Nigeria @ 62: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

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    By; AUWAL AHMED IBRAHIM (GORONYO)

    Nigeria is making another history, history of reflection, looking back and forward as a nation to count its gains and loses in the journey of independence.

    Nigeria as the giant of African nations gained its freedom in the year 1960 from the colonial rule and on the 1st of October, 2022 the country clocked 62 years of independence.

    The country as an independent nation has achieved a lot in steering its affairs. Nigeria has a government of its own, a vision to rekindle, a hope to ignite, a passion to achieve and a dream to resuscitate.

    Nigerians are doing very well around the globe, making names in their professions and contributing to the world development. We have a Nigerian as the most richest man in Africa and the 97th richest person globally, we have renowned scholars that excelled in the world. We have great scientists, technologist and doctors that are giving good name to our dear nation.

    In art, we have people that are whirling the name of Africa from the landscape of our dear nation. We have professional footballers, finest musicians, and good sportsmen in the world of sports.

    Nigeria is great because we have patriotic people that sacrificed their time and energy for what we are enjoying. Nigeria “no dey take last”, because Nigerians are committed and dedicated to excellence.This means the labours of the past heroes, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Herbert Macaulay, Sir Ahmadu Bello, Obafemi Awolowo, Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, Hajia Gambo Sawaba, Margaret Ekpo and other nationalists were never in vain. Nigerian men and women are doing very well in all human endeavours for the growth of a prosperous and successful nation.

    Despite the successes, Nigeria began to plunge into anarchy by the first coup that annihilated the first journey of our democracy on the 15th January, 1966. The coup d’état which killed 22 people divided the centre of the country and bred tribalism.

    The system became one of the genesis of religious politics in the country and it led to the five other military coup d’états in the country, and, also sparked the root of the Nigerian Civil War, known as the Biafran War. The war began on July 6, 1967 to January 13, 1970.

    After the return of civilian rule, Nigerians which were better known as most peaceful people turned on each other. Ethno-religious war and religious crises permeated into the nooks and crannies of the dear innocent helpless nation. Many cases of corruption were presented and many people have been castrated in the courts.

    Corruption has become the termite that eats deep into the giant flesh of Nigeria. Corruption is the main reason of Nigeria’s retrogressive journey. Top politicians, administrators, security personnel and educationists have been charged and punished. Nigeria’s economy dwindles and its effect felt by the innocent poor citizens.

    Moving to our 62 years of independence, Nigerian universities are locked for seven months. This means, the legacy of our forefathers have been misplaced. Before, independence and after it, our tertiary schools were free and effective in teaching and learning, but, how could this happen in our 62 years’ journey?

    The journey of Nigeria brought about an ugly situation of terrorism, kidnapping and banditry. Before 2007, Nigeria was described as the most peaceful nation in the world. A research explained that Nigerians were the most peaceful people that have no fear of any insecurity problem.

    October 2010 marked the first era of bombing in Nigeria and the beginning of terrorism and kidnappings. This ugly situation snowballed from urban communities and creeped into rural areas. Kidnapping has cost trillions of Naira to Nigerians and terrorism has destroyed hundreds of lives. The two are adding to Nigerians’ hardship and poverty. They made hundreds of people homeless and sacked unaccounted people from their businesses.

    But, as we mark 62 years of independence and freedom, Nigerians pray that our leaders should stand up to their promises and be committed in making Nigeria peaceful, united and justifiable nation for all.

    Long live Nigeria, long live Nigerians!

    Auwal Ahmed Ibrahim (Goronyo) is a lecturer of Mass Communication Department, Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna and be reached on auwalahmed@kadunapolytechnic.edu.ng

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