6 Feb 2007

Nigeria: Reflections - the Other Singapore

Daily Trust (Abuja)
February 5, 2007
Posted to the web February 5, 2007

Isaa Aremu

The eventual sad ending of Nigerian, Iwuchukwu Amara Tochi, convicted of drug trafficking down town Singapura, capital of the Republic of Singapore, South-East Asia, occupies another chapter in the unending story of Nigeria's serial wastage of human capital. However what would not be easily obliterated with the cremated body of Tochi were the naughty developmental (read: underdevelopment) issues around 727.3 grammes of heroin, estimated by authorities to be worth 1.5 million Singapore dollars (US$970,000) allegedly found on him, the attendant belated response of Nigerian authorities and the dashed mass expectations that Tochi could have been saved.

Once again Nigeria joins the globalization train from the last wretched coach of drug pushing and death by hanging under the Misuse of Drugs Act, 1973, of Singapore. It is a sad commentary that Singapore captures popular imagination in 2007 Nigeria via the hangmen of Singapura on Friday, January 26. Conversely notwithstanding the quality of his trail adjudged to be anything but fair and globally perceived as "phoney" and "racist", it remains a global scandal that a 21 year old Tochi discovered Singapore in search of a football carrier which was bad enough that ended in drug trade which was the worse enterprise. Singapore for those who care is a City state of just 4 million people compared to 140 million Nigerian Federation. For good measure, in the 50s when Nigeria's multi-ethnic population was 80 million, Singapore had just over a million triple-ethnic population with majority being Chinese followed by some significant Malay and Indian. Singapore's per capital income of slightly above $600 dollars in the 50s and 60s was miserably behind Nigeria's $1500 during this period.

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