I can say boldly that if the university system is exposed in its ramifications, it could be worse than the government we criticise – Prof. Timothy Awoniyi (Newswatch March 7, 1994).
The time has come when honest Nigerians, especially those well acquainted with the university system, must speak up so that the process of nation-cleansing can be a holistic rather than a one-sided affair. There was a time when a professor’s salary of less than N10,000 a month could rarely suffice to cater for his family during the month. That was a time when honest lecturers would shop in “Belgum” market for old dresses for themselves and their children. They were not ashamed to do so.
Then came a time when the “fight for salary structure” and improved conditions of service made the university system to be associated with strikes, “sorting” and other professional malpractices. That was a time when lecturers saw their former students, known to be leaders of cultists, become honourable national leaders and politicians. Then followed internal animosities, with fight for deanship and lobby for positions in government, dividing the academia to the extent that Ph.D degree became an acronym for “Pull him down” syndrome.
The growing rot in the university system came in tandem with growing devaluation of the nation’s currency – the Naira. Without going into the possible causes of the drastic devaluation of the Nigerian monetary system, one can say that its widespread effects forced many Nigerian lecturers to move out of the country for job satisfaction. The phenomenon of leaving Nigeria for countries with stable economy was not peculiar to university lecturers alone, because medical doctors and other professionals also did similar things.
It became increasingly glaring that Nigeria’s reward system had been grossly faulty for a long time. Between 1972 and 1982, the situation took shape gradually, characterized largely by the phenomenon of getting or grabbing what one can, without giving back anything of equivalent value. Productivity and integrity became rare qualities in Nigeria, as personal success was judged by myopic and measurable indices. Cult phenomenon became a common practise in universities, of which some highly placed people in the society where patrons.
One would not shy away from pointing fingers at the military for its role, among other malfeasance, of infecting the psyche of Nigerian youths with a culture of brashness and impunity. Politeness and courtesy became alien qualities among Nigerian youths. Let it be pointed out that a majority of the youths who were cultists and of crude temperament were largely children of the affluent class, especially children brought up in barracks. This assertion can hardly be dislodged effectively.
The university system, being a mirror-image of the society where it exists, would definitely reflect the wider culture and goings-on in the society. Therefore, there is no prank or trend in a society that cannot manifest in university campuses. It would be necessary to state that the introduction of the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) contributed in no small measure to put Nigerian universities in the condition that we find ourselves currently – a situation where people fake what they can’t make.
Whatever the justifications and reasons for the unification of admissions process in the university system, the abuses which that policy sought to eradicate, obviously became worse. When each university conducted its own admissions and screening processes, there was no way that some radical and die-hard people of integrity in the committee would all give into malpractices. It is doubtful if such robust process of checks and balances can feature in an impersonal body as JAMB, with electronic systems that can be manipulated.
Background of animosities in universities.
When it became a policy that professors would retire with their full salaries and other benefits, then came an era of rat race. Again it was made a condition that no lecturer without a Ph.D would become a professor; no matter how highly experienced. The result was that becoming a professor was characterised by fraud, chicanery, duplicity, etc.
While in world-class universities highly experienced and dedicated lecturers could become professors even with first degree certificates, in Nigeria a lorry-load of certificates would be needed for the purpose. The result of this trend is that world-class lecturers soon saw their former students become professors with less than eleven years of teaching and research experiences.
Coupled with this trend is the fact that close to seventy percent of the academic staff of Nigerian universities are either private consultants, business men and women, pastors or politicians. They often have the support and patronage of close friends in government, including former students who are highly placed in the public or private sectors of the economy. A situation where a lecturer who would hardly be in the lecture hall to teach his students, but always in the corridors in power, becomes a professor, his colleagues would soon throw dedication to duty to the wind.
It is quite human that nobody would want to slave himself to death for a system which does not reward diligent dedication to duty. What we find in Nigeria is that militancy, confrontation and noise-making attract attention, rather than follow slow, due process in a gentle way. Consequently, those who succeed in dealing with the establishment are those who resort to confrontation and crude ways of getting what they want.
Frankly, there are, among Nigerian university lecturers, the best that anyone can find anywhere else, with those longer in service having wider exposures and experiences. Unfortunately, there are also some in the system with the motive of making money fast, including some too with “Toronto certificates”. This would take us to the process of appointments and promotion of lecturers in the university system.
Appointments and Promotions in Universities.
The minimum requirement for appointment as an assistant lecturer in a university is Ph.D certificate, although some exceptionally brilliant candidates with less certificates can be employed as graduate assistants. There are some disciplines where expertise are rare, creating room for available candidates to be appointed. But there is a world of difference between a candidate having a certificate and the degree of diligent performance and personal character of the candidate.
For a number of years, the quality of diligence of Nigerian university students towards studies has been on the decline. Inspite of this phenomenon, there are students at all levels of university programmes who are exceptionally brilliant by nature. Since the Appointments and Promotions Committee in the university system hardly conducts aptitude or written tests for candidates, picking out the most brilliant candidates usually depends on oral performance during interview and the grade of certificate presented.
It is needful to remind the public also that the process of acquisition of university certificates is like anything else in Nigeria. The least that one can say is that a country which places higher reliance and value on certificates rather than practical competence, would encourage individuals to acquire fake and fraudulent certificates. Nigerians know ingenious ways of doing this.
One of the dangers we have in the Nigerian university system, which is also one of the causes of animosities therein, is the difficulty of differentiating the genuine from the fake. Especially in a situation where students who are the closest persons to lecturers and know the capability of each of them, do not make any input in lecturers’ assessments, promotions are bound to be faulty.
Animosities among the academia also arise from the peculiar politics of the university environment where ego, meanness, envy and pettiness predispose some staff towards using students to rubbish the reputation of their colleagues. Female lecturers and students are particularly handy tools in this game of calumny whereby accusations of sexual advances serve as the trump-card. Along with this malfeasance is the gossip connected with course allocations.
Roles of Vice-Chancellors
There are some university vice-chancellors who adopt divisive strategies as ready tools of administering the campus environment. Either they surround themselves with boot-lickers and table bearers, some factions of student-cultists, or members of their ethnic origin. This pattern is more common with VCs appointed from outside the regular staff of a university. It may be that being in a strong or new environment, the need for caution demands having to work with a clique that one can manipulate until one masters the environment properly.
The result has always been that the culture of collegiality gives way to paternalism and then to a possible witch-hunt of perceived or suspected rivals and “ill-disposed” staff. This phenomenon has been largely responsible for the estrangement, division and animosities in the university system, among various categories of staff. The situation is worse where some vice-chancellors delight in listening to gossips and operating a fascist system of administration.
Along with this divisive and fascist system of running a university system comes the issue of selective and unfair promotion of staff, where prejudices and animosities feature glaringly. When a university administration becomes a cult or political system, then bad faith and enmity are enthroned.
The purpose of this write- up is not to enumerate the woes besetting the university system in Nigeria, many of which are well known already to the public. Rather, apart from making a strong point that there has been a fall from the high pedestal of dignity to the abyss of disunity, there are animosities in the universities. Between the academic and non-academic staff there are animosities bordering on ego, salary structures and age of retirement, among other grouse.
Between the university administration and the entire campus community, all is not well, arising largely from legacies left behind by past university administrators. Student cultism thrives in such environment where battle for supremacy and patronage of the high and mighty play some role. Same division exists among students.
The most disturbing animosity is that which had been fostered among the academic staff, fuelled by various interest groups. To name such interest groups and the genesis of the trend may not be a polite thing to do. Let it suffice to say that promotion to professorship should be reviewed seriously, so that we do not continue to have “professor of Olularingology”, or “Quota professors”. Too many already!
Dr. Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
By: Bright Amirize
Genesis And Consequence Of Nigerian Civil War
In 1965, the Western Region parliamentary elections were held and it was conspicuously rigged. It, however, triggered crisis in the region. There was widespread violence in the whole region. There was hate, rancour, suspicion and acrimony everywhere. There was breakdown of law and order. There was operation “wetie”, a Yoruba corruption of the English word “wet”. People were doused (wet) with petrol and burnt to death. It was a horrible scene. Lives and property were destroyed. The rate with which the rampage quickly spread to all parts of the Western Region made people to nicknamed the region as ‘Wild, Wild West’.
The politicians at the federal level took sides and were incapable of handling the situation. Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola, the then Premier of the Western Region and arch rival of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, the leader of opposition, ran to the North. Chief Akintola and his group took refuge and allied themselves with the Northern People’s Congress (NPC) led by the Premier of the Northern Region and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sir Ahmadu Bello, and Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the Prime Minister of Nigeria. Chief Awolowo were arrested and jailed for treasonable felony and sent to Calabar Prison.
The crisis continued unabated. There was no sign of resolution. The strait was spreading like harmattan fire, more and more people were killed and property destroyed. It was this exigency and non-challant attitude of the politicians that climaxed to 30 months gruesome civil war. Sequel to that, it becomes a common saying in Nigeria, “that the political fire that started in the West caused a macabre devastation in the East”.
On January 15, 1966, convinced that the Nigerian politicians had failed to handle the crisis, coupled with corruption, and if left at that, Nigeria would crumble and disintegrate, Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu, a non-sense and courageous soldier staged and led a coup that uprooted and dismantled the troubled and corrupt First Republic. Major Nzeogwu, a valiant officer was from Delta State, but was born and brought up in Kaduna State. A disciplined and intelligent soldier, he neither womanized, drank nor smoked. He spoke Ibo, Hausa and Yoruba fluently. A jolly good fellow, he had a network of friends within and outside the military. Others with him were Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna, one of the first university graduates in the Nigerian Military and Olympic gold medalist; Major Ademoyega, among others.
The coup was a national Coup and it was hailed by Nigerians. Students, labour, civil servants, even politicians all welcomed the change of government. There was jubilation and feeling of relief all over the country.
However, the coup failed in the East. Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, the president of Nigeria; Dr. Michael Okpara, premier of the Eastern Region; and other Ibo leaders were not killed. It was said that the group of soldiers assigned to the East for the operation were not courageous enough to carry out their assignment. In the North, Sir Ahmadu Bello, the premier of the Northern region and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, the prime minister of Nigeria, were killed. In the Western and Mid-Western Regions, Chief Samuel Ladoke Akintola was premier of the Western Region and Chief Festus Okotie-Eboh, a Mid-Westerner and Minister of Finance were among others killed. Few military officers from the Northern and Western Regions were also killed.
The Northerners and their military officers felt betrayed, as they read meanings to it. They said it was an Ibo coup aimed at eliminating the political leaders of the North, coupled with the introduction of unitary government by the new regime which was vehemently opposed by the North. They retreated, planned and staged what they called “retaliatory or counter coup” through which Major General J. T. U. Aguiyi-Ironsi, the Head of State and the Supreme Commander of the Nigerian Armed Forces and his host, Lt. Col. Francis Adekunle Fajuyi, the military governor of the Western Region were killed. Aguiyi-Ironsi was on official visit to the Western Region at that time. Fajuyi was killed for his insistence that his leader and visitor cannot be arrested in his domain. He was a patriotic Nigerian, a gallant soldier. His death with his visitor, the Head of State, saved the Yoruba from being accused of conspiracy with the Northern soldiers to kill General Aguiyi-Ironsi, an Ibo man and Head of State in their land.
The counter coups were led by Major T. Y Danjuma, Major Murtala Mohammed and Major Martin Adamu. That sad event led to killing of many military officers of the Eastern Region origin in the Northern and Western Regions, including my cousin, the late Lieutenant Fredrick Ewule Ogbuehi. My cousin was arrested in Abeokuta Army Barrack where he lived and worked as an Army Secretary. Three of his junior brothers namely; Godspower Ogbuehi, George Ogbuehi and Innocent Ogbuehi who joined him in Abeokuta when they lost their mother were smuggled into an Eastern-bound train back home with nothing, through the help of his good Samaritan army friend.
As if that was not enough, the military men of the North and civilians went further killing and looting the property of innocent civilians from Eastern Region resident in the North who knew nothing about the military coup. Lt. Col. Chukwuemeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu, then the Military Governor of the Eastern Region saw this and did everything he could to stop the killing or pogroms as he called it, but all to no avail. Ojukwu reached out to Lt. Col. Yakubu Gowon, the Head of State, to halt the killings and safeguard the lives and property of Ibos and other Easterners in the North, but Gowon did nothing. Ojukwu then headed to Aburi, a small town in Ghana, for peace and the resolution of the crisis. At the meeting, Gowon and his delegates agreed and signed the agreement reached only for them to return to Nigeria and change their minds.
Ojukwu called Gowon several times to implement the accord reached at the Ghana peace meeting, all to no avail. That resulted to a popular slogan “On Aburi we stand”. Ojukwu said okay since they had reneged the agreement reached and were still killing our people in the North; it means they do not want us and peace. Ojukwu pulled the East out of Nigeria and declared the Republic of Biafra. Gowon declared war on Biafra and pursued Ojukwu and his people from Lagos to the remotest village in Ibo land. Blocked borders and sea ports, millions of Biafrans died of hunger and sicknesses. A lot of children God sent here to be part of us died of “Kwashiorkor”.
Now, the questions are, had the Northern military officers been satisfied with the retaliatory killing of Major General Ironsi and other military officers of the East, without extending to the innocent civilians of the East resident in the North, would there have been a civil war? Had the Federal Government abided by the Aburi Accord which they agreed and signed, would Ojukwu have declared the Republic of Biafra? Had the Federal Government allowed Biafra to be, would millions of Nigerians have died and property worth billions of Naira destroyed?
Today, each time I remember my cousin, Lt. Ogbuehi, and the challenges the family is facing, I wonder if he was alive and perhaps a General in the Nigerian Army, whether the story would not have been different. However, we bore the great loss with equanimity and resignation in the belief that God will not allow those who spilled the blood of their fellow human beings to go unpunished.
Meanwhile, the three brothers are now domiciled in the village with indelible memory and pains on how their elder brother was arrested and whisked away in their presence on that fateful early morning. The bang of the military boots on the door and thunderous voice of the commander that woke them up from sleep that early morning is still fresh and echoing in their minds. Again, the family will not join calls to prosecute all those that were involved in that senseless and avoidable war. Rather, we have left the matter for God to adjudicate.
The Nigerian Civil War claimed millions of lives of innocent Nigerians, especially the Ibos and the destruction of property worth billions of naira was a result of the rigging of the Western region Parliamentary elections in 1965. Its consequence was perpetual deep pains and sorrow it dug in our hearts and in our memories. Today, there is no genuine love and unity in the country. We live under mistrust, hate and suspicion of each other. Also, I recall vividly that in 1983, the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) outsmarted other political parties and rigged them out even in their domains. In Anambra State, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe and his NPP were rigged out and dislodged. In Kano and Kaduna States, Mallam Aminu Kano and his PRP were rigged out and dislodged and in Oyo and Ondo States, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and his UPN were rigged out and dislodged all by NPN in their infamous landslide victory. However, the rigging in Ondo State back-fired and triggered crisis which led to the overthrow of Alhaji Shehu Shagari’s government by the military on December 31, 1983.
In view of the fact that the civil war that claimed many innocent souls and the overthrow of Shehu Shagari’s government by the then Major General Muhammadu Buhari were as a result of elections rigging, it took five years to battle with the military to retrieve the government from them. Many people laid down their lives in the process. Now, the question is, have Nigerians, particularly the politicians, learnt any lesson in terms of elections rigging? Yet, we saw and witnessed the massive rigging of governorship elections in Edo, Ekiti, Osun, Kwara, Kogi States etc. Will Nigerian politicians ever learn any lesson? This year marks the 50 years of the end of the silly Nigerian Civil War. May God have mercy on those who caused that illogical war.
Ogbuehi, a freelance journalist, resides in Eagle Island, Port Harcourt.
Nsirim Sets Agenda For Public Communication In Rivers
A cool wind of change is currently blowing across media circles in Rivers State. Everybody directly or indirectly involved in the media is beginning to feel it, one way or another.
Specifically, though, it can easily be felt, but only by those who stand for determination, hard work and quality. And, contrary to what the people have been used to, the spread of the coolness is becoming voluntarily infectious.
Virtually everyone that has felt it is eager to be part of the experience. The feeling is no doubt out of the ordinary! Better still, even as the ghost of the past that unconsciously saturates one’s imagination with a nostalgic air of military commando style manner of passing on directive to the media keeps replaying itself, the more one listens, the more one wills to identify with the cool change.
The originator of this cool breeze is the Rivers State Governor, His Excellency, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, GSSR, POS Africa, who, by appointing the new Commissioner of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Enyinda Nsirim, set the ball rolling for a new dawn in Public Communication practice in Rivers State. It is gradually becoming clear daily to be a dawn driven by an innate desire to bridge the gap between the Government and the governed through the media, for which the Commissioner wasted no time to path the way.
Shortly after being sworn-in and assigned the Information and Communications portfolio on December 30, 2019, Nsirim opened the doors wide spread to let the cool breeze in. He christened it a campaign for “creativity, innovation and productivity”, and, just about a week after, every word he has spoken has become enmeshed in the psyche of staff of all the media houses he visited.
As a prelude to his familiarisation cum media tour of all the Government-owned media organisations with a meeting with staff of the Ministry of Information and Communications, the mother of the four parastatals under the Ministry: Rivers State Newspaper Corporation, publishers of The Tide Newspaper; Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation (99.1 FM); and Garden City FM, as well as Government Printing Press, the official printing department of the State Government.
During his meeting with staff of the Ministry, the Commissioner’s key message circled around determination, creativity, innovation and productivity. According to him, journalists, represented by Information Officers in the Ministry, need to first be creative enough to think out of the box on the job of reporting from their beats in order to come up with creative ideas.
With such an idea, they would then need to have the determination to see the idea through to its logical conclusion, saying that “ideas rule the world”. Consequently, a lot will from henceforth be expected of them in the present dispensation.
“I will demand that Information Offices recreate themselves. One way to achieve that is through personal development…Those in the Local Government Areas (LGAs) need to be alive to their responsibilities because they would need to write more news from the LGAs and even their environs, because people want to know what is happening around them.
“We will rejig the system because we need productivity. I will respect everybody, but I will not take any form of indolence”, the Commissioner said.
When he visited Wish FM, in what he called his “first official assignment as a Commissioner”, he repeated the same message, but in different words: he called on the media in the State to be development-minded in their reportage, knowing that the Governor’s appointment of a seasoned Journalist in the State as a liaison with media is a call to duty.
“If he (Governor) appointed me as Permanent Secretary, and posted me to the Ministry of Information, it was a bold statement, saying that this is your own, this is where he should function.
“Having functioned there for the past two years, he has made me commissioner. This brings us to a new dawn in the media industry in Rivers State”, he said.
Nsirim, whose statements were guided by the fact that the Governor is the first to appoint a core Journalist of the State, who had grown through the ranks in the Ministry of Information and Communications to become a Commissioner, hinted that it is the Governor’s way of showing his love for Journalists in the State, hence the call for journalist to be developmental in their reportage.
“My appointment as Commissioner for Information, as I’ve repeatedly said, is a vote of confidence for the journalism profession and media industry in Rivers State.
“That is why the onus is on us to prove to His Excellency, Nyesom Wike, the architect of the NEW Rivers Vision, the man who has begun to build a legacy for prosperity, the man whose passion for the development of Rivers State is unparalleled in the history of the State.
“It’s time for those in the media to show him that having recognised their own, they will support his policies and programmes”, he said.
He explained that it is the development strides of the Governor that has created the enabling environment for private businesses such as Wish FM to thrive.
At the Rivers State Television (RSTV), the Commissioner further extended the message to cover professionalism. He charged Journalists to be more professional, with the assurance that any one who stands out in this wise will attract a reward on the job.
“A television house is a platform for creativity. If any staff in RSTV is creative, you’ll be sought out. This is one profession where you have room to make sure that you distinguish yourself. The media house is a place where you can stir up your potentials and distinguish yourself, if you are creative.
“The time now calls for personal development. I want to see competition between reporters in news and current affairs and those in programmes over who would be more creative, who will develop things that we’ve not seen in RSTV before. I’ll be ready to partner with your management to honour such persons. Television is glamour: right from the dressing of newscasters to diction.
“I’m demanding professional competence from RSTV. I can’t be Commissioner for Information and when people tune to RSTV they see unprofessional conducts. These are the little things that make the difference”, he said.
But, even in the heat of this passion, the Commissioner identified with the challenges of the workers.
“The welfare of workers will be given priority, but, I want us to please demonstrate, beginning from tomorrow, that there are core professionals here. So, I’m looking forward to an exciting time from tomorrow in terms of programming and content.
“His Excellency wants Rivers State to be a pride of all of us. He has demonstrated that with his style of governance. Your role is to use RSTV to key into that development agenda. In keying into that development agenda, we must be professional, dedicated, we need to do a lot of re-orientation, and we need to do a lot of personal development. If we do that collectively, we’ll make a mark”, the Commissioner stated.
The Commissioner’s message focused on productivity on the part of workers when he got to the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC). He expressed confidence that everyone has the potential to be productive, and that it only requires a change of mind-set to activate such potential.
“Everyone has the potential to recreate this organisation. The idea that this is a government parastatal, so, people can come to work any time they like has to stop.
“It is time for productivity. It’s only someone that doesn’t want to make progress that will keep doing something the same way repeatedly and expect a different result”, he said.
“We are going to work collectively to show the world that this is a government-owned newspaper house where we can excel, be productive, and make profit.
“His Excellency is desirous to make Rivers State the destination of choice in this country, and he is not paying lip service to it. He is rather building the right environment, providing health care, education, agriculture, improving human capital development, etc.
“I’m challenging both management and staff to think outside the box, be creative and innovative. Let’s demonstrate to the world that we have men and women in this organisation that have the potentials to turn things around. We are demanding from you greater productivity and efficiency”, the Commissioner concluded.
At RSBC and Garden City FM, it was a reminder of the Governor’s developmental intention for the State, towards which the media is required to up their game in order to contribute their quota.
“He (Wike) is a man, who has come to reshape our destiny, make Rivers State a destination of choice. So, we must collectively use our various media organs to support the ‘NEW Rivers Vision’ of His Excellency.
“What I have come to do is to get us have a change of mind-set, re-orientation to tell ourselves that in the present circumstance, we can still make ourselves relevant.
“The ultimate goal is for us to reposition Rivers State Broadcasting Corporation, in the face of challenges of equipment and transmitter.
“My charge to all the state media houses is that within the limit of what we have, we need to demonstrate to the people of Rivers State that we have the potential to deliver.
“Throughout my working career, I have found out that if you put in your best, reward comes. Sometimes it might not come from the angle you expect it. If you don’t give, you will not get, and it translates to work. If you don’t put in your best, divinity will not smile at you”, the Commissioner concluded.
In all, the coolness of the wind of change currently blowing across the media in the State can be felt more in the charismatic manner in which the Commissioner presents it. The subtlety in his mannerism, which only portrays an in-depth knowledge and acceptance of the prevailing circumstance, but with a determination to develop, is one of the key qualities that have placed Pastor Paulinus Enyinda Nsirim as one who knows his onions in public communication. It also makes it clear enough that in this dispensation, only those who are ready to flow with the coolness of the breeze stand a chance to truly feel it.
Little wonder that serious minded Journalists in the State, both in the public and private sector, have consistently shown their readiness to be partner in the new development project of Rivers State.
Many have, in fact, expressed the belief that it is more in the manner of his delivery as a Commissioner than actually what he said, that seem to be making the difference. The only plausible explanation decipherable is the fact that having gone through the rank and file of media practice in the State, Pastor Nsirim, no doubt, knows the terrain and what it takes to make a difference.
Max-Alalibo is Special Assistant on Media to Rivers State Commissioner for Information & Communications.
Uses And Abuses Of Generative Power
Increasing reported cases of sexual abuse of women, including young and immature females, must raise the concern of people of goodwill. Whatever explanations that may be given as being responsible for such incidents, there is a need that more light be thrown into the issue of generative power in humans. It is also needful to separate cases of rape from other sexual abuses such as indecent assaults, indecent dealings with young persons, pederasty, etc. Rape has to do with having a carnal knowledge of an adult female against her consent.
Generative power is different from and quite independent of the procreative instinct. Rather, it is the rising up of the urge for all that is ideal, noble and pure in a human being, shortly before adulthood. It is a deep inner impetus during the period of transition from adolescence to adulthood, urging the individual to free oneself from existing dark burdens. It is not only an urge to set an individual free from old encumbrances, but it is a spur to start adult life on a clean slate, to build up an ideal future.
The generative power is an all-embracing inner urge which is a vital life-belt serving as an impetus to make an individual rise up in every field of endeavour. It is accompanied by a determination to face life boldly, with a strong volition to redress the past and embark on the journey of life with a zeal to face challenges. Unfortunately, the impetus of that zeal or volition can grow damp and weak if an individual allows external factors and distractions to divert the urge into various ignoble channels.
From the religious angle, generative power has the task and the ability to give value-added spiritual impetus to earthly endeavours, thus helping the spirit in man to unfold fully for action. Throughout the life of an individual, the generative power remains like a ready ally to help in giving courage and incentive towards striving for an ideal life. The creative nature of this natural power urges and pushes the individual to engage in activities that would be beneficial for all humanity generally.
Generative power and Spirituality are close allies, and when they work together without hindrance, then we see the best in a human being. Being spiritual should be understood to mean having a deep inner feeling, a sensitivity, concern or empathy which appreciates and works towards the common good of collective humanity. Even while striving for personal benefit, spirituality often shows its nature in what is commonly known as love or concern for the well-being of fellow humans.
Spirituality has much to do with intuitive feeling or inner perception which goes beyond objective senses. It engenders an ardent wish to do something noble and helpful beyond self, for here and now. Such state of being expresses the nobility of the soul of an individual, as different from those who have little or no feeling about what happens to others as a result of their actions.
Despite several frustrating experiences and temptations, spirituality strives for a purity of inner being and feeling, such that the urge for nobility does not succumb to base actions. Like a tender, growing flower, spirituality is meant to be given keen attention to enable it to mature and soar gradually without hindrances. This vital turning point in spirituality occurs usually during the transitional period, between the age of 17 to 22 or thereabout, showing as youth restiveness.
It is also during this transitional period that sexuality awakens and reaches a climax. But sexuality and generative power are not the same. One is a physical passion or feeling having to do with the urge for procreation, while the other is an awakening spiritual power, longing for utilization. The procreative urge has to do with libido at a certain stage of maturity of the body and quite a natural process. The urge can be more in some adults than in others, but generally, it can be diverted and dissipated in sensual and ignoble manner. Many factors account for the high degree of the amative appetite as well as for its dissipation in an unideal way.
Sublimation and diversion of generative power
To suppress any natural urge is as wrong as it is to misuse or divert it into some definite channel for the purpose of vanity or popularity. Genuine love gives generative power unlimited scope to manifest in a most ideal manner; thus we find that domestic harmony adds value to a man’s life and endeavours. To achieve some outstanding feat in life some people trade away their generative or amative power, for their desire or fame.
There are highly successful entrepreneurs, artists and other great achievers and performers who cannot be described as ideal partners in marriage or even as parents. Such one-sided success story cannot be described as ideal since the achievements are the results of sublimation. The story is more pathetic for those who, for purposes of earthly power and fame, go into some pact or alliance with some diabolical forces to acquire the means for great achievements. It happens often!
Some cases of abuse of women and children sexually, can arise from conditions given by some diabolical forces as pre-requisite for granting the desires of those who consult them. There have been cases of “clergy men” being asked by juggling fiends to take “pepper-soup” made with placenta of less than 24 hours after a woman had given birth. There had also been confessions by men given a condition of having carnal knowledge of insane women.
Sexual engagement is one outlet or means of expression of the generative power whose nobility lies in its combination with genuine love. In this sense, amative activity can be spiritualized, which can result in the incarnation of noble souls into the circle of such couples. But where lustful appetite is the driving goal, then there is an abuse in sexual relationship. It is for this reason that willing consent rather than force, becomes a decisive factor in rape cases.
A strong sexual drive in an individual is usually indicative of a strong, awakening spirituality, longing for useful application and utilization. It takes an ideal form when a genuine love is the basis for a union and ultimately geared towards inviting a noble soul into the union of the couple. The generative power is meant to be applied and utilized via sexual union towards spiritualization of human activities and engagements. Without such harmonious blend, sexuality can give love a misleading meaning, leading to abuses.
True concept of love embraces justice and loyalty and, therefore, genuine love would embrace loyalty such that relationship can be spiritualised. With such foundation, generative power drives individuals towards activities which add value to life and the society generally. A strong feeling of shame is an expression of spirituality, whose purpose is to prevent an individual from behaving like a beast.
Ways that generative power can be abused.
With the clarification that generative power is different from sexual instinct, it can also be stated that a mixture of the two is one principal way that distortion can arise in their expressions. A major purpose of the generative power is to spiritualise human activities and aspirations, thereby reducing burdens of guilts and enhancing salvation. But when lustful and bestial passions distort the purity of the generative energy, then there is an abuse. A situation where love is used as a bait for sex, there is an abuse.
Like every energy, generative power can be abused through channeling it into vanity and ego-driven activity, at the expense of other healthy human engagements or needs. An example has been cited where an achiever sacrifices sex or a fulfilling family life as the price for honour and fame. There are also situations where individuals, in alliance with some diabolical forces, sacrifice long-term peace of mind for a short-term glory. Like Lady Macbeth, there are women who become “unsexed” as the price for earthly power.
A normal human life is one that is balanced, healthy and fulfilling, where things are allowed to come and go the natural way. But humans can, in their vanity or ignorance, force conditions to alter through unnatural means. Dabbling into black magic through membership of various cults can result in the abuse of the generative power. Ranging from the intake of certain foods and substances, to engagement in some rituals, the blood can be affected and resulting in serious consequences which may not come immediately.
There are some deluded individuals who think that acquisition of hypnotic power by which means they can take undue advantage of others, is a great achievement. In such activities, the depletion of the generative power is involved, such that imbalances in personal account arises. Thus, what an individual withdraws or gains with one hand, gets repaid or lost with another hand. Those who rise in a meteoric manner, encounter a sunset in a similar but agonizing manner, where unnatural means are employed for fame.
Like a blank cheque, the generative power is a neutral energy by means of which an individual can navigate his destiny towards the light or darkness. Through cultivating and harbouring dark volition, aspirations and propensities, whether expressed in actions or not, an individual can draw close to dark realms of existence. Thus a link is established, through which channel the person can be a recipient of dark currents, pushing such person into dark deeds. This happens quite often!
Therefore, some of the actions which some people engage in, without knowing what pushed them into doing so, arise from the invisible threads or links which such persons had established with dark centres of energy. No doubt, there are numerous centres of energy by whose association or linkages individuals can become contaminated, thought-wise. Features of the generative power include the ability to create forms or entities not visible to physical eyes.
Such artificially created forms coalesce according to their identity or nature, as centres of energy, and become pollutants, infectious to humans. Increasing cases of sexual abnormalities and abuses arise from marauding activities of sensual thought-energy centres. Like vapour that condense and solidity at a definite temperature, lumps of energy centres hovering around humanity, fall like rain-drops.
Where the generating power is applied in the right and ennobling manner, it become a means of reducing the burdens on individuals and society as well as an instrument for positive changes. But where its principal purposes are mis-used and abused, a benevolent energy can produce malevolent results. We find such results in sexual abuses, criminal exploits and increasing association with malevolent forces through cultism, etc. Generative power works at its best via genuine love and noble volition.
Dr Amirize is a retired lecturer at the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt.
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