My2Cents

The Beggar Mentality

Dear white people, we don’t need your aid.

At the time the whites assumed total responsibility of our people, our land, and its resources, an international law was put in place to prohibit the maintenance of any African nation with colonial resources. One can hardly think of a better time in which foreign aid would have been more needed than during those times.

The colonization of Africa was neither a favor nor an act to yield mutual benefits. It was simply an act of disrespect, paving the way for a series of illicit conquests which in the present day will lead to nothing other than global war. No sincere person will judge otherwise.

 

Yet with disregard to the welfare of our people before colonization, these aggressors dare to claim that they left us in a better situation than in pre-colonial eras. Even the colonization of African nations was done under the guise of assistance. African rulers were either cajoled or coerced into signing treaties relinquishing territorial leadership to their would-be ‘protectors’.

The kingdom of Lagos was the first part of Nigeria to come under official British rule after the Oba of Lagos was made to understand that there was no other option but to concede his governing rights to Britain ‘In order that the Queen of England may be the better enabled to assist, defend, and protect the inhabitants of Lagos‘. Had the Oba refused to sign the treaty, the empire of Lagos would have needed protection like never before.

Neighboring empires were first-hand witnesses to the wrath of the protectors on refusal of territorial cession. The Aro confederacy in the south-east and south-south was easily overrun and subdued in early 1902 while the Sokoto and Borno empires had to no other option but to surrender in the face of evisceration.

Today these countries have become wealthier and ideologically advanced while our nations face draconian regimes, debilitated social and democratic machinery, and settle with institutions which display passiveness to corruption at best and genocides at worst.

It is an entirely opposite story in the ‘western world’ as their institutions have been set up to ensure the prosperity of their lands above all else. The primary aim of every country is the wellbeing of its people. That comes before all else. That their governments have visions to enhance every aspect of life with every coin they earn but they still somehow find some to spare for African welfare calls for serious pondering.

Countries like the United States are trillions of dollars in debt, yet they send endless ‘financial aid’ to African nations. Why is it that the European Union is in near financial crisis following years of economic stagnation but they are eager to send billions of dollars to Turkey for the daily upkeep of Syrian refugees? More questionable was the ‘willingness’ of the world leaders to provide aid to Africa to compensate for the damaging effects of global warming on its farmlands.

Foreign countries are not without their own monetary problems, and if they refused to use their own resources for the advancement of Africa during the precolonial era, why and when was it that they suddenly had a change of heart and succumbed to their compassion to the financial plight of Africans? Why do they now send us aid? The answer is simple. They don’t.

Depending on the public secondary school you attended as young Nigerian student, you may or may not have encountered that bully of a senior who would give you N10 and ask you to buy him puff-puff, Tosco, zobo, and bring change. This is rarely different from what the whites are doing to our leaders today.

During the COP21 summit late last year, European leaders pledged a meagre sum of less than 2 billion dollars to Africa leaders in their task to stem the flow refugees into Europe. The day was barely over when Senegalese president Macky Sall voiced his displeasure to newsmen, complaining that the money was “not enough for all of Africa” while his Somalian counterpart stated that “what Africa needs today is not charity but investment”.

The major (if not the only) reason why western nations are (half) willing to give financial aid to Africa is because they are not willing to deal with the fall-out from lackadaisical decisions of leaders whom they have wrapped around their fingers by constantly throwing money at in the guise of aid. Thus, the reception of these aid funds are seen by their providers as a pledge by African leaders to ensure that the spill-over from African turbulence does not cross the western borders.

Little over two years ago, to the displeasure of the United States, the Nigerian president signed a bill which criminalized homosexual activities. President Obama responded by cutting the US AIDS fund to Nigeria, stating that the Nigerian government needed to “take on a more prominent role in the fight against HIV and AIDS”

He was right, they did. It was however a little more than just a coincidence that the cutback on aid occurred at the precise moment the ‘beneficiary’ acted contrary to the wishes of the ‘benefactor’. The bill, they claimed, could have compromised HIV programme in Nigeria and therefore donors had to ‘monitor their funding’. Every informed Nigerian could see through the US’ feeble smokescreen. If they truly regarded the welfare of people living with the deadly disease they would put more efforts into making sure everyone had equal rights to the rehabilitation rather than cut the financing of the programme.

The evil behind their assistance was easily exposed. Fully aware of the cheaper costs of setting up parameters and reputable institutions to ensure our capability of self-advancement, our foreign adversaries (because that is simply what they are), choose to give us fish rather than to teach us how to fish. Why? Because it is very easy to bite the hand that doesn’t feed you.

Let’s face it. Foreign aid does more damage than good for the African continent. It creates room for unsuspecting leaders to adopt the ‘beggar’s mentality’, and is heaven on earth for incompetent leaders (of which we have many) willing to waive any and every responsibility they are under oath to bear in search for substitutes. All this to the detriment of the African people.

This is why many African institutions are headed by leaderships bound in intellectual shackles and bereft of progressive ideas. If foreign aid truly enhanced development, Africa would be the most developed continent in the world. We do not need any support that fails to nurture us along the margins of self-sufficiency through educational, entrepreneurial and innovative growth.

The aid we accept is only setting us along the path of perpetual dependence and eventual suicide if we don’t learn to step up to the task we continually avoid because none of our problems are truly being solved by the western aid. If they truly wanted to help, they would be helping us to help ourselves.


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