Nigeria: Maybe, Akanu Ibiam should write to the USA this time

By Odimegwu Onwumere


In a protest letter sent to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Dr. Francis Akanu Ibiam wrote that he was renouncing all the awards given him by the British Government, because he once believed that the country was propagating the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but did not see reason why the Christian-Britain would support the Muslim-Nigeria, against the Christian-Biafra, during the 1967 war.


Ibiam highlighted in that letter that during the months of May, July, August, and September, 1966, Northern Nigerian soldiers and civilians planned and committed the most atrocious crimes against Eastern Nigerians – now citizens of the Republic of Biafra.


He did not end there, he fumed, saying that sadistically, brutally and in cold blood, they murdered and slaughtered thousands of “my brothers and sisters” who were then living in Northern Nigeria and other parts of the former and defunct Federal Republic of Nigeria.


Ibiam further said that they killed innocent children, helpless women, and defenseless men without any reason or rhyme. They entered churches and hospitals and slaughtered them in cold blood. And most unbelievably yet only too true, they massacred women in actual LABOUR and their unborn children. They plundered, looted, assaulted and raped women and burnt down the homes of Easterners and left them penniless.


He said that it was simply staggering for a Christian country like Britain to help a Muslim country militarily to crush another Christian country like Biafra. “This is just too much for me, Your Gracious Majesty, this act of unfriendliness and treachery by the British Government towards the people of Republic of Biafra who, as Eastern Nigerians, had so much regard for Britain and British people,” said Ibiam.


And that persists till date, because contrary to the belief of some people that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in the election that brought General Muhammadu Buhari to power, because he lost the election, a notable northern leader, Tanko Yakasai has affirmed the interview granted the ex-president in April, that northerners were spurred to kill people and destroy property if Jonathan had won.


In the March 28 election, it was revealed that majority of northerners had sharpened their knives, cudgels and fixed their guns if Jonathan had won. Yakasai said that upon the tantrums making the rounds that earned largesse from Jonathan to give him his support, the aging Yakasai revealed that he threw in his weight in support of Jonathan, because it was uncalled for that northerners think they own Nigerian; any other part of the country was not in the position to lead the country.


(Buhari and Jonathan; pic credit, internet)

When Jonathan spoke for the first time on April 12, after the election, during his visit to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) in Lagos, he told the world that he conceded defeat to the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Buhari, because he was afraid of crisis springing up if he had won. His statement did not contradict Yakasai’s public presentation in August 13, that the northerners were prepared to send the rest Nigerians packing if their son did not win.


The feeble Jonathan whom many had since the aftermath of the election erroneously adopted as their idol for conceding defeating to Buhari, had at the presentation said: “Since I assumed duty, I have been involved in quelling political crises in some African countries and I know what they passed through and what some are still going through. If you scuttle a system for personal ambition, it becomes a collective tragedy. You need to have a nation before you can have an ambition. It should always be the nation first. You don’t have to scuttle national progress for personal ambition. Democracy has to be nurtured to grow. Strong democratic institutions are the backbone and future of our democracy. They must be protected and nurtured. As for me, as a matter of principle, it is always the nation first.”


Jonathan who had since told the world leaders and Nigerians to assist Buhari to move the country forward, the truth was that Buhari could not have conceded defeat if he were Jonathan. Buhari’s utterances in the past of making the country ungovernable if Jonathan won, was the reason many Nigerians had fingered him, as allegedly the sponsor of the issue-less based Islamic Boko Haram.


While in many quarters people were praising Jonathan as epitome of wisdom, others were seeing him as epitome of cowardice, who got the hint of northerners’ shoddy preparation against rest Nigerians, yet contested in the election and did not allow another candidate from the south to contest. His so-called wisdom may be seen as a betrayal to the collective sensibilities of southerners.


It was regrettably that many people were tagging Jonathan with the matrix that he was a man of God, what could be tagged for selling his zone for the paltry, to concern his fearful nature in the hands of northerners, which the rest Nigerians do not know, when they would want any person from other parts of the country, to taste the presidency again.


It was the same Buhari who said that Jonathan’s deployment of soldiers to the north-east in the fight against the insurgents, that had commandeered all the service chiefs recently to flush out the goons within three months. In the case of Jonathan, due to bad media that was orchestrated against him, the Americans and Europeans characterised his move against the terrorists as human rights violation and frustrated all efforts by the Jonathan government to procure modern day fire arms, to engage the Boko Haram nuisance.


If it was for the reason that northerners were calling for hell to loose should Jonathan had won in the election that he conceded defeat, he might not be remembered in the history of Southerners, as an intelligent man. But if it were the rumour making the rounds that some international community members and some dignitaries in the country placed calls on him and hinted some reasons why the PDP should accept defeat, that still boiled down to the clattering of the northerners to combust the country if Jonathan was declared winner.


It was evidence that Jonathan exhibited unevenness, unawareness and narrow-mindedness on how to handle the election. Jonathan perhaps thought that the southerners loved Nigeria than the northerners, as a result, he should keep Nigeria one and accept defeat. This is not the right way to be a humble man. Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida as Head of State cancelled the presidential election of June 12, 1993, and the Americans and Europeans did not loose the earth to fall down.


Imagine! Other reasons Ibiam gave, inter alia, for renouncing all the awards that Britain gave him, was that his objection and protest were directed solely and entirely to the British Government because he did not believe that the staunch British friends of Africa, particularly the CHURCH, and informed British public opinion would deplore this unkindly act of the British Government to the Republic of Biafra, in support of the north. With the highest sense of responsibility, therefore, and bearing clearly in his own mind the moral issues which were at stake, and his own stand in Biafra, Ibiam returned the insignia and paraphernalia of his title to Your Majesty’s Britannic Government through the British Deputy High Commissioner who was resident in Enugu – the capital city of the Republic of Biafra.


(Buhari and Obama, during the later’s visit to US this year. Photo: internet)

As if Ibiam was writing that letter today, he said, “Your Majesty, the British officials in Nigeria are fully aware of all these. They know that we are injured and deeply grieved people and had been cruelly treated by our erstwhile fellow citizens of Federal Republic of Nigeria. The British officials not only knew the crux of the matter, but they also encouraged Northern Nigeria to carry out and execute their nefarious plan against us. They are angry with Biafra because Biafra categorically refused to remain as part of the Nigeria federation and political unit only to be trampled upon, discriminated against and hated, ruthlessly exploited and denied her rights and privileges, and slaughtered whenever it suited the whims and caprices of the favoured people of Northern Nigeria. To add insult to injury, Your Majesty’s Britannic Government, instead of being neutral in our quarrels or finding ways and means to mediate and bring peace to the two countries, has now taken it upon herself to supply military aid to Nigeria to help them defeat and subjugate Biafra.”


Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358


The Future Is No Longer About Data Revolution But Its Security

By Odimegwu Onwumere


The thrill among the world leaders and policymakers as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) comes to an end on September 15 2015, is how to actualise Data Revolution for the grasp of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which takes effect by 2016 for all citizens of the world to acquire knowledge and information by 2030.


From America to Africa, from United Kingdom to United Arab Emirates, conferences are being held as the United Nations Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki Moon last year formed and assigned an assemblage of Independent Advisory Expert Group (IAEG) with the duty to look into profitable ways to arrest and make the agenda a success.


What this means is that philosophers, journalists, scholars, partisans, politicians and many others are looking for the merits and demerits of Data Revolution for Development; looking for ways to sensitise global publics on how to do away with untenable products and services, policies and behaviours.


Digging into this initiative, the leaders in Africa gathered in Addis Ababa on July 15 this year to carve a niche for the continent on the advantageous ways to tap into the Data Revolution initiative and apply same for developmental progress of their continent’s future.

 Data revolution

(Photo: culled from Internet)

Beyond Data Revolution

It is believed that the UN has to itemise elucidations on each of the SDGs, making all data open that would be shared across all divides. Specialists are worried that employees across all divides are in dearth of numerical prowess.


There is a suggestion that there should be a concentrated and incessant government effort to educate the governed with quantitative numerical education in schools and overhaul school curricula across the globe.


Robert David Steele Vivas, a public intelligence investigator, conversely, suggests that the world is measuring five stages of failure, as was relayed in the voice of Dmitry Orlov – financial, commercial, political, social, and cultural. Especially, in this season that the UN has made a god of data to check the world’s today and future progress.


Professionals are, however, of the opinion that the move by the UN is not bad, but the failures have to be addressed. Vivas adds: “This approach – pro-active and centered on ethical evidence-based decision-support – could – if implemented within the UN with a fraction of the promised funding for the SDGs – mobilise vastly greater resources; speed implementation of the seventeen SDGs, and therefore support the mission of the UN and its Member States in a manner much more effective than now possible.”


Ethical and societal impact

There are consequences right now that in any situation, the data that will be provided by Agency A, will be different from the result of Agency B.


A professor of cognitive neuroscience at the University of Sheffield, Tony Prescott, in a public presentation in 2013, says, “There is a huge amount of knowledge now that doctors can potentially have. Obviously they can’t absorb all of it and they can’t necessarily remember all of it.”


Analyses are that there are data for medical experts that could examine and give positive results faster on the health of a patient, but the side effects are inevitable.


Many Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are worried that in the Data Revolution privacy and security may not be guaranteed since many of the intelligence reports will be divulged through the internet.


Prescott is worried if human race, because of the zest to attain improved services, especially in the healthcare, will want to abdicate some of its privacy.


The fear heightens that many of the data cannot be trusted, because of the quarter or person it’s coming from. For example, there is a fear that as computers and technologies are modified on daily basis, it is not certain to trust a data.


The Guardian Newspapers Education correspondent, Sally Weale on Thursday 25 June 2015, reports, “The government has been urged to tackle a numeracy crisis in the UK, which experts are warning threatens to hold the country back in the face of a global data revolution.”



Investigation reveals that without “Data Innovation”, “Data Revolution” is unrealisable. This is hinged on the fact that governance varies from country to another, so also, will the data of a country vary from the other.


This issue excludes no country or continent. There are more questions than answers to a successful checking and assessment of this accomplishment.


A social analyst, Lanre Rotimi, commenting of UN Data Revolution, says, “There is urgent need to fully understand the Sociology and Psychology of Community: Neighborhood to Global Leaders on both Developed and developing Countries sides as basis for understanding what is needed to effectively Change their Thinking and Strengthen them to effectively Promote and Protect Attitude and Behaviour required to achieve increasing convergence between Data Revolution and related Revolutions Vision Intention and Reality.”


It is believed by Vivas that the UN can achieve the Data Revolution initiative if only it can light-up true costs, educate the public, send corruption on errand, and complement field effect.


“The reality is that the Specialized Agencies (SA) and their information stove-pipes as well as their human networks are far removed from useful access and exploitation by the core elements of the UN responsive to the Secretary-General,” Vivas says.


An Education for All (EFA) Global Monitoring Report suggests that since information is scarce in three areas: early childhood development and readiness to learn, diverse learning outcomes at primary and secondary education, and skills and competencies for youth and adults, including literacy, the UN must be ready to fill these data gap.


Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358



Buhari is distracting Nigerians

By Odimegwu Onwumere


Many people had thought that General Muhammadu Buhari would pay much attention to giving Nigerians good governance, but for nearly three months in power, all that Nigerians have got are distractions from the once Army Major General.


Each day does not pass by without reading Buhari on the newspapers of how he would probe this sector or the other that worked in the ex-President Goodluck Jonathan government. In short, Buhari is distracting Nigerians with his loquaciousness of probing Jonathan.


It is irritating much as it is a distraction upon distraction everywhere from the Buhari presidency. The height of it was that Buhari spent a month, before packing into Aso Rock, the seat of power, after he was inaugurated as president.


(General Buhari)

Buhari’s definition of democracy is not suited in the global democracies. It is tiresome and he would say that a Barack Obama stayed for a while before forming his cabinet. Then you ask if America is Nigeria. One can see that we are losing all sense of reason because of Buhari; losing all sense of shame, where we were being told that a ‘Mr. Integrity’ is on the throne.


Nigerians are getting in the way amidst the economy that is out of control, while the government and its All Progressives Congress (APC) members continue to rant. In earnest, Buhari is not here to help, but to distract. Nigerians have found themselves distracted, because the president does not want to contact the people; he wants to do the job all alone.


We are seeing a government that has kept its phone ringing at the acme of its work. What a way of calling for distraction!


It is evidence that Buhari has gone to work thinking of his personality (not Nigerians), having emotional conflicts, by prevailing over all Nigerians with distractions and making himself an unhappy man; and he wants Nigerians to be unhappy in poverty, forgetting that one can only be happy when he or she has disabused his or her mind of all other distractions.


As if a Hilary Duff had Buhari in mind in the following words: It’s hard to stay true to yourself and what you want in life when there are so many distractions and so much craziness going on around you.


However, a national chieftain of the APC, the party that produced Buhari as president, in a recent public outing said that Buhari’s failed-two months in not showing Nigerians were the compass of his government was navigating to, were being spent on reviewing how the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) ran Nigeria within the years it ruled the country.


Imagine that!


Ruling Nigeria as an Army official he once was, Buhari has refused to listen to calls from here and there asking him not to be distracted. But what the persons who have made this call did not say was that Buhari is the one distracting Nigerians with his ‘snail crawling’ approach to governance and overbearing in being ‘Mr. Integrity’.


The country is stashed and some persons were ignorantly saying and writing that Buhari can lead Nigeria without a cabinet. The irony is that Buhari has spent much energy looking for those who allegedly ate the national cake without any hope in place that he will bake new cakes.


This government is edging towards twilight and no hope of seeing rays of light. Nigerians are overwhelmed that Buhari is yet to make headway. He is wearing Nigerians down with his unproductive government. His much talk is doing little to make Nigeria better.


Buhari has gotten into the presidency he shouldn’t; he is obsessed with the means and not the end. No government that started on that note ever succeeded. A board would always wear down when it focuses its strength on distracting its members. How could Buhari react to everything PDP and Jonathan?


Sometimes some of us ask if this is APC’s pattern of governance: Being very busy and very busy without any action. It’s sad that Nigerians have known that the APC’s ‘change’ and ‘good governance’ it promised Nigerians, ware flukes.


The party which its members called themselves progressives is creating vision, strategic plan, and policies, but only on how to run Jonathan and the PDP down. Does Buhari know that distraction such as his cost the U.S. businesses $588 billion per year, as a 2007 study by Basex estimated?


In the world of management, productivity will never increase if the owners and caretakers of a business do not limit the level at which distractions flow into their firm. Just as email is said to be the biggest distractions managers face among employees these days no matter its usefulness, the war against corruption in Nigeria, has become one dangerous slogan Buhari is distracting Nigerians with.


Let us ask Buhari that if a worker does not put much energy to his or her work in the morning is it in the evening he or she will put that energy. It is palpable to say that Buhari has a disorganised office desk and this can be very distracting to management. His government is disorganised without a cabinet. So, he cannot think and plan well. A company without a board is disorganised.


Odimegwu Onwumere is a Poet/Writer; he writes from Rivers State.

Tel: +2348057778358