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Assessment of Nigeria’s 59th independence anniversary

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Nigeria flag. Photo: ALJAZEERA

The situation in Nigeria today, is egregious and monumental that it gives a great majority of our peoples a feeling of total hopelessness in such a way that the general belief is that there must be a catalyst within the system.

It is now clear to the Nigerian masses that they have been deprived of their sovereignty for more than 50years by the high ranking military personnel since January 1966 which torpedoed the civilian democratic norms inherited in various discussions with our British colonialists who had acted equivocally in their own self and economic interest.

We have had 9 constitutions in 25 years to usher in real democracy which our young heroic musician and artist Fela Anikulapo Kuti called “Demon – Crazy” that was a philosophical thoughtful expose but the perspectives of our past decades show that our system of governance has really been demonic till this day! The last 1999 constitution which Nigeria had was initiated by Gen. Abudulsalami Abubarkar. Today we know that the 1999 constitution was a fraud as it was not delivered by the people of Nigeria.

A university Prof. D. Ononogu opined recently that “only a people-oriented government that is responsive to the need of the governed will survive”. Recently, Afe Babalola SAN, in his reflection on the 1999 constitution said that “the 1999 constitution is the problem with the governance of Nigeria today being an imposition” which has left the regions and states impoverished and unable to carry out their economic and other functions with fiscal responsibility.

The truth must be told that the Generals of the Nigerian military who had usurped the governance of the country, most of whom are still living today are Yakubu Gowon, Olusegun Obasanjo, Ibrahim Babangida, Abudulsalami Abubarkar, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari while some of the expired and dead Generals are Muritala Muhammed, Sani Abacha, etc. The real issue among the Generals is the number of years each of them will preside over the economic resources and destiny of Nigeria, which no doubt have made all of them clamour for at least 8 years of leadership and have accumulated such domestic and foreign wealth that they cannot exhaust within their living years and cannot repatriate to Nigeria from the banks where they are stashed.
 
The state of the Nigerian nation today as we are about to celebrate our 59th independence anniversary was recently reflected upon by an international scholar, who said that “the issues now raging are corruption, cronyism, poverty, cultism, violent crimes, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, sectorial violence, Muslim fundamentalism which has polarized the religious sects and the government into bloody clashes and loss of lives and properties”.  

The United Nations rapporteur to Nigeria said recently that the Boko Haram terrorism has accounted for the loss of more than 30000 lives and several millions of internally and externally displaced refugees in IDP camps. Schools have been shut down and tertiary institutions have not opened for months since our last anniversary due to the unresolved issues between the government and ASUU. It is the education of our youth that is hindered and drastically lowered.

In the past year, the unemployment of our youths who are out of school or who used to have gainful employment in various institutions has really reached the 20% mark. It was this very year of 2019 that Nigeria was said to have overtaken India with a population of over one billion people as the poverty capital of the world! Surely this has been an agonizing revelation for Nigerians due to the lack of performance of our present governments and particularly due to the unviable governance structure of Nigeria. Even with the present abject poverty, politics is now the main source of wealth for economic consumption rather than a productive sector!
 
Ex-Governor Bararabe Musa as leader of the conference of Nigeria’s Political Parties said that “Now we have leaders who only care about themselves and whose primary objective in life is SELF” But the life expectancy of Nigerians is now an average of about 45years with a lot of suicides currently, as life is not worth living for many as the extended family living system has broken down in most rural communities and in the urban areas. If we review and compare the salaries of members of the National Legislature, not to talk of the State Legislature or the Executives, Ministers, Commissioners, and their humongous infantile aides, it will be seen why there is today in Nigeria such debilitating unrest and impatience in our governance system in the last 20 years till this moment of 2019.

For example according to the Guardian newspaper the salary of a Nigeria Senator is said to be N750,000.00 monthly with a sitting allowance of N13.5million and a constituency allowance of N200million allowance per annum plus other numerous allowances for their wardrobes, vehicles, office’s multiple retirement and pension allowances, etc. It is such an amount when combined with those of the executives that have made our budget in the last 4 years of Buhari administration to be in deficit. It also resulted in the last recession from which we have not really come out as Nigeria is still borrowing from the World Bank and the IMF to meet its recurrent expenditures with an economy that is growing at 1.95% per annum only till 2019.   
 
To Be Continued Tomorrow

Ikokwu (Omenife) is a senior citizen of the NBA and Nigerian veteran.


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