1st October of every year is a moment for all Nigerians to commemorate the nations Independence Day. Typically, this is accompanied by display of National accomplishment through time.
Before being granted Independence by the Colonial masters, Nigerian of the time faced myriads of obstacles struggling for self-determination, a move that eventually paid off in 1960 in which we are celebrating six decades of independence today. Even though one is tempted to ask who even granted the colonizers independence at first, beyond that, the vanity that has characterized the struggles of our heroes past is to say the least, worrying.
Nigeria @60 where are the promises? It all seems to have crashed like a pack of cards, but then who do we blame, Nigeria or Nigerians? The survival of the country depends on the creation and ability of Nigerians; the provision of good leaders depends on the action of the citizens. As citizens what have we contributed towards developing the Nation? Are citizens so incapable of building the right country or is it that the country has found itself in the wrong continent?
Since Independence, governments have consistently failed at it promises to make life better for Nigerians. We often to tell ourselves beautiful lies, “Oh now the founding fathers are silently sobbing.” The promise of stable electricity and social amenities since 1986 remains stillborn in 2020. Do you know some Nigerians have never seen a blink of electricity? Why? Because the country has been built on an unstable foundation.
Nigeria is celebrating 60, yet over 13.9 million youths are unemployed according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Where are the 3 million jobs creation promise, where is the introduction of national gender policy and offer of 35 per cent appointment to women, where are the payment of allowances to the discharged but unemployed youth corps members for 12 months while in the skills and entrepreneurial development programmme, where are building of six special centers of excellence to address the needs of special education, where are the construction of 3,000km of superhighways with service trunks and many more failed promises?
Oh! Has the fate been stolen? Will Nigeria of yesterday replicate today?
Celebrating independence day with agony, when the life of an ordinary Nigerian is still crawling, when the only united ones are the elite but divide the heads of the have-nots. Where is the saying of our fore fathers and I quote as follows: “We must seize the opportunity which has been offered to us to show that we are able to manage our own affairs properly. Every Nigerian, whatever his or her status, religion has his or her share to contribute to this crucial task” Abubakar Tafawa Balewa.
“Without the respect for the rule of law permeating our political life in Nigeria would degenerate into a dictatorship with its twin relatives of tyranny and despotism” Nnamdi Azikiwe
“Nations enshrine mediocrity as their modus operandi, and create the fertile ground for the rise of tyrants and other base elements of the society, by silently assenting to the dismantling of system of excellence because they do not immediately benefit one specific ethnic, racial, political, or special interest group, is precisely where Nigerian found itself today” Chinua Achebe
Nigeria @60 when insecurity is bedeviling the nation, both the leaders, citizens and national securities are not safe, killing spree on naked street by terrorist, @60 but racism, tribalism, regionalism, nepotism are till problems yet to be solved since 1960. Can we revive Nigeria? Yes, we can, but only when we as citizens start to practice participatory political culture and refrain from being parochial and subjective in governance process.
Finally, who is at fault the leaders or the citizens?
This article was written by Lukman Abdulmalik