Governance : May and Merkel's Visited Out of Pity for Nigerians-Prof. Olagoke
The British Prime Minister, Theresa May and the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, visited Nigeria recently, to assure the Federal Government of their unwavering support for issues bothering on security, economy, agriculture and commerce. This move by the leaders of the two developed countries has rekindled the hopes of impoverished Nigerians that all would soon be well. In this interview with Federationews2day, the Founder, Spiritual head and Grand Imam of Shafaudeen Worldwide, Prof. Sabitu Olagoke outlines the importance of these visits. Excerpts :
The leaders of Britain and Germany were in Nigeria last week to sign agreements with the present administration. How would you assess their visit ?
Since the beginning, successive administrations in Nigeria have never seemed to understand the concept of Democracy, hence, they end up not ceasing the advantage of the tripod stand that would have given us political stability and functional institutions, which would have resulted in sustainable development.
The duo would have given us a high level of home support, good international and public image as a nation. Democracy,as it is practiced in Nigeria, is a good reference point of our colonial administration heritage, which has been used to sustain and maintain high level of development indicators.
It is equally been compared with other African nations as well as those from other continents, which were at particular points of their history under the rule of the colonial masters up till the 1960s. For example, Ghana gained independence in 1957, Singapore and Malaysia in 1965 and Nigeria in 1960.
Indeed, the younger generation of these erstwhile colonial masters are sustaining and maintaining the heritage of their fathers.
Nigeria will continue to look like a caricature of itself and its people, possibly, be subjected to various psychological tests. This is why perceptions from Britain and Germany will continue to range from pseudo-comic to pity because we have never been consistent.
The statement credited to the British Prime Minister is not an over statement because even at the home front, our government has not been consistent and neither have they been able to pass the test of justice and equity, not to talk of bringing succour-peace and development-for our people.
What about the security challenges ? With increasing profiles of devastation to the lives and property of innocent citizens, coupled with the daily news of the opportunities in the corridors of power, which has established the culture of endemic corruption and questionable democratic dividends of poverty, hunger, diseases and dysfunctional infrastructure.
For the German Chancellor, as a woman of substance, her gesture on the Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture and Commerce, is more of a pity and rescue operation for a drowning government and for a nation not to head for the precipice.
There are a lot of thing in Nigeria that needs restructuring through re-evaluative measures, to be able to have a right fix. For example the disparity in the compensation plan-salary-between the Civil/Public servants and the political office holders is a source of worry for all and sundry.
Even if all the advance nations bring their wealth to support Nigeria , kleptocracy and wasteful spending will ever make them suffer the fate of the moribund Operation Feed the Nation, DIFFRI, NAPEP and others.
However, we need to thank the political party in power for directing their energy towards alleviating the poverty of the people at this critical time when the campaign for 2018 would have occupied them in the face of threat by the stiff opposition, backsliding within the party through cross carpeting of their big shots. All they need from us, is our support, to jointly work with the anti-graft agencies, withou bias and advocate for programme and project driven sessions in our transition into the 2018 elections, that would usher in a new government of our desire, based on the lesson learnt from our failure to build strong institutions which is a characteristic of governments of the developed world.
It is high time therefor, for Nigerians to deviate away from building strong individuals, otherwise our yearnings to have sustainable development would remain a tantalizing mirage.