Independence is good when the people are not emasculated by poverty, inequality, insecurity, broken infrastructures and despair.
I know this post will not go down well with some people, but the truth is the British left too early for us to learn anything that would prepare us for the life ahead.
I look at countries that stayed long under colonial rules like India, South Africa, Hong Kong, Macau, Namibia, etc and wonder how they are doing so well.
I thought that we would probably be doing better if the British had remained as our leaders to this day.
I know for a fact that colonialism does not operate under insecurity. The British ran their colonies with law and order par excellence. Today, Nigeria is anything but secured. It is suicidal to travel in the day along Kaduna-Abuja or Birnin Gwari road. Most people in Zamfara and Katsina have become refugees due to activities of bandits. People pass through Jos at personal risk. In Kaduna, kidnappers pick their victims on the streets.
I know colonialism did not allow corruption to fester. For every project budgeted, there must be something to show for the money. In our today Nigeria, most projects that started in 1983 are still going on with money stolen year in and year out. Over 2 trillion dollars had been stolen by our leaders. No colonial master was ever accused of stealing billions of pounds.
Colonialism did not operate with poor infrastructure. It is the pillar that was used by colonial masters to move cash crops from cities to coast for export to the home country. We had few roads that time, but reasonably good. Look at the infrastructures colonialism left behind in Hong Kong and South Africa and you will understand what I mean.
Colonialism might not have favoured education but l look at our leaders of the past that were products of colonial education and wonder what system of education we are operating today with our leaders struggling to read prepared speeches. No Nigerian leader today has the diction of Tafawa Balewa or Nnamdi Azikiwe.
I also know colonialism does not encourage waste, vanity and profligacy. The colonial masters moved in convoy of three vehicles and dressed mostly in simple suits and military fatigue. They did not buy planes and helicopters to intimidate us. Today our leaders dress like emperors. A governor’s convoy will shame that of the Queen. The tragedy is we don’t even build (manufacture) cars, not even tire!
I can go on and mention more examples.
The bitter truth is if the British had remained with us we would have been better than our present economic and social situation.They would have trained our leaders to become better managers of resources.
Nigeria had no oil when the colonial masters built all our seaports and vast network of rail lines and roads that we find impossible to maintain not to talk of building new ones.
By Aliyu Nuhu
PRP Board of Trustees Expresses Confidence In Falalu Bello-Led Exco
The Board of Trustees (BOT) of the Peoples Redemption Party (PRP) has passed a vote of confidence on the party’s National Executives led by Alhaji Falalu Bello, OFR.
The members of the board made this known in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting in Abuja on Thursday.
The communiqué, which had the signatures of former Minister of Commerce, Engr. Mustapha Bello, Dr. Segun Falope, Engr. Chris Onyeodizuchu, Alhaji Aji Mala, among others, revealed that the meeting was specifically summoned to consider urgent current developments within the party.
Part of the communiqué further reads: “After exhaustive, frank and fruitful deliberations on all the issues tabled before the meeting, the members of the BOT have resolved as follows:
“To express and convey the PRP BOT’s absolute confidence in, and satisfaction with, the leadership of the Party’s National Executive Committee [NEC] under the Chairmanship of Alh. Falalu Bello and with its strenuous and focused efforts at repositioning the PRP for greater relevance and impact in the Nigerian political space.
“To unreservedly endorse the Programmes of Action approved and rolled out by both the National Executive Committee [NEC] and National Working Committee [NWC] of the PRP covering the period August 2020 August 2021 which will culminate with the holding of the Party’s National Convention.
“To condemn in clear and unmistaken terms attempts by a few misguided and errant elements within the Party to create dissent, misunderstandings and factions within the PRP, noting in particular that this is contrary to the letter and spirit of the Party’s extant constitutional provisions and Code of Conduct for members which explicitly frown at all anti-Party activities and conduct likely to embarrass the Party or bring the Party into hatred, contempt, ridicule or disrepute.”
FGN vs Children of the common man, not ASUU By Usman Suleiman Sarki
It has been almost 8 months that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike due to the failure of the Federal Government to fulfil the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreements which are necessary for the sustenance of university system and its affordability to children of the common man and up till this time, government have not shown any commitment to end the ongoing strike by university lecturers.
The question is what is the position of government on the future of Nigerian university students? What kind of future is the government planning for the upcoming generation? A lot of people including the students are bitterly criticizing ASUU for the unending strike without making an objective investigation of the reasons behind the strike so as to balance their thoughts and make appropriate judgement over the issue. It is well known that strike is the only language that Nigerian Government understand but many people will not understand either because of the little knowledge on why university lecturers are on strike or because of their personal or political reasons. It is good to remember that no reasonable government want its workers to go on strike because it weakens the legitimacy of the government and tarnish its image in the eyes of responsible people in and outside the country. However, the side of the ineffectiveness of the strike as lamented by some people lies in the students and the general public because they do not support ASUU like the way they support the compromised NLC. Many people are thinking that ASUU always go on strike for the selfish interest of its members forgetting the fact that ASUU is not demanding for anything outside its legitimate rights and that of the students because one of the cardinal issue surrounding ASUU’s problem with the FGN is Revitalization of the universities without which the universities can no longer be sustained but unfortunately both the students and the general public blindly ignore that.
I am afraid of what will happen when ASUU change its current stand and decide to fight for its own entitlement and do away with Revitalization and university autonomy. It will get to a stage where students will be made to pay tuition fee and that will stop the children of the common man from studying in the university and this is the wish of many among those in power because they want their children who study abroad to succeed them and continue to exploit the masses.
On this note, I urge the Nigerian University students and the general public to recast their thoughts and take appropriate stand on the issue. I pray that the stakeholders involved in handling this issue will take the necessary measures in resolving this lingering issue in the best interest of the Staff and Students of Nigerian Universities in particular and the educational system in general.
Usman Suleiman Sarki,
Department of Sociology, Federal University Dutse.
Nigeria Needs Mental Not Violent Revolution To Change The Political Culture By Ado Umar
The aspiration and dream of every patriotic citizen is to see gradual progress and development of their country to make positive impacts on the lives of the common man.
Each and every nation around the world have potentials to develop in their own peculiar ways that suits their unique available resources to ensure equitable allocation and distribution of such resources in the overall interests of the country not few self-centred elites and their cronies.
Some countries have all the resources and potentials to develop rapidly than others because of uneven endowments both natural and man made resources. These will be harnessed and manage with the intentions of inculcating a sense of patriotism on each citizens to make personal efforts no matter how small in the nation building on one hand, and leave legacies behind for the future generations to build on and continue the process on the other.
Serious nations at any given time encourage their citizens not to despair, but create possibilities out of every impossibility to build a prosperous nation where the citizens will be competing to surpass each other in brightening the future of their country through sacrifices and selfless services in the overall best interests of the country and it’s citizens.
However, if we look at our dear country from all angles of natural endowments, fertile land and human resources, we have all the potentials to develop and compete with other developed and developing countries around the world. Instead of building a viable nation that will create opportunities for all to serve as a role model for other countries, we became dumping ground and hopeless country that promotes advancements of personal interests which eventually will cripple the country.
Many countries after their independence drew a roadmaps and adopted a blueprint for attaining sustainable development in all aspects of life to facilitate socioeconomic growth. Nationalists movements became regular features and serve as a watchdog for anyone that will derail from their stated objectives and blueprints.
In Nigeria, we are not so lucky to have such roadmaps and blueprints followed and implemented strictly to set short, medium and long-term plans that will ensure our gradual growth and development. Without any iota of doubt, Nigeria is one of the countries around the world that have beautiful and comprehensive development plans by successive governments, but very poor when it comes to sincere and strict implementation.
Our founding fathers that fought and struggled for our independence tried their best in leading by example, selfless service and accommodating. They cared for our socioeconomic wellbeing through policies that facilitated human capital development. Education was given priority with local and foreign scholarships that were easily accessible to all.
Although our founding fathers have done their best in pre-independence and independence Nigeria, but they did not lay a solid foundation for a brighter futures. Instead of building a political structures that look beyond ethnic borders and prisms they succeeded in planting the seeds of ethnic politics.
Immediately after the independence, our founding fathers became regional champions whereby their strengths start and end in their respective regions with insignificance or no influence in other regions.
Those who took over from the British Colonial Masters had all what it takes to promote fully integrated political cultures and structures that were not ethnically dominated using the principles of cultural relativism, but ended up promoting ethnocentric politics where our differences can easily be discerned.
The collapse of first republic and the subsequent political developments led to the demise of regional politics, but still retained the ugly ethnic politics which up to today constitutes a serious threat and impediment to the emergence of credible leadership in Nigeria.
The current mindset of ethnic politics that became well established and pervasive in the minds of the overwhelming Nigerians can be overcome and deals with through mental revolution not physical or violent revolutions to change our mindsets.
In our today’s politics, an average Nigerian is mentally and politically enslaved by the political gladiators who are using illiteracy, poverty, ethnicity and religion for the actualization of their political ambitions and personal interests to the detriment of the majority masses.
Leading mental revolution by the Association for Credible Leadership in Nigeria is a welcome development, but not an easy one, the task ahead is enormous. With perseverance and grassroot enlightenment it can be accomplished over time to change our mindset that goes beyond ethno-religious and regional sentiments.
The current political atmosphere of Nigeria gives the elites from across the country endless opportunities to control the masses using divide and rule to impoverish the masses who now see their political persecutors as protectors.
Ado Umar Lalu
Member, Association for Credible Leadership in Nigeria