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Nigeria Independence: What's There To Celebrate? - Politics - Nairaland

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Nigeria Independence: What's There To Celebrate? by mideoti(f): 8:31pm On Oct 01, 2014
In a twinkle of an eye, another year has
passed and Nigeria is once again celebrating
her independence from the claws of the
British colonists yet, the annual national
poser is put forward again: What’s there to
celebrate? This, just like every other question
challenging the state of the nation may
always lie unanswered.

Over centuries and millenniums, birthdays have been known to be a time to celebrate an
addition of another year to one’s time spent
on earth. At the years of nascent it’s
accompanied with: “Many more years to
come”. At the middle age, it’s buttered with a
golden jubilee celebration however, at the
years of old age you hear words like:
“Celebration of Life” and “A well life spent”.
For such people celebrating the ‘life’ in their
lives, birthdays are times for retrospection
and not necessarily celebration.

Today, Nigeria, my alleged mother’s land
throws a historic fanfare in celebration of her
independence. More importantly is the fact
that a century after the amalgamation of the
northern and southern flank of what is today
known as Nigeria, there is little or nothing to
show for the union. It is a known fact that
few years after the unholy marriage, there
was a civil war that lasted for three years.
International extended family members
(stakeholders) gave military support to the
husband and he was able to compel nay force
the Baifran-wife back into the union. Four
decades after, there is a tug-of-war within
the family yet some members celebrate. What
are we celebrating? I plead to know.

I wouldn’t like to sound like a pessimist who
doesn’t see anything good in the nation.
Definitely, we have in-depth potentials, we
have turbo-charged intellectuals, we have
power-house politicians and imbued, highly
saturated unquantifiable wealth but, we’ve
had these for over three decades and from
what we are told, all is well, the government
is on top of every awry situation. As a
matter-of-fact, it hasn’t been well right from
the beginning.

Politically, Nigeria experimented with the
parliamentary system of governance for three
years before trying out the American
modelled presidential system which we
currently manage and haven’t mastered after
fifty years of experimenting. It’s not that we
cannot copy and implement. Without
sounding ethno-discriminatory, copyright
records will show that our brothers in East
are doing a very fine job both home and
abroad. The problem is we are unsuccessfully
trying to perfect what was never made for us.
Perhaps, if we fine-tune the presidential
system of governance, as some other
countries have done, to suit our diversity, we
may be able to avoid the political mishaps we
often seem to encounter. Speaking of
mishaps, the constant hailstorm of terrorism,
bouts of kidnappings, and the latest asinine
$9.3m scam is enough to ruin a birthday
party. It is no longer news that the Nigerian
ship has long grown rudderless. But, the
question remains: what has been done to put
things in the right place? Our captain who
unsurprisingly owns a doctorate degree in the
dynamics of animalistic and other related
behavioural symptoms seems not to be able
to get a firm hold of his human sailors and
passengers except those who reflect
symptoms of a disease by crossing to the
opposition party (they are well taken care of
via impeachment processes instituted by
pocket friendly legislators). In the midst of
these confusions, we celebrate! What are we

Sadly, the index of our independence still
remains physical emancipation. It appears we
are yet to attain psychological and spiritual
autonomy from the dementia of colonialism
and military rule. We are still living with a
colonial mentality. For instance, an average
Nigerian believes in the qualitative superiority
of imported products as he seems to have lost
faith in the innovative ingenuity of his
brethrens. We are ready to spend millions of
naira on anything that smells foreign (even
foreign education). The reason is not far-
fetched. We still practice kleptocracy at the
central, mamatocracy in the East, god-
fatherism in the West and undertone
Emirtocracy in the North. The late Fela aptly
summed these manifestations in a single
word: DEMO-CRAZY. I dare say that we suffer
from Post Colonial Stress Disorder.

Truth be told, Nigerians have lost the appetite
to celebrate. Just like every other day, this day
shall pass us by as the common man plies his
trade seeking for daily bread. The ship of our
nation is dangerously drifting from the radar
of intellectual leadership and until we realize
our precarious state and take action, we may
find yet drift into oblivion. An infinite state of
sober reflection should be the only
celebration today.


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