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The road to hell

-Poor governance is a road to hell on earth, for a country’s residents
Dickson C. Igwe. Photo: VINO/File
By Dickson C. Igwe

Once upon a time, there was a land on the continent of Africa sitting on the fertile and geographically diverse west coast of that vast continent. This was a country that practically "had it all."

The north of the country was spectacular geography, with boundless plains that sat herds of cattle in the millions, great expanses of forest and jungle teeming with wildlife, and a tourist paradise of rambling hills, stunning plateaus, and a rich equestrian culture that made the country a limitless safari resort of thousands of square miles.

The North was Moslem and possessed a rich and attractive equestrian and warrior culture, and had evolved from Moorish North Africa.

From the middle of the country to the great Atlantic Ocean Basin to the south, sat not only huge gas and oil reserves but infinite stores of iron ore, bauxite, syenite and titanium, gold, clay, dolomite, phosphates, lignite, granite, marble, coal. Lead, zinc, limestone, and much more.

The land was so fertile, that the country could easily have fed the African Continent, and exported food to other parts of the world: foods such as rice, plantains, bananas, cassava, palm oil, sweet potato, onion, tomato, garlic, livestock, bush meats, and so much more.

In the early 1960s at independence from the UK, the country was a cultured, urbane, and honest society, that was the envy of the world, with the strongest currency in Africa, and a thoughtful, charming, and food-sufficient population.

Then billions of barrels of oil were discovered in the south, with even greater deposits of natural gas.

A bloody civil war led to decades of military dictatorship, riddled with corruption and conflict of interest.

An entitled minority drove the country to the economic and social abyss by the 1990s.

Today the country is a failed state with awful social matrices: millions of children out of school, a land of bandits and terrorists, frighteningly dangerous roads, unsanitary towns and cities featuring mountains of refuse, hospitals that have been described as abattoirs, and public officers that are owed salaries going back months in arrears.    

A tiny minority of the entitled and connected live in a bubble, traveling about in armed convoys, flying about in private jets, and do all that they can to isolate themselves from the reality of the suffering, sorrow, and pain, of the vast majority of the starving population.

The preceding hell can be put down to one single reason: poor governance.

Governing impunity, a lack of any check and balance on rulers, and the outright theft of the country’s financial and physical resources by a cabal of murderous rulers and strongmen with zero integrity and conscience have destroyed the livelihoods of the country’s residents.

The Virgin Islands may not have been heading the same road as the preceding African country.  That failed nation was once a British Colony gaining its independence in the early 1960s. 

However, there are many similarities: entitlement as opposed to competence, rulers who believe they have a right to do whatever they want, secret deals using taxpayer cash, a total lack of accountability for taxpayer cash, no governing vision, and victimization and fear of those who would dare speak out.

Thank God for the UK Commission of Inquiry that is holding the feet of high officials to the fire. Or one day we will all wake up to a country like that failed African State, where even a Haiti will look like heaven to its suffering residents.

Good governance is worth its weight in gold for all generations of residents.

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9 Responses to “The road to hell”

  • Common Sense (09/10/2021, 11:18) Like (6) Dislike (0) Reply
    Excellent, and, rare overview of where we are.
  • jack (09/10/2021, 11:36) Like (5) Dislike (1) Reply
    Another good read
  • Interesting observation (09/10/2021, 15:05) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Are you from Africa? You have used the story about Africa to make a very valid point. " Good governance is worth its weight in gold for all generations of residents.'. The Government of the BVI needs to consider what you have wrote in this article and do better. Since there current actions will only affect ALL GENERATIONS OF RESIDENTS.

  • Native Senior Citizen (09/10/2021, 21:19) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Mr. Igwe, I can easily see that your intention is to continue warning us not to not go on a life threatening voyage to independence with political leaders that are mainly self-centred. Oven though we do process the wealth like Africa does, in this small country one can become materially rich in more than one ways.
    I was borned in the late1940s, and my father earned, when he was a young man, 25¢ a day. I worked with house builder, as a young man in the early 1960s for $1.00 a day's work. Forward today, there particular set amount that can be made in the British Virgin Island, various ways. If you don't believe me, asked our political leaders, and others for confirmation.
    The amount of money that people make is not the issue, but it how.
    Thank God for the CoI probing of political leaders mismanagement of our finances disorderly.
  • lol (10/10/2021, 08:32) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    Down the slippery slope of wreck and ruin we go when gluttony, greed, and power run amok in the hearts of sinful men of little fortitude.
  • I wonder (10/10/2021, 11:50) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
    Why is Mr. Igwe in every single article he writes using this big word 'entitlement' and 'entitled' to describe BVIslanders? The BVI when I was growing up survived as a people from our farming and barter system. Burning coal, planting yams and sweet potatoes, small cattle raising and living in the fear of the Almighty. Fast forward to 2021, and there are now visitors and persons who are living among us who cannot understand the blessings that we have received from Jehovah God. Aren't the people of the Nations of the World ALL entitled to a better quality of life? Whether you are super competent or mildly competent, as a citizen of a country, aren't you entitled to your blessings? BVIslanders are humble people who thank God for our blessings and go forward each day thanking him. It would be nice if those who are now our brothers and sisters, even from as far as Mother Africa would be happy for us and stop showing their envy in subtle ways. We are all made equal in the sight of God. We are all sinners trying to make it in a sinful world. Let's lift up each other. I love reading your articles, but somehow you always manage to slide a sentence in there that gets under my skin.
  • hmmm (11/10/2021, 14:20) Like (1) Dislike (3) Reply
    Looks like Ugwe working for the Uk that intends to block the BVI's path to independence with propaganda to scare the people. Maybe Ugwe, like the many expats gaining Belongership, has intentions of becoming a UK citizen. News Flash: The BVI has been managing its affairs for decades and doing a damn good job that it is now the envy of many. Yes, we have to improve in many areas but we have done a good job considering we are a young democracy and do not have the benefit of experience as the Brits and others. news flash again: the UK also has issues with their governance, as old as it is, including corruption and cronyism and it will continue to have those until the end of the world. I prefer to give my own a fighting chance and honour the wishes of our ancestors who gave their efforts and blood to see us free...not hanging on to the colonisers skirt tails. That is how they want you to be...dependent. people with wisdom, will continue to be wise and see through the selfish motives of Ugwe and others.

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