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Nigeria at 59: Clerics deplore slow national growth

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Anthony Cardinal Okogie

As Nigerians celebrate the country’s 59th independence anniversary on Tuesday, clerics have expressed disappointment that the country is still grappling with basic necessities like steady electricity, potable water, good road networks, and quality healthcare, among others.

While tasking political leaders to make haste and return the country to recovery lane, they also decry wastages in governance and the jumbo pay earned by elected and appointed political officeholders.

Setting the ball rolling, Archbishop Emeritus of Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, His Eminence, Anthony Cardinal Okogie said the country is not where it ought to because those in authority have refused to adhere to wise counsel.

“As we speak, when last did the executive do something right? When last did the legislature or the judiciary do something right? When last was justice done by our judges? Can anyone recall? This is the kind of thing you people should publish in the newspapers, let us tell those in authority the truth.

Okogie, who wondered why governors still clamour to become senators after serving two terms asked, “is the government only meant for them? Why must there be the second term for any governor or minister? Are they the only ones in Nigeria? Those who fought for our independence are not happy wherever they are today because of is happening today is not what they envisaged for this country…”

According to the Deputy Chief Imam, NASFAT Headquarters, Lagos, Imam Abdul-Azeez Morufu Onike believes that despite the challenges the country is facing at the moment, things would turn out better if only those at the helm of affairs are conscious of the fact that Nigeria is not where it should at 59.

He called on leaders to learn from the developed countries and improve the economic and living standards of their countrymen.

He said: “I am hopeful that Nigeria will realise its potentials and that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

The Prelate of Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence Dr. Samuel Chukwuemeka Kanu Uche while noting that the country is well, tasked leaders to ensure that the masses are happy.

“The crude oil that God gave to us is for a purpose and that purpose is that we should use it to benefit the masses but only few people in this country are enjoying while many others are suffering and because of inequality there is now insecurity. There is dissatisfaction… Our electricity supply is epileptic, our roads are nothing to write home about and our hospitals are not supplying adequate medication to the people. Most of the diseases that people suffer are waterborne and airborne diseases. For people to be happy with each other, they must have minimum comfort…”

The National President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rev. Dr. Felix Omobude regretted that “59 years after, we drove out the white people we cannot boast of 12-hour electricity supply. Have you seen water running in public taps? These are issues that require attention, not about politics or party patronage we should tell ourselves the truth? Poverty is staring us in the face. We should all join efforts to move the nation forward and as well take our destinies in our hands and work hard.”


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