By Ademola Johns
After the independence of Nigeria in 1960 a lot of events occurred that we can still relate to the days of our colonial era. Some of the principles practiced by our present government can still be related to the days of Herbert Macaulay, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and many more other past leaders of Nigeria.
The then colonial leaders were selling Nigerians and depriving us of our rights just like our present government is depriving of our basic needs. There are no good health facilities, there is poor educational system, bad roads and poor maintenance mentality just like the days of our colonial era. All we have today is civilisation, modernization with no proper education. They gave us mirrors, gold and other mere valuables in exchange for humans during the colonial era but today they give us rice, beans,yam and many more in exchange for our votes.
In those days our naira had value; in those days the purchasing power of our currency had impact. Unlike today where they only beautify a currency with no substantial value. In those days of trade-by-barter we exchanged goods for goods and services for services and our so-called leaders are still in the era of trade-by-barter whereby they help those who helped them during their campaigns (i.e service for service) by giving them cars during their campaigns, giving them houses and many more.
Right from the onset, Nigerians have always been focusing on one aspect of the economy; that aspect they feel is the most profitable: Crude oil exploration. In the past, we all concentrated on cocoa, groundnut and palm oil farming which was the most profitable business at that time but today where are the cocoa plantations? Even our youths of today don’t want to go near the farms, let alone involving themselves in any agricultural business because they feel it is a non-viable business. Today we are still focusing on one major aspect of the economy which is the oil and gas sector which is our major source of revenue. My question is, when the era of oil and gas are gone; when we begin to have solar automobiles, solar machines and we get our main source of energy from solar energy, what will be the hope of Nigeria and Nigerians?
Again, ethnic differences have been with us right from the days of our colonial leaders. Every ethnic group fights for its interest and not the interest of Nigeria as a whole.
The Hausas want to be in charge of government, the Igbos want to be in charge and the Yorubas also want to be in charge. We are all fighting for our own personal interest and not the interest of Nigeria as a whole.
In 1960, Nigeria became an independent country. Azikiwe became the first President of Nigeria. However, ethnic tensions and power struggles soon caused crisis in 1966 when Nigerian military officers of Igbo descent overthrow the democratically-elected government of Tafewa Balewa who along with the Northern Premier Ahmadu Bello and others were subsequently assassinated. The killing of Northern politicians enraged Northerners, resulting in violence against the Igbo by northerners. The military government sought to end the ethnic unrest by dismantling the federal system of government and replacing it with a unitary system of government. However, this reform was short-lived as the government was overthrown in another coup. Then a civil war broke out between separatist Biafra and Nigeria between 1967 and 1970. This happened just seven years after the independence of Nigeria. Ethnic violence has always been part of us. And now Boko Haram has added another dimension to the violence after the government the suppressed Niger delta militants and other small ethnic terrorist organisations.
Nigerian nationalism has been negatively affected by multiple historical episodes of ethnic violence and repression of certain ethnic groups by the Nigerian government. This has resulted in multiple secessionist movements.
Back in the colonial days, leaders were selected and not elected based on their popularity, family background and their wealth. The same situation obtains in present-day Nigeria wherby our leaders are not chosen by election but by selection made by famous prominent Nigerians who classify themselves as senior citizens of our dear nation. They choose our leaders for us, they deprive us of our future, kill our own dreams to build theirs, deprive us of our rights to achieve their aims and they always want to be leaders and make us followers forever. They practice nepotism, favouritism and other ungodly system of government. They believe Nigeria belongs to them. They believe leadership is their birth right.
So my fellow countrymen, what’s the difference between the colonial days and our present-day Nigeria in terms of leadership? We still practice the old ideology of leadership. My fellow countryman 2015 is another opportunity for change.
#2015 VOTE TRANSFORMATION!
#VOTE PEACE,VOTE CHANGE !!
#MAKE A NEW NIGERIA!!!
#IT BEGINS WITH NIGERIANS!!!!!
•Ademola wrote from Lagos
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