Lead Comment

Let Us Prepare For Re-Colonisation (2)

By IDANG ALIBI

I attended a journalism course in the old Yugoslavia in 1988. In the course of my conversation with one of our facilitators, she lamented to me that unlike some other European countries, her country was poor because when the others were busy parceling out African countries to themselves to colonise and exploit and develop, Yugoslavia was busy fighting useless Balkan wars. In her lamentation this lady did not realize or, if she did, never bothered, that I was a victim of colonialism, that what she was saying could offend my sensibility. When I reflect on this and other actions of the Europeans and their cousin the Americans, I realize that for this people, enslaving and exploiting others for their own well-being is a matter of course. They feel entitled to the treasures of others.
As we began to say last week, this people are back to Berlin 1884. Their mission is to re-colonise the weak countries of the world. The killing of Saddam and Gaddafi and the installation of puppets in their stead are signs of that design. They started with Iraq and Libya and took out the strong leaders of the two countries Saddam and Gaddafi because they are simply dangerous men and they are dangerous because they have the capacity to see clearly through imperialistic designs no matter in what cloth it is wrapped. And since they posed a serious threat to the imperialists they must go first. If they are not taken out first, they will live to conscientise the rest of the threatened half of the world to wake up from their slumber and fight the looming second-anti-colonial war.
That is the reason why the leading imperialist powers banded together and told an unabashed lie about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction in order to find a good excuse to hang him and that was also the reason for the immediate execution of Gaddafi even when it is known that he was captured alive. It is safer to have Gaddafi dead rather than alive to, begin even on his trial platform, to ask some inconvenient questions or reveal to the world the wealth he so expertly and prudently husbanded for Libya and what the new conquerors, whose public face is the NTC, are doing with it.
I have never been a student of conspiracy theories. But now I am beginning to see a clearly worked out plot to deprive the peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America of their freedom and wealth in the name of fighting for democracy and human rights. I am beginning to feel that I am a recipient of some revealed secrets. I think that these things that these people are doing cannot be ordinary, unplanned, haphazard events. Let us call to mind the fact that these people were so desperate to get Saddam out of the way that they had to, in their own words, ”sex-up” reports indicating that he was nearing the completion of his weapons of mass destruction by the next week or the one after! Now these people who have no God in their hearts feel no qualms telling us that they deliberately told a lie that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. They were not honest enough to tell us that they did so to get Saddam out of the way of Iraqi oil and gas fields.
If the attack on Libya was not a premeditated and well planned course of action, just consider the speed and ease with which they got the so-called UN Resolution 1973 which gave them an open cheque to remove from power and kill Gaddafi when they told the world that their concern was to save ”Libyan civilians” from Gaddafi’s bullet? I wept that day – a day which if I were a powerful person, I would demand should be made a Black Day for the powerless peoples of the world. I am more worried because supposedly well informed persons seem to have been intimidated into silence by the sheer bravado of the imperialists powers such that those who need to kick and rant against this looming threat to world peace are saying nothing. The UN has become a tool for the re-colonisation of the world and no one seems bold enough to shout about it?
Some commentators who wanted to express outrage over the illegal killing of Gaddafi felt so intimidated and powerless that they said instead that well it was bad that Gaddafi was killed and in such a manner but that he somehow brought it upon himself because he overstayed his welcome! When did it become the responsibility of Obama, Cameron and Sakorzy to remove and kill leaders of other countries who overstayed their welcome?
It is clear that now that Saddam and Gaddafi have been taken out of the world let them have their way, the next target will be Hugo Chavez of Venezuela. The scare strategy is to kill some strong and brave lions so that chickens are frightened into submission. Chavez is one of the strong and noble souls putting his thumb in the eyes of big and nasty Uncle Sam. Now that Uncle Sam and other bullies are on rampage and are doing so virtually unchallenged by informed world opinion, the days of Chavez are numbered.
For those who choose to remain skeptical, let me say it loud and clear that the war of re-colonisation is on. Some cannot see it because the approach this time around will be different from the one of the 18th and 19th centuries. The face of this new war is that an occupation force from the colonizing power may not come around to boss the colonized but some among the colonized will be used as puppets to do the job.
The tactic that would be employed to divide and rule a target country may be religion (in a multi-religious country) or the divisions within a particular religion in country with a homogenous religion as in many countries of the Arab world. It may be tribes in others. In Libya, tribes were employed to divide the people. In countries of Africa they will use religion, tribe and geography. In Latin America, they may use the division between indigenous populations and the immigrant overlords. In some places they will employ gullible Diaspora citizens who have been brainwashed with sermons of human rights, democracy, good governance and all that crap we hear from them all the time which they merely use as a ruse to achieve their real goal.
What our own people who help the imperialists parrot sermons about democracy and human rights fail to ask is: if the Americans and the Europeans are themselves engaged in democracy, human rights, good governance, transparency and honest leadership, how come the economies of their countries are in such parlous states right now for which reason they are now trying ever so desperately to colonise and exploit others for the restoration of their economies?  The protesters called Occupy Wall Street are they celebrating justice, equity and good governance or are they not embarked upon a ringing rebuke of their leaders’ political, corporate and spiritual sterility?
Unless we are prepared to agree that it is mainly the greed and callousness of the West that has made our world today to become a virtual theatre of war and adopt an appropriate attitude to meet the challenges of their godlessness, we should prepare for re-colonisation. We approach this life too casually and too naively and the cunning West is taking advantage of our gullibility, our naiveté and our foolishness. When they begin to beat the drumbeats of war against any leader they identify as a dictator, we should not appear too eager in joining the dance. When the West calls a man a dictator, we should pause a little and see whether the man so identified is indeed a dictator in the true and bad sense of it or he is just dictating a tune the West does not like but is actually dictating what is good for his country and its people. To my mind Saddam and Gaddafi were good dictators. If other ”dictators” of the Third World were like them our countries would have moved several notches up the ladder of development.
I also think that even if a leader identified as a dictator by the West is truly so let us tell our Western ”messiahs” to allow us take out the dictator ourselves. For all through history people who are eager to invite foreigners to help them throw off a tyrant end up losing their country and their freedom. The tyrant may be killed or driven away but the people will end up with a worse fate: enslaved by their ”redeemers”!

 

We Need Less Government in Nigeria

By MICHAEL OLUWAGBEMI

Much have been written and said about the arrest on drug charges of popular actor and comedian, Omidina Babatunde popular known as Baba Suwe; but little have been said about the uncomfortable reality it exposed of the rights of Nigerians especially in relation to the powers of our government.
While Baba Suwe’s lawyer will have field day with their threatened (and rightly so) billion dollar suit for the botched arrest, detention and public disgrace (some say slander and career threatening libel) by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, not much have been said by our lawyer class about the seeming lack of finesse in the ways NDLEA conducted this arrest and the media parade that exposes what otherwise common citizens encounter at our various law enforcement agencies on a daily basis. A case for very explicit constitutional amendment and laws prohibiting illegal search and seizure should be made to prevent these kinds of incidents happening again.
To make matters even worse in the Baba Suwe saga, it was even reported that “Baba Suwe was subjected to several medical examinations, tests and operations without his consent or that of his lawyers”. There is definitely cause for alarm; because if it can happen to Baba Suwe it can happen to all of us. Civil Liberties are in place to protect ordinary citizens against the outsized powers of the government; the very foundations of Nigeria’s problem can be traced to an all powerful government that is intrusive, dangerously pervasive and need to be reined in! Call it the tea party treatment for Nigeria; we simply need less government not more.
Nigeria’s government at all levels has simply proved incapable of arising to the challenges of our modern society, and in more cases than one is the very obstacle to our progress and development. Take for example, the simple exercise of registering a company and investing in the economy. A quick trip to the Corporate Affairs Commission will reveal the most corrupt agency of the Federal Government: more corrupt than even the Police and Customs combined together!
It costs you officially couple of hundred naira to clear a company name, be rest assured however that such simple exercise which is nearly automated in most advanced economies will take you twenty eight days and guaranteed rejection unless you use the services of the professional lawyer (that bribes on your behalf) or do the bribery yourself! Indeed, the arcane rules of CAC which mean a mere desk officer behaves as if they are charged to impose misery and take away the first joys of entrepreneurship (naming your idea) from the entrepreneur, than encouraging free enterprise will more than guarantee that your seemingly innocuous idea of investing in Nigeria will become a nightmare!
Trying to check the authenticity of a registered company will mean you either have to pay a thousand naira and be on the queue for sixty days or pay the desk office hundred and fifty times that amount and get your answers instantly! Simply put what we have in CAC is a Corruption Affairs Commission and not a serious clearing house for free enterprise!
In Nigeria government is the problem not part of the solution. This is why even as our government officials spends billions every year on overseas travel to attract foreign investments, according to the World Bank-IFC our country is ranked 133rd among all nations of the world in ease of doing business, and it has only been getting worse under the current administration. If the local investor cannot make hard way, how come Mr. Jonathan and his governors think it will be any easier for a foreigner? Our government’s priorities are misplaced!
Speaking about big and large government, one need to hear it directly from the guardian of our nation’s currency, Governor Lamido Sanusi of the Central Bank; in his now famous discourse, he called for totally rethinking the current wasteful and large spread of government at all levels starting from the wasteful National Assembly. Why in Pete sake is the national assembly not convened on a part time basis? Do they really need more than 60 days in a year to legislate? Why do we need a bicameral legislature in the first place? Harkening back to Mr. Governor, why do we need 36 nearly bankrupt states? Or why do Mr. Jonathan need 50 ministers and 62 permanent secretaries and counting?
The sheer size of Nigeria’s government is not only crowding out valuable private sector initiatives, but it is getting in the way of innovation. Most Nigerians wait for the day they’ll “hammer” using a government contract while the land lie in waste for Agriculture, Eco-Tourism, Green Energy and various other initiatives that need not be rethought but simply borrowed from others. We are educated and highly intelligent people, yet the government have crowded out our best by pushing them into the predatory banking industry or overseas where they develop other men’s land.
Think about it, what does Nigeria’s government actually do right? This is especially true of the all big and powerful central (comically called, “federal”) government; customs, immigration and security are in tatters, as the internal security and policing of the land have been jeopardized. The economy, our currency and industries are in state of disrepair; so are our airports, railways and roads! Our power industry is a powerless one; even as our educational institutions have become glorified brothels where we churn out half baked graduates and glorified school certificate holders!
What does the government of Nigeria do for you that you cannot do for yourself? You produce your own water through your borehole; you have your own generator to supply your electricity; your sewage is processed in-house in that pit in your backyard; even your security is provided through the mercies of your dog and the mai-guard! Indeed, when it boils down to it you send your children to private schools or overseas if you want them to get an education; and if they manage to step outside our borders you very well know they cannot depend on any Nigerian Embassy in that land to look out for them.
What is our government good at except for looting, stealing, maiming and/or harassment of her citizens? It is clear that what Nigeria needs now is less government in our lives. The so called government of Nigeria has done more evil than good for us. They manage to destroy the very fabric of our society i.e. our morals, with the corruption peddled in high places. It was as such not so surprising that even at simple National Honours event organization, the federal government under President Jonathan still failed! Are we cursed? This is a ceremony they organized, and not enough medals to go around?
It is time for us to rethink the very concept of government and radically seek to cut down their influences in our lives starting from our right to obtain fair hearing, freedom from illegal search and seizures and against self incrimination. These basic rights must be codified in our laws and Baba Suwe may again never dream of many weeks of nightmare running into the all powerful and insidious government of Nigeria!