Yesterday, October 1, was our country’s 58th independence anniversary. It was a day of full scale reflection and stock taking. It was also a day for a vision into our political future and socio-economic welfare. But the fact that 58 years are still short a period in a life of a nation, most Nigerians would have reminisced over the lot in those six decades of nationhood.
With attainment of political independence on 1st October, 1960 from the British colonial masters, Nigerians envisioned that the freedom from the yoke of colonialism would become a vehicle of driving social justice, equity, fair play, they also assumed that independence would be an instrument for achieving rapid socio-economic and political development as colonialism was perceived as the greatest hindrance to genuine developmental process of the country.
From three big regions, Nigeria have fragmented into 36 states and from provinces into 774 local governments areas. While these administration units keep on reducing in size, the population keeps on growing at an explosive rate from 56 million at independence to approximately over 200 million. According United Nations, Nigeria population is equivalent to 2.57% of the total world population.
Nigeria is a composition of a number of large ancient nations and other autonomous small societies. Its boundaries were drawn as a result of trade and commercial interest of western colonial masters in the nineteenth century. The name Nigeria was suggested by Flora Shaw in 1898 to designate the British protectorate on the River Niger, which eased commercial contact between the People of Nigeria and the Europeans through various explorers of the western imperialist.
On the economic frontiers, Nigerians learnt and read at least five 5-year Development Plans and a 10-year vision couched in the best possible language. What has become of these plans and vision is part of the story of Nigeria; the enigmatic nation. The agrarian economy gave way to an oil economy of today with successive administrations always flaunting ill-planned diversification. That Nigeria went through a booming economy during its agricultural hey days to a gloomy oil state of today is another paradox, the story of Nigeria. Abundance has led to wastages and end of in poverty.
The economic measures adopted by the government to salvage the economy, mostly affected by fluctuating prices in the international oil market, and also affected every human endeavor. The socio-economic and cultural lives of people were negatively impacted such that the standard of living dropped to lowest ebb. The unemployment rate became so high like never before and this naturally helped to increase corruption, crime rate and rampant insecurity.
All over the world, there has been progress in many areas such as life –saving medicines, the internet revolution, oil boom, under-water exploration, airbus, the advent of mobile phone and whatsoever. Yet the same poor way of doing things looms even today in Nigeria. Instead of coming up with better innovations and development strategies ,successive government makes life miserable and put the across some of the worst ideas ever; confused ,drawing plans ,postponing and re-introducing the policies yet again.
This decadence permeates all sectors of the economy and the situation gets bleaker by the day. Yet those on the driver’s seat have the gear in reverse and on full speed. Having summed up the economical, psychological, emotional, physical and spiritual cost of all these on the future of Nigeria and Nigerians the amount is hefty and the only remedy is to give to use the golden opportunity offered by the next general election to elect competent and dynamic leadership at both executive and legislative positions.
Although, most governments in the past emphasized addressing the problems of indiscipline in its various ramifications with rhetoric propaganda. Regrettably and outrageously, cases of indiscipline in Nigeria are in its climax in the corridors of power in most instances. Gross corruption nepotism, levity, inadvertence, opprobrium, pernicious tendencies and other retrogressive acts have been higher at the nation’s top echelon than at the lower rungs of the society.
The most chagrin and unfortunate thing in Nigeria’s leadership inadequacies is those persons responsible for some our socio economic and political hopelessness due to their reckless performance in public service are up to now relied upon for sensitive assignment and this has been responsible for nation’s leadership deficit. It is critical to note that the country in its fifty –eight years of independence has witnessed mass plunder of public coffers which is responsible for our socio-economic trauma.
It is in the light of the need to check this dangerous slide to retrogression that characterized this part of the world, among other reasons to address the leadership question as a solution to the above problem. Nigeria which is the giant of Africa have its fair share of the crunch is returning to a decisive elections in 2019. A leadership at all levels of elective positions that will address unemployment, continuing food insecurity, rise of extreme poverty, mindboggling high child and maternal mortality, weak public institutions, administrative nepotism, raise in kidnapping/ farmers/herders conflicts and cattle rustling is paramount at this moment of our nationhood.
It is the belief of most Nigerians that Nigeria’s tomorrow will see it through all its difficulties to emerge virile and strong nation that will lead the continent in future. The journey to withstand all the current challenges and become the dream country we all want began now as major political parties elect those who will fly their flags at the 2019 general election. The process is delicate at this moment of our nationhood because the outcome of the primaries will give birth to the elected officials in 2019 and who will determine how our conyrty will fare as we ride to a diamond jubilee in 2020 and beyond.
–Danyaro wrote in from Wuse Zone 5, Abuja
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