Since October 1, 1960 when Nigeria was said to have been granted her governmental freedom, different challenges have followed her self rule because the freedom was devoid of political, social, economic and cultural independence, some specific challenges have been spreading along with distasteful effects such as weak leadership, Electoral maleficence, bad financial management, Insecurity, Corruption, dwindling economy, Poverty, Hunger, unemployment and lately the sudden ravaging Covid-19 pandemic which met Nigeria in a deteriorating state !
As the Country is commemorating her 60th anniversary of the “freedom day”, a lot still needs to be done to lift Nigerians up above poverty !
The government must begin reflecting soberly, not because there is nothing worth celebrating about Nigeria at this age of its physical disabilities, but because there are many old faults and consequential shortfalls that must be fixed starting from sincere reconsideration of diverse contributions from Nigerians from different tables if thoughts outside government, with depth, along with arrays of solutions on how best to remake Nigeria.
STATE OF THE NATION AT 60
The Country seems to be crawling into Nationhood with bags of insecurity, economic downturns and growing habits of corruption in the public service and political terrains.
The Country 60 year’s independence is not yet a bed of roses.
The Country is yet to be placed on the tripod of sincere Unity, Justice, and Human Rights Prosperity.
The vision of those who fought for the country’s independence is yet to be fulfilled.where the labour of its heroes past shall not be in vain.
Corruption instead of abating is further empowering the Corrupts to fight back through the indulgence of some Judicial officers and lawyers who have become undisguised goalkeepers in the corruption field of play.
TO COMMEMORATE OR CELEBRATE THE 60TH INDEPENDENT ANNIVERSARY ?
At 60 years of Independence and five years of President Buhari in office, the political space for real change must by now, be widened to expand the range of Voices especially from the critical sector to make the government inclusive in its operations. Most manifesto policies of the APC government should be sold to the people, enable them to buy into them, join hands in driving them, so that the outcomes could be owned by the people.
To commemorate the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence, there is need to reset the Nigeria agenda, which must entail the convocation of an emergency ‘State of the Nation meeting’ as all other large encounters especially in this COVID-19 age, which must connect participants from across the sectors, I.e. faith based congregations, Ethnic Nationalities, Youth generation, Gender consideration, Civil Society/ Human Rights, Professional Associations, Politicians from all recognised Political Parties, Intellectuals and their Unions, Labour innovatively via video/zoom.
Recommendations from the state of the nation meeting should be used to raise the country from its crawling state, put its act together to give them better and qualitative education, sound health, good physical infrastructures, clean up the degraded environment in the Niger Delta, Construct good durable roads across the Country, build Modern Railways and procure Modern Buses to convey Commuters to and fro works and pay its workers the best wages not only that can take them home but feed and clothe their family and meet other basic needs.
The meeting should not be mischievously construed to mean an attempt to hijack governance from the ruling government since government is for the people, it must be convened at the initiative of the government in collaboration with several Groups to allow ranges of voices to be heard on the challenges facing Nigeria as a significant element of the next level re- strategization methods.
A peoples driven committee should be set up to synthesize appropriate and necessary, sensible and implementable suggestions from individuals, organizations or institutions on the issues under consideration”.
Messages to Government and Nigerians on this occasion of the 60th Independence anniversary?
1. On economic recession
President is expected to make Nigerians to start enjoying renewed economic life, acquire a stronger capacity to pay their children’s school fees, for others to afford the high cost of food, fuel, electricity tariffs, transportation locally and outside the country and win the war against joblessness.
2. On security
Visible progress should be seen in the fight against insecurity and not to be recycling its incidence.
Government should continue to encourage the the patriotic Fighters in the war front with proper welfare, equipped them with modern arms and appropriate ammunitions to prosecute the war
3. On Niger Delta militancy
Government must continue to encourage constructive dialogue and use acceptable policy measures to stabilize the peaceful coexistence prevailing in the Niger Delta region to prevent the resurgence of new crimes that could challenge the authority of the Federal Government.
4. On corruption
Post 2015, cases of corruption filed against the politically exposed are being compromised by the EFCC, ICPC, Police and a section of the Judiciary , using wrong charges that are easily knocked down by lawyers who revel in making money through corruption fight backs.
Corruption impunity must be confronted without minding whose org is gored to not only support the ease of doing business by restoring the health of the business atmosphere and free our enormous resources for urgent socio-economic development fighting all corruption fight backs on the template of rule of law and human rights.
Government must stand firm against perpetrators of all unethical practices, step on the toes of their supporters and also crush their legs.
5. On restructuring the economy
Government must make it clear to the people through understandings that restructuring the economy and divisiving its courses are not tea party or easy but surmountable. The repetitive repairs and maintenance of the Country’s refineries must be subjected to serious accountability tests and anybody found to be behind their not working and wasting if the scarce resources of the country should be brought to trial and handed appropriate heavy penalty in accordance with the law.
The Electricity and subsidy investigations in the Senate and the House of Representatives should be revived and concluded. Those who are found culpable should be treated appropriately judicially.
Nigerians will be happy with the government if those who are stealing their resources are made scape goats before them and made to account for their evil deeds.
6. On power generation
Nothing encouraging is coming from the Electrics sector, Nigerians are still not enjoying regular supply of electricity for more than half a day, yet at very high costs. Provision of critical infrastructures of power has not led to improved power supply, yet all threats from the Minister of Power to bring the Discos to function seems to have been bought off the shelf’s. The exposed financial incapacities of the DISCOS are being covered by government refinancing even when corruption has been very visible.
Government should sincerely come up with promised projects utilizing alternate technologies such as hydro, wind, and solar to contribute to our energy mix, the Mambilla Hydro project which has suffered inexplicable years of delay should be made visibly working to produce one thousand two hundred megawatts of solar electricity for the country.
The Media should rise from their slumber to assume their historic roles of setting agenda for the government instead of allying with the selfish agenda of opposition to castigate everything that the ruling government is doing without reservation.
Notwithstanding the hollow situations that Nigerians are found to be living in, they must not despair, there is hope for a better tomorrow because the Country will still be great !
As a first action step towards that greatness, Nigerians should join the train of the progressive movement for change, failure which Nigeria may relapse into the hands of those who in the past years misdirected the affairs of the Nation and ruined its economy through cluelessness and political indiscretion.
It might take long years to get another “Mr Integrity” in the character of President Buhari who has no girls and lady friends to service, who will close his eyes to the riches in the oil sector and refuse to use the wealth of the Nation to enrich his friends and blood and political families at the expense of impoverished masses, those who will not be adamant to sell the Nation’s Properties and sharing dollars to sway voters to vote for non qualified political office holders at all costs to buy justice.
Nigerians should turn into strong Vanguard against corruption inpunities and assume their historical responsibilities for good governance to move Nigeria from poverty to prosperity, expose
Masterminds, Perpetrators of unethical practices in all known areas, particularly leaking the hiding abodes of Boko Haram insurgents and exposing the planned atrocities of Kidnappers, Armed Robbers and Bandits.
Comrade Mashood Erubami
NIGERIA VOTERS ASSEMBLY (VOTAS) and Executive Director Centre For Human Rights and Ethics in Development (CHRED)