Ordinarily, the flight from Nigeria to congo Kinshasa ought not to have been more than three hours, but due to the nature of our neo-colonial situations in both countries, the journey lasted for about ten hours, spanning two days with a stop over night in addis ababa Ethiopia. Without any national carrier in both Nigeria and congo, the citizens of these two countries are left with no other alternative than to engage the services of the Ethiopian airline. What a pity. These are countries that are suppose to be the torch bearers of africa’s development in the twenty first century. Nigeria with a population of over a hundred million, a land that is almost pregnant with all sort of natural endouments as well as resources that are to say the least, enormous. While the Congo DR has over eighty million population with an amazing land mass that is twice the size of Nigeria, and an avalanche of natural resources that are begging for serious and sincere leadership for their harnessing.
I and my national chairman Dr M. M. Alhassan left this country with a lot of expectations and apprehensions. Apprehensions because of the prolonged civil war that had almost become synonymous with the history of that country. Should we really go for this conference or just forget about it because of the security implications? But after some reflections we decided to go. After all is Niger Delta crises not in Nigeria? However, our apprehensions was overtaken by our spirit of solidarity and love for our African brothers in the family of juche. So off we went.
First, our disappointment started at the Kinshasa airport. My God! What a sight? Of all national and International airports that I had the privileged of passing through, none is as dilapidated and in a poor state of disrepair like the Kinshasa airport. In fact, some air strips are far more better than it. Next is the corruption at the official level. Who says there is corruption in Nigeria? Well what we witnessed in Kinshasa airport by men of Immigration of that country is the master of all corruptions. For a slight error of omission in my yellow form, the entire men of the service were mobilized at the airport. All of them were looking forward to what they can squeezed out of their August prey. At last, ten Dollars did the work and we all went our ways.
Our journey from the airport to our Hotel, the Sultani Hotel exposed everything that is there to be seen about the country. The roads are a shame unto themselves, the buildings are everything but standard, the environment was so appalling that I began to pray that this is not Kinshasa. But by the time that I settled down in my hotel room, the reality of a war ridden society dawned on me. This country has been in war since the beginning of their national history. This is a country that was clinically hijacked by western imperialism right from the point of their beginning. A people and a nation or very sorry, a country that was designed to serve as an appendage of human existence.
Inspite of all these appalling realities, we settled down to the business that brought us to Kinshasa. The Conference was not only well attended, but it was equally well conducted. One re-occuring decimal that runs throughout the papers presented was the need to have another second liberation in the continent of Africa. Papers from Nigeria, Uganda, and Egypt drew a lot of lessons from their national experiences to serve as models for other sister countries from the continent. While papers from Guinea Conakry, South Africa, Tanzania and the host country Congo DR dwelled so much on the ideological missing link in the struggle against neo-colonialism and imperialism in the continent.
After three days of brainstorming sessions, interlaced with some syndicated group sessions, the conference closed with renewed commitments and dedication from all participants to carry the message back home. As I packed my papers and picked my bag to leave the conference hall, I reflected on the various conferences that I attended in the past and how insincere and uncommitted were the participants in the ideals raised in those communiqué. In this continent, people are interested more in attending conferences than in implementing the resolutions passed in these foras. The challenge for me is to pass all that transpired in this conference to my students, friends, colleagues and the entire members of our Juche family.
Dr Saddiqque Abubakar Abba
Nigeria Study Group on Juche Philosophy and Lecturer
Department of Political Science, University of Abuja, NIGERA