POST- INDEPENDENCE CELEBRATION: WHAT NIGERIANS NEED By Chucks Dominic Morsi
It beats my consternation to know that many years after bundling the colonial taskmasters in the slave trade ship back to where they came from, we still find time and waste resources we should have used for something meaningful to celebrate independence days on the African continent! Let’s start by asking, is Africa independent of anything without running back to our colonisers? Bitter truth be told, shall decolonization still be a subject of study in our school curriculum? Shall we be honest enough to the younger generation to tell them that we’re still far from independence? If we stop celebrating independence, shall our Colonisers cut off our commonwealth in foreign aid? If the answer is yes, that means we’re truly not independent, but yet a slave to the supremacists.
However, beyond the glitz, the glamour, the pageantry and euphoric celebration attached to independence in Nigeria, there are things we generally look at in the nation and then wonder why we should celebrate, or what actually are we celebrating for? That we are free from the clutches of physical abuses, torture and mental slavery from the then supremist and colonial masters, does not imply that Nigerians are truly free of oppression, given the fact that internal colonialism (directly or indirectly is existing within us). With the social insecurity situations, political incorrectness, bad leadership, the present socio-economic challenges we are going through, does not suggest we have any reason to celebrate; except, perhaps for the gift of life. Yes, that we are alive to experience all the good, the bad and the ugly, yet, we are able to withstand and strongly continue to chest all the glitches and challenges confronting each and every one of us, is enough reason why we must, at least, celebrate and not otherwise.
Generally, our leaders have failed us. Today they are worse than the White colonialist. How can we celebrate a nation where our leaders are betrayals of trust? It’s even more disheartening to know that at age 63, Nigeria is still at crossroads bereft of hope and sense of direction. Meanwhile, other Countries of the World including some notable African countries are making tremendous progress, advancing in diversification towards collective prosperity, unity and peace; in that regard, dusting us behind. What is then special for us to celebrate? With the rising unemployment, economic downturn, social insecurity, crime rising at its peak, is nothing that calls for celebration. We already have a lost glory and it will only take a strong political will for President Tinubu to fix the economy which he has also helped to destroy especially with the antecedent of the last Buhari’ administration.
Today, we have fuel at 615 naira per liter, gas is hitting the roof at 900 naira per Kg and naira exchange rate has since nosedived. In the face of these, what then does Nigerians want? A good governance. Nigerians deserve a better life. When Nigeria had independent, there was great expectation and optimism for a greater good of the future. At independence, the optimism was that we’re free but how independent are we when we’re still running after foreign countries for financial aid and today, whatever we need comes from foreign countries! Nigerians need rapid response to our economic growth and development agenda. We need a complete liberation ranging from bad leadership to bad governance. Nigerians want a better public institution where accountability and fairness is eternal. Nigerians deserve to have a 24/7 electricity power supply.
Nigerians at 63 deserve a better structure, infrastructures and development at all levels; a better and equitable justice system where the voice of the poor can be heard and respected. Nigerians expect a robust and productive economy where naira is strengthened. Nigerians expect a low inflation rate. We expect a government whose words should match their policies and procedures not to the detriment of poor people who are already impoverished. Poverty should be reduced to its barest minimum. School fees at all levels of learning in Nigeria should be within the reach of the poor and the average. Anything short of that, will be promoting illiteracy and high level of ignorance and underdevelopment.
Nigerians want a new Nigeria where electoral votes counts and the processes are as transparent as possible. We want a new Nigeria of renewed hope for the present and future generations to come. We want a Nigeria free of corruption, handedness and police brutality. We want Nigeria of peace and love. We want a Nigeria where tribalism or ethnic sentiment is insignificant. We want a Nigeria where on brotherhood we stand. We want a Nigeria where Senators and Governors put the people first and personal gain last.
We want to see a Nigeria where there is patriotism, a Nigeria where there is no discrimination but equality for all gender. A Nigeria where human rights abuses and child trafficking which is today widespread, should be tamed. We want a Nigeria where healthcare system is perfectly working and mortality rate reduced. We need a new Nigeria where industrialization is key. We want a Nigeria of a new dawn and a new aspiration. Of course, we can begin again to achieve a better place where the nation can reclaim its rightful place as the “giant of Africa” yes, the eagle can fly again to retain its rightful place. If we have the will, there will always be a way out.
We need a Nigeria where the life of the youth matters. And the elderly people respected. We all need a Nigeria where both the private and public sector are productively contributing maximally to the growth and development of the economy plus foreign investors regain confidence in us that they can put their investment where their mouth is.