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Why Are Nigerians So Bloody Naive?

I've just come off reading yet another sorry spectacle in a Nigerian newspaper, lamenting the ''sorry state of Nigeria'' and how US president Obama ''snubbed'' Nigeria, and decided to visit Ghana instead, owing to the latter's ''democratic credentials'', ''good governance'', and ''functioning society'' etc etc.

These lamentations are normal fare these days from newspaper columnists whom most Nigerians take seriously - characters like Levi Obijiofor of the Guardian, Reuben Abati, Obi Nwakanma among others.

As I was reading through their relentless, self-flagellating dross, I couldn't help thinking to myself, ''are Nigerians really this dumb and naive or are these guys being paid to write this illiterate rubbish?''

Are the likes of Abati paid agents for neo-colonialism? Or are they really as ignorant as they sound?

How can a grown man with brains like Abati in this day and age, with information so widely available, still operate under the crazy illusion that the USA and Obama are some sort of benevolent entities who base their visits to Africa on a desire to see ''progressive, democratic societies'' emerge from the shackles of her past and present?

After a while, I simply concluded that NO. These chaps MUST indeed be paid agents of colonialists and economic saboteurs of the continent. IF I can see through the mist of imperialist deception, and if OTHERS can see it, surely our most esteemed and highly paid columnists ought to be able to see it.

Obama’s neocolonial mission in Africa

By Ann Talbot

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/pers-j16.shtml

16 July 2009

Last week, President Barack Obama flew from the G8 summit in Italy to Accra, the capital of Ghana in West Africa, for his first visit to Sub-Saharan Africa since becoming president. “I have the blood of Africa within me,” he told his Ghanaian audience, “and my family’s history reflects the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.”

The value of Obama’s family background was recognised early in his bid for the presidency by Zbigniew Brzezinski, the national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter and a key figure in the formulation of Obama’s foreign policy. In August 2007, Brzezinski declared that Obama “recognizes that the challenge is a new face, a new sense of direction, a new definition of America’s role in the world.”

Brzezinski was among major figures in the US foreign policy establishment who saw in Obama a means of giving the United States a “new face” to the rest of the world, something they deemed critical after the blunders and setbacks to American imperialism under Bush.

Obama lived up to expectations in Ghana. He played on his African ancestry, just as he had emphasised his Muslim heritage the previous month in Cairo.

The image of the two Obama children walking out into the sunlight from the “door of no return” at Cape Coast Castle, from which so many Africans did not return, was a carefully crafted photo op. Leaving this scene of so much human suffering, Obama said, “It reminds us that as bad as history can be, it's always possible to overcome.”

This was meant to imply that no matter what Africa has suffered in the past, and no matter what the continent continues to suffer at the hands of the banks, corporations and Western governments, the responsibility—and the fault—rests with the African people themselves.

Obama brought an uncompromising message, spelling out in a more open way than George Bush dared to do during his visit to Ghana last year that aid would be made available only in return for the implementation of policies that serve the interests of the US government and corporations--and that there would be less of it in future.

“Development,” Obama told parliamentarians, “depends upon good governance. That is the ingredient which has been missing in far too many places, for far too long. That is the change that can unlock Africa’s potential. And that is a responsibility that can only be met by Africans.”

“Africa's future is up to Africans,” he repeated.

The lecture also carried a threat. “We have a responsibility to support those who act responsibly and to isolate those who don't, and that is exactly what America will do,” Obama declared.

The BBC’s correspondent, Andrew Harding, was struck by the bluntness with which the president felt able to speak to his hosts. He wrote: “It was a very broad-ranging speech, but Mr. Obama has an ability because of his heritage, his Kenyan father, to reach out and speak to Africans in a way that I think most foreign leaders would find very difficult.”

It was “a message no pink-faced Western leader could have delivered without arousing resentment in Africa and politically correct abuse from hand-wringers at home,” Libby Purves, a columnist for the London Times noted.

Purves’ derogatory reference to politically correct hand-wringing is a significant one. It is incontrovertible that any possibility of Obama presenting himself as a progressive alternative to the “pink-faced” Bush is largely thanks to the claims of his liberal and “left” apologists that an African-American in the White House represents a gain for black people everywhere and marks a new era in US and world politics.

Obama’s Ghana speech was warmly received by the Republican right. Bret Stephens, writing in the Wall Street Journal under the headline “Obama Gets It Right on Africa,” described the speech as “by far the best of his presidency.”

Stephens continued: “Since British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan gave his ‘Wind of Change’ speech (also in Ghana) nearly 50 years ago [The speech was, in fact, delivered in South Africa] Western policy toward Africa has been a matter of throwing money at a guilty conscience (or a client of convenience), no questions asked,  Maybe it took a president unburdened by that kind of guilt to junk the policy.”

The provision of aid has always been a political mechanism to force semi-colonial countries to pursue policies that serve the interests of the imperialist donors. But whereas Bush was obliged to make some token gestures, such as setting up the Millennium Challenge Account and increasing funding for Aids and malaria, Obama has used the kudos he derives from his ancestry to insist point-blank that African governments toe the US line.

Obama’s insistence that Ghana and other African governments achieve “good governance” is a demand for more of the free-market measures that are already being imposed with disastrous results for the social conditions of the population. “Good governance” means privatising essential services such as telecommunications, water and power, as well as social services like health and education. It also means removing subsidies from small farmers and abolishing import controls.

Ghana has gone a long way down that route, which is why it has been favoured with visits from two US presidents. It is far from being one of Africa’s poorest countries, but 70 percent of the population in its northern regions live on less than a dollar a day. Life expectancy is only 58 years. Women often have to walk more than 3 kilometres to find water, and it is seldom clean.

This situation is set to worsen dramatically. The recession has hit Africa hard. Ghana was among those countries granted debt relief in 2005, but with the value of its currency falling, it is rapidly sliding into debt once more. The government’s response has been to impose an austerity budget in an attempt to balance the books.

Obama has shifted the emphasis of the “war on terror” from Iraq to Afghanistan and Pakistan. But the place of Africa in US global strategy remains essentially the same. First, it is a vital source of strategic resources such as oil and gas, but also many key minerals. Second, a high proportion of the world’s shipping lanes run close to Africa’s shores. It follows that any American administration must make the establishment of US domination of Africa a priority.

Obama’s speech was directed to the ruling elites throughout Africa, and the same message will be delivered by other administration officials. He was unable to visit Kenya, his father’s homeland, because a year after the election and the intercommunal violence that followed, the country is still unstable. But Secretary of State Hilary Clinton will head a delegation for trade talks in Kenya later this summer.

Like Obama’s trip, the underlying aim will be to re-establish US hegemony in the face of increasing competition from Europe, India and China. The old colonial European powers are long-standing rivals in Africa. Both France and Britain have their interests in West Africa. China is a relative newcomer. Trade between Africa and China was worth $10 billion in 2001. By 2008 it had increased to $107 billion.

Ghana is a new oil producer. The first supplies came on tap this year. It is valuable both for its modest supply of oil and because it may offer a military staging post to give the US reach over the whole West African region.

With less aid forthcoming, Obama will have to rely more than ever on US military might to secure its control of Africa—both through the supply of military equipment to its clients and through direct intervention.

No African country has yet offered to host a base for the new US African command, Africom. Ghana may well be the first, judging from the attention it is getting from the White House. Obama has made much of the “war on drugs” and has given Ghana three new gunboats for patrolling its coastline.

The purpose of the Africom bases is to provide facilities that will allow the rapid deployment of highly mobile troops. Djibouti has provided a valuable base for this kind of action in Somalia. US special forces from Djibouti took part in the Ethiopian invasion of Somalia in 2006 to support the Transitional Federal Government, plunging the country into another round of civil war. Obama has recently increased military aid to the US-backed regime in Somalia.

A network of such bases would enable the US to intervene at will under the cover of proxy forces, while cynically claiming that Africans are sorting out their own problems along the lines of Obama’s rhetoric in Ghana.

Ann Talbot

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2009/jul2009/pers-j16.shtml

Is there any part of this that Nigerian columnists - blind, illiterate, or silly as they are, are unable to grasp?

Kow-towing to the USA will only make things TEN TIMES WORSE in the long run for Nigeria.

What the rent boys of colonialism like Abati will never tell you is that the term "Good-governance" to the USA does not hold the same meaning it does to the Nigerian majority.

NOT BY ANY STRETCH.

In fact, they hold two diametrically opposed sets of meanings to both parties.

I am SO HAPPY Obama, the EVIL agent of imperialism and theft of African resources, omitted to visit Nigeria.

Nigeria has been slower than other nations like Ghana to privatize and sell off national assets, and is resistant to AFRICOM.

THAT is why Obama ''snubbed'' Nigeria - NOT because Obama or the USA were ''put off'' by Nigeria's ''undemocratic credentials''.

In fact, the USA right now think Nigerians still have too much of a say in how the country is run.

They just want a ''cleaner'' electoral system (like theirs) in which a certified agent of imperialism is ''legitimately elected'' to quicken the pace of national self immolation,

In fact the VERY LAST THING they want is a truly democratic Nigeria in which the people had a voice to say NO to their imperialist designs, and death-dealing prescriptions for ''good governance''

Unfortunately the Abatis and Levi Obijiofors of this world are firmly tucked into the enemy's camp, feeding fat on our latent emasculation.

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Hogwash!

There was never any food output from the vast majority of those farms.

Those farms did not grow anything to feed the Zimbabweans. They produced tobacco, flowers and other non food crops for export. Those areas have now collapsed, especially as sanctions have been imposed by their former customers. Mugabe has his weaknesses like any man, but there's way too much falsehood floating around about Zimbabwe.

The country basically cannot trade, because all lines of credit have been cut off. They have zero access to the Dollar; but all international trade is done in US Dollar's.

Put simply, Zimbabwe is getting bleeped.

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@rossike thanks for this post, at last the voice of reason - someone who actually UNDERSTANDS what is going on. 

i can't count the no of arguments that i have had with people on NL about the fact that our lack of development is rooted in continuous external interference from the west.  my view is that nigeria remains a client state to the west and continues to operate in accordance with instructions dictated by the same imperialists who colonised us. 

my beleif is that many nigerians do not understand the way in which international politics works and underestimate the cunning and deceit of the west. 

Kwame Nkrumah first coined the term neo colonialism as he recognised as early as the 1960's  the west's desire to extend their reign of oppression and subjugation over us by using puppet leaders,  note that since african countries gained their supposed independence they have lurched from one catastrophe to the next, it is no coincidence that as soon as  a progressive leader who tries to institute progressive economic reforms gains power he is immediately eliminated by the west : Lumumba of congo, Sankara of burkina Fasso and replaced with a corrupt but docile, malleable puppet.

take a look at south america which has suffered the same fate :

Arbenz of Guatemala - ousted by way of US backed coup d etat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacobo_Arbenz_Guzm%C3%A1n

Allende of Chile - ousted by way of US backed coup d etat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salvador_Allende

Aristide of Haiti - ousted by US backed coup

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Haiti/Aristide&Bodyguard_DN.html

Zelaya of Honduras

http://www.voltairenet.org/article161647.html

omar torrijos of panama - assassinated by CIA

http://www.voltairenet.org/article161647.html

all of the above south american presidents tried to institute progressive economic reforms which were not in accordance with what you have referred to as the washington consensus (IMF, world bank economic reforms) in the case of people like allende, arbenz and torrijos they blatantly refused to sign away the rights of the people and country to predatory US foreign investors and destructive "economic reforms".  torrijos refused to reverse a treaty which granted his people sovereignty over the panama canal as a result he paid with his life, allende the same, arbenz had to go into exile and aristide was kidnapped and deported to congo.   

do we have these kind of self less leaders in nigeria - absolutely not - this is why it has been particularly easy for our country to be pillaged by these western criminals. 

i agree that we need a complete overhaul of our mentality - we need a revival of pan africanism - nasser of egypt introduced pan arabism in the 1950's and this is what enabled egypt to regain its dignity, self respect and economic development. 

i am totally in agreement with you with regard to obama, again the west have played a fast one on not only africans but african americans although i think the latter are beginning to realise that he is a complete fraud. 

Obama is front man for a powerful elite - he was recruited by Zbigniew brzezinski (former national security adviser under carter) as far back as the 1980's when he(obama) was an undergraduate at columbia university. also i hear henry kissinger (mass murderer and war criminal) gave him his first job, btw kissinger is one of his "confidantes" on foreign affairs (not a good sign) he is also a member of the council on foreign relations (CFR) an organisation comprising the most powerful elements of the ruling elite in america -its members are mainly former US presidents, billionaires, CEO's of multinational corporations, politicians,academics and media moguls- they control and influence political and economic policy and their goal is the continued economic and political subjugation of african countries and other so called third world nations - these people are extremely powerful but above all extremely dangerous and not to be underestimated.  i think this is why our docile african puppets tread very softly when they are dealing with the west, but come down on their own people like a ton of bricks in order to show their loyalty to their masters.

the problem for us is how do we rid ourselves of these criminals? its difficult because they are continuing to stockpile weapons from their western masters in order to put down any potential resistance.

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Hogwash!

There are more than three schools of Agriculture in Zimbabwe in existence now for several decades. What happened to giving the farmlands out to people who actually KNOW how to farm, and not ex-millitamen who have never lifted a hoe in anger?

It's one thing to insist that there should be equitable land re-distribution. It's another to be so maniacally careless about what becomes of the land, and the food output from the reclaimed land.

You keep talking about 'Zimbabweans'. Save for Mugabe and his cronies, the vast majority of Zimbabweans just want food, water and security - and that's something Mugabe isn't giving them.

In a way, citing the Zimbabwe issue as a 'triumph over neo-colonialism' serves up a sterling example of human selfishness. All you lot care about is making points and fiery speeches. You DO need to care more for the suffering millions in Zimbabwe who live hollow-eyed and sunken-bellied, a victim of the gross stupidity and selfishness of their leader.

PS: How much foreign aid to Africa have principal pan-africanists like Ghadaffi rendered?

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A ball must hit the hard concrete HARD to rise to higher heights TM

As Fela rhymed, that yeye ball wey wan yeye wind dey blow for wan yeye corner (kalakta show)

We all know the problem and the solutions, we have answers to a seemingly unsolvable problem ,yet it continues.

Unfortunately (for our generation) we must be burned to the ground to rise again. no amount of politicking, no amount of education, religion, God or Western Aid wil lhelp our situation ,we are a crashing plane and there is only one way DOWN

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@ROSSIYKE,

I'm not even going to contest the logic or veracity of your submissions. I think they're moot. That imperialism and a global agenda exists is without doubt, however, the success or failure of these ideologies are to a large extent dependent on the people. Attempts by the British and American powers to subdue the Islamic nations and impose their agenda have generally met with massive failures, in the Middle East, and in Asia. So ultimately, it is up to us to be free or slaves, in my view.

I think the 'African Unity' mantra is overflogged, and we shouldn't even bother with that line of reasoning. Even Ghadaffi is clearly just on some grandstanding agenda, and can't possibly be taken seriously by anybody. Pan-Africanism cannot simply consist of a series of rants and a few meaningless mantras. For it to work, it has to be the singular most valuable belief system for all Africans, and since we don't even see ourselves in Nigeria as brothers, what is the point then?

African countries, like countries in other continents, are free to develop at their own pace. Whether geographical expressions, collations of tribes or whatever, their survival is dependent to a large extent on how well these nations have learned their lessons, all the way from slavery through colonialism to present day. What we need is for nationalists to emerge in these African countries, nationalists free of the old ethnic and religious tags that have prevented us from moving forward. We also need to embrace learning. Right now we are all 'on the run' from some perceived enemy; poverty. But we all need to engage that enemy head on. We are the ones who will build the African institutions, not Chinese, not Europeans or Americans. Let's see these people are tools we can use for development; whether their money, or their technology, or any other asset we can get from them. Let's stop seeing them as some sort of cheap meal ticket.

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@ROSSIYKE/ILLSION2

Thanks for the enlightenment but i suppose that the issue of pandering to "western" interests

has been part and parcel of our past. Not only because of our colonial past but because our elite

by way of education and orientation have always been so inclined.

What bothers me now is that the moneyed,political/ traditional elite , now in their second/third generation

have been so intertwined with this "western orientation" but the expected benefits are coming to us in the

reverse as ,Bankers steal our money, Civil servants, politicians, judges, legislators , political parties are not

following the traditional concepts of democracy.

What is the way foward? We want to vote, they do not even want us to vote (Electoral reform), We want to talk

and seek information(FOI bill) they have blocked us. They have refused to work for us and they have not given us

the climate that allows any freedom whatsoever.I fear that one day they will ask us to leave, if that option is available.

Their secon/third generation is being groomed abroad and they are coming back intrickles with new fangled ideas/concepts

that cannot germinate in these climes and if they follow the footsteps of their forebears, we have had it.

For obvious reasons, US or the west do not have any particular interest in finding solutions for us. We must gird our loins and

do something. Continental unity (political or economic ) may not be feasible in the short/medium term . I think the solution

lies in the citizenry of each political unit retrieving their society from this rapacious elite followed by a complete overhaul of the

social structure to entrench a kinder and more humane arrangement.

I have no doubt that in the nearest future, some guys will do us right.

I am following your dialogue, sorry for interrupting, but i just wanted to chip in

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illusion2 said:

That is one request I may be unable to accede to. 

Well there may be some merit to that argument, but this only enhances the case for continental unification, in which case that ceases to be an issue.

Here's where you miss the point. Even an honest leader -  a saint in fact - who comes into power in Nigeria, and is told immediately upon assumption of power, by the IMF or World Bank, to confirm that Nigeria will continue to abide by her ''international commitments'' to ''free-market reforms'' as operated by previous administrations, and the new leader says ''well of course yes. Nigeria will maintain all commitments to you, our international partners, and will do nothing to discourage foreign investment in the country, and will maintain continuity in policy implementation etc etc, '', once that is done, the country's been HAD again.

Yet this leader to his mind, has done absolutely nothing wrong. To Nigerians (most of whom haven't a clue, unfortunately), he's done nothing wrong either. Most Nigerians in fact will tell you the leader has done the right thing, because most Nigerians simply do not understand the game being played. Because we've been operating under the Washington Consensus virtually since independence, we seem to know no other way. And because - as individual states, we are financially dependent on trade, ''aid'', and credit facilities from the west, it rarely crosses the mind of even the most ''honest'' leader, to go against the grain of western capitalist dictates.

Nigeria would probably be where Brazil is in the next two or three decades under the present economic system we operate, which isn't saying an awful lot. You grossly overestimate the progress Brazil has made.

'In thousands of favelas [ie slums] throughout Brazil, whole communities are living trapped in poverty and excluded from a whole range of services. Criminal gangs now control everyday life in many communities. What services and security measures are available have been imposed without consultation and are often ineffective. Amnesty International has consistently called on the Brazilian federal and state authorities to work with local communities, and not against them, in order to tackle the problems of violence, deprivation and exclusion in the favelas.'

Source: Amnesty International

http://zunia.org/post/changing-this-deadly-scenario-demand-dignity-in-brazils-favelas/

And do correct me if I'm wrong, but did Nigeria not successfully host the Fifa World Under 20 championships in 1999?

Err,  I would concede you do if you actually showed us what you do know as opposed to merely claiming to ''know''.

Here's the difference. The South African apartheid regime actually re-invested much of their ill-gotten profits into creating an industrialised economy which the ANC thought right to nurture and tweak into a more inclusive one. But in Zimbabwe? Nothing. The whites simply extracted and siphoned the profits OUT of the country. They invested in no industries worthy of the name. They created a black peasant class and sat on top of the pile. I read somewhere that at some point there was a character known as Hans something who owned a tract of land there as big as Belgium. In this place you would find loads of smiley black sevants dressed in white tunics serving white ''masters'' tea and biscuits, and this was as recently as the 1990s. I'm really not surprised the ZANU PF party said: Enough. Not on OUR land.

The day you decide to give over your ancestral land in Nigeria to a white ''settler'' and have him ''provide you work'' as a half-starved peasant while carting off the profits, including mineral resources, to Europe, let me know. In the meantime, DO allow the Zimbabweans their God-given right to determine they do not wish such to happen on THEIR land.

Interestingly, a Zimbabwean minister was asked this same question a few years ago and his response was: "How will we know how to run the farms when they were seized from our possession a hundred years ago? How will we learn how to run the farms when they are in the possession of thieves who stole the land and retained the knowledge of its exploitation? Now that we have repossessed our land, we will LEARN how to run it, even if it takes us a thousand years!!"

It's like somebody stealing your car, rendering you immobile, and then twenty years later, your son goes to reclaim the car from the thief, and the  thief says, ''hey, why take the car? You can't drive!!''. The victim's son says ''don't worry. I will learn. How could I have learnt when you stole the car in the first place? Hand me back my father's car, and I will learn to drive it, however long it takles!''.

Today, the Zimbabwean economy is growing at 7% annually. They are coming back. They are learning to drive their car.

For someone who claims to know a lot, you sure sound clueless here. Here's information on the Washington Consensus:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_Consensus

It depends on what you mean by ''good governance''. There is the Obama version of good governance, then there is good governance. I think we have been practicing the former for many years, most thoroughly since the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) introduced by Babangida under IMF dictates around 1985, and which resulted all too predictably, in the tanking of the Nigerian economy. There is nothing to suggest from your utterances that you understand the import of that policy initiative on Nigerian society, thus suggesting that you would merely perpetuate and extend it were you to be installed in power.

They are subscribers to the Washington Consensus, and are simply acting out their role. In that role, ''ideology'' IS the Washington Consensus, which is why there is very little policy variation among the parties.

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Warriboyz said:

Warriboyz, actually we are both on the same page in this debate. What I'm saying really is that under the present economic  paradigm we operate, our only hope for rapid industrialisation is IF the west deem it fit to invest substantially in African states as they did in the Asian Tiger economies. You are right to state that this, in light of the debilitating effect such a course of action would have on THEIR economies, is little more than a pipe dream. The most we can hope to achieve under the current paradigm is a Brazilian type development route in which the same exploitative structures remain, with negligible incremental  improvement in the lives of the majority, and a large class of the exploited underprivileged.

Therefore, the Pan Africanist route is the only viable means by which African nations can fully attain their potential.

The problem with this is that the elite in the most resource rich nations, such as Nigeria, are the ones most stringently opposed to rapid unification or centralisation of African power, advocating as they're doing a more gradual approach to unification. I guess they reckon they have the most to lose under the new arrangement. The AU has been discussing African economic and political unification, with Ghadaffi its most vocal proponent. That of course carries its own problems. African nations are rightfully suspicious of Ghadaffi and Arab intentions in general with regard to all this, but their influence can be bypassed. If truth be told, it would suit the cause better if we had a ''sub Saharan'' proponent in the mould of an Nkrumah, (who was in fact among the first advocates of unification).

But such progressive voices were long ago crushed in black Africa, with the assassination of Patrice Lumumba, Nkrumah, and others,  with subsequent African leadership generally intimidated into towing the line of the Washington Consensus.

We are desperately in need of new progressive voices emerging at leadership level, and this time, better protected from the CIA and Mossad intelligence assassination squads.

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Rossike, your knowledge is impressive to say the least. Some of your points seem to contradict each other though - case in point you seem to make the argument for pan-africa on one hand, while also apparently believing that western capital investment is the necessary instrument for economic progress. My problem with that reasoning is this, I think we can universally agree that it is in the interest of the so called first world countries, to slowpoke economic development in africa, thus maintaining the status quo. Africa's vast natural resources are fueling the economies of the West and now the East. While we serve as a target for their manufactured goods. Any macro-economic policy made by the West will surely be in support of this status quo, why would they undermine their own economies in favor of our own? My point being, it is unrealistic to expect, that western economic policy will ever be in favor of our development. And I am not talking about individual private investment, some of which we do have. But rather economic policy made at a national and international level. I think we can all agree that the policies of the IMF, World Bank and Paris Club have ravaged African economies for the past sixty years.

Our best chance for progress, lies in a well thought out strategy for economic development that DOES NOT REQUIRE WESTERN CAPITAL INFUSION. In other words we must look to the African continent as a source of economic growth. Promoting trade between countries on the continent and encouraging local production AND local consumption. This will actually have the positive effect of raising real world prices of our natural resources. After all if we pour a portion of these resources into our own development, then the laws of supply and demand dictate that prices for them will go up.

Africa must not go last in this development race o!

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illusion2 said:

Hogwash??

So explain to us WHY western capitalists have not descended on Botswana to collaborate with Botswanan industrialists in the setting up of world class industries like they did in South Korea in the 50s, and are doing in Vietnam today, when the latter were just recovering from WAR and broken infrastructure.

WHY are western investors not pouring their capital into Botswana? You're talking about 60% living above poverty line. Botswana should be an INDUSTRIALISED nation by now. What more must Botswana do to attract the sort of investment and capital (including skills capital) that would catapault her into  First World status? Do you think South Korea and Taiwan etc simply woke up one morning and became industrialised through some sort of magical ingenuity on their part? Well, that's a MYTH.

Development is not a mystery and it is not magic. I guarantee you, if the west wanted Nigeria to become a proper outpost of industrial capitalism, as opposed to a satellite state and recipient of foreign manufactures, it would happen in less than  5 years. They would inter-alia end their current insistence on the abolishment of import controls as per Nigeria, since as we all know, this only serves to kill fledgling local industries. It is only common sense that if you have a government in power which abides by the Washington Consensus, YOU WILL NEVER DEVELOP. A nation that IMPORTS virtually all its needs will always have HIGH unemployment because they are not producing. So Nigerians are not focusing as they should on the actual POLICIES in place with regard to running the country.

Corruption is only a part of the problem, and if truth be told, only a SMALL part of the problem. It's been estimated that less than 20% of Africa's earnings are siphoned through corruption. The problem is not really corruption per se, your main focus. The problem is the Economic System we operate and our subordinate role in the global economic system as defined in secret by the global economic powers - ie a permanent source of raw materials for western industries.

In fact Corruption is an OFFSHOOT of that subordinate role. End that role, and Corruption would die a natural death, or be minimised drastically.

NIGERIANS themselves must become aware of the subordinate status to which we have been designated by the global economic elite, and fight against it.

Today we have political parties like AC, PDP ANPP and what not - ALL OF WHOM APPARENTLY SUBSCRIBE TO THE WASHINGTON CONSENSUS , aka ''good-governance'' guidelines as prescribed by Obama and his sponsors.

Nobody in Nigeria is questioning it! Even Soyinka, Achebe, Gani, and others we take to be our ''freedom fighters'' all apparently SUBSCRIBE TO THIS INFERIOR ECONOMIC POSITION DESIGNATED US.

Why do you think the USA hates Chavez?

Chavez has not sponsored ''terrorists''. He has not invaded a US ally, and neither has he slept with Bush or Obama's wives.

They hate him because he has rejected the Washington Consensus and is urging OTHERS to do same. All those nations have suffered just like Nigeria. They followed for decades the ''good-governance'' guidelines prescribed by the IMF and World Bank, and saw their formerly prosperous nations reduced to nothing, with agriculture and industries decimated.

You cannot say ''don't focus on the Americans or the west'' MOST OF OUR POLICIES ARE DICTATED BY THEM. If you don't know this go and ask!

With your careless attitude to all this, it is obvious that If YOU got into power in Nigeria, you would similarly (to be on the good side with your western ''friends'') EXECUTE those same ''free-market, good-governance'' policies, which only serve to impoverish the population, as your cronies keep above water by siphoning what they can.

I put it to you that IF Obama and the west REALLY desired Africa to develop to its potential as his Ghana lecture suggested, They would INSTANTLY clamp down on their multinationals going in there to bribe local officials to rip off the land. They would encourage via myriad ways the entry of teams of investors and insist they add value to the resources they exploit before exporting them, and they would open their markets to such manufactures and abolish related tariffs on their imports. Within 5 years minimum, you would see parts of Africa turning industrialised.

Now where THIS form of positive  western involvement in our future is absent, the only options open to Nigeria are to REJECT current paradigms which insist on the Washington Consensus.

BE LIKE CHAVEZ

We simply cannot be ''friends with the west'' and yet develop in any meaningful path.

Sure we can continue along the current path and eventually get to be like Brazil after say 30 to 50 years.

But we really do not want to become like Brazil.

Brazil is only a slightly more improved version of Nigeria.

Gross income inequalities, poverty, unemployment, racism, and massive corruption pervade the land.

If you speak to the average Brazilian they've rarely anything good to say about the place.

The only difference between Brazil and Nigeria is Brazil have been at it longer (since 1829), and have had more time to fashion out ''a less imperfect union''.

But the underlying contradictions are still very glaring.

We do not wish to go along the path whereby in the next 30 or 50 years, we will still be lamenting mass poverty and income  inequality, plus wide gulfs between rich and poor, as is currently the case in Brazil.

We want a system whereby the value of EVERY Nigerian (nay African) is upheld, where no one is left out, or discarded on the scrap heaps of western exploitative capitalism.

To do that we need to insist our leaders REJECT the Washington Consensus, and STOP making Africa a dumping ground for western products while killing off our local industrial capacity.

Centralised administration is the SINGLE most important element in the rise of modern China.

If Africa had a centralised administration, she could dictate the prices of her raw materials as opposed to African nations competing against each other to undercut and attract buyers. At present we are ''price takers'' on the international commodity markets for our products, ranging from cocoa to coffee and from cobalt to diamonds, iron ore and copper. A centralised administration means Africa could finally dictate the prices of these things on the international  market, and stop receiving a PITTANCE for them as she is currently doing, while paying through her nose to purchase finished products made from those same resources.  If ANY part of the world needed centralised administration, it is AFRICA, the word's richest region in terms of natural resources. It is the LAST place on earth that should have 57 ''independent'' states.

We need to educate post-colonial Africans like yourself into realising (or rather remembering) that Africa has an even OLDER, ''well documented'' civilisation than China does.

According to a source:  Mao's policies and political purges from 1949-1975 in the People's Republic are widely believed to have caused the deaths of tens of millions of people.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Zedong

You really should be careful of the way you evoke Mao, particularly if you're trying to make him out to be something we need in Nigeria.

Are YOU ready to die for the cause? Are YOU ready to rein in your desire for the latest cars, the latest clothes and shoes and gadgets from the west? Are you ready to ditch the imported cars for bicycles like Mao compelled his people to do in order to build local industrial capacity?

Truth be told, this is probably the ONLY way we can get to develop barring western investment ala South Korea.

You criticise IBB and co for not doing a Chairman Mao, but would Nigerians have stood for that?

Would IBB's colleagues in the army have tolerated that?

Or would they have had him shot?

Y'see it's about more than one person. Are WE as Nigerians ready for the sacrifice required?

That is the question.

The problem is NOT just about ''our leaders''.

It is also about US.

You are listening to the wrong people. By 1998 the war veterans, having waited since 1979 to see the fruits of their victorious war against the white land thieves and settlers, finally lost their patience with Mugabe (then the west's darling) and of their own volition, began seizing the lands in periodic raids.

Under the Lancaster House Agreement of December 21st 1979, which followed the end of the Zimbabwe War of Independence, Britain agreed to compensate the white farmers under an orderly redistribution of the stolen lands. By 1997, Britain had paid less than 14% of this agreed compensation. The distribution was dependent upon such received compensation, and so was stalled for that duration.

When Tony Blair came to power in 1997, and after repeated demands by the Zimbabwean authorities that Britain play its role as agreed, Blair's crony, Clare Short, wrote a terse letter to the Zimbabwean govt in which she said that Britain no longer had an obligation to compensate the white settlers, thus reneging on the Lancaster House Agreement.

Shortly after this the Zimbabwean govt effected the Fast Track land reforms. And demonisation of his regime by the west immediately ensued.

Suddenly, the darling of the west was overnight, a ''dictator'', an ''election rigger'', and other labels. Soon after, wide-ranging economic sanctions were imposed on Zimbabwe, preventing her from accessing international finance and development loans, including other credit facilities available to other nations.

Nevertheless, the Zimbabwean govt refused to budge. They remained steadfast in their determination that THAT land would return to the original black majority owners, whose ancestors were massacred by whites in their bid to steal the land.

The west financed and sponsored Tsvangerai to challenge ZANU PF rule, hoping that the sanctions would be able to turn Zimbabweans against ''Mugabe'', ie the ZANU PF Nationalist Party.

The attempt failed spectacularly.

Now Tsvangerai joined the Mugabe govt and has called for an end to economic sanctions.

The west attempted to murder their erstwhile stooge, Tsvangerai for ''betraying'' them.

The truck which killed his wife and nearly killed him in a recent ''accident'' in Zimbabwe belonged (surprise surprise) to USAID. IE, the US govt.

To cut a long story short, the current situation whereby as Mugabe says, the Land Reforms are ''IRREVERSIBLE'', means that future generations of Zimbabweans will be able to live and cultivate and exploit their mineral resources on THEIR land, NOT as peasants of a few white settlers, but as legitimate owners of their God-given territory.

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♪ ♫Story, story. Uselessness.♪ ♫

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It is really amazing watching people on here expecting the president of a foreign land to look out for our own welfare when we have our president who is supposed to be doing that job.

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@poster

Stop stereotyping, it's bad for you.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxer_revolution

Please focus in particular on the 'Long Term Results' section. It is true China never became a protectorate but for all intents and purposes they were a 'colony' for decades.

@ illusion2 - I am not sure what you meant by your post. I found this forum today and decided to post because I found the topic interesting. Are newbies not allowed to post here?

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I am not sure if you are unable to READ or if it is the case that you do not know your facts at all. Yes, China is STILL a developing country, and yes, China still gets AID from different foreign groups, and another fact for you, China is a capitalist country and not so much a communist country anymore. Capitalism, which the @poster claims is evil, actually helped bring china to where it is today.

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China was never colonized so they never went through what Nigeria or other Africans have gone through.

Chinese Imperialism is what boosted their Economy- they profit of off capitalist

The chinese are doing what the british and America have been doing for YEARS. The only difference is the investing which gives Africans short term gain and the Chinese long term gain by having the price control in Africa. Africa is selling its sell piece by piece to foreign based companies.  America is highly indebted to China aswell

Chinese influence in Africa

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I agree with point 1 (but not 1a). I also agree with points 2 and as a  matter of course, 3. However on your other points,  Africa will never be a united 'state'. It is unrealistic beyond imagining to think that would ever work. Even the few tribes in a place like Sierra Leone cannot get along, not to talk of trying to align Africa's several COUNTRIES as one cohesive block. I agree that a sea change in the general mindset is required, to combat this 'foreign creep' of ideals and culture. More appropriately stated, we have to salvage and restore the important parts of our culture that survived the brutalization of the colonial period. While at the same time incorporating the technology and ideas that serve us best from the colonists. After all, sub-saharan Africa was severely lagging behind the colonial powers when they arrived, in technological know-how. To be honest the most important thing for Nigeria now is a re-emphasis on education and an inward focus on improving ourselves. I want to see an alignment between African government that goes way beyond fancy speeches in state capitals. We need to build strong economic ties between the various African states to reduce our dependence on the West and East for imports.

We have a severe imbalance of trade with the West that serves them best and us least. But part of our problem is our youths have become propagandized to value products from the West while ignoring their own culture. Everyone wants their fancy Nike shoes and McD's burgers. Where is the encouragement of local industry? Where is the pride for Nigerian made goods? I want to see land reform and a phased economic expansion plan from the Government (agriculture->basic infrastructure->value-added industry->service industry). Its hard to believe that after 50 years of independence we have not built good basic infrastructure which is the backbone for economic development.

Instead we continue to export low priced resources, while importing high cost finished goods. No way we will ever advance with that kind of a 'strategy'! In all fairness, the pressures on us are huge, these neo-colonial powers have been playing this game for a very long time. But a united country can do wondrous things.

And for historical reference, I hope my brothers on here remember that China also suffered at the hands of colonial powers. Even more so than Nigeria did. Branding them an 'evil power' when in fact, we are the ones encouraging trade ties with them, is odd to say the least.

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illusion2 i enjoyed the way you deconstructed Rossike's argument, though Rossike made some points to buttress his/her argument it made too many assumptions and made too many generalizations. I think the common sense argument is that the USA will always look out for no. 1 andthats the bottom line for any American President. What African leaders need to realize is that they need to pull their heads out of their Bottom and get their act together so that when you come to the TABLE of Nations, you come in a position of strength and unity that way other countries can't reap you off and make a mockery of you.

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Personally, I'm not going to hold my breath with regards to the foreign policies of the USA. It is definitely not going to change. New president, same old s@#t.

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It has nothing to do with Barack Obama, America is more than him, hes just a pawn to better foreign policy now that developing countries are increasing ties with China.

The dumbass Bottom africans, pro American idiots are the only developing countries that think Barack Obama is for the better.

Indeed Africans are too naive and too silly to think on their own most of the time.

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Uhm________are you refering to the same China that lends the United States billions of dollars, and purchases the later debts and dollar bonds? The same China that has the highest economic growth rate in the world while western economies stagnate?

You're right, ignorance is definitely bliss. `just that you're the one swimming in it.

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I'm taking my time to respond. . . . so please hold on. . . . .

But try to keep it short next time,ok?

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black people arent less intelligent but Africans in the continent of Africa are dumb Bottom hell. Very silly even Americans can see the hypocrisy that the US exudes. Brazil, China, Mexico, Venezuela are all starting to distance themselves from America in terms of trade. Developng countries are now cutting America out of deals.

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@Poster

I beleive you more that Nigerians are so bloody naive, not just by reading your entire post, but by reading the comments that follows which makes no meaning and renders your conclusion absolutely correct. Not only are they naive, they are brainless as well.

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illusion2 said:

This is the sort of dismissive NAIVETY I keep talking about - an inability to see the filial linkage between social/economic collapse on the home front and the alignment of our ''pro-western'' ruling classes to an international system geared to rendering Africa a permanent source of raw materials as opposed to a competitive industrial force. You cannot treat this situation in any other way but holistically. The very same ruling class forces who submitted to the Washington Consensus (the philosophy which holds inter alia, that developing nations must cut public spending, cut import controls, privatize social services like education and health, ''liberalise'' their trade by opening their markets to western imports wholesale, devalue their currency, and ban subsidies for small farmers etc etc), are the SAME forces rendering the country unable to substantially increase her power generation ability to anything more than subsistence level.

Until you make these linkages, you will forever be in a spin as to ''why'' ''our leaders'' ''cannot'' increase power supply, or ''refuse'' to seriously invest in rail transport, ''refuse'' to seriously invest in public education, ''allow'' corruption to persist, ''neglect'' our major roads, and are ''unable'' to raise industrial productivity.

Until Nigerians begin to ask of intending national leaders this core question ie:

''Where do you stand with regard to the Washington Consensus?''

we, the majority will continue to run from pillar to post, clueless pawns in an international game whose rules, raison det're, and modus operandi, are utterly alien to us, with the likes of Abati and other  pro-western columnists tightening the blindfolds on our collective faces.

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Never understood the brouhahaha of obama not visiting Nigeria myself, It is a bit of common knowledge that USA only do things that they can benefit in some way.

but at the same time, it will be totally wrong to think USA does not want Nigeria to succeed. I mean how? My dear, we are not really helping matters ourselves you know.

Police corruption? Strikes? Bloody thieves hiding under the Politicians nametag to name a few.

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so last year obama was jesus in carnate and now he s satan in carnate? fickle

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The poster has a point. . . but like all such issues its usually much more complicated than that. .

Is America's planned 'domination' the reason we don't have electricity? Or is that the cause of the rampant corruption or inept police?

Lets stop deceiving ourselves. . . .there's always one conspiracy theory or the other out there. . .the fact remains that PDP alone if they are really serious about these things have the power to change things. . .don't waste time thinking aboout conspiracies. . . .

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The west and arabs and even china would never want that to happen.

Thus the only way forward is to have a national leader willing to sacrifise his or her life to make it happen.

I can guarantee you that the west or china or arabs or others would do their best to sabotage it and make sure it does not work.

China got to where it is today partly because of the dictatorial effect of communism that allowed them to kick out the west and stop their agents from infiltrating china.

Most African leaders are merely western pawns hence nothing of concrete in terms of development would ever happen, whether we like it or not . . . Africa would not move forward until we adopt the initial chinese policy of consuming only what we produce . . . so as to restrict the flow of cash to within the african continent.

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The vast majority of Nigerians are rather naive, not only the writers you mentioned.

Th above is the reason why we are an under-developed country made up mainly of under-developed minds.

We  are under neo-colonialism for sure from politics to sports (i.e the craze for European football to the detriment of local football).

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AaaarrrgghH!! The wonderful argument where the one claims that higher GDP implies belief in the greater good of humanity. Roflmao!!

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not per say but look at the Democratic republic of congo

the US supported congos president Mobutu Sese Seko because he said he fighting communism in Africa, and they were interested in Congos natural recources. With support from the US govenment he ruled congo from 1965 – 1997, Robbed that coutry blind even obj wasnt that bad. he was close friends with US presidents,

The west loves the Weak Corrupt leaders like OBJ who SAY Democracy, and hate socialist leaders that actually perform like Chavez. The US has tried many attempts to assassinate Chavez of venzuela because of its oil and because it doesnt ally its self with the US or UK.

Mind you the national opinion of America is different then what the American CIA does

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Evil not literally but philosophically neither of the country actually has Africas interest in mind.

lesser of the two evils - a common saying

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roflmao, the hunt for the most evil of them all.

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i agree with his post, damn it!

do you think everyone has to have a rebuttle?

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I suggest you think of something else because China unlike other countries is a newly industrialized, and it became so on the back of African countries.

Incase you didnt know how that made china one of the Evils

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But @Amaka, isn't it better to educate oneself rather than subscribe to any mesh of nonsense out there just because? China is also a developing country and itself still recieves aid to date. Why is china not indebted to the so call EVIL POWERS? By the way, when did China make the list of EVIL countries? Let me guess, because the chinese have managed themselves to get where they are now, they are now AUTOMATICALLY evil even though they are doing exactly what they have been doing for the past 30 or so years?

Ignorance is NOT bliss!!

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Too bad Nigerian newspapers are owned by corrupt ex governors and fronts for the ones still in government.

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@poster; what a nice post.

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