By Israel Igiri
Today, Nigeria celebrates her 58th year of independence having gained freedom from the British colonial masters on October 1, 1960. In the spirit of the season, Crispng led by one of its reporters Israel Igiri, x-rays the views of Nigerians on how far the nation has gone after 58 years.
For Linda Nwagu
Nigeria at 58! If it was a human being who was becoming 58 years old, you would have thought that the person would have gotten to a part of his life where he must have achieved a lot. In fact, Nigeria is still as senseless as a four-year-old who knows nothing because we keep making the same mistakes over and over again hoping that a miracle happens not knowing that we ourselves should be the miracle. Nigeria at 58! We are just getting older in independence but to be sincere with you, we have gotten nowhere since independence. We are still retarded, redundant and retrogressive in every which way you can think about. The independence has already been marred by the death of a jet pilot who lost his life while practicing for the independence day celebration. This has already dampened the excitement of the day if you ask me. This thing could have been averted if we just kept doing the right things. If money allocated for this thing was used appropriately. That jet fighter would have lived if there was maintenance of the jet. Just imagine, if it was a war and you have a lot of fighters there, you are sending them not just to a war but to a massacre because they would even lose their lives up there because I don’t know what would have happened. It is sad to hear things like these. Secondly, we have been rigged. In fact, Nigerians no longer want to have their PVC because everybody says “My vote doesn’t count because the winner has already been decided.” Electoral corruption is everywhere. Osun state election has become a robbery. I am not saying that the PDP is a saint but the fact that the voters were denied their rights- they were disenfranchised. In fact, you have disrespected democracy and have truncated democracy by the very sight of that result. The international community is already telling us that we are done. We are nowhere. Nigeria at 58! It is a saddening sight. Everything is falling apart. Everybody does things they like because they want to make the country better for themselves. Everybody wants to exploit others. A taxi man carries two persons in the front seat that is meant for one person. He wants to make more money because nothing is going well. Let’s come to our #18,000 minimum wage increase. It is becoming worse. They will only increase it because they want you to vote for them. Today, nobody actually wants to take the business of leading and helping people. They prefer to stark the money in big buildings and enriching themselves. Nigeria at 58! I just hope that by the time we get to 59, we would have some sense that we can now choose leaders who would be responsible and accountable because if we keep repeating the mistakes by collecting money and selling our votes, then we will still continue to remain a retarded nation. A nation with sickle cell anemia. Nigeria at 58! Indeed, our independence has come at a cost but still, we are not yet there.
Let’s talk about tourism and medicals. That is the order of the day. In fact, every rich man who has money wants to go outside of the country. They all send their children outside to study and grab many certificates as they can. What happens to the citizens of this country while they languish in poverty and hunger? And you still call this independence? There is so much that we need to do before we can start celebrating independence in the first place. I don’t think we have gotten anywhere. Our independence is a total charade. There is nothing going well in this country. Everything is topsy-turvy; while the rich is getting richer, the poor is getting poorer. We hear insecurity everywhere; people are dying- Zamfara, Jos… somebody will just come and clear a whole village and still we do not know what is happening. More people continue to sacrifice their lives for nothing. It is terribly unfair. In fact, we don’t have a right to celebrate independence while persons are dying every day. There is nothing to celebrate. It is just better the president gives a speech as always and close the day because for me, there is nothing to celebrate.
Damilola Opaniyan has this to say
As a nation, even a relatively young one compared to others, we have not done the best we can and we are definitely not where we should be. However after 58 years, I think Nigeria is finally finding her footing. People are becoming more aware of the things they should be doing and taking action. Our youths are matching other youths around the world to do great things in various fields such as technology and sports. If we continue on this path of everyone being aware of the part they should be playing and we really do play that part, we just might make it as a nation.
Uchechi Ogbonnaya summarizes his thoughts in few words.
“At 58, Nigeria is just in a state where the citizens pretend. We suffer and smile and pretend to be fine. Things are not just going fine in the country. I hope things get better soon”
For Agi Victor,
“As a nation, we have had ups and downs, we have had our share of bad leadership and passive citizenry; we are not where we should be as a result, but we are also not where we were in the 1960s. The population is booming and we have failed to harness the rich human and natural resources. Unemployment is on the rise, and it is so evident when over 300,000 applicants were recorded for just about four thousand spaces in the ongoing FRSC recruitment exercise. Economically, a recent disturbing report from the CBN projected that the country may slid into another recession owing to diminishing figures over the past quarters, yet we undoubtedly boast of the richest human resources on the African continent. The reasons are not far-fetched. Insecurity is on the high, farmers-herders clash significantly threatens our agricultural output and the investment climate seem not to be favourable, especially in a pre-election year with many uncertainties. Politically, we have seen people who claim to represent the masses displaying outright selfishness. That is what it means when people cross-carpet political parties because they want power by every means. After many years of democracy, we are yet to see the fruits and ideals of democracy in all its essence.
The 2019 election is even bleaker as the independence of the electoral umpire is not assured. We have seen so many compromise and we only things change for good. The health sector is in disarray, reason why our leaders fly out of the country at the slightest health challenge, sadly, with tax payers’ money. Weep for Nigeria! Having said all these, Nigeria is still a great country, and we pray that God blesses us with leaders who will transform the abundant human and natural resources to the good of the masses. Despite the ethnic, religion and cultural divides, we can only be stronger when we believe in a common cause, when our collective resolve is to develop this nation for all to live in peace and prosperity.”