(By Iheanyi Ezinwo & Silas Tamuno)- As Nigerians mark the 60th independence anniversary of their country on Thursday, the citizens still have reasons to celebrate despite disenchantment about bad governance because the country has remained united despite diverse challenges.
These were the observations of Dr. Chidi Lyod, a former lawmaker at the Rivers State House of Assembly in a chat with Notable Outcome in Port Harcourt on Wednesday. According to him, “The aspirations of our fore fathers is not exactly what we are seeing now, and the people are disenchanted”.
He said: “By 2020, the Nigerian state should have no business with importation of fuel when we have refineries in Port Harcourt, in Warri and Kaduna. The oil, instead of being a blessing to us has indeed become a curse because most of the operators, by paying some people who are not working, have made our people indolent. The people cannot comprehend why all that should happen.
“Lately we have had criminal activities going on in this country, people are no longer safe in all parts of Nigeria. All these pressures and bad governance have given rise to people venting their anger in different ways, including the proliferation of cultism”.
Hon. Chidi Lyod however insisted that at 60, Nigerians have reasons to celebrate because the country is growing and getting better by the day. In terms of democratic process, according to Dr. Lyod, Nigeria will get to a point where the choices of the people will be prevailing, just as he observed that Nigerians had thought that the Anambra election which brought in Governor Willie Obiano was the best until they saw the recent Edo election, that was relatively peaceful.
The Akpabu born political tactician however called on the British and American governments not to limit their threats of travel ban to political actors and their families, but should extend it to the police and other agencies whose actions have been undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
He believes Nigeria will get better with time, adding that Nigerians have cause to celebrate because, despite the differences, the people are still together as a nation. The law lecturer emphasized that there are some things that Nigeria have done well, and becoming an example to other countries but sued for the restoration of family values that have broken down in the society because of economic pressure on the parents.
Stating that Nigeria is a country of diverse nations with diverse beliefs and religion, the university don said that the founding fathers had in mind that Nigeria will be a prosperous state, considering the mineral resources that she is endowed it.
“The country is not just rich in crude oil, it is also blessed with diamond, bauxite, gold and so on. Nigerians are to thank God that we are still one indivisible country despite the challenges that have plagued us as a nation since independence.
” The founding fathers looked forward to a country that would truly be a giant of Africa in sports, and that in every endeavour Nigeria will come tops, and that we must have unity even in diversity.
“That Nigeria will be one indivisible country.That the system of government here will be a democratically elected process. Any body who takes power through the barrel of the gun has infracted the constitution.
“Our forefathers conceived a country that will be the first among equals, big brother Africa. And that is what we turned into because Nigeria has played a vital role in maintaining peace in most African countries that were engulfed in conflict.
“The aspirations of our fore fathers is not exactly what we are seeing now and the people are disenchanted because they feel the leaders have not been able to stay tuned to the specific objectives of the Nigerian nation.
“At 2020, the Nigerian state should have no business with importation of fuel when we have refineries in Port Harcourt, in Warri and Kaduna, we rather import fuel from neighbouring countries. The oil, instead of being a blessing to us has indeed become a curse because most of the operators, by paying some people who are not working, have made our people indolent. The people cannot comprehend why all that should happen.
“Lately we have had criminal activities going on in this country, people are no longer safe in all parts of the country.All these pressures and mis governance have given rise to people venting their anger in different ways, including the proliferation of cultism” he emphasized adding that, at 60, that we have reason to celebrate because Nigeria is growing and getting better by the day.
“Our leaders have not been the best of examples to the youths. The youths should continue to tolerate the leaders and also chose to be good. Some of them are in a hurry because of societal pressures but they should not succumb because a good name is better than riches”, he summed.