Nigerians have just elected a new leader. No matter our differences with Tinubu as a person, his character or our party affiliation; we should accord him the goodwill and benefit of doubt given to new leaders for the hope of a better country. Africans have had their share of bad leaders but Nigerians always have this optimistic view of new leaders, even the military ones: he go better. It could be an indication of how bad the situation had been before they came.
The first coup d’etat by Nzeogwu gave hope after condemning the corruption of our “ten percenters”. Some jubilation and humiliation followed while others watched until Nzeogwu was betrayed by his comrades. All the leaders were going to be eliminated. They spared certain leaders. A grave self-inflicted wound that led to counter coups. Nobody has monopoly on force, threats and deadly force without repercussions. It resulted in a false start.
By the time Gowon took over, people had been traumatized. Only the benefit of doubt remained. Gowon promised no victors, no vanquished at the end of the Civil War. We had a series of military and civilian governments after, with the wish that one of them would restore Nigeria to its glorious days and hope for Africa’s Regional Power. Nigeria has not recovered from the bad legacy of the horrible war.
Most new governments enjoy a honeymoon but a section of the Country wants to make sure Tinubu fails from day one. So far, in less than a month, Tinubu has impressed most of the people including those that did not vote for him in his Osun home state and his adopted state of Lagos. When you win an Election, the President must cater for those that voted for and against him. We don’t have to agree on everything. But failure is not an option at this point.
Nevertheless, the Country must move on either by granting the aspiration of the people for a federated state or into confederated nations. The days of Unity Beggars are gone because people are weary and tired of blackmails. Nigerians still love one another but the noise of hate and uncompromised aspirations have confounded the Silent Majority ruled by extremists. Their goal is to get what they want by any means necessary without building bridges.
It has not stopped some of the Youths, especially those from the Eastern and Western part of the Country from going after one another on social media. It has not spilled onto the street and we all pray that it will never get to that point. The political rivalry is mostly manifested in the Western part of the country where people from different states have traditionally been elected into City councils, the House in the state and at the Federal level. Regardless of non-Native concentration in an area, it hardly happened outside the West.
Unfortunately, the opposition to the new President is mostly coming from the South-Eastern Youths. They are galvanizing support by threats and deadly force in their areas declaring curfew whenever they feel like. This menacing threat has not spread to other states. But in a country where many people are related one way or the other, including by marriage, many innocent folks are affected. It should not have gotten to this point 50 years after the Civil War.
When people believe and feel they have not been accepted into the mainstream, we must listen, no matter how serious or justified their grievance. The people and the country must move on while those aggrieved must ask for demonstration of goodwill from the President, not Interim Government. The people of Lagos and Osun states that voted against Tinubu have accepted the reality on the ground hoping for the return to a prosperous country. Brothers and sisters in other states must reconcile and join hands with other Nigerians.
Even when you disagree with a new President, during the honeymoon period, you can be constructive, not disagreeable. Take the case of floating the Naira, a “simple” problem of Demand and Supply. Nigerians depend on foreign currencies to buy necessary and useless unproductive items from overseas as if the Country’s ability to print dollars and euros could meet demand. Instead of facing this reality: complicated, bogus and superfluous theories taught in world’s famous universities including local ones are postulated as solutions.
Most politicians have been floating the naira when it was one to one under matured supervision to the point of 1 to 600 today; with no end to devaluation in sight. Though they do not make their income overseas, they exhaust the meager income made from selling natural resources. Though during the Election, the three Presidential candidates promised to end petroleum subsidies. They still attack Tinubu for doing so.
The same Western world that controls their currencies by manipulation of the market, preaches a free market to African countries in order to buy their natural resources cheap. Everyone is aware that no country can satisfy Africans demand for the currencies they cannot print. The last time Nigerian pound or naira had an appreciable value of one to one pound or one naira to one and a half US dollars; control exerted worldwide was in place in Nigeria.
It is universally insanity to continue floating your currency for over 50 years, and to keep on doing the same expecting a different result. No country in the world freely floats its currency but African countries are always given that advice in the name of the free market. Indeed, there is no free market. American politicians campaign on, made and manufactured in the USA. While Africans desire very little of what is manufactured or made in their own countries.
Western countries print money without Gold backing that are used to create demand for Western goods and services at their dictated prices. Whenever it’s advantageous to their economy, their currencies are manipulated stronger or weaker to corner the market. Therefore, African currencies only get weaker, never stronger.
When Americans and European politicians realized that objective economists are threatening their advantageous relationship in the domination of world currency, they introduced Structural Adjustment to devalue the African currencies so that African natural resources can be bought for little or in exchange for “Foreign Aid”. It was even more surprising that Western trained economists bought the Structural Adjustment urging Africans to adopt it to their detriment!
If Western countries railed on China for not playing fair by manipulating their currency in order to sell their manufactured products cheaply, it is pure hypocrisy to tell Africans with little world demand for manufactured goods and services to sell their finite land and natural resources cheap. African countries have little artificial manufactured goods the world demands and buy in exchange for their local currencies.