The Perception of Development: Nigerian-Style

 

One of the most interesting but intractable things about development in Nigeria is the pervasive perception of both what it is and should be. What is development? Why are Nigerians always left behind? These are questions best answered indirectly. Continue reading

Nigeria Decivilising: Governance by Self-Hating Leaders

The complete metamorphosis of the butterfly is a thoroughly adequate analogy for civilisation: the gradual progression from egg to slug to pupa to imago [the beautiful butterfly]. In the Nigerian context, it starts with the colonised state to the inexperienced independent nation-state to transitional nation-state to strong state. The furthest stage Nigeria ever go to was the ugly butterfly that never blossomed. However, after the initial euphoria of the return to democracy, it is now evident that Nigerian politicians and clergy are busy reversing the progress of the nation back into the stage of a slug as a consequence of their thefts and misrule; it suits them well. But does it suit the everyday citizens?

Nigeria once [for several years] had constant electricity, reliable tap water supplies, a world-class education, a modestly corrupt civil service, a postal system that could be depended upon, rape was associated with slum areas, robbery was not something that bothered people, people drove their cars to their home towns 100s of miles away by night, educated women did not have to sleep with men to get employment, kidnapping was unheard of, sexual attitudes were responsible, people were not desperate enough to be easily conned by clergymen, major politicians did not serve rice with an apron in the streets to win votes. Most of all people wanted to be something, upwardly social mobility was open access and the moral cost of doing wrong was high. And this is not a glossy nostalgia for something that never happened, we all lived it even better if one is old enough to remember.

Where has it all gone? Continue reading

Solo Mansion Communities and Development in Nigeria

Mansions and slums

Development in Nigeria is narrowly focused “brick, mortar and tarmac” constructions with imported technology gadgets thrown in, which is broadly appreciated by the masses and bragged about by the “developers”. Livelihoods, human development, life protection, life preservation and other aspects of developments in Nigeria are yet to kick-in as development objectives or indicators. Furthermore, the brick, mortar and tarmac constructions often have been elevated to mythical and unspoken dimensions as development achievements. Such thinking is a habitual turn of mind which has not evolved beyond pre-Independence expectations of development in developing nation ever-pregnant with hope.

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Postponement of Elections and Chinua Achebe’s Spirit

Chinua Achebe was ostracised by the Western academy for his truthful but hard to swallow comments on two European intellectual sacred cows, Joseph Conrad and Albert Schweitzer in which he branded them as racists using the pretext of artistic expression. It is reputedly proposed by many around the world that his comments cost him the Nobel Prize. Continue reading

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