Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Years of imperfections- Nigeria

54 Years of imperfections

Perfectness is something every citizen of a country dreams of, perfection is a ‘being’ of no harum-scarum, perfection in a country is when there is complete legitimacy, full dividend of democracy and government.  Though all the aforesaid condiments are surreal in any present democratic dispensation, not even in Saudi Arabia or the smallest state within a state, The Vatican, but still a nation can be said to be close to it.
Nigeria got her independent on the 1st of October, 1960 after many years of political struggle by some of our past heroes, among which are: Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa, Fumi Ransom Kuti et cetera.  On that faithful morning, fire crackers were seen in the sky, illuminating the whole places, women and children were singing songs of victory and home, university lecturers were chattering over some bottles of wine in their respective joints- discussing the prospects of the then youngest state in the world. Little do all these stakeholders know that independent will open fresh wounds, created out of the slipshoddiness of our colonial masters, the Brit..
At the dawn of independent we started experiencing what the press tagged ‘pregnant politicians’ bribery and corruption became rife, smeared by the composition of Nigeria, ethnic violence started surfacing.  All this maladies led to the first military coup in the country masterminded by a young military office, C.K. Nzeogwu, all in the name of seeking perfection.  A year after military supplantment of political affairs of the country, came the civil war- a genocidal war that is still not obliterated in the minds of Nigeria.
Today marks 54 years of her struggle, a 54 years strive for perfection.  The menace to the growth of this nation has multiplied over the years: unemployment- 61% of her workforce is unemployed; electrification- incessant power shortage is crippling the economy causing most industries to relocate to neighboring countries; ethno-religious crisis here and there.
Nigeria, nevertheless has achieved some great feats despite her shortcomings, today Nigeria could boost of a fast growing economy with a tremendous GDP rate, she has produced mentors for the up and coming generations, talk of the likes of Wole Soyinka, Chinua Achebe, Chimamanda Adichie (world renowned writers), Chike Obi (in Mathematics), Emma Egwali (in ICt), Kanu Nwankwo and Jay Jay Okocha (both in football), Aliko Dangote( the number one business tycoon in Africa) Fela Kuti (in Music) et cetera.  As we all mark the birthday of Nigeria- a country that is full of milk and honey- may our struggle for perfection be a dream comes true, together we can achieve it if we show love for each other.  Amor Vincit Omnia             

Nigeria at 54: The Journey so Far

By: Chiso John

Today, Nigeria turns 54 and celebrations are rife all over the place but to be honest, there is little or nothing worthy of note to be celebrated. As a country, Nigeria is torn between thick lines of ethno-religious differences which has in most cases led to conflicts across the 36 states of the federation and some scholars rightly noted that Nigeria comprises three nations - Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa in a nation/country.
Since the birth of the country in 1960, Nigeria's greatest enemy has been corruption and tribalism as both continue to eat deep into the very fabric of the society.
However, in recent times, the Boko Haram insurgency (more active in the North Eastern part of the country) and the Ebola Virus Disease(EVD) also called the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever has brought about more challenges to the government. On one hand, there has been frantic efforts in recent times by the Nigerian Army to contain the Boko Haram Sect which has yielded positive results in recent weeks, on the other hand, take nothing away from the Federal Government as Nigeria stood strong to contain the Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever and the words Surveillance, quarantine, Isolation etc has become commonplace usages on social networks, media houses and amongst Nigerians in general.
The Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever can be likened to corruption in Nigeria. They both are contagious and leave a devastating effect on the society. However, unlike the EVD, corruption has not been contained and neither has it been isolated as time after time more Nigerians dabble in it. Corruption is a threat to our own democracy and value system but nothing tangible is ongoing to contain it as most cases of corrupt practices by public officials and citizens has gone unreported and some other cases celebrated. Nigerians now see public office as a means to quick money or what I call " bogus political rush". Political manifestoes though mellifluous has been described by Professor Ofuebe as "hollow ritual". The term " dividends of democracy" has been completely rebranded due to the chaotic democratic system in practice in Nigeria.
In spite of all the aforementioned, Nigeria as a nation has thrived economically this has however been disputed as  some observers argue that the economic development attained by Nigeria is only viable "on paper".
Though the shadows of our past as a nation haunts us, dwelling on the past would be a quite risky thing to do. Today is not a day to look back on our past mistakes, its one to look forward to the solutions to the problems that impedes this nation from greatness.
Happy Independence day.
Long Live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.