Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves (Philippians 2:3)
A reflection on the journeys Nigeria has made since her inceptions as a nation ruled by her own people, reveals super encouraging motivations that indeed if nothing else is clear, it is certainly clear that God must be interested in Nigeria and Nigeria is yet to know or acknowledge the fact.
Unwritten wisdom of international diplomacy has it that no country engages in diplomatic efforts with other countries without direct profits to that country. Why will a country spend millions of its currencies promoting diplomatic understandings and sending its human resources in pursuit of that agenda if at the end there is nothing in it altruistic or selfish interest.
Where USA has gone to either intervene in chaotic political situations in other countries or mediate peace in conflict situations outside the United States, she has stations its own altruistic needs either in terms of flow of oil, or stationed military base on that territory from where they spy other territories and engage in espionage activities (in the interest of their national security). Why should anyone take Edward Snowden seriously whereas every country does what he reveals about American style?
Nigeria is one country that I know that has, by divine inspirations rather than national conscious policy, been totally without selfish interests in its policy focus towards other countries. Nigerian leaders and policy makers have been remarkably and genuinely un-selfish and truly altruistic in policy projects to the extent of risking its own stabilities and sanity. While other countries (justifiably) seek benefits for interventions, Nigeria only seeks peace and leaves hoping to be respected and or honored for her roles. That has been all Nigeria was interested in. some of us, for many years, have imagined Nigeria as extravagant, stupid, utopian and big time Agbaya!
Since the period Nigeria declared that it has no problems with money but only how to spend it, she has directed her diplomatic energies towards saving the countries of African continent from their different external challenges. In this wise, the entire countries of southern Africa owe Nigeria and Nigerians for the useful contributions we single handedly contributed to their struggles and aspirations. Nigeria was directly instrumental in the freedom of Zimbabwe; it championed the independence of Namibia and took bold and direct involvements in the South African apartheid regime. She risked her own national security and compromised its own economic growth to bring back full democracy in South Africa. A conspiracy theory that this writer once heard about the period when President Shehu Shagari (Nigerian President 1979-1983) visited the US for one week. Throughout the period of one week state visit there was no session of that visit that interested the American press and the entire visit was not covered in any news media because it was not serious and of no consequence to the wishes and aspirations of the Americans. However when a curious reporter asked President Shagari at the final world press briefings whether Nigeria was going to use its newly found oil wealth to fight apartheid in South Africa, the president quickly answered in affirmative that “Yes Nigeria will use its oil wealth to fight apartheid regime in South Africa” and that declaration became a critical policy statement that the Americans felt they should pay significant attention to. This policy declaration by Nigeria was a danger to the Americans and the rest of the western world at that time because if Nigeria actually wanted to, she could easy cause upsets in South Africa because Nigeria had the resources (both human and financial), physical stamina (with all the Nigerian pre and post-independence revolutionaries of the 70s and 80s most of who got scholarships and were trained and brainwashed against the west by the then Communist USSR) and Nigeria had the moral strength to cause such upset in South Africa. At this time, US was supporting the apartheid and of course Britain too.But the irony was that America was one of the topmost countries that that buy the Nigerian crude oil which was the revenue that makes Nigeria rich enough to want to use her petrol chemical wealth to destroy an obnoxious style of governance! Nigeria came into the spot lights instantly after that policy declaration by her President and everyone wanted to see how this emerging super nation will embarrass a system of government in a country where those who buy the oil that make Nigeria rich were vastly interested. And they watched Nigeria not from the far, but very closely. They drew Nigeria nearer to them and became Nigerians best enemy-friend. They knew when her leaders were draining her wealth, they saw when Nigeria experts and technical talents were leaving for greener pastures, but they said nothing. They wanted things to go on… by the time Nigeria realize what was going on, South Africa would not be its concern but its own survival from successive military rules and their inherent obnoxious concerns.
But because Nigeria was determined, she risked her stability and economic growth and went all out supporting different insurgencies in South Africa aimed at bring down apartheid. I remember some of the freedom fighters who were classmates at Mayflower Ìkénné then. These were students Late Tai Solarin gave scholarships to.
Similarly, Nigeria went all out to stop the civil war in Liberia (under ECOMOG), she risked her economy growth and military might to stop the war in Sierra Leon. In Ivory Coast, before Former Gbagbo became a terror, Nigeria was there. In Mali, Nigeria mobilized the largest numbers of troupe that went ahead of the UN Forces. In everywhere Nigeria went, she went with the intention to help; She helped and she departed back to her base!
Nigeria’s past, present and (perhaps future) leaders have naively been totally altruistic in their attitude to the world and particularly Africa. They did what they did for the benefits of the actions and not for the gains and other considerations. I could imagine how leaders would have reacted when files of different countries where Nigeria had engaged in the internal affairs were brought before them and how they would have had to commend and say, go ahead and spend the money for that country or “go ahead and invade” or “go ahead and commit the country to the consequences of the suggestions”
It is amazing that in most of the places where Nigeria had spent its human and financial resources, where Nigeria had risk political isolations, risks its growth and survival, not many of the benefactors remember the laudable roles Nigeria played (and continues to play)
I saw how the South Africans treated Nigeria at the lying in state funeral rites of Nelson Mandala, and shook my head. America and other western nations were shown prominence while Nigeria was pushed to the back ground. (Some have also critics Nigeria diplomats for not pushing Nigeria to the forefront at that celebration but must Nigeria asked to be shown the respect of a true supporter and hero?) It is true, some Nigerians are no Nigerians in South Africa, but the apathy that South Africans are giving Nigerians there are not so befitting treatments to a true hero who did not ask for anything for supporting your aspirations.
Nigeria has barely left Liberia when the Lebanese moved in. In Sierra Leone, even America stayed far into the sea and watched developments from the distance while Nigeria risked her own health to go in. Nigeria left and till dates, Nigerians have not been shown the true celebration of a hero. In Angola, in Somalia, in Bakasi Peninsula of Cameroon, Nigeria have championed heroic deeds
Was Nigeria a foolish country to have done all these? In economic calculations and considerations, true, these votes of un- altruistic supports were senseless and me
aningless. However, this writer is wondering if half of the incidences in Nigeria had happened in other countries whether they would have survived the way Nigeria has continued to survive. Look at the prolonged promises and electoral deceptions of General Ibrahim Babangida. Nigerians kept on giving him the second, third, fourth and fifth chances until it was time to request that he “stepped aside” Imagine the cruel and barbaric regime of General Sanni Abacha when Nigerians were tortured, maimed and killed openly and without remorse?
People had thought that with MKO Abiola, Nigeria had reached her peak and the house was going to fall. And truly so, it was meant to fall. Every one of all races, cultures, nationalities both in Nigeria and Diaspora loved Abiola and to kill him as cheaply as a he- goat in military detention was unthinkable. Yet, it happened and Nigeria still remained as one!
OBJ who benefitted from Abiola’s fall, rule this nation for 4 years. The remaining four years he spent chasing enemies and third term or tenure elongation. People who thought Nigeria was heading for the rocks had been ten years short sighted because ten years later, Nigeria is still wahooing in her different challenges.
Could it be that Nigeria is surviving because her people are very prayerful?
It is clear that if God is the true rewarder of they that diligently seek him, then God must be rewarding Nigeria for all her benevolence with stability and One Nigeria. For Boko Haram to be killing fellow Nigerians in the magnitude of its operations and Nigeria continues to be one shows that indeed and truly there must be God!!!
Anyone who has seen traces and flames of war whether civil war or indulgencies will know that Nigeria must not pray for any war now. Lives will be lost and human beings will turn into animals. Without praying, God has chosen to bless Nigeria with long life and sustainable peace. If atheists have denied the existence of God, they must admit that there is a superior power incharge of keeping Nigeria in peace. It is not the efforts of her military (they have compromised long before Boko Haram anyway), it is not because Nigerians are cowards and afraid of war, it is because indeed and truly, There is God O