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I was once instructed to find examples that show that China had the characteristics of civilization, and also to show how Chinese civilization was different from that of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Examples demonstrating that China possessed the characteristics of civilization are numerous. When one considers their ceremonial temples, their Book of Wisdom, the I-Ching, their world renown poetry and cuisine, the simple longevity of their society, and their over crowded cities, it is apparent that the Chinese knew just as much about civilization as did the Mesopotamians and the Egyptians. Conversely, however, the Chinese also differed in their experience of a civil society. We’ll explore the commonalities and differences herein. As you may know, the main five characteristics of a civilization are large population centers in cities, writing, ritual centers, continuity, and the arts.
China had a highly developed cultural core which was used to promote a moral order for its people. As the text “China: The Mandate of Heaven” (Wood) discloses, Confucius proposed that the “state is a moral order sustained by virtue, ritual, and reverence for ancestors.” (Wood) Every aspect of the Chinese civilization was initially imbued with these values. The ceremonial temples, and shrines throughout China were a large part of this. These ritual centers drew millions to China’s major cities. Of note are the famed Taoist temple atop the sacred mountain, Tai Shan, in the Shandong province, and the monument to Confucius in Suzhou, China.
The Chinese Book of Wisdom, the I-Ching, was another example of the presence of the characteristics of civilization in China. Considered one of the benchmarks of Eastern writing, it testified to the importance of the written word in Chinese society. This is a vital document for anyone studying the history of ancient civilization.
Additionally, there were the arts of China. Arts, as we know, are one of the fundamental characteristics of civilization. The poets, Li Po and Du Fu, headed the list of a long tradition of the Chinese arts. If cuisine were allowed to be classified among the arts, then Chinese cuisine would lead the world. It was one of the earliest known, and most sought after cuisines. Their centuries old, famous dishes have evolved into a literal art form.
It is common knowledge that China boasts the world’s largest population. Much of this populous resided and still resides in China’s cities. While the details of the particular living arrangements and standards of living among the millions of residents of cities like Kai Thanks, Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong and Tianjin are the topic of another setting, none can doubt China’s commitment to living in cities. This is one of the most obvious characteristics of civilization that China demonstrates well.
Finally, China is one of the oldest civilizations on Earth. Their culture and traditions impressively span several millennia, as those who’ve studied any ancient civilization of the world well know. They have demonstrated the type of inter-generational continuity that few other civilizations have enjoyed. While parallels to all of these examples can be found in the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt, three examples, in particular, serve to accentuate some differences between the three civilizations.
In ancient China:
1 – One man set the tone forever
2 – Religion was less dogmatic
3 – An integral component of the society was imported
While possessing the same characteristics of civilization as other ancient civilizations of the world, one prime area of difference was with regard to leadership. As stated, one man significantly influenced Chinese society forever… single handedly! In Mesopotamia and Egypt, tribes, elders and divine kings set the tone for society for hundreds of years. Confucius believed and promulgated the belief that ‘goodness’ was the foundation of a successful civilization. Leaders were therefore, only granted authority for as long as they remained ‘upright’. Confucius was concerned with establishing a sustainable moral order on Earth. Confucius alone is to be credited with shaping China’s civilization, past and present. While both Mesopotamia and Egypt had their heroes, their influence was not as far reaching as Confucius’ was on China.
Secondly, in China religion had a much humbler, less dogmatic tone than the religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt. There was less talk of the divine, or divine directives, and more of an emphasis on personal enlightenment and honoring one’s lineage. It seems that the Chinese were more concerned about spirituality than traditional forms and themes of religion. With the introduction of Taoism in China, the ‘right path’ was sought by all. Even this, itself, is a contrast to the religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt. The act of searching for the ‘right path’ was an admission that one did not know the path and had to find it. This thought was juxtaposed with the more dogmatic, propitiation laced polytheistic religions of Mesopotamia and Egypt.
There was also the issue of Buddhism. This was an imported idea from India. While all three civilizations learned from other cultures and made their distinct, major contributions to humanity over the years, among the three, only China imported a major component of its civilization from another country. Buddhism came from India. It seemed to perfectly compliment Confucianism and Taoism, stressing inner enlightenment and ritual meditation. The Chinese quickly adopted and employed its precepts.
Taken together, all of these many examples prove that the Chinese possessed the requisite characteristics of civilization. We could further conclude that the Chinese are masters of city life. Alchemists, if you will, carefully combining the arts, large populations in cities, ceremonial temples and other ritual centers, time honored writings, and an unrivalled continuity into a tightly knit civilization while maintaining significant deviations from the paths toward civilization that Mesopotamia and Egypt had taken.
Parental intervention and application of moral principles can do much to mitigate these potential effects. One can then consider some of the possible effects a poorly brought up child can face. Research clearly shows that a child who lacks adequate parental instruction stands the risk of recalcitrance. A dependable study who reveals that out of ninety-four thousand cases of child delinquent behavior, about eighty percent stems from children in a household with poor parental counseling.
Relatively, the escalating risk of childhood sexual abuse in our society today results primarily from ineffective parental training and supervision. Generally, this psychological development drifts through life with no set objectives, very low sense of direction and low self-esteem as well as delinquent attitude among many children of minimal parental care.
Every Christian home must bring up a child in the way acceptable to God so that when the child grows up, he will not depart from it. This is a responsibility many biological parents deride. It therefore means that child from such irresponsible parental background may grow above his jacket and subsequently becomes a nuisance not only to the immediate community but the entire society.
Indeed, a child without adequate and sustained parental instruction or counseling is worthless and may slowly or rapidly grow into marijuana addiction, vandalism and armed robbery as well as other social vices. Little wonder why child delinquency in many developing societies is always blamed on in-effective parental upbringing.
Sometimes, these parental responsibilities are abandoned due to one reason or the other. Cases abound where some children are considered and seen as very fragile and so to be handled with care resulting, unfortunately, in over pampering. Attempting by fathers to instill discipline in such children receives negative reactions from the mothers especially when they remember and consider the labour they passed through during delivery.
Candidly speaking, this shoddy home training bestowed on a child does not usually augur well for his development. This in turn helps to promote moral decadence, which is a cog in the mechanical wheel of development of any society.
Another causative factor of poor parental care in many homes is the issue of housemaids. Apparently parental care and moral instruction are now being concentrated on the housemaids to the detriment of the biological child. There is absolute denial of basic parental training of the child from birth.To get rid of this psychological impact of poor child up bringing on the society, every biological parent must properly groom his or her children to become useful citizens by not sparing the rod and spoiling the child.
Dating back to 4000 BC in Egypt, drums are the oldest known instrument in the world. Not only have people been using drums for a long time, but Macaque monkeys also use drumming to show dominance and communicate. Drums have been used all over the world as a means of communication or a way to create music. People who play the drums heavily rely on the physics behind them, but many people never truly realize how much newton’s third law takes place in their activity. When a person plays drums, to simply put it, they are just hitting drums in different ways at different times. The main thing they are doing is bouncing a stick, a hand, a mallet or something similar off of a drum. Without being able to bounce something off the drum, drumming would be drastically different, or even non-existent in this day and age.
Both the sticks, mallets, hands, etc., and the makeup of the drum itself have major roles in the physics of drumming. For example, without Newton’s Third Law, the drumstick would never bounce off the drum, leaving drums having a dull and bland smacking noise. Newton’s Third Law states that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The action would be the sticks hitting the drum, and the equal and opposite reaction are the sticks bouncing off the drum. As the sticks push against the drumhead, the drumhead also pushes against the sticks with an equal and opposite force, leaving the drum resonating with sound and the sticks back up in the air. This is possible because of the tension in the circular membrane of the drumhead. The tension makes it easier for the sticks to apply more force to the drumhead and make a louder sound while being pushed back up to hit again. Different drums also have different ways they need to be hit. For example, the snare drum needs to be hit in the center, whereas the timpani drum needs to be hit near the sides.
The ideal circular membrane has a fundamental frequency of ƒ1=0.765((√ T/σ)/D), where ƒ = frequency, T = membrane tension, σ = mass per unit, and D = the diameter of membrane. With this ideal frequency, it is easiest and most efficient to hit the drumstick off of the drum. Leading back to Newton’s Third Law, when it is most efficient to hit the drumstick off of the drumhead the forces of the sticks and the drum are completely equal and the drum leaves a resonating sound as the stick goes back up the be used to hit the drum again.
Three years ago, I went through a very hard period of my life. But I managed to turn it around and gain a positive result from it.
One of the goals I obtained was to lose quite a lot of weight. 20 kg (44 lbs) over a period of only three months, and most of the weight loss stayed off permanently.
I have the Law of Attraction to thank for this victory, and if you are in a fight against your weight, you can win, too.
First of all, I decided to lose weight. I decided to lose a lot of fat in a short period of time, and to become good looking and attractive as fast as possible. I even put a time limit on my goal.
Then I took action. I cut down my food intake from large portions to small portions. Since I was going through this bad period, I didn’t want to enjoy myself. Not even when I was eating. So instead of eating for lust, I only ate enough to survive.
Every single day I also took a good walk. For at least 30 minutes I walked in a fast pace, whether it was raining, or the sun was shining. I did that to get away from my problems, to let the air in and clear my mind from negative thoughts. Through movements, I improved my mood.
I also did lots of meditations daily. Not about the weight loss, but about my problems. I feel certain, though, that breathing consciously and meditating contributed a lot to solve my weight problem, too.
Every morning I stood up on the scale, and I expected it to show 1 kg less than the day before. It wasn’t something I hoped for or wished for. It was something I expected.
Some mornings the weight hadn’t changed. Some mornings it was almost 2 kg’s less than before. Always the weight kept going in the right direction, which didn’t surprise me at all. I took it for granted, and never doubted it for a second.
After three months, I had lost 20 kg, which obviously is less than one kg per day, but I was satisfied with the result. The weight loss made me feel well, and that showed. As by a miracle, my bad times were over, things changed, and life was good again.
If you want to obtain a permanent weight loss with the help of the Law of Attraction, I recommend that you set a goal, do lots of meditations and visualizations, take action, and expect miracles to happen. They do, you know.
Britain governed indirectly through the existing local institutions. Sir Frederick Lugard’s Indirect Rule worked well in the North and the West where Traditional rulers were already in place. It however, failed woefully in the East where there was no tradition of central governing authority. What the British did therefore, was to create artificial chiefs whom they called “Warrant chiefs”. Because of the alien authority so created in the East and because some of them were actually insignificant people, the warrant chiefs commanded little or no authority. People either ignored them or protested their rule. One of the upshots of this anomaly was the ‘Aba Riots’ of 1929, led by women who were protesting in the main, the imposition of tax by a warrant chief.
THE CLIFFORD CONSTITUTION OF 1922
The Governor of Nigeria at this time, Sir Hugh Clifford had earlier attacked the National Congress of British West Africa, a political party which was formed and led from the Gold Coast by Casely Hayford, for having sent a petition to the secretary of state for the Colonies in London. One of the agitations of the educated minority in Lagos and Calabar areas was for proper constitutional representation, and the petition was rejected by Lord Milner, the secretary of state. Clifford himself had attacked the National Congress of British West Africa as a whole, but he fully appreciated the need for reform and especially for increased participation of Nigerians in the government of their own country.
One of the political consequences of the Clifford Constitution was that the introduction of elective principle in the Legislative Council stimulated political activity, particularly in Lagos, which had three seats. Political parties and newspapers were founded, though some were short-lived due to personal rivalries and inadequate funding. That was the early stage of Nigerian nationalism. Herbert Macaulay founded the first Nigerian political party – Nigerian National Democratic Party (NNDP) – and which won all the elections of 1923, 1928 and 1933.
The supremacy in Lagos of the NNDP was not challenged until the foundation in 1934 of the Lagos Youth Movement, which changed its name to Nigeria Youth Movement (NYM) in 1936. The NYM emerged from relative obscurity at the 1938 General Elections to challenge the NNDP and it became the predominant Nigerian party under Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe’s leadership, until he resigned from it on an internal issue of confidence in 1941, after which it faded away.
The impact of the Second World War (1945-1949) upon Nationalist movements in British West Africa was the same in all territories. The impact was threefold: military, psychological, and economic.
Large numbers of West African troops were recruited and saw military service in East Africa, in North Africa, and most particularly, in South East Asia. They were taught that they were fighting for freedom, and were promised good resettlement facilities when they returned home and were demobilized. However, West African units in South East Asia had been issued with pamphlets describing demobilization and resettlement procedures applicable to British troops being demobilized in the United Kingdom for when they got back to their own countries the West African troops were summarily discharged from the armed forces, and swelled the ranks of the unemployed.
During the war, the propaganda of the Allies had been based upon the concept of freedom (as indeed had Nazi propaganda directed at the colonies). The United States, as an ex-colony, took an aggressively anti-colonialist line from the time of the Atlantic Charter of the United Nations.
Finally, following war-time and post-war shortages and inflation, the price of imported goods went up, though the prices received by local producers for export did not go up like the same extent. This led to dissentient and a belief that the Colonial masses were the victims of imperialist and capitalist exploitation.
The impact of Azikiwe’s newspaper – West African Pilot – and other factors energized the quest for freedom. Such other factors were the impact of organized labour, student unionism and the invigorating balm offered by the independence of India in 1947.
THE RICHARDS CONSTITUTION OF 1946
Sir Arthur Richards (later Lord Milverton) submitted his Constitutional proposals to the secretary of state for the Colonies in December 1944. The proposals were of two main characteristics: the pursuit of self-determination and the development of regional separatism.
There was sweeping condemnation of the Richards Constitution by a plethora of protests, viz, the June 1945 general strike of organized labour spearheaded by the labour leader, Pa Michael Imoudu, the formation and activities of the Zikist Movement and the increasing impatience and radicalism of the youths. The new mood of the moment was captured by Ogedemgbe Macaulay (son of Herbert Macaulay) and Mallam Habib Abdallah. The younger Macaulay was reported to have argued that “if we tell the governor to come down, he will not; we must drag him down and take over.”
In a 1948 lecture titled “The Age of Positive Action”, Mallam Abdallah said:
“I hate the Union Jack with all my heart because it divides the people wherever it goes…it is a symbol of persecution, of domination, a symbol of exploitation… of brutality…we have passed the age of petition…age of resolution…the age of diplomacy. This is the age of action – plain, blunt and positive action.”
The Nationalist leaders were strongly opposed to the Richards Constitution as they claimed that it had been arbitrarily imposed upon them, since Richards himself had not consulted either the political leaders or public opinion in general.
THE MACPHERSON CONSTITUTION OF 1951
Sir John Macpherson took over from Sir Arthur Richards as Governor in April 1948. Macpherson attempted a rapprochement with the Nigerian Nationalists, thus securing their co-operation in a common effort towards self-government.
In the early part of his governorship, he carried out local government reforms which were intended to modernize and democratize local government structure of Southern Nigeria. He also set up a special commission, which included Dr. Azikiwe, to make recommendations on the ‘Nigerianization’ of the senior civil service. On 17th August 1948, Macpherson addressed the Legislative Council that “if it was the wish of the country” he was willing to make constitutional changes within three years.
Lengthy wrangling among the Nationalists led to constitutional reform with the feeling polarizing the three major parties based upon the three Regions then existing – the Action Group based on Yoruba support, the NCNC based upon Ibo support, and the NPC based upon Hausa/Fulani support, and thus establishing themselves as spokesmen of the three major tribal and regional interests.
The breakdown of the Macpherson Constitution – even though it represented a structure within which Nigerian political leaders could have worked out their political salvation had they wished on a basis of ‘Unity in Diversity’- its principal weakness lay in its failure to provide government at the center. For example, there was a determination of the relationships on the one hand between the political parties and on the other hand between Nigerian leaders and expatriate officials. A further constitutional impasse developed in the Federal House of Representatives as a result of the motion calling for, ‘as a primary political objective the attainment of self-government for Nigeria in 1956’ which was moved by chief Anthony Enahoro, an Action Group member, on March 31, 1953.
THE LYTTELTON CONSTITUTION 1954
The political atmosphere throughout Nigeria rapidly deteriorated into party and ethnic intolerance, as evinced, for example, by the Kano Riots of 1953. Accordingly, Mr. Oliver Lyttleton, the secretary of state, stated in the House of Commons on 31st May 1953 that, since it appeared impossible for Nigerians to work together effectively in a tightly knit federation, ‘Her majesty’s Government had regretfully decided that the Nigerian Constitution would have to be withdrawn to provide for greater regional autonomy and for the removal of powers of intervention by the center in matters which could, without detriment to other regions, be placed entirely within regional competence.’ He accordingly invited Nigerian leaders to come to London for a Constitutional Review. The Nigerian political leaders after some political bickering visited London from 30th July to 22nd August 1953 for the constitutional conference, reaching agreement on some major issues. It was agreed that the conference should meet again in Lagos in January 1954 to deal with other issues like proposals for revenue allocation to the Regions.
The Lyttleton Constitution succeeded in giving the Regional legislatures a high degree of legislative autonomy being able to make laws on subjects included in the ‘regional’ list and in the ‘concurrent’ list (in which a Federal law could over-ride the Regional law). The Lyttleton Constitution had visualized that the Regions would eventually become self-governing in all matters within their legislative competence, as a transitional stage towards full self-government for Nigeria as a whole. As a result of the London constitutional conference in May and June 1957 under the chairmanship of the then secretary of state, Mr. Lennox- Boyd, both Eastern and Western Regions became self-governing on 8th August, 1957 and, in March 1959, the Northern Region became self-governing.
THE LONDON CONFERENCE OF 1958
The fourth constitutional conference to be held in eight years took place in London in September and October 1958. Apart from some discussions of the position of minority in Nigeria, and the decision to hold a General Election for an enlarged House of Representatives in December 1959, the most important outcome of the conference was the decision that barring accidents, Nigeria should become independent on 1st October, 1960.
The general election having held in December 1959, no single party obtained an overall majority of the 312 seats in the new House of Representatives. The distribution of seats was as follows: Northern People’s Congress (NPC) 134, Nigerian Council of Nigerian Citizens (NCNC) 89, and Action Group (AG) 73, while others had 16. It would thus have been possible for a coalition of the NCNC and the AG to command a working majority in the House, and discussions were held between the leaders to that effect. These negotiations broke down, partly owing to the hostility between the two parties and partly because of the fear that the Northern Government was based upon the two Southern parties only. In the end, the NPC and the NCNC formed a coalition government under Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa. The AG, frustrated, became the official opposition. Dr. Azikiwe resigned his seat in the House and was appointed President of the newly established Senate.
Comment: the union between the NPC and the NCNC became a subject of life-long bitter feeling between Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe with the former believing that the latter’s political alignment with the NPC signified an unwarranted compromise and a sell-out.
THE INDEPENDENCE CONSTITUTION OF 1960
The first Constitution of an independent Nigeria was contained in the Nigerian (Constitution) Order in Council, 1960, which came into effect on 1st October, 1960. Note that in July 1960, the United Kingdom; Parliament had passed the Nigerian Independence Act, 1960, which made provision for the independence of all Nigeria except the British Cameroons.
The 1960 Independence Constitution contained some important provisions, as follows:
i. The Governor-General representing the Queen became constitutional Head of State, acting only on the advice of his ministers. The same applied to the Governors at the Regions.
ii. Judges of the Supreme and High Courts were to be appointed upon the advice of the Judicial Service Commission, made up of the existing Judges. They could only be dismissed on the recommendation of a Tribunal of Judges, confirmed by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.
iii. Constitutional provision was made for Nigerian citizenship.
iv. A procedure for constitutional amendment hitherto the prerogative of the United Kingdom authorities was incorporated in the Constitution.
FROM 1960 – 1983
Nigeria having attained political independence on 1st October 1960, it must be admitted that hope and anxiety defined the first five years of self-rule. But hope soon petered out, as anxiety soon yielded way to tension, then to crises.
The Western Region Crisis of 1962
Within two years of independence, the emergency powers of the Federal Government had to be called into play, and it became the subject of considerable political acrimony. By declaring a state of emergency and supplanting the government of a Region was demonstrably so great as to raise the question of whether Nigeria was a true Federation at all.
The Western Region crisis which developed from a personality conflict between Chief Awolowo, the leader of the Action Group and his deputy, Chief S.L. Akintola, the Premier of Western Region and split the Action Group completely, resulted in the suspension of the Western Region Government by the Federal Government under its emergency powers. Having declared emergency rule the Federal Government appointed Senator Majekodumi, the Federal Minister of Health, as Administrator, with full powers as if he were himself the Western Region Government.
Meanwhile, Chief Awolowo and a group of his supporters were charged with treasonable felony and conspiracy to overthrow the Federal Government. After a lengthy trial, he was convicted and sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Chief Akintola was allowed to resume his premiership on 1st January, 1963, and up to the date of his assassination during the first military coup in January 1966, remained in office as leader of a new party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party.
The Mid-West State
On 23rd March 1962, the Federal Parliament approved a Constitutional amendment to provide for a fourth Region in Nigeria. The proposal was then approved by the legislatures of Eastern and Northern Regions, although rejected at the time by the Western legislature. A referendum was held in the area affected on 13th July 1963, which gave an overwhelming support to the creation of a new Region.
The Mid-West Region, formed out the non-Yoruba areas of Western Region, came into existence on the 12th August 1963. It received a Constitution on 9th January 1964 similar to that of Western Region, after having been administered under the aegis of the Federal Government for the first six months.
How Nigeria Became a Republic
Proposals for the transformation of Nigeria into a Republic were drawn up by the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, in consultation with the Regional Premiers and presented to the delegates of all the political parties at the Constitutional Conference held in Lagos on the 25th and 26th July 1963. The Conference agreed that Nigeria should become a Federal Republic within the Commonwealth on 1st October 1963. It was decided that the first president should be Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, previously the Governor-General of the Federation, and that subsequent Presidents should be elected for a period of five years at a time by the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives sitting together.
The Republican Constitution of 1963
The new Constitution incorporated the decisions of the Constitutional Conference, and was passed into law by the Federal Parliament on 19th September 1963. It came into effect on 1st October 1963. The Republican Constitution was titled “The 1963 Constitution (Act No. 20 of 1963) and it was a lengthy document running into twelve chapters with numerous sections. One very significant section of the 1963 Constitution was Section 157 which named Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe as President of the Republic with effect from the date of commencement of the Constitution. It must be noted that the 1963 Constitution was Federal, Republican, Written and Rigid.
The Breakdown of Law and Order
The Western Region was already politically divided since the rift between Awolowo and Akintola in 1962, lived through a period of increasing political tension during the Federal General Election Campaign of 1964. This political tension was not given a chance to subside after the election, owing partly to the charges and counter-charges of illicit practices during the election. A fresh wave of election fever which was stimulated by the knowledge that the Regional General Election was bound to take place during 1965, and rumors had it that the election might take place as early as April 1965, but in the event Chief Akintola concealed his intentions, thus allowing the fever to continue, until the announcement that the date had been fixed for the autumn of 1965.
The Regional electoral results were announced by the Regional Electoral Commission, and showed an overwhelming majority for Chief Akintola’s NNDP. In reaction, the Action Group immediately declared that in fact their acting leader, Alhaji Adegbenro, had won the election and was therefore the lawful Premier, but the courts ruled that Chief Akintola retained the Premiership. The Action Group had alleged that the elections had been ‘rigged’ and they were supported in a statement made by the chairman of the Electoral Commission.
Political dissension and violence between the two parties increased to such a point that by the end of December 1965, the Nigerian police force, seriously undermanned and physically exhausted from the strain of a year or more of violence in the Region, found itself losing its grip on the situation and unable to guarantee the maintenance of law and order. [This was a period the political violence in the Region was euphemistically nick-named “operation wetice” during which political hooligans and arsonists poured petrol on political opponents and burnt them alive, including their houses and other material possessions].
EMERGENCE OF MILITARY GOVERNMENT IN NIGERIA
As a result of the deteriorating situation in Western Region coupled with the impotence of the police to contain the widespread violence from the end of December 1965 to the middle of January 1966 during which gangs of hooligans erected road blocks on the main roads between Lagos and Ibadan.
Still in the grip of its fatal indecision, the Federal Government did not act. In the early hours of Saturday, 15th January 1966, drastic action for which the situation called and with which the Federal Government had not responded, was taken. Troops under the command of Major Chukwuma Nzeogwu assassinated Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Premier of Northern Nigeria and killed a number of senior army officers who were not willing to support their actions. Other troops assassinated Chief Akintola, the Premier of Western Nigeria, and kidnapped his deputy, Chief Fani-Kayode. Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, the Federal Minister of Finance, were also kidnapped in Laos, and a preventive guard was put on the residences of the Eastern Nigeria Ministers. The bodies of Abubakar and Okotie-Eboh were not found until 21st January, until which time their fate remained unknown.
The remaining members of the Federal Council of Ministers met on 15th January, announced that an army mutiny had taken place, and stated that the General Officer Commanding, Major General J.T.U. Aguiyi-Ironsi (who had succeeded Major-General Sir Charles Welby-Everard less than a year previously) remained completely loyal to the Federal Government.
The next day, Sunday, 16th January, the President of the Senate, Dr. Nwafor Orizu, who was Acting President of Nigeria in the absence overseas on sick leave of Dr. Azikiwe, broadcast to the nation announcing that the Council of Ministers had advised him to hand over the powers of government to Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi.
Immediately on assuming power, Major-General Aguiyi-Ironsi in a broadcast to the people of Nigeria, stated that he had set up a military government and promulgated the first Decrees to suspend those Sections of the Constitution making provisions for the President of the Republic, Prime Minister, Council of Ministers, Parliament, Regional Governors, Regional Premiers, Regional Executive Councils, and Regional Assemblies. Aguiyi-Ironsi made it clear that the ‘primary objective of the military government was to re-establish law and order, and to reactivate the Civil administration. Its longer term objectives were to eradicate tribalism and regionalism in any shape or form and to lead a unified Nigeria towards the adoption of a new civilian constitution.
Military Governors were appointed for each of the Regions, with Aguiyi-Ironsi as Supreme Commander and Head of the Military Government.
A study group had been set up on 21st March 1966 under Chief Rotimi Williams to make recommendations for a unitary form of government. After serious rioting by Northerners against Southerners (in particular Ibos) in the North because Northerners feared that the proposed unitary form of government was designed to subject them to Southern domination, the army once again intervened in July 1966. Northern troops seized General Aguiyi-Ironsi in Ibadan, together with his host, Lt-Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, military Governor of the West, and assassinated both of them. This sad event occurred on 29th July 1966.
After a period of confusion, in which the country was leaderless, Lt-Colonel Yakubu Gowon, a Christian Northerner from Angas ethnic group (in present day Plateau State), although not the most senior officer in the army, proved to be the only leader to whom the troops would rally. He thus became the Head of the Federal Military Government.
The first step taken by the new Gowon administration was to reverse Ironsi’s decision to establish a unitary form of government. The interim was to allay Northern fears of Southern (and in particular Ibo) domination, since Ironsi had surrounded himself with Ibo advisors, within his six months in office. The new Gowon regime pacified the people of the West and the Mid-West by releasing Chief Awolowo and Chief Enahoro, and by convening a Conference, which was to include representatives from all the regions, to draft a new Federal Constitution.
The new administration, however, ran into difficulties immediately, as the Military Governor of the Eastern Region Lt-Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu (an Ibo) bitter about the massacre of his people in the North, refused to come to Lagos unless his safety would be guaranteed. The Supreme Miltary Council met in Lagos from 14th to 16th October, 1966, with Lt-Colonel Ojukwu absenting himself as he had not been given a guarantee of personal safety. There was majority support at the conference for the creation of more states in Nigeria, and that a plebiscite should take place to determine the wishes of the people.
Aburi Meeting and Subsequent Secession of the East from Nigeria
Since Ojukwu and Gowon could not see eye-to-eye with each other on the various problems confronting the country as a whole, with particular reference to the Eastern question, a committee of Western Nigeria Obas and Chiefs led by Chief Awolowo, started a round of talks with regional leaders in an attempt to solve the problem of continued Federation. The Eastern leaders persisted in their refusal to sit down to talk, and the result was that the committee had to abandon its efforts in mid-November.
The National Liberation Council in Ghana tried in December 1966, to mediate between Gowon and the military governors in the Regions, including Ojukwu. The meeting took place in Aburi, Ghana, on 4th and 5th January 1967. After the Aburi meeting, all parties returned to Nigeria convinced that a worthwhile agreement had been reached, however, Ojukwu’s interpretation of the meaning of agreement differed from those of the other participants. (It should be noted that it had generally been agreed at the Aburi meeting that each regional governor should be given the power of veto over any decision of the Supreme Military Council which might affect this, as they felt it seriously undermined the power of the Federal Military Government).
A decree published by the Federal Military Government on 17th March, purporting to implement the Aburi agreement made secession illegal and empowered the SMC to take over the powers of government in any region where it had declared a state of emergency.
On 31st March, Ojukwu published an edict, the effect of which was to ascribe to the Regional Government all revenues (Oil royalties, etc.) which had previously been ascribable to the Federal Military Government. On 18th April 1967, he took over Federal installations on Eastern soil, including the railways, posts, and Telecommunications, etc.
On 27th May, 1967, Ojukwu secured an overwhelming vote in the 300 – member Regional Consultative Assembly authorizing him to proclaim the Region’s independence as the ‘Republic of Biafra’ at the earliest possible date. The next day, Gowon declared a state of emergency throughout Nigeria, assumed full powers as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, and promulgated a decree dividing Nigeria into twelve states. The former Northern Region was divided into six states and the Eastern Region into three. The Mid-West became one state, while the Western Region minus Colony Province became the new Western State. The Colony Province joined the former Federal Territory of Lagos to become Lagos State.
Ojukwu announced that the decree dismembering Eastern Region would not be implemented and proclaimed the Republic of Biafra on 30th May, 1967. In reaction, Gowon denounced this as an act of rebellion, imposed financial and economic sanctions on the territory and ordered general mobilization.
As a result of frontier clashes between Ojukwu’s forces and those of Gowon, Ojukwu threatened total war on 30th June, 1967 if Nigeria entered his territory. This resulted in Gowon dismissing Ojukwu both as a military governor and as an army officer. The invasion of the East by the Federal forces started on July 6th, 1967. The collapse of Biafra’s side came suddenly; it was signaled in a broadcast by Ojukwu on 11th January 1970, announcing that he was handing over power to his deputy Major-General Phillip-Effiong and that ‘his presence outside Biafra was vital in the search for an early and honorable end to the Civil war.’ Effiong the next day ordered the ‘orderly disengagement’ of his troops and a delegation was ready to negotiate a peace settlement with the Federal authorities. By 14th January, Federal troops had occupied the whole of the territory, and the next day, Lt-Colonel Effiong (he reversed to his substantive rank in the Nigerian army) formally surrendered in Lagos.
The military government of Gowon lasted nine years from, from 1966 to 1975, when he was overthrown, while on an official trip to Uganda, by General Murtala Muhammed. One of the major reasons for Gowon’s overthrow was that he over-stayed in power without any clear objectives about setting the time-frame to hand over power to a civilian administration over which he severally reneged.
General Muhammed himself was toppled in a coup after only six months in power on 13th February 1976, by Lt-Colonel Buka Dimka. Following the assassination of General Muhammed, the mantle of leadership fell on the then Brigadier Olusegun Obasanjo who was immediate deputy of General Muhammed. Obasanjo piloted the affairs of Nigeria and conducted a General Election, in which an elected Executive civilian President in the person of Alhaji Shehu Shagari became President of Nigeria, on the platform of the National Party of Nigeria, on 1st October, 1979.
Shagari ruled Nigeria for four years and massive ineptitude and political corruption were the order of the day. It was indeed a testy period in Nigeria’s chequered history as the ‘years of the Locusts’ really entered the center-stage in Nigeria’s political scene.
The Era of Tunde Idiagbon and Muhammadu Buhari
Shagari’s regime was boted out on 31st December, 1983 by the duo of Brigadier Tunde Idiagbo and Major-General Muhammadu Buhari who rode into the system with great promise. They wore long faces and tried to whip everybody into line. They made ‘disciplie’ their watch word and didn’t miss any opportunity to boast that they were in charge. But after sixteen months in the saddle, they were kicked out to the immediate joy of many (in August 1985).
General Ibrahim Badamosi Babangida, popularly called IBB, came in August 1985, with a winning smile. Like others before him, he started well. It took almost all his eight-year reign for his hidden agenda to become apparent. By then, Nigerians had been made to swallow the bitter pill of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) in which the country’s per capita income of about $1200 of the eighties plummeted to $250. The General turned Nigeria into a political laboratory, as he banned and unbanned politicians, endlessly tinkering with the process. The greatest political crisis that Babangida bequeathed to the country was the annulment of the Presidential Election victory won by Chief M.K.O. Abiola on June 12th, 1993 and for reasons best known to him, the country was given the June 12 crisis. Babangida stepped aside and strung together an interim government that was later declared illegal by the courts.
The Era of Sani Abacha
One of the upshots of that crisis was the emergence of General Sani Abacha, the dictator who for five years squeezed the country to submission. Abacha, it was who jailed Abiola, the winner of the elections, for daring to his many detention camps, closed down media houses, hanged activists and sent his killer squads after opposition figures. Nigerians lived in fear and misery. During this period, Nigeria waded through its darkest phase in history.
The Era of Abdulsalam Abubakar
When Abacha passed on, General Abdulsalam Abubakar came in 1988, managed a fair transition, and set the country up on the path of dreams and hope. On May 29, 1999, a new day dawned when Chief Olusegun Obasanjo was sworn in as the President, having won the General Elections under the People Democratic Party (PDP), for a four year term which terminated in year 2003.
Again, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo mounted the saddle again for a second term as Nigeria’s elected civilian President after having won the 2003 General Elections under the platform of People Democratic Party. He entered his second term as President on May 29th, 2007, when the baton fell on late President Musa Yar’Adua. Yar’Adua, following a protracted illness, died on May 5th, 2009.
The Era of Goodluck Jonathan
The era of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan became the substantive President after his boss, President Musa Yar’Adua died in 2009. After a successful primary election of his Party, the PDP, Jonathan was thrown up as the flag bearer and Presidential candidate for the 2011 General Elections to which he finally won in a landslide on April 16, 2011. He was sworn in as President of Nigeria on May 29, 2011.
A short story is a literary work that tells a series of event in a specific setting. These series of events are the product of the writer’s powerful mind and imagination. They are the result of contemplations, and realizations done by the writer either during his gloomy or happy days. Short stories are the outlet of the writer’s emotions. It is through short stories that a writer directly or indirectly expresses his ideals, beliefs and opinions regarding issues that continually confronting the society. Thus stories are written due to several purposes such as to inspire, to educate, to entertain and to provoke one’s emotions.
Whichever the purpose of a particular story, one thing that is very much sure is that stories have lots of benefits to everyone.
For children stories teach them moral lessons which will be planted in their young minds and that they can ponder upon as they grow older. Other than that, they help in the enhancement of children’s imaginative thinking which leads to creativity. According to some experts, children are being trained to think imaginatively while listening or reading stories in accordance to how the writer describes the setting, characters, and events that took place in the story. More than that, children are taught to focus their attention to a specific topic so that if they will be engaged to more complicated brainstorming or emersions they won’t have any difficulty. One thing more, their vocabularies will be developed. As a result,, this will help them develop their communication skills both in oral and written communication.
For older person, stories especially with those that contain humor entertain people. Short stories would also provoke questions in the minds of people regarding life and society. Short stories enables them see realities even though the events in the stories did not happen in actual scenes; but there are several situations in life that can be related to those events. The readers are made to see and think of the realities in life. Another thing is that stories teach people to appreciate the beauty of life. This is because through short stories that the adventures of people are told. These characters are used to symbolize things in the real society. It is through them that writers relate the message they wanted their readers to grasp. Despite the fact that these characters shown in these stories don’t exist in real life, their struggles can be compared to someone in real life.
Those benefits mentioned above are only among the many benefits of reading short stories. Seeing those benefits that stories can give, it is just correct to conclude that reading short stories is helpful to all.
Thomas Friedman is a NY Times bestselling author. He wrote The World is Flat and Hot, Flat and Crowded which are excellent books. This book is a must read for anybody who cares about our country. It outlines the problems and discusses the methods for getting us back on track as a world leading innovative nation.
Why is this important to me? I ask this question as if I am sitting in your shoes. This book in my humble opinion is a must read. The lackadaisical nature of the masses along with the political gridlock is paralyzing the nation and that affects all of us. It makes no sense for China to have better rail systems than us, and Singapore having better airports than us. And we just learned that China now has the fastest supercomputer on Earth – that used to be us. President Obama – 11/3/2010 Thomas and Michael outline the significant problems and some of the positive energy that still existing in the U.S. For the sake of time, I will summarize each of the 5 parts. The big four challenges we face in the U.S. are: how to adapt to Globalization, how to adjust to the IT revolution, how to cope with huge budget deficits because of growing government and how to manage in a world of rising energy demands and climate change.
1. The Diagnosis – If you see something, say something. Humans have a unique way of adapting to the environment. Unfortunately, we adapt to bad things and start to accept them as normal. The authors profile a story where it has taken over 6 months to fix two escalators with 21 steps on each in the New York Subway station. The politics, red tape and bureaucracy have basically killed the project. Yet in China, they can build a world class convention center in 32 weeks. The scary part of all of this is that – “People have gotten used to it.” Pretty soon we get numb to really stupid things and start accepting the red tape provided by people who get paid regardless. This is a very scary habit to fall into because the gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world is widening and we are falling farther behind. The infrastructure of the country is falling apart. A personal example – our building is located in Southfield Michigan and we pay $50K a year in property taxes. The street in front of our building will destroy the front end of your car if you go faster than 20 miles per hour because the road is so screwed up.
2. The Education Challenge – This is no secret. We are funding education with investment dollars and it is not effective. We can fist fight all day on who is responsible but the point is that the family has to take a proactive approach to education or kids will die on the vine. The key learning requirements are critical thinking, collaboration and effective oral and written communication. There is another major problem in that kids need to be accountable and work ethic has to be established at a young age. The Chinese and Indians out work us in aggregate. They are pushed by their parents to succeed. Success in the U.S. has basically made the country lazy. This is similar to a championship boxer who is no longer hungry and does not work hard to stay champion. The authors point out a quote from a business man saying he is in the business of killing jobs. He is absolutely correct. Basically we have to innovate and automate routine tasks. This means that software and intellectual property will take the place of mundane work. This is continuing to happen and why critical thinking, problem solving and sharp skills are required from our education system. According to Wikipedia, the U.S. rank 17th in the world for education yet the budget is over $900 Billion annually. The execution and oversight to this spending is broken.
3. The War on Math and Science – Arithmetic is not an opinion – Italian Proverb. The war on Math is simple – nobody in Government can add. We are borrowing money from China to go to war with Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Our deficient spending is just that and the investment is non-existent. In the 1960’s president Kennedy created a goal to be on the Moon in 10 years. What is the goal today? To provide for people and make sure they don’t have to work but still get their checks? Also, how could we let our banks leverage our future with derivatives and nobody in management have an idea of what happened? Worse than that, these executive got paid hundreds of millions of dollars collectively while accepting bailouts. This is War on Math and common sense. Like we stated earlier, Americans have gotten Used to it. The war on physics has to do with climate change and energy. The growth of energy demand and our lack of real investment in alternatives need to change. Lobbyists and special interest groups prevent this.
4. Political Failure – I am not going to blame Democrats or Republicans. I will blame both for the grid lock and selfish nature of polls, money and re-election. Our government in the last three years has gone into special session to make sure that the “Economy” does not self-destruct. Think about this for a minute. President Obama had to raise the debt ceiling otherwise the effects on the economy would have been Catastrophic. Those are his words. Is anybody listening? I guess we are just “used to it.”
5. Rediscovering America – The good news is that for every problem yields great opportunity to solve it. Embracing the problems and hitting them head on is the cornerstone of our history. The small business man who transforms the world from his garage – that all happens here. This needs to be nurtured and the problems need to be fixed from the bottom up. Waiting for big brother to fix our issues is the kiss of death. Don’t let Dumb and Dumber dictate your future. This is how our political system is working and we are going to get run over by other nations if we don’t take responsibility for ourselves. I will stop preaching. This is a good book and will open your eyes to the problems. Remember that news today is not news but opinion. Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh are paid for ratings. I hope you have found this short summary useful. The key to any new idea is to work it into your daily routine until it becomes habit. Habits form in as little as 21 days. One thing you can take away from this book is the U.S needs leaders. This is still the greatest country in the world because we are free. This means we need to become leaders and lead from the bottom up. We need to take responsibility for continuous learning and innovation.
Larabee describes social efficiency as an educational framework in which the school sees its role as that of preparing the students to become workers. Curriculum responds to society’s needs in a pragmatic manner; hence, it is seen as a public good designed to meet collective needs. Society depends on the school to meet its human capital needs in all phases of economic life. In this model, schools must necessarily adapt to existing socioeconomic and social structures. While maintaining the status quo, they realize their full educational, political, and cultural impact.
Society has the responsibility of enhancing productivity in all phases of life. This means that schools must seriously prepare students of all levels, for all levels. However, some very interesting assumptions are taken for granted. It is implicit that all societal positions are not equitable. The objective of social efficiency is not to elevate or demote people socioeconomically, or socially. It is the overall, collective benefit of the public that is being served. Hence, schools are induced to replicate, with unerring accuracy, society’s hierarchical form and complete structure. Tasks in the society need to be done by everyone. So it is everybody’s place to contribute and do what needs to be done for the public good.
To get this model to work, certain institutions had to be artificially contrived. Tracking, on the basis of perceived abilities and preferences, vocationalism, ability testing, educational standards, and other forms of stratification were all instituted with one aim. They separated students into different groups to fill different societal roles. Many of the roles were based on society’s historical perceptions of which groups of people should be performing what tasks, or on actual abilities and talents the students possess. Hence, the question came down to whose children should be educated for what roles in society. People upholding the social efficiency ideology can be perceived as blocking chances for social mobility and political equality.
As said earlier, social efficiency is not designed to alter the status quo of society members. In other words, children of the elite will not be trained to fill societal roles not already consistent with their status. Nor will children of people working in menial positions be expected to be trained for those held by the elite. These would be taught vocational skills for different array of jobs, and would be channeled directly into these jobs. In this sense, education can be seen as a duplication of what already exists. The education is designed to predict working class job roles for working students and to prepare them so precisely as to render all other options impossible. Some would see this as not being unfair since it does not rob those who already have nothing. What specific groups had previously is what they continue to have. Society’s needs are met, and things continue to run as they always have.
But not so, some say. Democratic equality must prevail. It must be interpreted to mean equal access to all students for all possible positions. Here as everywhere else, the philosophical framework of educators, parents, the community at large, and the students come into play. Certain questions emerge as important: What responsibility do teachers have toward their students in terms of pushing them towards a type of education that does not coincide with the the student’s social background? How motivated should a teacher be to push certain students toward more advanced classes? How inclined should a teacher feel or feel impelled to make available certain types of information that may permanently and favorably alter the student’s future? Which students get pushed toward a more vocational education? Which ones get steered toward a more academic program?
The position that principals, guidance staff, the community, etc. take depends on their philosophical stance. If these educators are operating from a social efficiency perspective, they may not very well consider themselves immoral, or unethical for choosing not to inform students of certain channels leading to positions that would enhance their lifestyle. They may feel that as long as they equip the students with the tools to help them fill positions like those held by their parents, they are fulfilling their obligation to their charges.
Joel Spring describes the type of community in which the labor market does not depend on a high level of education. He refers to these communities as inert. The primary consideration of educators with regard to inert communities is to provide the best possible basic education to students to fill just these needs.
Apparently, many schools adopt the social efficiency model for their students of color. This model is also being used in several African American and Hispanic communities which have come to expect that their members will hold only certain types of menial positions, simply because that is what they have always held. Hence, only certain professional expectations are developed and enmeshed within the community. Moreover, the dominant community overtly and covertly expect that members of the subjected community will continue to hold those positions.
Notions about what roles members in these societies will hold are reinforced and maintained by teachers responding to stereotypes about the quality of thinking, work ethic, disposition, etc. of minority students. Teachers can also make deliberate efforts to maintain the status quo of students’ potential social positions through their attitudes and behaviors, overt and covert. These behaviors and attitudes reinforce within students self-defeating ideas and help them enliven self fulfilling prophecies.
Defining or understanding concepts such as social efficiency and democratic equality is relatively easy. Being in a position of educator and knowing how to act fairly towards students depends on the educator’s embraced philosophy and sense of fairness and responsibility towards all students.
Larabee, D. Public goods, private goods: the American struggle over educational goals. American Educational Research Journal. Spring 1997, vol. 34, No. 1, pp. 39-81
Narrowing down the list of famous law enforcement leaders to the 5 most influential people in law enforcement history is difficult. Many people have influenced law enforcement around the world since the ancient Egyptian and Greek societies. The following men, however, may be 5 of the most recognizably influential people from the recent law enforcement history of the United States:
Eugene Biscailuz: As the 27th Sherriff of Los Angeles County in 1932, Biscailuz was instrumental in a variety of revolutionary changes in California law enforcement that were influential around the nation. He founded the California Highway Patrol among other things.
Bill Bratton: This former New York City Police Commissioner oversaw huge reductions in crime rates in New York City in the 1990s, which many people say Rudi Giuliani took credit for before firing him. Bratton, also a former Boston Police Commissioner, went on to serve as the chief of police for the Los Angeles County Police Department before retiring in 2009.
Daryl Gates: As the Chief of the Los Angeles County Police Department from 1978 to 1992 he was instrumental in a number of important changes such as the founding of DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) and SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). He also oversaw the LAPD during a tumultuous time for race relations, especially following the Rodney King incident of 1991.
Theodore Roosevelt: Although most famous as the 26th president of the United States, Teddy Roosevelt was also the president of the New York City Police Commissioners from 1895 to 1897. He turned around a corrupt police force by establishing new disciplinary rules, creating a bicycle squad to tackle traffic problems, standardizing officers’ pistol use, implementing firearm inspections and physical exams and hiring 1,600 new recruits based solely on physical and mental qualifications.
August Vollmer: Known as a leading figure in the development of the United States criminal justice field, Vollmer got his start as the first chief of police of Berkeley, California. After a long career he was appointed president of the International Association of Police Chiefs in 1921