Africa Is Leaving Nigeria Behind!

By Peter Claver Oparah

With mouth agape, a friend of mine, on a first visit to Ghana, narrated how efficient the country works and how far behind we have been left as a nation. On another occasion, he was with a top Ghanaian player in the Nigerian private sector and the story was how perfectly efficient sectors that fumble and wobble in Nigeria work so well in Ghana.

Even as there was this agreement that Ghana is a smaller country, there was no confusing the fact that she had managed to get her acts together and today, the people of Ghana are collectively enjoying the pay off from a conscious effort to get things right. My friend was even awed that Ghanaians ride big cars and live in well furnished houses and all and his Ghanaian friend was beaming with suppressed satisfaction at such patronizing remarks about his country.

For me, I was in Ghana in March 1998, at the height of the Abacha tyranny. I sneaked into Ghana from the land borders on a Democracy and Human Rights Seminar in Ghana, together with some other notable pro democracy and human rights activists like the late Chima Ubani, Dr. Udenta O. Udenta, Tony Iyare, Comfort Idika, Jiti Ogunye, and many other fighters against the crude Abacha regime. We stayed one week in Ghana and after we came back, the late Wada Nas, that irrepressible propagandist to Sani Abacha alleged that he ‘uncovered’ a plot, hatched in Ghana, by Nigerian activists to overthrow the Abacha government. He went further to allege that the plot was hatched in a hotel in Ghana and all other bla, bla, but we knew he was talking of our seminar that merely centered on advancing human rights and democratic practices in Nigeria and was sponsored by the National Endowment for Democracy.

I found rhythm in the glee my friend demonstrated as he talked about Ghana, where attention of investors and foreigners to West Africa have shifted to and which shows resounding signs of growth in the midst of the bleak economic profile the region was facing. I had heard such enlivening stories about Botswana, Angola and (you can’t believe it) Equatorial Guinea and as I heard one encouraging story after another of sprouting African oasis of hope, my heart skips a bit about the floundering fortune of our dear country, Nigeria; a land so richly blessed yet so horribly afflicted by derelict leadership to the extent that it has become a stuff in contradiction and a looming negative travel advisory. My fear is that we may never get to witness how a country gets to be well governed in our lifetime, given the way out leadership is going and that is a certain death sentence for a country and its inhabitants. We may end up with an amenable leviathan that has defied all solutions, if nothing drastic is done to arrest the present predilection to disaster our leaders have busied themselves charting and this is a clear and present danger that lurks over the entire length and breadth of Nigeria. And talking about drastic measures, not a few people, most of them Nigerians, believe that Ghana’s reversal from uppity decay and moral crassness was prosecuted with the revolutionary action of Jerry Rawlings who sent a very clear message to future leaders when he tied three former heads of state at the stake and shot them for corruption. Not a few Nigerians believe that with the unrepentant manner Nigerian leaders are conducting themselves on the issue of corruption, we need the Ghanaian template to rescue Nigeria from certain perdition but this is a discourse for another day.

Apart from the lip service we pay the issue of fighting corruption; we have not made any conscious effort to tackle this decibel. It has gotten to the stage where corruption is the only thing that thrives in Nigeria today and sadly governance is conducted in a manner that solidifies this stranglehold. At every level of government there is this audacious effort to ensure that the borders of corruption are widened to assume a pervasive influence over every aspect of Nigerian life and governance. One is assaulted at every corner by the putrefying stench of corruption so much so that nothing is spared of the corrosive effects of this pandemic. And official corruption, with its gargantuan size and its multiplier effects ranks foremost in the many variants of this decibel that afflict our country. Nigeria’s formal sector is firmly anchored on corruption such that the country has no prospect with the astronomical way corruption is being grown in Nigeria. The culture of corruption is the reason why, in utter disregard with our economic prospects, the country still insists on running a bloated government, a padded reward system that takes care of the gluttonous appetite of those in government.

But lest we digress from our point of discussion. Time was when it was apt to say that the world is leaving Nigeria behind. Today, the reality is that Africa is leaving Nigeria behind and this is a fearful scenario that should pinch any serious people and government to action. We are doomed to repeating the same old, dawdy, corrupt ways of doing things and we don’t seem to be bothered that these return unending strings of dreary results that rather exacerbate the socio-economic problems of Nigeria, widen the gloom in the hand, provoke citizens to such deadly expression of disillusionment as we have seen in various forms and guises all over the country.  The bottomline to the country’s many problems is corruption and any attempt to recover the mileage we have wasted in the rudderless maze of the last fifty years must start by tackling corruption, not as a road show but in such decisive way as to discourage prospective generation of leaders from having their hands permanently glued in the public till. Perhaps, because we have not been decisive enough to do this, most Nigerians have seen no road outside the purview of revolution.

In essence then, Nigeria and Nigerians must do something else we will soon be loners on the paths of decay. The leadership must wean itself of this pervasive inclination to enrich its members and lead the citizenry on the paths of uprightness. The nation must do something radical about corruption for if we fail to do so, that pestilence will do us in sooner than expected. The red lights are on and the signal are that Africa, yes Africa, is leaving Nigeria in the quest for development and this certainly is the very nadir we can get as a nation. Something must certainly give or else, we are permanently doomed as a nation.

 

Peter Claver Oparah.

Ikeja, Lagos.

E-mail: peterclaver2000@yahoo.com

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Africa leaving Nigeria behind. reply

I agree 100% wit submission of peter oparah.my only addition is on highly corrupt,inept,purposeless National ASS dat is supposed 2 play policing role 2 d executive but instead surpased d later in d act of LOOTING irrespective of the parties they rep.offices of 1st ladies control more funds dan local govts."cleaning" must start 4rm LEGISLATURE.

fool

such a big fool u are. u better educate yourself and stop thinking Nigeria is good. Naija is finished

The Free-Masonic Globalist HARSH & SOFT Wars Against Nigeria -4

Just the same as they did and still do to the peoples of Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yaman, etc., who all had been air-stricken, with bombs and opium-like drug-vapours. So that the internal down-sliding states of destructive chaos go on and on in them. These 'States-Erasing-States' are thought to be, by those Satan-Worshipers, as roads-opening for them to reach : a Full Declaration and a Complete Realization of Their Humans-Killing and Humans-Enslaving "Global State". The Pre-Planned And Pre-Set Date given for that World-Wide Catastrophe by some researchers is very near : 1 - 1 - 2013 !!!!

The Free-Masonic Globalist HARSH & SOFT Wars Against Nigeria -3

THE DECEIVED AND MANIPULATED PEOPLES OF NIGERIA,
BEHOLD and BEWARE : With both kinds of Secret Wars, the Harsh and the Soft, The Free-Masonic Globalists are AIMING AND EXECUTING at setting you "THE DECEIVED AND MANIPULATED PEOPLES OF NIGERIA" to be on the pull and on your toes, and battling against each other, and then you all reach their Goal-State of "Creative Chaos", which is Creative of CHAOS, and then DETERIORATION, and then COLLAPSE.

The Free-Masonic Globalist HARSH & SOFT Wars Against Nigeria -2

THE DECEIVED AND MANIPULATED PEOPLES OF NIGERIA,
EXPECT THAT YOU FIND : The Same Overly Criminal "Globalist" Party, of the Free-Masonic Globe-Ruling-Claimers, that is waging the HARSH-WAR-OF-BULLETS-AND-BOMBS, ON YOU PEOPLES OF NIGERIA, is the very same Horrible Terrible Party, that is 'ORDER-ing' your president and your government to threaten and strike you by the Other SOFT-WAR-OF-ECONOMY, of raising petrol prices to 'lunatic' proportions, and keeping them so.

The Free-Masonic Globalist HARSH & SOFT Wars Against Nigeria -2

THE DECEIVED AND MANIPULATED PEOPLES OF NIGERIA,
EXPECT THAT YOU FIND : The Same Overly Criminal "Globalist" Party, of the Free-Masonic Globe-Ruling-Claimers, that is waging the HARSH-WAR-OF-BULLETS-AND-BOMBS, ON YOU PEOPLES OF NIGERIA, is the very same Horrible Terrible Party, that is 'ORDER-ing' your president and your government to threaten and strike you by the Other SOFT-WAR-OF-ECONOMY, of raising petrol prices to 'lunatic' proportions, and keeping them so.

Re - Africa is leaving Nigeria behind.

Well said tundemash. Unfortunately, those of us that foresaw what the outcome of their voting ''GEJ and not PDP'' will be, are now suffering with the idiots ruled by fools.

Re - Africa is leaving Nigeria behind.

Well said tundemash. Unfortunately, those of us that foresaw what the outcome of their voting ''GEJ and not PDP'' will be, are now suffering with the idiots ruled by fools.

Idiot will u sharrrap dia! If

Idiot will u sharrrap dia! If our beloved 9ja has oil and gas, ehen? as so what? we have skyscrapers, ehen?, so bloody what? Does it cover the fact that corruption is the blood running in the vein of Nigeria. Places like Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Qatar, can't you see how far they've gone with their oil and gas. Be deceiving yourself that 9ja is d giant of Africa, who dash una? Afica has woken up o!, but for 9ja to catch up, we need a stubborn leader with a Jerry Rawlings attitude, to bring all corrupt leaders in all Parastatals of the government, their cronies (their children, concubines, wives in 9ja and in diaspora) down to the local govt level, BEFORE THE FIRING SQUAD, in order to start the healing of Nigeria from the terminal disease of corruption. It is only then that Nigeria can catch up. You hia?

Stop this senseless comparison

Which Ghana is this guy talking about? please look for a more reasonable example to give,the only FDI that comes into Ghana is stolen money from Nigeria,the country has done well to build a police department that respects human rights,they have also done well in the provision of electricity but this is due to the fact that Ghana has nothing that will consume energy,with less than 1400MW production,this is hardly a story of efficiency.Nigeria is down but not to the extent of being compared with Ghana.

Vote wisely next time not for stupid reasons

The only change I expect from ordinary Nigerians next time is to vote based on performance and NOT ETHNICITY, RELIGION or GOODLUCK. Those are silly stupid reasons. Vote those who have antecedents and would not be afraid to act !!!!!!!! PLEASSSSEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Meanwhile you will all suffer for your foolishness for the next 4 years for voting "GEJ and not PDP". Next time shine your eyes !

@Amaimo Ward @

@Amaimo Ward
@ Love
Apparently you two belong to the "I voted GEJ but not PDP" crowd but you are two embarrassed to admit it here now.

You want the change to start with ordinary Nigerians who are even begging to be paid N18k/month while your useless senators claim N60m/quarter ... seriously are u joking ?

You brag about Ghana now, but do u know the change started at the top in Ghana .. when the head is rotten, there is no hope for the rest of the body, ordinary Nigerians have suffered enough, it is your yeye President who needs to wake up from his slumber and for once be seen to act if not Big Brother (Boko Haram) is coming for him.

What an educated fool some

What an educated fool some people can be. imagine we import oil despite being one of the world's best exporter of crude oil? how can some one be boasting of sky scrapers in lagos when lagos is dominated wit unemployd graduates. some nigerians could be so blind. look at the poverty level and education standard in the country;"very detrimental" wait o, are u a nigerian u praisin 9ja. we need to grow. flush corupt leaders and nigerians would be normal again

What you guys don't

What you guys don't understand is that Eme-Ama is just making mockery of the project called NIGERIA. Common guys look at his comment from another angle and you will definitely understand his words. The writer made valid points that are serious but Eme-Ama brought out the lighter part of this project.

DO WE HAVE THIS NONSENSE IN GHANA?

The Boko Haram menace has taken a dramatic twist with its call on all Muslims in Nigeria to stay away from Christians, Security Agents, Government institutions and functions or face death. It maintained that since the present Federal Government is not Islamic, every employee is considered an infidel marked for elimination. This came on the heels of reports that the group just stormed the divisional police headquarters in Toro Local Government area of Bauchi state, carting away arms... Niger Deltans wake up-the honey-moon is over! Our oil is not for boko haram and Nigeria

@ KS, Did you read this

@ KS, Did you read this beautiful article at all? The writer said of how he fought the Abacha regime and went on to mention names of well known Nigerian freedom fighters with whom he fought. I don't know the writer but I have read many of his progressive articles. That he still has the decency to write this beautiful piece when others are busy enjoying the spoil of office shows he is still neck deep in the fight for a better Nigeria. Now, KS, what is your own contribution or is it to speak down on those that are fighting for change in Nigeria. Well done Mr. Opara, this is one of the most beautiful article I have read in recent times. May your ink never dry.

@KS I support your opinion,

@KS I support your opinion, Nigerians has a lot of media houses, churches abroad which showcases our culture, Nollywood etc. A lot of talking, we need to start doing something. Corruption can never be wiped out but can be reduced to the lowest manageable level. The problem is not only politicians but the entire citizenry. Former Information Minister Dora Akunyili came up with rebranding project but people dragged it under the mud. What is happening with EFCC today?. We should thank God for media giant like SR for exposing a lot of thing that the local media refused to talk about. We complain of population all the time any issue of development in smaller countries. Look at Brazil, China, India etc with all the population explosion and still the were able to achieve. We need leaders with sincerity and credibility to move Nigeria forward.

@tundemash

@tundemash thank u very much for that piece........the likes of KS dont know how to go about tackling problems.

Wonderful

@Eme Ama....i dont believe this ....where are u from.......i dont get it......ur indices are weird.........peace in nigeria?

Re: Africa Is Leaving Nigeria Behind!

Mr Oparah, don't worry your head at all. The solution is here at last - Boko Haram. They would soon get to Aso Rock. They're not taking prisoners, which is quite fitting.

MY COUNTRY

THANK YOU FOR YR RESPONSE. THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO LASH NIGERIA AND THE PEOPLE AND THE RULERS. THE CHANGE OR CHANGES MUST START FROM YOU AND I, THE MAN AND WOMAN ON THE STREET. LET US STOP ASKING HOW THE LEADERS CAN TURN THE COUNTRY AROUND. THE FACT IS THAT THEY NEED HELP AS TO HOW TO MAKE THAT TURN SO, WHY DON'T WE START BY SHOWING A SIMPLE LOVE TO OUR FELLOW CITIZENS WHO ARE LESS PRIVILLEGED. MR WRITER, HOW MANY OF YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE YOU HELPED?, HOW ABOUT STOPPING THE LITTLE LIES YOU TELL IN YOUR OFFICE TO GET THE MONEY YOU DID NOT WORK FOR!, HOW MANY TIMES DID YOU SHOW LOVE TO YOUR WIFE AND KIDS IF YOU HAVE THEM, AND HOW MANY LIES HAVE YOU TOLD FOR THAT SMALL CONTRACT? SO YOU CAN SEE THAT WE MUST START FROM THE BASICS. THE GOVT IS BAD AGREED BUT ALL OF US HAVE TO MAKE A CONSCIOUS EFFORT(S) TO GET OUT COUNTRY BACK ON TRACK. ACTION IS TRULY WHAT IS REQUIRED AND LESS TALK.

@Eme Ama

What planet do you live on? And if you live on earth, and in particular, Nigeria, what are you smoking?
This Okpara guy has made valid points in his article and you reply with delusions. Chei! Chineke zo wa kwa gi.

Group of Fools

This write has said it all you can chastise him all you want, he spoke the truth even though it's bitter. The irony is majority of Nigerians still walk around with swagger not realising that the world is laughing at their collective stupidity. Just imaging what the chinese expats all over Nigeria talk about when there's no Nigerian in the room. We have failed, and how exactly would you fix a problem you don't realize exists. The "I voted for GEJ not PDP" group are the most stupid people in the land. I for laugh but e no funny.

N.a lie! We have oil, we are giant of africa, bigger than Somali

Who told this man that Africa is leaving Nigeria behind? Are you a Biafra rebel? After all, we have oil and gas in abundant in Nigeria. We have peace, such that we rather send our troops to go and keep peace in other African countries; nothing is disrupting us from taping our oil money, we have settled those delta MEND guys who were angry before; we import our refined petroleum products, we import our generators: do Somalians have money like us to import those things?. Nigerians are better than Somalians, at least; unlike in Somalia there is no famine in Nigeria, no el-shabab Islamic group that controls most of our dear country, Nigeria. Are you disturbed by those Boko Haram people? Don't be a coward, they are just a tiny group of people without any religious convinction which is backed by a popular support. So we shall send them packing any time from now. Fiam, we shall finish them up. Do you compare us with Ghana, a country with a very small population? We are more than 150 million in Nigeria, look at our neighbours, do they have sky scrappers like we have them in Lagos? No. Why then do you panic? We are ahead of other African countrie.

The author's role in Nigerian struggle.

His contribution is this write up, he took his time to write the master piece and is a way of creating the sense of awareness amongst the ingnorants like you. How else do you want the action to start? A step is the begining of a million mile journey. Fool.

Africa left Nigeria (the

Africa left Nigeria (the "giant foul")behind years ago. Nigeria became the butt of jokes at every forum,after the rest of Africa spearheaded by south Africa realized they can not seat back and allow moron's lead them astray. When you have the likes of : "$1billion" Bankole, "golfcourse" Mark, 007 dumbo "Phd" GEJ, "SAP Affair"Babangida, "heroin head" Tinubu, "f9 parallel waec cert forger" Andy Uba, "empty wrapper/skirt 2.3gpa Architect" Diezani, "humpty dumpty" Ayim,"Baba Iyabo" OBJ....et al as "our" leaders. We can write and cry ourselves till we are hoarse. The horizon remains clouded with thick tissues of corruption that will require a massive "heart attack" to rescue this forsaken nation. What makes you think little Liberia will not eventually overrun Nigeria.

stop reading article upside down

@KS
What do u expect the author of this article to do ? Is he the mumu President you foolishly voted into power to do nothing ?
Is the author to fix road, electricity, hospital and provide security ?
I think aside corruption, nigeria's next problem is illiteracy as exemplified by you and others who vted "GEJ but not PDP".

YOU WROTE: "In essence then,

YOU WROTE:

"In essence then, Nigeria and Nigerians must do something else we will soon be loners on the paths of decay".

SO LETS START FROM YOU. WHAT HAVE U DONE? IT IS NOT JUST ENOUGH ANYMORE FOR NIGERIANS TO TALK, TALK IS CHEAP!! ACTION IS REQUIRED!! NEXT TIME YOU WRITE UR PIECE, ALSO TELL US WHAT ACTION U HAVE TAKEN (OR ABOUT TO TAKE)!!