Nigeria is Designed to Be an Enduring Failure
Nigeria’s failing as a nation is not the work of God. Nigerian political economist Claude Ake, with conviction, said there was never any design for Nigeria or Africa to be successful as modern societies. Not in economic or political sense. So many scoffed at him. Yet, he was not just right; he was visionary. Colonial powers are not that generous. Nigeria’s design was to fail. And some of its intellectual and political elites, more than anyone else, have been at the forefront of negotiating and perpetuating this unstoppable failure. The Nigerian intellectual elite love the chains of failure. For they guarantee their society’s failure as they ever profit big with ease from it.
Europe, America and the Far East achieved their admirable societal successes with diligent commitments. Commitments to “demarcations” in thought and standards at an abstract level. Plus the “coordination” of thoughts, actions, and standards at a practical level. Such is a tacit summary of Western civilisation; anything else is embellishment.
However, Claude Ake saw that this was not possible in Nigerian and African society. To the educated Nigerian and politicians, even the elite among them, there are no demarcations. Not between “good and evil”, “rich and poor”, “right and wrong”, “leaders and followers”, “success and failure”, “shame and pride”. All these dualities, as they say, are ‘embedded’ in each other and are their continuous interlink. Yet, these same elite educated Nigerians prefer good, riches, right, leaderships, success, pride, respectively, to ‘abundantly’ accrue to themselves. Well, while the rest of society and the majority should delight in evils, poverty, wrongs, followership, failure and shame. I swear by the intellects and works of Chinua Achebe, Claude Ake, Peter Palmer Ekeh and Billy Dudley. This is the aptest description of the “educated Nigerian”; the best for self and the worse for everyone else.
If there is no definitive demarcation between leaders and followers, how can Nigeria have either good leaders or good followers, nevertheless? Chinua Achebe affirmed in The Trouble with Nigeria that the nation’s problem is one of leadership. I concur! If there is no clear demarcation between good and evil or right and wrong. How can Nigeria have effective justice systems, competent governance systems, robust electoral systems, good schools, or good hospitals? Again, if there is no distinct demarcation between wealth and poverty. How can there be a fair allocation of resources, focus on jobs that provide living wages, or a reduction in the incentives to engage in corruption? Once again, if there is no proper demarcation between good and evil. How can a rotten nation like Nigeria get better or even take the lead in a dynamic world?
Answers are scarce and, when available, are full of indulgence and dishonesty. Is that the best the elite educated Nigerian can do? At least Nigerian secondary and further education is about demarcation and coordination, regardless of the subject. What happens after they acquire it?
The greatest source of weakness to an individual or group is a lack of demarcation in thought and a lack of coordination in practice. It is the stuff of personal development, personal coaching, organisational studies, policy formulation and nation-building. It is also the stuff of institutions that educated Nigerians weep about their stark absence in society. All the educated Nigerian does mostly regarding Nigeria is to blabber about its “mighty potential”. Without diligent demarcation and coordination, potential will always remain potential, no more.
To make this simpler, God did not invent the plane, the light bulb, the radio, the computer, the TV, the iPad, the mobile phone or the rifle. Men and women who understood demarcation did. God did not create Mercedes Benz, Microsoft, Coca Cola, Harvard University, Eton College. Nor Heathrow Airport, Taj Mahal, Disneyland, the State of Alabama, Nokia, Arsenal Football Ball; men and women who understood demarcation and coordination well created them.
If Nigerians do not understand or care about demarcation and coordination, they will never invent or create such things; when they do, it gets controlled by people who strive to perfect demarcation and coordination further. This is the central reason Nigeria’s failures endure. And because it is not in the “Nigerian psyche” to embrace and understand the demarcation and coordination to genius levels. Genius is useless. Therefore, the Nigerian must seek God and the spiritual level for solace, and they know it is nothing more than solace.
An elite educated person in Nigeria is rarely an atheist but often a questionable believer. Listening to them tells you a familiar story. The story is about the beauties and beneficence of religion, be it Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, Hare Krishna, Taoism, Norman Vincent Pealism or Animism. For it is better to believe than not to believe, but to what end? They even say as Nigerians or Africans, they are even closer to God than any other people in the world. Well, without surprise, that is why they are where they are. This discounts their excessive levels of indulgence, drunkenness, adultery, fornication, corruption, theft, confidence tricks, bad belle, betrayal, drug use, wickedness, idolatry, etc. One wonders if sin is delightful in the eyes of God or if decadence pleases the inner soul. Well, that is un-demarcated worship, religiosity.
The design of Nigeria as a failure is the difficult part to fathom or understand. Still, it is always there staring us in the face. If we state the fact, everyone would claim they knew it so well all along, but it becomes a mind-boggling conundrum when it unspoken. This is a good reason to leave it unstated. What difference would it make, anyway? But at least it would make people have the simple information of why Nigeria’s design was for it to fail. And the prominent role elite educated persons in Nigeria plays in it. It even teaches people the value of demarcation.
And every elite educated Nigerian will deny this description stated above does not apply to them. If we apply the King Solomon’s rule in the Bible of finding “one man in thousand” (the best-case scenario). Then one in a thousand elite educated Nigerians are free from the description given above. If we invent a machine that could measure lies or denials with 100% accuracy by people connecting to it. Moreover, the detection of lies or denials end in instant electrocution. Few elite educated compatriots will line up to disprove this issue, if any at all.
Please do not accept the temptation to request solutions. That is, the collective duty and vocation of the educated elite cum politicians is to solve the practical problems of Nigeria. If they cannot, we should render them truly and effectively declasse with kpons.