My Birthday With Buhari Struggling To Define Governance

Such a year with Major General Muhammadu Buhari struggling to define governance nearly four years in govt.

Pix: Odimegwu Onwumere; a multiple awards-winning journalist

Within this period, Nigerians have baked ashes for bread, drank tears for tea. The only thing that keeps majority moving is Faith or Hope. Many are throttling with blind Faith or Hope.

However, I understood that man moves in two directions: Upwards or Downwards. It all depends on choice. Thinking is an individual thing. Therefore, we must move upwards without Buhari and leave him downwards. He is a Discourager.

But my Chi is not a Discourager, as s/he has done it for me by adding another year in my life. My happiness today is that within these years I have stayed on earth, I have seen the bandage of lies in all nooks and crannies falling and Seekers having a field day with conviction, not indoctrination.

Things are now examined objectively and many being cleaned of their mental cobweb planted in them by the very elements and merchants of untruths. Many have awakened to carry a spark of truth, not religious poison of ONLY BELIEVE, DO NOT QUESTION.

I’ve seen men and women surmounting the many years of confusion.

Nevertheless, if there is any new religion that we, Ndigbo, are forming, that religion is Truth. We are advancing spiritually with this, as it was in the days of our forebears, leaving behind fanatics who are best at using ready-made opinions handed them from generation to generation through compulsion, and not conviction.

We must continue to use the ingrained qualities given to us by nature which dogmas have made to lie fallow in many. Let us not turn off the candle of genuine faith we have lit which can only shine through conviction, not compulsion.

My year today is BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE. I thank my parents for seeing me through life. My siblings are adored in this treatise as everyone is expected to meet his resurrection day, not in death which has been a sellout lie by religious fanatics, but while alive.

I’m happy today, because my life is a thanksgiving. Yours can as well be only if you can know thyself.

Odimegwu Onwumere’s Birthday message, December 28 2018. Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

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Tradition Illiterates {POEM}

By Odimegwu Onwumere

As a people,

we no longer understand ourselves better.

Our cultures that made those before us

understood each other better

have been pummeled.

{ Ofo na Ogu: The Epicenter of The Igbo Cosmos}

We have lost our memories,

since we lost our cultures.

Now,

we have no future,

no cultures and traditions

to shape a better society

of our future.

Mahatma Gandhi tells me:

A nation’s culture resides in the hearts

and in the soul of its people.

In our case,

we were directly and indirectly

being indoctrinated to have contempt for

and disrespect our cultures and traditions.

As a good teacher knows

the importance of connecting with the students

Ndigbo would’ve been better

with our aboriginal cultures and traditions.

We no longer have them in our hearts and souls;

we have turned cultures and traditions illiterates.

{© Odimegwu Onwumere; May 23 2017.}

 

Ndigbo: Royal Highnesses without Royalty

BEYOND RELIGION AND CULTURE: When Ndigbo embraced Kingship, after the era of Igbo enweghi Eze, it became a sacred and highly reverenced stool. Kings were mystics. That was when crowning King was spiritual than coronation it has become today. Being King was not by the numerous wealth and educational certificates one had, but by the dictates of Chukwu Abiama (The Most High of Ndigbo). King was held in high esteem and he abided by the rules, beliefs and cultural legacy of his people. After the (Eze Ala, Onowu, Oji Ofo), King was the mediator between his people and the spiritual forces of his land.

{Pic: culled online)
{Pic: culled online)

King was the epitome of uprightness. King was Chukwu, so revered. He would not have a father in order not to be controlled. He inherited the stool from the father. King would not eat in the public. And if he must, it would be in secret. When he was up in the morning after the morning Ekwe must have been beaten, he would offer supplications to the ancestors and the forces of the land. Even though that King was entitled to many wives, he would not be lascivious. His household would live apart from his dwelling place. King would not pay bride price; this did not mean that he would take the would-be wife by force. No. To be King cost not much, as far as the person was chosen by the spiritual forces of the respective land. Alas! What we have today are mainly “419” Kings who most of them rule their villages from far lands and can be kidnapped by kidnappers or die uncertainly. What we have today are money bags kings who hardly know the norms and ties of Ndigbo. Many of them are university graduates who cannot express themselves fluently in the Igbo language. What we have today are Kings that would prefer going to court to settle litigations than settle them among their traditional kinsmen. There is no secrecy surrounding how King is chosen in Igbo-land again. This is caused by avarice. Some are even crowned by their church Bishop, than to be crowned by the Traditional Priest, who administers the Oath of Secrecy that made King of the old to be an initiate of the Igbo Spiritual Order. He would be above kidnappers and flippancies of rivals. Hardly are traditional rituals in crowning King these days. The aura that once surrounded Kings is elusive today. What we have today are royal highnesses without royalty of sacredness that the stool had enjoyed. Some of the Kings are politicians and even (‘bastards’). Ndigbo my people, it is a pity how we lost many things that once worked for us in the name of civilisation or is it the alien Christianity. It is a pity that the sacred places we had have been desecrated for frivolities. It is a pity that Kingship is now a tussle than inheritance, spiritual. I’m irritated. It is a pity!

-Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Writer, Rivers State.

Daily Sun’s bearing on traditional marriage

By Odimegwu Onwumere

When I was in the primary school in an Igbo community, many of us were bullied for speaking the Igbo Language in the classroom or around the school premises. The English Language was made superior to the Igbo Language. The teachers, who were our own, made us to feel ‘inferior’ about speaking Igbo, hence many of us wanted to identify and, we identified with not only the English Language, but everything the English people.

In the school, if you were found speaking the Igbo Language, you were regarded as a ‘bush’ person. If you were found speaking the English Language you were regarded as a ‘polished’ person. We had that mindset that the Igbo Language was a ‘bush’ language, just as those before and after us in the school were indoctrinated to believing same.

As a result of this, there were damages done on all the facets of the aboriginal Igbo belief-system. Our Igbo history was replaced with European and American histories or those of other lands. Our spirituality was debased, replaced with the spirituality of the English colonial masters. Our teachers damaged our spirituality, communalism, art, just name them. Although, not fault of theirs, because they were taught so by the linage of those who were there before them, taught by the colonial masters.

The crying shame today is that many of our people still hold on to the ways of Europeans to the peak, than the Igbo ways. And when you correct them, they call you a ‘bush’ person. Wonder why a child in Aba, Enugu, Owerri, Enugu no longer understand or speak the Igbo Language, but English? Wonder why hardly Igbo people are proud of their native spirituality, culture, tradition and what have you?

Moodern-Igbo-Traditional_Wedding_Nnewi

(Photo: culled from internet)

The Igbo here represents the fate of all the aboriginal peoples in our country. Those who understand my explanation would commend the Daily Sun editorial of May 13 2014. The immeasurable newspaper took time to remind the Nigerian Government that loathes its traditional ways of doing things that Christianity and Islam should not be held in utter esteem to the detriment of the beliefs of the native peoples of Nigeria and their traditional institutions.

In that editorial titled “Mandatory HIV tests before marriage”, amongst others, the paper wrote: “In a bid to check the spread of the Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus (HIV) in the country, the Federal Government has approved the conduct of compulsory HIV tests on intending couples before the solemnization of Christian and Muslim marriages in the country.

“Under this initiative, no marriage can be conducted in Churches and Mosques unless religious leaders in the places of worship confirm that the intending bride and groom have taken HIV tests.

“The government’s position will help to ensure that no one gets married to an infected person out of ignorance. Ultimately, the health authorities should actively work towards encouraging all Nigerians to know their status.

“In this regard, efforts should be made to find a way to make testing compulsory for those planning to do traditional marriages, too.”

I must commend the paper for bringing this ‘neglected traditional’ aspect of our lives into the fore, especially now that majority sees anything that has to do with our traditional ways as “bush things”. Hence, the authorities continue to sell and handover the dummies handed over to us by the colonial masters’ and mistresses’ constitution to keep.

Hardly is the government ready to checkmate these outdated policies of foreign-ways of getting married and allow us marry in our traditional ways and make such ways formal. Lies, lies and lies everywhere in this country. And, I hate lies! I hate lies, because it is not in my diary. Some people would say that they tell lies in order to heal the tension of the moment that they needed to exonerate themselves from.

But I see any form of lies as betrayal, just as the government sees anything that has to do with tradition as informal; therefore it continues to operate foreign policies against ours. And those who are experts in the art of lying are always hatching something new to defend their lies of today, by tomorrow.

I do not have a soft spot in believing again, any person that I discovered had told me lies or, is good at using lies. There were certain ladies that our ways paddled as youths and today they are confiding in me that they are regretting all those lies they were good at telling boys and men mainly, which they hated me for, for always frowning at their unjustifiable skill of using lies, as if they wanted to make music out of lies.

The government is not original if it cannot go back to uphold our tradition both in words and in papers. I’m of the belief that if anyone wants to lie, it should be to him or herself. The government of Nigeria should stop making all the citizens Christians and Muslims with its ‘mandatory policies’ that support such religious activities. Lies make me want to throw up! The government has this imprint indoctrinated in the minds of the religionists. Remember that in the USA, there was this bias of Catholics becoming president. I think it was Kennedy who broke that jinx.

As a boy then, I remember Catholic families not giving their daughters out in marriage to Anglican families and do not marry from such families, vice versa. My people, the hatred that these alien religions – Christianity and Islam – have brewed in our communities is beyond mere ethnic mantra. There is undertone-laced bias and politics ingrained in these religions that affect the psyche of the adherents.

For example today, they have been told that once you are married and did not wed in either Church or Mosque, you have not married. It continues and our lackadaisical government continues to abet such corrupt notion just to impress its European and American overlords, not minding that Kenya today has addressed her marriage policies and make them to sooth her people’s belief-system and all that.

The indoctrinations being brewed in Nigeria by the alien religions are what make the Christian-south to see a Muslim-north as an unbeliever. Vice versa. Even, some of us that are Free Thinkers are seen as the biblical devil-incarnate. My people, there is more to hatred indoctrinated in these religions that divide father and children, wife and husbands…

When you are on the other divide, your once beloved one does not see your good character anymore, but that you are not of the same ‘faith’ with him or her and has nothing to do with you and, might even kill you if given the opportunity, because the government policies have made him or her to be feeling superior than you.

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

Tel: +2348032552855

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com

Open Letter to Kalu on Ezeife’s Comment about Disintegration of Nigeria

By Odimegwu Onwumere

Your Excellency, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, former Governor of Abia State, I write to you over a comment that was widely carried in the print and electronic media, credited to Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a frontier Igbo leader like you, and a former governor of Anambra State, that Nigeria may fragment if President Goodluck Jonathan fails to win the 2015 presidential election.

OUKng

Much as you believe in the unity of Nigeria and her welfare, such comment was not supposed to come from a high ranked and respected Igbo man like Ezeife. Not even anybody against the wish of buyers of an Igbo presidency, not in any other time, but in 2015. This is a country that you believe so much in, that justice can only come to play, except there is an Igbo presidency in 2015. But here is Ezeife aligning his comment against your project and prospection.

It behooves me to say that you should tell him that his comment betrays him as one Igbo who is against the Igbo cause, which you are spending your time and resources on. I do not want to say that Ezeife might be a traitor, just aligning with Jonathan for the paltry of contracts or lucre of appointment.

Invariably, his comment is glaringly selfish and he wants all Nigerians but in particular Ndigbo, to sink because of Jonathan’s ambition. Your Excellency, I knew that you hardly talk on such issues as they relate to the inglorious comment of Ezeife, because you are one man who talks with your head and rarely with your mouth.

If Ezeife is looking for political appointment, I earnestly want you to tell him as a brother, not to do that with the fate of Ndigbo and should stop making comments that are bent on jettisoning the project that Njiko Igbo has, which is Igbo Presidency in 2015.

Ezeife should not make Ndigbo to appear before the world like a people who are feeding from hand to mouth, if that is the state he is into now. Elderly people like Ezeife in Igbo-land do not trumpet for the younger ones. They only pray and bless and recommend a younger person who has paid his dues in line with the expectations of the people.

But I am not too sure where Jonathan has met with the expectation of Nigerians that should warrant Ezeife to be drumming for war. Tell him that a real man does not wake in the morning and just begin to host his guest without first making supplications to his ancestors and Chi for providing an avenue for a new lease of life.

Let Ezeife know that he has rarely contributed meaningfully to the growth of the country that should warrant his unedited statement. And apart from the fact that Jonathan is our president, let Ezeife tell the world one thing about Jonathan that he wants Nigeria to sink for should he not win the presidential election in 2015. Does Ezeife want to tell Ndigbo that Nigeria would also sink if the aspiration of Njiko comes to play in 2015?

Your Excellency, please tell Ezeife that this is not the best of ways to seek for relevance, contracts or appointments from the leader. If he is a confused man, he should not plunge Ndigbo in that avoidable clownish euphoria. Even though that many legal luminaries have interpreted the Constitution and said that Jonathan has a right to contest in 2015, does not imply that Ezeife should reinterpret his own unconstitutional version that Nigeria would break if Jonathan loses in the election.

Dear Dr. Kalu, may it be that Ezeife does not know what he is talking about. You are a true Igbo whose voice has been addressing most of the issues besetting Ndigbo and Nigerians in entirety. Let Ezeife go and bury his agenda for Njiko Igbo and for Igbo presidency in 2015. It is not that I’m afraid of Nigeria breaking if that will be the collective opinion of leaders of thought and Nigerians, but such should not be politically initiated for the achievement.

I know that you have a good reasoning ability unlike what Ezeife has just said. If a man’s family is sick, he should not bring the entire country on the same margin. Ezeife should have advised Jonathan to address the issue of corruption in his government, instead of the contrary. Ezeife was supposed to tell Jonathan that he should look at what is happening in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) under him. This ramshackle in the ruling party is the fate of many Nigerians under his government.

Your Excellency, Dr. Orji Uzor Kalu, I’m very sure that you would address this issue once and for all, by ignoring any challenges that could portray you to be in opposition against Ezeife. Like you have always said, it is Igbo presidency in 2015. Not about the breakup of Nigeria, according to the gospel by Chief Chukwuemeka Ezeife.

Thank You.

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

Tel: +2348057778358

Email: apoet_25@yahoo.com

http://www.odimegwuonwumere.wordpress.com