The former Chairman of Senate Committee on Privatisation and Commercialisation and Chairman of Lucinda Media Limited, Senator Olugbenga Obadara aired his views on Nigeria at 59 in a release.
My country, Nigeria, has been officially an independent Nation for six (6) decades less one year.
It has been decades of ‘ups and downs’. Yes, we are no longer officially tied to the Briton’s Apron but then ‘Are we not technically Cuffed to those of the South African’s, The Americans, Europe and, in fact, to the rest of the world?’.
It has been Fifty Nine years of great sacrifice by some, sucking our Nations dry by many, taking few giant strides and lacking in many ways.
I feel it is time to review where we are and how we got here.
There is great infrastructural deficit across the Nation and one can hardly live a good life in my country.
The state of the health sector is one in which is on a wheelchair; basic healthcare is evasive.
Most of our public hospitals are mortuaries. The look of the environment makes some die even before death.
Truth be said, many have died and still die in our country due to absense of equipments and manpower.
‘Brain drain’ is also becoming a major problem for my nation. But how do I tell that unemployed/under-employed Nurse, Doctor, Engineer, Journalist or Teacher not to relocate to Canada without being cursed?
In Yoruba land, it is said that if hunger is not the problem of a poor man, then there is relief.
Another major challenge facing my country is the unavailability of food for many. As basic as food is, only a few have it readily available.
How do I explain that even though my fifty Nine Year old Nation is rich with arable land and human resources, we are still struggling to provide most of our own food.
When I learnt that my country is now one of the largest importer of rice, I staggered! But we must give kudos to the present administration on this and same to many States as they are trying to turn the table round.
I must commend the present administration for giant strides in fight against corruption and security as has been the bane of our development for long.
It would, however, be intellectually dishonest of me to feign ignorance of the huge infrastructural deficits that makes a short distance travel take hours.
I know many live in fear and we must continue to breathe hope for something better.
However, the hope must be predicated on realities if it would not be foolishness.
Some have said that rather than the giant of Africa moving forward constantly, she often retreats… moves backwards
I, however, remember the hypothetical ram in Yoruba adage who moves backwards to acquire power so as to come back better.
I take solace in that saying hoping that someday my giant of Africa would acquire enough strength to give 24hours power supply to her citizens across the country, to produce her own food, refine her own oil, build her own roads and manufacture a greater percentage of her needs.
As we celebrate the 59th Independence of our dear country it is pertinent to know and realise that there is still a lot of work to be done compared to what we’ve done in times past.
It is important to praise the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for what has done so far to curb insecurity and insurgency, build an interstate rail network of reputable standard and the continuous fight against corruption which has been the major focus of the government.
However, just like the popular saying “Rome wasn’t built in a day” same way the journey to a greater Nigeria will not happen in a day, it’s a continuous process, and I fervently believe our strives for a better nation will come with a price and bitter-sweet experiences.
Unfortunately, as a nation our unity is cosmetic with various groups spreading discord for selfish interests at the detriment of national stability, not forgetting the trending and inadvertent display of disrespect for the rule of law and what is seemingly synonymous to the gradual strangling of the judiciary and legislative arms of government.
Therefore, it’s a duty not just for the government who obviously needs to do better but also for we the citizens to do our part. Apart from what the country can do for you, what can you do for the country itself?
For every country, its youths are the important section of its population, it is rather sad that in a country like Nigeria where the youths are a majority, they have not been empowered to harness and exploit their potentials for national growth rather the substitution with frivolous engagements and petulant compensation with peanuts.
Therefore, the job of a better Nigeria is one that needs the cooperation of both the government and the citizens.
As we celebrate independence, let’s celebrate modestly and look inwards to find the right path to achieve our potentials that have so far been largely untapped.