Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Written by Ugochukwu Ogbonnaya

Nigerians are expected to be patriotic and to work hard or even give their lives in efforts towards preserving the entity presently known as Nigeria. But I want to shock you with this statement: Nigeria, as we presently know it and has known it since 1914, is not worth preserving. Similarly, Nigeria is not worth any self sacrifice by anybody who is truly African, in any effort whatsoever towards its preservation.

The country, Nigeria, is presently steeply immersed in a whole lot of dreadful morass and quagmire, politically, economically, socially, culturally, name them. To the rest of the world and to the majority of her citizens, Nigeria has been and regrettably continues to be a huge failure in progress. And this failure is almost reaching a state of perfection or absoluteness. The most updated diagnosis of this country's ailments will show that at worst, Nigeria is now what even prominent Nigerians have identified as a failed state, while at best it is a perfect, societal example of the word, stagnation. The reasons are not far fetched.

So why is Nigeria failing? It is because in this society, there is a now deeply entrenched and hallowed culture that prescribes that problems are never meant to be solved but only to be indulged and got rotten in. And the people of this country for decades have followed this prescription with a most amazing and intense religious fervour. Nigeria's greatest problem is this believe by Nigerian citizens or particularly the few citizen elements in Nigeria who currently have a near monopolistic access to power within this 'somewhat' sovereign polity, or rather the pretence by these elements to believe that a state carved out, established and forcibly being sustained by an entirely non-African and a complete colonial and later imperial vested interests, can and need to and must be preserved by the people presently seen as Nigerians. Subscription to this misplaced believe culture in Nigeria goes, of course, all around but with very few and yet significant exception.

Nigeria, as everybody knows, is a British creation. One man called Frederick Lugard did it for his country Britain while working for their colonial interest over the territory that presently constitute Nigeria. His girlfriend and later wife, coined the name Nigeria, as we are told, and the colonial power wasted no time afterward to slap the name upon all the peoples found within this marked out territory of Nigeria located along the eastern edge of what is now known as West Africa. And almost a century later, we the indigenes found within this territory which is now an independent and sovereign political state, are being expected by the territory's contemporary rulers and local overlords (who remains more or less the colonial and imperial representatives in this former British colonial territory) to be proud of and proudly wear around this garb beautifully made for us by the Briton called Frederick Luggard and his girlfriend Flora Shaw; and if and when called upon, to sacrifice our lives as “patriotic” Nigerians towards preserving this 'sacred' creation by Britain.

Of course we don't see this as a problem at all in Nigeria presently. That is why in an era when the consequences of centuries of wicked exploitations by the old colonial powers of Europe, as well as the consequences of the post colonial and ongoing exploitations by the modern and advancing imperialistic powers of North America, Western Europe and Asia, are all being laid bare globally for judgement as they are telling heavily on the exploited continents and countries of Africa and of the rest Third World; and in a time when the souls and spirits of the peoples of these exploited continents are crying and yearning and demanding for justice and liberation, we in Nigeria are still being deeply immersed in an indoctrination to be proudly Nigerian and be patriotic enough to give our lives and all to defend and preserve Nigeria just as the British created it. Good people, great nation with the status quo intact. Incredible! But here is exactly where the Nigerian morass and quagmire of the moment actively lies.

Name some of the key Nigerian ailments of the moment about which the majority of this country's citizens are lamenting to high heavens, albeit passively, and see if you can't trace their roots to the greatest folly ever in the world that is presently going on in Nigeria in the name of running a country along a more or less colonial status quo and trying hard to make Nigerians believe it is all working out well or going to be fine despite the glaring outcome that says otherwise. Inter-ethnic strives; religious fanaticism; self enthroned and self perpetuating, greedy, and devourer ruling cabal; governmental corruption and fraud; dearth of values and norms in the society; continuous erosion of indigenous culture, traditions, and customs of the people; social, economic and political stuntness and retrogression; infrastructural precipice; and perpetual vulnerability to imperialistic vultures of the world; etc. These are phrases that best describes Nigeria of today. And they all have direct roots in the kind of country structure that Nigeria inherited from its colonial foundation and has since inception strives to maintain with an bewildering manic intensity folly never seen before in history.