|Chief Charles O. Okereke|
Chief Charles O. Okereke is the Founder & CEO of the Nigerian Masterweb News, based in Milwaukee, Wi 53209, United States and born in Ndi-Elendu, Alayi in Abia State, Nigeria on 29th July 1956 (59yrs). He won then Imo State Government scholarship to study in the United States. He later earned Bachelors of Science Degree (B.Sc.) -1975-1979 and Masters of Science Degree (M.Sc.)-1980-1981 in Agric from the Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon, United States. Chief Charles O. Okereke later founded the Nigeria’s premier online news called the Nigerian Masterweb in the year 2000. The Nigerian Masterweb is one of the earliest, if not the first Nigerian online news through which newspapers were read online in those days.Chief Okereke’s successful exploits in media and communications also saw him composing God Bless Africa (the unofficial African Anthem) in 2002, Rise Up For Africa in 2003 and All Hail Biafra (song inspirationally composed at the end of the Nigerian-Biafran Civil War in 1970, but recorded in 2003).
In spite of these robust and wonderful feats recorded for himself and Nigeria, Chief Charles O. Okereke is far from being happy with Nigeria. From diversion of his scholarship funds in the 70s by corrupt diplomatic officers at Nigeria’s Embassy or Mission in USA, which forced him to seek a menial job in USA to be able to complete his scholarship education; to job retrenchment/unemployment that affected him on his return to the country in the 80s, the Chief is steadily angry with Nigeria since then. The worst of it all was how he was cheated out of the African Union Singing Competition in 2003 that saw him relegated to third position, instead of first position, which he said was doctored and given to the undeserved winner. Chief Okereke’s anger is steadily directed at Nigerian political authorities, who refused to attend to his numerous petitions including those addressed to the Yar’Adua and the Jonathan administrations for the purpose of looking into and addressing, even if belated.
The summation of Chief Okereke’s age-long grievances against Nigeria can be read through the link below http://www.nigeriamasterweb.com/ElectionRev/OkerekeStolenSchoolFees.html. Chief Okereke’s age-long plight is not only a good random sampling as it concerns similar or same ill-treatments meted out to Nigerian citizens by successive public office institutions and holders in Nigeria; forcing most of the victims to run to overseas where many of them give up their Nigerian citizenship; but it exposes the country’s sub-human handling of the plights of its citizens; from sporting to diplomatic and social wellbeing of the citizens. One of such sore cases was total abandonment of late Prof Chinua Achebe by both Federal and old Anambra State (Anambra and Enugu States). It took immediate intervention of the United States Government for the precious life of the renowned Professor to be saved and rehabilitated after his fatal automobile accident.
Till date, Nigerian Government hardly recognizes the ingenuity and scholarly efforts of its naturally and academically gifted personalities while at home. But the same Government roles out drums in cerebration including bestowment of merit awards the moment the personalities under reference excel abroad or internationally in their chosen and scholarly fields. The case of late Prof Chinua Achebe who was offered a National Merit Award in 2004, which he commendably turned down is a typical example.
This is why clownish and clannish mortals like Mr. Adams Oshomoile will have the effrontery to pour his dirty venom on egg heads like Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on simple reason of the fact that himself and other clownish and clannish fellows concocted and manipulated existing ethnic and demographic settings in the country, resulting to the emergence of federal ruling party, which he is now a member. Funny enough, the same Oshoimole has gone dumb following the recent double international appointments handed down to the same woman.
It is totally correct to say that 80%, if not more of Nigerian intellectuals overseas are victims of Nigeria’s human neglect and underdevelopment of yester years. In the United States alone, there are over 25,000 Nigerian professors, doctorate degree holders and other experts of international standing and only 10% of them can turn Nigeria into China overnight if given the opportunities. To worsen it all, Nigeria, till date, has not stopped beating about the bush in that respect. Indigenous and Diasporan dichotomy in selected professional fields like medicine and engineering is still very high. In higher educational system, awkward policies still disallow the country from tapping the wealth of Nigerian born scholars abroad. In all, Nigerian society is such that chronically encourages mediocrity and professional quackery and discourages meritocracy and professionalism.
In as much as we totally share Chief Charles O. Okereke’s sentiments against Nigeria particularly its public institutions and administrators, both present and past, we make bold to say that the most important aspect of lifetime achievement is not to be officially recognized and celebrated, but to use it to the better the living conditions of members of the achiever’s immediate and extended societies. In other words, any lifetime achievement that is not directed towards the service to humanity is better not achieved or earned than earned. Lifetime achievement has various ways of recognition and it is generally divided into two categories of formal and informal or remote and immediate recognitions.
For instance, Christopher Columbus as the discoverer of Americas (a word coined from another great explorer-Amerigo Vaspuci) is physically recognized in USA with a tomb/statue, whereas the second discoverer of Americas (Amerigo Vaspuci) is recognized by mind and tongue. Their explorations took place in late 1400s and early 1500s. The Republic of France donated the Statue of Liberty to USA when the US marked 100 years of its independence. The philosophic works of Jean Jacques Rousseau (1762) inspired the French Declaration of the Right of Man & Citizen (French Revolution) of 1789, while the philosophic works of John Locke (1690) inspired Thomas Jefferson, who conceived the American Independence Declaration, proclaimed on July 6, 1776.
The phrase Global Village was first coined and invented in 1400s (15th century) by a Briton named Marshal McLuhan as a village cleared by a high level of information technology. This was on account of, or followed discovery of the triangular trade between Africa, Europe and the New World now called America. It took over 580 years in 1989 (on the heels of collapse of the cold war) for the phrase –global village to be dusted up and operationally defined and designed for present global usage.
The consequences of not attending to public petitions or representations are behind the country’s woes of present time. Nigerian public institutions and office holders must change this awkward and age-long policy and begin to attend to people’s complaints no matter how inconsequential they may be. When the citizens complain individually or collectively, their complaints must be diligently looked into and responded to. This is a major way of giving them a sense of belonging and narrowing the gap between the public offices and officers and the citizens.
Emeka Umeagbalasi, B.Sc. (Hons) Criminology & Security Studies, M.Sc. Candidate, Peace Studies & Conflict Resolution
Board Chairman, International Society for Civil Liberties & the Rule of Law