By Kayode Joseph Adewale
‘This is a wonderful day, and it is all the more wonderful because we have awaited it with increasing impatience, compelled to watch one country after another overtaking us on the road when we had so nearly reached our goal. But now we have acquired our rightful status, and I feel sure that history will show that the building of our nation proceeded at the wisest pace: it has been thorough, and Nigeria now stands well- built upon firm foundations’ – Excerpt from Tafawa Balewa speech on Saturday (October 1, 1960).
Without mincing words or enveloping your audience with rhetorics, permit me to join the bandwagon Nigerians in saying Happy 60 years independence Anniversary. It is not out of place to give a salutatory kudos to our heroes past for their deeds that birthed Nigeria and culminate into freedom for the most populoud black nation in the continent.
However, to categorically assert that Nigeria is celebrating 60 years of independence today is really laughable because there is significant difference between Nigeria @ 2 and Nigeria @ 60 – the distinction should be in the numbers and not impacts made through the years except relics of old scars still made fresh till present. Nigeria’s first republic was abrogated just three years after its enunciation by military intervention and that spurred on us to be under military rule for good 28 years of its 60 years of existence with core subversion emanating from the terrain of ethnicity and tribal differences.
The remaining years under civilian regime were ones under Agbada leaders including former military head of states joining the so called democratic queue (Obasanjo and Buhari). The Nigeria of 1960, 80’s and 90’s is the same as the Nigeria of 2020, same country, same leaders and same problems since inception. Past leaders ruling the present and of course the mantra ‘Leaders of tomorrow’ has died a natural death and has become a cliche meant for nursery school pupils who might as well grow to meet those they heard in history as leaders in their own time.
Of what relevance is the hope in a giant with weak legs to stand. It can’t even stand when the legs are from different branch of different trees. The same problem of the 1960’s is still raising dust and not just dust but dust with a rush of wind. Our political marriage called federalism is not realistic. Forcing what does not exist will only amount to consistent and continuous systematic bloodshed. If after 60 years after independence, we still find it difficult to explain in practical sense what bound us together as a nation as they’ve been purporting, then fire is not really on the mountain, the mountain itself is fire. Nigeria is a nation-state where after 60 years of birth, our research and technology department is boosting of developing the making of Kilichi. As funny and laughable that might be, it is a national honor for those in the hem of affairs. The president speech is nothing but infobesity (information overload). A tactic to get our brain clouded with too much details. How do we analyse every bit of those purged words without overlying critical issues on plain hideout. The content and reality is like decorating a dumb site for a colorful event.
When the cost of running the government is even greater than the cost of its existence (Provision of Security and welfarism) in the first place then, we do not have government but a burden on the citizenry. Nigeria is over governed and we spend 60% of our budget on paying government officials wages, salaries and elephant allowances. Reason for public holiday is even defeated because millions of Nigerians do not even consider it as one and the other sectional ones are under the scourge of sun working their energy out just to make a living or to feed their mouth. Nigeria independence day should always call for a sober reflection deeper than just feigning abrogation of national and state parade. The old Nigeria is getting older with its predicament and no miracle will come out of the blue moon as some Nigerians are expecting. I’m one of those ardent believers in the saying that if you pray or curse Nigeria, it is only a mouth juggling or exercise – none can take effect than what it was established with and what they preserved it to be.
Sowore is one of those right thinking Nigerian but wouldn’t be appreciated due to the taciturn syndrome of Nigerians. A right call for a right cause, I suppose – only the westerners can’t triggered a change in government that was corruption institutionalized by a tripartite or more ethnic groups. To revolt on behalf of an ignorant people, is like to set yourself on fire in order to light the way for a blind man. We are seeing different solutions towards the Everest menace in the country.
Easterers – Keen to see a disunited Nigeria since 1967 till present. The Old scars is still fresh and opened to constant pain which will not be forgotten untill they see their dream country. The government see coercion as the only solution to address the insurrection but it will in turn change them to resort to violent as they’ve done in the past.
Westerners – Confused (Call for Good governance in one Nigeria through Restructuring & Revolution while some ardently believed in a disunited Nigeria as the way forward). If the westerners are as well not seeing the need for one Nigeria, then the equation is far from being even or balance.
Northerners – The only holder of the realm called Nigeria. Very indifferent about it but have been the best beneficiary of One Nigeria so far. They love the status quo and wouldn’t want anything called revolution spearheaded by a Westerner no matter the correctness of his position. Restructuring itself is not in their best interest and nothing seems good than the present. The masses in this region wouldn’t think in any way different from their aristocrats. If they can fiercely oppose motion for independence in 1953, how much more call for a good Nigeria or a divided Nigeria. The answer is a capital NO
How do you sensitize them?
The reason for Kano riot of 1953 was a laughable one considering the circumstances that surrounds it. If they (Northerners) can countered the motion for independence and refused to be sensitized, how do you intend to sensitize them about good governance when they even seems to be enjoying the present polity. I once believed we can gather for the same cause not until when I get some reality experience recently about how our disunity is deeply rooted. Unity in diversity – just seven years after independence cost us more than 3 millions death during the civil war and since then we’ve been placating, mending and patching our disintegration. I believe it’s high time Nigerians and her so called stakeholders come to the table of common sense and act right. The case of Nigeria is just like a child that’s headbutting a rock and expect the rock to break before his head does. Nigeria hasn’t been working and wouldn’t work not until the needful is done.
What’s the needful?
One nation bound in freedom – the freedom has been gotten and 60 years after that, the peace and unity is nowhere to be found or maybe it’s even an hoax.
Let’s all fill in the gap….
Adewale Kayode Joseph writes from the FCT.
Gmail: firstname.lastname@example.org for comments and reservations.