By Tim Akano
Come, let us reason together, now that such exercise is still meaningful; before the sky gets dark and evil, and the falcon cannot hear the falconer.
Today, the Nation’s Ship is on fire. The Elites are shopping for new furniture to equip the burning ship, instead of looking for water and C02 to put out the fires. ’No be juju be that’?
Is a soft landing still possible for Nigeria at this stage, if yes, how? That is the exam.
Let me unpack the seven variants of madness inside Nigeria’s elite backpack that confirm the egg is about to be broken from the outside. Why this analogy? You ask
You see, when the egg breaks from inside, life begins, but when it breaks as a result of outside force, life ends. Before a State will collapse and disappear from the face of the earth, her Ship will pass through six harbours to load: Stagnation, Retrogression, Fragile, Failing, Failed and Disappearance. Which harbour is Nigeria’s Ship loading from presently?
Madness N0 1:
The ’TikTok Democracy’ that Nigeria is practising is a hallucination, it is not working and the ‘one-man-one-vote’ principle is a mirage. The vote of an idiot who adds zero value to the economy pays zero tax, zero education, and zero skill apart from voting skill carries the same weight as the vote of a man who pays tax and oils the wheel of the nation’s economy. Smart nations open schools, factories and Tank Farms, while Nigerian politicians open VOTERS FARMS, where voters are raised and cultivated like sheep. However you stack the cards, vertically or horizontally in a country where the uneducated young adults on the streets are more than the ones working in the factories and schooling, the Idiots will always have it. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Politicians breed and incubate the idiots, who in turn ‘’democratically’’ install one of their own as King. This is why. Nigeria is going downhill, from ‘’top to bottom’’. The Greeks have a word to describe this charade: IDIOCRACY.
The life span of a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country forcibly held together and centrally administered is three scores and ten, then the superglue of force turns loose. As Nigeria approaches her 70th birthday, the Elites need to stop avoiding the thinking cap and see it instead, as an ally.
For instance, the USSR with a population of 280 million people, a union of 15 Republics; 14 heavy-laden wives and Russia, the condescending husband, survived only for 69 years (1922-1991) before the union was dismembered. The first wife to file for divorce was Lithuania, followed by Georgia while Kazakhstan exited last on December 16th, 1991. The curtain fell on 26th December 1991, the Red Banner flag was lowered, and the USSR, which Russia boasted was indivisible and unconquerable, collapsed like a pack of cards. Today, Putin and the Russian elites exhibit symptoms of malarial dreaming, nursing the hopes that one day, USSR2 will resurrect.
Similarly, the federal republic of Czechoslovakia (1918-1993) fumbled and wobbled until age 75, when she split into two distinct independent countries of the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
Yugoslavia collapsed on the eve of her 74th birthday and violently split into 7 nations along ethnic and religious lines: Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia.
Paradoxically, each of the 7 independent countries is richer than Yugoslavia. For instance, in 2022, Croatia per Capita Income (PCI) is $16,500, Serbia, $7,100. Kosovo $4,500, Slovenia $27,000, Macedonia $5,700, and Bosnia and Herzegovina $62,600, while Yugoslavia in 1991 was just $5000. When you unbundle any unbalanced federation, a branch can become bigger than the whole, through healthy competition or a combination of other variables.
Sudan which gained independence on January 1st 1956 from the Anglo-Egyptian condominium was another failed union. Sudan had about 600 ethnic groups speaking over 400 languages. But by July 2011 at 55 years, the hitherto geographically largest country in Africa disintegrated and, from the ashes emerged two independent but antagonistic countries.
What does all this add up to? That a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country forcibly yoked together and unitarily administered has a lifespan of about 70 years before it collapses. (69 +75+74+55/4= 68+years).
Europe, the UK, USA knew what they were doing when they chose loose Federation with a referendum clause in their respective constitution and focus on building factories and Tank Farms instead of Voters’ farms.
Approaching the crucial 2023 elections flimsily, clumsily and lousily as the elites are doing is dangerous. The new game is nationalism, the old game- globalisation is preparing to go on sabbatical. Every smart nation is seeking self-reliance. This is the wrong time for countries to engage in acts that may lead to a crisis. The superpowers who could separate warring nations are busy warring in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq Yemen etc. Finland and Sweden may soon join NATO and become the new battlefields, plus the threat of a WW3 becomes a strong possibility as the days go by. Nigeria should be careful, lest she becomes collateral damage.
STAGNATION/RETROGRESSION: how can Nigeria be a dwarf despite her humongous resources? Let us search for truth from the thick forest of facts. In 1992, Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $2,030. As of May 2022, it is the same: $2,083. Little wonder why JPMorgan recently (10/5/22) removed Nigeria from its list of emerging markets, saying the country has not taken advantage of high oil prices, unlike the Saudi Aramco which overthrew Apple on 12th May 2022 to become the most valuable company in the world at $2.4 Trillion.
For instance, UAE’s GDP has grown 112 times bigger than it was in 1971 with a per capita income in 2022 of $40,000.
South Korea grew her per capita income from $10,170 in 1992 to $28,075 in 2022, while Singapore grew from $27,060 in 1992 to $61,000 in 2022.
Wait for the bombshell: While 6 countries with a combined population of 183 million people generate $4.2Trillion in GDP, Nigeria with a population of 220million has a GDP of about $400B. (UAE: Population- 10m, GDP- $400B, Malaysia: Population- 33m, GDP-$366B, Israel: Population- 9.6M, GDP- $501B, Thailand: Population- 66m, GDP-$505B, South Korea: Population- 51.8M, GDP $1.8Trillion, and Taiwan: Population -23M, GDP $690B.
Nigeria is not productive and can barely fulfil her destiny as it is presently structured.
LACK OF ELITE CONSENSUS: All smart and developing nations have something in common: Elite Consensus around a common vision. India’s elites decided to produce Software Engineers for the world. In 1950, three years after independence, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was established. Today, Indian Engineers are leading the world and remitting about $100 Billion yearly according to MOIA.
Taiwanese elites decided to control the heart of technology; in 1987, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) was established, and while it is considered to be a lesser-known company, in reality, rules the world.
The same can be said for the UAE. Their elites built a consensus around Hospitality and Tourism, through Dubai. The Chinese elites built a consensus around Global Supply Chain (GSC), which catapulted China to N0 2 in the global classroom.
Here is the exam: who among the Presidential aspirants can govern any of these two countries successfully, and how?
Country A: Four countries are merged under one unitary, central government: Saudi Arabia+ Israel + Iran+ Italy and form the Federal Republic of SAIII
Country B: Pakistan+ India + Bangladesh+ Ireland become the Federal Republic of PIBI
SAIII=PIBI=Nigeria. QED. You gerrit or fogerrabourrit.
Professor Mahmadu Jega posed a poser: ‘with the mountain of problems facing Nigeria, why do we have dozens of people coming out to vie for the post of President? The answer is GREED! My hunch is that each of the candidates and their supporters have a cleaver inside their pocket with which to cut their own share of Nigeria’s dying whale.
Make Abraham Lincoln the President, Winston Churchill, VP, Lee Kuan Yew the Finance Minister and Barack Obama the Chief of Staff to the President, forging elite consensus in any of those 3 republics (SAIII, PIBI and Nigeria) is not just a Herculean task, but it is an impossibility. And no elite consensus, no transformation, no life after 70!
The Sokoto Jungle Justice of 10th May 2022 provides a litmus test for all the Presidential aspirants. Any aspirant who cannot take a public stand on the constitutionality of jungle justice is not a fit and proper person to lead Nigeria.
Madness N0 6:
Pleasure without Productivity, Gains without Pains, Platinum lifestyle without Perspiration.
The country which received the lousy trophy of the world’s poverty capital in 2019 and has the world’s highest number of out of school children is also the country reputed to host the highest number of private jet owners in the world after America and China and one of the biggest Champagne consuming nations. The Country dies when the two most thriving sectors of the economy are Politics and YAHOO+!
Nigeria, a Kidnapped State in Chains.
Nigeria’s situation is worse than what Political Economists call ‘’State Capture’.
On May 24 1966, through Decree 34 promulgated by the then Military Administration of General Aguiyi Ironsi, the ‘’FIRST NIGERIA’’ was kidnapped and chained down. Liberating a captured state is far easier than a kidnapped one with manacles on her legs and shackles on her arms. For instance, despite the Mafia’s notoriety, Mexico remains the world’s 15th strongest economy in the world.
Ironsi got it all wrong when he concluded that “All Nigerians want an end to regionalism, tribal loyalties, and activities which promote tribal consciousness and sectional interest…’’ The then Military Governor of the Northern Region, Gen Hassan Usman Katsina and Gen David Ejoor of the Mid-Western Region expressed strong reservation and opined that it would lead to future complications. Lt Col Ojukwu and Dr Nnamdi Azikwe celebrated the unification Decree. General Ironsi tapped his kinsman, Mr Nwokedi of the Civil Service to produce a white paper for the establishment of the ‘’Administrative machinery for the unification decree’’. Gen Adekunle Fajuyi of the Western Region maintained neutrality.
The rain began to beat Nigeria in 1966 when the Military thought it could decree against tribal consciousness – something which Europeans fought a 100-years war on. Unarguably, the relative peace which Europe has enjoyed in the last 80 years is due to the ethnic re-alignments in Europe since the end of WW2.
Some Nigerians ignorantly still believe that all Nigeria needs is a strong leader. Josip Tito was a strong leader of Yugoslavia, yet the country pulled apart along ethnic lines after his death. We lie when we say ethnic groupings are anachronistic. They are not.
The only thing missing in Nigeria’s unenviable history is not to have been governed by someone who died and rose up or an ALIEN from Jupiter!
We have tried a Technocrat (Shonekan); Benevolent Dictator ( IBB); Kill & Go General (Abacha- Kanuri); Academician & Ijaw ( Jonathan, PhD); Poor Teacher (Balewa); ‘Praying when looting is going on’ President (Shaghari); Yoruba &Engineer ( OBJ 1&2); Meyitti Allah ideologue & Fulani hero (Buhari 1&2); the Socialist & a Good man (Yar Adua); Youth &Middle Belt (Gowon); Practising Muslim (Abdusalam); Hausa &Revolutionist (Muritala); Igbo (Ironsi, Zik) as Presidents. We have tried an orphan (IBB) and Mr Integrity (PMB) and what do they all have in common? Similar results ranging from P7, P8 & F9. Nigeria has failed to become a nation but instead she remains an economic dwarf in the comity of nations despite the gargantuan natural and human resources she is blessed with.
Who among the current gladiators has a better profile and preparation than OBJ of 1999? The whole world saw in OBJ a second Mandela but OBJ could not “Mandelarize” This tells you that Nigeria’s ailments do not respond to “strong leader” treatment.
Which Team shall we send to retrieve and unchain Nigeria from the kidnappers’ Den, then? We cannot count on Buhari’s successor for a successful rescue mission. There seems to be a thing that makes the ‘Aso Rock General Overseer’ become clueless, ball-less and goal-less, no sooner than he is sworn in.
Whatever it takes, I insist, we must preserve Nigeria as an entity. Without Nigeria, the hope of transforming Africa and the entire black race will remain a will-o-the-wisp.
Soft Landing Pathways
A regional form of governance, anchored on the 1963 constitution with a modicum modification (insertion of Referendum clause: Dr Azikwe was wrong to have opposed the referendum clause in the 1960s) is the most suitable for a multi-ethnic, multi-religious country like Nigeria, where every Region has power to prioritize her developmental agenda and pay 30% tax to the Center in Abuja for security, passport and currency Management.
Nigeria is lucky that some members of the Military cabal who witnessed the kidnapping exercise and who know where Nigeria is chained are still alive. Yugoslavia lacked this. When President Josip Tito and a dozen of strong Personalities who stabilized Yugoslavia passed away, the country passed away with them. There was no one with the institutional memory and voice to call the boys to order when Mr Devil paid them a courtesy visit.
Nigerians should appeal to the Owners of Nigeria to untie it before they go the way of all flesh.
To this end, I recommend the immediate setting up of NIGERIA RE-WORK EMINENT PERSONALITIES TEAM NREPT whose Executive Secretary shall be Dr Father Matthew Kukah, and Chairman, Chief Olusegun Obsanjo and Co-Chairman, The Sultan of Sokoto. Other recommended members are IBB, TY.Danjuma, Gowon, Abdusalam, Pastor EA Adeboye, plus 12 opinion leaders, two from each geo political Zone ( G8+12).
Strange illnesses require strange medication. The main task of NREPT is to get the National Assembly to meet and invoke the DOCTRINE OF NECESSITY ON RE-WORK NIGERIA. This will empower the National Assembly to circumvent the laborious legal complications that have been militating against restructuring since 1993. In a word, NREPT should help us rescue Nigeria from the Kidnappers’ den, help us unchain it and drop her at the 1963 Roundabout from where she was kidnapped. Every Region will get her best Surgeons to stabilize her portion of Nigeria and make it work. We need at least 50 years to experiment with the Regional government, in the first instance.
By my rough projection, if Nigeria takes this bypass, within the next decade, Nigeria’s GDP will increase from $400 Billion to about $4.4 Trillion, which will be like adding the GDPs of South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Israel, UAE, Qatar and Malaysia together.
The manufacturing Western Region becomes South Korea at $1.8 Trillion, the mineral resource-rich Core North becomes a combination of UAE+ Malaysia- $800 Billion, Middle Belt, the Food Basket is Thailand at $500 Billion, and the innovative East is Taiwan at $700 Billion and the oil and gas rich Mid- West is Qatar+ Israel at $700 Billion.
Show me someone who votes down the above option and I will show you a rapaciously greedy, lazy man.
In conclusion, I will exit with the following five thoughts for the elites to ponder on, before I handover the microphone to Nigerians to ‘kontinu’ the conversation.
One, Nature does not allow a situation to be mismanaged for long. President Mubarak and the then Egyptian ruling elites realised this truism too late. They were humiliated out of power and all died unsung. The 70 million ’sleeping’ Nigerians who survive on $ 1.00 per day are like time bombs waiting to explode.
Two, there is no equilibrium in greed. The Yugoslavia ruling elites, trumpeting the indivisibility of their country just like their Nigeria counterparts, were busy having fun inside the locked room, with A/Cs and sound stereos on, Champagne in one hand, steak in the other; women of easy virtues rubbing their heads, and alas, they forgot to lock the “kitchen door” from where the army of angry, hungry and frustrated Yugoslavians entered the room and detonated the bomb which sent most of the elites to the Great Beyond as they ran out of time to activate their PLAN B. The second passport was useless.
Three, there is no equilibrium in poverty, nothing says Nigeria cannot go further downhill, if we ‘kontinu’ with this TikTok democracy without corresponding dividends.
Four, Nature abhors a vacuum. A Nation’s tree that does not bear fruits after 70 years may ‘’fall down and die’’.
Five and finally, Nigeria’s Ship has since passed the Tokenism harbour, nothing short of a complete remodeling will save the Ship from capsizing.
Homework: What lessons can the Nigerian Elites learn from the Yugoslavia experience and what do they understand by Collective Enlightened self Interest (CESI)? (100 marks).
SAIII=PIBI= 1st Nigeria. QED.
You gerrit or fogerrabourrit!!!