Re: FT’s Nigeria’s President Is Missing In Action

By Philip Agbese

The extent to which Africans themselves contributed to making the transatlantic slave trade a success remains a controversial subject when discussing how the continent was set back through the wholesale theft of large number of its abled bodied people that were taken into slavery in the Americas. The Yoruba call such collaborators “odale”, a term that connotes the lowest form of treachery and betrayal possible.

Sadly, while the world might, in a righteous sense of political correctness, cringed at the scale and sheer inhumanity of the transatlantic slave trade, several institutions and individuals are unhappy that the horrors of those dark ages are over and would do anything to recreate that era. Nothing demonstrates and confirms this nauseous mindset as clearly as an article titled “Nigeria’s president is missing in action” by David Pilling published in the Financial Times (FT).

The article read like a notice at a slave auction with analyses that share similarity to the slave trader talking about the qualities of his captives right in their presence as if they do not exist. The FT’s write up is nothing but a coded invitation for the vultures of the financial world to sharpen their talons and beaks in anticipation that another of the countries they have been trying to undermine would soon become carrion and a meal to be served soon. How mistaken.

FT has a long running history of constantly implying that countries like Nigeria are incapable of managing their own affairs and must therefore remain enslaved enclaves to the western capitalist masters it serves. In David Pilling, its African editor, the newspaper found the astute slave scout and trader rolled into one since he claims to know the lay of the land and how best to sabotage its people.

The commitment of FT and its staff to mischief is best appreciated against the background that they acknowledge President Buhari inherited “a dire situation” his predecessor, former president Goodluck Jonathan, yet they went ahead to create the impression of a bungling leadership that is out of touch with the people. Such attitude belies a sinister motive and is apparently not unconnected with a larger enterprise to see Nigeria unravel.

While it is not explicitly stated, the incentive for David Pilling’s article in the Financial Times clearly has more to do with the fact that the administration has not been friendly with corrupt persons that are no longer able to export proceeds of their crime – Nigeria’s funds, to run the economies of the country to which FT is beholden. This will explain the desperation to not only twist things out of context but to also incite the population against government.

The author overlooked the fact that Nigeria drifted into economic crisis blown by the indiscretions of his employer’s former client, Goodluck Jonathan, for whom it ran not a few glowing articles even though it is now glaring that the world famous FT at some point endorsed the malfeasance that was praised as opening up the economy under that perilous government.

The Nigerian economy may be smarting from the many years of failing to do the right thing but those whose businesses and livelihoods are not dependent on corruption for patronage are beginning to feel the re-channeling of priorities under President Buhari’s government. Where FT’s David Pilling sees industries being killed off by the naira’s distress, more discerning individuals see the equivalent of moulting – excess and dead tissues dying off to make way for new and viable ones.

So, Nigeria’s President is not missing in action as the laughable claim only shows that FT has thrown journalistic standards to the dogs. Pilling’s depth of understanding, acquired mostly from the lobbies of elitist hotels, should be focused on what he knows how to do best – selling column and misleading conference participants while he leaves Nigerians to sort out the mess he contributed to creating with his patronizing articles for past bad governments.

Given that FT, a satanically capitalist franchise, usually keeps its content behind a paywall, Nigerians would have been spared reading such misdirected angst but for its local collaborators, who find it worthy to make news out of ranting that should have been consigned to the dustbin of journalism. Like those who collaborated with the white slave traders in selling out their nation into slavery, those helping FT to amplify its agenda in Nigeria are again selling their nation to the modern slavery, if not physically damaging their compatriots for a few dollars of Google Ads they are doing a dangerous job of perpetrating mental slavery that constantly suggests only the foreigner can explain our country to us.

Agbese is a human rights activist studying in the United Kingdom.