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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Nigeria at 56: What Education was like before independence

Written by Dayo Adesulu
~Vanguard Nigeria. Thursday, September 29, 2016.

A UN student teaching pupils in Wuro Hausa Primary School in
Yola, Adamawa State with tablets in local languages
AS Nigeria celebrates its Independence on Saturday, it is imperative to recapitulate the role education played in gaining our freedom from Britain 56 years ago.

Foremost nationalists like the late Chief Anthony Enahoro, the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the late Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe and the late Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello, who fought for our independence did so not through arms and ammunition, but through the power of the pen which they derived through education.

The aforementioned nationalists had were brave enough to challenge the colonial masters due to their access to quality education.

Anthony Enahoro, who moved the motion for our independence was educated at Government School, Uromi, Government School Owo and King's College, Lagos. He was not educated in any private school, all the schools he attended were government schools. With quality education, Chief Enahoro became the editor of Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe's newspaper, in 1944 at the age of 21. Thus, becoming Nigeria's youngest editor ever.

Constitutional conferences

His education, coupled with being a member of House of Representatives, he successfully moved the motion for self governance in 1958 which led to Nigeria’s independence in 1960. He was also a delegate to most of the constitutional conferences leading to the independence.

For Obafemi Awolowo, his father who was a farmer and a sawyer died when Obafemi was about seven years old. Nevertheless, because access to education was not as difficult as it is today, he was able to attend various schools and became a teacher at Abeokuta, after which he studied and qualified as a shorthand typist.

With that knowledge, he served as a clerk at Wesley College and later became a correspondent for the Nigerian Times. It was after this that he embarked on various business ventures to help raise funds to travel to the United Kingdom for further studies. In the UK, he studied law at the University of London. With this academic feat, he was able to play a key role in Nigeria's independence movement.

On his part, Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe attended the Holy Trinity School, a Roman Catholic Mission school and Christ Church School, an Anglican primary school at Onitsha, Anambra State in 1914. He finished his elementary education at CMS Central School where he served as a pupils-teacher.

Azikiwe later had his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science in 1930 at Lincoln University, 30 years before Nigeria gained independence in 1960. He also had a master’s degree in Religion and Philosophy two years later in the same university. Besides, Azikiwe did conclude two Master's degrees in Anthropology and Political Science in 1933 at the University of Pennsylvania. He had a Doctor of Philosophy degree also.

With these academic achievements, little wonder he was one of the leading figures of modern Nigerian nationalism. He was first a journalist and later a political leader. He served as the second and last Governor-General of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and the first President of Nigeria from 1960 to 1963 and 1963 to 1966, holding the presidency throughout the Nigerian First Republic.

In the same vein, Sir Ahmadu Bello who was a major figure in Northern Nigeria’s pre-independence politics, played a major role in the independence of Nigeria. Born in 1909, he attended Sokoto Provincial School and the Katsina Training College. He finished school in 1931 and subsequently became the English teacher in Sokoto Middle School.

In 1948, he got a government scholarship to study Local Government Administration in England which broadened his understanding and knowledge in governance. After returning from Britain, he was nominated to represent the province of Sokoto in the regional House of Assembly. He was selected among others as a member of a committee that redrafted the Richards Constitution.

The vision and power of education that our foremost nationalists had which brought them to the limelight, influenced the early government of the 60s to invest in qualitative education. At that time, primary education to university level were well funded by the government. No first generation university in Nigeria at that time lacked quality and basic infrastructure, as students were motivated by the government to study.

The University of Ibadan 1948, University of Nigeria, Nsukka 1960, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria 1962, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife 1962, University of Lagos 1962 and University of Benin 1970 were unarguably the best universities in Africa. Foreign lecturers and students from the UK, India and Ghana were testament to the quality of Nigeria’s Education sector in those days as foreign students and teachers enrolled for admission and teaching jobs. In those days, few students who schooled overseas retuned to Nigeria, as there was nothing attractive to them there that could keep them behind; not even job opportunities. Because our Naira was stronger than theirs, on graduation day, it was a common sight to see multi-national companies queuing to employ best graduating students from different disciplines. Today, all these have become history. We are no longer the pride and giant of Africa, the glory has departed.

The question begging for an answer is: what is our government doing to revamp the Education sector?

In the world university rankings of 2016-2017 as released by The Times last week, only University of Ibadan was listed among the 980 top universities in the world. It was ranked 801. Whereas we prided ourselves as giant of Africa with 149 universities, only University of Ibadan is universally recognised as viable with global standard.

Qualified universities

South Africa tops African universities in the global ranking by producing eight universities among the 980 top global universities, leading with University of Cape Town that was ranked 148. Even Ghana beat us to it, as University of Ghana was ranked 601.

Egypt also had eight qualified universities in the global ranking as American University in Cairo, Soliag University and Suez Canal University were ranked 601. Morocco had three universities ranked 801, Algeria 801 position and Kenya also 801 position.

The statistics shows that Nigeria’s best university is now ranked alongside with Algeria, Kenya and Morocco.

The criteria as enumerated by The Times include: Research, teaching, international outlook, citations and industry income. Global universities were graded based on the above performance.

It is not the quantity of universities that matter in global ranking, but the quality. No university can claim global quality without adequate funding. The funding, among others must include research and infrastructure. The Federal Government should reduce the criteria for universities to access the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, (TETFund) that is meant for this purpose.

Moreover, it is disheartening to note that the 2016 budgetary allocation for the education sector still remains lower than that of 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015.

Education budget moved from N306.3bn in 2011, to N400.15bn in 2012, to N426.53bn in 2013, to N493bn in 2014, to 492bn in 2015 and dropped to N403.16 in 2016 considering the total national budget and its percentage.In his reaction, the Chair, ASUU-UNILAG, Dr Laja Odukoya said that our Independence has not lived up to its promise of "life more abundance" to the Nigeria people. According to him, our independence has become the replacement of the oppression, exploitation and oppression by foreigners in combined force of imperialist powers and their local collaborators.

Increased pauperization

He said: ''The economy is still backward and underdeveloped ministering to all interest but that of the Nigerian people. With the contemporary increased pauperization of Nigerians compounded by a recession foisted by inert and non-visionary and bankrupt elite, and a renewed plan to sell the remaining national patrimony, it is time for a struggle for a new liberation and genuine political and economic independence by the Nigerian people. That must start now.

On his part, the Deputy Director (Academic), Distance Learning Centre, University of Ibadan, Professor Oyesoji Aremu said that fifty-six years down the line, one of the indices of national development is education.

He said : "Generally, the nation has fared moderately, much still desire to be done, or ought to have been done. ”A good example here is the total collapse of the primary and secondary sectors of education which have virtually been taking over by the private individuals as a result of the neglect of the Federal and state governments.

”Gradually, the tertiary education is also going through the same process of abdication by the government. The implication of this neglect and abdication is in the quality of education being provided. Although while some people would argue that quality has risen, the honest fact of the matter is that it is not yet through. ”Arguably therefore, 56 years of the nation independence do not correspondingly at per with educational development. It is simply worrisome.”

No comments:


I am an Igbo, I was born an Igbo, I live the life of an Igbo, I come from Igbo, I speak Igbo, I like to be Igbo, I like to dress in Igbo, I eat Igbo food, my heritage, culture and tradition is Igbo, my parents are Igbo.

Am sorry I cannot help it if you hate my lineage. Am sorry I cannot help it if you detest Igbo, am sorry I cannot help it if you hate me because am Igbo. Igbo is who I am, my name is Igbo and I must die an Igbo.

You see Igbo as a threat, why? You call Igbo rapist, criminals, ritualist, prostitutes, kidnappers. You attribute all negative vices to represent Igbo? Why do you do that? You do because you feel threatened that Igbo might outrun the rest of the tribes. Why do you hate Igbo and despise us? You do that because we are creative, enlightened, hardworking, industrious, genius, intelligent, smart, rich, beautiful and amazing. But its difficult for you to admit it because you feel jealous of my race.

Igbo do not own politics, Igbo do not control the economy neither do we control the natural resources and the common wealth of the nation. You do, we don't and yet, despite the fact that you own everything, we still remain one indispensable race that has outshined the other race in all ramifications.

You fear us because you want to exterminate and annihilate our race, you deny us many things and yet we are stronger, richer and mightier. You fear us because we are everywhere. You fear us because no matter how rural a place might be, when Igbo steps in, they turn it into a Paradise. We have our own resources, which lies in resourcefulness, we do not bother you and your control over the polity, but yet when we cough you and the other race begin to shiver.

Am proud being an Igbo, am proud of my heritage and culture. Igbo means high class, Igbo means independence, Igbo means hard work and strength, Igbo means riches, Igbo means resourcefulness, Igbo means self belonging, Igbo means self esteem, Igbo means pride, Igbo means swag.

Udo diri unu umunnem.
# IgboAmaka
# AnyiBuNdiMmeri

Michael Ezeaka

This is beautiful poetry ...

In response to Alaba Ajibola, the Babcock Lecturer Hate Speech against Igbos.


In Igboland women live apart from their husbands and neither cook for them nor enter their husband's quarters when they are in their period. They are seen as unclean. Even up till today such practice is still applicable in some parts of Igboland especially by the traditionalists. Before a woman can enter the palace of Obi of Onitsha, she will be asked if she is in her period, if yes, she will be asked to stay out.

Leviticus 15: 19-20
When a woman has her monthly period, she remains unclean, anyone who touches her or anything she has sat on becomes unclean.

An Igbo man's ancestral heritage, called “Ana Obi” is not sellable, elders will not permit this. If this is somehow done due to the influence of the West the person is considered a fool and is ostracized by the community.

1 Kings 21:3
I inherited this vineyard from my ancestors, and the Lord forbid that I should sell it, said Naboth.

Igbos have practiced the taking of a late brother's wife into marriage after she had been widowed until the white men came. Now it is rarely done but except in very rural villages.

Deuteronomy 25:5
A widow of a dead man is not to be married outside the family; it is the duty of the dead man's brother to marry her.

In Igboland, there is a unique form of apprenticeship in which either a male family member or a community member will spend six (6) years (usually in their teens to their adulthood) working for another family. And on the seventh year, the head of the host household, who is usually the older man who brought the apprentice into his household, will establish (Igbo: idu uno) the apprentice
by either setting up a business for him or giving money or tools by which to make a living.

Exodus 21:2
If you buy a Hebrew slave, he shall serve you for six years. In the seventh year he is to be set free without having to pay you anything.

In Igboland , the yam is very important as it is their staple crop. There are celebrations such as the New yam festival (Igbo: Iri Ji) which are held for the harvesting of the yam. New Yam festival (Igbo: Iri ji) is celebrated annually to secure a good harvest of the staple crop. In the olden days it is an abomination for one to eat a new harvest before the festival. It's a tradition that you give the gods of the land first as a thanksgiving.

Deuteronomy 16:9
Count 7 weeks from the time that you begin to harvest the crops, and celebrate the harvest festival to honor the lord your God, by bringing him a freewill offering in proportion to the blessing he has given you. Celebrate in the Lord's presence together with your children, servants, foreigners. Be sure that you obey my command, said the Lord.

In Igboland it's a tradition that the male children are circumcised on the 8th day. This tradition is still practiced till date.

Leviticus 12:3
On the eighth day, the child shall be circumcised.

In Igboland, there is a practice known as "ile omugwo ". After a woman has given birth to a child, a very close and experienced relative of hers, in most cases her mother is required by tradition to come spend time with her and her husband. During which she is to do all the work of the wife, while the new mom's only assignment to the baby will be to breastfeed. This goes on for a month or more. In the Igbo old tradition, at this time, the new mom lives apart from her husband, would not cook or enter his quarters.

Leviticus 12:1-4
For seven days after a woman gives birth, she is ritually unclean as she is during her monthly period. It will be 33 days until she is ritually clean from the loss of blood; she is not to touch anything that is holy.


The Igbo tribe is in a serious problem and danger of extinction for the following reasons:

50% of Igbos are born outside Igbo land. Meaning that those children are not likely to live and work in Igbo land and cannot speak Igbo language but foreign language (Yoruba, Hausa, French, English).

40% of Igbos girls between the age of 25 & 45 are single with no hope of marriage because 35% of Igbo boys live overseas and they have all married white ladies.

75% of Igbo youths leave Igbo land every year in search of opportunities in Yoruba, Hausa land or overseas.

85 % of Igbos have family houses and own investments outside Igbo land. They strongly believe in one Nigeria but failed to know that NO Yoruba or Hausa man has a family house or investment in Igbo land.

Igbos are the only people who believe that living outside their land is an achievement.

Igbos are the only tribe that celebrate their tradition outside their land e.g. Eze Ndi Igbo, Igbo Village in America and this is because they have family homes in foreign lands.

Igbos have failed to know that the children you have outside Igbo land especially overseas will never think of living in Igbo land. So what happens to the properties you are building for them when you are gone?

Igbos are the only tribe who see their land as a place to visit or a tourist site than a place to work and live.

Igbos are the only tribe who instead of promoting and appreciating their culture through movies and documentaries they have sought to ridicule it by portraying rituals, killings, wickedness, love for money and other social vices which were not originally inherent in our culture thereby cursing more harm than actually promoting their culture.

Igbos are the only people who without hesitation believe their history and description when it is told or written by an enemy or a foreigner. E.g. that you do not love yourselves or that you love money.

Igbos are the ONLY largest tribe on earth who fought for their independence and failed to achieve their freedom after 40 years.

Igbos are the only tribe who fails to honour their brave heroes and heroines especially the innocent children starved to death during the Biafran war.

Igbos are the only tribe who embraced their enemy after a bloody civil war and subsequently become slaves.

Igbos do not find it necessary to teach their own version of history to their children.

Igbos fight for marginalisation in Nigeria but has no collective strength or teeth to bite.

Igbos how long are you going to fight for your relevance in Nigeria?

How long are you going to fight for a functional airport, rail networks and other structural establishments that underpin sustainable development?

How long are you prepared to wait for your enemy to guide you to your destiny?

Oh Igbos!
Where are your leaders?

Unfortunately, none of them live and work in Igbo land. If you wish to save the future of your children, your identity, your generation and your race then you need freedom and that freedom is Biafra.

Ukpana Okpoko gburu bu nti chiri ya!

By Chime Eze

The Igbo: We die for causes, not for personalities

Written by Emeka Maduewesi

~on fb. 28th September, 2016.

The Igbo will never die for anyone. We will not even riot for anyone. But the Igbo will die for any cause they believe in because the Igbo have a true sense of justice and a determination to obtain it.

The Igbo will not riot because one of their own lost an election. Operation Wetie was the Western response to a massively rigged 1965 election. The Yoruba doused fellow Yorubas in petrol and burnt them alife. Properties were burnt with occupants. The Igbo will never do this.

In 1983, the Yoruba went on a rampage again over the massive rigging by NPN. Lifes were lost and properties destroyed. The riots were over personalities.

Contrast that with Anambra State where Chief Emeka Ojukwu was rigged out by his own NPN, who also rigged out Chief Jim Nwobodo. The Igbo did not protest because the goat's head is still in the goat's bag.

In the North, ba muso was the battle cry when Sultan Dasuki was imposed on the Sokoto Caliphate. The riot and protest lasted for days and crippled economic activities.

The Igbo will riot over issues and causes. The Aba Women Riot was over Tax. The Enugu coal mine riot was about conditions of service. The Ekumeku Uprising was over British colonialization.

Those of "Ekumeku" ancestry - Umu Eze Chima and Umu Nri - were at the forefront of the struggles for Nigerian independence, with people like Dr. A A Nwafor Orizu and Chief Osita Agwuna serving prison terms. Any struggles the parents could not conclude is continued by the children by other means.

The Biafran war was a response to the genocide. The war in fact was brought upon us. The battlefield was Eastern Region. The war ended in 1970 but the issues and causes were not resolved. That is where we are today.

The Igbo will also jointly rise to fight evil in their midst. They did it in Onitsha in the 1980's, Owerri in the 90's, and with Bakkassi in the 2000.

The Igbo will not die for any man. But the Igbo will stand by any man who symbolizes their cause and their pursuit of justice. Even if the man dies, the struggle continues, and like the Ekumeku warriors, the children will pick up the baton from their parents.

This is the Igbo I know, the Igbo I am, and the Igbo we are. This is my story. Feel free to tell yours.


"My boy, may you live to your full potential, ascend to a dizzy height as is possible for anyone of your political description in your era to rise. May you be acknowledged world-wide as you rise as an eagle atop trees, float among the clouds, preside over the affairs of fellow men.... as leaders of all countries pour into Nigeria to breathe into her ear.

But then, Chuba, if it is not the tradition of our people that elders are roundly insulted by young men of the world, as you have unjustly done to me, may your reign come to an abrupt and shattering close. As you look ahead, Chuba, as you see the horizon, dedicating a great marble palace that is the envy of the world, toasted by the most powerful men in the land, may the great big hand snatch it away from you. Just as you look forward to hosting the world’s most powerful leader and shaking his hands, as you begin to smell the recognition and leadership of the Igbo people, may the crown fall off your head and your political head fall off your shoulders.

None of my words will come to pass, Chuba, until you have risen to the very height of your power and glory and health, but then you will be hounded and humiliated and disgraced out of office, your credibility and your name in tatters forever...”


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