In the midst of Nigeria’s independence celebration, let’s take a moment for a somber reflection.
Behold a nation with immense potential, but the passage of time has seen it aging without any substantial progress. Nigeria, blessed with abundant natural resources, a vast human capital pool, and a burgeoning population, has been hindered by a persistent plague of bad leadership.
Our country has become deeply divided along lines of religion, ethnicity, tribes, and political parties, to the extent that we often turn a blind eye to corruption when it benefits our own. Our perspective on development has been clouded by sentiment.
The elders who contributed to the nation’s problems seem reluctant to step aside and let the youth take the reins. Many of our youth continue to be deceived by politicians.
Sixty-three years after gaining independence, insecurity has worsened, federal roads are riddled with potholes and accident traps, kidnapping has reached alarming levels, our economy is a subject of ridicule, and the exchange rate with the dollar has soared above 1000 naira.
Infrastructure development is stymied, corruption is rampant, nepotism is pervasive, and divisions among tribes have widened, partly ignited by former President Buhari and perpetuated by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
So, which way Nigeria? Unemployment rates are soaring, countless people are without jobs, and our brightest minds are fleeing the country. What is there to celebrate today?
It’s disheartening that after 62 years, it appears as though we are regressing. However, I firmly believe that we still possess the potential to mend our nation. If the youth can rise above tribalism and focus on those who can help change this sorry narrative, regardless of their origin, we can make a difference. The last election, marred by irregularities, rigging, intimidation, and violence, was orchestrated by politicians and acted out by some youths for a meager token of gratification. What benefit is there in a day’s gratification when we must endure four years of suffering?
Nigerians, let us rise and rebuild our nation. Demand answers from your leaders, be proactive, get involved, seek justice, and refuse to be passive. It is you who can reclaim your nation.
Happy Independence Day, Nigeria!