Thursday, 16 October 2014

Let’s buy back Nigeria from the British!

Let’s buy back Nigeria from the British!
Odoh Diego Okenyodoh
When I learnt that Nigeria was bought from the Royal Niger Company for £865,000 in 1900, a lot of ‘coincidences’ started making sense. The British government bought this large piece of land for business and still holds the land in physical and spiritual bondage.
Before every major landmark event in our country, someone from the British monarchy paid a visit to the country and met with leading politicians. Queen Elizabeth came before Independence; in 1978, before Obasanjo would hand over to a relatively unknown Shagari, they were here.
After the military interregnum from 1984 to 1998, Prince Charles came and Obasanjo was let out of prison. Some meetings later, a bony Obasanjo became presidential candidate. He won. Obasanjo ruled for two terms and the challenges of who would take over stared all in the face.
Atiku Abubakar, Obasanjo’s vice president printed posters; the then outgoing governor of Kaduna State, Ahmed Makarfi, printed some too. Peter Odili put his private jet in the race alongside the Tinapa governer Donald Duke, and Akwa lbom’s Obong Victor Attah. The race was hot.
Then Prince Charles (what’s his surname again? Prince Charles Elizabeth?) flew into Nigeria again. It was November 2006. He landed in Abuja but rode straight to Katsina, held meetings with northern elders. He convened the babanrigas in Kaduna at the Arewa House auditorium and a week or so after, Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, an unknown governor emerged. And he not only won the primaries in spite of the many times he collapsed on the campaign trail, he was forced on us as president.
That’s where we are with the meddlesome Brits. But what should we do?
Physically and spiritually we need to take back Nigeria. By any means necessary. At the physical level, the country’s leadership need to consciously, on behalf of the citizens, reimburse the British to the tune of £865,000. We agree that they have exploited our human and natural resources for a very long time since 1900. British companies, in the name of civilising the colonies, took advantage of cheap labour, land and natural resources, carting the proceeds out of our country. They paid little or nothing as tax. What they gave back to the land as infrastructure were self-serving roads and railways, and some schools. Some analysts may further argue that they gave us formal education and democracy as well as modern systems of governance. Nevertheless, they took our forefathers and sent them to die in the first and second world wars. At the moment, we are still being exploited as members of the Commonwealth. Our wealth is common for the British but we do not commonly own theirs.
This is why we ought to reimburse them and send them out of our lives. Of course, my readers who are Christians may argue that it is the British government that owes us reparations. In Exodus 22:5 it is said that: If a man shall cause a field or vineyard to be eaten, and shall put in his beast, and shall feed in another man’s field; of the best of his own field, and of the best of his own vineyard, shall he make restitution.
But verses that I can’t readily find in the Bible now assure that one can pay some form of restitution to receive spiritual freedom or deliverance from bondage. This is what my suggestion to the people of Nigeria is about. We need to free ourselves of the shackles of Britain. They should relate with us as any other sovereign state does with the others–on equal terms. The Nigerian government should package a bag of money (same way Obasanjo packaged for the legislators during the Third Term crisis) and hand that cash to the British High Commissioner in Nigeria. He should be told that it is a reimbursement for their exploration and exploitation of thia territory to this day. We are taking back what belongs to us. This symbolic act is important.
At a spiritual level, the significance of the physical refund of the British government’s money needs to be sealed and the action consolidated. All prayer warriors need to be mobilised across all religions to begin to wrest back the dignity and destiny of this land. An annual ceremony for this purpose would be in order.
When this is done, it is my belief that the malaise that afflicts us will die. Internationally renowned Nigerian technocrats return whom to become far less than average. All Nigerian elites want to become Americans or British. They airlift the pregnant wives to these countries in order that the children stand greater chance of holding dual citizenship. This phenomenon will die very soon.


BLUEPRINT Newspaper; August 28, 2014

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