Reversing political independence without economic independence

Aren’t we now independent?,” the highly embarrassed Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, popularly called Zik, anxiously demanded. “Do you call neocolonialism independence? At least, colonialism made the enemy undoubtedly visible. But now as neocolonialist, the enemy has finally become as invisible and deadly as electric current…

“Africa, I’m afraid, my dear Zik, is in for a long, long trouble with this new version of European and American imperialism. I wish you and I could live to see what Europe and America would have turned your dear Nigeria into 50 years from now,” the 92-year-old renowned Pan-Africanist American activist, William E.B. Dubois, telling Zik, his host, during his visit to Nigeria on November 6, 1960.

How do we assess Nigeria today — five decades after being handed the dummy independence Dubois was talking about? Is our dear country really independent or invisibly occupied by Washington and London, as Pan-Africanist Dubois feared? How come five decades later, our independence has never stopped western exploitation of our economy? Is the childishness of our leaders simply a confirmation of what DuBois called “African leaders’ naïve walking and dancing together with the devil-may-care Machiavellian enemy?”

In the case of Nigeria, has its arbitrary amalgamation made the building of a fluidly compatible and homogenous nation not only extremely difficult but also easy for the predatory imperialist agendas of Washington and London to find a safe haven in promoting ethnic and religious rivalries in Nigeria to achieve divide and dominate? Or, being attractive to these western imperial vultures to gather, should that too have to blame for our country’s dearth of patriotic leaders?

How far has the country’s ethnic and religious rivalry provided the fertile ground for western Hegelian dialectics: Thesis + Antithesis = Synthesis game; which means manufacturing a problem and solution at the same time, and then while keeping the solution in the safe, we unleash the problem like wildfire so the affected should go after the overpriced solution, which also comes with difficult conditions attached. It’s like those creating computer virus and antivirus in their labs before spreading the virus with the goal of expecting those affected to pay dearly for their antivirus. Western intelligence community is constantly creating instability and insecurity in our country knowing that we should always come for their solutions at all costs.

But how could a nation that wants to free itself from the western imperialism see no urgency to distance itself from western sponsored technocrats? Or, by allowing western sponsored technocrats run our economy, aren’t we digging ourselves deeper down the western hole? Today, Nigeria’s 53rd independence anniversary provides us enough time to reflect on DuBois’ 1960 preoccupations, especially why five decades later we had yet to visualise the trap, let alone be able to think out ways to escape western economic ambush?

For how long should we allow western secret societies watch over our leaders and force them into various oaths of allegiance to their venomous Freemason, Round Table, Skull and Bones, Council on Foreign Relations, Bilderberg, Trilateral Commission, and Illuminati to the extent of having patriotic wings clipped and tongues tied, or else their skeleton-filled cupboards be emptied in public? Wasn’t that what Britain’s most violent imperialists, Cecil Rhodes, proudly meant when he said, “We must put government power in the hands of those Africans whose past and reputation are such that between them and the people lies an abyss; persons in disobedience to our instructions must face criminal charges if not death?”

The presence of such total imperial control is the reason why what we’ve been parading our country as independent when in reality it’s merely a shift of political powers to western puppets, who occupy our corridors of power with the goal of guaranteeing the economy fully in the hands of Washington and London. Little wonder, be it the time of propping up military dictators or now of sponsoring civilian dictators, western imperialists’ goal in Nigeria remains simply the same — finding puppets and sponsoring them into power so that they protect and promote western control of economy.

That explains why rather than an oil producing nation, we can’t move beyond being mere oil royalty collecting nation; while western oil majors such as Shell, ExxonMobil, and Chevron are the real oil producers in Nigeria. And keeping it that way since 1960 has left us a plundered nation, unlike other OPEC member nations that are real oil producers. This imperialist absolute control is also happening in the country’s construction industry, where a German construction company, Julius Berger, pretending to present itself as a national construction company, has used its fascist power to fiercely keep potential local competitors out.

Understandably, the dummy democracy we’ve today in Nigeria, driving a pro-western economic system run by unapologetic western technocratic economic dictators, men and women pushing neuroscientific economic policies, confirms western control of our economy. That is why it’s completely futile for Nigerians to hope that as Nigerian is so far arranged, they should expect something good from it.

But hasn’t Joseph Nye since revealed the consequences of this irony of handing to some unelected extraterrestrial technocrats the very power of deciding the direction of countries like ours, who in his book, “Soft Power,” confessed that with such a dummy democracy in the hands of local politicians who’re kept busy with fighting over political power, while the real power, which is the economic power, is fully kept in western puppets’ hands, who do so in the name of technocrats. That’s why the Nigerian masses have remained the victims of our dummy democracy.

Little wonder with our country’s corridors of power fully infested with western secret societies and spies, genuine nationalists have found these corridors impenetrable, let alone being allowed to lead the country with the same nationalist enthusiasm required in mobilising citizens to joining hands in marching their country toward the Promised Land.

That is why constructing a homogeneous nation state, and an all-encompassing national culture as well as transiting from our present ethnic and religious society to a modern economic and social state, hasn’t been an easy journey. That is equally why while other nations seem to be acquiring modern economic and social strengths, Nigeria with all its vast resources has yet to rise above a primordial state.

For nationalist leaders like Gen. Murtala Mohammed, who wanted to oppose the system by trying to take over our oil wealth from western oil majors, were brutally assassinated. Other nationalist leaders like Maj.-Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, while they’re lucky to be alive; they were forced out of power for wanting to oppose the IMF and World Bank from strangulating our economy.

Our pro-western interest pushers can only be likened to those public enemies of Athens, who Aristotle profiled as “men suffering from an excessive youthful longing for superiority and victory; men willed to raw power, who lack moderation that comes with self dignity and virtue.” And Plato qualified them as “intemperate and effusive men of thumos whose untamed martial spirit makes it difficult for them to recognise their wrongdoing to the state; which they do not do out of wickedness but out of immature arrogance.”

Since beneath these excesses is a serious illness, an inner disharmony and a psychological fracture that not only destroy moral appetite, but also make a feeling of guilt or remorse for wrongdoings impossible, such habitual wantonness and excess, Plato and Aristotle concurred, should attract sympathy for theirs is truly a genuine sickness.

As Nigeria celebrates its 53rd independence, what do we celebrate than economic and social graveyards littering the entire country? And rather than something tangibles to show for having earned over half a trillion dollars from oil export alone, it’s mass poverty, social disenfranchisement, insecurity, poor road network, as well as and poorly equipped schools and hospitals that are all over the place.

But since Nigeria’s sickness is caused by lack of nationalist leaders, shouldn’t breaking this long imperial stronghold require citizens demanding at all cost that it’s true nationalist leaders that should rule the nation going forward? Of course, handing Nigeria to such nationalist leaders remains the only way we too can begin to transform our democracy from western dummy democracy to a people-oriented democracy that will soon turn our country from its present hopelessness to the pride of Africa it’s supposed to have become.

The good news is that the emergence of two parties in our party democracy is fast making the reclaiming of our country increasingly doable, especially as it shifts the battlefield from those in power taking instructions from Washington to listening to and doing what Nigerian people want or else the party in power will expect to be voted out of power next election. What this silent revolution is telling us is that for the first time in Nigeria’s history, we’re about having the chance to extricate ourselves from decades-long western economic occupation.

Also important is the good news that this administration has recently discovered the important positive role strengthening bilateral relations with China can play in fast-tracking our economic development. One of the things the Abuja-Beijing closeness will reveal to our leaders is the secret behind Beijing’s ability to feed 1.35 billion mouths and still has food to export. Increasingly bilateral trade will require a new trade policy regime that drastically reduces our current trade exposure to Europe, which reached a record 40 billion euro in 2012 and redirecting such high volume trade with China. That is why we badly need having China-Nigerian Bi-National Commission in place.

Finally, China is today the envy of the world because it’s a nation ruled by nationalist leaders defending national interests at all costs alongside nationalist citizens, pursuing common good. The US too remains a great nation because its leaders and citizens defend national interests at all costs. Nigeria’s greatness will begin to manifest as soon as our nationalist leaders are given the opportunity to and as soon as citizens become as selfless as their Chinese and American counterparts by abandoning our ethnic and religious differences that continue to divide us and allowing foreign interests to overshadow national interests.

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