By Dr. Rapulu Nduka

A day of celebration should also be a day of introspection. As a human being/institution celebrates any milestone in his life, wisdom dictates that he/she/it should look back and do some proper evaluation to know if there’s been any meaningful progress. It may be normal for someone to lie to another, but when one keeps lying to himself/herself, that’s a sign of folly.

As Nigeria celebrates its independence, a lot of questions come to mind. Can Nigeria as a country truthfully assert that she is moving forward?
The cliché – ‘the good old days’, is not just a figure of speech, but a terrible reality. What can this nation boast of as an improvement on the past?
Certainly not the Naira, economy or infrastructure.
Several years back, most cities in Nigeria had the Water Board/Scheme that will gladly connect a building to clean potable water. Today, same Water Boards unashamedly demand for Water or Borehole Tax from people who provide water for themselves. What a shame. An average Nigerian is a ‘local government’ to himself, providing security, power and other basic necessities of life. The federal road safety officer gladly stands at portions of dilapidated roads riddled with potholes turned ditches, waiting to catch an offender in the guise of keeping the road safe. One then wonders how the road safety officials keep the road user safe on an unsafe road.

Security agencies outdo themselves in derogating the rights of the citizens they are meant to protect. People are arrested without any form of investigation. Hospitals gladly pronounce patients dead without lifting a finger to save their lives. Businesses are stifled by the same agencies meant to provide a business friendly environment. Killing becomes the norm and no longer news worthy because everyone is used to it. Price of fuel is on constant increase in an oil producing nation with cheap labour, and we justify same with good confusing grammar. Naira constantly loses its value and yet the hapless citizen is blamed for shopping at Shoprite. It is a wonder that while other nations evolve into better “species” Nigeria retrogresses into abnormal monstrosity.

Sadly, the foundation for any meaningful growth is not being laid. Running an oppressive regime is okay and those who complain are waiting for their turn to do same.

What is there to celebrate?
Somehow, it seems logical to imagine how Nigeria would have looked like if she was still under the colonial masters. There will be trains but surely not into Maradi. The existing roads will be long lasting even if they merely serve the interest of the colonial masters. Security agencies will investigate at least to keep the society safe for the colonial masters. Several refineries will be in operation at least to make life easier for the colonial masters. People will not be killed by marauders at least for the colonial masters to have a choice of travelling by road or by air. Hospitals will be functional at least to provide effective healthcare for the colonial masters.

Since we have ‘ruled’ ourselves, haven’t we been more mean and wicked to our fellows ?. What wickedness have our leaders not meted out to us?

Until we truthfully look inwards, be more human while laying the proper foundations for meaningful development, Vision 2050 will be shifted to Vision 2070.

2 thoughts on “October 1: What Manner Of Celebration Is This?

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