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NIGERIA: Manifestation of a Failed State.

By Clifford Ogbeide

Nigeria in recent times has manifested rapidly basic symptoms of a failed state in the categories of Somalia, Sudan etc. The absence of President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua from office since November 23 2009 without formally handing over to his deputy as enshrined in section 145 of the Nigerian constitution is a fundamental constitutional violation as the constitution is the conscience of the nation. Section 145 reads: “Whenever the President transmits to the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives a written declaration that he is proceeding on vacation or that he is otherwise unable to discharge the functions of his office, until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary such functions shall be discharged by the Vice-President as Acting President.”

In an ominous sign, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, an out going retired Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Idris Kutigi sworn in a successor Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Kastina Alu throwing precedence into the dustbin because of leadership vacuum. The newly appointed 15 permanent secretaries to reinforce the bureaucracy have not been inaugurated. This absence of leadership has also led to the Non-implementation of key programmes and policies of this administration in line with making Nigeria one of the foremost 20th economies in the year 20:20. Critical is the post-Amnesty era for the repentant militants of the Volatile Niger Delta region, and of course this has a huge security and economic implication for our nation. If hostilities is resumed, our oil output will be drastically reduced with a shortfall in projected oil revenue accrue to government for the implementation of its strategic programmes and policies. The failure to provide the much talked about 6000 megawatt of electricity by the end of last year is also of importance to mention.

The inability of Nigeria to aggressively pursue vibrant Diplomatic Dexterity and the comatose in the management of state affairs has rendered Nigeria impotent, and irrelevant in the comity of nations, as manifested in the wake of the failed terrorist attack by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab on an America Bound flight on December 25 2009 which necessitated Nigeria been blacklist as a terrorist state. Up till this moment, Nigeria has not made a diplomatic contact with her US counterpart in this regard, left alone discussing what went wrong, and way forward to avoid future reoccurrence. Because of this leadership vacuum, Nigeria has not been able to appoint an Ambassador in Washington DC since Gen. Rotimi Oluwole was recalled over his ethnic remarks, left alone receiving letters of Credence from Ambassadors posted to Nigeria.

Nigeria is the sixth oil producer and seventh oil exporter in the world, still there are long queues at petrol stations as a result of non availability of refined petroleum products in the country in recent time because of the inability of our refineries to function due to corrupt and sharp practices by successive governments, and manipulation of the economy by few political elites to their advantages at the detriment of millions of Nigerians as we now relied on imported finished products, thereby importing unemployment while we export employment. Renewal of oil lifting license for operator is deadlock.

Nigeria's abundant oil and solid minerals deposit is paradoxical in nature because it has not been able to transformed the lives of Nigerians from poverty to prosperity, rather it has inflicted pains, violence, environmental degradation, maiming, killing and societal misery on average Nigerians. The most visible source of disconnection between Nigeria's wealth and poverty lies in the failure of governance and leadership both at the Local, and national levels and these developments all put Nigeria's future at great risk.

Between 1970 and 1999, the Nigerian petroleum industry generated about $231 billion in rents, or $1900 for every man, woman, and child. Yet from 1970 to date, the Nigeria state can not boost of any viable health care delivery systems which necessitated President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua current treatment for heart related problem in a Saudi Arabia hospital, educational standard has nose dived as a result of lack of funding by government that that no one Nigerian University is ranked among the first 2,000 in the entire world that parents now send their wards to foreign schools which is partly responsible for the radicalizing of Umaru Farouk Mutallab the “Allege Christmas day Bomber”, dilapidated road network which has increased the cost of transporting goods and service around the country, absence of portable water supply, increase in maternal mortality, acute shortage of power supply which is the bedrock of any industrialized nation and this has caused serious de-industrialization andunemployment since employers of labour are leaving in droves to Neigbouring countries where cost of doing business is favourable. Corruption and Lack of Transparency and accountability in the management of the country's resources is largely responsible for these economic and societal ills. The anti-graft agency is helpless due to non-commitment of the government.

The rising wave of insecurity and the upsurge of violence crime in the country i.e. armed robbery, kidnapping, militancy, economic sabotage, ethno-religious conflicts, communal clashes, Islamic radicalization and fundamentalist activities (Boko Haram, Kala Kato) pose a great security threat to human existence, territorial integrity and the inept and hapless situation of our security agencies are of a great concern as these are indicators to anarchy. The much needed foreign direct investment through foreign investors will be elusive because of the un-conducive security environment for business to thrive. Also, the continuous absence of the “Commander –in-Chief of the Armed Forces makes the situations more worrisome and render the country more vulnerable to enemies of democracy as we are like a herd without a shepherd and all these, are threat to our co-operate existence as a nation, and signpost to disaster.

It is my humble submission that the nation's leadership adhere strictly at all times to the laid down provisions of the constitution in order to avoid vacuum in governance since power, abhors vacuum. Sit tight syndrome should be discouraged, and holding tenaciously to political power at all cost is against the principles and tenets of good governance, Democracy, and rule of law.

From the above analyses, it is obvious that these indications or indicators are complete manifestation of a comatose or a failed state in the absence of a purposeful and virile leadership in Nigeria.

Clifford Ogbeide

Centre For Strategic & Development Studies,

Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, Nigeria

Email: [email protected]

Your Comment

Mohammad Jiya Idrisu | 5/18/2014 1:49:00 PM
Proffesor GG Dara keynote addres presented by Awhefeada at the 80th Birrhday of Elechi Amadi.

To quote Dara, Dara and his colleagues had dramatice a mystic character Agwuturunbe in one of Amadis novel, The Great Pond in other to scare away student thieves who made away with his personal belongings in their hostel,achieving a positive result.

The Professor of literature regretted the current political climate in Nigeria vis-a-vis the North and South Dichotomy especially when 10 States in Nigerian Federation mainly in the South, South and south east contribute to the National Treasury while the North which contribute nothing having been dominating the Political affairs of the Country._Professor Dara also faulted the amalgamation of te Northern and Southern Protectorate in 1914 by Lord Fredreck Lugard which was predicated on a Parasitic relationship of an Insolvent Northern protectorate depending on the South FOR Survival and the price for laters benevolence, he said was the formers political Dominance.
An illiterae Professor GG Dara who faulted the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 by Lugard. A so called Professor failed togo down the memory lane. How Much Quantity of Oil was being produced by the non existent 10 States of the South, South at 1914 to sustain Nigeria and keep the vast population of Northern Nigeria alife.How insolvent could Northern part of Nigeria be at 1914 while the Booming Trans-sahara was just Scuttled by by the British German and France Invasion who begun the Scrambling for these part of the World.

I am a strong Admirer of the literary Giant Elechi Amadi who had pot-ray through his writings as Champion of minorities in Nigeria. I am not a so call professor of Literature as GG Dara, though I came across a Novel written by Elechi Amadi in early 80s in my Secondary School at Government College Bida in the present Niger State. The Sunset in Biafra. Elechi gave an account of the happenngs in the Biafran site as it affects the Minorities.

Be that as it may, my close Freind of Ibo extraction has told me that what Northerners are getting now especially from people like Dara serves then right, That the present south, south was under the Control of Ibo people of Eastern region before Northern gave then political freedom.

In corollary, my late Uncle of blessed memory who fought in The Nigerian Civil war of 1967 TO 70 had always drum it to my head that if anybody tells me that the Ibos fought Biafra in other to break away forom Nigeria, Ishould not believe the trash. My Uncle said that Ojukwu being a very Intelligent man haf seen the massive OIL Wealth ha lie behind him in the South, South region and decided to stake his life on that period. A great number of Northern able bodied young men were drafted to fight the war. Their children are now the Daras so called parasite.Offcourse anywhere in the world if you are able to defeat your adversary in the War you will control the Boutty.