Half a century plus seven, there is little to be pomp about. Maybe it is because; the dreams of independence are still wishes. For Nigeria, let wishes be horses so the people can ride. The charade recycles again, a presidential speech in the morning, telling the disenchanted masses that government is working and Nigeria is making snail progress. While this “all things under control” is been acted on October 1, the country gently continues to implode.
According to the National Bureau of Statistics Report, unemployment rate for Q4 of 2016, stood at 14.2%. More troubling is the youth unemployment rate above 40%, poverty rate at 33.1%, a moribund educational sector, with Nigeria having the highest out of school children in the world. Infrastructure is a visible mess; the Ajaokuta steel plant remains a sorry tale of a Nation at 57, which failed remarkably to have a flourishing steel sector amidst the natural and material resources at her disposal. Truth be told, at 57 there is nothing to sing about. Stable power is a fantasy achievable only in the Disneyland of the average Nigerian mind.
Defying the challenges, what positives is there to take? Luckily, we have remained territorially intact. “A Nigeria for every Nigerian’, maybe, the positive(s) is/are the collective will to change, to fight for freedom and democracy, our diversity which is strength, the abundance of resources and human capital. At 57, the only constant thing is positive change. Defying the challenges, independence reminds us the power in our hands to make wishes horses, so that beggarly Nigerians can ride. This optimism can’t be realized by kids’ gloves. It will take concerted effort and a sane leadership to truly grant Nigeria independence from Nigeria.
The rallying words are “Arise O Compatriot, Nigeria Call Obey”, a call to sane economic, political and social reforms. Far across the distance and spaces between the elected and electorate is the hope that Nigeria can start getting it right at 57.
Written by Asotah Wisdom, News Editor at Core Magazine.
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