Before I get down to the good, promise of a brighter tomorrow stuff, I feel like I have to touch on the dark spots a little. So to anyone who has a gun, DO NOT hesitate to blast any Boko’s head off.
We’ve failed as a nation.
You know, at this point in time depression seems like a good thing. Purgatory seems like a good place to be because these agents of the devil have turned this nation into a living hell. Woe to that Nigerian who relegates christmas day 2011 to a non-entity. Woe to that Nigerian who does not abhor Boko Haram as I write (and you read). I still cannot get over how heartless a human being can be, a FELLOW NIGERIAN at that, to bomb unsuspecting churches packed with innocent christians on christmas day. But that (despite it’s weighty nature) is not the point to be made here. Apparently we have bigger fish to fry.
More than anything else I’m disgusted at our collective incapacity and lack of pro-action to prevent this menace that is Boko Haram from attacking us and demoting our nation into an unwanted edifice. Everybody here is to blame, from G.E.J who danced like he had just gotten to Heaven on Sunday, to you and I who, in our small and not-so-small capacities could really be putting more pressure on the government to beef up security and come down harder on Boko Haram. Wallahi if we put more effort into it, we’d be doing so much better in our national battle against terrorism. But then….?
Despite the fact that we are all to be blamed though, one state institution naturally stands out as deserving the most stick. For the sake of October 1st, where have the Nigerian intelligence agencies been in all this carnage? The SSS? NIA? It’s appalling really. After the June 16 attacks on the Police Headquarters I was sure that if not anything, that incident would spur these anti-terrorism institutions into unprecedented action. No show. Then the UN building came down and then I swore that that marked the end. Surely no matter how defunct the SSS was they’d be able to crack down on Boko for this insult to humanity. Still no show. Now our wealthy brothers in Transcorp have to live in unending, morbid fear. It’s really a pity.
According to The Moment (momentng.com);
“failure of intelligence gathering and misapplication of available information have been cited as reasons the Islamist sect has continued to spring surprises on the nation’s security agencies.”
Ehen now. But why not? Boko Haram is exploiting these agencies’ slowness and as such bombs will keep going off anytime they sneeze. As if a first time was not enough these guys keep letting themselves get punched in the same place, the same way by the same boxer. It’s a pity really.
Most Nigerians are enamored with the systematic and precise nature of the FBI or the CIA or even the M16 without realizing that we are meant to have our own FBIs and CIAs. I think if we have a Nigeria with fully-functioning, highly-efficient security agencies such as the aforementioned, not only would Boko be totally wiped away from the earth, there’d be more job opportunities, the emergence of an elite class of specially trained operatives,etc, the kind of stuff that can only suggest rapid national progress. What’s more? Wouldn’t it be cool to have Nigerian movies about the SSS the way there are all those FBI movies. We’d have more homegrown stuff and resultantly be screaming Afro-modernity like never before.
Seven/eight years ago this won’t have been on the top of our plate. But it doesn’t take a first-rate babalanwo to tell how important national security is now. We’d be plunging ourselves into more danger if we don’t up the ante in dealing with these @#$%^&**(##$%&% .
Please listen/read attentively…
Yesterday, christmas day 2011, was not a day I’ll want to remember too easily. Unfortunately however, I’m forced to. Bombs destroying totally innocent people, whole families who had only gone to church to celebrate the birth of the infant Jesus! How do you explain that ehn? So before I continue with this blog post I’d like to say sincerely to all Boko Haram members and affiliates, on behalf of all well-meaning Nigerians, it shall not be well with you anti-progressives. Haram, though it features on this post, is not today’s gist. Maybe the whole month of January will be dedicated to that.
My purpose right now however, in the light of recent happenings, is to inform you of the fact that there are two very distinct, far from complementary and somewhat antagonistic Nigerias. Yeah, you heard me. There are two Nigerias. And this is not something we should be proud about.
I’ll explain. These Nigerias have their respective names; there’s the Pro-Nigeria and then there’s the Anti-Nigeria. Pro-Nigeria is the Nigeria we are all proud of and that we readily associate ourselves with. Pro-Nigeria is the Nigerian artistes ‘repping’ abroad, the indigenous firms making waves in commerce and trailblazing national development, the Nigerian fashion designers, collections and shows, the crazy, fun-to-watch Nigerian TV shows, the buildings, roads and other infrastructure that make us stop for a second, the scenic nature of various landmarks. Pro-Nigeria is creative Nigeria, the Nigeria which inspired me to get this blog going in the first place. Sadly however, this entity seems not to be gaining that much ground, contrary to popular will. Seems, because Anti-Nigeria is giving her a good run for her money.
With not too great intuition and aided by the aforementioned, you’d be able to ascertain what Anti-Nigeria entails. See all that stuff you hear about bomb, and accident-causing road, and no water in airport or hospitals? That’s Anti-Nigeria, and I fear we have all become too familiar with her. Anti-Nigeria is the Nigeria that makes us go ‘ sha God dey’, the very much infuriating and frustrating component. God knows the government is the largest single unit in this body. Anti-Nigeria is the Nigeria I don’t want to dwell too much on.
Sadly however, most Nigerians don’t realize that Pro-Nigeria exists. Creative Nigeria is collectively relegated to the backs of our minds as a result of the devastating but dominant oddity that is Anti-Nigeria. And so when people think Nigeria, they only think about Boko Haram or the government’s incapacity or even fake Nollywoodness. They don’t think about the good stuff because after all the rubbish, they don’t believe that there IS any good stuff.
I think that the only way we’ll maximize national potential is if Creative Nigeria takes the front wheel. But how? That’s where talk of mass literacy comes in. Talk of sensitization and national re-orientation. Granted, these are necessities for national reformation but even more importantly, each and every Nigerian has to have that vehement belief, that unbreakable attraction to Nigeria and the sense of patriotism that comes with it. I think we’d only see a new Nigeria if we are able to bring creative Nigeria out of its very small, I dare say too-small-to-accommodate, hiding space. There’s so much promise just bursting at the seams. For the sake of all things good, let it rip that bloody garment apart.
Here’s my special 25/12 post. A very merry christmas to everyone who reads this young blog and supports the Nigerian struggle.
Now to the main story.
In the spirit of festivity and felicitations and celebration of progress from the beginning of the year till now, I’d like to celebrate the progress the Nigerian nation has made this past year. This would have been a more appropriate post for the 31st but what, you wan complain? Didn’t think so.
This past year has not exactly been the best for our beautiful nation. In fact, its been one of the worst years in modern (by modern I mean post-Abacha) Nigeria’s history because even though 2011 saw to the mellowing of M.E.N.D and our other angry brothers from the South, it saw to the unprecedented instigation of terrorist activities by the Boko Haram sect in the F.C.T , the apex of national security, the death of some of the finest minds in corporate Nigeria (Ibru, Aderinokun), and the more mundane, our national’s team failure to qualify for the Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea Nation’s Cup, etc. On the other hand, 2011 more than anything, brought to my notice the immense importance private businesses make to the overall development of our country. MTN did not smile at all when it celebrated 10 years of operation over here, Guinness invited the Argentines to play – and helped our tourism in no small way – and many other large and small-scale, well-established and up-and-coming Nigerian commercial enterprises played their parts in giving the country a boost in its entirety. Not to say the latter only watched with folded arms but in 2011, the private sector outshone the public sector in Nigeria.
Which is why I want to preach today….
You see, based on all my observations and on the aforementioned, I think the most assured way for Nigeria to progress as a nation is if the responsibility for development of the economy and of the nation as a whole is concentrated more in private hands. Yup. Let private-owned firms take a more ‘governmenty’ approach to business such that it’s not just about their pockets anymore but also about everything around them. A newly established firm in being set up signs onto itself the responsibility of developing the community it is established in. That way communities all over Nigeria are developed. To enhance efficiency in this department, government – which in this case will perform a solely regulatory purpose – would attach commercial connotations to this, tax holidays and what have you. But then corporate Nigeria would take the front seat and drive this car that is Nigeria speedily down the long but sparsely trodden road of progress.
Preach on brother.
But then I probably am just blabbing. I know nothing about the commercial implications about this possible heresy I speak so confidently. Well, I couldn’t care less. All I’m saying is that private is more effective, goal-driven, better-equipped (I dare say) than public and if we want to make progress, we should include more of commercial Nigeria in this country’s development. That’s what I think.
Dangote seems to think so too.