Just leave Nigeria alone
Sometimes it seems as if Nigeria has a mind of its own. And why would it not have a mind of its own when everybody from the British colonial forces that forced it into existence in 1914 to the recently civilianised military rulers of 1999 and after have only and always taken out of her, never giving to her? A land flowing with milk and money, measured in millions of acres of fertile soil fecund with produce. In its composite ancient form of hundreds of ethnicities and languages the traditional rulers sold their subjects old and brave to white traders for beads and ostrich feathers. Naming it the slave coast white and black slave traders fed fat on the people. Rulers all, black and white, enslaved the people for their pleasure. Until that trade became too idiotic to be continued.
How, in the name of all that is sacred would you believe no and gag a fellow human being and sell him and her unto an unknown future, without name and without shame? Consciences arose and voices were raised against this crime against African humanity. Slave trading was outlawed and then slavery was made illegal. Those who lost their slaves were compensated as to how many slaves they owned and their losses were calculated and they were compensated for their losses, the bosses. But the slaves were released into emptiness, given nothing, nothing to start ‘’tis life of freedom. With the compensation given to the rulers black and white, they set out to do legitimate trade.
Legitimate trade is good because the produce of the Nigerian earth would be harvested and sold to the highest bidder. There were the woods in the forest – iroko, tree like iron, hundreds of years old, obeche, soft wood too and medicinal plants. Cut, carted and shipped overseas for profit. And the traders of legitimate trade prided themselves in employing the former slaves on slave wages to hew the wood and fetch the water. There were plantations too of cocoa, of coffee, of tea and of sugar cane all in need of labour. Plantations of palm trees too and miles and miles of cotton and peanuts. There were animals to skin and debone and shipped overseas. Colonial extraction was the future of the country, no doubt. So, over the years the harvest was gathered and the profits were reckoned and the colonial government did well for itself thank you everybody.
Then again colonising peoples and places is not a good thing. Only bad people colonise others. So, let our people go and be free!
Freedom for me
Freedom for you
Everywhere there must be freedom!
Demonstrations. Strikes. Hunger strikes against penny a day labour! What horror! How inhuman! Freedom now, and not a day later. And so the British arranged independence. But the arrangement was complicated. There were the representatives of the colonisers on one side of the negotiating table. There were the representatives of the freedom fighters on the other side of the table. On the side of the colonisers the idea was that pre-independence and post-independence should be the same. No change. On the side of the freedom fighters the idea was that they would seek first political freedom. Once they had the political freedom everything else would be added unto them. Thus, both opposing sides of the table were agreed that they were working for a common goal that would satisfy all participants in the negotiations. They met in Lagos. They met in Ibadan. They met in London and wherever they met the colonisers and freedom fighters agreed that pre- and post-independence would be the same and they would first seek political freedom after which everything else will be added unto them. The ruling elite on both sides were satisfied. And so in October 1960 a flag was designed and a song was devised and the nation was born in which the colonial powers stayed on while the Nigerians waited for everything to be added to their political freedom.
What were the things to be added unto them? Employment. Salaries at regular times. Food and drink. Housing and roads and bridges. Schools and hospitals, teachers and nurses and doctors. But who were going to add these things to their political freedom? The departed colonial powers? If they could add it to their freedom why didn’t they do so before independence? Can they be asked to come and add them now? No, too late. The leaders of the liberation must add these things now that they are free. But don’t the colonial powers owe us? Can’t we demand reparation now? But our leaders are not suffering. If anything they look like the colonial powers, they are fat like them, with rounded necks of many fat layers of skin. They are the colonial powers re-incarnated!
This cannot be allowed to continue. We liberated ourselves from a foreign colonial power only to empower a local colonial power over us! Never! So, in the early hours of January 15, 1966 radical young and highly spirited soldiers killed their elders and seniors and declared a new day, another day of freedom and liberation. There would be work. There would be money. There would me milk and honey. There would be no bribery and corruption. Nobody will take ten per cent on any thing. Let us celebrate because why? Because the blood needed to wet the tree of freedom and liberation has finally been truly and tragically shed.
Ten years, and twenty years, they had no clue what to do to add everything to their political freedom. And it was not for lack of money and the means to do. It was a case of lack of leadership. Or a leadership that succeeded where the country failed. A leadership that got everything leaders all over the world get but the country got nothing. A leadership of parasites bent on the destruction of Nigeria. A leadership that continuously short-changing Nigeria. All that any right-minded Nigerian can say is to tell these present set of leaders to leave Nigeria alone. Get out of the country’s things and let the country sort itself out. It can do better without this present crop of leaders. Leave Nigeria alone.
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