This year’s diamond anniversary of Nigeria’s Independence has been marked with more cynicisms than optimism going by the avalanche of negative and critical comments from most citizens, especially on social media.
It seems just trending and socially correct to put down Nigeria when analyzing the nation at 60 and that exactly was what most commentators did in this period of the celebration which they regarded as a hollow ritual.
In fact, there were more thumbs down than up for the nation at 60 and those who viewed Nigeria positively were sometimes hard put to defend their views.
Most people said unprintable things about Nigeria and they actually had a field day pouring vitriolic attacks on the nation.On social and traditional media, Nigeria was turned into a punching bag as all sorts of insulting comments were thrown at her.
Except for government officials who spoke tongue-in-cheek, the rest were openly giving the nation hard knocks.
They spoke with much anger and some were carried away, calling for and predicting what they say would be the inevitable collapse of Nigeria.
But all said and done, Nigeria is like a coin with two sides: the positive and negative sides. Unfortunately, Nigerians have allowed themselves to see only the negative side of the nation while turning blind eyes on the progress made in the last 60 years.
What seems to incense Nigerians the most is the worsening security, especially killings in the northern parts of the country by Islamists, who are carrying out similar acts of terrorism in various parts of the world, especially in the Sahel region, Somalia and now Mozambique to name a few.
Too much blood, they rightly complain, is being shed in the country by bandits and herdsmen. All they see is a vicious circle of violence and blood-letting.
Also rightly they conclude that at 60, Nigeria has achieved far less than she should have.
However, the beauty and awe about Nigeria is her resilience to survive in the face of overwhelming odds.
For example it was once widely predicted by some Western security experts that Nigeria will disintegrate in 2015 but she survived. Nigeria has kept proving doomsday sayers wrong and hopefully will keep doing so.
Nigeria’s failure at 60 is undoubtedly rooted in lack of constant power supply. It is a national shame that at 60 the nation cannot boast of uninterrupted power supply which has been the bane for the seeming slow pace of technological advancement and industrial low capacity utilization.
Apart from lack of electricity, another problem bedeviling Nigeria is endemic corruption. To quote President Muhammadu Buhari, “If we don’t kill corruption, then corruption will kill us,” and truly corruption is dealing deadly blows on Nigeria as it has permeated the fabric of the nation. A case in point is the revelation about the level of corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) which stinks to high heavens.
However, Nigerians have cause to thank God that they are still together as one nation and growing at a geometric rate.
Whether out of pretence or for political correctness, Nigerians are good at the art of co-existence in spite of the stark differences. As it is always said Nigeria’s power lies in its ability to unite in diversity.
Nigerians have the propensity to excel beyond imagination when they put their minds to an endeavour. Therefore, once Nigerians speak with one voice to move the nation forward and make it great, the success would be resounding.
Nigeria may be a sleeping tiger but surely will wake to her full strength at the right time. More so those daring the nation’s ability to respond may soon realize they are holding a tiger by the tail.