“Nigeria is prey and hunter to itself. We do not seem serious in our drive for progress” – Koye-Ladele Mofehintoluwa Oluwadetan
On the 1st of October, 1960, Nigeria got her independence from her colonial master. The British however, colonized us without revealing to us the power of unity in diversity. The Hausa(s), Igbo(s), Yoruba(s), Tiv(s), Ijaw(s) and others were brought together to the stream in 1960 but it’s so unfortunate that we are yet to drink from the stream even in the year 2017.
I have drunk from the waters of history on issues concerning Nigeria as a whole and today I am ready to sprinkle the water of knowledge to my generation. It is so disheartening that Nigeria as a country is only growing old but not growing up. Growing old in the sense that our age of independence increases annually but we refuse to grow up in the aspects of economic/infrastructural development and leadership.
History has it that Nigeria had her civil war, otherwise known as Biafra war between the year 1967 and 1970. This war energized the hatred in different tribes, customs, cultures, traditions and religions among the citizens of the country.
Nigeria is seen as a country blessed with honey and gold, yet we haven’t measured up to the standard of many countries without minerals or natural resources. This time two years ago, I was at Covenant Place Iganmu, Lagos in an annual program organized by Pastor Poju. I was privileged to listen to Professor Pat Utomi who spoke on the economy of the nation and Professor Pius Adesanmi who spoke on the topic “hating Nigeria for greatness”. I jokingly did not believe what the two speakers said initially with the mindset that we now have ‘change’ not knowing that the broom will only sweep away our change to unsighted site.
Having heard and read about the corrupt practices of Abacha, I concluded that he misled Nigeria because he was from Kanuri, Chad which closed his eyes to see the plight of Nigeria.
For years now, I have been conversant with the issues surrounding Nigeria and I doubt if we have leaders with integrity. The sailors of our ship are greedy hunters while the citizens are the prey. The nonchalant attitudes of the so called rulers in recent years have dragged Nigeria into the mud.
I stand to be corrected, we live in one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and we live in a country where atrocity is our watchword, where citizens are forced to adjust to the negatives around us. I can remember vividly that a former president of Nigeria once said “stealing is not corruption”. The best interpretation to this simply means bribery, stealing and corruption are norms in Nigeria.
The nature of my business has made me visit police stations times without number, not as an accused or a criminal, but as a progressive Nigerian. The only thing that bothers me is whether “bail is free” pasted in Nigerian Police Stations are meant for decoration. If not, then Nigeria is a scam.
Nigerian military men are physically fit but mentally dumb. The rate of insecurity in Nigeria is nothing to write home about.
The National Assembly is a retirement home for former executives, perhaps former political office holders in this country. As at the time of compiling this, Dr. Bukola Saraki and others like him are still the lawmakers of Nigeria. I weep for Nigeria. The economic situation has made the rich become poor and made the poor completely wretched. Budget padding, economic recession and misappropriation of funds are words inherited from the dictionary by Nigerian leaders to shave the hair of Nigerians in their absence.
There are times I think democracy is too expensive for us to run. Nigeria produces over 400, 000 graduates yearly with just one third or less securing good jobs. It is sardonic that senior special advisers to the political office holders still have special advisers sucking their salaries from the public funds.
The Education sector is in shambles; as at this morning, UNILAG, UI, AAUA, LAUTECH, OAU, LASU amongst others are seriously begging for attention yet our leaders find pleasure in sending their kids abroad to study.
Conclusively, there are two categories of people in Nigeria, the rulers and the ruled, the oppressors and the oppressed. The rulers are the hunters while the citizens are the prey.
The youth leader in DRA101 performance says “the inhumane and illicit acts of our so called rulers must stop, our eyes have seen, and our ears have heard enough of their atrocities. Daily, we weep, fears grips our soul as poverty gnaws our whole, no providence for tomorrow and our joy exchange for sorrow.”
Dear compatriots, it is high time we lifted this country up to compete with her contemporaries economically and politically. I’m optimistic that there is a light at end of the tunnel. So help us God.
Happy Independence Day, God bless Nigeria.
Obafemi Awolowo University, lle-lfe, Nigeria
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