BY CHIEF MIKE OZEKHOME, SAN, OFR, Ph.D.
My simple take on Nigeria’s 61st independence anniversary is that there is nothing to celebrate at all. To me ,we should merely mark our flag independence in a very solemn, mournful mood. Nigerians are dying by the thousands through hunger, poverty, sqalour, bad governance, kidnapping, armed banditry, boko haram, terrorism, corruption, etc. Nigeria has become a sprawling grissly gruesome field of blood (fresh and caked), from daily slaughters.
Nigeria is now the poverty capital of the world, having beaten India to it. She is the 149 out of 183 most corrupt countries in the world, according to Transparency International, on its Corruption Perception Index.
The deaf HEAR the pains, pangs, frustration, anger, disillusionment, hopelessness and haplessness. The blind SEE them. The dumb SPEAK them. The numb FEEL them. The leadership is inept, weak, deceptive, devisive, directionless and brazenly impervious to the groans and yearnings of a beleaguered people.
The civil society is greatly compromised, with otherwise leading lights falling for cheap crumbs that fall from their masters’ tables. The opposition is in disarray, unable to put their acts together to challenge a failed governor .
The Naira is badly battered, exchanging for about 600 naira to the dollar. Inflation is on all- high. Prices of foods and consumables have increased geometrically, out of the reach of the common man and woman.
Even on the side of democracy, our cherished civil liberties have become greatly circumscribed and rubbished.
Freedom of speech has become an essential commodity.
Rule of law is in retreat, giving a free reign to rule of the thumb. Court orders are disobeyed with reckless abandon. The situation is so sad and pathetic.
It is a miracle that we are still together as one whole. All thanks to the fact that God Almighty has preferentially shown Himself to be a Nigerian. There is nothing to celebrate at all, other than that God Almighty has generously and mercifully allowed us to breath His freely donated fresh oxygen. Nigeria, we hail thee.