2020: a Diagnosis of Nigeria from a 21-year old student.
Recently I came to the understanding that even a fragmented knowledge of Nigeria's history allows you to see our current problems in the context of where it came from as well as a fair idea of what goes on behind political curtains.
In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth and Nigeria...
Years ago when the transaction began between the Niger company and the British began, Nigeria was already out of equilibrium because they had merged different parts with significantly different histories, beliefs, values and political structures.
The country had been formed with the North holding on to most of the power as well as British loyalists aka the rats and snitches. The west was more concerned with education and increasing in knowledge while the east was interested but in increasing Finances. This was how it was, and still how it is.
The biggest problem from the beginning was bringing different people to unite without creating an avenue for unity to even begin with. In the years before Nigeria's independence, the intellectuals and the activists had been constant visitors and guests of the western world, decking the proud cultural attires of Nigerians and giving speeches that moved people what wasn't known however when Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa and Chief Obafemi Awolowo spearheaded the nation's independence, they all seemed to forget that the head of a spear has three sides, United by one purpose but carrying out different functions.
They also didn't seem to know each other or even the kind of people their ethnic groups made them to be, Obafemi Awolowo always had a hidden agenda, which is the nature of the Yorubas; to shake with one hand forward and the other behind the back.
Tafawa Balewa and Ahmadu Bello were the major heads of the North and the Northerners lust for power was also not taken into consideration.
Nnamdi Azikiwe was not free of agenda too, as most of the party politics he was involved in was funded by someone else, the East also wanted power.
Now the desire for power is quite human, but it was the blindness of our founding fathers to the different aspects of power (the different sides of the spear) that they were ignorant about.
That was the nature of the first problem, they all lacked the emotional intelligence to make a decision that would move the nation forward, it was also the beginning of our Isreal-like story of origin.
Years later the cycle of Republics and military takeovers began and it seemed like everyone who sat on that presidential seat suddenly became demon possessed, even the few who actually had reasonable concepts became corrupted by absolute power, the likes of Buhari, who wasn't wrong by wanting to nip indiscipline in the bud to stop every form of disorder, the kind that irritates me when people throw plastic bottles out of their cars, years and years of that accumulation and we have whole canals with nothing but plastic, people used to cutting lines and so on. However, drunk with power, he turned Nigeria into a huge Covenant University.
Yakubu Gowon came into power attempting to make significant changes, the oil price boomed in his time and then he started playing to the gallery and the disparity between those with influence and the ordinary man began to increase.
Muritala Muhammed came into power and stayed outside of direct contact with power, He was assassinated.
And then came the true incarnations of Evil, Babangida and Sani Abacha who destroyed even the smallest fragments of progress made by making corruption popular culture and overwhelming the cheerful nature of Nigerians with despair, greed, death. I honestly wished these men faced the deepest darkness of human wickedness directly rather than die simply for what they did to this nation.
The Youth didn't begin to be pushed by the Selfishness of the powers today, it began when the Nigerian government left its own Youth who they had sent abroad to study, without tuition and in debt. This was the point where the young people broke into crime and fraud, seeing as many people were getting away with corruption they jumped in without a second thought with all the hunger in the land.
The Nigerian government under Shehu Shagari also brutally chased Ghanaians and other immigrants from the country even with all the international appeal for reason. In the words of Fela "Shehu Shagari is a weak man, he's not a threat but those around him are very dangerous", it became clear to me how similar Shehu Shagari is to the current Buhari.
So it is no surprise that today, our green passport is a cause for suspicion and disrespect anywhere in the world when what the world sees is "Nigerians lack Integrity"
Not much has really changed, those manipulating power have gotten better at manipulating power, Corruption has gotten deeper, the Abacha family are still spending Nigeria's money and no matter how we see it in 2020, seeing where we are coming from made it understandable why our parents haven't been that much impatient to the corruption of the government, they still suffer the fear layered in them by different governments and seeing as Obasanjo who was also part of the problem was able to reduce debt and increase the nation's reserves, they had a new appreciation for the freedom many had died for.
However, that doesn't mean our generation should also settle rather than question these recycled crooks who turn every election to a selection of the lesser evils rather than greater good where the feudal lords still control the direction of votes in the largest part of the Nation. It means that we are the generation that can do something about it but only if we stop playing into the puppeteer's hands and unite, regardless of ethnic or religious barriers but with a clear understanding of the Spearhead.
We must be aware of our behavioural differences rooted in ethnicity lest we be doomed to repeating the same set of mistakes that led us here in the first place.
The northerners aren't our enemies but we must see beyond what is visible, to know that the same way we have learned some lessons from history, those who destroy, also have. Rather than be directly involved in the politics and be visible targets, they hide behind the constant conflict, refuse to educate their masses just so they can control how their people behave. They will eventually exposed.
But a view of our past and present makes it clearer that no matter who sits in Aso Rock, with the Northern Feudal Lords fueling the interethnic feuds and controlling the power plays in the country with limited opposition and an unreasonable division between those who even stand a chance, the march to a growing Nigeria is still but a dream.