Of recent, I’ve found fondness with establishing an African narrative or most importantly, a discussion on Africa. The reason is not far-fetched.
Whether Nigeria, Kenya, Somalia, or Uganda, the obvious similarities in leadership, years of military juntas, or even outright brutal regimes, cannot be overlooked. If truth is said, some have suffered more than others, but the weight of poor leadership still hangs upon our shoulders.
The marks and scars of poorly run governments have become our nightmares. So many years after independence, Africa is still hopeless, without direction, and most importantly, without a solution. Permit me to say that we do not yet have a solution to our collective quagmire.
Taking Nigeria as a case study, the Covid-19 pandemic has just exposed our incompetence, which in one way or the other, whether directly or indirectly, resulted in the death of a chief of staff.
If there had been quality medical facilities and necessary medical apparatus in place, perhaps there might have been a difference, even though all life is in God’s hand.
We cannot continue to blame, or as the case may be, allude to God what our irresponsibility has caused. A nation where its politicians travel abroad for medical checkups, leaving the country unequipped, while its arms of government remain docile, lend support to or even directly or indirectly fan the embers of disunity, brutality, and sectionalism, is to be held accountable for any repercussions.
Nigeria, for instance, got independence before the UAE (United Arab Emirates) whose capital is in Dubai. If you were to construct a graph with scales of achievements in the last 30 years between the two countries, you would realize that we’re yet to start crawling, whereas the other guys are already flying.
Do you know what the problem is? Leadership.
It’s important to understand one basic angle in this narrative. The leaders today were the leaders since independence (1960). The same old guys are still here, so nothing has changed, nothing can change. Stone age cannot birth jet age, and one thing I’ve come to realize is that when things become this bad, it’s because that’s what it is meant to be. People can only give what they have.
Nigeria situation is a whole lot different from other African countries, I guess. With a population of ‘about’ 190 million (maybe 200 million already), and one with about 300 ethnic groups, I am sure this is what is to be expected.
Like the biblical Tower of Babel, when diversity becomes this obvious, disunity or internal cohesion is impossible. I wouldn’t think any other nation in the Black Continent can boast of about 300 ethnic nationalities.
It should be of note that maybe this could be prevented, but because the ‘divide and rule’ tactics have benefited the Western and European colonists, it has remained so, at the detriment of the sleeping masses of course.
With all its brains, Nigeria is the only nation on earth that will hardly stage a one million man protest like we see in Egypt or Europe. We talk and talk on social media, and of course the few who do attempt a minor street march, are rounded up, gagged, dehumanized and case closed. “Nobody wan die but dem wan go heaven.”
No, heaven, like Christ says, is taken by force since the days of John the Baptist.
Africa, collectively, is living in fear, fear of the past, maybe a fear that is genetic, from the slavery days, from genocide like those perpetuated in Rwanda and Biafra. We would rather stay put, watch some few bad eggs rip of the nation’s resources and stash them away into their personal coffers and boast about it.
We have adapted to the situation that we no longer expect any good from those whom we elect to serve us. We even sell ourselves cheap for as low as a carton of noodles and 3 cups of rice to cast a vote for some preferred candidate. It is that bad.
Is there hope for Africa? This is a question we must all answer.
~ Okechukwu C. Ezechi (Writer & Artist).