NIGERIA AT 56, HOW DID WE GET HERE? By KOSOKO OYEYEMI [@_olayemi_] 

PRELUDE;

Here’s a piece of heresy, different from the one you’re accustomed to, Britain didn’t travel to Africa sic Nigeria just to civilize and preach Christianity to us, thus at the first instance the creation of Nigeria by Lord Lugard was purely based on business and developing Britain’s economy, in other to take over the colony that would later be known as Nigeria, The British government paid the royal Niger company a whopping sum of 865,000 pounds which was a huge amount of money(Even Mr Darosha would not travel that far and wide just to preach democracy and Christianity after spending that amount of money ), so let’s establish a fact, while most developed countries were born out of shared identities , ideals , characteristics and goals we were born just to fulfil a business purpose and that purpose we fulfilled till October 1 , 1960

OCTOBER 1, 1960 AND THE POLITICS OF FIRST REPUBLIC

The feeling and euphoria that swept across the country on the 1st of October 1960 cannot be explained with words, finally we felt what India felt in 1947 and Ghana in 1957, however unlike Ghana in 1957, Nigeria was dubbed the giant of Africa because of its vast population and vast resources chief of which was oil that was discovered in OLOIBIRI Bayelsa in 1956, we ushered in a republic that was built on freedom and a promise of  heaven on earth by the nationalists, however this heaven metamorphosed  into starvation diet, a gun to the head, political repressions, ethnic chauvinisms etc. Census were dubiously rigged , brothers turned against brothers,  in the south western region for example citizens were reportedly at a loss on deciding who to listen to between Awolowo and AKINTOLA, with all these factors in place , the nation was sick and unsure of what foot to put forward, this made Nzeogwu and his 5 majors to assume the role of  MESS CLEANERS, but inexperience killed the bright dream, the mess they set out to clean bounced on their heads and the coup was regarded as an Igbo agenda. To cut the long story short 30,000 hard working Igbos died a gruesome death, this occurrence led to a brutal civil war. Pangs of hunger, starvation, man’s inhumanity to man, killed between one to three million Nigerians. Within 7 years a country labelled as the giant of Africa was at war with itself.
The second Republic, military incursion and the eventual decline of Nigeria; 
In 1979, General Olusegun Obasanjo handed power back to a civilian government led by alhaji shehu Shagari, the government lasted till 1983 when General Buhari seized power, from that day till may 29 1999, the military held sway save for the few days ERNEST SHONEKAN was in power, they ruined the values we held dear as a country, poverty became the major ethnic group in the country, corruption, starvation malnutrition walked with two legs in the nooks and crannies of the country. During these years citizens were heart broken, economy regressed, roads, schools and telecommunication systems were in shambles.

 1983, Nigeria was among the 12 richest nations on earth, PCI after military incursion and before they handed over power in 1999 Nigeria was ranked the 13th poorest in the world, with 47 percent of Nigerians illiterates and we ranked 134 out of 74 human development indices. Coincidentally in other for the military big boys not to be challenged by educated citizens, they neglected education and consequently lecturers were being told they are teaching what they are not paid to teach, when education is neglected in a country, that country becomes a home of illiterates thus it didn’t take long before gatemen, carpenters and bricklayers were appointed into administrative offices hence the crippled economy. Repression also became the order of the day, DELE GIWA, KUDIRAT ABIOLA , MOSHOOD ABIOLA , TUNDE THOMPSON AND NDUKA IRABOR, KEN SARO WIWA AND THE EIGHT OGONIS , GANI FAWEHINMI, NADECO AND SEVERAL OTHERS WERE AT THE RECEIVING END . 

THE FOURTH REPUBLIC AND NIGERIA OF TODAY.

Sani Abacha taught Nigerians the meaning of FEAR, he ruled for 5 years until God helped us to remove him, and like the saying the darkest hour is just before dawn, General OLusegun Obasanjo was elected to clean up corruption and uplift the image of the nation that has been destroyed by ABACHA, that transition was regarded as the most positive development on the continent  second only to the end of apartheid, to some quarters the administration was regarded as a make or break administration, I would leave you to judge the impact of the general, enter  yaradua with his decency and grace in 2007, sickness didn’t let him flourish and he ruled more from, his sick bed until God called him, thus giving Good luck Jonathon the chance to become  the acting then president but for every time he was in power it was as though he was not prepared and he increased the price of petrol , schools were shut for 6 months , cases of  corruption were levelled against his administration and mismanagement became a daily affair, Boko Haram held sway and  the admin reduced the Nigerian Army that was once the pride of Africa to nothing. Nigerians left with the option of Buhari who was regarded as a no corrupt man and Jonathan regarded as a beacon of corruption picked Buhari though they were afraid of the unknown, oblivious of which way forward or where we are going we elected buhari and asked him to be our Ronald Reagan, we asked him like Hercules was asked some eons ago, to clean the Aegean stable and return hope and smile in our faces. 

NIGERIA TODAY AT 56, SHOULD WE REALLY CELEBRATE?

56 years after Independence is it really worth it?  Our dear nation has literally gone from being the giant of Africa to a country that can’t manage even basic things like an Olympic competition,  the nation today is a nation of wounded cruelly citizens, with news of attacks springing up daily from different groups i.e.  FULANI HERDSMEN, BOKO HARAM, EGBESU BOYS, MILITANTS etc. The nation is a now a nation of contradictions were we marvel when we see someone do something right, it is a nation were those who stole the coffers are given befitting titles in churches and mosques and those who work meritoriously and diligently can hardly get by, it is a nation where merit is sacrificed on the altar of where are you from and who’s your daddy? Today Food is short, education is abysmally poor, health is on an all-time Bad, Even our oga at the Top embarked a trip to the Uk Just to treat an ear infection, mind of citizens are depressed, body low, brethren I tell you with no iota of doubt that never has there been a time to use the expression times are hard like now in essence ILU LE, even comedians are no longer seen as funny.  However i also like every sane Nigerian’s believe in the nigerian dream , i believe in the visions and dreams of our fore fathers , i believe thay one day laws will make man and the judiciary will become the hope of the hopeless and the defender of the defenseless, i believe that one day the nation will lay claim to the title Great sadly i can only dream and hope. 

Way Forward 

The  first step actually is for us to admit that Nigeria is not a great country, it is nowhere near the word great, the second is for us to look into our history and talk about our journey so far, are we comfortable together ? What are the ideals that the nation was built on, why are we together? Are we together because we want to or because lugard wants us to? The next is for us to fashion out a home grown political system different from the ones we are accustomed to from Britain or USA, next is to embark on an economic system that favours Nigerians and Nigeria and not the usual Nigerians working and Britain or USA repatriating profits, next is to invest into the citizens through Small and medium scale enterprises, true education and local government reforms that accommodates the citizens.  
PS. Or should we kuku change the name ?
GOD BLESS THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA 
KOSOKO OYEYEMI 

HE TWEETS @_olayemi_

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