THE BLOG

Nigeria Celebrates 57 Years Of Independence, In Dependence

It takes great courage to agitate for independence, but requires a great deal of responsibility to be truly independent.

09/10/2017 03:57 SAST | Updated 09/10/2017 03:57 SAST
Pius Utomi Ekpei/ AFP Photo/ Getty Images
A pupil waves the national flag to welcome the Nigerian football team at the airport in Abuja in February 2013.

More than five decades ago, Nigeria had begun her final rite of passage from an adolescent colony of the British to a sovereign adult nation. Seemed like a whole lot of responsibility, but not more than the excited leaders at the time couldn't handle. Well, at least they thought so. 57 years down the line, it appears Nigeria has only grown in age and not in stature.

Terrorism, economic recession, rapid unemployment/underemployment, election violence, corruption, disregard for human rights and tribal/ethnic disunity continue to plague the nation. Nonetheless, Nigerians do have a reason to celebrate: the priceless privilege of independence!

Just like previous years of itemising the nation's progress and achievements every October 1, this year's Independence Day anniversary hasn't added any particularly new items. Nigeria enjoys independence while still in dependence.

Despite the country's wealth and a whopping 57 years of independence, Nigeria remains dependent on external loans to keep its frail economy alive.

If Nigeria is still learning on the job after 57 years as a sovereign nation, then it defeats the purpose of its independence.

Nigeria is dependent on foreign assistance to help wrestle Boko Haram to the ground.

Nigeria is constantly reminded by its citizens through risky agitation and protests that the country is still a democracy and not governed by reformed military decrees.

Nigeria is in complete dependence on the petroleum sector for survival at the detriment of other promising sectors.

Unfortunately, Nigeria is dependent on the strength of the elderly to speedily provide the desired change for the future.

It takes great courage to agitate for independence, but requires a great deal of responsibility to be truly independent. If Nigeria is still learning on the job after 57 years as a sovereign nation, then it defeats the purpose of its independence.