So far not so good, it has always been a story of the Ruthless and the toothless -By Issa Babatunde Ahmed

Filed under: Forgotten Dairies,National Issues |


It is worth noting that people say they want the truth, but what they really want is a confirmation of what they already believe. People tend to define history through personal memories. There are some people who believed that African history should be dealt in a positive light deemed right by them.

Still others define history through mythes, a collection of interpretations of the past carried in expressive media such as songs, dances, movies, words-of-mouth and the Internet. But then, there is real history, the one which is analytical and it is also done through academic research.

Going back to the history of Africa, several European nations realized that Africa was a storehouse of treasure other than the slaves in which they had previously traded, the most prominent countries involved in the “Scramble for Africa” were Britain, Portugal, and France. When claims to territory were made, squabbles inevitably erupted, most of which were sorted out at the Congress of Berlin in 1884-85.

The continent was carved up, mainly among the major players; a few crumbs were tossed the way of Germany, Italy, and others. The British held on to Nigeria, though it is presently no longer subject to colonial rule by the British, Nigeria set out to accomplish a difficult task: to achieve economic self-dependence. Given the reliance of the country on British institutions and investments, right from the onset it is meant to be a difficult for the West African country to truly establish itself as a self-reliant entity.

Nigeria got into this scheme – in spite of its state of dependence on Britain – by being a source of crude oil. As the philosophy goes, this economic liberalism should have grown the economy as it is projected to be a potential force as a developing economy. Yet in Nigeria’s case, it does not appear to have worked out well as anticipated, many got intoxicated in power and greed became a general attire of the leaders.

Spider webs can chain a lion if united was the case of this great nation 57 years ago, when the likes of Herbert Macaulay, Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Sir Ahmadu Bello and Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa to mention a few contributed immensely to the attainment of independence regardless of what some thought was a selfish mission but we can’t take anything away from the freedom and nationalism they earned us.

Upon achieving independence, ethnicity and regionalism became the order of the day. This was basically because religious leaders of those groups had ties with the traditional rulers and partly as a result of the parliamentary system of governance practiced by the Nigerian State in the first republic, the new Nigerian government sought a policy of economic self-dependence, seeing as it would further the nation’s autonomy, ethnicity encouraged alliance politics and highly emotive terms were used which in most cases incited people to violence.

This menace has worsened over time, it looks like the same people who have managed the country since independence are still in charge as they have managed to keep power within a circle, godfatherism and Money-thics dictates the tone of the country. The high level of abject poverty makes vote and get paid rampant because the people no longer believe in the government.

As far as Nigeria is concerned, it made progress in corrupting its own land, Right from the day of civilian administration and the military hijack, what brought the nation together is now tearing us apart and the independence now stares like it came too early, Power got into  many wrong hands, they turned tribes against each other.

To that end, the government played a highly active role in the economy While Nigeria has been governed independently of Britain for over fifty years now, allowing for Nigeria to have further control over its trade policy, the country still suffers from a poor infrastructure, high unemployment, and rampant corruption. Furthermore, political instability has, for the most part, discouraged growth in Nigeria. As it would appear, economic liberalization has been at a disadvantage to Nigeria in a grander fraction.

Fifty seven years of nationalism, one of the most endowed nation with natural resources in the world can’t even provide its people with just twenty four hours power supply while its self-acclaimed ‘Giant of Africa’ is swiftly fading off, it would be unfair to dwell on just the negative impact we did had some positives, we have enjoyed transition of power in the fourth republic just that the state of the nation is still in logjam, its ben a process in the last 57 years without little or no progress.

Insurgency is now a common distraction for each regime in the fourth republic, which is growing in strength and sophistication, they all have a common goal which is to intimidate, frustrate and raise the feeling of uncertainty to the state, so as to cripple or limit all aspects of human activity and normal livelihoods. Al Qaeda, Boko Haram and MEND have all operated successfully with the latest being IPOB.

Ethnicity, religion and disgruntlement are on the brink of breaking a nation that was built on the aforementioned, the unity in our diversity that gave us a Nigeria should be used as all available  bricks to build this great country. The ‘Holy Books’ are meant to be a bread for daily use, not cake for occasion same should be applied to our constitution.