Independence or Neo-colonialism?
On 1st October 2017, The Entity called Nigeria will be 57 years since when it became an “independent Nation” in 1960. This is in commemoration of 1st October 1960, when Nigeria gained independence from the Britain after more than 50 years of Colonialism in which the Country and other Countries of the continent suffered the worst state of exploitation.
But the question on the lips of critical mind like mine is; Are we truly independent going 57years down the line? Can we say we have truly attained the freedom and sovereignty requisite in an independent Nation?
Most Africa Nations and others in the Caribbean and South America were in the shackles of Colonialism or better still imperialism Where there was a massive plundering of the resources endowed in Africa to facilitate and serve as the raw materials as the dawn of the industrial revolution in Europe, this was one of the most worst state of looting of resources in the history of the continent. Those raw materials shipped to Europe where converted to finished good which were in turn shipped back to the continent as export commodities.
In fact our colonial masters never deemed it necessary to develop our local industries so we could become manufacturers ourselves. Instead we became voracious consumers of those goods imported from Europe and the West which were considered luxury goods by our elites with their fugacious taste for these foreign goods to the detriment of our burgeoning local industries which were booming In the pre colonial era. This led a foundation for our continuous dependence on foreign good and services to satisfy our voracious taste.
The colonial masters never taught us how to fish, we were only taught how to eat fish and collect fish. A child who still depends on his parents after getting a job and getting married is more or less a liability and is not fully independent as the parents have rights to caution and control that Child. That is what we are suffering in Nigeria and Africa as a whole today.
The other spectrum of our dependence under the guise of independence is illustrated as;
In the post world war II era, there was the rise of nationalism and the call for independence which gradually paved the way for the eviction of the Europeans from Africa. But these European powers had to look for ways and mechanisms in which they will continously have easy access to plunder and exploit our resources. Even when they were physically out of the continent but it was to be subtle and crafty
This led to the establishment of the Bretton woods Institution which I call the most corrupt Institutions as well as the greatest scam in the history of mankind and these institutions were the International Monetary Fund(IMF), The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development known as the World Bank and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff which became known as the World Trade Organisation.
These Institutions were created under the guise that they were to restore stability and balance into the international system where as they are instruments to further exploit and oppress the Third World Countries. This is because these institutions were formed in the period of colonialism and it is not all inclusive.
This Western countries also coined some questionable terms like Foreign Direct Investment which in a way gave them easy access to the resources of Africa while Africa on the other hand found it and still find it difficult to establish Foreign Direct Investments in these Western Capitalist Countries. Firms like Coca cola, MC Donald, Julius Berger and the likes have so taken hold of our economy in Africa that our local industries are at the disadvantage.
They also facilitated the giving of loans, grants and international aids to Countries of the third world, in return we sell our birthright in form of Sovereignty to them which gives them easy access to interfere in our internal affairs as any country that rebels against them will no longer quality to receive such stolen and questionable funds. Countries of the third world have no choice since these free and easy funds are needed to facilitate development of infrastructure and to also repay the interest rate of our elephant foreign debts lacking the necessary funds to pay the principal fee of the debts.
The Western Countries were able to interfere freely without any form of resistance in Countries like Libya where a whole President was turned against is people and was assassinated like a Church rat, in Iraq where the same scenario took place through the brazen murder of Sadam Hussein, in Ivory Coast where Laurent Gbagbo was replaced by a favourite candidate of France Alassane Qatarra and many more instances like this have taken place in the international community. We cannot easily forget the war at Vietnam. All these atrocities are committed by the western countries with no one to caution or question them because doing so will spell doom for that Nation.
These has left us to be dependent and to still be dependent on these foreign powers for a long time in the past and a long time in the future.
We should not keep deceiving Ourselves that we are independent since Nigeria for example and other countries colonised by the Britain are still Vassal States of the crown in the name of Commonwealth of Nations. In the sense that we are still expected to pay our tributaries like giving their firms easy access to Foreign Direct Investment, importing their manufactured goods and selling our raw materials to them at cheap prices.
What lies ahead for Our Future?
Sovereignty in the light of these as a country because the more we depend on them for aids, grants and international assistance, the more we relinquish our sovereignty to them, the more we import foreign goods which is disproportionate to our exports, the more we incur debts, the more we cry on their shoulders in the wake of every minor conflict or crisis, the more we become tools for their use. The war in Syria is an example which is now a proxy war and a war of interest.
We need a change of mentality to move our country forward, we need to facilitate minimal or stop any form of dependence on these foreign Powers, the President of Zimbabwe though very old is one of the few Head of State in the Third World that have the audacity to challenge these Western powers which is quite commendable.
We need to stand up for our rights as Sovereign states and fight against any form of bullying in the international system. Just like the saying goes;
“He who pays the Piper dictates the tune”
David is a freelance writer and activist. He studied History and International Studies at Bowen University.
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