"All animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others". Surely Orwell did not have Nigeria in mind while writing this line, but who would have guessed that a critical description of extreme autocratic tendencies written on the backdrop of Stalin’s totalitarian Russia will perfectly describe the situation in a sub Saharan African country thousands of miles away. This proves that political corruption, power intoxication and abuse of government are universally of the same inclination and bear the same characteristics. Stalin, Kabila, Charles Taylor, Abacha, and all other soulless men of their kind all tell the same story in different settings. They come masquerading as liberators who will save the state from the clutches tyranny and political incompetence. They leave making their predecessors look like viable candidates to head the Vatican.
On the 1st of October 1960, Nigeria was granted almost full autonomy by the British Empire. Nigerians cheered and celebrated what they believed to be final liberation from the dominance of western powers. The nation was upbeat and the people were optimistic. They believed that our future and our destinies were finally in our own hands. The greater Nigerian populace honestly believed that we could rally around our leaders to collectively shape a positive future. Little did we know that the end of colonialism marked the beginning of the systematic enslavement of the greater Nigerian populace. A nefarious scheme orchestrated by some stateless thugs with no emotional connection to planet earth.
In the “power and prosperity”, Dr. Mancur Olson speaks about the “roving bandit” and the “stationary bandit”. The objective of the roving bandit is to steal, plunder and destroy. The roving bandit will move on to the next region when there is nothing left to plunder thus caring very little about what happened to the state that he\she left behind. The situation with the stationary bandit on the other hand is very different. The stationary bandit who comes in the form of a King, queen, president, prime minister, chancellor etc. still seeks to maximize profit in the interest of the state, but must keep in mind that that is the only source of future revenue. Therefore, while plundering and enriching the coffers of state, there is a grater incentive for the stationary bandit to reinvest in society in order to increase and sustain future profits. The tragedy of the Nigerian problem is that the “stationary bandits” has plundered the state as if they were “roving thieves” who will move on somewhere else when they are done. Nigeria, which is suppose to be run by a “stationary bandit” just like most other advanced countries, has been plagued and plundered by stateless “roving criminals” with little or no connection to the Nigerian state
How different is Shehu Musa Yaradua (Nigerian president) from the slaves traders who packed Africans on ships in sub human conditions to sell to plantation owners across the Atlantic? Well it has been widely said that the only thing worse than the SS officials during WW2 were the Jews that conspired with them to eliminate their own kind. Thus the only thing worse than the slave traders of the 18th century is an African who chooses to enslave his own people in this modern day and time. Before history judges these gang of roving tyrants, we the Nigerian people will definitely get our pound of flesh as I am sure in the ultimate triumph of good over evil.