IN DEFENCE OF RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE – Soyinka v. an Islamized and Christianized God

by Odimegwu Onwumere

 

Monday, 13 February 2012 13:24, Published in Left magazine,

Rome, and translated by George Wright

 

 

 

The increasingly aggressive mindset of many organized religionists in Nigeria today is having a devastating effect on the unity of Nigeria.

 

These people think that God is their personal property because the constitution of Nigeria stipulated Christianity and Islam as the two official religions in Nigeria.  They’re oblivious to the fact that this was the British imperialists’ way of looking at things.

 

This marooned way of looking at issues that misinformed one Adamu Adamu who on the 10th of February 2012 wrote an article in Daily Trust, titled, “Soyinka – Still in Bo-Ro-No State”  accusing Professor Wole Soyinka, a Nobel Laureate, of being totally ignorant about the most burning issues in international current affairs, as well as of a related issue at home.

 

Inter alia, Adamu exposed himself to the gallery when he said that Soyinka suffers from tribal hubris and needs to be cured;  claiming that the pagan practices that Soyinka was proud of  now only belong to the past, and are no accomplishment because every tribe has had them.

 

Adamu believes that there is no religion like Judaism, Christianity and Islam (1) and sees anything short of these as heathen.

 

He characterizes Soyinka’s traditional Yoruba beliefs,  such as the Ifa Orisa divinations, as primitive nonsense.  (2)

 

In fact Adamu is merely envious of how the Yoruba hold on to their culture so stubbornly, and when confronting Boko Haram – a drastic Islamic wing –  doesn’t know that God is neither Jewish, Christian or Muslim.

 

Archbishop Desmond Tutu tried to educate schooled (but not well educated) religious dogmatists  like Adamu in his book  “God Is Not A Christian: And Other Provocations.” In 1989, during a mission to the city of Birmingham in Britain, Tutu addressed a forum of leaders of different faiths, where he corrected the mistaken impression given by many organized religionists who see God as their birthright.

 

Tutu explains succinctly in his book the awe-inspiring fact that accidents of birth and geography determine to a very large extent to what faith we belong: the chances are very great that you will become a Muslim if you were born in Pakistan,  a Hindu if you happened to be born in India,  a Shintoist if you were born in Japan,  or a Christian if born in Italy.

 

He regrets not knowing the real significance of this (3) – perhaps that we should not succumb too easily to the temptation to exclusiveness and dogmatic claims to a monopoly of the truth of our particular faith – you could so easily have been an adherent of the faith that you are now denigrating, but for the fact that you were born here rather than there.

 

Tutu also warns chauvenists like Adamu not to insult adherents of other faiths by suggesting  they are really religious without knowing it – as sometimes also happens when Christians, for instance,  tell adherents of other faiths that they are really Christians without knowing it.

 

Instead,  Tutu asks us to acknowledge, welcome and respect adherents of other faiths for who they are,  in all their integrity, along with their conscientiously held beliefs,  and walk reverently on their holy ground –  taking off our shoes, metaphorically and literally. While holding on to our own particular and peculiar beliefs tenaciously, we should not pretend that all religions are the same ( for they are patently aren’t).   Instead, we must be ready to learn from one another, without claiming that we alone possess all of the truth and that somehow we have a corner on God.

 

Tutu admonishes hypocrites like Adamu that we should acknowledge in humility and joyfulness that the supernatural and divine reality we all worship in some form or other transcends all our particular categories of thought and imagining, and that because the divine – however named, however apprehended or conceived – is infinite,  and we are forever finite, we shall never comprehend it completely.

 

So we should seek to share all the insights we can,  and be ready to learn, for instance, from the techniques of the spiritual life available in religions other than our own.

 

He admits that most religions have a transcendent reference point, a mysterium tremendum, that comes to be known by deigning to reveal itself, or himself, or herself, to humanity; that the transcendent reality is compassionate and concerned; that human beings are creatures of this supreme, supramundane reality in some way, with a high destiny that hopes for an everlasting life lived in close association with the divine, that can be absorbed either without distinction between creature and creator, the human and divine; or in a wonderful intimacy which still retains the distinctions between these two orders of reality.

 

Tutu advises bigots like Adamu to read beyond their own prayer mantras, because the classic texts of various religions reveal substantial convergences  in matters of prayer, meditation, and mysticism that we can discover and rejoice at. We have enough that conspires to separate us – instead let’s celebrate that which unites us, which we share in common…

 

Surely we can rejoice that the eternal word, the Logos of God, enlightens everyone – not just Christians, but everyone who comes into the world; that what we call the Spirit of God is not a Christian preserve, for the Spirit of God existed long before there were Christians, inspiring and nurturing women and men in the ways of holiness, bringing to fruition what was best in all.

 

We do scant justice and honor to our God if we want, for instance, to deny that Mahatma Gandhi was a truly great soul, a holy man who walked closely with God. Our God would be too small if He was not also the God of Gandhi. If God is one, as we believe, then He is the only God of all his people, whether they acknowledge him as such or not.

 

God doesn’t need us to protect Him, so many of us perhaps need to have our notion of God deepened and expanded. It is often said, half in jest, that God created man in His own image and man has returned the compliment, saddling God with his own narrow prejudices and exclusivity, foibles and temperamental quirks. God remains God, whether God has worshippers or not…

 

When interviewed by Timothy Dalrymple on August 15, 2011,  R. Kirby Godsey,  a theologian, philosopher and university president,  reflects on salvation, grace, and the problem of other religions, as explored in his book , “Is God a Christian?”.

 

Godsey asserts that the stakes for mankind have grown too high for any of us to engage our faith as if our understanding of God represents the only way God’s presence may be known in the world.  Just like Tutu, Godsey is convinced that we cast our vision of God in terms that are too narrow and limited.

 

Many of us who’ve grown up in the Christian tradition may think it’s obvious that God belongs to our tradition, that God is one of us, but it’s just as apparent to people who grew up in different religions,  that God’s word and ways are not the exclusive property of the Christian or Islamic traditions.  At the very least, people of genuine piety and profound religious conviction,  who have come to that piety through other avenues,  deserve our respect and a listening ear.

 

Godsey tells racists that each religious tradition is only one avenue by which human beings have sensed and expressed their own sense of God’s presence, and we should never impose the limitations of our own perspectives and understanding upon God, who is neither Christian, Jew or Hindu. God is above all of our own perceptions and expressions of God.

 

Godsey says, “This in no way diminishes my own Christian commitment” and warns that we should never assume that the validity of the Christian tradition is dependent on the invalidity of every other tradition. While the light of God’s presence in the world came to him chiefly through Jesus Christ, others can have experienced God’s presence in the world outside that tradition, so  he cannot deny that God has spoken in other languages than the Christian language.

 

Godsey had written his book before adamant Adamu’s attacks on Soyinka’s beliefs and Yoruba cosmology, and also before the slaughter in Norway, where Anders Breivik cited the defense of Christendom as a justification for the murder of innocent men, women and children.  Wasn’t this just another depressing confirmation of the urgency of creating communities of conversation across religious boundaries?

 

Godsey would say it is, and cry out to the many Adamus of this world that there’s a mountain of bad religion in the world – every religious tradition, including Christianity, has its dark side. Religion goes awry when it’s used for evil purposes. “People kill and maim in the name of God, or Allah, or Yahweh,” Godsey says.

 

While Soyinka might hold stubbornly to Yoruba traditional belief,  this does not make him an evil person merely because, in the eyes of the Adamus,  he isn’t from the Jewish, Christian, or Islamic traditions.

 

As Godsey points out,  there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Hindu fundamentalists – they’re all cut from the same cloth.

 

Fundamentalist exclusivity identifies God with the Christian order. Therefore everything that challenges that social order is a challenge to God,  to every Christian, and to humanity; leading to the kind of terrible human tragedy we have witnessed in Norway.

 

Another writer, Farouk Martins,   in an article entitled, “Africa Ignores Its Religious Actualization For Economic Growth”, published on Sunday, 29 January 2012 in the Nigerian Village Square,  warns us that many Africans are too susceptible  to foreign religious bigotry.

 

Martins tells the conceited religionist Adamu that Africa’s indigenous religions have no identifiable or official role in causing its religious, ethnic or economic problems, whose  root causes lie in deprecating its own relatively peaceful indigenous religions that have no drive to dominate others.

 

Instead, religions that have often benefited Africans, and could have been geared to meet modern political and economic challenges, have instead been discarded in favour of Muslim and Christian religions that often work to the advantages of others at Africa’s expense.

 

He warns the brainwashed Adamus that there is much more to religion than many people realize. While many countries on every continent but Africa are proud of their own indigenous religions,  the only officially recognized religion in most African countries is either from Europe, Asia or the Persian Gulf.  As long as this is the case,  we will never get to  root cause of the insoluble ethnic and economic problems within Africa, because of a lack of self-actualization.

 

The religious actualization of a country’s economy (4), Martins says, can be seen in Indonesia or Saudi Arabia, in the Indian caste system ( which emphasises the division of labor ) and in the Judeo-Christian capitalist system in North America (  “In God We Trust!” ). On the other hand,  religion was suppressed to actualize political and economic growth in China (Buddhism) and in soviet Russia ( all religions).

 

“Africa lost out on either actualization,  by suppressing indigenous religion while actualizing those of Muslim and Christian to others’ advantages,” Martins tells the Adamus of this world.

 

Martins goes further to say that the Hindu, Sharia and Judeo-Christian economic systems culturally enhance the economic base of their societies, while China and Russia saw religion as an impediment to their political economy. He says that what is common in all of them is the furtherance of their economic systems.  Africa is similar to the communists in rejecting its own indigenous religion in its political economy,  but lost the advantages since Muslim and Judeo-Christian economies were established to further their own commercial interests and not those of Africa.

 

“Africans also use indigenous religion in praying for good harvest, rain and guidance in our local commercial transactions,” Martins reminds the blind Adamus. He also cites as examples of our own neglected indigenous political economy,  the commercial transactions of the Esusu banking system, and the cabinet form of government in the Oyo Empire.

 

Martins goes on to argue that Africa’s deep religious and ethnic problems are caused partly by a lack of national focus or loyalties in its individual countries. If loyalties to their own nation, or to one religion,  had united

–      the Tutsi and Hutu peoples in Rwanda,

–      the descendents of Liberia’s indigenous peoples and the freed slaves who settled there, and

–      the Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba peoples in Nigeria,

it would have drastically reduced the ethnic and religious conflicts in their countries to the benefit of their economic and scientific progress.

 

Martins also warns partisan Adamus to note how the Somalis have the same language,  but not the same national loyalties,  because their different religions contribute significantly to their outlooks in life…

 

He warns that domination creates a pyramid, with most contributions going to the top,  which is usually occupied by the conquerors.

 

This rarely admitted fact is amplified in many countries on every continent by  officially recognised  religions that organise prayers to their God for mercies and solutions,  before assemblies, meals and at ceremonies at election-time, official jamborees and cultural events.

 

Also, after any tragic events, most people seek consolation in their religious leaders through atonement, sacrifice and trust in their God. Similar rituals are repeated in Africa today as on other continents,  but only the Muslim and Christian religions are officially recognized!

 

Instead of Africa’s own religions being recognised at official government ceremonies, and in the country’s constitution, as  on other continents, Martins regrets that Oya, Shango? and other African gods are only tolerated in the lands of their origin at some cultural events.

 

Even this makes the Adamus in Nigeria unhappy because they have turned against our own religion. Many African scholars believe that the conversion of Africans to a foreign religion is the first step into being domesticated, softened and made receptive to others’ ways of life. After all, throughout African history, coastal traders in gold and slaves soon followed foreign religious emissaries.   (5)

 

Although there’s a universal culture to be polite to strangers,  many invaders who were short of goods and resources in their own islands or continents threw that culture away in order to conquer others,   merely assuming friendly faces to deprive their hosts of their resources. Meanwhile, those at home remained cordial, attracted to a new religion that was kind and considerate,  to clean up cruel practices such as human sacrifice.

 

“Indeed, the evil ways and human sacrifices would only come later in form of exploitation and outright war with far deadlier weapons if resisted,” Martins argues, and the keepers of foreign religions that displaced our own, put their traders at the top of the pyramid,  to dictate the stages of economic exploitation of resources that would follow for the people at the bottom.  The bottom-line is that whatever is returned from the top as foreign aid enhances more of what is needed from the bottom…

 

Moreover the Adamus of this world would readily adopt religions from outside the Continent so that they can be seen as contemporary members of a universal society. While Adamu sees the Yoruba culture and everything African as primitive,  and only to be studied as history, Martins has  forebodings when he often hears Africans  refer to  the “civilized world, society, or people” without realizing the implication of such comparisons.

 

Because of intimidation by the Adamus in our country,  the Igwe, Oba, Obi, Emir and other leading religious figures lost their power to govern after the introduction of the secular state.

 

A friend, once a seminarian, who is deeply rooted in the cosmology of the West, and is now an Igbo Spiritualist, narrates the nature of God by explaining that the Truth is beyond objective reality – a reality   which itself becomes an ungraspable abstract when pursued extremely – God is not an ENTITY.

 

God simply IS, and the proof of this is Mortality – both man and nature may cease to be, but the supply-means of both continues to BE and will never cease.  Therefore,  logically, the source from where man and nature progress and gather their life-force, has to be far greater in all magnitude. Hence this other realm which supplies the life-force, although it cannot be seen, is much more ALIVE than that to which it gives interrupted-Life.

 

Hence, this other realm and the entirety of its force and impact, is attributed to Chukwu (meaning “Almighty”) , and “Yaweh” is simply one among many attempts of man to identify THE GREATER SOURCE of all that can be seen.

 

Further, he denies that God has a gender, because God created gender.  So there is no such thing as a “He-God” , and the attempt by Judaism to view God through the lens of masculinity already flaws that religion and everything it expounds.

 

This is why he highly appreciates the wisdom of many ancient spiritual systems, including Igbo Spirituality (Odinala) and Yoruba Spirituality, which  do not claim that God is a He, but that God simply IS.

 

Hence, according to Odinala,  God is Chi-na-Eke (Igbo) – Spirit and Matter – because both aspects are found to proceed and abide within God.

 

Even those Western philosophers considered as holistic would have agreed that ultimately  the greatest knowledge that one can attain is to know that they know nothing. ( 4)  Hence, even such Western thinkers were close to realizing that God does exist. They simply didn’t have the spiritual patience and fervor to pursue the matter further, because if they had done so, they might have found God in themselves. “Your cosmology of God is as fair as it gets,” he declares, warning us that there’s no need to complicate things, as both scientists and religious leaders tend to do.

 

Chi-Ukwu (The Great Force) can be likened to things that are seen with the eyes, but Chi-Ukwu (Almighty) is not what is SEEN, but rather it gives force and provides nourishment for that which is seen.  Hence, Chi-Ukwu’s persona is revealed in all that is seen.

 

Odinala offers one of the very neatest, clearest and applicable theologies on God: Chi-na-Eke bu Agbara.  Agabra is a spiritual edict applied when explaining the perfection, or The Sacredness,  that is God. Hence, Agbara becomes a deity or an aspect of God that Man can attain for himself. This aspect is the Holiness of God.

 

“I attended the Bishop Crowther Seminary in Awka. But after that phase of my life, I was blessed to find even greater truths than was offered within the seminary. And that is the knowledge of Self,” he acknowledges. “It is this knowledge that opened my eyes to appreciate the spirituality of Odinala.”

 

Some Christians too are wondering if Jesus Christ is the only way to God.

 

A commentator on an exerpt from Tutu’s book says that “as a Christian I have always felt conflicted about how Jesus could be the only way. Even as a child it didn’t sound quite right or fair but I felt disloyal even thinking that.

 

A few years ago a book entitled “Building a Noble World” came out and its author finally answered this question for me in a completely logical way…

 

This same commentator says that such ultimate claims as  “I am the only way” or “I am the only God” cause confusion to many, and are contradictory –  how can Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha all be considered as representing the only God?

 

“The answer lies in this analogy: When a river merges into the vast ocean, it loses its identifica­tion as a river. Then, the river’s declaratio­n “I am the ocean” becomes true.

Similarly, when a prophet merges his sense of individual­ity with the all-pervas­ive Consciousn­ess, his declaratio­n “I am the only God” is entirely true.

As far as the ultimate realizatio­n of every founder of a religion is concerned, it is the attainment of the same Absolute Reality. It is for this reason that the title Christ conveys exactly the same universal consciousn­ess as does the title Buddha,” – Shiv R.Jhawar

 

This question may be as much about the operation of the human imagination as about religion –  any God is as real as our imaginatio­n – but the Adamus of this world feel that they should hold a monopoly  on the human mindset of God,  and hence the Soyinkas are in error.

 

To customize God they will tell you that JESUS IS GOD and GOD is JESUS; or Mohammed is God, or God is Mohammed.

 

It is saddening how the Adamus’ organized religions have always protected God, who  needs neither human protection nor being saddled with their own narrow-mindedness.  The Christian bible says that God created man, but it is very sad that man is creating God in recent times.

 

The Adamus’ religious intolerance in Nigeria, and by extension in the world,  is a blight on humankind,  even when they’ve never in point of fact heard God speak to them whatever their age. Instead they’ve relied on religious dogma to imperil humankind at times,  without furthering the understanding of God’s nature,  as manifested even in ‘non-relig­ionists’ that include agnostics, atheists and naturalist­s.

 

Billions of people somehow accept organized religions, and one observer claims that for many of them, fear is the main reason why –  fear of ostracism,  fear of hell, fear of loneliness­, or fear of the devil; – and intellectu­al dishonesty is often behind this.

 

Another observer says that some Catholics have only been indoctrina­ted in their faith through fear of the pillage, murder, rape, torture and deprivatio­n once sanctioned by the Roman Catholic Church in the past during their bid for world domination and power  – under the threat of hellfire, brimstone and the  “devils”  embodied in the gargoyles still present on churches to this day –  to cow the illiterate and gullible masses.  And many still firmly believe in the bill of goods they were sold.

 

Muslims also became what they are today by exactly the same means. “The only difference is that Islamic indoctrina­tion as tiny tots expressly forbids them from changing their religion and the interpreta­tion of the archaic rules they follow is the whip that rules them.

Orthodox Jews are just as blinkered except I have not seen historical data of any atrocities they perpetrate­d to force others to join their religion……… I believe the man named Jesus Christ in your bible “christene­d” us all as such with the exhortatio­n to love your brother” the observer says.

 

Sadly, many of these religionists in the world today do not follow God but only God’s so-called intermediaries, narrowing the scope of what is explicitly Godlike.

“The Bible is political history: inclusion or exclusion of writings and events have been altered many times throughout history by men,” another commentator says. “God is more than we can fathom.”

 

This sheds light on the description in the New Testament of  how Jesus Christ prayed to God before his crucifixion, asking if there was another way, before surrendering His own will to that of the Father. So either Christ prayed to himself and gave up what He wanted for what He wanted,  or they are two individual­s that are one in purpose.

 

Scripture tells us that a man and woman become one in marriage. Not the same person though.

 

Many passages in scripture  tell of Christ praying to his Father, doing his Father’s will, returning to his Father, etc. When Christ taught His disciples to pray, for example, He said they should address the Father, in Jesus’ name.

 

He never said “pray to me, in my name,” pinpoints a commentator.

Part of the problem here is the same that many make: conflating the person with the faith.

Far too many Arabs, for instance, are “Muslim” without ever making a real decision about that identity. Same goes for many Hindus, Catholics and Evangelicals.

Our problem is not that people fight over faith but that they fight over faith without even understanding or choosing faith,” another says.

 

The same Soyinka,  that Adamu’s poor and embryonic mindset tries to debase for his rational opposition to the bloodbaths of the radical Islamic sect called Boko Haram,  is honoured without reservation across the world, and widely regarded  by the Yoruba people as a nobleman.

 

While Adamu swaggers as an educated person, he refuses to abide by  an age-long rule seeing no ethnic group, tribe, religion, culture, etc., as superior to another. Some commentators on Adamu’s article have even questioned the contributions  of his own ethnic group and religion to the advancement and development of human society;  logically, morally, intellectually or spiritually.

 

“What have been the contributions of the Hausa/Fulani culture or religion to the advancement of humanity?

And if I may ask, why must you always think that your Hausa tribe and your Islamic religion should be imposed on other tribes and religions?

Truly, Boko Haram is a creation of the mindset and backwardness of the North, and should therefore be curtailed by the collective will of Nigerians through the Federal Government by using superior intelligence and technology in bringing this Northern-Creation to its Waterloo,” a commentator enthuses.

 

Another fellow says that Adamu is writing from the point of a brainwashed person who sees salvation only in the religions of his Arab and Caucasian masters, and tells him that for each negative of African Paganism, there are 100 nasty negatives of Islam and Christianity. This person says that the bestiality, racism and hatred of some Jihadists and Christian missionaries cannot be compared with native practices.

 

“Mr. Adamu is a Voice of Intolerance,” says this commentator. “If someone writes a similar nonsense against Adamu’s much adored religion of Islam or Christianity as he has done to Soyinka’s belief, you will see them going around beheading people and destroying property. Alas! We, Proud Pagans respect freedom of speech.”

 

Adamu is getting his reward for being too hasty to write uncouth diatribes against Soyinka, a national icon and a hero to many Nigerians and foriegners, without thinking first.

 

Another critic  says that indigenous Nigerians would have been better off being animists and heathens than supporting those organized religionists of this world who sacrifice their fellow human beings because of their intolerance. The rich cultures of  the Latin Americas, especially Brazil and all the Caribbean countries,  owe their existence to Africa’s great variety of local cultures and languages – including those of the Edo, Efik, Ibibio, Igbo, Ijaw, Ilaje, Isoko, Itsekiri, Ogoni, Uhrob  amongst others, as well as Yoruba.

 

Because of his humanistic approach to national issues, Soyinka is often seen as an avatar like Gandhi, Buddha and other humane and ethical leaders; while a reader describes Adamu as merely a little-known writer,  lacking both exposure and integrity, who is seeking unmerited popularity by taking on the altruistic Soyinka.  By calling Yoruba culture primitive, Adamu behaves like a nursery school bully with multifarious inferiority complexes, unable to value other people or their cultures.

 

Other Adamus who only see God through Muslim or Western periscopes are no less guilty of wanting to pour their ideas down the throats of others, a  real example of taking God’s name in vain. They should know that the future belongs to God, not to the organized religions in Nigeria and their adepts.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State.  apoet_25@yahoo.com

The Encumbrances of Minister of Works

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

 

Nigeria is fighting many manmade and natural disasters at a go. The fuel subsidy probe and its distinguished scams seems has subsided and now, we have ocean surge promoting the many impoverished people in many towns and villages across the country to migrate to set-aside places which are presumably far from being protected considering the relaxed Nigeria’s factor to things. The ocean rushing forward kept travellers and people in the affected areas marooned. The flooding of the River Niger that entered Shiroro and Kainji dams impaired the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road and barred people from the South from entering the Federal Capital Territory (FCT). The Ajaokuta-Ankpa-Makurdi road was advised to be used as an alternative to enter the FCT and other parts of the North. Canoe was used to ferry people to their destinations. Minister of Works, Arc Mike O. Onolememen (FNIA, FNMGS) led a presidential squad that went and evaluated the affected areas.

 

 

Onolememen in his observation held that President Goodluck Jonathan was exceedingly in stroke by the miseries of the flood victims. This is after the Federal Government (FG) has declared the menace as natural disaster. While we may agree that the flood was a natural disaster or a global occurrence as had been posited in many quarters, we must also agree that our government was not prepared and was not behaving like it was preparing for the heralded climate change. This is evident as a traditional ruler in one of the affected areas has advised the Federal Government to beam its watchfulness on the Cameroonian authorities against releasing water from their dam which has been fingered as the cause of the flooding problem that sacked homes, schools, leveled farms and caused other difficulties in some of the affected states.

 

 

In a well oragnised country government would have responded punctually to the distress, but what we saw in Nigeria were individual canoes been used to assist the flood victims and stranded travellers and a delegation of pot-belly Abuja politicians who went to the affected areas to make more politics with the situation. What else apart from announcement upon announcement that the affected roads were cordoned off? Maybe, monetary donations! This behaviour has further explicated the problem with leadership in Nigeria: Those in the helm of affairs are ready to die protecting the name ‘Nigeria’ to remain as a sovereign entity whereas the individual’s fate is threatened by carelessness such as we can see in our country that is so loosed to politics to the disadvantage of any other thing that a defined-mentally healthy country is known for. This is why any well meaning Nigerian must be laughing on hearing from Onolememen that the FG has freshly engaged the services of about three hundred and fifty engineers. We also heard that the engineers were not only employed but training programmes has been organized for them before they would be deployed to their different sites. Just to make this loudly!

 

 

 

Onolememen made this disclosure at the cavity service of the 21st engineering assembly of Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), on September 4, 2012. Onolememen did not end there, he also in the information said that the Ministry of Works has transformed its endeavour to revitalize the Highway Training Schools in Badagry, Kaduna and Benin City. To some people, Onolememen might be doing very well in his Ministry with such theories as we could see. But to majority of Nigerians he was yet to show his mettle in matching these theories with action. The Ministry of Works is one federal department that is very fundamentally to the welfare of the country. If in earnest it executes sizeable portion of the Federal Roads as it implements considerable fraction of the annual budget of the Federal Government on the Rehabilitation and Construction of Federal Roads across the Country, the many accidents we have read and experienced on our Highways would not have happened. Unlike the ocean flooding which is attributable to a natural disaster, decayed roads in Nigeria are manmade. And it would take a humane mind to come to the plight of Nigerians in term of road reconstruction and construction. Without a humane mind, there was no amount of engineers that would remedy this peril, no matter such engineers’ proficiencies in the engineering profession. It’s not about the size of engineers that Onolememen or the FG employs that would get Nigeria out of the hazard she had found herself in recent times in term of unpalatable roads but sincerity to work.

 

 

For that reason, it’s most to the point that Onolememen forgets his swagger of vowing to work closely with indigenous engineers on assumption of duty because the many roads that the Ministry is supposed to redeem their images are still experiencing vacuum upon his retinue and parading of employed engineers and the ones that are yet to be employed. This has helped in asking if the Ministry of Works under Onolememen is out to work or out to create jobs for his fellow engineers. By the way, who are these engineers? Are they from which states and residing in which states? Is the employment a quota thing or a selected thing or a man-know-man thing? Federal Civil Service Commission and its employment sef!

 

 

 

Whilst Onolememen might have his perception for the Nigerian roads, every Federal Road in Nigeria needs urgency approach that will measure with the numerous numbers of engineers that this Ministry of Works-led by Onolememen has employed so far through the Federal Civil Service Commission. By the way, what is the call for these employments when the Council for the Regulations of Engineering in Nigeria [COREN], and the Ministry of Works cannot boast of a robust coordination which is supposed to enhance bursting cooperation for the realization and promotion of the occupation that Onolememen spent years to study in the formal school? Are we not tired that the talk about of the Ministry is replete compared to the work it is supposed to have done on the Federal Roads?  To buttress a point that this Onolememen-led Ministry of Works is running an anti-people Ministry but is always sermonizing of the capacity of engineers in its employ that will bring down the moon on our roads, it is a shocker that the Ministry now prioritizes projects it knows that will bring money to the Federal Government and not minding those that will bring money to the individual. The Ministry had said that it’s doing this on what it claimed was the Federal Government’s limited resources. But did it not know about this “Federal Government’s limited resources” at first and they were employing the outrageous number of engineers as we have seen? Hear Onolememen briefly: “We have targeted all the roads leading to the sea ports, refineries, the major arterial roads and major dual carriageways. These priority projects are the Abuja-Abaji-Okene dual carriageway; the Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway; Benin-Ore-Sagamu dual carriageway; the Lagos-Ibadan expressway; the section II of the Ibadan-Ilorin expressway; Kano-Maiduguri expressway and the second Niger Bridge”.

 

 

At the same time as many Nigerians have now become refugees in their own country due to flooding, it is absurd that the Ministry has not yet proved false its initial announcement during a tour of inspection of the healing work at the Third Mainland Bridge, where the Minister publicized that construction work on the second bridge across the River Niger at Onitsha will begin in the first quarter of next year (Q1 2013). To show that Onolememen is settled with his job, and if not, which serious leader sounds very shylockic piteous in his approach to the extent of not benchmarking his command? But hear Onolememen again: “The deadline we have given to Lagosians on completion of the maintenance work will not change but rather we will work hard to see if we can get some mileage of say a couple of weeks. I thank Lagosians for their patience and perseverance”. Did you see that he was not rigid with his decisions? And he continued: “When the (Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment) SURE Programme was put together, the second Niger Bridge featured prominently and one of the decisions at the time was that the counterpart funding of the project will have to come from the SURE programme. That is why, if you look at the SURE key programmes, over N20 billion was budgeted for the second Niger Bridge. That represents 30 percent of federal government’s counterpart funding of this particular project.” Did you hear about ‘counterpart’ and all that crass that does not enliven hope?

 

 

 

It is not about sounding piteous as Onolememen had always shown, saying that he had directed all Directors and Chief Executives of Parastatals under his Ministry to guarantee that all Contractors managing chief projects in the Ministry meet the terms of employing Nigerian Engineering Personnel, and not about the Federal Ministry of Works continued effort in ensuring far-above-the-ground training and re-training of engineering personnel for its ostensible turn round, but pursuing purposeful works on the many roads we have and do not have that are crying for help. This is paramount that Onolememen should make our Highways benefit more than he has boasted of renewing the Highway Training Schools in Badagary, Kaduna and Benin City and when fully outfitted, will be greatly to the advantage of the  Highway Engineering Personnel.

 

 

Conceivably, Onolememen does not know that people are dying on the pit-of-hell called Federal Roads in Nigeria and the individual businesses have dwindled. Consequently, Onolememen should wake-up from slumber to meet with the expectations of the people. The flooding that ravaged many cities in Nigeria and now seemed to have abated, how prepared is the FG to checkmate further occurrence? Your guess is good as mine, when majority of the useless roads in Nigeria do not have drainages. Common flooding from the rains even makes the road impassable for vehicular and pedestrians. We are tired of this Ministry always ‘disclosing’ what the FG is consulting or planning to do with the Highways: It is either the Federal Executive Council meeting was held or a Consultancy Advisory Committee was inaugurated or the other was about to happen, yet Nigerians continue to suffer and die immeasurably from manmade and natural disasters in Nigeria.

 

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State, Nigeria

Phone: +2348032552855 (OR) +2348057778358

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com, nirivpol@gmail.com

Website: www.odimegwuonwumere.com

Buy His Books On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089WYSVS and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008223IBG

 

The Biafran War Veterans

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Two years ago, the Nigerian government guaranteed to reimburse veterans of the Nigeria-Biafra civil war. On the side of Biafra, the ex-war experienced persons pleaded with the Federal Government on 14th May, 2012, to honour the assurance of the N1.5 billion it said was going to be given to them.

It was in the month of May, 1967 that the Eastern House of Parliament, known as Eastern Nigeria, mandated then Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu to declare Biafra. Thereafter, Nigeria started a war against Biafra in 1967, which came to an end in 1970. Forty two years after, with the Biafran leader, Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, dying on 26th November, 2011, at a London hospital, the ex-Biafran war veterans have seen the bad side of life with many of them residing in pains occasioned by abject poverty, sicknesses and wounds sustained during the war, which lasted for a period of thirty months.

The Nigerian government gave Ojukwu a glowing burial signaling that the Nigeria-Biafra cold war, which was still lingering, has come to an abrupt end. But with the Commander of the Biafran War Veterans, Ogbaru Division, Col. Bernard Ndu (retd), appealing to the wife of the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu, Bianca, to assist them with the release of the voted funds, shows that there are more that meet the eyes than the befitting burial accorded Ojukwu in his ancestral home town of Nnewi.

The plea was coming after Bianca, others were to commission Biafran war veterans’ home on July 9, this year, in Okwe, Imo State. The leader of the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB), Chief Ralph Uwazuruike said that the multi-million naira house was built to provide somewhere-to-stay for the Biafran living war victims, who dearly need rehabilitation. The building consists of 20 flats for over 120 inmates.

In the words of Uwazuruike: “The aim of the project is to serve as a formidable abode for our heroes who unfortunately found themselves in this predicament in the spirit of undying Ndigbo. We built the home for them to rehabilitate and take care of their health. We also pay them salaries every month, so all these and more are being done to chart a new course for Ndigbo and for Igbo integration.”

Ndigbo are majority of the Biafrans in Nigeria and they have been called upon by certain individuals and groups to maintain that every Igbo restores the values and identity of Ndigbo. The moguls among them have been advised to invest in any part of ala-Igbo. New consciousness among Ndigbo for economic integration has been the bedrock that was also addressed that would take Ndigbo to the acme of their aspiration in the Nigerian state.

A notable Igbo son, who is a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr. Andy Uba, reportedly in January 2010, donated the sum of Two million naira to the Biafran war veterans. Dr. Uba donated the money during an impromptu visit to the camp of the wounded Biafran soldiers. He was then the gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the February 6 governorship election in Anambra State. He did not only donate the said amount, but he dinned and wined with the war veterans. He also donated domestic item. This was to make sure that they were comfortable.

The Biafran war veterans are very kind and respectful and appreciative. They thank the source of any donation made to them. Mr. Collins Akpo, who’s President of the war veterans as at the time Uba visited them, thanked Uba for his kind gesture. The veterans would pray for any person who came to their rescue that would impact positively on their lives. The money that Uba gave to them was believed would go a long way to settle some of their critical needs, while they had piled-up needs begging to be settled.

While many observers thought that the sojourn of Uba was politically motivated because he was contesting for the Anambra gubernatorial elections, many said that it was not. Mr. Ebere Ezechukwu was a member of Anambra State House of Assembly, representing Aguata Constituency, who made possible the visit. He said that Uba’s benevolence act was to make obvious humility and understanding that Uba was a friend to the less privileged in the society. Over 24 of the veterans were studying under Uba’s scholarship at various universities in the country. 18 of them received wheelchairs from Uba and many were empowered with small scale businesses.

Oji River was the home of the Biafran veterans along the Enugu-Onitsha Expressway. They have lived at the location since July 11, 1975. They took here as an abode after they were forcefully chased out from GTC (now IMT Enugu), where they lived in a dormitory alongside with leprosy victims. This was done by the then Mazi Ukpabi Asika-led government. This makes the Civil War to always take the centre stage in the Nigerian discourse, because it affected the Igbo most and changed their development enduringly.

While many Igbo sons and daughters have owned business empires since after the war, it’s very surprising how even the successive state governments in the five South-East states have left these veterans to their fate to becoming roadside beggars. These are elders not less than 65years of age. Many of them were not married before the outbreak of the war, so they have no wives and children to repose on that would take care of them after the war. Many are crippled from the waist down, suffering effects of the numerous bullet wounds they incurred during the war. Some who had wives and children are no longer the breadwinners of their household, so they resorted to stay at Oji River.

As the Biafran war veterans’ arrived to Oji River after the war, they were promised of being relocated to the Emperor Haile Selasie Orthopedic Center. As a group, the Biafran War Veterans special visit to many of the Ndigbo and governors have never recorded any success as these people they visited didn’t take them seriously. Those they visited for help didn’t realize that these veterans sustained the bullet injuries at many sectors defending Biafrans. Some of them were traders and farmers and scholars living in different parts of the country before the outbreak of the war. Some of them voluntarily joined the Biafran Army, unlike some who were coerced, after having witnessed the lifeless bodies of Ndigbo being conveyed in Lorries to the Biafran Republic killed by the Hausas and Fulanis in the Northern part of the country in the 1966 pogrom.

Except for MASSOB which came to the fore after 40 years the Nigerian-Biafran War theoretically ended, speaking or discussing about Biafra on the media or anywhere in Nigeria was regarded as a taboo by the Nigerian Government and anybody or group found in such discussion stood risking a jail term. This was the fate of Uwazuruike. He was arrested many times and was molested many times by the Nigerian Government and was many times released on strict conditions. Seeing how the ex-Biafran war veterans were languishing at the Oji River camp in Enugu State, MASSOB started to rehabilitate them, even though that many believe that Uwazuruike has sold out.

At the hometown of Uwazuruike – Okwe, Onuimo Local Government Area (LGA), Imo State, MASSOB at its inception built 20 units of two-bedroom flats in an over 5,000 acres of land, which is directly opposite the Freedom House (Biafra House) in Okwe. On January 14, this year, the movement from Oji River to Okwe started and the ex-Biafran soldiers were highly enlivened. The lands for this edifice was not donated, MASSOB bought them and properly compensated the owners. But why three families chose to go to court over this was yet to be known.

The efforts of MASSOB to rehabilitate the Biafran war veterans were not unnoticed. The Millennium Merchants and Importers Association (MMIA) pledged their unflinching support for the group in its ongoing struggle to actualise its much desired Biafran Republic. MMIA was a cross-section of traders in Onitsha, Anambra State. MMIA also donated unspecified amount of money to the veterans, during a visit to the Biafran war disabled veterans’ camp at Okwe, the headquarters of MASSOB.

The Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi, at a requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Ojukwu, at Holy Ghost Catholic Cathedral Arena, Enugu, on 29thFebruary, 2012, gave unspecified money donations to the veterans. Monsignor Obiora Ike was the officiating priest who announced the donation on behalf of the governor. Obi assured the veterans that each of them would go home with a handsome amount. Other donation of vests and caps with Ojukwu’s name and picture was donated to the war veterans. The veterans however re-enacted their war memories with pumps at the event. Pro-Biafran countries such as Gabon, Haiti, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, and Zambia were also at Enugu on Wednesday for Thursday 1st March funeral activities and Friday’s interment programme for the late Odumegwu-Ojukwu, who was chiefly called Ikemba Nnewi.

Rendition of gospel hymns and Biafra war songs by the veterans followed Obi’s donation. The Administrator of the Holy Ghost Catholic Cathedral, Rev. John Nwafor, in his sermon, hinged his point on the need for “unity in diversity”. He said: “Unless Nigeria embraced true federalism with a weak centre, which Ojukwu proposed many years ago, the country would know no peace.” Many Nigerians who attended the mass said that they wanted Nigeria to remain one.

The promises as expressed show that there is an end to every problem, as it were recalled that on August 5, 2009, the Biafran war veterans were wailing that they fought for nothing. They were dying in their numbers and were buried at the Oji River and had no one to remember them or even ask of their welfare. They were retrieving their battered fates. They were living in a three long bungalow buildings which had no fence and gate, a metaphor that suggested that the Civil War was not yet over. They were living among reptiles and dangerous animals. Their residence at Oji River was a symbol of a haven with un-mowed grasses with dreadful long logs of fallen trees. They converted one of the three buildings used to be a kitchen to a mini craft industry. The factory was rather dead than being functional. A group called World Igbo Congress visited Oji Rivers in the year 2000, and there was a promise to establish a small factory for the veterans to keep them busy. The major point of doing so was to generate revenue for them. But regrettably, a businessman brought in some outdated machines and disappeared ever since, which made the factory to be dormant.

The ex-Biafran war veterans were living inside rooms, which ceilings were decrepit and were ornamented by shadowy cobwebs. The zincs were leaking. The veterans used basin to collect the rains so that they do not flood their rooms. The toilet and bathroom they were using in the camp were unmentionable and indescribable. They were hoping in that year that they were relocated to have a new lease of life, and they have gotten it.

Many admirers of these ex-Biafran War Veterans are hoping that they are paid the N1.5 billion the Federal Government said it was going to give to them, so that the spirit of the late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu it gave a lustrous burial on March 2 this year would Rest In Perfect Peace, while they continue to watch MASSOB on its expedition to attain a Biafran Republic.

Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author and Media Consultant, writes from Rivers State. (+2348032552855). Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

I have Forgiven

“Today, I come with love even though that they have shown me hate. I love them even though that they have written unprintable, malicious and discrediting stories that never existed in my life against me. I preach love, the unconditional love, not religion. I believe that the wicked would always multiply his or her wickedness when you make an attempt to correct him or her. The wicked would always do anything to break love and anoint peace with brigandage. This is why I am giving them the gift of unconditional love today and accepting them as a people who do not know what they were doing. They built and signed into blogs such as this http://www.nairaland.com/umunna/posts and many others where they post mischievous stories against critics of the Governor Theodore Orji-led government of Abia State they fight tooth and nail to defend. I am the Odimegwu Onwumere whom they have given every meaningless stories to blackmail – blackmailer, rapist, ex-convict, extortionist and so on – but I have forgiven them. I am doing this because if a dog can teach us the true meaning of unconditional love, why can we not forgive one another. They did not embarrass me but friends, brothers, sisters and well-wishers who are very faraway and called because they knew that the stories were scandals. I besiege all those who stand by me to also forgive them. We should know that some people are over and over again difficult to deal with, unreasonable, and egotistical. And as I have forgiven them, I hope you will find a heart to forgive those who also have offended you.” – Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Rivers State, Nigeria. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

Letter From Jesus Christ

Dear Nigerian Church,

 

Greetings!

 

Nigerian Church is at traffic circle. From the world go I admonished the church not to preach the gospel for money. But there are always two sides to the same coin about the church in Nigeria: It is staged with lumps of economic interests, and fragile gospel.

 

Clergies, especially of the Pentecostal folk, have never seen anything bad in collecting money for prayers and deliverance. The kind of economic advise you give to your followership has culminated in making the church a place of prosperity sermonisation instead of salvation. You have turned the eyes of your followership to believe so much in you instead of in Me. I hear them call you, “Daddy”, “Mummy” and so on, because you brainwashed them to be seeing you as Lords, instead of servants. One of you even has four aircraft. For what!

 

I know that every country has got its own predicaments, but the Nigerian case is more than frightening. The Nigerian church is hardly doing anything to the looting of public treasury in Nigeria by public office holders. Rather, the clergies are walking the corridors of power for “special prayers” to politicians. You have become more of Kleptomaniacs, using My name to hoodwink the general public. This funny habit is appalling. Your circumstances are beyond measuring up to, heading to entirely stopping to preach salvation, while espousing this ‘prosperity’ lunacy.

 

But I warn you that it is only a lazy child that calls for the rain to fall on the day of farming as an excuse not to go to the farm. If other people’s businesses, relationships, schooling, marriages, journey etcetera failed, are they enough excuse for you to allow My gospel to fail for your selfish prosperity sake?

 

Take Care, till I meet you again.

 

Jesus Christ

(Delivered by Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media Consultant, Motivator, Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), and the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV), based in Rivers State, Nigeria.Phone: +2348032552855. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com)

Malaria-infested Abia Government

“The fact there is that the people will never forget fake promises of this government.”

 

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

 

An observer who commented on one of my essays not long was of the opinion that when a man in saddle is surrounded by human mosquitoes in the name of aides, they must give his government malaria-infested advise. And you know what happens when malaria gets into the head. You already know the follow-on. This statement is a demonstration that malaria has really gotten into the head of the government in Abia State. And it will only take a serious diagnosis by a psychiatrist specialised in government affairs to cure the malady.

 

 

While many Abia people have kept away from Governor Theodore Orji with the view that the state must move on someday, he is still speaking from the parts of his mouth, as if there is anybody (apart from his ‘mosquitoes-aides’) that has fetched him to serve Abia people with artificial hardship and backwardness, as we can see. It’s preposterous when the news of September 5, 2012 paid tribute to Orji, through Ben Onyechere, who is Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communication, as saying that Abia was a forsaken venture. And you hear Orji, saying: “My determination to rebuild Aba derives not only in the fact that it is the commercial nerve centre of the South East, but also to realise the dream of Mr. Sam Mbakwe, a former governor of the old Imo State, who shed tears at the state of the dilapidation of infrastructure in Aba at the inception of his tenure, which was the only real last effort to upgrade Aba before I came to power. The reconstruction of Aba which is presently hindered by the rainy season is the centre of my administration’s policy thrust and as such cannot be toyed with not only because it is the commercial nerve centre of the South East but as well as a unifying factor among the Igbo, particular when we remember the Aba women’s riot of 1929 which was a protestation against the taxation of women. The insinuation that government is not meeting its target in the city can only be made by people without the requisite experience both in public and private endeavours.”

 

 

It is observable that somebody in Abia State Government House, Umuahia, is taking prescription for leprosy in the place for malaria. While Mbakwe cried for the building of the city and was/is loved by the people, the people have nowadays been pelting Orji with tears on their eyes that he should have a human heart and bring dividends of democracy close to them. What is deceitfulness if not the governor’s statement urging the residents of Aba to bracket their minds on the deteriorated environment and wait for the ‘Utopian construction’ after the rains? Then, you ask yourself, how many rainy and dry seasons have we seen since 2007 this government came into power, yet the whole cities in Abia State is just empty with infrastructural bonuses just as the sunken government and media aides are empty.

 

 

This is a government that has not been up to duty, and any attempt by contrasting view is robotically ticketed by the aides as anti-government. The unintelligent portion of their misery is that instead they would contest critics with intellectual competency they rather went about spreading fabrication: calling critics rapists, extortionists, blackmailers, ex-convicts and sundry junks they circulate on their blogs they devised as portals used in discrediting critics of Orji-led government. They did to this writer. But it is significant that people now know who the real rapists of good governance are, extortionists of the people’s hope are, blackmailers of critics are and ex-convicts are. Has the quantifying compass not navigated to the Government House, Umuahia, Abia State, as where these can be found? Is this place not a beehive of miscellaneous junks? As an alternative the governor was supposed to be listening to the voice of people which is the voice of reason, but he rather allows his media managers to be misleading him against the same people he swore an oath to defend and protect.

 

 

There is no government in the world that will go about spreading mendacity against the electorates but the Orji-led government of Abia State is doing through its brash media aides who have hurriedly turned to human mosquitoes to the cooperative susceptibility of ndi-Abia. These impetuous aides do not want the people to speak as it affects them; the aides want the people to speak as it will conciliate the government, whereas the people have not seen any true leadership they can touch and praise. Who said that somebody is not sick of chronic malaria in the head at the Government House, Umuahia? The people have not seen true policies that will affect their lives optimistically. The solution to the problems of bad roads in the state is no go area. Why does Orji like playing politics with everything in Abia State, even with the people’s lives? If you think that it was a lie, read this from a pensive Abia person who will not want his name in print: “The road to my village (Ariam/Usaka Circular Road) had been constructed and reconstructed so many times, and all the reconstruction and deconstruction were all on newspapers. The fact there is that the people will never forget fake promises of this government.”

 

 

This is not only in Ariam/Usaka that ‘fake promises’ have been made to. The Chief Press Secretary to Orji, Ugochukwu Emezue, also substantiated this in the newspapers of Sunday, 02 September 2012. He said that the governor’s first tenure did not witness much achievement (but Emezue veered away to protect his job), and added that it was because of his many legal challenges. Did you hear that? Yesterday, it was ‘many legal challenges’ that misled Orji to underperform. And today, Ben Onyechere, Special Adviser to the Governor on Public Communication, is telling us that we should hold the rains accountable for the underperformance of Orji. Tommorrow, we will also hear that the ground is too hard to construct or deconstruct the roads due to dry season. Fake promises everywhere in Abia State!

 

 

The deluding supremacy of Orji is explicit, and we can also see the manifest through Emezue, saying: “Well, let me say that governor T. A. Orji has made a lot of achievements; especially within the first year of his second term.  A lot of people know what happened in his first tenure, when he had a lot of legal challenges we could describe as distractions from right, left and centre and from their family estate. Governor Orji being a man that has the interest of the state at heart did what we call the liberation of Abia towards the end of his first term, by taking Abia away from the shackles of darkness. He brought Abia State to a state of light and that light has continued to shine as can be witnessed in most of the projects he has done. Prominent or chief of which is the secretariat, which is almost completed. Abia State civil servants have not had it so good in terms of secretariat scattered here and there, but today we are pointing to edifices that will house them in a matter of months. We can also talk about International Conference Centre, which is about to be completed. You can also talk of the Government House, which is also going on. Then the High Court in BCA, where you have a good corporate headquarters complex that is almost getting ready. Because the governor places emphasis on cleanliness in the state, ASEPA building is also going on. We also have the Diagnostic Centre, which is the first of its kind in Nigeria. We have one in Aba, and another one in Umuahia. It is already there and I can tell you from the last time I went there, the kind of patronage we are witnessing is second to none. Then, we have the dialysis centre. This is happening because the governor places much emphasis on health. The dialysis centre is almost ready for commission. We also have the health centre which as at last count is 210, though the governor says that he wants more health centres in Abia State. He probably wants additional 200 health centres.”

 

 

On the other hand, in all, how many of the mentioned phantasm projects have been completed? None. And how many years has the governor been in power? Five years going to six years. Please, don’t say that this government is not fake! Is this not a death-defying government the people have come to endure in the name of democracy? Why must any human being have eyes but can’t see, have ears but can’t hear, and have hands but only just to steal? Can we all see how Orji has ‘librated Abia away from the shackles of darkness’? A government is as its leadership. Human mosquitoes and their malaria seem incurable.

 

 

Odimegwu Onwumere,

Poet/Author, Media Consultant, Motivator, Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), and the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV), is based in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Phone: +2348032552855.

Email: nirivpol@gmail.com

Website: www.odimegwuonwumere.com

Buy His Books On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089WYSVS and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008223IBG

Odimegwu Onwumere: "RAPE, BLACKMAILER, EX-CONVICT, EXTORTIONIST" stories: Filth from Abia State Government – Gov. Orji and Aides’ Media Pollution

By Odimegwu Onwumere

 

This is to let you know. Many journalists have been killed across the world, but those anti-truths can never kill journalism. While there may be a declaration of Internet Freedom, some persons or groups are using it wrongly. They use it to maim and malign those they feel are threatening the source of their income and ugly trade with journalistic revelations. These people are not using the internet for good. Even so, they want to kill me because am a media personnel. They hate me because of my openness and innovation to our nation building that transcends partisan politics. I know you will be truly shocked when you read the stories. This will have you speechless. Friends are advising me to be careful and have eyes in the back of my head as some people are really on a mission to discredit me. But majority who believe in me are not, and will not be ashamed, if they read those mischievous stories from mischief makers against me, because as a literary activist, such things do not distract me.

 

 

 

The URLs below are the malicious stories. They are the only supposedly thing Governor Theodore Orji-boys are earning Abia State people’s money for,  to do against the critics of his government. And I am one of the critics. They have done everything to cow me, but the truth cannot be cowed. I am sending this across for the world people to make their judgment. In a space of just one to two weeks, they have written over and over garbage against me. If it was possible for them, they would have had my life picked-off. They have written stories that can never be bought even in a fictitious world against me. I want the media, human rights orgainisations, international community and sundry to take note the level these boys can go in making sure that Freedom of Press is caged. Are they insane?

 

 

 

Series of disinformation mischievously targeted at critics of the Gov. T.A Orji-led Government of Abia State had been distributed to the media. Nevertheless, the stories didn’t just find their ways to the media. Investigations assert that one Nnaji Obed Asiegbu is the brain behind the dishonorable act. Asiegbu, an intellectual tyro, is engulfed with the high jinks of the government. They said that he is the Adviser to the governor on e-governance. Whatever that means!

 

 

 

Revelations are that this horizontally and vertically morally depraved aide cook-up stories that never existed on the individuals of his target and circulate, especially on the internet. He was also accused of hacking into people’s e-mails and websites. They said that he uses blogs such as thejurist, nairaland, email forums, and many others to (attempt) tarnishing innocent critics. It was also said that he uses different names to sell his hard to buy wickedness against critics to the public. And he does this anytime there is an admonishing-article about his paymaster. Who is even sure it was not from him that the story of the czar being a drunk came from? With many things in reports about Asiegbu, no sensible person would be surprise that he can do anything to make money from Orji.

 

 

 

Not too long ago, I stumbled on one of the morally depraved articles. It was on me, not about me. He sold his conscience, with my picture published, saying that I was an ex-convict of libelous stories. Perhaps, he towed that nincompoop’s gesture from the known-perfect-actor of lies – the Chief Press (Liar) Secretary to the governor called – Ugochukwu Emezue. Inter alia, the recent article I came across has it that I was caught in the street of Port Harcourt for extortion. Here are some of the Orji-boys useless and brainless stories against me because I have been writing the truths about the ills of Gov. Orji-led government of Abia State. Please, read their scurrilous published stories against me, in the following URLs:

 

1. http://www.nairaland.com/1045871/odimegwu-onwumere-been-arrested-over

2. http://thejuristlaws.blogspot.com/2012/08/odimegwu-onwumere-nabbed-in.html

3. http://www.nairaland.com/1034638/odimegwu-onwumere-nabbed-portharcourt-over

 

I will not be amazed if by tomorrow I read another of his or that of his like’s consecrated lies against me from any quarter. They are bent on manufacturing insincere stories that would even make poor-sale for a fiction. But is cooking-up stories that do not exist against people and critics who are opposed to the policies of Orji-led government of Abia State the best? This is intellectual barrenness and laziness. It is my belief that some comments that I have read on his satanic posts, concerning his devilish articles on me, benevolent people are invoking Amadioha against him and his accomplices. Did I hear you say that it will not come to pass?

 

If there is any critic that has been writing against Orji with the measure of this hooey ‘e-governance aide’, I won’t know. I have only been writing that Gov. Orji should change his ways and express concern to the melting tears and infiltrated hearts of Abia people, over the immeasurable mis-governance in that state the residents are enduring with bitterness. Only in August, many residents expressed their concern over the filthy condition of Abia State. But instead Orji would pay attention to their distress, he is rather fighting anyone who has a contrary opinion to his, through his arsenal of aides, as a wounded ‘lion’ he is.

 

Like we very much know that the city of Aba, for example, is unhygienic, its possible health hazard Orji and his boys were supposed to look for solution to revolutionize thus, is their continuous pollution of the already bewildered people, with dismal media pollution. This is unhygienic of an already unhealthy government. What we expected from the government in Abia State to do, was to scold and caution itself first, for all to get it right in the state, but it never did. Instead, it is pumping more money into the media to cover-up its embarrassing nakedness. His media guys are proud as ‘Abia State Government Protection Agency (ASGPA)’, without knowing that their actions are capable of degenerating catastrophes. Orji and his boys have refused to be alive to their constitutional responsibilities. And this is worsening the already dampened condition, just as the rains had worsened the situation of environmental degradation in Abia State, aided by the ill-government we can see.

 

Come to think of it, is there anything to show in a place like Aba, for the numerous capricious levies imposed on residents by the government? Their willingness in paying the levies is to see and enjoy a healthy environment. But their hope only turned out to be a mirage. It is a pity! Mounds of refuse packed everywhere in the state. Yet, the information that the government was warming up to task the residents to remove dirt hollowed out from the drains cannot be overemphasized. The residents of Aba in particular are not finding it easy. Yet, threats that they would go to prison if they do not pay ASEPA fees is everyday. They are however hardened and chose to go to jail going by the leftist’s ways things are going in the Orji-led government of Abia State.

 

Orji’s aides will not tell him what the people’s complaints are in the media. Rather, they would be going about sending wrong information to their master and to the public of any observer or critic who chose to tell the world the plain truth about that state. The aides will not tell Orji that drains and roads in a place like Aba are now haven for dirt and that there is hardly good pliable road in the town. They will not tell Orji that the people are frowning concerning the news reports that the state government recently directed the council chairmen and agencies mandated with the revenue generation to correspond with the taxes levied residents of the city. Residents are urged to comply.

 

It is Orji and his boys’ continuous effort to pollute the media with their eye-service governance that makes Orji to berate council chairmen. For example, Aba North and Aba South local governments have been berated, whereas Orji as the head of the government in Abia State is yet to brace-up and clean-up his inability in governance. Orji has succeeded in making Abia State to look funny in the eyes of the people, because of his quest in focusing on microscopic things; hence his media aides would bloat and amplify them. This has been their postulations.

 

But whether they like it or not the state’s environment is embarrassing from any angle you are standing in Abia State. The people are now learning practically the meaning of deplorable. The deplorable condition of the state continues to be worse with the government forcing people to believe and accept their bunkum that successive governments in the state did not help matters in the development of the state. But this is a wrong address. “Successive governments” are gone. This is a present government, and we must hold it to account. No excuse. And if we must believe what Orji and his media boys are selling to us to buy that it is palpable that the problem of the state is not a thing of today, which of the problems has the government of today addressed? Does Orji know that a good leader does not use such comment as “accumulated challenges”? But this is often used by the government in Abia State without a blink. It likes polluting the air!

 

We must continue to blame Orji for the immeasurable woes in Abia State. We must blame him for not solving the things he was elected to solve. We must continue to blame him for the environmental degradation in Abia State, because we elected him to solve them. We must continue to blame him for refusing to sit-up and help the humanity in Abia State. But observers know that even if Orji may decide to sit-up today, aides like Nnaji Obed Asiegbu will create new problems to distract him, not minding the existing ones, because of money. Notwithstanding, it has been revealed that Orji’s media aides are ashamed of the damaged image of the government they are serving, therefore they resort to hide under pseudo names laced with professional titles such as lawyer, engineer, medical practitioner, amongst others for their write-ups, so that nobody would hold accountable in the society when the sunk government is gone, but they were oblivious that they are bringing disgrace to the professionals of these titles therefore polluting the media.

 

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Author, Media Consultant, Motivator, Founder of Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), and Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV), Nigeria.

Phone: +2348032552855.

Email: nirivpol@gmail.com

Website: www.odimegwuonwumere.com

Buy His Books On Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0089WYSVS and http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008223IBG