The African Dream: Nigeria At Crossroads At 60


By Richard Odusanya

When the Union Jack, was lowered on 1st October 1960 and replaced with Nigeria flag, the dreams of our heroes: Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe, Tafawa Balewa and others was not the Nigeria situation of today sixty years after. This is certainly not the Nation our heroes envisioned.

A Nation heavily polarized along ethnic and religious lines; economy in total shambles, complete systemic failure, infrastructural decay, poor leadership, security upheaval and corruption in the entire system, is palpable.

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo in admittance of guilt was honest with his statement “It is sad that after 53years of independence we have no leader that we can commend” at Ibadan while reviewing the history of Nigeria as a keynote speaker at the 4th Annual Ibadan Sustainable Development Summit by the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Ibadan, and African Sustainable Development Network.

Bad leadership system has been our bane. Selfishness is a watchword for our leaders and our youth are very vulnerable. The future of our beloved country seems so bleak.

The former president did not pretend or exclude himself from the issues of poor leadership in the continent of Africa. Unfortunately, it is the other way round with the present gladiators who’s stock in trade is blaming everybody but themselves.

While a good government should be focused on ways to better the lives of its citizenry, these current gladiators finds blissful gratification in frivolous witch-hunting that is not helping the hapless masses and using the instruments of states to intimidate citizens.

Nothing is worse than allowing a poor minded person to gain access to power; they’ll use the power for personal aggrandizement and only enrich themselves at the detriment of the larger society.”

While purchasing the N25 million nomination form at the party’s national secretariat on 16th October, 2014, Major General Muhammadu Buhari lamented the high cost of the nomination form, but said that he was fired by his ambition to procure a bank loan through the assistance of an unnamed bank chairman in Kaduna.

When a man’s world is tied to insolvency and deceitful exhibits claiming to borrow money from bank to purchase party nomination form, meanwhile his children are schooling in England, in a high fee paying institutions. Nigerians should have known better.. A deceitful mind cannot achieve anything meaningful. Nigeria @ 60, at crossroads inside one-chance..

In the circumstances, under the leadership of Major General Muhammad Buhari, our citizens have tested positive to HUNGERVIRUS and going through excruciating pain and paying the price of cluelessness, deceitfulness, plundering of resources, squandering of riches and corruption on account of poor leadership.

While the global community and our compatriots across the globe have various reasons of jubilation about our attainment of Nigeria At 60, we must pay adequate attention to the following: Fraudulent activities in the highest echelons of government agencies, lack of transparency in governance, the issue of down playing of citizens engagement;

Overbearing tendencies of the executive branch of government on the judiciary and the legislature arms; fraudulent elections and lack of independence from the executive branch of government given that the electoral commission are only independent on paper and we need to demand for a less militarism in our democratic process and space.

This is certainly, the creation of the military incursions into our governing system, which is still reflecting in the attitude and character of the current gladiators. It is unfortunate that most of our compatriots across board are too tolerant of the absurdities: they are fearful, lovers of pleasure, comfort seekers and docile.

Nigeria At 60; we seek for true federalism, constitutional democracy and the need for CITIZENS engagement. We should also be against any act of dominance motivated by religious, ethnic or racial profiling. Going forward, there should be no place for any form of hegemonic dominance propelled by religious, racial and ethnic cleansing.

It is time to reflect on the African dream. Let’s re-write history for the sake of the coming generation. The ones we keep passing-the-buck to, they are going to need a good start, or a concept to develop. And you and I are the answer.

The day we come together as one and not be mislead by greed will be the day the whole world says “Great Nigeria” because then the richest continent in the world will prosper and the meaning of the word ‘third-world’ will have no bearing to her

We therefore, urge the international community, friends of Africa and our compatriots across the globe to take a very keen interest in the Nigeria situation, so that we can avert the current trends and recklessness that is capable of truncating our hard earned Democracy, which could ultimately affect our African Dream.

  • Odusanya is the convener of Africa Covenant Rescue Initiative (ACRI).