Tag Archives: Law Mefor


By Law Mefor

A significant number of people have died due to misdiagnosis of their medical conditions done with the best of intentions. One can be right the wrong way and vice versa. Such is life.

The nephew and closest confidant of President Muhammadu Buhari, in a BBC Hausa interview days ago, called for merit in deciding who governs Nigeria at the expiration of Buhari’s tenure.

In case you missed the interview, Daura said: “This turn by turn, it was done once, it was done twice, and it was done trice…It is better for this country to be one… It should be for the most competent and not for someone who comes from somewhere…”

What one understands the elder statesman to say is: Nigeria has come of age when merit should govern our national life. This is not quite a fair postulation if merit will not be applied in every aspect. The office of the President cannot be an exception and since federal character is what obtained, given its indivisible nature, only rotation can apply to it. For related good reasons, the Federal Character and Quota System still override merit in most official considerations in Nigeria as ways of carrying every part of country along. This is point missed by the elder statesman.

Right from the foundation of Nigeria the political and structural imbalances of the country have been at issue and have caused much crisis and continually arrest the nation’s development. Before independence, Nigeria operated three regions, two in the South and one in the North. Nigeria added one more region in 1963 – Mid-Western Region, still in the South.

The four regions operated up till the Biafra civil war when the then head of state Yakubu Gowon abolished the 4 regions and created 12 States. Major General Johnson Thomas Umunnakwe Aguiyi-Ironsi created no states. General Olusegun Obasanjo who succeeded Murtala Mohammed, who also created states, did not create any State also.

Generals Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and Sani Abacha created States as Heads of State of Nigeria, bringing the number of States in Nigeria to 36 plus the Federal Capital Territory, which is also given the Status of a State, given the North an overarching advantage where it comes determining who becomes the President of Nigeria.

The number of Local Governments in Nigeria (774) also gives the North nearly 60% while about 40% to the Southern part, using landmass instead of human population. Yet, these amorphously and unfairly created States and Local governments form the basis of determining which part of the country produces the President of Nigeria. Going by the provisions of the 1999 Constitution, it stipulates that the winner of the nation’s presidential election would score 25% of the votes in 2/3rd of the States of the federation and simple majority of votes. This makes it almost certain that the North is always in a position to determine who emerges the President of Nigeria at any time.

Yes, democracy is about majority but where the primordial sentiments and skewed structures pervading the nation are irrational, other measures must come to play to stabilize the polity. Voters do not consider candidates on merit in Nigeria but on religion, ethnicity, and region and so on. There is nothing democratic about that pattern of voting and where it is rife and one side of the country dominates the rest based on such factors, rotation becomes inevitable. Such factors made the United States of America to introduce popular votes and electoral votes.

Recall that Hillary Clinton won the popular votes but Donald J. Trump is President based on electoral votes. One may as well argue that the US approach is undemocratic but it has kept the country peaceful and progressive. Zoning of presidential position in Nigeria is akin to the US introduction of Electoral Votes, which supersedes popular votes where necessary.

Nigerian political class was therefore wise for the zoning understanding that has decided the political life of the country since 1999. It has served the nation well and each time efforts are made to set it aside, there has been an overly overheating of the polity. The most classic example of the crisis was an attempt by an incumbent to go for another term when the power ought to move to Northern Nigeria. The attempt of President Goodluck Jonathan (as he then was) to set aside zoning to enable him contest again brought the nation to a precipice.

That decision to set aside rotation and zoning gave oxygen to the formation of the first successful coalition to stop Dr. Goodluck i.e. the All Progressives Congress (APC). It formed the basis for the legacy political parties, namely: Congress for Progressive Change (CPC), Action Congress of Nigeria (CAN), All Nigerian Peoples Party (ANPP) and a faction of the PDP rally Nigerians.

The political leaders rallied round APC because it was a just resistance of an action to thwart a beautiful measure aimed at giving the nation political stability and progress.

In other words, merit as seen by the elder statesman, Mamman Daura is inoperable and does not apply to the nation’s presidency without moderating factors given their due premiums. Again, it also depends on how the nation applies merit. Nigeria as perhaps 6 nations rolled up in one can always have competent men and women in each of the six zones.

In the South East for example (just like in other regions of the country), there are at least a dozen acknowledged men and women who can provide topnotch leadership to our nation.

In other words, rotation does not mean that merit is scarified in Nigeria. Those who have ruled Nigeria were blighted by the nation’s skewed structures, which they lacked the political will to confront, not lack of merit.

There is none who has ruled Nigeria that was not competent enough. But each either lacked the guts to set the skewed structures of Nigeria aright or they maintained the status quo for the little, passing gains enjoyed by their regions.

Those who argue otherwise argue amiss. Merit and competence to rule a country render the many factors of leadership too secondary. The real deciding factors could be National visibility, acceptability, Integrity and Political courage. However, in application, judging by the Nigerian experience, what is important is the person being known and acceptable to a broad spectrum of national power stakeholders, influencers and to the generality of Nigerians.

Elder Statesman Mamman Daura knows what is meant by “broad spectrum of national power stakeholders”. To this group who decide who rules Nigeria, merit is not an educational qualification. It means much more. After all, to date Jonathan has been the only university graduate to rule Nigeria.

Rotation will give the nation the opportunity to keep the struggle for power by the regions, which ruined the First Republic, to be less rancorous. It will give the nation the chance to focus on development since the area when the next president will come from is predictable.

Rotation of presidential power became inevitable. All the factors that have made Restructuring Nigeria inevitable have equally made rotation inevitable. These are the centrifugal forces tearing the nation apart. All the measures that can help keep Nigeria one, progressive and peaceful are, by all means, democratic. Democracy is agreement and consensus, and there is nothing more consensus than rotation, given the nation’s peculiarity.

Dr. Law Mefor, a Social Psychologist, writes from Abuja; e-mail: drlawmefor@gmail.com; tweet: @LawMefor1.


By Law Mefor

An Igbo adage states: when a deity starts giving much trouble, it will be shown the wood from which it was carved. There are lines that are never crossed in culture and tradition, and in national life.

Such red lines keep the society going, cohesive and coherent. And the Igbo society is a highly organized one and imbued in deep and rich culture and tradition, of which most if not all IPOB members are part of, including their factional leader, Nnamdi Kanu. Igbo culture holds murder and its intents as the highest crime against the society and humanity.

The most recent attack is Kanu’s order to his supporters to stone Nnia Nwodo to death anywhere he is found anywhere in the world. His words: “Anywhere you see him outside, stone him to death.” Kanu further called on God to “destroy Ohanaeze”. Turning round to blame Nnia Nwodo for herdsmen atrocities in the South East or Operation Python Dance is just a case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it and psychologically, a misplaced aggression and priority.

Nnamdi Kanu has been attacking Ohanaeze Ndigbo for not accepting ‘Biafra now’ of the faction of IPOB which he leads. The generality of Ndigbo since resolved that it is in their best interest to push for a restructured Nigeria, since self-determination is possible within a fully restructured Nigeria as obtained in the country prior to 1966 and the civil war. The position of Ndigbo is contained in the Awka declaration of 2018.

When Nnamdi Kanu was released from Kuje prison through the intervention of some Igbo leaders he now insults and assaults (Senator Ike Ekweremadu who organized the men who stood sureties for Kanu’s bail was his first victim in Nuremberg Germany), efforts were made to reconcile him with many of them including Chief Nnia Nwodo, Ben Nwabueze, Eze Ozobu, Dozie Ikedife and many others (some original founders of IPOB), many of who he similarly pronounced death on their heads in Radio Biafra. He held meetings with many of them where fresh understanding was reached and a new leaf supposedly turned.

The second meeting between Nnamdi Kanu and Ohanaeze and its President General Nnia Nwodo was again agreed to and a date set for it. There was a disagreement over the venue. While Nnia Nwodo legitimately wanted the second meeting to be held in his house or at the Ohanaeze Secretariat, which Kanu acceded to initially, he (Kanu) later insisted that the meeting should be held anywhere but in Chief Nwodo’s house.

This was the same time his meeting with South East Governors took place. A second meeting was scheduled between him and the Governors but operation Python Dance II was preemptively launched by the Nigerian Army days before, which presumably drove Nnamdi Kanu underground and out of the country. He resurfaced in Jerusalem Israel one year after where he was seen praying by the Wailing Wall, the remnant of the Jewish Temple destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE during the Siege of Jerusalem.

Since then, Kanu has held tenaciously to the position that Nnia Nwodo and the South East Governors invited Operation Python Dance II. He blamed everybody else but himself since he failed to see that apart from violating all his bail conditions, he rattled the nation’s security system, especially the military, by launching the so-called Biafra Security Service (BSS).

Hundreds of IPOB youths were seen in parades fully ornamented in black uniforms and red berets, proclaiming the birth of BSS and Nnamdi Kanu as the Commander in chief. This could be interpreted as a precursor to armed struggle, which Nnamdi Kanu assured Igbo leaders that IPOB will never engage in. Operation Python II came in the wake of the launching of Biafra Security Service, justified or nor, it was a military intervention to nip in the bud a paramilitary preponderance which Nnamdi Kanu himself brought about. In other words, Operation Python Dance was ostensibly invited by Kanu and IPOB paramilitary actions, which were suggesting they were ready for an armed struggle whereas they were not.

Turning round to blame Nnia Nwodo for Operation Python Dance is just a case of giving a dog a bad name in order to hang it and psychologically, a misplaced aggression and frustration. As a matter of fact, Ohanaeze actually condemned Operation Python Dance II and demanded that the military be withdrawn from Igbo land, which the media widely carried.

Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB may be saying the right thing but certainly the wrong way. Leaving him and IPOB to continue as loose cannons would mean acquiescing to their rants and narration as Igbo position. He and IPOB have misrepresented the Igbos grossly since he resurfaced in Israel.

Come to think of it, is Ohanaeze and its President General really in a position to stop the atrocities of the Fulani herdsmen in the East? Ohanaeze is not a security organization but a pan Igbo NGO saddled with advocacy for the betterment of the Igbo people in Nigeria. The most Ohanaeze can do is to push for better security in the South East and in Nigeria in general.

Advocacy is therefore the stock-in-trade of Ohanaeze and similar ethnic-based organisations and the Ohanaeze PG has done his best in the circumstance in which we live today. Those holding the constitutional powers and resources to do anything about the Fulani herdsmen atrocities in Igbo land are the governors who are the Chief Security Officers of their respective States. Yet, not a mention was made by Kanu about the governors’ inaction over insecurity in the zone but would pronounce a death sentence on the only voice left in the zone if we leave Enyinnaya Abaribe and one or two others out for a moment.

Nnia Nwodo cannot do more than advocate for Igbo cause and that he has done excellently well. He cannot arm Igbo youths to chase herdsmen out of Igbo land. Only Vigilante Operations authorised by governors can happen in Igbo land and Nnia Nwodo is pushing for that too, resulting in the Community Policing that would be under the South East governors and Local Government Chairmen.

So, the reason for Kanu’s constant attack on Nnia Nwodo is not checking the Fulani herdsmen atrocities or so much for insecurity in the South East but part of the IPOB broad plans to destroy Ohanaeze as the umbrella body for Ndigbo. That’s the role Nnamdi Kanu desires and covets for IPOB.

Question is: can what Nnamdi Kanu and IPOB are doing be really who the Igbos are, what they represent and what they want? Far from it! IPOB and Nnamdi Kanu are now more of the problem than the solution to the Igbo man’s problem in Nigeria and the world for derailing from their original cause, pitching Ndigbo against their neighbours – South South, Yorubas and the entire country. They are also attacking Christianity, the religion of over ninety percent Igbos, destroying everything Ndigbo hold dear and stand for.

Biafra cannot come through insults, assaults and shenanigans. Biafra and the rights of Ndigbo in Nigeria will come through strategic engagements with the rest of the country and the world, not by alienating them.

Nnamdi Kanu needs to be saved from himself. He is now carrying on like a charismatic charlatan, destroying everything he laboured for in the Biafra struggle.

*Reach Dr. Mefor…
– email: drlawmefor@gmail.com; Tel: +234-905 642 4375;
– Tweet: @LawMefor1


“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”The Holy Bible

First, happy Fathers’ Day!

Being married or siring a child does not make one a father. The task of fatherhood is great but exciting and ultimately rewarding if one performs it well. If one lives long enough into late adulthood and joins the great club of septuagenarians and above, such is the time that reaping the reward or punishment of fatherhood comes inevitably.

In old age, one has done a full circle, weak and frail, and patiently waiting at the departure lounge to journey back to his or her creator. The organs are weak and the bones are dry and aching. This is the time one needs help as the body is really weak and many would not be able to work and walk around without support – needing walking-stick, physical support of another stronger person and more importantly, needing financial assistance for food and drugs for degenerative ailments such as hypertension and diabetes that come with age.

The children one raised well are the first line of defence in dealing with the challenges of old age. Good children are always thinking of the aged parents and helping to make their life easier. Aged parents treasure their children’s calls and visits, and look forward to them. It keeps them alive and helps them live longer. Aged parents would sometimes bring out the pictures of the good children and admire them, reminiscing on their growing up. The troubles each gave, especially the stubborn ones who have grown into responsible adults.

Contrarily, terribly raised children are a thorn in the flesh of aged parents. They are not able to find their place in the society and easily join the deviant subcultures that are antisocial, drug abusers, wife beaters and abusive adults and parents. They are a case of arrested development and misguided childhood.

Such adults start right from the home by soon beginning to challenge their parents and older siblings. That they are irresponsible is all well-known to neighbours, schools and workplaces. They have gotten so used to doing things the wrong way and changing a herculean task.

When the parents are relatively young, they try to grapple with such conduct and antisocial disorders of their irresponsible children. But as they grow older, the parents become weaker and the recalcitrant children stronger and more audacious with their dangerousness increasing as well. Many beat up their parents, sell off their valued possessions to fiancé their reckless life or to get at their parents for the years of neglect of their childhood. The conduct is actually a sort of cry for maternal help.

How then do some children become so good and some so terrible in adulthood and become a source of succor to their parents or punishers? It is all embedded in childhood.

Psychologists believe that childhood is the foundation of life. Gabriella Mistral, a Nobel Prize winner from Chile said that of all the evils of mankind, abandoning the child is the worst to underscore the critical importance of childhood.

Abandoning the child comes in several forms. Physical separation is the one that many would easily think about. But it is far deeper than that. In a broader and psychological sense, abandoning the child means abandoning the parental duties that must be rendered to the child in childhood.

Parental duties are vast but can be summarized thus: security, discipline, and nurturance. Security refers to everything that must be done to secure the child from all manner of harm – physical harm, abuse, emotional and so forth.

Unknown to most people, discipline is so fundamental. Even the Bible talks about sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Discipline shapes the child into a responsible member of the society. Man is born hedonistic – pleasure seeking and avoiding anything that would bring pain. Discipline forces the child to see that life is not a bed of roses and begins to learn responsibility as an integral part of life.

Work and life are taught in childhood. There are tasks that are age specific and taught in the family and schools. Any level missed is paid for in future by the child through compensatory conducts or relearning. When too many of the tasks are missed, poorly learned and accumulate, they can overwhelm the child in later life and seeking easy ways out becomes quite attractive.

Simply put, the foundation for a happy life is laid in childhood when the child is socialized into being a useful member of the society. It is in childhood that a child is taught to accept responsibility. Evidence of this is seen in the life of firstborn and lastborn who are generally socialized differently. Firstborns are made to accept responsibility and soon made to start taking care of younger siblings and playing surrogate father or mother. Often pampered, the lastborn misses this and it shows in their general carefree attitude in later life.

What then is the best way of parenting that will ensure a happy end for both the parents and their children? It is really difficult to prescribe a method that will work in all situations and for every child or every parent. Some children require special attention and tough measures may not be necessary for the children.

However, three forms of parenting can be delineated and their consequences, so that parents may have an idea of how to apply or avoid them. First is authoritarian parenting. Authoritarian parents are the so-called disciplinarians, wielding the big stick all the time. This kind of parenting banishes love in the home and makes the home an ordeal for the children and their products tend to be wayward when they experience freedom. They lack social competence and confidence to face the real world.

The home should be a sanctuary for its members and the last line of defence. Every child should look forward to going home. A good home makes the members home sick when they stay away for long. Some parents have not been able to make their homes a happy place for its members. Some homes are a bedlam and a house of commotion. This has nothing to do with poverty or riches. There are very happy poor homes and unhappy rich homes.

It is all about authoritarian parenting. Such parents believe that the home must be lax. Such parents cannot play and joke with their children whereas the parents must be their children’s friends and closest confidants.

Let it be known that discipline is not the same thing as punishment. A parent can punish without achieving discipline. Discipline requires engaging all concerned and reasoning with our child and strictly enforcing the agreed rules. Punishment must be set in advance and consistent so that the child can know precisely why he or she is being punished and how to avoid being punished in the future.

That’s why authoritative parenting is believed to be the way to go. Under authoritative parenting, parents are firm and fair, and engaging. Parents reason with their children, and children even make inputs in setting the rules and feel free enough to bare their minds. Reward and punishment are consistent. Love is shown by both mother and father without the man compromising his role as the authority figure, which ultimately shapes the children.

The third form of parenting is laissez faire parenting. In this kind of parenting, rules are neither set nor enforced. Parents are lackadaisical, largely carefree, wayward, and irresponsible. Their children are allowed to grow up as they please, being free to nothing. They almost always grow into irresponsible adults. No child should be raised in this condition.

Finally, parents are models for their children and fathers particularly, are the first and original heroes of their children. Children believe their fathers are capable of anything and would proudly announce that to anybody who threatens them, “I will tell my daddy for you”.

Fathers, since you are the first and perhaps the only hero of your children, do your best and it will be good enough. God being your helper, your children will grow into responsible adults and take care of you in your old age. If you fail, you may have a bitter old age. May your children never be a thorn in your flesh.

Once more, happy fathers day!

• Dr. Law Mefor is an Abuja based Forensic/Social Psychologist and Journalist; Tel.: +234-905 642 4375; e-mail: drlawmefor@gmail.com

Anambra 2021& enfeebled forces against zoning & rotation, by Law Mefor

Anambra 2021 governorship election promises to be like none other for many reasons. As always, it shall be star-studded. But that is not what will make the forthcoming election unique.

Anambra has always been refreshingly different in its elections since the return to democracy in 1999. Remarkably, there is so much money, flurry and furry but no blood. To the best of my knowledge, no matter the heat generated in the fierce contests and the crossfires, nobody has ever died because of governorship election in Anambra State. This is a good testament and a proof of sagacity of the political actors in the State.

Nonetheless, the reason the clean sheet has been kept by the State is mainly because the leaders and the elders used zoning and rotation of governor in the State to reduce the latitude for confusion and conflict to the barest minimum. Also, through this noble approach, all the three senatorial districts have seamlessly produced governors for the State in the current democratic dispensation. That Anambra State is now rapidly growing into a One-City State is thanks to zoning and rotation of power. Since all the three senatorial districts have been able to produce good governors, each took care of their zones’ developmental needs.

Now, there is a strong reflux current pushing from within and outside the State to truncate the beautiful zoning and rotation arrangement. These forces are insisting that the office of governor should be up for grabs by whoever can get it. For refreshing and clarity, Their Excellencies Dr. Chinwoke Mbadinuju (Anambra South), Dr. Chris Nwabueze Ngige and Mr. Peter Gregory Obi (Anambra Central) and currently Chief Willie Obiano (Anambra North) have all governed Anambra State in that order and it is the turn of Anambra South yet again after 17 years of waiting in the wing. The second time the South produced the governor in the person of Dr. Andy Uba was equally cut short by the courts after a spell of just 17 days.

Those propagating this inglorious reversal do so essentially for their belle and greed. For some aspirants, they cannot wait for the turn of their zones. For most career politicians, politics is business as they do not have a second business address. So, asking them to wait for one or two election seasons to push aspirants and candidates, including those they know have outside chances yet cajole them into the race, is unendurable. Election to them is as Christmas season is to traders. It is a bazaar of sorts and an occasional opportunity to push out as many aspirants as possible. They do so not so much for their belief in their chances but for the pecuniary interests. They see election season as the only time they can extract money from the politicians and the opportunity has to be maximized, which zoning and rotation may not allow.

At the political season, the aspirants are hosted where they dole out money to persons considered to be critical stakeholders and to groups considered vital in their calculations for the illusory victory. The candidates therefore lust and pay for the endorsements that mostly worth nothing beyond the razzmatazz and getting known.

Among each group, the aspirant is assured of support and victory with the exclamation, ‘ijebe go o!’ i.e. victory is sure. They also sing a song to each candidate without exception, a mock refrain really, ‘Candidate ka anyi ga esoo, ma ona ejeje ma ona anana, candidate ka anyi ga eso.’ Candidate we shall follow, swim or sink. If you believe them, you believe anything.

The funny thing is that these song and acclamation are rendered to each aspirant who shows up and it is for the same election and for the same position. Despite the assurances and huge sums collected, many of these candidates score zero votes in countless instances. You then wonder whatever happened to the assurances so generously given while aspirants were seeking endorsements and candidates canvassing for votes.

This is the bazaar some people want Anambra to return to. Surreptitiously, the opponents of continued rotation and zoning in Anambra argue that zoning shunts out the best. Yet fact is: the State has witnessed governorship elections for three seasons this time around and nobody can point to one exceptional prospect that has ever been shunted out by rotation that Anambra so missed. Not even a seeming dark horse can be recalled. It is just that narrowing it down to a zone would reduce the number of aspirants that will take their turns in dropping money for fake support and endorsement.

For stomach infrastructure (apologies Peter Ayodele Fayose) these political jobbers want to rubbish the zoning arrangement and do away with its beautiful gains. But by divine providence, the likely key stars in the forthcoming guber election are mostly coming from the same Anambra South. Here are some of them, each capable of taking Anambra State to the next level. Men like (in alphabetical order following surnames): Dr. Godwin Maduka (one of the top 10 medical doctors in the US and philanthropist), Prof. Chukwuma Soludo(former CBN governor, top technocrat and presidential economic adviser), Sen. Ifeanyi Ubah (a serving senator, business mogul and oil magnate), Sen. Andy Ubah (a former presidential aide and 3-time senator), Dr. Ifedi Okwenna(a former commissioner, an environmental expert and an astute administrator), Valentine Ozigbo (a whiz kid and President of Transcorp group) and others. It is a divine providence that they are all from Anambra South if you ask me.

But for the intrigues and shenanigans of such persons, what equity demands now is for Anambra governor to come from Anambra South in 2021, in the spirit of zoning and rotation through which the past and current governors of the State had emerged. Apart from the fact that South Senatorial District produced governor who left office since 17 years ago, the zone has the least number of years in office with Mbadinuju who did only a 4-year tenure compared to Central and North which were there for 11 years and 8 years, respectively.

Anambra is the gateway to the South East and blessed with abundant and uncommon human and material resources. It is very crucial that Anambra should get its acts right and show example to the rest of the South East and possibly to the country at large.

Rotation is a democratic process (based on concession and agreement) that has ensured political inclusivity and reduced the rancor associated with elections as well as cut down costs of electioneering by narrowing candidature to a particular zone in each election circle. Leaving governorship election as an all-comers affair in Anambra State particularly can only create avenue for the kind of confusion and conflict happening in other many States. One other major advantage of zoning and rotation is that it enhances the act of choosing credible candidates devoid of sectional sentiments. One therefore, once more, calls on all political parties to respect the popular opinion of Anambra people by adopting the present zoning arrangement, which clearly favours the South Senatorial District for 2021 governorship election.

The way the current democratic dispensation is structured and with complete absence of internal party democracy, all-comers election has never helped any State. It leaves so much bad blood and allows so much manipulation, which weeds out the choice of the people. In the end, the courts are left to select who the governor is, as was the case in Imo State otherwise known as Emeka Ihedioha vs. Hope Uzodinma.

Anambra should not trade off the peace and development the State has so far enjoyed for the selfish desire of a few politicians by allowing itself to return to this bad path. Sticking to zoning and rotation will help the State avoid receiving things that are hitherto alien to Anambra election and politics.

Desperadoes have caused shipwrecks in many States where governorship elections are left to the highest bidder as some are wishing Anambra. May wisdom eventually prevail for Anambra State to remain the light of the nation and example to all.

• Dr. Law Mefor is from Anambra Central and an Abuja based Forensic/Social Psychologist and Journalist; e-mail: drlawmefor@gmail.com