Our Destiny Is In Our Hands: A History Of Governance In Nigeria Since Independence

Our Destiny Is In Our Hands: A History Of Governance In Nigeria Since Independence

  • Publish Date: 2018-08-19
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Author: Yusuf Ibrahim Gamawa
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Nigeria is an African giant. However it is a giant whose limbs and organs have been taken from many old bodies and stitched together. From its inception, its first major task was to get all these body parts melded and welded as one. As with many modern African nations that were once colonies, at Independence Nigeria faced enormous challenges. Colonialism had never had as one of its goals the forging of viable modern independent nations. Just as the European nations scrambled for their bits and pieces of Africa so when it suited them they scrambled to cast them precariously into the bogs and whirlpools of political independence. No wonder that even the first Prime Minister of Nigeria, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, and other leaders of the different regions in the country denied the very existence of the nation they had been elected to govern. Nigeria and being Nigerian, they commented, was an artificial concept. None of them had ever been trained or given the opportunity to govern. The economy they inherited and the infrastructure that served that economy was never intended to be anything else but a conduit of colonial wealth to the mother country. Then those who now took over and those who found themselves in the armed forces, soon realized that they had the muscle to do whatever they liked. All their lives they had been denied access to the fruits of their countrys wealth while at the same time they watched the small white population living the life they now itched to live. The inevitable result was the coups and corruption that has characterized much of Nigerias history.Gamawas book sets the scene and then traces how the Nigerian people suffered the legacy of their colonial past. But he also shows how, confronted by its immense challenges Nigetrians tried, often fruitlessly, to put things right. Within a few years a tragic series of events, culminating in the Biafran War, threatened to tear the country apart. They saw that the regional stricture inherited from the British amalgamation of its four colonies was a recipe for disaster so they changed it. They saw that the abuse of military power was equally dangerous and the corruption of both military and civil government was eating the country up. They worked on it, till the military stopped making coups whenever they liked. They fumed and fulminated at the vote-rigging and vote-buying at elections that frustrated the will of the people. Again they worked on it and elections got better. This is the strength of Our Destiny Is in Our Hands a quote from the Foreword by Mohammudu Buhari, now President of Nigeria. While Gamawas book does not flinch from narrating the greed and the shocking abuse that characterises his countrys history so far, he also shows how Nigerians have demonstrated that they can get it right and have registered significant advances. There is still a great deal to be done before the African giant flexes its muscles and walks onto the international arena to fulfill its full potential. Nigerians can do it. Their destiny is in their hands.

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