Divide And Rule – Word For The Week
I first heard of the principle of Divide and Rule from my Government and History teachers in secondary school. I did understand it’s meaning, but didn’t understand its full implications until I was much older.
Divide and Rule is defined as the policy of maintaining control over one’s subordinates or opponents by encouraging dissent between them, thereby preventing them from uniting in opposition.
Great Britain as a colonial master found a cheap way of milking all resources in its colonies without risking opposition from the colonies. This policy is responsible for the socio-economic unrest witnessed pre and post-independence in countries like South Africa, Ghana and Nigeria.
The Britons ensured everyone is aware of every difference between him and his neighbors. Tribal, religious and economic differences were exaggerated and exacerbated, ensuring no one trusts anyone who is in any way different from him.
Fifty-eight years later, Nigeria’s ruling class has dug deeper into the Divide and Rule principle. Right now, the British folks must be wondering what more they could have gained by applying Divide and Rule the way Nigeria’s leaders currently do.
There is no way someone who is benefiting from your misfortune would work to get your situation to get better, if your situation getting better doesn’t benefit him more. Nigeria’s ruling class wants to store up grains for their tenth-generation, then ensure everyone else’s descendants will be too busy slaving away to pay off the debts their grand-fathers did not join in enjoying.
How bad will Nigeria get?
Only someone born in Nigeria is eligible to run for an elective position. When last did you see a Nigerian Politician’s wife or child give birth in Nigeria? Considering the perks of being a Nigerian Local Government Counsellor, why will a Nigerian Governor gladly ensure his grandchildren are never eligible to govern his home state?
It is looking more like the ruling class can tell that there will be nothing left for his grandchildren to govern or whatever is left to be governed will not be worth it. Case in point? North-east Nigeria, Osun State, Kogi State. Even a financially buoyant state like Lagos is so entrenched in meaningless debt, the kind of debt that can rebuild Dubai ground-up.
If the ruling class won’t fix Nigeria, the governed must take charge of their own future. If you know you cannot afford the cost of running out of Nigeria, it is best you begin to take the future of Nigeria a little bit more seriously.
It is time we begin to ask more questions of those putting themselves up for election, hold those in office accountable, encourage the brightest of us to come into politics and ensure money won’t buy any evil persons the position they want.
Those who fail to learn from history, repeat the tragedies of history.