The Former Minister of the Nigerian Federal Capital Territory, Nasir El-rufai, in his recent speech titled “Nigeria: Political Dynamics and Prospects for Reform,” given at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C, gave the usual lengthy stone-throwing at the Yar'Adua government and expressed his doubts, at any prospect of the current regime implementing any tangible progress.
In truth it was a good speech and to be fair, it included some suggestions for change, rather than the customary negative appraisals which inform us of the problems, but seem to be bereft of any information related to solutions. Of course, in speeches like El-Rufai's, there will be the odd nonsense thrown in for good measure and he did not disappoint, as he ended the speech with comments concerning recent plans for President Obama to visit Ghana and not Nigeria. Apparently, like most political observers, he believed the President has done this because of the quality of governance in Ghana, which is clearly lacking in Nigeria.
Well, I doubt if you will find a bigger Obama fan in the blogging world than myself (I spent 8 months pretending to be the great man - www.obamadrama.blogspot.com), but I hope he truly did not snub Nigeria due to the governance issue, as his recent choice of destinations does not seem to be in line with his purported 'preference' for the Gold Coast. Yes, Nigeria is suffering from ill-governance and endemic corruption, but I do not believe the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Egypt (yes, I know the Middle East crisis dictated his itinerary!), hold any 'paragon of governance' status when compared to the Nigerian nation.
Unspeakable things are being done by both countries' governmments to maintain the fragile stability they display to the world and if Obama has truly decided not to visit Nigeria due to her dodgy government, then I am afraid he is obviously applying the most sophisticated form of double standards! Saying that, we do not have proof that this is the case, but we are ready with our reactions if it is ever confirmed.
We know Nigeria is an incredibly challenged country, with a seemimgly self-destructive character, but I am certain a man of Obama's intelligence is aware that his appearance in the country, rather than the opposite, is the propellant needed by the masses to demand change and for the goverment to initiate a turn in it's direction. Forget vsits from the Dai Lama and the Pope, this is the world's most powerful man, who just happens to look and walk like us and most importanly, one who achieved what most thought was impossible (no different from the current Nigerian mindset). In the end, we are talking of the world's most populous BLACK country! It is not a maybe for him, it is just a matter of when.
Mr President, we are expecting you.......don't let us down.