The Rape Of A State And A Continent


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The Rape Of A State And A Continent




Farouk Martins, Omo Aresa



October 26, 2006



If you rape or defile a State or a Continent once, the sin is on you. We all agreed that Africa was raped once by outsiders and calls are made for atonement and repatriation. A second rape on the same people calls the resolve of the victims into question; especially if the second rapists are from within driving out their people not in slave ships but by any other means. How many people want to listen to the predicament we bring onto ourselves as these same people rule us again and again?


A state of emergency was declared in Ekiti and the President called on a former military governor to the rescue. The same was done in Plateau State and fear is spreading about which State is next. Anambra resisted it with blood and might of their people once; do they have to do it again and again? The last time we had a civilian administrator, Dr. Majekodunmi, in a state of emergency was in the old Western Region. Since then, we have tapped into military emergency each time we can not resolve our differences.


It is very difficult to be an angel of principle in the midst of dare devils. Most of us wanted unruly Fayose out based on principle. Accepted that the House messed it up, by suspending the Chief Justice who was no saint either for making sure he had appointed those who would retain the Governor. And they did it in a blink of an eye. The President, relying on his military instinct and training, he used chaos of three competing Governors in the same State to declare state of emergency. This is not Tafawa Balewa Government.


Africa is still in trouble and that trouble starts from Nigeria that is made up of the majority of Africans. The elite class delivered us from the colonialists until they lost control to the military pretending to be the “Messiah”, our rescuer. We have not regained our balance since then. Is there something omnificent in the military that is lacking in the rest of us? They claim superior knowledge of our inner needs and wants, under the gun.


The consequences are obvious. It is not all their victims who prey on others to complete that vicious circle, as some reject that label and move on in their lives to become shields for others. Nigerians can not complain of rape by insiders just because they enjoy the crumbs that trickled down from their kin. If you want to generate debate, ask Nigerians whether to prosecute a big time thief, a far cry from whether to torture or prosecute, as the western world face their own threat.


Nigeria is a Country of able, educated and civilized group of people. We have been called upon to display our competence in other African countries as native professionals were still being grown. Our educated folks are respected and noted outside our own Continent. Our soldiers have performed exceptional well since World War 1 and our peace keeping effort is second to none in the world as we venture into places the world powers shrieked and recoiled from.


Why can’t we display the same competence at home? We do not respect our place in the division of labor. The military has faked political wizardry and some educated folks see military as the quickest way to the treasury to gain political power resulting in rape of our Continent and individual States. The excuse is that it is always the “bloody” civilians that invited the military and created a vacuum. What due process is there in Emergency law?


United States, a country in a newly “discovered” continent, junior to us in age or civilized ways of life did not leave a vacuum or invite the military when Presidency was in dispute because Al Gore won majority of the popular votes while Baby Bush won the electoral votes in 2000, by laid down rules. When Russia was berated for their style of democracy, they heckled the one in USA where the Supreme Court appointed the president. Well, it happened in Nigeria too in 1979 interpretation of two third of a State!


Nigeria is known for importing what we have into the Country: like “technical” brains, adulterated oil, and lace; exporting what we do not have to other countries: democracy, rule of law and order. Democracy itself is in the eye of the beholder. No matter what form of government we adopt, Nigerians will indigenize it from pussy cat into lioness.


The plight of African countries remind me of the story of biblical Israel and Egypt when Moses was blamed for subjecting well fed comfortable slaves to the yoke of crossing the Red Sea in the name of freedom. The house Negroes blamed original black abolitionist for subjecting them to misery in the process of regaining freedom. Yet the fair skins amongst them were sold and exchange as commodities by their own fathers. Arguments of Booker T Washington, W.E.B Du Bois and Marcus Garvey of social or economic freedom first still persist until today. We, can not free ourselves from kleptomaniacs!


A similar argument dividing Nigerians today is how to skin a cat, make serious examples out of looters and curb corruption. While the so called “civilized world” agreed on how to fight the greatest threat to their way of life, Nigerians are yet to reach consensus on how to deal with those who stifle creative thinking because of easy money. They raise hell, red flag, due process, coup, and impose emergency powers if they can’t have their ways.


Trillions of naira that could have been used to develop individual States, Nigeria and the rest of Africa have been stolen and taken out of Africa, while poor Africans who risked their life crossing the desert have accepted their fate as economic refugees outside the Continent. They try to replace stolen billions of dollars by providing needed succor to relatives at home. Africans say you can not throw water into a basket and expect it hold.


I read about the Ghanaian minister who was fired for sending a hundred thousand dollars to a girlfriend who had a baby for him outside Africa. Come to Nigeria, people who have never worked for a dollar will ask you, what the hell is a million?  It can not feed the dog. But ask them how much they pay their workers, you will be surprised. 


We behave as if the resources belong to us alone in Nigeria. Where will southern part of Africa be today if Kwame Nkrumah, Tafawa Balewa, Zik and Awo had not supported their freedom fighters and educated their children? Until we open our mouth, who cares what part of Africa, Europe or Americas we come from?


Rape is rape by any form to any people from within or from outside the Continent of Africa. Until we learn how to shut our legs by closing loopholes in the law, play by the rules, all our resources in oil, gold, diamond and most important, creative thinking will evaporate before our children get hold any.



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