59 years ago, Nigeria as a country gained her independence from the British colony. As we mark our independence today, I couldn’t help but sit back to reflect on what we’ve achieved as a Nation these past years. I wasn’t born till over 3 decades after we gained the independence, but I atleast read stories and documentations of those years; I’ve read, heard and even on some occasions watched the struggles of our leaders and heroes past, and how much sacrifices they made to ensure this independence.
Today, I’ve heard our national anthem being played countless times, and for the first time I had to listen carefully to this anthem, and I realized that the meaning and message of the anthem has been lost in transit.
Arise O compatriots
Nigeria’s call obey
To serve our fatherland
With love and strenght and faith
These lines of the anthem have been used to force the bright minds of our country’s fresh graduates to devote a year of their youthful age into serving the country; The same youths who would have lost another year or two to strikes and other industrial actions while in school, due to the system’s failure. And when they agree to serve the nation in this capacity, they are not being catered for, their security is not guaranteed, they are made to do cheap Labour and being paid stipends at the end of the day; all because they are obeying the clarion call.
The Labour of our heroes past
Shall never be in vain..
To think some of our past leaders lost their lives in the struggle to make us a better nation, many had to make huge sacrifices to give us a face as a country; and looking down or up from wherever the may be, (heaven or hell🙄) I can imagine the disappointment that would be in most of their faces. I wasn’t born then, but I read that there was a time when N1 equaled $1; today, $1 is equivalent to about 368 naira (it’s not even constant, it fluctuates). As a Nigerian, getting visa into any country is so difficult that it should be considered a survival skill, every sector of the economy has failed; from the health sector, to the educational sector, to power, transportation, to mention but a few.
Our major roads linking states and even cities within states are dead traps, and surprisingly the bad spots on these roads are same that must have been renovated the previous year with millions of Naira. I recently found out from a very reliable source that the cost of resurfacing (not fresh construction o) of some roads, amounts up to about 250million per 10km; and come back in the next 6months or so, these roads would have been worse than they were before the renovation. Progression or retrogression?
The curriculum of our public schools is structured in such a way that the average Nigerian graduate is expected to get a degree, look for a job, work and retire after 65 or 70years. What am I even saying? We have more unemployed Nigerian graduates roaming the streets today than (what can I even compare with this?)… Simply because, they have not been equipped with the knowledge enough to create their own jobs, and most organizations don’t find them employable probably because they don’t have the required experience and as such would contribute little or nothing to their organizations’ growth. Most primary and secondary school buildings are left delapidated with leaking roofs, no seats for learning, and a host of other inadequacies, for years; and nothing is being done about it. It took a viral Instagram video of little Success before…. 🤐
Our health sector is in shambles. Health practitioners are exodusing in their numbers because here in Nigeria, they are underpaid, standard of practice is way below satisfactory as most institutions don’t have the facilities to render proper health care services. The average Nigerian patient is made to make out-of-pocket expenses for Healthcare delivered to them, and still aren’t guaranteed of getting the best care possible. The same persons who are meant to better this situation, are the ones flying abroad for medical check-ups for every cough or flu they catch; I mean how are they supposed to know what the common man suffers when they don’t make use of our health facilities? So much for equity.
My home town happens to have been in total blackout for the past 18months and counting; and even before the blackout, the only time there’s fairly stable power supply, is a few days to when the power holding company wants to start distributing bills. For instance, once there’s light for straight 12hrs, or when there’s light while it’s raining, one can emphatically project that in the next 2days, they would be served bills (which most of the times are estimated thus making the amounts outrageous). Citizens are forced to buy generators and fuel for them to be able to go about their daily businesses, increasing the financial burden, and even predisposing them to burns as most of the petroleum products are adulterated. So much for the giant of Africa
To serve with heart and might
One Nation bound in freedom, peace and unity..
The only time we make top on any international list, is when they are ranking the highest paid lawmakers in the world, while the minimum wage of N31,800 is yet to be implemented. So much for service.
At 59 can we really say there’s peace in our nation? Insurgency, kidnapping, robbery, cyber crime amongst others, has become the order of the day. A poor school girl has been in the custody of her abductors for how long now? I can’t even recall.
Someone who called for revolution in the country has been held captive for treason, even against court orders; so much for freedom.
There was a recent surge in the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa, and the government after 2days, sent envoys who took another 48hrs to arrive South Africa for deliberations; so much for… 🤦♂️
The average Nigeria cannot even live on the “minimum wage”, yet there’s an exponential increase in VAT from 5 to 7.5%; so much for patriotism. We are simply suffering and smiling…
I could go on and on, but to what end?
I weep for Nigeria as nation, I weep because our future as a country is bleak, I weep because the next generation coming after us would have no legacy to live upon.
Nigeria o Nigeria!!
Who has bewitched you?
My name is OGHENEKPAROBOR BLESSING ELIJAH (MD) and I am a Nigerian calling for a better Nigeria; not for me alone, but for the sake of my unborn kids.