Initially, I refused to watch the video of the demolition of part of the Nigerian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, because of intense anger over how far the respect for Nigerians and Nigeria has dropped in the eyes of the world, even amongst Africans. The demolition of that building is only part of the manifestation of the signs and symptoms of the illness of Nigeria, the former giant of Africa.
By international conventions and law, the embassy of a nation is a sacred territory within another nation. You cannot violate the territorial space of an embassy within your nation without severe retaliatory actions or sanctions.
I had a call from a classmate of mine from Government College Ughelli, Duke Osuofa, a retired Rear Admiral, that he was in town, and he wanted us to meet because we had not seen each other since 1976.
When I got to the fuel station, he was standing very casually with a simple shirt over his trousers. He looked very ordinary and simple, although there were some huge men, and one particularly big man, that turned out to be his ADC, standing a little distance from him. He had not changed much. I’m not a very tall person, but I am taller than him. You know what I mean. Remember, I am talking about an admiral, so I have to choose my words very carefully, even if we were former classmates.
I asked him why was he so casually dressed, and what if someone who does not know him comes to harass him? His response was that, “The person has to pay a little price”. It was at that point I actually noticed the men around him.
Nobody pays a price for invading our country or killing Nigerians. Terrorist herdsmen were—and are still—killing Nigerians. At one point, we were told they were from some West African countries.
The question is: How come foreigners entered Nigeria, established camps, made videos of how they raped our daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers at will, and nobody did anything to them? When did the invasion of Nigeria by terrorists become acceptable. At a point there was an appeal to accommodate them in our territory because they are our brothers. The next time it was a desire to establish territories for these invaders, murderers, arsonists, rapists, kidnappers, and land grabbers.
Some Nigerian policemen went to arrest a kidnapper, and they were shot and killed by soldiers who released the kidnapper, and allowed him to flee to another city before he was arrested. Till date, those soldiers have not been brought to book. Nobody has paid a price for killing our policemen because of a criminal.
Some time back, some men of a particular arm of the security agencies invaded a school and beat up teachers. Till date, nobody has paid a price; not even a little one.
Nigerians were gruesomely murdered and burnt to death in South Africa over several days. The government took several days before a feeble response. It took the personal effort of the CEO of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyeama, to airlift the Nigerians that were stranded. Nobody paid a little price, besides the angry response by Nigerians in the streets.
A ragtag group of bandits called boko haram have been killing Nigerians in Northern Nigeria, including the home state of the President. Nigerian soldiers have been killed and executed by these evil men with their videos online. Nobody paid a price commensurate with their despicable acts.
When the same boko haram tried it elsewhere, the Chadian president rose like a wounded lion and took the fight to the camps of boko haram within Nigerian territory, and dealt a deadly blow to them. They killed several of them in retaliation for daring to kill Chadian soldiers.
It was very humiliating to see Nigerian soldiers hailing Chadian soldiers being led by their President to war.
Where is our national pride? The same boko haram that executed our soldiers are being rewarded by being well-fed and recruited into the same army they executed their soldiers.
The apparent failure to deal decisively with those who treat Nigeria and Nigerians with disdain and disrespect is the trigger that most-likely emboldened a private Ghanaian citizen to move with an excavator to demolish a building inside our embassy compound. It is not done anywhere in the world.
The Government of Nigeria had played the ostrich for several months now when Nigerian traders were harassed and intimidated by a group of Ghanaian traders. Very little decisive action was taken by the government of Nigeria.
Questions That Need Answers
- Were there no security guards in the Nigerian High Commission at the time of the invasion of our space? Most embassies have armed guards.
- There is a police post near the High Commission. Were they alerted? If yes, why did they not respond?
- What did the high commissioner do? Did he/she place a call to the President of Ghana or the minister for foreign affairs? Did he/she call Nigeria?
- Would the perpetrators of that humiliating act dare to do that to the British High Commission, French Embassy, Russian Embassy, Iranian Embassy, or even Cuban embassy?
As I am used to saying, “Mad Man Dey Fear Transformer”. In Nigeria, electricity is quite irregular, and there are lunatics that reside near the step-down electricity transformers. But none of them, no matter how mad they are, dare to touch the transformers, even when there is no electricity.
My dear nation is sick.
When an Iroko tree falls down, goats climb it.
Nigeria has lost value and deterrence on the global street. No mad man would have dared to demolish our embassy building under General Murtala Mohammed, Sani Abacha, or Obasanjo. They would have paid a price.
The Giant of Africa is gravely sick; she needs urgent treatment before she goes into a coma.