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Opinions of Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Columnist: Kofi Ali Abdul-Yekin

The fate of an educated lazy West African

An educated person's mind must be better than money making mind. Educated persons regardless to field of study, must be capable of seeing beyond life rather than be limited to the context of money.

Education is power, and power is more than money. If a farmer is alone, he has just his power as a farm hand. If a farmer got a wife, he has gained one more power, as farmhands. If he gets a child, the man has got additional power, as farm hands. If he then gets slaves, he has more power as farm hands.

So if we can only understand that everyone in a political West Africa democratically holds a piece of the power as a voter, and understand how to mobilize that power, then we shall know what to do with that power, than just moneymaking.

People are power, even under a dictator. Assume everyone of these voters is democratically one dollar. So with 300 million population of ECOWAS, we have the same democratic power with the USA, whose population is 300 million political dollars.

All we want to do is to set this 300 million votes, as a single entity, against other heavy weight political powers of the world, to see what happens. I have no doubt the destiny of the West African will change like its happening with the Indians if we transform our political establishments, for democracy in West Africa to mean what it is intended to achieve.

What I know is, any country that is small in population and has not yet overcome the basics of technology, has no chance in this fierce competitive world.

The global competition is driven by technological power or market power. By market power we mean large population where the technological output are sold. Technological power means the ability to use electro-mechanical means, beyond mere human labour, to get complicated task carried out.

The EU (European Union) is a good example of a population based market but with internal technological advantage. The EU has a population of 580 million and most of its member states are technologically advanced entities.

India is another example of a population based market but without internal technological advantage. India has a population of just over one billion and with a centralised authority to control such market, the external technogical advantages can be internally controlled for domestication.

So if people are market as a single political entity, then what currently have as ECOWAS market is not good enough. What we need in the extremely technological disadvantage West Africa, is the market by large sized in population, instead small politically divided populations. This explains why the ECOWAS was formed in the first place by the founding fathers.

Nigerians will surely not find it easy to understand this simple logic, because with over 150 million population and huge none human natural resources, what we are saying will not make sense to them. If Nigerians can only understand that they have a very complicated internal problems which the British intentionally entrapped them with, then things will be easier. Sad most Nigerians see the rest of West Africa as a backyard for dumping their third class manufactured consumable goods.

Again, what happens to the rest of West Africans who are tiny pieces of political entities, if Nigerians are the only ones who succeed industrially? How will the rest of us in West Africa, engage in meaningful trade with Nigeria when we have nothing to exchange what we import from our big Brothers, than just the US dollars? Effective trade among nations is best achieved when all goods, as domestically manufactured for exchange, than just cash.

It's therefore in everyone's best interest to get ECOWAS to be the way forward. A working ECOWAS authority, is the only platform by which we can evolve an; objective, neutral, stronger and fairer regional entity, to serve us all effectively.

It's also important for Nigerians particularly, to understand that the eight French speaking countries of West Africa, are capable of frustrating them with the backing of France. So the fact that these countries have relative smaller population and land sizes, does not mean their economic and political strength are harmless. The fact here means we need ECOWAS to control all West African countries, to allow us control France and UK. No one prospers without first reliving itself of external powers. If Nigeria with a population of 150 million, thinks she can control the poor 8 French speaking countries, well she must remember France is free to always be behind her ex-vulnerable colonies if that assurance cannot come from ECOWAS itself.

In fact the Bakasi War with a none ECOWAS country like Cameroon and its dramatic outcome, is supposed to be a lesson to the Nigerians, if they have anything to learn from history about France. I doubt that is the case.
The ECOWAS is the only medium by which both the English and French speaking ex colonies of West Africa, including big brother Nigeria, will have the former masters controlled, for each to develop internally. If we dont control the ex colonial masters, then our human and non human natural resource, will always be meaningless to us.

What kind of educated people are incapable of understanding why their resources are not useful to them, without the approval of their ex colonial masters? Why can't you realise that we mostly export cheap crude raw materials and import expensive industrial waste, from our ex colonial masters or the rest of the world? Why are we only capable of blaming our hopeless miserable lives on corruption, like kids?

It's time we stop being lazy minded Christians and Muslims who blame everything on the devil, while generations replace those before them.
It's time we move on to assume responsibility of our pathetic fate. By wasting time blaming the devil for us to do nothing, as we have been doing for generations and now, we actually get nothing done. It's therefore time we start demanding for our right to vote directly for our ECOWAS MPs to make our regional laws for us. The first step to freedom is the the self determination in law making. Let's start making our own self determined regional law and see what happen to our collective fate.
Wish you a more thoughtful 2018!!