Let us look atNigeria’s balance sheet.
On the ASSET side are the following:
- All that can go wrong have gone wrong and therefore there is no place to go but up
- There have been some strong developments that encourage hope:
Individual Nigerians are taking charge and doing for themselves what the government could not do for them. A group of Nigerians are building city buses in Nnewi
Members of Diaspora Nigerians are providing medical supplies to the citizens in Nigeria and remitting millions of foreign exchange to keep head and body together
People are coming together and hiring and paying science teachers to tutor students in the villages in order for them to be able to compete in the 21st century development
The Ijaw rally to make University of Otueke possible while the FG decides to release or not release any money to the new universities
A professor at University of Markurdi (any progress in this area?) has emerged to solve a math equation
Young professors like Nwakanma, IBK, Aluko, Adebayo, Okonjo-Iweala, Ezekwesili, Mustafa, (I suppose Igbos must renounce secession and rebellion against the Nigerian state first before they should think of the Presidency of Nigeria.), Adepoju, etc are making noise in the intellectual community winning awards (and occasionally for some and often for others) dabbling in the Nigerian political arena and stoking the fire.
Economic progress, though slow, is taking place thanks to Soludo, Sanusi, Dangote, Ibeto, etc
Some young politicians are also emerging: Donald Duke, Peter Obi, Fashola, to name one or two. The constant interference of older money bag god fathers impedes their emergence but they provide hope.
But believers in Nigeria’s immediate collapse have strong reasons for their belief:
- The insecurity of lives and property rotating from Delta to Baylesia to Rivers to Imo, to Anambra to Abia to Akwa Ibom to Edo and other parts of Southern Nigeria, each accompanied by kidnapping for ransom and often resulting in death.
- The insecurity of government infrastructure and institutions like the Force Headquarters, UN Building, churches, mosques, state buildings, etc and the inability of the police to bring even one criminal to justice.
- The criminal activities of the citizenry ranging from the rape in Abia State University in Uturu, the rape of NYSC members, the killings of opponents in campaigns, the stuffing of ballot boxes often in the open, the sacking of entire villages by a criminal gangs again with nobody ever arrested, prosecuted and jailed.
- The government’s criminal activities like the former Speaker of the House alleged to have stolen billions of House allocation and converting them to his personal use; or the current Speaker appointing 85 chairmen to help him run the looting project of the House.
- The criminal activities of the justices entrusted with the administration of justice in the country beginning with the alleged thievery by the Chief Justice, alleged by no lesson a person than the Chairman of theAppeals Courtor the alleged thievery by the Chairman of theAppeals Courtfor which he is now suspended, including his inability to respect authority
- The reliance of the society on really old men (Achebe and Soyinka in their 80’s) to speak for the people and no 40 – 60 year old on the horizon as the “people’s leaders.”
- The fact that NOT ONE Nigerian Universityis ranked in top 100 universities in the world. And not one in the top 30 in AFRICA. These points to a gloomy future. A country with dilapidated or dilapidating educational institutions can only be heading south.
- The fact that nobody in any authority is clean or is a patriot according to the wiki leaks reports from the head of state to the janitors, no man or woman is worthy of trust imposed by his/her office.
- That when you looked at the past inventory of intellectuals you would see professors Dike, Njoku, Aluko, Onabamiro, Onwumechili, Onuaguluchi, Elias, Nwabueze, Onyeama, Soyinka, Achebe etc. And if you look at the present and future you will see Drs Ozodiobi Osuji, Valentine Ojo, etc as their replacement.
- Where once stood Zik, Abubakar, Awo, Sarduana, Okpara, Osadebe, we now have OBJ, GEJ, Tinubu, Ibori, Odili, Otumba Daniel, Chimaroke Nnamani, Chime, and other Lilliputians.
- There is no love between individuals, states, zones, regions, political parties, or even within the subgroups. It will be nice if the Yoruba are united against the rest of the country or if the Igbo speak with a voice or if we had the solid north. The discordance within is even more troubling than the disconnect between. We now know that the Igbo from Enugu have to watch their steps in Abia or face deportation
I have taken pains to illustrate that the rot is all over. Individuals, legislature, executive, business, universities, etc have grossly underperformed. With such a widespread dismal situation where is the hope? What would be the basis for any hope?
Despite this seemingly overwhelming underperformance I am still gong-ho on Nigeria for there are some reasons for hope
The ASSET side above is what makes me hope that the middle part of the 21st century could beNigeria’s time. It is dismal now but would not be so for long. The failures and failings have run their course. As for 2020 please spare me. It will not come. It will not happen.
Happy 51st birthday,Nigeria, Your future is great!
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba
October 1, 2011