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Nigeria is not yet a failed state. We have a government in control of   its borders that has put Boko Haram on the run and put looters on notice   that their days of impunity are numbered. However, the same cassava   basket and major agricultural zone that fed West African countries is   lately included among UNICEF 20 million people of Yemen, South Sudan,   Somalia and Nigeria facing starvation and famine. How low can Nigeria   go?

When the British, the French and the Portuguese were forced to leave   African countries after independence, they were asked who would replace   their teachers, doctors, nurses and lawyers since they were not ready or   had enough. They proudly answered that Nigerians would take their   places. The same Nigerians that other Africans were proud of, have   become the butt of their jokes, figure of hatred, desperadoes and   hustlers that have overstayed their welcome.

Most Africans old enough in the sixties and early seventies have a   special memories of Nigeria, as a big brother. Nigeria’s failure is   the story of that big brother that is looking for favors based on its   past glories; hoping to reap rewards from struggling children of other   African countries that benefited from its goodwill, the same African   countries Nigeria failed to lead. We cannot preach past goodwill to   those children as a privilege to camp our tents and live there forever.

In terms of proportional wealth and champion of African causes, Kwame   Nkrumah is second to none. It does not give Ghanaians an open invitation   or credit to other African countries. Indeed, the children of Nkrumah   were kicked out of Nigeria in the early eighties. Not even the fact that   Prime Minister Kofi Busia had done the same to Nigeria could have   justified what Nigeria did. This was why Nnamdi Azikiwe cried out loud.

If Nigerians cannot not rescue Nigeria; Africans around the world cannot   feel sorry for Nigeria, and will continue to humiliate Nigerians. Nobody   owes Nigeria or Nigerians anything. We have an obsession for forex   beyond need. Eager to sell dear local goods, expensive at home, at   dictated price, half or nothing just to get foreign cash: cement, garri,   beans, tomato. There are more brains in our Government than in the   richest countries on earth, not only our natural resources but in skills   and technical know-how that are being wasted by greed and selfishness.

A lecture by Vice Admiral Michael Franken, Deputy Commander of   Operations for US Africa Command (AFRICOM) at Fletcher Maritime Studies   Program in the School of Government at Harvard wondered why a country   with more brainpower in cabinet than any Country including United States   could not put its acts together. We can, if our administrators are   accountable.

This history is important in order to realize how Nigeria called the   Giant of Africa, lost its status. Unfortunately not only in other   African countries but more pertinent here, at home. It was a country   flowing with milk and honey. General Gowon actually claimed, wrongly or   rightly, that Nigeria’s problem was not money but how to spend it.

Despite the devastating effect of the war to unity of the country, the   economic was so well managed we did not borrow a penny for war!

However, it all came with a warning when Chief Obafemi Awolowo resigned   as the Finance Commissioner and Vice to Gowon. He warned that if Nigeria   continued to waste its resources outrageously through unprecedented   corruption, Nigeria would fall.

Today, not even Awolowo could have predicted how far Nigeria has fallen   at home and among its African brothers. Our children have become   economic migrants running from the poorest to richest Africa countries!   Awo, the man who built industrial, agricultural and housing estate in   the West, was called the prophet of doom by Richard Akinjide, Umaru   Dikko & Co. But the Economic sustainability and continuity that failed   us then, are still problems for successive governments. Neglect of   projects became our cross of arrested development because new foreign   contracts benefit politicians.

Nigeria was the great black hope in the sixties, even in early seventies   the world hoped would be a regional power to save the rest of Africa. It   has been called the curse of oil. Unfortunately, we have become burden   from one of the smallest country like Cape Verde to one of the biggest   like South Africa. If it is not oil, Africans have killed one another   over gold, diamond and every stimulus and blessing that other countries   have used as a lift-off for economic development.

Nigerians are crying that they are being humiliated and turned back to   their country when at exorbitant cost try to give birth in rich   countries or killed on the streets without provocation for trying to   make a living. After relegating our own country, they can’t allow us   to destroy theirs. If the problem is xenophobia, jealousy and   discrimination in every country; inside and outside of Africa: which   part do we assign a country that has betrayed its responsibility and   trust at home?

Would Nigerians be crying about being denied access to smuggle the birth   of their children into another country or the effect of xenophobia, if   their country is capable enough? Nobody wants to be disrespected, maimed   and killed because they are out of their comfort zone. Humiliating,   disgusting, brutal pictures rob us of dignity. This is what we get when   the best and the richest among us, no matter how they come about their   glories exchange them for vanities in shadows.

The same Nigeria we cannot wait to get back to after educational   pursuits and sojourns abroad has become the place we run away from just   to get into any country, no matter how small, no matter how many deserts   and seas to cross. It used to be that if you do not go back home on   time, that would kill your mother. Now your mother says there is nothing   to come back to. Yet, this is the same country that exports U.S dollars,   British pounds and Euro as if it prints them!

Africans that used to look up to you would disrespect you and call you   vagabond like a husband without respect at home that failed to shoulder   the responsibilities of the family. Yes, Africans are members of the   same family and Nigerians are the husbands that shed its responsibility.   How dare you demand respect from the same family you left uncared for   and failed to lead?

There is nothing wrong with Nigerians and there is nothing wrong with   Africans, we just refused to carry our mantle. What many Nigerians do is   pray to God, who to dispossess or swindle while celebrating selfishness   of looters. We welcome them from prison if they are ever caught, with   prayers in Mosque and Church glowing in palm trees like the resurrection   of Jesus of Nazareth.

Written by Farouko Martins

This post first appeared on News In Nigeria, please read the originial post: here

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