Yesterday was the independence anniversary of Nigeria as she clocked 60. This anniversary is special in the sense that Nigeria also gained its independence in the year 1960. The year 1960 seemed like it was a promising year that was made to serve as the building block to where we are today.
As waves of disunity continue to disturb the peace of Nigeria, it is worth wondering if this independence is worth celebrating at all or it is just a day to soberly reflect on the state of the Nation and what could have been done better.
We should be asking questions such as where we were, where are we now, where do we want to go and how we can reach there and then what would success look like. This question would help change what we can look forward to.
The hindsight gotten from the past can help with our current situation and help shape the future. We should take learnings from the past on how successful we were on some things and how our past is currently haunting our present and future. Hindsight can help us design roadmap for how our future can look like and it helps create activities and programmes that can help bridge the gap between our now and the future.`
Obafemi Awolowo once described Nigeria as a mere geographical expression in his 1947 book titled “Path to Nigerian Freedom. He said “if rapid political progress is to be made in Nigeria it is high time we were realistic in tackling its constitutional problems. ‘Nigeria’ is not a nation. It is a mere geographical expression. There are no Nigerians in the same sense as there are English, Welsh or French.”
This statement is so deep that many think he was advocating for the disintegration of Nigeria. His concern and call for constitutional change are still relevant as of today. The issues of Pre-independence, Independence and the 90s are still part of the issues we encountering and it seems to have taken the worst shape.
Military interventions to stealing Public funds, to rigging elections to political thuggery to nepotism to favouritism to bad leadership, this is the sad narratives we find ourselves.
New Problems keep arising from the existing ones and yet we fail to design effective solutions to them probably because the regions and the six political zones seem to want to control all the strategic positions in the government thereby overriding the Federal Character.
Bad Leadership is the order of the day, we see the politicians recycling themselves for positions and recycling the same unaccomplished promises made in previous positions. The politicians even dash out the same unkept promises and they are all about basic amenities every year.
Sadly, in the year 2020, we are still being promised the same project as years before and the same promises would be given as the major campaign projects in the next election. Among the politicians and members of government who even attempt or carry out these projects do that in order to embezzle public funds in the disguise of doing the public project.
The saddening part is that those waiting to steal public funds are more than those currently stealing, What a Nation! We are no longer building characters with the right attitude, we are creating people with the attitude to steal, the system is designed for those who want to steal, it was never designed to work. Once a body part is Ill, there is a tendency for the other parts to suffer.
Is this independence worth celebrating or is it one that needs reflection? Are we failing as a country? In what ways are we failing? How can we move past being a geographical expression? Why are we always in debt to Bigger Countries? Why are we stagnant? What can be done to change the narratives? Let’s ask these questions and reflect as Nigeria clocks 60 and this celebration of Independence is one that lasts till 30th September 2021. Why not use that time to plan for change and initiate the changes that can be done before then?