How can Biafra be achieved?

The euphoria of last weekend’s Neo Black Movement’s 77/77 celebrations on July 7 was palpable. Shortly before then was the NBM 39th convention at Calabar, donation of writing desks to schools. Then was the Soweto Day remembrance of the June 16 genocide (even if South Africans seem to forget the effort Nigeria contributed against apartheid generally as a nation), a day also recognized by the UN; and coming together of the NBM and other pro-black activists in Dodowa, Ghana on July 8. The 77 merriment dovetailing into the Movement’s 40 years anniversary should not pass without addressing germane and central socio-political issues in Nigeria and Africa, as a whole. Biafra, burning like a new sun rising from the east, is hence not negligible.


Immediately after the referendums held in the UK, the word referendum hastily became inflammable enough to rekindle Biafra. Nigeria is a huge market that if properly exploited, would become a force to reckon with in the international market. Hence, it is not a surprise if some words or phrases also swept through Nigeria like some inexorable wildfire. We should thus not be like the sheep in animal farm that gullibly swing from chanting “Four legs good, two legs bad,” to “four legs good, two legs better.”

So those calling for referendum, would like to see Nigeria divide in case it should happen? (let us still put aside the fact that our constitution is different from that of the UK, even though we might easily say Nigeria is also nations in a Nation, the constitution that putsù us together like the US rather overrides all). There is nothing wrong with Nigeria, but Nigerians. We are like a bad carpenter who nags and complains about his tools as excuses for his poor skill. Give Nigerians to the right mindset and it would indeed thrive, as it should, for to whom much is given much is expected.

The world is becoming a global village and we are retrogressively talking of fracturing and balkanizing? If ECOWAS can be achieved, led by Nigeria, without each country’s market force uniting with others to form a common market without border or currency restrictions, this new market will compete favorably with the dollars and others. In a microscopic level, Nigeria should also be a country with each states to control its resources and no restrictions, regulated by the federal government whom all states pay taxes. The argument is that some states will become more developed than others.
We should ask why our fingers are not equal knowing fully the role of the thumb in grasping is different from the role of the index finger, though also grasping. In the United States, also colonized by the UK and with whom we patterned our constitution upon – albeit poorly – there are some states that have banks so remote you will wonder if they had websites, yet in the same US are states harboring the financial giants of the world, yet it is both states in America. Ohio is not New York.

A state may be compared to a man, it has potentials waiting to be discovered from within. But most times, when we are not pushed, we likely will not push too. Like Robert Greene said in the 48 Laws of Power, plenitude makes us fat and lazy. There is nothing wrong if states like Jigawa or Ekiti look within to explore their potentials. It is hilarious that we are importing paper from Indonesia when any of these states have natural resources for a paper mill. Finance is not a problem to a government that has vision. States will have access to loans from the FG or CBN, or even internationally. It makes the government closer to the people and makes governors more responsible to the people who can vote them out.

This is a better solution to fracturing Nigeria, and yet satisfying each region. If the Ch’in Dynasty in around 200 BC had not unified what is now China, the fractured clans cannot have the colossal wealth the west cannot underestimate. State-controlling resources do not stop federal government from having its own investments. Competition breeds dynamism and Nigeria is a great nation waiting to be tapped.

Nigeria is doing more together as a nation if only we stop being sarcastic and see that Nigerians (not fractured) are the most educated immigrant community in the US, and often do better in European and American schools. Nigerians even have more college degrees than the American national average. The richest black man and woman are Nigerians, Dangote and Alakija. Nigeria has spent billions of dollars in keeping peace in West Africa, Liberia, Sierra Leone, recently Gambia, and beyond. And there is more this country still have to do to set a pace in its hegemony and the world at large.

There are awry things in our polity but we have the duracell spirit of never saying die. Bad governance had brought us here to the Biafra agitation. Splintering the country or going to war is not the solution. It is retrogressive. A united market is what we need in Nigeria and ECOWAS, if Africa will slowly move towards achieving the vision of Ghana’s Kwame Nkruma for a united Africa. Every aspect of Nigeria has a market that can be tapped into locally by the states, and the more that is being utilized, the more resources to build a huge market force with other ECOWAS countries. A tree does not make a forest. Use the Biafra agitation to call for reform, not war. See Mosul and walk in the shoes of the people there and then know that war is not a video game or some Hollywood Movie.  ​
 

 

 

 

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WHY IS JIHAD ESSENTIAL IN ISLAM TODAY?

Utopia is a word that came into English vocabulary after the writing of a 1516 book by Sir Thomas More. Its etymology is from a Greek phrase for “no place”; ou for ‘no’ and topos’ for ‘place’. In More’s book, Utopia is a fictional island in the Atlantic where there is no suffering or poverty. But in practical sense, there is no place totally free of suffering or a community where everyone is equally comfortable. It is not possible, hence Utopia is an ideal state that cannot be realistically achieved, as long as human beings are diverse in thinking or activity.

However, since man is instinctively a creature of desires, it is inherent in our nature to seek Utopia. It is why we make governments and topple governments, it is why religion plays a fundamental part in many people, and it is why we innovate and envision –  the basis of creating. Before humanity reached this age, the visceral part of man to seek Utopia is in faith, giving birth to piety. Superstition was rife and religious myth or legends were pillars holding the belief in a place of joy, a place where evildoers are punished and believers are rewarded. Religion became so important that wars were fought for it and people were murdered for questioning that Utopia.

Subsequently, manuscripts that were smuggled out of Egypt during Christian persecution, but found their way into the Islamic Caliphate in Baghdad, produced scholars in alchemy or chemistry, Greek and ancient mathematics and mysticism filtered into Europe and led to the European renaissance, which was also persecuted by the Roman Catholic and driven underground to exist secretly as fraternities. This too later became a Utopia as scholarship was promoted by Jesuit and religious scholars, until religion and state went separate ways than welded together in the Pope or Caliphate.

Many students from middle-class homes in Europe pursued university education and this led to rebels like Karl Marx or radicals like Albert Einstein, even pioneers like Copernicus or Pasteur. This brought us to the birth of a new Utopia for humanity, Communism. Capitalism was more odious to the hoi polloi before than now when there was child labor in the West and there was no middle-class between the owners of industry and the poor laboring workforce. Communism became ideal for every baroque or grassroots revolutionary, promising a Utopian society where there is equality and justice. Yet, that too like others gone before, did not fulfill man’s yearning.

Now it is Islam again. The days when communist revolutionaries tackle injustice and inequality that are rampant in the Capitalist-West influenced world today. Now many people find Islam alluring, most especially those in search of bearing. Religion is generally a Utopia for many people and this is what ISIS is exploiting, just as equally as ‘Men of God’ are growing as fast as immoral Christianity.

Bottom-line of it all, Utopia is the desire of man for change, for justice and equality, which can never be perfectly attained as long as human beings are diverse and individually imperfect. Jesus and so many masters have said it since ancient times, the kingdom lies within you. But we keep looking without. It is until each of us, taps into the resources in him would he truly find his Utopia, irrespective of his belief or social background. Nothing that man offers as Utopia is faultless, from religion to social bodies. A look at what religion offered was the revolutionary struggle of African-Americans, just as the communist struggles in the jungles of Latin America.

Today, the dynamism required to change the status quo is recruiting foot soldiers as seen in renewed demands for justice by African-Americans, the Arab spring, surprising elections in the US and Europe, and Africans requiring visionary leadership – not politicians, etc. And since communism, education and such means idealists stir revolutions for Uhuru (freedom in Swahili) have failed man, religion is the last hurdle.

Image result for pictures of malcolm x and martin luther king

There is a rising keenness for religion these days because it is easier to live in an ideal for Utopia, than live in reality and the harshness that comes with it. This is why pragmatic nations often execute more than religious societies. However, between Christianity and Islam, despite being both idealistic faiths, while Islam is more ideal for a revolutionary today like in the seventies, Christianity has become part of the corrupt system the materialism of the West offers. The negative side makes ISIS appealing to young men and women in the US, Africa, and Europe. The positive side is the increasing number of mosques and Muslims in UK and America who are wise to know that true revolution is an inner struggle or jihad. It is a kingdom within where you are free from suffering or anxiety that the world and its materialistic illusions distorts the mind/soul.

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WHY IS EDUCATION SO SYNONYMOUS TO THE YORUBA?

There are between 40 – 50 million Yoruba in West Africa and the diaspora. This race of Africans has a peculiar knack for education, most especially in their homeland root, Nigeria. No matter how indigent, a parent wants the child to receive western education until the age of sixteen before going on to learn a trade or skill, if going to the university was some sugarcandy mountain beyond the parent’s grasp. When Islam came with its kind of education, the Yoruba attended devotedly hence there were thousands of Koranic schools in the hinterlands of Ibadan and Ilorin especially. Shortly after the missionaries arived with education, there was huge attendance of Christian schools especially in Lagos and Abeokuta where the educated returnees from Sierra Leone settled. Yet, Bible education, like Koran education, was not enough for clergymen like Ajayi Crowther who was not only the first to write a book in Yoruba language but as well Igbo, Isoama-igbo in 1857. Crowther got into trouble with the European clerics for insisting that schools should train African children to be professionals and not just pastors, thus instituting the secular CMS which his son in law, father of Herbert Macaulay, first headed. Maths, biology and other secular subjects were taught alongside religion. Meanwhile the Yoruba Muslims hesitating to send children to Christian schools soon saw that Christians were becoming lawyers and accountants while their own children only graduated from (ile kewu) Koranic schools to become Muslim clerics who were misfits in the fast changing world. They were laughed at and called ole ntele alfa (lazy folks following the cleric) since a cleric did nothing but lived on handouts.

By independece, the Nigeria of the late fifties and early sixties had nationalists, one of whom was Awo. Chief Awo would quote, “to free the people, educate them.” He came up with blueprint for free universal primary education, for then, only 35% of children of school age attended school in 1952. His plan for free education and health would gulp 10 million pound sterlings when total government revenue was 5 million pounds. Senior British officials advised him to scrap this utopia. Yet he achieved this feat. It was a miracle, for even he and his planners had estimated 175,000 children, but alas nearly 400,000 showed up for enrolment in 1955. There were only 25 secondary schools then, not enough to take the primary graduates by the time they finished, Awo expanded these to 139 before the primary graduates finished. By 1959, the number of secondary school pupils had risen to 840,000 from 6,000 in 1952. The number of students were greater than those in the rest of Nigeria combined. It was a revolution.

Why did so many Yoruba flock to education so? This dynamism is not in all people. Islam, which often antagonized western education as it often happened in the north, did not stop the zeal for enlightenment. It has to do with the cultural heritage of the Yoruba, an inherent attribute coded over the centuries in their being.

When the colonialists began to arrive in Africa, they often see the African as having no religion, or too crude to institute one. All they often saw were native doctors, herbalists or dibias. No codified religion, for it would take a degree of enlightenment to do that. In short it is only something that deep that would not give way totally to the twin of religion and colonization totally. Japan, China, India have shown it is dynamic to globalize the local and localize the global. For UNESCO to finally see Ifa as one of the standard religions of the world with a unique system of education and spirituality. Both the Torah of the Jews and Koran of the Muslims were once oral literature before they were written, and they serve to educate and spiritually enlighten, from teacher/cleric to the pupils.

Nigerian movie industry is replete with mediocre who portray a babalawo as a witchdoctor or herbalist. No. A herbalist treats with herbs alone, a witchdoctor is involve in the craft of wizadry. A babalawo primarily divines with Ifa. He is trained to know as much of the chapters and verses of Ifa, which he chants when revealed during divination and which gives the client solution to his issue. Mind you, incantation is not IFA verses. Incantation is invocation of forces or beings while Ifa verses are like reading verses from the Bible, Koran or Bagavad Gita. The babalawo is a teacher and has a band of pupils called akapo around him always, young boys he will teach the verses until they graduate and be priests too. A part of what the client brings as sacrifice will be for him to take care of himself and family, just like tithes or offerings.

The babalawo is like a Jewish rabbi, a sort of professor, who knows all but still wise to know he does not know all as a verse states how Orunmila, the prophet of Ifa, submitted himself to his disciples for initiation like one just learning. The binary principle in Ifa requires mathematical thinking, a principle we today see in not just life as a whole but basic computer system. The babalawo must know a little of this and a little of that, herbal medicine, calculation, Yoruba history, morality, proverbs, literature, grammar (yoruba), the egungun masquerade, sango, islam, witchcraft, nature, which all have verses speaking about them. This is why a babalawo could know herb, but a herbalist who had not spent years learning ifa cannot be a babalawo.

Orunmila had sixteen chief disciples and each has an oral book dedicated to him. In the Book of Ika Meji (note the meji is in all the sixteen reflecting the binary coding), the eleventh book, a verse goes, “mo ba Oniikamogun (onika son of ogun), o kawo (placed his hand) ifa leri, o fi aso aka (costly cloth) bora, paaka (small masqurades) meta joko ti (three pakaa sat with) Onikamogun, Onikamogun mo aka (granary) meta si ita. O so ibaaka meta (three mules) mo idi aka (granary). O pe Lakaa (person’s name) ko yanko (feed with grass), ni idi aka (granary), ibaaka (mules) ta (kick) Lakaa (person) lejika (shoulder). Lakaa-la, Akaakagbasa ati Sasioro (three young priests) lo difa fun Saabamo (cast ifa for someon called Had i known), nijo ti won beere lowo Onikamogun (on the day they asked Onikamogun), ti o fi nje oruko kaakaa wonyi? (Why he bears these strongly pronounced names) ti iya nje (his mom bears) Akaagbon, ti baba nje (dad bears) Akaagun, ti aburo nje (his young sibling bears) Akaakaagbasa, ti egbon nje (older one bears) Akaakaawo. Won ni nitori apa awon o kaye (it is because they cannot handle the world). Orunmila, afedefeyo (Orunmila who beautifies speech) je ki apa akapo kaye re (let your follower/disciple/pupil be strong to handle his life.”

This verse shows the literature with the constant use of alliteration (k) and assonance (a), from a verse in Ika Meji….note Ika heading the whole kakaka resonance. Ka is also ambigous for strength and ability to handle somethimg which ended in prayer to have the power to handle life. This shows the imagination of these people in pre colonial times to put together such a verse for literary and spiritual meanings. Ifa is practiced as far away as Latin America, the US and Spanish Europe, if we will not mention West Africa where the Togo people bear Akapo and linked to Ifa, to a tribe in Ghana’s Accra who still link their descent to Ile Ife, the ancestral home of all Yoruba-related folks before they spread out all over the world. Another peculiar thing about Yoruba is to have an oriki or praise poetry for everything. This is why every Yoruba family has its poetic anthem that chants the qualities and attributes of that clan whether it were a hunter family, warrior, king, smith or masqurading clan.

So while the colonial masters could say they stopped people from killing twins in Africa, Yoruba had always revered twins like gifts from heaven. Who knows why a recent study shows that it is the Yoruba people of Oyo among the tribes of the world that have the highest number of twins birthed there. Scientists say it is because of a specie of yam eaten in that part…i dont want to delve into that discourse now. Oyo was an organized state, and not clans or villages, with walled cities, governors and senate woven around an emperor.

Hence the literature of the Yoruba, now studied in foreign universities, attested to by caucasians coming to Nigeria for the first time and already speaking Yoruba to complete their IT for university studies in Yoruba. Not mentioning those coming in droves for Ifa or other such cultural/spiritual functions. The enlightenment and dynamism of the Yoruba had enabled this race of people to bear a light, which slavery exported to the New World, and colonialism or imported religions have proven inadequate to snuff out. Ifa encompasses proverbs, oriki poetry, literature, and the inifiniteness of learning more. A proverb says who taught you how to be wise without teaching you how to be foolish sometimes? This is why despite Ifa encompassing all myriad of faiths in Yoruba land, it is unheard of for a Yoruba to go to war over beliefs. It is only unfortunte that while Ifa points out the binary of life and needed wisdom to live with each other irrespective of faith, the imported religions make division, tearing homes apart and even killing or ostracizing others as a duty for God who made all in beautiful, varying qualities only the deep can understand. So much to learn…so much more.

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the concept of Hell in African belief

​Religion is the yolk of a people’s culture. Islam cannot be separated from the pre-islamic customs of the people of that region, keeping beard or wearing hijab. Christianity, which was an extension from Judaism, was largely Roman at first judging by the rites and worship that were refined Religion is the yolk of a people’s culture. Islam cannot be separated from the pre-islamic customs of the people of that region, keeping beard or wearing hijab. Christianity, which was an extension from Judaism, was largely Roman at first judging by the rites and worship that were refined from Egypto-Roman spirituality. However, by the time the Protestant fired a civil war that broke the hold of the Roman Catholic on the faith, the customs of Western Europe filtered into Christianity but still retaining rites imported from its Eastern European root like hymns, the Trinity and icons, doing away with Isis (Holy Mary). Today, what is Christianity is more or less Americanization using American music, elitist tuxedo and of course what is synonymous with the U.S, materialism as yardstick of success

  

  Judaism is one of the earliest religion to champion monotheism through Abraham. It is also the cultural religion of the Jews from which Islam and Christianity are patterned upon. Keen study of the ancient Jewish belief, which is the root of the other two (Islam and Christianity) that hold strongly to the belief of Hell, shows that nothing like that was mentioned, debated or revealed by God to the early prophets who were then “having even more intense relationship with God” than now. In short the ancient Jews did not believe in an afterlife. The Torah only spoke of man as to return to dust in Genesis 3:19. And man was also figuratively spoken of as water spilled on the ground ungatherably at death, 2 Sam 14:14. Further reading of this ultimate end can be seen in Ecclesiastes 9:10 and also in the book of Isaiah 38:18. Sheol is seen as eternal silence where nothing happens and only the living praise God. (Psalm 115:17).

    Judaism even regarded death as a thing impure that priests should keep away from. Maybe this was why referred ones like Enoch and Elijah were taken up and not die.

Note however that Egypt believed in the afterlife, which later came up in the Catholic religion as we shall see further. But the Jews never did, holding onto the beliefs of their fathers. It was not until the time of Isaiah that Zoroastrian religion of Persia, when the Jews were again subjects of that world power, that the idea of a Judgment seeped into their religious philosophy. Yet even as the influence a resurrection took hold among the Pharisees, the Sadducees still held onto the core root of ancient Judaism of the finality of death. 

By the time the Talmud was compiled as a written literature instead of the traditional oral literature of the Torah, belief in a messiah coming to judge the world took hold. That the messiah will judge with Elijah. Since the Talmud is debated opinions of thousands of rabbis on the core of Jewish ethics, beliefs and law, some believe only Jews have afterlife because of circumcision and Abraham, for Abraham will turn back those not circumcised. Hence by the Middle Ages, resurrection had become part of Jewish faith and this was influenced by Plato. To this day, Judaism is focused on earthly life and afterlife seldom talked about. Even Jesus initially restricted his mission to the Jews. The end time was the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE which was still the generation he said would not pass. The destruction was total and it was like the end of the world to the Jews. Nero was the coded 666 for pre Christian Rome was to Christians what Hitler was to the Jews. Take it or leave, modern Israel is the new Jerusalem…figuratively. 

Meanwhile, before Christianity was established, Plato was the leading scholar on idealism and the Greeks had pagan belief of Hades. Mystic schools taught trigonometry and physics alongside transmigration of the soul and mysticism. Hymns were even sung just as the Greeks found the priests of Egypt doing. Resurrection and life after death were seen in the mummification of not just humans but also beloved pets. When Christianity became instituted in Rome, which was an extension of the Greco-Egyptian civilization, scholars idea of afterlife (even Socrates told those executing him for teaching that he was only shedding his body as a man will a coat), judgment and resurrection that have been imported from other cultures and beliefs into Catholicism. And like rabbis debated the Torah to institute the Talmud, so did Councils of bishops often meet to debate what will be Christianity and what will not be, to the extent of even adding new verses to the Bible since it was then only accessible to priests. (Oldest bible manuscript didnt have the additional parts that made up chapter 16 of Mark, that Jesus ate and met disciples again were only seen in later newer manuscripts. The statement of “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” is added). 

Bottomline of it all is that ancient traditional beliefs like Ifa did not have the concept of Hell, except of an afterlife generally. Ifa believes what you do will lead to a chain of reaction or inaction back to you. We pulsate energy and reflects it too. Hell is from the Greek concept of Hades that was further built upon by Christianity to terrorize the primitive illiterate, which has so held ground that literates today have it as reality. Before, scholarship and spirituality were one. Today, it has been misconstrued as enemies and this is because the refinement of spirituality and enlightenment has left religion, leaving fear and the will to domimate others, just as true education has since left our schools leaving only arrogant elitism and the mere craft of being able to read and write.

   Good spirituality is not because of the fear of not going to Hell, just as a truly educated person is not reading just because of the fear of failure. God isn’t that stupid to be patronized. Mystics and spirituality are joyously interesting to he whom the awareness comes upon. It is the kind of enthusiasm that drove Paul, not some Hell. The discovery of the meaning of life is beautiful beyond words or fear. We have invented so many things and now God. If we think theancients were more spiritual than we are, how come then we think it is Hell that God needed for man to elevate his soul. Like domino effect, our action beautifies or diminishes not just us as individuals but mankind. The proper study of mankind is man.

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A TALE OF TWO CITIES

Borrowing from the title A Tale of Two Cities written by Charles Dickens, which swung the theme of a story between Paris and London during the French Revolution. This was centuries ago when Europe was dirty, slummy and shabby. Throughout history, we see that all events happen twice or more in the principle of Hegelianism (or Hegelism), propounded by Friedrich Hegel.

Hegelism is a concept that philosophy and experience do not contradict but explain reality in unity with idealism. It is blending the abstract with the rational. It uses a triadic method of development to arrive at an ultimately true explanation. Thus, a thing is “in itself,” then “out of itself” and finally “in and for itself.” Freedom as an example is an abstract idea, which we can use in the context of the experience of savage. The idea of freedom is first known in itself as being uninhibited to a savage. And then when the savage comes to become civilized and become retrained by the Rule of law and thus “out of” freedom, he considers that as opposite of freedom, or tyranny. Finally in an “in and for itself” level, he comes to be a good citizen and understands the concept of freedom in a more refined state than as a savage.

Back to our tale of two cities, or as in this case now, two countries. During the slave trade era, Europe was engaged in a crime against humanity. The African chiefs were encouraged to engage in this trade since it was a trade made lucrative beyond what the whole world initially had as slave concept without wholesale profits. Unlettered African chiefs were even made to sign documents they understood nothing about as the Europeans became greedier to take over the land and its resources and turn the natives into Europeanized Africans. It was a way of hoodwinking the native Africans since the European businessmen were making money for their governments at home. Nigeria was an example of different nations forced together irrespective of distinct cultures and languages simply because the Royal Niger Company found it convenient (after the end of slave trade) to control such a large area of land knitted together by the River Niger, which was used to transport resources from the hinterlands to the Atlantic coast and finally be sailed to England.

The savage reaping and raping of Africans was sheer greed “in itself”, unlike the early Portuguese who traded with the African chiefs as equals. But when the French and British began to explore Africa, greed and overt ambition eventually led to colonial imposition and the subsequent social and psychological debility on an entire race. This savagery became “out of itself” during the years of a social awakening that began to dawn on the Africans as the ghost of nationalism and renaissance swept across the continent. This second stage pitched a lot of African leaders against the Europeans who still wanted to dictate the terms of African resources even after independence; Africa then became the theater of war for the capitalist greed funded coups and civil wars, or installed puppet dictators that bled their countries dry for the west. Africa simply collapsed under this wave of corrupt leaders favored by the west, incessant coups, protracted civil wars and progressive pro-African leaders frustrated economically or overthrown. The last stage of the triadic is evolving and hopefully, the west will not just go about trumpeting democracy, but a progressive democracy that favors the people globally with more power to social responsibility. It is when America under Obama, ignored the highhandedness of the Shiite Iraqi president against the Sunni that has brought the Sunni-led ISIS nightmare as a global problem now. The same way the corruption and irresponsibility of the Nigerian government made Boko Haram stronger. So while we read of people dying like numbers on an index, the world would know these are people with families and they have the right to be protected in the name of humanity.  But sure, a bad govt. can hide behind sovereignty to commit all sort of crimes.

At the other end of the pole of our tale of two cities, let us leave the slavery/colonial period on a pole and move to the other end of the pole. We should however remember that there was no reparation paid to Africans for this mass torture and hoodwinking of the continent from slavery to colonial era. Marshall Plan was money America paid Europe to help the continent recover from the devastating second world war. The aid was $17 billion (roughly $160 billion in current dollar value). even the Reagan administration in America paid reparation to Japan in 1988 for the inhuman interment of Japanese American during the Second World War. Yet, no one is seeing anything wrong in making a trade of a race of people for 400 years in the most dehumanizing conditions; no one is seeing anything wrong in the wars of conquest that subjected African communities to European canons; no one is seeing anything wrong in the destruction and carting away of heritage icons and social institutions to impose European colonization; no one is seeing anything wrong in depriving the African of his sovereign rights until blood had to be shed to reclaim it; no one is seeing anything wrong in the killings and tortures sanctioned by European government and kings of Africans; no one is seeing anything wrong in using gunboat policies and making unlettered chiefs sign documents written in languages they do not know; no one is seeing anything wrong in the African being treated as no better as a slave; no one is seeing anything wrong that we were unlawfully mapped into countries that ought to be independent states like Tutsis, Hutus, Hausa, Yoruba and so on. Poverty, bad government and a harsh society as a result of corruption in high places are strife in Africa.

Anyways, something has become the trend in Africa now. Conning. As Aristotle once said that poverty is the mother of revolutions and crimes. History is repeating itself in a different but similar form, as Hegel once said. There is a trade going on and this is what is termed ‘yahoo-yahoo’ or 419. It has become as endemic as the slave trade that three out of every five Africans (especially Ghana and Nigeria) young men engage in this trade. Just as the slave trade was inimical but a trade nonetheless that was common and enriching many in Europe, the 419 trade though inimical, has also become a trade many young boys enrich themselves with. It is simple; engage the white female over the Internet for a relationship and make her “pay” while believing you are going to be together and posing as a white male. You can only imagine the frustration and sorrow of being hoodwinked if you had a direct experience. Whether the slave trade or the romance trade, both are crimes against humanity. Both show the depravity of man’s conscience and greed in his effort to enrich himself at the detriment of another. Just as the British government later rose against slave trade and even against colonialism, Nigerian government especially has been ‘trying to’ use the EFCC to combat this menace that is also becoming as embarrassing as the slave ships of yesteryears. Yes, it will gradually decline but not completely extinguished overnight, since there are still whiffs of color bias not to talk of outright apartheid and aboriginal genocide is still going on in Australia.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Mzl8h0J-DUY (please watch the ripple effect of bad governance and the new ‘slave trade’).

However, the question is, what are these ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys doing with the millions they rake from their “romantic slaves”? If slave money and colonizing companies built businesses and funded patents in the West, is it not stupid that the only thing these empty-headed ‘yahoo-yahoo’ boys ever have to show for their trade are sleek cars and materialistic lifestyles? Great minds are not clad in gold, it is when you scratch beneath the surface that you will see they are made of gold. When time catches up, some initial truth eventually becomes blasphemies, while some initial blasphemies become truth. All events happen twice in history…Hegelism…the first and the second will eventually be refined by the third that we return to a higher refined form. By then, I hope we have a better humanity after experiencing the first (slave trade), the second and ongoing (con trade), and a third but better educated world that will trade without greedy savagery.

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WHAT IS THE MEANING OF IFA?

Ifa is made up of Odus, which are either “Oju Odu” or “Omo Odu”. The Oju Odu (main ones) are sixteen, from Eji Ogbe the first to Ofun the last. Meanwhile the “Omo Odu” are made up of the combination of these sixteen been paired together. For example, Ogbe is paired with Oyeku (the second Odu) resulting to the Omo Odu called Ogbe-yeku, which is the combination of the first and second Oju Odus. By the time we multiply the sixteen it will give us 256. Further multiplication will give us 4096. There are thus over four thousand verses in Ifa, just as the Koran has over six thousand verses; and as in the Bible, Ifa has 256 chapters with each having sixteen verses.

But what makes Ifa different if we will not close our mind to bias, since many people have been programmed to think on the limited lines that there are only two religions on earth, Christianity and Islam, forgetting the Hindu and Buddhists, not even mentioning Ifa, and also forgetting that they are what they are simply because they were born in places colonized by either of these two religions. What makes Ifa different is the intertwining link of one Odu to another to make up thousand of verses that we may say is Ifa as a whole. Life is an intertwining fact. You cannot exorcise the relevance of the earthworm from the ecosystem even though we may not ordinarily link them until we pause to think. The stoma on the leaves of a plant which act like the nostrils through which plants breathe air like us, are invariably linked to our lungs. The crab feeding on the edge of a lagoon whose tide rise and fall at every magnetic pull of the moon is linked to the lunar satellite in the sky. This is the beauty of interconnectedness of life. This is what we see in Ifa’s linked odu. It is a subtle message of how nothing can be totally divorced from another and man only breaks the world into units, races and maps, but it is really one whole LIFE.

Another interesting thing to be noted in Ifa is the concept of Yin and Yang, Good and Bad, Up and Down, This and That, Here and There. It is noteworthy that in the verses of Ifa, there is a verse for virtually everything one can think of about the life of man. There are verses that are on Islam, Christianity, Sango, Ogun, Egungun and even witches. It is yet odd to see that this compilation of ALL reiterates strongly the need for moral upright and kindness, yet it recognizes the fact that some verses are warlike especially in Odus like Ogunda or Okanran (please note that with each Odu is pronounced Meji or Eji, meaning Two). Just like in the Bhagavad Gita of the Hindu, some people are born to be warriors while some are born as scholars; each with his nature and this is why knowing oneself is very important in Ifa. Know your guiding Odu. While some people need to have it rough in life to make it successfully, some people do not need to hustle as hard, yet some people can never be successful in life unless they get married first. It varies according to each Ori (inner man). The concept Meji or Two in Ifa also certifies the Yin/Yang truth of life embedded in Ifa. Life is in pairs. And like the bible said in Romans, “All things work for good for those who love God.” Now, permit me to say…”for those who know God.” Life will be more tolerable if we understood this truth. Why will a Muslim want to slaughter a Hindi because they believe differently. We all can never be the same, yet we are the same. Where you are strong, I may be weak, and where I am strong you may be weak, all we need do is to dovetail even as each of us has his/her niche.

Life is so beautifully we will find it awesome if we truly give ourselves the time to study it. It is even foolish to totally condemn the body has a slab of sin. Have you taken time to study how nature has creatively designed your alimentary or digestive system, the network of blood circulation and the complex yet delicate connection of your nerves all over your body? Would you painstakingly create something of such and then see someone sneer at it as ‘shit’ or in this case, sin? Even our sex organs are not shabbily created. there is art in every work of nature. It is only left for us to not allow what we see take from us what we do not see, not forgetting that there are so much we cannot see.

If you still think the universe around us is 3-dimension then you have been poorly educating yourself about the world around you. Intuitively each dimension is an independent direction in which we can move. We live in three dimensions of space, “forward-backward”, “left-right” and “up-down” (or height, width and depth). But there’s fourth dimension, which is Time “past-future”, making 4 dimensions in total. But there are now discovered extra dimensions called String Theory that show our 4D dimension is wrong. In fact the universe of strings must have ten dimensions! This is immediately at odds with our perception of reality, which we can only resolve knowing that the other six unseen dimensions are be incredibly small to be noticed like the initial four…but they are there! Our perception of dimension is greatly affected by scale or size and at large distances we cannot resolve dimensions. So perhaps these extra dimensions are so small that we don’t perceive them.

Levels of magnification:
1. Macroscopic level: Matter
2. Molecular level
3. Atomic level: Protons, neutrons, and electrons
4. Subatomic level: Electron
5. Subatomic level: Quarks
6. String level

This shows there are forces around us we do not perceive because we do not operate on the same dimension or plane with them. The issue of gnomes or such beings have been treated with elitist snobbery and even in Europe it is only restricted to beliefs among the working class. Because we do not see some beings does not mean they do not live among us. Egbere, and Iwin are a class of existence but sneered at just as Abiku is sneered at as Sickle Cell. Please, Abiku is not Sickle Cell.

The kind of education we have today is awful. All we care about is the certificate, get a job, raise a family, live a mundane existence and then die…that is all! Education goes beyond that. Until we stop attaching education to westernization and unite it with our religion, our locality, our culture, then we will keep being treated as no better than the literate Africans who ape the whiteman ridiculously.

Education was stored in Museums from the Egyptian priests by the Greeks. With the coming of Christianity, education became threatened and it was a sin to as much as think scholarly. When the Alexandrian and Greek scholars fled, many went East and there they intrigued the Muslim Caliphate who took them to his court in Baghdad. They were seen as People of the Books too and there teaching was Hermeticism. They had given birth to alchemists who gave birth to what we today call chemistry. Mathematics from India too was expanded and Arabs like Al-goritmi expanded what became algorithm and algebra much later. Writers sprang up and books like A Thousand and One Nights Arabian book. As Islam conquered Europe establishing its capital in Spain, the Christians in western Europe were illiterates and unlearned then. Islam civilized eastern Europe. When the Crusades later helped Christianity reclaim Europe, apart from the Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey and ancient-day Constantinople), education gradually filtered to the Catholic priests, like the Jesuits and Templar knights. But religious fervor rose up again. We see that religious fervor in islam against education eventually ended its golden age, and religious fervor in Christianity could have also ended it too but some people chose to form underground fraternities with the knowledge and ancient wisdom; freemasons, AMORC and Illuminati became social pariahs. But as time went on, this education still filtered out in books or covert researches by some priests or frat members at the risk of their lives. This gave birth to what became the Renaissance movements.

What kind of education do you exhibit? One worthy of a renaissance or one stifled by faith? Interconnectedness is the ingredient of life. Go to the market of wisdom, knowledge and understanding and purchase the ingredient to re-cook yourself.

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What Relevance Is the Spiritual/Matter to Society?

In the West, using America as a case study especially, the church could be said to be dead in the spirit as dodo. The new wave of Christianity is no more than Americanism, which entails, looking expensive, glittering and – of course – looking western. The depth of spirituality expected of Christianity is no more there. When the blacks first landed as slaves on the shores of the New World, they brought with them their nostalgic sense of home and everything tied to it in terms of culture. Culture meanwhile, cannot be separated from spiritual belief of a people and their general ways of life. Even though it was devilish for them to proclaim they were anything outside Christianity, but they retained underground their spiritual songs and beliefs.

In Africa, where they came from, songs were parts of the rite to worship the spiritual and people went into trances to bring messages from the spiritual to the mundane world we live. The songs in the Fon worship of vodun (which became voodoo), god of the crossroads – or Esu in Yoruba – became what unified the slaves into subsequent rebellions that established Haiti. Blacks were prevented from voodoo and slaves were not purchased from voodoo-ridden Caribbean islands for fear of polluting more slaves and there was a ban in 1817 in New Orléans against black public meetings.

The link connecting the voodoo music to the worship was slowly severed but the music itself evolved independently. The church became almost the only place of worship the black could be heard to sing and lift his soul to moving consciousness of his Creator, and then in the working field. But never in any black, social gathering. African rhythms were now played with western musical instruments or sung in the field as songs of hope, becoming the Negro spirituals. A new kind of worship emerged and music became in the church for the blacks a way that moved the “Holy Spirit” for “anointing” to flow (as Christians will say). The Negro Spirituals and subsequently through history it evolved into jazz, the Blues, rhythm and blues and rock and roll. Now Hip Hop is the latest genre whose descendants could be traced back to those nostalgic, religious slaves forced to the New World hundreds of years ago.

Chorus:

Swing low, sweet chariot
Coming for to carry me home,
Swing low, sweet chariot,
Coming for to carry me home.

I looked over Jordan, and what did I see
Coming for to carry me home?
A band of angels coming after me,
Coming for to carry me home.

Chorus

Sometimes I’m up, and sometimes I’m down,
(Coming for to carry me home)
But still my soul feels heavenly bound.
(Coming for to carry me home)

Chorus

The brightest day that I can say,
(Coming for to carry me home)
When Jesus washed my sins away.
(Coming for to carry me home)

Chorus

If I get there before you do,
(Coming for to carry me home)
I’ll cut a hole and pull you through.
(Coming for to carry me home)

Chorus

If you get there before I do,
(Coming for to carry me home)
Tell all my friends I’m coming too.
(Coming for to carry me home)

Chorus

Without much ado, there is something about the African and spirituality, which the Caucasian lacked. Whites however are far more pragmatic and realist in their thinking than the African who is far too lost in spiritual ideals. Reason is Hellenistic, as emotion is Africa. Take a case of Ebola as example, while the whites are looking for scientists and researchers to find out more of the virus and defeat it, Africans are generally looking for shaman and priests to give them Holy Water and ‘protection from the Satan-sent Ebola.’ Let us not say this is because of the level of education, no, for this cuts across to the uneducated white and educated blacks.

The whites rarely go to church these days and they have a better grasp of reality, while blacks throng off to churches and mosques in droves yet it is clear in our mother continent that we do not have a grasp of reality. Colonization? Please, India was also colonized, and China too was poor a few decades ago; both excuses Africa blames for reasons of its setbacks.

Africans have showcased a lot of bright minds in different fields, but until our political leaders do not think like the average African, which is that, the average African should stop attempting to answer practical questions by spiritual means, we will remain in the doldrums. Have you thought about who first thought about the idea of a figure zero? It is easier to create the other figures of 1,2,3,4,5 since we can see and count. But how did the whoever invented zero come to see it as an important item in math and calculation. Our financial world today rests a lot on it; add a single zero to 2 and it gives you a larger amount 20. Our economic and computer world today would have been laughable without it. That shows the power of thinking to solve a problem.

What we are meant to do, you will rather hear the African say, “God will…” why not make your pragmatic effort? If African leaders can stop believing God will do this or that for their nations, things will be better. The man who runs to church for his problems is simply selfish, for while others are making the world a better place, you chose to be a consumer who is only concerned about how God will save him and give him a good job. That is selfish and myopic.

Until we value the life around us and look around as the environment as the engines that will manifest God on earth, religious people (Islam, Christianity, Ifa and others) will only live a selfish life of I am going to heaven and the world around us is nothing. Maybe we need to take time to study how complex even the body we call sin is; it’s beautifully arranged network of veins and tissues and the way the blood circulation, and digestive system works in perfect sequence. What about the universe, have we taken time to study the beautiful galaxy we are in: Milky Way, the Black hole and why it is so, and the awesome constellations of stars that beautify our night sky while we go about dumbly at night without taking time to question this awesome creations? If we, and things we see in nature, were created, why do we then not create, too? We are the microcosm of the macrocosm. All is one; one is all.

However, we should strongly note too that it is a myopic error on the side of the whites too to disbelieve in the spiritual. Physics now is taking science beyond the limitation of trying to rationalize everything. Albert Einstein, with his general theory of relativity, opened the doors of science into spiritual realities. Einstein theorized that all matter is inseparable from an ever-present quantum energy field and this is the sole reality underlying all appearances. Physicists found that the most basic atomic particles in the cosmos comprise the very fabric of the material universe. An electron, for example, can be shown to be both a wave and a particle depending on the observer’s perspective. Therefore animists who were tagged pagans for worshiping the trees, rivers, mountains because of the energy force in the material nature, were a step ahead of science.

This scientific discovery of wave/particle duality, meant that everything is joined or connected together. Space and time is composed of the same essence as matter. Space/time is like a conscious atomic sea, extending out from reality; though all of material creation may also be said to be conscious. Since all matter and events interact with each other, time (past, present, future) along with space and distance, all is relative to the observer and operate as one under the law of Non-Locality.

“A principle related to non-locality is called Bell’s Theorem. This is a quantum physics law that says that once connected, objects affect one another forever no matter where they are. Following the principle of Bell’s Theorem…an invisible stream of energy will always connect any two objects that have been connected in any way in the past.” This meant that everything is connected to everything else. This birthed the “holographic universe” idea, the powerful conscious energy that the whole can invariably be found in the tiniest particles: an atom of a blade of grass to the most distance galaxies. The building blocks of atoms are merely, “parcels of compressed energy, packed and patterned according to certain mathematical formulae” and inherent unifying All.

Therefore, matter and energy are two poles of the same unity. Conscious spirituality and Mystics call this Oneness or Interconnectedness. It means thus that either the African who does not grasp reality, or the Caucasian who refuses to acknowledge the spiritual, both are myopic in general terms. The disrespect for spirituality by thinking Man is All has tagged America as the seat of the Anti-Christ, and we see how the state of moral decadence has gone down the drain and threatening the rest of the world in this new sweep of Americanism. Jihadists thus think an RPG is enough to blow America and its excessive, immoral freedom to hell. But that too is myopic. Evil will hide behind the pretense that there is no evil and the systematic rot will creep on us, like a banana; we will think the world is ripening, but meanwhile it is rotting fast.

Each of us should become aware that we are material/spiritual beings and the Oneness of this wisdom, knowledge and understanding will be the one to make the world a better place and prepare our infinite spirits in transmigration to another realm in death…for indeed, nothing dies in nature. Only man-made things rot, but nature only changes state.

Science will someday return the conscious whites to spirituality, if Africans now do not grasp realism to blend with their present idea of the spiritual, we will not only find the black man behind in developing his physical realities, poverty would by then also have corrupted the African’s sense of this spirituality, pushing it to the background, and leaving the African in a third round of colonialism – Doppelganger Colonization. Return to the obelisks and pyramids and see the significant of spiritual and practical education. Never divorce either; it kills the true you, spiritual or physical.

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