By Nwachukwu Egbunike
This is not an entirely cheering news: Nigeria is number 14 in the 2012 Failed States Report conducted by Foreign Policy, a Washington-based thinktank.
The report is divided into five categories: Critical, In danger, Borderline, Stable and Most Stable. Not only does Nigeria rank 14 but we were grouped under the “Critical” category. See the full report here.
1. Really I don’t care! Not that I am nonchalant but because we have heard this over and over again. This is not going to be the last time either. Nigeria will not fail, not because the leaders and followers say so, but because, millions of lives have been lost to keep this country one. And they would not have died in vain.
2. Forget the posturing and grandstanding: the truth remains that we – Nigerians – need each other. We may not admit it but that is the truth.
3. Who defines the indices of development? Like democracy, it does not have universal agreement in terms of definition. Prior to the Crash of Civilisation, GDP was the sole basis of quantifying development. In order words, African countries were in a haste to come at par with infrastructural challenges. That in it self is not totally wrong but the unfortunate thing was that this craze to set up structures was not followed with an equal emphasis on human development. I fully agree with Francois-Xavier Ada (a Cameroonian blogger) that:
I have weighed both sides and I disagree with this assessment. I do not disagree with the information provided which is very important but rather with the whole idea behind such a report. What gives one person the right to say that another country is inferior or a failure? What do you mean by modern? What criteria must a state meet to be coined a failed state? Capital? Lack of western liberal democracy? Government legitimacy? Human rights abuses? Unfriendliness with the West? And are we talking of states? nation-states? nations? governments? people? what? And how is progress measured? Does a failed state receive such a designation because it has already been blacklisted because it is an African state? Stereotypes of failure usually come in shades of black… Is such a report how you measure a country’s worth? I can tell you with confidence, that is this how the media programs people to think and unless your IQ is above average you will not notice. This article has an agenda that’s for sure. Some of the “So Called Failed States” are not necessarily or are more than what the pictures show.
4. Does it mean we should discard the report entirely, no! But it should only serve as a warning of what awaits us as a people if we do not fix our society. The earlier we realise that we, as individuals – together with government – have to chart the destiny of our country, the better for us. However, what one sees is leadership that seems incompetent and a followership that is also uninspiring. In the end, the cycle of abuse continues while the looters have a field day.
5. It’s about time we seek a solution. And that solution begins with you and I.