Nigeria at 57; Motion without movement

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There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigeria has not been getting it right with successive celebrations of her independence in all ramifications be it economy, politics, infrastructure, security and others. The country is still by any standard a toddler at 57.

Many factors are responsible; over the years the country has been very unfortunate to be governed by bad leaders since Independence on October 1 1960 and the citizenry had been worse off. The situation of things after Independence calls for a very sober reflection by the political elite and the citizens.

The military interregnum changed the fortunes of the country for the worst which accounts for the sorry state the country is at present.

On politics, it is a tale of sorrow; Nigeria is still governed by unpatriotic citizens whose self aggrandizement and egotism are  their pre-occupation at any point and not selfless service. Elections are brazenly rigged by politicians who by act of commission or omission suddenly find themselves in the corridors of power.

The economy is still in the woods despite the fact that the government stated with relish recently that Nigeria had exited recession. The masses had not felt the exited recession. Our economic managers had been economical with the truth on the true position of the economy with their policy somersaults.

There is not much to jubilate about the country’s infrastructure – railway, power, housing, agriculture and others – our ministers find it convenient to run their ministries on the pages of newspapers with their unnecessary grandstanding and meaningless oracular speeches meant for primary school pupils.

On security, we score government 40 per cent although it had succeeded to tame the monster somehow but there is still much to be done. The country still has a rickety police, ill-equipped with weapons, accommodation and uniforms. There are still hoodlums in the police.

In almost all facets of governance, Nigeria  performed blatantly woeful and appears to be clueless in every aspect. For instance on education, it had toyed with the tomorrow of our young generation by recent strikes embarked upon by relevant unions by not fulfilling its own part of agreements reached with the unions. As at now, majority of these unions are still on strike due to dilly-dallying posture of the Federal Government.

The health sector also suffers government’s ineptitude. Annually, huge sums of money are earmarked for this sector in the budget but our health facilities still remain “mere consulting clinics” apology to the late Sani Abacha. President Muhammadu Buhari recently jetted out to the United Kingdom for medical treatment when there is a supposedly well equipped hospital at the Presidential Villa to treat him. That surely depicts the sorry state of our decrepit health facilities nationwide.

Our external relations are nothing to write home about. Some months ago, South Africans just woke up one day and started killing Nigerians in their hundreds and destroying their properties accumulated over the years. That country was treated with kid gloves by Nigeria over the incident. There was no concrete or stern action by our government.

An adage says, “It is not over yet, until it is over’’ Overall, Nigeria should change from being a toddler at every country’s Independence celebration. The onus rests squarely on the government to change the country for the better by performing its exclusive obligations to the masses before the next 58th celebration.

At present, Nigeria is not even a giant, but a sleeping giant bereft of life and activity.

The issue of cabinet reshuffle readily comes to mind. President Muhammadu Buhari should urgently reshuffle his cabinet for optimum service. That there are non-performing ministers in his cabinet is a statement of fact; they should be shown the way out urgently and the recommendation of Osinbajo panel on former Secretary to the Federal Government Babachir Lawal and others over some functional breaches should be made public and implemented. We wish Nigerians happy celebration. Till next year.

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