…. Nations in crisis – Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Yemen, Nigeria omitted.
…. Stable democracies, Nigeria, etc.
Today at the United Nations General Assembly in New York, President Joe Biden of the United States of America, delivered his first speech as the president of US at UNGA.
The speech of any US president at the United Nations General Assembly could be described as “magna carta”. It forms the basis and serves as matters arising for the entire annual session. As the leader of the free world, the US president lays down what he wants the world to be.
He is the only delegate to the global assembly whose speech meaningfully touches the whole world, from north to south and from east to the west. His speech is always anticipated. He is indeed a privileged delegate to the Assembly!
When President Joe Biden delivered his much anticipated speech, he enumerated the troubled spots of the world. He mentioned those having political problems, trying to come up with democratic ideals. And working hard to make it. In this group are Ethiopia, Yemen, etc.
He equally identified those infested with terrorism and insurgency related crisis. In this class according to him, you have Afghanistan, Yemen, etc. He said that although the US has no boots on the ground in Afghanistan, its search light is still focused on the country, warning that terrorists should not make the country its safe haven. He has dished out this important warning before.
The president of US who is truly the landlord of the United Nations premises, did not mention Nigeria in his speech. The reason is that the West thinks that Nigeria is a democracy and has no problem. If it has any, it’s a common challenge associated with the growing of democracy.
They believe that once a country has political structures and elections, democracy has come. This theory is faulty and full of ambiguities. It has not worked in many third world countries where Nigeria belongs. Enthronement and nurturing of democracy should not be disassociated from patriotism.
The claim that it takes time to build democracy is both true and false. It is true because the practice is based on trial and error. Even the older democracies are still learning and making mistakes. It is not true because a solid and beautiful house starts from the foundation.
Yes, Nigeria has democracy but in reality, it is something like democracy. Democracy must be democracy if you want good result. Something like democracy cannot give you democracy. We already know that a solid and beautiful edifice starts from the foundation. If this important factor of good foundation is lacking, it will be difficult to reconstruct the house later when the cracks have become too big and perennial.
Nigeria is a beautiful house with a faulty foundation. The problem has been complicated by each succeeding government whether civilian or military.
The country is run as a private enterprise, a social club. In this private enterprise, many undesirable ideas are promoted. Patriotism is buried and trampled underfoot while religious bigotry and tribal loyalty are encouraged and rewarded.
It is these immoral ideas that have made Nigeria the third most terrorized country in the world after Iraq and Syria, worse than Afghanistan, Yemen, and Ethiopia, the countries mentioned by President Biden in his speech. That Nigeria is worse than the latter group and better than the former ones is based on macro indicators used by the external assessors.
If the indigenous people of Nigeria who bear the brunt of the dysfunctional state are allowed to do the evaluation, Nigeria would easily take the first position. This is easy to understand.
None of those countries thought to be worse than Nigeria has recorded more killings and displacement of its citizens than Nigeria. Insurgency in Nigeria has claimed the lives of more than 50,000 people and displaced over 5 million Nigerian citizens from their homes and land since 2009.
Western leaders usually treat their Nigerian counterparts with kid gloves. It is assumed that this policy will help to correct them and make them good leaders. It doesn’t work. And has not worked for Nigeria.
I think this is why President Joe Biden did not mention Nigeria as one of the countries with political or religious crisis in his speech at the United Nations General Assembly. Nigerian political leaders are not fools. The problem is lack of patriotism. And when you are not patriotic as a leader, the world will see you as a fool.