Before I go into discussion of Mr. Osuji’s assertions that are mostly false and uneducated, I want to mention a few observable facts about Mr. Osuji. He can work with just a few hours of sleep. I make this statement based on the volume of his writing and assuming that since he meets the basic necessities of life: food, shelter and clothes, that he must have a day job. So he writes at his spare time. The second point is that when he stays in the area of his training such as psychology and philosophy, he can make sense, but once he intrudes into other areas, he makes very uninformed assertions. I will debate him on few of these in this essay. I do not know enough of psychology to vouch that he makes sense when he writes on the subject, but to a neophyte he sounds, knowledgeable. He is a scientist, and perhaps because of it, each time he ventures into the realm of history and economics he makes horrific blunders. The third point is that he hates his people, Blacks, Africans, Nigerians and Igbo in an ascending order of hatred.

The points below are taken from Before you rush to war think it through! 

Before reading my rejoinder I strongly suggest that the reader reads Mr. Osuji’s treatise first to put my comments in context.

I do not know which books Mr. Osuji reads but I sometimes wonder if he understands what he reads.

He says:

  1. Igbos had no prior documented history of going to wars as a nation state.

    If this is true, it means that the Igbo have not been defeated in about 3,000 years of history before the advent of Europeans.

    [Pottery dated at around 2500 BCE showing similarities with later Igbo work was found at Nsukka, along with pottery and tools at nearby Ibagwa; the traditions of the Umueri clan have as their source the Anambra valley. In the 1970s the OwerriOkigweOrluAwguUdi and Awka divisions were determined to constitute "an Igbo heartland" from the linguistic and cultural evidence.[26( Wikipedia)]

If the Igbo have been undefeated for thousands of years, (that would make them the exception in history) it could only mean that they are/were not war mongers and their neighbors also learned not to mess with the Igbo. Or, the more likely scenario, that Mr. Osuji’s statement is false. I do not know why Mr. Osuji made this assertion but there it is.

On the Nigerian/Biafran War (1967-1970) he said:

2. *****Nigerians came with modern military weapons, AK 47s, tanks etc. Upon the first shots fired by the Nigerians the savages threw away their machetes and ran away!*****

I was old enough and fought in this war. It lasted almost three years. How could Mr. Osuji say that the “savages” (meaning Biafrans), threw away their machetes and ran away. Like all wars it had its ebbs and flows; territory gained, (Owerri) (Abagana) (Midwest) (Onitsha) and territories lost. It was fought on every square inch of Biafra and parts of Nigeria. But, in Mr. Osuji’s jaundiced eyes, it lasted a day. It is true that Nigeria had the better equipment in men and material but the gallant Biafran forces fought with heart and turned a police action into a full blazed war involving air, land, sea battles. Biafrans did not run away. They died, they were buried, and they were starved to death.

Perhaps following from item 2 above Mr. Osuji made his worst blunder in the article by asserting:

3. ******Needless to say that at war the party with the best weapons probably will win.*****

Nobody will dispute that the United States has the best military in the world now and since the second world war. But it is worth noting that the Second World War was the last war US has won (with the possible exception of the first Iraq Invasion under H. W. Bush). Yet US has fought many other wars and lost them all: Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mozambique, etc. There has not been any Ticker-Tape-Parades in these territories since the end of World War II even though it had the best armed forces. It is also true that Apartheid South Africa had a much better war machine than the Africans but they too lost the war. Ditto for Rhodesia, Sudan, and many other wars in different parts of the world. And if one choses to go further back Britain had the best war machine in 1700’s but US colonies, and amalgam of untrained militia, under George Washington defeated them. The Russians in Afghanistan, and the French before them; The Italians in Ethiopia; etc.; were all defeated by rag tag armies. Who wins a war is a function of many small events and circumstances but Mr. Osuji has no time for details. He merely makes statements in a hurry. He is too flippant. As the Americans say: it is not the size of the dog in a fight; it is the size of the heart in the dog.

In another segment in this essay Mr. Osuji insists that Africans are yet to be Christians and proclaims that:

4. *****African Christians will emerge in about five hundred years!******

I do not know his definition of a Christian or his definition of an African. But I do know that may Africans met Jesus alive and talked with him in person. I do know that after Christ’s death his disciples spread across Asia Minor and to Africa to found Egyptian and Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Churches. I do not know if he considers these non-Christians or Non-Africans or just ignorant. In modern times many Africans had died because of their Christian faith. There were the martyrs of Uganda and Egypt; there are African saints. Many people in the world consider Archbishop Desmund Tutu a man of faith. Do these count as Christians; as Africans? If Christians have not yet emerged from Africa after 2,000 years, the probability of emergence in 500 years is very doubtful.

In yet another of Mr. Osuji’s many slips he states:

5. *****Africans have no regard for each other, as shown by their history of capturing and selling their people to Arabs and Europeans;*******

The Bible asks a rhetorical question “how many times would your neighbor offend you before you forgive him?” It answers the question as never too many times. All old texts including the Bible are replete with slavery and slave trading. We do know that Joseph’s Jewish brothers sold their own brother into slavery; we do know that there were European slaves in American colonies first before the African slaves were brought in. How could a man who quotes Jung, Aristotle, and other ancient writers not know these well publicized stories? Is he so blindsided by his hatred of Blacks, Africans, Nigerians and the Igbo to the extent that his scholarship flees from him? Dear Mr. Osuji objectivity is the first order of scholarship. You are a scholar live up to you calling!

Here is Mr. Osuji in his many sorry efforts to turn history upside down”

6. ****The other races of mankind consider black people unintelligent; this is because Africans have not contributed much to science and technology*****

He has made this assertion so often before and I have tried to correct him so often that I wonder if he forgets the corrections or does not care for the truth. It is once more difficult to know who he considers African. We know that the Egyptian civilization was led by Africans of Egyptian-Sudan. They built pyramids that the modern world is still unable to duplicate. We know that Africans invented fire and that all recent energy development is based on fire principles; we know that Africans domesticated most of the animals we now rear for food as well as domesticating much of the plants. We know that all the animals in African forests have been studied by Africans and named and their habits and reproduction process established. We know that Ethiopians invented their own writing, that Egyptians did the same and introduced the world to papyrus or paper documentation. We know that they built boats and sailed in the rivers and seas in their neighborhood. We know that the alleged discoverer of source of River Niger, Mungo Park, sailed down the river on a boat loaned to him by Africans. The examples I just listed spams all aspects of studies: biology, engineering, maritime, education, history technology, science etc. Are we dealing with a person so badly indoctrinated that he cannot tell fact from fiction about his own people?

This will be my last comment on Mr. Osuji’s essay because it might be the only thing that makes some sense:

7. *************At this time, it seems to me that the most doable thing is to renegotiate Nigeria and restructure Nigeria and have each large ethnic group rule itself within a federation called Nigeria**************.

I think that after rambling for over 5,000 words something clicked and Mr. Osuji wrote the above. It makes sense. Nigerians should consider this proposal for its future.

Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba

Boston, Massachusetts

August 26, 2016