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OPINION: Independence day and a misguided submission




It is a solemn day in Nigeria. A day of sobering reflection of the state of the nation.

Nigeria marks the 62nd anniversary of its independence on October 1st. Regardless of this important routine, the dominant issue in the nation remains the politics of 2023 and the persistent closure of universities across different sections within. It is now obvious that this particular government hasn’t regarded education as a top priority.

In all honesty, Nigeria is in a very troubled state. As we celebrate this 62nd independence anniversary, we could reflect on the unfortunate past, from the COVID inflected 2020 to the inflation risen 2021. Looking at our journey from the ‘then’ to now, we can all submit that with the continued resilience of our dear citizens, there’s hope for this nation. In the year 1960, the Nigerian green white green flag replaced the British Union Jack. Nigeria became a new nation, citizens celebrated. And barely seven years later, we had a civil war, often termed as the BIAFRA war. We survived that and still remained a nation, supposedly one. Measures has been taken to unify all parties involved in Nigeria. Although many would call this a futile effort, it has been a required step to keep the country out of anarchy. Nigeria used to be the richest in Africa on all parts, but recently it is a bedevilled nation. The year 2022 is rather a sad state of our beloved country.

As a young boy, I have been told stories of the great Nigeria where students came from different parts of the world to study here. I was also told that our universities were among the best in Africa. Universities such as University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) were top rated.

Today, universities are on strike. between the year 2017 and 2022, Nigerian students have spent the majority of their academic years at home.

Economically, Nigeria became so rich in the 1970’s as a result of the oil boom. The country like some would say, was working but currently, we are in a precarious debt crisis. The nation has not even met its OPEC production allocation.

The statistics are very worrisome; unemployment is at 33% and inflation is at 20.6%, no specific data on the lurching poverty across the nation. From the Giant of Africa to a struggling neighbor in the region.

READ ALSO: Buhari scores self high on security, fight against corruption in last Independence Day speech

Despite this unfortunate reality created by us (owners) of Nigeria, a misguided submission that the British caused our predicament keeps circulating. It is important to note that the British didn’t colonize only Nigeria. We continue to blame the British for our erroneous nature, hence we couldn’t focus on building our nation like other colonies did. Indications show that foreign colonialism has been replaced with native authoritarianism.

Most significantly, Nigeria celebrates liberty and nationhood in this 62nd anniversary. Many Nigerians want to keep celebrating and that is the reason behind the rise in political participation within the country. It is common to express that ‘Nigeria is blessed but the problem is bad leadership’. 2023 comes with an opportunity for every eligible Nigerian to make a decisive stand by casting their votes as required.

President Buhari has reassured Nigerians in his Independence Day broadcast that he’s doing his best and things will get better. He has also promised a credible election come 2023. This is indeed President Buhari’s last Independence day broadcast as the nations President.

For those following the trends, Mr Peter Obi keeps trending, as he seems like hope for every young Nigerian. Let’s all hope he would be worth the trend.

Choosing a leader has never been an easy task. Both transparency and circumstances are highly requisite. Nigerians deserve a more advantageous leadership in 2023.

AUTHOR: Chinedum Anayo…

Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.

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