Nigerian Coat Of Arms
In less than 40 days,Nigeria will be 50 years as an independent nation,having secured independence from the colonial masters on October 1st 1960.Ordinarily,this should be an occasion for celebration.And i am sure there will be plenty of people,especially those in government,their friends and associates,who will celebrate.Witness the gigantic budget set aside by the government,to commemorate the October 1st anniversary.The truth,however,is that a lot of these celebrants,will not be celebrating Nigeria’s success,rather they will be celebrating themselves,in that they have succeeded in embedding themselves within Nigeria’s ruling kleptocracy.For most every one else,the October 1st anniversary will be mere pageantry,signifying very little.
For Nigeria is a byword for dashed hopes and unfulfilled expectations.That Nigeria has not realized it’s vast potential is not a matter for debate.Nigeria’s performance has been abysmal by every yardstick,whether it be in the area of security,economic well being of the people,infrastructure,politics,genuine national unity,you name it.Nigeria’s record is a litany of woes.Nigeria has been laid low by the depredations of a predatory elite devoted to self-aggrandizement.It is hostage to a political class that is not exercised by the interests of it’s people,whose stewardship of the country,unconstrained by any considerations of ethic or decency, has been solely about securing the “feeding rights” of it’s members,whether in uniform or not.
An Igbo adage exhorts he,who would prepare yam for a blind old man,to keep his mouth busy by learning to whistle without ceasing.Whistling without break would convince the blind old man,he was not rather busy eating his yam,instead.This simple adage,evocative of the proper relationship between the governed and those who govern,has been turned on it’s head and bastardized.Whistling is no longer meaningful.For in Nigeria,those who would prepare “yam”, are garbed in “agbada”,an audaciously over-flowing robe,garnished by a multiplicity of folds,vests,pockets and a top-off cap,with plenty room in which to stuff the “yam”,while merrily whistling away.Nigerians have been left waiting for the yam-dividends in vain,for decades.
This “feeding frenzy” is fuelled by a too-rich center,with unfettered access to “captured” oil money.As long as we practice resource capture in place of resource control,we will not get out of the woods.Resource capture is the policy of choice of primitive occupation forces,with a limited time-frame.Keen to grab as much as possible before been booted out,these forces would not recognize or subscribe to any legal or moral constraints.Such are our present arrangements.With a consumptive agenda,the government can not be expected to govern in the interests of the people,because the relationship between the government and the people is adversarial.The people can only benefit at the expense of the government.And vice versa.