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Abdulazzi Yari… and history

Before you read a line further, kindly indulge us dear reader. All we ask is that you agree as follows: If Nigeria was a Western European country it would have been a lake of prosperity and orderliness. More specifically, if Zamfara or Imo say, was a state inhabited by the Israelis, the Germans, the Austrians, they would have been model states and comparable to anything you have in Europe.

If this assumption is not agreeable to you, it may be fruitless if you read a line further. The question then, is what would the Israelis, the Austrians, the Germans, be doing to get their new Nigeria and Nigerian states going in good and excellent order? The answer is they will first get the algorithm/the conceptual framework right, before crunching or iterating the numbers/specific problems.

The reason is if you get the algorithm right, the rest is horse labor or power; and even idiots can come in and finish the task. As it is in mathematics, so also it is in nation or any intricate project building. Einstein, if we recall rightly disdainfully called what remains after the correct conceptual formulation is achieved, detail work; just about any hand can be hired to finish it.

If however you don’t have the brains to invent the algorithm, you are better off to forgo hard work. Like it is said in physics, at such low level efficiencies, your system will soon take charge, that is, convert your very effort into load. Or in local Warri parlance, you go work like an elephant and harvest like an ant. If you called in Fela he will tell you, confusion don break bone. And that is the Nigerian situation today.

All that is being said is that the real labor is upstairs, that for man to be man, and not beast, is a function of his brains not torso. And that if you got the algorithm, the brain work wrong, there is nothing else you can do, to get your results right. And if you chose to iterate, the complications and complexities of modern multi-(uni)-verse society just won’t let you get farther than your shadow at high noon.

A nation is too complicated and complex a function to iterate. As the elders say, you can’t go far in blindness, enwere ebe eji azu eje. Algorithm is the only guide to sustainable and not wildcard greatness. Nothing else can supplant her. And this is without prejudice to how hard and sweat drenched your pores are. Ironically the brains never sweat, but please let us not deceive ourselves, that is where the real, in fact where the only worthwhile work is and can be done. And little is the matter, whether it is building a nuclear reactor, a pyramid and or a modern nation.

They are first and above all brain work. To put it simply Nigeria has failed because we have been all torso and no brains, or nearly so. And the men who have contributed most to this tragedy are our scholars, who ironically are supposed to be all brains and no torsos. Some did, out of incontinent zealousness and the rest out of misguided haste. Or perhaps they are not the scholars they sold us they are? A case for intellectual 419? Before we go further let us remark as follows.

All the great works of Plato, Isaiah, Nietzsche, and Socrates are all algorithms. Great poetry and other great non-mathematical thought forms, including Guernica, are algorithms without numbers. That is why if you got the privilege of attending college in America say, the first thing you are introduced to, is the Western cannon. Those are nothing other than the trophy chest of their algorithms. And those are what will make you a (Western) man, and not their Green Card or passport.

What, we may now ask are non-mathematical algorithms for the building of society? They are a system of axioms, fundamental principles, and cognitive references, around which complexities as they exist or emerge, can easily get resolved. Outside them nothing human or complex is resolvable. That is why and how nearly all Western societies are on autopilot. Theirs are works of genius, of algorithm makers, and not leadership, which is of and tied to persons.

Our dedication to persons and leaders therefore explains for instance why the great men of national assembly are roaming all over Nigeria for purposes of constitutional amendment. Meanwhile by their own confession, they are putting off the central and in a sense only issues. They don’t have any fundamental principles, any axioms or central thesis around which to construct a new Nigeria. So they are going about it, running Nigeria like MTN and Airtel, on a pay as you go, or go as you pay, or even worse, go as you amend basis.

And by this Nigeria, black man’s most populous nation, is so belittled I will advise the imaginative to give up on her. But not quite, as on Saturday 17-11-12 ThisDay reported that: Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State has backed calls for resource control, urging the federal government to hands off states’ resources so that “states can explore, develop and harness their resources for development”. “We are handicapped and handcuffed because of this law that brought us into one basket of the economy.

My own state can feed many parts of this country. Keep oil apart, we have abundant resources; we have the best iron ore confirmed by the Australian authorities. What I am asking for, which I believe would promote and develop this country, is to let each and every state go and have its own independent economy. We are not made to be lazy. “Anybody that comes to any key position in the state, let him crack his brain. Not relying on a change in revenue sharing formula. Yari’s assertion is one of those fundamental principles upon which any great venture may be built, and without which no great venture, country or constitution may be constructed. Our caveats: We are not for or against the creation of states.

What we are against is the act of the self-important infesting us with their ignorance, packaged as gospel news. Before Yari, one sees every editor, TV commentator, Central Banker, fools, telling us, some states are not viable. I can say in all earnestness, that I have never seen such ignorance, not in Judea or in Jerusalem. Now if you said that a state is not viable, what you are saying is that the people, all the people in that state, say Zamfara or Imo are beasts, animals, are all torso and no brains. Can you imagine any European scholar asking whether a 4million man state peopled by Germans, is viable? They can be insolvent, as the Germans were after the World War 2, but not unviable.

And if we recall it was German genius, not leadership, lead by E. F. Schumacher, who turned insolvency to the miracle at the Rhine. His work or algorithm if you liked, was a model for the Japanese and indirectly the Asian tigers and ultimately the Chinese. But our eggheads, even Central Bankers, and academics, in unfathomable ignorance chorus it; some states are not viable. May be the Germans are humans and we are beasts, animal in human skin oh as Fela would characterize.

So what Yari has done is that he has released his people, and the rest of us, from the cognitive bondage, our common, even patriotic ignorance have trapped us. That release is singly the most important statement of wisdom and national building block since our dark age, which began the day the military struck. The next greatest task is to help formulate the rest of the axioms, the fundamental principles upon which a great country or project can may be achieved. We give this thinking to Yari because he is northern, and apparently has everything to lose. But I can assure, he is on the right track.

It is the same track America chose, to be built as a superpower. It was the path of giving up broad meddlers, plains where the soil was black and rich as gold, to build on rocks. Desire under the elms. Eugene O’Neill You doubt that? But testimonies abound. From Eugene O’Neill, America’s greatest thinker-dramatist, through its most famous founder historian, Frederick Jackson Turner, to the founding dreams of California, of Los Alamos, of Silicon Valley, and of America going to the moon, it is one line of; when you can make corns sprout out of stones, then God is living in you….

God is hard, not easy! God is in the stones! In fact because of the significance of what Yari has done, we will devote a few more columns to the search for those axioms, those algorithms that if we got right, resolving and developing Nigeria will be like a dance step. Meanwhile take if from us there is not greater Nigerian leader than Yari. If there is, he perhaps is keeping dumb. And above all, it is the Abdulazzi Yaris that we need at the center; and this urgently, if we as a people are to be saved. We need a country that will migrate from the MTN, Airtel platform of pay as you go and go as you amend, or pay, to an algorithm driven development. That is only how development works. In conclusion, Axiom 1, which is stated by or derivable from Yari; the man must be so placed and ranked above the resources of his earth, that he who has brains has all. That is the man with brains and stones, is richer than the thug, the coup maker or legislator, dripping and drenched in oil blocks, and is all torso and no brains.

Re: Nollywood may soon go out of business

Dear Sir, your article on Thursday November 15, 2012 really lacked focus on topic sentence or rather the subject matter. You were just jumping from pillar to post. Secondly you lacked poor linking skills. Thirdly, make sure that your facts are right before you publish them. For instance you wrote Cynthia Okorogwu instead of Cynthia Osokaogu. Please watch out for these in your next edition. Remember the whole world is reading this. From Chidi. Abagana. 07039356630

Dear Sir, this man, you are a crook, a pleasant one though. You lured me into reading your column and meen! I was entertained. You are the boss. “Twale” Lucky. 08032764536

Dear Sir, that was a nice one on what I will call the comparison between Nollywood and Reallywood. I tried to imagine the products of Reallywood, as presented by you, and I went into tears; and on Coscharis’ obscenity on television, I have never seen where a banking director implicated himself in such a degrading manner on banking ethics. I hope Sanusi Lamido would send the CBN inspectorate to the affected bank and necessary disciplinary action taken against Coscharis. Meanwhile the EFCC should step into the issue. I commend the PhD holder-drivers for being so humble to opt for just anything honorable to do in lieu of criminal activities. Lai Ashadele Lagos. 07067677806


Dear Sir, is it not surprising to you that when aunty Ngoo came last time, she told us that our greatest undoing as a nation was our international debts? And was busy paying debts that her predecessors and their masters looted from the Breton Wood (night) clubs and deposited in their own accounts ie copy and paste! Now the same Ngoo is incurring more debts on our behalf than no one else. I guess she is been exorcised of western mentality and she is getting very Nigerian now. Ndudi. 08067810754


Dear Sir, The Turf Game of today is full of bitter truths. It is not in degree but in delivery. The essence of education is not job-seeking but job creation. Our orientation about education is saddening. May god help us .07030206565

Dear Sir, you are the Aristotle of this nation. I hope those in government will tap from your wisdom. I have personally benefited from your The Turf Game. May God bless you. 08055213674


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  1. Dr. Jude Ugwu November 22, 2012 at 9:18 am

    I tried to fathom the answer to the question, “what would the Israelis, the Austrians, the Germans, be doing to get their new Nigeria and Nigerian states going in good and excellent order?” Quite frankly, the answer came spontaneously and effortlessly, and that is, they would reorder things. I was not surprised when I read your article further and I believe you concluded along the same line.

    I am usually amused when I observe well-meaning Nigerians engaging passionately in some activity meant to fix what appears to me as the symptom not the cause of our problem. With all due respect, Prof. Pat Utomi comes to my mind as one of the most conscientious and dedicated minds leading this pack. But then I wonder, does he and others like him fail to realise that without redesigning things in very fundamental ways, no amount of detailed planning will make any meaningful difference?

    My question is, does this fact elude our intellectual class or has it been ignore for other reasons. My thinking is that in all honesty, not many reputable Nigerian minds appreciate this very fact. And this is the real reason why the future is bleak.

    Nigerians will achieve more by insisting on fundamental reordering of Nigeria than we can from requiring the Jonathan administration to fix the power sector, as important as electric power may be.

  2. solution November 22, 2012 at 5:57 pm

    We do not have the key. That is why we have not unlocked our potentials. Sir, it seems you have a duplicate of the key. Please get closer to the corridors of power, or else we remain outside till thy kingdom come.

  3. kaycee November 22, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    putting the question back to u, did u get d algorithm right before writing this article?
    We are full of postulations in this country without the nerve to take a little risk.
    As a man of gr8 wisdom, what have u put in place in terms of structure to make nigeria a better place? D task of taking this country to the next level is not institutional but individual….nice piece anyway

  4. Chairman November 23, 2012 at 11:18 am

    What you are saying in a layman’s language is that going to the pool office to stake my game by myself won’t neccessarily mean that I will win, that when I crack my brain hard and get the correct numbers that I can even give it to a child to go and stake for me? I worked my brain very hard this week and I got 5 and who can give me 2 more

  5. Chairman November 23, 2012 at 11:20 am

    What you are saying in a layman’s language is that going to the pool office to stake my game by myself won’t neccessarily mean that I will win, that when I crack my brain hard and get the correct numbers that I can even give it to a child to go and stake for me? I Like that, I worked my brain very hard this week and I got 5 and who can give me 2 more

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