When, at last, someone noticed that the ship had stopped moving, the Admiral denied that anything was wrong with the ship, and called a staff meeting of 400 of his most trusted henchmen to discuss, not how to evacuate the stricken ship [it carried no lifeboats] and save the people on board, but how to rearrange the seats in the casino hall, the seats in the banquet hall and the chairs on the deck. When someone was foolish enough to raise the issue of evacuation, the Admiral angrily declared that evacuation was out of the question. The Nija Titanic was unsinkable and all must remain on board; and anyone who raised the issue again would be tried and shot for alarmism and mutiny. And all his crew, amazingly, complied. Meanwhile the stricken ship continued to take in water. And sharks and all manner of sea monsters began to gather and circle the doomed ship, waiting for a lavish feast on the soon-to-be-drowned multitude.
After their staff confab, Admiral Al Capone and his 400 henchmen retired to their fabulous suites, dreaming of the life of abundance they would enjoy for ever after. But suddenly, there was a mighty shaking as an explosion in the fuel tanks rocked the ship, the lowest levels of the ship flooded furiously and the ship began to keel over. Before long the stricken ship upended, and everything that was unbolted to floor or wall came tumbling down. Panic everywhere as the ship broke into several pieces which began to sink to the depths of the ocean. Admiral Al Capone could not believe what was happening, he tried to make frantic phone calls to shore for a helicopter to come and whisk him to safety, but when none came (the long unserviced phone system was dead, and his desperate calls went nowhere) he fell on his knees and bawled out a teraful prayer. But his god was too busy elsewhere to listen or come rescue him. And he and all his comprador crew, and all the hapless captives on board went down with the "usinkable" Nija Titanic.
March 1, 2005
Some Questions for Young Nigerians to ponder
Do the passengers on the Nija Titanic wish to go down with the ship, down to the bottom of the sea? Or to the IMF plantation to be enslaved for ever, without possibility of release?
What is the destination preferred by the captives on the doomed ship of the Nigerian State?
When, and in what condition do they want to arrive at their preferred destination?
What predictable dangers await them in the 21st century?
Is the Nigerian state equipped to evade or defeat these dangers?
What is a state? – Is Nigeria not a failed state, waiting to implode?
What should the Nigerian state do or not do to/for its citizens?
What are the key features of the global environment in which the Nigerian state will operate in the 21st century and beyond?
What are the vital interests of the Nigerian population?
What are the global strategic conditions for defending and advancing those interests?
What is national security, as distinct from state security or the security of the state apparatus and its officials?
What is democracy? And how can it be institutionally entrenched?
What kind of democracy, if any, will help the Nigerian population to control the Nigerian state, to survive and permanently end their enslavement, impoverishment and humiliation by others?
What use to the people is a state or a democracy if its character is to disorganize, and destroy society?
What are the challenges of the 21st century and beyond?
What kind of state or political system is most likely to help the Nigerian population to survive the dangers and challenges of their near future?
What are the nature, causes and remedies for the anarchy in Nigeria?
Can the Lugardian state, which was constructed, from the very start, as an armed bureau of internal plunder and repression and to programmed to enslave and exploit the Nigerian population for the benefit of foreign interests; can it be trusted to change its own character out of sheer goodwill? [bearing in mind Frederik Douglas’ statement that “power concedes nothing without a demand”]
Can the Lugardian state apparatus, no matter how reconfigured, solve the problems that need to be solved for the Nigerian population to survive the 21st century? Can a whale ever swim the desert? Or a camel walk the ocean? Or an elephant fly?
If this Lugardian contraption that is programmed to suppress, exploit, massacre and terrorize the Nigerian population [Aba women1929; Enugu coal miners 1949; Lagos, Kalakuta 1977 & 1978; Talata-Mafara farmers (a.k.a Bakalori) 1980; Odi villagers 1999, Zaki-Biam villagers 2001; etc]—if this Lugardian contraption is not dismantled and dumped on Lugard’s grave, can the Nigerian population invent and institute a state that will serve, defend and advance their own interests?
Will rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic prevent it from sinking?
What went wrong with Nigerian Independence, starting from 1945 or even earlier?
By what measures can office holders in Nigeria be obliged to abide by their oaths of office? Here is a Persian example from the 6th century BC:
Otanes' father Sisamnes had been put to death by Cambyses [King of Persia]: he was one of the royal judges, and as a punishment for taking a bribe and perverting justice Cambyses had him flayed; all his skin was torn off and cut into strips, and the strips stretched across the seat of the chair which he used to sit on in Court. Cambyses then appointed his son to be judge in his place, and told him not to forget what his chair was made of, when he gave his judgements.”
--Herodotus, The Histories,Bk 5; ch 25
Major massacres of Nigerians
by the army and police of the Nigerian Lugardian State, sine 1920, i.e. after the initial bloody conquest and pacification ended ca. 1918, and its rule had become instituted, assured and presumably “non-violent.”
1929: Women’s anti-tax protest (a.k.a Aba women’s riot) in the Owerri and Calabar provinces of Southern Nigeria was suppressed with 55 women killed.
1949, Nov 18: Shooting of coal miners in Iva Valley, Enugu,
1977: Soldiers burn down Fela’s Kalakuta following his boycott of Festac 77.
1978: the military Govt of Lagos State demolish Fela’s Kalakuta, while he was away at the Berlin Jazz Festival
1980: Farmers in Talata-Mafara, Sokoto State, massacred following protests against Impresit Bakalori, an Italian Company.
1980s: Students at ABU, Zaria, and OAU, Ife killed by police
1999, Nov.: soldiers, deployed to the Niger Delta to protect the oil companies from citizens outraged by the devastation of their environment, sack Odi village, Bayelsa State, killing hundreds.
2001, Oct: Zaki-Biam, Benue State sacked by army, with more than 200 killed
May 15, 2005
2005, June 7th: Apo Village, Abuja - the slaughter continues as the Nigerian Police laid waste 5 Igbo traders plus 1 Esan girl returning from a party, and branded them armed robbers.
Please feel free to comment on and fwd this information to any Pan-African persons, or to publish and reproduce to the Pan-African community, provided you credit the author, do not alter descriptive terms, change any words or otherwise mutilate the piece without written agreement.
If posted at a website, please email a copy of the web page to email@example.com
For print media use, please obtain prior written permission, and then send two (2) copies of the publication wherein used, to Chinweizu, P. O. Box 988, Festac Town, Lagos, Nigeria.
For further information please contact Chinweizu
All rights reserved.
© Chinweizu 2005