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November 29, 2005

Obasanjo's War on Corruption: Casualties Galore!

by Mike Ozulumba, Esq. (Boston, Massachussettes) --- As Nigerians are treated yet to another case of Executive corruption convulsion in the recent case with the Executive Governor f Balyelsa State, it has become obvious that no amount of low or allegation can ever compel our public leaders to take an honorable step and resign from their office.

We are witnessing the power tussle between the President and his Vice President. We witnessed the struggle between the President and the Government of Joshua Dariye and Plateau State. We witnessed the charade between the Governor of Anambra State and the President. Now Queen (Gov.) DSP Alams has jolted us with a higher dose of power intoxication.

As President Obasanjo’s so called war on corruption rages on, I find myself applauding his guts and at the same time suspicious of his style in prosecuting this war on corruption. For long a time in Nigeria’s existence as an Independent nation, it appears that corruption has continued to out pace any other indicia of development and underdevelopment of our nation. As we attempt in token times to curtail corruption, we have yet to sensibly apply the technological know how required to truly check this serious badge of shame. Nigeria is currently ranked 6 in the worst corrupt country in the world by Transparency International. This record you might not believe is an improvement from where we were a few years ago. Corruption breeds a whole lot of other social issues including crime, health care, jobs etc. The staggering amount of money lost through corruption is mind boggling. Could the people of Bayelsa state imagine what the state could benefit had the present amount of over 300 million Pounds lost as forfeiture in assets and bail by their embattled Governor in far away London been used to improve their lives?

Corruption is endemic in High places of our public leadership ladder. The leadership has every opportunity since 1999 to implement serious reorganization of our Judiciary. The courts are in a mess. The judges are poorly paid and staffed. The system that would ensure swift justice is in shambles. The police become the initiator and terminator of justice in most cases. Nigeria is riddled with crime as our leaders look for convoy and security protection to pass through the neighborhoods they were selected to govern. The Nigeria Police was rocked with a high scandal by the IGP that recently resulted in a plea bargain with a paltry 6 months sentence. Yea, good enough, but watch the ex IGP soon and see how as he boasted “he would bounce back.”

The recent case in Bayelsa state has parallels to the Anambra State saga a year ago. The Queen himself recently alleged that the President is on a crusade for ethnic hunting against his Ijaw people and compared his dilemma to Anambra crises a year ago. Nothing could be farther from the truth Queen! Gov. Ngige is heads and shoulders above you on good governance and accountability, but you both equal the same malaise of attempting to cling on to power by hook or crook. In that regard, you have a point. The Gov. seems not to care about the magnanimity of his alleged offences. Comparing his assets declaration in 1999 and 2003, he seemed a modest man on paper. The allegations that has placed him in ownership of companies and bank accounts running into multi millions from California to Maryland USA, through South Africa and Britain are staggering. He has posited the same mega physical frame in a short stance in public office as the inglorious ex IG Tafa Balogun who derived joy from extortion and out right stealing of police funds. Queen Alams best advice is to simply do Nigerians a favor and resign honorably from the office. You have woefully failed to use the resources allocated to your State to develop your region. I support resource control but when you need more control of resources to better your personal pockets, even Bayelsans could agree that you have let us down as a Governor.

The President shall not relent in pursuing these greedy leaders and hopefully by this wobbling effort, spare our people from the continued hemorrhaging of state funds by the criminals who parade themselves as state executives. The rot is not confined to State Executives. The President’s private friends have shown clear signs of wallowing in ill gotten wealth. The President’s personal friend, Chief Anthony Anenih, a former Works Minister, is alleged to have owned millions of Pounds worth of Property in London managed by his eldest son. The present condition of Roads in Nigeria is pathetic while over 3 Billion Naira was budgeted and supposedly spent while Chief Anenih held sway as Obasanjo’s Minister. Another close friend of the President, Otunba Fasawe was recently arrested by EFCC in connection with embezzlement of over N2.6 billion bank loan while hiding under his close ties with the President.

Nigeria is in a struggle for survival from internal rot. When or why would it seem difficult for the President to understand the true solution to most of our problems. The President should spend a little money to retrench, retrain and decentralize Nigeria Police. The regional based outfits would still be under the Presidents command, but the Police departments should be answerable to the Minister for Internal Affairs (not police affairs). The regional police should spot distinct uniforms and competition should usher higher excellence. The Government should order modern fingerprinting equipments and build state of the art crime labs to collect and collate database on any arrests within the region.

You will be shocked to see how most crimes bear the fingerprint of known suspects! As a start, all arrests made in Nigeria both at local offices of Police and urban centers , the suspects must be finger printed and the prints forwarded to the crime labs for analysis and storage. We have present technology to transfer the data to off shore or other storage facilities including back up zip drives that would provide safety should the central Server be compromised in any way. As a further start, all police officers must be fingerprinted. You will be amazed to notice correlation in prints of known officers even in crime scenes they ought to be preventing. All criminals started with common offenses. Assault, shop lifting, car theft, breaking and entering etc would easily be solved as suspects would know that their prints are already in the system. I have taken only a light time to enunciate on this solution.

I have spoken to so many policemen in Nigeria. Their morale is so low, that you wonder what they are doing in the Force. They claim that they were poorly paid (N10,000) per month for a Constable. No communication gadget. No road worthy vehicles to use. No money to repair and fuel the vehicles. They resort to their own checkpoint barricades to extort money from road users, while heavily distracted from the crime prevention they were employed to serve. They hate politicians but see the job as a simple way to make ends meet. They are very rude and un professional. The Government claims to have lavished the Force with much more equipment and increased pay and personnel since the inception of this administration. The result is woeful. Recently the IGP Sunday Ehindero requested for Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) for use by the Police to combat armed robbers whom he claims now own and use more sophisticated guns than the police! Terrible indeed! He put the requested price tag for these palliatives at N3 billion. No matter the amount of money spent on your Force, the result would not significantly change.

The President should continue to work hard to sanitize our corrupt public officials. The war should always be devoid of selective prosecution. It should be steady and assured. Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC has done a creditable job. How long this war would last is as dicy as whether the President’s present alleged romance with elongating his term to another unconstitutional third term. As in Nigeria, anything is Possible!

Posted by Administrator at 07:35 AM | Comments (0)

Why the Paris Club Relishes the Pound of African Flesh

by Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa --- One may wonder about the benefit of 12 billion dollars to developed countries from an African Continent that is well endowed but rife with famine, poverty, corruption, lacking the basic structural necessities to provide a fraction of comfortable life others enjoy and take for granted.

It is not by accident that minority of world population consumes majority of world resources. The more the rich have, the more they want. If it does not come from the working poor or exploited natural resources in care of naive natives, where else is it going to come from? It is the law of international trickle down economics.

Where else can Paris Club make so much fast money by creative financing if not from poor staving African Country as Nigeria? How many hard working people will part with a hundred, a thousand, a million or a billion naira or dollars without a fight, except Nigeria or a Nigerian? Yet Nigeria still stands. It is actually a toss up between Paris Club and Kleptomaniacs. Most Nigerians just figure that if we do not pay now, it would just create opportunistic billionaires later. Moreover, how much say do they have? As much as they had during structural adjustment period – an academic diarrhea in futility. Just think about how much money Africans walk away from without a fight.

Dariye walked away and Alamieyeseigha walked away without putting up a vigorous defense, forfeiting millions in bail bonds while thumbing their noses at the British law as an ass. Other innocent respectable Nigerians, not VIPs (VagabondsIn Power) will pay dearly for it. Even the local law could not catch up with Makanjuola and his millions. Tafa Balogun got six months in jail but wanted a deal to keep the millions that has not been discovered. After all, Abacha’s son got a deal! Other Africans forgot their account numbers or die without passing on their secrete savings in Paris Club Countries. Indeed, we stand a better chance of recuperating some of our money by exposing hypocrisy of Paris Club than from our (Alamcos, A king does no wrong) kleptomaniacs.

How else can one explain the mentality of Abubakar who was a head of State for a few months running to the US for awards in return for establishing largesse in a university in far away Chicago, and buying foreign vacation mansion on a soldier’s salary? Luckily, Nigerians were there to embarrass him and his hosts. Which of the evidence against him made a dent or that against Babagida in Okigbo report? If I was a gambler, it is much easier to go after Paris Club than a Nigerian leader.

I have to congratulate some of those Countries like Canada, Italy, France, etc whose conscience allow them to forgive Nigerian loans as others bury their hearts in their alter egos named Paris Club. In essence, they grabbed black gold without paying, as they had done in the past and would continue to do in the future if we obliged.

The logic lies in “international standard” by which odious debts are paid. It is so “complicated” that only their accomplices who are trained and employed in their doctrine would understand. In Yoruba, we have owo ele. In other cultures, they call it usury, extortion by shylocks. It all boils down to odious debts. Do not be fooled by technicalities in the magnitude of rocket sciences, it is better called suckers, ass kissers, diplomacy or favoritism in the field of politics. Two countries can owe the same amounts and get different terms of repayment or loan forgiveness. What is scientific or technical about it?

The Finance Minister made that point by partly crediting United States Secretary of State, Ms. Condoleeza Rice who was linked to her by another Ms. Kruker of IMF, as she got to a sticky point during negotiation. It took who and who during that lousy negotiation.

If Japan or China decide to cash in their investment in the US today, there will be World recession or war. That is what is called leverage or clout in international market. Our ability to negotiate is not even proportional to that of Saudi Arabia taking their vast supply of oil to the US into consideration. During the oil embargo in the seventies, Nigeria was more important source of oil than Saudi Arabia. It boils down to: if you rub my back, I will rub your back, if you scratch my face, I will scratch your face.

Nigeria has nothing to show for all the money we made on crude oil but to go with calabash in hand asking Paris Club for money we know we were going to pay through our nose. I look at Venezuela and the way they carry their oil clout in the Americas with envy. They offered subsidized oil during Hurricane Katrina and to the poor in Massachusetts. In return, the gain respect, clout and score political points worth billions.

There are two Obasanjo. The one that philosophies during Babagida is OBJ I and the one that rules now is OBJ II. OBJ I recognized that structural adjustment should have had human face and condemned messengers of World Bank. OBJ II actually paid them in foreign currency while in the Nigerian cabinet. The reason for this lies with international acceptance and recognition at the expense of Africa. I do not think it is malicious. It has to do with our complexes. We are too eager to be part of the “civilized world”.

This problem starts with each of us right from primary school. Take the case of a kid who came back home from school asking the parent when they are going to take him on vacation to London. Why? One of his classmates was giving an account in class about how he spent his holidays. In my days, we were proud of excursions to different parts of Nigeria. What do you think they teach in the thousand or million naira or any currency private primary and high schools in Nigeria?

Some of the studies done in the US in the sixties among Black children showed that they prefer white dolls to black dolls. As a result of this study, a variety of beautiful black dolls hit the market, including dolls from many parts of Africa. Some of our leaders are still playing with white dolls, which was all they had or aspired for in their childhood.

We exude this behavior inadvertently. If we rebel against it, we are labeled radicals or extremist for trying to adhere to our culture. I was amused by the alarm raised in Abuja recently about pagan festival on behalf of ninety percent of Nigerians who are either Muslims or Christians. Who baptized us as Christians or Muslims in the first place and gave us names like mine?

I do not think they know that those who baptized us celebrate Halloween and Potato festivals in America. I would not dare ask the Arabs why they beat and mutilate themselves into frenzy during festivals, for the fear of being called culture-phobic.

As I point other fingers at myself, how many of us spoke pure Efik, Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba without English or American slang in Lagos? Two Nigerian parents would apologize that their children could not speak Yoruba in Nigeria! I was disappointed that neither Americans nor the English could understand my impeccable Queen’s English when I got out of Nigeria! I felt insulted when it was suggested I could change my accent by registering for the laboratory as I did for my introductory French. I was saved by my omo Campos Square pride (sakara). But wait, that got me out of Lagos to high school at Ondo. Yes ke. Our hearts were never far from Campos, even when we were living at Ikoyi, my dear Uncle brought us downtown a couple hours most nights. Campos and Ondo became useful anywhere, anytime. That was in the days Campos produced professionals.

So the problem is ingrained in us, that is why we seek international acceptance. Nkrumah wanted to be respected as an African, not loved. In the seventies outside Africa, we were respected as children of Nkrumah that were hard working and educated. Today, we are hardly tolerated, even on holidays, because they know we are economic refugees. It is some of the same refugees that go back home telling wild attractive lies about London, while others work hard to send more money directly to needed sources at home than either the so called foreign aid or loan Africans hardly benefit from.

Corporate Watch, Friends of the Earth, OXFAM, UNICEF and others have been trying to open our eyes to creative financing and economic injustice. Now former Presidents or former Head of States are now spending the rest of their life correcting injustice. What do they know now that they did not know when they were Presidents; could they have changed their system from within or from the outside?

Africans have been warning us even before international non-profit organizations. Out of many were Professor Bade Onimode who warned us about the evil deeds of World Bank and IMF; and Walter Rodney who wrote about how Europe underdeveloped Africa. Awolowo, forget your differences with him for now, warned us only to be dismissed as prophet of doom.

World resources are adequately distributed and Africa has been blessed with ours. But like a million dollar, if everyone has it, by the end of six months to a year, some would have billions and others would be poor based on individual decisions in life. Even religious books told stories of those who refused to use their talent. It was taken and given to those who made use of it.

The simplest way to make my point is by the neighborhood convenient store seller of coke. If two liters cost a dollar or100 naira in the market and 125 at the neighborhood store, 35-55ml in a can at 125 naira would sell faster. Poor people would go to that nearby store ten times a day to buy 55ml can for 125 naira. It is portable, sexy and easily payable. The same is true about some of the children of the rich who never worked for the money anyway.

However, the rich will go to the market and buy 2 liters for 100 naira, store it and drink it four or five times in the cup. The same is true in the black neighborhoods in America. They wonder how the owners of these convenient stores who are foreigners become rich.
As one person answered in that movie, Do The Right Thing - open your own store.

We can argue for the poor that he has no money to buy in bulk or enough space for cold storage facilities. One may even become thirsty in the Lagos traffic. After all, the can of coke looks sexy as the advertisements on TV. Or we can say he spends foolishly and live from one day to another hoping that heavens will provide for another day.

But Nigerian businesswomen or men work hard and know how to generate customers. They work from dawn to dusk advertising their products in Nigeria and combine two or three jobs outside Nigeria with school. Yet, these are the ones that never made it to the top in Nigeria of get into politics. They are the faceless Nigerians nobody heard about.

At some point we have to ask ourselves if our salvation lies with ourselves, outsiders or with heavens to deliver us from ourselves. We can never be like others if we follow their ways, their modernization, their products, establish in their domain blindly while forsaking ours. They will always tell us we are maturing democracy, still at infancy and developing progressively. Patronizing us like a babe. How can this be when we invented the philosophy, the Arts and Sciences they build on?

Russia, Japan, China and lately India that were starving a few decades ago had to throw out their bourgeoisie before they could even think of competing with Britain or US. Indeed, Gandhi and Nehru were well trained in world diplomacy before changing to robes in behavior and methodology. When are we going to wake up?

Acceptance of Paris Club doctrine is a dangerous hypothesis our leaders fell for in the eyes of those who are looking for their next victim. This obsequiousness has blinded our African consciousness.

Our Chi, Ifa, Allah or God will only help us if we learn how to build our confidence up on substance. Those people we negotiate with across the table are the same ones we went to universities with and probably copied our home work to pass. I always remember Bob who deserted our group in mathematics tutorial once and copied from another group. When he got seven out of ten, he ran back to us claiming he must have copied from a dummy.

Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa

Posted by Administrator at 07:18 AM | Comments (1)

Man of the Year 2005

by Uche Nworah (London, UK) --- It’s nearing that time of the year, when major news networks and organisations select their man of the year, woman of the year, person of the year and any other appropriate title as dictated by political correctness. They roll out the drums and pour out accolades to honour these men and women who have distinguished themselves in their respective fields, also people who have impacted one way or the other the life of their people are considered.

Media organisations usually base their selection on what they claim is the readers’ or audience’s choice, and the final choice is attributed to the results of a poll conducted by the media organisation, who however do not tell their audience that the choice was actually decided over the telephone by the powers that be. For this reason Osama Bin Laden controversially lost out to being selected the Times person of the year in 2001.
Because those at the top felt his own kind of influence was negative, despite the fact that he had clearly led in the polls.

As is the case with such honours, controversies normally trail them, just like the one that trailed Adolf Hitler’s selection in 1938. This is to be expected, because an angel in Bangladesh may be considered a butcher in Togo. That is the beauty of the human race.

I didn’t need to look very far to find my man of the year for 2005. His citation is already obvious to every Nigerian; for keeping many journalists in their job, and many writers busy, by constantly generating news, more than enough to fuel the rumour mills, since his ordeal began, the expression - slow news day vanished from most newsrooms.

His reputation has spread beyond our borders. He is a perfect role model for us all, having distinguished himself in his trade. He is a very wealthy and courageous man, a master of the art of deception. He is a modern day Houdini and the champion of the rights of his people. He has also shown himself to be the Idi Amin of our time, not only because of his weight and size but also because of the way he has taken on the mighty British Empire and beaten them in their game, even in their own backyards.

Not even the combined forces of M16, M15 and the London Metropolitan Police could hold him captive; neither could the tough talking corruption Czar, Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC scare him away from his beloved fatherland.

This man is a true survivor and many serving and future governors have a lot to learn from him, he does not back down from fights, he has the capacity to take on OBJ and his federal might and still come out on top. He has shown that even Aso Rock can not touch people like him. He has exposed power.

He is able to slip in and out of national borders without detection, a great attribute for a modern day warrior and hero. Once inside a private jet, he has the ability of evading radar. He is now back in his island and tuff, where his people need him. Every leader worth the millions in his bank account (local or foreign) knows that he has to be where his people are, the place where he can best put his resources to best use, away from the prying eyes of the neo-colonialists.

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, forget about Isaac Adaka Boro, move over Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, please put your hands together and give it up for the mighty Ijaw hero, Governor Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieseghe of Bayelsa State, my man of the year for 2005.

Uche Nworah is a freelance writer.

Posted by Administrator at 07:11 AM | Comments (1)

Why President Obasanjo Must Choose a Route he can be Proud of

by D. Akinsanya Juliuson (Great Britain) --- WHY OUR LEADERS NEGATIVE THOUGHT’S CAN DO THEM FAR MORE HARM THAN ANY POISON “I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.” So goes the classic song. Yet no matter how sincerely the words are intoned, the request never seems to be granted. That’s hardly surprising. Given our many languages, nuances and subtleties, the real wonder is why we aren’t all misunderstood a lot more.

And as for good intentions – well, we know what they pave. If some of us crave clarity now, we must be very careful about what we say and how. Some writings are perfectly punctuated yet are unreadable. The author has made no effort to look at the words objectively. They waffle on and on, obeying all the rules of the English language, while other people manage to say a lot more, in a lot less space, by focusing only on the need to get their point across. A misplaced apostrophe here, a spelling error there – what does it matter as long as the meaning comes across? Criticism! Not me now. I’m just doing my best to be clear… and also telling it as it is. Philosophers don’t see the future in its entirety. They are given glimpses. It’s the same for people who are known for seeing the future like the seers, psychics and others (Likewise, weather forecasters, economists and military strategists).

Our ability to” see what’s coming” will invariably be limited. But we should still strive to gain as much insight as we can. There are certain obvious mistakes that we can avoid making with a little thought. As for the mistakes which are not so obvious? Maybe they are not mistakes. Every action though, has a reaction. That's the first law of "Karma". We cannot make a single move without having, somehow, an impact of some kind on our environment. Not only do we alter the world around us by our attitude and behaviour, we alter our inner world. We close our minds to positive possibilities when we become entrenched in negative thought patterns. That's why it is always so important to be fair, noble, kind, honest, sympathetic, forgiving and wise. Let our leaders act as impeccably as they can now and then the reaction that ensues will be the one that's best.


They say that what goes up, must come down. But what's wrong with that? Something seems to be 'taking off' in Nigeria at the moment. Our President’s hopes are now being raised yet he fears that they may later be dashed. Why should they be? Why should he feel so inclined to be guarded and careful? The president is right to recognise that a certain arrangement by some individuals cannot last forever. But that doesn't mean it can't end in a happy, timely way. One day though, Nigerians will find him out. His cover will be blown. His disguise will be destroyed. The truth will emerge, and then where will he be? Hmn!. It's funny how no matter what age we reach - or what level of experience and authority we attain in life, we all still secretly feel like children who are only pretending and who will eventually be caught out by the adults. But our president IS a grown up. He does know what he is doing (as much as anyone does). So, what matters, is not what he is planning - or thinking - or saying... but what he is actually doing. Or what he is not doing, as the case may be.

All the intelligent explanation, justification and conversation in this world cannot compete, now, against the power and impact of a single gesture or action. If our president want to be really smart, he should be smart enough to see the difference between the signals his actual deeds are sending out and the messages he wants to communicate. Is he doing the right thing? He can't be sure... yet. Nor, can he automatically conclude that what's happening is wrong. The future hangs in the balance. What's going to tip it one way or another? Not 'what he has done' but 'what he does next.' He can't change the past. He can, though, ensure that his choices are as conscious, as wise, informed, sincere and noble as he knows how to make them. He should start from here. President Obasanjo must choose a route he can be proud of taking and he'll reach a destination that proves perfect. There are two kinds of chaos. There is constructive craziness... and then there is destructive disruption. Much the same can be said of order. There is satisfying stability... and then there is oppressive efficiency. What matters now, is not his ability to turn madness into sanity. It's his ability to distinguish between something healthy and something undesirable. Let’s allow our president to make his judgement now, on the basis of what 'feels right' to his heart, not what makes the 'most sense' to his mind.

We must all understand that, there's a saint in all of us and, of course, a sinner, too. The harder we strive to lead our lives by the highest possible standards, the more aware we become of our own shortcomings and failings. Only the pompous and the seriously self-deluded think of themselves as righteous in every way. It often seems easier to abandon all claims to the moral high ground than to defend a hill which is crumbling beneath our feet. That said, President Obasanjo’s efforts to be wise now, will surely bring big rewards... as will all his efforts to communicate clearly and fairly. If I were President Obasanjo, I’d listen to the voice of understanding and do the most honorable thing. The world is watching Your Excellency.


We can hold a hundred conversations, ask as many people as we wish, make as many emphatic statements as we care to. None of this will make us any wiser. We are trying to understand an emotion with our intellect. This is like trying to taste an orange by holding it to our ear. We are using the wrong tool for the job – and it is worse than useless. Can anyone conclude that the orange has no taste because his ear cannot hear it? How then can we decide that our feeling has no relevance, just because our inner computer cannot comfortably explain it? Whatsoever on earth is going on in our country today is indicative of a fresh start. We can wipe the slate clean and begin again. We can put the past behind us. We can move on. We can forget yesterday and greet tomorrow etc….We can do all of these things. Assuming, of course, that we want to.

Maybe we don’t. Maybe we prefer to be stuck in a rut – or maybe we just actively enjoy it all the way that it currently is. Nothing as far as I am concerned, obliges us now to instigate change. But plenty warmly invites us to. Let’s be churlish, let’s accept our opportunity! Trees do not seek planning permission to grow. Birds do not clear a flight path before take-off. Rain does not request a licence to fall. It’s all amazing how many natural processes manage to occur without the intervention of the appropriate authorities. No doubt, in time, we will find some way to regulate them. Meanwhile, it is nice to know that in a world of conformity, there is still some hope for spontaneity. Are we doing the right thing or the wrong thing now in our country, Nigeria? That depends on who we ask. Let’s try asking no one, other than ourselves. By the way, why in Nigeria do we do the things we do? What are our true motives? We settle for an explanation that seems to make sense as long as we do not question it too closely. Months, years, perhaps decades later, we see what was really going on. We also realize how we were led by other forces. People were pushing us in certain directions and, by the looks of things, guardian angels too. Sometimes, we imagine that other people’s lives are far more organized than our own.

Even when this is clearly not the case, we assume that these instances are the exception to the rule. Surely most folk don’t live in a world that is so crazy or chaotic? Of course, they do. They just do a better job of hiding it. Some people have every reason to be proud of themselves for the way they are handling a stressful situation, especially in Nigeria. Others in their shoes would do worse, not better. But can money buy us love? Money can’t buy us love, but if we don’t know what real love is it can buy us something that seems like it for a while. It can’t buy us true talent either, but it can get us false flattery. And no sum in the world will buy us wisdom or integrity.

The irony is that if we don’t have any we won’t realize how badly we need some. Some of us should now understand what we need and why second best won’t do. Soft power though is the ability to get what we want by attracting and persuading others to adopt our goals. It differs from hard power, the ability to use carrots and sticks of economic and military might to make others follow our will. Both hard and soft power are important don’t get me wrong….but attraction is much cheaper than coercion, and an asset that needs to be nourished. This is the voice of reason and I’m only telling it….just as it is. Our leaders? God our heavenly Father, please open their eyes so they can see, understand and appreciate you.


That which does not destroy us though, makes us stronger. Or so they say. They are, of course quite right. But they gloss over a rather important implication when they make this statement. It's not simply 'that which does not destroy us' but only 'that which looks horribly, convincingly as if it really is going to destroy us' which makes us stronger. Before we can face a fear and then transcend it, we first have to experience the fear. Before we cross a road, though, we need to look both ways. We can't just assume, because there's no traffic to our left, that the view from the right is equally clear. Nor can we look and then stride out regardless of what we have seen. The process is not a piece of pointless protocol or an academic exercise. It's essential and it must be taken seriously.

As with roads, so with all paths needing careful navigation. We must always check carefully before making a move. When the time is really right, we'll feel really sure. Till then, better to hesitate than to make a mistake. To me that is simply enough for the wise. They say there's no substitute for experience. But there most certainly is. We use it all the time. It does the job terribly well. The world-class, world-famous substitute for experience is... imagination! Sometimes, it's far better than a substitute. It's a deeply preferable alternative. But, in fairness to the originator of that old saying, sometimes, yes, imagination IS no substitute. Sometimes our imagination could be our enemy not our friend. It could put us off an idea that we really ought to try. Not until we do a little practical exploration and THEN make up our mind.

There is beauty, even in ugliness. There is hope, even in sorrow. There is magic, even in mundanity. We've just got to look for it. It isn't easy to see. But potentially, that makes discovery more comforting and rewarding. We are always looking, at a series of things that we do not particularly want to see. It's not that they are all bad; it's more that they do not match our expectation. Can we alter our idea? Can we adapt? Can we find some way to see those clouds as 'silver lining delivery systems'? We can, if we are willing to try. If there is something we have the power to change now in our country, let’s change it. If there isn't, let’s change the way we are looking at it.

Cultural & Public Diplomacy Practitioner and Specialist Investigator (Great Britain)

Posted by Administrator at 06:59 AM | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

Negative Uses of Body and Personality

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. --- THE GOAL OF SELF CREATION, SUPERIORITY: To separate is a verb, not a noun. We separate for a purpose. We separate from God and other people for a reason. What is that reason? We separate from God and from other people so as to go feel like we are superior to God, to other people. Separation has a purpose; its goal is superiority.

Superiority ultimately means that one wants to seem to have created God, created ones self and created other people.
Put this way, it seems an insane wish. But that is what it is, an insane wish. It is like a light particle that believes that it is greater than the sun, indeed, that it created the sun from which it emanated. If put in this stark, unadorned manner, its insanity becomes apparent; one then is likely to laugh at it and give it up as a bad joke.
Each of us wishes for separation from God, from other people and from our real self (which is unified spirit self). We wish for separation for the purpose of seeming superior to God, superior to other people and superior to our real self (unified self).
That is correct, the self we invented, the ego self, wants to seem superior to its inventor, our real self.
That is, we made a false self and ask it to seem superior to our real self. This is absurd, would you not say so? But that is what is going on here; we make a false self, an idol and ask it to be superior to our real self, our unified spirit self.


To seem to have accomplished our goal of superiority and separation, we invented space, time and matter. In space and time we seem distant from each other.


Space, time and matter produced perception, that is, we invented perception. In space, time and matter, each of us can see that he is in a different place hence seem separated from other people. He can see himself in body hence seem separated from his spirit self. We are now seemingly separated from our real selves.


We make our bodies vulnerable. Body feels weak and can be hurt, feels pain and fears pain. Anticipating that other people could hurt his body, his chosen home, he avoids them. Thus, we use weakness, pain and fear to maintain separation.
If the individual wants to seem superior to God, other people and his real self, he makes his body particularly prone to feeling pain and fear. He is born on earth with a body that is wracked by extreme pain and fear. He inherits a medical disorder, such as spondilolysis, fibramylogia, that makes him feel pained most of the time. In pain, he is afraid to play with other people least they hurt him. He avoids other people at play and that way keeps a distance between him and them. (Make no mistake about it, in the here and now, pain is real for him; a pained body cannot participate in rough sports like football. But it is all a set up. One set it up that way. One chose the body one inherited. One chose the level of pain one feels. One chose it all so as to make body, hence ego, seem real and separated from other people.)


If one has a pained body, one develops a personality that anticipates pain and fear and uses it to avoid people.
Personality is the individual’s habitual pattern of relating to his world, to other people and to himself.
Personality is a means of separating from ones real self, separating from other people’s real selves and separating from God.
Personality is a means of maintaining the illusion that one is a separated, superior self. All personalities, normal and abnormal, are means of separation and all human beings do so.

Personality disorders and mental disorders like neurosis and psychosis are more severe means of separating from ones real self, from other people and from God. Personality disorders are a product of the desire to seem to have a superior self.
When the person on the street hears of personality disorders, he probably does not know that he may be included in the category. Indeed, he may not even know that those he admires, his political leaders, may have them. Some of the greatest leaders known to man had personality leaders. For example, Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Richard Nixon etc had paranoid personality disorders. If one wanted to, I could tell you the personality disorders afflicting many African leaders. Let us just say that many Nigerian leaders have narcissistic cum anti social personality disorders. The person with a personality disorder(s) is like you and I, it is just that he has in exaggerated form what is found in most human beings. He is found in every walks of life, science, medicine, engineering, teaching etc. It is only those who have severe mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder (manic depression) and delusional disorder that seldom can make it into high political offices. At any rate, these are very few, less than two percent of the population, that the average person should not concern himself with that issue. We have to concern ourselves with personality disorders, for many of our leaders in politics, and the economy have them; that is why some of our leaders are screwing up, big time.
Briefly, paranoid personality: here the person feels that other people are out to get him and is always fighting with them; he wants to seem very important and fears being humiliated. He uses that false belief to justify separating from people. In separation he maintains his false superior self. (In social interaction no one can maintain a false superior self, not for long, anyway, for interaction requires equality.)
Schizoid personality: Here the individual keeps to himself and does not really care to be with other people. That is, he separates from other people and in isolation maintains the delusion that he has a superior self.
Schizotypal personality: Here the individual is odd and eccentric and that enables her to separate from other people; in isolation the odd fellow feels superior to other people.
Narcissistic personality: Here the person feels special and seeks others attention and admiration. In doing so, he separates from other people, for the only way to join people is to love them. If you seek to get attention, and not give it, you cannot join people.
Histrionic personality: Here the woman is the drama queen who must be paid attention. She avoids loving people hence separates from people. In isolation she maintains her illusion that she is special.
Borderline personality: Here, the person wants every person to take care of her, while she does not take care of others. As long as she is not the active lover of people she is separating from them and in doing so feels special and superior.
Anti social personality: Here the individual takes from other people and does not feel guilty or remorse. The criminal takes from people and does not give to people. The only way to feel connected to people is to give them love and attention, so the criminal is separated from people. The criminal feels superior to other people; after all he outsmarts them in stealing from them.
Avoidant personality: Here the shy person avoids, that is, separates from people. He does so for the deceptive reason that he feels not good enough and he does not want people to come close so as to see his inadequacy. But actually he wants to seem superior to other people and in isolation maintains his false superiority.
Obsessive-compulsive personality: Here the person is seeking perfection and does not really love other people; he loves his ideal self, his ego, hence is separated from other people.
Dependent personality: Here the person wants other people to care for him. To obtain union it is one who must care for others, hence the dependent personality is separating from people. One must be childishly superior to those who take care of one.
Passive-aggressive personality: Here the person is unassertive and does not seem to know how to actively relate to people hence is separating from people. He too feels false superiority.
I have given the above personality disorders a spiritual psychological interpretation. For a more secular presentation see, Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution; also see Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth. You can also see the descriptive, but non-explanatory psychiatric bible, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.
The more severe mental disorders are really absurd means of separating from people. The schizophrenic lives in his own world where he hears voices and sees what other people do not see and is deluded. He is separated from other people. In his fantasies he feels superior to other people.
The deluded person believes he is more important than the rest of the people hence are separated from them.
The manic person sees himself as the best human being on earth and he lives in euphoria where what is not true is true to him. He lives in his own world and is not relating to people, is separated.
The clinically depressed person is socially withdrawn and is separated from people. Depression is a means of avoiding social relationships, so as to retain a superior self
The anxious person uses anxiety to separate from other people. Because he is anxious he avoids other people (as he tells himself, lest they see that he is not good). In his isolation he feels better than other people, hence is using anxiety to maintain false superiority.
Again, I have given a spiritual-psychological interpretation to mental disorders. As I see it, mental disorders are means of separating from other people, from God and from our collective real self. I developed these ideas in my book, Real Self Psychology.
Of course, secular psychologists may disagree with my assessment. I must, however, point out that in my over twenty years experience in secular psychology, I did not see it heal any one of his mental disorder through its secular psychological methodological approach to the problem. Psychoanalysis, behaviorism, neuroscience, and I am familiar with all of them, do not heal any one with serious mental disorders; they do not even heal anxiety and garden variety neurosis.
What heals people is a combination of secular psychological understanding of their self-concept problems and religious intervention, aka spiritual psychology. Folks with serious mental disorders obviously need to see their psychiatrists and take the neuroleptic medications, anti mania medications; anti depression medications and anti anxiety medications they are prescribed. Folks with neurosis need to see psychotherapists for talk therapy. A combination of secular and spiritual interventions is what heals people. I am not an either or type of person; I accept science and meta-science, medications and spiritual understanding. On earth, people are matter and spirit, not either or. In heaven they are only spirit, but on earth, where they currently are, they are spirit having material experience and, as such, need material interventions: food, medication, clothes, shelter, regular exercises etc to survive for as long as is possible (120 years?).
Whatever enables the individual to shrink his swollen ego, to give up his belief that he created himself, that it is up to him to create himself, to give up his sense of specialness and superiority, to accept that God created him and created all of us and to accept that all of us are his equal tends to help him cure his mental disorders.

(It should be noted that all separation, normal or abnormal, is maximal, for all of them puts one in a dream of self forgetfulness, in a state of ignorance of ones real self. The normal person is as sleeping and dreaming as the neurotic and psychotic person. The difference is a question of how they do it. Both of these dreamers require one correction: removal of the wish for superiority and separation and acceptance of equality, union and the fact that God created us, and that we did not create ourselves. This engenders humility, a cardinal indicator of mental health.)

The desire for superiority breaks eternal union. Breakage is attained through attack on union. The desire for superiority and separation attacks and fragments union. Each of the resultant fragments then goes seem superior to each other and to seem self created and creating of its creator.
Of course, one remains as God created one, same and equal with God and all creation, but in ones awareness, one maintains the illusion of superiority and separation. As long as the wish for superiority is retained, one must do something to seem separated from reality.

The avoidant personality uses avoidance to separate from other people. In his isolation, he maintains a false sense of superiority to other people. He lives an alone existence and feels lonely, by his choice. The price of his wished for superiority is loneliness, a very painful state of mind.
The avoidant personality generally chooses a sensitive body (he is born in one) that enables him to feel pain, so as to avoid people.
Body is generally used to feel separated and retain the illusion of superiority. In our contemporary world, we assign qualities to certain bodies. White body is given the quality of superiority, so that those in white bodies feel superior; black bodies are assigned inferiority, so that those in black bodies feel inferior to those in white bodies. Tall bodies are assigned superiority and short bodies are assigned inferiority; tall athletic bodies are assigned the best role. Fat bodies are assigned negative role.
Sick body is a means of avoiding people.
All these are, of course, childish games, for, in fact, the person playing all these games, the son of God, Christ, Atman, is the same everywhere.


If you understand the purpose of separation and the means for maintaining it, space, time and matter and personality then it behooves you to put a stop to all these childish, silly games. Stop it, now. How?
Eliminate the wish that lead to the game. Give up the wish for superiority; give up the desire to create God, create other people and create yourself. Give it up and accept that God created you and that you are one with him and with all his creation. Return to union.
Union is only possible in spirit, not body. So give up identification with body and accept spirit as your reality. Spirit is perfect sameness and equality.

As long as you live in body, this means seeing past differences in body and accepting all people, black, white etc as the same; seeing past differences in the personalities, self concepts and egos with which people play the game of separation and superiority and accepting the equality of all people. Do so now, not tomorrow. See all persons, the seeming civilized and seeming uncivilized, Europeans and Africans, every body, as the same and equal in spirit and accept it; and relate to all people from that perspective, equality. Give up your own personality, ego and the games you play. Stop avoidance and relate to all.
Stop interfering with eternal union and accept union. You would then feel peaceful and happy. You would stop attacking union and as you do so you give all people peace. A world you have given peace would be grateful to you.
The entire world would help you, for you have helped it all remember its eternal union.
If you honor all people’s sameness and equality by treating them as such, they cannot not honor you as such. So, stop the childish game we have been playing all our lives and return to unity, sameness and equality, the condition of heaven.


The choice to seem superior and separate from others was made in heaven. None of us is consciously aware of making that choice. This is so because the thinking pattern of heaven and the consciousness of heaven are different from the earth’s thinking pattern. In heaven, we have unified thinking and unified consciousness; on earth we have separated thinking and separated consciousness. In heaven, there is no I and you; we think in tandem with all selves. On earth, we have individuated thinking and consciousness and therefore cannot remember the choice we made in heaven, in tandem.
On earth, the choice to seem superior is not conscious, either. We make that choice, then realizing that it is impossible to be superior to our real selves and to the people, for we all know that sameness and equality is our truth, but wishing the insanity of superiority, we quickly push that wish into our unconscious mind. From the unconscious mind, that choice exercises influence on our behaviors.
In the here and now, no one is conscious of choosing superiority over other people (except in certain neurotics like racists), we must, therefore not blame people for making this decision for they are not conscious of making it.
All we need do is point out to people how they are behaving as if they are superior to other people and how that is producing the painful effects they are experiencing in their lives. Superiority attacks equality, superiority attacks love, superiority attacks union and leads to separation. That attack produces psychological pain.
Whoever seeks superiority lives in pain, by his or her choice, although he is not consciously aware of it? We can point this out to the person and urge him to seek equality, if he wants peace and joy and leave it at that without blaming any one.


Let us consider some examples of how this phenomenon works. I take the examples from my work. I will, more or less, hide the subjects’ identity.

Jane. Jane is a middle aged woman. She is white. She is from an upper middle class family (parents are medical doctors). In college, she gravitated to relationship with black men. She married a black person. The marriage did not work out and ended in divorce. Upon the end of her marriage, she had a relationship with an Arabic man. What is going on here is that she seeks superiority. She selects men whom she feels superior to. Her culture tells her that non-whites are inferior to her and she accepted that nonsense. She is not really in love with these men, for love requires perfect sameness and equality. Her motivation in her relationship is to seem superior to her men. She wanted them to place her on a pedestal. See, she is a rich white girl condescending to relate to poor, inferior black and or brown men. In effect, she was not in a love relationship with the men but in a superiority-inferiority relationship. Another term for this type of sick relationship is special relationship. As long as the men saw her as superior and accepted their inferiority, the relationship seemed to last. But as soon as the men desired equality, she could not deal with that and leaves them.
Special relationships are unholy relationships. They are an interference with the holy relationship that God designed for his children while they are on earth and dream that they are apart from one another.
In holy relationship, both partners feel perfect equality, hence feel peaceful and happy.
Those in special relationships feel unhappy. In the case of Jane, the men with her resent her and eventually leave her.
Is she a victim? Of course not. She chose that kind of superior-inferior dance. She desired to feel superior to a son of God. In a manner of speaking, she is a sinner, for to sin is to feel superior to another human being, hence to separate from him or her. She is guilty of attacking equality.
She, in fact, actually attacks her male lovers by seeming superior to them. In these neurotic relationships, she is the boss; indeed, she determines when they have sex etc. She frustrates the men in her life. She is an egoistic woman, hence is, in the language of religion, evil.
She is living in the effects of her egoistic life: loneliness, for no man can tolerate her for long.
If she does not change her personality structure and see people as equal, she will die a lonely old maid, by her choice.
She is not a victim; things did not happen to her against her wishes, they happened to her as she wished. The moment she sought superiority, things happen to her as they are happening to her now.

Monique is a female psychologist. She sees herself as totally independent of men. She does not want men to tell her what to do. In her relationships with men, she pays her way, fifty-fifty. This is fair, she believes. She is generally left by the men in her life. She feels unfairly treated and sees herself as a victim. She then resolved to have nothing to do with men. She currently lives with her dogs, cats and other animals.
This woman is egoistic. In her own way, she feels superior to men and men sense it and leave her alone. She is alone by her choice. She is not a victim. Her egoistic personality is a wish to separate from other people. She subtly feels superior to men and that feeling breaks relationship with them and they leave her alone. She is self centered and cannot really care for other people.

Lori is an expensive woman, what they call a high maintenance woman. Her men must be rich and spend liberally on her, while she does not spend a penny on them. The men soon wise up to her expensive lifestyle and leave her. Her game is thus: spend on me, for I am a superior woman. If she is superior then she cannot relate to people, for relationship requires equality.

Pam is an equally expensive woman. She seeks out successful men who spend lavishly on her. She is sexually available to such men and satisfies their every wish. Nevertheless, they leave for they see her as an expensive burden. Again, she uses “spend on me” as a means of seeming superior, hence breaking relationships that require equality.

Pat B is an older woman. She is a liberated woman. She selects men who essentially do whatever she wants, including satisfy her sexually. On the other hand, she does not bother trying to satisfy them. They see themselves as being used by her and leave her. She feels like a victim and, in fact, becomes physically sick (psychosomatic sickness). She is using people and not loving them. Love requires mutual caring, mutual satisfaction.

Pat H is like Pat B and uses men for her own satisfaction but does not satisfy them. Somewhere along the line she knows this and is learning to become a giver. To the extent that she gives, that is, loves, she has good relationships.

Bethel: is a grossly fat young woman. In a perverted sort of way, to be fat is to be superior to other people (although in general society to be fat is to be seen as gross and ugly). She uses her fat to keep men away from her life. She uses fat to prevent relationship. Men stay away from her. She feels abandoned and feels that she is a victim and sees life as unfair to her. Starved of attention and sex, she went to a bar and essentially picked up a man and from that one sexual encounter picked up herpes. This added to her sense of injustice done to her by men.

John is a successful business man. He fancies himself very worldly wise. He expects his wife to obey him. She did. But later, she went back to school and obtained a doctorate degree. John paid her school fees. Upon completing her education, she left him and married another man. John felt that what she did was unfair; he felt used by her; he is a bitter man.
John’s sense of superiority meant that she had to accept the status of inferiority he made for her. She accepted that role for a while, resented it but kept quite until she obtained sufficient education to become able to sustain herself. She then married a man who treated her as his equal. She is now in a happy relationship. The old relationship was an unholy one. Now she is in a holy relationship where both partners see themselves as equals. That is, her new relationship replicates our heavenly equality in their earthly state.
John has to learn equality and seek relationships based on equality.


I hope that I have made my point with the above examples. The point being that when we seek superiority to other people that we separate from them. Superiority interferes with relationships, for relationships can only be based on equality, for them to work.
On earth, we came to seem superior to each other and generally form relationships where we subtly feel superior to our partners.
Even the seeming inferior partner feels a perverted sort of superiority to the superior feeling partner. Consider Jane. According to her race’s ideology, blacks are inferior to whites. She operates on that wrong premise and blacks seem to humor her and go along with it. In America, blacks seem to act the inferiority role white folks designed for them. But deep down most black persons, like all human beings, wish superiority, and, as such, consider white persons inferior to them. I am yet to talk to an African who does not see Americans as inordinately childish. (Of course they accept the technological differences between them.)
The point is that Jane’s seeming inferior partners actually see her as inferior to them, although this was not obvious to her.
On earth, most people want to seem superior to other people, for that is what they came to earth to do. Feeling superior to others, they form relationships where each partner subtly feels superior to the other. This is called special or unholy relationships.
When the basis of this unholy alliance is disrupted, partners move away, separate and go form other special relationship.
In these unnatural relations are pa, anxiety, anger and other emotional upsets. Ultimately, folks learn to let go their childish desire for superiority (self creation) and accept equality and form holy relationships where both partners accept their equality. When this is accomplished, folks begin to look beyond their bodies and experience each others spirit.
When love and forgiveness is practiced in our human relationships, folks experience union with each other, Holy Instants.


Scientific psychology teaches people that fear is what happen to them without their consent. People are told that they are victims of fear and anxiety.
Obviously, fear and anxiety have biological correlates. In fear, the body produces certain neurotransmitters in excess and some in deficit. In fear and anxiety, excitatory neurotransmitters like norepinephrine are aroused and inhibitory neurotransmitters like GABA are reduced. The body is stimulated into fear response: fight or flight response. The various organs are speeded up: fast heart rate, fast breathing, fast thinking as messages are sent to the brain, central nervous system, quickly processed and feedback sent to the rest of the body as to what to do, to run from the source of danger or to stay and fight back. Any one could observe these biochemical reactions in fear and anxiety.
Building on this empirical fact, neuroscience teaches that fear and anxiety are caused by the body. Indeed, it teaches that thinking, mind, itself is caused by body, epiphenomenalism. On the surface, this teaching seems self evidently true, but deeper thinking exposes the emptiness of biological reductionism, as was behaviorism and psychoanalysis before it.

Pure thinking can arouse the body and make it fearful and anxious. If the individual sits in his safe and comfortable room and thinks about other people killing him (as in paranoid thinking), though nobody is out to kill him, his anticipatory attack on him would arouse his body into fear response.
Anxiety disorder is largely a product of anticipatory thinking of future hurts, perhaps rooted in a past scary episode when the individual’s life was endangered. If you have been physically attacked before, when your mind sees a person who resembles the person who had attacked you, you respond with fear and anxiety and run away from him.

There is another explanation of fear and anxiety. Let me explain it from my own history. As a child, I was what Alfred Adler called a neurotic child. I felt inferior. My body felt totally weak, pained and I responded with a sense of inferiority. Of course, like all people, I did not like to feel inferior. I compensated with a desire for superiority. I tended to want to seem superior to my peers. Since I found schooling easy, I found myself feeling superior to other children, those who found what I found easy difficult. In other words, I was a neurotic, for a neurotic is a person who feels superior to other people.
We all know that sanity is characterized by a sense of perfect equality with all people.
Because I desired to seem superior to other people, I feared being seen as inferior to them. I approached examinations with fear and anxiety. I could score a poor grade in examinations. The prospect of not obtaining a perfect grade in examinations made my neurotic desire for superiority feel anxious. Whereas many students feel happy to have a B grade I felt ashamed. In My GCE Advance Level, for example, I had mostly As but one B. That one B made me feel so imperfect that for a while I hid my face from society. I felt that other people would see me as not good, just because I had one B. At the university, the prospect of having a B grade filled me with anxiety. In graduate school, I once confronted a professor who dared to give me a B grade.
What is going on here is that I posited a superior self and wanted to become it. A superior self must have perfect A grades. The prospect of not having a perfect grade made me feel anxious and fearful. In the social world, I wanted to seem ideal. The prospect that other people would see me as not ideal, which I am not, thank God, made me feel anxious. As a young man, to seem ideal, to retain the illusion that I was superior and perfect I tended to avoid people, hence avoidant personality disorder. I withdrew from people and lived in isolation. In isolation, I retained my desired ideal self. I fancied myself superior to other people. Of course, in reality I am not superior to others. Superiority is a fiction, a false self concept, a fantasy, a neurosis.
Neurosis is an obsessive-compulsive thing. Neurotics want to be superior, perfect and ideal in a compulsive manner; it is as if an inner force is pressuring them to seem superior and when they are not superior to act as if they are superior to others, to pretend superiority. (In their obsession with titles, Nigerians are pretending superiority but do not know that the force of neurosis is at work in their behavior.)

It was my apriori desire for superiority, perfection and ideal that made me feel fearful and anxious from not living up to my desired ego ideal states.
(A healer must have been sick and is healed. Because he was sick and is now healed, he knows what the sickness is and is able to help those still sick to heal themselves. I had the sickness of seeking ego based importance, vanity. I have understood the nature of that sickness. I believe that I am healed of it, although in my moments of weakness, I am tempted to return to it. Because I am healed of it, I can show my brothers, Nigerians, who are questing after very important personage, neurosis, that that quest produces disturbance or peace and how to heal it so as to obtain peace. Love and humility are means for obtaining peace and happiness in this world.)
Now that I know that I am the same and equal with all people, yes, I am the same with the beggar on the street, I do not feel anticipatory anxiety and fear. I seldom feel fear.
During the few instances when fear enters my consciousness, I quickly analyze my thinking and behavior and invariably discover that I had wished to be superior to a human being. I had made a mistake in my thinking. I had a negative thought wave and I quickly correct it by reminding myself that all God’s children are the same.
Fear is the absence of love. The absence of love produces fear. Love is union. When you disrupt union by not loving a son of God, you and other people, you feel fear. You have attacked the person you feel superior to, the person you do not love. Because you have attacked him or her, you expect him or her to counter attack you. You therefore feel fear. Feeling afraid of the person you do not love, you separate from him or her. In separation you seem secure, false security.
If you really want to feel secure, love all human beings; and forgive all those who did you wrong. There is no other known way to obtain security than to love all children of God. To love all is to be secure. It is not military power that gives us security but love.


If I accept that we are all the same and equal, I do not go about worrying about what other people think of me (of my ego) and, as such, I tend to approach people for relationship. I am no longer interfering with relationships by desiring superiority.
Every time a human being seeks to be superior to others, and wishes for others to accept the role he made for them, inferiority, he has literally attacked them. He attacked them psychologically. They feel angry at him, and resent him and if they could, they would attack him, overtly or passive aggressively.
At the spirit level, we all know that we are the same and equal. We are all equal members of God’s one family. We feel happiest when each of us relate to us as equals. We feel resentful when any human being, black or white, man or women, dare treat us as if we are inferior to them.
Whites treat blacks as if blacks are inferior to them. Blacks resent this situation. By and by, black anger will over boil and the result would be the collapse of the American empire.
America can only survive if it becomes sane and encourage all its citizens to accept the truth of our mutual equality.
For our present purpose, the pursuit of superiority leads to feeling fear and anxiety. Fear and anxiety is produced by fear of not living up to the false superior self.
Would other people see me as their superior? Desiring to be seen as superior and knowing that in their sanity they can not collude with me and see me as superior I feel anxious.
If I desire perfect equality with all people, I do not fear them, I do not experience anxiety. Fear is a product of existential desire for specialness, that is, the desire to create ones self, create other people and create God and, in the here and now world, a product of the neurotic desire for superiority over other people.
The desire for superiority is really the desire to be the author of reality and create it, create other people, a fantasy, and the fantasy that led to the genesis of this world.
Give up any and all wish for superiority, perfection and idealism. See yourself as created by God; you did not create yourself. See yourself as the same and equal with all persons.


In America, a pathological society, whites structure their social organizations such that blacks are supposed to accept the unnatural feeling that they are inferior to whites and that whites are superior to them. I could not play this childish game and dropped out of their sadomasochistic organizations, for I was not about to accept that a white person is my superior. (I am not his superior either, we are perfectly equal.)
I do not want to fit myself into America’s sadomasochistic society. I therefore, had no choice but to form an alternative organization, one where perfect equality is accepted. A few Africans and I started our own work organization. Here, we all feel the same and coequal. Any brother who tries to seem better than others is counseled to let go of that neurosis, that falsity and see all of us as the same. Of course, we have different positions, including leadership positions.
We respect each other at Africa Institute Seattle, for we know that we are equal. Our goal here is to show our deranged white brothers an alternative form of social organization, one based on truth, our perfect sameness, equality and unity.
We are in still in forms, in human bodies and are empirically separated from each other, but we try to approximate our heavenly reality: union. Union is only possible among the same and the equal. We accept that we are the creations of one father, God, Allah, Chukwu, Olorun, Obasi, call our creator what you like, he really is nameless, but he is real.


What is the point to all these? Why study psychology, secular or spiritual? We study psychology to help us understand ourselves. The goal is to understand the psychological obstacles preventing people from living fully and to help them remove them, so that they live fully. If the individual understands his personal psychological make up, understands the psychological factors that prevent him from living fully and actualizing his real self, optimizing his potential and work at removing them, and does so, he will live more fully, become more productive and more peaceful and happy. (Psychology does not remove physical and social-political obstacles hence the individual may still live a somewhat circumscribed life due to these limiting factors.)
Psychology can be abused by neurotics, as some neurotic white psychologists tried to do. They tried to use the insight they gained about human nature to seem superior to other people. For example, we know that over 90% of the people are average in their intelligence, IQ85-115; some above average, IQ 120-129; and less than 2% gifted, IQ over 130 and 2% mentally retarded, IQ under 70. This knowledge can be abused and used to put people down. You can tell the peacock strutting about as if he is a very important person that he is no more than an average person and shatter his pride and vanity.
Moreover, by analyzing people the neurotic psychologist may feel false sense of superiority over them. Racist psychologists like Arthur Jensen and Cyril Burt tried to use the information they gained about people to make their race seem superior to other races.
The truth is that appearances not withstanding all human beings, black and white, Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa etc are the same and are equal. Psychologists who teach human equality are sane; those who teach human inequality are insane.
People came to this world to seem superior to each other and to emphasize their differences. Heaven is perfect sameness and equality. The world was designed to be the opposite of heaven. Because they opposed their creator, in their world, everything opposes everything else. In our world, everything is different from everything else. We figure out ways to seem unequal to each other. We emphasize our differences, be it in skin color, our height, size, intelligence, wealth, power, gender etc; anything to make us seem different from one another is stressed. The result of this emphasizes on inequality and differences are conflict and lack of peace and joy.
The function of the spiritual psychologist is to enable us stress our true self, which is unified, same and equal, and to help us stop emphasizing our differences and start emphasizing our sameness. We must work for our common interests. We must stop opposing the will of heaven, which is love and union, and give up the world of opposition and accept the world of union. The result of obeying the will of God: love one another, unify with one another rather than separate from one another, is peace and happiness, the gifts of God.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 23, 2005

PS: With this material, I end my series on metaphysics. I do not want to be known as a religious escapist. I do not negate our world; I am fully rooted in the empirical, scientific world. I return to the empirical world, beginning January, with my series on African politics. Do me a favor, will you: pay attention to both your spiritual and material needs. On earth, man is not an either or creature, matter or spirit, but both, and must pay attention to both to be healthy. If you are interested in metaphysical psychology see my book, Real Self Psychology. Thank you.

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November 22, 2005

The Key to Progress in Nigeria Lies in Sincerity, Not Cynicism

by D. Akinsanya Juliuson --- There's not enough kindness in this world. People are far too quick to criticise and complain. Where is their compassion, their tolerance and their patience? There's not enough kindness in our own country Nigeria, either. We can't do anything about anyone else's harsh attitude, but we can at least resolve not to reply in kind.

The key to progress in Nigeria now lies in sincerity, not cynicism, warmth not coldness, communication not isolation. To do our best, all we have to do is refrain from doing our worst. It is perfectly possible to hold an entire conversation without sharing a single piece of useful information. People do it all the time. They exchange platitudes and pleasantries, gossip and hearsay. They make amused observations about the passing show. They may argue or agree, but they rarely reveal their most important feelings and fears. Their deepest hopes and most powerful passions stay secret. And then, they wonder why nobody ever seems to really understand them. In our country, Nigeria….Let’s dig a little deeper today. All good things though must come to an end. But then so, too, must all bad ones. We know that, bad things can drag on for a heck of a long time before they finally leave our lives. Why then, should we assume that good things are likely to depart any faster? We Nigerian’s mustn’t worry about a problem that doesn't yet exist. As for the problem that does? Well, let’s not worry about that either. If we truly believe in God, then we should have nothing to fear. A natural process is playing itself out in our beloved Country. Let’s accept as much and we will surely see that there are good things about the bad things.


Even though they say, nothing is for ever. How true. In the beginning, there was nothing! Once the universe has crumbled into dust, there will be nothing! So, clearly, nothing is indeed for ever. That’s nicely reassuring, isn’t it? It puts it all into perspective. We spend our lives thinking about anything other than nothing. We are fascinated by “Somethings” – so much so that we hardly care what shape or form they take as long as they are not nothings. We need to be aware today in this country that “Nothing matters” – in the nicest possible sense of that phrase. It has only just begun. We have embarked on a process that has much further to take us. There can be no turning back so, we shouldn’t even stop to think about ways to reverse the tide. Let’s relax, trust the heaven wheels as they now turn relentlessly. They might be bumpy and the journey exhausting at times, even now, but, hey, that’s a small price to pay for the chance to wind up somewhere wonderful. Let’s review the situation in a little while.

I believe, we’ll surely feel better then. Although there are processes that we cannot control, factors we cannot alter, situations that, we cannot change. We can gnash our teeth and strive to achieve the impossible - or we can relax a little and resolve to be more trusting. There is much that we cannot influence, we do have power in one key area of the life of our nation and this we will soon discover is the only power we need. But is there really such a thing as justice? How on earth can we truly tell if something is fair or unfair? Might we be kidding ourselves? People are notoriously good at believing what they want to believe. Something in our nation seems wrong. Naturally, we yearn to put it right. But what if, in our efforts to rectify the matter, we inadvertently cause it to deteriorate? We must proceed with a little caution now. We must allow for the possibility that everything will work out perfectly well without too much intervention. Patience may be a virtue but impatience isn’t much of a vice. When we think of all the wild ways we can be wicked, we go through a long list before we get to it. We live in a world of opportunity. We have countless chances of possibilities. Why, then, do we often feel so restricted? Perhaps it is because we react badly to the sense of overload. Just as people who surf the web too much become “less open to new information” in response to being bombarded. So we all tend to feel a little intimidated by a world without frontiers. Nigeria, I believe in the absence of the enemies of progress, will surely rise again.


I might not be a seasoned philosopher in the classic sense of that word but I certainly have incisive skills that would put many psychics to shame. I can always tell, from a brief moment of listening to a person's tone of voice, if they are happy or sad; lying or telling the whole truth; tense or relaxed. I can similarly instantly assess hidden nuances in the situations that I wander into or the organizations, I interact with. At the moment though, it’s about intuition and judgement. Why can't people be nicer to each other? Why must they always criticise, complain, bitch and bicker? Why can't they cooperate? Why must they always prove points and nurse grudges? Regardless of the reason, it's a game we no longer need to play, especially in Nigeria of today. We can't make anyone else be more fair or friendly, but we can put our own best foot forward and risk being considered naive or weak. If it breaks a deadlock and brings about progress, that's a small price to pay. Even if it seemingly brings no such tangible results, it will make us feel better about whom we are. I believe we will be amazed by what eventually comes from this important change, if we truly believe.

People love to watch other people making mistakes. They take much more interest in their tragedies than in their triumphs. Of course, when we see someone suffering, we feel sympathy. Just a little bit of us, though, experiences a wave of relieve. At least my life is not as bad as that we say. Would any of us in the name of the living God ever stoop so low as to keep some folk in a state of discomfort, just so that we could feel better than them? (I’m asking the true children of God in our midst). Well, it is to be hoped not. If we carry on doing what we are doing, there are sure to be consequences. But then we can’t just decide to do nothing. We must trust our instincts and give it a chance to guide us. We are of course right to feel wary of all the unknowns and uncertainties in our country’s current situation. Yet, simply because so much is unclear, it is impossible to make an informed choice about the best possible way to proceed. We either play our hunch or we let ourselves be talked by some parasites….into playing someone else’s. Welcome to Nigeria, the planet of knowledge and the main campus of the University of Life.


That which does not destroy us makes us stronger. Or so they say. They are, of course quite right. But they gloss over a rather important implication when they make this statement. It's not simply 'that which does not destroy us' but only 'that which looks horribly, convincingly as if it really is going to destroy us' which makes us stronger. Before we can face a fear and then transcend it, we first have to experience the fear. Before we cross a road, though, we need to look both ways. We can't just assume, because there's no traffic to our left, that the view from the right is equally clear. Nor can we look and then stride out regardless of what we have seen. The process is not a piece of pointless protocol or an academic exercise. It's essential and it must be taken seriously. As with roads, so with all paths needing careful navigation. We must always check carefully before making a move. When the time is really right, we'll feel really sure. Till then, better to hesitate than to make a mistake. To me that is simply enough for the wise. They say there's no substitute for experience. But there most certainly is. We use it all the time. It does the job terribly well. The world-class, world-famous substitute for experience is... imagination! Sometimes, it's far better than a substitute. It's a deeply preferable alternative. But, in fairness to the originator of that old saying, sometimes, yes, imagination IS no substitute. Sometimes our imagination could be our enemy not our friend. It could put us off an idea that we really ought to try. Not until we do a little practical exploration and THEN make up our mind. There is beauty, even in ugliness. There is hope, even in sorrow. There is magic, even in mundanity. We've just got to look for it. It isn't easy to see. But potentially, that makes discovery more comforting and rewarding. We are always looking, at a series of things that we do not particularly want to see. It's not that they are all bad; it's more that they do not match our expectation. Can we alter our idea? Can we adapt? Can we find some way to see those clouds as 'silver lining delivery systems'? We can, if we are willing to try. If there is something we have the power to change, let’s change it. If there isn't, let’s change the way we are looking at it. However, in life we must know our opponent and know when we are outgunned.

Cultural & Public Diplomacy Practitioner, Specialist Investigator and Honorary Representative

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Fugitives as Governors in Nigeria? Dariye & Alamie!: The Tragedy of Looting Governor Alamieyesegha of Bayelsa

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- Shocked and agitated are words that best describe my feeling on learning that Alamie has escaped the claws and jaws of justice in London, as he is reported to have jumped bail in England. He has returned to Yenagoa where he lives to pretend that he is a cat with nine lives. I hope Nigeria’s democracy is not undone. This could be the harbinger of anarchy.

This is a tragic blow to the anti corruption efforts currently going on in Nigeria, it is, also a wake up call to Nigeria’s National Assembly to expunge, repeal or amend the immunity clause to change the present state of affairs, in which some public officials have turned the immunity clause to an impunity cloak and cover.

If anything is to be learnt from Alamie’s brazen escape from London and the bravado with which he has reportedly “resumed” his “authority as governor” of Bayelsa state, it is simply that, the provision in Nigeria’s constitution of 1999 regarding immunity, is now long overdue for amendment or complete repeal. I have made this call before!

Additional lesson to be learnt, among many others, is that the war against corruption is primarily Nigeria’s war, albeit, with support, encouragement and cooperation from other nations and non-Nigerians worldwide.

Looting governor Alamie of Bayelsa state has offended every sense of decency known to humans, he has broken many more laws, local and international. He has by his singular criminal act of escape, from lawful restriction placed upon him by agencies of the British government, demonstrated that he is a reckless buffoon money launderer and now a fugitive felon. How did this man escape through the airspace of London and how did he enter the airspace of Nigeria? How did he procure travel documents? Who are his collaborators? Who connived and colluded with this looting governor to escape justice?

Nigeria’s National Assembly must immediately convene and converge to surgically remove the parts of section 308 of the constitution of Nigeria 1999, which is now a national and an international embarrassment of colossal and monumental proportions!

Brazen misconduct, criminal activities by governors must stop and their constitutional protections as embedded in the immunity clause must be removed. These gangsters must be compelled to obey the laws. They must face the consequences of their illegal acts!

Lawlessness by pubic holders, particularly these looting governors must be stopped.

By Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

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Self Concept and its Problems

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- One of the tragedies of contemporary Nigerian society is that people are so busy with the struggle for physical survival that few have the time to think about the higher issues of existence. Everywhere you turn to, the talk you hear is how to make money and become a socially important person.

Think about them or not, however, higher existential issues are there and exercise enormous influence on our lives.

Consider the issue of self, the object of our present interest. Every culture known to man ponders the self, its nature and what to do about it. Those ponderings led to religion, philosophy and metaphysics. Every known human group developed religion and had philosophy and metaphysics. (Metaphysics is the educated man’s religion; it is an attempt to prove the existence of God through ratiocinative processes. Where most religionists accept their inherited religions on faith, the metaphysician attempts to use reason and logic to prove the existence of God. In his efforts to understand the nature of God, he, ultimately, finds out that God is beyond his rational understanding and is beyond matter hence metaphysics, meta-science.)
In contemporary Nigeria, people are so engrossed with the economic struggles for survival that those who normally gravitated to metaphysics, the philosophical element of society ignore it. Luckily, the masses have not totally abandoned religion.

Unfortunately, however, as is well known, the masses often gravitate to what we might call magical thinking. Thus in Nigeria, many of those who attend the mushrooming Pentecostal religions are no more than engaging in irrational thinking. For example, may of them believe that if they please God long enough by chanting a few prayers that he would give them what they ask from him, usually money and power? (Some of them even pray for the power of juju, to kill their neighbors.) Indeed, some of the ministers of these incipient religions are no more than charlatans trafficking in superstition.

These folks tell the masses that they are conduit to God and can make God do for them whatever they ask through them; they promise to heal the physically ill. Of course, they cannot do any of these things; all they seem to do is con the people out of their hard earned monies and leave them in the lurch.

Physical scientists point out that the material universe has its own laws, laws that can be studied and understood by science and technologies devised to adapt to them. No amount of magical wishes makes nature give us what we ask for. What makes it possible for us to extract sustenance from nature is the understanding of the laws of physics, chemistry and biology and manipulating them through technology. The human body, a biological system, for example, has its own laws. You have to understand them and live accordingly. If you violate biological laws, you get sick and must be treated with medications that medical science and technology designed. Praying to magical gods would not heal bodies that bad living has damaged; only medical science could heal them.

The philosophical elements of society are generally responsible for making sure that religion does not degenerate into magical thinking. They do so by injecting reason into people’s religious thinking. Whereas, ultimately, the ways of God is beyond human understanding, yet, the injection of some reason into religious discourse enables the masses not to engage in irrational religious practices.

The intellectual elements of Nigeria have abnegated their function and religion in Nigeria has devolved to primitive practices. For all the religiosity seen in the masses of Nigeria, we can actually say that Nigerians are irreligious! For example, one of the hall marks of true religion is serving other people. How many Nigerians do you know engage in a life of social service without asking what is in it for him? There are churches everywhere in Nigeria but very few of the religionists actually understand the import of worshipping God. God is love. Those who worship God are loving people. Loving people serve their fellow human beings. The last time I checked, I saw very few Nigerians who actually served other Nigerians’ interests. If there were true religionists in Nigeria, we would not have the absurd level of corruption we have in the country. A person of God does not take bribery or steal from the public treasury. Simply stated, though many Nigerians go to church, they are actually heathen and know little about God.

Each of us has a separated self that wants to seem important in the individual’s and other people’s eyes. This is generally called human nature.

But here is the problem. As long as you think that you have a separated, important self you must suffer. You must live in psychological pain and suffer to the extent that you believe that you have a separated important self. This is the fact of human living.

Another way of putting it is that to the extent that you believe that you have an important separated self you are in jail. To have a separated, important self is to live in hell, a hell of ones making.

In as much as all human beings believe, at least initially, that they have important, separated selves, they are living in private hells and private prisons; they suffer tremendous psychological pain.

To not suffer psychological pain, to be freed from ones private hell and jailhouse we live in, the individual must find a way to convince himself that he does not have a separated, important self.

To the extent that you know that you do not have a separated important self and behave accordingly, you tend to be happy, peaceful.

To the extent that you believe that you have a separated important self and behave accordingly, you tend to live in fear, and are prone to anxiety, depression, paranoia and other mental upsets.

If you believe that you have a separated important self, you tend to be proud and subject to shame feeling.

To have a separated, important self is to be unhappy. Yet to be a human being is to have a sense of separated important self. In fact, what it means to be a human being is the struggle to invent a separated, important self for ones self and to struggle to actualize that imaginary important self.

Neurosis, and to a greater degree psychosis, is a misguided and compulsive effort to realize an imaginary separated, important self. The neurotic (which is every human being) and the psychotic (which is the two percent of the human population that is insane) struggle in an obsessive-compulsive manner to actualize privately constructed important, separated selves.

All people are prisoners of this struggle to become a self they themselves invented; selves that they do not know for sure are real. As far as we know, when we die, our bodies decompose and the personalities that those bodies evolved die with them.

The self the individual knows of is a product of his bio-social experiences and ceases with the death of his body.

Is there another self other than the self that adapts to body and society?


All the religions of mankind aim at helping the individual to understand and reduce his sense of having a separated important self. Religion is traditional psychotherapy for shrinking the swollen self of human beings.

Given human egoism, without religion to shrink their egos, human beings would probably destroy themselves. It seems that society cannot exist without religion?

Religion shrinks the human ego, the sense of having a separated important self to normal proportions and makes it possible for people to get along with each other. Left to their own devices, without religion, people would invent such imaginary important selves that in pursuit of actualizing them they would enslave and murder each other.
Look at Nigeria. Many people think that her problem is only economic. But her real problem is really spiritual.

How so, you ask? They believe that they have separated important selves. They are motivated to realize their assumed separated important selves. They are seeking existential and social importance. Their greatest wish is to become rich (by all means necessary, including stealing) and to have political power. They understand that wealth and political power would give them the opportunity to seem socially important. Wealth and power enables them to gratify their narcissistic desire to be very important persons. Thus they seek to be called Dr Professor chief, engineer Alhaji this or that. Their goal is to have society affirm and validate their importance.

But who is the self that is important? What self are they trying to make important? Herein lays the problem.

These people are like insane persons; they believe that they have separated selves and want those selves to become important. But do they have separated selves? A self that feels so insecure that it must always do something to make itself seem secure and powerful, when you come to think of it, is not a worthwhile and powerful self. If the self is important, it ought to be self evidently so and we need do nothing to make it so. Actually, the self that we rejected, the self that God created, the unified self, is inherently worthwhile; we cannot add or subtract from its value. It is the self we made, the separated self housed in body that is perpetually valueless and there is nothing that we can do to make it valuable.

Let us see what Gautama Buddha said on the subject. Buddha said that the human personality is a pipe smoke.

Buddhism aims at enabling the individual to get rid of his assumed sense of separated self. In meditation, the Buddhist consciously tries to deconstruct his mentally constructed self concept and self image. He consciously tells himself that he has no self concept and no self image. He tells himself that the self he is currently aware of, the separated self, does not exist, and is noise. He tells himself that his current thinking, based on the separated, important, aka ego self, is mere ego chattering. He rejects all ego based conceptual categories. He struggles to become calm, silent and to eliminate all separated, ego based thinking from his mind. His goal is to become still, to empty his mind of all ego self concepts, ego self images, ego thinking. He aims at becoming a selfless void. He believes that if he attains emptiness of mind that he would get in touch with his real self. He does not know what that real self is but he thinks that there is a real self. Buddha teaches that the real self is unified spirit self, or simply life itself. Unified spirit self has a different consciousness that is different from the consciousness of our separated self.

The Hindu, the Buddhist, the Christian mystic, the Islamic Sufi all struggle to eliminate their selves with the understanding that there is another self, a better self that they ought to become.

On the other hand, the Nigerian wants to affirm his separated, important self. Every where, the Nigerian presents his vain self for you to validate.

If only these people recognized that the self they are trying to make important is a fictional self, a phantom self, a fantasy that, at best, is temporary. The self that we are aware of exists in the world of illusions, in dreams and is not real. If only these people knew that there is another self, a better self to aim at attaining.

All the religions of mankind assert that there is another self, a real self. That self is not the self we are conscious of. We are currently conscious of separated, important selves. Our real self is unified spirit self.

Neither I nor any one living in the temporal universe can describe the real self. It is beyond words. It is ineffable. It cannot be understood with words, for language is an adaptation to the separated world, the world of division and multiplicity. Speech assumes the existence of a you and I, seer and seen, subject and object. Speech assumes the world of space, time and matter, our world. But there is another world, a unified world where every thing is simultaneously unified and individuated. The real self is one and yet infinite selves. That real self is eternal, immortal, permanent, changeless and all knowing (it knows itself as one and many).

I have made the assertion that there is another self. I know that that self is real but I also know that it is beyond human ordinary consciousness hence that there is no way the reader can ascertain it.

Religion generally urges people to have faith in that real self. But faith is not enough for our rational age. Telling some one to have faith in God is not a good way to make an argument and convince the skeptic. In the age of science, you must provide proof that what you claim to exist in fact exists.

Is there any proof that God exists? You have to find out for yourself whether it exists or not. Nobody else can provide you with proof that God exists.

God is an inner experience that when you experience it you know beyond all intellectual jabbering that he is real. In fact, God is the only reality there is. God is, and all else is noise.

To experience God you must meet his conditions. Here lies the problem. His condition is that you return to being as he created you. This means that you must give up your current sense of self. Each of us invented a different self, a replacement and substitute self, and identifies with that false self. We must give up the false self we made and accept the real self that God created us as. You must first give up the separated, important self you invented before you can experience the unified self God created you as.


To experience God, as all the founders of the universal religions: Krishna, Buddha, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed etc teach, you must voluntarily give up your separated, important self and accept that you do not know who your real self is and ask God to reveal your real self to you. Additionally, you must love and forgive all people. You must forgive all those who have done wrong to you. You must look at the person who did the most egregious thing to you, as understood by your ego, in the eye and say: I forgive you, and mean it.
To forgive is to overlook what is done in the world, to see it as unreal. To forgive is to judge the world as an illusion and overlook it; to forgive is to experience the real world, the unified world of God. To forgive is to see the world and what is done in it as things done in dreams and awaken from that dream: unreal self, unreal world.
To forgive is to love. To love is to return to the world as it was created by God, the unified world. Love is union; to love is to return to the awareness of union, hence to return to heaven and its God.
To forgive and love is to do what the prodigal son did; to recognize that he made a mistake in thinking that separated and important self is possible and correct that mistake by giving up separated important self and returning to unified self, to God, his father, to heaven.

In the temporal world, each off us believes that he has a separated, important self. The separated, important self is an illusion.
The Nigerian takes the illusion of separated, important self as real and wants to affirm it; he wants every person to collude with him and tell him that his fictional important self is real.
The Nigeria seldom pays attention to the deeper teaching of religion, the need to shrink his ego down to acceptable proportions. All religions teach that the ego must be shrunk down and that eventually it is necessary to give the ego up altogether. To return to union, one must give up separation; to live as unified self, the real son of God, Christ self, one must give up the false self, the ego, and the antichrist.
It is difficult to give the separated ego up, for if it were given up one exits from this world. As long as one lives in this world of separation, one must have a separated self. The best one can do is improving that separated self and use it to love other seeming separated selves.


Christianity and Islam encourage people to pray. In prayer, one minimizes ego.

These two religions encourage people to always have their prayer beads (in the case of the Catholic Church, the rosary). When the ego tempts the individual to feel that he is in charge of his life, he is told to pray to God to guide him.

When you are chanting Hail Mary, Our Lord’s prayer and other prayers, you are saying, in effect, that you are not in control of your life, and that God is in charge. This behavior helps to shrink your ego. The individual needs to pray regularly, so as to shrink and normalize his ego.

Ultimately, one must sit down in meditation and try to negate ones ego; one must try to escape from the self one constructed for one, so as to return to the awareness of the self God created one as. One must consciously extinguish ones self concept, ones self image and ones personality. One must let go of the self we made to replace the self God created us as.

When we let go of our false ego selves, forgive and love all people, we finally escape from the prison house called the ego; we become emancipated from the hell called separated, important self; we attain peace and joy and overcome all the mental upsets attendant to having egos; one no longer gives in to fear, shame, anxiety, pride, sadness, paranoia, schizophrenia, mania etc.

All religions recognize that to be a human being is to have a sense of separated important self. All religions recognize that this is the real human problem. All religions recognize that as long as human beings think that they have separated important selves and strive to live as such that they live in hell and in prison of their own making.

People are slaves of their egos. (I was a slave of my ego; I was totally devoted to actualizing my false ideal self.)

As long as people are seeking to actualize their fictional selves they are in hell, for they must be fearful, prone to depression, paranoia, even schizophrenia and mania.

Psychology is an infant profession; it is about a hundred years old. Hundred years is not a long time to develop wisdom. Psychology is filled with fads. Just about every Western Psychologist has his own pet theory of what human nature is, most of which are false. Philosophy, despite thousands of years of trying, could not define human nature, neither would psychology. Human nature is more than meets the eyes; we are spiritual beings having physical experience; we are not just our bodies and mind is not epiphenomenal as reductionistic biological secular psychology suggests. Nevertheless, Psychology is becoming adult. The more it grows up, the more it recognizes what religion knew all along, that is, that the problem of man is his belief that he has a separated self and pursuit of that false self.

Psychology, like religion before it, is learning to help people, through psychotherapy, to understand that their so-called normal self, their neurotic self, and their psychotic self are varieties of the same mistaken self, the belief that one has a separated, important self.

In this light, Nigerians need some one to help them shrink their vain glory seeking selves. Whereas, we all must have separated selves to live in this world that self is not our real self.
Nigerians need spiritual psychologists, aka ministers of God, to help them understand that their real selves are the unified self that the various religions of mankind teach. They need help with becoming in touch with their unified self, so as to live peaceful and happy lives.

At present, they are so misguided that all they do is seek to become the fictional ideal selves they invented for themselves, selves they want to use to replace the self that God created them as. As long they pursue those false selves, they must live in pain and suffer. Their lives must be chaotic. Their country must be hell.

Nigeria is bedlam, literally, not figuratively. Nigerians live in an insane asylum where they are trying to become false selves that they are not. They need to become sane and transform their country to a healthy place where people are trying to live out of their real selves, which is spirit self.

We cannot attain spirit and still live in a material world. In as much as we want to live in a material world, and we are permitted to do so, we can learn to live spirit like lives.


In our minds are two possible ways of thinking and behaving. We have already chosen to think and behave as the separated, important self. It is that choice that led to the origin of this temporal world. That choice is what the various religions call the Original sin, the choice to separate from our real self, to separate from each other and to separate from God. That sin brought us to this world.

All religions seek ways to reduce that so-called original sin. As long as we live in separation, we live in sin, but sin can be reduced if we learn to replicate our original home on earth. In our real home, in God, we are loving creatures. On earth, in separation, if we learn to love and forgive one another we reduce our sinfulness. All unloving acts are sinful; all loving acts are sinless. To forgive and love is to return to the world of sinlessness, guiltlessness and innocence, the world and self as God created them.

Every time you are about to think and behave ask yourself from what part of your mind you are thinking and behaving from? Are you thinking and behaving from your ego mind or from your Christ mind, from hate or from love, from separation or from union?

If you think and behave from a loving and forgiving part of your mind, which, in the here and now, translates to serving all mankind, you are approximating your thinking in heaven. When you think from love and forgiveness perspective, because you approximate haven, you tend to feel a bit like you are in heaven: peaceful and happy. You are, as it were, living at the gate of heaven.

On the other hand, you can choose to think and behave from your separated and important self. If you do, you tend to seek to optimize your self interest at the expense of other people’s interests. You tend not to care for social and common interests. You may succeed at the material level; in fact, you are most likely going to succeed, for the world was designed to make the ego successful. However, at the psychological level, you pay a heavy price, you will not receive the gifts of God: peace and joy; you tend to live in chaos and conflict.

Do you need evidence? Look at Nigeria and see what the ego/devil has made. Nigerians, that is, unmitigated egotists, live mostly for their individuated selves and seek to be important at all times. The result is that they live in conflict; they lack peace and joy. Nigeria is hell on earth.

Nigeria is Satan’s own country. Nigeria is the prison house of the ego separated self. When I see Nigerians I see a suffering people. But I know that they brought their suffering to themselves by pursuing unmitigated egoism and vanity.

I have compassion for Nigerians but I also know that as adults they have free will to choose differently. The president of the Nigerian Senate, Nnamani, just ordered an armored car, reportedly worth the annual income of hundreds of Nigerians. Why not be humble and buy a Volkswagen? Somewhere in this man’s mind, he knows that what he did was wrong. He must, therefore, pay a stiff price for his criminal thinking and behavior. He cannot experience the gifts of God: peace and happiness. His immodesty, his lack of humility, his grandiosity, a leader in a banana republic where millions are starving and he spends that kind of money on a car is nothing short of sinfulness.

At present, Nigerians chose to live out of the ego, which religion anthropomorphizes as Satan? They live egoistic, that is, satanic existence, and necessarily takes the consequences of their life styles: chaos.


There is a law of cause and effect operating in the universe. Whatever we do has consequences for us. If you smoke you may develop clung cancer. If you drink alcohol you may damage your liver. If you eat too much food, you may get fat, clog your arteries and die from cardiovascular diseases. If you do not exercise regularly you may develop medical problems. At the social level, if you choose to not care for other people and live for yourself and, perhaps, for your family only, as is the case with Nigerians, you get Nigeria, hell on earth.

You cannot cheat the universe, for the universe is a lawful place. As a lawful place, the universe does not make compromises. Your thinking and behavior are causes of the effects you see in your life. Think and behave differently and see different effects in your life.

If you want the gifts of God, peace and joy, then do Godly things, love and forgive all and serve all people. There are no two ways of going about it.


It is not necessary to approach the self from only a religious perspective. What is necessary is that it must be shrunk, one way or another. The self is a problematic thing; left alone, it seeks self interest and must be redirected to serving social interest.

Where there is failure to redirect the self to serving social interests, people become pure egotists and serve only their self interests, and the result is chaos, as in Nigeria. Generally, the easiest way to redirect the ego is through religion and its teaching that people love God and love one another. Every society has religion and through it enables its people to understand the nature of their real self and their temporal selves. Religion enables society to raise children in such a manner that they serve the interest of society. Religion, unfortunately, often attempts to achieve its goal through fear; telling people that if they did not love and care for one another that they would go to hell and burn for eternity; this generates fear of punishment in people. Admittedly, that fear of punishment may dispose some persons to love other people but love is not to be obtained through fear. We could do better than using fear to get people to do the right thing.

Love is the opposite of fear and fear is the opposite of love. Where there is love, union, there is no fear; conversely, where there is fear there is no love. (Are you a very fearful person? If so, you are not a loving person; you separated from other people. If you are a less fearful person, you are a loving person and tend to unify with all God’s Children.)

Those who consider themselves rational often reject the bases of religion. Generally, during their adolescent years, young persons whose mental disposition makes them not amenable to accepting any proposition on faith declare their independence from organized religion and stop going to Church, Mosque and temple. These young persons provide rational, even scientific evidence why God cannot exist.
Speaking for myself, at fourteen, I rejected the Christian religion that I was socialized in. I did not see how a supposedly loving God could oversee an unjust world. I read about earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, draughts, plagues, virus, bacteria, fungus and other natural disasters that wiped out thousands of human beings. I could not square those ugly facts with Christianity’s postulation that a loving God cares for us. I read Charles Darwin’s Origen of Species and that ended my affiliation with formal religion. I said goodbye to Catholicism and gravitated to secular thinking.

Many young people, all over the world, reject their inherited religions and try using their reason to solve the problems of existence. They adopt rational secular humanism, the belief that pure reason alone can solve human problems and that we do not need, as I used to say: “The God hypothesis”. These young people, like adults before them, will fail and not use pure reason and science to explicate the nature of reality. Many of them will become disillusioned. This is to be expected.

What needs to be done is to help these young persons find a way to deal with their selves. As noted, religion is the easiest way society shrinks the individual’s ego self concept to normal proportions. If the individual falls out of religion, as some will, society must find other mechanisms to teach them social service.
Boys scout and the military are useful training for transcending the individuated self and devoting ones life to serving common interests. Even indoctrination into those political ideologies that preach social interests, such as socialism and communism, serve some useful interests. The socialist, if he is genuinely so, works for the collectivity, for society. His ego is thus civilized (made to live in the city, to live for the collectivity, to serve society).

The worse thing that could happen to a young person is for him to be left alone, so that he develops a self that thinks only of its self interests and not social interests. It is those persons who were not trained to serve social interests that tend to gravitate to only self interested behavior at the expense of social interests. Some of these people become anti social personalities, criminals. When these persons enter into politics, they do so to serve only their self interests. They are the narcissistic politicians we see in Nigeria.


People who are not trained in psychology tend to have weird notions of what it means to be mentally ill.

Mental illnesses actually mean having a selfish separated, important self. The normal person somehow thinks of himself and other people and figures out a way to serve both.

The neurotic person (all people in degrees) posits a big self concept, a self that thinks that it is better than other people, wants to feel superior to other people and pursues the actualization of that fictional ideal and superior self. In the process, the neurotic experiences anxiety: fear of not realizing his imaginary important self. At school, his imaginary ego ideal wants to be the best student and he fears making poor grades hence lives in anxiety; at work he wants to become the best at what he does and lives in anxiety of not being the best.

In psychosis, what most people call mental disorder (schizophrenia, mania, clinical depression and delusional disorder), the individual goes beyond neurosis and believes that his wished for imaginary big self is real. In psychosis the individual hallucinates in one or more of the five senses and is deluded.

The normal-neurotic person wishes that he were very important, Godlike, but knows that he is not so, though he compulsively desires to be so.

The psychotic, on the other hand, has lost the ability to test reality and simply believes that he is now what he wishes to be, a very important person. Whereas in childhood, he had wished to be a very important person, godlike, in psychosis (which generally occurs between ages 17-27), the person now believes that he is his wishes. He fancies himself the most important person on earth, the most beautiful woman on earth; in a word, he is now a pretentious powerful god. Of course, he is none of those things. He is an ordinary human being and merely pretends to be all powerful. Generally, he presents his desired fictional important self to normal persons and they laugh at him. Since he is convinced that he is the fictional Jesus Christ, Buddha, Krishna, Mohammed, Napoleon, Hitler or whatever personage in his world is seen as an important person that he identifies with, the psychotic drifts away from normal society and lives in his own world, a world of fantasy where he thinks that his wishes are real. Go to the nearest psychiatric hospital and behold paranoid schizophrenics telling you that they are god, manic-depressives, aka Bipolar affectively disordered persons, telling you that they are the richest, most powerful and most famous persons on earth; deluded persons telling you that every person is out to get them, poison them, kill them etc and they hiding from these imaginary detractors. One must be very important for other persons to have nothing better to do with their lives than seek ways to kill one. Paranoia is a function of deluded big self, a self that is so important that other selves want to kill it.

You do not have to go to psychiatric hospitals to behold what the ego has made. Look at yourself and your neighbors. The human population can be divided into the following categories: 90% of the population are normal; 2% are psychotic; 2% are mentally retarded (have IQ under 70) and about 6% has serious personality disorders (such as paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, antisocial, borderline, narcissistic, and histrionic, avoidant, and possessive-compulsive, dependent and passive aggressive).

About ten percent of the population may be said to have clinically significant mental health issues and the remaining ninety percent has those issues in minor portions. That is to say that just about every human being has issues with his self structure, for all mental health problems are problems of the self structure.

Generally, religion helps the majority of the people with minor issues with their self structures and enables them to cope with the exigencies of being on earth. By positing a God that is more powerful than human beings and urging people to worship that God, religion enables people to shrink their selves to normal proportions.
Where religion fails in enabling people to shrink their swollen selves, they tend to go from minor neurosis to personality disorders.
Religion has failed in Nigeria and the result is that many Nigerians now have personality disorders. The saddest part of it all is that they do not even know it. But know it or not, their behaviors exhibit personality disorders; the effect of their disordered selves is the chaos they have turned their country to.

Let us consider those personality disorders that are rampart in Nigerians: narcissistic, antisocial, histrionic and paranoid. (If you are interested in technical understanding of these issues, see American Psychiatric Association, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, latest edition…it is revised every ten years, or so.)

The narcissistic personality looks like you and I. The difference is that he exaggerates traits found in all of us. All of us want to seem special and draw attention to ourselves. Every person wants to be rich, powerful and famous. The narcissist has this desire in a more intense degree. His whole life is motivated by desire to seem special and superior to other people and a desire to do what would bring him other people’s recognition and attention. He works hard for the attention he seeks. Generally, he does well at school (A or B student) and succeeds in the world. He may be a military general, a chief executive officer of a business, a politician etc. Generally, he is a socially successful person. What is the problem with that picture, you ask? The problem is that he works for his personal success and social validation of his desired sense of specialness and attention. He does not work for the good of other people. In fact, he is more likely to use other people to get what he wants and when they are no longer useful to him, he discards them. Have I not just described the typical Nigerian politician? You decide. Narcissists are self centered and live selfish lives. Their personal lives are marked by inner sense of emptiness and aloneness. They feel like they are nothing important. Despite seeming important in his general’s uniform or in the flowing robes worn by the Nigerian big man, he actually feels like one giant worthless nothing. In fact, he feels like he does not even exist. All his compulsive behaviors to bring attention to him are meant to make his non-existent self seem existent and his unimportant seeming self seem important. He is an empty shell, really. He does not know what gives human beings real worth. The perennial wisdom of all mankind is that service for other human beings is what gives us genuine worth. The mother who takes good care of her children has more self worth than the politician whom every sycophant worships. (If you are interested in the technical literature on narcissism please Kohut, Kornberg, Masterson and Alice Miller.)

The histrionic personality is generally the female equivalent of the male narcissist. She wants to look beautiful and be admired by men and women. Her affect is shallow. Her whole life is dedicated to getting attention, often in a melodramatic manner. (Psychoanalysts used to call such women hysterical, but we shall not go there, for political correctness reasons.) We shall just say that these drama queens want to seem special and seek attention through beautifying their bodies. If you tell them that they are beautiful, you gratify their vanity and they like you, but if you dared tell them that they are ugly, they may, in fact work for your down fall, if not death. That is how outrageous their egos have become in their quest for fictional power. Think about the wives of Nigerian big men, what do you see? They are women with personality disorders. These women actually do not know that humility and a life dedicated to service to society is the only means of becoming the important self they wish to be. Love, forgiveness and social service are the only means known to human beings for attaining peace and happiness. Adorning ones body with all the jewelry this world can provide and being the Queen of Also Rock will not make you important, what your ego craves; what will give you worth and sense of value is serving all Nigerians.
Antisocial personality disorder is characterized by a tendency to steal and engage in general antisocial behaviors without feeling guilty and remorseful. These people tend to have a sense of entitlement and feel like the world and other people owe them a living. If they do not earn good living they take it from other people. These people steal, even kill and do not feel bad from doing them. In fact, some of them seem to enjoy hurting other people. Let me ask you: what is a Nigerian leader but a person, who steals from the public, takes bribes and some times kills those who oppose him? He is nothing but a common criminal, an anti social personality disordered person. These people live empty lives. They do not understand what gives human beings real sense of worth: a life of social service and a life rooted in God.

Paranoid personality disorder. This person wants to be very important but did not figure out a way to gratify his desired importance, like the narcissist did. Whereas the narcissist has a sense of being successful, in fact, the paranoid has a sense of being a failure. Generally, he consciously feels inferior and consciously tries to seem superior. Whereas the narcissist assumes that he is superior to other people, the paranoid personality feels inferior to other people and struggles to seem superior to them. He feels inferior and compensates with pursuit of superiority. In interpersonal relationships, he wants other people to treat him as if he is a very important person, a VIP. If he senses that you are demeaning him, not treating him as if he is important, he feels upset and may ask you why you are humiliating him. He fears being disrespected, demeaned, belittled, humiliated, degraded, disgraced etc. When he suspects belittlement from other people, he lashes out at the source with anger. He accuses people of putting him down, when they did not consciously aim to do so. His interpersonal relationship is characterized by conflict. (If you are interested in the technical literature on this subject, see David Swanson et al, The Paranoid; William Meissner, Paranoid Process, Psychotherapy and the Paranoid Process; David Shapiro, Autonomy and the Rigid Character, Neurotic Styles.)

For any number of reasons, the Igbos tend to feel inferior and desire to seem superior. I hate to say it, but truth must be said, Igbos tend to exhibit more paranoid personality disorders than is found in the general population. In my twenty something years in the mental health field, the only two Nigerians with genuine delusional disorder (a more severe form pf paranoid personality) that I have seen are Igbo women. These two Igbo women had delusional disorder, erotomanic type. They felt that some powerful men were in love with them; men that did not even know about them. One felt that she was married to Jesus Christ himself and the other felt that a famous Nigerian professor was her lover, even though he did not know that she exists. In erotomania, an inferior feeling person, usually a woman believes that a famous person is in love with her etc. This feeling, apparently, makes her feel very desirable and important. A woman who feels inferior but is the object of love by a powerful man is now the most important woman in her world. It is difficult to dislodge delusional beliefs, for they serve a function for their victims: make them feel very important. If they gave up their delusions, they would recognize that they are like the rest of us, ordinary human beings. But they do not want to become ordinary human beings.

I do not want to make this paper a clinical paper, but in as much as we have broached delusional disorder, here are the rest of the delusions: paranoid, grandiose, erotomanic, jealous, and somatic. In paranoid delusion, the individual actually believes that some one, say his wife, police, ancestors etc is out to kill him and hides from them. In grandiose type, the individual believes that he is more important than other people and expects other people to accept this delusion. (Igbos tend to have the delusion that they are better than other Nigerians and expect other Nigerians to collude with their delusion and see them, as they want to be seen, as superior persons. Luckily, other Nigerians attempt to heal Igbos of their delusional disorder by reminding them that they are just ordinary human beings and are not better than other Nigerians.) In jealous type, the individual is jealous and believes that his wife is out there having sex with every man that has ever looked at her. He often abuses her for being unfaithful, when she is faithful. He consistently misinterprets her behaviors. Most men who engage in domestic violence tend to have delusional disorder, jealous type, with features of the other types. In somatic type of delusion, the individual believes that he or she has a physical disorder and goes from medical doctor to medical doctor, seeking treatment. Doctors generally do not find physical disorders in these persons.

Apparently, the belief that she has some medical disorder somehow makes the deluded woman feel special and, moreover, provides her with excuse not to do something in the real world to succeed and become the god she wants to become. She does not want to give up her belief that she has a physical illness. In my experience, such women generally have underlying physical disorders that medial science has not been able to figure out yet. Therefore, one should not dismiss such women as seeking attention through imaginary medical disorders. Whereas there is an element of hyperchondrises going on here, it is not only psychosomatic disorder; if you look deeply, you will find a physical disorder. A woman that I know kept complaining for years that there was something the matter with her. Nobody took her seriously. It happens that she has fibromylegia (muscles aches). A man that I know kept saying that something is the matter with him and nobody took him seriously. People said that he was malingering, using imaginary medical issues to avoid work and being on the doll. Well, it turned out that he had spondilolysis on both the lumber and cervical vertebrae. Where there is smoke there is fire, so look deeply before you dismiss people as suffering delusional disorder, somatic type.

The mentally ill are all of us writ large, for us all to see our own minor insanity. The schizophrenic who believes that he is god and hears voices telling him that he is god is merely acting out our wish to have a big self; the manic who, in an excited and euphoric manner, tells you that he is the most important person on earth, even though he is unemployed and has no penny to his name, is acting out the human wish to be important.

Our concern here is that man has a problematic self. He feels that he has a self, a separated important self and attempts to actualize that imaginary self.

I am not here to debate with you. I am here to tell you the truth, as I have gleaned it in my checquered existence on planet earth. My experience teaches me that all human beings are pursuing a chimerical self. The self that they think that they are, is generally a fictional, imaginary self.

All human beings think that they are separated, important selves. They came to this world to seem so. Their real self is unified spirit self. Religions have different names for this real self: Atman (Hinduism), Buddha (Buddhism), Christ (Christianity), son of God (Judaism) etc. Call it what you like, it is real.
God is very real. I know that he exists. If you think that you are cynical and skeptical, you have not seen a real skeptic. As a teenager, I did not want to hear any body talk about God. If you mentioned the word God, I freaked out and thought that you were crazy and belonged in an insane asylum. I filled my little head with information by the great philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, Berkeley, Pascal, Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, John Stuart Mill, Jeremy Bentham, William James, Henry Bergson etc. I was a walking talking parrot who, at any moment, regurgitated what any of those great thinkers said. But in time, I learned that there is a force that is beyond what is taught in our philosophy.

Human beings are the creation of God. God extended himself unto us. God created us. We did not create ourselves and we did not create God.

God, our creator, is not apart from us. God is in his creation. God is in all of us. God is in each of us.

God is everywhere means that he is in us and in everything else. Everywhere is in God for God is everywhere. God is the universe (not material universe, the spiritual universe; the material universe is miscreations by the children of God).

God gave his children his creative powers. We, too, do create. Because we can create, we want to create ourselves and each other and create God; we resent the fact that we are created. We resent the fact that God created us. God created us and we cannot create God or ourselves. We resented this reality.

Since we have the ability to create, but always with the power of God in us, we left God to go miscreate a world where we seem to have created ourselves.

We are part of God and cannot leave him. All that we did was, as it were, cast a magical spell, what Hinduism calls Maya, on us and forgot the truth of our unified self and seem to go to sleep and dream that we are separated from God and that we created ourselves.

Upon birth on earth, the human child vaguely remembers his creator, God, but soon forgets him. By age two he has forgotten God and his true self as the son of God; he is already inventing a new self for himself. By age six his new self is in place.

Each of us invents a self concept and concepts for other people; we invent self images and images for other people; we give names (concepts and images) to everything in our world. This action amounts to being our own creator and the creator of everything in the world. In doing so, we satisfy our desire to seem to have created God and ourselves.

On earth, in the world of separation, we now seem like we are the author of reality. We are no longer created beings but creators of being.

This is what this world is all about. The world is a place where the children of God come to seem to create God. Each of us, working with all of us, creates his self concept (and translates it into a self image, so as to see it in form hence deceive his self into believing that it is real) and invents concepts and images of other people and things. The circle is closed.

We now seem separated from our real selves. We are away from our father. We are the prodigal son on a journey to nowhere, for everywhere we go we are in God. It is a journey without distance, for God is right at the tip of our nose, waiting for us to recognize him.

The world is a place we come to seem to be false, imaginary selves. The personalities we currently know ourselves to be are fictional. But fictional or not, that is who we think that we are.

We make these ego separated important selves and house them in bodies. Our bodies are weak and vulnerable and subject to feeling pain. We, therefore, anticipate pain and defend against pain.

If I fear that you would harm me, I would avoid you. I would separate from you. Personality is a means of separation. The ego and body that houses it is a means of separation.

Earlier on, I talked the various personality types. What is your personality? It might do you some good to take some of the personality tests, such as MMPI. It does not hurt to have a working knowledge of your personality type (and IQ; some of the best instruments for IQ are WAIS for adults and WISC for children).

Personality is a pattern of thinking and behaving. Beginning in childhood, each of us develops a pattern of thinking and behaving. Usually his social and biological experiences contributed to his pattern of thinking and behaving, his personality.

Nigerians often think that they are so well hidden that nobody knows who they are. It would take a typical mental professional less than a few hours to assess each individual’s personality pattern.

All human beings behave in a human pattern (general human personality, ego) and within that generalized pattern; each of us has an individual pattern, his personality, his habitual pattern of responding to the exigencies of living.

All human beings pursue separated, important selves, that is, pursue ego. We are all slaves to the ego; we all live in hell, for as long as we want to be egos we are in hell, for the ego is what hell means.

As long as we seek to become egos we will lack peace and joy in our lives. But within this overall picture, each of us has his own private hell. Each of us has a private personality, a self concept, a self image, a picture of the person he thinks that he is and is aspiring to become. We are all slaves to the self we made to replace the self that God created us as.

Personality testing gives one a good picture of what type of self one has. My personality tests tell me that I am an avoidant personality. It is obvious to every person that knows me that this is true. I was an inordinately shy child. Shyness is what psychiatrists call avoidant personality disorder. It means that the child, as he is, feels not good enough. Believing that he is not good enough, he concludes that if other people come close to him that they would appreciate his personal inadequacy. He doesn’t want to be seen as not good enough. To avoid being seen as not well enough, he generally avoids other people. He keeps an emotional distance between him and other people.

The shy child keeps to himself, afraid that if you came close to know him that you would see that he is not good and reject him. He fears rejection more than he fears death itself. Anticipated rejection makes him fearful and anxious. He reduces his anxiety by avoiding people. He avoids other children and keeps to himself. If he is the brainy type, he keeps to himself and reads books.

At school, the shy child is afraid that his teachers might give him poor grades hence expose the fact that he is not good enough. If this aspect of the disorder is magnified in the child, he has obsessive compulsive personality, as well. Here, the individual wants to seem perfect and fears not seeming so. He is driven to seem perfect and is afraid of not seeming perfect. Some such children, in fact, hide their school work from their teachers, for fear of not obtaining perfect grades. My God, I used to be devastated every time I am getting my papers back from my elementary school teachers, for getting a poor grade made me feel like I was valueless.

Behind the fear of social rejection, the avoidant, shy child wants to have a very important and superior self. Actually, he uses avoidance to maintain his desired important self. Social avoidance is a means of maintaining separation from other people.

Parents who have shy children ought to know that their children need to be helped out of shyness, for shyness is a psychological problem. The shy child is using his shyness to avoid relating to other people. He is hiding from other people... He is disrupting interpersonal relationship.

Life is relationships and one must relate fully to other people to be fully alive. As adults, shy, introverted persons tend to have problems on the job. They tend to keep quiet and others, the more extroverted assertive types, get noticed and promoted on the job. But since the introspective and reflective shy person may understand how to do the job better than the shallow extravert promoted ahead of him, he may feel bypassed and angry and develop passive aggressive behavior patterns. Here, he tries to defeat his employer’s goals, such as not working hard any more, because he was not properly rewarded.

Shy children have to be taught that in the social world we are all in competition with each other for the rewards that society offers and learn to compete overtly, rather than covertly, as they normally do. They avoid overt competition and, therefore, do not win in the games of society but in isolation nurse their ideal, superior self. The ideal, superior self is untested in competition and is not real, it is vacuous, and it is neurotic. As a matter of fact, as long as the individual clings to that idle superior self he is going to be a failure in society, for in society people compete in every thing and the best wins rewards. Life is pretty much like a soccer game; we are all playing a game and those who play better than others are rewarded with recognition by society. If one does not enter the games of society and play effectively, one is not going to win. Merely keeping to the side lines and wishing for an ideal superior self is not going to make one win at any thing and worse, it is not going the make the wished for self to become real. Only actual competition brings desired results.

The individual must, therefore, study what he is good at, what he has aptitude and interest in doing, train for it and compete overtly with other people. Avoiding other people is not allowed in heaven and on earth. Join people and relate fully to them that are what life is all about. Stop the temptation to avoid people, join people. It is the wish for dissociation that led to all our problems.
All personalities, normal and abnormal, are mechanisms for separating from other people and from God.

Therefore, all personalities, that is separated self concepts, self images, egos, must be given up for the individual to experience union with God and all creation.

Each of us has a unique pattern of behaving, and for relating to his world. Do you know your own pattern, your personality type? The German writer, Novalis, said that character is fate. Progressive liberals tend to dismiss his assertion. Liberals and progressives, in general, believe that with reason and effort that each of us can do whatever he wants to do. It is nice to have such un-limiting beliefs. But my experience has shown me that personality is, more or less, fate. Once the individual develops a certain type of personality, usually in childhood, certainly before adolescence, age 13, that pattern of relating to other people and the world around him tends determine what he gets out of life. Society will reward the individual according to his behaviors, which are determined by his personality. As it were, personality is fate.

Once developed, whatever will happen to the individual will happen to him? He must experience whatever he has to experience. As it were, he is destined by his personality to live and experience life in a certain manner. In fact, given the individual’s personality, he can only do well in certain professions. He will have to do what he has to do and experience what he has to experience and nobody can prevent it. For example, if you are the introverted, introspective, reflective, shy, avoidant personality type, it is obvious that you may do well in introspective disciplines like philosophy, theology and psychology and not necessarily in action oriented disciplines like engineering. Once personality is formed, and personality is formed from biological and social experiences, the individual’s fate, as it were, is set.

(A life force in us takes our inherited biological constitution and social experience and weaves them together to form our personalities. We are the conceptualizer of our personalities. A spirit that we came to the world with, though denying its real nature and sleeping is responsible for conceptualizing our self concepts and self images. We, that is, unified spirit, the thinker in us, are not our thoughts and personalities. The individual is not his thoughts and behavior; he is a son of God, spirit that came to earth to dream that he is separated from his father and brothers. Because he is not his personality he can understand his biological make up and his social experiences and his personality and up to a point change them. However, body and society are limits. Given his inherited body and the nature of society he lives in, there is only so much he can change in his life. You cannot change your genes, and body, at least not yet, not until genetic science and engineering makes that possible. Until that happy event takes place, you are restricted as to what you can do by your inherited body and social status. If you were born with a weak, sensitive body, as is almost always the case in shy children, you are not going to make your body strong by merely wishing so, hence will not make yourself extroverted. You will always be introverted, but you can learn the nature of extroversion and became socially outgoing despite the pull of shyness for you to withdraw from society. In the meantime go do what you have aptitude and interest in doing and use it to contribute to society. In contributing fully to society you receive peace and joy.)

Please find out what your personality type is and work on it, it affects what you do. Recently, I asked an Igbo Doctor an innocent question. I asked the question to obtain information from him. He had assigned an honorific title himself and I wrote to him a one line question: what does that title mean? He wrote back a rambling dissertation on how I was making fun of him. I was surprised at his sense of being demeaned.

He was projecting his self assessment to me. He thinks that he is funny, calling himself a Sir, when he is not one. That is, he was projecting to me what he sees in him. He has paranoid personality features, for paranoid persons generally over employ the ego defense mechanism of projection. They think that they are inferior and inadequate, deny this negative self assessment and project it out and come to think that other people think that they are inferior and inadequate. They then quarrel with other people for perceiving them as inferior and inadequate. They stimulate anger in other people, for if you accuse people of seeing you as inadequate and they did not see you as such, you make them resent you and quarrel with you. The paranoid personality is in a vicious cycle (self fulfilling prophecy), he accuses other people of doing what they did not do and they resent him and fight with him. This hostile response by other people confirms his earlier assumption that other people and the world is hostile towards him and is out to get him and or put him down. He does not know that he is the one stimulating how other people respond to him. If he changes his self view, gives up his neurotic wish to seem important, relinquishes his grandiosity, and accepts that he is the same and equal to all people, loves and forgives all people, he would generate more peaceful and loving responses from other people.

Igbos tend to be more paranoid than other people. I know that they may not want to hear this fact but I am actually trying to help them by stating the truth, as I observe it in them. A people’s friend must tell the truth, as he sees it. (What is the truth, you ask? I do not know, do you know? Never mind if we do not, ultimately, know what the truth is.) Who ever tells one lies is ones enemy. I think that for any number of reasons, Igbos feel inferior and want to seem superior. They want other Nigerians to see them as superior to them. Of course, other Nigerians being normal persons refuse to collude with Igbos. Thus they see Igbos for who they are: ordinary persons. Igbos then resent being seen as ordinary, for their neurosis would like them to be seen as very important persons. They accuse other Nigerians of persecuting them, when no one is persecuting them. They tell me that Yoruba’s are out to do this or that to them. The Yorubas I know are the kindest persons on earth. The Hausas I know are the most generous human beings on earth. But my Igbo brothers are unaware of the psychodynamic origin of their quarrels with other Nigerians.

I am not making other Nigerians out as angels. Every human being has a personality, which, in the final analysis, is at best normal. Normal means that it does not have exaggerated neurosis.

For example, every person is a bit paranoid. If your level of paranoid is small we say that you are normal. That does not mean that you do not have paranoia. If terrorists randomly kill people, your masked paranoia would come to the fore, as you suddenly feel that other people are out to kill you and you are suspicious of your neighbors intentions; you become guarded and scan your world looking out for danger and defending yourself. On September 11, 2001 just about every American exhibited paranoid personality traits. The point is that psychopathologies masked in normal persons come out in insecure times.


What this means is that all of us have problematic selves. We, therefore, need to pause and understand our selves. This understanding is to be done at two levels: secular and spiritual.

At the secular level, we can use the science of psychology to understand our personalities, our self concepts and our self images. The chances are that you, if you are reading this material, you are normal. (See the writings of George Kelly on personality as a personal construct; he contends that each of us, building on his biological datum and social experiences, constructs his personality. Also see the writings of Alfred Adler and Karen Horney, seminal psychoanalysts.)

(The two percent of the population that is psychotic seldom read abstract materials; apparently, their hallucinations and delusions make reading tedious for them. There seem biological issues in the etiology of psychosis: there are putative problematic dopamine issues in schizophrenia, problematic neuropiniphrin issues in mania, problematic serotonin issues in depression, and problematic GABA issues in anxiety disorder. So far, no one has implicated biochemical causal factors in personality disorders. It seems that mentation, thinking, and plays a key role in personality disorders, and if the individual changes his thinking and behavior patterns his personality tends to change. It appears that cognitive behavior therapy is the best approach to healing personality disorders? Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy and Albert Ellis Rational Emotive Therapy seem to work quite well in helping persons with personality disorders change their self defeating thinking and behavior patterns.)

Psychotherapists (secular, as in psychologists and psychiatrists, and spiritual, as in religions; ministers) make their livings trying to change people’s personalities. But you do not need to go to psychotherapists. You simply can stu

Posted by Administrator at 06:39 AM | Comments (0)

Intelligent Design by an Insane God

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- One has followed the attempt by some Christians to get American schools to teach what they call intelligent design. Apparently, these Christians do not like the implication of Charles Darwin’ (Origin of Species) doctrine that human beings, like other biological organisms, evolved gradually on planet earth, and that chance determined how they evolved.

Evolution (hypothesis) teaches that animals adapted to the exigencies of their environment and that as the environment changed, they mutated, changed along with it. Those animals that adapted to changes in their environment survive and those that did not, died out.
This hypothesis further holds that animals are in perpetual struggle for survival and that the strongest (fittest) among them survive and the weakest die off.
Economists tell us that food and other resources from which human beings obtain their sustenance are scarce and that those animals that can chase others out of where resources are found in abundance survive and those that are chased off (perhaps into reservations and Bantustans, deserts), die or survive marginally.
Evolution hypothesis suggests that human existence on earth is not from what was described in the Christian Scripture (Bible, Genesis).
Christians, one understands, believe that human beings did not merely evolve and adapt to their environment but were created by an intelligent and loving God. Furthermore, they do not seem to like the implication that follows if human beings were produced by random events. It would seem that if human beings were produced by accidental concatenation of events that they have no more worth than other things produced by chance events?
If Human beings were produced in the same manner as trees and animals, human beings are not more important than those organisms? We cut down trees and burn them; we kill animals and eat them, or just for the sport of it. We do not feel guilty or remorseful from doing these things.
If human beings are just like trees and animals and are the product of chance adaptation to the ecology, it logically follows that they have no more value than trees and animals. Shoot and kill them for the sport of it and do not feel guilty or remorseful.
Apparently, Christians fear that if you reduce human beings to the same level as trees and animals, you devalue them and make it possible to hunt them, as game hunters hunt animals, and take pleasure in killing them.
(When you come to think of it, animal and plant cells are just about the same, except that plant cells have vacuole and can make chlorophyll from light energy, from photons, through a process called photosynthesis).
If evolution hypothesis is accepted, it would seem that human worth is a fiction and there is no reason why a fascist like Hitler should not kill off any group he considers unintelligent (such as blacks, Jews, and Slavs). The powerful has a right to kill or use as slaves the perceived weak.
In America, racists like David Duke consider black persons unintelligent and only fit for slavery and set out to either kill or convert them to slaves.
If the Universe is an amoral place, those groups slated for death and or slavery can refuse to die or be enslaved and fight back and either kill or enslave those out to kill or enslave them. In a random, amoral universe, just as Hitler had a right to wish others death, others had a right to wish him death. In such a world, as Thomas Hobbes (Leviathan) would say, people would live in a perpetual state of war and human life would be “nasty, brutish and short”.

Looking at the complexity of the human body, it is difficult to accept that it was a product of random evolution. What comes to mind is that some intelligent force could have put in time and effort to design this complex machine?
Having conceded that the human body was probably designed by an intelligent force, pure reason leads one to ask: why did he do it?
This very complex machine is going to die and rot. Why take the time to design this complicated machine if only it is going to die, decompose and return to the elements, atoms and particles of matter from which it was made?
We are born and must die. Give or take, a hundred years, and the human being dies and his body returns to carbon, calcium, oxygen, potassium, sodium, magnesium and the other elements from which it was made. Why would an intelligent force take the trouble to design such a complex machine that would die and smell to high heaven?
(Have you seen a decomposing human body? It smells worse than garbage. The body that you value so much is no different from feces when it is dead. If you want to retain the illusion that your body is valuable, please stir clear of battlefronts with dead and decomposing bodies.)
The human body is subject to attack by virus, bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms. The human body has a built in biological defense mechanism that constantly fights and destroys the microorganisms that are trying to make a meal of it. (Human thinking, aka mind, also has built-in psychological defense mechanisms with which it fights off threats to its worth. For example, people fight off the threat to the value of their bodies’ worth by denying that they shall die and rot like garbage. Every where, human beings deny death, but die they must.)
Ultimately, microorganisms wear down the human body. Why would an intelligent and caring force design a body and bid other organisms to constantly attack it and have it defend itself (through its immunity system)?

Natural forces like earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, tornadoes, draughts, and famine destroy human beings, as they destroy trees and animals. This year alone, thousands of human beings have died from tsunami in East Asia, from earthquake in Pakistan and from hurricanes in the United States of America. Each year, at least, a million human beings die from the above mentioned natural forces.
If a loving and kind God created human beings, why would he permit his creation to be destroyed by these natural forces?
One assumes that that creative force also created the natural forces that destroy human beings and, as such, had the capability of designing them in such a manner that they did not destroy his supposed pride of creation, his idol, human beings.
It would seem that if there is an intelligent force that designed human beings that he is, in fact, a sadistic one. A God that took the time to create complex biological organisms and then bid them fight with each other must be the quintessence of an evil force!
Just think of it. All animals survive on the back of other animals. To survive, human beings must eat vegetables, fruits and meat. That requirement entails their destroying trees and killing animals. Have you gone to an animal slaughter house, where chicken, cattle, pigs and other source of meat that grace your table are “packed”? It is not exactly a pretty sight. Expose a sensitive child to the killing of animals and give him nightmares; therefore, we hide that gruesome but inevitable business from the perception of our children.
Life on earth subsists on the death of other lives. A god that designed such a life system seems an evil god.
Have you seen a child die and seen what that death does to the mother of that child? I have seen a woman go into catatonia and clinical depression from the death of her beloved son. First, she went into catatonia and for two weeks was in a waxy, inflexible posture, not moving on the bed she was lying. Second, she became depressed and lost interest in the activities of daily living; she had no interest in food, grooming her body, work, play; she simply wanted to die. She was in that existentially depressed mood for the balance of her earthly life.
What kind of intelligent and loving God would do such dastardly thing to a Christian woman of the highest moral order? And hers is by no means a unique situation. Have you gone to battle fronts where human beings mow each other down? People are killed at war fronts as if they have no worth. Usually, after great battles, hundreds and sometimes thousands of dead bodies litter the battle field. Days latter, these bodies rot and smell worse than feces. A few weeks after a sustained battle, you have to cover your nose to deal with the stench from rotting bodies.
Ah, think of Hitler’s gas chambers and six million dead Jews. Think of Hitler’s prisoner of war camps and the millions of Slavic prisoners in them; he starved them to death, but not before they had been used to do hard labor for the Third Reich. What kind of intelligent and caring god permits these gruesome commonplaces in human existence?

One has read some of the theological and philosophical arguments in favor of God’s creation of the world. Consider Aristotle’s idea of an uncaused cause and Christian theologians (examples are Origin, St Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Anselem, Erasmus etc) efforts to use such logical ideas to rationalize belief in God. If you have time to kill at airports, you could read these interesting materials. In the final analysis, however, they are not persuasive, for everywhere one looks, one sees evil.
What seems plausible is that if a god created this world of pain and suffering that he could be a sadistic, evil god? A Jewish clinical psychologist, Helen Schucman, in her book, A Course in Miracles, suggested that an insane part of God, the Son of God, invented this world. To her, the world is insane and was invented by an insane part of God.
One is, therefore, urging the proponents of intelligent design to consider the possibility that an intelligent but evil god designed this world? (Alternatively, could the real God and his real creation be in a different world: unified spirit state, the opposite of our separated, material world?)

PS: Evolution is not a theory; its contention has not been proven true; it is a useful hypothesis; it is probably better than the equally unproven but dogmatic hypothesis found in the Bible. Evolution hypothesis has not accounted for human intelligence. It is not convincing to say, as neuroscience and biological reductionism holds, that thinking, mind, is epiphenomenal.
Cartesian skepticism probably remains the best position in these contentious matters. We need further evidence before we can make up our minds.
Is this agnostic position a cop out? Okay, do what Kierkegaard suggested: make a leap of faith in favor of one of the contending hypotheses on the origin and nature of human beings. Faith, however, is not reason. As long as you know what you are doing, you are in good hands.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji
(206) 464-9004

November 19, 2005

Posted by Administrator at 06:26 AM | Comments (1)

The Abacha in Obasanjo

by Jackson O. Ude (New York, USA) --- Jackson Ogbonna UdeIn every move he makes, he shows the trappings that characterized the dark- goggle wearing late General Sani Abacha, who ruled Nigeria with iron fist and bowed to death in a manner yet unknown to Nigerians. General Olusegun Obasanjo, a glorified democrat and current Nigeria President is a dictator, an absolutist, a despot whose legendary quest to perpetuate himself in power has continued to dominate headlines in recent times.

In his unquenchable hunger for continuous stay in power, General Abacha in ObasanjoObasanjo has hoodwinked corporate Nigeria that the support for his third bid will take the country to the Eldora do.

In the manner reminiscent of the General Abacha era, when corporate bodies and private individuals were falling over themselves to throw support for the late General's continuous stay in power, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, the umbrella body of manufacturing companies in Nigeria, recently announced its support for a third term for General Obasanjo, citing successful reform programs of his regime.
Nothing can be most unpatriotic, callous and shameful than the decision of MAN, an association that is supposed to galvanize economic growth, to support a regime that has no respect for human rights, human life and workers rights.

Where was MAN when Obasanjo arbitrarily increased pump price without the resolution of the National Assembly? Where was MAN, when Nigerian workers were beating and some shot dead by overzealous security men for protesting Obasanjo’s insensitivity to workers plight? Where was MAN when thousands were killed in Odi, Bayelsa State in 1999 and the Zaki-Biam, Benue state by military men on the orders of General Obasanjo?

For goodness sake, this group of politically minded manufactures must apologize to Nigerians and go. They have outlived their usefulness and they are like stale milk! We do not need an association like MAN in our Nigeria of today. A group that will only remind Nigerians of the General Abacha days when boot-licking, sycophancy and the art of showering praises to evil regime was the hallmark of men, women and groups in corridors of power.

When a group like MAN begins to campaign for the continuous stay of a discredited regime that has done more harm to suffering Nigerians, it goes to show that the group has lost touch with its functions and objectives in a country that is begging for a vibrant economy and buoyant manufacturing firms. To all who cares, MAN is a disgrace, an albatross and a messenger of evil that must be rejected.

How many manufacturing firm in Nigeria is buoyant with the daily increase of unemployment? MAN sees nothing wrong with the alarming unemployment rate; they see nothing wrong with the hundreds of manufacturing firm closing shop daily, they see nothing wrong with the seeming clamp down on small scale industries, rather they want to be the flagship in the quest for an Obasanjo’s third term in the presidency. What a shame!

This is just the beginning of the many endorsements yet to come. Soon the Nigeria Stock Exchange, NSE, which is noted for donating handsomely to the presidency, will join the queue of the pro-third term bid for Obasanjo, then the Dangotes, the Odogwus, the Adenugas, the Arisekolas and the Michael Ibrus.

To those who do not know, the aforementioned men and their cronies are the ones who control MAN. They control the Nigerian economy by virtue of owning major companies in Nigeria that have benefited from Government patronage through award of contracts and other areas. These were the same men who donated over $6 Billion to the infamous Obasanjo library in May 2005. The same men, the same willing tools for the destruction of Nigeria, had lined behind the late General Abacha’s self succession bid.

There next move now will be the formation of groups across the states in the country to drum up more support for a third term bid for Obasanjo.

Soon, we will begin to hear and read about Youth Earnestly Ask For Obasanjo, YEAO and Daniel Kanu of the infamous Youth Earnestly Ask For Abacha, YEAH and the Two Million Man March, will be consulted to organize same for Baba Iyabo. Sunny Ade, Oliver de’ Coque, Dan Maraya Jos, Onyeka Onwenu and Charley Boy will be co-opted to release an album for Obasanjo and mobilize PMAN. Obas, Ezes, Igwe, Emirs and community leaders will be intimidated to lead the support and Ghana-Must-Go will be in surplus!

Who can stop these men whose selfish motive is just to continue to build financial empires at the expense of poor Nigerians who are not sure of the next day’s meal? Who can liberate Nigerians from the tyranny of this minority who are bent at ensuring that a dictator continues to rule over a nation that have been under the jack boot of military dictatorship in the last 35 years?

Like Abacha, Obasanjo has intimidated MAN and corporate Nigeria to believing that without him in power there will be no economic boom. In return, MAN has patronized him, romanced with him as he sits back in his colorful Agbada, dishing out others on the modus operandi for his return to power for the third term.

For MAN to indulge in such a senseless endorsement of an Obasanjo’s third term aspiration without his public disapproval is an indication that General Obasanjo is in the know and has approved the decision of the association that had donated financially during his second term bid.
Like Abacha enjoyed all the ceremonies and endorsements associated with his self-succession, General Obasanjo is no doubt enjoying the same, sipping champagne with his cronies in anticipation of another four years.

Until there is another death in Aso Rock, emerging Hitlers of our time in Nigeria will never learn!

Jackson O. Ude

Ude, a Nigerian Journalist is based in New York.

Posted by Administrator at 06:25 AM | Comments (8)

Why do Human Beings Tolerate Slavery? and other Little Essays

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Hitherto, I had a dismissive attitude towards African Americans. I saw them as cowards. Why? I believed that they were so afraid of dying and wanted to live so badly that they permitted white folks to enslave them.

It seemed to me that if they were real men, men who were not afraid of dying, that they would have fought for their personal liberties and, if need be, preferred death to living as slaves, and in the present as second class citizens in America.

But the more I think about the issue the more I realize that all of us are really doing what African Americans did hence one should not have contempt for them.

White Americans would seem like free men but are they? I have lived in America. The white Americans that I see are total cowards. They fit themselves into their oppressive society and do not complain about it. Their society is like a hierarchical military set up, wit a few leaders at the top and the masses at the bottom. The leaders aren’t free men, either; they have to make sure that they abide by the ethos of the slave society they lead. White Americans are the most emasculated human beings there are on earth; they conform to their oppressive society without questioning it, just so that they have jobs and be able to feed themselves and live. If they were free men they would fight for freedom for all in their society.

How about contemporary Africans who come to America, are they free men? When they get here, they, too, fit themselves right in, into America’s slavish society. They occupy the second class role that white society designed and assigned to blacks in American society. They are shunted into menial jobs and do them. They may chaff among themselves but seldom actively do something to change their situation. They enjoy the few civil rights that black Americans fought for but, by and large, do not fight for those rights by themselves.

I have not lived in Europe and cannot speak about Europeans. But one assumes that they, too, acquiesce to the rule of their oppressive leaders. In the past, they feared and obeyed their abusive kings. They must be slavish in their behavior? At any rate, the Europeans that come to America conform to the slavish society that I know as America, they are seldom courageous persons who rock the boat of injustice that is called America.
It is correct to assert that most human beings acquiesce to unjust social set ups, where a few oppress the many. It seems most people are slaves. Why so?


I think that most of us tolerate slavery and social abuses because we identified with the ego, false self.
The ego is the separated self housed in bodies. Bodies are weak and vulnerable. Bodies can be hurt and eventually will die. Those who identify with body must, therefore, anticipate harm to their bodies and live in fear of harm and death.
Fearing harm and death and wishing to live forever, people who identify with egos/bodies tend to go along with whoever threatens to harm and or kill them.
The ego, while living in fear, nevertheless, desires power; it has ego ideals and wants to actualize them. It begs for opportunity to live, hoping that it would have the ability and time to actualize its ego ideals, and in the process become powerful.
Consider me, for example. Upon getting to America, I quickly appraised that white Americans are uncivilized brutes, slavers and discriminators. I developed total contempt for them. I did not want any thing to do with them. I tuned them out. But I had ego ideals. I hoped to realize my ego ideals, to eventually bring about the type of society that I liked. In the meantime, I tolerated the white controlled society, the abusive and oppressive American society. I did not do anything to change the oppressive American society that I lived in. I, in effect, condoned America’s abusiveness. I permitted myself to live as a second class citizen in America. I permitted myself to be enslaved by the enslaving white society. I am, in effect, not as courageous as I had imagined myself to be.
I used to believe that I would sooner die than tolerate slavery, as black Americans did. Now I know that I am as cowardly as black Americans seem to be. What this means is that I must learn to respect them rather than dismiss them as cowards that ought not to be listened to. I tended to want to listen to only men who are courageous, who are willing to die for what they believed to be right, men who would not permit other men to enslave them.


It seems that as long as human beings are separated from their spirit nature and live in bodies, and struggle to protect their separated selves housed in bodies, bodies they know are weak and vulnerable; they would fear harm and death. They would fear those who are able to harm and or kill them. As long as human beings wish to live as separated selves housed in bodies they must be amenable to social oppression. People set up governments to protect them from each others attack. Governments realizing that people are fearful turn around and oppress them. Governments must be abusive. Slavery and acceptance of second class social status seem an inherent part of the human condition.
Only the few who are ready to die, at any moment, can become truly free men; those who look soldiers pointing guns at them and say: go ahead, shoot and kill me, for if I must live, I must live only as a free man, are capable of living as free men.
I estimate that less than one percent of the human population, worldwide, has the courage to insist on liberty or death. I estimate that less than one percent of the human population is freemen. The rest of them are slaves and or second class citizens.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

My father and grandfather were idealists. They had grand plans of how to improve themselves, improve other people and improve their world. Their minds came up with all sorts of ideals of how they and their world ought to become perfect. I am like them, I am also an idealist; my thinking, mind, is forever coming up with plans to make human beings and their social institutions perfect.
I observed my father in his middle age. When he was fifty five years old, it became apparent that he was getting old and that his grandiose ideals were not going to be realized. He despaired and gave up on his plans. From that age onwards, it was evident to me that father was a discouraged man and that he had no more hope of realizing his dreams. He became a shell of his former idealistic self. For a while, though, he tried to vicariously realize his dreams through his children. He talked and talked about how we needed to be outstanding and achieve this or that. But reality is different; none of his children had the aptitude or interest in doing what he wanted us to do. For example, he wanted us to go into politics and try to become leaders of the country. But I was not interested in politics. What interested me was studying why people behaved as they behaved. None of father’s children undertook to realize his neurotic goals, that is, false, idealistic goals. Father felt disappointed and became one unhappy man in his old age.
Clearly, father’s neurotic motivations, his quest for power and glory were what kept him going. As a young man he tried to accomplish a lot. After elementary schooling, he was assigned to a trader. His master took him to all over West Africa, teaching him the art of trading. He eventually becomes an independent trader. As I understand it, he made quite a bit of money, too. He did for his folks what in his world was considered an achievement: buy bicycles for them, buy wives for them and bring them to the urban setting, housed and fed them. He was responsible for bringing his fellow villagers to Lagos.
Father had high hopes for himself but by the 1970s, when he was a middle aged man, it was obvious that he was not going to realize his ambitions. Now what? He gave up. In the 1980s, he returned to his village, a broken man.

When one recognizes that ones goals, what gave one motivation to struggle for achievement, is not going to be realized and that even if they were realized that they are not satisfying, what should one do?
I believe that the person should strive to have replacement goals and substitute purposes to live for.
What is that different purpose to live for?
When the ego’s neurotic purpose (for superiority and idealism) is given up, one need to replace it with a different purpose: one should live for God’s purpose for his children.
God wills that we love him and love one another. To serve God’s will is to serve God and all human beings. One must learn to love all people and work for a world of love.
In real terms, as brother Jesus said, love means forgiving all human beings what they did on earth to hurt one another. One must practice forgiveness and love.
Forgiveness, love and social service are the replacement goals that one must have. Forgiveness, love and service to all people give one inner peace and give society peace and harmony.
In terms of profession in the world, of course, one must do what one has aptitude and interest in doing, but one must redirect the purpose of that profession for one. If one had sought the vocation to seem socially important, one must now use it as a means of helping other people. One must use ones vocation to point people towards God, forgiveness and love. For example, I understand secular psychology. I can now use that understanding to point out the pain and suffering inducing nature of the ego and the need for spiritual psychology, a psychology that practices love for all people.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

When inexperienced men see shy women they may automatically think that such women are docile and that they can easily dominate them. It generally turns out that this is not always the case.
African men were socialized to dominate women. I am a typical African male. I was brought up to seek to dominate women. I wanted to dominate my women. I therefore gravitated to shy, quiet, seemingly unassertive women. My goal was to have a door mat that did whatever I asked her to do.
Shy women appear to have low self esteem and not to have high opinion of them selves.
Whereas it is a fact that shyness is correlated with inferiority feeling, what is not always understood is that the person who feels inferior also wants to feel superior. As Alfred Adler correctly pointed out, when a person feels inferior (be it due to inherited organic deficits or due to social deficits, such as men putting women in second class status hence making them feel inferior) they tend to compensate with a drive for superiority. The inferior feeling person restitutes with desire for inordinate sense of superiority, a superiority that borders on the unreal, hence is neurotic (if not psychotic). Such persons often behave as if they are their desired important selves.
The superior and ideal self is a fiction yet shy, neurotic persons so desire them that sometimes they feel an inner obsessive compulsion to behave “As if” they are their desired imaginary powerful selves.
I had a relationship with a shy, introverted woman, a school psychologist. Whereas on the surface, this woman seemed passive, in fact, she wanted to dominate me, to tell me what to do. It was either her way or the highway. I was surprised that my supposed wilting willow is now trying to run my life. She, in fact, wanted to determine everything that I did, including minor things like what movies we went to, what restaurants we went to, where we traveled to etc.
As a result of her domineering nature, I began to pay attention to her personality. I, too, am quiet and seemingly passive. People tend to see me as a door mat until they attempt telling me what to do. If you dared tell me what to do, my oppositional nature comes out, for my immediate response is to ask you who the hell do you think that you are telling me what to do. Just because I am a nice guy who seems to please every body around me does not mean that I give anyone permission to tell me what to do. People often feel surprised that the hitherto mild mannered person like me is now all over them wanting to know why on earth they dared to tell me what to do.
My girl friend’s bossing me around brought out my oppositional defiant nature. But since she is not a man, I was not about to talk loudly to her. I would have immediately tried to stop a fellow man who tried to boss me around. A woman, well, I was brought up not to shout at women, not to even debate with them, but to tolerate them. So I kept quiet and tried to understand her.
Building on my understanding of that woman and a few others, I posit that shy, passive women tend to desire to seem superior to men and, that some, in fact, marry men they seem superior to.
My lady friend studied psychology and makes her living giving IQ and personality tests and counseling students. She fancied herself very smart. She would correct my mistakes, even in the public.
Over time, I gradually learned that many shy women want to dominate their men. This is particularly so in interracial relationships. If the woman is white and shy, the chances are that she feels inferior and wants to seem superior. She could not feel superior to white men but feels that she could feel superior to black men, after all white society defines black persons as inferior. I suspect that many white women marry black men to feel superior to them. When such black men improve their self esteem and demand to be treated as equals and become assertive, their neurotic women no longer know how to relate to them. The premise of their relationships, superiority and inferiority, is broken. Such marriages end, unless of course both parties are willing to become equal partners in the relationship.
With the end of their neurotic relationship, the woman generally forms another neurotic relationship with a person she feels superior to, often another minority person. Of course when the new spouse wises up to her neurotic game and asks for equality she would leave. Thus such neurotic white women go from one minority male to another, seeking those they can feel superior to and or dominate. (Of course, not all interracial relationships are predicated on neurotic grounds; some are healthy relationships between two equal persons who respect each other.)
In healthy relationships, the man and woman see each other as equal and treat each other with respect. But such relationships are very few. What is common is for the man to feel more powerful than the woman and, more or less, tolerate her as one tolerates a child who acts as if he is an adult.
Most men that I know don’t even listen to their wives opinions. It is as if the wives are children and the men are adults and do not have to listen to the views of children. If the wife talks, they humor her and pretend to pay attention to what she says, just so that they do not fight, so as to have peace in the family. But deep down they really do not respect what their wives say.
In conclusion, it seems that some shy women are superiority and domination seeking women, a fact belied by their apparent passive appearance.
Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

All through my life I have not really found a vocation, a career, and a profession I find satisfactory enough to devote my life to.
In the absence of a real vocation, I devoted my self to trying to actualize my ego ideals.
But now I know that the ego and its ideals are neurotic. If, in fact, one realized ones ego ideals of superiority one becomes psychotic. The lunatic is a person who believes himself superior to other people. The neurotic wishes to be superior to others but knows that he is not so but the psychotic, though the same as all of us, nevertheless, feels superior to other people.
I know that my past goals were in pursuit of my neurotic ego ideals. So what should my goals be? In other words, what should my vocation be? How should I make my living?
What does A Course in Miracle say regarding vocation? It says that our vocation is to understand forgiveness and love, and practice and teach them.
When I live from forgiveness and love, I have overcome the ego and its world; I have overlooked the evils of this world and focus on a different world, God’s world. I am now on my journey back to God. My life is characterized by peace and joy.
I model my peace and joy to the world. I give my peace and joy to the world. A grateful world then rewards me with the means to live on earth, money etc.
All these sounds nice but how do they translate to a real vocation that pays money and what is that vocation?
Ministers of God have to beg their Church members for money to help support them. I do not exactly want to beg any one for money to help support me. So how should I make my living?
Write about spiritual psychology and publish my writings. Publish a monthly magazine devoted to the same subject: Real Self magazine. Ultimately, organize real Self Fellowship.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

From afar, Americans seem to live enviable lives. But when you come close to them, however, you recognize that they are a living in hell.
To live in hell is to live in the ego hence to live in fear. Americans identify with the ego and live in ego fear. Living in ego hence fear, they devote most of their energies trying to find protection from fear. They have powerful police, judiciary and penal systems. They arrest criminals, speedily try and send them to jails. But despite putting over two million persons in prisons they still live in fear of being harmed and or killed by criminals. Despite having the most powerful military in the world, they still live in insecurity of being killed by terrorists.
It is clear that Americans need some one to show them another way of living on earth, a way that does not breed the level of fear they live in. They need to be shown the forgiving and loving way of living.
Americans hurt many people and people are angry at them. People all over the world would like to get their hands on nuclear weapons and use them on Americans. Revenge, sweet revenge is motivating many terrorists behavior towards Americans.

A person whom Americans have hurt must forgive them, to forgive himself. A person who has forgiven and loves them hence models forgiveness and its attendant peace and joy for them is who Americans need as their teacher. Such a person is a bringer of peace and happiness and only God knows that Americans lack peace and joy and need them.

A Course in miracles teaches that the ego is a false self; it teaches that the ego must be replaced with a different self, the Christ self. It teaches that the ego goal of self serving must be replaced with the Christ, Holy Spirit goals of social serving.
The Holy Spirit’s goal and purpose for us gives us fearlessness, angerlessness, peace and joy, whereas the egos purpose gives us pain and suffering. America needs a teacher of God to teach her how to find the peace of God that currently eludes her. However, the teacher of God must teach the Holy Spirit’s gospel of love and forgiveness, not his own ego teachings. It is the Holy Spirit that teaches it through him; he is not the one doing the teaching. He needs to know this least his head swells in ego pride and he becomes delusional thinking that he can save America. Only God can save America, not man.

The majority Americans are like normal persons everywhere in the world; they are adapted to the exigencies of this world. They are, as such, mostly fast asleep. Only about one percent of Americans, as everywhere in the world are ready for spiritual psychology.
One cannot wake normal persons up, for they are not yet ready to wake up. When they are ready to wake up they would start rejecting their egos and their bodies and this world and start turning towards the things of spirit.
It is not for one to wake others up; that is not ones function; that is the function of the Holy Spirit; he is the one charged to awaken the sons of God. Only the Holy Spirit knows who is fast asleep and who is ready to wake up, he is the one who will direct one to go wake those ready to wake up. One should not take on the role of waking any one up unless one is led by the Holy Spirit/Jesus Christ to do so.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

There are those who truly like to serve other persons. They give of their time and energy to other people. They find out what those around them, particularly their spouses and children, need and do them without waiting to be told to do so. They do not ask to be praised and recognized for their good works. These are givers. Givers tend to be happy and peaceful persons.
On the other hand, are those who do not like to serve other people? They feel like it is asking too much of them to serve other people. They do not try to figure out what others need and do them. Indeed, some of them have such false pride that they feel humiliated were they to serve other persons. They want to be served, which makes them seem like very important persons, but not to serve, which makes them feel like they are unimportant, inferior and powerless. These are neurotics trying to seem powerful and important via being served by other human beings but not serving them.
Those who do not like to serve other persons tend to be unhappy persons. (This is where many Nigerian big men are; they like to be served but not to serve their fellow country men; they are mostly neurotic men, ala Alfred Adler.)
Do you want to be at peace and to be happy? If so, figure out what those around you, your spouse, children and fellow human beings need and quietly do them. Do not toot your own horn. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand did. Do not let the world know that you do serve other people.
Spinoza said that virtue is its own reward. I add to his wisdom by saying that service is its own reward.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

The Son of God is asleep. In his sleep there are two patterns of thinking and behaving that he can engage in. The Holy Spirit pattern and the ego pattern. Both patterns are still sleep/dream thinking and behaving though one approximates God and the other is far from him (is a shadow of spirit). One pattern is led by the Holy Spirit (God) and the other pattern is led by the sleeping son of God.
The son of God is not in charge of the Holy Spirit’s pattern, he merely follows without asking questions. However, since in heaven he is one with God, by obeying God he is really obeying himself, he is not a mere slave without a will if he follows the Holy Spirit.
(The ego asks: why should the son just follow his father’s will, where is his freedom to do as he pleases or does he not have a choice in the matter; is he merely a clone of his father, who does as his father asks him to do in heaven? Is heaven a slave plantation where the children of God do only what their father asks them to do or else they are driven out to hell, to this world? Is God a dictator who expects only obedience or else one is sent to hell, out of heaven?)
When the son of God awakens from his sleep dream, his thinking is now like his father’s for he is one with his father. Awake he has unified consciousness; asleep he has separated consciousness.



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Are you judgmental? Do you compulsively judge your self and other people’s behaviors good or bad? If so, you have ego ideal wishes and expect other people to live up to your wishes, ideals, your fantasies of what perfection is. In effect you want people to be in accordance with your wishes, which would mean that you created them. H
Here are the facts: you did not create people; God created them. In the ego’s world, you did not create people either, they invented themselves. Other people cannot change to please you no matter how hard you try; they are living according to their own ego wishes.
All you are doing by judging people and wishing that they change to suit you is disturbing your peace.
Therefore, do not judge other people’s behaviors as good or bad; people are doing what they want to do, what their egos, personalities and body dispose them to do; you cannot change them.
You are playing God trying to change people. Leave people alone, they are doing their own things, as you are; each is in his private ego hell. That is what this world is, ego hell, so let it be.
Extricate yourself from hell by dropping off your ego self concept, self image and personality and reaching your real self, the unified
Christ self. Christ does not judge, for he knows that the world and what is done in it is dreams; he loves the dreamer and not his dreams, he overlooks the dreams. He forgives peoples behaviors.



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

A Course in Miracles teaches that this world is a mistake and, as such, to be negated and escaped from; the world is to be overlooked, forgiven, so that a better world is experienced. It does not teach one how to adapt to this world, for to it, that would amount to adjusting to a bad mistake. In so far that it is useful to this world at all, it is in teaching that there is a better world and that teaching gives one hope that if one dies that life does not end with ones physical death. All religion teaches that there is life after death and give similar hope.
The Course teaches fate and destiny; it teaches that this world is already over and that everything done in it has already been done and that one is at the end of the dream and re-experiencing what one had already done. That is to say that what would happen to one must happen to one no matter what one does, for, in fact, it has already happened to one; one is merely looking at the events of ones life as in a movie and all that one can do is accept them with peace of mind or fret about them, but cannot really change them.
The Course teaches that ego idealism, neurosis and psychosis are useless for what they hope for, perfect man and perfect society is not going to occur, for the ego is inherently imperfect.
In sum, the Course does not help one deal with the exigencies of this world. If one wants to make a living in this world, one must do so in this world’s terms. Therefore, one must stop wasting ones time thinking about the Course and seek a way to make a living in this world.
Sixteen years of thinking about a book is long enough, would you not say so? So, now stop pretending as if you have not understood the book; reading it one more time is not going to change anything. Get on with your life.
As noted the only thing the course gives is peace of mind, from realization that one can rationalize its evil with the notion that what is done in it is done in a dream and does not matter.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

The ego and its body do feel psychological and physical pain. Therefore, it is willing to be grateful to whoever gives it pleasure and ungrateful to whomever gives it pain. If you do a good thing to a human being, he is generally grateful but if you do bad things to them they are generally ungrateful.
The Holy Spirit, recognizing that pleasure and pain are two sides of the same coin, can lead to salvation, asks us to be grateful to those who give us pleasure, as well as to those who give us pain.
If a person slaps you and causes you pain, if a person enslaves you and causes you pain, he enables you to forgive him hence forgive yourself and attain salvation. (This is why Paul asks slaves to be grateful and obedient to their masters, to stay and forgive their masters and become saved.)
The ego sees situations where it is caused pain as asking it to tolerate abuse, as asking it to be masochistic and make the other sadistic. It refuses to be grateful to its attackers. (If you like to enslave others, they will enslave you to experience the pain you caused them; Americans must be enslaved by blacks to feel the pain they caused black persons; this is the fact of karma, the law of cause and effect.)
Jesus was grateful to his attackers (yet his attackers died in others attacks). Nevertheless, he recommended only love, giving people pleasure, not pain for obviously people in body must prefer pleasure to pain.



Ozodi Thomas Osuji

I tend to give up too quickly, such as exit naija politics because a hair brained African American woman rejected one of my pieces, The Thinker. This is because my ego wants to seem important, superior, ideal and perfect. When others reject it, it feels humiliated and seeks out to go maintain its false importance and perfection.
The lesson is not to give up too quickly. One must stay and fight for what one believes is right and worth fighting for. But one must choose ones battles; not all battles are worth fighting for.

Posted by Administrator at 06:02 AM | Comments (0)

November 16, 2005

A Mother Like Lady Stella!

by Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye ---

Death is … the absence of presence… the endless time of never coming back … a gap you can’t see, and when the wind blows through it, it makes no sound.
~~~ Tom Stoppard Czech-born, English playwright.

Something startles where I thought I was safest ~~~ Walt Whitman (quoted in George Lamming’s novel, In Castle Of My Skin)
Nigerians are generally very good, passionate mourners. Most of the time, the extent the mourning could be stretched depends largely on the calibre of the deceased, and the possible political, social or material capital that could be reaped from the most enchanting and elaborate eulogies by those who are able to formulate them. We cannot, however, deny the existence of genuine mourners (sometimes, also, made up mostly of those whose boundless privileges have been brutally terminated by the person’s demise), but, it is still evident that mourning periods in these parts seem to have become the most suitable period for advertising crude, repelling dissembling, by men and women, with less-than noble motives. About three weeks ago, Mrs. Stella Obasanjo (nee Abebe), the most prominent among the several wives of Nigeria’s President Olusegun Obasanjo, was buried in Abeokuta, amidst tears, eulogies and great pomp. She had, reportedly, died in far-away Spain of complications arising from cosmetic surgery. The dominant thinking, re-enforced by statements here and there by her friends and acquaintances, was that since an elaborate, and probably multi-million naira, “talk-of-the-season” birthday bash was being put together to mark in style her sixtieth birthday which would have taken place on November 14, she had gone to undertake the surgery (tummy tuck) to trim up herself and look really pleasant and ravishing on that day -- a quintessential birthday girl. Unfortunately, that frivolous pursuit turned fatal, and the rest as the cliché goes, is history. “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity” (Ecclesiastes 1:2). I have taken time to examine the various tributes paid to late Stella Obasanjo by several characters that have over the years over-tasked the public space with their uninspiring presence. The most prominent description of her, which was later seized upon by countless unimaginative mourners and plagiarized and recycled several times over to the point of almost turning it into a national slogan, was the one in which she was called “the mother of the nation.” It would be interesting to look out for the inventor of this ingenious phrase, who, most unfairly, stands the chance of being denied due dividend for his “intellectual property,” as his voice has been effectively drowned by more strident ones in the battle by mourners to out-mourn each other. Indeed, many people may want to contest the propriety of describing Stella as the “mother of the nation.” Well, that one is their business. What no one would be able to deny her is the fact that she was a very good, caring mother -- to her only son, Olumuyiwa Obasanjo. She loved the boy so much, and was hundred percent committed to his welfare, happiness and comfort. Now, the young man has just qualified as a lawyer, at 27 (don’t ask why so late), and while his peers are pounding the streets looking for job, a comfortable mansion, at the staggering sum of $537,129 (over N75 million naira) has already been purchased for him at No. 704 Carol Street, Brooklyn, New York. When you look at that sum, in a country where human beings are practically feeding from dustbins and sleeping under bridges, where people die because they are unable to provide the five thousand naira required to pay for drugs and sundry treatments at our dilapidated hospitals, you would then begin to appreciate the true worth of the love this mother had for her son. Now, remember that Stella was merely a housewife, and had no employment from which she earned any income. Remember also that her husband is a loud anti-corruption crusader, and so would not bring himself to commit state resources to purchase such an expensive house for his son. The implication then is that Stella, an unemployed housewife, may have “struggled hard,” more than other housewives, to raise this over N75 million (don’t shudder), maybe, from the aprico she usually squeezed out from house-keeping money and from her wardrobe/cosmetic (surgery?) allowance, to buy this palatial mansion for her beloved son. And as soon as mourning period is over now, Olumuyiwa, a fresh law graduate, the beloved son of his mother, would invite the world to his exquisite palace in Brooklyn, for his predictably lavish wedding banquet, the type his mother would have ensured he had, and give Owambe, sorry, Ovation magazine and other promoters of vanity like it, fresh, glossy photographs to splash on their pages. Certainly, this lucky son of an extremely fashionable mother, would be counted upon not to disappoint in this regard, at least, to show his peers, whose mothers were not caring enough, what they really missed in not having mothers like his. Swee-eet, Mother, I no go forget you, for de suffer, you suffer me-o-o-o! And what happens after this? This lucky son would certainly have enough balance in some accounts, carefully placed above the gaze of London Mets, to wallow in every imaginable luxury that suits his fancy. It would be unlike his exceptional mother not to have taken extra care to ensure enough resources are laid up for him, to last him a lifetime. So grateful was Olumuyiwa that he recently called upon everyone that cared to listen to celebrate his mother. “Indeed, as you mourn her passing, please, also remember to celebrate her life,” he declared at the special session of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting convened to sympathize with President Obasanjo. Those who insist that Stella was their “mother of the nation” certainly know what they are saying. If anyone is in doubt, let the son of another public officer make that kind of purchase, and let’s see whether Nuhu Ribadu and his EFCC would not whisk him and his father away, even in front of his mother’s corpse? Yet, this beloved son of “the mother of the nation” walked free, with his fiancée, and even addressed a FEC meeting in Abuja, right under Ribadu’s nose. For all you know, the story about the house and its scandalous purchase has been securely buried with “the mother of the nation” in Abeokuta amidst profuse eulogies and enthralling dirges. Stella was also a darling sister. During her burial proceedings, I saw one grief-stricken young man on TV, Somebody Abebe, lamenting bitterly: “Imagine, she just gave me a job last month. She just gave me a job at NDDC. And now, she has died!” What a pity, losing such a nice sister. How many sisters can just wake up and “give” their brothers plum jobs at places like NDDC! It’s so unfair, losing such a sweet, big sister like that. What now would be the fate of other Abebes who would soon graduate from school? Who would “give” them plum jobs at NNPC and NLNG? What a pity! A TV report listed the NTA station at Iruekpen as one of Stella’s “legacies.” I would remember that when that TV station was commissioned, our inimitable Reuben Abati, (who incidentally turned forty last Monday) had described it as “Stella TV.” But in some reports last week, the people of Iruekpen, Stella’s hometown, claimed that they had nothing to show for giving Nigeria a “First Lady.” And people are asking, what really is the meaning of “first lady,” and what does a nation profit from it? Well, it does seem that while some are counting their gains, others are complaining bitterly. Na so dis world be. Well, if the Iruekpen people are complaining, I don’t think the Abebe family would join them. Stella had their comfort and welfare uppermost in her heart. Remember the Ikoyi House Scandal which led the president to publicly say that he was embarrassed by the way choice houses were wantonly allocated to several members of his wife’s family. The minister who supervised the allocation was fired, and the matter ended there. Indeed, a unique mother of a lucky son has gone -- to face her Maker. She loved life, especially and the frills and thrills of it. Money was not her problem, and so she sought vanity and fulifilment anywhere they could be found. She spared no cost to seek to look beautiful and younger, irrespective of the prevailing mood in the country. The tummy tuck she had gone to do at the elite hospital in far away Spain was at a huge cost. This at a time, when the nation is bored stiff with endless calls from her husband and his countless aides to tighten our belts. Indeed, many were surprised that despite the still fresh scandals of the purchase of houses in Ikoyi and Brooklyn, a lavish sixtieth birthday bacchanalian revel was still being planned by her and her like-minds to paint Nigeria red, and show everyone that in her coffers, there is always a surplus to spend. This must be painful thought to the generality of Nigerians battling for survival in an impossible economy worsened by the directionlessness of a wayward leadership. She had powers and wielded them without reservation. She once gave orders that Atiku's wife and wives of state governors should desist from allowing themselves to be addressed as Her Excellencies, a title she felt should be reserved for her alone -- even when there is no constitutional provision for the "office" of First Lady. This attracted a harsh reaction from the Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka. Till today, Lagos lawyer, Festus Keyamo still insists that she was the one who ordered the arrest and detention for two weeks of the publisher of Midwest Herald, for the magazine's cover story captioned: "Greedy Stella" Despite all these Stella deserves to be mourned. She was after all the founder of Child Care Trust, that sought to bring succour to a couple of physically challenged children. She was also a man’s wife, a boy’s beloved mum and some people’s sister. It is painful she had to die, and more painful that her death was clearly avoidable. Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye

Posted by Administrator at 11:32 PM | Comments (0)

Chukwuma Nzeogwu: The Saint or Devil of January 15, 1966?

by Henry Chukwuemeka Onyeama (Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria) --- I must begin this article by stating that any attempt to discuss the place of Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu in Nigeria’s politics is a difficult one. Many factors are responsible for this. First, the coup of January 15, 1966 continues to reverberate among segments of Nigeria’s ruling elite till date, and is subject to various interpretations.

Then, subsequent developments, namely the spate of successive coups and the Nigerian civil war of 1967-1970 are rightly or wrongly traced to that first coup. Finally, in this era of globalized liberalism when Western-style democracy is the accepted political dogma, Nzeogwu and his co-plotters may be seen as anachronisms that set back the clock of Nigeria’s democratic development. But is this a true representation of the facts?

Many works have been written in a bid to explain the motives and nature of Nigeria’s first coup. Each account usually ends up as a ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ January 15 work. A large number of them were written by principal actors, either as active plotters or ‘opposition’ e.g. ‘Why We Struck’ by Adewale Ademoyega, ‘Nigeria’s Five Majors’ by Ben Gbulie, ‘The Nigerian Revolution’ by Alexander Madiebo and ‘Let Truth be Told’ by D.J.M Muffet. They provide an insight into why the military class ate the forbidden fruit of power for the first time in Nigeria.

But no account, no matter how accurate, can totally decipher the workings of a man’s mind. Thus it is necessary to ask, why did Nzeogwu, who for all his radicalism, was widely acclaimed as an epitome of soldiering (this was an era when Nigerian army officers were trained in the best British military traditions at Sandhurst), spearhead a bloody coup? The political and military situation in Nigeria between 1960 and 1966 need not detain us here, but it was not Nzeogwu and company’s brief to set things right. But anyone who has read ‘Nzeogwu’, the slim biography of the coup leader by his bosom friend and fellow soldier, Olusegun Obasanjo, and the story of his life as penned by Peter Nzeogwu, his younger brother, would agree that the coup leader saw himself as a Nigerian Kemal Attaturk. Sadly, revolutions, despite their initial diet of idealism, thrive on hardheaded pragmatism and an understanding of reality. Perhaps Nzeogwu did not know this.

Till date Nzeogwu remains a demon to some Nigerians: an unrepentant Igbo apologist who sought to foist his tribe’s domination of national politics. To this group he remains a leading light of the secession of Eastern Nigeria in 1967, and his death on the battlefield on the Biafran side seems to justify this stance. Yet, ambivalence towards the man remains even in the hearts of his most ardent haters because historical facts stare them in the face.

Let the tapes play: it is true that many of Nzeogwu’s co-plotters were Igbo. But what of key insiders from other tribes? Major Adewale Ademoyega is Yoruba. Many other tribes contributed men and material to the coup, and Nigerians know them. Secondly, the coup’s sole overwhelming success was in Kaduna, capital of the North where Nzeogwu personally held sway. By all accounts he had enormous support. But it was by no means total: the overthrown ruling elite would not take things lying low. The British neocolonialists would not stand by and watch power snatched from their protégés. Then, Igbo officers, more than any other ethnic group, played an active role in dismantling the half-baked ‘revolution.’ Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, then a lieutenant colonel and commander of the Fifth Battalion, Kano and General Aguiyi-Ironsi, were the linchpins of the anti-Nzeogwu plot. While one may regard the pattern of the coup’s casualties as one-sided, it should be noted that particular ethnic units dominated the national hierarchy at that time, and no coup plotter is going to be too scrupulous in neutralizing his targets if they hinder his objective. It would be ahistorical to call Nzeogwu an Igbo jingoist. Perhaps if Ironsi had detained him outside the East, he would not have been in Biafra when she seceded. One only has to read the books mentioned in this article and consult website articles about the putschist to realize that Nzeogwu was greatly appreciated both within and outside the East; that Ojukwu unwillingly released him; that the Nigerian government was reluctant to accept him back despite his professions of faith in a national army, and that he openly opposed secession. Ojukwu refused to give him a command in the Biafran army and only bowed to pressure to bring Nzeogwu into the Nsukka sector. The coup leader’s burial by his ‘enemies’ in Kaduna spoke volumes about his stance on Nigeria.

These facts will not end the controversy about Nzeogwu. Indeed, more controversies continue to dog his heels. One is the possibility that he was a mere ‘leader’ of the coup but co-conspirator Emmanuel Ifeajuna actually engineered the plot. Another is the circumstance of his death.

But Nzeogwu and his colleagues, while resorting to force to unseat a civilian but increasingly unpopular government with doubtful legitimacy (remember the General Election of 1964 and the Western Region election of 1965), are not in the same boat as the rapacious juntas that have violated Nigeria since the civil war. Admitted, the coupists of January 15, even if unintentionally, gave them the impetus to see that power was accessible via a gun barrel. But one only has to compare their visionlessness, their greed, their bloodcurdling intrigue and ethnicity with the idealism, though misguided, of the original plotters. Nigerians can always argue that their democracy might have matured if Nzeogwu had not seen himself as a messiah, but then that development should be a sober lesson for the guardians of the country’s democracy, which was wrested from the military in 1999. They should not create an enabling environment for the breeding of radicals. I hope the president still takes out time to read his friend’s biography.

Henry Chukwuemeka Onyeama’s address:
Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.

Posted by Administrator at 11:30 AM | Comments (0)

Role Model of a New Generation: Mohammed B. Bulama

by Ali Alhaji Ibrahim (Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria) ---

Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincered effort, intelligent direction and careful execution ~~~ Willa A. Foster.

Some are born great, some attained greatness through hard work, determination, honesty, intelligence and humility. Society respect and recognized the latter category perhaps, Mohammed Bulama belongs to the latter category.

Mohammed Bulama, a University Don currently on leave of absence and a politician of no mean standing is one of the most respected politicians from Borno.

Because of his worthiness both in learning and character his Alma Mater employed him as Graduate –Assistant. His quest for knowledge took him to a far away Lagos State. He registered for in the University of Lagos and he successfully completed. The search for knowledge seemed insatiable for Bulama, as he registered for PhD these times in the University of Jos. This was at the eve of the 2003 election. He couldn’t complete his PhD because of his desire to serve his community in elective position to contribute his quota immensely, as he contested for the House of Representative to represent Maiduguri Federal Constituency in the National Assembly. But he could to not make it to the House.

Mohammed Bulama was never carried away by his impressive academic achievements, he remain simple, selfless by his impressive academic achievements, he remain simple, selfless, understanding, soft mannered, generous and above all God fearing. These impressive qualities have endeared him more to all who have encountered him.

Mohammed Bulama is respected by the university environment for his powerful oratory, his speaking of English with ease and impeccable resonance which is an exceptional gift of nature as well as his commitment to his chosen career of training young men and women both in learning and character have endeared him to many in the university community.

Mohammed Bulama never reduced himself to ethnic or tribal differences or regional jingoism that is why his friendship and relation with people both within the Ivory Tower and the wider world cut across ethnic, tribal or regional line. This is as a result of his good Islamic upbringing. People believed that if one is exposed so much to the western world with its individualistic tendencies he would change completely. Mohammed Bulama proved such assumptions and believed wrong. He was never change in his attitudes, he accommodated everyone have’s and the have’s not’old or young. Really, God have endowed him with good characters a shinning example which have made him great as M.W Evart once put it:

There is nothing great in the world but man. There is nothing truly great in man but characters.

Mohammed Bulama is a man who has concern for the underprivileged and impoverished segment of our society, especially the youths and women. He demonstrated this in his mission statement went he contested for the House of Representatives:
I shall work day and night for the empowerment of the marginalized and impoverished segments of our society, especially the youths and women
Not only that Mohammed Bulama was aware of the state of our education especially the public ones which is very pathetic. His action plan should he have the privilege of receiving the mandate of good people of Maiduguri Federal Constituency to go to the House of Representative he would carry out amongst others’
Championing through legislation, the noble cause of responsive, accountable, transparent, democratic and good governance in Nigeria
Championing, the return to glory of public education in Nigeria by ensuring adequate and proper funding among others

A highly educated and experienced, Mohammed Bulama has many held many responsibilities in and outside the Ivory Tower, elective and non elective that is the reward of hard work, determination, honesty and sincerity of purpose. Mohamed Bulama lectured in the Department of Political Science, University of Maiduguri for good 13 years (1986-1999). While in the University he was elected by his fellow comrades as Chairman of ASUU UNIMAID Branch from 1991-1994.He faces a lot of challenges as any other ASUU Chairman faces during the time but he took the bull by the horns like a Spanish matador and fulfilled what he believed was right and stand firmly to protect the good interest of his fellow comrades in the University who gave him the mandate.

Mohammed Bulama did not restrict himself to the four walls of the University alone, it goes beyond that. He was a Member, Editorial Board/Opinion Columnist Vanguard Newspapers from 1988-1992. Guest Writer, TSM (Magazine) 1990-1992. He was also a Member, Social Democratic Electoral Board 9 (SOBED) that organized the 1992 SDP Presidential Primaries. He was also appointed Chairman Caretaker Committee of the NRC in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC) November 1992-April 1993. He was also a Member National Caretaker Committee of the UNIMAID Alumni Association 1992-1995. Mohammed Bulama was also a Member, 4 Man Presidential Delegation to observe the 1st Multi Racial Election in South Africa April, 1994. Mohammed Bulama was a Recipient of the famous Fulbright Research Scholarship (The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts, USA), October, 2000-June 2001. Mohammed Bulama served as Special Assistant to the Director General/Senior Fellow, National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos from Jan 2002- 2002

Mohammed Bulama was also a member of many National and International Associations among which includes; Member, Nigerian Political Science Association, Member, African Political Science Association and a Member American Political Science Association.

Lest I forget, Mohammed Bulama has the feeling of the underprivileged young men and women and is a generous and has demonstrated his generosity by assisting many young men and women financially who cannot afford to pay their West African Examination (WAEC), National Examination Council (NECO) as well as University Registration and Accommodation fees for secondary and university students respectively of which this writer is a beneficiary. Infact, he symbolizes auspicious hope for the youths. Infact, his vision for the state and the nation as a whole is quite futuristic. Certainly, God willing he has important role to play in the theatre of Nigerian politics. As he rightly put in his handbill went he contested for the House of Representatives;
Should I have the privilege of receiving your mandate to go to the House of Representatives, I shall consider such mandate sacred and a covenant with you. I will, Insha Allah, devote my time, energy and talent, working alone and in concert with others in government and civil society to the attainment of; the speedy emergence of the prosperous, democratic, strong, stable, united and egalitarian Nigeria

Mohammed Bulama currently serves as Special Assistant to the Chairman Nigeria Railway Corporation. He was married to a wife who is Medical Doctor by Profession in the person of Dr. Halima Deribe the daughter of a renowned and influential business magnet and political financier late. Alhaji Ahmed Mai Deribe.

Ali Alhaji Ibrahim,
Maiduguri, Borno State, Nigeria.

Posted by Administrator at 10:17 AM | Comments (0)

Tribute to Late Alhaji Wada Nas

by Ali Alhali Ibrahim (Maiduguri, Nigeria) ---

The Almighty Allah Gave life for a term and when completed took it back. Life is given on a loan that must be paid back ~~~ Late. Wada Nas
The death of of Alhaji Wada Nas would have been too much to bear if not for the Qur’anic injunction that; “We are from Allah and to him is our return”

Death of Alhaji Wada Nas remains fresh in my mind as it was yesterday because he was honest, dedicated, selfless, and trustworthy and a fearless vanguard of the Nigerian masses. These impressive qualities have endeared him more to Nigerians.

Late Wada Nas touched the lives of many in several ways. His concern to the flight of ordinary Nigerians as manifested in his writings and utterances in print and electronic media is remarkable. Indeed his wisecracks has enrich the the fourth republic.

Late. Wada Nas remained independent even out of government and committed himself in raising the consciousness of the people by commenting on almost every issue without fear whoever is involves however powerful or influential he is.

Late. Wada Nas decision to remain behind the family of his friend and boss late. General Sani Abacha endeared him to many Nigerians who described him as a reliable and trustworthy friend a friend indeed. He depended his late friend Gen. Sani Abacha his family and his government.

He showed Nigerians and indeed the world that friendships never get old, obsolete or worn-out. Whether death or illness, joy or grief, success or failure, friends remain together in mind keeping the hope, trust and confidence of friendship alive. This he demonstrated more than any other person that served the Late. Gen. Sani Abacha’s government except one elder from Borno State in the person of Late. Barr. Mohammed Kaloma Ali who also stood behind the widow Dr. Maryam Abacha and his children in court to defend the family when everybody was afraid to even identify with anything relating to the government.
In one of his write-up late. Wada Nas wrote in his remembrance in honour of Gen .Abacha;

Even your ardent critics have come to agree that yours was a golden Era as everything is almost coming to a complete standstill, with our Great country drifting backward “The Naira was N 82 to the dollar during your era as against N138 post Your era. While they use their media power to keep on insulting you over alleged, cases of corruption, both British and American agencies reported that 56% of the corruption in the country now securely located in the presidency”
Nigerians remember you as a true patriot and an achiever, who refused to bow to the dictate of auctioning his fatherland trough dubious foreign loans and enslaved privatization programme

~~~ (Weekly trust May 31-June 6, 2002 p 24)

Wada Nas’s death came at a time when his wisdom, constructive criticism and commitment was needed by Nigerians as many dramas in our democratic set-up. If dead were to speak or write, one would have been pleased to hear or read from Wada Nas on Confab and selection of 50 people by Obasanjo alone, Presidential Library, Osuji and Wabara saga, Debt relief by the Paris Club, most importantly on 2007 race in which Gen. Obasanjo is being groomed to succeed Chief Obasanjo and the recent face-off with his vice Atiku Abubakar.

Wada Nas, our prayers will follow you day and night may Allah broaden your entrance into the most elevated and choicest abode in paradise Firdausi. Ameen.

Ali Alhaji Ibrahim,

Posted by Administrator at 09:53 AM | Comments (0)

Donate To Nigerian Schools and Institutions

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- $100 Million dollars was donated by an American last week. I read the story about an anonymous donor who donated the one hundred million dollars to Yale University, the donor instructed that the money be disbursed entirely to Yale University music programs, this, means that the donor only intended to benefit the music department and faculty, of Yale University.

And not to, say, Yale University Law School or Medical School etc

Before the Yale University’s Music Faculty sudden fortune, there were, other news from the home front, Nigeria that is. More specifically, I read a story about one Aimiuwu who had started a website and a major drive geared towards raising funds, materials and sundry resources for schools and centers of learning in Edo state Nigeria, this I think is a very commendable efforts that everyone should applaud.

This must be repeated in and replicated for all the states of Nigeria. This is important.

Much earlier in the year, there was also a news item that I read in The Guardian Newspapers editorial and opinion page, which was written by Mr. Sonala Olumhense.

Mr. Olumhense through a confluence of efforts by several individuals and organizations, had thrown a challenge that required University of Ibadan alumni and well-wishers, to match an earmarked fund, to which the original donor will multiply or something to that effect, and if I recollect correctly, the challenge was met and surpassed.

The real gist of what I am driving at here, is the wonders of private efforts at funding public and private schools and institutions world wide, more particularly, in the United States where major league universities, institutions of higher learning rely heavily on the goodwill of generous donors, members of the public, and former students who are happy to fund endowments for universities, law schools, colleges of medicine, and music schools or department as in the case of Yale University above mentioned.

Nigerians can do the same for Nigerian institutions!

Universities, Colleges and other institutions of higher learning in America compete for endowment dollars yearly, these institutions engage in direct solicitations from former students or graduates of such institutions, as well as direct solicitations through fundraisers that are very frequently undertaken.

These sources of funds for these American institutions enable them engage in expansion projects, the availability of funds enable them to fund grants for research and development, it enable these institutions to enhance physical infrastructures and wealth of knowledge. Enable them to offer scholarships to the underprivileged of society.

Funding for education in America is not solely from school fees and government funding.

Funding for the Arts, partly comes from a US government funded National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities. And private citizens and corporations contribute generously to the advancement of Arts and Humanities in America. Advancement in science and technology, are also a cooperative joint efforts by individual persons, corporations and governments at all level in the United States. And creative energies are unleashed.

Again, these beneficial models can be replicated in Nigeria as well. It will take all Nigerians, individuals, corporations, private and public efforts to make Nigeria great.

Many Nigerians have heard or even benefited from Ford Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, Carnegie Foundation etc, perhaps we should begin to hear more of Ahmadu Bello Foundation, Nnamdi Azikiwe Foundation, Obafemi Awolowo Foundation, Aminu Kano Foundation, Awojobi Foundation, Tai Solarin Foundation, Dr. Bala Usman Foundation etc, we got the idea? Nigerians should use the names of prominent Nigerians to establish foundations for public service and public good, such Nigerians must be our citizens who epitomize all that is good for all Nigerians.

Whether such Nigerians are or were public office holders, private citizen entrepreneurs and philanthropists etc. Nigerians for these purposes should be Nigerians who excelled in their lifetimes or brought honor and glory to Nigeria and Nigerians who led exemplary lives.

And through such foundations as I contemplate here, Nigerians through private efforts that would complements government’s efforts. We will build a decent society that advances to an outstanding and great society. We all have a stake in the outcome of Nigeria.

In the past, and even now, in the majority of cases, the ownership and funding of universities and institutions of higher learning in Nigeria have solely been the responsibility of government in Nigeria. Now, however, that trend is shifting somewhat.

I am not advocating here that government abandon, or abdicate its responsibilities in the funding and management of government owned and managed universities, colleges of education, polytechnics etc

Ownership and funding of private universities are steadily multiplying in Nigeria, and more and more priorities of government now compete for funding, and of course, resources are not limitless. Hence the need to begin to look into innovative and brand new means of funding our universities and other institutions of higher learning, both public and privately owned.

Fund raisers are recommended, but additionally, graduates of Nigerian universities, medical schools and law schools and the many universities in Nigeria should make it a point of duty to donate books, money, equipment, technologies, innovations and ideation to the schools and institutions where we earned our academic laurels, schools, from primary schools to secondary schools to universities and professional schools where we in essence learned the tricks of our various professions.

We should not forget the schools and institutions where our callings and professions were mould, and nurtured, where our formative professional training began. We should take sabbaticals to teach, volunteer and serve in all levels of Nigerian education sector. I am aware that some Nigerian professionals already engage in voluntary medical services and other professional services from their various overseas locations, as they embark on trips to Nigeria on a regular basis.

My American experience has awakened me to the responsibility that the average American College graduate or professional or career person shoulders for alma maters and alumni. The schools regularly solicit monetary and material donations from graduates of such institutions, as well as solicitations from members of the general public.

Then also, there are generous members of public who as individuals or corporate bodies, donate to universities, colleges, and donate to public institutions, public libraries, hospitals etc. Donations have helped establish universities, colleges and other institutions of learning into center of excellence. Well meaning Nigerian individual citizens and corporations can do these things.

No donated money amounts are too large or too small, and other resources are equally important as well, such materials and resources, equipments, books whether new or used, computers, whether new or used. In the past, I had written “Where Are The Nigerian Volunteers” and I wish to repeat that call now. Nigerians should volunteer more in efforts to create a great Nigeria.

Nigerians should volunteer more time, money and materials. Nigerians should donate.

Nigerians need to actively engage and participate in making public and private institutions in Nigeria serve all Nigerians for our common good.

Paul I. Adujie

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 09:46 AM | Comments (0)

Salvation: Where does it Come from, Inside or out?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- All human beings are seeking salvation. They want to be saved. The question is: what are they being saved from?

They seek salvation from their egos, the separated, special selves they made to replace the unified equal self their God created them as, the holy son of God, the Christ. They seek to be saved from their egos and the pain and suffering induced by the ego and its world.

Human beings separated from their creator and from each other and developed separated consciousness, the consciousness we all have on planet earth. Originally, we had unified consciousness, but now we have separated consciousness.

On earth, we feel all alone, pained and are unhappy. In our aloneness and unhappiness we seek surcease. Initially, we think that the way to obtain release from our pain and suffering is to seek ego perfection. Thus, we seek ego idealism, perfection and superiority, with the belief that if we became better ego selves that we would recreate the peace and joy we had in our original heavenly home.

Neurosis and psychosis, the desire for important, ideal, superior, perfect ego self and ego’s world is really the desire for God, albeit in fantasy, that is, in ego terms. God is experienced not in ego terms but on his own terms, unified terms.

We are all seeking the peace and joy of our original home, except that now we seek it in ego terms, via success in this world and becoming more perfect egos. Of course, that is not going to happen, for no matter how much we wash the anus it would still smell of feces. The ego cannot be made to become holy (unified), for by definition it is a separated self and, as such, must cause pain.

It is only when the wish for separation is given up and one desires to return to unified state, a non-ego state that one begins to obtain surcease from the pains and sufferings of this world.

And to our present interest: saved by whom? Is the savior outside one or is he inside one?

Traditional Christianity teaches that salvation comes from outside one, from a man who supposedly lived in Palestine two thousand years ago. The Christian prays to this Jewish character to save him.

But is salvation going to come from outside one, is Jesus Christ outside one and from whence comes to save one? No.

Salvation is inside one. Salvation comes from inside one. In so far that one trusts in Jesus to save one, it is not an outside Jesus, it is an inside Jesus Christ, the Jesus who has eliminated his ego and merged with the Holy Son of God, the Christ, hence is properly referred to as Jesus the Christ. That Jesus Christ is not outside one but is inside one, he is part of ones higher self, the Holy Spirit.


It is all too easy to talk about religious principles in the abstract. Priests do that all the time. They explicate what the scripture says. What they do is religion, not spirituality. Spirituality is rooted in personal experience. The spiritual teacher teaches from his personal experience and does not just explicate what scripture says. I will, therefore, draw from my personal experience in teaching the nature of salvation.

I will examine a dream I had at age four. I know that I was four years old for that was how old I was when my parents built a new house and moved into it. The dream occurred during the week we moved into that house.

Generally, remembered dreams, like remembered childhood experiences are distorted. However, distorted or not, it is the symbolism of this dream that matters. It tells me about me: my expectation of salvation to come from outside me.

In the dream, I found myself in the middle of the street in front of our new house. I was crawling on all fours. Suddenly, a truck was coming towards me. Instead of quickly crawling away from the middle of the street, I began to cry, wailing for some adult to come and pick me up. I was literally paralyzed by fear and could not move forward or backward. I just stayed in the middle of the road crying and the truck kept coming closer and closer.

Nobody came to rescue me. In fact, there was no one in the vicinity. As the truck was about to slam into me, I woke up from the dream, still crying. My mother came into my room, apparently, to find out why I was crying in the middle of the night. I told her about the truck that nearly ran into me. She consoled me and put me back to sleep.

This dream has stayed with me all my life. Whenever I am in difficulty I remember that dream. What does the dream mean?


Dreams can be interpreted in many ways. In fact, the same dream has several interpretations, all of which are probably true. Each interpretation serves the need of the dreamer at the time he is interpreting it; as his understanding improves, he may have different interpretations of the same dream. Here is my present interpretation of the dream.

I was in the middle of the road and danger in the form of a truck was coming towards me and I was paralyzed by fear and asked for other people, people outside of me, to come and help me. I did not try to help me. I did not go inside me to ask a higher force, God, to help me. I wanted other human beings, other separated selves, egos, to help me, not God to help me.

Other people, outside forces did not come to my rescue. Nobody outside me helped me. There is no hero out there riding on a white horse coming to rescue poor, weak me.

Obviously, I felt weak and vulnerable and could not help me either. I wanted another force to help me. Another force was necessary to help me, but I rooted that force outside me, rather than inside me. That outside force did not come to my help. If I had rooted the rescuing force inside me, and looked inside me for help, I would have been helped.

The meaning of this dream is that in life, which is always a danger field, I tend to feel weak and vulnerable and expect outside other people to come and help me. No one comes to physically help me. I cry out for external rescuers and none comes. In the meantime, I am not destroyed by the dangers that confront me. The truck did not crush me to death. Before I am crushed to death, I wake up. That is, before I am destroyed by the difficulties of this life, I manage to avoid them, but in the meantime am paralyzed by fear and anger at a world that I perceive as not rescuing, caring, and loving me. This dream shows that I have dependent personality features, that I do not help myself but expect other people to do for me what I ought to be doing for my survival. Like all dependent personalities, the hoped for rescuers do not come to rescue me, so I stay not helped.

Another episode from my life will help make the point. I was in what was called Biafra, in secondary school. At some point, I was big enough and, as such, a candidate for conscription into the Biafra Army. Recruiters used to march around and pick up boys, boys from about age fourteen on, and march them to army training camps, give them quick and shoddy training and march them right to the war front.

At some point, my father decided that all the boys in the family had to be trained and placed in rear battalions, to avoid the constant harassment we faced from recruiting soldiers. My brother and cousins went through this process and were trained at a near by local army training camp and upon completion were released and placed at such rear battalions as medical corps, signal corps, supply and transport corps etc. All of them (at least four of them) successfully went through this process. Then it was my turn. My friend, Joseph and I were sent to the training camp and the commandant was given specific instruction to release us to my family after the training. Arrangements had been made where, upon completion of our training, we were to go to. We went through the shoddy six weeks training and were waiting for discharge.

One day, in the middle of the night, an army truck came and all of us were marched into it. Joseph and I tried to remind the commandant that we were supposed to be sent home and he ignored us.

We were driven right to the war front. As we got to the front battalion headquarters, a sergeant asked us to fall in line and we did. The sergeant recognized my friend, Joseph as his home boy and asked what on earth a school boy was doing at the battlefront? He called him out of the line and said that he was going to send him right back home. Joseph asked the sergeant to call me out of the line and he ignored him. I was marched to the trenches.

Joseph was sent home, in this case, to my father’s home and he told my parents where I was. In the meantime, I became furious at being subjected to sharing the fate of what I called ordinary soldiers. In Biafra, it was well known that it was the children of the poor who were mainly sent to the battle front. The children of the rich were mostly in rear military formations. I was furious at being treated like riff raff.

I was angry at God for abandoning me; I was angry at my parents for abandoning me; I was angry at the training commandant for sending me to the war front. I was angry at those who started the war and compelled school boys like me to go fight it for them. I asked: if adults are going to settle their problems with war, why don’t they go fight it out by themselves, why use school boys to do their fighting for them? I was angry at any one in authority for subjecting me to the humiliation of being at the war front.

(Adlerian psychoanalysis would say that I was a spoilt and pampered boy and, as such, was made dependent and expected other people to do things for me, to rescue me when I am in trouble; it would suggest that I did not have the inner resources to do things for me. As Adler sees it, spoiling a child saps and robs him of his inner strength and belief in his own ability to fend and shift for himself. Adler insists on parents making their children do things for themselves so as to develop a sense of independence and self reliance. I do not recall any one spoiling me, but as a sickly child my mother did over protect me, and that probably contributed to my tendency to wanting other people to rescue me rather than rescue me. We are not talking secular psychology here; we are talking spiritual psychology.)

Interestingly, I was not afraid of being killed. While I was angry at being so treated by the world, I actually wanted to stay and see a battle before I left the battle front.

I am very willful and knew that if I made up my mind to leave that I would leave and if any one tried to stop me, it would become a battle between him and me. As a child, I was oppositional defiant and do not do something because any one asked me to do it.

I knew that there were military police stationed close to the battle front that could pick a disserting soldier and send him right back to the trenches. But I also know me that once my mind is made up, no one can stop me from doing what I want to do. I could actually shoot a person who tried to stop me from doing what I want to do. The point is that I could have left the trenches if I wanted to. I decided to experience one battle before I left. In fact, when a battle ensued, I volunteered for behind enemy activities, the most risky job. After that battle I had had enough and decided that it was time to leave, and left.

The relevant point here is my anger at being abandoned by God and man. I felt like the universe was not helpful to me. I felt that no adult came to rescue me from the battle front, just like no adult rescued me from the on-coming truck. I felt furious at the entire world for not rescuing me from danger.

My temper tantrum at the war front is really another form of crying out to adults to rescue me when I am in trouble. In the real world, each of us must help himself and not rely on others to rescue him when he is in trouble. A mature person who finds himself in a dangerous situation tries to use his own inner resources to get himself out of it rather than feel angry that other persons, his parents included, for not come running to do for him what he needs to do to cope with the exigencies of the situation. I was simply immature and childish in my response to the war situation. My being young makes no difference, after all there were fourteen year olds at the war front, and those did not cry to their mamas to come rescue them but did what they had to do to survive.

This war time experience tallies with my tendency to expect external other persons to come to my rescue. Generally, no one comes to my rescue. In the dream no one came to rescue me. At the battle front, no one came to rescue me.

No matter how much I wish that other people rescue me, other people have not rescued me. Simply stated, external others have never rescued me. I have never been saved by forces outside of me.

What this means is that no one outside of me is ever going to save me. My salvation cannot come from outside me. No hero on a white horse is going to come rescue me from the difficulties of living on planet earth. If I wish for other people to rescue me, as I have done in the past, they simply will not do so.

Please notice that my friend, Joseph was rescued by an external other but that external other, who apparently could have rescued me, did not do so. He did not do so for my destiny determined that no external other person should rescue me. Only a force inside me can rescue me.

My body is weak and vulnerable; as such, I cannot do many things by myself. Like all human beings, I am weak and powerless. I cannot do many things for myself. We all need each others help. Therefore, to say that I need to look inside for salvation does not mean that I should look to myself for total help.

By myself I can do nothing. I am totally powerless. Clearly, other people can harm, even kill me, if they want to. I have no real power to deal with the external exigencies of living on planet earth. To believe that I have the power to do many things for myself is delusional. The individual does not have that much power to help himself.


To look inside one for salvation does not mean looking to ones ego self for salvation. It means looking to a higher power, a power that is not ones ego self, to save one. That higher power is not outside one, it is inside one.

Let us revisit the dream at age four. Obviously, no outside person came to rescue me and I could not help me, either. My ego could not help me and other people did not help me. What then could help me? Only an internal force could help me. Only a power higher than me could help me. That power is God.

Where is God? Is God outside us? Is God inside us? Clearly, God is everywhere. If God is everywhere it follows that he is both inside and outside us.

If other people had helped me in that dream, since God is in them, God would have helped me through them. But as noted, other people did not help me. That is, the God outside me, the God in other people did not help me. (Although that God helped me by asking me to trust in the God inside me, read on.)

The only God that could help me is the God that is inside me. My salvation does not come from outside me but from inside me. What this means is that the God that is inside me, the Holy Spirit, and in so far that Jesus Christ identifies with the Holy Spirit and is the Christ, he is inside me, is the only power that could help me. The God inside me, the Holy Spirit can help me. If I learn to look inside me, to trust the God inside me, it will help me.

In the dream, other people did not come to my rescue. In the battle front situation other people did not come to my rescue. As far as I can tell, no person outside of me has consciously rescued me. In fact, as I look at my life, I cannot say that any person, outside of me, has ever saved me, cared for me and rescued me.

But do understand the meaning of the statement that people outside me have not rescued and saved me. I am not blaming other people for not helping me.

By not directly helping me, people are indirectly helping me. They are telling me to look inside me and discover the real source of help inside me, the God in me. They are asking me not to trust other men, not to trust other egos, but to trust the God in us for my salvation.


I like the teaching of A Course in Miracles. It teaches that all attack is a call for love when love is missing, and that all attack is an attempt to save one. It goes like this. Other people did not rescue me. Other people did not do good things for me. Other people, in certain situations, in fact, attacked me. In America, for example, white people did discriminate against me. I was denied jobs that I believed that I was qualified for.

If I identify with the ego, I would feel angry at those who attacked me, those who discriminated against me, those who denied me jobs etc. I would hold grievances against them and seek vengeance; I would desire for those I perceive as my enemies to be punished.

This is the normal ego response to attack. Many black folks look forward to the day white folks would be punished for their sins against black folks. This is a very understandable ego response. The ego bears grudges and seeks vengeance.

But A Course in Miracles teaches that there is another way of looking at the same attack situation. For instance, there is another way of looking at white racism.

Clearly, white racists denied one jobs, there is no denying that fact. When I completed my doctoral dissertation at UCLA, I did not obtain a job. I was turned down by so many of the white employers that I had applied to that my self esteem took a blow. Ones ego felt attacked and angry. That was appropriate ego response to discrimination.

The Course says that there is another way of responding to the same anger making situation. It teaches that one should overlook the racist’s discrimination and that one should forgive the racist; see the Christ in him and still love that Christ in him.

In forgiving the racist’s discriminatory behaviors, one forgives ones own past evil behaviors. In overlooking the racist’s discrimination, his sins, one over looks ones own evils and sins toward other people.

In forgiving other people, hence forgiving ones self, one overlooks ones sinful world. One over looks the world of separation, space, time and matter. One overlooks the past, present and future. One over looks the world of multiplicity and reaches the world of union.

Our world is the world of separation and division, a world of you and me, a world of seer and seen, subject and object. If you forgive that world, if you over look the world of separation, you have essentially tuned it out. When you tune out the world, you have said, in effect, that the world is not real and that it is a dream; you have said that what is done in the world is like what is done in a dream and has not happened. What is done in a dream, hence has not been done, does not matter and is not occasion for fear and anger at those who did something good or bad.

What is done in a dream has no permanent effect on people; therefore, one should over look it and not be angry/afraid from it. What has real cause is what God created, us. God is the cause and we are his effect. God is permanent and his effect, us, is permanent. Our dreams are mere wishful thinking and are therefore causeless and effect less.

You see the world as a stream and people in it as dream figures doing dream things. You over look the dream and what are done in it. You tune out the dream world and experience a different world, the world of union, the unified spirit world of God.

If you forgive your attacker, the person who discriminated against you, you have overlooked the world he represents for you, the world of separation. You then attain the world of union, the world of God.

In effect, forgiveness brings you to the gate of heaven, to the door to union. If you forgive the world, hence your self and love all people, you suddenly experience what the Course calls Holy Instant: unified experience where you feel at one with God and all his creation; you experience what mystics of every clime call unitive experience, a world where the father and the son are one, a world where all are one, where there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object, a world of unified spirit self.

The unified spirit self is eternal and immortal. It is permanent and changeless. It is the opposite of our world. It is the world of total union, peace and joy. It is a world where language does not apply, for language and speech adapts to the world of separation, the world of space, time and matter, our world.

The world of God is not the world of perception, but the world of knowledge. Perception is only possible in a separated world, a world of space, time and matter such as our world. A world of union requires knowledge, not perception. The world of God is ineffable and is beyond our ego intellectual categories. It is a non-conceptual and non-perceptual world.

The Course, in effect, says that the world that did not seem to love one, a people that did not seem to help one, a people that did not rescue one, in fact, are helping one. By ignoring one, by not helping one, by not doing anything to help me, I tuned out the external world. When I see another human being, honestly, I do not expect him to do any thing good for me. I see him as a self interested person and as doing things that serve his self. His selfish behavior neither makes me angry nor not angry. I just assume that all people are egos and, as such, are motivated by their self interests. I do not expect help of any sort from other people.

By not expecting help from other people, I go inside me and seek help from the Holy Spirit. I have faith in the Holy Spirit, the God inside us, and the God in the temporal universe. I expect the God inside me to help me and he does help me.

How does he help me? He helps me by requiring me to love and forgive all people. As noted, if I love and forgive all people, including those who overtly did not help me, I experience oneness with God and all creation.

Other people are dream figures in my dream of separation and specialness. Dream persons cannot help the dreamer. It is the dreamer that produced his dream and the dream people in it. I dream and produce the world I see. I produced the dream figures I see on earth (and, they, in turn, are dreaming and produced me and the persons they see on earth; our real self is formless, unified spirit self, but we denied that self and took on a different self, the self in body, the ego separated self.)

If I ask other people to rescue and help me, what I am doing, in effect, is asking my dream figures to care and rescue me. They cannot help or rescue me, for dream figures only do what the dreamer asks them to do.

My dream makes people do what they do to me, as their dream makes me do what I do to them. (Their dream and my dream ask me to become an enlightened person, so as to teach them about our true self, the unified self).

I am the dreamer and I am supposed to rescue myself, not my dream figures rescuing me. If I over look what my dream figures do to me, I forgive and love them. I then experience the non dream world of God, the world of total love, peace and joy. If other people, dreamers too, forgive me, and forgive all people, they overlook their dream and experience the world of God.

My duty is not to wait for other people to awaken and save me but for me to awaken and try to help them awaken, too. My concern is my own personal salvation, not whether other people are saved or not. But if I become saved, by looking inwards to trust the God in me, then, I can model salvation and teach other people, through personal example, to look inwards, to have faith in the God in them, so as to become saved from the pains and sufferings of the ego self and ego world.


Human beings would like to believe that they are in charge of their lives. In fact, the whole experiment on earth is an effort to seem in charge. God is in charge. God created us. God extended his one self to us. We are part of God. God gave us his creative abilities. We do create. We create like God. But we create with his power in us. Without God we cannot create. At some point we resented the fact that God created us and wanted to create ourselves and create each other, which is impossible. There can be only one creator in the universe, God. We are created and are not the creator of ourselves. To seem to create ourselves, we went to sleep and invented this world of space, time and matter.

We came to the world as if we do not have an already existing self. Our first order of business here is to invent the separated, special self concept and self image. Each of us invents a separated, special self for himself and does so for other people. Thus, I have a separated self concept and a separated concept for other people, and they do the same to me.

On earth we create ourselves and create each other, in illusions, not reality, of course. The self concept, the self image are replacement selves we made to substitute for the real unified self that God created us as. The self that we are aware of, the self concept, the self image, the human personality, the ego is made by us. It is not our real self but it is a self we made. It is our idol; we made it and are proud of it.

The ego, the self concept, the human personality is the antichrist, the opposite of Christ, Christ being the unified real self God created and the ego being the separated false self. The ego is an antichrist in that it wants to kill Christ, kill the real son of God and replace him as our self.

The ego would like to seem in charge of our lives. At some point, each of us recognizes that the ego, the self concept and self image, the personality we made to replace the real self that God created does not have power.

By myself I cannot predict what is going to happen in the future. I do not even know what is going to happen to me in the next second. I have no way of protecting myself. I am totally powerless over the past, present and future. Aware of my powerlessness, aware of our collective powerlessness in ego, we seek ego ideals.

Neurosis and psychosis are pursuit of exaggerated ego ideals and false ego power. The neurotic is aware of his powerlessness to do anything by himself. He resents that fact and invents an ego ideal that seeks to be all powerful, to be superior, ideal and perfect. His hope is that his fictional all powerful and superior self would be able to protect and save him. Neurosis, and its exaggerated form, psychosis, is an attempt to invent a self that protects one, a self that is in charge and does for one what God does for his son, protect him. But the neurotic and or psychotic self, the all powerful, superior, ideal, perfect self is as unable to protect one or defend one as the plain old ego self. The powerful ego is as unable to predict the future as the powerless ego found in normal persons.

Neurosis and psychosis are private religions; the individual invented the neurotic god and worships it, hoping that if he makes it as powerful as is possible in his imagination that it would protect him. That neurotic self image is a craven cow, a cow made of gold and worshipped to protect one, but it cannot protect one, for as a cow it does not have power.

The mentally ill worships his self concept, self image, the false powerful fantasy self he made to protect him, and despite all his worshipping of a false self he is as powerless as ever, he is not in control.

Simply stated, the ego, the separated self concept is not in control, it is not in charge. We made it to seem in charge of our lives but we are not in charge of our lives.

If we accept that we are not in charge of our lives, are not in control, that the ego is not in charge, the question then is who is in charge?

The atheist says that nobody is in charge. To the atheist, we live in an accidental universe where events just happen in a random manner. An earthquake happens and people die. There is draught and no rain and there is famine and people die. On the other hand, there is rain and good soil and people produce bumper crops and eat and live. It is all a product of accident, chance and randomness, the scientific atheist says.

The agnostic is unable to make up his mind as to whether God exists or not and as to who is in charge and is debilitated by his inability to make up his mind; he vacillates, fence sitting, doing nothing, not as bold as the atheist with made up mind, or the religionist with an equally made up mind in the other direction.


The ego based religionist believes that God created the world and is in charge of it. He does not see how man could have created the stars, moons, mountains and the world. He believes that God created the world and prays to that creator God to protect him. He seems realistic except that the atheist and scientist is his nemesis.

The atheist asks the religionist: how can a loving God have created a world where earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, volcanoes, draughts and diseases of assorted kinds suddenly come and wipe out thousands of people? How can a loving God have created a world where an Adolf Hitler kills millions of people and Joseph Stalin wipes off millions that disagree with his irrational socialist doctrine? It does not seem to add up. A loving God would not seem to have created this world.

In fact, what seems rational is to believe that in so far that we have a need to believe that some one created this world that the world was created by an insane god. Only an insane intelligence would create a world where people live in poverty and are killed by assorted diseases. Only an insane but intelligent force could have made the human body, a marvel of engineering yet a body meant to die and rot. Only an insane god would have made a world where there is suffering and death.

If we must talk of God the only rational god we can talk of, the atheist contends, is an insane god; the creator of this world is an insane god. You know what? That is exactly the truth.

God the son became insane and out of his insanity invented this world. God is one. He extended himself to his Son, who is all of us. The Son of God, all of us resented that God created us and wanted to create ourselves.

But the son cannot be his own father and cannot be his father’s father. To seem to have created ourselves (in Hindu categories), we cast a spell on ourselves, Maya, magic, and seem to have gone to sleep, and in our sleep dream the world of space, time and matter, a world of separation, a world that is the opposite of the world of God.

God created an eternal, permanent and changeless world. The opposite of that world is a transitory, ephemeral, changeable and dying world. We invented our world in opposition to the will of God. God willed union and we desired separation; God willed love and we desired hatred; God willed that we join each other and we wished for separation from each other.

Our world is the work of an insane intelligent force, not the wok of a sane intelligent force. God did not create our world, we did. We created this world. It is, however, not real; it is an illusion, a literal dream.

The things we see in our world are dream figures; they do not exist in the real world that God created. In God’s world, everything is spirit, an idea in the thinking, mind of God and in his sons’ thinking. God is spirit and spirit is permanent, eternal and changeless.

Our world is made of energy and matter and therefore is changeable and must die. Every person born in body must die; there is no exception to that general rule. In spirit we are immortal but in body we are mortal, by our own wish.


God is merciful. He knows that we are sleeping and dreaming this world. He enters the world we made as the Holy Spirit. There now seems three Gods in existence: God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

God the Father is the transcendent God, he is not in this world. He is spirit. God the Son is us, all of us collectively as the one son of God.

When God the Son seemed to have separated from God the Father and invented this world, God the Father entered his Son’s dream world as God the Holy Spirit.

Only Spirit is real. Spirit does think. Spirit has mind. Thus, in our thinking, minds are God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

In addition, in our minds is the ego self, the self we made to replace God the Son. Where God the son is, where Christ is, where Buddha is, where atman is, is now the ego, the sleeping Son of God.

Our true identity is the Son of God. Our true mind is the mind of the Son of God, Christ’s mind. But in sleep and dream, we invented a different self, the ego self, and a different mind, ego thinking. On earth we are egos and think in ego terms.

The ego is the separated self who seeks to create himself, create God and create other people.

The ego does not exist independent of the son of God. The Son of God invented the ego self and ego mind and identify with it. Thus, on earth we see ourselves as separated selves living in body. Body gives us a sense of boundary from other people. We think through the separated ego self.

You are reading this material with your ego mind, for I am writing it with my ego mind. In heaven there is no ego mind and there is no writing and reading.

When we invented the ego self and ego mind and identified with it, God created the Holy Spirit and placed him where we placed the ego self and ego mind. Thus, in our minds are now two selves and two minds, two modes of thinking: the ego and the Holy Spirit. If you like, the Holy Spirit is our right self and right mind, and the ego is our left self and left mind.

On earth we think with the ego mind, but if we choose, we can think with the mind of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit’s thinking takes us back to God; the Holy Spirit is the link to God, a bridge between earth and heaven, a communication devise between the ego and Christ, the sleeping son of God and his father.

On earth we trust our ego thinking, minds. We think with our ego minds. We see ourselves as the egos. In the ego we see ourselves as in charge of our lives, and we see other people as separated from us. In ego we live in a world of space, time and matter.

When we turn inwards and recognize that there is another mode of thinking and living while we are still in this world and turn to it, turn to the Holy Spirit’s mode of thinking and living, we have made an inner shift in perception. We are still in the perceptual world, in this world; we still see other people and live in space, time and matter. But now we remember that in reality there is no space, time and matter and that other people are parts of us.

In truth, we are literally unified with God and other people. In heaven there is no you and I, no seer and seen, no subject and object. In God all share the self of God and share the thinking, mind of God. This is literal not figurative.

When there is an inner shift in perception, we recognize that the seeming other people we see in our world are parts of our one shared self and one shared mind. We think with other people, as they think with us; all thinks through our joined mind.

The person who attacked you, who did a bad thing to you, was thinking with your mind and, as such, attacked you with your permission. He is him yet is you. What he did he did do and yet you did it. What I did I do yet you did it.

In America a white racist discriminates against a black man because he thinks that he is separated from a black man; he sees space, time and matter between them. This is the illusion of the world, the belief that other people are separated from one and, as such, and that what we do to others we did not do to ourselves.

In truth we all share one self and one mind and what we did to others we did to our selves, literally. The racist discriminates against a black person. This means that the black person has discriminated against himself.

When the discriminated against black person attacks and destroys the white racists world, as will eventually happen, this means that the white racist has destroyed his world.

Let us not be too abstract, let us bring the discourse to the personal level. The racist who denied me jobs is me. I denied me jobs through the racist. I did to me what the racist did to me.

Whatever I choose to do to the racist, in retaliation for his discrimination against me, the racist did to himself. The racist and I share the same self, the Son of God, the Christ self, albeit in sleeping and seeming separated forms.

If the person who attacked me, who discriminated against me is me, what should I do to him? If I were rational, I would forgive him. If I were irrational, I would counter attack him, and since he is me, to attack me some more, through his defensive attack on me.

In forgiveness one sees the other person as ones self and chooses to overlook what he did that seems evil to one. One loves the forgiven person and models love for him.

On earth, forgiveness is the true meaning of love. If one truly loves the attacker; if I, as a black person, forgive the white racist who discriminates against me, I have forgiven myself my own evils towards other children of God.

In forgiving others I forgive myself. In forgiving myself/other people, I overlook the world of egos, the world of separation, space and time. When I forgive the egos world, overlook the world we made in insanity, I am able to see the world created by God.

Forgiveness brings me to the gate of heaven, to the world created by God. Forgiveness gives me peace and happiness; forgiveness also gives peace and happiness to those I forgive.

The person who does you evil expects you to return his evil and must live in fear of your counter evil, hence does not know peace and happiness. When you forgive him you reduce his defensiveness hence gives him some peace and happiness.

Americans, for example, live in total fear; they are like mad men, always preparing for war but always living in fear, they jail the evil doers in their society and like all jailers must live in jail with those they jailed. To be an American is to be the quintessential egotist. In America, the ego reigns supreme. Here, people trust on their egos to protect them.

The ego sees itself as fragile and in need of protection. The ego feels grievance and seeks vengeance. It expects other people to attack and hurt it and attacks and hurts other people in self defense. It believes that its attackers ought to be punished; it holds grievances and seeks revenge.

Everywhere, the American judicial system, an ego based justice system, tries and punishes evil persons and puts them in jails.

Americans set up their government: judges, courts, police, jails military etc to act on their behalf, to be their surrogate ego seeking vengeance and punishing their enemies.

America is the ego based civilization per excellence. It knows nothing of God, though Americans talk too much about God.

The death of America will be the death of the ego based civilization. After her fall, momentarily, however, there will be another ego based civilization, the Chinese civilization. That civilization will not last more than a century before it falls.

One does not need to consciously do anything to bring about the end America’s ego reign. America has her rendezvous with destiny. She must do what she is fated to do and like all other empires based on the ego, hence slavery and oppression, will disappear into the garbage dump of history. She must end for a Christ based civilization to finally dawn on earth.

Rome, Russia etc were all once great civilizations but are no more, so will America. Like Rome, America began as a slave society and continues to the present as a discriminatory society. When she has exhausted her fate, when the ego has exhausted her reign, in traditional Christian categories, when Satan (the ego is called Satan by Christians) has exhausted her appointed time, she would be replaced by a different type of society. The end of Satan’s reign will mark the beginning of Christ’s reign on earth. The end of the reign of the ego, the reign of hatred, is the beginning of the kingdom of God on earth, the reign of the will of God, which is love, on earth.

One needs do nothing for Christ replacement civilization will raise on its own accord. In so far that one needs to do something, it is to remove the obstacles to it. Love is everywhere but we mask it with hatred; when we stop hating each other we see that we always live in the presence of love. We live in love and dream that we live in hatred; we live in unified state and dream that we live in separation.

The replacement civilization is led by the Holy Spirit and Christ; it is a Christ based civilization, what Christians call a New Israel, a New Jerusalem, a world led by Jesus Christ.

In this context, Jesus Christ is not a person, but is a metaphor for love and forgiveness, a world based on love, forgiveness and human brotherliness.

(China and Asia will be the dominate power by the end of the twenty first century. In the twenty second century, Africa will emerge from the shadows and begin to contend for power. By the end of that century, all regional dominations will end and the world turns to Christ based civilization, one based on love and forgiveness.)

For our present purposes, when there is an inner shift in perception, one recognizes that one is one with the seeming other person, one with the person who seems to have attacked and hurt ones body and ego self. One forgives and loves that person. One loves the entire world.

Forgiveness and love makes one experience ones oneness with the entire world. When one constantly loves and forgives the world, one experiences what Helen Schucman called Holy Instant, what traditional Christianity calls mystical union with God and all creation; in it, one knows that God and his creation are one.

Inner shift in perception leads one to trust in God’s Holy Spirit to guide one; one now has faith in God to protect one. Even though God did not create this world, through his Holy Spirit he protects his children in the danger prone world they made.

If one has total faith in God to protect one, that is, if one relinquishes ones trust in the ego to protect one, one becomes peaceful and happy. The gifts of God are peace and happiness.


A few years ago, I was totally immersed in studying Hinduism. At some point, I believe that I had understood it. However, I was not comfortable with its Indian language and was struggling for a way to replace it with the Christian language of my upbringing.

Where Hinduism talks about Brahman, I talk about God; where it talks about Atman, the part of Brahman, I talk about Christ, the Son of God, where it talks about self realization; I talk about oneness with God in Mystical union (see Evelyn Underhill, Mysticism and William James, Varieties of Religious experience). I, more or less, translated Hindu philosophy into Christian categories.

At some point, I had a chat with a chap and explained to him my understanding of God. Upon hearing me talk, he told me that some one had already done what I was struggling to do: put Hinduism into Christological categories, that Helen Schucman wrote a book called A Course in Miracles, in which she did what I was trying to do. He urged me to read that book.

I bought that book and tried reading it. The language was foreboding. It was written in Shakespearean verse. I am not used to reading verse poems. I am used to reading prose. I could not really get into the book. Moreover, the ideas in the book seemed convoluted, gabbled gook and I threw it away.

In fact, I was unkind to its writer. I concluded that Helen Schucman must have been a neurotic of a dissociative type; a multiple personality that dissociated from her true self and identified with an alter ego she called Jesus Christ, and from what seemed his perspective wrote her book.

I did not believe in channeling and, in fact, did not care for channeled materials. I am at home in the world of ego reasoning; it does not help one much to tell me that something is written by God; what one tells me must be self evidently true for me to pay attention to it.

I threw A Course in Miracles away and continued with my life. Then I separated from my wife, moved out of our house, and to save money, moved into a rooming house. In the house was an old high school mathematics and music teacher who, apparently, was divorced and had moved out of his house. He became a friend of mine. We talked about all sorts of subjects.

We shared the same kitchen and dinning room. One evening, I saw him reading A Course in miracles. I told him that I had tried to read that book but could not understand it. He said that that is the case with most people, and for the next few days, undertook to explain the thesis of the book to me.

Subsequently, I happened to be at a bookstore and saw that book, again. On the impulse, I bought it, and, this time, actually read it from page one to the last page. I even read the Workbook and Manual for teachers. I did not read it as a follower, but as one who wanted to understand what it is all about, that is, I read it with critical eyes.

The book contained a strange philosophy, a philosophy that stood our normal way of looking at our world on its head.

Somehow, I felt that the book contained the truth. But out of nowhere I became seized by anger at Jesus. I wanted to know why he wrote the book in such convoluted language that very few persons could understand. I have a doctorate degree and still I could not understand the book. How in the world does he expect the average person with only high school education to understand his book?

I wondered why he did not write it in simple prose, say, like Ernest Hemmingway’s, so that simple folks could read and understand it without the help of those purporting to help them understand it. Already, a veritable cottage industry has arisen purporting to interpret the book for the masses, and each claiming to teach its true meaning. It seemed to me that given the religious wars we had in the past, all due to different interpretations of what Jesus allegedly taught that the old boy ought to have spared us another headache by presenting his ideas in a readable book?

For weeks, I kept on being angry at Jesus for returning to the world and creating confusion with this confusing book. I was in fact so furious at the man that I wished to get my hands around his neck and strangle him. I vaguely remembered my anger at him in the past, too. I have always identified with Thomas the apostle and somehow see myself as him in this life time. I have always been argumentative and doubting of whatever is said to be the truth.

One evening, around 6 PM, I sat in front of my computer and tried to write down my issues with the boy, Jesus. Why am I so furious at the chap, I asked myself, why not just let the matter drop? I did not even know for sure whether he existed or not. For all I know he could be a clever story propagated by the Jews to deceive the world. Didn’t racists claim that the elders of Zion are out to control the rest of the world and cleverly scheme to control our minds? Couldn’t Christianity be part of the plot by the elders of Zion to control us gentiles?

It was Seattle during the summer. At 6PM the sun was still up. I could see through my window that the sun was up outside my room. However, suddenly my room became dark, I mean pitch black. I got up from my desk to see what was going on. I looked outside the window but everywhere seemed dark, dark at 6PM in July Seattle, that is strange! I tried to moving towards the door, to go outside, to find out what is going on.

I was standing in the middle of the room when suddenly I found myself at Venice, California beach. I was gamboling with my five year old son. I carried him on my back and was running along the shores, a sandy beech. We were having fun when suddenly my attention was attracted by a man sitting by a beech chair with a book on a table. He had a beech umbrella on over his head. What caught my attention was his hue. He was as white as snow. You could look through him. He wore the traditional Catholic priest’s white robes. He looked like Pope John Paul. (I liked John Paul so much that I actually went to Rome and tried to get a glimpse of him.)

The man before me seemed amazing so that I went towards him to find out who he is.

As I got closer, I immediately knew who I was looking at; I was looking at the old boy himself, Jesus Christ. My rage at the old boy returned and overwhelmed me. I was so furious at him that I wanted to kill him.

Suddenly my attention was caught by the book the old boy was reading; it was A Course in Miracles. That book made me even angrier at the man. I stood there wanting to tell him what a fool he is writing a confusing book etc. But I decided to be polite and not use the insulting language that came to my mind. I tried to make conversation with the old boy. (Folks out there tend to fear and respect Jesus, but I saw him as a peer, not as my master, just a friend.)

I said: good book, eh? The man ignored me. My God, I do not like to be ignored, certainly not by any body that looks white. Whites have ignored blacks for too long and if a white man dared ignore me I tend to be furious. I was enraged all over again that the man ignored me. In my mind, I was asking: who the hell does this Jewish boy think that he is ignoring an Igbo man? (The Igbos, generally, fancy themselves superior to all other people, white or black, and I share their neurosis.)

I tried to be civil and professional and tried another tactic. I said: I have read that book; it is difficult to understand what it is trying to say. The man still ignored me. He kept reading that book and ignored me. My God, my anger could no longer be contained and I decided to leave him. I decided that I had had enough and in a huff took the first step to leave him.

At that point, the man looked up from the book and said: “there are many books, many paths to God. You are meant to write your own book on God. Go write it and do not disturb your peace talking about this book. Some persons, including your self, will find some usefulness from this book, others will not. It is for you to take from it what you can and go write your own book. Some persons would find some utility in your own book.

After his brief comments, the old boy disappeared and the dream ended. My room was again bathed in sun light and I could see again.

At no point during this dream was I sleeping. I merely shifted awareness, from my room to the beach, and to the ensuing interaction with the big boy himself.

Many folks would consider the dream a vision? What is a vision? Let us not delay ourselves debating semantics. Dream or vision, what difference does it make?

I went back to my computer and typed the dream and tried to understand what it meant. I called a few friends and told them about the dream and each gave me his or her interpretation of the meaning of the dream. I had many other dreams with Jesus Christ in them. However, we need not go there; one dream is enough for us.

What does the dream mean?

Obviously, it is my thinking, aka mind that produced the dream/vision. Obviously, my experience as a Catholic boy made it possible for my mind to produce Jesus in the like of a Catholic priest. If I had been socialized a Baptist, I probably would have had a different image of Jesus Christ and produced him differently in my dream. Simply stated, it was my thinking/mind that produced the dream.

The Jesus that I saw was not outside me; it was produced by my mind. I made the image of Jesus that my mind could accept, one clad like my beloved Pope John Paul the 11.

Does this mean that the whole dream is a fiction and of no relevance? Not quite so simple. All dreams and visions are metaphors produced by the individual’s mind to teach him a lesson.

At the beginning of this essay, I narrated a dream that occurred when I was four years old. That dream was a metaphor of my dependent personality. I tended to want external others to rescue me. The dream told me that no external others would rescue me, no matter how hard I cried. The objective of the dream is for me to become independent and look inside me for rescue. Since objectively, my ego is weak and powerless, looking inside me does not mean trusting in me to rescue me, but trusting the God inside me, the Holy Spirit to rescue me.

The Jesus dream was obviously produced by my mind, my thinking. We think in concepts and images; my thinking produced the dream in images. The dream’s meaning is for me; it is designed to teach me a lesson.

In the dream, my mind produced a Jesus that my upbringing as a Catholic could accept. The symbolism of the dream is that my mind told me not to waste my time debating the merit or lack of it of A Course in Miracles, but to take from it what seems to make sense to me and go write my own book on the nature of reality. The dream further tells me that not all persons would accept my interpretation of reality, just as not all persons accept the Course.

The dream, in effect, is my mind, telling me to go find my own path to God and take from the Course what is useful, just as I had taken from Hinduism and Buddhism without getting stock in them.

Does that mean that Jesus does not exist apart from my dream? Does that mean that our minds make him up? Is he a dream figure and not a reality?

The answer is yes and no. There was a man called Jesus who lived two thousand years ago in Palestine. He was an ego like all of us. In the course of his living on earth, he recognized that he is one with all of us and one with God. He jettisoned his hitherto identification with the ego and identified with the Christ.

In our world, God and his son, Christ, is represented by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches love and forgiveness. Jesus, the Jewish rabbi, accepted the gospel of the Holy Spirit and taught it. He became a teacher of God, a teacher of salvation.

The Jews did not like Jesus’ teaching of forgiveness and love. They wanted to continue teaching crime and punishment. Like Americans, Jews wanted to see criminals as apart from them, arrest, try and punish them. They wanted Moses’ law of an eye for an eye to prevail in their world. They did not want to leave the laws of Moses, the laws of the ego, the laws of grievances and vengeance and embrace the laws of Christ, the laws of God, the laws of forgiveness and love.

The Jews, moreover, did not like the fact that Jesus saw himself as one with God. They say his identification with God as blasphemy, as an attack on their ego based God, the God of the Old Testament that punished evil doers.

Recall the parable of the adulterous woman. In it, Jesus asked people to forgive sinners rather than punish them. Recall the parable of the man going to worship God and remembered that a neighbor had wronged him. Jesus said that he must first go home to forgive his neighbor before he worshipped, prayed to God. Recall the only prayer Jesus taught his apostles, the Lord’s Prayer. He asked them to forgive one another before they expect God to forgive them. Finally, Jesus was crucified and he forgave those who crucified him.

Clearly, Jesus taught his followers to forgive one another. Forgive your enemy; present the other cheek to be slapped when one is slapped. As he sees it, God has already forgiven us; God has already given us all that we pray for, but to receive the answers to our prayers, we must first forgive one another.

Forgiveness and love is the condition for receiving the gifts of God. (The gifts of God are peace and happiness.)

Jesus taught forgiveness, it is as simple as that. What is salvation? To be saved is to forgive the world, other people and ones self. To forgive is to overlook what is done in the world as if it were done in a dream.

Jesus overlooked the world of crimes and saw the face of Christ, innocence, guiltlessness and sinlessness in all his brothers. He teaches us to forgive one another, so as to see the face of Christ, innocence, in each other.

God’s holy Son is innocent; he has not done the evils we see him do on earth; he did those evils in a dream setting and what is done in a dream has not been done.

The racist discriminated against a black person in a dream and had not done so in reality; therefore, he is still as God created him, innocent.

Jesus did live in flesh. Because he taught a philosophy that is contrary to the philosophy that maintains this world…grievance and punishment maintains this world… the world wishing to keep its pathways, arrested and crucified him. Jesus was, in fact, killed and resurrected from death. His body was crucified but his spirit is eternal and could not be destroyed.

Subsequent to his death, Jesus resurrected from death and appeared in his physical body and showed himself to his disciples. He even ate food with them. Then he got tired of that childish ego-body game, and for a while lived only in Holy Spirit-light body, what Orientals call astral body…the body he was in my dream, a body of pure light form…you could walk through that body.

All of us have light bodies, if you try very hard, meditate, you would see yourself in a light body, a body that looks like your present body, but one made of pure light particles, a body made of photons and having no solidly. When we invented our present bodies, the Holy Spirit reinvented our bodies for us. Each of us has a light body. This is the body those who have had near death experiences claim to see. It is not a permanent body, for it is still in matter, though it is in the subtlest form of matter, particles. Whatever is made of matter must decompose. The light body is as temporary as our present dense body. Ultimately, we must all return to formless, spirit self, the self God created us as.

Jesus eventually got tired of playing ego games and returned to formless spirit. He seemed to have disappeared from the world. But he is now in our thinking, our minds, our Spirit. He is part of the Holy Spirit. He is in our right minds; he is the symbolic Christ.

If you insist on seeing Jesus in form, you will see him, in a manner that your experience can accept. My experience can accept him as the Catholic Pope and he appeared as the pope to me. (The pope is the Catholics idea of a holy man.)

The real Jesus, however, is not in flesh or light body, he is one with God. He has reclaimed his true self, the holy son of God, who is one with his father. Nevertheless, if you ask for him, he will appear to you in flesh. Look at the man in front of you, he is metaphorically Jesus. Love him, if you want to love Jesus. If he attacks you, Jesus has attacked you, with the hope that you would forgive him, and in forgiving him forgive yourself, and in doing so come to the gate of heaven and from their jettison the ego altogether and enter heaven, and experience oneness with God and all his creation.

For our present purposes, what I had was a dream, and if you insist, a vision. It was symbolic and meant to teach me a lesson. All dreams and visions are personalized. Each is meant to teach the dreamer, visionary, a lesson. The lesson the dream taught me is only for me. But it is also for you, for in the final analysis, you are like me.

In the here and now world, you will have different dreams and different visions to be taught the lessons you need to learn in your world of separation, your dream that the unified son of God is in many places.

Why did I narrate this dream? Was it to make me seem more spiritually advanced than you, to seem elevated than you? In eternity, we are perfectly the same and equal. It is the wish that one be superior to other people that produced this world of superiority and inferiority.

I am your equal in God. We are equal in God and eternity. But in time, on earth, we are at different places on our journey back to God. You are where you are and I am where I am.

You have asked me to return to God, to be awakened in the light that is our nature. I am part of your real self. You asked me to be an awakened figure in your dream of separation, so as to show you that separation is not real.

I am doing exactly what you asked me to do and what I want to do. I am a figure of light in your dream of the opposite of light, the dream of darkness.

I am symbolic of the Holy Spirit reminding you of your true self, the Christ. I am doing the function you asked me to do for you, a function I willingly undertook to perform. I am your brother Thomas, who has come to help you go from doubt to faith in the truth. (You must first have faith in the unseen truth of oneness, love and forgive all people, before you can experience oneness.)


To be saved is to forgive and love all people. When we forgive and love all people, we transcend the false selves we currently identify with, the separated selves housed in bodies. When we truly forgive and love all people we overcome the world, as Jesus did. We return to the awareness of our real self, the self that is as God created it, the unified spirit self, aka the Christ self, the Atman, the Buddha. Forgiveness and love are the only means for attaining salvation; there are no other means for doing so.


Salvation comes from inside one. When we invented this world, God immediately reinvented it through his Holy Spirit. Our world has already been transformed, remade in the image of Christ. Each of us made an ego self; the Holy Spirit has remade that self in light form. The Holy Spirit has remade our world in light forms. The light world is as real as our dense world is real.

If we forgive and love all people, we momentarily experience the world remade by the Holy Spirit. It is still like our world, it is still in forms. In it, one still sees people but in light forms. It is a world of love, peace and joy. But in as much as it is in form, it is a false world. It is an illusory world pretty much as illusory as our world is an illusory world. But it is an illusion that approximates the truth.

Our truth is love; any world that loves approximates our truth and our real home. The world remade for us by the Holy Spirit has been called by many names, including New Israel, New Jerusalem, New world, new man, not fleshy man, happy dream, real world, gate of haven’t. Call it what you like, like our world, it has no name. But we must all get to that world, a borderland between our world and heaven.

When we all get to that loving world, brought there by forgiveness, we tire of being in forms, gross or light forms, and voluntarily choose to relinquish all forms and return to formlessness.

We, the children of God, disappear into God and he disappears into us, each not to be lost but to be found and to be expanded. In heaven, in the state of oneness are still many us, infinite selves, but there we all know that we are part of each other and are in each other and in God, and God is in us. The world ends and we resume the awareness of our oneness with our creator.


Salvation is inside us; it is the Holy Spirit, who is inside us, that saves us. The Holy Spirit is not a person; it is a pattern of thinking and behaving, a pattern that sees all people as part of ones self. The Holy Spirit teaches that wee must forgive and love one another. When we see no differences betwe

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November 15, 2005

Prayers for Bịafra and Nigeria

Prayers for Bịafra an Nigeria

by Fada Jọn Ọfọegbu Ụkaegbu, Ph.D. -Igbologist- (Brooklyn, New York) ---- Preamble: Religion and spirituality are cultural universals in so far as they are present in all world cultures. Because of different approaches to religion and spirituality, they also serve as cultural variables. Prayer is one of the basic elements of religion and there are approaches to prayer as there are religious groups and sects.

In the interest of religious freedom and tolerance, everyone claims to be an authority in prayer. In their humility, the apostles asked Jesus to teach them how to pray (Mt. 6:7-15). But we know that Nemo est iudex in causa sua –No one is a judge in one’s case. The question here is: Monopoly of prayers. Some Nigerians would not like anyone to pray for Bịafra and it may be vice versa. Both Nigerians and Bịafrans believe in the power of prayers; but they seem to have it in their own terms instead of leaving it in the hands of God. Can the human will change divine will and plan?

Human Elements:
If there is only one God, it follows that the differences in religion, spirituality and prayer are due to human elements in the devotees. We shall only focus on prayer in this brief discuss without adhering to any particular group of religion or spirituality. Anyone who has followed the history of turbulence in Nigeria and Bịafra will recognize the role of prayer during these tempting years. It may not be wrong to say that some people seem to impose their human agenda and will on God in the name of prayer. Our concern here is to examine what role prayers may play in the Nigeria-Bịafra crises.

Difference between the Voice of God and Voice of the People:

Some people in Nigeria think that Nigeria can be remedied or redeemed from its downward trend towards poverty and nihilism. This idea and belief make them devote much time to prayers for Nigeria. Nigerians of all religious affiliations like Christians, Moslems and Afrịkan Traditional Religionists join hands in prayers for Nigeria. The Catholic Bishops of Nigeria have a special “Prayer for Nigeria in Distress.” Vox populi, vox Dei –The voice of the people is the voice of God is valid only when the people are right and do the will of God. It is understood that God answers our prayers if they will be in our spiritual interest and material well being. Does it mean that God does not hear the prayers of Nigerians when the country seems to go from bad to worse? Suppose God’s will is different from the wish of Nigerians? How shall we know of the will of God for Nigeria? This brings us to the other face of the coin.

The people of Bịafra think and believe that Nigeria cannot be remedied and that the solution to the chronic maladies of Nigeria is the actualization of the civil State of the Republic of Bịafra where there will be civility, meritocracy and true democracy. Someone recently said that instead of democracy in Nigeria, there is “demo-crazy” in the country.

Symptoms of Divine Will:

If Nigeria had improved and practiced equity and fairness, provided jobs for its citizens and allowed religious tolerance and freedom of the press, then there would have been no need to think or talk of Bịafra as an alternative. Does it make some sense to think that the more Nigeria becomes almost ungovernable, introduces Sharia Laws and religious intolerance, the more people think God is paving way to the emergence of the Republic of Bịafra? If the German Nazis had not killed the six million Jews during the second world war of 1939 to 1945, may be there would not have been the rebirth of the State of Israel in 1948. Apart from the Jewish Holocaust that claimed six million lives, the Bịafran Holocaust of 1966 to 1970 which claimed over three million lives is the second largest human tragedy in modern times. The continuation of atrocities till today against Bịafrans may reflect how painful is the will of God.

The Bịafran Exodus:

It took the Israelites forty years to reach the promised land. It has taken the people of Bịafra (1966-2006 or 1967-2007) almost forty years to get to the promised land. The more violations of human rights by Nigeria, the more Nigeria helps in the realization of the Bịafran dream. Those who are opposed to the Bịafran Exodus from Nigeria seem not to read the hand writing on the walls. If God had allowed the actualization of the Sovereign State of Bịafra in a very short time, the people would have become arrogant and believed that they made it happen. Now we know that God’s time is the best!

Analogy from Sports:

A penalty is committed during a soccer game. The player to take the kick makes the sign of the cross and prays for God’s help. On the other hand, the goal keeper prays and makes the sign of the cross so that God may make the ball go over the bar or that he may stop the ball. Who will God favor in the game? Conventional wisdom shows that God is always on the side of the winner. Hence the adage: Fortuna favet fortibus. –Fortune favors the strong. Prayer goes beyond fortune. Nigeria missed an opportunity in January of 1970 when she thought that it was over; but we know that it not over until it is over. He who laughs last, laughs best! Future will tell!

Practical Prayers:

Nigerians prayed that the 2005 Confab undemocratically organized by the Federal government could usher a new era and resolve the nagging political impasse plaguing the country. I personally told a Nigerian friend that I will sincerely pray for the success of the Confab and that we should respect the will of God over the issue. My prayer for the Confab was that if it is God’s will, let the Conference help resolve Nigeria’s political crises. On the other hand, if the Conference would not benefit Nigerians, may it end in chaos and futility. When the Confab ended in confusion, I told my Nigerian friend that God has answered my prayer. He retorted and said that my prayer was not a good one and that it helped destabilize the Conference. The Nigerian might think that prayer for Nigeria must be automatic and magical as to command God on what to do for Nigeria. My prayer cannot confuse the immutable will of God and God’s will over the 2005 Confab has been manifested because the organizers were not sincere and democratic. Some Nigerians frown at anyone praying for Bịafra and they try to impose their will on everyone and apparently on God Himself.

Final Prayers: From Pan To Fire!!

The Nigerian Catholic Bishops composed a prayer for Nigeria in Distress when Nigeria was only on the “pan”. Now that Nigeria is in the “fire”, the Bishops may compose another prayer to match the current situation. It may not be an exaggeration to say that Nigeria is “hell on earth”. The best prayer for Bịafra and Nigeria is to pray for the will of God to be done and the people should be prepared to receive the divine verdict when it comes. We know that heaven helps those who help themselves: therefore people will not only rely on their prayers, but they have to match prayers with action. Currently the situation in Nigeria is not getting better, but it gets worse day by day. The deteriorating condition of Nigeria does not mean that God is not hearing the prayers of Nigerians. We know that God can write straight on a crooked line and that the apparent sad situation in Nigeria will eventually lead to the establishment of the Sovereign State of Bịafra. As the will of God is that the Republic of Bịafra is to be actualized, one of the ways to realize this will be to throw Nigeria into confusion as it is currently happening. It may be that God wants to teach his children in Nigeria some lessons before there will be a restoration of order in Nigeria. We know that no condition is permanent in this world. After a great storm, there comes a great calm! All is well that ends well! One who wishes to become a diviner should study the past in order to be able to foretell the future. Finally we now know that the actualization of the Sovereign State of Bịafra will be realized under divine guidance and not by only human might. In effect the actualization of the Sovereign State of Bịafra is a Spiritual Exodus.

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November 14, 2005

Man: The Thinker

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Man is a thinker; he is not his thoughts; he can change his thoughts but cannot make himself atop thinking; all he can do is think different thoughts. If man is not his thoughts, who is he? Matter that produced thinking or spirit that thinks through matter?

I think, therefore, I am (a thinker). Clearly human beings do think. They are thinkers. They think in concepts and images.

Upon birth on earth, it seems that their first order of business is to think out an idea of who they think that they are. Each human child comes up with a self concept, an idea of who he thinks that he is; he also comes up with ideas, concepts of who he thinks that other people are and what things in the world are. He then translates his concepts into images. He has a self concept and translates that to a self image, concepts and images of other people and the world he lives in. Human beings are concept and image makers.

All human beings think in a certain pattern, the human pattern of thinking. Within this overall pattern of thinking, each of them has his own pattern of thinking, a pattern of thinking that characterizes his personality.

The individual invents a self concept. That self concept is made by him, building on his childhood experiences and his inherited biological constitution. Subsequently, the individual sees himself as the self concept and self image he invented and strives to defend it as if it is who he, in fact, is.

One defends ones self concept and ones self image with the various ego defense mechanisms that Psychoanalysts talk about.

If other people validate ones self concept, self image, one feels (temporarily) at ease, but if they do not confirm it, one feels upset. One feels angry at those who do not recognize ones self image as who one is. Ones life is devoted to getting other people to colluding with one to accept the false self one made for one; and one gets along with people to the extent that they affirm ones self concept, self image and avoids them to the extent that they refuse to validate ones cherished self concept and self image.

The self concept and self image is an idol, a craven image one made and one is proud of it and defends it as if it is who one, in fact, is. One forgets that one is the concept and image maker and not the concept and image itself.

Ones true identity is as a part of God; man is the Son of God (God being the ultimate thinker). Human beings real self is the Christ, the holy son of God; they are unified with God and all God’s creation. There is no separation between the Son of God and his father; no separation between one son of God and another. The Son of God is in his father and his father is in him. Where you see the Son of God you see God, for God is not apart from his Son and his Son is not apart from Him. Where God ends and his Son begin is no where. There is no space and gap between God and his Son, no space and gap between one son of God and another, for they are all in each other. There is no you and I in God, no subject and object, no seer and seen in God, for all creation is one with its creator.

If one recognizes that one is the thinker, that the thinker is not his thoughts and stops defending ones thoughts, concepts and images, one is not likely to feel emotional upsets like fear (of loosing ones self concept, image) anger (at those who do not recognize ones self concept, image), depressed (from not having the self concept succeed in life), paranoid (from not becoming the all important self the self concept and image ones wants to become).

The individual is like an artist and creates concepts and images but the artist is not his creation, not his work. (By the same token, God created us and is not us; God is the ultimate thinker/artist; he is not his creations, he has a self that is not his creations self, though they are like him and do create, do think like he does; his creation share his creative self but are not him).

A good artist identifies with his creations and does defend them when others attack them; but a mature artist understands that he is not his art work and does not defend his creations. A mature artist knows that he creates with matter and that matter: rocks, stone, canvas, paint etc must wear down and disappear into nature. All things composed of matter must decay, dust to dust, ashes to ashes, elements to elements, atoms to atoms and particles to particles. We created our bodies, matter, and identify with them, but eventually our bodies must die, decompose, and return to the particles, atoms and elements that they are made of.

When one does not defend ones self concept and self image, ones idol, ones craven self image, one tends to be calm, peaceful and happy.

In every situation one finds ones self in, one must, therefore, ask: am I my self concept, am I my self image, am I my personality? The answer is no. Therefore, one must not look at attacks on ones self concepts/images as attack on ones real self.

If you know and accept this fact, you would be calm and peaceful as the world attacks your self concept and personality; you would know that people who attack your self concept/image are not attacking your real self.

Your real self is the thinker, who is not his thinking. The thinker is Spirit. In the here and now, the thinker, spirit, appears to live in body and creates with body, matter, but he is not the material with which he creates. You are not your body; you, as part of collective spirit, invented matter, body, as a means of fashioning self concepts and self images to live in the temporal universe with.

Alfred Adler (see his The Neurotic Constitution) talked about the neurotic inventing/creating a false, superior self concept and acting as if he is that fiction of his creation and defending it. Karen Horney (see her Neurosis and Human Growth) talked about the neurotic inventing/creating an ideal self concept and desiring to become it and feeling anxious to the extent that he does not approximate it. Helen Schucman (see her A Course in Miracles) talked about the neurotic inventing/creating a false special ego self and defending that false self. The Founders of Unity Church, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, in the 1880s, talked about how each of us is a thinker and uses his thinking to construct his world, and how what the person thinks materializes in his world: how ones thinking is responsible for what happens to one. Buddha, twenty five hundred years ago, talked about people being different from their thoughts, how the human personality, a thought that the individual thinks that he is and defends as if it is in fact who he is, is not who he is, and how the individual could tune out his ego conceptual thinking and become silent; in meditation, the individual negates all conceptual thinking, negates his self concept and self image and negates his ego personality and in the ensuing emptied mind, void, silence experience his real self, what he called nirvana, unified life that has no separated selves, a world of total harmony, hence a world of peace and joy.

All these people are essentially saying the same thing: that we are thinkers and that our thinking is responsible for the world we seem to live in and that we are not our thinking, hence not the effects we have produced, not the world we see around us.


On a personal note, I invented a big self concept/big self image. I invented a superior self concept/image. Deep down, I consider myself superior to other people.

Since I was a child, if I do not get my way, I feel angry. For example, I tend to feel angry if others keep me waiting on line, say if a teller at a bank is taking long to attend to me. It is like they are keeping a king, me, waiting; a king that ought to be served right away.

I do not care who one is, a judge, a president of a superpower country, if he does not do what I want, I feel outraged and ask who the hell he thinks that he is. That is to say that deep down one feels superior to the allegedly most powerful person on earth. In fact, I do not even think that the president of the sole superpower is worthy of my attention.

Alfred Adler would say that I am a neurotic and pursue a superior self and want to become my desired superior self concept/self image. He would say that my real self is the same and equal with all other selves but that, for biological and social deficit reasons, I perceived that real self as inferior, hated and rejected it and invented a compensatory fictional superior self and identified with that imaginary self. Karen Horney would say that I hated my real self and posited an alternative ideal-perfect self and want to become the false ideal self and want other people to see me as that fictional self and feel anxious when I am not that false ideal, perfect self. Helen Schucman (A Course in Miracles) would see me as inventing a special separated ego self, a self that sees itself as self created and as the creator of other people and the creator of God, a grandiose and deluded self and want other people to see me as I want to see me.

Of course, other people are not obligated to see me as I see me. They see me as just another human being and treat me as such. I feel angry at them for treating me as an ordinary self.

My grandiose and delusional self concept and self image is not validated and affirmed by other people, as they should not, for if they did they would collude with me and make me believe that I am a false self, hence an insane self.

Desiring to be my ideal self, I avoid other people. In social avoidance, in social withdrawal, in isolation I retain my grandiose self concept, self image. In separation, I fancy myself superior to other people.

(I have taken most recognized intelligence and personality tests; most of them indicate that I have the type of personality I already know that I have: avoidant personality, shyness, with passive aggressive features. I wish that most people would take these tests and know who they are. Most people have problematic personalities but do not know it. If only they could find out whom they are, and seek therapy, the world would be a better place. If I had a choice in the matter, I would have all adults take the MMPI and WAIS and all children take WISC and Stanford Binnet. This would improve their self knowledge and, ultimately, as Harold Laswell observed, help them improve their social behaviors; more importantly, they would stop actualizing their personal psychopathologies in the political arena.)

I particularly fancy myself superior to white folks. For some reasons, I have always considered white folks like children and if any of them, I do not care what his social position is, dared oppose me, I feel outraged and angry, and want him punished, even killed. As it were, I say: how dare an inferior white person, a morally bankrupt animal, a slaver, oppose me?

Helen Schucman would say that I feel superior to God himself and want God to obey me. I have never found it easy to worship God. Even as a child, I did not like praying to God. I did not like to kneel down before God, as my parents asked me to do. In my mind was the thought, who the hell is this god guy that I am supposed to worship, he ought to be the one worshipping me.

Schucman would say that my behavior is the nature of the self concept; that the self concept was invented by the Son of God in his vain attempt to create himself, create God and create his brothers, that it is a replacement self, a self we invented to substitute for our real self, the son of God created by God.

The son of God, as God created him, is the same and equal to all selves; the self concept is designed to make one seem superior to other people and superior to God. The self concept, the ego, the idol, the craven idol, the antichrist, the unholy self must be let go for one to experience ones real self, the unified self, the holy self who is one with his creator and all his brothers. The real self is inside one, not out side one; when one identifies with the real self, unified self, feels equal with all, and let’s go of the false superior wishing self, one feels peace and happiness.


According to both Alfred Adler and Karen Horney, if a person pursues a superior, ideal self, that is, is a neurotic, he is likely to fail in extant society. Extant society is meant for normal persons.

The normal person does not see himself as better than other people. As such, he is able to get along with other people and is able to operate within groups. He can work in normal work organizations, where there are bosses and servants. He can take marching orders and directions from his school teachers and work bosses. He can be in the military and is told what to do, including to go kill and he does as told. The normal person is meant to succeed in organized society.

The neurotic invented and posited an ideal, superior self and wants to attain it. He, therefore, resents other people telling him what to do. He would like to be the boss at all times. If a child, at home, his big self resents his parents telling him what to do. At school, his big self resents teachers telling him what to do and he often drops out of school because he is in power struggle with teachers and do not want to listen to them. He is in constant power struggle with his parents and elders and does not want them to tell him what to do.

(These days, these children are called oppositional defiant disordered children, the stubborn, willful and unruly child.)

On the job he is in power struggle with his bosses and resents them telling him what to do. He may actively tell the bosses to go get lost and quite his jobs, or he may withdraw from them socially and keep to himself, tuning them out and not really listening to them. In social isolation, he manages to maintain his sense of superiority and idealism.

Since the power seeking person is perceived as insubordinate by his bosses, he may be fired from his job, not because he does not know how to do the job but because of his perceived oppositionality, his attitude problems.

Thus, generally, the neurotic fails at interpersonal relationships, for he tends to avoid people, to prevent them from telling him what to do; he avoids people to go retain his grandiose self concept; he fails at school and he fails at work for similar reasons.

Secular psychologists like Adler and Horney recommend that the neurotic and psychotic (who has even a more grandiose, deluded self concept) shrink his self concept to normal proportions. That is why these psychologists are called shrinks; they shrink folk’s swollen self concepts and self images down to normal proportions, so that they can be able to operate in our hierarchical world.

Normal secular therapists do not aim at eliminating the self concept and self image, but want to change it, to shrink it to normal proportions, so that one is better fitted to live in a command oriented society. Our society is organized along the military command model, with commanders and commanded. In our world, every person is told what to do by every person else. If you are going to make it in our world, be it in interpersonal relationships, school and work, you must have a less swollen ego self, you must be normal in your ego structure.

Spiritual psychologists like Helen Schucman, on the other hand, think that to have a self concept and self image of any kind is to have a problem. While acknowledging the problems of exaggerated self concepts and the need to reduce them to normal proportions, they teach that even normal egos must be let go. The self concept and self image itself is the problem. As long as one has a self concept and self image, one has defined ones self by ones self; one has attempted to create ones self and rejected the self God created one as.

The self concept and self image is always a separated self, a self that adapts to the separated world of space, time and matter and is, therefore, ip so facto, a false self. The self we know ourselves as, in this world, normal, neurotic or psychotic, is a replacement self, a substitute self we made to mask the real self that God created us as.

The self God created us as is a holy self, a self unified with him and with all other selves as one self.

It is obvious that the self in matter, in body, cannot unify with other selves, for matter is meant to divide and separate people. Only the spiritual, the same and equal self can unify. Our real self is spirit, unified spirit self, which is not the self that we are currently aware of.

Spiritual psychologists say that we have to tune out our current self concept and self image, normal, neurotic and psychotic, to become aware of our real self, the unified spirit self. That is what meditation is meant to accomplish. In meditation, one consciously rejects the self concept, the self image, and rejects all conceptual selves and imageries; one rejects all concepts and attempts to reach a non-conceptual self; one tries to keep quiet, to silence the chattering of ones ego; one empties ones thinking of all ego based thoughts, becomes a void and in the mind wiped clean of all ego thinking, a new self dawns on one, the self, as God created it, a unified spirit self that is not in body, a self that we cannot explain in ego conceptual categories, for the ego made language and language is an adaptation to the world of separation and division and understands the world of you and I, seen and seer, subject and object.

The world of God is a unified world; language is not necessary in God’s world. The world of God is a non-conceptual and non-perceptual world; it is a knowing world, a world where perception (which exists in our separated world) does not reach.

To reach the world of God, which to spiritual psychologists is to be successful, success as defined by God, one must jettison all self concepts, all self images and all ideas of separated, special self. One must have no self that one made to adapt to this world before one comes to ones God. One must re-embrace the self that God created one as, the unified self, a loving and forgiving self, before one can return to heaven, to the state of union.

You cannot be separated and come to a place of union; you cannot feel special, superior and ideal and come to a place of sameness and equality. God’s kingdom is a place of union, sameness and equality, a place of spirit, not matter.


Is spiritual psychology and its claims true or just escape from empirical reality? According to materialistic science, all we can ascertain is the workings of matter and energy in space and time. Our very thinking seems the products of the configurations of particles, atoms and elements in our brains. Neurons fire in a certain manner and that is all that we can say for sure about thinking. Thinking is an electrical behavior in our brains. Thinking is done through the auspices of light in a biological and chemical medium. Thus thinking/mind is epiphenomenal. This is the view of science. Therefore, science dismisses the teachings of spiritual psychology, religion and even philosophy as having no basis in the empirical world?

If you follow the scientific methodology approach to phenomena, in a strict manner, you will waste your time and energy talking about spiritual psychology. That was my position in the past.

In the present, I derive meaning and purpose from spiritual psychology, aka metaphysics. I am not imposing what makes sense to me on anyone. At any rate, no one will accept what does not yet make sense for him.

When you are ready to embrace spiritual psychology you will do so, but until then, retain your secular psychology, for, as noted, it does help shrink the ego to normal proportion. The ego needs to be shrunk, if one is to live in this world. If your ego is swollen, if you feel superior to other people, as in neurosis and or psychosis, you must live in perpetual anxiety. The superior desiring ego must fear not measuring up to its desired ideal, superior self. The neurotic lives in anxiety disorder. The psychotic appears to have overcome anxiety by denying reality altogether and totally identifying with the false ideal self that he made and is no longer comparing it to reality and seeing its falsity hence feeling anxious.

By all means stick to normal ego secular psychology; up to a point, it is useful. But if it is time for you to transcend the ego self altogether, to let go of all ego self concepts and self images, to close the gap between you and other people, to end separation and specialness and return to the world of unified spirit self, you will find your way to spiritual psychology, aka Hinduism, Buddhism, metaphysical Churches like Unity Church, A Course In Miracles etc.


Rene Descartes said: cogito ergo sum, I think, therefore, I am. Whatever he may have meant by that, what is self evident to me is that human beings do think. Human beings are thinkers. They think in concepts and images. We are concept makers and image makers. We make concepts and images for ourselves. The individual makes concepts and images for himself, for other people and for everything in his world.

Having invented self concepts and self images we defend them, as if they are, in fact, who we are. Defense of these inventions of ours seem to make them real in our thinking, minds. We forget that we made the concepts and images that we defend.

The thinker is different from his thoughts; the image maker is different from his images.

We must learn to separate ourselves from the concepts, images, and ideas we made. We must stop defending the conceptual selves we made. When we stop defending the separated, special, superior and ideal selves we made, we feel peaceful and happy and less anxious.

When we give up making self concepts and self images and accept our real selves, unified spirit self, we feel totally peaceful, happy and fearless. When we have no self we made and accept the self the universe created us as, we return to our real self, to union with God and all creation and to bliss.

This ultimate result entails escaping from this world, negating this world of space, time and matter. The middle ground is what secular psychology attains: to keep the self concept and self image we made, but shrink it so that it is not too big and does not cause one tremendous anxiety and lack of peace. To the extent that one has a separated, superior self one lacks peace and one lives in fear.

No separated self means no fear, anxiety, and presence of peace. Less separated special, superior and ideal self means less fear and anxiety, but some presence of anxiety, nevertheless. The individual must choose what he wants, no separated, special self hence total fearlessness and peace, or some refined separated, special self and some disturbance of ones peace?

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Many persons do not reveal their actual selves to other people; they think that they can hide who they are from other persons’ perception. Actually, other people, more or less, do know who we are. We might as well reveal ourselves to others, as I do in my essays. There is nothing to hide from any one. Truth heals all of us. Truth makes us happy. Try to know who you, in fact, are, and if you have personality issues deal with them. The chances are that if you are reading this material you are not insane, for only two percent of the population has mental disorders and those do not read abstract materials, like this essay. (1% of the population, world wide, has schizophrenia, 1% has bipolar affective disorder; those two are considered real mental disorders, with delusional disorder a strong third?)

By and large, most human beings are normal, actually, normal-neurotic, for all of us have a bit of neurosis in us. Each of us believes what is not true as true, such as fancy ourselves better than other people. Mental health means belief in the truth; the truth of our inherent sameness and equality. All God’s children: Hausas, Yorubas, Igbos, every person, man, woman and child are the same and equal.

If you feel superior to other people, if you consider your race or tribe superior to others, you are a neurotic, aka personality disordered, such as paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, narcissistic, histrionic, anti social, borderline, avoidant, possessive compulsive, dependent and passive aggressive and need to heal that mild mental disorder, so that you know and accept the truth, the truth of our oneness, sameness and equality. We are all children of one family, God’s one family.

Posted by Administrator at 04:29 PM | Comments (1)

Who Burnt Zik's House?

by Ngorom Peterside --- Though I do not condone violence as a means of settling disputes or differences, however, the family of Azikiwe deserve what they got. Perhaps, most Ibos have forgotten the role Zik played during the Nigeria Biafra war. It could be recalled that it was Zik's dubious role in the war that led to the losses Biafra suffered in the Egbema campaign.

Besides, the strategic importance of Egbema, the losses took a great toll of human lives. Zik's family lost only material thing, a building to be exact while many Ibo families lost their only sons. So what is more important human lives or building? Also, it is an insult for the governor of Anambra state to imply that Zik was an Ibo man.. Zik said it on many occasions and in many different ways that he was not an Ibo man.

Zik was the first political figure that claimed that Onitsha people migrated from Benin and settled in Ibo land and as such they are not Ibos. So Zik should be taken for his words. One of the ironies of the pre war politics of Nigeria is that a non Ibo was chosen to champion the cause of the Ibos.

Well illiteracy has played its master piece. Never again, never again will a person from ontisha be selected to champion the cause of the Ibos, since by their own admission they are not Ibos. Such misplacement of trust as electing one that does not share the Ibo philosophy to champion the Ibo cause has caused the Ibos a great deal.

Ngorom Peterside, MBA,CPA

Posted by Administrator at 04:24 PM | Comments (0)

Do Nigerian Politicians Inherit Criminal Genes?

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- Politicians, all over the world, tend to be realistic persons. They tend to accept themselves as they are, to accept other people as they are and accept reality as it is. The human self is always imperfect. Realistic persons accept themselves as imperfect human beings and live with that fact.

They are not motivated to change themselves and become perfect. They are not motivated to change other people and make them become perfect. They are not motivated to change reality and make it what it is not, perfect. They deal with imperfect reality as it is.

Generally, politicians tend not to be socially withdrawn, introspective, introverted, and idealistic neurotics; they tend to be socially outgoing extraverted persons.

Appearances would suggest that politicians ought to be persons who work for society’s common good. But appearances are sometimes deceiving. Some politicians tend to have the same characteristics as criminals. Most criminals tend to have narcissistic and or antisocial personal disorders.

Criminals tend to feel special and worthy of other people’s admiration; they tend to think that they deserve getting attention from other people and that they are not obligated to reciprocate and give attention to other people.

Some narcissistic personalities and all antisocial personalities tend to exploit other people. They feel superior to other people and rationalize using other people to achieve their desired superiority goals. They use people to attain their goals and then discard them when they are no longer useful to them. Indeed, they tend to see other people, whom they perceive as inferior to them, as existing to serve them. They tend to have a sense of entitlement, and feel that they are entitled to the good things of life and that other people and society exist to give them those things they are entitled to by virtue of being who they are, special. Thus a narcissistic politician may believe that he is unique and ought to prove it by going to war and conquer new lands for his people. He may justify sending young solders (18-38 olds, those who do the actual fighting and dying at wars) to war with the notion that they are fighting a noble course; nobility as he, of course, defines it, not as it is, in fact. Gullible young persons die so that the narcissistic politician may attain his desired fame and glory and write his name in history books as an outstanding politician. (So far in human history, great leaders tend to be those who won great wars, so narcissistic leaders who aspire after greatness often indulge in unnecessary wars.)

The desire for fame and glory is narcissistic; using other people to achieve ones desired fame and glory is antisocial.

Nigerian politicians carry the universal trend for politicians to be somewhat narcissistic and or antisocial in personality structure to excesses. The typical Nigerian politician is totally narcissistic and antisocial. He is totally self centered and thinks that other Nigerians exist to admire him. He feels special and worthy of other people’s admiration. He does not care for other Nigerians; in fact, he does not care for any other human being. He sees other people as existing for him to exploit, to use to achieve his infantile desire for attention and glory. He uses people and discards them when they are no longer useful to him. He thinks only of himself and not the public.

The Nigerian politician is a crook, pure and simple; he is a despicable and contemptible human being. He belongs in the garbage dump. Any one who respects the Nigerian politician is respecting a criminal. Throw these subhuman apes masquerading as human beings into the bonfire and burn them. Their mental, emotional and spiritual ages are below that of the great apes like chimpanzees and gorillas; the later, at least, love their kind and work for them; Nigerian politicians do not work for their people, they exploit their people for their belly and their belly, mercifully, is for worms. To call a Nigerian politician a human being is to insult that term; he is an animal.

Human beings are individually unique. Each of them is different from others. Therefore, one should hesitate in making general statements about them. Be that as it may, I make a general statement about Nigerian politicians. They are thieves. I know that this general statement probably does not apply to all of them, but it applies to too many of them that one might as well consider all of them thieves. Where the necessary exception to every general rule is so negligible one must go with the generalization.

I believe that most Nigerian politicians are narcissistic and or anti social personalities. Furthermore, I now suspect that most Nigerian politicians are born with a tendency towards criminal behavior. I think that they probably inherited thieving genes.

I am not a microbiologist or geneticist; if I were one, I would have undertaken a study to see if stealing is in the genes of Nigerian politicians. Since I cannot perform this research by myself, I am urging geneticists everywhere to undertake the study of the possible genetic etiology of Nigerian politicians’ proclivity to criminal behaviors.

We simply have to find out if these people are born criminals. Such finding will save us a lot of headache. If they are born as criminals then we do not have to worry about them. We simply assume that they are going to steal and then do something in anticipation of their stealing tendencies.

If they are born criminals, either we simply leave them alone, to steal to their hearts’ content and not care for their people, or we build prisons and enact draconian laws and should any of them steal, not waste our times debating putative sociological reasons why they stole, but just clamp them into prisons, lock the doors and throw away the keys.

We should get these criminals locked up in prisons until genetic engineers come up with a way to engineer out the putative criminal genes in them. We do not need to be sentimental with these criminals. We must keep them locked up for their and society’s good. And we should not feed them either; they should feed themselves. We could build prisons in remote areas and have the prisoners work on their own farms, obtain their own food and feed themselves. Society has no business feeding and supporting garbage; refuse ought not to be kept alive, it either dies or finds a way to support itself.

Elsewhere, I described the thieving behaviors of Nigerian politicians and do not need to rehash it here. At any rate, everybody already knows that the term Nigerian politician is synonymous with being a corrupt person, a thief and attention seeker.

Contemporary Nigerian politicians are totally self centered and have no social interests in their behaviors. They exhibit the same characteristics as their forefathers, those who sold their brothers and sisters into slavery and apparently did not feel guilty and remorseful for this criminal activity.

Beginning from around 900 AD, Africans sold their people to Arabs; and from around 1500 AD they sold their people to Europeans. African slave trade, thus, lasted between 900-1900, a period of over one thousand years.

For over one thousand years, Africans sold their people into slavery. They must have developed a culture of selling people and a culture of not caring for their people.

I postulate a thesis that Africans’ one thousand year history of selling each other has led to their development of anti social personality disorders. These people do not love one another; they use one another and, in fact, seem to enjoy causing each other pain. Like sociopaths every where, they seem to have no remorse and guilt feeling when they do wrong; and worse, they seem to enjoy hurting other people.

The Nigerians that I know are depraved creatures. They are fallen so low that only God knows how we are going to transform them into caring and loving human beings.

I think that one thousand years of evil behavior, selling their people into slavery, has led to genetic mutation and selection in Africans. I think that those Africans who survived slavery were largely those with preponderance towards antisocial behaviors.

I will be very frank with you: when I see a Nigerian, the word association that comes to my mind is thief.

I have never seen a more thieving people as Nigerians. How else do you explain their not helping their people, their stealing public money and redirecting it to their personal use, when the income per capita of the average Nigerian is $1 a day? Nigerian thievish politicians roll in millions and billions of stolen dollars while their fellow country men are malnourished and live in abject poverty. These people must have some sort of genetic programming to psychopathic behaviors. We might as well study and understand the genetic roots of these people’s sociopathy.

I have given up trying to understand why Nigerians are always stealing; I have given up trying to explain their unacceptable criminal behavior sociologically. These days, I just assume that these people are born thieves. Their thieving behavior no longer surprises me. What I would like to do is for those with genetic engineering skills to study the genes of Nigerians, indeed all Africans, to see if they are born with a tendency towards criminality.

Sociological and psychological explanations of why Nigerians do the incredible things they do, do not seem to cut it with any rational person any more. These people simply seem to exist only to care for themselves; to steal as much money as they could from the public treasury. They could care less for their fellow country men and women. If that is the case, then let us not bother trying to understand why they are spiritually and psychologically stunted and warped, let us understand the biological genesis of their malady and treat them medically, if it is possible to do so.

This idealist has reached the limit of idealism. I think that it is now time to pay attention to empiricism, to the possible biological genesis of most human behaviors. So let us get on with it; let us do genetic, not social-psychological studies of why people do what they do.

I do not want to hear misguided black persons crying fowl, trying to prevent such studies on the ground that it stereotypes the black race. If such black persons do not want their race to be seen as criminals, they ought to be telling their people to stop stealing too much. Some of us simply no longer want to hear excuses and rationalizations why these people steal.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji, PhD

November 10, 2005

PS: I will send this and supporting materials to those who are in a position to do “Genetic Study of Nigerian Politicians’ Proclivity to Narcissistic and Anti social Behaviors”.

Posted by Administrator at 04:20 PM | Comments (0)

Biafran Gratitude

by Odi Moghalu (Los Angeles, California) --- The Igbo and Biafran experience as it was between 1966 - 1970 was a traumatic one well documented and rehearsed in a resurgent spirit of nostalgia these days in the vast array of information channels across Nigeria and myriad Internet sites. Indeed it’s important to remember particularly with the increasing victimizing onslaught of the Nigerian government against the nation’s peoples.

Losing an approximate population of one million in a tragic episode in which hundreds of thousands where clobbered and butchered to death, bombed, shot and starved to an unfortunate demise, towns and villages destroyed under the merciless onslaught of a ruthless, and effective war machine of the Nigerian army (obtaining military assistance from Britain, U.S.S.R. and Egypt) which the Biafrans made enormous contributions in building prior to the war, was evidence that the enemy who was few years back partners of the same citizenry and binding goals of nationhood, could not tolerate (for the sake of a few army officers regrettably but violently sacking a corrupt regime) the partnership of this geopolitical region and for some, even their very existence hence the practical evidence of genocide that ensued.

The recurrence of violence against the Igbo (as in massacres in Jos, 1945 and Kano, 1953) had reached an explosive state in the aftermath of July, 1966 coup. The unleash of genocidal war became an unsuccessful yet tragic experience of fate which the Biafrans hold both with a mournful and inspiring reflection. A malevolent intent motivated by xenophobia but wedged by the mercies of Almighty God through the commiseration and bravado of many.

As a result Biafrans give thanks to God Almighty and our Lord Jesus Christ for their continued survival the frustration of this inimical intent through a gloomy period of harrowing tragedy. Biafrans will not forget its citizens, leaders, military and civil, scientists and soldiers who died (our best heroes) in the battle for its freedom. Advisers to the Head of State; Akanu Ibiam, Michael Okpara, Eni Njoku, Nnamdi Azikiwe etc Military; Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu, Phillip Effiong, Hilary Njoku, Alexander Madiebo, Tim Onwuatuegwu, etc Scientists; Ben Nwosu, Godian Ezekwe, Roy Umenyi etc. Communications; Okon Okon Ndem, Uche Chukwumerije etc.

Indeed there are so many to mention and are in documented history. Biafrans will always cherish, honor and preserve their memories. Biafrans are grateful to the living heroes of the war who paid a heavy price for her people. May the remnants of their earthly sojourn be extended with divine favour. Biafrans are grateful to the United States and Israel for their stand and support (though measured) against genocide. Israel, faced with the 1967 conflict with hostile neighbors yet made a significantly cherished contribution. We are grateful to France for seeing, though lately, the need for the recognition of a country that so desperately needs to be free from the bondage of ethnically incompatible nationalities and the catastrophic product of such coerced union. Biafrans salute the bold efforts at recognition diplomatic and military support of countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Zambia and Haiti; Gabon not only provided support as others but and Equatorial Guinea which provided a base for the many dangerous relief flights into it’s blockaded enclave. The Joint Church Aid (JCA) also known as Jesus Christ Airline as named by the daredevil pilots who for almost two years refused to allow starvation to be used as a weapon of war, flying in about 60,000 tons of humanitarian aid through 5,314 extremely dangerous missions. Canairelief of Canada, Nordchurchaid from Scandanevia in Europe and Holy Ghost Airline From Ireland did the unbelievable. The vow by the Nigerian government to shoot down unarmed JCA airplanes flying in and out of Biafra forced them to take more dangerous routes and some crashed even when they were not under enemy fire.

Biafrans are eternally grateful to those who transited from this life through such a noble and selfless sacrifice. Count Carl Gustaf Von Rosen, the Swede nobleman, veteran pilot and genius who hatched the Minicon Fighter Planes (Biafran Babies) to reduced the constant air attacks from the Nigerian Airforce against the relief flights. Frederick Forsyth British Broadcasting Corporation correspondent who defected to Biafran having witnessed the pain and agony of Biafra which his government contributed immensely to. CBC’s Stanley Burke who thanks to, for the first time in its history, famine and starvation and humanitarian response were seen nightly on world television. May our Gratitude be extended to all especially those who made our dangerously precarious cause theirs and don’t have to. May we show appreciation the few alive and to their relatives wherever any Biafran can reach them and through organizations as Massob, Biafran Foundation, Ekwe-Nche, Nzuko Umuigbo WorldWide, Coalition of Igbo and Biafran Organizations.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord”

Long Live Biafra!

Odi Moghalu
Los Angeles, California

Posted by Administrator at 04:15 PM | Comments (0)

Neurotic Idealism and Unhappiness

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. --- Some human beings are idealistic. They use their thinking and imagination to conceive how the things they see in the empirical world ought to become. Perceiving an imperfect world, idealists use their thinking, aka minds, to imagine how it ought to become perfect. They invent perfections and ideals in their minds. In fact, their minds are always inventing ideals: how things ought to become perfect.

They carry their idealistic tendency to human beings. They perceive imperfect human beings and use their thinking and imagination to visualize how human beings and their social institutions ought to become more perfect.

Having invented ideals and perfections in their thinking, ideas of how people and society ought to become, they use those imaginary ideal standards to judge real people. They juxtapose real human beings, imperfect creatures, to imaginary perfect human beings and perfect behaviors and necessarily see the difference.

They perceive the difference between ideals and reality and feel disappointed and frustrated. Idealists generally are sad people, for nothing in the imperfect real world ever meets their ideals. They are perpetually dissatisfied persons.

The goalpost of what is ideal is always shifting; as you think that you have met an ideal standard, its goalpost is extended and you start struggling all over again to meet the next ideal and as you meet it, it shifts, ad infinitum. Idealism is shifting quicksand and can never be met.

Plato’s ideal state, apparently, is only ideational and not attainable in the empirical world? Not to worry for some observers argue that there is an ideal perfect state in the spirit world, the world created by God. As these persons see it, our human tendency to seek ideals is motivated by our desire to replicate the ideal spiritual state in the material universe. One assumes that this is a conjecture for one is not aware that Plato’s archetype exists in the spiritual world or not. For our present purposes, idealism is ideational and not an empirical proposition.

Apparently, aware of the impossibility of attaining imaginary ideals, normal persons don’t even bother seeking ideals; they accept imperfect reality, imperfect human beings and imperfect social institutions and work with them as they are. Social realists do not quest after neurotic, that is, unrealistic idealism.

The neurotic is a person who uses his thinking/mind to invent ideals: ideal self, ideal other people, ideal institutions and ideal everything he sees in the empirical world and aspires to making them real. He cannot make them real, for reality is not fantasy. In the meantime, the neurotic feels anxious because he is hoping to attain his ideal self and fears that he is not going to become that ideal self.

The perpetual fear of not becoming his ideal self is called neurotic anxiety by Karen Horney (See Neurosis and Human Growth, 2002). Alfred Adler, in his seminal book, the Neurotic Constitution, argues in the same vein as Horney. As he sees it, the neurotic to be child feels inferior, perhaps due to inherited genetic disorders, inferior organs and or adverse social conditions or a combination of both. The child subsequently rejects his real self and posits a superior self and wants to become the superior self. In fact, the neurotic sometimes acts as if he is his desired superior self when he is not it. The neurotic child sometimes tells lies to other people, lies about him, lies that make him seem all important, powerful and outstanding when in fact he is not so. He tells lies in a misguided effort to live up to the demands of his wished for superior, perfect and ideal self concept/self image.

The superior self is mental and not real. The real self is rooted in the individual’s body and, as such, must be weak and imperfect. The imaginary self is conceptual and imagery and is in the individual’s thinking/mind and can be made perfect by merely wishing that it be so. Wishes are not reality. The laws of matter and energy prevent all things in material form from being as the mind wishes them to be. For example, you may wish to fly, but the fact is that you cannot fly unless you grow wings. And even then, there are limitations to your flying. Matter and energy, body, imposes limits on human beings behaviors.

As both Adler and Horney sees it, the neurotic must give up questing for an ideal, superior self, ideal other people and ideal society and ideal anything, and accept the imperfect self, imperfect other people and imperfect social institutions as they are. If the neurotic accepts imperfect reality, as it is, not as he wants it to become, and does not compare it to imaginary external ideals, then he does not feel neurotic anxiety. He subsequently lives in peace, he lives with what is, reality as it is, not what his neurosis wants to become reality. He stops trying to remake himself, other people and society into his fantasy of how they ought to be.


Neurosis is playing God; it is effort to be God like and reinvent the self and reinvent reality. The neurotic wants to be the creator and author of himself, other people and reality. He wants to create himself, create other people, create social institutions and create everything. He wants to change reality into his ideas of what it ought to become. If he were to succeed, he would have become God: the creator of reality.

Of course, the neurotic is not God and is not going to change himself, other people and reality into ideal and perfect forms. Indeed, he cannot even change a piece of hair on his own body, what more change him.

The neurotic has an obsessive-compulsive desire to change himself and change the world. As it were, an inner pressure, a force he finds irresistible urges him to reject the real, to reject his real self, to reject other people’s real selves and reject the real world and replace them with his own versions of them. The ideal self, ideal other people and ideal world that the neurotic invents is a replacement self/world, a substitution of the self/world the neurotic made for the imperfect self the universe made him/world to be.

In his thinking, mind, the neurotic is forever constructing ideal selves and ideal everything and using those purely ideational ideals to judge himself and those around him and finding them not good enough. He is always pointing out his and other people’s faults Vis a Vis his ideal self for them.

The neurotic person invents an ideal superior self and attempts to talk and live from that false self. Instead of speaking and living from his normal imperfect self, he identifies with a false superior, perfect self and talks and attempts to live from the perspective of that false ideal self, hence comes across as a phony. Moreover, whatever he says, his moralisms and ideals are not going to happen in the real world for they are separated from reality. People tend to tune him and what he says out as unrealistic and immature.

The neurotic so identifies with his elevated and all powerful, superior self that he finds it difficult to pray to God. He feels denigrated to bow down to God and pray to him. Why? Because he is in competition with God and imagines himself as powerful, if not more powerful than God. He feels humiliated praying to God.

That is probably why most religions of the world ask people to kneel to God and worship him. They so not because God is narcissistic and vain glory seeking and desires people’s praises but because praying to him and submitting their will to his will shrinks their swollen neurotic and sometimes psychotic egos. Even normal persons are a bit neurotic, that is, they have swollen false egos; neurosis exists in degrees in all people.

According to Helen Schucman, in her book, A Course in Miracles, God created the world and gave all of it to his children. Before they ask for anything, God has already given it to them. God has granted the requests of his children’s prayers before they make them. But to receive the answers already given by God, one must do what God requires of one: one must accept God as ones father, as ones creator; one must see ones self as the same and equal with all God’s creation, other people; one must stop the insanity of trying to create ones self, create other people and create the world. One must stop trying to be God, for there can be only one God in the universe.

Finally, one must overlook the world one invented to replace the world God created. That is, one must forgive the world, see pass the empirical world to behold the real self and real world that God created. The real self and real world is not in body, for bodily self and its world is the self and world we made to replace the nonmaterial spiritual unified self God created us as, the Christ self.

The neurotic, that is, the mad person, which is all of us, in degrees, has one goal and one goal only, to kill God and usurp his creatorship throne. He wants to murder God and replace him as God the creator and proceed to create himself, create other people and create the world and its institutions. This is the wish of the son to kill his father and replace him as his own father and father of other people, the author of reality.

The neurotic finds it very difficult to respect other people. He perceives respect for other persons as personal humiliation, and he does not want to be humiliated by other persons. For example, he finds it very difficult to say sir to another man or mam to a woman. He sees saying so as a sign of weakness and inferiority and acceptance of other people’s superiority over him. Instead, he would rather look down on people and only point out the bad they do. In showing people’s imperfections he hopes to show that they are not ideal and are inferior to him, inferior to his ideal self, that is, not to his real self, for his real self is the same and coequal with all people, imperfect.


The neurotic makes those around him, in fact, all people unhappy by always reminding them of how imperfect they are, vis-a-vis his perfect mental ideal constructs. He is generally perceived by other people as a killjoy, and he is a killjoy. He lives a miserable life. Since misery loves company, he seeks out the company of other people and makes them miserable by always comparing them to his false, ideal standards of how they and the world ought to become.

The joyful person accepts himself and the world as they are, imperfect, and lives with them and does not aspire after impossible ideal states.

The normal person accepts himself as he is, imperfect, accepts other people as they are, imperfect, and accepts social institutions as they are, imperfect, and lives with them as they are, not as he would like them to become. He is not aspiring after imaginary perfections of his own making. He is not playing God and inventing ideals and perfections and trying to use them to replace reality. He accepts his inherent imperfection and powerlessness. He accepts that he does not have the power to change himself, change other people or change reality because he is not God; he is a weak human being.

Because the normal person accepts imperfect reality, as it is, and coexists with it, he is generally at peace with his imperfect self, imperfect other people and imperfect world. Put differently, the normal person is at home in an imperfect world.

The scientist is a normal person. He accepts the real world, as it is, and tries to understand it on its own terms and adapt to it as it is, not as he wants it to become. The scientist studies the imperfect world we live in, understands the laws of matter and energy and uses them to devise technologies that enable him more effectively adapt to the world. He is not out to change people and their world. The scientist is not motivated to change people and make them perfect. He just wants to understand people as they are (psychology, studies people as they are, imperfect, and does not want to make them perfect; only moralistic religion, which is of the ego, wants to make people perfect) and understand the physical world, as it is (physics, chemistry and biology) and coexist with them.

The scientist, physical or psychological scientist, is not motivated by neurotic idealism to seek perfect people and perfect morality. He accepts imperfect morality with the understanding that imperfect man cannot have perfect morality.

Real human beings are motivated by desire to survive; therefore, they must place their self interests ahead of other people’s interests. Real human beings are selfish and self centered, as economists like Adam Smith and political realists like Thomas Hobbes, John Locke and others tell us. The scientist, material and social scientist, accepts selfish human beings and works with them as they are, without any wishful efforts to make them over into socially centered, perfect angels.


The neurotic/psychotic is not at home in an imperfect world. He wants to change the imperfect world, himself and other people included, into his ideas of perfection. In the process, he is filled with anxiety, fear, depression and paranoia.

If you want to change your self, change other persons and change the world and its institutions, you have, in effect, hated and rejected your real self and hated and rejected other people’s real self.

Any time you want to change something into your wishes, you have attacked it. Because you have attacked what you want to change you must necessarily fear counter attack by those you wish to change, those you attacked. By hating, rejecting and wishing to change your real self and other people’s real selves you, you have attacked them and you expect counter attack from them. You expect your real self and other people’s real selves, the real son of God, Christ, to counter attack you. You therefore live in fear, hence you have paranoia.

Whoever attacks his real self and other people’s real selves has attacked the unified Son of God. God is in his children and his children are in him. Whoever attacks God’s children has attacked him.

You have attacked God by wishing to make yourself into who God did not create you as. God created you as unified with him and all people, and since only spirit can unify, as unified spirit.

You hated and rejected unified spirit and attacked it and made yourself into body and now seem to live in body, in separated, special state where you seem to have created yourself via inventing your false self concept, the ego. You have, in effect, attacked God and expect God to counter attack you, hence you fear God and run from him.


On earth, you live in guilt for what you did, changing yourself from unified spirit to separated, and special self living in body. All human beings live in Original Sin, the sin of changing themselves into what their creator did not create them as. God created them as unified spirit but they changed themselves, not in reality but in their imagination, in the dream, that is, this world, into separated, special selves housed in bodies.

When they renounce separation, and the specialness that spawned it, and return to union with God and all creation they are no longer guilty. They return to feeling sinless, guiltless and innocent and holy. They return to living in the grace of God where all their needs are met.

Their needs in spirit are not material, for spirit is not material. Their needs are spiritual needs, the need to be close to their father and their brethren, to be aware of their union with their father and brothers. On the other hand, on earth, their needs are material, for they live in matter, in body and body has material needs. God did not create them as material beings hence do not know anything about their material needs. Nevertheless, if they forgive and love one another, the God in them, the God in the temporal universe, the Holy Spirit, knowing that they think that they have material needs, although he knows that they really do not need them in their real self, in spirit, satisfy those needs. As long as we live on earth and have material needs, false needs, if we dedicate our lives to love and forgiveness and serving God and his children on earth, God tends to satisfy our earthly material needs. God, the Holy Spirit, that is, will give you all you need to live on earth with, to do his work of bringing the word of God, love and forgiveness, to all God’s children on earth.

To identify with the special, separated self, the ego, the false self, and to expect other people to be special egos, that is, to seem ideal and perfect, is to attack people and their creator. You must expect attack from those you attacked.

The neurotic who wants to change himself and change other people have attacked those he wants to change, and knows it, and expects them to attack him hence fears them. Thus the neurotic lives in constant fear.

The person who lives in constant fear is a paranoid person. Paranoid persons are persons who hated and reject their real selves, hate and reject other people’s real selves, hate and reject reality, that is, attack reality and want to replace it with an imaginary ideal reality, ideal selves.

The paranoid person attacks reality and want to become the author of reality, and since this means attacking other people and attacking people’s creator, the paranoid person is afraid that God and other people would counter attack him hence he lives with free floating fear at all times.

When you stop trying to change yourself, other people and reality, you have stopped attacking your reality, stopped attacking other people’s reality and stopped attacking reality itself and subsequently live in peace and joy.


An idealist is always judging other people with idealistic standards. What he is doing is attacking other people and they feel attacked by him and feel defensive towards him. He may not be consciously aware that he is attacking people. When you compare people to your self invented ideal standards and, or from that ideal standard criticize them, you are psychologically attacking them and inflicting pain on them. You are not a nice person, for a nice person does not inflict pain, physical or psychological, on people.

Actually, at the unconscious level, the neurotic knows what he is doing; he knows that he is attacking people, himself and other people, trying to change them into becoming his ideal concept and ideal image of what they should become. He knows that he is inflicting psychological pain on people and he expects them to do so to him hence he is afraid of people and he is paranoid.

It is a high stakes game the insane person, all of us, in degrees, is playing. The reason I am explaining this phenomenon is for you, a normal-neurotic person, to become conscious of what you are doing when you criticize people. I want you to know that you are attacking them and trying to kill them and make them over into your ego image of what they should become.

If you insist on ego idealism, you must, therefore, expect people to counter attack you, hence you must fear them and live in ego defenses; you must be paranoid.

To heal your neurosis and paranoia, you must give up all desire to change your self, change other people and change the world. You must give up all idealism and pursuit of perfection according to your view of it.

You must stop and ask to be shown who your real self is, who other people’s real selves are, and what the real world is.

You did not create your real self; you did not create other people’s real selves and the real world. God created your real self, other people’s real selves and the real world.

There is nothing you can do to change the real self and real world God created; it is not up to you to change your real self, other people’s real selves and the real world.

In fact, you need do nothing to be your real self. Your problem (that is, the neurotic’s problem) is that you think that it is up to you to do something to become a better self, a self according to your concept of perfection. It is not up to you to create your self or create other people, for you are not the creator of the universe, God is, and you are not God.

God is our creator, you are a created being. However, as an extension of God, who is like God, you are co-creative with God and all of us, but you create with the creative power of God in you, but never by your own power. By himself alone, the son of God can do nothing; he does all he does with his father’s creative power in him, his father’s gift to him. When he loves he creates positively, when he hates he uses the same God creative power in him to create negatively, he misuses the creative energy in him.

Actually, you need to undo the ego and the egos world you already did. The ego is your block to your awareness of your real self. The special, separated self, the ego is like a veil and shields you from the experience of your real self. The ego is darkness that prevents you from seeing the light of God in you.

As long as one identifies with the ego one would never sees the face of Christ; one would never experience ones real self; one would live in darkness. To be in ego state means that one shuts ones eyes and sees darkness while all along one is in the light of God. Union is light, separation is darkness; as long as you see yourself as separated from God and other people you live in darkness. The moment you accept that you are connected, joined and unified with all people, love and forgive all people, you return to the awareness that you live in light. Love all and become aware that you always live in the presence of love while imaging yourself live in hatred.

Relinquish your false ego self concept and ego self image, that is, let go the notion that you have a separated self housed in body, and you experience your true self, the self God created you as, a unified spirit self, a self you share with God and all people. Stop seeking to become an ideal, perfect and superior self of your making, be quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you the self he created you as, the self he created other people as and the world he created for his children to experience. If you ask honestly and do not provide the answers by yourself and just remain silent, emptied of all your ego based thinking and images, be a void, be open to God’s will in your life, not your neurotic and psychotic wishes that you replace it with, you would escape from our ego-material world and momentarily return to the real self and its real world, a self and world that our language cannot explain, for it surpasses language, it is ineffable; it is a world where there is no you and not you, subject and object, seer and seen; it is a unified world where all are the same self and the same mind, the same thinking. (See William James, Varieties of Religious Experience and Evlyn Underhill, Mysticism, for writing on mystical experience, the experience of the real self and real world that God created for his children.)

The neurotic is generally unrealistic and immature in profile, for he is expecting reality to conform to his imaginary ideals of it. He is bound to fail, for reality is not about to change and become what he likes it to become. If he is sensible he would give up his idealism, his neurosis, his tendency to constructing a fantasy, ideal self and world, and accept reality as it is.

Idealism, neurosis, is actually power seeking behavior. The idealist wants to remake himself, other people and the world to his liking. He wants to kill God who permitted an imperfect world to seem to exist and become the God who created a perfect world.


The idealistic neurotic is so insistent that the world become as he wants it that some of them despair when they realize that they cannot change themselves, change other people and change the world. Many of them, especially during teenage years, are unable to accept the fact that they cannot make the world become perfect and commit suicide. As it were, it is either the world becomes what they want it to become hence grant them their wishes to be godlike or they kill themselves. Since the world is not about to change to gratify their wishes such unrealistic persons kill them.

Some neurotics manage to stay alive and keep wishing for ideal states. These ones are the ones who make the lives of those around them miserable by always comparing them to ideals and finding faults with them. They are the forever critical persons. If you happen to be their wives or husbands, children and neighbors they would subject you to unending evaluation and always point out your shortcomings vis-a-vis ideal standards. It is like they see you as a performer and they are performing performance appraisal of you. They feel compelled to always judge your behavior with their ideal standards and always find faults in you.

Even though you are like every one else, imperfect, idealistic neurotics would not permit you to live with that fact peacefully. They always compare you to ideal states that you could never attain and since you are tempted to accept their neurosis, you try to live up to their neurotic false standards but quickly realize that those are impossible and stop trying to live up to them. You leave their company and go seek the company of more realistic adults.

Children of idealistic neurotics can hardly wait before they leave home and stay away from their over critical parents.

Such critical men despair and since they are lacking in the neurotic courage to kill themselves, as some did during their teenage years, they, nevertheless, kill themselves gradually. Over eating, over drinking, smoking, over drinking of coffee and other drugs are undertaken by those with death wish.

Idealists who cannot become the ideal perfect persons they wish that they were often turn their frustration and anger on themselves and gradually kill themselves through bad living habits. See an over eating person and you see a person who hates his real self and wishes that he were an ideal self. Since he is not going to become an ideal person, he undertakes to destroy his real self and its real body with over eating, drinking alcohol etc.

Most addictions are undertaken by idealists who despaired of attaining their ideals and turned around to destroy them selves.

On a personal note, my only addiction is coffee. I know that it is not good for me still I drink it. Obviously, I want to kill myself with caffeine. So why do I want to kill myself, albeit gradually? It is because I do not like my real self; I do not like my body and do not like the imperfect reality that is our fate. I want an ideal self, ideal other people and ideal world. Failing to obtain them, I acquiesced to the imperfections of being on earth and turned my disappointment and anger at myself hence tried to self destroy with caffeine.

Other persons do what I do with alcohol, or drugs or food or sex addiction. All addictions to mood altering substances are rooted in hatred and rejection of the real self, and desire for an ideal self, a self one is never going to materialize.

In heaven, in eternity, in unified state we wished for separated selves, that is, hated and rejected unified spirit and seem to have gratified our wishes by being in this world. We are in the temporal universe to experience separated, special self. Since the origin of the world is based on hatred and rejection of what God made, what is, in this world, also we continue that trend of hatred and rejection.

Thus, in this world, we hate and reject the ego and body we made to live in this world with. This world came into being from self hatred and is based on hatred and rejection and must continue only on that basis. You hate God and his son and now hate man; you hate union and now hated separated self and its separated world. You try to invent an ideal separated self and ideal, separated world. It is insanity at work.

Stop already and love the world you made. Love your separated self, love your ego, love you body, love other peoples egos and bodies, love the empirical world.

When you love the ego and its world, you recognize that the ego and its world is no other than the real self and real world in a dream of their opposite. The world is a wish for the opposite of God, the opposite of the unified self, hence is a world of separated selves. Reality is always unified; separation is impossible, for were it possible, all things would cease being. God and his children would die if separation and special selves were possible.

Jesus asks us to love the world we can see before we can love the world we cannot see, the world of God. Love all people and thereafter you experience heaven, unified spirit. But until you meet the condition of heaven, love, you cannot enter heaven. The only way to return to heaven is to love and forgive all God’s children here on earth.

Neurosis, Karen Horney pointed out, is characterized by “basic anxiety”. The neurotic is filled with fear, fear of this and fear of that. As Horney sees it, this fear is caused because the neurotic posited an ideal self concept and ideal self image and is perpetually afraid of not living up to that ideal, perfect superior self. As long as he seeks to become an ideal self he must fear not becoming it and, therefore, must live in fear; a fear whose cause he does not consciously know. Fear whose cause is not known to the fearful persons is called anxiety; the neurotic lives in perpetual anxiety.


Horney’s description of the neurotic is, by and large, true. But fear has another function. If one is afraid of other people, fear that they may harm, kill or reject one, one tends to avoid them. To avoid is to separate from. One separates from those one fears.

(We fear harm and destruction from other people. Our sense of vulnerability is seen by those who are intent on evil. Murderers convince themselves that since people are afraid of harm and death that they can harm and or kill them. They see people over valuing their ego, separated lives and the bodies in which those lives are housed. They attack and kill people’s bodies; they destroy that which we value. In killing people the murderer feels very powerful for now it is up to him to destroy people’s life. Other people, society, want to protect themselves. They want the murderer to be captured and tried and punished. They give to the state, the police, judicial and penal systems the role of acting out their desire for grievance and vengeance. Thus society employs the police to capture the murderer and the courts to try and condemn him and the jails to house and or kill him. In effect, society does to him what he did to the individual. Society says to him, you too value your life, so we are going to destroy that which you value. We are going to seem powerful by destroying your life, as you seemed powerful by killing people. This is tit for tat. This is how the ego based society is maintained. It is an insane society, a society based on false valuation; valuation of the valueless, the ego and its body. The fact is that the real self is eternal spirit and not the body we see it as in. No one can destroy the real self. The murderer cannot destroy the individual’s real self; the state cannot destroy the real self of the murderer, either. The murderer does not murder any one and the state cannot murder the murderer. Both the murderer and the murdered are the holy children of God; they are immortal and are unified spirit and cannot be harmed. It is only in their dream of separation that they seem housed in bodies that are prone to harm and destruction. In the meantime, those who identify with the ego will pretend ability to harm and or kill other persons and society will pretend ability to punish and or kill them and the insane show continues. It continues until the children of God learn to forgive the ego and the world the ego made and live out of their spiritual self, the unified self.)

In this light, fear is a means of separating from other people. When one separates from other people one lives in isolation. In isolation, one nurses ones separated ideal, special and superior self. The big false self is retained in social avoidance.

In relating to other people, one cannot maintain ones false, superior self. The condition for relating to other people is sameness and equality and shared power. Therefore, fear, anger, shame, pride, guilt depression, paranoia, mania, schizophrenia and other upsets are really mental devices employed by the person who wants to separate from other people; they are used to enable him to do so. Perception that other people want to harm or reject one is used as a rationalization, a means of convincing himself that if he comes close to others that they would kill him. Rationalization is an ego defense mechanism; what is rationalized, explained, seems reasonable but is false nevertheless.

The person who avoids other people wants to live in body and from bodily perspective it seems to make sense to avoid those who seem able to kill him. On the other hand, if life is eternal and no one can kill one, though others can destroy ones body, but not ones soul, then it makes no sense to fear, avoid and separate from those who can destroy the body but cannot touch the soul.


The ego, the sense of separated I is really a form of insanity. It is insanity because it does not exist yet one defends it as if it exists. It is defense that makes it seem to exist for the defender. When one stop defending the ego it is seen as non-existent, a mirage that had seemed real but is in fact not real. The ego is an illusion that when desired it seems real but when not desired and defended it does not exist.

In the meantime, if one identifies with the false self, the ego, and pursues ego idealism, one tends to believe that the world exists for one to do with it as one likes. One engages in perpetual imagination, fantasy, always transforming the world into whatever one wants it to become in ones imagination. In effect, one is now the god that created this world and makes it over into whatever one wants it to become.

If one accepted that God created the world, not one, then one would desist from imagining how the world ought to become; one would give up idle fantasies and accept the world the God created as it is, not as one wants it to become.

What is the world that God created? If God is permanent, it follows that he cannot create a transitory and ephemeral world. Our world is dynamic and changes every second. A permanent and changeless God could not have created our world, a world where nothing remains the same for more than a second.

A world of changes must be invented by the opposite of God. The opposite of God is the ego (in Christian terms, Satan). As long as one identifies with the opposite of God, the separated self, the ego, one must attempt to invent the world according to ones likes and be exposed to frustration and disappointment.

One must, therefore, give up ones identification with the false ideal, separated self. In doing so one gives up engaging in idle ego dreams of how the world ought to become, what other people ought to be like and who one ought to be like. One must accept the self, other selves and the world God created: the changeless, spirit world.

If one gives up ego wishes, dreams and fantasies one is healed of neurosis and psychosis. Neurosis, among other things, is characterized by an obsessive-compulsive wish to change ones self, to change other people, to change social institutions and to change the world into what one wants them to become, ideal. This wish to change things and make them what one wants them to become gives one a sense of being the inventor of the self and the world; that is, it makes one feel godlike. As it were, the son has killed his father and become his own father; one has killed God, usurped his creatorship throne and is now the creator of ones self, other selves and the world; one is now more powerful than God himself.

Neurosis is a wish for grandiose power, delusional power that is not going to come into being, for wish as one does, one did not create ones self, one did not create other selves and one did not create the world; God created us.

If one stops the insane quest to remake the world in ones ego self image, one is healed of neurosis and psychosis. One becomes calm, peaceful and happy.

The normal person is a bit neurotic and quests after some ideals and some superior self. But he does so in a flexible and less rigid manner. The neurotic and or psychotic person, on the other hand, pursues his ideal self with total dedication. The insane person rigidly and inflexibly wants to become his ideal, superior self. The normal person seeks the same ego ends that the neurotic, psychotic person does; all human beings want to seem like god, the creator of the world but the normal person goes about it in a flexible manner hence seem relatively calmer and happier than the neurotic. The normal person has his ego and ego desires but despite them successfully adapts to his changing world. The normal person is flexible and does not ask the world to change and become what he wants it to become. He has flexible ego defenses, but is defensive nevertheless. Normalcy, neurosis and psychosis are all mental disorders; normalcy seems healthier than the others, but, in fact, is equally insane. They are all insane because they are adaptation to a false ego self as if it is real and who one is. Ones real self is unified spirit self, not separated bodily self.

The cure for normalcy, neurosis and psychosis is to give up the wish to have a separated self, to give the ego up altogether.

One must give up the self concept, the self image and the empirical personality that one constructed to replace the self that God created one as. When one gives up the self one made to substitute for the self God created one as, one returns to the self that God created one as: the unified self, the self that is joined to God and all creation, aka the Christ self, the son of God who is one with his father and brothers.

In God one still has a self but not distinct from other selves. In God ones self is not sufficiently separated from others for one to be aware that others are not one; there is no you and I, no subject and object, no seer and seen; all know themselves as sharing one self, one thinking and one mind. In this condition of oneness is peace and happiness; peace and joy that no human being in the world of separated selves can comprehend.

The ego is not a person that one can touch. The ego is an abstraction; it is the concrete representation of the wish to be separated from God and other people. The ego is like Satan; Satan does not exist apart from the person who wishes to identify with it. Satan or devil is not a person; it is a mode of thinking and living, a lifestyle that separates from other persons and lives only for the self and not for other people. Satan, aka ego, is a wish to create ones self, create other people and create God.

In Christianity, Satan is given concrete form in the myth of Lucifer. Lucifer is said to be an angel that was filled with pride and resented the fact that God created him and wanted to create him self and create his creator, God. He is said to have warred with God and was chased out of heaven by God’s loyal angels led by Arch angels Michael and Gabriel. He descended from oneness, heaven to the world and formed the world of separation.

Gnosticism calls the force of separation the Demiurge. Helen Schucman, in “A Course in Miracles” calls it the ego, the separated I.

If one is on earth one has wished for a separated I and identified with it. To be on earth, one must have thought it possible to be apart from God hence sees oneself in a place of separation, space and time.

To be on earth, as Christianity correctly says, is to have committed a sin, the Original sin of separating from ones creator, God, and separating from ones real self, Unified Spirit Self. To be on earth is to live in sin, which is to see ones self as apart from God and other people and to do things only for ones self interests but not for common interests.

While on earth, one must give up the wish for separated I and replace it with a counter wish for unified self.

On earth, the unified self is represented by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit, like the ego and Satan, is an abstraction, not a person; he represents our higher self, a self that is holy, that is, a self that knows itself as unified with God and his creation.

The Holy Spirit teaches love and forgiveness as the path to salvation. In as much as Jesus taught love and forgiveness he completely identified with the Holy Spirit and can be called the symbol of the Holy Spirit, the God in us, and the God in the temporal universe. In that sense, Jesus is the Christ, the unified self; he is one with God. Where you see Jesus Christ you see his father. (This is a metaphor for God does not have form and cannot be seen.)

Where you see the Son of God, since he is in God and God is in him, you see God. Where I see a human being, you or me, I see God.

The ego is a false entity, a non-existent idea of separation. As a non-existent reality, the ego must be defended to seem to exist in the mind, the thinking of the person who wishes that it exist, who wishes that he be separated from other people. The egotist must continually defend his ego self with fear, anger, pride, shame, guilt, depression, paranoia and other mental and emotional upsets. Defenses of a non-existent idea, the separated self, defenses of an imaginary self image, a picture and seen as if it exists, makes it seem to exist.

If the ego is not defended it does not exist. That is correct; if the ego is not fended with fear and anger etc it does not exist.

The next time you are afraid of somebody, instead of separating from him or her, instead of avoiding him or her, to go retain your ego, relates to him; join him or her. Forgive whatever the person you are separating from did to make you afraid of him. If he had attacked you, physically or verbally, to make you afraid that he might harm you, forgive him. To forgive is to overlook what the other person did, to see what is done to you as not real. To forgive is to see the events on earth as events done in a dream, as illusory hence have not happened. To forgive is to overlook what one perceives with ones physical eyes and to now see with Christ vision, to see with spiritual eyes. Spirit is forever unified; to see with spiritual eyes is to see holistically, to have unified perception; a perception that overlooks separation and sees union everywhere it looks. Union is reality and separation is illusion of reality.

If you do not give in to the temptation to avoid people, you join them. When you join people, the separated ego self disappears, literally. The ego is only a mere concept, it is not a reality. It is defended with body and fear and other defenses. If when someone attacks your body and you understand that despite the pain you feel and despite his harming and destroying your body, that you are spirit and eternal and overlook his attack, you literally return to the experience of oneness with God and all creation. (You feel pain in your body because you identified with body and made body seem real; you made body feel pain and in so feeling it seems real to you; if you did not believe in the reality of body and see yourself as unified spirit, you would not exist in body and would not feel pain.)

This is what Jesus did; his psychological self was attacked by all the accusations leveled against him and his body was attacked in crucifixion. He knew that he is eternal spirit and not body, hence did not defend his ego/body. He did not defend the separated self; he overlooked the world of ego and reverted to the awareness of unified self.


The individual who has decided to relinquish his false ego self has decided to give up his personal will and embraced God’s will. Now he knows that the will of the father is the same as the will of the son; the father and son share the same will. God’s will is the will of his son. Father and son will love and unity.

It was the son’s wish to be different from his father, to have a will that his father did not share with him that led him to a journey without a distance, a journey to nowhere, to this world. The prodigal son tried to go seem independent from his father but eventually learnt that he could not and accepted his mistake and returned to the state of union with his father and recovered peace and joy.

In the temporal universe, this entails surrendering ones will to the will of God; it means thinking as God thinks, loving and forgiving thoughts only; it means seeking union with all people and not seeking separation and ego. There is one will in the universe, God’s will. No other force can disobey God’s will. The son of God may wish that he disobeyed his father’s will, he may even dream that he is apart from God but in reality he is not apart from God; he lives in God while dreaming that he is apart from God; he is always in union while imagining that he is in separation.

Surrendering ones ego wishes means doing only work that is in accord with God’s will, with the Holy Spirit’s work. The Holy Spirit’s will is love and forgiveness. Any work that is in accord with loving God and all people and forgiving the bad done to one is in accord with the Holy Spirit’s will.

The Holy Spirit’s work, though the same everywhere, but in as much as on earth we see ourselves as individuated, his work is individualized in each of us. To surrender to the will of God means doing the work that God wants one to do, not the work ones ego wants to do. It means discovering the line of work one has aptitude and interest in doing and in doing which one serves God and man. Actually, it means doing what ones ego likes doing but now doing it for a different purpose, to serve all humanity.

In the process of separation each of us constructed an ego for himself and herself; that ego developed certain special skills. You may have developed skills as an engineer, medical doctor or psychologists etc. That is your ego skills, skills that enable you to adapt to the world of the ego. The Holy Spirit now takes that ego skill of yours and uses it for a different purpose. In other words, you redirect your ego skills to serving God’s purpose of love and forgiveness. This means that you use your ego talent, say psychology, to teach love and forgiveness; you use your ego talent of medicine to teach people to remember that they are spirit, while taking care of their body.

When one surrenders to ones work, the Holy Spirit’s work for one, one flows. As it were, the entire universe comes to ones help; all people open doors for one and help one to do that work.

One is no longer in ego control but allows the higher self, the Holy Spirit, love and forgiveness to be in control, to guide one. One is calm, peaceful and happy.

One is no longer addictive to mood altering substances like food, sex, drugs, alcohol, caffeine etc.; one simply eats enough food to be alive so as to do the work one has to do in God’s plan to liberate all his children from the ego.

One does not plan for ego glory but plans for God’s glory. One still makes future plans, still looks forward to what one will do tomorrow but what serves God, not what serves ones ego and makes one feel important.

One acts with the Holy Spirit. One trusts in the Holy Spirit, one does everything one can but leaves it to God to determine the outcome of ones action. One takes the outcome as the will of God for one without resorting to ego anger and frustration.

Do all that you can in every circumstance you find yourself in and leave the rest to God. You aren’t in charge or in control, God is.

You are now evolving into the conscious awareness that God is all there is and that you are only a part of him, but not all of him. You do not resist God (as ego does…if you resist God you will eventually be forced by adverse circumstances to surrender to God, so you might as well not resist and surrender right now, so as to make your life easier, peaceful and happy).

An awakening child of God accepts that only God exists, that God is. He accepts that God manifests in all of us. Each of us is an individualization of God. On earth we are not aware that we are the individualization of God and are one with God. But we see ourselves as separated from God, as the ego.

Buddha and Jesus are examples of persons who, while on earth, recognized that they are the manifestation of the God in us. They became the Buddha, the Christ, the Atman; they became enlightened to their true nature. They were enlightened and illuminated to the light of God in them.

God is creative and created his Son, aka Christ, Buddha, Atman. The Son of God is given the power to create like his father does; we create like God.

We can choose to create good or bad. In spirit we create only the good, in separation we have chosen to miscreates, to create the bad. We can choose to love/join (creation) or separation (evil).

We create with our thinking and feeling. If we wish something, our thinking and feeling produces the effect we desire, even if it is an illusion, as in this world.

Whatever happens to the individual in this world is the product of his thinking, the effect of his thinking and feeling.

Collectively, all of us create what happens to all of us on earth, but individual each of us creates what happens to him, good or bad.

We are not our thoughts and feelings. We are the thinker of our thoughts and the feeler of our feelings. Because we are separated from our thoughts and feelings, we can change our thinking and feeling and produce different effects.

If we silence our ego thinking through prayer and meditation, we access our deeper self, the Christ self, the Holy Self, the Unified Self, the Son of God who is as God created him.

Our primary function on earth is to transcend our ego-based thinking and attain Christ thinking, to reach the place of union in us.

The function of religion is to help reconnect us, to yoke us back to our source, God. Religion is any practice that enables us become aware of our real self, unified self.

There are many religions, each geared to different people. On earth we are different and, as such, need different religions. But, ultimately, all religions teach one message, return to union, relinquishment of the separated self and return to the unified self.

Religion helps us become conscious of what we are doing and enables us to consciously love and forgive all people, so as to awaken to the Christ in us.

Everything that happens to one is because of ones thinking and behaving. One can learn from it and return to love or fight it. If you fight it, is defensive to others evil actions towards you, you will live in conflict, but if you forgive those who attacked you, you would live in peace.

The individual is like the prodigal son; he left his real self, Christ, union and our father, union; now he must recognize that he made a mistake in leaving our real self and identifying with a false separated self. He tried to make our false self seem ideal and superior to others.

One now knows that one cannot make the separated self ideal and cannot make a transitory and ephemeral world permanent, so one lets go of them and return to what has value, worth and is changeless, the real self, the unified self.


Everything is thinking: unified thinking or separated thinking, forgiving thinking or unforgiving thinking. Now you think in a forgiving manner and let go of all thoughts of vengeance. You no longer bear grudges against any one on earth. You are on your way home.

Home is where God and his son, all of us, are one self. The father is one side of the coin and the son is the other side of it; both complete each other and cannot exist without the other, for the father needs a son to be a father and a son needs a father to be a son.

God and his son know their proper places: the father produced the son, the son did not produce the father; God is greater than his son, though both are the same in essence. The result of acceptance of this reality is peace and happiness.


The neurotic is generally preoccupied with thinking about what other people think of him. Actually, what is going on here is that he is thinking about what other people think of his ideal self: do they accept his neurotic game and see him as his desired ideal, perfect and superior self?

The ideal self is the person he wants to become and he worries about other people accepting or rejecting it. If he thinks that other people have accepted it, accepted a lie, he feels validated and is somewhat at ease, but if he feels that other people did not accept this lie, this neurotic false self he feels not confirmed and angry at them. He is angry at those who did not accept his false ideal self for he wants them to collude with him and accept a false self he made up, an unreal self as real.

The neurotic wants to deceive himself; he made up a false self and wants other people to accept the false self as whom he, in fact, knows fully well that he is not that false self.

Even if other people accepted that false ideal, superior self they would not be accepting his real self. But he has played this neurotic game for too long that he does not even know who he is any longer.

Who are you? What is your real self? You do not know! The real self is unified spirit and the neurotic does not know it. He tried to replace that God created self with his self created ideal self, the separated ego.

One must stop all desire for ideal, perfect and superior self and say: I do not know who I am. This is honesty. Neurosis is an attempt to be dishonest and accept a false self as the real self. Be truthful and tell yourself that you do not know who you are and keep quiet.

In silence the real self would reveal itself to one. Whenever the desire to think about what other people think of you, you have identified with the neurotic self, that is, the false ideal and want it to seem real.

Let go of your identification with the ideal self and stay quiet. Do not think from the ego false self, just be quiet, stop all conceptualizations, ideations, and just be silent. This inner silence is called meditation. You can be in meditative state for most of the time; but to do so you must cease all ego-based thinking; ego thinking clouds your thinking with the false thinking of the ego false self.

Do not concern yourself with what other people are thinking of you. At any rate by other people you mean other peoples temporal selves, their egos; you are thinking about what their egos are thinking of your egos; thinking of false selves thinking about your false self. This is insanity, but in sanity that makes the ego seem real for if the ego thinks that other egos are thinking of it, it feels real, as if it exists in fact. You want other egos to recognize and validate your ego; for false selves to validate your false self. If they validate your ego both you and they live in the ego false world.

Do not seek other people’s approval, do not seek ego approval; do not seek external, outside approval; just be quiet and go inside you to experience your real self, the self God created you as, the unified self.

You know that you are close to being your real self when you are calm, peaceful and fearless. If you actually live as your real self, you would not see yourself in physical body, you would escape from this world and enter the world of spirit, a formless world that we cannot possibly talk about, for it is beyond speech and language.


In this essay, I have made neurosis and psychosis as all bad. Actually, they are a step ahead of normalcy. The normal person sees his earthly ego self and the world and accepts it as real and lives with them. The neurotic sees his earthly self, other people’s earthly selves, the world and its institutions and do not like what he sees and rejects them.

In America, for example, the neurotic sees the inherent evil in the American polity and does not like it. He then uses his thinking and imagination to conceptualize an alternative self, alternative other people, alternative world and alternative America. His alternative world in his mind is an improvement of the extant world he sees.

The neurotic is dissatisfied with his earthly ego self and seeks an idealized form of it, he is dissatisfied with the ego based world and seeks alternative to it. He cannot return to the normal state and go back into deep sleep and take the slaughterhouse world and its evil selves as acceptable selves and world, he must seek alternative to what is.

The issue is whether he seeks idealistic alternative or God given alternative to the self he and people already have. When we invented ourselves and world, God reinvented it for us. That new and different world, the world invented by the Holy Spirit already exists, inside us, not outside us. We did not make that world, God made it. All we need do is tune out the world we made and we see the world God made for us; a world still a physical world. We live in that light world for a while, and then let it go and return to unified non physical world, what folks call heaven. In heaven the son of God disappears into his father and his father disappear into him and both know themselves to share one self and one mind.

In America, for example, black persons are marginalized. The black neurotic sees this evil world and uses his thinking and imagination to visualize a better America, one where all are treated as the same and equally. Alas, his ideal world is still ego based and merely improves the ego.

The ego is not real and, therefore, cannot be improved. America cannot be improved. America is the ultimate ego empire. You take it or leave it, but you cannot improve it. What will happen is that the ego, America, can be relinquished, let go of, so that a different world is seen, a world already reinvented by the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit, our higher self, the God in us has reinvented the world we made. If and when we tune out our ego-based world and live only loving and forgiving lives, we experience the real world has already remade from our present world, a new Israel, a new Jerusalem, a new World, a world of love and forgiveness, a world that while still physical, hence an illusion, approximates the unified world of God.

Seek not to improve America, Africa and the world, but seek to experience the world of God, a word already inside us, not external to us. Seek the real world, the real self, and, ultimately, return to unified spirit self. This is the goal of Real Self Fellowship.

We want to escape from this world but before doing so we must be here and practice love and forgiveness and we must study science and technology and use them to understand and improve our existence in matter and optimize living on this earth. When we have lived fully on earth, we reawaken to our real self and real home.

*Who did I write this essay for? My ego would like to think that I wrote it for other people. The ego wants the individual to concentrate on other people, to see their problems and pretend ability to change them. You cannot change other people; the person you can change is you.

As long as one looks outwards, one will not look inside ones self to know who one is. The ego does not want one to know who one is. One is the holy son of God, the unified self. The ego does not want one to know that real self, hence it urges one to look outside one and see separated selves and identify with that illusion.

I am not writing this material for other people. I am writing it for myself. But who is me? There are other people who are like me; in which case, I am writing it for them, too.

Those who need this kind of information will find and benefit from. I write to understand myself and to change myself from ego separated self to unified spirit self. In unified self I experience peace and joy and share that peace and joy with all people.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

My views are influenced by the writings of Alfred Adler, Karen Horney and Helen Schucman. Representative samples of these fellows’ writings are:

Alfred Adler, The Neurotic Constitution. New York: Ayer, 2000.

Karen Horney, Neurosis and Human Growth. New York: W. W. Norton, 2002.

Helen Schucman, A Course in Miracles. Tiburon, California, Foundation for Inner Peace, 1976

(Essays in Spiritual Psychology; if you are not interested in this subject, please delete it. My hope is that, perchance, one or two persons are interested in metaphysics, that which is beyond empirical science.)

Posted by Administrator at 03:24 PM | Comments (1)

Where is our National Pride: Bill Clinton and Abuja Airport

by Uche Nworah (London, UK) --- President Bill Clinton I have nothing against William Jefferson Clinton, the 42nd President of the United States of America and the Damansani Ushaffa (title for someone who has distinguished himself intellectually and contributed to the welfare of his people, given to him during his visit to Ushaffa village in Nigeria), if anything; i admire his zest, ageless youth, intelligence and rhetorical abilities.

My perception of him while he was at the White House though, was that of a showman who had lost his way and suddenly found himself at the White House, a lady killer and charmer. It must have been during the short days of John Francis Kennedy that Americans last saw a youthful and an exuberant Commander-In-Chief.

However, beneath the façade, when we peel off the flamboyance, boyish looks and sweet rhymes, what will history and Americans remember him for? Did he leave any tangible legacy behind?

From our small vantage position in Nigeria, we would indeed struggle to point out anything his 8 years at the White House did for Nigeria and Nigerians, but for the entertainment value provided by Billy Boy’s trial for that infamous affair with Monica Lewinsky, the White House intern, and all the media frenzy that surrounded his star performance at the hands of Kenneth Starr, the independent prosecutor. His trial was the next best thing after the O.J Simpson murder trial, and helped to keep the rumour mills alive, The trial also helped to keep many beer parlours and restaurants in Lagos and in other parts of Nigeria in business, as pundits debated and argued over Billy Boy’s guilt or innocence over bottles of odeku and mortars of isi-ewu (goat head), pepper-soup, nkwobi and other local delicacies.

Bill Clinton’s administration was generally regarded as the one that favoured African-Americans the most since the country’s independence, he appointed many African-Americans into key governmental positions, most notably retaining Colin Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before his eventual resignation, and also appointing his son, Michael Powell as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). It was also during Bill Clinton’s government that Ron Brown served as Secretary of Commerce until his tragic death in a plane crash in 1996.

Bill Clinton will also be remembered as the first American President to make an extended visit to Africa, his millennial visit to Nigeria in 2000 may therefore be the reason why the Nigerian government has named the road leading to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja Bill Clinton Drive. This ‘eye service’ gesture is typical of past governments in Nigeria irrespective of the tier.

At this stage of our national life, when Sign Announcing  Bill Clinton Drivethe federal government through the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation is attempting to whip up our lost sense of patriotism and national pride, which have sunken so low as a result of our distrust of our governments, its officials and structures due to our past experiences, as their policies seem to work against Nigerians rather than for Nigerians, what better way and time to start this Nigeria Aware sentiments, than now by reclaiming some of our national landmarks which have since been auctioned off to individuals whose contributions to our national development and well being are questionable.

Bill Clinton may have shown his ‘blackness’ by setting up his post-presidential office in Harlem, New York. He may have also done this and that for Americans and African-Americans but my folks in the village in Enugwu-Ukwu don’t seem to have benefited in any way from his government, likewise other Nigerians in the rural areas.

Though his administration sponsored and passed the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA) into law, it would be another couple of years before Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain and his Commission for Africa team will influence the process of debt cancellation for Africa’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), of which Nigeria is one. So in a way, Nigerians and Africans in general have benefited more from Mr. Blair than from Mr. Clinton but then we haven’t rushed to rename national monuments and landmarks after the British Prime Minister.

If Abuja is Nigeria’s capital and gateway city, what sort of impression does the government think that visitors arriving in Abuja by air would have when they leave the international airport and drive through Bill Clinton drive on their way through Lugbe to the Abuja capital territory?

The road leading to the airport

There is absolutely no reason for hoisting Bill The road leading to Abuja AirportClinton on our national psyche, because roads, avenues, streets and other such city landmarks are usually used to honour heroes and people who have truly distinguished themselves and impacted on the lives of the local people. If the government wants to honour Bill Clinton by naming a road after him, they should choose any other street in Abuja, but not this symbolic road that leads to our national airport.

It would be unimaginable for America or any other western country to name the road leading to their capital and national airport after Olusegun Obasanjo or any other Nigerian leader who may have paid a state visit to the town in the past.

We should have some sense of pride and stop selling our selves so cheap to the outside world. Charity must now begin at home, especially now that we want to re-brand Nigeria.

If the government lacks worthy names to use in replacing Bill Clinton drive, they should go to Ikene in Ogun State, where I am sure the ghost of Tai Solarin may be willing also to suggest the name of Pa Michael Imodu, both national heroes, friends of the poor, the down trodden and Nigerian people in their days.

This matter is really of national importance and should be investigated or looked into by the National Assembly. It is surprising that the honourable members frequently pass through the stretch of road on their way to and from the airport, but have never found it odd, that such a strategic and symbolic gateway is named after Billy boy, a foreigner.

Uche Nworah is a freelance writer and branding scholar.

Posted by Administrator at 02:15 PM | Comments (0)

November 09, 2005

I want to find God, and, Reflections of the Warrior of the Light VIII

by Paulo Coelho, the Alchemist (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) --- I WANT TO FIND GOD Paulo Coelho, the AlchemistThe man arrived at the monastery exhausted: - I have been looking for God for so long – he said. – Perhaps you can teach me the right way of finding Him.

- Enter and see our convent – said the priest, taking him by the hand and leading him to the chapel. – Here are some fine works of art of the 16th century, which portray the life of the Lord, and His glory among men.

The man waited, while the priest explained each one of the beautiful paintings and sculptures which adorned the chapel. Afterwards, he repeated the question:

- Everything you showed me is very beautiful. But I’d like to learn the best way to find God.

- God! – replied the priest. – You said exactly that: God!
And he took the man to the refectory, where supper was being prepared for the monks.

- Look around: soon supper will be served, and your are invited to dine with us. You will be able to listen to the Scriptures, while you satisfy your hunger.

- I am not hungry, and I have already read the entire Scriptures – insisted the man. – I wish to learn. I have come here to find God.
Again the priest took the stranger by the hand and they began walking around the cloisters which encircled a lovely garden.

- I ask my monks to always keep the grass cut, and to remove the dry leaves from the fountain you see over there in the middle. I think this must be the best kept monastery in the whole region.
The stranger walked with the priest a short way, then excused himself, saying he must be leaving.

- Won’t you stay for supper? asked the priest.
As he mounted his horse, the stranger spoke:

- Congratulations on your fine church, your welcoming refectory and the perfectly clean courtyard. But I have journeyed many leagues just in order to learn to find God, and not to marvel at efficiency, comfort and discipline.
A flash of lightening struck, the horse reared up and the earth shook. Suddenly, the strange man removed his disguise, and the priest saw that it was Jesus.
- God is wherever He is invited in – said Jesus. – But you have closed the doors of this monastery to Him, with rules, pride, wealth, ostentation. The next time a stranger comes asking to find God, do not show him what you have managed in His name: listen to the question, and try to answer with love, charity and simplicity. And so saying, He disappeared.


A warrior of the light does not put off his decisions.
He reflects properly before acting, considers his training, his responsibility, and his duty to the master. He seeks to maintain serenity, and analyzes each step as if it were the most important one.
But at the moment of making a decision, the warrior moves ahead: he no longer has any doubts about his choice, nor does he alter course should the circumstances be other than those he imagined.

If his decision was the correct one, he will win the combat – even if it takes longer than planned. If his decision is wrong, he will be defeated, and will have to start over again – with more wisdom.
But when he starts out, the warrior of the light follows through to the end.

Paulo Coelho a.k.a. the "Alchemist," a widely read and influential author is a winner of the 2001 'BAMBI Award, one of Germany's most prestigious prizes

Posted by Administrator at 03:23 PM | Comments (0)

Gani Fawehinmi: His Crass & Poor Taste “Criticism”

by Paul I. Adujie (New York, United States) --- According to the book of Ecclesiastes, there is season and time for everything. So, there is a time to for joy, there is time for sadness, there is time to laugh and time to cry.

These biblical maxims are apparently lost on Barrister Gani Fawehinmi, as he chose the most inauspicious time, to engage in his beyond the pale commentary directed against President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria.

Barrister Fawehinmin ignored all precepts of decency as he engaged in his garrulous commentary at a time Nigeria mourned the death of 117 passengers and crew of the ill-fated Bellview Airlines flight 210. Gani was indecorous on this occasion.

I am personally disappointed at Gani’s lack of grace and class, in his efforts in the name of criticisms of President Obasanjo’s public policies. Gani patriotism has never been in doubt to me and for that matter no Nigerian would doubt where Gani stands on Nigeria’s progress and advancement toward national greatness.

I must also confess that I studied law essentially because of Gani, who was celebrated by a student Union, when I was a boy, as he was held shoulder high upon winning a legal battle on the behalf of the Students’ Union, and I was sold on the idea of due process and the rule of law as a tool, an instrument and wonderful machinery of justice, the empowering lawyers to assist the powerless multitude, Gani therefore, was an inspiration and an impetus for my love of the legal profession. I have always respected and admired him as a lawyer and as Nigerian with the most astute political analyses and complete good sense.

But Gani has just overdone! Gani has overplayed his hand and overplayed his role as ombudsman for good governance or battle worn critic.

It is completely unreasonable on Gani’s part, that he chose a very sorrowful moment for Nigeria, to engage in his belligerent preachment to President Obasanjo, who, apart from being the presiding officer, and president of Nigeria, Nigeria, a country in national mourning as a result of our collective loss in a plane crash, and the particularly personal loss suffered by the president and first family, due to the sudden death of Mrs. Stella Obasanjo. Whatever anyone thinks or thought of Mrs. Obasanjo, she has died.

Whatever anyone thinks of President Obasanjo, he is just bereaved.

Gani wrote agonizingly about his son, and yet, he glossed over the sorrow of President Obasanjo who is grieving over a very personal loss of his wife, a woman, who by all accounts, stood by our president, through thick and thin, his near death experience under late General Abacha, and also through the thickset of his political travails in current dispensation. Why did Gani choose this most inappropriate time to berate President Obasanjo? What was the point?

Contrast and compare the tastelessness of Gani commentary at this inauspicious time, with the general deference that all Americans of all political, economic, cultural and racial persuasions offered to President Bush after the events of September 11, 2001.

President Bush suffered no personal loss. Bush lost no family member.

President Bush’s presidency began on a very sour note. He came out of a fractious election that generated suspicions and extreme bitterness, of chad, pregnant chad and dimple chad, as election results were held in abeyance, until the United States Supreme Court finally awarded the election to Mr. Bush…. But for the terrorists attacks of 9/11/01 President Bush was walking a very tight political rope, from the unpopularity of his award by the US Supreme court, but the national tragedy of 9/11/01 change everything.

Americans became patient and understanding with Bush’s every tentative and Bush every learning steps, until he started to use and abuse the national deference to him, which arose out of a national tragedy.

General Buhari paid condolences and respects to the dead, so did Professor Soyinka, of these two, every Nigerian alive or dead, know where they stand on Nigeria’s national issues, whether we agree with Buhari and Soyinka or not…. But for a moment, these two buried their hatchets! They acted with refinement, with deep reflection and circumspection.

No Holy Book, neither the Koran nor the Bible, and or, even common sense, in any culture or language would applaud Gani for his flippant commentaries at a time President Obasanjo and Nigeria are mourning the twin tragedies of October.

What Gani did was distasteful. Gani indulged himself, it was bad judgment.

General Buhari and Professor Soyinka imbibed the maxim contained in the book of Ecclesiastes which clearly states that there is a time for everything. Nigeria mourn the passing of Mrs. Obasanjo and the 117 passengers and crew of Bellview Airlines flight 210

And so, quite unlike Mrs Yinka Oladapo who took Dr. Reuben Abati of The Guardian Newspapers to task, for chastising Gani for attacking our president, a man who is mourning a very personal loss and a national losses, a president who is in private and public mourning! I am in full agreement with Dr. Abati, Gani tactless, tasteless and crass commentaries were ill-opportune and Gani ought to apologize for his bad judgment on this occasion. Gani was not only un-African, he was inhuman! He acted without compassion and sympathy. Gani’s behavior did not engender good feelings, nor did it elevate public discourse, his commentary on this occasion, did not serve any public good.

New York, United States

Posted by Administrator at 02:20 PM | Comments (1)

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #30: Introduction to Customer Care and E-Commerce

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- In a capitalist economy, businesses are suppliers of goods and services. They read the market and see what the people demand, what the people desire and undertake to produce and supply them to the people. If the supplier reads the market well, his goods and or services sell to the people and he makes profits and stays in business.

But if he misjudges the market and produces what there is no demand for, his goods and or services are not bought by the people. He does not make profit and goes out of business. Worse, he loses his capital investment in the business and would have wasted his time and energy producing whatever goods and services he produced.

Businesses must produce what the people desire, not what the businesses think that the people should desire. What you think that other people should want and what they actually want are two different things.

A business man simply supplies what the people want. (Of course, through clever advertisement it is possible to create a demand that was not already there hence get people to buy what hitherto they did not want to buy. Only a few years ago, none of us knew that he had a need for computers. But today, we would literally not exist if we did not have, at least, four computers around us (two at home, one in the office, and a lap top…this is the typical situation for middle class Americans; if there are children in the house each child also has his own computer, all networked and connected to the world wide web, we are all wired sand connected to the information super high way).

It is possible to come up with a new product and or service and get people to demand it, as if their lives depend on it. But this is so rare that we need not worry about that; what is generally common is for people to buy what they have needs for. Thus, for our interest suppliers of goods and or services, business men and women, must produce what the market demands, if they want to sell and make profits and stay in the business.

The market now is the world; we live in an interconnected world and are competing with folks from all over the world. The global market is a reality, not fiction. A product produced in one corner of the globe is quickly replicated elsewhere. Indeed, your product is scarcely off the line when folks in China replicate them, produce them and sell them at cheaper prices, too.

For you to sell your products and stay afloat, you must constantly strive to improve the quality of your goods and services, sell them cheaply and care for those who buy them.

Customer care is very critical for obtaining and retaining buyers of your goods and services.

I like to give the example of the former communist Eastern Europe. There, the state was the business person. Things were produced by government bureaucrats. First of all we know that governments bureaucrats tend to have job security hence are not motivated to improve the quality of their products. So the goods and services produced in Eastern Europe were generally shoddy. Bureaucrats have their jobs irrespective of whether they sell or not their products. For our present purposes, bureaucrats did not care about the quality of their customer care. Indeed, they felt like they were gods and did not bother even treating the customers nicely.

As it were, the sales clerk selling bread in the Former Soviet Russian store felt like she was doing you, the buyer of her bread, a favor, for other wise she would tell you that there is no bread and you would do without bread. You stood on the line for hours to buy bread, bread of the worst quality known to man.

Communist bread is not even fit for American dogs to eat, and that is correct. More to the point, the sales clerk treats you in the most arrogant and patronizing manner. She did not respect the customer for she did not see how it is that the customer was keeping her employed by buying from her hence making it possible for her to be employed selling her poor quality products.

Simply stated, customer care in the former Soviet Union was abysmal. A right thinking person would not want to buy anything from these people. Thus, when communism collapsed, the people simply ignored not only Soviet made goods but Soviet services and looked to the West for replacement goods and services.

Western businessmen took one look at Soviet workers and considered them lacking in good customer care and embarked on retraining them. They were retrained to care for the customer, for the customer is king. The customer gave you his money and with his money you stay in business. The worker is paid with money given to him by the buyer of the business goods and services. Were it not for the customer the employee would not have a job. Thus, it stood to reason that the employee ought to be grateful to the customer and treat him nicely.

Customer care is now an inherent aspect of capitalist economies. You must listen to what your customers want and improve your goods and services to meet their desires. If your customers complain about the quality of your goods and services, you better listen to them, for in a capitalist economy others can, and will produce what you are producing and selling. If the customer does not like your goods and services he takes his money elsewhere and buys from other businesses and you go out of business.

Do you want to stay in business? Then study what your customers want and do it. Treat your customers nicely. If they complain, take their grievances seriously and come up with actions plans to remedy their complaints. Do not shine off customers complaints. Do not be rude to customers. In fact, hire a class of employees called customer care specialists to listen to your customers’ complaints and do what they ask for. These employees must be very respectful and treat customers in the most dignified and courteous manner.

In advanced capital economies, customer care is taken seriously. This contributes to the success of these economies. But in third world countries customer care is not always taken seriously.

Indeed, in third world sections of first world countries, customer care is not excellent. If in the USA, go to the black neighborhoods and try patronizing black businesses. Generally, (there are exceptions) you would find black employees very rude. They treat you in the most disrespectful manner. Of course, you walk away and do not buy from them. Consequently, black owned business collapse right and left.

On the other hand, go to Asians run businesses. The Asians would treat you with the ultimate respect. They would make you feel like a king and or queen for a day. Your ego’s vanity is given attention. You end up buying from them. Go to a Chinese restaurant and see good service at work. Then go to a black restaurant and feel frustrated. The result is that Asians make it in the business world, whereas black Americans fail and have to depend on governments to employ them.

In government they behave like bureaucrats everywhere: lazy and inefficient. Since the chances of promotion to higher positions are slim in bureaucracies, thus, the brothers and sisters generally end up making poor incomes as government bureaucrats. If only these people could learn good customer service and go start their own businesses and serve the public well, they would make good living.

In Nigeria, customer care in the public sector is pathetic. You don’t want anything to do with government workers. They treat you as if they are god and doing you favor. Not long ago, I went to the Nigerian Embassy at Washington DC to renew my passport. The clerk was so rude that I literally walked away. The man ought to have been trained to be respectful to all customers and to smile and use the term sir or mam for all customers. Instead, he sat behind his glass windows, ignoring the people on the line and when finally the king of Nigeria had time for the customers he talked in the rudest voice you ever heard in your life. His feeling is that he is doing you a favor and that you ought to please him, god. Indeed, he probably wanted to be bribed too?

These people are simply not good workers and either are retrained or fired. The good news is that in the villages our market women and men are generally the most courteous human beings alive. I visit my town’s market and the traders there treat you like you are a king for a day and you buy their goods and services.

We do not need to belabor the obvious. We have poor quality customer care in the public sector in Nigeria. We have to change the situation. We have to get government employees to realize who pays their salaries, the public that they serve.

Although I generally hate management fads, I would institute Deming’s Total Quality Management, TQM in Nigeria right away. I would improve customer service. I would have every government care how the public perceives its treatment of them. I would have grievance procedures for the public to complain when it feels poorly treated by bureaucrats. I would fire bureaucrats who disrespect their customers, those who put bread on their table by paying their wages.


We now live in the age of computers. The work place is computerized. The whole world is networked in the World Wide Web. Employees and businesses must now be computer literate. There are no two ways of going about it. What is needed is to train all employees to have necessary computer skills.

The typical office worker ought to be proficient with Word processing, Excel, Accel, Power point and other office technology; he ought to know how to navigate the Internet, email, searching for information with the various search engines (yahoo, Googol etc).

In addition to general computer skills, every business has specialized computer technology. Indeed, every profession, these days, has specialized software for its members work. In the past, for example, accountants and bookkeepers meticulously entered all their data entries into hand written journals. Today, many accounting software, such as Quick book, is available to book keepers. Engineers do much of their designs on computers. Airlines have specific uses of computers, both in selling tickets and operating their airlines that those in that industry must know; medical doctors are wired to other doctors and can, in fact, watch specialists around the world doing their work, diagnosing patients, performing surgery, consulting known experts in their fields.

In the world of teaching, the world is now our classroom and students can be wired to learn from professors far away from them.(When I was at the University of Alaska, folks in remote Eskimo villages were connected to the University’s IT and could participate in class rooms with professors teaching in far away Anchorage or Fairbanks or Juneau. They could also go to their local libraries and have access to professors’ lectures stored in certain websites.

All of Nigeria could be wired so that students everywhere in Nigeria could follow the teaching of secondary school physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics (the subjects that really matter in a scientific world) at the best secondary schools in Nigeria.

Let’s assume that Government College Umuahia is still the best at teaching science in Alaigbo. The teachers are connected to the internet and their lectures are fed to all students in the area who have access to the internet to follow their teachings as they do so. This way, students have access to the best teachers and the best instructions found at the best schools, not the nonsense taught in village secondary schools. Some of these new village secondary schools do not even have laboratories and students cannot perform experiments.

I was talking to a recent graduate of a secondary school in my village and he told me that he did not take science subjects because his school did not have science teachers and laboratories. I could not believe what this 18 year old was telling me. If you did not study physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics and earth science you did not go to school, period.

Studying, history, geography etc, as he did, simply cannot cut it in the modern world. To avert such disasters, we ought to wire the entire country and have students who attend rural schools have access to the teachings of science at the best schools in the country. This should apply to elementary, secondary and universities and technical schools.

Information technology is here to stay and all businesses must use it to improve their business. Very soon, people will shop right from their homes: look at the goods stacked in stores’ shelves on their computer screens and use their mouse to click on items they want and have the stores deliver such goods to them at home. Some stores are already doing that in the USA. You shop from your home! You can shop from your home for all kinds of things, books, used items. Just go to and see what you can do with Internet shopping.

I am aware that Nigeria is a third world country and is not going to be like a first world country any time soon. It is idealistic and hopeless fantasy to expect Nigeria to have the type of technology that America has. Even European countries do not have the type of sophisticated technology available to American school kids. Give American elementary school kids home work assignment and they immediately go to the Internet and go to sites where they could obtain information on the subject and read up on them. Tell them to tell you what Newton’s mechanics is and they go to the Internet, type the name Isaac Newton and get as much information on the man’s physics that even a Nigerian secondary school physics teacher does not have.

The Internet is doing wonders for schools and education. One wishes that this type of sophistication is available in Nigerian villages.

All businesses must become aware of how they could use computers and the Internet to improve their business activities and sell their products. Advertising on the Web is now a major avenue for advertising ones products. Selling products through the Web is now a major source of selling goods and service. Simply stated, no business person worth that name can fail but seek ways to take advantage of information technology to improve his business.

Politicians and government workers must pay particulate attention to computers and information technology. All politicians ought to do what we do over here: always go to evening classes to learn about new technology. I remember when personal computers came out in the early 1980s. I went back to a community college to learn about it. When the internet came out, I went to take classes on how to use it. When any new office program is added to computers I go to take a course on it. If Microsoft adds a new program to its Windows, off I go take a course on how to use it. Learning is an unending exercise.

Our leaders and politicians ought to be in a forever learning mode. There is no longer any such thing as an end to education. One must learn for however long one lives.

There ought to be evening classes in every town where one can go and learn new things. If bored, instead of drinking the poison of alcohol or over eating why not go to your local community college and take a class on something you do not know? Become a life long learner. Life is fun and exciting if one is always learning something new and different.

Our leaders in Nigeria ought to be required to become computer literate and Internet savvy. For one thing, that would make them learn to type so that they do their own typing and stop relying on typists and secretaries. (Not long ago, a Nigerian friend faxed me hand written material to type for him. Here we have it, a younger man expected me to type his materials for him. Why? Because he knows I type very fast. So I asked him: why don’t you go learn how to type? He said that he has a typist that he pays to type his materials for him and that she is out of town hence he wanted me to type the urgent material he needed typed. I told him to go learn how to type and buy a computer…he did not have one… and join the information age. That was the last I heard from the coxcomb. He is too important to type. To him, only lowly typists type. What an idiot. He excludes himself from access to a lot of information available to those who have access the World Wide Web. What a pity.)

All politicians and government officials ought to know how to type and use computers or they should be fired from their jobs. A permanent secretary does not need a secretary to type for him; he ought to type his own materials. We do not need to make these idle people more idle than they already are.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 11, 2005

PS: With this lecture, I end my self imposed task of giving thirty lectures on politics and business for Nigerians. I hope that you found these essentially freshman level lectures useful. Should you seek more advanced information on any of the topics that I covered, please go study them at your local universities. And when you are sufficiently trained, please share your knowledge with our people. The level of ignorance I see in our people is unacceptable. Whoever knows something ought to share it with the rest of us. We can learn from each other.

I will edit and add references and bibliography to these thirty lectures and publish them as a monograph on Nigeria. The edited version should be ready by early next year. You can order it from:

I will be in touch with you in January, 2006, when I start my proposed weekly lectures on African countries. Each week, I will focus on an African country until I have done 52 African countries.

May the struggle for the liberation of the minds of Africans continue!



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Ozodi Osuji Lectures #29: Introduction to Labor Relations

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- In the work force are two types of people, the owners of business (and their agents called professional managers) and the workers.

Management represents the owners of capital. The working stiff is used by management to accomplish the organization’s goal of making profits for the owners of capital. In Marxist terms, the bourgeoisie owns the means of production (capital, labor). But labor does not consider itself owned by the Bourgeoisie. Labor sees its self as an independent class of workers, selling their skills and being paid well for them.

Management and labor see things from different light. Management sees labor as a means to an end, to producing goods and services in the most efficient manner. Management wants to make profits for the organization’s owners. To management, labor is not different from capital, but is means to an end. Management, in fact, would replace labor and use impersonal equipment, such as robots, to do its work, for people are too messy and demand too much psychological attention. As Max Weber would say, labor ought to be machinery, like a factory operated as a means of production and not complain about being misused.

Alas workers are human beings and have feelings and must complain about the quality of their relationship with their employers.

When the industrial revolution began in England, around 1746, and laborers were gathered to work in emergent factories, they were subjected to inhumane working conditions. They were often worked sixteen hours a day. They were paid very little. They were not even making enough moneys to support their families.

Talking about families, sometimes the workers families were laboring along side them. Women and children, as young as twelve years old, worked in mines and factories and worked twelve hour days and died young.

It was the poor working conditions that set the early utopian socialists like Charles Fourier, Joseph Proudhon, Robert Owen etc talking about the need to organize labor and prevent their exploitation. Later in the 19th century, Karl Marx and others entered the fray and hijacked the budding movement to improve the conditions of labor and began talking globally about how the proletariat ought to rise up and take over the means of production.

Marx and later V.I. Lenin, in fact, came to a point where they did not respect the ability of labor to know what is good for it. Left to themselves, Lenin believed that labor could only rise to trade union consciousness, where they struggled for the improvement of their working life. That was not good enough. What was needed, as Lenin saw it, was for elite that understands the exploitation of society by the rich to engage in a revolution on behalf of ignorant laborers. The party vanguard was to take over the governance of society and create an equal society on earth.

The Bolshevik party, the communist party is to act as a vanguard and take over society and create a communist society where no one exploited any one else. Trade union consciousness is not good enough, moreover, in his book, Imperialism, Lenin pointed out how Western imperialists went to other parts of the world and exploited their labor and used their wealth to bribe labor in the imperial country and made it acquiesce to its own oppression.

American capitalists, for example, went to Latin America and paid the peons there pennies to work in their plantations and made tons of profits. They brought the profits that they made overseas home and used that money to improve the living condition of American labor. Thus, it came to pass that an American factory worker in Detroit who literally cannot write his name is paid so much money that he lives like the aristocrats of yesteryears. He drives a pink Cadillac and no longer feels oppressed by the owners of capital. He lives in a house, has all the modern amenities of living and cannot possibly see him self as oppressed. He aligns himself with his oppressor and both of them then oppress non Americans.

Nike builds a shoe factory in India and worked children, some as young as ten years old, twelve hours a day and paid then a few rupees. It brings the shoes those oppressed children made and sold them in America. American workers are given opportunity to live decent lives and no longer see themselves as oppressed by the owners of capital like Nike. That is, labor is bought by the owners of capital.

Communists, therefore, did not like the emerging trade unions of the late 19th century, for they saw them as in cahoots with the owners of capital.

In the meantime, labor unions emerged. These unions emerged to look after the interest of labor, within the employment situation. They agitated for improved working conditions for labor. Where the owners of capital would like to work labor until it drops dead, unions wanted them to improve labors working condition, perhaps, reduce work time to eight hours and pay labor living wages.

The owners of capital naturally resented labor unions. In the United States, the owners of capital formed an unholy alliance with the political sector and used the police to harass labor unions. The law outlawed unions and arrested those who organized for the improvement of labor. Those who called for strikes and industrial shutdowns were seen as the enemies of the state, arrested and prosecuted. Nevertheless, the struggle continued. Mr. Dale Bumpers and his followers in the emerging trade union movement kept risking police harassment until eventually they were permitted to form unions legally.

Franklyn Delano Roosevelt came to power in 1933. He borrowed quite a bit from the views of communists, as well as the views of John Maynard Keynes and embarked on what he called New Deal. Here, he tried to use the power of the state to correct known capitalist cycles of boom and burst, inflation and depression (via taxation policy, monetary policy, fiscal policy etc) and using public spending to help reduce unemployment. Working with Congress, he enacted the Wagner Act that, for the first time, established the relationships between labor and management. First, the Act made labor unions legal. Now labor is allowed to organize in the work force and reach agreements with its employers on working conditions. It set the eight hour work day and forty hour work week. Other Acts of Congress and regulations by OSHA required improved working conditions for labor.

Labor unions are now legal in most parts of the world. Essentially, these are organizations of labor demanding improved wages and working conditions from the owners of industry. Those who sell their labor for a living want to be treated decently on the job.

In advanced bourgeois society, the owners of capital are seldom in the work place. The millions of share holders of IBM, AT&T, and General Motors etc are not at the worksite. Instead, the owners of capital (stock holders) hire professional managers to help them run their businesses. Thus, the Board of Directors hire a president and chief executive officer to run their business, who, in turn, hires a management team: vice presidents etc and those help him work for the owners of capital and make profits for them.

Labor then no longer deals directly with the owners of capital but with their surrogates, the management team. Labor must now negotiate with management for improved working conditions.

Whereas in the past labor had to deal with Mr. Ford of Ford motors in Detroit, it now must deal with the professional management team that runs that company.

Management wants to make profits for the owners of capital. Labor wants improved working conditions and good pay. Too good a pay means sharing all the profit made by the company.

If all the profit of a company is given to labor, in improved pay, it follows that the owners of capital would not make any profit, no dividend, and no capital gains. If the owners of capital do not make handsome profit, they would withdraw their capital and the company would go under.

It is yet to be seen if labor can manage companies. Cooperates are generally small scale affairs.

The salient point is that there is always tension between management and labor. This is so because they have different goals. Management wants profits for the owners of capital and labor wants to take that money and run. Therefore, both sides are at a loggerhead.

The process of forming labor unions in the work place has been streamlined. According to labor laws, labor is authorized to form labor unions. The process is very simple. If workers feel that they are not well treated by management they organize and call on the appropriate authorities from the ministry of labor to come in and hold an election at their work place. In the USA, this outfit is called the National Labor Relations Board. They come in and hold election and if a majority of the workers vote for union, they are authorized to form a union. Management, generally, does not like unions and in most cases would do everything in its power to prevent unionization, as Wal-Mart is allegedly doing in Canada, as I write.

The union meets and elects its officers, president, secretary, shop representatives etc and the leaders of the union call on management to negotiate a contract with them. The contract is to specify their working conditions on paper. This would mean that management is no longer free to hire and fire and pay workers as it chooses or promote whomever it wants; now it has to go by such things as seniority, which according to management translates to mediocrity.

As already observed, management resists labor unions for where labor is organized the work place becomes like a government bureaucracy and from then on it takes ten workers to do what one worker ought to be doing. Thus there is a struggle between management and labor. But, intimately, they write a contract based on the demands of labor and what management thinks that it could live with and still make profits for the owners of capital.


Sometimes the process of writing contracts is protracted and often breaks down as the two sides are unable to agree. At that stage both sides may opt to hire a mediator to mediate their difference.


If mediation fails they may obtain an arbitrator from the government who then helps to write a contract that he thinks is fair to all concerned. Both sides must accept the resultant contract. But before they reach arbitration they negotiate long and hard.


Sometimes, labor exercises its option of going on strike. Or it engages in work slow downs where it throws the books on management. (If you really followed procedures and rules nothing would get done in the work place.)


Labor’s contract with management specify such things as wages for positions, how people are hired and fired, and working conditions, whether benefits like health insurance are given, and Pension plans. And others. The most annoying stipulation in these contracts is the issue of seniority. Labor wants folks to be promoted on the bases of how long they have been on the job. But management knows that longevity is not correlated with knowledge and expertise.

I went into an industry and was promoted to the top position within five years, whereas there were people who had worked there for over thirty years. Dedication and expertise ought to count for something. But labor does not see it that way. It wants what it calls fairness, to elevate senior people to top paying positions. Well, senior people might be dead wood and would drag the business under.

Ultimately, a contract is drawn and during its duration (say three to five years) all agree to abide by its terms. Both management and labor agree to be guided by its terms. If an employee feels unfairly treated by his supervisors, he talks to his union representative and the rep goes to bat for him or her. He talks to the supervisor and tries to straighten ruffled feathers.

Grievance procedures are followed and the problem is resolved. In unionized situations, it is generally difficult to fire labor. The work situation becomes like a government bureaucracy where it might take years to let go an unproductive worker. In the meantime, the unproductive worker is paid and this contributes to inefficiency in the allocation of the businesses resources.

Labor unions are of many kinds. There are industrial unions that encompass those in a certain industry (say those working in certain industry, such as those working for auto producers) and trade unions encompassing those who belong to the same trade such as the American Medical Association, a trade union of American doctors looking after doctors interests. (The AMA is a powerful interest group, it largely worked to Kill Bill and Hilary Clinton’s attempt to give every American medical insurance; it works to reduce admissions to medical schools, so as to control the supply of labor/doctors hence increase the price demand pays for medical services…like my esteemed guide, Milton Friedman, I am against all unions that make it difficult to enter certain professions; let universities admit all qualified medical students and produce tons of medical doctors and therefore let the cost of doctors go down; I see no reason why a medical doctor, who essentially is a technician with limited education should earn more than a truly educated person, a physicist or micro biologist.)

We shall not dwell on the specifics of labor unions for this paper is not meant for professional mangers or trade unionists but is meant to give the general public some idea of what labor unions are and what they do.

We can talk about the various forms of strikes, boycotts, works slow downs, scabs and so on, but that is not going to do us any good. What the reader needs to know is that workers are allowed by law to organize and work out a contract with management for improved working conditions. He also needs to know that the desire of workers must be matched with the desire for business to make profits. If all profits are given to labor then management disappears. There is no evidence that labor can manage industries. I can tell you from experience that there is a difference between labor and management.

The average Joe Blow worker goes to work and puts in his eight hours shift and goes home. Management often works sixteen hour days, and sometimes even on weekends. Management is working and thinking about work for twenty four hours, trying to make the business make profit and survive. Believe me; management deserves the big bucks it makes.

It takes good ideas to make businesses work. It takes risk taking to make businesses work. Labor seldom has good ideas. A manager may stay up all night doing what needs to be done and yet work eight or more hours during the day and not expect additional remunerations. If labor puts in on extra hour of work, it demands over time pay and, if not paid, cries to the entire world that it is exploited. Well, some of us regularly work fourteen hour days and are not paid for our extra efforts and do not make noise about it. You are reading this piece as my free gift to you. I stayed up at night to write it and still work during the day. No one paid me for doing this. I did it because I think that it needs to be done, that we need to share information and perchance enable Nigerians to start governing themselves well. This is called leadership and managerial behavior.

A leader sees a problem and tries to solve it and not ask what is in it for him. Labor asks what is in it for it. There is a distinction between labor and management. I would promote to management the chap willing to dedicate his life to hard work, to work at least twelve hour work days and I do not care what his age is. I could care less if a chap is fifty years old if he is not dedicated and hard working I would not even hire him in the first place. I am a task oriented manager and would fire you in a second if you do not do what you were hired to do.


All of us need to understand a bit about labor unions, how they came into being and what they exist to do. We all have to learn to coexist with labor unions.

There are exploitative owners of capital and their surrogates, management, so in some situations we really need labor unions, although we must not have them everywhere, for they tend to generate inefficiency, For example, I think that academic departments are generally inefficient. If I had my choice, I would make all political scientists go take management courses, up to MBA level. This way, they can teach future politicians how to manage the state rather than merely teach scholastic political science. True, we need to know what Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, etc said about politics and teach them to students, but we also need to teach students the practical art of managing the state, management. My wish is not going to happen for the various unions of university teachers would not permit such an innovation to occur. Political scientists keep teaching students the old scholastic political science that guarantees unemployment for them.

Labor unions are here to stay with us and we must understand them. A course or two in industrial relations is a must for all managers and, in my opinion, for all politicians.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 10, 2005

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Ozodi Osuji Lectures #28: Introduction to Organizational Behavior

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- The field of organizational behavior is also called organizational psychology. Psychology studies how people think and behave. In this case, how people in organizations think and behave.

Let me ask you: how do you behave in groups, be it in informal groups, such as your friends, and formal groups, such as work groups? Do you behave differently when you are alone and when you in crowds? For most people the answer is yes.

As individuals, human beings tend to think about their behaviors and think about what they are going to do. They tend to think about the consequences of their behaviors. They choose carefully what they are going to do. On the other hand, when they are among their friends, in groups, they tend to, more or less, suspend their personal judgments and do what they think that other group members would approve. In fact, in some group instances, if the leader of the group says that a twelve inches long ruler is ten inches long, many of the members of the group would agree with him. Some will know that he is wrong and still feel influenced by the crowd to go along with the leader’s lies; others, in fact, will automatically go with the leader and unreflectively go where he wants them to go, they will agree with his perception.

And we are talking about human behavior in informal groups. In more formal groups, such as work groups, where individual’s livelihood are earned, the pull to go along with the crowd and its leader is even more intense. If you disagree with the opinion leaders of the work group, you could be ostracized and isolated. You could become a marked man, a pariah who is not rewarded with organizational rewards.

Most people know the fact that he who stands apart from the work group is not positively reinforced. To avoid such punishment, people either keep quiet or go along with the group’s direction. (Those with conscience, feel guilty, then go home and try to put their guilty conscience to sleep by getting drunk.)

Group behavior has been studied extensively by social psychologists. Shortly after the Second World War, Adorno et al wrote a book called the Authoritarian Personality. They showed how the authoritarian personality is motivated to please the group and particularly the leaders of groups. To these psychoanalysts, the authoritarian character feels inferior and wants to seem superior and strong and admires the seeming powerful group leader and seeks his approval. He conforms to the group’s norms, even if they are irrational, so that the group members would see him as strong and acceptable.

Other observers were interested in finding out why ordinary Germans, particularly church going ones, obeyed Hitler’s orders and killed those who did nothing offensive to them. These seeming nice Germans killed Six million Jews, twenty five million Russians and altogether were responsible for the death of fifty million human beings. Why did they do it? Are they different from the rest of us? So go find out.

You may sit there and fancy yourself a morally developed human being who would not kill others if told to do so, but is that so?

Stanley Milligram and his group at Stanford University performed social psychological experiments where they had two groups of students do two different jobs. Some were made prisoners and others guards. The guards were encouraged to give electric shocks to the prisoners. You know what? Most of the guards (students) did as they were told to do. In other words, they inflicted pain to those who may, in fact, have been their friends just because authority figures told them to do so.

The implication of this research is that if told to do something by leaders, particularly in group setting, that the average human being is most likely going to do it. Perhaps, a few persons have the courage of their convictions and will resist evil even unto death. Over ninety percent of humanity will do what they were told to do, good or bad, particularly if their peer groups are cheering them on.

In the Southern USA, white kids would jump on an innocent black person and beat him up or even kill him. They usually do so in groups but never as alone individuals. Indeed, they usually do it to alone black persons, but seldom to a group of black persons.

When I was in college, in the 1970s, at night I would be walking down the streets of Eugene, Oregon and a bunch of white boys, usually semi drunk, would drive by and yell at me: Nigger and sped off. But they never did that when I was with other black kids of my age. Nor did individual white kids do that to me. It was always when they were in large enough groups and apparently believed that they could beat a lone black person that these people acted out.

What does this mean to you? It means that human beings tend to act evilly in groups and that they are cowardly and tend to need the company of other persons before they engage in certain evil behaviors. To a black person, it means that if you want to survive in a racist society that you have to walk in the group of other black persons because you would not be attacked by a pack of wild white predators. In a pack you and other black persons would be able to defend yourself.

In this light, on my college campus, a 99% white campus, if a black student sees another black student he gravitates towards him and tries to become his temporary pal. He wants to feel safe in numbers. If he is in the cafeteria and buys his food, he looks around for another black face and brings his tray to that brother’s seat and sits with him. If he walks into one of those large classes, those held in auditoriums of over two hundred students, he looks for a black face and comes to sit with him. Around other blacks, he feels safe. Alone he could be abused by the wild animals he lives with.

Lesson number one is: you should always have friends when you are in enemy territory. When you are surrounded by enemies, you had better watch out for threats to your life, be paranoid, be suspicious, imagine yourself being attacked, real or not, and seek ways to defend yourself. Be tense and uptight and guarded and be ready to defend yourself when you are attacked.

This is the life of the young black American; he is always feeling attacked by white society and defending himself, thus exhibiting social or what is called functional paranoia.

Paranoia saps a lot of the individual’s energy. In paranoia, one is in a state of fear and anxiety and is guarded and defensive. In this state of mind, one is not relaxed and cannot concentrate on abstract thinking. The so-called differences in the races IQ scores is probably explained by the fear, anxiety and paranoia that the predatory white race makes blacks live in.

I have gone off the mark a bit, but I did so rather deliberately. Let me return to the subject at hand, group psychology.

People tend to behave differently in groups than they do when alone. This point has to be known by you. Your co-worker is more likely to side with an unjust boss and agree with him that you did what you did not do and what he knows that you did not do. This is crowd psychology. You are likely to do the same, too.

Organizational behavior studies many aspects of human behavior in groups. In groups, some persons avoid others (shy person do this a lot), others approach others (out going persons do so).

Those who tend to avoid other persons (approach avoidant behavior) tend to be anxious persons. They tend to want other people to like them and fear social rejection. When they anticipate that other people would reject them, they withdraw from them. In social isolation, they avert, or think that they avert social rejection. In social isolation, they think that they retain their positive self concept and its positive self image. Thus, social withdrawal is a maneuver with which the avoidant personality, the shy person, employs to retain his exaggerated big self concept and its big self image. He is trying to maintain a neurotic superior self. In avoiding other people he has separated from them. In separating from other people he retains his separated, ego self. In doing so, he maintains separation from the whole, often called God. In doing so, he keeps himself in this world. In union, on the other hand, one escapes from this world of separated existence.

As George Kelly teaches us, the self concept and its self image are conceptual. It is the individual that uses his biological and social building blocks to construct his self concept and self image and then defends them with the various ego defense mechanisms as if they are real.

Karen Horney tells us that neurotics invent ideal self concepts/self images and defend them with the various ego defense mechanisms, trying to make those false big selves seem real, a losing battle, since the false cannot be real, no matter what one does. Defense makes the ego self-concept seem real. What seems real is not real. The real does not need defense to make it real.

Alfred Adler tells us that the neurotic feels inferior and rejects the inferior self and compensates with a fictional superior self and tries to live “As if” he is the false, superior self. He feels fear and anxiety because he is trying to accomplish the impossible, make a false big self seem real. As Adler sees it, and my experience teaches me, the normal person accepts himself as the same and equal with all people, no matter their rank and status in life. The president of the country is not more important that the beggar on the street. The healthy person simultaneously works for his and for social interests.

There is another self in us that does the conceptualization. There is a conceptualizer in us who conceptualizes the self concept, self image and personality and attempts to become them. As Buddha noted, the conceptualizer is not his self concept.

You are not your self concept; you are not your self image. You are not your thoughts; you are not the ideas, good or bad, that you have about you.

Who then are you? You are the thinker of thoughts, the idealizer of ideas, the conceptualizer of concepts and the observer of the empirical world.

Who is that thinking self? From a scientific perspective, none of us knows who our real self is. Henry Bergson, the French philosopher, said that there is a life force in each of us. In that light, the life force in us is the thinker of our thoughts? Good.

How about if we say that there is a spirit in us who enters our bodies, or seems to have done so, any way, and thinks through the auspices of our physical bodies, particularly our brains?

I know that it is difficult to prove the reality of spirit; nevertheless, there are those who believe that the real self in us is spirit, unified spirit that manifests as separated spirit in the word of illusions. Enough of metaphysics; let us return to ego organizational psychology

There are those who consistently approach other people rather than avoid them. Those who avoid other persons, shy persons, seldom make good candidates for leadership. It is those who approach other people for friendship and are not afraid of social rejection that tends to make good materials for leadership.

In group settings, the leader is most likely to be extroverted and out going, while the led tends to, in different degrees not be as socially outgoing as the leader.

Of course, occasionally, some introspective, reflective introvert overcomes his seeming natural tendency to social withdrawal and becomes out going and competes for leadership positions. But ordinarily, it is the outgoing, self-confident person that tends to compete for leadership on the job: be a supervisor, manager and president of the work organization.

So what is your self assessment: socially withdrawing or socially outgoing? Do you see how your basic lifestyle contribute or hinder your leadership abilities?

It is not all who talk about leadership that can become leaders. In fact, if you make the shy kid a leader, a supervisor on the job, he may panic with anxiety and start drinking to reduce his anxiety. Many a shy person actually turns down promotions to managerial levels, for he does not want to displease other people.

To be a leader one must be assertive and tell other people the truth and not be bothered whether they accept or reject one. If one is preoccupied with others acceptance and fear social rejection, one is not going to be assertive hence is not going to make good managerial material.

(The passive person generally allows other persons to push him or her around. He tends to be a door mat. At some point, however, he gets tired of being pushed around and being taken advantage of, for people tend to take advantage of the seeming weak and explodes in anger. He engages in either passive aggressive behavior or out rightly becomes aggressive. In passive aggression response, he does a thing that would defeat the purpose of the boss he thinks is pushing him around. In pure aggression he acts destructively. He literally goes berserk and amuck and destroys things, even harms people, to show that he is a man and that no person has a right to push him around. The quiet, seemingly harmless man can turn around and kill someone in a fit of rage. The alternative to passive dependency, passive aggressive and aggressive behavior is assertiveness. In assertiveness one simply states the facts as one sees them and does what serves ones and other people’s interests, not in an either/or manner but both. One isn’t afraid of social rejection. In assertiveness, one is fully alive, for one protects ones interests and does not permit others to walk all over one. One is not a pleaser like passive persons. Pleasers seldom serve their interests, beside other people take advantage of pleasers.)

Abraham Maslow, as we noted earlier, talked about the correlation between self acceptance, self actualization and high productivity. Persons who have met their lower order needs tend to be highly productive.

What motivates people to work hard? Is it money, is it the desire for social belonging, and is it desire to do what interests one?

Many organizational psychologists have had their heart’s fill speculating on this subject. I think that real people have mixed motives, certainly, that is the case with me. I work for money. I work to get social belonging. I work to do what I like doing. I work to actualize my real self (and what is that?).

Simply stated, people do what they do for multitude of reasons. It is never only one reason why people do what they do. But just so you know, organizational psychology looks at people’s motivations for working and wants to know what makes them work very hard.

What this means to the manager is that he must understand how to motivate his employees. He must know whether it is money (high salary) that would make them work harder, group belonging, self actualization or other putative motivations?

People are different and what motivates one individual may not be what motivates another. I wake up at 4.30AM to type this lecture. I spend three hours doing so. Then I go to my real work and work for ten hours. So why did I deprive myself of sleep to give this lecture and give it for free? Do I have desire for other people’s attention, desire to seem intelligent and knowledgeable, desire for social recognition, desire for money (what money?), desire to help improve my fellow country men’s knowledge?

What do you think? I think that the answer is all the above. As a typical human being, I think that I am motivated by all that motivates human beings, some noble some base. Eco human, all too human, Nietzsche said.

The average worker is motivated by a complex system of motivations and the manager must learn how to relate to those motivations. If he is Machiavellian, the manager might even manipulate his employees’ motivations.

Suppose that I know that you like recognition and attention. I give it to you. I praise you no end. Your little ego swells up. You feel important and do exactly what I ask you to do. I have exploited your psychopathology. Leaders do exploit the masses psychopathology.

Let us see how this works. Go read Adolf Hitler’s Mien Kampf and Table Talks (edited by that English racist, Oxford scholar, Trevor Roper). Hitler learned from Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology that the average human being feels inferior. The exigencies of living on earth makes human beings feel inadequate and inferior. (Hitler is, of course, talking about himself. He was a neurotic and felt inordinately inferior. He then projected what he saw in him to other people. We all do this; it is called projective identification.)

Hitler reasoned that people feel inferior and compensate with superiority. People want to feel superior. But, in fact, they are not superior to any one. In reality, we are all the same and equal. Nevertheless, we still want to feel superior to our neighbors. So Hitler decided to manipulate that human psychopathology. He said: I am going to tell my people, Germans, that they are superior to their neighbors, Slavs, Jews. Even though they are not superior to any one, because they secretly desire to seem superior to others, they will agree with me and do what I ask them to do because I made them feel superior. I told them a big lie and said it with seeming confidence as if it is true, said it authoritatively they believe it. So Hitler told his people the big lie and they did as he asked them to do, conquer their supposed inferior neighbors.

I was in Biafra during the war. Though a boy, an observant boy, I observed the leaders of Biafra try telling Igbos that they are superior to other Nigerians.

I was born at Lagos and grew up with kids from all over Nigeria. I know that the Igbo kid is exactly like the Yoruba, Edo, Hausa and other Nigerian kids. I know so because I played with them on the streets of Lagos. No one is better than other people. Ojukwu and his inner circle were telling Igbos lies when they tried to make them feel better than other Nigerians.

In the meantime, those lies were bought by many Igbos. They went to war to kill those they thought were inferior Hausa soldiers. To their surprise, the Hausas proved better soldiers than them. That fact ought to teach them not to believe lies. But, alas, human beings are prone to lies.

I still see Igbos wanting to feel better than other Nigerians. I shake my head and wonder when we would all learn that we are all the children of one God, hence one family and learn to love one another. We are all the same and equal and whoever tells you that you are superior or inferior to other people is telling you lies; run from him. Only listen to the person who tells you the truth, who tells you that Igbo, Yoruba, Hausa, all people are the same and equal. Love all people if you will feel happy and peaceful.

The point though is that leaders can manipulate the human tendency to believe lies. We all feel inadequate and listen to political demagogues who tell us that our tribe or race is superior to other tribes and or races. Their lies give us the illusion of superiority and power. In reality, no individual person and no tribe or race is better than others. But truth is not sexy, lies are sexy.

Organizations and societies in general deliberately tell their members lie. Consider wars. Before nations go to war they prepare their people to kill their enemies. Suddenly the Chinese becomes China man, gook; the Italian becomes wog, the German becomes Jerry, the black man becomes nigger and the white person becomes honky.

The idea is to put your enemy down, to dehumanize and demonize him, and in doing so you make it easier for your soldiers to kill them and not feel guilty and remorseful.

If you permit your troops to see the enemy soldiers as real human beings and they kill them they are going to have lots of emotional problems. American troops, at some point knew that the Vietnamese were human beings, and innocent too, yet they killed them. They came home to suffer lots of emotional problems (these days we call it PTSD post traumatic stress disorder, a cute psychiatric name; methinks that they are suffering from qualms of conscience).

For our present purposes, human beings have both individual and group psychology. Leaders must have some working knowledge of individual and group psychology. Supervisors and managers, on the job, and politicians must all have some working understanding of human psychology and decide to manipulate it or use it positively to increase productivity.

If I know that you have low self esteem and need some one to give you attention, to accept you, before you feel good about yourself, I will accept you and give you attention. The chances are that you would work hard for me. But in my mind, I am not manipulating your psychoneurosis?

It all has to do with intention, is it not so? Just have good and loving intentions towards all your employees and those you lead and never mind if you are exploiting any one. Who knows what is ultimately good or bad? If in my conscious mind, I believe that I am doing what I am doing out of love, if it turns out that I have unconscious motives that I do not know, so be it.

In the end, the goal of organizational behavior is to understand human and social psychology and use it effectively to generate an efficient and productive workforce.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 9, 2005

Posted by Administrator at 01:51 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #27: Introduction to Management and Supervision

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- The study of management is actually a new phenomenon. This is very astonishing considering how long people have talked about leadership and management. There was actually no sustained study of management until the twentieth century.

Barbour, in England, did say a few things about management towards the end of the nineteenth century, but besides him, there was no literature on management apart from those written in the twentieth century.


During the early parts of the twentieth century, Frederick Taylor began what he called Time and Motion studies. Essentially, he believed that he could figure out how many optimal motions it would require to do something and how long it would take an efficient worker to do that thing.

How many movements would it require to lift a brick and set it up on a wall and plaster it? If it were possible to figure out the optimal times it would take to accomplish a task, Taylor reasoned that it was possible to select the right types of persons who can do a certain job optimally and train them and that they would do it in the most efficient manner. He went around measuring how quickly a job could be done by those who seem to have aptitude for certain jobs and proposed to enable employers hire the best persons to do the said jobs.

For example, how many words would the best typists type in a minute? 100 words a minute is very common among good typists. Some even have typed double that amount. The average typist many type 60 words a minute. Perhaps, those who were meant to work as typists are those who could type 80 or more words a minute? If so, Taylor proposed that employers should hire those best able to do what they needed done.

Taylor called what he was doing scientific management. Although what he was doing is no longer applicable to day’s technology, he, in fact, began the effort to study management in a scientific manner. This is very strange given peoples interest in leadership. Indeed, leadership itself was not really studied until the twentieth century. Even such fields as political science, the study of politics, apart from the scattered writings of a few political philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, etc are a twentieth century phenomenon.

Frederick Taylor was a pioneer and his legacy is that he initiated the study of management as a field of independent study. Mr. Peter Ducker who originally trained as a journalist and political scientist began to write about management in the 1930s. Drucker actually pioneered the academic study of management.

This is amazing for when we go to schools of management like Harvard school of management we tend to think that they have always existed. These schools are, in fact, post Second World War phenomenon. That is, they are less than 100 years old.

A field that is that young, a field that fits into a human being’s life span cannot have developed good traditions and certainly cannot be said to have wisdom in it. No wonder the field of management is filled with passing fads.


After Mr. Taylor, others began to contribute to the field of management. The famous Hawthorn electric power study by Mayo showed that productivity was linked to the environment of work. The women who worked in the plant produced high or low, in accordance with the ambiance of the place. The electric lighting, the color of the walls, the interpersonal atmosphere of the work place and other factors contributed to the efficiency of work. That is to say that whereas Taylor was correct that we could figure out the best way to do something and hire those with aptitude in doing it, to do it well, nevertheless, other factors like ambiance come into play.

Folks like Mouton, Herzberg, Mary Follet, Chris Agyris, W.W. Whyte, David Riesman etc contributed the fact that other factors affected productivity. Those who are doing what they like doing and have aptitude in doing them tend to do them better than others. If a person has interest in what he is doing, he tends to do it better than those who do not have interests in what they are doing.


Abraham Maslow, in his hierarchy of needs study, showed us that people are at different levels in satisfying certain needs we all seem to have. As he sees it, people tend to have five basic needs: physiological, safety, security, social acceptance, self esteem and self actualization.

Self actualizing persons tend to be the most productive persons. But to get to self actualization, the individual must have satisfied his lower order needs. He must have satisfied his physiological needs for food, medications, clothes and shelter. When those are met, the individual must seek to satisfy his security needs. If he feels that he is relatively safe then he worries about social acceptance. Do other people like and accept him? If he feels socially accepted and esteemed he worries about his own self acceptance. Does he like himself or does he have low opinion of himself? If he has what Carl Rogers called positive self regard, he proceeds to ask: what is that I enjoy doing most? Who am I and what does that real me enjoy doing? If he figures out who he is, in fact, and what that real self likes doing, and throws himself into doing it, he tends to be highly productive. In other words, highly productive persons tend to be self realizing and actualizing persons. But before one can be self actualizing one must have satisfied ones basic needs.

(Extrapolating from Maslow’s schema, one can say that Nigerians have not met their physiological, security, and other needs and this probably explains their low productivity?)


Other observers contributed other ideas to management. McGovern (?) believed that there are two types of managerial behavior: those who practice what he called Theory X and those who practice what he called theory Y.

Theory X folks believe that human beings are inherently lazy and as such need to be closely supervised otherwise they would not work hard. Managers who endorse this pattern of management tend to closely monitor what their employees are doing. They tend to punish those who do not do what they are expected to do.

Those who embrace theory Y tend to see human beings as good and as needing little or no supervision. People are said to do the right thing if given the opportunity to do so. Thus, such supervisors tend to delegate power and authority to their subordinates and leave them unsupervised to do what they were hired to do. This does not mean that such supervisors are liaise faire and do not care for productivity, but that they trust their employees to do the right thing. Apparently, there is a self fulfilling prophecy here: people tend to do what you expect of them. Expect them to work hard unsupervised and they do so and expect them to be lazy if not supervised and they are lazy.

In the real world, people combine X and Y tendencies. Workers need supervision and monitoring, they also need to be left alone. It is not an either or situation. If you leave workers alone they probably will be less productive and if you over supervise them they may not be very productive either. Finding the right balance is the art of management.


Fiedler believes that there are essentially two types of managers: task oriented managers and emotion oriented managers.

Task oriented managers enjoy being given tasks and told to go accomplish them. They tend to judge themselves by what they do. Such managers tend to fit well to management by objectives (MBOs). They like to solve problems.

Conversely, are those managers who are over invested in the feelings of their employees? They want to make peace and make every person in the work place feel good about himself or herself. They do their best to get people to become relaxed. Whereas task oriented managers may not even notice the feelings of employees, all they want is that employees do what they are paid to do, emotion oriented managers are invested in how well the employees feel while doing their jobs; they sooth ruffled feathers.

Mary Parker Follet and Herzberg contributed immensely to interpersonal aspect of management theory. They taught managers to make sure that employees get along with each other and taught employers to respect and get along with their employees, for respected employees tend to work harder.

William Ouchi, in the late 1970s, contributed to management theory by showing us how the Japanese managed their businesses and how we could copy a bit of their style. As he saw it, the Japanese are less likely to treat employees as objects to be used and discarded, as is done in the West. Instead, employees are seen as members of the family. The employer sees himself as the parent helping his children, employees, do their jobs well. Ouchi believed that this paternalistic system of management arose from the Japanese tradition of lords and servants. The Samurai and those he led formed a strong bond, working for each other. The lord protected the serfs and the serfs devoted their lives to him.

In the modern Japanese work place, the CEO is the Samurai who protected his employees. He looked after their interests, not only by paying them well but also by caring for their lives outside the work place. As result of this paternal relationship, employees devote themselves to working hard for their boss. They could come to work at 8AM and stay at work till 8PM, doing whatever needs to be done. Indeed, when work is over, they had their quality cycles meeting where they critiqued each other’s work and tried to improve on the quality of their work.

An American, Denning is said to have gone to Japan after the Second World War and taught them what is currently called Total Quality Management. Essentially, this type of management means that every employee sees those he reports to and those that report to him as his customers.

What do customers want? Customers want the best products and services at the least prices. Therefore, the employee produces goods and services that he believes that his customers, those above or underneath him, would appreciate. Every employee treats each other as customer, always striving to produce the best products for his customers and providing the best customer care services he could for other employees. This system is said to be responsible for the high quality of Japanese goods.

There are tons of approaches to management. Most of these are passing fads. Management styles come and go. For a while, the fad was transforming the work place into a democracy, what was called industrial democracy, or participatory democracy. Just imagine a work place where all voted on how to do things. This, on paper, sounds nice. The problems are that not every person equally comes up with good ideas, ideas on new product lines and or new service lines. Those who do not come up with ideas may cling to old ideas, to old product lines and resist making changes, resist investing in new products. They may, in fact, vote against new products. After all, it takes risk to invest energy and resources in new ideas and products.

It is always safe to do things the way they were done in the past. In industrial democracy, one can just see the lazy bums who are always in the majority killing new ideas by voting against them. Simply stated, it is a bad idea to have democracy in the work place.

Max Weber seems correct in stating that we need a hierarchical work organization where the few at the top, the leaders, tell the many at the bottom, the led, what to do. Those with bold ideas will always lead the timid who are afraid to come up with new ideas, new visions, new product lines, new ideas of services to be performed.

In the late 1970s, when I was in graduate school, the fad was called flat organizations. Here, folks wanted to do away with hierarchical organizations and have every employee on the same flat line. Whereas the utopians who dreamed up this nonsense did not do away with leaders, they wanted both leader and led to relate on equal basis. Good. We know that authority must be somewhat distant from the masses otherwise the masses would not accept leadership from it. The idea of flat organizations is now dead.

Then there was the idea of work enrichment. Workers are said to be bored doing routine work, so we must vary their work and give them more interesting things to do. Good idea. The problem is that workers have different skill sets. How are you going to alternate the work of an engineer and that of a janitor? It is simply impossible. How about the work of a brain surgeon and that of a nurse, can you alternate them? How exactly do you enrich jobs? Of course, you can make those doing similar jobs exchange aspects of their jobs, but you really cannot do the same thing where people’s skills are vastly different.

With the arrival of Women’s liberation movement, we were told that women need to have flex time, to come to work at different times, for example. Instead of coming to work at 8AM and leaving at 5PM, as usual, perhaps a woman could come in at 10AM when hr kids are at school, then go home when they are back from school, adjusting her time to what suits her home needs. This is a great idea, except that we run factories (assembly line) on shifts of eight hours and the individual worker is either there or not there to work a shift.

Many fads have been tried in the work place. Yours truly once wrote that since the Igbos are democratic that the work place that would suit them was a democratic one, a participatory work place. That was me in my twenties, full of youthful idealism. Now as a middle aged man, I actually do not think that the Igbos need more but less democracy. The people seem wild and need iron discipline to get them to abide by organizational rules. I want a rigid Weberian, Prussian bureaucracy to discipline the Igbos. Indeed, I want a benevolent dictatorship to whip these unruly people into some sort of shape, to make them behave as organizational men and women (ala W.W Whyte and David Riesman). They talk out of turn and insist on doing their own things and no one listens to any one or takes direction from any one. These people need military type regimentation, not democracy. This is 180 degrees change in my management philosophy. As they say, age and experience does change folks.

Fads aside, management means understanding the goals of an organization and using human and capital resources to achieve those goals. A manager is a professional who comes into an organization, studies and understands its goals, what it was established to do and agrees to achieve those goals as if they were his personal goals. He uses employees and capital resources (money, equipment) to achieve those goals. He manufactures a product, sells it and makes profit for the owners of the business.

Management, I repeat, is effort to use men and material to achieve organizational goals. Management, therefore, entails understanding human psychology, how people behave on the job, in groups and understanding where resources are to be found and obtaining them and using both to achieve organizational goals.

Within that broad definition of management, we can split it into smaller units. Thus we teach students that management entails setting goals, planning to attain those goals, organizing people to attain those goals, (in the language of political correctness coordinating people’s activities, since no one these days says that he uses others lest he seem dictatorial), monitoring the activities of subordinates and making sure that they all do what conforms to attaining the organization’s goals, monitoring finances and how it is obtained and spent, and other such things.

Management means knowing what the organization’s goals are and setting steps to attain them and using men and materials to attain them. If you do not attain the organization’s goals, do not make profit for the owners of capital, your ass is on the street.

Management is not child’s play, it is hardball affairs. It is either you make good or you are shipped out. This is not your mother’s charity house or your father’s army; it is business (or as my Chinese friends tells you, smiling while sticking it to you, no hurt feelings involved, just “bisness”).


Supervisors are those who work directly with line staff and with them achieve their unit’s sub goals within the overall organizational goals. A supervisor is a headworker, a foreman. He does what the rest of the workers are doing but has had more experience than the rest of them and shows them how to do it.

The chair person of an academic department is a supervisor. Hopefully, he has done teaching for a long time and is a tenured professor. He helps the younger professors understand teaching. He himself still teaches, perhaps, two courses per quarter, instead of the expected three courses for full time faculty.

A supervisor is not a manager. In fact, he does not really handle money or make budgetary decisions. The chair of an academic department does not even hire other faculty. The dean does that. The dean is what you might call middle management. He supervises a school and makes hiring decisions and manages the budget of his college. Top management is the president and his vice presidents. Those make the real decisions as to where the organization, university, is going, with the approval of the board of regents, of course.

Supervision entails being able to train those with less experience than one, mentor them and enable them understand the job.

A supervisor must understand the job being done, so that he teaches others how to do it. He may or may not have high leadership skills. High leadership skills entails the ability to posit goals, vision, and establish an organization to pursue that goal, obtain people and resources to achieve that goal and motivate people as they work towards that goal.


Management is often seen as that which happens in the private sector. We call public sector managers administrators. I was never able to understand this distinction until it occurred to me that public sector managers, read administrators, did not set the goals they pursued, nor can they modify those goals. The political sector, the legislators, president and even judiciary sets the goals that public civil servants attempt to achieve.

That not withstanding, a manager is a manager whether he is called administrator or something else.

Every person, including politicians, ought to understand management: how to set goals and devise ways to achieve them, using men and materials. As I see it, politicians are public managers and ought to understand management.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 8, 2005

Posted by Administrator at 01:42 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #26: Introduction to Human Resources

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- Human resources management is generally considered the easiest part of management. Indeed, until recently it was considered a clerical and not a managerial function. Owners of business, especially factories used to stand by the door to their factories and said, you, you and you and that was all there was to hiring people. Just as they hired whoever they wanted they fired whomever they wanted to fire, no questions asked.

Perhaps the business owner did not like your look or for some reasons did not like your personality or the way you looked at him or the way he felt uncomfortable around you and you were out of the door. You had no recourse to any one for redress.

It was only in the 1930s that in the USA Congress began passing employment laws that made labor less discard-able (the Wagner Act that established the National Labor Relations Board and set the eight hour work day and overtime after that).

Human resource management is the section of the business enterprise that locates and hires qualified staff for the business. Every business has its own specialized employee needs.

Consider hospitals. It needs medical doctors (of many specialties), nurses and technicians to operate the bewildering array of equipments used in modern hospitals. Where is these specialized staff to be found? How many doctors are around town seeking employment? How many of them are specialists in say brain surgery, in Nigeria? If they are not around and you build a neurosurgery unit and want some one to operate on the brain, where do you go to find and hire him?

Are local university teaching hospitals producing brain surgeons? How much do these surgeons cost, $200 an hour? Do you have that kind of money to hire brain surgeons and have those on board or do you need to ship your patients who require brain surgery to other hospitals where brain surgery is performed?

The Human Resources Department ascertains the labor needs of employers and where they can be found. It finds out how much such labor costs (compensation) and whether the labor is willing to locate to the location where the employer does business. Take our brain surgeons. Would they want to live in the boonies, such as Owerri, or would they want to live in vibrant cities with university life, a place where they have access to the latest scientific information on the nature of the brain? If neurosurgeons are leery to live at Owerri, perhaps, there is something that human resources could do to still attract them to Owerri? How about increasing their pay? Or paying them to go to Lagos and Abuja for training, every quarter?

Human resources advertise vacancies in a business. Receives applications. Screens them and selects qualified persons for interview. The rule of the thumb is to invite five qualified applicants to interview for each available job.

The human resource manager does not do the interviewing herself (most of the people that do this job are women, so we might as well refer to them as women, this job category does not usually appeal to men since it is largely record keeping). The human resource person invites qualified applicants to an interview.

She then schedules them to be interviewed by the hiring manager, the manger or supervisor of the unit where such a person would be working.

If it is a low level position, the unit supervisor may do the entire interview by himself, perhaps, with the human resources staff sitting in. He ranks all five applicants and perhaps invites the top two for another round of interviews. Then he makes his selection decision. The person selected is informed by the human resources clerk and comes in for orientation.

For higher level positions, interviews are generally done by a team/panel interviews. The unit manager and other persons(sometimes you include one line staff in such interviews, if only to humor line staff that they are participating in making hiring decisions). The team, usually about five persons go around asking prepared questions. They rank all applicants on how they responded to them. The top two is invited to go see the hiring manager of the unit and he makes the final decision.

(In the USA, if you are black, you have probably gone through what we call employment wars. I cannot begin telling you how many times panels recommended me to the president of a university for hiring and he did not hire me. Why? There are jobs that are considered off limits to blacks at white universities. If you are black you can only go so far in racist America’s academia. Oh, every once in a while, they would have a token black vice president, such as Condoleezza Rice at Stanford University, but that is tokenism.)

When the hiring decision is made, the new employee comes in and fills out employment forms and the human resources personnel goes over with him the company’s policies and have him sign off that he received the policies handbook and understood what was written in it. He is then oriented to most aspects of the company’s operations. This may take two weeks. Thereafter, he is let lose to do the job he is hired to do.

He is placed on probation for six months, after which he is evaluated and if found satisfactory is retained, and if not, he is let go. He could be let go at any time during probation, satisfactory or not. (You are in slave-land and the slave master decides whether he is going to have you stick around or not. You had better please the man, if you want bread on your table. Please the man, keep your job and develop heart attack from repressed anger.)

Human resource keeps records on employees. This includes hiring records, benefits materials (health insurance, 401Ks, pensions etc), evaluations by supervisors, and letters of reprimands and so on.

Human sources are responsible for employee training. Every job category requires on-going training. Most businesses offer on the job training and off site training. Medical doctors, for example, must continually go receive training on new medical procedures and on how to prescribe new medications.

Human resources make sure that employees get their training needs up to date. Professionals are often required to have certain continuing education units, CEUs to be able to renew their licenses and must, therefore, be constantly trained.

I began this lecture by saying that in the past business owners used to hire and fire at will. Well, there are now umpteen laws that attempt to tell employers what to do with their employees. These personnel laws are known to human resources personnel and they advise supervisors on these laws, so that they could better deal with their troublesome employees.

Human resources are so filled with laws that it almost takes lawyers to be good human resource managers.

Human resources are increasingly becoming specialized. Within it are recruiters, compensation specialists, training specialists, organizational developers and all sorts of specialists. As we shall see when we deal with organizational psychology, human resources really boils down to figuring out ways to work well with human beings and use them to achieve organizational goals and not alienate them.

Human resources personal do such things as write each job’s description, job specification. What is expected of each position in an organization’s chart is specified. A position in an organization is a set of roles expected of that position and the employee is fitted into the role and must know what is expected of him and do them. If not he is let go.

Human resources folks go about the business asking those who actually do the jobs what they do and then write up what each position does and when a new employee is hired, he is given his job description, job specification etc and signs that he received it hence knows what he is supposed to do, what doing he would be evaluated for.

These days’ human resources handle employee benefits records. If the company has health insurance, the personnel manager manages it, that is, interfaces with the insurance company providing it. If the company has dental plan, the human resource folks manage it. If the company has pension plans, the human resource folks manage it. All these are essentially clerical functions.

The vice president of human resources attends the management team meetings. He gives management feedback on where to obtain qualified labor, its compensation and how that affects management’s future expansion plans.

If you are planning to build an engineering school, you had better know whether there are qualified engineers to teach at it and whether there are students with strong background in mathematics, physics and chemistry available to go to your school. Management needs to know about these things before it expends money in wide goose chasing.

It is probably unlikely that Nigeria has the capacity for nuclear physics and engineering in more than a few centers in the country, given the low level of the country’s technology, and poor education system. How many Nigerian students are versed in physics and mathematics? Does any one even keep such records?

Human resource managers almost always attend this or that meeting with technical managers, in other units, and with top management. These people are record keepers and their services seem invaluable.

However, it must be noted that in small businesses the owner is generally the human resource manager! In small sole proprietorships, even partnerships resources are not available to have human resource managers. At best, one trusted secretary is mandated with the task of human resources, while still doing her clerical duties.

Human resource is increasingly becoming a managerial function. But in the meantime, it performs mostly record keeping functions and, in as much as some one has to perform this task it seems necessary.


Public managers ought to know something about how their human resources departments hire people. Are they hiring employees on objective grounds, those who are qualified, or are they hiring on the bases of subjective reasons such as bribery, nepotism? What constitutes qualification? Are there validity and reliability studies indicating that the tests used in hiring employees, in fact, select qualified ones?

If you hire those who bribe you but who are not qualified for their jobs, the chances are that they would not be able to do their jobs well. Consider the Nigerian Electrical Power Authority. Do they have qualified electrical engineers at that ridiculous outfit? If so, how come electricity goes out just about every day? Poor capacity to generate the necessary electrical volume to service a developing economy? Okay. How about planning? How much electricity is needed for a population of 100 million persons? I suppose that there are mathematicians in Nigeria who can figure such things out? If so, can Nigeria’s electrical need be planned for? Can adequate generating capacity be purchased and constructed? Can the right number of technicians be hired? Can the right inputs be made to the system in general? The answer to all these is, of course, yes. But in Nigeria we hire people who cannot do anything well just because they are related to us. Then they do not do their jobs right and every thing brakes down and we seem surprised.

What do you expect? Garbage in garbage out. If you hire garbage the product you receive is garbage.

Every manager ought to know some thing about human resources management. The field tends to appeal to clerical oriented persons who like to keep records. Task oriented persons who want to use people to accomplish goals tend to go into other areas of management.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Posted by Administrator at 01:36 PM | Comments (0)

To Professor Akpan with Thanks

by Uche Nworah (London, UK) --- I still believe that our encounter with Prof. Emmanuel David Akpan was pre-destined, that God had placed him at the University of Uyo to bless us with his wisdom, and to give hope and pride back to us. I remember vividly our first lectures with him, in the Communication Arts studio it must have been.

How he started by running Prof. Emmanuel David Akpanus through his undergraduate days at the San Francisco State University, he wanted to let the class see that he had also been through life’s journey and that we could really achieve whatever we wanted to achieve.

He may not have known it then, but his regular pre-lesson pep talks did help keep our feet on the ground, having journeyed through our teenage years at the mercy of the almighty Joint Admissions & Matriculation Board (JAMB), some of us came to Uyo as frustrated students, because Unilag, OAU (then Unife), UNN, UI and all the other ‘Ivy League’ universities in Nigeria had seemed out of reach.

He made us all to appreciate the Uniuyo (then Unicross) that we had, and encouraged us to work hard and excel, that way we would help to raise the profile of the University. He narrated how he had to leave his lecturing jobs first at UNN, and then Unical to come to ‘obscure’ Unicross to help found the Communication Arts department. Teachers like him don’t come any more in dozens; he was a true communication scholar, alongside the other communication scholars of his generation, the likes of Prof. Frank Okwu Ugboajah, Prof. Onuora Nwuneli, Prof. Solomon Unoh and Prof Ikechukwu Nwosu. If there was ever a Nigerian version of, I am sure that the praises of the many students, whose lives he touched will easily fill the columns.

He was one of the old school teachers; he believed in what he was doing, and had so much joy in helping his students come through, he believed so much in the future, the future of his students. For this reason, all through our 4 year degree programme, he never sold, nor caused to be sold any handouts in his name, a practice that was prevalent at the time.

Though he was a professor, but that didn’t affect his teaching style, he still regarded himself as a teacher, I remember the lecture we had with him on the topic synergy, he couldn’t have explained the concept any better with his pot of soup and ingredients example. I used to marvel at the fluidity of his thoughts, and the simplicity of the examples he used, tapping from everyday things to explain difficult concepts. He did not revel in academic jargons or big grammar, something the academic world is known for.

This was obviously as a result of his simple nature, attired usually in native adire clothes, he was always reachable, we didn’t need any protocols to see him, he didn’t mind our stopping him on the sidewalks and discussing any issues. I remember also how he wouldn’t be dragged into some of the university politics at the time, especially over the deanship of the faculty of arts (a position he eventually occupied) and the ASUU/Babangida/Jubril Aminu crises; one of his expressions then was ‘let me quietly go about my business’.

He couldn’t understand the madness and irrationality of what was going on at the time. Injustice inflicted on man by man.

It was from him that we learnt about and experienced positive marking, he judged the students more on their potentials, he recognised that students sometimes have their bad days, and so may not perform well in tests, quizzes and exams. This was at a time that most lecturers took pride in branding students as failures, never-do-wells, olodos etc. These types of lectures took joy in failing students, they had no issues in awarding a zero out of ten marks for a student’s effort, and then would throw in the icing by drawing in human eyes, and a big smile inside the zero. For these lecturers, such tactics opened opportunities for them to prey on female students or to engage in sorting.

I have carefully preserved this particular test script which he marked in my first year; his comments on my performance couldn’t have come at a better time, he had asked us to explain what we understood by the phrase; man can not, not communicate, having spent half of the time, scratching my head, and looking up to the heavens for help and inspiration, I was surprised at the six marks I scored out of a maximum ten marks, but still more surprised at his encouraging comments; I could see some hope in you, keep it up, he wrote.

Most of our teachers thrive in a culture of condemnation, praise is not anywhere in their dictionaries, not Prof. Akpan. Janet Jackson, the American R & B singer once confessed in an interview that despite her success, she was still hunted by her high school teacher’s comments; the teacher had repeatedly told her that she would never amount to anything in her life. What a difference Professor Akpan’s positive approach made in our lives.

Though it’s now 10 years since he passed on, I want to thank him and to tell him that I enjoyed being his student, he is indeed one of the best teachers that I ever had. His many students scattered all over the world are indeed flying the flag of their Alma matter and proudly carrying the torch lighted by him and the others.

Now that I have also become an academic, I draw lots of inspiration from his style, I assess the students based on what is there, rather than looking for what is not there, this is something several teachers, lecturers or what ever name they prefer to be called these days should seriously consider, especially this one lecturer I once had who seemed to have a penchant for terrorising students, imagine telling me on the first day of his course lectures that no matter how hard I tried, that I wasn’t going to pass the course.

Hopefully, one day all Prof. Akpan’s past students would be able to pay a more befitting tribute to this great teacher.

In memory of the late Professor Emmanuel David Akpan (Etok Emman) 1938 - 1995

Uche Nworah studied Communication Arts at the University of Uyo.

Posted by Administrator at 01:35 PM | Comments (2)

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #25: Introduction to Business Operations

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- So far, we have talked about the types of businesses, how businesses are financed and how the products of businesses are marketed (sold). Now let us focus on what most people call the most technical aspect of business, the operations of business on a day to day basis.

Businesses exist to do something, operations or productions management tell us how they go about doing what they exist to do on the day to day basis. Since there are different types of businesses and different businesses do different things, it follows that their operations would be somewhat different. Be that as it may, there are commonalities in what businesses do, day to day.

What engineering and manufacturing firms do daily is different from what banks do on a day to day basis. Nevertheless, operations/productions managers perform related tasks. Let us look at some of these tasks in a cursory manner. The reader who is interested in productions management must take courses in it. It also helps if he has a technical degree in a line of business where he wants to produce something. Obviously, a person with engineering degree would work in the productions of electricity, a person with degree in finance and banking would work in banking operations, a person with marketing degree would work in a retailing, and a person with a doctorate degree would work in producing knowledge (teaching students at a university). Productions management requires technical education in the area one wants to produce and manage something.

We shall make this lecture realistic and not merely academic, by using examples from the real world. Consider a retail store. What goes on in a retail store? First of all, there must be space for the store to store its goods in. Some one must design that space and or rent one that suits retail operations. Not all buildings are suitable for selling merchandise. The store must be designed in a specific manner.

Immediately engineering and architecture comes to mind. Engineers and architects design the buildings and floor plans of stores, factories and offices. In doing their design, they must take into consideration what my old business studies adviser at UCLA, Professor Louis Davis, used to call sociotechnical systems.

Buildings, machines etc must be designed to accommodate production technology, as well as human needs. It is not an either or design but both. The machines must be such that they efficiently manufacture what the business man wants to manufacture and must also accommodate human needs. Human beings are biological and psychological organisms. They operate best in certain environments. The famous Hawthorn electrical power plant experiment in the 1920s teaches us that workers productivity is affected by the ambience of their environment. Seeming minor issues as the color of the paint on the wall of an office and or factory affects the psychology of workers and that in turn affects their productivity.

You walk into a room and it is painted red and that reminds you of blood in an accident scene, so you feel uptight and, if you are tense your efficiency is reduced. Such things as lightening in an office, whether there are plants in the office etc affect workers morale and productivity. Socio-technical systems attempts to design machines, office space etc in such a manner that both machines and human needs are served.

The design of machines and the technology for producing what the business exists to produce is obviously the realm of technicians. Engineers and architects design office buildings, stores for retailing, factory buildings etc. We, therefore, need not dwell on this technical subject other than to say that the design must be such that production is optimized.

If the equipment for producing what you want to produce is not good enough or is old and dated, obviously, you must modernize it. Every factory, equipment has a life span when it is able to do what it is designed to do. A typical car may run well for ten years, after which the wear and tear on its parts makes it break down. The same goes for machines for producing goods, and the same goes for office space and the equipments in offices (computers generally last less than three years before they are outdated and must be discarded and or updated).


Production requires bringing in raw materials and transforming them into finished products. You bring in raw materials and add labor and operations to them and produce new products. The new products are then shipped out to be sold. So where is the raw material for producing the business products going to come from?

Consider refineries. They exist to transform crude oil into the gasoline (and other petroleum derived products) that motorist use in driving their cars. Where is oil to be found and obtained? In the USA, oil is mostly found in the South (Texas, California, Louisiana, Oklahoma etc and in the frigid north, Alaska). Given where the raw material, crude oil, is found, where should refineries be built? Should they be built close to the source of raw materials or should those raw materials be shipped somewhere that production cost could be cheaper, close to the consumers of the final product, the market?

Many of the refineries in the USA are located in the Golf states, and in California and Alaska. These states have the added advantage in that imported crude oil is off loaded in their sea ports and piped to the various refineries where they are refined and then shipped inlands.

It should also be noted that the southern USA is the poorest part of the country. Labor cost is relatively cheap in the south. This means that refineries would have less labor cost than if they had manufactured their oil in high labor costing areas like the Seattle area (a place with the highest concentration of university educated persons in the country, hence it tends to have high tech industries like Microsoft, Boeing, Cancer research facilities etc.)

In Nigeria, most of the oil is obtained in the Nigeria Delta region. We have refineries in the Delta region, Port Harcourt and Warri. We also have refineries in the North.

It would seem to make economic strategic sense to spread refineries to the North, so as to avoid concentrating the source of oil in one area. For example, suppose all the refineries are in Ijawland and Ijaw youths go on rampage and destroy them all; if there are no refineries in the hinterland, Nigeria would immediately go into an economic crisis. Thus, whoever had the foresight to build oil refineries in the North seem to have thinking going on in his brain? Thinking is a rare phenomenon in Nigeria; Nigerian policy planners do not seem to have the ability to think at all; thinking is not their cup of tea. Our leaders exist to chop and grow fat tummies and die from cardiovascular diseases but not to do anything substantial for their people.

In making decisions as to where to locate factories, many economic factors are taken into consideration, including such things as location, cost of labor, location of raw materials, transportation of raw materials to factory site, markets for finished products etc. Again, this is not a technical paper, so suffice it to say that the productions management entails such things as deciding where factories are located and how those factories are constructed and run on a day to day basis.

Raw materials cost money. Businesses often do not have lots of money lying around. Therefore, decisions must be made as to how to buy raw materials. Do you purchase large quantities of raw materials and store them for future usage or do you import them little at a time? If you imported large quantities of raw materials and stored them, suppose something happened to them? Think of hurricane, even theft. What would then happen? You would have lost millions of dollars worth of inventory. Moreover, it costs money to store goods and protect them.

Would it not be nice to arrange with supplies of raw materials to just bring to you what you need on a weekly basis, so that you avoid the cost of buying large quantizes, avoid storage costs and avoid possible loss due to damage from man made or natural disasters? Think of the recent hurricane in New Orleans, if large quantities of crude oil were stored near refineries and the storage tanks were damaged and the oil wasted, think of the cost to the owners of the refineries. On the other hand, if the refineries contain only small quantizes of crude oil, enough to keep the refineries going on, for, say a month at a time, natural disaster would not produce enormous loss.

IN AND OUT. Raw materials come in and are used to produce products and the products are immediately shipped out to wholesalers and other distribution outlets. This is the ideal situation. You receive the right quantities of raw materials, use them to do production and immediately ship out your finished products to be sold. If you stored your products in your storage you run the risk of loosing them in fire and other disasters hence incurring unnecessary financial loss.

Businesses do not have the money to invest in large quantities of inventory, in this case, products, and have them lying around. If you produce something and immediately ship it out to wholesalers, those assume the cost of storing them. And if they are smart they immediately ship them to retailers, who immediately sell them.

This all sounds clean and nit. Unfortunately, life is not always that simple. Many factors affect what companies can or cannot do. Consider transportation. Is the transportation system in the country efficient? If you can count on trains bringing to your factory the raw materials that you need to produce your goods at any time you want it, you can afford the in and out inventory system. But suppose that you are in Nigeria where the trains run whenever they want to, and the roads are death traps, and you could not count that the raw materials you ordered would be there in a year’s time, what should you do? Order a lot and store them? If so, risk incurring the costs mentioned above?

In the former Soviet Union, the system of distribution of goods was so poor that farmers would harvest their products, say potatoes, and have no easy way of getting them to the markets, so that they rot in their barnyards. If the distribution methods are fine, the farm products immediately go to wholesalers, who immediately send them to retail outlets and no potatoes are allowed to rut in a farmer’s barnyard.

Consider a bank. You go into a bank to make a banking transaction. You deposit your money and or withdraw money from your already existing account. This requires your interfacing with the bank’s tellers. (Even in the age of ATM we still have to deal with human beings, tellers.) Perhaps, you went to a bank to borrow money. This requires your interfacing with the bank’s loan officers. Perhaps, you went to the bank to buy bonds (bonds the bank is selling on behalf of the local government) and this often requires your interfacing with the financial section of the bank (stockbrokers).

These are the typical operations of a bank. The bank’s operations manger is responsible for coordinating the activities of the line workers doing depositing, cashing, withdrawing, lending work etc. The operations manager is responsible for the money coming into the bank and the money going out of the bank.

Now consider a typical academic unit at a university. Its operations and productions management entails the professors teaching their subjects to their students and the chair persons of the various academic departments coordinating the professors’ actives. The chair of the department is a supervisor and supervises the activities of his colleagues, as well as the clerical staff of the department. The chair person, in turn, reports to the dean of his college. The dean reports to the Provost/vice president who coordinates all the academic colleges of the University. The provost (also called vice president, academic affairs) reports to the president of the University. Several other persons report to the president of the university, including the vice president of finance, vice president of human resources etc.

The salient point is that operations and productions management entails doing what the business exists to do, producing its products. The products are then sold by the marketing department. The production of the product is financed with money obtained by the finance department. The accounting department keeps records of how revenue comes in and out of the productions department.

The productions manager works with the marketing, financial, and human resources managers to make sure that they do what they are supposed to be doing in their business.

Consider a store manager. He must understand many things: who delivers the goods that he sales (his inventory), when do they do so? How does he take ownership of what they delivered? How are they stocked in the stores shelves: by his staff or the deliverer’s staff? What does he do with items that are not selling quickly, hence occupying store shelf space? Space has cost attached to it. How long should he permit a product to be on a shelf before he removes it as not demanded by the buyers? Shipping and handling issues. How to get customers into the store by reducing the price of certain products (while raising the price of others (You advertise that you are selling orange juice at rock bottom prices; that attracts people into the store. They buy dirt cheap orange juice but hopefully they also go to the produce and meat sections and buy vegetables and meat. You mark up the prices of vegetables and meat etc to cover the loss you took in reducing the priced of orange juice).

I will not go into detailed discussion of specific operations management in this lecture. The subject is fascinating and you ought to study it, if only for the heck of doing so.

Leaders, be they in business or in politics, ought to understand how businesses manage their productions department. A leader ought to have lots of knowledge of how his economy works and that includes what goes on in business operations.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Posted by Administrator at 01:22 PM | Comments (0)

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #24: Introduction to Marketing

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji (Seatle, Washington) --- A business produces something (goods and or services) and must sell it to make profit hence remain in business.

An intellectual produces ideas and must sell his ideas to those who desire them to make profits, with which he survives; otherwise he has to go get another job to be able to pay his bills. Some of the so-called intellectuals produce what there are no markets for, and, therefore, cannot sell anything and realistically should not make a living. But instead of going to do what there are markets for, they attach themselves to universities and persuade the taxpayers to believe that they need what they teach to become educated.

Thus, they teach students stuff like philosophy that has no market for it. Their products, graduates, cannot obtain jobs with what they taught them. Unless those who graduated from your field can obtain jobs with what they learned from you, the university has no business paying you to teach what you teach. Of course, you can establish your own academy and teach whatever you want to teach and if there are those willing to come to you and pay you for your services despite the fact that they have no market value that is fine. But tax payers have no business supporting professors who teach subjects that there is no market (demand) for.


Marketing studies the market for goods and services. It asks questions like: is there demand for this good and or service? And if so, where is that demand to be found? What kinds of people demand the goods and or services produced by a company? Young people, middle aged people, old people, and children? Where do they live? What is their gender? What are their income levels? How can they be reached, through peers, radio, newspapers, TV, internet, high brow magazines, and low brow magazines such as tabloids, scientific journals like Nature?


Marketing responds to the above questions and depending on the answers designs goods and services for the appropriate markets. If marketing studies had asked the right questions, and did good marketing research, surveys, and ascertains where the market for a proposed good and or service is, then the producer (supplier) targets that market and sells to it.

Marketing has fancy names such as target market, market segmentation, demographics and so on and so forth. Those are interesting names but they are not particularly helpful in this lecture. In this introductory lecture, what we need to know is that a company sets about to produce a certain good or service and knows that it must sell it and make profits to stay in business. The company must, therefore, ascertain whether there is a market for what it wants to produce or not. Sophisticated corporations undertake market researches and surveys. But the sole proprietor seldom has the resources to undertake sophisticated surveys to find out where his target market is. Instead, he goes with his experience, his hunch as to where he thinks that the market for his goods and or services is. His hunch, if he is any good, is often as good as the findings of professional marketers.

Let us assume that one wants to produce “Bell bottom blue jeans with flair legs”. Who is most likely going to wear this type of pants/trousers? The answer is very simple: young persons under age thirty. One can pretty much predict with a measure of accuracy that those between ages fifteen and thirty are more likely to wear bell bottom pants than folks in their forties and above.

Where are folks in that age range found? They are generally found in secondary schools, universities and technical schools and at the lower ends of career lives. Some of these people still live at home with their parents; others are out on university campuses and college towns in general. If they are working, they are more likely to live in apartments (flats) rather than single family homes. Apartments are more likely to be in the inner city or near it than in the suburbs.

All the above statements are generalizations and, as we all know, there are always exceptions to every general rule.

What is the income level of folks between ages 15-30? Generally, not very high incomes. Of course, some persons at the higher end of this age group are done with formal schooling and are already medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, and so on but, by and large, they are still making entry level wages. It takes years of working in ones chosen profession before one makes the big bucks.

We can also assume that this age group is most likely to be the most educated in extant society. Every generation, so far, tends to be more educated than those preceding it. The present generation, those under thirty, is the most technology savvy generation mankind has ever produced. Most of them were raised on the Internet and know a lot about it.

When all these factors are added up, the producer pretty much knows where his market is. The next question is how many persons are in that market and how many in that market would buy bell bottoms? Not all young persons would buy bell bottoms. There are those from conservative homes where they were told that such pants are associated with musicians and artists and that those are losers in society. There are parents who raise their children to dress in a conservative manner. These young persons are most likely to be found wearing business suits and if in academia, wearing khaki pants, white shirts, tires and jackets. There are young persons who look like they came out of the 1950s crew cut generation.

The point is that not every one in a general market would buy a company’s products. Markets are segmented. The marketer identifies what segments of a market would buy the goods and or services a company is producing.

What is the income available to this market to spend on the proposed goods or services? Can this market afford to buy the goods? Every product takes money to produce it and therefore has a selling price range, selling at which the producer makes profits or breaks even. A bell bottom pant probably would sell for $25 a pair. Do the persons in the age range likely to buy it likely to afford twenty-five bucks for a pant? Smackaroos don’t come easy, you know.

If you targeted the twenty something year old with a Rolls Royce that sold for over $250, 000, the fact is that there will be very few buyers. Aside from a few musicians and sports persons that make that kind of money, the average young person is struggling to survive, and is making survival wage or is at entry level wage in his chosen profession. If you are selling a sports car that sold $25,000 dollars, now you are talking real business, not fantasy.

Bell bottoms will sell in certain markets not others. But then again other variables enter the picture. Fashion comes and goes. Yesterday’s fashion does not appeal to today’s persons. In the future, fashions from yesterday may return, but in the present people are not interested in yesterday’s fashion.

People want something new and different (is there anything new and different under the sun?). My generation, the 1970s, wore bell bottom pants. Then that went out of fashion in the 1980s. In the 2000s bell bottom pants came back in fashion. But, curiously, now it is in vogue with young women and not with young men. At least, I see young college age women wearing bell bottoms with flares but not college aged men wearing them, as we did in the 1970s.

What is up with that? (I am deliberately using slang, for marketers must speak in the people’s language, not the pretentious high brow language of unproductive academe.) I do not know the answer, other than to say that there is no logical reason for fashion.

Fashion has to do with taste and there is no debating why people have the tastes they have. Fashion is what people desire and one cannot explain it rationally.

Perhaps, marketers cleverly marketed bell bottoms to girls but not to boys? And if that is the case why not? Could it be that boys are in a rebellious mood and one way to show their rebellion is to wear pants that are drooping off from the wearer’s waists?

This generation is so controlled that one of the few avenues young men have for rebelling against society is to wear grungy pants that seem to tell adults: I do not care to conform to your dress codes?

Marketing studies the market and ascertains where the market for businesses products will sell. Having done market studies and pretty much decided where the market is, it decides how much money is to be made in that market. How many bell bottoms would be sold? The quantity to be sold, and what price each is sold tells the producer whether he would cover the cost of producing the pants and still make profits.

All businesses want to reach their break even points and make profits. If profit is not to be made, why bother with producing the goods and or services to be sold?


Marketers further study the way and manner in which the goods would be marketed. There are many forms of distribution: whole sellers, retailers etc. These are technical subjects that we need not bother with here. Suffice it to say that goods have to be brought from the producer to the buyer. In the case of bell bottoms, probably the producer sells his finished pants to a whole seller who then sells them to retailers in certain geographic areas.

The wholesaler goes to the producer and buys his pants in bulk and ships them to retail clothing shops in different parts of the country. Wholesalers have skills in distribution management that we cannot possibly cover here.

Suppose one is in the book writing businesses. One writes a book. One gets a publisher to publish it. The publisher distributes the book through whole sellers who, in turn, distribute it to retailers, and the books are sold in neighborhood bookstores. (In the USA, a few bookstores now pretty much do most of the book selling business, Barns and Noble book stores and Borders bookstores. On the internet, sells books too.)


Marketing goods and services involves making buyers aware of the availability of such goods and services. This entails advertising. There is no use producing goods if one does not let those who could buy them know that such goods exist. Thus, goods and or services must be advertised for the general public to know about them.

Advertising is done in many ways, including word of mouth, newspapers (classified pages) magazines, radio, television, Internet, billboards, posters, in our bell bottoms example, dressing the youths that others look up to in bell bottoms (Michael Jordon wearing Nike shoes) so as to get their age cohorts to want to dress like them and go buy such pants.

Advertising can be very expensive. Moreover, different media has different costs. A page of the New York Times could cost thousands of dollars, whereas a page of a local newspaper may cost only a few hundred dollars. It all depends on the newspaper’s reach, how many people buy it and the geographic area it reaches. People all over the USA do read the New York Times and would be exposed to whatever is advertised in it, whereas an advertisement in the Seattle Times reaches only folks in the Seattle Metropolitan area (about two and half million people; the paper’s circulation is in the hundreds of thousands).

In the past, folks used to rely on radio for their news. (Many folks still listen to radio, particularly music radio.) Therefore, they were more likely to hear about classified ads on radio. As far as I know, these days folks mainly listen to radio for music. Different folks listen to different radio stations, depending on their choice of music. Older folks may listen to classical music stations, whereas younger persons may listen to rap music stations. The implication is that the marketer advertises where he thinks that his market, audience is.

(What would be the radio station that a business person marketing bell bottom pants advertise in? Considering that the young wear rebellious clothes and listen to hip hop music, what radio station would appeal to those who want to wear retro 1970s bell bottoms?)

Television is a market that pretty much reaches most people. But most people are not at home during the day watching television. The average man gets up in the morning and prepares to go to work. He may or may not turn the TV on to listen to the news (CNN) as he prepares to go to work. He drives about an hour to reach his work place. He works about nine hours (lunch time included) and drives another hour to get home. He gets home around 6PM and socializes with his family. He may or may not watch the evening news. The chances are that he watches the evening news.

Advertising during the evening hours, 6-9PM is most likely to reach many TV watchers. This means that TV stations are most likely to charge high advertising prices during this so-called prime time. And since this is family time, with children watching TV, not everything can be advertised during this time. Obviously, salacious subjects, especially those with sexual content are not likely to be advertised in the evening (at 1-5AM, may be, for during this time children are sleeping).

Would TVs advertise bell bottoms during prime times? The answer is probably yes, but not in all markets. In the Bible belt, it is probable that the bible thumping people would oppose their children wearing what reminds them of the age of Hippies. Bell bottom pants have the connotation of loose sexuality (remember the free sex era of the 1970s?) and some persons easily associate those pants with sexual looseness and would not want them won around them. Christian fundamentalist churches probably would not want their members wearing such pants?

Young persons are more likely to be computer savvy. Since it is young persons that are more likely to wear bell bottoms, it follows that advertising bell bottoms on the Internet would seem to make sense, wouldn’t you think so? Turn on you computer and go to any search engine and see a good looking young man in a bell bottom and that image is programmed into your head and the next time you go clothes shopping you make “free choice” and buy bell bottoms?

Bell bottom clad young men in beautiful posters splashed all over town is one way to advertise bell bottoms. Bell bottom clad young men splashed in newspapers, magazines and other print media will obviously reach people, particularly if they are published in newspapers and magazines that young people read (college newspapers, Rolling Stones, music magazines etc).

You get the point: goods and services must be advertised in the right medium for the target audience to be aware of them and buy them.

Advertising costs money, so where is that money going to come from? Those glitzy looking pictures in popular magazines cost lots of dough to prepare and publish them. So where is a company to obtain the money for its advertising?

Generally, small businesses do not have large advertising budgets, if they have any at all. Big corporations have big budgets for advertising.

A beer commercial during the super bowl football game for a minute, alone is going to break the budget of many small businesses. So what to do?

Produce goods and services that ones hunch tells one that there is a market for it and do whatever one can do to bring it to the awareness of the public, and hopefully one sells some of them. Only time will determine what would eventually sell and what would not sell. The cost of advertising should not scare the small business person away from producing what he thinks that there is a market for.

Entrepreneurship is all about taking risks. If you have a good product/service and take the risks in producing it and somehow get it to buyers, the chances are that you will sell it. It may take some time before you sell a lot of the product but whoever makes a good mouse trap eventually finds buyers coming to his door steps, but he must have persistence.

As Jimmy Cliff used to sing to my 1970s generation: you can get it if you really want it, but you must try, try and try. Those who give up easily seldom make it in life.

Endurance, persistence and having a good product and or service are what pay off in the long run.


My goal in this lecture is not to provide you with thorough information on marketing management. You need several semesters training in the field to understand the subject and working in it to become well versed in it.

My goal is very basic. I want you to know that if you have something to sell that somehow you must ascertain that there is a market for what you want to sell. Remember your secondary school economics: supply and demand? As a business person, you are the supplier of goods, services or ideas. (If you are a teacher you sell ideas). Is there a market for what you supply? Are there people out there willing to pay you money for your goods, services and ideas? If so, where are they and how much are they willing to pay for it?

How much would it cost you to get your product to them (middle man costs)? If you add production costs and middle man costs would you still make profits? You figure all these things out before you even produce the product.

Political leaders are like business men and women. They must understand the economy and know what the people demand.

What do Nigerians want their government to do for them? It is self evident that among other things, that Nigerians desire that their government be realistically structured. They seem to desire a true federation where each ethnic group, so-called tribe, is a state, making for a country with about twenty states.

If the Nigerian government is truly a government, it would supply what the people demand. For example, Nigerians demand free public education, at all levels; free medical health insurance, good roads, electricity for all Nigerians, and good water for all Nigerians.

Politicians, that is, public managers, if they are worth their name, ought to seek ways to supply to the people what they demand. If you supply what the people demand, they will pay for it. If you build good roads people will pay taxes to maintain them. If you build schools parents will send their children to them and pay to maintain them through property taxes; if you build hospitals people will support them through income taxes and so on.

What we have in Nigeria is a failure of will. We do not have leaders in Nigeria. We have chicken masquerading as men (leaders). If these idiots were true leaders, existence gave them the best opportunity to achieve great things for their people.

Imagine the struggle to provide electricity for all Nigerians, building dams every where; power plants every where and so on. These are challenging and exciting tasks and ought to give men a sense of being alive and doing something worthwhile. We have the greatest opportunity to build things and instead we fool around wasting our oil money over seas.

One hopes that sometime our politicians would realize what their function is supposed to be and fulfill it. Their job description is to find out what the people demand and supply them through making public policy choices and finding ways for paying for them.

Politicians make laws and public policies that reflect the people’s public opinion and figure out ways to pay for them (such as taxes, growing the economy etc). Politicians must understand the basics of marketing management. They do not need to become professional marketers, but they need to learn how to figure out what the market, the people, demand and supply them.

My objective in this lecture is to help us understand how we can pay attention to what Nigerians demand of their leaders and produce and deliver them to Nigerians. In doing so, we become real leaders of our people.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Posted by Administrator at 01:07 PM | Comments (1)

November 04, 2005

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #23: Introduction to Accounting

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- Those who consider themselves as intellectuals generally find accounting uninteresting. I can speak for myself, I found the subject boring. In fact, I often fell asleep in accounting classes. The subject is simply too realistic and detailed to appeal to my way of thinking. I like to deal with ideas and, more importantly, to engage in idealizations. I am a walking, talking Plato (see Republic).

I see a person, an object or a social institution and I try to understand it, speculate on its nature and imagine how to improve its perceived imperfections. I am at home in the world of philosophy and psychology. Accounting? Give me a break.

Much as I did not like accounting, in management I found that it is probably the most crucial piece of information one needed to have. Managers deal with managing businesses’ money. That money must be well spent and accounted for. One must, therefore, understand how money is spent and accounted for. It is not a question of whether one likes it or not, one must understand basic accounting if one is a manager in a business organization, and that includes for profits, non-profits and government organizations.

African governments are largely mismanaged because their leaders do not take the time to study accounting and understand how their monies are accounted for. They delegate that responsibility to the accounting staff, as they should. But the accounting staff realizing that the politicians know next to nothing about accounting takes them to the cleaners.

One does not have to be an accountant but one needs to be able to understand what accountants do and be able to read financial papers. Thus, if one is a leader in politics, I recommend that one take a few courses in accounting until one is comfortable with reading accounting statements.

If you understand accounting, you can go to a government department, ministry and ask for its budget and monthly financial statements. These are public properties and must be given to you. You study how the department manages its money and on the basis of studying the ministry’s finances know how well it is doing its work or not?

Can you pick up the Federal government’s budget, your state government’s budget, your local government’s budget, your city’s budget and study it, them, and on the basis of that study understand what the government(s) is doing right or wrong? And, more importantly, can you understand whether the government is spending our money well or not?

I believe that it is because the average Nigerian knows next to nothing about accounting that the idiotic persons that call themselves our political leaders take us to the cleaners and steal our monies. If the average Nigerian could keep his eyes on a particular ministry and know how it spends its money and calls attention to wrongful spending of money, may be we would begin to have responsible leaders?

My goal in this lecture is to stress the importance of understanding accounting and call attention to studying it and giving some general information on it. This lecture is not meant to replace taking courses in accounting. Accounting is a detailed, rigorous affair. It is filled with arithmetic and statistics and that I will not get into in this few pages presentation. I am here to give an overview of the subject and leave it to you to go seek out more information on it.

There are two parts to account, what one might call the book keeping part of it and what one might call managerial accounting.

The book keeping part of accounting deals with such things as journaling, accounts entries, preparing accounts receivables, accounts payables, pay rolls, monthly financial statements and budgets.

The managerial aspect of accounting involves working with management and understanding what it is it wants to accomplish and giving accounting information on it. Yesterday, we talked about building a textile factory. Some one must cost it out. How much would the factory itself cost? The machinery, the land, the building? How much would labor cost? How much do we have in hand and if we do not already have the money, why are we even talking about building a new factory? Managerial accounting is a complex subject and is probably best left to accountants. The part of accounting that the typical manager deals with, on a daily bases, is the book keeping part of it.

The business firm is a money spending and receiving unit. Money comes in and money goes out. Proper records must be kept of these monetary transactions. Most accountants all over the English speaking world, which includes Nigeria, follow the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. They follow the same method in keeping their journals, in doing accounts payable, receivable, pay rolls and the same methods in preparing monthly financial statements and annual budgets and annual audits.

What you have to do is study how each of these accounting procedures is done, and be able to read them.


Budgets are statements of how a company plans to spend its money during the year. It shows expected revenue and how that revenue would be spent. It has lines (items) of how much would be spent on each item. How much money is going to be spent on rent (of the building where the business is housed), buying equipments for doing the businesses business, paying employees, running the office etc? I will not talk about the specifics of budgets here. Obtain your city government’s budget, your local government’s budget, your state’s budget, the federal government’s budget and take a look at them. They all follow the same pattern and if you can read one you can read them all.

A budget is a statement of future revenues and expenditures. Each unit of the business is assigned a certain amount of money to spend during the year and is expected to make a certain amount of money during the year.


The annual budget is divided up into twelve months. Each month, each unit of the firm has a certain expected revenue and expenditure. Book keepers prepare monthly financial statements that show management how each unit in the firm did in the past month. How much money it did, in fact, receive and how much money it, in fact, spent. The income and expenditure is compared to budgeted income and expenditure and where it balances, that is a wash. In most cases, there are variances, plus or minus, that is, more money was obtained or less money was obtained, more money was spent or less money was spent on budgeted items.

Obviously, every business ought to stay within budget, for if you spend more than you receive you must have borrowed that money from somewhere, internally (from other units of the business, those making profits) or externally, from customers extending credit to you or from borrowings from commercial banks etc. A business that spends more than it pulls in is obviously heading towards bankruptcy.

The accounting department prepares monthly financial reports for the business and for each unit of the business and gives them to the appropriate supervisors, managers and CEOs. The CEO takes a hard look at the financial statement and ascertains what unit of his business is making money and what units is losing money. If he is smart, he makes immediate adjustments in the units losing money. May be he needs to let go of a manager whose unit is losing money? May be something must be done differently in units that are losing money?

A manger must take a careful look at his monthly financial statements and make adjustments. For example, suppose the unit is paying more money on personnel cost than was budgeted, say, due to salary increases given to employees during the year, how is this impacting the overall budget? Why did you give salary increases and or bonuses if you did not ascertain where the money to pay for them would come from? How about the cost of health insurance, has it raised more than was budgeted for and is eating up your budget? (Employee benefit packets may constitute 25% additional payment to their base wages.)

The point is that the accounting department gives managers financial information on how they are doing and they are supposed to make adjustments to their units’ financial operations, so that by the end of the year they are in the black, not in the red (balanced or better, make profits).


The accounting staff prepares employees pay roll. Every two weeks or so, employees receive their pay checks (or they are electronically wired to their banks). Someone has to do the job of preparing pay checks. Someone must ascertain that there is money to pay employees. (Sometimes businesses do not have the money in the bank to pay their employees. If they have lines of credits with local banks, employee paychecks may be cashed by the said banks. Employees expect their checks at the end of the pay period and could care less whether the employer has no money in the bank to cover their wages. Bank credit lines lend businesses the money to pay staff until the company makes money to replenish its money in the bank. Of course, interests are paid on such short term loans from the bank.)

Whereas it is the job of the accounting staff to prepare the pay roll, it is the job of the manager to take a good look at it and make sure that it is properly done. For one thing, you must make sure that all the monthly deductions are done properly: tax deductions (IRS), pension deductions (Social Security), workers comp deductions, health insurance deductions, unemployment deductions, 401K deductions and the other deductions that must be made from paychecks. If a manager knows how to supervise payroll, the thieves that proliferate in Nigeria’s governments would not be able to pad some of their friends payrolls hence steal from the government.


The accounting department prepares accounts receivable, money coming to the business from its dealings (sales, for example,) and accounts payables (moneys the company pays other people, for services rendered to it. At the end of the month, these are prepared from the Journal entries kept by accounting clerks and given to the manager to see the nature of transactions taking place during the past month. What was purchased last month (payable) and what was sold last month (receivable)? Did income and payments balance? If not, maybe it is time to stop spending and start receiving?

Businesses exist to produce some things and sell them to the public, market. What is the product that the business produces and is there a market for it? Is the business selling what it wants to sell? Is it selling it at the right price and is it making profits? Accountants keep record of these transactions.


At the end of the year, outside auditing firms are invited into the audit the business’ books, to make sure that the business is spending its money where it said it is doing so and to make sure that it is following the right accounting procedures in keeping its records.

External auditors give managers objective feedback on how they are doing. Internal accountants may be tempted to pad the books. In Nigeria, accountants are likely to cook the books. But external auditors can give management objective information on the state of its finances and lead it to take corrective measures.

(In Nigeria, one can see officials bribing auditing firms to tell lies about how they spent their moneys. What are Nigerians but the devil himself? These people’s genius lies in figuring out ways to cheat and steal and cover their tracks. If Nigerian corrupt public officials think that you are getting too close to catching them, they would burn the building where accounting records are kept, to prevent you having access to their records of mismanagement.

Not to worry: we know that many Nigerians are rogues; we can seek ways to catch these rogues, we can check mate them.


Accountants look at the business’ equipments and account for their productivity. They depreciate old equipments. If you bought a car for your business at $20,000 and the car is slated to last ten years, it follows that each year it produces $2000 profit to the company and is depreciated by that same amount of money. At the end of ten years, when it has no more value, the car is neither producing, contributing to the company nor being depreciated (for tax purposes).

Accountants do a lot for businesses and the reasonable manager must work closely with his accountants and obtain daily, weekly and monthly information from them as to how his business is doing, financially. He must also work with his financial managers to decide where to obtain money to expand his business and if he makes profits where to invest his money.

In small business, the chances are that the sole proprietor does the accounting, book keeping and financial work of his business. When he begins to make profits, perhaps, he hires an accounting clerk to do the book keeping aspect of his work. It is businesses with over a million dollars annual budget that can afford to hire internal accounting staff. Medium businesses rely on external book keepers coming in, say, once a month to do their books for them.

For our present purposes, we do not need to know all the details of what accountants do; what we need to know is the critical role of accountants in keeping monetary records for businesses’. These people are absolutely indispensable for the health or lack of it of any business. The manager must work closely with accountants if he wants to have a proper accounting of his business.

In Nigeria, we all know how in shambles our financial management is. Our state governors go to Abuja and receive their states share of Federal revenue sharing. They see that money as their personal monies and do with them as they please. They bank some of them overseas and squander the rest in riotous living. They do not devote such monies where they ought to go, serving the people.

Why in hell is it the case that governors sign for state moneys? What does a governor know about money, anyway? Why not have the state treasurer (an accountant) go sign for the state money? Why not professional accountants have handle state money and pay the governor his salary but not have him touch money? Since the governor remains the boss, he then has the ability to fire accountants who steal state moneys.

Corruption in Nigeria is so well known that we need not rehash that sad story here. What is salient is that with proper accounting and auditing practices we can actually begin to reduce Nigerians tendency to thievery.

More to the point, if most Nigerians understand how to read financial statements, study their governments’ budgets and pay attention to how every penny of their monies are spent, may be we would start reducing our economic waste?

Consider the issue of per-dium paid public officials. How much money was budgeted for Obasanjo to spend on his numerous foreign junkets? The man is almost always outside the country. He stays in the world’s best hotels. He flies in his own private jet. How much money did we budget for him to be squandering in this manner?

In the USA, every official has a budget available to him. How much he can spend in a night in hotels is specified. He must come back with receipts and give them to the accounting department. If he uses government vehicles for his private business, he is fired and or must refund the public for so doing. If President Bush flies Air force one to a private dinner, he must repay the taxpayers of America the cost of that flight.

Obasanjo and other Nigerian leaders are all over the world spending the people’s money: how do we account for all these idiotic spending? The leaders see their states money as their personal moneys and do with them as they please, no proper accounting procedures followed. It is really pathetic that in the twenty first century folks could be behaving like primitive men.


As I see it, one of the solutions to the seeming intractable problem of corruption in Nigeria is for just about every person to understand something about accounting; at least enough to be able to read governments accounting books, and where misspending are found, call for correction and punishment of implicated public officials.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 4, 2005

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Ozodi Osuji Lectures #22: Introduction to Corporate Finance

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- In our over view of business (lecture 19) we talked about the various forms of business organizations, including sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations. We talked about the advantages and disadvantages of each of these forms of organizing for business activities.

A business exists to produce goods and or services and sell them to those who demand such goods and services. If a business reads the lay of the land well, understands what the market will buy, understands the nature of current demand, what people are willing to pay for, and produces them, it sells them.

A business that sells its goods and services probably will make profits. Profits meaning that the income coming to the business exceeds its expenditure. A business spends money to produce goods and services and markets them. If the money it receives from its business activities (sales) exceeds the money it expended in producing and marketing its goods and services it makes profit.

With profit (bottom line) the business plans for its future business activities. In poorly run businesses profits may be squandered (by management giving itself raises and in the context of Nigeria having parties). In properly managed businesses profits could be used for business expansion.

The subject of corporate finance asks this question: where will the business obtain money with which to run its business activities?

New businesses often obtain their seed money from the owners of the businesses past savings. If you want to start a business you probably have some pot of money that is already available to you and with which you invest in your new business venture. Lenders seldom lend money for business start ups; it is too risky to lend to new businesses for only about five percent of new businesses survive for two years.

Already existing businesses obtain money for expanded business activities from their past profits.

Let us say that a textile manufacturing business would like to increase its capacity and build more factories and or expand already existing ones. Its engineers (productions management) and accountants provide the management (president, chief executive officer) with cost information. How much is the proposed factory going to cost? Once cost is established, the next question is where would the money come from? (In the lecture on marketing we shall see whether there is a market for the proposed product, otherwise why bother producing it?)


Generally, the first source of finance is savings from past profits. A business that expects to expand in the future begins to save for it today. If it is going to cost five million dollars to fund a new factory, perhaps, the business can save that amount of money in three years and begin doing so now and when it has the money in hand undertakes construction of the factory?


A business may opt to borrow money from financial institutions like banks. Generally, banks hesitate lending to new business money for business start ups. If a business has a good track record it may be able to obtain money from banks for business expansion.

We shall not dwell on the various types of lending that commercial banks extend to businesses, suffice it to say that there are many of them, some short term and others long term. For our present purposes, it is possible for commercial banks to lend money to an on-going business for its business activities.


The other source of business finance is from venture capitalists. There folks out there with large sums of money who would like to invest their monies in business ventures that they believe could yield them good profit. Thus, both new and on-going businesses write Business Plans regarding proposed new line of business activities that they would like to engage in and approach venture capitalists for funding.

Venture capitalists evaluate such business plans and make decisions whether there are markets for their products and how much profit is likely to be made. If they think that there is money to be made in the business they may agree to provide money to the business proposing to engage in the said line of activity.

A venture capitalist that thinks that textiles (clothing materials) are in demand in Nigeria and that the demand is strong enough for him to make a killing, profits from selling them could probably agree to go into business with the business and build a factory to produce the proposed textiles.

Nigerians love lace but import them from India and other countries. Perhaps, if they are produced in Nigeria the producers would sell them and make a handsome profit? But then again given the programmed self hatred Africans seem to have may be they would prefer textiles made in Manchester, England than ones made at Owerri? Perhaps, they attach prestige to imported goods and not to locally manufactured ones?

There are all sorts of variables that affect selling but for our present purposes the question is whether a product would sell? And if it would sell, would profit be made? And if profit is to be made by how much? Is the anticipated profit enough to cover the investment in the proposed new factory? The venture capitalist makes decisions and if he expects making a killing, he may provide the business with the money with which to build the proposed factory.

(Whoever pays the piper calls the tune; the person who lends you money to do something must be interested in how you do it; thus, venture capitalists often take over running the businesses they financed. Therefore, if management wants to retain its independence, it might not seek money from venture capitalists, at least, not from those who would write agreements with it that essentially entails its relinquishment of its independent decision making. It is not unusual for those who funded a business to kick out the already existing management and replace it with its own management team, if they think that in doing so that they would make better yields on their investment)


Whereas businesses obtain funds for business activities from several sources, the source of real money for business expansion is often in offering stocks (Securities). Banks hesitate lending big money for speculative business ventures. Venture capitalists seldom take risks in businesses that they do not believe that they are going to make immediate profits from. Business owners seldom have enough savings from past profits to embark on large scale business ventures. One way to obtain big money to embark on large scale business projects is to sale stocks and bonds.

Stocks and bonds are means of borrowing money from those who have them and using the money to engage in business activities. Let us return to our textile factory and see what it could do to obtain the proposed five million dollars it needs to build a new factory at Owerri. It could sell stocks for the amount it needs to finance the new factory. I am assuming that the original business is a corporation and that it has gone public and is authorized by appropriate state authorities to sell stocks and bonds.

The process of obtaining governmental authorization to sell stocks is a technical matter and is beyond the scope of this basic lecture.

The chief executive officer (CEO) of the company, working with his chief financial officer (CFO), prepares certain documents and submits them to appropriate state authorities; they are authorized to go to the public and sell stocks for five million dollars. Arrangements are made with stock companies and other financial institutions to prepare and sell the stocks.

Let us assume that each stock is sold at a $1. (Initial Product Offering, IPO) The financial institution that undertakes to sell the stocks for the business advertises the business stocks availability. Folks with money to buy stocks obtain information on the business and decide whether the company is sound enough for them to invest their monies in. If they believe that the business is sound and is likely to make profits and pay them dividends on their money (stocks) they buy its stocks and if not they do not buy its stocks.

A man with one million dollars available to him may decide to spend it buying the business’ stocks. If a stock sells at $1, it follows that the man spending one million dollars would have bought a million stocks in the business.

Several people buy stocks in a company, some more, others less. You give the business one dollar and you have one of its stocks.

The business obtains the five million dollars it requires to build its factory. It builds its factory and starts manufacturing. It produces a product, in this case textiles, and sells it. At the end of the day, it subtracts its costs from its revenue and knows whether it made profit or loss.

If it made profit, it may decide to share it with those who bought stocks in it. If it made, say, one million dollars in profits, it may decide to reinvest half of that money in its business or save it for future business expansions and share the balance with its stock holders. The five million stocks would share whatever pot of money is being disbursed and each stock would receive a certain amount. Those with many stocks, obviously, would receive the amount given to one stock times the quantity of stocks they hold.

The chances that businesses would give out dividends in the first few years of business operation are very slim. Companies may go for several years without giving out dividends. If at all they made profits, they simply reinvest them in their businesses. There is such a thing as operating costs (as well as capital expenditure, the money used in building the textile factory). Businesses have to pay the wages of their employees, maintain factories and so on. It generally takes several years before profits can be shared with stock holders in the business. Thus, if you are buying stocks in a business, do not expect to receive dividends during the first few years of the company’s operations.

There are many types of stocks and dividends. That subject is beyond the scope of our introductory lecture.

Whereas the stock owner may not receive dividends on his investments annually, he has other ways to make money on his investment. If the company that sold stocks is doing well and business looks like it is a winner, even though it is not paying out dividends yet there are some persons who would now like to own its stocks.

Whereas in the past cautious investors did not want to buy stocks in an unknown business, when that business begins to make profits and generally do well those persons may change their minds and want to buy its stocks.

Stocks are not offered everyday by businesses. Our textile factory has offered five million stocks to obtain five million dollars and may not sell future stocks in several years. In the meantime, it is making profits. Its already existing five million stocks are now appreciating in value for their holders. The stock that was bought for one dollar may now sale for five dollars. Indeed, it may sale for dollars.

This means that if the holder of that stock resells it in the stock market for twenty dollars he has made nineteen dollars profit on his original one dollar investment. The individual who bought a million shares (stocks) in the textile company at one dollar per share can now resale them for twenty million dollars, meaning that he has made nineteen million dollars gain in his original investment. (This is called capital gains.)

Each country, and segments of it, has a stock exchange, market for selling stocks, where publicly traded stocks are sold.

Stockbrokers help the public buy and sell their stocks. These days, with the advent of computers and the Internet, you can bypass stockbrokers and directly buy and sell stocks from stock exchanges.

For our present purposes, stock exchanges are, more or less, like gambling houses and study the performance of businesses and decide on how much their stocks are worth. Some stocks are overvalued and others are undervalued. There is complex mathematics available for valuing the worth of stocks. That subject is beyond the scope of this lecture.

For our present interest, all that we need to know is that the values of stocks are really speculative. A stock that is valued at $20 may, in fact, be worth nothing (as we found out in 1999 when the grossly over valued technology companies stocks crashed. Most of those companies were not even making profits yet but the market valued their stocks way too high. The market then corrected itself by essentially crashing and these companies went out of market.

What we need to know here is that companies sell stocks and that if the company does well in the market that its stocks would be valued highly and that those holding its stocks could resale them at the current high price and make profits. This is pretty much like gambling. But gambling or not, it is how the capitalist economy works.

What we need to know is that companies borrow money from those who have money in the form of stocks.

If you buy stocks in a company you become a stock holder in it. You are now technically part of the owners of the company. If the company makes profits you are entitled to receiving part of those profits (should it decide to share its profit as dividends)? If the company does not make profits, you do not receive any dividends, after all you are a part owner of the company and the company’s loss is your loss. Indeed, if the company goes broke you lose your investment in it, for, as part of its owner you risk loosing the amount of money you invested in it when it fails. You lose only your investment, not more (see lecture 19 on the nature of corporations and their limited liability).

As a part owner of the company, you obtain reports on how the company is doing. Generally, most companies have annual share holders meeting to which you are invited. The meeting elects the company’s Board of Directors (who may serve for three to five years) and the Board in turn hires the company’s president and chief executive officer. The CEO hires his management team (vice president finance, vice president operations, vice president marketing, vice president human resource etc and those in turn hire their own teams, managers and the managers of divisions hire their first line supervisors who hire line workers).

The company’s Board of Directors hires a president and CEO and delegates the responsibility of running the business, day to day, to him. If he does a good job, his contract is renewed, if not he is let go. The CEO’s job is a precarious one, for he may be unemployed at any time the Board decides to fire him, no questions asked. The board has the right to hire and fire him at will (as he, the CEO has the right to hire and fire his subordinates at will).

Generally, only those who own large shares in a company come to its annual share holders meetings. The man who bought a million dollars worth of shares in our imaginary textile firm is more likely to attend its share holders meeting than a man with only one hundred shares in it. The large share holders, in fact, are generally those who are elected to the company’s Board of Directors and, in turn, are those who hire and fire the company’s President and CEO. (Some times, for the sake of prestige and publicity, a company may invite a well known public official to join its Board of Directors. Thus, an ex-military governor could be invited to serve on the Board of Directors of our imaginary textile company at Owerri. He brings influence and connections to the rulers of the polity, intangible goods that the Board and company may benefit from.)

Whereas business firms generally obtain the money for their activities from selling stocks, these days some businesses also obtain money by selling bonds. It is generally those big corporations that have been around for so long that they might as well be governments that have access to the bond market. If you recall, in the previous lecture we talked about how governments obtain money through selling bonds. Generally, bonds are associated with governments, from city to municipalities, states and national governments. But these days’ big corporations are permitted to sell bonds.

Bonds are different from stocks. If you buy bonds from businesses you are not an owner of those businesses. You merely lent the business money to do something. If you own stocks in a company you are a part owner of that business and as noted is invited to its shareholders meeting where policy decisions are made. Bond holders merely lend their money to the company and the company agrees to repay them their money at specified dates and in the meantime pay them annual interests on their money. The interest rate vary, anywhere from 3-5%. Thus, annually the borrower (company) pays the lender (bond holder) interests on his money and at the end of the period specified for repaying the bond, the borrower pays the bond holder his money (principal) back.

As the business operates, the value of its bonds may go up or down. If the value of its bonds goes up, it means that the bond holders may resale them in the bond market, for a higher price than they had bought them. Let us say that an individual had bought a bond from a bond issuing company for the face value of $1000. The company agrees to repay him his money in ten years. In the meantime, the company agrees to pay him 3% annual interest on his $1000 investment. Each year, he receives 3% interests on his money and at the end of ten years he receives his original $1000 back. (In the 1980s we has Michael Millikan’s Junk Bonds scare.)

In the meantime, the company’s bonds are traded in the bond market. This is gambling. If the company is doing fabulously well and making lots of profits, the interests on the bond may go up to say 5%. This means that the person who originally bought it at 3% could resale the bond at a higher price and make profits. 5% of $1000 is higher than 3% of $1000 dollars. All these profit making is done at the stock/bond (securities) market level.

As noted, every country these days has its own securities exchange commission (SEC) governing the actives of the securities business. This business is like a gambling outfit and a lot of shenanigans take place in it. An in-dept look at the SEC is beyond the scope of this lecture.

For our present purposes, all we need to know is that business corporations do obtain money to run their businesses from selling stocks and bonds. The specifics of how this is done are for those interested in financial management.

Each corporation has a financial department. Here it has financial managers and accountants. Accountants, as we shall see in the next lecture, keep an eye on the company’s revenue and expenditure, and financial managers manage the company’s money.

The financial manager (Chief financial officer, CFO, comptroller etc) makes management decisions, with the CEO on where to obtain money for the business’ activities. The CFO helps the company decide whether to save money and use its savings to construct the proposed textile factory, to borrow that money from banks, from venture capitalists or to do so through stocks and or bonds.

In addition, the CFO invests the company’s profits. Companies, like individuals, do invest their money in other companies. Profits could be used to buy stocks and or bonds in other companies or even from safe government bonds. (I recommend buying government bonds, for you are not going to loose your money.) Big corporations have lots of money available to them to invest and often invest in other companies, to a point that they end up owning those companies. You have heard of hostile takeovers. A company may buy other companies stocks and literally buy a majority of them and end up dictating who serves on the companies board of directors hence hiring their CEOs and, in effect, taking them over. Again, we shall not get into such technical discussion here. It is enough for us to know how companies obtain their finances.

Corporate finance is filled with complex mathematics; I skip those for my goal is to provide basic information on the subject.

The individual ought to take a course on stocks and bonds and learn to know how the various companies stocks are doing. This information is generally printed in the business pages of most daily newspapers and, of course, in financial newspapers like the Wall Street Journal (a must read for any one who takes finance seriously). If you are going to invest your money in stocks and bonds, you ought to know how the companies you want to invest in are doing on a daily basis. You ought to study those companies, their management structure and general performance. You can learn a lot by reading the financial pages of newspapers.

I recommend that you take at least one course in corporate finance if you plan to be in leadership positions, either in government or the private sector.

Leaders deal with money and with managing the economy. Liberal arts education that purportedly train for leadership ignores the most crucial aspect of leadership training, training in managing money. Thus one can obtain a doctorate in political science and know nothing about how governments obtain and manage their monies and control the economy. This is very sad, sad indeed. Political science ought to be conjoined with business studies so that a graduate of political science is simultaneously a graduate of business administration. This is how it ought to be and the sooner the fools who run political science departments realize this fact and restructure their field and stop making it a useless scholastic field and rather transform it to a realistic field that deals with the economies of a polity the better it is for all concerned.

Some of us had PhDs in that field but had to go retrain ourselves in more realistic subjects. Young persons’ time and energy ought not to be wasted by idiotic professors who do not provide them with realistic education.

Obviously, we need to study political science but a political science that deals with the real world. The real world shows that politicians manage the country’s economy.


Those who manage the economy not only must understand basic economics but finance (applied economies) and other aspects of management. These lectures on managing the economy are designed to give us the awareness that political leaders manage the polity’s economy and ought to understand management. If politicians have not already learned about finance, public and corporate, they ought go back to night schools and study management.

If one is a legislator at Abuja, at state’s capitals and local government towns and does not have a background in business, one must register immediately at the local university and take business courses that give one the equivalent of a master’s in business administration. One must do this if one is to know what the hell is going on with managing the nation’s money.

These lectures are designed to give general information on management but are not meant to replace rigorous study of management, the type obtained at universities schools of management. Modern economies are big business and politicians as public managers must understand how to manage big businesses, they must understand public and business finance

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

November 3, 2005

Posted by Administrator at 11:37 AM | Comments (0)

November 03, 2005

Ozodi Osuji Lectures #21: Introduction to Public Finance

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- In the preceding twenty lectures on politics I established why human beings need political systems. A political system has to be managed. People make demands on their political system. The political system translates demands made on it into public choices and public policies. Public policies must be financed. The money to finance public policies must come from somewhere. Where is that money going to come from?

Public finance addresses the question: where will revenue to fund public policies and run the political system come from? It is one thing to talk about what government should be doing and another to be able to finance them. In the real world, every activity has costs and someone must pay for it.

We live in a world of scarce resources, a world with opportunity costs. Resources are finite; resources devoted to one area are not available for other areas; therefore, we must make public choices. We must decide what areas we devote more resources and what areas less. To start with, we must have the resources. How do we obtain the money to run our governments?

Public finance ought to be taken very seriously in Nigeria and, indeed, in all of Africa. You see, Africans expect an awful lot from their governments. They don’t always concern themselves with where and how their governments would obtain the resources to finance the enormous demands they make on them.

Not only do many Africans not bother themselves thinking about where their government obtains resources, they do not even want to pay taxes. They just want their government to do certain things for them and complain when those things are not done for them. But they do not ask where their government would obtain the revenue with which it would do those things. In fact, in those instances where taxation exists, many Africans do their best to avoid paying taxes and yet these folks expect their governments to deliver public services to them. This is infantile thinking and behavior. Adult thinking and behavior knows that we must pay for whatever we get out of life, for life does not give human beings free food. There is really no free lunch in life, as economists never cease telling us.

To the best of my knowledge, many Nigerians do not like to pay taxes and generally do not declare their income completely so that they would be appropriately taxed. This resistance to paying taxes has a long history in Nigeria. In 1929, the British colonial government tried to tax folks in Alaigbo and the people went on a war path. The women literally rebelled. To them, government should not ask them to pay tax.

One then must ask: how on earth is government supposed to obtain the revenue with which to run its activities? Or don’t we need governments? The Igbos did not have Alaigbo wide government and were not used to paying annual income taxes to support governments. The idea of taxes was foreign to them.

Well, if you are going to have governments, as we must in the modern polity, you must have taxes to fund them. We have no choices in the matter, unless, of course, we revert to primitive anarchy and have no governments. In the modern polity, the question is not whether there should be taxes or not, but how much taxes? The real question is whether twenty percent or more of the individual’s annual income should be taken in taxes?

There is nothing as certain in modern life as taxes, changes and death. One might as well get used to these facts, for one cannot avoid them. Trying to avoid them is futile, reality ought to be accepted as it is and efforts not made to deny it.

In Nigeria, those who claim to be in private business seldom pay appropriate taxes; when they do pay taxes at all, they pay the most minimum tax. Each local government area has basic taxes for the people especially those assumed to be farmers and are poor. These taxes amount to a few dollars per individual. No government can maintain itself in existence with such paltry revenue. Therefore, if business men who make lots of money pay these basic individual taxes, they are cheating the government of useful sources of revenue with which to operate its activities.

Nigeria’s governments’ personnel are generally too lazy to go chasing people for taxes. This situation results in very little revenue collected from taxes. The end result is that Nigeria’s governments end up with little or no revenue to fund their public policies.

Nigeria is fortunate in that despite not obtaining appropriate tax revenues, there is revenue from oil. Nigeria relies almost exclusively on oil for its revenue to run its activities. The Federal government of Nigeria’s budget is funded primarily through oil revenue (over 90%). The states come to the federal government, hats in hand, begging for money with which they run their state governments. Some of these governments rely exclusively on their share of the federal revenue sharing to run their state governments. That is to say that they do not generate their own incomes with which to run their governments.

Question: if the states are funded by the federal government, how can they be independent of the federal government? Nigerians talk a lot of wanting true federalism in the country, how can that be possible if they entirely depend on the federal government to fund their governments? He who pays the piper dictates the tunes. As long as the Federal government funds state governments, states cannot be really equal with the federal government.

We cannot have true federalism unless each state figures out a way to fund its own activities independent of the federal government. Where the federal government has money to extend to states, it should do so on a competitive bases, as in the USA where states and non profit organizations compete for Federal grant monies with which to run certain designated projects and must account for how every penny of such money is spent to the Federal government.

In the Nigerian context, the Federal government obtains its money from oil revenue. Since oil comes mostly from Southern Nigeria, it follows that money from one section of the country is used in running all the country. Obviously this may not seem fair to those areas where oil is coming from. Clearly, we have to figure out a different way of funding the federal and state governments other than reliance on money from oil producing states.

From a purely rational calculation, it is silly to obtain ones revenue from only one source, oil. Oil is an exhaustible resource. Suppose oil is exhausted, then what? Suppose the West finds alternative sources of energy to power its economy, and stop buying Nigerian oil, then how is Nigeria going to fund its activities? Sooner or later, solar energy will become the main source of energy in powering Western economies and at that point Nigeria would not be able to sell its oil and would, one supposes, join the failed states of Africa?

Prudence suggests that one should not put all of ones eggs in one basket. The Nigerian economy must be diversified, so that revenue would be obtained from several sources to run the governments. But then again thinking and planning seems not one of the strengths of Nigeria’s present chop-chop politicians.


Generally, governments obtain their revenues from taxes. Individuals and businesses engage in economic activities and make profits. Out of their profits governments tax them. Taxing means taking people’s incomes and with such monies run governments. Taxation is a critical source of government revenue.

There are several types of taxes: individual income taxes, corporate or business taxes, sales taxes, value added taxes, property taxes and royalties. Let us briefly explain these.

Each individual is a unit of economic activity. He has annual profits and losses. Each year (actually, monthly or quarterly) he declares, or should declare, his total income to the various governments in the country: federal, state and local. These governments determine how much of the individual’s income should be taken in taxes. There is no ideal percentage that governments should take in taxes. The polity, through its legislators, makes the decision as to how much to charge individuals and businesses in annual taxes. The range is as low as twenty percent to as high as fifty percent in Scandinavia.

From a purely rational point of view, it makes sense for the government to take at least 20% of each individual’s annual income in taxes.

Governments must obtain money to run its affairs and that money ought to primarily come from individuals and businesses.


There is an advantage to individual taxation. If individuals’ pay taxes, they are more likely to be interested in how their governments spend their money. They would want proper accounting procedures used in accounting for how their monies were spent. They want to know how public officials spent their money and whoever misspent a penny of the people’s taxes ought to be sent to jail for no less than twenty years (hard labor).

At present, Nigerians really do not pay large taxes; at least, not enough to support their governments hence do not feel the pains of running their governments. As noted, their governments are run with oil money. Since individual Nigerians are not paying for their governments, they do not feel the burden of having governments. Why should their governments account to them how they are spending their money, when they are not paying taxes?

If people paid taxes and government officials were required to account for how they spent public funds, perhaps, the ridiculous high incidence of corruption in Nigeria would be reduced?

In my view, 20% is the minimum individual Nigerians should expect to pay in Federal annual income tax. State and local taxes should not exceed 15%. Therefore, one anticipates a scenario where 35% of the individual’s income goes to federal, state and local taxes. With this revenue stream guaranteed, governments can do those things that we expect them to do.

We cannot expect governments to do certain things for us without giving them the resources to do them. It is ridiculous not to pay taxes and then expect governments to provide society with public services like education for all children under age 22 (K through bachelors degree, or technical degree), public health insurance, national security, activities now generally accepted as rightfully performed by the government for all citizens.


Corporate taxes are taxes levied on businesses. Corporations are considered separate persons and their profit and loss are calculated as if they are individual human beings profit and losses and taxed accordingly. Sole proprietors and partnerships do not pay corporate taxes, but, instead, the owners of such business are assumed not separate from them; their businesses profits and loss are taxed as the individual owners’ incomes.

Different countries have different corporate tax structures. A rule of the thumb is to tax them as we tax individuals. If the total tax on the individual in a polity is 35% annually, corporations should also pay 35% annual income taxes. This would breakdown to something like this: 20% federal corporate taxes, 10% state corporate taxes and 5% local government area corporate taxes. (State and local taxes are, of course, paid in the state where the individual and business is located; given this lucrative source of revenue, states and localities would be struggling to attract businesses to them and to make themselves business friendly.)


Some governments, federal, state and local, obtain revenue from sales taxes. A unit of government, for example, may levy 5-10% tax per dollar on goods and services sold in it. Sales taxes are also added to restaurants and hotel bills.

Ideally, no unit of government should have more than 5% sales tax. Assuming 5% sales tax per unit of government in Nigeria, this would translate to 5%, federal sales tax, 5% state sales tax and 5% local government area sales tax, for a total of 15% sales taxes. 15% sales tax seems fair enough. Governments must obtain revenue to fund their activities.

Sales taxes tend to be regressive since they essentially tax every person at the same rate. It does not matter how much income the individual has, when he buys something he must pay the same sales tax on it. This seems unfair since the rich can afford to spend more money than the poor. One way to mitigate this apparent unfairness is to eliminate sales taxes on food, or reduce it on food, while charging more on luxury goods. If a man is buying a Rolls Royce at $250,000, he is obviously rich and one does not see why he should not be required to pay 35% sales tax on that unnecessary item of conspicuous consumption.

Property taxes are generally levied on houses, lands and other properties (real estate). In most American cities, city governments collect property taxes on houses in their area of jurisdiction. Generally, the city levies say $1 or $2 per $1000 worth of the house. Let us say that a house is worth $250,000 (current appraised market value); the city would tax that house $250/$500 annually. With this money, cities perform their city activities, including running schools.


Value added taxes (VAT) are very tricky to calculate, for it is difficult to determine what constitutes value added. Let us say that a restaurant bought food items and added value to them to prepare the cooked food it sells to its customers. How do you determine the worth of the value added to the raw material before they were cooked? Be that as it may, governments tend to have VAT on assorted manufactured goods. This source of taxation is very controversial.


Sometimes, governments permit private businesses to mine minerals and pay them a certain percentage of the sold minerals. Let us say that oil companies explore and mine oil in a country and sell them at $60 dollars per barrel of crude oil. The government may charge them 33% on each barrel of oil they sold. This source of revenue is considered royalty.


Governments, particularly state and local governments, charge licensing fees for assorted services, such as car registration, drivers’ license, professional/occupational licensing, business licensing, airport taxes, seaport taxes, city parking, using national parks etc. At the municipal level, cities charge licenses for activities in the city. There are a myriad of items that governments charge money for and these generate funds for governments. For example, to use national/state parts (forest reserves) fees are charged. These generate monies to operate the activities for which fees are charged for.


Given the problems with the various forms of taxes, some people ask for what they call flat taxes. In flat taxes, the government levies every person the same flat rate, say 20% on their annual income, irrespective of the amount of money made. This is different from the present progressive tax structure we have in most capitalist economies.

In progressive taxation, the amount paid tends to be lower at the lower end of the income continuum and higher at higher levels. Let us say that a person makes $10, 0000 a year and is taxed at 10% whereas a man makes $100, 0000 a year and is taxed at 20% a year.

Russia has flat taxation of 17% on all income levels. Russia is hardly a country to be emulated by Nigeria given that its economy is in shambles, besides Russia is a newcomer to the capitalist game and really does not know what it is doing. The West is our realistic source of example.

Advocates of flat taxation seem to have interesting points but our goal in this lecture is not to debate the finer points of the economy and taxation policy. Such debates are left to more advanced lectures.


Governments sometimes borrow money with which to fund their projects and repay the borrowed money in the future. The most common form of governmental borrowing is bonds.

Federal, state and local governments borrow money through issuing bonds. Let us say that a local government wants to build a secondary school and does not have money in hand to do so. Let us say that the cost of construction of the school is assessed at $2 million dollars. The local government council and chair passes a resolution to borrow $2 million dollars in the form of bonds. It obtains State approval for it to do so. It then arranges with a financial institution, such as a bank to sale the said bonds for it. The bonds are printed by those who specialize in such things. The units could be $1000 each. What this means is that a citizen and or business that has money to spare goes to the bond seller and buys one bond for $1000, or two or more bonds (each at $1000).

The buyer of said bond has, in effect, lent the government money and the government promises to repay him (his principal) in so many years (usually 10-30 years). In the meantime, the government pays him annual interests on his money (anywhere from 3-5%). Each year, the individual receives five percent or so on his lending to the government and at the end of the agreed upon time (bond maturity date) the government gives him back the face value of his principal ($1000 per unit purchased.). Let us assume that the individual bought 1000 units of the said bond and gave the government $1000, 0000 dollars. Each year he obtains 5% (that is $50,000) and at the end of the agreed time, say, thirty years, he receives his $1 million back.

Governments that borrow a lot of money in the nature of bonds will not only pay a lot of annual interests (debt finance) but will repay the principal. So how do they obtain the revenue to pay the interests and the principal upon its maturity? Would the financed project, in our example, a secondary school, make some profits with which to pay off the debt finance and principal? Suppose the project so financed is a bridge, would it make sense to charge tolls on it so as to recoup the cost? (Onitsha Bridge needs to be rebuilt, how is it going to be financed? Would bonds make sense? Would tolls make sense?)


National governments like the Nigerian government can borrow money from foreign banks and or from international financial institutions like the World Bank (usually for long term financing, say thirty years), International Monetary Fund (for short term financing (say a few months to a few years). The Big banks like Chase Manhattan, City Bank and Bank of America have money to lend money to governments. The Federal government can borrow from these International Monetary Institutions for its activities or for its states and local governments.

Nigeria owes many foreign banks lots of money. In the news is Obasanjo government’s efforts to either refinance its debts, at a lower interest structure or have some of them forgiven it, written off by the European banks they are owed. These debts are usually guaranteed by the lending banks home governments, so, in effect, writing off the debt means that the home country agrees to repay the commercial banks that Nigeria owes. European governments, the so-called Paris club, agree to pay their commercial banks the amount of money Nigerian governments had borrowed from them. In effect, European taxpayers agree to give Nigerian crooks money to lavish on themselves.

(Do you think that this is a good idea? Should Euro-Americans be financing our local crooks in Nigerian government? Should our irresponsibility be paid by foreigners? I am just wondering whether we should be treated as children. Shouldn’t adults pay back what they borrowed even if they wasted it?)

There are many other sources of public financing, but the above ones are the most usual ones.


Politicians and leaders must be aware of how their governments obtain their revenue and pay attention to how such money is spent. When we deal with basic accounting, we will point out that leaders must be able to read financial statements, budgets, monthly financial reports etc and be able to supervise how government spends its money.

The average citizen must accept the need to pay taxes if he wants to have a government. The question is not whether there should be taxes or not, but how much is necessary to produce the revenue the various governments in a polity need to function annually?

The polity decision makers must determine what constitutes appropriate level of taxation and then enact it into law. Once made law, taxes must be collected. Vigorous efforts must be made to collect taxes. The internal revenue service (IRS) must collect every penny due to governments in taxes by the various sources of taxes.

Those who fail to pay their appropriate taxes ought to be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Twenty years in prison for tax evasion, I think, is the least punishment that ought to be meted out to tax evaders.

The details of how to collect taxes from individuals, businesses, restaurants, stores etc is beyond the scope of this lecture. This lecture merely wanted to call attention to the fact that governments need revenue to fund their activities and mention some of the means of generating government revenue.

Ozodi Thomas Osuji

Posted by Administrator at 12:24 PM | Comments (1)

November 02, 2005

Science and Technology: Active Filters (Lab Report)

by Jude C. Ezedike --- Objective: To demonstrate the use of operational amplifiers in active filters and to design active low- and high-pass filters using table.

Experiment Title:

Active Filter Design

Equipment List:
741 operational amplifier or the equipment
DC power suppliers (+/-V)
Analog signal generator (1Vpk sine at variable frequencies)
Resistors: 1-10k, 1-5.6k, 1-3.3k, 1-2.7k, 1-1,5k, 1-680Ω, 1-330Ω
Capacitors: 2-0.47μF, 1-0.015μF, 0.015μF (25V)
Dual-trace oscilloscope

We demonstrated the operational amplifier used in a VCVS, second order, low-pass filter with Butterworth characteristics by connecting the circuit below. C1 is parallel combination of the 0.015μF and 0.01μF capacitors.

Circuit #1
Low Pass Filter

With Vs adjusted to produce a 1Vpk sine wave at 500Hz, we measured and recorded the peak value of Vo, which was 2Vpp. Since 500Hz is within the pass-band of this filter, these values can be used to determine the pass-band voltage gain Am.

At this juncture, we increased the frequency of the signal generator until the output voltage Vo equals 0.707 times that measured in the previous step. This was how we got the cutoff frequency f2 of the filter.

0.707 x 1.76(measured voltage)
= 1.2Vpp.

We now replaced 1.65k and 5.6k in circuit one with 2.7k and 10k respectively. With Vs adjusted to produce a 1Vpk sine wave at 100Hz, we again measured and recorded the peak value of Vo. Here it was 2Vpp. We also measured the cut off frequency f2 of the filter as described earlier above. F2 was measured to be 2MHz.

20log(0.88) = -1.11dB

To demonstrate the operational amplifier used in a VCVS, second order, high pass-filter with Chebyshev characteristics and 2Db ripple width, we connected the circuit below.

Circuit #2
High Pass Filter
With Vs = 1Vpk at 10kHz, we measured the peak value of Vo, which was 2.3Vpp. Then decreasing the frequency of the signal generator until Vo reaches maximum value yielded the 10kHz-15kHz. The peak value of Vo at this point when it is a maximum was 2.1V. The ratio of these two peak value can also be used to calculate the ripple width in dB like in the previous steps. Now, we continue to decrease the frequency of the signal generator until the output voltage Vo equals that measured at 10kHz. We also measured the frequency where this occurred, which is the cut off frequency f1 of the Chebyshev filter. It occurred at 7kHz when the voltage was 2.22V. Below is the table of the various frequencies used while trying to find the cut off frequency.

Frequency (kHz) Voltage output (Volts)
15 2.11
14.5 2.12
14 2.13
13.5 2.13
13 2.14
12.5 2.18
12 2.19
11.5 2.21
11 2.24
10.5 2.3
10 2.3
9.5 2.32
9 2.33
8.5 2.34
8 2.33
7.5 2.3
7 2.2
6.5 2.05
6 1.91


Clearly, I saw that low pass filters are circuits that allow low frequency voltages to pass through them, while blocking high frequencies. High pass filters perform exactly opposite role; they pass high frequencies and block low frequencies. In the first circuit, all voltages whose frequencies are within the passband of a butterworth filter have approximately the same gain.. The cutoff frequency is the frequency at which the voltage gain drops by 3Db from the voltage gain in the passband. The attenuation produced by a chebyshev filter at any frequency outside the pass band is greater than the attenuation produced by a butterworth filter at the same frequency, assuming the filters have the same order and the same cutoff frequency.

Posted by Administrator at 04:06 PM | Comments (0)

Why President Obasanjo Must Listen to the Voice of Wisdom

by D. Akinsanya Juliuson --- SOMEWHERE IN NIGERIA, THERE’S A FLOOR THAT NEED’S SCRUBBING. Some people live in fear of making a mistake. They feel they just couldn’t face the shame. Ironically, such people are mistaken. If we don’t get it wrong, we’ll never learn anything. We just become a kind of “one trick pony” ambling through life, repeating the same old safe, tried and tested tricks.

In our country, Nigeria, we have lately been living life on the edge. We have had to face our own weaknesses, whilst we have managed to conquer some of these, most impressively, we are painfully aware of others. We should fear not.. We’ll surely with God’s support beat these in the next battle. Certainty is a dangerous state. The worst “rogue nation” on the face of the globe….is determination! When we feel sure of ourselves beyond all doubt, we become terrifying and obnoxious. We become capable of doing things that are dreadfully wrong, whilst believing the whole time that we have some kind of divine right. It’s worth remembering that evil never thinks of itself as evil. It invariably acts out of what it feels quite sure are good motives. The very best thing we can do now in our beloved country is encourage some doubts and debates. Like I had said many times before, the hungry must be fed, the homeless housed, the sick treated and the weak protected. These, surely, are the duties of anyone who hold – or aspire to hold – any kind of power. But have we noticed how when you try to tidy a room, it is never possible to clear up every last inch of it. Sometimes, a little mess will remain. Even, if it’s discreetly hidden behind a door, a drawer, or a “speaker”. Perhaps, if we could just get rid of that one last lingering imperfection, we could banish all mess forever in our motherland, but that might be living in a sterile environment. Some people ought to stop listening to me and start working. Somewhere in our country, there’s a floor that needs scrubbing AND a dirty job that somebody has to do.


So here we are. The tomorrow that we have been waiting for so apprehensively has arrived. And guess what? There will be another tomorrow, tomorrow. Time is a neat invention. It takes us all a while to get used to it but sooner than later we wise up. Nothing lasts forever. Most things though, last longer than we expect them. The change we seek in our country is attainable. Each day, we’re getting closer to it. We need to adapt to the speed of the train that we’re travelling on. Let’s not worry. I believe it’s surely heading to the right destination. We are gaining new insights by the day. Some of these we strongly suspect, will eventually lead us down some very different roads. We are probably right…they will, But the road we are currently on in our country is still a good one. The time to take action has not yet arrived. We do not yet know the whole story. We really need to mull things over. While we do so, let’s make the most of what’s actually happening. If it’s going to change, it deserves to be appreciated while there’s still time. There are some significant factors to take into account and adjust to. There’s also an element of irony in our country’s situation which one day we might see the lighter side of. If we truly and honestly want to be constructive, we have to be firm but flexible, focused but free, furious but fair. Aren’t these contradictions? Of course! But then what we are dealing with now on the national level is one giant contradiction. Let’s accept it for what it is now and we will see how to stop it being a problem. Let’s have a little faith in our own understanding of what matters. We must trust that, even though we don’t know everything, we know enough on which to base a reasonably sound judgement. As long as we are now willing to double check our calculations before we implement our choices, we stand an excellent chance of getting our next move right. We can't really be scared of werewolves, vampires and zombies. If we were, we wouldn't be able to dress up as them. That begs an interesting question. What is it that we fear in our country? More relevantly, what is it that we fear now? It's certainly nothing obvious. We take in our stride challenges that might soon bring others to their knees. Yet we do have a weakness and we need, somehow, to identify, understand and overcome it. I believe the Lord has promised that this will soon prove easier to do than we imagine.


In this world of ours, we like our friends to have something in common with us. A shared interest makes it much easier to keep any relationship alive. We don’t want to be in complete agreement about everything all the time. We need at least a few differences of opinion, if only so we can have an interesting debate. As long as there's mutual respect, those differences can be pretty big. It's not 'opposing points of view' that make folk dislike each other. It's a 'refusal to see that the other point of view has merit." I mention all that now because there's a conflict emerging in our country. Let’s not feed it – and let’s not run away from it either. Let’s look for a way to 'agree to differ' this really IS possible. Two wrongs may not make a right, but they don't necessarily make matters any worse than when there was just one wrong! Two rights, under some circumstances, could make some things seem very wrong. And what if we are wrong to think something is right? Then life gets very confusing. By and large, we are all wrong to spend too much time worrying about whether anything is right or wrong. If something is really wrong now, it will gradually become clear to us - and we will naturally see how to put it right. But when we are vehemently opposed to, another person's point of view, our position may not be comfortable but it is at least, easy to understand. The worst communication difficulties arise when two people are in agreement about many matters but differ dramatically about some essential point. Confusion is never comfortable. That's why most people, whenever they feel bewildered, are keen to regain a feeling of clarity. They jump to the first conclusion that seems half-convincing - and then breathe a sigh of relief because they are no longer in doubt. Really, though, they have merely swapped confusion for delusion! This feels better in the short term but creates far more trouble in the long run. Certainty is soothing. Doubt is disturbing. That's why most of us prefer delusion to confusion. We would rather cling to an opinion, no matter how ill-founded, than cast ourselves adrift on the ocean of bewilderment. If, we can now find the courage to concede that there is something we don't know, we can begin to make a priceless discovery. We won't find out the truth until we stop believing in a convenient assumption. The reality may not be quite so handy in the short-term, but, in the long run, it is of far more use to us in the country that belongs to our generation.


We live in a world full of rules. We have to accept, not only the laws of the land, but the laws of science. We soon learn that, if we defy these laws, one way or another we will pay a price. Thus, we embrace them - enthusiastically. Enthusiasm though, gives rise to appetite. We end up hungering for yet more laws - so we create them; laws of fashion, laws of style, laws of language, laws of polite behaviour, laws of self-restraint. There are some laws we must not break now. A rebellion in one area, though, is long overdue. We think, because we can't leap tall buildings in a single bound, that there's no point in jumping. We imagine, because we know that we can't go faster than a speeding express train, that we will never get anywhere.. We yearn for superhuman powers and then feel decidedly frustrated by their annoying absence. Right now, we really don't need a cape or a one-piece Lycra suit. We just need a little more faith in the abilities that we do already have. Our opportunity is perfectly feasible and well-worth pursuing. But how much of the future can we really see? Less than we wish we could, but more than we think we can! Some things will always be hidden. Others definitely can be correctly identified. From time to time, the heavens find it necessary to boost our powers of prediction. It requires us to have an inkling of what's possible, to ensure that we make appropriate choices….


In Nigeria our country we are getting a glimpse of the shape of things to come. If we like the look of this, let’s trust it and work to make it a reality. If we don't, let’s take heed - and take action.. After a while, we get used to wading through treacle. We don't expect our steps to be anything but sticky. We wear treacle-proof boots. We develop treacle-treading techniques. Then, to our surprise, we walk out one morning to find the streets have been cleaned. The treacle has all been washed away.. We miss it. We even feel suspicious. Could it be a trick to lull us into a false sense of security? Right now, something awkward is leaving our motherland. Something good is coming to take its place. We mustn’t fear this change – we must embrace it. As we edge nearer to a goblin guardian with a sharp sword, we are growing deeply uncomfortable. Surely, there must be another way out of the tunnel? If this way, so fraught with danger, is the only way to proceed, perhaps it is best not to proceed at all - but then we don't want to remain in the catacombs forever. As we contemplate the daunting obstacle, let’s listen carefully. What's that noise? It sounds a lot like snoring. Guess what? Nigeria’s enemies are asleep! It's only an analogy but it is, Trust me, a good one. The Lord our God is on our side now. The period of uncertainty that we have lately been going through is now coming to an end. We won't suddenly find that we have all the answers but we will at least start to feel sure that we are asking the right questions. We won't suddenly resolve all our disagreements with others - but we'll feel much more comfortable about the need and reason for the conflict. We won't get everything we want - but I strongly believe we will at least become happy that we know how to get it over time. Progress is about to become possible in the world most beloved nation…well! It’s Nigeria. Two words spring to mind. The first is 'cards'. The second is 'table'. Let’s put the first upon the second. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Others may not choose to be so candid. Our efforts to set an example may - or may not - have a constructive impact. It's possible they may make some people extra keen to conceal something. It doesn't matter. Let’s do what we know is right and fair... and Nigerians won't be sorry.


This world is full of people who are struggling to get what they want. Some are failing while others are succeeding. So who, among these, should we congratulate and to whom should we offer sympathy? That's not a question that can be answered without knowing more about what is being sought and why. It's perfectly possible to get what we think we want and be miserable.. It's possible too, to never get it but deeply enjoy the process of trying.. Let’s forget about whether we are winning or losing now. Let’s just aim to be wise. What goes up though, must surely come down. Unless, that is, it happens to be a rocket, capable of defying the earth's gravity. Such vessels only have to come back if their pilots want them to. They can float in space forever if they are not deliberately drawn down again. Some people believe that when we come to the end of our time on this earth, we will all be judged. If that's really so, how will we know that we have arrived in a different place? Surely, it is here in this world that the judging takes place. We mortals never seem to stop weighing each other up, jumping to conclusions and apportioning degrees of innocence and blame. If the gods aren't a little more impartial and forgiving, do they really deserve their place in the pantheon? Let’s not be too harsh on ourselves or others now. Without problems to solve, we may as well be potatoes - or cabbages! We will have no stimulation, no motivation, no challenges to rise to and no choices to make. We need difficulty in just the same way as we need food. We mustn't have too much - but we mustn't have too little, either. We may prefer our troubles to have a particular texture or flavour, but it is surprising what we can digest when we really have to. There is a way now to gain enjoyment in our country and even nourishment from a situation that I believe we all dislike. Let’s imagine it is 2007. We are looking back together over the last couple of years and assessing the experiences we have been through. Are we going to decide that we have made a series of clever moves or will we be looking back at a trail of missed opportunities? That entirely depends on how keen we have been to get to the future! The key to success in our country right now, does not involve hurrying time along and trying to speed up the arrival of tomorrow. It involves developing a deeper appreciation of what's happening today.


When we feel hungry, it doesn't matter how good life has been lately or how much we have to look forward to. All we know is that our stomach is growling and we have to do something about this! Likewise, when we're tired or feel under the weather. Some needs are so overwhelming that, till they have been met, they 'cancel out' everything else. Emotional states can have the same effect. We get so 'into' a desire, a fear, a resentment or a worry that the rest of our life begins to seem irrelevant. Let’s watch for that now. Some factors are bugging us in this country, big time. But it's really not as important as we think. Let’s not let it spoil our enjoyment of all that's so good in our country, in other ways. Opportunities are only useful to us if we are able to recognize them. We can be surrounded by all the things we need most but if they're hidden behind walls or if we're looking to the left when they happen to be on the right... we'll just feel as if nothing is on offer to us. Pessimists forget that opportunity is playful and likes to play hide and seek. Optimists, though, just join in the game.... and join in. If they can't see an opening or a possibility, they start hunting. They inwardly 'know' it must be somewhere nearby, waiting to be dug out. Let’s be optimistic now in Nigeria. If we set out looking for a better way to move on... we WILL find one! There is not much point in putting on a play if there is no one in the audience to watch it. Why bother staging a drama if it's not going to create a reaction? Somewhere in our country, a fire is burning. We can add more fuel or we can leave it to burn itself out. I believe we can regain control and restore order. To do this, we must be firm (though, not heavy-handed) and confident (but not arrogant). Above all else we must be honest with ourselves. What do we really want? We will only make progress if our actions match our words. The trouble with small deceptions is that they have a tendency to turn into large deceptions. Whether they involve white lies or dark secrets, they work well enough until someone notices a gap between fact and fiction. Then, either the truth has to come out or an additional layer of misinformation has to be created. Life sometimes brings tricky decisions. It also sometimes brings up tough choices for friends or associates. It's all very well saying, 'err in favour of honesty' but sometimes, a policy of honesty can appear to be a highly erroneous path to follow. Discretion may well make life easier than candour. But integrity is a MUST. In life, we must never let anything compromise our integrity.

Cultural & Public Diplomacy Practitioner, Specialist Investigator and Honorary Representative

Don't measure yourself by what you have accomplished so far but by what you should have accomplished with your ability.

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November 01, 2005

The Ibori Clan: Their Game Plan

by Jonathan Elendu and Sowore Omoyele --- Late Wednesday afternoon on October 19th, we were working the phones as we put the finishing touches to our story, "Ibori in Oil Deals?" It came out the following day. During one of our numerous conversations with sources at the Delta State Governor's

office, we were told that the Nigerian media would not pick up any stories on Ibori that are perceived to be negative. A few days after our story on Gov. Ibori was published, one of the sources from his office called to ask us how we were able to convince the Nigerian Tribune to carry the story. We did not know that the Tribune had carried the story and we were even more surprised at the Ibori camp's confidence that the Nigerian press would not pick up our story. "Well, let's put it this way, even journalists know on what side their bread is buttered and lbori is the gift that always gives," stated our source.

After talking to a few people working with major Nigerian newspapers, we went back to confront the source with our findings that there is no evidence available to us that shows Ibori paying editors to 'kill' our story on him. "Do you think journalists are better than other Nigerians? You must be naïve to think they were not paid by Ibori to kill the story. I know for a fact that at least ten million naira exchanged hands on Thursday night, after your story came out. You guys talk about corruption, but when it concerns journalists you look the other way. Is it by accident that Ibori and Atiku are friends? Don't you see how the Nigerian media treat these two?" he asked in anger. The truth is that we have yet to find any evidence of journalists and editors being bribed to 'kill' our stories and when find such information, we will publish them. Yes, the Iboris keep giving gifts.

Since we published the last story on Ibori, more information has come to light concerning the Ibori family, Whitehill Corp., and Okey Ilo. Within hours of publishing the Ibori story, we got documents that suggested that Haleway Properties, a company registered in Gibralter, is owned by Gov. James and Tessi Ibori. The documents we have indicate that on 4th December 2001, Tessi Ibori registered Haleway Trading Company. The registration number of the company is 04334204. The registered office of the company is 1st floor, Alpine House, Unit 2, Honeypot Lane, London NW9 9RX. On the 31st August of last year, the company was dissolved. Our investigation into the Ibori affair has shed more light on Tessi Ibori's partner in Whitehill Corp., Okey Ilo. Sources close to Tessi Ibori told that Okey and Tessi's friendship has been going on for a while. Okey grew up in Enugu and graduated from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Upon graduation he left the shores of Nigeria for Europe. He and Tessi may have met in London, but from all indications their relationship has been on-going as the Delta State First Lady is said to have paid for the renovation of Okey Ilo's family home in Enugu.

Hence, it came as no surprise to some people in the Delta Government House that Tessi's name showed up in Okey Ilo's company. Our sources said that Tessi's Personal Assistant, who is very much in the know of the Tessi-Okey relationship, has sometimes tried to distract some 'nosey' staffers at the Government House. Shortly before we went to press, Ebo, Tessi Ibori's personal assistant called us. She denied knowing Okey Ilo. However, their business deals in Warri, Asaba, London, and other places have not escaped the attention of some Government House insiders in Asaba. Gov. James Ibori may not be unaware of the Okey Ilo-Tessi relationship. A source, who should know, said this to us: "James Ibori has a lot of irons in the fire hence he may not have time to look into Tessi's issues, if you know what I mean. The house and Bentley you guys published is Tessi Ibori's London home. There is another home in West London, which was bought in 2002 for nine hundred thousand pounds (£900,000.00). That is where Ibori's other wife lives and if you guys gain access to the garage you will find a black 2002 Mercedes S 500." We are still working to confirm this information.

Tessi Ibori

Tessi Nkoyo Ibori is a woman who loves the limelight. Her web site is a testimony to her love of attention and public acclaim. On her web site are pictures of her philanthropy and love for sports. Her sports involvement includes the Nkoyo Ibori Table Tennis championship, Nkoyo Ibori under 20 National Sports championship, and Nkoyo Ibori Power Lifting championship. She also has the Delta Manna Foundation, which claims to work with kids and the less privileged members of Delta State. made several attempts to get Tessi Ibori's reaction to this story. We left several telephone messages at her office. An unsigned email from her office directed to write an application to interview Tessi Ibori. We were also directed to state in our application the purpose of the interview and then wait for processing.

Another Ibori woman that has come to our attention is Christie Omatie Ibori-Ibie, elder sister of Gov. James Ibori. Christie lives in London. There are suggestions that she is separated from her husband. But Christie, in a chat with said she is not separated from her husband. Christie said her husband; a retired federal permanent secretary has always lived in Nigeria for over twenty years while she has lived in London. There were reports that she lived in a government allotted flat in Kilburn until her brother became the Governor of Delta State. She denies it. "What are you talking about? I lived in a big 7-bedroom house in Kilburn. The house is owned by my husband and it is now on rent. What qualifies me for a council flat in London?" she fumed. Although she refused to confirm it, Christie now lives in a house that cost about four hundred and eighty thousand pounds (£480,000.00). She has never held a job in London and describes herself as a "housewife, not a contractor." She tried to prevail on not to include her name in this report. "I am hiding myself in this country. I don't want my name in the press. I'm not in government; please don't put my name in your report. I like my privacy and quiet life." Christie Omatie Ibori-Ibie's house is said to be a Mecca of sorts for Delta State government officials visiting London. They are expected to pay homage to her. And Christie's relationship with the Delta State Commissioner of Sports has caused some concern in government circles. Christie says there is nothing special about her relationship with the Commissioner, "He works in my brother's government and my relationship with Solomon is the same with other Delta Government officials."

A source, very close to Gov. James Ibori, told, "Among the governors from Niger Delta, Ibori did more in terms of development than any other, but he has enriched himself and some of his friends, like Ighoyota Amori." According to the source, "Amori became so powerful to the point of influencing domestic decisions in Ibori's life." However, in 2003, Ibori tried to break with Amori. To achieve this he used people like Faith Igue, one of his Special Advisers to create some divisions in Asaba. Ighoyota Amori is the past Commissioner for Education in Delta State. Currently, he is the Political Adviser to Gov. Ibori. Amori is listed as a director of TONAM Ltd. He gave his address in the company documents as 17, Sanderling Court, Abinger Grove, SE 8 5TE. That address is believed to be a Council flat. He recently acquired a flat in the highbrow St. John's Wood. His current address in London is 64 Queens Grove, London, NW 8 6 ER. Amori was recently convicted by the Code of Conduct Bureau and banned from holding public office for ten years. He was also directed to reimburse the Delta State Government his salary from the time he started serving in the Delta Government. Amori had refused to declare his assets when he became a public official. Using convoluted reasoning, Amori claimed that he was not a public official when he served in the Ibori government. What was he afraid of? The code of conduct verdict may have dampened his governorship ambition.

Another influential member of the Ibori clan is Jame's half-brother, Emma Uduarhan. Although Ibori is Urhobo, Emma is Itsekiri. He is the current Secretary to Delta State Government. Ibori's game plan is to install his half-brother as the next Governor of Delta State. This will satisfy the clamor for power shift, as well as ensure that Ibori's interests are protected. On the other hand, Faith Igue wants to be the chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party in Delta State. There has been some resistance to the Ibori game plan, although we were told that the Ibori political machinery would prevail.

Additional reports by Eddy W.

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Fantasy (Idealism), Physics (Realism), and Metaphysics (Escape): Physics vs. Metaphysics

by Ozodi Thomas Osuji, Ph.D. (Seatle, Washington) --- There are three ways of operating in this world: idealistic/fantasy, realistic/science and metaphysical/escape from the world. They are not to be mixed and cannot be mixed, anyway. You have to understand them and know what mode you operate in.

In fantasy or idealism, the individual sees reality as it is and does not like what he sees. He uses his thinking and imagination to improve the real world he sees with his five senses particularly his eyes and comes up with an ideal picture of the world. The ideal is an image in his mind and is not real. Because the ideal is an idea, and an image, his mind and thinking can improve it however many times he wants to. And he does improve it hundreds of times, every day of his life. Every time he sees the real world and appreciates its imperfection, he imagines an ideal alternative to it. This process never ends. What is ideal is always changing, its goal post always extended. When a person is idealistic he tends to forever imagine how ideal things could be. He builds castles in the air (and in excesses, such as in neurosis and psychosis psychiatrists charges him money and lives in his castles, too)

Realism perceives physical reality, as it is, and adjusts itself to it. It studies energy and matter and understands them on their own terms and copes with them as they are.

Realism accepts the world’s imperfections as reality and deals with it on those terms. It does not try to improve physical reality with imagination of how it could become.

Realism, physics and science accepts the empirical world as it is and adjusts to it. This is successful adaptation to the world. The realistic person attempts to operate in the world according to the world’s parameters and largely succeeds in it; he makes a good living for himself and his family.

Since physical reality, biology suggests that human thinking, mind, is epiphenomenal, that is, and is a result of brain activity: the configuration and permutation of the particles, atoms and elements in the human brain, the realist accepts the possibility that he ends with his physical death. He hopes that when he dies that he ceases in being and disappears into oblivion.

Materialistic monism suggests that since thinking, mind is a product of matter, that when we die, our bodies decompose and that our thinking, mind ceases being. Realism might be called ego realism.

Realism does not indulge in wistfulness; indeed, in extreme form, it is atheistic and in minor form is agnostic but seldom theistic.

Metaphysical religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism and A Course in Miracles claim that the world of physics is not real, is a dream world and needs to be transcended.

Metaphysics rejects ego idealism and ego realism. It sees ego idealism as fantasy, as misguided efforts to improve the imperfections of ego realism, in an imaginary way that would lead to no useful results.

Metaphysics rejects the realism of physics, ego realism, and negates the world altogether. It escapes from the world into what it considers a better world: a joined, unified, formless, spiritual world of God.

Only a few persons actually have experienced the world that metaphysics talks about. Those who claim to have experienced that world are called mystics.

One either accepts what mystics claim to be the nature of spiritual reality or one rejects it. There is no way for one to prove those claims in the material universe. The only way to verify their veracity is for one to experience what these folks claim to have experienced. Since most people do not have such experiences, they then must reject them or accept them on the basis of hearsay, on faith. We all know where faith has led mankind, to irrational behaviors.

Metaphysics does not attempt to adapt to the realities of the material universe but transcend it, hence transcendentalism. The term metaphysics, itself means beyond physics. (The term physics is Greek for Latin Natura, the material world. Metaphysics transcends, or claims to transcend the natural, material world.)

As far as I can see, metaphysics does not grapple with the realities of the material and social world and does not enable us adapt to them. Therefore, it does not put bread on our table.

What enable us to adapt to the exigencies of this world is science and its applied form, technology. Science studies energy, matter and human beings as they are and devises technologies to adapt to them, on their own terms.

The only use of metaphysics, that I can see, is that it gives people peace of mind of and helps them eliminates fear. If one believed in the idea of God and life after death, it enables one not to be scared by the exigencies of this world we live in and be calm. Belief in God can give one mental equanimity and calmness. (So does certain philosophies, such as stoicism.)

Those who pursue metaphysics often talk sweet talk but beg their food. Consider Christian ministers. They talk about an all powerful God who gives us everything we ask for. But that God, apparently, does not give the ministers what they ask for. The ministers often have to appeal to their Church members’ sense of guilt and out of guilt they fork out money to the ministers to live on.

As it were, church members go work in the physical world and realistically make a living and then come give ministers’ money with which they exist to talk their unrealistic, world escaping metaphysical talk.

This same phenomenon is replicated at the universities where professors of metaphysics, aka philosophy, cannot earn their daily bread through their so-called knowledge. Philosophy has no market; people are not willing to pay for it. Unable to make a living from their philosophy, these professors attach themselves to universities and have the taxpayers of society pay for their existence. They teach what has no value in the market. Their students graduate in philosophy and cannot obtain jobs with what they studied. As it were, university philosophy professors are parasites living off a host called society while contributing no worthwhile product to that society?

Scientists, especially applied ones, technologists, teach what is useful to people and, therefore, have a ready market. Those who studied science and technology easily obtain jobs with what they studied, for employers need their services to enable them produce goods and services and sell them to a public that finds them useful in adapting to its world. There are people willing to pay for the services of science professors so they are not parasites.

Philosophers and priests seem like parasites carried on the people’s backs. It is only scientists and technologists that produce wealth and who are useful to the people and legitimately earn their daily bread.

A Course in Miracles, a metaphysics, talks about how to escape from this world, how to negate the material and social world and reach an already existing world inside the mind. (Mind does not exist, in fact; mind is name for the abstraction called thinking; thinking is a process and not a tangible reality.)

The world has its physical laws and will continue operating as it has done for billions of years despite ACIM and metaphysics in general. You can escape from the world into your thinking, even into inner peace as in meditation, but sooner or later, if you want to live in this world of space, time and matter, you have to return to it and operate according to its parameters, its imperfect laws.

ACIM is a world view; it is perfectly consistent and unified in its own terms, but seems not relevant to the realities of this material world. It does not yield food and material things in this world.

Like Hinduism, if you follow ACIM, you escape from this world and as in Hinduism you would be poor. Hinduism and other religions do give inner peace, psychological peace, not social peace for there are still earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural forces beyond the control of our thinking; there is suffering in the world despite religion’s consolation (and the consolation of philosophy, for the purely rationalistic).

ACIM as spiritual psychology can enable you understand the nature of the ego (the human self concept, self image, and personality), the ego real (normal persons) and ego ideal (neurotic and psychotic persons). ACIM contains sound psychology and can enable folks to understand the fact that their self concepts/self images are mere ideas that they defend and defense seem to make those ideas real to them.

Defense does not make ego, real or ideal, fantasy real. All that defense makes is give the defender the impression that what he defends is real. What seems real is not real. It is not real and your defense of it merely gives you anxiety, fear, pain, paranoia, depression, guilt, shame, pride, and other negative affects.

You can choose to stop defending the ego, real or ideal forms of it. When you stop defending the ego, real or ideal, you tend to relax, and experience mental, emotional and somatic peace.

Indeed, if you stop defending your ego, you experience mental health, for you are no longer like the neurotic wasting your time defending a fantasy that does not exist, a fantasy of your invention.

Psychotics pretend to be their ideal self concepts/self images, fantasy. The neurotic wants to become his ideal self but knows that he is not that ideal self. He nevertheless, has a compulsion to be like his ideal self and tends to experience anxiety from fear that his ideal self will not come into being. The psychotic assumes that his ideal self has already come into being and is no longer experiencing anxiety; the psychotic has escaped from physical reality and lives in his fantasy world.

No defenses of the ego, real or ideal amounts to having no ego; and no suffering. No defenses you live in peace.

With no defenses of the ego ideal and its ideal world one lives in ego real, that is, the physical world. Here, only minor defenses are called for; defenses of the body, for body must be defended with food, medications, clothes, houses etc for it to survive.

Metaphysics teaches that when the ego and its ideals are not defended, that when body also is not defended, that when one goes inside and tunes out the external world that one experiences ones real self: the Christ self.

Remove the obstacles to the awareness of union, Christ self, love, and one experiences the love, unified self, Christ self that is always already there.

When one stops trying to be ones ego, real or ideal, one stops fighting with the environment, with other people in a foolish effort to realize ones ego, real or ideal.

The neurotic tries to actualize what does not exist, his ideal self; the psychotic thinks that he has already realized it hence lives in illusions.

The ego is mere fantasy, a fiction, an idea, an image, a picture that is always changing hence cannot be actualized, for if you think that you have actualized one picture, it changes and compels you to try to actualize another improved picture, improved idea of your ego and its improved image; there is never an end to self improvement, it is a treadmill without an end.

You must then stop and go inwards and experience your already existing unified spirit self, a self that needs no improvement, metaphysics claims.


Science studies reality, as it is, and designs a technology to adapt to it, as it is. This is how human beings adapt to their world.

Political science is part of the enterprise of science. In that sense, it studies how human beings live together in society and manage their social affairs. Like science in general, what it sees are imperfect human beings doing imperfect jobs of managing their social affairs. But that is reality.

Practical Politics is like applied science, engineering and medicine, that applies what pure science, in this case, political science, knows about human political behavior. The politician is a practical man, he is like an engineer and doctor, and he deals with the world of the real, not the imagined ideal world. He deals with imperfect human beings, people pursuing their self interests hence necessarily having conflicts and needing mechanisms for conflict resolution. The practical politician is a political realist, for he accepts imperfect human beings and deals with them on their terms; he does not attempt to make people and their political institutions ideal and perfect. Democracy, our present preferred social institution, is by no means perfect, but it seems the best we can do given human imperfection.

The political idealist, on the other hand, sees extant politics as not good enough and uses his thinking and imagination to construct idealistic versions of it, fantasies of how human beings ought to behave and ought to be politically organized. He constructs perfections in his thinking, mind. These are politics according to the individual’s ego wishes.

Political idealism, psychological idealism and spiritual idealism are how the individual wants society to be governed, how he wants man to be psychologically and how he wants spirit to be idealistically. This is the world according to the individual’s ego wishes, fantasy.

Of course, the real world is not going to change and become what the idealist wishes that it become. In the realm of spirit, metaphysics says that spirit and its world are already there, are as God created them and that we cannot add or subtract from it with our wishes. The real self is already there. We have to remove our ego wishes, remove our idealism, to experience the Christ, unified self already in us.

Indeed, metaphysics teaches that as long as you wish for ideal states that you are not going to experience your real self. Idealism is an obstacle to the awareness of spirit. In other words, idealisms are bad and must be given up.

In the egos real world, idealisms are certainly bad for they prevent one from adapting to the real, empirical world of space, time and matter and social realities; idealism prevents one from adapting to the physical universe and doing what one must do to adjust to it. Escape into idealistic fantasies only keeps one ignorant and poor.

One must, therefore, return to real politics, that is, political science and its applied form, what politicians do. Like an engineer, one must apply what the science of politics tells us is how human beings operate. The science of politics tells us that human beings are selfish and not socially interested and that, as such, there must be social conflicts, conflicts managed but not eliminated by politicians.

My problem was my rejection of real politics and preference for political idealism, fantasy. That was escapist and useless. Therefore, one must jettison political idealism, fantasies and embrace the real world, the ego’s real world. One did not make the egos real world (according to ACIM all of us collectively made the egos and egos real world) or the Holy Spirit’s real world.

(I need do nothing to experience the Holy Spirit’s real world; in fact, it is in doing something, in constructing go ideals that I do not experience that Holy Spirit’s real world).

A Course in miracles has some uses within the realm of psychology. It teaches basic psychology and if we understand it and do what it asks us to do, we shall experience peace and happiness.

George Kelly tells us that each of us constructs a self concept; Karen Horney tells us that some of us, neurotics construct an ego ideal and try to make it seem real. The ego and its idealized form, special self, are not real; they are ideas, ideas turned into pictures and images and then defended, as if they are real.

All that the neurotic (that is, all human beings in degrees) does with his life is defend his ego, real and ideal self image, and in doing so experience anxiety, pain and suffering.

If the individual lets his self concept and its image go, he experiences peace. But the ego so wants to be real that it attempts to use spirituality and metaphysics to make itself seem real. It attempts to use ACIM to make the ego and the ego’s world one constructed seem real to one. The ego, that is, the separated self identification of the sleeping Son of God, our earthly identity, wants God and the Holy Spirit to make its wishes real. But that is not going to happen, for the ego is the dis/ease: pursuing it gives one anxiety and other mental and emotional upsets.

The Holy Spirit wants one to give the ego up and not make it real. True spiritualism wants one to give up the ego, give up ones self concept, give up the world according to the ego and its ideals and return to the world created by God.

True spirituality wants one to die to the self concept and be reborn in the world of unified spirit self, the Christ self, that does not live in body. That new self and its world is not of the ego, is not created by one; it is created by God and the Holy Spirit, so one needs do nothing to experience it; one only needs to remove the ego and its ideals one constructed to see the real world and eventually to experience the spirit world.

Spirituality and ego idealism are not the same. Ego idealism, spiritual idealism etc are of the ego. True spirituality is not of our thinking, is not fantasy, one must be quiet to experience it.

In this world, you can choose to deal with ego realism, the ego’s physics and survive on its own terms, but you cannot make ego idealism become true. You cannot mix ego idealism, ego spiritual idealism and spirituality. Spirituality is not of ones making.

ACIM, thus, has some uses, it enables one to see that ego idealism and spiritual idealism are all of the egos making and helps one to give them up, so as to experience the world of God, a world already created by God, not invented by one.

In true spirituality, you no longer look outside you to see yourself but look inside you to know your true self that God created, that you rejected and invented the false self in body to replace with and want to be it and present it to other people to accept and keep that dance going on.

Let go of your ego, real or ideal, and experience your real self, which is calm and peaceful and happy. This is the real gift of the Course in Miracles to you: it helps you to give up your ego, real or ideal, and accept your Holy Spirit recreated self from that ego. Ultimately, it points you in the direction of accepting your God created unified self.


When you effect this change in self perception: change in thinking about who you and the world are, change in mind, and your character changes. You change your personality; you change your mind and thinking. This is transformation of the self: from separated ego to unified self. You no longer feel ego upsets. You no longer analyze yourself and other people, all in a futile effort to make your and their egos seem real, for they are not ever going to be real, for the unreal cannot be real.

If I accomplish this end, I have changed my family’s pattern of thinking and behaving, our multigenerational neurotic lifestyles. If I succeed, what I accomplish is no less than revolution of the self and its world, the internal world, not the external world.

It means that I stop trying to change other people. I cannot change other people. I cannot change the mentally it (as I tried to change them when, for over ten years I ran mental health agencies). Only the individual chooses to be who he is and can choose to be different.

The only person that I can change is me, not other people. If I change and live in peace and have no emotional upsets, no fear, anger, sadness, depression, paranoia, etc then I can model that lifestyle for the world and if they want to, they can copy it.

I write about healthy lifestyles and those who want to can read my writings. There are no accidents in God’s universe: those who read what I wrote, those who choose to read my writings, will read them. Those who do not want to read them, even if I shove them to their face, if they are not for them, they will not read them.

My goal is to understand neurosis and overcome it. The neurotic invents an ideal ego self and wants to become it. Normal persons invent realistic ego selves and live it. The neurotic who wants to become an ideal self, around people feels that that ideal self my not be affirmed by other people. Generally, he tells tall stories to make himself seem like the perfect, ideal, all important self he invented and around people fears that they may not accept his lies about himself and fear of exposure makes him feel intensely anxious. Since he is not that self he feels that it would be exposed and feels anxious. Feeling anxious, he runs away from people and in avoidance retains his imaginary, ideal big self. By retaining his desired ideal self, he guarantees that he would feel anxious the next time and the next day he is around people. As long as he desires to be an ideal and all powerful self he must be prone to fear, anxiety, anger, paranoia and depression.

The solution is for him to give up all desire for ideal self and accept normal realistic ego that does not desire perfection; here he reduces his anxiety to normal levels. In the long run, he must give up his ego self concept, and ego self image; he must give up his personality and have no ego, separated self. When he does so, has no ego self, real or ideal, to defend; now he feels perfectly peaceful and happy. If in that state of egoless thinking he dies, he would no longer come back to this world, for he does not wish to come back to the world of egos. He has transcended the world of separated egos and has no lesson to learn from this world and does not come back to it.

Thus, I leave the field of mental health to psychiatrists who believe in body and allow them to shove medications to those who believe that they are bodies; both false. I go to where I belong, the world of the intellect. My goal is to show people how to think in a healthy manner.

Real self is spirit and does not need food, clothes and material things. On earth, we make ourselves into bodies and need food, clothes etc. ACIM says that we did this to ourselves, all in a misguided effort to seem powerful, via self invention, the invention of our egos.

We condemned ourselves to this suffering. I must have pity on a humanity that does this self punishment to itself and do my best to teach it that it is spirit and does not need food etc. If one believed that one is spirit, one would not eat food. (I just went for forty days without food, just drank water.) One would not need clothes for one would not be in body.

Accept your real self, spirit; liberate yourself from the hell of seeing yourself as body and then help other people do the same, liberate them selves from their slavery to ego and its hellish existence.

God has blessed all of us. God has given all of us his grace by having us live in his heaven where all our needs were met. In heaven we are spirit and do not have physical needs. We chose to separate from spirit and go live in body. Here we suffer, scrounging for food. We made ourselves suffer. We have denied God’s blessing of us and chose to live in ego pain. If you see a human being, adult or child, man or woman, black or white, realize that he or she is suffering. Bless him or her and do what you can to reduce their suffering. Love is all that you can do to reduce others sufferings so love every person you see. When you add your blessings to God’s blessing of people, even though they deny blessing for themselves you reduce their suffering.

Posted by Administrator at 06:46 AM | Comments (0)

Nigerians are the only way out for Nigeria: Not Leaders without any Passion for the Nation

by Ojewale Caleb (Mushin, Lagos) --- Many of us Nigerians have given up on our leaders, our nation, and worse of all, on ourselves. We no longer believe in the entity called Nigeria, a nation which our few past heroes fought to unite, that entity which some unknown Nigerian(s) have died for the cause of upholding her unity and true independence.

Many of us Nigerians see our country as a nightmare. Many of us see our nation as a wild dream, an illogical experiment of a colonial master or probably of the then British empire come true. Nigeria is not the only country where there is more than a single tribe, why then is it so hard for her citizens to work and fight together against her oppressors instead of demanding for disintegration while her people suffer here in the country and beyond the shores of the country as well.

When would Nigeria be free from dictatorship? When would Nigeria become free of policies fashioned out to ‘discipline’ political rivals of incumbent administrations? Policies which may seem to be people oriented, but the end of which is bad news. Legislative amendments which should have been made to uphold the prevalence of the rule of law but at the end of which manipulation and ignorance is what the people see when there are law breaches in the human high places of this nation, the placement of ban on diverse goods and materials without liberalizing the market for prospective indigenous manufacturers and investors to fully utilize the ban to the advantage of the nation, enriching our leaders at the expense of some innocent people who have been misfortune enough to come from oil enriched parts of the country. Our problems are indeed uncountable, but for how long are we going to wait on some group people on whose agendas we have not yet featured.

Malaysia is currently one of the largest producing and exporting countries of palm oil and other palm produce, but I doubt if Nigerians know that this same Malaysia came to Nigeria in the 1970’s to purchase palm seedlings to be replanted while Nigeria has nothing to show for its previous years of agricultural glory and splendor. Nigeria has the finest grade of crude oil that can ever be found on this planet, yet, Nigerians are being deprived of enjoying this special gift of the almighty, let alone the inhabitants of the oil producing states. How I wish there were a better way to determine how well our leaders have done for us, but indeed, our leaders have failed. A country where her president has become the lapdog of the IMF, the World Bank, and other monetary organizations around the world, as well as some few leading countries in the world, such as the USA and Britain.

A country where her leaders can never, and would never take steps or decisions that would further enhance the living status of her citizens, unless there is going to be a reward for the kind gesture. Where they elected, voted for and sworn in to office so that they could appreciate only those "Nigerians" who got them into office? And not those other Nigerians who queued up under the sun to ensure their victory? If not, why then would Mr. president or any other state governor refuse to commission or give out a contract or project unless generous appreciation would be shown, most especially, to his foreign accounts. It is rather unfortunate that we have continued to cry for help. Help from whom? The same people who are busy investing workers’ salaries into their own private businesses? Or the same people who have turned taxpayers’ money into their own royalties for serving the people? Of course we should not, because they are leaders without a single passion for their nation.

Our leaders have failed us, and we have done worse by failing ourselves as a nation. We have not been confronting our problems, we have refused to identify our enemies and beat them to the challenge. The solutions to our problems lie in our ability to recognize not only our problems alone, but every single factor behind its existence – human or non-human. Our second step, which is the most important of it all, is to forget the cankerworm we call a government, work together as corporate bodies and organizations, individuals and diverse establishments, and see where our collective contributions towards the growth of our country would take us. Hopefully far beyond everything our governments can ever achieve, at least until the almighty sends down a mighty revolution. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa said,

Many Nigerians deceive themselves by thinking that Nigeria is one. This pretence of unity is artificial. The southern tribes now pouring into the north do not mix with the northern people, we in the north look upon them as invaders.

If indeed our pretence of unity is artificial, it is no sufficient reason for us to disintegrate. The cause of this feeling of disunity is a Nigeria suffering from co-operative wickedness in the human high places which over the years have become bewitched by elements of backwardness. A decision which we all should make is total objectivity of our leaders, without geopolitical favoritism.

When a politician around you is doing things that dent the image of the country and worse still, affects people negatively, I admonish you not to be hypocrites. Never pretend to be in agreement with what he/she is doing when you really don’t. Why suffer in silence. Save yourself Nigeria!

Ojewale Caleb, P.O box 2751, Mushin post office, Mushin – Lagos

Posted by Administrator at 06:32 AM | Comments (0)

A Life in our Short Days: In loving memory of the Bellview 117 and Mrs. Stella Obasanjo

by Uche Nworah (London, England) ---

"Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee." John Donne (1572-1631)

This morning, I woke up as usual and knelt down and prayed. Uche (my wife) was still sleeping and so I made my way to the bathroom, finished my business in there and went into the kitchen. Breakfast as usual, halfway through she met me in there and we discussed our plans for the day.

After we had both jointly prayed our common prayer of agreement, I kissed her goodbye and left for work. My car was still parked in its normal place, inside everything was just as I had left it the previous night and I drove to work. Down the road, I saw a few of the regulars and early risers making their way to the bus stop and tube station, it was a typical October morning in London and the rest of the city slept on.

I could imagine the bus conductors in Lagos at this hour calling on their early morning passengers, Oshodi o! Oshodi o! Oshodi oke o! Oshodi o! enter with your sense (change) o! conductor no get sense o! or Festac-21-last bus stop! For those going in the opposite direction. I wondered what the conversations inside the buses will be at this time, and the different takes of the average Nigerian about the weekend’s events.

Back in London, traffic had already began to build up at the Blackwell tunnel, fathers and mothers, boys and girls going to work, I spotted some school kids at the back of some of the cars. Having mastered the trick of crossing the tunnel in record time, I deftly manoeuvred to the right lane and cruised on slowly. By 8 am I was already at work, no week day routines broken as yet.

I checked my emails and read the newspapers online, still more comments and analysis about Stella and the Bellview 117. I quickly put together my stuffs and waited for the 9 a.m bunch, a teacher’s job is never done, I had prepared that morning’s lectures the previous night and I was ready. At 10.30 a.m, the students went for their 15 minutes break, deserved or not, oblivious of death and the events in Marbella (Spain) and Lisa (Ogun state). By 12.30 noon my first class was finished, it was time to unpack my lunch, the leftover from last night’s rice and chicken stew. After lunch, I called my wife and checked up on her. This was my morning.

Alex, my Kenyan colleague, an avid observer of Nigerian events tried to engage me in banter, but my sullen mood didn’t encourage him. By 2.30 p.m, I was back in class for the last lap, teacher and students tested each other’s temperament and patience for the next two hours, some of them didn’t want to be there, I didn’t ask them to be there but the system has brought us together, we contend and tolerate each other till the end, some had reached the tube station by the time I had finished sharing out the homework, who cares? This was my afternoon.

By the time I got to Room A29, they were already seated, the head of the faculty, and the programme managers, plus the other lecturers, ‘Uche where have you been they asked’? I mumbled a few words and quietly sat down; it was meeting time again. They took turns and droned on but my mind was far, and my mood low. Finally we all trooped out, happy that we had survived yet another day at work. ‘See you all tomorrow’ rented the air as we each grabbed our coats and made a mad rush for the car park to begin another journey home, over the thoughts of home, sweet home.

A friend called me from far away America, a new - breed Nigerian politician, we discussed the weekend’s events, and the futility of life, and of wealth acquisition, deep inside we were afraid. After dinner, I talked some more with my wife and watched some sitcom re-runs on television, as a new Friends convert and fan courtesy of my wife, I found the Joey, Ross and Phoebe characters interesting, Joey is like me, we both love food, Ross is like most men I know, always embroiled with women issues and Phoebe brings out the child in all of us. I would have loved though to be watching football on Sky sports, but everything for love.

Afterwards we watched our other favourites, FBI Files and Crime Scene Investigation (CSI) on the discovery channel and then sleep beckoned. We prayed and thanked God for life, we also remembered the dead.

And that was my day, and yours?

In loving memory of the Bellview 117 and Mrs Stella Obasanjo.

Posted by Administrator at 04:59 AM | Comments (0)

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