NIGERIA AT 60: WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

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A trip down memory lane. On October 1, the nooks and crannies of this great nation was filled with jubilation and celebration, Independence was finally granted by the British colonial masters and Nigeria became a sovereign nation. Indeed, it was a day of joy and absolute gladness for both the young and old in the nation and those in the diaspora. The then speech delivered by the ceremonial President Dr. Nnamdi Azikwe raised the hope of Nigerians with the assurance that sooner or later, radical and unimaginable growth and development would take place, making the country one of the best among her counterparts in the world. The reality of this hope is yours to decide.

From time, the reverse has been the case of our nation and the hope of the masses dashed for so long a time. It wouldn’t be a wrong question to ask, is Nigeria’s independence a curse or a blessing? This is because countries that were given independence at the same time as Nigeria have moved forward and are taking commanding position in economy, education, health, science and technology and a host of others. But our dear country, 60 years after gaining independence is still in motion without movement.

In all walks of life, if there is anything that Nigeria is unanimous about, it is the fact that Nigeria has a stunted growth. Countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia and many others that were at the same development level with Nigeria in the 60s during the peak of decolonization process have since gone ahead in human, material, infrastructural and development indices. In contrast, Nigeria, the most populated black nation in the world, appears to be on a steady decline and decay.

It wouldn’t be a wrong connotation, if I posit that based on the scenario that surrounds the nation at this time that “our right senses have left and only the wrongs are right” and indeed, you do not need a soothsayer or fortuneteller to tell you the fate of this nation. Basically speaking on the governing strategies of our dear nation, majority of those at the helm of affairs after 60 years of independence are square pegs in round holes, whose aim is to loot the belongings of the masses instead of working towards national growth and development.

Several years after independence, the nation’s health sector remains in a shambles. Our social amenities are noting to write home about, majority of highways can now be likened to death traps which indeed is a big slap on our face. Majority of the citizens live in darkness. Water is gold.

Nigeria has been stagnant for too long and it is high time we all and most especially those in leadership turned a new leaf and take our dear country to her rightful position in the comity of progressive and forward-looking nation. Our leaders should start working for the good and general wellbeing of the people.

Kayode Awojobi, martexayobami@gmail.com