Nigeria: A Nation on a Death Row

By CHUKWUMA IWUANYANWU

The jury members did deliver a sound verdict to place Nigeria on a death row. The Judge did not select the jury members in the sense that men of integrity would not have been selected, rather it was self-selection based on patriotism and love for the country.
Anybody who loves Nigeria would not like her to live, because the rape on her has been violent and merciless; and in its wake, a stigma has been pasted on her. Nigeria needs a peaceful departure from this planet earth and surely no one would want his or her loved one to suffer too much, hence either through euthanasia or outright verdict on death row would be better to save the sick from further punishment. But her enemies would not let her die due to their selfish desire to continue raping her or a sadistic exploitation of the defenceless.
When I was at Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, my friend and a class mate in the department of Petrochemical Engineering, Peter Eneh, pointed to me a salvo in the Newswatch Magazine, fired by the late Dele Giwa, describing Nigeria as “an experiment in the impossible”. The impossibility of such experiment, to enliven Nigeria has been futile more than ever in the present time. Our own Chinua Achebe was long ago frustrated with the Nigeria project that he enthused that the problem with Nigeria was and still is corruption. The late Emeka Odimegwu Ojukwu wanted to tear the country into pieces by asking for a Republic of Biafra and bunch of his enemies stopped him. Now Boko Haram is on the “evil throne” to bomb everybody to death because power has slipped into the hand of the “simply Otueke man, called Goodluck Jonathan. People do not want the truth, and the truth is that the hardliners in the North may be the brain behind the upsurge of terrorism in Nigeria led by Adamu Ciroma. I have never heard these elements condemning these terrorists, except few noble ones from the North. An American man said, a man told a lie because he did not want to offend anybody and the other man told a lie because he had no choice, then where lies the truth? The truth is that the North wants to rule Nigeria as their own birth right, despite the fact that hard adherence to Islam is replete with cave ideas and too British, too lethargic and too pedantic. Who has a good idea in Nigeria anyway?
Yours sincerely published in Sahara reporters some headlines like “Nigeria has no future”, Those who are ruling Nigeria are not the smart ones”, “Unfit President, kidnapping and the death of a nation” and “The ruled are the problem” among others. In some cases, I was vilified while some saw reasons with me and congratulated me for sounding useful warnings. Nothing has changed rather the country is on a fast lane for death and why can’t we let her die? The country is a cesspool of cow dung and I believe the majority has lost interest in the Nigerian project. The starting point is, a Nigerian is of no good and only may be, 5% of the people are worthy to be called human beings, though not a scientific research.
Corruption has eaten deep that it would be almost impossible to rejuvenate the country from abyss of total collapse. As far as 5 year old in Nigeria has perfected the art of corruption, robbery instincts and cutting corners. There is no more culture worthy of emulation in Nigeria anymore and the first line of blame is the leaders. If we can liken Nigeria like a corporation, the CEO and the top management are charged with the vision, mission, strategy and other leadership imperatives for the survival of the company.
In social corporate responsibility, the classical view, championed by the former American noble laureate in economics, Milton Friedman said that the main goal of corporation was to make profit. On that basis alone a chief executive who failed to perform is fired and replaced by the board of directors, so that the company may not go under. On the hand, the socioeconomic plank, views a corporation as not only exists to make profit but to go further and take care of the people, environment and the host communities, a sound ethical leadership espoused by the human relations movement, led by Douglas Macgregor. He made this view prominent in his book titled The Human Side of Enterprise. A chief executive who failed also to live up to these responsibilities is due to firing and to be replaced with a competent person.
When a company is on the verge of collapse, an experienced leader, who is ruthless, if need be will be on hand to salvage the organization from collapse. Nigerian needs a ruthless leader if she is to be removed from the death row; in this case, the corruption madness will be obliterated, integrity will be restored, merit promoted, sponsors of Boko Haram brought to book, prosecuted and hanged and sanity instituted in all aspect of our lives; and watch how the country will be on her way to meet the 2020 vision; and she will have a date with prosperity. Boko Haram has no legitimate cause for the Jihad war or than either a Northern or no president. The duty for the CEO or the President of a country is to set a good mark in which every other person will toe.
For the fact that Nigeria is a fertile land for corruption, all manners of people from the globe will head to Nigeria to practice the highest art of corruption. The Dana Air crash that sent many families to untold anguish and suffering would not have happened. Indians are even more crooks than Nigerians, but some of the laws in India will not allow ugly practices, but in Nigeria, the beat goes on. Dana Air that crashed on June 03, 2012 was not supposed to fly, the plane was sick, yet the management allowed it to fly, to quench the lives of the innocent ones; only in Nigeria. In a civilized land, all fleet of Dana Air is supposed to be grounded until routine checks are allowed to verify the airworthiness of the airline. In a related development, a former employee of Air Nigeria has also sounded a warning of the danger of flying the airplanes of this company, but the Nigeria way, bribe will be offered and many Nigerian lives will be slaughtered. In the subsequent days ahead, Jimoh Ibrahim will take airwaves and newspapers to put a spin to the man’s revelation.
One of the greatest problems facing Nigeria is the acceptance of change. It is only in Africa, politically and in the corporate world, business that people resist change. The resistance to change is as a result of the fear of the unknown, so resistors want the status quo, but without change, there will be no innovation and organizations can lose money, go under or overtaken by competitors. A good lesson is from the Living Systems Theory of James Grier Miller. An organism is an open system; it exchanges information, energy and matter with the environment. The least organism is the single cell Amoeba and the most complex organism is the United Nations. Nigeria is a living organism and if she wants to survive, she has to embrace change. The Darwin’s survival of the fittest is derived from the fact that any organism that refuses to embrace change will die. If animals, plants and micro- organisms can change to survive, why not Nigeria? The North should accept the fact that power has changed hand in Nigeria and Jonathan is qualified to rule just like Shagari and Umaru Yar’Adua.
Nigerian needs cleansing, from the presidency, the national assembly, political leaders, judiciary, university teachers, all manners of teachers, civil servants, corporate workers, students, market women, business men and women, civil societies to the least person in Nigeria. Civic lessons should be reintroduced in our primary schools, disciplined returned to all schools and families should not abandoned their responsibilities. We need to go back to the basics, to restore our time-honored cultures, otherwise, let the country remain in death row and with time, we sing the requiem mass. As it stands now, many Northerners and Southerners are enemies of the state. I may wrong, but the only guys I respect in Nigeria are Prof. Attahiru Jega and prof. Wole Soyinka.
A final warning to the transportation department and the Road Safety Commission, that due to the latest air crash, many people will momentarily take to the roads and safety of the passengers and road users should be guaranteed. We hate planning ahead and preparing for imminent problems that may arise due to situations. It is only in Nigeria one does not see Highway Patrol Officers looking for the bad guys and looking out for the welfare of the road users. May the souls of the departed in the Dana crash rest in peace, especially Dr. Levi Ajuonuma, who had been my idol since his days at the Imo Broadcasting Corporation (IBC); his Morning Safari program was the best. He left for USA in the late 70s for further studies earning a Ph.D. degree in Communications at the University of Minnesota.
When he came back, he worked with the United States Information Service till he moved to Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) where he was an anchorman of the Sunday Show program. From NTA, he moved to Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as the General Manager, Public Affairs, these are the little I knew of him. Charles Nwaogaraku, my cousin and Levi’s colleague at IBC then described him as a very smart person who dug deep to select the best records to play on the airwave. Levi, many people especially your wife, children, associates, friends and family members will miss you. Adieu, my friend. Death, where is your sting?

Iwuanyanwu writes from The Graduate School of Business, Argosy University, Los Angeles.

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