A greater percentage of Nigerians irrespective of their social status are striving to attain invincibility in order to go scot free in their misdeeds while Nigeria groans under the weight of indiscipline and dies in arithmetic progression.
I am tempted to classify the modern man in Nigeria as an aquatic animal in the parlance of a zoologist only if this can make me sound understandable. Then my point is made. This discussion is rather an eclectic approach to demystify the unpredictable characteristics of the Homo Sapiens called man.
The fish lives in water and swims with fins. The presence of the trunk and absence of the neck facilitates movement.
Like the vulture who has no business with the barber, the fish cannot be killed by hanging assuming he is a human being convicted of a criminal offence whose penalty is death by hanging.
He has a trunk and no neck and therefore the hang man’s rope has no assignment to perform. The Nigerian man or woman in power has acquired this aquatic stature by all means. The modern man is always in his element. He will do all in his power to make the possible an impossibility and vice versa.
“How can they say my life is not a success? Have I not for more than sixty years got enough to eat and escaped being eaten”. Logan P. Smith. If the death sentence by hanging is aimed at making capital offence a form of punishment, the law of the jungle should not be entirely ignored in the name of decency for indecent people. Death is known to terminate life irrespective of how it comes. Death by hanging is not entirely governmental as individuals can equally hang themselves, commit murder or terminate life through some other conventional and unconventional methods.
It is therefore true that death of a criminal by hanging is for those who have a neck. A majority of Nigerians fall within this configuration.
These are the powerless, the God-fatherless and the common man in our society for whom the laws are made to be obeyed. They are those who can be imprisoned for stealing meagre sums of money while real rogues escape through plea bargaining and enjoy their sacrilegious loot. The government can certainly not hang a man or woman who has no neck, lost through metamorphosis. These are the proverbial sacred cows who are protected by powerful, societal affiliations where morality has been thrown to the winds, a condition common in contemporary Nigerian society.
We should therefore appreciate what development and factors around modern Nigerian man and woman are that make them fearless, impervious to reasoning and adamant to instructions.
In the heart of societal affiliation are the cults and secret societies in which those who can fulfil the obligations and binding covenants can strive to belong. Membership is only open to those who have the heart and for whom the end justifies the means in achieving their objectives. Because of its exclusive nature, the society operates through diabolical nocturnal and fetish ritualism and membership is never advertised.
Members understand themselves through symbol, signs, gestures and passwords. They live in a world of anonymity and propagate the virtues of the anti-Christ, through the grand lodges and free masonry.
Most nations today have leaders who are members of the grand lodge and free masonry in government. The members have been baked in the crucible of diabolism.
In the media, free masonry wields tremendous power. It is important to observe that masonry undermines Christianity, Its influence in the judiciary and armed forces cannot be ignored.
It is known that supreme court justice verdicts since 1789 in the United States concerning divorce, education and abortion have placed unbiased restriction on the propagation of values unfavourable to the philosophies of masonry and secularist society.
This is part of our moral inheritance from colonialism and foreign contact. These fraternities that have become part and parcel of the Nigerian society comprise men of rank, wealth, office and talent. They are found everywhere power is of any importance.
They are in the bench, in every gathering of business and in government.
These men and women have their connections and are so powerful that they fear nothing because they have every means to suppress any punishment as long as they can influence their members in power.
They take secret and unlawful oaths aimed at providing economic and social benefits to their members and miscarry justice to the detriment of non members.
Under the umbrella of secret societies, hideous crimes have been committed eg. Murder, kidnapping, overthrow of governments by illegal means and serious nepotism. Nobody speaks out for fear of being identified as a critic.
Bringing them under disciplinary control is more difficult than taming the tiger because those in power have shielded themselves from exposure as the machinery of exposure is under their control.
Every Tom, Dick and Henry has seen in Nigeria brand of politics a means of false enrichment. It is an abomination that our leaders have thrown caution and discernment to the winds in funding praise singers and this gives praise singers the latitude to escape punishment because they are all in government.
The cash which our leaders throw about with impunity induces our youths to look for money by all means. But if the former Premier of Israel, Mr. Ehud was sentenced to prison for bribery by a court in Israel plus forfeiture of assets, when will Nigerian courts learn to punish the mighty who have “no neck”.
Nigerian laws for which our law makers are heavily paid beyond any grade level for sitting to talk or support, has become an aberration mainly to be obeyed by the underprivileged for their powerlessness while in the so-called big men and sheavy weights feel unconcerned.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” Martin Luther King Jnr.
Our sacred cows can pay their way anywhere. The love for money is the deciding factor in a society where the impoverished man is eclipsed from defending the truth. In this regard those who have the money have no impediment in doing whatever they like and therefore no neck for the hang man.
Our antigraft bodies are simply paper tigers designed to deceive the unintelligent when nothing is actually being done by the government to fight corruption.
The high class culprits such as ex-bearcats and ex-governors who are catalogued at the end of their tenure for prosecution go scot free while such publications simply help the print media to sell their newspapers. All the tough pronouncements and puerile outbursts have become the order of the day while Nigeria painfully groans under the weight of corruption. I hold opinion with Shakespeare in Julius Ceasar when he said. “
The name of Cassius honour this corruption, and chastisement doth therefore hide his head”.
This statement aptly corroborates the Nigerian elitist “conspiracy of silence’ which has ruined our society by enhancing the liberty of miscreants to do what pleases them. Instead of speaking out in defence of the truth the sleeping dog has been allowed to lie while things continue to go wrong beyond the limits of civility.
What has equally enhanced the courage of our oppressors to take the law into their hands, is their ability to manipulate fake security agents with their wealth. Nobody has successfully challenged the tinted glass cars our so-called big men use against verbal and hardly implementable laws. They pass through check-points with their police escorts and orderlies who give imprimatur to their fake postures that make them a law unto themselves.
They can order the arrest and detention of the common man because money that has been raised to the status of a deity speaks. The in-thing therefore is domination rather than accommodation.
The issue of connection is a cancerous element in the morality of the nation. This has to do with knowing who is who and where to press the buttons to get what one wants. You must belong to be connected so as to manipulate the environment to your advantage.
Employment is being given to replace retired workers without advertisement and competition to choose the best hands. This is done by executive fiat.
Be it known that workers are steadily employed with strict injunctions to senior officers to deploy.
Go to establishments and government institutions and confirm that jobs are strictly for family members of those in power. What do you expect from such employed workers in terms of commitment when they are protected by ‘Father Abraham’. How can they be hanged”? Nigerians are the real problems of Nigeria. They can make and unmake. The antichrist is ruling the world and Nigeria is not an exception.
Sir Andrew I. Ajaero Public Affairs Commentator-Analyst Onicha Nweorie, Ezinihitte
The Data of Forgiveness
The most important ingredient in today’s media economy is data. The amount of data available determines how much and how long we can work or play on the internet. Currently, many of the service providers offer unlimited data plans but we know that those “unlimited” plans are not always unlimited. Sometimes, your download speed can get slowed down when you cross a certain point. Today, however, Jesus gives us the divine model of an unlimited plan. It is the unlimited bundle of compassion and forgiveness which never gets slowed downed shut down for maintenance. The theme for this week is that we must learn to forgive without limits no matter the injury committed against us.
In Matthew’s Gospel, today’s teaching on unlimited forgiveness comes after Jesus had told his disciples the parable of the wandering sheep, so it is plausible that some would have wondered among themselves how many times a good shepherd should go after the same sheep if it keeps wandering away. In those days, people believed that forgiveness was limited to three times only – a fourth transgression was not to be forgiven. So, by asking Jesus how many times he should forgive his brother, Peter was probably aiming to increase the limit to seven times. And Jesus makes it clear that we are to forgive others, “not seven times but seventy-seven times” (Matt. 18:22).That means we must dispense an unlimited data bundle of mercy.
In Jesus Christ, we have the forgiveness of a debt we could never pay. Sin is an offence against God and a direct rebellion against his authority and creation. The debt of 10,000 talents mentioned in today’s parable symbolizes the magnitude of the offence that sin causes in God’s eyes, but he is always willing to forgive without limits. However, we can easily cut ourselves off from God’s river of mercy when we refuse to forgive others. We end up restraining God’s mercy and putting ourselves under strict justice. To unfold his mercy without compromising his justice, God leaves each person free to choose between the two. If we insist on strict justice when we are offended, we bring God’s strict justice upon ourselves. But if we offer an unlimited bundle of mercy to others, we draw God’s unlimited data of forgiveness upon ourselves.
The secret to forming a forgiving heart lies in recognizing the evil of our sin and the immensity of God’s goodness in forgiving us. Until we see the ugliness of our ingratitude and selfishness, we will never appreciate the generosity of God’s forgiveness. Let us examine ourselves now to see how much forgiveness we are giving. Is there someone we still cannot forgive even after they have expressed sorrow for their actions? Have we judged someone too harshly because of something they said or did that we did not particularly like? How many times have we failed to help somebody because we are still dwelling on an injury that we suffered many years ago? How many times have we treated someone differently based on preconceived notions or stereotypes? These are some of the factors that shackle us like chains and that disrupt the unlimited data of divine grace in our lives. When we close ourselves off to people or dismiss them based on our preconceptions, mistaken judgments, and prejudices, not only do we make them suffer, we suffer as well.
But it does not have to be that way. Jesus came to free us from and the burden of sin and unhappiness. Forgiveness is like mercury, which runs away when it is held tightly in the hand but is preserved by keeping the palm open. When we lose forgiveness, we lose the ability to give and to receive love because love is the foundation of forgiveness. And since God is the foundation of love, whoever refuses to forgive automatically rejects the love of God. This is the essence of today’s parable and it is highlighted by the contrast between what was owed by each man. The wicked slave owed his master some 10000 talents. In gold terms, that is 350 tons and at today’s price, he owed his master USD21.8 billion. This was way more than King Solomon made in a year which was 666 talents of gold or USD1.45 billion in today’s value (cf. I Kings 10:14). So, this unforgiving servant owed his master what no individual could never payback. In contrast, his fellow servant owed him the equivalent of one talent of gold or USD2.1 million; so a man who was forgiven $21.8b could not let go of $2.1m, and his wickedness landed him in the hands of torturers.
Dear friends, forgiveness is an act of compassion which is expressed in the free choice to pardon one another’s shortcomings every day, and to also pardon ourselves for own mistakes Forgiveness transcends the fear of being wounded again; it is a deliberate act in imitation of the redemptive work of Jesus, the advocacy of the Holy Spirit, and the loving kindness of the Father. The whole point of today’s parable is that our Father in heaven will do the same to anyone who refuses to forgive others. Whoever refuses to forgive is doomed to a life of bitterness, and as the ugly trend continues, the person ends up building invisible walls of resentment around themselves, thereby blocking off not just one’s relationships with other people but with God as well. Forgiveness is not just an emotional expression or a sense of righteousness; it means being merciful not only when there is an explanation or apology, or a promise of amendment from the offender, but even when the offence is deliberate, and the offender is adamant. Forgiveness is a precious gift of grace, which does not depend on the worthiness of the receiver. Forgiveness is what we called to do, and the Lord’s grace is sufficient for us in that regard. Amen.
Imo Deputy Governor’s giant strides towards revitalizing agriculture
By Joy Opara
The increasing cost of Agricultural products in Imo State in recent times has continued to be a major source of concern to the citizens of the state.
A critical appraisal of the development of Agriculture in this state reveals that successive governments had neglected this major sector of the economy, over three decades now, and this has adversely affected the revenue of government.
In line with the vision of the “shared prosperity” government of the Hope Uzodinma administration, the revolution of agriculture is among its cardinal programmes for which a high powered committee (on agricultural master plan for Imo State) has been set up.
For the purpose of resuscitating all moribund agricultural industries and facilities in the state, it is not surprising that this committee is headed by a world class Professor of Agriculture and Deputy Governor of Imo State, Prof. Placid Njoku.
The need to diversify the economy cannot be over-emphasized. It is a well known fact that there is no better and more sustainable means of diversifying the economy than through agriculture. It would be recalled that after the inauguration of his committee, the deputy governor went into action, first by visiting all moribund agricultural facilities in the state, which included Adapalm in Ohaji/ Egbema LGA, Avutu Poultry farm in Avutu, Obowo LGA, Songhai farms, Okigwe road, Owerri, ADP farms in Nekede, Owerri West. Others are Acharaubo farms in Emekuku, Owerri North, Imo Rubber Plantation in Obiti, Ohaji/ Egbema, amongst others.
Prof. Njoku in one of his speeches during the tour described agriculture as the economic base of most countries of the world. Considering the dwindling oil revenue, he said it should be a source of worry to people of good conscience that the vision of our founding fathers to generate revenue, food security, economic advancement, industrialization, employment and eradication of poverty was destroyed by successive governments.
The Deputy Governor, who not only is acknowledged as one of the greatest professors of Animal Science, a renowned Agriculturist and former Vice Chancellor of a leading University of Agriculture, the Federal University of Agriculture, Umudike, made it clear that the present government led by Governor Hope Uzodinma is desirous to return agriculture to its former glory.
The Ikeduru-born technocrat and farmer per-excellence said that the 3R Mantra of this administration namely: Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Recovery is a base for making the dream of Imo State as the food basket of the nation come true.
Noting that government is a continuum, the deputy governor promised that his committee will build upon what is already on ground by rehabilitating the ones that could be rehabilitated and bringing in new facilities where necessary to ensure that the passion of the governor towards agricultural revival is achieved.
Meanwhile, in most of the establishments visited by the committee, it was discovered that indigenes of the communities had badly encroached into the lands and converted them to personal use. Investigations by the committee revealed that agents of some past governments in the state connived with the communities to make it possible, for their personal aggrandizement.
The deputy governor, whose humility has become legendary pledged his total support to the Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma whom he described as God sent to right all that were done wrong by the previous administrations in the state. He called on all to give this administration the needed support to rewrite the history of Imo State in gold, especially the agricultural sector.
Child Abuse: A case of betrayal of reciprocal trust
By Christian Uzoukwu
Some years ago, while as a kid, I fell out with my father due to an occasion of sheer disobedience and on that very day, I was given no food and was ultimately battered by hunger. Child abuse includes both acts of commission and omission on the part of parents, guardians as well as care-givers.
These acts have led to a lot of actual and threatened harm meted out on countless number of children. In 2014, the WHO made an estimate of 41,000 children (under the age of 15) that are victims of homicide and other related offences. This estimate, as expounded by this world body is grossly below the real figures due to the views of the society in relation to corporal punishment experienced by children. Girls are always most vulnerable to different forms of child abuse during unrests and in war-thorn territories.
Cases of child abuse can be established in some deadly human vices such as child trafficking, child labour, forced adoption as seen in the one-child policy prevalent in China. In the Asian country, women, by law are only allowed to have one child. Local governments would sometimes allow the woman to give birth and then they would take the baby away stating the mother violated the one child policy. Child traffickers, often paid by the government, would sell the children to orphanages that would arrange international adoptions worth tens of thousands of dollars, turning a profit for the government.
Other striking examples of child abuse are the various forms of violence against the girl-child which involves infanticide, sex-selective abortions, female genital mutilations (FGM), sexual initiation of virgins in some African cultures, breast ironing in some parts of Cameroon – involving the vicious use of hot stones and other tools to flatten the breast tissue of girls who have attained the age of puberty. As if those were not enough, female students are also subject to maltreatments in countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan. This is not to talk of recurring kidnapp of female students in some parts of Nigeria, as we saw in the case of Dapchi and Chibok schoolgirls.
Based on simple analysis, child abuse can be defined as “all forms of physical and/or emotional ill-treatment, sexual abuse, neglect or negligent treatment or commercial or other exploitation, resulting in actual or potential harm to the child’s health, survival, development or dignity in the context of a relationship of responsibility, trust or power”.
This definition by WHO also falls in line with the definition propounded by the United States Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which says that child abuse are acts of commission. This commission includes “words or overt actions that cause harm, potential harm, or threat of harm to a child”, and acts of omission (neglect), meaning “the failure to provide for a child’s basic physical, emotional, or educational needs or to protect a child from harm or potential harm.
In Nigeria, most cases of child abuse have become cumbersome due to the fact that these acts of abuses are regarded as mere punishments to unruly young ones and by so doing, should be justified and doesn’t call for any further discussion and/or scrutiny. According to various statistical studies and researches, child abuse is a vast societal cankerworm and has four profound tentacles viz:
Physical Abuse: this involves undue hitting, beating, kicking, shaking, biting, burning, strangling, insertion of pepper into the eyes and pubic regions of children, maltreatments from house-help(s) and seniors at boarding/day schools, suffocating and forcing children to live in unwholesome conditions.
Sexual Abuse also includes persuading a minor into acts of sexual intercourse, exposure of the child’s private parts, production of child-related pornographic contents and actual sexual contacts with children.
Psychological Abuse of children can be seen in cases of excessive scolding, lack of proper attention that children should be receiving from their parents and guardians, destructive criticisms and destruction of a child’s personality.
Neglect of children can also lead to children dropping out of schools, begging/stealing for food and money, lack of proper medical care for minors and realities of children looking like ragamuffins.
Consequently, the causes of child abuse can be judiciously related to sex, age, personal history, societal norms, economic challenges, lack of Rights’ Protection Agencies, parents battling with traits of alcoholism and family size. These causative agents of child abuse can bring untold effects upon the society at large and these effects can be emotional, physical and psychological as the case may be, giving rise to individuals with dissociative lifestyles.
Furthermore, the treatment of individuals who have been malformed with respect to the abuses they experienced abinitio, can be a long process because it involves behavioral therapy and other forms of neoteric therapies. Treatments of psyche-related problems are not just a one-day process due to the long-lasting effects of abuses on various conscious mental activities. It is also noteworthy to point out that, prevention is always better than cure and holding fast to this true reality, entails that agencies who have the responsibility of protecting the rights of children must continue to do the needful which requires proper oversights of parent-child relationships.
To conclude this piece therefore, we must agree that untold hardships have been a great challenge for children especially in Africa and some parts of Asia. Children with long histories of abuses turn out to become societal misfits. To this end we encourage that: Children should be given a free platform to express themselves on many topical issues and issues relating to their existence.
Children should also be allowed to freely ask questions on any issue, no matter, how weird it seems to be.
Governments should make regulations outlawing societal norms and values that might amount to child abuses.
Corporal punishments by parents, guardians and care-givers should be discouraged at all levels, thereby making parents/guardians/care-givers who seem to be incorrigible, to face the full weight of justice enshrined in the law of the land.
Education system (both conventional and unconventional) in Nigeria should be able to train up young ones into becoming critical, analytical and evaluative individuals with a view of defending the vulnerable.
And again, since children are said to be leaders of tomorrow, it is pertinent to note that to secure their future, their present existence must be cherished and protected.
Christian Chimemerem Uzoukwu
08100029867 / 09025760804
Admin Critical Thinkers’ Forum.
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