Lessons Nigeria is not Learning


Lessons Nigeria is not Learning


Things happen in your life and around you that sometimes you don’t have control over. Some happen because of your negligence, ignorance, or denial of reality.

Many attimes, it’s not what happened that matters, it’s the lessons learned from it that counts.

As a nation, so much has happened in Nigeria in past 60 years. It’s too numerous to count and itemize. But let’s take a few instances.

The Nigeria-Biafra war is war that ought to have started, but it came. What did we learn from it? How did the war teach us to forge a more United nation? What did we learn from it prevent what caused it from repaying itself?

The Boko Haram disturbance started from a local area in Bornu State. It later spread to most of Northeast states, then it spread to the whole of Nigeria. How did the Nigerian state treat the disturbance? How has the state treated the disturbance? What lessons have we learned about to approach to dealing with idealogical war?

Before Boko Haram, there was the Niger Delta Militancy. The target was obvious. The demands were clear. The militants were known. The Government knew them and could interface with them. Dialogues and discussions were held. Certain common grounds were arrived at. Some issues were deliberately addressed by the Nigerian state. The Militancy was reduced. Life continued!

What lessons did we learn from the handling of the Niger Delta Militancy, by a certain regime?

The Massob and Ipob agitators came on board, with their own demands and operations. The agitators of Oduduwa republic came up also. The activities of these agitators have led to some disturbances, loss of lives and property.
The leaders of these agitations are known by the authories of the Nigerian State.

How has the state responded to these agitators? Have they been engaged in any meaningful dialogues? Have they been invited for discussions, to hear them out? To find possible common grounds?

Unknown Gun Men, Bandits, and Kidnapers have taken the entire country hostage. Now, this may sound too way off. It might be nice to politically correct to say, it not true. That’s fine.

What is the official response to the activities of UGM, Bandits and Kidnappers? You know, unfortunately, that these group of people have been treated differently by the government, depending on which part of the country they operate per time.

What lessons are we learning? The social fabric is wanning. The trust level is very low. The security situation is at an unprecedented high pitch. The price of food and essential commodities are skyrocketing; Poverty level is rising, life expectancy is lowering, the society is on red alert; yet political activities go on as if nothing is happening.

The Nigerian state seems not to learn lessons from it’s own happenings. It’s single-tracked in it’s approach to dealing with many issues. That approach is military intervention in all civil issues and disturbances. It’s about hardware deployment – harrass, kill, smoke out, and all of that. What lessons have we learned? What results have achieved? What is the hope for a better society?

For any hardware war to come to an end, you must return to the place of dialogue. Political solutions will also suffice! Military approaches, particularly to internal disturbances, never bring long-term solutions. Do we need military actions to quell insurrections, of course yes. But there after, dialogues must commence and be sustained until final common grounds are found.

Regrettably, Nigeria is not learning any lessons. And I am, unfortunately, not qualified to help those in authority to see how they are missing the mark, and hitting us below the belt. I wish I had the clout and reach to get the ear and attention of those who can make things happen.

Public leadership requires you to have the skills to walk on waters and not get sunk.

I love this country. An incredible country. Great potentials. Full of opportunities. Yet…….

Joseph Ibekwe
Leadership Consultant
FLED Institute, Abuja

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