Nigeria and her educated elite
You wonder why boys with bowls come to the houses of rich educated northerners begging for food and alms at times when they should be in school and yet they are kept amused with a salute by these educated elites, but at those times the children of these northerners are in school, some in Nigeria and others abroad? Do you wonder why the educated elites in the South-west do not bother about the rest of Nigeria but only about south-western affairs and think their regions and people more sophisticated than all other people in other regions? Doctors see themselves as heads of medical institutions, more intelligent and all others in medical practice as aides, north is north and south is south and the police can investigate some citizens but not all citizens, the eastern people are constantly suspicious of the South-south, and the South-south accuses the South-easterners of dominance. The whole problems of Nigeria rest with her elites. Nigeria unlike many countries of the world does not have a patriotic national establishment. The establishment players in Nigeria care nothing about Nigeria but about selves. How can Nigeria develop with selfish lots as these?
Political rallies end in the sports ground, never door-to-door. And those who do not see ventures to the stadia as moments-that-matter are likely never to hear party-political promises and yet they are expected to vote as a civic duty. Political contenders are artful dodgers of political debates even when it is a truism that debates are golden opportunities to vitrine potentials. A prepared debater uses every opportunity given by the media to make statements. They never put too-small-a-price on the importance of the media; they use it to their advantage every time. They do not display a lack of temperament and sang-froid when the gods give them the chance to show Nigerians that they are better candidates than the incumbent. The level of the evolution of Nigeria’s elites is really poor. Many people profit from the bland Nigerian system and then rub it off on us like VIPs. They seem to have a false sense of entitlement to be sure.
The actions of the educated elites in Nigeria can be predictable all times: divide and conquer for selfish ends. Do these people know that one can only do well in a stable country and not without? Confidence building in a country/democracy is important, perception is everything, there are missing links that need to be put together, dialogue is key to every nation’s growth, especially dialogue with leading men, governors, traditional rulers, politicians and all educated elites who are in the habit of brainwashing people to maintain the status quo. Nigeria’s democracy is a fraud, promoted by the educated elites. The people of the Niger Delta are forever shortchanged by the elites in the Niger Delta. There has never been a push by the elites for the government to discover more oil wells, they appear to be satisfied with the nickel they get so long as those nickels do not trickle down to the farmers and market women that need them most, and fear that the spending of more money by government to search for more oil wells will reduce the nickels they receive from government. Justice doesn’t mean much to them. What the leaders do is to feather their nest; they care nothing about the average Joe in the Niger Delta. How much of the 13% to the region has been used in the delta prudently, the leading men give jaundiced views to the populace without preachments about accountability.
They give wrong impressions about the International Oil Companies and subordinate all responsibilities to the IOC and the federal government, forgetting about $60 billion dollars given to the NDDC in twelve years prior to 2017 with nothing to show for it. They are united in confusion as a strategy so that the people of the delta cannot demand accountability. The idea of subordinating all responsibilities to the federal government wouldn’t help the people, because the elites as elsewhere are accountable for the wrought in the Niger Delta and the whole of Nigeria, they change the narrative so the people would continually engage in groveling slavery. Politics in Nigeria is with bitterness, not a sport. Politics is never contextual. Attack the opposite party for the fun of it to deceive people and make these people see members of other parties as enemies. While the opposition has the luxury to attack, governments in power do not and must embrace all sides, they must not attack the opposite parties detestably, these are not the cases in Nigeria, people who belong to the other sides are shut out of governance and appointments to government positions are for only party members. Yet they say they are educated elites. Is this democracy, governments must engage the community of the whole, after elections in Nigeria leaders sully the offices they occupy, a boy-governor boldly said: “I only owe workers xxx months of salaries arrears.” How is he different from the professor who as Vice-Chancellor of a northern university decades ago said, “Only one student died?” Life is cheap indeed in the eyes of the educated elites’ yet that failed boy-governor is supported by a traditional ruler of a prominent kingdom and retired generals without shame.
Somewhere in the east, folks with no history drum up support for war tolerated by sophisticated elites who should as a matter of course shut these people with no history up. I shook my head when I read a WhatsApp exchange (supporting the cause for war and cessation of state, irredentism) by a professor to his friend, a sixty-six-year-old, the latter (a northerner) happens to be my friend as well. It staggers my imagination to read the exchange of a well-schooled brain-box and who must defer to people who cannot talk sensibly without shouting. That educated professor is a tribal warlord. When war breaks he will turn tail and flee with his whole family to a safe country. The educated elites are truly Nigeria’s problems. They believe in regional and ethnic pabulum. The elites are too bitty in Nigeria. The leading lights in all regions teach their people to be regionalist and do not inspire pride in nationalism and promote the vision of other places, people and their culture. Rarely do you see a northerner campaigning for a southern cause however noble and vice versa. Nigeria lives a lie. The elites are one hundred percent idealistic in Nigeria, strait-laced with one-track minds, most do not bow down to superior arguments, a matter of fact they do not give room for argument, of doubt in what they believe.
They are as idealistic as CAC deregistering companies for non-performance, and for not filing annual tax returns. What has the government in Nigeria been able to manage? Has the government ever asked business persons what their needs are and how they can help fill these needs? What annoys me is that government agencies, regulators have not managed any government sector well yet they must dictate how private persons should run their companies. John D. Rockefeller was richer than The United States of America in his day with his Standard Oil Company and due to the anti-trust laws; the United States government broke up his company to break the monopoly of John D Rockefeller in the oil and gas business so that others can compete with him positively to create wealth for all. This birthed Texaco, Mobil, and Chevron. If he were alive now he would have been the richest man in the world because he had shares in all of these companies. America didn’t rob him of his entitlements but the educated elites in Nigerian government do.
Barrack Obama helped General Motors remain in business during the recession of his era to save jobs, but the governments in Nigeria care nothing about saving jobs. Years ago, Lehman Brothers went bankrupt and the government tried to see how Barclays Bank could help take over Lehman brother’s liabilities and although the attempt failed but the government made an effort.
The educated elites in Nigeria do not support healthy competing interests, they do not put the correct systems in place, they never help business persons, and they love to jaw-bone people and competitors in the press, out of business. It is the elites that promoted all religious wars in Nigeria and I wonder what makes them educated elites. Nigeria is regressive, no thanks to these people. Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke helped to empower people and firms to win, the elites in Nigeria destroy, love bar room banters and they enjoy rhetoric.
Abah wrote from Abuja.