[Hollywood_Tonic:39028] Elizabeth Hurley - Valentino Master Of Couture VIP View in London - 28 Nov

 
 
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USA Africa Dialogue Series - RE: [NaijaPolitics] STAR INFORMATION: Chief Obafemi Awolowo Attended the Manchester 1945 Pan-African Conference.....{Re: he Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo }

Ok, Bolaji Aluko, you're right, I was wrong: it seems indeed that Awolowo attended the 1945 Manchester Pan-African conference. I'd been reading Padmore's comments where he'd made his acknowledgements that mentions Zik and others as the moving spirits of the Manchester conference. I mixed up the 1945 (Manchester) and 1954 (Accra) conferences. It was the 1954 conference that Awo did not attend. So, I revise my position, and thanks for pointing it out to me. But the point remains. And you quite rightly point to Nsukka's honoring of Awo in its first convocation in 1962 with an honorary Doctorate under Zik's chancellorship, alongside Zik himself, Leon Hansberry, Dr M.I Okpara, Bishop J.C. Anyogu, Dr. John Hannah, Eric Ashby and J.W. Cook. In the second convocation they honored Ibiam, Balewa and Adetokunbo Ademola. It was siply that, the University of Nigeria reflected Azikiwe's broad conception of the mission of the University: he named Halls and Schools after great Nigerian, African and African-American leaders. He built a university and named its halls of residence after Awo, Bello, Balewa, Akintola, Osadebe, and so on - his so-called political opponents; named the school of Engineering after Agbebi, the School of Music after Fela Sowande who was its first chair, named the School of Architecture after Marcaulay, the school of law after Sapara-Williams, etc. These were gestrures, both symbolic and realistic, that essayed the fundamental essence of Zikism. No other of the regional universities at Ife or Zaria laid the same trans-ethnic and transnational vision. In fact, in his statement as Chancellor and Chairman of the provisional council of the University of Nigeria on March 1961 to which I refered, and which Ikejiani has quoted in part, Azikiwe articulated "the philosophy animating the foundation of the University of Nigeria" among the following:
 1. "Its nationalist content so as to preserve the dignity of the African, as expressed by the Congress of British West africa when the struggle for national self-determination was at its earlier beginning"...
12. "competent academic staff will be recruited not exclusievely from any particular country or race, but it is intended to cast a net wide over an extensive area, in all continents of the earth, among suitably qualigfied and exprienced English-speaking university teachers, who will be provided the opportunity to maintain contact with intellectuals and academic life in the outside world"
13. 'it will be the first time in the history of higher education in Nigeria, when students will be able to study ancient, modern and African languages up to degree standard."
 
I've simply selected these three to highlight the basic principle that made it possible for Awo to be invested with the first honors of the Uniersity of Nigeria at its foundational convocation in 1962. It is Zikist cosmopolitanism and bridge-building. I do not deny Awolowo's brilliance, nor should I indeed; but I critique his historical standing purely to challenge the revanchist mythologies of Awoists hell-bent on crass revisionism.
 Obi Nwakanma
 
 

To: rexmarinus@hotmail.com
CC: naijaintellects@googlegroups.com; NaijaPolitics@yahoogroups.com; OmoOdua@yahoogroups.com; nigerianID@yahoogroups.com; USAAfricaDialogue@googlegroups.com; Raayiriga@yahoogroups.com; ekitipanupo@yahoogroups.com
From: alukome@gmail.com
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2012 04:36:25 +0100
Subject: [NaijaPolitics] STAR INFORMATION: Chief Obafemi Awolowo Attended the Manchester 1945 Pan-African Conference.....{Re: he Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo }

 


Obi Nwakanma:

Although you write well, one has to be very careful when one reads you, because much of your writing is almost Goebellsian, as you inflate Zik and the Igbo supermenschen notion, and deflate Awo and every other non-Igbo ethnic group.  You write half-truths and hide truths, and then when you are called out, you hardly ever back-track, hiding old untruths and half-truths with more subterfuge, insinuations and innuendoes, with literary bobbings and weavings, and other rope-a-dopes.....

Please come with me....

1.  You will notice that Chief Obafemi, in the following passage that you quote:

QUOTE:

"I was a little bit disturbed by the point you made before. I hope you have not taken a final decision on it, that is, that the East will not associate with the North in future. Easterners have fought more than any other group in this country over the years to make Nigeria what it is, or what it was, before the crisis began. I think it will be a pity if they just forget something for which they have laboured for years . Many of the Easterners who fought for "One Nigeria" are no longer with us. It will not be a good tribute to their memory by destroying that"one Nigeria"., Certainly, it is not going to be the same as it used to be. I have taken a stand on that, and I am prepared to drop tribal labels at the moment, but I know in my own mind what sort of thing I have in view for the federation. But I think it will be a great pity and tragedy and disservice to the memories of all those who have gone to disband Nigeria. And here we are not here to criticize anybody, I think it is generally agreed that some units have done more for the unity of Nigeria than others. The East certainly have not yielded first place to anyone in that regard. I would like you to consider that aspect very seriously". 

-Chief Awolowo to General Ojukwu, Enugu, May 6, 1967

UNQUOTE

pointedly referred to "Easterners" and not just to "Igbos."  That is a distinction with a difference - with the Igbo being one of several ethnic groups in the East.  I do not wish to expand further upon that notion.

2.  Note that this quotation was on May 6, 1967.  Yet part of the continuing accusation against Awo was that he seemed so ready willy-nilly to lead the Yoruba to secede from Nigeria once the East seceded, following an upside-down (and anachronistic) reading of his May 1 speech in Ibadan. 

QUOTE

Chief Awolowo's Speech to Western leaders of thought in Ibadan, MAY 1 1967 

The aim of a leader should be the welfare of the people whom he leads. I have used 'welfare' to denote the physical, mental and spiritual well-being of the people. With this aim fixed unflinchingly and unchangeably before my eyes I consider it my duty to Yoruba people in particular and to Nigerians in general, to place four imperatives before you this morning. Two of them are categorical and two are conditional. (1) Only a peaceful solution must be found to arrest the present worsening stalemate and restore normalcy. (2)  The Eastern Region must be encouraged to remain part of the Federation.  (3) If the Eastern Region is allowed by acts of omission or commission to secede from or opt out of Nigeria, then the
Western Region and Lagos must also stay out of the Federation.  (4) The people of Western Nigeria and Lagos should participate in the ad hoc committee or any similar body only on the basis of absolute equality with the other regions of the Federation.............

UNQUOTE

When does a conditional statement on May 1 suddenly become categorical of May 6?  Yet, some hagiographers continue to believe that he FURTHERED that agreement SECRETLY during and/or after  that Enugu meeting which my own late father was present.   This present quotation  RE-EMPHASISES Awo's belief in the unity of Nigeria, despite the DIFFICULTIES that Nigeria was going through during that trying period.

3.   You and some of your acolytes apparently seem surprised that Awo had healthy respect for the contribution of Easterners to the decolonization and unity of Nigeria up to that point.  I wonder why.  In any case, you will recall that Awo got his first HONORARY degree EVER from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in 1962 - 

QUOTE


HONOURS:

In recognition of his intellectual contributions, Awolowo was honoured by the following institutions of learning:

University of Nigeria, Nsukka:           LL.D. (1962) 
University of Ife, Ile-Ife:                   D.Sc. (1967) 
University of Lagos:                         D.Litt. (1968) 
University of Ibadan:                        LL.D. (1972) 
Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria:      LL.D. (1975) 
University of Cape Coast, Ghana:    LL.D. (1976)

UNQUOTE

Obviously, this award  must have been with then President Zik's agreement and blessing, Zik being the chief motivator of UNN.  One would love to exhume the Awolowo's citation for that honorary degree of 1962, on the eve of the beginnings of his troubles in May 1962 culminating in his formal charging for treason in November 1962.  [See:  http://www.dawodu.com/aluko90.htm  From May 1962 to May 1963: State of Emergency in Western Nigeria and in Nigeria ]


4.  Although you repeatedly try to deflate Awo's international credentials - not only in your write-up below but in virtually every other write-up of yours that includes his name   let me correct you to state that his presence in London as a mature student of 36 years old saw him more as a member of the FABIAN SOCIETY than as a member of the Labor Party as you claim below.  Membership of one was not synonymous to the other.  With respect to the Fabian Society, Awoeis mentioned in the same breath as Nehru and Lee Kuan Yew in this regard:

QUOTE

In the period between the two World Wars, the "Second Generation" Fabians, including the writers R. H. TawneyG. D. H. Cole and Harold Laski, continued to be a major influence on social-democratic thought.

It was at this time that many of the future leaders of the Third World were exposed to Fabian thought, most notably India'sJawaharlal Nehru, who subsequently framed economic policy for India on Fabian socialism lines. After independence from Britain, Nehru's Fabian ideas committed India to an economy in which the state owned, operated and controlled means of production, in particular key heavy industrial sectors such as steel, telecommunications, transportation, electricity generation, mining and real estate development. Private activity, property rights and entrepreneurship were discouraged or regulated through permits, nationalization of economic activity and high taxes were encouraged, rationing, control of individual choices and Mahalanobis model considered by Nehru as a means to implement the Fabian Society version of socialism.[14][15][16] In addition to Nehru, several pre-independence leaders in colonial India such as Annie Besant - Nehru's mentor and later a president of Indian National Congress - were members of the Fabian Society.[17]

Obafemi Awolowo, who later became the premier of Nigeria's defunct Western Region was also a Fabian member in the late 1940s. It was the Fabian ideology that Awolowo used to run the Western Region but was prevented from using it on a national level in Nigeria. It is less known that the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, was an avid member of the Fabian Society in the early 1930s. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore, stated in his memoirs that his initial political philosophy was strongly influenced by the Fabian Society. However, he later altered his views, considering the Fabian ideal of socialism as impractical


UNQUOTE


5.  Perhaps more scandalous is your attempt to WHITE-OUT Awolowo's participation in the 1945 Pan-African Conference in London, and WRITE-IN Zik's long-distance participation.  You don't attempt to provide any information as to why Zik, who was alive - and according to you took part in the organization of the conference - could not personally participate, while Awolowo, who was then in London, did not (according to you)  participate.  You leave the impression that Awo was inattentive or inconsequential - or both - while Zik was very consequential.  Who knows - could illness have prevented BOTH of them from not being able to participate? Or other pressing matters?


But that is a DEVIL's ADVOCATE question, because the some records shows that Awolowo DID participate in the 1945 Pan-African Conference in Manchester.  Please read this OTHER STORY...


QUOTE

http://www.pearsonhighered.com/assets/hip/us/hip_us_pearsonhighered/samplechapter/0130918431.pdf

Chapter 5:  African Nationalism and the Struggle for Freedom  page 168 ff.


Elaborate preparations went into the 1945 Pan-African conference, to be held in Manchester, England. More Africans were involved in it than ever before, London being the center for a very large number of African students studying in Britain at the time. The conference committee was chaired by Dr. Peter Milliard (British Guiana) and T. R. Makonnen (British Guiana) was treasurer; George Padmore (West Indies) and Kwame Nkrumah (Ghana), political secretaries; Peter Abrahams (South Africa) was publicity secretary and Jomo Kenyatta (Kenya) was conference secretary. For the first time, African political parties, trade unions, youth leagues, and students' associations sent representatives. The roster of attendees included those representing the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons (NCNC), the Labour Party of Grenada (West Indies), the West Indies People's National Party, the Nigerian Youth Movement, the Nyasaland African
Congress (Malawi), the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa, and the Gold Coast Farmers' Association. The list of individual participants read like Who is Who of the Black World, and included, besides the conference planners,Wallace Johnson (Sierra Leone), Chief Obafemi Awolowo (Nigeria), Chief H. O. Davies (Nigeria), J. E. Taylor (Ghana), Dr. Hastings Banda (Malawi), Mrs. Amy Ashwood Garvey (then representing Jamaica Women's Movement), and Jaja Wachukwu (Nigeria). Some of these people went on to lead their own countries to independence. In general, the gathering was the largest and the most representative Pan-African conference ever held. It was a crowning achievement for DuBois, then universally acknowledged as the "Father of Pan-Africanism," who flew in from New York to convene it.


The deliberations of the conference were wide ranging in scope. Reports were presented on conditions of black people in Africa, the United States, the West Indies, and Britain. Some resolutions reaffirmed demands made by previous conferences but not yet implemented by the colonial powers; others expressed the solidarity of the people of African descent with other oppressed and colonized people, particularly the Vietnamese, Indonesians, and Indians who were, at the time, actively involved in their own freedom struggles. This Pan-African conference was important in several ways: As already noted, it was the best attended by Africans from the continent. Many of those who attended went on to lead their countries to independence, becoming presidents, prime ministers, or cabinet ministers. It marked the transformation of the Pan-African movement from a protest movement—seeking moderate reforms including the right to form a trade union, to be paid a decent wage, to vote for representatives in local councils, to obtain health care and housing, etc.—to a "tool" of
African nationalist movements fighting for self-rule. The idea of independence was echoed throughout all the discussions at the conference.

Information was provided about other struggles elsewhere in the world that were being waged against the same colonial powers that Africans were facing, and the participants were able to draw some lessons that might be applied to the African struggles. The conference allowed Africans in attendance to develop ties and relationships among themselves that helped them later in organizing their people when they returned home. The African activists who attended the conference said that they were inspired by the resolutions passed and encouraged by the moral support they received from each other.


UNQUOTE

Also read this:

QUOTE


1945 - THE FIFTH PAN AFRICAN CONGRESS

This was held in Manchester in the north west of England. There were ninety delegates, twenty six from all over Africa. These included Peter Abrahams for the ANC, and a number of men who were to become political leaders in their countries, such as Hastings Banda, Nkrumah, Obafemi Awolowo and Kenyatta. There was also Marcus Garvey's wife and Trinidadian radical George Padmore.

There were thirty three delegates from the West Indies and thirty five from various British organisations including the West African Students Union. W.E.B. DuBois, the man who had organised the first Pan African Congress back in 1919, was there too at the age of 77.

Despite the turnout, this conference scarcely got a mention in British press. There were many resolutions passed, including one calling for racial discrimination to be made a criminal offense. The main resolution decried imperialism and capitalism


UNQUOTE


Do you see the name of Obafemi Awolowo there?   Yes -  along with HO Davies, possibly both as delegates of the Nigerian Youth Movement (NYM) that Zik had quit dramatically in 1941.  How could you POSSIBLY have missed these references?  Do you see the name of Nnamdi Azikiwe there?  No.  Where is the reference to him as one of the organizers?  As then the Secretary-General of the NCNC, why did he not come as a delegate of the NCNC (maybe like Jaja Wachukwu)?

Inquiring minds want to know......

And there you have it. So please revise your priors and be more careful in crafting your own "our-story."




Bolaji Aluko
 

=========================================================================================
To: naijaobserver@yahoogroups.com
From: Enyimba1ofAba@aol.com
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:13:30 -0500
Subject: ||NaijaObserver|| The Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo
Dr. Obi Nwakanma:

The quote below were words from Awolowo, and those words came before he and the Yorubas
tasted the benefits of Igbo exclusions in Nigeria politics. Since after that war, the Yorubas, mostly the
new generation Yorubas after getting drunk with the looting of Nigeria, they do not believe that Igbo men
and women contributed anything to the development of Nigeria and its Independence.
Enyimba Himself
enyimba1ofaba@aol.com
===========================================================================
11:04 AM (6 hours ago)
to naijaobserver, igboworldforum, igboevents, nigerianworldf., Rex
Images are not displayed. Display images below - Always display images from ibk@usa.net
Dear Obi Nwakanma,
I will not argue with your placing of Nnamdi Azikiwe on a pedestal. I have the highest regard for the man so I want to share your superlatives and encomiums showered on him.
I will ignore your attempts to relegate Chief Obafemi Awolowo. My simple question to you is what role Achebe and Ojukwu played in the destruction of the Azikiwe hard work in his pan-African, and Nigerian nation building.
Tell us honestly, the way Ojukwu treated Azikiwe and the disdain he suffered in Ojukwu's hands. The ambivalent Igbo psyche will be revealed by your honest appraisal of this point.
I await your position.
Cheers.
IBK


------ Original Message ------
Received: 06:15 PM EAT, 11/29/2012
From: Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
To: <naijaobserver@yahoogroups.com>, <igboworldforum@yahoo.com>, <igboevents@yahoogroups.com>, <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>
Subject: RE: ||NaijaObserver|| The Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo



You'd notice that I wrote "mouths" - and it is the way Agwu works:) By indirection. Anyway, I posted this to situate the side of the true story of Nigeria which the documentary generally ignores. A key figure in that story, Awolowo himself knew truth and confessed it. That's the story. There are critical aspects of the documetary that are fundamentally wrong. For example, the picture that Jide attributes as "Adedoyin" actually is Azikiwe leading the the NCNC delegation to London in 1947. It might actually be during or shortly after that visit to London - to demand Nigeria's freedom - that Azikiwe, as the Key speaker at the Socialist International conference in Oxford in 1947 gave his famous and defiant, "Before Us Lies the Open Grave" speech, whose title was taken straight from the poem by one of the Key Harlem renaissance poets, Claude Mackay. These facts for a documentary that is rather at the surface level and angled to tell a different story could not be expected to be easily contextualized.

The second fact which ought to be brought up is its clever attempt to CENTER Awolowo in the discourse of nation and nation-making. This is the project that has gone on by many Awoist intellectuals since 1968, and continues to date. It is tantamount basically to normalizing the Nigerian antinomy. But one clear historical fact is that Awolowo was NOT at the Manchester Conference of the Pan-African Movement in 1945. The key organizers of that critical Manchester conference were George Padmore (formerly known as Malcolm Nurse), Nnamdi Azikiwe and Kwame Nkrumah who served as the secretary of the conference. Jomo Kenyata, Wachukwu, Banda, etc, were participants in the conference. Although Azikiwe could not attend the conferecnce in 1945 in London, but according to the notes of the conference by its central organizer, George Padmore, Azikiwe was one of its organizers. Awo was not mentioned; was not consequential, and was only not part of the organizing of the Pan-African Conference in London, he DID NOT participate in the conference even though he was in London in 1945 as a student in LSE. Awo identified more, and this is crucial, which the British Labour Party of which he was a member at the time in London.

There are other critical elements in the documentary like the statement about the funding/financing of the NCNC which are blatant fibs, but again, there is this thing we say about the "angle of the camera" - wherever you direct it, that is what it captures. The attempts at erasing Azikiwe from Nigerian history is a long and sustained project; it is a highly organized revisionist agenda. It is because of this that people like me, always heeding Achebe's admonition insist that we cannot allow others to tell our stories. When the Igbo and other Nigerians ignore and undermine Azikiwe, they undermine the vitality of the Nigerian story. For example, today, Ghana projects Nkrumah as the "foremost" political leader of the African continent and the black world, and the organizing spirit of its nation. This image rubs off on Ghana as the epicenter of the black world. It is because Nigeria has refused to tell the heroic story of Azikiwe and his men in the making of modern Africa; in the struggle for African freedom, and in the shaping of the discussions of the Black Atlantic, that Nigeria today is increasingly subsumed to the mythology of Ghana. Nigeria has no organizing myth. Zik gave Nkrumah to Ghana. Zik roused the nationalist movement in Ghana, in Nigeria, in Gambia, in the African world in the inter war years. Indeed as Julius Nyerere himself put it, who was at the Pan-African Conference in 1945, "until my generation of Africans read Renascent Africa and listened to Zik, we did not know that Africa was possible." It was in consideration of this truth that Walter Rodney mentioned to a famous Nigerian historian in 1973, how considering the importance of Azikiwe in the story of the global black revolutionary movement in the 20th century, that he was inclined to doing his political biography, a project his asssination apparently rendered moot. Azikiwe was the embodiment of the true story of the heroic epoch of Nigeria, and he embodies the perfect Nigerian ideal. Until the true story of Nigeria is told, we shall not know where the rain began to beat us, and people like Jide Olarenwaju will continue to exhume the corpse from its feet.
Obi Nwakanma



To: naijaobserver@yahoogroups.com
From: Enyimba1ofAba@aol.com
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 09:13:30 -0500
Subject: ||NaijaObserver|| The Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo


Dr. Obi Nwakanma:

The quote below were words from Awolowo, and those words came before he and the Yorubas
tasted the benefits of Igbo exclusions in Nigeria politics. Since after that war, the Yorubas, mostly the
new generation Yorubas after getting drunk with the looting of Nigeria, they do not believe that Igbo men
and women contributed anything to the development of Nigeria and its Independence.


Enyimba Himself
enyimba1ofaba@aol.com


-----Original Message-----
From: Rex Marinus <rexmarinus@hotmail.com>
To: igboevents <igboevents@yahoogroups.com>; nigerianworldforum <nigerianworldforum@yahoogroups.com>; talknigeria <talknigeria@yahoogroups.com>; naijaobserver <naijaobserver@yahoogroups.com>; igboworldforum <igboworldforum@yahoo.com>; naijapolitics <naijapolitics@yahoogroups.com>
Sent: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 7:40 am
Subject: [IgboEvents:Live] The Real Story of Nigeria - Nigeria and the Igbo from the very mouths of Obafemi Awolowo

"I was a little bit disturbed by the point you made before. I hope you have not taken a final decision on it, that is, that the East will not associate with the North in future. Easterners have fought more than any other group in this country over the years to make Nigeria what it is, or what it was, before the crisis began. I think it will be a pity if they just forget something for which they have laboured for years . Many of the Easterners who fought for "One Nigeria" are no longer with us. It will not be a good tribute to their memory by destroying that"one Nigeria"., Certainly, it is not going to be the same as it used to be. I have taken a stand on that, and I am prepared to drop tribal labels at the moment, but I know in my own mind what sort of thing I have in view for the federation. But I think it will be a great pity and tragedy and disservice to the memories of all those who have gone to disband Nigeria. And here we are not here to criticize anybody, I think it is generally agreed that some units have done more for the unity of Nigeria than others. The East certainly have not yielded first place to anyone in that regard. I would like you to consider that aspect very seriously".
-Chief Awolowo to General Ojukwu, Enugu, May 6, 1967








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Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

Here's (a rather small) list of some facts/conjectures to disturb Ms. Gloria Emeagwali's prescription for an "analysis...tempered with reason": Nigerian state governors who collect more than $2 million per month in so-called security vote (that they don't account for); federal legislators who, every three months, collect several times the annual salary of President Obama (even though these law makers haven't passed a single law acknowledged as having improved the condition of Nigerians); a health care system so scary that few (if any) "prominent" Nigerians (president, governors, ministers, legislators--and members of their families), ever consider being treated in a Nigerian hospital (instead, they go to such locations as Germany, the UK, the US, South Africa, Dubai, India); a national network of roads that are hardly ever better than death traps; an educational system that's producing mediocre graduates in many fields (most of them unemployed and unemployable); a Federal Government (under President Obasanjo) that squandered between $10 and $16 billion on the power sector (and actually achieved the feat of worsening power outages!); a country that continues to rank near the top of generator importers in the world; a country that's now a global leader in private jet ownership; a country where elections (despite a few isolated success stories) remain fraudulent exercises; a country whose security apparati aren't able to curb the incessant killing of innocent Nigerians by Boko Haram; a country whose constitution offers immunity to governors and the president even when they commit crimes (especially then, in fact!); a country whose judicial machinery has managed to convict only one ex-governor (Alamiesiegha) for corruption in more than 12 years (even though the EFCC and other anti-corruption agencies--to say nothing of the evidence of our eyes and ears--suggest that most of the governors have engaged in unconscionable looting); a country whose police have not solved any major homicide case in the last twelve years (not Bola Ige, not Oyerinde, not Funso Williams, not Harry Marshall, not Dikibo); a country whose police force provided cover for thugs who in November, 2004 swept through Anambra State destroying public property (thus earning the title of lawlessness enforcement agency); a country whose police force frequently lends itself to the ruling party as a rigging tool; a country whose soldiers and police have slaughtered innocents in Maiduguri, Odi (and elsewhere in the Niger Delta), Onitsha, Zaki Biam etc; a country in which the vast majority of rural and urban dwellers have no access to pipe-borne water (much less decent private or public toilets); where many (if not most) people defecate and pee in the open; where the powerful and wealthy ride roughshod over the weak and poor; a country whose citizens pay for 100% of the president's/governors' meals (a billion naira budgeted for the Presidency's yearly food consumption)--even though (as Ms. Emeagwali well knows) Mr. Obama and US governors must pay for their personal meals and those of their families); a country where the minimum wage is a measly N18,000 . The list goes on and on and on!

One is bemused when some defend or excuse Nigeria's dysfunction by inventing fictitious narratives of success or drawing attention to the existence of similar (or worse) problems in places like the US, UK and elsewhere. It's sheer hypocrisy, I'm afraid. Nobody can make light of the serious crises in the US, the UK, Germany etc. But I dare say that Nigeria should be so lucky to be in the shoes of the US (trillion dollar debt and all)! In Nigeria, we have squandered most of our oil wealth without developing our infrastructure even to the levels that now obtain in such addresses as Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Lebanon, the Philippines, Uganda, Jamaica, Kenya etc! 

We can romanticize the so-called gains, "progress," and "significant reconfiguration of social consciousness" all we want--the truth is that Nigeria is in awful shape. And I think things are getting messier in critical areas.  

Nigeria's crises are so deep-rooted that the diseased phenomenon that passes for "democracy" there is in no position to begin to address them. Instead, the operators of the "democratic" system are concerned, above all, with perpetuating their unconscionable privileges. Their greed is compounded, I suggest, by their incompetence, lack of imagination, and absence of a vision of transformation. That's why a growing number of Nigerians are looking for other departures, new approaches, even idiosyncratic answers. My recent piece was written in that spirit. If it did not rise to what the likes of Ms. Emeagwali consider to be "reason," I offer no apologies.

Okey


From: "Emeagwali, Gloria (History)" <emeagwali@mail.ccsu.edu>
To: "usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com" <usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 10:38 AM
Subject: RE: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

'This progress has been painful in significant instances but it represents a significant
reconfiguration of social consciousness in ways that move the country forward.....'Toyin



I agree with Toyin.

The  greatest irony  is that the same people who call Nigeria a failed state, hold up as a model
a country with $14 trillion debt; laws that sanction arrest without trial;
contractors who make much more than the proverbial 10% on  military and prison contracts;
penal systems that host most of the prisoners in the world and  execute an alarming amount of them;
make- shift tent cities with the homeless, thanks to a fraudulent  housing/ banking foreclosure system;
students who accumulate as much as $50,000 debt for an undergraduate/ university education;
countless graduates without jobs;  highest on the list for obesity;  centuries of discrimination against
its minority population; and  corrupt politicians who make laws to suit campaign donors. Don't  get
me wrong. I think the U.S is a great country,  and much  has to be done to get
Nigeria  where we want it to be, but analysis should be tempered
with reason.



Professor Gloria Emeagwali
www.africahistory.net<http://www.africahistory.net/>
www.vimeo.com/user5946750/videos<http://www.vimeo.com/user5946750/videos>
Documentaries on Africa and the African Diaspora

________________________________
From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com] On Behalf Of OLUWATOYIN ADEPOJU [tvade3@gmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 5:53 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

I think Ogugua's effort to analyse Nigeria's democracy as not working is  rather mechanistic. Mechanistic beceause he describes a complex system in terms of a few parameters in a manner better applied to mechanical or less complex forms.

A democratic system, however, is social not a mechanical system.

I think democracy in Nigeria is better described as 'developing' rather than having failed.

What is democracy?

Democracy may be understood  as a social arrangement in which collective opinion is harnessed for the benefit of society. This is often done  through representatives understood as embodying sections of  this opinion.

I observe some significant progress in Nigerian democracy. This progress has been painful in significant instances but it represents a significant reconfiguration of social consciousness in ways that move the country forward.

What is or is not possible or likely within a society is an index of a society's health.

One demonstration of the growth of Nigerian democracy is the fact that the possibility of a military coup has become remote or impossible after the Abacha era.

This represents a sterling, major development in the consciousness of Nigerians beceause in the various coups up till Babangida, from  the bloody Nzeogwu coup of January 1966, the even bloodier counter coup of later that year, the Buhari coup, the Babangida coup, to mention those I have either read about or remember how they were received, the coups were celebrated  by large sections of the population as messianic interventions. On the Babangida coup, the Guardian, the most respected Nigerian paper at the time, ran a full page story of him, with an almost full page picture of him in full military uniform, charting his extensive travel within and acquaintance with Nigeria.

After the slow horror of Babangida, as he educated us on the nature of intrigue, and our eyes opened slowly but surely, an experience spiked by the Dele Giwa assassination which some predicted on the very day it happened that nothing would ever emerge from any investigation into it as has turned out to be the case, and the morphing into the Abacha nightmare, climaxed by his horrifying effort to succeed himself in the midst of a national reign of terror, we were now largely or fully cured of military myopia.

I believe the military knows this too. Any military coup, with whatever level of firepower or cunning, is almost certain to fail simply by absolute rejection by Nigerians.

That is great progress that took us more than 40 years to achieve.

We now run a more democratic  system in which the peoples' voice is significant even if the system may be manipulated to a degree.

The competitive space in Nigerian politics  has expanded with the appointment of Goodluck Jonathan as President.

The tight hold  of Northern Nigeria and the military on the Presidency was shifted by that appointment.

The Boko Haram horror, designed by the terrorists  and their backers to undermine his credibility, among other goals it seems,  has strengthened that credibility.

The sheer embarrassment and confusion it caused the Northern elite has and further weakened the bargaining  power of the North, compelling a more equitable bargaining between that region and the rest of Nigeria.

In fact Boko Haram may be seen as cathartic in relation to the North in exemplifying the possibilities  of certain tendencies in the region when taken to an extreme. The  cycle of the crisis has seen various perspectives  and personalities come and go. Through it all, the Presidency has been strengthened as  as a pan-Nigerian institution through its approach to the crisis  an approach at times misfiring  against the victims  but generally balanced in favour  of the task and against  a sectionalist approach to the problem.

Significant examples exist of people electing popular politicians through the ballot box. Oshiomole in Edo state and Fashola in Lagos are two examples.

There are serious problems of crime, from Boko Haram to kidnapping and armed robbery.  Does the scale this has reached  sugest a failed state?

I dont think so and the govt is fighting these steadily as it is doing with Boko Haram.

What is the scope of efforts  to combat some of the root causes of these problems through poverty alleviation?

I dont know since I know less about the economics  of the country.

I see the country however  as virgin territory  for many business opportunities.

This is my understanding so far.

toyin

On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 8:19 PM, Anunoby, Ogugua <AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu<mailto:AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu>> wrote:
If a system is flawed that system is not working. A system works if it is efficient and effective which are measured by costs and expected outcomes achieved respectively. Democracy in Nigeria is neither efficient or effective. Costs are exceptionally high, increasingly unaffordable, and rising. Expected outcomes are unclear and hardly ever achieved. Public officials and politicians have authority, some responsibility, and little or no accountability. The rule of law is jagged and a joke. Those are not what one finds when democracy works. My question to some who choose to argue that democracy "is working in Nigeria but it is flawed" is a simple one; what is their statement intended to mean? How flawed does a system have to be before it is acknowledged to have failed?
Political systems are a choice for independent countries. Systems can always be replaced by better systems as Nigeria's political systems' experimentation and experience bear out. Would it be correct to argue that military dictatorships work but they are flawed? NO. Not if the one knows what purpose government should serve and does serve for free peoples who have ownership of it.

oa

________________________________
From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of John MBAKU [jmbaku@weber.edu<mailto:jmbaku@weber.edu>]
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 4:23 PM
To: tvade3@gmail.com<mailto:tvade3@gmail.com>; usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>

Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

Why is Nigeria's democracy flawed? If we know why, then perhaps we could make it more efficient and responsive to the needs of the people. "Flawed" democracies have the habit of imposing significant costs (economic, social and political) on vulnerable groups and communities.

I am quite interested in working to make things better. Educate me.


JOHN MUKUM MBAKU, ESQ.
J.D. (Law), Ph.D. (Economics)
Graduate Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Attorney & Counselor at Law (Licensed in Utah)
Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow
Department of Economics
Weber State University
3807 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408-3807, USA
(801) 626-7442<tel:%28801%29%20626-7442> Phone
(801) 626-7423<tel:%28801%29%20626-7423> Fax

>>> OLUWATOYIN ADEPOJU 11/28/12 2:16 PM >>>
I am certainly hopeful.

Democracy is working in Nigeria.

It is a flawed democracy but it is functional.

Rigging exists but the voice of voters also plays a significant role.

There exists an active culture of political  engagement by people of various social strata.

There is plenty of poverty but the country is significantly  an economic virgin territory, where so much is available to be done and can be done, even if with more difficulty than necessary.

Also, we all need to consider the challenge a challenge for all of us, rather than a challenge for 'them', the government authorities and the political  class and other authority figures.

Government is central to national development, but efforts of individuals and groups are also central to national growth, both forms of effort operating as either a dialectic or a unity.

The Jewish saying is most apt  "The task is not yours to finish but neither are you free to take no part in it".

thanks

toyin

On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 8:44 PM, Anunoby, Ogugua <AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu<mailto:AnunobyO@lincolnu.edu>> wrote:
Everyone hopes that democracy will work in Nigeria sooner rather than later.
The exasperation and  frustration that many Nigerians and others feel and have expressed are not based on figments of the imagination. The predictions being made by some attentive friends and foe alike about Nigeria's likely future are not "doomsday prophesies"  as some have described them to be. They are based on facts. Nigeria is a grossly  underachieving country for its endowment and potential. The country is not working for the vast majority of citizens. There is not enough that is being done to change things for the better. Everyone know that this has been and is still the case. The hope is that things will change and soon too.
A country is not very likely to achieve its true potential if her problem is her people, more than anything else.
Hope is still alive and well. Will it continue to be? That is the question in my considered opinion.

oa

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of OLUWATOYIN ADEPOJU
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 1:30 PM
To: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>
Subject: Re: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

I think we should give the country a chance and wish it well.

The doomsday prophecies and perpetual  lacerations are excessive.

Toyin
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 7:11 PM, John MBAKU <jmbaku@weber.edu<mailto:jmbaku@weber.edu>> wrote:
There is a case to be made that what is being practiced in Nigeria's political economy is not democracy--at least, not the type undergirded by the rule of law. At a minimum, the behavior of many state custodians is not in line with what is expected of public servants in a country with a fully functioning democratic system.

JOHN MUKUM MBAKU, ESQ.
J.D. (Law), Ph.D. (Economics)
Graduate Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
Nonresident Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution
Attorney & Counselor at Law (Licensed in Utah)
Presidential Distinguished Professor of Economics & Willard L. Eccles Professor of Economics and John S. Hinckley Fellow
Department of Economics
Weber State University
3807 University Circle
Ogden, UT 84408-3807, USA
(801) 626-7442<tel:%28801%29%20626-7442> Phone
(801) 626-7423<tel:%28801%29%20626-7423> Fax

>>> "Anunoby, Ogugua" 11/28/12 11:09 AM >>>
What do you do with a very high cost arrangement, process, or system that does not and will not deliver expected outcomes after reasonable time? Do you persevere with it infinitely? I am just asking?

oa

From: usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com> [mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com<mailto:usaafricadialogue@googlegroups.com>] On Behalf Of Ikhide
Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 4:46 PM
To: Toyin Falola
Subject: USA Africa Dialogue Series - Okay Ndibe: A case for abolishing democracy in Nigeria

"Nigerians have worked awfully hard for more than fifty years to achieve expertise in sheer badness. Even if we discounted the reports that ranked Nigeria as the most fraudulent place in Africa or the worst address for a new-born baby, we can hardly deny that Nigeria is a shadow, an inhuman space. We have lifted mediocrity to an art.

Name any sector of life in Nigeria and it?s infected by a malignant disease. Each year, Nigerian universities, private as well as public, churn out hundreds of thousands of unemployed and mostly unemployable illiterates. Too many academics sell grades for sex or cash. The Nigerian police strike fear in the heart not of criminals, but those without the cash to offer bribes. Too many Nigerian bishops, priests, pastors and imams are embedded with the politicians who daily wreck their country. For a bag or two of naira, these ostensible servants of God are willing to venerate any form of evil. The Nigerian president?s only formula for tackling serious crises is, one, to issue a hollow speech or, two, to form a committee. With either approach, the goal is to buy time for people to forget how messy the particular problem was. Most members of the president?s cabinet are in it for what they can steal and put away. Nigeria?s legislators, whether in Abuja or the state capitals, don?t have the foggiest idea how to use the legislative process to improve their environments.

Nigeria is worse and more dangerous than many other failed states. Its failure is both comprehensive and deep. It?s in a state of suspension, waiting for something to give, for an inevitable explosion to take place. Unless we act now, the roof is bound to fall on all our heads."

- Okey Ndibe

Read on...

http://saharareporters.com/column/case-abolishing-nigeria%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%9Cdemocracy%E2%80%9D-okey-ndibe

- Ikhide

Stalk my blog at http://www.xokigbo.com/
Follow me on Twitter: @ikhide
Join me on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ikhide<http://www.facebook.com/ikhide>

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