By: Joseph James

I woke this morning with Nigeria at the center of my thoughts and at the same time having many questions resonating through my mind. Looking down Memory Lane I asked myself over and over again if as a nation we have anything or any reason to celebrate today, and to be honest my conclusion was that as individuals many did achieved great heights in their area of endeavors but as a nation we have little or no reason to celebrate after 59 years of independence.

Kudos to individuals like the Wole Soyinkas, the Chinua Achebe, the Ngozi Okonjo, the Chimamandas, the professor Philip Emeagwalis, and many more both home and abroad doing us proud.

If we all can be honest with ourselves, what are we even celebrating in the first place?

Are we celebrating Independence Day which signifies freedom and progress or the backwardness and the slavery we’ve suffered the past 59 years, Not by slave masters but our very own leaders?

Are we celebrating the Hunger and starvation in the land or the poverty that ravaged us as a nation?

Are we celebrating the gruesome murder of Nigerians everyday or the total failure of the nation’s security agencies that are supposed to protect lives and properties?

Are we celebrating the daily compromise on the part of our uniform personals with criminals or their abused of power on innocent citizens they were meant to protect? It’s a case of where the criminal always goes free while the innocent people suffer unjustly

Are we celebrating the height of lawlessness in the nation or the corruption, compromise and the injustice in the judiciary?

Are we celebrating the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press or the daily arrest of journalist and the intimidation of the opposition?

Are we celebrating the total collapse of the unity that binds us together as a nation or the political and religious bigots that have divided us along political and religious lines deepening our wounds of disunity?

Are we celebrating the bad elections we’ve had over the years as a nation or the compromised electoral umpires that jeopardized the process all the time or the shameful display of what we’ve had as elections in the just concluded elections?

Are we celebrating the increased rate of crimes in our society or the taking over of kidnappers, yahoo boys and ritual killers in the nation?

Are we celebrating the high rate of joblessness among the youths or the lost of millions of jobs in this clueless administration?

Are we celebrating the bad leaders and their bad leadership or the criminals in agbada called politicians?

Are we celebrating the bad economic policies that made our people poorer over the years or increased national debt burdened on the unborn generations?

Are we celebrating corruption or the complete looting of our treasury by the political gladiators?

Are we celebrating Nigeria being the most dangerous nation to live in right now or the daily exit of our youths in their mass to other nations looking for greener pastures? Where many Nigerians became victims of several xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Are we celebrating the bad roads across the country or bad infrastructural development over the past 59 years?

Are we celebrating the epileptic power or the total lack of it or the billions and trillions of dollars spent on it over the years and yet with nothing to show for it?

It’s a pity that we live in a nation where our leaders travel abroad seeking medical attention, but left behind our dilapidated hospitals and health care facilities. 59 years today we’ve got little or nothing to show which makes me think and believe that it would have been better if we were still under colonial rule.

Until these and many more questions can be honestly answered, I’m not sure as a nation we are prepared to move ahead. The truth is we can lie to others about our intangible progress but we can’t lie to ourselves. I believe that telling ourselves the truth as a people of a nation is what will bring healing on our path.

God bless Nigeria and God bless Nigerians all over world

By Joseph James
photo credit: @Daisy Kairy

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