Thursday, 29 December 2011

Nigeria and the 2015 predictions : Acting out the scripts

      When the news filtered through the airwaves about the possible break-up of Nigeria in the year 2015, most people scoffed at the prediction downplaying it as the imaginations and mechanizations of detractors who saw nothing in the good of the country.  There was uproar in the various quarters of the nation as various personalities and groups rose up to debunk such heinous claim. The development even prompted some northern and southern leaders to form a national dialogue group to engage leaders from across the geo-political zones in an attempt to forge a truly national front to erase the possibility of a break-up.
      It all began in January 2005, during a one-day conference of U.S experts convened by the National Intelligence Council to discuss likely trends in sub-Saharan Africa for the next 15 years. The NIC's report 'mapping the global future', which projected global trends and possible scenarios up to 2020, covered so many issues which included the possibility of an outright collapse of Nigeria. The report went further to posit that a junior officer in the army would stage a coup against the country's democratic government (somewhat reminiscence of Biafra war). Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s president at the time, and the national assembly were quick to rebuff such claim, but did not rule out the fact that they would have to work to prevent the occurrence of such event.
     6 years after, signals emanating from the Nigerian socio-political climate show strong indications that the nation may be heading towards dismemberment. The growing threat of insecurity,economic hardship, insensitivity from government and much entries into the catalogue of the nation's vices are fast fueling resentment amongst the local populace towards the political elite. The growing number of ethnic militias, unemployment rates spiraling out of control, low human development index and outright corruption only buttress the assumption that Nigeria is a failed state. However lest we rush into hasty conclusions about the American permutation, it's necessary we apply a microscopic view in assessing the situation.
    Revolutions and conflicts are always borne out of a clash of opposing interests. The ruling class clashes with another sub-ordinate class to usher in a new era. Revolutions and conflicts are waters through which the sub-ordinate class navigates it self to political power and control. More often than not, the masses most of whom are hoodwinked into carrying out the revolution, are merely tools through which these interest parties use to assert themselves on power. The people can be likened to a hammer. The group through propaganda determines in which direction it wields the hammer.
      The preconceived notion that revolutions are simply reflections of the people's desire for a change is nothing short of a fable for the ignorant. Most, if not all revolutions have always been instigated by the elite, the masses merely act out the script given to them. The Arab spring protests were the brain child of the U.S perpetuated by the C.I.A to wrest the middle east region from Islamic monarchs. In Egypt, the C.I.A officials had already started sowing the seeds of dissent among the populace a year prior to the riots. The Libyan war 'rebels' were infact Al-Qaeda militants and Afghanistan mercenaries headed by Kahlifa Hifter, a C.I.A official. The red-shirt revolution in Thailand lead by Thaskin Sinawatra was predicated and instigated on the premise of western influences.
    The examples depicted in the foregone though not conclusive enough, have shown that revolutions are manipulated for a selected few. More importantly, it throws up the questions of if actually the growing fears of war and dismemberment are the game plans of a masked group. A group that profits from conflicts and anomie. Through the smokescreen of the media, the group is able to disseminate propaganda of danger in our subconscious.
     To further buttress this assertion, the Chinese-Indian example provides a credible argument. In the 1980s, the U.S tried to instigate India into going into a war with china. Three decades later, both countries have become global powers to reckon with and are fast displacing the United States in some markets. China has surpassed America as Africa’s leading trade agent, while the global software market is controlled by the Indians.
      Ethiopia was however unlucky. This nation was formerly the most powerful nation in Africa and challenged other continents for the rights of African nations. Ethiopia successfully repelled colonial forces, making it the only country that was not colonized. The CIA (again) instigated war along tribal lines and provided support of insurgency at the level of U.N for self-determination of Eritrea. This is perhaps the same script being played out in the Nigerian scenario. Heating up the polity on ethnic, linguistic and religious lines may be favorable to certain people or groups.
       The potentials of the West African sub-region. The region is an economic hub and plays a pivotal role in international trade. The dismemberment of Nigeria would have national and regional consequences. Neighboring economies in Benin, Togo, Ghana, Liberia, would be affected. With a population of about 150 million, how would the region cope with the spill out of refugees in an already fragile region struggling with piracy, militancy, arms proliferation, pollution etc
      However lest we apportion blames to cabals, cliques, foreign influences etc, it would be fool hardy for Nigeria as a nation if it does mot take a microscopic view of its situation. The prediction of a break-up would only come to fruition if the government provides a conducive environment for dismemberment.
        The Nigerian government, unfortunately is doing a good job at providing such an environment. Corruption, ethnic affiliations, nepotism, growing insecurity, draconian policies et al, like the durkhemian framework of organismic analogy, are working together towards a holistic goal. The Arab spring protests would have been a futile attempt if the respective governments respected the ethos of democracy. Contrary actions would gift these groups with the opportunity to sow their evil seeds. Conflicts are characteristic not determinants of a failed state. It is not enough to verbalize our disagreements with the 2015 predictions. The government has to act decisively in fostering the spirit of nationalism on its citizens. There has to be a clear road map towards nation-building.
    More importantly, to the citizenry. Even if the government plays dumb to our yearnings, cries and aspirations (which they most certainly will). Let us be wary of the jackals lurking in the bushes waiting to steal the kill whilst the lions cancel out themselves. The Libyan, Egyptian and Iraqi cases were stooges were forced on the people should not be repeated. Let us not mistake the dance steps of warriors as those of merriment.

1 comment:

  1. Rightly said, Chika Craft. We should really "not mistake the dance steps of warriors as those of merriment". I always do pity those who think an Arab Spring-like revolution will solve the country's problems.


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