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“One would only wonder if this is the Nigeria of our forefathers”
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“One would only wonder if this is the Nigeria of our forefathers”

It is fifty-one years since Nigerian independence. But while some progress has been made, too many Nigerians still suffer want, dejection and hopelessness, writes Tayo Elegbede, 22, a Commonwealth Correspondent and radio presenter from Lagos.

It is another season of celebration for my country, Nigeria. This time, it’s her 51st independence anniversary, though celebrated on a low-key note.

Ordinarily, Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and indeed the world’s 8th largest oil producer, should be basking in the euphoria of progress as it marks its 51st independence anniversary.

On the contrary the richly endowed country is grappling with pervasive insecurity, electricity challenge, poor infrastructure, mass unemployment and under employment, debilitating poverty, and unbridled corruption, amongst other issues of threat to the success of the state.

Lives and properties have been frequently threatened by high levels of terrorism, violence, kidnapping, cyber crimes and incessant bombing with the Islamic sect dubbed ‘boko haram’ (western education is sin) as its crusader.

These have invariably affected the peace, survival, social and protective security of the nation both at individual and societal levels due to a combination of identifiable socio-economic and political factors, one of which is elite manipulation of socio-cultural differences and violence induced by politicians.

Basic infrastructures and services are in pitiable state due to misappropriation, irresponsibility and overall corruption. It is a known fact that poverty has grown exponentially in Nigeria in comparative terms than during the colonial era. Sadly, at 51, Nigerians live in full frustration, regret, want, dejection and rejection, hopelessness and helplessness, misery, pains and untold sufferings.

Education they say is the bedrock of progress, yet Nigeria cannot boost of any institution of global standard. Schools produce educated illiterates who yearly venture into the chronic certificate crazy circle of uncontrollable unemployment. The judiciary, which is supposedly the last hope of the common man, has suddenly become the hall of shame and corrupt practices due to political infiltration.

The principle of meritocracy has been extolled with lines like ‘man-know-man’. However cultural and societal values and ethics, which were the basis of strong nationhood in times past, have been debunked. One would only wonder if this is the Nigeria of our forefathers.

It is therefore imperative that while we reflect on the state of our country Nigeria, all stakeholders, governments, non-governmental organisations, religious circles, families and all Nigerians as a whole must reposition the country for a better and stronger future, which starts now.

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About me:

I am a young broadcast journalist, radio presenter, writer, public relations practitioner and social entrepreneur with a passion for all-round human development. My core philosophies in life include honesty and integrity, open-mindedness, responsibility and accountability.”

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response?

To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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