I received the following via email and it is a response to I think Nigeria Needs a 'Revolution' and also reacts to a post that was on The Afrobeat.
I am curious to know your thoughts on this one...
From 'Wise Old Man'
[I have a] theory of the pedigree of seemingly intractable problems. That applies in what I see as letting our deep (perhaps profound) disappointment fast tracking into disillusionment with Nigeria obstructing our strategic analysis, perspicacity and judgement. In this regard for example, the Prof, whose articulation of the anguish of the Kenya crisis (at The Afro Beat) is captivating and deeply felt, seeks to distinguish the Kenya legacy from that of the African experience by suggesting that Kenya has never been really subject to ethnic conflict. What happened in the same Rift Valley amongst the Kalenjin and the Kikuyu in 1992 when Arap Moi, himself a Kalenjin, was seeking power? That the conflicts never deteriorated into full-blown civil war should not be heralded as a distinguishing accolade. That the ethnic passions and hostilities exist and that they are exploited by politicians to hide their incompetence and betrayal of the will, trust and mandate of the people, especially the poor masses from ALL ethnic groups, that is the issue.
What if, again for example, one argues that the very fact that after all these years, long after Kenya seemed to have achieved full national integration, only suggests that the belief that Kenya had "distinguished itself" from the rest of Africa by its "political stability and democracy" was flawed, perhaps a delusion? This question is important because one of our problems in Africa is that we are so focused on how we look to the outside world than how we really are, that we seek to design our dreams to meet the expectations of others. In the process, we dig our heads in the sand, believing that all is well because others say so, when, more sober and smart, we could use the limited time, energy and resource Africa has trying to truly identify, define, diagnose and solve our fundamental problems. What is the value, in real terms, of being called "an African success story" especially vis-a-vis other African countries? All it means is that when there is a tough problem, as there always will be when genuine efforts are made to improve the condition of man and society, it gets blown up because we have "damaged our image".
Every time the world seems "surprised" by an eruption in Africa, such as event in Rwanda (where Nigeria spent so much resource pleading with the whole world to intervene before things erupted out of control the then Nigerian ambassador to the OAU flew all over the world trying to prevent the genocide -- just as Nigeria also tried so hard to prevent Somalia from erupting, with no credit for doing so), chances are that we spent so much time trying to be the "good boys" rather than undertaking the hard work of being good, that we neglected to pay attention to obvious signals of trouble. In all such cases, our idea of being good was in response to what we thought others wanted us to be, not what our own people demanded and expected of us.
This, I am afraid, is one of fundamental flaws of Africa's development paradigm, one of those that I am trying to focus the bright lights on, so that we can go back to square one and begin to build an Africa that meets the genuine dreams and aspirations of the African people themselves. Ironically, when we do that, not only will we be safe, secure and developed, because our efforts will be respectful of; and responsive to the people's will, but it is only then that others will respect us, because they will know that our own people respect us, honour us and will stand by us whatever the challenge.
- Putting A Nigerian Revolution in Context
- I think Nigeria Needs a Revolution
- My Nigerian "Revolution" meme