By Sunny Ikhioya
IT has never been in dispute that Nigeria is very blessed in both human and material resources. So, why do we find it difficult to make progress as a nation? It is as if right from the beginning it was programmed to fail.
The nation, it will appear, was composed and structured in such a way that the people will never achieve unity, no matter how hard they try. A defective foundation can never stand the test of time.
We have many capable and potentially capable leaders, but the systems and structures that we operate will never allow them to rear their heads. You merged a feudalistic, monarchical indirect rule in the North, with federating units of loose democratic structures in the South; you skewed the geographical mappings of the country in such a manner that, till this day, scientific justifications are yet to be found for such arrangements, coupled with population census that put to lie existing laws on population. It is a very difficult arrangement to comprehend and that is the foundation of all problems besetting this country.
When there is no trust, there cannot be peace and justice. Where peace and justice are lacking, there will never be progress; that is our challenge. Our people prefer to dance to the beating of the drums of foreign countries than to the rhythm of their own country men. And while foreigners are smiling to the bank, Nigeria is being impoverished on a daily basis.
What is the solution? An agglomeration of very dedicated, educated, morally upright, conscientious, de-tribalised and focused gentlemen and women, to produce a leadership of their kind that will execute a paradigmatic shift of all our negatives of the past into a future that will manifest the potentials of this great country.
It is not going to be an easy task, but we have people of such characteristics represented in all the tribes/ethnic groups in this country. But how do we bring them out? The National Youth Service Corps scheme, NYSC, was supposed to be the vehicle for such integration, unfortunately, it has been turned into a mockery; the overwhelming dual strength of ethnicity and religion, in combination with weak and unfocused leadership have rendered the programme impotent.
How did foreign elements come to control our situations? A recorded video by respected United States Senator Bernie Sanders bares it all. According to him, these Western nations, especially the United States of America, always trumpet freedom as their mantra. But “….if you check history, what you will find is that, in many areas, especially in Latin America, which, way back from when President Monroe developed his Monroe doctrine, we have the right to own Latin America and we will tell any government there what we want to happen and that is the simple truth.
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“So, throughout our history, we have overthrown many many governments, if we didn’t like the former government. In the case of Chile, in 1973, what you had was an election, in which a guy named Salvador Allende won. Problem was, Nixon (then President of the US) and his friends didn’t like him, why? Because Salvador Allende fought for the poor people and the working people of that country. He believed that the resources of Chile, their copper mines and so forth, should belong to the people. He won a free election, no one denied that for a second; it was a tough election, didn’t win by much but, he won a free election.
“There was another election, his party got more support; he was overthrown by the CIA and corporate interests preferred, of course, that the United States companies dominate that country. And a lot of what politics is about, going way way back to the 19th century to England, France…is the domination of colonies, so that big companies in a given country, can take the resources of those countries for their own use.
So, I think, that’s what happened and it was a very unfortunate day in American history. Allende won in a democratic election, was popular, was overthrown and eventually killed. And in his place, a guy named General Pinochet took place, ran that country with an iron fist, killed many many people; but, he was okay, he was a good guy. Why? Because he was a friend of corporate America.”
You now understand why our PIB (Petroleum Industry Bill) is still a subject of debate. In a world that has become a global village of shared information, one would have imagined that leaders of African descent will take the statement, as narrated above by Senator Sanders, as a forewarning, to guard their people against the antics of the Western world and other super powers; that their interests only lie in what we have: our resources and not about their love for us. Ninety percent of the crises that we have in Nigeria have their roots in foreign influence.
In the Vanguard of June 7, 2014, Asari Dokubo was quoted to have said he met the following people in prison: Muhammed Shiru, Muhammed Isam, Yusuf Hussein, Assan Yusuf, Muhammed Bello, all leaders of the group, that is now called Boko Haram. They were arrested and repatriated from Libya.
Asari Dokubo himself and others of his ilk also had training in Libya. Speaking to The Punch newspaper, on August 20, 2019, the brother of El-Zakzaky, Sheikh Muhammed Yakoob, had this to say about his brother, leader of the Islamic movement in Nigeria (Shiites): “He got the idea from Iran, and subsequently he started amassing money. Iran invited him to their country to join them (become Shiite) and they financed him into becoming a Shiite… He changed particularly because of money as Iran was financing him”.
It is said that when you identify your problem it is half solved. The religious clerics and carpetbaggers from other lands have had great destabilising effects in Nigeria; that is why the open invitation of people, not of Nigerian descent, into the country, is an invitation to anarchy. It is so obvious that it is a main reason our combined armed forces are finding it difficult to deal with serious insecurity challenges in the North.
Who are the ones providing expensive arms to the insurgents? How do these arms find their way into the country? Why are the super powers hesitating when it comes to selling sophisticated weapons to us? Why are they not committed to bringing these insurgency crises to an end? If it is not in their national interests, or does not favour them, they will never have a hand in it.
The US sent a commando force to rescue one of their citizens in the hands of kidnappers in Nigeria. Why do you think, they are hesitating to go further? A truly independent, developed and prosperous Nigeria is a handful for the world to contend with in the area of eradicating colonial tendencies.
It is important that our leaders identify with this and push the mantra that our destiny lies in our our hands under the atmosphere of an upright, just and fair government, devoid of all the rubbish we are seeing today.
*Ikhioya wrote via www.southsouthecho.com