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« The Exclusion of Ojukwu: A Nigerian Affair | Main | Obasanjo, the Greatest Hypocrite, and Deceptive President »

March 21, 2005

A critic [al] self-evaluation

by Ndubueze Godson It has become very important to breach my self-imposed sabbatical to lend voice once again on issue that I know I’m guilty of in the Nigerian context, critiquing as I wont to, with aura of honesty nonetheless. Just for the removal of any doubt, this essay is strictly about me and my method of showing disapproval over certain things that daily occur in Nigeria with occasional reference to things or authors for reinforcement sake.

Most times after a browse through superbly written articles I nod my head in acknowledgement of the grammar prowess at display which a good number of you have. That thought usually fades with a self reminder that most people who attended Communication/Journalism school are expected to write better. And when they don’t, we tend to wonder what type of night school (lol) they struggled out of in the same way we look up to Physicians to know their onions. Thus, it is not by leap of fate that they are better.

You cannot read without admirable appreciation of the skills of many writers whom I have privately sent felicitous note of thanks for their command and honesty. The few sincere ones my mails eluded definitely get my respect as well. What, however, determines the approach is the state of mind of the author. For instance, one who at one point or another was involved or benefited from the looting of Nigeria’s wealth or even supported or is a murderer will not display the same hostile persona a victim would. In my case, as someone who has never participated in any underhanded treachery of any kind, I let out my frustration with Nigeria through my writing. My communication knows no bounds, made possible by my fervor for truth. Many Yoruba and Northern writers that I confidentially commended for their truthfulness and language finesse would affirm. Does it not sound crazy to support a lying bum just because we share the same ethnicity? See, I give no damn whence someone hails as long as I dictate dishonesty I’m sure to be troubled. I bring openness and un-negated frankness to the table with a little attitude, which rattles the sanctimonious. All these make me one with a very good “nuisance value.”

To not acknowledge the strengths of those who avoid the use of foul or harsh language in their piece will undeniably be dishonest. Still, they should be made aware that badgering honest composers whose language they consider objectionable suppresses the flow of vital information the public nevertheless need. Yours truly do not get offended by candid admonitions of decent well meaning writers; they are in most cases innocuous. On the other hand, I come out swinging very hard simply to parry any covert attempt meant to shield or support sheer nonsense just to be politically correct. There is nothing wrong with articles that encourage decency, they are fine. My disagreement is with those that totally disregard the contents of others solely on language. You can’t mistake the “nuisance value” sincere writers bring to the forum, which I believe jolts the lying crooks and their supporters back into reality after their evil crafts are shown to the world. Going by this paradigm then, “annoying” composers that are nonetheless honest should wear it like an honor badge. As for me, if it pleases the court of public opinion, my wish is to remain in this capacity until a genuine democratic atmosphere is ushered yonder. Only then could a change of approach be considered to address bonafide honorable men exactly so.

At times, I crave for better writing you betcha, but as the saying goes; hard to teach old dog new tricks. Suffice here that we all insult, the only difference are words usage. Example, if reference to someone as a liar is made by one writer while the other prefers untrustworthy instead, what difference is there? Or better yet, some people use “dumb” as a qualifier whilst others prefer “atom intellect, intellectual midget” so forth; both to me carry negative meaning. What ya say, what’s the fuss? Apart from that, most writers insult, annoy, instigate, you may even plug in your own word, but as I said earlier, prevailing circumstance should determine whether it is deserved. Tafa Balogun as we know triple somersaulted out of office on account of the peoples’ billions he stole, should a novelist be reproached or scorned for calling him a THIEF? Unnecessary sarcasm is equally insulting in case you guys forgot. With that, I honest to God wish that we would skip semantics and address the nucleus of the aligning issues raised by people who are disenchanted over the inordinate abuse of the system. You don’t need a shout from me to remember how the abusers tickled themselves by quickly suspending one of the few (maybe three) honest Members of House of Representatives, Haruna Yerima simply for telling the ever elusive TRUTH. I am of course aware of the collateral damage here and there my writings and that of a few good men and women out there inflict upon liars, but the greater and overall benefits are what counts not the trifle, mannerism. Ingloriously

Make no mistake about it, we are never homogenous without question in life; so, any canvass to emulate certain ways of writing will remain unattainable moreso, since style is subjective. Some people are fashion disasters, they dress badly. Yet, others eat, cry and speak differently, not alike. Should writing be exempt? Let there be no doubt what this writer is, an honest social critic who advocates good sense and governance. Objective analyst may be added given that no one, Igbo or not escapes my alert lens as I call it without fear or favor. As a community activist that abhors liars, thieves, murderers and what have ya, no apologies over my method of disseminating views to those receptive to honest exchange devoid of decorative words that are carefully crafted to obfuscate and sweep inattentive readers off their wobbly feet. Check this out, as charming taller U.S. presidential candidates (need confirmation just ask Ross Perot and Michael Dukakkis) utilize their height advantage over their shorter counterparts so also do fancy writers deploy all tricks to sway the not so vigilant. Asking oppressed people to maintain impartiality is simply adding to their burden, it is untenable and this fella here won’t. Remain neutral in the face of wicked bombardments from the Arab north with help from others who consider Nigeria their private possession at their capricious disposal? In fact they disposed of her with their years of abuse and neglect that went unchallenged.

In my heart of hearts, I find certain requests burdensome and kinda asking too much from writers like me who were driven into writing in the first order after many years of reading total junk from rapacious supporters of military and political robbers in a country I once called home. Even my close friends and relatives are surprised to find me in this writing arena I was forced into merely to spread the truth gospel. Let it be said without waffling that a distressed unadulterated “onye Igbo” is bound to be angry, a by-product of oppression therefore, it is unfair to expect miracles from an aggrieved rather the blame must rest on the provocateurs’ doorsteps. Need I say that opinionated articles that are designed to mislead or full of outright lies draw strong and somewhat violent reaction from me? No regrets for that, for sure! It is so easy to because money is not a motivator in things I do, not driven by it and I hope my essays portray this. In the course of writing, writers once in awhile let the readers have a glimpse of certain aspects of their private moments. So, with that, here we go. During both my Traditional and Western wedding/marriage ceremonies, this individual never extended any invite to the so-called rich Yuppies, no! Why? I’m not about money! Another example was my disinterest in taking advantage of few Generals I came in contact during the three hard years I spent in a country that refused to grow. Never capitalized! I am rather propelled and guarded by well established and respectable principles that has nothing to do with personal advantage, anything less is not me. Don’t get me wrong, I welcome financial comfort but not by every roguish means. My profile (family name) still means a lot to me.

Swearing aside, one’s write-ups should be judged on its merits with a certain degree of waver granted the author based on honesty as evident in his/her piece. Makes sense! The crop of writers that somewhat penetrate my thick hide are those that load their fabrications with impressive prose to peddle and back mediocrity. They are the ones we should watch out for! The ability of an essayist to write truthfully should be sacred, it shouldn’t be compromised or auctioned off; it ought to be guarded jealously, which to me appears to be the identifiable bane of my writings. Should the question “how do you rate your language rules” be asked, I did as usual be forthright and badly rate myself with one exception though, honesty. For all that can be said about style, no one could rope me in dishonest writings, having said that, the stipulation by Monsieur La Drière to be honest critic is accomplished. Moving right along, to be a critic as seen in the senior writer’s essay, “Oga make we manage am so,” here’s La Drière. “The critic should be honest.” I am! If anyone disagrees, contradict me. “He can never be perfectly intelligent.” I am not! “Or perfectly informed.” Not close! “Or perfectly disinterested.” Bingo! “Or perfectly humble...” I am hardly “perfect” in any of these attributes therefore, all the requirements met, so, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you a TRUE and balanced critic, me, with little nuisance/annoying assessment that affect only those who abhor truth. At the fore of all my scripts you did find in quantum honesty, which is miserably lacking in all spheres of governance in Nigeria going back many, many years and made worst under Obasanjo. Sad but again true! Open minded readers would absolutely consent to this.

Let me henceforward lend comfort to those who are still wondering if a fine piece “Nuisance Value of the Nigerian Internet pundit” few weeks ago by a great columnist on affected them, with a resounding yes. As it concerned yours truly too! Ouch!! Every writer is a critic with some element of annoyance that depends on where one falls, negative or positive. Let me clarify, for liars, theirs connote the former based on the absence of truth. For those that are tempted to argue against any positive value of nuisance, allow me to explain. Writers who tell the truth bring with them “positive nuisance,” they hurt the criminally minded who see their essays as irritation. But sincere folks, receive it as good/positive omen hence my point. It is in order to further clarify that where two opposing variables (good/bad nuisance) exist, a separation should be made between the harmless and nefarious ones who probably get paid to sell their souls. As such, it was very humbling to have read Maazi Uche Nworah’s “A dose of my own medicine” in acceptance of his seeming role, which to me exudes the positive side of nuisance since the information in his like mine are for the good of BiafraNigerians. His posts that I have read thus far are factual, sincere and direct.

One need not be Shakespearian or schooled in journalism to recognize the damage articles that lack straightforwardness have. All it takes to expose is a quick glance. Take for instance, “An Open Letter to Baroness Lynda Chalker” – Maazi Nworah and “Those Comments On Nigeria By Baroness Chalker” – Mr. Adujie both of which appeared on Gamji, to clearly see the one that woefully failed to meet the basic test as proscribed by Monsieur La Drière according to that sublime editorial by Mr. Eso. In consonance with the advice given in that editorial, which to me boils down to maintenance of some level of decorum in our writings, it is equally important to evaluate and reconcile one’s grammar hiccup with its veracious contents. For all that could be said and indeed said about my mode, none will accuse this writer of lying since that’s the thrust of my message. There is no beneficial purpose in a sweet and advanced writing that is over infested with damaging lies that support evildoers. For this, I thank the master architect of the universe, the ever seeing eye who gave me the wisdom to know right from wrong with lots of help from my father. To overlook a country such as Nigeria with callous corruption that went into overdrive is to deny the simple truth. People that mean well should not be handicapped to describe her as such, fraudulent. Any other views to the contrary blends against the basic requirement of La Drière as seen in that post by a very good gentleman whose coded caution we should all value. I have to, I am a learner.

This brings us to Mohammed Haruna another writer with language command whom I also read at times on Gamji, but in his “Igbos, Biafra and the Presidency,” he wrote; “This may sound rather harsh, but if the Igbo have failed so far to clinch the presidency and look set to fail again and again, it is mainly because they do not seem to be sorry for trying to break up this country.” This comment is sharply at variance with the most fundamental need of the critic. Please forgive me for repeating his quote which already appeared in my, “Tribalist vs Nationalist: A case of two misplaced nouns in Nigeria.” Now, shouldn’t he go back to Monsieur La Drière’s school of honest critiquing? Oh my God! We[Igbo] tried to break up Nigeria? Did he not know our engagement was simply to repel the pre-contrived extermination of Ndiigbo by his Arab Jihadists with help from their western colluders? His offensive lies should then be seen as a wicked design to paint us with the villain brush for maximum pain effect. Good news is he failed shamelessly. By the way, the only thing liars have going for them are their propensities to mislead anything else is pure facade. Mohammed’s dangerous worldview towards my people notwithstanding, it hasn’t risen to the level where I can say I hate him. No! Some stuff he writes is cool with me though I see him as one of the boys. Know what I mean? Flattering jobber that is!

Only those that what is being done in Nigeria or said here do not directly affect can expediently afford the executive luxury of remaining impartial. To help their public image I guess. To think that one could stay outside the loop when his very essence of living is under serious assault, under constant threat of extinction by those who harbor the type of gutter belief as the above subject for no sound reason is reprehensible. Oftentimes, we hear of light at the end of the tunnel, but this is not to be for the Igbo in that HOPELESS nation of the liars where the light gets dimmer the nearer the Igbo get towards the end of the subway. Thanks to the crazy prodigal Arabian governments of Nigeria. Coming up is information that should be of high interest to every democratic thinker since only sick minds could dream up such nonsense. Do you know that years before the Igbo elders declared a Sovereign and Free State of Biafra, the Arab north had this devilish plan for Ndiigbo? Shouldn’t Nigeria then apologize to Ndiigbo or let them go?

The Arab North’s Agenda prior to the declaration of Biafra:

1. (a) To kill off the Major-General and Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces,
J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi
(b) To kill off all the Yamiri Army Officers;
(c) And subsequently purge the Army of Yamiri by killing the rest in the ranks.

2. To take complete control of the Armed Forces, the Police and the Navy and to purge off
the Yamiri in these Forces too with the aid of the Westerners in the Army.

3. To kill off and dispossess all the Yamiri domiciled in the Northern Region.

4. To use the control of the Armed Forces to take control of the country's Government.

5. To revenge Sardauna's and Abubakar's death by killing Dr. Zik, Dr. Okpara, Ojukwu
and Major Nzeogwu.

6. To destroy Port Harcourt, Enugu and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

7. (a) To kill all Yamiri in top civil service posts;
(b) All wealthy Yamiri - male and female;
(c) All Yamiri educational giants;
(d) All grown up males and females of Yamiri;
(e) To leave out only sucklings in Yamiri land.

People I hope can now begin to understand the source of my resentment, which needs no tricks for those with integrity to see. Given what my people had and continue to go through in that “Iti bọrịbọ” – foolish country, count me as a pious proponent against your “One Nigeria.” Love to see her scatter! Care I don’t! Most of these lying posters come across to me like people that could tell someone to go to hell and he looks forward to that trip. You don’t expect us to be kind towards those responsible for our hardships. As many flaws as I have, insincerity is out. For that I am satisfied. It is the one thing no one can dump on me. Trust me! Upright people have always been over pampered in my essays, a privilege not fit for crooks and their minions. Before I exit, let me say this piece is my way of accepting my own annoying contributions in my pursuit to let the world see the plight of Nigerians generally and Igbos mostly. Whether or not I made my case is now in the hands of the readers to decide accordingly. But in the absence of any clear choice, I will remain resolute in selecting appropriate language to address erring embezzling liars, thieves, murderers, ad infinitum. It is said to whom much is given, a lot is equally expected. Consequently, we look upon talented writers to use their gifts to advance only the TRUTH, period. It can’t be emphasized enough. What gives to address a crooked murderous embezzling scallywag as anything short of what he is? Smiling as I sign off.

Posted by Administrator at March 21, 2005 11:09 PM


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