Sovereignty, Economic Security, Barrack Obama’s Visit, Jonathan, 2011 Election And The Development Of Nigeria: Correlation. (Part 1)
“If opportunity does not knock build a door.” Milton Berle.
“The trees that are slow to grow bear the best fruits.” Moliere.
“Ife ti a fe adiye ife pipa je ni.” (Yoruba proverb)
“Just like when the Soviet Union was still alive…Moscow would decide everything for us, despite our 20 years of independence.”
Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Kyrgyzstan outsted President. April 2010.
“So why are we selling for cheap? Where is the difference? Where is the money?”
Vladmir Putin. 2001. Russian former president and presently Prime Minister angrily enquired from Alex Miller, president of Gazprom (the largest gas company in the world) president about the need to get rid of Middle men who were reselling Russian fuel abroad at a higher price while the government got nothing.”
“Stop the militarization of U.S. African Policy. The United States has so much that it can give to the world and that it can give specifically to the continent of Africa. It doesn’t have to give Africa Africom which is just another way of militarizing our foreign policy towards the African continent; stationing troops, prepositioning military hardware on the continent for further control of the natural and of course human resources that are in the continent.”
Cynthia Mckinney. Afro-American and former US Congresswoman and a presidential candidate from the Green Party
“The current turmoil in Greece did not begin when crowds of people took to the streets protesting the economic rescue plan and austerity measures cooked up by foreign bankers. Nor did it begin when the government and business community took on debt without having the slightest idea of how they would pay it off. The first and decisive step toward catastrophe came when Greece replaced its national currency with the euro, thereby forfeiting the basis of its economic sovereignty. Decisions that were once made internally by a country’s Cabinet or central bank are now being made externally by the European Central Bank. The problem with giving up economic sovereignty is not that it hurts national pride but that it automatically leads to the end of democracy, even if democratic institutions remain in place. No matter how free the people are to express their will, they no longer influence the decisions made by the state. Once Greece forfeited its national currency, its economic policy was subordinated to the interests of European financial powers that place a low priority on the development of the Greek economy and that have little if any concern for the social problems in that country. In reality, the problems that led to this crisis are not as serious as most people think. If Greece had retained its economic sovereignty, it would have done what Russia and Argentina did when they were faced with similar situations: declare default and sharply devalue its currency. Unfortunately, there is simply no other option available. Instead, what is happening now placing Band-Aids on an ill economy to cover up the symptoms without treating the illness itself may make a bad situation even worse. Of course, economists all over the world like to blame the Greeks for having first gotten themselves into debt and now refusing to pay their creditors. But the problem was created by the country’s leaders and not by ordinary Greeks who are left having to foot the bill. What’s more, European Union leaders have no moral right to chastise their colleagues in Athens. Greek policy was right in line with the general EU economic course, and it received the full support and approval of Europe’s largest economic powers. Worse, financial situations similar to what happened in Greece are beginning to develop in a number of states that are still considered to have very successful economies. Britain is not far below Greece in terms of its external debt, and Spain, Portugal and Italy are experiencing similar debt problems. This is precisely why the EU simply cannot allow Greece to default. Doing so would not only expose Greece’s bankruptcy, but it would also expose the fundamental failure of the neo-liberal policies that Europe has sworn to.”
Boris Kagarlitsky. Director of the Institute of Globalization Studies. Excerpt fom article titled “High Price of Losing Economic Sovereignty.” May, 2010.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT: MUCH MORE THAN GOOD LEADERSHIP AND GIVING ROAD CONTRACTS TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES.
Initially, this article was supposed to be a part of the series “U.S. meeting with Babangida: An affront and threat to Nigeria’s Democratization process, sovereignty and econonomic security and development!” which is the first of the 3 trilogy series. But after a second thought, I decided that it should stand alone or be published as a seperate article or series due to its importance. In addition, by publishing it as a seperate article, I intend not only to lay special emphasy and awareness on the direct correlation between a country’s sovereignty, economic security and its development, but as well draw the attention of Nigerians to the key role that the above concepts play in the development and survival of a country.
Thus, this series, which will be in 2 parts, is now the third in the trilogy series and an introductory to the fourth and final series, which will be published after the publication of part 2 of this series.
Today, if you ask any Nigerian to mention the main obstacle to the development of Nigeria, most will likely mention ‘bad leadership.’ Undoubtedly, this is true – but not completely. Assuming that bad leadership is the only and major problem is like apportioning all the blames for a child’s waywardness to bad parentage and upbringing.
Of course, in a way, we could ascribe all the problems of the country to bad leadership because if there was good leadership, most of the problems that the country is presently facing would not arise or could have been avoided in the first place. However, what we need to understand is that the development of Nigeria and other African countries is much more than having/chosen an uncorrupt, hard-working, focused leader with integrity.
In addition, unarguably, it is difficult to imagine or talk about the development of a country without a well developed and functioning infrastructure. Nevertheless, we need to understand that the development of a country is much more than building roads, bridges, rail-lines, hospitals, e.t.c.
In order to accomplish its development pogrammes and make its citizens live much better, a country needs different resources: human, mineral, intellectual, land, water, financial e.t.c. Obviously, all things being equal, the more resources a country has at its disposal, the more development programmes it can accomplish and the better its citizens will live. Unfortunately, these resources are not evenly distributed among nations. Some countries like Nigeria are bestowed with abundance of mineral and human resources: arable land, water, oil and gas, forest, good climate, large and educated populace while others like Japan have very little mineral resources. Thus, the need and temptation by other nations to take over the resources of others arose.
As far back as medieval time, empires and kingdoms have devised different tricks and manipulations in order to increase their resources and wealth at the expense of other kingdoms and empires. From time immemorial, there have always been battles in different forms among empires, kingdoms and now countries to take over the resources of one another in order use them to develop their own economies and get stronger. All things being equal, the more resources a country has in its possession, the more powerful it is and the more influential in the global political arena. Empires, kingdoms and countries have fought fierce wars among one another in order to take over the resources of other countries.
The colonization of Africa and eventual mass loot of its resources by Europeans is a good testimony to the above assertion. The Europeans led by the British came to Africa disguised as missionaries who according to them were on a mission to save African idol worshippers and wanted the best for them. Naive Africans believed cunning Europeans, abandoned their own religions and embraced Christianity.
To the delight of Europeans, they succeeded in indoctrinating Africans about their religion, Christianity, to the extent that we not only believe in Jesus more than them, the owner of the religion, judging by the number of churches that litter Nigeria and millions of Nigerians that troop to the churches on Sundays to regive their souls to the Holy spirit, but even engage in regular pogroms or mass massacring of ourselves just because other Nigerians believe in another prophet called Muhammad. After being told that they were saved and would go to heaven because all their sins had been forgiven by Jesus Christ, a Jew, who died on the cross for them, Africans relaxed, lost their guard and went to sleep. But at the end of the day the good European Samaritan attacked Africa; colonized it; carted away invaluable treasures; captured millions of Africans to work in plantations for free as slaves. This ‘master-slave or looter-victim’ relationship lasted for almost 500 hundred years.
In his book “How Europe underdeveloped Africa,” Walter Rodney documented in details how the British and French in particular were able to build their respective economies and left behind other European countries thanks to free labour of African slaves and the ‘lopsided trade relationship’ – if we can really call it a trade relationship – between Africans and Western European countries. Free African labour allowed the Europeans and their scientists/engineers to concentrate on other areas of science and were able to design better machineries for production. The 17th and 18th centuries witnessed an area of French Industrial revolution. Barclays bank made fortunes from financing and insuring ships with slaves and goods from Africa sailing to America and Europe. The bible and holy spirit was not a hindrance for the Europeans to chain Africans to ships, subject them to inhuman conditions during the voyage, murder those who revolted and threw their bodies into the Atlantic ocean and loot the palaces of African kings of countless and invaluable artifacts.
When the Europeans, who were already used to using free African labour and resources to develop their respective economies, were pushed to the wall by Africans for independence, they had to think of a new way of maintaining the status- quo.P.S.
They were just not ready to give up all that in the name of democracy, freedom or right of Africans to decide their own destinies by themselves. Their belief in Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the son of Joseph, Mary and the holy spirit was not even enough argument to convince them to leave Africans alone – after 500 years of exploitation, slavery and colonization – and allow them to sort themselves out and use their resources for their own development. A lot was just too at stake most especially their survival.