Nigeria/Africa Masterweb Special Feature
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Oh God, why did you curse Nigeria?
*An open letter to God
- Collins Ibenegbu
( Saturday, December 30, 2006 )
Photo Above: Bystanders and Red Cross officials watch firefighters trying to put out the fire after a vandalized oil pipeline exploded December 26, 2006 at Abule Egba, Lagos killing 265 people.
The notion of godly blessing of a country has often been naively related to the abundance of natural resources or to the presence of favourable weather and agricultural conditions. For many reasons, this approach is not only wrong but also blasphemous.
2. This approach also neglects the fact that these natural characteristics could constitute a potential source of disorder, conflicts, laziness, greed and corruption. In this instance, Nigeria is a representative sample.
3. For obvious reasons, when a country is bestowed with all the means and natural amenities and is denied leadership and organisational talent, the socio-economic consequences are devastating. This is Nigeria’s situation today.
Oh God, why did you allow Nigeria to have about the world highest concentration of evil doers? Nigeria has broken records. It is the only land where looters are so plenty in the government. It is the only land in the globe where, governors, ministers, presidents, even police chiefs have been so involved. This deadly pathology has been so institutionalised that each new regime deliberately ignores dragging their predecessors to justice as regards the source of their conspicuous prosperities which are always no match with their official salaries. This record breaking development spills to others disciplines too. Where else in the world do we hear of the use of human spare parts for financial ritual adventures or hear of armed robbers raiding police stations, sometimes in broad daylight. And what’s more? It is only in Nigeria that the so called pastors have so much talent of indoctrination which permits them to milk to the bones their miserable and hopeless followers. Tithes? Oh yes, 1/10 of one’s monthly income. What justifies it from a woman who does not have enough cash to buy daily milk for her baby or weekly meat for her family soup?
Oh God, Nigeria has cancer and more incurable diseases are on their way. For many decades, Nigerians have been praying for you to bring good leadership to their nation but it seems their prayers never cross the ozone layer, talk less of reaching you in heaven. Is it because our pastors are mostly financial serpents who hypnotise their followers into submitting 10 percent of their monthly income to them or is it because others Nigerians borrow your name Allah in order to attack fellow Nigerians on regular basis in accordance with their Jihad principle. They even claim you ordered them to stone any lady to death when considered guilty of adultery when others say you instructed‘Thou shall not kill’. Are these two conflicting messages coming from you, same God, or are you two different Gods?
Oh God, Nigeria is the Sodom and Gomorrah of our days. It is undergoing disastrous and irreversible damages and its total implosion is nearby if the status quo is unchecked.
Oh God, when you allow such a high concentration of evil doers in such a limited land space, (Nigeria), the consequence, as you have seen, is a certified cross pollination of socio-economic tyranny and heartlessness on all the layers leadership. The worst is that the evil doers constantly employ your name to pave their way to success since Nigerians foolishly believe their words. How often do we hear the looters say ‘ by the grace of God’, while their socio-economic breakthroughs were certainly ignited and propelled by high dose of moral breakdown.
Oh God, do Nigerian masses deserve to experience this hell on earth? May be yes, since they have consistently remained dull, timid and inactive vis-à-vis their future, unlike their counterparts elsewhere in the world who could organise and mobilise peaceful million-man demonstration to kick out corrupt leaders. Ukrainians and Georgians recently proved that power really belongs to the masses.
Oh God, if Nigeria is not hell, what else does hell look like? As if the misery and wailing of common Nigerians are not enough, the country experiences unbearable transport disasters, high rate of HIV infection, typhoid fever, malaria, heat, etc. and the victims are rarely the evil doers. This is what makes the situation appear unjust and unbearable especially when innocent children fall victims.
To console themselves, some Nigerians claim that all these are the signs of the end of time; Foolishness. Others invent anaesthetics for their suffering by claiming that their rewards for the earthly misery will be in heaven; Nonsense. A more pragmatic school of thought suggests that the chaos in Nigeria is typically made in Nigeria by Nigerians. Yes God, but it is difficult for Nigerians to believe that you could fold your hands and watch a handful of individuals enslave millions of their citizens for decades. You God are not known for being a distributor of collective punishment especially by using the few wicked rich against the majority innocent poor. By the way, this reminds me of the plane crash in Nigeria where over one hundred innocent children perished. It is still a mystery to us why you allow such events or at least why you do not prevent them. Similarly, the Jews are still asking that same question on why you allowed Hitler to come to power to slaughter millions. New Yorkers and the whole world also wonder if you saw the seventeen kamikaze squad of 11 September when they prepared for months, successfully boarded and finally killed three thousand people.
Oh God, we consider it blasphemous to establish a link between you and horrible events. It is therefore wrong for us to suggest that you watch what is going on in Nigeria and fold your arms without intervening. Anybody who insinuates so indirectly accuses you of allowing evil, while this is usually the role of Satan. This mystery is so strong that some confused scholars preach that you allow these horrors in order to test the faith and resistance of your creations, humans. This is also blasphemous because you, God, are omnipotent, which permits you to know the results of all tests in advance, even before the experiments are carried out. You even know what an unborn child will do all along his lifetime on earth. Hence, you need not test humans as you know already what our reactions will be in all situations.
But God, are Nigerian looters really human beings if they could steal so much public fund while many children die in the same land due to lack of sufficient medical treatment. Did you create them your self or were they created by someone else? You know that hitherto, the only distinction established to separate wild life from humans is just based on civilized behaviour and morals. In the jungle, when a lion is hungry and finds itself in the mist of antelopes, what does it do? It goes for only one, captures it and walks away happily and satisfied. It does not keep killing others antelopes to keep aside. But why don’t Nigerian looters copy at least from this wild life. In fact, the opposite has always been the case because millions of Dollars in their accounts never quench their thirst for surplus cash, but instead, it automatically amplifies their greed for extra.
Similarly, years of taste of power simultaneously ignites more insatiable thirst for leadership and germinates a new state of decomposed moral faculty. Nigeria has consistently and now sufficiently demonstrated that sanity, morality, order, fairness, justice, security and economic progress are elusive elements in its space and time. The question is hence: What option remains for the Nigerian masses? Fold their arms as usual, keep complaining motionlessly on daily basis and continue to pray for salvation that has never come and is not likely to? This shameful act of conferring one’s future in the hands of looters is henceforth obsolete.
Oh God, why don’t you place these looters between the nail and the hammer which is exactly the place they deserve? The worst is that these financial ‘jezebels’ have, through the past decades, contaminated the younger generation, a situation which makes it an uphill task to combat corruption today. Most young Nigerians of today have nothing in mind except how to grab their own millions and ride on their own Hummer, a situation that breeds and nourishes their thirst for 419 expeditions. All over the globe, from South Africa to Russia, from Japan to Spain, from Britain to India, most culprits of drug peddling and internet Scams are Nigerians. What is happening to Nigeria? This giant of Africa has only shame to portray. As Prof. Soludo of CBN released recent consoling indexes about Nigerian economy: inflation rate of 6.5%, GDP growth rate at 7.5%, Nigerians’ sigh of relief was short-lived as they remembered the billion dollars scandal that currently rocks NNPC. Nigeria is now a theatre of shame for the whole blacks in the world because, not only that it is the biggest Black Country but also because it has more than what it takes to mould a great nation. But instead of harnessing this synergetic disposition, Nigerians consistently derail into a quagmire of demonic love of instant cash.
According to UNICEF, the average life span of a Nigerian is less than 44 years, amongst the lowest in the war-free countries of the world. And from the CIA fact Book, Nigeria has a lower life expectancy than Togo, Eritrea, Uganda, Benin, Guinea, Congo, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Thad, Cameroon, Liberia, and Rwanda and there is no sign of a reverse to the ugly situation.
The inflation rate rise in Nigeria from 1980 to 2005 is above 1000%, one of the world records in the discipline. From microeconomic standpoint, when prices rise and incomes (salaries) do not follow the same track and trend, the purchasing power of the population drops significantly thereby installing disguised poverty. What percentage of Nigerians could afford daily consumption of meat and milk? A Nigerian, who is 30 years old today has been hearing of national economic hardship throughout his lifetime.
The current administration scored a strong point when it successfully brokered the cancellation of Nigeria’s multi billion Dollar debt, an amount that all Nigerians know was just a fraction of about 507 billions Dollars stolen by their leaders ever since ( EFCC figures). This mountainous sum would have been sufficient to render Nigeria a frontal challenger of China as the world’s number one industrial workshop.
Nigeria has almost proved right those who claim that blacks are only a collection of fools, barbarians, tyrants, dupes and extremely unintelligent parasites who have never made any contributions to the economic or scientific advancement of humanity. Nigerians are to judge by themselves by looking at the resources available to them ever since and the current economic and socio-political mess in the country after almost 50 years of independence.
Oh God, as the so called 2007 elections are fast approaching, the killings and bombings are already daily news. Old and new breeds of looters are already bracing up and digging in for the combat ahead. But what miracle could knock this destructive engine that has been firing on all its cylinders since the independence of Nigeria. As the EFCC spreads its limited dragnets here and there, it seems only finite number of big fishes fall. What about others? When and how will retrospective widespread justice be administered? Will that ever happen?, What are the prospects and challenges of the expected change of regime come 2007? In a follow up article, I will examine all these interrogations with special open letter to the Nigerian Senate and House of Reps.
Collins Ibenegbu, Director
Photo Above: A boy covers his face as he walks past burning corpses and vehicles following the Lagos oil pipeline explosion of December 26, 2006.
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