Akpabio, NDDC and ‘the mis-education of the Negro’

In the past, the gymnastic ability of the Nigerian mind that produces amazing twists and turns in the political arena was a consistent source of wonder until I read a book published in 1933 titled “The Mis-Education of the Negro” authored by Dr. Woodson G. Carter. Nigeria will never really make any progress until we come to accept that we are all, in part victims of a plot that is much bigger than ourselves. There is no hiding the fact that Nigeria is like a brilliant child that thinks differently who ought to have been separated for education in a special needs school.

If we remember rightly a man like Richard Branson and his Virgin Atlantic Airlines was one of the few foreigners that seemed to blend into our peculiar business system until we double-declutched and shifted gears to shake him off. In his school days, Robert Dyson, the headmaster had told his dyslexic student that he would either end up in prison or become a millionaire. Richard Branson, just like Donald Trump, are both examples of Nigerians who were born on the wrong side of the colour bar.

For non-Africans to qualify for this special distinction they must have the ability to read newspapers upside down, or sideways and yet make sense of the news. Godswill Akpabio is no doubt a brilliant man whose life has been complicated by the type of mis-education diagnosed by Dr. Woodson G. Carter.

As I watched the NDDC probe unfold I could not but marvel at Akpabio’s audacious declarations. For a few seconds I even admired him until I thought about the report that would be asked of him when the aptly named politician finally meets his maker, face-to-face. Akpabio is not the problem rather the mis-education that sharpened his natural ability to think differently is the issue that must be addressed. Our problems will continue because the forces of goodness that has a desire to do things right have also been subjected to the same mis-education. Mis-education is what produces mechanical engineers that cannot strip engines and politicians that don’t understand the game. How do we expect anyone to fix a problem when they cannot think deeply enough to understand the root cause?

The female lawmaker at the investigative panel set up by the House is a prime example of the people spoiling this country! They continue to raise our hopes when we all know that nothing is going to come out of such a confrontational tactic.

The whole game show was going very well and her chairman were very understanding of Akpabio’s belligerence. That female lawmaker should be expelled and disciplined by the House because she kept pushing the issue even after the chairman repeatedly said “It’s okay!”, “It’s okay”.

The issue will now drag for much longer than necessary even when we all know that ‘money must change hands’ to avoid plunging the country into chaos. Some people even feel that the female lawmaker should be sent to jail for a short term because her upright position in the public glare could lead to needless assassinations and burning of buildings to cover the tracks of political desperadoes.

If she really wants to solve the Nigerian problem, she needs to go beyond Akpabio and his ilk, who are merely symptomatic of a deeper malaise. To recover Nigeria, we are all better off begging and pleading with our politicians to just have mercy on the country and remember God since they will all die someday. If fellow Nigerians (honourary) like Donald Trump are shaking the world stage should we expect less here? We must thank God for people like the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Olufemi Hakim Gbajabiamila, who is now making all the right noises till the people’s interest goes to the next distraction.

Akpabio is simply a representation of an ancient factor and a prominent mindset that has to be decoded for progress to be made. Just like experts who keep talking about what the “white man” did to us during the slave trade era while forgetting the local side of the equation. When Britain declared human slave trade as illegal in 1807, the King of Bonny (now Niger Delta) replied, saying, “We think this trade must go on. That is the verdict of our oracle and the priests. They say that your country, however great, can never stop a trade ordained by God himself.”

In the same vein the NNDC dance must go for Nigeria to remain stable because a chop party that God himself approves must not be hindered by any panel. Finally, both the female lawmaker that grilled Akpabio against the chairman’s order and Ms. Joy Nunieh should be flogged publicly as a lesson to other upright persons that have plans to disturb the public peace in the future.

*Rev. Thompson, a Strategic Thought Consultant, writes in from Lagos.


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