Continued from Part 1
Growth is painful. Change is painful. But nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you don't belong (Mandy Hale)
The fatal attraction of government is that it allows busybodies to impose decisions on others without paying any price themselves. That enables them to act as if there were no price, even when there are ruinous prices -- paid by others (Thomas Sowell)
No matter how good you think you are as a leader, my goodness, the people around you will have all kinds of ideas for how you can get better. So for me, the most fundamental thing about leadership is to have the humility to continue to get feedback and to try to get better - because your job is to try to help everybody else get better (Jim Yong Kim)
angote, Adenuga, and other billionaires have not paid all their debts to banks, but have not been arrested. But Innoson (Innocent Chukwuma) as an Igbo man must be treated like a common criminal by the way the EFCC bundled him off to Lagos. They're afraid that if not halted, that he will soon start manufacturing aircrafts since he started from shoe manufacturing to bicycles, then to motorbikes, and then to vehicles. Ekwealor Michael Obike noted that all they need now is to bring him down so that people like him will never come up in Igbo land. They did the same thing to the first African man to manufacture a local made car, Mr. Izuogu".
Talking of Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu and how Nigeria kills the ingenuity of its citizens, you need to read that yourself. They did this to Dr. Izuogu because of where he comes from. They sent thieves to steal everything in order to frustrate him. Tell me how Nigeria can progress then? Read more about Izuogu and his invention below.
Today, Nigeria is going to spend about $1 billion to procure weapons to fight Boko Haram. That shouldn't have been the case, if our rulers were up to the job. In 2014, I wrote that Nigeria missed the opportunity to be an industrial giant after the civil war, and should have been producing enough weapons for its military, without relying on other countries for its needs.
Supposing Nigeria is a country that tells itself the truth, it would have gained from the local ingenuity and technology used by the Biafrans during the war. The Igbos refined petrol without the elaborate and sophisticated technology and infrastructure of today; they manufactured bombs called Ogbunigwe from local technology, and so many other feats that should have formed the basis of Nigeria's industrial revolution. Many of those men that performed the feats then are dying out without Nigeria getting out some of those ideas and ingenuity from them. A country that is serious should have allowed those men to transfer those needed ideas to the younger generations before passing on to the great beyond!
Dr. Nnaemeka Anieke in his article of November 13, 2008 captioned: Ndi Igbo: The way forward, published in this website (Nigeriaworld) wrote this: "In 1968, one of the mercenaries fighting for Biafra was Lt. Col Taffy Williams, a South African white male, brought up under apartheid, with no respect for any black man. He confessed that before he met the Igbos, he had nothing but disdain for the Africans. He said that when he fought in the Congo, "I had nothing but contempt for the Congolese, and that went for the Katangese, too". But in an interview in September 1968, with a New York Times correspondent, Lloyd Garrison, Col. Williams described the impact and change of opinion the Igbos have made on him. Asked why he was risking his life for the Igbos, he said: "These people are intelligent. They are inventive. They have made their own landmines and their own rockets, and they work bloody well." Then Col. Williams continued: "Can you name me any other black Africans who could fight a war for more than a year and still keep things going without a single bloody white man to advise them? Their engineers have built their own airfields. The trains still run. Radio and television work. So does the phone system. They even have their own Telex link to Europe, … they refine their own crude oil. All this, and not a single white man is in sight, except missionaries. I can tell you, for one who has lived the last 16 years under apartheid, it's been a shock." (See New York Times Magazine, September 8, 1968, pages 98-99)""
It's unfortunate that President Buhari, instead of making genuine efforts to create jobs is rather killing jobs. When he took Ibeto Cement virtually out of business, he killed so many jobs, and if he continues stifling Innoson Motor Company, many jobs will be lost. According to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, the unemployment rate has been going higher since Buhari became the president of Nigeria. The number of Nigerians unemployed since then is as follows:
2015 Q1 -5.5 million
2015 Q2 - 6.0 million
2015 Q3 - 7.5 million
2015 Q4 - 8.0 million
2016 Q1 - 9.4 million
2016 Q2 - 10.6 million
2016 Q3 - 11.2 million
2016 Q4 - 11.5 million
2017 Q1 - 11.9 million
2017 Q2 - 13.5 million
2017 Q3 - 15.9 million
I can understand why Nigerians hate this government for doing nothing tangible for them. Tell me why there should be fuel scarcity during this Christmas season? I heard that some Nigerians slept at the Filing Stations, looking for fuel, on the Christmas Day.
Now grief has reached the house of president Buhari. The news is that his son, Yusuf, had a motorbike accident, he's unconscious, and may be flown to Germany for treatment. Then something happened that pissed many Nigerians off. The former president, Goodluck Jonathan, in his magnanimity, wished Buhari well over his son's accident, while wishing the young Buhari speedy recovery. Then, many Nigerians became angry with Goodluck Jonathan, wondering why he sent well wishes to the Buharis, saying that Buhari created the mess the country is in today, but that his son had the fuel to be riding around in Abuja, when people are queuing, for days, to buy fuel. These Nigerians also pointed out that Nigerian roads are claiming Nigerian lives every minute, because Buhari has refused to fix them, and as such, now that the pains, other Nigerians are experiencing, has hit home at the Buharis, they should feel it too, afterall, for them, Yusuf's life is not worth more than that of any other Nigerian.
In as much as I may have problems with the way Buhari is misruling Nigeria, I will disagree here with so many Nigerians. We should empathize with our fellow Nigerians, whenever they're in trouble or in grief. Yusuf Buhari is not Muhammadu Buhari, he's just the son of the president, and has nothing to do with his father's cluelessness and wickedness. We all should wish him speedy recovery, hoping that this incident will knock some sense into president Buhari, so as to make him understand that so many Nigerians are suffering, and that death or incidents like these might not discriminate between classes or tribes. This might be a lesson for him, as Sophocles wrote that "All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride", and, Roy T. Benneth (1939-2014) wrote that "It's only after you've stepped outside your comfort zone that you begin to change, grow, and transform."
Let's discuss a bit about Nigeria: On December 11, a former American Ambassador to Nigeria, Amb. Walter Carrington (OFR) (appointed by Bill Clinton), while delivering a lecture titled "Nigeria and Africa in a Changing World", said that the failure of Africa to fully realise its potential has earned it scorn rather than respect in the comity of nations. He noted that the failure of the continent's leaders to guarantee socio-political development was robbing it of an enviable place on the global scale. This ambassador was really referring to Nigeria, although he was mentioning Africa. He knows that Nigeria is the big for nothing leader of Africa. Carrington lamented that despite the huge resources all over the continent, neither Nigeria nor Africa, in general, occupied vital posts in major international organisations, while most parts of the continent were still soaked in poverty and unemployment. The ambassador then subtly lambasted the Nigerian ruling class that has caused the country to continue to be frozen out of membership in confederations of nations thought to be the most important in the world. In his words:
"Although its (Nigeria's) economy is the 20th largest in the world and is expected by 2050 to rise to number 9, it has not been invited to membership in the G-20, which claims to represent the world's most advanced economies. Nigeria is not regarded as influential enough internationally or regionally to be included in the company of Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. South Africa, whose economy is smaller and is not expected to grow as dramatically as Nigeria's, is, however, a member. For Nigeria to attain greatness, it must tackle kleptocracy, poverty, and patriarchy. Nigeria must prepare for the population boom that experts said it would experience by 2050 so that the explosion would not assume destructive proportions".
Another former US Ambassador Nigeria, John Campbell (appointed by George Bush), wrote a book: "Nigeria: Dancing on the Brink (A Council on Foreign Relations Book)", and there he dissected Nigeria. According to the reviewer, John Campbell explores Nigeria's postcolonial history and presents a nuanced explanation of the events and conditions that have carried this complex, dynamic, and very troubled giant to the brink. Central to his analysis are the oil wealth, endemic corruption, elite competition, and radical Islamic insurrection that have undermined Nigeria's nascent democratic institutions and alienated an increasingly impoverished population.
Look at how the Nigerian ruling class has let everybody down. When Nigeria gained independence in 1960, the country was way ahead of Argentina, Brazil, China, South Korea, Mexico, Saudi Arabia etc, but today, these countries are far ahead of Nigeria, in all ramifications, and are members of G-20, while Nigeria is not. Imagine that Pakistan is a nuclear power - the first Muslim country in the world to construct and operate civil nuclear power plants - and generates electricity from it, while Nigeria is in darkness. The other day, I was reading that the Nigerian Airforce is going to Jordan to learn from its Airforce. What a disgrace. My heart bleeds.
I have written, times without number, that many Nigerians abroad are passing through rough patches and need Nigeria representatives (Ambassadors) in their countries of abode who will promote our country's interests and will be all out to protect the rights of Nigerians. Nigerians suffer indignation, assault, maltreatment, and death abroad, and many of our foreign missions do nothing about these things. Some Nigerians abroad get no protection or support from some Nigerian missions when they are in need of it. Nigerian Politicians nominated as ambassadors are people that will keep quiet while their fellow compatriots are being victimized. They will be more pre-occupied in getting personal and financial gains, business connections and deals in the foreign countries they are posted to, than attending to the needs of their fellow compatriots. We need fresh bloods and a new generation of diplomats with the pre-requisite qualification, knowledge and idea as to what diplomacy, in this ever changing world, should be.
Here now, let's look at Ambassador George Adesola Oguntade CFR, CON, High Commissioner of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the United Kingdom, when he assumed duty at the Nigeria High Commission in October, 2017. He is a retired Justice of the Nigeria's apex court, the Supreme Court of Nigeria. A friend forwarded this to me, and he wrote:
"Look at how the Nigerian Ambassador chose to visit the Queen within the month of resuming office like royalty! The Embassy which they claim doesn't have booklets for people seeking passport to travel and see their families.
People are starving in his country…see how he chooses to spend Nigerian taxpayers' money. These horse-drawn carriages run into hundreds of thousands of Pounds to hire for a journey less than 300 metres.
A nation of squandermania and waste in a country where many are hungry and dying! Will we ever learn?"
What happened was that after having a feeling of presentiment (that this squandermania will spark an outcry from the public), they lied, in a YouTube video, claiming that the Queen sent the Chariots to fetch the High Commissioner. I disputed that, and just as I pointed out to my friend, it's not the Queen's prerogative to provide a transport for an ambassador coming to present his credentials to her. Even if the Queen is the owner of the Chariots, Nigeria must have paid for the High Commissioner to use them. That YouTube video must be taken down, it's deceitful. See the video below!
Someone then wrote:
"I'm aghast at such a wanton and zany montage of affections of grandeur apropos to stark, vacuous and rhetoric void.
Who does His Excellency and Lordship hope to wow by such a theatrical entrée - Her majesty, the Queen's Equerries of Chamberlains?
I refuse to subscribe to the twin irksome fallacies of hasty generalization and ad hominen, which rudely insinuate that we've scored another first, by accrediting an Octogenarian whose choices and elections, may evince latent, subterranean grapplings with progressive senility (dementia some would rather aver).
After all, the native pomp and pageantry of the diplomatic couple's dressage and the sheer eminence of their presence, coupled with his show of chivalry to his doppelganger (sorry - Her Excellencia), are evidences that he's got his wits about him still!!!
And about the callousness and indecency of splurge just to be seen to ambulate in style, the Head of Mission should have inveighed him into paying with his personal credit card .. the resultant crater in his esteemed pocket, would have counseled him most lucidly thereupon and going forward!"
As 2017 is coming to an end, I would like to end it on a triumphant note, and I want you to do the same. Let me announce that no matter how gloomy things look, ultimate peace and harmony can be achieved through our combined efforts. We have to be grateful to God, no matter how bad we think things are, just as William Arthur Ward (1921-1994) wrote "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings"; Oprah Winfrey (1954) advises us to "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough"; and, Willie Nelson (1933) wrote that "When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around."
Using the words of Blackstreet: You and I have been through many hardships in life! As people who believe, hardship has brought us nearer to God. As Apostle Paul said in the Scripture, we're troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we're perplexed, but not in despair; prosecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but we're not destroyed. We survived Buhari before, and will survive him again this time around. Very soon the storm will be over, and the time for us to reap the blessings of God in Nigeria will come. Soon, God will give us a miracle. Let's bless God, as He will help us make it through. Even in our ups and downs, God is always with us every steps of the way. I pray that every household will be blessed; every broken heart to be healed; and may there be prosperity upon our lives.
In the words of Mandy Hale, you should "Dance. Smile. Giggle. Marvel. TRUST. HOPE. LOVE. WISH. BELIEVE. Most of all, enjoy every moment of the journey, and appreciate where you are at this moment instead of always focusing on how far you have to go". In the midst of the dark and habitual chaos in Nigeria, let's hope and pray that a light will penetrate the darkness. While the battle for survive rages, we can take heart in the promises of God, remembering that John Wooden (1910-2010) wrote that "Things turn out best for people who make the best of the way things turn out." In the words of Steve Maraboli (1975), "Forget yesterday-it has already forgotten you. Don't sweat tomorrow-you haven't even met. Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift-today." Dennis Waitley (1933) said "Don't dwell on what went wrong. Instead, focus on what to do next. Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer".
May God help all the good Nigerians, now and in the years ahead, as 11 Corinthians 7:2 says "Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one".
I wish that the New Year turns out to be a very special one for you, filling each day with a peak of health, abundance of happiness and sunshine, bountiful luxury and prosperity. HAPPY 2018!
THE THANX IS ALL YOURS!!!
Continued from Part 1