Independent Day Celebration: Nigeria At 60 – Is Nigeria still the giant of Africa or they lost it?

Roughly sixty years ago, Nigeria broke free from its colonial rule to become an independent nation, which entails absolute freedom and sole-control of the nation’s affairs.

On 1st October 1960, Nigeria finally gained independence from its British colonial masters after years of struggles for a breakthrough.

The motion began when late Chief Anthony Enahoro requested an independent nation to the Parliament in 1953, which was rejected by the Parliament members’ walkout.
S. L. Akintola revisited the motion years later in 1957; although it passed the Parliament, the British authorities rejected the motion.
In August 1959, Remi Fani-Kayode revived the motion, asking for independence to be granted on 2nd April 1960, but was rejected as usual.

The pressure was getting much and gaining international attention.
In 1959, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa brought up the motion to the Parliament, which passed. As a result of the continual agitations and uprisings, the governor-general, James Wilson Robertson, announced the Queen’s decision to grant Nigeria her independence finally.

Early hours of 1st October 1960, through a representative to Queen Elizabeth II, Nigeria’s constitution was handed over to Tafawa Balewa as the new prime minister. Nnamdi Azikiwe as the first president of Nigeria in 1963 after declaring itself as a Federal republican nation.

Tribalism in the government sector was transparent with the established political parties that were controlled by the three ethnic groups; the Nigerian People’s Congress (NPC) – consists of the Hausas, the National Council of Nigeria, and the Cameroons (NCNC) – widely regarded as the Igbo party, and the Action Group (AG) which consists of the Yorubas.

The ethnic segregation has eaten deep of the country, intermittently experiencing outbreaks of violence. Although the country is rich in mineral resources, the masses still live in abject poverty, and wealth is one-sided. Thus, the rich get richer while the poor continue to drown in poverty.

Tribalism in Nigeria resulted in coups, and eventually, the bitter civil war of 1967 lasted till 1970. However, the war ended with ‘no victor, no vanquish’ with the aim of the war unachieved, millions of lives and properties were lost, and the tribalism continued to thrive.


Independent Day Celebration: Nigeria At 60 - Is Nigeria still the giant of Africa or they lost it?
Nigerian woman celebrating the independence – image credit:

Since independence, over $380 billion has been looted or wasted by the politicians, unjustly. Terrorism became daily news. Individual’s continual siphoning of public funds allocated for the masses has been unchallenged. The crazy story of animals carting and swallowing money being swept under the floor.

Nigeria has consistently been rated among the most corrupt countries globally, with over 90 percent of the population impoverished.
Under the regime of General Ibrahim Badamisi Babangida between 1985 – 1993, the World Bank estimated that over $2.1 billion were diverted to new accounts.

Two-thirds of the citizens live in the slum, lacking basic amenities in a country that claimed to be the ‘Giant of Africa’ when there is nothing or less proof to back up the acclaimed title even at 60.
Being a country that operates a democratic government system, it is unarguably a fact that freedom of speech is not operative.

Last but not least, is taxation. The government’s excessive taxes levied on citizens; companies are a thing to the government needs to look into if they have the people’s affairs as their topmost priority. Being supportive, making provisions for a conducive and industrialized nation.

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