By Ayo Akinfe
(1) When I look at the lockdown over Covid-19, I keep seeing parallels with World War Two. During that conflict, nations had to step up the production of new industrial goods like armaments, food was scarce and rationing was introduced in many countries
(2) If this current lockdown continues, at some stage ration cards may need to be reintroduced. We simply cannot continue consuming more than we produce as a specie
(3) Why I love the World War Two parallel is that the 1939 to 1945 conflict forced nations to step up their game big time. Hitherto agrarian nations like Australia, Canada, India, China, etc got a huge wake-up call. They suddenly became industrial producers and have never looked back since
(4) Militarily, many nations, led by the US, had no armies of note before World War Two but alas, the conflict led them to go and build formidable armies, navies and air forces. These nations remain military giants today
(5) Australia is one country that suffered a humiliating insult during World War Two as apart from the fact that the Japanese crushed their forces whenever they met, the Germans rubbished their navy as a scrap iron flotilla. It spurred the Australians on to building a modern navy
(6) At the start of the war, Australia backed Britain in the Mediterranean by sending its flotilla of five Royal Australian Navy destroyers to protect convoys. These five ships had been British Royal Navy ships that had been built and served during the First World War and transferred to Australia in the 1930s. Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels laughed at the flotilla as floating junk and coined the phrase scrap iron flotilla. It is no surprise that the ships were soon sunk with torpedoes. Two of them survived but they were of no danger to man or beast. At best, they were fishing vessels
(7) Today, the Australian Navy prides itself on having a fleet made up of 50 commissioned warships. Its main strength is the eight frigates and two destroyers. Among other things, Australia has a fleet of guided missile submarines. Now, that is a nation that has pride and wants to be treated as equals with everyone else
(8) When I see the way the world is talking about using Africans as guinea pigs to test Covid-19 drugs, it is easy to tell why. When you do not produce anything or bring anything to the table, why will the rest of the world treat you as equal human beings? If Africa manufactured facemasks, ventilators, anti-Covid drugs, pharmaceuticals and test kits, do you think the rest of the world would disrespect and insult us in this manner?
(9) If I had my way, the World Health Organisation should split nations into two distinct categories- Producers and consumers. The presidents of eternal consumers should be made to wear a giant C around their necks as a sign that they are just parasites. Maybe if Nigeria’s president was humiliated this way, it would spur us into action the way the German insult did the Australians
(10) I simply cannot get my head round the fact that the average Nigerian is not ashamed about the fact that they have to import drugs, medical equipment and protective gear from other nations, many much smaller than theirs. Where is the pride in being a sovereign nation? How can the world’s largest black nation not be self-sufficient in the supply of medical equipment? This thing just beats me!