Nigeria on the brink



In early 2018, former President of the United States, Donald Trump, had during a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators at the White House referred to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries”. The comment, which attracted condemnation across the world, was first reported by The Washington Post. In its swift reaction, the human rights office said the comment, if confirmed, was “shocking and shameful” and “racist”.

Also, as a citizen of the world’s most populous black nation, the giant of Africa, Nigeria, I strongly condemned the statement. Nevetheless, it had in it some hard facts, considering the shoddiness in this part of the world. So, the manner in which we behave and dispose ourselves determine how the other parts of the world define us as people.

It’s only in Africa that a 61-year-old sovereign nation, “Nigeria”, has denied itself every opportunity and potential to grow – socially, morally, economically and in all parameters of growth and development.

A glimpse at history, it was Sir Donald Fredrick Lugard who climaxed the British policy of fusion in Nigeria by ‘uniting’ the two halves of the country, the former Northern and Southern Protectorates, in what has since been known as the 1914 Amalgamation. And since then, the colonial masters, ‘British’, administered the country they took five decades to create until Nigeria obtained the flag of independence on October 1, I960.

Yet, decades after, the Nigeria is still wallowing in its self-created misfortunes and misadventures by not only refusing to be united, but also by broadening the disunion through engaging in pointless ethno-regional crisis, bad governance, and predisposition in managing the affairs of the nation. Consequently, though the British may have founded Nigeria, but our leaders in politics, military, civil service, business and what have you have succeeded in immolating the country. Obviously what was given to us in 1960 by the British was obviously an administrative rather than economic independence.

Regrettably, the military, in it’s inordinate crave for political power, plunged Nigeria into coups and counter coups which eventually led the country to the unfortunate 1967 civil war. A young military Lieutenant Colonel Odumegwu Ojukwu tossed a secessionists war against Nigerian government led by General Yakubu Gowon by declaring Eastern Nigeria as a sovereign state known as Biafra.

The war was fought and the Nigerian government was able to overwhelm the Biafran secessionists. But the sad recall of the war was that it consumed the lives of millions of innocent citizens, who did not die by being hit by the bullet but by extreme hunger and starvation. The testimonies of the actors and survivors of the war depicted that it was wrongly fought.

Late Ojukwu, who fled to Ivory Coast and got asylum after the war, had said this about Biafra in an interview, “I led the first one and I can say I led ‘proudly’ the first one. But I don’t think the second one is necessary. We should have learnt from the first one, otherwise, they would all have been in vain.”

Sad enough, Nigeria is still battling with the Boko Haram after more than a decade, and emerged wielding authority in major parts of the North-west which has become the hotbed of crime. Yet, secessionists are also breeding another monster in the cupboard similar to Boko Haram not minding the ugly and regrettable outcome of the Biafran civil war where hunger and not bullet, guzzled millions of innocent lives.

The recent attack in against northerners and constituted authorities wear mirror images of Boko Haram at the embryo stage of the . The Eastern Security Network (ESN) is nothing other than another insurgents waging a war against the sovereign Nigeria, which is treasonable in all ramifications.

In fact, Ojukwu fought the ‘erroneous’ war in his 30s and here is another Biafran campaigner, Nnamdi Kanu, who was incidentally born during the civil war, calling Southeasterners to take up arms against fellow humans and Nigerian authorities.

Indeed, history is unambiguously good! Today, Libyans, Somalians, Egyptians and the rest of the world where civil unrest was instigated and wars were erroneously fought, are still regretting while feeling the negative impacts of their unthinkable actions and inactions. There are many pages of history where we should peruse to know the dangers of the prevailing challenges in the country.

Today, with multifarious challenges staring the country in the face, Nigeria exhibits almost all the traits of a failed state. A country of unfathomable paths, in spite of huge national wealth, intractable corruption has sentenced an overwhelming percentage of Nigerians to grinding poverty. President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian elite have been globetrotting foreign hospitals just because health institutions in Nigeria are near total collapse resulting in high maternal deaths, preventable ailments and high morbidity rate.

The recent heinous attacks on schools and villages in parts of the North-west and the dilapidated and disgusting views of dormitories and classes in some of the schools attacked not only threaten the future of education in the country but display an education system that’s either decrepit or hopelessly inadequate and erratic thereby turning Nigerians into infrahuman.

As enshrined in section 14b of the Nigerian constitution, the cardinal objective of government is protection of lives and properties. Nigerian government should wake up to address the issues at hand with serious political will and without prejudice.

It’s baffling that in this precarious situation, even those who apart from offering special prayers in mosques and churches against the country’s woebegone during President Goodluck Jonathan governement are conspicuously silent now when much is needed to save the nation from total collapse. The courageous few who are outspoken are being reprimanded by the brigade of the gullible and morally bankrupt friends of government. In some circumstances, religious colouration will be given to what they have said in order to grab undue sympathy. The messanger would be looked at not minding the message or its consequences.

Today, conspiracy and predisposition would not allow those who have deceitfully cried profusely on the pulpits to have the grit and audacity to lend their voices especially those who have taken government appointments. The sovereign credence of the Nigerian nation is under serious threat and the handwriting on the wall signposts a great horror.

Nigeria is on the brink. A stitch in time saves nine!

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