Thursday, February 2, 2017


Permit me, if you please to be as long-winded as ever

freedom of speech and this ain't no filibuster.

Sure, just as Elie Wiesel protested, "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."

Protest we must. On the inter-national scene some can threaten to misuse their nuclear bomb. Every man protests in crowds or alone, in his own fashion and according to the limited means available to him, the least being to at least protest in your heart, to wit and according to this hadith:

"On the authority of Abu Sa'eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him) who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say, "Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then (let him change it) with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith." (Sahih Muslim)

In the protest in your heart (and I assume that jihad is stronger) we are not only defending Islam or any other religion, but protesting on behalf of the sanctity of all life.

On another practical level as our latest Nobel Laureate in Literature (poetry) put it:

"So when you see your neighbor carryin' somethin'
Help him with his load
And don't go mistaking Paradise
For that home across the road"

(The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest)

With all of the above intact and inviolable, sometimes, I fail to see what our loquacious Kennedy (Emetulu ) is all about. Whether with some specious argument or lack of it, he sheaths his sword or, "favourable or not to Nigeria" it's his latest diatribe about Nigerian misconceptions and misreadings of what's happening on the world stage and how it relates or should relate to them or he's talking about Brexit and why it is or was imperative that all "Nigerians and all other ethnic minorities in the UK" - should vote against Brexit - "Nigerians" (occasionally a fairly monolithic group to be sure) "and all other ethnic minorities in the UK" (and that was not only being inclusive, but taking the five continents and their Diasporas domiciled in the British Isles to a more universal level) in short why in good conscience, every dark-skinned, as dark as Adam, foreign-born light skinned black man or dark- skinned white man or at least with some darkness in the gene pool or the cultural jinni, should join forces in determining their collective destiny by voting against Brexit. ( The colour categories are mine and may have nothing to do with anything)

British to the bootstraps, to be sure, it's not every Brit that knows how it feels to be thick as a brick (prick?) and maybe if you didn't hear it correctly, the lyrics will help?

Now, because he could have changed his mind during the intervening months (and you can't take a dip in the same river twice) I'm not sure if it's exactly the same anti-Brexit Kennedy and that particular old mindset of his that is still expatiating here, in which case in addition to the " I am", he fulfils the unity of time and place - place being the United Kingdom / Great Britain, from where now and then he writes much of the trash and this country of USA-Africa Dialogue in cyberspace where we sometimes have to read it.

Kennedy Emetulu is "quite amused" by some of his unfortunate Nigerian countrymen. "I am quite amused" he laughs or smiles, " by a lot of Nigerians who see the world through the foggy prism of their national condition."

Fie ! Brother Emetulu, this is nothing to be quite amused about. Nor is the miserable national condition to be superiorly disdainful about. But as Mr. Emetulu says, "people are entitled to their wilful ignorance", so, who am I to say what someone else should feel remorseful about? As the bard crooned, "Don't wanna amuse nobody, don't wanna be amused."

And what does it matter what or how Nigerians think about the US elections or about Trump and his travel bans in as far as Boko Haram does not directly affect US national interests in either Nigeria or the lake Chad region – unless of course China were to enter the scene or any US citizens were to be harmed in Maiduguri - then Trump would be suddenly electrified and terribly interested. But Trump should already be terribly interested without any extra solicitations from Nigerians, if it's on his agenda to wipe out Radical Islam from the surface of the earth, assuming that the death and destruction Boko Haram still spreads and their alleged oath of fealty to Islamic State , is part of Radical Islam's international / global agenda. In which case I presume that President Buhari could solicit all the help he can get from Trump , to fight the good fight – although I'm not even sure of that - not sure, because Boko Haram's aim is to raise the black flag over all of Nigeria in itself not a criminal idea - it's only their method which is so harmful to fellow Nigerians and to their cause – the idea of spreading Islam further by the sword. I can't understand Boko Haram : since they already have Sharia Law in Borno and twelve other states in Nigeria I would think that a much better way would be by peaceful dawah and they know better than everybody and should know since the Quran says that " There is no compulsion in religion.

But to return to Emetulu's main thesis. The people's belief naive as it may be (no cause for amusement) could be predicated on the understanding - superpower or not – that your friend's friend is a friend and your friend's enemy is your enemy. This may be true in many cases, although there can be exceptions such as some of these particular cases of the enemy of my enemy - is not a friend

(Generally speaking, I would say that the Swedish Conservative Party/ Parties, have more in common with the Republican Party in the USA, private capitalism's big shots forever for lower taxes etc. The Democrat Party in the US, especially the Bernie Sanders faction obviously has more in common with Sweden's Social Democrats. But on this occasion in Brother Obama most people in Europe, Sweden and almost all of Africa, the Middle East, Asia and South America saw change on the horizon , so, in the 2008 American presidential elections both lower taxation's Fredrik Reinfeldt the then Conservative Prime Minister of Sweden and (of course the leader of the Social Democrat then in opposition, supported Brother Barack Obama). Reinfeldt probably because of other factors such as on the horizon the fulfilment of the promise of easing tensions between East (Russia) and NATO America in Europe and winding down the US military presence in Iraq and Afghanistan - on which premises Brother Obama was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2009.

All but the self-hating Negroes of Africa supported Brother Obama – of course for being black and beautiful...

"They jump on false news that supports their notions" ( Emetulu ) sometimes true as when many ("they") jumped on the false news that Trump had proclaimed that "he was going to deport all Nigerians"

From speculative abstraction and false news to actual possibilities. Some more drivel, this time, indeterminate. Is it still true that "We have a very selfish political elite that's only thinking of draining the nation, an elite that has no compunction." Is this true of the APC's political elite under Brother Buhari's watchful eyes or is it just the other guys, the PDPs ? Again, as the bard sings,

" But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency "

It is perhaps no coincidence that Emetulu's article comes to us at the heels of the more clearly articulated Reuben Abati's vis-a-vis the hope and vision of the anti-Hillary factions, that Trump the great Islamophobe would prove to be very supportive of their various unIslamic causes in Nigeria, namely, not the separation of church from state but some kind of territorial separation of the largely Christian South , especially as sometimes, various expressed by the largely Christian, the South-Eastern Christian enclave, their wish for separation from the Muslims , the Muslim North - in other words, from the rest of Nigeria and with regard to that South Eastern enclave – by implication, in not so many words, ( but not separated by a Trumpian wall, speaking Igbo and what in time, Professor Kperogi could term "Biafran English" ) the new territory to be renamed either Biafra, "Christian Biafra" , the Christian Republic of Biafra or some other name, Mr. jive as nigger the first Christian theocracy of its kind, in modern Mama Africa...

In Sweden, practically everybody I know from the vast political spectrum from left to right including many a Swedish journalist, activist, artist, musician, painter, politician, actor/ actress, entrepreneur, with a few White American exceptions among my friends and acquaintances, were against Trump. The main Swedish papers ( the ones that I read everyday) are still carrying on a crusade against Trump. What I observe is that since Trump's victory through the electoral college many pro-Biafra proponents and all manner of Trump bashers maybe not including Kennedy Emetulu himself, and quite unabashedly so, have suddenly changed colours and have jumped on the Trump bandwagon, ostensibly to drum up support for their Biafra cause, kiss Trump's ass so that he can kick some ass for them, are now giving the impression that they were always Trump partisans...

Just like tribalism, racism and colonialism seen through the same narrow prism of personal or national self-interest or the mere all-in-all colour dimension or even religion, can assume many disguises. Take these Emetulu exaggerations as statutory examples ( there are many but I'll just take these three:

(1) "It's funny that Trump who has no idea of the Bible..." For Christ's sake, how can you say that? Not only was Trump very strongly supported by Evangelicals – not without cause, the pussy-grabber took his oath of office on the Bible - the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln took his oath of office.

(2) "what do we think will happen to Nigeria if we go the Rwanda route? Or is there anyone thinking we cannot go that route? Please, go read the history of the Rwandan genocide and you will know we are more than three-quarters of the way there already!We are close, very close .." Emetulu! EMETULU! And who are the Hutus? Emetulu, thou shalt not exaggerate ! No more war!

(3) Like Toynbee , Emetulu opines about cyclical history: "They must understand that history is cyclical and that we have been here before leading to two World Wars at the end of which only countries and peoples who thought beyond themselves came out of it stronger and prosperous" - except that I doubt that Toynbee would be in wholehearted agreement with the latter part of that statement, that " at the end of which only countries and peoples who thought beyond themselves came out of it stronger and prosperous"

Kennedy E, you know how I like to tickle your funny bone with some of my own, little tittle-tattle.

Will you be helping to organise the reception committee when President Buhari arrives in the British Isles for his annual medical check-up. I hope that you are not amused.

With a pinch of salt, take some of the links as footnotes.



From a wintry

We Sweden

On Monday, 30 January 2017 14:44:50 UTC+1, wrote:


I am quite amused by a lot of Nigerians who see the world through the foggy prism of their national condition. Take the example of how they now view United States and its politics. They completely ignore the fact that the United States is a superpower with wide influence all over the world and that its policies, favourable or not to Nigeria (depending on whoever is interpreting them), should not be the basis or at least the only basis of judging her politics. 

With such a misguided view, you see them transport their local partisanship into world affairs. It's not uncommon to see people who supposedly supported Goodluck Jonathan during the election rail against Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and the Democrats while jubilating because Donald Trump and the Republicans won. Why, because to them, Obama, Clinton and the Republicans supported Muhammadu Buhari against Jonathan and it's God that has paid them back with a loss against Trump and the Republicans. The same mentality is exhibited by lot of those who supported Buhari and the APC. They think supporting Obama, Clinton and the Democrats is ideologically in line with their support for Buhari and the APC. So, you see them criticise the Republicans and Trump purely on that basis.

I have had to explain to people that they shouldn't be conflating issues. I have tried to explain the differences between national and international affairs and why it is imperative to intellectually step out there to take a full picture before expressing opinions about issues bordering on international affairs. But a lot of Nigerians are insularly ignorant and deliberately so - some because they are intellectually lazy and others because they simply cannot bring themselves to understand issues outside their self-created national circumscriptions because they erroneously think this is them being nationalistic or patriotic. They all seem unwilling to or incapable of leaving their comfort zone mentally. They jump on false news that supports their notions and try at every opportunity to shoehorn their prejudices into places where facts should be sacred with predictable consequences.

As we speak, we are seeing it all come to a head with this Donald Trump travel ban. People who believe that our government has been wickedly quiet over the Fulani herdsmen menace, including those who accuse the government of having a Muslim agenda, have suddenly found an ally in Trump. Apart from the spaced-out IPOB and Biafran activists who think Trump's rightwing, 'anti the other' politics will deliver for them a "Christian Biafra" away from 'Muslim Nigeria', there are those who now think Trump is the angel sent by God to save Christianity from the march of Islam. It's funny that Trump who has no idea of the Bible is the one they've cloaked with all these holy expectations. Of course, the man himself, playing to the gallery, has been talking in a pro-Christian way (while acting in very unchristian ways with his inhuman and inhumane policies), which though is dangerous to the world, serves his momentary political purpose with his base.

Now, having said all the above, I want to point out that my problem is not that people are mixed up with their views about American, Nigerian or world politics. I mean, people are entitled to their wilful ignorance, as far as it's at no cost to others or society. My problem is with the effect of all the misconceptions on our nation. Nigeria is in a very dangerous place at the moment, because of what we have been doing to ourselves over the years, things that have frayed our national fault-lines beyond our imagination. We have a very selfish political elite that's only thinking of draining the nation, an elite that has no compunction. They have driven the nation to the precipice of ethnic and religious tension that all it needs now for a mother of all conflagrations is a little ignition from somewhere, anywhere. In a world that is in chaos due to the great powers themselves going through political, social and economic turmoil in their polities and clearly with the instability in the international system, exacerbated now by the United States under Trump, what do we think will happen to Nigeria if we go the Rwanda route? Or is there anyone thinking we cannot go that route? Please, go read the history of the Rwandan genocide and you will know we are more than three-quarters of the way there already! We are close, very close and that is why I'm using this piece to call on people to simply step back, review their thinking and actions in public space and begin to work individually and collectively towards ensuring that the nation steps away from that precipice, no matter how hurt you feel and no matter how unjust you think you and your people have been treated.

I'm urging all young people to soberly begin to review the events of our world today and posit the country in its appropriate place. They should never allow themselves to become instruments in the hands of agenda-driven politicians and religious demagogues, local or foreign. They must understand that history is cyclical and that we have been here before leading to two World Wars at the end of which only countries and peoples who thought beyond themselves came out of it stronger and prosperous. Our nation depends on oil with massive environmental and ecological damage it's done to us so far in a world that climate change is no longer an esoteric concept. Desertification has stolen a march on development up North just as Boko Haram terrorism rules the roost. Despite the hoopla, globalisation is not going to go away, the world will keep on being smaller and Africa, the virgin continent, will become more open to international capital, no matter where it comes from. So, do you want to be slaves and strangers in your own land? Do you want to die fighting religious and ethnic wars when your mates elsewhere are looking to build on what Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Ma have built?

The world is facing a huge challenge with regional and international geopolitics at the moment, but nature has proved that challenges provide opportunities too. We must be looking at the opportunities. Becoming evangelists of alternative facts will not help us. We need to look behind the 'news', fish out the real facts, look at the real trends and begin to prepare ourselves for the future we see shaping up. In 2019, we will have another opportunity to redirect the course of our national history. I was reading a friend's page on Facebook and he said this:

"Come 2019, the 25-45 year old demographic will have the organisational tools, the numerical strength and access to funds to determine leadership in Nigeria!! As TD Jakes would say... Something's About to Happen!! #Organise" - Meekam Mgbenwelu

Maybe he's being overly optimistic, but the truth there should not be lost. You are the shapers of your own destiny. Your individual choice can direct your life amongst the many, but your collective choice is what will really take the nation to the next level. The question now is what are you going to do about it? You, young Nigerian, here is my advice: In a world where alternative facts are fast becoming the orthodoxy, strive with all your intellectual might to BE INFORMED, truly informed. This is important for your sake and the sake of your children, even if they are yet unborn.


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