[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ] - Chinua Achebe had in his book the “trouble with Nigeria” declared that leadership was the bane of Nigeria’s underdevelopment. In the book “why nations fail” Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson, had likewise used the analogy of the city of Nogales one part of which is in the United States and the other part in Mexico to highlight how leadership and strong institutions can make a difference in the success or failure of a society. Nogales happens to be a city situated on both sides of the border between the United States and Mexico with same geography, same climate and same ethnic make-up; but that is where the similarities end. The city of Nogales on the American side of the border has a higher life expectancy, good roads, high levels of affluence and very low levels of crime and corruption while the same city of Nogales on the Mexican side of the border has dilapidated infrastructure, high levels of poverty, high crime rates and corruption. Both cities with practically the same environment and ethnic make-up has vastly different outcomes on both sides of the border and the only reason for this difference is the leadership, institutions and systems that differed in both nations.
The experience in the then demarcated East and West Germany after the 2nd world war with same people and geography but vastly different economic and social outcomes due to different political and institutional structures also lends credence to how a leadership, institutions and systems can advance or retrogress a people or society. So much thus depends on the newly invested governor of Anambra state Chief Willie Obiano to provide the kind of leadership and institutions that will fundamentally change the outcomes in Anambra state. In truth, he has already gained some popularity not only for his admirable vision but also for the gusto with which he has undertaken his duties thus far, but in the murky waters of Nigerian politics it is sometimes common for once determined actors to become swallowed by the rot of the status quo and consequently become complacent.
The recent distraction occasioned by the unnecessary politics of APGA, Peter Obi and Victor Umeh is already threatening to drag him into such soiled waters. I don’t believe it demonstrates political maturity to become estranged or to engage in conflicts with Peter Obi, insofar as he has not constituted himself a godfather. In saner democratic climes political opponents work together. A constructive working relationship with Peter Obi irrespective of the party platform he now finds himself would be a win-win for all. Willie Obiano will do well to put an end to such unnecessary brouhaha, resist the negative forces of the status quo and concentrate in the zealous pursuit of his advertised development programs.
Time is also something that is not too friendly with government as it seems to fly with ever increasing speed. It is already more than a hundred days and counting since he was inaugurated. It won’t take too long before the end of his tenure looms and the necessary stocktaking begins. It is thus necessary that the governor move with deliberate speed in getting his projects off the ground so as to be in a position to showcase a new Anambra state by the end of his first tenure. In this regards i wish to highlight a few projects that need to be given priority.
Establishment Of Self Serviced Dedicated Industrial/Agro-Technology Parks:
Small and medium scale enterprises remain the greatest area of potential growth and job creation in the immediate short term and long term. In order to make this possible and to harness the abundant human resources and entrepreneurial spirit in the area the government should urgently create special economic zones and establish dedicated self serviced industrial parks in designated areas within the state. Modalities for the establishment of industrial parks with adequate incentives will include the provision of land for industrial clusters, the construction of access roads, construction of industrial units, warehouses and other necessary infrastructure. Because of the challenges of inadequate power supply from PHCN, the industrial parks will be self serviced with industrial generators that serve only the industrial park. While each industrial park will be connected to the national grid, the backup industrial generators will ensure the servicing of the industrial park as required. Service charges to be contributed by all operators in the industrial clusters and some level of government subsidy or aid will provide revenue for the funding of fuel or diesel for the running of the industrial generators in the interim.
The industrial clusters will aim for the production of agro allied products/food processing and goods such as footwear/shoes, bags, toys, clothing, pharmaceuticals and others as part of the overall initiative for industrialisation.
Establishment of an Ultra-Modern International Cargo/ Passenger Airport:
The construction of an Airport in Anambra state has long been in the planning and has for reasons of its importance featured prominently in every election campaign. It’s time for Chief Obiano to fulfil that long yearning by urgently commencing through public/private partnership the construction of a modern Airport that will possibly be operational by 2015 or latest 2016. As a state with a large enterprise base and with the expectation of rapid industrial and infrastructural development, Anambra state urgently needs an ultra-modern cargo and passenger airport as part of the process to build capacity for the expected increase in industrial activity and its attendant increase in passenger and freight-cargo traffic. There can be no development without infrastructure and an airport is a strategic infrastructure that will significantly open up the state.
A major cargo holding area where containers can be stored should be established within the airport industrial complex to double as a dry port and storage centre where containers can be stored by entrepreneurs. In the long-term the airport should host ultra modern facilities, including aircraft servicing and repair facilities as a strategy to market the airport as a regional hub for stop over flights and aircraft repair and maintenance location. The Airport project could be actualised cost effectively through a public private partnership. Having long yearned for an Airport, the construction of one in Anambra state will be one of chief Obiano’s lasting legacies.
To Be Continued.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu ( Email: Lawrencenwobu@gmail.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - Governor Willie Obiano
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Sports loving governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, has congratulated the Super Falcons for thrashing the Lionesses of Cameroun 2-0 to emerge winners of the 9th edition of the African Women Championship finals played at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, Namibia.
In a press statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, Governor Orji who thanked the seventh-time African champions for doing the country proud, said their hard-won victory over Cameroun showed that the players trained very hard for the just concluded championship.
According to him, the indomitable spirit of the players coupled with their courage contributed immensely to all the victories the team recorded during the championship.
He called on the football authorities and handlers of the Super Falcons to ensure that the players are kept together for future tournaments especially as they qualified for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup that will be played from 6th June till 5th July in Canada.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechuckwu Njoku reports ] - Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has explained the secret of his calm demeanour even in the face of the calamitous events that have recently shrouded his controversial ministry.
Speaking to the congregation at The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) on Sunday 26th October 2014 in a service broadcast live on Emmanuel TV, the cleric referred to the tragic building collapse last month that left over 100 dead, stating that God would reward people according to their actions and reactions.
“What do you think is keeping me here?” Joshua questioned his congregants. “You see me laughing and I still stay because I have seen beyond the situation at hand. What I am seeing - you that are silent about the situation will be rewarded by God. You that are for will receive reward from God. You that are against will receive reward from God. It is all about God!”
The embattled pastor preached extensively on the subject of destiny, counselling worshippers to not be led astray by their challenges. “Whatever situation you are facing, don’t let it overwhelm you,” he advised. “Stay focused because there is something far more important than that situation – your dream and your goals in life.”
Basing the message on his own life experiences, Joshua continued, “I am here today because I know my goal and my dream; I am in line with it. Even though I pass through the fire, the valley of the shadow of death – the question is where is my dream and goal? It’s there.”
The popular Nigerian pastor then relayed how internal peace has kept him going throughout life’s ups and downs. “If not the peace of heart that I have in this world, I would have been zero by now,” he admitted to the congregation comprised of local and international worshippers.
“The peace of heart is so much that when I close my eyes, I can sleep,” he explained. “If I go out now, I would just walk on the streets alone because I have peace of heart. When I want to eat, I eat. If people keep disappointing me, that will not discourage me – I still keep believing that I should carry on because I have peace of heart.”
The cleric opined that desperation to achieve material things hastily had left peace elusive for the majority. “After you have achieved all you are looking for, it is so painful without peace of heart,” he stated, adding that it was not better not to achieve material success than to do so without peace of heart.
“If you don’t have anything in this world but you have peace of heart, the peace of heart will give you everything in need… You need peace of heart to enjoy whatever you have,” he stressed.
“Everything you gathered by desperation, where are they today,” the cleric then asked the sombre audience. “Without peace of heart, you will make a wrong choice; you will choose in a haste; you will always be desperate in choosing. Everything that will last long demands for time and preparation.”
Joshua challenged congregants to examine whether they really believed in their respective businesses or career choices, stressing that the evidence of such lay in their resolve to persist despite challenges.
“If you believe in what you are doing, why should disappointment separate you from it? If you believe in your business, why should failure cause you to abandon it? If you believe in your marriage, why should crisis separate you and lead to divorce,” he asked.
Speaking further on the increasing rate of divorce and separation among married couples, he added, “Today, marriage crumbles because marriage seems to be competition whereas it is supposed to be co-operation.”
Joshua then took a swipe at politicians who deceived people with wild promises, counselling the congregation to not quickly judge by appearances. “We judge people by their actions. That is why today, if a politician comes out to promise Heaven and earth and spray money on you, you are ready to vote for them. When they win the election, they turn around.”
He continued, “The world is upside down because we judge people today by their actions. We don’t know that actions on the outside can be different to actions on the inside. Because of this, we don’t know our friends and our enemies.”
The cleric concluded by advising people to seek God alone in order for their destinies in life to be actualised. “When you are connected to your destiny, nothing and nothing can stop you,” he declared.
During his prophetic ministration, Joshua later spoke of a dark cloud hanging heavily over the nation of Nigeria, explaining the crowd symbolised an impending trouble for Africa's most populous nation.
Ihechuckwu Njoku ( Email: email@example.com ), a freelance Nigerian journalist, reports.
*Photo Caption - Prophet T.B. Joshua
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Chief Press Secretary to Abia State Governor, Mr. Charles Ajunwa, has faulted an assertion by "one faceless group masquerading as Save Abia
Group " which in a recent media publication alleged that "Abia is the least developed state in Nigeria."
He dismissed the group's claims as a cheap blackmail aimed at ridiculing the governor's efforts to transform the state while accusing his political opponents of sponsoring the said publication to cause disaffection in the polity ahead of the 2015 general election.
Mr. Ajunwa who stated this in a press release made available to journalists in Umuahia, said "it is only the blind" that would accuse Governor Orji's administration of non performance after looking at the galaxy of legacy projects he had posted.
He accused the group of publishing old pictures of some roads in Aba which had since been rehabilitated by Governor Orji's administration in its desperation to disrepute him for selfish political reasons.
He said the group was being sponsored by the opposition to twist facts and create wrong impression that his administration had failed "when in fact it is the same administration that is working tirelessly to rebuild the state after years of dilapidation."
According to him, "common logic shows that if the previous administrations had done better, the so-called infrastructure they built would not have rapidly collapsed within seven years of Governor Orji's administration".
The release reads in part: " There is no basis whatsoever for any one to say this administration has not performed considering the number of tangible and verifiable projects fairly distributed across the state.
" It is a fact that Orji is not the first Abia governor but he is the first to build workers secretariat for the civil servants; first to build Abia government house; first to build international conference centre; first to build diagnostic hospitals and renal centre; and first to kick- start infrastructural revolution in the state."
According to him, government had since initiated remedial measures on some bad roads in Aba including federal roads to make them passable pending the time something permanent would be done as funds improved.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Over 1,000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Abia State have pitched their tent with the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) citing infighting, deceit and lies by their former party as reason for their defection.
The decampees included major stakeholders of the party from the 17 Local Government Areas of the state.
Presenting an address on the ocasion at the state PDP secretariat, Umuahia, the leader of the group, Chief Egwuatu Egbulefu said their sojourn with the APC was unfruitful, describing the APC as a bandwagon of sad, selfish and aggrieved politicians looking for a platform to unbidden their grief.
He said that they were happy to return to the PDP which he said harbourm everyone and regretted that their leaving the PDP earlier was as a result of anger.
Chief Egbulefu pledged their loyalty to the PDP and called on others still wasting time in APC to return to the PDP and saluted the chairman of the party, Senator Emma Nwaka for accepting them back to the fold.
In their speeches, other stakeholders of the party,including Chief Francis Egu,Erin U Erode Jnr. Emerge Sunday Okoro, Mrs Chinese Onyeukwu, Chief Uzoma Uwa, said their return was to add value to the PDP and thanked Governor Theodore Orji for his efforts in building PDP as well as his tremendous goodwill which he said made them to return.
Receiving the decampees, the state chairman of the PDP, Senator Emma Nwaka said he was happy to welcome them into the party and promised to give all members equal treatment as Governor Orji has changed the face of politics in Abia.
According to him, Abia is wearing a new look under the PDP-led government of Chief Orji, adding that APC is fully dead in Abia State. He assured that PDP will give all contestants a level playing ground.
*Photo Caption - PDP logo
[ Masterweb Reports ] - Abia State Governor, Chief Theodore Orji, has begun the commissioning of some of the legacy projects completed by his government. Flagging off the commissioning at the Umuahia Bus Terminal on Monday, October 20, 2014, the Governor said that henceforth, he would be spending more time in the field commissioning projects scattered in the state.
Among the projects commissioned by the Governor included the Umuahia Bus
Terminal along Enugu/Port Harcourt Expressway and the 1.5km ring road at the Ohiya/Nsukwe Mechanic, Spate Parts and Allied Products Market. According to the Governor, the Umuahia bus terminal will help decongest the city as all buses will take off and return to the terminal daily. The Governor stated that the project will help bring more development as the urban area is expanding to accommodate more people.
He said that the bus terminal is designed to provide a central place as motor Park and commended the contractor that handled the project for realizing the project.
In his speech at the Ohiya mechanic village, the Governor said that government after relocating the mechanic and spare parts dealers had to provide them with the basic amenities including water and access road.
He pointed out that all the internal roads in the market were done by the Ministry of Works and stated that the new market which is better than the former one has brought further development to Umuahia and appealed to the traders to have confidence in the government. In his speech, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Renewal, Elder Godwin Nna, appealed to all transport companies that converted residential buildings to motor parks to relocate to the bus terminal before the illegal motor parks are sealed.
The Commissioner for Works, Longman Nwachukwu, on his own appreciated the Governor for giving access road to the mechanic village as well as for providing needed amenities to the market.
Earlier, the chairman, Ohiya Mechanic Village, Mr Aham Agoha appreciated the Governor for relocating them to a better place and creating a conducive environment for them to do their business and pledged their support to his government.
*Photo Caption - Governor T. A. Orji
[ Masterweb Reports ] - A 23-year-old Nigerian American man, Dominic Adesanya who calls himself 'American Slave', on Wednesday around 7:15 pm jumped the White House fence and made it onto the North Lawn before being subdued. Adesanya, , stood on the North Lawn gesturing and lifting his shirt before being taken down by K-9 units (law enforcement officers partnered with a highly-trained dogs) and subdued by the Secret Service. On the lawn, Adesanya kicked a K-9 dog that ran towards him before being wrestled to the ground by another one and was taken into custody. The intruder was taken to a hospital with injuries for treatment and evaluation, an Obama administration official told reporters.
“Dogs got him”, a U.S. Secret Service spokesman told newsmen after the incident. The White House was put on lockdown for one and half hour but was not evacuated. Adesanya was unarmed during his invasion of White House, two K-9 dogs were taken to a veterinarian for injuries sustained during their encounter with him.
It was not clear whether President Obama and/or his family were in the building during the incident. Adesanya’s father said his son had been arrested at the White House before in a bid to talk to Obama on how people were out to get him. He said the family tried to get him help after the incident.
Adesanya's last post on Instagram on Tuesday showed an I Voted sticker captioned 'Voted for this B #ImpeachObama.' On a LinkedIn page, in place of a job title he described himself as an 'American Slave' and rants about the Rothschild banking family.
The latest incident comes a month after Omar Gonzalez, a 42-year-old Iraq war veteran carrying a pocketknife jumped White House fence and ran across the North Lawn, through an unlocked White House door and into multiple rooms before being arrested. He faces six counts, including two federal charges of assaulting officers. A preliminary evaluation found him "presently not competent" to stand trial.
Gonzalez’s September 19 breach was part of a string of embarrassments for the Secret Service that led to the resignation of the agency's director, Julia A. Pierson. The incident prompted a review of the security measures at the White House.
*Photo Caption - Dominic Adesanya
[ Masterweb Reports: Godwin Ikechukwu reports ] - An email sensationally claiming to be from Abubakar Shekau, the supposedly deceased leader of the extremist Islamic sect Boko Haram, has been circulated within Nigeria.
The email, which this writer saw on various online forums, contains several startling allegations, centering on the claim that the Goodluck Jonathan administration founded and funded an ‘alternative Boko Haram’ group which was responsible for perpetrating several atrocities aimed at achieving Jonathan’s political aims of re-election come 2015.
“I, Imam Abubakar Shekau, by the powers and rights vested upon me by God, the Almighty Allah, as the Head of Mission and the Undisputed Leader of ‘Jaama’atu Ahlus-Sunnah Lidda’ Awati Wal Jinad (Boko Haram)’ do solemnly make this truthful, most honest and utmost accurate presentation, application and the transmission on the above subject matter, believing all of its contents to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth,” the long email began.
The message continues by alleging Nigeria’s ruling PDP administration offered financial support to Boko Haram following the murder of its founder Mohammed Yusuf in 2009. The offer purportedly came through Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar, Chief Anthony A. Anenih and current Vice President Namadi Sambo.
Thereafter, “we received large supplies of weapons, ammunition, provision and funding indirectly from President Goodluck Jonathan and the Peoples Democratic Party of Nigeria (PDP) through foreign and domestic agents,” the email then asserts.
‘Shekau’ goes further to claim Jonathan organised another group of thugs acting under the name of ‘Boko Haram’ to perpetrate several atrocities, including the kidnap of the 276 Chibok girls and the attempted assassination of APC presidential aspirant Muhammadu Buhari.
The message then shockingly claims the ‘alternative Boko Haram’ group were behind the controversial collapse of The Synagogue, Church Of All Nations (SCOAN) building last month that killed over 100, including 80 South Africans.
“A day before the incident, the agents of President Goodluck Jonathan’s alternative Boko Haram had fused and pasted the latest type of “Plastic Bombs” on strategic parts of the building. The signal for detonation was only given when a strange unmarked aircraft piloted by one of his Air Force Officers had circled the building three times,” the message specified.
According to ‘Shekau’, the choice of Synagogue as a target was based on Τ.Β. Joshua’s political clout as ‘many prominent APC members rely on The Synagogue for special prayers and holy water that will help them defeat President Goodluck Jonathan and the PDP in 2015.’
The email was addressed to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands, reporting ‘persons in Nigeria that have committed gross human rights violations, genocide and crimes against humanity’.
The majority of online commentators who discussed the email have questioned its authenticity, alleging it has a political agenda and is the handiwork of APC fanatics attempting to stain the name of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan.
ORIGINAL EMAIL SOURCE: http://www.gistmania.com/talk/topic,222831.0.html
Godwin Ikechukwu ( Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ) reports from Lagos, Nigeria
*Photo Caption - Rescue workers Tuesday September 16, 2014 search for survivors in the rubble of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Lagos- Nigeria collapsed building. The building collapsed September 12, 2014.
[ Masterweb Reports: Ihechukwu Njoku reports ] - A picture of controversial Pastor T.B. Joshua carrying three bags of rice went viral this week within Nigerian social media and blogs. While most commended Joshua for his humility and humanity, there were suggestions that the picture was ‘photo-shopped’. Others insinuated the image was nothing but a tasteless publicity stunt in the light of the recent tragedy that befell The SCOAN where over 100 died in a building collapse.
As a viewer of Emmanuel TV, I have actually seen the video clip of this particular humanitarian mission previously and managed to find the footage on YouTube. For clarification, this did not take place after the tragedy last month, putting to rest the allegation that this was an ill-timed publicity feat. So, for all the doubters and skeptics, here is video evidence of Pastor T.B. Joshua carrying three bags of rice in one of his numerous philanthropic visits to less-privileged areas.
[ Masterweb Reports: Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu reports ] - Wherever you go and wherever Nigerians congregate the question is often asked; why has Nigeria failed? Why has a nation so blessed with abundant human and material resources failed? Why is Nigeria so disharmonious; crippled by tribalism, religious fundamentalism and bigotry? Why is Nigeria so corrupt and why can’t Nigerians work together for the common good of all? Why simple issues in Nigeria are politicised thus inhibiting possible solutions to identified problems? Why is a nation that has all the potentials to be one of the richest in the world a failed state? Why has Nigeria been cursed with an endless line of bad leaders? These haunting questions are ever so common while finding answers to them has proven a difficult task.
The search for the truth is a constant in a every society; It is thus pertinent at this point in our chequered history to seek the truth and provide answers to these questions thereby registering for all time the most fundamental factors that has cumulatively and progressively led to Nigeria’s failure. Nations do not succeed or fail by accident; any of both scenarios are determined by deliberate acts of leadership particularly in the foundational years. In the specific case of Nigeria the absence of nation building which is an indispensable prerequisite for every nation more so a heterogeneous nation with deep ethnic, religious and cultural divisions from the foundational years of independence provided the most important dynamic that led to Nigeria’s failure. Nigeria has uncannily been a very unfortunate and unusual nation, at independence she became one of the only nations led not only by leaders who opposed her independence but whom also rejected the very idea of her nationhood as constituted.
The duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa who formed the core of the independence leadership were nothing other than leaders who “hated Nigeria as constituted.” In words and deeds they never failed to demonstrate their hatred for Nigeria. They so much abhorred the very idea of Nigeria that Ahmadu Bello in his book and autobiography “My Life” published in 1961; famously derided the amalgamation of Northern and Southern Nigeria as “the mistake of 1914.” They saw Nigeria not as a nation to build for the common good of all but as a nation to dominate by any means at the expense of other ethno-religious groups. In other words the project Nigeria was to be a continuation of Othman Dan Fodio’s religious jihad. This is evident from the statement Ahmadu Bello made in the Parrot Newspaper on the 12th of October 1960, just 11 days after independence where he declared that “the new nation called Nigeria should be an estate of our great grandfather Othman Dan Fodio. We must ruthlessly prevent a change of power. We must use the minorities in the north as willing tools and the south as conquered territory and never allow them to rule over us and never allow them to have control over their future.”
This infamous statement by Ahmadu Bello revealed his outlook on Nigeria and his intention to treat it as jihadist booty rather than as a nation to build. His declared intent never to allow a shift of power is also revealing of his undemocratic leanings. Having won power at the centre at independence Ahmadu Bello began unfolding his jihadist project as declared. He refused to become the Prime minister preferring instead to nominate Tafawa Balewa because he loathed coming to or residing in Lagos. He was indeed notably absent at the independence celebrations in Lagos for the same reason of not wanting to step foot in the South. He refused all entreaties to change the name of his political platform the “Northern” people’s congress (NPC) to a name that is more reflective of the whole of Nigeria. He also infamously instituted policies of segregation that created a separate area of habitation (sabon gari) for southerners living in the North and introduced the “Northernization” policy that gave preference to Europeans and other foreigners in employment to Southern Nigerians.
Tafawa Balewa who became the prime minister at independence was no different. In 1948 while addressing the legislative council, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa declared that “Since 1914 the British Government has been trying to make Nigeria into one country, but the Nigerian people themselves are historically different in their backgrounds, in their religious beliefs and customs and do not show themselves any sign of willingness to unite. Nigerian unity is only a British intention for the country.” This speech, famously delivered to the legislative council underscores the deep resentment/hatred Tafawa Balewa whom together with Ahmadu Bello formed the post-colonial government in 1960 harboured for Nigeria. Since a man cannot give what he does not have, it was impossible and inconceivable for the duo who sufficiently demonstrated their hatred/rejection of Nigeria in words and deeds and who saw Nigeria only as the continuation of Othman Dan Fodio’s jihad to undertake any measure of nation building especially at those formative years that the nation needed it most. Both Ahmadu Bello and Balewa were opposed to independence and were consequently implicated in orchestrating the 1953 anti-independence Kano riots where scores were killed following the rejection of independence by northern lawmakers as requested by Anthony Enahoro in the federal parliament.
Thus, without any incentive to invest in nation building or to make the necessary sacrifices to consolidate the fledgling republic, the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa commenced on a relentless pursuit of narrow sectional, regional and jihadist interests at the expense of the rule of law, democracy and good governance. Ahmadu Bello had also previously declared in the Daily Times on May 3rd 1961, his intention “to conquer the Action Group, (AG) in the same ruthless manner his grandfather conquered Alkawa, a town in Sokoto province, in the last century.” The bid to actualise these declarations in advancement of narrow sectional interests led to the rigging of census results in favour of the North in 1962 provoking an early post-independence crisis. By 1963 a further bid to ensure Northern domination through the construction of a one party state led to the emasculation of the AG and the arrest/ conviction of Chief Obafemi Awolowo for alleged coup plotting. The final act of infamy was the unholy alliance between Ladoke Akintola and Tafawa Balewa leading to a massive electoral heist in the Western region in 1964 which in turn sparked violent riots and disturbances (wetie) which eventually occasioned the January 1966 coup.
No one can doubt the necessity of nation building, yet as necessary as nation building was for Nigeria from independence, only leaders who genuinely believed in Nigeria and who were liberated from the demons of tribalism, religious fanaticism, hate and bigotry could have invested in it. Nation building is not without sacrifices; it involves a sustained process of ethnic and cultural integration through deliberate policies of inclusion, social justice, mutual respect, equality, fraternity and even spread of development and opportunities amongst other pragmatic initiatives. It also involves a commitment to the ideals of democracy. An ideal nation builder must demonstrate in words and deeds a clear policy of total integration that forbids exclusion and all forms of discrimination as the likes of Julius Nyerere of blessed memory stridently cultivated in Tanzania.
It is obvious that because the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Tafawa Balewa who formed the government of Nigeria at independence hated Nigeria, they were loath to invest in policies that will actualise national integration and create a true Nigerian identity, just as they were also loath to uphold democratic principles of free and fair elections being determined as Ahmadu Bello had declared in his speech to prevent any change of power by all means. Therein lies the most important factors for Nigeria’s failure. Ahmadu Bello/ Balewa were not alone in the odious game of bigotry but they were by far the most important national actors who sufficiently poisoned the nation with tribalism, sectionalism and election rigging in the then Western region to the extent that nation building was simply impossible.
Overtime, the absence of nation building and the seeds of sectionalism, tribalism, corruption and disharmony cultivated by the duo of Ahmadu Bello and Balewa from her foundational years has become Nigeria’s status quo. Since a house divided against itself cannot stand Nigeria has since become a chaotic, corrupt and conflict ridden failed state all thanks to the hatred, divisions and disharmony planted by the independence leadership duo of Ahmadu Bello/Balewa. The Ango Abdullahi’s Adamu Ciroma’s Murtala Nyako’s and Arewa’s of this world who daily make bigoted statements represents Nigeria’s fatal fault-lines and reminds us that Ahmadu Bello’s doctrine/legacy of domination, jihad, hate and exclusion of other Nigerians is still alive and well.
Lawrence Chinedu Nwobu (Email: email@example.com ) reports.
*Photo Caption - From left to right: Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Alhaji Tafawa Balewa, Dr E.M.L. Endeley and Alhaji Ahmadu Bello.