondary school many years past, I saw that what governed our minds was enthusiasm to get admission into the higher institutions. Even before we finished our WAEC, a greater number of my classmates have registered for JAMB, even when the future of their WAEC results was still bleak. I was not among the group of enthusiasts, because I already had a course.

The wind of life blew everyone to the different tent. There were respective endeavours which most of us plummeted and it created a nauseating feeling for some. I was carried away by my choice and so, I seldomly knew about those whose ship capsized on their voyage and those who continued the life amidst turbulent storms. Admittedly, some died on their way, of which I never foresaw that, because of my slim attention to characteristics of life.

One evening, when my Dad returned back from school, he told me about one young man who was going to take a teaching classes in the school he was the Vice-Principal. His name is Onyema. According to Dad, he was given Chemistry, Biology and Physics to teach and with other added responsibility. The whole description and the continuous concern to know opened the door of reality and it concluded that the new teacher was my classmate.

We fondly call Onyema “Ejpos”, a later explanation which he made that those initials came from his name. When we were having a discussion in the class and majorly during our academic laboratory experiments, Ejpos has reiterated that he wants to become a medical doctor. He was one of those who I appreciated his interest in science and he was very good at Mathematics. So, when I and my colleagues heard of his fragile resolve, gotten out of mere scientific excitement, some of us took him seriously. I did not waver of his choice of career. I was only worried about how he can become one in Nigeria, where getting admitted in the University regardless of your academic status is like migrating to Canada for studies.

In the village where he lived, on a very solemn Sunday night, he was attacked by a group of bandits, who took his phones, cart away with many valuables and left him with severe injuries in the head. His life was saved after the operation when he was rushed to the hospital for emergency treatment. Unfortunately, that experience made him gave a focused thought about staying in Nigeria and how life may not be secured for him if he would continue to stay and earn a peasant stipend as an ordinary classroom teacher.

After sometime presumably two years of handling those students in the three core science courses and after multiple good recommendations my Dad published in my heart, I began hearing that Ejpos my ever-humble classmate has travelled to Belarus for medical studies. At the receipt of the news, I was astonished. It was honestly prolific to hear that the dream which he had while we were in the laboratory testing for base and acid, became fertile and progressive.

His travel to Belarus disconnected our rapports and I was eager to give him that serenity to read and get involved concretely in the field he has chosen. The only means of communication was through Facebook and he was not too active by the first three years he reallocated to Belarus. On fewer occasions, he chats and sends a word or two in our group WhatsApp. I could see how his maturity transcended, even though during our school days, he was one of the most mature folks we had.

Living in Belarus changed his mentality. He was no longer the former Ejpos, who has this traditional mindset about the world. He talks and comments with precision and with a correct volume in diplomacy. The only thing that I think that never changed was his Ihitenansa dialect. There is this uniquely appreciation he has for his mother tongue anytime he talks and I am very pleased with that part of him that remained unchanged.

It is a delight to read his Facebook update this afternoon about his induction and certification as a trained foreign Medical Doctor. I couldn’t control my frequency of joy. I ran out of my lane to embrace him from my comfort and it made me began recounting how this dream came to fulfilment after many years of it.

I congratulate you, dear Dr. Ezeanyanwu Onyema. It is a laudable achievement and I am not such a person who keeps quiet when something amazing is happening around any of my allies. As one of my classmates humorously pointed out that ” he can now get sick in peace”. This means that everyone believes in your capability and we are looking forward to hearing you break bounds and make history in the annals of Belarus.

I am going to inform my ailing Dad that his son, who was his friend has now become a Medical Doctor in a faraway country.

How Marriage Would Have Stolen My First Class

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I met Sarah last month as I was reviewing CVs to hire an Assistant. Her first-class degree in French got my attention, and the way she executed the first trial task was impressive. I hired her and relocated her to Abuja. The following week she flew with me to Yola, her first time, and has made my life easy so far. Her ability to learn and curiosity are two qualities I find exciting. Her story, which I read for the first time this evening, is an exciting example of determination, focus and commitment. Read and be inspired.

At 18, all mum wanted for me was marriage. We argued a number of times and I was labelled a rebellious child because I wanted to get a degree before marriage. Mum would wake me up every 2 a.m. to remind me of how poor they are and how they can’t afford me a university education, and the option left for me was marriage. I stood my ground, bought a Diploma form in 2011 without their knowledge.

Alas! The forewarned unpleasant reality of not having the wherewithal for my university education dawned on me in 2011 when UNN offered me admission to read Linguistics. All my parents could raise for me was 12K. One can imagine 12k for a whole semester. Thank God for my elder sister who came to my rescue. And reacting to my elder sister’s assistance, my elder brother said to my face and I quote “I still don’t understand why our elder sister is wasting money to send you to school. Money they could use to support our younger brother’s dream of travelling abroad. Reason being that most graduates hardly get good jobs. Every other person was against my decision to get educated except my elder sister.

Notwithstanding the hitches and struggles, I was awarded a diploma in 2013 with DISTINCTION. Sadly, my parents didn’t appreciate my effort because they aren’t literate enough to understand what it means and takes to graduate with distinction. I kept my cool hoping to be celebrated by my second family in Aba because they are graduates. So I broke the news with excitement expecting congratulatory gestures from them, but all they could do was to undermine the feat with comments such as “You made it because of the leniency of UNN Aba campus lecturers. Do you think you can make first class in UNN Nsukka campus?” I felt very bad.

Not satisfied with a diploma cert, I decided to work in order to save money for degree. The highest paying job I could get with my certificate then was 12K monthly. My little earning and fresh memory of the challenges I faced doing diploma almost made me give up on pursuing a degree. With mixed feeling, I decided to try marriage but the relationship failed in 2015 because of genotype. I was so hurt and heartbroken that I decided not to get into another relationship. In fact, I cancelled marriage from mind. Same year, I got a job that paid better and I was able to save a little. But I was still troubled. Degree I no get, marriage I no get and I was 24.
Fast forward to December, 31st 2015, I left the family prayer meeting to go pray in seclusion. I told God: “I am done making decisions for myself. I won’t even plan for 2016 because all my plans in the previous years failed. I leave myself in your hands. Any direction your wind blows me to, I will follow. I am done struggling for a better life.” I wailed, groaned. I let out the entire burden in my heart for a fresh year. I decided I was not going to interfere in my own life affair because things obviously weren’t going as I planned.
Into the quarter of the year, I started having a strong urge to go back to school. To make matter worse, people began sending me job openings for graduates and/or asking me if I was done with my Degree, and those who knew I didn’t have a degree kept pushing me to go back to school.

While in the kitchen one evening with my elder sister, these words fell out of my mouth: “Aunty, I am going back to school.” Then a huge silence crawled into the kitchen. Everything in the kitchen paused for about a minute except for the sound produced by the boiling pot of soup. My sister smiled at me and said: “Sarah I don’t want to start what I cannot finish.” That was expected because “I am going back to school, literally means “Get ready to spend money. She was my only pillar of material support in everything.” I asked her to promise me that she will take care of my school fee while I take care of every other thing. She asked me how. I told her about the plan to WORK and STUDY. She was very skeptical about it and expressed concern about my overall wellbeing at school. I finally applied and was successfully offered admission to study Foreign Language [French] at UNN .

Meanwhile, the school fee didn’t come handy and I urgently needed money to beat registration deadline. It got to a point that I had to use the money my sister’s husband gave me to give a business partner to pay my school fee. This caused a huge problem between I, my sister and her husband. I was never trusted with money again.

School fee settled, registration done, however, there was no money for accommodation. I chatted Ihuoma Chizoba Stephen up begging him to allow me stay in their family house while I do house chores for them in exchange. Chizoba declined because I was just an online friend he had neither met nor known much about. Instead, he offered to help me get a female student who could squat me. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get anyone and I was left with only the option of staying with Jonathan, his friend. I agreed to stay with him. Jonathanmary Gande would leave the room for me to sleep in his neighbor’s room every night.

One month into staying with Jonathan, his landlord asked me to pay him 20k to continue staying with him or leave. When the pressure from the landlord became unbearable for me, I left Jonathan’s place for Onyinye’s place. (still another connection from Ihuoma Chizoba Stephen ). Onyinye was neither a student nor a graduate. She was an apprentice who was also struggling to survive. I had no food left. Chizoba would sneak food out of their house to bring for me. I stayed from morning to night without food. My food for a day sometimes was biscuits of N50 unless Chizoba brings food for me. Onyinye was always giving me this pity look and I became uncomfortable with it. So I left Onyinye to go stay with Chimsimdi Ibeneme Chimsimdi Ibeneme, a new friend who accommodated me until I was able to pay my own part the rent.

Life in school was so tough that several times I thought of dropping out. However, I kept telling myself that dropping out is an act of cowardice. Most times, I shed tears when I open my book to study. I suffered severe ulcer because food was always scarce at my end. This took a toll on my concentration,
On the other hand, the pressure to get married kept coming from my mum. Most of the times, I wished I could avoid travelling home after school because each time I travelled, mum will remind me of my mates who are married. Thank God I didn’t succumb to the pressure.

After all the struggles, I graduated with a First Class Honors degree as the best in the Dept of Foreign Languages and second best in the Faculty of Arts, UNN with a CGPA of 4.76 at 28.
To all those that supported me in one way or the other, I say THANK YOU. May this story be an encouragement to those that find themselves in similar situations. Keep up the fight! There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

Source: Osita Chidoka

Osita Benjamin Chidoka is a former Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Corps and past Minister of Aviation in Nigeria. He served under President Goodluck Jonathan.He’s also a brother to Obinna Chidoka. Osita Chidoka was, until recently, Minister of Aviation in Nigeria

FR. MBAKA, THE DSS AND YOU

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The DSS, brought an official letter to the Spiritual Leader of Adoration Ministry Enugu, Nigeria Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka, which was a day after his return to his residence.

For those who may ask, Fr. Mbaka went for a compulsory one month retreat, leaving the Adoration centre shut, as a direction from his Local ordinary. This was because his Diocesan Bishop summoned him for his continuous participation in politics by verbally engaging some politicians, condemning the litany of the poor administrative structure in Nigeria, especially in the aspect of security and unemployment.

Added to that, the members of the adoration ministry, invaded the Bishop’s court, demanding to see their Spiritual Director who was summoned by his Bishop. In an attempt to achieve this, they detonated the house, desecrated the Cathedral Church and left the environment in ruins. The provocation and primarily the irreverence act ignited the Bishop to mandate all priests, religious and faithful of the Catholic Diocese of Enugu to embark on a seven days novena which includes the recitation of the holy rosary and prayer of atonement to the Blessed Sacrament.

However, from the look of things, most of us who have read and commented on this, especially in the area of the DSS asking Fr. Mbaka to come to Abuja for interrogation, may not know the meaning and functions of DSS. And as usual, I will like to inform you briefly of the components of this revered group.

Unlike SSS, which is very common to most of us. The abbreviation, DSS, means Department of State Services (Ndi na agara obodo ozi di oke mkpa) is the motherhouse of State Security Services. Just like each group is involved in one function or the other in the country, the major responsibilities of DSS are for the interest of the people which extends to counter-intelligence, internal security, which the SSS are largely into. Their duties as well associate with counter-terrorism and surveillance with other investigative reporting on issues focusing on crimes and social misdemeanour.

Since we can understand the meaning of DSS and their function within our country, can we now begin to ask that group what they actually came to do in the house of Fr. Mbaka? Can we as well ask them, who sent them and for what reason were they sent? If at all our Constitution is still effective, does the content of their letter have various sections contravened by the Catholic clergy? If their discomfort is coming from how vocal Fr. Mbaka is with matters of politics, insecurity and unemployment, is there a constitutional restriction to what to say and the level to stop speaking in Nigeria? If there are no restrictions to voicing objective opinions for the good of the people, in a democratic society, then, why have the Government asked the DSS to jack Fr. Mbaka to Aso rock?

Majority of what most of you do here is to ask why Fr. Mbaka becoming partisan to Politics, and why he has foolish followers who go everywhere destroying things and praising him for speaking his mind. You do all these, without thinking of what his silence could cause to the populace. Have you ever imagined that there could be security tensions in the adoration ground if he doesn’t speak up? Do you know these political miscreants can sponsor suicide bombers to leave scores of adorers dead, thereby handicapping the voice of Fr. Mbaka or reducing him into tears?

It is unjust to regulate what Fr. Mbaka says, without first accepting the reality of the condition of Nigeria. That you speak with a few rehearsed letters, shouldn’t be the same for anyone. There are many ways people communicate their own feelings, it mustn’t be logically sound, diplomatically oriented and economically rendered. It is simply irrelevant to define others based on your own merits and power, and that’s why the society has been for long exposed to danger and political terrorism. For those who are always using the repeated axiom “religious leaders are not partisan to politics” to quiet the voices of those who would feel uncomfortable with the nature of governance of the country, should know that it is only in Nigeria, that is religiously brainwashed that often post these comments.

Father Robert Morey of Saint Anthony Catholic Church Florence, South Carolina fired the current President of the United States, Joe Biden for his stance on abortion and other biological conflicts that contradicts the doctrines of the Catholic Church. The prelate Robert Barron, who is the auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, consciously speak about American politics and in many ways struggles to correct the various occasions of misdeeds carried out by the American government. It becomes something different in Nigeria, when a clergy or prelate decides to lend his voice to the discovery of new Nigeria, without being misinterpreted and dragged.

Any time you wish to enjoin into the discussion of politics or speak about sensitive issues concerning the religious leaders and politicians, please, learn to be objective. The more you avoid a proper evaluation by sincerely acknowledging that Nigeria should operate in a standard and at a time these standards begin to decay or compromised, a voice, especially a religious leader should stand up to condemn it and press the neck of the government to a more better direction.  Fr. Mbaka has no influence to how people see God through him, it is your bias mindset and over-sabi, that is always making you feel defeated and screwed.

The ‘guy’ I may not Forgive

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For proper integration of seminary formation, each seminarian while in the seminary is expected to adhere to seminary rules and regulations, which certainly were primary materials for staying longer in the formation house. It means, to wake up early, brush your teeth, wash up, dress well, arrive at the chapel on time and carry out the respective functions allotted by the school authorities. These are mostly what is paramount in the formation of every seminarian.

In my beautiful junior seminary at Osina, we have a very big Chapel. Its capacity can carry about six hundred young and vibrant seminarians. Each pew contains about six names, pasted on it and the seminary doesn’t consider size or health condition before they fix you anywhere the spirit directs. At the stand of the pew, is the pew-head, who is more likely to be in the highest class and is given the direction to checkmate who sleeps and who dodges the Chapel. He is to report every misbehaviour or misconduct to the prefects or the auxiliaries. Any act of insubordination warrants immediate sanction, and if it continues, you may likely lose your vocation.

My seating position in the Chapel was the third pew from the right and it happens to be very closer to the sanctuary. The thought to sleep, or to keep quiet while others are singing or make a noise with anyone, was something I expelled from my mind. I was very attentive, very active in each of the liturgical activity and I am very lively in the course of singing. Since I have an angelic voice, which was an envy of my colleagues, I used to put up my darling voice very high, to overshadow any person who has a slim knowledge of singing.

There was this senior, a very tall boy, fair in complexion, with a poor sight. He was my pew-head and I sit very close to him. I was a young boy, I wasn’t tall, I had a little flesh and I can barely communicate my pains very well. I am always feeling uncomfortable staying close to this senior. He stinks, I am not sure if he takes his bath, neither does he brush his teeth. Each time we come for a common gathering in the Chapel, I will be scrambling for a way to sneak out of my seating position. It was a trying time for me. I could report him to the school authorities, but it is senseless to do that whereas I have not informed him. At the same time, I am afraid to approach this guy, because he is such a lanky person with broad shoulders. Another thing is this; he is not approachable.

One evening, as everyone was walking down to the Chapel to say the evening prayer, I was counting steps and thinking of how to sit down with him. I was sad deeply, knowing that I am going back to take a dose of unhealthy breath from him and to experience that shock, was something I dreaded. To relieve myself from this penury of the body, I decided to make an alternative. There is a staircase before you walk into the Chapel. It is located adjacent to the Chapel porch. While others were taking their seating position inside the Chapel, I was taking an asylum under the staircase. While I was there, I ceased my breath. I was afraid any priest, could sense that someone is under the staircase. Under the heat and trumping heart, I was struggling to survive. I stayed there until the prayers dismissed.

Now, what pained me, was not that I nearly suffocated under the staircase. Neither was I caught by any of the auxiliaries, prefects or priests. What exacerbated my anger was that this same guy went and reported me to one of the auxiliaries that I dodged the Chapel. To exempt yourself from the Chapel without permission or any issue of health is tantamount to expulsion. When I was called to the stage at the refectory that evening by one of the auxiliaries, I was in between fear and surprise. As I mounted the refectory stage, which has a very fine elevation. A place where everyone would cast a gaze at you. The auxiliary, took his time to narrate my action in misinterpretation and I wasn’t given any chance to plead not guilty. Six huge guys among the seniors were asked to come and raise me and I was given thirty-six strokes of the cane on my flattened buttocks. After that event, I disliked the guy, until I left the junior seminary.

Last year December, I saw a friend request and when I scanned through the profile, I learnt that it is the same guy that messed up my day in the seminary. I couldn’t accept his request. He forged ahead to send me a private message. In his message, he was expressing how happy he was to see me and how big I have become. From his pictures, I noticed he lives in the United States and his expression of language and conduct has taken an intense change. His message brought back the history of pain and agony and I couldn’t understand what to say at that time.

Our mind is an invisible entity, which exists with different memories. For us to forgive may be easy, but when history traces back an injury, it tends not to forget easily. At times, when we preach about forgiveness, the hurt and the remains of sadness still saved at the crust of our mind, begins to prick us. This is why to forget is a question of mind extinction, which comes, when the person is no longer normal. I could have forgiven him, but anytime I see his message pop out, I am filled with revenge. So, to bailout myself, I simply blocked him, because his appearance will continue to plunge me into perpetual prison and I do not want to be a prisoner of conscience.

I deserve to be happy, just like everyone else. But it is always difficult to achieve that knowing how I imprison a soul in my mind. What I always wish that will forever occupy my mind is joy and at times when I seek it, I feel may be that I have not made enough bytes of efforts that will guarantee that. But then, how do I arrive at this joy, when there is part of me that is yet to forgive?

YOU NEEDN’T LIES TO GET LOVE

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“I had no idea that being your authentic self could make me as rich as I’ve become. If I had, I’d have done it a lot earlier.”

-Oprah Winfrey.

Dear young person,

It isn’t right to make the foundation of your life to be false to attract friendship. Lots of what some of you do are to paint a wack picture and situate it with the interest to lure your victim into your life. Knowing how this can collapse someday, it is very risky to think of such an act, let alone convincing people with your consistent emotional bait.

Any structure that has little or no good plan, will eventually fall, no matter how long the building is sustained with paints and decorations. Just like a foundation placed on sandy soil will one day degenerate and be washed out smoothly by the flood, so does the application of fake life wears off, any moment they outlive their standard. Perhaps, you may keep thinking that while it lasts, you will get hold of another person, but it doesn’t guarantee you the beauty you ought to enjoy while living in that grief you call friendship.

Any structure that has little or no good plan, will eventually fall, no matter how long the building is sustained with paints and decorations. Just like a foundation placed on sandy soil will one day degenerate and be washed out smoothly by the flood, so does the application of fake life wears off, any moment they outlive their standard. Perhaps, you may keep thinking that while it lasts, you will get hold of another person, but it doesn’t guarantee you the beauty you ought to enjoy while living in that grief you call friendship.

Love is a rare feeling. It is because many individuals have begun nurturing love from the angle between lies and deceit. The natural resources sandwiched in love, keep deteriorating with the acceptance that love can only be found when two persons pretend to be what they are not. What love characterises is nothing but a value built in openness to the other. Once this point is defeated, the message that goes with it – love, is tortured and it is influenced by the toxic chemicals that come with fatal practice of insincerity.

People who are chiefly students to lies, are caged. They are not free, neither do they have liberty of expression. Anytime they are compelled to live their real life, another sector of their life, which they contracted out of pettiness, will halt them. Such an emotional regulation, can cause a total psychological damage. The more you employ different lives to please people, the faster you grow into less. Even though lies, as some of you think, activate quicker than real life, but the destruction is costlier than the benefits you could ever enjoy. As far as love is concerned, there is no more means to embrace it if not to allow your mind gum with whoever that would appreciate your other life that you shelter in the little box of pretence.

It doesn’t cost anything to maintain love. But you see the maintenance of faux life? It is always expensive. Take for example, a lady who has a scar on her left cheek and decides to cover it with cosmetics. Ordinarily, the quantity of what he would take to burry that mark on her cheek will be multiplied into three in order to arrive at this success. If she had allowed that scar and begin to adore it as a mark that defines beauty, she wouldn’t spend her energy, time and resources in constructing a mountain of horeb to please her admirers.

“You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.”

-Amy Poehler.

Don’t rate your pretentious life above your life lived without being answerable to anyone about your shortcomings. A man who has no car, doesn’t need to borrow one to go for a date. A lady who has no designers’ bag, doesn’t need to crave for one, before she goes to meet her boyfriend. It is appalling to see people fall for these things, as if they are constituents of love and friendship. And it is even more stunning when some young minds have such a discussion and are prone to yielding to the promptings of hypocrisy.

Stop adapting easily to emotional fuss. There is no gain saying that they are mini-way of achieving your own happiness. It is impossible to have happiness while venturing into an unproductive business. The sorrow that consumes your soul, anytime you understand how you are losing, will make you realize that all these while, you have been making a grave mistake that will take a lot of time to repair.

Discover your life. It is not a credit to you that you are dwelling in characters that are different from what your natural life is. Stop reducing yourself into pains, always making up various ways to keep your fake life, whereas you can live your life without stress and being able to collaborate with real people. One thing fake life does to your love life; it downplays your capability to break more boundaries of opportunities. It makes you think you are lowly and there is nothing more you can do outside the poorly ventilated attitudes you exhibit. A very famous quote from an African Linguist opines that “a fake life is like a flat tyre, you would go nowhere, except at a time it is changed”. You’d go everywhere with ease once you dissolve your pretentious lifestyle.

What Other Sign Do you Need?

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There is a level by which an event begins to take repetition and your senses would alert you that something has totally gone wrong. You do not need a prophet to tell you that the nature of Nigeria is in total chaos and the majority of what is happening has been a scheduled plan, or like a script that has been kept until the time of execution.

Nigeria is experiencing the worst time of it, and it is something of terrorism, lack of respect to human life, which is evident in the records of people killed every day, without proper account of it. For a country that is diversified in language and culture-wise, with the major concern on religion, there is difficulty in everyone assimilating the opinion of others. And since Nigeria practice majority politics instead of democracy, the capitalists and the politicians, utilize this time to strategically carry out their evil intentions in the guise of Biafran frenzy.

A few days back the news of the horrible assassination of Ahmed Gulak, who from the reports came for an official function in Owerri, Imo State. His killing is at this moment forming a yeast, because of the political post he covered. The threatening message from the Northern youths to the Imo State Governor is too much because they are ready to launch an attack if they do not find a reasonable answer from the Governor. It is seemingly disturbing for Senator Hope Uzodimma to accept that the killing of his friend, who sincerely played a significant advantage to the position he occupies in Imo State has a political undertone. Uninteresting is the way the police officers are carrying the investigation, tagging the assailants as a fraction of Biafrans, without taking into considerations other ripples that characterise the tactical assassination.

Another murder of the Chief Judge in Enugu, boiled again yesterday after it was announced that he violated the sit-at-home directives. I do not want to begin to mention the many persons who have lost their lives within this short time, especially the civilians, who are maimed in their numbers and their properties vandalized. The terrible situation, especially in the state of Imo is yet to be given any serious attention, as the State Governor, kept reassuring his electorates that they are making efforts to diffuse these security tensions.

You don’t need to be informed that there is a cold war going on in Nigeria, especially the dastard and outrageous one taking rounds in the Southeast. Many enemies of the Southeast are utilizing this opportunity to fulfil their plans and make it appear as if it is a problem of Eastern Security Network and the soldiers. That the region is peaceful, doesn’t mean that you can torment them and make their environment very hostile and ungovernable. There is no point to take back our words because what is happening now is a clandestine genocide. It is a depiction of a written work, taking scenes and acts to actualize the purpose of the writer.

I ask the populace of the Southeastern Nation to be very cautious and understand that this is the moment most of the rivals of the region is waiting to see, for them to bring their evil intention into actuality. However, know it as well, that it may be a sign of distraction to the one purpose and common goal you are fighting, which is the freedom you are entitled to. The more you expose yourselves to them, they are indirectly taking advantage of you and this is exactly the possible chances they are yearning for. Be at alert. Your unknown enemy may take this time to eliminate you and your family and it will be counted as the action of the unknown gunmen. You needn’t any sign to be intimated that war is gradually letting lose. Sixty years after the Biafran war, it is as if history wants to repeat itself.

AS YOU STAY AT HOME

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For over a week now, there have been series of announcement that every Indigenous Person of Biafra, should restrict his or her movement. It is another means of showing respect to the millions of our brothers and sisters who lost their lives in the course of war. Mr. Nnamdi Kanu, has kept repeating it and giving reasons why such an exercise must be carried out.

A good number of us, who are new generational inhabitants of Biafra land, may have been informed about the war and how it claimed millions of innocent civilians, whose only crime was to ask, why the so much marginalisation on the Igbos and the exploitation of their resources without proper returns. Barely was there any answer to this question, thus, the anti-Igbo pogroms in Northern Nigeria, military coup, a counter-coup and persecution of Igbos living in the North, became the response they could give.

As much as these Northern political elites planned to decolonize a promising people like Igbos, by strategically controlling the lucrative oil production in the Niger Delta, provided the platform for the war. It was a tough one and owing that the military was incharge, the death list multiplies to thousands at the fall of each day. Setting more plans on how to execute the growing children, their nursing mothers who are surviving through the subsistence practice of agriculture, the military began to raze the farms that were giving these poor Igbo civilians primary nutritional value. Do I have to also recount how the blockage of food importation, nearly claimed six million people? There are many questions to ask but the fact is that the little answers we get today, is not sufficient enough to attest what transpired during the war.

Today is sit-at-home. Today should be a date of remembrance. A day you retell the story of war, genocide, starvation, usurpation and crude governance of General Yakubu Gowon. Today is singularly made for you to sit down and tell your children how you fought the war. Today is for you a moment of silence, of telling yourself the truth about the need for the Democratic system of government in Nigeria. Today should help you to recollect on the stings of war, the stunning bombings, the economic slump and the terrible smell of the dead bodies littered at every corner of the road. Today should make you sad, to define your stand and take you to apply caution why you champion for the course of our freedom.

If today, you are unable to have someone tell you the story of the Biafran war, then, take your time to read books that were written by those who played distinctive role during that period. Read; In Biafra Africa Died: The Diplomatic Plot by Emefiena Ezeani, There Was a Country by Chinua Achebe, Because I am Involved by Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu and maybe a peek at Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. There are many more works and I hope you find any today to see the plot, the actions and the betrayal. It is not easy to read any book about the Biafran war, without having with you a piece of handkerchief to pick your tears.

May the rising sun, continue to shine until it wouldn’t fade again.

A poem recitation about war titled OZOEMENA by Fr. Nonso Okwudinka.

WHY MANY BUSINESSES FAIL

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Outside your technical assistance in building a new company, a business that will necessarily capture the interest of people, learn to build people who will work for you. This is the part of the business proposal the many intending managers fail to look into.

Nurturing the pristine intention to construct an organization that will deliver services to people in every facets and demand, should move hand-in-hand with the idea of making a great table of contents. If the inventor has no forcible ingenuity that will dig deep into the annals of the future, it is likely to face other challenges that may collapse the business or cripple the initiative from flourishing.

Just like we know that our talents should undergo primary evaluation before we can be able to make it public, so should we push out our business plans to the experts who will grant us the test kit and the tools that will facilitate the booming of the business. If you ignore this elementary angle, it will not allow you to develop fittingly what you have already created in your mind. This is why some person’s view is different from what their output produces.

Bearing in mind that people who will work in this corporation are trained well, should inspire you to source for competent trainers who will educate them on how to treat the customers, and build that confidence in them into patronizing the business. Not just that, but allowing these workers bring into the table the various gifts they are blessed with.

At times, many businesses fail because they have occupied in the mind of the company that pride that they are putting in their best and their customers are satisfied with their services. It is only a few companies that study and read the content of the suggestion box. They overlook it and in few reach outs, do not consider the many sensible suggestions or observations people may have made.

Being a good manager means, knowing the functionality of the components of your company. Supervise each work they do and make sure they generate exactly what you have in mind in building the organization. When you compromise, you frustrate the arms of your firm and make it begin to quiver in a manner that will be less attractive. If you have poor knowledge of how to run the company, employ more capable hands and make them stick to the ethics of the company with gratuity that will boost their business energy.

No matter how lucrative and prosperous your company seem to be, don’t begin to relax. There are thousands of others who have a greater knowledge of that, but other factors sat on their progress. Every business is competitive, have a positive competitive spirit too.

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FEARS OF A BROKEN NIGERIA IN THE FACE OF THESE AGITATIONS

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It is essential to point out at any given challenge of the many increasing difficulties every common Nigerian passes each day. The recent and most discomforting issue in our country is insecurity. This poor system of the government not being able to curtail the outrageous killings in Nigeria is honestly a matter of concern. It is evidently showing that by being a Nigeria, one is not assured of his life and properties, because of insecurity and insurgency