Tuesday, October 01, 2019

Nigeria at 59: A country gasping for breath - ITREALMS

Nigeria has turned 59 and it is a day when Nigerians ought to roll out the drums. It is a day where you have to hear the national anthem and the pledge all over the places, salute the flag and engage in all outward signs of patriotism.

The country has clocked 59, but what is there to celebrate? At Independence in 1960, who would have thought that liars, criminals, crooks and charlatans would have been the ones running the affairs of the country. It is harmful and dangerous that Nigeria has been led by leaders without vision and conviction.

A day like this should be a day of sober reflection for the leadership and the led, a day on how to reflect on how we have fared on the journey of development and manhood.

Are their cogent views for celebrating Nigeria at 59?

Nigeria's existence has been faced by the crass and almost irredeemable foolishness of her leaders. I know Rome was not built in a day, but there was a systematic, sincere and conscious effort to build Rome. Malaysia, Cyprus, Singapore have by far surpassed Nigeria when it comes to political, economic, educational, technological, institutional indices. Where are we today? Be the judge.

Nigerians go to bed without food. Ask me what we are celebrating, and I say it is sheer-mediocrity. Why should I celebrate when people go to bed with one eye widely-opened? Why should I celebrate when the poor are getting poorer and the rich richer? Why should I celebrate when our roads and hospitals are death traps? Why should I celebrate when we are more divided than ever? Why should I celebrate when the basic amenities are indeed lacking? Why should I celebrate when corruption is a way of life? Why should I celebrate when strike has remained a national convention? Why should I celebrate when people are killed and kidnapped with reckless abandon? Why should I celebrate when elections are always fraught with irregularities? Why should I celebrate when each time, the blame game keeps coming up when we should be making progress? Why should I celebrate when corruption has refused to leave the country? Why should I celebrate when ethnicity takes primary role in all our dealings?

The challenge of underdevelopment, poverty, political crisis in Nigeria is simply the challenge of leadership. I look at the country (Nigeria) and the many bad tales that had faced the country, and I ask, was Nigeria packaged?

So far, it has been a tortuous journey. Many analysts have described Nigeria as a big contract up for grabs. For me, I am not happy and cannot say "Happy Independence" to you, rather it is a time to pause and ponder, pray for the state of things to change in Nigeria.

Nigeria at 59 is a country bedevilled by a plethora of challenges. Despite the abundance of human, material and natural resources, Nigerians are still suffering.

Nigeria at 59 and I say that the country has lost her moral compass. A country enmeshed with wrong doings. If we keep eulogising wrong doings, we would create a cloudy environment that would make it extremely difficult for the next set of generation leaders. Bad leadership bordering on ethnicity, religion have been the deceptive problem of this country and we should not allow it to continue. The country is 59 today, but we have failed as a people to lay the necessary foundation for the country's developmental progress. The country in yearning for next level needs political integrity coupled with effective leadership style and to ensure that everyone in the corridor of power has a clean state of selflessness and integrity to run the affairs of the country.

Nigeria at 59, the country has been raped, bruised and sapped. We are just drifting like a balloon in the ocean without an anchor chain. For me, I am not in any way carried away by the chants of next level. Indeed, it is all sound and fury, signifying nothing - apologies to Shakespeare. True chants of next level will come when we have fresh brains, fresh ideas and for now, efforts should be geared towards making Nigeria work again. The promoters of next level can only shout that to pay lip service to the attitudinal level required to bring about the real and enduring next level. They sold dummy to Nigerians and we need the true face of next level to move forward. Since our return to democracy, to us it is still nascent, we have continued to move at the speed of millipedes while the rest of the world have gone supersonic. The world is not waiting for Nigeria.

Today, economic and social lives are decrepit and a larger percentage of the populace is faced with grinding and excruciating poverty. A school of thought believes that 59 years is but a short time in the life of a country. Do you agree?

We need a compassionate and human government across board that responds with firmness and compassion in tackling national issues. We have to move forward because sycophancy rules the public space in Nigeria. It is obvious that Nigeria remains a hopeless orphan with no one to salvage her from the jaws of killer whales called politicians.

Whether we restructure, re-strategise, redirect, re-process or rearrange the country, we can't look away from the fact Nigeria is today suffering from the symptoms of misrule of bad breeds, deficient in moral and good characters.

At this time, inviting Nigerians to the Eagles Square, Abuja to dance to TY Bello's 'Green Land' or Naira Marley's 'Inside Life' is like a straight walk into the den of the lion. For me, I dislike pretense, because pretending that all is well is suicidal at this period.

It is disheartening that Nigeria is 59 and the stories are still unpalatable because the issue of inept leadership has refused to leave Nigeria.

At 59, Nigeria is at crossroads and urgent steps must be taken to set it on the right path of progress.

59 years on, that finger sucking called "quota system" has left the country retarded, coupled with worms of mediocrity and indolence. At 59, national unity is a wild goose chase.

Any creature with a pair of eye should see clearly that Nigeria needs deliverance.

Conclusively, Nigeria is living dangerously with the state of her affairs and the auguries for the future are not in anyway encouraging. Just saying it the way it is. GOD BLESS NIGERIA!

*Chris Uruakpa

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