In the 1800s western nations began to spread their tennacles to the America’s , Asia and Africa. Precipitated by mercantilism, it was believed that the only way to increase power and thus secure dominance in world politics was by getting wealth (measured by the amount of gold available in the nation’s reserves), which they believed they could, by taking foreign territories. For one, these territories would be new market where they could sell the excesses that had been produced by their industries which their local and regional markets could not absorb. Also, they were sources of readily available natural resource that was needed to put into the production process back home.
Beginning from the slave trade, through the ‘legitimate’ trade, the era of colonisation and struggle for independence and even up till date, Africa has experienced and still is experiencing an unequal relationship with the West. This feature of inequality present in the international politico – economic system have been imported into its (Africa’s) individual entities and is now a dominant local dynamic.
The Berlin conference of 1884 was a gathering of western nations to decide the fate of Africa without acknowledgement of the need for Africans to be included in such crucial meeting that will decide their fate. Following the conference, with evidence of effective occupation, the colonial creation, Nigeria, was brought into being by the British. Cultures that were different, although not necessarily allien, were compressed; Different tribes and nations, some of which had no prior contact, were lumped together to form a single political enclave. Years after, when it was realised that their physical presence was no longer required to siphon the essence of this entity, her independence was granted.
Nigerians took over the administration of this dysfunctional being. Learning well from their predecessor, the ruling class began to restrict the national cake from the grip of ‘the others’ leading to the emergence of class within Nigeria.
There exist a rich-poor; us – them; masses – leaders divide. This divide is replicate of Karl Marx’s perception of the society which sees class division as the central theme within every society. A division between the bourgeoisie class ( owners of the means of production) and the proletariat (labourers).
The epilectic democracy that exist within Nigeria’s boundary is a mockery of the western model which places primacy on ‘freedom’ in all its spheres; be it social, political and economic. To the contrary, Nigeria’s democracy is a limitation. The leaders daily connive with foreign companies/governments to rob Nigeria of her wealth, in the process they strip ‘the labourers’ of opportunities they may have to line their lean pockets with wealth. The people who live amidst wealth (oil) suffer because of the un-environmental friendly practises of these multinationals in sync with the sharp practises of our government officials.
Even worse is the new structure of exploitation. The irony being that nations you would have considered ’emerging’ years ago are now the ones exploiting Nigeria. They enter into bilateral relations, siphone Nigeria’s raw material but most of all take advantage of her market. Counterfeit products are sold out to the masses who are easily excited to purchase a close replica to higher end products (only accessible by the rich) in a society that segregates against its own.
Oh Nigeria! How a giant has fallen!
I have heard of the times when Nigeria was an America; where neighbours relocated enmass because of the high standard of living; a time when our currency could out value today’s number one currency. These days may be in our past but the future is our canvass. Lets paint what we want to see.
You want beautiful? Great? Awesome? Then lets paint it. With our mouths, our voice, our actions and inactions. A new Nigeria!