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         Are Professor Wole Soyinka and the Pyrates Confraternity Responsible?



Emma Ihejieto



 February 8, 2006



"Even people whose only legacy is cultism are praised and given attention. It is the pirates Confraternity that is the basis of all cultism, Cultism started with the Pirates Confraternity. That is the only legacy they can bequeath to Nigeria and you can see the result in our educational system…Pirates Confraternity is the root of all cultism in Nigeria, the bane of the education system but my colleagues in the media would not see that…What can these people lay claim to? What legacy are they leaving for Nigerian children? They taught  us about pirates, they taught  about cultism which is killing the education sector yet they stand up to speak for us and they get coverage"


The above are the infantile, distorted, and manipulative vituperations of the diminutive and punk styled “Honorable” Minister of Information Frank Nweke (Jnr)

who spoke  in Wuse, Abuja FCT on the occasion of an advocacy campaign on the Childs Rights Act embarked upon by the Ministry of Women Affairs in apparent reference to the Nobel laureate Professor Wole Soyinka who in Nweke’s warped view “has no legacy for Nigerian Children”. The reason I write is to formally respond to the Honorable Minister of Information’s deliberate and malicious attack on a great organization as contained in the Thisday’s newspaper of Monday January 23,2006 and reported by Kingsley Nwezeh from Abuja the Federal Capital Territory. For the avoidance of any doubt this malicious story was captioned ,

“Pirates Confraternity, Bane of our Education Sector”


It is contingent upon this disinformation by the Honorable Minister’s malicious rumor milling that a I am making this effort to set the records straight as the desperation of the presidency is manifesting at the twilight of the present administration whose 3rd term bid is being frustrated in the length and breadth of Nigeria’s geo-polity and the civilized world.


Where as one acknowledges the Minister’s Right to hold his view no matter how warped up this view might be, however he should be informed on this particular occasion that his right to freedom of expression stops where others Democratic Rights begin. If the Honorable Minister expected his unsound and illogical rehash to go unchallenged, he must certainly have comatose his sense of reasoning in a fool’s paradise. However, public officers are precluded from abusing their privileges paid for by the taxpayers’ money. This abuse and fraudulent conversion by Mr. Frank Nweke is completely unacceptable.


Is it not unfortunate that a Minister who has failed in Service Delivery to the Nigerian people as evidenced in the lackluster inefficiency in the proper management, projection and updated administration of the Federal Government’s Official Website which is Nigeria’s mirror to the international community?. Let it be stressed at this particular point that we all deserve to get updated web based information from all the nation’s official News Networks be it the NTA or the FRCN as is being done in all civilized countries of the world. This basic expectation certainly falls squarely in the constitutional brief of the nation’s information Ministry-Frank Nweke’s saddle. What is more, that the Honorable Minister enviously queries Professor Wole Soyinka’s unsolicited global media coverage is a direct indictment that smacks of pettiness.


The import of this response is to set the records straight and possibly re-educate the Honorable Minister on the widely accepted reasons for falling standards and values of the country’s educational system while at the same time taking a cursory look at some of  the activities of the Pyrates Confraternity in Canada. This will leave no one in doubt as to the paucity in the Honorable Minister’s intelligential claims against the PC, an organization whose membership he desperately and supposedly solicited in futility based on Frank Nweke’s incongruence with acceptable standards of behavior and mannerisms.


Even the government that the Honorable Minister serves has unequivocally at various fora identified the numerous raison deter for devalued standards in the nation’s ivory towers. Not long ago, the Honorable Education Minister Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, an academic introduced the post UME screening of prospective undergraduates. The reason behind the test is the Honorable Minister’s analytical and deductive conviction that undergraduate admissions is faulty, a situation that has seen an upsurge in the admission of palpably deficient students. Interestingly, these UME candidates are bye products of the 6-3-3-4 educational system which is currently under review. The 6-3-3-4 system was neither Professor Soyinka’s nor the Pyrates Confraternity’s Brainchild.


Equally, the Honorable Education Minister is tinkering on bringing back the abrogated Higher School Certificate (HSC) program that was repealed following the introduction of the failed 6-3-3-4 system. Let me also query Mr. Nweke at this point if there is any record available and/or otherwise suggestive that the Pyrates Confraternity was responsible for the enunciation of this retrogressive and degraded Educational Policy? The Honorable Education Minister is expected to submit very soon a Blueprint for Education Reform. Submissions have continued to poor in, some seek to re-introduce the old aged Boarding System in our secondary schools that we are bye-products of. Equally, there is no record pointing at the PC and the Nobel Laureate as being responsible for both the abolition of boarding schools and government misplaced take over of missionary schools.


The disturbing trend in our campuses of sorting, sex, gifts, and money for marks by some corrupt and morally bankrupt lecturers remains a sordid pointer to societal degradation. The Honorable Minister of Information has failed to reflect upon the carry-over effect of larger society failures to our educational system. Discipline first and foremost begins from the family progressing outward. No lecturer member of this noble organization has been fingered in any of the above malaise. If Mr. Nweke has contrarian evidence he is being challenged to throw this up in the open court of public opinion.


Bribery, fraud, nepotism, election rigging, ballot stuffing, money laundry, political thugery, political assassination, voter intimidation, oil bunkering, police extortion on highways, contract inflation, legislative and judicial gratification, certificate racketeering, political godfatherism, ritual killings and the list goes on are sins of parents and never those of the youths.


Mr. Frank Nweke, can you hear all these? What ever happened to corporal punishment in primary and secondary schools need to be revisited. We have a progressively productive culture, which should be protected. However, Human Right’s Violations have been cited in relation to the corporal punishment of Nigerian kids. Is that a right thinking? Is it not some some corrupt parents that invoked this human rights issue?. Were we not products of corporal punishment? are we not better than the present generation kids? Did those canes devalue kids of those days? Honorable Minister Nweke, your response to these posers is being urgently awaited. Was the Pyrates Confraternity responsible?  


Let me re-iterate at this juncture that Professor Soyinka’s and the PC’s legacy to our people remains evident in the Restoration of Democracy, Free Speech and Civil Liberties which Frank Nweke (Jnr) remains a direct Beneficiary by virtue of his undeserved official position. If one may ask, where was Frank Nweke (Jnr) when the PC was joining hands with other groups and respected Nigerians to midwife this democratic dispensation? Which credible constituency does he represent?.


Under a Parliamentary Democracy the like of the Honorable Minister will definitely not have an oversight ministerial position having not been elected by his people. Is it possible that Frank Nweke’s recent posturing is not unconnected with suspicions of his alleged consumption of domesticated impaired ridden substances? From where does he derive the strength and courage to mislead and misinform the Nigerian people?.


Residents of Canada know that the PC has continued consistently to make numerous contributions as an international and Registered Social Advocacy Group in this community. Are we not as contributory members of the Nigerian and global populace entitled to fundamental rights of freedom of association? Are we not entitled to our inalienable right to free speech?


Since the spread of the PC’s Community Outreach Programmes here in Canada is invaluable, Nigeria our springboard and motherland is not and can never be an exception.


The Canadian chapter of the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) set out to pursue the organization’s  cardinal principle by entering into a social contract with Canada World Vision. This child sponsorship program, a collaboration of NAS Canada and the Canada World Vision, an international Non Governmental Organization (NGO) works in order to offer charitable and humanitarian alternatives in the following areas:


q       Education Programs

q       Community Programs

q       Participation of families in Economic Development Programs that

increase their income.

q       A strategy that responds to emergency situations while carrying

out development programs in favor of needy communities.


The child sponsorship project is a global adventure that aims at giving HOPE to indigent and hopeless kids worldwide. To date NAS Canada has sponsord many kids under this program. We currently have kids enjoying this sponsorship in Ghana, Niger Republic and the Latin American country - Columbia. As we look at those photos of  our children world wide on the Nas Web Portal we have a feeling of greater fulfilment and humanistic accomplishment.


The child sponsorship program up here has given NAS Canada the opportunity to give kids worldwide a chance to grow up in a world where their dreams can come true.


It is probably more than that. Knowing that we have helped their respective communities to secure a sustainable future, and thus, a bright future for them has enriched our own life in so many ways. As we watch these kids grow year after year, we are filled with such emotion and satisfaction that we are able to help bring happiness and hope to these poor children, and a seed of life to their families and respective communities.



The decision to seek a media response is predicated on my consistent belief in the Rule of Law as well as my implicit confidence in the nation’s Fourth Estate of the Realm. Mr. Honorable Minister Frank Nweke (Jnr), an immediate retraction of your misguided outburst is required at this point. This should be done with no further delay. Good luck.






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