Things are so bad many have come to conclude it would have been better Nigeria never existed. Archbishop Anthony Okogie is not of this school, but he is as close to it as can be. We have never heard or read the apostle of God in such doleful tunes. And if one considered that a Holy Father’s great commission is to sell hope, then the depth of his despair become alarming. In his words:
‘’Nigeria has broken down and is not working. She was not well set up by British colonialists. She was further incapacitated by a succession of unprincipled politicians and lawless soldiers. That is why we are not safe. That is why we need to go back to the drawing board. We cannot validly claim that we are a nation.’’ Do we have a nation? Anthony Okogie, The Guardian 05-05-17
What the pontiff is saying in other words is that all the grand theatres by our frenetic dictators: Generals Gowon, Mohammed, Obasanjo, Buhari, Babangida, Abacha, Abdulsalami that they were building a country called Nigeria were all theatre, pure farce. And to found a solution the father continues: ‘’We need a new constitution establishing a new political arrangement, and this new political arrangement must serve the people, not the politicians at the expense of the people.’’
This is where the twist comes to the tale. A new constitution? Yes, but the devil is in the details. First of all, let’s shock the nation with a raw and if you liked a counterintuitive truth. The present Nigerian constitution which many Nigerians claim is an American-style constitution, has nothing, repeat, nothing American in it. To repeat the present Nigerian constitution is completely un-American, perhaps even anti-American in spirit, in conceptualization and in taxonomy.
And we are not coming to this conclusion now. We have consistently, and been the first to have written and canvassed it for years. And almost like the prophet lost in the wilderness we had gone doleful. And why? It is because all the while we wrote, we addressed a nation that appeared hard of hearing. To the few who gave ears it sounded perhaps too much of an academic phantasy. But we wept every time we saw Nigerian senior journalists or lawyers who should have known better, speak of Nigeria’s American style constitution. In fact, we had started collected samples of this style gregarious misattributions for a possible book on the matter.
However, something happened. Now there is a fine columnist at The Nation. He writes under a penname Tatalo Alamu. Naturally his is one of the pack of columns we read. We are reliably told the author is a professor. But that is not the point. The main point is that he writes with insight and readably. And on a particular Sunday we almost cried for joy to read the following from him:
In fairness to President Mohammadu Buhari, although he combines steely aloofness with the remote and forbidding hauteur of a typical Ottoman emperor, he is not the originator of the Ottoman presidency. He has merely seized its awesome potentials with the same disciplinarian frugality and military fierceness of his first coming…. Hence, the formal consecration of the Ottoman presidency in the 1976 constitution as engineered and remotely controlled by the administration of General Obasanjo. Ottoman presidency in Nigeria. Tatalo Alamu. 30-04-17 The Nation.
These are of course echoes or parallelisms of the counterintuitive positions we are the first to have stated severally, both in The Turf Game essays, and in our books. For easy of reference let us take samples from our books:
“Let us take Professor Nwabueze for instance. As he has reiterated, he had a hand in creating the basis-constitution that finally morphed or was metastasized into the present decree/forged constitution we run…. The presidential system that Nwabueze and company laid the foundation of is actually a form of Arabic despotism. That despotism ensures that no modern Arab country runs a democracy or is even developed or developable, and more importantly it has nothing, repeat nothing, in common, at least in its organic and internal designs, with America or the American presidential system.’’ From Why and How the Yoruba Fought and Lost the Biafra – Nigeria Civil War, published 2016.
And earlier in 2015 in our Economists as Assassins: The Nigerian Connection we stated:
‘’The tragedy is that we don’t even know or have awakened to what the ‘’Dearth’’ World influence we are under. The influence of the ‘’Dearth World’’ and their ways upon us are deep and all pervasive, yet it is unspotted…. Let us give one example. The Abdusalam Abubakar Constitution is a ‘’Dearth World’’ model-inspired constitution. It is based on the platform that a man, once he gets to power, whether it is by thuggery or what not, becomes beatified, an all-wise potentate. From Economists as Assassins: The Nigerian Connection. 2015.
And the ‘’Dearth World’’ we defined as Arabic/Islamic world. Of course the difference between Ottoman and Arab despotism is as sharp as that between six and half a dozen. Now the issue is not whether Tatalo took his inspiration from us or arrived at the statements by himself independent of us. What is important is that a significant voice has seen all we are saying: that this constitution is not what it is sold as. We asked for monkey and they sold us a baboon.
Whose fault is that? I blame the scholars and wise men who were bribed to author the so called American constitution. Bribed? Yes, they were bribed. The fact of it is that they were bribed with the option of participating in history via a lowered fence. To conclude there is nothing they wrote in that basis constitution that is or resembles the American constitution. What they have done apparently is to have classified the lizard and the crocodile as one genus, that is near evolutionary near relatives. The matter is not simple enough to be treated fully in a newspaper column. Interested readers may ask for any of our titles where the subject matter was treated with details. We however promise to return to the matter in a new book. In summary, the savior that will restore Nigeria is not the leader. We need scholars who write what they know and know what the write. The era of selling baboon for monkeys is finished and so are these scholars.
Madam Janet Akunwa Anunobi goes to eternal rest
Death the grim reaper has struck the illustrious family of the Anunobis, of Nkwerre, Imo State. Their matriarch Madam Janet Akunwa Anunobi has died. She was aged 96.
Madam Janet was born into the distinguished family of Okafor Duruchukwu of Umunnakwe Okohia Isiekenesi, in Ideato Local Government Area, Imo State. A young and conscientious daughter, she grew to blossom into the village rose of her day. And it was not too long that a dashing young man, Anunobi Uduku, from Onusa Nkwerre, sought her hand in marriage.
And like most Nkwerre people of his age, Anunobi Uduku was a merchant. And as he took his beloved new wife, they entered into the venture of commercial trading. Their entrepreneurial sojourn saw them becoming big time tobacco traders. Their station was the then emergent commercial hub of Umunede, in today’s Delta State. It was from Umunede that they serviced a ring of customers that permeated and stretched beyond the state. And they remained at Umunede, hugely successful at their trade, till they retired to Nkwerre in grace, full of years and achievement.
However, as the saying goes, our greatest wealth is in our legacies, in our children and in our philanthropies. So it was indicated that despite the calls of business, Daa Jenny as she was lovingly called, made sure her children were all beneficiaries of excellent education, high moral training and a sense of disciplined purpose in life. And to her larger society, both at the community and religious ends she gave her dedication and unparalleled services. As a community leader she was for the propagation of universal and all-inclusive peace. She belonged to many associations including Saint Thomas Catholic Church Nkwerre, of which she served meritoriously as Treasurer, a testimony to her impeccable sense of integrity.
Left to mourn her are her surviving children Nze Mark Anunobi, Lolo Caroline Egbuchu, Mrs Patricia Ohagwa, Nze Adiele Anunobi and Adanma Akpabio, many step children, in-laws, grandchildren, and other near relatives. And the several successes of these men and women are a testimony that God will reward the righteous. Daa Jenny was a hardworking and God-fearing mum and her fruits bear abundance testimony to God’s blessing on her and her family.
We join the larger Anunobi and Okafor families in mourning this irreparable loss. And we especially console Dr. and Mrs. IG and Ada Akpabio and pray God grants them the strength in an hour like this. Madam Janet Akunwa Anunobi will be buried on 12th of May 9, 2017 at the Anunobi’s family home, Onusa Nkwerre, Nkwerre Local Government Area, Imo State.
•Ego-Alowes is the author of 8 books including the classics: 1. Minorities as Competitive Overlords. 2. Corruption in Africa: Resolution Through New Diagnosis. 3. Economists as Assassins: The Nigerian Connection. 4. Why and How the Yoruba Fought and Lost the Biafra Nigeria Civil War.