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Independence divides Nigerians



Independence Day celebration elicits mixed feelings from Nigerians


By Olanrewaju Oyedeji


Nigrians from all walks of life are responding to the occasion of the nation’s 55th Independence anniversary with mixed feelings.

For Hafsat Abiola-Costello, daughter of late business mogul and politician, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, it is indeed a happy birthday wish for a nation that is so evidently blessed and treasured. She waxes poetic:

Happy birthday to a shining star, a bright light.

To the land where heart and laughter find true friends.

To the land continually rising from the ashes to fight again to be all that it can be.

To the diverse peoples it offers sanctuary, all of whom never say die.

I wish for you that your excitable peoples, your brilliant and resourceful peoples enter this day committed to being less quick to fight one another and quicker to work together.

I wish for you that your children arrive at your birthday with a new resolve, to put you first, ahead of the many components that form but a part of you.

May you arrive at many happy returns of the day with your children more united, their homes more prosperous and you, Nigeria, truly at peace.

Happy 55th birthday Nigeria.

Lagos lawyer, Ebun Olu Adegoruwa is more down-to-heart. And he is quite critical too. He puts the crisis of contemporary Nigeria to the doorsteps of generations of fumbling leaders, insisting that at 55, Nigeria has not progressed as much as it ought to have done, no thanks to this factor.

“As a nation we have not made the kind of progress commensurate with a 55 year old person. And this is due, mainly to absence of leadership, vision and intolerable military incursions into our politics. It’s due also to corruption and immaturity in the practice of politics. When you look back at the vision of our forefathers who championed independence: Herbert Macaulay, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo and so on, we seem to have experienced some disconnect between their vision and those of our current leaders,” he said.

He is also not much enamoured of the current leadership. “Things will not change with the current leadership that we have. The current administration cannot transform Nigeria into the nation of our dreams. And this is mainly because the ruling party, the APC is running a government based on falsehood and propaganda.

“The symbol of leadership as represented by Buhari is symptomatic of civilian dictatorship; he is ruling us with iron hand, turning out inconsistent policies and statements. And carrying on with an entitlement mentality by which he thinks he is the only saint in Nigeria. And the rest of us are devils and corrupt people.

“Also, as you can see once things fall apart, the centre cannot hold. Things are falling apart in APC which is the ruling party as the number three citizen, the Senate President (Bukola Saraki) is currently at loggerheads with his party and with his executive.

“There is no vision that can be implemented for any country if the executive and the legislature are working at cross purposes. When two elephants fight, the grass would suffer. When you look at the current trend of suffering in terms of lack of education; you see what is happening in the admission process at federal and state universities.

“In all of the 700 top universities that are listed in the world, none is from Nigeria. There are no airports, the roads are bad. For one to travel from Lagos to Shagamu, one can spend a whole day. That cannot be the sign of a nation that is moving forward. But I believe that the destiny of Nigeria is in the hands of Nigerians and the earlier we realize it the better for us. We need to stop hero-worshipping a single individual who does not have regard for nationalism, who believes in ethnic jingoism, who can only work with people who speak his language and go to his own mosque. That cannot be the dream we have for this country. I regret that where we are now is far from where we are coming from, and I don’t think it can get better in hands of this government,” he concluded.





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