President Obama just concluded a three nation visit to Africa to countries like Senegal, South Africa and Tanzania. Once again, Nigeria was left out as she was the last time Obama visited Africa. President Obama’s visit was just to ensure that US interests were protected in africa and the world from the threat of rising and second largest economy in the world, China.
Obama gave two important messages to africans, which were to respect gay rights and to ensure good governance in Africa. I don’t have any problem with the second issue but I have an issue with the first. I am not discussing anything about it for now.
Good governance is important for a society to thrive but it is unrealistic in Nigeria and Africa for now. Even North Africans who revolted against their leaders still haven’t realized their desire for good governance because foreign powers like the US, UK, France, Germany, China and Russia are all trying to protect their interests in these countries. In Egypt and Tunisia, the Russians and Chinese didn’t have any interests as such, but in Libya and the middle eastern country of Syria, their interests were infringed upon. Ghadafi was killed in the violent uprising in Libya. Al-queyeddah, have a foot hold in Libya and sub-saharan africa because of the unguarded influx of weapons to the wrong hands, the islamists, supported by the dreaded terrorist group. The Syrian conflict is another issue and the West have learnt their lesson and don’t want to make that mistake of supporting an organized rebel group as they did in Libya.
But we are talking about good governance in africa and Nigeria. My view is that it is non existent in Nigeria. What we have is mediocre leaders who do not know anything about governance but who know exactly how and when to exploit the people the govern. Take for instance, they taxes we pay. We lack basic infrastructure like constant electricity, pipe bourne water, good roads, rail roads, sea and river ports, world class airports, good hospitals etc and yet we pay for everything and taxes that make us make great expenses. Government ought to assist in making things easier for the people they govern and not the other way around.
Just recently, we were forced to pay television and radio tax in lagos and when I approached a neighbor on how we can resist paying such tax especially when we pay for VAT on our subscription payment, the individual stated that there wasn’t anything anybody could do about it. I informed the person concerned that we ought to come together and talk about it. But that is not possible due to the ethnic difference we have in Nigeria. These politicians have succeeded in planting the seed of discord amongst Nigerians so that we will not have one voice. Look at the oil subsidy crisis in 2011, it was seen as a yoruba and opposition party revolt against the PDP government led by an Ijaw man. Rather than demand our rights, these evil and selfish politicians use the opportunity to distract us with our ethnicity.
Nigerians need to demand their rights but we can’t do so because Nigerians do not know anything about how government should be run. 99% of Nigerians do not even know what is written in their constitution. If they knew, they would insist that government did everything they need to do by the constitution. Even those who were meant to protect the constitution do everything to manipulate it in their favor. This country is all about exploitation. As Obama said, governance (or is it government) should be for the people and not for a privileged few. We need to build institutions and not powerful politicians.
Nigerians need to come together and put aside this ethnic lies that our politicians are telling us and demand our rights. We can only do so by coming together and ironing out our differences and problems and providing solutions to it. If we think that our needs are different from each other, then we must have our heads examined. The needs of the hausa man, igbo man, yoruba man, ijaw man, tiv man and other tribes in Nigeria isn’t different. We need new ideas to solve our problems and to ensure that everybody gets what he or she desires. I still believe in Nigeria.
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