Date Published: 10/02/09
VANISHING IDENTITY By Henry Akubue
Nigeria has not lived up to the expectations of the international community and has not been able to play the ''big brother'' role that was accorded her. A lot of great expectations are placed on the country at the international level because of the supposed confidence reposed on her. Such expectations gave rise to the name ''Giant of Africa'' but as sad as it may be we are yet to live up to the expectations. The bad leadership that has always been an issue in the internal affairs of the country is taking its toll on the external affairs. It won’t be wrong to say that Nigeria is viewed as a leadership deficient country. The inability to carry out the leadership role is bringing about the search for other options.
And on this note, it will be no news that South Africa which is strategically placed in the southern part of the continent like Nigeria is in the west is gradually making its impact felt. The obvious truth is that much attention from the international community is now going to South Africa since she stands as a child of promise. As painful as it may be, Nigeria seems to be comfortable and no measures are put in place to regain the country’s glory that is slowly eluding her.
However, South Africa which clearly understands what it takes to be an active player in the international polity made democracy their watch word in their internal politics. Democracy is the world most acceptable form of governance which was greatly practiced in the South African recent election that brought Jacob Zuma to Power. The foreign observers in which one of our “undemocratic” leaders Olusegun Obasanjo was a member laid credence to that election. The people wielded the power to elect the leader of their choice and admirations from other countries especially African countries went to South Africa.
United nations delegate led by the deputy secretary Dr. Asha –Rose Mogiro graced the inauguration of the President Jacob Zuma with other dignitaries from within and outside the continent. South Africa democracy has been enjoying 15 years of consistency whereas Nigeria celebrates 10 years of democracy under duress.
They are determined to make things right after the long years of apartheid regime than we are trying to put the military off our democracy. Thus South Africa became the first African country whose leader resigned from office just to prove his innocence.
The G-20 summit which brought together leaders of both developed and emerging economies together had South Africa as the only African country in attendance. Nigerian’s exclusion from such a high powered meeting led to lamentations from both the President and the cabinet members. I believe that is the moment of truth for the country as against sycophancy which is largely practiced. The truth has to be told. Other than lamenting, we have to look inwards to see where we are getting it all wrong. Nonetheless even at that, complacency, as usual will still be the order of the day. South Africa, understanding the international politics and demands engaged in nation development programmes and diversification of economy. The diversification of economy became what can be tagged a mature economy of South Africa unlike the monotonous economy operated in Nigeria. South Africa function is representing the continent in such vital decisions taking platforms.
The Nigeria quest for a permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council is having serious threat with South Africa bid for same. It may not be surprising, if at the end of the day it is allocated to them. I strongly believe they have the zeal to achieve their aim more than Nigeria does. It is noteworthy that the ticket to host the world cup is not by accident. It was honourably that Nigeria dropped out of the FIFA hosting race because obviously we would have lost. The state of infrastructure in Nigeria is nothing to write home about and can not be equaled with what is on ground in South Africa.
It is a carefully crafted diplomatic offensive other than mere coincidences that South Africa has been marching words with actions. It should be an awakening call on Nigeria that we are missing out from within and outside the continent.
Therefore, Nigeria identity as Giant of Africa is threatened and vanishes by the day.