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Nigeria @ 60: How Far Have We Truelty Come? One Million Dollar Question!

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The Federal republic of Nigeria will tomorrow October 1st 2020 celebrate 60 years of independence, marking its Diamond jubilee. Diamond, a carbon substance forged under immense pressure in the depths of the earth under scorching temperatures, to yield a precious Jem of beauty seems to be an antithetical comparison to a country who’s development, strength and unity  is left lacking, with little to be desired of.  Nigeria, a Nation often referred to as the “Giant of Africa” is grossly underperforming in almost all areas such as National security, infrastructure, health and education sectors, just to name few of the mile long deficiencies the country is facing currently. Decades after independence, their is no sector in which Nigeria is not ailing. As a Nation blessed with an abundance of natural and mineral resources yet, disunity, tribalism, nepotism, cronyism, poor leadership and corruption, terrorism, continues to stunt its progress. 

It is quite disheartning that Nigeria is now labelled and known as “Porverty Capital Of The World”, despite bosting to have the African Richest Man, in the shape of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, what an irony. Nigeria does not seem to be prospering despite bearing the means to do so, with availability of mineral resources and Crude oil as an Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) member to boost the Nation economically, however the chains of impecuniosity still anchors us down.

A man cannot feed her family, salary doesn’t reflect nor support basic expenses such as electricity, water and and other basic amenities. Job employment already at an all time low percentage continues to  drastically fall due to the Global pandemic. To add salt to an already decaying injury, inflation of fuel and electricity prices have rallied Nigerians against the Government, causing a division which ultimately puts the economy at a standstill, with threats of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) industrial action and ongoing Academic Staff Union (ASSU) strike.

Life is apparently untenable for the average Nigerian. As tension and extreme displeasure mounts in the Youth of the Country, whom are expected to be the driving force of positive change, we instead see an influx of youths leaving Nigeria to abroad countries, in search of greener pastures and better opportunities denied to them by their country.
Frustrated by a failing healthcare system, low wages, poor working conditions, inadequate education and unfulfilled promises from the Government; Nigerian doctors, lawyers and engineers are going overseas.
With an estimate of More than 72,000 Nigerian-trained and registered health personnel working abroad, with a  gross shortage of health personnel, quacks have filled the gap, killing many Nigerians.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 20% of all global maternal deaths, occur in Nigeria alone. The probability of dying between 15 and 60 years among Nigerian males is 327 per 1,000 in the population, and for females is 333 in every 1,000 within the population.
Subsequently, “One in every five of the world’s out-of-school children is in Nigeria. About 10.5 million of Nigeria’s children aged 5-14 years are not in school”. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
Clearly emphasising the deteriorating health/educational sector of Nigeria. “With the younger generation refusing to invest their time an energy into this Country” the collective question remains  “ how are we expected to prosper”.

Were Nigeria a citizen of Nigeria, it will, at 60 years of age, have survived several years beyond the average Nigerian ‘life expectancy’ of 50-something years, as calculated by global institutions.
Since the amalgamation of this country by Lord Fredrick Lugard and British colonists Nigeria, seems to be an albatross. With Nigeria experiencing more violence than peace and unity since gaining independence in 1960.       The creation of a country with diverse ethnicities trying and failing to co-exist in harmony together under one Federation, led to a fault line engendering the first government coup and a bloody civil war. With Igbos feeling ostracized and unsafe, the division of Nigeria called Biafra, became a rallying call to the country. To make matters worse, after a war lasting three years, a food blockade followed in the country caused by the Government.
The General state of insecurity within the country continues to see-saw, with the Jihhadist terrorists Boko Haram ripping apart the North as evident by the recent attack on Borno Governor Babagana Zulum’s motorcade on route to Maiduguri, and the menace of  Northern herdsman; also including secessionists dividing the South.
Even now some Youruba’s are entertaining the idea of a separate country named Oduduwa republic. Thus, further highlighting the depths of tribalism drenching the Nation.

Nigeria’s ongoing battle with insurgent groups and continued government corruption threaten the stability and political integrity of Africa’s most populous state. Since 2011, Boko Haram—one of the largest Islamist militant groups in Africa—has conducted terrorist attacks on religious and political groups, local police, and the military, as well as indiscriminately attacking civilians in busy markets and villages. The kidnapping of over two hundred girls from their school in April 2014 drew international attention to the ongoing threat from Boko Haram and the government’s inability to contain it. Following negotiations between Boko Haram and the Nigerian government, brokered by the International Committee for the Red Cross, 103 girls have since been released.

President Muhammadu Buhari, the former military dictator who defeated incumbent Goodluck Jonathan, was elected in 2015 on a counterterrorism platform, but economic and political challenges in Nigeria have complicated the fight against Boko Haram. In addition to the military conflict, continuing uneven distribution of oil revenue, high levels of corruption, and violence in the Middle Belt region pose significant challenges to Nigerian security

Now, the question becomes as Nigeria celebrates its Diamond jubilee, what really have we accomplished as a Nation in terms of economical prosperity, security, peace and unity? Will Nigeria advance forward at a pace worthy of sixty years of independence and withstand the test of time or crawl on forever dealing with the same old issues since 1960?

True to the famed Jovial spirits of Nigeria, in spite of COVID-19, this symbolic anniversary of the nation’s Diamond jubilee will be celebrated with fireworks and cautious festivities. President Muhammadu Buhari unveiled th 60th imdependence anniversary logo, featuring a pictire of a 51-carat Russian Dynasty Diamond. 
Although sixty since independence, Nigeria still has a long way to go, Nigerians still have an inextinguishable hope for the future. And where there’s hope their is always light.

By: Zainab Modibbo

Edited By: Chief Editor, Lady Decency

Zainab Madibbo is a Reporter at Decency Global News

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