2nd October, 2011
The Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) said Nigeria at 51 has so far failed to realise the dream of its founding fathers, hence there is little or nothing to celebrate on this independence anniversary.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said, however, that all hope is not lost, provided the leadership and the citizenry will roll up their sleeves and put their shoulder to the wheel.Â ”There is so much work to be done if we are to even begin the journey to where we are supposed to be as a nation after 51 years of nationhood. But we can only do that if we tell ourselves the truth, instead of engaging insophistry.
That truth is that in these past 51 years, we have fallen short in almost all aspects of our national life,” it said.Â ACN said perhaps the biggest problem has been the mediocrity of the country’s successive leadership, which has led to a lack of vision and little or no development, especially when Nigeria is placed side by side with the countries that gained independence about the same time as it did.
”Without a bright and brave leadership to steer the affairs of state with a rare vision, courage and selflessness, our country has failed to meet the yearnings of the citizenry in the areas of welfare and security; infrastructure, rule of law, transparent election, economic growth and overall development.Â ”Today, our country is at the very bottom of every ranking by development agencies, no thanks to our low marks in all the relevant indices.
Security is almost non-existent as life has become so short and brutish for haplesscitizens, in the face of unrelenting kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious crisis and extra-judicial killings.Â ”Those who are lucky to escape being mowed down by armed robbers, kidnappers and sect killers are not spared a gruesome fate on the roads, which have become death traps due to years of neglect.
Nothing signifies the near total collapse of our infrastructure than the parlous state of our roads nationwide,” the party said.Â It said despite the phony statistics being reeled out by the government of the day indicating economic growth, the people have yet to experience a better life, as their dining tables are becoming leaner their pockets emptier.Â ”For a country that has earned billions of naira in oil revenue, this is nothing short of a disaster, and the only explanation could be the massive, mindless corruption that has seen a huge chunk of the national wealth siphoned off by fat cats – while successive governments have failed to tackle the corruptionÂ canker-worm!Â ”In spite of the mouthing of the rule of law by successive administrations, the rule of law has been turned to the rule of the jungle, with dire consequences for all.
Worst of all, the judiciary that has being the last hope of the common man is now on the verge of being destroyed by those believe it must either serve them or serve no one!Â ”Yes, we have somehow managed to remain united even after a devastating civil war, and have always managed to pull back from the brink. But the simple test of the state of our nationhood today should be measured by the answer to the following question: Are we better off today than we were in 1960?” ACN said.