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Nigeria at 59: So far so…?

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As we celebrate our 59th independence anniversary this year, I am of the opinion that it will be very crucial for us as citizenry to look at where we are coming from; where we are vis a vis where we ought to be; and, where we are heading. As a matter of frankness, we will only be deceiving ourselves to say that things are okay because we are very far from where we ought to be. Though they say `Rome was not built in a day`; the underlying fact remains that the Romans successfully built their city to be a positive reference point of today because of their resoluteness, patriotism, commitments and consistency. We cannot continue the way we are going and expect to build any meaningful and positive legacies for the coming generations.

As I have posited severally, my writes up are informed by burning patriotic tendencies and hunger to contributing my quota to the development of our country. I am not an agent of any individual, group of people or political party. I always want to say it as it is; and, as it ought to be. Thus, they are my personal views and they are not immune or impervious from being tainted with their shortcomings. However, I can say it without any iota of doubt that, they will definitely add value to the readers and not the other way round. Be that as it may, the present review will delve briefly on the past to understanding the present and, preparing for the future. Consequently, you will agree with me that the all-important factor to the development of any society is `good governance`.

It is the hinge through which other socio, political and economic factors revolve. Though, good governance is not limited to a particular system of government; democracy has been generally accepted to be the most populous and people`s friendly. Therefore, it is not surprising that since independence in 1960 to date, Nigerians have fought tooth and nail over the years to sustain that form of governance despite several interruptions by the men in uniform (military).

Apropos to the aforementioned and considering the invaluable lives and properties that were sacrificed in the course of re-establishing democratic governance (Fourth Republic); one would have expected the people to have learnt their bitter lessons. By now, we ought to be truly the giant and pride of Africa but, unfortunately, the case is different. It is very disheartening that the country is still finding it very difficult to stabilize talk-less of making any concrete efforts to building `our own Rome (`Naija paradise`). It is so unfortunate that one of the cardinal objectives of democracy (which is the security of lives and properties of the citizenry) has become an illusion in some parts of the country.

In this 21st century when other countries are competing to undo one another in every area of advancements and developments; ours is still at the level of negotiating or even begging terrorists/bandits to release abducted and `ought to be free citizens` of our country. At this age and time, we are still finding it difficult or impossible to bring the so-called criminals that have been maiming, killing and destroying lives and properties with impunity without resistance to book; and, some people are claiming all is well in the country. Without mincing words, those that are hiding under the shadow of deceitful loyalty and unobjectivity to applaud our leaders with the present state of the nation are the `real enemies` of our country.

Interestingly, these enemies of our nation have metamorphosed into proponents of lawlessness. They have redefined democracy as “the government of the selected few for the promotion of crass unconstitutionality”. Presently, they are tacitly supporting the persistency of the numerous calamitous problems and challenges facing us as a nation by ‘shamelessly’ adducing that they originated from past administrations and this is good enough reason and justification to absolving the present government from any wrongdoing.

It is, therefore, not surprising that these ‘champions of deceits and professional sycophants’ have refused to see anything wrong with the spate of continuous and unabated killings in some parts of the country over the years. They do not seem to have the guts to admonish our leaders and make them see reasons why they should sit up and live up to the expected responsibility of securing the polity. These enemies of our nation are not smarts enough to advise our leaders that there can never be any headway to a progressive ‘next level’ in a society where mutual suspicion and disunity is prevalent.

It is so unfortunate that some of these enemies are also not telling the government that it will be counterproductive to continue to criminalize and politicize objective criticisms of the well-meaning and patriotic citizenry on the countless problems and challenges bedevilling us as a people.

Distastefully, at 59, the country is still crawling and learning to stand on its own despite being blessed with enormous natural and human resources. Interestingly, our compatriots are doing great exploits in every nook and cranny of the world because of the conducive atmospheric situations they found themselves.

This goes a long way to buttress the fact that our leaders have failed us over the years. Today, criminality is the order of the day in the country because that is the atmosphere that the government has created for the people. I can say it without fear of equivocation that if the government can sit up to put the right things in place, `the hard-working youths` of this country will come together and lend their supports towards moving the country forward. However, it appears that our leaders and politicians do not want a situation where the Nigerian youths will be self-reliant and responsible.

Their preference is for the youths to remain downtrodden and politically unconscious so that they will remain instruments of thuggery/criminality and electoral malpractices. It is, therefore, not surprising that less than six months after the general elections, the so-called political leaders have started `manipulating grounds` for 2023 without minding the difficulties that the people are presently going through. Rather than coming together to join forces with the government to find solutions to the array of problems facing the country and moving us to the Promised Land; the enemies of our nation have diverted attentions and are already sharing portfolios for 2023 when they are not even sure of waking up tomorrow.

I have posited severally, that there is a need for all well-meaning Nigerians to rise above political, religious and ethnic affiliations and THINK NIGERIA FIRST in the scheme of things. The recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa ought to be an eye-opener to the government and people of this great country. If not for anything, it is a challenge for the government to make Nigeria truly great so that our youths will not need to `go out` before they can make ends meet.

Consequent upon the aforementioned, it will be in the overall interest of all and sundry for our political leaders to show unequivocal commitments and patriotic tendencies to the course of our nation. The government and members of the opposition should desist from playing politics with the lives of the masses.

There is a need for deliberate, honest and genuine consultations with leaders of all the geopolitical regions regardless of their political affiliations on ways to move the country forward. It does not matter whether we are supporters of the ruling government or advocates of `change`; the most important thing is to be able to join hands together to put our country in order so that we can live as one in peace and tranquillity.

Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Raymond Oise-Oghaede writes in from Surulere.


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