By the time we remove hatred, malice, indecent politics, and all the ills that plague our country and its leaderships across different governments, President Muhammadu Buhari would go down in history as the one that pioneered different kinds of revolution in our national life: agriculture, infrastructure (roads, rail, bridges, airports etc), and the latest; gas. In fact, Nigeria is set to fly on the wings of gas, courtesy President Buhari.
But let me give due credit for the headline of this piece, which is the brainchild of Mr Tony Attah, Managing Director of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG). At the conference on the Decade of Gas, flagged off by the President on Monday, Attah declared:
“Gas is now everything for Nigeria. We must use what we have to get what we want. Saudi Arabia and Dubai used oil to move their economies to becoming one of the best in the world. Qatar has used gas to transform from a fishing economy to global gas giant. Nigeria has both oil and gas.
“However, Nigeria has thus far ridden on the back of oil for over 50 years, but the time has come for Nigeria to FLY on the wings of gas.”
Time to fly on the wings of gas. So creatively put.
President Buhari, Minister of State, Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, and Attah of NLNG spoke at the opening ceremony of the conference. An aggregate of the points they collectively made gave a panoramic view of the prospects gas holds for Nigeria.
The submissions are in bullet points below, for easy comprehension and appreciation:
*Nigeria is a gas nation, with little oil, in comparison. But the country has focused on oil over the years.
*To stimulate economic growth, further improve the energy mix, drive investments, and provide much-needed jobs for our citizens, gas development and utilization must be a national priority.
*The major objective of the Buhari administration is to transform Nigeria into an industrialized nation, with gas playing a major role.
*The administration has kickstarted projects like the National Gas Expansion Program, Auto Gas policy, and the construction of the 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano pipeline.
*There’s a rising global demand for cleaner energy, as opposed fo fossil fuels, and Nigeria has a potential of 600 trillion cubic feet of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.
*NLNG contributes about 1% to GDP, and recorded $114 billion in revenues over the years, $9billion in taxes, $18 billion in dividends to the Federal Government, $15 billion in Feed Gas Purchase, all achieved with 100% Nigerian Management and 95% Nigerian workforce.
*Gas will become the dominant fuel for generating power in Africa, and the world at large. It presents a great opportunity for Nigeria.
*In the area of domestic utilization of gas to power the economy, there’s a chronic shortage, a narrative that must be changed over the next decade.
*We must deal with the energy poverty in the country. We must find a way to unlock the natural gas potential of Nigeria, and drag over 120 million of our people out of energy poverty.
*The world will add 2 billion more people by 2040 to become about 9 billion people on earth. Energy demand is expected to grow by 30%.
*Gas is set to be the fastest growing transition fuel of the future. Global Natural Gas consumption is projected to increase by more than 40% by 2050.
*The next decade should be time of elimination of gas flaring, a decade of more domestic Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), and a decade of fully gas-powered economy.
*Gas is power and energy. It is transport, as in Auto Gas. It is petrochemicals-feed stock. Gas is manufacturing and industries, it is also food, from fertilizers.
The Decade of Gas Conference is a prelude to the Nigeria International Petroleum Summit (NIPS), billed to hold in June.
The truth remains the truth, that President Buhari is steadily and progressively touching different phases of our national life, and causing transformation to occur, despite stiff challenges in the area of security .In the words of Winston Churchill, “Truth is incontrovertible. Ignorance can deride it, panic may resent it, malice may destroy it, but there it is.”
*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity.
FMC Bida Rolls out the Drums, Honours UCH Ibadan Based Prof. OGB Nwaorgu
“Given the foregoing feats, if this international and world acclaimed otorhinolaryngologist isn’t rated as the modern father of otorhinolaryngology in West Africa, then I wonder who else. After all, his trainees are now heading most of the otorhinolaryngology units in Nigeria and West Africa subregion” Eze C. Eze
Amidst the disturbing trend of strangulating security challenges ranging from the nefarious activities of Boko Haram and the horrifying butcheries of citizens by their ISWAP counterparts to the gory scenes of carnage by bandits and unknown gun men, the statistics of unemployed youths and graduates in Nigeria has continued to rise and has in fact, taken a dreadful posture. In all honesty, a critical development infrastructure such as electricity which is cardinal to enhance industrialization and create employment opportunities is obviously lacking.
The position averred above is not a fanciful tale of a monster in the woods, but true in all respects. The result of the many unsuccessful efforts by successive governments in tackling that challenge is overwhelming genuine efforts at driving the economic resurgence and stability of the 7th most populous nation in the world.
“…It is a fact that the issue of insecurity in the nation has invincible social sponsors like poverty and unemployment; these contributes to frustration and anger that can result to one taking to armed robbery, kidnapping or pitching tent with agitators calling for dissolution of the nation under the guise of revolutionaries thereby creating more panic in the society.” Boma M.M. Pepple
What is very crucial to Nigeria and Nigerians at this period is not to point out the reasons or factors behind the insecurity currently bedeviling our dear nation but proffering possible solutions thereto.
How do we once again regain the unity and brotherhood that Nigeria and Nigerians were noted for at the period of our Independence in 1960? How do we make a Northerner win an election in Enugu State or Oyo State and an Igbo or Yoruba man win election in Kano State and how do we once again see ourselves as brothers and sisters not minding our religion or tribe?
Although this treatise is not about insecurity, but it has become imperative to search for solutions to this menace that is shaking the very foundation of our nation and threatening our cooperate existence.
This essence of this piece therefore is to congratulate and commend the Board and Management Team of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC) Bida in Niger State, Nigeria for taking the bold step to offer a practical way out of the current lack of trust amongst Nigerians by honoring a great Nigerian whose love for humanity and aspiration towards a better and greater Nigeria is never in doubt, Prof Onyekwere George Benjamin Nwaorgu.
At this period when it seems that the country Nigeria is divided on the lines of religion and tribal inclinations, for an establishment managed mostly by Northerners and based in the Northern section of this country to honour an Igbo man from the Eastern part of Nigeria, who is more a Yourba man than any other section of this country, as his wife is Yoruba, should be an event to be celebrated by all Nigerians.
History made as FMC Bida honours PRPF OGB Nwaorgu
“Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.” Kevin Hart.
Kevin Hart aptly captured who Prof. OGB Nwaorgu is – as somebody whose inputs to enhance his field cannot be overemphasized. His steady unpublished efforts to distinguish himself as an outstanding Medical Personnel is a path to thread on.
This may have resulted to the making of History on Wednesday 11th August, 2021 at the Federal Medical Center, Bida in Niger state, when an edifice completed and equipped during the tenure of the former Chief Medical Director of the institution Dr. MA Usman was commissioned and named after Prof. OGB Nwaorgu, in an event described by many as epochal.
The event which filled the ancient town of Bida with ecstasies of happiness witnessed Prof. OGB Nwaorgu, a renowned professor of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery honoured.
The facility was named after the professor in honor of his numerous contributions to the training of otorhinolaryngology head and neck surgery, particularly in Nigeria and across many other African countries. The Professor serves as trainer and mentor for many trainees and fellows/consultants in the field of Otorhinolaryngology including the former Medical Director of FMC, Bida, who has deemed it fit to name the ENT block after him.
The Essence of the Facility
This new facility will improve health care service delivery, training and research in the field of otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery for the people of Niger state and its environs.
Profile of Prof OGB Nwaorgu
Prof Onyekwere George Benjamin Nwaorgu, a native of Umuodagu Ntu, Ngor-Okpala, Imo State, was born on April 23, 1959 to the family of Mr Paulinus Nkemjika and late Mrs Maria-Celine Adanma Nwaorgu. A former student of St John’s Primary school, Imerienwe; Owerri Grammar School, Imerienwe, and Federal School of Arts and Science, Victoria Island, Lagos. He obtained the MBBS degree from the University of Ibadan in June 1985.
His working career commenced with employment as an house officer at the then General Hospital, Aba (Now Abia State University Teaching Hospital, Aba); NYSC medical officer at the Tombia Health Centre, Delga LGA., Rivers State between 1986 and 1987; employment as a Medical Officer, Alvan Ikoku College of Education Medical Centre, Owerri in 1988.
He had his specialist training as an otorhinolaryngologist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu from December 1988 and passed his fellowship examination in April 1995. He became a fellow, West African College of Surgeons in 1995, and a year later Fellow, National Medical College of Nigeria. He was appointed Honorary Consultant Otorhinolaryngologist by the Board of the University College Hospital, Ibadan in August 1995 and has been serving in this capacity till date.
His teaching career began with his appointment as a Lecturer 1 in the Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan June 1995; promoted Senior Lecturer in October 1998; Reader in October 2003 and professor in October, 2006.
He is a professional through and true. He belongs to several professional organisations. He is a member of the Nigerian Medical Association, International Fellow, American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery 2007 to date; Fellow, American-Austrian Foundation since April, 2008; member, European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (EAACI) from 2008 to date; Vice-President, Otolaryngological Society of Nigeria, from November 2015.
He also served as Secretary, Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons between January 2007 and July 2011; and more recently as Chairman, Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons from July 2011 to March 2015. He coordinated yearly update and revision courses for Parts I & II fellowship candidates in otorhinolaryngology for the Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons from 2001 to 2006.
His Junior Sister, Evang.Mrs. Ada Chioma Henrietta Chukwuemeka-Eze Throws More Light on Prof OGB Nwaorgu and His Struggle to The Top
Evangelist (Mrs.) Ada Chioma Henrietta Eze (Snr) in a text message she sent to Prof OGB Nwaorgu in the morning of the Inaugural Lecture presentation gives us an insight on how this man of the moment struggled not only to the top but one of the best in the world in the field he resolved to pursue, “My dearly beloved brother, PROF. OGB NWAORGU, I greet you this morning in the name of our LORD JESUS CHRIST.
The long awaited day is here. I call on God, His Son and the Holy Spirit to please go before you and do what THEY know best to do in the life of a man that has laboured. My most senior brother (Opeem), do remember those old days that you trekked to St. JOHN AMAFOR IMERIENWE, the TRINITY played THEIR role.
When you went to Owerri Grammar school the TRINITY did not abandon you. Your amazing performance especially in ALGEBRA, STATISTICS gave you the name ZAZA and SIR OKOROJO. You went to Federal School of Arts/Science where you nearly ran mad in the pursuit of academic excellence and God helped you. While in the university, the TRINITY were there with you. You went to SAGBAMA and TOMBIA, ABA, ENUGU for greener pasture and now UCH Ibadan and the TRINITY are still with you.
I salute you and congratulate ahead of the lecture my brother because you have won. I am proud of you and all your feats and return all the glory to our Great God”.
Truly and truly the TRINITY as prayed by this great woman of God was with Prof Nwaorgu during his Inaugural Lecture as he held all his audience spell bound in a lecture termed as the needed tonic for the Revolution In The Field Of Otorhinolaryngology In Nigeria!
What Is Otorhinolargyngology All About?
For avoidance of doubt, medical dictionary for the health professions and nursing ©Farlex 2012, Encyclopedia and Wikipedia all define otorhinolaryngology also known as otolaryngology as, “the combined specialties of diseases of the ear, nose, pharynx, and larynx; including diseases of the head and neck, tracheobronchial tree, and esophagus.” The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary Copyright 2007 defines it as the study and management of diseases of the ear, nose and throat (ENT).
Prof Nwaorgu in his Inaugural Lecture on July 14, 2016 the second from the Department of Otorhinolaeyngology after 26 years since Prof GTA IIjaduola described, as a doyen of Otorhinolaeyngology, delivered his lecture in 1990. That inaugural lecture was also the first to be delivered in the West African sub-region by a Professor of Otorhinolaeyngology. The title of his lecture then was “That All May Hear”.
According to Prof Nwaorgu, Otorhinolaeyngology, Head & Neck Surgery or as it is more often called, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery is a branch of Medicine involved in the study, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the ear, nose as well as related aspects of the head and neck region. It is worth noting that the Department of Otorhinolaeyngology of the University of Ibadan is the oldest in Nigeria.
The Professor posited: “My research interests/focus has been mainly in the areas of laryngology, head and neck surgery. Over the years, I have addressed the issue of tumours/masses of the head and neck and have described the diagnostic features and rewarding treatment modalities which are novel/modification of treatment modalities. I have also raised the awareness as to the peculiarities of three important malignancies in the specialty in our environment, namely: (a) nasopharyngeal cancer, (b) sinonasal tumour, and (c) laryngeal cancer.
“I have shown in my studies with others how some of the aesthetic and functional restoration challenges facing the otorhinolaryngologist can be resolved by modification of existing techniques. My works have also increased knowledge, awareness and management of upper airway obstruction and corrosive ingestion, which were often misdiagnosed and poorly or inappropriately treated. This is in addition to some of our published works that have highlighted the co-existence of some congenital external ear lesions with brainchiogenic cysts/fistula, and have shown how meticulous search for these apparently hidden lesions can be beneficial.
“Also over the past few years of my employment in the College of Medicine, University of Ibadan and University College Hospital as an otorhinolaryngologist, I have addressed issues on hearing loss amongst, other aspects of neurotology. It is worth nothing that my brother’s case, and other patients I have encountered during my residency, led to my special interest in laryngology, head and neck surgery and thus, choice of the title of this inaugural lecture, Steady Neck, Stable Head, and Unobstructed Throat: The Otorhinolaryngolologist at Work.”
To read more about Prof Nwaorgu’s efforts in improving the study of Otorhinolaryngology google “Prof Nwaorgu: The Modern Father Of Otorhinolaryngology In Nigeria Recommends Establishment Of Functional World-Class Centres For Treating Head, Neck Cancers In Nigeria by Eze Chukwuemeka Eze” and you will understand why this great and visionary Professor is termed as the modern Father of Otorhinolaryngology in West Africa.
Recommendations for Accurate Diagnosis for Treating Head and Neck Diseases
The treatment modalities for head and neck cancers include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Their successful management depends on accurate diagnosis, tumour stage, and selection of appropriate treatment modality with close post-operative follow-up.
I have highlighted above some of the major challenges of management of our patients which include late disease presentation and acceptance of surgical treatment by patients and their families, initial self-medication, poverty and illiteracy. Thus, a targeted and well-coordinated health education and awareness programme for ORL, diseases and their prevention at the community level through the various media and even religious organisations should be pursued, with the support of appropriate and relevant agencies.
Inclusion of therapy for head and neck cancers in the existing National Health Insurance Scheme in Nigeria will likely encourage early presentation to the ORL specialist, while also reducing default of treatment.
It is desirable that functional world-class centres for the management of head and neck cancers are established in the six geopolitical zones of the country. Programmes aimed at creating awareness and encouraging immunisation against Human Papilloma Virus and other infective agents will go a long way in prevention of the infection and other agents that may result in neck infections and abscess.
Prof OGB Nwaorgu the Modern Father of Otorhinolaryingology in West Africa and Expansion of This Special Field of Medicine
Prof Nwaorgu assumed duty as an academic staff of the University of Ibadan, his alma mater, in June 1995. Barely 10-months afterwards, he found himself as the only academic staff in the department. This was by no means an enviable status! He had medical students on rotation through the department and trainee resident doctors to look after. Two of his trainees (Drs A.A. Adeosun and A.O.A Ogunleye) were later employed in 1996 to assist him train more fellows: Prof Lasisi & Dr Onakoya, who them in December, 2000 and January 2001 respectively. Dr A.OA. Ogunleye later died in an air crash in 2006.
With these seven staff, Nwaorgu was able to train many otolaryngolodists for Nigeria and the sub-region: Prof B.M. Ahma (UMTH Maiduguri), Prof. K.R. Iseh (immediate past Head, ORL Department, UDUTH, Sokoto), Prof A.D. Dunmade, ORL Dept. UITH, Ilorin), Prof T.S. Ibekwe (Head ORL Dept. UATH, Abuja), Dr Aminu Bakare (Ass. Prof. & MD NECC, Kaduna), Dr A.S. Adoga and Dr A.A. Adoga both brothers who are now Readers at JUTH, Jos, Dr L Onotari (Reader, UPTH Port Harcourt), etc).
Prof OGBN have contributed significantly to the development of his specialty in the sub-region, having served four years each as secretary and chairman respectively of the faculty of otorhinolaryngology, West African College of Surgeons. He has also served as member of Faculty Board in both the West African College of Surgeons and National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.
His administrative responsibilities in University of Ibadan include the following:
Coordinator, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, April 1996 to December 1999; Acting Head, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, College of Medicine, January 2000 to April 2002 and then June 2007 till August 2009; Professor and Head of Otorhinolaryongology between August 2011 and July 2015.
In addition, he is or has served on the following committees and in the following capacities in the College of Medicine and University, University of Ibadan; Postgraduate Coordinator and Member of Faculty of Clinical Sciences, Department of Otorhinolaryngology representative at the Faculty of Clinical Sciences Committee on Continued Medical Education; Faculty of Clinical Sciences representative on the College of Medicine Board of Survey; Member, College of Medicine Ad-Hoc Committee on Fund-raising; Member, Faculty of Clinical Sciences; Appointments and promotions committee member; Business Committee of Senate, University of Ibadan; Chairman, Board of Health, University Health Services University of Ibadan since September 2013.
Prof Nwaorgu is a regular reviewer of several articles in general and specialty journals. In his own right, he is a well-published researcher, teacher and clinical specialist who have successfully supervised 34 postgraduate residents’ research works. Some of his supervised students are now professors scattered all over Nigeria, including one who is presently the Chief Medical Director in a teaching hospital. Through his well-known researches in the field of otorhinolaryngology, and head and neck surgery, he has 120 publications to his credit, including published abstracts and 112 full length original articles in peer review journals.
A former UICC World Cancer Congress Scholar; former Visiting International Scholar Simmon Cooper Cancer Institute, Springfield Illinois, and International Fellow American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. He has attended over 25 international conferences and several workshops in and outside of Nigeria where he presented high quality papers. He obtained a postgraduate certificate in epidemiology from the World Health Organisation in February, 2000.
This former Professorial Consultant ORL Surgeon to the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, between January 2011 and December 2014; as well as a Visiting Professorial Consultant ORL Surgeon to University of Abuja Teaching Hospital, Gwagwalada since January 2013 serves as an examiner of the Faculty of Otorhinolaryngology fellowship examinations of the National Postgraduate Medical College and West African College of Surgeons. He was the Chief Examiner for the Faculty of ORL, West African College of Surgeons Fellowship Examinations from October 2011 to April 2015.
Prof Nwaorgu is a man of many parts, a man of true faith, a devout Catholic who was ordained a Knight of the ancient and noble order of St. John International (KSJ) in 2003. A truly detribalised gentleman, who is happily married to Adenike Nwaorgu in a union that is blessed with three lovely children, namely: Ayomide Uchenna, Olufemi Victoria and Chimdinma Emmanuella Nwaorgu.
Those That Attended the Event
Among the many dignitaries present in this august occasion was HRH (Dr) Yahaya Abubakar, CFR Etsu Nupe and chairman Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, who was ably represented by Pharmacist Yahaya Aliyu Maiyaki, Maiyaki Nupe. Other dignitaries present included Is’haq Usman Sarkin Shanun Jere (Board Chairman, FMC, Bida), Dr. Mohammed Aminu Usman, Lafiyan Nupe (the outgoing Medical Director FMC, Bida), Dr. Abubakar Usman (Head of Clinical Services FMC, Bida), Dr. Aliyu Umar (Executive Director NCCRI, Badeggi), Mr. Musa A. Ladan (Head of Administration FMC, Bida) to mention but a few. Dr. Akande Funsho accompanied Prof. OGB Nwaorgu to the event from UCH Ibadan.
Given the foregoing feats, if this international and world acclaimed otorhinolaryngologist isn’t rated as the modern father of otorhinolaryngology in West Africa, then I wonder who else. After all, his trainees are now heading most of the otorhinolaryngology units in Nigeria and West Africa subregion
I therefore commend and congratulate the Board and Management of the Federal Medical Centre Bida for given this great recognition to a man who well deserve it and for showing Nigerians the path we can explore to come out from the present insecurity bedevilling our dear country.
Let me also congratulate Prof. Onyekwere George Benjamin NWAORGU for this special recognition by the Management of Federal Medical Centre, BIDA for commissioning and dedicating for practice at the institution and most importantly for naming it after you. This is surely in recognition of your immeasurable contributions to the development of Otorhinolaryngology, Head & Neck Surgery in Nigeria and West Africa.
I congratulate and wish you greater heights and more recognitions in life even as I pray that God will cause some of the World recognized Health Institutions to recognize and accord you your rightful place amongst the very greats in the field of Medicine.
God bless you my brother in all your future endeavors
EZE CHUKWUEMEKA EZE is a Media Consultant based in Port Harcourt. He can be reached via [email protected]
The Return of The Taliban – Obadiah Mailafia
Whilst a young university lecturer in London in the nineties, I taught many students from influential families across the world. Salman (a pseudonym), came from an affluent Saudi family. He once told me about a maternal uncle, Osama bin Laden, who had become the black sheep of the family. Their grandfather had emigrated from Yemen and his good fortune had led him into favour with the wise old King Faisal.
The king gave the Bin Ladens the biggest construction contracts in Saudi Arabia, bringing them untold wealth. Theirs was a gilded and gentrified world. Osama was expelled from the Kingdom for leading a plot to bring down the House of Saud. He later joined the Mujaheddin that were fighting the Soviet invaders in Afghanistan. Most of it didn’t make much sense to me until the tragedy of 9/11 which made Osama bin Laden a household name across the world.
Another young student that I took under my wings was Princess Alia (again, a pseudonym), granddaughter of the deposed king of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah (1914-2007). Alia was a beautiful and sensitive young woman. The royal household fled to Italy where Princess Alia was born. She was always proud to be Afghan, a country I knew close to nothing about. After the attacks on the Twin Towers in New York on September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was a country I could no longer ignore.
Afghanistan is a central Asian country with a predominantly mountainous landmass of 652,864 km2 and a population of 32.9 million. It shares borders with Iran on the West, Pakistan on the east and south, and by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan on the north; with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China on the north east. Afghanistan is a poor country with a GDP of $21.7 billion and a per capital income of $493.
It is largely a Muslim country, with some 99.7% as adherents of that faith. Contrary to what many believe, it is a heterogenous country. There are 14 ethnic communities: Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Balochis, Turkmens, Nooristanis, Pamiris, Arabs, Gujars, Brahuis, Qizilbash, Aimaq and Pashai. While majority are Sunni Muslims, there are also sizeable communities of Sufi and Shiite Muslim adherents.
In pursuit of its so-called “War on Terror”, America invaded Afghanistan and drove away the Taliban from power. For 18 years, America fought the Taliban on land and from the air. Americans were to discover that the Taliban are tenacious fighters for whom warfare has become a way of life. The heaviest aerial bombardments could not “smoke them” from the treacherous mountains, caves and ravines that dominate the Afghan landscape.
The United States has lost more than 2,300 of its military personnel, with more than than 20,000 others wounded. It has been estimated that more than 500,000 Afghans have perished in this cauldron – government military forces, Taliban fighters and ordinary civilians — have been killed or wounded. America has spent more than a $1 trillion on the Afghan war.
Ever since 2001, succeeding American Presidents had looked to the day when the Afghan government in Kabul would be strong enough to stand on its two feet and to allow Washington to withdraw its forces. It was therefore a great shock that after the American withdrawal last month, the Afghan government collapsed precipitately. The President, Ashraf Ghani, fled to Dubai, allegedly with a humongous fortune, while the military capitulated without firing a shot.
He had even co-authored a book with a British political scientist, on state building (Ashraf Ghani& Clare Lockhart: “Fixing Failed States: A Framework for Rebuilding a Fractured World,” Oxford University Press, 2009). Ashraf Ghani Ghana is a well-educated and highly Westernised technocrat with a doctorate in Anthropology from Columbia University. He was a tenured professor at the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. He later worked for the UN and served as a consultant for the World Bank.
But something always warned me that this man is a wimp. Under him, the country was blighted by corruption and the drugs business. The institutions of state remained weak. The greatest sages have warned that a prophet unarmed is a dead one. Governing a stiff-knecked people such as the Afghans requires both enlightenment and superior force.
He should never have allowed so-called “repentant Taliban” to be enrolled in the regular army; a mistake we are already making with Boko Haram in Nigeria. The so-called “repentant Taliban” benefited not only from better training with the regular army, but also as insiders who under-studied the weakness of the regular army, the better to defeat it. And now they will inherit the massive arsenals left behind by the fleeing Americans.
There are many who dismiss the American effort as a disaster. Lest we forget, America’s hegemonic power was central to the post-war recovery of Europe. Through the Marshall Plan, America shored up the war-torn nations of Western Europe, helping them to recover economically while building viable democratic states that could withstand the onslaught of communism.
America helped in rebuilding Japan after 1945, including the drafting of a new Japanese constitution that outlawed war itself. After the Korean War (1950—1953), the United States again played a crucial role in South Korea’s post-war economic recovery and in laying the institutions of a strong and effective state that restored hope to a fractured nation.
The current failures accompanying American state-building enterprises are a relatively recent phenomenon. American intervention has left disastrous outcomes in Iraq, Libya and in Afghanistan today. It is a result of a tragic cognitive dissonance between understanding and the realities on ground; between ambition and hubris. The West have never really understood the Muslim world, least of all Afghans; a people who value their extremist ideologies more than life itself; and who are prepared to wage a war for entire century to achieve their ambitions.
In the words of the distinguished LSE Arabist, Elie Kedourie: “Be it sufficient for the present to record that these things are evil. That persecutors and persecuted, hunters and hunted are in the grip of the powers of darkness. It is enough to elucidate how this came to pass, for the story can at least have this moral, that the consequences of action are incalculable, and that out of the desire to do good, good may not in fact ensue.”
With the benefit of hindsight, the Afghan war was perhaps unwinnable from Day One. The country has been the graveyard of ambitious military commanders and adventurers from the Mughal Emperors of India to Ghengis Khan, Timur and the Soviets of the 20th century. Geopolitically, Afghanistan stands at the strategic crossroads between Central Asia and South Asia. Any world power that controls that treacherous landmass is likely to have mastery over much of Asia.
The return of the Taliban today is bad news for the Afghan people and bad news for the rest of the world. In killing Osama bin Laden in May 2011, America only cut the tail of the serpent with the head and body left intact. The New Taliban are going to be stronger and more confidant than the old. They have already announced their intention to govern with a more rabid form of Sharia law.
They have already ordered women to leave the universities, colleges and schools. They are systematically decimating Christians and adherents of other faiths. They have sent strong warnings that they will join their brethren in Nigeria to enforce Sharia throughout our country and the rest of our glorious continent. We must sharpen our swords and wait for them.
The German sociologist Max Weber anticipated such dark times when he had his bleak prophecies long ago: “Ahead of us is not the bloom of summer, but, rather, a polar night of icy darkness and hardness, no matter which group may triumph externally now”. Weber went ahead to warn that what we must not do is capitulate through a “dumb acceptance” of the world and our place in it.
Our lives, our liberties and our land are our most sacred possessions. Those who want to dispossess us of these must be regarded as enemies forever. If they are prepared to fight for a century, we at the receiving must arm ourselves and our children to fight them for a thousand years. America must also quarantine them back into the stone age.
End Nigeria Now! The Hoax Country – Ndidi Uwechue
The hashtag #EndNigeriaNow continues to trend on social media. If only the young people using it knew that Nigeria has actually ended, and all they now need to do is to activate that reality. Nigeria ended in 1966 but that truth was hidden from young people by removing History from the national curriculum for more than a decade, and by encouraging their parents to bring them up not to ask questions.
The #EndNigeriaNow young people rightly renounce the Nigeria they find themselves in. They should be told that rejecting One-Nigeria is being honest and being intelligent.Those that could, have fled by going overseas. Tens of thousands of others are also planning, or hoping to escape abroad too.
To understand what has happened to them, young people need to go back in time to late 1950s pre-Independence Nigeria. There were three Regions, each with its own Constitution and being more-or-less like three countries. The Regions then chose to retain the Union of Nigeria if certain conditions would be met and kept. Each Region decided how much self-determination they would keep for their Region, and what they would give up for the collective good in the Union. They now wrote a Union Agreement, that means a Constitution(federating) that would set out how their Union would be. This also meant opening a Union Office ie a Central Government to manage those things they would have in common. Thus, at Independence there were four Constitutions: one for each of the three Regions plus the federating Constitution. Later, a fourth Region, the Mid-Western Region was carved out, so now there were four Constitutions plus a fifth one, the federating Constitution. This arrangement came to an abrupt end with the military coups of 1966.
What the coups did was to topple that federating Constitution, ie the UNION AGREEMENT was overthrown. Thus, without a Union Agreement there was no longer any Nigeria. However, the Regional Constitutions were still there. What should have happened is that the now four Regions should have said: Since our Union is over, the ethnic nationalities in our different Regions will need to decide whether we will remain as we were before the Union, ie, as Regions, or whether we will re-commit afresh to any Union. However, the military prevented that from happening by using military might to force a Union that had ended.
A marriage can be used to illustrate it further for young people. Essentially, a marriage is a Union Agreement: as long as certain conditions are kept, the Union ie the marriage, remains. If however a husband goes on to commit adultery, that very act can end the marriage Union. A divorce ensues to make the end of the Union official. Now, if say, ten years later this same couple decide that they still love each other, and can make their Union work, traditionally the man will have to ask his ex-wife if she would like to re-marry him. He does not just grab her and force her into a re-marriage! She must first agree to re-commit to a new Union again.
The position of that ex-wife is the position of indigenous ethnic nations of Nigeria. The Union has ended. There has been no Nigeria since 1966! They have been abducted into a false Union by military decrees, and now by the imposed 1999 Constitution that is a known forgery. The only acceptable way forward is in doing the right thing, and in doing the right thing the right way. Just as a divorced ex-wife must first decide if she wants to re-marry her ex-husband, ethnic nationalities must decide whether or not to re-commit to the ended Union called Nigeria.
That is why the NINAS Movement is going to win. Justice always defeats injustice. The NINAS Movement Proclaimed a Constitutional Force Majeure (CFM) on 16th December 2020 .That CFM raised a Union Dispute ie stated that there is no Union since the indigenous ethnic nationalities are no longer going to submit themselves to a fake Constitution.
The CFM Proclamation made Nigeria a Disputed Project. The NINAS Movement rightly insists that preparations to general elections in 2023 that would renew the life of the Repudiated illegitimate 1999 Constitution be halted, and a transitioning arrangement be set up, with Regional Referendums, to correct the fraud. Since that 1999 Constitution is a forgery, everything it creates including government is a fraud. The truth that had been hidden from the people has come out – there is NO UNION. Nigeria is the hoax of the century! So it can no longer be elections business as usual. An illicit government should not even try to defy the people, and defy human decency.
Ndidi Uwechue is a British citizen with Igbo heritage from the Lower Niger Bloc. She is a retired Metropolitan (London) Police Officer, she is a signatory to the Constitutional Force Majeure, and she writes from Abuja.
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