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A reader’s response

By Donu Kogbara

LAST week, I wrote about a recent trip to Singapore and complained about the fact that Singapore, which has no natural resources, is much better than Nigeria, which produces millions of barrels of lucrative oil a year. A Vanguard reader who shall remain nameless responded thus:

Donu, if we are to wait until our present crop of politicians die and are banished to the hottest part of hell for ruining our country through their greed and bad governance, our country will never develop like Singapore, the Asian Tigers or the Western countries, period.

We should rather adopt the quick-fix method advocated by a Nigerian Professor based in the USA who stated that all of our country’s problems will be solved if all of our politicians are invited to a Town Hall Meeting in Abuja and if a bomb is then thrown into the hall to wipe them out of existence to put a stop to their further ruination of our country with their filthy itching fingers!

This is the only option that will instill fear in our ruling class, curb their looting propensities and penchant for primitive acquisition of obscene wealth for their generations yet unborn and compel them to give us good governance by providing us with the basic necessities of life with the abundant resources at their disposal.

Donu’s response to reader

SADLY, I have heard many Nigerians bitterly expressing similar views in recent months; and I’m frequently reminded of something John Kennedy said when he was President of America: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

Pleading for better governance never got anyone anywhere in a country where most of our leaders are laws unto themselves and routinely get away with various crimes and aren’t seriously committed to progress.

When you can rig your way into a juicy job, you are answerable to the power brokers who helped you rig and not to the poor impotent suffering voters you claim to represent. When you can steal and collect bribes without going to jail, there isn’t much incentive to be honest.

When your income exceeds your official salary to the point where you can afford to purchase huge state-of-the-art generators and to pay for endless supplies of costly diesel and to educate your children abroad and to cure your ailments in expensive foreign hospitals, you are less likely to go out of your way to seek solutions to local problems.

In a floundering country in which average citizens have been comprehensively cheated for decades by the big boys and girls who run and milk the system, the victims of ruthless exploitation are bound to start feeling like despised slaves who have bleak futures and no rights.

Many ordinary folks feel as if they have been forced into intolerable or scarily precarious positions by greedy, corrupt, insensitive oppressors.

President Jonathan needs to keep President Kennedy’s quotation firmly in mind because when millions of people feel betrayed – and as if their backs are against the wall – they can start to think dangerous thoughts and make dangerous statements that can lead to dangerous actions.

Mr. President is already battling the Boko Haram menace. And he certainly doesn’t need any more violent anti-Establishment rebellions.

Painful truths or insulting lies? 

SOMEONE sent me a transcript of a speech that was made by the former South African President, P.W. Botha, to his Cabinet in August l985.

Botha was a diehard believer in apartheid, the racist doctrine that elevated whites above blacks and inspired Nelson Mandela and others to protest. Please tell me what you think of the excerpts below.

“…We have demonstrated that we are superior to Blacks]…in a thousand and one ways. The Republic of South Africa…has not been created by wishful thinking. We have created it at the expense of intelligence, sweat and blood…

“…We do not pretend, like other Whites, that we like Blacks. The fact that Blacks look like human beings and act like human beings does not necessarily make them sensible human beings. Hedgehogs are not porcupines and lizards are not crocodiles simply because they look alike. If God wanted us to be equal to the Blacks, he would have created us all of a uniform colour and intellect. But he created us differently….

“…The Blacks cannot rule themselves. Give them guns and they will kill each other. They are good in nothing else but making noise, dancing, marrying many wives and indulging in sex. Let us all accept that the Black man is the symbol of poverty, mental inferiority, laziness and emotional incompetence….[and that] the White man was created to rule the Black man…the black man is a creature who lacks foresight…”


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