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Nigeria: Careening Into The Abyss!

By Femi Akomolafe
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To the otiose elite misruling the country, Nigeria is a paradise on earth. Like the emperor that continue to dance naked, these demented and insanely corrupt mis-rulers continue to delude themselves that their delusions can go on forever.

However, for many Nigerians it is no longer a question of 'if' but 'when' their potpourri geographical entity clobbered together to satisfy imperial British ambition will collapse.

They often cite the United States National Security Council dark assessment that the country will implode within the next decade. - 2015, to be precise.

Naturally, garrulous Nigerian officials, led by the then President Olusegun Obasanjo vociferated loudly when the UNSSC proclaimed its grim assessment.

But as I often said, the movers and shakers of the world often know what they talk about.

Wikileaks informed us that the Yankees have spies at every level of governance and business in Nigeria. Therefore, there is no reason for us to listen to the puppets instead of the puppet-masters.

It's unfortunate; many Nigerians who love their nation very dearly were forced to admit believing American officials more than their own government.

The reasons are not too far-fetched.
Nigeria, as nation, grossly lack the capacity to collect, collate and assess data - any form of data.

A case in point: Since the British left them alone 1960 to do their own thing, Nigerian officialdom has never produced either a single credible census figure, or an unblemished voters' register.

Every figure and data about the nation still depends on guesswork. However one may love the nation of very vibrant and very enterprising people (never mind the bad press, Nigerians love a laugh), the apocalypse assessment of the US agency cannot be wished away.

We are not the only one who is deeply concerned about the fragile state of the Nigerian state.

Former anti-corruption czar, Nuhu Ribadu called upon Nigerians and the international community to stand up and help stem the slow but steady regression of the country into an abyss.

Nuhu Ribadu, speaking at a function to remember foremost Nigerian human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, 'Given the extraordinary talent available in Nigeria and the potent of democratic forces, something must be done urgently. We have to say enough is enough!

'Enough is enough of insecurity, corruption, robberies, religious intolerance and bigotry, 419, failed policies and government institutions,' he said.

Ribadu recalled the principles Gani stood for and propagated, even at the risk of his life and advised Nigerians to take their cue from him.

He said there was no better time to do so than now, because, in his view, time was running out. 'Gani fought for the supremacy of the rule of law, and should therefore be called the father of modern day Nigeria. We must set a timeline to make Nigeria great again and realise the vision of Gani. We have wasted so much time already and we can't afford to waste any more time,' Ribadu stated.

He said he was celebrating 'Gani because he lived a fulfilled life,' adding 'we are all sick and tired, but it is time to be sick and tired of being sick and tired.'

For many Nigerians, that their nation faced grave security threat is understandable, what is beyond their comprehension is the absolute denial of their misrulers.

Like babies, Nigerian officials think that by closing eyes, problems will magically disappear.

What many Nigerians cannot fathom is also the fact that despite defence gulping a third of their national budget, there is general insecurity across the land.

We hear about Boko Haram menacing three states in the north-East of the country, less trumpeted are assassinations and armed robberies, that makes citizens very jittery, indeed.

The primary duty of any government is to provide security for citizens, and on this score, the Nigerian government score abysmally low.

Apart from a third of Federal budget being devoted to defence, each of the 36 State Governors have a nebulously-termed 'Security Vote,' that are not subjected to any scrutiny.

Nigerians are therefore fully entitled to their rage in demanding to know what exactly their mis-ruler do with all the money that should have been gone into building the infrastructure to provide them with security. They feel scandalized when they read about troops running away from the heat of battle because Boko Haram fielded better weaponry.

Troops also complained of lack of insurance coverage. They are also miffed that their commanders skimmed off money meant for their welfare. Few days ago, some frustrated soldiers shot at their commander at the 7Division of the Nigerian Army based in the city of Maiduguri.

It is necessary to note that governance in Nigeria exist largely only on paper.

Of course, citizens troop to vote every four years; people get elected to political offices where they are expected to fulfill their party's manifestoes of providing services for the people.

All those are in theory.
Today, most Nigerians go through life without tasting treated water. Many of them still dance for joy when they receive electricity from the national grid. Nigerians provide their own water and their own electricity, through generators whose noises and pollution kept citizens wake all night.

So, Nigerians are right to be outraged that, after taking care of their own food, water and electricity, they are also to be responsible for providing their own security.

Their annoyance is compounded by the seeming unfeeling of their rulers. About a month ago, Boko haram struck in the village of Chibok and kidnaped about three hundred school girls, who were writing their exams.

Whilst the news flashed across the world and provoke global anger, there was not a single statement from the Nigerian government.

The very next day, the President, Goodluck Jonathan, was shown on television dancing at his party's rally in Kano. The obscene spectacle provoked Nigerians to rise from their inertia.

The sheer insensitivity of the rulers provoked Nigerians beyond the threshold of their tolerance.

Having been treated over the years with utter contempt by those that rule them, Nigerians woke up and demanded that those in authorities wake up and discharge their responsibilities.

Within days BringBackOurGirls boomeranged across the world, with Michelle Obama and other powerful and influential people joining to demand action to bring the kidnapped girls backs.

The Nigerian government was caught totally off-guard - used to doing little and expecting big praises, officials had trouble providing coherent response to the huge demands for action. The Nigerian Minister of Interior told the BBC that government did not owe Nigerians explanation because it was a 'Security Issue.'

Finally, the government of Goodluck Jonathan swallowed its pride and accepted offers of help from several country, including the United States, France, UK, Israel and France.

And this week, President Jonathan journeyed to attend a Summit called by French President Francois Hollande.

A communique issued announced that West African leaders have agreed to cooperate more on regional security issues.

The question remains why our leaders in Africa would require the imploring of a European leader to make them do the correct thing.

It is no news that Boko Haram is active in Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.

We will never understand why the leaders of the countries will not form joint security team to tackle the problem - until French President told them to do so.

And we say that we are independent!
In my interview with Ghana's Foreign Minister, I asked why our leaders will not revisit Kwame Nkrumah's idea of an African High Command to take care of our security across the continent. She cited lack of money, among others.

Today, more foreign troops rampage in our continent than at any time since independence. We are not told whether it is cheaper to invite foreign troops than build our own capacity

As I argued in my forthcoming book: Africa: It Shall be well, 'SECURITY. For a continent with over a billion people, the spate of security challenges by every description of rag-tag army on the continent is simply untenable.

It was not that we were not warned about what to expect when the conservative forces, supported by the imperialists, shot down Nkrumah's idea to set up an African High Command (AHC).

The imperialists who told their minions in Africa that an AHC was a bad idea today safely escond themselves in NATO, and guaranteed their own safety.

Without delay, Africa should revisit the AHC project. African should easily be able to field five million army - a million each in the West, East, North, Southern and Central Regions. Military Science Academies and Advanced Weapons industries should, as a matter of priority, be set up across the continent.

As the only continent to have suffered the twin evil of slavery and colonialism, our defence and security should be our overriding concern. The current situation whereby African police officers use colonial laws to arrest and prosecute African gunsmiths is simply foolish. They should rather be aided to help in building up our indigenous arms industries. We cannot continue to rely on our historic oppressors for our security.

I raised the issue during my interview with the Ghana's Minister for Foreign Affairs, she raised questions about funding. If we admit that the spate of insurgencies and wars is costing our continent great financial burden, we should be creative enough to think about how to raise the money to defend ourselves and our interests.

Taxes could be levy on every business that operates on the continent to be allocated to Defence and Security.'

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of Femi Akomolafe and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."