Nigeria @ 60:
The Journey So Far,
Nigeria our beloved country will clock 60 years of her creation on Thursday, October 1, 2020; haven gotten her independence from her British colonial masters as a sovereign state on 1st October 1960.
With the preparations of the celebration of the Nation’s Diamond Anniversary in top gear by the federal government on Thursday, 1st October 2020; Ika Mirror Newspaper reporter went round Boji Boji Metropolis on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, to get the views of residents on their appraisal of Nigeria as she celebrates her 60 years independence anniversary.
Here are the contributions of some of the respondents who bared their minds on the issue.
Mr. Ejime Roland Moseri, A Businessman said, “We thank God for preserving our lives and for the persons who were born in 1960, I congratulate them and wish them happy birthday.
Talking about Nigeria, we are in a zero point, there is nothing to show as an independent country; though it is good we remember that we are 60, but it’s like a 60 years old man or woman still sucking the mother’s breast, it’s an error of maximal proportion. Okay where are we now? Are we talking of the education sector? Zero; Are we talking of power sector?
Zero; Are we talking of employment? Our youths are there doing all sorts of crime in order to make ends meet; yahoo yahoo everywhere; is it the health sector? Zero; Are you talking of good road networks in the entire states of the Nation? Infrastructural developments? Nothing to show. The Nigerian masses are suffering, according to our legend late Afro beat maestro Fela Anikulakpo Kuti, who said, “Suffering and Smiling”, it is so unfortunate that as Nigerians we are suffering and at the same time we are smiling. However, I am congratulating President Muhammadu Buhari, for being alive to celebrate Nigeria’s Sixty years independence anniversary, but the government should be reminded that our youths are there in the streets committing all sorts of criminal activities yet they are the supposed leaders of tomorrow; I am appealing to the federal government to create room for rehabilitation so that our people will have a sense of direction and be focused and have something doing as a viable means of livelihood. I want to specially thank the Delta State Governor His Excellency Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for his emphasis on employing 40 Pharmacists, I read it in the Newspaper that he wants to employ some Pharmacists, thank God for that; I wish that in every sector they will continue to employ like that, so that the rate of crime and criminal activities will reduce. However, it is most unfortunate that Nigeria as a country is still sucking breast at 60″.
Mr. Moru Alimele, A Businessman said, “It is very unfortunate that Nigeria of today was never the Nigeria of our dream far back in 1960, in those days of between the Fifties and late Eighties things were far better to what it is presently. The suffering in the country today is too much and unbearable to majority of the masses; it usually give me tears whenever I remember the Nigeria of old and the Nigeria of today.
The government of today seems as if they joined the looters to batter our country’s economy because the rate at which the masses are suffering in the country is very alarming. The most annoying thing is that there is no sector that is free of this rot and corruption; and the so called leaders whom we had hoped on to rescue us are the major people that are killing us.
Personally, with the current situation, I see the country and her citizens surviving at the mercies of God, knowing that He is the only one that will save us”.
Mr. Sylvester Aghaulor, A Public Servant said, “Talking about Nigeria at 60, in my personal opinion, there is something fundamentally wrong with the state of Nigeria because it was not founded on a solid foundation, from the onset the entity called Nigeria was so multifarious, heterogeneous; the heterogeneous nature of Nigeria society has made it difficult to blend the unity, because the idea of saying that there is unity in diversity cannot work in Nigeria. Secondly, the leaders of Nigeria are deceitful, they are corrupt; thirdly, the present state of affairs in terms of security is zero, because corruption and security are contradictory terms, you cannot talk about security when you have chosen corruption. The leaders of the country have chosen corruption, Nigeria leaders have entrenched corruption, so in as much as Nigerian leaders have entrenched corruption it contradicts what security requires; before you can get security there must not be corruption, corruption must be zero tolerance or it will just be between 1% to 2% because no society is free from corruption; but in Nigeria corruption is a normal way of life. To correct the above anomalies we have to do a lot of Social Engineering, which means educating the people about what a state or country requires succeeding, many of us don’t know what a state requires to succeed mostly our corrupt leaders who are also selfish. Personally, if I have my way, we have to start from the very beginning, the children are already corrupt, they are already doing what the parents are doing; so when you say leaders of tomorrow, the leaders of tomorrow are going to do what the leaders of today are doing, so we have to cut it off, there must be a clear cut demarcation between the old and the new.
Imagine the high rate of criminal activities among the youths, it is because they are fundamentally frustrated and the leadership of Nigeria society are not giving good examples; just like their usual slogan ‘spend the money and nobody cares about how you get the money’; so the children are coping the wrong things because the leaders are legalizing illegalities and with this on ground corruption has been entrenched. We cannot tolerate the continuation of such vices, it must be stopped by a concerted effort peacefully through Social Engineering, but if we want to take it through a revolutionary method I think that will quicken the situation because many society opted for revolution; because if you talk about teaching people; to learn is easier than to unlearn, it takes a longer time to unlearn something, when a habit has been formed it takes a longer time to do away with it. Some of us will prefer a revolution, just a complete breakaway from the past leaders, and have a new paradigm. I call it Social Engineering in Political Sociology, which entails gradual education of people which might take more than a century to change the mindset and the reorientation of the people to a new order of operations”.
Mr. Ijeh O. Anthony, A Businessman said, “Talking about our country Nigeria we thank God that we are still alive to celebrate the 60th independence anniversary on Thursday, October 1, 2020; many have gone by way of struggle and other things, so we give glory to Almighty God for us who are alive. When you x-ray the journey so far with Nigeria attaining 60 years of existence we are not progressing at all. There is no encouragement from our leaders to show that Nigeria Started since 1960; a Sixty years old man must showcase that he is Sixty years old even Fifty or Forty years old; however, I think the reason for this setbacks is that our leaders are not patriotic and it’s quite unfortunate; I remember late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, it was because of his free education policy that enabled me to go to school, he tried to make everyone educated those days in 1955 and if not for that gesture I may not have gotten the privilege of going to school and be educated today. I am very proud of the legacies which late Obafemi Awolowo, left behind and how I wish others in leadership positions emulated Awolowo but they didn’t, they are fighting for their pockets and families; such type of favouritism and nepotism should go away from Nigeria politics.
For us to correct the anomalies, it must begin from the leaders, everyone aspire to be a leader, but when they get there they mess up. Another issue is the minimum wage that government says they are going to pay workers, how many states are paying the minimum wage? It is very sad, the masses are suffering. If you want to be President of Nigeria, not minding your age you must make sure that there is unity, make sure that everyone enjoys your government; for example our Senators and House of Representative members are enjoying, their salaries remains intact and they are talking of reducing the salaries of the common man; Why?
When they are happy and comfortable in Abuja, they should know that the masses are suffering; we are talking about the recent increase in the pump price of fuel and electricity tariffs, they just came up from nowhere and announced the increments; I remember during the time of President Goodluck Jonathan, when the price of a liter of fuel was #97 everyone were shouting that the amount was too high; today it’s #160 per liter, what are we doing? They are just inflicting more pains on the masses yet the palliatives which they have been promising the people are not there; the leaders of Nigeria and those representing the populace in various positions should make sure that the ordinary men in the streets are happy and comfortable like them”.
Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, a businessman said, “Where do we start from? Nigeria at 60, have we fared well? In my own view the answer is No. However, we must thank God for keeping the Nation together after the devastating effects of the civil war; Nigeria at 60, is still a far dream in terms of political and infrastructural development we have not achieved what we supposed to achieve; some of our leaders have not done well in this aspect. History had shown us when you take an inventory of what happened in the past, when we got our independence; we will give kudos to our founding fathers but what happened after the efforts of the founding fathers is what we cannot explain. It is often said that the incursions of the Military into the Nation’s Political arena destroyed everything; it appears that Nigeria presently is starting from square One, everything is upside down arrangement, you can see that things are not moving the way they supposed to move.
There is still hope for the country, judging from the fact that since 1999 till date we have witnessed over two decades of uninterrupted civilian to civilian administration; entrenching democracy is a thing of joy; across the African Continent Military takeover of government is no longer acceptable. So let us congratulate ourselves as Nigerians and thank God for the positive achievement of Twenty One years of our nascent democracy even if we have not achieved our desired goals.
Although the country have recorded some noticeable achievements but it’s actually not up to our expectations.
In moving forward, we expect our present leaders to do more in terms of revamping the economy and put in place lasting infrastructural development across the various local government areas of the country and to sustain our cherished democracy by conducting transparent elections. I also expect the youths to grab the opportunity at their disposal in correcting these observed anomalies, but it’s so unfortunate that the youths are lagging behind; we shouldn’t rely on what our parents and grandparents have done; the 21st Century belongs to the youths but unfortunately our youths are not committed enough to put in place the needed change”.
Mr. Samuel Morka, a businessman said, “In the first place I want to thank God for Nigerians being together up till today is enough reason for us to celebrate. Again, we have been succeeding from one civilian administration to the other in the past Twenty one years is worth celebrating.
The major problem is that our leaders have not been measuring up to the required standard of leadership; things are not working the way the masses had expected, the political leaders are not concerned about the wellbeing of the masses; they seems to be grabbing everything to themselves, otherwise Nigeria would have been a very loving country to live in and besides we don’t have any other country to call our own this is the only place we have as our own country; if you travel to a foreign country they will regard you as a second class citizen; so I feel that there is need to celebrate our 60th independence anniversary. I urge our leaders to put their acts together knowing full well that the masses are not happy with the current situation of the country; we are blessed and naturally endowed hence in Nigeria we don’t have anything to regret in as much that God has provided the country with everything that we need to live with comfortably.
If you go to our streets and communities what you will see now is the proliferation of churches and hotels beside this two things there is nothing that is being established to enhance the living condition of the people; such as lucrative investments and industries; I remember when we were in secondary school, there used to be a lot of factories at Ewuru, a neighbouring community near us, but today Ika land cannot boast of any viable factory. The issue of Electricity is a write off, I remember in the Seventies Water Board used to pump water to every compound, but today if not that landlords have been able to sink boreholes in their compounds we would have been fetching water from the stream up till today. It is worthy of note to mention that when you travel to some of these West African Countries they are more organized with noticeable industrial development and comfortable living conditions.
So, I am of the opinion that there is need for us to be together and live in unity, there is need for us to work together in having the Nigeria of our dream; much as I will advice and encourage of leaders to be committed to their responsibilities in putting in place a good government where the masses of the country will benefit immensely from the natural mineral resources which God has blessed us with; indeed Nigeria is a very peaceful and loving country to live in; however, in spite of our shortcomings there is need for us to celebrate our being alive and togetherness for the past 60 years; Congratulations Nigeria”.
Mr. Ejime Roland Moseri
Mr. Moru Alimele
Mr. Sylvester Aghaulor
Mr. Ijeh O. Anthony
Mr. Emmanuel Uzor
Mr. Samuel Morka