Big Brother Nigeria: Charity Begins Abroad

By Douglas Ogbankwa

Big Brother Nigeria, the scandal prone South African Pay TV Organised reality show, spurned to feed the vanity of some Nigerian Audiences has a paradox of locale. Though, it is called Big Brother Nigeria, for most of its episodes, it was shot from South Africa.

It is actually a anecdote that in Nigeria, Charity begins abroad.

This is exactly the paradoxical quagmire the Nigerian Government presently is in its attempt to restore democratic order in Niger Republic. Nigerian Highways are dens of kidnappings, bandits have run amok in the core of the North, unknown gunmen are killing Igbos in the streets of Abakaliki and Owerri, with other heinous going on in the hinterlands.

Dr. Douglas Ogbankwa

The Federal Government has not confronted those terrorist actions , at home with the same fevour they are confronting the ones abroad.

The Coup in Nigeria no doubt poses a threat to democracy and democratic culture in West Africa, but can Nigeria afford an expensive war , that seems to be the African version of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine?

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Our President has indicated that we need to tighten our belt. There is a misconception by Government and its Agencies that only citizens should tighten their belts.

In fact the profligacy in Government is mind blowing and the earlier government realises that , the better for existentialism of the Nigerian State.

We do know that the crisis entrepreneurs are gearing to make supplies for the needless war, but our question is how has previous wars and support programmes in Africa States benefited Nigeria?

Are you going to continue on a merry go round, killing the best of our soldiers in needless wars and unnecessarily exposing the military capabilities of our Military in Proxy Wars , reminiscent of the cold war?

Nigeria appears to be perpetually on a wild goose chase , in their military interventions. From the Intervention in the MPLA /UNITA War in Angola, accentuated by John Girang and Dos Santos , Support for the ANC led by Nelson Mandela, Oliver Thambo, Thambo Mbeki, etc.

During the Apartheid Government in South Africa, to the support of the Sam Njuoma’s SWAPO in Namibia, the Support for the Black Movement of the ZANU PF Party led by Robert Mugabe in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, the ECOMOG, Operations led Generals Joshua Dongaro, Moses Kupolati, Timothy Shelpedi during the Liberian Civil War Spurned by Samuel Doe, Charles Taylor and Prince Johnson, the ECOMOG Operations in Sierra Leone being driven by the then Nigerian Navy’s Flagship NNS Aradu land troops led by Generals Victor Malu and Maxwell Kobe, to the one in Sudan driven by General Martin Luther Agwai, the Nigerian Government has been a father Christmas to African Countries and African Countries have not treated us with much respect.

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The Concept of Africa as the Centre Piece of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy, is a facade ,when Nigeria is not the centre piece of African Amity .The South Africans have bombarded us with Xenophobia and wanton killing of Nigerians.

The Ghanaians are very hostile and have indeed legislated an obnoxious 1Million Dollars start up fund for Nigerian Businesses and even demolished a Nigerian Consular Property in their domain and turned around to say, it was a Landlord and Tenant Matter, a very big disrespect and a novelty in diplomatic engagements, any where in the World.

All the Billions of Dollars frittered away in Liberia and Sierra Leone , appears to be like a waste.There is no single concession given to Nigeria in any of these countries. We appear to be wasteful and prodigal , with out any benefit to our nation.

The most important element driving our foreign policy is national interest.What is our national interest in going to war in Niger?

A National Interest in this regard , presupposes a local benefit for our participation at the international space.

Most countries of the world have a strategic engagement with other countries that will mostly be of economic benefit to them when they engage with other countries.

Our Foreign Policy eggheads are only good at grandiose names to our policies with out any empirical benefit to us.

So we are like the proverbial cash cow , milked with reckless abandon , to fund objectives that do not benefit us .

The Technical Aid Corps (TAC) , for example appear to be a white elephant project , that is used to ferry Nigerians out of the country, to African, Carribean and Commonwealth Countries , with out any attendant benefit to our country, in terms of corresponding Goodwill from those countries.

The Concept of Economic Diplomacy is a prodigal project of squandering of millions of dollars on the projects abroad that we need in Nigeria. That is why here , charity begins abroad.

The Concept of Citizens Diplomacy is a charade , implemented with haphazard convoluted strategem.

Some Nigerians who were stranded in Sudan in the Russian Backed Wagner Group orchestrated internecine strife , departing Khartoum by Bus , perhaps to hijacked the Maghreb Gangs in the Sahara .

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We call on President Tinubu to have a rethink .The money to be used in the Niger Invasion , is needed for social welfare schemes.

Nigeria has no reason to engage in bellicose rhetorics with the Junta in Niger.We are not mates . Nigeria Republic is not up to Kano State in economic power .

Let us leave them to their fate .This writer believes democracy is the surest safeguard to freedom and also agrees that strengthening of institutions is critical in the democratic process .

Let us have a recoil.Charity begins at home , not abroad in the real sense .We must concentrate more on things that border us as a people as we can not save African, Africa has to find a way to save itself.

Nigeria should be the centre piece of all of our policies.The only Big Brother Nigeria we should be involved in now is the one on DSTV.

*Douglas Ogbankwa, ,, a Nigerian Lawyer, Writer and Policy Analyst is the Convener of the African X Generation of Leaders , an online Platform of Young Africans.

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