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Why Nigeria project is jinxed

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“National development is often described as the process of improving the quality of life of a nation’s citizens by increasing the citizens’ living standard, creating conditions conducive to the growth of the citizens’ self esteem and increasing the citizens’ freedom of choice by enlarging the range of their choice variables”. Isreal. F. Adu (cut from Olusegun Obasanjo The Presidential Legacy 1999-2007).

If words were to be sufficient to liberate a people, if rhetorics were to be adequate to salvage a nation’s situational impasse as Nigeria appear to be entangled in presently, then there would not have been the need for dictionary entries of such words as pragmatism, actions, dynamism, competence, productivity and progressive. These and their likes are evidently lacking in Nigeria of the present. The definition of the above-mentioned literary words and the implementation thereof in the running of national affairs in Nigeria as a nation is amply sufficient to lift the ailing giant of Africa to greater heights, that’s if there is any remnant and residue of hope for survival. The absence of their practice or dutiful national economic institutions that seek to advance the welfare of the people, and testified by them and not merely on paper and television screens, is both our ruin and undoing as a nation.

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Let us properly draw this scenario back home to what is supposed to be our nation Nigeria. If government grandstanding or politicians propaganda and politicking or better still the entire citizens cinch comformity and complaisance to the whims and caprices of the executives is anything to go by towards the resolution of the myriads of Nigeria troubles at all, then Nigeria should by now be rubbing shoulders with the top advanced and financially stable nations of the world. But, do you know what… None of these above-mentioned inefficient methods which are the installed and established systems in Nigeria can help and will forever be efficient. They are flawed and deficient to the core. There is a fundamental and foundational flaw in the making of this supposed country which indeed was not the original idea of the indigenous people of the integral parts of the country. “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” Amos 3:3. Apparently, there will always be a major problem when this global phenomenon of “do it yourself” is blatantly violated.

There is a giant and gigantic departmental store which simply goes with the company name Do it yourself in Japan. (I feel like renaming it anything money can buy, that’s by the way). But let the point not slip, that there is a conspicuous absence of national citizenry participation in especially the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 (actually 1913). The disadvantages and demerits of this clarion omission have continued to be pronounced literally in the consolidation and realization of the aims and purposes of a nation that consist of differing people’s cultures and religions, particularly.

The consummation of another person’s ideas and brain child projects cannot be successfully accomplished on his behalf by the one in whose territory the task must be fulfilled. The monarchy Britain and the colony Nigeria is the prominent players referred to here. The imaginary nation Nigeria as a baby was schemed and formed, nurtured in the United Kingdom and delivered, then finally yanked on the head of the then Britain trained Nigerian politicians who were at the forefront of agitation for independence or as it were inclined to partisan politicking. Lord Lugard was the lead character. Excerpts from my private interview with Dr. Raphael James, national biographer, philatelist and private museum entrepreneur categorically corroborates the historical records which states that from the scratch to finish, Lord Frederick Lugard spearheaded the idea, the nurturing and creation of Nigeria following the blending of the Northern and Southern Protectorate to have the “divisible” nation called Nigeria. The tripartite pioneer colonial masters who ruled Nigeria from amalgamation are Ralph Denham Rayment Moor, Walter Egerton and of course Lord Frederick Lugard.

It all boils down to the fact that the indigenous involvement in the entire process of amalgamation of the Northern and Southern Protectorate in Nigeria did not feature. Such nationalistic assignments was borne and pursued conclusively devoid of any left or right wing political figures of either the then Southern or Northern Protectorates standing. No trace of nationalists participation, whatsoever. Any wonder why things are what they are today? This is basically what legitimizes the now clarion call for restructuring. Come to think of it, our national development efforts have been jinxed because this crap is indeed, ab initio, not of our own making; apparently it is alien to us. A deficient product like a baby was delivered to us by the selfish imperial Britain to carter for her difficult substance and survival. The baby has now grown to adulthood but as expected turned to a monster, an enigma and a reprobate and repugnant, incorrigible, anathema, a pariah nation, just name it! The imminent implosion will be catastrophic. The centrifugal forces are a suspect, unsurprisingly. When you reconsider the supposed dreams of a nation and juxtapose your anticipation with the reality on ground, if you fail to shed tears for Nigeria, you are not stout hearted but you are heartless and bedeviled with seared conscience.

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The abysmal failure of the administrators of governance from time immemorial to harness the tremendous potential of human resources in Nigeria towards the development and translation of the rich deposits of raw materials in our land to become end products consumables, is the glaring consequence of where we are, presently. Therefore, what we are entangled with at the moment is, for example, exportation of the crude (the revenue generation cash crop and which has multiple components aside oil, PMS, bitumen, etc) get it refined and returned with the concomitant loss of forex, employment opportunities, and so on. Then the scarcely available liquid funds in circulation are recalled, dries up. The rigmarole is perennial. The economy, rather than fortunately, has been miserably on a roller coaster for the larger part of the country’s existence.

In conclusion, to avert the fast approaching national disaster, Nigerians in particular, irrespective of the insensitivity of their callous political leaders, must take the bull by the horn and embark on diligent yet desperate steps towards either cohesive programmes dialogue that will encourage the indivisibility claim of the country’s existence or organize restructuring order of events. The synerging of forces must be sponsored from the national purse and that forthwith. Time wasting is dangerous, at this crucial stage.

If Britain opted out of the European Union via Brexit, then Nigeria disintegration too is feasible and should henceforth be a topic for debate and deliberations. After all, what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander. “Ekwuchakwanam k’oham n’onu”. This is the best candid contribution I can comment. God bless the people of Nigeria, particularly.

Orajiaku is a freelance journalist and social activist. Tel. 08035530832.

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