THE US INVASION: The current US military adventure in Iraq is not a war…it is an invasion. At best, it is a case of one sovereign country invading another sovereign country; and at worst, one big-bad-bully beating up on another country. No matter the immediate outcome, it will be recorded in the annals of humanity that the United States, acting against the grain, acting against the wishes of the international community and in contravention of international law invaded a member country of the United Nations. To think otherwise, is foolish.
In the long run, the prestige and reputation of the United States would suffer from this irresponsible and repugnant act of aggression. And countries around the world, big and small, would forever remember this imbecility. North Korea, Iran, and Syria would take notice; and even “old Europe” will learn never to completely trust the White House, Bush, or any Bush for that matter.
That the Senegalese pulled a fast one on Nigeria and on South Africa – vis-à-vis the invasion — still makes me chuckle. Obasanjo and Mbeki should have known that there are political prostitutes on the international stage who would gladly bend over so the US can have its ways – no matter how painful the insertion!
Funny! Isn’t it funny and duplicitous how the US media has been covering the events in Iraq? The media is reluctant to report the downing of planes and choppers belonging to the “coalition of the willing,” they are reluctant to report American deaths; they are reluctant to report that the Americans and the British are being “awed and shocked,” they are reluctant to report the bravery and heroism of the Iraqi’ military. It is as though the Americans are rolling over the Iraqis without any resistance – which is not the case.
And I thought FOX NEWS was the most vile of all news organizations. Apparently, others – CNN, ABC, USA TODAY, CNBC, CBS, BBC and others – are in the running. These organizations have effectively become organs of the White House and of the Pentagon. Even Charlie Rose and Ted Koppel, two of my favorite interviewers have now cowered to the wishes of the US administration. And so it is that, increasingly, I have given to surfing international news outlet site on the Internet.
NIGERIAN MARRIAGES: An item posted by Fishy (Forum Post) caught my attention. He/she said, “I been dey wonder. My friend went home last week to marry a girl he has never met. They have been speaking on the phone, but the parents arranged the marriage. I thot this sort of thing isn’t happening anymore. Even if they go home to marry, what is wrong with Naija women here in Yankee? Or they just use dem and dump them? Kraze dey yanfu yanfu.” The gist of the matter is that he wanted to know “Why do Nigerians go home to marry?“
Well, they do so because (1) they can; (2) some are under the illusion that women ‘back home” are innocent and un-spoilt; (3) it is an ego boosting exercise: it allows you to demonstrate to your people back in Nigeria that you can bring one of your own into the US; (4) it allows some men to mask their “failure and shortcoming” since the women already in the US can tell where they are on the social and economic ladder. It will take a while for the home-grown women to catch up on that fact. In addition, some men want a woman to look up to them since it makes them appear more than they are – at least in the initial stages. There are many other reasons, too.
Having said that: there are men, and I know quite a few, who searched the nooks and corners of the US for available and eligible Nigerian women – all to no avail. Therefore, bringing in a wife was the last resort.
A Yoruba friend of mine dated, and was madly in love with an Igbo girl. The feeling was mutual. However, the relationship could not be consummated because, according to the girl, “my people will disown me if I marry a non-Igbo.” This chap was heart-broken. A year later he married an African American. On the other hand, I have Nigerian friends who met and married Nigerian ladies in this country.
By the way: Nigerian women too have been known to discard their fellow Nigerians in the USA for “innocent…fresh…and trainable” home-grown Nigerian men. If you’ve lived long enough in this country, you will witness “wonders.”
THREE VIEWS ON A PREVIOUS ESSAY: “In an earlier article, “The Ijaws: Lonely, Hopeless, Forgotten” I had highlighted the plight and the sufferings of the Ijaws. A longer version, in which I had also touched on the Palestinians’ plight, was published at another venue. What follows are samples of the responses I received. Responses were edited for brevity, not for grammatical errors or language structure:
My brother I feel sorry for the Ijaws, however so long as they allow people like Edwin Clark to be leaders in Ijawland it seems to me Ijaws would have to wait longer than the Palestinians. Besides if Ijaws participated in looting Igbo property in PH, do you think they deserve sympathy if the Yorubas/Hausa/fulanis loot their oil? I thought he who goes to equity must go with clean hands.
The Ijaws are ignored not forgotten for there is no way a breathing organism would forget that it has need of oxygen. This is no arrogance; there would be no Nigeria as we know it today without the Ijawland. To prove this point, let Nigeria condone off all the land called Ijawland and stop any economic activity inside it for just one month and let the world see who is riding on whose back…Be comforted, everything built on falsehood will one day crumble. The entire Nigerian Statehood is built on falsehood and the entire machinery of government is lubricated with cords of deceit and arrogance…What is happening in Ijawland is wickedness of the highest order. Peace.
My dear chap, In the 1960s, Isaac Boro, an Ijaw, declared a Niger-Delta Republic. Reasons? (a) that in the ogogoro trade between Igbo and the Ijaw traders, the Ijaw were allegedly cheated; (b) that it took a day to pull a canoe to the nearest hospital in the riverine areas (how long does it take now in the one Nigeria paradise which the Ijaw fought for and installed?); (c) that scholarship awards in the Eastern Region were made in favour of the Igbo in the period 1960-1966; (d) that Isaac Boro as a first year chemistry student failed to win the presidency of the student union at the University of Nigeria Nsukka in his first attempt.
He won overwhelmingly in his second attempt as a second year undergraduate, but his failure to win outright first time was taken to mean that the Igbo oppressed the minorities! So if the Niger-Delta Republic could be declared because of ogogoro, scholarships, student union elections, peanuts, then why not now? Until you lot declare the Niger-Delta Repulic, you are making noise “iku eze” in Igbo.
You declared Niger-Delta Republic because Ironsi was in power, no be so? Why don’t you do it now that the Ijaw condition has now worsened by your account. Declare it now or shush and enjoy your one Nigeria paradise- this is only the beginning of one Nigeria. Enjoy!
Mazi Kevin Ogbonnaya Ani
THE POGROMS IN WARRI: For centuries the Urhobos, the Itshekiris and the Ijaws have lived as one big family. There were the occasional quarrels – the kind of quarrels you find in big and progressive families: nothing serious and nothing out of the ordinary. However, all that seems to be changing with the violent confrontations in the form of mutual destruction, bloodbath and gory recriminations.
These are people with shared homeland, shared common history, common culture and myths. The rate of intermarriage is such that when these people assemble, it is often difficult to tell who an Ijaw, Itshekiri or Urhobo is. Then suddenly, suddenly…suddenly brothers are killing brothers; and sisters are killing sisters.
Who is going to bring these fratricidal acts to an end?