Rejecting the politically-poisoned gifts to get a new Nigeria

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politically-poisoned gift

Occasionally enticing a caged and starved prince with tasty food to get his signature is beneficial to wicked guards. Since the prince is already caged, the cage guards can use starvation to control and exploit the caged prince. Though they can forge the prince’s signature, they want him to sign in order to justify themselves against the prince’s future denial or accusation. By accepting the politically-poisoned gifts of tasty food for his signature, the prince loses the moral authority to fight for his right. And unless he stops giving his signature in exchange for politically-poisoned gifts, the prince may never regain his freedom. Considering the strings of exploitation attached to election gifts, it becomes necessary to reject the politically-poisoned gifts.

Some people have argued that they are justified to collect bribes and gifts, which Nigerian politicians share during election campaigns. They say that those monetary and material gifts they receive during elections are their own share of the national cake. Though the gifts they call their share of national cake may not last a week, they desperately cling to it. The politicians are happy to hear the people struggle and claim those peanuts as their rightful share of “national cake”. And without rejecting this politically-poisoned gifts, the people will lack the motivation to resist exploitation. Then politicians will always use the politically-poisoned gifts as justification-trap to exploit the people.

Progressive societies are formed people’s agreement to utilize their resources to produce wealth to satisfy their subsistent and commercial needs.[1] They train and organize their society for each person to develop and utilize their potentials to satisfy some social needs.[2] Due to their social contributions, each member of the society is seen as a responsible and integral part.[3] In democratic societies, people obtain “princely rights” and recognition through their productivity and contribution to the society. Thus, people struggle to be productive in order to get princely rewards and privileges that come with social productivity.

Unfortunately, Nigerians and other Africans cannot measure princely rights by productivity since the mineral resources for productivity are militarily seized for exportation.[4] Colonialists formed Nigeria by brutally merging various unconsented kingdoms and communities under a militarized government structure[5] for exploiting resources.[6][7][8] Indigenes of the former independent and productive kingdoms appear caged in an imposed political structure that seizes their production resources.[9] While the politicians that replaced the colonial exploiters share few imported products as salary, infrastructure or donations.

By sharing election-gifts, politicians seek justification for exploiting people’s mineral resources that could have been used for industrial production. Each kingdom and community bound in Nigeria has some human and material resources for princely rights through industrial production. But by accepting politically-poisoned gifts of imported products (vehicles, food, money) they lose the moral authority to demand their freedom. By accepting the politically-poisoned gifts, they approve the colonially-imposed political structure for exploiting the resources they could have used for industrial production.

Hunger strike is one of the psychological tools prisoners use to protest against injustice or inhuman treatment. It is a situation where prisoners reject the food presented by their captors for some moral reasons. Such strikes become effective by hitting the moral foundation or justification for which they have been imprisoned or treated unjustly. Hunger strike does not involve violence or riot that gives the captors an excuse to respond with higher violence. Instead, it weakens the agents’ conscience or the moral justification for every unjust treatment meted to the prisoners.

To overcome the neo-colonial exploitation by the militarized government, the different kingdoms and ethnic communities will reject the politically-poisoned gifts. The ethnic communities will not continue to approve the neo-colonial robbery by accepting crumbs from the derivative of their wealth. Instead, they will negotiate to differently use their resources for industrial productivity, intercommunal trade and percentile government tax. They will collaboratively design a new form of government that allows each people to use their resources for productivity.

In the face of exploitation,

“They do not pay you to walk away,

They pay you so they can walk away.”[10]

Neo-colonial exploiters do not pay you to walk away

They pay you crumbs so they can walk away with your treasure.

[1] Cf. Aristotle, Politics, Book 1, part 1

[2] Cf. Plato, in Derek Johnston, A brief history of philosophy (London: MPG Books Ltd, 2006) p.22

[3] Cf. Joseph Omoregbe, Social-Political philosophy and international relations (Lagos: Joja press, 2007)

[4] Walter Rodney, How Europe underdeveloped Africa, 2009 edition (Abuja: Panaf press, 2009) p.319

[5] Cf. Ogban Ogban-Iyan, Re-inventing Nigeria through Pre-colonial traditions, in Issues in contemporary political economy of Nigeria, (ed.) Hassan A. Saliu. (Ilorin, Sally & Associates, 1999). P77

[6] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 2 “… all lands in which minerals have been found in Nigeria and any area covered by its territorial waters or constituency and the Exclusive Economic Zone shall, from the commencement of this Act be acquired by the Government of the Federation…”  “No person shall search for or exploit mineral resources in Nigeria or divert or impound any water for the purpose of mining except as provided in this Act.”  “The property in mineral resources shall pass from the Government to the person by whom the mineral resources are lawfully won, upon their recovery in accordance with this Act.”

[7] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 2, paragraph 1

[8] Nigerian minerals and mining act 2007 act no. 20, chapter 1, Part 1, Section 1, paragraph 3

[9] Cf. Ogban Ogban-Iyan, op. cit., p.77

[10] Dan Evans to his son about criminal Ben Wade, in the movie 3:10 to Yuma