Saturday, December 11, 2010


One wonders what is so difficult a task in manufacturing toothpicks, where chewing sticks are part of our daily routine of mouth washing? If it is so difficult for Nigerians to slice up a chewing stick into slender sticks to make a pick, then I’d say I am pretty na├»ve about the capabilities of this country and the inventive veins that flows within us.

Maybe the feats of architectural ingenuity that one sees all over Lagos are not of our making; we are just profiting from the benefaction of some foreign construction company, like Julius Berger, to dot Broad Street with imposing skyscrapers.
With a grin, I might be accused of stupidity to say that we do not need intelligence or intelligent people in this country.

It is not an easy statement, but that is what importing toothpicks suggests. At least, chewing sticks were the playthings of our ancestors; how could we lose a micro chewing stick to foreign supply? It beats me; I am sure it would you, yourself, but if the President pronounced it to be so, then he in his wisdom knows it all along that Nigerians do not want to bother their brains any longer. So why should he bother himself?

If I am correct in my dismay, then we have collectively sold our creative and entrepreneurial inheritance to foreign imports. Creativity and entrepreneurship would surely go the way of power – into the hands of some cabal who would do anything to stifle it, even strangle it to death. Gone are the days of Industrial estates, gone are the days of assembly plants. Goodluck Jonathan has just heralded the dawn of an age where the Apapa Ports have become our industrial showpieces.

It makes me shudder.

Importing toothpicks would also cause a thinking person to conclude that Nigerians have stopped bothering themselves about solving their problems. We’d rather pay someone else some money to do the abstract problem solving. We can afford to maintain this culture of paying for solution providers from overseas but one day, the oil well will run dry. I really do foresee an apocalyptic breakdown in law and order on the streets of Lagos; an apocalypse with mayhem as its close cousin. There is no way we can beat our chest that our sovereignty can ever stand the test of nationhood. I wonder if the marionettes at Aso Rock belong to either Washington or Beijing? Either way, that is the true story and no one is ashamed or afraid to deny the truth.

Another truth, if there is anything like the truth really, is that, intelligent people in this country or people who want to lay a claim to such an exalted position, are being destroyed. Without destroying them, the culture of mental, moral, financial and inspirational dependency would be resisted. I don’t see anyone recognizing this fact in our media. Yet, this is the truth. How come no one realized importing toothpicks should be a declaration done in secrecy, without public knowledge, and not on the front pages of a national newspaper?

Those that have not been destroyed, because of the stifling climate, financially of course, have refused to express their intelligence. They’d rather shove it into some closet and work for some bank with luxurious cars as the reward for doing a work which even persons without brains can do, and do it beautifully well too.

Who is to blame then? Whose fault is it? I wish I could dig up some research about power in this country, but if you recall that the millions of generators that have become a household necessity in Nigerian homes are as a result of the fact that power will never belong to Nigerians, because the dam will never be solved, because the transformers will always fail, because their salaries are always paid even when services are not rendered, then you will understand how strong the grip on the Nigerian intellect some cabal can have to make sure creative and entrepreneurial abilities are stifled.
I keep wondering what sovereignty a country can possess if it is totally dependent on another for its existence? The speculation will never end; not until I am proved true.

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