During a lecture on government a couple of years back, my professor dropped this line “… Government determines who gets what… “.
Regardless of the fact that, that practice can easily be observed in the acts of political leaders, and the fact that the man was a respected scholar, I couldn’t bring myself to subscribe to that line of thought. I resented it for the reason that it was very easy to just look at the reality that is obvious and append ” … And whose interest end up being ignored…” to the man’s description. Doing so, the whole idea will read ” … Government determines who gets what … and whose interest end up being ignored “. That is the big problem.
The problem that such a practice creates isn’t just that those who ‘get’ are happy and those who are out-rightly ‘ignored’ are sad, angry, and resentful. Giving to one and out-rightly ignoring another expands the boundaries of inequality. It fuels restiveness. It rubs a society of the important opportunity that tapping into the talents of all its citizens affords. It fans the embers of disunity. Are those not sufficiently disturbing problems? Should it not matter to a society not to be hell bent on creating multiple challenges for itself but to work hard in the direction of exploring its full potential in a sensible fair manner? As far as reason goes, the manner in which the $22.7 bn loan was allocated suggests something very bizarre.
The table below shows the distribution of a 22.7 billion dollars loan to the various geopolitical zones of Nigeria.
Nigeria’s $22.7b Loan: Projects/Services By Political Zones.
1) South West: $200,000,000.00
2) South South: $4,270,000,000.00
3) South East: $0.00
4) North West: $6,372,000,000.00
5) North East: $300,000,000.00
6) North Central: $6,531,000,000.00
Source: Tekedia Network
A look at the above table should give anyone who cares the feeling “what does it all mean?” The answer to that question, no matter how fanciful it may be, won’t help the nation in the long term. That’s, if anyone cares about long term.
It’s a clear fact that the world has undergone remarkable transformation over the past few decades. A transformation that is energized by greater acceptance of other people in spite of obvious differences, and by the drive towards freer societies, as well as by the enhancement of opportunity for all men, women and children.
Just a couple of decades ago, Africa was at the receiving end of the worst form of exploitation that can be imagined. And throughout the rest of the world, discrimination made it so difficult for people of different races to support one another and work together to achieve the greater good doing so brings.
Given the sharp improvement in the world today compared to the sadder realities of the recent past, there’s a very straight forward lesson that can be easily learned.
Those who are hell bent on exploiting others in unfair ways, eventually keep themselves blinded to the opportunities that collaborating with those they exploit, on fair terms, could offer them to achieve greater milestones than is possible through unfair exploitation.
Just to clarify this point, I’m curious as to why a relatively younger America became more powerful than its older colonizer. Doesn’t it seem reasonable to think that while the then unsustainable policy of ” Grab and grab all that can be grabbed ” of the European powers, placed on them a huge limitation, the willingness of America to support and expand opportunities for all it’s citizens helped it stay ahead?
It is hoped, in solidarity to Nigeria and to the call of senators from South East, for a review, that we don’t solely insist that government must be a tool for granting privileges and opportunities in such a way that, in a country of six regions, the interest of the people, of a particular region is ignored. Unless anyone who subscribes to the practice of otherwise feels that, it will be possible to bullet-proof the country from the dangerous depressions that marginalization causes to a nation and its people.
The possibility of a greater and better Nigeria lies in prioritization of support for every citizen of Nigeria, regardless of their ethnic or political affiliation, to have the opportunity to achieve a better, healthier life. It lies in not only making life better for the people of some regions, but in pursuing policies that fight for the wellbeing of every man, woman and child of all the regions in the country.
Nothing much will be gained by a country that works hard to keep its people angry, poor, underdeveloped and resentful. Because whatever practice that doesn’t uplift a nation ultimate retards its progress.