Fredrick Nwabufo: Nigeria at 60: The colonialists by no means left – they’re Nigerian politicians

The British colonialists chucked the ability console to the aborigines of Nigeria in 1960. Let me rephrase that. The British prowlers tossed energy into the palm of native champions and ‘’non-functionally’’ exited the dais earlier than the shut of 1960. However these infiltrators didn’t go together with the evils and vices of their craft. The perils of colonialism remained. So, lengthy after they’re gone, the colonial building nonetheless stands sturdy.

The political structure the British handed to Nigeria was fatally flawed. It was designed to perpetuate strife and disharmony. The Nigerian anatomy was intentionally contaminated. The interlopers’ emulsion of disparate teams and their indulgence with a bit of the nation amongst others laid the pipeline for the unceasing ethnic and spiritual bursts.

The Nigerian nuptial is an sad one. We want not fake about it. There could also be no glad ending on this matrimony. The association is a really inconvenient one — however that doesn’t presuppose we intestine the entity and depart its carcass. We should work at it. The disingenuity of the British has introduced us collectively, and we’ve come distant from residence; so we should make this home a house.

In a letter printed within the Instances of London in 1998, Peter Smithers, parliamentary personal secretary to the minister of state and the secretary of state within the colonial workplace (1952-59), admitted to the British error of forcibly conscripting completely different ethnic teams into one crucible of colonial acquisitiveness.

The colonial officer wrote: ‘’Through the negotiations for the independence of Nigeria, the view of the secretary of state at the moment, with which I agreed, was that in Nigeria we should always try to put collectively a big and highly effective state with ample materials assets, which might play a number one half within the affairs of the continent and of the world. This was enticing but it surely concerned forcing a number of completely different ethnic and cultural teams right into a single political construction.

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‘’The negotiations have been advanced and really troublesome, the chief drawback as I keep in mind relating, considerably, to the management of the police and the navy. Within the retrospect of 40 years, it’s clear that this was a grave mistake which has value many lives and can most likely proceed to take action. It might have been higher to ascertain smaller states in a free-trade space. ‘’

Once more, we can’t low cost the truth that our union is an emulsive one – like water and oil – however with a disciplined management, which we at present lack and appear to all the time have a brief provide of, we will make a congruent substance from this combination.

Colonialism thrived on a bipod – impunity and corruption. The colonialists made and enforced legal guidelines to guard themselves from the natives. Dissent in opposition to the colonial administration and the ‘’Queendom’’ was crushed, residents garrisoned and protests quashed. The system was corrupt. The British expropriated the assets of Nigeria and left little or nothing for the nation in phrases income. Communities which resisted the trespassers have been vanquished and had their wealth plundered. The empire subsisted on the toil and well-being of Nigerians.

However 60 years after the Union Jack was lowered, what has modified? The legal defamation legislation which the British used to hound the press and suppress free speech remains to be a lot potent in our physique of canons at present. Brokers of the present authorities and a few governors have exploited this colonial relic to clamp down on various voices.

Omoyele Sowore, activist and convener of RevolutionNow motion, was incarcerated and charged with legal defamation and terrorism for calling for a mass motion in opposition to a bumbling authorities. Two journalists — the editor of Large Pen Nigeria, Joe Ogbodu, and a reporter for the Nationwide Mirror newspaper, Prince Amour Udemude – have been detained and charged with legal defamation in October 2019 in Delta. Kufre Carter, one other journalist, was charged below the colonial gag legislation in Could 2020 by the Akwa Ibom state authorities.

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At the moment, there are two payments – hate speech and anti-social media laws — on the nationwide meeting in search of to regiment residents and garrison public opinion. Individuals who ought to naturally be the voice of residents are pursuing legal guidelines to protect themselves from public criticism and scrutiny whereas federal and state governments are worsening the yoke of their residents with out commensurate efficiency in governance.

The British looted Nigeria to fatten their nation, however Nigerian politicians are looting Nigeria to satiate their greed. The British colonialists did it for nation; Nigerian politicians are doing it for his or her bellies and people of their cronies, household and hangers-on. Whereas the motion of the British usurpers could be argued to be patriotism — love for his or her nation – that of Nigerian politicians is treason — as a result of there’s completely no justification for robbing your personal individuals.

Impunity and corruption, which reigned below British colonialism, are ensconced solidly in Nigeria’s cosmology at present, and are even thought-about as start-up packages for elitism below Nigeria’s ‘’elite colonialism’’.

So, what’s the distinction between the British colonialists and our ‘’elite colonialists’’. I believe our personal colonialists are a a lot harmful breed. They’re destroying their very own nation out of avarice, and smuggling the loot again into the nation of our ex-overlords. Loopy!

Nicely, it’s 60 years since our independence from the British, and for many Nigerians; it has been 60 years below elite colonial rule. We want independence.

Fredrick Nwabufo is a author and journalist

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