Men's Roundtable: Nigeria @57: The Gains, The Pains, The lessons

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The Men's Roundtable

With Nigeria clocking 57 years after Independence, it seems the country has more pains than gains in its nationhood.

On October 1, 2017, Nigeria celebrated its 57th Independence Anniversary and unlike past celebrations, this year's edition was low-key, reminiscent of the signs of the times; a time where many Nigerians, especially the masses, are reeling in untold hardship and poverty.

A time where majority of the citizens cannot thump their chests and say they are proud to be Nigerians; a time where agitations for self-determination across the country is no more news; a time where the average family cannot boast of three meals a day while a privileged few are living in affluence, looting and stealing the commonwealth of the masses with reckless abandon.

When the likes of Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Herbert Macaulay, Professor Eyo Ita, Sir Alvan Ikoku, Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Anthony Enahoro and Sir Ahmadu Bello all fought for the Independence of the country, they had a lofty dream of a Nigeria that will turn out to be the greatest in the face of the earth.

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They dreamed of a country where every man and woman would be united as one, a country where there will be no marginalization, a country where everyone would be free to live where he or she chooses.

 

But that dream was first truncated by the bloody coup of January 1966 led by a hot-headed Major Chukwuma Kaduna Nzeogwu who led a band of impetuous and rash young officers who killed almost all the founding fathers and other top politicians in one fell swoop.

According to Major Nzeogwu who was the leader of the putsch, the coup was necessary because 'the men at the helm of affairs were running Nigeria aground with their corrupt ways while the Ministers under them were living flamboyant lifestyles and looting public funds at the expense of ordinary citizens'.

In July of the same year, Nigerians were woken up to a counter-coup or as is famously called the 'July Rematch', masterminded by Lt. Colonel Murtala Muhammed and other officers of the Northern stock and was said to be a reaction to the killings of Northern politicians and officers by mostly Igbo soldiers in the January 1966 coup.

This counter-coup saw the murder of Nigeria's first Military Head of State, General Aguiyi Ironsi and his host, Lt. Colonel Adekunle Fajuyi, and since then, Nigeria has wobbled and fumbled from one calamity to the other.

The civil war that lasted from 1967 to 1970 did not help matters at all as it helped place the country on a path of confusion, disarray, and uncertainty. Nothing has seemed to work since then.

To say that Nigerians have not had it smooth all of these years is stating the obvious because a country so blessed with abundant natural resources has been struggling to feed itself and its people.

 

Every part of the country is blessed with mineral resources that can be harnessed and turned into money spinners but the over-dependence on oil has been the undoing of the nation.

The billions of Dollars that have accrued to the country over the years have been frittered away by a privileged few while the rest of us look on helplessly.

The incursion into democracy in 1999 after years of military rule has not helped matters one bit as all the politicians think is to get into power by all means only to steal and loot so much that even their fifth generations cannot finish all they have stolen.

It is very sad to note that in the past 57 years, Nigeria has recorded more pains than gains occasioned by thieving politicians who only think of themselves.

Youths have been turned into criminals, armed robbers, fraudsters, kidnappers, prostitutes and ritual killers because they want to measure up to the politicians who oppress them with their ill-gotten wealth.

Almost every sector in the country has been left undeveloped, from education to health, from power to housing, from the economy to infrastructure, from Agriculture to roads, everything is now in a total state of decay while successive governments leave the country worse than they met it.

They would come into power on the basis of the poor performance of a previous regime only to end messing the whole country with wrong policies, thieving and corrupt politicians whose only desire is to steal more than the previous politician.

The gains of the country in terms of its vast natural and human resources have turned into pains because the wealth is circulated and controlled by less than 5% of the population while the remaining 95% wallow in abject poverty and penury.

 

Nigeria has no business being poor owing to how it has been blessed by God but our leaders have been so myopic that we are now regarded as one of the poorest nations in the world.

They steal the nation's money and are busy developing Dubai, the UK, the USA and other countries while their own country is so devastated, yet they claim to love the nation.

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It is very pathetic that in all of this, the youths who should know, allow these men and women who have been in the saddle before they were born, continue to be in the seat of power, with some of them only comfortable with being the personal assistants and thugs for the thieving politicians.

The lesson to be learned in all of these is for the youths to wake up from their collective slumber and take their rightful places or they would continue to be treated as second-class citizens in their own country.



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