Nigeria At 50: Is This What Independence Should Be?

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It is 50 years since independence. Nigeria gained independence on 1 October, 1960 and  last week, we witnessed series of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of our dear  nation. Yes, we are rejoicing and thanking God for freedom from the colonial masters. As  a nation, we appear to be free and independent, but are we really independent? We are  free from the hands of our taskmasters and can now stand as a nation and do things the  way we want to see them done. To me, the nation and our leaders are independent and free,  but definitely not the masses.

Every nation enjoys independence. Slaves pray and look forward to their freedom. The  fathers of this great nation worked so hard to gain independence for us. But today, the  story of Nigeria is different. Is this what independence should be?

I remember those days, my days of childhood, when we looked forward to 1 October. It was  as popular as Christmas. In those days, we woke up very early because the excitement of  going to the square for another October 1 celebration wouldn’t let us sleep well. I  remember my mother cooking different meals for us while we were out there engaged in  different sporting activities and dances to mark independence. We looked forward to  having the governor or the local government chairman come out to take the salute.

Schools came with their best to compete for the prizes, while food sellers were not left  out as young boys and girls were out spending the money they had saved for October 1.

Market men and women ensured they lacked nothing in their shop when it was October 1. We  bought new stockings and school uniforms simply because we must make our schools proud. I  really enjoyed my years of childhood and pity the children of this generation because  civilisation has denied them the true taste of Africa.

The invasion of the educational system by so many mushroom private schools hasn’t helped  us. Our children are now very good when it comes to the history of America and the United  Kingdom, but not Nigeria. They are brought up to know just one side of life and have  succeeded in making them know that when it comes to October 1 and other competitions, the  children in public schools shouldn’t come near them.

Our children know nothing about the great men and women of this nation and when it comes  to great people, we teach them about Abraham Lincoln. I bought a book on current affairs  for my children  recently because I noticed that the private schools teach nothing about  Nigeria. This has so much affected the celebration of Nigeria’s independence.

But do we really blame the schools? When everybody has lost hope in Nigeria, when people  die mysteriously without any explanation as regards the cause of their death. People die  daily due to bad roads, the health sector is left in a very pitiable state, while the  masses are being tortured by their task masters. People pay taxes even when they hardly  feed only for the rulers to use it to satisfy their insatiable wants. Nigeria, like one  of my friends said, is a failed state.

But I write this not for the leaders to change because I know they won’t. They will go on  acquiring wealth for generations after them and killing more innocent people to achieve  their political ambitions. Like the holy scriptures say, sin begets sin, they will go on  lying to cover up their previous lies and atrocities. I always say it and will go on to  say it; none of our leaders is good. These ones visit so many terrible places both within  and outside the country.

A friend recently told me how presidents visit his village just for power.

That is why I don’t understand it when our so-called men of God run around these evil  people and give them all sorts of prophecies to encourage them in their evil ways. Hear  me, man of God, if you are truly a man of God and haven’t missed it as a man of God  (forget the long cross hanging on your neck), you will always stand for the truth.

I have never heard of any religious leader, except Pastor Tunde Bakare, standing to tell  these ones the truth whenever they are invited to Abuja. All they do is go and come back  with fat Ghana-must-go bags. It is sad, but I tell you, men of God, when the judgment of  God will come upon these evil perpetrators, there will be no hiding place for you.

Also, remember you are sacrificing the future of your children at the altar of mammon.

We keep talking about our leaders, while we go on blaming them for all our failures as a  people. But the truth is, if there are no supporters, their evil doings will not stand  the test of time. We have so many activists all over the place, but with no result. This  is because they themselves are now political. They choose who to condemn and keep quiet  when their own people go wrong. So you can see, we have no activists but political  beggars looking for relevance.

What about the poor and suffering masses? We have refused to take our destiny in our  hands. We have always sold out our future just for peanuts. On the bomb blasts that  rocked Abuja during this year’s Independence Day celebration, I told a friend that  Nigerians, Africans happen to be the most stupid of all creatures. How many times have  you seen any of our wicked leaders killed by these bomb blasts? It is still the foolish  masses following them that end up paying with their lives because they know all they do  to protect themselves. What would have made me board a flight to Abuja during the  anniversary when I know  we have very dishonest leaders?

Recently, we read how a presidential aspirant, who did a lot against the progress of this  great nation, paid Nigerians to join him at Eagle’s Square. The same people crying over  the state of the nation are the same people that accepted N5,000 to support him. We are  very dishonest and gullible set of people.

Last week, we heard about some Igbo elders locked out of the venue of their summit. I am  Igbo, but I think they got what they deserved. Do we really have elders in Igboland? All  we have are sycophants and saboteurs, who don’t think of the future. Most of them should  be in very respectable positions like Mallam Shehu Shagari and General Yakubu Gowon, but  because of greed, they sold out the Igbo nation and you keep seeing them in aircraft with  all roads lead to Abuja.

Today, they are for Jonathan, tomorrow, it is IBB. They are not working for our good but  after their own pockets. They should go and bury their heads in shame.

I see women moving all over the place with all these wicked men just because of peanuts.  Our men are to blame as some of them allow their wives do this simply because they are  too lazy to provide for the family. Your wife wakes up in the morning, wears her aso ebi  and hit the road, singing the praise of fellow men like you. They do a lot of abominable  things with these politicians just to earn money to feed you. You shouldn’t be called a  man. If your wife wants to play politics (I want to see more women in politics), there  are more decent and respectable ways to go about it. If she is not ready to do it right,  then she should get back to the house and take care of your children.

Last week, Nigerians were all over the place celebrating independence. Ghana celebrated  independence with stable power supply but Nigeria, the supposed giant of Africa, gave  power to Ghana, but here we are, dying from the constant inhaling of carbon monoxide from  generators. Businesses are daily folding up because of power and I don’t blame our  leaders who care less about us because they don’t have a feel of what we are  experiencing. We have different commissions and panels set up just to settle some  political friends and foes. Have you ever seen any of those commissions achieve their  aim?

A great nation, a very blessed and rich nation. But our youths are being killed daily by  hanging in Libya. These are the youths, university graduates with good grades, who run  out from their fatherland because they see nothing good in future. Our youths have lost  hope in this nation; this is why we now have so many cases of fraud and drugs.

Kidnapping is now the latest form of trade. All these are happening because there is no  future for the youths, who cannot see anything good come out of Nigeria because our  leaders want to destroy the nation and take it with them into their graves.

May God have mercy on Nigeria!

We look at all the presidential aspirants promising us heaven and earth. Tell me, who  among them is worthy to lead this great nation? The answer is clear; none among them is  capable as they are either sycophants, weaklings, serial killers, dictators, people using  government machinery to fight their political opponents. I have decided not to step out  of my house to vote as my vote won’t count and I don’t want to have my eyes blinded by  police tear gas.

I just think the solution to our problem in Nigeria would be what I call the Jerry  Rawlings Therapy. That, to me, will bring sanity to this country. But as it is now, we  are a failed state and object of mockery to other nations.

I don’t know if you watched the Nigerian adverts on CNN, lovely things about Nigeria, but  immediately after that, we saw breaking news—bomb blasts and kidnapping. Must people go  that far just for power? It is certain that come 2011, we are voting beasts and people  with no conscience into power.

I will stop here, but it would do us good if we, the suffering masses of this great  nation, can take our destiny in our hands and reject any kind of mouthwatering offer from  these men and women without conscience. Remember this, the labours of our heroes past  shall never be in vain as well as those who fought and sacrificed their lives for this  nation. We shouldn’t allow the shedding of their blood to be in vain and as such, don’t  sell your conscience and the future of your children, stand for the truth at all times,  not minding whose ox is gored.