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Published On: Sun, Aug 10th, 2014

The mindset we do not possess

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By Abdullahi Musa

There was this news item: US to send Ebola drug to Africa for test. Do you find it strange? So far it is West African countries that are suffering from the Ebola scourge. But it is not anyone of them that is offering the drug to others. It is another country, oceans apart’ that makes it its business to find cure for Ebola.

There is this near-divine admission that the back race as a people, are there to be catered for. It is as if since after colonization none of us received western education. Ironically, and unknown to me, an Ebola specialist, Maurice Iwu, was one who infected Nigeria with the fraudulent election virus. The nation had no need for him as researcher, but had need for him as election umpire. He performed disastrously.

Why is it that we are comfortable to remain unchallenged? We thrive and do well as traders; scouring the world for all manufactured goods, the handiwork of others. But do not blame the traders. That is what they understand. The Northerners who were incarcerated in Abia were doing what they knew best: trading. But should we all be traders? The real culprits are people like me, the reader, and all others who claimed to have received western education. Enclosed in their Ivory Tower, African academics keep in churning papers. But to revert to pidgin: na paper we go chop!

WTO notwithstanding, sanity demands that you are able to solve the challenges life throws at you. Ebola is one such challenge. But in front of it, and of many more to come, we remain helpless. It is the duty of leaders to direct the energy and intellect of the citizens to desirable goals. In their own way they do: they direct all who under investigation for corruption to seek shelter under the umbrella of the party.

Our challenges are not limited to the scientific arena alone. Our politics is more catastrophic. For instance, Nigeria is being invaded, and the insurgents are gaining territory in the North East. But so comfortable is the ruling party, that it is directing its energy to impeaching Governors of the opposition.

America has resumed airstrikes in Iraq. The French went to Mali to enthrone a government they want. They also went to, was it CAR? The mindset of Western powers is interventionism. Africans and now Arabs are giving them unfettered access by behaving in ways that attract the intervention. One acknowledges that even if you behave well, they will create the situation that leads to the intervention. But you make things worse by not understanding their intent, their mindset. Should we assume that those who accepted and internalized their defeat in the hands of Europeans are the ones still in power in Africa? Being mentally enslaved, they cannot lead you to greatness.

Many well-intentioned people cry over inadequate funding of our universities as the bane of our educational system. In my part I take the position that we have defective purpose in acquiring education: we need certificates, not problem-solving capabilities. With continual strikes, they dish out certificates to our youths; but the certificates certify indolence.

At which point does the madness stop? It will not stop. This is so because there is oil to finance our indolence. Oil revenues earn us dollars which the traders use to buy and sell to us all that the world gas to offer. But what of dignity? What of it, it is simply an encumbrance. We will do what pleases us, unencumbered by the thought of the future.

The white man might have created Ebola, Aids and so on. He will achieve his objectives. When he gets tired of decimating us he will find the cure. Meanwhile we blunder along, a sheepish people unable to respond to challenges. Knowing the importance of leadership, those who desire our ruin make it their duty to deny us same. But this is the blame game you may say. Fine. Go ahead with your mindset that says you have no external enemies.

Abdullahi Musa via kigongabas@gmail.com

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