By: Olamide Francis
Nigerians have every reason to be thankful for this special occasion. Only an ingrate will have no justification to give thanks on behalf of our dear country. I mean, since our fiftieth anniversary in 2010, God has preserved your life and eyes to see six ASUU strikes, three NLC strikes, devaluation of the naira from 156/$, a surge in importation of talents from Nigeria to oversea, a mushrooming population of poor people, thus, making us the world’s poverty capital, a proliferated unemployment rate, a surge in mortality rates due to insecurity, a country as united as the blades of a ceiling fan, and many undeniable glories of selfish and poor leadership. We must give accolades to sixty years of leadership with vision.
On top of all this, more Nigerians have been lifted out of poverty (into the grave) since our fiftieth anniversary. You have every reason to be grateful. You have every rationale to rejoice that you carry the green passport. In 2010, the largest tribe in the nation was the ‘poor people’ tribe, it is still the same ten years after. Talk about consistency! In 2010, we were making efforts to annihilate Boko Haram, but now, we have spiced it up with banditry, armed herdsmen, SARS and mysterious abductions. For only incompetent and selfish leadership can do these things, let us give it the praise it deserves on this grand occasion.
Whoever says Nigeria is faulty at sixty must be a clown talking out of anger, hinged on exclusion from the share of the national cake. There is more than enough evidence to show that Nigeria is as fit as a fiddle. In case you’re too blind to see the giant strides the nation is making, ask any member of the ruling APC, they’ll show you. They have the customised lens to clearly see the achievements of their principal. I’m still amazed at how they’re the only one that can spot it. Perhaps, more than 100 million Nigerians have eyes but cannot see.
As we celebrate a prosperous Nigeria today, let us not forget to relish the enormous dividend of democracy her citizens have enjoyed since 1960. These dividends have motivated the masses to continually lend a helping hand to their hardworking leaders in numerous ways. Nigerians happily fuel their generator to relieve the National Power Grid from stress, they dig their own water supply to decrease the pressure on the water pipes running through their houses, they donate money out of their 30k minimum wage to repair their bad roads so they can ease the government of that headache. You know, the government has too much to do with limited funds. And it’s not about what your country can do for you, it’s about what you can do for your country.
Sometimes, Nigerians even sleep with one eye opened or employ a security guard to keep watch over them while they sleep because the police and security agencies have to be stationed at big men and politicians’ houses as the constitution requires. All these gestures to help are from a thankful heart. The government has done so much for them, so, they have to give back in many ways as a show of appreciation.
Nigeria, as a country, redefined what independence means in Africa. So, let’s end with some traits of an independent nation. First, an independent nation must need foreign intervention or threats to conduct a free and fair election. An independent nation must have its citizens troop out in their numbers overseas due to its working systems. An independent nation must call on able-bodied citizens to abandon mechanised farming for small-scale farming. Presidents of independent nations must spend more time overseas than in their country. Independent nations must make much noise without actions. They must talk more than they do.
As for the long-suffering citizens of Nigeria, they don’t have to retrace their steps to a new nation. They must keep celebrating independence annually without a substance to be proud of. It’s a good bargain to exchange four years for a few cups of rice, beans and suffering. Also, as a good citizen of Nigeria, use your eyes and hands to vote incompetent leaders. Then, organise a fasting and prayer programme, for the heavens to be opened on the incompetent leaders you elected, to be baptised with competence. Do you hear it? Lastly, use Nigeria as a point of contact in your prayers, that your life and endeavors are as prosperous as Nigeria when you’re sixty years old. If you’re above sixty, use your children.