Published On: Mon, Sep 30th, 2013

53 Years Independence: Nigerians Please Celebrate Me


On Tuesday, Nigeria will be celebrating fifty three years of independence. Ibebe Rufus Akpobome in this report traces the formation of Nigeria as a country and its developmental problems. Despite the ills facing the country he has reasons to urge Nigerians to celebrate the country’s independence because they have no other country to call their own
Excerpts
In 1914, a man called Sir, Lord Luguard amalgamated the Northern and Southern part of a territory in Africa which was later named by a woman called Miss Florah Shaw as Nigeria. She later become the wife of Lord Luguard who also became the first Governor General of Nigeria. He was succeeded by six other white Governor Generals.
The white men ruled us for forty years after the amalgamation before they finally gave us independence on the first of October 1960. Although it is true that we got our independence without on a platform of gold, unlike our brother South Africa which shed blood, we should remember that a lot of great men like Hubert Macauly, Dr. Nmandi Azikivwe, and Chief Obafemi Awoowo among others passed through hell to get us this independence. As if to prove some of the Northerners who claimed we were not ripe for self governance right, we broke into a civil war that almost succeed in tearing country apart. As if the civil war was not enough, we experienced along time of military rule which succeed in destroying the hope that we had in the country Nigeria.
On May 29th, 1999 when eventually the military government of Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar handed over to the civilian government of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, there were more problems in Nigeria than good. Even in civil rule, insecurity became the other of day. It started with the Oduduwa Peoples Congress (OPC) problem followed by restive youths of Niger Delta region militancy. .The restive youths of Niger Delta meant business that it got to point where it became obvious that if nothing urgent was done, Nigeria would be the loser. It was in that vain that the government of Alhaji Umaru Musa Yaru’Adua brought about the amnesty programme. As the Federal Government was resolving the issue of restless Niger Delta youths, Boko Haram which means Western education is a sin sprang up from the Northern part of the country killing innocent Nigerians and destroying property worth billions of Naira.
Nigeria has gone so bad since after independence that the standard of our education has fallen to the level of producing graduates that cannot spell their names. There are no structures to teach those that are ready to learn. Examination malpractice has become a norm in Nigeria. Oh! what a shame. It has come to the level where people do not have value for education. Our universities have been on strike for close to three months. No thanks to ASUU and Nigeria government. In face of all these problems and many more, it is obvious that there is no sector that is functioning effectively in Nigeria.
No wonder a friend said that we are living in a dead country that claim to be the giant of Africa yet cannot do the little things that dwarfs are doing. I hear the voice of a nation in the wilderness crying oh yea Nigerians please celebrate me in my 53rd birthday. When I listened clearly, it was the voice of Nigeria. Oh what a poor country. Ordinarily, if the country had good leaders, good roads,a better health care service and employment for her youth among others, why should we not be happy to celebrate the birthday of the only country that we can call our own? Well, in the face of all these problems, I am appealing to you to please celebrate Nigeria at 53, because we have no other country to celebrate.
Despite the present calamities plaguing the country, it will one day be great. That reminds me, do not forget that we shall be one of the top twenty economy the world by 2020. So in the face of the many problems of my country and in the hope of a better tomorrow, I wish you happy 53 year of Nigeria independence celebration.

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