Reactions had been fast and furious. The noise had reached a crescendo. A coach had been sacked. It was difficult to contemplate a World Cup without Nigeria! So, I was searching for the latest development when I ran into the following article. Suddenly my appetite died. Qualifying for the World Cup paled into insignificance. There was a serious problem! Here goes...
Reconstruction of Nigeria: Four Delusions on our Strategic Horizon
This is the danger point. What will become of the Negro in another five hundred years if he does not organize now to develop and protect himself? The answer is that he will be exterminated . . . No race or people can well survive without an aim or purpose . . . The work that lies before us is not so much to identify ourselves with the scattered purpose and greed of others, but to create for ourselves a central ideal and make our lives conform to it. . . and (to create) for ourselves a political superstate . . . that will make us secure in the . . . world. . . . We are determined to . . . found there (in Africa) a nation of our own, strong enough to lend protection to the members of our race scattered all over the world, and to compel the respect of the nations and races of the earth.
- Marcus Garvey in The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, 1922, 1925 (pp. I 48-49; II 15, 16; I 38, 39)
Africans are capable of achieving their place in the sun, provided that they discard the spirit of individualism which has so far prevented social cohesion. It cannot be doubted that one reason why Africans seem destined to serve other races for ever is because they have no sense of oneness . . . Are Africans not doomed to extermination from the face of the earth because they are self-centred and self-satisfied and selfish? Do Africans not deserve extirpation because they have proved their incapacity to carry on and to disseminate the torch of civilization which their ancestors handed to them in the dim past? . . . Black men and women, when will you cease to drift along the way which leads to the extermination of the black race?
- Nnamdi Azikiwe, Renascent Africa, 1937, (pp.98; 117-118; 207)
Ideas rule the world. An idea has brought us all together here today. Let me congratulate my senior and good friend of more than three decades on his success in nursing to fruition his idea of a Centre for Public and Business Policy. I have had the privilege of watching as he nursed it along since he left public office earlier in the decade. I have worried for him and his project like supporters are wont to do. When your friend steps into the boxing ring, you feel the blows he receives. For bearing up under pressure, and bringing his idea to
fruition, I salute him. Chu, well done!
The theme of today's Black Redemption sermon is taken from a sentence from a public lecture given by Chu Okongwu, here in Enugu, back in 1985, on the very same subject as this seminar. Lamenting our economic plight at that time, he said, inter alia, that "it might have occurred to us that we have unhelpful notions about ourselves and our environment." In so mildly putting the matter, Chu was being properly polite, as befits a public servant. As a certified and permanent private citizen, I may put the matter quite bluntly. We suffer from quite a few delusions about ourselves and our environment, and these delusions, by fogging up our strategic horizon, are terrible obstacles to our progress and survival. But before I go into all that, a few preliminaries.
As I said before, ideas rule the world. Not only is one generation ruled by ideas from the preceding generation, but some ideas rule for centuries, and some even for millennia. Consider some of the ideas which still rule humanity today, and see how old they are. First, two ideas from Black Africa.
The idea of resurrection and judgement day is a most ancient doctrine in the religion of Black Egypt. It is probably older than the first pharaoh of Egypt, thus it is older than 4500 BC. After 6500 years, it is still going strong and dominating the Black World, though in its Euro-Christian, Arab-Islamic and Judaic adaptations.
The idea of the reincarnation of departed ancestors is probably even older than that of resurrection and judgement day. It is still part of African religion, and a force in our lives. One day, a very old man was asked why he went about planting an orchard of fruit trees. To the questioner the old man answered and said: "I am doing it so that, when I reincarnate, I will find the trees mature and ready for me to eat." So, your future in your next incarnation may well be the one you sow today. Some more recent ideas which, in this century, have been implanted in Africa are the package consisting of the free market, individualism, liberty, progress, egalitarianism, electocracy, and a secular universe stripped of ancestor spirits and gods, and without the civilizing restraints of resurrection, judgement day and reincarnation. These are joint products of the European Bourgeois Enlightenment in the 17th and 18th centuries AD. They are now being sold to the entire world, and are even being imposed by bullets and bombs on those who don't want them. They are ideas which have been injected into other societies to help destroy them, the most recent and spectacular case being post-Soviet Russia.
The other idea is that of a world government. It was developed a century ago by British Prime Minister William Gladstone for use as an instrument and cover for Anglo-American global imperialism. He sold the idea to their American cousins, and Woodrow Wilson tried, but failed, to implement it by way of the League of Nations. Then, under the sponsorship of Roosevelt and Churchill, it became the hidden agenda of the UN. And now, after the Cold War removed the Soviet obstacle to its implementation, Anglo-American hegemony, via the UN, is now being successfully, but surreptitiously, imposed on the world. Thus an idea invented by Gladstone, that great liberal and heir to a fortune built on Black slavery, is what Clinton, from the old slaving state of Arkansas, is finally imposing upon the entire globe.
Ideas rule the world; and like all rulers, ideas can build or wreck. Ideas can help or hurt, clarify or confuse, enlighten or delude, facilitate or impede. We must pay careful attention to them to ensure that we do not blindfold and hang ourselves with the wrong ones.
Unhelpful notions and delusions
If ideas rule the world, then our first stop on the way to social reconstruction of any kind must be at the workshop of ideas. Note that I did not say "the marketplace of ideas," that place where the lazy mind goes to shop for readymade ideas, ideas prepackaged to serve their maker's vested interests. We must begin by deconstructing and reconstructing our idea of our society and of its place in the world. We must, indeed, begin by reconstructing our idea of social reconstruction. Indeed, reconstructing our idea of reconstructing Nigeria is the first task, and that is what I shall concentrate upon today.
In rationally considering reconstruction, we would need to correctly determine what is to be reconstructed and why; the environment in which the new construct will operate; and the goals of the new construct if it is to serve our group interests. We would, specifically, need to find out the following: What is Nigeria, and why should it be reconstructed? What constraints is the world of tomorrow most likely to try to impose on Nigerians? What kind of reconstruction does the survival of Nigerians prescribe? If we have the wrong ideas on these matters, whatever reconstruction we undertake will most probably miscarry or prove counterproductive. In the matter of reconstructing Nigeria, we need to start by ridding ourselves of four delusions which I have singled out for examination today. By doing so, we should be in a better position to appreciate what kind of social reconstruction our strategic situation calls for. But first, let me reflect a bit on my topic: "Social reconstruction in the stabilization of the Nigerian economy." Now, the idea of social reconstruction for survival might make sense to most people. But social reconstruction for economic stabilization? Many might demur, asking, and quite correctly, which exists for the other, the society or the economy?
Does one reconstruct the social supersystem in order to stabilize its economic subsystem? Should it not be the other way round? Not unless the economic subsystem is judged perfect. But when the economy in question is a neocolonial economy; is dominated by a foreign enclave sector; and is tied to foreign dictates by the chains of debt trap imperialism; and when it keeps most of its members impoverished and harassed through economic anarchism - when that is the case, why would its victims want it stabilized?
Why would they go to the trouble of reconstructing their entire society so as to stabilize their economic misfortune? Washington, London and Paris might like to stabilize Nigeria's neocolonial economy, but certainly not the Nigerian people, not unless we are mad, or unbelievably masochistic, or plain suicidal. The only valid reason why the Nigerian people should be interested in stabilizing this neocolonial, anarchist economy is as a necessary preliminary step to reconstructing it out of existence. Sometimes a body arrives in hospital so battered and ill that the doctors will first have to stabilize it in order to begin a full-scale regimen of radical therapy.
It is only on that premise that one would justify social reconstruction as a factor in stabilizing Nigeria's present economy. So, the question is: stabilization for what? Income growth? Industrialization? Development? First, it should be understood that without industrialization, growth is simply bloat and not development. Secondly, if Nigeria's aim is to catch up with China, Japan, the EU or the USA, then it must be understood that it cannot do so without industrializing itself. Having said that, let me now focus on the first part of the topic, namely, the social reconstruction of Nigeria.
Reconstruction for what? Reconstruction for the survival, security, prosperity, power and prestige of the Nigerian people. I submit that that is the minimum objective which would make worthwhile the enormous risks and rigors of social reconstruction.
But why would we want Nigeria reconstructed? What could be fundamentally wrong with this great nation, this giant of Africa, this hope of the Black World? I submit that if Nigeria is not reconstructed, its people will be exterminated during the 21st century. Why? There are some powerful forces in the world who want Africa without the Africans, and the Africans, Nigerians included, are in no position today to prevent them achieving their aim. And why can Nigerians not prevent their own extermination?
It is because, in global strategic terms, Nigeria is in a state of decrepitude and cannot withstand an attack even by tenth rate powers. And why is that? Because Nigeria is not an industrialized society and, even more important, Nigeria is not a nation. If all of that is not obvious, that is largely because of the unhelpful notions or delusions we hold about ourselves and our environment. Which brings me to the four delusions I mentioned earlier. These are the propositions: That Nigeria is a nation or is engaged in nation-building - it is not, I submit. That Nigeria is developing or industrializing - it is not, I submit. That Nigeria is potentially a great power on earth - it is not, I submit. That the global system is Blacks-friendly, and wants us alive and strong and participating as equal members who exercise economic and political self-determination - it does not, I submit. It is actually hostile to us to the point of wanting to castrate and exterminate us as soon as possible. Let us examine the delusions in these popular and conventional propositions.
The first delusion
Regarding the proposition that Nigeria is a nation or is engaged in nation-building, I submit that, though the official rhetoric so claims, Nigeria is not a nation and never has been, nor have Nigerians been engaged in nation-building. If so, what indeed is Nigeria? Nigeria is what some French ethologists, students of animal social behavior, have called a noyau. And what is that? A noyau is a society of inward antagonism, one held together by mutual internal antagonism, one which could not survive if its members had no fellow members to hate. A nation, on the other hand, is a society held together by antagonism toward external enemies and by their defense of a common territory.
The British created a Nigerian state a century ago. In that time, the ethnic groups they forcibly enclosed inside it have created a Nigerian society of sorts, but have failed to create a Nigerian nation. Nigeria simply is a territory, with a state apparatus for internal plunder, and a fountain of petrodollars which together provide a habitat for a multi-ethnic noyau. With between 300 and 400 ethnic groups, and with thousands of autonomous communities which noisily quarrel over the national petrodollar cake; and whose boundary and leadership disputes often lead to mayhem, it is clear that each group's primary identity is its own, and its solidarity is against its visible neighbors within Nigeria. These basic antagonisms are compounded by regional and religious quarrels. One need only recall such conflicts as those of Modakeke, Zango Kataf, Ogoni, Tiv-Idoma, Ijaw-Itshekiri, etc.
Also add to the list the Maitatsine and other fanatical religious riots and the OIC crisis. Add too the AG-NCNC crisis in the old Western Region, the Awolowo-Akintola crisis, the NPC-NCNC alliance-cum-crisis, the NPN-NPP alliance-cum-crisis, and of course the Nigerian Civil War and the June 12 Crisis. However much it may be deplored, the fact is that for each of the constituent peoples of Nigeria, the nation is the ethnic group or clan, not Nigeria. For some, it is the religious community. Attack these and their instincts for territorial defense and external antagonism will be triggered. The ultimate sign of Nigeria's being a noyau is that Nigerians show no sign of having a common external enemy. Not even foreign sanctions would unite Nigerians against the sanctioners. Were Nigerians a nation they would have patched up their June 12 quarrel at the mention of sanctions and united to face the foreign powers.
As a society of inward antagonism, Nigeria has little chance of surviving an attack by another society. Its very instincts will undermine its defensive efforts. This is because a society of inward antagonism, when confronted by crisis, contains no instinctive mechanisms to command the loyalty of its members.
The second delusion
The second proposition is that, for the past four or five decades, Nigeria has been engaged in economic development, and even in industrialization. What Nigeria has been engaged in, actually, is the development of its consumania, using its petrodollar bonanza to feed its appetite for foreign goods and services of every sort. And that, strictly speaking, is maldevelopment: the development of consumania for industrial products without the concomitant development of industrial productive capacity. If indeed Nigeria has been attempting industrialization or development, its failure is stark. After half a century of alleged effort, Nigeria still has no basic industries. In particular, it has failed to build a steel mill despite 30 years and some $10 billion of effort.
It has failed at managing such basic utilities suppliers as NEPA and NITEL. And it has reduced itself to foreignizing the few secondary and tertiary industries that it has Behind this dismal performance lies the criminal wastage of human and financial resources. First of all, foreign contractors build most projects beyond the level of private houses, thus preventing the accumulation of practical experience within the Nigerian population. Secondly, in a quest for quantity without quality, Nigeria expanded and debased the inadequate education system it inherited from the British. As a result, the land is awash with the illiterate, innumerate, indisciplined and amoral products of our so-called universities. Note that I said amoral, not immoral.
If any condition is socially worse than immorality, it is amorality, the failure to even appreciate the concept of morality. As a result, there are today in Nigeria, a disconcerting number of so-called educated adults who have never heard of the Ten Commandments, or heard of any other moral code, and who cannot distinguish between right and wrong. Among them are the networks of campus gangsters who are wrongly called "cultists" - those armed rapists and murderers who routinely terrorize the places of learning. An extraordinary and recent example of amorality was that quite articulate cannibal who believed that killing and eating his fellow citizens was no different from "eating potatoes".
Likewise, in 40 years as an oil exporter, Nigeria has squandered some $500 billion of petrodollar bonanza. Nevertheless, it still begs for a few million dollars of "foreign aid" and "foreign investment", and it is bluffed and insulted for that. Nigeria could have industrialized itself in that time, and with less than one fifth of that bonanza, and with not a single dollar of foreign investment and foreign aid, but its leadership was not so minded. Its leadership conveniently overlooked the fact that, in addition to numeracy and literacy, industrialization needs a puritan ethos, (what Max Weber called the Protestant Ethic), and it needs, particularly in the leadership strata, the spartan discipline of a miser who is allergic to squandermania, and is addicted to making savings and productive investments.
And so, after 40 years of alleged development effort, Nigeria has little to show. Such a monumental wastage of the key inputs of industrialization, namely human and financial resources, is not development. However, the Nigerian elite believes that it has been working hard at development. But then, a child that rubs its belly with water all morning long will claim that it is taking a bath!
The Third Delusion
The third proposition is that Nigeria, by virtue of its size and population, is the giant of Africa, a potential great power on the global arena, and the hope of the Black World. In the days of the oil boom, there used to be glib talk about a Great Nigeria. And even after the oil boom had bust, Nigeria attempted to organize a so-called concert of the medium powers of the world. All that was petrodollar bombast, a farce to help relieve boredom in some quarters.
In actual fact, Nigeria even lacks the profile of a potential great power. Its resource endowment, when compared with those of China, Russia, the EU and the USA, is thin on strategic minerals and plants. Nigeria is not even as richly endowed as South Africa or the former Zaire. And unlike the British or the Japanese, island peoples with few natural resources, Nigerians lack the national power drive to borrow or buy or steal whatever they need from any nook or cranny of the globe. They lazily wait for technology to be transferred to them! Besides, unlike the situation when Britain and Japan became world powers, the resources abroad which Nigeria would need have already been cornered by much stronger powers.
Besides all of that, Nigeria's land is small, and no strategic strength derives from its location. Geostrategically, it is neither a vast transcontinental heartland like Russia, nor an offshore fortress like Britain is to Europe or North America is to Eurasia. Nigeria sits across no geostrategic sea or land or air route, and so lacks the significance and power of a focal ground. It lacks China's regional isolation behind natural barriers of seas, mountains and deserts. And it lacks such natural defences against invaders as the Russian winter.
To make matters worse, Nigerians of the post-colonial era are neither hungry nor greedy nor humiliated enough to exert themselves to become a world power. They are too much addicted to instant and lavish self-enjoyment with little spirit of sacrifice for tomorrow. The great power motivation is sorely lacking in them. On the whole, Nigerians of this era are too soft, too selfish and too naïve for the great power adventure.
All in all, a handful of strategic minerals and plants, a medium sized and poorly located territory, and a realistically estimated population of some 70 million persons who are chronically unmotivated for the rigors and privations of the national power quest: these are not the stuff of which a world power is made in this age.
In summary, what is Nigeria today? It is a noyau and not a nation. It is an unindustrialized, maldeveloped, enclave dominated, neocolonial, anarchist economy controlled by foreign powers through the strings of debt trap imperialism as manipulated by the IMF-WTO-World Bank trinity. It is a strategic nonentity incapable of defending its territory and interests against even the tenth-rate powers of today. If its efforts against Charles Taylor, Foday Sankoh and Bakassi are anything to go by - and they are all we can go by - that must be the honest situation report on Nigeria's capability.
For lack of heavy industries, Nigeria cannot manufacture its own armaments. So, all it would take is an embargo by its arms suppliers for Nigeria to be defeated in any war. And if it is a war between Nigeria and NATO or its surrogates, you can be sure that an arms embargo against Nigeria would be made effective. Nigeria's economic vulnerability is palpable. An economic embargo which withdrew the foreign oil companies and which stopped the importation of rice, spaghetti, champagne, paper, ink, cornflakes, milk, tableware, lace, air conditioners, generators and spare parts would demoralize the Nigerian elite and bring the Nigerian economy to a halt.
It has often been said, by my good friend Dr George Obiozor, the Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), that Nigeria is not a banana republic; indeed it is not; it is something much worse, it is a noyau republic. And that compounds its strategic weakness by making it politically brittle. In fact, Nigeria is what may be called an alewa republic, a sugarcane candy stick republic, all sweetness and brittleness. Hit anything, even a glass pane, with an alewa stick, and the stick is liable to break into pieces. That is an alewa republic for you. I therefore submit that Nigeria is not a potential great power, and therefore is not the hope of the Black World. Nigeria may be the giant of Africa, but it is not one of the giants, actual or potential, of the world. Therefore, if Nigeria is the Black World's hope, then the Black World has no hope.
The fourth delusion
The fourth proposition concerns the attitude and intentions of the overlords of the global system towards Nigeria and Black Africa. The standard view is that, with the end of colonialism, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, with the rise of globalism, and with the universal promotion of electocracy and the free market ideology, we are now in a new era without imperialism, without white supremacist
notions, without racism, and particularly without Negrophobia. Racism is now supposedly ended and taboo; and the term imperialist has even dropped out of usage and has been replaced by the obscurantist term "the international community". So, all we need do is cooperate with the new system, submit to our mentors in electocracy and free market ways, and we too shall prosper, and we too shall soon arrive at an economic destination that will look like the USA or the EU or Japan. All of that, I submit, is a monumental delusion.
I assume that every normal person is interested in the welfare of its descendants, starting with its children and grandchildren. I would therefore like to share with you my prognosis of what lies ahead for your descendants within the 21st century. The prognosis is bad. Your descendants will most probably be deliberately kept in the prison of national poverty, like the Haitians have been since 1804; or Africans will be driven out of the minerals-rich parts of Africa, like the Cherokee nation was ethnic cleansed out of its homeland in the USA in 1838; or they will be exterminated altogether, like the Tasmanians were in the early 19th century. The reason is that, like the Haitians, the Cherokees and the Tasmanians before them, Black Africans have now arrived at a position of absolute strategic vulnerability. For the first time since the 15th century, the imperialist powers need your valuable land, but they do not need you to work it for them. They will soon have their anti-malaria vaccine, and their vaccine against melanoma, the skin cancer; both of these vaccines will enable them to settle in all parts of Black Africa and to exploit its resources for themselves. So they will get rid of you, unless you can militarily stop them.
During the last five years, whenever I have pointed out this prospect to Nigerians, their usual reaction has been dismissive. Impossible! How can? This is the 20th century! This is the modern world! We live in a global village! The international community will not permit it! World opinion will not allow it! For those who react like that, I can only direct them to the historical record. Ethnic cleansing and extermination have happened before, again and again and again, and they can happen yet again, and they can happen to you. Why not? Do you have what it would take to stop whoever is powerful enough to attempt them on you? Mind you, if NATO proceeds to exterminate you, CNN will not cover it, the New York Times will not see it as news that is fit to print, just as German radio and newspapers did not cover the extermination of the Jews at Auschwitz!
But, what is more, these options have been considered and are already being implemented against us. In the mid 1970s, during the OPEC oil crisis, some American academics, including Henry Kissinger, floated the idea of a Fourth World of basket case economies into which they would spin off the countries which were not vital to the West. That is no longer a project for the future; it has already been accomplished through the SAP programs which the IMF sponsored, and through the WTO and its Uruguay GATT rules. Most African economies, including Nigeria, are now on their way to join Haiti in the permanent poverty of the Fourth World. To make that clear, let us consider the global economic system and your descendants' prospect of catching up if the present status quo is allowed to remain. Some economists have calculated that, if the 1986 growth rates were maintained indefinitely into the future, "the poor countries would achieve the income level of the rich countries in 127 years' time. They would catch up with the rich countries in half a millennium, 497 years to be precise."
(Penang, Malaysia), Mid-September 1992, p. 14>
In other words, if conditions had remained as favorable to the poor countries as they were back in 1986, it would take till the year 2113 for the incomes of the poor countries to reach where those of the rich countries were in 1986! And not till the year 2483 would the poor countries finally catch up with the rich. And, mark you, that was based on figures before SAP flushed the value of the Naira and other African currencies down the drain; and before the Uruguay GATT came into force and the WTO came into being. Needless to say, under WTO rules, the terms of trade have been moved even more sharply against the poor countries.
Under the World Bank-IMF-WTO system of debt trap imperialism, hoping to catch up in income, let alone in economic power, even in 500 years time, is a hopeless delusion. Furthermore, under their system, any country which has not already industrialized would be prevented from doing so.
Also during the 1970s, other American academics, led by Garret Hardin, put forward the twin ideas of lifeboat ethics and triage; and they advocated that the poor countries be exterminated to save for the rich countries the resources of an allegedly overpopulated Lifeboat Earth. In one of the most provocative presentations of the triage idea, Garret Hardin argued against sending famine relief to "overpopulated" countries, saying:
How can we help a foreign country to escape overpopulation? Clearly the worst thing we can do is send food.... Atomic bombs would be kinder. For a few moments the misery would be acute, but it would soon come to an end for most of the people, leaving a few survivors to suffer thereafter".
-Garrett Hardin, The immorality of being soft-hearted.
Stanford Alumni Almanac, Jan 1969.
In other words, bomb and exterminate the poor, hungry brutes and save their resources for the rich, all in the name of civilization. Later, George Bush, former president of the USA, was reported as saying that they want Africa without the Africans. He was articulating a view held in some high level environmentalist quarters, that Africa should be turned into a big game reserve, as well as
another view held in some high level business quarters that Africa should be turned into an economic resource reservoir for the industrialized world. And, subsequent to all of that, it has emerged that Africa did not become the epicenter of the AIDS epidemic by accident. A strong prima facie case has been established that the AIDS virus is an American biological weapons device, and that the AIDS epidemic in Africa is the result of an AIDS bomb unleashed there when the World Health Organization (WHO) vaccinated 97 million persons in seven central African countries in the late 1970s, in a massive immunization program to eradicate smallpox. Thus, by accident or by design, the proposals to exterminate the peoples of the poor and allegedly overpopulated countries, and to remove the Africans from Africa, are already being implemented through the AIDS epidemic.
The third option, ethnic cleansing, was tried in apartheid South Africa under its Bantustan program. The aboriginal Blacks of South Africa were forcibly expelled from the best 87% of their land and confined to the worst 13%, and those were constituted into allegedly independent Bantustans. These were scattered fragments of poor quality lands, without amenities. Despite resistance and protest and publicity, the ethnic cleansing continued. The decision to abandoned apartheid was made in the mid-1970s, only after Black liberation armies, backed by the Soviet Union, had won control of Angola and Mozambique, thereby bringing apartheid South Africa within striking distance of black liberation armies. By the time the Soviet Union collapsed in the late 1980s, the project to dismantle apartheid and install a black government controllable by the West and protective of its interest had gone too far to be reversed. Had the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1970s, the western powers would have felt no need to save their investments by helping to dismantle apartheid. But we must be quite clear on one thing: though the ethnic cleansing option has been abandoned in South Africa, along with apartheid, it can be revived in any part of Africa as need arises. The technique has merely been retired, not destroyed.
Given these facts, we must seriously ask ourselves: Is the international community Blacks-friendly? Those who, in the last six centuries, inflicted the slave catching wars and slavery on us; who conquered, colonized and exploited us; who inflicted genocide on some of us, hunting some of us down like wild beasts for their entertainment (as in Namibia and the former Zaire) - can they be properly seen as our friends? Those who, in the last 50 years, have maneuvered us into permanent poverty, who committed ethnic cleansing into Bantustans on some of us, and extermination on some of us by the AIDS bomb- can they be properly seen as anything but our mortal enemies? So much for our delusion on the humane attitudes and benevolent intentions towards us by the overlords of the global system.
The three prospects for your descendants may be summarized as follows:
The Haiti or Fourth World prospect: that is a continuation of the status quo of malign entrapment in the cage of Debt Trap Imperialism, where they will flounder and famish in the false hope of catching up with the industrialized countries sometime in the late Third Millennium.
The Cherokee or Bantustan prospect: that is where those who inhabit lands with specific resources wanted by the imperialists will be treated to ethnic cleansing and, if lucky, will be confined to some impoverished reservations or human zoos.
The Tasmanian or Triage prospect: that is where they will be selectively and instalmentally exterminated, so that the civilized will not be threatened by the resource demands of the over-breeding poor. Should the AIDS bomb fail to finish the job in central Africa, other bombs are there to be used, and other methods are available, including improved versions of the Auschwitz program of the Nazis.
So, all in all, through the AIDS bomb and the World-Bank-IMF-WTO system, Nigerians, and other Black Africans, are quietly being put through two of these three treatments. The third has already been tried on South Africans and abandoned for the time being. So long as the absolute strategic impotency of Black Africans persists, these and other techniques of destruction can be used against them. It is against this threat that Nigeria's reconstruction must be aimed if it is to be worth the bother.
Nigeria or ECOWAS?
Given the hostile global environment which I have just sketched, in order to survive, Nigerians need to build an industrialized nation that is a military power of the order of China and India, at the very least, and preferably of superpower rank, like Russia, the EU and the USA. Nothing less will do. And they need to do that starting yesterday; they need to accomplish it by mid-21st century at the latest. Otherwise, they can kiss the earth goodbye whenever the imperialists, having secured their malaria and melanoma vaccines, move finally against them.
The task of reconstruction may seem an obvious one: take this unindustrialized, neocolonized noyau called Nigeria, and turn it into a nation and industrialize it. Right? Not quite! A strategist must also take a look at the opposition. What needs to be made into a nation and industrialized must have the potential to beat off a NATO assault of any type, for NATO is the military enforcement arm of the
ultimate enemy. Furthermore, as I already pointed out, Nigeria, for all its boasted endowment, has neither the territorial expanse, nor the resource diversity, nor the human population to place it in the league of China, India, Russia, the EU or the USA. So, what is to be done?
Even in the best of circumstances, nation building is a difficult enterprise. Turning a noyau into a nation will be even more so. But Malaysia has done it in the same period (40years) in which Nigerians have refused to attempt it. But Malaysia did it, not absent-mindedly, not by self-deception, but by a conscious program, intelligently and diligently pursued. Similarly, industrialization is an exacting project, even for an already consolidated nation. Japan did it in one generation, under the Meiji. China did it in one generation, under Mao. And Russia, under Stalin, even did it in ten years! The two together, nation-building and industrialization, make a formidable project. So, is the combined challenge worth the bother? If our people's survival is worthwhile to us, then, we have no choice in the matter: the dual project must be undertaken, and carried out in such a way that the projected industrial nation will meet the geostrategic conditions for its survival. There is no point building a paper house when a forest fire is approaching.
There is no point in building a chicken coop when what you need is an aircraft hangar. If Nigerians want to engage in nation building and industrialization at all, they ought to partake in building and industrializing a nation big enough to survive and thrive in the global conditions of tomorrow. And the nearest potentially adequate politico-economic structure that Nigerians could join in building is ECOWAS. If the reconstruction of Nigeria is to make strategic sense, it must extend to the reconstruction of ECOWAS. Nothing less will do.
How to turn ECOWAS into a state, and its peoples into a nation, and how to industrialize it, and develop its strategic might to the level of China's, at the very least? And how to do so in what little time is still available before NATO invades us in a final campaign to evict Africans from Africa by exterminating us? These are the central problems which the strategic reconstruction of Nigeria must solve. However, that is the theme of Project 2060 which I outlined elsewhere
a few years ago and which, hopefully, will be the subject of a future seminar.
I hope all of you here will lend yourselves to the effort to meet this geostrategic challenge. If you are inclined to do nothing, please remember that, by reincarnation, you could be right back here when the Black Africans are sent down their own Trail of Tears to the Black Auschwitz. For those who want to avoid that bitter experience, Black Redemption and the African Renaisssance demand that we bring to the challenge all our talents and experience and courage and
steadfastness. We either succeed or Black Africans will be caused to vanish from the earth like the Tasmanians.
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© Chinweizu 2005
My reflection: This is scary stuff, but it rings so true. Serious food for thought. Some things are difficult to swallow. In recent times, Nigeria has been making one headline after another. There is tension in the air already. Football had been the only thing that tended to bind Nigerians together. If the country does not qualify for Germany 2006, waiting another four years for the next stage could be very frustrating. Given recent events up and down the country, anything is possible in-between.