Take Back Africa: A Case For The Restoration Of The Trusteeship Council Of The UN

By Ikenga Chronicles August 10, 2018

Take Back Africa: A Case For The Restoration Of The Trusteeship Council Of The UN

— Dr. Vitus Ozoke

The Trusteeship Council of the United Nations suspended operations in 1994, following the independence of Palau. The UN felt that the Council’s job was done as there remained no country under a colonial rule.

Here is calling on the UN to reopen the Trusteeship Council. Many countries of Africa could use some form of trusteeship. Evidence from the late 1950s to date has shown that many African countries are incapable of self-governance.

Yes, mistakes were made. Some disparate and unaffiliated cultures and territories were cobbled together into contraptions called countries. Those deliberate arrangements served the selfish and strategic interests of then colonial powers who, arguably, did not have the longterm interest of the colonies in consideration. The colonial powers created states out of these disparate collections of peoples, and because these groups share neither cultural affinities nor identity commonalities, they are unable to forge a nation.

Nigeria is a good example. Nigeria is a state. Nigeria is not a nation. And in the absence of nationhood, there is also the consequential absence of nationalism. Among Nigerians, there is a total lack of will and zeal to die for country. An American proudly and enthusiastically goes to war, ready to pay the supreme sacrifice, to defend that red-white-and-blue. A Russian will do the same for Russia in a heartbeat. So will an Israeli for Israel.

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Don’t get me wrong. Nigerians are not cowards. God forbid! They are the bravest people in the face of this planet. They will fight to defend a cause they believe in. But the key word is believe. How many Nigerians truly believe in Nigeria? Almost none. If there is one thing most Nigerians believe, it is that Nigeria, as currently constituted, is a lost cause.

Nigeria is the titanic adrift at sea with no navigational compass. It is not that the ship was not originally equipped with navigational system; it is that her captains have found it both lucrative and convenient to steal and sell the navigation system, and sail blind the ship of state. It is convenient for the captains, because the absence of a navigation system keeps the ship out of international radar while the orgy of in-house piracy goes on undetected.

Tragically, that ship has 200 million kidnapped passengers on board. If the United Nations must live up to the creed of its charter, it must locate this ship, bring it back to harbor, and reanchor it. Successive captains and their crew members must be arrested and thrown overboard to be devoured by merciless sharks and sea dogs. The 200 million kidnapped passengers must be rescued and protected from their kidnappers. And the ship’s navigational equipment must be reinstalled so that it can sail again with a sense of purpose and direction.

No doubt, that’s as herculean a task as it is titanic. Only the UN has both the mandate and the capacity to accomplish that. The Trusteeship Council must be restored and retooled to take back failed African states. In fact, it is consistent with African culture for parents and guardians to take back their adult children and wards who have failed to launch. The inconvenient truth is that most African states have failed to launch after over half a century since they have been given wings.

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There is a good argument whether they were given strong and effective wings, or whether they were programed to falter and fail. Either way, there is a clear case of failure to launch. The Trusteeship Council of the United Nations can mediate this reality. The reality is that colonial powers committed existential errors in the way they cobbled unrelated territories and forced coexistence upon strange bedfellows. It could decobble and decouple these arrangements and come up with better structures of social existence. Some segment of Nigerian civil society call it restructuring.

Sadly, the UN, under the veneer of the sacrosanctity and iviolability of national sovereignty, has stood by while states have failed. That approach is not working. A whole new paradigm of international engagement with failed states is being proposed. Yes, I admit that it is a very radical proposal, but I submit that its radicality is grossly outweighed by the horror of the existential misery that the 200 million kidnapped Nigerian passengers are dealing with.

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Take back these failed and failing African states, correct the decades long systemic and structural mistakes, purge the ship of state of pirate captains and crew members, reinstall effective and functional navigation systems, return the ship to credible and competent captains and crewmen, and set it asail again.

As daunting as it might sound and seem, this shouldn’t take more than five years to complete. The local zeal is there. If you doubt that last claim, conduct referendums and plebiscites, something the UN does better than anybody else.

Thinking anew. Thinking outside the box.