By Sunny Ikhioya
MAN, it will appear, has refused to learn from history that no empire lasts forever. Behind every super power are criminal activities against man and nature; that is why power is transient because nature must maintain its equilibrium. America won the Cold War stand-off with Russia, and after that, the world awaited an era of peace, love, togetherness for every race and religion. But decades after, we are back to square one, the same spot.
It is the same everywhere: those who have superior power will always do all they can to suppress equity, fairness and justice. It is the same with Nigeria of today. The only stumbling block to Nigeria’s progression is lack of equity and fairness, with the few in control perpetuating their hegemony in the form of religion and ethnicity.
While those with good intentions are trying their best to steady the ship, disruptors are everywhere, profiting from blood money and retrogression. Why, for instance, will the North not allow its children access to good education, instead of allowing them to roam the streets? Why will the girl-child in the North not be allowed to pursue education the way their counterparts in the South do? It is a known fact that education liberates a people.
The war choking the whole world today is as a result of the quest by the super powers to dominate and control man and resources that are not in their space. It has been more than four months that the world has been threatened by another world war, food crises and possibly, a change in the world order. By this, I mean the emergence of other controlling forces: Russia and China against the United States, and its European Union allies, already, we are seeing the signs.
Why should the super powers allow Ukraine to be brought under senseless destruction when they know that they cannot use physical force to stop Russia? Why will President Volodymyr Zelensky allow his country, Ukraine, to be exposed to senseless destruction when he could have easily maintained a neutral stance between the two countries and keep his country safe?
Why should Zelensky court NATO, when he knows that his super power neighbour will not allow that to happen? Is this war necessary? And, now with millions of Ukrainian refugees scattered all over the world, how can the war be stopped? Is it possible that the US and EU intelligence did not know that their actions will bring such consequences?
What is NATO doing in Ukraine? Why can’t Ukraine remain neutral and independent? We can give interpretations we like to these questions, but the bottomline is that the world would be a better place when everyone is at peace.
Having won the Cold War battles, there was no need for the US and the EU to go baiting Russia. Some have explained it away as the battle for survival, to control resources, both within and outside their jurisdiction, but if all work together, using comparative advantages, the whole world stands to benefit from attendant peace. Again, why is the Western world and super powers, refusing to allow Africa to develop with the resources that they have? Why is this deliberate policy to keep Africa down and dependent on others?
During the period of colonialism, the colonies were the major sources of raw materials for the colonial powers; the natural resources of the colonies were properly harnessed and transported to Europe. After independence, there was a deliberate attempt to stultify the growth of the former colonies through policies and collaborations that have continued to keep them down.
Today, Africa, with a large area of arable land, cannot feed itself. The situation is worse in the case of the giant of Africa, Nigeria, with oil and other natural resources that you can think of, but still struggling to feed itself. We must worry about this because of the way the Western world is using the situation in Africa to blackmail Russia on account of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
They are not bothered about the millions that are roaming the streets all over the world as refugees, about the beautiful cities and institutions that are being turned to rubble by Russian bombings, nor the one third of Ukraine that has been taken over by Russia. They are more concerned about how the war will cause hunger in Africa through the apparent food crises that will result from the shortage of grains from Ukraine; what will it take to cultivate grains of wheat, corn and others from Africa’s arable lands.
Why are the Western nations not looking at beefing up Africa’s agriculture as a solution to the world food crises? Africa is blessed with the best of weather, not prone to devastating natural disasters as we see in other continents of the world; with more encouragement and support, the world food crises can be assuaged through Africa, but they rather prefer to supply Africa with ammunition and support insurgencies so that the continent can never be stable. This is happening, especially in the West African region, where farmlands and other agricultural activities have been disrupted.
The super powers can easily put an end to these pockets of insurgency and banditry through the use of advanced technology and credible intelligence; but it is not to their selfish interests to do so. If the West can just avoid their sabotaging activities against the countries of Africa, the situation will be different and the whole world will reap dividends from it. Look at France and her former colonies: the colonies have been placed under conditions of permanent dependence and underdevelopment.
The leadership of the African continent must begin to find ways of cutting the slavish dependence on other worlds; the solution to Africa’s development lies here in Africa; we have seen examples of China, India and even Singapore.
We must begin to look at how we can change the calibre of people leading Africa. With the support of the West, progressive leaders like Nkrumah, Lumumba, Sankara and others were eliminated and replaced with charlatans; it is time for a change. The Russia-Ukraine war, therefore, is an opportunity for Africa to look at itself, as a continent and as a people, not to be pitied but blessed with ability for self- development efforts.
Everyone now realises this, but Africa must allow the right people to take over leadership of the continent; that is the only way we can enjoy the respect of the world.
In the case of Nigeria, we can begin with the next elections coming up in 2023. One only hopes our youths are listening and reading this.
Ikhioya wrote via www.southsouthecho.com