Nigeria Decivilising: Governance by Self-Hating Leaders

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  1. Nigeria had never been civilised in the true sense of the word (which is why most Nigerians think that civilisation is about cars, dresses, pump and pageantry) otherwise to get to this un-definable low point, the country would have been conquered and plundered by an invading power. Independence gave us the chance to grow in civility, progress and gain economic power, but even with the (crude oil) handout from nature we floundered, drifted and are lost.

    Quite nostalgic thinking of the so-called “good days of the past” which were still bad by comparison but they were good days by our standards especially looking back from where we are. Those were days when over 80% of Nigerians were rural dwellers who didn’t give any rat’s arse about electricity and running water.

    The city elites had it all and, for them they were the good old days. The corruption and incompetence was there – the good old days when the seeds were sown – but not noticed because the perpetrators were few and more organized. There was no news ubiquity as we have it today and very few journalist are trained or allowed to tell the story.

    The good old days was when it all started therefore, I award no pass mark to the fathers of corruption and utter political and economic destruction of Nigeria.

    Nigerians must change their toxic cultural and values programming to survive.

    1. In the opening of the article I make it clear that the highest state of metamorphosis Nigeria reached was the “Ugly Butterfly”, not the “Beautiful Butterfly”. Ugly development is not good development in any conceivable sense. However, earning £15 per hour in 1976 will always be more than marginally better than earning £10 per hour in 2018.The good old days really means civil servants and ordinary folk could survive and raise families on their small salaries or incomes alone.

      Rural Nigeria? In the 1970s, larger proportion of rural dwellers in Bendel State received reliable electricity and reliable water supplies through the Rural Electric Board and Rural Water Board. You did not need to live in a town (Warri) or city (Benin) to get these public services. Nowadays, even the city or urban elite in Lagos and Abuja do not have reliable electricity from the grid or pipes and depend on generators that are costly to run. Is this not retrogression, negative metamorphosis.

      I used the term “modestly corrupt” civil service for a reason. In the 1960s up to the early 1980s corruption was practised by civil servants on a 10% bribe or kickback basis. Then projects got completed and mostly properly. Today, civil servants award 100% of inflated contracts to their own ghost projects and either do not do the project at all or abandon it in its early stages. Such is retrogression, negative metamorphosis.

      And when you say the supposed good old days was when the rot in Nigeria began, was it the leaders who misspent and stole the oil boom years wealth or the citizens who scavenged for the crumbs they could get?

      1. The 1970s Rivers State didn’t enjoy rural electrification and water supply as Bendel state. Rural areas were electrified by oil companies in the areas they were exploiting. And pipe borne water is still a dream even in much of Port Harcourt, the state capital, though it was better in 70s. You see, the development history of Nigeria is quite patchy and we can all tell our stores; the question is, what is the average?

        Corruption and bad government are symptoms of a far deeper and chronic cause; what is the cause?