“The peoples’ welfare is the king’s pride” – Anonymous
Traditionally, Independence is a day set aside for the celebration of a nation’s freedom from servitude and to reminisce over the struggles and sacrifices of the Heroes past in achieving this feat. It is a day laden with deep reflection as to the growth and development of any nation and to chart a new course to be pursued by a renewed vigour. It is a day all nations that have passed through the shackles and manacles of colonialism, oppression and slavery were birthed and acquires the status of a sovereign state. It is a day for the evaluation and re-assessment of the journey so far on the path of freedom. It is a day to measure potential and reality.
Hence, because of the quintessential of the day, it is a ubiquitous phenomenon or event worldwide. Any nation that has faithfully met its set objectives and fulfilled its obligation to its citizens – provision of good infrastructures, security, right to free education, guarantee of human rights, etc, can therefore celebrate it in a grand style.
However, Nigeria’s case appears to be in obverse to this universal practice in the sense that, its a failing state which have reneged on the fundamental principles or pact reached with its citizenry (as stated clearly in Chapter II of the Nigeria’s 1999 Constitution – Fundamental objectives and directive principle of State Policy), in performing certain essential functions -security, education, infrastructure development, job creation/empowerment, access to justice etc- towards the happiness of the citizens and the prosperity of the nation. Nigeria has fallen foul of the Ideal – justice,Faith,Peace and Unity-she claimed to cherish as noble.
Peace has been elusive to the nation since 2009 when the Jamā’a Ahl al-
sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihād — better known as Boko Haram (meaning – Western education is forbidden /sinful) sect came into the Nigeria scene, commandeering security threats and pervasive fear in the land. Countless numbers of innocent people have been killed all in the name of religion and all this happened in the full glare of the Federal Government. Many families have been robbed of their breadwinners and thereby plunged into an eternal mourning and psychological disorder. Kidnapping have become a new ‘get-rich-quick’ trade in the country. Security of lives and property now turn to “On-Your-Own (OYO).” Insecurity is the order of the day.
Economically, the nation is beleaguered with calamitous menace of economic misfortunes and woes. The nation is spirally cascading into miniature of insignificant specie in the comity of nations. The country’s economic fortunes have dwindle a great deal. While the Jonathan-led Federal Government claimed the economy have recorded a quantum leap under his watch, it has only being a mere growth on paper with no meaningful development and improvement on the citizens welfare. There is wild spread hunger and poverty in the country – nearly all prices of staple food products have sky-rocketed phenomenally. The few opportunist ones have milked the nation dry at the expense of the majority poor wallowing in abject poverty. Epileptic power supply, high unemployment rate, infrastructural decay, etc, are some of the several problems facing the country. Dignity of labour and integrity have shrink to the ebb.
“Independence is a day set aside…for the evaluation and re-assessment of the journey so far on the path of freedom. It is a day to measure potential and reality.” – Sobayo Babatunde
Politically, corruption have been developed to become a national ideology of pride worth emulating. Few megalomaniacs have held the nation to the jugular. There are ceaseless cases of wrangling among the political gladiators, which appear to tear up the country. Ego, greed and struggle for power has clouded the reasoning of our leaders at giving the welfare of the people a place of priority. This is the sole cause of the factionalization rearing its ugly head within the ranks of the ruling party- PDP at the moment.
Socially, the intrinsic cord of mutual trust that binds the state with the citizens has been severed. Distrust from long years of Government infidelity to promises made have severed the patriotism and loyalty of the citizenry to the State. Since power is held in trust for the by the Government – that’s a fiduciary (according to John Locke’s Theory), failing to fulfil such dictates of the agreement can make citizens to rebel against the Government. Hence, the manifestation of militancy and terrorism pervading the nation today because government actions are not in tandem with the dictate of the Constitution.
Education which holds a place of pride one time ago, have been relegated to the background. Under-funding, decay in infrastructures and incessant strikes have done a great harm to the country’s educational system. ASUU has been on strike for 90days now (and still counting and with no hope of date for its termination), the Presidency appears indifferent to the plights of the students; with his action in sleeping in a $10,000 per night hotel room while visiting US for the 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly convention.
In the midst of this quagmire I ask; Isn’t the labour of our heroes past becoming a vain? What is worth celebrating in Nigeria at 53rd? What does the future hold for us and the unborn generation with the current situation in Nigeria? Can the nation be made better than it was in the old days? What can be said of a one time giant of Africa but now an ant of Africa?
Without mincing words, there is misplacement of priority by the way the country is being run at the moment. Unless there is a re-think and change of behaviour, this nation might be heading for a doom.
RIP to all killed in Sunday’s Killings in Yobe State.
By Sobayo Babatunde