By Dr. Emmanuel Moore Abolo

I have very little knowledge about the acts and dynamics of war. But I do know that war does no one any good. It leaves in its trail blood, destruction, mayhem, sorrow, and bitterness. Remember: Thou shall not kill.

It is also true that In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons. Diplomacy is always the best way to settle conflicts. Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. According to Ronald Reagan, ‘’Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means’’.

Following the bloodless coup in Niger, many ECOWAS and European leaders as well as non-state actors are beating the drums of war. Nigerian leaders are in a very difficult situation as to how to balance all the contending interests. Wisdom should prevail.

As to what would be the aftermath of the coup in Niger, our survey [ 85 respondents] produced the following results:

  • 5%——————————————–Niger would disintegrate;
  • 14%——————————————ECOWAS would overthrow the Junta;
  • 31%—————————————-US/Rusia would introduce proxy war; and
  • 51%——————————————Coups will spread to the rest of Africa.

Rather than activate the war options, let us open the floodgate of diplomacy and peaceful negotiations. Those who benefit from wars should refrain from misleading others into war.

This problem can be settled diplomatically. We should always treat ourselves first, as brothers and sisters. According to Mother Teresa, ‘’If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other’’.

Going to war would further complicate the already complicated Nigeria’s socio-economic quagmire and the consequences for Africa can best be imagined.

Take a picture of the Nigerian socio-economic situation:

  • High level of poverty —— 63% of persons living within Nigeria (133 million people) are multi-dimensionally poor;
  • Hyper-inflation—22.79 % as at June 2023;
  • Consulting clinics that are called hospitals;
  • High-level of unemployment, especially among the youths—to rise to 41% in 2023 according to KPMG;
  • Fuel price in the skies—average petrol price per liter currently at N630;
  • Unimaginable high-level of insecurity—–killings upon killings everyday. Human life has become very cheap;
  • Exponential high quality ‘’brain drain’’ to other parts of the world;
  • Low GDP growth—-projected to grow at 3% in 2023;
  • Poor educational system—- According to available documents, about 10.5 million of the country’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school. Only 61 percent of 6–11-year-olds regularly attend primary school and only 35.6 percent of children aged 36-59 months receive early childhood education. The situation at the tertiary level is even more frightening.
  • Poor energy supply— According to available records, currently, only 45% of Nigeria’s population is connected to the energy grid whilst power supply difficulties are experienced around 85% of the time and almost nonexistent in certain regions. At best, average daily power supply is estimated at four hours, although several days can go by without any power at all;
  • High level of brazen corruption—-150 position out of 180 countries according TI; and
  • High level of infrastructure deficit—- Currently at 30% of GDP which falls short of the international benchmark of 70% set by the World Bank.

Given the above delicate/precarious situation, we should rather focus on settling the Niger ‘wahala’ diplomatically to enable us focus on fixing Nigeria speedily.  There is ‘’fire on the mountain’’ everywhere. There is hunger and frustration in the land. A stich in time will surely save nine.

But what should be the focus of leaders in Nigeria? Our poll [40 respondents] produced the following results:

  • 57%——————————————————-Make our refineries functional;
  • 39%——————————————————-Make electricity available; and
  • 4%———————————————————Distribute Naira to Nigerians.

Let us fix this great Nation called Nigeria. All hands must be on deck and our leaders must inspire the led with actions that can galvanize the spirit of followership. Let us make Nigeria GREAT. Yes, we can.

Dr. Emmanuel Moore ABOLO ,PhD-Econs, FGRCP,FIMC, FNIMN,FPSSN. The Risk Master; Global Speaker; Systems Thinker

Baobab Africa
Baobab Africa People and Economy reports the continent majorly from a positive slant. We celebrate the continent. Not for us the negatives that undermine the African real story of challenging but inspiring growth.

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