Having established that the politicians in Nigeria are the gods we worship in Nigerian Politics, we can easily postulate that it is their collective fault that what looked like a magnificent destiny for the most populous Black Country has gone down the drain.
Of course it is their fault!
History records a great debate about the proposed date for the independence of Nigeria, a debate which had the north and south segregated based on their opinions because the southerners thought Nigeria was ready while the northerners did not (an argument from whose bosom we drank our first argument in Pos 112 – Constitutional Development of Nigeria, shalla University of Ibadan).
So the story is that there was obvious manipulation of government powers and at the height of it all was the inability of the government in all its might to consolidate democracy and the processes of democratic transition, and the end result was a nationwide which gave the first coup detat a legitimate right to probable cause.
The first coup saw to the death of all the northerners in power and the only easterner in the government was somehow in another country while also installing an easterner (two thoughts on this i. coincidence? ii. big mistake since most of the military was of northern descent). The northerners were enraged and in their vengeance killed 300,000 easterners in the north alone (if you ask me, that was a liru bit #).
Another coup occurred and this time, a young Colonel Yakubu Gowon was given the mantle (ahead of his senior colleague Colonel Ojukwu, Mr Biafra). Here is where the gods started having symptoms of the craze. Col. Ojukwu over the next three years led the Igbo people of the east to believe that they were oppressed by the rest of Nigeria and they decided secession was the best solution for them. Unfortunately, it was a military regime not civilian where you would have to write a few letters to convince legislators and hopefully you will have your way. It was the military who would fight you for every yes you said to their no. This led to the civil war of 1967-1970 which was like beating a school child because the easterners really suffered (a moment of silence for all the innocent children that death ate during this time), most especially from the tactics used by the Federal Government to starve them.
From the above, we see a trend, a sinking into madness. Nigeria then constantly battled with civilian and military regimes in what seemed like a consistent exchange of the baton. The excuses for this are absolutely ridiculous. The military would come and say something like “My fellow Nigerians, the situation has become unstable and the civilian government don’t know how to do their jobs and we will take over till we feel the civilians are ready” which was weird because nobody knows the leadership lectures, seminars or conferences they attend at the military camps and barracks (because me too I want to do leadership training). After a few months, the absolute power of the office of Head of State would intoxicate the khaki boys and they would do worse than the civilians, then another military man would kill the first one and use the same speech with different words and Nigerians would just hope and pray.
Every now and then, one useful military man would hand over back to the civilians who would act as though their eyes didn’t see and their mental faculties didn’t reason. They would orchestrate the same mistakes and the military men would just smile in their secret boys club and bring out the certificate of their secret leadership training and come to the office of the Head of State (I think we know the speech by now).
This series of events doesn’t end there although I will fast forward through the decades. In the 1990s, legend tells us of legendary general elections whose freeness, fairness and credibility were the stuff of legend and history also told us that the oga at the top that year (a military man) saw to it that the winner of the election didn’t get the chance. Since then, Nigerians have constantly blamed that Head of State for misfortunes of present. After a series of nationwide disruptions and some intervention of the international community, the civilians were given a chance in 1999 (their complaints sha abated now).
Nigeria has enjoyed a spell of successful democratic transitions since 1999 as and when Baba Obasanjo took over the mantle of power and since then, the civilians have been more disgraceful than ever and the ethno-religious and ethno-centric violence in the country has been the major pointer towards the failure of the civilian government (I don’t think they offer that leadership course at the barracks again).
To be honest, it is easy to sit down behind a computer screen and be pointing fingers paragraph after paragraph and be saying that people are not doing their jobs well but I believe that for them to have decided that they wanted that life, they should be prepared to do it right to get at least a 60% at the end of the semester.
But then again, are the gods to be blamed?
I will proceed to answer this with a series of answers to the questions you may have asked
Yes, they have been corrupt.
Yes, they stole most of our national treasures and what might be our childrens’ futures but can you blame ill prepared students for failing in class?
My reasoning is that although their mothers tried to teach them contentment through culture and religion, it is hard to not be greedy especially when they control all the wealth and there is this thing about wealth and power corrupting the honest ones.
So in fact, the gods were not crazy; they are slightly more honest in their corrupt practices. It is most unfortunate however that we have had to pay for their sins.
Our fathers have eaten sour grapes and our teeth have to face the consequences.