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Uche Nworah
Jan 19, 2008, 07:59 AM
Eja

It would help if you could further clarify your definition of a Nation as different from the word Country, from your take could both words be used interchangeably? Better still let your clarification and definitions reflect your own personal perspective in line with the Nigerian experience. Let's just leave entries/definitions from Encarta, Wikipedia, Oxford dictionary etc out of it for now.

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 08:30 AM
Eja & All,

Uche is right. I suppose you're using the term nation here in the sense of a politically organized body of people under one government – a definition that perfectly fits with country as well.

I personally think you should make the proposition better. For instance, you could say: "Nigeria is a mere geographical expression, not a nation". That way, people can debate the proposition straight away, rather than modifying it along the way. But you also need to make your initial supporting statement along with the proposition. That way, again, people will know exactly where you're coming from and that will let your opposition know what to challenge. As it is, you've made no proposition and you've made no supporting statement. All you've done is declare an intention to debate an uncertain topic.

By the way, I would have loved to oppose you; but I think someone else apart from Katampe, Busanga, WaleAkin and me should take the challenge. We should be encouraging everyone to participate. In the same spirit, I'll suggest the Chief Moderator (Shoko) should leave this one for Uche to moderate. Of course, the rest of us will be snipping on the sidelines as usual!:lol:



CHEERS!

Uche Nworah
Jan 19, 2008, 09:12 AM
Eja

You say that "This Nigeria will never be a nation", and also that "A nation is a corporate body that is made up of people who share a common culture, language".

In that sense, i think that you have already 'won' the debate even before it starts. This is because Nigerians do not share a common culture, language etc. Again, i thought that was our srength - our unity in diversity. Just like America, a country of people with diverse backgrounds.

Mind you, i'm not debating with you, only trying to make the issues clear for who everwill like to take you on.

Perhaps your definition of a nation limits the argument, i'm wondering therefore if you should not open the debate up a bit by replacing the word 'nation' with 'country'. That way, it culd accommodate lots of other diverse areas and viewpoints.

Meanwhile, should we also take out 'never' from the debating point? this is because never presupposes that we know for sure that something wil not happen, because we don't have the powers to forsee the future, we don't know that for sure. do we?

Kenn1, my fellow Blue. Thanks for the offer but Shoko is the man for the job, we shouldn't fix something that is not broken. Meanwhile, what do you tell people who wrote Chelsea off when Mourhino left? We are still in all competitions.

denker
Jan 19, 2008, 09:20 AM
Perhaps your definition of a nation limits the argument, i'm wondering therefore if you should not open the debate up a bit by replacing the word 'nation' with 'country'. That way, it culd accommodate lots of other diverse areas and viewpoints.


Eja, i think Uche made a very good point here...if you wouldn't mind reconsider the scope of your definition.

denker
Jan 19, 2008, 09:49 AM
..going head to head with you

..dat's exciting, my dear...i like dat formulation!

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 10:05 AM
Eja,

Yes, it's true that a nation can be defined the way you're saying, but that is not the only sense it can be defined. The fact that Yugoslavia has broken up today does not mean it wasn't a nation prior to that. One cultural entity can be a nation, just like several cultural entities can make up a nation. The nation of Britain consists of the English, Welsh and Scots; but it doesn't mean if they break up tomorrow into separate nations, what existed before wouldn't be regarded as a nation. In the end, it all depends on context. I can talk of the Yoruba, Igbo, Ukwani, Edo, Kanuri or Ibibio nation and so on; but that does not preclude describing Nigeria as a nation or nation-state. If we're going to have a viable debate, we cannot be dwelling on whether the entity that is Nigeria has to have the nomenclature of a country or nation. We have to accept to use the terms interchangeably and debate on other substantive issue(s) you've got. The English Language recognizes a politically organized body of people under a single government as a nation or country. Let's not beat about the bush, please.

Now, on the substantive debate, if what you say there in the title is your proposition, I wouldn't argue with you. But, what you should do, even before anyone comes up to challenge you is to make your case in more detail. The danger of just making a statement and asking for opposition is that the opposition may not fully understand where you're coming from before jumping in to challenge. If you make a case – an initial supporting case – then whoever is challenging would have some meat to tackle. It's easier.

At any rate, Mulan has thrown her hat in the ring and I'm backing her all the way!:biggrin:



CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 10:16 AM
Denker,

You dirty little boy!:lol:





Uche,

>>>Kenn1, my fellow Blue. Thanks for the offer but Shoko is the man for the job, we shouldn't fix something that is not broken. Meanwhile, what do you tell people who wrote Chelsea off when Mourhino left? We are still in all competitions.<<<


Yeah, Shoko is the man. I just wanted more all-round participation. In any case, I suppose you're on standby now for another debate – whether as a Proposer, Opposer or Moderator. I know you'd do an excellent job of any of these!

Ah, for those who wrote Chelsea off when TSO moved on, we are preparing a huge feast of humble pie for them. With Anelka and Ivanovich, we're going for the jugular. Let's just say the rumours of the demise of the Blue Machine have been greatly exaggerated!

Keep it Blue, Bro!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 19, 2008, 01:23 PM
Greetings to all,

Uche, the point you made was the reason why I had not wanted to give my own definition of the word nation in the beginning. In fact, my first response to you spoke of my wish not be seen as defining the terms of the debate...I wanted my opponent to be free (in the course of our encounter) to give his/her own definition of the word. But, I changed my mind and posted the response you see.

The reason for this was that I wanted to make it clear to anyone who would take me on that I already had a fixed notion, however, this notion is only my opinion....something also stated in the reply that contained the definition.

I will have no problems with a person presenting another opinion of what a nation is....something that Kenn1 has already done.

So, to sum up: A soon as my opponent formally steps forward, I will present my own argument. My definition of what a nation is forms a strand of that argument. I see no reason why that definition (as well as other aspects of my argument) cannot be challenged by my opponent.

Mulan, if you are indeed willing, I am ready to lock horns with you.....on this Crucible I mean...:biggrin:.

katampe
Jan 19, 2008, 04:53 PM
Eja,

I am not sure whether I am slow in joining the thread, but I am a bit slow from a night out right now.But I have my comments on your proposal nonetheless. See the edited version of your proposal:


I propose a debate on the subject of this thread. I will argue that while the geographical space called Nigeria may exist, there are no prospects of a nation bearing the name coming into existence.

I have edited to make it easier for me to understand and also focus on the important issues you might be raising. Now, to the basics. I think Ken has mentioned it, but I have sought to emphasize it, the term nation is ambiguous. We have in Canada currently, a nation (Quebec) within Canada. It has been the subject of serious intellectual debate.

The idea was to allow Quebec protect its linguistic culture and also reduce the agitation and the arguments of separatists for a country of its own. If these issues were taken into consideration for ethnic nationalities in Nigeria , I see no reason why the nation wouldn't exist moving forward.

I think this creates a problem in your argument or proposal since I am sure this is not the substantive issues you seek to argue on or highlight in your debate. As Uche advised , it would be nicer if you had the scope and definition fully defined in terms of usage and meaning.

Mulan , Eja has set up a very interesting and very intellectual debate , it would be nice to see how the debate flows. We go day on the sidelines dey comment.

omoluabi
Jan 19, 2008, 05:38 PM
All,

Is it possible to use nation state and nation interchangeably. Since the whole of Nigeria can never be a nation going by the strict definition of a nation; yet it is as well possible to attain nationhood if......

omoluabi
Jan 19, 2008, 05:58 PM
"Upon further review" of Kenn's post #11, I believe the scope of nation for the purposes of this debate has been defined.

Let us have it !

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 06:53 PM
All,

Is it possible to use nation state and nation interchangeably. Since the whole of Nigeria can never be a nation going by the strict definition of a nation; yet it is as well possible to attain nationhood if......


Omoluabi,

Thank you for your question above. Actually, I was going to come to the thread and make a ‘correction' – I described Nigeria as a nation or nation-state, but strictly speaking, Nigeria isn't a nation-state, because it is not made up primarily of a culturally homogenous group. Indeed, it's difficult to get any country that can be described as a nation-state, because you almost always do not have that homogeneity within the nation. Those who use the term today to refer to countries only do so in a very loose political and propagandistic sense to indicate strong national identity.

But, as I told Eja, the term country and nation can be used interchangeably. Both terms refer to a politically organized body of people under a single government. A country or nation can be comprised of more than one national entity. In that context, the term nation is used to describe separate cultural components of the larger nation – for instance, we can say the country or nation Nigeria is comprised of several nations, such as the Yoruba, Hausa, Kanuri, Igbo, Tiv, etc. But if the Yoruba were to form a separate sovereign nation today outside Nigeria, we can describe them as a nation-state, because its citizens would be relatively homogenous, sharing the same culture, language and ancestry.



CHEERS!

katampe
Jan 19, 2008, 06:56 PM
O ga ju! dis one go be serious war here :)

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 07:19 PM
People,

I think Eja’s position is a case of irredentism gone too far. When a man starts a proposition by arguing against a historical and contemporary reality, it’s got to be an early night for him. Mulan has done the kindest thing by knocking him out quickly. What’s he thinking?:mad:

Nigeria IS a nation, a country. The fact that we have serious political, social and economic issues to address, like any other country or nation, does not make us less a nation or country. Eja is here because he’s a Nigerian; he, like some of us possibly carries around a Nigerian passport. Nigeria is a bona-fide member of the comity of nations, we sign treaties as a nation with other nations; we make and enforce national laws; we participate in sporting activities with other nations and, no matter what Eja thinks, we’ve been a nation since 1914, got our flag independence in 1960 and became a republic in 1963. Since then, we’ve had and still have leaders who exercise de facto and de jure power as leaders of a nation called Nigeria. Whatever Eja’s grouse, the status of Nigeria as a nation remains and, even if we splinter into smaller nations in the future, it still would not change the fact that Nigeria as we know it today is a nation!

Thanks Mulan, your brief presentation has knocked Eja out!:D

Next!:cool:

omoluabi
Jan 19, 2008, 08:06 PM
Omoluabi,

Thank you for your question above. Actually, I was going to come to the thread and make a ‘correction' – I described Nigeria as a nation or nation-state, but strictly speaking, Nigeria isn't a nation-state, because it is not made up primarily of a culturally homogenous group. Indeed, it's difficult to get any country that can be described as a nation-state, because you almost always do not have that homogeneity within the nation. Those who use the term today to refer to countries only do so in a very loose political and propagandistic sense to indicate strong national identity. -- Kenn


Kenn,

I disagree that Nigeria cannot/should not be described as a nation-state owing to it not being made up of a culturally homogenous group. I submit that the homogeneity required to fulfill the nation-state requirement extends beyond culture, and to my mind is (or could be) the shared (agreed upon) aspirations of nations (Yoruba, Hausa, Kanuri, Igbo, Tiv, etc). Disparate nations, for example, understanding their different economic, developmental and security weaknesses, each with something to contribute could agree to forge a nation-state and operate as such.

In light of the foregoing, I think it is more appropriate to describe Nigeria as a state (nation-state) than as a nation since the state or nation-state connotes an inclusion of disparate nations.

Now, whether the disparate nations in this nation-state (Nigeria) have explicitly signed up, or even want to continue as such is a different matter entirely.

omoluabi
Jan 19, 2008, 08:30 PM
Kenn,

In essence, I think in considering nation-states, especially one(?) like Nigeria, Geographic homogeneity trump cultural homogeneity. The disparate nations, are/should be recognized.

Can Nigeria ever become a nation-state where the disparate nations within its boundary feel committed to nationhood and believe that they live in a just society ?

What, if anything, must be done to forge a nation-state ?

What are the imperative steps to forge a nation-state ?

Sorry for the addendum, competing thoughts prevented me from including this earlier.

Best,

ikechiji
Jan 19, 2008, 08:44 PM
I would like to support Eja's proposition that Nigeria is not a nation but a conglomeration (hodgepodge, mishmash, ngwo-ngwo) created by the British.

Dictionary.com (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nation) defines nation as: "a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own"

The Oxford Dictionary (http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/nation?view=uk) defines nation as: "a large body of people united by common descent, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular state or territory." (ORIGIN Latin, from nasci ‘be born’)

A nation exists because people of common heritage seek to organize themselves into a group to improve their collective lot, in essence, they can achieve more together than individually. A nation exists because its citizens share a common vision of how to govern themselves.

One only needs to look at a few of the ethnic-based rantings on this square or listen to most "private" discussions in Nigeria to know that we are not and can never be a nation. We are at best a nation-state.

The country as it is currently exists, is an alien concept to most of its inhabitants. The country was put together by an external body and has been held together ever since by the power of the gun.

We must not allow the country that colonized us to define us. The British may call us a nation. The United Nations (UN) may call us a nation. Until we collectively define our own destiny, we will forever remain under the illusion of a nation.

Kenn
Jan 19, 2008, 10:51 PM
Eja,

>>>Enough of the shakara....:D ... I have pounded on my chest so vigorously that as I type, I am coughing badly. Let me finish off my first presentation. Only some fine-tuning left. I shall be back shortly.<<<


Eh, o sẹsẹ bẹrẹ ni – you just start! Na cough you still dey cough? When Mulan finish with you, na cry you go dey cry! Abeg present your case make we use our lovely pins take burst am jọ! Fine-tuning kọ, Fatima ni!:lol:

Oya, we dey wait!




Omoluabi,

I do not think there's any huge disagreement between us. What you have said here only goes to confirm my earlier statement, which is that those (like you and I) who use the term today to refer to our country only do so in "a very loose political and propagandistic sense to indicate strong national identity". There is nothing wrong in using the term to describe a nation in an aspirational sense; after all, culture is dynamic!

However, what I've tried to do was to give a strict definition of what a nation-state actually means. If you look at countries generally considered as nation-states today – Iceland, Portugal, Japan and China, for instance, you'll note that they're homogenous or near-homogenous in terms of culture, history, language and national values. Geographical togetherness alone does not create a nation-state.


CHEERS!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 19, 2008, 11:49 PM
Honourable Moderator, is it allowed for me to change the initiating post of this debate into the form suggested by Katampe?


I like it very much. I actually understood what I was trying to say better after reading it.

Thanks for the very good job done so far.

[QUOTE]I propose a debate on the subject of this thread. I will argue that while the geographical space called Nigeria may exist, there are no prospects of a nation bearing the name coming into existence.

omoluabi
Jan 20, 2008, 02:31 AM
Kenn,

In the strict definition of terms, Nigeria is neither a nation or a nation-state. It is at best a Country/State without the nationalism that is requisite of modern states. For example, the United Nations is made up of member states, and not nations as in the Yoruba, Efik, Ibibio Nation. As another example, the Yoruba nation extends beyond the boundaries of the Nigerian State into neighboring states as Benin Republic and far away places like Brazil and Trinidad. The Yorubas in those places outside the geographical area labeled as Nigeria cannot call themselves Nigerians, though they remain members of the Yoruba nation.

I initially thought that the distinction between those terms did not matter much in this discourse, but I now realize that the distinction need to be made so that a proper analysis of the issues can be done.


However, what I've tried to do was to give a strict definition of what a nation-state actually means. If you look at countries generally considered as nation-states today – Iceland, Portugal, Japan and China, for instance, you'll note that they're homogenous or near-homogenous in terms of culture, history, language and national values. Geographical togetherness alone does not create a nation-state.

It is true that the countries you enumerated above fit the truest and most traditional definition of what nation-states are due to their cultural homogeneity; non mono-cultural countries such as Italy and France, and indeed most modern states, however, are also referred to, in contemporary times (like you said) as nation-states.

We can agree to adhere to the strict definitions of those terms for enhanced clarity, or agree to use them loosely for the purpose of this debate.

I support Eja's proposition that Nigeria has not attained nationhood, but disagree that it can never attain nationhood.

Cheers !

Kenn
Jan 20, 2008, 03:36 PM
Kenn,

In the strict definition of terms, Nigeria is neither a nation or a nation-state....


Where did you get that idea from?:confused:

Kenn
Jan 20, 2008, 04:18 PM
Mulan,

You are a great patriot and you pack a powerful punch. Your left hook has sent the opposition sprawling on the canvass, unable to beat the count!:D

I'm very proud to support your position in this debate.

Thank you!





Mr Moderator and fellow members of The Crucible,

I submit that from the evidence of the exchange so far, Mulan has done a great job of demolishing Eja's nihilistic and mythical construct. His spurious and unsupportable conclusions have been exposed for what they are. His attempt at intellectualization has fallen flat on its face and his jaundiced definition of what a nation is has been well wrapped up by Mulan and packaged back to him, with a little warning note that he needs to be "less careless"(note, not more careful, but less careless!:lol:)

Now, as Mulan asked, what are the "paradigms" he's talking about? What are the "factors" towards which these unexplained paradigms are "antagonistic"? When he supposedly identified what he called the "building blocks of nationhood" as "a common culture, language (dialects omitted) and often, a common creation mythology that describes the progenitor of the nation as a direct ancestor (biological or image-wise) of all who belong to the nation...", didn't anyone tell him that lack of any of these does not preclude the formation and sustenance of a nation? Does the attitude of those he calls "dominant leaders of thought" determine whether or not an entity is a nation? Do these people define for us what is a nation? Do they have more right to the entity than the people that make up that entity? The fact that our leadership has failed us has nothing to do with whether or not we're a nation. Yes, we have issues; but so do other nations!

Of course, it is an indefensible exaggeration to say everything that defines Nigeria and the Nigerian was imposed by an outside agency. Colonialism is a fact of history, but it can only impose so much. Again, as Mulan pointed out, before colonialism, people were living in the geographical space called Nigeria and the nations in that entity had economic, social and indeed political relationships with each other. What colonialism did by bringing together these disparate national entities into a single nation is not unique. It's happened elsewhere even in the so-called developed world and the sky did not fall, because people realize that you simply have to play the card that history deals you. When the nationalists stood up to oppose continued colonialism, they did not do so wanting to free only the Igbo, Yoruba Edo, Kuteb, Kanuri or Fulani. They fought to free the nation Nigeria, because even by then a sense of shared history had been established. It is not the length of your history that matters, but the fact of it. We may have begun that shared history in 1914, but there's nothing that says because we haven't been together for a zillion years, we cannot call Nigeria a nation.

Again, as Mulan observed, this whole idea of "split awareness" is a figment of Eja's imagination. It's no surprise that he cannot define it convincingly as the whole scenario he concocted there is nothing but another laughable exaggeration. Of course, people have prejudices and primordial attachments cannot just be wished away; but do these in anyway take anything away from the nationality of even those who feel these way? Are the people who fought the Nigerian-Biafran war of yesterday not walking around today with Nigerian passports? What is the whole idea of the Federal Character provisions in our Constitution? Even within one ethnic group, there is strife – brothers are killing brothers in the name of intra-community crises and Eja is here talking as though there's even that unity within ethnic components! The fact that we do not have the best expression of national unity takes nothing way from the fact that we're still a nation, just as the fact that there's no unity in Christendom does not mean there are no Christians or Christian churches. It is a human thing to first regard strangers with suspicion; but years of interaction ultimately erase the suspicion. We are a growing nation!

Frankly, I personally do not recognize the Nigeria Eja speaks of in his paragraph 2.03. My ancestral home is still my ancestral home. We were never uprooted to anywhere. Of course, my own ethnic nation is now part of a larger Nigerian nation, but I do not look at the larger Nigeria as an entity to be exploited, even though I know that some of our national leaders from far and near see it that way. But when they do, I do not see them exploiting that Nigeria for the benefit of their own ethnic nations, only for their own selfish ends. Naturally, a lot of people, including people of my generation aren't happy with political and socio-economic development within the country; but those who are informed know it's got nothing to do with entity itself, but with the attitude of leaders and to a great extent, followers as well.

I think Eja is conflating issues. He thinks the failure of leadership connotes the death of national aspiration or possibility. He does not realize that such failures are only part of the national history and that the national entity is constant as far as the geographical and political sovereignty of the nation remain. Do all nations have to be like the USA to be considered nation? In fact, does he also realize that the United States is a colonial construct? Or doesn't he realize that the fact that the colonists came, conquered, defined the territory and then refuse to leave make the USA a worse example of a nation than Nigeria (that is if we accept his criteria)?How far back does he want our collective memory to go to qualify as nation? Really, I think Eja is confused and today is his lucky day, because he's being educated by a patient and knowledgeable Mulan.




CHEERS!

omoluabi
Jan 20, 2008, 07:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by omoluabi View Post
Kenn,

In the strict definition of terms, Nigeria is neither a nation or a nation-state....

Where did you get that idea from?

Nigeria is not culturally homogeneous. Earlier on, I believe you implied that a nation needed to be culturally homogeneous; Nigeria isn't.....:biggrin:

Kenn
Jan 20, 2008, 08:33 PM
Nigeria is not culturally homogeneous. Earlier on, I believe you implied that a nation needed to be culturally homogeneous; Nigeria isn't.....:biggrin:


Omoluabi,

No, I said a nation-state strictly speaking needs to be culturally homogenous (not a nation). Even then, I didn't dwell too much on that as I recognize that nations can simply describe themselves as "nation-state" (even when not culturally homogenous for propaganda and strong national identity purposes – all political). However, I did make clear in a few posts on this thread, including in one exchange with you, that a nation can be culturally homogenous, but it is not a condition or the only condition for nationhood. Cultural diversity does not make an entity less a nation as far as the key conditions of geographical definability and single government are present.:smile:



CHEERS!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 20, 2008, 11:48 PM
Kenn1, control yahsef now! All dis yoah premature declaration don do. You hia? Disciple of INEC. E don do!!

Every time you post, the first thing you do is declare victory. Sounds to me as if you are feeling very insecure...:wink:.

Na so?

No worry, I go send one masseuse to come see you. By the time she finis, all de anxiety go don comot yah body...:D.

We are told that on a June 12, in free elections, a majority of Nigerians overlooked ethnic loyalties and voted for a Yoruba man. But then, we also know that in the struggle that followed the annulment of those elections, the Yoruba region bore the brunt of the following repression.

We are told that the Yoruba turned the struggle for 'democracy' into an ethnic matter.

This is a good example of the type of self-deception that is preventing us from facing up to necessary truths. If all Nigerians - irrespective of ethnicity - had decided that the struggle to actualise June 12 belonged to them, then it is doubtful that even if they had so wished, the Yoruba could have stopped them from making their opinions known to the ursupers. There were no Yoruba enforcers in Kano, Yola or Enugu telling people to stay out of the fight because it concerned Yoruba only. While it cannot be denied that individuals from other ethnic groups stood up for what was right, it also cannot be denied that the ones who had felt the hurt most of all were Yoruba.

But, we still have to ask, were the ones who called what followed a Yoruba struggle totally wrong? While Yoruba were shouting, was this because they had the best interest of the Nigerian 'nation' at heart or, had they been fighting for what they saw as a slight on the Yoruba nation? I leave the answer to your discernment however, my own opinion is that Nigerians chose, at the first opportunity, to revert back to the customary mode that is prevalent all over Nigeria.

Events in other African countries have shown that this chronic inability to see beyond the ancestral nationality is not merely a failure of character in Nigerians. Were we to look deeper, we would see a truth that liberates...we will see that this is not a failure of character in Africans. We will see that what has failed (and will continue failing), is this grafting of manufactured identities onto our original African identities. We are like liver (or heart) transplant patients in remission but, we are in denial.

The tragedy of our situation is that unlike the liver transplant patient whose body has rejected his donated organ, we are still attached to perfectly working organs. However, due to the fact that some of us, overwhelmed by our fear for change, refuse to let go of what is not working, it must be said again that the prognosis is bleak.

And it get bleaker when those to whom it falls to present arguments in favour of continuing with this status quo can do no better than manufacture falsehoods which we are then enjoined to suscribe to (via appeals to our sentimentalism).

To present a picture of a country where anybody can wander freely and live out their lives without ever having to deal with potential dangers of ethnically based conflict is pure moonshine. To rest your allegation for the existence of a continuum between what existed pre-1880 and what existed after 1914 on some imaginary pre-colonial entity called Nigeria is revisionist history of the lowest order. Nigeria did not exist before 1914. There were no Nigerians before 1914. Therefore, Nigerians were not "getting on with each other" prior to 1914. Autonomous kingdoms and communities were getting on with other, at worst times through treaties imposed after warfare and at best times through mutually beneficial arrangements that communities arrived at after respectful reasoning. What we have right now is an offshoot of the worst type of "getting on". It is one that was imposed.

Now, if anybody still wishes to know what I referred to when I spoke of anorexic mythology, look no further than creative attempts like the two I just debunked. And, to better understand the phrase, I will recommend that my opponents research the disorder commonly referred to as anorexia nervosa. Understanding that harmful compulsion may better help them in understanding themselves and after that, maybe they will seek a cure...:D.

Kenn
Jan 21, 2008, 02:00 AM
Eja,

While I await the missus (or is it masseuse) you'd be sending over to bribe me (remember, I'm a Nigerian who typically will accept a free gift!:lol:), let me assure you that you're on a hiding to nothing with the kind of arguments you're putting up! Are you scared I'm declaring victory? Wait until you hear my newly-composed Victory Song!

Now, where do I start? Your over-constipated view of Nigeria has nothing to do with reality and none of your two anorexic examples above prove that Nigeria is not a nation, even if we accept your blinkered interpretation of events. Irresponsible leaders play the ethnic card in every nation with such diversity as Nigeria; but while such political desperation affects immediate political ends, it does not disturb the reality that there's a bona-fide nation bearing the brunt. The nature of the nation does not diminish because of the political machinations of criminally-minded leaders. No matter what anybody says about June 12, it was the freest and fairest election ever held in Nigeria and its national credibility is exemplified by MKO Abiola trouncing Tofa in his own ward, in his own Local Government and in his own state up there in Kano. Not only Yoruba died defending that mandate and even as the Yoruba bore the worst of the brunt as you claim in latter years, they bore it not because they wanted a separate Yoruba nation, but because they stood for what is just for our nation. I'm sure you still remember that Yoruba generals and politicians were part of those that buried June 12 .




>>>Events in other African countries have shown that this chronic inability to see beyond the ancestral nationality is not merely a failure of character in Nigerians. Were we to look deeper, we would see a truth that liberates...we will see that this is not a failure of character in Africans. We will see that what has failed (and will continue failing), is this grafting of manufactured identities onto our original African identities. We are like liver (or heart) transplant patients in remission but, we are in denial.<<<


I'm almost beginning to pity you because you're a wishful thinker! You wish you can just wave a magic wand and whoosh! we're back in the great Ashante Kingdom, the Benin Kingdom, Kanem-Bornu, Songhai Empire, Oyo Empire and all that stuff! You talk of "original African identities" as though there was one big happy Africa before the whiteman came. Of course, we have been dealt a bad hand by history say, in the last four hundred years and one of the effects of colonialism has been the putting together of diverse people in one nation. But what you're failing to acknowledge is that this ‘new' reality has been on now for decades and, in spite of the teething problems, we've mostly held on while grappling with the demands of modern international political and social order. You have failed to understand that you cannot scoop up spilt milk or a broken egg. You'll have to move on, because history waits for no one!

Whatever we are today, whatever challenge we face as a nation – be it in the form of a predatory leadership or complacent citizenry, we remain a nation. Yes, we're struggling to come to terms with our colonial bequest, but we are at it. In spite of the cynicism of a few like you who think eldorado would result from anarchism, we are holding on. Again, I ask: Does the fact that we have failed leaderships that have resulted in serious political, economic and social failures on our part take away anything from the fact that we are a nation? Does leadership failure alone define the existence or lack of existence of a nation?

By the way, I see that you've began the process of back-pedalling by saying we would be a nation if we do this or that, but I thought your thesis was that we will NEVER be a nation? I thought you foreclosed that possibility ENTIRELY? Anyway, it's very, very late at my end. I'll be doing a lot of travelling this week, so I'll have to hit my bed. Please, don't send your beauties to me until you've accepted that you've lost this debate. Mulan will apply the coup de grace soon. Ah, no need to grit your teeth… it won't hurt – she's an expert at gentle filleting, if you know what I mean.

‘See' you on the rebound!:wink:

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 21, 2008, 04:36 AM
Kenn1, Kenn1....have you no shame? To declare victory before the contest is over....to scuttle off into your own corner with your arms raised in celebration while the opponent that you have not laid a glove on is still bouncing and flexing in the centre of the ring tells me that you are most definitely a PDP sized self-deceiver.

I have changed my mind. I will not be sending round a masseuse, I shall be sending over two hefty gentlemen from Interpol because, one does not become like you overnight...yes, I am sure that if you are investigated, much will be found about you that will be of interest to a prosecutor...:eek:.

Kenn1, the setting up of a straw man when one is unable to refute an opponent's argument is a common debating trick. You misconstrue what your opponent says, and then you attack your own misconstruction. You claim that I am advocating a return to the days of the Songhai empire and the Ashanti empire. This is a deliberate misunderstanding on your part of my words. The passage you took out of context was based on the following realisation : So called Nigerians, like other Africans in a similar situation, will continue struggling to fully express their creativity in all crucial spheres of human activity. And before you ask, the crucial spheres I refer to are education, industry, commerce, religion, politics and peace-making.

They will continue struggling because, the borrowed tools that they are currently using, (tools that are woven into the DNA of the imposed identities they are yoked to) were all devised with their unavoidable African identities as antithesis. Therefore, the new African, currently called Nigerian (or Kenyan or Congolese) is a being that was designed to be at war with him/her self....understand what I am saying, I am not just talking about war with guns and machetes, I am talking about a man (or a woman) at war with him/her self.

Then, when they are ready, they will turn on their neighbours.

While pointing any fingers, I will also say that it is customary for such people to celebrate defeats as victories and, to look upon stagnating stalemates and claim these to be progress.

My dear Kenn1, does any of the above strike a chord within you? Any stirrings of self-recognition?.... :wink:.

Mein herr, the Doktor (me) shall now retire to smoke a self-congratulatory cigar...:D.

Kenn
Jan 21, 2008, 12:03 PM
Eja,


>>>>4.01 Iya bi mi, mo tun ra mi bi (trans: My mother gave birth to me, I then gave birth to myself). Without the act of self-creation, we shall never truly own ourselves. Such an act becomes more difficult when instead of coming to life out from natural creation, we are birthed (as we Nigerians were) through a coldly calculated act that was calibrated to invest the new entity, Nigeria, with just enough life-force to make it serve the requirements of its manufacturer. The British manufactured Nigeria and, the reasons for this act are still as valid today as they were a century ago. Now, because we Nigerians are yet to systematically address the full ramifications of these requirements, we are yet to decide (with our collective self-interest being primary motivator), what the nature of the interface between our peoples and the needs of the worlds outside our borders should be.<<<<


There's nothing that exemplifies the contradictions and indeed emptiness of your thoughts on this issue than the paragraph above. On one hand, you rail against a manufactured Nigeria and on the other hand you're calling for the same manufactured Nigerians to self-create themselves "with our collective self-interest being primary motivator". The question is what is the value of this so-called collective self-interest when your real issue is with the collective? How is the collective going to go about this self-creation when they're not organically the same? Where are they going to find the ‘national' or notional solidarity to effect the necessary rebirth you preach?

Kenn
Jan 21, 2008, 12:21 PM
Eja,

>>>Kenn1, Kenn1....have you no shame? To declare victory before the contest is over....to scuttle off into your own corner with your arms raised in celebration while the opponent that you have not laid a glove on is still bouncing and flexing in the centre of the ring tells me that you are most definitely a PDP sized self-deceiver.<<<


Ha! Ha! A punch-drunk boxer, eyes glazed, sprawling on the canvass and with his tongue firmly inside his throat is allowed the little comfort of dreaming. When you come to, I expect to hear you say: “He didn’t hurt me, he didn’t hurt me, just a lucky punch, a fluke!” At that point, your cornerman will whisper in your ears – “Hey buddy, that guy wasn’t your opponent. He wasn’t the one in the ring with arms raised in celebration. It’s that lady, yeah, that beautiful lady with the big smile. Yeah, Mulan! She whooped your ass, buddy! She did real good! That guy Kenn was only rooting for her from outside the ring. He was never in the ring with you!”




>>>I have changed my mind. I will not be sending round a masseuse, I shall be sending over two hefty gentlemen from Interpol because, one does not become like you overnight...yes, I am sure that if you are investigated, much will be found about you that will be of interest to a prosecutor... :eek:.<<<


Ah, you want to send over two hefty pinheads with dumdum bullets? I’m not surprised. Typically Nigerian – you want to snuff out my life before I do more damage. Okay, let them come, I trust Simba, my little cocker spaniel! The last assassin he caught retired in ignominy after Simba took his gun, gave him a few karate chops, tied him up and phoned the police! Brilliant dog – he still has the international police medal hanging in his kernel! So, warn your goons…




>>>>Kenn1, the setting up of a straw man when one is unable to refute an opponent's argument is a common debating trick. You misconstrue what your opponent says, and then you attack your own misconstruction. You claim that I am advocating a return to the days of the Songhai empire and the Ashanti empire. This is a deliberate misunderstanding on your part of my words. The passage you took out of context was based on the following realisation : So called Nigerians, like other Africans in a similar situation, will continue struggling to fully express their creativity in all crucial spheres of human activity. And before you ask, the crucial spheres I refer to are education, industry, commerce, religion, politics and peace-making. <<<<


Hey, hey, hey, please stop! Stop right there! Weren’t you the one that recommended Ashanti Kingdom’s own Osei Tutu’s Golden Stool as an ideal national symbol, or didn’t you? Only that it’s been sold for $450 (not cedi), otherwise I would have bought it for my private museum!

http://www.tamarin.com/seat/seate11.html




>>>They will continue struggling because, the borrowed tools that they are currently using, (tools that are woven into the DNA of the imposed identities they are yoked to) were all devised with their unavoidable African identities as antithesis. Therefore, the new African, currently called Nigerian (or Kenyan or Congolese) is a being that was designed to be at war with him/her self....understand what I am saying, I am not just talking about war with guns and machetes, I am talking about a man (or a woman) at war with him/her self.

Then, when they are ready, they will turn on their neighbours.

While pointing any fingers, I will also say that it is customary for such people to celebrate defeats as victories and, to look upon stagnating stalemates and claim these to be progress. <<<<


If they’re borrowed stools, sorry, tools, how come they’re woven into their DNA? You seem to know a lot about this devise; or are you one of the victims of this British cloning experiment gone wrong? Are you one of the tool-borrowers with your DNA woven into the imposed identity you’re yoked to? Ouch! That must be extremely painful! I sympathize.




>>>My dear Kenn1, does any of the above strike a chord within you? Any stirrings of self-recognition?...<<<


No, no, no, don’t turn on me now. Easy, easy, lay down your weapon…I’ve called the police and the men in long coats. Once you’re in their care, you’d be fine. Believe me, you’d be real fine. I’ll follow it up with five hours of intensive prayers daily and thirty Hail Marys. So, please, put down your weapon; I’m only a neighbour, not an enemy, put down your weapon….Now, that’s my boy, that’s my good, good boy…




>>>Mein herr, the Doktor (me) shall now retire to smoke a self-congratulatory cigar...<<<


Nice to see you’re catching the celebratory bug already; only, in your own case, you’re celebrating second place, not victory! All your nocturnal visits to the “Sacred Grove dedicated to the god Victorious Debatus” have come to nought! Okay, smoke if you must, but just don’t push that cigar into your masseuse’s you-know-where. If you ask her, I’m sure she’d prefer to come get the real thing from me, than to be ‘Bill-ed’ by you (I know you don’t have an Oval Office, but you may harbour the idea that your notoriously smelly couch will do!). So, don’t be a sourpuss - let the girl come over for some real good time! Let me give her what she can’t get from you - some good, tender loving …hmm...:lol:




Meanwhile, here are some questions for you:



(1) Is Nigeria a nation in the orthodox or traditional sense of the definition? If not, what is the traditional or orthodox definition and where is your proof of this outside your own personal prejudices?


(2) If the answer to (1) is that Nigeria isn’t traditionally qualified to be called a nation, which countries are that qualified and where is your authority for regarding them so?

(3) Is Nigeria recognized internationally as a nation? If not, how does the United Nations, the African Union, other international institutions and other countries we have bilateral dealings with regard us?

(4) Which is the highest employer of labour outside the informal sector – public or organized private sector? If the latter, to which country or nation do they pay their taxes and laws of which country or nation govern their establishment and operation?

(5) Do the political and cultural heads of all other nations within the entity called Nigeria owe allegiance to any other political authority or nation? If so, what nation and what is the nature of the allegiance?



For the next group of questions, all you’re required to do is to answer “Yes” or “No” – no but, if, however or the like – simple “Yes” or “No”.



Does the entity called Nigeria have a President who exercises power on behalf of the whole country?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national army or armed forces?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national capital city?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national anthem and pledge, sang and recited in every part of the country during state ceremonies?

Does the entity called Nigeria have definable borders with other countries?

You’ve already disparaged the naira as our national currency, but the question you must answer is this: Does the entity called Nigeria have a currency that is legal tender throughout the country?

Are you a Nigerian, Somali, British, American or Canadian?

Do you possess a Nigerian, Somali, British, American or Canadian passport?

Does any member of your immediate family possess a Nigerian passport?

Do people from other nations or countries see a person from the entity called Nigeria as Igbo, Edo, Yoruba or Ezon or do they mostly see him/her as Nigerian?



Once you finish honestly answering these questions and once the lovely Mulan responds to your latest offering in intellectual waywardness, I will come back to address your answers. For now, make yourself useful, address the questions.




CHEERS!

Myne Whitman
Jan 21, 2008, 10:50 PM
Hey, hey, hey, please stop! Stop right there! Weren't you the one that recommended Ashanti Kingdom's own Osei Tutu's Golden Stool as an ideal national symbol, or didn't you? Only that it's been sold for $450 (not cedi), otherwise I would have bought it for my private museum!

http://www.tamarin.com/seat/seate11.html

-----------------------

Once you finish honestly answering these questions and once the lovely Mulan responds to your latest offering in intellectual waywardness, I will come back to address your answers. For now, make yourself useful, address the questions.

CHEERS!

Kenn1,

I laughed so hard when I saw that the stool with such a deep spiritual attachment was for sale not even to the highest bidder but to all comers for a paltry $450, I decided to disregard it entirely. Eja must think we're here for moonlight games:D:biggrin:

I'll also like to see his answers to your questions....

Kenn
Jan 21, 2008, 11:29 PM
Mulan! Mulan! Mulan! You have landed again like Lander brothers and made short work of your debating opponent. I warned him, but he wouldn't listen! Like a glutton for punishment, he kept coming back for more like a freaking Joe Frazier! :lol:

You know, I read your latest offering and was tempted to post something here titled, "Mulan's Quotable Quotes" with what I considered vintage excerpts from that post. But in the end, I realized that the whole piece is one beautiful quotable quote! I recommend it to all irredentists and recovering irredentists! Anyone who thinks Nigeria is a piece of shiitt, should read that and go look in a mirror!

May the ink in your pen never run dry, may your keyboard never ‘stutter' and may God continue to increase your wisdom and intelligence for the benefit of our nation and humanity!

You are a worthy leader in this debate and even the stones would affirm it!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!:biggrin:

WayoGuy
Jan 22, 2008, 12:15 AM
NVS Debaters: I Offer Wayo Sophistry for Those Who Want to Win by any Means Necessary.

I salute all the debaters: Mulan, Eja, Kenn, Katampe, Wale Akin, busanga. I salute moderator and kunu peddler Shoko.

I have enjoyed these debates so much that I have been glued to the Crucible these past few days.

But WayoGuy will not be true to type if he does not offer some advice, in the form of deceptive reasoning, for those who want to win by any means necessary.

I urge you to try sophistry. Sophistry is a beautiful game if you know how to play it.

As far back as the time of ancient Greece, masters of the art of sophistry taught students, public speakers, lawyers, politicians, and charlatans how to apply the art of sophistry. The goal was always to convince your listener of the validity of your position; and once convinced, to persuade that listener to act in accordance with your position for your own personal benefit. Although you are not seeking personal gain in these debates (except perhaps the ‘Thanks’ button lighting up under your post), I urge you to try sophistry at least in the “related posts” section. Too much attempt at proper logical reasoning is bad for the eyes.

Try to create a Straw Man

This is a remarkably easy but effective form of sophistical arguments. You restate your opponent’s position in a way that is inaccurate and then, before your audience knows what you have done, you show them why your opponent’s position (the inaccurate position that you created) is wrong. You know people who have done this on NVS and before their opponents knew what they had done, the “Thanks” button had been pressed many times by those congratulating the player.

Example: The sophist on NVS says “My opponent says that Obasanjo is an adult and therefore has a right to sleep with any person he desires and that his daughter in law is also an adult and should sleep with any person she wants. My opponent has assailed the sacred institution of marriage. I think Obasanjo should sleep with his own wife and leave his daughter in law to sleep with her husband.” Nobody will disagree with this.

Yes, you first create a straw man (an inaccurate version of your opponent’s position) and then, ah, enjoy the dividends of sophistry – the Thanks button!

Try a Non Sequitor

In latin, non sequitor means “does not follow”. In this type of sophistry, you draw a conclusion that logically does not follow from your opponent’s position, but is guaranteed to be a conclusion with which nobody, I mean nobody, will disagree. People will agree with you very quickly, persuaded by the conclusion, without realizing that your conclusion is a non sequitor.

Example: The sophist says “My opponent says that a son should not reveal to the public that his father slept with his wife, which means that my opponent can sleep with his own children and expect to be protected in the name of family secrecy. Is there any person in this village who does not agree with me that our most vulnerable family members, our children, will continue to be sexually abused by their parents if we don’t expose them in public?” Then wait for the “Thanks” button to light up.

Try the Ad Hominem angle

The ad hominem argument is one directed against the person. It is a known sophistical art that works if you know how to apply it. It has been applied in NVS arguments so many times, even by well-meaning personalities, that in its most subtle form, it is virtually an unassailable art.

Example: the sophist says “That Orji Kalu’s article on how to improve Nigeria should not be taken seriously; after all he is the same person who is under investigation for stealing public funds” or “Andy Uba cannot make a governor. He does not even have a genuine doctorate degree”.

The sophist does not really have to state his positions as clearly as I have. He may argue other points about the personal life of an opponent, which may be true, so that, subtly, the listener begins to agree with him. The unwary does not remember that the sophist has abandoned arguing against the logical soundness of the articles written by Orji Kalu on the improvement of governance in Nigeria and reared into the area of personal attack. But the listeners like the argument and that’s all that matters to the sophist.

If any of the above doesn’t work, then continue doing the wonderful work that you are now doing. Just ignore me.

I salute you all.

Kenn
Jan 22, 2008, 06:53 AM
WayoGuy,

Thank you for your wayo thoughts. The caveat is that it's a risky approach to debate. If you're dealing with a savvy opponent like Mulan, for instance, she'll have no problem exposing your wayo thoughts! Then, you'll not only have an intellectual problem, but a credibility problem as well.

So, all you aspiring sophists from Wayo School of Wuru-wuru Thinking, be warned!:mad:

omoluabi
Jan 22, 2008, 09:37 AM
Kenn,

Your use of the terms is understood.

Substantively, however, Nigeria is a nation in name (geographically) and by law, not in spirit.

How do we forge a nation (not just in name, but in spirit), seeing that we missed the opportunity to do so after the civil war ?

I am for a Sovereign national conference.

WayoGuy
Jan 22, 2008, 10:25 AM
WayoGuy,

Thank you for your wayo thoughts. The caveat is that it's a risky approach to debate. If you're dealing with a savvy opponent like Mulan, for instance, she'll have no problem exposing your wayo thoughts! Then, you'll not only have an intellectual problem, but a credibility problem as well.

So, all you aspiring sophists from Wayo School of Wuru-wuru Thinking, be warned!:mad:

By the way, learned brother Kenn,

How much money did Mulan pay you to keep distracting Eja so that she can fine-tune her pugilistic jabs and Mohammed-Ali-istic fancy oratory? Don't think that I have not noticed the Mulan-Kenn mutual enterprise which is more effective than sophistry. Take your time o

denker
Jan 22, 2008, 10:42 AM
poor Eja, frankly, i sympathize with him..!unfortunately, i cannot help him..

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 22, 2008, 11:23 AM
Kenn1, I think I shall start calling you That Character From Horror Movies Also Known As Kenn1 (or TECFOHMAKAK1 in short). Just like those characters, you do not know when you are finished....you rise again...time after time... axe in your head, arrow through your coccyx, bullet in your gullet, your yansh on fire...don't matter...you rise again, refusing to accept the fact that there is only 5 minutes to go, the movie is over, my popcorn is finished and the jumbo sized container of pepsi is dry....

Kenn1, accept this: you are done!!

But, let me try one more time. This time, I will use depleted uranium coated artillery shells....:D.


(1) Is Nigeria a nation in the orthodox or traditional sense of the definition? If not, what is the traditional or orthodox definition and where is your proof of this outside your own personal prejudices?

No it is not. And I will not repeat here what I have already said to your flag carrying, anthem singing companion....i.e. I have already given the definitions you ask for. As for me providing proof that Serbia, Croatia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Scotland, Wales, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Chechnya, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Holland...etc. exist, well, that will be hard....I mean, that there is real food for thought sah...could it be? Could it be that I just made up all those names in a dream....?

Hmmmmm....:neutral:.



(2) If the answer to (1) is that Nigeria isn't traditionally qualified to be called a nation, which countries are that qualified and where is your authority for regarding them so?

I am sorry if by action or omission, I caused you to strain your mind while you devised such a convoluted question. A device that is basically nothing else but an attempt on your part to once again misconstrue my stance in this matter through the use of semantics. I do not have the authority to recognise a country ( if that is what you mean by saying "regarding them"). I am not a member of the UN. However, if your use of the term is to ask from where I got the authority to state an opinion and, to provide my reasons for holding such an opinion.... well, I got this from the moment in time when I decided that I will use my own mind to decide what is what. You see am? I decided that no man (or woman) will define reality for me. And guess what? You also have that freedom....only thing is, make sure you can defend what you stand by with things other than half-truths, sophistry, and baseless rhetoric.


(3) Is Nigeria recognized internationally as a nation? If not, how does the United Nations, the African Union, other international institutions an other countries we have bilateral dealings with regard us?


Nigeria, like the United Nations, was manufactured without the decisive input of my Yoruba leaders. In other words, the people who manufactured both entities had no regard for, and showed no recognition of me as a Yoruba human with a valid self-determined description of myself and of the environment in which the Almighty had placed my ancestors and I.

Now, I refuse to believe that just because a group of people have superior killing technology, they know more than me about how a human should stand on this Earth. I refuse to ascribe superiority in ideas of communal organisation to those whose sole claim to power rests on their ability to destroy. Therefore, I refuse to recognise that all entities manufactured by them are inviolable. I will bring my independent mind to the table and I will decide what is good for me.

Now, following on from that logic, you will understand why even the African Union, and other so called international institutions (all IMO ineffectual crap born from unholy crap), can never be things that I will hold in unquestioning high regard.


(4) Which is the highest employer of labour outside the informal sector – public or organized private sector? If the latter, to which country or nation do they pay their taxes and laws of which country or nation govern their establishment and operation?


Here, you would have done better to provide the answer and then to state how, within those answers, lay proof of your assertion that the neo-colonial exploitative entity Nigeria is actually a nation.


(5) Do the political and cultural heads of all other nations within the entity called Nigeria owe allegiance to any other political authority or nation? If so, what nation and what is the nature of the allegiance?


When people come out to kill others who are allegedly their fellow nation-members on the basis of some insult given to some alien derived ideology, then I would say that those people, and the ones who lead them, have shown by their actions that they owe allegiance to political authorities that are outside of the so-called nation Nigeria. When 'leaders' implement policies that destroy the environments lived in by others who are allegedly their fellow nationals for the commercial (and industrial) interests of entities based thousands of miles away...yes. When these same 'leaders' will take the revenues obtained from such depredations and put them into the economies of countries that are based thousands of miles away, then yes, I would also describe these as owing allegiance to nations outside of Nigeria.



For the next group of questions, all you're required to do is to answer "Yes" or "No" – no but, if, however or the like – simple "Yes" or "No".



Does the entity called Nigeria have a President who exercises power on behalf of the whole country?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national army or armed forces?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national capital city?

Does the entity called Nigeria have a national anthem and pledge, sang and recited in every part of the country during state ceremonies?

Does the entity called Nigeria have definable borders with other countries?

You've already disparaged the naira as our national currency, but the question you must answer is this: Does the entity called Nigeria have a currency that is legal tender throughout the country?

Are you a Nigerian, Somali, British, American or Canadian?

Do you possess a Nigerian, Somali, British, American or Canadian passport?

Does any member of your immediate family possess a Nigerian passport?

Do people from other nations or countries see a person from the entity called Nigeria as Igbo, Edo, Yoruba or Ezon or do they mostly see him/her as Nigerian?


The above is nothing more than an avalanche of questions structured around closed arguments. Like asking a man "Have you stopped beating your wife? Answer by saying yes or no only."

Of course if he says "no", then he is beating his wife, but if he says "yes", then he is admitting that once upon a time, he used to beat his wife.

I refuse to answer questions structured in such a way. This is a debate, not an interrogation. Your stooping to this level shows that you have run out of ideas, therefore, Kenn1, why not just give up this particular struggle? Why are you still running around after your head has been taken off? :D.

Kenn
Jan 22, 2008, 10:51 PM
By the way, learned brother Kenn,

How much money did Mulan pay you to keep distracting Eja so that she can fine-tune her pugilistic jabs and Mohammed-Ali-istic fancy oratory? Don't think that I have not noticed the Mulan-Kenn mutual enterprise which is more effective than sophistry. Take your time o


Wayo,

It's a match made in heaven. Be happy for us. Don't grumble.:D




Omoluabi,

Original and older members of this board will tell you that there is no bigger advocate of the Sovereign National Conference than my good self. Till tomorrow, I still believe in it. But our agitation and attempt to create a better and fairer nation does not mean there is no nation already. If, as you've admitted, there's a nation in the physical (geographical) and legal sense, then it goes without saying that there's a nation in the spirit sense as well. Every living form has a spirit and so is an entity comprised of people, no matter what you choose to call it. The fact that you and I come here daily to get our fix and feel of the nation clearly shows there's a national spirit. In Nigeria's case, what true patriots like you and I are working towards and praying for is for that spirit (which is already there) to represent the noble yearnings and aspirations of the majority of our countrymen and women.



CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 22, 2008, 11:12 PM
Eja,

In case you haven't noticed, the bottom has dropped off your bucket already; you're running on empty! Indeed, you have showed yourself a poor student of Wayo School of Wuru-wuru Thinking. Not only have you chosen the wrong opponent on whom to apply your new-found ‘knowledge', you're doing it so badly, you make Giringori seem like a genius. Reading through your last post, anyone with a passable understanding of English Language and a little logical mind would see that you suffered three ranges of emotions while attempting my questions – denial, lack of understanding and fear.

You showed you're in denial with your response to Questions (1), (2) and most especially (3); you showed you didn't understand Questions (4) and (5) and as for the rest of the questions requiring just a "Yes" or "No" answer, you panicked and refused to touch them! The reason for your fear is obvious – answering them will make simple what you're trying to complicate. Your game of obfuscation and obscurantism would have been exposed and it would have been more degrading to see that you undid yourself with your own answers to simple questions. So you turned tail and ran!:lol: You know that if you answer those questions honestly, such answers will put a lie to your grandstanding!

Now, listen, the purpose of this note is not to distract you. As you can see, there are already rumblings from the Wayo sector claiming I'm distracting you for the benefit of my leader in this debate, the Marvellous Mulan. I can assure you that Mulan does not need me to distract you to skewer your ideas. She's done that brilliantly so far and the evidence is right there in your exchange, irrespective of the tango you and I are involved in by the side.

So, my honest advice to you is this: Don't make the Obama mistake of attacking me or responding to me (in the meantime) while leaving your real opponent to have a field day. Mulan has said things you need to respond to; please hurry down to that thread and say something of your own. Of course, I will still come back here to put you through your intellectual paces by explaining why I think you're in denial, why I think you didn't understand some of the question and why I think you got scared. But first, take the debating floor and respond to that Brilliant Babe who's already making mincemeat of you.

Yes, go take more punishment from the Immaculate Mulan, buddy and come back here for a top-up!:razz:




CHEERS!

DeepThought
Jan 22, 2008, 11:55 PM
Eja,
Thank yoiu for your clarity on this issue. It may be extreme to use the word "Never"

but your arguments are logical

Nothing more to add.

Except to say thanks

Kenn
Jan 23, 2008, 12:13 AM
Eja,
Thank yoiu for your clarity on this issue. It may be extreme to use the word "Never"

but your arguments are logical

Nothing more to add.

Except to say thanks




DeepThought,

But that is the point! This is a debate and every word you deploy matters, more especially when you're a Proposer! Eja was warned from the beginning that the word "Never" should have no place in a serious proposition, but he stubbornly stuck with it! Now, in spite of your high praise, what your little comment about his use of "Never" does is to simply put the pin in his bloated balloon.

It can't fly! Sorry!:lol:




Eja,

I've just noticed that you've now made your final submission in the substantive debate thread. Our posts crossed each other. I would have wanted to put the dampeners on it immediately, but I'm leaving that particular honour of demolishing your final stand to my indomitable leader, Teflon Mulan, Stainless Baby! I will make my comments later.


Meanwhile, I just can't resist this:


>>>3.01 Truth be said, in spite of my stated opinions in the course of this debate, I cannot deny that this identity and the appendages that come with it (like a passport) are things that are convenient at this moment in time. However, to be of temporal convenience does not bestow an entity with a type of divine right that must never be challenged. I have the right to challenge the assumptions upon which the Nigerian state rests its claims of being a nation and, if the validity of these assumptions cannot be proved, then in truth, this Nigerian state exists as nothing more than an instrument of tyranny. And, no free-thinking human would give his/her allegiance to an instrument of tyranny.<<<


I'm sure WayoGuy would need this vintage paragraph for illustration in his wuru-wuru class (where you'd be made to face the wall for being such a bad student!). It contains all the deceitful tools – the straws jutting out of the man a million miles off and the attempt at coupling a boat to a horse in the name of logic! What do I have to do to get it into your head that this amateurish attempt at wuru-wuru won't wash? Ehn? Some people never learn!:lol:

Austin
Jan 23, 2008, 02:10 AM
And the winner is........

KENN the 1st.

By the way Kenn1, "Have you stopped beating your wife" (Eja) lately?

Have fun all.

Kenn
Jan 23, 2008, 09:01 AM
Eja,

>>>6.01 My opponent tried to convince me that the flag of Nigeria was a national symbol. I replied partly by informing her that in truth, that flag was nothing more than a piece of cloth which Nigerians display because they have learned that countries must display national flags. The flag, I informed my opponent, is just another of our borrowed descriptions of reality. The flag, does not possess the deep spiritual meaning that all truly national symbols possess.

6.02 I gave as an example of this, the reverence with which the Ashanti regarded thier own national symbol: The Golden Stool. Unfortunately, at this point, my opponent made a terrible mistake as she allowed herself to be misled by an unscrupulous character (who I shall not name since I would not like to spoil my hard-earned reputation on NVS as one who is always painstakingly polite to all.. ).

6.03 This Machiavellian operator informed all and sundry that the Golden Stool of the Ashanti nation had been put on sale for $450. This was his way of showing that the Ashanti could not have much respect for this symbol of their nationhood if they were prepared to part with it for $450. What the Maradona failed to disclose was that the stool he spoke of was a replica! If the evil genius had ever been to Kumasi, he would have seen many such replicas for sale.....So much for the faking of a fact to discredit something that had only been presented as an example of what a national symbol truly was.

6.04 The Ashanti, if we remember our O Level History, went to war with the British because the head of the British invading force had possessed the liver to ask that the Golden Stool be brought before him so he could sit on it. The Ashanti gave the British a good thrashing (despite their disadvantage in weaponry) because these Africans did not hold the symbol of their nation in light regard. I doubt if any Nigerian will lose a minutes sleep over someone blowing out mucus on the Nigerian flag. Nor do I believe for one moment that Nigerians will come out with the same fury they did over the Danish cartoon nonsense even if someone made toilet papers in the same colors as the Nigerian flag.<<<


Again, I just have to make a quick comment here. I'm amused that you could ever bring yourself to think that we didn't know the stool sold is a replica! What did you take us for? Some of your fellow slow coaches in the School of Wuru-wuru Thinking?:surprised Of course, we know. What we find amusing and indeed troubling is the fact that you actually had to pick out an Ashante stool as a national symbol for us to venerate just as this symbol is being arrantly commercialized! I didn't post the link showing that; you did! Talk about spiritual nationalism! Now, what is the connection between an Ashante stool and the Nigerian national flag? Have the Ashante today formed a sovereign nation of their own? Is the stool emblazoned on the famous Black Star flag of Ghana? What exactly is the basis for the comparison?

But, the most tragic thing really is that you're failing in your history lesson and failing equally in learning lessons of contemporary development. Today, the Asante, (just like the Yoruba, Edo, Igbo, Ezon, Ibibio, Tiv are in Nigeria) are just one group within the larger nation of Ghana. They do not have a country of their own, because they share one with the Fante, Ewe, Ga. Gonja, Dagomba, Nzema, Hausa and so on and so forth. So, why raise them as a symbol of what you preach? The Golden Stool mythology, which as mythologies go, is very recent (late 17th and early 18th century creation) is typical of those of states trying to assert their independence and dominance in pre-colonial Africa. Osei Tutu, the founding father of the ‘modern' Ashante kingdom was freeing them from the tutelage of Denkyira; so they needed a myth to indicate the mystical origin of his powers; so a very skilled carver was commissioned secretly to make a stool, which they explained away as given by heaven to Osei Tutu! It was a tool of centralization of power relevant for the time! This is not what you should be asking us to look to in the 21st century! Of course, if I was an Akan or Asanteman, I will respect my culture and the traditional institutions; but I will not believe outdated mythologies. Yeah, they're great, but only as tales by moonlight and nothing more!

The Yoruba, Igbo, Hausa, Edo, Ezon, Junkun, Kanuri, Ibibio and so on do have established national mythologies predating the Golden Stool; so, I see no reason for you to recommend it as anything for us to venerate, especially when the Ashante are not today forming their own country or sovereign nation. We have a history of also valiantly fighting the British and defeating them in battles, but, of course, just like the fate that finally befell Ashante, the Maxim gun finally had the last say.

Your Golden Stool and Ashante example is not only insulting to Nigerians, it's of absolutely no value here in this debate.



CHEERS!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 23, 2008, 09:25 AM
DeepThought,

But that is the point! This is a debate and every word you deploy matters, more especially when you're a Proposer! Eja was warned from the beginning that the word "Never" should have no place in a serious proposition, but he stubbornly stuck with it! Now, in spite of your high praise, what your little comment about his use of "Never" does is to simply put the pin in his bloated balloon.

It can't fly! Sorry!:lol:



Kenn1, you came so close but then, in your unseemly rush to make a point with your blunt tool, you missed the target again. Kenn1, you swerved and hit the wall. Look again at the bolded part of the quote above. Look at the title of this debate and look at the bolded part of the quote above. You see? Ahhhhhh.......


Eja,

I've just noticed that you've now made your final submission in the substantive debate thread. Our posts crossed each other. I would have wanted to put the dampeners on it immediately, but I'm leaving that particular honour of demolishing your final stand to my indomitable leader, Teflon Mulan, Stainless Baby! I will make my comments later.


Meanwhile, I just can't resist this:


>>>3.01 Truth be said, in spite of my stated opinions in the course of this debate, I cannot deny that this identity and the appendages that come with it (like a passport) are things that are convenient at this moment in time. However, to be of temporal convenience does not bestow an entity with a type of divine right that must never be challenged. I have the right to challenge the assumptions upon which the Nigerian state rests its claims of being a nation and, if the validity of these assumptions cannot be proved, then in truth, this Nigerian state exists as nothing more than an instrument of tyranny. And, no free-thinking human would give his/her allegiance to an instrument of tyranny.<<<


I'm sure WayoGuy would need this vintage paragraph for illustration in his wuru-wuru class (where you'd be made to face the wall for being such a bad student!). It contains all the deceitful tools – the straws jutting out of the man a million miles off and the attempt at coupling a boat to a horse in the name of logic! What do I have to do to get it into your head that this amateurish attempt at wuru-wuru won't wash? Ehn? Some people never learn!:lol:



Praise singing and false declarations. You are an INEC sized fraudster without comparison. And oh yes, I should tell you, the gentlemen from Interpol object to being called "goons" by you. They say to let you know that you are going to see pepper!

It would have been better if you had stated your reasons for calling what I wrote "deceitful"...which is the horse and which is the boat ? (And by the way, coupling a horse to a boat is nothing unusual, or have you never heard of horse-drawn ferries?...back to metaphor school my man...:D).

I used the example of the passport because you and my opponent had brought up the power to issue passports as proof that the Nigerian nation exists. In reply, I said that just because I get a passport from the Nigerian state does not mean I cannot challenge the assumptions on which the descriptions of the state being a nation are based...For that, you say I am building a straw man. Then you attack me because I am building a straw man...:neutral:.

Gadzooks! as the English would say, it seems you are either one of these people who fart silently in public and then complain loudly about the smell or, you have a comprehension problem ..... Anyway, look below for an explanation of the term...


A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.[1] To "set up a straw man" or "set up a straw man argument" is to create a position that is easy to refute, then attribute that position to the opponent. Often, the straw man is set up to deliberately overstate the opponent's position.[1] A straw man argument can be a successful rhetorical technique (that is, it may succeed in persuading people) but it is in fact a misleading fallacy, because the opponent's actual argument has not been refuted.[2]

Its name is derived from the practice of using straw men in combat training. In such training, a scarecrow is made in the image of the enemy with the single intent of attacking it.[3] It is occasionally called a straw dog fallacy, scarecrow argument, or wooden dummy argument.

Source (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straw_man)

Kenn1, your report card still reads "Must try harder!"...:lol:.

DeepThought
Jan 23, 2008, 09:16 PM
Eja,
I still can't thank you enough.

I l've ooked at most of the arguments of your opponents and I haven't had so much to laugh at for so long. These people confuse the inheritance of fraudulent de facto power with legitimacy. We are even told that the Nigerian government derives it power from a constitution. :D

Personally, I would put toilet roll to better use than that piece of trash.

Anyway, just keep exposing the ludicrous basis for the entity known as Nigeria. Who knows, perhaps, it will force us to re-examine the whole thing. Your arguments are near perfect.

The only thing I can say is that maybe it could be possible that in future, Nigeria could become a nation . Never say Never

Thanks again

Kenn
Jan 23, 2008, 10:21 PM
Eja,
I still can't thank you enough.

I l've ooked at most of the arguments of your opponents and I haven't had so much to laugh at for so long. These people confuse the inheritance of fraudulent de facto power with legitimacy. We are even told that the Nigerian government derives it power from a constitution. :D

Personally, I would put toilet roll to better use than that piece of trash.

Anyway, just keep exposing the ludicrous basis for the entity known as Nigeria. Who knows, perhaps, it will force us to re-examine the whole thing. Your arguments are near perfect.

The only thing I can say is that maybe it could be possible that in future, Nigeria could become a nation . Never say Never

Thanks again



DeepThought,

I’m not sure you thought deep enough when you wrote this. Of course, for years now, I’ve always known you to be very cynical about Nigeria; so to say Eja is “exposing the ludicrous basis for the entity known as Nigeria” is true to form. But really, there’s nothing to expose. Nigeria’s gaping wound is there for all to see. That problem is firmly a failure of leadership. What you are doing is ignoring that basic human failure, by looking for a scapegoat in our multi-ethnic composition and that worn-out charge that the British manufactured us. You talk of "inheritance of fraudulent de facto power", are you for real? Where have you been for the past one thousand years of human history? How did you think modern nations became created? Have you heard of the Treaty of Westphalia? How did you think it came about?

Listen, nations and peoples fought wars to steal and seize other people’s territories to add to their own; alliances were entered into to keep land or to deprive others of land. The worst of human wars were fought over expansionism – be it in the form of acquisition of land, gaining spheres of influence or simply bandying disparate peoples together to serve the purpose of the conquerors. It is not a Nigerian phenomenon. It’s orthodox human history! So, I don’t know which country you want to term “legitimate”; but let me assure you that you’ll struggle to find a nation anywhere on earth where “fraudulent de facto power” didn’t play a role in its establishment. Blood sweat and tears built the real world, even though today diplomacy is mostly sustaining it. It’s a sign of how far the human race has come.

So please, stop laughing, there’s nothing funny in what we’re talking about here.




CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 23, 2008, 10:35 PM
Eja,

>>>Kenn1, you came so close but then, in your unseemly rush to make a point with your blunt tool, you missed the target again. Kenn1, you swerved and hit the wall. Look again at the bolded part of the quote above. Look at the title of this debate and look at the bolded part of the quote above. You see? Ahhhhhh....... <<<


So? Do we have to debate what is essentially only a figment of your own imagination? Just because you claim that this Nigeria will never be a nation, should we then begin to fall over each other to approve such evidently faulty proposition? Certainly, some of us pointed it out to you at the beginning; but when you insisted on it, we let it be. We knew that once the debate proper gets underway, whatever it is you want to say, we'll hear and, of course, we'll always have the opportunity to respond. And this was exactly what happened. Let's be honest, from what we've read from you now throughout this debate, your proposition would have been better phrased without the "Never". All you should have said by way of proposition is "This Nigeria is not a nation" and it would have looked and sounded better. If you'd done so, DeepThought wouldn't have had to point out your extremism.



>>>It would have been better if you had stated your reasons for calling what I wrote "deceitful"...which is the horse and which is the boat ? (And by the way, coupling a horse to a boat is nothing unusual, or have you never heard of horse-drawn ferries?...back to metaphor school my man... ).<<<

I was only referring to the "deceit tools" in WayoGuy's Post No 32

Here's the example of a strawman:

"However, to be of temporal convenience does not bestow an entity with a type of divine right that must never be challenged".

You are attempting to restate Mulan's position (and mine), but in truth, we never said Nigeria has a divine right that must not be challenged; after all, we do so everyday as critics of government policies and conscientious citizens. What we are actually saying is that Nigeria exists as a nation and to support that assertion, we simply were pointing out all the evidence – geographical sovereignty, single government, ethnic allegiance to a federal constitution, national army, power to issue passport, international recognition, national sporting achievements and engagements, Federal Character provisions in our laws, the NYSC as a tool for national integration, the national outlook of the early nationalists, our national currency, the fact that failure of leadership does not indicate demise or non-existence of nation and so on and so forth . How you made the quantum leap in logic to divinity is beyond anyone! But why did you do it? You did it as a strawman – you did it to be able to show that someone or some people (your opposers) are denying you a right to challenge this purported divinity of Nigeria, and, having denied you that right, they must be supporters of tyranny! The conclusion that Nigeria exists as nothing more than an instrument of tyrant is, of course, a non sequitor (that is the fastening of the boat to your horse for your ferry service!:lol:)



>>>I used the example of the passport because you and my opponent had brought up the power to issue passports as proof that the Nigerian nation exists. In reply, I said that just because I get a passport from the Nigerian state does not mean I cannot challenge the assumptions on which the descriptions of the state being a nation are based...For that, you say I am building a straw man. Then you attack me because I am building a straw man... .<<<


No, from my above explanation, you can see I wasn't even thinking the passport bit. Why should I comment on that when the facts of your own confession there speaks for itself? I wasn't talking passport, I was talking strawmen!




CHEERS!

DeepThought
Jan 23, 2008, 11:49 PM
Kenn,

You haven't changed much since I first debated you 9 years ago.
Thanks for your usual bombast, ( long on emotions) which I 've missed so much.


I refer you to Eja's definition of a nation; an organic entity with common lineage. You really can't argue against that.
What I believe is that Nigeria is not a nation (yet), at least as defined by Eja, and a definition to which I agree with. Of course, you may want to insist on your own definition of the term Nation.
People should effectively be arguing that Nigeria may become or is on its way to becoming a nation, rather than asserting that Nigeria is already a nation. They should be refuting the NEVER in Eja's proposition, not wasting time on proving what is not.





Nobody is talking about nations fighting wars, adding land , e.t.c. I don't really care if nations fight over bananas or coconut.



Regarding scape goating, I think people who blame leadership problems as the bane of Nigeria's issues are actually the ones taking the easy way out and looking for a scapegoat.
How logical is it to keep on talking about leadership when time after time, ALL leaders produced in Nigeria have consistently failed? . Shouldn't we look beyond leadership? Shouldn't we find out why they are failing?

No, I don't believe Nigeria's failure is not one of leadership.

I believe i ts a failure much more insidious and fundamental than that. I believe its a failure of Structure.






Cheers

Austin
Jan 24, 2008, 12:15 AM
Dear Eja,
Even though I am all with you, I must confess that you lost the debate before it even started.

I hope you will learn from this and never allow yourself to be caught in this kind of a deliberation anymore.

You see my brother, the people who are surpressing the destiny of the Africans, either through their actions and inactions, are damned good, and intelligent too. Some of them are lawyers. There are other professionals too. Some, but not all of them, are dangerous too. They are ready to kill just to have their ways. You ask the Igbos.

And please my brother, never believe it again when people tell you, this is just a debate and it's all for fun. You believe that and it will be at your own peril.

Of course Nigeria is a nation, it is indeed a damned good nation, you watch, we are soon going to win the ACN in Ghana - walahi.

Oh sorry, I have to admit we have a problem, albeit a very minor one. That problem is the leadership. If only we can get rid of them all. And replace them with....ummm .... people like me... and you ... and of course you know who. Then everything will be fine. That one thing I can assure you.

DeepThought
Jan 24, 2008, 12:20 AM
Of cuurse Nigeria is a nation, it is indeed a damned good nation, you watch, we are soon going to win the ACN in Ghana

:D:D

Very funny. THis is the kind of logic that is being used to prove Nigeria is a nation.
We win the nations cup = ergo , we must be a nation!!! :D

And Oh, plus we even have a national anthem sef and a constitution!

Kenn
Jan 24, 2008, 01:30 AM
DeepThought,


>>>Kenn,

You haven't changed much since I first debated you 9 years ago.
Thanks for your usual bombast, ( long on emotions) which I 've missed so much. <<<



Thanks for the compliments, DeepThought! Yes, I'm bombastic and you are always thoughtful, intelligent and full of wisdom! Thank you! But, for nine years, you still haven't been able to give me that example of the ideal country that wasn't fashioned out of strife or one form of imposition or the other. When you do, I can begin to take your cynicism of Nigeria seriously.




>>>I refer you to Eja's definition of a nation; an organic entity with common lineage. You really can't argue against that.
What I believe is that Nigeria is not a nation (yet), at least as defined by Eja, and a definition to which I agree with. Of course, you may want to insist on your own definition of the term Nation.<<<


Wonderful! You and Eja can insist on your definition; but there is an orthodox and universally accepted definition of the term "nation" and by that very standard, Nigeria is a nation, in spite of what both of you think or say. If you doubt this, pick your dictionary and check or, better still, check out Mulan's definition. Perhaps, I should borrow a leaf from you guys by defining all gas as oxygen and thereafter firmly insist that anybody who wants to debate me must first accept that because that is my own definition (while in the same breath telling them they can define their own if they wish, but they must leave me with my own and debate me only if they accept my definition). Convoluted thinking comes in many forms…




>>>People should effectively be arguing that Nigeria may become or is on its way to becoming a nation, rather than asserting that Nigeria is already a nation. They should be refuting the NEVER in Eja's proposition, not wasting time on proving what is not.<<<


No, apart from refuting the "NEVER", which we have done very, very well even before he made his first formal submission, we should be telling people like you that Nigeria IS already a nation. What we are praying for and working towards is for it to be a better nation!





>>>Nobody is talking about nations fighting wars, adding land , e.t.c. I don't really care if nations fight over bananas or coconut. <<<


Oh, so you think nations were created over tea-parties? You think you can make omelette without cracking eggs? You want to simply think your ‘nation' into existence? Talk of wishful thinking!



>>>Regarding scape goating, I think people who blame leadership problems as the bane of Nigeria's issues are actually the ones taking the easy way out and looking for a scapegoat.
How logical is it to keep on talking about leadership when time after time, ALL leaders produced in Nigeria have consistently failed? . Shouldn't we look beyond leadership?

No, I don't believe Nigeria's failure is not one of leadership.

I believe i ts a failure much more insidious and fundamental than that. I believe its a failure of Structure.<<<


And if you look beyond leadership, all you see is structure? Can't you see something else outside structure? So, tell me, all other nations with structural defects that have succeeded, what magic did they use? Or is it a case of when they succeed, we hail the structure; when they fail, we pillory the structure? Isn't it possible to see other reasons for our failure outside structure? Your case is like a man who starved and bullied his family for several years only to lay the blame on the shape of the wall of his house! Look WITHIN the structure for your problems, not AT the structure, because no structure is perfect. That is what history tells us!

Of course, it's easy to blame structure; after all, I do same when I advocate for a Sovereign National Conference. But at that level, we are talking of the internalized structure in terms of how certain things have been set up unfairly for a long time and how we need an internal dialogue to redress the imbalance in order to create a fairer nation. However, the Proposition for the debate here is "This Nigeria will never be a nation" and the response to that proposition is, we are already a nation, thank you very much. The fact that Nigeria has some perceived structural defects does not mean it doesn't exist as a nation and can never be a nation. Anyone who has an idea of a structurally perfect nation should let us know. The United States fought a civil war over structure; the British Isle is rumbling over structure; the Turks are bombing the Kurds over structure; Spain sleeps with one eye open over structure; Iraq is in turmoil over structure; Rwanda went to pieces over structure; Yugoslavia exploded over structure; so what is so new about Nigeria's so-called structural defects? The point is we ARE a nation, warts and all, contrary to the proposition in this debate, period.

Just for the record, I personally never blame only leadership for our problem. I've often talked about a complacent citizenry amongst other things. Yes, the structural problems need to be addressed in the context of the national question in a Sovereign National Conference. But, I repeat, that does not mean Nigeria isn't a nation. It is; but like all progressive-minded people, we want a better and fairer nation.




CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 24, 2008, 01:34 AM
:D:D

Very funny. THis is the kind of logic that is being used to prove Nigeria is a nation.
We win the nations cup = ergo , we must be a nation!!! :D

And Oh, plus we even have a national anthem sef and a constitution!



Yes! Yes! Yes! We do have a National Anthem and a Constitution! Yes!

DeepThought
Jan 24, 2008, 04:18 AM
First of all, I'm not cynical. I may be skeptical, but I don't regard myself as cynical . So I'm not cynical at all

Secondly, I'm not arguing about how nations are formed or come into existence. So that there are nations fashioned out of strife is not what I'm contesting,although there are many Nations that have come into existence without strife. But my belief is that Nigeria is not yet a nation and that all the things you mention , though fine and important, are really not sufficient to establish nationhood (anthems, issuing of passports, etc).


Thirdly, you are not bound to accept Eja's definition, which is a popular one. If I am forced to do what I don't like to do, like making a reference, you can look here . of a nation (http://www.towson.edu/polsci/ppp/sp97/realism/WHATISNS.HTM), or online dictionary definition (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nation); I do think Eja's defnitions are appropriate, more logical and superior to your definition and that of the opposing party, though the first definition can be intepreted to make Nigeria seem like a nation.

Actually, what you and Mullan have been describing is more of a State or better still a Nation-State; not really a Nation. Technically, there is a difference.

If we rely on merely quoting definitions (argument by dictionary) without thinking through and supporting these definitions with logic and what we observe, the arguments will never end and the one who "wins" is merely s/he who loves empty, long quotations especially the ones that sound like latin (argument by latin)

And you know I'm not a lawyer now and I can't handle like big big grammer, especially latin sounding ones.

A Nation-State can become a Nation, (I think Eja is wrong on that one ) but Nigeria is not there yet and may never get there , thats why my opposition to Eja is in the NEVER he insists on. Nobody knows what can happen tomorrow.



And if you look beyond leadership, all you see is structure? Can’t you see something else outside structure? So, tell me, all other nations with structural defects that have succeeded, what magic did they use? Or is it a case of when they succeed, we hail the structure; when they fail, we pillory the structure? Isn’t it possible to see other reasons for our failure outside structure? Your case is like a man who starved and bullied his family for several years only to lay the blame on the shape of the wall of his house! Look WITHIN the structure for your problems, not AT the structure, because no structure is perfect. That is what history tells us!

Now, what I find interesting is this Structure vs Leadership defect of Nigeria
I'm glad you at least think there is something wrong with the structure of Nigeria. But how many, especially those who benefit the most from the existing structure, and those in leadership agree that there is something wrong with this structure and are willing to do something about it?

And if the structure is defective, shouldn't we do something about it? Should we just keep on crying about leadership?
A question we should thus answer is (and perhaps a subject for debate another day); between leadership and structure - which preceeds the other?

To my mind, the structure comes first and I believe if we properly address the structural problems first, the kind of leadership we desire will be easy to put into place.
Some countries may have addressed or tried to address their structural problems but I think Nigeria is not one of those.

Our people for some reason seem to be fixated on leadership, and I think this is wrong.

As for the anthem, constitution and the cup of Nations, perhaps when we are on our 10th constitution , 10th anthem and after winning the cup 10 times, Nigeria would have become a nation. I admire your patience.

denker
Jan 24, 2008, 07:57 AM
I believe its a failure of Structure.


DT, we had dis discussion before, since then i have be thinking to arrive at a very simple equation to make dat thinking not too deep for you...maybe, when you can adequately provide answer to dis poser we might eventually have settled dis case once and for all...
human and structure...which one of them is endowed naturally with power of procreation/mental-power?

let me go again the way of simplification: think yourself as a manager amongst few workers, what do you think would happen if you do not apply your
control-competence-machanism/management skill efficiently...?

...simplifying again: brain = leadership and other body parts = followers/masses, once the brain is not functioning properly we have a state of disorderliness...:idea:

Gentle Angel
Jan 24, 2008, 08:19 AM
I also dont think it is structure. It is human beings that put the structure there and it is human beings that can also either remove the structure, adjust it or build on it to suit themselves. Structure is inanimate and intangible and left on its own cannot achieve anything. All the same I dont think its only the leadership that is to blame but also the followers. Everybody has to put hands on deck for us to get to our goal as Nigerians.

Kenn
Jan 24, 2008, 09:19 AM
DT, we had dis discussion before, since then i have be thinking to arrive at a very simple equation to make dat thinking not too deep for you...maybe, when you can adequately provide answer to dis poser we might eventually have settled dis case once and for all...
human and structure...which one of them is endowed naturally with power of procreation/mental-power?

let me go again the way of simplification: think yourself as a manager amongst few workers, what do you think would happen if you do not apply your
control-competence-machanism/management skill efficiently...?

...simplifying again: brain = leadership and other body parts = followers/masses, once the brain is not functioning properly we have a state of disorderliness...:idea:



Denker,

Thank you for this brilliant intervention! It's a question I've been asking for years!


CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 24, 2008, 10:00 AM
DeepThought,


>>>…I'm not arguing about how nations are formed or come into existence. So that there are nations fashioned out of strife is not what I'm contesting,although there are many Nations that have come into existence without strife. But my belief is that Nigeria is not yet a nation and that all the things you mention , though fine and important, are really not sufficient to establish nationhood (anthems, issuing of passports, etc). <<<


When I challenge you to give me examples of nations that have been created without strife, the point I'd hoped to make to you was that if there are, they are very, very few. You may say now that it isn't what you're contesting, but the implication of your criticism of structure is that Nigeria's disparate ethnic groups were forcibly put together by the British and therefore the entity created from it is structurally defective. This is the most common basis of criticism by those who criticize the structure. If you deny this as the basis of your criticism, the natural question one needs to ask you now is what your own basis is. However, no matter the reason you come up with, what I want you to understand is that such reason(s) do not preclude Nigeria from being a nation in an orthodox and generally recognized sense, warts and all. The test of sufficiency has been passed long ago from the moment of the amalgamation. Independence, political sovereignty, establishment of single indigenous government and national institutions, the allegiance to the centre of ethnic nationalities, power to issue internationally recognized passports, recognition by states and international organizations and so on and so forth only go to confirm this reality. The fact that you as a person does not fancy the structure does not change the known acceptable fact that Nigeria is a living nation.





>>>Thirdly, you are not bound to accept Eja's definition, which is a popular one. If I am forced to do what I don't like to do, like making a reference, you can look here . of a nation, or online dictionary definition; I do think Eja's defnitions are appropriate, more logical and superior to your definition and that of the opposing party, though the first definition can be intepreted to make Nigeria seem like a nation.

Actually, what you and Mullan have been describing is more of a State or better still a Nation-State; not really a Nation. Technically, there is a difference. <<<



Let me first correct something. Your first link is, to put it lightly, not helpful. I know the internet is a source of information; but we have to be discerning. You don't just believe any information just because it's on the net. I read history as a first degree and did political science courses as electives and have read far and wide on the subject ever since. I know the difference between a nation and a nation-state. If you scroll back on this thread, you'll see that we've had some discussions on the concept of nation and nation-state and I've had quite a say. The defining thing about a nation-state is the cultural homogeneity or near-homogeneity. The nation on the other hand can be culturally homogenous (as defined by Eja) or multi-ethnic as in the case of Nigeria. These are two orthodox definitions of a nation. In the first sense of cultural homogeneity, we can refer to the Yoruba as a nation on its own, but, of course, it has no political sovereignty (in other words, it's not a nation-state), because its only one of the constituent units or only part of a larger multi-ethnic nation, Nigeria. The problem we have here is that while those of us on this side of the debate accept Eja's mono-cultural definition of nation as legitimate, he refuses to accept the equally legitimate multi-cultural definition of Nigeria as nation. The reason for this is obvious. Accepting this equally traditional definition of nation simply defeats his thesis. But whether he likes it or not, that's the reality.





>>>If we rely on merely quoting definitions (argument by dictionary) without thinking through and supporting these definitions with logic and what we observe, the arguments will never end and the one who "wins" is merely s/he who loves empty, long quotations especially the ones that sound like latin (argument by latin)<<<


I hope you're not proposing that we all live in ignorance simply because we can't be bothered to discuss intellectually. The whole idea of a dictionary is to explain things. Dictionaries are put together by teams of knowledgeable people who've done the research. Of course, you can apply your logic to any information, but any logic that questions generally accepted information, especially one that we can verify so easily, like which entities qualify to be called a nation or not, need to really have something convincing to change established perceptions. You can't just expect people to accept that their reality isn't so simply because you have issues with what you term structure. The ordinary person in the streets of Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kaduna or Ibadan regards himself as a Nigerian, Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba as the case may be. But if you were to stop him and ask specifically his nationality, he (no matter his level of education and enlightenment) will tell you Nigerian. If you ask him which one is his nation, he'll tell you Nigeria. It doesn't matter his grouse with the Nigerian state, be it political, economic or social. This is a fact.





>>>A Nation-State can become a Nation, (I think Eja is wrong on that one ) but Nigeria is not there yet and may never get there , thats why my opposition to Eja is in the NEVER he insists on. Nobody knows what can happen tomorrow.<<<


A nation-state is a only a kind of nation whose main characteristic is cultural, racial homogeneity or near-homogeneity. But this is only strictly speaking (please, see the exchange between Omoluabi and I on the thread for more information on this).However, a nation-state can lose its distinction and be regarded as a nation if, for instance, a big wave of migration dilutes the demographics of the state to the extent that the erstwhile cultural homogeneity becomes affected. As for the "NEVER" issue, a few of us have already pointed that out to Eja even before the formal beginning of the debate, but he insisted on keeping his proposition that way.





>>>Now, what I find interesting is this Structure vs Leadership defect of Nigeria
I'm glad you at least think there is something wrong with the structure of Nigeria. But how many, especially those who benefit the most from the existing structure, and those in leadership agree that there is something wrong with this structure and are willing to do something about it?<<<


You have known me in discussion circles long enough to admit that I have been a consistent advocate of a Sovereign National Conference. My support for it is based on my conviction that only an open and honest discussion about our situation and future will yield a better and fairer nation. Why do we only have a federation in name, but not in practice? Why can't we decentralize police functions and authority? Why have we got so much power at the centre to the detriment of the constituent units? How do we get the Nigerian more involved in governance if we do not bring government and responsibility closer to him? How do we produce and share resources in such a way as to reflect substantial benefits for those who primarily produce the wealth? How can we involve the people in a strong and institutional fight against corruption and abuse of public office? Some of these questions, of course, border on the structural; but the structure here, as I mentioned earlier, is "the internalized structure in terms of how certain things have been set up unfairly for a long time and how we need an internal dialogue to redress the imbalance in order to create a fairer nation". What I rail against is not the structure of the country in terms of its ethnic composition (I actually think that is an untapped or abused blessing), but the system that operates and distributes power within the structure. That is why I totally agree with the implication of Denker's question to you in his Post No 54. If you recall, it's a question I asked of you the very first debate we had at Gamji. You couldn't provide me an answer then. I'm keenly interested in what your response would be to Denker now.





>>>And if the structure is defective, shouldn't we do something about it? Should we just keep on crying about leadership?<<<


It depends on what you think is the structure or which part of the structure you want us to do something about. Are you talking of the physical structure as it concerns the ethnic composition or are you talking of the structure in terms of internal operation and distribution of power and national resources?





>>>A question we should thus answer is (and perhaps a subject for debate another day); between leadership and structure - which preceeds the other?

To my mind, the structure comes first and I believe if we properly address the structural problems first, the kind of leadership we desire will be easy to put into place.
Some countries may have addressed or tried to address their structural problems but I think Nigeria is not one of those.

Our people for some reason seem to be fixated on leadership, and I think this is wrong. <<<


Again, as I said, it depends on what structure you're referring to. There are people who prefer to address the leadership problem in a nationalistic way, irrespective of what physical structure or ethnic composition Nigeria is made of and there are those who think addressing the ethnic composition (for instance, via secession)would finally help crack the leadership problem. Of course, curiously they never give guarantees that a mono-ethnic nation (with sovereign powers) wouldn't suffer leadership failure nor do they explain how they're actually going to address the leadership deficiency in the proposed new set-up.

On the question of which precedes which – leadership or structure, it's a no-brainer really, because there can be no leadership without a structure. In other words, there can be no leaders of a country without a country or entity/structure to govern or rule over. I'm therefore not sure what a debate about which precedes which would achieve. But there certainly can be a debate over which is more relevant for a nation (which, in a way, is the debate we're having here already).





>>>As for the anthem, constitution and the cup of Nations, perhaps when we are on our 10th constitution , 10th anthem and after winning the cup 10 times, Nigeria would have become a nation. I admire your patience.<<<


A nation is a nation the day it is created. It may change constitutions and national anthems a million times or not win a sports event for a zillion years, it really does not matter. A nation is a nation, no matter our skepticism or cynicism.





CHEERS!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 24, 2008, 10:07 AM
Thanks to all who have participated in this debate. In my opinion, no one is all right and, no one is all wrong. But, some are more wrong than others....:D.

DeepThought, while I agree with what you say about the word "never", I should point out that this particular word was linked to the first word of the title sentence (i.e. This). Had I been one with conviction that some here conveniently assumed I had, then I would have titled my proposition "Nigeria will never be a nation."

I have also had the same recognition you have regarding the root of the forces working against the emergence of a nation within that geographical space: Like you, I hold the view that the ill state of Nigeria is down to an adherence to a structure that is not suited to purpose.

But, I think that a common mistake some of us make when we hear words like "structure" is to immediately think of buildings and, when we think buildings we see blocks, cement, roofing material, paint, maybe even furniture; in other words, we see inanimate objects.

So, we argue that "no...": this can not just be about structure.

However, if one can actually see beyond the immediate meaning of the word, then one will realise that what is been spoken of is not merely of a structure in the sense of a thing that is made of inanimate objects. We are talking about a living thing.

The blocks that make this structure up are human beings. The cement is human needs, the roofing material is human patronage, the paint is human vanities and the furniture is all those various human wants and desires...

When one says that the problem with this so-called nation is that it has a faulty structure, what is meant is that the configuration of the things that went into the construction of this 'nation' were set up the wrong way. Which is why it is bogus and will remain ineffectual till the end of time if this current structure is not re-engineered.

If, the wrongfully utilised building materials are not set up the right way.

Yes, I have said that this Nigeria will never be a nation. But, I will also admit that there is an alternative, that there is another Nigeria that can be a nation. However, we will never see that other Nigeria for as long as people keep believing in the fantasy that nationhood has already been achieved. I mean, if the job is already done, then why do it again? Let us move on. Let us talk of ways we can improve our nation.

No.

There is nothing to improve because the nation does not yet exist. And, for as long as we remain within the same configuration, it never will.

In short, the point I have tried to make with my arguments is that the primary task that confronts we Africans confined within the geographical space Nigeria is the indigenous creation of a mutually acceptable manner of association.

This comes before solving all other problems that are currently labeled as urgent. There are existing fault lines that no amount of wishful thinking and incantations will cause to close. There has to be one indivisible nation (by any means necessary) within the boundaries of Nigeria before we can start talking realistically about moving Nigeria forward. Otherwise, in truth, we will only ever witness/experience will be moves by one enclave or another....moves that will eventually result again (and again) in conflict.

Kenn
Jan 24, 2008, 12:16 PM
Now that both debaters have made their closing submissions, I’d like to make a few comments. First, let me thank the members of The Crucible who’ve showed dedication to our cause here by partaking as contributors and as readers of the various submissions by debaters and supporters. I also thank the general visitors who drop by. I thank the Moderator for letting the debate flow and, most importantly, I thank the principal debaters themselves for showing a high level of intellectual sophistication and maturity. I specially thank Eja with whom I’ve had some of the funniest exchanges. I thank him for being a good sport and for showing right from this beginning the kind of spirit we want to rule affairs at The Crucible. It’s been wonderful people. Thank you!

Now, the proposition we were called upon to debate here is “This Nigeria will never be a nation”. It was obvious that it is a very controversial proposition right from the moment Eja proposed it. However, once he made his first formal submission, we were all able to pick it up from there and get on with it. I’m happy now that Eja has realized the wisdom in not putting “never”, even though it’s only after the debate (despite the fact some of us pointed out the problem with it even before he made his first formal submission). In any case, the two debaters, Eja and Mulan have now said their bit; I’ve said mine on the sidelines as well (in the related thread). We have now got the Moderator’s summation and the fact that both debaters praise him for a job well done means it is indeed a job well done! Now, fellow members of The Crucible and you esteemed audience, please allow me to say a few things about the debate and what I feel we should take away from it.

From the beginning, it became quite obvious that Eja adopted an irredentist’s outlook to the issue. But while it is true that ethnic homogeneity or near-ethnic homogeneity within one nation is, from the emotional standpoint, possibly preferable, historical and developmental realities make that impossible in most cases. Indeed, ethnic homogeneity is not a guarantee for good governance or a guarantee against civil strife. If anyone needs a contemporary example to support this fact we need not look beyond Somalia. Indeed, it’s fair to say multi-ethnic nations have made far more progress since the Treaty of Westphalia than mono or near mono-ethnic nations. In all, what we can say is that it is not the ethnic composition of a nation that drives or determines development, but the attitude of the government and the governed to public service and how seriously they take their civic responsibilities. This was the point Mulan made and which I think is most realistic and reasonable.

One recurrent point Eja keeps making is what he called the ‘manufactured’ nature of the nation. He believes the fact that the entity known as Nigeria was ‘created’ by British fiat makes it quite impossible to build any kind of worthy nation. To him, British involvement was to serve colonial and neo-colonial purposes and as far as the construct remains, the country will not operate as a true nation. But this argument fails on several levels, not least the fact that it is the people that power a nation and not the other way round. A people create the kind of nation they want, whether they’re multi-ethnic or mono-ethnic, put together by some ancient and long-gone foreign force or by any other means imaginable. That is why the point that Denker was making in his post to DeepThought resonates greatly.

Of course, there is no innate problem being irredentist in outlook, but things have to be put in perspective. As we speak, people are still flying the Confederacy flag in America and no Blackman, Obama or no Obama, is under any illusions as to his place in contemporary America. But America is a nation working on its underbelly like any other nation; so why not Nigeria? While we all fight for a fairer nation, we should not lose touch with the reality that a nation is already in place. We cannot help that nation by pretending it doesn’t exist or by being acridly pessimistic about its future. The more we doubt the nation, the more we’re unconsciously making ourselves enablers of those who ruin it. They thrive on our pessimism; because they know that once they foul the commonwealth, they can always run back to that ethnic ‘enclave’ to be protected by those who see nothing good in the commonwealth anyway.

We need national solidarity to successfully challenge bad governance at all levels; we need people to believe in the modest idea of the nation we already have. If we say there’s no nation yet, then we are suspending belief and thinking in vacuum, because our mere anger does nothing to change anything when the entity does not exist as it should in our consciousness. Yes, our leaders have failed us; the British cobbled us together and there are clear internal structural imbalances. Yet, our only hope does not lie in shouting: "To your tents O Israel!”, because those who today are living in homogenous nations cannot exactly point to the benefit of that homogeneity over a multicultural entity. We should count our diversity as strength; we should continue to encourage our countrymen and women to think nation and act nationally with that singular aim of building a better nation. We have a nation; it is for us to recognize it and treat it as such.

These are my final thoughts and contributions to this debate. Hope to return to the board to more interesting debates soon.

I thank you all once again.



CHEERS!




Eja,

We shall find time in the not-so-distant future to continue to explore and understand our differences on this issue – whether on the board or privately. Thank you once again for the opportunity. You’re a great guy and a credit to the Nigerian Village Square.





Mulan,

Na you biko! You are just too much! I can’t thank you enough for the pride you give me to be associated with you in this debate. You’ve been a wonderful and inspirational leader and have showed that you’re an intellectual giant in your own right. Time permitting, I hope to join you in more and more debates. I know that even if I have reasons to disagree with you in a debate, I shall always learn from the exchange and enjoy it immensely! I know the politically correct thing is to say nobody lost this debate and that both debaters are winners; but at the risk of upsetting that consensus, I have no qualms in saying you are the better winner!

Keep it up!

elgaxton
Jan 24, 2008, 01:06 PM
Hi Y'all,

It is very easy to complain and give advice to whoever but the question is:

All of us in this country/Diaspora what is your vision for Nigeria?

I start with the guys abroad. Do you have plans to bring back the good things you see abroad to nigeria or is it just Fly abroad, enjoy all the beauty of technologies and whatever it has to offer then grow old and Retire back to naija.

Take it or leave it nigeria is not gonna get any better until individuals like u and I start thinking and planning and executing what we want to do for Nigeria.


Like a US president once said, do not think of what your country should do for but think about what you should do for your country.


Until we start thinking like this, our Great grand children will still come to NVS and open a similar thread like this.

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 24, 2008, 11:01 PM
All of us in this country/Diaspora what is your vision for Nigeria?


Elgaxton, very good question. In my opinion, worthy of a thread. Why you no start one now? Do some research if necessary and let us have some practical suggestions....Why wait till 2011 for political candidates to begin talk about dem Vision 2200. Come with a manifesto......nobody has died yet from overdosing on good ideas...

Tola Odejayi
Jan 24, 2008, 11:34 PM
Elgaxton,

I'll second what Eja just said. Start a thread on this topic... you might be surprised at what feedback you get.

DeepThought
Jan 24, 2008, 11:46 PM
Kenn,
Perhaps it would have been best if some of your comments regarding this debate between Mulan and Eja were placed on the related issues thread.

In order to leave this particlular thread free of distractions of responses, which my own comments will ellicit, I'll respond to yours in the related issues thread.

Thanks

Austin
Jan 25, 2008, 12:41 AM
DT, we had dis discussion before, since then i have be thinking to arrive at a very simple equation to make dat thinking not too deep for you...maybe, when you can adequately provide answer to dis poser we might eventually have settled dis case once and for all...
human and structure...which one of them is endowed naturally with power of procreation/mental-power?

let me go again the way of simplification: think yourself as a manager amongst few workers, what do you think would happen if you do not apply your
control-competence-machanism/management skill efficiently...?

...simplifying again: brain = leadership and other body parts = followers/masses, once the brain is not functioning properly we have a state of disorderliness...:idea:

Dear Denker,
If the above simplification is a summary of your thinking about the issue at hand, then concluding that it is simplistic and myopic would not at all be an exageration.

First and foremost, concerning the issue of human and structure, I think that Eja has provided a decent answer, perhaps you need more clarification, then that will be an issue for another time.

Then, the second, concerning the issue of being a manager among few workers, one of the underlying question will be, how do you get to become the manager in the first place? and additionally, what is the status, mindset, nature and so of the workers you are trying to lead? Are they those who accept you unconditionally, or are they those who are hell bent on sabotaging you? And by way, how did the establishment you are trying to run come into place? Is it a well thought out one, or is it one assembled by some hurstler just trying to legitimize an illegitimate acquisition and thus maximize an illegal gain?

And lastly, concerning the analogy of head and other body parts, there we have one of the classics in non-sequitir. But then, lets even attempt to give you a benefit of doubt. Are you really saying that the other body parts only need the brain in order to function properly? If thats your point, then its wrong. Or perhaps you mean that the brain is actually dead. In that case, there can be no more remedy, except you want to put the individual on life support. More can be said on this point, but that will be unnecessary. The point I am trying to make in a nutshell is that, while some malfunctionings of the brain can cause other parts of the body to malfunction and behave disorderly, this is not always the case, and therefore, the solution is not always just fixing the head. Other parts of the body can malfunction or behave disorderly independent of the condition of the brain. Sometimes, it is even simply expedient to cut off the concerned part from the body, thus relieving the brain and its counterparts of their miseries. Therefore the analogy does not hold and hence inapplicable.

Now I will like to say more, but lets just drop it here.

DeepThought
Jan 25, 2008, 01:50 AM
In order to avoid what might look like unseeming intrusion or bias, I prefer not to post my comments on comments resulting from that thread by the main debaters of the Crucible, here in the related issues section.

I'll be responding (or not) to the below:

1.

DT, we had dis discussion before, since then i have be thinking to arrive at a very simple equation to make dat thinking not too deep for you...maybe, when you can adequately provide answer to dis poser we might eventually have settled dis case once and for all...
human and structure...which one of them is endowed naturally with power of procreation/mental-power?

let me go again the way of simplification: think yourself as a manager amongst few workers, what do you think would happen if you do not apply your
control-competence-machanism/management skill efficiently...?

...simplifying again: brain = leadership and other body parts = followers/masses, once the brain is not functioning properly we have a state of disorderliness...

Delicious Denker:

Thank you for those amazing sentences. All eleven lines of them.
This without doubt is truely one of your most brilliant submissions, the depth of your understanding of this subject matter truely stunts the mind. I'm truely taken aback by your eloquence.


The radiance of your omnipresence is beyond measure, the splendor of your vivacity endless. Hail! hail!! hail!!. I am drinking at the fountain of your endless wisdom.
Though its a bit too deep for me but I must acknowledge that by those your words of blinding wisdom, my life is now forever changed

.Shall I go on?

By your brilliant post, you have :
-illuminated my darkness,
-forever banished the demons of ignorance from my existence;
-majestically bestowed upon me your delicious bliss of understanding;
- stormed the fortress of my stupidity;
-confounded me with your esoteric wisdom;
-baffled me with your aura of magnificent;
- mesmerized me with the luminousity of your soul.

How can I ever thank you enough? I will have to struggle to answer your mind numbing questions.

Once I'm able to understand or make sense of them.

:confused1

Thanks






From the beginning, it became quite obvious that Eja adopted an irredentist’s outlook to the issue. But while it is true that ethnic homogeneity or near-ethnic homogeneity within one nation is, from the emotional standpoint, possibly preferable, historical and developmental realities make that impossible in most cases. Indeed, ethnic homogeneity is not a guarantee for good governance or a guarantee against civil strife. If anyone needs a contemporary example to support this fact we need not look beyond Somalia. Indeed, it’s fair to say multi-ethnic nations have made far more progress since ................

..........One recurrent point Eja keeps making is what he called the ‘manufactured’ nature of the nation. He believes the fact that the entity known as Nigeria was ‘created’ by British fiat makes it quite impossible to build any kind of worthy nation. To him, British involvement was to serve colonial and neo-colonial purposes and as far as the construct remains, the country will not operate as a true nation.


@Kenn,

I for one don't see any irredentism in Eja's outlook, nor do I think his point against Nigeria not being a nation is simply because it was imerely invented by the British.

Rather, the point is that the British invention was malevolent in intention right from the onset and that, the malevolence of intention, the fraud and defective structures put in place by the British, not only remains till this very day , but has actually been and continues to be cynically nutured and watered even beyond what the British originally planted. And that this continued preservation of the fraudulent status quo cannot be stopped unless the structure of Nigeria is re-examined.

That in a nutshell is the point Eja is making.

Thanks.


I also dont think it is structure. It is human beings that put the structure there and it is human beings that can also either remove the structure, adjust it or build on it to suit themselves. Structure is inanimate and intangible and left on its own cannot achieve anything. All the same I dont think its only the leadership that is to blame but also the followers. Everybody has to put hands on deck for us to get to our goal as Nigerians

Gentle Angle,
Thank you for your polite post. I'll attempt to put my points accross equally with courtesy.

1. It may be true that people put stuctures in place , however, the present structure of Nigeria was not put in place by Nigerians. This existing structure is iminical to the interest of Nigerians and to the emergence of a true Nation as opposed to one that exists on paper.
It may be possible that without a change in structure , Nigeria could still emarge into true Nationhood, but IMO, that is very doubtful and will be very hard and uncessaryly long. A better and quicker way may be to restructure the country in a more equitable way to assure a Nation build on a foundation of justice, rule of law, e.t.c and not one merely built on ethnic cohesiveness.

2. It is also true, perhaps more than true that Structures can determine the outcome of leadership struggles or leadership paterns or types of a people. This is one aspect of structure that we tend to overlook, thinking that once the leadership is right, everything else will fall into place. Well, what if the leadership is almost never going to be right?

3. Human beings have the power to (or not to) remove, adjust , build on a structure. If they don't, that doesn't mean the stucture is not defective

4. Structure is NOT inaniate and intangible and left on its own can achieve a lot.
Why?
Because structures can be social and thus living or alive. A socially defective structure, if left alone will in time consume or destroy the negligent society.

5. Its good to blame the leadership and followership of a deficient society, however, I think this is not enough. We should also look at the structure of the society that produces that leadership and followership.

THanks

Austin
Jan 25, 2008, 02:07 AM
Thanks to the two main participants in this debate, you have done a great job. Thanks particularly to Eja, your task is by no mean easy. But you have proven yourself worthy.

The funny part of this debate is that while your opponents did their works spiritedly, they later came back to acknowledge your point, and the fact that you are right. This can and does appear confusing, but we have been told that there are two definitions of a nation. Perhaps there is more, to be conjured as at when necessary, who knows.

Thus going by the above logic of your opponent, one can easily conclude that of course there is a nation called Nigeria, with all the requisite paraphenalia.

But then, can that nation ever become a nation, in the way you have defined it, which in itself is of more natural desire? That is the million dollar question to which you have just done justice.

Perhaps, it would have been better if you had framed your challenge as follows; can this Nigeria ever become a nation? Perhaps, you would have clearly been justified, but then, we might have lost the better part of this whole debate.

In any case, what you have succeeded doing is bringing into the open the question that is consciously and unconsciously troubling the minds of many Nigerians. And therefore, the way it is framed is of secondary importance.

You have also succeeded in exposing the mindset of those who are supporters of the status quo, and the underlying assumptions of their prefered solution, as well as their weaknesses.

It is quite interesting that while your opponents are claiming that Nigeria is a nation, they are equally admitting that it can never become a nation like you have defined it. If that be the case, one wonders why all the attempts and expenses at unification? Why all the surpression of dissenting voices? Why the adoption of a single flag, currency, anthem, constitution, language et cetera? Why all the name calling and so on? why all the attempt at confusion.

Perhaps their answers are not far-fetched, as they claim that no nation in your sense of it exists, and when they do exist, then they are not happy. Again confusing.

But even then, that assertion is not strictly correct, for while Somalia may presently be at war with itself, those able to observe Somalis in Diaspora know that their sense of nationhood lives inside their hearts. They don't need a flag, an anthem, an army, even a central government before they can accept themselves. If I may, I want to assert that the kind of unity, cordination, and cohesion among Somalis in the Diaspora can only be the envy of Nigerians. Likewise the international recognition and respect accorded Somalis in the Diaspora. Something similar applies to the Sesothos and the Swazis. And while the Ethiopians do not fit the strict definition, they have nevertheless evolved into a nation in a sense similar to Ejas definition, and they have enjoyed and are still enjoying the fruit of it. I feel like going to Europe and Asia, but I won't. For then, we may get too far distracted.

In essence, the type of nation that Eja is emphasising is the nation that lives in the heart. The kind of nation that transcends the paraphenalia of nationhood. The type that entails no confusion. Much like what the Jews have ever before the creation of the State of Israel.

Such states exist and hapilly too. And it is no irrenditism to desire such, where such is possible, and where such will possibly lead to greater happiness.

Perhaps it is very correct that most nations come into existence as a result of strife. Perhaps that is why many have given up the need to debate the issue - good or bad.
Many people are wise enough to recognise that the existence of a nation is a fait accompli, and therefore the task of creating a new state is better accomplished by strife. Perhaps that is why they refuse to waste time debating the issue. Of course then, the only thing they can count upon is their resolve, and perhaps their vision - or lack of it.

Thank you all.

WallaceBobo
Jan 25, 2008, 07:54 AM
Let me add my own 2kobo to the structure versus leadership thing.

Look at communist countries like the former USSR, N Korea and Cuba. Most would agree that the communism as a structure of government is inhenrently flawed. Especially the communism that was practiced in these countries. Would you say that the soviet union collapsed because of their leaders? or better still, could any one leader have made these countries better in the long run with that flawed structure? I think not. Look at China, you would admit that they had to change their structure to a more capitalist one in order to achieve the economic they're now enjoying.

However, there the 'chicken and egg' aspect to this debate.

Who should be responsible for changing the structure, should'nt it be the leaders? Surely its impractical to expect the masses to initiate such neccesary changes?


Deep Thought, I'd like your thoughts on this

Enforcer
Jan 25, 2008, 08:12 AM
I noticed that people wrote Mulan and Eja, not Eja and Mulan. I hope this has nothing to do with the strength of the debaters.

It was not only enthralling, it also shows a they are highly skilled. Eja wetin happen now? My respects to both of you.

I thank you for giving us something to read for the next one month. I hope you will be available when we call you out on some of your ideas.




...english tradition!..ladies first..(ladies and gentlemen):cool:


Denker,

Your reply raises another question. When did English tradition become Nigerian tradition, in this NVS?

I think English tradition has nothing to do with why people prefer to say Ladies and Gentlemen. Some people argue that a significant majority of people prefer the sound "Ladies and Gentlemen" to "Gentlemen and Ladies".

Whatever the explanation, I can't help but agree with katampe's tentative conclusion. But Eja is a good debater as well.

DeepThought
Jan 25, 2008, 11:43 PM
WB, your wish is my command.


Would you say that the soviet union collapsed because of their leaders? or better still, could any one leader have made these countries better in the long run with that flawed structure? I think not. Look at China, you would admit that they had to change their structure to a more capitalist one in order to achieve the economic they're now enjoying.

1. Does leadership change the structure of a country or does structure change the leadership?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer because of what you correctly define as the Chicken and Egg paradox.


Deep Thought, I'd like your thoughts on this

I've already written an article about this kind of problem which reflects my thinking on this kind of issue, but I don't want to refer you to this because I regretably didn't use my pseuedonym .
So if we must use the chicken and egg paradox, to model this Leadership Vs Stucture argument, the answer is easy enough, that the egg came first. The problem now is to decide which is the chicken and which is the egg? Leadership or the Structure? I won'tattempt to definitively explain which of the two I believe to be the egg because this will be very complicated, I will however say that of the two, I would rather focus on or give priority to structure, because , for one thing, we've at least attempted the leadership problem several times without success but we've not really attempted to solve the structural ones.

Regarding leadership, I will reiterate that;

1. Leadership, individuals or groups of individuals matter. Leadership can indeed define and change the course of history, including the structure of a country, afterall, people like Max laid the groundwork for people like Lenin to change structure of Russia. So I don't minimize the importance of leadership .

But what gives birth to leadership or to the great leader? What gave rise to a Lenin or a Mao?


2 . We cannot look at the leader (or structure for that matter) in isolation, but for the purpose of this argument, i will examine only the leader for now. I think it is important to recognize that the background and context in which the leader or leadership arises, matters and is everything. It shapes the leader.
I would therefore suggest that we consider the structure which gives birth to that leader as the egg, a coocon from which the leader springs forth.Then that leader can act on and shape his society, then , that leader can change the structure that first produced him. And therein lies the catch.

A good structure tends to produce goods after its kind while a bad one will do likewise, thus, it becomes very important that we have a good structure
So, how or why is it not business as usual? So, how and why should a defective structure give rise to, or produce a great leaders? Well, the answer to my mind is that it usually doesn't. However, if you wait around long enough, cataclysmic results of the bad structure should eventually catch up with it, forcing the bad Structure to produce what it usually wouldn't. But you need to wait for a very long time for this to happen and thats why messiahs or people like Lenin don't come around very often.Thats why I regret to say, and hope I'm wrong in saying that people who want good leadership in Nigeria, but aren't willing to reform the structure will probably not live long enough to see this happen in their life time.

Yes, at the rate we are going, Nigeria will indeed produce a good leader......some day....., possibly before the year 3000. I can even gurantee that if Nigeria still exists in the year 50000 AD, we would have produced at least two great leaders, possibly more.

In light of the above, I think its best to somehow focus on putting in place a good structure, so that we don't have to hang around for too long, hoping for some great leader to come turn things around.

The good thing is that we don't really need a great leader to put in a great structure, ordinary minds are quite capable of doing this.
The even greater thing is that a great structure has a very good chance of surviving, outlasting and even correcting bad leaders - once the structure you put in place makes provision for and recognizes the possibility of bad leadership.

We can look at this in two ways:

While it is desirable to build a system to accomondate bad operators, it is not sensible to train good operators to accomondate a bad system.
The poin tis that it is possible (but less likely) that a mortally bad operator may ruin the best of systems, even a system specifically designed to accomondate the mortally bad operators , it is guranteed (or more likely )that a mortally bad system or structure will definetly kill an operator, even a good one, because you can't even begin to train an operator to accommondate such as system. And I think the Nigerian structure is mortally flawed or at least as close to being mortally flawed as you can get.

So while you need a great leader to be able to work with or turn things around when you have a bad structure, you don't need a great leader to work when you have a great structure, and furthermore, you stand a good chance of surviving a bad leader if your system is sufficiently great. (Of course we can debate "sufficiently great" )


3. Regarding ths structure of Communism, I believe there are various flavours of Communism, just as there are various flavours of Capitalism and from a relativist point of view, I don't think the Communist structure is necessarily inferior to the Capitalist one.

I actually, I think most aspects of the Communist philosophy is far superior to the Capitalist one. However, from the perspective of structure of individual communist states, yes, the important distinction has to be made.
If you contrast the structure and leadership of Communist Soviet Union vis-a-vis that of Communist China (and Communist Vitetnam vs North Korea), I think you will find that historically, the Chinese leadership was actually weaker and not quite as good as that of the Russian (Soviet one). I c an think of only one World Class Chinese leader ( Mao), while I can think of several World class Soviet ones (Lenin, Stalin, Krusheve, etc), but the flaw was in the structure of the Soviet Union itself

The Soviet Union failed, I think , not primarily from lack of good leadership , but possibly from a lack of adequate structural strudiness to face the challenges of the cold war. Their brand of communism was based upon deciet and oppression. You can't keep sattelites or subjugate other nations in the name of communism and expect to last long. That is the same reason, why the old structure of imperialism fell apart and had to be replaced by something less blatantly unjust, that is neo-colonism.

If anyone things the communist ideology is defective, they should consider what communism achieve for the commuist states and consider Cuba, a communist state still operating the same type of communism the former Soviet Union did, but because it doesn't have the structural weaknesses of the Soviet Union, it is still surviving, in spite of the worst intentions of its powerful adversary.


Who should be responsible for changing the structure, should'nt it be the leaders? Surely its impractical to expect the masses to initiate such neccesary changes?

I don't know, but I think it is safe to rule out one option.
The Nigerian "leadership" is incapable of changing the structure and I don't see things happening through them because they benefit from and would do anything to make sure that the existing structure remains intact.

I however think and predict that change will come , eventually when a cathastrophic even or a series of catastrophic events, the natural results of the continued bad rulership by the rulers of Nigeria ,will force change upon Nigeria. it will be spearheaded by unknown individuals and it probably won't be pretty. It should consume the rulership class.
This will probably take a very long time to happen and historians will hail whoever the ones fate favours in spearheading the changes as the "great leader". We will wait for very long for this to happen, but this seems to be the preferred route of many Nigerians.

An alternative i would hope for would be that with the tools available to us in the modern age, it may be possible to persuade enough ordinary people to be dissatisfaction enough with the existing structure to want to do something about it.
That would be a starting point to God knows where.

Exxcuzme
Jan 26, 2008, 01:13 AM
The good thing is that we don't really need a great leader to put in a great structure, ordinary minds are quite capable of doing this.

All you need for an example is the good Ol' US of A where you have Bill Clinton who was elected to right the economy that Papa Bush screwed up. Bill Clinton did that but morally defiled the White House and Americans revolt and changed to supposedly Born Again Dubya. Now that Dubya is screwing up the economy like is Papa, Americans are probably will call upon another Clinton or better yet try a completely new hand in Auspy's boy, Obama.

Therefore, a good structure will right the system, or lessen the effect of a bad leader.

In case of Nigeria, we have been saddled with continous bad leader since Independent. Just think about all the leaders since independent. It is a battle of who is the baddest.

Kenn
Jan 27, 2008, 12:40 PM
DeepThought,

The more I read you, the more I'm convinced you're confused about what you mean by structure as it concerns this debate. There's nothing that exemplifies this confusion better than your attempt to further explain your position to Gentle Angel after sarcastically dismissing Denker on the same issue:



>>>1. It may be true that people put stuctures in place , however, the present structure of Nigeria was not put in place by Nigerians. This existing structure is iminical to the interest of Nigerians and to the emergence of a true Nation as opposed to one that exists on paper.
It may be possible that without a change in structure , Nigeria could still emarge into true Nationhood, but IMO, that is very doubtful and will be very hard and uncessaryly long. A better and quicker way may be to restructure the country in a more equitable way to assure a Nation build on a foundation of justice, rule of law, e.t.c and not one merely built on ethnic cohesiveness.<<<


Let's examine your four sentences above. From your first sentence, it's quite obvious that you are thinking of the Nigerian structure as imposed from outside. In other words, the British put this structure in place, not Nigerians. Now, the truth is once you think of structure in this form, you can only be talking in its physical form of ethnic composition, because that is the only thing the British did that's still subsisting. So, the "existing structure" you're referring to in your second sentence as inimical to the interest of Nigerians and to the emergence of a true nation is nothing but the ethnic composition. Meanwhile, we have to remember that a few posts before (specifically in Post No 53), you were protesting that you weren't contesting the fact that nations are formed through strife or imposition. Such a view, of course, is directly contradicting the view expressed in your first two sentences above.

Though your third sentence keeps the reference to structure as physical composition (since you recognize it may not change), it is your fourth sentence that finally rumbled your thinking. In talking of structure as composing of questions of equity, rule of law and so on, you are invariably coming around to the idea that the problem is not with the physical structure, but with the human beings who compose the leadership of the nation. I mean, how else do you hope to "restructure the country in a more equitable way to assure a Nation build (sic) on a foundation of justice, rule of law, e.t.c" if not through the agency of human leadership? This is the point Denker, Gentle Angel and my good self have been trying to make you understand, but you obstinately insist on confusing the issues simply because you have this ingrained notion that structure is an omnibus term for all that is bad about Nigeria, but with fundamental base in the country's composition as a multi-ethnic nation.

Ethnic cohesiveness, justice and rule of law are not mutually exclusive. What you're talking about here is what I referred to earlier as "internalized structure" and it's got everything to do with the human being as the agent of the change you crave! This type of restructuring can take the form of devolution of powers within the country in order that constituents units are given powers to determine their future in a progressive and substantially autonomous way. It could involve a true practice of federalism as opposed to the glorified unitary system now in place. It could involve giving constituent units, be they states or regions, power over a regional police force. It could be the grant of tax raising powers and so on and so forth.

The fact is whatever you think of structure, it is not a self-powered thing. As Gentle Angel told you, it is inanimate and can only change or be changed by the agency of human beings (leadership). Even in your confusion, that comes out clearly.




>>>2. It is also true, perhaps more than true that Structures can determine the outcome of leadership struggles or leadership paterns or types of a people. This is one aspect of structure that we tend to overlook, thinking that once the leadership is right, everything else will fall into place. Well, what if the leadership is almost never going to be right?<<<


This is simplistic reasoning! Is structure the only factor that determines the outcome of leadership struggles or leadership patterns, if indeed it does? Again, if it does, is it the highest in the hierarchy of factors influencing leadership? Of course not! Leadership is a human quality and everything human, such as ideas, vision, background, environment and citizens' attitude must first influence the nature and outcome of leadership before structure!




>>>3. Human beings have the power to (or not to) remove, adjust , build on a structure. If they don't, that doesn't mean the stucture is not defective<<<


That doesn't mean the structure is the problem or main problem either. There could be other factors, most of which will be invariably human. There are so many things defective in human organization, but it's not all of them we make a song and dance about or try to change, especially if there are clearly bigger problems to engage our attention.




>>>4. Structure is NOT inaniate and intangible and left on its own can achieve a lot. Why? Because structures can be social and thus living or alive. A socially defective structure, if left alone will in time consume or destroy the negligent society.<<<


Again, you're showing confusion here. Once, you've put the term ‘social' to structure, you have brought in the human element of leadership. Structure is inanimate; to be socially relevant, to be a ‘living' thing, it would need the leadership input of the human being. It is the human being that retains or changes structure. Structure is not self-transmuting, except where we're talking physical changes brought to the physical environment by natural forces, e.g. erosion on national coastline.




>>>5. Its good to blame the leadership and followership of a deficient society, however, I think this is not enough. We should also look at the structure of the society that produces that leadership and followership.<<<


You have to be sure what you mean by structure first. The question you need to ask yourself is when you talk of restructuring, are you thinking of breaking up the country into sovereign ethnic nations (that is to form their own separate countries in order to undo what the British have done) or are you just thinking the establishment of good governance (justice, rule of law, etc) within the same Nigerian unit we have now? You have to sort out that confusion within yourself first before you can credibly debate the issue.




CHEERS!




Austin,

>>>The funny part of this debate is that while your opponents did their works spiritedly, they later came back to acknowledge your point, and the fact that you are right.<<<


From where did you get that idea? Which of Eja's opponents said he was right? Or, is it the other way round?




>>>You have also succeeded in exposing the mindset of those who are supporters of the status quo, and the underlying assumptions of their prefered solution, as well as their weaknesses.<<<


What status quo? Does the fact that we believe that there is indeed a country called Nigeria mean we support the status quo in Nigeria?




CHEERS!

Kenn
Jan 27, 2008, 01:43 PM
DeepThought,


>>>@Kenn,

I for one don't see any irredentism in Eja's outlook, nor do I think his point against Nigeria not being a nation is simply because it was imerely invented by the British.

Rather, the point is that the British invention was malevolent in intention right from the onset and that, the malevolence of intention, the fraud and defective structures put in place by the British, not only remains till this very day , but has actually been and continues to be cynically nutured and watered even beyond what the British originally planted. And that this continued preservation of the fraudulent status quo cannot be stopped unless the structure of Nigeria is re-examined.

That in a nutshell is the point Eja is making.<<<


What is irredentism? It is the doctrine that advocates for an ethnically homogenous unit to be politically controlled by that unit without interference from any other. In other words, Eja's ethnically-closed definition of nation and his belief that the Yoruba nation, of which he is part, was not consulted before being bandied along with others by the British to form Nigeria is nothing but an expression of irredentism. I wonder why you're picking issues with this when the evidence abounds in almost every submission Eja has made here. Or, are you of the impression that calling him an irredentist is derogatory? Well, for your information, it isn't.

Again, your interpretation of what Eja is saying with regard to the British establishing the entity known as Nigeria is no different from my interpretation of him, except to point out that I did not say Eja claimed Nigeria is not a nation simply or only because it was merely invented by the British. He obviously gave other reasons in the course of the debate and Mulan and I addressed these adequately.

Frankly, whatever you've said here has not added anything to the debate nor did it explain anything better, except attempt to muddy the waters. I mean, whether you call the British invention "malevolent" or the structure defective really isn't saying anything different since I've explained there in that same post you're responding to that to Eja "British involvement was to serve colonial and neo-colonial purposes and as far as the construct remains, the country will not operate as a true nation". Yes, everything you've said by way of countering me can be subsumed under that one sentence. I'm not a great fan of circular thinking, I'm afraid.

Let's face it, structure, no matter what you or anyone says in this debate, is no more than the form Nigeria is geographically, the manner of how that form came about and/or the people peculiarly subservient to that entity as citizens. The assumption that we do not understand what you people mean by structure is laughable. Of course we do (Gentle Angel, Denker and me). What Denker has done, and which is a position we support, is to take it that logical step further. When you go on and on about structure, where is the human element? Of what value is the human element in sustaining or changing structure? Now, you have no problem admitting to Gentle Angel that human beings "have the power to (or not to) remove, adjust, build on a structure" but then went on to say if they don't "that doesn't mean the structure is not defective"! The question is why are you singularly harping on a supposedly defective structure when you admit the power of the human being to change it? Why are you assuming that it is defective simply because it is not a structure you like? Why don't you think some or all those problems you associate with structure may actually have been caused by some other factors?

You see the basic point here is that your insistence on structure as the be all and end all in this issue is myopic. Those of us who've pointed other factors outside structure have not ruled out structure as a problem. But, as I explained to you earlier, it depends on what exactly you are referring to when talking about structure. When, for instance, I criticize structure, I do not refer to the geographical or physical form or composition of Nigeria. Rather, I refer to the internalized workings and operations of the socio-political and economic system. Of course, these are the kind of things that can be corrected by human leadership and can be seen to yield results, because the effect would easily be noticed in the lives of people. But of what value is balkanization? What is the guarantee that the old political, social and economic failings of the old country won't be transferred to the new one? For instance, what happens when the Ekiti and the Ijesha begin to think Ijebu and the Egba are marginalizing them in their proposed new structure/nation/country and so on and so forth?




>>>1. Does leadership change the structure of a country or does structure change the leadership?

This is an extremely difficult question to answer because of what you correctly define as the Chicken and Egg paradox.

…So if we must use the chicken and egg paradox, to model this Leadership Vs Stucture argument, the answer is easy enough, that the egg came first. The problem now is to decide which is the chicken and which is the egg? Leadership or the Structure? I won'tattempt to definitively explain which of the two I believe to be the egg because this will be very complicated, I will however say that of the two, I would rather focus on or give priority to structure, because , for one thing, we've at least attempted the leadership problem several times without success but we've not really attempted to solve the structural ones.<<<


More confusion! Listen, you can't call it a chicken and egg situation when you venture as far as to say the egg comes first. So, how did the egg come about? Who laid the egg? In a chicken and egg situation it is impossible (not merely difficult) to say which comes first or which caused the other. Here, it is clear we do not have that problem, because structure, defective or not, will ALWAYS come before leadership. Leadership can only be applied to an EXISTING structure! A country/nation/entity must first be created before you can begin to talk of its leadership. There is therefore no chicken and egg situation, because the answer is obvious!

As for the rest of the post from which the above is excerpted, I despair. Your mix-up over ideology and structure, for one, is quite troubling. It's like eating something unpleasant for dessert after a great meal. After such a good debate, I see your attempt to discuss structure and leadership exactly in that light. You failed not only to focus on the debate, you obviously do not understand properly the concepts you're discussing and their relationship to the debate.



CHEERS!

denker
Jan 27, 2008, 04:36 PM
nna, my dear kenn1, i thought i was not reading DT right, good dat you saw also his confusion...i thank you for dat!

DeepThought
Jan 27, 2008, 05:22 PM
Kenn/Denker,
Thanks for your post, but I didn't sacarstically dismiss Denker's, it just happened to be too deep for me to grasp.
Denker, my brother from another mother, abeg no vex if I misrepresnted you O! :D

I'll briefly look at your arguments.


What is irredentism? It is the doctrine that advocates for an ethnically homogenous unit to be politically controlled by that unit without interference from any other

Many definitions of irredentism abound and you did not elaborate on which particular one you mean. The one below is disagreable to me and I want to make sure that you will rule it out for reasons I will explain immediately afterwards.

Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity and/or prior historical possession

Fear mongering, using the imminent and automatic break up of Nigeria and the progession to war is a tactic used by those who don't want any examination of the structure of Nigeria . Your accusation of irredentism is precisely the type of argument that fuels that line of though.


Let’s face it, structure, no matter what you or anyone says in this debate, is no more than the form Nigeria is geographically, the manner of how that form came about and/or the people peculiarly subservient to that entity as citizens. The assumption that we do not understand what you people mean by structure is laughable. Of course we do

Laughable or not, of course you don't, I'll explain why latter in this post


You see the basic point here is that your insistence on structure as the be all and end all in this issue is myopic. Those of us who’ve pointed other factors outside structure have not ruled out structure as a problem. But, as I explained to you earlier, it depends on what exactly you are referring to when talking about structure. When, for instance, I criticize structure, I do not refer to the geographical or physical form or composition of Nigeria. Rather, I refer to the internalized workings and operations of the socio-political and economic system. Of course, these are the kind of things that can be corrected by human leadership and can be seen to yield results, because the effect would easily be noticed in the lives of people. But of what value is balkanization? What is the guarantee that the old political, social and economic failings of the old country won’t be transferred to the new one? For instance, what happens when the Ekiti and the Ijesha begin to think Ijebu and the Egba are marginalizing them in their proposed new structure/nation/country and so on and so forth?

These are the kinds of errornous conclusions one who thinks of structure as merely geographical will come to. Structure is not merely geographical and I will make more of this latter. For now, let me just say that, there will never be peace or progress in any entity no matter how small or ethnically cohesive if its legal, educational, military and other structural units that make up that nation are defective,or are based on lines of reasoning that serve not its own interests.


More confusion! Listen, you can’t call it a chicken and egg situation when you venture as far as to say the egg comes first. So, how did the egg come about? Who laid the egg? In a chicken and egg situation it is impossible (not merely difficult) to say which comes first or which caused the other. Here, it is clear we do not have that problem, because structure, defective or not, will ALWAYS come before leadership. Leadership can only be applied to an EXISTING structure! A country/nation/entity must first be created before you can begin to talk of its leadership. There is therefore no chicken and egg situation, because the answer is obvious!

I like your sense of drama.
Metaphorically, the chicken and egg proposition remains problematic. Disciplinarily, it is not. Microbiologists have solved that problem for us. Those who care to know, know that the egg came first.

However, I use the term in a metaphoric manner, because the leavership vs structure problem is still unresolved. I'm glad you have resolved this in your own mind and come to the conclusion that structure comes first, even though that answer has not been arrived at by many.


As for the rest of the post from which the above is excerpted, I despair. Your mix-up over ideology and structure, for one, is quite troubling. It’s like eating something unpleasant for dessert after a great meal. After such a good debate, I see your attempt to discuss structure and leadership exactly in that light. You failed not only to focus on the debate, you obviously do not understand properly the concepts you’re discussing and their relationship to the debate

In an earlier post, I thanked you for your bombast. Yours above is exactly why. This and that....., that and this......., is always obvious to you and only to you.

Thanks again



Let’s examine your four sentences above. From your first sentence, it’s quite obvious that you are thinking of the Nigerian structure as imposed from outside. In other words, the British put this structure in place, not Nigerians. Now, the truth is once you think of structure in this form, you can only be talking in its physical form of ethnic composition, because that is the only thing the British did that's still subsisting. So, the “existing structure” you’re referring to in your second sentence as inimical to the interest of Nigerians and to the emergence of a true nation is nothing but the ethnic composition. .......

.......The fact is whatever you think of structure, it is not a self-powered thing. As Gentle Angel told you, it is inanimate and can only change or be changed by the agency of human beings (leadership). Even in your confusion, that comes out clearly.


If structure were self powered, the chicken and egg metaphor would not have been used, so that is a non sequitur, a very poor rebbutal that does not address anything .

Anyway, to summarize your position, it seems that you believe that by structure, I refer merely to the physical composition of Nigeria's ethnicity and you affirm that that this is the only thing that is still subsisting from the Nigeria created by the British?

Not so.

The Structure of a country as I understand it encompasses more than geography, encompassing the physical and the non-physical, the seen and the unseen. A structure is therefore anything and everything that defines an entity. If you apply this view to structure, it will go a long way in helping you to understand some of the points I'm trying to make.
But we must narrow down and examine particular aspects of the structure of a country,and we do this by examining the various ethnicities and their geographical space, also examining the social, legal, military, political, educational and all other structural units in that the country. Even the official language (s) of communication is/are structural units and building blocks, which must not escape our scrutiny.

So when we say the way something is structured, we mean, the way that thing is organized , planned or arranged in its entirety. We mean a holistic examination of that entity and not just a fractured, perfunctionary look limited to geography or ethnic composition.

We mean the systematic design and even the seeming intent behind that design.

(Going even further, we even mean we have to examine the roles assigned to that entity in the international scheme of things, but I will not discuss that issue at this time because it falls outside the scope of this debate for now)

Going back to your affirmation about what persists in Nigeria today from the old Colonial legacy, I'm sure that even you will agree that, up till today, the legal system and laws Nigeria uses to define itself are inherited so it would be wrong to suggest that the only thing still subsisting from the British invention known as Nigeria is just the ethnic composition of Nigeria.

There are many other things (if not all things ) which persist from the old colonial era, but i use tha example of the legal system as something you will readily appreciate



In talking of structure as composing of questions of equity, rule of law and so on, you are invariably coming around to the idea that the problem is not with the physical structure,...

The fact is whatever you think of structure, it is not a self-powered thing. As Gentle Angel told you, it is inanimate and can only change or be changed by the agency of human beings (leadership). Even in your confusion, that comes out clearly.


a) You are building your strawman poorly.The mistake you make , which I haven't led you to, is a common one, in thinking of Structure as only something physical, only something you can see.

Social structures , a small unit of the overall structure of a country, encompass and are defined by things like the rule of law, especially equitable laws. Nigeria's laws are not equitable, rather, they are feudalistic, colonially based and oppressive, they were totally inappropriate and skewed towards disenfranchising the natives. They were not designed to promote nationhood or egalitarian though among citizens. They were subjugative and designed to promote a ruler vs subject paradigm, rather than a citizen vs government one. They still are.

Therefore , I submit that this strucural unit which is a subset of the overall structure of the country is defective. The land use decree passed supposedly by one of our own embodies this fact. How did this law come to be? This was a law passed by an heir of the inherited ******* military structure, again a component of the larger Nigerian structure and one of the prime keeper of the faulty structure,.The current armed forces is merely an extention of the old West African frontier force or the Hausa Constabulary, which serve no useful purpose actually.

But why hasn't the Nigeria legal system changed since? Why hasn't the oppresive Military structure been dismantled?
The answer is because many Nigerians don't see these as structural problems and make the same arguments you are making. They see these as human problems, which leadership will resolve. I dissagree. I submit to you that accepting these rickety institutions will lead nowhere

b) Regarding the orignation or powering of structure, I haven't said structure is self powered and you should't misrepresent these thing.

What I've said is that the stucture(s) of Nigeria are/ is wrong and needs to be addressed before we can talk about leadership.
What I'm against and trying to correct is the rather popular, complacant and conventional notion, that leadership and only leadership is the problem in Nigeria. Many commentators if not most, seem to think this way.

Structure by not being self powered can be changed by leadership or even a single leader, or by forces which tranancend the individual (chaos, anachy ) but if society recognizes the power of structures, then it is quicker that the society avert anachy and chaos and act to change its structures. The society will be led in this direction by individual, hence the chicken and egg dileman I agree with.





This is simplistic reasoning! Is structure the only factor that determines the outcome of leadership struggles or leadership patterns, if indeed it does? Again, if it does, is it the highest in the hierarchy of factors influencing leadership? Of course not! Leadership is a human quality and everything human, such as ideas, vision, background, environment and citizens’ attitude must first influence the nature and outcome of leadership before structure!
....................
....................
You have to be sure what you mean by structure first. The question you need to ask yourself is when you talk of restructuring, are you thinking of breaking up the country into sovereign ethnic nations (that is to form their own separate countries in order to undo what the British have done) or are you just thinking the establishment of good governance (justice, rule of law, etc) within the same Nigerian unit we have now? You have to sort out that confusion within yourself first before you can credibly debate the issue.

Structure may not be the only determinant of leadership struggles but I think it is a very important determinant if not the most important one.
The irony in the above , which you haven't seen is that all what you have mentioned, such as background, environment, e.t.c are actually a product of structure.
Thus, there is no confusion here except that which you insist on seeing and which perhaps arises from your own mind. I will reiterate:

- the Nigerian structure is everything which was inherited from the british.
This included socio-political units you can easily see , as well as that, which you can't so easily see, such as the legal structure, the military structure, the educational system, even the religous (and the notion of secularity) e.t.c.

So, when we talk about re-structuring, we mean an examination of all these things, especially the social-political basis for co-existence and the types of laws that should govern us.

For example, what is the role of the Sharia in Nigeria and should it be acceptable? How does this affect a non moslem in a country like Nigeria. Although this looks like a question of law and legality, eventually, I think you will come to see that This is a question predicated on STRUCTURE and will be not merely by looking at the narrow issues of legality, but when Nigeirans all over the country agree on terms of Structure.

Please stop the fear mongering and raising the specre of balkanization. An examination of the structural underpinning of Nigeria doesn't automatically translate to the breaking up of the country into various homogeneous ethnic composites ; that is a red herring. However, if it does lead to a conclusion by the socio-political units and a majority of the natives that they see no legal basis for coexistence, then so be it, there is no need to run away from that possibility.

Still on balkanization - So even if Nigeria balkanizes or fractures, SO WHAT?
By your logic fracturing = bad and non fracturing = good. Is this automatically correct? Of course not. It is possible to be big for nothing and it is possible to be small and good for something.
So while I don't gurantee that fractionalization or balkanization of Nigeria will lead to progress, in turn you also can't gurantee that that balkanization will not lead to progress


Thanks

denker
Jan 27, 2008, 06:07 PM
chineke, god!..dis is task-fait accompli...DT, my dear, you have really completely succeeded creating too much confusion for my poor soul...i need my red dry wein to recover my state of mind tranquil equilibrium...maybe, just maybe, i'll be back tomorrow, fit and agile to respond...bye for now!:D

...absolutely non sequitur...dat's the right appellation to define what you have up there..merci!:p:biggrin:

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 27, 2008, 06:52 PM
Please stop the fear mongering and raising the spectre of balkanization. An examination of the structural underpinning of Nigeria doesn't automatically translate to the breaking up of the country into various homogeneous ethnic composites ; that is a red herring. However, if does lead to a conclusion by the socio-political units and a majority of the natives that they see no legal basis for coexistence, then so be it, there is no need to run away from that possibility.


Thanks DeepThought, very well put.

I hope the ones you are addressing will read the whole post and respond to the actual points you have raised...instead of this repeated tactic of assigning motives that were never intended to the opposition and arguing solely against those motives. It is also to be hoped that we will now see reasons given (by the opposition) why the explanations already proffered for the use of terms like "defective structure" will not suffice.

Kenn1 has already stated that he is against circular arguments...well, I hope he will now deal with the line of thought that led up to the use of the term rather than merely restating his opposition to its use.


Let’s face it, structure, no matter what you or anyone says in this debate, is no more than the form Nigeria is geographically, the manner of how that form came about and/or the people peculiarly subservient to that entity as citizens. The assumption that we do not understand what you people mean by structure is laughable. Of course we do (Gentle Angel, Denker and me). What Denker has done, and which is a position we support, is to take it that logical step further. When you go on and on about structure, where is the human element? Of what value is the human element in sustaining or changing structure?


The above is a good example of what I am talking about. Structure has already been identified as a thing that has a largely human component. Yet, we are asked again, "where is the human element?" and "Of what value is the human element in sustaining or changing structure?" - that last question being one that was already answered way back in the debate when the lack of institutions (and programs) that fostered the type of national unity that cuts across/over-rides all current divisions was identified as one of the circumstances working against the creation of a Nigerian nation.

In short, since it has already been asserted that such institutions/programs do not exist at this time, logic should tell us that by implication, the value of the "human element" within this current structure (whether it be changing or static) will in fact be a negative number.

Rather than asking the same types of questions over and over again (and concealing this tactic by re-wording the questions), I would like to see opposing arguments that do not rely on contrived 'patriotism' and emotionalism.

I hope that if/when he replies to the statement I made above, Kenn1 will know better than to use moribund bodies/symbols like the Nigerian military, the NYSC, the flag, the anthem and the Naira as examples to support his contrary position.

It is also interesting that at the beginning of the paragraph quoted above we see the garrison commander (Kenn1), typically engaging in his tactic of first defining the meaning of what his opponents propose; i.e. he categorically states (with reference to a term used by his opponents) that it is "no matter what you or anyone says in this debate..."

In other words, he will tell you what you mean, and, after he has told you what you mean, he will debate with you.

What the above tactic reveals of its user is one who is unable to find reasonable fault with the logic of his opponents propositions. However, since his taste for blood has been stirred, he will still attack anyway.

Shame Kenn1, shame! And on a Sunday too....:frown:.

DeepThought
Jan 27, 2008, 08:33 PM
In other words, he will tell you what you mean, and, after he has told you what you mean, he will debate with you.

...

Shame Kenn1, shame! And on a Sunday too.....

:D

Also, I'll really, really need an explanation of why it is automatically assumed that the fractioning of Nigeria must necessarily be a bad thing.!!!!
These people talk about fractioning as if it is a dirty word. It is NOT. All they have to do is yell Mr so and so wants to break-up Nigeria. They then threaten the Mr so and so with treason, jail or even death.

Every talk of Nigeria breaking up must be regarded as bad and treasonable. People must never be allowed to think in this way I guess.

If indeed Nigeria fractures and the entities that succeed Nigeria continue to oppress their minorities (if they have any) disregard human rights, act arbitrarily, constitute armed forces that relate to the ordinary people as if they are lording it over conquered subjects, e.t.c, then and only then would that would be bad.

But we don't know that this is what will happen. So t why must we assume that this will be the case?

And how do we know that somewhere down the road, even after fractioning, we won't opt for a reunion into an even bigger and better political nation?

Austin
Jan 30, 2008, 02:03 AM
Austin,

>>>The funny part of this debate is that while your opponents did their works spiritedly, they later came back to acknowledge your point, and the fact that you are right.<<<


From where did you get that idea? Which of Eja's opponents said he was right? Or, is it the other way round?

Kenn1,
Pardon me please, perhaps I was having trouble interpreting the following quotes from you


Post #57, Jan 24, 2008, 06:00 AM

The problem we have here is that while those of us on this side of the debate accept Eja’s mono-cultural definition of nation as legitimate, he refuses to accept the equally legitimate multi-cultural definition of Nigeria as nation. The reason for this is obvious. Accepting this equally traditional definition of nation simply defeats his thesis. But whether he likes it or not, that’s the reality...

#59 Jan 24, 2008, 08:16 AM
We need national solidarity to successfully challenge bad governance at all levels; we need people to believe in the modest idea of the nation we already have. If we say there’s no nation yet, then we are suspending belief and thinking in vacuum, because our mere anger does nothing to change anything when the entity does not exist as it should in our consciousness. Yes, our leaders have failed us; the British cobbled us together and there are clear internal structural imbalances. Yet, our only hope does not lie in shouting: "To your tents O Israel!”, because those who today are living in homogenous nations cannot exactly point to the benefit of that homogeneity over a multicultural entity. We should count our diversity as strength; we should continue to encourage our countrymen and women to think nation and act nationally with that singular aim of building a better nation. We have a nation; it is for us to recognize it and treat it as such.

And to your other question as shown in the following quote


>>>You have also succeeded in exposing the mindset of those who are supporters of the status quo, and the underlying assumptions of their prefered solution, as well as their weaknesses.<<<


What status quo? Does the fact that we believe that there is indeed a country called Nigeria mean we support the status quo in Nigeria?

Well, I was only replying to your use of the term 'irrenditists'. I just assumed that the oposite of it, in this context, is "supporters of the status quo'.

As you might well be aware, I have never tried to disguise my irrenditist views. And it is a strongly albeit painful opinion. It has cost and is still costing me a lot of headache. But I believe I have reason on my side. And that is the main problem.

But honestly Kenn, I am glad you found the time to write those lines to me. I was just about placing a bet on the fact that I am in your ignore list. I have been desperately seeking your attention, my dear Nigerian brother.

Cheers and be blessed.

Kenn
Jan 30, 2008, 09:47 PM
Austin,

Yes, you've misread my quotes in question. I wasn't saying Eja is right. What I was referring to was his ethnically-closed definition of nation. I was saying he only acknowledged a convenient definition that suits his debating position when the facts show that another traditional definition easily pooh-poohs that debating position. I was saying we acknowledge all valid definitions of nation while still credibly holding on to our debating position. I was saying this testifies to the validity of our position. In other words, I was saying while Eja's definition of nation is right, it is only one definition and by ruling out other definitions, Eja has showed the falsity/shakiness of his position. In short, I was saying Eja is wrong.

The second quote is basically urging Nigerians "to believe in the modest idea of the nation we already have", which is something Eja does not believe in (as per his position in this debate). I am saying arguments like Eja's are bound to negatively affect our national consciousness. I have always agreed that "there are clear internal structural imbalances", but have equally maintained that irredentism isn't the answer. I'm advocating that rather than seeing our multi-ethnic composition (which is one huge anti-nation argument of the structure-is-the-problem brigade) as the problem, we should see it as strength.

There's nothing I've said in what you've quoted that remotely suggests that Eja's position that this Nigeria will never be a nation is right. I've consistently opposed his proposition and I'm still doing so.




>>>Well, I was only replying to your use of the term 'irrenditists'. I just assumed that the oposite of it, in this context, is "supporters of the status quo'.

As you might well be aware, I have never tried to disguise my irrenditist views. And it is a strongly albeit painful opinion. It has cost and is still costing me a lot of headache. But I believe I have reason on my side. And that is the main problem.<<<


Being a pro-union nationalist does not necessarily mean you support the status quo and being an irredentist also does not necessarily mean you're against it. Supporting the status quo means accepting and being part of the vile establishment running Nigeria aground today. It means accepting that the way things are politically, socially and economically is kosher. Arguing that Nigeria is a nation does not in anyway support this view; it only supports the fact that Nigeria is a nation, seen and accepted as such by its nationals and the international community. While I do not doubt your irredentist credentials or the honesty of your belief, I need not remind you that there are seemingly rabid ethnic-mongers in Nigeria who use the ethnic card as a leverage to partake in establishment spoliation of the polity.




>>>But honestly Kenn, I am glad you found the time to write those lines to me. I was just about placing a bet on the fact that I am in your ignore list. I have been desperately seeking your attention, my dear Nigerian brother.<<<


How can I ignore the great Austin?:biggrin: How can I ignore you? Apart from being a jolly good fellow, you've always brought value to discussions on the Nigeria Village Square. It would be my loss to ignore you; so, I dare not!:D

I bow and tremble!


CHEERS AND STAY BLESSED!

Kenn
Jan 30, 2008, 11:19 PM
DeepThought,

It is not enough that you've assaulted our intellectual palates with one or two bad desserts after such a good meal of a debate; you're actually intent on dishing out more! How much more of this do we have to suffer? How much more distasteful can it get? It's obvious that the more this discussion goes on, the more your facade wears thin and the more people realize that circumlocution cannot substitute for substance. From your latest offering, it is safe to say you're now wearing your self-created bombastic crown and, from where I'm sitting, I think it fits perfectly! Listen, my friend, you are trying too hard - you're labouring in vain, digging yourself deeper into a hole. Naturally, this Sisyphean struggle of yours brings me no joy; but, of course, I must continue to try to set you aright. It's my lot and I gladly accept it, even though I don't have much time to spend on these pages nowadays.




>>>Many definitions of irredentism abound and you did not elaborate on which particular one you mean. The one below is disagreable to me and I want to make sure that you will rule it out for reasons I will explain immediately afterwards.

Irredentism is any position advocating annexation of territories administered by another state on the grounds of common ethnicity and/or prior historical possession

Fear mongering, using the imminent and automatic break up of Nigeria and the progession to war is a tactic used by those who don't want any examination of the structure of Nigeria . Your accusation of irredentism is precisely the type of argument that fuels that line of though.<<<


What has "accusation" got to do with being an irredentist? Where is the fear-mongering coming from? Who is beating the war drum here but you? It's amusing how far you'll go to make a non-existent case. How can you blatantly claim that there are many definitions of irredentism without providing more than one? And, even the one you provided, you claim not to agree with! Where are these many definitions of irredentism you speak about? Indeed, where is your own very definition of irredentism – the one you supposedly agree with?

The fact is there's no difference between the definition you provided and mine, because the question of annexation in the definition you provided is merely incidental, not substantive to the definition. Obviously, the annexation bit is a carryover from the Italian etymology of the word, but it's since outgrown that initial circumscription in contemporary English usage. What is substantive is the fact that the irredentist craves for an ethnically homogenous state and he can campaign for this peacefully or by force. So, whether he/she does this by annexation, by incorporation, by negotiation with other federating units, by unilaterally pulling out of a federation or by any other means imaginable, all he/she wants to achieve is a state created on common ethnicity. In other words, that definition of yours is only relevant where advocates consider a military option. But since Eja was and still is not advocating war/annexation/force/military option in any way, I used the right definition that fits his sentiments. The question therefore is whether Eja's view is irredentist in the form I defined it, not whether there are other definitions of irredentism. If, for instance, I say DeepThought, a thirty-something, forty-something or fifty-something year old man is a male, it would serve no purpose to remind me that a boy is also a male since my subject isn't a boy, but a man.




>>>I like your sense of drama.
Metaphorically, the chicken and egg proposition remains problematic. Disciplinarily, it is not. Microbiologists have solved that problem for us. Those who care to know, know that the egg came first.

However, I use the term in a metaphoric manner, because the leavership vs structure problem is still unresolved. I'm glad you have resolved this in your own mind and come to the conclusion that structure comes first, even though that answer has not been arrived at by many.<<<


Who are these mythical "many" you refer to? Of what value is the tautological restatement that you're using the term chicken and egg in a metaphorical manner when the term on its own is a metaphor? What is more dramatic than a man who does not know the difference between microbiologists and evolutionary biologists pretending to know enough to educate others? You see, what you have done, apart from calling up the wrong discipline as authority, is to use a foul metaphor to explain what you don't know. All I have done is to show this in simple straightforward terms. Of course, you're entitled to insist on believing what you want to believe, but it won't be out of lack of trying on my part.





>>>If structure were self powered, the chicken and egg metaphor would not have been used, so that is a non sequitur, a very poor rebbutal that does not address anything .<<<


What cheek! You've spent the whole debate perorating about structure at the expense of leadership or the human element and when your underbelly is exposed, you run back to take refuge in a non-self powering structure in the form of a chicken and egg metaphor! My friend, all you need is education! The chicken and egg expression is often misused and that is what you've done here. Listen again - to think of the relationship between structure and leadership as a chicken and egg situation is misleading for the reasons I explained to you earlier. A pedagogy that starts on such a faulty premise never gives the right result. The importance of a good and accurate metaphor in learning cannot be over-emphasized.





>>>Anyway, to summarize your position, it seems that you believe that by structure, I refer merely to the physical composition of Nigeria 's ethnicity and you affirm that that this is the only thing that is still subsisting from the Nigeria created by the British?<<<


No, that's not only a poor summary; it's factually wrong as well! What have you been reading? In my Posts Nos 71 and 72, I pointed out your obvious confusion in the use of the term structure. Rather than attempt to explain yourself better, you muddied the waters further by deepening your confusion! In the end, after your long speech on structure (supposedly meant to further explain what you mean exactly), what you've succeeded in doing is to confirm what I said earlier, which is that "you have this ingrained notion that structure is an omnibus term for all that is bad about Nigeria, but with fundamental base in the country's composition as a multi-ethnic nation". If you doubt me, go back and read yourself again!





>>>Going back to your affirmation about what persists in Nigeria today from the old Colonial legacy, I'm sure that even you will agree that, up till today, the legal system and laws Nigeria uses to define itself are inherited so it would be wrong to suggest that the only thing still subsisting from the British invention known as Nigeria is just the ethnic composition of Nigeria.<<<


Your argument here is irredeemably pedestrian. First, when I talk of the physical structure being the only thing the British did that's still subsisting, I'm talking of what is subsisting wholly as created or established by the British. Of course, nobody is saying there are no other colonial or British influences in our national life, but the creation of the entity called Nigeria with its physical boundaries and ethnic composition is the only British action still left wholly intact after our independence and establishment of indigenous government. Thus, your argument that "the legal system and the laws Nigeria uses to define itself are inherited" is not only fallacious, but it is indeed self-defeating as well.

It is fallacious on the ground that though our legal system today has a lot of British influence through received common law it is no less indigenous than any other legal system in the world. For instance, here you are saying our laws are inherited from Britain, but didn't the British common law itself have Germanic and Roman antecedents? Should we now say the laws Britain uses to define itself are "inherited"? How about such other common law jurisdictions like United States, Canada and Australia? Are they also tied to the apron strings of Britain?

The fact is you cannot reinvent the wheel in jurisprudential development. Jurisdictions are always bound to copy from each other; what matters is that you make and administer your laws as a sovereign nation. We do not go to the Privy Council or the House of Lords for decisions; we have our own Supreme Court. We do not adopt legislations from Westminster; our National Assembly make our laws. Thus, we are operating the system of law we have today, not necessarily because it is imposed, but more because it is in line with modern legal principles that every civilized nation strives to follow and which are also the bases of their legal relationships in the international system. And that brings me to the point I made about it being self-defeating. Are you not the same person (in your Post No 65 to Gentle Angel) advocating for a restructuring of the country "in a more equitable way to assure a Nation build (sic) on a foundation of justice, rule of law, e.t.c"? The question is where did you get the concept of the "rule of law"? Is that concept indigenous to Nigeria or accepted as part of received common law and English principles of justice? Of course, you know the answer and the answer exposes your hypocrisy.




CHEERS!

denker
Jan 31, 2008, 05:10 AM
...i have no doubt, bros kenn1, is a learned mind...how i wished we have many of them on dis board...!

thank you once again...great mind!

Kenn
Jan 31, 2008, 06:31 AM
Denker,

Thank you for your gracious words. I wouldn't go as far as saying I'm a learned mind, but I know I'm experienced and knowledgeable enough about my country to defend my beliefs about her anywhere. And the good thing is there are many, many Nigerians who can credibly claim the same, here on this board and elsewhere! You, of course, are very much among!

Nigeria is always calling; one day, one great historical day, that critical mass will obey!


STAY BLESSED!




Eja,



Thanks DeepThought, very well put.

I hope the ones you are addressing will read the whole post and respond to the actual points you have raised...instead of this repeated tactic of assigning motives that were never intended to the opposition and arguing solely against those motives. It is also to be hoped that we will now see reasons given (by the opposition) why the explanations already proffered for the use of terms like "defective structure" will not suffice.

Kenn1 has already stated that he is against circular arguments...well, I hope he will now deal with the line of thought that led up to the use of the term rather than merely restating his opposition to its use.



The above is a good example of what I am talking about. Structure has already been identified as a thing that has a largely human component. Yet, we are asked again, "where is the human element?" and "Of what value is the human element in sustaining or changing structure?" - that last question being one that was already answered way back in the debate when the lack of institutions (and programs) that fostered the type of national unity that cuts across/over-rides all current divisions was identified as one of the circumstances working against the creation of a Nigerian nation.

In short, since it has already been asserted that such institutions/programs do not exist at this time, logic should tell us that by implication, the value of the "human element" within this current structure (whether it be changing or static) will in fact be a negative number.

Rather than asking the same types of questions over and over again (and concealing this tactic by re-wording the questions), I would like to see opposing arguments that do not rely on contrived 'patriotism' and emotionalism.

I hope that if/when he replies to the statement I made above, Kenn1 will know better than to use moribund bodies/symbols like the Nigerian military, the NYSC, the flag, the anthem and the Naira as examples to support his contrary position.

It is also interesting that at the beginning of the paragraph quoted above we see the garrison commander (Kenn1), typically engaging in his tactic of first defining the meaning of what his opponents propose; i.e. he categorically states (with reference to a term used by his opponents) that it is "no matter what you or anyone says in this debate..."

In other words, he will tell you what you mean, and, after he has told you what you mean, he will debate with you.

What the above tactic reveals of its user is one who is unable to find reasonable fault with the logic of his opponents propositions. However, since his taste for blood has been stirred, he will still attack anyway.

Shame Kenn1, shame! And on a Sunday too....:frown:.




I've read your above post and I have to sadly but reluctantly admit that even someone who's contributed to a great debate can in a moment of intellectual weakness reduce it into a farce. What am I supposed to be ashamed of? That I'm able to systematically expose the vacuity of your position and the desperate attempt by DeepThought to muddy the waters? So, you actually think DeepThought has said anything worth debating in his last posts? You think he's made actual points? And you indeed think I'm the one "assigning motives that were never intended to the opposition and arguing solely against those motives"? No Sir! No matter the discussion I'm involved in, whether in the form of pointed debates of this nature or general commentary on the larger board or elsewhere, one thing I try to do is stick with the facts of the exchange. For instance, if I tell you my opponent said this, you can be sure it's what they said. I'm always quick to push people's words in their faces if they deny it. So, I challenge you to do the same to me. Point out to me where I've ascribed motives I can't defend with facts on the board! What I did by exposing DeepThought's ‘structural' confusion is so basic it doesn't need much argument. The facts speak for themselves. If you had any iota of intellectual fidelity, you would have noted this. But no, you're bent on going to the proverbial grave with this coffin! And as the ever-ready undertaker, it's my pleasure to be of help!:lol:

Now, I'm still assuming you're an intelligent and honest man. So, I'm going to set you a task at the end of which I hope we'll be able to expose who indeed is ascribing motives in this debate that they cannot defend by the very fact of their own words. I want you to scroll back to DeepThought's Post No 74 which is where you excerpted that first quote of his with which you introduced your above post. I want you to read my own excerpt to which he was supposedly responding in that post. Please, take time and do that first before returning to continue reading this post. Please.

Now, having done that, are you still convinced DeepThought was actually reading me well? If you are, then maybe you've forgotten that what I accused the man of is that he has an unhealthily fluid definition of structure that borders on confusion. Since when has a request for conceptual clarification become "fear mongering and raising the spectre of balkanization"? Have I ever advocated throughout this debate or elsewhere that we should not examine "the structural underpinnings of Nigeria"? Of course, the natural and only successful result of any irredentist thought (where Nigeria is concerned) is a break-up of the nation as it is; but it's not necessarily bad and I haven't said it's bad! I have referred to you as an irredentist and I didn't do so in a derogatory way neither did I say such a view was destructive. I've referred to you in that light more in an ideological manner to define your position in the debate. You yourself have proved it with your arguments. Again, Austin has reiterated the fact that he's an irredentist and I do not question the honesty of his belief. But I disagree with irredentists ideologically and I've stated why.

What I'm saying is, for the purposes of this debate, you and DeepThought need to focus. For the purpose of this debate, I disagree with irredentists, because I believe Nigeria is already a nation. You and some other Nigerians may have irredentist ideas, but those ideas do not in anyway vitiate the fact that Nigeria is a nation. I've gone further to make a case for a multi-ethnic nation (alongside the very able Mulan) by stating that it is indeed an asset, even though in Nigeria's case so far it is an abused blessing considering the way our leadership have failed to harness it. I've said multi-ethnic nations since Westphalia seem to have made better progress than mono-ethnic entities and that there's nothing that guarantees that mono-ethnic composition automatically equates to progress. My disagreement with irredentists isn't one based on a blind attachment to the idea of Nigerian unity. After, all I support a Sovereign National Conference with full constituent powers and if such a conference agrees, for instance, that it is better that we all go our separate ways, why should I have a problem with that, as far as its done freely, fairly, openly and peacefully?

Thus, if anyone is breeding scaremongers, it's clearly not me. What I am saying is what is, not what you and DeepThought are imagining! You are the ones assigning motives; I don't have to. When I talked about "balkanization", it was in form of a rhetorical question to support my position that one needs to first sort out in his/her mind what they mean by structure clearly for the purposes of this debate. I gave an instance with my own criticism of structure and what I refer to when speaking about it. It was in support of that view that I raised the rhetorical question on balkanisation to indicate that I see no value in it, because "the internalised workings and operations of the socio-political and economic system" would still remain infected in a balkanized state for the simple reason that homogeneity is relative, for instance, the likely coming to fore of intra-Yoruba clan divisions in any proposed sovereign Yoruba state!

The second portion of your post, where again you excerpted my quote and went on to say it's an example of what you're talking about actually had me scratching my head. The way you're claiming credit there about structure being "identified as a thing that has a largely human component" is absolutely funny. Now, tell me, who first identified it in this debate? Was it you? Was it DeepThought? Of course not! When Denker pointed out the human element in form of queries to DeepThought, the latter sarcastically feigned ignorance, because he knew for years, he'd failed to provide adequate response to that question. But as soon as Gentle Angel and I joined Denker to accentuate that human element, DeepThought ran out on the board to ‘educate' us on it! Of course, we continue to ask: "where is the human element?" because we know the human element is ACTIVE and that active human element is the leadership! Structure is dormant until leadership acts on it to shape and make it into whatever it wants! Your claim that you (or someone else) have "already answered way back" any question on structure and the human element by identifying "the lack of institutions (and programs) that fostered the type of national unity that cuts across/over-rides all current divisions" as "one of the circumstances working against the creation of a Nigerian nation" is not even worth considering. It's obvious you don't know what you're talking about! I mean, how can I take you seriously when, apart from your claim being absolutely unrelated to the issue, you went on to declare " the Nigerian military, the NYSC, the flag, the anthem and the Naira" as moribund bodies and symbols while warning that I shouldn't use them as institutional symbols of the nation? First, go check the meaning of the word "moribund" and tell me how it applies to an existing and operational national army or any of these institutions and symbols mentioned there. I said this has become a farce earlier. If we need any proof, it's this kind of headless talk!

The last portion of your post is hilarious. Hear yourself:

>>>It is also interesting that at the beginning of the paragraph quoted above we see the garrison commander (Kenn1), typically engaging in his tactic of first defining the meaning of what his opponents propose; i.e. he categorically states (with reference to a term used by his opponents) that it is "no matter what you or anyone says in this debate..."

In other words, he will tell you what you mean, and, after he has told you what you mean, he will debate with you.

What the above tactic reveals of its user is one who is unable to find reasonable fault with the logic of his opponents propositions. However, since his taste for blood has been stirred, he will still attack anyway.<<<



To start with, what I said there about structure is a mere dictionary summary definition of structure as it could possibly mean in our usage(s) here in this debate:

(a) the form Nigeria is geographically (anyone with a map of Nigeria would understand this)

(b) the manner of how that form came (anyone with an understanding of how the ethnic groups are put together or arranged to form the nation also know this)

(c) the people peculiarly subservient to that entity as citizens (anyone with a sociological idea of the people and how they organize and run their families and communities and the nature of relationships also know this)

It was not a tactics, just a restatement of the diverse definitions of structure. I didn't invent them – they're there in the dictionary, which is why I started by saying irrespective of what any of us in the debate thinks, no matter how we define structure of Nigeria, it will fall into one or more of the definitions above. I was not imposing it on anybody; I was only repeating in my own words what is available in any dictionary. So I wonder why you're treating this with such suspicion.

I'm really amused that you're joining to dumb down this debate in a vain attempt to support DeepThought who's way over his head in this one.:D




CHEERS!

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 31, 2008, 12:10 PM
Kenn1, lets go back to basics. Lets go at this one (or two) little step(s) at a time, maybe then, we will see what each other is saying.

You say that this Nigeria is already a nation.

1. What are the unique Nigerian characteristics/qualities that define this Nigerian nation?

2. Imagine that you were given the job of educating a non-African who was previously unfamiliar with African cultural traits: now, without using geography, how would you teach such a one to differentiate between the Nigerian nation and the Beninois nation? And, how would you teach such a one to differentiate between the nations of Nigeria and Niger?

In answering the above, please remember that there is a difference between the State and the Nation.

Khalil
Jan 31, 2008, 01:00 PM
I've read with interest the submissions of the two major debaters as much from many side commentators especially Kenn1 who followed the line of thought of Mulan, which is pacifist, optimistic and idealist in perspective akin to that of the prayerful religionists portrayed in the modern popular literature as winning only on the account of their belief and hope.

The other group in the mould of Eja's opinion as supported by DeepTaught, is the one which is realist to the core and claims being true African but lives in the white colonialists paradigm of forming a political entity based only on geographo-ethnic loyalty just like the nation-states of Europe! One wonders why they have to claim being original Africans with true African perspectives of issues in philosophy and world view and yet go to Europe and borrow concepts of forming political union even as they often claim others are the ones who are still mentally colonized!

Well, my respect to all of the commentators as well as the debaters - even as I withdraw my intention to ask for Mulan's hand, for the fear of an intellectual domination, that is likely to follow later, in the marriage - but my opinion is round around the midpoints of the expounded thesis from each side.

For Mulan's camp, I do not think only hope, faith, prayer and facts as such that Nigeria is legally known in the world as a nation, can save Nigeria and make it a stronger nation as your idealistic standings go to portray.

I also do not think the problem in Nigeria is the leaders, after all the leaders are first human beings like leaders elsewhere who were and are able to make their different countries prosper as opposed to Nigeria which is NOT prospering at any front! God is not partial to have created bad leaders in Nigeria and good ones elsewhere. There must be something wrong with Nigeria as an administrative entity whether as federation or confederation since both experiments show maximum defects in concepts as much in practice. I suppose optimism, hope and faith, in the like of what you are displaying here, should come only when one in on the right ladder to heavens high! You can't put your ladder in the direction of the under water and expect it to ascend you to the heavens. But unfortunately this is what I think you people have been doing in this debate.

For Eja's camp, I think it is the same when one takes the points to the extreme by using the same tools of social analysis deployed by the enemy, white man, in arriving at the conclusion that what white man did was correct or wrong. Reason here demands that we use different tools of analysis to understand the nature of forming political entities, see where white man went wrong in making tribe and ethnic affiliation a basic requirement in belonging to political entities or not. Then move forward to look at Nigeria with our new found paradigm, and finally decide on the type of nation we want out of it but certainly not the one white man created in 1914 and of course not the one he has conditioned us to think and believe it should make the founding note of all nations as we can see in the models of the ethnic enclaves he created in Europe and America.

Finally my take is, no nation ever thrives without a dominating cultural spirit and spiritual tendency, which is absent in the present Nigeria. But there are nations that survive as multi ethnic, multi tribal nations as against what Eja and co are saying!

In that I'll be ready to come up with a well thought out position from perspectives of history, sociology and political philosophy, ones I get anybody willing to engage me in a fair debate as seen in the case of Eja and Mulan for whom my respect will continue to accrue until the last human being in my lineage have read what they have written here. I have already printed copies and shared to all those who care to read around me.

Khalilurrahman

Myne Whitman
Jan 31, 2008, 01:40 PM
In that I'll be ready to come up with a well thought out position from perspectives of history, sociology and political philosophy, ones I get anybody willing to engage me in a fair debate as seen in the case of Eja and Mulan for whom my respect will continue to accrue until the last human being in my lineage have read what they have written here. I have already printed copies and shared to all those who care to read around me.

Khalil,

Thanks for your kind words and your analysis of the positions Eja and I took in the debate. I would like to suggest that you pick a proposition and start up a new thread. I am already an addict of the crucible and would be looking forward to the next debate.

ps. Kenn1, Austin and DeepThought pls take note...

Ishola Taiwo
Jan 31, 2008, 06:02 PM
The other group in the mould of Eja's opinion as supported by DeepThought, is the one which is realist to the core and claims being true African but lives in the white colonialists paradigm of forming a political entity based only on geographo-ethnic loyalty just like the nation-states of Europe! One wonders why they have to claim being original Africans with true African perspectives of issues in philosophy and world view and yet go to Europe and borrow concepts of forming political union even as they often claim others are the ones who are still mentally colonized!

For Eja's camp, I think it is the same when one takes the points to the extreme by using the same tools of social analysis deployed by the enemy, white man, in arriving at the conclusion that what white man did was correct or wrong. Reason here demands that we use different tools of analysis to understand the nature of forming political entities, see where white man went wrong in making tribe and ethnic affiliation a basic requirement in belonging to political entities or not. Then move forward to look at Nigeria with our new found paradigm, and finally decide on the type of nation we want out of it but certainly not the one white man created in 1914 and of course not the one he has conditioned us to think and believe it should make the founding note of all nations as we can see in the models of the ethnic enclaves he created in Europe and America.

Finally my take is, no nation ever thrives without a dominating cultural spirit and spiritual tendency, which is absent in the present Nigeria. But there are nations that survive as multi ethnic, multi tribal nations as against what Eja and co are saying!

Khalilurrahman

Thanks for the kind word Khalil. But what you failed to see (in your hurry to once again assure me that I am just like a 'white' man..:lol:), is the fact that what you called for in your second paragraph is what I (and DeepThought) tried to do.

In other words, we have tried to "use different tools of analysis to understand the nature of forming political entities.."

Khalil, I think it is the fact that I have been constrained into communicating with English in this medium that caused your misapprehension. Otherwise, you would not be telling me that my conception of what a nation is, my conception of what identity is, and my expressed ideas regarding the ways of molding either (or both) was something that I acquired from European thought.

Now, first I would like to ask you to produce a passage (if you can) from what I had written previously where I stated a preference for Nigeria to be split into ethnically pure nations, then, I would also ask if you can read the Yoruba language.

If you can, then perhaps I will re-communicate my thoughts to you in that language...:D. Maybe then, you be able to see that it is possible for an African to construct joined up ideas without borrowing philosophy from Europe.

As a Yoruba person, I have within my cultural heritage resonant words that are related to the concept of nationhood. This is because these words (due to the nature of the language) carry within them the primal meanings of the concept they describe.

These are individual words that a thesis could be written on.

When I hear phrases like "ara mi" or "awon eniyan mi" (both roughly translating to "my people"), I feel the meaning deeper than when I hear the same thing said in English. This is because the word "eniyan" itself (for example) has a deeper meaning when its etymology is examined. And, "ara mi", while also possessing a rich etymology, is one phrase that finds two ways of precisely describing components of life that are bound to me.

You did say some interesting things but unfortunately, it seems that like some others, you are also programmed to reach towards certain preset conclusions whenever you are confronted with certain cues.

Neither I nor DeepThought advocated the splitting of Nigeria into smaller units as a precondition of its achieving nationhood. Yet you (like others) have partly based your reading on the persistent assumption that this had been said.

Also, neither DeepThought or I had claimed that the ethnically pure state is the ideal form of a nation, yet you (like others) have spoken as if this precise condition had been laid down by us.

But when we look at what was actually said, we find that DeepThought had specifically mentioned the possibility of the Nigerian nation actually consisting of a larger geographical area than it has at present. In other words, a Nigerian nation that is created as an act of free will by all the peoples within her borders could actually be more diverse than what we currently have at present.

And here, is where we actually find that rather than do what you recommend, which is to "use different tools of analysis to understand the nature of forming political entities..", some of us (perhaps because they believe that if a thing has not been done yet by a non-African, then it cannot be done), refuse to embark on the necessary journey towards uncharted territories. So basically, after much futile wrestling with alien-derived definitions/constructs, we are confronted with reasons why Nigeria can only continue as it is. After a patch-up here, and a patch up there.

Khalil, long before Europe came onto the domestic scene, Africans knew about to create nations. If you know anything about African history, you would know this. You would also know that there are peoples in Africa who are currently described as one ethnic group today who were not so centuries ago. This was the point I had being trying to illustrate when I used the example of the Ashanti. What the founders of the Ashanti nation did was the same thing the founders of the Zulu and Yoruba nations did. They took a diverse group and they constructed tools to make them one. They constructed foci of unity that had meanings on deep levels to all who were encompassed within the description and, I brought up their example not as a way of saying let us return to those days but, as a way of saying we can learn from these societal engineers of the past.

Kenn
Jan 31, 2008, 08:35 PM
Eja,

>>>Kenn1, lets go back to basics. Lets go at this one (or two) little step(s) at a time, maybe then, we will see what each other is saying.

You say that this Nigeria is already a nation.

1. What are the unique Nigerian characteristics/qualities that define this Nigerian nation?<<<


First, if you'd answered the questions I asked you earlier in this debate in my Post No 29 on this thread, you would have had the answers you now seek from me! At any rate, let me be the one to return you to basics. Remember, neither Mulan nor myself are the Proposers in this debate. You, Eja, thought about something, came out to the board and challenged anyone to debate your Proposition. The Proposition here is not that Nigeria is already a nation. The Proposition you, Eja, put out is "This Nigeria will never be a nation". Now, if that is the Proposition, which we all know it is and if you are the Proposer, as we know you are, I can gladly submit that you should be the one to tell us why you think Nigeria isn't and never will be a nation. In law, as in everyday life, he who claims proves. You have claimed that Nigeria will never be a nation, in other words, that Nigeria is not a nation; so, please, do the honours – prove to us that Nigeria is not and will never be a nation. Don't ask me to give you "the unique characteristics/qualities that define this Nigerian nation". You should be educating us on those characteristics/qualities that traditional nations have that Nigeria does not have to warrant you saying she is not a nation. And, please, note that it is not about whether Nigeria is a good or bad nation – it is about whether Nigeria is a nation.

Nonetheless, just so you don't go running around claiming I avoided answering your question, I will give you a brief answer. While various nations would claim to be unique (and to a great extent, they are), there are general characteristics/qualities that define them and make them to be known and recognized as nations by their citizens and the world. Mulan and I have given you loads and loads of these in earlier parts of this debate. But suffice it to say here that the fact that Nigeria is comprised of a politically organized body of people under a single national government, run centrally from Abuja (Nigeria's capital city), qualifies her as a nation. You may want to also know that Nigerians at home and abroad recognize her as a nation and deal with her as such. You may want to know that Nigeria has her laws and legal system enforced and administered throughout the territory and, where necessary, administered elsewhere by reciprocity or through international instruments. You may want to know that Nigeria enters into bilateral and multilateral agreements and treaties with other nations on the basis of being a sovereign nation. You may want to know that Nigeria appoints ambassadors and envoys to other countries and that these ambassadors and envoys are so recognized as representatives of the nation of Nigeria. Nigeria has an internationally recognized currency, accepted as legal tender throughout the country and elsewhere like the currencies of other nations. Indeed, you may want to know that Nigeria is a nation because YOU are a Nigerian and that is why you're here discussing Nigeria!





>>>2. Imagine that you were given the job of educating a non-African who was previously unfamiliar with African cultural traits: now, without using geography, how would you teach such a one to differentiate between the Nigerian nation and the Beninois nation? And, how would you teach such a one to differentiate between the nations of Nigeria and Niger?

In answering the above, please remember that there is a difference between the State and the Nation.<<<


What is the difference between state and nation? I will tell you. First, there are two types of nations. There is the nation you defined as "a corporate body that is made up of people who share a common culture, language (dialects omitted) and often, a common creation mythology that describes the progenitor of the nation as a direct ancestor (biological or image-wise) of all who belong to the nation." Then, there is the nation I defined as "a politically organized body of people under one government".

In the first case (your definition), such nations may be sovereign or not. Where the nation comprises itself into one sovereign entity, it can be regarded as a nation-state. Where it is not sovereign, but only part of a sovereign entity along with other nations – as in the case of the Yoruba, Igbo, Edo or Ezon nations in the sovereign entity known as Nigeria, they'll still be regarded as nations, but only in the sense of your own definition. To be regarded as nations under my own definition, all they need (be they mono or multi-ethnic) is to be under a single national government. So, in my context, the Yoruba, Igbo, Edo and Ezon nations would only be components of the nation of Nigeria. They can never be considered as states, because states, whether comprised of mono or multi-ethnic entities have to be sovereign. Only Nigeria can therefore be considered as a state, because it has sovereignty.

So, to break it down, a sovereign nation with a single ethnic or cultural group can be considered a state, nation, or a nation-state. Sovereign entities with multiple ethnic compositions can be states or nations (and sometimes nation-states for propaganda purposes or depending on the overwhelmingly massive size of the majority ethnic or cultural group compared to others within the entity). States and nations are therefore the same if the nation is sovereign; but where the nation is only a component group within another entity and without sovereign status of its own, it cannot be considered a state.

As per the substantive question, I wonder why you're removing geography and what purpose that will serve since all nations of whatever nomenclature must, as a matter of definition, be geographically positioned. For instance, your definition of nation and indeed any definition of nation must be posited in a geographical space. So, why would you want me to "differentiate between Nigerian nation and the Beninois nation" without geography? It's like describing a house without location or asking me to think without a brain.

Of course, different people have different characteristics and, sometimes, common characteristics that define them. But that is neither here nor there when we're discussing nations because the fact of a nation is de facto and de jure. Nations are nations because they're so in fact and in law irrespective of who and who make them up or whether or not people who make them up also spread into other nations, e.g. the Yoruba in Benin or the Hausa and Fulani in Niger and so on. Perhaps, you're expecting me to say I would define or describe the peoples of these countries you mention in ethnic terms, but even such a definition has geographical implications. Before the white man came and created the so-called artificial borders, there were ethnic borders, even if they weren't represented in 'readable' maps. Nations have fought wars over borders since time immemorial!

So, really, your question is otiose. To educate "a non-African who was previously unfamiliar with African cultural traits" the difference "between the Nigerian nation and the Beninois nation" or "between the nations of Nigeria and Niger", you must have a conception or conceptions of Benin, Nigeria and Niger and whatever the conception, it must fit into space and must therefore be geographical. Even if the whiteman hadn't come and we're talking pre-colonial conception, it still will have to fit into a geographical space, only it won't obviously correspond with the present national space(s) created by the whiteman.

You really have to cut the chase and explain your purpose for the questions in order for us to have a productive discussion. As far as I'm concerned, and as I've showed with my response, these two questions you've raised are actually of no great value. They serve no purpose in the larger debate as far as I can see. Perhaps, you may want to explain why you're asking these questions and why you think they're important or indeed how they're supposed to help us return to basics.



CHEERS!

Kenn
Feb 1, 2008, 11:53 AM
Khalil,

>>>I've read with interest the submissions of the two major debaters as much from many side commentators especially Kenn1 who followed the line of thought of Mulan, which is pacifist, optimistic and idealist in perspective akin to that of the prayerful religionists portrayed in the modern popular literature as winning only on the account of their belief and hope.<<<


Where did you get the idea that we’re merely being “idealist in perspective”? Of course, every true patriot of any nation will always be prayerful for his/her country. Mulan and I are no different.



>>>The other group in the mould of Eja's opinion as supported by DeepTaught, is the one which is realist to the core and claims being true African but lives in the white colonialists paradigm of forming a political entity based only on geographo-ethnic loyalty just like the nation-states of Europe! One wonders why they have to claim being original Africans with true African perspectives of issues in philosophy and world view and yet go to Europe and borrow concepts of forming political union even as they often claim others are the ones who are still mentally colonized!

Well, my respect to all of the commentators as well as the debaters - even as I withdraw my intention to ask for Mulan's hand, for the fear of an intellectual domination, that is likely to follow later, in the marriage - but my opinion is round around the midpoints of the expounded thesis from each side.<<<



While I’m not going to speak for Eja and DeepThought on your accusation that their opinion is “in the white colonialists paradigm of forming a political entity based only on geographo-ethnic loyalty just like the nation-states of Europe” (as I'm sure they can speak for themselves), I take issue with your description of their idea as “realist to the core”, especially having already described our own ideas as “idealist in perspective”. If I must remind you, this is a debate with a Proposition, which states: “This Nigeria will never be a nation”. In the course of the debate, Eja, the Proposer has admitted that he shouldn’t have put in the word “never” and that a more accurate Proposition should have been “This Nigeria is not a nation” (which was actually the exact way I suggested he frames the Proposition earlier). At any rate, the point I’m making here is that it is quite a conceptual and logical twist to describe a Proposition based on such clearly unrealistic (and possibly) idealistic premise that the nation of Nigeria (which we can find on a map and which you and I hold its passport) does not exist as “realist to the core”, while turning around to describe our own opposition, grounded in the hardcore reality of knowing that indeed a nation called Nigeria exists as “idealist in perspective”! What is idealistic in believing that a nation like Nigeria exists? What is idealistic in stating that Nigeria is a political organization of people within a known geographical space, under a single government? Are you saying Nigeria does not exist? If so, you should firmly be joining the Eja camp, because a pointed debate of this nature has no room for sitting on the fence or claiming you’re in “the midpoints of the expounded thesis from each side”. Debates are about taking sides, not hanging in the middle like a Florida chad!:lol:

.



>>>For Mulan's camp, I do not think only hope, faith, prayer and facts as such that Nigeria is legally known in the world as a nation, can save Nigeria and make it a stronger nation as your idealistic standings go to portray.<<<


That is not the point. We are not here to discuss saving Nigeria or making Nigeria a stronger nation. There are enough other avenues and sections here at The Nigerian Village Square for commentaries of that nature. Here is The Crucible and at The Crucible, we engage in “Pointed Debates” in the tradition of such debates everywhere. This means we have to focus on a Proposition and either fully take a side supporting it or take the side opposing it. No midway and no peroration about saving Nigeria or making it stronger. Is Nigeria a nation or not? It’s as simple as that. It’s not whether Nigeria is a good, bad, strong or weak nation.





>>>I also do not think the problem in Nigeria is the leaders, after all the leaders are first human beings like leaders elsewhere who were and are able to make their different countries prosper as opposed to Nigeria which is NOT prospering at any front! God is not partial to have created bad leaders in Nigeria and good ones elsewhere. There must be something wrong with Nigeria as an administrative entity whether as federation or confederation since both experiments show maximum defects in concepts as much in practice. I suppose optimism, hope and faith, in the like of what you are displaying here, should come only when one in on the right ladder to heavens high! You can't put your ladder in the direction of the under water and expect it to ascend you to the heavens. But unfortunately this is what I think you people have been doing in this debate. <<<


Again, you miss the point! Nobody is saying only one sole factor (leadership or structure) is the problem with Nigeria. There are several factors, but leadership and structure as factors came to the fore in the context of this debate because both sides rely in varying degrees on these factors to show that either the nation doesn’t exist because there’s a fundamental structural defect (as argued by the Proposer and his supporters here) or it exists, because in spite of the failure of leadership and a so-called defective structure a nation by the name of Nigeria, known by all as Nigeria, complete with every element of what makes up a nation, exists (as per our own argument). Indeed, at a level, those of us who believe that Nigeria exists consider the structure versus leadership debate a distraction. The opinion you are expressing about Nigeria here is of no value to the debate, except you take a side and argue in support of that side. You cannot sit on your high horse and tell us what is right or wrong with each side. You either join the fray on one side or stay out. It’s a debate, not a traditional discussion thread. Again, let me remind you, this is The Crucible!





>>>For Eja's camp, I think it is the same when one takes the points to the extreme by using the same tools of social analysis deployed by the enemy, white man, in arriving at the conclusion that what white man did was correct or wrong. Reason here demands that we use different tools of analysis to understand the nature of forming political entities, see where white man went wrong in making tribe and ethnic affiliation a basic requirement in belonging to political entities or not. Then move forward to look at Nigeria with our new found paradigm, and finally decide on the type of nation we want out of it but certainly not the one white man created in 1914 and of course not the one he has conditioned us to think and believe it should make the founding note of all nations as we can see in the models of the ethnic enclaves he created in Europe and America.<<<


Good idea, but we are discussing what is, not what you wish it to be!



>>>Finally my take is, no nation ever thrives without a dominating cultural spirit and spiritual tendency, which is absent in the present Nigeria. But there are nations that survive as multi ethnic, multi tribal nations as against what Eja and co are saying!<<<


So, what side of the debate are you on then?:confused:




>>>In that I'll be ready to come up with a well thought out position from perspectives of history, sociology and political philosophy, ones I get anybody willing to engage me in a fair debate as seen in the case of Eja and Mulan for whom my respect will continue to accrue until the last human being in my lineage have read what they have written here. I have already printed copies and shared to all those who care to read around me.<<<


Yeah, take Mulan’s advice and get the ball rolling by opening a thread with a Proposition and initial submission. I’m sure we have enough people here ready to support or take the opposite view of whatever you propose (not sit on the fence like you!:wink:).

So, get started buddy; we’re waiting!




CHEERS!

DeepThought
Feb 3, 2008, 01:45 AM
Kenn,
I've perused your replies and unfortunately, been unable to find much that makes sense to me. All I see is bad reasoning and baseless accusations that your opponents are ""desperate to muddy the waters " followed by self congratulations and back patting about how you are "exposing their vacuous arguments".

Arguing these things with you is like trying to catch a porcupine. I could waste your time and mine by also going on an orgy of self congratulations and a vain glorious crtiticism of how your arguments are "pedestrian, "dumbed down," e.t.c but i think this is unwise so let me simply expose to even you example (s) of your illogic

You say I'm baselessly raising the specter of war but your reasoning is as follows:


Of course, the natural and only successful result of any irredentist thought (where Nigeria is concerned) is a break-up of the nation as it is;


The fact is there’s no difference between the definition you provided and mine, because the question of annexation in the definition you provided is merely incidental, not substantive to the definition.

.........In other words, that definition of yours is only relevant where advocates consider a military option. But since Eja was and still is not advocating war/annexation/force/military option in any way, I used the right definition that fits his sentiments.


And then you have the audacity to ask


Where is the fear-mongering coming from?

Are you for real?

Where is the fear mongering comming from? From you of course and your insistence on slapping the term irredentist on your opponent

If indeed you actually (and suprisingly ) agree with my intepretation of your use of the term "irredentism" , that is the inclusion of annexation of territory, what other proof of fear/war mongering do I need to provide?

I had hoped that you would repudiate that particular intepretation of irredentism and clarify that you didn't mean it that way. I can only say that if you agree with this definition, you were and still are directly or less directly accusing Eja of advocating the breaking up of Nigeria. That is a false flag , an accusation which won't be allowed to stick.

So incidental or not, you should not be using the term to discribe Eja's position since it allows either inadvertently or otherwise, the spectre of war mongering to creep in.




Who are these mythical “many” you refer to? Of what value is the tautological restatement that you’re using the term chicken and egg in a metaphorical manner when the term on its own is a metaphor? What is more dramatic than a man who does not know the difference between microbiologists and evolutionary biologists pretending to know enough to educate others?

Again and again you reveal your ignorance of these things. It wouldn't be important to point this out but for the potential that exist in misleading the unwary by this your authoritarian delivery of fallacy.

The anwer to the parodox was revealed by a study of the genome, something undertaken at the microscopic level by microbiologists, using tools of microbiology. That an evolutionary biologist could also study these things using the tools of microbiology is lost on you?. You don't know that evolutionary biology is an interdisciplinary subject of which microbiolgy is an inescapable faucet.
Please bother to read this (http://www.biologynews.net/archives/2007/10/09/which_came_first_the_chicken_genome_or_the_egg_gen ome.html) too if you care? Also, if you care, read up the definition of evolutionary biology and you will see that it is multidisciplinary, including the use of microbiology. I won't provide any links for you as you won't accept any I provide. But there is a book by Professor Brock that is a good reference and that book is a standard reference used by many universities, including the University of Calgary where I've taken graduate courses that touch on the subject.

As for the "who are the many?", the question of which comes first and which is more important between leadership and structure is one that is of interest to others and already discussed on threads outside of this one. I understand it may not be important to you, but that doesn't mean it isn't to others.




Your argument here is irredeemably pedestrian. First, when I talk of the physical structure being the only thing the British did that’s still subsisting, I’m talking of what is subsisting wholly as created or established by the British.

Lol.
Nice dodge.
Say something false and when called out, rather than accept that you were not clear in your earlier, instead just throw out wild pontifications
Nice dodge.
Lol



It is fallacious on the ground that though our legal system today has a lot of British influence through received common law it is no less indigenous than any other legal system in the world. For instance, here you are saying our laws are inherited from Britain, but didn’t the British common law itself have Germanic and Roman antecedents? Should we now say the laws Britain uses to define itself are “inherited”? How about such other common law jurisdictions like United States, Canada and Australia? Are they also tied to the apron strings of Britain

This is now getting silly.
1.Including aspects of, or having historical traces of different elements in one's laws and subsuming them into one's own indigenous culture over hundreds or thousands of years is quite different from entirely basing one's legal system on a single derivative within a generation.

2. YES, of course, the U.S, Canada and Australia are unashamadely/unappologetic Anglo entities which are willingly and favourably tied to Britain socially, culturally and in all manners of ways in which Nigeria is not and could never be; no questions or doubts about that. Indeed, their legal systems are British derivatives.

3. But if the U.S, Canada and Australia have their legal system based upon the British, why has it worked for them and not worked for us?
The answer to this lies in the difference between "them" and "us" , that is, the fact that along with the legal structure that defines a country, there must be alignment of other important structures such as, but not limited to * ideological *,, political and cultural structures, which the Canadians/U.S/Australians have, but which are obviously lacking in Nigeria


And so, we need to ask at this juncture; does Nigeria want to be a false copy of the Anglo?

In conclusion , let me say this:

My understanding of structure and its importance and relationship to leadership, as well as its effects on a nation is quite different from yours and any attempt to explain this to you is resisted for whatever reason.

I don't believe that Nigeria is a nation in the sense that Eja describes or has defined Nation

I understand your assertions makes for great drama and must be deeply satisfying to you at some psychological level, but is it really, really necessary to confound the readers with such bad reasoning?



Anyway, have a very wonderful day

Homeboy
Feb 3, 2008, 09:52 AM
Hmmmm, this whole theory of irredentism (overflogged word/dodgy implications/results) to me is another mental ''banana Peel'':D:D:D

Kenn
Feb 3, 2008, 11:13 AM
Karo,


Hmmmm, this whole theory of irredentism (overflogged word/dodgy implications/results) to me is another mental ''banana Peel'':D:D:D


It’s a banana peel alright, but someone is obviously slipping and falling on it!:D




DeepThought,

Does a “break-up of the nation” have to be by war? Does every irredentist idea lead to annexation, the use of force or war in achieving its aim?





>>>If indeed you actually (and suprisingly ) agree with my intepretation of your use of the term "irredentism" , that is the inclusion of annexation of territory, what other proof of fear/war mongering do I need to provide? <<<


Don’t kid yourself! That is a definition and an interpretation you took from Wikipedia and which you claim not to agree with! The question is where is your own definition or interpretation? Which one do you really agree with? Or were you sleepwalking when you typed the words that you do not agree with the definition/interpretation you provided from Wikipedia or wherever?

More importantly, don’t you know that annexation is only incidental to the definition of irredentism? Haven’t I explained that as plainly as possible for you to grasp?:rolleyes:





>>>I had hoped that you would repudiate that particular intepretation of irredentism and clarify that you didn't mean it that way. I can only say that if you agree with this definition, you were and still are directly or less directly accusing Eja of advocating the breaking up of Nigeria. That is a false flag , an accusation which won't be allowed to stick.<<<


Stop wasting people’s time! Please!:frown:





>>>This is now getting silly.
1.Including aspects of, or having historical traces of different elements in one's laws and subsuming them into one's own indigenous culture over hundreds or thousands of years is quite different from entirely basing one's legal system on a single derivative within a generation.<<<


No, the silly thing is that you cannot understand the simple truth that every nation starts from somewhere and that Nigeria as a nation is not yet “hundreds or thousands of years” old and that the fact that she is not that ancient does not preclude it from being a nation!





>>>2. YES, of course, the U.S, Canada and Australia are unashamadely/unappologetic Anglo entities which are willingly and favourably tied to Britain socially, culturally and in all manners of ways in which Nigeria is not and could never be; no questions or doubts about that. Indeed, their legal systems are British derivatives.<<<


Why “are there no question or doubts about that”? Is the African American, American Indian, Latino, Inuit or Australian Aborigine “willingly and favourably tied to Britain socially, culturally and in all manners of ways”? Or are the nationals of Caucasians and Anglo-Saxon origin in these polities (evidently the majority) operating a different system of law from those operated by their national minorities?:confused:






>>>3. But if the U.S, Canada and Australia have their legal system based upon the British, why has it worked for them and not worked for us?
The answer to this lies in the difference between "them" and "us" , that is, the fact that along with the legal structure that defines a country, there must be alignment of other important structures such as, but not limited to * ideological *,, political and cultural structures, which the Canadians/U.S/Australians have, but which are obviously lacking in Nigeria<<<


No, they are not exactly homogenous people, as I’ve pointed out above. There are clear internal differences within each polity (historical, cultural, racial, etc), so it cannot be because of the so-called difference between “them” and “us” as you claim. There is nothing cultural about the human mind understanding what is good or bad law and we do not have to reinvent the wheel if good laws working elsewhere are available for us to copy and if such laws are what the civilized world find acceptable. You can say all you want about non-alignment of political, cultural or whatever structure you conjure up in your imagination, but when the chips are down it boils down to the inability or unwillingness of our national leadership to operate under the rule of law (remember you used that term!) and the complacency and, to a great extent, connivance of a section of the citizenry with this failed and consistently failing leadership. Oh, of course, we can always find other factors, including the ones you’ve mentioned; but none is as fundamental as the failure of leadership. History has proven that the pivotal factor in progress anywhere is leadership. You can’t rewrite history now, my friend.:lol:

Finally, let me end this by pointing out that it’s a shame that you do not even understand the link you provided in an attempt to convince yourself that you should be talking microbiologists, rather than evolutionary biologists Why should I waste my time breaking it down for you when your own link exposes you! Ignorance? Moi? You really are having a laugh!:D

Listen, I’m not being dismissive or arrogant. It seems to me that you’ve got nothing worthwhile to contribute anymore to this debate and I’m not going to be here playing one-upmanship with you! You’re a timewaster and this is where I cut you loose! If you’ve got anything tangible to say from now on, I’ll respond. Otherwise, ignoring your intellectually wayward rant is the best policy. :wink:

Nonetheless, thanks for contributing to an interesting debate.




CHEERS!:)

Khalil
Feb 5, 2008, 11:51 AM
Neither I nor DeepThought advocated the splitting of Nigeria into smaller units as a precondition of its achieving nationhood. Yet you (like others) have partly based your reading on the persistent assumption that this had been said.

Also, neither DeepThought or I had claimed that the ethnically pure state is the ideal form of a nation, yet you (like others) have spoken as if this precise condition had been laid down by us.



Ehm... Eja but DeepThought subscribed to your definition of a nation as he said in these words in post #48 of this thread:


I refer you to Eja's definition of a nation; an organic entity with common lineage. You really can't argue against that.

Remember, the word lineage means,

1. line of descent: the line of descent from an ancestor to a person or family
2. related group of people: a group of people related by descent from a common ancestor

Does this not mean your idea of a nation is ethnically based? And if I am not mistaken it is on the basis of this you built your argument that Nigeria is not a nation and will never be. Even though DeepThought removed the word "never" as you too affirmed, he consistently continued to express his agreement with your definition as seen in the above quote. This makes him only to blow hot and cold when he turn around and claim that Nigeria may become a nation in future as you will agree with me that within reasonable limit no space of history will see Nigerians coming to think of themselves as people of common ancestry except if the likes of Eja and DeepThought are baptized into the Abrahamic faith where all are told to have come from Adam and Eve.

Now when I thought of the logical problem as seen in your position above and having known the truth that the idea of what nation is to an Africa was not ethnic based but rather value based, until the coming of the white man in the 18th century with his idea of drawing link line between tribe, geography and indigenousness, I couldn't help but to reach the conclusion that you imported your convictions from him. Since nobody in pre-whiteman's Africa thought that to form a nation we must have an organic entity with common lineage, as you insist is your definition of what a nation is.

To be precise, in pre-whiteman's Africa there was nothing like Yoruba land, but rather space where everybody could come and live under the fine laws and values of trade, marriage and religion. In fact some historians do not think today's so-called Yoruba land has been inhabited by only Yoruba tribe for more than 4 centuries; that the Nok artifacts found in that land are most likely to belong to a previous civilization that has no link to the Yoruba people as tribes. Others believe Hausa traders were the ones to have first referred to the present Yoruba land as land of Yarba which was later picked as an identity label to Yoruba nation.

So Eja, you see why I may find it difficult to believe you are not importing a white man's paradigm to define what a nation is?


Again a proposition which says: Nigeria is not a nation and will never be one, says in effect , that Nigeria should be disposed of, just as the argument which says Nigeria is already a nation says in effect, Nigeria should continue .

I really wonder why you will say you didn't propose the break up of Nigeria( not that doing so is wrong) even when Kenn1 found it easy to describe your position as irredentist!

Khalilurrahman

Obariba
Feb 5, 2008, 07:39 PM
******************Ob runs into this thread from the introduction thread and respectfully takes a back seat observing this debate ...Ob thinks to herself I think Im gonna like this website ...intellectually stimulating ......hmmmm Ob is learning something !!*******************

Kenn
Feb 5, 2008, 09:54 PM
Ehm... Eja but DeepThought subscribed to your definition of a nation as he said in these words in post #48 of this thread:



Remember, the word lineage means,

1. line of descent: the line of descent from an ancestor to a person or family
2. related group of people: a group of people related by descent from a common ancestor

Does this not mean your idea of a nation is ethnically based? And if I am not mistaken it is on the basis of this you built your argument that Nigeria is not a nation and will never be. Even though DeepThought removed the word "never" as you too affirmed, he consistently continued to express his agreement with your definition as seen in the above quote. This makes him only to blow hot and cold when he turn around and claim that Nigeria may become a nation in future as you will agree with me that within reasonable limit no space of history will see Nigerians coming to think of themselves as people of common ancestry except if the likes of Eja and DeepThought are baptized into the Abrahamic faith where all are told to have come from Adam and Eve.

Now when I thought of the logical problem as seen in your position above and having known the truth that the idea of what nation is to an Africa was not ethnic based but rather value based, until the coming of the white man in the 18th century with his idea of drawing link line between tribe, geography and indigenousness, I couldn't help but to reach the conclusion that you imported your convictions from him. Since nobody in pre-whiteman's Africa thought that to form a nation we must have an organic entity with common lineage, as you insist is your definition of what a nation is.

To be precise, in pre-whiteman's Africa there was nothing like Yoruba land, but rather space where everybody could come and live under the fine laws and values of trade, marriage and religion. In fact some historians do not think today's so-called Yoruba land has been inhabited by only Yoruba tribe for more than 4 centuries; that the Nok artifacts found in that land are most likely to belong to a previous civilization that has no link to the Yoruba people as tribes. Others believe Hausa traders were the ones to have first referred to the present Yoruba land as land of Yarba which was later picked as an identity label to Yoruba nation.

So Eja, you see why I may find it difficult to believe you are not importing a white man's paradigm to define what a nation is?


Again a proposition which says: Nigeria is not a nation and will never be one, says in effect , that Nigeria should be disposed of, just as the argument which says Nigeria is already a nation says in effect, Nigeria should continue .

I really wonder why you will say you didn't propose the break up of Nigeria( not that doing so is wrong) even when Kenn1 found it easy to describe your position as irredentist!

Khalilurrahman




The Great Khalil!

I'm happy to see that you've also noticed the contradictory tango being danced by our irredentist duo. Such elaborate display of doublespeak has had me in stitches for days!:lol: That is why I've consistently called on them to focus! But, of course, they never listen, never learn.:rolleyes:

Having said the above, allow me to point out that the Nok culture is not Yoruba. Its origins are around the central plateau region of the country. No doubt, old Ife also had a terracotta culture dating back the same period as that of Nok, but both are quite independent of each other.

Moreover, I don't quite get the argument you're making about "pre-whiteman's Africa" and your claim that "there was nothing like Yoruba land, but space where everybody could come and live under the fine laws and values of trade, marriage and religion". While I'd expect you to later clarify this better, can I just say, preliminarily, that the term "Yoruba land" today is merely descriptive of an ethnic location and is indeed a function of the language of the day – the limited language of today's rather recrudescent attempt at seeing with the eye of the past. In other words, the fact that we are Nigerians, attempting to use the English language's descriptive power to conjure up a past that isn't English is a problem in itself!

Thus, while it's quite possible that the pre-colonial Yoruba may not have seen themselves as politically one people, I would have thought that their cultural homogeneity is quite obvious and must have been so even before the whiteman came. Indeed, Ife as the spiritual cradle of the Yoruba race and Oduduwa as primogenitor have never been contested. Besides, there is recorded evidence to show that the Yoruba have been in their present location for thousands of years.

As I said, I do not know what your argument on that level is aimed at, but I'd love you to expatiate further on this, so that we can follow your trend of thought.

Thanks again for destroying the facile edifice of the ‘structural irredentists'!:lol:




CHEERS!

DeepThought
Feb 5, 2008, 11:42 PM
@Kenn,

I can't stop being amazed at your ability to make up your own arguments , argue against these made up positions and then award points to yourself for debunking them.

Take a look at your lattest antic:


Don’t kid yourself! That is a definition and an interpretation you took from Wikipedia and which you claim not to agree with! Which one do you really agree with? Or were you sleepwalking when you typed the words that you do not agree with the definition/interpretation you provided from Wikipedia or wherever?

More importantly, don’t you know that annexation is only incidental to the definition of irredentism? Haven’t I explained that as plainly as possible for you to grasp?




Rather than clarifying statements that you don't understand, you shoot off the hips like a gun slinger from a bad western, because it makes you feel good i suppose?.

My finding that definition disagreeable means finding it distasteful. I made it clear that your use of the term irridentism is dissagreable, raises the specter of war mongering and break up of Nigeria, not that the definition I quoted to you is wrong. It is a valid definition. It was meant to show you why I disagree with your insisting on slapping the tag on Eja's position and why you were wrong.

I should refer you back to the main debate to clarify Eja's position.
What Eja did was to acknowledge the fault lines and split awareness that severely divide us. He didn't advocate for the break up of Nigeria either by war or by peaceful means so your


Does a “break-up of the nation” have to be by war? Does every irredentist idea lead to annexation, the use of force or war in achieving its aim?

is nothing more than another piece of fraudulent prose meant to mislead the unwary.
By sneaking that in, you smear the opponent with a position that was never his.

Let me briefly reproduce for you, in the very unlikely case you actually care, some of Eja's positions:



2.04 For as long as this split awareness exists, Nigeria will never be one because Nigerians will never be able to look for long beyond the prism of ethnic identities.

2.05 Until the sense of ownership and the sense of alienation are either eradicated or completely attached to other identities (e.g. class/caste), the void that separate both senses will prevent unity. There is at present no prospect of either eventuality coming to be. There is at present no corporate body that possesses the tools (physical as well as intellectual) that can either eradicate the split awareness or, re-attach it to another identity.

Now where in the above do you see the call for the break up of Nigeria either violently or otherwise?

Furthermore to further clarify:


Yes indeed, there is nothing original in Nigerians having a persistent ethnic origin that will not be subsumed into an imposed identity. The idea of a nation is something organic that grows out of the collective will of the people it encompasses. Where this idea is forced, eventually the people will seek a way out.

This means that if the defects clearly identified by Eja are correctly addressed, then the possiblity of Nationhood does exist.

On the other hand, the warnig is clear for those who want to heed it - if the fault lines are not addressed (and promptly too), nationhood won't be achieved.

The never in Eja's proposition was tied to the "This".... something I overlooked and which he clarified. I thus understood and supported and still support his position. In spite of the external paraphelania of nationhood, Nigeria is not to my mind a nation and has a long way to go if it ever is to become one. And if Nigeria doesn't take the right steps, if it persists in doing what it has been doing for the past 40 years, it won't become a nation.

On the other hand, you are free to believe that we have attained nationhood based upon what?
*A flag ?
-the boy scouts have a flag too)
*Money/Currency?
-Canadian tire money is more acceptable than the Naira
*A constitution?
-a piece of s##t periodically suspended for sport by "I Major General so and so"... and in between suspensions, a piece of s##t trampled upon and ignored by whoever stole the last s/elections

I could go on and on.


Why “are there no question or doubts about that”? Is the African American, American Indian, Latino, Inuit or Australian Aborigine “willingly and favourably tied to Britain socially, culturally and in all manners of ways”? Or are the nationals of Caucasians and Anglo-Saxon origin in these polities (evidently the majority) operating a different system of law from those operated by their national minorities?

I'm not sure if I should be ashamed for you. On second thoughs, I think I will be as this line of thinking is almost criminal.
:confused1

So in your mind, the status of the minorities in the aforementioned societies nullifies the reality of the pro-British alignment of those nations????
!sigh!
I could refer to the rest of your post and take your arguments apart but what would be the use? Perhaps its just best to leave this argument be and draw matters to a close. Its obvious that for reasons best know to you, you've closed your mind.

Unfortunately, all I see from you in this matter are lot of playing to the gallery and dramatics. I will however in future continue to look forward to you taking on NIDO agents.

Thanks a lot and have a very good day.

Kenn
Feb 6, 2008, 01:04 PM
DeepThought,

>>>Perhaps its just best to leave this argument be and draw matters to a close.<<<


Yes, that would be the best thing for you right now, because the more you write on these pages, the more you make intelligent people doubt your credibility. Between both of us, you've exhausted everything you've got to say. The problem you've got now is that you think you've got to save yourself from this self-dug hole you're in, and you think the only way to do that is to literally have the last say in this exchange, even if all you say is a pile of dross!

So, DeepThought, thank you once again for your part in this debate. But stop doing more harm to yourself by thinking you have to respond to me. You've got nothing tangible to say against my position; so, please, move on! Indeed, if you need something to do, respond to Khalil's intelligent and legitimate criticism of your position. The man has made a very useful comment exposing your wanton contradictions. Explain yourself to him.



Bye!:lol:

Ishola Taiwo
Feb 6, 2008, 03:20 PM
"Ehm... Eja but DeepThought subscribed to your definition of a nation as he said in these words in post #48 of this thread:


I refer you to Eja's definition of a nation; an organic entity with common lineage. You really can't argue against that.

Remember, the word lineage means,

1. line of descent: the line of descent from an ancestor to a person or family
2. related group of people: a group of people related by descent from a common ancestor

Does this not mean your idea of a nation is ethnically based? And if I am not mistaken it is on the basis of this you built your argument that Nigeria is not a nation and will never be. Even though DeepThought removed the word "never" as you too affirmed, he consistently continued to express his agreement with your definition as seen in the above quote."

Khalil, it is sad (but understandable) that for those to whom reasoning is a contest, the outcome can only be a complete 'victory' or complete 'defeat'. So, inflexible positions are taken and, in the quest to ensure the survival of this impractical choice, efforts must be made to bend the truth around it.

Futile efforts.

Below is what I originally said: what DeepThought referenced when he spoke of my definition of a nation. The extract below is post #3 on the debate thread. Now, you must have passed by this on your way to the quote you extracted from post #48, but, you ignored it (seeing as it did not serve the purpose you were looking for)


In my opinion, a country and a nation are not the same thing. For example, Yugoslavia was a country that consists of the Serb nation, the Croat nation, the Slovene nation, the Montenegrin nation, etc..

A nation is a corporate body that is made up of people who share a common culture, language (dialects omitted) and often, a common creation mythology that describes the progenitor of the nation as a direct ancestor (biological or image-wise) of all who belong to the nation.

All the above mentioned are the organic (i.e. living) glue that hold the people together.

Also, for all nations, the above mentioned have a unique form.


The keywords that you ignored were: "biological", "or", and "image-wise".

There is a process called joined up thinking and, this is something that I strive to practice. Why do I mention this now? Well, when later in the debate, I used the Ashanti nation as an example of what I was talking about, I did not do so merely because I wanted to "give a history lesson". I used the Ashanti (and later the Zulu) because they are relatively contemporary examples that are indigenous to Africa of how formerly disparate peoples were forged into one - how from several ethnicities, one nation was created.

Now, while we cannot hope to replicate the methods that were used in either instance, the recollection that such a thing was successfully done (in the recent past) by people just like us is to me an affirmation of what we can do.

I then also stated that the reason we cannot repeat such a feat at this time is because there are no mechanisms set up (in Nigeria) to perform this task in a way that would be all-encompassing.

The height of futility and folly is this persistent idea that the only way in which the various peoples currently living in the geographical space Nigeria can become a nation is by imitating methodologies that were designed for entities with different sociologies, cultural psychologies, historical antecedents etc.

The truth is, even though we keep asking why we cannot move forward, we all know the answer. Just that we are reluctant to acknowledge it...why?

Because we have already invested too much in what we are right now.

Some seem to believe that we have come too far to seek a different path but, from what we have seen of that way of thinking, we should know that it will only result in a continuation of the stagnation of all true developmental elements as we keep re-building the same old boat that was designed to spring a leak after every single circumnavigation.

If there is anybody who is determined that Nigeria will never be a nation it is those who are determined that Nigeria will remain configured the way it presently is. It is those who insist that this Nigeria is already a nation.

People who can be compared to house-builders who speak of a job being completed even though the house lacks a roof and a sturdy front door.

And that is not the worst: the worst is, the foundations of their sorry excuse for a house are set in quicksand and the cement they used in making their bricks are fourth rate. Yet, they insist that the house is complete. That the residents can start buying furniture and they can start preparing to settle down.

People who think like this are why Nigeria will never amount to anything other than a predator's paradise.

Of course, after saying all that, I expect either Khalil or Kenn1 to tell me again that I have just advocated for the break up of Nigeria and the return of the Oyo empire...:D.

And by the way, this thing that you (Khalil) said about 'some historians' and the origins of the Yoruba...well, it is good that you were not specific; that you said 'some historians' because, I also know of what 'some historians' said.

These ones said that the first humans on planet Earth were Africans and, they said that since the Yoruba are of 100% African stock, then the Yoruba, regardless of what they were called in those most ancient days, are direct descendants of the first humans on Earth.

These historians say life was very hostile in those first days of creation and that you had to be the hardiest of the hardy to survive. Now, they also say that not only did this proto-Yoruba survive, but that they thrived.

They say that some of them were a part of the conglomeration of African nations that left the centre of Africa and went forth to found Kemet.

Now, do you know that these historians have determined, through carbon dating, that the oldest man-made structure on earth is what is called the Sphinx and, that the age they have put on this structure is roughly 48,000 years?

Me, I have no reason to disbelieve these historians; to be sure, what they say puts no money in my pockets, but, it also takes nothing away from me....you understand?

Allow me to expand on what I just said : If you wish to know why I may choose to believe my own set of 'some historians' over your own set of 'some historians', it is because mine take nothing away from me while yours try to make me think I am less than I am. Now, unless I am one who is afraid to raise up his head, why would I deny something that gives me reason to raise up my head?

History is the greatest thing I know of when it comes to forging a common will. If we know that we were once the greatest of all men by virtue of our own efforts, then we will know that we can be great again by virtue of our own efforts.

Khalil my good friend, I am sorry about the digression but, I just couldn't allow you to get away with derogatory propaganda like this:


Now when I thought of the logical problem as seen in your position above and having known the truth that the idea of what nation is to an Africa was not ethnic based but rather value based, until the coming of the white man in the 18th century with his idea of drawing link line between tribe, geography and indigenousness, I couldn't help but to reach the conclusion that you imported your convictions from him. Since nobody in pre-whiteman's Africa thought that to form a nation we must have an organic entity with common lineage, as you insist is your definition of what a nation is.

To be precise, in pre-whiteman's Africa there was nothing like Yoruba land, but rather space where everybody could come and live under the fine laws and values of trade, marriage and religion. In fact some historians do not think today's so-called Yoruba land has been inhabited by only Yoruba tribe for more than 4 centuries; that the Nok artifacts found in that land are most likely to belong to a previous civilization that has no link to the Yoruba people as tribes. Others believe Hausa traders were the ones to have first referred to the present Yoruba land as land of Yarba which was later picked as an identity label to Yoruba nation.

You may be content with the description of your own people as ones who had nothing and knew nothing before non-Africans came onto the scene. I know different about the people I came from.

Nok
Feb 6, 2008, 05:52 PM
.....it is sad (but understandable) that for those to whom reasoning is a contest, the outcome can only be a complete 'victory' or complete 'defeat'. So, inflexible positions are taken and, in the quest to ensure the survival of this impractical choice, efforts must be made to bend the truth around it.

The reason for this is that reasoning is misinterpreted by the "educated" colomental, as a sparing activity utilising "right" or "wrong" information based on formal "education", rather than a process of consideration or building of constructs based on fresh plausibilities. For them there is no "knowing" outside the fixed data in their heads. The other reason is that the presentation to these colomental fellows of alternate African existences, creates a very uncertain and strange terrain for their imprisoned imagination, since they do not possess the free enough worldview to accept this information. The world we live in today, with the pace of development of technology and changing global political factors, will require that we develop continually original constructs to engage these realities, because Change eventually comes to all of us anyhow.

Kenn
Feb 7, 2008, 10:15 AM
The reason for this is that reasoning is misinterpreted by the "educated" colomental, as a sparing activity utilising "right" or "wrong" information based on formal "education", rather than a process of consideration or building of constructs based on fresh plausibilities. For them there is no "knowing" outside the fixed data in their heads. The other reason is that the presentation to these colomental fellows of alternate African existences, creates a very uncertain and strange terrain for their imprisoned imagination, since they do not possess the free enough worldview to accept this information. The world we live in today, with the pace of development of technology and changing global political factors, will require that we develop continually original constructs to engage these realities, because Change eventually comes to all of us anyhow.



Nok,

This post of yours is prejudicial, pretentious and patronizing. Who are you to judge anybody's reasoning here as "colomental"? Of course, Eja's post is insulting, but whether he meant it to come out that way is another matter. I ignored it because I don't see how an argument about the tone of his last post (especially that area you excerpted) could have helped the debate. It's been clear to me that anyone who's followed diligently the establishment and development of this section of the site (The Crucible) should have understood by now that we are dealing here in a new format of exchange – the pointed debate format where contributors are expected to take one side or the other of a Proposition and not any middle ground. Naturally, if we were discussing this in any other thread, it would not have been presented as a Proposition, neither would anyone have been required to oppose or support it outright. People would have been free to discuss it from all perspectives, including adopting a middle ground if they so choose.

Eja chose to make a Proposition; Mulan chose to oppose him; I chose to support Mulan in opposing him and DeepThought chose to support Eja's proposition. So, who is showing here that "reasoning is a contest"? "What has ‘victory' or complete ‘defeat' got to do with this? Can't we have a proper debate without those losing the argument moralizing about positions adopted by others? This type of reasoning occurs only when people begin to lose focus in the debate. When people forget that there is a standing Proposition to be supported or opposed, they run into murky waters, cry blue murder and get buried in the quicksand of their own intellectual limitations.

If you Nok are coming into this debate, choose a side; after all, you've been showing from your "Thanks" where your support lies! So, do the right thing and join properly to debate the issue! It's absolutely unfair to use your first post to judge people's mentality because you are no better than anyone here! You do not have the monopoly of the knowledge of your so-called "alternate African existences". Indeed, I wonder what you guys have said here that is so "original"! What is so original in telling us that Nigeria is not a nation or that all our problems begin and end with structure? What is so original in lamenting about the failure of Nigerian leadership?

Please, let's respect ourselves here and debate like matured people. We do not need anyone to fault our reasoning simply because we do not buy their gobbledegook on what is nation! A debate of this nature is about two sides. Take your side without imputing anything to our mentality. You may think yourself a great Africanist or culture warrior, but you're no more than any other individual seeking answers to questions you know nothing about. You are not an authority on Africa or Nigeria. Indeed, you are not even an authority on Edo history or culture! So, please, save your "colomental" theories for those you can hoodwink. If you want a proper debate, question me on the things I've said here and I'll respond.




CHEERS!

Austin
Feb 7, 2008, 10:36 AM
Austin,

Yes, you've misread my quotes in question. I wasn't saying Eja is right. What I was referring to was his ethnically-closed definition of nation. I was saying he only acknowledged a convenient definition that suits his debating position when the facts show that another traditional definition easily pooh-poohs that debating position. I was saying we acknowledge all valid definitions of nation while still credibly holding on to our debating position. I was saying this testifies to the validity of our position. In other words, I was saying while Eja's definition of nation is right, it is only one definition and by ruling out other definitions, Eja has showed the falsity/shakiness of his position. In short, I was saying Eja is wrong.

The second quote is basically urging Nigerians "to believe in the modest idea of the nation we already have", which is something Eja does not believe in (as per his position in this debate). I am saying arguments like Eja's are bound to negatively affect our national consciousness. I have always agreed that "there are clear internal structural imbalances", but have equally maintained that irredentism isn't the answer. I'm advocating that rather than seeing our multi-ethnic composition (which is one huge anti-nation argument of the structure-is-the-problem brigade) as the problem, we should see it as strength.

There's nothing I've said in what you've quoted that remotely suggests that Eja's position that this Nigeria will never be a nation is right. I've consistently opposed his proposition and I'm still doing so.




>>>Well, I was only replying to your use of the term 'irrenditists'. I just assumed that the oposite of it, in this context, is "supporters of the status quo'.

As you might well be aware, I have never tried to disguise my irrenditist views. And it is a strongly albeit painful opinion. It has cost and is still costing me a lot of headache. But I believe I have reason on my side. And that is the main problem.<<<


Being a pro-union nationalist does not necessarily mean you support the status quo and being an irredentist also does not necessarily mean you're against it. Supporting the status quo means accepting and being part of the vile establishment running Nigeria aground today. It means accepting that the way things are politically, socially and economically is kosher. Arguing that Nigeria is a nation does not in anyway support this view; it only supports the fact that Nigeria is a nation, seen and accepted as such by its nationals and the international community. While I do not doubt your irredentist credentials or the honesty of your belief, I need not remind you that there are seemingly rabid ethnic-mongers in Nigeria who use the ethnic card as a leverage to partake in establishment spoliation of the polity.




>>>But honestly Kenn, I am glad you found the time to write those lines to me. I was just about placing a bet on the fact that I am in your ignore list. I have been desperately seeking your attention, my dear Nigerian brother.<<<


How can I ignore the great Austin?:biggrin: How can I ignore you? Apart from being a jolly good fellow, you've always brought value to discussions on the Nigeria Village Square. It would be my loss to ignore you; so, I dare not!:D

I bow and tremble!


CHEERS AND STAY BLESSED!


Chief Kenn1,

Thanks a lot for your kind words, myself tremble and shake at your presence. Your posts have always been very intellectually beneficial.

Honestly, I share all your dreams and aspirations for Nigeria. For a long time I have wished and wished too. But now, I guess we all have to see reality in the eyes and be ready to face the consequences. If other countries of the world can do such, me think we can do it too.

Let me quickly state that, while I have no problems with either referring to myself, or others referring to me, as an irrendist. The concept itself does not and cannot do justice to my yearnings. What I aspire to is not the glory of the Yoruba alone, but of all the tribes, ethnic groups and nationalities inhabiting the continent of Africa. In essence, what I yearn for is the glory of all Africans. However, I just do not believe that in aspiring for the well-beign of the Zulus for example, then the destiny of the Hutus have to be trampled upon.
But this is precisely what is happening in Nigeria, and indeed Africa at the present. So, the logical corrollary is that, the repressed spirit of these nations have to be librated. Dear Kenn, I hope you are catching my drift. This is a hard work that even borders on the impossible.

Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For, as this line of thought was opened, others just kept rushing in like air towards an upward propelling jet. Suddenly, the wind suddenly seems blown thus exposing the butt of the chicken. You know, its like suddenly realizing that there is no God or that there might not be a God afterall. Such liberating feeling. No wonder the Bible refers to it as being like God himself.

So, Kenn, my brother I hope I have given you a hint into how my mind seemed to have been working. I am not trying to convince you, no not at all. Neither am I trying to debate you, mba. All I am hoping is that you will for a brief moment softens your stance and empathize with me. See if you can also see what I/we can see/have seen. Try and see wether the picture seems clearer or not.

Thahnks and be abundantly blessed.

DeepThought
Feb 7, 2008, 12:20 PM
Nok,
Thanks again for pointing these things out. Your comments are very appropriate and very much in order. You are absolutely, absolutely not bound, and cannot be bullied into taking any side or making any comments that you don't want to!.

You are definelty free to observe, respond or not respond to any commentator, make any comments in support, against or to be neutral regarding any post or position.

But then again, we clearly see your points comming through via


Can’t we have a proper debate without those losing the argument moralizing about positions adopted by others

We wonder who is "losing" and who the refree or judge is that decided who won/lost and how the points have been awarded?
:p

Again, thats what I meant by:

I can't stop being amazed at your ability to make up your own arguments , argue against these made up positions and then award points to yourself for debunking them

But the truth of the matter is that to Kenn, this is only and all about one thing- winning - nothing else matters, not logic, not reason and there can be no understanding or perspective beyond his. That is the zero sum game Nigeria teaches and the only way some can understand. Reminds you of Nigerian politics and politicians doesn't it? But then why shouldn't it? Isn't that a perfect reflection of the state of the "Nation" Nigeria which he believes in?

Sad though, but that doesn't really matter, I mean how else could we amuse ourselves? .

The main reason for this particular post is that I would really love to read a lot more from you on these issues. How do you think Nigeria and other African countries can attain true nationhood? And that really is what matters

Still, I believe a useful purpose is served by debating the other side on this matter and what is more important to me is seeing you bring (, if you don't mind and you have the time and inclination) your very own unique perspective on these debates. I may not always agreed with you on the minute details of advancing an Afrocentric position but I've benefited a lot from many of your views which I find refreshing, original and intellectually challenging.



Thanks again

Kenn
Feb 7, 2008, 01:16 PM
DeepThought,

>>>But the truth of the matter is that to Kenn, this is only and all about one thing- winning - nothing else matters, not logic, not reason and there can be no understanding or perspective beyond his. That is the zero sum game Nigeria teaches and the only way some can understand. Reminds you of Nigerian politics and politicians doesn't it? But then why shouldn't it? Isn't that a perfect reflection of the state of the "Nation" Nigeria which he believes in?

Sad though, but that doesn't really matter, I mean how else could we amuse ourselves? <<<


While you amuse yourself, you should take time out to read through the thread from the beginning to the end to see who is being logical, who is being reasonable and who really is showing understanding about the reason and the purpose of The Crucible. In fact, if we even take this debate outside the circumscription of The Crucible and discuss it in the traditional form at The Main Square, you still won't have anything tangible to say. All you're exhibiting here is ignorance of the form of exchange here. Again, for your information (including for those others who share your ‘perspective'), this is The Crucible! At The Crucible, you take a side! You either support or oppose a Proposition. It is not that we don't know that there are grey areas over some issues or that there could be middle grounds; but if all you want to do is to be "neutral", don't bother commenting here. Go to the Main Square, open or join a discussion and invite others to come discuss with you without the rules of The Crucible applying. The Crucible was established for a purpose, for a certain kind of debate, for a certain kind of format. It is not established for you to come and run all over in the name if discussion. Follow the circumscription or stay out. And if you refuse to follow the circumscription, don't moralize for those who do!




CHEERS!

Kenn
Feb 7, 2008, 01:25 PM
Austin,

>>>Honestly, I share all your dreams and aspirations for Nigeria. For a long time I have wished and wished too. But now, I guess we all have to see reality in the eyes and be ready to face the consequences. If other countries of the world can do such, me think we can do it too.<<<


It depends on what you mean by “reality”, especially as you aren’t saying what “other countries of the world” have done to give you this idea of reality. But if your point is that other countries of the world are making progress in their national development while we lag behind, I have no argument with that. Nonetheless, what you now need to realize is that the debate here isn’t about how good or bad the Nigerian nation is or how developed or underdeveloped it is. The debate is not about how good or bad its leadership is or how disunited we are or how marginalized some groups within the nation are and so on and so forth. These are things you discuss within the context of something that already exists. In other words, if the nation does not exist, there will be none of these issues to discuss. I believe there is a nation called Nigeria, irrespective of its historical and present difficulties.





>>>Let me quickly state that, while I have no problems with either referring to myself, or others referring to me, as an irrendist. The concept itself does not and cannot do justice to my yearnings. What I aspire to is not the glory of the Yoruba alone, but of all the tribes, ethnic groups and nationalities inhabiting the continent of Africa. <<<


There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, that is what I aspire to as well. It is all we talk about when we insist on justice and fairness within the nation. It is the reason some of us are advocating for the convocation of a Sovereign National Conference. Your heart is in the right place, my brother. There is nothing wrong in wishing yourself and others well. Being an irredentist does not mean you wish others bad.






>>>In essence, what I yearn for is the glory of all Africans. However, I just do not believe that in aspiring for the well-beign of the Zulus for example, then the destiny of the Hutus have to be trampled upon.<<<


Absolutely!






>>>But this is precisely what is happening in Nigeria, and indeed Africa at the present. So, the logical corrollary is that, the repressed spirit of these nations have to be librated. Dear Kenn, I hope you are catching my drift. This is a hard work that even borders on the impossible.<<<


Why do you think it’s impossible? And if it’s impossible, what then is possible? The “repressed spirit” of these nations is no more than the expression of the people themselves. For instance, we are quick to point to colonialism and the white man as our problem, but not as quick to recognize what we as a people can do for ourselves to remove us from the bottom of the ladder. We are quick to say our leaders have done this or done that, but not quick to explore and insist on avenues for institutional challenge of their conduct. Here we are with all sorts of 'Africanists' telling us we’re suffering from colonial mentality when what they offer as alternative is a mishmash of disjointed, unintelligible and clearly uninspiring ideas! Yes, we need to free the spirit of Africa from mental slavery, but we need to do so with our eyes open and our mind receptive to new ideas of development. By now we should be tired of those who mouth anti-imperialist jargons when they do not know their right from their left. I have no problem with your view. At least you’re honest enough to explain it as much as you can without being judgmental.





>>>Now, this is just the tip of the iceberg. For, as this line of thought was opened, others just kept rushing in like air towards an upward propelling jet. Suddenly, the wind suddenly seems blown thus exposing the butt of the chicken. You know, its like suddenly realizing that there is no God or that there might not be a God afterall. Such liberating feeling. No wonder the Bible refers to it as being like God himself.<<<


I don’t know about “suddenly realizing there is no God”, because I am one person that deals with my religion or religious beliefs in a personal way. However, it’s worth pointing out to you that such a realization is being constantly reversed. Just as some are “realizing that there is no God”, so are some others ‘discovering’ God! It therefore boils down to your own personal trajectory. I’d recommend that people simply believe what they want; but they should believe this honestly rather than jumping on a bandwagon or tilting where they think the wind is blowing. Being opportunistic is not being honest, original or intelligent.





>>>So, Kenn, my brother I hope I have given you a hint into how my mind seemed to have been working. I am not trying to convince you, no not at all. Neither am I trying to debate you, mba. All I am hoping is that you will for a brief moment softens your stance and empathize with me.<<<


Austin, I respect your position and I’ve said so earlier. There is therefore no stance to soften. We just happen to share different perspectives in this debate. And, of course, this isn’t helped by the nature of the debate which requires that each of us take a stance in absolute support or opposition. I still don’t know where you stand – whether you support Eja or Mulan, but it’s been great reading you and trying to understand you.




CHEERS AND STAY BLESSED!

Khalil
Feb 7, 2008, 05:24 PM
Khalil, it is sad (but understandable) that for those to whom reasoning is a contest, the outcome can only be a complete 'victory' or complete 'defeat'. So, inflexible positions are taken and, in the quest to ensure the survival of this impractical choice, efforts must be made to bend the truth around it.

Wetin dey hot Eja? I think it is unfair on your part - first to yourself, then to me - for you to assume that I know the truth always , that what I did above is only bending the truth in order to win a contest. It is also sad to see that you did not say something similar to anybody in the course of this debating but me. So I'll ask why me please? Doesn't it occur to you that I too am learning just like anybody? Why won't you simply educate or correct me than just greet me with this your clime of despair? Whatever the case maybe, I would want to believe being less emotional in this debate is what will prove rewarding to all of us. There may be more sense in what I say if you ask me to explain than to just throw the dust to my face. But nevertheless the face is glassy and you'll find it as smily as it has ever been always.:lol::rolleyes::wink:

Remember also that I am not taking side in this debate but rather pointing out where I think your logic failed before I turn to make my way thru the practicalities or better put, niceties, of the other camp's argument.

My logic is DeepThought said he would remove the "never" in your proposition but went ahead to give a definition of a nation that should be considered within reasonable limit to be truly never for Nigeria. You on your part had "never" in the proposition but gave a definition that will not necessarily mean "never" for Nigeria.


In this I think the definition of a nation given by DeepThought as ascribed to you held since you did not in anyway tried to correct DeepThought after he has represented you in that light until now after my posting. I know also you have admitted or made amendment to your proposition and as such thought that what followed from your camp after post #3 of the debate, as seen in post #48 in the related posts, should mean to supersede the one in post #3 in the debating thread. So I judged your camp on that definition and arrived at the conclusion that you borrowed those ideas of forming political union based on ethnicity from white man.

Even though you took pains to explain to me what you meant by Nigeria becoming a nation with the example of Ashante and Zulu or even what the 18th century Jihad did to the part known as Northern Nigeria today, which of course made much sense to me. You went ahead to spoil the show again by saying something like this:


And by the way, this thing that you (Khalil) said about 'some historians' and the origins of the Yoruba...well, it is good that you were not specific; that you said 'some historians' because, I also know of what 'some historians' said.

These ones said that the first humans on planet Earth were Africans and, they said that since the Yoruba are of 100% African stock, then the Yoruba, regardless of what they were called in those most ancient days, are direct descendants of the first humans on Earth.


Now I wonder why do you have to single out the Yoruba here if your idea of a nation is not what I described to be above or if you were not advocating for a split of Nigeria to bask in the glory of forming a nation of the pure and anointed black stock? Remember you and DeepThought ones said I, as Khalil, should not have a place in your Africa since I have Arab blood running in my veins. Then this debate came, why then do you think you will not pass across here as advocating for a splitted Nigeria and forming your country where an Arab blooded Khalil can and will never be a citizen?

Finally, you said my comment about Yoruba, your people, was derogatory. Well, I can't say I was very clear since Kenn1 himself asked me to also clarify that part of my post for him. The quote from me is this specific:



To be precise, in pre-whiteman's Africa there was nothing like Yoruba land, but rather space where everybody could come and live under the fine laws and values of trade, marriage and religion.


1. What this means is there was civilisation in Yoruba land even before the coming of white man.

2. There were fine laws and values in philosophy, sociology and politics.

3. But these values were never rooted in ethnic affiliation. Others from everywhere were able to be accommodated and sheltered with no impediments in marriage, politics and trade in as much as their values were congruent with the values of the communities there.

4. To them nation had nothing to do with common lineage but rather common values.

5. It was only after the coming of the white man that we in Africa here learnt to assign political or social previledges on the platform of ethnicity and to define nation in terms of common lineage as DeepThought and you did above!

Of course what I said in precedence is the same with Northern Nigeria before or after the Jihaad which placed no prominence in ethnicity or tribe but values and I say that was why my family was able to rise to the top of political hierarchy, then even though we are Kanuri not Fulani who did the Jihad and ruled for some time. Today in the North everybody can be Hausa and be regarded so if they choose to be so on the platform of values only and it is the reason why even though none of those who led Nigeria in the past from the North was Hausa or even the present UMYA, but still they all are believed to be so cause of their values.

I hope I have clarified my stance as there was nothing derogatory I said against the Yoruba or my people up there. In fact I am proud that my grand parents were never ethnic bigots who formed empires or nations on the basis of common lineage.

Yes, Yoruba land of pre-white man was also like that and evidence abound in genetics that Yoruba people did not confine themselves as the pure black people from Adam, looking down on others and making fun of the whole of mankind. No. They mingled and married and were married, they formed political unions and associated with others on the basis of values not common lineage. The present claim of the existence of Yoruba people, nation or land was the creation of the Western trained intelligentsia among the Yorubas who must imitate the white man and isolate themselves from the rest of mankind claiming to be pure and wise than all.

Khalilurrahman

DeepThought
Feb 7, 2008, 07:58 PM
9. No other villager may participate in the debate - only the Proponent, Opponent and Moderator may make posts on the debate thread. If a villager wishes to make a comment or ask a question, he should create a new thread (preferably with a similar title to the debate thread) - but he should do this only if a thread like this does not exist already. Then he can make his post there. Such a thread will not be moderated, so the thread will just be like any other thread on the board.

If an apple a day is sufficient to keep the doctor away, I wonder how many lies a day will keep the lawyers away.

Kenn,
For your edification and education, pls read the bolded part of the quote above, the rules of the crucible..... and then read the position you've made up once more about commentators having to take a position.

Now, don't you get tired of yourself and the way you make these things up and then deliver with authourity? ..

:eek:

... And its not even Sunday yet

Austin
Feb 7, 2008, 08:10 PM
Okay Kenn1, I thought the debate was over and we have now reached the refreshment point on the agenda. In my mind eye, I can see you with a glass of Pina colada in one hand, and some snacks on the other. You are not alone, but have some guys around you. Everybody seems relaxed and so I decided to join in.

So what's up now, are we on the half time or about to begin the second leg?

Okay, so I am not helping anybody with my contribution, and you now want me to openly declare my support for either eja or Mulan, eh?

Okay, let me kukuma declare it now or forever hold my peace. Me I am openly supporting Mulan o! Which one, na eja we go chop? No come throw sand in my gari abeg, I get secret plans. So, Mulan, if you copy, which one you dey now?

Concerning the issue of God, okay let me rephrase: You know, its like suddenly realizing that there is/there is no God or that there might be/not be a God afterall. Oh my jigbi-jigbi, am I a genius or what!

On a more serious note brother Kenn, let me try to clarify some of the points you raised, for instance you wrote:

It depends on what you mean by “reality”, especially as you aren’t saying what “other countries of the world” have done to give you this idea of reality.

The reality I was referring to, is the fact that this country as presently constituted is not a nation in the real sense of it. That there is something fundamentally wrong with it. That her case is perhaps irredeemable. That there are too many forces working consciously and unconsciously to keep it from becoming a nation. And that these forces are multiplying, and cloning themselves daily. That, we are having this debate is itself a sign that something is seriously wrong. That this country as presently constituted and as constantly being pressured, in my opinion, will never become a nation. and corrollarily, that neither can it achieve any appreciable amount of success like other nations have managed, but of course, that is out of point.

That many other countries have look their realities in the eye and make correction I dont think is far fetched. USSR and the other CISs are major example. Spain and Canada are in the process, and the same applies to Great Britain and Belgium. What I am hoping is that the Africans too can look at the core of their problem and do what is required.

Of course Kenn1, I know this is just a debate and people have to take a stance. I guess its just the difficult aspect of a debate, that the position one adopts, and the impression one creates, tend to stick. And sometimes, one hardly even know when debaters actually mean or not, what they are arguing. I once withnessed a supreme court judge debating the merits of military governments that I got really confused. And I could of course never tell, whether or not he meant all the things he said.

Cheers

Kenn
Feb 7, 2008, 10:09 PM
Khalil,

I do not share some of your views on the values versus ethnicity argument since I truly believe that being ethnic-conscious is a natural feeling, but which does not necessarily have to translate into bigotry or chauvinism. For instance, I do not believe I can be a great Nigerian without being a great Ukwaniman, just like I cannot be a great Ukwaniman without being a great family man. The human connection with kith and kin is strong; but if we explore its positive dimensions, it will liberate our mind enough to see the beauty of the whole!

I understand your attempt at romanticizing the pre-colonial Kanuri, Hausa or Yoruba polities, but the hard truth is that wars of identity were replete in Africa even before the whiteman came. Empires grew out of a desire to stretch boundaries and absorb other peoples; but, rather paradoxically, domination has always been the key to their survival and eventual fall. No African empire was founded on the notion of equality between the conquerors and the conquered. There are always the centres of power and the tribute-paying states. All this was as much about identity as it was about power. We cannot run away from our history!

Having said the above, I must once again salute you for further exposing our resident Africanists-without-core. I thank you for showing such intelligence in your dissection of their vacant theories. How a man can continue to argue against words that he himself posted here on this same thread beats me! Only lazy thinkers would buy the snake oil they're trying to sell; but, of course, it's a free market of ideas.




CHEERS AND STAY BLESSED!

Kenn
Feb 7, 2008, 10:26 PM
If an apple a day is sufficient to keep the doctor away, I wonder how many lies a day will keep the lawyers away.

Kenn,
For your edification and education, pls read the bolded part of the quote above, the rules of the crucible..... and then read the position you've made up once more about commentators having to take a position.

Now, don't you get tired of yourself and the way you make these things up and then deliver with authourity? ..

:eek:

... And its not even Sunday yet



DeepThought,

Now that you’ve finally gone to “Welcome to the Crucible” thread to read on things you should have read before jumping into the fray and putting your foot in your mouth, is it too much to ask you now go back and patiently read through it thoroughly in order to make sense of it all? Tell me, what you excerpted, is it standing on its own or is it to be interpreted in line with the whole context of the rules? Now, of what value is it to set up The Crucible and allow its rules to be applicable only to the exchange between the two debaters while leaving the related threads in the same The Crucible to the dogs? Of course, what Shoko meant by saying such threads would be “just like any other thread on the board” is only in terms of moderation. He didn’t mean and nobody (apart from you) thinks he means the other rules of the debate do not apply! I do not think the related threads are opened to negate the main debate. They are opened to compliment the whole debate by providing opportunity and outlet for other participants in form of supporters! The rules of The Crucible apply throughout the threads in The Crucible, but in the related threads, moderation does not apply. In other words, in that sense, they are like any other thread on the board!

I’m surprised I have to explain this to you! Ha!:rolleyes:





Austin,

I’m a very straightforward person, because I don’t like looking behind my shoulders when I’m moving forward. You say you are on Mulan’s side, but your arguments are clearly on Eja’s side. So, where does that leave us? It leaves us where we started, which is that I do not know on what side you are. But let me say this: I know that you are ideologically closer to Eja and DeepThought than you are to Mulan or me. The only difference is you have explained your own position better without as much obfuscation as the other two. I know you’re only trying to be diplomatic by claiming to be on Mulan’s side. It’s all well-intended and I do understand that. I appreciate your honesty and respect you for it.


CHEERS!

Austin
Feb 8, 2008, 07:09 AM
Kenn1,
I know you’re only trying to be diplomatic by claiming to be on Mulan’s side.

Haba, Kenn1, do you truly mean you missed the reason why I am on Mulan's side? Are you that old, stale or what? My brother, that's toasting - Scandinavian styl&#233;. I hope its okay to chase a woman from the other side.

No Kenn1, the choice is not as easy as you make it to look, considering the temper, the passion, the labelling, and the fact that the crucible is mainly for the sake of posterity.

The core problem in this debate is the problem that any Nigerian in the Diaspora will easily recognise while trying to explain Nigeria to a foreigner, who has never been to the mother country at all.

This debate is even a bit more difficult because we are dealing in the context of what already exists.

Reviewing the logic of both sides will be a bit helpful here:

What the main proponents are saying is this:
This Nigeria is a country aspiring to become a nation,
Not all countries ultimately become nations
Therefore, this Nigeria will never become a nation.

Taking it from here, then it can be clearly seen where both parties are coming from.

of course, the main contentious issue is what constitutes a nation, and how that is present/missing from the Nigerian context.

And here comes the hard part of it. Because, you can show your foreign acquaintance many documentary evidences about the nation of Nigeria, you can describe the latitude and longitude. It is probable that your acquaintance have seen the super eagles play and so on.

But immediately another Nigerian comes on the scene, say from the North or East or Middle-Belt etc, then the story usually changes - usually but not always. and the rest is diplomacy.

Who started it? How did it start? When did it start? How much damage has it caused? Well, all those is now out of point.

Is Nigeria so a nation, and would Nigeria so ever become a nation? I am sorry, NO! It is like that case of indecent dressing, as they say, one might not be able to describe it, but when one sees it, one usually knows it.

Kenn
Feb 8, 2008, 10:38 AM
General Austin!


>>>Haba, Kenn1, do you truly mean you missed the reason why I am on Mulan's side? Are you that old, stale or what? My brother, that's toasting - Scandinavian stylé. I hope its okay to chase a woman from the other side.<<<


Aha! Now we know! Forgive me, Alan Toaster:lol:! It's such a long time I've done such things (having since become a happily married man:D) that I seem to have lost touch with the rudiments of the game. So, you're actually ‘toasting' Mulan? Hmmm, I wouldn't want to discourage you; but it does seem to me that your approach will have to change. Try the PM and make sure you begin with a groveling apology for exposing your intentions on the worldwide web. Mulan is a very private person, you know? In case you're interested in knowing how I know, allow me to inform you that I'm her newly-appointed Special Assistant on Matters of the Heart. And, of course, I'm not saying anyone is already ‘there' now; but I think you should be ready for a long night. Just take your place in the queue; your application will be considered as soon as possible. In the meantime Beauty is sleeping. She has not read your note. Happy waiting!:wink:





>>>No Kenn1, the choice is not as easy as you make it to look, considering the temper, the passion, the labelling, and the fact that the crucible is mainly for the sake of posterity.<<<


The choice couldn't be easier at The Crucible where the circumscription simply asks you to say "Yes" or "No" to a Proposition without having to dance in some middle grounds or navigate grey areas. That is why the rules tell you that contributors are not to be judged by what they say here over an issue, as it is only for the purposes of the "Pointed Debates" in which people are expected to take a side only for the purpose of the specific debate. People are not expected to come here and deliver their Magnus Opus about life – just show how good you are at arguing a viewpoint, even if it's one you really do not believe in!





>>>The core problem in this debate is the problem that any Nigerian in the Diaspora will easily recognise while trying to explain Nigeria to a foreigner, who has never been to the mother country at all.

This debate is even a bit more difficult because we are dealing in the context of what already exists. <<<


Thank you for acknowledging "it already exists". That's all I'm interested in because that's all I've been saying and that's all Mulan and all those who support her need to say to pooh-pooh the highfalutin declarations of the Eja camp!





>>>Reviewing the logic of both sides will be a bit helpful here:

What the main proponents are saying is this:
This Nigeria is a country aspiring to become a nation,
Not all countries ultimately become nations
Therefore, this Nigeria will never become a nation.<<<


What kind of one-legged logic is that? If Nigeria as a nation already exists, what else do they need for Nigeria to be a nation? That, by their definition, we all declare we're Yoruba and sing the Oduduwa anthem while carrying the statue of Sango or Oya as our national symbol? If they're seeking for a Nigeria that is not yet a nation, they'll need to do a little time-travel. When they get in the machine, remember to let them know they have to press the red button that says 1913! Yeah, they'd be right at home with the polity they're transported into! If you're joining them, I wish you all luck!





>>>Taking it from here, then it can be clearly seen where both parties are coming from.<<<


I'm sorry, I can't "see where both parties are coming from" with your explanation. All you've told us is where one party is coming from – the party of time-travelers!





>>>of course, the main contentious issue is what constitutes a nation, and how that is present/missing from the Nigerian context.<<<


Okay, YOU tell us what constitutes a nation and how that is missing from Nigeria. Can YOU do that?





>>>And here comes the hard part of it. Because, you can show your foreign acquaintance many documentary evidences about the nation of Nigeria, you can describe the latitude and longitude. It is probable that your acquaintance have seen the super eagles play and so on.

But immediately another Nigerian comes on the scene, say from the North or East or Middle-Belt etc, then the story usually changes - usually but not always. and the rest is diplomacy. <<<



Why? How dumb is your "foreign acquaintance" not to realize that people have differences WITHIN a nation? Except he's from Mars, I see no reason for him to doubt your nationality simply because another Nigerian from the North, East or South comes on the scene, whatever that means!





>>>Who started it? How did it start? When did it start? How much damage has it caused? Well, all those is now out of point.<<<


Out of point? Apparently not for those who believe Nigeria is not a nation. Finger-pointing is their specialty! And you're obviously learning fast!





>>>Is Nigeria so a nation, and would Nigeria so ever become a nation? I am sorry, NO! It is like that case of indecent dressing, as they say, one might not be able to describe it, but when one sees it, one usually knows it.<<<


I don't think you know what a nation looks like. Yeah, you obviously have an idea of what you want Nigeria to look like; but you do not know what a nation looks like. Like the rest of Eja's band, you're equating the existence of a nation with your idea of political, social and economic progress. You've failed to realize that a nation can exist and be recognized as a nation irrespective of these.






CHEERS!

Khalil
Feb 8, 2008, 10:44 AM
Khalil,

I do not share some of your views on the values versus ethnicity argument since I truly believe that being ethnic-conscious is a natural feeling, but which does not necessarily have to translate into bigotry or chauvinism. For instance, I do not believe I can be a great Nigerian without being a great Ukwaniman, just like I cannot be a great Ukwaniman without being a great family man. The human connection with kith and kin is strong; but if we explore its positive dimensions, it will liberate our mind enough to see the beauty of the whole!

Thanks Kenn1 and I tend to agree with you that being ethnic conscious is not the same as as being a bigot or chauvinist. In fact I too am ethnic conscious as a result of which I know who I am and who I am not. But my exception is in the belief that ethnicity defines the values NOT values defining the ethnicity. Being of a pure African stock does not mean anything if one is thief, or a murderer, in fact they will prefer the company of those who share their value of theft and murder among those who are not pure Africans , than those who are pure like them but do not steal or kill. And I would want to believe this to be what our ancestors held. This is why the story of creation in Yoruba mythology did not say Oduduwa of the Yoruba is only an ancestor to the Yoruba exclusive, and that others are pigs and downers. But rather the story said he is the ancestor of mankind because the mythologists who formed that did not see Yoruba as existing differently from the rest of human kind as pure black stock.


I understand your attempt at romanticizing the pre-colonial Kanuri, Hausa or Yoruba polities, but the hard truth is that wars of identity were replete in Africa even before the whiteman came.

Yes agreed Kenn1, but identity on what basis, ethnicity or values?


Empires grew out of a desire to stretch boundaries and absorb other peoples; but, rather paradoxically, domination has always been the key to their survival and eventual fall.

Still I ask domination on what basis? Ethnicity or values?


No African empire was founded on the notion of equality between the conquerors and the conquered.

Even then I ask again values or ethnicity?


There are always the centres of power and the tribute-paying states. All this was as much about identity as it was about power. We cannot run away from our history!

Yes the membership to the power centers was never on the basis of ethnic affiliation and the membership of the tributary states also was not on the basis of ethnicity! It was white man who started making things to have relationship with ethnicity in this mould.

Finally, I think these two paragraphs from one of my old articles will help show clearly what I mean:


Prior to Eighteenth Century

It suffices here to say prior to 18th century and before the emergence of the concept of nation-states, humankind are identified by the kind of values they represent wherever they go, not their race, colour or any kind of geographic attachment. Among other races or political organizations, what determines what individuals get is the type of values they represent. If they are good according to the standard of any political and social setting, they will find no impediments in issues relating to marriage, leadership and any other right the "indigenous" population may enjoy. The account of Pharaoh and Moses of the ancient Egypt as related in the Qur'an described the features of Pharaoh's first lieutenant, Haman, to be that of a black man . Though Qur'an did not go into detail in its narration of history along the indices of colour and race, for had it, we might perhaps have discovered that the Pharaoh himself and some other Prophets of the Middle East who played pivotal roles in the formation of political communities there, were full blooded Negroes. Even then, many Qur'anic exegetes have described Lukman Al-hikmata (Lukman the wise), the supreme judge of king's Solomon's empire to be a Negro. The examples are uncountable, even from the point of view of empirical studies of history. Abubakr Jabir Jazair in his account of Arabia of the 6th century has it that the people who ruled Yemen of then where a mixture of Negroes and others of lighter complexion. King Abraha who matched through the city of Mecca from Yemen with the ambition of crumbling the Holy House of God: Ka'ba, in some account, is said to be an African. Some scholars such as Al-Jahiz have it with strong postulations that the Prophet of Islam himself was of African descent. In another account, the prophet is reported to have reduced Arab identity to being able to understand and communicate in the Arabic language only . Though the authenticity of this account is doubted but the rationality in its claim is something that can find base in the scientific study of human history and anthropology. Along other lines we can also argue that the composition of the people that formed and led the Greek, Persian, Roman, and much later, Islamic and Euro-Christian empires, was as diverse as human race is. In Africa here, the 19th century Jihad of the Shehu Usman Danfodio led to the formation of political communities that placed no value whatsoever on race, tribe or geography. That was why my family, though being part of the Saifawa dynasty whose offspring opposed the Jihaad, found acceptability in Zaria and other parts of the conquered territories in the major offices as judges and the family base in Zaria as one of the most vibrant intellectual engine rooms of the Caliphate, all for the simple reason that their values were congruent with the values of the Fulani who led the Jihaad.

It Was From Europe

The revolutions that happened in Europe and America from the late 18th century to early 19th century could be said to be the most prominent that occupied itself with the issue of right of man and the right of nations to self determination, and decent and race as the major factors in determining who belonged to them and who did not. In America, black people, even though free could not enjoy full citizenship whereas recent immigrants from Europe were conferred with full citizenship. Later this kind of position was accorded legitimacy and scientific respectability with the scientific breakthroughs, or rather intellectual treason, recorded by Charles Darwin with his theory of evolution and formula of master race . A one to one relationship between humankind and where they live was strongly emphasised more than ever in history. The breaking up of multi ethnic political units such as the Tsarist, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman Empire followed the First World War. Hence all modern states of Europe came to be built on the foundations of nationalism, which appeals to the loyalty of subjects on the sentiments of racio-ethno-geographical solidarity only. The theory of ethnic nationalism was catalysed further by the claim of Adolph Hitler that led to the Second World War even though much earlier in 1912 British government was involved in forgery; Pilt Down Man Forgery , just to assert the superiority of their race over all humankind. It is also with this new phenomenal perception of the formation of political communities, nations of Europe, after attaining technological superiority over other nations, went ahead to colonise the rest of the world imposing on it a paradigm shift that does not recognise ordained laws on formation of political communities. This paradigm is what was left with us even after Africa has achieved its so-called political independence from Europe.


Thanks

Khalilurrahman

Kenn
Feb 8, 2008, 12:00 PM
Khalil,

Thank you for your last post. The excerpt from a previous article/writing of yours does explain things a little better. I think we can now have a better discussion on the issue of ethnicity/race and values on that basis. But I do not think we should be doing it here on this thread or at The Crucible for that matter. This thread has been diverted enough as it is by those who think it is a place to discuss all the woes of our nation. So, why don't you open a new thread in The Main Square (to avoid the circumscription/limitations of The Crucible) and make a case in line with your claims here. I would be happy to join you there to explore it further.




CHEERS!

Palamedes
Feb 8, 2008, 12:12 PM
Pardon my late arrival to this debate, I was held up in the traffic--as they say, ha! I have read a few commentaries--the fewer the better, because I prefer to make my point(s) before reading what others say.

I think the debate is bogged down on archaic templates and definitions of nationhood. I would suggest that we question our received or perceived notion, concepts and ideas about these things. Abandon them and lets invent new concepts, templates and models (based on what the Nigerian people want) for a new Nigeria and, by extension, Africa.

Every new invention contains something new and something old. In the old, we have our African traditions to draw from. What we should be more concern is the “new”, that is to say, how we formulate the philosophy, foundation and direction, etc., for a nation. One that's different in meaning-- concept and implementation--to the one we have been discussing so far.

For me, a nation is simply “the unity of a people” (full stop). The next question is what constitutes unity and how do we achieve it? This, it seems, is one idea, and is a right one.

The outcome of this soul searching will be concept of a nation that would not necessarily tick all the boxes of Western idea of nationhood but one that will be adequate, if not sufficient, for Africa.

This might be a new injection into the debate but I place it on the table if anyone wishes to add to it without taking their eyes off the existing scope of discussion.

Austin
Feb 8, 2008, 12:22 PM
Why? How dumb is your "foreign acquaintance" not to realize that people have differences WITHIN a nation? Except he's from Mars, I see no reason for him to doubt your nationality simply because another Nigerian from the North, East or South comes on the scene, whatever that means!


You're damned right, Kenn1, many, many of those "foreign acquaintances" are outright dumb. It was shocking to me as well. But then there are also many, many who know a lot about what's going on, and aren't afraid to say their mind. There are even those who have are are also planning to exploit these internal contradictions. One thing I have learnt though is that foreign recognition, sympathy, goodwill and so on, are fickle. What is important is for individual nations to redress their internal incohesions by themselves.


I don't think you know what a nation looks like. Yeah, you obviously have an idea of what you want Nigeria to look like; but you do not know what a nation looks like. Like the rest of Eja's band, you're equating the existence of a nation with your idea of political, social and economic progress. You've failed to realize that a nation can exist and be recognized as a nation irrespective of these.
.

Right on the money Kenn1, but the problem is that there 10s of millions of people like this on the streets of Nigeria. And this is the problem as I see it and try to relate it. Maybe you have not seen it, maybe you are just pretending its not there. How will I know. But I think we have to be glad that some people are talking about it.

But seriously, Kenn1, do you really believe that people do not recognize the existence of Nigeria as a nation? No, that's not the issue, what is being said is that this 'nation' called Nigeria will never become "ONE NATION, (with) ONE DESTINY, (under) ONE GOD" (apologies to NPN). That, whenever we are close to attaining that pedestal, we will always find one excuse or another to run to where we used to. that when we are close, there are people who will deliberately manipulate the situation to put us back where/closer to where we were coming from. that the Obas, Obis, Emirs, Military chiefs, Police Chiefs, Election riggers, oil bunkerers, Contract chasers, Arm dealers, 419ers, et cetera, who are holding the nation by the jugular will never allow the 'nation' to become a "nation". That the ordinary man on the street has long given up, and only cheers himself up when there is a soccer match or something of the sort. That just like JZ said, things will ["]never change[/B]". And if that be the case, that contingency plans then have to be put in place. Alternatives have to be found.

Sorry, Kenn, me on behalf of my colleagues think that to not have realized that this is the case, means that either you were never in touch, or have long lost touch with the mother land. The only option left is whether you are living in denial, but I will like to banish that thought "in Jesus name".

Kenn
Feb 8, 2008, 12:51 PM
Austin,

>>>But seriously, Kenn1, do you really believe that people do not recognize the existence of Nigeria as a nation? No, that's not the issue, what is being said is that this 'nation' called Nigeria will never become "ONE NATION, (with) ONE DESTINY, (under) ONE GOD" (apologies to NPN).<<<


Would you mind now naming one nation, just ONE nation in the whole wide world that has become "ONE NATION, (with) ONE DESTINY, (under) ONE GOD"? Please, please, please, just name one!




>>>Sorry, Kenn, me on behalf of my colleagues think that to not have realized that this is the case, means that either you were never in touch, or have long lost touch with the mother land. The only option left is whether you are living in denial, but I will like to banish that thought "in Jesus name".<<<


Very funny. You obviously haven't been reading me well nor do you know exactly what should be the focus of this debate.




CHEERS!

Khalil
Feb 8, 2008, 01:39 PM
Khalil,

Thank you for your last post. The excerpt from a previous article/writing of yours does explain things a little better. I think we can now have a better discussion on the issue of ethnicity/race and values on that basis. But I do not think we should be doing it here on this thread or at The Crucible for that matter. This thread has been diverted enough as it is by those who think it is a place to discuss all the woes of our nation. So, why don't you open a new thread in The Main Square (to avoid the circumscription/limitations of The Crucible) and make a case in line with your claims here. I would be happy to join you there to explore it further.

CHEERS!

Yes I understand, you know I only came in to point at some definitional problem of a nation some of us got and think it is African.

But I think you and Austin are up to get something out of this whole thing since he doesn't seem to have problem with saying or implying something now and turning to claim it is another thing he said or implied.

Khalilurrahman

Nok
Feb 8, 2008, 06:15 PM
Deepthought,

thanks for your post. I'm in agreement that issues have actually gone far beyond whether Nigeria is a nation or not because what obtains is so abundantly clear. What we should indeed be pursuing is finding ways to instill and solidify the sense of nationhood within Nigeria. It is unfortunate that a certain specie of African intellectual continues to peddle lies and dishonesty for ulterior motives. But we all know about the axiom that all the people cannot be fooled all the time.

It is quite worrying to observe otherwise intelligent people demonstrate an inability to derive knowledge by questioning what obtains, probing accepted lines of thought, exploring the feasibility of a different idea, gathering knowledge by ongoing experimenting, and generally daring to exercise themselves mentally. Everything they know has been manufactured and canned for them. Rather than treat ideas as dynamic data templates subject to change, they latch on to the percieved immutability of the notions handed down to them by their arab or oyibo masters. Which is why you hear them say things like the fact that a certain country broke down into different nations doesn't mean that it wasn't a nation before that. Others are identity challenged in the name of religion. And we thought that the use of the term "half-baked" was cruel.

The nationhood of Nigeria is not written on stone. It is our responsibility to continue to engineer Nigeria in order to get to the point where we can develop sufficiently broad consensus as far as all-inclusive Growth and Development is concerned.

Here are some relevant questions:

1. What binds us "beyond the point of no return", so to speak, as Nigerians?
2. What is the exact PSYCHOLOGICAL scope of our shared identity, beyond ideas penned on paper by some clueless general, or objects like flags?
3. Do we at all require to create institutions which would enable this process of sufficient intra-geographic empathy, rather than mutual suspicion?
4. Do we need to pursue this unity in an active or systematic mode? Or do we just complacently accept that Nigerian nationhood is fully established?
5. Does our Nigerianhood supercede our ethnic bonds or vice versa? Where does one end and the other start?
6. Are there ever conflicts between ethnic aspirations and the intentions of Nigeria?
7. Apart from stealing from the Niger Delta, are there such things as ambition rooted in ethnic culture?
8. Should any ethnic group continue to suffer from the self imposed weaknesses and inefficiencies of the overcentralised Nigerian state?

The fact of the matter is that there are sharp cultural barriers existing between the different ethnic groups which lead to such things as periodic mass killings, the governmental robbery going on in the Nigerian Delta, and the intentional underdevelopment of certain parts of Nigeria. Each ethnic group is typically wary and paranoid of the other, and it's even gotten to the point where each group now tries to protect its criminal leaders at the slightest whiff of suggestion of prosecution of the said politician from members of a different ethnic group.

Like Eja noted, the nature of inter-ethnic relationships in Nigeria is defined by the struggle for the commandeering of natural resources, the proceeds of which, I might add, are wastefully and inefficiently utilised. Each ethnic group, including the victimised, is concerned about "getting its own" (apologies Obugi), which is why I've argued in another thread that the Ijaws should look beyond getting their "justice", and employ their bargaining chip of local crude oil presence to extract a lasting benefit of a political kind which is binding to all - and includes 100 resource control. Mere increases in funds can always be stopped all together as we have seen in the affair of the "expired funds".

There's much work to do.

Austin
Feb 8, 2008, 07:29 PM
Very funny. You obviously haven’t been reading me well nor do you know exactly what should be the focus of this debate.

Yes perhaps Kenn1, because everytime I think you are getting to me, then you interject one thing or another that make skin crawl.


Would you mind now naming one nation, just ONE nation in the whole wide world that has become "ONE NATION, (with) ONE DESTINY, (under) ONE GOD"? Please, please, please, just name one!


While I didn't expect that the metaphor will be lost on anyone, now I am being called upon to name one country that has attained, the above-mentioned status. Na wa o.

But we have nations which can rightly be claimed to have attained and even surpassed the status in contention. And specifically, the names of such countries as Cuba, Denmark, South Korea, Norway, North Korea, Sweden, Thailand, Iceland, Italy, Lesotho, Iran, Swaziland, Malta, Greece, Saudi arabia and Poland among others.

In essence, the above are countries which have developed into strong nations whose citizens neither second-guess their identities nor have a hiding place when they have committed acts inimical to the will of their fellow citizens. Where ex-presidents have no tribal enclave to run to when accused of sleeping with their daughters-in-law. Where the names/teachings of Jesus, Mohammed or Buddha is not invoked to cover up attrocities, knowing that these entities are common to all. These are nations that metaphorically "one nation, (with) one destiny, (under) one God.

Khalil
I see that you are getting bullied by the 'this is a debate', we need to 'focus' and so on slogan. Please don't. As far as some of us are concerned, the debate is long over. In essense, this is supposed to be the party after the party. And in that case, a bit of humor should be appropriate. Some of us deliberately avoid taking the challenge, knowing its explosive and inexhaustive potentials. And we salute the courage of those who propose and oppose the motion. And we don't see them taking any more hostages.

And lastly Khalil, it can be easily noticed that your main problem with the whole issue is that of race, ethnicity, tribe etc. But that may not necessarily be the case. And this in my humble opinion is where many of the de-tribalised, one-nation-at-all-cost fellow citizens have been missing the point. No, it is not largely about race, ethnicity or tribe et cetera. It is about small independent and politically manageable units, with better cohesion and focus, and more importantly, no hiding place for rogue leaders and their surrogates. If an ethnic enclave fits that criteria, then let it have its own nation and lets all wait and see what it can do with it. As far as I can see, Gambians are not running to Nigeria in droves because of the inability of their country to manage itself. rather it is the other way around.

One has written ones bit and is thus getting out from here. It is a debate, and one has taken a side; but then, one will be very vigilant in the future, in case some of those those who constantly remind us of the rules, or those who do not even bother to read the rules at all, will eventually try to hold one to ransom. PEACE

DeepThought
Feb 8, 2008, 08:32 PM
Now that you’ve finally gone to “Welcome to the Crucible” thread to read on things you should have read before jumping into the fray and putting your foot in your mouth, is it too much to ask you now go back and patiently read through it thoroughly in order to make sense of it all? .........

....... They are opened to compliment the whole debate by providing opportunity and outlet for other participants in form of supporters! The rules of The Crucible apply throughout the threads in The Crucible, but in the related threads, moderation does not apply. In other words, in that sense, they are like any other thread on the board!

Ha! Ha! Hillarious
This from one whose disregarded for the rules he claims to have read is to put it kindly, beyond extravagant.

Many examples of your flauting the rules of the Crucible either because you don't understand them or because you just don't care abound. I suspect its that you just don't care.
I won't embarass you further than you've already done to yourself by pointing these out to you but your insisting that everyone in the crucible must be for or against a position is just another example of how you embarass yourself.

Apparently, you think rules are made to be broken Or to be intepreted at your singular convinience.

So not satisfied with merely breaking the rules, you are now following up with trying to harangue those who abide by the rules. Wonderful!

@Nok,
Thanks for your take on this. Much appreciated. I have my differences with some of your views but that is to be expected, we can't agree on everything.

Kenn
Feb 9, 2008, 03:12 PM
Yes I understand, you know I only came in to point at some definitional problem of a nation some of us got and think it is African.

But I think you and Austin are up to get something out of this whole thing since he doesn't seem to have problem with saying or implying something now and turning to claim it is another thing he said or implied.

Khalilurrahman



Khalil,

Austin wants to be taken seriously, but I doubt he's taking himself seriously. I was enjoying our exchange until of late when he began to suffer from some skin disease he attributes to me. So, you see, I have to be careful what I say to people now that I've been made aware of my disease-inflicting powers.:rolleyes:

Kenn
Feb 9, 2008, 03:23 PM
Austin,

I'm sorry to hear that your skin crawls. Perhaps it's time to change your body lotion. There are many fake ones out there, you know?

Have a craw-craw-free weekend!:wink:






Nok,

>>>It is quite worrying to observe otherwise intelligent people demonstrate an inability to derive knowledge by questioning what obtains, probing accepted lines of thought, exploring the feasibility of a different idea, gathering knowledge by ongoing experimenting, and generally daring to exercise themselves mentally.<<<


No, what is quite worrying is to observe otherwise intelligent people fail to understand that a pointed debate is different from a traditional discussion of issues on a messageboard. Yes, it is quite pitiable that some specie of African intellectuals cannot simply understand the purpose of The Crucible and why debates or ‘discussions' on its thread are structured and regulated differently from other sections.





DeepThought,

I think I've wasted enough time on you already. You're obviously beyond redemption. So, please, accept my apology for intruding on your blissful enjoyment of your ignorance. You may now continue unperturbed. Once again, accept my apology.

DeepThought
Feb 10, 2008, 03:09 AM
DeepThought,

I think I’ve wasted enough time on you already. You’re obviously beyond redemption. So, please, accept my apology for intruding on your blissful enjoyment of your ignorance. You may now continue unperturbed. Once again, accept my apology.

. .
Noooooooooooo!!!!!!
Please redeem me, I'm lost without you. We are all lost without you kenn
:D:D

Kenn
Feb 10, 2008, 09:34 PM
Khalil, it is sad (but understandable) that for those to whom reasoning is a contest, the outcome can only be a complete 'victory' or complete 'defeat'. So, inflexible positions are taken and, in the quest to ensure the survival of this impractical choice, efforts must be made to bend the truth around it.

Futile efforts.

Below is what I originally said: what DeepThought referenced when he spoke of my definition of a nation. The extract below is post #3 on the debate thread. Now, you must have passed by this on your way to the quote you extracted from post #48, but, you ignored it (seeing as it did not serve the purpose you were looking for)



The keywords that you ignored were: "biological", "or", and "image-wise".

There is a process called joined up thinking and, this is something that I strive to practice. Why do I mention this now? Well, when later in the debate, I used the Ashanti nation as an example of what I was talking about, I did not do so merely because I wanted to "give a history lesson". I used the Ashanti (and later the Zulu) because they are relatively contemporary examples that are indigenous to Africa of how formerly disparate peoples were forged into one - how from several ethnicities, one nation was created.

Now, while we cannot hope to replicate the methods that were used in either instance, the recollection that such a thing was successfully done (in the recent past) by people just like us is to me an affirmation of what we can do.

I then also stated that the reason we cannot repeat such a feat at this time is because there are no mechanisms set up (in Nigeria) to perform this task in a way that would be all-encompassing.

The height of futility and folly is this persistent idea that the only way in which the various peoples currently living in the geographical space Nigeria can become a nation is by imitating methodologies that were designed for entities with different sociologies, cultural psychologies, historical antecedents etc.

The truth is, even though we keep asking why we cannot move forward, we all know the answer. Just that we are reluctant to acknowledge it...why?

Because we have already invested too much in what we are right now.

Some seem to believe that we have come too far to seek a different path but, from what we have seen of that way of thinking, we should know that it will only result in a continuation of the stagnation of all true developmental elements as we keep re-building the same old boat that was designed to spring a leak after every single circumnavigation.

If there is anybody who is determined that Nigeria will never be a nation it is those who are determined that Nigeria will remain configured the way it presently is. It is those who insist that this Nigeria is already a nation.

People who can be compared to house-builders who speak of a job being completed even though the house lacks a roof and a sturdy front door.

And that is not the worst: the worst is, the foundations of their sorry excuse for a house are set in quicksand and the cement they used in making their bricks are fourth rate. Yet, they insist that the house is complete. That the residents can start buying furniture and they can start preparing to settle down.

People who think like this are why Nigeria will never amount to anything other than a predator's paradise.

Of course, after saying all that, I expect either Khalil or Kenn1 to tell me again that I have just advocated for the break up of Nigeria and the return of the Oyo empire...:D.

And by the way, this thing that you (Khalil) said about 'some historians' and the origins of the Yoruba...well, it is good that you were not specific; that you said 'some historians' because, I also know of what 'some historians' said.

These ones said that the first humans on planet Earth were Africans and, they said that since the Yoruba are of 100&#37; African stock, then the Yoruba, regardless of what they were called in those most ancient days, are direct descendants of the first humans on Earth.

These historians say life was very hostile in those first days of creation and that you had to be the hardiest of the hardy to survive. Now, they also say that not only did this proto-Yoruba survive, but that they thrived.

They say that some of them were a part of the conglomeration of African nations that left the centre of Africa and went forth to found Kemet.

Now, do you know that these historians have determined, through carbon dating, that the oldest man-made structure on earth is what is called the Sphinx and, that the age they have put on this structure is roughly 48,000 years?

Me, I have no reason to disbelieve these historians; to be sure, what they say puts no money in my pockets, but, it also takes nothing away from me....you understand?

Allow me to expand on what I just said : If you wish to know why I may choose to believe my own set of 'some historians' over your own set of 'some historians', it is because mine take nothing away from me while yours try to make me think I am less than I am. Now, unless I am one who is afraid to raise up his head, why would I deny something that gives me reason to raise up my head?

History is the greatest thing I know of when it comes to forging a common will. If we know that we were once the greatest of all men by virtue of our own efforts, then we will know that we can be great again by virtue of our own efforts.

Khalil my good friend, I am sorry about the digression but, I just couldn't allow you to get away with derogatory propaganda like this:



You may be content with the description of your own people as ones who had nothing and knew nothing before non-Africans came onto the scene. I know different about the people I came from.





Eja,


I fail to see the purpose of the above post of yours. What Khalil did brilliantly was to point out the reason anyone who reads your contribution here would invariably conclude that your idea of nation is ethnically based. The man actually quoted your definition, which is clearly ethnic-based! So, how you can now turn round to accuse opposers as taking “inflexible positions”, making “impractical choice” or of bending the truth (amongst other things) is beyond me. Even your much-vaunted “joined up thinking” technique couldn’t hide the fact that you’re grappling at straws with your examples!

Neither the Ashanti nor Zulu formed any nation from “several ethnicities”. In fact, the Ashanti are actually a subgroup within the larger Akan ethnic group (just as one can say the Ijesha or Ekiti are subgroups within the Yoruba ethnic group). So, if anything, they further dichotomized the Akan nation. Equally, I don’t know what point you’re making with the Zulu, because, just like the Ashante, the Bini, Oyo, Hausa states, Kanem, etc, they did not come out post-colonialism as a sovereign nation. The only significant thing about your examples is that they’re actually people who conform to your own closed definition of nation – in terms of common language, common culture, common creation mythology and so on.

So, it is obvious that you have not conceived of Nigeria as a nation simply because it is multi-ethnic, not because “there are no mechanisms set up (in Nigeria) to perform this task in a way that would be all-encompassing”, as you contradictorily claimed. It is clear that no matter what “mechanisms” are set up, as far as your primary criteria of cultural, biological and mythological homogeneity are not there, you wouldn’t be regarding the entity as a nation. Of course, the Nigeria we know today cannot by any stretch of imagination transform into the kind of nation you’ve defined - no matter the kind of progress it makes on any level. In other words, even if today the rule of law reigns supreme, citizens’ rights become established, political and economic progress move geometrically, our leaders become saints and deliver hundred percent, Nigeria would still not be a nation by your definition. Why, because your idea of nation and how Nigeria is constituted are conceptually different! Your idea of nation is not based on the kind of progress an entity makes as a sovereign state, but on its composition.

Thus, I wonder why you’re attempting to talk differently when the evidence is simply clear from your definition and examples that what you want is an ethnically homogenous nation – something Nigeria as presently constituted cannot become. To become what you want, Nigeria will have to be broken up (by force or peaceful means) into small ethnically homogenous nations. It is therefore not a figment of our imagination to say you’re advocating for the break up of Nigeria. The surprising thing is that rather than own up to this, you continue claiming it isn’t what you want when every intelligent and logical reading of your expressed position here clearly shows a break up of Nigeria by any means as the consequence of your theory. Khalil is absolutely right to point this out.




CHEERS!

Kenn
Feb 12, 2008, 10:07 PM
And here's putting things in perspective:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7241965.stm

Khalil
Feb 13, 2008, 01:31 PM
This thread has been diverted enough as it is by those who think it is a place to discuss all the woes of our nation. So, why don’t you open a new thread in The Main Square (to avoid the circumscription/limitations of The Crucible) and make a case in line with your claims here. I would be happy to join you there to explore it further.

Kenn1,

I just remembered having posted the complete article in the main board some months back. Get it here,http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/board/main-square/37211-nigeria-s-problem-real-problems.html ,and perhaps you can say something. In it also is my complete and rounded thought about Nigeria.

Thanks

Khalilurrahman

Khalil
Feb 13, 2008, 02:04 PM
Every new invention contains something new and something old. In the old, we have our African traditions to draw from. What we should be more concern is the "new", that is to say, how we formulate the philosophy, foundation and direction, etc., for a nation. One that's different in meaning-- concept and implementation--to the one we have been discussing so far.


Palamedes,

Actually your suggestion is very good but my main problem with what Eja and DeepThought have been doing so far is not taking from the old in our African tradition, but rather they are taking from the new from Europe and asking us to narrow down again on the new to form our own nation.

Now if we say Africa should be fragmented to fit as ethnic enclaves for it to prove manageable, if possible, as suggested by Austin up there, then Africa in the nearest future will become bedeviled by the devil that is visiting Europe now saying the ethnic states they created in the 18th century should be fragmented further for other ethnic states to be created.

But in the essay I gave the link above I tried providing, in my own little way, ways that Nigeria can follow to achieve something better in the nearest future. It is only unfortunate that I may not be completely right and there may be very little effort from the policy makers now to even want to look at my alternatives.

Khalilurrahman

Fjord
Feb 16, 2008, 09:37 PM
As Kosovo declares independence and its painful birth as a nation in a few hours, the nationalities within the geographical expression named Nigeria could themselves begin to consider true nationhood. There's more than a reason why the British have 4 national football teams, and there're more reasons why tiny nations like Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Iceland, with a total population comparable to that of Lagos State are separate countries. Yet, these have more in common than those grouped under Nigeria.

One of the ways the thing called Nigeria has been wasting resources is the struggle to achieve nationhood; long essays are written with suggestions on how to do this. These can be compared to suggestions to another human to make them kin by lineage, against all available evidence, scientific and otherwise.

There's no policy yet formulated to enforce nationhood; Nigeria will never be one.
.

DeepThought
Feb 16, 2008, 09:58 PM
Ah, Fjord is taking a break from Obama


Nigeria will never be one.

I wouldn't say that. I'll rather say;


This Nigeria will never be one.

Fjord
Feb 17, 2008, 05:40 AM
DT, well... missed much of this sometimes fascinating exchange.

Your modification is welcome: "This Nigeria will never be one"; I agree. And, really, this isn't materially different from the original.

I'm yet to read all the posts, but I sense you get the essesnce of what poster Eja has written.

This piece: When is a Nation not a Nation (http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2007/oct/27/scotland.devolution1) addresses issues already menioned above. The geographical area called Nigeria remains the most enduring emblem of racism visited upon nationalities within it almost a century ago. Nations will be born when that lasting act is undone.
.

DeepThought
Feb 17, 2008, 06:16 AM
Fjord, thanks for that link.
When you get a chance pls read Buschs interesting article (http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8476/55). It doesn't say anything new or earth shattering but some old things are worth repeating

The below quote


Not really having planned for it, in 1960 de Gaulle had to improvise structures for a collection of small newly independent states, each with a flag, an anthem, and a seat at the UN, but often with precious little else

should be replaced with;
>>Not really well prepared for it, in 1960 Nigeria/Ghana/Togo/....fill in the gap had to improvise structures for a collection of small newly independent states, each with a flag, an anthem, and a seat at the UN, but often with precious little else.<<

I'm not even sure if it really applies as we didn't even recognize the need to improvise new structures. Basically, we just went with what we were told or given. We know only what we are allowed to know and refuse to think beyond what we are told or how we were taught . And we're still doing the same thing today actually.

Consequently, we are not looking very bright righ now


The thing is that many don't even recognize the straits we are in. They actually think all they need to be a nation is a flag and some scaps of paper.


As the joke among linguists used to go, what's the difference between a dialect and language? Answer, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy a flag

Fjord
Feb 17, 2008, 08:55 AM
"... what's the difference between a dialect and language? Answer, a language is a dialect with an army and a navy [and] a flag." Funny.

Nigeria was ready to take off as a nation with the previous arrangement where the regions administered their issues; a weaker centre could just have helped all that. But it never happened. Soldiers who knew nothing about nationhood, and playing to feelings of insecurity, including the one being celebrated this month - the sometimes-nice criminal thug after whom the airport in Lagos is named - destroyed the fabric of any attempt at nationhood.

This House has Fallen; its foundations must be undone for a thorough re-building to be done. The most outspoken agents of retaining the current rotten state are usually the ones not making any tangible contribution to Nigeria as presently constituted; they love the status quo. It's a faulty foundation, there's no way else to go.

DT: article at link was written by Dr Gary K Busch; is that the one you'd encouraged to read?
.

DeepThought
Feb 17, 2008, 09:01 AM
Correct...........

denker
Feb 17, 2008, 09:09 AM
This House has Fallen; its foundations must be undone for a thorough re-building to be done. The most outspoken agents of retaining the current rotten state are usually the ones not making any tangible contribution to Nigeria as presently constituted; they love the status quo. It's a faulty foundation, there's no way else to go.

..absolutely right...the house has fallen...!

Fjord
Feb 17, 2008, 09:14 AM
Thanks. It's clearer why the previous reference was to Ocnus.

Interesting, clear-headed read. Dr. Busch was even more direct in this piece from Ocnus: The Time of the I-d-i-o-t-s (http://www.ocnus.net/artman2/publish/Editorial_10/The_Time_of_the_*****s.shtml)

Sigh. How could Nigeria begin to think of nationhood without shaking off these chains of colonialism?
.

Ishola Taiwo
Feb 17, 2008, 12:28 PM
One of the simplest and most rewarding pieces of wisdom I came across goes like this : Every poison is a medicine and every medicine is a poison; the difference in effect is down to dosage.

The poison that keeps being injected into this particular reasoning is the persistent use of the allegation that named participants are calling for a permanent break-up of Nigeria into its component ethnic parts. I for one would like those who keep saying that I made statements of this nature to bring forward the quotes in which I said so.

Khalil and Kenn1 need to present the very words that I used to called for a break-up of Nigeria. Present the very words. Show where during the course of this particular debate, I specifically (or even vaguely) called for the break-up of Nigeria into its component ethnic parts or, be known from now on as a pair of unprincipled debaters.

And then, Kenn1 wants us to know that he is in full support of a Sovereign National Conference...

What is a Sovereign National Conference?

If you (Kenn1) were one of those who had the power to convene such a conference, what subjects would be off the table?

Would any subject be off the table? I mean, if there are set pre-conditions, could this conference of yours still be called "Sovereign"?

I would like to know.

What would the response be if several participants at this "Sovereign" conference announced that the people they represented wanted out of Nigeria? If they said they no longer wanted to be Nigerians...after all, we are told that Nigeria is not just a political entity (i.e. a State) but that it is already a nation....

Well, is it actually possible for a mass of people to opt out of a 'nation'?

These are the questions that expose the stagnation breeding contradictions of those who call for a "Sovereign National Conference" with one turn of their mouth, and then proclaim that Nigeria is already a nation with another turn...

For example, with reference to the second paragraph above this one : can the people of Oyo demand that the world stop referring to them as Yoruba since they no longer want to be known as such and that henceforth, Oyo is opting out of the group known as Yoruba or, can the elders and leaders of the city of Kano state that the domains they represent no longer want to be included within the description Hausa land....is this possible?

Well, let us say "yes" for the sake of this argument. And having said "yes", we now have to imagine what kind of environment would enable the Oyo to reject the Yoruba label or, empower the people of Kano to describe their lands as being no part of the territories describable as Hausa land. The first image of such an environment that comes to mind is a catastrophic one. We are talking about circumstances the likes of which are rarely seen.

We are talking about massive upheavals and drastic changes in the ethnic composition of the territories population or, about some sort of scrupulously enforced re-naming and intensive mass re-education.

Yet, within Nigeria itself, we have seen how easily new identities aligned with new political entities came into being out of the dismemberment of previously existing corporate bodies.

Events from which we may draw the conclusion that a once monolithical state can fracture into component parts and effortlessly carry on (as we saw with the dismemberment of the old 19 states of Nigeria), for as long as the nation itself still remains intact on another level...i.e. the people of Oyo state and Osun state, though no longer belonging to one political entity, are still one as Yoruba therefore, the disruption that came with the re-organisation of the geo-political landscape only affected them on a relatively superficial level.

Where problems can arise (and have arisen) would be on those occasions when the occupants of a geographical space perceive the dismemberment of the state as an event that heralds the enhancing of one local power elite's influence over another. It has been at those times, when a lack of equity was perceived - i.e. where all local power elites were not "settled" (one way or another) - that problems followed.

Therefore, I submit that the existence of the possibility that components of the society can effortlessly drop their allegiance to current geo-political labels proves that all identities that originate out of the common Nigerian experience are negotiable and that in fact, as we recently saw with the Bakassi matter, the Nigerian identity itself is easily negotiated away without more than a localised upheaval following - if even that.

Unlike what would have happened if for example, Maiduguri was to be officially described (and recognised) as an emirate that would henceforth belong to ones of Fulani origin.

I also submit that the political realities that brought about the consensus through which Nigerians of this 'democratic' age accept the impossibility of two people from the same ethnic group serving (one immediately after the other) two full terms as Nigerian President proves that in Nigeria, indigenous ethnicity still trumps the so called Nigerian nationality. I challenge anyone to state with assurance that it could be possible for the ruling PDP to present two Fulani men as its next two Presidential candidates (after Alhaji Umaru YarAdua).

Yet, if this Nigeria were a nation, matters like this would not be an issue. We would be saying, let he (or she) with the most merit have the job - regardless of his (or her) ethnic group and, regardless of the ethnic group of the one who had held the job previously.

But where in this Nigeria does that happen?

In fact, are not all high level political jobs at the 'national' stage currently zoned in accordance with "Federal Character"?

Why would a united nation need an artificial leveler like "Federal Character"?

If we are talking about what exists now, then let us speak of the indicators on the ground that prove this existence. Instead of half-truths, distorted truths and hyper-aggressive wishful thinking, let us keep describing what is actually on the ground right now. We cannot take our eyes off the ball for a second. We talk about things as they are so that we can devise effective ways of making things become what they ought to be.

My main object in the course this reasoning, I should repeat (again!!), has never been about calling for the break-up of Nigeria. All I have been trying to do is to point out that the sort of mechanisms that were once called upon to make the people of Oshogbo in Nigeria and Ajase in Benin Republic one nationality (i.e. Yoruba) are non-existent at an all-encompassing level of what is called Nigeria. This is a serious oversight and denying its existence will not ameliorate its effects on our present and on our future.

The argument here, if it is to be sincere, should be based on how to achieve what ought to be our common goal - that is, seeking the ways in which we can devise those all-encompassing mechanisms that are used to create a nation.

And just because the task being described looks impossible does not make it so. It only looks impossible but, it is actually very possible. It has been done before.

And Khalil, if my appending the word "nation" to labels like "Yoruba", "Ashanti" and "Zulu" is (in your opinion) incontrovertible proof of my "European-influenced" thinking, then I better take care never to append words like "law", "spirituality", "culture", "agriculture" or even "education" to any type of African ethnic label since this would only be further evidence to prove this theory of yours that describes me as one who takes his lead from ideas that originated in the European mind...:eek:.

After all, according to your high logic, the Yoruba from whom I claim to come could never have had a concept of what is called a "nation".....perhaps because "nation" is not a Yoruba word...:wink:.

Yes. You are absolutely right of course and now, with your gracious permission, I shall extend your logic - I shall say (on your behalf) that since words like "law", "culture", "commerce", "justice", "spirituality", "love", "agriculture" or even "education" are not Yoruba words, then we can be certain that these African people never knew of such concepts until they were exposed to European thought. Which means that anything one like myself says on such subjects can only be because I am repeating what I learned from Europe....:idea:..beautiful insight!!

Fellow Africans who also came from peoples who had no philosophy (like myself), the joke here of course is that this person who keeps harping on my 'inauthenticity' is a man who himself quotes endlessly from Arabic thought (i.e. from a non-African culture).

Kenn1 and Khalil, I repeat what I said above, if you are sincere, then come, let us look for a way to conceive indigenous mechanisms that can be applied all over this geographical space so that we can make it a nation. When you get down to the nitty-gritty, all parties that have been involved in this debate want the same thing. Cease assigning obsolete points of view to me just because you are looking for something to fight against. OK?

Those with eyes to see can see that the world has moved beyond those arguments; only retards are still on that page. And not to boast, but I am no retard. I trust that you can say the same about yourselves...:D.

DeepThought
Feb 17, 2008, 12:59 PM
After all, according to your high logic, the Yoruba from whom I claim to come could never have had a concept of what is called a "nation".....perhaps because "nation" is not a Yoruba word....

Yes. You are absolutely right of course and now, with your gracious permission, I shall extend your logic - I shall say (on your behalf) that since words like "law", "culture", "commerce", "justice", "spirituality", "love", "agriculture" or even "education" are not Yoruba words, then we can be certain that these African people never knew of such concepts until they were exposed to European thought. Which means that anything one like myself says on such subjects can only be because I am repeating what I learned from Europe......beautiful insight!!

:D:D:D:D





Sigh. How could Nigeria begin to think of nationhood without shaking off these chains of colonialism?

Since the politicians and so called leaders are impossibly corrupted, perhaps we should try and poll the people themselves and see what they want.

1. We could start by agitating for the holding of a plebiscite' in all parts of the country to directly ask the people if they want a restructuring of Nigeria or if they are satisfied with the current arrangement of the "Nation". I think the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

2. We could then agree to be bound by the outcome of the plebiscite'. Whatever that may be.
I'm assuming this will be free and fair since political offices and money is not the prize

And for those whom Soverign is a problem as a prefix to National conference, we could call it a Structural (Adjustment) National Conference
.

denker
Feb 17, 2008, 01:47 PM
We could start by agitating for the holding of a plescible{sic}......

..plebiscite'll still be ineffective as long as there's no harmonized internal action group...where're the Igbos, yorubas, or ijaws dat are really wanting to opt out of nigeria...i have not seen many of them..their numbers are ineligibly negligible...:idea:

DeepThought
Feb 17, 2008, 04:12 PM
Delightful Denker,
Thanks for that correcktion I know even your bad clock would be correct at least twice a day.
:D

Have you been going up the length and breadth of Nigeria counting?

Kenn
Feb 18, 2008, 12:54 AM
Eja, DeepThought and Fjord,

I thank you guys for continuing with the debate. I would have loved to join you guys to continue here, but I do not think I can now that I've been made aware that the rules of the debate as I thought them to be aren't the rules as made by Shoko (see our exchange on Welcome to the Crucible thread). In order not to perpetuate this ‘confusion' therefore, I'm opting out of The Crucible until the rules are clear enough. I would rather the rules are clear enough before engaging further here. I'm not comfortable with the idea of us making the rules as we go along, especially where new rules affect fundamentally my perception of what this whole thing is about. This is obviously my personal opinion.

So guys, if you want to continue this discussion in a freer and more open manner, which is what I think is actually needed judging from Khalil and Fjord's posts (and to an extent, Eja and DeepThought's), any of you guys can initiate a thread in the Main Square or write an article in the articles section on this matter. I will gladly join to discuss it there. Since it has become such an emotive issue, one can actually discuss it in any of the aforementioned places with the clear conviction required.

Please, note that I'm writing this only so you don't think I'm ignoring your posts.



CHEERS!




Khalil,

I've read your post/article in The Main Square and made my preliminary comment. Please, if you're still interested, let's continue the discussion there.

http://www.nigeriavillagesquare.com/board/main-square/37211-nigeria-s-problem-real-problems-2.html



CHEERS!

DeepThought
Feb 18, 2008, 02:34 AM
@Kenn,
Thanks for your post.
I regret and disagree with your perceptions of "confusion" or about the rules not being clear enough or being changed or made up as we go along.
I look forward to your unique contributions and discussions in the Crucible or any other section of the board in the near future.

For now, I won't be discussing on the particular thread you reference for personal reasons.

Thanks

Kenn
Feb 18, 2008, 04:19 AM
@Kenn,
For now, I won't be discussing on the particular thread you reference for personal reasons.
Thanks


DeepThought,

Thanks. The reference is only for the benefit of Khalil. It was his article in the Main Square he referred me to. I just wanted him to know that I've read it and made some initial comments. It's obviously not connected to The Crucible; but since he referenced it here and asked me to look at it, it was fair that I let him know that I've looked at it and commented.



CHEERS!

Khalil
Feb 18, 2008, 11:32 AM
DeepThought,

Thanks. The reference is only for the benefit of Khalil. It was his article in the Main Square he referred me to. I just wanted him to know that I've read it and made some initial comments. It's obviously not connected to The Crucible; but since he referenced it here and asked me to look at it, it was fair that I let him know that I've looked at it and commented.



CHEERS!

Noted Kenn1, and forget about DeepThought on this he knows quite well your reference was to me as it was clear from your post. The man only wan take style show you in get months old beep wit me. That he has stopped talking to me in one African style which only im know.

Well na im sabi, my people say, "An un-forgetful heart is a grieving heart!"


Will respond to your thoughts, there, in the next 20 hrs please. My boss is on my neck with a design job!

Khalilurrahman