Let’s Keep Nige­ria To­gether For Man­dela!

The Guardian (Nigeria) - - INSIDE STUFF - With MARTINS OLOJA 08052097817 (SMS only)

The­world­will­notre­spectafricaun­til Nige­ri­aearn­stha­tre­spect.the­black­peo­ple­ofthe­world­need­nige­ri­ato­be­great asasource­of­pride­and­con­fi­dence…

This ar­ti­cle seeks to ap­peal to the el­ders in the land that they should wake up from their deep slum­ber be­cause Nige­ria that Nel­son Man­dela iden­ti­fied as the only source of pride and con­fi­dence for the black peo­ple of the world is re­ally on the brink. We do not need a clair­voy­ant John Camp­bell any­more to re­peat that to us that the coun­try can dis­ap­pear sooner than later from the world map un­less ur­gent steps are taken to save her. There are in­deed vis­i­ble pieces of ev­i­dence of trou­ble from the way things are hap­pen­ing fast across the coun­try. And sadly, the

West­ern pow­ers would be the first to hail any harm to Nige­ria as democ­racy in ac­tion. They will tell us tri­umphantly that we told you so. But our greedy, cal­lous and men­tally lazy lead­ers in Abuja and 36 state cap­i­tals should note that the 2019 they are plot­ting to dom­i­nate again may not come to them in­side One Nige­ria if they do not face the ur­gent task of nation build­ing.

Be­cause our care­less lead­ers who do not read and their avari­cious power elite have prim­i­tively ac­cu­mu­lated enough wealth with­out work, they keep quiet and feast as the nation is fast bleed­ing to death. Now things are fall­ing apart from Ow­erri though Makurdi to Maiduguri. And the deal­ers, sorry lead­ers who have been eat­ing sour grapes since 1966 do not care a hoot that their chil­dren’s teeth are now set on edge. They came gin­gerly in 1966 with their de­cep­tive cor­rect­ing flu­ids. We were amused at their guile and we al­lowed them to stay. They ru­ined democ­racy and fed­er­al­ism. We were naïve. We hailed them – un­til 1999 again when they also sold to us an­other dummy called a “leader we can trust”. We trusted him from 1999 to 2003. And then he too saw our naivety and cog­ni­tive de­cline: he im­posed an in­valid he knew on us as a leader. What was worse, the man who wears na­tion­al­ism as an em­blem of strength and char­ac­ter got an­other white sepul­chre to be the deputy to the very sick one. And the un­pre­pared deputy had to be the leader later, no thanks to ob­nox­ious ‘doc­trine of ne­ces­sity’ in a cu­ri­ous pres­i­den­tial sys­tem (2007-2010). And 2011 to 2015 be­came the real years of lo­custs. But it came to pass that while we dozef off again, the man who sacked democ­racy in the wee hours of 1983 bran­dished his pow­er­ful weapon of mass de­cep­tion called in­tegrity.

That landed him in the seat of power where his body lan­guage alone was to be the magic wand – to im­prove the econ­omy and pro­vide crit­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture in­clud­ing un­in­ter­rupted elec­tric­ity. And Cor­rup­tion was to be ruth­lessly dealt with. But here we are to­day in Septem­ber 2017.

Now we know that after all, in­tegrity can be mas­sively over­rated!

Ver­ily, ver­ily we can say it loud and clear that democ­racy has been re­mark­ably de­monised in Nige­ria. After the so-called un­in­ter­rupted 18 years of prac­tis­ing democ­racy, where are its con­crete div­i­dends be­yond free­dom of speech we are fast los­ing to the mil­i­tary the Nige­ria’s com­man­der-in-chief has au­tho­rised to mon­i­tor pub­lic ser­vice jour­nal­ism to de­tect hate speeches and pos­si­ble ter­ror­ism within the con­struct of ag­i­ta­tion for demo­cratic free­dom? Never in the his­tory of democ­racy has a state been so run down and looted by those elected and hired to run it like Nige­ria.

So, if we the peo­ple con­sider all th­ese bur­dens that 18 years of dis­rup­tive democ­racy has wickedly un­leashed on us, we would not hes­i­tate in join­ing the band­wagon of ag­i­ta­tion for Nige­ria’s dis­in­te­gra­tion. We are talk­ing of Nige­ria that has failed and keeps fail­ing as a state.

But alas, we should just or­gan­ise to iso­late all th­ese deal­ers who mas­quer­ade as lead­ers es­pe­cially since 1966. We the younger ones who have tol­er­ated them thus far should not al­low the de­struc­tion they have cal­lously un­leashed on this beau­ti­ful coun­try to pro­voke us into breakup war­fare. Yes, they don’t care if Nige­ria comes to harm. We elected them to im­prove the econ­omy, they looted the trea­sury and cried foul and set up anti-graft agen­cies to search and try only petty thieves. We elected them to im­prove ed­u­ca­tion stan­dard but they de­stroyed the schools and set up their own schools and uni­ver­si­ties with their loot that anti-cor­rup­tion agen­cies can’t de­tect. We elected them to pro­vide good roads. They loot road in­fra­struc­ture funds to buy pri­vate jets to fly over the bad roads. Nige­rian wicked power elite know that Nige­ria can work, but not un­der them. The world pow­ers too know that Nige­ria can be great and be­come a big player on the world stage. The seven big men in suits know enough to know that Nige­ria has in­es­timable brain­power that can be har­nessed to be one of the great­est pow­ers on earth. They all know from White House though Krem­lin­towhite­hall that Nige­ria is Africa’s Power House. They have not for­got­ten that it was Nige­ria that (spoke for Africa) in Jan­uary, 1976 looked them in the face and told them point blank, Afric­a­has come­ofage… Yes, they know more than Man­dela that Nige­ria is the face of Africa and in­deed the black race. That is why they can sell even deadly weapons to in­sur­gents that can fast track Nige­ria’s fail­ure.

It will be re­called that in 2005, the Na­tional In­tel­li­gence Coun­cil, (NIC) an in­de­pen­dent group that ad­vises the di­rec­tor of cen­tral in­tel­li­gence in Wash­ing­ton D.C, pub­lished a re­port that raised the spec­tre of “the out­right col­lapse of Nige­ria.” The scary news had echoed an ear­lier coun­cil re­port on global trends through 2015 that was pes­simistic about the fu­ture of the world’s most pop­u­lous black nation.

This is not our story. Africa’s au­then­tic leader, Madiba, is (per­mit the his­tor­i­cal present) the one who knows the story of why we should keep Nige­ria united to ful­fill des­tiny – as a strong, united nation and leader of Africa and in­deed the black race.

Re­li­able data shows that Madiba’s ro­mance with Nige­ria be­gan strate­gi­cally in 1962 when he made a stop in La­gos dur­ing an African tour to drum up sup­port for the anti-apartheid cause. Since he was vis­it­ing so se­cretly, he came with an Ethiopian pass­port, bear­ing a pseu­do­nym, “David Mot­samayi.”

And in 1963, to evade ar­rest by the apartheid regime and their Bri­tish back­ers, Man­dela again came to Nige­ria, where Chief Mbazu­like Amaechi, a for­mer Nige­rian avi­a­tion min­is­ter on the or­der of the then Pres­i­dent Nnamdi Azikiwe, re­port­edly hid him. The ac­tivist was said to have re­turned to South Africa after six months in Nige­ria. As soon as he got home, he was ar­rested and jailed.

After he was re­leased from his 27-year long in­car­cer­a­tion, Man­dela trav­elled to some African coun­tries to ex­press grat­i­tude to all those who had sup­ported the African Na­tional Congress (ANC) and their strug­gle. Man­dela re­called Nige­ria’s sig­nif­i­cant role and vis­ited Nige­ria in 1993 and among other things, asked to see Amaechi and Azikiwe to say thank you big brothers. Man­dela who had dared Gen­er­als Ibrahim Ba­bangida and Sani Abacha over the an­nulled June 12 elec­tion, in­car­cer­a­tion of Chief M.K.O Abi­ola and ex­e­cu­tion of the nine Ogoni lead­ers, in­clud­ing Ken Saro-wiwa once pressed for and se­cured sus­pen­sion of Nige­ria from the Com­mon­wealth over the tyranny and ex­cesses of Nige­rian dic­ta­tors.

But the clincher in this ar­ti­cle came in 2007, when a Nige­rian top bu­reau­crat Dr. Ha­keem Baba-ahmed, who served as Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in dif­fer­ent min­istries, vis­ited Man­dela pri­vately in South Africa. Man­dela re­port­edly used the oc­ca­sion to speak about his dis­ap­point­ments with, and as­pi­ra­tions for Nige­ria. Ahmed re­minded the icon that Nige­ri­ans gen­er­ally held South Africa in es­teem but many cit­i­zens had won­dered why suc­ces­sive South African gov­ern­ment and peo­ple de­spised them, es­pe­cially given Nige­ria’s front­line role in fight­ing apartheid. Man­dela re­sponded curtly: “Yes, Nige­ri­as­tood­byus­morethanany­na­tion, bu­ty­oule­ty­our­selves­dow­nandafricaand the­black­racev­ery­badly.” He added: “The world­will­notre­spectafricaun­til­nige­ria earn­stha­tre­spect.the­black­peo­ple­ofthe world­need­nige­ri­ato­be­greatasasourceof pride­and­con­fi­dence.”

Man­dela con­tin­ued: Yourlead­er­shaveno re­spect­fortheir­peo­ple.they­be­lievethat their­per­son­al­in­ter­est­sarethein­ter­est­sof thep­eo­ple.they­takethep­eo­ple’sre­sources and­tur­nit­in­top­er­son­al­wealth.thereisa lev­el­of­pover­tyin­nige­riathat­shouldbe un­ac­cept­able.ican­no­tun­der­stand­why Nige­ri­ansareno­tan­gri­erthanthe­yare. What­doy­oung­nige­ri­ans­think­abouty­our lead­er­sandtheir­coun­tryandafrica?doyou teachthemhis­tory?doy­ouhave­lesson­son howyour­pastlead­er­sstood­byu­sandgave us­largeamountsof­money?youknowi hear­fro­man­golansand­mozam­bi­cansand Zim­bab­wean­showyourpeo­pleopened their­heart­sandtheirhome­stothem.iwas in­pris­on­then,butwe­knowhowyourlead­er­spun­ished­west­ern­com­pa­nieswho­sup­port­eda­partheid.nige­ria’se­lec­tion­sare­like wars.nowwe­hearthaty­ou­can­not­bepres­i­dentin­nige­ri­aun­lessy­ouare­mus­limor Chris­tian.somepeo­pletellmey­our­coun­try may­breakup.please­don’tletithap­pen. After his im­pas­sioned crit­i­cism of Nige­ria, Man­dela pro­ceeded to sug­gest the way for­ward: Let­metel­ly­ouwhati­thinky­ouneedtodo. Youshoulden­cour­age­lead­er­stoe­merge whow­ill­not­con­fusepub­li­cof­fice­with source­sof­mak­ing­per­son­al­wealth.cor­rupt peo­ple­donot­make­goodlead­ers.thenyou have­tospendaloto­fy­our­re­sources­fore­d­u­ca­tion.ed­u­cat­e­chil­drenofthe­p­oor,sothat th­ey­cangetout­of­poverty.pover­ty­does­not breed­con­fi­dence.on­ly­con­fi­dent­peo­ple can­bringchanges.teachy­oung­nige­ri­ans the­val­ue­ofhard­workand­sac­ri­fice,and­dis­cour­ageth­em­from­crimes,whichare de­stroy­ingy­ourim­ageasa­good­peo­ple.

Dr. Baba Ahmed, cur­rent Chief of Staff to the Pres­i­dent of the Se­nate re­ported that Man­dela’s re­marks on Nige­ria, though very crit­i­cal, were “the prod­uct of gen­uine con­cern that one of Africa’s great­est as­sets was be­ing frit­tered away.” He con­cluded in his his­toric re­port, “As he shook my hand to say good­bye, he Man­dela as­sured me that he would love to see Nige­ria grow and de­velop into a world eco­nomic power un­der a demo­cratic sys­tem.”

Again, I am fully per­suaded that the best way for us to hon­our Man­dela is to stop ag­o­nis­ing and then or­ga­nize to ig­nore what even Pres­i­dent Buhari and his rud­der­less party and dis­or­derly gov­ern­ment are do­ing at the mo­ment. We should work hard to de­feat them at the polls in 2019 so that Nige­ria’s bro­ken walls can be re­built to pre­pare her to as­sume of­fice as the au­then­tic King of Africa and the Black Race. We do not need to break up be­fore we can re­struc­ture to de­velop. Yes, we can emerge as a world power only if we can sac­ri­fice to de­feat the cur­rent wicked po­lit­i­cal class that con­tin­ues to rule and ruin our ef­forts to get the world to re­spect Africa through Nige­ria, yes

Nige­ria that can earn that re­spect.

Never in the his­tory of democ­racy has a state been so run down and looted by those elected and hired to run it like Nige­ria.


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