Understanding post-colonial Nigeria

NigeriaA review of Adebayo Faleke’s book, The Dilemmas of a Country by Wale Ojo-Lanre.


DR Adebayo Faleke’s book, The Dilemmas of A Country, as the title implies, highlights the challenges facing Nigeria since amalgamation.

The 80-page book, having its foreword written by political analyst and broadcaster, Edmund Obilo, delves into the problems bedevilling Nigeria, as well as the solutions to bring the country out of the woods.

Obilo, in his foreward, notes that, “conscience matters in the ability of the state to triumph in the competition between the failures of the past and the planned failure of tomorrow.”

What brings about Faleke in writing the book is not only his exposition and experience as a broadcaster, with a specialty on social-commentary and agenda-monitoring, but also because of his hope that focusing only on certain initiatives will help in building a formable country.

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This is, therefore, what the author agonises about in the first chapter where he laments that “one of the reasons a country is where it is today is that her national life is built on wobbling and shaky structure.”

Faleke travels down historical lane, explaining that the amalgamation of a people of different cultural orientations and traditions into a country, and governed by colonialists, is part of the major problems of the country.

He stresses further that the political arrangement of the first republic, the termination of the unitary system for expensive Federal system, military incursion into politics through the first coup, among others are also our albatrosses.

The second chapter, ‘Leaders of Circumstance,’ reveals that one of the major reasons responsible for country’s stunted growth and development is lack of vision-driven leadership.

Apart from the fact that the majority of the country’s leaders are tribalists and corrupt, they are also learners on the job, as they never prepared nor qualify for leadership positions.

As a result, we cannot except a country whose leaders emerged out of circumstances to perform positively. The author references leaders like George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barrack Obama, Kwan Yew, among others, who were well prepared for the task.

The third chapter, ‘Like Leaders, Like Followers,’ reflects that every segment of the Nigerian society is deeply rooted in vices and corruption.

This chapter explains that immorality, corruption and other forms of social vices are societal ailments which ruin a country.

In chapter four, ‘Big for nothing kingdom,’ Faleke laments the inability of the nation to fully utilise its huge population to her advantage like China. Today, Nigeria is projected to be the third most populous country in the next couple of years, but our leaders are yet to start planning for citizens, and this will bring about a strain on resources.

What this means is that there will be more clashes and violence as people compete for land and food.

The author also discusses the problems with an ‘educated-illiterate generation,’ among other issues of national importance.

The book, The Dilemmas of A Country, is the result of bottled-up anger of a patriotic citizen against shenanigans who parade the country’s political landscape as leaders.

This book, therefore, while highlighting the problems of the country, also proffers solutions in certain areas.

With this work, the author has ignited the consciousness of Nigerians towards the ills and problems facing their country.

The book, which has joined several other published books which clarify the problem with Nigeria, will definitely become one that will bring up intellectual debates and discourses.

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