By Comrade A. A. Ogbu
The quest for solutions to Africa’s myriad of problems as exemplifies by Nigeria “The Giant of Africa” is conceptualized as a disease in this piece. The need to seek for answers in African Cultural strength that have sustained life on the continent for centuries before colonization is advocated as home-grown solution..
It is equally necessary, but carefully, as I connect the dots on Africa’s problems with the global world of which it was woven into through colonization. I urge writers, journalists, analyst and commentators to be above board in parroting the dissenting voices of politicians divided along fault lines.
This colophony of voices often outrageously trying to pass for the voices of the masses in a struggle. We must always delve into the fray in deconstructive and constructive corrective ways to uphold the hallmark of a watchdog of the society.
It is against this critical backdrop that I challenge the political elites and ethnic chauvinists to be altruistic about contentious national debates. The campaign for Cattle Colonies in Nigeria today is anachronistic with the dynamics of time and change globally.
If the political elites within their parochial self-centered interest deem it fit to push for such as a lasting solution to a lingering violent conflict, then such colonies must be advocated for the army of beggars migrating from the northern parts of the country swamping towns and cities in the Southern parts of the country.
It is on this premise that I once again challenge those who seize every opportunity to beat the frenzied drums of violence to embark on intensive research for better lasting solutions. There cannot be lasting solutions to malingering social problems when you refuse to find out the root causes and diagnoses before cure.
A deeper understanding of the cause of a symptom would lead to a proper diagnosis for a cure. Cattle herding and farming both a twin arms of agriculture are historically antithesis due to the overarching dependency of the former on the later for feeding and survival. Farmers grow crops, shepherds rear animals by grazing them on grasses and crops alike. Even amongst the ancient Jews society, this composite antithesis was a cause of constant strife.
Across the world from ancient historical accounts, conflicts culminating in violent clashes between shepherds and farmers are legendary. They are the two determinants political economies of most agrarian societies. Here lies the crux of the matter, how comes in Nigeria politicians suddenly wake to the reality of cattle colonies when the global standard is cattle ranching?
The answer can be located at the same point where the ignominious issue of a beggar nation is. How comes multitude of people over many generations would be ingloriously notorious for alms begging in the face of affluence? In economics, the fundamental factors of poverty identified culture, religion, geographical location, norms, values and social attitudes amongst others.
Some of these factors are glaring in the twin social problems of migrant herdsmen and beggars who in constant search of greener pasture literally and figuratively encroaching other people’s territories with impunity. Encroachment of other territories indiscriminately amounts to expansionist motive leading to conquest. This is a known fact of history in the pre-colonial fused societies of Africa, especially when accompanied with killing.
As politicians in their jaundiced fire brigade decision-making gear up for imposition of cattle colonies, they must remember that, it is a suspension of the evil days. Cattle colonies cannot be cattle ranching by semantic or undertone. The economic variable in cattle ranching is more productive and value added than the political hegemony that the subtle agitation for cattle colonies connotes.
The comparative advantage of any part of a whole must be prudently exploited as an advantage. Cattles from the north should be bred in the north or outside by acquiring space as dictated by the law of such places. The uncontrolled and unregulated itinerary migration of cattle’s and herders in Nigeria smacks of ulterior motive for sinister clandestine political agenda.
Freedom of movement in a country as espoused by the constitution is not an express freeway to violet other people’s right to life and property. Any attempt at such as we are living witness to in Nigeria today is an act of terrorism. The state and the power that are complicit in this and other acts of insurgency across the country. The late maximums ruler, late General Abacha once said and I quote that, “any act of insurgency in any part of the country that lasts for forty-eight hours has the complicit approval of the Federal Government”.
Nigerian bourgeoisie unlike their counterparts in other saner climes do not have the capacity to think creatively outside the box of primordial ethnic and religious chauvinism. They hide under this fault lines to drive the unenlightened poor masses into hysteria and undermine their cohesion to mobilize and embark on collective mass struggle for emancipation and liberation.
None of them has a clearer view of the deeper problems of a fast changing world spinning people out of their fused societies into a diffused world of capitalist bourgeois democracy. They do not have solutions to; social inequalities, poverty, crime, religious extremism, deteriorating infrastructure, corruption and gross mismanagement of material and natural resources.
Comrade A. A. Ogbu is National Convener Generation for Revolutionary Change from below