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60 Years After Independence: Is Nigeria Truly Free?

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On the first of October, 1960, Nigeria Was declared a sovereign nation. This proclamation meant that Nigeria wasn’t under the control of the British authorities who historically were regarded as our colonial masters. In the same vein, the proclamation gave the Nigerian nation powers to make her own laws and rule her own territory without undue and unnecessary interference from others. By this, Nigeria was listed as one of the countries in the world. Several efforts were made to secure this victory as it was not a war fought on a platter of gold cum a bed of roses. Success, as it is often said is not a straight road. Thanks to the likes of Chief Anthony Enahoro, Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Ahmadu Bello all of blessed memory who assisted in securing and sealing the victory. Preceding this event was the amalgamation of the Northern and Southern protectorates by Late Sir Frederick Lord Lugard in the year 1914.

This year been the year 2020 makes it 60 years of celebrating the proclamation of Nigeria’s independence. In the same vein, it is the year in which the country aims to celebrate the achievement of the proposed vision 2020. From all indications however, there is nothing worthwhile that calls for celebration. From the human point of view, any individual celebrating the diamond jubilee must have attained some life time achievements in terms of earthly possessions and the likes. But in the case of Nigeria, we are as it were still crawling. Several areas of the economy are facing one challenge or the other. No wonder we are still been referred to as a developing country. While I was growing up, I always heard the popular appellation which is “Nigeria: the giant of Africa”. However, it seems the appellation is more of a wishful thinking and not something that is realistic. The country is planning on celebration the golden jubilee anniversary in a grand style. However, the question that comes to mind is this: “IS NIGERIA TRULY FREE?”

In the political scene, the country is still battling with issues bothering around thuggery, vote buying and other large scale electoral malpractices. Politics is seen as a do or die affair where one party has to be in power at all cost. The educational sector which is sine qua non to human capital development is at the mercy of industrial actions, poor infrastructural facilities and and quack administrators among other things. Several of the nation’s educational institutions based on an article I read recently are regarded as “Institutions of Regimented Passage and not for Scientific Discovery”. Hence, people go there just to pass the time.

Furthermore, several things which could have been the backbone of the nation’s economy, and could generate huge amount of revenue are not existing. And for the ones that are existing, they aren’t performing optimally as expected. Some of these include the Nigerian Paper Mill in Jebba, and the Bacita Sugar Factory both in Kwara State, Ajaokuta Steel Company in Kogi State and a host of others. I remember the story a teacher of mine told me in secondary school of how Indonesia came to buy a seedling of palm oil in the late 1980s and now, it is the largest exporter of palm oil. Should we say that the gods are angry or like a popular non-fiction series that the gods are not to be blamed for Nigeria’s woes.

Ideologically, we patronise other goods at the expense of our. This on its own is having a ripple effect on the nation’s economy. In the area of security, there is a quantum level of criminal activities such as kidnapping, cultism, insurgency cum terrorism. This has even reached a peak stage as foreign investors are afraid of investing in our economy. Many countries have even sounded notes of warning to their citizens dissuading them from travelling to Nigeria for investment and for other reasons. Healthwise, there is high level of dependency on foreign hospitals for treatment. The question I keep asking is this, Why then are people studying medicine and health sciences if hospitals aren’t functioning effectively and the sick and diseased are flown abroad for treatment?

Well time wouldn’t permit me to highlight some other areas that are subjected to critical challenges. I do hope that in the next decade, Nigeria would actually be able to boast of been an independent sovereign nation free of all maladies. Or what is your take on my topic of discourse? Kindly share your views in the comments.

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Momoh, Emmanuel Omeiza is a Librarian by profession, but has passion for writing and research

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Opinions

The Negro Syndrome

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My soul has travelled and swam deep into the ”dark brothers”, and at times, I’m left with almost no hope seeing the black race in misery. As invalid as some African myths may sound, the consequences of a strapped child falling off his mother’s back has ultimately left me with no steady psyche.


Are Africans truly fulfilled and happy? Were we cursed since inception? These questions and many more can’t stop reverting in my head, almost everyday. Since the dark ages, when slavery seemed to be like the only source of income for the English men, Africans were major tools used, ranging from the Trans-Atlantics that brought the Atlantic world into limelight, down to the inhumane treatment given to our women; irrespective of age or gender. Unfortunately, we Africans were our own problems too; we were sole initiators of slavetrade, assisted the Europeans in mindless and the most intensive anguish on our fellow Africans. Such a cruel beginning.


Enslaved or not, we owe ourselves the truth through forceful, but harmless resillence and declaring confidence that both the ‘black panthers’ and the ‘white kiwis’ are equal. Mum Bett said and I quote: ‘if one minute’s freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told must die at the end of that minute, would have taken it.’ That is exactly what it was like being in chains, and it almost became evident that death was way better than being enslaved; it was the best option.


As embittered and broken as anyone might feel about this, the connectivity that seem to exist between the black race and torment is what baffles me. Approximately 70 percent of the the poorest countries are Africans. The continental dialogue existing in Africa is fast becoming an eye-sore, if it has not already been. Even after independence, we are not exempted from interference in any sector. We rely on the higher powers for virtually everything. As offensive and rugged we may think we are, we are still being controlled. Is there not a cause to all of these superiority complex and all? Have we failed in one way? Are we paying for some sins we know nothing about, or that’s just how it’s meant to be? Maybe we ate the forbidden fruit.


Multiple forms of ruthless indoctrination from advanced countries has eaten deep into our standards and instead, we accept this strange policies without careful analysies. Nigeria’s independence of 1960 has made no huge difference. It’s no hyperbole if she’s likened to a dog who keeps going back to its own vomit. History is being repeated, and consciously or otherwise, it’s been written everyday; boldly in our heart and it would never be forgotten.


We rise today, fall tomorrow with nothing to show to the world, but a confused region whose quandary would produce no transparent result. What can we say to the generations coming; that we made it, or that we absolutely failed? Are we really proud of where we are now? Do we call this freedom? Our limit is limitless, and until we realise we are the architects of our fortunes, we can’t do any better.


Regrettably, everyone’s fighting for recognition outside their Home country without necessarily putting effort to transform it. However, no one is to be blamed for this; everyone deserves a better life and once you find the place, it’s definitely going to be a haven of rest. That’s the best feeling, and if not permanently, the temporal felicity is almost overwhelming.


Notwithstanding, can anything good thing come out of Africa? Do we deserve a better standard of living? Can we fashion our long felt torture to eventual rapture? I bet we can if we do the needful, fix the weighter matters of the law and create for ourselves opportunities that would make our continent beautiful, and for Nigeria, our being the Giant of Africa would once again be revealed in its truest and undeniable form. It’s up to us to decide what life we truly deserve.

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Opinions

Covid-19: 6 Ways To Overcome Boredom During Stay-home Period

Due to the spread of covid-19 accross the world, most states in Nigeria are presently observing lockdown. Therefore, here are some ways to overcome boredom during stay-home period. 6 Ways Overcome Boredom Stay-home

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Considering the fact that everyone has no option than to stay at home to avoid the spread of covid-19 in our respective states or countries, boredom has been the order of the day which most people has been complaining about.

And to solve the problem of boredom you have to understand that you can’t go out, you can’t mingle neither can you gist with friends in crowded places, and you have to maintain social distancing — these are some of the measures to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.

So you ask yourself, I am being quarantined, how will I scale through boredom? You ask yourself, I am always alone, how will I prevent being bored? How will I overcome this boredom that is already drowning me?However, to be able to enjoy your stay home period, the following are ways you could actually prevent yourself from dull moments:

  1. Watch interesting movies: This is the time you have to increase your interest in film watching. You need to know the latest movies in town and make as well watch them when you’re bored.
  2. Listen to music: music is life, music bring you peace and happiness. Good music minister to the soul. This quarantine period is a time you need to listen to good music, ensure you learn their lyrics and sing them along. If you’re a type that knows how to dance, you could dance to the music alone in your room. Now te me, are you not overcoming boredom like that?
  3. Start reasonable argument with roommates or siblings: If you’re living with a friend or you’re probably in your family house, you have to start some reasonable argument with your friends or siblings in order to make the atmosphere lively. You could argue about celebrities, politics, football and also on academics line.Play interesting games: I know so many people have been doing this but they still have to keep playing games so as to prevent themselves from dull moments.
  4. Follow trends on social media: This is another way to overcome dull moments, you have follow what is trendy on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
  5. Watch comedy clips: Of course to there are lot of comedy clips out there you could watch, follow comedian on Instagram and YouTube. Watch their clips and get over boredom.
  6. Read books and interesting novels: Of course, this is the time you have to develop interest in reading. There are lots of interesting story books that could bring life to your dull moments. You could Google interesting stories or download book apps to get yourself busy and lively reading books.
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Entertainment

Funke Akindele’s Case: A Misplacement Of Priority

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Nigeria’s popular theater actor and comedian was on thhe heels of the weekend arrested by the government for cases bothering on disobedience to government regulations as regarding the corona virus disease. This isn’t a solo affair as she was arrested alongside her husband.

Their offence bothered on hosting a party for persons more than twenty in number. However, this according to legal experts cannot be said to be a criminal offence. According to them, an act can be pronounced as a crime if it is prescribed in a law. This translates to the fact that observing social distancing is a guideline and cannot be said to operate within the purview of the law. Since the legislative house didn’t hold a debate on it, neither was it signed into law by the chief executive officer of the state in question.

Nigeria has always been known to focus her attention on seemingly irrelevant and baseless issues. There are several instances of the government displaying actions of misplaced priorities. The most recent is the purchase of world class utility vehicles by the nation’s house of representative. This is amidst the current war and fight against corona virus (COVID 19).

Afterall, the actor apologised publicly and submitted that the party was an internal affair with members of her crew who were on self-quarantine while working on an upcoming film.

It is in the best interest of the government to shift her focus on more issues such as providing for the needing rather than fighting for an issue which is more of a waste of resources. I do hope there is a review of the judgement passed in the interest of the government and the defendants.

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