It took the voice of black people to bring about the break away from slavery from the United Kingdom. Nigeria was formally free from foreign control and a compelled bow on this very day (Oct. 1); if you ask me, this is supposed to be a day every Nigerian look up to. How ironical, we have wailing wailers lamenting like the women of Owu; we have good handlers of the pen addressing reasons why the extension of this ritual to next week Monday is a mere waste of time. We probably need to carry sad faces and black robes to mourn our fatherland, a country at 56 years but in dependence of nearly everything from the slave thirsty souls. Nigeria needs to go to the ants; we still call ourselves a young country, but may we continue in foolery that grace may abide? We are, with our eyes wide open, decaying at infancy.
My dad always liked this day. He would just sit with his eyes glued to the cable – of course, watching the parade and every other thing that was preaching the unity of Nigeria. It was always peaceful, it was a time of remembering past leaders who served our fatherland. It was a time when we smiled at conquering the Biafra Republic seeking secession; a time when we hit our chest, and say NIGERIAN AND PROUD. No surprise that such feeling of love and affection has been diminished, and as scarce as fuel. After the military and civilian loggerheads over who should sit on the presidential throne, 1999 saw the silence of military rule – how we fared under this sought form of government was yet another issue. It is wished that I could say we have become a better country than years ago; how ironic it is to have sustained elites as leaders who end up displaying a colourful unwise acts – an instance is the neglect of the farm, but the embrace of oil. Democracy should normally welcome the suggestions of the ruled but in Nigeria, the more you scream diversification of the economy, the more the ears of the rulers experience one olfactory defect or the other. You see a man wearing black attire today, do not blame him because he must have been a hoper of a bright tomorrow; maybe that tomorrow was yester year, hence our good days finished while in the womb of our nation. Independence means freedom from struggle, a quest for integration, and the amalgam of Nigerian hands to push development high up like every other big country. Today, we are struggling; we are still not free from slavery, as we are clearly slaves to common sense. Today we are divided technically as what we see is the re-birth of the Biafra people clamouring for the rise of their flag, and their anthem to be sung. We now harbour rebels to western education who take delight in blood bath that their point may be understood – Boko Haram is now our longest foe. Integration means fitting into a community, but I doubt it included the reign of trigger happy herdsmen, or bribery flushed police men, and even IPOB to a worse than Marvel Comic’s Avengers (NDA). Today, we are lower than the bottomless pit as far as technology is concerned; it takes a non observant pastor to blame the Devil for the government’s expected reward. If this big country still imports tooth pick, then please tell me what I do not know.
One question I have unanswered is: IS OUR COUNTRY SO BROKE THAT IT CANNOT AFFORD TO HIRE SPECIAL ADVISERS? Or IS THE PRESIDENT TAKING THEIR SUGGESTIONS IN DUE TIME? Our problem is not illiteracy but ignorance. Our leaders have ignored the four walls surrounding the name NIGERIA i.e. agriculture; an ignorant leader does not plan ahead, he would eat like the rich fool, he would explore only one source of funds despite the several promising sectors. An ignorant leader does not know that the word RIPPLE EFFECT is the nemesis for such head shaking acts of under utilization of the nation’s resources, an ignorant leader can never put smiles on your face for a long while. The evil days are manifesting in every split second, and a governor wakes up from his palace trying to reduce working days for hustlers; all in the name of resurrection of agriculture? Why the long slumber?? Who is fooling who??? Nigeria is not peaceful. Tell an indigene of Borno State that Nigeria is blessed with peace, and thank your stars if you go home without a dismembering of a limb or worse. Crime rate is now a normalcy; a set of gang will rob today, kidnap the next day, play Naira bet the following day, and get back to one of their double tasking crime – they are not illiterates, they are PhD holders that have no jobs. We are not independent. We are still depending on the food, cars, gadgets, and even to pampers from the Caucasians – is this not one other dependent day? We once equalled a dollar, now that we are 56, Naira has lost its worth and relevance. The awkward backwardness of a fertile ground has now brought about the current impossible adjustment to ripple effect’s judgements. Our forte is in either collecting few bucks from the government to shut our mouth, or in criticizing the government when they err. Their fault is in putting bloggers in gaol for addressing salient issues of national concern – is it not due to fear of being exposed that they have the likes of Jamil Mabai in custody? The press has no freedom anymore; the press cannot analyse and criticize crystal ills for fear of false imprisonment? With our mouths forcefully shut, who checks the government? If it was not for the cry and yells from people, EFCC had no intention of releasing Abubakar Usman. He was accused of “cyber stalking” and was detained without a single charge, is this not a clear case of depriving citizens of their rights to freedom of expression? Because in no way was defamation the available pigeon hole for the fracas.
Whether we like it or not, we are a year older. Amidst the extant darkness, is a tiny hope of recovery from this perilous time. The economy is economising the pieces that remains on the ground, but do you not believe in miracles? We are in the formative stage unfortunately, I know that we ought not to identify ourselves with third world countries but that is just a way life teaches the people who end up identifying themselves with wrong choices. We know our problems, so dear Government use today to repent from the smelly transgressions of yours and bring back our anthem. We the people should stop killing ourselves; it makes no sense how NDA claims to be fighting the government by putting bullets at the back of a bloody civilian. We should fight wisely, and possibly choose our wars. If there is a reason to say Happy Independence Day, it could be because we still bear the same name despite tribal differences. But if there is no single reason to smile today, probably due to hunger strike and many more plagues, I fully understand your grief.