Have We Really Gained Independence? By Ogunjimi James Taiwo
“…the NGF was based on the United States of America, USA’s constitution…the committee had told us that they just copied the American Governors’ Forum constitution with very little amendment.” – Jonah Jang, NGF Faction Chairman
I was reading through a recent interview granted by a factional Chairman of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau state to the National Mirror, and what I read was disheartening. Perhaps he is ignorant of what his comment means.
He said: “…the NGF was based on the United States of America, USA’s constitution…the committee had told us that they just copied the American Governors’ Forum constitution with very little amendment.”
To me and to every right-thinking Nigerian, the questions that should be on our lips are: Are we not mature enough as a nation to make our own rules? At 53, should we still have to copy from other nations? At 53, should we still have to grovel at the feet of other nations? At 53 and with the number of SANs that we’ve produced, are we not ‘learned’ enough to draft our own constitutions? At 53 and with our false claim of independence, should we still run after other nations like dogs and have their laws shoved down our throats?
When we say it that the Nigerian government is a pawn of western nations, some people are prepared to go to war on it. That is why the US will ask Nigeria to either implement this policy or that policy or risk having some diplomatic ties severed. That is why they want us to legalise homosexuality against the wish of common Nigerians. That is why the UK can slam a £3000 bond on Nigerians before entry and our government can only grope and beg to have it stopped. That is why we can all be sad that President Obama has cancelled his trip to Nigeria, as if his coming will suddenly alleviate poverty in the country and provide jobs for the countless unemployed youths in the country. That is why we need the US to tell us that the 2011 elections were free and fair for us to believe it. That is why they can tell us that our union as a nation won’t exceed 2015 and we’re running helter skelter.
Whoever said Nigeria had gained independence must be one of the funniest comedians and this must be his funniest joke ever. We are not yet free; economically, we are still in chains. Democratically, we remain as unshackled as ever. We claim to be free, yet at the slightest sign of trouble, our leaders run to their imperialist masters to grovel in the dust. When it comes to policy implementation, our leaders are slaves of the IMF; they prefer a pat at the back from IMF than a full embrace from Nigerians.
The very concept of independence is an illusion in Nigeria; we are not yet independent as a nation, and we can never be as long as our leaders continue to bow their knees in order to get crumbs from their imperialist masters.
Nigerians must collectively demand for a Nigeria of Nigerians, a Nigeria that makes policies to favour Nigerians. A Nigeria that caters for the need of Nigerians, a Nigeria, whose leaders are answerable to Nigerians and not to some western masters, a Nigeria where the voice of Nigerians count. A Nigeria that makes its own laws; where the people are the masters and the elected officials are truly the servants.
God bless Nigerians!
Ogunjimi James Taiwo
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