Albert Einstein said “I am not a genius. I only stay with problems longer”.A focused psyche is fundamental to all progress and even more so for nations.
Nigeria has been one whimsical experiment after another. Its political structures and leaning are indeterminate. Even when a problem is spotted, it gets a fleetingly perfunctory attention.
Unsolved, it moved on to the next with the same predictable result and often trauma inducing consequences.
When Israel was still fighting for recognition, Golda Meir, foreign minister of a new state would declare on the floor of the United Nations that “Israel will exist with or without peace”
She was able to say this because security was her country’s problem and all experiments were focused on solving it. It has long overcome that.
Since Nigeria began to govern itself, it has not had a national policy beyond slogans and corresponding waste like Olusegun Obasajo’s Operation Feed the Nation. Shehu Shagari’s “Green Revolution ,General Mohammadu Buhari’s “War Against Indiscipline. Others would include Ibrahim Babangida’s SAP, Abacha’s nothing and resting with General Abdusalam who arranged a democracy for Nigeria.
One would have expected that self rule that democracy means, essentially, would set the tone for a national discourse and thus a truly national policy. It did not.
The reason is partly because it does not know why it exists and who it really is. But mainly because it is a group of too many voices. It has thus not been able to set a national agenda.
Instead, citizens found that they could be rich beyond the soldiers that ruled them. No discussions about the nation but how to share “federal money”
Because Nigeria is not a nation in cultural and linguistic terms, it is not able to call up itself to emergencies.
Lest, it was obvious that Nigeria was going to hurt as early as June 2013 when America began to divest from Nigeria’s oil.
Its people were still too fractured and power drunk to see the train coming.
It was when it needed a national emergency that it put more pins in the balloon. The APC would be formed because “Jonathan and his men” were taking all the money.
So power must be yanked from the PDP. And it happened but not before oil, its only source of income, became common.
Nigeria’s president, Mohammadu Buhari, sadly ,is not able to respond to the sheer nightmare that fell on his lap. Coming to power without a clear economic plan, Nigeria has continued to grope in the dark, dangerously flying blind. Its vice president, Yemi Osibanjo, a former lecturer, doesn nothing but give lectures. Mostly lectures without research.
Being a nation that is averse to emergencies, it is lost as to what to do next. Goodwin Emefiele, CBN governor ,for instance, is proposing that “Nigerian banks will need to be recapitalized “. Mr Emefiele has been at the post for more than 4 years. Why the sudden brainwave now? Well, again, a lack of policy.
Under Mr Emefiele, more than five banks died. His latest experiment will kill more banks.
Yemi Osibanjo has just come back from America on a trip which Nigeria’s propaganda machine described as ” to bring economic goodies “. Mr Osibanjo only gave more lectures in New York. Critics of the government are at his throat for ” selling lies”. And so, Nigerians will remain will still “stagnate” ,to use an IMF phrase it coined for Nigeria in February. I think that it will get worse.
Being a nation at war with itself, the government would not trust others for possible solutions. It is the reason that after nearly one month into another term, the government doesn’t have a cabinet.
The hit or (and often) miss approach it uses is second nature. I doubt if this addiction to experimenting will wear off any time soon.
It is the reason the nation has not been able to diagnose itself properly in the first place. That would mean that it is just in grueling pains but has no idea what is wrong.