Referendums and Metaphors On Nigeria
Written by Paul I. Adujie
New York, United States
Are Nigerians now paranoid about Nigeria’s future and prospects?
Do a majority of Nigerians feel a sense of being under siege; do we now as a collective suffer from a siege mentality? Why is it that too many Nigerians these days seem to find metaphors, referendums and even hidden messages in every cough, sneezes and even innocuous statements by every foreigner, whether of consequence or of no consequence at all? Why do we worry about every riff raff, but our national issues and national interests?
Why are some Nigerians at some sorts of permanent loggerheads with fellow Nigerians, and yet, these same Nigerians seem to hold on, tenaciously to every whimper about Nigeria by some nitwit foreigner?
Why is it that our public intellectuals are busily hurtling ethnic insults on any Nigerian not from their hometown, and yet, these same Nigerians seem to hold any foreigner’s comment about Nigeria in awe?
Is Nigeria’s national ego ever so fragile these days? Such that Mr. Obama choice to visit Ghana instead of Nigeria becomes a month long debate about how Mr. Obama non-visit to Nigeria is a slap on Nigeria’s face and a roundabout referendum on the state of Nigerian affairs and leadership?
What do Nigerians really seek? An invasion by America or some other foreign government; similar and modeled to fit the invasion and occupation Iraq, a foreign government which will then impose reforms and improve our lives? Could some Nigerians be heard angling to replace Armand Chalabi in fashioning US foreign policy toward Nigeria? These sorts of Nigerians should talk to the Iraqis first to see how great Iraq is doing as a result of the invasion and occupation there.
Anything short of seeking foreign intervention in Nigerian affairs would require that Nigerians at home and abroad, snap out the current delirium in the belief that someone or something, other than ourselves Nigerians will somehow, sort us out of the funk, malaises and challenges which we face as a people.
America’s former Secretary of State, General Colin Powell visited Nigeria recently.
America’s former Secretary of State of General Colin Powell’s visited Nigeria recently, and he was quoted as saying that Nigerians should make efforts to recover from the imperfect 2007 general elections. He expressed my sentiments exactly. After all, the world has not ended. Americans had troubled elections in the past, and particularly so in the year 2000 which ushered in Mr. George W. Bush. A great majority of people in America were displeased by the outcome and then, went through the horrendous policies of Mr. Bush in the subsequent eight years of the year 2000 elections and voila, here comes Mr. Obama!
Why are Nigerians so unyielding and unwilling to move beyond the 2007 elections? It should be clear to anyone and everyone by now, that Mr. Yar’Adua will remain Nigeria’s political leader for the next two years or even may be, for the next six years. Should Nigeria come to a standstill as a result? Of course not and I certainly hope that is not the case!
Every incident that affects Nigeria and Nigerians should not become some sorts of automatic referendum and metaphor on Nigeria. Such that a Nigerian in New York City is involved in fraud is attributed to the way Nigerians innately are; A Nigerian is convicted of narcotic drug peddling in Thailand, or well, it is because of the way Nigerians are, and the way the government in Nigeria is.
There is a debate as to whether nuclear energy is the most effective, efficient and meaningful way to address power outage in Nigeria, which puts Nigeria in the same league as war torn Afghanistan or Iraq, the response from some Nigerians is whether the international community would or should trust Nigeria with nuclear power! And, Mr. Obama visits the Saudi Arabia monarchy, saunters in the King’s ranch, and then visits the only country in Africa in Arabia where only one man, Mr. Hosni Mubarak has been president for more than 30 years! Nigerians think Egypt is more democratic than Nigeria or Nigerians scurry to explain America’s strategic national security interest which Egypt must serve with a president for life?
Mr. Obama has visited Turkey, and goes to Russia soon. And some Nigerians interpret this as ringing endorsements Turkey’s and Russia’s democracy credentials by Mr. Obama? Must we burst an artery over appearance of slights? What if we were to tell the whole world to go to hell, while we define and assert ourselves which ever way we chose? Why are some Nigerians apparently holding their breath over treatments reserve for Nigeria?
I will rather that Nigeria behave like Israel, a country that ought to be beholden to America, but, Israel audaciously refuses to be beholden to anyone! Nigeria on the other hand, has not a reason on earth or in hell, to be beholden to anyone, and yet, we are by default, never mind the government, I am here referring to these Nigerians who seem to believe that Nigeria’s path to progress, development and advancement is to seek the consensus of the world powers! Nothing can be more moronic idiotic such mindset! The world is a metaphoric soccer field in which the players are the nations and every nation play to win. Nigerian peoples and government should always be playing to win, despite and in spite of those opposed to our interests. Seeking no permission from no one, on matters we may determine to be in our national interests.
The last time Nigerians and the government of Nigeria was operated with that understanding, was during Murtala Muhammad and Tunde Idiagbon. I am certainly not looking for a Nigerian government that beats itself into shape to fit into American European approved behaviors.
Why Not Ghana? Why Not Liberia Why Arabia Egypt or Russia
Why the double standard? Some Israelis are former Americans Obama tells us so eloquently, yes we can! As yes we can also say that some Liberians are also former Americans as well! According to The New York Times, last week, the US State Department informed its embassies and consultates that they could now invite officials from Iran to their Fourth of July receptions worldwide, all in keeping with the Obama administration policy of openness to communication, without preconditions, even with former enemies. Iranian diplomats have been off the invite list ever since a certain faux pas, the 1979 seizure by protesters of the American Embassy in Tehran, now finally, according to The Times, representatives of Iranian government are welcome to American annual Independence Day parties worldwide. Nigeria government has never participated or encouraged any entity in Nigeria to hold Americans hostage similar to the 444 days Americans were kept hostage in Iran. Nigeria is not in any current contentious debate over nuclear power as Iran is with the US and the west. How then can Mr. Obama be open to Iran, communicate with Iran, invite Iran to parties, but, shun Nigeria as is being suggested?
I thought it was very fitting to come to the place where Islam began and to seek His Majesty's counsel, and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East," said President Obama."With Abdullah alongside him, Obama told reporters: "I thought it was very important to come to the place where Islam began and to seek his majesty's counsel and to discuss with him many of the issues that we confront here in the Middle East."
This, even though, according to press reports "The stop in Riyadh was a late addition to an itinerary that was originally slated to begin in Cairo with an address to the world's Muslims - a speech Mr. Obama has been promising since last year's presidential campaign."Obama has been criticized for setting the address in Egypt, where President Hosni Mubarak has jailed dissidents and clung to power for nearly three decades" compared that to Nigeria!
"The United States and Saudi Arabia have a long history of friendship," Obama said as he visited the monarch's desert horse farm. The U.S. president called Abdullah wise and gracious, adding: "I am confident that working together that the United States and Saudi Arabia can make progress on a whole host of issues of mutual interest."
"In Riyadh, the president was talking to Abdullah about a host of thorny problems, from Arab-Israeli peace efforts to Iran's nuclear program. The surge in oil prices also was on the agenda. And, Obama also was looking for help from Saudi Arabia on what to do with some 100 Yemeni detainees locked up in the Guantanamo Bay prison. The Obama administration has been negotiating with Saudi Arabia and Yemen for months to send them to Saudi terrorist rehabilitation centers." National Public Radio, Voice of American, Reuters etc reported the above news items which are excerpted. Nigeria does not export virulent anything, but Saudi Arabia has been accused of of exporting a strain of Islam that is seen by some as extreme, and harboring or being home of a majority of the 19 hijackers involved in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US. Nigeria does not run Mandrassas etc Islam in Nigeria does not forbid women from driving, having education, voting or being voted for!
All these, compared that to Nigeria, no attackers from Nigeria and no citizens of Nigeria has threatened or is threatening American interests. And besides, it is Mr. Obama who has over and over again stated his desire to have unconditional diplomacy, the act and art of engaging in conversations and communication with American adversaries or enemies. Again, Nigeria has never been and Nigeria is still not considered American enemy, so why would Mr. Obama not visit or talk to Nigeria?
Chicagoan Pot Calls Nigerian Kettle Black? Remove the Log in your eyes; before the speck in mine?
On the matter of corruption in Nigeria, two consecutive governors of the state of Illinois, have been indicted, in sequential order and in quick succession in office, Governor Ryan served or is still serving time in prison. And the governor after Ryan, Governor Blagojevich too is facing jail time for corruption for which Chicago is well known and infamously so and notoriously so! Blagojevich is the fourth governor of the state of Illinois to face prison for corruption since 1968, his immediate predecessor jailed, was Republican and Blagojevich, a Democrat like Mr. Obama.
Mr. Obama incidentally, is from Chicago! That would make him a Chicago politician ain’t it? The thing is that Mr. Obama has not come out to say, he is visiting Ghana to spite Nigeria or to make some sorts statements. If he had, himself, not through Mrs. Clinton, or anybody else, but himself, I would have been able to say that it is rather too much for any Chicago politicians to lecture Nigeria, or anyone for that matter about corruption and dirty politics!
It is rather oxymoronic! Perhaps prescient in some twisted way; that a Chicago politician with firsthand knowledge and experience about dirty corrupt politicians and politicians, which almost marred his own in Chicago, and even his inauguration as president of the United States, is best suited to lecture others about the ruinations which can laden corrupt politics? Who better to warn the rest of us, than the person with personal knowledge, and so intimate an awareness of corruption and politics as pervasive and prevalent as these things are in Chicago, than Mr. Obama himself? It is Chicago politicians’ DNA?
I am not a social conservative. But, just like some American social conservatives, I am beginning to wonder and reexamine whether the pervading inebriating group-hug, into which Obama’s political ascent has wrought upon us all, has begun to take its toll on the logic of some people?
Better examples of democracies to offer ringing endorsements, and showcase!
Why are so many Nigerians and others, reading meaning, ancillaries and extraneous meanings into Mr. Obama’s seemingly innocuous travel itinerary? Why read all this slights and spiteful meanings into Obama’s preference to visit Ghana and not Nigeria or Liberia for that matter?
Many in Liberia are American ex patriots; besides, Liberia went through more than ten years of internecine war and upheaval of chaos. Then Liberia elected a lady, first in Africa, and a score over America’s continued preference for males as president. Additionally, Obama has had many ladies in his life with remarkable influence, and impact, there was his mother and grandmother, and now, his wife and two daughters, and of course, his former political nemesis, now his employee and secretary of state!
Mr. Obama would have impressed me making Liberia a centerpiece and showcase of his foray into Africa, and especially if he was keen at making some sorts of statements of ringing endorsement quality.
It would have made eminent sense, showcase Liberia’s progress and gender agenda for Africa and the world, and why on earth, would Mr. Obama miss such monumental opportunity?
And some Nigerians and now others, who are adept as expert readers of Mr. Obama’s mindset, would rather us believe that Mr. Obama’s jaunted and sauntered in King Fuad’s ranch, and cavorted with president Hosni Mubarak life president of Egypt, and then, mafia infested Russia, with more dead journalist and dead political opponent outside of comparatively war torn Iraq? America’s national and strategic interests must require Obama to be strange bedfellows with Arabia, Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Russia etc it is realistic politics, in place of idealism? But the rules are flipped, when it comes to Nigeria and other Africans because Obama loves us more? Spare me! Please?