Nigeria, At 51, Is a Disaster - ACN


ABUJA, OCTOBER 2, (THEWILL) - There is little or nothing to celebrate about the 51st Independence Anniversary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, because it has so far failed to realise the dream of its founding fathers, says opposition Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). But it did not rule out chances of redemption, provided the leadership and the citizenry would “roll up their sleeves and put their shoulder to the wheel.”

According to a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, “There is so much work to be done if we are to even begin the journey to where we are supposed to be as a nation after 51 years of nationhood. But we can only do that if we tell ourselves the truth, instead of engaging in sophistry. And the truth is that, in these past 51 years, we have fallen short in almost all aspects of our national life.”

The party identified mediocrity of successive leaderships, leading to lack of vision and little or no development, as the country’s biggest problem. “Without a bright and brave leadership to steer the affairs of state with rare vision, courage and selflessness, our country has failed to meet the yearnings of the citizenry in the areas of welfare and security, infrastructure, rule of law, transparent election, economic growth and overall development, it lamented.

“Today, our country is at the very bottom of every ranking by development agencies, no thanks to our low marks in all the relevant indices. Security is almost non-existent as life has become so short and brutish for hapless citizens, in the face of unrelenting kidnapping, armed robbery, ethno-religious crisis and extra-judicial killings.

“Those who are lucky to escape being mowed down by armed robbers, kidnappers and sect killers are not spared a gruesome fate on the roads, which have become death traps due to years of neglect. Nothing signifies the near-total collapse of our infrastructure than the parlous state of our roads nationwide.”

It chided the phony statistics on economic growth being reeled out by the government, arguing that the people have yet to truly experience a better life.

“For a country that has earned billions of naira in oil revenue, this is nothing short of a disaster, and the only explanation could be the massive, mindless corruption that has seen a huge chunk of the national wealth siphoned off by fat cats,” it lamented.

“In spite of the mouthing of the rule of law by successive administrations, the rule of law has been turned to the rule of the jungle, with dire consequences for all. Worst of all, the judiciary that has been the last hope of the common man is now on the verge of being destroyed by those who believe it must either serve them or serve no one!”

It also played down the togetherness of the country despite a tragic civil war and several other high-scale incidences if blood-letting.

“Yes, we have somehow managed to remain united even after a devastating civil war, and have always managed to pull back from the brink. But the simple test of the state of our nationhood today should be measured by the answer to the following question: Are we better off today than we were in 1960?” ACN argued.