Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Some people so much love to misunderstand me and am loving it!

Sometimes, when I post something here some of us do not even bother to read it in detail before heaping mountains and oceans of insult on me. Though I am gradually getting used to those insults, it is important that I explain something. First, if you do not read my post, you can never understand what I am saying. It is not enough to read others reply and then go on attack. The best policy would be to read all the post before you begin your third world war on me. Secondly, I have a background in Mass Communications, Journalism and at the moment I am in the law school. These three disciplines demand a high level of reasoning and I mean a very deep logical reasonable reasoning not just that type of reasoning based on what my father, tradition, religion or culture said. It is a powerful type of empirical reasoning that takes into account facts as it is being witnessed, as it happens, as it develops and as it is being discussed.

Secondly, I have read a lot and I still read. At the moment, I have over thousands of collection in my library and reading hundreds of books, journals, magazines yearly is a pleasurable challenge to me. One big advantage I have acquired over the years is that I am able to learn from the way others think. I am also able to compare ideas and using empirical evidences I am able to come to my own conclusion. The implication of this is that I speak with audacity because I know that I will be right in at least 99% of the time. Yes! Because what I am saying has been subjected to scientific analysis and held to be nothing but the truth! There is no way many experts in a field will get it absolutely wrong. Two good heads maybe better than one!

I therefore do not understand why some people chose as a passion to deliberately misunderstand me. It is not actually a sin to misunderstand someone but I guess it is foolhardy and an idiotic not to subject other party’s opinion to research before heaping oceans and mountains of insult upon him; that is exactly what is meant by being stupid and idiotic and that is why I am so quick to delete from my friend’s list those who chose as passion to be stupid and idiotic. Even as a lawyer, I do not agree that freedom of expression also include the right to talk nonsense and rubbish. We are here to learn from each other. You cannot expect to gain from well researched opinion of others and when it comes to your turn you begin to insult others. You do not have to agree with everything I say here but then you owe me a duty to disagree with me in a very polite and educated manner and not in a manner that is very common to monkeys in the wild. If I wanted monkeys to be my friends here, I know where to find them but because am very eager to learn from you, I demanded and accepted you to be my friends. I wish therefore you do not let me down.

To get the facts right, I am not at all offended by this but am concerned that having been my friend here for quite sometime now, it is high time people began to appreciate the love of learning, the art of reading, the joy of disagreeing in an intellectual manner and the beauty in thinking with our magnificent, natural and God-given brain. It is quite interesting to note that I am actually not alone in being misunderstood in this way. In fact, many English judges have lamented on number of occasions that British journalists have either persistently refused to understand them or have taken leave of their brain. Twenty five years ago, Sir John Donaldson, then Master of the Rolls got so pissed with this deliberate lack of understanding by the British media that he deemed it wise to explain himself in detail in his judgement in (1) Nadarajah Vilvarajah, (2) Vaithialingham Skandarajah v Secretary of State for the Home Department [1990]. He said:

"This court has before it two applications for bail by Tamils, Vaithialingham Skandarajah and Nadarajah Vilvarajah. Before dealing with those applications I would like to try and clear up two fundamental misunderstandings about what it was that this court decided on 12th October 1987. Reading the newspapers the next day and listening to the radio and television (with, I am bound to say, the notable exception of Law In Action) as far as I could make out either no-one had read the judgment- this, I am bound to say, included the Secretary of State, who broadcast on the radio at one o’clock -or they did not want to understand the judgment. So let me make it quite clear what we decided-or rather what we did not decide.

We did not hold that any of the Tamils were genuine refugees. We did not hold that any of the Tamils were entitled to asylum. What we did do was to set out the scheme of the relevant immigration rules which, as we saw it (I am not sure how much dispute there is about this aspect), went in two stages. First the Secretary of State had to examine whether the applicant was a refugee, based on the formula to be found in the Convention of well founded fear of persecution on various grounds. Secondly, if he was a refugee as defined in the Convention, the Secretary of State then had to consider whether or not he was going to grant him asylum. The fact that he was a refugee did not entitle him to asylum. The only circumstance in which he, being a refugee, was entitled to asylum was if he could bring himself within Article 33 of the Convention, which adopted an entirely different formula related to fear of death or loss of freedom.

What we said was that when the Secretary of State said that none of the Tamils were even refugees, let alone entitled to asylum, he had applied the wrong test, and that each of the Tamils was entitled to have the question of whether or not he was a refugee decided in accordance with the right test, although it might very well be-we had no means of knowing-that, applying the right test, the Secretary of State would still have concluded (this time rightly) that the Tamils were not refugees. But it was not for us to decide that and we did not decide it. We certainly never approached the question of whether they were entitled to asylum, because that was the next stage down the line.

I hope, without any great confidence, that, having set it out again, it may be understood what it was that we were deciding. It is in the judgment, and nothing that I have said now is intended to modify one word of the judgment which we gave on that occasion. I am merely indulging in an effort at communication, but as I say without any great confidence that I have succeeded".

Thanks for reading and now you can behave yourself!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Why an African may not be the next pope!

Let us be clear on this; Africa is not producing the next pope! I know you won’t like to hear this but then I do not owe you a duty to write only what you like to read. I am not under any duty of care under Tort to write what will make you happy just as you do not owe me a duty to read everything I am writing, however I bet someone somewhere would eventually appreciate the logic of my argument. That is if you actually agree it is logical at all.

My argument here is that Africa will never produce the next pope not that an African will never be a pope sometime in the future. That dream is still possible but then Africans must have to dream less, pray less and work harder like mafias. Being a pope has nothing to do with prayer and dream (Africans dream and pray too much, even more than the pope), it has more to do with machinations, politicking and Darwinian and Machiavellian principles.  To refresh your knowledge the Darwin principle is all about the survival of the fittest while that of Machiavelli is simple: the end justifies the means! For an African to be the next pope he must learn to live with these two principles!

The reason behind my argument is obvious. It is not because Euro-Americans have anything against Africa but because a lot of things are involved in being elected as a pope. The above mentioned points are some of them but then one must also appreciate the fact that half of the 120 cardinals that will elect the next pope are Europeans and I so much doubt these cardinals will be willing to give a go at an African pope. And if you follow this logic very dearly, it has an implication. The implication is that any pope who does not want an African succeeding him could easily do that. All he has to do is to appoint less number of young African cardinals or large number of old African cardinals. The reason behind this is that less number of young African cardinals will never have enough vote to support each other or to ensure an election of an African pope while a majority of old African cardinals are always likely to get old and go beyond the age of entering a conclave that elects a new pope.

But there are also other arguments too. The first is the thinking pattern of Africans in general. It is a fact that the environment plays a huge part in the way people think. For this reason, the thinking pattern of two six year olds would be different if they come from different parts of the world and if they don’t travel out of their various places of birth it will still be the same. Travelling will make a huge difference in their thinking pattern. This is in line with the theory that travel is part of an experience and of course the level of development in a given place plays a part in the thinking pattern of the inhabitants. For this reason while most Africans would like to settle scores with war, ethnic cleansing, fighting, smacking etc. most Euro-Americans would prefer dialogue and resort to war and fighting as a last resort. This differences lies with their environment.

In line with the above view, the thinking pattern of an African is quite different from the way Euro-Americans think. Often, Africans are very aggressive and violent in the way they think but Euro-Americans even though they exhibit same trait often moderate it along the line of public opinion, learning and discoveries. Ever wondered why Ugandans would want to kill all homosexuals in their country while Euro-Americans talk of their human rights? It lies with the fact that Euro-Americans have a space to accommodate changing environments and views, Africans often cannot because that will go contrary to what their fathers and forefathers told them. The meaning is quite obvious; their forefathers and traditions are better learned than they are. For this reason Euro-Americans cardinals are less likely to vote for an African cardinal. They would not like to be led by a cardinal from dark ages. Yes Pope Benedict XVI is a conservative but he never had it good with his Euro-American followers and the major reason he resigned is still far from the truth! Do not believe everything the Vatican tells you love!

Akin to the above point is that Euro-Americans would not like to be led by a person who is more holy than the pope. African cardinals come across as more holy than the pope. While Euro-Americans believe that they are sinners in need of God's grace, most Africans would not agree; they are holy indeed and it is of people like them that the kingdom of God was made. They are ever ready to point to the west as the reason for decline in faith noticed in the world today especially in the west. Euro-Americans so much hate this holier-than-thou attitude and little wonder two English Anglican bishops vehemently opposed John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York being the next Archbishop of Canterbury because 'he has a temperament of an African chief'.

And by the way, a friend told me that another reason Euro-Americans may not entertain an African pope is because most of the African cardinals had not played a vital role in opposing injustice, poverty, discrimination, corruption and mismanagement in their own countries and therefore may not be useful to the global church especially this time the church needs reform like yesterday. Same friend asked me to name one Oscar Romero in Africa and I named Anthony Cardinal Okogie of Lagos, Nigeria and he said he may not be enough to convince Euro-Americans that Africans can do it.

But on a very progressive note, this is not a time for a conservative pope. What the Church of Rome needs now is a progressive who can bring all the factions, side-lined, ostracised and forgotten under one roof. I am not quite sure an African pope can do that at the moment. The African church and culture is deeply immersed in discrimination, hatred, unhealthy competition and support for regimes infamous for human rights abuses. For instance, in Nigeria it would be hard for a Roman Catholic Church to take it lightly that one of them is going to marry an Anglican. This type of conservatism is very unhealthy for the region that wants to produce the next pope. I am very sure that Euro-Americans have seen loads of hatred to have more time for hatred and discrimination made in Africa.

I therefore do not see the possibility of an African pope now and stands to be proved wrong anyway!