Do Some Nigerians Only Bite Effectively When They Bite Nigeria?

by Paul I. Adujie

South Africa is now a member of the United Nations’ Security Council, albeit, a non veto wielding non permanent member unlike the USA, Britain, France, China and Russia.

And Oh, Panama is also now a member of this new regime of Security Council as recently expanded.

While the jostling lasted, Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt were the countries in Africa that were in contention and competing to be the representative of our continent.

During that period, all sorts of Nigerians commented on Nigeria’s chances or lack thereof, of becoming a permanent member of the United Nations expanded and enlarged Security Council. Every commentator/journalist went negative on Nigeria and as they argued strenuously as to why Nigeria will not make it and why Nigeria does not deserve to make it.

And as a man thinketh, so he truly is, apologies to Thomas Ozodi Osuji a writer. It came to pass that those Nigerians who did not wish Nigeria well, prevailed either through concerted efforts or by default, without any efforts of theirs.

Soon after that came the recent nominations and elections to the United Nations’ International Law Commission. Again, Nigeria was in contention, and again, those who are only visible when they engage in campaign of calumny against Nigeria, reared their ugly heads again! They were busy lampooning Mr. Ojo and Nigeria.

Once more, they engaged in denigrating Nigeria, lampooning Nigeria’s political leadership, as they loudly proclaimed Nigeria’s Attorney General as unqualified, incompetent and unsuitable to hold the UN Commission, exalted as a representative of Nigeria and Africa.

Thankfully, these Nigerians who are so adept at shooting themselves in the foot, failed woefully. These noise-makers were unsuccessful in derailing Barrister Bayo Ojo’s nomination and eventual election to the UN post. And now, they will not even concede that they lost? They will not concede that Barrister Ojo and by extension, Nigeria, have been vindicated?

The Guardian Newspapers on Monday November 27, 2006 sought to give vent and voice to those who were erroneously working against Nigeria’s national interests, with their clamor against Mr. Ojo and of course Nigeria. The Guardian Newspapers editorial opinion gleefully recounted how Professor Soyinka and some other Nigerians campaigned to defeat Mr. Ojo’s candidacy. But it must be borne in mind that Mr. Ojo was nominated because of his position in Nigeria and not in his personal capacity. This means that a defeat of Mr. Ojo’s candidacy meant a defeat for Nigeria. It is that simple! The argument that there are other qualified Nigerian lawyers, is to say the least, a worthless argument.

What the critics of Mr. Ojo, the critics of Nigeria miss, is that they were using a very inauspicious occasion and forum to vilify Nigeria and “criticize” Nigeria.

It must be realized by all those who love Nigeria, that Nigeria’s national interests and national purpose is paramount and crucial in every and all circumstances. Those who seek Nigeria’s defeat at international forums and competitions cannot say they are driven by love for Nigeria or by patriotism. Those who seek Nigeria’s humiliation on world stage and at world events, must realize their own folly in seeking to defeat the same nation for which they profess love and claim to wish well. No child should profess loving his mother, if the childchooses to humiliate her publicly every chance the child gets! Even if the child’s mother is a bad stepfather and bad husband to the child’s mother; nothing will ever justify constant public humiliations of a mother by her child. Nothing!

Some Nigerian citizens act worse than the leadership of Nigeria which the constantly criticize. With citizens like these, Nigeria’s detractors and enemies do not even have to work hard. This attack on Nigeria’s national interests is constant and a permanent feature and pattern in how some high profile Nigerians chose to deal with Nigeria’s national interests. It must be remembered that these same Nigerians were opposed to debt forgiveness drive by Nigeria, in that effort, they also failed. With some Nigerian citizens opposed to our national interests the way they adamantly and insistently do? Does Nigeria need enemies?

Other countries which competed for the UN Law Commission spot did not have the boisterous and loud distractions that were mounted against Nigeria by some Nigerians.

There were many countries that were in the competition to become one of the new non-veto, non-permanent member of the expanded Security Council, these were mostly tiny countries, smaller in size, populations and resources compared with Nigeria. Some of these countries were in other parts of Africa and others were in South America and Asia. All of them are developing countries just like Nigeria, in some cases, Nigeria is actually doing better than some of them … both politically, economically and every other respects or senses.

And none of these other countries were bedeviled with “internal opposition” to their candidacies similar to the nonsense that some Nigerians chose to visit on Nigeria’s candidacy!

Clearly, the nationals of these other competing countries are smart enough to realize and appreciate their national interests and national purpose…particularly more so, at time of competition of importance and in the international arena, for positions, such as in the United Nations and its agencies

It must be clear to Nigerians who are world-aware, that the absence of divisive internal opposition to the candidacies of other countries, who sought along with Nigeria, to become part of the newly expanded and enlarged UN Security Council, were not because these other countries were perfect countries. These other countries, competing with Nigeria, of course have their own internal imperfections, schisms and frictions.

These other competing countries have their own internal squabbles and disagreements. But it appears they do know when and where to draw the line? When it comes to world competitions and when it comes to shining on world stage. This, it appears some Nigerians do not appreciate, do not know how to do or do not care?

When will some Nigerians learn to put our collective best feet forward on world stage, world arenas and international forums? Have some of these Nigerians noticed how America compete at international events including the Olympics and even at the UN? America public facade of cohesiveness to the world leaves every clueless as to America internal frictions of race divide, internally competing and often conflicting interests of a multi-racial, multi-cultural or plural society which America is and why should some Nigerians be different regarding Nigeria?

I am left to ask why Nigeria’s best and brightest are always loudest and heard, when they oppose Nigeria’s laurels, Nigeria gold medals and Nigeria’s finest hour?

Why can’t some of these Nigerians use their intellect to advocate Nigeria’s worthy causes? Why can’t these Nigerians lobby for Nigeria? Or if they always have nothing good to say about Nigeria, why can’t they be quiet? There are of course many good things to say about Nigeria, why are these Nigerians never ever heard to be saying these good things?

Where were all these people when Nigeria’s case was pending at the International Court? Where were these same people when Nigeria lobbied for debt forgiveness? Where were these people when Nigeria lobbied to host international sporting events and lost? Where were these same Nigerians when Nigeria needed all the help that Nigeria could get in becoming member of the enlarge United Nations’ Security Council?

Why is it, that some high profile Nigerians are always at their most eloquent when they seek to humiliate Nigeria on world stage? Why is it that these Nigerians are so adept at lending their voices at derailing Nigeria’s national interests and national purpose?

Why is it that some Nigerians only excel in biting themselves most effective

ly? And in effect, shooting their own collective feet?

All Nigerians should be more attentive to everything that constitute Nigeria’s national interests. All Nigerians should be more assertive and effective in advocating and advancing Nigeria’s worthy causes.

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obi, USA November 29, 2006 - 9:10 pm

Representation abroad is good, but the quality of the representation is more important. Sending dishonest and unscrupulous people to represent the country would hurt our interest more. We don't want the world to think that people like Ojo are the best we've got to offer, not with his frequent, stupid interference in judicial matters. His recent actions should not be wished away as internal squabbles and disagreements or PDP family affair.Doing so would encourage the world never to respect us as a people.

To answer your question, we don't need external enemies, we have got enough inside: Ojo, Obasanjo, Borishade, Andy Uba, some state chief judges, some legislators, etc. It's doubtful that securing the number one UN job would undo the damage these clowns have done to our collective image. Preventing them from getting into positions of national and international importance should be the first step in reversing our fortunes

It's interesting that you raised the issue of Nigeria lobbying for and losing the rights to host international sporting events. In the last seven years (within Obasanjo's tenure), we have hosted Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting, All African games, Nations Cup, to mention a few. These were at huge cost and little benefit to tax payers. We built a stadium at a cost that has not been made public, and with no record of open bidding for the construction. Hosting these events provide the avenues for government officials and their friends to loot the treasury. And you want us to support future bids! haba my brother!

Shunfay November 29, 2006 - 4:41 pm

You've spoken well, it is about time we started saying positive things about our nation and acting positively towards our country Nigeria. It is ours!!!

Cletus E. Olebunne November 29, 2006 - 4:21 pm

Excellent piece. The enemies within will always not see the big picture as you properly articulated. Unfortunately, self-destruction is a major problem, and may continue for a very long time. The crab in a barrel mentality is why there is absence of mentoring and support in our communities. Community or National Development is not achieved by individual success but collective success.

Paul, keep up the good work, may be enough minds will be enlightened to lift us from the abyss of selfishness.


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