Sunday, February 25, 2024

Has Nigeria become a dumping ground?

BY IKE WILLIE-NWOBU

Undoubtedly, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous democracy and economy, faces great challenges, and indeed a race against time to be considered a developed nation.

A confluence of shocks and factors has drained the country of the prodigious promise shown at independence in 1960.

In many ways, Nigeria is a lesson in not how to manage a country, especially one as gifted with human and material resources. In fact, even the devastating civil war of 1967-1970 could have been averted if wisdom was engaged. That the scars of that horrible war continue to mark Nigeria more than 40 years later in the form of secessionist agitations is testament to a country that has been defiant and directionless for far too long as to be fatal.

But, how many of Nigeria’s multifaceted problems are locally made and how many of them are imported into the country from other countries?

One of the most glaring deficiencies of globalization manifests in the fact that for all its benefits, it has left developing countries like Nigeria horribly exposed to the antics of some developed countries who for all their altruism are not immune to the occasional dollop of opportunism.

For most of the eight years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, Nigeria has been racked by forceful fits of insecurity. What Boko Haram has left in the northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa, bandits have consumed in the northwestern states of Kaduna, Sokoto, Katsina and Zamfara.

What terrorist Fulani herdsmen have left in the north central states of Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau and Niger, unknown gunmen have ripped apart in the southeastern states of Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo.

In fact, the activities of the disparate but deadly non-state actors in the country in the past eight years have made it look like the country has been on an all-out war.

Now, it has emerged that the resource curse is hunting Nigeria again with the revelation that some Chinese expatriates know more than they are letting on about the criminals who kill and maim Nigerians.

In a damning report by the Times, a British national daily, it was revealed that Chinese nationals in Nigeria’s mining sector are funding terrorists to secure easy access to Nigeria’s vast mineral reserves. The report went further to accuse China of using bribes and illegal transactions to fund terror in Africa’s largest economy.

The exhaustive report underpinned by research conducted with SBM Intelligence, a Lagos-based think tank showed that the network that weaves insecurity in Nigeria is indeed a complicated one.

Though the Chinese embassy in Nigeria has debunked the report, it confirms long-held suspicion among everyday Nigerians that powerful interests are behind Nigeria’s sprawling insecurity which has so far proven impossible to contain.

In many states of the country, people are killed every day with the government showing an embarrassing helplessness.

“Buhari’s government has had eight years in which to clean the Augean stables of insecurity in Nigeria. To say it has failed abysmally is to put it mildly. Under its watch, terrorists have run Nigeria ragged, showing chilling audacity in the way and manner they have ransacked states like Benue, Kaduna and Niger that border the Federal Capital Territory”

In 2021 the United Arab Emirates drew up an authentic list of some of those sponsoring terrorism in Nigeria. Until this day, Nigerians do not know that the law took its full course against those on the list.

That is what obtains in a country that lacks transparency, a country where impunity thrives because anything goes.

It doesn’t matter the identity of those driving insecurity in Nigeria. Nigerians demand accountability from their government and then from locals and foreigners alike who seed terror in Nigeria and have succeeded in turning a once peaceful and prosperous country into a pool of blood.

Buhari’s government has had eight years in which to clean the Augean stables of insecurity in Nigeria. To say it has failed abysmally is to put it mildly. Under its watch, terrorists have run Nigeria ragged, showing chilling audacity in the way and manner they have ransacked states like Benue, Kaduna and Niger that border the Federal Capital Territory.

When on July 5, 2022, terrorists cracked the medium security correctional facility, Kuje and let loose some of Nigeria’s most dangerous criminals, an embarrassed Buhari had wondered why there were no security cameras in the prison.

It is doubtful that other correctional facilities in the country have since been upgraded to match growing security threats.

The Nigerian government should be embarrassed that its failure to secure Nigerians has enabled foreigners to play poker with Nigerian lives.

But in a country where shame in public office is an impossibly scarce commodity, it will take an eternity for anyone to
flinch.

·Ike Willie-Nwobu, can be reached via Ikewilly9@gmail.com

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