Saturday, March 31, 2012

Independence, what independence?

How come you never celebrate Ghana’s Independence Day, my brother. Every year I watch you as you go about your business as though it does not concern you. I have never seen you raised the flag or make a toast on the glorious day?

Glorious, you say, what is glorious about it?

Blasphemy! Do you mean to tell me that there is nothing glorious about the day we threw off the yoke of colonialism or our saluting the men and women that fought so assiduously to free us from the yoke of the whiteman’s bestial rule?

Maybe we are reading from different scripts. Fighting for liberation from any tyrannical rule is glorious only if we make the effort worth the while for the gallant warriors that fought for it. And it remains debatable whether we actually throw off any yoke, colonialism or whatever.

Do you mean to tell me that we have not been honoring our heroes and that our acts have betrayed what they fought for? Do you mean to tell me that we are not free?

Look, I did not mean to tell you anything. You are the one that came to me asking all the questions. The answers to the questions you asked are staring you in the face, if only you’ll look.

But do you honestly believe that we have not been honoring our heroes and that our acts are unworthy of their heroics? Are you saying that Ghana is not free from colonialism?

Look, my brother, we have done absolutely nothing to show that we truly appreciate those that fought for our liberation. Our vast tragedy in this country is that we are so full of hypocrisy and we lack the capacity to tell one another the home truth. Do you know what independence means or what it meant to be independent? We keep on putting on hypocritical shows every year whilst by our very acts we tell the world that we are still in servitude. By our very acts, we tell the world that we are ashamed of who we are. We refuse to bear our indigenous names and we bleach our skin to look as white as possible, and hypocritically turn around to celebrate independence and shout how proud we are of being Ghanaian and African.

Those are grievous charges…

And I do not make them lightly. How many of us are proud of our Ghanaian or African heritage? We run away as fast and as far as possible from our cultural heritage and, then hypocritically, turn around to start celebrating Ghana’s independence. The majority of us are aping the same oppressors, the same colonizers our parents fought to remove from our land. How many of us answer to indigenous Ghanaian or African names? How many of us eat what is grown in this country? How many of us wear our traditional attires? Let’s not even talk about the institutions with which we manage our affairs. Have you taken a look at our judges and see how un-independent or badly colonized we remain. Have you seen the leader of our parliament and his principal staff; do they remind you of a liberated people?

All that could be true; but there is no running away from the fact that we have made giant strides since we got our independence.

Giant strides, you say, dear friend. Ah! Mayhaps it is time of the year for people to indulge themselves in silly self-congratulations.

Would you rather we indulge in self-flagellation instead?

With all sincerity, yes.

You cannot be serious!

And why not, dear friend?

Birthdays are occasions to indulge in celebration no matter how hard or bad things are; it is the one day set aside for individuals and nations to fete themselves.

Even if undeserved?

And do you think that our partying is undeserved.

You really want to put words into my mouth. Look, you and I spent last night in total darkness all because our electricity company cannot generate and distribute enough light. And we are fifty-five years old. There is no running water in our neighbourhood. Fifty years after we start governing ourselves, we have no industrial capacity whatever. We are one giant market for discarded and disused junks from foreign lands. We do not produce enough food to feed ourselves. We have no scientific or engineering capacity whatever. We have no manufacturing capability of any description. We cannot build even a culvert without rushing to the Chinese. We cannot construct any stretch of road without running to the Americans? Cubans still have to come all the way from their small island to come and help with our health service. None of our leaders ever mention how he intends to make us join the rest of humanity in creating things – anything. All we do is look for money, loan, grant, dash, whatever to splash on our depraved appetite for consumption. We do not manufacture even match stick, or bicycle spoke after over half a century of self-government and you expect me to join in some celebration. Sorry, I have much more respect for my mind, and I have better employment for my time.

You talk about independence, just yesterday, we are told that the government sought and got the IMF to approve a Chinese loan, and you sit here to tell me about some Mickey Mouse independence. Look, what among all the paraphernalia we so shamelessly displayed on our so-called independence day was a product of our indigenous brain? Please, don’t make me laugh. We have absolutely no sense of shame. There we are, with the whole world watching our shameless celebration of our sham independence. Our president would not even deign to wear Ghanaian attire on this day meant to showcase that we have come of age, ah! Look at all our dignitaries, how many of them came in local attire? Look at the armed forces we displayed; do they carry any made-in-Ghana weapon? We attired our military people in uniforms of foreign design, and our heads swelled with vain pride as we watch them parade with foreign made armaments. Perhaps I am going too far, was their common uniform made in our blessed republic? We have even reached the stage where our elite barred the worship of our local deities by the pouring of libation…

That Is not fair, the government excused itself and blamed it on the chieftaincy’s disputes in the Ga area…

Please, I do not want my intelligence to be insulted. I listened to the cock and bull story the deputy minister of state released and he should go and tell such inane nonsense strictly only to the marines? Was it Ga dispute that made the president also turned up in jacket and tie in a tropical heat to celebrate his nation’s supposed independence? And what about the president jetting off to the US just few hours after attending the shambolic celebration. Was meeting Obama a higher priority than sitting with Ghanaians to reflect on this solemn day? Would he die of starvation if he postponed his lunch with Almighty Obama for a day or two? You see, in politics and international relations, appearance matters as much as essence. I truly believe that our elite continue to play some big time game with us. Their hearts and minds are never in the show they put on for us. They knew that we are not truly independent but they also know that we love ceremonies, parties and stuffs. So, they allocate vast sums to organize useless jamborees to let us forget our continued oppression.

All that could be true, but shouldn’t we ordinary citizens celebrate our heroes in our own ways?

That is what I meant by our vast hypocrisy. If our independence meant something to us; if we truly appreciate the struggles of our heroes and heroines, we will do all possible to keep alive the ideas and ideals that they fought and died for…

Do you meant to say that we do not believe in our independence?

You have a way with words, but the short answer is: No, we don’t

How do you mean?

How do I mean, you asked. If we take the ordinary meaning of the word ‘independence’ to mean “Freedom from control: freedom from dependence on or control by another person, organisation or state,” then we cannot be, by any stretch of the imagination be described as independent.

Do you mean to tell me that the whiteman is still ruling us?

I don’t like these labels of ‘whiteman’ or ‘blackman,’ but yes, the same system that controlled us in the past still control us today. So long as we are tied to the same apron string of the Neo-Colonial system that retards our progress and keep us as hewer of woods for some people, it Is not only shambolic but quite nauseating to celebrate any independence.

But don’t you agree that we are the toast of the world when it comes to Africa? Is not true that our country is seen as the best performing nation in Africa?

Now you are lumping apple with garden eggs. But seriously, what is it with us in Ghana that we crave the adulation of the imperialists the way dogs crave bones? Why do we believe all the self-serving encomiums the masters of double-speak pour on us? So we are the toast of Africa, and so what. But, honestly, why do we keep believing such utter bunkum? Where does that leave South Africa then? Or Namibia or Botswana or even Nigeria, despite all her problems? We seem to forget that the imperialists make it their business to study the psychology of those whom they want to oppress and exploit. Few years ago, they touted us as the Golden Boy Wonder of African economy; it did not stop them from roping us into the HIPC club when it suited them. But if foreigners make it their business to tell us inglorious lies, it behooves us to have our feet firmly grounded in reality. It is only a child that is mesmerised by unearned exaltation. Our objective reality should be the sole criteria by which we adjudge ourselves. Do you honestly believe that those that fought and died for our liberation will be happy to see that we have managed to give everything back to the same person from whom they wrested it?

But you honestly don’t believe that we are again under colonization, do you?

The honest truth is that we are under a more insidious form of colonization than the ones our heroes and heroines fought and died for. At least there was a clear-cut racial divide when they were fighting; today we have our own people selling us short to the same historic oppressors of our race. The physical chain of colonial oppression was only replaced by a far more dangerous mental chain roped around our minds.

But that is not the same thing. We had colonizers then given us direct order, today we have our own kith and kin ruling us. That definitely is a very tangible manifestation of self-rule.
A great mind once said that appearance can be deceptive. It was the great Frantz Fanon who wrote the classic ‘Black skin, white mask,’ a book I’ll recommend to all African and every anti-colonial person. Don’t you think that the imperialists will only be too glad that we have our local compradors willing to lift the burden of direct colonization of their soldiers. Rather than have the unsavory spectacle of white overlords, is it not more profitable to have black men and women looking after the masters interests like the overseers did in the plantations? Today, the imperialists can second themselves safely in Washington, London and Paris knowing full well that their lackeys are doing the arduous job of securing the best for them.

Are you counting Ghana among these neo-colonial states?

I am counting among the neo-colonial states any African nation that had no indigenous participation laws in it’s a statue books. I am counting as colonial any African nation where the commanding heights of the economy are controlled by foreign multi-nationals. I am counting as neo-colonial any African country that pays foreigners more than her own citizens. I am counting as neo-colonial any country in Africa that still seeks approval from foreign governments or institutions for sovereign loans she contract. It remains a colonial the African state which receives two, three, four or ten percent for her minerals whist foreign multinationals run home with over ninety percent. It remains a colonial any African state that still depend on benevolent handouts to feed and cloth her people. I count as neo-colonial any African nation that refuses to industrialise or have well articulated industrial policy. It remains a colonial any African state that depends entirely on imports for her basic needs. It remains a neo-colonial nation any state in Africa that refuses to take pride in its culture or that refuses to have a cultural policy which strongly emphasise local indigenous and traditional ways of life. It remains infirmed and colonial any county in Africa that refused to have a language policy and which allows the leader to continue to address his people in foreign languages.

Don’t you think that is rather a long order?

What is long or short there? Do you think a European, Arab or Asian will accept anything less? Have you ever seen or hear a European chief of state addressing his or her people in a foreign language?

But are you not discounting the fact that we live in a globalised world?

Another nauseating word: globalization. How global is the so-called globalization? What is the African content in the so-called globalization? Did we have any say or input into its imposition? Give me a break. We have foreign words and foreign ideas imposed upon us and we glibly and gleefully accept it as universal praxis.

You catalogue all the woes besetting us. Don’t you see any redeeming feature, and do you know of any country that has managed to solve all her developmental challenges?

Again, you lump together two totally unrelated issues. The way things are, I must say that I honestly do not see any redeeming feature. Every day we sink deeper into the abyss. We have lost almost all our culture and we remain unique among Africans for not practicing or partaking in our indigenous culture. Not only would we not speak our languages, but in speaking the foreign ones, we want to be known and praised as speaking it without Ghanaian accent. As soon as an American or Indian or a Nigerian opens his mouth, he leaves no doubt about his national origin. But in Ghana, our heads sway when we mimic fake Oxford accent. And, I never said that any nation has managed to solve all her challenges. What I see, however, are nations making strenuous efforts to tackle these challenges unlike us, whose instinct is to seek foreign assistance for every problem we have.

Interview with new Malian strongman

Hello sir, or should I call you Your Excellency

Call me Captain Sanogo. My name is Amadou Sanogo.

But, sir, you are the new president…

Me no President, me Captain Sanogo. I am head of the Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State. I am no president.

But are you not going to declare yourself president when things calm down, are you not?

But I’m no president.

Are you waiting for things to calm down?

Things calm down in Mali already, everything fine, no problem.

But there are still reports of looting in your capital, Bamako. And the Tuareg rebels have gained more territory. But to the question of your presidency, when do we hear an announcement to that effect?

I tell you things calm in Mali. Everyone goes about his business. Me no president; me leader of the Committee for the Re-establishment of Democracy and the Restoration of the State.

Sir, but don’t you see the contradiction in those wordings? You have just overthrown a democratically-elected government and the rebels are advancing and gaining territory, how can you claim to be protecting the state and restoring democracy?

The Army protects the state, the country. You see, many things happening in the war. The politicians don’t care. The Army will restore the dignity of the state.
But how does the Army want to protect democracy by overthrowing an elected government?

The government does not care about the people; that’s why the army intervened.

But the elections are just one month away. Why was the army impatient to let the elections hold and let the people decide who should govern them?

We waited for twenty years, but it was the same system, the same strategies the politicians use. The poor people of Mali suffer and the army suffers. Only the politicians enjoy? They ride in big cars. They sell the resources of the nation to their foreign friends and collect big bribes. They build big, big mansions in Bamako and other places. While they and their friends enjoy, the people are suffering. There is famine in the country; millions are dying. We are a very proud people with a history that goes back long time. We should be able to feed ourselves. Today, we are reduced to begging for food from foreign donors. Our politicians do not see any shame in that? We have lost our dignity. The army will restore our people’s pride in themselves.

Looking at your record, captain Sanogo, you attended one Marine Corps class, the staff noncommissioned officer academy career course in Quantico, Virginia in 2003, You also graduated from four other classes with the US Army: a basic non-commissioned officer course at Fort Benning in Georgia in 1998, a language instruction course in 2004, an intelligence basic officer’s course at Fort Huachuca, Arizona in 2007 and an infantry basic officer’s course at Fort Benning in 201. Many people belief that you have betrayed your Marine Corps training by overthrowing an elected government.

What do you say to that?

Me no understand your question.

You were trained by the highly-regarded American Marine Corps. In the US, the military does not go about overthrowing government. Why did you betray this tradition?

You don’t know American Military tradition. American military don’t overthrow their government, that is true, but it is only a crazy American soldier that would want to overthrow a government that take good care of him. When America sends its soldiers to battle, it makes sure that they are well equipped and well taken care of. They take good care of their military. In Mali, in Africa, the politicians stay in the capital, steal all the money and send poor soldiers to go and do their dirty jobs for them. They do not give us good equipments. They don’t pay our salaries in time. We rely on foreign donors for our weapons. You don’t fight wars on charity, do you?

You promised to restore power to a democratically elected government at an unspecified date. The question is why didn’t you wait for the next election which is slated for mid April, that is just six weeks away. Why the hurry to organize a coup?

Ah, you don’t organize coup in a hurry otherwise you fail and you will face court martial and the penalty is firing squad. No, we didn’t organise the coup in a hurry. We bided our time and we planned. We were fed up with the situation in the army, in the country. There was apathy and hopelessness in the country. We pleaded with our officers to talk on our behalf to the politicians. But sadly, our officer corps are in cahoots with the politicians. They get good pay and contracts from the politicians, and tell them that everything is fine. No, things were not fine. The duty of the army is to protect national sovereignty and integrity. We watched as rebels humiliate our army and destroy the country. The politicians did not care. Do you know how many of our young boys were massacred at the military base at Aguelhok on January 24 when the terrorist rebels overran the base? They were killed in cold blood and the politicians did nothing except enjoy life in Bamako.

One of the accusations you leveled against President Amadou Toumani Toure is “inefficiency in fighting the terrorists…”

Hey, Amadou Toure is no president. He is former president.

Ok, former president. You accused him of “inefficiency in fighting the terrorists,” but you don’t appear to be doing any better as the rebels have overran several army garrisons in the north and have threatened to attack Timbultu and Gao?

We shall face and conquer them when we stabilize the situation.

But you claimed that everything is calm in Mali.

There are still many issues to deal with before we face the terrorist rebels.

How do you expect to do that without outside support?

We shall manage to tackle the problem once we stabilize the situation.

Looks like hope is your greatest strategy. The regional body, ECOWAS, has slapped sanctions on you and have frozen your account. You don’t manufacture weapons and you have no access to your money. Mali is landlocked and now you cannot import anything. What do you do now; it appears that you have been boxed in?

No, we are not boxed in. we are soldiers and we shall defend the integrity of the republic.

I meant that you have the entire world against you. The ECOWAS body has slapped a sanction on you…

No, no, no. no one come to slap us.

I meant that ECOWAS has imposed very stiff and unprecedented sanctions on you and the EU and the US have also announced some measures against your regime …
Please, you see, we are anti imperialist’s revolutionary vanguards. We shall defend the integrity of the republic.

Are you accusing ECOWAS of being in league with the imperialists?

No, ECOWAS leaders are hypocrites. They don’t tell the truth. Where were they when the terrorist rebels attacked our country? What did they do when millions of Malians starve? ECOWAS is one useless club of effete leaders who do not care about the plight of their people. Can you tell me for good thing ECOWAS has done for the people of West Africa since they started their useless meetings in 1975? All that they do is to meet in big hotels; drive around in big cars and talk nonsense. The ordinary people do not benefit from all their useless meetings.

All that could be true but the message appears to be that there will be zero tolerance for military intervention in West African politics.

That would be nice if the politicians will wake up and start thinking of the people. Let me tell you, the army doesn’t want to interfere in politics. It is not our job to run government. But what happen when terrorist rebels overrun large part of our country and the politicians refused to show that they care. The only way to stop military intervention is for the politicians to start to do the right and correct thing. That is the only way to stop military interventions.

But elections are just six weeks; why didn’t you have the patience to let the people decide?

You talk as though there is a difference between the politicians. They are all the same. They are birds of the same feather out to manipulate the system to their parochial advantage. There have been no coup in Mali in twenty years, but the situation of the ordinary people has only worsened. The politicians are only in power to take care of themselves; they don’t care about anyone else. They only think of the next election. That the army has not intervene in twenty years should show you the degree of patience and self-restraint the officers and men of the Malian armed forces. You can come to Mali and ask the ordinary Malians what they think. They have come out to show solidarity with us.
The leaders of ECOWAS would do well to get their acts together. They should stop taken their people for granted. The only cure for coup is good governance. Government should provide quality service to the people. Our politicians should stop wasting the scarce resources of our nation on themselves and the people will rise to protect them against any army.
ECOWAS leaders can take any measure they like against us, but they will do well to stop deluding themselves. They will do well to remember the recent admonition of former Ghanaian President JJ Rawlings who said, among other things: “Africa’s major challenge has been in the area of leadership across the board – we can over the past decade lay claim to expanding democracy across the continent with multi-partyism flourishing. Electoral victory for some, however, means a leadership of impunity. This culture of impunity is widespread, affecting economic, political, judicial and almost every sector of our society in some parts of our continent.

The fallout of this impunity is the emasculation of opposition groups, effectively ensuring that the opposition is rendered inefficient and of late leading to uprisings of wide-ranging nature from internal terrorism to popular uprising.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

Letting Nigerians be Nigerians

Oga (elder brother in the Yoruba language), do you know that I don’t understand you self? (typical Nigerian grammatical construction)

What do you mean, my brother?

For whose benefit are you writing all those big, big grammar in the newspapers and on the internet?

What do you mean?

Oga, don’t be angry, but I always read you and your big grammar, complaining about this and that about Nigeria, Ghana and Africa. Don’t be angry with me, sir, but it looks like you’ve nothing better to do with your time. I don’t think that you even have a family.

What do you mean; I have got a family. Do you mean to tell me that no one should write about the shortcomings one sees around him? Isn’t it said that writers are the conscience of their society?
That could be true, but I think that writers also should be realistic about the type of society in which they live. They need to have their feet firmly on terra-firma and not cocooned themselves in some cuckoo land from where to hurl invective against one and all. Those things you call shortcomings are the spices of life. They are the things that make our sweet world goes on its merry rounds in a smooth trajectory. Why waste time and effort to write all those headache-inducing grammar which very few people even bother to read?

I am not following your logic.

Oh! It’s quite simple. If I may ask you, how many of our people do you think have the time or the inclination to read all those ponderous things you write? The average Nigerian wants to have fun. He wants to eat his eba with egunsi and drink his Guinness. He is satisfy as long as he can get suya to eat, a lovely and shapely woman to screw and a place he can perch. He is hardly interested in anything more intellectual than his Bible and Lottery papers. Occasionally, he wants a place he can dance himself silly and on Sunday, he visit his God in his church and give thanks for a blessed week. That is his ritual which you only try to upset with your iconoclastic views.


Yes. Think of it this way. I once read a piece where you wrote that Nigerians consider laws as mere suggestions.

Yeah, what is wrong with that?

Ah, Oga, can’t you see that everything is wrong with that position! Let me, with all due respects, ask you a question?

Ok, go ahead

It’s a theoretical question, purely academic

Stop beating around the bush. What’s your question?

Are laws anything more than suggestions?

Of course they are. What would the world be without the benefit of the ordered society governed by the rule of law whereby everybody is equal before the law?

Do you really believe that?

Believe what?

Do you really believe that everyone is equal before the law?

Of course. Don’t you?

Of course, not. Theoretically everyone is equal before the law, but everyone knows that the agents of the law treat people differently based on the size of their pocket. That is what Nigerians, realists that they are, know. They live with the reality that the state and its laws treat people differently. There is no running away from that simple fact. So, they do their best to adjust to the bad situation foisted upon them by the state and its actors and agents.

But that precisely is the core problem. When people hold such cynical view of modern states, the result is the problematic chaos, disorder and corruption we all see around us?
Who is complaining?

We are all losers when we have to spend inordinate hours in hot traffic because people refuse to obey simple traffic rules and regulations. We all suffer, don’t you see?

All that could be true, sir. But you can also try to see it from the average Nigerian point of view. Oga, supposing, just supposing that you are to go and sign a ten million naira contract, you are in your car driving to meet the appointment. Your adrenaline is pumping and all that. Along the way you ran into one of those hopeless Lagos traffic logjams that leaves your brain frying in the hot sun. The person with whom you are going to sign the contract is a renowned no-sense woman who doesn’t believe in not keeping appointment. You can kiss the contract goodbye if you are a minute late for the appointed time. Your only option is to take a one-way side road to beat the traffic. But it really was not your day for as soon as you branched, a policeman stopped you. And you know our police, now. The officer demanded that you settle am before he’ll allow you to continue your journey. The question now is: would you give the policeman one thousand naira or kiss ten million contract goodbye?


Oga, sorry, but let me land before you bury me. How about this, your beloved wife developed serious complication during child-birth. You know the conditions in our hospitals. The doctor hinted that both mother and child will die unless you can give him something to arrange some emergency surgery to save their lives. Would you stand on your principle on not giving bribery and allow them to die? Will your conscience be at peace?

That would not be necessary if things are well-ordered and…

Ah, there you are. Well-ordered! Are things well-ordered in this dear country of our death?

But the system will continue to rot if people give bribes. More over…

There is no moreover there. The saying is that when you’re in Rome do as the Romans do. Take our education system for another example. I am using system here advisedly since there is no manner to the parlous state of affairs at our places of learning. You have this brilliant daughter whose chance of getting a place at the university depends on you giving something to someone who knows someone who might help. Would you let her education suffer because you want to stand on principle?

That is just the problem. If everybody will only stand on the principle of not giving bribe…

There you have it: everybody not giving bribe. But who is going to bell the cat? That is the question. Who will be the first one to stand on principles in this our unprincipled nation?
But we have to start from somewhere…

Agreed, but where do we stand in a situation like ours which, beg your pardon, is quite hopeless. Say you live in a residential area where all your neighbours pay bribe in order to get their electricity meters, would you stand on principle and keep your family in darkness. What would your wife and children say to that?

If I explain to them…

What are you going to explain to them? That you keep them in darkness on principle? Do you think that they will understand your thinking? Are you going to tell your wife that she cannot buy and use a fridge, like all her neighbours, because you want to stand on principle? Or do you expect your children to understand principle when they come home from school and cannot watch the TV, or use the Computer to do their homework because their father is standing on principle?


There is no but, sir. You just got to learn to stand on reality and not principle. If you cannot beat them, join them. No one eat principle in this country of our death. Talking of death, would you elect to stand on principle if you go to hospital and discovered that you needed a dialysis machine like yesterday and the waiting list is longer than your arm. The doctor can do something, I am using the Nigerian parlance here. But you have to see him, to use another Nigerian terminology. What would you do? Would you allow your principle to send you to an untimely grave, or would you pay some bribe to get you the machine that will save your life? Let’s assume that you even decided on principle and refused the machine; don’t you think that your own wife will curse the day she marry you. Don’t you think that your children will think you the biggest fool this side of the ape divide? Don’t get me wrong, I am for principle and all that, but I am also a realist. I take stock of my situation, my environment and make my decisions based on what accrued in my society. Do you remember the late, bemoaned Soviet Union.

Yes, but…

No, just be patient and let me explain. The Soviet leaders believed that they have managed to create the most endearing paradise on earth. The Nomenklatura lived in a totally different world from the real world of the ordinary Soviet citizens. So, when they see people protesting their assumed paradise, they concluded that such citizens must be delusional paranoid and totally crazy. They send them to their Gulag best described by the novelist, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.

And the moral of your tale?

Don’t get me wrong, sir. I am not a celluloid moralist. I told you that I am as a realist as they come. What I am saying is that our leaders here in Nigerian might also conclude that people like you are mad. To them, they have managed to create a system which makes it possible for people to steal billions of dollars from the national kitty and parade themselves as the toasts of town with degrees and chieftaincy titles from all over the place. We have a system whereby an unlettered politico can fight his way into a local government council and start to earn salaries and emoluments higher than a university don with forty years experience. We have a system whereby the Personal Assistants of our Senators earn more than University Vice-Chancellors. All these are possible in our dear land of our death. Our leaders must conclude that they have evolved the perfect system that give every citizen equal rights to become whatever he wants as long as he is prepared to deploy his brain and brawn in the right direction.


There is no ‘ifs’ or ‘buts.’ In your heart of hearts you know that I tell nothing but the gospel truth. In this country of our death, the president of senate earns more than the president of almighty America. And the man brandished nothing more than a stint in the army. Look at those whom we call legislators, what have they legislated that benefitted the common man? At the end of their four year sitting in the parliament they allocate to themselves ex-gratia awards that dwarf what the average Nigerian earn in a lifetime. So, you see, sir, our leaders would be right to think that Nigerians that complain about hard lives are insane. They will rightly ask why people like you busy themselves with complaining about the short-comings instead of seeing the big picture. They will be right to think of people like you as crazy-bananas that deserved to be shot or incarcerated, Amnesty International and all the Human Rights organizations be damned!
But, with that type of cynical mindset, how do you expect the country to prosper?

Ah, Oga, why should you worry your head about the country prospering? Countries are abstract entities. We should concern ourselves with real, tangible human beings. So long as Nigerians are prospering, the nation should prosper. No be so?

Charles Taylor and his CIA pals

When conscious Africans blast the New Imperialists for their continual destabilization of our beloved continent, their rented journalists and quislings in our midst always jump to their defence.

They questioned why we keep blaming our continent’s woes on foreigners. They tell us to grow up and blame our greedy bastards of leaders. They remind us that the Asians were also colonized and they (Asians) have today dusted off the yoke of colonialism, rebuild their lives while we remained mired in poverty, misery and want. They ask why, after fifty years of self-governance, we still face the same development challenges our fathers face.

The apologists are clever but dishonest.

Any analysis that failed to consider the role (past and present) of European intrusion in Africa in the contemporary mess the continent presently is plainly wrong.
To begin with, modern African is a creation of European imperialism.

Apart from Ethiopia, all the modern nations of Africa are artificial creations totally bereft of geographic, historic, logical and economic sense. They make only imperial logic.

Another falsity is the argument that the colonialist granted independence to their colonies. Except for colonies that actually fought for their independence, what happened in Africa can be described as ‘Mickey Mouse,’ independence.

We must also dismiss the notion that a time there was when the European intruders actually packed their bags and left us alone to live our lives as we deemed fit.

In most cases, as Oginga Odinga informed us, trusted heirs of imperialism were simply promoted to position of power and authority to ensure that the imperial powers continue to enjoy the fruits of imperialism, but without the naked display of imperialism with the attendant opprobrium directed at it.

We need to ask how any honest commentator, African or foreigner, could read excerpts from the Colonial Pact France signed with its colonies and conclude that Franco-phone Africa is independent.
How could any honest analyst read about the shenanigans of the British in what is today Nigeria and tell us that the current crises bedeviling the country should not be blamed 9at least partly) on the colonialists?

Today, Nigeria is mired in inter-tribal and religious conflagration and brilliant analysts refused to configure the system and the institutions the British erected to ensure that what they left behind in Nigeria was a dangerous powder keg that was bound to blow up sooner or later.

For those not in the know, the British colonialists left a Nigeria where state power was transferred to the most feudal of the conservative elements of the Northern Nigerian elite.
They ensured this by leaving behind a Nigeria with a census figure that proclaimed that arid northern region is more populated than the rain forest of southern Nigeria. They left behind a Nigeria where northerners dominated the security services.

The reasons are simple: the British colonialists felt more comfortable with the Northerner feudalist, and so did everything possible to transfer power to them and put in place the structures necessary to maintain that usurped and illegitimate power.

Attempt to resolve these imbalances have resulted in numerous coups, a civil war and the now Boko Haram menace by those that claimed they want to turn Nigeria into an Islamic State.

The saddest part is that whilst the African apologists of imperialism are very vociferous in their defence of their masters, honest Western commentators do not try to defend the indefensible.

There are abundant literatures on the evil mischief the imperialist continue to perpetrate in Africa, but it looks like the apologists for imperialism don’t bother to read much.

Honest commentators like John Stockwell clinically chronicled the role imperialist’s agencies like the CIA played in so-called civil wars across Africa. Mr. Stockwell did not write fiction; he wrote firsthand accounts of what he and other agents of imperialism did to destabilize countries across the world.

Another operator who called himself, The Economic Hit man, whose conscience finally pricked him, recently told us about the sordid deeds he perpetrated across the world in the defense of imperialism.

Yet, commentators who expect to be taken seriously lament when we blame imperialism for some of our woes.

Again, take the case of the so-called civil war that destroyed the Republic of Liberia.

At the onset of the conflict, I wrote a piece that questioned how a convicted criminal could escape from a prison the United States of America (of all places) with enough cash to start a war in Liberia.

Charles Ghankay Taylor, a former head of Liberia's General Services Administration under Samuel Doe, had fled to the United States in 1983, after he was accused of embezzling money.

According to the tale, he not only escaped from prison but was able to get out of the United States.

He resurfaced later in West Africa and started a war that was very brutal in its ferocity. The objective of Charles Taylor’s war was murky enough. With no discernible ideology underpinning, many believed that it was launched by Liberians of the African-American stock who believe Liberia to be their personal fiefdom and were affronted by the Samuel Kanyon Doe coup that toppled their elitist regime in 1980.

In the intricate and foggy world of intelligence, Charles Taylor and his National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPLF) were supported by the Americans, the Libyas (under Brother Moammer Ghadaffi), the Ivoriens and the Burkinabes.

Charles Taylor a very brutal warlord shot his way into the Liberian presidency and was treated with high protocol until he ran afoul of his Americans sponsors.

Again the reasons for the fallout are sketchy, but his forces were believed to have killed some American citizens. He thus incurred the ire of the Americans who hitherto had looked unconcerned at his atrociously tyrannical rule. The Americans start to gun for his head; the rest they say is history.

Liberia lay devastated, its infrastructures are ruined and its people traumatized.

Today, a puppet president, who does not speak any of Liberia’s indigenous languages, sits in the Presidential Palace in Monrovia busily making Liberia safe for the imperialist vultures. Large tracts of Liberian famed forests are being sold for peanuts. Liberian mineral resources are being sold for a song.

Who today benefit from the so-called civil war in Liberia? These are the questions patriotic Africans ought to ask ourselves.

It is only in Africa we think that things ‘just happen.’ Any Westerner will tell you that things, especially geo-political things, are planned and always well-crafted.

President Harry Truman put it correctly when he said that “In politics nothing happen by chance; everything is planned.”

Today, the Americans are gradually releasing details of their complicity in the devastation of Liberia.

According to a recent Myjoyonline news report: ”US authorities say former Liberian leader Charles Taylor worked for its intelligence agencies, including the CIA, the Boston Globe reports.

The revelation comes in response to a Freedom of Information request by the newspaper.

A Globe reporter told the BBC this is the first official confirmation of long-held reports of a relationship between US intelligence and Mr Taylor. Mr Taylor is awaiting a verdict on his trial for alleged war crimes.

Rumours of CIA ties were fuelled in July 2009 when Mr Taylor himself told his trial, at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in the Hague, that US agents had helped him escape from a maximum security prison in Boston in 1985.

The CIA at the time denied such claims as "completely absurd". But now the Defence Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon's spy arm, has disclosed that its agents - and those of the CIA - did later use Mr Taylor as an informant, the Globe reports.

Globe reporter Bryan Bender told the BBC's Network Africa programme that Pentagon officials refused to give details on exactly what role Mr Taylor played, citing national security.

But they did confirm that Mr Taylor first started working with US intelligence in the 1980s, the period when he rose to become one of the world's most notorious warlords, Mr Bender says.

Mr Taylor was later elected Liberia's president.

He has been accused of arming and controlling the RUF rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone during a 10-year campaign of terror conducted largely against civilians.

If convicted, Mr Taylor would serve a prison sentence in the UK. He denies charges of murder, rape and using child soldiers.”

I don’t feel sorry for the Charles Ghankay Taylor’s of this world. I feel sorry only for the victims of his vast crimes. As he gnashes his teeth in his prison cell, Charles Taylor will be wondering what hit him. He will have ample time to reflect on his tomfoolery. He will have enough time to realize that what he mistook for friendship with the imperialist was anything but. He will have time to ponder the truism of the saying by that: “There are no permanent friends nor permanent enemies, but permanent interests.”

People like Charles Ghankay Taylor are just stupid imbeciles who refused to read correctly their history lessons and learn from the mistake of quisling like themselves. These moronic idiots allowed themselves to be used and abused by enemies of their people. They mistook the tolerance of their masters for acceptance; they strutted around like important potentates whilst they remain nothing but puppets on string.

The list of these traitors that betrayed Africa is very long. In Africa, Idi Amin, Bokassa and Mobutu, all dictators of the highest brutality enjoyed the patronage of western governments until they ran afoul of their paymasters. Their sordid deeds are well known and well documented by their controllers who will think nothing of using the information against them.
And they say we shouldn’t blame the imperialists.

Wise saying:

" Never use both feet to test the depth of the sea." - African proverb