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Review and Praise for the “Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development”

By News Express on 26/12/2017

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Views from America, A Sojourner’s Memoirs by Dr. Acho Orabuchi is the ultimate primer for socio-economic, political and service-driven leadership. It is a must read by lawmakers and politicians alike, who must comprehend the strengths and weaknesses of the various organs of government, in order to deliver the dividends of democracy, irrespective of tribe, religion or state of origin. The book further delineates the flaws of the present system with practical examples and excerpts from concerned citizens, including the need for philanthropic donations to the poor masses in the rural communities.” — Cosmas Chukwuma Okoro, MS, MBA, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Chemistry, Tennessee State University, Nashville, Tennessee USA

“Dr. Acho Orabuchi has given us great insights to the differences of the Nigerian and American societies to which he belongs to both. This book creates clear aspects of how we can begin to enhance positively the two cultures for the greater wellbeing of the Nigerian people regardless of where they live.” — Dr. Salamatu Machunga-Mambula, Associate Professor of Microbiology, University of Abuja, Nigeria

“In this succinct expose, Dr. Orabuchi bares his mind by bringing forth to Nigerians and the rest of the world – the stark realities, the contradictions, the challenges, and the remedies – that should inform any effort toward the reconstruction of a more responsive and citizen-oriented new Nigeria. Reminiscent of Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, oftentimes poetic and allegorical, this work recasts two competing narratives of life in the Diaspora juxtaposed with the political realities of existence in Nigeria; both equally prescient and nostalgic, stands as a must read for all irrespective of differing persuasions. A commendable effort.” — Prof. Kalu N. Kalu, Ph.D., (A Fulbright Scholar) Department of Political Science, Auburn University Montgomery, Alabama; & University of Tampere Docent, UTA Finland (A recipient of J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship from the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.)

“Dr. Acho Orabuchi is a proven writer, experienced educationist, and researcher. Dr. Orabuchi’s Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development is a detailed exposition on a number of topical issues. These issues were analyzed and presented as alternate perspective that are of great relevance to sociocultural and political economy of Nigeria. This book is a worthy addition to scholarship. I recommend it for every household bookshelf.” — Ray OnyemaObinozie, Ph.D., Atlanta, Georgia USA

Views from America, A sojourner’s Memoirs by Dr. Acho Orabuchi is a story that’s very simple but powerfully told. It’s a true mirror of what’s happening in Nigeria today.” — Hon Ichie Ken Agbim, Minority Leader, Imo State House of Assembly 2015-2019, Nigeria

Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development is a haunting, honest, pained and gripping account of Nigeria from a Nigerian living in the US. For me the most hilarious part of it is the Nigerian men’s encounter with the American exceptionalism in gender relations whereby women rule households or exert more power than a traditional African man or husband could imagine. The book’s description of Nigeria’s poor infrastructure and failures in basic services is both shocking and illuminating. The almost pre-modern mentality of Nigerians when it comes to driving culture and health consciousness is well described by the book. The book’s discussion of Nigeria’s endemic ethnic politics and religious fundamentalist inclinations is frank and powerful. My only criticism of the book is its relatively narrow arguments for an Igbo political leadership solely on the basis of ethnic identifications. In an emerging democracy, only the vision offered by a candidate and his or her appeal to the electors, not their ethnic identity should matter. Let us have a gifted, charismatic and nationalistic Igbo and the voters will line up behind him or her. One should not seek office on the basis of their ethnic identity. On the whole, the book is a succession of riveting stories and anecdotes about Nigeria’s tragic failure to become a properly modern country and its many missed opportunities to rise above medieval values and mindsets that still keep the country down and prevent it from realizing its potentials.” — Professor Ibrahim Bello-Kano, Department of English, Bayero University, Kano, Nigeria

“Dr. Orabuchi’s Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development is one of the most absorbing, captivating, informative and broad-based books I have read. It encompasses politics, economy, security, employment, health and infrastructures as it relates to Nigeria. One thing I enjoyed so much about this book is, as it talks about some of the problems facing Nigeria as a nation, it also suggests solutions to those problems. The book at the same time tries to personalize some of these problems raised by sampling people’s opinions. It’s a very perfect book for Nigerians.” — Chief Jerry Ken Ike, President/CEO, FreightLand Logistics Inc., Grand Prairie, Texas USA

“Dr. Acho Orabuchi has painfully delineated the major stumbling blocks in our collective quest for fuller self-actualization and proffered relevant solutions. This is particularly so as regards uplifting the health standards of our teeming millions. I therefore recommend it highly for both our leaders and their followers.” — Godwin C. Ogbuokiri, MD. Surgeon-in-Chief, Majane Hospitals Nigeria; Proprietor of Downman Urgent HealthCare, New Orleans USA & Medical Director, ORA Free Medical Missions USA

Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development offers an adequate exposition and evaluation of the state of the Nigerian socio-political and economic landscape from the informed lenses of a seasoned Nigerian intellectual in Diaspora. It is a gratifying pedagogical tool for individuals wishing to amass knowledge about the contemporary political realities in Nigeria, whilst feeding off the rich juxtaposition with the American political systems and its modus operandi as offered by the author. Its strength lies in the variegated analyses of the avalanche of problems that bedevil the Nigerian polity, and the detailed espousals in addressing the issues. The author effectively combines criticality, rigor, dexterity and finesse in the production of this masterpiece.” — Dr. Joseph Ebegbulem, Senior Lecturer, Department of Political Science, University of Calabar, Nigeria

“Few Nigerians in the Diaspora are as passionate and candid about the problems of socio-economic and political development in their fatherland as the author of this fascinating book. Dr. Acho Orabuchi’s analyses critically and identifies systematically the problems that have held Nigeria back for many years. These include but are not limited to: poor leadership and politics of regionalism; inequitable distribution of national resources; failure to diversify the economy; absence of an enabling environment to attract and sustain foreign investors; and failure of state governors to improve on the socioeconomic conditions of ordinary people, including inability to pay workers’ wages promptly. This book is insightful, challenging, and thought-provoking. I strongly recommend it.” — Levi Obijiofor, Ph.D., Senior Lecturer in Journalism, Program Coordinator, Bachelor of Arts (Journalism & Mass Communication), School of Communication and Arts, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia

Dr. Acho Orabuchi’s Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development is a unique book in the sense that it reflects mostly on the salient environmental factors influencing the growth and development of Nigeria from various aspects. This book is poignant compilation of observations and views of Nigerians living in the Diaspora and at home pertaining to Nigeria’s endemic problems. Very few books, if any have been written in this fashion in the 21st century Nigeria. The powerful book enlightens its readers to know and understand, what could be lacking and responsible for constraining performance in key areas of the society, and therefore recommends appropriate approaches and methods for improvement. Information from the book would be invaluable resource to policymakers in terms of considerations for policy formulation and implementation. Scholars would find this book helpful for further studies and research. Foreign and domestic entrepreneurs, as well as investors would find the book a very useful tool for profitable decision-making. Also, politicians would also find the book very helpful in knowing how create manifestos that would appeal to voters on areas of need for maximum electoral benefit. Finally, the common citizen would be informed and gain more knowledge about the current status of affairs of the local, state, and federal governments. In addition, this riveting book provides the masses a rare insight on the future outlook and direction of Nigeria’s development in relation to other countries of the world. — Charles J. Mambula 1, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Management, School of Business, Langston University, Oklahoma (A Second Century Humanitarian Honoree by the State of Oklahoma)

Views from America, A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development exposes the innate Nigerian nationalism in author Acho Orabuchi which has grown to its peak while sojourning in U.S.A. from where he views Nigeria’s political and economic metamorphosis, mostly through short visits and the prisms of the media. Every section of this book focused on Nigeria with a salient cry for national political and economic restructuring.  Acho Orabuchi played at no pathos which stimulates the reader to agree, disagree or agree-to-disagree with the author from one paragraph to the other. The best part of this Book for me is the discussion on the indigene-settler dichotomy: a situation that has reduced every citizen to a settler at some point for a Nigerian could only enjoy full citizenship in his local government of indigeneship. So, we have a situation where the indigene dissipates useful energy in trying to unsettle the settler, the settler on the other hand, fights back to resettle the unsettled.  And as a result, one can hear the voices of the separatist, the hegemonic, the marginalized, and the propounder of national restructuring which unkindly re-echoes in ethnically hateful international media. But there is no mutual hate in Nigeria – only mutual mistrust which is borne out of the indigene versus non-indigene situation.  Indulging in the ideas from Bernard Shaw’s Androcles and the Lion, the Nigerian man must be free as far as his lion is uncaged. The author challenges Nigeria to “emulate America”. Then Nigeria should extend the rights of indigeneship to the so-called settlers and you can observe Nigeria grow towards its maximum potentials.  This is a book whose time has arrived and it is highly recommended to nationalists and community leaders alike.  Good job. — Prof. Dennis Odionyenfe Balogu, Ph.D., M.P.A., is the Dean, Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, and Professor of Agriculture, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai, Niger State, Nigeria

“In his memoirs, Dr. Orabuchi shines a bright light on the confluence of forces that have led Nigeria to a steady and perceptible decline from potential greatness to the precipice of a failed state. In these pages, you read the anguish of a heartbroken patriot decrying the endemic culture of pervasive corruption, protracted incompetence in the management of national affairs and a deep-seated tribal allegiance that have eroded and subverted national loyalty, diverting Nigeria away from the pathway of true nationhood.

The memoirs deal with a catalogue of home-grown ill winds with particular attention to a degraded entrepreneurial base that has reduced Nigeria from a diversified to a one-product economy resulting in high unemployment even among university graduates and spawning a criminal underclass of hungry and angry educated youth that are now terrorizing parts of the country with kidnapping, armed robbery and general disregard for human life. Consequently, highly educated and successful Nigerians abroad find it difficult to return home to join in nation-building. At the same time, many of their compatriots at home scramble for an escape hatch to exit the country.

In one sense, Dr. Orabuchi’s memoirs reads like a long-delayed sequel to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart, except that in this case, things continue to fall apart not because of any corrupting influence of colonial presence on Nigeria’s culture, but rather from decades of monumental mismanagement and ineptitude in self-governance since political independence.

Dr. Orabuchi also sounds a note of warning to Nigerians abroad to desist from some nefarious practices evident in the rising rate of divorces, fraudulent fund-raising schemes that tend to fleece the many for the self-enrichment of unscrupulous few, and the general antagonism and hostility that are beginning to sprout among Nigerians in the Diaspora.

Dr. Orabuchi offers a few suggestions for the way forward for Nigeria and summons all Nigerians to commit to a moral and patriotic rearmament to save our beloved country.

A must read for Nigerians at home and abroad and for Africans and third-world nationals who want to side-step the snake pit from which Nigeria is struggling to free herself.” — Prof Donatus I. Amaram, Ph.D., Professor of Management, Virginia State University, U.S.A.

“While there are so many interesting topics covered in your book, I am particularly interested in what you succinctly pointed out about leadership. In his new book titled Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoir, Dr. Orabuchi clearly echoes the feelings of every Nigerian in the Diaspora concerned with the consistent growing pains associated with poor leadership in our beloved country. While the author touched on many contemporary issues affecting the nation, of significant importance in the book, is the issue of leadership which the author adequately addressed and correctly postulated that “we have been tamed to timidity”. Otherwise how can one explain the mediocre leadership Nigerians have been consistently offered from one election cycle to the other; only to find ourselves in far worst-off situation with each new sets of leaders! The author’s advice that “there should be real change in the culture of Nigeria leadership” is not only timely, but overdue. This book is more than just “A Sojourner’s Memoir”. The book is a reflection of how every Nigerian in the Diaspora feels about our beloved country. I strongly recommend it as a must read to all those representing us at the various political levels.”— Dr. John Emale, Organizational Scientist (President of Afenmai World Congress) Dallas, Texas USA

“Documentation of the views from America has long been a reference point for good governance in African in general and Nigeria in particular. Early African immigrants to United States of America like Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe of Nigeria and Kwame Nkuruma of Ghana to mention but a few developed their ideas of nation building from experiences gained while living and studying in America.

When Dr. Acho Orabuchi, Sr. asked me to review his book Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs, I knew I was in for a treat as Dr. Orabuchi has written several articles and correspondences about the views from America to Nigerian newspapers such as the Sun and Champion newspapers. After reading this book, I came to the conclusion as his readers will, that Dr. Orabuchi did not disappoint.

As a distinguished educator in America and a writer on the views of Nigerians in America, Dr Orabuchi demonstrated a deep knowledge and understanding of the line of thoughts of Nigerians in America and the qualification to write this book.  His work is ambitious in that it seeks to explain some of the daunting issues and challenges in nation building yet met his objectives of sensitizing Nigerians on their roles and responsibilities in bringing about the Nigeria of their dreams.

The book covers three critical areas namely: Governance in Nigeria, Issues of Igbo Concerns and American experience.

The book attributes the lack of good governance and accountability in Nigeria mainly to lack of ideological bond among politicians as such election campaigns are not issue-driven and politician have no obligation on inclination to fulfill campaign promises as a result, governance and public funds becomes personalized by political leaders without regards to the suffering of their people. Other problems hindering good government include ethnic loyalty, absence of residency rights could be possibly fueling ethnic and sectarian violence in Nigeria, lack of power supply which hinders economic progress and currency value fluctuations. The author believes institutionalizing Diaspora voting rights which will boost the image of Nigeria and add credibility to Nigeria elections. He suggested a State of the nation address in Nigeria which will serve to keep the leaders accountable and responsive to the citizens to inform the nation of its condition with an outline of initiatives to strengthen every aspect of the nation.

The book also reveals with demonstrated evidence how conventions held in America such as the World Igbo Congress (WIC) and Pan Ndi-Igbo Foundation (PNF) have presented unique opportunities for Igbo people living in America to easily sit down with political leaders from Nigeria to exchange views that influence policies back home as a way of contributing to national development. The issue of Igbo marginalization in Nigeria was discussed including the absence of Federal presence in the Southeast zone, lack of infrastructure, the second Niger Bridge, deliberate exclusion of key positions and the need of a Nigerian president of Igbo extraction. To drive home his point, Dr. Orabuchi emphatically stated that “Igbo must fight for their presence in Nigeria”.

The book also detailed the difficulties involved in the integration of Nigeria immigrants into the American society and ways to overcome the obvious cultural and legal differences in their new communities. Towards the end of the book Dr. Orabuchi painstakingly contrasted the generational difference between early Nigeria immigrant to the United States who now see themselves stranded here in this foreign land against their Nigerian children and grandchildren who have whole-heartedly embraced the American culture and see themselves as Americans or as some will say Nigeria-Americans

Dr. Orabuchi’s book Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs is very interesting and a must read for all including intending Nigeria immigrants (young and old) to the United States as it introduces them to their new community and the dos and don’ts that will make their relocation and living in America comfortable and seamless.

Dr. Acho Orabuchi’s writing is eloquent yet understandable. He uses translations of real life discussions and best practices to illustrate his contentions, thereby providing a balanced, well-documented work which should serve as a repertoire of actions for Nigeria’ growth.” — Prof. Kalu Kalu Diogu, PhD., Professor of Engineering and Chairman, World Igbo Congress, (2001-2005)

Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs by Dr. Acho Orabuchi methodically and painstakingly leads the reader through an amazing journey; a journey that many Nigerians living in the Diaspora can easily relate to. In the book, Dr. Orabuchi unabashedly reminds the reader – especially his fellow “Sojourners” – of Nigeria’s chronic socio-economic problems; and then backs up his argument with examples of what some Nigerians are doing to either encourage or discourage others from playing their part to solve these problems. I have known Dr. Orabuchi for more than ten years and appreciate the opportunity to participate in the discourse.

A major economic development driver of the American system of governance is taxation. Taxation is a public policy instrument used by governments to finance their budgets; it is a system that encourages – and sometimes forces – citizens to pool their financial resources together for the public/common good. A public good or service is something that the government provides to everyone and that cannot be withheld from those who are unable or willing to pay for it (taxes). In Chapter 7, Dr. Orabuchi narrates the experience of a Nigerian couple – Ejike and Taiwo – who enjoyed public goods during their visit to the United States. In advanced economies, there is clear evidence of how nations, states, counties, and municipalities appropriate the taxes citizens and corporations pay because it is a transactional relationship that demands results and accountability.

In Nigeria, we practice what I may refer to as “Representation without Taxation” because majority of citizens and corporations do not pay taxes, yet expect governments to meet their wants and needs. They want good roads, affordable or free healthcare, and constant power supply but are not prepared to contribute their fair share of the burden by paying taxes. As a result, our representatives – especially state governors and assembly members – feel no obligation to be accountable for their actions as public servants.

However, if citizens understand that governance requires the full participation of both the “leader” and the “led”; and are assured that the taxes they pay would be judiciously applied, monitored, and accounted for, they may be more inclined to contribute to Nigeria’s development through taxation. When this happens, governments would be forced to provide quality roads that are built to last, constant power supply, and affordable healthcare. Dr. Orabuchi, thank you very much for a job well done!” — Dr. ChuksIbekwe, Southern Atlantic Polytechnic, Uyo, Nigeria

The book, Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development is an un-put-down-able for any Nigerian, especially those in the Diaspora, grappling with the clash of cultures: The culture of anarchy in a man’s world prevalent in Nigeria and the culture of structured norms and emancipation prevalent in the US. The author, like most Nigerians in his generation, started in the former but ended up in the latter, thereby setting up a vortex and an admixture of a feeling of “loss” and “success” all in one person. The book captures it all and provides panaceas for the alleviation of the individual quagmire and Nigeria’s corporate and perpetually unguided plodding in a most exhilarating intellectual manner in consonance with the proficiency of the writer, Dr. Acho Orabuchi, a time-tested writer and experienced educational researcher. I did not expect anything less and I recommend this book to all Diaspora Nigerians and indeed to all Nigerians. — Professor Anthony O. Ejiofor, Professor of Microbiology, Department of Biological Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN, USA

•EDITOR’S NOTE: Views from America: A Sojourner’s Memoirs – A Repertoire of Action for Nigeria’s Development, will be launched in Owerri, Imo State, on December 28, 2017. 

Source News Express

Posted 26/12/2017 4:19:05 PM

 

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