Babatunde Fagoyinbo



This write up will look at the issues of colonisation with particular emphasis on how it has affected, is affecting and is likely to impact development in Africa as a whole and Nigeria in particular.

It is a journey towards economic development and welfare of mankind. A journey that will assist us to bring ourselves into the plan of creation; manifest the fullness of God’s blessing at creation: “Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen 1:28, KJV).

The purpose of this long journey is to map out the path towards effective and purposeful nation-building beyond emotion, ethnicity, religion and partisan politics. Obasanjo (of Nigeria) demonstrated the solution to the last three of these ills in his first tenure (1999-2003) as civilian president when his cabinet cut across all political parties, religion and ethnicity but could not divorce himself from emotion. We would rate him high but, notwithstanding, emotion affected his administration and lowered his score on the success chart if it were quantified.

This journey of nation-building will be long and needs your participation irrespective of your nationality, residency or religion. The journey is likely to be tortuous but I believe that if we devoid ourselves of unnecessary emotional attachments we shall all benefit and manifest the output of God’s blessing at creation.

What is nation building?

The United Nations Organisation (UN) views nation-building as the process of establishing civic order and governmental functions in countries that are emerging from a period of war or other types of upheaval (Pan, 2005). Can we strictly apply this definition to the situation in Africa? Are we going to view the period of colonisation as the period of upheaval? Should we consider such countries as South Africa, Zimbabwe, South Sudan etc. as the only countries that are building up their nations?

What happens to such countries as Nigeria that was in clans, ethnic groups and empires but was forcefully re-grouped, amalgamated and colonised for governance?

When we consider the essential ingredients of nation-building as enumerated by the UNO thus:

  1. Sufficient financial resources;
  2. International political will;
  • Time;
  1. Security: guaranteeing citizens a safe environment;
  2. Political reform: building a civil society, developing strong local and provincial governments, and ensuring freedom of the press and other civil liberties;
  3. Economic reconstruction: restoring economic infrastructure by establishing lines of credit for business, restarting industry, and creating jobs, especially in the agricultural sector, which accounts for most of developing countries’ gross domestic product; and
  • Strengthening legal institutions: ensuring a functional and independent judiciary

A good consideration of the UN’s definition shows that there is no nation-building going on in Africa. Can we thus truly say that there is no nation-building going on in Africa?

Let us view nation-building as a multidimensional concept involving the active participation of the entirety of the population  in various walks of life and involving the dedication and hard work of its citizen, result-oriented planning on the part of the Government towards harnessing the potential of its human and material resources, reducing the social and economic disparity that exists in the society and creating an enabling environment, wherein individuals can live freely and attain their best in life. Keeping these in mind, we shall be able to assess the status of the environment in which we are in terms of nation-building.

It is to be noted that the ingredients enumerated by the UN are essential for the healthy building up of a nation.

An Examination of God’s Blessing at Creation

A critical examination of the blessing will break it into its components. The blessing equipped us with the rational, judicious and sustainable utilisation of the resource abundantly made available to mankind. The components are: be fruitful; multiply; replenish the earth; subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

Be fruitful

Fagoyinbo (2016) stated that fruitfulness implies bringing forth useful results and end products that benefit mankind. King David revealed in his Psalms the significance of and the requirements for bearing fruit “The righteous shall flourish …” (Ps 92:12-14) while Jesus Christ stated the impact of “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit”  (John 15:8) which can be accomplished by “He that abideth in me, and I in him…” (John 15:5).


Multiplication is necessary because of the two other components of the blessing without which it would have been difficult; since man’s spirit is contained in his shell that has limited movement (Fagoyinbo, 2016). To His faithful, He says “That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore…” (Gen 22:17).

Replenish the earth

Fagoyinbo (2016a) highlighted the resources that God made available to mankind as

  1. Terrestrial resources made up of the sun, the moon and the stars;
  2. Atmospheric resources made up of the clouds, the wind and microorganisms;
  3. Land resources made up of vegetation, the beasts, the birds, insects and microorganisms;
  1. The earth resources made up of minerals, soil, moisture and microorganisms; and
  2. Water resources made up of aquatic animals and microorganisms

Fagoyinbo further stated that the components in item (i) are without man’s physical reach and thus cannot be polluted by him. To date, there’s been no deterioration recorded of these terrestrial resources. God wanted the same for the resources contained in items (ii) to (v). They are within man’s reach and man needs to replenish them, in quantity and quality, for the continued existence of life; thus, the component of the blessing known as “replenish the earth”.

Subdue it

For the seven years or more, when Adam tended the earth in loneliness, there was no reason to subdue the earth in the sense of “bring into bondage” (Fagoyinbo, 2016b). After the formation of man, not creation, and his acclimatisation with his domain, “the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it” (Gen 2:15); this was his second placement in the Garden, the first placement being without responsibilities.

Fagoyinbo further stated that to be able to effectively rule over the earth there would be the need to effectively cover the terrain and access the interior. Thus, man has to devise means of accessing the resources within the earth’s crust, explore the depths of the oceans, access the top of mountains as well as move over the face of the earth. Developing the means of doing these is what God referred to as subdue.

Have dominion…

God’s concept of dominion was and still is over the other creatures; not man (Fagoyinbo, 2016).

That God is against man domination of man is contained in His response to the Children of Israel ’s demand for a king to which God replied “…Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me … yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king … He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself… your daughters to be confectionaries, … He will take the tenth of your sheep: and ye shall be his servants. And ye shall cry out in that day because of your king which ye shall have chosen you; and the Lord will not hear you in that day” (1 Sam 8:7-18).

Notwithstanding man’s wickedness and rebellion, God is still compassionate: “And God saw that the wickedness of man was great …But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord” (Gen 6:5, KJV). God’s compassion manifests greatly in “And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and … said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground …” (Gen 8:21-22, KJV).

Resources Availability

Natural Resources

Very often Africans project Africa as highly resource-endowed. In coal reserves, Africa lags behind Asia, Europe and North America. In natural gas reserves, Asia and Europe are better endowed while Africa is the least endowed continent in oil reserves (Table 1).

There is no African country within the 18 countries having the highest gold holdings (Table 2), South Africa is the only African country that entered into the 10 highest iron ore producing countries in the world (Table 3) while DR Congo and Zambia ranked 6th and 7th respectively among the 10 highest copper producers (Table 4). South Africa leads the world in manganese, platinum and tied with Australia in titanium production while it ranks second in palladium production (Table 5). No other African country is able to rank highly in solid minerals, fossil and nuclear fuel resources and gemstones

Table 1: World Fuel Reserves by Region

Table 2:Top 20 according to the World Gold Council’s latest rankings

(as of September 2018) (Wikipedia, 2018)

Table 3;:List of countries by iron ore production

Table 4: List of countries by 2017 copper production (Wikipedia, 2018b)

Table 5: Lists of countries by mineral production (Wikipedia-, 2018c)


An examination of global arable land (Table 6) shows a steady increase across all the regions; with the exception of Industrial and Transition countries where decline began respectively in 1997/81 and 1997/99. The increases are likely to have resulted from: development of high-yield crops; increased irrigation schemes; Increase in the use of fertilizers; Improved market access, regulations, and governance; better use of information technology; adoption of genetically modified (GM) crops; land ownership reform with productivity and inclusiveness in mind; and step up of integration into Agricultural Value Chains.

Figure 1: While there is a need for modernisation for small-scale farming activities, large farm development needs to be encouraged

With the highest area of arable uncultivated land in the world (Douglas, 2015) but having most farms at less than 2 hectares, attainment of food security and adequate nutrition will require governments efforts at agricultural modernisation. Nwanze’s statement that Africa does not even need to tap into uncultivated land reserves to feed its people (Dougas, 2015) should be seen as an effort to keep Africa’s agriculture at subsistent level. In the event that Africans refuse to progress others will do it and carry the benefits to their countries (Alexander, 2015).

Much of Africa’s failures in agriculture result from poor land governance and ownership. Land reform has had mixed results on the African continent (Binswanger-Mkhize, 2014) but changes that clearly define property rights, ensure the security of land tenure, and enable land to be used as collateral will be necessary for potential productivity gains.

Table 6: Total arable land: past and projected (FAO, 2003).


In the good old days, when we were introduced to History as a subject, and which could also be studied at the University level, we were made to understand that it is the study of the events of the past, relating them to the present and using their outcomes to predict the future. If this is true, then, I am amazed at such frivolous accusations that the colonial masters were responsible for the socio-economic and political woes of developing economies.

Colonisation in Africa

There were two countries in Africa that were not colonised: Ethiopia and Liberia. The statuses of these two countries are not found to be remarkably better than the colonised countries. On the high GDP of 10.20% annual growth rate Priewe (2010) surmised “In 2000, Ethiopia was the poorest country on the globe in per capita GDP – a mere 124 US$ in current prices, as compared with current 910 US$. The main finding is that the take-off was driven by heterodox monetary and fiscal policy which targeted public expenditure for infrastructure. This triggered an increase in domestic demand, reinforced by strongly rising terms of trade under buoyant growth of the global economy until 2008. The combination of favourable factors induced strong productivity leaps mainly in agriculture and lifted millions of smallholder peasants, at least, partially out of subsistence economy toward participation in markets. Aggressive expansionary macroeconomic policies triggered bulging fixed investment, much beyond a narrow public expenditure boom.”

 Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries

Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries (cont’d)

Table 7: GDP and Literacy Statuses of African Countries (cont’d)

3Liberia’s growth rate stands at 2.50%, ranking it 42nd position out of 54 African countries.  Ethiopia ranks highest on literacy level at100% while Liberia ranks 40th with a mere 43%. On Human Development Index (HDI) Ethiopia ranks 41st at 0.406 while Liberia ranks 39th at 0.413 within the region; France, UK and USA respectively scored 0.952, 0.946 and 0.951. Liberia has a high rank, 6th among 50 countries ranked, in political stability at an index of 0.55 while Ethiopia falls to 44th with a score of -1.57.

Very important is infrastructure provisioning to assess a nation’s economic development programmes. Ethiopia ranks 34th among African countries by annual electricity production of 98 KWh while Liberia ranks at 38th at a production of 73KWh. In healthcare delivery, Ethiopia is ranked 44th position among African countries and 180th in world ranking while Liberia is rated 50th among African countries and 186th in world ranking. France and United Kingdom ranked 1st and 18th respectively in health and provide 8,336KWh and 12,866KWh of Electricity respectively per capital.


This article is presented with the view of raising concern for the development of the “developing countries”, not to condemn any government
but to create awareness and fashion out concrete paths towards development. While African nations will be the focus, examples will be drawn from other regions. It is hoped that peoples from other nations will contribute positively to the programme of fashioning out the path of development.

There is a Yoruba adage that says “Eepa npa ara ę o ni oun npa’ja, t’aja ba ku n’ibo ni eepa yio wa?” meaning “The dog worm is carrying out its extermination; believing that it is killing the dog, where will be its habitation at the demise of the dog?

This applies to African (and their likes) leaders who are busy carting away the resources of Africa into foreign lands to keep for their children. The Lord who created us said “So shall my word ‘If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep. (Ex 22:1,KJV)’ be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it” (Isa 55:11, KJV). To those who assume that the grace has covered their iniquities “And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold” (Luke 19:8, KJV) to which Jesus replied “This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:9-10, KJV).


Alexander, D (2015). The Biggest Opportunity In Agriculture May Be In Africa, And China Is Seizing It. Accessed 20 Sep 2018.

Binswanger-Mkhize, HP (2014).  From failure to success in South African land reform. African Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics Volume 9 Number 4 pages 253-269.  (2018). Unemployement rate compares the percent of the labor force that is without jobs. Accessed 212 Sep 2018.

Douglas, K (2015). Forget uncultivated land – Africa must produce more on existing farms. Accessed 20 Aug 2018.

Fagoyinbo JB (2016). Understanding God-Ordained Destiny. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Fagoyinbo, JB (2016a). Replenish the Earth (Gen 1:28). Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

FAO (2003). Crop Production and Natural Resource Use. In World agriculture: Towards 2015/2030, An FAO perspective. Jelle Bruinsma (ed). Earthscan Publications Ltd London (2018). Colonisation of Africa. Accessed 20 Sep2015.

IMF (2018). GDP per capita, current prices

IndexMundi (2018).  Country Comparison- Population below poverty line (%) Accessed 21 Sep 2018. (2018). List of countries by Human Development Index.

Pan, E. (2005). UNITED NATIONS: Nation-Building. Accessed 06 Sep 2018.

Passi, A. (2018). Why Nation-Building is the Need of the Hour for a Country Like India. Accessed 06 Sep 2018. (2018). Political Stability- Country rankings. Accessed 20 Sep 2018. (2018). GDP Annual Growth Rate | Africa. (2018) (2018). Corruption Perceptions Index 2016. Accessed 21 Sep 2918.

Wikipeda (2018). Gold Reserve. Accessed 15 Sep 2018

Wikipedia (2018a). List of countries by iron ore production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Wikipedia (2018b). List of countries by copper production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

Wikipedia (2018c). List of countries by mineral production. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

World Energy Council (2018). Energy Resources > Coal. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018.

World Energy Council (2018a). Energy Resources > Oil. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018

World Energy Council (2018b). Energy Resources > Oil. World Energy Resources 2016. Accessed 15 Sep 2018 (2018). Production of electricity by the countries of the world. Accessed 21 Sep 2018). (2018). List Of Countries By Literacy Rate.


Joseph Babatunde FAGOYINBO

1.1      A Giant

Mythical Giants

In human term, a giant is a person larger than usual (Figure 1). “Giant” is the English word commonly used for monsters of human appearance but prodigious size and strength. There are also accounts of giants in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible. They were:

  • The Nephilim (Genesis 6:4-5) who were destroyed in the flood of Noah’s time (Genesis 7:23);
  • The Anakites (Numbers 13:28-33);
  • The Emites (Deuteronomy 2:10);
  • The Amorites (Amos 2:9)
    The Rephaites (Joshua 12:4);
  • The Magogs led by Gog the chief prince (Ez 38, 39; Rev 20:8); and
  • Goliath (1 Sam 17:4), the only giant that was recorded to live among humans, from Gath and with a height of 6 cubits and a span (about 2.9m / 9ft 6in).

Samson, the Hebrew power man, was not said to be a giant but a man of extraordinary strength (Judg. 15:7-13). He was granted supernatural strength by God in order to combat his enemies. He performed heroic feats such as wrestling a lion, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass and destroying a pagan temple.

In various Indo-European mythologies, gigantic peoples are featured as primeval creatures associated with chaos and the wild nature, and they are frequently in conflict with the gods.

1.2 A Dwarf

A dwarf is a person of small stature due to medical reasons, usually somebody with an average-sized body but unusually short limbs, or somebody with growth hormone deficiency. Many dwarfs are successful in businesses, acting, science, etc. They marry and produce healthy children, who also contribute to the socio-economic development of their respective communities, nations and the world

1.3 Implications of the Use of Giant as a Qualifying Title

Nigeria probably adopted this title during the Gowon regime because of its ability to deal decisively with the civil war, its huge natural and human resources, coupled with its overwhelming population, and also its efforts in successful intervention in the crises within the African continent which earned it some huge respect by the international community.

Taking a spiritual look at this title it can be deducted that Nigeria’s problems are associated, in part, with the adoption of Giant as qualifying title. In the Holy Bible all giants ended up as failures or were cursed; even Samson that was not described as a giant lost out at the end of his life. In mythology, all giants worked against the gods.

1.4 The Need for a Glorious Title Based on Accomplishments

From independence through to the 1st republic Nigeria had direction with its lean resources: the Western Region (including the Mid-West) pursued education vigorously. Agriculture, health, sports, communication, etc. were not downplayed; the Northern Region also did not downplay education. Greater encouragement was given to those willing to attend schools than it was in the West; the proportion of the population seeking education was limited in the Northern Region, thus the government had to put in greater incentives.

The Ahmadu Bello administration jn Northern Nigeria ran an integrative governance that was not biased against any faith, though some critics claimed that he had an Islamisation Agenda; one of his ministers reported an incidence when Sir Ahmadu Bello wanted to leave a message for one of his Ministers for a short discussion after Sunday Service only for the telephone to be picked by the Minister himself. The Premier was shocked that he, the Minister, was not already in the Church that Sunday morning. The long and short of the story was that the Premier told him, the Minister, where he could get a Holy Bible to buy, attend Church service and come later for their discussion. Sir Ahmadu Bello knew which Church each of his ministers attended, he was aware of their respective times of service, he knew which bookshop would be open and the Minister could get a Holy Bible to buy, and above all, he encouraged his Minister to attend to His God before attending to him. It was also said that the Premier offered to refund the cost. If he had an Islamisation agenda it was not a “be converted or die affair”: he was propagating the religion he knew and believed in.

The Ironsi Military Regime was probably too short to develop a direction. The Gowon era was initially bedeviled with secession. It later had to put the secession into check when there was a pull out by the Eastern Region. The end of secession rolled into the Reconciliation, Rehabilitation and Reconstruction stage. The Gowon Regime should be credited for ending a 30-month civil war without guerrilla warfare as the aftermath. The Regime also commenced the development of National Policies: a few of which were completed before being ousted out. These accomplishments probably led to the adoption of the qualifying title.

Aside from its resources, Nigeria does not qualify for a title by accomplishments.


There is a need to access Nigeria through how international assessors see it; not the way Nigerians observe it internally. International assessments are logical, quantified, scientific, unbiased and reliable.

A look at accepted economic indicators and Nigeria’s rating will assist a good assessment and possibly give governance opportunity to redirect their plans (Table 1). There may be a need to adapt these assessment methods to also give the States self-examination tools. Table 1 presents indices of some socio-economic indicators of development for selected African countries and one country each from Europe/North America, South America, Asia and the Oriental.

The indicators selected are Power Production, Human Development Index, Technological Index, Literacy Rate, and Global Peace Index in relation to the Land Size, Population and Annual Budget of each of the selected countries.

2.1 Power Production

The Transmission Company of Nigeria recently declared that power generation has gone up to 4,286 megawatts, as against the 3,700 megawatts that are being insinuated in the country: considering the huge amount invested in PHCN, this is not an achievement. Nigeria ranks 32 in land area, 9 in population but 70 in power production. Three African countries Algeria, Egypt and South Africa rank 53, 26 and 15 producing 45200, 143500, 268100 x 106 kW-hr/yr respectively as against Nigeria’s 20130 x 106 kW-hr/yr. Nigeria’s population more than triples the population of South Africa. If computed on per capita basis Nigeria will still rank lower than such countries as Namibia and Zambia.

The poor state of energy production has forced such manufacturers as Dunlop, Michelin, etc. out of the country and forced most other manufacturers to close down (Manuaka, 2012).

2.2 Human Development Index

The Human Development Index (HDI) provides an alternative to the common practice of evaluating a country’s progress in development based on per capita Gross Domestic Product (GDP). It is a summary measure of human development that is published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

HDI is a comparative measure of life expectancy, literacy, education, standards of living, and quality of life for countries worldwide. It is a standard means of measuring well-being, especially child welfare.

Table 1: Indices of Development for Selected Countries

It is used to distinguish whether the country is a developed, a developing or an underdeveloped country, and also to measure the impact of economic policies on quality of life. The index was developed in 1990 by Pakistani economist and Finance Minister Mahbub ul Haq and Indian Nobel Laureate for Economics, Amartya Sen.

Nigeria is ranked 156 at index 0.459. Nigeria is surpassed by Algeria (96, at 0.698), Angola (148, at 0.486), Egypt (113, at 0.644), Ghana (135, at 0.541), Kenya (143, at 0.509), Namibia (120, at 0.625) and South Africa (123, at 0.619). It falls into the Low Human Development group

2.3 Technology Index

Garcia et al (2006) observed that science and technology are central elements of a dynamic growth process because technical knowledge is a driving force for rising productivity and competitiveness.

Technology index denotes a country’s technological readiness. The index is created with such indicators as companies spending on R&D, the creativity of the country’s scientific community, personal computer and internet penetration rates.

At 2.99 Nigeria ranked 86 globally trailing after Egypt (64, at 3.68), Ghana (77, at 3.21), Kenya (71, at 3.31), Namibia (65, at 3.66), South Africa (39, at 4.33), and Tanzania (82, at 3.12).

2.4 Literacy Rate

Literacy is the ability to read and write one’s own name and further for knowledge and interest, write coherently, and think critically about the written word. The inability to do so is called illiteracy. For statistical purposes, UNESCO defines a literate person as someone who can read and write a short simple statement about his/her life. In recognising its impact on poverty, health, active citizenship and empowerment, the development community recognises the fact that illiteracy is a condition that denies people opportunity.

Literacy encompasses a complex set of abilities to understand and use the dominant symbol systems of a culture for personal and community development. In a technological society, the concept of literacy is expanding to include the media and electronic text, in addition to alphabetic and number systems.

Nigeria ranks 189 globally at 61.3% literacy level. Algeria (177, at 69.9%), Angola (176, at 70.1%), Egypt (174, at 72.0), Ghana (183, at 67.3%), Kenya (142, at 87.4%), Malawi (168, at 74.85), Namibia (138, at 88.8), South Africa (147, at 86.4%), Tanzania (178, at 69.4%) and Zambia (158, at 80.6%) all surpass Nigeria.

Over two-thirds of the world’s 793 million illiterate adults are found in only eight countries, namely Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. Among the countries contributing the highest illiterate population. Nigeria also has the highest rate of poverty at 67.98 %.

2.5 Global Peace Index

The Global Peace Index (GPI) is an attempt to measure the relative position of nations’ and regions’ peacefulness. The study is the brainchild of Australian entrepreneur Steve Killelea and is endorsed by individuals such as Kofi Annan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, economist Jeffrey Sachs, former president of Ireland Mary Robinson, and former US president Jimmy Carter (GPI, 2010; Vision of Humanity, 2012). Factors examined by the authors include internal factors such as levels of violence and crime within the country and factors in a country’s external relations such as military expenditure, its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights.

Nigeria ranked 146 at 2.801 falling in the rank of the least peaceful countries in the world. Every other African country listed in Table 1 has a higher level of peace. From 2007 to date, Nigeria has consistently ranked low in the index, signifying worsening state of the nation in terms of peace and security in the past five years. The latest ranking conflicts with the Nation’s proclamation that Nigeria is safe for investment, despite incessant bomb attacks that had killed and is still killing many people, especially in the North, kidnapping in the East and resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.

Table 2: Nigeria is one of the 8 Largest Contributors to Global Illiteracy


In the curriculum handed over by the colonialists, there were such subjects as Civics that deals with social sciences and the local culture, Geography that deals with the earth sciences and History that tells of stories relating to explorations, navigation, religion propagation and the past relating to the presence of the localities.

In most of the religion-based schools, there were orchards filled with palatable and tempting fruits that no student dared pluck. Those who went through such training are the ones that are being circulated in governance when they should be relaxing in their “armchairs” and giving advice to the younger ones in governance. These are the same people in administration up till the late 1970s when an ex-student could apply for transcript through the Post and Telecommunications Department (P&T) and it would be attended to with despatch, when a Youth Corps Member would apply for refund of his/her caution deposit from his former university and it would be forwarded within a fortnight through the P&T, when an applicant did not need to know the location of a university before the day of his/her enrolment.

Our leaders up to and including Gowon’s regime were patriotic:

  1. Awolowo, Chief Obafemi: He was an astute businessman before he went to study commerce and eventually law. He was trading in cocoa produce. He practised land law and there were claims that he received his fees mainly through land ceding. He was wealthy for his time and left a substantial estate.
  2. Azikiwe, Dr. Nnamdi: A well-learned man of repute. He was a journalist and owned a newspaper publishing; which platform he used for his contribution to the struggle for independence. He also probably made some wealth before entering into politics
  3. .Balewa, Sir Tafawa: He was a teacher turned politician. He left no substantial estate even as the Prime Minister.
  4. Bello, Sir Ahmadu: He was a teacher turned politician >He was committed to the emancipation of the Northern Region. He was not wealthy and left no substantial estate. There was a story that those who murdered him, in a coup, wanted to show off his loot and thus brought the security safe in his house to the open. On blowing same open the safe was found to contain one shilling and the address of an English friend: if this is not the truth it would be near; considering the status of the estate he left behind;
  5. Gowon, Dr. Yakubu: Ousted from office as a young man, he subsequently went into exile in the United Kingdom, where he enroled for a degree programme and furthered to acquire a Ph.D. in political science as a student at the University of Warwick. He lived in north London and integrated himself with the English community. He served a term as Churchwarden in the local church. On his return to Nigeria he formed a non-denominational religious group, Nigeria Prays. He is also involved in the Guinea Worm Eradication Programme as well as the HIV Programme with Global Fund of Geneva. Gowon founded his own organisation in 1992 called the Yakubu Gowon Centre. The organisation is said to work on issues in Nigeria such as good governance as well as infectious disease control including HIV/AIDS, guinea worm, and malaria;
  6. Okpara, Sir Michael: He was a strong advocate of what he called “pragmatic socialism” and believed that agricultural reform was crucial to the ultimate success of Nigeria. He never owned a house of his own while he was in government. His friends and beneficiaries had to build a house for him in his home place after his return from exile.

What really went wrong between then and now? Fagbadebo (2007) reported that the Nigerian state is a victim of high-level corruption causing the retardation of national development and a ceaseless cycle of crisis arising from peoples’ discontent against the government. He further stated that corruption became legitimised, especially during the Babangida and Abacha regimes (1985-1998), with huge revenues, but wasteful spending, and nothing to show in terms of physical developments


Late Chinua Achebe said that “the trouble with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership”. He is of the view that “the major problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility, to the challenge of personal examples which are hallmarks of true leadership”. His claim can be substantiated with the following:

  1. There was an insurgency that gradually developed into civil war after the failures of several dialogues. The insurgency was put off through what was described as “military action”. The antidote “military action” left no splinters in the form of guerrilla warfare: a feat for Nigeria;
  2. Towards the end of Babangida Administration, into the short-lived Sonekan’s interim leadership, the banks had lost the confidence of the people. The Abacha regime quickly restored the integrity of the banks; although many of them failed out;
  3. An erstwhile Minister of Communication declared that telephone was for the “rich”: Obasanjo Regime made telephone available to all and sundry (Fig. 2): breaking the dominance of Nigerian Telecommunications Limited (NITEL);

    Telephone is now ubiquiyous
  4. From Babangida regime, all through to the Abacha regime fuel scarcity was the order of the day but Obasanjo was able to put this in check and there was most of the time free flow of fuel:
  5. The tenure of Namadi Sambo as Executive Governor of Kaduna State brought the trains out to roll again on the tracks: thus, easing transportation along Kafanchan-Kaduna-Zaria and spurring the Nigerian Railway to wake up: this act has resuscitated the Lagos-Kano line;
  6. Nigerians were made to believe, and are still being told, that there is subsidy on fuel but Abacha made us aware that profit was being made on fuel: the Abacha regime sold PMS for N11.00/litre and a declared N4.00/litre profit was ploughed into the Petroleum [Special] Trust Fund (PTF) that funded the national facilities and infrastructures rehabilitation programme of the regime; Subsequent administrations have resurfaced the subsidy issues and Nigerians have also refused to ask how Abacha was able to gather profits he utilised for infrastructures rehabilitation and where the subsidies of the subsequent regimes surface from; and
  7. Raji Fasola Administration’s capability to handle the menace of solid waste management in Lagos metropolis.

Table 3: Price Fluctuation of Premium Motor Spirit From 1977-2012
(N1= 100k; N165=US$ approx., by 2013)

4.1 What are the Problems?

To be able to salvage Nigeria there is a need to identify the problems, identify their sources and proffer solutions. Nigeria’s problems are known and are solvable. Every Nigerian believes that it is the other Nigerians that should address and carry out the solutions while he/she is excluded from the solving process.

4.1.1 Corruption

Every prominent politician has spoken against corruption and advocated integrity but how many of them can boldly claim to be free from gratifications from establishments for the passage of budget drafts (Adeniji, 2012)? The fuel subsidy issue is still fresh in memory (Ajayi, 2012). Also of note is Alamieyeseigha’s pardon (Odebode and Olokor, 2013) notwithstanding that Nigeria as a whole and the judiciary were ridiculed because of the man: is there any justifiable reason for the pardon on a crime committed by the recipient?

Public officers embezzle with impunity: allegedly under covers of higher authorities (Razaq, 2004; Bajulaiye, 2007) while those elected to govern involve themselves in money laundering. Iyaniwura (2013) reported that in 2001 when former President Obasanjo tried to look into the US$12.4 billion that disappeared under IBB’s regime, it was said that all records with the Central Bank of Nigeria that were relating to the scam had disappeared. But in 2005 when the House of Representatives wanted to impeach the President, the records suddenly reappeared.

Every prominent traditional ruler has pleaded with governance on ending corruption but conspicuously and flamboyantly confer traditional titles on corrupt politicians and so-called statesmen and those who have displayed wealth acquired through doubtful means: some get implicated in acts of malpractices (thepost, 2012; Information Nigeria, 2013).

Notable “men of God” mount the pulpits and rostra to preach against corruption and malpractices but many are known to bootlick politicians, wealthy retired military officers and businessmen of doubtful characters for gratifications and sponsorships (Olokor, 2013). The Christ Embassy’s complicity in Sheraton Hotels’ N39m loot is a case in point (Ajaero, 2003).

4.1.2 Divide and Rule Approach

Caulcrick (2013) aptly summed this up thus “The government of Babangida created a relief valve for dissent by allowing dual nationality for Nigerians. That masterly act allows the untouchables in the society to have a window of escape to other lands, instead of confrontations with the government of the day as the effect of SAP began to bite. It would have been the children of influential people who would most likely have been born in the West and not those of the masses. They, most probably, would have been the ones to champion the dissent to the government. With them out of the way, it was a picnic for that government to dish out unpalatable meals to the populace”.

4.1.3 Deception

On what basis was the title “giant” adopted? As shown above, the title is spiritually damaging. No sane person ever names his child Cain or Judas. Nigeria ignorantly assumed that the rapidly diminishing and unsustainable oil money, the vast unutilised land, the vast water resources that flow through the land into the Atlantic unused, the uncontrolled solid minerals that are being exploited unofficially and the high poverty-stricken illiterate population are enough qualifying factors for leadership of the continent: the United States of America is able to lead the world because it is resourceful and productive. Europe was able to explore and colonise Africa because it is adventurous and enterprising and such developing countries as India are able to lift up their economies because they are progressively determined.

From the establishment of the Nigerian Civil Service by the British colonial power in 1861 it has undergone several reforms (Ogunrotifa, 2012). Every effort from post-independence era to the contemporary times aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal civil service by successive governments in Nigeria have failed to cause the civil service to deliver efficient service to the people. Ogunrotifa further observed that it suffers from obsolescence, lethargy and a lack of enthusiasm in carrying out government policies. He noted that most of the previous reforms largely failed because of plethora of factors: lack of political will to implement the reforms on the part of the political leadership, politics, sentiments and mediocrity that have undermined and ensured that the recommendations of several committees were never implemented to the letter, government attempt to reform civil service out of the way of its capitalistic foundation without taking a break from the status quo, and conscious attempt at ignoring democratic practice in the management of civil service.

Very often Nigerians blame their woes on the colonialists; however, somebody needs to reveal the documents the British colonialists left behind stating that:

  1. State Executive Governors should concentrate on money laundering and not service delivery;
  2. The refineries should be kept inactive to ensure regular importation:
  3. Natural gas should be flared to ensure that Nigeria does not have too much money;
  4. Mandates of research institutes should be distorted to ensure non-performance;;
  5. Extension agencies of the various agricultural establishments should be detonated to allow for food importation;
  6. Government properties should be sold for a pittance; many beneficiaries sold minute portions of the containing lands to pay for the properties, built houses in their hometowns, bought cars and still had millions in their accounts;
  7. Productive and honest officers should be rationalised out of service to allow for mediocrity;
  8. The railway transportation system should be discontinued;
  9. Funds for establishing and rehabilitating public infrastructures should be embezzled;
  10. Facilities and infrastructures should not be maintained; etc;
  11. Civil Service should be made inactive;
  12. National Assembly should decide their own emoluments; carting millions of naira on a monthly basis while civil servants are pegged at N18,000 monthly


Mythical Giants


Presently Nigeria does not need a qualifying title: Nigeria needs an aspiration; an aspiration that is related to the Vision 20 2020. But Nigeria also needs to review that vision based on where it is in relation to the target (Table 4). Nigeria threw away the flying elephant because elephants do not fly.

Nigeria should cease to be a giant because giants do not succeed. Giants do not develop; they die out. Nigerians are interested in titles: Alhaji; Hadjia; JP (Jerusalem Pilgrim); TP (Town Planner); QS (Quantity Surveyor); Surv (Surveyor); Senator (Even after the expiration of term); Hon. (Notwithstanding that he never raised or contributed any meaningful discussion to any bill); Engr (Even when he never entered the walls of a Trade Centre/Technical College); His Excellency (Notwithstanding that no developments are visible in the state attributable to him after his tenure but state revenues laundered into his accounts kept outside the shores of the land. Because Nigerians love to be entitled, they believe the nation also should.

Note: This write up should have been published 2013 but there was an oversight that made it unpushed. Until a reference was to be made to it was it discovered that it was still in a draft form. The conditions of Nigeria have not changed much.
Though economic growth is declared, economic development does not translate into improved wellbeing of the populace. The NASS people cart home millions monthly but states are owing civil servants their basic salaries of approximately N35,000.00/month for upwards of eleven months

Table 4: Economic Indicators of Level of Industrialisation


Adeniji, G. (2012). Nigerian Legislature, Apex of Corruption. Punch, January 24, 2012. Accessed 1 Apr 2013.

Ajaero, C. (2003). New Tune, New Dance Steps. Sunday, June 01, 2003. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

Ajayi, Y. (2012). Fuel Subsidy Probe: Oil Biz Magnate, Femi Otedola Confirms Bribe to Lawmakers.-THISDAY Newspaper, June 11, 2012. Accessed 1 Apr 2013.

Bajulaiye, O. (2007). Nigeria: N85bn NPA Scam – Bode George Still Under Probe – EFCC. Daily Trust, 7 December 2007. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

Burgis T. (2010). Ibori Arrested in Money-Laundering Probe. The Financial Times, May 13 2010, 6:12 pm. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

Caulcrick, S. A. (2013). Information – Weapon to Combat Nigeria’s Societal Ills. Accessed 29 Mar 2013.

Fagbadebo, O (2007). Corruption, Governance and Political Instability in Nigeria. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations Vol. 1 (2), pp. 028-037, November 2007 ISSN 1996-0832

Garcia, R. M; R. Kohl; A. Ruengsorn; and J. Zislin (2006). Nigeria Economic Performance Assessment. A report produced by Nathan Associates Inc.for review by the United States Agency for International Development

GPI (2010). Endorsers. Global Peace Index. Institute for Economics and Peace 2010. Accessed 29 Mar 2013.

Information Nigeria (2013). Traditional Ruler, 18 Others Arrested Over Sale of NDDC Transformers. Accessed 31 Mar 2013.

Iyaniwura (2013). Interesting Things About IBB, Nigeria’s Only Military President. Accessed 2 Apr 2013.

Manuaka, T. (2012). Government Policy Forced Us Out of Manufacturing – Mohammed Yunusa, MD, Dunlop Nigeria. Accessed 22 May 2012. Wednesday, 29 February 2012…GbPVT8

Odebode, N. and Olokor, F. (2013). Alamieyeseigha still under investigation –FG, UK. Punch, March 16, 2013. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

Ogunbodede, E. F; , Ilesanmi, A. O. & Olurankinse, F. (2010) . Petroleum Motor Spirit (PMS) Pricing Crisis and the Nigerian Public Passenger Transportation System. The Social Sciences, Volume: 5, Issue: 2, 2010 pp113-121

Ogunrotifa, A. B. (2012). Federal Civil Service Reform in Nigeria: The Case Of democratic Centralism. Vol. 1, Issue 10 (October 2012) Journal of Radix International Educational and Research ConsortiumISSN: 2250–3994

Olokor, F. (2013). CAN Crisis Deepens. January 24, 2013. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

Razaq, A. (2004).This Sacred Cow Called Bode George. Accessed 30 Mar 2013.

thepost (2012). King Pirate names Oba, prominent Nigerians as sponsors. thepost September 19, 2012. Accessed 1 Apr 2013.

Umunna, I. (2010). Making Lagos Green and Beautiful. The African Courier, 2010. Accessed 1 Apr 2013. …beautiful&catid=77:politics&Itemid=805

Vision of Humanity (2012). A Measure of Peace. 10th Dec 2012. Accessed 29 Mar 2013.


World Statistics [sorted by Area][Stats were last updated 07-Dec-2008]

World Statistics [sorted by Area][Stats were last updated 07-Dec-2008a] adjusted for ranking

CIA (2012. Budget expenditures 2012 Country Ranks. CIA World Factbook 2012. Accessed 28 Feb 2013.     .

Wikipedia (2012). List of countries by electricity production. Accessed 26 Apr 2012.

Wikipedia (2012a). List of countries by Human Development Index. Accessed 23 Oct 2013

Nationmaster (). List of Countries by Technology Index.

Wikipedia (2013b). List of Countries by Literacy Rate.

Wikipedia (2012c). Global Peace Index.




The Gray African Parrot
Ǫkwę ore yie ǫmǫ odi hi

There is an Isoko language proverb that says Ǫkwę ore yie ǫmǫ odi hi which translates as Parrot will not give birth to a dumb child. Isoko are located in the rain/mangrove forest of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The African gray parrot is common in the region and is generally used to adorn affluent homes as pet birds.

 Parrots are birds of the roughly 393 species in 92 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, found in most tropical and subtropical regions. Characteristic features of parrots include a strong, curved bill, an upright stance, strong legs, and clawed zygodactyl feet. Many parrots are vividly colored, and some are multi-colored.

They form the most variably sized bird order in terms of length. They feed mainly on seeds, nuts, fruit, buds, and other plant material. A few species sometimes eat carrion, while the lories and lorikeets are specialized in feeding on floral nectar and soft fruits. Almost all parrots nest in tree hollows (or nest boxes in captivity), and lay white eggs from which they hatch altricial young.

Parrots are among the most intelligent birds, and the ability of some species to imitate human voices enhances their popularity as pets. Some, like the gray African parrot, are intelligent and talk at the level of a four-to-five-year-old human.

Parrots are kept as companion birds to fulfill social, emotional, and cognitive needs of their human caretakers.

African gray parrots have a weird ability to mimic speech; male and female may talk alike but male takes preeminence when they are paired, just as the male chicks explore their environment ahead of the females. They grow to be up to 33centimeter (13 inches) in length and are Africa’s largest parrot. Their plumage can be various shades of gray, usually slightly darker on the wings and back, with a histrionic crimson tail.  It has a hooked beak that is extremely strong. They are known to be monogamous. The average clutch is two to four eggs. The female incubates them alone, while her mate brings her food. After they hatch, both the male and female tend to the chicks.

Your pet bird is most likely to learn to talk from you.  Young birds learned a flock language from other birds after they left the nest and in our homes, we become a pet bird’s flock.

Parrot-Chick not Dumb

Parrots, very easily, learn words that you say enthusiastically, and thus. may repeat an exclamation or foul language after hearing it only once, while ignoring the polite word you are trying to teach it. Thus it becomes essential to watch your language around your pet bird and when you want your pet bird to learn to say something, say it with enthusiasm, loudly, excitedly and in a high voice. Pet birds learn from each other.

In the wild, a bird would be learning the flock language from its flock-mates. In our homes, the family dog, you and your housemates or family, and the other pet birds in the household constitute its flock.

Children Upbringing

Parrot and Child

A child begins the school year with blank notebooks, pages fresh and clean. Backpacks are free of crumbs and leaked box drinks. It wakes up early in anticipation. It tries to get to school a bit before the morning bell and start the year off on the right track.Pet birds take higher priority in modern homes over the children. While the children are disengaged from their school teachers and Sunday school teachers due to the unwillingness of parents to have their children disciplined. Pet bird owners want their birds to speak words that are homely to them.

So it is in the life of a child. But when the enabling circumstances are lacking, it may all end in disaster. The child must learn but the parents are not there to guide and teach and the school and Sunday school teachers have been disengaged by the parents’ over-protective tendencies that seek to stuff the child with book knowledge while disengaging moral instruction. This leads to moral decadence.

If you keep your pet parrot without teaching it to talk the language that befits your home it will pick its own guttersnipe language which may be annoying to you. In the same way, when you deprive constituted and trained authority to teach your child it will pick its habits from the environment that it grows up in; and you can be sure that the adopted environment is loose, unproductive and disastrous. You’ll be lucky if your house help is authoritative and well-mannered.

Funsho was in secondary school and came home one of those days to report his teacher to his grandmother, who he erroneously believed was his mother. The grandmother narrated the case to his uncle who happened to be of a high social class. This uncle went with Funsho to the teacher’s house and gave Funsho instruction to slap the teacher; that must have been after some discussions, though. Funsho’s cousin, who happened to be a teacher too, advised Funsho to apologize to his teacher in order to avert an impending disaster. He was told that God’s command to honor parents is not limited to blood parents. “Your teacher is your parent since you’ve been placed under his authority” he was told. He never did. Today, the price he’s paying is high.

Nation Building

A nation grows and develops when there is a succession of progressive leadership. Let us take Lagos state in Nigeria as an example, notwithstanding the sledge hammer pouncing on Lagos State in the era of Governor Tinubu, there was some remarkable transformation in the life of the people due to emplacement of infrastructures and progress-impacting bye-laws. Governor Fşsǫla also made his own impact. Successor Ambǫde has shown evidence of moving the state further in progress. This is all that can be proudly said of the South-West Socio-economic Zone.

Childhood cannot be declared as biological relationship in politics, although it can infect politics. In the southern part of Nigeria there was a very pathetic case of an erstwhile military Governor whose administration greatly impacted his domain through the establishment of blanket bursary awards to indigenes of his state in post-secondary institutions, establishment and emplacement of District hospitals to even out medical delivery at par in all the districts within the state, power distribution across his state, water supply, etc. but whose son as Executive Governor cannot today boast of any contribution towards the development of his domain; he was generally referred to as “hot-pant Governor”. Such can be referred to as “a dumb chick.”

Indira Gandhi: Not a Dumb Parrot-Child

Indira Priyadarshini Gandhi was an Indian politician and central figure of the Indian National Congress party, and to date the only female Prime Minister of India. Indira Gandhi was the daughter of India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru. She served as Prime Minister from 1966 to 1977 and then again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984, making her the second-longest-serving Prime Minister of India after her father.

Indira Gandhi’s accomplishments include but not limited to:

  1. As Prime Minister, Gandhi brought about a radical change in the country’s economic, political, international and national policies. She oversaw the implementation of over three Five-year plans – two of which were successful in meeting the targeted growth.
  2. One of her crucial economic decisions included the nationalization of strategic commercial banks and industries.
  • It was during Gandhi’s premiership that Green Revolution brought remarkable change in the agricultural production in India changing the course of the nation – from an import dependent country, India could now manage a decent portion of its demands from domestic production. She mainly targeted at growth with stability and progressive achievement of self-reliance.
  1. In 1971, Gandhi supported the East Pakistan in the Pakistan Civil War, which led to the formation of Bangladesh. This helped India bring the Himalayan states under the influence of the country. While Nepal and Bhutan remained aligned to India, Sikkim was incorporated as an Indian state in 1975, through a referendum.
  2. Gandhi also brought social reforms by introducing clauses in the Indian Constitution related to wages – equal pay for equal work to both men and women.
  3. Commencement of Operation Blue Star to strip clean the Golden Temple from the terrorists and subdue Bindrawale and his men. Operation Bluestar successfully subdued Bhindarwale and his team but several civilians lost their lives and the shrine was ruefully damaged. Due to this, Gandhi earned the hatred of Sikhs who declared Bindrawale a martyr of the 21st century.
  • An annual award for National Integration, Indira Gandhi Award was conceptualized and established by the Indian National Congress in 1985.
  • She was voted as the greatest Indian Prime Minister in a poll organised by IndiaToday. She was also named ‘Woman of the Millennium’ in a poll organised by the BBC in 1999.
  1. The Government of Bangladesh bestowed upon Gandhi its highest state award for her ‘outstanding contribution’ to the country’s independence.
  2. She imposed a State of Emergency in India in June 1975, which lasted for 21 months until March 1975. She ruled by decree during Emergency and brought the entire country under the rule of the Central government.
  3. She initiated the Operation Blue Star to strip clean the Golden Temple from the terrorists supporting Bindranwale. It eventually led to her assassination.

Indira can be seen as a genuine child-parrot that was not dumb as her father accomplished the under listed for India:

  1. Helped write a great constitution: Nehru brought together a wide array of mutually antagonist people and together they wrote one of the finest Constitutions in the world.
  2. Let India stay as a democracy: Most leaders who stay that long screw up the fundamental nature of the system. That happened in almost all newly independent nations in the world.
  3. Built a strong image for India abroad: Nehru built a name for India in the world bodies. This was even well before independence. He managed to have a very cordial relationship with both the superpowers. It is remarkable that even at the height of the cold war in early 60s, both superpowers agreed on one thing – supporting India.
  4. Helped end colonialism: Nehru and his Non-Aligned Movement were powerful voice in ending colonialism and slavery in much of Asia and Africa.
  5. Integrated Goa & Pondicherry well: East Timor and Goa were both Portuguese colonies. Indonesia captured East Timor & India captured Goa. Three decades later, East Timor is now split off from Indonesia, while Goa stays firmly a part of India. Nehru’s charm is often understated. It is not easy to build a nation.
  6. Hindu code bills – A series of landmark legal achievements that brought plenty of new legal rights to Hindus, especially women.

Can Ajasin be called a True Parrot-Child?

Adekunle Ajasin (28 November 1908 – 3 October 1997) was appointed Principal of Imade College, Owo, where he initiated an aggressive staff development program, including sending teachers to University College, Ibadan for further training. Ajasin was involved in Nigeria’s pre-independence politics. In the 1950s, The Action Group (a Political Party which revolutionized the old Western Nigeria) of which he was Vice President was officially founded and launched in his home at Owo. He was a national Vice President of the Action Group. In 1951 he wrote a paper that was to become the educational policy of the Action Group party, advocating free education at all levels. He was one of the founders of the party, whose other policies included immediate independence from Britain, universal health care, and abolition of want through effective economic policies.

In December 1962, he left Imade College to become founder, proprietor and first principal of Owo High School from January 1963 to August, 1975, when he retired.

It is said of him (Samuel, 2013) “The unfolding transition program of General Ibrahim Babangida saw him become the rallying point for progressive political forces in Nigeria which culminated in the victory of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the Presidential Elections of 1993 – an election that has been acclaimed as the freest and fairest in the history of Nigeria.

“It was the annulment of the election which brought out the best in him politically, for since June 1993, he became the arrow head of opposition to the nullification of the election and thereafter worked relentlessly for an early enthronement of democratic civilian rule as practiced in all civilized countries.

“Despite his old age, and sometimes ailing health, he continued to attend various meetings with the hope of finding a peaceful resolution to the political impasse. He dialogued with Nigeria’s Head of State, General Sanni Abacha a couple of times; convened the first ever summit of Politicians in December of 1995 – all in an effort to find a just solution to Nigeria’s problems. It was during one of the preliminary preparatory meetings for the Summit that he took ill and Dr. Alex Ekwueme had to take the chair.”

Three months and eight days older than Obafemi Awolowo, he can still be said to be a true parrot-child since he conceded the leadership of the Action Group to Awolowo; although we might better see him as a parrot-child of the Action Group. He followed the ideals of the party and committed himself to national development.

Dumb Parrot-Children

A dumb parrot-child is one who has the opportunity to be exposed to the ideals of morality but defects from its practice.

One notable woman surprised the nation as dumb-parrot chick if the allegations against her are true

Cecilia Ibru, Former managing director of Oceanic Bank International. Cecilia Ibru is said to be involved in one of the biggest female corruption scandals in the history of Nigeria. Multi-billion Money Laundering Scandal (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016). She belonged to a united family that built its wealth on the legacy and training received from their father, Chief Epete  Ibru. Chief Olorogun Michael Ibru as the head of the Ibru clan, was said to pull all members of his family into his gift of entrepreneurship believing there is a genius in everyone (Ahon and Brisibe, 2016). It is unfortunate that Mrs Cecilia Ibru, who could say of her husband “He was known as the ‘Fisherman of Nigeria’ who ensured that much-needed protein was available for low-income families to feed their children” could deprive the low-income families of the much-needed funds for purchasing the much-needed   protein through money-laundering.

The others that were contesting for the rank of the most dumb child are:

  1. Diezani Alison-Madueke: Her name has become the synonym with the embezzlement scandals and embezzling  cosmic sum of $20 billion On Shady Oil Deal and stealing at least $25 million from Indian businessmen in a shady oil deal (Hart, 2015);
  2. Stella Oduah, the former Nigerian Minister of Aviation in the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, was involved in the corruption scandal of buying two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255 million. However, Justice Mohammed Yunusa restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting the former minister of aviation on September 3 (Hart, 2015);
  3. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was accused of stealing $1 billion while serving as finance minister in Jonathan’s administration (Hart, 2015);
  4. Toyin Saraki, the wife of the Senate president and former governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, was invited this summer by the EFCC to explain the strange inflow of funds into companies where she had interests when her husband was the governor of Kwara state. Reacting to the commission’s invitation, Toyin Saraki said she will honor the invitation (Hart, 2015);
  5. Marilyn Ogar, a former Department of State Security spokesperson, was also accused of collecting bribes shortly before the governorship elections in Osun state from the Petroleum Products Marketing (Hart, 2015);
  6. Zainab Dakingari, the daughter of former president Umaru Yar’ Adua and the wife of former Kebbi State -governor Saidu Dakingari, was accused by the EFCC of a fraud worth N2 billion perpetrated during her husband’s tenure as governor of the state (Hart, 2015);
  7. Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, the daughter of Nigerian ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, was embroiled in a money laundering scandal worth N300 million. In 2008, the EFCC charged her to court, but she urged the court to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the money allegedly given to her by the ministry of health had been spent for a bribe given to the members of the Senate Committee on Health (Hart, 2015);
  8. Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, the first female Speaker of the Nigerian House of representatives from June till October 2007 was involved in N628 Million Naira Money Laundering (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016); and
  1. Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke, Former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. was accused of misappropriation of funds and carried out fraudulent transactions which includes the purchase of N186 million worth of wristwatches without proper accounts and a yacht for N39 million Under her leadership, there was the misappropriation of funds of over N1.5 billion which almost led to the crash of the Nigerian Stock Exchange market in 2009 (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016). It has also been established that her claim to have earned a Ph.D. in business from the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1983 and to have worked for years at the New York Stock Exchange (the world’s largest stock exchange) before returning to Nigeria in 1983 are fake (Kperogi, 2011).

Obasanjo’s Role in the Shaping of Nigeria’s Integrity

Is Obasajo a true parrot-chick?

What qualities make him a true parrot-chick?

Is Obasanjo a dumb parrot-chick?

What time did he acquire dumbness?

What must have been the cause?

What evidence can be adduced for his dumbness?


Ahon, F. and P. Brisibe (2016). Okowa, Ibori, Aguariavwodo, Igbuya, others mourn Olorogun Michael Ibru. Accessed 30 Dec 2016.

Daniel (2015). We’ll Fight Anyone Who Attempts to Sell North Out – Ango Abdullahi. Information Nigeria December 31, 2013. Accessed 27 May 2014.

Egburonu, S; D. Odufowokan; R. Adelowo; T Akowe and K. Adeyemi (2014). 2015: Knife that has divided the North The Nation Feb 23, 2014. Accessed 27 May 2014.

Fagoyinbo, J. B. (2013). The Source of Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Political and Security Dilemma Revealed. Accessed 28 May 2014.

Hart, B. (2015). 7 Women Embroiled In Huge Corruption Scandals In Nigeria. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.

Kperogi, F. A. (2011). Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke;s Fake Doctorate and Professorship. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Nigeria Newspaper(2016).  CNN Releases List Of 20 Most Corrupt Nigerian Politicians; Obasanjo Tops List, Others Will Shock You.  Nigeria Newspaper On June 03, 2016 Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Nwaeze, A. (2016). Top 5 Notable Nigerian Women Whose Corruption Scandals Went Viral – Naija news. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Samuel, A. (2013). Life and Time of Pa Adekunle Ajasin Friday, May 31, 2013. Nigeria News Service Online. Accessed 29 Dec 2016.

TFP (Undated). Indira Gandhi Biography. The Famous People.

Viswanathan, B. (2014). What were Jawaharlal Nehru’s greatest achievements? History buff. Upvoted by Nikhil Hajirnis, Accessed 29 Dec 2014.


Good, Passive and Bad Citizen

History and Civics

Good, Passive and Bad Citizen
Good, Passive and Bad Citizen

In 1959, when that lofty subject called History was introduced to us in Primary V, we were made to believe that it was important so that the errors of previous generations could teach us lessons. Simultaneously we were introduced to Civics which classified man into three sub-species; the active, the passive and the bad (who we can view as the regressive).

In those days there were three types of secondary schools (SS); the Government-owned (GOS), the Missionary-owned (MOS) and the privately owned (POS). The POS were the reserve of those who could not gain admission to either GOS or MOS. There was a parallel secondary school which was tagged Secondary Modern School (SMS) for those whose parents could not afford to send their children to boarding schools (I fell into this category). Unlike the SS which lasted five years, the SMS lasted three years after which, on successful completion you, could either proceed to Teachers’ College in the South West, including Mid-West or enter into Nursing School. I learned that it was Auntie Victoria (Gowon) that changed the status of nurses and the entry qualification became the West African School Certificate (WASC). SS were far between. There were three types of SS, namely; Secondary Grammar School (Oshogbo Grammar School), College (Igbobi College) and High School (Christ High School). I don’t know the difference between them because they all took the Cambridge School Certificate (CSC) as their proficiency certificate. The CSC was later replaced with the WASC. Most of my contemporaries took the WASC.

I ended up at St Andrew’s College, Oyo, a Teachers’ College (Now Bishop Ajayi Crowther University). It was a Mission College. The discipline was such that you dared not walk on the lawns, pluck a mango fruit, even though they would be knocking your head when doing your morning duty, study on your bed during light out, be outside your bed during afternoon siesta, etc. All these were to teach us that we should not appropriate to ourselves what belongs to the public and that we should effectively manage our time. I learned that it was more demanding in the days of our seniors; the Obasanjo-TY Danjuma-Abdullahi Ango youth days. It is a misnomer that these same people are the ones looting the economy and laundering national currency.


Father's Debt, Son to Give Back
Father and Son

There is a Chinese proverb that says 父債子還 in traditional Chinese or simplifies as 父 债子还. This is pronounced Fù zhài zǐ huán and is literally translated as “Father’s debt, son to give back”.

But our grandfathers and fathers (Herbert Macaulay, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello and Nnamdi Azikiwe) did not incur debt.

At least, Macaulay, Awolowo and Azikiwe did not pass unto us the spirit of debt. Osuntokun (2014), in a private research inspired by Prof Abdullahi Ango’s outbursts, deduced. “The totals of actual revenue and expenditure for 1936-37 of all the native treasuries together were GBP1453718 and GBP1477818 respectively (Northern provinces GBP913954 (revenue) and GBP985755 (expenditure); Southern provinces GBP539764 (revenue) and GBP492063 (expenditure). When you reconcile the revenue and expenditure profile of both group of provinces as highlighted in the consecutive figures corresponding to the North and South, the former spent more money than it earned while the traffic went the other way for the latter. The North had a deficit of GBP71905, while the South had a surplus of GBP47701.”

Grandfathers and Fathers’ Legacy

The issue now is that our grandfathers Macaulay and the likes, our fathers Awolowo, Azikiwe and Bello left lofty legacies of commitment to development and good governance but our uncles, our generation and those immediately following threw the morals impacted on us by the colonial administrators into the winds and revel in immorality, lasciviousness, greed, avarice, corruption, money laundering, etc.

Our Uncles, Our Generations (Male and Female) and Our Immediate Juniors (Ditto)

The first generation of military rulers, within their administrative period, impacted positively on the Nigerian nation. Good national policies were formulated, programs for national economic development and self-employment schemes were established and infrastructures were gradually being put in place. We would not go through History because we do not learn from it. Audu Bako left a number of earth dams which Kano and Jigawa States have not been able to completely harness for water supply, irrigation and agriculture; Ogbemudia sponsored education so much that even SMS outputs could travel abroad for studies, established a sports institute and invested in roads; Adebayo introduced bursary awards for indigent students, embarked on health programs while Ojukwu embarked on secession.

The Status that Nigeria Never Gained

Naswem (Undated) reiterated Titus Terver Mamadu’s view that Nigeria would have been the best country in Africa and one of the best in the world if not that corruption was institutionalized and most of the leaders never saw anything wrong in it. According to him, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida was the worst head of state Nigeria ever had because of so many atrocities and impunity he committed during his era of dictatorship. Naswem further stated that apart from the so many lives lost during Babangida’s administration, there was a great damage done on the economy whose effects have been felt till date. In 1986, the despot introduced the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), as the Panacea for Nigeria’s economic problems. But it was clear, after only a few months, that Babangida’s administration lacked the strict financial discipline that economic revivalist programs like SAP entailed. Of him declared “In what could have been a historic transition from military to civilian rule in Nigeria, General Ibrahim  Babangida, who ruled the country for nearly a decade in the 1980s, organized the best-run presidential elections ever conducted in the nation’s history, only to prevent the 1994 scheduled installation of that election’s formally quantified winner, MKO Abiola, so as to impose General Sanni Abacha as the head of what turned out to be one of Nigeria’s most repressive, corrupt and sadistic military dictatorships” (Jakumo, 2010).

African Leaders Loot in Complicity with Expatriates
Looters International

Obasanjo destroyed the culture of maintenance and rehabilitation that the Petroleum (Special) Trust Fund was trying to establish and sold all assets belonging to Government. In his civilian administration, he destroyed all the accomplishments of his military era. He is acclaimed to have stolen the highest amount of money; despite his anti-corruption drive. Nigeria Newspaper (2016) claims that CNN reported him as stealing $25 billion from 1999-2007 ($16.4 from power sector alone). His colleagues (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016) in loot are:

  • Ibrahim Babangida –$15 billion from 1985-1993 ($12.4 billion from oil windfall in 1990);
  • Abdulsalam Abubakar –$9 billion from 1998-99;
  • Sani Abacha –$7 billion from 1993-1998;
  • Ahmed Bola Tinubu – estimated at $6 billion and continues to steal from Lagos State treasury since 1999 till date;
  • TY Danjuma – He fraudulently got enriched through oil blocks from the Niger Delta worth $20 million in the 70s after the counter-coup. Those oil blocks worth billions of dollars in today’s value;
  • Sanusi Lamido Sanusi –$1.2 billion as CBN Governor from 2008-2014.
  • Bukola Saraki – Through his father, Olusola Saraki, their bank, Societe Generale and as a governor of Kwara State (2003-20111) he stole $1.1 billion;
  • Nasir El Rufai – As FCT minister he seized landed properties that belonged to Nigerians and resold them with huge It’s estimated that he stole $1 billion from 2003-2007;
  • Tunde Fashola –poster boy of Tinubu. built his personal website for N78 million, drilled boreholes for over N100 million each and built a kilometer road for N1 billion. He stole $900 million from 2007-2015. He is now a minister to continue the looting;
  • Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi – From 2007 to 2015, he stole $700 million and $150 million which adequately aided him to effectively sponsor Buhari and APC;
  • Atiku Abubakar – claimed that “he was always at the right place at the right time.” Atiku is an astute businessman, but through shady deals, he stole $500 million from 1999-200;
  • James Ibori – He stole $150 million from 1999-2007 as governor of Delta State. He’s serving his term for money laundering in the UK;
  • Amina Mohammed – This woman was the founder of Afri-Project Consortium (APC) that was in charge of all PTF Projects during Abacha’s regime. About $125 million was stolen from PTF accounts from 1994-1998. Buhari has just nominated the same woman as a minister to continue to stealing;
  • DSP Alamieyeseigha – He stole $120 million and was arrested for money laundering. He pleaded guilty and long served his term;
  • Sule Lamido – He stole $110 million between 2007-2015 and from that amount, $50 million was found in his sons’ bank accounts. He was arrested and detained for days together with his sons;
  • Rabiu Kwankwaso – He stole $100 million as a governor of Kano State. EFCC has arrested many of his aides and they are “singing” how they siphoned the money.


I remember also, that women used to be appointed or elected as treasurers at Community Development Associations, etc. because they were adjudged to be honest. Let’s check the list below if they can still be trusted:

  • Diezani Alison-Madueke: Her name has become the synonym with the embezzlement scandals and embezzling cosmic sum of $20 billion On Shady Oil Deal and stealing at least $25 million from Indian businessmen in a shady oil deal (Har, 2015);
  • Stella Oduah, the former Nigerian Minister of Aviation in the administration of Goodluck Jonathan, was involved in the corruption scandal of buying two bulletproof BMW cars at an allegedly inflated rate of N255 million. However, Justice Mohammed Yunusa restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) from arresting the former minister of aviation on September 3 (Har, 2015);
  • Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala was accused of stealing $1 billion while serving as finance minister in Jonathan’s administration (Har, 2015);
  • Toyin Saraki, the wife of the Senate president and former governor of Kwara state, Bukola Saraki, was invited this summer by the EFCC to explain the strange inflow of funds into companies where she had interests when her husband was the governor of Kwara state. Reacting to the commission’s invitation, Toyin Saraki said she will honor the invitation (Har, 2015);
  • Marilyn Ogar, a former Department of State Security spokesperson, was also accused of collecting bribes shortly before the governorship elections in Osun state from the Petroleum Products Marketing (Har, 2015);
  • Zainab Dakingari, the daughter of former president Umaru Yar’ Adua and the wife of former Kebbi state ex-governor Saidu Dakingari, was accused by the EFCC of a fraud worth N2 billion perpetrated during her husband’s tenure as governor of the state (Har, 2015);
  • Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello, the daughter of Nigerian ex-president Olusegun Obasanjo, was embroiled in a money laundering scandal worth N300 million. In 2008, the EFCC charged her to court, but she urged the court to dismiss the charges on the grounds that the money allegedly given to her by the ministry of health had been spent for a bribe given to the members of the Senate Committee on Health (Har, 2015);
  • Patricia Olubunmi Etteh, the first female Speaker of the Nigerian House of representatives from June till October 2007 was involved in N628 Million Naira Money Laundering (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016);
  • Cecilia Ibru, Former managing director of Oceanic Bank International. Cecilia Ibru is said to be involved in one of the biggest female corruption scandals in the history of Nigeria. Multi-billion Money Laundering Scandal (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016); and
  • Ndidi Okereke-Onyiuke, Former Director-General of the Nigerian Stock Exchange. was accused of misappropriation of funds and carried out fraudulent transactions which includes the purchase of N186 million worth of wristwatches without proper accounts and a yacht for N39 million Under her leadership, there was the misappropriation of funds of over N1.5 billion which almost led to the crash of the Nigerian Stock Exchange market in 2009 (Nigeria Newspaper, 2016). It has also been established that her claim to have earned a Ph.D. in business from the City University of New York (CUNY) in 1983 and to have worked for years at the New York Stock Exchange (the world’s largest stock exchange) before returning to Nigeria in 1983 are fake (Kperogi, 2011).

The “Upcoming” Youth

It is very difficult to sympathize with today’s youth across Nigeria. If our grandfathers and fathers did not steal but put in place good legacy for us and our own illiterate parents sent us to good schools with good moral teaching yet we indulge in looting our treasuries, what will become of our children whose parents would not allow their being scolded or rebuked by their teachers because “we know the pain of childbirth”. I dared not let my parents know that I was flogged in school; that was earning another flogging from my father and nagging from my mother; my mother would top the nagging up with nail and biting when you were about to sleep yet crying and telling the story of why she did not go to school.

The pain of childbirth was worse in their time due to limited medical facilities, personnel and care; yet they were obedient to the Holy Bible instruction “He that spareth his rod hateth his son: but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes” (Prov 13:24) and the Yoruba adage which says “Oju meji l’ o n bi’mǫ, Igba oju l’ o nwoo”

Now that we have destroyed the economy, the infrastructures, the governance, and worse still the youth, who would come in to rehabilitate them? The children:

  1. Whose teachers cannot correct and the parents are not available to train but put under the care of untutored house helps?
  2. For who we employ mercenaries to write their WAEC examinations through special centers?
  • Who we allocate funds to for gratifying the palms of their lecturers for appropriate grades and passes?
  1. Who rape our house helps and we severely punish the house helps for sleeping carelessly?
  2. Who get impregnated by our house boys and we take them out for abortion; after dismissing the houseboys?
  3. Who we send abroad to study only to come back as drug addicts, terrorists and hooligans?
  • Who don’t know how to write application letters but we seek juicy appointments for?

The price we’ll pay is that scarcely shall we close our eyes in that final sleep when they would start wars against one another; if we close our eyes before they start.


Hart, B. (2015). 7 Women Embroiled In Huge Corruption Scandals In Nigeria. Accessed 14 Nov 2016.

Jakumo( (2010). The Evil Genius of Minna Mountain.  Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Kperogi, F. A. (2011). Ndi Okereke-Onyiuke;s Fake Doctorate and Professorship. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Naswem, T (Undated). How Ibrahim Babangida Promoted Corruption And Stagnated Nigeria’s Economic Growth and Development. ABUSIDIQU.

Nigeria Newspaper(2016).  CNN Releases List Of 20 Most Corrupt Nigerian Politicians; Obasanjo Tops List, Others Will Shock You.  Nigeria Newspaper On June 03, 2016 Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Nwaeze, A. (2016). Top 5 Notable Nigerian Women Whose Corruption Scandals Went Viral – Naija news. Accessed 14 Nov 2016

Osuntokun, A (2014). For Every Dangiwa Umar; There is Ango Abdulahi: DIALOGUE WITH NIGERIA 07 Feb 2014 Email:

Sahara Reporters (2007). Saharareporters discovers trails of OBJ/Uba loot. Jun 24, 2007. Accessed 20 Nov 2016.




JB Fagoyinbo

“Oju bǫrǫ kǫ ni a fi ngb’ǫmǫ l’ǫwǫ ekurǫ” The palm kernel cannot be extracted from its nut with ease.

In discussion, this usually flows well as “Oju bǫrǫ kǫ l’ a fi ngb’ǫmǫ l’ǫwǫ ekurǫ”. We need palm-kernel-extractionstrong determination to be able to extract the palm kernel from the nut. Generally the nut is very hard and requires great effort to crack it open in order to remove the kernel. How did the Yoruba develop this proverb? And why apply it to difficult situations?

The African oil palm Elaeis guineensis is indigenous to Africa and yields kernels that take a good proportion of its mass. Its kernel yields kernel oil which has a strong dark brown color with a strong taste, but it is rarely used outside West Africa. It is high in saturated fats, esterified with glycerol (Imoisi et al, 2015) and is more saturated than palm oil. It does not contain cholesterol or trans-fatty acids and it is rich in antioxidants. Many people have discovered that the active substance may have the ability to reverse blockage of the carotid artery and platelet aggregation thereby reducing the risk of life-threatening diseases. It is used to manage convulsion in children, can be used to reduce the effect of epilepsy attack, it can contain arteriosclerosis and other heart disease problems and helps in managing stroke and slowpoke tumor progression.

Characteristics of Yoruba Proverbs

Most Yoruba proverbs have been able to withstand the test of time because the proverbs developed from a deep understanding of the circumstances that generated them. Let’s take, for instance, the case of a recalcitrant child to test our proverb. Such a child is not born recalcitrant but had acquired such characteristic due to environmental circumstances which .may bother on parenthood or comperes.

Unbruised Collection of Palm Kernel
Unbruised Collection of Palm Kernel

Parents would like their children to grow up to be civilized, cultured, feel comfortable doing what they are supposed to do and follow the rules most of the time without questioning the rules; which would manifest in treating other children and adults with respect, speaking politely to other people, having self-confidence and high self-esteem and commitment to and persistence in hard work.

No parents want their children to grow up to be the sort of people who act like robots: doing all they are told unquestioningly. They want them to be logical in their thinking and actions; children should not be so intimidated by parents that they will not or cannot argue their cases.

In much the same way as the palm fruit is attractive to animals so is the protection offered by


nature to ensure that it matures. Generally, children start off with a desire to please their parents. But there are also negative forces demanding the attention of a child at any stage of growth; these manifest in undesirable behaviors.

Parents have to determine which of their children’s undesirable behaviors are really important enough to discourage and which other misbehaviors are trivial.

Parents want to protect their children and mold their behavior into what seems to them to be proper (Peters, 2012). In the same way, as unbruised kernels attract buyers at a good price, so parents wish their offspring to be unpolluted by the environment.

Parent-Child Conflict

There is one continuing dispute that defines the relationship between children of every age and their parents. In young children, conflict often develops when parents are indistinct about what they really want. These conflicts, then, do not come from a test of will, but from a failure of communication (Peters, 2012).

But, unlike the palm fruit, children always want to assert themselves in their own ways. They wish to be independent; to the extent their age and circumstances permit. To grow up successfully, they have to become independent of their parents; implying that they have to develop their own values and attitudes about religion, sexuality, profession,  politics and whatever else they think is integral to their personality. Intrinsic in those contrasting wishes is a conflict to a greater or lesser extent; depending on just what the wishes of the growing child are and on how insistent the parents are. Such conflict cannot be completely eliminated.


Two things we should know that nature carries out in respect of the kernel; nurturing and protection. As nature nurtures the kernel to maturity so does it offer protection. Every part of the plant takes part in the nurturing process. Irrespective of the height, protection is offered by

Thorny Midrib Protection
Thorny Midrib

the thorns on the leaf base, the spikes on the bunch, the acidic content of the unripe seed pulp and the thick shekel that is very hard. Notwithstanding, animals like squirrels, snakes, ants, birds, bats, etc. still have access to the nuts but few have access to the kernels. Overprotection can sometimes inhibit situations to proper development. In the case of the palm, nature has allowed such fertilizing agents as bees, butterflies, ants and other small animals to have access to its inflorescence.

Although young children seem to misbehave a lot, There is need to recognize that they are simply learning how to get their desires met. It is the parents’ responsibility to help them acquire positive values. Children who learn acceptable techniques grow up to become responsible adults who act from a strong moral conscience which revolves around predicting and evaluating the consequences of actions.

In the same vein, children are to be nurtured and protected. In Yoruba communities, nurturing goes beyond the provision of food, it includes character formation. It was the responsibility of the whole community; this gives rise to “Oju meji l’ o n bi’mǫ, Igba oju l’ o nwoo”.

Yoruba tradition stresses that the parents are the first teachers of their children, instructing them in the ‘proper way of relating to their elders and people of the same age group. In the communal atmosphere of the traditional family, parents of children who behave in approved ways are approved as successful; parents whose children misbehave are shamed and advised to put their houses in order.

When parents fortify their children, provision should be made for access by agents that will positively affect the children. Teachers are the qualified and certified agents that can effectively carry this out.

Recalcitrant Children

In the Yoruba traditional system, flogging is an acceptable way of correcting children when they are wrong. However, modern child-upbringing deemphasizes flogging; but generally to the detriment of moral values. Most parents are not sufficiently knowledgeable in the act of child-upbringing. In fact, most leave the children in the care of house-helps yet admonishing teachers, who are learned in psychology, when their wards are disciplined.

The traditional Yoruba adage states “Ile l’a ti n k’ękǫ r’ode” meaning that the origin of knowledge is the family.

I tend to agree with families in de-emphasizing flogging but not complete eradication. I taught in two primary schools over a period of three years and nine months and had occasion to apply the cane only thrice; two boys and one girl in the first instance in the first school and one girl in the second instance. In my second school five of my pupils did not come to school with materials for handcraft. The girl in the second instance was getting uncontrollable because she was the pet of her influential grandmother. The first of the boys was an apprentice Babalawo (Ifa priest).

He was part of a group that refused to carry out an instruction vital to their learning. I was not informed of his status because they never believed I would apply the cane; even if I was aware I might not have relented because I was unaware of that tradition; except if I had been informed much earlier. I was brought up in the city. Unfortunately for him, when I decided to apply the cane on them he boasted that nobody could flog him. While the others got light beatings on their palms he got two hot ones on his buttocks. I had nightmares but nothing untoward happened to me. He lost his apprenticeship because of it. I got aware only eleven years after; when one of his classmates told me the full story. Not because of the beating but for acting irresponsibly to earn a public flogging.

My Headmasters were wary of my rare-flogging method but discovered that my pupils responded more positively to learning and were better cultured that the other arm of the classes. I met my little girl twelve years after and she was appreciative of the fact that what I did made her grandmother to realize that she was being over-pampered; her aunt, who happened to be her mother’s elder sister, harped on it to make the grandmother stop the over-pampering influence on her.


Parents should refrain from accosting teachers when their wards are disciplined. It is a negation of God’s laws and counter-productive on the children. Teachers’ rebukes, reprimands and corrective measures are reinforcements against social and environmental hazards of life. Once these protective measures are removed, the child becomes vulnerable and cares less about authorities, rules and regulations. School administrative rules and regulations have put sufficient checks and balances in place for the protection of children.


Imoisi, O. B; G. E. Ilori; I. Agho; J. O. Ekhator (2015).  Palm oil, its nutritional and health implications (Review).  J. Appl. Sci. Environ. Manage. March, 2015, Vol 19(1) 127-133

Peters, S. C. (2012). Helping a Recalcitrant Child. Accessed 07 Nov 2016. .


The Beauty and Functionality of Proverbs

Meeting with Community Head
Meeting with Community Head
A Community Development Consultative Meeting

A proverb is a generalized statement popularly known and repeated and which expresses a truth based on common sense or experience. When it describes a basic rule of conduct it is known as a maxim. Proverbs transcend languages within similar climes, vegetation and cultural practices. As languages interact, proverbs are spread from one language to another; usually with slight adaptations. The English language, for example, is rich in proverbs because of its interaction through colonization with other languages.

A proverb is a short, generally known sentence of a language which contains a combination of wisdom, truth, morals, and traditional views in a metaphorical, fixed, and philosophical form and which has transcended many generations.

The Yoruba and the Igbo languages in Africa are rich in proverbs and their proverbs have very deep meanings. It is very easy, if you understand these languages, to identify which proverbs are original to them.

A Horse Eases Movement
A proverb is the horse with which we search for notions (Jean, 2010)

Let’s examine one Yoruba proverb that brings out its (proverb’s) function. “Owe l’ ęșin ǫrǫ. Ti ǫrǫ ba sǫnu, owe l’ a fi nwaa” A proverb is the horse with which we search for notions. Ęșin, horse, is an indigenous word, whereas horses cannot be said to be indigenous to Yoruba territories because of the presence of tsetse flies. However, the horse is likely to have come with the Yoruba when they immigrated to the South-western region of Nigeria and probably could not survive for that same reason.

Ǫrǫ can be literally translated as word but in this proverb, it goes beyond the literal translation; it is an idea or a presentation of wisdom that is based on the experience within the large community and which is found applicable to the situation at hand. It is an effective means of dissenting from a view or giving advice in a way that may be less offensive; because they are indirect.

Let’s look at this proverb “Ile l’ a ti nko ęșǫ r’ode” impacts on a child that it is the moral virtue impacted on a child in its background (family) that reflects its performance in the community. Lord John Russell’s (c. 1850) definition as “A proverb is the wit of one, and the wisdom of many” can be seen as its function; not its meaning. There is a complement to this proverb which says “Oju meji l’ o n bi’mǫ, Igba oju l’ o nwoo” which implies that the community has a role to play in the upbringing of the child.

Two People Give Birth, Community Trains
Two People Give Birth, Community Trains

Proverbs are used in conversation by adults more than children because adults have more experience in the use of words. Among the Yoruba, it is considered rude for a young person to use proverb without due reference to adults present, however, when an adult belittles himself the youth may apply proverb that will make him amend his uncomely deed. Proper application of proverbs is a skill that is developed over the years. Additionally, children have not mastered the patterns of metaphorical expression that are invoked in proverb use. Studying actual proverb use in conversation, however, is difficult since the researcher must wait for proverbs to happen.


Laboratory Practice


ADESIYAN, Funmilayo Aderonke

The oxidation of malachite green (a triphenylmethane dye) was studied in aqueous solutions of two cationic surfactants, hexadecyltrimethylammonium bromide (HDTAB), hexadecylpyridinium bromide (HDPB) with the view of investigating the effects of surfactant head group modification on the kinetic parameters of the reaction.

The Laboratory Practicereaction was studied by measuring the decrease in absorbance of the dye as a function of time at the wavelength of maximum absorption (λmax), 617nm at 25°C using an Ultra-violet- Visible (UV-VIS) spectrophotometer. Kinetic parameters such as maximum rate constant in the micellar phase, km and the substrate (dye) binding constant, 1/KD, were obtained by fitting the pseudo-first order rate constant versus surfactant concentration curve to the Piszkiewicz model. The catalytic factors km/kw (the ratio of the maximum rate constant in micellar medium to that in the pure water) of 12 and 22 were obtained for HDTAB and HDPB respectively.

The pseudo-first order rate constant variation with surfactant concentration shows a sigmoid-shaped curve, which is analogous to the positive cooperativity in enzymatic reactions. It was observed that the maximum reaction rate constant, km and the binding constant, 1/KD were higher in the presence of HDPB than in HDTAB. These observations could be attributed to the difference in the head-group of the two surfactants.

The study concluded that the difference in surfactant head group played a significant role in the catalytic behaviour of the two surfactants used.

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by JB Fagoyinbo

Leadership and Legacy

Elders are expected to channel the knowledge and experiences gathered over the years for the development of their communities. Prof Ango has the opportunity to establish an organization that will henceforth promote and support gainful employment of the youth in rural development through profitable agriculture and agribusiness; thereby his hiccups would be forgotten.

Most importantly Prof Ango will do a lot of good to the country called Nigeria if he can set up an organization that assists Nigeria in making agriculture and rural life attractive to the youth. Then, he would have immortalized his name. Ford immortalized his name through his humanitarian efforts, Ahmadu Bello had a commitment to education, Islamisation by peaceful means, and fairness to all around him. Awolowo committed himself to education, community development, industrialization and healthcare delivery. You still have time to set up a foundation that will better the lives of the youth; it is not late. Onassis set up his own in honor of his late son after his own death.

Nobody says Nigeria should not break; but it is not to be sung by those who held positions that should have influenced the direction of activities when Nigeria used the blood of the indigenes of the Southwest, the Mid West and the Middle Belt to hold Nigeria together.

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Read more: Leadership and Legacy


Nigeria's nation builders


The Builders of the Nigeria Nation


Okonkwo (2013) declared “there are elders and there are elders. Prof. Ango Abdullahi is not an elder. A real elder does not pursue a rat while his house is on fire”. This is a true saying but there is a need to exercise caution when addressing elders. Elders are human and can make errors particularly when they do not take the time to hear the views of the young ones before making comments: this, however, should not be used as an excuse to insult elders.

There is a need to recognize that while an accusing finger is directed to others, at least three others point to the owner; the fifth, specifically the thumb, informs you that there are others who have committed worse errors. Sentiments and religious prejudice cannot be completely removed from politics but should not be allowed to jeopardize the peace and solidarity of a nation. On the strength of population, the Hausa-Fulani ethnic group had made it clear that there is a ‘core North’ and the ordinary North. The ordinary North and other none-core North (non-Muslims, Southerners and non-Hausa-Fulani) are the ones being attacked by the Boko Haram sect, and the ones whose farms are being ravaged and citizen are being killed by the Fulani herdsmen. They are also the ones who are abandoned in times of pain as declared by Alhaji Bulama Mali Gubio but sought after in times of needs for votes (Olugbode, 2013).

Many of the Boko Haram boys are major of the Hausa-Fulani stock from Nigeria, Mali, Sudan and Niger Republic. However, there are millions of Hausa-Fulani men and women who are highly responsible and sympathetic towards the other ethnic and religious groups in this time of crisis.

Read More: the-source-of-nigeria

High Rate of Unemployment in the Midst of Unfilled Vacancies!

By J. B. Fagoyinbo

Dedication is Essential to Skill Acquisition
Dedication is Essential to Skill Acquisition

Paradox! You’ll say. But it’s true.

Get to most ICT concerns and you’ll experience what I mean. Unfilled vacancies! I know of a young man who suspended his study for a full year because he had a project to attend to and spent another year trying to get skilled support to handle the project to enable him to go back to complete his studies.

Very many engineering-based industries are lacking in staff simply because the ones looking for the jobs are not skilled.

Why this problem?

Many students don’t want to learn anymore; they spend their times in cultism, partying and courting. They think it is unnecessary to waste their times studying.

As an external examiner to a polytechnic, I discovered two students carrying out analytical projects had no data in their reports. I wondered why they were presented for assessment. I insisted that they should, at least, obtain relevant data before any concession could be made. Four weeks later one of them came to my place of work offering me gifts to clear him. I was able to clear him away from pestering me only when I conceded with an outrageous price “Everybody has a price. My price is non-negotiable as a leak can get me out of my job. Your offer must get me a 3-bedroom to taste and a Toyota Camry.”

Some fifteen years later I met his colleague, a lady, who appreciated what I did. “Oga, that suspension of my graduation made me recognize the need for data in project handling. I became more effective in assignments given to me.”

Engineering studies provide a high level of exposure through laboratories, workshop practice and industrial training scheme.  A student has to yield to learning through these media to acquire the necessary skills that’ll enable him to succeed in getting employed.

Best of luck.