By Immanuel Obeng-Akrofi
As Africa’s most populous country, the largest economy and a notable democracy, Nigeria is described as a bellwether for the continent. In spite of this, corruption, weak and unresponsive governance, and deep-rooted social and economic inequalities continue to persist.
Coupled with this, stability in many parts of the country has rapidly deteriorated, which has led to emboldened attacks on human rights by both the state and armed groups. All these have resulted in deepened distrust in government and institutions.
Consequently, the country’s weakening economy, rising insecurity and violent conflicts threaten the progress made in its democratic development and leave the country with significant work to do in improving national, state and local security and governance ahead of national and state elections in 2023.
Confronted with these myriads of challenges which are rapidly stagnating the development and progress of her core productive and sensitive sectors brings to the fore one of the most piercing problems which is that of insecurity.
In fact, the insecurity has gone beyond disorganizing the domestic environment and has succeeded in labelling Nigeria repulsively in the international community. Yet, to present, government efforts toward this challenge have not recorded substantial positive outcomes.
To put things into perspective, many of the challenges and conflicts can be defined within the context of complex ethno-sectarian tension because the population is roughly divided between Muslims and Christians, split among hundreds of different ethnic groups.
Additionally, Boko-Haram and other Islamic insurgencies continue to be highly active in the poorer, Muslim-majority parts of the country, while in the vast “Middle Belt” – consisting of the central agricultural states – clashes between herder and farmer communities have taken on a greater religious tone.
Coupled with this is the myriad of problems facing the youth; economic and social challenges including rampant unemployment, lack of electricity, fuel scarcity as well as police brutality.
Undoubtedly, Nigeria’s insecurity issues today are beyond displaying emotions and making comments that are politically correct. For patriots who wish to see the giant of Africa reign supreme, there must be soul searching and a number of questions ought to be asked.
The country is faced with an unprecedented wave of different but overlapping security crises – from kidnapping to extremist insurgencies – almost every corner of the country has been hit by violence and crime with the insecurity growing in scale, spread and sophistry.
Perhaps, by asking the right questions consistently, the root cause of this dear nation’s myriad of problems would be determined and resolved.
The fundamental question is, How Did Nigeria Get Here? Further, Why the Incessant Insecurity-killings, herdsmen attacks, kidnapping, banditry and terrorist insurgency?
It is important to keep in mind that the tempo increases from one regime to another and that it started years ago. Who are the faces behind these incidents of insecurity? Why throw sentiments of religion and ethnicity into the politics to divide and rule? Why are there deafening echoes of “Islamization and Christianization” always?
The scale of the insecurity threatens the very fabric of Nigerian society. With every attack, lives are lost or permanently damaged and faith in democracy and the country drastically diminishes.
The struggle for the soul of Nigeria is the struggle for the CONTROL of her natural resources and economic interests that some Nigerian OLIGARCHS have kidnapped and hijacked over decades.
These OLIGARCHS have the strong backing of FOREIGN COLLABORATORS. All of them intend to protect their interests by any means necessary. In the fighting for these interests, it is Nigerians that are losing. Just like the saying goes “when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers.”
How do I mean? Take a look at politics, it is purely about vested interests; ;-getting the money & power under the guise of protecting regional interests. The political rhetoric is being played because at the surface that is what is easily perceivable.
No one truly understands or knows how Oil Wells, Mineral Resources, Juicy Contracts, etc are shared among the privileged OLIGARCHS of Nigeria. That one is done under the cover of darkness. The players within the political arena, are in the ruling All People’s Congress (APC).
Broadly, these two groups of people are in a battle for the soul of Nigeria. However, few are fighting with genuine interest while a large majority are in for their selfish interest. We need to understand this in order to proffer lasting and enduring solutions.
As the country gears up for elections next year, a true son of the land must arise. Someone who has been part of the players and perfectly understands the politics of VESTED INTEREST being played over the years.
The person must be like a referee watching the two players fight and struggle, and soon, this person must step in and take Nigeria to her promised land.
Nation builders must arise. The best of the NORTH and SOUTH must team up, to wrestle the soul of Nigeria from those fighting and destroying lives and property in the process, and then build a New Nigeria worthy of its name as the giant of Africa.
Cover Image: Pexels/ Element Digital