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Thursday, 29 September 2016

NIGERIA AT 56, IS THERE ANYTHING TO CELEBRATE?

NIGERIA:  AT 56, NOTHING TO CELEBRATE



By Prince Ugochukwu Olisakwe
For Family Writers

Before the year 1914, there was no country in the world known by the name Nigeria. Nigeria, today, was born in 1914 by a certain man known as Lord Lugard. He merged the northern and southern protectorates together for British economical interest. He ruled Nigeria until she got her independence in 1960. Hence, Lugard is referred to as one of the colonial masters of Nigeria today. He was the genesis of the calamities that have befallen Nigeria up until now. The accusing fingers points to him as some people refer to him as ‘satanic’.

Nigeria has been bedeviled by one crisis or the other arising from unhealthy ethnic and religious rivalries. Since its creation, it is obvious that the country is divided between the predominantly Muslim North and majority Christian South. There have been series of killings especially by the Hausa/Fulanis against those from the south. These led to the Nigerian/Biafran war of 1967.

 In recent times, nothing has changed either. The Hausa/Fulanis from the north always have the conception of clinging to power and claiming 'they are born to rule'.  For instance during the 2011 election when a northerner lost to a southerner, people were massacred by the Hausas and before the 2015 general elections, series of threats and counter threats forced the southerners to leave the north. And to avert that same bloodshed, the southern candidate though he did not lose the election was forced to concede defeat to the northern candidate.

Nigeria has never known peace, progress and unity as a result of marginalization of those from the south. Corruption, nepotism, injustice, killings are the order of the day right from time immemorial. No wonder, Major Emmanuel Ifeajuna stated why they struck "The scene had become so corrupt and confused that how could a structure be so diseased? Corruption and inefficiency were not only visible everywhere: they were accepted as the way of life. Politics had become the best paying profession..An incompetent secretary could get appointed on a fabulous pay with quarters as a matter of priority because she knew some minister or ALHAJI. When it was said that salaries were too high for a particular region like the legislator who met only 64 days in the year, their salaries would be raised. When people cried that there were too many ministers, they would appoint some more from one side of region. By 1945 they use to say, "I am a Nigerian, I come from Kano" but after independence in 1960 they say "I am a northerner, I come from Kano"

In Nigeria, fundamental human rights are not respected. There is no atom of freedom of speech. The indigenous people of Biafra who have been in existence before the colonial masters came and the creation of Nigeria have been victims of this on daily basis. They are killed, imprisoned, maimed for who they are.

Nigeria has nothing to celebrate except the killing of Biafrans. What has she achieved so far? Does Nigeria manufacture anything? Has anyone seen goods exported? The only thing celebrated in Nigeria so far is how much profit made from the sale of oil. When it comes to 'oil money', northerners realize Nigerians are brothers and sisters. This is due to the fact that oil the norths rely on is domiciled in the south, Biafra land and that is the basis for one Nigeria slogan.

Edited by Ngozi Kalu
For Family Writers

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