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The Lies Of Femi Fani Kayode Part 1 - Nairaland / General - Nairaland

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The Lies Of Femi Fani Kayode Part 1 by oluwabishop: 12:41pm On Aug 18, 2013
– The Lie About The Yorubas Being
Nigeria’s Earliest Graduates – By Dr. Samuel

From his myopic bubble Femi FaniKayode
claims the Yoruba were the first to acquire
Western education; the first ever known record
of a literate Nigerian in the English Language is
the narrative of an Ibo slave who regained his
freedom and documented his life history as a slave from the time he was 11 years old in
present day Ibo land till the time when he
gained his freedom in the middle of the 18 th
century. He later married an English woman
and had 3 children. He died in 1795. Femi, a basic Google-research will do you good
here; check out the name, Equanoh OLAODAH.
Further Femi claims that the Yoruba were the
first lawyers and doctors in Nigeria. This is
again a big falsehood. The first Nigeria doctor
was an Effik man Silas G. Dove who obtained a medical degree from France and returned to
practise medicine in 1840 in Calabar. This fact
can also be verified from historical medical
records in Paris. I would also ask that you google the name
BLYDEN – Edward Wilmot BLYDEN – an educated
son of free Ibo slaves who by the mid-19th
century had acquired sound theological
education. He was born in Saint Thomas in
1832. He is one of the founding missionaries that established the Archbishop Vining church
in Ikeja. Before the next time you succumb to
your long-running battle with logorrhoea,
Femi please do some research. What about the third president of a free Liberia
– President J JRoyle – again, a man of Ibo
descent. Please take some time to do some
research so that we can discuss constructively.
It is wrong to peddle lies to your people. It is
academic fraud to knowingly misrepresent facts just to score cheap points with people
who do not have the discipline to do research
and accept anything you pour out simply
because they say you are well educated. To
again quote the great Nobel Prize Winner in
Economics Joseph Stiglitz; Femi fits into the category of third rate students from first rate
universities with an inflated sense of self-
importance. Let’s go on! Who was the first Nigerian Professor of
Mathematics – an Ibo man – Professor Chike
Obi – the man who solved Fermat’s Last
Theorem. He was followed by another Ibo
man, Professor James Ezeilo, Professor of
Differentail Calculus and the founder of the Ezeilo Constant. Please do some research on
this great Ibo man. He later became the Vice
Chancellor of the University of Nigeria Nsukka
and one of the founders of the Nigerian
Mathematical Centre. Who was Nigeria’s first
Professor of Histroy – Professor Kenneth Dike who published the first account of trade in
Nigeria in pre-colonial times. He was also the
first African Vice Chancellor of the University of
Ibadan. Who was the first Professor of
Microbiology – Professor Eni Njoku; he was
also the first African Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos. Anatomy and Physiology –
Professor Chike Edozien is an Asaba man and
current Obi of Asaba. Who was the first
Professor of Anatomy at the University College
Ibadan? Who was the first Professor of
Physics? Professor Okoye, who became a Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts
Institute of Technology in 1960. He was
followed by the likes of Professor Alexander
Anumalu who has been nominated for the
Nobel Prize for Physics three times for his
research in Intermediate Quantum Physics. He was also a founding member of the Nigerian
Mathematical Centre. Nuclear Physics and
Chemistry – again another Ibo man – Professor
Frank Ndili who gained a Ph.D in his early ’20s
at Cambridge Univesity in Nuclear Physics and
Chemistry in the early ’60s. This young Asaba man had made a First Class in Physics and
Mathematics at the then University College
Ibadan in the early ’50s. First Professor of
Statistics – Professor Adichie who’s research on
Non-Parametric Statistics led to new areas in
statistical research. What about the first Nigerian Professor of Medicine – Professor
Kodilinye – he was appointed a Professor of
Medicine at the University of London in 1952.
He later became the Vice Chancellor of the
University of Nigeria Nsukka after the war.
What about Astronomy – again another Ibo man was the first Professor of Astronomy –
please, look up Professor Ntukoju – he was the
first to earn a double Ph.D in Astronomy and
Mathematics. Let’s go to the Social Sciences – Demography
and statistical research into population studies
– again another Ibo man – Professor Okonjo
who set up the first Centre for Population
Research in Ibadan in the early ’60s. A double
Ph.D in Mathematics and Economics. Philosophy – Professor G D Okafor, who became a
Professor of Philosophy at the Amherst College
USA in 1953. Economics – Dr. Pius Okigbo who
became a visiting scholar and Professor of
Economics at the University of London in 1954.
He is also the first Nigerian Ph.D in Economics. Theology and theological research – Professor
Njoku who became the first Nigerian to earn a
Ph.D in Theology from Queens University
Belfast in Ireland. He was appointed a
Professor of Theology at the University College
Zambia in 1952. I am still conducting research in areas such as
Geography where it seems a Yoruba man,
Professor Mabogunje, was the first Professor. I
also am conducting research into who was the
first Nigerian Professor of English, Theatre Arts,
Languages, Business and Education, Law and Engineering, Computer Technology, etc.
Nigerians need to be told the truth and not let
the lies that Femi Fani-Kayode has been selling
to some ignorant Yoruba who feel that to be
the first to see the white man and interact with
him means that you are way ahead of other groups. The Ibo as The great Achebe said had
within a span of 40 years bridged the gap and
even surpassed the Yoruba in education by the
’60s. Many a Yoruba people perpetually
indulge in self-deceit: that they were the first to
go to school; to be exposed to Western education; that they are academically ahead of
other Nigerian cultures of peoples. Another
ignorant lie. As far back as 1495 the Benin Empire
maintained a diplomatic presence in Portugal.
This strategic relationship did not just stop at a
mere mission but extended to areas such as
education. Scores of young Benin men were
sent out to Portugal to study and lots of them came back with advanced degrees in Medicine,
Law and Portuguese Language, to name a few. Indeed, some went with their Yoruba and Ibo
slaves who served the sons of the Benin
nobility while they studied in Portugal. These
are facts that can be verified by the logs kept
by ship owners in Portugal from 1494 to 1830.
It is kept at the Portuguese Museum of Geographic History in Lisbon. Why then would several Yoruba people peddle
all these falsehoods to show that they are
ahead educationally in Nigeria? The true facts
from the Federal Office of Statistics on
education tell otherwise, showing that 3 Ibo
states for the past 12 years have constantly had the largest number of graduates in the
country, producing more graduates than
Ondo, Osun, Ekiti and Oyo states. These eastern
states are Imo, Anambra and Abia. Yet he calls
Ibos traders. Indeed, the Igbos dominate
because excellence dominates mediocrity – truth. Let me enlighten this falsehood’s mouthpiece
even further: before the civil war Ibos
controlled and dominated all institutions in the
formal sector in Nigeria from the universities to
the police to the military to politics: •The first Black Vice Chancellor of the
University of Ibadan was an Ibo man •The first Vice Chancellor of the University of
Lagos was an Ibo man •The first Nigerian Rector of the then Yaba
College of Technology was also an Ibo man •The police was run by an Ibo IG •The military as a professional institution was
also run by elite-ilk Ibos. Facts can never be hidden. To be first does not
mean you would win the race; let us open up
all our institutions and may the best man win.
Let us not depend on handouts or privileges
but on heard work. Let us compete and give
the best positions to our brightest – be it Ibo, Yourba or Fulani, and then we shall see who is
the most successful Nigerian. I find it difficult not to respond to some of these
long-held lies that are constantly being
peddled by Yorubas. One is that the Yoruba
have the largest number of professors in the
country. I would again ask that we stick to
facts and statistical records. The Nigerian Universities Commission has a record of the
state with the largest number of professors on
their records and as at 2010 that state is Imo
State followed by Ondo State and then
Anambra State; the next state is Ekiti and then
Delta before Kwara State. I am sure you Yorubas are surprised. When you sit in the
South-West do not think others are sleeping
but I wish to address another historical fact
and that is who were the first Nigerians to
receive Western education. It is important that
these issues be examined in their historical context and evidence through research be
presented for all to examine. I have continued my research for as the great
sociologist and father of modern sociology –
Emile Durkheim – put it, the definition of a
situation is real in its consequence . What this
simply means is that one must never allow a
perceived falsehood to become one’s reality and by extension individuals who accept a
defined position act as though the situation is
real and apply themselves in that narrowly
defined perspective. Why is this important to state it is because for
long the Yoruba have peddled lies that have
almost become accepted as the truth by other
Nigerians but it is important that we lay down
the facts for others to examine and come to
their own conclusion for facts are facts. Let’s go back to education. Historically, Western
education resulted as a product of indigenous
ethnic groups interacting with the whites
through trade. The dominant groups sold
slaves, ivory gold and a host of other products
to their European counterparts in exchange for finished goods – wine, tobacco, mirrors, etc. The Bini who were the dominant military force
from the 15th to the 19th century raided and
sold other ethnicities to the Europeans. Top on
the list of those they sold were the Yoruba, Ibo
and Igala. Various other ethnicities suffered as
a result of the Bini military expansion. And the Benin Kingdom stretched from present-day
Benin up to what is now geographically
referred to as Republic of Togo. Indeed, the
influence of the Benin Empire extended to the
banks of the river Niger to present-day
Onistha. There are huge Yoruba settlements in the Anioma part of Delta State who fled Yoruba
land as a result of these attacks and constant
raids. Yes, there are Yoruba people who are
currently living with Ibos in the Ibo-speaking
part of Delta and they are full citizens of the
place no one refers to them as strangers and there is no talk about the Ibos being the host
community like we hear from the Governor of
Lagos State. But let me return to research.
Slaves were moved from the hinterland to the
coast and many were sold through Eko to the
New World. These slaves were the first to encounter the Europeans and by extension
their way of life – this included education in a
Western sense. The Bini King had taken pains
to establish a diplomatic presence in Portugal
and the relationship developed into areas that
extended beyond trade in the late 15th century and lasted well into the early 19th
century. Scores of young Bpni youth were sent
to Portugal and studied there, coming back
with advanced degrees in various disciplines.
The next set of people to receive Western
education were the slaves themselves. Some of them managed to buy their freedom and
develop themselves further. For the Ibo it does not matter who your father
is; the question is: Who are you? Who was
Obasanjo’s father? Was he the most educated
Nigerian? I am sure the answer is no. Yet this
Great Nigeria led this nation two times as a
military Head of State and as a civilian President. What about GEJ? Who was his own father? Was
he the first Nigerian to go to London? The
answer is no. In fact, he had no shoes, yet he is
fully in charge. So it does not matter if your
father was the first Lawyer or first Doctor in
Nigeria but rather what matters is what an individual does with the talents the Almighty
has given to him. Let us open up Nigeria for
competition. That is the solution to our
problems. Those who want privileges keep
reminding us that their fathers were the first to
go to school in London. Every generation produces its own leaders and champions. Like
Dangote who is the biggest employer of labour
in Nigeria today and the richest man in Africa.
Was his father the first to go to study in
London? Yet he is the master of people whose
parents gave them the best. My brothers, the answer to the Nigerian problem is that we
should establish a merit-driven society. “I get
am before” no be property.

Dr. Samuel Okafor has a PhD in History

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