Permit me to spare another thought on Gambia with hope that nothing happens to the peace of Banjul. When I posted the article titled ‘Before the smiles goes away from Gambia’ I had anticipated that President Jammeh will put Gambia first. Whatever are his arguments I personally do not make excuse for any African leader who failed an election he or she organized.
Be that as it may, it’s important to ensure that the sovereignty of Gambia is respected by ECOWAS and the outside world. Given that the Nigerian leader is the Gambian chief mediator, I sincerely hope that this political impasse is not turned into an armed conflict.
I am afraid and fearful for Gambia because the Chief Mediator does not have the reputation of resolving any issue diplomatically. Under his watch back home minor disputes are turned into violent military repression and conflict. Niger Delta Avengers, members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and IPOB are continually bloodied. I am hoping that the Gambia situation is not mismanaged. I will urge that all avenue for peaceful resolution of the crisis in Gambia is explored.
War is costly and ECOWAS leaders must be restrained from unleashing a needless war on Gambia. I will once again urge President Jammeh to think of the happy faces of Gambia. He must not let Gambia weep. He should avoid this looming conflict and go home in peace for there is life after office and power.
Back to the issue of the day and why Nigeria is not too big to fall. I love Nigeria and want it to remain one but these days I doubt if that wish isn’t a pipe dream. If Nigerians really want Nigeria to survive the future and realize her potentials we must begin to reconstruct our exaggerated image of the country, renegotiate the federation or restructure. We must realize that the world is moving forward and is not waiting for us.
Often times we delude ourselves with the often repeated rhetoric that we are a big country and that we are too big and too important to fall. I have also heard the often repeated argument that Nigeria is of strategic importance to the world to be ignored. To these school of thoughts the idea of Nigeria huge population being internally displaced is a nightmare the world will hate to behold.
I think it’s time we tell ourselves the home truth and stop deceiving ourselves. We may be a big country but we are not the best thing happening to Africa and the world. Make no mistake, I am a major fan of a big country and there are so much we can achieve being big but of what use is our being big if we cannot manage our bigness. Of what use is a big for nothing country or a giant with clay foot.
If being big means the human carnage and ethnic cleansing going on in Kaduna , Benue and Taraba without the government offering protection to the hapless citizens , then let’s go small. I will elect to be citizen of a small country that offers me safety and security than be a citizen of a big country where lives of cows come first before the lives of Christians.
Nigeria’s big population remain a wasted human capital if the potentials of the citizens are not tapped and properly harnessed. Nigeria’s huge wealth remain a curse if it does not reflect on the lives of citizens. What’s the purpose of having a population we can’t feed and an oil wealth that breeds only corruption and violence? What is the purpose of a huge army lacking in professionalism to protect the integrity of our borders? Why have a big army that only specialize in brutalizing the civilian population while we live at the mercy of terrorist group and foreign invaders? When will the lives of citizens matter to the Nigerian government?
I meet young people on daily basis with a lot of talents and energy who are held down due to lack of opportunities. They want jobs but there are no jobs. They are left with no hope and no future. There are not much of a difference between our young people and the youths of Indonesia , China and India. They are enterprising hard working and innovative. The only difference is our government.
We have the dubious honor of having governments at all levels with no plan for the growing youth population. Except we are able to tap into the amazing potentials of our youth population, turn their latent energy into a working force, then we can as well do without such a population. We cannot achieve our best potentials if we have policies that subjugate and marginalize millions of our citizens on account of their tribe and religion.
Often we deceive our self with this notion of our strategic importance to the world. Once we are important in Africa but we can say we have become more important than Ghana and Cote de Voir? Can we say that we are today more of strategic importance to the USA than Ghana and Angola is to them. Oil is being discovered in so many places just like oil prices and demand for oil are going down. We saw how the Obama administration snubbed and ignored us , cancelled the demand of our oil by the US while embracing Ghana , Kenya and Angola. In his eight years of administration Obama never came to Nigeria . He literally ignored and treated us like we never existed. The snobbish policy of Obama administration against us is a sign that the world can ignore us and do without us. Chances are that our isolation by the US may even grow wider under the Trump administration which means we must as a country pause to think about our future and how we can redeem our nation . Can we continue like this or restructure or go small? For how long do we honestly think we shall continue to use brute force to hold our restive citizens down? If a referendum is conducted to the in the former Eastern Nigeria , chances are that the frustrated citizens of the region will vote to exit Nigeria.
There is no doubt that Nigeria is sick and wobbling . The hand writings on the walls are clear. We are breeding too many disgruntled and lawless citizens. Many are sick and tired of our leaders pretending everything is well whereas the country is going downhill.
Many a time we blame corruption and ethnicity for our woes. We also blame the British amalgamation as if we are the only country in the world bedeviled by corruption or the only country in the world with tribes or the only people amalgamated and colonized. Yes corruption is bad but truth is we don’t need saints as leaders but very focused leadership with commitment to nation building.
It’s time we consider a renegotiated federation so as to salvage what is left of our unity, honor and glory. We are neither too important nor too big to fall, so our best bet is to restructure now or die.