One Paul Valley writing in today’s (16th May, 2006) Independent glorifies the finance minister of Nigeria, Mrs. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the woman who has power to change Africa. My worry about this article is the sheer empty praise singing devoid of any sound analysis of issues as expected of a journalist for a reputable organisation like the UK Independent newspaper. The fact that Mr.Paul travelled all the way to Abuja to interview the so-called wonder woman gave him ample opportunities to explore or assess the developments on the ground, but he chose not to see anything that counters the western chosen view that the worst government in Nigerian history is doing well. A genuine journalist could have marched rhetoric with investigations or interviews with both ordinary people and key opinion leaders and of course, political opponents. One greatly doubts how this Paul would fare in a test of honesty because; only rogues and idiots (which include lousy people singing praises ignorantly) have seen any progress in the present Nigeria.
The unfortunate thing about the new era of mental colonialism is that rogues and white supremacists disguise themselves as friends of Africa. Nigeria under Obasanjo has recorded an unprecedented rise in revenues for about 7years, courtesy of oil boom yet, Obasanjo’s regime in its 7th year has not marched Gen. Abacha’s of less than 5years in infrastructural development. This is a matter of fact, not opinion! Obasanjo’s regime has equally achieved the highest scales of corruption, official wickedness, police brutality, suppression/assassination of opponents, election malpractices etc. Only genuine western observers like some of those in the Human Rights Watch have seen this glaring fact that the so-called democracy in Nigeria is a disaster.
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is a thoroughly colonised text book economist who knows nothing about Nigeria. And probably knows not that she is being used by the west to achieve their selfish goals. The simple question which any sensible economist in Nigeria ought to face is why the average barrow pusher can afford a better standard of living than the average farmer in Nigeria? Yet another issue is the salient fact that Nigeria exists without the people. If any major disaster destroys Lagos, Abuja and Port-Harcourt (but, God forbid!), 90% of Nigerians would still be enjoying three square meals per day because 90% of us exist without the government. Nigeria exists more as a colonial trading post than as a state involving people who trust their destiny in it. This cannot be said of any of those countries whose economies Okonjo-Iweala has acquired knowledge of.
Understanding these facts would enable common sense economists (not the text book types which we have in charge) realise that our problem is not poverty per se. That is our people are not poor as in being unable to feed, but poor because we live in a society where money comes first before hard work. Corruption is what people call it for convenience sake, but it goes deeper than it down to the mentality to acquire white man’s standard of living at the expense of others. It is the primitive scramble by every individual to up-grade his living standard to western level rather than scarcity of food, which is our key problem. Remove free money and Nigeria will die! The fact is that we operate a twofold society in Nigeria and other colonised Black African countries. You have the colonial society which concentrates in the big cities dominating and oppressing rather than assimilating and reconciling with the traditional societies. The colonial society is all about money and the scramble to enjoy life like white men without the requisite sacrifices. Hence, the colonial Nigeria with all the resources at its disposal since 1960 has not been able to achieve any progress whereas, the traditional society has despite oppressions been able to sustain the economy at least food wise. Nigeria has not been able to produce a tooth pick indigenously let alone a log of steel, whereas the traditional society has since time immemorial been producing their own steel for their subsistence agriculture. Most Black African engineers due to colonial mentality are unable to realise that the hoe we use to till the soil are locally made steel and that western steel technology started just the same way. Most of us have not bordered why none of our traditional food products, egusi, palm oil groundnut, yam etc has undergone any improvement in their storage and packaging and have retained the same traditional means of production and packaging up till date. It is simply because the Black elites took over from the colonial masters with the backward mentality that the best knowledge must come from the white man’s land. We think the white man who knows it all will one day modernise and package our traditional food products for us, but we get it wrong as the Asians have done it to us with the example of Palm oil. Perhaps, one day we would begin to import egusi and groundnut from India.
The fundamental issue is that Nigeria and other failed Black states need to look inwards rather than outwards to the same white men who are their curse for survival. It is disgraceful to the entire Black race that Nigeria with over 70 universities and many thousands of first class economists would allow a group of white supremacist merchants dubiously titling themselves the world bank (to bamboozle colonial idiots) would at this stage of human development be manipulating the destiny of over 130 million people (the supposedly most enlightened black society).
The World Bank obviously promoted Okonjo-Iweala as bait knowing fully well, it would wow majority of colonised Black people who approve whoever has been approved by white men. Gen Obasanjo appointed her based on his primitive mentality that he cannot do without the white man. Perhaps, due to her ignorance coupled with the idiocy of Nigerian elites who shiver around her, she has not even realised that her position is serving no good for the future of Nigeria. Of course, many more Nigerians would be used by other international gangs like the World Bank to derail development in the guise of reforms.
One cardinal question any sensible observer ought to ask is where the economic reform which has been painted on newspaper pages about Okonjo-Iweala/Obasanjo lies. Nigeria is going down and down due to unprecedented levels of corruption yet, journalists across the world who ought to be on the side of the truth are singing hallelujah! Economic reforms which concentrates on sacking hapless messengers and low level workers which include many disabled and elderly people while the government is over bloated with irrelevant political appointments must be fake. An economic reform which borders on dubiously selling the juiciest public enterprises to white men is most unfortunate for the Black race. Of course, there is no doubt about the fraudulence of the so-called crusade against corruption which only spots political opponents. If only one tenth of what has happened in Nigeria could happen in Zimbabwe, God knows how the international media would have been reacting.
I have challenged the British media on several occasions to prove to the world that the best state governor (among the 36 rotten state governors) in Nigeria is not worse than 10 Mugabes in all aspects, in order to convince right thinking people they are not worst than the BNP (British National Party which is vilified as racist).Yes, I strongly feel that any white journalist who feels that Nigeria is making better progress than Zimbabwe under Mugabe is worst than a BNP. People condemn BNP as racist, but I do not because the BBC and other British media propagate racism at the highest level. A person who expresses discomfort about influx of immigrants into his count
ry knowing fully well that he has no other place to run to if hardship calls, to my mind is more honest than most people in the BBC and other British media organisations pretending they are not racist yet, peddling about the world their twisted notion that Black people cannot build any civilised society on their own.
The message for Paul Valley and the entire Independent Newspaper as well as other dodgy western media is simply to stop pretending they are fair minded when they know very well they are not.