Need for Character Education in Nigeria’s Curriculum

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Since the family front in Nigeria has been weakened by a lot of factors associated with the modern times, school is one place that children should learn most of their characters, apart from religious organisations.

The early knowledge they acquire in the school dispose them to being what they become in the society. They are much concerned about what they were indoctrinated with than upholding social norms and ties, as the society sees. This is how ‘it is my life to live’ was born to characterise the world today, even when somebody is doing the wrong thing.

The indoctrinations in school culminate to overemphasis on individual rights, which sometimes cause disrespect in the area where respect was supposed to be applied. Many people today have different certificates/qualifications they acquired from school but their behaviours do not portray them as people who have seen the four walls of any school. They do not apply the matrix that outside the home there are rules and regulations. They behave the way they like. This is of serious concern.

Martin Luther King Jr., who was a Baptist minister and social activist that led the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the mid-1950s until his death by assassination in 1968, saw the behaviours of some persons and warned that intelligence plus character is the goal of true education. He did not say that holding multiple university degrees, expensive and expansive houses plus costly cars are the true essence of going to school; or frauding. No.

It is obvious that the indoctrinations that we acquire in school affect many in the negative way. Many did not know that the day they entered school began their indoctrination process. Doris Lessing in “The Golden Notebook” warns us in this aspect, saying, we have not yet evolved a system of education that is not a system of indoctrination. We are sorry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amalgam of current prejudice and the choices of this particular culture. The slightest look at history will show how impermanent these must be.

Lessing continues that you are being taught by people who have been able to accommodate themselves to a regime of thought laid down by their predecessors. It is a self-perpetuating system. Those of you who are more robust than others will be encouraged to leave and find ways of educating yourself — educating your own judgments. Those that stay must remember, always, and all the time, that they are being molded and patterned to fit into the narrow and particular needs of this particular society.

It is very sad that in the school, we are rarely taught to understand virtues and values, but physics, mathematics, English Language, religious studies, chemistry and so on. These are the main influences that control our lives and not virtues and values, which many people in the modern times see the later as belonging to the primordial. They speak especially the English Language very well without character to show for their fluency.

It is imperative to state that the schools in this country do not mold people to understanding their moral identity, character formation, and letting people understand who they are; instead they are taught to believe in what they are. ‘Who you are’ is not the doctor or engineer you are. ‘Who you are’ is the exhibition of trust, evenhandedness, caring and integrity that make up your character.

Theodore Roosevelt (October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919), who was the 26th President of the United States (1901–1909) once said that to educate a person in the mind but not in morals is to educate a menace to society. Martha Graham (May 11, 1894 – April 1, 1991), also, an American, was a modern dancer and choreographer whose influence on dance has been compared with the influence Picasso had on the modern visual arts, was quoted as having the below lines:

“I believe that we learn by practice. Whether it means to learn to dance by practicing dancing or to learn to live by practicing living, the principles are the same. In each, it is the performance of a dedicated precise set of acts, physical or intellectual, from which comes shape of achievement, a sense of one’s being, a satisfaction of spirit. One becomes, in some area, an athlete of God. Practice means to perform, over and over again in the face of all obstacles, some act of vision, of faith, of desire. Practice is a means of inviting the perfection desired.”

While school was supposed to invite the perfection desired in tandem with the virtues and morals of the society, it does the contrary. It only functions as a facilitator of people into logics and not how people deal with the nuisance school aid them to create in the society. Ray Bradbury who was an American fantasy and horror author who died in Los Angeles on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91 reportedly rejected being categorised as a science fiction author. He admonished: “I don’t believe in colleges and universities. I believe in libraries…”

Many graduates from different schools do not read as if they want to live forever, hence they do not develop fully as individuals with good character and high moral standard. Against this backdrop, it is left for the authorities to check if they would integrate character education and ethics into the country’s curriculum. The character to use the libraries sounds to many Nigerians as a tale from the moonlight. They prefer going to school and not, using the libraries for extensive knowledge acquisition. How people imbibe global perspectives threatens the perseverance of character education.

Mahatma Gandhi, considered as the father of the Indian independence movement saw the need for character education and he warned that “Seven Deadly Sins” are Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Science without humanity, Knowledge without character, Politics without principle, Commerce without morality, Worship without sacrifice…. But many of our schooled persons do not have character outside what they were taught in school. People just behave anyhow anywhere. This is why  Abigail Van Buren warned that the best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.

To have a favourable future, we must know that there is no spirituality as good character. It is a sacrifice. One Helen Keller tells us that character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired, and success achieved…. We must accept and practice character, empowerment, love, pleasing, self-discovery, self-esteem, self-respect, truthfulness, wisdom…

We must stop struggling with the sensation of being schooled whereas we are sipping through the cracks of disorderliness; it worth the onus to change for profound characters and drop the shoddy ones.  We should know that being schooled is different from values and that, character is commencement of facts and values. We should not forget the fact that values are the foundations for character.

If the school cannot teach us first the values before teaching us Mathematics and English Language in the context of molding us, then the society is served menace to preserve. We must discover our own ignorance, which should be first the progressive idea of going to school, while we aim for success and move forward with our lives.

One Epictetus says that school may have been – or still be – boring, a killer of creativity or downright awful for you. But education is still important because it opens the mind and expands it. And if your years in school were bad or boring you can still educate yourself now… It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows. Like Martin Luther King Jr. would say, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358




The Bug In Nigeria’s Palm Oil Industry

By Odimegwu Onwumere

One of the points raised in a letter that the National Chairman of Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria, VEOPAN, Mr. Okey Ikoro wrote to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, was that Nigeria was the principal producer and exporter of palm oil palm produce and allied products in the 60s. This was in relation to 27 per cent of the global market with 167,000 metric tonnes in 1961. But Ikoro frowned at the abysmally declination of Nigerian production in 2008 which was put at 25,000MT, while the world production increased from 629,000MT to 33.3 millionMT within the same period. The VEOPAN, nevertheless, called on the Federal Government to support the setting up of N100bn Oil Palm Development Fund to revitalise the palm oil sector.


About 75 percent of the export of palm kernels in 1832, came from Nigeria. And by 1911, “British” West Africa alone exported 157,000 tonnes. Malaysia, which has surpassed Nigeria in this business, was not originally a palm oil producing country. In the 1870s, British administrators took the seedlings to that country and in 1934, Malaysia became the largest exporter of the product. Nigeria and Zaire were originally leading the world in the production and export of palm oil throughout the first half of the 20th Century but in 1966, Malaysia and Indonesia had surpassed Africa’s total palm oil production.

SOCFIN S. A., founded in 1912, was the first industrial company to plant oil palm in Africa and Indonesia. Palm oil was the mainstay of Nigeria’s economy before the crude oil was explored. There were stringent strategies used in palm oil distribution in various markets across the country. The local markets were not pre-tested before palm oil could be sold. Many marketers did store the produce during the peak, while many did not. There used to be high and low storage by marketers. A large percentage of men and women were involved in the business. Prices varied during the peak period and during the tilting season.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina in a discourse stressed that it was disgusting that Nigeria, which was leading the world in palm oil production and distribution is today, importing crude palm oil. Angered by this development, he vowed to reverse the trend. In 2012, Nigeria started the distribution of sprouted oil palm nuts and gave 1.4 million sprouted nuts free. The farmers, according to him, have to recapitalise their plantations. He asserted that the Tenera seedlings are high-yielding. He also declared that two of the best performing stocks in the Nigerian Stock Exchange, are from the oil palm industry and the government intended to guarantee that it stays so.

It used to be a profitable venture, when palm oil was sold in drums, jerry-can, and bottles in the local markets in a large quantity. Many people were gainfully employed in the business despite bad roads which made transportation very difficult and lack of extension services. It was not easy then. The good news today is that there is a N10billon palm oil refinery being constructed by PZ Wilmar Limited. The company ostensibly described the refinery as the biggest in Nigeria. The refinery has state-of –the-art technology with a capacity of 1,000, 000 tonnes per day.

In a recent interview the chief executive officer of PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc, Mr. Christos Giannopoulos, said that the palm oil refinery is situated in Ikorodu, Lagos State and supported with a 50,000 hectares of plantations. With the investment of about N100 billion over the next few years, the refinery would create about 11,000 significant jobs and over 32,000 circuitous jobs at an-assortment-of skill levels. There are companies like Wilmar Ltd with expertise in international palm oil business, which is partnering with Pz Wilmar Limited to revolutionise the palm oil industry.

In November 2012, the company had commissioned a 32,000 hectare palm plantation in  Cross River State, with over 600,000 high yield  palm plants been  transplanted with 2.1million of seedlings at four nursery sites. To build capacity among stakeholders in the palm oil industry in the country, a Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) Africa Roadshow was organised in Nigeria on September 24, 2013. It was a two-day event aimed at creating awareness and capacity building among partners in the industry, like the Solidaridad West Africa and Proforest Initiative (UK), supported by RSPO-Nigeria National Interpretation Initiative.

Not too long ago, the Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria presented a Draft Bill to the National Assembly seeking for the establishment of an Oil Palm Development Fund with the aim of fostering the production, processing, utilisation and exportation of oil palm in the country. The Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria are of the opinion  that the  N100bn development fund  sought has become very necessary as the country urgently needs viable alternatives  to crude oil in the country’s economy.

The Okomu Oil Palm Company, with a surveyed area of 15,580 hectares out of which 12,500 hectares supposedly could be planted with oil palm was established in 1976, by the Federal Government with the aim of rehabilitating oil palm production in Nigeria. But this initiative called “Pilot Project” failed to achieve its aim.

Okomu Oil Palm Company was incorporated on December 3, 1979, as a Limited Liability Company. The company had ongoing plantation operations in places like Cote D’ivoire, Liberia, Guinea, Cameroon, Kenya and Indonesia. By 1990, the Technical Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation (TCPC) privatised the Okomu Oil Palm Company on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

Nigeria has lately been aspiring to develop her oil palm production on sustainable and universally acceptable principles to meet targeted period when investors in the agro-sector are to have their products officially-stated. Stakeholders in the business of palm oil in Nigeria are also raising consciousness on the best practices to improve palm oil production and marketing of the produce in the country, especially, in the 24 producing States of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Rivers, Bayelsa, Imo, Anambra, Ebonyi, Enugu, Delta, Edo, Ondo, Ogun, Osun, Oyo, Ekiti, Benue, Kwara, Kogi, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba, Adamawa and Kaduna (Southern Kaduna). The stakeholders in the business of palm oil in Nigeria include growers/millers, processors, associations, NGOs/environmentalists, financial sector, development agencies, state governments, federal ministries, government parastatals and manufacturers/end-users, amongst others.

With the glaring lackadaisical approach of the Federal Government to implementing serious business-oriented measures that would drive the local palm oil, the neighbouring African countries saw this as an opportunity to enter the country with their own palm oil. The Federal Government through the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, on June 1, 2013 bemoaned how statistics firmly showed that the closest West African countries to Nigeria, flood Nigerian market with most of the palm oil they import from Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and others duty-free; thereby displacing locally produced palm oil from the market and suffocating the Nigerian oil palm plantations.

Adesina maintained that it is possible for Nigeria to become self-reliant in palm oil production, giving his experience with the pressure mounted by interest groups on the President for waivers on rice and his refusal to grant same. Nigeria, he said, is on its way to self-sufficiency in rice production. He said that such stringent measure has to be applied to the palm oil industry if Nigeria must revitalise the industry, because every country must do what is in its best interest.

Stating the obvious, Adesina said that Nigeria should be producing and exporting to those countries. And this succinctly has shown the reason the National Chairman of Vegetable/Edible Oil Producers Association of Nigeria, VEOPAN, Mr. Okey Ikoro was snivelling.  Adesina added that Nigeria should not be using those countries as passage areas.

Regional trade, he said, does not mean that there must be importation into Nigeria, like the neighbouring West African countries whose crude palm oil import far exceeded their needs. A good example is Benin Republic whose local production stagnated in the past ten years while their import increased by 1,018 per cent.

In his figures, these countries import increased by 1,084 per cent of crude palm oil. Ghana’s production was also stagnant for the period. Their export rose by 62 per cent. Cote d’Ivoire production declined by 20 per cent during the period, but their export rose by 74 per cent. From all the evidence Adesina said that he had seen, it appeared they’re re-exporting into Nigeria, which is killing the oil palm industry in Nigeria.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


Kalu and the call for Obasanjo’s arrest

By Odimegwu Onwumere

It was credited to Chief Obafemi Awolowo as having said that since independence, our governments have been a matter of few holding the cow for the strongest and most cunning to milk, under those circumstances everybody runs over everybody to make good at the expense of others…. This is why the call by Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu that Olusegun Obasanjo should be arrested may not be out of place.


Corruption in the country is taking to a way of life among many citizens. Values and virtues are no longer respected and acted upon. Pillaging of public resources for self-aggrandizement has become a phenomenon. Nigeria has always scored above 100 aggregate in the Transparency International’s corruption index. Creativity has been pummeled to the soil, with all eyes on petrodollar and government’s allocations. There is little to show for the many trillions of naira that are yearly budgeted for projects, keeping an average citizen to be feeding from hand to mouth.

First time in the history of Nigeria that a sitting president held the position of Minister of Petroleum for many years; Obasanjo did not give account of his stewardship in this stead. Many billions of money meant for power during Obasanjo’s regime went spiral. Rather than account to Nigerians how he ran the Ministry, he was busy causing ethnic revolutions and chasing his perceived political foes around the world.

Kalu was one politician who lost a lot of his personal businesses during the reign of the Owu-generalissimo and was tormented by Obasanjo for the single reason that he was opposed to Obasanjo’s Third Term Agenda. Obasanjo used the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to hound Kalu and many Nigerians for his egotistical curiosity. Nigeria recorded the highest rate of politically motivated killings during Obasanjo’s 1999-2007 reigns.

Obasanjo has been accused severally of robbing the country of over $900 billion and N1.4 trillion. Obasanjo nearly sold all the country’s enterprises for the nickname of privatisation. Obasanjo spanned Nigerians who did not want the sales of the enterprises saying that they were not yielding to the country’s income. Another reason given by Obasanjo for selling those enterprises was that it would ease the government the problem of running dead companies.

The call by Kalu to arrest Obasanjo may be imperative owing to the fact that Nigeria started collapsing during his reign, because his administration showed its ineptitude to manage Nigeria, therefore he nearly sold all that Nigeria had. A former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Managing Director of Nigerian Industrial Development Bank (NIDB), Alhaji Abubakar Abdulkadir, had said in an interview with Sunday Trust that the privatization initiated by the General Ibrahim Babangida administration was derailed by Obasanjo’s administration.


Words that were credited to Abdulkadir are: “Worse of them all is what Obasanjo’s administration had led us into. That is privatization. I think that was the worst thing that ever happened to this country. During Babangida’s time, we were the people who drew up the privatization programme. We categorized it into three groups: those that will be kept under the finances and control of the government; those to be commercialized; and those that would be out rightly privatized.”

So, Nigerians should applaud Kalu for saying that Obasanjo is in charge for the woes Nigeria is suffering today. By history, Obasanjo did not only fail to manage the opportunity he had to transform the country, but led the country as if it was another military government. Obasanjo wanted to be worshiped at all times and anybody like Kalu with divergent views was marked for humiliation or killed. Remember that Kalu once called the world that Obasanjo wanted to kill him.

From the many supposedly atrocities of Obasanjo in the papers, Kalu may be right when he said that Obasanjo boosted corruption in the country. At the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Kalu said: “Well, let me tell you, Obasanjo is part of the problems of this country. The earlier he goes back to his farm the better. He caused all the problems that we are going through. He was worse than Jonathan and any other president of this country…. In 1999 when he was elected as president, instead of giving leadership, he went to fight political war. The goodwill this country had, he squandered it, and this is what we are suffering from today because if he had given qualitative leadership without pursuing political enemies, we would have grown.”

As Kalu has said, Obasanjo needs to be arrested and tried for his infamous roles in government. El-Rufa’i, former FCT minister and BPE boss, once told lawmakers that Obasanjo made nonsense of the privatisation plan, because he kept interfering in the activities of the agency. He also accused Obasanjo of blocking the privatisation of Nigeria Airways. And the story today is that the company is dead, 2000 jobs have been lost.

All, hail Kalu for always speaking out!

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


Kalu is not Orji

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Because of the name ‘Orji’ in Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, a former Governor of Abia State, and the present Governor Theodor Ahamefule Orji, some persons erroneously or knowingly attribute the woes that Gov. Orji has created in the state to Kalu.


To differentiate between the two names, one has a surname as ‘Kalu’ and the other has a surname as ‘Orji’. During Kalu’s administration, Abia State flourished with commerce and industry. At least, people from all walks of life were coming to Aba, to buy their goods and other wares. People were coming to reside in Abia State and do business. At least, Aba was somewhat the like of Onitsha in term of trading and buying.

But all of these changed and were replaced with kidnapping, when Gov. Orji became governor. Robbery took the place of commerce and industry and, residents were relocating to safer neighbouring states, due to the imminent kidnapping and abuse of office that characterise Gov. Orji’s government. The government became the government of Gov. T.A Orji, Odochi Orji and Chinedu Orji (Ikuku).

Stating the fact, an unbiased mind would attest to the fact that Kalu’s name resonates in Abia and Nigeria with love from people. In Aba alone, mention Gov. Orji and you see people abuse you, while Kalu garners a lot of accolades. Many had wished that the type of government that is operated here is monarchical for Kalu to have continued to lead them. They are regretting the aberration called Gov. Orji’s government in Abia State.

Why Gov. Orji’s government is too bad is because he has too many governments in his government: That of his wife and that of his son and cronies. His government informs us of how bad government is. If some goons think that Kalu’s government was bad, Gov. Orji’s own is even worse. This government has grown out of hand; with docility that majority of our people are enduring in the name of democracy.


Conversely, Gov. Orji’s aides would see his government as one good one just as many people who do not make enough research about politicians would take their many lies as good government. The government of Gov. Orji is lying for its selfish interest. Our people had thought that this government would perform positively wonders when in 2010 Gov. Orji told the world blatant lies that it was Dr. Kalu who was holding him not to give the people the dividends of democracy and he distanced himself. Now that he has estranged Kalu, Gov. Orji is still looking for excuses from the blues for his non-performance. Wise-thinking persons would see that Kalu was innocent.

Gov. Orji thought that by attacking Kalu would be the best way to govern. His boys continued in that stead till this writer took it as a single project and shut-up their many lies in Abia State. Many of the liars in the government of Gov. Orji like one media gangster called Ugochukwu Emezue was disgracefully fired from his position as the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Others like the shamefaced Eze Chikamnayo is no longer coming to the media always in order to buy favour from the governor. Many of them who were bent on labeling critics of the government with malicious make-belief stories of kidnapping, rape, extortion and sundry are now jittery. Ndi ara!

While not taking side between Kalu and Orji, the later has reduced the vision of our people. Gov. Orji believes that attitude is not welcomed but interest is supreme. So, his interest is not in the favour of our state, but that of his political ambitions, the welfare of his family members and those of his favourites.

It behooves on all to know that there was no incident of kidnapping during the tenure of Kalu; everything started with the government of Orji.

Gov. Orji might indoctrinate anybody to hate Kalu till they die; the truth remains that it will take Gov. Orji another reincarnation to garner the influence that Kalu wields, if that will even be possible in Gov. Orji’s next life.

Many people thank Kalu. The people of Uzuakoli to Nkporo in Ohafia Local Government would always be grateful to Kalu for building their roads. But who thanks Gov. Orji, nobody, except Eze Chikamnayo, Obed Nnaji Asiegbu, Eddie Onuzuruike, Ugochukwu Emezue…

Let all those who see Kalu as Orji leave him alone. Businesses did not leave Abia State in droves during Kalu’s administration, but are leaving in droves under Orji’s government, because of bad government policy. This government does not respect public opinion, hence the bad government we are enduring, and has become autocratic government. By the bad government policy and the total failure of bad regulation and by greed, everything under Governor Orji’s government has collapsed. Gov. Orji should wake-up from feeble execution of governance!

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


Jubilation for Mu’azu, Tutorial from Tukur

By Odimegwu Onwumere

On Sunday, 19 January 2014, a former Governor of Bauchi State, Adamu Mu’azu, was chosen as the new National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). He replaced Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, who’s widely regarded as President Goodluck Jonathan’s man. The ejected Tukur became the national chairman of the party on March 24, 2012, amidst controversy.


Tukur’s tenure was widely expected to end on March 23, 2016, but the same forces that were opposed to his emerging as chairman in 2012, contributed to his ouster. Many had thought that Jonathan triumphed over some governors and other PDP powerbrokers that were opposed to his choice in Tukur, till avoidable crises began to characterise the party and many members pulled out and pitched tent with some opposition political parties.

It was a game of intrigues. Mr. President had thought that he was knack with the meeting held on a Friday night that saw to the emergence of his choice, Tukur. Journalists christened that Friday as “a marathon night meeting with the dissenters.” Against this backdrop, there are lessons for Mu’azu, 58, who emerged the national chairman of the coveted office of the PDP, seemingly on the altar of unanimous adoption and would be working with Jonathan closely to reposition the strewn PDP ahead of 2015 elections.

What is expected of Mu’azu is to be impartial to duty, owing to the tedious works he has to do in the party and in making sure that peace is restored to the party, (if the PDP still needs peace). Mu’azu is one man that many people have said that has done a lot for his home state of Bauchi. This could be true, because there have been hardly uproars against his choice since on the January 19 he was made the chairman of the ruling party. It is believed that one task that Mu’azu should not toy with is to love Nigeria first and his party before becoming loyal to anybody or gearing-up for his personal interest.

Many believe that Mu’azu’s magnetism is from Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. Others believe the contrary of all the allures said that Mu’azu enjoys in the cause of his stewardship. It would be suicidal for Mu’azu to neglect any opposition in the party, as Jonathan did in making sure that Tukur became the national chairman of the PDP then. That singular act has caused the party some image-damage, which would take proper measures to launder the battered image into shape.

It was not that Tukur became the national chairman of the party then that is a cause of concern today, but that he resigned from his position amidst hatred, bickering, tinkering and usurpations. The old Gongola State-born politician even had to confess the challenges he faced in office, and they were not sugercoated. Tukur had thought that a meeting at the presidential villa, which dangled the pendulum in his favour, was part of his better years in politics, but he met waterloos of crowd of oppositions within the party, which hereby entails that anything gotten through shortcuts does not end well.

Tukur was highhanded, when it was known that somebody stepped down for him with the insistence of the president that he could only be comfortable in working with Tukur.  That act by the president did not go well with the party and also, for the president to had berated the aggrieved governors opposed to Tukur that he did not interfere in their different states choice of the party’s chairman; so they should allow him choose who he could work with.

Jonathan did not want to be rubbished, but his idea for choosing Tukur did. He, however, asked the governors to make their choice for the positions of the deputy national chairmanship and national secretary. With perseverance of the president, the governors bowed for him to make his choice. Former-President Olusegun Obasanjo who was purportedly at the meeting, even paid obeisance to Jonathan’s argument. But he is the same man today, criticising Jonathan for the crises that have befallen the PDP.

Nevertheless, now that all hope seem to be reassured in Mu’azu, let him not be another Tukur. It seems to be a culture in PDP that any of its ‘consensus’ chairmen does not end well in office. Dr. Okwesileze Nwodo would not forget in a hurry the embarrassments he endured as the PDP’s chairman and how he was unceremoniously booted out of office.

Mu’azu should make sure that he is in a relationship with his state governor, to avoid a replay of Nyako vs. Tukur. He should take into account the fact that those close to him have said that he has what it takes to navigate the affairs of the party. Mu’azu might be a nice person for a foundation member of the PDP like Dr. Orji Kalu, former governor of Abia State, to have sent a congratulatory note to him, on his election as the National Chairman of the PDP.

Chief Adamu Mu’azu should not disappoint a person like Kalu who said of him in the following lines: Your election is a confirmation of your robust pedigree in leadership at various strata of the society and shows the confidence the party has in your capacity to lead the biggest political association on the continent…

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


Kalu and the Season of Partnership

By Odimegwu Onwumere

As the President Slok group of companies, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu is not like the chef who has a good business head, but with focus only in the kitchen. He goes beyond to attract business ideas and motivation. He is an achiever without egocentric background. The company’s partnership with Toro-Atlantic for new venture is one of the many partnerships that Kalu has negotiated for the lifting up of the business environment in Nigeria and for provision of employment for the unemployed crowd.

As Slok is a no-less company with branches in virtually all the countries of the world, so also is Toro-Atlantic Global Limited. The later was reportedly operates in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, with extraordinary and plentiful manufacturing facilities in Africa, as well as in China. One thing that stands Kalu out in the business environment is that selfishness is not associated with him. If he has had such mentality and behaviour, he would not have been travelling to all the parts of the world, instituting companies in those areas to help humanity here and there.


Another aspect of Kalu in the business world is that he is not associated with little mind and does not belittle ambitions. He unveils novel ideas with the mindset that when one door closes, another opens. He is not weighed down with any doors that closed, because he knows how to open new doors. He has changed his mind and his life and, has changed for the better.

The perceived secret of his business escalation is the matrix of getting started. He knows that he is on the right track and has refused to be lazing in it to avoid others overrunning him. He knows how to get along with people. And this could be the main reason everybody and company wants to partner with him in the business sphere.

The partnership with Toro-Atlantic Global Limited caused a ceremony in Dubai that attracted the eyes of crème de la crème in business world over, during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, between Slok and the Toro-Atlantic Global Limited. Especially now that Nigeria is still finding her way to develop in the area of ICT, Kalu initiated Toro-Atlantic Global Limited to be manufacturing ICT High-tech and Home Appliances in Nigeria, with such high delivery the company renders in places like Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in parts of Africa as well as in China.

In May 2013,  Kalu partnered his company with the Prime Group of India at the residence of the Founder/Chairman of Prime Group, Padmashree Surinder Mehta. Kalu said that he does these partnerships because, such is the key to business growth and skyrocketing.

Kalu has worked very hard and seriously in making sure that Slok Group, which started as a sole business venture, escalated to the multinational and continental firm it has become today. So-they-say, Slok has wide gusto in shipping, banking and insurance, publishing, real estate, agriculture, oil and gas, logistics amongst others.

His efforts have shown and brought the wise saying to public glare: Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Although, he might have succeeded out of the absolute favour of providence, because there are a lot of people who have talents more than he has gotten, who are still unsuccessful. Some of them are within his age bracket; some are younger, while others are older. Not even schooling can make one as successful as Kalu has become.

Kalu is always making use of the adage which says that no man is an island. He also exemplified his business acumen in June, 2009. With the caption “Slok partners Diamond bank on vessel acquisition” the investment strengthened indigenous participation in the Cabotage operations dominated then by foreigners. Nigerians are today very excited about the potentials that Kalu have.

Kalu, as a business mogul, has not only shared his riches with people who are related and not related to him, but have also revealed many to their own riches. He is one man who has faith in people even when many have betrayed him. Perhaps, he learns wisdom from the betrayals of some persons he trusted. He, however, chooses his actions carefully in any given set of circumstances.

A lot of people applaud Kalu for his business initiatives that have elated many people in the country and across the world. Many Nigerians have to also support him in his direction and pace, to enable the country and the world achieve meaningfully in life, not only directed in the course we choose for ourselves, but for posterity.

Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu has developed his own destiny, growing with it into maturity and wisdom. Let’s learn that although we cannot choose his destiny, but we can support him to deliver creditably. We have to support him consciously and copiously, for the reshaping of our country and our wellbeing, because he is one man who triggers a lot of emotions in our hearts and compels us to aspire for more open doors and business successfulness.

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


Why Gov TA Orji Is After Critics

By Odimegwu Onwumere

The question among many Abia people is whether Governor T.A Orji has built a new capital city in the state, except Umuahia. This is sequel to the government’s deafening blare of ‘accomplishing its campaign promises’. Another side of it is that the governor is using two hands to grab even the works that were there by the predecessor.


One Abdullahi Kure of Niger State would attest to the fact that he commissioned a particular project in the government that precedes T.A Orji government, but the later is claiming credit of the work.

Nonetheless, this is what happens in a state of many sycophants. They would not know when they counted the dead among the living and the living, among the dead. The sycophants do this in order to show that they love Gov. Orji so much, oblivious that they are digging in for more problems for him.

When critics send in their critique, the same yesmen would shout to the high heavens that ‘critics are unfair to Orji’. Except in Gov. Orji’s government, elsewhere, someone who has critics always stand up fervently to prove the critics wrong.

Everywhere you went and mentioned that you are from Abia State, the first embarrassment is dished out that you guys do not have a governor. Abia State is too far apart from the many ‘awards’ that the friends and cronies of Gov. Orji have given to him, with some describing him as the best governor and the best government in term of development and others.

If the sycophants think that we do not have a right to criticise Gov. Orji, we shall continue to tell him that he has no right not to develop our state, to come to abreast with developments as are wont in other states across the federation.

Gov. Orji’s governance style marvels and madden many people that they cannot conceal the shame anymore, than to tell the world that the state is prejudiced by the governor, no matter what the opinions of the state’s media gangster are.

The media assailants of the governor are wont to saying and writing that the world should not pay attention to what critics write or say about the government, because they have refused to measure things in inches. This is not with the case of Aristotle who was credited as saying: To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.

Gov. T.A Orji knows it very well that no matter how his yesmen try to paint his government as the most performing one; this by no means signifies that there are other people who are not seeing through the lens of dignity.

It is only in Abia State, due to the monumental failures that have befallen the government, that we are disturbed with the story that the state was a pariah many years ago and that the governor is re-righting the wrongs. Such crass mentality of aligning the woes of the government with the past government is like the Igbo proverb, which says that when a child was unable to catch a rat he or she was pursuing, that rat invariably becomes a useless rat.

Apart from his double-standards of saying that he has accomplished his campaign promises, Gov. Orji would have saved himself the many hypocrisies by being his own biggest critic, which should be in line with the comments and judgments of the people and not, what a few rented persons want the world to read, hear and know about the government.

But even the flatterers telling the world of the many things that the governor has been doing in the cause of governance is also criticism, though in the most wrong and biased form. They forgot that a good leader does not run away from the acceptance, bravery and courage of critics and their critical-criticism of his or her leadership. Criticism is acceptable and agreeable and necessary.

Gov. T.A Orji should know that such fulfill the same function of the government, only where a leader pays attention to criticism and use them for the welfare of state of things. Gov. T.A Orji should realise what Carlos Ruiz Zafón writes in “The Shadow of the Wind”: The words with which a child’s heart is poisoned, whether through malice or through ignorance, remain branded in his memory, and sooner or later they burn his soul.

He had attacked his predecessor wrongly and has been doing everything to ruin his reputation, by often saying that he was grossly responsible for his non-performance. But Charlotte Brontë in Jane Eyre tells the world that: Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the (Crown of Thorns).

Brontë continues that these things and deeds (in Abia State. mine) are diametrically opposed: they are as distinct as is vice from virtue. Men too often confound them: they should not be confounded: appearance should not be mistaken for truth; narrow human doctrines, that only tend to elate and magnify a few, should not be substituted for the world-redeeming creed…

Odimegwu Onwumere, a Poet/Writer, writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358