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Opinion

Africa, O Mother Africa

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Femi Fani-Kayode

By Femi Fani-Kayode

First to come to Africa were the Arabs. They hunted us down like animals, captured us, castrated us, sold us into slavery and kept us in total bondage for 1300 years.

What the Arabs did to Africans over that period of time makes everything else that they were subjected to after that by others, including the trans-Atlantic slave trade, look like childsplay.

Worse of all is the fact that in places like Saudi Arabia and Mauritania many black Africans still live in slavery till today.

After the Arabs came the Europeans arrived and also enslaved us, shipped us overseas, subjected us to barbarous cruelty and bestial servitude and described us as nothing more than chattel with the brain of a quarter of a man.

After the Europeans came the Chinese. They have come in their full power and glory with their enticing and intoxicating massive bags of money, cheap loans, suspect grants, fake and deceptive smiles and evil intentions with a view to turning us into perpetual serfs, debtors, beggars and economic slaves.

Like a snake coiled around our hapless necks, they are snuffing and suffocating the life out of us more and more as each day goes by and they are turning us into their slaves and minions just as others that came before them once did.

Sadly we may never be in a position to free ourselves from the bondage of their sinister and pervasive yoke or to pay off our debts to them. That is where we are today.

O Africa, who has bewitched thee? O mother Africa, who shall deliver thee?

I have asked myself these two questions over and over again over the years and I still do not have the answers.

Yet such is our pitiful plight today that it calls for some painful introspection and the sharing of some home truths.

In William Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar”, the character Cassius said,

“the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings.”

Nothing could be more appropriate than these words when trying to analyse, decipher and comprehend the African condition and mind-set.

I apologise in advance if anyone is offended by my assertions in this essay but if we are really interested in making progress as a race and if we wish to change our dastardly ways and improve our fortunes then the truth, no matter how bitter, must be spoken. That is the purpose of this contribution.

The illustrious West Indian revolutionary and foremost intellectual, Marcus Garvey, who was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant minds in history, once wrote the following. He said,

“having had the wrong education as a start in his racial career, the negro has become his own greatest enemy. Most of the trouble I have had in advancing the cause of the race has come from negroes”.

On his part another great thinker and formidable intellectual, the celebrated black American Booker T. Washington, aptly described the black race in one of his many lectures by stating that they were “like crabs in a barrel”.

He said that none would allow the other to climb over the top and, in the event of any such attempt, ALL would continue to pull back into the barrel the one crab that makes the effort to climb out.

I wholeheartedly agree with both Garvey and Washington. The black man is his own worse enemy and in the case of the African this is even more pronounced and self-evident. Permit me to expand on this.

There are a few exceptions to the rule but generally speaking the greatest weakness of the African is his inability to provide good leadership, his inability to demand for good quality leaders, his ignorance, his cowardice, his envy and his poverty.

This combination and cocktail of deadly afflictions makes us nothing but expendable prey to the rest of the world.

As the famous 19th century Arab slave trader Mehmet Ali once wrote, “you do not need to destroy the black African because he always ends up destroying himself and his people for you”.

He went on to say that “the minute ANY black African rises up, emerges, starts talking sense and telling the others how to escape our bondage and slavery it is his fellow Africans who he seeks to help that will undermine him, insult him, expose him, ridicule him, destroy him, sell him and kill him. That is the nature of the black African. He reasons more like a wild ape than any other creature on earth”.

Standing up for Africa is a risky business because those that will hate you most of all for doing so are the Africans themselves.

They would rather listen to a heartless and savage beast and support and follow him than to someone that truly loves and cares for them, that treats them with restraint, dignity, respect, compassion and kindness and that wishes them well.

I do not know where this sickness of mind and malevolent and self-destructive disposition derives from but I suspect that it is a deep-seated case of self-hate and self-loathing and a touch of what psychiatrics describe as the ‘Stockholm syndrome’.

The African always loves his slave-master more than he does his liberator. Worse still he resists the notion of good education and he barely reads. There are a few exceptions to the rule but this is true of most of them.

If you want to keep a secret from an African put it in a book or write it in a long essay. He cannot and will not read either of the two because he is mentally immature, chronically lazy, morbidly indisciplined and utterly shortsighted and because he sees no immediate personal gain or value in it.

He would rather listen to music and dance for one hour non-stop or watch a football or a boxing match instead. To him that is far more important and gratifying than anything else. Simply put he is stirred and motivated by his excitable and primitive passions and not by reason or logic.

Nigeria, which was meant to be the leading light of Africa, has now become its irredeemable and irretrievable basket case and the laughing stock of the world.

This is a “country” of 200 million hapless and ill-fated people who are still struggling with the very concept of nationhood and who have their own internal colonial sysytem of bondage and servitude where one small race of non-indegineous and non-negroid people have enslaved all the others and laud it over them.

This is a country where genocide, mass murder, ethnic cleansing, islamist terrorism, poverty, the persecution of political opponents and religious minorities, failure, evil, incompetence, insensitivity and wickedness is not only perceived as being a normal way of life and system of governance but also encouraged and celebrated.

Like the proverbial zoo or jungle, only the strongest and fittest can survive or get to the top in such a hellish place and shithole of a country. There is literally no hope for the weak, the poor, the vulnerable or the decent in such an environment and callousness, doublespeak, deceit and impunity appear to be well rewarded.

If this were not the case how can one explain the fact that a so-called nation that once had the greatest, most progressive, most dynamic and most educated people in Africa will accept a barely educated and clearly unfit neanderthal like Muhammadu Buhari as its leader on three separate occasions and continue to support and hail him even after he openly insults them before world leaders and treats them like filth.

His Army has failed woefully in its war against Boko Haram because he has refused to empower and equip them adequately and because he pampers and encourages the terrorists.

His economy is heading for the greatest recession in Nigeria’s history due to his incompetence and inability to save money for a rainy day.

His impoverished and desperate people are marching, robbing and rioting in the streets of Lagos, in the outskirts of Abuja and in one or two other major cities looking for food and threatening the worse if they cannot find any.

As anarchy looms and sets in on parts of the country, Nigerians are being attacked openly and robbed by massive rampaging and hungry mobs made up of very angry, desperate and wild young men and he has said nothing about it let alone try to put a stop to it.

His airforce bombed scores of innocent and defenceless civilians, including women and children, to death two days ago yet it was barely reported in the press, there was no sense of outrage about it from the people and no-one in the country really gives a damn.

He has locked down his people at home in the nation’s densely populated commercial and administrative capitals of Lagos and Abuja and one or two other provinces in an attempt to prevent the spread of the corona virus without providing any provisions, money, food, water and electricity for them and without offering them any meaningful palliatives even though he knows that they are suffering badly and that his country has been officially designated as the “poverty capital of the world” by numerous international institutions!

It takes a cruel and callous man to do this and turn his back on his people in their time of need. Worse still when it comes to the fight against coronavirus itself in the last 3 weeks he has only managed to test between 10,000 to 20,000 people for the disease in a country of 200 million!

As if that were not bad enough, as his citizens are being beaten up, tortured, humiliated, insulted, dragged out of their homes and hotels and made homeless in China and as they are being accused by the Chinese authorities of “creating” and “spreading” Covid 19 he encourages, supports and commends the Chinese Government for doing all this and he welcomes Chinese doctors into his country for an unknown and unstated purpose even though the Nigerian people and the Nigerian Medical Association have expressed their grave concerns and deepest fears about this and kicked and warned against it.

Yours truly was so disgusted and appaulled by Buhari’s servile and cowering disposition towards the Chinese that he was constrained to tweet the following this morning.

“The support and defence that Geoffrey Onyeama, Nigeria’s otherwise erudite Foreign Minister, provided for China yesterday, even in the light of the barbaric atrocities that Africans are being subjected to in China, was embarrassing, gutless and shameful. Must Buhari always lick foreign arses?”

I am still waiting for an answer to the question but needless to say I will not hold my breath.

Things are so pitiful in Buhari’s Nigeria today that even the IMF has refused to touch her with a barge pole and has excluded her from the massive $21 billion USD bail-out and pay packet that they have just offered many other African nations as their contribution to fighting Covid 19 on the African continent.

If there were ever a country that could be best described as a nation of self-flagellatiing masochists it would have to be Nigeria. It is a country in which the worlds most cruel and heartless sadists are in power and the people appear to like it just like that.

Those that go by the name of IPOB and that have had the presence of mind, decency and courage to protest and say that they have had enough and wish to break out and establish their own country have been locked up, demonized, insulted, maligned and murdered and they have been declared as terrorists even though they never threatened or used violence to effect their purpose.

To say that you want to be free from bondage, tyranny and subjugation and that you wish to chart a new course for your ethnic nationality or tribe because the accursed Lugardian amagamation and forced marriage union between the north and the south of 1914 has never worked has now become a mortal sin and an unforgivable crime in Nigeria and self-determination has become a dirty word. What a tragedy!

Africa does not need to be conquered because she has already conquered itself. Today Africans are slaves in Libya, they are treated like animals in the Middle East and China, they are barely tolerated in Europe and they are hated and treated with contempt and disdain in Asia and North and South America.

All this yet they still believe that their leaders will lead them to the promise land and cut them a better deal in the world. This is nothing but delusion. What a sorry lot we are.

Opinion

Backslidden Pastors Patronizing Occult Breast In Port Harcourt

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By Obinna Akukwe

There is disturbing news within pastoral circles in Abuja concerning some backslidden colleagues whose recent patronage of a certain Port Harcourt based occult woman is a source of concern. This woman fabled with the ability to make people see visions of people’s names, phone numbers, bank details, colors of ladies underwear and sundry secrets. After reading my recent article ‘New Style Prophets : Visions of Phone Numbers and ladies Underwear’, a pastor who was about to be initiated into the Port Harcourt Cult of Prophets, out of little fear of God, sought a second opinion on the issue. This pastor who has a small church in Abuja believes that the numerical strength of his church is not commensurate with his efforts and is desperate to try other means of succeeding in ministry. Therefore, he intended joining the group loyal to the mystery woman before my meeting with him.

Some pastors have confirmed to me that actually there is a woman in Port Harcourt who gives power to see visions and they mentioned the names of some colleagues that patronized her. This woman whom they claimed is so powerful that she can appear and disappear, will firstly demand some indecent sexual gratification from the prospective pastor as signs of loyalty, including sucking of certain organs. After the sexual affairs, she will make some animal cry and administer some other materials and the eyes of the patrons will open to see the spirit world and discuss with some strange beings. She indoctrinates them that there is nothing like heaven, hell or sin and that God kept lots of treasures in the water kingdom to help humanity in fashion, music, movies, politics, finance, health and pastoral work and only those bound by oath of loyalty and secrecy are eligible to access the treasures of the spirit world. They described pastors who are yet to join as slaves who will soon bow to the children of the illuminated.

Many pastors, both young and old ones are being lured into this Port Harcourt cult and within weeks what appears like miracles, prophesy and prosperity becomes regular feature in their congregation. Some notable pastors in Abuja have shamelessly joined the bandwagon while a others stuck to their other sources of powers. One of the recently initiated pastors mentioned the names of a bishop and a prophet patronized by top government officials within the presidency among those who convinced him to visit the woman. Rather than see the entire operation as demonic, he sees it as business and advised others to connect before the window closes.

Another pastor who renounced membership of the cult earlier in the year had to ran away from his base to Abuja when he received constant death threat from the group. He was advised to subject himself to days of fasting at one of the deliverance churches in town which he promptly did.

The situation has become alarming that the aforementioned pastor who was approached for membership, out of indecision and fear of hell fire, sought my opinion, and subsequently paid a visit to a recent initiate. According to the recently initiated pastor, the consultation and oil fee was initially N100, 000 naira but due to the surging crowd, they have increased the consultation fee to N200, 000 naira. Then there are prices for different types of oil. The most popular is called ”seeing oil” which empowers people to see into other peoples secret. The next most popular oil is called ‘do as I say’ which makes it possible for the congregation to do whatsoever the pastor says without any compulsion including surrendering all live savings. There is also oil called ‘touch and follow’ which they use to hypnotize any beautiful lady who comes their way into sleeping with them. There is oil for falling under anointing called ‘slaying oil’. There is ‘crowd pulling oil’ used to increase membership strength. The payment for the oil is different from the consultation fee.

This oil must be serviced and refreshed by constant homosexual, fornication and adulterous activities especially shortly before preaching. The second condition is that the pastor must emphasize on prosperity and motivational messages above the message of righteousness. The pastors will also return to give back a part of the proceeds as thanksgiving.

I had weeks earlier confronted a pastor of a church who recently patronized the woman and was excited that he now sees into people’s future. This man whose attempt to draw crowd to his church and enter the league of super rich failed repeatedly despite numerous efforts, got tired of the situation and decided to help God. His submission and affinity to some senior colleagues for transference of anointing through seed sowing and impartation equally failed until a bishop introduced him to this powerful woman in Port Harcourt. This once firebrand pastor now indulges in homosexuality and adultery and does not feel any compunction about it.

This issue of pastors getting powers from occultist kingdom was first experienced by me as a young pastor in a church seventeen years ago and we observed strange things which we didn’t understand but rejected because it didn’t look spiritually clean. Years later during a retreat at Scripture Union Camp of Faith Okigwe, I came back to the hostel around 2am after prayers and overhead a very senior pastor of a church in Owerri at one corner behind the hostel sobbing and telling God that ”if you do not give me power now to do the miraculous, I will go to where others go to get theirs…” This pastor, oblivious of my presence, went ahead to mention in his prayers ,the names of pastors colleagues who have gone to get powers from different places and threatened God to either show up or risk losing him to the other side”.

One of them who recently joined this Port Harcourt cult , in response to my disapproval said ”man of God, if hunger have wired you, you wouldn’t be talking like this ” while the other one said that he cannot continue to tolerate the sight of little pastors making waves while he continues to be a spectator.

The Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have not effectively monitored pastoral activities while some pastors have rejected membership of the body; therefore everybody is his own master. This overemphasis on prosperity is killing the churches that now some pastor flock to strange places for spiritual empowerment in order to belong to the class of super rich pastors, accompanied by lots of homosexual bodyguards. The generation that started the Pentecostal revival in Nigeria immediately after the Biafra war, gave birth to pastors like Uma Ukpai, Paul Nwachukwu, Austin Nwodika, Nicholas Ezeh, Williams Kumuyi, Enoch Adeboye, David Oyedepo, Mike Okonkwo and the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa , Prophet Gabriel Oduyemi, among others. The current generation is birthing pastors who flock to bar beach Lagos, Calabar, Kumasi, Ashanti, Tamale and some parts of Cameroun to receive powers.

If these Pentecostal fathers do not hasten to address this evil trend and arrest the influx of strange powers into the church, within the next five years, the Nigerian Church will become a branch of the Marine kingdom and the little fire of the Holy Spirit still remaining will be extinguished. The history of strange powers infiltrating the church started from Simon the Magnus (Acts 8 vs 9-24) who repented at the preaching of Philip but later according to church history as illustrated by Iraneaus and Justin Martyr became the author of strange signs in the church. However, the early church rose against it and temporarily checkmated it.

It is worthy to note that majority of pastors in Abuja who have been approached for membership rejected it outright and it is only few misled ones that appear excited about this Port Harcourt Occult woman. God still performs miracles in churches and pastors in need of such grace should wait upon The Lord in prayers instead of seeking the assistance of unclean spirits. Genuine pastors should shut down spiritually all these manifestations of strange powers before the anger of God falls on both the guilty and the innocent with disastrous consequences.

Obinna Akukwe , columnist via profetobinna2@yahoo.com, @obinnaakukwe

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Opinion

COVID-19: Time For Buhari To Replace His Mercedes With Innoson

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By SKC Ogbonnia

The consensus around the world is that the lessons from the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) would provoke commonsense among Nigerian leaders to harness the full potential of their local economy, but this dream may never come close, if President Muhammadu Buhari does not lead by example.

A defining theme of my foray into the 2019 presidential race is that Nigeria’s problem is not as complex as commonly imagined. For the problem is neither the lack of natural resources nor human resources. It certainly has nothing to do with good visions or the enabling policies. The Nigerian endemic problem is squarely the failure to influence the efficient implementation of the policies towards the greater good.

It is not surprising, therefore, that amid the COVID-19 pandemic, President Buhari demonstrated visionary leadership by declaring that Nigeria will henceforth promote and patronize made-in-Nigeria products over foreign goods. Buhari’s vision is laudable and mirrors the case of Asian countries, particularly China and India, which for several decades banned a good number of foreign products to enable their local industries to thrive. Today, both Asian nations have become economic envy of the world.

Interestingly, not long after the made-in-Nigeria policy went public, instead of patronizing Innoson Motors, the sole local auto manufacturing outfit, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) hurriedly approved a whopping sum of N683, 613 million for purchase of 19 Made-In-Japan Toyota vehicles for the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA).

According to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, the justification for the abrupt breach of the policy is that the need for the foreign vehicles predated the COVID-19 pandemic. As if her logic lacks in folly, the Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi, followed that the approval became necessary, because “it’s the first time in four years that NPA was buying any vehicle.”

The simple takeaway from both Ahmed and Amaechi is that Nigerian leaders embrace lunacy as legacy. This goes without saying that the rationale behind the choice of the foreign vehicles over local brands has nothing to do with the common good. Instead, it has everything to do with the manic competition for financial profligacy among the different arms of the Nigerian government.

The decision by the Executive arm of government is merely to outdo the wastefulness synonymous with the Nigerian Legislature. The NPA squander dittoed the Senate, which not long ago rejected Innoson only to launder over N5 billion for Toyota brands. The House of Representatives would also double down to sink another N5 billion into Toyota Camry saloon cars in place of moderately priced Innoson jeeps that are specially designed and tested for the Nigerian roads.

This pattern of lavishness by public officials, particularly under the prevailing COVID-19 crisis, is plain cold-blooded. It is impunity going too far.

But President Muhammadu Buhari must own full blame. Though his call to patronize local products is commendable, he is neither able to influence his appointees to implement the policy nor able to lead by example himself. Rather than demonstrate patriotism, by proudly using the Made-in-Nigeria goods that he preaches, Buhari appears to be emulating the ostentatious style of the regime before him.

Mister Buhari should quickly revert to the tenets of his 2016 “Change Begins With Me” slogan. The core principle demands that he declares Innoson as the official brand for all government agencies, beginning with the Presidency. If a General Buhari, as a military head of state, could endear himself to the Nigerian people over 30 years ago, by embracing jagged foreign Peugeot—then assembled in Nigeria—as a badge of honor, it is only patriotic for him to replicate such gesture for wholly made-in-Nigeria vehicles.

It is worth mentioning, however, that the Innoson Motors is on record to have stated that the company has seen more patronage from the Buhari government than the one before it. That is commendable, at base. But the mediocrity of the previous regime can never be substituted as a gold standard for success.

President Buhari is a man widely known as ascetic and who assumed power on the mantra of revolutionary change. He should, therefore, embolden his change vision, as well as the authenticity of his policy on local goods, so that others can follow. The message, if it is not already explicit, is that the Nigerian president should, without further delay, replace his official car, a German-made Mercedes Benz, with a Nigerian-made Innoson brand.

The COVID-19 pandemic has combined to plunge Nigeria into an economic miasma and true change has become inevitable. The leaders can no longer afford to carry on business as usual. In short, besides leading by example, it has become imperative for President Buhari to remind public officials that the country risks a serious mass revolt, if they continue to swim in ocean of affluence while submerging the masses deeper and deeper into abject poverty and despair.

SKC Ogbonnia, a 2019 APC Presidential Aspirant, writes from Ugbo, Awgu, Enugu State. Twitter: @SKCOgbonnia

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Opinion

Let Me Shine!

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Nigeria

By Odunayo Oluwatimilehin

I am a little creature,
created to fulfill a special purpose on earth.
I am a product of human consummation.

I developed first as a foetus, and progressed gradually,
into a living being composed of a spirit, soul, and a body.

I am the long awaited bundle of joy,
A symbol of conjugal completeness,
A magical color that beautifies Marital vows.

I brought joy, happiness, and change of status to the family I was delivered to.
I was the reason behind the bright moon smiles on faces.
I was cherished, loved, and cared for at my arrival.

Now that my parents desire to have me has been granted.
I have just “One wish”.
Just one wish and I’ll be fine.

One wish to express my inert dreams.
One wish to be ‘Me’.
One wish to leave an indelible mark on the sand of time.

One wish to dazzle like Diamond.
One wish to shine forth as Gold.

Please, strengthen me when I’m weak.
Counsel me when I’m discouraged.
Hold my hands often, and affirm your love to me.

Just like houseplants,
Nurture me to grow on the right path.
Do not spare the rod when I’m wrong.

Release me like an Eagle when the time is right.
No matter the heights I’ll reach,
I will forever remain your little child.
Let me Shine!

Dedicated to Children all over the world, in celebration of May 27th, 2020 Children’s Day

HAPPY CHILDREN’S DAY!

Odunayo Oluwatimilehin, OYEWOLE.

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