The real debate which Mr. Richard Akinjide deferred to another
occasion is central to our understanding of the Nigerians condition:
*Who initiated the economic policy?
*Who are they working for?
*Why are they maintaining the infrastructure at all human costs?But above all: is it possible that the Nigerian outpost is not now clearly manifesting the real reasons why it was constituted in the first place: to keep the balance in the inevitable surge in energy costs?
As new demands for energy rises, we are likely to see the map
of the turf battles for its control as it unfolds. In order words, a
19th century scenario is afoot, and it will lead to another global
catastrophe of the scale of international armed conflict aimed at the
control of energy. Nigeria is an important front in that battle and
its current symptoms are merely political. I often look at the debt
overhang as a recreaton of the debt crisis suffered by the Egyptians
of the Pashas for which Egypt became a toothless liege of the empire
in the 19th century, leading up to the crisis of the Suez Canal.
Nigeria has simply mortgaged its oil fields and energy sources. That
seems clear from its inability to establish an independent economic
planning outside of the direction of the IMF and the World Bank.
I am however very interested in Richard Akinjide's position because,
once again, it shows the quality of mind, philosophical orientation,
and ambition of the first generation of pre-war politicians who
emerged through the anti-colonial struggle - even the ones among them
that could be considered conservative - compared to a confused,
neo-conservative, neo-liberal power elite today with no sense of
purpose, with scant understanding of "where the rain began to beat
us." As Akinjide hints, the economic policies initiated by this
regime - and it must go back to the Babangida regime - is not aimed
at stimulating a productive economy. The Nigerian government,
Akinjide says, is working for the government of the United States.
And so, therein is the contraction: Nigerians elected a government
that serves as the 51st state of the United States in cultural and
economic terms. A pure, colonial entrapment which has become
highlighted by indirection, through the economic policies of Mr.
Olusegun Obasanjo as critiqued by the eminent Richard Akinjide. The
question: is there any ground for alternatives? Should Nigerians
confront their government on this question. Is this question of
entrapment behind the house and senate moves to impeach the
president, seeing that he has used his power, in clear disregard of
the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians, to work for the government
of the United States as Richard Akinjide has more than subtly hinted.