Posted by News Express | 24 August 2019 | 1,252 times
Title: Fixing Nigeria
Author: Chuks Emmanuel Inyaba-Nwazojie
Publisher: Page Publishing Inc, New York
Reviewer: Ngozi Emedolibe
‘Fixing Nigeria’ is a collection of papers by Chuks Emmanuel Inyaba-Nwazojie based on his observations of what has been unfolding in Nigeria since independence. Dwelling profoundly on incidents he witnessed as a kid, youth and adult, the book is borne out of the interest and passion he has for the nation, highlighting how the leaders – politicians and military – could not account for billions of petrodollars earned over the decades.
The author in succinct prose paints an imagery of what is currently happening in the political scene. He aims to stir international debate on how to fix leadership failures in Nigeria in particular, and Africa in general.
In the book, Chuks Emmanuel Inyaba-Nwazojie offers the readers a mirror of Nigeria from colonial rule, to civil war and how our leaders misgoverned the country by deliberately destroying every critical infrastructure left behind by the colonialists. They drove out international investors, seized their businesses and handed them over to ‘rogue Nigerians,’ who were incapable of managing the businesses.
He details problems of the country and how the once progressive, forward-looking nation can be reformed. The book equally lists names of those who created problems for the nation and turn around to blame the colonialists; when in fact, they are the new colonialists who are milking the nation.
He identifies a number of areas to be reformed. He avers that in the looming reforms, leadership and future generation of the country should be the focus. He posits that though Nigerian leaders’ new defense mechanism has been the use of neocolonialism to deny their failures while at the same time staging Economic Conferences to enrich themselves and families, rather than helping the nation achieve meaningful economic development. “Nigerian leaders cannot solve its problems without first initiating top-to-bottom reforms because the nation is a ‘failed state,’ that should start all over again,” he campaigns.
He provides insight into Nigeria after the independence in page 18, and regretted that after the euphoria that greeted the end of British Rule, nobody ever thought that the newly independent Nigeria would quickly be divided by politicians along the lines of tribe, bribery and corruption, and infighting organised under tribal inclination.
Inyaba-Nwazojie’s heart goes to the Western Nigerian Political Riot of 1965, otherwise called ‘Operation Wetie’, which saw the killing of Akintola, and the trial of Awolowo for treason. On the era under the Prime Minister Abubakar, the author notes the nightmare created for the citizens who expected freedom. “January 15, 1966 was the day the nation’s problems began a journey of no return, an evidence that the first republic politicians had failed,” he chronicles.
He gives credit to Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu who led the coup to save Nigeria from its trolley problems. He cites Nzeogwu’s reason for the military actions: “Our enemies are the profiteers, the swindlers, the men in high and low places that seek bribes and demand 10 percent, those that seek to keep the country divided permanently so that they remain in office as ministers or VIPs… those that make the country look big for nothing before international circles…..”
He says that what happened in 1966 was not a cause for celebration, that as a nation, no lesson has been learnt forty-nine years after a twenty-eight year old military officer, Nzeogwu identified and alerted the nation of the cause of its trolley problems. “Since the civil war ended, Nigerian politicians had continued to make the same mistakes that took the nation to a three-year civil war,” he documents.
He describes Nzeogwu as a hero and true patriot who deserves to be honoured with a chair of Major Patrick Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu Ethics and Moral Studies Department, or Psychology Department in every Nigerian institution of higher learning, for speaking the truth in 1966 about the state of the nation.
The counter-coup in 1966 also receives a mention among issues under focus. Though declared ‘No winner and No Vanquished’ by General Gowon, Nigerians and her government have not properly honoured the first military general of the Nigerian army, General Aguiyi Ironsi. He advocates that Ironsi’s name be emblazoned on the Nigerian Currency.
He also believes that one of the international airports, and the military defense academy in Kaduna should be named after him, while his host, and the military governor of the Western Region, Colonel Fajuyi should equally be honoured with a street in Abuja for their effort to bring peace and unity to the country.
Equally mirrored in the 247-page book were Colonel Yakubu Gowon, Military Head of State; 1966-1975, and Colonel Ojukwu who the author says tried their best despite facing toughest moments of a lifetime.
The topics for the readers include: The Civil War 1967-1970, and My school; End of Civil War, 1970; The Economy Under Gowon’s Watch; Return Seized Money to the Igbos; Gowon’s Second Mistake: The Indigenization Decree; The Overthrow of Gowon in 1974; General Murtala Mohammed, Head of State, 1975; Brigadier General Obasanjo, the Next Military Head of State 1976; Obasanjogate and his Educationgate 1976.
Other issues documented in the book are: Obasanjo’s Ban on Importation of Books and his foreign policy, Why Africa failed, The Head of Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Nelson Mandela, the World Statesman, African Union Formation, The European Union, African/China, President Shehu Shagari, 1979-1983, and benefits of new states.
New to the art of writing, the author who seemingly is finding joy from writing did so well in pitching the thrust of his book on how the country can be salvaged by some reforms, with the hope that this will spur Nigerians into action.
A good book worthy of a space in every library, the author however needs to do more work on future reprints in order to reduce the typos noticeable in this edition.
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