By A.D Amanfo Esq.
As Oldham (1925) put it;
“The African is not clay to be Cast into western molds, but a living type which must develop in accordance with its own laws and express its own native genius”.
Recently, Rwanda seems to be taking the bull by the horn and by doing this , they have taken the Driver’s seat of their own destiny as Rwanda Lawmakers approve Swahili as the official language of the country whilst dropping French completely and ignoring Belgium who colonized then.
This is what I call the breaking down in totality of the wall and mentality of colonialism.
These guys are poised to rewrite their history, rebuild their foundation and reconstruct their past by setting a new path for the future. This they do by going back to their roots in progression.
The history of Africa which should ordinarily bind the its respective countries together has been overtaken by the colonialist’s imprint wherewith the forefathers or ancestors mortgaged the deep and rich history for a piece of Colonialists morsel. What was left for the people was a dynamic traditional system that has continuously been watered down by the influence of the west and the colonialists.
It is never too late for an awakening. A conscious awakening to the ills of colonialism and a reality check to rarely actualize and achieve development on our own African terms. This to me is “one of the only ways to move forward” And i must add, a brilliant step in the right direction.
In comparison, the Nigerian situation, is one that be-labors the mind of every reasonable Nigerian citizen and interested party who has good intentions towards the advancement of development in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. Infact, the Nigerian developmental quagmire is one that affects the world at large, being that there lies a representation of Nigeria in all countries of the world with strong ties to the most populous black nation in the world.
The way forward or rather, the solution to Africa or Nigeria’s developmental imbroglio lies in the will power or capacity of the Nigerian people to bring down the psychological wall of colonialism. The effect of colonialism has negatively affected the psyche of the Nigerian populace. In essence, what the ‘giant of Africa’ suffers from today is more or less a psychological problem. The effect of colonialism has practically left the Nigerian people in a handicapped state, wherewith they can barely do without the interference of the same colonialists and their ilk.
This is a situation which requires a rebuilding, re-appraisal, re-writing, restructuring and re-organization of the laws and systems of the Nigerian state to suit the realties on ground. The extant 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is a far cry from the Nigerian reality and Nigerian dream so to say. This calls for an urgent referendum for a sovereign national conference for the Nigerian people to enable them put together a true constitution which would reflect the true state of the sociological reality of the Nigerian state, with requisite preponderance of the original laws, customs and rich heritage of the people. In essence, Nigeria needs a people oriented constitution which should reflect the real aspirations and reality of the people which should either make or break the continuity of the ‘forced union’.
The development I propose must be one that amplifies the African genius and not a colonialists’ standard of development. A form of development that doesn’t rob the Nigerian genius of its aboriginal culture and system of government which had long been substituted for a British system that remains alien to the Nigerian people till this day.
Nigerians have been made to believe that they cannot develop without the influence and ’tainted’ aid of the west and other European nations. This has continuously made Nigeria and Africa as a whole to always go ‘cap in hand’ seeking for the means to a developed end. This has not helped in any way; rather it has left Africa in in a shameless subjugation by the self-same colonialists who still dictate the developmental pace of African states. Nigeria must learn to seek for that long abandoned genius which is inert in every human race and strive for a realistic development within its own bothers.
Finally, the Colonialists left the Nigerian space with so many landmines that will take a serious and responsible government to tactically guide the Nigerian ship through these landmines to the Promised Land, and this requires a painstaking effort, which includes a re-orientation and dismantling of the psychological and systematic wall of colonialism. This is what Rwanda has chosen to begin to do. Language has always been a tool for subjugation and Rwanda has decided to shave themselves of this colonial deceit.
According to Awolowo O. (1968), ‘’It is incontestable that the British not only made Nigeria, but also handed it to us whole on their surrender of power. But the Nigeria, which they handed over to us, had in it the forces of our disintegration. It is up to contemporary Nigerian Leaders to neutralize these forces, preserve the Nigerian inheritance, and make all our people free, forward looking and prosperous’’.