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NIGERIA AT 60: Where We Are by Durojaiye Akeem Olalekan

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NIGERIA AT 60: Where We Are by Durojaiye Akeem Olalekan

Congratulations to the entity called Nigeria! It doesn’t matter whether you see it as a ‘mere geographical expression’ as described by late political sage Chief Awolowo in 1947 or as a ‘mere nation space, that is, a country stripped of nationhood’ as once subscribed to by Professor Wọlé Soyinka. What is incontrovertible today is that Nigeria as a geo-political entity remains in the world map as one country.

Attaining the age of 60 is a feat worth celebrating especially for an entity that has had to survive so many assassination attempts. Predictably, so many Nigerians will not hold back from highlighting the failures, dissatisfaction and sad realities caused by the poor management of the country’s resources and the glaring economic opportunities squandered, especially made much worse when pitted against the backdrop of economic growth and development in countries like Brazil, China, Singapore and even, Rwanda.

As usual, instead of reflecting on better routes to greatness, many political actors, pretending to be better than their peers in other political platforms, will capitalize on the moment to lampoon their perceived political opponents. However, Nigerians should by now come to realize that we have never been led by the best amongst us, rather just as it was at pre-independence, majority of those who have led us are masquerading ethnic champions who serve nobody but themselves and their cronies. Only a handful of politicians since independence can be described as detribalized patriots who always wanted the best for the country without any ethnic bias.

To further enslave the minds of ordinary folks, the embers of religious bias have been routinely stoked by many in the political class in their cynical bid to continually hoodwink the feeble minds of the populace and compel political loyalty. Tell me any of the world religions that support the stealing, criminality, favouritism or killings that has become the trademark of many in our political class? Does our political class hold to the virtues of the religions they so conveniently profess when it suits their political interest? Your guess is as good as mine.

At no other time in this republic has October 1 provoked a sombre reflection of Nigeria’s true situation as a country as today. Unfortunately, the 1%, or in the words of Patrick Obahiagbon “the microscopic few”, who have benefited from the system will probably be in banquet halls or some nice place toasting to each other with wine and issuing official statements, while the victimized 99% who continue to suffer from the malady of their maladministration will likely be watching TV or be scrolling through social media instead of actively joining the burgeoning force of liberation. Clearly, Nigerians are not happy with the state of the country but our unrivalled lame duck attitude and apathy will continue to guarantee status quo ante.

In the spirit of independence, Nigerians need to be reminded that we cannot outsource our struggle. It is up to us to straighten the curve towards an upward trajectory and to build the nation we desire and deserve. It will be fallacious to think in a country as divided as Nigeria there will be a violent revolution that will change and fix everything. What I believe is a realistic step is for everyone to be vigilant together, promote national consciousness and engender attitudinal change within each individual’s micro space so we can shut down bad policies while actively demanding for good governance.

To the microscopic few celebrating today, happy independence?

******

Happy Birthday to Gandonu Sadiq Olayemi (A.k.a. Officer Gandy)

Join me in wishing my very good friend and brother a happy birthday. Many wonder how my relationship with Sodiq is so deep and why we always look out for each other. The only explanation I can give is that our friendship is a divine relationship. Many may not know it predated LASU, but one day I will tell the story. I consider Gandy a younger brother from another mother. We have so much history together, fought and won so many battles together. He is a very dependable, respectful and kind-hearted ally.

For me, he is the best anyone can pray to have as a brother and friend.

Congratulations brother.

Written by: Durojaiye Akeem Olalekan

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