58 Years Of Independence: A Sleepwalk To A Failed State?
Tanimu A. Tahir
For over a half century, Nigeria was decolonized having been freed from the predatory grip of colonialists that in the guise of civilization shattered our African heritage and force into us a culture that renders us on neither the side of white nor the black race, leaving us on the fence of racial neutrality psychologically.A neutrality that carries low self-esteem/inferiority complex which incessantly subjects our country to dehumanizing charities, projecting our national status unto the have-nots’
table in the league of prosperous Nations where we blatantly present papers on national agendas we really don’t have faith in.Papers that are rich in content of Progressive roadmap but sadly, downright poor in the spirit of implementation.
Today marks a very important event in the historical life of our country- the day we as said,got our Independence which in my view is incorrect.I prefer the expression,’The day we regained our Independence’ because we were INDEPENDENT prior to COLONIZATION and my argument here’s that ,to continue to believe that the 1960 & -63 event means the day we got our Independence implies that we are not just mentally enslaved but historically robbed.But to not sound so iconoclastic, let me try and celebrate this day but before then I deem it pertinent to ask these questions: Are we celebrating the Independence of corruption in our country? Are we celebrating the Independence of retrogressive politics in the land? Are we celebrating the sovereignty of a potentially great country which feeds her citizens with all the opposite effects of her potentials?Are we celebrating 58 years of grudges nurtured against ourselves ranging from Tribe,region, religion and any divide that satisfies our ugly interests? Oh I got it! we are celebrating the 1999 rebirth of ‘Militarised Democracy’ or if you like a ‘stillborn Democracy,’ right?
Well I don’t know what we stand to celebrate but for me I celebrate the fact that God has grant me the understanding to know that the government of yesterday and today have failed my aspirations as a citizen and it’s an imperative onus shouldered on my conscience and conscious to make sure that tomorrow comes with a breeze of ‘True Change’
Many people including great scholars believe Nigeria’s problem is largely corruption which according to parts of the submissions, emanated from menace of indiscipline.Some hold the view that leadership is our major problem, burying the argumentative verdict that says followership is a key factor.More recently, precisely with emergence of Muhammadu Buhari as president, score of Nigerians believe that corruption and insecurity are the only clogs in the wheel of our national progress. Sadly,by and large, we proffer solutions to problems based on the manifestations of the problems without taking into consideration the underlying causes.In other words, we so much go for the roof-factors instead of the root-factors which I suppose is incorrect.So if you ask me what’s the major problem of Nigeria in one sentence? This will be my answer: ‘We do not have NATIONAL VISION!’ And when people don’t have vision for their country they won’t consider nation building a critical patriotic duty.
Reflecting on the appellation of this piece which asks whether we’re sleepwalking to the state of being a failed state, I merely intended to provoke our thoughts regarding the position of our country as it is and what’d its tomorrow be like, if we continue to move on in the current direction.I do not know of it makes sense to ask: How many Nigerians still need to die owing to security issues, infrastructural deficits, and poverty before we will realize that we’re not in the right direction? please tell me, how many out-of-school-children do we want to have before we challenge our educational system? Is it 50 Million kids?How many women do you want to have dead when trying to put to bed or watch helplessly how their children die because they can’t afford ordinary anti-malaria drugs for their children?If you know what’s Mother’s Love , perhaps you’ll know how painful that could be.How many lives and properties would Boko Haram terrorists still have to waste before we can stand against the cosmetic war against terrorism? Please don’t fail to tell me about the future of that child whose father was before him slaughtered like a ram and his mother raped to death,his sister who’s barely fourteen taken to Sambisa tightly caged and subjected to what her mother died of and eventually sent to a church with a bomb to end it in what you will wrongly call it SUICIDE as if it’s her intention to do so.Tell me how did we get here for crying out loud? Is it not the road that took us here that we’re still following and expecting solutions? Which magic has ever made that possible my dear people.Wake up!
Now, one expected question that could ring the senses and sensibilities of a reasonable Nigerian whose thoughts has been void of ideas on how to be liberated from the morass of infrastructural comatose, economic epilepsy, political irregularities, democratic nascency that practices thoughtless autocracy and socio-moral laxity as people and a nation that is endowed with a demographic size of over two-hundred million people taking the first populational position in a continent that has over one billion people-Africa.My answer to that is simple. I suppose we need to collectively as people bound by the fate of nationhood say enough of playing politics, let’s feel the romance of good governance.Enough of religious bigotry, let’s try religious neutrality. Enough of ethnicity, let’s try the uniting Power of Humanity.Enough of Regionalism, let’s try nationalism. Through such discuss I think we can alter the narrative of this country for good.
Lastly, perhaps it’s MUST to celebrate this day and in absolute obedience to the law of a country whom I owe love and respect, I blissfully say HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY