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Editorial… #NigeriaAt60: Awake, awake sleeping giant!

Editorial... Nigeria@60: Awake, awake sleeping giant!

Nigeria’s journey through the past six decades has been nothing short of traumatic. The euphoria that greeted the lowering of the Union Jack all but fizzled within a few short years afterwards, and that odd mixture of momentary hope cut short by stark reality to the contrary has more often than not been the defining theme of our staggered journey.

The betrayal of successive administrations of the trust of the people has deepened lack of faith in government, while trapping the nation in a cycle of underdevelopment.

But we have continued to move, sometimes forwards, sometimes backwards. Our nation has known pain. The pain of disappointment. The pain of loss. The pain of failure. The betrayal of successive administrations of the trust of the people has deepened lack of faith in government, while trapping the nation in a cycle of underdevelopment.

The countless loss of lives to insecurity and mindless killings across the country have ripped the hearts of the people apart and continue to cast our nation in bad light within the comity of nations. The pain is real. The pain persists. And we must now seize the opportunity to heal this nation.

But for a country with so great a potential, one blessed with enormous human and natural resources, it is embarrassing that Nigeria continues to suffer abysmal levels of performance in power, health, education, infrastructure, democracy, and rural development

It has not all been doom and gloom. We have seen some progress within the public and private sectors. There have been some modest gains in telecommunications, banking and technology. But for a country with so great a potential, one blessed with enormous human and natural resources, it is embarrassing that Nigeria continues to suffer abysmal levels of performance in power, health, education, infrastructure, democracy, and rural development. No nation serious about true progress can continue to serially underperform in these and other vital areas.

Perhaps no area has been more representative of the rot and contradiction of the Nigerian story than mismanagement of our oil wealth. A nation naturally endowed with enormous energy reserves, produces and sells its own crude oil and yet imports refined oil because of sustained failure to fix its refining capacity. This perhaps epitomizes the rot and corruption which has continued to hold a nation meant for great things down.

The region that feeds the nation oil is stuck in terrible underdevelopment, failed by leaders who represent only their own interests. We must put an end to this shameful situation now!

The people, ordinary people, who should benefit from the gifts of nature, instead break under the weight of the crushing costs of living. What’s more, a few in the political class have corruptly amassed oil wealth at the expense of the vast majority of the people. The region that feeds the nation oil is stuck in terrible underdevelopment, failed by leaders who represent only their own interests. We must put an end to this shameful situation now!

Read also: EDITORIAL…Nigeria’s Leadership Crisis: Let’s end the madness now!

Nigeria needs unity now more than ever. At 60, the country barely has a shared sense of nationhood. We still appear like a band of contending forces trapped in a geographical space. There are rising agitations for secession, no doubt buoyed by feelings of political marginalization and segregation.

At 60, the country barely has a shared sense of nationhood. We still appear like a band of contending forces trapped in a geographical space.

A people-led constitutional reform is vital in this area. And everything must be on the table— quota system, catchment area, everything!

More so, our leaders at all levels must lead by example by not exploiting our fault lines. They must show belief in unity by eschewing nepotism, tribalism and bigotry. They must realise that there cannot be true unity and peace without justice and equity, and therefore advance the equal treatment of all Nigerians. We have lost too much to disunity, it is time to take a turn for the better!

A people-led constitutional reform is vital in this area. And everything must be on the table— quota system, catchment area, everything!

The occasion of Nigeria’s 60th independence anniversary presents a unique opportunity for deep reflection and rededication to the cause of nation building. We demand that our leaders rise to the occasion, jettison selfish interests and put the needs of the people first.

We demand that our leaders go beyond the usual empty platitudes associated with independence anniversaries and not only speak the hard truths, but also make sincere efforts to take necessary actions. The people need to be reassured, and see that the leadership has their interests at heart. This way the fire of nationalism can be rekindled and the people can equally rededicate themselves to join hands in nation building.

With pervasive insecurity exemplified by a raging insurgency that appears to have no end in sight, mass kidnappings, bloody banditry, and inter-ethnic clashes, this is no time for sweet talks. We are dealing with a matter of life and death.

With pervasive insecurity exemplified by a raging insurgency that appears to have no end in sight, mass kidnappings, bloody banditry, and inter-ethnic clashes, this is no time for sweet talks. We are dealing with a matter of life and death. Nigeria demands the very best of its leaders at this moment. Leaders must rise to meet this national challenge or quit the scene immediately!

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Ripples Nigeria

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