The "Heart of Africa" project and the Microwave Concept: A revisit

The most populous country in all of Africa had always been referred to as “the giant”, an acronym synonymous to the wealth and strength and perceived potentials of Nigeria. Unfortunately over the preceding years, the acronym changed to phrases such as “the sleeping giant” and even more insulting “the wingless eagle”. Gone were the days when the eagle on the tail of the defunct Nigerian airways was a pride to behold.

Whoever changed the eagle to an elephant may have probably indirectly sent out a curse. Just a thought though. Well, intellectually speaking and based on a recent article I published titled “10 reasons to consider investing in the Re born Nigerian Economy” I would not be in the position to agree that Nigeria has yet shed its wings.

It’s great to note that Nigeria is a country of ambitious and determined citizens so much in a hurry to do lots of things but refusing to learn the dynamics of the act of “crawling”. Hey, let’s face it; our post independence 50th is approaching.

For a people of over 140 million, we are still a young Nation. Realistically though, we have had the combined opportunity and abilities to have surpassed the current level of development a hundred times over. Multiple transitions, democratic experimentations and conflict of visionary interests have deterred such a steady promising growth.

 Only recently, the Federal ministry of Information and National orientation under the youthful and dynamic stewardship of Hon. Min. Frank Nweke Jnr embarked on a project tagged “Heart of Africa” depicting Nigeria as the focal point of the continent. Its official launch held at the Ronald Reagan building / International Trade Center Washington DC to the admiration of curious spectators.

The two day event was characterized by photo exhibitions and a fashion show put together by Legendary Gold limited. Great concept I must say but there is so much more reality to all of these. Nigerians as a people and I am being specific about the millions of those not classified as rich folks are those that really need a direct National RE-ORIENTATION.

 The orientation should start from within. Any true healing whichever way you view it starts from inside. Even the Human Skin or the endodermic portion of the skin heals from inside. You may apply all the penicillin ointment in the world but the healing process must start from within.

It’s just a natural phenomenon. So an attempt to change the stigma or stereotype from outside would probably be one done in futility. I am one of those that may be considered as residents of the United States but with the rare privilege of being able to visit my motherland a couple of times yearly.

There are numerous issues that need to be addressed from within on a grand scale. As I write this piece, my phone rang with the sad news of the death of a close pall in Nigeria. I can tell you that the absence of up to date medical facilities to diagnose and control the spread of diseases such as cancer contributed to his early exit. Healthcare is a major issue.

How do we begin to explain to the masses that the in availability of drugs in public hospitals is a taboo or the absence of infrastructure to support medical records and billing is not a normal thing in the 21st century; you need to visit a general hospital in Nigeria to understand.

The re orientation in as much as it should start from within had been attempted in the past and in some cases worked. Probably a lack of vision and true love for fellow citizens by subsequent leaders squashed the good deeds of previous leaders with programs such as “War Against Indiscipline”-WAI. I guess if such a program had been adopted there would have been no need for units like the EFCC.

Let’s face it, we are dealing with an impending epidemic of a large number of citizens that have been born into the current chaos and confusion and who unfortunately believe it’s a normal way of life. Guess what? If the psyche of the present generation is not changed or re orientated, I foresee the build up of active magna in an active volcano ready to erupt.

We all know what happens during a volcanic eruption. A massive internal reorientation may be the way forward. The “Heart of Africa” concept should look inwards and start to develop modules for an effective re orientation campaign.

How do we put in place basic infrastructures to meet the needs of the teeming number citizens such as Health care facilities, portable water, transportation with extreme reference to the roads and power generation and distribution; there are so many claims of billions of naira being spent on all of these infrastructural developments but in reality, are they visible? It is usually a great fallacy to see billboards on major highway congratulating the president on a job well done on rehabilitation.

Meanwhile, a few meters away would reveal a death trap in form of a huge crater. Same goes for others next to dry boreholes and so on and so forth. Without power how do we expect the majority of the working class citizens to be effectively productive when they cannot even experience a good night sleep from extreme humidity or in other cases from extreme fear caused by lack of security.

The Ministry of orientation should adopt an academic approach and pass out questionnaires, analyze the results and debate on the key postulations. All this has to be done in house. It’s also a tragedy that because of lack of power, majority of Nigerians are not properly informed.

Televisions and radio sets are in most cases in the homes as decorative pieces. In the absence of power, the Ministry should be innovative by adoption such measures as the development of viewing centers in multiple localities. Lagos which may be described as the most populated city in Africa with regards to density is just a worst case scenario.

Lack of Federal funding due to political wrangling has largely hindered the developmental abilities to ensure the proper habitations for its citizens. It has taken the dexterity of the private sector and that of the state government to pull through.

The Heart of Africa project and its USA launch may have put some pride in some of us with the display of rich culture and intelligent speeches comprised of promises for a better tomorrow but in reality, home is home.

That’s the reality check. Phone calls, e mails and letters from home tell the true story. We must approach the spirit of National Orientation by adopting the microwave effect and start the healing from the hearts of millions of masses back home.

The Hon. Minister was recently criticized by statements he made on the voice of America News network claiming that Nigerians in Diaspora are inconsequential. By virtue of my profession which entails numerous world travels and using USA as a case study, I must say that Nigerians in Diaspora are an untapped gold mine. In the USA, Nigerians have formed very professional associations that have created wealth and various platforms for intellectual developmental growths amongst members and their children.

They have largely adopted the microwave syndrome. Such groups include the Eko Club International USA, Moremi Club, Pan Ndigbo Foundation, the Peoples club, Nigerian Reunion Corporation, Naijafest to mention a few.

I know for a fact that members of these clubs form the effective tools to propagate the true spirit of Heart of Africa thereby making the Diaspora extremely consequential. What the Minister should do Is create an interactive platform with the leadership of the clubs and feel the dynamic potential capabilities. Another group of Nigerians in Diaspora, the medical practitioners travel home multiple times a year to render FREE services to thousands of dying patients.

One of such groups is the Imo State medical mission who recently visited Adamawa and managed through surgical procedures in unprintable conditions. Nigerians know where it pinches and largely know how to heal. We must use ourselves and not outsiders to communicate our own issues. Adopting the microwave technique includes adopting indigenous communication outfits, indigenous venues and utilizing the brilliant potentials of our academics.

These are some of the areas reconstructions may begin. We have the strength, talent and ability to create an atmosphere of success through the adoption of the microwave orientation strategy.


The article was written by Tosan Aduayi  in December 2006 and archived on the link below;



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