Recently the Governor of Zamfara State in North West Nigeria was pictured gloating over a pile of gold that had been mined for him in his State. For many Nigerians it was news that we have gold in Nigeria. For the informed and discerning it was no news. They know that this country is rich and that we should not be in the dire economic situation we are in. Not only do we have gold in Zamfara State but we have it in all the six geopolitical zones of the country! This country has bitumen in abundance, coal, bauxite, iron ore, copper, limestone, indeed, we have forty four non oil solid minerals. So why should it be news that a State Governor has gold produced in his State?

It is news because this is one of the most dysfunctional countries in the world. It is blessed with so many natural resources but the devils deciding what happens in Nigeria will not allow simple common sense to see the light of day. We have what we call a constitution crafted and imposed on us by those who do not wish this country well. Simply they put all minerals in what they call the ‘Exclusive List’, exclusive to the Federal Government. Therefore no State Government has a right to exploit any minerals in his State. So these minerals are lying there not exploited because the insensitive and visionless Federal Government has left all our non oil mineral resources untapped and is concentrating on petroleum, easy money. We are all scrambling for a share of the oil money ignoring the other wealth lying underground!

So our abundant solid minerals are left for all sorts of nasty characters to exploit. All sorts of illegal mining is going on. And that is why the picture of Zamfara State Governor gloating over the gold he got illegally is noteworthy. He could have got it in one of so many ways. There are Chinese people mining our gold illegally. There are politicians doing it. And there are a lot of hungry citizens involved. Bandits are also involved, fighting themselves and other competitors. This is one of the sad stories and shame of a nation. All over the country illegal prospecting and mining is going on. And why not? People are hungry and the minerals apparently belong to nobody. After all, the Federal Government that says all minerals belong to it is doing nothing. Nature abhors a vacuum. Therefore all sorts of criminals have moved in.

Is this how to run a country? Our rulers cannot listen to reason. There has been this outcry which the Government has been resisting. Everybody except those ruling us is saying, devolve powers to the States, re=engineer Nigeria. No, our rulers do not want it even in the face of the diminishing need for oil worldwide. Many countries are trying to move away from oil, there is a deadline for shift to electric cars, everybody is moving away from fossil fuel. Unfortunately our rulers have their surrogates as the leaders of the Senate and House of Representatives. They will not make a move to restructure Nigeria. As the Igbo saying goes, ‘onwu ga egbu nwa nkita anagh ekwe ya anu isi nsi,’ meaning that when death is coming to the dog it will no longer be able to smell its favourite food, shit!’ Dog lovers please pardon the vulgar expression. But there was a time in Nigeria when the village dog’s food was excrement. If a child was defecating the dog was called and it lapped up the poo and licked clean the child’s bottom.

This is where we find ourselves. The country is being torn apart by all sorts of crises, terrorism, separatist movements, banditry, killer herdsmen, kidnappers, cultists, human trafficking, gun running, you name them. And the Government is unable to cope. But Government will not do the most simple things. It will not permit State police. Most crimes are local and State police will be more able to deal with the myriads of crime that have not only overwhelmed our understaffed, underfunded and inefficient police but has overwhelmed all our security forces including the army. The army should normally be defending our country from external aggression but is deployed at checkpoints all over the place to fight local crime!

The country is impoverished and getting poorer by the day. Millions are unemployed. Opportunities are few. People are starving. Yet the Government will not take the simple step of handing over some of its responsibilities to the States’ One of these responsibilities is our mineral wealth. The Federal Government should take its bumbling hands off our mineral resources. If the financially incapacitated States had been in charge of our mineral resources they would not every month be going to Abuja cap in hand to the Federal Government for their diminishing share of revenue. They would not be begging for bail outs. They would have been exploiting our mineral resources. The Governor of Zamfara State would have been legally exploiting the gold in the State and there would be no need for him to gloat over some gold ingots. He would have a mining company that would mine the gold and produce the money for the running of the State. He would gladly pay whatever royalty he is legally bound to pay to the Federal Government.

Unfortunately for now this is wishful thinking. This is Nigeria, one of the malfunctioning African countries where religious fanatics are busy beheading fellow citizens for the simple reason that they are different. This is black Africa where nothing works. This is where prehistoric creatures are walking their cattle thousands of miles in this modern day and age and where our rulers see nothing bad in it whether these nomads wipe out law abiding citizens who happen to oppose their cattle grazing on their farm crops. This is a country where a group of savages are busy killing innocent citizens because they do not want them to imbibe western education. And these animals will not tell the unfortunate citizens which education to imbibe. THIS IS BLACK AFRICA! Africa Oyee!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *