Today is exactly 54 years after Nigeria gained independence from British colonial rule and 51 years since we became a republic, should there be any need to celebrate? The dream of the independence has been so far short lived, the essence of the independence was freedom from slavery and it was to bring about a better life for the citizenry.
As the drum of celebration reaches the air, let’s take out time to reflect. Nigeria is a country of about 180 million with more than 250 linguistic ethnic groups but do we really have anything to show for it? Is there a problem with accommodating several diversities such as the ethnic, linguistic and even religious? Some people believe that Nigeria have fared better after the amalgamation while others believe that we would function better as separate entities. But that’s not really the problem.
The leaders have failed to actualize the independence dream and the hope for a better future is yet to be a reality. Nigeria is still plagued by corruption, rising unemployment, insecurity amidst other things. The agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth and Nigeria which used to be a heavy exporter of food now imports its food products. The country was ranked 26th in the world in terms of GDP and the largest economy in Africa, it has a vision to become one of the 20 largest economies in the world by 2020 BUT they still have a long way to go.
Though they have made some remarkable efforts like partnering with Chinese firms to bring the rail roads to reality, privatization of the power sector but corruption is still on a high rise, boko haram sect keeps launching new attacks on the people and financial misappropriation of public funds, the chibok girls are still missing. The greatest achievement of Nigeria since independence is DEMOCRACY. So tell me is there a cause to celebrate?
Despite the challenges, we still need to come as one to keep the flag flying.by