I honestly hoped that at 61, Nigeria would have gone beyond where it is now. I can’t believe that at 61 the country still lacks the basic necessities of life for survival. Let’s start with the basic needs like electricity, good road network, food supply and affordable shelter; all these have proven to be beyond the reach of the ordinary man not to mention security of life and property.
Huge budgetary allocation is given to the military, police and other security agencies to tackle insecurity, yet kidnapping and other crimes are still a major problem to our nation.
Our country is in debt due to loans taken to stabilize the economy, yet no physical change is seen, rather, the naira continues to fall and cost of goods and services are steadily on the rise. Our leaders should set aside their individual differences and work together for a better Nigeria so that the next 61 years would be a lot better than the previous.
OBINWANNE EMEKA: There hasn’t been any significant improvement on the myriads of challenges the country is currently facing. Although slight progress was recorded in the area of infrastructure, same cannot be said of the economy and security. Education is at an all-time low as a result of the high level of insecurity in the country.
Food security is hampered due to herders-farmers’ crisis in almost all the states of the federation. What about employment? The unemployment rate among Nigerian youths is worrisome and this further portends grave danger to the overall growth of the country.
Therefore, as we celebrate the 61st anniversary of Nigeria, I urge the government to rein in the security challenges and also strengthen the bond of unity of the country.
October 1st 1960 has been a day to remember in the history of Nigeria. Year after year the country celebrates her sovereignty, but her scorecard leaves much to be desired compared to her contemporaries.
Sadly, back in its colonial days Nigeria had a better and presentable scorecard compared to what it has now.
The country gained its independence through a non-violent means and was given freedom on a platter of gold. But barely seven years later, it was plunged into a civil war. This was a critical sign that she was not ready for such unity.
From a popular biblical saying “can two walk together except they agree?” Agreement in this context must be of free will and devoid of any means of cohesion, deceit or manipulation.
The war proved to be the evidence of the lack of trust between its citizens to unanimously put aside their differences and work together for the greater development and establishment as a Nation.
At present, many ills plague the nation such as insecurity, poverty, unemployment, religious bigotry, corruption and tribalism, to mention but a few.
What then is the way out? We already have the solution, it’s in our slogan ‘unity in diversity.’ We just need to apply a different approach to it. For growth to take place, we need to find ourselves as separate units before doing so as a nation.
We are over 60 years as a country, with rich human and natural resources, yet we live like those who lack both human and natural resources. Today, we have high level of insecurity in Nigeria with almost daily reports of killings in remote villages without response from our defense authorities.
The worst thing that can happen to any human being is that he is not secured in the land bequeathed to him by his ancestors, but has to leave his ancestral land for secured location as an Internally Displaced Person, IDP.
There is also hunger in the land. A mudu of garri now sells for about 3 times what it was 3 years ago, let alone rice and other staple foods which we used to buy without spending much of our money.
There are no jobs, no industries to absorb the teeming population of our young people seeking where to channel their energy for productive purposes and contribute to the Gross Domestic Product, GDP. The system makes them vulnerable because they are left to wander around the society aimlessly.
They become the very easy to be conscripted into terrorist groups like Boko Haram, ISIS, and bandits. Instead of being useful to the society, they become available for destroying the society because the society has refused to cater for them. And they are not showing any remorse for their actions because when you see them, they take responsibility for their actions because they feel betrayed by the society.
So government should be conscious of the need to create an enabling environment for the people they govern to have that sense of belonging to a country that we can continue to live together as a people.
AGI THOMAS: There’s nothing to access; nothing is moving in Nigeria; nothing is encouraging at all. The economy is not good, transportation is high. Unlike before, now you can’t even go to town easily. You pay N50 or N100 naira but now if you don’t have N200 you cannot move around.
Food, especially food, the common masses can’t afford high food prices. I expect our economy to be better than what it is. For instance, even for cooking gas, the price has spiked. We used to buy 3,000 for 12 kg. Now it is almost 7,000. Imagine also garri that we buy for N100 now N400, or N500.
Nigeria at 61 is not showing us anything worth celebrating. If you observed, in those days everywhere used to be filled with activities before independence day: people selling flags, parades, children parties, but now everywhere is dry.
As I was going out today I saw that they were painting our city gate. That’s how I remembered that 1st October is around the corner, else I have forgotten.
AMINU ABUDULKAREEM: Nigeria at 61, in the area of economy we are not doing well. In the area of security, we are also not doing well. Our security agencies are trying their best. We are hoping that someday we will get there.
I believe that someday Nigeria will be great. We should not lose hope. We should continue to support our government in building the economy and the fight against insurgency. If we consolidate on agriculture, I believe there’s hope by God’s grace.
Our people have refused to accept change on their own. So many things are going wrong if only our youths can take it up as a challenge. We want positive change and let the change start from me and you. We will get there but if we rely on our leaders, definitely we will keep on going backwards.