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The African Dream: Nigeria At Crossroads At 60

Richard Odusanya

When the Union Jack, was lowered on 1st October 1960 and replaced with the Nigerian flag, the dreams of our heroes;Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa and others was not the Nigeria situation of today. This is certainly not the Nation our heroes envisioned.

A Nation has been heavily polarized along ethnic and religious lines; the economy is in total shambles, there is complete systemic failure, infrastructural decay, and poor leadership. The security upheaval and corruption in the entire system is palpable.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in admittance of guilt was honest with his statement ‘It is sad that after 53years of independence we have no leader that we can commend’ at Ibadan while reviewing the history of Nigeria, as a keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, and African Sustainable Development Network.

Bad leadership system has been our bane. Selfishness is a watchword for our leaders and our youth are very vulnerable. The future of our beloved country seems so bleak.

The former president did not pretend or exclude himself from the issues of poor leadership in the continent of Africa.

Unfortunately, it is the other way round with the present gladiators whose stock in trade is blaming everybody but themselves.

While a good government should be focused on making the lives of its citizenry better, these current gladiators find blissful gratification in frivolous witch-hunting, that is not helping the hapless masses.

Nothing is worse than allowing a poor minded person become powerful; they will use the power gained for personal aggrandizement, and they will only enrich themselves at the detriment of the larger society.

While purchasing the N25 million nomination form at the party’s national secretariat on 16th October, 2014, Major General Muhammadu Buhari lamented the high cost of the nomination form, but said that he was fired by his ambition to procure a bank loan through the assistance of an unnamed bank chairman in Kaduna.

This man’s world is tied to insolvency and deceitful exhibits, yet he is claiming to borrow money from the bank to purchase the party’s nomination form. Meanwhile his children are schooling in England; in high fee paying institutions. Nigerians should have known better…A deceitful mind cannot achieve anything meaningful. Nigeria @ 60, at crossroads inside ‘one-chance’.

In the circumstances, under the leadership of Major General Muhammad Buhari, our citizens are going through excruciating pain and paying the price of cluelessness, deceitfulness, plundering of resources, squandering of riches, and corruption on account of poor leadership.

Whilst the global community and our compatriots across the globe have various reasons to be jubilant about Nigeria At 60, we must pay adequate attention to the following: Fraudulent activities in the highest echelons of government agencies, lack of transparency in governance, the downplaying of citizens engagement.

Other pressing issues are: The overbearing tendency of the executive branch of government on the judiciary and the legislative arms, fraudulent elections, and lack of autonomy of all the arms of government–Autonomy of the Judiciary, legislative arms from the overbearing powers of the executive. The autonomy of the electoral commission is only on paper as well.

Military incursions into our governing system, which is still reflecting in the attitude and character of the current gladiators have led to a tyrannical and overbearing executive arm. It is unfortunate that most of our compatriots across board are tolerant of the absurdities, they are fearful, they are lovers of pleasure, comfort seekers and docile.

For Nigeria At 60; we seek for true federalism, constitutional democracy and citizens engagement. We should also be against any act of dominance motivated by religious, ethnic or racial profiling. Going forward, there should be no place for any form of hegemonic dominance propelled by religious, racial and ethnic cleansing.

It is time to reflect on the African dream. Let’s rewrite history for the sake of the coming generation. They are going to need a good start and a sure footing. You and I are the answer.

The day we come together as one, and not be mislead by greed, will be the day the whole world says ‘Great Nigeria’ because then the richest continent in the world will prosper, and the meaning of the word ‘third-world’ will have no basis or bearing with her new pwesonality.

We therefore, urge the international community, friends of Africa and our compatriots across the globe to take a very keen interest in the Nigeria situation, so that we can avert the current trends and recklessness that is capable of truncating our hard earned Democracy. This could ultimately affect our African Dream.

Odusanya is the convener of AFRICA Convenient Rescue Initiative (ACRI)

Categories: Columns, Obverse

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