Translational inhibition due to CHEAP RETIN-A the fact that the path of the excitation occurs Br neuron. recurrent inhibition     Carried intercalary brake cells (Renshaw). Axons of buy nolvadex online canada motor neurons often give collaterals (branches), ending with Renshaw cells. Renshaw cell axons terminate on the body or dendrites of the motor neuron, forming inhibitory synapses. Arousal that occurs in motor neurons travel in a straight path to the skeletal muscle, as well as collaterals to inhibitory neurons, which send impulses to motoneurons and inhibits them. The stronger the motor neuron excitation, the more excited Renshaw cells and the more intense they exert their inhibitory effect, which protects nerve cells from overstimulation. lateral inhibition    
 

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – It is obvious that all is not well within the fold of the South East Governors Forum over the issue of Igbo presidency project 2015. In Anambra State, Governor Peter Obi is at loggerheads with Governor Rochas Okorocha over who controls APGA and he derides Okorocha’s attempt at uniting the Igbos for his presidential bid either for 2015 or 2019. Peter Obi cannot comprehend how Okorocha can surface from nowhere and be laying claims to APGA political machinery and the presidency when he, a two term governor had been treading softly on the issue.
 

Chief Okorocha of Imo State believes that the Igbo have the potential of becoming president in 2015 if there is unity, hence his attempts to unify APGA and give it a national outlook. He also supported the mega party deal that resulted in the formation of All Progressive Congress. This Okorocha’s interests in the top shot have put him in the bad books of Jonathan apologists and they are making every effort to pull him down.

 
Sullivan Chime of Enugu State never showed any open interest for Igbo presidency project. In August 2012, under the aegis of South East Forum, former chairman of PDP, Okwesilieze Nwodo canvassed support for Igbo presidency at the meeting of South East Forum held at Modotels, Enugu. This stance of Nwodo killed any further interest the fun loving governor had for the Igbo presidency project since his arch-enemy was among the bands seeking support for Igbo presidency. He distanced himself from being part of former Vice President Alex Ekwueme's birthday bash at Okpara Square, Enugu because he suspected the roles of former governors Okwesilieze Nwodo, Chinwoke Mbadinuju and Senator Ken Nnamani in mobilizing for the event.

 
In Abia State, Governor Theodore Orji had shown little commitment to the Igbo presidency project except perhaps, occasional fine speeches without commensurate momentum. The move by former governor Orji Uzor Kalu to form Njiko Igbo, an umbrella organization to unite Igbos for the presidency, further raised Theodore Orji’s suspicion over the entire Igbo presidency project and he has distanced himself from the entire exercise.

 
Governor Martins Elechi of Ebonyi State have maintained silence over the issue, His body language have not suggested a flair or disinterest for the project. However, his attempt to support Aja Nwachukwu for the Ohaneze top post was based on ensuring that an Ebonyi man that can articulate Igbo interest without pressure from the outside is enthroned especially for the rainy day.

 
In the event of all these it is obvious that South East Governors have not formed enough formidable alliance to be able to ask other regions of Nigeria to support their aspirations. While some school of thought believe that Sullivan Chime, Theodore Orji and Peter Obi are jealous of Okorocha’s acclaimed national popularity, others believe that they are afraid of EFCC prosecution and as such must swim with President Jonathan to avoid harassment after they leave office. Others still believe that their interest in the senate seat as retirement benefits after their tenure as governor could be jeopardized if they openly support Igbo presidency.

 
I wrote an article titled "OhanezeCrisis and the Auctioning of Igbo Presidency parts 1 & 2" where I reported that presidential largesse have turned Ohaneze apart and the Igbo presidency project is being auctioned. A week after the part 2 of it was released, the new leadership of Ohaneze made it clear that they are not interested in Igbo presidency 2015. According to the Ohaneze Publicity Secretary Prince Tonnie Ogonna ''If President Jonathan declines to run in 2015, it then makes it quicker for the Igbo. The bottom line is that Ohanaeze supports Jonathan in whatever decision he takes in 2015'' Therefore,Ohaneze support for any Igbo presidential candidate in 2015 is foreclosed.

 
The northern governors are seriously challenging President Jonathan's second term bid, insisting that he promised to run only one term. While reacting on the isue, the leader of Northern Governors Forum and Niger State Governor, Dr Babangida Aliu,speaking on Liberty FM, Kaduna stated that “What will be, will be in 2015. We must remind people of the promises they have made. When he (Jonathan) was going to declare, governors of PDP were brought together to ensure that we were all in the same frame of mind. Some of us, given the PDP zoning, were expecting that the northern states would produce the President for these number of years but God has done His own.

 
“At that discussion, it was agreed that President Jonathan would serve one term and we all signed and when he went to Kampala, he said the same thing. But for now, President Jonathan has not declared his candidacy and we must not be speculating based on who those are benefiting from such a thing. I believe that we are all gentlemen enough and when the time comes, we will all sit down and see what the right thing to do is.''

 
In the South South, apart from Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State and Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, the rest are not interested in any Jonathan 2015 project. Rotimi Amechi in Rivers State is at loggerheads with the presidency on the issue.

 
The Governors in the South West are reaching out to their counterparts in the North to form an alliance in preparation for 2015,resulting in the new mega party, All Progressive Congress while their South East counterparts are chasing rat while the house is burning .

 
It is obvious that by the actions, inaction and indifference of South East Governors, they have in principle auctioned the Igbo presidency project and any Igbo man hoping for commitment from them will be disappointed.

 
Obinna Akukwe (Profetobinna2@yahoo.com) reports.

 
*Photo Caption - Nigeria six geopolitical zones

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – Governor Peter Obi has flagged off the reconstruction of Okpu-Adazi Nnukwu-Okacha road. The 5.5 Kms road awarded at a contract sum of 770m Million Naira will be completed before the end of the year.Governor Obi, while flagging of the road, said the contractor had been adequately mobilized and assured that government would sustain prompt payment of all certificate generated to ensure that the project would be completed on schedule and according to specifications, urging the community to maintain regular and effective supervision of work.
 

He explained that the on-going mass infrastructural development across the State is a demonstration of the commitment of his administration to transform and reposition the State for sustainable development and expressed satisfaction that the State today has the best road network in the country.

 
He reminded the people of the need for collective efforts to sustain the tempo of development by electing credible and capable candidates who are ready to serve the people.
 

The Commissioner for works, Sir Callistus Ilozumba said that when completed the road would help to decongest Nwagu-Agulu, and open up the entire area. Mr. Ilozumba noted that the present administration is committed to executing projects that impact directly on the lives of the people.

 
The Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on social re-orientation, Mrs. Michelle Onugbolu expressed gratitude to the Governor for the various projects completed in the area and observed that the road will boost socio-economic life of the people.

 
The Transition Committee Chairman, Anaocha Local Government Area, Mr. Emeka Chijioke noted that the peace and security entrenched by Governor Obi administration has paved way for the developmental achievements recorded so far.

 
The President General, Adazi-nnukwu Town Union, Chief Benedict Enemuo said the community has benefited a lot from the Obi administration, including erosion control projects, expansion of drainage system, hospital and school projects among others.

 
*Photo Caption - Governor Peter Obi

 [ Masterweb Reports ] – The former National Chairman of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA), Alhaji Sadeeq Massala has described as perfect and necessary, the Saturday meeting of the National Caucus of APGA that agreed they will not appeal the judgment removing the former Chairman of the Party, Chief Victor Umeh as well as other members of the Executive, including himself. He also endorsed the steps taken by the party towards organizing a proper Convention as the court directed, by appointing Acting EXCO and charged them to work towards that.
 
On why he turned around from his earlier position of not supporting the meeting, Massala, who brandished a copy of the judgment removing Chief Victor Umeh and others said: “The problem with those of us that are ardent believers in the rule of law is that we do not act in cases involving court judgments until we have seen the judgments. As at the time I was invited to the Saturday meeting, I asked for the judgment to give to my personal lawyer for advice, but nobody gave it to me. Feeling that it was a case of using me to perpetuate illegality, I kicked against the move. However, I got the judgment on Monday’s night. Having read it and having been advised by my lawyer on the import of the judgment, I accept it, realizing that the National Caucus has acted within the letters and spirit of the judgment and should be commended.”

 
Massala, said he had since found out that Chief Victor Umeh, who had been prancing about from one media house to another was simply feeding the public with falsehoods about the judgment simply to confuse and deceive them. He also commended the Judgment, saying it would offer the Party an opportunity to restructure for the much needed growth and development. He cautioned against some people seeing themselves as Kings and the party as their kingdom.

 
In another development, Governor Peter Obi, who was recently adopted as the leader of the party said he was contended to be the Deputy Leader in line with the previous agreement of the party that Dim Chukwumeka Odumegwu-Ojukwu should remain the leader of the party even in death.

 
He thanked the members of the party for the mature steps taken so far to re-position the party in line with the judgment of the court and said that he would continue to offer his best for the party.

 
*Photo Caption - Alhaji Sadeeq Massala

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - The Chairman of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter, Bishop David Eberechukwu said if it were within his powers that he would propose and personally mobilize for Gov. Peter Obi to go for a 3rd term. He noted that as his tenure is ending that the people of Anambra State do not want him to go because he has brought difference to Anambra State since the State was created. He made this comments yesterday when he received a brand new ambulance donated to Jesus the Physician Hospital, Amawbia, the first hospital jointly built by the Pentecostal in Nigeria. The Bishop commended the Governor for behaving like a true Christian in governance and noted that with him, the people now realize that those in government can keep their promises to the people.
 

Responding, Governor Obi said that Government would sustain intervention in mission health facilities to further expand the scope of healthcare delivery to the people.

 
In another development, the Governor presented an initial cheque of 10million Naira to the Guardian Angel Nursery and Primary School, Abatete to commence the rebuilding of the two storey building razed by fire earlier this month. Governor Obi presented the cheque during a visit to the school, accompanied by some top government officials yesterday. He said the gesture was in fulfillment of his promise during his previous visit to assess the level of destruction wrecked by the inferno. He assured that government will continue to support the school to complete the structure and reinsatated the determination of his administration to continue to assist schools irrespective of ownership status. He appealed to privileged individuals and groups to contribute in actualizing the project. He thanked the school management for its relentless efforts and hard work in assisting the government to realize the vision on education.

 
The Headmistress of the school, Reverend Sister Maria Goretti Ngwuagu who expressed gratitude to the Governor for his kind gesture, noted that his prompt intervention has brought a lot of relief to the school. Reverend Sister Ngwuagu noted that the Governor has remained responsive to the needs and yearnings of the people, assuring that they will continue to support his administration with prayers.

 
Also speaking, Reverend Father Ignatius Okeke of Most Holy Name of Mary Catholic Church, Abatete said the Governor‘s intervention had consoled them and commended the high level of success recorded in government partnership with the church in promoting education and health sectors as well as other sectors of the economy.
 
*Photo Caption - Gov. Obi (right), handing over a brand new Ambulance from the State Government to Bishop David Eberechukwu for the Jesus the Physician Hospital built by Pentecostal fellowship of Nigeria, Anambra State Chapter.
 

 
 

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - I said in one of my articles recently that I will try to veer off from commentaries and opinions on good governance and leadership issues for now. I just want to, as I said in that article, break away from the jinx of landlord of an environment. The link to that article is “BREAKING THE LANDLORD OF ENVIRONMENT JINX”. I had done so much commentary on socio-political matters and good governance that it is looking or becoming monotonous and it was getting to a point where I was being locked up in the “Landlord of Environment” jinx. People who have read my articles would immediately conjecture the direction I would be heading to the moment they see an article credited to me. It is a small community, I agree, but they have been consistent judging from the.......Read More
 
 
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - A computer

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - Anambra State of Nigeria has steadily earned local and international notoriety as a social enclave where the State-actors and non-State actors ceaselessly engage in butchering and maiming members of the human family outside locally and internationally approved and accepted processes. Any killings and maiming not covered by local and international due processes are tagged-extra jus (beyond the law); extra legal (beyond what the written criminal law provides); and extra judicial (beyond court or judicial process). Universally speaking, any killing of human being by a State actor or official security operative without the completeness of subjecting the killed to the processes of arrest, investigation, prosecution, fair trial, conviction and sentencing by a criminal court of competent jurisdiction amounts to extra jus, extra legal or extra judicial killing. Few strict exceptions are governed by the Laws of War and the Principles of Self Defense. Any such killing by a private individual amounts to murder or manslaughter depending on the.......Read More
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Floating dead body in Ezu River.

 [ Masterweb Reports ] - Saturday, January 26, 2013 was a rainbow day in Milwaukee as different communities in different shades of color gathered in a Church hall to honor invitation for the launch of All Hail Biafra, a song the composer’s friends refer to as “Cry of A Biafran Child”. The CD is subtitled “Cry of A Biafran Child” not only because of the reference by people but also for the fact that it was truly an inspired cry at the end of a very bitter armed conflict that wasted millions of innocent lives. The number of the dead in the Biafran conflict ranges from one million to three million, depending on compilers; most of the casualties were from starvation. Nigerians as well as other Africans, Americans, Latinos and Milwaukee business community were present to show their support to Composer Chief Charles Okereke and his Committee of Friend’s maiden invitation. African Diaspora including but not limited to African Americans, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans were well represented. Highly admired Octogenarian Mrs Europa Agwu was chairperson of the event and gave a moving speech recounting her.......Read More
 
 
 
 
 
*Photo Caption - Composer Chief Charles Okereke flanked by the President of Dominicados Unidos Inc. Ms Julia Reyes (Left) holding God Bless Africa CD and Vice President of The United Dominican Association Milwaukee Inc., Mr Julio Delgado (Right).

[ Masterweb Reports ] – The rising influence of marine spirits among some backslidden pastors and churches in Nigeria had caused a lot of faithful to lose faith in God especially when they discover the lies and deceits about these pastors. Since the series of expose on false prophets which include ‘Nigerian Churches and the Rising Influence of Marine Spirits part 1&2’; ‘My Hero Pastor is a False Prophet parts 1&2’; ‘New Style Prophets and their Visions of Phone Numbers, Bank Details and Ladies Underwear’; ‘Backslidden Pastors and The Patronage of a Port Harcourt Based Occult Woman’ among others, my mail box has been filled with readers responses in hundreds. There have been hundreds of phone conversations and lots of meetings on the subject matter especially with concerned clergymen spanning all denominations. While some commended the write-ups for exposing things they suspected, others sought more clarifications while majority had tales of ordeals in the hands of false prophets and marine pastors. Some ordeals included rape, extortion, initiation into cults, confusion in the families, while some pastors lamented their ordeals when they invited these false prophets to their churches, including immorality with choristers, ushers, hypnotic surrender of life savings and introduction to occult and marine operations.

 
I decided to bring out just two most decent and least traumatizing responses from readers and the reaction of one of them Ade , who said he has been on his knees asking God to shut the alter of false prophets. Every Christian should join Ade in the prayer and ask God to shut down the evil alters in their respective churches and expose the prophets of Baal. The pastors should educate their members accordingly and help any victim traumatized by their deception.

 
___________________________________

 
Dear Obinna,



 
I duly appreciate your effort and that of Rev. Yinka Yusuf in exposing all these herbalists called prophets. I am in support of this ongoing cleansing in the body of Christ as it will help separate the wheat from the chaff.

 
There is one confirmed fake chief priest that calls himself prophet who has virtually slept with all the women (married and single) including his 'pastors' wives here in Lekki, Oribanwa precisely. His name is Joseph *** of ***Deliverance Ministry. The shrine called church is situated at Oribanwa, the road beside ** filling station opposite *** (before Lakowe Busstop). There are many people that are ready to testify against him anywhere and anytime including myself. This man has broken many homes, destroyed many families, taken people's property all in the name of false prophecy and I write, he has a steady sex-partner called Mrs. Jemi***.S***

 
This man needs to be exposed as he has been perpetrating this evil for a long time.... It is shocking and saddening to say the least. It baffles me that majority of these chief priests called prophets are from Nigeria which should be the spiritual headquarters of the gospel. It will be a great victory to the body of Christ if this herbalist I told you about is stopped immediately before he misleads innocent souls, break peaceful homes and sleep with our mothers, sisters and wives all in the name of deliverance.

 
Yes, I have been on my knees for God to disgrace him and close his shop this year and I will appreciate if this case is taken seriously sir. May God continue to give us much grace to bring these dogs to their knees.

 
...Ade from Lagos

 
___________________________________

 
Hello Mr Obinna

 
I am grateful to God that gives you the courage to bring this story to light, Please I want you to use your God given talent and courage to help many Nigerian especially women WHO are trooping ,seeking signs and wonders from occult pastors these pastors are many In Onitsha This is exactly what is happening in a church at 3.3 Onitsha called Chapels of ***,the pastor name is Rev. Nwa***he has been molesting all the ladies in his church by taking them to Hotels one by one .I am shocked when I read your write up from online today NIGERIAMASTERWEB ,HE knew how to hacked people phone number which ordinarily I believe he was a demonic pastor whose master is devil himself. But due to poverty these followers have forgotten God himself and believe in ordinary man of their own like, these pastors have made themselves the visible God and thwart, deceive and con them for their hard earning money, in the name of tithe, sowing of seed, and many others, doing signs and wonders that have come from devil to brain wash the follower. I have a family friend whose sister was a victim to this man.... I would like to have updates as you sent your investigative panels, your investigators should target when they have vigil and cancelling & delivery days

 
...Fred from London
 
___________________________________
 

Space will not permit more letters but it is obvious that Nigerian Christendom has a problem and every believer in Christ has a duty to join in dislodging the strange-hold of marine pastors and salvage the church from defilers. Elijah challenged and destroyed the prophets of Baal (1 kings 18 vs 16-40), Simon Peter rebuked Simon the Sorcerer, the first false prophet in the Apostolic age ( Acts 8 vs 9-24), while Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees and the Saducees and warned the apostles to beware of their teachings ( Matthew 16 vs 1-12. Therefore, every christian has a task of contributing towards eliminating the activities of false prophets. You can do so by contributing 30 minutes of prayers daily for the next one year, asking God to shut down their powers, expose their antics and deliver the elect from their manipulations. This will sanitize the church system, reintroduce the era of Apostolic Grace and Power and salvage a lot of souls from the broad way of hell.

 
Obinna Akukwe (Profetobinna2@yahoo.com) reports.
 
*Photo Caption - 'A marine spirit'

[ Masterweb Reports ] - For too long, we have been fed with lies, innuendos and sarcasm garnished with semblance of truth by desperate hustlers at the Nigerian political scene. We have been made to believe that Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the chief driver of the Nigerian economy, gets her orders from Washington and panders to the imperialists’ demands per the Nigerian economy.

Rather than give this woman the needed support to chart the path to Nigeria’s economic recovery, detractors are busy muddling up the water in public sphere with stale and re-awakened allegation of her being an agent of Western imperialists. Truth is, not many of the persons spreading this baseless tarradiddle have done enough to project Nigeria in a respectable stead on the global map as much as this great woman.

As someone who has keenly observed Dr. Okonjo-Iweala over the years, I feel obliged to share some of the reasons I believe she is not an agent of the West in this little op-ed:

Firstly, NOI, as she is fondly called, is one woman who has promoted the Nigerian brand arguably more than any other Nigerian in the Diaspora. For someone with western education and exposure, it could perhaps be pardonable to see her adorned in western attire and speaking with highfalutin western accent. But, not NOI. Her Nigerianness subsists. What’s more, she seems unabashed and unapologetic about her native identity. Her trademark headgear and stylish African attire are a delight to watch on local and foreign TV stations. In addition, her accent is still very much like any other Nigerian, without the least attempt on her part to give it a western slant.

Dr. Okonjo-Iweala’s Nigerianness could not be discussed in the absence of her root. Her father, Professor Chukwuka Okonjo is the Obi from the Umu Obi Obahai Royal Family of Ogwashi-Uku in Delta State. And NOI, from all indications, seems very proud of her lineage. Do her critics know that her daughter’s wedding was conducted in our traditional setting right in the village of her husband? Do they also know that her son, Uzodinma Iweala, who is an acclaimed writer, has two books set in Africa?

It will be of further interest to note that even as an employee of the World Bank, NOI was very much in touch with home. She was attuned with the social and political situations in Nigeria, and nothing escaped her attention. Perhaps, that informed her frequent shuttling home to see things for herself. Her trips home afforded her the opportunity to discover that there is a dearth of adequate information on public perception across the country. According to her, “this lack often hampers decision-making by both businesses and governments.” That was the reason she put her money where her mouth was by setting up NOI Poll, a non-profit Polling site created to provide timely and relevant information about public opinion on various socio-economic issues in Nigeria. Among others, the Poll’s objective is to give voice to the opinion of ordinary citizens, while empowering decision makers in the private and public sectors with relevant resource for better performance and improved governance.

At TED 2007, NOI made a historic presentation by calling the attention of the world to the fact that what Africa needs is trade and investments, not aid. In her speech, she specifically singled out Nigeria as a choice destination for discerning investors. Even while she was at the helm of affairs at the World Bank as the Managing Director, she promoted the good ideals of Africa by regularly calling attention to the huge amounts of money looted from African states by government officials for deposit in Europe. Listen, friends, no agent of the West will do that!

NOI is known to have pressed the leaders of G-20 to intensify the fight against corruption and asset theft at every given opportunity; and she has long been challenging the G-20s to put this at the top of their agenda whenever they meet. She was also part of those that called for the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) by all countries. In her own words: “Each year, through acts of corruption, developing countries lose billions of dollars that find safe haven in international financial centres.” Let’s reason friends, a sympathizer of the West would rather want such malfeasance to continue unchecked. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala not only spoke against it; she actively contrived its halt.

While still vigorously canvassing against corruption in Africa, NOI was invited home for the second time to head the Nigerian Finance Ministry; knowing the risks involved in this posting, she could have stayed back in Washington to continue her plum job at the World Bank. But her undying love for her fatherland would not permit that. To Nigeria she returned, and her manning of the finance ministry guard has dealt a huge blow on corruption in the country. In her new role, she has successfully blocked many leakages in government’s spending, notable among which are pension management and oil subsidy financing. Her novel initiative of publishing monthly allocations to the various states and arms of government has also enforced a measure of transparency in governance.

Prior to her return, capital flight to the West by public officials was commonplace. I believe if she was an agent of the West, as some people would have us believe, she would have opened up more freeways for even more illicit funds to find their way overseas. The persons behind these illicit transfers of our national wealth would be better positioned to tell their tales of woe since the reign of this woman they have come to dub “Okonjo Wahala.”

No doubt, her return to the Finance Ministry has led to even more impacts in other areas of our economy. The port reform she is spearheading is one that millions of Nigerians are already benefiting from, as the period of clearing goods have reduced significantly with her eviction agencies with no direct relevance to port activities, except for bureaucratic drawbacks. Now, the reality of a 24-hour port operation has been actualised. This seemed unattainable before her return to the country. The Sovereign Wealth Fund (SWF) is now a reality. Recurrent Expenditure has been reduced, whilst capital expenditure is on the upward swing.

Now, who says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is not for us? On the contrary, I think she stands and burns for Nigeria, and indeed Africa!

Omoade Adelani reports.

*Photo Caption - Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

[ Masterweb Reports ] - Those that answer Valentine dread the month of February like a plague. Besides close friends who always demand that you celebrate your name in grand style, most confront you with all manner of questions bordering on the concept that your name is supposed to embody. Thus, you are asked whether you were born on the 14th of February or whether you were a by-product of love affair that took place in the month of February. One fact I have come to discover over the years is that people take those that bear the name of Valentine as experts in all known techniques of love, starting with its fundaments to its metaphysics.

Despite much research, we cannot tell unarguably the exact date the feast started, nor the route by which it entered into history. Perhaps it is connected to the life of a certain St. Valentine who was said to have suffered martyrdom in Rome as the Church hagiography would want us to believe. Perhaps, as the legend of the saint’s heroic faith says, it grew out of the love shown to prisoners by the saintly Valentine. Perhaps it has to do with the period in the year when birds of the earth look for mates. Perhaps it is another case of substitution of a pagan feast by Christian feast as a subtle way of blighting paganism at the bud. We do not know. Valentine’s Day is part of history whose beginning has been forgotten, and whose end we shall never reach.

The popularity of Valentine’s Day could be linked to the nature of the theme it celebrates – love. Writing about love, Archbishop Fulton Sheen called it “the most used, and the most misunderstood word.” The misunderstanding inherent in the nature of love often provokes people to ask questions such as: How much of what we claim as love is love indeed? Does love have different levels and spheres? Is it possible to love our neighbour as ourselves, as the Holy writ prescribes? What is love? These are the questions with which the most comprehensive theories, treatises, and analyses of love find it necessary to begin.

To the Greeks, love could be Eros, Philia, and agape. Plato’s ladder of love in the Symposium has different loves for its rungs, up to what we commonly call “Platonic Love”. St Thomas Aquinas distinguishes between love in the sphere of the passion and love as an act of will. The former he assigns to what he calls the “concupiscible faculty” of the sensitive appetite; the latter, to the rational or “intellectual appetite”. Sometimes, people talk about metaphysical, contemplative, material and acquisitive love, etc.

Whatever form love takes, it implies a complex psychical experience of strong attraction to, intense desire for, vivid appreciation of, a profound interest in, ones object of love. The object of love could be a fellow being, institution, cause or even nature. It involves tender affection, sympathetic understanding, admiration and loyalty, with reference to its object.

But apart from a few people who recognize the fact of plurality of love in their analyses, most of us, especially the youth, talk abundantly of love, commonly in the sense of amorous appetite. These are people who confess their loving the object of their love more than their own mothers. Recall the “sugar in my tea” and similar stuff. Our elders consider this form of love to be a form of “possession” or “madness”, and would frown at anyone who would propose it as a fit guide in the choice of marriage mate. They do this, knowing that once the erotic side of love diminishes or fades away altogether, the disinterested element fades too; interest in the other’s happiness evaporates, all tender feeling is eroded, and the one desire is to get away. This is what Lucretius called “erotic befuddlement”. What Dedriot deridedly described as “the voluptuous loss of a few drops of liquid.” It is a spark thrown off by the contact or nearness of two opposite bodies.

In pursuit of this type of love there is nothing that human beings have not done, or are not capable of doing. The love portion that some ladies brew for men they suspect of unrequited love has no platonic aim. It is not out of generosity, rather to get the object of their longing, that men spend lots of money in wooing women. Women themselves do as much. To attract men, they dress in manners to arouse precipitate passion. Eyelashes are darkened with gum ammonia. Checks and lips are painted with sticks of minium or alkanet roots. Adjustable eyebrows are used and often pencilled with lampblack or pulverized or sulphuret of antimony, sometimes it is thinned to diverse shapes or shaved off entirely and painted “crescent moons” or other forms. Eyelids are shaded with kohl. All sort of things are rubbed on the face, in the hope that it will make them look beautiful. Some in the villages still wrap their fingernails over night with henna leaves to make them purple. Padded brassieres are used to make the breast look poised and … Breast enhancement has since become part of beauty regimen. There is no part of the woman’s body, in pursuit of men, that has not been perfected, decorated, refined, stretched and squeezed, bleached, reformed, compacted and shortened.

Higher than the afore-described love is what is often called genuine friendship. In this type of love, there is often the predominance of altruistic motives. It springs from mutual admiration. Here, love is thought to precede desire and to determine its wishes. Marriages built upon this type of love are often successful. Mature lovers discover that marriage transcends the act of multiplication of the species or the fantasy of sexual acts. There are some men who think that all a woman appreciates in a man is when he brandishes the erectile organ to her satisfaction. No. Marriage is more than that. It demands deep understanding and maturity from both partners.

All the foregoing classifications and distinctions, inexhaustible though, belong to the theory of human love. But the fact of love’s diversity extends to the Christian theory of love. Christianity brought about a basic shift in man’s thinking about love. Christianity sees love not in the emotion or passion, but from the infinite perfection and creativity of God. Writing to the Corinthians (2 Cor 13: 6) St Paul said that “love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth...”God Himself is love (I John 4: 4). “Love ye one another”. In this profound sentence, God summarized all the commandments. Love rules the world and was, perhaps, as Parmenides thought, “the very first thing created by the gods to rule the world”.

The key to peace in the world is for men to embrace the ethics of Christ – love. Confucius taught a version of it in his rule of reciprocity (golden rule). Immanuel Kant espoused it in his book, The Metaphysics of Morals in what he called the “Maxims of Categorical Imperative”. All great religions teach it. Until we start to imbibe this golden rule (love), the battle to re-make the world can as well be labelled a utopia.

The sooner we use the day of Valentine to promote this type of love, the better the world will become. Here we are again celebrating another Valentine. How do we make it serve the purpose of making the world a better place? Is it for us just a day to buy expensive Valentine’s gifts and flowers and caress one another in the happy ignorance of the true meaning of love? These are the central questions.

Obienyem Valentine reports from Awka, Anambra State, Nigeria.