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Sixty two leaps in the dark

By Jide Oyewusi
03 October 2022   |   3:30 am
It is hardly believable that Nigeria has already clocked sixty two years since it secured its independence from Britain. It’s ironic that sixty two whooping years after, Nigeria is yet to find its bearing most convincingly...


It is hardly believable that Nigeria has already clocked sixty two years since it secured its independence from Britain. It’s ironic that sixty two whooping years after, Nigeria is yet to find its bearing most convincingly, and successions of visionless, self-centered and rapacious leadership has continued to leave the citizens completely disenchanted, impoverished and their hopes continually dampened and dashed. Nigeria’s neighbours and those watching the country from afar will be amazed at the level of degradation meted out to a nation that ought to be among the world’s best by highly corrupt and confounding leadership.

But those who patiently follow the nation’s trajectory should be able to decipher where Nigeria’s stagnancy emanated from. It was nothing short of a big clandestine design of the colonial Masters who preferred to hand over the baton of leadership to those that suited their ulterior motives well without taking cognizance the future consequences and repercussions on the fledging nation. Now, a baby of sixty two years is still groping in the dark unable to take proper charge of his destiny and relies mostly on trial and error in his economic planning.

The dilapidation that has come upon Nigeria in the last couple of decades is unimaginable, depressing and frustrating forcing most youth in the country to run out of the country as if being pursued by an apparition.

Rather than encourage business expansion in a manner that can promote and generate massive employment for the teeming number of unemployed youths, the utterly unconducive climate has continued to bring businesses down with the attendant loss of jobs and complete hopelessness. Education which ought to be a big and proud legacy of any responsible government has remained in shambles for decades and as we speak, the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU is still on strike due to refusal of the government to honour an agreement it willingly entered into with the union, and rather than urgently meeting up with the demands, and arriving at an amicable solution, the industrial action has been allowed to drag on for more than six months with parents having to shoulder another additional responsibility of fending for their children whose full requirements and payments had been made to their respective schools before the sudden declaration of the strike action. Ironically, the same government that is unable to settle with ASUU continually admits to the reality of massive crude oil theft leading to loss of billions of naira on daily basis.

With incessant strikes and inadequate facilities in the higher institutions, Nigeria is encumbered with the problem of unemployable graduates most of who now litter everywhere searching for non-existent jobs. Besides, almost all spaces and parastatals are being taken over, dominated and managed by those whose quality leaves much to be desired.

Even sensitive areas like the health care providers are now manned by people of questionable expertise leading to so many avoidable deaths. The nation’s infrastructure is totally decrepit and a major cause of loss of so many innocent lives. In sixty two years, there hasn’t been a totally foolproof answer to the nation’s epileptic power supply and almost every time is a story of collapse of national grid.

Lives are continually lost to highly avoidable accidents on the highways owing mostly to the, poor state of the roads, lack of regular maintenance and complete nonchalant attitude of the government in taking proactive steps to end the pervasive carnage. For so many years, tanker explosion and accidents have claimed more lives than even war could and absolute nothing has been done to halt the sad trend because the owners of oil business are well connected and untouchable, so no government in Nigeria dares to step on their toes no matter the number of lives lost on daily basis. Such can only happen in a nation ruled by heartless leaders. `

It is sad that for sixty two years, the same retrogressive force holding the country down and dictating the pace is still very much in control, and unless such malevolent force is violently dislodged, rounded up and punished for holding the nation by the jugular for so long, leading to the loss of so many innocent lives, it will be difficult if not impossible for the country to move forward.

Now that elections are around the corner and electioneering campaigns are beginning on a full swing, the evil camp is also preparing to dictate the pace again in order to retain its dastardly hold on the Nigerian state. It’s time every well-meaning citizen braced up to halt the ugly trend.

Oyewusi the coordinator of Ethics Watch International wrote in from Lagos.