October 1st 2017: Another inglorious independence celebration

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​By Francis Ogunronbi

Shame on my “Independent Nation” NIGERIA.
We should just stop this madness of a celebration and face what the reality is. What does a fool at 57years has to celebrate? Looking back on where we come from, no progress has been recorded on this nations account. All our woes and curses are not far from the political organisation and administration of this country. A country birthed into the hands of selfish people who does not want power to transform but deform our only home.

I was not born when the country came into being neither was I around when power changed hands and our unsuccessful birdbrained parents took the mantle of leadership from the cruel masters. We were made to believe that it is for our greater good they fought the good fight of freedom to lead us to where we should be enjoying economic buoyancy and sustainability. No doubt we were looking well like it until their ulterior plans came into manifestation resulting into a seemingly irremediable catastrophe.

We may not have been born but we met important records. We wanted to know how we started this political insanity and economic imbalance and the possible exit from the national mess we are in. I am a big fan of good music and I will recommend President Fela Anikulapo Kuti. He saw beyond the ordinary levels into the upcoming regrets and disasters that will flood the nation. At some points, I wanted to believe he was the only Nigerian who saw the evil plans the Nigerian leaders had for the country tipped to be great. He saw corruption from the onset but he could not help breaking the bones of the corrupted persons in high places. They become untouchable as soon as they assume positions of power. They are indeed cowards protecting themselves with the law and the military.

I do not blame our secondary school teachers. They had to do their jobs as expected. I remembered very well those time when they got us prepared for school debates on “Military rule is better than Civilian rule” smiles. Which is better? They are all bunch of thieves exchanging clothing’s. The Military ruler robbed the country in uniforms and ammunitions while the Civilian are simple folks stealing in native attires and customized pens. How smart they have played us till today, all of them are similar parts changing positions around the body.

Corruption has been our major conundrum from time past. We have been stocked in this web since the colonial era. The frequent political change of power has never been on a good note but for financial interest of each individual leaders who definitely enjoy smartly formed circus. Who among our past leaders can present himself boldly to have served the country without a trace of theft? Or how can we forget the all the misfortunes that has come over the country through their corrupt practices?

In my quest for knowledge about political leadership and corruption of this country, I was most lucky to get a paper by Dr Michael M. Ogbeidi, “Political Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria since 1960: A Socio-economic Analysis.” The paper reveals very many jaw-dropping atrocious crimes by our past leaders who will always claim to be representing the nation’s interests. I strongly recommend that great work by Dr Michael M. Ogbeidi to every thirsty Nigerians. 

In his paper, he did not fail to highlight the service of our past leaders from General Yakubu Gowon who performed theft wonders in the 1970’s when Nigeria became wealthy from the oil boom to the General Sani Abacha’s unmatched degree of corruption regime before Nigeria now tasted democracy through the election of General Olusegun Obasanjo as the President in 1999 with continuity in economic struggles. A man who led the country under the Military administration between the years 1976 to 1979. 

Nigeria has been played like a football among the Military and the Civilian cliques. Same observation by Chibuzor, when he said:

 “Since the independence of Nigeria in the year 1960, the country has experienced quite a lot of changes and shift in political power, we have dangles and shingled from the military era to the democracy era, with lots of ups and downs in conjunction with different economic turmoil and hurly-burly.” (Chibuzor Oshodi, 2017)

Surely, our problem is undoubtedly not what type of rule we operate as we have tasted both but the choice of leaders to pilot the affairs of this nation. We have registered so many names in leadership positions, yet they all have failed to make us proud. Are we ever going to have a leader who will lead us to achieving a state of economic buoyancy coupled with excellent management approach?

Nigeria like many other countries is a complex federation with other major challenges such as religion and ethnicity. Corruption blame undoubtedly will be shared equally among the dominant religion and ethnicity. We have had a Christian leader, tasted a Muslim leader, voted a Hausa leader, campaigned for an Igbo man and the Yoruba got their opportunities too. Yet, they have all failed to make an expected impact but a showcase of irresponsibility and mismanagement. They have only succeeded in impacting their pockets to an overflowing. Nigerians will continue to complain until we get the right sets of leaders with a common goal of building a better Nigeria, doing away with selfish gains and interests.

However, our leaders should not have grown so much powerful if not for how certain they are over our collective level of adaptability. They have taken us for who we are, fools without strength, commitment and unity to fight back. Maybe we have forgotten they cannot get there without those votes from us. O ye Nigerians! Wake up from your sleep. When are you going to be wise and come to the full understanding that even political parties are also some sort of tools destroying this country unnoticed. Politicians migrates freely from one party to another leaving same unspeakable legacies while they bribe you with stipends to steal your vote, your own right from you. You are merely a political instruments whose value dropped as soon as they land safely at the other end of the ladder.

It is October 1st again. I look forward to a situation of internal heat in the country and not a ceremonial parade over fruitlessness and inconsistency. A consequence of fully informed citizens ready to fight to any length to possess what belongs to them. If we must celebrate any independence, it must be one between ourselves. Internal slavery is very predominant even in the country. Or how better can we explain modern slavery if not a forceful use of human labour without salary and wages? And if they complain, they get sacked. If we must fight to have freedom, we should begin soonest. Enough of dwelling in the past we cannot correct, let us move on to exploring the obtainable potentials of this nation. This country is blessed beyond measures with both human and natural resources and we need not to keep living in absolute lack and unending complaints due to the actions of wealth amassing leaders. 

Nigeria soliloquising through me:

“It is my 57th Birthday and I have nothing to show for it. Unemployment plagues incessantly, corruption has more roots and veins in my system, power is still being cycled, and men of good strength and intentions are being assassinated or silenced in every way possible. I wish I was not born into the hands of unworthy parents.”

References:

  1. Dr Michael M. Ogbeidi, 2012. “Political Leadership and Corruption in Nigeria since 1960: A Socio-economic Analysis”, Journal of Nigerian Studies Volume 1, Number 2, Fall 2012.
  2. Oshodi Chibuzor (2017). Culture of unending complaints; the wearing away of Nigeria. Sunshine Herald

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