Wednesday, April 30, 2014

History Class: Who sold Nigeria to the British for £865k in 1899?

Today we will be discussing the first oil war, which was fought in the 19th century, in the area that became Nigeria.
All through the 19th century, palm oil was highly sought-after by the British, for use as an industrial lubricant for machinery. Remember that Britain was the world’s first industrialised nation, so they needed resources such as palm oil to maintain that.
Palm oil of course, is a tropical plant, which is native to the Niger Delta. Malaysia’s dominance came a century later.
By 1870, palm oil had replaced slaves as the main export of the Niger Delta, the area which was once known as the Slave Coast. At first, most of the trade in the oil palm was uncoordinated, with natives selling to those who gave them the best deals. Native chiefs such as former slave, Jaja of Opobo became immensely wealthy because of oil palm. With wealth comes influence.


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Achebe did not know - By Tunde Okanlawon

This is a humble tribute and a preliminary entry of the writer, Chinua Achebe (1930-2013) into the literary history of Nigeria, my doctoral and post-doctoral, indeed, life’s enterprise, which Achebe (1930-2013) suggested would be a group undertaking. It was in 1988 at the National Theatre, when thanks to the Federal Ministry of Culture and the French Embassy, we were celebrating the 1986 Nobel (Wole Soyinka).

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Things Left Unsaid - Chimamanda Adichie

Achebe mourns Biafra, but his anger is directed at the failures of Nigeria. His great disappointment manifests itself in a rare moment of defiance towards the end of the book:
There are many international observers who believe that Gowan’s actions after the war were magnanimous and laudable. There are tons of treatises that talk about how the Igbo were wonderfully integrated into Nigeria. Well, I have news for them: the Igbo were not and continue not to be reintegrated into Nigeria, one of the main reasons for the country’s continued backwardness, in my estimation.


Monday, June 4, 2012

The New Leadership

The leader of the coup against General Yakubu Gowon is an erratic, vainglorious, impetuous, corrupt, vindictive, intelligent, articulate, daring Hausa. Brigadier MURTALA MUHAMMED was a prime force in the Nigerian coup of July, 1966, which brought GOWON to power, and is one of the two principal plotters against GOWON for the past two years. He commanded a division during the Nigerian civil war, was involved in the only documented cases of genocide, won one important battle, and thereafter coasted for upwards of two years until GOWON finally removed him from command and placed him in charge of Army signals, a position which he held until last month, though he combined his military role with the civilian position of Commissioner (Minister) of Communications from July, 1973, until the coup.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fellow Feeling

Under good government, poverty is shameful; under bad government, wealth is shameful.

The true life is absent.
—Arthur Rimbaud

Why Reform and Transform?

Let us begin by listing a series of negative factors: the unbridled lust for profits; the deterioration of solid bonds of fellow feeling; the hyper-bureaucratization of both public and private administration; the intensity of cutthroat competition as fair trade degenerates under market pressures; the dominance of quantity over quality; the toxic nature of consumer culture that drives us to purchase products that possess illusory benefits at best; the sharp decline in the quality of food produced by industrialized agriculture and stockbreeding; the helplessness of consumers and small- and medium-scale manufacturers; a citizenry that is increasingly brainwashed and fragmented.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

What Ojukwu told me before, during and after the war —Sam Aluko

For those who want to understand Ojukwu and Nigeria, this interview might be of help.
"I will say that I was very close to him till his death. Immediately, he became governor of the former Eastern Region, when I was a senior lecturer in Economics in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, he called me the third day he became governor. He said he wanted to come and see me in my university. I never met him before. How can the military governor come and see me? I said no. I told him I would come and see him, instead. I told the person he sent that he should tell the governor that I was the one who should come and see him and not him coming to see me. That was on January 20, 1966."