{Press Release} Don’t Belittle Igbo Traditional Red Cap, Diehard Igbo Believer Warns Socio-eco-pol Organisations

Don’t Belittle Igbo Traditional Red Cap, Diehard Igbo Believer Warns Socio-eco-pol Organisations

The Senate president, Dr Abubakar Bukola Saraki on Thursday Jan. 31 2019 tweeted on his Verified account @bukolasaraki that they had arrived Delta State for the PDP presidential rally ongoing for the 2019 elections. He pitched his post with some faces of bigwigs in the party wearing the Igbo Traditional Red Cap with a barge of PDP’s logo –  umbrella – laced on it.

In the words of Saraki, “We just arrived in Delta State, the Big Heart of the nation where our Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi, will be speaking about their plans for a #BetterNigeria. #PDPDeltaRally.”

I want to call on the general public not to denigrate the Igbo Traditional Red Cap in whatever guise. It is sacred and should not by any means be desecrated for social, economic or political lucre.

Putting on the Igbo “red cap” is not for everybody, let alone, using it for political rally; something that cannot be attempted in other traditions across the country. The Igbo ‘red cap’ is for a particular people in the Igbo cosmos and not worn by Tom, Dick and Harry. It is a sign of authority and culture and power in Igbo land. It is not for beer parlour outing!

Whether the Igbo “red cap” it is worn with eagle feather or not, its significance of leadership in the Igbo nomenclature cannot be overemphasized. The Igbo Nze na Ozo, might not be laughing when a non-initiate in the Igbo tradition is putting on the “red cap” talk of affixing a political emblem on it in the name of electioneering campaign. This is an insult to entire Igbo traditional institutions and the aberrants have no reason not to apologize.

While I am not against the PDP or its agents in whatever way, (I’m openly saying that I’m not in support of President Muhammadu Buhari, but not APC) it is very offensive to use our revered Igbo Traditional Red Cap for political rally with PDP logo attached on it or any other logo.

I would not want to say that those who did this to our esteemed Igbo “red cap” have no value for the Igbo traditions and cultures but the customary rulers in Igbo land who allowed the downgrading of the Igbo “red cap” for political rally or any other are bogus.

I therefore call on all Igbo traditional institutions to reject this aberration with all their weight and might and call on abusers to retrace their steps.

Let these atypical offenders heal the wound they have inflicted on the Igbo tradition by apologising for their unmerited and unwanted act. This cannot be done on the Fulani/Hausa chieftaincy turban. Proverbially, “It hurts the most when the person that made you feel so special yesterday, make you feel so unwanted today.” One of one own is wearing the “disgraced red cap” without calling for a shift. This is one electioneering campaign gone wrong.

Signed:

Odimegwu Onwumere (Nze Obimgbegbuo),

a writer based in Rivers State and diehard believer of everything aboriginal practice of Ndigbo; their cultures, traditions and spirituality. {None of these should be desecrated.}

Date: Jan. 31 2019.

Tel: 08057778358

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Hijacked Morality {poem}

Hijacked Morality

We had Igbo values, ethics, norms…

Our people behaved very well.

Morality and good consciousness

Were at their expedient.

We were not Abrahamic religionists

To be hyper-moral people.

Today, Alas!!!

One Arthur C. Clarke says:

“One of the greatest tragedies

in mankind’s entire history may be that

morality was hijacked by religion.”

These religions hijacked the original,

gave us broken China.

And a Chinua Achebe says:

“Things Fall Apart”.

(c) Odimegwu Onwumere; Jan. 27 2019.

#IgboSpirituality

Fertility Challenge: Families And Experts Lament On Stigma, Joys Of IVF

Some people are today proud parents with the help of IVF but their children and them are facing stigma upon acceptance sensitization groups are building around IVF. The cost of IVF might not be for the poverty-stricken, but experts’ opinion is that people should speak out if they achieve a successful pregnancy through IVF, Odimegwu Onwumere writes

Couples in Nigeria who have tried to conceive naturally but failed are opting in numbers for In-Vitro Fertilization, popularly called IVF.

With stigma that women with challenges of fertility are enduring in the country, fertility specialists are not sleeping on their oars to encourage couples to go for IVF to restore or boost fertility, because research has shown that IVF is a successful way for conceiving and also, treating for men and women similarly.

IVF has brought excitement on the face of a 34yr old lady who preferred not to be mentioned in the media, after she was delivered of her baby. This was subsequent to 10yrs of childlessness in marriage.

Her body language suggested she was invariably avoiding stigma, after the delivery, due to her conception methodology.

However, the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, UPTH, and its environs were agog on January 12 2019, as the news of her successful delivery filtered in the air.

Some couples that were expecting fruit of the womb wished they were her. At least, have a child of theirs and avert insults people rain on them, because of childlessness. Others might not want to be her, given the process of her conception.

The significance of her glorious delivery was that she was the first to break the jinx of IVF, at the UPTH, two years after the hospital instituted the expertise.

Those in the Gynaecology Department headed by Dr. Preys Fiebai and the Assistant Conception Unit, headed by Prof. John Ikmalo, were all jubilant.

The Chief Medical Director of UPTH, Prof. Henry Ugboma was not left out, as he sermonized that the fruition of her delivery was the ebullient efforts of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Departments and Conception Unit.

Prof. Ugboma nonetheless asked those having challenges of fertility to come forward as there are many women who are now pregnant through the IVF process. Hence, Prof. Ugboma told our reporter, “Everybody must not go through the natural way of conception.”

Breaking Barrier Of Infertility

While the lady who was delivered of her baby at the UPTH was not ready for identity divulgement, Halima Danladi was all out to tell her story.

Danladi’s story was a sorry tale owing to the fact that she was barely 25 when she got married. Before then, her expectation was that it was only aged people that had problem of taking in. But fate had a different lesson to teach her.

The husband who was 28 and she, did all they could to have a child, naturally.

Her clock was ticking at this point, betraying her already prediction that by 40, she must have finished having her children.

Mrs. Danladi had a dream of having four children. But as much as she tried to conceive, her monthly menstruation would return. In some months, she would Google to understand what early pregnancy signs were. This could not help, occasioned by her menstruation that always returned. Books on a woman’s fertility signs she read seemed not working, either.

Poverty could not be held responsible for her ordeal, as her husband and she were doing very well. She was a banker and her husband, a lawyer. She was always thinking what the problem with pregnancy not coming her way was.

As they expected pregnancy, she was already 28 and her husband, 31. Five years down the line they were married, there was no child. Family members and friends cajoled them and many said that Halima preferred her career to raising children.

Much as her beloved ones’ words were piercing her, she was hopeful but only started avoiding those making caricature of her. But when she looked around, some couples who were yet to think of marriage when she married her husband, had children. She was dumbfounded and broke down in several occasions. One day, her husband and she considered IVF treatment.

UK Trip That Opened The Eyes

When Halima traveled to the UK as she always did, the myth she had grown up to believe which was that only aged ladies find it hard to conceive, was broken. On discovering this, she did not know what to make of the advise from her doctors in Nigeria, which was that her husband and she were young couple and should not tremble over infertility.

Halima was shocked in the UK when she discovered that under 37 women, made two-thirds on the line of women receiving IVF treatment. It was like a mud on her face – a reality, to also discover that women who were aged between 18 and 34 comprised about 44 per cent of IVF patients. She said that women aged 40 only occupied 20 percent of women seeking for IVF. She was worried of what her husband and her problems were.

Series of tests were conducted on Halima and her husband right there in the UK. It was later discovered that her husband had “anti-sperm antibodies”. This was not explained to them all the while they were junketing from one hospital to another. At this point, Danladi was already 34. Still young to perform as man if all had been well.

Danladi was having obstacle of blood and semen flowing properly that could make her wife pregnant, according to explanation by an expert. It was suggested that this could be as a result of injury he sustained in the cause of doing a hard job or illness that resulted to attack on his semen.

Problem Not Always From Women

Consequently, Dr. Abayomi Ajayi, the Medical Director/CEO, Nordica Lagos, Abuja and Asaba, said in his numerous open presentations on fertility test, that men should always go for medical checks, just as their wives do and should not, apportion blame on their wives for challenges of fertility in marriage, because results had proved that problems also come from men.

In his words, “In Nigeria and perhaps much of Africa, the common thought regarding infertility is that the problem lies within the woman’s physiology. This is because a woman’s reproductive organs can be more easily damaged than a man’s.”

Well, when Danladi’s infertility predicament was unveiled, intra-cytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) was introduced to Halima and Danladi. They went through the processes prescribed to them by their doctors and today, they have a child – Tamani. The couple love their daughter as if they are going to die today.

{Dr. Abayomi Ajayi}

Myths Around IVF Babies

While many women are proud mothers today through the help of IVF, there are persons who think IVF babies are not normal, being the reason the 34yr old lady didn’t disclose her identity to the media. She would not want further stigma, having suffered much, during the years of her holocaust.

According to Dr. Ajayi on the stigma against IVF babies, “Some say there is nothing, some say they may inherit their parents’ infertility, of course that may not be farfetched because many causes of infertility are inherited.

“So it is possible for that one to happen…Some talk about their intelligence but nothing unusual has been found on that aspect; these are just anecdotal. As far these things go, IVF babies are normal babes.

“From what I have seen, children conceived through IVF tend to be precocious. But this is not backed up with scientific fact. I have seen at least 1,000 of these babies and there hasn’t been any fact to suggest a risk.

“Few may have skeletal abnormalities but these things come from the pregnancy. In summary, certainly do not have any fears about babies born through IVF.”

Notwithstanding, while those who held negative opinion on IVF babies might not expunge their conundrum, in August 2015, Nigeria first IVF baby, Hannatu Kupchi secured admission into European Varsity.

Kupchi was born at Nisa Premier Hospital in Abuja, precisely on February 11 1998.

On the occasion marking his send forth in 2015, Dr. Ibrahim Wada, the medical director of Nisa Premier Hospital that guided the supposedly first IVF experiment in Nigeria said, “It is very difficult to make a statement on a day like this.”

He continued, “When I was out of this country, I knew there were people who wanted babies. I made the decision to come back to Nigeria to help people.

“It happened on the 11th of February 1998, when this historic event occurred at this hospital. The baby of that historic day is going to become a doctor. Because the parents stood firm, we were able to help others.”

Nordica’s IVF babies

Proud Of IVF Babies

There are persons and organizations on rampage such as the Fertility Advocate Awareness Initiative, FAAI, sensitizing people on what they should understand about fertility including the use of IVF.

During one of their outings in Lagos, the President of FAAI, Mr. Omoi Evborokhai frowned at the stigmatization and discrimination that some persons trade around IVF children.

Evborokhai said, “I can boast of my child because my child is expensive, very expensive. I have spent money and earned every kobo spent on the child, so my head should be high up there and not bowed down. That should not arise anyhow.

“We are proud of our babies, they bring joy to us, they complete our families and we are proud to talk about fertility treatment at anywhere and anytime.

“IVF babies are not inferior because IVF is special and brings joy to the families. IVF babies are normal; my baby walked when all children her age started school and is doing fantastically.”

IVF Babies Are Normal…This Is How  

Professor Oladapo Ashiru, Medical Director, Medical ART Centre, Lagos, highlighted the processes of IVF and concluded that the children are carried in the womb nine months like those conceived naturally.

“In the IVF conception, the egg is removed from the mother and mixed with the sperm in the laboratory dish or tube.

“Then the embryo is now placed into the mother’s womb two or three days after developing in the incubator in the laboratory.

“Basically the IVF baby stays in the womb for nine months; less three days.”

Whether such children are intelligent or not, the professor added, “IVF babies have grown to be very intelligent, normal and smart just as babies from normal conception…

“I truly do not have any concern about IVF babies. Those that can have issues are those with multiple conceptions such as twins, triplets or quadruplets. In these cases once they are exposed to good antenatal care they should be fine.”

Dr. Ajayi added a voice in confirmation to the professor’s stance, saying that children born through IVF are just like any other human being.

“If you interact with them, you will agree,” Dr Ajayi advocated. He went down memory lane and said, “Known then as “test-tube babies”, Louise Brown, born in England in 1978, was the first baby to be conceived outside her mother’s womb.

“We have over 1,500 babies that were born at our Nordica centres and we want more people to join them so we can go on to propagate this gospel.”

As if that was not enough, checks revealed that outside Nigeria, a former First Lady of the United States, Michelle Obama, exposed that she and her husband, ex-President Barack Obama, had their two children – Malia and Sasha – through IVF.

The first daughter Malia Ann was born on July 4, 1998; while Natasha (aka Sasha), was born on June 10, 2001, according to the family’s Wiki entry.

Why Some IVF Treatments Don’t Yield Result

What could be misleading couples not to gain pregnancy through this process was that they go for just a cycle of IVF treatment and do not return if this failed.

Dr. Ajayi at the Failed IVF Cycle Open Forum organized by his medical centres in 2018 emphasized the need couples should go for multiple cycles.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), also clamorded that women below 35 with challenges of fertility could go for, at least, two IVF cycles.

This is because research has prevailed to expose that women are likely to achieve their desired result with multiple cycles than those with first cycle.

For instance, a Medical Journal of Australia released a study where success rates of women over the age of 40, having a live baby, climbed from 10 per cent at the primary cycle of IVF, to around 40 per cent at the end of the seventh cycle.

Fertility treatment and IVF Cost

Cost Of IVF In Nigeria

IVF is not conducted on a platter of gold and seems, it is not for the poor.

This was the story of Tade Alalade and her husband who until they had their twins on November 22 2018 after 11yrs in marriage, they had spent 11 million Naira in IVF treatment.

What pushed them to IVF was that they realized after getting married that they were AS, a condition that could make them breed a child or children who might be patients of sickle cell anemia or SS carrier. Apart from this, it was noted that Tade had several miscarriages.

Investigation revealed that one factor that could affect the cost of IVF treatment was age. Younger couple was positioned to have success quick than the aged. According to experts’ analysis, it was learnt that the IVF success rate for couples below 35 years was 40-45%; and 30 to 35% for couples between 35 to 39 years, correspondingly.

Our reporter learnt from the editor of Nigerian Price (NP), a forum that is bent on health issues, that IVF has financial prices to it. However, experts opined that a typical IVF treatment takes between 4 to 8 weeks depending on the fad of the case and most time there’s usually no need for admission.

“If the egg or sperm isn’t as viable as it ought to be due to age, the couple will have to buy the egg or sperm from donors which tends to increase the overall IVF treatment cost,” as according to experts.

“Egg donation can cost up to N500, 000 while sperm can cost up to N120, 000, but you can get a family member or close friend to donate the egg or sperm to you. This will reduce the cost dramatically.”

In a public presentation on 5th January 2019, the NP elaborated the different costs of IVF as they pertain to the Nigerian audience. It was an effort to create awareness on the intending IVF patients of what they should expect.

“The cost of the procedure usually ranges from as N800, 000 to as much as N1, 900, 000. It could be more or less depending on the centre and the treatment plan,” said NP.

It was noted that this money can be paid by bits depending the agreement reached by those involved.

“In some cases, you can pay 50 to 75% prior to starting the treatment,” said the source. “Then you can pay the balance when the treatment is completed.

The source enthused further, “The number of cycles is another vital factor that should be considered when calculating the cost of your IVF treatment.

“For example, at Nordica, a reputable IVF centre in the country, the cost ranges from N870, 000 to N1, 760, 000 depending on the number of cycle.”

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Curtailing Quackery In IVF

Across the country, fertility centres are sprouting in the modern times but government is disturbed. It does not want the name of the country to be thrown into the mud; hence it has geared up to checkmate their activities.

For instance, the Lagos State Government and the Association for Fertility and Reproductive Health, AFRH, have been working hand in hand to curb the state of the menace of quackery.

The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode was in the forefront of this battle. In October 2018, he was represented by the Special Adviser on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga at the 8th Annual International Conference of the AFRH, dubbed, “New Frontiers in Assisted Reproductive Technology, ART”.

Ambode told the masses that the government would not leave anything unturned in its efforts to give every helping hand to AFRH to establish a safe environment for couples in need of infertility treatment. The governor does not want anyone to be hoodwinked while seeking for help on his or her fertility challenges.

He was looking at the importance child bearing is in the Nigerian communities and by extension, across Africa. He warned quacks to go out of business because without the Assisted Reproductive Technology today, many couples would be bereft of children.

“As a responsible government, we are willing to collaborate and partner with AFRH to ensure enforcement of the law against fake and unprofessional practitioners. This is a duty to us as a state,” Ambode said.

He continued, “Child bearing in this part of the world is considered one of the most important parameters in accessing successful marriage. This technology has put smiles on the face of couples and helped to hold many marriages that would have been truncated by challenges.

“I am happy to note that as a government we have recorded some progress in this regard through the Institute of Fertility Medicine in partnership with Bridge Clinic, which was designed to make ART services available at affordable rates for indigent couples, and has resulted in successful delivery of 74 babies to couples.”

Ambode was keen to seeing that ethical standard and affordability for couples were of utmost priority to the services rendered by professionals across the 43 IVF Centers that operate nationwide of which 35 being privately owned.

President of the AFRH, Dr. Faye Iketubosin supported Ambode, saying, “The rapidly unfolding development of Assisted Reproductive Technology practice calls for coming together of all Centers in Nigeria as we have done at this meeting, to discuss important issues with a view to check unethical practices and abuse of those seeking our services while obtaining the minimum standard for establishing IVF clinics.”

It has become obvious that many couples are fulfilling their parenting dream through IVF therefore defying negative impression once created around this process of conceiving, no matter the cost attached to it.

The Keynote Speaker at the AFRH conference, Joyce Harper, a professor of Human Genetics and Embryology at the Institute for Women’s Health, University College London, asked the authorities to egg on people who had their babies through IVF to tell their story given that in United Kingdom, there is no negative concern shown about IVF.

A fertility specialist and Medical Director, Lifeshore Fertility Clinic, Lagos, Dr. Taiwo Orebamj also advised those having fertility problem not to keep to themselves, but seek for help in the hands of medical experts. And if they are able to conceive through IVF, they should not allow stigma to erode them, but should speak out.

  • Odimegwu Onwumere writes from Rivers State. E-mail: apoet_25@yahoo.com

The Poor {POEM}

By Odimegwu Onwumere

He said nothing to anybody

but they keep distance from him.

Many of us have worked ourselves

from strength to poverty, strength to riches.

We lay on bed, people think we are sleeping

whereas our hearts are smelted with thoughts.

Just as they keep distance from him

who said nothing because he is poor

Envy is the reward of the made by many

due to poverty.

Odimegwu Onwumere; Jan. 20 2019.

Man’s Discovery Of Self {2}

By Odimegwu Onwumere

{Pix culled online}

We all have a Mind.
Some persons’ Minds are awake,
Some are asleep.

The question is,
What do you do with your Mind?

The Mind of man
Has been at work since
The never-ending world began.

Some have used this Mind
For negative inventions,
Others have used this Mind
For positive inventions.

Hence, it is left for you
To ask yourself, what am
I doing with my Mind.

We have ship, aircraft, telephone inter alia,
Created by the human Mind.

Books on health, metaphysics, Arts and Science
Have been written through
The creation of the human Mind.

Many are being created.

Your spirit isn’t apart from you;
It’s your life that has the capability
To connect with the Universal Mind.

All it takes for your Mind
To start working
Is to awaken it.

If something pinched your body,
You don’t need someone
To tell you something is wrong.

Therefore, you have been
Given the five elements that made-up
The human spirit which are:

1. Memory
2. Reason
3. Imagination
4. Intuition
5. Faith

We should know that
Nothing is impossible for human Mind.

We should understand that
Thought is the great Creator. It’s the God in man.

It is as a result of this axiom
We were told our destinies
Are in our hands.

Thought, man’s power
To augmenting his wellbeing is unlimited.

Many Masters dead and living
Have said — Thought plus Faith = Creator.

We have to think about
Our lives before seconds seem minutes,
Hours seem days.

(C) Odimegwu Onwumere; Jan. 20 2019.

{Share as received if you think this message blessed your Soul}.

SOURCE: OoReporters

Injustice Anywhere, Not Injustice Everywhere

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Injustice and justice differ from one village to another, from one town to another, by ethical injunctions and from one political sovereignty to another. What may seem as unfair or undeserving treatment in one clime might be the beginning of justice and its outcomes in another clime and vis-à-vis. As injustice is the hypothesis of this discourse, we’ll have to draw experience from injustice beyond the interpretation commonly found in Western philosophy and jurisprudence in modern times. Injustice and justice is a susceptible subject to talk about. For instance, if justice is vehemently the practice of fairness in the society by allowing people to get what they want, do we not think people can be given more than they deserve? Against this influence, we must interpret injustice and justice through the periscope of traditions, cultures, and religions predating modern times. We must draw inspiration from laws of different countries. We must interpret injustice and justice through laws that were before and during slavery. We must not undermine such laws and base our argument on the 10 December 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. No. This discourse may not attain the result it was intended to if we base our argument only on human rights. There were other rights before the progenitors of Martins Luther-King Jr. journeyed to the United States of America in the cause of slavery. There were rights that countries observed before the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and we must exhume them for posterity.

When the founding fathers of the United States wrote into the Constitution in 1787, there was a provision that absolutely legalised slavery. When they said that “all men were created equal”, they purposely meant the Americans because they did not see the world beyond the confines of their country, their political interest, religious inclination and economy. If they did take to cognizance that “all men were created equal”, they would not venture into slave trade in the first place. They saw what they did as their right – to overlord themselves over others.

By their Constitution in that period of time, slaves were not seen as people but as objects paramount for labour. A quote was credited to Thomas Jefferson as saying. “Blacks and whites could never coexist in America because of ‘the real distinctions’ which ‘nature’ had made between the two races.” This philosophy by Jefferson which, (without doubt, represented the mindset of founding fathers of America), is what political scientists call Political Injustice. We shall unravel the benefits of Political Injustice in our subsequent lines.

We must consider politics played in different climes, their interest, before we define justice and injustice. This brings to bay Political Injustice. Political scientists say it has great benefits. They believe that “he who has the most guns grabs the most property”. They are not concerned about human rights. They are not talking of a failed state but “he who dies with the most toys, wins.” Those who call the shots in such environment regarded as fiefdom extend their practice beyond their “peons and protégés” they have acknowledged under their authority. They also argue that human rights activists see such environment as a failed state, but decorum and a sense of ‘justice’ prevail in it. Accordingly, the points given here disprove Martin Luther King Jr.’s legendary statement which states that, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Ancient and Modern

Before the political communities we live in today, we once questioned what justice and injustice was (as rational human beings). We again questioned justice and injustice in religious sects, traditions. For instance, at the beginning of Plato’s Republic, Socrates was seen quizzing Cephalos, afterward Polemarchus and lastly Thracymachus about what they profess justice and injustice is. We often preserved judgment of this to either God or Ancestors. While many of the values we inherited from the past inflect the way we act on matters, the context of just and unjust has shifted drastically, taking on a more transnational concept. We can see that in the past atrocities such as genocide, ethnic cleansing, corruption and the killing of women and children in wars were regarded as a taboo. Then-again, as children, we construct our notion of justice and injustice based on the definitions ascribed to these constructs by society and law. Often, people do not keep to the definitions learnt in childhood due to trauma; hence the situation impacts what they define as social order – justice or injustice. This sheds light on the fact that the mind of a child is constructed by the legal system/ethical principles of their upbringing. This environment consolidates their initial view of justice and injustice.  

Justice, Injustice and Law

It is essential to state that in the past justice and law were like Siamese Twins. They were synonymous. But there is a drift today: injustice can be supported by law; despite most people claiming that justice is the sole purpose of the law.

Let us believe that the type of justice Martin Luther King Jr. was referring to was the justice that morality brews. In the same vein, the world has had personalities like Plato, Derrida and Socrates who insisted that law should make justice prevail. But what they forgot to understand was that the justice they were fighting for was not embodied in the practice of law. Rather, such justice was indescribable, if not erroneous, and dislocated from the personified practice of law.

Justice is indefinable in law. It is in dispute with law. Lawyers would say that justice may apply to disperse issues or engage technical questions, objectivity to judge or give penalty and reward. In history, law, anthropology and political science, the role of justice is regarded as a political statement.

There are two chief definitions of justice. One relates to criminal activities while the other relates to equality. What may be seen as a crime to the people might not be seen as a crime in law. The same is applicable to equality. In some cultures (with emphasis on Islam) the treatment given to men is not the same as women. They measure justice not on equality but on equivalence. Treatment also differs between a man and woman, a boy and a girl in a Muslim community. For this reason, we cannot say that since there is inequality in Islamic tradition – there is injustice. Most Muslims were comfortable with this and no one, seeing through their lens, would characterise their practice by injustice. In this context, justice and injustice is determined by the law governing a given group and country. Conversely, in the face of injustice, a suspect has the right for a plea bargain in a court (in front of competent jurisdiction). Therefore, what may seem as injustice at a local standpoint is not always enough to convict. Even when a suspect admits guilt in a societal setting, to evade extrajudicial punishment, he or she still remains legally innocent.

Nevertheless, settling a matter out of court is often seen as more important than justice. They call this a win-win situation in law, whereby both prosecutors and defense attorneys’ interests are managed. We can see that in this type of situation, the victims and the community have no place in the world of justice but the suspect has. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are often faced with pressures that lead to a compromise.  This brings societal justice as the compromise has guiding principles and rules. There is no special treatment. Here, the law is not evenly and equally applied to all.

Not Evenly and Equally Applied

Analysts would say that governments at all levels are keen to promote social injustice christened as social justice. This is where the interest called political correctness comes to play. Many governments convert this political ideology into law, which ought not to be so. There are suspects that receive special treatment to the peril of private citizens. Now, we have governments all over the world who prefer the gathering of special interests above the law. This is to say that Martin Luther King Jr. and his contemporaries were children of circumstance at the time. Today America allows millions of migrants into her every year and allows them to enjoy welfare.

To the government, this is a way of showing justice to those outside America (in need of coming into the country). But for the taxpayer, it is blatant injustice against the whims and caprices of the American Refugee Act of 1980 which specifies a limit of 50,000 refugees. Some Americans would say, “Executive decisions removed limits.”

Conclusion: The Blind and The Elephant

Proverbially speaking, justice and injustice are like the elephant in the eyes of the blind. The blind can only define an elephant from the side he or she is allowed to touch. Thus, the great Martin Luther King Jr. was a blind man in the definition of justice and injustice without considering social, religious, ethical, traditional, political, economical and sundry differences around the world.

{POEM} Snow

Helon Habila tweets photo “my front door this morning”. Jan. 13 2019.

Snow

The way of nature
keeps discerning minds wondering.

It kisses the grasses with gentle flakes
shutting human beings out of space in wonderment.

Many find it an unwanted freezing water
falling, drifting against paths in parts.

© Jan. 13 2019; Odimegwu Onwumere

Founder: http://www.ooreporters.com