I shudder for Naija. It has become a nation everyone loves to cast aspersion at. Even those who live off us. Imagine America, a dying nation, groveling for excuses to keep on fighting in Iraq. With all the anti-America sentiments in South America and Middle East, our Naija is the life-wire of America‘s insatiable thirst for oil.
They know that without us they are closer to the end of their history. And that explains all the criminality that has continued in the Niger Delta, a criminality that will make the whole American victim of 419 put together look like child’s play, if Ribadu’s assessment is anything to go by.
And i honestly think too that Nigeria seem to be the escape rout from the boredom of their long-drawn crises.
What worries me is not the stale expletives of the hatred of America, but our lack of love for ourselves and our nation. Our lack of nationalism. As the prices of oil edges to $70 per barrel, we have the capacity to compel America to re-negotiate their national feeling for us, to re-align our options in a calculation that experts have long identified as the next gulf.
God forbid that we become the next gulf….
So if other nations deride us as in the CNN re-cast documentary of Nigerian robbery of American Banks, we will not need to bite our fingers. Surely hatred of others should not be more important than our lack of love for our nation. Because in spite of our realization of the enormous resources God bestowed on us, the management of which has caused us more pains and anguish than succour, more hatred than love. Ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo felt that aligning with America to unleash military action against Niger Delta, will protect his personal and family interest and investments in the oil sector, than the national consideration and the larger consequences that action will spell for the nation if we become the next Gulf.
Ex-vice president Atiku Abubakar warned us about the influx of arms into Nigeria for the aggression against Niger Delta only because he was a drowning man, seeking personal and selfish support of a so-called ignorant population, not out of love for the people of the Niger Delta.
If you travel round the west coast of Africa, since it will be too high-handed to make wild and distant references, you will be struck with the passion citizens and government alike respect a nation. You will be awed by the nationalism that cut across ethnic colouration, class and social strata. In Ghana flags are hoisted on government buildings as in ricketty buses, cabs and wooden kiosks. In Senegal the national colour has become icons of cultural expressions and varied designs are etched in bangles, belts, caps and pendants to heighten the tourist focus of a nation that is fast becoming the cultural capital of Africa…
The truth is that our political class has collectively destroyed the patriotism in us. Nigeria has become an orphan that no one wants to love. The youth have all become hustlers, scavenging for living on the fringes of criminality that now seemingly traumatise us all, angry that a demand for patriotism is placed on those that have neither stake nor stock, angrier still that they are haunted for stealing stipends while state-pardon is nationally considered for those who have diverted allocated state funds year-in-year-out to their personal accounts abroad ,incensed more as these thieving politicians give way to their children to continue on these legacy of a shame-faced depletion of the national treasury.
Yet it is a great nation. Even America cannot survive so much theft perpetrated against its treasury from regime to regime, exacerbated by multiplicity of ministries and parastatals. No nation in Africa and Europe can withstand such stampede of kleptomania. If Nigeria ceases today to be the giant of Africa, it has tried, because the elephant has bled so much for so long.