Nigeria’s Democratic Enterprise Since 1999: A Preliminary Assessment

We deliberately ignored and underdeveloped the Niger Delta while draining its natural resources to feed foreign private bank account and we expected the people to be silent, docile and orderly in their neglect, oppression and poverty.  We put our children in the best private schools in and outside the country and ignore public education.  We abolished bursaries, loans and scholarships for students while our kids live abroad in luxury with enough money and time to think of terrorist acts.  We neglect agriculture and import everything from toothpicks to water. We ignore the broken healthcare system and patronise foreign medical centres even for health check-ups.  We even neglect the police and rely on private security outfits, thugs, and juju men!  Our best holidays are abroad and we cry tourism tourism to the high heavens.  We buy the most expensive cars and don’t care about the roads.  Our ministries are littered with broken down typewriters, computers and air conditioners. We do not fix.  We replace. Everything is contracts; sometimes inflated to unbelievable levels.  Abandoned projects are everywhere.  Were the contracts awarded by spacemen? Who did? When, why and who is monitoring?  We don’t care.  Just re-award the contract!
No nation can make progress in this way.  We do not invest in human capital development or technology. We are still in the manual era and believe that the future will take care of itself.  We believe in government by panels or committees but have no regard for the report from such committees. Their reports are dumped as soon as they are presented.  Everything for us is based on quota, religion, ethnicity, cults, cabals, opportunism and nepotism. We look for excuses and scapegoats everywhere.  How come many governors are always in Abuja?  Is this no more a federation? Why are those huge government lodges in Abuja?  Take a moment to think of all the developmental challenges we identified in the study of economics or social studies in the 1960s and tell me which one we have solved after almost after 50 years of independence, different forms of leadership and governance, massive deployment of public funds, and all sorts of planning methodologies.  The truth is that we have not done well. We must tell ourselves the truth.
Why have we failed? Simple. The leadership, at all levels, failed us woefully.  Again, that is not to say there have been no good professors, permanent secretaries, commissioners, military officers, policemen, ministers, governors and presidents or party leaders. But they have been few and lonely at the top.  We have managed to contaminate and corrupt the souls and visions of our people and today the entire society is one jungle of people desperately trying to understand where they are.  I believe that it is not too late to get out of the jungle.