NAIJA @ 60: THE JOURNEY SO FAR
WRITTEN BY DANIEL OBI
At 60, it is expected that a person would have made so many mistakes, learned and unlearned so many things and gained a fountain of knowledge and its application to help the younger generation. Is that the case with our country at 60?
Happy independence Nigeria. The 1st of October will always remain a significant day in the country. On this day in the year 1960, Nigeria gained her independence from the British who were the initial colonial master. This means Nigeria became a free nation 60 years ago.
It has been 60 years of ups and downs, the journey has not entirely been smooth, there has been speed bumps and many other obstacles along the line which of course is expected.
However, at sixty, it still seems as though we are facing the same problems without knowing how to go about it. When I look at some other countries who gained freedom about the same time as we or even years after we did and compare the level of stability and development they have been able to achieve, I begin to ask questions like ‘What went wrong?’ or could it be that Nigeria was not mature enough to handle the newfound power and freedom as at that time?
Today is a day set aside for celebration. So I shouldn’t dwell on all the negatives. But certain things cannot be swept under the carpet.
Nigeria as a country lacks most of the basic amenities such as; quality education, good health care, steady power supply, good roads etc. In my opinion, this could only be because of greed, corruption, tribalism, nepotism and selfishness exhibited by those at the top.
Who is to blame for this current situation we find ourselves in?
I blame the government that took over from Great Britain. This is because they laid the foundation for all these ills we are facing today.
You may want to ask, how?
Nigerians have been saddled with bad governance since its inception. Our so-called heroes and founding fathers led this nation to this current situation because of tribalism, nepotism and corruption. These bad vices have been transferred to all the government that has ruled Nigeria. Apparently, they see it as a norm; Like genes transferred from parents to offspring.
I’ve read several history books and articles, about the government that took over power from Britain and I saw how tribalism and Nepotism eluded Nigeria from growth since its inception.
When the military government took over power, they didn’t do well. They were desperate for power and mercilessly looted the National treasury. That government is said to be one of the most corrupt government that ever ruled Nigeria. The military government lasted for almost three decades and this didn’t help in the development of the nation especially in important sectors like Education, Power, technology and Infrastructural development.
The military government also instilled phobia into the Nigerian populace and this phobia is still encrypted in the minds of many Nigerians to this very moment. That is why people still find it difficult to speak their minds and make good decisions that can positively affect the nation.
When the Democratic government took over power, everyone thought things were going to be a lot better. Some saw it as the case of a messiah who had come to alleviate all problems and end sufferings. Little did we know that the only thing that will change is the name and not the system. The former allowed only the people in power to loot, while, the latter allowed many people to embezzle all in the name of government officials.
The Nigerian journey so far can be seen in these words: sugar, vinegar, blood, salt, anger, jealousy and hatred. Every year we grow older and I always ponder and ask the question ‘How far have we gone? How well have we done and how strong have we become as a nation?’
Nigeria is undoubtedly one of the most populated black nations in the world. We were once called the giants of Africa, can that still be said now?
Unite Oh citizens of Nigeria,
‘your ethnicity no matter at all’, whether you are from the East, West, North or South. Let us all join hands together and build a nation that posterity will be proud of.
Remember “United we stand, divided we all fall”.
Fellow Nigerians, let us put all resentments aside so we can build our dear nation Nigeria.
I believe in Nigeria
I believe say Naija go better.
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