Nigeria: Coping With A Failed Country


By Frank Oshanugor

The other day a social media commentator jokingly posted what on the surface looked like a graffiti depicting Nigeria as a country that may not be existing in God’s own record. At first glance, one may want to consider it as a joke taken too far but in the real sense of it, there are many indicators to suggest that God has literarily got tired of Nigeria and Nigerians.

As a matter of fact, God is a serious being not given to corrupt, deceptive and crooked tendencies like some of our national leaders and therefore do not have time to relish in such. This perhaps informed some comic writers’ inner feelings to regale themselves and their cheer leaders that devil must be a Nigerian.

Yes, more often; for short of scientific proof, I am inclined to believe such comic assumption because the occurrences in Nigeria particularly in contemporary times seriously suggest that devil is largely in charge of many things in our country.

Otherwise, how do we explain a situation where over 200 students of a secondary school were abducted in one fell swoop in Kaduna State without any security agent or other citizens noticing them. How were they taken out, one may ask? This kind of act can only take place in kingdoms ruled by satan in human garment.

The other day, it was reported that some bandits in whose custody about 16 kidnapped victims have been, were demanding N40 trillion ransom before they could be released. Interestingly, the demand was coming at a time a notable Islamic scholar Sheilk Ahmad Gumi was advising President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to open negotiation with the bandits and not act like former President Muhammadu Buhari who chose to ignore his advice in the past.

If Gumi’s advice is anything to go by, it is nothing short of an indictment on the leadership of Nigeria that we are in a failed state. I cannot imagine any sovereign state under the sun with well established military, other security agencies and resources that constitute elements of national power, stooping so low to negotiate with the same criminal elements that they were statutorily established to checkmate.

If Gumi and his likes assume some correctness in his suggestion, he should not have stopped at advising Tinubu to negotiate with the bandits but ask him to outrightly hand over the reins of power to bandits who in any case, were creations of some political and religious leaders. Honestly, I weep for Nigeria.

I cannot imagine an enlightened American asking President Joe Bidden to negotiate with criminal elements in parts of America when the same President can audaciously tell the criminals that security forces would pursue them to the gate of hell like in the case of Osama Bin Ladin who was pursued till he was cut down by American security forces under President Barack Obama. That was the action of a statesman president not ready to sacrifice America’s sovereignty at the alter of mundane tendencies.

Let us face reality for once, if Nigeria is currently not under democratic governance, would the bandits have the guts in the first place to rear their ugly heads? Would Sheikh Gumi even be so bold to suggest to the military to negotiate with the bandits? He would certainly be invited to tell more about what he knows concerning the bandits and their activities.

Besides the bandits and high level of insecurity in the country, how else do we justify our not living in a failed state where monumental corrupt practices of both the immediate past and present administrations are considered as normal. The other day, Nigerians woke to hear of humongous embezzlement that has taken place at the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs. Both the immediate past Minister and her successor were named to have been involved in multi-billion naira corrupt practices.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) celebrated the arrest or invitation of the suspects for questioning in the media. Almost two months after that, not many Nigerians know where we are headed on the matter. Like other cases before it, we are not likely to have Minister Betta Edu and her predecessor prosecuted. The reason is because many people are coming to equity with stained hands. This can only happen in a failed state.

In Nigeria like a typical failed state, there is always the tendency to kill a fly with sledgehammer. This is why the former Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Godwin Emefiele would continue to be dragged up and down to account for all money frivolously and fraudulently released from the CBN while President Buhari under whom he served, walks a free man today.

Elsewhere, Buhari would have been invited for questioning to account for the lapses of his administration but regrettably Nigeria lacks the capacity to act like a sovereign nation where no individual is bigger than the state. Whether we like it or not, certain individuals are personally bigger than the Federal Republic of Nigeria, hence President Tinubu would have the courage to tell Nigerians that it is not in his character to question the activities of past leaders.

As Nigerians continue to cope with their failed country in every ramification in the face of the increasing level of economic hardship, let us not forget that all tribes are involved in this and we shall all swim along together. Let us not relish in the false assumption that the country is heading in the right direction when it is manifestly evident that Nigerians cannot proudly call the country their own, when kidnappers, terrorists, bandits and their political sponsors are now in charge. Life in Nigeria has become one hellish phenomenon that may take eternity to change the narrative.

Written by: Frank Oshanugor

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