By D. F. EFFIONG
“A greater resilience is highly relevant in today’s and tomorrow’s global challenges. It seems true that the strategic plan of the MDG establishes that these programmes are focused on those affected by the sharpest inequalities and those excluded from the mainstream of community and national life” ( Helen Clark)
It was in January 1942 that representatives of the 26 Allied nations met at Washington D.C and adopted the name United Nations, pledging support for the principles of the Atlantic Charter. I feel married to one of its purposes, namely, ‘to develop friendly relations among nations and to encourage international co-operation in solving economic, social, cultural and humanitarian problems.’ There have been recent trends of continental issues affecting the African man or woman and especially the diplomatic, yet ill and inhuman treatment of some Nigerian immigrants in foreign lands. Emerging questions regarding the suitability of whether these nations are observing the UN purposes are indeed justified. I seek herein to bring to our national conscience the gradual epoch of deviations, misrepresentations and misunderstandings that have arisen as a result of a seemingly lack of attention to the course of the UN in global partnership.
It was the chairperson of the Nigerian House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Abike Dabiri Erewa, who noted that there is no record of how many Nigerians are living in the Diaspora and hence, there is no legislative account for them. Perhaps, that is one of the reasons why Nigerian students studying in Malaysia recently threatened the Nigerian Ambassador for lack of concern towards the fraudulent and unpatriotic advances on most Nigerians during the past decade. “In late November 2011, there was a published report of crisis in a Nigerian mission in Asia involving Nigerian citizens resident in Bangkok and former officials of the embassy… all encompassing from sheer act of the embassies’ official neglect to its citizens.” (Njoku Saint Jerry and Vera Sam-Anyagafu). From the aforementioned, indeed the ‘two vital problems facing the UN are the Goliaths of nationalism and imperialism’ (Minneapolis star) in the African sphere.
According to UNDP in 2000, 189 nations made a promise to free people from extreme poverty and multiple deprivations. It was this pledge of global interest that hatched the egg of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Of course, and rightly of great interest to us, those few years afterwards, and in 2011, ‘the United Nations Development Guide, put to play an endorsement to guide collaborative national efforts to identify and overcome bottlenecks slowing a country’s progress towards achieving priority MDG targets.’ Throughout the world, and in Nigeria, many of these plans are being implemented by government, with the support of development partners, technical agencies, NGOs and the private sectors. These have been for the past years an accelerating successor especially with the affiliation of nations to the MDGs Achievement Fund.
Despite these ideologies, there exist questions of highest importance to the African. The question lingers till this day. Have we moved from ‘result-oriented deliverance to a process-oriented theory? What shall be the key driver of the post 2015 sustainable development agenda? (If at all these agendas will be achieved)
Can the emergence of international threats to the ban of same-sex, unfavourable international policies and suppression of the Nigerian citizen be termed friendly and encouraging? Since when did national dignity, integrity and fame precede the human dignity recognized by both God and the international body of nations? These, among others are African questions begging for international answers.
These existential problems are the new forms of colonialism, racism and ethnicity that shake the very foundation of the millennium development goals. According to M. Makumba, in Introduction to African Philosophy, ‘the western countries never really believed that they could learn anything from Africa…this attitude well perfected by the colonialists, unfortunately, has little been changed and hence, all colonial policies were based on the same logic and philosophy, namely, that of the superiority of European culture over African culture.’ These, are being reflected in our homes and schools, where our mother tongues suffer extinction at the hands of foreign languages and our traditions and histories suffer from western influence. How can we then speak of global partnership, when global unity and boundary friendliness are questionable, in the light of the above challenges?
Global partnership, despite sex, race or colour is never to put on any form of binocular observation lying on the pedestal of corruption, racism, international preference of foreign investors, manufacturers, etc. to one’s own citizens nor western historical consciousness to the detriment of the family tree and national history. This is the African problem, the Nigerian problem – where national and community identity seems to be flying fast away from us. If we are still Africans, therefore, our policies, traditions, culture, collectivist socialization, African socialism and way of brotherly assimilation must not be compromised. We may continue to blame our foreign policies for inadequacies and our embassies for lack of consular services, yet forget that in the process, we lose our ‘blackness’, our ‘Africanness’ to embrace something else and claim to call it global partnership. What a syllabus of errors!