NIGERIA POLITRICKS

We are Nigerian citizens reporting commentaries and analysis on the state of affairs in Nigeria, to hold our political elites to account for the injustice done to the Nigerian people.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Nigeria – Is this the way Forward?

I have been in hiatus due to mental laxity; I coundn't bring my foggy brain to function to update my blog. I am overwhelmed by the decadent state of affairs in Nigeria that sometimes; honestly, I feel that I alone can't fight the battle to right the wrongs that is being meted out to us in our beloved country. I may engage in passive activism with my blog, but the challenges Nigeria poses to us is far more overbearing than one man can deal with. This is the struggle I deal with everyday! There is so many things that are not right in Nigeria, but how long or how often can you speak on these issues for us to see some drastic changes. This is not a question of I am living in the United States and I've got a good life here! This is a question of over 150 million Nigerians who are being enslaved by a tiny cabal; the ruling elite, who've chosen to marginalise and denigrate the Nigerian people by encroaching on their fundamental human rights.

But I am excited to post this article; being called upon to host the Nigeria Discussion series by Nilla. In essence, this is a continuation of the discussion to fashion a way forward for Nigeria. In today's Nigeria, there are two classes of people; the government and the rest of us (people). There is too much concentration of power in the hands of the Nigerian government; that is against the tenets of democracy and a travesty of justice. This is an open platform; we must all engage in this discussion and fashion out a way to wrestle power back into the hands of the people.

Just before I sat down to compose this article, I read a news item in the Vanguard entitled “Obasanjo explodes: April polls do or die affair for PDP”
Here are the president’s words: “I read that somebody said that I was campaigning. I will campaign because this election is a do or die affair for the PDP. We have a reform program which we have started; we want those who we will hand over to continue the reforms. If we continue with the reforms, the next 20 years, Nigeria will be one of the leading countries in the world. I even said that 20 years is too long, that we should be targeting 15 years.
“If we are targeting 2020 as the year Nigeria will become one of the 20 leading economies in the world, we must not pray for spoilers and criminals as our leaders in the next elections. Why should we have criminals as leaders? We want those who will succeed us to continue where we stop. In 1979, Nigeria was self sufficient in rice production and in poultry. Those that we handed over to lifted bans on those things and we became importers of them and we could not produce them again.
“In 1979 when we handed over, Nigeria was the 48th biggest economy in the world. Do you know the position we were when I came back in 1999? We were 173. Now, we want to be among the 20 leading economies in the world by the year 2020. This cannot be possible if those who are going to succeed us are rogues.“ Nigeria ’s next leaders must be people that will continue the reforms and take the country to the promised land”.

On reading such news, one always wonders what part of the universe the Obansanjo’s in our midst inhabit. The only people that have been reformed by the Obansanjo administration is the President himself and his apparatchiks. And to what promised land is Obansanjo and his cronies promising to take us? To the western world where all of their ill gotten and stolen wealth are stashed away from the prying eyes of ordinary Nigerians. Or to the United States and Western Europe where they have their families/siblings in schools and living in million dollars mansions/castles at the peril of the commom man. To these crook politicians, it's the same rhetorics now that election is here again, but they've definitely upped their ante! Promising to hang on to power with an iron grip even in death!

To have this man elected (sorry, imposed by politricks) as the leader of the most populous black African nation in the world is a slap to us Nigerians. On what criteria would any sane human being associate the Obasanjo presidency with? Exemplary and visionary? Leadership? Please!!! Were he equipped with a sense of decency, Obasanjo would long have recognized that both his military and civilian regimes are failures and hoisting his mediocre accomplishments (if any) as works of unparalleled genius and reforms was shear irony . Had he a sense of shame, he would have being modest when his political party, on the strength of his lack lustre performance, broached dressing him in the robe of founder of modern Nigeria.

Sadly, the ridiculous idea that Obasanjo is the central catalyst of modern Nigeria has picked up a political momentum with the continuum philosophy –
Do or Die, Obasanjo must continue to rule as the president of Nigeria with a proxy Yar’Adua! This is anti-democratic and a show of shame that the April election will not be free and fair. Obasanjo and his Oligarchy PDP are ready to die to cling on to power as long they breath!! Continuum is a plane of thought; and the continuum philosophy reminds us that ideas have fuzzy boundaries. It behooves me to remind us that Obasanjo’s fuzzy ideas was stymied by a problem as relatively simple as fuel shortage. It doesn’t matter that he continues to invest all his energy in a power tussle with his Vice President Atiku, ignoring the ubiquitous hardship inflicted by the fuel crisis. It doesn't matter that Obasanjo's government continues to pay lip service to fighting corruption under the guise of "EFCC"; whereas this outfit has become a state sponsored tool in fighting it's perceived political enemies, both real and unreal. Suffice me to state here that I am one Nigerian that is not in a hurry to forget that the president; until a few motnhs ago the nation’s petroleum minister, must be held directly responsible for the latest fuel scarcity.


Those habitues' trumpeting the president’s remarkable gifts strike me as insentitive to the truth or lacking intellectual acuity. Ask them to enumerate the basis of their inflation of the president ego and they are inclined to respond that he paid off the Paris and London Clubs, that he was economically conservative with a resultant $40 billion naira in foreign reserves, that he has earned praise from G-8 leaders, that he embarked on a war against corruption, and that he courted sound technocrats, inviting the likes of Charles Soludo, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Nuhu Ribadu and Nasir el-Rufai to serve in his administration.

The fallacy of this conception of greatness is easily exposed when these questionable achievements are mirrored against the administration’s many evident failures.
What is the sense in handing off billions of dollars to the Paris Club in settlement of questionable debts when your nation's roads are in deplorable condition? How do you justify keeping $40 billion in foreign bank vaults when Nigeria’s infrastructure remains inferior to Ghana’s, the Congo’s and Uganda’s, and closer to those of war-torn Liberia, Sierra Leone and Somalia?

How committed is this anti-graft crusade when one of the president's aides, Andy Uba is permitted to ferry huge caches of cash on presidential jets? And why hasn’t the president responded to grave accusations, by his Vice President no less, to the effect that Obasanjo has engaged in corrupt self-enrichment? Finally, while this president has brought in a few bright stars, is it not curious that the likes of Adedibu and Emmanuel Nnamdi (Andy) Uba, with little proven vision or technical prowess, exercise far greater influence on the president than, say, a Soludo?

In conclusion, is this the way forward for Nigeria? Do we want to continue to have the likes of Obansanjo at the elms of affairs? Our response should be DO or Die, we need to kick the PDP, the elitist politicians, the corrupt Nigerian leaders to the curb and start afresh on a clean slate. Nigerians speak a lot of games but don’t do a damn thing! We can’t sit back, fold our arms and don’t get involved. We need to develop an action plan. Young generation Nigerians need to take back our country. We are so educated and well traveled not to allow vagrants to rule us like puppets and slaves in our beloved country. We must start the conversation today and we need to take action today. The future of Nigeria is being mortgage at the alter of demagogue and corrupt practices.

I get emotional thinking about the socio-economic and political state of affairs in Nigeria, that I sometimes wish that the country should implode; you know, disappear from the face of the earth into oblivion, so that when you look at the map of Africa, there should be a deep dark void where we used to have the country called Nigeria; like the biblical hell hole. But why get frustrated and wish one’s country to disintegrate into oblivion; destroy innocent Nigerians lives that’ve had no stake in bringing the country into disrepute, and to this sad and dilapidating state. Then I try to be more succinct with my thought process; maybe a hard-line approach could be our only option at the end of the day. Nigeria may be a lost cause, but we as Nigerians can move forward. The initial step would be that all of those politicians that have been entrusted to rule the country; most especially those who've stolen from the Nigerian people can be tried in a law court, found guilty and summarily executed or put in a jail for life! Then we will need to set up a Reconciliation and Truth Commission and a true Sovereign National Conference where all Nigerian nationalities (tribes) will decide if they want to secede or continue to live together as one Nigeria. Thereafter, we can create many Nigerian nations recognized by the U.N. and every new Nigerian nation can go their separate ways and start on a clean slate.

In all of these, I continue to search for answers to the Nigerian question - What do we need to do to move Nigeria forward? I’ve always wanted to elevate the conversation; proffering solutions rather than over-stating the sad issues that confronts us a nation. We need to act fast today to save our beloved country, for tomorrow Nigeria may be no more!

Let me know your thoughts on how to move Nigeria forward!!!

14 Comments:

Blogger Nilla said...

Hello,

I'll be back to read and comment later....I'm time constrained now.

Fri Feb 16, 07:38:00 AM EST  
Blogger Nilla said...

From your first paragraph, I get what you mean when you say "...I alone can't fight the battle to right the wrongs that is being meted out to us in our beloved country...".
You can only play a part, and hope others play a part in it too.
Hopefully the series will help to get more of Nigerians think about different solutions that can move the country forward (not crawl forward...lol).

Big grammar...I had to go look up the meaning of apparatchiks...lol


RE: Soverign National Conference (SNC)
Personally I want one Nigeria, I don't want it to be split into different countries. And I don't see how breaking up Nigeria into different tribes (or nationalities as you call it) solves the different problems we have.
That's just my personal opinion.
But if a majority of Nigerians don't want to stay together as one country, then we can have the SNC.

RE: What do we need to do to move Nigeria forward?

I suggest you read SOLOMONSYDELLE's post, and the comments, because either directly or indirectly we are all playing a part in some of the problems in Nigeria

Fri Feb 16, 07:11:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Donzman said...

Way Forward?. . .What about having citizens who do not run away from the nation, helping build another man's nation and criticizing his own online?

Just a thought I've been having over the past week, we need people on the ground (as opposed to online) who want changes. We can't have our educated class slaving somewhere else, expecting some sort of miracle.

Sat Feb 17, 01:47:00 PM EST  
Blogger Nilla said...

Nigeria Politricks,

We are supposed to respect the comments of others. I don't think the last line to your response to Donzman was called for.

I need to update the FAQ

Sat Feb 17, 07:06:00 PM EST  
Blogger NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

@ Nilla,
I agree with respecting other people's opinions. The initial comment has been deleted!

Anywayz, sorry for the big grammar, but I am sure you get the gist of the story. I read SOLOMONSYDELLE's post and there are great comments. I think the next step would be putting all of these thoughts into action...

@ donzman
my article must have struck a nerve…however, you made a point! It's only sad that your thought of Nigerians overseas is very myopic...
If you had read your history book, you must have been taught that all successful struggles for change have been fought from home and abroad...I am sure you're one of those lily livered apologist of the Obansanjo junta.
Let me remind you that Nigerians overseas remit over 1 billion dollars back home to Nigeria, enslaving themselves (borrowing your words) to empower Nigeria economical…whereas the Obansanjo’s and the Yar’Adua’s are stealing from the public treasury and exporting it abroad…Now tell me, who is enslaving Nigerians?

Sat Feb 17, 08:02:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Donzman said...

You remit $1billion, GREAT. Your $1billion hasn't changed the situation in Nigeria, is it?. . .If your remittances of $1billion (Not even 1% of the GDP) are that great, I wonder why Nigeria is getting poorer with more people leaving the country?

As for the talk about history. The only thing history has taught me is that PEOPLE fight for what they want. Not just people online but people who are out there doing something to counter what they feel is wrong. If you're a citizen of another country, you know what you swore to and it's not to serve Nigeria.

If it makes you feel better, I'm abroad myself but I do know that it's people on the ground who will effect changes. The way forward is to have people who are all about being practical. This is the reason why I'll see myself as a BIG failure if I end up spending the rest of my life abroad. My remittances will not solve Nigeria's problem, me as a person will.

Sun Feb 18, 12:59:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Aimie said...

@donzman
you make a very good point. I also live abroad and with prayer, research and some savings, I am trying to make a plan to go back to Nigeria to help.

I am curious to know what your plans are.

Tue Feb 20, 01:10:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Dat Guy said...

plans?
its quite intersting to ask what his plans are.Donzman as usual dooes not really have a plan, he believes going back to nigeria after his education is enough to effect change. just think about it, his chance of getting a good job with an international degree is quite high so living the big-boy lifestyle,rubbing shoulders with the rich and famous is a change to him.

immigration is a way of life

Thu Feb 22, 10:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger NIGERIA POLITRICKS said...

@ dat guy
I can't agree with you more! Today, there are millions of Nigerians back home who can't make a change; all swept away by the corrupt system & under the carpet by rogue politicians...wonder why one think's that going back home is the only solution. I am all for it, if it will bring the needed change; however, we can effect changes where ever we are. We just need to speak with one voice and take action!

Thu Feb 22, 11:16:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Donzman said...

First off, you know lots of people in Nigeria not effecting change but Donzman does not view himself as an average man.

Mexico,Asian tigers, Latin American countries are all been transformed. They're not being transformed by nationals abroad. They're being transformed by professionals educated in the U.S./Western Europe, who have risen quickly through the political/bureaucratic ranks. This is where they sit and are able to direct changes, not on the internet. You might have ideas, tell them to others but it's not likely to work out if implementation of your ideas are not in your control.

Donzman plans to go ahead with his education, go back home and work towards a position where he'll be able to IMPLEMENT changes. I'm not going to be satisfied with rubbing shoulders with folks I consider damaging to my Nigerian pride. If only people will stop praising politicans who loot funds.

I ask you datguy and nigeria politricks, how are we going to get people to implement the changes if they're not in positions to do so?

Fri Feb 23, 05:05:00 PM EST  
Blogger david said...

Welcome to Nigeria's own unique version of a civilian dictatorship! Welcome to Nigeria!

Thu Mar 01, 09:40:00 AM EST  
Blogger vindication through innocence said...

Who are you?I actually love this blog to bits. Im not politically aware but this really shed some light on some rather silly things going on in that country. I really do believe that it is prayers that are keeping the country together cos its not the leaders, its not the infrastructure and sure as heck aint the 419ers givin us a bad rep!!
Thanks and keep it up!!

Thu Mar 29, 11:23:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My guy, you should rename your page to bashing OBJ. Dnt get me wrong this is not to defend him or all he has done but menne, Naija has moved forward in the Past 8yrs people now WORK in Naij, people are relocating back to Naij, we have seen some corrupt criminals such as former IG Tafa Babanla Ole Balogun.... things are moving forward and what we need now is constructive criticism. I would like you to use this medium to voice ideas on how to make things better and not just focus on bashing it.

Sat Jun 16, 07:40:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Nigeria Politricks said...

@ anon
We are unashamedly bashers of corrupt Nigerian leaders and OBJ is one of the kingpins!

Sat Jun 16, 10:58:00 AM EDT  

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