It’s true that as humans we celebrate birthdays and other important dates in our lives every year and even if some of us do not mark them in grand style, we somehow remember it in some way and give thanks to God for the achievement attained and also for keeping us alive.
Nigeria as a country recently celebrated her 57th Independence anniversary few days ago and like any other country Nigeria is still going through challenges such as political instability, terrorism, communal clashes, religious violence, militancy, unemployment, academic strike, kidnapping, recession and the list goes on.
However, what makes a difference is not the amount of challenges a country has faced but how such country have handled the challenges to be stronger. Nigeria is a country located in western part of Africa with a land area of 923,768.64 square kilometer and a population of 150,635,626 if not more than, making it the most populous country in Africa and the most populous black nation in world.
A country blessed with so many natural resources ranked among top 20 oil producing countries in the world. The current president of Nigeria is Muhamadu Buhari, who was elected in 2015. The president oversees the affairs of the country as both chief of state and head of government and his powers are checked by the senate and House of Representatives known as the national assembly.
Just like every other candidate seeking for votes from the electorate would make promises of what they will do when they get elected, Buhari was not different. in fact one can say that he won the election through his promises of change mantra. Let’s take a look at some of the fantastic promises he made during his campaign.
- I will reduce fuel price to 45naira per liter.
- There will be free education at all level. I will pay 23million Nigerians 5,000 monthly.
- I will increase minimum wage and place every graduate in salary for extra 1 year after their youth service.
- One free meal (to include fruits) daily, for public primary school pupils.
- I will revive all our refinery in my first one year in office and build more to produce more for our domestic consumption.
- I will crush Boko Haram in my first 3 months in office.
- Three million Jobs per year.
- I will stop importation of refined products there by stabilizing the naira.
It’s over two years since the President was elected, If you ask the average citizen what he or she has seen or benefited from the promises made; the answers you’d get would be bad, because what they voted for is different from what they are getting.
But come to think of it, what more could you have expected from a country where tribalism, sectarianism, ethnocentrism, prebendalism, nepotism and the likes have unmistakably played and still playing a major role in her polity. In a country that’s so much blessed with almost everything good one can think of, that other neighboring countries calls her the giant of Africa and yet there is so much hunger, unemployment, insecurity, poor infrastructure. A country where corruption has become a way of life, a country where the purchasing power is zero, a country where citizens don’t know the salaries of their so called “leaders” a country where leaders sends their children abroad to school while the country’s institutions goes on strike everyday, a country where leaders travel abroad for medical vacation while their own hospitals are on strike due to poor funding, a country where their own products are not valued, a country where leaders own private jets meanwhile some citizens cannot afford a bicycle, a country that borrows to service debts, a country where workers are been owed more than 2 years salaries, a country where the sound of generators have become music to the ears, a country where graduates work as bus conductors, a country where law makers enact laws for their own selfish interest, a country that cannot refine its own oil. The list is endless.
Nigeria has become a place where leaders promise the people heaven on earth just to get elected and immediately they get what they want they turn their back and it is to your tent o Israel until the next election year. Now one may ask what could be the reason for all this malady? If you are very observant, you’d noticed that leaders in this part of the world especially in Nigeria take their electorates for granted, one may ask why? is it that followers do not know their rights? or they are just nonchalant, indifferent, lazy?. Thereby letting their emotions becloud their sense of reason.
The fact is what you sees most of the time is that when it’s time for election and these candidates come seeking for votes from the electorates, instead of the electorates to think and scrutinize whoever is soliciting for their votes so as to ensure that whoever they vote for will truly put their interest first and not just going there for their personal gain and aggrandizement. Rather what you see people do is selling their rights for peanuts, sentiments here and there characterized with tribalism.
Now with all these been highlighted, my question is what does independence mean to you? Are we truly independent? Or we are just pretending to be.
Therefore, I believe that any nation that is said to be independent, leaders must be accountable, transparent, selfless, law abiding and the interest of every citizen of that country should come first and they must have a sense of belonging wherever they find themselves. Citizens should be able to walk with their heads high wherever they go, with the knowledge that they belong to a country that truly cares for them.
Let all our leaders rise to the great task of building social trust amongst the people and between the people and the leaders. The leaders should lead by example in service to the people. By so doing, we can have peace, growth, development and stability in our country.
Many thanks for reading.