THE OTHER WAY

Obstacles open the way. The other way.
When they come your way
They have not come to block your way,
But to force you to look the other way
And see another, better, righter, deeper way
And learn to see a way where there is no way.
They have come to show you the way.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

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THE BEST OF THE GOOD IN US

For those people (and leaders) who like to blame the masses and exonerate the leaders who, as they say, afterall emerged from those same masses and from those same people… well, as logical as your argument is, I would nevertheless like to say this:

This is the magic and importance of leadership -:
If you aspire to leadership and campaign for it or willingly accept an appointment to it, you thereby indicate your willingness to be better than the masses, to be an example for the masses and to pull, inspire, chaperone and lead the masses out of the wrong towards the right. You indicate your certainty that you KNOW and UNDERSTAND the masses, from out of whom you also arose. Your campaign is an assurance that you know their weaknesses and strengths, their qualities, history and idiosyncrasies, their needs and problems. And that you know how to pull them together and bring out the Better Them. The best in them.

No one expects you to be perfect, but they expect you to strive towards perfection. If they experience you doing so, they will be ready to forgive you your shortcomings.

Blaming the masses is not the solution. The masses are yearning and looking for a leader – a GOOD leader. And that’s why they voted for you. They believed in your rhetoric and put their faith in you. Now YOU have to lead them towards what is better – instead of turning around and blaming them.

Especially in a young country whose institutions are still weak and forming, where there is mass under-education and massively one-sided congregation of wealth, we need powerful circles and groups of leadership personalities to break into the driving seat on all levels and power the birth of the best of the good in us. One day we will hit that critical mass that tips the scale. Good people really need to stick together and work together – because evil people always do. Irrespective of colour, class, cut-out, conviction and creed – on both sides.

The leader should first give his best, his honest and noble best; and then leave posterity to be the judge. Don’t blame the masses, don’t blame the people. Blame the leaders. If you are not ready or able to lead, do not step forward in the first place to ask for or accept the staff of office. If you do that, then you represent the worst of what you condemn in the masses.

From now on, we want leaders who represent and reflect The Best of what is in the masses of the peoples. This is what Nigeria needs now. This is what Africa needs now. Afterall, there is a reason why leadership is called “public service”.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

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AFRICAN OPPRESSORS

The ironic tragedy about Africa is that foreign oppressors got replaced by African oppressors. An oppressive system needs an oppressor to run it, it is designed to be run by oppressors, and only oppressors can successfully run it.

The colonies were oppressive systems created by foreign interests to exploit the nature, the resources, the people and the dynamics within Africa. To successfully do this, they had to create or midwife or empower an intermediate class of African oppressors to be their remote controlled agents of oppression. In some cases they subjugated and then used already existent mini-powers of local imperialism existent on parts of the continent. Together with the new ones they groomed, using the divide and rule strategy, they created a comprehensive across-board layer and class of all-too-willing African oppressors.

At “independence”, underneath all the chaos that came afterwards, this class of African oppressors remained conscious, self-aware, ruthless and bent on replacing their masters; and eventually the leadership of these oppressive systems cynically called “African countries” were taken over by this class of African oppressors. In situations where a really freedom-minded African managed to be the first post-colonial African leader of these post-colonial entities – like Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana or Patrice Lumumbah in Congo – they were quickly and easily killed or ejected by that same class of African oppressors under the guidance and with the support of the foreign oppressors and imperialists. They secured thereby their agents of neo-colonialism and eventual recolonisation. Even until today, anytime non-oppressive personalities or tendencies seek to manifest in the leadership strata of Africa, this class of African oppressors frustrate them or eliminate them.

This is generally the situation that has reigned in Africa until today. Originally sovereign indigenous African peoples and nationalities were conquered, de-sovereignised, broken up and dispossessed. In their place, new territories of foreign authority were drawn up by the foreign imperialists, with new borders, new laws, new governments, new structures, new raison d’etre, new system of thought and of operation – all geared towards the imperialistic Exploitation of Africa. The education of Africans henceforth also was geared towards the production of the different levels of servants required to fulfil this uncivil servitude. The originally de-sovereignised African states have never again got back their Sovereignty even until today.

After the 2nd World War, when the political wind of change reduced support for a system of “colonialism” and “imperialism”, this was a temporary blow to fascism worldwide and forced a withdrawal from the visible driving seats of their colonial empires. However, the oppression-continuums they created remained in place. And their position was simply taken over by the very class of African oppressors whom they had either midwifed and empowered, or whose formation they had not prevented but had deliberately instrumentalised. And they are still with us today.

That class of African oppressors – and, more importantly, that philosophy of African oppressors – is still with us today, generationally and sequentially reinforcing itself at the helm of affairs in these colonially designed systems of oppression cynically still being called “African” countries today. Neither military rule nor democracy, neither communism-socialism nor capitalism, Islamic nor Christian fervour have changed or eliminated this nefarious class of African oppressors nor can do so by themselves. The problem is in the very soul of this system of thought, it springs from Greed, Avarice and Selfishness. Greed for material wealth and comfort, military power and political authority. The desire to play god.

Only the People themselves, the Masses, can do away with theses classes of African oppressors. Only when the people unite, become adequately conscious, and are resolved, can they destroy and banish this class of African oppressors forever. Thereafter, however, the people will need to go into themselves, into their own hearts and minds, into their own newly emerging systems, and ENSURE that that same philosophy of the erstwhile African Oppressors has not taken root in the masses too and reproduced itself in new emergent systems and nations or in old or presently existent sanitised nations. If we want a break from the past, then we have to change from the ways of the past.

Until we do away with this class of African oppressors and their way of thinking as well as change the very internal structure and logic of these Trojan horses left behind at “Independence”, i.e. until African countries are properly internally restructured – either gradually through the progressive efforts of a succession of non-oppressor leaders, or through radical changes in constitutions – Africa will continue to be the last great bastion of fascism on Earth which it is today.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

BOYS TO MEN

The older I get,
The more I miss my father.
The more knowing I grow,
The more I miss him.
The more I know him.
The more I understand him.
We live life forwards,
But understand life backwards.
When it‘s too late to change anything,
That’s when we understand everything.
The young shall grow.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije
(I just feel like remembering today)

NEEDED: QUANTUM LEAP IN OUR LIFETIME

Nigeria IS a Crisis.

It‘s been almost 50 years since the civil war ended; … and today someone was dejectedly complaining of being without electricity for 24 hours straight – and of just feeling as if she was still in the civil war devasted Biafra zone where everything broke down under the onslaught of war. Sitting in the dark. Feeling unsafe. Not knowing when the Danger will manifest. But you know it’s out there, coming at you, waiting for you. Nervous about the present and the future. All you have is just your resolve to survive, and the depressing certainty that the difficulties are far from over. You struggle to find hope. Only the super rich can afford a more or less uninterrupted self-supply of the basic necessities. Normalcy becomes a luxury. But this is not Biafra 1969. This is Nigeria 2019. On the day on which you should celebrate in exhilaration, you just feel miserable as you see the state of your country.

Almost 50 years after the Civil War. From Gowon to Murtala to Obasanjo to Shagari to Buhari to Babangida to Shonekan to Abacha to Abdulsalami back to Obasanjo on to Yar‘adua on to Jonathan … back to Buhari. It‘s like we have just gone round in a vicious circle back to darkness and hopelessness and sadness. On Independence Day, on Nigeria‘s 59th Independence Day – and in fact a full 121 years after street lights were first installed in Nigeria – millions of people in Nigerian towns and Nigerian villages are sitting in darkness in their homes on Independence Day 2019. This is Nigeria‘s sad and shameful report card.

People, we need a QUANTUM LEAP forward. But this is the question: Who will trigger it? Who will chaperone and manage it? Who will deliver and anchor it, and safeguard it and programme it with the software of the internal logic of self-perpetuation, so that it will keep on leaping forward henceforth? The people who created Nigeria did not design it for the people who live in Nigeria today. We were not on their minds. Nigeria was designed to function as a Colony, not as a self-governing Entity. At so-called Independence in 1960, the White leadership of that Colony was simply replaced by Black leadership. But a Colony by nature it remained and still remains until today.

And because Nigeria, at its heart, in its design, in its internal logic, and in its set-up, is still a Colony and is still wired like a Colony, it thus lends itself most easily to be conquered by and to be subservient to imperial leadership, to ANY imperial Leadership. And that is why any tribe or clique or gang or cabal that is versed and experienced in the ways of Imperialism will always find it easy – both in military and in civilian times – to work their way into the center of government and snatch the power and keep it to themselves, and there will be no mechanisms or dynamics or institutions in place to stop them from doing this. Even Democracy by itself will not stop them. Because Nigeria was designed for just this purpose: to be ruled by an Imperialist. The foundational nature of the animal itself, Nigeria, is that it was designed not to be a free King in the jungle, but to be the broken, driven, crazed and manipulated servant of an Imperator. Always remember this. This will explain to you why power, real power, always keeps returning to or remaining with a certain type of people. This is the DNA of Nigeria. Imperialists understand this. Republicans don‘t.

Until this system is broken up, a new kind of nation-being will not break through from our midst. A new kind of leadership will find no space to emerge. A new philosophy of followership will not be able to manifest itself. The united upbuilding will not take place. We all feel the right way things should be done – but the system just keeps on sabotaging every new attempt to correct Nigeria.

How much longer can Nigeria bear the weight of this chain? The World is galloping ahead. And one day the difference between where Nigeria is and where Nigeria should be, will tear Nigeria apart. If it ever comes to that, which would be the worst catastrophe that would have ever hit Africa, then, from the broken parts left behind, Biafra will strive again to rise again out of the darkness into which war once plunged her, rise again, rise up like the Rising Sun.

And I bet you, others will do the same too. Unless Nigeria can make that Quantum Leap, in our lifetime, away from the imperialism-prone colony-at-heart country she still is, and restructure herself into a balanced continuum that liberates her peoples’ internal powers of invention, organisation, self-correction and equal-footed association which can propel her forward. Forward into that future that is about to leave us behind.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

A SPIRIT YOU CANNOT TOUCH

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign Creation. This might not be clear to many Nigerians today. But one day, way into the future when a critical mass of a more mature and self-aware crop of Africans have arisen in that space today called Nigeria, then the contradiction and the insult embedded in the concept of „founding fathers“ will become clear to them. Especially when they ask: so who exactly was the first, the original Founding Father? Lord Lugard?

He created One-Nigeria, as a concept and a constitutional unit, and pieced and put it together. But what other creative forces lurk behind the pieces of what he put together?

Now, ever since 1914 Africans have tried to usurp Lugard‘s creation, to give life to it according to their understanding of what they feel should be the best way that this creation can work for them – each according to his own idea – and to steer the ship of its destiny. In doing so, however, they often disregard – as though it were unimportant – the very REASON why Nigeria was put together. The assumption of some that this reason is now obsolete or only of historical importance is however very fatal, because it prevents them from understanding why Nigeria still functions today the way she functions and will continue to function – driven by her internal foundational dynamics and aided by her European creators and other foreign friends – unless this raison d‘etre, which translated into her very modus operandi – is substituted or outgrown.

In Frederick Lugard‘s famous words:

„What we often call the Northern Protectorate of Nigeria today can be better described as the poor husband whilst it’s southern counterpart can be fairly described as the rich wife or the woman of substance and means. A forced union of marriage between the two will undoubtedly result in peace, prosperity and marital bliss for both husband and wife for many years to come. It is my prayer that that union will last forever”.

This well-known colourful quote, however, although it theatrically spells out the economic raison d‘etre of Nigeria (North, keep your wealth; Southern wealth will be used to finance both them and you), it distracts from another – even more vital – piece of information, and that is: the WAY and MANNER in which this coup was to be maintained. Namely, not the southern system of administration was extended north, but – more tellingly – the northern system was extended south. Much to the chagrin of Southern intellectuals, who did all they could to resist it – in vain. It was thus the British who subjugated the South to the North.

The very philosophy and ideology of Nigerian government, from the start, was based on that which the British Colonial authority had devised in harmony with the Northern traditional structure. Basically: in the North, unlike in the South, the British Colonial Power never took away actual sovereignty from the Northern rulership structure. It allowed them to keep it and then ruled the area indirectly through them, allowing them to act as willing agents to the extent that they the Northerners allowed. This is what we learn in school as having been „indirect rule“ in the North. This is why the Northern Protectorate always had a fiscal deficit and was always broke – because the Northern Emirs resisted the British imposed taxes. It is important to understand this: It was not the NORTH itself that was poor; the North was never poor, even though – yes – greater mineral wealth lies South, it seems. But it was the British-created BRITISH PROTECTORATE OF NORTHERN NIGERIA (i.e. the administrative entity) that was poor, because the subjects (Northern traditional rulers and their merchants) refused to fund it, but rather kept their wealth and taxes to themselves. Thus the needed money for running the Protectorate had to come from somewhere else: namely, from the South.

Now we come to the South. Here, in the South – unlike in the North – the indigenous primordial sovereignty of Southern Rulership was broken as a power base and replaced with direct British rule. Thus, here the Colonial Government had direct access, backed by direct force, to the mineral and labour wealth of the South. Thereafter they handpicked mostly malleable agents as their servants in the execution of this direct rule in and direct plunder of the South; a portion of the spoils was used to run the South, a large part of the loot was sent North, and the rest they kept to themselves and Britain. In other words, whereas they had adjusted to accommodate unmalleable Northern Leaders further inland in the North, they crushed the easily accessible Southern Leaders in the South and largely replaced them with malleable stooges. This caused great unrest and created a permanent internal instability in the South that has remained to this day, whereas it was the opposite in the North: Under the frail cloak of pseudo British colonialism, the primordial indigenous sovereignty of the North not only stayed intact, but retained the self-established form that had over a long time concretised mainly under Fulani dominion in those approximate areas.

When decades later in the aftermath of WW2 the independence struggle grew exponentially and it became clear to the Colonising power that some form of visible withdrawal from the driving seat had become inevitable, the question now was: Within which power dynamic should Nigeria, their creation whose modus operandi they understood best, be situated and then left behind. – In the hands of the unstable, wealthier, South into the Heart of whose authority-structures the departing British would have no reliable link or hold? Or in the hands of the stable reliable North with whom they had built up a working relationship perfected around an understanding and a system of joint subjugation and plunder of the South? It was an easy choice to make. Thus one can say: the British conquered the South on behalf of the North, in order to leave the South in the hands of the North and then share the South with the North. It seems the southern woman of means was never meant to be honourably married at all, but simply to be a free-for-all double-penetrated Geisha.

The lack of unity in, and naïvety of, the South after independence played even further into the hands of the North. The squabblings, the distrust, the well-meant coup, the naive constitutional change. Like inadvertently pushing a tiny splinter of wood deeper into the sole of your foot the more you try to remove it.

The question however might then be: WHY did the British find it hard to conquer the North, but easier in the South? Was it just because of the distance inland from the Atlantic Coast? Partly. But there was another, and more fundamental reason, and it‘s this: The North had ALREADY been conquered and was under a uniform authority. Islam had already conquered the North and held it together via its agent of conquest, primarily the Fulani of the Sokoto Caliphate to the North-East, and partly also the north-westerly Bornu Caliphate. It was at its core thus an Islamic resistance of Christianity that took place in Northern Nigeria, in continuation of the thousand year old battle for global supremacy between these two foreign religions. The North had a long memory of Islamic martial wisdom to draw from in their intelligent cohesive strategy behind their resistance to and manipulation of the British.

What this also means, is, the Independence that was achieved decades later in 1960 was simply the attainment of a partial independence from the Christian West, but a remaining subject to the Islamic East. Indeed: Independence from the Islamic East is yet to come to Africa generally.

But, back to Southern Nigeria. One common Religion – this overarching glue – was missing in the South, whose additional proximity to the Coast as well as possession of stupendous mineral wealth, made its conquest by the British almost inevitable. Indeed and ironically it was now British Colonialism that gave to the South, via Christianity and wide-spread western education, a semblance of the bond which the North – in the form of Islam and Arab-Islamic schooling – already long had. The difference being that in the North this religion-based bond was and is also entrenched in a traditional system of government which survived western colonialism. The South has only the religion, but not the uniformity of traditional authority. Nevertheless, this shared Christianity – especially in the South-East/South-South – even without political authority, still provides a sufficient bulwark of resistance against the imperious Islamisation attempt of the Fulani in this last region of true resistance in Nigeria. This is the Spirit of Biafra. Fuelled by primordial indigenous indignation. Again what we are seeing here – parallel to the meaningless ethnic scuffle and jostle for power – is the over-arching continuation of the millennium-old battle for global supremacy between Judeo-Christianity on one hand and Islam on the other. Situated within the theater of unfortunate and meaningless African inter-tribal conflicts. The Fulanis are experiencing in Biafra Land the same stubborn resistance that the British experienced in Arewa Land over a hundred years ago. Africans never really surrender. They survive and thrive. Islam is experiencing in Biafra Land the same resistance that Christianity experienced during the crusades against the Moslems. A refusal to be conquered and converted by cunning or by force. The Crusades are reversed in Nigeria today.

Nigeria bears the stigma of being a foreign creation – in so many ways. Much more complex than the few contexts touched upon in this write-up can throw up. The socio-political salvation for the Africans in this region of the continent lies in two things that might seem contradictory, but which are only two complimentary sides of the same golden coin. One: to re-identity with their own original African indigenous ethnic nationalities and consciousness, free from all the brain-wash of foreign religions and an acquired Nigerian identity. Two (and even more importantly): to NOT let these actual African ethnic identities participate in Tribalism against each other. That is: Be your true self and then unite with each other as your true selves. Say yes to Africa. Yes to Intertribal Love. No to tribal hatred and Tribalism.

Tribalism is the death of Africa. Not the Tribalism of love of one‘s ethnic group, but the Tribalism of hating, or feeling superior to, or not wanting the progress of other ethnic groups. It‘s just the greatest Smallness on earth today. If Africans – educated and non-educated – can really conquer Tribalism in their hearts, no foreign-come religions or colonially manufactured identities would be powerful enough to divide them and make them fight against each other. The day Panafricanism is based on pan-tribal-unity, and not on shifty talks in the amorphous halls of the AU, from that day Africa will start to progress.

The day the internal workings of Nigeria become based on inter-ethnic love and Cooperation – free of attempts at ethnic or religious conquest – and based on Inter-tribal Cooperation, accommodation, respect, love and unity, that is the day Nigeria will start to progress. Until then, BIAFRA will continue to live – more than a call for a state, more than a resistance movement; above all, an undying dream of freedom, indigenous development and sovereign identity. Biafra is the code word for Survival. Indigenous Survival. Black Survival. And it is anchored deep in the hearts of millions and millions of Africans. Survival.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije.
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BLACK AFRICA: SERVING TWO MASTERS

Black Africa, by and large, was conquered and colonised TWICE – by Islamic Arabic Imperialism and by Judeo-Christian Western Imperialism. But when Black Africa fought for Independence, it only fought for Independence against Western Imperialism and not against Arab Imperialism.

That is why the soul of Black Africa has divided loyalties today. Many Black Africans who consider themselves free and independent today are only independent (partly) from Western Imperialism, and not from Arabian Imperialism which is deeper, stealthier and more inchoate and not bound into a concrete, easily dismantable State-form.

Until Black Africa is politically, economically and ideologically free of both the West AND the East (middle and far), it will never be Able to develop. It will always remain a puppet on a string and a pawn in a game being played by others.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

GOOD WILL WIN

Evil resides in a deep inchoate place inside the human soul, from where it defeats all outward forms created to destroy it.

But Good resides in an even deeper, more intuitive space, from where it encompasses and bamboozles and defeats evil.

We just have to keep on being good – even if we constantly change the outward expression of our inner goodness.

We just have to keep on trying.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

AFROPHOBIA

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The word XENOPHOBIA (the deep-seated fear or hatred of that which is considered to be strange or foreign) comes from the Ancient Greek words Xenos (meaning foreign or strange) and Phobos (meaning fear).

It is thus strange when the Blacks of South Africa begin to consider other Blacks born outside South Africa as being „strangers“ or as being something „strange and foreign“, as a result of which they go to the extent of serially and gruesomely and regularly murdering them ON THAT ACCOUNT.

Not only have they all been on the same continent for millions of years and evolved together for millions of years, they also share the same recent history of subjugation, colonisation and de-possession on their own home continent. South Africa experienced a particularly virulent and cynical form of this Colonisation, sarcastically called „Apartheid“, from which they were eventually liberated, in no small measure through the political pressure of the rest of the already free Africa, foremost of all Nigeria.

Thus, to use the word „Xenophobia“ for what is happening in South Africa today – and has been happening there for a while – is completely inaccurate. The right word for it is AFROPHOBIA. The hatred of Black Africans. And since they themselves are also Black Africans, it becomes an afrophobic Version of chronic deep-seated Self-hatred.

Africans, Blacks: Say No To Afrophobia. Love and Advance yourselves. Ourselves. It‘s not for nothing that Bob Marley sang „Africa Unite“.

– Che Chidi Chukwumeri
The word XENOPHOBIA (the deep-seated fear or hatred of that which is considered to be strange or foreign) comes from the Ancient Greek words Xenos (meaning foreign or strange) and Phobos (meaning fear).

It is thus strange when the Blacks of South Africa begin to consider other Blacks born outside South Africa as being „strangers“ or as being something „strange and foreign“, as a result of which they go to the extent of serially and gruesomely and regularly murdering them ON THAT ACCOUNT.

Not only have they all been on the same continent for millions of years and evolved together for millions of years, they also share the same recent history of subjugation, colonisation and de-possession on their own home continent. South Africa experienced a particularly virulent and cynical form of this Colonisation, sarcastically called „Apartheid“, from which they were eventually liberated, in no small measure through the political pressure of the rest of the already free Africa, foremost of all Nigeria.

Thus, to use the word „Xenophobia“ for what is happening in South Africa today – and has been happening there for a while – is completely inaccurate. The right word for it is AFROPHOBIA. The hatred of Black Africans. And since they themselves are also Black Africans, it becomes an afrophobic Version of chronic deep-seated Self-hatred.

Africans, Blacks: Say No To Afrophobia. Love and Advance yourselves. Ourselves. It‘s not for nothing that Bob Marley sang „Africa Unite“.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije

NIGERIA: IN NEED OF LEADERSHIP

It’s serious. More serious than we think. Nigeria is a rudderless ship out on a stormy sea. Forget all the rhetoric; in truth most people do not want Nigeria to break up. But we need new Leadership. Intelligent Leadership. Dynamic Leadership. Progressive and vision-filled Leadership. Above all, fair Leadership that does not want any one part of Nigeria or any ethnic group or any demography to suffer or be left behind. We need the Spirit of Panafricanism in our Leaders.

It is the absence of all this that brokers the separatist volition. Nigerians are survivalists by nature. If they feel Nigeria is not working, they immediately start looking for an alternative. Either outside the country or within the country. It is the same impetus which makes people run away to distant countries that also makes them long for secession or, at least, restructuring. One way or the other, we all want to live in a new country, to hail from a new country, to belong to a new country, different from this Nigeria the way it is today and the way it has been going – getting ever worse – since independence. People want a new home, a real home, preferably in Africa. You think Biafra is a cry of war? You err. Biafra is a cry of help. A cry of desperation. A cry of despair about the state of Nigeria. A search for a better Africa. Biafra is a safety plan, in case the ship sinks – and I‘m sure Arewa and Oduduwa are exactly the same thing. It all depends on Nigeria.

Nigeria needs new Leadership. Badly! Leadership that really cares about ALL its people. Leadership that really understands the psychology behind the process and mechanism of growth. The growth of a society. Of a nation. Of its morals. Of its union. Of its capacity. The growth of its peoples. A Leadership that will champion a FAIR AND EQUITY-BASED AND GROWTH-FOSTERING CONSTITUTION. In the end, everything comes down to the Constitution.

The Titanic, unsinkable, sank. Rome, unconquerable, fell apart. The Dinosaurs, top of the food chain, went extinct. The sun set on the global British Empire. Never ever make the mistake of thinking that a country cannot fail and cannot break up. History has proven over and over again that it can. People need to wake up and take things seriously. Nigeria, the most populous Black Nation in the World, is in bad shape and needs a complete redesign, recalibration and re-orientation.

– Che Chidi Chukwumerije