Readers’ comments, by Prof MK Othman
Deep Thoughts with Othman
After some months of not publishing the readers’ comments because of a series of events happening in Nigeria in a quick session, I must share some of the comments today. Still, due to space limitations, only very few can appear. However, all comments are essential, and readers can access such comments on my FaceBook (firstname.lastname@example.org), Twitter (@mkothman1), Blog (www.deepthoughtwithmkothman.blogspot.com), and Instagram (profmkothman) handle. Happy reading.
School System in Nigeria: Education without Character?
Prof, this is a well-written piece. Unfortunately, Education is now in a sorry state. A state where no well-to-do individual hoping to send his/her child to public schools. This makes the market for private schools on the rise. My concern in this regard is that most of those who benefitted from the early sound education are now against it. They are the ones controlling the affairs of government at all levels. They have the way and means to revive it, but they are not interested. They enjoyed sound public education but grossly neglected it thereby preventing other Nigerians to enjoy the same. They are also using public funds for the education of their children abroad or in private schools but destroying the public schools. With all these, it is difficult for our younger ones to have productive growth. Thank you, Prof and more ink to your pen.
Engr Umar Hassan, ABU Zaria
As usual, a very interesting piece. Indiscipline amongst our secondary students is to me, multi-faceted. From parents to government, from overpopulation to increasing indiscipline in the society, from access to the latest means of information to emphasis on human rights, etc. As a society, we must carefully study the education system to find a lasting solution to the existing problems.
Barr Kabir Hassan, Zaria
Good thinking Prof, but we have a bad leadership with no value and purpose for character moulding. Leaders should be a good example to the people and a model of character to follow. A bad tree cannot bring forth good fruits. An unjust system cannot produce a just leader. Every level of our leadership is corrupt. The system operators are placed above the system and the law that guides the system operations. This is where we have missed it. We have to go back to the drawing board at all levels of leadership to make the system and the standard superior to the operators and not vice versa. Our future has a lot of potential opportunities but we need discipline and dedicated operators in the system to make it work. Well done sir. I appreciate your write-up!
Dr Hammed Olabanji Kolawole, Lagos
It used to be a ‘two-prong approach’ – basic character moulding both at home and in school! The deviant characters we are having today are a direct result of how far we have strayed from the path of honour!!!
Alhaji Sani Ahmad, Kano
Nigeria-2023: Igbo Undoing the Igbo Presidency
You’ve said it all Prof, but they will never understand. This was my reply to an Ibo man on their demand for the presidency:
– No one is denying the south-east from producing the president except themselves. The presidency cannot be obtained by force or intimidation. It is good that the writers of that piece are sighting history to justify their demands for the presidency of Nigeria. They have forgotten or deliberately underplayed the history of their struggle for the leadership of Nigeria, through violence and intimidation. That violence and intimidation saw the masterminded murder of our beloved leaders, Ahmadu Bello, J. S. Akintola and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa amongst others. Persistent political brigandage and the consistent threats to secede from Nigeria is still there, with the advent of Kanu and IPOB activities against northerners all over the East. In the history of Nigeria, no president has ever won elections based on support from only his section or region or ethnic group. It has always been by mutual respect and negotiations. That was how Obasanjo became the choice of Nigerians, (mainly northerners) in 1999. That was also how Shagari became president in 1979. The question is, why must a section or any particular people in this country think that they can muscle their way into the presidency by force, violence, intimidation and domination?
If you want to know what denies the South East the presidency, do not look elsewhere. It’s just this attitude of a burning instinct to take it by force and intimidation. That attitude has to change especially in a democratic dispensation. Igbo’s change of attitude will mark their first step towards acquiring the presidency in Nigeria. Hope the change will come sooner than later.
Prof Shehu Chafe, ABU Zaria
This is largely true. However, on the bad side, the winner takes all character displayed by Igbos when they first tasted power and the skewed outcome of the first coup whether intentional or not has continued to elicit fears of possible repetition by Igbos in some sections of the country. Historically, we were told that Col Banjo, the Yoruba officer that fought side by side with the Biafran was executed because he resisted attempts by Ojukwu to appoint Igbo governors for absolute control over the Midwest and later western flanks of the south during the war. It was also on record that only deft political moves by Awolowo prevented Zik from controlling and dominating the Western regional government at the first republic. Am not sure that many Nigerians think the Igbos have learnt their lesson enough to trust them with the presidency. Although, this is the correct thing to do. Also, unfortunately, such open unpretentious injustice, nepotism and even worse nation killing…..not building practices have become the norm even under the current circumstances in the country.
Dr Yele Akinbamowo, Ibadan.
Professor Othman is the Executive Director of National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), ABU Zaria.