Nigeria on Thursday will celebrate its 60th years diamond jubilee. President Muhammadu Buhari recently unveiled the anniversary logo. As usual, the activities to mark the independence celebration have been outlined by the federal government. Even before the anniversary, political analysts, financial experts and other public commentators have started expressing their views or opinions on the country’s 60th years of independence. To optimistic group, 60 years of independence is worthy of celebration.
The country has been able to cross the social, political and economic rubicon in spite numerous challenges ranging from political instability that led to different military coup. For a country that houses more than 350 ethnic groups, happily sandwiching together the diamond jubilee is a source of inspiration. To this group, it is cheering news that the country has been able to survive the glaring and outright theft of its resources by the so-called leaders, steering the affairs of the country. For a country like Nigeria to witness several coups, political tension and civil war but emerged stronger call for jubilation. The pessimistic group view the country’s 60th anniversary as one step forward and three steps backwards. To them, Nigeria is blessed with abundant human and natural resources. Sadly, the country is not at par with its contemporaries that attained the same independence. For instance, Nigeria got independence the same day with India. However, Indian per capita income has doubled that of Nigeria. India has promised to assist Nigeria with nuclear energy to boost its power generation. They have argued, since the first republic which the country witnessed the first generational leaders that were imbued with foresight and patriotism, Nigeria has since become a shadow of itself with nothing to celebrate.
The present crop of leaders lack patriotism and are preoccupied by divisive politics and passion for wealth accumulation. They have continued to exploit the country’s fault lines not for nation building, but as a ladder to attain leadership positions. It is not an understatement to say, lack of good leadership has further compounded the country’s political and economic woes. Whatever may be the positive or negative perspectives of the country’s chequered history of independence, the 60th anniversary should serve as a period of introspection or assessment. It is time to take a look at our constitution and governance structure, identify the factors that are cogs in the wheel of our development. At 60 years, there are discordant voices or grievances from the political zones. In the South-west, it is a call for “restructuring”, South-south demands for “resource control”, South-east pushes for “confederation”while the North agitates for Sharia. Although, these grievances have been with the country for long, there is the need for genuine not political conference on how to resolve them. At 60 years, Nigeria is grappling with security challenges. From Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers, killer herdsmen and communal strife, terror has stared the country in every direction.
The recent global ranking by World Poverty Clock placing the country as the poverty headquarters of the world is not encouraging. The government should initiate a home grown economic policies that will address the high rate of poverty in the country. There is strong correlation or nexus between poverty and deteriorating insecurity in the country.Happy 60 years indepence anniversary.
Ibrahim Mustapha, Pambegua, Kaduna state. [email protected]08169056963
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