Nigeria @61: what’s worth celebrating?

By Abiodun Akinwumi

Nigeria as a country has gone through different stages on its way to the sixty-first Independence Day that is being celebrated today across the nooks and crannies of the country and beyond.

Though the nationalists that fought hard to gain Nigeria’s ‘demographic freedom’ could not envisage a country of over sixty years that will still be struggling to survive due to many challenges that have been clogs in the wheel of its progress. Nigeria’s uninterrupted democracy is more than two decades now with little or nothing to show as the progress made in terms of critical infrastructures, human and capital developments.

The problem of insecurity is unprecedented in the history of the county as many families have become refugees in their motherland with many citizens killed untimely by terrorists, bandits, kidnappers and other criminal elements bedeviling the polity. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over three hundred thousand Nigerians are in different refugee’s camp across the country with over two millions Nigerians displaced internally.

A country that cannot feed itself will remain subservient to others. Nigeria cannot be said to be self-sufficient in terms of providing food for its citizens with the Federal Government spending about one point eight trillion naira on food importation annually according to the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, SABO NANONO, notwithstanding the rich arable land God has endowed the country with!

The unity of Nigeria has not been that threatened as it is today with agitations for self-actualization from two of the major three ethnic groups in the country. As we celebrate another Independence Day today, it is pertinent for all and sundry to embark on a sober reflection geared towards ensuring that our dear country will reach its desired height. It is also time for the country’s ruling class to dialogue with separatist groups in the country with the aim of finding lasting solutions to problems that warrant such agitations.

Governments at all levels must rise up to their responsibilities of tackling the security challenges facing the country since there cannot be any meaningful development without adequate security. All efforts of the Federal Government to reposition the Agricultural sector cannot yield the desired result if the herders and farmers clashes are not nipped in the bud.

The Nigeria of our dream is still a possibility if we all take our part in making it a reality.

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