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  Mirroring Nigeria At 57 –  By Samuel Ejinwa

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Map Of Nigeria

There is no doubt and therefore no clanger in saying that October 1, 1960 reminds us of the labour of our heroes past who sacrificed all they had to make this nation an independent State, hoping for a greater, united and prosperous Nigeria. A day when the British masters gave our founding fathers the liberty to pilot the affairs of our country. A significant and ever green moment when we all shouted “Uhuru”. Yes, freedom from the exploitative hands of our colonial masters.

 With the current situation in our country which is now characterized with myriads of problems and challenges which has remained unabated as well continued to undermine its great potentials, can it be said that we are touring on the path of greatness and near ideal nation as envisaged by our founding fathers who were at the fore-front , fighting the good fight of nationhood, national innovativeness and freedom? Obviously looking at the heaps of problems in this present Nigeria which has garnered little or no attention from our present leaders or those at the corridors of power, one cannot be wrong or out of place to say that a critical and careful examination of our country in all ramification, show that of betrayal of expectations of greater, sound, strong, united and prosperous Nigeria which our heroes past, the likes of Nmandi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Anthony Enahero laid their lives for.

A man of 57 year old is old enough to address lingering and pressing challenges in his family which is expected of him, which will in turn bring succor, understanding, peace and Unity in his family.

 But its quite unfortunate and disappointing that our country Nigeria at 57 is still groping in the dark and crawling on the floor economically, politically and educationally like a baby. Lets no deceive ourselves with the usual flimsy practice of comparing the age of our country with that of America and other developed nations. We are matured enough to tour in the path of greatness.

Politically, we have nothing to write home about. Political jingoism and jiggery-pokery, favoritism, politicized judiciary, marginalization of some regions , embezzlement of some public funds by the corrupt masters of our economy, widespread celebration of mediocrity, impunity, lawlessness and indiscipline, collapse of intelligent national ideals and social values are what are now obtainable in our political cycle. Economically, we are down and tattered. We are out of recession officially but practically we are in recession. The terrorist sect called Boko haram and the fulani herdsmen have continued to pose as serious security threat to our country, coupled with other heaps of criminal activities. Our educational institution gradually seems to becoming a place for jamboree with facilities and degrading standard characterizing the system. It is on this basis that the academic staff union of Universities has been embarking on series of industrial actions since 2009 for an upgrade of our tertiary institutions among other challenges too numerous to mention .

What then is the root cause of all this avalanche of problem eating up our dear country Nigeria as spotlighted? It is simply and squarely a failure of leadership (Appologies to Chinua Achebe) ; the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and challenges of personal examples which are the hallmark of true leadership.

Its so sad that our leaders have allowed themselves to be stricken by corruption and indiscipline and this is why the centre is still struggling to hold sway in our country Nigeria.

As we celebrate our country Nigeria at 57, what then can we say is the basis of our celebration? Improved health condition of the populace or increased national integration? Nay. Hence this significant moment which reminds us of our emancipation from the shackles of colonialism, for well meaningful and patriotic Nigeria, and most especially our leaders, this should be a moment to weep and be remorseful for we have failed to tour in the paths that are in tandem with the actualization of the Nigeria of our dream. We have failed to live out the true meaning of its creed.

It is glaring that our present leaders which mostly comprises of aged men and women have failed us. They seems to be dwell on an already outdated approach to governance. Hence there is need for young vibrant breeds of leaders that will perfectly captain the ship that will sail us to greatness as well clear the cobwebs of political and economic decadence among others.

Until we desist from sacrificing meritocracy on the alter of nepotism and favoritism, until we stops selling our conscience for cups of rice and paltry sum of money, things will continue to go wrong. Because you cannot give what you don’t have.

Its high time we equally uprooted trees of disunity and start sowing seeds of unity by seeing Nigeria as one indivisible nation as well eschewing all activities that are capable of marginalizing some regions in our country. These is a joint task for all patriotic Nigeria, for Nigeria is ours, Nigeria we serve. At this juncture one need not consult the services of a soothsayer to know that this is a way forward for a sound, prosperous and united Nigeria of our dream. God bless Nigeria.

Nigeria must be better!

-Samuel Ejinwa, a public affairs analyst writes from Taraba State, North-Eastern Nigeria. 

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