The author publishes comments by readers on earlier articles.
As the series in this column approach one year, it will be good to publish some selected comments from the readers on some of the articles published on this page. Here you are!!! –Jameel
On attitudinal poverty in Northern Nigeria
“Regarding your piece, it is an excellent write-up and spot on. I had a similar discussion with a brother last month insisting that the poverty of the north is psychological/attitudinal, and we could do a lot even without waiting for the government but just by changing our attitude”. Abubakar Muhammad
On Chinua Achebe’s book
“Well articulated indeed! Been following this article with keen attention and it made a good reading. I was particularly impressed by the paragraph “… The British did not bring a new civilisation to Northern Nigeria. They met a society that already has a political structure, with clear leadership, courts of law, security system and all the requirements of a modern state.” The North has for a very long time a well established system of Government with well documented constitution, well civilized. The North have a complete mode of dressing, unlike some that adopt others dressing just recently – perhaps clothings are not an integral part of their history….”
“Thanks for your philanthropic and altruistic contribution in critically reviewing the unpopular Memoirs of Achebe. I was and still very happy with your stand and presentation on the Debate- talk at the British Parliament House, in London. I foresee a Country within a near future devoid of sentiments and corruption, not like Achebe who is very pessimistic about the future of Nigeria.
Honestly, the literature depicts the personality of Achebe and what he truly stands for. In the work ” There was a Country”, he articulated his position on how he looks at the other regions in Nigeria, emphatically, the Northerners (which he describes as ”Hausa/ Fulani” and having a ”wary religion”) and the Western bloc (the Yoruba which he also portray as being ”unhampered” with ”traditional hierarchies”).
By his provocative narration in this work Achebe only succeeded in inciting hatred against the two major tribes by his own kinsmen. He systematically, praised his own people by calling them warriors and the rest as enemies and murderers. This work really foretells how Achebe has been considering Nigeria since the aftermath of the Biafran secession, or rebellion.
This also calls for reassessments of his other works which are widely read not only in Igbo land but, across the North of the Hausa/Fulani and West of the Yoruba. One often, wonders why Achebe always in his works praises the Igbos as being strong and uncorrupt, and others the opposite. Examples of these can clearly be seen in works like ”’Things Fall Apart”, The Man of People”, in which he satirically condemn the politicians and especially, the ruling party which of course, at that time it was in the hands of the Northerners. We see in that book “Odili” as an honest academic who is pushed by the corrupt practices of the politicians of the time to contest for position.
In summary, I want to say that works like this should be avoided as they only portray, like in a mirror, the egocentricity of the writer. The developments of the historical events as shown in the piece are one-sided. Achebe ought to come out publicly and apologise for his misrepresentation of the whole information contained in his Memoir. Luckily, as can be seen in yesternight’s debate at the British Parliament, this work of Achebe is strongly rejected even by the Igbo themselves and considered fatally erroneous.
I also recommend that interested readers in this Debate can also read other works written by some intellectual Igbo writers who consider it a duty to convey the Biafran message to the younger generation. These are ‘‘The Visions of a Nationhood” by G.N Unzigwe, first published 2011 and is available, and The Brothers of War” by St. de Jorre…”
Muhammad Jameel Yusha’u, email@example.com